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We Will Join U.S.-Installed Government: Iraqi Scholar
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France Briefed Iraq on US War Plans
FRANCE gave Saddam Hussein's regime regular reports on its dealings with US officials, The Sunday Times reported, quoting files it had found in the wreckage of the Iraqi foreign ministry. The conservative British weekly said the information kept Saddam abreast of every development in US planning and may have helped him to prepare for war.

One report warned of a US "attempt to involve Iraq with terrorism" as "cover for an attack on Iraq", according to The Sunday Times. Another, dated September 25, 2001, from Naji Sabri, the Iraqi foreign minister, to Saddam's palace, was based on a briefing from the French ambassador in Baghdad and covered talks between presidents Jacques Chirac and US President George W Bush.

FRANCE gave Saddam Hussein's regime regular reports on its dealings with US officials, The Sunday Times reported, quoting files it had found in the wreckage of the Iraqi foreign ministry. The conservative British weekly said the information kept Saddam abreast of every development in US planning and may have helped him to prepare for war.

One report warned of a US "attempt to involve Iraq with terrorism" as "cover for an attack on Iraq", according to The Sunday Times. Another, dated September 25, 2001, from Naji Sabri, the Iraqi foreign minister, to Saddam's palace, was based on a briefing from the French ambassador in Baghdad and covered talks between presidents Jacques Chirac and US President George W Bush.

Perhaps now Jacques will learn the difference between barbecue and slow roasting...
Posted by: John Phares || 04/26/2003 10:54 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [449 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Er, sorry for the double duplicate post. Should I apologize twice for that?
Posted by: John Phares || 04/26/2003 23:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Given that France provided the nuclear facility that could have (and would have) produced weapons grade plutonium, is this a suprise. The really worst thing about getting involved with sleazy dictators is that it becomes increasingly difficult to stop the involvement, even to the point of supporting such a regime when it is not in anyone's intrest and when the truth comes out, it seems that it was only profit motivation, and not any high principles (it is all about money, isn't is Jacques?)
Posted by: John || 04/27/2003 1:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Pretty obviously France's government and ambassadors cannot be trusted. I'd like to see the outcry when we recall our ambassador to France...heh heh
Posted by: Frank G || 04/27/2003 8:02 Comments || Top||

Turkey asks U.S. ambassador to clarify remarks by Garner
Turkey's foreign ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador Friday to explain a reported reference by the U.S. official in charge of rebuilding Iraq to a northern Iraqi city as Kurdish. Turkish media reported that retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner had characterized Kirkuk as a "Kurdish city" during talks in northern Iraq earlier this week. Ambassador Robert Pearson told reporters he discussed the issue with officials at the Foreign Ministry on Friday. Pearson said he did not know if Garner had made such a statement, but reiterated U.S. assurances that the city, that sits in one of the world's richest oil regions, would not fall into the hands of any one ethnic group. "All the cities of Iraq and all the resources of Iraq are for the people of Iraq," Pearson said. Turkey has ties with the ethnic Turkmen in Iraq. They also call Kirkuk home. Turkey also fears that Iraqi Kurdish groups could try to seize control of the oil rich area and use the resources to fund an independent Kurdish state. Turkey fears a Kurdish resurgence in northern Iraq could encourage Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey to revive a 15-year war for regional autonomy.
If it's that important to them, which it shouldn't be but probably is, Turkey should be working hard to prevent the accession to power of the Iranian stooges who're pushing for a theocracy in the south. If they were to succeed, which they probably won't, the stage would be set for Iraq's breakup into Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish areas, with the Turkmen as a minority in Kurdistan. The stage is already set for an autonomous Kurdistan — they've been running it with a fair degree of success for the past ten years, thanks to Gen. Garner. It's Garner's experience in setting up Kurdistan that hold out hope he'll be able to do the same thing for Iraq as a whole, so the Turks should love him nearly as much as the Kurds seem to.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 09:36 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [415 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I am still waiting for Bush-Powell to use the magic words for Iraq: SECULAR CONSTITUTION. Then again, those "faith based" bozos aren't too happy with secularism in America.
Posted by: Anonon || 04/26/2003 10:01 Comments || Top||

#2  The problem in America is that "Secularism" has become a de-facto "religion" among some of it's followers -- and their behavior and attitutes are as intolerant as the worst of the "religious religions".

Those followers are trying to make secularism into a "state religion" and marginalize the "religious" religions to the fringes of society.

Communism was often called "a religion without a god".

This is similar -- and no more desirable.

Posted by: Glenn || 04/26/2003 10:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Anonon - yeah, isn't it terrible how our faith-based gov't forces have been harrassing atheists, muslims, hindus, buddhists, jews....herding them into concentration camps and re-education programs?
Idiot. You don't have to have (any) religion to have a human-values based society, but it sure helps. The antidote to theocracy states like Iran and Pakistan and Soddy is an educated populace (i.e.: not in madrassas) and separation of church and state. That doesn't mean faith-based programs and charities are bad, just that you can't make any one religion the "official" religion. Why do you think Soddy et al prohibit or suppress all other religions? Because of the inherent weakness of Islam in the face of educated choices
Posted by: Frank G || 04/26/2003 11:56 Comments || Top||

#4  First, we don't have a faith based govn't! We have a separation between church and state for a reason; that is to protect minoreties. So, what ever position you are pushing the USA is not a country expressly for any single religion. That is the way it is. George Bush may be christian but, it doesn't mean the gov't is. The US gov't has no religion; period! That is the way the Supreme court rules it, thus that is the way it is. Therefore it is secular! I hate to burst your bubble.
Posted by: George || 04/26/2003 13:47 Comments || Top||

#5  Let's level, the Faith Based Initatives are both unconstitutional (they don't pass Lemon and they aren't under Article I or II) and they're a colossal waste of money.

To draw an equivalence, however, between the AKP and the Republican Party is the highpoint of stupidity, troll.
Posted by: Brian || 04/26/2003 15:36 Comments || Top||

#6  I disagree Brian about ALL of them being a colossal waste of money: Sure, you'll have a few abusers. However, I think the danger of the Faith Based Initiative is that we'll get MORE abusers, in addition to the questionable constitutionality.

to spare Fred his bandwidth, I've posted my opinions on my website.. Secularlists may not "relate" to it, but I think it's a good reference to e-mail to someone you feel is a sincere believer who supports the initiative, but hasn't weighed the downsides.
Posted by: Ptah || 04/26/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

Militants attack radio and TV station in Kashmir
IRNA -- In a suicide attack by militants on the Radio Kashmir complex here, four persons, including two militants, were killed on Saturday afternoon. The militants, who came in an ambassadorial car, stormed the heavily guarded Radio Kashmir complex at around 1:00 p.m. (local time). One suicide attacker driving the car exploded the detonator at the gate killing two security guards and causing extensive damage to the main gate and its annexes. Other militants jumped out of the car and started firing, causing injuries to a number of people around. They were shot dead immediately afterwards. The area was cordoned off and a search operation was immediately launched by security forces. The attack came amid a heavy downpour in Srinagar. The attack has not affected transmissions of Radio Kashmir. This is the second suicide attack in less than 24 hours. Nobody in the militant group has taken responsibilty for the attack so far.
I really must be missing something here. I keep reading about the carnage in Kashmir, being perpetrated by India. But it seems like virtually all the killing is being done by the gunnies — most of them imported — and not by the Indians. The gunnies seem to kill a lot more innocent bystanders than the Indos bump off hunting for Bad Guys.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 01:12 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [337 views] Top|| File under:

Today's Pak "expert": UN should lead Iraq's reconstruction
IRNA - A Member of Pakistani Parliament Omar Ayub said that the United Nations should lead massive reconstruction task in the war-devastated Iraq. Talking to "IRNA" on Saturday, the Member of National Assembly (Lower House of the Parliament), said instead of the US or any other country, UN has the mandate to head Iraq's rebuilding.
"After all, they did all the work of throwing Sammy out, and they've got such a good record with rebuilding other countries..."
He noted that the allied forces must quit, and UN and other aid agencies should take the task of rebuilding and humanitarian assistance. "The armed forces can't deliver on this front, as their primary job is military warfare," he substantiated his viewpoint. He expressed deep concern over slow relief work, saying thousands of Iraqi people, particularly women and children were in desperate need of relief aid that was not forthcoming as yet.
"I mean, it's soon gonna be a month! A whole month! Why, Pakistan would have had the place running like a top by now if we'd conquered it. Not that we've ever conquered anybody. Or won a war..."
The lawmaker cautioned the so-called super power America will lose credibility as a civilized nation if it let the Iraqis die of hunger and disease and hampered flow of humanitarian aid.
Ummm... Yasss... I lie awake at nights worrying about our credibility as a civilized nation with Pakistan.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 12:56 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [331 views] Top|| File under:

#1  you shouldn't, Fred after all...oh wait...that was sarcasm huh? I can spot that...
Posted by: Frank G || 04/26/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

Evidence of Direct Link between al-Qa’eda and Saddam Hussein’s Regime Found
Documents discovered in Baghdad by The Telegraph have provided the first evidence of a direct link between Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda terrorist network and Saddam Hussein's regime. The papers were found yesterday in the bombed headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's intelligence service, and reveal that an al-Qa'eda envoy was invited clandestinely to Baghdad in March 1998. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a relationship between Baghdad and al-Qa'eda based on their mutual hatred of America and Saudi Arabia. The meeting apparently went so well that it was extended by a week and ended with arrangements being discussed for bin Laden to visit Baghdad.

The Telegraph found the file on bin Laden inside a folder lying in the rubble of one of the rooms of the destroyed intelligence HQ. There are three pages, stapled together; two are on paper headed with the insignia and lettering of the Mukhabarat. They show correspondence between Mukhabarat agencies over preparations for the visit of al-Qa'eda's envoy, who travelled to Iraq from Sudan, where bin Laden had been based until 1996. They disclose what Baghdad hoped to achieve from the meeting, which took place less than five months before bin Laden was placed at the top of America's most wanted list following the bombing of two US embassies in east Africa.

Perhaps aware of the sensitivities of the subject matter, Iraqi agents at some point clumsily attempted to mask out all references to bin Laden, using white correcting fluid. The dried fluid was removed to reveal the clearly legible name three times in the documents.

The file contradicts the claims of Baghdad, bin Laden and many critics of the coalition that there was no link between the Iraqi regime and al-Qa'eda. One Western intelligence official contacted last night described the file as "sensational", adding: "Baghdad clearly sought out the meeting. The regime would have wanted it to happen in the capital as it's only there they would feel safe from surveillance by Western intelligence."
Posted by: John Phares || 04/26/2003 07:15 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [416 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Saw that on Drudge, he also has a headline - no link to story yet, but it reads:

I'd like to know more about this De Villepin treachery
Posted by: Frank G || 04/26/2003 21:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Yup, saw that too -- I wish somebody who has a subscription to the Times (UK) would post about it – I’m ready to ululate.
Posted by: John Phares || 04/26/2003 21:29 Comments || Top||

The 'Apache' farmer's tale
I think we knew this, deep in our hearts...
The elderly Iraqi farmer who, according to Baghdad officials, literally shot his way to fame by downing a state-of-the-art US Apache helicopter with an old carbine has flatly denied he had anything to do with the crash. At the height of the war, Iraqi TV showed pictures of the downed aircraft and said it had been shot down by farmer Ali Abid Minqash. It broadcast poetry in praise of the "farmer who harvests both rice and Apaches". The local branch of the agricultural union also presented Mr Minqash with a plaque to commemorate his action. Pictures of the results of Minqash's alleged feat were rebroadcast on pan-Arab TV stations and Saddam Hussein himself praised the farmer in a televised address urging resistance to the US-led forces as part of a "people's war".
You mean that ain't the way it happened? Now, who'da thunkit?
"You probably remember the gallant Iraqi peasant who shot down a US Apache using an old weapon, the Brno," the Iraqi leader said on 4 April. "Strike at your enemy strongly. Strike at your enemy with your strong faith wherever he comes close to you." But a Kuwaiti newspaper, al-Rai al-Am, says it has now tracked down the farmer, albeit with considerable difficulty. "It might be easier to find ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein than to get to Minqash who rose to instant stardom on the satellite TV channels," it commented.
Ruh roh... That's what happens when you don't hide the bodies...
Minqash told the paper that he had come across the aircraft in his field early one morning. "I didn't shoot down an Apache or anything else. All that happened was that I went to the field, as I usually do early in the morning, and was surprised to find some bodies on the ground. I began to rub my eyes to make sure that what I was seeing was true or whether I was imagining it. When I realised that it was really true, I was overcome by fear and rushed to the nearest government post to inform them that there was a plane in my field. A large number of [Baath] party members and security men came with me to investigate. They told me that it was an American Apache aircraft and made me stay with them until someone who they said was a senior official arrived. I didn't know who he was. They asked me to say what you have heard on the TV satellite channels — that I shot down the plane with an old gun, a Brno."
But... But... That happens all the time in Iraq, doesn't it?
The paper said that Minqash lives in a simple brick house encircled by palm trees and surrounded by livestock on all sides. He also has a large family and circle of acquaintances "who protect him with their geniality and spontaneity". The geniality obviously extends to jokes about his "feat". One runs that the US decided to withdraw its fleet from the Gulf once it learned that Minqash planned to go fishing there.
Ohoh! So that's why they left! Here's to you, Ali...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 01:48 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

US-MKO deal a breach of Bush's anti-terrorism campaign
IRNA -- `Iran Daily' on Saturday expressed shock at Washington's shocking deal with the shunned Iraq-based terrorist Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO), saying it is a breach of President Bush's anti-terrorism campaign. In a move that has shocked world public opinion and has raised questions for both Iran and Iraq, the US commander of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" reportedly struck a deal with the MKO allowing them to retain their military camps in the war-town nation and assuring them security by American troops.
If that's true as stated, which I'd guess it isn't quite, then the U.S. has made a mistake, one that should be corrected. But I suspect there's more to it than that...
It is to be noted that the US-led forces bombed MKO bases, which had initially declared its neutrality in the war but later agreed to a ceasefire with the rebels, allowing them to move into war areas in a "non-combat formation." The MKO has been blacklisted by the US and the UK as a "terrorist"group. It set up bases in Iraq in the mid-1980s and fought with the Baghdad regime against Iran during the eight-year imposed war. Since then it has been openly armed, backed and funded by Saddam Hussein until his ouster. The outfit served the Iraqi regime in return for financial assistance and weapons. Its agents were trained by the Iraqi intelligence service and the army. The MKO has not only been launching terrorist operations inside Iran but has also helped Saddam's regime quell the rebellious Kurds in northern Iraq and the Shiites in the south during the 1991 uprising of these Iraqi groups, the paper noted.
A "non-combat formation" would seem to imply that they've been disarmed. Putting them where they were could simply be a measure to avoid having to find someplace else to put them. I've no doubt the Kurds have all sorts of information on these guys, and that they have some ideas of how to dispose of them.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 12:50 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Presuppose for a minute that we've cut a deal. Is that in the US national interest when the Iranians are sending in the Badr Brigade? When Kut is under the grip of the Fundamentalists?

After the MKO has had their blood-thirsty revenge, we can talk about their 'terrorist actions.'

After all, let us not forget that one man's terrorist (Iran) is another's freedom fighters (United States).
Posted by: Brian || 04/26/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||

Britain Ridicules Giving Tareq Aziz Asylum
The British government ridiculed media reports about the possibility of giving Iraqi Deputy Premier Tareq Aziz, now in the custody of American forces in Baghdad, asylum in swap for information on the whereabouts of Iraqi regime leaders and alleged weapons of mass destruction. The Sun, Britain's best selling daily tabloid, reported that Aziz had told his American captors he was willing to sell them his information in exchange for a new identity and residence in Britain, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Ummm... Lemme think. No.
Quoting an unnamed "insider", the paper said Aziz feared being executed by Iraqis or being detained by U.S. authorities. Commenting on the report, a spokeswoman for Britain's Home Office said it "is ridiculous to suggest asylum will be granted to an individual who has been involved in activities that have abused the human rights of others." Governments normally have to consider all asylum applications but the 1951 Refugee Convention makes an exception of war criminals. "We do not have to consider it," she said, as U.S. officials questioned Aziz, looking for clues to the fate of Saddam.
Wonder if Sammy will ask for the same kind of deal when he's caught. In Moscow.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 10:57 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [428 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How 'bout this deal Mr. Azzzzizzzz: You give us any information you know and we ask for, or we take this here rope and loop it 13 times around itself..........like so...........and we suspend you from it, like............
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/26/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#2  ...he was willing to sell them his information in exchange for a new identity...

What's he gonna do, buy new glasses and a bottle of Just For Men?
Posted by: Parabellum || 04/26/2003 12:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Let's make him an offer he can't refuse. Cooperate and tell us everything he knows, or we take him someplace where everyone was abused by the Saddamite regime (Basra?) and turn him loose at high noon - with plenty of publicity beforehand - and then we drive off. heh-heh
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/26/2003 13:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Typical "diplomat" -- they always think there's more room for negotiation, even when their government doesn't exist anymore. I'd give him one minute to decide between telling everything he knows or being turned over to the Kurds for detention until we are ready for a trial.
Posted by: Tom || 04/26/2003 16:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Maybe it's time for Aziz to take a helicopter ride...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/26/2003 16:53 Comments || Top||

#6  *nods* Heck yeah, O.P. Worked for my boss in 'Nam just fine...
Posted by: Ptah || 04/26/2003 22:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Didn't he say that he would never be taken alive? Gee, I wonder if a new haircut and a bottle of Jade East would help his new identity? Maybe he could make a killing (pun intended) living in Las Vegas as an Elvis impersonator?
Maybe as a "guest" on the tonight show he could enhance his meager pension from the Iraqi Government?
Posted by: John || 04/27/2003 1:11 Comments || Top||

We Will Join U.S.-Installed Government: Iraqi Scholar
"You are counted now in any U.S.-installed government. Take to the streets to make the Americans hear your voice and know your weight," the head of the society of Iraqi scholars, Dr. Ahmad al-Kubaizi, addressed a throng of Imams and scholars, who huddled together in an auditorium at the society's headquarters. Asked about the new Islamic drive in Iraq in view of the country's religious mosaic, Kubaizi told IslamOnline.net that the Iraqi people, who had fallen down under decades of unspeakable and unprecedented intimidation, are in a dire need to have a "respite," in politics terms they need a transitional period to help them get rid of "the Saddamite terror."
That was kind of our idea, too...
"A judge can not reckon on the testimony of the hungry or the terrified. The Iraqis lived more than 35 years under unprecedented intimidation and they come up now to face the stark reality of the earth's most oppressive occupation," he said. "Trapped between the horrors of the sad old days and the premonitions of the future, no one can blame them for any impromptu reaction
they can say and do anything. Any two consecutive actions must be broken up by some kind of a respite. The Iraqis desperately need such a respite."
That's my feeling, too. Until there's an interim administration in place, the political situation in Iraq is an anarchy by definition — there is no government, except for what's established at the local level by pickup teams. Some of the pickup teams will be worth keeping, some will have to be tossed...
But when asked by IslamOnline.net about the current "party anarchy" in the war-battered country, where every now and then a new party, society or faction pops out, he said his society serves as a gathering place for all Iraqi scholars. Kubaizi noted that the Iraqi National Movement (INM) party -- set up by the society – is not grounded on an Islamic basis but aimed at rebuilding a new Iraq. "It is a separate party for all Iraqis, whether Muslims, Christians, Jews or Kurds, and it will take me some 20 years from now to be asked about the Islamic drive in post-Saddam Iraq," he said. "The party does not adopt an Islamic or un-Islamic ideology, but it aspires to establish a civilian and just Iraq. We must first find the lost Iraq and then steer it forward."
If this guy isn't just saying what he thinks we want to hear, he's going to be a resource for rebuilding the country...
Asked about the U.S. presence on the Iraqi soil, al-Kubaizi said it is their destiny and they must live with it, stressing that all Iraqis rejected the occupation but it was a necessity at least for the time being. "I myself see that their (the Americans) presence is a necessity
 We need the atmosphere of security they provide even if it is not predominant but we need it," he argued. "We are objective people and our country is under occupation and militarily defeated. (Retired U.S. Gen. Jay) Garner is a military governor who is in charge now and we are going to open a dialogue with the Americans, since we are the indigenous people of this country and they are foreigners. We will take from them whatever we need and give them whatever they need."
Do that, and ten years from now Iraq will be a decent place...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 10:17 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [864 views] Top|| File under:

Shiite cleric peacefully departs Kut city hall
The peaceful departure of a Shiite Muslim cleric who had occupied Kut's city hall should bring greater stability to the city, a top U.S. Marine officer said Saturday. Said Abbas left Friday night after Marines delivered a letter "demanding his departure," according to a statement from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. The letter listed 10 conditions, including that his followers not loot the building when he left. U.S. Marines had threatened to arrest him on charges of theft and destruction of Iraqi property if he failed to comply. The people of Kut "can feel a bit more secure knowing Abbas is not trying to take charge of the town, where he never had authority to do so," Col. Ron Johnson, operations officer for Task Force Tarawa, said at Blair airfield outside Kut. The airport was renamed after Lance Cpl. Thomas Blair, 24, of Broken Arrow, Okla., who died in fighting on the bridges of Nasiriyah.
Okay, so now we've tossed one pickup government. And it's nice we got that dig in, accusing him of being a thief. IRNA will probably have a spittle-spewing good time with that one...
However, Johnson acknowledged that Iranian and Shiite Muslim groups sympathetic to Abbas will remain active in the region. "I don't think we can ever discount the Iranian influence," Johnson said.
'Nother good hit. These guys are thinking...
Marines say Abbas is a member of the Iran-based Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution — the largest Shiite Muslim opposition group. The council's leaders have called for an end to the U.S. presence in Iraq and are lobbying for an Islamic government. Marines say they are in talks with the group. "They have their agendas and we recognize that," Johnson said. "But we recognize the agendas of a lot of other people as well. It's not always the most vocal that have the majority."
Keep pushing the fact that the Hakim family business is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran. Eventually, the Iraqis will catch on...
Backed by dozens of lightly armed bodyguards, Abbas took over the city hall and claimed control of Kut more than a week ago, when U.S. Marines entered the southeastern Iraqi city. His followers had been protesting the presence of U.S. troops. Abbas initially responded to the Marine's ultimatum saying he would vacate the city hall in three days. But he surprised U.S. troops by leaving Friday. Looters attempted to move into the vacated building, but Abbas' own supporters intervened to stop them, Marines said. Armed Iraqi police will help guard the building in coming days, Johnson said.
People are going to remember the thieving — after they stop stealing stuff. He doesn't want to be tarred with the brush...
In another sign of returning normalcy in Kut, 100 schools reopened Saturday for the first time since the war, Johnson said. U.S. Marines had earlier cleared weapons from the schools, where they had been hidden by fighters loyal to Saddam Hussein. Electricity still has not been restored, but Johnson said he hoped the power would be turned on "soon."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 09:29 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

Explosions at Baghdad ammunition dump kill 6
Attackers fired into an ammunition dump guarded by Americans on Baghdad's southeastern outskirts early Saturday, setting off thunderous explosions that killed six Iraqis and wounded four, the U.S. military said. One American soldier suffered a broken arm. Hospital officials put the number of injured at 25.
And so the "Iraqi Mujaheddin" attacks begin...
Angry residents briefly fired on U.S. troops trying to treat the injured and recover bodies from the rubble, driving them from the area for a short time. Residents blamed the U.S. military for not moving the dangerous material away from a populated area.
Isn't that where they found it in the first place?
Residents of the Zafaraniyah neighborhood in southwest Baghdad said the victims were all members of the same family, including a 50-year-old man, his four teenage children and his 23-year-old daughter-in-law. Early reports that babies were among the victims appeared to be unfounded.
"War's over, dammit!"
"Oh. I forgot. No babies, then..."
U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar issued a statement saying the assailant or assailants "fired an unknown incendiary device into the cache, causing it to catch fire and explode." It said soldiers of the army's 3rd Infantry Division came under attack as they guarded the cache. "The explosion caused the destruction of the cache as well as a nearby building," the statement said.
This incident is one we should ride for miles of propaganda value. Rather than taking it as a fact of life, like we seem to do in Afghanistan, we should be gnashing our teeth in public and expressing our outrage that foreigners and war criminals continue attacking innocent civilians. I'd be on the phone with Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV, demanding that they get over there immediately, with their cameras, and start interviewing. And I'd tell 'em about the dead babies.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 09:20 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If this wasn't an accident, it was a terrorist strike and should be publicized as such.
Posted by: Tresho || 04/26/2003 11:19 Comments || Top||

#2  It would be convenient if we could trace this attack to one of the Iranian-backed Shi'ite mullahs...
Posted by: snellenr || 04/26/2003 12:06 Comments || Top||

#3  This is going to get a whole lot uglier before it gets better!
Need to start doing something about the Rabble-rowsers,too.
I remember those crazies with the swords and chains.That much fanaticsiam is scary.
Posted by: Anonymous || 04/26/2003 12:19 Comments || Top||

Chemical Officers Help With Iraq Cleanup
When the U.S. Army officer faced a crowd of Iraqi men and boys and drew his finger across his throat, it wasn't a threat, but a gesture of concern. ``You could die if you stay here,'' Capt. Bryon Galbraith told the crowd, many of them barefoot, who were standing in a pool of pesticide. Hundreds of gallons of toxins lay on the ground outside a warehouse Friday after looters broke in and stole about 200 barrels, emptying the contents before they lugged away the drums. Residents said the looters wanted the drums for transporting gasoline.
A bad two-fer — they need the pesticide for the fields.
Galbraith, the 101st Airborne Division's chemical planner, is part of the Army's effort to ensure that Iraq's environment doesn't suffer even more in the postwar instability. The war did not trigger the natural catastrophe of burning oil fields, destroyed dams and the use of chemical and biological weapons that many had envisioned. Still, severe pollution and other environmental problems already choke the country — the results of more than two decades of war, international sanctions and mismanagement under Saddam Hussein.
Wow: the Guardian didn't blame us!
Dealing with environmental problems is key to rebuilding Iraq, according to a preliminary study released this week by the U.N. Environmental Program. Galbraith's job has shifted from helping protect soldiers from nuclear, biological and chemical warfare to addressing potential environmental or industrial threats, in addition to looking for chemical or biological weapons. The owner of the looted warehouse spoke no English, but understood the warning, pointing at his own nose and torso, then yelled at the crowd to leave.
Won't ... say ... it ... maintain ... control ...
The Iraqis didn't listen, and the crowd grew with curious passersby. Boys continued to ride bikes through the pesticide and play in it.
Sounds like something my nephews would do.
The soldiers left to get backup security assistance and a team to wash the area with a high-powered bleach and fill it with sand later in the day. ``The owners are smart enough to know not to go in there. The others do not,'' said Maj. Paul Haldeman, 42, of Rodman, N.Y., at one of the division's tactical operations centers in Mosul. ``People will get sick.''
When they start dissolving, it'll be all our fault...
Posted by: Steve White || 04/26/2003 02:01 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [333 views] Top|| File under:

Southeast Asia
At last, ban on Iban Bible lifted
The Malaysian government has agreed to lift a ban o­n an edition of the Bible published in the language of the indigenous Iban tribe, Acting Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said. "I have decided that the ban be lifted with immediate effect," Abdullah was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency late Friday. Abdullah, who is also Home Minister, said the Bible was for the use of the Iban community o­nly and it had been in use for a long time. He said the issue in question — the use of the word Allah Tala for God in the Iban language — had been resolved.
How? They gonna change the word "God" to "Bob"?

It must be terrible to be one of those sensitive people who're so easily offended by every little thing...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 11:40 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [410 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "It must be terrible to be one of those sensitive people who're so easily offended by every little thing..."

On behalf of sensitive people everywhere...I'm offended that you said that. ;)
Posted by: Pink & Fluffy || 04/26/2003 13:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Its one of the new principles of Bible Translation: It seems that Fraiser of "The Golden Bough" fame was too sloppy with his research on ethnic religions. It seems that each indigenous tribe believes in a supreme God, with whom they f*cked up and were turned over to evil spirits for punishment. This supreme God has a definite name in each ethnic group, and "Allah Tala" is the Iban version.

Bible Translators now use the Indigenous name for God when translating what we read as "Yahweh", "Jehovah", or the fully capitalized name "LORD" as used in the original King James Version. Its a way of personalizing and making the translation concrete to the tribe to which it is directed.
Posted by: Ptah || 04/26/2003 22:31 Comments || Top||

Three rebels killed in new violence in Aceh
Indonesian Military (TNI) said on Saturday they have shot dead three separatists in Aceh province as renewed violence marred the province's fragile peace accord. The three Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels were fatally shot during a skirmish in the Alue Raya area of South Aceh late on Friday, said military spokesman Major Eddi Fernandi. The encounter took place while soldiers were carrying out "security operation" in the area. Troops found a hand gun at the scene, AFP reported. The December 9 peace pact between GAM and Indonesia is facing a breakdown after Jakarta pulled out of this weekend's Joint Council meeting in Geneva. The council groups government and rebel leaders and foreign mediators from the Geneva-based Henry Dunant Centre. The meeting is seen as the last hope of saving the agreement to end the 26-year war.
Yep. It's all over but the shootin'...
Top security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Jakarta's decision followed a move by GAM to postpone the meeting by two days.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 11:35 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [334 views] Top|| File under:

Iranian Regime Worried about Pro-Americanism
Hat tip to Instapundit for the link.

An influential French daily says Iranian officials are worried by the "obvious pro-Americanism sentiments" of "the Iranian people." They are worried about the American presence next to their doors, on the East as well as to the West, worried about the invasion of Iraq "with so little popular resistance," worried about the fast fall of the Baghdad regime, worried about the sidelining of the UN, worried about the total disillusion of the Iranian people that, since the beginning of the Iraqi crisis, has resulted in a fierce pro-Americanism of the population... but, especially, worried about the vox populi, that asks for "a change of the regime with the help of the American marines", the daily "Le Monde" wrote in an article published in its April 25 issue.

This demand is taken enough seriously in the political circles so that the resumption of the relations with America –a 24 years-old taboo – has moved forward on the political agenda in Tehran.

In a rare interview, Mr. Nabavi, a close adviser to President Khatami, told "Le Monde" that the American strategy for the region "doesn't stop at the doors of Baghdad." According to Mr. Nabavi, there exists in Washington, "an Iran project" that is "in the process of being implemented," a project that is "not necessarily a military one."
Interrogated on the voices calling for "the American interference", Mr. Nabavi declares: "It is obvious that it is the result of our mistake. The fact that people prefer a foreign invasion to living in the Islamic Republic is only the sign of our failure. We have not been able to fulfill the people's democratic aspirations and it is normal that they are disappointed". If one admits that the Iraqis are delighted with Saddam Hoseyn's end, one must also think about the possibility that maybe, the Iranians would celebrate at the end of the Islamic Republic as well".
Bwa-hahaha -- oops, already did that! Maybe I can ululate instead?
Posted by: John Phares || 04/26/2003 09:38 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Plan (TM) is going according to plan. Congrats!
Posted by: Ptah || 04/26/2003 22:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Time for ululation when they ayatollahs are hanging from their own turbans. It'll come... Just hope it doesn't take too long.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2003 22:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Time for ululation, yes - but remember that while we were sleeping (since 1980) radical Islam has infiltrated/outright conquered many countries. Africa, South-east Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Europe: all of them have nations that have been taken over/infiltrated and the rot is spreading.

Still, one part of the supurating pus-filled abscess of Islamofascism seems to be getting a dose of penicillin and for that I am thankful.

Posted by: anon1 || 04/27/2003 10:05 Comments || Top||

Four Blasts Rip Into Lebanon "Camp", Shaky Lull Over
(Rooters, via LGF Edited, my scare quotes in title)
Four bombs ripped through Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp overnight on Saturday, ending a shaky lull in violence there that had lasted throughout the U.S.-led war on Iraq.
Just a breather - As Charles at LGF says: "There are no Jews near the Palestinian Arab “refugee camp” of Ain el-Hilweh in Lebanon—so the Palestinians have to resort to killing each other"
"It seems the Iraq war truce ended in the Ain el-Hilweh camp," said Maher Shabayta, responsible for a Fatah armed faction in the camp. "The goal of the explosions was to make the situation tense in Ain el-Hilweh."
Tense? In a UN-run "camp"? How could this be other than heaven on earth? You've got ineffective national gov't in Lebanon, Syrian occupation forces, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iranian influence, all armed to the teeth, UNCHR corrupt lackeys running this hellhole and, like, 30% employment. a recipe for success
Palestinian security sources said assailants threw grenades at a U.N. school, into a residential area and near the camp border, prompting armed members of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement to open fire into the air.
Nice ....honor/shame culture? where's the honor?
A fourth grenade exploded outside the home of a Fatah official, Abu Majdi al-Sharqawi, who was inside with his family at the time. The blast damaged the walls of the house.
That was a housewarming gift from the neighbors
No one was injured in any of the attacks or the subsequent gunfire in the camp, near the southern port city of Sidon. Tension has been high in the camp — site of a string of tit-for-tat bombings — since Islamic militants clashed with fighters loyal to Arafat in August, killing three people. Lebanese politicians hostile to some 390,000 Palestinian refugees registered in a dozen camps across Lebanon point to Ain el-Hilweh as a stench and a pestilence haven for militants and organized crime.
no shit? you think?
Posted by: Frank G || 04/26/2003 01:30 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  oops - probably should go under Syria- Lebanon ...dammit
Posted by: Frank G || 04/26/2003 13:49 Comments || Top||

Iran has not asked Iraqi nation to set up mullocracy
IRNA -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Saturday that Iran has not asked the Iraqi people to set up an Iranian-style government in their country. Answering a question about Iran's alleged interference in Iraq, hetold IRNA that Washington should not worry about the massive turnout in Karbala at 'on the anniversary of Arbaeen on Wednesday' adding that the Iraqi people enjoy political maturity to assume responsibility to form a government for the multiethnic nation.
"They just like hitting themselves on the heads with swords and hollering. It's an ethnic thing. You wouldn't understand..."
He said, "What is going on in Iraq is the show of national resolve to form a national government. It is something that Washington should welcome from the democratic point of view. The demonstrations are display of national sentiment against occupation. We should respect them. Otherwise, we will cast doubt on Iraqi national resolve to undertake responsibility. The United States should not think that it is possible to form a government for Iraq and declare its composition from outside. So, Washington should take the demonstrations positively. Those are auxiliaries for setting up a central government in Iraq."
Blood-spattered auxiliaries, with sore vocal chords, but still auxiliaries...
"Though the United States toppled a tyrant regime in Baghdad, it needs the vote of the people to help establish a government for the Iraqi people themselves. If you say that Iran influences the Iraqis' votes, it is something insulting to the great nation of Iraq. They are wise enough to distinguish their own interest. It is not Iran's business."
"Our business is subversion and sabotage..."
He said that Iran supports the public sentiment of the Iraqi nation and establishment of a multiethnic government for Iraq to go ahead with reconstruction efforts.
The goofy part about this is that Kharrazi could be telling the truth. We should never forget that there is a government in Iran that does try to adhere to some sort of civilized norms, and another government right behind them that does what it damned well pleases.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 01:33 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [481 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Mullocracy"? Does that mean the rulers all wear mullets? There's no way in hell we can allow that! That'd be almost as bad as an Islamic theocracy!
Posted by: Dar || 04/26/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah. The stench is overwhelming by the third or fourth day...
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2003 18:30 Comments || Top||

Tehran wants no friction with Washington on Iraq
IRNA -- Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani said on Saturday that Tehran does not want any friction with Washington over issues concerning Iraq. In a meeting with Indian National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra in Tehran, Rowhani said that Iran believes in Iraq's territorial integrity, democracy, good neighborly relations and non-interference in Iraqi internal affairs.
"We don't want no trouble," he said, sullenly...
Rowhani said that the United States unilateral approach on the international scene and its ignoring the key role of the United Nations posed a serious threat to global peace and security. He called on the international community to work together under the aegis of the United Nations for bolstering peace and international cooperation. Rowhani said that Iran does not accept presence of the US and British troops in Iraq or installing a puppet regime in Baghdad. He said that Iraq's future government should have a friendly and good neighborly relationship with its neighbors adding that Iran favors establishment of a broad-based government in Iraq.
"As long as our guys run it, anyway..."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 01:24 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [329 views] Top|| File under:

MP Mousavi Khoeini says source of jamming satellites identified
IRNA -- Deputy chairman of Telecommunication Commission in the Iranian Parliament, Ali-Akbar Mousavi Khoeini, has said that a certain organization has been identified as the source of signals being transmitted from Tehran to jam satellite broadcasts. The Persian-language newspaper `Abrar' quoted Mousavi Khoeini as saying that the Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone (PTT) has tracked down the source of the signals in an area controlled by the organization. "The parliamentarians have currently decided not to reveal the name of the organization to the media for the fear that the issue might become political, and might thus frustrate the efforts to stop the matter," Abrar quoted the MP as saying.
I'd guess that the unnamed organization is either the same or closely affiliated with the one that's trying to have him arrested... Nope. Nope. That's gotta be wrong. It couldn't possibly be the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps...
"Still, if the organization refuses to stop the practice, and the efforts by the Parliament, the government and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) prove useless in that connection, that organization will be introduced to the media." The Health Ministry and the Department of the Environment in separate reports had earlier voiced concerns over the activities of a certain organization in transmitting signals to block satellites broadcasts over Tehran, stressing that the signals are harmful to citizens as well as to the environment. Accordingly, President Mohammad Khatami and Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi in separate directives on Monday called for identifying and taking actions against those responsible for the efforts.
No doubt they'll bring Khoeini cigarettes while he's in jug, too.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 01:20 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [346 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Health Ministry and the Department of the Environment in separate reports had earlier voiced concerns over the activities of a certain organization in transmitting signals to block satellites broadcasts over Tehran, stressing that the signals are harmful to citizens as well as to the environment.

Wideband microwave noise broadcasts, maybe, to overpower the sat signals at the receiver?
Posted by: mojo || 04/26/2003 17:32 Comments || Top||

MP Mousavi Khoeini may be arrested soon
IRNA -- An informed judiciary source has said that Ali-Akbar Mousavi Khoeini, an MP from Tehran, might be arrested this week for his failure to show up in court to answer charges. The Persian-language newspaper `Toss'e' quoted an official at the Administrative Court as saying that Mousavi Khoeini had been summoned to answer charges of spreading rumor and slandering a certain state institution. The official, who had not been identified by the daily, added that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has filed a complaint against the MP following his comments on the organization's prisons and detention centers. He said the court had blamed the remarks by Mousavi Khoeini for several international resolutions against the Islamic Republic. `Toss'e' wrote that the MP is commissioned by the Parliament (Majlis) to probe issues relating to prisons, and that he is seriously following up the case of imprisoned students, as well as the jamming of satellite broadcast. The daily further quoted another MP from Tehran, Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, as saying that the Inspection Department of IRGC's Joint Chief of Staff has filed the complaint against Mousavi Khoeini for his remarks regarding the detention of pollsters Hossein-Ali Qazian and Behrouz Geranpayeh. She said Mousavi Khoeini in an interview with the Persian-language newspaper `Etemad' late last year had indicated where Qazian and Geranpayeh were held after the State Prisons Organization had announced that it knew nothing about the issue. The Tehran MP said the organization should oversee all prisons anddetention centers in the country, adding that Article 84 of the Constitution authorizes members of the parliament to comment on all issues.
Obviously this guy's a dangerous subversive, trying to do his job and making charges against the bully boyz that turned out to be true.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 01:06 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [423 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think we can arrange for a TEMPORARY home for him across the border...
Posted by: OldSpook || 04/26/2003 23:37 Comments || Top||

Some Foreign Volunteers for Saddam Trickle Out, Tell Their Stories....
EFL.....I think in thirty years, we are going to see a drastic improvement in the Arab gene pool, with all these idiots kept from breeding.......
[Snipped - rerun from yesterday]
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 04/26/2003 12:03 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [414 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It would help the gene poll in the Western democracies if more of the "human shields" had been taken out as well.
Posted by: Dar || 04/26/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#2  DAr, saddam knew that. THAT'S why the clever bastard threw them back into the gene pool.
Posted by: Ptah || 04/26/2003 22:36 Comments || Top||

De Villepin's visit speaks a thousand words: daily
IRNA -- `Iran News' on Saturday focused on Thursday's visit to Iran of French Minister of Foreign Affairs Dominique de Villepin, the outspoken critic in the trio that oppposed the US-led war on Iraq. The swift conclusion of the war and the obvious defeat of the anti-war coalition, speaks much of the motives behind the French foreign minister's visit. "One of the objectives of the de Villepin visit to the region is gaining support of Iran, Turkey and Jordan for future regional cooperation in the face of U.S. hegemony," pointed out the daily. "Following the U.S. military success in Iraq and the opposition of French officials to the U.S. operations in that country, the French know that they will have to be resigned to the loss of their interests in Baghdad." De Villepin arrived in Tehran Thursday at the end of a three-nation regional tour which took him first to Turkey and then to Jordan.
Yep. Time to go find some more interests. Can't have the Merkins grabbing off all the good stuff, and there's lot of repressive regimes that'll be happy to do business as usual with La Belle France.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 12:41 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [440 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They should call that slimy weasle de Villepin "Minister of Foreign Intrigue".
Posted by: mojo || 04/26/2003 17:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Heh. IRNA pretty much called it straight.
"Don't think we're going to forget your support of Saddam." .. and.. ".. the loss of their interests in Baghdad."
Posted by: Dishman || 04/27/2003 7:51 Comments || Top||

East/Subsaharan Africa
Rebels hold 60 percent of Liberia
Rebels have seized a stunning 60 percent of Liberia, including most of its diamond-mining areas, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan quoted as saying by a foreign news agency on Saturday. The impoverished West African nation of 3 million people has also acknowledged importing arms and ammunition, despite a U.N. arms embargo, in response to rebel offensives, Annan said in his latest report to the U.N. Security Council. The rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD, has been fighting to oust President Charles Taylor on and off for the past three years.
This is good news, assuming it's true. The sooner the world is rid of Charlie, the better...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 11:45 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [531 views] Top|| File under:

#1  30% of Liberia , or 633,000 odd Liberians are Muslim.

Does anybody know what religion these "rebels" are?

I think this question is relevant as Muslims are "rebelling" all over the world sometimes under front organisations in holy war.

Does anybody know if religion is relevant to LURD?
Posted by: anon1 || 04/27/2003 6:00 Comments || Top||

#2  I have discovered that Islamic Liberian "rebels" are helping the Islamic "rebels" in the Ivory Coast rebel against the secular, democratic government.

Recently, the Ivory Coast has joined the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) in June 2001, to access the limitless funds of the Islamic Development Bank.

The goal of this Soddy/Libyan funded Bank is to help create a united Islamic Africa.

Imagine the charges of racism if the secular west refused to give aid to muslim countries! Yet the Islamic nations are never called racist by the Left for shamelessly promoting their worldview.

It is important always to understand "rebels" in context.
Posted by: anon1 || 04/27/2003 8:12 Comments || Top||

Central Asia
Tadjik arrested for part in banned party activities
Officers from the Khujand administrative centre of Soghd Region in northern Tajikistan internal affairs department have caught red-handed another member of the underground religious Hezb-e Tahrir party. Asia-Plus learnt at the town's internal affairs department that during an operation, a student of Bobojon Ghafurov State University in Khujand, B. Dodkhojayev, was arrested while posting leaflets with anti-constitutional content. Criminal proceedings have been instituted into this case, and an investigation is under way. He is a ninth member of Hezb-e Tahrir to have been detained in the country since the beginning of this year by officers from subdivisions of the Tajik Ministry of Internal Affairs.
You've got to sympathize with the Central Asian countries as they try to deal with this continuing, mostly low-level agitation. If they dont' come down hard on it, they end up with groups like the Islamic Movement of Uzebekistan, which we met up close and personal in Afghanistan. Hezb ut-Tahrir is one of the groups that funnels the gunnies into them.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 11:26 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [347 views] Top|| File under:

Mullah Fudlullah meets with Hamas
A delegation representing the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, on Thursday visited the Lebanese Shiite leader Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah conveying the Movement’s appreciation of his national stands towards various questions of the Ummah atop of which came the Palestine cause. The delegation, grouping Mohammed Nazzal, member of the Movement’s political bureau, Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon, and Ali Baraka, in-charge of public relations in Hamas’ office, discussed with Fadlallah regional developments. The discussions focused on the situation in Iraq and Palestine and both parties agreed on rejecting the American Road-map plan because it targeted ending the intifada and resistance under deceptive slogans.
"Yes! Yes! We must reject everything! More killing!"
They affirmed that the intifada and resistance were the only suitable option in face of Zionist occupation and its continuous aggression on the Palestinian people. Both sides also affirmed absolute rejection of the American occupation of Iraq and called on all sects, trends and layers of the Iraqi people to be careful and wise in face of the American plots aimed at inciting strife and political differences among various sects and races. They noted with satisfaction that the Iraqi people had hit the streets in massive marches and demonstrations in various Iraqi cities asserting national unity and bypassing sectarian differences in addition to rejecting American occupation.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 11:19 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [320 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anybody else catch the Lebanese referring to themselves as "syrian subjects" in that story yesterday?
Posted by: mojo || 04/26/2003 17:43 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Sheikh Hassan Yousef warns new PA government
The Zionist central court has extended the detention of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, the Hamas Movement spokesman in the West Bank, until 9/6/2003 at the pretext of providing more evidence against him. The Sheikh emphasized that his acts were a duty against the occupation authority and added, “I am not guilty”. Meanwhile, the Hamas official asked the new Palestinian Authority government to cater for internal Palestinian unity as the topmost priority and not to bow to American and Zionist pressures that demand prosecution of Palestinian Mujahideen. He affirmed the importance of organizing a comprehensive dialogue between the PA and all Palestinian forcers. Sheikh Hassan warned that threats against the Hamas Movement would not bear fruit, pointing to Hamas’ Palestinian and Islamic popularity.
'Nother words, lift one finger to rein in Hamas, and there will be Paleocivil war. Yasser realizes that. I think Abbas realizes it, too, but he also realizes that if the Paleos don't rein in Hamas, they're never going to get their Paleostate. Hamas realizes it, too, but they're betting that they're going to wear down Israel and the Americans and get the state without giving anything in return. And they could be right.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 11:11 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Aw, C'mon -- if the PA can't take Hamas, how're they gonna learn how to take on the IDF? They've got to start small, and work up...
Posted by: snellenr || 04/26/2003 11:39 Comments || Top||

U.S., France at Odds at U.N.
Mike C. tips me off to this one. Thanks, Mike!
The Bush administration has moved to drastically scale down a French-backed U.N. proposal to send more than 250 U.N. peacekeepers to the former French colony of Ivory Coast, according to U.S. and U.N. officials. The request to streamline the $25 million U.N. political mission comes just days after Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said France would face consequences for leading opposition to war against Iraq. It marks the first major test of U.S.-French cooperation beyond Iraq at the United Nations since the war. U.S. officials said their decision was motivated by concerns for costs, a quarter of which would have to be shouldered by the United States, not revenge. They said the task could be achieved with a much smaller contingent of about 40 U.N. officials. And they asked the U.N. peacekeeping department to present a less ambitious proposal for the mission. "This has nothing to do with the perceived problem having to do with [France's position at] the United Nations," one U.S. official said. "It has to do with a bloated proposed mission that we believe needs to be scaled back."
If we have to pay for a quarter of it, it would seem logical that we should have a say in its structure. Like most people, I don't have a lot of information on the ins and outs of the Ivory Coast situation — but I suspect that first you've got to find the peace before you can keep it. I doubt that 40 bureaucrats is the way to go, but 250 "peacekeepers" seems a bit light, too. A few regimental combat teams of Marines sweeping through Liberia and Burkina Faso is probably the only way to do it effectively. But that would be a unilateral approach, and probably "preemptive" in nature. And since Burkina Faso would be involved, we'd be "making war on innocent Muslims." And most of the Marines would be white, so we'd be racists, too.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 10:40 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  250 U.N. peacekeepers! Or 40 U.N. officials -- that's even sillier. We have more police than that on duty in Philadelphia for a Memorial Day parade!

Let's just cut the diplospeak and talk Texan here: NO. France, go fix it unilaterally. And, no, Jacques will NEVER be invited to the ranch.
Posted by: Tom || 04/26/2003 11:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Peacekeepers aren't really police, and as such, won't be able to keep the "peace" when hostilites are high, or are beginning to ratchet up several notches.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 04/26/2003 12:28 Comments || Top||

#3  IIRC, the "rebels" are muslim, and France has been backing them in their actions against the secular government. This is just another place where radical Islam is getting into the act and "conquering" another non-Islamic nation. If I were a Christian or Jew in the Ivory Coast, I'd be making tracks.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/26/2003 12:41 Comments || Top||

#4  OP, if I were a Christian or Jew in the Ivory Coast, I'd be learning how to handle a rifle properly, followed by careful schooling in basic manuever, fire and control, and anti-terror measures. I'd encourage all my Christian and Jewish friends to do the same, and I'd be reading every English-language book on these topics I could find.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/26/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||

#5  Isn't there a UN team that has been unemployed for over a month now? Why not send them in? Just tell them to look for weapons - I'm sure they'll find something this time.
Posted by: A || 04/26/2003 16:55 Comments || Top||

East/Subsaharan Africa
Zim strike in third day
A national strike against higher gas prices kept many stores closed across Zim-Bob-We on Friday, the third day of protests that have crippled much of the economy. The government imposed gas price increases of up to 300 percent last week. The increases were meant to ease acute fuel shortages by helping the state pay suppliers. Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence from British colonial rule in 1980, with acute shortages of food, gas, medicine and other imports.
But that has nothing to do with Bob's ineptitude and corruption. Really...
Most stores remained closed in the main cities, which are opposition strongholds, but some banks reopened for payday. Factory owners reported more workers showing up at their jobs to collect their monthly pay, but estimated about half the industries in the capital, Harare, were closed. Lines of people waited at banks to redeem pay checks. Bank staff said shortages of cash were expected because little business was carried out on the first two days of the strike, slashing deposits by commercial firms. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the main federation of labor groups that called the work stoppage, estimated up to 70 percent of the country's businesses were shut on Wednesday and Thursday. The government has declared the strike illegal under stringent security laws that have outlawed anti-government demonstrations. The government, stung by the effectiveness of the stoppage, accused factory and shop owners of locking out workers and has threatened to withdraw the licenses of bus owners who refused to ferry commuters to work. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo accused strike organizers of "working with external interests hostile to Zimbabwe to cause chaos," the state Herald newspaper reported.
Yep. That's gotta be it. Without those "external interests hostile to Zim-Bob-We" they'd be sitting around on rose petals, eating nectar and ambrosia...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 09:51 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [358 views] Top|| File under:

Middle East
Israeli police wary of Christian violence
Police on Friday drastically cut the number of worshippers to be allowed at an Orthodox Easter ceremony Saturday, seeking to prevent a repeat of last year's violence among Christian groups. Attendance Saturday will be limited to just a few hundred - compared to some 10,000 in past years - because Greek Orthodox and Armenian clergy failed to settle a dispute over who should lead the ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, police said Friday. Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrated Easter last Sunday. At last year's ceremony, Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests exchanged blows.
Ohfergawdsake! It's something in the water there, isn't it?
At Saturday service, known as the Holy Fire ceremony, flaming candles will be passed quickly through a crowd during the ceremony, and Israeli says any tension at the Holy Fire ceremony could constitute a danger to public safety. The church has only one exit.
So try not to set fire to anybody, okay?
The Holy Fire ceremony has been observed by Eastern Orthodox churches for several centuries. It is meant to assure the worshippers that Jesus has not forgotten them and is sending a message of hope through the fire.
... and the clerical fistfights.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 09:45 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [540 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They've been going at it hammer and tongs for a long time. It's one of the reasons Israel maintains a governing structure for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre that was originally implemented by the Ottomans. The Christian churches have been unable to govern the place peacefully.
Posted by: Christopher Johnson || 04/26/2003 14:15 Comments || Top||

#2  It's things like this and Northern Ireland that remind me the Muslims have no monopoly on religious fanatics.
Posted by: Dar || 04/26/2003 15:15 Comments || Top||

#3  Certainly takes Mass destruction to another level, doesn't it?
Posted by: Mark IV || 04/26/2003 21:26 Comments || Top||

#4  The intricate property rights and religious responsibilities for Christian sites in the Holy Land are astounding. There are branches of both Orthodox and Uniate Catholicism that exist primarily because they have rights to a few square meters of a holy site. 2-3,000 practioners worldwide, but they have the right to the left side of the fourth nave in the Church.

And they're always willing to fight about it. Makes the Taiwanewse Parliment look like a kindergarten.
Posted by: Chuck || 04/27/2003 5:37 Comments || Top||

Latin America
Dominicans consider asylum for Venezuelans
The Dominican government is considering asylum for two former Venezuelan soldiers who allegedly held President Hugo Chavez in custody during a brief coup last year. Brothers Alfredo and Ricardo Salazar, both former army captains, entered the Dominican Embassy in Venezuela on Thursday and requested asylum. Their attorney said that they had received death threats.
As Hugo continues closing the mailed fist...
"The Dominican Foreign Ministry is evaluating the information and corresponding documentation to make a decision," the ministry said in a statement. During the coup, dissident generals briefly ousted Chavez. The action was spurred by violence that left 19 Venezuelans dead when opposition and pro-government marches clashed in downtown Caracas. Loyalists in the military returned Chavez to power three days later on April 14.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 04/26/2003 09:40 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

S. Korean Delegation to Confront N. Korea
A South Korean Cabinet delegation plans to confront North Korean officials over the communist state's claim that it has nuclear weapons and might test, export or use them, a South Korean official said. The five-member mission will hold talks from Sunday through Thursday with North Korean officials in the capital, Pyongyang, said Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Jung-ro. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the South Korean delegation will ``focus very much on this drastic development in the talks in Beijing.''
"You guys are crazy, ain't you? You have no idea what you're doing, do you?"
``It is clear that we will be talking about this. Certainly, the North Koreans will not like the idea of having it as the official agenda, though,'' he said.
I feel the spittle a comin'!
In Seoul, South Korea will hold a National Security Council meeting later Saturday to decide how to respond to the alleged nuclear claims by the North, said Lee Jihyun, a presidential spokeswoman. Then the Cabinet-level delegation will head to Pyongyang for talks starting Sunday. South Korean officials said the North still could cancel the meetings.
What are the odds?
The two Koreas initially arranged to hold Cabinet-level talks earlier this month, but those talks were canceled when Pyongyang failed to confirm them. North Korea also suspended two other working-level talks last month.
"Hey Kim!"
"Yes Kim?"
"Didya ever hear back from our loonie cousins to the north about dinner?"
"Nope, not a word."
"Too bad, I hate seeing a seven-course meal go to waste like that."
"Yeah. Well, let's eat!"
"We could always send a polaroid of the dessert tray to our cousins."
Posted by: Steve White || 04/26/2003 02:10 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The SKors better not start sending supplies north under the table in an attempt to appease the NKors. If they do, we should start pulling our troops out. We meaning SK and US and Japan need to have Kimmie collapse and be gone. Fifty years of the tree bark kingdom plus their WMD trade goods are enough.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/26/2003 11:05 Comments || Top||

U.S. May Push for Sanctions on N. Korea
The United States will raise the possibility of U.N. sanctions against North Korea when it consults with allies about the latest round of nuclear talks marked by Pyongyang's brinkmanship. In the past, North Korea has said that international sanctions would constitute a ``declaration of war.''
Guess that's what it's going to be, then...
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Friday the administration has taken no position on sanctions but will seek the opinion of other countries. ``North Korea has thumbed its nose not only at the region but at much of the world as a result of its actions, and therefore has been condemned by much of the world,'' he said. Administration officials had said Thursday that North Korean delegate Ri Gun told Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly that his country had nuclear weapons and would test, export or use them, depending on U.S. actions.
Put one on a ship anywhere and I've got a job for a Los Angeles class boat.
The officials added that North Korea also told the U.S. delegation that it had reprocessed spent nuclear fuel rods, a key step in the production of nuclear weapons. That claim is not backed up by U.S. intelligence. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher refused to comment directly on the reported comments.
How can you comment on patent ravings? Roll your eyes?
Friday was the third and final day of talks in Beijing involving the United States, North Korea and China on Pyongyang's nuclear program. After a brief, informal meeting among the three, Kelly flew to Seoul to brief senior South Korean officials on the meetings. He flew to Japan early Saturday. There was no comment from Kelly or the South Korean officials he met. U.S. officials have said they are seeking the ``verifiable and irreversible'' elimination of North Korea's nuclear programs. North Korea has pushed Washington for boatloads of money a nonaggression treaty. It accuses Washington of planning an invasion after the Iraq war.
Sure. We need a "non-aggression treaty" with a country whose leadership raves about a "sea of fire."
Boucher said the United States will not make concessions to North Korea. He offered no response to a North Korean statement that Pyongyang had offered ``a new bold proposal to clear up bilateral concerns,'' but gave no details.
No response, no details, no sale.
U.S. government Korean language experts will undertake a studied translation of Ri's official statement in Beijing to make sure there are no misunderstandings.
Call in the Minister for Silly Walks as well!
When the U.N. Security Council took up the North Korea issue two weeks ago, sanctions were not discussed. The Council expressed concern over North Korea's withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. A stronger statement failed to pass because of opposition from China and Russia. Boucher said the administration will undertake a careful review of the outcome of the Beijing meeting before deciding on next steps. Boucher and other officials seemed pleased by China's role in the talks, noting that Beijing issued a pointed reminder that North Korea had assured South Korea in 1992 that it had no plans to acquire nuclear weapons.
Diplospeak for "they're lying scum!"
Posted by: Steve White || 04/26/2003 02:04 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [561 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Have sanctions ever worked? Anywhere?

Game Plan:
2003-2004 Make Iraq a better place. Re-arm U.S.
2004 Re-elect George Bush.
2005 Make Iraq a better place. U.S. naval build-up around North Korea.
2006 "Surprise" air attack on N. Korea including Tomahawks on Pyongyang government buildings, carpet-bombing of front line near Seoul, and tactical nukes at entrances to under-mountain military bases. The "surprise" would be another decapitation hit to initiate the air campaign.
No U.S. ground operations. S. Korea: get ready!
Posted by: Tom || 04/26/2003 10:57 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought that would raise some debate. Six hours later, there's no comment. Does that mean we are all agreed?
Posted by: Tom || 04/26/2003 16:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Sounds like a plan :)
Posted by: djohn || 04/26/2003 19:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Just a little bit of wonder why there's a delay....2004 should be a much busier year
Posted by: Frank G || 04/26/2003 21:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Is there a typo? Shouldn't 2005 be "Make Iran a better place."??
Posted by: Ptah || 04/26/2003 22:34 Comments || Top||

#6  Mac had the right idea. If he would have been given a free hand, we would not have had a 50 year stalemate in Korea. Lets see, that was under a Democratic Party leadership, right?
Posted by: John || 04/27/2003 1:18 Comments || Top||

UN heads for new rift over Iraq role
The Bush administration is preparing a draft security council resolution that would reduce the United Nations to a well-deserved marginal role advising the US on running Iraq until the creation of a new government, diplomats and administration officials said yesterday. The document is certain likely to provoke another serious split in the security council when it is presented, as early as next week. It represents another defeat for Tony Blair and his attempt to push the US towards a more multilateral approach to solving postwar problems.
Sorry, Tony, really, but we're not letting the UN crew into Iraq.
At their Belfast summit this month Mr Blair persuaded George Bush to agree to a joint statement agreeing that the UN would play a "vital role" in rebuilding Iraq. However, it was intentionally immediately clear there was no agreement on what "vital" meant. British officials acknowledged yesterday that the consultative role envisaged in the US draft was not what Mr Blair had in mind. The draft resolution would end sanctions on Iraq and recognise the US-led coalition as the principal authority in the country, pending the creation of an Iraqi interim authority (IIA). It calls on the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, to appoint a special coordinator who would, well behind alongside others, advise the American administrator, Jay Garner.
The special coordinator could, for example, empty the chamber pots.
"The big issue is the balance between the elements," said a security council diplomat. "It is my understanding that the weighting is pretty heavily towards the coalition."
That means that we started the job, and we expect to finish it, instead of handing it over to UN timeservers and hacks as a vessel for graft. As soon as the UN's cleaned up Ein el-Hilweh, we can talk about another arrangement...
A US administration official said the details of the draft were still being worked out but that at a "principals meeting" of the president's national security team at the White House on Wednesday a decision had been made to present a single broad resolution, defining roles in post-war Iraq, rather than a series of piecemeal resolutions phasing out UN control, as the state department had suggested.
Hmmmm, I almost like State's approach better: let's have a whole series of votes on limited, well crafted resolutions that each in themselves is eminently reasonable. One to lift the sanctions, one to recognize the IIA, one to allow certain humanitarian organizations in, etc. Let Chiraq decide just how far out he's going to be.
The White House has already supported the Pentagon in blocking a role for UN weapons inspectors in searching Iraq for traces of weapons of mass destruction. The administration claims the job can be done by US-led teams.
But at this point, that doesn't matter. I'd be in favor of inviting anyone who has a remote interest to come on by and have a look. I wouldn't pay for them to come, though...
The American official said the draft resolution would be circulated in the security council next week or the week after, adding that the US was braced for a fight. The council was deadlocked in a bitter dispute for months before the war, as Russia, France and China vowed to block a resolution authorising military action. "This is going to be every bit as nasty as the last one," he said. A European diplomat agreed, saying: "This is going to be a very hard debate."
Nah, it will be easy. Vote against us and we'll do what we're going to do anyway.
And there was always the rumor of a "temporary suspension" of our UN membership from a month or two ago...
One of the key issues in the debate will be control over Iraq's oil revenues. Under the resolution international organisations — possibly including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank — would sit on an advisory board. However, day-to-day operations would be managed by a former Shell Oil executive, Phillip Carroll, according to the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
Clever — the US has a major say in the IMF and WB. We'd be stacking the deck.
The draft resolution represents a victory for the Pentagon over the state department, which had lobbied for the UN to be given a more substantial role in administering Iraq's oil wealth and in managing the transition to a democratic Iraqi government. "At the principals meeting there was the phased approach of [the department of] state, and another approach that the [defence department] suggested," an administration official said. "And yes, a decision was made to go for a single resolution."
So it's settled on our end and we can move on to more important things...
A British official said yesterday that London would continue to play a role in trying to shape details of the document before it was circulated, and then to broker a compromise in the security council in an attempt to avoid deepening the rift left by the war. A battle has broken out in the council even before the US resolution is presented. The US and Britain are attempting to convince Mr Annan to send an envoy to Iraq immediately to observe the US-managed political consultations aimed at laying the foundations for the IIA. The UN secretary general has appointed a special adviser on Iraq — Rafeeuddin Ahmed, a Pakistani expert diplomat — but so far he has not sent him to the country, arguing that such a mission requires the approval of the security council.
Leave him in New York, it won't matter to us.
Kofi's choice of a Pak expert is probably a really good indication of what we should expect from him in the way of "cooperation."
Posted by: Steve White || 04/26/2003 01:52 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Watch the fun!

Here's the joke: If the SC votes down the US resolution (Russia or France issues a veto), the US will act as steward of Iraq's natural resources pursuant to the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare -- and sell the oil on the open market. Every major power ratified this treaty.
Posted by: Norman Rogers || 04/26/2003 8:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Meet the new rift, same as the old rift!
Posted by: Spot || 04/26/2003 9:02 Comments || Top||

#3  As David Warren reports on the administration's "attitude to Mr. Blair: 'Thanks for your help but your tail doesn't wag this dog.'"
Posted by: someone || 04/26/2003 10:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Read all of Warren's article linked above. As te sausageman says it's GOOOOOOOD.
Posted by: Anomalus || 04/26/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#5  I love David's conclusion:
For decades foreign powers have been able to influence U.S. policy simply by fomenting anti-American displays. This is what Arab regimes do, to put pressure on the U.S. State Department -- it's called the "Arab Street" -- and what President Chirac did, in touching off a frenzy of anti-Americanism in the "European Street", as a way to pressure President Bush to stand down, and Prime Minister Blair to fall down. The Americans, and British, went into Iraq anyway; and the former at least seem now convinced that anti-Americanism should no longer be either subtly or overtly rewarded. It will instead be subtly ignored, or overtly punished.
It's what I've been saying all this time: "We do we have to please them? Why don't they ever have to please us?" Bush must have wondered the same thing...
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2003 14:03 Comments || Top||

#6  As it is said in management, in this situation we must be Highly Directive. The Arab Street will not love us, many do not respect us, so they must fear us if they f--k with us. We must always offer another way (out) but they must realize the consequences of f--king with us and harboring terrorists...and they know EXACTLY what we are talking about when we say Terrorists.
Posted by: Anonymous || 04/26/2003 16:51 Comments || Top||

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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
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Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2003-04-26
  We Will Join U.S.-Installed Government: Iraqi Scholar
Fri 2003-04-25
  Booze and smokes in Baghdad
Thu 2003-04-24
  North Korea nuclear talks end
Wed 2003-04-23
  North Korea nuclear talks begin
Tue 2003-04-22
  Yasser scuttles cabinet talks
Mon 2003-04-21
  Garner in Baghdad
Sun 2003-04-20
  US arrests sixth Saddam aide
Sat 2003-04-19
  Iraqi cash find valued at $650 Million
Fri 2003-04-18
  Another Baath Big nabbed
Thu 2003-04-17
  Ceasefire With MKO
Wed 2003-04-16
  Lebanese government resigns
Tue 2003-04-15
  Abu Abbas nabbed
Mon 2003-04-14
  US starts buildup along border with Syria
Sun 2003-04-13
  N.Korea Makes Shift in Nuclear Talks Demand
Sat 2003-04-12
  Rafsanjani proposes referendum for resumption of ties

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