U.S. soldiers exchanged fire Friday with suspected Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan. Two American soldiers were killed and several wounded. An Afghan soldier accompanying the patrol of about 35 U.S. special forces in Paktika province also was hurt, Col. Roger King told The Associated Press. King said one U.S. soldier was killed and five wounded. But in Washington, Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Richard Myers later said two U.S. soldiers were killed. The gunbattle at Shkin, near the border with Pakistan, involved at least 20 suspected Taliban fighters. A second group of 35 U.S. soldiers was quickly called in, and two F-16 fighter jets, an A-10 fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships pounded the area. At least three enemy fighters were killed, while the remainder escaped across the nearby border into Pakistan. Something is going to have to be done about this.
The U.S. special forces had come to the area to investigate "suspicious activity," King said. The gunbattle occurred not far from where rockets were fired Wednesday at a U.S. military outpost. The wounded were airlifted to Bagram and the southern city of Kandahar for treatment, King said. None of the soldiers were identified.
Time for some B-52 strikes right on the border using the "stupid bombs"? "OOOOPS! Sorry about that. We'll be more careful next time."
The only way we'll stop this is to kick their heads in. Doesn't sound like the Pakis are too concerned about it.
We have got to be able to get into NWFP and the rest of the provinces with SOF or something to clean out the baddies. At least we need to pop the leaders and the rest will wither. Or else this will be a slow war of attrition.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 12:36 Comments ||
Anyone read the link via Instapundit yesterday?
Authorities have seized four anti-aircraft missiles in house in eastern Afghanistan, a senior Afghan official said Friday. The find was in the same Nangarhar province where suspected Islamic militants this week killed three Afghan soldiers with a land mine. The missiles were discovered Wednesday in a house in Dera Said Mian, 15 miles southeast of Jalalabad, said Afghan Gen. Said Agha Saqib. Saqib said the raid was conducted on a tip-off, but no arrests were made. He said the missiles were U.S.-made, but there were also reports they may have been Russian-made SAM-7 heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles. It was unclear whether fugitive Taliban or al-Qaida fighters had stored the missiles in the house. Meanwhile, authorities in Nangarhar have arrested 24 people in the search for suspected militants who blew up a vehicle ferrying Afghan soldiers from Jalalabad to Tora Bora, the mountainous region heavily bombed by U.S. forces in December 2001 after the fall of the Taliban government. Two soldiers were killed in the attack Wednesday. A third died of injuries on Thursday. Gen. Haji Musa, head of the 9th Afghan Army Brigade that operates in the area, said Taliban fugitives and their al-Qaida allies were behind the attack, but did not elaborate on whether those detained had any links with either group.
found near Jalabad - so presumably smuggled in from Pakistan????
Very important - it was largely Stingers that made a mess for the Soviets. Our strategy has been based on idea that any resistance would NOT have access to SAM's and so air control would be unchallenged. If Pakistan cannot control this they must let us cross the border to do so. If they wont, this will lead to radical change in our relations with them.
What kind of an idiot keeps anti-aircraft missles in his house?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
04/25/2003 16:27 Comments ||
I wonder if our Stingers have an expiration date, and if not, why not? We pass these out to various friends-of-convenience who, with stunning regularity, turn into adversaries. Wouldn't take too sharp a mind to install some difficult-to-manufacture critical component that only is good for five years or so, with Don Rumsfeld personally staffing the spare parts counter.
Edited for Length
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. broadcasters' coverage of the Iraq war was so unquestioningly patriotic and so lacking in impartiality that it threatened the credibility of America's electronic media, the head of the BBC said on Thursday. This, from the Beeb? LOL!
BBC Director General Greg Dyke singled out for criticism the fast growing News Corp. Ltd.'s Fox News Channel, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, and Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest operator of radio stations in the United States, with over 1,200 stations, for special criticism.
"Personally, I was shocked while in the United States by how unquestioning the broadcast news media was during this war," Dyke said in a speech at a University of London conference.
"If Iraq proved anything, it was that the BBC cannot afford to mix patriotism and journalism. This is happening in the United States and if it continues, will undermine the credibility of the U.S. electronic news media."
Dyke singled out Fox News, the most popular U.S. cable news network during the conflict, for its "gung-ho patriotism," saying: "We are still surprised when we see Fox News with such a committed political position."
A spokesman for Fox News declined comment.
The British media veteran also attacked U.S. radio broadcaster Clear Channel and warned against British media becoming "Americanized." The beauzeaux yellow journalists at the Beeb won't eat crow either. But we expected that.
The BBC's coverage of the Iraqi war was so one-sided that criticism from the BBC is ludicrous. At one point, AS SADDAM"S STATUE WAS COMING DOWN, a singular historical moment, it cut away to another story! It's coverage continually showed the "horrors" of the war, delimiting the Iraqi's liberation from an incredibly horrible regime.
Posted by: Mike Flamer ||
04/25/2003 11:46 Comments ||
Gawd, I love it when these bloated, self-important, taxpayer-funded elitists at the BBC and NPR get their feathers ruffled and spout off about "impartiality"! It's high time the British and American taxpayers see their monies put elsewhere where they'll do some real good.
Oh man, say it ain't so. Tony Blair took repeated secret advice from the former American president Bill Clinton on how to unlock the diplomatic impasse between Europe and the US in the build-up to the war on Iraq, the Guardian can reveal. In the crucial weekend before to the final breakdown of diplomacy in March, Mr Clinton was a guest of Mr Blair's at Chequers where the pair discussed the crisis. Maybe Tony should have listened to the current President instead?
Mr Blair was battling to persuade the Chilean president Ricardo Lagos — a key figure on the security council — to back a second UN resolution setting a new deadline for Saddam to co-operate fully with the UN or face military action. Three days after his Chequers meeting, Mr Clinton made a rare public appeal to his successor, George Bush, to give the UN weapons inspectors more time. Wonder if Bill will now admit that he was wrong?
Mr Blair and Mr Clinton met at least three times to discuss the war, underlining the extent to which Mr Blair rates Mr Clinton's analytical powers, despite the bond of trust he has also formed with the Republican White House. The two men met on the weekend of March 8, the weekend during which Clare Short, the international development secretary, exploded a grenade by accusing the prime minister of running a reckless policy towards Iraq. Maybe Clare knew about the visit?
In a speech in Washington three days later Mr Clinton said the UN's chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, should set the timetable for compliance, adding: "I hope the United States would agree to that amount of time, whatever it is." Who is this guy working for? Was he in France as well?
Mr Clinton was careful to say that Mr Bush was sincere in his pursuit of UN support, but added: "The question is, do they want the support bad enough to let Mr Blix finish his work and give enough time to do that?" Blixie had 12 years, and also had a resolution demanding immediate compliance.
At that point, Mr Blair had been pressing the US in private to extend a deadline by which Saddam would have to shown to be co-operating with the UN. At the time of Mr Clinton's private visit to Chequers, Mr Blair was very close to winning the agreement of the Chileans to British proposals. The prime minister was so desperate to secure Chilean support that he told Mr Lagos that he was prepared to make the 7,230-mile journey to Santiago to clinch the support of the first centre-left leader of Chile since Salvador Allende. In practice, Mr Blair would not have made the 35-hour round trip unless he could be sure that he would not be returning empty-handed and humiliated. The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, had also expressed a willingness to travel to Chile, hoping that his earlier decision to arrest General Augusto Pinochet had given him some personal influence in the former dictator's country. Guess that didn't work.
British efforts to secure a deal were scuppered when the French president, Jacques Chirac, gave a television interview saying he would veto a resolution authorising war whatever the circumstances. Mr Blair followed up the interview with a private call to Mr Chirac, in which the French president said he would not tolerate any resolution that contained an ultimatum to Saddam. Commenting on Mr Chirac's television performance, the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, told the Guardian: "He blew it. If he had said 'let's look at it again in two months time', we would have been in much greater difficulty." Especially with Billy Boy mucking around. Whatever happened to ex-presidents gracefully stepping back?
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/25/2003 01:55 am ||
Top|| File under:
Wonder how Hillary will explain this to her New York constituents: Did she know about Bill's dealings with a foreign power, and when did she know; and as she will invaiably deny knowledge, why didnt she know. She is married to the guy. Will we accept her explanation that her husbands affairs (pun intended) are his own business and she doesn't interfere?
Additionally, how about the press asking this question to the democratic presidential field: If you become president, when you are out of office, will you pledge that you will not interfere in the president's foreign policy even as you may hold different views?
Should we not hold the left now to a far higher standard than before?
Not to defend Clinton here, but this doesn't sound so bad to me. Whatever he told Blair, Blair eventually did the right thing. Clinton is deeply loved in Europe so I think he might have helped bring the British closer. Some of what Clinton has said in the past few months (attempted to) undermined Bush, which is disgraceful, though not surprising. But he wrote a letter in the Guardian supporting Blair which may have helped strengthen Blair within his own party. Remember, Blair had a real struggle just before the war. Clinton is a hero to the British Labour party. Overall, I don't think this ranks as Carter-level perfidity. In a way, both ex-Presidents play an important role. Carter discredits all opposition, turning it into a parody and unifying all decent Americans in support of Bush. Clinton is a bone (ahem) to toss to Old Europe to distract them from their anti-American hissy fits.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro ||
04/25/2003 4:50 Comments ||
badanov -- Ok, assuming it is all true (which I believe would be a first for the Guardian), it's not like Clinton was hanging around Chirac telling him how to backstab the US. He was talking with an ally. They were pretty tight when Clinton was president (remember?), so I'd be more surprised if Blair didn't meet with him.
Hillary would have more 'splaining to do regarding the Drudge Report and Steven Brill saying that Charles Schumer did more for the victims of 9/11 than she did, even going to the point of making up contacts that never happened.
Posted by: Baba Yaga ||
04/25/2003 5:59 Comments ||
My point is what is a private citizen, albeit a former president, doing dealing with a foreign government. The constitutional role of our government for foreign policy rests with the president not an ex-president.
I am pretty disgusted with leftists like Clinton, 'Baghdad' David Bonior, and Sean Penn, whose egos are so large they think they are so totally above the constitution; that no consequences should come from their dealings with a foreign government. Maybe an investigation is in order to look into the finances of these people to assure ourselves they were not in the pay of Saddam and his enablers in the United Nations.
We now know that some members of Blairs party are communists, real live honest to goodness bolsheviks whose goal is the destruction of capitalism and freedom of which the United States is the target, who have shown to have absolutely no compunction to selling out their own country to advance their socialist agenda. The Ba'athists were also communists and it is inconceivable to me that word of the substances of the meetings between Blair and Clinton did not get back to them. It is hard for me to believe that someone like Clinton would also not take cash to mug for the cameras for the UN's and Saddam's sake.
Paranoid? I would have been labeled paranoid had I suggested that anyone in Blair's party were in the pay of a foreign power, but now we know it is true; and it may well be only the tip of the iceberg. Were Clinton have been found to be in similar circumstances, can we not ask and receive answers to those questions?
No government on this planet has 100% sterling membership, including ours. Senator Robert Byrd (D-KKK) and Senator Strom Thurmond (not dead yet), come to mind. The important thing is that Britain has been there when we needed them, even if they aren't all angels.
Are there anti-Americans in the British government? Yup. You could say we have them in the State Department, too, by some of their actions.
There is no indication from this article that Clinton is getting paid by the UN or Saddam to undermine our government. If you have some evidence to support that, I'd love to see it. That's a pretty damn serious charge to make about anybody. I can't stand him either, but unless I had some proof I wouldn't make that statement.
The Ba'athists actually are an offshoot of European fascist parties from the 30's. While there was a lot of personality cult crap going on in Iraq, and a very strong police state, those aren't exclusive to communists.
I wish Clinton would shut up, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. Carter's still spouting off, and last time he was in office I was a tiny tot. Neither one of them had the class of Bush Sr when in office, so why does their current behavior shock you?
I still stand by my previous post. Most people aren't going to care that Clinton was talking with Blair. IF Blair would have pulled out of the coalition, and it could be traced back to Clinton, that would be another story. New Yorkers are going to care more about Hillary's lack of response to constituent needs after 9/11. That's far more personal to them.
Posted by: Baba Yaga ||
04/25/2003 8:14 Comments ||
Clinton has always been a smart man and a good political tactician - i think even the Clinton haters can admit that. His weakness has been in the "steely resolve" department. Blair has plenty of "steely resolve" Clinton giving advice to Blair, which Blair decides how to implement, seems like getting the best of Clinton while avoiding the worst.
And by the way, US private citizens routinely give advice to foreign govts - its called consulting - why its usually on technical matters, i dont think theres any legal reason it cant be on political (hey didnt both sides in recent Israeli elections use US campaign consultants?) and even diplomatic matters. Blair is an ally, so theres no aid or comfort to any enemy. Good thing all around.
This is another reason why Dimocrats should not be allowed to run the country. If Clinton had had another term or if Al Bore had won, we would still be negotiating with the Taliban and the lead negotiator would have probably been Jimmy Carter.
I don't see what the damn problem. Blair and Clinton and friends, Blair trusts Clinton and often talks to him on political. If Clinton was to force his opinion down blair throat it's one thing, but if Blair wants to discuss things with Clinton its his choice. He is the democratically elected head of Government. I don't think he needs to ask for permission from Rantburg before making a decision or consulting someone he trusts.
There's a good side to everything. The more time Clinton spent talking to Blair, the less time he had to badmouth Bush and the goals of the Bush government. Tony may have been doing both himself and us a favor.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
04/25/2003 11:14 Comments ||
All he was ever good at was talk. And once you learned you couldn't trust him, you could even tune that out. Let him talk. Who's listening other then some Dimbo true believers.
I do not know what the big deal is that Clinton talked to Blair. Blair ultimately makes the decisions. Someones trying to make a big issue out of a non-issue for headlines. Clinton makes the ideal "devil's advocate" ahem....hmmmm...ahrumm....
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 11:37 Comments ||
As long as Clinton told Bush that he was going to be meeting with Blair and discussing policy, this seems like it's in line with past practice -- ex-Presidents have been involved with foreign policy before (notably Carter, but I do believe Nixon did some of this, too), but it's proper form to let the current President know that they're involved.
Of course, knowing how much stock Clinton puts in following the existing norms (not knocking his successors in public, etc), I don't expect him to do so here...
Blair's not afraid to cast the net wide with his brain-picking and consultations. Soon after taking office he had more than one head-to-head with Maggie, much to the horror of many Labourites. Don't read too much into this.
U.S. President George Bush is known for making politics personal. With his emphasis on loyalty, crossing the president has become a risky endeavor in Washington and, as the Iraq crisis has shown, even beyond Americaâs shores. With the support of the leaders of Germany and Russia, French President Jacques Chirac drew Bushâs ire in the prelude to war by vowing to veto any U.N. resolution authorizing military action. With the fall of Baghdad, Chirac has since made plenty of conciliatory noises towards the United States, including backing a U.S. initiative to end U.N. sanctions against Iraq. But Bush appears to have singled out Paris for special retribution, even though Berlin and Moscow were equally outspoken critics of the war. âI doubt heâll be coming to the ranch any time soon,â Bush told U.S. television station NBC on Friday, making clear Chirac remained persona non grata. The ranch is for friends only, I don't think Putin will be asked back either.
The U.S. Defense Department on Thursday said it would scale back American participation at the Paris Air Show in what is being interpreted as a hardly concealed snub. Only six aircraft would be displayed at the show this June instead of 11 last time round, a Pentagon spokesman said. "This is senior Department of Defense officials' way of expressing their displeasure with French government policy on Iraq," Joel Johnson, vice president of international affairs for the U.S. Aerospace Industry Association told the Reuters news agency. Word is that no military officer over the grade of Colonel is going to be allowed to attend.
That the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were annoyed at the French has long been no secret. But perhaps more ominously, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell â the one Bush administration member once considered as less interested in pursuing retaliation against France â said this week that Paris could expect to suffer the consequences of having opposed Washington. Colin Powell doesn't like being stabbed in the back.
My father once told me "If you play Baseball with some people, they'll stick the bat up your ass." The White House has a few employees that haven't been able to sit comfortably for a over a month, and they won't soon forget about it.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
04/25/2003 13:52 Comments ||
Why bother with Paris? Farnsworth is more than adequate, and it's in more friendly territory, to boot.
Powell now says we will not punish Canada, Mexico, or Chile. He has said we will punish France. No comments thus far (AFAIK) on Germany or Russia. Looks like we'll focus the retribution on France alone.
Canada, Mexico, and Chile were passively opposed. Germany would have been passive too if they weren't Allied to the French to take over the EU. Russia wouldn't have acted if France had not acted up.
France's opposition was active and venal: The lesson will be that if you oppose us, do it for noble reasons, not ignoble ones.
Canada, Mexico, and Chile were passively opposed. Germany would have been passive too if they weren't Allied to the French to take over the EU. Russia wouldn't have acted if France had not acted up.
France's opposition was active and venal: The lesson will be that if you oppose us, do it for noble reasons, not ignoble ones.
Powell now says we will not punish Canada, Mexico, or Chile.
I would support freezing out Mexico. Too many of their damned citizens are here illegally, they keep repeatedly crossing over in precisely that manner after being caught and deported, and Fox isn't willing to do a damned thing about it except insist that they should stay in the U.S. so that they can continue their bloodsucking.
Police here in Germany say commando units have stormed a hijacked city bus and disarmed the alleged hijacker. Police said there were no injuries during the operation. They said the suspect is a 17-year-old Lebanese youth. He boarded the bus at about mid-morning local time in the northern city of Bremen and then forced the driver to embark on a 170 kilometre chase across northern Germany. Police said the suspect surrendered when the elite police sharpshooters stormed the bus, without firing a shot. There were five hostages on the bus when the seven-hour drama ended near Hanover. The hijacker had freed a number of hostages earlier in the day. According to Der Speigel, "the Lebanon born man was in-patriated in the past year." And had an "Islamic background."
The 17-year-old, from Lebanon, led police on a cross-country chase from Bremen before the hostages ordeal ended 75 miles away, near Hanover. Bremen's top security official, Kuno Boese, said the youth had written a letter to his parents on Thursday praising the September 11 suicide hijackers. "The crime has a radical Islamic motive," Boese said.
If these "Elite Police Sharpshooters" are anything like the ones that got all those Isreali Olympians killed, This kid probably could have gotten away.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
04/25/2003 16:20 Comments ||
That's a real cheap shot (no pun intended) regarding the Olympics. That was the first time any kind of hostage situation like that occurred, and so mistakes were made. Everyone, including the Germans, trains regularly to insure something like that does not happen again.
As a graduate of the FBI Hostage Negotiator program, I assure you that today's outcome is what every officer in that situation hopes for. No shots fired, no one hurt, subject in custody.
To the German officers involved, job well done!
Posted by: Baba Yaga ||
04/25/2003 17:39 Comments ||
Foreign Ministry issued an official statement protesting the unveiling of a statue of Armenian composer Komitas in Paris yesterday in commemoration of the so-called Armenian genocide by Turks in 1915. âIt is regrettable that third partiesâ mistaken ideas have been allowed to harm Turkish-French relations, especially in light of the negative effects of Franceâs so-called Armenian genocide law passed in 2001,â the statement said. The said French Parliament resolution was passed in 2001 and caused rifts in relations between Ankara and Paris. A plaque on statueâs pedestal made mention of â1.5 million Armenians, the victims of the first genocide of the twentieth century in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.â Contrary to the Armenian arguments, Komitas, who spent his last 16 years in France, was not among those who lost their lives during the Ottoman deportation of Armenians in Anatolia to Syria in 1915 as a part of the measures taken against the Tashnak and Hunchak Committees, two Armenian organizations which carried out terrorist activities against Turkish population in eastern Anatolia in 1915. 40,000 to 50,000 Armenian people died during the deportations because of epidemic and scarce of food as well as bad weather conditions. I didn't realize Murat worked for the Foreign Ministry now.
Very nice -- first the French pressure the Turks into not working with us, and now they put up a statute dissing them.
People worry about how the US supports its allies -- here's a clear example of how the French treat theirs.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/25/2003 10:06 Comments ||
CSM on France
"Until three weeks ago, 84 percent of the French were opposed to the war. Last week only 55 percent were still of the same opinion, according to a poll in the French Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche."
EFL....Read the article for the whole disgusting bitch and moan....
It was a challenge that led me into fundraising among pro-Western monarchies, such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the latter despite my having been an arch critic of that country's political system and its role in the Middle East.The campaign I helped build, the Mariam Appeal, was astonishingly successful; but it only almost lifted the embargo and merely almost stopped the war.
I estimate, although the exact details will be available to the courts in the libel action I have launched against the right-wing pro-Zionist Daily Telegraph, that between 1998 and 2002 our campaign raised over Â£800,000, of which the great majority came from one source: the government of the United Arab Emirates.
Now, if newspaper critics had focussed on the incongruity of a left-wing campaigner obtaining support for his campaigning organisations from semi-feudal monarchies and businessmen such as Mr Zureikat, who represented some of the world's biggest companies in Iraq, that would have been a legitimate line of attack ? though my defence would have been that needs must. We were, after all, fighting against the policies of a much more motley crew. However, as we now know, that is not what The Daily Telegraph has said.
Emblazoned across four broadsheet pages this week is a story in which the Telegraph says unequivocally that I personally have received hundreds of thousands of pounds a year from the previous Iraqi regime as part of an oil deal. This is a lie of fantastic proportions, which is now the subject of a legal action for libel. For the record, I have never personally benefited from my work on Iraq; on the contrary, I have given my political life's blood to my fight for Iraq's people.
The only evidence supplied by the Telegraph to support this allegation is a document, signed illegibly by an unnamed "head of Iraqi intelligence", purporting to be a memo to Saddam Hussein's office asking for even more money for me personally. This document, we now know, has confused dates and is answered, apparently by Saddam's office, without reference to me, in the negative.
The Telegraph says I traded in oil and food under the oil-for-food programme. To whom did I sell this oil (which, incidentally, is done through the United Nations Sanctions Committee and subject to the most forensic scrutiny)? And what happened to the proceeds? In other words, where is the money? From whom did I buy the food that I allegedly sold to Iraq? Which food? When? Where?
I am genuinely surprised that lawyers on a major national newspaper appear not to have asked these basic questions. Does anyone seriously believe that I, one of the most observed and scrutinised political figures in Britain, could have been in receipt of such sums of money without attracting the attention of the security services?
Forgery and deception have, of course, been a hallmark of the whole Iraq story, from the fake British "dossier" to the false invoices for uranium from Niger, with which Iraq was "months" away from producing a nuclear bomb.
It has all been a helpful diversion from the United States/United Kingdom invasion, destruction and occupation of Iraq ? which is going so disastrously wrong, as some of us predicted that it would. And it is a useful, if reckless, joyride for journalists more keen on witchunting me than uncovering the lies, forgeries, deceptions and war crimes of two of the world's most powerful states, which are currently laying waste to one of the world's most wretched countries.
I have been through many media firestorms in my life, but the shock and awe of this one beats them all. My reputation has been carpet-bombed for weeks; first I was traduced as a traitor, then said to be in the pay of Saddam. But I stand by my views about the war and the sanctions, which slaughtered more people than all the weapons of mass destruction in history.
And I am proud of the huge international campaign that we fought, a campaign that moved so many and shook the few who took the fateful decision to go to war, to their very core.
My only regret is that, in the end, we failed to halt the slaughter ? to stop the opening of the gates of hell, as the Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa memorably put it. Many interests and many lives are going to be scorched in the fire that is coming. And it is going to spread far and wide.
Posted by: Baba Yaga ||
04/25/2003 07:29 pm ||
Top|| File under:
George may have actually been framed by Saddam. Memos like this on file keep regime "friends" under control. Was George actually on the take? Who knows, but it sure looks good on the schmuck.
Newly found Iraqi files raise heat on British MP
Documents indicate payments of more than $10 million for support of Labour Party official.
BAGHDAD - A fresh set of documents uncovered in a Baghdad house used by Saddam Hussein's son Qusay to hide top-secret files detail multimillion dollar payments to an outspoken British member of parliament, George Galloway. Evidence of Mr. Galloway's dealings with the regime were first revealed earlier this week by David Blair, a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in London, who discovered documents in Iraq's Foreign Ministry.
The Labour Party MP, who lambasted his party's prime minister, Tony Blair, in parliamentary debates on the war earlier this year, has denied the allegations. He is now the focus of a preliminary investigation by British law-enforcement officials and is under intense scrutiny in the British press, where the story has been splashed across the front pages. The most recent - and possibly most revealing - documents were obtained earlier this week by the Monitor. The papers include direct orders from the Hussein regime to issue Mr. Galloway six individual payments, starting in July 1992 and ending in January 2003.
The payments point to a concerted effort by the regime to use its oil wealth to win friends in the Western world who could promote Iraqi interests first by lifting sanctions against Iraq and later in blocking war plans. The leadership of Hussein's special security section and accountants of the President's secretive Republican Guard signed the papers and authorized payments totaling more than $10 million. The three most recent payment authorizations, beginning on April 4, 2000, and ending on January 14, 2003 are for $3 million each. All three authorizations include statements that show the Iraqi leadership's strong political motivation in paying Galloway for his vociferous opposition to US and British plans to invade Iraq.
The Jan. 14, 2003, document, written on Republican Guard stationary with its Iraqi eagle and "Trust in Allah," calls for the "Manager of the security department, in the name of President Saddam Hussein, to order a gratuity to be issued to Mr. George Galloway of British nationality in the amount of three million dollars only." The document states that the money is in return for "his courageous and daring stands against the enemies of Iraq, like Blair, the British Prime Minister, and for his opposition in the House of Commons and Lords against all outrageous lies against our patient people...."
The document is signed left to right by four people, including Gen. Saif Adeen Flaya al-Hassan, Col. Shawki Abed Ahmed, and what the Iraqi general who first discovered the documents says is the signature of Qusay. The same exact signatures are also found on a vast array of documents from the offices of the president's youngest son. The final authorization appears to be that of Qusay, who notes the accounting department should "issue the check and deliver to Mr. George Galloway," adding, "Do this fast and inform me."
An Iraqi general attached to Hussein's Republican Guard discovered the documents in a house in the Baghdad suburbs used by Qusay, who is chief of Iraq's elite Guard units. The general, whose initials are "S.A.R.," asked not to be named for fear of retribution from Hussein's assassins. He said he raided the suburban home on April 8 with armed fighters in an effort to secure deeds to property that the regime had confiscated from him years ago. He said he found the new Galloway papers amid documents discussing Kuwaiti prisoners and Hussein's chemical warfare experts, and information about the president's most trusted Republican Guard commanders.
The documents appear to be authentic and signed by senior members within Saddam Hussein's most trusted security circle, but their authenticity could not be verified by the Monitor. The British newspaper The Guardian raised possible questions about the first round of documents, including the possibility that while the documents could be real, they might include false allegations from which Iraqi agents could profit internally. Galloway - a colorful Scot who is sharp of suit and even sharper of tongue - made regular visits to Iraq, and was dubbed by conservatives in Britain as an "apologist for Saddam Hussein." He once told the dictator, "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."
In Parliament, Galloway, an MP since 1987 and a controversial figure, has championed the plight of Iraq, and blasted Blair for going to war in league with President Bush in his "crusade" against the Muslim world. He labeled Blair and Bush "wolves" for attacking Iraq, sparking a firm rebuttal from Blair, who called the remarks "disgraceful."
Galloway has vehemently denied he accepted any cash payments from the regime, initially, suggesting the documents may have been forged. The outspoken Labour Party member called earlier Daily Telegraph stories about his dealings a "smear campaign" against war opponents, and his lawyers have initiated legal proceedings against the newspaper. Repeated efforts to contact Galloway, who is currently traveling in Portugal, were unsuccessful. No one answered at his House of Commons office, and his mobile phone was switched off.
By Scott Ritter - Heavily Edited
I was shocked shocked! to read about the allegations, ostensibly oooh...big word for a man who chats with little girls
based upon documents discovered in Iraq, that George Galloway was somehow compensated financially by the Iraqi government for championing its cause. I was shocked shocked! because, if these allegations prove to be true, then the integrity and credibility of a man for whom I have great respect would be dramatically undermined. And nothing could be more important to George right now than maintaining the respect of you, Scott....snicker.
But I was also shocked shocked! because of the timing of these allegations. Having been on the receiving end of smear campaigns designed to assassinate the character of someone in opposition to the powers that be, I have grown highly suspicious of dramatic revelations conveniently timed to silence a vocal voice of dissent. Correct me if I'm wrong, Scott, but I think the allegations against you need to be untrue to qualify as a "smear campaign".
If it turns out that there are no weapons of mass destruction or programmes related to their production and concealment in Iraq, and we all know how likely that is
Blair and his government must be held accountable by the British people for actions carried out in their name. If a pick up line on a Disney chat British policy was sustained on the back of a lie, then those who perpetrated that lie must be called upon to explain themselves. Now, more than ever, the British people need a voice of opposition, because it is from the ranks of the opposition that the matter of policing bad policy will be raised. To allow George Galloway to be silenced now, when his criticisms of British policy over Iraq have been shown to be fundamentally sound, would be a travesty of democracy. Rather than casting him aside, the British people should reconsider his statements in the light of the emerging reality that it is Blair and not Galloway who has been saying things worthy of investigation. You'd think this was from Scrapple Face or the Onion...but noooo...this is real. Too rich.
When are we going to find the file detailing the blackmail operation targeting Scott Ritter, the sexual deviant? How much do you want to bet that it turns up containing some compromising photos of Scott with little girls or boys provided by Saddam? How else can you explain why he went from being one of the harshest inspectors to chief regime apologist? They had some serious dirt on him. This letter is probably a preemptive strike, a PR campaign to sow doubt about the charges that will soon be made against him.
How many other inspectors did they bribe? Who on the Oil for Food program was getting kick backs? I think this is the tip of the iceberg. We're going to see that all that oil money was funding some of the worst and most wide ranging corruption in history. A few of our own people will be implicated.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro ||
04/25/2003 4:34 Comments ||
I just love it when those who believe they are above the law get hammered by the law.
What is shocking is that Saddam would spend so much money on just one member of the H of Commons. Galloway could have been set up with a couple of hookers for under a thousand, maybe a couple thousand if they did it for a month or so. I think what Ritter is really ticked at is how cheaply he was bought.
Jonah Goldberg in the Corner makes a similar point. If Saddam bought an MP, who did he buy in the U.S.? Ritter is peanuts. How about in Congress, or State or Defense? And so on, for the Axis of Weasels, too.
In mojo's link, Gallows-way said: "For the record, I have never personally benefited from my work on Iraq. On the contrary, I have given my political life's blood to my fight for the people of Iraq." Excuse me, I just spewed water all over this computer monitor.
British media exposes Labour MP's Pak connection
Labour MP George Galloway possesses two of Pakistan's highest civil awards — one the equivalent of a knighthood — "partly in recognition of his work to promote the Kashmiri cause", according to the Daily Telegraph. It calls the MP, Sir George in a full-page report, including details of his alleged links with the Islamabad regime. The daily, which two days ago, published documents to allege that Galloway, received funds from the Saddam regime, has now recounted his alleged links with the Bhutto Government. Papers concerning the Pak links had been passed on to BBC's Newsnight some time ago. BBC recounted the whole story again following the allegations made by the Telegraph three day ago.
Oooh! Dog-pile-on-the-rabbit! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...
These leaked papers indicated that the government of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, allegedly allocated cash from a secret fund to finance a weekly newspaper called East. It was published by Asia Voice, which allegedly received money through the Pakistan High Commission in London. There was, however, no suggestion that Mr Galloway stood to benefit from the cash personally. But, in those days he was one of the biggest campaigners for plebiscite and for India to implement the 1948 UN Resolution.
A former journalist with East told Telegraph that the paper was "a shambles" and its greatest coup was securing an interview with Osama bin Laden. "It was revealed, as we had suspected, that a lot of funds for the paper came from the government of Benazir Bhutto. When she was toppled in a coup in 1996, the money dried up." It is said that although a total of Â£547,000 was earmarked for East, only around Â£135,000 was paid over. The BBC said the successor government of Nawaz Sharif allocated another Â£189,000 after an approach from Mr Galloway to keep the paper going until the 1997 election, after which it folded. Mr Galloway called the arrangement a commercial deal."They would give advertisements and purchase newspapers for that money. There is nothing wrong in that. We had similar deals with other governments and even the British Government."
The BBC also obtained documents apparently acknowledging the receipt by Galloway of cheques for Â£60,000 on behalf of the National Lobby of Kashmir. But the MP denied that it was a receipt, claiming it was only a letter he had written outlining how the group had spent its annual budget. He had then accused BBC of "shabby, downmarket journalism". But a Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges which investigated another controversy swirling round the MP, while absolving him of breaking any rules, observed, "Members should act with particular circumspection in any relationship with a foreign organisation or government where financial transactions of any kind are involved."
Telegraph: This is genuine, says Saddam's ex-aide
(more bad news for George)
Nicole Martin shows a confidential handwritten memo found in the rubble of the looted Iraqi foreign ministry to the man who used to arrange the dictator's schedule
Saddam Hussein's former head of protocol said yesterday that the document found by The Daily Telegraph saying that George Galloway received substantial payments from the Iraqi regime was "100 per cent genuine".
Haitham Rashid Wihaib: 'I am 100 per cent certain that this document is genuine'
Haitham Rashid Wihaib, who fled to Britain with his family eight years ago after death threats, said he had no doubt that the handwritten confidential memorandum addressed to the dictator's office apparently detailing how the Labour MP benefited from Iraq's oil sales was authentic.
Sitting in a cafe in central London, a world away from Saddam's palace where he spent 13 years arranging the dictator's daily schedule, he carefully studied the letter discovered in the looted foreign ministry in Baghdad.
As Mr Galloway continued to denounce the letter as a forgery, Mr Wihaib said he recognised the "clear and distinctive" handwriting as that of Tahir Jalil Habbush Al-Tikriti, head of the Iraqi intelligence service, who is number 14 - the jack of diamonds - on America's "most wanted" list.
Posted by: Frank G ||
04/25/2003 13:26 Comments ||
America's not a superpower
Quoted in Khabrain, PML(Q) party chief Chaudhry Shujaat said in Azad Kashmir that he did not believe that America was a superpower. He said in fact he believed that America would soon be broken into pieces. He claimed that a new power bloc composed of France, Germany, China and the Islamic world was about to emerge on world politics.
Fazl and Sami to work a deal?
According to daily Pakistan, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Maulana Samiul Haq had both agreed to take back their objection to the LFO and let General Musharraf remain in uniform. In return JUI(F) was to get six ministries in the Jamali government. Maulana Samiul Haq was to get his son Haamidul Haq appointed as minister. JUI-dominated MMA government and coalition in NWFP and Balochistan would be saved from collapse. After that the MMA would be formally laid to rest. Qazi Hussain Ahmad of Jamaat Islami would lead the opposition together with PML(N) I guess Jihad can be ignored if the price is right
If that actually happened, it'd be cause for ululation. I don't think it'll happen, though...
Sammy should sink one of our ships Daily Khabrain quoted editor Majeed Nizami as saying on 28 February 2003 that if Saddam Hussein took the bold step of sinking an American ship in the Gulf with a missile the Americans would run away from the region. He said General Musharraf may publicise himself as a liberal but in the eyes of the Americans he was one of the mujahideen. America could order India to attack Pakistanâs Kahuta nuclear installation during the coming war. He said Pakistan was next because the real target of America was Islam. He said if Pakistan wanted to fight America it had to do as China did and Pakistan had to do exactly as China would want it to do.
No more dancing girls Daily Nawa-e-Waqt editorialised on the banning of dancing in girls school in Punjab and praised education minister Imran Masud for taking the step of banning all dances including folk dances like luddee. The editorial said it was the first time in the countryâs history that private and state schools had been ordered to end dancing among girls. What a bold step forward!
And let that be a lesson to them!
According to Nawa-e-Waqt, a woman was caught by seven people from the fields of Qadirpur in Jhang and was stripped naked. They paraded her naked through the streets of the town before tying her to a pole at the central roundabout where she was made to stand naked the whole day. Townspeople pleaded with the men to let her go but to no avail. At the end of the day, they walked off with her clothes. Her husband was suspected by them of having illicit relations with their sister.
The end is near
Famous scholar of Islam Dr Israr Ahmad was quoted by daily Pakistan as saying that Imam Mehdi was about to descend because the Day of Judgement (qiyamat) was near at hand. He said that Imam Mehdi would defeat the forces of evil and set up the true caliphate of Islam.
May the bird of paradise squat on your head
As reported in Nawa-e-Waqt, the people of district Daska were thronging the banks of BRB canal after astrologers announced that the legendary bird huma would land on its bank. The huma bird confers rulership by sitting on the head of the lucky man. As a result, the population of Daska had come to the BRB together with astrologers to see if the bird sat on their head to make them prime minister of Pakistan or its general-president. On astrologersâ advice many people had shaved off their heads to make it easy for the bird and were thrusting their bald heads forward in competition with one another. The most enthusiastic were sitting coyly with ice cream balanced on their bald heads to make the bird better inclined to favour them. That would have been an...interesting sight
The astrologers held that the great bird was partial to ice cream. Politicians of the local government could not be held back and they began coming to the canal with the excuse of jogging, all the while placing their heads in the best strategic location for the bird to alight on them. A lot of kite-flying too was going on while the populace waited for huma.
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
04/25/2003 07:47 am ||
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More proof that inbreeding does cause insanity.
"He said in fact he believed that America would soon be broken into pieces."
A little projecting here, no?
"He claimed that a new power bloc composed of France, Germany, China and the Islamic world was about to emerge on world politics. "
Chinese-Islamic alliance - a Pakistani dream no? But I dont think it would make the Russians too happy.
"According to daily Pakistan, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Maulana Samiul Haq had both agreed to take back their objection to the LFO and let General Musharraf remain in uniform. In return JUI(F) was to get six ministries in the Jamali government."
Re. the "nugget" about Chaudhry Shujaat: he is the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid-e-Azam, or "the Great Leader" in reference to Pak founder, Jinnah). His party is so close to Musharaf that Pakis refer to it as "the King's party." The PML-Q is the only obstacle to the demise of Musharaf, who holds on to power because his own supra-constitutional concoction - the Legal Framework Order - prevents Parliament from booting him out of office. America is basing its counter-terror field operations in Asia on persons who despise Americans, and believe it should be destroyed. Future generations should hold pilgrimages to spit on the graves of those Powell-Bush elements who stabbed India in the back, in deference to the terror state of Pakistan.
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CLASHES BETWEEN ETHNIC MUTTAHIDA Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamaat-e-Islami for control of Karachi have spread out to the cityâs over 30 educational institutions, drawing in their student cadres. Violence, in the past two weeks, has resulted in injuries to dozens of student-activists on both sides, many of whom have had to be hospitalised. Violence began April 14-15 following attempts by activists of Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba, JIâs student wing, to set up an office on the premises of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology. This got the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO) going, which came out in force to prevent the IJT from establishing its formal presence on the campus.
Similar skirmishes between the two groups were later reported at the University of Karachi, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Urdu University and Islamia College, among other institutions. The rising level of violence forced senior police officers to hold a meeting with leaders of the two student parties as well as the JI and the MQM. But while police sources claimed the two sides had reached a modus vivendi, violence erupted again on April 20. Both sides have accused the other of breach of agreement reached at the meeting. Most analysts are agreed the student wings are clashing because the parties are egging them on and using them to establish control over educational institutions.
This reminds observers of the early eighties when the Mohajir party rose up to challenge the domination of the JI-IJT combine. The JI and the MQM were the main rivals in last Octoberâs elections. While the MQM has seen some erosion in its vote-bank, the JI has witnessed an incline in its fortunes. Both are now fighting turf battles, the MQM to regain the space it might have lost, the JI to press its advantage and reclaim what was its territory until the MQM came along and decimated it. âWe had hinted earlier that the Jamaat will disturb Karachiâs tranquillity,â says Kunwar Khalid Younus, an MQMâs member of national assembly. âThey [JI] are desperate to create chaos in the educational institutions, just the way they did during General Ziaâs regime,â he said. Younusâ concern refers to the time when the IJT ruled the universities and colleges of the city and the APMSO activists were routinely beaten up by IJT cadres.
âThe MQM hooligans attacked our workers because we propagate Islamic values and talk of the Muslim ummah,â Mairajul Huda Siddiqui, city amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, told TFT. Siddiqui admits clashes in the cityâs educational institutions are related to the political situation. âThe MQM is not happy to see the city government run by us. Soon after they came to power, their minister tried to destabilise the devolution plan,â says Siddiqui.
Tension between the two parties has been running high for many months. The city government is run by the JI while the MQM is the dominant component in the provincial coalition. The MQM ministers, particularly the local government minister, have been trying to make it rough for the city government. For its part the JI accuses the provincial government and MQM ministers of supporting the APMSO. âThe APMSO cadres are fully supported by Governor Ibad and other MQM ministers,â accuses Mairajul Huda Siddiqui. In the last elections JI won four national assembly seats from areas considered secure for the MQM. The situation worsened on January 15, when during by-elections for a Karachi seat, two MQM activists were shot dead. The MQM accused Siddiqui and Jamaatâs secretary general Syed Munawwar Hasan of the murders. Both parties also put out press releases during the Iraq War. While the MQMâs self-exiled chief Altaf Hussain told the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal to go to Iraq, the MMA termed the MQM the B team of American FBI.
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
04/25/2003 07:31 am ||
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Violence began April 14-15 following attempts by activists of Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba, JIâs student wing, to set up an office on the premises of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology. This got the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO) going, which came out in force to prevent the IJT from establishing its formal presence on the campus.
Jeesh! Why can't they just join fraternities, drink beer, and engage in casual sex like American college kids?
Of course, Jamaat-i-Islami is on a war-footing. In my estimate, with State Department facilitation, American taxpayers funnel over $10,000,000 per month directly into the hands of the jihadi terrorist governments of Northwest Frontier Province and Balochistan. Recently, Pakistan's Friday Times, reported how Qazi Hussain Ahmad (JI Amir) leads his huge entourage to his genocide incitement rallies against America, in "a fleet of brand new SUVs." Flush with greenbacks, the JI and their MMA puppets, are free to use American money to support neo-Talibani terror in Afghanistan. They are so rich in Bush jihad subsidy funds, that they can now going against the MQM, a party which has spoken out against Inter-Service Intelligence Agency abuses and proposes banning all jihad organizations including JI.
When Americans start dying in Afghanistan, because the Wahabi puppet government in Washington, obeyed Saudi orders to disassociate from the terror victim state of India, American tort lawyers are going to have a field day. And why not? What type of alleged human would subsidize the murder of Americans?
With Saddam gone, it's time to turn towards Musharraf. The charge-sheet is compelling. But military action is always messy, creates more problems than it solves and kills a large number of innocent civilians for the misdeeds and crimes of their rulers. What is called for is political and economic pre-emptive action.
Dear American Friends,
The US has successfully overthrown President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Before and during the war, President George Bush repeatedly emphasised that this was not a war against Iraq and the Iraqi people, but against the dictatorial regime of Saddam for harbouring international terrorists, for acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and for destroying democracy and suppressing his people.
Addressing a joint press conference in September last year, President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK referred to the dangers of the leakage of Iraq's WMD into the hands of terrorists and said that his removal and the seizure of his WMD stocks were, therefore, necessary in the interest of international peace and security.
Now that Saddam is gone, let us examine the track record of Pakistan and its military dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, under all the three heads used against Saddam, namely, support to terrorists, proliferation of WMD to rogue States and terrorist groups and suppression of democracy.
Let's first take support to terrorism. The following facts speak for themselves:
Lebanese and other Arab volunteers who went to fight in Iraq have lost all contact with their families at home. What little information to leak out has been through scattered reports by independent reporters or through âhints or indicationsâ in the military statements of the coalition forces. The reports generally talk of hundreds being killed in action or captured as âforeign terroristsâ who may end up in US military detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, similar to members of Al-Qaeda and the Taleban regime who were seized in Afghanistan. Other reports state that some have simply melted into various quarters of Iraqi cities and towns.
Those are the ones we'll have to worry about, until the Iraqis root them out...
Many of the Lebanese volunteers are believed to have returned safely to Lebanon, although âthey are mostly in a state of shock and not willing to meet the press to tell their stories to the public,â according to a young Lebanese man who preferred to remain anonymous. The volunteer told The Daily Star how he managed to return and how some of his acquaintances âare still waiting with other Syrian subjects for permission to cross the Syrian-Iraqi border at Rabiaa Â a border crossing close to the Turkish border in the north Â because all other crossing points have been sealed âŠ except for a few exceptions, of course.â
Hmmm... What exceptions?
The story of the volunteers has become similar to that of thousands of Lebanese who are also trapped inside Iraq. However, the volunteers are âscared, living in hiding and cannot send messages to the outside world â as the Lebanese and foreign residents of Iraq are doing,â he said.
Tough, being a muhahid, ain't it?
The volunteer told The Daily Star that he went to Iraq âaccompanied by a friend and an Iraqi refugee who happened to be our neighbor in Beirut. Although we did not belong to any political party or organization, our motivation was to fight against the invading forces in any possible way. The Iraqi refugee claimed he was preparing to go back for the same reason and allowed us to accompany him to Baghdad, where he would show us the way and put us in touch with the resistance movement. We trusted our Iraqi companion who chose to take us walking through illegal crossings from Lebanon into Syria and from there into Iraq. He seemed so professional and knew his way very well â he had no money and we had to pay for everything including food, transportation and bribes to the local people.â
Did they loan him money 'cause his Mom needed an operation, too?
âOn the way to Baghdad, we did not face any serious obstacles that would have diminished our excitement with the idea of getting involved in the fighting. However, upon arrival in Baghdad, our enthusiasm started to wane. Despite air raids and heavy explosions and rocket firing that could be clearly heard in all parts of the city and images and news of hundreds of injured or dead civilians, people, in general, were acting normally and seemed uninterested with what was going on around them. It was my first shock. I expected to see people rushing around, constructing street barricades and digging holes in preparation for defending the capital city of Baghdad against the coming invasion or siege. The general scene was far from that."
I'll bet that was when he started feeling real naked. Along with being broke...
âWe were hosted at our Iraqi friendâs house for the first couple of days doing nothing and getting less and less enthusiastic. My Lebanese friend grew more restless and wanted to do anything that would justify his presence in Baghdad. The advice from the members of our host family was not to be foolish and to return to our country. It sounded more like a warning than advice. The older man in the family blamed their son for helping us come to Iraq. My Lebanese friend decided to go on his own and look for an opportunity to participate in the actual fighting, as he put it. Two days later, I saw him carrying a machine gun walking with a small group of people, all in civilian clothes, armed with light weaponry including anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades. Since that day, I havenât seen him nor heard from him again. I hope he is safe wherever he might be now. Since my return, I cannot look straight into his motherâs eyes.â The volunteer at this point burst into tears and, after a prolonged silence, he resumed his story with great difficulty and repeated pauses.
"It looked so heroic from a distance! All those guys, waving Kalashnikovs! All that hollering! Then the tanks showed up..."
âI kept wandering around, doing nothing, moving between my Iraqi companionâs home and homes of other new acquaintances. They were very friendly and helpful and they all urged me to return home."
"Why don't you beat it? You seem like a nice kid. Why do you want to decompose?"
âNow, when Baghdad suddenly fell to the advancing coalition forces, I had mixed feelings â disappointment and fear at the same time. I was told that Arab volunteers were maltreated by some locals and thatâs when I started becoming more cautious of not revealing my true identity,â he said. âBefore and after the fall of Baghdad, I kept looking for my friend to tell him of my decision to return to Beirut, hoping to convince him to accompany me. However, time was running out as my Iraqi companion had arranged for my departure through his contacts in Baghdad,â he said. âUntil that moment, he did not tell me what his plans were. I never saw him carrying any arms nor heard him talk of the ongoing war events. To cut a long story short, I was put on a north-bound bus, and I got off at a small village where I contacted a man I was referred to by my Iraqi friend in Baghdad. I cannot tell the name of that village or how I crossed into Syria. Now while crossing into Syria near the Turkish border with three other people, one of them approached me and whispered into my ears that he would confirm my safe return to âal-Zubeidi.â I tried to inquire who this person was but then decided not to do so as I suddenly recalled hearing Zubeidiâs name mentioned by my Iraqi companion. I then figured out that my Iraqi friend was actively working for this Zubeidi.â
Ain't that interesting? But wait! There's more!
The Daily Star learned from the above-mentioned Iraqi refugee that Zubeidi was one of the active facilitators of illegal immigration of Iraqis into Lebanon and Syria during the last 10 years and that he had made a fortune from this activity. He is the current self-appointed governor of Baghdad. In a related twist, one Iraqi refugee who hesitated to leave Lebanon revealed to The Daily Star that he and his âcompatriots received coded body signals and messages from those who returned recently to Iraq through TV screens, advising them not to follow, and implying that things inside the country were not really as they seemed on the outside. Nevertheless, more refugees are still returning home. Iraq is a greater prison, in my view, it is easy to get in but hard to get out.â
Posted by: Fred Pruitt ||
04/25/2003 06:43 pm ||
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"Many roaches go in, few get out"
Here's hoping this strikes a chord of terror in the hearts of those thinking of opposing the United States Military...
"We trusted our Iraqi companion who chose to take us walking through illegal crossings from Lebanon into Syria and from there into Iraq. He seemed so professional and knew his way very well â he had no money and we had to pay for everything including food, transportation and bribes to the local people.â
Sounds like "Mr. Mayor" isn't the only Iraqi able to spot a gullible fool with money a mile away...
Farouk Hijazi was not among the U.S. military's 55 most-wanted Iraqis, but as a one-time spy for Saddam Hussein's regime, he may hold key information. The former intelligence chief is suspected of meeting bin Laden in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. He also may be linked to a plot to assassinate former President George Bush in Kuwait in 1993. Former CIA director James Woolsey said Hijazi was a "big catch."
You might say that...
Born to a Palestinian family, Hijazi "won the Iraqi ruling family's favor by the zeal with which he went about executing their opponents, both in Iraq and abroad," according to Britain's Guardian newspaper.
"Farouk! Kill him!"
"Oh, very nice!"
In the early 1990s, he was director of external operations in the Iraqi Mukhabarat, or intelligence service. The position oversaw covert operations and was the No. 3 spot in the agency.
"Boss! This false moustache won't stick!"
"You have to shave your real one off first, Mahmoud..."
During this time, Mukhabarat operatives developed a plot to assassinate former President Bush using a car bomb, but Kuwaiti security forces foiled the plan. Later in the decade, Hijazi entered the diplomatic corps â though his work there was considered a cover for more intelligence activities. Iraq first tried to place Hijazi as ambassador to Canada, but that country refused to accept him as an envoy, the Guardian reported.
"Him? Ambassador to Canada? Y'r kidding, right?"
In 1998, he became Iraq's ambassador to Turkey. In December 1998, he traveled to Afghanistan and reportedly met with bin Laden, officials in Washington said. Details of the meeting in Kandahar, a region where the al-Qaida had training camps, are not known. But American officials have pointed to it as an Iraqi link to al-Qaida. Iraq denied a meeting occurred. There have been other reports that Hijazi also met with bin Laden in 1996 or earlier.
They didn't occur, either...
Newsweek magazine reported Hijazi met with Mohammed Atta in Prague in April 2001. But other sources have cast doubt on that report. Haidar Ahmed, spokesman for the opposition Iraqi National Congress in London, said Hijazi was summoned home after the Sept. 11 attacks in the face of reports linking him to bin Laden. He was sent to Tunisia as ambassador in the last six months. He said Hijazi also had an important role in organizing Iraqi sleeper cells in Europe that planned assassinations, smuggling operations and intelligence gathering. Ahmed said Hijazi was "one of the main channels between Saddam Hussein and bin Laden himself. As much as Iraqi intelligence was involved with al-Qaida, Hijazi was involved." Ahmed said that after the fall of Saddam's regime, Hijazi went to Damascus and tried to enter Iraq, although it was unclear why.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt ||
04/25/2003 05:39 pm ||
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As this liberated city gets off its knees, what it seems to crave most is a smoke and a drink. The capital is still in need of water and electricity. Little of the promised humanitarian aid has reached Iraqis, which is a disgrace shared equally by American-Anglo authorities and charitable institutions. But the streets of Baghdad are awash in booze and tobacco. The heart wants what it wants and the body hungers even more.
Two weeks ago, American troops eagerly traded their MREs â Meals Ready to Eat (or, in grunt parlance, Meals Rejected by Ethiopians) â for individual cigarettes, none so coveted as a good old Marlboro, but even the revolting Iraqi brands would do. Nowadays, there's a fag stall of all flavours every 10 metres and almost as many sidewalk vendors of alcohol: Johnnie Walker, Dimple, Bells, Absolut, all $25 (U.S.) a bottle. Suddenly, tubs of ice-cold Heineken and Amstel have appeared, replacing the Turkish-brewed Efes Pilsener that was the suds-of-choice (actually, no choice) in Saddam's hermetically sealed Iraq. Where did all this contraband come from, almost overnight? But then Iraqis, after 12 years of United Nations-imposed sanctions, have become expert at smuggling and bootlegging. Oil, spirits, what's the dif? God love those bootleggers
Yet for a Muslim country, ostensibly disapproving of alcohol and tobacco, Iraqis sure do enjoy indulging their vices. Which is why I have great hopes for Iraq.
Because U.S. troops and foreign reporters are not the only consumers of this stuff. And rare is the Iraqi male, Sunni or Shiite, without a butt between his fingers, even with prayer beads intertwined. There was a time â and many Baghdadis will remember it, or have a vestigial sense of it â when this Westernized capital was a racy metropolis indeed. Before it became, in the last decade of the Saddam regime, a sort of Albania of the desert, all greasy gloom and dreary, Baghdad knew how to frolic. It was here, especially in the neon-lit cafes and casinos of Abu Nuwas Street, which runs along the eastern bank of the River Tigris â an upscale red light district â that profligate Kuwaitis came to escape their own dry and severely anti-fun kingdom, shoving U.S. dollars into the skimpy costumes of the Thai and Filipino dancing girls who worked the strip. During the Iran-Iraq war, the bargirls disappeared. And no white-robed Kuwaitis-on-a-toot have set foot in the country since Desert Storm. The apolitical restaurateurs and club owners on Abu Nuwas have dearly missed those free-spending Kuwaitis, but look forward to a renaissance of boulevardier society in Baghdad. "We will open soon," promises the fat proprietor of the Shatt-Al-Arab Restaurant, which claims to serve the finest mazgouf fish on the river. "You come back, bring all your friends. It will be like it was in the old days." Abu Nuwas is named for the poet Al-Hassan Hani Abu Nuwas, who lived in Baghdad in the late 8th century and was famed for his erotic verse. Also, for his love of the licentious and the dissolute. A statue of him stands on the river bank, holding up a cup of wine. The left will be horrified.
This just in: Baghdad Bob seems to be writing copy for Rightword(?). Translated by JUS.
Much of it looks like a rehash to the message from Abu Iyad, Amir of Mujaheddin, the other day. It's probably taken this long for JUS to make any sense of it...
The Arab Mujahideen in Iraq have started to release reports and statements about their operations against the Anglo-American troops as the result of the lack of reliable news sources and the dominance of American biased media in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad. The Mujahideen indicated that the evacuation of the Iraqi troops from Baghdad took place after intense consultations between the headquarter of Arab Mujahideen and the Iraqi government after they realized that the Americans would use illicit bombs on Baghdad, some that weigh 10,000 tons and have the destruction power of a small nuclear bomb without radiation, and after they had incurred significant losses and casualties all over Iraq even in Um-Al-Qasr which is a small city on the borders with Kuwait.
Yep. The mujaheddin just tore 'em up in Umm Qasr. 'Course, that was because the Merkins and the Brits had brought the wrong weaponry. M16s and tanks and .50 cals are for use against soldiers, and this job needed varmint guns...
The Iraqi government consulted the Arab Mujahideen before evacuating Baghdad in a tactical surprise that puzzled the Americans. The report asserted that the American troops could not find the Iraqi weapons including 150 Iraqi war planes and 150,000 Iraqi fighters beside Iraqi police and Republican guards is evidence of the success of the evacuation plan.
That's a windy way of saying they ran like hell, to live to fight another day...
The report confirmed that the Iraqi fighters and Arab Mujahideen had moved to underground military shelters that gather in certain areas that cannot be reached by the enemy. The Iraqi resistance will launch their Guerrilla war operations against the aggressors from these underground areas that were not mentioned for the safety of the Mujahideen.
Yeah. That's what the first press release said. They've become troglodytes, and they're gonna pop up out of holes in the ground like prairie dogs, pot a few infidels, and then pop back down, never to be seen again. Sometimes they're going to fly out of the holes in their aircraft. Every once in awhile a destroyer will come bubbling out, to sweep the Navy from the seas. That's why the water was off for so long...
The report declared that a number of Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters had successfully entered the Iraqi territories and joined the other Mujahideen in a surprise that boosted the morale of all the fighters.
They'd better hope they did the former better than they did the latter...
The Mujahideen promised that they will adopt new techniques in the coming operations that will inflict the aggressors with great losses. The report illustrates the current situation in Iraq including:
The Americans depended to a large extent on the psychological war so that it compelled the reporters and journalists to enter Iraq with their troops. The enemy tried also to hide any piece of news about its losses so that it killed some journalists who revealed the truth about the losses and the deteriorating morale of the American soldiers. The Americans have repeated in Iraq the exact scenario of their war in Afghanistan where they deceived the world with a victory in a limited period and not showing that their troops incurred losses in the battles and all their casualties come from friendly fire. Nevertheless, and despite the American dominance of the media, it cannot conceal that it failed to achieve any of the goals it declared before the war; the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was not arrested nor any Iraqi military leader or ministers. Therefore, they resorted to hide this failure by arresting a number of former Iraqi ministers that had retired from the political life in Iraq long time ago.
Like Tariq Aziz...
.The American troops control all the desert areas and the nearby cities that are easy targets for their warplanes, and they erected their camps in these areas. On the other hand, they control nothing in the towns; they cannot even protect their soldiers. In big towns like Basra, Moussel and Baghdad, the British troops empty their locations and moved to the outskirts of these areas as soon as they encounter any resistance in order to start intense bombing on the resistance locations. In small towns, the Mujahideen chose to refrain from performing any operations against the enemies for fear of their retaliation that will inflict losses among Iraqi civilians.
The oil refineries are always guarded by special units of the American troops which form easy targets for Mujahideen attacks. As soon as the oil companies enter the oil fields with their equipments, the Mujahideen surprise them with their attacks which compel the American troops to send more forces to these areas, and that is what the Mujahideen wish.
The ammunition lines of the Americans are intensely attacked by the Mujahideen. These Ammunition lines prove that the Americans are staying in the deserts because they cannot control or settle in the towns.
Although the Mujahideen have not yet started to launch organized military operations against their enemy, and all their previous attacks were aimed at testing and selecting the best plans, areas and techniques, the American soldiers are afraid to enter the towns such as Baghdad, and the majority of them showed their disobedience to their leaders. This disobedience pushed their headquarter to replace these troops with others under the pretext that the Marines will hand over the Iraqi capital to the American army which is illogical because any forces that occupy a place are more suitable to stay in it because they become acquainted with its resistance and its points of strength and weakness beside the safety of roads and the suitable techniques.
Sorry for the length, but I love a good fairy tale.
"This disobedience pushed their headquarter to replace these troops with others under the pretext that the Marines will hand over the Iraqi capital to the American army which is illogical because any forces that occupy a place are more suitable to stay in it "
Obviously someone not familiar with the history of the Marine Corps and Army during island-hopping in WW2.
I say we drop one of these "10,000 ton bombs"...Let me sipher this, let's see, carry the naught... 20 MILLION lb. bombs, on the bunker hiding 150,000 Iraqi fighters and 150 warplanes.
Gosh, that would even give 70+ year old Rummy a stiffy!
I am looking forward to seeing the "delivery device" for the 20 million lb bomb at the upcoming airshow.
Baghdad's self-declared mayor said Friday he wanted to cooperate with the U.S.-led team rebuilding Iraq and would soon meet the retired U.S. general in charge, Jay Garner. U.S. officials have so far snubbed Mohammed Mohsen Zubaidi, a former Iraqi exile who says he has been chosen by prominent citizens to head an executive council running the city. Zubaidi appealed for cooperation a day after Garner threatened to boot him out if residents rejected him. At a meeting of tribal chiefs and other citizens, Zubaidi said the city would show its support for his council, which Washington does not recognize, on April 27. He did not say how. Election? Show of hands? CNN/Time poll?
One member of Zubaidi's council said they had taken $260 million off looters who plundered the capital after U.S. troops entered and pledged to use some of it to help pay civil servants' salaries. "Our work does not contradict that of the American forces, the American officials (and) Mr Garner ... We are people who serve their country," said Zubaidi. "We hope they coordinate with us," he said, adding that he expected to meet Garner by Monday. There was no immediate response from Garner -- who heads the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, charged with supervising the rebuilding of Iraq and running a civil administration to prepare for an interim Iraqi government. U.S. officials say Washington does not recognize Zubaidi's authority since he was not chosen democratically. Do we know where this guy came from or how he was appointed?
Zubaidi has said he was elected by people representing clerics, academics, Shi'ites and Sunni Muslims, Christians, writers and journalists. And where was this election?
He has also said he was in close contact with the U.S. military, although not appointed by them. The Republician Guard was in close contact with the US Military, I'm not sure that's a plus.
Undaunted by U.S. snubs, he has appointed 22 committees to function in place of ministries, including health, electricity, oil and industry, and promised to pay salaries this month with a 1,000 percent raise. My God, it's Al Gore!
Reporters have seen him touring hospitals and water plants and holding meetings at the Palestine hotel, dressed in a dapper Western suit, with an entourage of about a dozen people, including one local sheikh. "We have not imposed ourselves on the people. We are not a gang, and we are not a party. We are a group of faithful Iraqi technocrats who aim to save the people," Zubaidi said. It is Al Gore!
"There must be a coordination between us and the coalition forces ... We are working to prove to the whole world that we are able to stand on our feet again and restore life back to the city."
Garner said Thursday the process of forming a government run by Iraqis would start by the end of next week. His team of 400 people will try to get 20 ministries up and running. Garner also said that if Baghdad citizens were unhappy with Zubaidi he would ask him to leave and "show him how to leave." Now that's a "Get out of Dodge" statement if I ever heard one.
Some residents say they have never heard of Zubaidi, or an election for the mayor's office, but so far he appears to have been well received in a city desperate for order, power, food and water. Zubaidi said Friday electricity, water supplies and telecommunications had been restored to parts of the city and a new chief of police -- General Zuhair al-Ni'imi -- had been appointed by U.S.-led forces. Have we waited too long to get rid of this guy?
Karim Munshial-Assadi, head of the finance and management committee in the executive council, said the council would soon start paying civil servants' salaries. "We are now in control of money that remained in banks," Assadi said. "Besides that we were able to save stolen money." Assadi, once a Finance Ministry director general, said his council had helped to save $260 million from looters, which had been transferred to the central bank along with cash from other Iraqi banks in the capital. OK, is Mohammed Mohsen Zubaidi:
A. Iraqi patriot eager to help his country?
B. Trouble maker trying to hinder U.S. rebuilding efforts?
C. Con artist out to make himself the Mayor Daley of Baghdad?
A or C I can work with. B stumbles into a bomb crater.
avid practitioner of the big lie. He's a combination of Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, self-annointed "leaders". They were appointed in the same manner this fool was.
Posted by: Frank G ||
04/25/2003 13:13 Comments ||
"Besides that we were able to save stolen money." Assadi, once a Finance Ministry director general, said his council had helped to save $260 million from looters, which had been transferred to the central bank along with cash from other Iraqi banks in the capital.
That is rich! Pardon the pun. Go get a bunch of cash lying around after the war to finance your own political machine. Whatever Mr. Zubaidi is, he can smell an opportunity and knows how to play to the press and the people when there is a political vacuum. It will be interesting how this plays out.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 13:18 Comments ||
one note - we dont want elections before there'sa functioning press, political parties, independent judiciary, etc. Holding elections earlier is a recipe for electing a new dictator (think Bob Mugabe, Cambodia, much of Central Asia for example) so what we are looking for at this stage is "consensus" among local notables - but who's a notable? and consensus can be manufactured by the guy who delivers the services. I suspect Baghdad will be much harder in this regard than the smaller, more homogeneuous southern cities.
as for A, B, C?
Definitely C, IMO. And I think C is what Iraq principally needs - most 3rd world countries could a use a few more Mayor Dailey's prepared to exchange real service delivery for votes, rather than a lot of nationalist ideologues (Dailey of course had the good sense to limit patronage to the public sector, and to make sure political appointees still DID deliver services, unlike some 3rd world kleptocrats)
"The influential Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) boycotted Garner's first meeting and will do so again when he brings Iraqi politicians together in Baghdad next Monday, SCIRI representative Hamid al-Bayati said on Friday.
Bayati, head of the SCIRI office in London, told Reuters that the State Department had more experience of the Iraqi opposition than the Pentagon and had a better understanding of the political landscape of Iraq."
So it seems SCIRI is not boycotting Garner cause hes an American infidel but because of his affiliations on the Potomac IE "for Iraq to be ruled by neo con defense intellectuals is an offense to the honor of Islam - on the other hand to be ruled by the striped pants boys from Foggy Bottom is a blessing, truly the will of Allah as expressed in the Koran and Hadiths, in the Shura on interdepartmental in-fighting."
who is for UN running Iraq raise your hands
Outside - Weasels, Iran, Arab states, US Department of State, liberal commentators (even some hawks) Inside - SCIRI, Pachachi, Etc?
Who wants the US to run Iraq till a new admin, rather than the UN? Outside - Dept of Defense, most hawkish commentators Inside - Chalabi and INC, Kurds
Who is not sure? Outside - UK, Inside - Ayatollah Sistani, Sadr, "governor" zubaidi, etc
From Reuters : "More than 100 Iraqis in exile from across the opposition political spectrum gathered in Madrid on Friday for a weekend of talks on future democracy in Iraq
Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Foreign Minister Ana Palacio, firm supporters of the U.S. war to topple President Saddam Hussein , inaugurated the conference and offered support in the rebuilding of Iraq.
Members of the long-exiled, pro-U.S. Iraqi National Congress, the Shi'ite Muslim party Al Dawa, the Iraqi Communist Party, Kurdish parties and other groups will meet this weekend. "
Interesting that while SCIRI again boycotted, Al Dawa participated.
Worth checking the link just for the picture of this guy. I think he works for Cairo DPW...
Egyptian singer Shabaan Abdul Rahim announced that he has discovered the whereabouts of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussain and intends on revealing it in his upcoming song âSaddam Oh Saddamâ. The singer will be recording the song in the next upcoming days, which he claims holds facts about Saddamâs hiding place proving that he is still alive and was not killed during the US bombing of Iraq. Hey! He should team up with Naomi Campbell!
According to the UAE based daily, writer of the song Islam Khalil, who also wrote Shabaanâs previous song âDarb Al Iraqâ (Bombing of Iraq), claimed that before releasing the first song about the war in Iraq, he had predicted the events that occurred. He also claimed that he has solid evidence which will be revealed in the song that will help capture Saddam. Hey! Hey should team up with Naomi Campbell!
Previously, the folk singer expressed his joy at being considered the number one political singer in Egypt and around the Arab world. Shabaanâs new title came after the success of his latest hit single âHanzaâ Al Silahâ (Iâm Going to Take out My Weapon). EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!
Shabaan called on all Arabs to unite and support Iraq against Western tyranny. The singer also revealed that he is currently the number one singer and actor in Egypt. Shabaan said that he is in competition with Egyptian singer Amr Diab for the number one spot in the music industry and his second rival is Egyptian singer Hisham Abbas. Do I see some kind of Egyptian Rap Gang War on the horizon?
Shabaanâs popularity came after his hit single "Ana Bakrah Israel" (I hate Israel) two years ago recording a major success in the market of Cairo and beyond, replacing the typical love songs that people used to listen to. The inspiration of the song was sparked after the eruption of the Palestinian uprising (Intifada) in September 2000. His song emerged at a critical time where cultural, political, and social factors all came together in a timely fashion. And a star was born! Maybe Casey Kasem will get him an in over here...
An illiterate from a small village, and an unknown singer for over twenty years, Shaaban's singing career has catapulted with live performances at weddings, private parties, and social occasions. What? No barmitzfas?
He's quite the little marketing genius. Good heavens, this ugly little sap even managed to get our attention. Perhaps Madonna and the Ditzy Chicks can hire him and see if he can think of something sooo outrageous that it will provide a shock wave strong enough to get their careers back off life support. Naahhh....anything more shocking than what they have attempted already would have to be fatal.
Saddam was killed. BUT, Naomi's intelligence sources have revealed to me that Saddam Hussein is on the road towards reincarnation and is now serving an apprenticeship as one of Shirley MacLaine's past lives, moving into a spot once occupied by an unnamed "Moorish girl who tended the sick on the Camino path."
According the "black op gnomes" on Naomi's payroll, Saddam is royally pissed, both at his current place of employment and Shabaan's promise to make Saddam's link to the utterly insane MacLaine public.
Edited for brevity.
The Iraqi Intelligence Service established a unit to assassinate Saddam Hussein's enemies at home and abroad that claimed 66 successful "operations" between 1998 and 2000, according to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. Found on the floor of a looted Intelligence Service villa on the east bank of the Tigris River here, the six-page file described the program and contained suggestions for improving its effectiveness -- including obtaining poisonous gas disguised as perfume or explosives that would detonate when the car of the target passed by.
None of the assassination targets was specified in the documents, dated April and May 2000, but the period mentioned was a time when prominent Shiite clerics were killed in suspicious circumstances inside Iraq, and a number of Iraqi dissidents abroad were at least targeted. While short of details, the file provides an insight into the inner workings of the feared Mukhabarat, with its memorandum that asks for recommendations for improving its assassination apparatus, and a response suggesting for a division of "quality control." The documents said the project was code-named "Al Ghafiqi." In Arabic, the code sounds like a person's name, but its significance was not clear.
In a working paper attached to the file, the author -- known only in a coded designation -- refers to the "fulfillment" of 17 missions in 1998, 35 in 1999 and 14 in the first three months of 2000. It was not clear precisely when the program began or when, or if, it ended.
The head of the Intelligence Service at the time was Tahir Abdal Jalil Habbush Tikriti, who remained in his post until the fall of the Saddam government this month. He is now a fugitive from the U.S. armed forces, and is the Jack of Diamonds on the U.S. military's deck of most-wanted Iraqis. The papers appear to corroborate the long-standing accusation that Saddam sanctioned assassinations of his opponents abroad. In the most famous case, the Mukhabarat plotted to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush during a visit to Kuwait in 1993.
Obviously, what we need here are the intelligence sources which roam the world and report to Naomi Campbell. It's well known that elves and pixies have precisely the kinds of magical powers that would allow them to find the members of this assassination squad. It would be a small matter for her personal guard of commandos from the mystery realm of Fuckinnuts to take the evil bastards out.
American forces caught a Turkish special forces team trying to sneak into the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Time magazine reported Thursday on its Web site. The magazine reported that a dozen Turkish soldiers, dressed in civilian clothes and trailing an aid convoy, were detained Wednesday by the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade. Ah HAAAAA! Now we know where Murat is.
Remainder snipped. This is a re-run from yesterday.
Posted by: FreeTheKurds ||
04/25/2003 09:32 am ||
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While there would have been a certain satisfaction in shooting them out of hand, what the airborne did to them is actually more humiliating. Just think about it: the elite Turkish Green Berets ("Green Fezzes?") creep into Iraq to execute their elaborate and masterful covert operations plan, and . . . get pulled over at a checkpoint ("We've been expecting you."), fed, interrogated, tucked in safe for the night ("We took care of their security."), and then sent home very publicly the next morning ("We can't shoot 'em, after all, they are our 'allies.'").
Message to the Green Fezzes: YOU PEOPLE ARE AMATEURS.
No doubt, there was also a message to the Turkey Turkish government: DON'T DO THIS AGAIN.
Mike: How can you be so sure it's the Green Fezzes and not a Shriner convention? All the Shriners I know have automatic weapons so no one will take their cool little go-carts. Let's not be too hasty here!
Farouk Hijazi, an Iraqi diplomat who once helped run Saddam Hussein's intelligence service, has been captured by U.S. forces, American officials said Friday. The announcement came a day after the surrender of Saddam loyalist Tariq Aziz, for many years the most public face of the regime. Hijazi, who most recently served as Iraq's ambassador to Tunisia, was once a senior official in the Mukhabarat, Saddam's intelligence service. In December 1998, while ambassador to Turkey, Hijazi traveled to Afghanistan and reportedly met with Osama bin Laden, according to U.S officials who cite the meeting as Iraqi link to al-Qaida. Iraqi officials denied Hijazi met with bin Laden. Aziz was undergoing questioning Friday, a day after surrendering to U.S. forces. U.S. officials hope both Aziz and Hijazi may have information about the fate of Saddam and the status of any illegal weapons programs. Another one in the bag.
Looks like we'll find out for sure now if he met with UBL. I can see that soon I will be giddy with happiness over the fact that the left will soon be publicly proven wrong about Iraq. Then they'll move more towards the "They didn't have any of the weapons Bush said they had" argument. The U.S. has to find those too. Then I'll be absolutely retarded with Ululation.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
04/25/2003 9:38 Comments ||
According to his BBC profile, Taha Yassin Ramadan also may have met with Ayman al-Zawahiri at one point as well. Hijazi would definitely be the man to know in either case.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
04/25/2003 9:52 Comments ||
Coalition officials thought last week that Hijazi might have escaped to Syria, a charge Damascus vehemently denied. But Pentagon officials confirmed to Fox News that he was seized on the Iraqi border coming out of Syria.
Coming out of Syria? He forget something or was he "asked" to leave?
This is the Aussie SAS, but i'm sure the Brits did plenty of cool stuff too, it's just a shame the Kiwis couldn't join in
An Australian flag now flies over al-Asad air base. Once home of the Iraqi air force, its capture last week effectively marks the end of what were probably the most intense operations in the history of this SAS regiment. And also, the Australians say, a new beginning for Iraq. According to the regiment's operational commander, who cannot be named or photographed and is surprisingly young, probably in his late 20s or early 30s, "we are very, very proud we have made Iraq a viable nation state".
Whether Iraq emerges from this war as a stronger state will depend very much on whether the United States-led reconstruction team can unite the country's fractious components but there is little doubt about the contribution of the 150-strong regiment to the swift military victory. Within an hour of crossing into Iraq, the regiment was engaged in its first firefight. In the first 48 hours there were two more big battles but no sleep. The SAS may specialise in reconnaissance and stealth but in this war they took on a new dimension. It was not simply a matter of calling in air strikes or other forces to deal with an identified enemy: the SAS took on that task themselves, initiating numerous conflicts. Their targets were suspected sites for weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles from which troops of neighbouring states could be attacked. Using rocket-propelled grenades, machine-guns mounted on their long-range patrol vehicles or shoulder-mounted Javelin anti-tank missiles, they destroyed many in the opening days of the conflict.
Along the way they encountered Iraqi forces trained especially to counter US, British and Australian special forces teams. They used modified utilities carrying heavy weaponry and often they disguised themselves as civilians or Bedouin tribesmen. One of the Iraqis' tactics was for a vehicle to surrender, encouraging the SAS to continue forward. Then their compatriots would hit the SAS patrol vehicles in an ambush. They were, the commander says, "very experienced, very aggressive and very good at what they did. I have no doubt they thought we were a much larger force." The SAS were outnumbered, but surprise and stealth and superior weaponry enabled them to "poke out their eyes" and "crush their spirit and will" to force the enemy to "run or surrender".
SAS patrols have also intercepted a number of convoys with fleeing Iraqi regime leaders on their way out of Iraq, and caught Arab fighters answering Saddam Hussein's call for a jihad coming the other way.
Bet they had fun with them...
In their final act of the campaign, the entire squadron — who usually operate in patrols of five of six members that are widely dispersed — came together with commandos from the 4RAR battalion to take the al-Asad airfield. Australian F/A18 bombers helped with air support. "It was nice to listen to an Aussie voice on the other end of the radio," the commander says. "It was even better when they told us we had won the World Cup." That being the Cricket World Cup, i'm sure their Pom counterparts would have been crying in between destoying missile launchers and Jihadis
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
04/25/2003 06:17 am ||
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There's nothing like a loyal friend in a fight, and there are no more loyal friends than the Aussies!
Very sparse accounting of what must have been a superb campaign by exceptional people. I look forward to someone's "war novel" ten, twelve years from now when they fictionalize the account and publish it. Hats off to Aussie Commandos, and I'm darned glad they're on OUR side!
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
04/25/2003 11:35 Comments ||
Long live the Aussies and the Anglosphere! Let's hope that the Kiwis and Canucks can join the next party...
The American administrator of Iraq, Jay Garner, said yesterday the formation of a post-Saddam government would start next week. But he failed to say who would serving on it or how they would be chosen. There also appeared to be confusion over what would happen if an Islamic government was voted to power in a future election. I'm not confused over what would happen.
While insisting that America and Britain wanted to let the people of Iraq decide their own fate, General Garner maintained that an Islamic government was incompatible with democratic principles. He's not confused over what would happen, either.
His British deputy, Major-General Tim Cross, said Iraqis must be allowed to vent their fury after decades of repression. But he added that he did not want to see this lead to a fundamentalist regime similar to neighbouring Iran. He insisted that the Shia majority in the country would not want this either. "I genuinely believe that many of these people want to be part of a democratic Iraq," he said.
But the assertions of General Garner and Maj-Gen Cross were made against a background of rising religious and nationalistic fervour incited by Iranian mullahs, highlighted in the million-strong Shia pilgrimage at Karbala, which ended with eye-rolling demands for the establishment of an Islamist state and spittle-flecked threats of a jihad against the "American occupiers". Islamic administrations have already been established in a series of towns and villages in the Shia heartland of the south and east, with clerics stepping into the vacuum left by the collapse of the regime. The Shia religious authority, the Hawza, based in the holy city of Najaf, claims it is co-ordinating the takeovers. Welcome to the top of the new target list, boys!
America has claimed that Shia Iran is encouraging the militancy of its co-religionists, although this was piously strongly denied by the Iranian government. General Garner declared that "the coalition will not accept such interference", without elaborating on what kind of action was envisaged. The retired general held talks yesterday with 60 Baghdad academics and community leaders on Iraq's future. Iraqis who attended the meeting, which lasted about an hour, said they had pressed General Garner to restore essential services and law and order as quickly as possible to the battered capital. "He said, 'We are trying to do our best'," reported one of the participants, the writer and retired English teacher Youarash Haidoua. "We need security, we need peace, we need law." An American official described the tone of the meeting as "spirited and sometimes desperate emotional". General Garner said: "I think you'll begin to see the governmental process start next week... It will have Iraqi faces on it. It will be governed by the Iraqis." The American administrator urged government employees to return to work. Asked how the process of "deBaathification" would be carried out, he said "cronies of Saddam" would become targets and a list of suspects prepared by the Pentagon would be consulted. Hope it's a long list.
He denied that the American government was backing Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, who was flown to Iraq on board an American military aircraft and has stayed behind the iron gates of Baghdad's Hunting Club, guarded by American forces. That'll inspire people to follow you, Chabbies.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/25/2003 01:46 am ||
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If Ronnie Reagan was in power, there would be no Iraqi government until a secular constitution was in place, and Islamofascist agitators were either in jail or in the bellies of vultures. Before Iraq can be de-Baathed and de-Islamofascized, the "faith based" White House needs to be de-Bushed. Norquist/Bush have already delivered Pakistan and Turkey to the Islamofascists. Before the "faith based" State Department delivers Iraq to Iran's Mullahs, Yemen is next on the list. Yeech!
Letting some of the shites (I love how the word looks typed out) run some municipalities for a few months is a truly great idea. The more the people experience shite govt. before they vote the less likely they will vote in a shite govt. By the way, the people of Iran have voted out their shite govt several times. Unfortunately, the mullahs have a shite constitution.
Good news - Mosul quiets down, ex-army officers there cooperating with Americans.
Bad news - report that SCIRI cleric running Kut has local support.
mixed news - US relations with self-proclaimed governor of Baghdad still cool. Garner playing this one well, I think. "if people of Baghdad want him out, we'll remove him" Doesnt confirm his position, but doesnt rule out working with him if he has real support.
Chalabi - first lets not personalize it so much. INC is more than Chalabi, I hope. And I dont think we want Chalabi running around inspiring people. We want locals to run local affairs - as they are even in the cleric controlled cities. The question is who do the locals look to for coordination and leadership at a higher level - and even then it need not be Chalabi, but he can serve as an alternative for some, and dilute influence of those we dont like. Not at all clear that even the "Hawza" is united. Anti-US statement the other day from a cleric there seemed to contradict position of top guy Ayatollah Sistani.
Shiites cant possibly implement Iran style government - certainly not democracticaly, and probably not by force. theyre only 60% or so of the population. An Iran style system would have the opposition of the non-Shia 40%, relatively secularist Shiites, and any clerics who feared being left out of the ruling clique. Alternative strategy for SCIRI would be compromise with anti-US Sunni mullahs in Baghdad - but that would probably alienate much of Shia population. More likely is acceptance of some broader govt. But the more they can grab now the more leverage they (and Iran) have.
Note also - the more SCIRI plays hard to get - the more pressure there is on the US to get UNSC support for legitimacy - which increases the leverage of France at the UNSC. Du Villepin's visit to Teheran wasnt simply a matter of French attraction to dictators - it was a question of coordinating pressure on the US position in Iraq.
Reaganites as "leftists"? Bush Jr as man of principle? Junior pocketed $6,000,000 in unearned cash after the sale of the Texas Rangers. He took $2,500,000 in loot from his failed "Arbusto Oil" venture. Then he grabbed $1,500,000 in booty for dry oil wells in the United Arab Emirates. His prostrate support for the Wahabi entity, which funds the terrorist groups that Americans pay billions to fight, will deliver him untold post-regime millions. His Vice President positioned himself to earn $60,000,000 in connection fees from his Gulf War1 partners. Shall we forget Enron? Bush's "faith based" rhetoric, is nothing but a cover for his serial end-run of the Ten Commandments. When he writes his memoirs, he should title them: I AM A CROOK AND A PHONY CHRISTIAN.
The slavish defense of the oil-patch President, reminds me of previous uncritical blather from pathologically dependent thinkers like your spin consuming self: Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Fuhrer!
Anonon, dude. This is Rantburg. We joke around, swap shop talk and in general try to treat each other with respect (unless your name happens to be Murat). If you want to start flame wars, go to LGF.
"Villepin's visit to Teheran wasnt simply a matter of French attraction to dictators - it was a question of coordinating pressure on the US position in Iraq."
Was right on. This little junket just goes to show that there is ABSOLUTELY NO SINCERITY in France's attempts to kiss and make up. They may not be a shooting enemy, but they're everything but. I do not know if this will do anything or if it is just diplo BS, but we should recall our ambassador to France for consultations. We must let France AND the rest of the world know how disgusted and pissed we are with Chiraq. This Iran thing raises me BP.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 20:36 Comments ||
AL ASAD AIRFIELD: Not a single Iraqi plane was believed to have made it off the ground during the U.S.-led war to topple Saddam Hussein, and this isolated airfield in the western Iraqi desert shows why. Australian troops who captured the airfield earlier this month say the Iraqis were convinced they had no chance of surviving if they put up a fight. The Special Air Service Regiment met with little resistance when it entered the airfield. ``The Iraqi air force understood that it needed to stay on the ground for its own safety,'' said Gen. Peter Cosgrove, chief of the Australian Defense Forces, who spoke to troops at the airfield on Thursday.
The Al Asad airfield, which housed the largest known contingent of Saddam's jet fighters, represents one of the big catches of the war. Three fighter squadrons — the bulk of the Iraqi air force — were stationed there, 112 miles northwest of Baghdad. The Australians say they are still taking inventory but have so far found 57 fighter aircraft, mostly Soviet-era MiGs but also three advanced MiG 25 Foxbats, the fastest combat aircraft today. Helicopters, radar systems and 18 million pounds of explosives were also found. Not a bad haul. Intel boys will appreciate it, and the Air Force can bring the 25's home for use in training.
The troops also discovered armored vehicles, anti-aircraft weapons systems, and a French-made Roland anti-aircraft missile system when they took the airfield April 16. The MiGs escaped detection during the coalition bombing campaign. Some were buried, others were parked in date palm tree groves or tucked in dried out riverbeds and covered with camouflage sheets. Aircraft destroyed in prior wars were littered across the airfield to make it more difficult for bombers to choose their targets. Sounds like the only thing the Iraqis had in mind was survival, not fighting.
Much of the equipment at the airfield looked woefully out-of-date, but more is stored in a vast network of underground bunkers that has yet to be evaluated, according to Brig. Maurie McNarn, commander of the 2,000 Australian troops in the Persian Gulf. Australian forces say they have not determined how many of the aircraft are in flying condition. Troops found gas masks, instruction manuals and training materials on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. McNarn said it wasn't clear whether the material instructed soldiers on using such agents or in protecting against them. No chemical or biological weapons were found.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/25/2003 01:32 am ||
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Thanks again Australia - like UK, a nation that "punches above its weight"
I was one of those concerned about the Iraqis witholding their air power to make one "last gasp" attack, but I'm so glad I was wrong! Looks like our competent allies had a good hand in seizing their air assets so they never had a chance to employ any of it.
Jubilant residents of south Baghdad celebrated the end of a three-week power outage Thursday by firing guns into the air, now ritual as electricity blinks back on, neighborhood by neighborhood. The lights stayed off throughout much of the Iraqi capital, however — despite the fusillade of automatic weapon and small-arm fire. Engineers in some areas said there was little more they could do without spare parts they said had been promised by American forces — essential to repairing damage from bombs and gun battles in the city of 5 million people. ``Without the parts, Baghdad will have a big gap between what is available and what is needed,'' engineer Manhal Abbas said at east Baghdad's Al-Mashtal repair headquarters.
Electricity went off citywide in the first week of April, knocked out — in part — by damage from the war, workers abandoning their posts, and breakdown of essential systemwide coordination. Security failed with the power, leaving Baghdad's people homebound and sleep-deprived as they stayed up nights to guard their families against roaming robbers. Power returned to parts of west Baghdad, and elsewhere, earlier in the week. The restoration has been sporadic. Shopkeepers on one side of an east Baghdad block stared resentfully Thursday at their neighbors on the other. One side preserved their wares with blocks of ice, the other, with smoothly running refrigerators.
Baghdad citywide needs 1,000 to 1,200 megawatts, engineers said. Thursday, it was getting 150 to 300 megawatts. According to Iraqi engineers, U.S. bombs damaged cables, fuel lines and at least one power station's system. Gun battles between U.S. forces and Saddam Hussein's defenders took out transformers. Parts for repair, never in large supply in recent years, were looted during the last two weeks' pillaging. Put out a call — a small part of that $700 million in Sammy's cash for the spare parts, no questions asked.
The U.S. military has identified power as their No. 1 priority for Baghdad. At a news conference, U.S. Maj. Gen. Carl Strock said natural gas production at one refinery was expected to resume Friday. ``That is critical for the gas turbines, which drive most of the electrical grid in the Baghdad area,'' Strock said.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/25/2003 01:29 am ||
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I'm still confused at the extent of the damage and how long it's taking to restore power. We all saw the lights blazing night after night during the bombing and were fully aware the civilian infrastructure was not targetted. I have to think most of this damage was willful sabotage by Saddam and Co. in a desperate bid to keep the public afraid of and angry at the Coalition.
apparently the plants are largely intact - the problems are in the distribution lines and substations. Which could have been the victims of air power (directed most likely at other targets) ground fighting, Baathist sabotage, or looting. when you have power you cant just send it down a line if that line is not intact, or you can fry stuff. Also if a power station is turned off you need some power to turn it back on - to run all the equipment inside the power station - so bringing back a downed system is not simple - IIUC this was the case after the big east coast blackout in '65, and was extensively discussed in the context of the Y2K bug. Apparently its been aggravated by looting of the small diesel generators that would have been used to kick start large power plants and of spare parts to repair the substations and lines, by interruption in the supply of oil and Nat. Gas to Baghdad to fuel the plants, and by the difficulties in getting power system employees back to work.
My wife worked for one of the rural electric cooperatives here in the West some 20 years ago. Transformers, used to step down high-voltage feeder lines to the voltage used in homes and shops, are extremely vulnerable to damage. Anti-aircraft fire, ground fire, even fire from a handful of AK-47's can damage one beyond the ability to repair it, and it has to be replaced. Another problem is that the oil usually found in transformers as a coolant is not good stuff to have leak out, especially large step-down transformers at transformer yards. Not only does Garner have to rebuild the power grid, but also clean up a large environmental mess that's probably spread throughout Baghdad.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
04/25/2003 12:12 Comments ||
Also complicating affairs is the lack of reliable grid maps which were classified by Bathists. This place wasn't wired to "code", and is in many ways worse than a hillbilly trailer park without zoning.
Isn't most of the power transmission and distribution French? I hope that our engineers are looking into converting alot of that stuff into other national brands. Old Patriot is right. Transformers are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially high voltage units. They are oil filled for insulation and cooling. Broken insulators, dirt, moisture, lack of maintenance and loss of oil will kill these units, which are critical to the integrity of the system. Most of these big units should have backups, but flying bullets and debris could easily take out a substation.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 13:48 Comments ||
Leaking Transformers? PCB's mixing with DU? A humanitarian crisis of mega proportions! Call George Galloway! Oh sorry.
Sitting on a hospital bed, a young woman shrouded in black cradles the bandaged stump where her right foot once was and weeps for her husband and family - killed when Saddam Hussein's forces put them in the middle of the fighting. ``We blame Saddam for this,'' 25-year-old Metaq Ali said Thursday, tears streaming down her face as she recovered in a tent at a U.S. military field hospital. Her relatives died as members of Saddam's Fedayeen militia — dressed in civilian clothes — moved in and around people's homes firing at American forces, she said. Her extended family tried to escape by car and a bomb tore apart their three vehicles. Fedayeen fighters commonly set up anti-aircraft guns near homes and forced families to remain there at gunpoint, residents said. When the civilians were injured, Saddam's fighters ran away and left them bleeding. Explain to me how George Galloway could support these guys — oh, I forgot, he's a Stalinist.
Doctors and nurses at the 86th Combat Support Hospital at Tallil Airfield have heard the story many times since U.S. forces fought their way through fierce resistance by irregular Iraqi forces in nearby Nasiriyah. Patients told hospital staff they were given guns that no longer worked and forced to advance toward U.S. positions as Fedayeen forces fired shots from behind them. ``That was the most disturbing thing for me in this war,'' said Col. Harry Warren, an orthopedic surgeon and hospital commander. ``I knew we'd keep receiving more and more civilians — and we did — because they were being placed in these situations.'' Medical staff here have admitted more than 500 people since the war began — most of them Iraqi men, women and children. Many more have been treated for injuries that didn't require hospitalization.
The 550 hospital staffers opened the 84-bed facility, with operating tables, a digital X-ray system and the latest resuscitation equipment, the day after fighting began. Staffers performed their first operation — on a Marine shot in the stomach — three hours after they arrived. Cooks and mechanics dropped what they were doing to help carry stretchers on one of the busiest days at the hospital, when they received 101 patients — 81 in one hour. Damn — busier than even the Cook County Hospital ER.
Among the patients that day was Zara, a 7-month old baby with sparkling eyes who arrived with shrapnel wounds to her feet and chest. Her mother died while clutching the infant, whose name means ``Flower'' in Arabic. Hospital staffers fashioned a crib out of a medical supply box and fed Zara baby formula through the fingers of a surgical glove. She lost a toe but otherwise recovered, and an aunt was expected to collect her soon.
The facility packs into 100 containers which can be moved by truck, ship or plane. While designed to receive life, limb, and eyesight emergencies, the hospital has treated everything from simple rashes to people with most of their faces blown away. Most of the 60 patients there Thursday were Iraqi civilians or prisoners. Even those wounded by American bullets and bombs smiled and flashed a thumbs up signal when asked about the care they were receiving. ``I don't think the Americans meant to shoot me,'' said Saad Abdwyasr, 32. He was caught in crossfire as he tried to carry his sick father to a local hospital in Nasiriyah. Down the ward — a yellow tent decorated with children's drawings and American flags — Fayza Kamal, 43, had just been reunited with her injured nephew after an agonizing 16-day search. Captured during the fighting, the man lay stiffly under a blanket with his leg in a cast. Beside him was a cardboard tray with lasagna, cookies and an apple. ``I think they are good people,'' Kamal said, of her nephew's captors. ``Before we thought they would invade our territory and take over. But now I see they are taking care of us.'' We can't buy better public relations than this. Everyone in Iraq needs to hear this guy.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/25/2003 01:23 am ||
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Fedayeen fighters commonly set up anti-aircraft guns near homes and forced families to remain there at gunpoint, residents said. When the civilians were injured, Saddam's fighters ran away and left them bleeding.
So now where are those jerks that were all up in arms over American bombing of civilians?
Troops backed by helicopter gunships drove out Muslim separatist guerrillas from a highway they occupied in the southern Philippines after a day of intense fighting that left 18 people dead. As they fled, the rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) released scores of villagers, bus commuters and several policemen they had held hostage, local military commander Colonel Ernesto Boac said. About 500 MILF fighters yesterday took the people hostage and attacked government installations, blocking the 400km highway linking Iligan city in south-western Mindanao and Zamboanga City, the regional trading capital. The government repulsed the attacks using helicopter gunships. Relatives of the hostages said many of the captives escaped when the MILF rebels fled from the helicopter gunships. Gunships have that effect on people. It's so much easier killing unarmed villagers.
Colonel Francisco Simbajon, the local military spokesman, said the bodies of 13 civilians and five MILF fighters were recovered although there are reports that the guerrillas suffered more casualties and carried them away. Hide your loses, SOP.
Boac said the military were moving to secure power lines and communities in the south that might be attacked by the MILF.
The rebels had toppled transmission towers in recent fighting.
MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said the guerrillas had withdrawn but denied that they had ever taken hostages. "Nope, we don't do that. Well, not very often."
"The intention was to attack the military forces in the area," he said, adding that at least four soldiers were killed in their assault. He also said many of the civilians allegedly killed in the fighting were village militiamen trained and armed by the government to defend local communities from rebels.
"We do not consider these people as civilians," he said. Or humans.
A touching obit.
The official website of Ansar Al-Islam has confirmed the martyrdom of Sohayl Ben Jassem Al-Sahli who led the Arab Mujahedeen that fought with Ansar Al-Islam. Sohayl was martyred during a battle with the American troops and their Talbani allies in the village of "Delmar" near the Iranian borders. "Abo-yaali Al-Kordi" an eye witness of the battle where Sohayl martyred described the details of the last hour in the life of the Head of Arab Mujahedeen in Kurdistan. On the day of the battle, Sohayl had assigned a group of Mujahedeen that consisted of 5 Arabs and 2 Kurds, headed by "Abu-Bassir" from Tunisia, to ambush a military convoy, which consisted of American and Talbani soldiers, in an operation that claimed the lives of about 60 American soldiers. Humm, must have missed this one.
This operation enraged the Americans that retaliated with a brutal bombardment of the area especially the center of Arab Mujahedeen. The bombing, which started form 8 PM on Thursday and continued until Friday morning, was accompanied with fierce ground fighting, where Sohayl received a bullet in his forehead and was martyred. Abu-Yaali added that he left him after he realized that he martyred, and he could not bury Sohayl's body because he had to escape with the other Mujahedeen from the area to avoid the American brutal bombing. Run away!
In 1975, Sohayl was born in Dammam in Saudi Arabia, he dedicated his life to Jihad since he was 16 years, and he moved to Afghanistan in 1991 until the civil war took place between the Afghans Hekmatyar on one side and Masoud and Rabani on the other side. He moved then to Tajikistan where he joined Khattab, the Head of Arab Mujahedeen there and latter in Chechnya before Khattab was martyred last year. Sohayl participated in the battles against the Russians and their Tajikistani communist allies. Unlike his friend Khattab who moved to Chechnya, Sohayl returned back to Saudi Arabia for a while, and he then became nostalgic for jihad again, so he moved to join the Arab Mujahedeen in Bosnia who fought against the Serbs. Sohayl remained in Bosnia until the Dayton agreement that rescued the Serbs from the Mujahedeen attacks. Sohayl moved back to his country before he moved again to Chechnya to join his friend Khattab. Sohayl was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 1997 for a while during which his mother died. Sohayl was arrested again shortly after his release, but that time he was moved to the "Rwaiss" prison in Jeddah where he was sentenced to jail for 5 years, and he was tortured severely. During these five years he memorized the Quran and studied religious books. He was a very holy man, now sporting a hole in his head.
The five years in jail did not affect the eagerness of Sohayl for Jihad; he was watching the situation of his brothers in Iraq especially Ansar Al-Islam that he knew their right Sunni Islamic approach and how they are prosecuted by the Iraqi government and the secular Talbani militia beside the American intentions to fight them. Sohayl decided to join Ansar Al-Islam; at the beginning, he was moving to Mecca for pilgrimage, but he changed his way to Kurdistan, where he was appointed as the head of Arab Mujahedeen. His mother will miss him. Fred, you can move him to the "compost" folder.
Struggling to keep up with the movements of international terrorists? Rest assured, Naomi Campbell has her finger on the world's pulse. According to the New York Post, the tempestuous clotheshorse has revealed that she has 'intelligence sources' (an intriguing disclosure in its own right) across the globe, keeping track of terrorist activity. More importantly, La Campbell has let it be known that her network of spies has been keeping tabs on none other than Terrorism Weekly's centrefold pin-up, Osama bin Laden. The supermodel has confided in close friends that she knows for a fact Bin Laden is holed up in Saudi Arabia. In his war on terrorism, George Bush has come to appreciate fully the power that high-profile stars have at their fingertips: Bruce Willis offered the White House his wealth of combat experience, but was considered too old for action. Hey, at least he offered... unlike some other overpaid celebrity nitwits
Now Cambell's intelligence may prove the most devastating (and oxymoronic) weapon since the smart bomb. Expect to see a command centre set up on the catwalk in the near future. Who needs the CIA when you've got Naomi Cambell? One word: Zoolander!
Posted by: Baba Yaga ||
04/25/2003 07:04 am ||
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I've got "intelligence sources" too, and mine assure me that Naomi is insane. Of course, the difference between my intelligence sources and her intelligence sources is that my intelligence sources involve ACTUAL SYNAPTIC CONNECTIONS IN MY BRAIN!!!
Knowing OBL's phobias about women, perhaps the quickest way to end this Al Qaeda thing would be to have Naomi appear in his hideout NAKED......I know I would have a cardiac arrest and I LIKE women...just imagine OBL's reaction to that glorious creation.
It is, seriously, troublesome to me that these semi-illiterate "celebrities" can make pronouncements on world peace, hunger, war, terrorism, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum and get ink in the NY Times and some very erudite people within the administration couldn't get press space if they set themselves on fire...except maybe Perle........
The vice-president of the Higher Shiite Council, Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, denounced any threats against Syria, Iran and Hizbullah, stressing that Lebanese Shiites have no independent role to play in Iraq. Following a meeting with US Ambassador Vincent Battle Thursday, Qabalan said the US-led war was neither warranted nor legitimate âand the United States has rendered Arab peace efforts obsolete by its actions.â
Wotta shame. And they were so effective...
Qabalan said Syria and Iran should play an important role in the region: âWe refuse any threats against them or against Hizbullah, which has social and national roles to play in Lebanon and aims to liberate the country from Israeli occupation.â
"... and kill people."
Battle said the meeting was to identify the Lebanese Shiitesâ opinion regarding the situation in Iraq, âreaffirming our commitment to a unified country represented by all its different sects and religious entities from all its regions, and to re-establish a normal social and economic cycle.â
Posted by: Fred Pruitt ||
04/25/2003 07:07 pm ||
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A leading member of Hizbullahâs Consultative Council said Thursday he expected Iraq, once its people manage to form a national government of their own, to form a coalition with Lebanon, Syria and Iran. Sheikh Mohammed Yazbek, who also represents Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Lebanon, welcomed recent demonstrations by Iraqi Shiites against the Anglo-American occupation of their country. âThe Iraqis will manage to run their country and will be the decisive factor in the region,â he said in a speech during a rally held in Baalbek in commemoration of the 40th day since the anniversary of Imam Husseinâs killing. âThis same people will ally Iraq with Lebanon, Syria and Iran in an alliance against US plans for the Middle East.â
Not if we have anything to say about it...
He said the expected visit of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to Lebanon on May 12 âwill be a sign of the Islamic Republicâs support for Lebanon, Syria and the resistance movement.â
Looks like the new axis is lining up and eying their meat...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt ||
04/25/2003 06:53 pm ||
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Rummy's on the case with recent statement regards any notion of Islamofascists to create Iran-like state.
Does Baby Asshat have the cajones to deal with Hizbullah? Does he have the cajones to stiff the US?
Pyongyang, April 24 (KCNA) -- The Korea Stamp Corporation has issued four kinds of new stamps on Sunday. The stamps portray four insects - pantalaf flavescens, tibicen japonicus, xylotrupes dichotomus and lycaena dispar. Mmmmmm. Dinner. It's a little cruel to tease these hungry people by putting pictures of the NKor equivalent to Prime Rib in front of them.
Pantala flavescens eats flies and mosquitoes and tibicen japonicus lives on the sap of needle-leaf trees in alpine regions.
Xylotrupes dichotomus lives on the sap of trees and juice of fruits, while lycaena dispar lives on leaves, sprouts and flowers.
Insects, the most populous animals in the world, can be seen in any part of the earth. studying insects and propagating knowledge of them is important in protecting cereals, domestic animals and forest — resources from them. I love the KCNA
Edited for brevity.
Food and basic supplies were hauled into Iraq from Syria on Friday, giving the U.N. World Food Program its fourth corridor to funnel humanitarian aid to Iraqis. Donations of flour, lentils, powdered milk, vegetable oil, sugar, Crisco, Twister boards, and other emergency supplies already have been sent to Iraq from Turkey, Iran and Jordan. A fleet of trucks carrying several hundred tons of flour crossed the border bound for the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday, the Food Program said. Thousands more tons of flour are on the way.
Meanwhile, aid workers in Turkey have received a shipment of wheat donated by the United States that is believed to be the largest international food donation since the war began. The 31,407 tons of wheat will be processed into flour and is expected to be shipped to Iraq within two weeks.
"We thank the U.S. government for this one, and we hope other nations, including the United States, will send the Iraqi people what they feel they can," said Heather Hill, a spokeswoman for World Food Program. What?! An NGO spokesperson thanks us? Obviously she's not been fully indoctrinated yet. Look for her to be "re-educated" and issue a strong condemnation soon.
Shakira has called Madonna "spineless" for axing the controversial anti-war video to new single American Life.
She says the star should have stuck with the promo for American Life, rather than axing it weeks before its release because of the Iraq war.In the video Madonna dresses as a soldier and throws a grenade into George Bush's lap.She told fans she had withdrawn the video out of "sensitivity and respect" to the armed forces involved in the Iraq War. ...and because she's not exactly on a roll lately.
But Shakira said: "I'd expect a little more backbone from Madonna. Good pop music is always political in times of crisis."
Shakira made a strong anti-war statement by projecting images of Saddam Hussein and Bush as puppets during her tour.But they lose control of the game and the puppeteer is revealed as the grim reaper. Wow. That's deep. Again, who is this bitch?
She's a big Latina pop star right now -- you can see her in that Pepsi commercial where the convenience store clerk is dancing with this cardboard cutout of a bleach-blond, but salsa-esque vixen, she turns into a real person, yada yada... I think she originally hails from Columbia or Venezuela but has made a big cross-over in the last year or so.
Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, on February 2, 1977, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll is the youngest sibling of her parents' eight children. Her father William Mebarak, who is American of Lebanese descent, and Colombian mother, Nidia Ripoll, both supported their daughter's ambition of becoming a singer.
Another Alpha-Hotel. Nothing to see here....move along.......
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 14:12 Comments ||
Shakira's the blonde Columbian chick who's in the new Pepsi commercials.
While I don't agree with her politics, I do agree with her statement. Madonna's always claimed to be controversial, if for nothing more than the sake of being controversial.
"Shakira made a strong anti-war statement by projecting images of Saddam Hussein and Bush as puppets during her tour.But they lose control of the game and the puppeteer is revealed as the grim reaper."
Guess I missed all that while I was staring at her boobs... You know, I suspect she is not a real blonde...
Sidenote: Columbia contains a small but vocal group of Arab ex-patriates who moved from Lebanon and the Palestinian territories a couple of generations ago. My roommate in college 23 years ago was a "Columbian Palestinian" and boy but did he hate Jews.
Arab ex-patriates? Does that explain the Mebarak in her fathers name? I've always described her as the dirty-no-talent-puke-import-slut. "Good pop music has always been political in times of crisis" Good pop music? Has anyone ever heard a "Good" political pop music song? Jesus, this gash needs to move to Venezuela so she can support my 2nd. favorite Central American Dictator. I love it when one-hit-wonders come out in support of Despots.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
04/25/2003 15:40 Comments ||
If that last comment looks like a collection of incoherent choughts, that's because it was.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
04/25/2003 15:41 Comments ||
Maddonna, Dixie Chix, now Shakira...
You know, this debate can't end until the Spice Girls chime in. Bulldog, anything on your radar screen concerning their important foreign policy perspective?
Capsu78, They've been lying low on this. Can't see they're keeping quiet to protect their careers, as they don't have 'em any more. They might have been on the big Red Bus to Baghdad a couple of months ago, but I doubt whether anyone would have noticed. In general, our poplets have been reassuringly quiet over Iraq, with a few semi-muted exceptions.
I want to thank everyone who kicked in to get us through the late financial crisis. If there's anyone I didn't send a "thank you" e-mail, it wasn't intentional. Your generosity is breathtaking, and I'm very flattered that Rantburg matters enough to you to help support it this way. It'll take a day or two for PayPal to get the money to my bank, then probably a day for the bank to digest it. (God knows what the end of April bill's going to look like...)
So now I feel really guilty about all the things I should have been doing, but somehow couldn't find the time. I put the HTML up for copy/paste on the comments page and on GuestPoster for those using Netscape. I never did figure how to make it select an area of text, which made me feel incompetent until I saw that Blogger hasn't figured how to do it, either, and neither have the various commenting systems.
I've also put a preview function on GuestPoster. I hope that didn't introduce any bugs. (Yes, I saw Kelvin's comment today, but it's something that's been on my list for awhile, too...)
I've also worked over the front page so it's faster (and hopefully less bandwidth-intensive).
Posted by: Fred Pruitt ||
04/25/2003 01:42 pm ||
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Don't forget to take your Lady out to a nice dinner on us. You deserve it. Just post a description of the meal, with all the culinary details, Fred, on Rantburg.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 13:50 Comments ||
You feel guilty for providing a great web site that's so popular the bandwidth went through the roof? Are you kidding me?
I felt so guilty I had to join Pay Pal, but now I find out that they cannot actually send you money until my next credit card statement arrives with a membership code. So you will have to wait. Sorry.
Edited for brevity.
President Bush says "some evidence" exists that U.S. air strikes on the first night of the Iraq war may have killed or severely wounded Saddam Hussein. That would clear up some other mysteries, he told NBC's Tom Brokaw, including why there weren't more oil field fires, why dams weren't blown up and why the Iraqi defense of Baghdad was so uncoordinated.
In a wide-ranging interview on Thursday aboard Air Force One â his first extensive one since before the war â Bush cautioned Iran and Syria anew not to interfere in Iraq. But he said in the interview that the United States has "no military plans" against either nation. Bush acknowledged rising demands from Iraqis that U.S. troops leave Iraq, but he said they would remain "as long as necessary." Could that mean two years? Brokaw asked. "Could â or less. Who knows," Bush said.
He had pointed words for his critics, from the Dixie Chicks to French President Jacques Chirac. Of Chirac, who led the opposition at the United Nations to the war against Iraq, Bush said: "I doubt he'll be coming to the ranch any time soon." Bush has invited other world leaders to his Texas ranch, including Australian Prime Minister John Howard â a war supporter â for next weekend.
Of the singing Texas trio, who have been outspoken critics of the U.S.-led war, Bush said, "The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind." At the same time, Bush added: "They shouldn't have their feelings hurt just because some people don't want to buy their records when they speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street." Doesn't get much clearer than that!
Of Chirac, who led the opposition at the United Nations to the war against Iraq, Bush said: "I doubt he'll be coming to the ranch any time soon." Bush has invited other world leaders to his Texas ranch, including Australian Prime Minister John Howard â a war supporter â for next weekend.
I hope that little weasel Vicente Fox isn't one of them.
You know, I think if Bush is really serious about the war on terrorism, the next bombing campaign should have a target list that includes Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, Marsailles, Munich, Dortmund and Zindelfingen........we could have avoided war in Iraq if we had bombed France instead of Baghdad. Saddam would have gotten the message then.
What would the collateral damage be if we sent a cruise missile into the UN Secretariat Building?
SEOUL, South Korea â North Korea (search)'s reported claim that it has nuclear weapons could backfire on the Stalinist state by alienating China, a Korean War-era ally that is a major provider of food and fuel, some analysts say. Wow. Newsflash.
"They have a choice between joining the international community and getting development aid, and becoming a garrison state with nuclear weapons," said Timothy Savage, a Northeast Asia security analyst in Seoul (search). "Unfortunately, they seem to have chosen the latter." I guess lawn clippings isn't a "Brain Food"
The most benign interpretation of North Korea's statement is that it is staking out a tough bargaining position as a prelude to more talks. But if North Korea has no intention of dismantling its nuclear facilities, Washington might eventually push for economic sanctions in the U.N. Security Council.
The North, which wants a nonaggression treaty with the United States, has said sanctions would constitute a "declaration of war." Actually, in the sane world, it's more like a "declaration of sanctions" Methinks Kimmie slept to close to the furnace when he was young.
The claim could be a tactic to extract concessions, but U.S. officials say intimidation won't work. President Bush told NBC anchor Tom Brokaw: "See, they're back to the old blackmail game." Even Bush can figure that out. Why can't Carter, and all his Comrades figure it out?
True or not, the statements seem to reflect North Korean thinking that Washington, fresh from a successful campaign in Iraq, would balk at invading a nuclear-armed nation. U.S. officials say they want a peaceful solution to the nuclear problem, but have not ruled out a military option.
One analyst said North Korea may have miscalculated because its belligerence will encourage China and Russia to fall in line with the United States in pushing hard for an end to the North's nuclear ambitions. Don't count on the ChiComs, and Russia being much help. sure
would be a nice though.
"North Korea fell right into a trap and did what the (U.S.) administration expected it to do," said L. Gordon Flake of the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, a Washington-based public policy group. This could have been an attempt at a trap. Whether or not it was, it worked.
Flake said North Korea's claim would strengthen the hand of any U.S. officials who believe the North has no intention of giving up the nuclear card, and that a change of government in Pyongyang is the only way to resolve the crisis.
Well, all this anal-ysis is well and good, but the fact remains that NK leadership are nutcases and are capable of doing something very stupid and very dangerous at any time. Only China can rein them in by cutting off their resources. So all we can do is to contain them and deny them any assistance, we meaning US, Japan, SK. So like it or not, it is up to China, and any leverage we have against China will be the thing to use to deal with NK.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 13:33 Comments ||
Good point. We(American cunsumers)buy many products that are made in China, and therefore can make the PRC wallet draw a large vacuum that would force them to cut their support for the Dear Leader. The problem with this little plan of mine of course, is that it will never work.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
04/25/2003 13:47 Comments ||
Take heart, Mike N. I do have faith that GW is not gonna sell us down the river like Bubba did. I do not think that we are going to let this crisis fester. I am sure that we will or are be dealing with China, without alot of press...yet.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
04/25/2003 14:50 Comments ||
Memo to China:
You dont want NKORS to have bombs, but are afraid dissolution of NKOR will lead to millions of refugees, and united pro-US Korea.
If you decide that nuclear armed NKOR is acceptable, we will have to determine whether a nuclear armed SKOR or Japan is acceptable. Hell, why not a nuclear armed Taiwan???? Think about.
Get back to us when you've had a chance to reconsider.
I like Liberalhawks idea of a nu-ku-ler armed Tiawan, and I think that is a very good second or third step. First and foremost, should be a proven reliable theatre missile defense to protect S.K., Tiawan, and Japan. That would help nullify the threat (bargaining chip)of China, and Nkor nukes. Then, we can put a little more muscle on China.
And what the hell do they care about a few million refugees for. That's like pouring a bucket of water into the Ocean. You'll never know the difference. They way I figure it, they're supporting many that would become refugees right now anyway. If they let them in, they can hype the PR about "Helping Millions", and get the Human Rights monkey off their backs. For a while, anyway.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
04/25/2003 15:30 Comments ||
Edited for brevity.
Some South Dakota Army National Guard units had only days to get their personal affairs in order before shipping out for active duty in preparation for the war with Iraq. Guard training guidelines indicated they should have had about a month. Mobilizing Army National Guard units, and individual soldiers, for Operation Iraqi Freedom didn't happen the way it was designed to, the Guard's top enlisted man said Thursday.
Command Sgt. Maj. A. Frank Lever III said the war moved so fast that Guard officials "didn't have time to do it the way we trained for it." Normally, units and individuals would have 30 days between getting their alert orders until they had to report to the mobilization station where they receive some final training and equipment. "Some people had only a day or two," Lever said.
In one case, members of both the 740th Transportation Co. from Milbank and Brookings and Co. B, 109th Medical Battalion, had only three days to go from being civilians with a part-time military commitment to being full-time soldiers. "Our Guard members are just like the Minutemen of old. They don't drop their plows to pick up a weapon for their country, but they may put down their computer," Lever said.
Lever said U.S. military forces really do form one team in today's world. "Whoever would have thought that we would see an Army National Guard unit providing force protection (personnel and structure security) at an Air Force base," Lever said. "The soldiers enjoy doing this mission. They learn new things, and they come back better soldiers," Lever said.
Lever said the Guard deployed 28,000 members to the Persian Gulf area and had another 117,000 "in some type of operation, worldwide, including Bosnia and Kosovo. That's a little less than one-third of our total members." Lever said the Guard had a variety of units on active duty, including two Special Forces, military intelligence, some infantry, water purification, mine clearing and military police. He said the Guard did not sustain any battlefield casualties but had lost people due to illness and vehicle accidents.
Well, you should have revised those training guidelines by now, but I wouldn't be too hard on the Guard. When GW1 kicked off we had a lot of problems with the active force being ready to deploy. A lot of the dual military households had to scramble to find someone to take their kids when both members got orders to go. And there were even a few cases of husbands deploying without the wife having access to the checkbook or even knowing they could shop at the PX without their husband escorting them. Trying to keep them barefoot and stupid, that went over well.
Command Sgt. Major had better get his act together. Any time the Guard gets called, there's no written guarantee that states how much time they have to get ready. Looks like ND needs a new Command Seargent Major that doesn't whine.
No break for the stars over there. Everyone does their part. And, yes, there IS a picture at the link.
Lebanese drag queen impersonator Bassim Faghali has temporarily stopped all performance to join the military. Bassim is to serve a mandatory one year in the military according to Lebanese law, which states that all males are to serve in the military. Bassim had had to cancel all previously scheduled appearances after he was called in. The impersonator has gained popularity all over Lebanon and the Arab world for his talent of impersonating artists mostly female singers during live concerts or surprised television appearances on shows. Don't ask, don't tell, don't have to.
His most appearances are on the weekly show "Sa'a Bi Qurb Al Habib" (An Hour By My Lover's Side) that is aired on the Lebanese Broadcasting Company (LBC) satellite channel, and is presented by Tony Khalifeh. Bassim is hopeful that after his civil duty he will return to the scenes and will pick up where he left off. ...and do we really want to know where that is?
Take a good, long look at that picture: What you're looking at is the new state-mandated dress code for California. Well, I'm being a little hyperbolic, I know, but did ANYONE in our congress stop to think about the effect of the Klinger Law on company dress codes?
yeah, I know it's not related to Bassim "Christina Aguilera" Faghali (must resist using last name to engage in bigotry must resist using last name to engage in bigotry), but, still. You know?
Words kinda fail me here...
U.S. pop superstar Madonna, one of music's richest performers, has attacked her fellow Americans for being obsessed with the "wrong values" such as getting rich and looking good. Those bastards!
Madonna told the Radio Times that Americans had opportunities people in other countries did not have but got caught up in superficial dreams. "We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous," Madonna told the television listings magazine. Thank God I'm not like that...
"It's the most superficial part of the American dream and who would know better than me? The only thing that's going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another." So you're gonna give it all up, right M?......NAAAAH.
The interview coincided with the release this week of Madonna's latest album "American Life." The album -- her first in three years -- received poor reviews and left many critics asking if pop's most successful chameleon had lost her touch after 20 years at the top. "American Life" comes hard on the heels of the biggest flop of her career as a movie actress -- "Swept Away" which was directed by husband Guy Ritchie (news) and widely panned by critics and audiences alike. Sounds like that deal with Satan had a time limit...maybe 20 years?
But Madonna, who has embraced domestic bliss in Britain with Ritchie and her two children in recent years, brushed off the criticism. "The critics have been writing me off for 20 years. That's nothing new. As far as I know I still have plenty of fans and sell lots of records. Do I care what critics say about me? No, and I don't read reviews." Suuuuure, you don't.Pretty soon she'll be buying a monkey, dangling her kids off of balconies, and buying her own amusement park...
Well, of course this is how she perceives "American values". I think she accurately describes the values of all the Americans she hangs out with -- other spoiled, wealthy celebrities and media elites. If I hung out with those people all the time, I'd get jaded pretty quick too.
Okay - what follows is very, very crude - sensitive readers, look away. . .
Whenever I hear Madonna and Brittney Spears and Christina Aguilera speak out on just about anything, I find it difficult not to imagine any one of these idiots on all fours being f**ked by Ron Jeremy. "Oh, yes!" says Madonna. "Empower me, baby! Empower me right up my hot c**t!"
But it's not enough for Madonna. "You're not doing enough for the empowerment of women and the advancement of the feminist movement!" she cries, her whole body shaking to Jeremy the Hutt's physical administration of male cooperation in the relativising of gender politics. "Empower me up my ass!"
"You got it, bitch," belches Jabba, I mean, Jeremy, who takes the studded leather leash off her neck just long enough to change positions. "Now get on your back like a good feminist."
And so on. Fact is, on the values issue, Madonna still has quite a bit to answer for.
Sounds like that deal with Satan had a time limit...maybe 20 years? ha ha! Seems like a lot of Satan's bonds have suddenly come due. Must have had a really good special on souls running several years back.
When a woman who simulates masturbation on stage in front of thousands; who records such bastions of morality as "Like a Virgin", "Material Girl", and "Hanky Panky"; and who has had two children out of wedlock--her first with her "personal trainer" and her second before her marriage to Guy Ritchie--starts lecturing me on morality and values all I can say is I must have really made a wrong turn somewhere!
Wow, I am feeling totally chastised right now. Maybe I'll blame my parents... it must be their fault I'm such an amoral wreck.
She's preaching to us, while probably making a new documentry about the inner workings of her overused fish taco, yeah your right madonna we have our values all backwards... maybe I can do a picture book of my bowel movements....thats what madonna would like yeh yeh.....
JTE has a point. Madonna is correct when she says that only caring about "looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous," is not a path to a satisfying life. But where did she get the idea that we share her narcissistic values?
"We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous..."
"The critics have been writing me off for 20 years. That's nothing new. As far as I know I still have plenty of fans and sell lots of records. Do I care what critics say about me?
Does this make any sense whatsoever? First she slams American values for wanting to be rich and famous, then she defends herself from the critics by saying she still sells lots of records (is rich) and has lots of fans (is famous).
Where's Wierd Al Yankovic when you really need to spank this skank? Remember, 'Madonna' is a product with no more cultural significance than a can of Diet Pepsi. She's nothing more than something cheap to be consumed and thrown away.
A UN vote on homosexual human rights was yesterday derailed at the last minute by an alliance of disapproving Muslim countries. The UN had been due to vote on the matter for the first time, but five Muslim countries delayed the vote until today and introduced amendments designed to kill it off. The amendments remove all references to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and render the resolution meaningless. UN sources said Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia were doing everything they could to stop the resolution. "I suspect they want to stall as much as possible and lobby other countries to win support for their amendments," said a source.
The historic resolution on "human rights and sexual orientation" was originally tabled by Brazil at the UN commission on human rights, in Geneva, with the support of 19 other countries including Britain. It calls on all UN member states to promote and protect the human rights "of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation". But the sentiments are anathema to many UN states; almost half outlaw gay sexual relations and more than 70 countries keep a total ban on homosexuality — in some cases it is punished by death. The British gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, said: "The vote has been derailed and delayed by Islamic fundamentalist states where gay people are either jailed, flogged or beheaded." He said those countries' records of gay human rights abuses showed why the resolution was urgently needed. I'm sure Hollywood's reaction to this action will be deafening, right? Hello? (crickets chirping) Hello? Paging Tim Robbins!
Hmm. Usually on the gay rights and reproductive-rights UN stuff, there's back-channel cooperation and communication between the US and some of these radical Muslim countries to defeat it. Where did the US stand on this one?
"Crushing blows", "bellicose forces",...blah,blah,blah...blah,blah,blah...
The revolutionary armed forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are closely following the evermore undisguised moves of the U.S. bellicose forces for aggression and fully ready to deal crushing blows at the aggressors, declared Kim Il Chol, Minister of the People's Armed Forces, in a report made at a national meeting held here today to celebrate the 71st birthday of the heroic Korean People's Army. He said: The U.S. bellicose forces should behave with discretion, properly judging the might of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK and their will to wipe out the enemy. If they're bellicose, how can they behave with discretion?
If the U.S. imperialists and their followers invade even an inch of our inviolable sky, land and seas despite our serious warning, our People's Army will deal merciless deadly blows at the aggressors and win a final victory in the confrontation with the U.S. Does Vince McMahon really run North Korea and just use Kimmie as a front man?
Recalling that the people's army has grown to be an invincible army equipped with powerful offensive and defensive means capable of defeating any formidable enemy at one swoop, relying on the independent and modern national defence industry, he called on the servicepersons to always keep themselves ready to mercilessly crush the aggressors in any unexpected situation. Mercilessly crushing is pretty good, but it's tough to beat the old "sea of fire".
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.