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Toe tag for 32 Mahdi Army members
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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WTC Photos
Can anyone provide me with a source for royalty free, high resoltuktion images, of the attack on the World Trade Center?

My personal goal is to start printing poster size images of some of the more remarkable images (the 2nd plane impacting on the tower, etc) as "posters" with the logo "NEVER FORGET."

It is my belief that the media is trying to get us to forget the issue at stake. I’d like to do my little bit to offset that.

IF I can print a hundred or so posters and get them out thee, and, by my example, encourage others to do someething similar (if only only one "poster" each), I can make my little contribution to the effort that must be won for the sake of all that we hold dear.

Links, and ideas for "how to do it better," are VERY welcome.
Posted by: Ralph Tacoma || 05/24/2004 2:22:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Offer smaller size as well. Something I can put on my cubicle wall at work.

Sorry, Dont have any links but I think it is a damn good idea.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/24/2004 10:45 Comments || Top||

#2  make this offer on other blogs too - like littlegreenfootballs.

email talk show hosts your idea and see if they can mention you and how people can get them- ie Hugh Hewitt

on a long shot - email your idea to fox news

Best of luck
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 05/24/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

#3  You might try www.photovault.com. They have thousands of photos but don't know if they have anything like you want.l
Posted by: AF Lady || 05/24/2004 10:55 Comments || Top||

#4  post the photos zipped up on the web so people can download them and print them off themselves.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 05/24/2004 10:56 Comments || Top||

#5  From MichaelSavage.com


Posted by: Anonymous4021 || 05/24/2004 11:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Thanks for posting that link, Anon. We need to see those pix and be reminded from time to time what evil we're fighting here.
Posted by: Dar || 05/24/2004 11:41 Comments || Top||

#7  I hate those pictures.

They make me feel sick to my stomach.
Posted by: Anonymous4021 || 05/24/2004 12:13 Comments || Top||

#8  Hate the people that caused them to jump.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/24/2004 15:30 Comments || Top||

#9  I very much support the idea of posting your creations on the internet, they will get around that much better.
Another way to produce super high resolution digital images is to use image manipulating software (I use Paint Shop Pro) to stitch an array of lower-resolution images together to make a collage of images. The result can be something like 15 2-megabyte images, with a total resolution of 30 megabytes, something that 35-mm film can't approach. I have created collages of family members and given them out, and have received a lot of compliments. If you create the posters, burn the digital image onto CD's and give those out. The images can be turned into posters at Sam's clubs, etc., near where your correspondents live, and are much easier to distribute than large pieces of printed matter. Great idea.
Posted by: Tresho || 05/24/2004 20:15 Comments || Top||

#10  Go to google.com
type in: "wtc pictures"
hit the "enter" key
Posted by: Anonymous4989 || 05/25/2004 1:12 Comments || Top||

Saudi Shootout Snags Suspects
Security forces arrested several suspected militants who attacked them Monday in the town of Buraida, a fundamentalist stronghold in the kingdom, government officials said. The shootout began just before 2 p.m., according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Helicopters assisted, they said. Several suspected militants fired from a car at security forces, who overpowered and arrested them, the officials said.
"You'll never take me alive.........oh shit, they did."
They said the attackers' car was the same one used in an attack on security forces in Buraida last week.
Hell, the dumbest gangbanger in South Central coulda told em to dump that ride.
Four wanted militants and two police officers were killed in that confrontation.
The friends of the dead cops will be wanting to discuss that shootout with the guys bagged today. Unless, of course, they have "connections".
Buraida is 210 miles northwest of Riyadh, the capital. The area gave birth to Wahhabism - the doctrine that the Saudi royal family embraced long ago as a trade-off for wielding absolute power.
Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind
Posted by: Steve || 05/24/2004 4:06:41 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They caught 'em?? Interesting. One question: Were those guys "surrounded" first?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/24/2004 17:32 Comments || Top||

#2  "You'll never take me alive.........oh shit, they did."

Virgins. . . Delayed. . .
But not for long!
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 17:36 Comments || Top||

#3  you can tell the guys without connections - they actually get arrested. Watch out for the kerosene-soaked mattresses, boyz!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 19:12 Comments || Top||

#4  The monster the House of Sa'ud created is now seeking the blood of the master.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 20:59 Comments || Top||

#5  No, they did not catch anybody. According to the Arab News, the police sieged the house for the 3 hours and did not make a single arrest. They finally stormed the house after throwing in a tear gas grenade. Once inside, they proceeded to wipe the tears from their eyes and the terrorists took this opportunity to get away.
Posted by: Anonymous4617 || 05/25/2004 1:30 Comments || Top||

Al-Qaeda behind German's killing in Saudi
The drive-by shooting of a German man in the Saudi capital on Saturday bore the hallmarks of a militant attack but it is not clear if the gunmen were linked to al Qaeda or acting alone, diplomats said on Sunday. Saudi authorities, who have blamed al Qaeda for a wave of violence, said they were investigating whether "terrorists" were behind Saturday's shooting. Western envoys and independent Saudi observers said criminal motives were unlikely and the attack was either a spontaneous act of rage by Saudis angered by U.S. abuses of prisoners in neighbouring Iraq or a pre-meditated strike by followers of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.
Arabs are big on spontaneous acts of rage...
"We think it probably is a terrorist act. But we're not sure whether it's by the same group as before or some kind of random attack," said one Western diplomat.
"Could just be nutbags, I suppose. Lord knows there's enough of them around here..."
"I believe it is a militant attack related to what is happening in Iraq," said Mohsen al-Awajy, an Islamist lawyer who backs government efforts to persuade militants to surrender. "Everyone is very angry about what is going on in Abu Ghraib and the barbarian bombardment of Iraqi cities," he said, referring to U.S. abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and strikes against Shi'ite militia in Iraq's holy cities of Najaf and Kufa. Pictures of Iraqi prisoners being mistreated by their U.S. captors have been shown repeatedly on television stations across the Arab world, triggering popular fury.
Fury, of course, being very popular...
Saturday's shooting occurred at a shopping district popular with Westerners in eastern Riyadh, an area where several expatriate housing compounds are located. German diplomats declined to confirm the identity of the victim, named by the Arab News newspaper as Jonathan Hermann Bengler. Saudi authorities said he worked for a catering company supplying the national airlines Saudia. Newspaper reports said the victim was shot several times in the head and body by a masked gunman, accompanied by one or two accomplices.
How often do you drag a couple of your buds along when you're indulging in a spontaneous act of rage?
Al-Watan newspaper showed pictures of his body slumped at the wheel of a black Lincoln Town car. "It could have been someone upset at events in Abu Ghraib," said one diplomat. But he added it could also mark a shift of tactics by al Qaeda supporters behind the earlier violence. We've seen them attack compounds, the security services and then Yanbu. So we should expect them to change," he said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:45:30 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Who said Airline food can't kill you?
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/24/2004 7:45 Comments || Top||

Grenade attack in Yemeni market
At least seven people were hurt, some of them seriously, on Sunday when an unidentified man hurled a hand grenade at a car parked in a crowded market in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. Witnesses told Reuters the assailant had apparently been trying to rob a shop in the market and threw the grenade when the shop's owner became suspicious. A Web site run by the country's ruling party said police were searching for the man.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:42:05 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Hermit Kingdom gave Libya enriched uranium
Cutting through the cheap shots and politicking to the actual news ...
With international inspectors recently reporting that North Korea may have shipped uranium, already processed into a gas that can be fed into centrifuges for enrichment into bomb fuel, the White House has been silent. On Sunday, a White House spokesman declined to talk about the reports, other than to issue a statement at the president's ranch in Texas that the news proves the need for "the United States policy for North Korea to disarm in a complete, verifiable and irreversible fashion." "I admit there appears to be more than a little irony here," said one senior administration official, when asked how what he thought Mr. Bush might have said in public if Saddam Hussein - instead of Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader - had been suspected of shipping raw material for nuclear weapons to a country like Libya. "But Iraq was a different problem, in a different place, and we had viable military options," he continued. In North Korea, he said, Mr. Bush has virtually none. Indeed, the problems and the threats are different, even though Mr. Hussein's Iraq was lumped with North Korea as part of the "axis of evil" that President Bush cited in 2002.

Even hawks within the administration - a group led by Vice President Dick Cheney, who said on a trip to Asia last month that "time is not necessarily on our side" - see no major risk that North Korea will lash out at its neighbors or the United States. The country is broke; American military officials say it can barely afford the jet fuel to give its fighter pilots time to train. Iraq, too, was in desperate economic straits, but it at least had oil revenue, skimmed from the United Nations oil-for-food program, and active trade. North Korea is literally starving; millions have died of malnutrition. But the same poverty that makes North Korea less of a military threat makes it a potent proliferation threat. For years, the North's main export has been missiles. It has sold them to Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Libya and others, often sending its engineers abroad to fabricate custom designs. The reports of likely uranium sales to Libya have created the chilling possibility that the North has now found a new and profitable product - and that Libya may not have been the only customer. "Many predicted that sooner or later we would have to worry about the North Koreans not only as users but as exporters of nuclear technology," said Daniel Poneman, a former national security official and co-author of "Going Critical" (Brookings Institution Press, 2004), a new book about the first North Korean nuclear crisis in the mid-1990's. It was this fear that Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage expressed to Congress last year, when he warned that North Korea would not have to develop complete nuclear arms to become a serious threat; it could sell ingredients.

In short, if the North's sales to Libya are confirmed, the nightmare that Mr. Bush discussed so often last year - the sale of "the world's worst weapons to the world's most dangerous dictators" - may be happening at the other end of the axis. Iraq, it turns out, had little or nothing to sell. Mr. Bush has addressed the issue chiefly through an agreement among a growing number of nations to intercept suspected shipments of illegal weapons, nuclear parts or chemical precursors. The United States, Germany and Italy stopped a shipment of nuclear equipment to Libya last year, apparently convincing Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to give up his nuclear program.

Administration officials disagree, saying that North Korea should not be rewarded for cheating on its past nuclear agreements and must begin dismantling weapons before it sees any economic benefits. So far this has been a prescription for stalemate. But many in the administration agree that Mr. Kim has his own reasons for not seeking a deal this year: the North Korean leader is presumed to be rooting for Mr. Bush's defeat in November, in hopes he will face a more willing negotiating partner in John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee. The risk is that by the time the two countries re-engage, North Korea could have six or eight more weapons, according to the most dire estimates in the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency, a view that more cautious intelligence analysts say is based more on conjecture about the North's engineering skills than any real intelligence. Such a number could let the North keep one or two for its own use, and have more to sell, in whole or parts, which is a very different position.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:24:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

French convert to Islam gets two years sentence
PARIS: David Courtailler, a Frenchman who converted to Islam, was given two years in jail by a Paris court Tuesday for association with a terrorist organisation. The court immediately issued an arrest warrant for Courtailler, who was free on bail for the trial.
Let's hope you can find him.

The 28 year-old were accused of belonging to a group, which organised military training for recruits in Afghanistan. During the trial prosecutors said that he had contact in 1998 with Jamal Zougam, one of the main suspects in the Madrid bombings in March. Two other accused, both of Algerian origin, got ten and seven years in jail.
Posted by: Steve || 05/24/2004 9:06:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10800 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Guilt by association? How Phrawnch?
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/26/2004 11:22 Comments || Top||

EU 'confident' of star power site (France)
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 21:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

France to Provide More Nukes to Anti-Semites?
via Dissident Frogman:

Coûteaux (EDD). – (FR) Madam President, the most surprising thing about our debate is our surprise, for Israel’s expansionist policy is the inevitable and predictable result of the growing imbalance in the region, the stability for which we bear much of the responsibility. Firstly that is because since 1967 most of our states, with the notable exception of France, have continued to give the State of Israel – a state that is growing increasingly self-assured and domineering – the impression that it can violate international law and UN resolutions with impunity.

In reality, here as elsewhere we have followed Washington and persist in closing our eyes to the theocratic excesses of this religious state whose governments are under the thumb of fanatical parties and minorities that are just as bad as the other groups of religious fanatics in the region. That is why we should envisage imposing sanctions on Israel.

There is, however, another serious imbalance for which we are in part responsible, namely the imbalance of forces. I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants. That is the policy my country pursued in the 1970s when it gave Iraq a nuclear force. We have now destroyed it. So we will carry on with our policy of imbalance and what is happening today is merely the annoying but inevitable result of our collective blindness and cowardice.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/24/2004 9:43:13 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Jeeze Louise!!! If that is France's position, and they carry through with it, we have a bonefide enemy on our hands. Could you imagine what Sammy would have done before GW1 if he rattled some Nukes before he invaded Kuwait. If France ever does this and gives away weapons to say Saudi Arabia or Egypt, or Iran, France has signed the death warrant for her people if their Arab clients use the nukes. This is absolute madness!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/24/2004 21:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Unbelievable.

We have a European ally threatening a democracy... AGAIN.

Posted by: Anon666 || 05/24/2004 22:00 Comments || Top||

#3  I've seen a lot of stupidity in my life but this leaves me stunned.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 05/24/2004 22:07 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 22:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Is anyone willing to help save the French?............ Yup. I didn't think so.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 05/24/2004 22:19 Comments || Top||

#6  This makes this official. The French are INSANE.

This clown takes "fucking idiot" to a whole new level.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/24/2004 22:45 Comments || Top||

#7  It seems Vichy France was never really defeated, just lurking, waiting for the right time frame.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 23:04 Comments || Top||

#8  Given that we have never heard a true word from a French politician, this is what I think. France knows it is doomed to a future filled with burkas and suicide bombers. This type of talk is designed as the first step in appeasing their future rulers. The idea being to delay the terrorist attacks on French by making loud anti-Israel and anti-US statements. They know that this alone is not sufficient to stop the bombs so they promise an amorphous Arab country some unknown amount of nukes at some undetermined time in the future. This prize is too big for any self respecting slodeydope to ignore so France will gain a pass. For the time being. The plan, of course, is that the US will have the terrorist mess cleaned up before France is forced to either break its' promise and be bombed or deliver the nukes to its' new bosses.
Posted by: Scott || 05/24/2004 23:28 Comments || Top||

#9  If France starts giving nuclear weapons to Arabs, then it is time to take them out. Seriously, they need to have their nuclear arsenal removed, and if that means a nuclear first strike on France by the US then so be it.

Unfriggin believable.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 05/24/2004 23:40 Comments || Top||

#10  Please Mr. President, spare a few million from our treasury and bring back all of our countrymen who gave their lives to liberate that vile nation.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/25/2004 1:12 Comments || Top||

#11  The next time the krauts wants to invade France, we will supply the WELCOME sign!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/25/2004 1:45 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Don’t Condemn the Berg beheading so fast says American Iman
EFL - there is a lot of the usual thumb sucking and tangential whining, etc. in this article but basically, the author, the VP of some Islamic Chaplain group is criticizing CAIR for CAIR’s anti-beheading pronouncement. The author feels CAIR is falling into a clever jew-infidel rhetorical trap.
This is an open response to the recent petition by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)... CAIR’s claims of prominence and representation of Muslims warrants a response ... This response is not being stated with malice... The mission is to maintain an air of brotherhood and .. CAIR’s message has gone beyond being politically correct. It has manifested in what we were warned about in the Qur’an of not being accepted by non-Muslims until we have abandoned our religion and become like them.
He means not vicious...
The petition was drawn up in response to the release of a video of the alleged beheading of an American Jew, Nick Berg. I say alleged because that is what it is up to now — alleged.
[of course claims of Israeli massacre of Arabs that have been completely debunked, e.g., Jenin, are never ’alleged’ - they are instead part of the belief system]
... The petition appears to be a double-blinded message which, on the one hand, attempts to appease the non-Muslim movers and shakers in the US who constantly call for Muslims to apologize for acts committed against American people and interests, even before a proper investigation... On the other hand, it promotes a message of pacifism to Muslims in the US and around the world, disregarding Islam’s instructions to fight oppression and invasion and...
of course verses such as this, and there are many, can be and are used to justify mutilation of corpses, beheadings, lying, etc
This is suggested when the term reject violence is used.
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 8:12:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sooner or later, there's going to have to be a showdown between America and its Muslim citizens: when some band of Islamic nutbags is making war against the United States, you're either going to be American first, and Muslim a distant second, or you're damn well gonna be out of here. Or dead.

We keep putting off this reckoning, but it's going to have to come sooner or later.
Posted by: Dave D. || 05/24/2004 8:22 Comments || Top||

#2  I should have given credit for finding this gem to Little Green Footballs, who, like Fred Pruit, I consider an American hero.
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 8:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Dave,
I look at the 'showdown' differently. The first showdown is within each of the assimilation desiring, relatively pacifist Moslems. Can they make the psychological step of finally and formally breaking with their more irrational, seething, co-religionist or will they continue to let the seething variety hide within their midst (or, deny the existance of such or deny the sustantial influence of such). I know a number of Moslems who are fighting this internal battle as we speak. It can't be easy for them. So far, in fact, the pacifist branch of Islam has been losing big time (perhaps because their version of Islam is actually less authentic).
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 8:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Not to worry, guys. I'm sure Gentle has already sent this bozo a blistering email explaining that his position is a perversion of Islam.
Posted by: Matt || 05/24/2004 9:19 Comments || Top||

#5  "Sooner or later, there's going to have to be a showdown between America and its Muslim citizens: when some band of Islamic nutbags is making war against the United States, you're either going to be American first, and Muslim a distant second, or you're damn well gonna be out of here"

I have been saying that for about 2 years now. America's biggest threat is the muslim-american fifth column already in place.
No matter where they are born or raised, they are just muslims and nothing else. I am a Venezuelan living in the kingdom of Venom. When I first arrived here, I joined a yahoo group for venezuelans living in the kingdom. I was surprised to see that the group was fairly large. Venezuela, as you all know, is going through tough times and I thought by joining this group, I could exchage news and talk about the situation. Well, out of probably 150 members all but 3 are not muslim. These 3 are the only ones who talk about what is going on in the country. The rest of the "venezuelan" members are just busy passing around the latest news of the "atrocities" committed by the States on their "poor", "defenseless" brothers. I thought maybe it was because they were on the land of the "prophet" and fell under the spell of his insanity more strongly than usual. So, I decided to join an IslamVenezuela group. This group is based in Venezuela and guess what? No a single word of what is going on in Venezuela (where they were born, raised and are presently residing) but comments upon comments on the oppressed Palestinians and Iraqis.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banners openly. But a traitor moves among those within the gate freely, and his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys are heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to their victims and wears their face and their garments, and appeals to the baseness which lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of the nation; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared."
Posted by: Anonymous4617 || 05/24/2004 9:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Just curious, do articles like the one posted here are read by the FBI? I am really hoping that they do!
Posted by: Anonymous4617 || 05/24/2004 9:52 Comments || Top||

#7  Ever notice how you never see Samir Jerez and Garry Trudeau in the same place at the same time?
Posted by: Mike || 05/24/2004 10:05 Comments || Top||

#8  anonymous4617

I have some friends in the FBI. They tell me they are in a 'too much information' situation. The general problem is that there are a proliferation of people advocating violence, hatred, etc. from an Islamic perspective (of couse if hate speech was actually prosecuted as a crime the Koran would be banned), call this group 1. What they try to monitor is the people actually planning overt acts of violence - call this group 2. Of course, you never know when a group one person will migrate to group 2.
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 10:09 Comments || Top||

#9  Just curious, do articles like the one posted here are read by the FBI? I am really hoping that they do!

Aside from an initial "What is this waste of oxygen doing within our borders?" the above came to mind as well. It is also possible that Jerez's statements come under the heading of free speech.

What so many people seem to forget these days is that just because you have the right to do something, that does not make it the right thing to do.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/24/2004 10:46 Comments || Top||

#10  Zenster is trying to slip his leftist racist agenda in here.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 10:51 Comments || Top||

#11  Mike : Ever notice how you never see Samir Jerez and Garry Trudeau in the same place at the same time?

The answer is yes, but can the same be said of Samir Jarez and "Congressman" McDermott? . . .
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 11:48 Comments || Top||

#12  Ed: Good heavens! I believe you're right--I mean, I can't prove it, but it would explain so much--Samir Jarez and Garry Trudeau and Jim McDermott, all one person, leading a triple life with three secret identities!

You work for Marvel Comics or something?
Posted by: Mike || 05/24/2004 13:41 Comments || Top||

#13  Yes - Terrorist, Amoral Cartoonist, Oily Politician. All wrapped up in one body.
Only Jane Pauley knows the truth. . . .
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 13:48 Comments || Top||

#14  Yes - Terrorist Writer, Amoral Cartoonist, Oily Politician. All wrapped up in one body.
Only Jane Pauley knows the truth. . . .
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 13:49 Comments || Top||

#15  Do the French have a specific name for a foursome with a male writer, male cartoonist, male politician and female actress? Or is it just a generic menage?
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 14:12 Comments || Top||

#16  Someone needs to explain to me when CAIR became corrupted by non-Muslims.

Shame runs throughout this article. It's more victimhood. Zenster, you called it right with this guy being a waste of oxygen. How is it possible to not connect Berg's murderers (fact is, with all the questions surrounding the tape, he was killed, and that's enough) with Muslims when they're yelling "Allah is Great!" in Arabic, and proclaiming their fight against the infidels? Only in a liberal unreality could that happen.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 15:58 Comments || Top||

#17  The Doctor,

CAIR isn't 'corrupted' by infidels. CAIRs 'problem' is that they have already lost so much credibility that they can't appeal to the lowbrow Islamic community anymore. This lowbrow community believes that Americans or Israelis staged the Burg beheading (they also believe in the ritual murder libel, they believe the holocaust was a tempest in a teapot, they believe that Israelis flew the planes into the WTZ, they believe in the Elders of Zion libel, they believe that Israel kills dozens of baby ducks each day, etc.). CAIR can't get away with saying stuff like that perhaps because their sponsors won't keep shuffling the $ at them.
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 16:21 Comments || Top||

#18  MHW, I meant that more in a sarcastic sense, not in a literal one. They claim to be the ones who speak for the Islamic population, and whether they have any credibility there or not, I find it funny that someone would label them "corrupted." One of their spokesmen has gone on record as saying he'd like to see the government of the US be Islamic some day, I believe, yet this wacko is claiming they've diluted the "resist invasion and oppression" message.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 16:25 Comments || Top||

#19  "Menage a trois"is french for "Dream on,Pal".
Posted by: WhiteHouseDetox || 05/24/2004 22:24 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
2,180 Chicago teacher layoffs to ease budget crunch
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 22:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Red Alert - Kerry’s New Campaign Slogan Written by Communist
Excerpt, commentary via Best of the Web - scroll down
Langston Hughes, the poet who inspired John Kerry’s new campaign slogan, "Let America be America again," turns out to be a favorite of communists. "Outstanding is the working-class content of this life and writings of Langston Hughes," the People’s Weekly World, official organ of the Communist Party USA, enthused in March 2002:

From an early age Langston Hughes identified with working-class internationalism and to the role of workers in basic social change.

In 1917 when the Russian working class came to power and withdrew their country from World War I, Langston Hughes and his fellow students at Central High School in Cleveland held a celebration for the Revolution and its leader V.I. Lenin. . . .

He made clear his admiration for Communists. For instance, he wrote about Mother Ella Reeve Bloor, a leader of the Communist Party USA and a women’s rights leader. "She battled the capitalists tooth and nail for seventy years."

Here’s an excerpt from one of Hughes’s poems, "Lenin":

Lenin walks around the world.
The sun sets like a scar.
Between the darkness and the dawn
There rises a red star.

This is from "Goodbye Christ":

Christ Jesus Lord God Jehova,
Beat it on away from here now.
Make way for a new guy with no religion at all--
A real guy named
Marx Communist Lenin Peasant Stalin Worker ME--
I said, ME!

Another Hughes poem, "Revolution," celebrated violence:

Great mob that knows no fear--
Come here!
And raise your hand
Against this man
Of iron and steel and gold . . .
And tear him limb from limb,
Split his golden throat
Ear to ear

And we thought Howard Dean was angry.

Heh heh - doesn’t anyone vet this stuff? How revealing
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 7:16:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Frank, what makes you think no one vetted this?
Posted by: Matt || 05/24/2004 19:31 Comments || Top||

#2  you're right....it fits in exactly
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 19:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Please explain. Where do the words "Let America be America" appear in this dead commie's poetry and what in the poems quoted above shows Hughes's influence on Kerry's choice of slogan?
Posted by: Turk || 05/24/2004 21:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Not a twich on the suprise meter here.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/25/2004 9:40 Comments || Top||

Teresa Heinz Kerry: SUVs Are Safer
Teresa Heinz: Hypocrite (But we knew that). Hat tip to Country Store (again).
To the environmentalists she funds with her billion-dollar philanthropy, SUVs are public enemy No. 1. But when it comes to her own personal driving needs, Teresa Heinz Kerry says she drives SUVs because they’re safer.
Damn straight - that’s why I drive one too. Of course, in her eyes only the rich elite are entitled to safety.
"Safety first," she tells USA Today, which notes Monday that "four [of her] close relatives were killed in car crashes." What’s more, Heinz Kerry says she needs the SUVs "to drive safely in snow and sand at her various homes," the paper explained. The would-be first lady is said to be "angry that U.S. car manufacturers have taken so long to build a fuel-efficient four-wheel-drive vehicle." So she’s now planning to buy a gas-electric hybrid Ford Escape.
That’s nice, Te-re-zah, but most of us can’t afford to scrap our cars every time a new, overpriced one comes out. Even if we wanted to.
She’s no doubt also angry that U.S. power boat manufacturers have yet to build fuel-efficient watercraft, forcing her husband to tool around in that gas-guzzling luxury yacht she bought for him.
Poor baby.
And Heinz Kerry must be absolutely livid at U.S. aircraft manufacturers, who have yet to devise a fuel-efficient way of powering private jets, leaving her no alternative but to fly around in a gas-eating Gulfstream V.
But of course she’s a member of the elite, so it’s OK.

And people actually want this maroon and her husband to run our country. Yecch!
Original USA Today article here.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/24/2004 3:54:31 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  she's a real peach
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 16:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh, but wait a minute - her husband, who by the way did you know he served in Vietnam, doesn't own one!

And did you catch the part where they called her the "would-be first lady"?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 16:15 Comments || Top||

The Kerry's came to an agreement about the SUV the family will own.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 16:19 Comments || Top||

#4  Somebody call Arianna Huffington!!!!!
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/24/2004 16:47 Comments || Top||

#5  My wife put it well: "Why would we want a President and First Lady that treat us the way the French do?"
Posted by: Classical_Liberal || 05/24/2004 17:31 Comments || Top||

#6  The best, most damning argument against Kerry is that "he will lose because he is a Yankee." No one has yet come up with a rebuttal for that. Even his most ardent liberal supporters out there are stultified, and can only change the subject, in grudging acceptance of the fact.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/24/2004 17:38 Comments || Top||

#7  Classical Liberal: Got dang, man-- I'm gonna write that down. That's a good one.
Posted by: Dave D. || 05/24/2004 17:47 Comments || Top||

#8  No kidding, Kerry served in Vietnam? On which side?
Posted by: Matt || 05/24/2004 19:22 Comments || Top||

#9  Ouch, Matt!!

Toyota will be introducing a new hybrid SUV later this year ... they say acceleration is much improved over the Prius, gas mileage is better than economy 4-cylinder cars & the styling is mainstream.

Posted by: rkb || 05/24/2004 19:26 Comments || Top||

#10  I'm sure John F'n K and Nurse Fuzzy Wuzzy will sell the gas hogs and buy a pair
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 19:27 Comments || Top||

#11  That's my response, too, CL - buy your wife some jewelry. That's a keeper.
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 05/24/2004 23:26 Comments || Top||

Networks won’t air Bush’s primetime speech
The broadcast networks are not expected to carry President Bush’s primetime speech Monday night, in which he will lay out a “clear strategy” for the future of Iraq. NBC, Fox and ABC will proceed with their scheduled programming for the 8-9 p.m. hour -- an episode of “Fear Factor,” the finale of “The Swan” and the broadcast premiere of Oscar-winning “A Beautiful Mind,” respectively. NBC and Fox’s sibling cable channels, MSNBC and Fox News, will carry the speech. CBS is not expected to make a final decision on whether to preempt its Monday 8-9 p.m. comedy block -- season finales of “Yes, Dear” and “Still Standing” -- until Monday but sources indicated the network was leaning toward sticking with its regular programming. At least one network, Fox, has offered the speech to any of its affiliates that wish to carry it.
I could understand were he giving a speech about how widget-making will revive the economy in East Bumfuck, Nowhere. But he’s talking major policy here. And, yes, they didn’t ask the networks to carry it. But I remember being a kid and suffering though endless press conferences and speeches on TV, no matter how meaningless they were. And a lot of people are forgetting that not everyone in this country has cable. So they don’t even have the option. They can’t lose one night’s revenue as a public service? Edward R. Murrow is spinning in his grave.
Posted by: growler || 05/24/2004 12:17:00 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You know, I wonder what the media reaction would be if the White House put out the word that no one in the Executive Branch was to talk to anyone except Fox News, MSNBC, and the other organizations that covered this speech. We could probably hear the wails from New York all the way out here in San Diego.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 12:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Any bets that if KrasinKerry were to make a "major" foreign policy speech on primetime it would be aired by the "big three"?
Posted by: busybody || 05/24/2004 12:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Any bets that if KrashinKerry were to make a "major" foreign policy speech on primetime it would be aired by the "big three"?
Posted by: busybody || 05/24/2004 12:25 Comments || Top||

#4  The White House did not ask for network time as this is not considered a major policy speech. When requested, the president is given network time, everytime he asks.
Posted by: TomAnon || 05/24/2004 12:27 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm with you, growler. every president in my memory has had EVERY "prime" time speech televised on the major networks, and this goes back to the days where they REALLY lost money because the networks were the only game in town.

These jack-off networks choosing to change 50 years worth of policy during an election year in a time of WAR is despicable and a clear indication of which way their politics lean. I am disappointed with Fox especially.
Posted by: Chris W. || 05/24/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#6  Lookin' at the way he was banged up when he fell, the President is probably just as happy that is isn't getting a lot of TV time. It will be carried by lots of radio stations, and as long as the word gets out, that's what is important.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 12:52 Comments || Top||

#7  It is the first of 6 speeched between now and the hand off. I can actually live with the fact that it is not interupting the revenue producing May sweeps period. It maybe will take up more media space this way than an actual broadcast anyway since the papers and network news will be forced to comment on the content, instead of pointing out the POTUS speaking flaws.
I won't "misundersetimate" that there is a method behind this set of speechs.
Wouldn't it be sweet if he had a bombshell to drop and the networks were too busy covering contestants eating goat entrails?
Posted by: Capsu78 || 05/24/2004 13:06 Comments || Top||

#8  hmmm. im have to agree with you peples. it wuld be diffrent if it were american idol tho.
Posted by: muck4doo || 05/24/2004 13:11 Comments || Top||

#9  Capsu78 - Goat Entrails? I thought that was used for haggis? Anybody Scottish out there? If not raw, and properly spiced, may not be that bad.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 13:43 Comments || Top||

#10  The White House did not ask for network time as this is not considered a major policy speech. When requested, the president is given network time, everytime he asks.

God forbid the networks should actually cover something without being asked.

BigEd -- sheep. Haggis is made with sheep.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 13:43 Comments || Top||

#11  Wouldn't it be sweet if he had a bombshell to drop and the networks were too busy covering contestants eating goat entrails?

During the President's speech :
. . . and my fellow Americans, I am announcing that we have captured and killed Abu Mussab al-Zakawi. We have removed al-Zakawi's head, pickled it, and sent it to the idiot father of Nick Berg.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 13:55 Comments || Top||

#12  BigEd---That one #11 belongs in the "Classic Wish it were True Collection!!!"
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/24/2004 15:03 Comments || Top||

#13  Even if the networks carried the speech nobody with a brain would be watching ABC, CBS or NBC. And their programing is so poor these days that even the sheep will be watching Sienfeld reruns on UHF during that time slot anyway.
Posted by: Lucky || 05/24/2004 15:14 Comments || Top||

#14  Haggis is made from sheep offal, specifically the heart, lungs, and liver.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/24/2004 16:20 Comments || Top||

#15  Lucky: UHF??? I vaguely remember a circular antenna for those "fringe" broadcast channels LOL
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 16:29 Comments || Top||

#16  Of course wouldn't it be interesting if the networks and their affiliates had renewal problems next time their licsence was up
Posted by: cheaderhead || 05/24/2004 17:15 Comments || Top||

#17  And now for our regularly scheduled programming - Heidi.

[that ought to date a few of us!]
Posted by: Don || 05/24/2004 19:56 Comments || Top||

#18  Here in Texas, the local Scots community make haggis from the entrails of the famous Texas mastodon.
You didn't know Texas had living mastodons? Sure, big herd of 'em down near Abilene, cloned from an ice-age left-over some starving Russkies dug up in Siberia. We traded a crew-cab Ford and two sides of beef for the embryos, then raised the calves at the A&M stock farm.

Takes a lot of mesquite to roast one whole, but we got that too.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/24/2004 20:17 Comments || Top||

#19  But if a self-proclaimed Al-Q 'spokesman' farts in the wind its frontpage news on 'Good Morning We HATE America' for a week.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/24/2004 21:51 Comments || Top||

#20  posted a link to the actual text, caught via powerline
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 22:11 Comments || Top||

#21  Chicago broadcast network affiliates during the speech:
CBS - craptastic reality show
NBC - craptastic sitcom
ABC - movie of the week - A Beautiful Mind
PBS - Had the speech (at least in Chicago)
Fox broadcast - a really, REALLY execrable 'reality' show

There must be an extremely high wall between the Fox broadcast network division and FoxNews.
Posted by: eLarson || 05/24/2004 22:40 Comments || Top||

#22  Edward R. Murrow is spinning in his grave.

Hell, old Ed's probably been rotating on his horizontal axis now since the first Rangers parachuted into Osama's backyard. Even then, the fifth-column quisling traitor scumbags in the media were screeching the "Vietnam Quagmire" meme every chance they got. The bastards abandoned Murrow's tradition long ago...now their model is Walter Duranty, the NYT lowlife from the 1930's and 1940's who won a Pulitzer Prize for his decade of work as Stalin's biggest American propagandist.
Posted by: Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo) || 05/24/2004 23:42 Comments || Top||

Kerry Takes Cheap Shot. Press Covers for Him
Democrat John Kerry joked about President Bush’s weekend bicycle accident by comparing the president to a child. "Kerry told reporters in front of cameras, ’Did the training wheels fall off?’ " Mr. Drudge reported on his Web site.
A comment not reported by the press. Unlike this:
In comments reported by the Associated Press, Mr. Kerry said, "I hope he’s OK. I didn’t know the president rode a bike." Mr. Kerry had his own bicycling mishap earlier this month, taking a spill while riding with Secret Service agents through Concord, Mass. Mr. Kerry fell when his bike hit a patch of sand. He was not injured.
"was not injured." Does that make him more of a man? I think not. Bush, who was 15 miles into a 17-mile ride, got back on the bike and went the last 2 miles. Oh, and he didn’t blame anyone else, like Kerry did trying to snowboard the bunny trail. Which was the first of many falls that day. Pathetic.
Posted by: growler || 05/24/2004 11:39:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "I didn't fall off that bike. This son-of-a-b*tch put a stick in the spokes."
Posted by: BH || 05/24/2004 11:59 Comments || Top||

#2  I saw a new campaign ad for Kerry over the weekend featuring his daughter and his Eurobitch wife giving their endorsement of him.

We need more Teresa Kerry. That ugly Euro-skank is a sure-fire way to scare away another 5% of the vote. Americans don't want bitchy-looking Euros as First Lady, trust me on that.
Posted by: Chris W. || 05/24/2004 12:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Another smarmy east coast elitist type smirking twit that is going to get his later in the year when all of his idiotarian views catch up with him in the heartland!
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/24/2004 12:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Isn't TeRAYza an African-American?
Posted by: ed || 05/24/2004 12:12 Comments || Top||

#5  To the "other" ed - Yes, Teresa Heinz Kerry - a Mozambiqui
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 12:13 Comments || Top||

#6  I'll bet Bush did not cuss out the Secret Service protection.
Posted by: VRWconspiracy || 05/24/2004 12:14 Comments || Top||

#7  However, she's of the colonial portuguese -version of Mozamiqui.
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 12:18 Comments || Top||

#8  "colonial portuguese -version of Mozamiqui"

That is correct. They represent about .06% of the population of Mozambique. Check any Atlas.

Another interresting fact on Mozambique?
Each women, who actually reaches child bearing age, will conceive and deliver, four children. Yet Mozambique has a ZERO to negative population growth. That country will cease to exist due to AIDS while the Mozambiquiii, sit in there walled compounds.
Posted by: TomAnon || 05/24/2004 12:24 Comments || Top||

#9  BigEd,
I was just curious. Since William Jefferson Clinton was the first African-American president, maybe Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry will be the first African-American first lady.
Posted by: ed || 05/24/2004 12:36 Comments || Top||

#10  ed - God help us if it happens
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 12:38 Comments || Top||

#11  heinz is not an african american - she is an african immigrant who really isn't african but more like boooorish....
Posted by: Dan || 05/24/2004 13:54 Comments || Top||

#12  ah yes the potential first lady aka the flying squirrel
Posted by: Shipman || 05/24/2004 15:29 Comments || Top||

Teresa Heinz Kerry and John Kerry
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 16:16 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Full Text of Bush's Speech unspun, link courtesy of Powerline
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 22:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A point that will be lost -- or, is already lost -- I was disappointed in some of the responses of those I often agree with.... They wanted more spelled out on how the security will happen.

Well.... he said it....
Commanders on the ground will pay close attention to local conditions and we will do all that is necessary by measured force or overwhelming force to achieve a stable Iraq.

Which is what is happening now. There will be more speeches, and I hope, he will put added emphasis on this theme.

With this... he's letting the military do what it does best! He's trusting those on the scene.

Man, I could write an entire speech for him on that one!

Posted by: Sherry || 05/24/2004 22:57 Comments || Top||

#2  The right man for the right time. Envision Gore, Clinton, or Kerry giving a speech in the same venue. There are things I don't like about Bush, but I can't think of anyone on the political scene who could do a better job as Commander in Chief of the armed forces of a nation at war.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 23:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Sherry, I just got through reading Thunder Run, which is a book about the assault on Baghdad by the Spartan Brigade of the 3ID. One thing the book makes very clear is that the incredible success of the operation was made possible by the willingness of the chain of command (presumably up to and including the President) to let the ground commanders on the scene make calls of historic proportions. The operation simply could not have occurred under a micromanaging commander-in-chief (e.g., LBJ). It's a great book, by the way (the author is Frank Zucchino.)
Posted by: Matt || 05/24/2004 23:37 Comments || Top||

Let our troops know we love and support them and say "thank you!"
Click on over to Operation Gratitude, a California-based group that has organized to send Care packages to our troops overseas. Just a donation of $20 can buy one soldier a box of much-needed goodies and well-deserved treats! Operation Gratitude is making the "big push" for Memorial Day weekend (next weekend) and trying to send at least 10,000 packages to our wonderful servicemen and women. Corporate sponsors like AT&T have already donated--they gave 10,000 prepaid phone cards to go in with each box. Nice!

(And if you’re feeling generous, slip some dough to Fred, too. What the village tavern was to the formation of the Continental militia and summoning our will to wage the Revolutionary War in the 18th Century, RB has become to us today. Thanks, Fred! You’re a gentleman, a patriot and a fine American, my friend)
Posted by: Jen || 05/24/2004 12:21:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

Scientists build working bomb, less the fissiles
One of the themes of my postings has been that the design tools are getting so powerful, that the algorithms are getting so clever, and that the off-the shelf components are so well made that even fairly unsophisticated groups are empowered to build what would have been very sophisticated devices just 20 years ago. Someone already synthesized a polio virus from reagents. Now another group has built a working nuke, minus the fisile material.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. wondered aloud one day in 2002 whether someone could build an atomic weapon from parts available on the open market. His audience, the leaders of the government’s nuclear laboratories, said it could be done. Then do it, the Delaware Democrat, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, instructed the scientists in a confidential session. A few months later, they returned to the soundproof Senate meeting room with a workable nuclear weapon, missing only the fissile material. "It was bigger than a breadbox and smaller than a dump truck, but they were able to get it in," Biden said in a recent speech. The scientists "explained how -- literally off the shelf, without doing anything illegal -- they actually constructed this device." The relative ease with which U.S. scientists built an explosive nuclear weapon illustrates the need to secure plutonium and highly enriched uranium scattered in armories and research sites around the world, a pair of Harvard University researchers argue in a new study that contends the Bush administration is not doing enough. Less fissile material was secured in the two years after Sept. 11, 2001, than in the two years just before, according to the Harvard report, which was obtained by The Washington Post. Half the equipment dispatched to Russia nearly four years ago as a fast, interim solution remains in warehouses, uninstalled because of bureaucratic disputes. Calling it a "dangerous myth" that terrorists could acquire a nuclear weapon only with the help of a rogue state, authors Matthew Bunn and Anthony Wier use the Biden example to allege that a failure of U.S. commitment and leadership could lead to a nuclear calamity. They also warn that, in an unstable country, a nuclear weapon could be bought or stolen.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/24/2004 12:20:40 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Meanwhile, something else that might want to take a look at:


Would appreciate your opinions/analysis/comments on this.

Posted by: Jay || 05/24/2004 1:39 Comments || Top||

#2  See also the excellent article at :

"Thirty-nine years ago, in the dusty ranch town of Livermore, California, the U.S. government secretly chose three newly minted post-doc physicists, put them off in a corner of a laboratory with no access to classified information, and told them to design a nuclear weapon."...
Posted by: Anonymous4134 || 05/24/2004 6:13 Comments || Top||

#3  While I agree with the premise of the ever-increasing power and sophistication of engineering design tools, a lifetime spent using, designing, building, and testing military electronics leads me to inject the following caution: Just because your simulation works doesn't mean you can build it or, if you can build it, that you can get it to work!

As far as nuclear weapons go, unless you have a Q clearance, you don't have a clue what you're talking about. I think this was just another publicity stunt by brain-dead politicians like Biden.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 11:16 Comments || Top||

#4  RWV: We often go through two or three revs of a chip because the design tools aren't quite spot on. However, we now have teams of three or four (not counting backend) designing incredibly complex devices that would have taken scores of skilled engineers 20 years ago. In fact, many of these devices couldn't have been designed 25 years ago -- the paper and pencil design methods would have broken down.

As to having a Q clearance... A.Q. Khan didn't have one as far as I know. Physics is physics. Apparently the team in Anon4134's story did go before people with Q clearances and were told that their design was good.

Speaking of A.Q. Khan, how long will it take before someone takes his blueprints, digitizes them, and puts them on the web? Maybe one out of every three teams will get the design right. The plans of the one that works get further disseminated. Then we're in the land of the Three Conjectures.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/24/2004 12:14 Comments || Top||

#5  If Slow Joe Biden sez it works, you can assume the opposite.
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 12:15 Comments || Top||

#6  If we put one thousand monkeys in a large room with paper, pencils, computers, etc., how long will it take them to come up with a feces bomb?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/24/2004 15:49 Comments || Top||

#7  Oh wow!!! a working nuclear weapon without the fissile material how very significant.

That can go with my working martini without the gin or vermouth.
Posted by: Russell || 05/24/2004 21:21 Comments || Top||

Annual Arab Summit – a Fading Institution
DEBKAfile Special Report
A shrinking elite of Arab rulers gathered for their delayed annual summit in Tunis Saturday, May 22, amid a shared sense that it might be their last. Out of 22 Arab League members, thirteen were represented by gloomy heads of state and three by prime ministers. The others sent junior representatives instead of attending for what used to be a striking demonstration of unity and strength by a powerful world bloc. Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi stayed half an hour into the opening session, then got up and left. He thus showed his opinion of the occasion that was grandly billed as a show of regional unity on the occupation of Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and political reform in the Arab world. The Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah was represented by his foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, while the United Arab Emirates left it to Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed al Sharqi, ruler of the tiniest UAE principality of Fujairah, to speak in their name. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah put in a polite appearance at the opening but then claimed pressing business prevented their staying to the end on Sunday. Syrian ruler Bashar Assad agreed to come only after a special resolution was drafted denouncing the United States sanctions newly imposed against his country.

The Tunis conference was postponed from March when Arab leaders failed to agree on a common formula on US demands for democratic reforms in their countries. This time, the foreign ministers managed by Friday night to agree on a set of bland resolutions for approval: on the Middle East conflict, the murder of all civilians is denounced (Yasser Arafat’s formula for saying nothing) while terrorism is condemned only in reference to “Israeli practices against Palestinians.” The United States is called upon to end its occupation of Iraq and give the United Nations an active role in rebuilding institutions. The summit endorses democracy and human rights - but only as concepts. None of the Arab regimes will commit to any genuine reforms or the sharing of their authority. The only harsh words expected will condemn “the immoral and inhumane practices and crimes of the coalition forces,” and call for the trial of all those responsible, not just the US guards at Abu Ghraib. The Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassah wrote Saturday “The Arab leaders
will issue
 a declaration
 that will not contain a single useful sentence.”

DEBKAfile’s Arab affairs sources reveal that the Arab League’s most divisive factor is not external; it is the persona of its secretary general Amr Moussa. The Saudis and most Gulf rulers deeply resent his policies on four counts:
1. They question the custom of always filling the post of Arab League secretary with an Egyptian and maintain that no law says it must always be so.

2. They find untenable and unrealistic the line he dictates for the entire Arab bloc of total opposition to the American role and policies in Iraq.

3. They object the way he is handling negotiations with Tehran on the disputed Persian Gulf islands of Abu Mussa and the two Tumbs, accusing him of conceding too much to Iran for the sake of a compromise instead of fighting for the Arab emirates’ claim. His negotiating tactics, they say, will leave Tehran in full control of the strategic islands.

4. As CEO of the Arab League, he is accused of handing out the plummiest jobs to old-timer Nasserists, leftovers from the pan-Arab socialist regime that dominated the Arab world in the early 1960s. These functionaries are regarded by many Arab rulers as completely out of touch with the real international world of today.
Mubarak is aware of how his peers feel about Moussa, his former foreign minister, but refuses to fire him – even at the cost of seriously vitiating the Arab League as a potent international force. Rather than confront the Egyptian ruler on this issue, key Arab rulers elected to stay away from the Tunis summit.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 7:01:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  DEBKA also foresees much cursing of mustaches...
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/24/2004 11:01 Comments || Top||

#2  I read Debka every day. There is something oddly compelling about the site.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 11:03 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Philippines’ Arroyo Narrowly Wins Vote
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won a narrow victory over her movie star rival in the May 10 vote, national election officials said Monday, although her opponent claimed massive fraud and warned of a "people power" revolt.
Massive fraud is a Filipino election tradition. Gloria's fraud was just a little more massive than Fernando's.
Arroyo put the military on full alert to prevent the vote count from being influenced by "mob rule," her spokesman said. Elections officials said the count showed Arroyo with 39.5 percent of the vote to Fernando Poe Jr.’s 36.6 percent. The margin of Arroyo’s lead was more than 900,000 votes, the officials said. Two areas — Sarangani province and Cotabato city — remain to be counted, but they do not represent enough votes to affect the outcome, the officials said.
I don't imagine Cotabato city's going to go big for Gloria...
An official hand count will not be finished for weeks. But two top elections officials said that an unofficial count was made during the tabulation for senatorial candidates being released Monday by the Commission on Elections. "It’s clear, but Congress is the one who will proclaim that," one election officials told The Associated Press, referring to Arroyo’s victory. Elections Commission chairman Benjamin Abalos said he and other officials counting the votes for senatorial candidates also have tracked presidential votes appearing in the same documents. Arroyo also was leading Poe by more than 730,000 votes in a government-sanctioned, but unofficial, "quick count" by an election watchdog. It has tallied more than 60 percent of 216,000 election precincts.
I think even with an honest count she'd take it. And the counts probably approximately honest, with the competing massive frauds canceling each other out...
The size of Arroyo’s advantage will do little to ease growing tensions. Poe’s people claim their own count shows a clear victory for him. Under the constitution, Congress must tally the votes for president and vice president from regional and provincial vote totals. Lawmakers then proclaim the winner. Police warned they would disperse illegal rallies, and the military went on full nationwide alert. "We will not allow this vital institutional process to be sabotaged, subverted or delayed in any manner by lawless machinations or mob rule," Arroyo spokesman Ignacio Bunye said in a statement. Rumors of anti-government plots have spread in recent days through mobile phone text messages. The looming standoff has caused concern in a country with a history of political turmoil and military restiveness. Analysts predict some sort of confrontation and say the recriminations could continue to hound Arroyo if she is proclaimed winner by a narrow margin. House of Representatives Speaker Jose de Venecia said he expected the tally to be completed within three weeks, ahead of the scheduled June 30 inauguration.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/24/2004 1:13:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  er, 2.9 percent of the electorate doesn't sound like a narrow victory, let alone in a mult-candidate field, judging from the percentages.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 05/24/2004 13:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Bring in the Gore team! Bwawawa!
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 05/24/2004 13:24 Comments || Top||

4 Abu Sayyaf hostages released
Four Borneo Paradise resort hostages held captive by the notorious Abu Sayyaf linked group in Southern Philippines for eight months have been released and they arrived safely in this Sabah east coast town this morning.
Managed to keep their heads, did they?
One of the hostages is reported dead but his identity was yet to be established by the Malaysian authorities.
I guess most of them kept their heads, then...
The five hostages were held in the jungles in one of the Tawi Tawi group of islands were Indonesians Amir Nangi, 50, Arsyad Sagoni, 45 and two others identified only as Suwito,23 and Annuar, 27 as well as Filipino Azarah Sariban, 50. They were among six hostages grabbed by a Filipino bandit group which stormed Borneo Paradise Eco Farm Resort near Lahad Datu on Oct 5, last year and were believed to have been handed over to the Abu Sayyaf group accused having links with the al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah terror networks. One of the hostages, Filipino Norvelito Arcosel, escaped on Oct 29 while the rest remained in the hands of the gunmen until recent attempts were made through negotiations to secure the release of three East Ocean Two tugboat hostages including two Malaysians abducted in the Sulu Sea on Easter night on April 11. The negotiations were initiated by Sandakan businessman Henry Chan San Chang who had once helped in securing the release of several of the 21 Sipadan hostages in 2000.
Henry's the local Guy Who Knows the Right People, is he?
The released four Borneo Paradise hostages, two of whom were very sick and unable to walk, landed in a boat near Sandakan Yacht Club at about 6am after a seven hour rough sea journey. They were taken by the police and sent to Duchess Of Kent hospital for a medical check up. Seen entering the hospital at about 9am were Amir, Arsyad, Suwito and Azarah although it could not be confirmed if the hostage who had reportedly died was Annuar. The East Ocean hostages still in the hands of the gunmen were engineer Toh Chiu Tiong, 56, of Miri and crane operator Wong Siu Ung, 52 of Sibu as well Indonesian skipper Walter Sampel, 53. They were reported to be safe.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:56:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Thailand ready for a hudna
The Thai government said Monday that it is ready to hold peace talks with the leader of an Islamic insurgent organization after he reportedly gave up the demand for a separate homeland in the country's Muslim south.
That was nice of him. Though it was probably because he'd prefer to have the entire country...
Defense Minister Chetta Thanajaro told reporters that the government has already made "official-level contact" with Wan Kadir Che Man, the leader of Bersatu, an umbrella organization of three insurgent groups. "If the leader wishes to talk we are ready to talk. Don't forget that he is a Thai national," Chetta said.
Already proceding under an incorrect assumption, are we?
Meanwhile, Wan Kadir was quoted by The Nation newspaper as saying that he is willing to give up a century-old demand for a separate homeland in the south, the only Muslim-majority areas in the predominantly Buddhist Thailand. "This is the age of globalization. The world has moved on and there is no more room for separatism," Wan Kadir was quoted as saying by The Nation. Reconciliation could come about only if Thailand's minority Muslims are given more "political space" and have a bigger say in the development of the south, Wan Kadir, who lives in exile in neighboring Malaysia, was quoted as saying.
"We'll settle for autonomy, so we can oppress non-Muslims within our own territory. And we'll send out lots of missionaries to kidnap people and forcibly conver them...
He heads Bersatu, an umbrella organization of three Islamic insurgent groups, whose activities in the south have raised fears that Thailand could become another breeding ground for international terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida or its regional arm Jemaah Islamiyah. However, there has been no evidence of deep foreign involvement in the south so far. Thai Muslims, who are linguistically and culturally closer to Malays of Malaysia, complain that the government does not recognize their Islamic Malay culture, tries to suppress their language and discriminates against them in jobs and education.
That could be because it's Thailand, not Malayland...
In comments Monday to the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Thai language service, Wan Kadir said he is ready to talk with the Thai government but did not confirm Chetta's claim that contacts have already been made. "They are trying their best ... so we should sit and talk," he said, speaking in Thai on the BBC program monitored in Bangkok.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:47:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  'Wan Kadir' - isn't that an expensive hand job?
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 7:58 Comments || Top||

#2  You're thinking of a Wan Khender...
Posted by: Fred || 05/24/2004 20:35 Comments || Top||

Filippino military preparing to attack JI trainees
The military is girding up for a possible attack on al-Qaeda linked Jema’ah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists, who are training among their newly recruits on bomb making in an area controlled by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Mount Cararao. The area straddles the border of Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur. Col. Horacio Lactao, commander of the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade, told reporters that “foreign-looking men” were sighted on Mount Cararao several times. Without mentioning the estimated strength of the group, Lactao said the locations of two of three JI lairs, Hubadie and Jabal Cuba, have been verified. “The training on bomb making, whose participants include selected members of the MILF, continues as of this time. We are prepared. We are just awaiting orders from high headquarters to launch an offensive,” Lactao said. “We are also looking into the possibility that the money deposited into the account of arrested suspected JI member Jordan Abdullah at the Philippine National Bank in Cotabato was used to finance the training,” he added.

Abdullah, 46, a money changer, was arrested by military and police authorities in Cotabato City on April 3 inside the restaurant of El Corazon Hotel. Abdullah’s disappearance was first reported as another case of kidnapping in Central Mindanao, but Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita later announced the arrest and presented him to reporters.

MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar, however, denied Lactao’s claim, saying that the separatist rebel group has no camps on Mount Cararao. “That issue had been resolved. We have no camps on that mountain because there is no water in there,” Jaafar said. Jaafar said a group of nongovernment organizations, as well as members of the media, were brought by the coordinating committee on cessation of hostilities to investigate the reported JI presence, but it turn out negative.

But Lactao noted that not all MILF regulars are allowed to enter the training site. “That’s the reason why the rebels’ key leaders are denying the presence of Jema’ah Islamiyah terrorist on Mount Cararao because not all are allowed to enter the area where the training is being held,” Lactao pointed out. He cited as the work of JI members the January 4 explosion this year in Parang, Maguindanao, where almost 20 people died and 81 others were wounded; and the bomb attack outside the headquarters of the Sixth Infantry Division at Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, last year that killed one and injured a dozen others. “We cannot take any action right now because of the existing cease-fire agreement between the government and the MILF,” Lactao said. He added that Taufel Refke, the suspected JI bagman arrested last October in this city, was sighted on Mount Cararao before his arrest. The military claimed earlier that at least 30 JI Indonesian militants were training in camps maintained by the MILF but the latter denied the allegation.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:43:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

Terror suspect sez Bashir ran JI
A British-born terror suspect told Australian federal police that Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir was in charge of Southeast Asian terror group Jamaah Islamiyah, a court heard on Monday. Jack Roche, who is on trial here for plotting to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Canberra, told Australian Federal Police that Bashir, who currently is in detention in Indonesia, was in charge of Jamaah Islamiyah. Bashir previously has denied the allegation. "Ultimately, he's the one who makes decisions regarding the structure of JI in Southeast Asia," Roche said in interviews with police, excerpts of which were read in Perth District Court on Monday.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:39:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

The world must act on Iranian nuclear threat without delay
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 9:24:02 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

Australian grain-growers fear Iran sanctions
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 00:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Iran spent 184m US dollars on Australian imports last year, most of it on wheat purchases. The president of the Grains Council, Keith Perrett, says producers are hoping to avoid a sales backlash. [Perrett] As far as the industry is concerned, we look after our customers. We have a great relationship with those customers in the Middle East, particularly Iran, Iraq, Egypt. Many of those nations we've dealt with for many years, and we concentrate on looking after their needs as customers and try and put the politics completely aside

If push comes to shove, we should just buy the $184M worth of wheat and donate it to feed starving Africans (other than Zimbabwe). Australia is a good friend and a reliable ally.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 12:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Ditto! Well taken points.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 20:30 Comments || Top||

Syria Trains Arab Youth for Iraqi Jihad
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 00:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Not a problem. Keep an eye on the border areas, and as soon as these guys cross over into Iraq, pummel them hard enough to make them have second thoughts.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/24/2004 14:57 Comments || Top||

#2  No, strike the camps now, before the graduation. When the inevitable complaints come, explain we were participating in their co-op program, and the jihadis got a little in-school experience.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 15:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Tell 'em it's a wedding party - they'll show up in droves.
Posted by: .com || 05/24/2004 15:15 Comments || Top||

#4  Hit then now...ooops are guidance systen went out where are we.
Posted by: djohn66 || 05/24/2004 16:21 Comments || Top||

It's the borders.

Maybe a nukeified fence the entire lengths of the Jordanian, Syrian, Saudi Arabian, Kuwaiti, Turkish (might not be a major problem, the Kurds can spot jihadees), and naturally, the elongated Iranian border with Iraq needs beefed up security 24 hours around the clock.

The fence company landing that job!! :)
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 21:38 Comments || Top||

US "formally warned" by Iran on Iraq.
Iran has sent a "formal warning" to the United States over American policy in neighbouring Iraq, foreign ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday, as he branded Washington immoral and deceitful. The situation in Iraq is serious and this is why we have addressed the necessary warning," he told a press conference.

Shiite Muslim-dominated Iran has voiced alarm in recent days at fighting around the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala between US-led coalition forces and the militia of radical cleric Moqtada Sadr, for which it blames the United States. It ... has called for the US-led coalition to withdraw rapidly and hand back power to the Iraqis. Violent demonstrations have been staged recently outside the British embassy in Tehran against the actions of the United States and its main ally Britain in Iraq. Washington has no diplomatic relations with Tehran and the warning - the first to be made public at least since the Iraq war began - was passed by diplomatic channels through the Swiss embassy here, which represents US interests in Iran. "We want several things for Iraq, the most important of which are the departure of the occupation forces as quickly as possible and the restitution of authority to the Iraqi people themselves," Asefi said.

The United States accuses Iran of influencing Iraq’s own Shiite majority to destabilise the country, and allowing foreign fighters to cross its borders into Iraq. Asefi also insisted that the People’s Mujahedeen, the main armed opposition organisation to the Islamic republic, be expelled from Iraq, where they have been held in a base under US guard. "They should already have been expelled from Iraq, though they are still under American protection," Assefi said. "What we see here is the hypocrisy and immoral approach of the Americans." The People’s Mujahedeen operated out of bases in Iraq under the protection of Saddam’s regime, but were disarmed by US forces and some 4 000 of its members in Ashraf camp, 100km northeast of Baghdad, not far from the Iranian border. Tehran has promised no harm to the ones who repent and return as long as they do not have "blood on their hands." The provisional Iraqi authorities announced on December 9 their intention to expel the Mujahedeen from Iraq by the end of the year but this has not happened. Asefi said the situation in Iraq had changed following "the torture of prisoners" by US troops and "attacks on the holy places."
Posted by: Brett_the_Quarkian || 05/24/2004 4:50:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's just sour grapes now that their boy, Sadr, is losing.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/24/2004 0:11 Comments || Top||

#2  'Iran has sent a "formal warning" to the United States'....WOW incredible!

They could have started with an 'informal warning'.

What's next? The mad mullahs will really admit to causing the chaos and homicide bombings in Iraq and dare US to stop them?

Next stop Tehran!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 0:18 Comments || Top||

#3  I double dare ya!
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 0:30 Comments || Top||

Why certainly, I triple dare ya!

Do I hear quadruple? :)
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 0:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Ill take that quadruple and raise you a quintuple.

Hey, M.E. - What about that particle beam thing the Isralei deployed?

Is it Microwave a Mullah time?
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 0:38 Comments || Top||

#6  I think it's a psy-ops scheme by Iran, to influence the American election; should "W" win in November, we'll see the quickest retraction since Libya saw 'the light'! I'm hedging my bet on Isreal taking preemptive action before then.
Posted by: smn || 05/24/2004 1:21 Comments || Top||

#7  Lol! Oooooh! We've been warned!

They're getting a bit nervous now that, as 11A5S points out, heh, their boy Mookie has failed to ignite the general Shi'a uprising and demonstrated his "army" is nothing more than shooting gallery ducks for the American troops. This is last ditch stuff hoping to generate a little anger about the "holy" shit. Won't work.

The funniest aspect is that Mookie lost his play because of money... money lost by the merchants and the "holy" city residents who live off of the "holy" game. Everything from restaurants / roadside vendors to hotels to clothing shops and the like - and donations at the "holy" shrines (prolly big biz for Shitstani & Co) - all lost money while the US had the cities surrounded and the "Madhi" dinks bottled up - making biz impossible. Arabs are capitalists (in their obnoxious fashion) first and foremost - and this really hurt the locals. Mookie & the Mad Mullahs badly miscalculated - everything. I love the Black Hats cuz they believe themselves so sophisticated and clever - and they're lamer than the villiage idiot and as transparent as glass.

I'll bet there's another of those "pilgrimmage" thingy's coming up soon - I'm sure you've noticed there are quite a few of them, fairly regulary spaced. So, at least in Karbala, the suckers will be back and they've gotta stock up on goats 'n viddles 'n "holy" trinkets and shine up those magic lamps. Look for Mookie to be gone from Kufa & Najaf soon, as well.
Posted by: .com || 05/24/2004 2:33 Comments || Top||

#8  I thought they refused to have diplomatic relations with the "great satan"?... Send 'em packing.
Posted by: mojo || 05/24/2004 2:41 Comments || Top||

#9  Bottom line: They are next on the list - either them or Syria.

That and the Iranians are trying to drum up an external threat - to distract the students and middle-class this summer.

Iran is primed for riots and revolution. The Mullahs and their Secret Police and Shock Troops are scared sh*tless about not being able to find an external enemy to blame for all the ills in their country. If Iraq starts turning the corner, Iran will have a huge mess on its hands.

Small wonder the Iranians are infiltrating and funding terroism in Iraq.

THats what this is all about - they are trying to point the populace at the USA in hopes that they will remain oblivious to the raping they Mullahs are giving their own country.
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/24/2004 3:05 Comments || Top||

#10  I've had it out for these Black Hats ever since 1979; there's a score to settle, and it's a big one. I fervently hope Bush feels the same; and I hope he settles it before those assholes get their hands on a nuke.
Posted by: Dave D. || 05/24/2004 5:50 Comments || Top||

#11  "the departure of the occupation forces as quickly as possible" Yeah, they'll depart as quickly as possible -- and maybe head straight into Iran from there. Black hats make good targets.
Posted by: Tom || 05/24/2004 8:29 Comments || Top||

#12  Tom, I agree.

Lets move the forces in Afghanistan to Iraq and those in Iraq to Afghanistan....

... by land...
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/24/2004 9:45 Comments || Top||

#13  Be careful what you wish for - Iran has scheduled military manuevers for the next week.

Iran may be listening to our media and convinced themselves that our public will not tolerate a larger conflict - that the American people believe our mission to be an utter failure.

Iran believes that they are in the catbirds seat - Saddam is gone - the US and Britain weakened - and an presidential election year. Couple this with an out of control media - Iran may see this as their last chance. The mullahs will not survive with a free society so close.
Posted by: JP || 05/24/2004 10:40 Comments || Top||

#14  "Shiite Muslim-dominated Iran has voiced alarm in recent days at fighting around the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala"
Wait until we start fighting around the Shiite holy city of Qum
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/24/2004 11:27 Comments || Top||

#15  My son is in the 1st AD near Najaf. He is officially a Fire Direction Officer for a battery of Paladin 155MM mobile artillery pieces, though I do not know what his actual mission is. But he said he just watched an AC-130 in action and it provides sights (and sounds) to behold. Mookie and his multiple mini-me mooks are in deep doo doo. My son also saw the Islamomooks being hit with 155MM HE rounds and 120MM OR (obstacle reducing) rounds.
Posted by: VRWconspiracy || 05/24/2004 12:46 Comments || Top||

#16  obstacle reducing

Is that politically correct for, "There ain't much left of if the mini-me mooks" ?

VRW - Thank your son for his good work!
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 13:02 Comments || Top||

#17  VRW: Thank your son for his "obstacle reducing!" Ha! We so appreciate it. No matter what the media twits say, enough people know the truth, and thanks to your son and others like him, freedom is turning the tide.

OldSpook: I think it's funny that so many Iranians have relatives and friends in the States--especially in Los Angeles. An entire section of that metropolis is Iranian. You don't even have to speak English! It's also funny that so many were educated in the US and know what we're like. It's gonna be a hard sell for the mullahs, considering a large number of Iranians would like to live over here if they could, rather than over there. The typical Iranian loves the rich life, and Iran is now, well . . .
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/24/2004 13:31 Comments || Top||

#18  "and Iran is now, well . . ."

...poorer than it was under the Shah. Certainly on a per capita basis. Maybe on absolute terms as well. 25 years of black hat management hasn't done much for the average Iranian.
Posted by: Classical_Liberal || 05/24/2004 13:43 Comments || Top||

#19  JP - that would work to our benefit. It would allow us to pull the trigger much sooner and quash any liberal oppossition. let them launch an overt military operation(since their covert operation through sadr has failed).

They do see this a their last chance and is exactly why their friend, skerry, cannot win.

You really cannot be afraid of the Iranian military? at least not without nukes - then the only fear is the fallout..literally
Posted by: Dan || 05/24/2004 13:51 Comments || Top||

#20  fuckin hell was this Scrapple face? Seriously i'm woried by this,I know I Know they've made empty threats before but could they be only months or weeks from having an A-bomb? I personally think the Mad Mullahs would throw it all away just to detonate thier first nuke in iraq or on a US base in Kuwait,course doing this would be stupid because by waiting they could build more nukes under the shield of the UN nuclear inspection 'program' and European lefties.But knowing those nutters they'd detonate the first one they had and in thier stupid eyes see it as a huge victory,not realising the retaliation it will face.Almost like a last ditch attempt as they know domestic pressure from inside Iran is to great from the reformists
Posted by: Shep UK || 05/24/2004 14:26 Comments || Top||

#21  "US 'formally warned' by Iran on Iraq." == "Just a flesh wound."
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/24/2004 14:29 Comments || Top||

#22  115AS, I think you're right. They failed to do it covertly, so now they're pretending that they have a great deal of strength and "formally" "warning" us. A "formal warning" (does that mean a fatwa?) from Iran doesn't hold a great deal of weight. What Bush should do is turn around and formally warn them right back. A formal warning from the US is a great deal more threatening these days . . .
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 16:08 Comments || Top||

#23  Shep UK has an important point. The Mad Mullahs™ may be getting frisky and full of shi'ite, or they may have or on the verge of having a Nuke. If they have been concentrating U235, then they could have one. Only thing is that it will be hard to use because of weight and thus transport issues. They need Pu239 for one to decorate the top of a missile, and that will require Bushehr to be on line, unless they got Pu239 with an under the table deal from Kahn and Co in Pack land.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/24/2004 16:22 Comments || Top||

#24  I'd think Patriot Batteries on the eastern border of Iraq would make them think twice about a missile. Their only chance is to flood the zone with "pilgrims" to destabilize Iraq
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 16:46 Comments || Top||

#25  I am tired of the "Holy City" Shi'ite. Any small town in (pick your own state) is more Holy than any shithole city/town in ANY arab country!!

Another thing. Time to bring MAD (mutual assured destruction) back in vogue. Only there is no "mutual" involved in this scenario. Make the list of the so-called "Holy Cities" of Islam in order of their own Islamofreak choosing. Then make the official U.S. policy of nuking each in that order if any attempt to strike us with any type of WMD (dirty bomb, biological, etc. weapon).

Kill em, Kill em all before they get the chance to try it on us first!
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist || 05/24/2004 16:59 Comments || Top||

#26  Off topic, but did anyone else catch The Tony Snow radio show today? He mentioned Rantburg. He said he saw a story to the effect of "Abu Ghraib pictures only being from one day" on Roger Simon or Rantburg. People are watching.
Posted by: Zpaz || 05/24/2004 17:10 Comments || Top||

#27  Zpaz - Smile - you're on candid. . .
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 17:39 Comments || Top||

#28  BOT
If the warning is not sealed with red beewax and
mailed with a blue alternating with yellow ribbon
its not official and thus moot.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/24/2004 19:23 Comments || Top||

#29  Big Ed, I fell way behind here.

Those mad Mullahs of Tehran should be advised to relocate in the nearest sub-sub-basement and state their final FATwa :)

More & more thinking Americans which follow the geostrategics of the volatile Middle-East know the fanatical regimé in Iran must be altered from top to bottom (coup) otherwise the counter-jihad-wars will bring about total victory in the field.

As long as the Iran-Syria-Lebanon, the Axis of Suicide-Cultists is allowed to function, spreading global Muslim fear & terror, via Iran's vast OPEC oil profits bankrolling large scale operations plus infiltrating thugs into Afghanistan and Iraq, we will rid the world of numbers of jihadists, but not defeat international jihad as the threat to the world.

Where all the current Islamic insanity to conquer the world began, in Iran, through the rise of Khomeini in 1979, must end at the main Shi'ite source of terrorism, Iran. One can never reason with Shi'ites since their way is death.

The Wahhabi promoters of their envisioned, radicalised Sunni take over of the entire global has its source in the oil fields of the House of Sa'ud. The Arabian dictatorship could be viewed as possibly an even greater threat to our national security, then the outwardly in your face Shi'ite fanatics, since the Sa'udis mask their true intentions through phoney diplomatic mumbo jumbo and 'assisting' the West with our high energy costs. Rubbish!

Just remember how many 9-11 hickjackers held Sa'udi passports!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 20:57 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Bombing Israeli Embassy was al-Qaeda plot, Perth court told
by Michael Cavanagh /May 24th, 2004
A TRUCK laden with explosives was to be blown up outside the Israeli Embassy in Canberra in a plan backed by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a Perth Court heard on the opening day of the trial of a man charged with conspiring to bomb the diplomatic mission. British-born Jack Roche, 50, appeared in court to face the charges, which stem from his arrest in 2002 after raids by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. The Muslim convert denies the charges, which include an attempt to harm diplomatic staff. The court heard that Roche was given the task of carrying out the deed after being introduced to the al-Qaeda terror group in Indonesia, where he met Bali bombing mastermind Hambali. It is alleged he was smuggled into Afghanistan after travelling to Pakistan in 2000. In the troubled country he met al-Qaeda officials, who directed him to recruit others for a terror cell based in Australia. Once this was done, he was to acquire explosives, which would be used to commit the crime.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 9:31:41 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

The Roots of Islam
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 00:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is said of Mohammed that "perhaps his greatest joy was when he beheld the severed heads of his enemies". That is disgusting, but not suprising.
The cult of the moon god is what the article says, the religion of the desert warrior. Its intolerance, call to violence, insistance of submission and its delusional nihlistic adherents have no place in the modern(western) world.
But since it is here, Islams' birth place is desperately in need of at least one 4000 degree day courtesy of the crusaders.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/24/2004 10:55 Comments || Top||

#2  I have read a number of scholarly accounts of the origin of Islam, all of them different. Why should I buy this particular one? The goddess worshipping religions of the ancient near east had a lot of unsavory practices such as human sacrifice. In that respect I see no reason to prefer a goddess over a god.
Posted by: virginian || 05/24/2004 11:01 Comments || Top||

#3  It's some interesting stuff, although I think I'm going to have to go with Virginian on this one. Some of the claims it made were a little out there, in my opinion; has anyone else heard anything that would verify some of them?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 11:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Muhammed, Mohammed...whatever! I think the important thing to note here, is that the second syllable is "ham". Mo * ham * med

That is the crux of the whole matter. These people are secretly craving a big old Ham & Swiss on Light Rye sandwich! With just a touch of Mayo and a Kosher Dill Pickle.

That would take the Jihad out of them.

Posted by: Analog Roam || 05/24/2004 12:20 Comments || Top||

#5  the article was written in 2001 when oil prices were at a 25 year (real dollar) low

wonder if the perspective changes now
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 13:41 Comments || Top||

#6  Forgive me if I don't rate the author as very credible.
While this 1.8 billion figure seems to be rather high for the present, according to various interpretations of the prophecies of Nostradamus and others, Islam will in fact sweep the world, but, contrary to the best wishes of some of its adherents, this invasion will not be peaceful. A certain Hopi prophecy has also been interpreted to state that Islam will become ...
Posted by: James || 05/24/2004 16:08 Comments || Top||

#7  Will anything at this point take 'the jihad out of them'? That is the question.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 20:27 Comments || Top||

#8  The answer is a 7.62x51mm full metal jacket.
Posted by: ed || 05/24/2004 20:51 Comments || Top||

#9  What's wrong, James? Don't you believe Nostradamus AND the Hopis?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 21:02 Comments || Top||

#10  Doctor, the author of that site tries to use biblical critical studies / comparative religion to make his/her points.

Unfortunately, s/he doesn't really have much knowledge about the subject and the connections drawn are by and large not supported, either by the original languages or by good scholarship.
Posted by: MDiv || 05/24/2004 22:09 Comments || Top||

#11  The answer is a 7.62x51mm full metal jacket.

Man made Suns...of the multi-megaton yield, crowd pleasing variety! Soon!

Posted by: Analog Roam || 05/24/2004 22:45 Comments || Top||

Mustafa Nasar, Zarqawi’s right hand man?
In the eyes of many terrorism experts, Nicholas Berg’s tragic beheading has elevated Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to a level approaching that of Osama bin Laden. The comparison seems appropriate, as Zarqawi, like bin Laden, has surrounded himself with other powerful extremists and several valuable contacts in the jihad underworld. Bin Laden chose a well-connected Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahiri, as his deputy in order to take advantage of Zawahiri’s widespread network of terrorists and political knowledge. By the same token, Zarqawi appears to be teaming up with Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a man who, so far, has not attracted much attention, but whose influence on Zarqawi cannot be overlooked. According to Italian military intelligence, both Zarqawi and Nasar are currently in Iraq, masterminding attacks there and throughout the world.
Interesting parallel, just like Hambali and Abu Bakar Bashir, or Namangani and Yoldashev.

Nasar, better known by his nome de guerre, Abu Musab al-Suri, is well known to Spanish authorities, who wrote extensively about him in the September 2003 indictment of the Madrid al Qaeda cell. A Syrian veteran of the Afghan war against the Soviets, he spent several years in Madrid in the mid-1990s and acquired Spanish citizenship by marrying a Spanish convert. While in Spain, he befriended a fellow Syrian, Imad Eddin Yarkas, the leader of the Madrid cell. Both had fled Syria in the beginning of the 1980s after the Syrian regime violently cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood.

But while Yarkas immediately went to Spain, Suri went to Afghanistan, where he met bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden’s mentor and one of the founders of al Qaeda. According to the Spanish indictment of the Madrid cell, when al Qaeda moved to Sudan in 1991, Suri remained in Afghanistan, traveling sporadically to Khartoum to meet with bin Laden. In 1995 he moved to Europe and lived between Madrid and London, where he was one of the leading minds of the local Islamist scene now referred to as "Londonistan." But upon realizing that British authorities suspected his involvement in the 1995 Paris Metro bombings, Suri decided to move back to Afghanistan, where he ran a terrorist training camp. Suri also became Emir of the Syrians associated with al Qaeda, a title that proves his importance in the organization. The man who facilitated Suri’s move to Afghanistan was another Syrian national, Mohamed Bahaiah, whom Spanish authorities have described as "bin Laden’s courier in Europe" and who used to travel in Spain extensively. Bahaiah is just one of Suri’s contacts in Spain. Suri maintained a network of operatives there and he is now believed to have masterminded the March 11 train bombings in Madrid.

But aside from his terrorist contacts throughout the world, Suri’s importance lies in the profound political and religious influence he wields over Zarqawi. While Zarqawi is a high school dropout with scant knowledge of world affairs, Suri has a long history of writing about politics and is a Koranic expert who boasts a large following in the radical Islamic underworld. During his stay in London, Suri was one of the editors of the ultra-radical Al Ansar magazine, which for years published propaganda from dozens of Islamic terrorist groups. On one instance, Al Ansar published a fatwah that justified the killing of children and women in Algeria by the Algerian terrorist group GIA. The fatwah was issued by the Palestinian cleric Abu Qatada, a man that Spanish authorities have described as "Bin Laden’s ambassador to Europe" and who also served as editor-in-chief of Al Ansar. A further glance at Suri’s extremist ideology is provided by tapes of his sermons that were seized in the apartment of a member of an Algerian terrorist cell dismantled by Italian authorities in Naples in 2000. The tapes reveal Suri’s deep hatred for Shiites, whom he considers deviators from pure Islam. While other al Qaeda leaders have expressed their contempt for Shiites but nonetheless cooperated with Shiite groups, Suri categorically rejects any form of cooperation between Sunnis and Shiites. In fact, he points at the "negative influence" that Shiite groups have had on the Palestinian struggle, as some groups like Hamas have decided to work with Shiite groups like Hezbollah. This same contempt for Shiites can be seen in a letter written by Zarqawi last February, in which he openly incited a sectarian war in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites. The letter reveals the influence that the older and better-educated Suri has on Zarqawi, who did not express any anti-Shiite sentiment while working closely with the Iranian government (as revealed by the confessions of Shadi Abdallah, a terrorist linked to Zarqawi who was arrested in Germany). Just as Zawahiri’s ideas influenced bin Laden’s actions and worldview, then, it appears that Zarqawi is acting in accordance with Suri’s views.

It is too early to say whether — with bin Laden and Zawahiri reportedly relegated to Waziristan — Zarqawi and Suri have become the world’s most dangerous terrorist duo. It’s also too early to say whether Iraq will represent for them what Afghanistan represented for the other duo. But it is clear that the two have managed to operate undetected for almost a decade and are now reaping the fruits of their work. It is now extremely important to understand Suri’s ideas in order to penetrate Zarqawi’s violent mindset.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 05/24/2004 7:17:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

Behind the new face of terror
Zarqawi has operated widely. German authorities investigating the Hamburg cell after September 11 came across another terrorist group called al-Tawhid (Unity), made up mainly of Palestinian militants trained in Zarqawi's Afghan camps. Tawhid operatives told investigators they got their start in Europe selling forged documents to militants travelling between the Middle East and western Europe. With the outbreak of war in Iraq, Tawhid converted its alien-smuggling and document forgery ring into a two-way underground link between western Europe and the Middle East. According to press reports, networks in Spain, Italy and Germany send recruits into Iraq via Syria. US military officials in Iraq now blame the most heinous terrorist attacks on "the Zarqawi network". But Zarqawi's alien-smuggling system also dispatches Middle Eastern jihadis into Europe via Spain, Turkey, Italy and Greece. In November 2003, Italian wiretaps recorded two Tawhid operatives speaking of "the jihad part" and its "battalion of 25-26 units" of suicide bombers.

If Zarqawi's underground railroad demonstrates the terrorist uses of illegal immigration, the investigation into the Madrid bombings reveals new connections to Zarqawi every week. Zarqawi's lieutenant, a 36-year-old Moroccan named Amer el Azizi, planned the Madrid terror and is the living link between al-Qa'ida, the Zarqawi network and the Moroccan immigrant cell that set the Madrid bombs. Azizi also organised and presided over the 2001 meeting in Spain where Mohammed Atta and al-Qa'ida leaders put the finishing touches on the September 11 plan. Azizi fled Spain in November 2001 as Spanish authorities dismantled the al-Qa'ida logistics cell. He jetted to Afghanistan via Iran, where Zarqawi's cross-border networks helped him elude the coalition. While falling in with Zarqawi, Azizi kept an eye on Spain and his Moroccan colleagues, who managed to set off bombs in Casablanca in May 2003. Shortly before the Madrid train bombings, Azizi left Iran via Turkey and slipped into Spain to witness the carnage first-hand. He is still at large.

Probably the murkiest and most intriguing feature of this man of mystery is the question of Zarqawi's relations with bin Laden. Although he met with bin Laden in Afghanistan several times, the Jordanian never joined al-Qa'ida. Militants have explained that Tawhid was "especially for Jordanians who did not want to join al-Qa'ida". A confessed Tawhid member even told his interrogators that Zarqawi was "against al-Qa'ida". Shortly after September 11, a fleeing Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the main plotters of the attacks, appealed to Tawhid operatives for a forged visa. He could not come up with ready cash. Told that he did not belong to Tawhid, he was sent packing and eventually into the arms of the Americans.

Zarqawi and bin Laden also disagree over strategy. Zarqawi allegedly constructed his Tawhid network primarily to target Jews and Jordan. This choice reflected both Zarqawi's Palestinian heritage and his dissent from bin Laden's strategy of focusing on the "far enemy" -- the US. In an audiotape released after the recent foiled gas attack in Amman, an individual claiming to be Zarqawi argued that the Jordanian Intelligence Services building was indeed the target, although no chemical attack was planned. Rather, he stated menacingly: "God knows, if we did possess (a chemical bomb), we wouldn't hesitate one second to use it to hit Israeli cities such as Eilat and Tel Aviv."

The Tawhid cell uncovered in Hamburg after September 11 scouted Jewish targets, including businesses and synagogues. Zarqawi's operatives have been implicated in an attack on a Mombasa hotel frequented by Israeli tourists and an attempt to shoot down an Israeli jetliner. He is also suspected to have played a role in the Casablanca bombings of a Jewish community centre and a Spanish social club. In February 2002, a Jordanian court sentenced him in absentia to 15 years' hard labour for his involvement in a failed plot to kill American and Israeli tourists at the turn of the millennium, a scheme co-ordinated with Abu Zubaydah, a top lieutenant of bin Laden. Another Jordanian court sentenced him, again in absentia, to death for the assassination of US diplomat Laurence Foley. He is also the prime suspect in the August 2003 truck bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.

Zarqawi has been associated with other groups besides Tawhid. Most notorious is Ansar al Islam, a largely Kurdish organisation operating out of northern Iraq, which US officials have linked to al-Qa'ida. Before the war, Ansar al Islam ran chemical warfare camps in northern Iraq. Last year, British counter-terrorist investigators traced poisonous ricin found in Manchester to those camps. Zarqawi has been linked with two lesser-known al-Qa'ida splinter groups: Beyyiat el-Imam, implicated in attacks in Israel as well as the November 2003 attack on a synagogue in Turkey; and Jund al-Shams, a Syrian-Jordanian group blamed for the assassination of Foley. He has also been linked to Chechen jihadis, and Indian intelligence says he belongs to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, a Pakistani Sunni group responsible for slaying hundreds of Shias in South Asia.

The slaughter of Shias touches on another Zarqawi beef with bin Laden. While both men follow the strict code of Salafi Islam, which reckons Shias as apostates, bin Laden prides himself on being a unifying figure and has made tactical alliances with Shia groups, meeting several times with Shia militants. Zarqawi, by contrast, favours butchering Shias, calling them "the most evil of mankind . . . the lurking snake, the crafty and malicious scorpion, the spying enemy, and the penetrating venom". US military officials hold Zarqawi responsible not only for assassinating Shia religious leaders in Iraq but also for the multiple truck bombings of a Shia religious festival in March that killed 143 worshippers.

But although bin Laden and Zarqawi differ on strategy, Zarqawi too cloaks his plans for mass murder in the language of the religious zealot. To Zarqawi "religion is more precious than anything and has priority over lives, wealth and children". He considers Iraq ideal for jihad especially because "it is a stone's throw from the lands of the two holy precincts (Saudi Arabia) and the Al Aqsa (mosque, in Jerusalem). "We know from God's religion that the true, decisive battle between infidelity and Islam is in this land (greater Syria and its surroundings)." On the tape of the beheading of Berg, entitled "Sheikh Abu Musab Zarqawi executes an American with his own hands and promises Bush more", Zarqawi rages: "Where is the compassion, where is the anger for God's religion, and where is the protection for Muslims' pride in the crusaders' jails? The pride of all Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and other jails is worth blood and souls."

The CIA has verified that Zarqawi himself spoke on the tape and personally beheaded Berg. Similarly, the videotaped beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in February 2002 was carried out directly by another jihadi leader, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The latter, like Zarqawi, never swore allegiance to bin Laden. In this bloodthirsty crowd it appears that slitting the throat of an American Jew wins laurels. In January 2004, Iraqi Kurds captured a message from Zarqawi in Iraq to bin Laden. Zarqawi offered bin Laden a chance to expand al-Qa'ida's role in Iraq. Victory, Zarqawi instructed, meant fomenting sectarian war between Shi'ites and Sunnis. There are no indications that bin Laden responded, and there are now signs of co-operation between some Iraqi Shia and Sunni militants. Are bin Laden and Zarqawi running competing terrorist organisations in Iraq? Zarqawi's letter is addressed to a colleague or even a potential competitor rather than to one he regards as his sheikh or emir. He offers darkly: "We do not see ourselves as fit to challenge you." Zarqawi gives bin Laden two choices: "If you agree with us . . . we will be your readied soldiers, working under your banner, complying with your orders, and indeed swearing fealty to you publicly and in the news media . . . If things appear otherwise to you, we are brothers, and the disagreement will not spoil (our) friendship."

Zarqawi exemplifies Sunni terrorism after September 11 and the invasion of Iraq, what some call "al-Qa'ida 2.0". The Western counter-offensive decimated al-Qa'ida's leadership, stripped the organisation of safe havens and training camps, and disrupted its command and control. Former al-Qa'ida subsidiaries became franchises, receiving inspiration from bin Laden's occasional messages but operating independently. Historically speaking, the dynamic of revolutionary movements favours the most radical faction – the Jacobins, not the Girondists, the Bolsheviks, not the Menshiviks. If this dynamic prevails in contemporary Sunni terrorism, Zarqawi represents the future.
Posted by: tipper || 05/24/2004 04:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pak Military talks with US put off
Talks between Pakistani and US army commanders to discuss recent incursions by US troops based in Afghanistan into Pakistan have been postponed for two days, a foreign ministry official said here on Tuesday. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held on Tuesday near the Lwara Mandi, a remote village on the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border. "It (the meeting) could not be held due to some logistical reasons," foreign ministry spokesman Masood Khan said.
"It will now be held at midday on Thursday, at the same venue." US troops hunting Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in southeast Afghanistan burst over the border into Lwara Mandi several times in May, according to residents on the Pakistani side.
But Pakistan authorities have only defined two crossings, on May 2 and May 20, as "incursions" and lodged protests over them. Lwara Mandi straddles the border in the North Waziristan.
Oh, so Lwara Mandi is in both Afganistan and Pakistan? That could explain a lot
Mr Khan told reporters on Monday that both sides "will look at ways and means to coordinate better so that there's no misunderstanding, no miscommunication."
You could paint a line on the ground or police your side of the border.
Posted by: Steve || 05/24/2004 9:01:33 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Some Russian Submarines Said Mothballed
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer, May 24, 2004, 3:17 PM EDT
MOSCOW -- A top admiral alleged the chief of Russia’s navy has decided to mothball its most powerful nuclear submarines after refusing to modernize their missiles. The navy denied it Monday and accused the admiral of divulging state secrets. Adm. Gennady Suchkov, the head of the Northern Fleet, said that Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov had ordered the navy to decommission the Typhoon-class submarines, depriving Russia of an important component of its strategic nuclear arsenal. "Nuclear weaponry is the only thing that brings respect to our nation," he said in an interview published Monday in the liberal newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.
Russia being a third world country with a massive nuke force, which may or not work.

With a displacement of about 27,500 tons, the Typhoon-class submarines are the world’s largest. Each is equipped to carry 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles. Suchkov said in separate comments to the Interfax-Military News Agency that the Northern Fleet has three Typhoon-class submarines -- the Arkhangelsk, the Severstal and the Dmitry Donskoi. He said his pleas for modernizing the missiles had fallen on deaf ears, and that only the Severstal carries 10 missiles, while the other two are unarmed.
Yeah, I'd say that would be a state secret.

Suchkov said the navy had refused to earmark about $1.1 million, a sum he said was necessary to upgrade the submarines’ missiles. Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo insisted Monday that there are no plans to scrap the Typhoon-class submarines. "They will remain on duty fulfilling their tasks," Dygalo told The Associated Press. He also assailed Suchkov for unveiling what he said was confidential information about the submarines’ weapons. But Suchkov said he had written a letter to President Vladimir Putin to inform him of Kuroyedov’s plan to mothball the vessels. "I don’t understand this decision, because these submarines can remain in service for a long time to come," Suchkov said.
The outspoken Suchkov has long been on a collision course with Kuroyedov, the navy chief. Putin suspended Suchkov as the Northern Fleet chief after the August sinking of a decommissioned nuclear submarine, and a military court convicted him last week of negligence that led to the death of nine of the submarine’s 10 crew and gave him a four-year suspended prison sentence. Many in the navy blamed Kuroyedov for the accident and alleged Suchkov had been a scapegoat.
Old russian tradition, the guys at the top are never wrong.

"The most powerful submarines have been taken off-duty," Suchkov told the Interfax-Military News Agency. "And we haven’t received new submarines yet."
Putin went to sea aboard one of the Typhoon-class submarines, the Arkhangelsk, in February during an exercise of Russia’s strategic forces. In the course of the maneuvers, Northern Fleet submarines failed to perform missile launches on two consecutive days, tarnishing Putin’s efforts to restore Russia’s military might. The navy has kept quiet on results of the investigation into the failed launches. Independent observers have blamed the failures on the money crunch that has badly hurt Russian weapons industries and affected the quality of their products. Since the 1991 Soviet collapse, the Russian navy has been plagued by a lack of funds, which prompted it to mothball relatively new ships because it couldn’t afford maintenance.
Suchkov accused Kuroyedov of favoring one Russian shipyard, the Northern Shipyards, which charges much more for repairs, compared with others. He said one of two destroyers sent to the Northern Shipyards for repairs had instead been disassembled for spare parts, which were later put on a destroyer commissioned by China.
If I was Putin, I'd be checking my admirals bank account balances.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 8:25:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Meteorite smuggling -
Wacko News Item of the Day
Customs officers discovered an iron meteorite weighing 1kg among personal belongings of a woman from a Russian city of Khabarovsk who was on her way to visit Japan. According to the information provided by customs services of the Far East, officers managed to detect the celestial rock by means of special scanner at the Khabarovsk airport. Staff of the local department of preservation of cultural artifacts confirmed the fact that the find was precisely meteorite. They also provided an estimate—43 000 rubles. Specialists also labeled the meteorite as 'national property of the government.' Today, the woman faces criminal charges for attempting to secretly transport the piece abroad. Khabarovsk customs officers encountered such case for the first time. Their colleagues from the Coastal region deal with such smuggling of meteorites more often since it was in that region that the so-called 'Sitohe-Alinsky' meteorite had crashed in the region more than 50 years ago. Its pieces can still be found in Ussuriiskaya taiga.
"It's a national treasure!"
"It's a chunk o' rock!"
"Less filling!"
"Tastes great!"
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 9:45:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Iranian plot
Iran ’may have duped US into war’
US officials suspect Iran duped the US into invading Iraq by slipping bogus intelligence to Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC), The Guardian newspaper reported today. "Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq," it said in a front-page dispatch from Washington. Quoting a US intelligence official, whom it did not name, The Guardian said Chalabi’s intelligence chief Ara Kariim Habibi had been a paid by Iranian agent for several years, "passing intelligence in both directions".
Regardless of whether this is true or not, Iran really will be the winner if the Shia’s get a mullah in charge of Iraq. Why not take out Iran now as well? would we be too stretched? We need to get Sadr. Even if that means a hardcore invasion of Najaf. Why did the US forget the lesson of "never trust a holy man?" they should have shot Sadr last year when they had the chance along with any other holy men that have pretentions to political power/warlordism.
"It’s pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner," it quoted an intelligence source in Washington as saying. "Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi."
Posted by: Anon1 || 05/24/2004 8:59:09 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We should have known not to begin placing any trust in someone who was convicted of bank fraud (Chalabi)
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 21:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Being convicted in Jordan when one is politically undesirable is hardly proof of anything.

Not sure this was strategically smart of Iran even if true. We got rid of Sammy, but now we're in their neighborhood. They might get a mullah to their liking, but they might get a semi-functional Shia dominated secular state controlling all of the high holy places.

If Sadr was the best they have then they blew it. (but of course, he's not unfortunately).
Posted by: JAB || 05/24/2004 21:15 Comments || Top||

#3  Them curvy knived rascals. This story is just starting to be revealed, and we shouldn't jump to judgment. But it just may be that we're gonna have to whup them Iranians ass like pancake batter.
Posted by: Hank || 05/24/2004 21:17 Comments || Top||


Rats such as Sadr receive support from a monetary source.

It's high time the source was terminated.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 21:18 Comments || Top||

#5  A cardinal rule of intelligence is that you don't believe what anybody tells you. Axioms of that rule are that stories must be checked--single sources are often unreliable; everyone has axes to grind; some people are reliable and some are so unreliable as to be reliable; as with any transaction, what is expected in return?; you know where your enemies stand, but you cannot say that about your friends; the plan and the execution are never the same; what are ALL the variables?; what are the chains of command?; what are the communications being used?; if this is deception, how would it be done, who would be doing it, and what would it hope to accomplish?; etc.

Last but not least, a statement that appears on corporate reports: "past performance is no guarantee of future results."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/24/2004 21:20 Comments || Top||

#6  As usual, Hank seems to have it right. This is a new story, and in the world of mis-information, false leads, etc., this one needs to play out a little bit. I for one would be really surprised if we could be duped into a war, but "them curvy knived rascals" are clever and they lie without conscious. We may have to "whup their ass," or maybe we can get some of their own people to do it.
Posted by: Jake || 05/24/2004 21:36 Comments || Top||

#7  Hank may be right - probably not about our having to "whup their ass," but rather when he says don't jump to conclusions. This type article is timely for the daily grind of the news making machines. The Chalabi stories hit, and the next bombshell is the Iranians duped the stupid hawks in the pentagon into war. The odds are that this is more likely part of the elect anyone but Bush program.
Posted by: Sam || 05/24/2004 21:48 Comments || Top||

#8  It seems to me that here is where we stand on the Big 5 Baddies™:

1. Saudi Arabia
2. Iran
3. Syria
4. North Korea
5. Pakistan

For whatever geopolitical reason, we can't go in and do some serious ass kicking of the Saudis right now, even some of their citizens and govt depts produce the great majority of the terrorist funding. So we will have to deal with them in other ways.

Iran is probably the No. 2 terrorism financer, and the biggest pain in the ass to GWB right now. Theirs and al Q's efforts are tying us down dealing with all the jihadis, insurgents, and just plain joe troublemakers. Iran sees us as weak because of the divisiveness in this country via the media, it is an election year, and the fact that they are going for the Bomb. Iran needs a shakeup. I do not see that we will be in a position for mil ops except for covert ops and raids on Nuke facilities. Iran will be a tough nut to crack if we don't get help from inside the country.

Syria is another pain in the ass for us and for Israel. They have been reduced to a client state of probably both Iran and Saudi. Cleaning them up will take the heat off Israel and Jordan. Syria harbors terrorists. If Iran falls, then Syria will probably be neutralized.

The NORKS cannot do anything without the enabling of China and to a lesser extent by SKor. The best we can do with them now is to keep them quarantined and to ignore them when they threaten a sea of fire and throw a tantrum.

Pakistan gets its aid from Saudi to keep its dirty little operation going. We will have to keep the heat on Pakistan so eventually we can clean up the NWFP. We are just going to have to put up with this schitzophrenic piece of geography for a while longer.

So it seems that the key to the puzzle is to knock over the Black Turbans of Iran some way, and to neutralize or unglue Syria.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/24/2004 21:50 Comments || Top||

#9  The most dangerous location on planet Earth:

If strategically positioned Pakistan were to fall to the unthinkable, the madmen of jihad, then the stakes for the entire world become incredibly high in a flash, considering suicidal freaks with their bloody hands on the nuclear button? First off, India can kiss it goodbye ...

...I do not even wish to ponder this any further.

Pakistan can NOT be allowed to fall..case closed!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 21:55 Comments || Top||

#10  Yep, that would require us doin a lot more ass whupin than our duped hawks want to do.
Posted by: Hank || 05/24/2004 22:20 Comments || Top||

First off, India can kiss it goodbye ...

Hardly. My wife is Indian, and her father is pretty high in the IAF Officer Corp. The Indians are anything but stupid, and they have thoroughly infiltrated Pakistan.

I would bet that there are a considerable number of Indian sleeper cells all over PakiLand. Also, India could wipe out Pakistan in the blink of an eye. I predict that if PakiLand falls, the Indians will do our job for us while we are still wringing our hands.

You see, they don't really have the PC & Liberal constraints we do, and they won't be shy about killing a few million Pakis.

Posted by: Analog Roam || 05/24/2004 22:34 Comments || Top||

#12  Mark E and Hank are right - an Islamist controlled Pakistsan would be dangerous and would lead to some serious "ass whuppin." A greater danger still is the WMD in the hands of non-state terrorist groups. An Islamist Pakistan would be deterred for the same reasons every other nuke country is deterred - assured destruction.
Posted by: Jake || 05/24/2004 22:43 Comments || Top||

#13  Why would Iran want the "Great Satan" and it's military right next door? The US has military bases popping up all over the middle east and the "stan" country's. "W's" list has Iran at the top of Axis of evil. I think somebody is just throwing something at the wall to see if it sticks.
Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/24/2004 23:01 Comments || Top||

#14  I think the Mullahs would do anything to get rid of Saddam without regard for the consequences.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 23:40 Comments || Top||

IWPR Iraqi Daily News Summary
EFL - removed articles that are covered elsewear on Rantburg.

Iraq enters ‘most sensitive’ phase
(Asharq Al-Awsat) – Iraqi Governing Council Head Ghazi Ajeel al-Yawir has denied the existence of any lists of names designating the president, his deputies or the government for the transitional period starting July 1. Yawir said negotiations are underway to form the ministerial board, and they will last for the coming two weeks, a period he describes as “the most sensitive weeks” in Iraq’s history. Yawir said the Iraqi security situation remains unstable, and needs the presence of multilateral forces. He also said the Americans are welcome as long as they behave properly without violating Iraqis’ rights.
(London-based Asharq al-Awsat, a Saudi independent paper, is issued daily.)

US forces arrest Hezbollah leader
(Al-Nahdhah) – A US military patrol has arrested Secretary General of Hezbollah in Iraq Hasan al-Sari in the Baladiyat district of Baghdad. Hezbollah spokesman Sattar Jabbar said a 12-vehicle partrol assaulted al-Sari’s house last Saturday morning, arrested him, and confiscated $13,000 in addition to a number of weapons and personal possessions.
(Al-Nahdhah is a daily newspaper issued by Adnan al-Pachachi, GC member and head of Independent Democrats Movement.)

Cartoon of the Day
(Al-Nahdhah) – A see-saw is centred over “The Arab Summit”. Two Arabs on the see-saw are pushing a bomb called “democratic reforms” back and forth. This cartoon underlines how Arab leaders at the recent summit view reforms: as a bomb to be pushed away. picture at link
Clerics under attack

(Azzaman) – Unknown assailants have shot Muslim Clerics Board member Ahmed Abdul Kareem al-Ani. Imam and preacher of al-Khulafa al-Rashideen Mosque, Ani was severely wounded but is hospitalised and in a stable condition now. Meanwhile, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq said the Occupying forces arrested Hassan al-Sari, the Secretary General and Member of SCIRI’s central council. In an act described as “uncivilized”, coalition forces confiscated all his personal wealth.
(London-based Azzaman is issued daily by Saad al-Bazaz.)

Spooks seek back pay
(Al-Mashriq) – About 100 former intelligence employees yesterday held a demonstration to protest not being paid for more than a year. In the demonstration outside the headquarters of the Coalition provisional Authority, demonstrator Ala Abdul Wahid said "The CPA does not allow us to be employees, and it puts us in an unbearable situation". Another demonstrator, Abdul Hameed Muhammed, was ready to join the anti-Coalition resistance. "Honestly, if someone offers me money to join the resistance I would say OK", said Muhammed.
(Al-Mashriq is published daily by Al-Mashriq Institution for Media and Cultural Investments.)

-snip -Kuwaitis recruit young terrorists says paper

Solidarity demonstration called for Chalabi
(Al-Mutamar) – The Iraqi National Congress has called all Iraqis to join a demonstration tomorrow morning in Baghdad to declare solidarity with INC leader Ahmed al-Chalabi and to condemn the assault on his house last Thursday. Many people expressed displeasure over the assault. Abdullah al-Abari, a retired teacher, said he was surprised by minister of interior Sameer al-Sumaidai’s position. "Is it so easy to forget al-Chalabi’s role in liberating us from tyrants?", said al-Anbari.
(Al-Mutamar is issued daily by the Iraqi National Congress.)

Coalition forces accused of stealing antiquities
(Al-Sabah) – Customs police in Thee Qar have found Iraqi antiquities being smuggled in a car belonging to Italian forces. A high ranking Iraqi security source said customs police caught the car while it was heading toward the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. The source said it is not a unique event. Coalition forces are practicing wide smuggling operations, and eyewitnesses say British forces have been digging in more than 700 new historical sites.
(Al-Sabah is issued daily by the Iraqi Media Network on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority.)
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/24/2004 4:42:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Africa: Subsaharan
Kids beg for hours to fund Muslim teachers
Moussa doesn’t know how old he is or how long he has been in Dakar begging for money to keep his Muslim schoolteacher from beating him. But he knows what he wants to be when he grows up – a white man. Malnourished children stretching out their hands for a coin are a common sight in many African cities, but in this most western tip of the continent, it is not poverty driving them onto the streets but adults. Moussa is one of thousands of Senegalese boys, plucked from their rural roots and sent to religious schools – daaras - in the cities to learn about Islam and memorise its holy book, the Koran.

Yet the pupils, known as talibes or disciples, learn little, forced to spend 10 hours a day trudging the streets for coins so they can pay their marabout teachers and for scraps so they can feed themselves. “I have to take 200 CFA (36 cents) back to my marabout every night,” Moussa mumbled, digging in a tomato-paste tin for that day’s collection of coins. It is early evening in one of Dakar’s more affluent suburbs and the boy, who looks no older than seven, doesn’t have even half the required amount. “If I’m short, the teacher hits me with a stick,” Moussa said resignedly. He rubbed at a red scar on his forehead from a beating last week as he explained how there was only one thing he wanted to be when he was older. “I want to be a white man.” Some marabouts argue that they have no other way of providing for the boys, that they had the same upbringing and that begging teaches the children humility. But these reasons don’t convince everyone.

“Obviously we’re not talking about all marabout teachers, but for some it has reached the point where children are a business,” said Lahad Ndiaye, who works for the Synapse Network Center, a Dakar-based group that has tried to help the talibes. “It’s exploitation pure and simple. You see kids who can’t recite even two verses of the Koran. They don’t have time to learn because they’re on the street all day.” The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates there are up to 100,000 child beggars in Senegal – about one percent of the population – and “talibe children are the vast majority”. “I think the problem is growing,” Mamadou Wane, a UNICEF child protection officer, said in an interview in his Dakar office. “Poverty is hitting rural areas ever harder here, meaning more kids in the city daaras,” he continued.

Daaras have been around since the seventeenth century and in their original incarnation were based in villages. Parents would send their children to work the marabout’s fields in return for a religious education. But in the last 50 years or so, bad droughts shrivelled crops to dust, the national economy spluttered and the marabouts joined the exodus to the cities. There, riches proved equally elusive, and for some sending their pupils to beg was a neat solution. “The marabouts have no salary and they have to support 20 to 30 kids, it’s impossible,” said Babacar Sene, a Muslim elder in Ouaka, one of the outer suburbs of Dakar. Sene is well known in the local community, where a number of marabouts operate but refused to discuss their operations.

“I don’t agree with begging, it’s irritating. But it’s a thorny problem to solve. What else can the marabouts do?” added the 76-year-old, who chose to send his 23 children to French-speaking schools and teach them the Koran at home. Senegal is a religiously tolerant country where many Muslims even celebrate Christmas and Islamic militancy is limited to the odd Osama bin Laden T-shirt. But even so, when some 95 percent of the population is Muslim, tackling the talibe problem is a delicate business. “The fact that people can talk about it now, that’s already progress,” said UNICEF’s Wane.

The UN group has been involved in projects since the early 90s. It has worked with village chiefs to set up 40 community daaras so children can stay close to families and has developed a French and Arab curriculum for Koranic teachers to use. Other organisations like Dakar-based development organisation, ENDA have set up contact points in the bigger towns where the child beggars can eat, get access to water and interact with different adults. “It’s about giving them a variety of reference points, beyond the marabout,” one of the organisers Moustapha Diop explained.

For while some talibes like Moussa dream of nothing but escape, others have adapted to the early-morning hitch-hike into town, begging for most of the day, squeezing in study late at night and having to sleep on flattened cardboard boxes. The aid workers at Synapse Network Center, a locally based Non governmental organisation, discovered first-hand how difficult it can be to break the talibe habit when they set up a drop-in centre. Within five months, the boys had all dropped out. “They had already got the taste for the street, they had the notion of liberty while out begging
 and they had got used to keeping any extra money they collected,” said Ndiaye.

A group of talibes squatting in the midday sun by a bench in Dakar’s main square illustrate the point. They admitted missing their parents, and living in worse conditions now then when they were at home but said they were happy. “We’re lucky, we get to keep some of what we earn on the street, not like some talibes. I want to stay here and learn until I can be a marabout myself,” 10-year-old Umar said with a grin.

His friend Seydou, sporting a digital watch and fashionable if dirty shorts, announced proudly how he had been at a French school three years ago and then left to join the daara: “It was my own decision. I like the Koran more and I want to be a marabout.” But as UNICEF’s Wane points out not every talibe can become a marabout. “To have a future they need to learn agricultural skills or Wolof or French,” he said. “There needs to be an institutional response. Koranic schools should be recognised
 then transformed so they have to provide a basic general or professional education,” he said.

The government, conscious of the country’s secular status, is currently grappling with reforms. According to newspaper Le Soleil, it wants to “give all schools a structure which produces an educated and competent citizen who has religious values and is ready to participate in his country’s development.” For Cire Kane, another Synapse Network worker, the talibe problem should be a priority. “When these kids grow up they won’t have the skills to find work and they’ll stay on the streets. Senegal is preparing a time-bomb for itself.”
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/24/2004 7:37:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Amazing. Thanks TS.

Posted by: Wuzzalib || 05/24/2004 20:08 Comments || Top||

Mossad Goes online to Recruit Spies...and Waiters
Well, they have been busy, according to the loons. Toppling towers, supporting the Zionist world takeover, torturing prisoners at Abu Gharib . Must’ve got sick of paying the overtime.
The Israeli spy agency Mossad emerged from the shadows Monday when it launched a Web site to attract recruits for "special tasks" -- as well as intelligence analysts, waiters and drivers.
Special tasks? Zionist Death Ray operators maybe???
Long a secretive elite, Mossad is raising its profile to compete with the private sector in the search for talent. "Mossad’s mainstay is its people," reads the site’s (www.mossad.gov.il) foreword by agency chief Meir Dagan, posted next to backlit photographs of unnamed intelligence analysts at their desks. The launch of the site is the spy agency’s second break with the era of the old-boy network whereby veteran agents would tap their friends when job openings appeared. Dagan’s predecessor Efraim Halevy began the trend in 2000 by placing advertisements for case officers in the Israeli press -- a big change for an agency whose motto is the biblical proverb "Without subterfuge, the nation falls." Halevy argued market forces took precedence over mystique.
From super spies to civil service peons. Might as well work for the friggin’ Post Office.
"The days when a security career was seen as the be-all and end-all of Israeli citizenship are over," he told Reuters. "Now we are an open society, and Mossad has had to appeal to the widest range of talented applicants who might otherwise head for hi-tech or other private sectors." For decades, Mossad had a reputation for deadly derring-do. In 1960, its agents captured Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. After 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Mossad hunted for the masterminds, killing some of them.
I wonder how many we’ve never heard about?
But Mossad has also been embarrassed by a series of bungles. In 1997 its agents botched an attempt on the life of a leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Jordan. In 1998 a Mossad team was arrested in Switzerland while spying on a local man believed linked to Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas. Mossad’s U.S. counterpart, the Central Intelligence Agency, has had a Web site since 1995. But Yossi Melman, senior security correspondent for Haaretz newspaper, said it was too early to trumpet a new American-style transparency in Mossad.
I thought the CIA was the Mossad? Or was it the other way around? Or are they both tools of Halliburton?
"This is basically a belated employment move which Mossad is making the most of," Melman said, noting that the Web site advertises for English-speaking waiters and bus drivers as well as analysts, translators and agents for "special tasks."
I wonder if they multitask? Waiter/hitman? Translator/Death Ray Operator?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/24/2004 3:24:26 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Join up today! You too can be part of the massive Zionist Conspiracy for World Domination(TM)!

Every applicant gets a free copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and a primer on how to keep those sneaky Arabs from figuring you out!

This offer only lasts for a limited time only, so get in touch now and begin your career as a Zionist with the Mossad!
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 16:13 Comments || Top||

#2  tu3031 - Translator/Death Ray Operator A special dual classed adventurer on the mideast takeoff of AD&D:

Arab Destroyers & Deserts, where adventuring parties of Israleis venture in to great sandy wastelands to seek out the one grand Imam and destroy his palace at the Nuclear Weapons powerplant site.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 16:26 Comments || Top||

#3  "killing some of them"

they hunted down and killed all but one.
Posted by: growler || 05/24/2004 18:46 Comments || Top||

Videotape shows revelers at celebration
Posted by: || 05/24/2004 13:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Note: no video of the attack itself, no connection between the footage of the party and the attack or its aftermath.

The press seems to be going out of their way to make this a story.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 15:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Posted by coward and MSNBC admits that no one, that's NO ONE, can authenticate the place, date, or anything else about the video.

You choose whom you will believe. The gullible reality-deniers choose Al Jizz and IOL and Baghdad Bob.

I choose those who've proven correct in the past.

This has the usual smell of the "Tell them the Amerikkans and Jooos did it - they'll suck it up!" crowd. Indeed.
Posted by: .com || 05/24/2004 15:26 Comments || Top||

#3  ive heard (i forget where) that theres evidence some of this was filmed in Ramadi. Could be bigger "own goal" than Daily Mirror "photo" stories.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/24/2004 15:37 Comments || Top||

My friends, It was a wedding party.....
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 05/24/2004 15:42 Comments || Top||

#5  So if it turns out to be fake, there'll be apologies and retractions all around, right? Hello... hello...
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/24/2004 15:43 Comments || Top||

#6  Al Qaeda has lately been demonstrating a talent for on-call operations. An on-call operation is one where the planning and training are all completed and the team is waiting for a signal to commence. On-call operations are intel or event driven rather than time driven. The missile attack on Wolfowitz's hotel when he was in Bagdad was almost certainly an on-call op. The Fallujah atrocity probably was one also. Once the bait had been caught and strung up, then the ambush teams and IED teams would be alerted and put into place. I suspect that this psyops operation has been in place for some time, awaiting the right event to trigger it. The video, photos, witnesses were are ready, just waiting for the word. It's a brilliant means of turning a military defeat into a propaganda victory.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/24/2004 15:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Yosemite Sam that one was absolutly brilliant,sums it up completey in a picture and 7 words! The Arabs case in this would litterally fall apart in a court of law, some cheap middle eastern home video of a few shit jeeps hooning round the desert with a bride and some characters having a dance on video tape does not constitue evidence.Whatever next eh, headline reads'America Bombs Iraqi Childrens Hospital' with a picture grabbed from the middle eastern version of E.R! Or how about 'America Bombs Toddlers Nursery' with a picture of a pile of rubble with a torn a teddy bear in it! I'm never amazed anymore at what lengths the media will go to spout thier never ending Arabist propaganda rehtoric.The media truly are the eneamy!
Posted by: Shep UK || 05/24/2004 15:55 Comments || Top||

#8  It's a brilliant means of turning a military defeat into a propaganda victory.

And a stunning example of how the press is the terrorists' best weapon. Not to mention that the press willingly takes on that role!
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 15:55 Comments || Top||

#9  You called it, Robert. Idiots, all of them.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 16:00 Comments || Top||

#10  Following up on 11A5S...such a victory would most likely not be possible if not for our 5th column news media. How about some apologies from news elites for the blood on their hands resulting from playing into the hands of the AQ? ...didn't think so.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/24/2004 16:04 Comments || Top||

#11  RC: That's why we censored the press during WWI and WWII. They cannot be trusted during a national emergency.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/24/2004 16:05 Comments || Top||

#12  Remember how the British military experts shredded the 'Iraqi prisoner abuse' photos the Mirror printed. It was a great story. The media should get experts together to examine all of this kind of stuff. Perhaps not this one, but you know what I mean. They'd get a great story and actually be helping promote the truth at the same time.

Oh, but it might help Bush. Never mind.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/24/2004 17:06 Comments || Top||

#13  Interesting that someone took 7 hours of wedding footage but nobody took a shots of the attack as it was happening. Must have been battery problems like they had at the Nick Berg beheading that forced them to switch cameras and screw up the time codes.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/24/2004 17:09 Comments || Top||

#14  Everybody is wrong. This video was shot in the banquet room of Kebabs-R-Us, in surburban Detroit.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 17:44 Comments || Top||

#15  Well, the story is that the videographer was killed, so you can't exactly blame him for failing to record the attack posthumously.

That's if you buy the story. Me, I think a certain segment of Iraqi society has a long history of telling interesting and fanciful stories with the preserved bodies of dead children. Interestingly enough, that segment is mostly composed of intelligence agents and hospital personnel. The hospital personnel are still employed - can't spare trained physicians and administrators, no matter how dirty they were during the Ba'ath years. How many of these folks are still in touch with their Mukhabarat handlers? Think any of them might still be employed in the morgues of ar Ramadi, Fallujah, Najaf, and Karbala?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 05/24/2004 18:05 Comments || Top||

#16  The BBC led its international news with this story. No mention of the doubtful provenance of the video.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 19:44 Comments || Top||

Marines set sights on refurbishing mosques
Marines and Navy Seabees are seeking Iraqi contractors to repair and refurbish mosques in an effort to dispel the notion that the United States has declared war on Islam. The effort is proceeding more quickly in the surrounding farming villages than in this Sunni Triangle city where Marines and insurgents fought three bloody weeks of combat. The Marines have a growing list of mosques that villagers would like help in repairing, renovating or expanding. Few, if any, village mosques were damaged during the fight, but the Americans said that fixing the mosques could elicit more goodwill in return than almost any other construction project.

"The mosques are part of their communal life, and that’s what we’re here to improve," said Lt. Col. Colin McNease, officer in charge of the civil affairs unit of the 1st Marine Regiment. "This is a good way to demonstrate that this is not a war against Islam." In Fallujah, where insurgents used mosques to store weapons and as vantage points to fire on Marines, the process of using U.S. money for mosque projects will be tricky. For one thing, Americans are not able to travel into the city without a heavy military escort. The Marines and Seabees also will need to rely on Iraqi contractors to provide cost estimates and construction plans before any money can be allocated.

The program to repair mosques was part of the original Marine plan to win friends and bring stability to Fallujah. That plan was suspended after the Marines surrounded the city on April 5 and imposed martial law in response to the killing of four U.S. contractors on March 31. Plans are now for the United States to pay Iraqi contractors who will then hire Iraqis as laborers. The Seabees are attempting to devise an apprenticeship program in which residents of Fallujah -where unemployment is said to exceed 70 percent - can learn basic carpentry, plumbing and other construction skills.

Several mosques in Fallujah were damaged during the fight. A minaret was destroyed by a Marine tank to keep insurgents from using it to rain down machine-gun fire on Marines in the battle-scarred Jolan neighborhood. Another mosque was damaged by a laser-guided bomb dropped by an Air Force warplane. From the beginning of the Marine involvement here, civil affairs specialists have sought to counteract propaganda that the United States is attempting to destroy Islam. Pamphlets and messages from sound trucks were used. When fighting broke out, the United States changed its message: "Terrorists are attempting to dishonor the sanctity of mosques in your area by using them to conduct attacks."

With the Marines no longer in daily skirmishes with the insurgents, the message of the information campaign to Iraqis has shifted, but the message that the United States is not warring on Islam remains. "I don’t think we will ever get away from that theme," said Capt. Kurt Gordon, spokesman for the 1st Marine Regiment.
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/24/2004 2:18:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nice idea. And if the suicide bombers attack Marines repairing a mosque . . .
Posted by: THe Doctor || 05/24/2004 14:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Wasn't Fallujah a govt city financed by Sammy? What we have here is a place full of ex Baathists and nutcases who only know graft, corruption, and jihad. Somehow we have to have people develop a stake in the success of reforming Fallujah. We are talking about a major social "redevelopment" project here. In the big picture, if we can cut off the foreign insurgents and terrorists into Iraq, and that includes the so-called Iranian pilgrims, then we have some breathing room. If we cannot, then I cannot see how we can make progress unless we get massive support from the Iraqis.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/24/2004 15:19 Comments || Top||

#3  We ought to bring in the Russians to help out with rebuilding moskks. They have experts in this field.

sotto voice
I sure wish the russians could fix a damn light bulb!
Next day new light bulbs.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/24/2004 15:33 Comments || Top||

#4  I hear the Marine specialize in "ventilation".
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/24/2004 16:03 Comments || Top||

#5  lets just make sure we line the wals with remote control Claymores
Posted by: cheaderhead || 05/24/2004 17:26 Comments || Top||

Israeli Agents Believed Involved in Abu Ghraib
Diplomatic sources in Washington tell NewsMax that Israeli nationals are believed to be involved in the Iraq prison controversy. "Israelis have been to Abu Ghraib and other prisons (in Iraq)," says one source familiar with the U.S. operations. It was explained that the Israelis involved have been assigned as "civilian contractors" to work with Coalition forces in interrogating Iraqi POWs. The "contractors" are said to be veterans of Israel’s domestic intelligence unit, Shin Bet, as well as the more famous, international intelligence agency, the Mossad. Read.
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 05/24/2004 1:22:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  oh boy! another 2 weeks of "All Abu Grahib All The Time©"
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 13:24 Comments || Top||

#2  The Dems and their willing stooges in the cabal(CBS-NBC-ABC-CNN) have to tread carefully in this one to avoid charges of anti-semitism. The Jewish vote is already leaving them in droves in a historical fashion.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 13:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Yawn.

One shift. One cellblock. That's all there's evidence for.

The more people try to enlarge the scandal, the less I care about any of it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 13:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Hoo boy! The joos have to be blamed for everything according to the Islamists and now "Diplomatic sources" are doing it too?
Posted by: Cynic ali || 05/24/2004 14:25 Comments || Top||

#5  What's a good conspiracy theory without the Jooos being involved?
Posted by: Rafael || 05/24/2004 15:01 Comments || Top||

#6  I'll take "Zionist Conspiracy" for 500, Alex.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/24/2004 15:41 Comments || Top||

#7  Um, NewsMax isn't exactly a liberal outlet.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 05/24/2004 17:55 Comments || Top||

#8  Hardly surprising that Israelis contractors are being hired. Where else would you find Arabic speaking interogators that you can trust.

Also note, despite the heavy implication, there is no evidence linking them to abuses.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 19:38 Comments || Top||

#9  Katie Couric: Senator Biden, did President Bush know Jooooos were being used by Don Rumsfeld to interrogate Muslims at Abu Ghraib and when did he know it? Doesn't he owe the Arab world an apology?

Senator Biden: Oh Katie, this is just an absolute disaster. God love 'em, I really did use to support him, but President Bush has no discernible skill in running this war. We're dooooomed....

Posted by: Mark || 05/24/2004 21:09 Comments || Top||

#10  BORING ...turn the soap opera off!

Next from Hollywood:
Coming to the silver screen..'I was a Teenage Abu Ghraib!'
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 21:14 Comments || Top||

Missile defense for El Al fleet

Monday, May 24, 2004 Posted: 10:02 AM EDT (1402 GMT)

From John Vause

(CNN) -- Israel’s national airline is taking new measures to safeguard passengers against missile attacks from the ground. Next month, El Al will begin equipping all of its planes with an anti-missile system called "Flight Guard" -- the first airline in the world to use such a system.

When a plane comes under attack, the system responds by firing flares designed to confuse a heat-seeking missile and divert it away from the original target. The system was implemented after an incident 18 months ago in Mombassa, Kenya, when an Israeli charter jet came under attack just after takeoff.

Two shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles narrowly missed the Boeing 757, which was carrying over 250 passengers in November 2002. Shoulder-fired missiles can be easily bought and are relatively cheap, security experts warn, and Israeli officials believe they present the next big risk to the airline industry.

"So the Israeli government took the decision not to wait for another case to happen and to equip all its aircraft with counter measures," Arik Ben-Ari from the Israel Civil Aviation Authority told CNN. The planes will be equipped with a Doppler radar system, made up of four antennas at the front, two on the sides and four at the back of the plane -- capable of giving 360 degrees of radar coverage around the aircraft. Within seconds of a missile being detected, an onboard computer releases flares, firing at different angles to act as a diversion.


The system is completely automated, meaning there is no involvement from the pilot or co-pilot. The reason for this is a missile attack could happen so fast that the incident could be over before the pilots could have time to react. "The time that passes is one or two seconds. [With this] time frame the pilot of such a big aircraft can do nothing. He cannot maneuver ... he cannot even react to the alert so everything has to be automatically," says one test pilot.

The pilot will only be alerted that the plane was under attack once the threat is over. Already "Flight Guard" is being used by Israeli helicopters and fighter jets in combat. This technology was originally developed for the Israeli Air Force 15 years ago.

The manufacturers are now waiting on Federal Aviation Administration approval before it is available for commercial airline use in the United States. But with a $1 million price tag per plane and thousands of aircraft, for many airlines the cost of the system could be a major obstacle. "Today, I haven’t seen an assessment of general threat to the whole of civil aviation to say that all aircraft should be equipped," Dennis Phipps, the director of Asgard Security Management Services and the former head of security for British Airways, told CNN.

"You have to assess the threat to decide what counter measures are necessary. The important thing is the shoulder-fired missile has definite limitations. For this type of missile, the aircraft is only vulnerable when the aircraft is flying under 15,000 feet and when it is coming in on a designated flight path," Phipps said. "The threat we are looking at is can a terrorist get there and get within an area near an airport that is being used? And that is something that is being assessed."
Posted by: Zenster || 05/24/2004 12:47:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They should save their money. The sort of system described while marginally effective for fighters will not protect large multi-engine jet aircraft from modern surface to air missiles (MANPADS). At best, it might help a little against SA-7s, but most missile seekers built in the last 15 years or so incorporate flare-rejection circuitry. All this system will do will be to start fires in the areas around runways. There are systems that are relatively effective but they are are also significantly more expensive.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 13:03 Comments || Top||

#2  As to the threat, it is real and imminent. There are 80+ countries that make these things and there are hundreds of thousands of shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles "unaccounted for" in the world. The end of the Cold War flooded the world with surplus missiles that had been supplied to various freedom fighters of all political persuasions. Congress received a truly blood-chilling classified briefing on the subject that stirred them to action until they were briefed on the potential price tag. There have been passenger planes shot down in Africa, Asia, and possibly South America. That it will eventually happen here too is almost certain, but the FBI and associated agencies are working hard to prevent it.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 13:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Who knows if they works.... but check
out this C-130s decoy system.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/24/2004 13:34 Comments || Top||

#4  ZSU-23 mounted on toyota Hi-Lux would be real nasty too on an airport perimeter
Posted by: Shep UK || 05/24/2004 13:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Shep - ever been to Hounslow? - talking about airport perimeters.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 13:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Think Bradford.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 14:17 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistan Police Raid Islamic Militant Hideout, Detain 6
Police raided a hideout of an Islamic militant group before dawn Monday in southern Pakistan, triggering a shootout that ended with the arrest of six people, police officials said. No one was injured. Police said the six suspects were members of Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen al-Almi, an outlawed group accused of killing foreigners and minority Christians since President Pervez Musharraf made Pakistan an ally of the United States in its war on terror. It was not immediately clear what prompted the raid, although police said the arrests were made on a "secret information" that some terrorists were hiding in a house in the congested area of Malir.
Maybe they staged the raid because they wanted to take Bad Guys off the streets?
Some weapons were seized, police officials said. Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city with a population of 15 million, has been the scene of several terrorist attacks in recent years, mostly blamed on the Harkat group. The latest arrests came days after city police said they had arrested Kamran, also known as Atif, a leader of the Harkat group who allegedly planned a car bomb attack outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi two years ago that killed 12 people, all Pakistanis. Kamran is also being questioned in connection with an assassination attempt against Musharraf in Karachi two years ago. Police say they have arrested almost all top leaders of the group.
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/24/2004 12:27:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kamran is also being questioned, having fingernails extracted, and electrical charges applied to obtain information, in connection with an assassination attempt against Musharraf in Karachi two years ago.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 12:36 Comments || Top||

#2  a shootout with nobody injured. Another day in Pakland Asylum
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 12:47 Comments || Top||

#3  This was the innocent HardBoyz Town that didn't pay their county taxes ISI dues on time. Father Flanagan (Spencer Tracy) Mullah Al Jihadidrassahdood is mortified by the amount demanded his forgetfulness, considered to be quite endearing by his friends.
Posted by: .com || 05/24/2004 14:28 Comments || Top||

Foreign passports, cash, arms found at 'wedding' site
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 00:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Party Favors?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/24/2004 9:54 Comments || Top||

#2  I suppose it goes beyond all reason to suggest that, just maybe, there was a wedding being held at a terrorist training camp? Doesn't ameliorate the need for blowing them to hell anyway. Besides, in the absence of any NRA instructors, someone needs to educate these Arab types about the lack of wisdom regarding careless discharge of weapons.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/24/2004 11:44 Comments || Top||

#3  Those were just props for that new role-playing game, "Jihadis and Dragons". They were all innocent! Innocent, I tell you!
Posted by: Dar || 05/24/2004 11:45 Comments || Top||

#4  I think it is especially interesting that the videos purported to have been taken by the "survivors" don't show the attack and have all surfaced well after the attack. I think this is clearly an attempt to fabricate a "wedding".
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/24/2004 11:56 Comments || Top||

#5  I think it's a waste of time to debunk the "wedding" statements.

Even if this was a "wedding", the guests have to expect to get fired upon if they choose to fire their weapons in the first place.

Your nation is AT WAR, you stupid shitbags. If you are incapable of celebrating a wedding during a time of war without using firearms, then you deserve what you get.

Mohammed didn't have firearms. How did you asswipes marry your goats camels wives back in his day? So much for the AK-47 "tradition".

Sell it somewhere else, Akmed.
Posted by: Chris W. || 05/24/2004 12:21 Comments || Top||

#6  CrazyFool: Honeymoon supplies, didn't you know?
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/24/2004 13:43 Comments || Top||

#7  They were just playing a party game :
Foreign passports are props -

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

. . .
Well she'll ransack Pakistan and run a scam in Scandinavia,
Then she'll stick 'em up Down Under and go pick-pocket Perth,
She put the Miss in misdemeanor when she stole the beans from Lima,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Oh tell me where in the world is... Oh tell me where can she be?
Ooh, Botswana to Thailand, Milan via Amsterdam,
Mali to Bali, Ohio, Oahu...!
Well she glides around the globe and she'll flimflam every nation,
She's a double-dealing diva with a taste for thievery, Her itinerary's loaded up with moving violations,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 14:02 Comments || Top||

#8  Carmen Sandiego was last seen in Queens waiting for the subway.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 20:29 Comments || Top||

#9  maybe they were just gifts
Posted by: incredulous || 05/24/2004 22:09 Comments || Top||

Baghdad blast kills two Britons
A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed two British nationals had died, and one person had been injured but no further details were released. The confirmation came as four people were killed when a bomb exploded outside coalition headquarters. But the Foreign Office said it could not confirm whether the British nationals died in that attack. An Iraqi police officer said the victims were foreigners, but US officials said the nationalities of the dead were not yet known. It is unclear whether the car was targeted by a roadside bomb or whether it had been carrying the device. The blast occurred about 500 metres from the gate of one of the entrances to the Baghdad coalition headquarters. A US military spokesman inside the compound said the explosion, at around 1100 GMT, was followed by small arms fire. Witnesses say US soldiers tried to pull the men from the destroyed car and quickly sealed off the area. The entrance is one of the busiest in the Green Zone, which houses the coalition headquarters. It is the latest in a series of deadly attacks in the Iraqi capital. Earlier on Monday a roadside bomb killed two adults and a child. On Saturday, a suicide car bomber killed four people and wounded a deputy interior minister in Baghdad.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 9:07:02 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  not pleasant but the media heer in briton is making this one out as if a fuckin 20 megaton nuke went off,every time theres a nasty car crash with fatalities near me i'm gonna call the BBC see if they'll report it,Quigmire,Quagmire!!Run for the hills!!
Posted by: Shep UK || 05/24/2004 14:06 Comments || Top||

Leftist Jewish Spies Against Israel (How low can one go?)
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 00:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Documents shared with the Knesset Interior Committee confirmed that the Peace Now organization received a budget in the amount of 50,000 Euros from the government of Finland to conduct intelligence activities in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan, Gaza and Jerusalem."

Posted by: Bulldog || 05/24/2004 9:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Eh? A Leftist "peace" group acting as agents of a hostile power?

Wake me up when there's some real news. This isn't news, it's expected.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 9:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Manpad is the solution.
Posted by: VRWconspiracy || 05/24/2004 12:24 Comments || Top||

#4  They've always been kapos.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/24/2004 13:35 Comments || Top||

#5  The 'Peace Now' radical sell-outs have 'comrades' with American, Canadian, British & E.U. leftist traitors.

How many of those other 'comrades' are hand in hand with the jihad boys??
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 21:28 Comments || Top||

CIA’s longstanding feud with Chalabi
By Laurie Mylroie -- read the link. This nugget is just amazing though:
Robert Blackwill recently disclosed the startling information that the CIA told the White House then that Iraq’s helicopter squadrons would oust Saddam and that is why the White House let them fly after the cease-fire.
Posted by: someone || 05/24/2004 2:04:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Jammatud Dawa denies it has global network
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 05/24/2004 06:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

U.S. troops cross into Pakistan, locals say
About 130 U.S. troops have crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistan looking for Taliban or al Qaeda fighters, Pakistani intelligence sources and local authorities said Sunday, in what is believed to be the fifth such operation in two weeks. The Americans crossed into the Pakistani tribal territory of North Waziristan on Saturday after exchanging "hard words" with Pakistani border scouts, intelligence sources said. Local officials said the U.S. convoy included 14 vehicles and an estimated 130 troops. It was the second time in less than a week that U.S. troops crossed the border without Pakistani permission. Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri on Friday called the incursions "totally unacceptable" and said they would only encourage critics of Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States. Three other incursions were reported the previous week, and Pakistan has officially protested two of the violations. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Saturday that if the reports are true, "it would be unhelpful. I’m sure it would be an accident, and we’ll take precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again," he said.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 05/24/2004 6:16:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I find it utterly amazing that the Paks seem to know within minutes of any US incursion but are utterly incapable of finding even one of the hundreds (or thousands) of foreign jihadis in their midst.
Posted by: AzCat || 05/24/2004 6:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Good point,AzCat.
Does the Az in your name signify Arizona?
Posted by: Raptor || 05/24/2004 7:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Says it all about the Paks that they have one of the most sophisticated and heavily guarded border defences in the world 'defending' themselves from the democratic India yet don't have so much as a fairy light delineating themselves from the lawlessness of Afghanistan.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 7:31 Comments || Top||

#4  The failure of the Pak army against the Pak subsidiary of Al Q is pretty frustrating to the Pak political biggies. In truth the Paks are probably hoping that America will do their work for them while hoping that nobody will notice.
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 8:17 Comments || Top||

#5  "I’m sure it would be an accident, and we’ll take precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again," he said.

"I'll send Secretary Rumsfeld a note."
Posted by: Steve || 05/24/2004 8:30 Comments || Top||

#6  KABUL: The U.S. military said today its troops based in Afghanistan had not strayed into Pakistani territory in the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban militants since May 2, despite complaints in Islamabad that they had. A spokesman for the 20,000-strong U.S.-led force in Afghanistan told a regular news briefing in Kabul that he hoped such allegations did not distract from the "war on terror".

"Wasn't us, musta been dem eskimos again"
Posted by: Steve || 05/24/2004 9:33 Comments || Top||

#7  "#6 KABUL: The U.S. military said today its troops based in Afghanistan had not strayed into Pakistani territory in the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban.."

No they're too busy guarding the opium poppies. The US mint is running outa mula to use up its quota of "In God we Trust" stampings and needs the change.
Posted by: yorgos || 05/24/2004 9:49 Comments || Top||

#8  Hark! Sounds like the rare lop-earred
euroheathen troll.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/24/2004 10:17 Comments || Top||

#9  that's MOOLA you ignorant freak! If you're gonna troll, at least be competent at it....Sheesh!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 10:46 Comments || Top||

#10  Howard UK: Says it all about the Paks that they have one of the most sophisticated and heavily guarded border defences in the world 'defending' themselves from the democratic India yet don't have so much as a fairy light delineating themselves from the lawlessness of Afghanistan.

Their border defenses can't be all that hot - they've been defeated twice by India. Note that India's not infiltrating fanatical Hindu terrorists into Pakistan, so these defenses have not been tested against terrorist infiltrators. Note also that the Pakistani military can't be strong everywhere - its priority, and thus most of its manpower and material assets, has to be on the India-Pakistan border - Afghanistan isn't likely to be in a position to launch a full-scale invasion of Pakistan anytime soon.

Are the Pakistanis nuts to view India as a military threat today? Yes. But given their assumption of an Indian military threat, it is entirely rational to put their best units on the border with India, rather than on the border with Afghanistan.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/24/2004 11:06 Comments || Top||

#11  Border? Is there a border around here?
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 11:16 Comments || Top||

#12  that's MOOLA you ignorant freak!

Yeah. Besides, everyone knows that the opium fields are under the protection of the CIA. The military is clearing the way for the oil pipeline.
Posted by: Steve || 05/24/2004 11:59 Comments || Top||

#13  Also where the US is gonna launch its Death Star from don't forget.
Posted by: Shep UK || 05/24/2004 12:06 Comments || Top||


The Death Star is only held by the Empire,
Master Shep
{Heavy Breath}
Posted by: Darth V. || 05/24/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

Central Asia
Turks consider autonomy for the Kurds
This proved my surprise meter is still working.
Turkish politicians, both ethnic Turks and Kurds, are openly discussing the idea of granting the Kurdish majority in parts of eastern Turkey autonomy and recognition of their Kurdish cultural identity. This would go against decades of Turkish policy, but would recognize Kurdish fears of bad treatment at the hands of Arabs and Iranians, and the benefits of staying part of Turkey, and under Turkish protection. This concept is particularly attractive to some five million Kurds in Iraq (over three million), Iran (about a million) and Syria. By serving as the "big brother" to the Kurds, Turkey would reduce the anti-Turk violence among its own twelve million Kurds and secure it’s billion dollar a year in business with the Kurds of northern Iraq.
Speculating that there is a chance of partition, trying to get ahead of the game, just in case?
There are still several thousand armed PKK Kurdish rebels camped out in remote areas of northern Iraq. Better relations with the Iraqi Kurds would make it easier to deal with the PKK. The PKK (the Turkish Workers Party) has officially changed its name to KONGRA-GEL (People’s Congress of Kurdistan), but everyone still calls it the PKK.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 3:22:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whoops! No heading at the link and I forgot to add one. Try - Turks consider autonomy for the Kurds
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 3:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Turks consider autonomy for the Kurds

Good joke, the article is full of BS.
Posted by: Murat || 05/24/2004 8:24 Comments || Top||

#3  How is the nose of Bush doing? Heard that it got strapped between de spoke of his bike, poor Pinokio.
Posted by: Murat || 05/24/2004 8:28 Comments || Top||

#4  The same way we in the UK view Turkish entry to the EU - one big fat joke.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 8:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Interesting that Murat gets hot under the collar about the Turks doing something smart and in their best interests.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 8:51 Comments || Top||

#6  Is Murat ever not hot under the collar? (Apologies, Murat, but is it heartburn, or what? Maybe you should be getting a few more of those figs down you.)
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/24/2004 9:06 Comments || Top||

#7  Ease up on Murat, people. He's a patriot, which puts his heart on something outside of himself. In my book, that's light years beyond a certain individual who has recently left us in a huff.

The problem with Murat, which all patriots regardless of nationality must beware of, is that he tends to be hot headed rather than cooly calculating, shooting from the heart instead of the head, concentrating on protecting the reputation of the nation instead of the nation itself.

A true patriot does not blind himself to national weaknesses, but acknowledges them and fixes them, resulting in a longer term strenthening of his nation's position, leading to a better reputation eventually. National reputation is important, but is a mere opinion that is subject to human passions and prejudices. National strength is more important, being of true substance and worth that protects the patriot and his fellow citizens.

Let your heart motivate you, but your head guide you. With some work and clear thinking, Murat could be as valuable a contributor as Bulldog and TGA, whose presence here amplifies the value of Rantburg.
Posted by: Ptah || 05/24/2004 10:08 Comments || Top||

#8  murat - does the idea of actual rights for the kurds perterb you? you try and deflect by taking ignorant stabs at Bush - your a dumbass!

Ptah - Murats posts are more idiotic than they used to be. He is a true troll now and deserves everything thrown at him. And Murat does not achnowledge issues in Turkey - his post on this thread is proof of that.
Posted by: Dan || 05/24/2004 10:47 Comments || Top||

#9  The balance for Turkey is to give the Kurds enough independence to keep them happy without creating a Quebec style pain-in-the-butt.

If they pull it off Turkish companies could have an inside route into iraqi/kurd oil and rebuilding as well as staving off Kuridsh indendence and the resulting border problems.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/24/2004 11:36 Comments || Top||

#10  so to recap Dan's logic on murat "Hey look he's angry! lets poke 'em with a pointy stick and see if that makes him less angry!" feh
Posted by: dcreeper || 05/24/2004 12:18 Comments || Top||

#11  I've got no problem with that . His anti-American, gleeful posts regarding our war dead make me pissed, and his illogical nonsense is pure trollery. Free Kurdistan!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 12:21 Comments || Top||

#12  I think Murat prolly got laid off. The Germans are hell bent on getting their eastern cousins off the dole and into the factories.

So that leaves selling rugs again hey Murat?
Posted by: Lucky || 05/24/2004 14:52 Comments || Top||

#13  Lucky, you not usually noted for your cruelty. ;=)
Posted by: Shipman || 05/24/2004 15:26 Comments || Top||

#14  Patriot? Maybe, but in that regard Murat's his own worst enemy.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/24/2004 17:04 Comments || Top||

#15  dcreeper defends murat--will wonders never cease . . .
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/25/2004 1:38 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Somalis protest Aideed arrest
Thousands of angry Somalis took to the streets of Mogadishu yesterday to protest Kenya’s arrest of one of their country’s most prominent warlords, who has been jailed for a month for unpaid debt. A crowd, estimated at several thousand, demanded Kenya free Hussein Aidid, who was plucked from Somali peace talks in Nairobi on Thursday on the orders of a Kenyan magistrate. “The Kenyan government should release our leader because he was a guest of the Kenyan government and its people,” said Abukar Osman a deputy chairman of the Somali National Alliance led by Aidid. SNA officials accused Kenya of humiliating Aidid, a youthful warlord who came to power upon the death of his father Mohamed Farah Aidid. “Down with the Kenyan Government because it is not respecting its guests,” some members of the crowd chanted. Aidid is accused of owing a Kenyan businessman some $180,000 over a development deal that went sour.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 2:01:05 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hussein Aidid. isn't he the son that was in the USMC?
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/24/2004 8:46 Comments || Top||

#2  That is what I was thinking,Ship.
Posted by: Raptor || 05/24/2004 9:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Oldest trick in the book - call someone in for consultations, and then arrest him.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/24/2004 11:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Baby "Skyhook" (Rush's nickname for papa) has got to pay his bills.
Kenya's been doing a lot of this recently.
A new policy - pay the bills or
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 12:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Protesting the arrest of their favorite warlord: "Give us back our warlord so we can go back to warring, which is what we like best!"
Posted by: virginian || 05/24/2004 16:50 Comments || Top||

Somali warlords take tentative step towards peace
Rival Somali warlords on Saturday agreed a tentative step forward in a peace plan designed to restore order to a chaotic country where lawlessness has raised international security fears. East African foreign ministers, who have been seeking to shepherd a Somali deal, said representatives from close to 40 factions would now move to a final phase of peace talks. "The ministers expressed their readiness to mobilize regional and international support for recognition of the (Somali) government to be established... at the conclusion of the process," the ministers said in a joint statement after the latest round of negotiations outside the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Saturday's agreement, which resolved a dispute over how Somalia's eventual parliament is to be selected, is far from a final deal for the battered country. But it paves the way for the final power-sharing phase of the talks which organizers hope will establish a transitional charter, choose a parliament and install a government. Saturday's deal came despite Kenya's arrest of prominent Somali warlord Hussein Aideed, who was jailed for a month on Thursday over debts owed to a Kenyan businessman. Thousands of Somalis took to Mogadishu's streets on Saturday to protest the arrest of Aideed, who came to power after the death of his father, Mohamed Farah Aideed -- whose clashes with U.S. troops in 1993 became the basis for the Hollywood film "Black Hawk Down." "The Kenyan government should release our leader because he was a guest of the Kenyan government and its people," said Abukar Osman, a deputy chairman of Aideed's Somali National Alliance. Organizers of the Nairobi talks said Aideed's faction was represented by a deputy and signed the agreement.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:59:32 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Janjaweed massacres 56
Arab militiamen killed at least 56 people in a raid in western Sudan, villagers said on Sunday, just days after the government declared the troubled region was stable. The militiamen, known as janjaweed, raided Abga Rajil village 50 km south of Nyala town on Saturday, witnesses said. Abdel-Rahman Rizk, 29, speaking from a Nyala hospital bed where he was recovering from a bullet wound to the thigh, said the militiamen arrived on horses, camels and a car and surrounded the village. "They were firing and people were scattering and they set fire to the houses and then they started picking off people as they ran out of their houses," he told Reuters.

Ibrahim Adam, also from the village, said: "The tally of those we buried was 56. Forty of them we buried in one grave." Others from the area gave the same figure, although an official from the Sudan Liberation army (SLA), one of the two main rebel groups in Darfur, said he had understood 46 were killed. Independent verification is hard to obtain in the remote Darfur region. The government said on Monday that Darfur was now stable and security would be maintained by police.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:58:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'd love to hear a cogent explanation from the Muslim community of how Islamists can justify murdering people when Allah created those people. Wouldn't that be the defying of God's will? Or will we hear one more circular argument on how murderers are carrying out God's will against infidels? (Guess that means that Muslims are better judges of apostasy and know better than Allah...)
Posted by: jules 187 || 05/24/2004 14:36 Comments || Top||

Caucasus Corpse Count
Fighting persisted Sunday in Chechnya, where an official in the Moscow-backed government said seven Russian servicemen and a Chechen police officer were killed in rebel attacks, clashes and land-mine explosions in the previous 24 hours. Two of the Russians were killed and six were wounded in a clash with rebels near the town of Achkhoi-Martan on Saturday, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said a grenade fired from a launcher hit an armored personnnel carrier during the fighting. Four of servicemen were killed and six others were wounded in rebel attacks on Russian outposts in the war-ravaged region in southwestern Russia, according to the official, who said there were 14 such attacks in the past day. The seventh serviceman died, and three were wounded, when their armored personnel carrier detonated a mine in the capital Grozny early Sunday, he said.

The Chechen officer was fatally shot by a gunman from a passing car in the town of Argun on Saturday, the official said. He said Russian artillery targeted suspected rebel positions in two southern districts, and at least 250 were rounded up in security sweeps. Chechen civilians and human rights groups accuse Russian forces of major human rights violations during the security operations.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:55:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

6 policemen injured in Chechnya
Six policemen were injured in Chechnya's Achkhoi-Martan district when their vehicle hit a landmine, a Chechen police source told Interfax on Sunday. "The incident occurred near the village of Katyr-Yurt on Saturday," the source said. All of the injured policemen are members of the Tver police squad.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:54:17 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Bangla commies angry over anti-terror pact with US
Bangladesh's new agreement with the US to protect American interests and help identify suspected terrorists in the country has drawn flak from the communists who feel it reeks of imperialism. US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca visited Dhaka last week to sign a memorandum of intent that will help identify individuals or groups suspected of working against the US, OneWorld reports. Under the agreement, Bangladesh will install PISCES (Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System), sophisticated computer software to document passengers travelling into and out of the country and check the movement of suspected terrorists. In exchange, the US will help Bangladesh develop a computer database to use at airports and seaports. "Dhaka and Washington have reached an understanding on the state of law and order and human rights in Bangladesh and Bangladesh has expressed its desire to work on it," said Rocca.

But leftist parties in the country are not taking too kindly to the "understanding". Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon said: "The government is collaborating with the US to conceal its failure to resist different groups acting against the interests of countries that are our friends. It is the government's responsibility to act against those involved in unlawful activities."

Communist Party of Bangladesh secretary general Mujahidul Islam Selim maintained the US would like to dominate Bangladesh as it has been doing with Pakistan, and the agreement is proof of Washington's "imperialistic attitude". He feared the memorandum would enable Washington to punish Bangladeshis by charging them with acting against US interests.

The home ministry said the renewable agreement would be valid for five years. Relevant portions of PISCES will immediately become operational at the capital's Zia International Airport and later expand to cover all land, sea and airports. According to the US State Department, PISCES is part of its Terrorist Interdiction Programme that seeks to tighten the noose around key terrorist transit points worldwide. PISCES provides information to border control officials at transit points, helping them to identify, detain or track travellers. It also increases the capacity to collect, compare and analyse traveller data, mainly to stem the flow of terrorists, weapons and illegal funds. A ministry press release emphasised that the memorandum "has been taken up in the national interests of Bangladesh for enabling the country's law enforcers to check trans-boundary crimes and terrorism".

But socialist party Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haque Inu felt the government did not need to sign the agreement, because it was already duty bound to foil any conspiracy against foreign interests. "By signing the memorandum, the government has virtually confessed that it has failed to take action against terrorist activities," he remarked.

Both at home and abroad, there were charges that terrorist groups were operating in Bangladesh, an accusation that Dhaka denies. But the arrest of several Islamist activists and other evidence revealed the presence of the hardline Islamist group Harkat-Ul-Jihad and its youth front Jama'atul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB), said to be funded by Al Qaida. The JMB recently changed its name to Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and began a vigilante drive against extremist Left groups, killing 10 people and terrorising villagers. The group allegedly has the backing of politicians and police. Apart from that, a leftist terrorist group has been active in southwestern and northern Bangladesh for over three decades.

The US government is also worried about increasing evidence of arms smuggling into Bangladesh, which it would like to help curb. In April, when the government recovered a massive haul of 10 truckloads of arms and weapons in Chittagong port, the US was keen to aid the investigation. Reports indicated the consignment was headed for insurgent groups in neighbouring countries. American Ambassador Harry K Thomas said: "We offered assistance and have not yet heard from the government on the issue." He noted that 50 days had passed since the arms were recovered but the incident is still shrouded in mystery. Thomas pointed out the US embassy in Dhaka had been receiving anonymous threats through phone calls and fax messages. "In such times we cannot ignore these threats." Nor can investors in Bangladesh, where US direct investment exceeds $1 billion.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:51:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Norwegian soldier killed in Kabul attack
A Norwegian soldier was killed and one slightly wounded in a grenade attack on the international peacekeeping force in Kabul, a spokeswoman said today. The attack, last evening, involved a grenade that may have been rocket propelled, hitting a vehicle belonging to the 6,500-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrolling the Afghan capital. ''I understand one grenade missed and one impacted the vehicle. There were four soldiers in the vehicle,'' said Major Rita LePage. ''I believe this is the first Norwegian death in the ISAF mission.'' The attack occured at around 9 p.m. (1630 GMT) yesterday on the road running east out of Kabul towards Jalalabad, where several ISAF bases are located. British peacekeepers had cordoned off the area, and a helicopter flew over the scene.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:41:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Wolfowitz, Feith bailing on Chalabi?
Quite EFL though long; RTWT.
“We have had many meetings with the Iranian government, but we have passed no secret information, no classified documents to them from the United States. Furthermore we have not had any classified information given to us by the United States,” he told NBC Sunday. Mr.Chalabi told ABC News Sunday, “Let Mr. Tenet come to Congress, and I am prepared to come there and lay out all the facts and all the documents that we have, and let Congress decide whether this is true or whether they are being misled by George Tenet.”
More on the Iran charges...
The charges and the evidence against Mr. Chalabi are so grave, administration officials say, that some of Mr. Chalabi’s long-standing allies have begun to distance themselves from him, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. “If the evidence against him were nonsense, Wolfowitz would have said it was nonsense,” a Pentagon official told The New York Sun. “This is serious evidence, whether or not it’s proven in the end, it’s at least credible enough that we are concerned and angry about it.” Another administration official described the evidence as “irrefutable.” That information [allegedly passed to Iran] was so secret, two administration officials said, that the evidence against Mr. Chalabi has only been shared at the most senior levels of the government, and many working level policy-makers have been rebuffed in their requests to see the particulars on the erstwhile American ally.
Good marks for ICP:
Last week, the Pentagon stopped all funding for a $340,000-a-month intelligence collection operation known as the Information Collection Program despite multiple reports from the Defense Intelligence Agency, American commanders in the field, and the Iraq Survey Group that the program was exceedingly useful to the military. On Friday, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, told Congress the ICP had saved the lives of American soldiers. Newsday has issued a news story that claimed the Defense Intelligence Agency had recently concluded that the program, run by INC intelligence chief Aras Habib Karem, was an Iranian disinformation campaign. Mr. Karem is believed by the CIA to be an agent for Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. A source familiar with the program said the Newsday story is “unequivocally false.” This source said that Mr. Karem, through his leadership of the ICP, had saved the lives of American soldiers. When the Pentagon took over the Information Collection Program in the fall of 2002, Mr. Karem took a lie detector test in which he was asked about his ties to foreign governments, including Iran’s, and did well enough that the DIA went ahead with the program with Mr. Karem at its helm.
I’ve snipped a lot below here.
Administration officials sympathetic to Mr. Chalabi shared this view. They noted that ties between Iran and President Karzai of Afghanistan — not to mention the Iranian penetration of both major Kurdish parties — were long-standing concerns to the American intelligence community, but did not garner the attention Mr. Chalabi’s links to the Islamic republic did in daily intelligence reporting for senior officials in the administration. But other supporters of Mr. Chalabi appear to backing away from him. The undersecretary of defense for policy, Douglas Feith, told Newsweek he had only met Mr. Chalabi a few times and complained about press reports that claimed the two men were close. The Sun has learned that the intelligence community concluded recently the inclusion of the defector’s ["mobile labs"] information in Mr. Powell’s speech and the intelligence estimate was the fault of poor coordination between the intelligence agencies providing information and not the Iraqi National Congress.
The intramural struggle continues. Reporters should start IDing "administration" sources as "DoD" or "State/CIA" for maximum he-said/she-said amusement.
Posted by: someone || 05/24/2004 1:36:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lie detector test? Christ, why don't they just slaughter a goat and read the entrails?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 05/24/2004 12:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Chalabi is talking about how bad Brahimi is, and how the State and CIA are sacrificing Iraq to the Baathists and the UN. Meanwhile the NYT reports a dinner involving a guy named Mehdi, a favorite of Sistani, Brahimi, and - guess who - yup, Ahmed Chalabi. There is MORE going on here than meets the eye. Im not sure what it is, but Im sure its going on.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/24/2004 15:01 Comments || Top||

#3  suppose they let Chalabi in on "secrets", and waited for them to be passed to the black hats? dunno either, but seems like they've got the goods on him...
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 15:19 Comments || Top||

#4  doesnt it seem odd that Chalabi is meeting with Brahimi just when Chalabi is denouncing Brahimi?

Look, the DoD-Chalabi connection is, paradoxically, embarrassing for BOTH DoD AND Chalabi. For Dod it smacks of all that theyve been accused of - naive neo-Wilsonianism, being duped on WMD's, failure to plan for the occupation, etc. But it doesnt follow that Chalabi gains from the DoD connection. In Iraq they dont care all that much about US planning squabbles, WMD squabbles, etc. They ARE looking for leaders who are anti-Soddomite, but not US "stooges". Seems that this is a divorce from which BOTH DoD and Chalabi benefit. Chalabi can take his oil-for-food secrets and play them how we wants, while DoD can concentrate on the military side of the occupation, etc.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/24/2004 15:36 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistan announces lashkar shakeup. Really.
Three armies last week headed into the mountains of Pakistan's tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan, a region where some 400 to 600 Al Qaeda and foreign militants are believed to be in hiding. The first was a lashkar, or posse of local tribesmen, formed in response to Islamabad's demands that locals take action against the foreign fighters. To back up that demand, fresh Pakistani military and paramilitary troops moved into the tribal region of South Waziristan and took positions in the highlands around the capital of Wana.

On Friday, the lashkar returned empty-handed, and a third force made its presence known. US and Afghan troops pursued Islamic militants across the border into North Waziristan - the second incursion into Pakistan in a month. The US move, coupled with comments by Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilizad, is putting pressure on Islamabad to clean up the troubled tribal region where high-level Al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawihiri, may be hiding.

Despite US impatience and increasing doubts about the lashkar's reliability, Islamabad appears committed to its strategy of working with the tribes rather than risking a repeat of March's bloody confrontation between Pakistani forces and local militants. In a new tactic announced Sunday, the lashkar will now operate secretly to avoid tipping off foreign militants ahead of operations. "We have gained high moral grounds by involving the tribal elders and bitterly opposed clerics ... to solve the problem," says Azmat Ullah Gandapur, a top local administrator in South Waziristan. "The political process takes time and dynamics of tribal traditions like the lashkar are always at a snail's pace. If the lashkar fails to produce results then we have a military option, and [we can say to] tribal elders that we have made [ourselves] clear."

The lashkar is made up of 4,000 tribesmen from all clans, including the Zali Khel and Yar Gul Khel - two groups accused of harboring foreigner terrorists. In last week's operation, 1,200 warriors went door to door in remote towns near the Afghan border and issued warnings of "dire consequences" for those found guilty of harboring foreigners.
"Mahmoud! There's a man at the door, rolling his eyes and threatening dire consequences!"
"Is he wearing a turban?"
"Ignore him. It's just the tribal lashkar."
One man's home was destroyed after he told villagers that it is a sin to capture Taliban and Al Qaeda militants. But the lashkar somehow found no foreigners in its three-day search, angering Pakistani officials and prompting a change in tactics. "We have told them that we believe in a political process, but [it must be a] political process with results. Otherwise we will be compelled to launch a crackdown against the tribesmen and then the whole tribe will suffer," says a local administration official in South Waziristan.

To make the force more effective, a new 30-member committee will be formed to use intelligence to direct the tribal force on secret missions. "The secrecy is to avoid any possibility of information passed onto the militants," says Malik Khadeen, head of the lashkar and its supervisory body. "We want to catch the culprits by surprise," says Malik Khadeen.

But some observers doubt that the tribal force can ever be effective. "The Arab, Chechen, and Uzbek mujahideen are powerful and committed to the cause of jihad," says tribesman Mohammad Noor. "The tribal force is compelled to take action against them due to the punitive measures announced by the authorities and cannot match the spirit of these foreigner jihadis. So the chances of lashkar's success are slim." The Pakistani official in charge of the tribal belt, however, defends the strategy as an important step toward cutting off local support for the foreigners. "We are successful in isolating foreign militants and to cleanse towns and villages which once served them as safe haven," says retired Brigadier Gen. Mahmood Shah. "We are trying to push them onto the mountains so in case of military operation the local population does not suffer. We need to be patient. So should be Washington."

Signs are evident that the US wants more direct action out of its newly minted "major non-NATO ally." In April, US Ambassador Khalilzad praised the redeployment of Pakistani troops in South Waziristan but also alleged that terrorists continue to base, train, and operate from Pakistani territory. "We have told the Pakistani leadership that either they must solve this problem or we will have to do so ourselves," he said. His statement triggered serious protests from Islamabad, which called the reamarks "foolish and irresponsible." Pakistan also protested the latest incursion on its territory by US and Afghan troops. "The US wants Pakistan to do more to get rid of Al Qaeda and the Taliban militants in South Waziristan as soon as possible," says Aisha Siddiqua, a defense analyst "And its actions should prove results-oriented rather than curled in centuries old tribal traditions and culture."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:32:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In a new tactic announced Sunday, the lashkar will now operate secretly to avoid tipping off foreign militants ahead of operations.

Does this mean they're getting rid of the traditional lashkar drummers and the 24-hour courtesy notice?
Posted by: Pappy || 05/24/2004 20:34 Comments || Top||

Toe tag for 32 Mahdi Army members
U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a Kufa mosque Sunday where they said insurgents stored weapons, and the military said at least 32 fighters loyal to a radical Shiite cleric were killed during the first American incursion into the holy city. U.S. troops also clashed with militiamen loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in a Shiite district of Baghdad and in Najaf, Kufa's twin city. Nine U.S. soldiers were wounded Sunday around Baghdad, the military said, including four injured in a mortar attack in the east of the capital. In another holy city, Karbala, militia fighters appeared to have abandoned their positions after weeks of combat.

A U.S. Marine was killed and several other troops were injured when a bomb hidden in a parked car exploded as two American convoys passed by near Fallujah, the military said.

American tanks and troops moved into the heart of Kufa, a stronghold of al-Sadr, for the first time since the fiercely anti-U.S. cleric launched an uprising against the coalition early last month. Al-Sadr, sought for the April 2003 killing of a moderate rival cleric, has taken refuge in Najaf and routinely delivers a Friday sermon in Kufa. U.S. soldiers fought militiamen near Kufa's Sahla mosque and then raided it for weapons after an Iraqi counterterrorism force "cleared" the site, the military said. Soldiers seized a machine gun, two mortar tubes and more than 200 mortar rounds, along with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and rounds. American troops smashed the gate to the mosque complex with an armored vehicle and killed people inside, mosque employee Radhi Mohammed said. An Associated Press photographer saw bloodstains on the ground indicating that someone was dragged for at least 10 yards. There also was blood in mosque bathrooms.

The fighting around Shiite holy cities south of Baghdad, among the world's most sacred Shia sites, has enraged Shiite communities in Iran and elsewhere. In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran sent a "warning" message to the United States through the Swiss Embassy concerning American actions in Iraq. Switzerland looks after American interests in Iran. Asefi did not say whether the warning involved military actions around the holy cities. "There were American forces in that local mosque last night," said Maj. David Gercken, spokesman for the 1st Armored Division. "They went in after the Iraqi forces."

Sheik Mansoor al-Asadi, head of the central council of tribes in the Najaf area, said he was "astonished" by the Kufa raid, saying it undermined efforts by local leaders to resolve the standoff between al-Sadr and the coalition peacefully. Salama al-Khafaji, a Shiite member of the Iraqi Governing Council, denounced the U.S. move against the mosque as a "violation of sanctity" that will put an added burden on Iraqi authorities who work with the Americans. But Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the 1st Armored Division, said U.S. forces took care not to damage Shiite Muslim shrines even though militiamen used them as fighting positions. "We have no intention of entering the shrines," Dempsey said, adding that Iraqi security forces would enter them if necessary.

American troops also fought his militia, known as the al-Mahdi Army, around Kufa's technical college and a building known as Saddam's Palace, the military said. Thirty-two militiamen died, it said. Medical personnel at the city's Furat al-Awsat hospital said at least 10 people were killed and 11 were wounded, however, and it was unclear whether those numbers included the fighters or referred to civilians. No U.S. casualties were reported. Resident Mohammed Abdul-Kareem said the dead included three civilians whose houses were damaged in the fighting, which lasted from 10 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday.

Sixteen people also were wounded in clashes between U.S. forces and al-Sadr loyalists in Najaf on Sunday, according to hospital officials and witnesses. Two other militiamen were wounded when three projectiles exploded in central Najaf. In Karbala, no al-Sadr fighters or American forces were seen on the streets Sunday, but the U.S. military denied claims by al-Sadr's office that all combatants agreed to withdraw from the city. "There was no cease-fire, no deal made in Karbala," Gercken said. "We do not and will not make deals with militias or criminals." U.S. forces captured 10 militiamen overnight in Karbala but encountered little resistance during patrols, Gercken said.

Iraqi leaders in Karbala were trying to negotiate an end to the fighting, but coalition officials have demanded that al-Sadr disband his militia and "face justice" on the arrest warrant. "There is no presence of armed militias in the city," said Adham Mahmoud, a Karbala hotel worker. "People have started leaving their homes and going into the streets. Some have started rebuilding their damaged houses." No insurgents were seen around Karbala's Imam Hussein shrine, one of Shia Islam's holiest sites. It was guarded by a special security force in civilian clothing that was appointed by top Shiite clerics. "Iraqi security forces are already patrolling the city," a U.S. military statement said.

Gunmen killed a police captain and a university student and wounded a police sergeant in Baqouba, north of Baghdad, a hospital official said. Capt. Haidar Hadi and the sergeant were giving the student a lift to Baghdad when the gunmen opened fire, said Nassir Jawad of Baqouba General Hospital. Also Sunday, a policeman was killed and two others seriously wounded by a bomb while patrolling between Basra and Zubeir in southern Iraq, police said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:28:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10802 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Salama al-Khafaji, a Shiite member of the Iraqi Governing Council, denounced the U.S. move against the mosque as a "violation of sanctity"
Church of the Nativity anyone?? Surprise-o-meter may have seized-up due to lack of activity.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 4:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Howard UK, it's a fine point of Islamic logic, volition. It's OK to voluntarily defecate in a church, but it's not OK to have the crap involuntarily knocked out of you in a mosque.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 11:23 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't know about the rest of the ppl who have read this article and many othbers like it. I am sick and tired of hearing the arabs talking about the US defiling the sanctity of the mosque.How hard is it for them too see they are the ones defiling their holy ccities and mosques. If it was up too me i woul;d really defile by crushing the whole damn city into the earth.
Posted by: smokeysinse || 05/24/2004 17:02 Comments || Top||

#4  As I mentioned another Rant topic, it is time to stop it with this "Holy City" talk. I know why our media continues to use this rheteric but we do not have to help them by adopting it ourselves. There is no such thing, logically, as a Muslim holy city. Satan worship is not holy in the sense of the Judeo-Christian perspective so therefore any city that has Satan worship locations (mosques) is not holy.

Besides, if the Satan worship leaders (imams) use their so-called worship sites as locations to launch military strikes against the coalition forces then they lose the right to expect them to be off limits to military counterstrikes by the "good guys".
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist || 05/24/2004 17:25 Comments || Top||

No evidence of wedding at the attack site. Wotta surprise.
Do you get the impression we've been looking at two different sites? Or at a single site at two different times?
At the site where a U.S. air strike killed 40 persons Wednesday, troops found “terrorist manuals,” machines for making fake IDs, and battery packs rigged for homemade bombs. They found nothing to indicate a wedding party, as some witnesses have said, a senior military official said Saturday.
Well, that's certainly ethnocentric. It's not like Iraqis give newlyweds toasters and towels. They prefer things that are more useful, like a few good books, something that can be used to start a small business, and... ummm... alternative power sources if the electricity goes off.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, chief military spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said evidence at the location about 15 miles from the Syrian border suggested that there had been a secret meeting of anti-occupation forces. However, Kimmitt left open the possibility that there also may have been some kind of celebration. “Bad people have parties, too,” he said.
"Mahmoud, order up some dancing girls! Ahmed's going off to fight the infidels!"
The incident has stirred further anger among Iraqis already bitter about the American occupation, and U.S. military officials have moved swiftly to counter the allegation that they may have slaughtered innocent persons. A videotape emerged late Wednesday allegedly showing the bodies of the dead, including children. Purported witnesses said the air strike hit a wedding party. At a briefing Saturday, Kimmitt showed photographs of the interior of the targeted building that showed stacks of bedding — more than 300 sets — a table used for medical examinations, and medical supplies, including syringes with residue suspected of being cocaine. There were assorted firearms and a large number of packed sets of clothing.
No togas? No party favors? No kegs? Maybe a bit of barbecue?
He said the setup appeared to be a way station where foreign fighters slipping through the border could get bogus identification documents and clothes that would help them blend in with the Iraqi population. “There was no evidence of a wedding,” Kimmitt said. “There was no decorations, no music instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration. No gifts.”
Not even a friggin' blender?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/24/2004 1:22:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The only wedding which 'almost' happened was that of Syrian terrorists meeting up with Iranian terrorists.

Now 40 of the rats which can no longer bring harm to anyone, ever again, can look long and hard for those 72 virgins...
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 1:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Virgins are few and far between in HELL, where they'll be spending a lot of time, in the coming eternity......Oh, I get it....they ARE the virgins......ha ha ha ha
Posted by: Halfass Pete || 05/24/2004 2:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Wedding video on BBC website (surprise, sur-fnucking-prise) - could be a Jihadi discotheque?? (If that's allowed?!)
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 8:37 Comments || Top||

#4  In response to Kimmit's suggestion that "Bad people have parties too" I would like to add that bad people often have the very best of parties - what with the devil having the best tunes etc.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 8:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Were the table settings tasteful?
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/24/2004 8:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't have tables do they... fuggin hippies.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 9:01 Comments || Top||

#7  "At the site where a U.S. air strike killed 40 persons Wednesday, troops found “terrorist manuals,” machines for making fake IDs, and battery packs rigged for homemade bombs.

They found nothing to indicate a wedding party, as some witnesses have said, a senior military official said Saturday."

Well the main occupying force did bring its own WMDs - so is it so hard to consider that possibly they brought their own terrorist manuals, fake IDs et al as well?

C'mon, do you really think that they would admit to blowing up a wedding party?

Maybe it was done by the same unit that blew up the wedding party in Afghanistan - you know, "on a roll" now had the practice run now they've just completed the real thing.

They are the brave high-tech bombers that came before the Samaritan, you know, quickly by-passed the seedy-needy cause they're just too obsessed with being greedy.

GWB truely believes Jesus told him the slaughter from afar of sand grinders was the path to heaven, salvation and eternal life. Kill the camel herding tent dwellers so you'll have the chance to live a full life.
Posted by: yorgos || 05/24/2004 9:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Fred, any chance you could run up a set of tags to denote irony - I presume the above is unabashed trollage? Although the sentiment in your final line is hearteninng, I feel we must be a little more selective in the choice of our victims.. any news of baby ducks in vacinity of wedding?.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/24/2004 10:02 Comments || Top||

#9  Yorgos writes like a Junior High student in San Francisco complete with the hash fogged logic and syntax.
Posted by: Random thoughts || 05/24/2004 11:27 Comments || Top||

#10  Well yorgos, we did admit to blowing up that wedding party in Afghanistan, so yeah we probably would admit to this as well. Do you have any facts to bring to the table? Didn't think so. Take your anti-American screeds somewhere else.

FOAD, you toad.
Posted by: AllahHateMe || 05/24/2004 11:33 Comments || Top||

#11  Kill the camel herding tent dwellers so you'll have the chance to live a full life. Sounds like a plan!
Posted by: Phil B || 05/24/2004 11:38 Comments || Top||

#12  It's sad that there are carbon blobs like yorgos running around.....too bad his dad just didn't jerk off that batch into the toilet.
Posted by: Jarhead || 05/24/2004 11:45 Comments || Top||

#13  Yorgos: GWB is a freaking Methodist. If you'd get off your dead ass and learn something about American culture then you might know that. (I know. Our culture is very immature, so you much smarter Europeans just need to spend an afternoon reading an article in Paris Match to know everything that you need to understand us) He's not the evangelical Christian that everyone is always accusing him of. Just because religion is dead in Europe, doesn't mean it's dead here. We have hundreds of denominations that run the gamut from near agnosticism to hard core fundamentalists. Methodists are not fundamentalists.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/24/2004 11:52 Comments || Top||

#14  Jarhead, dude, give a drink warning next time. That was funny. Damn funny.
Posted by: AllahHateMe || 05/24/2004 13:43 Comments || Top||

#15  AHM, sorry bro', (rim-shot) I'll be here all week.
Posted by: Jarhead || 05/24/2004 14:17 Comments || Top||

#16  posted by 11A5S "GWB is a freaking Methodist"

I guess that means he's on methadone, no?

It's plainly obvious to the whole planet that he's not a Christian. Like many that post here, he suffers from the Golden Calf Syndrome!

He's like one of those nodding little dogs in the back window of a car - nodding away to the tune of clinking coins.

As for addmitting to the Afghanistan party "incident" the admittale came so late it hardly got a mention in the press.
Posted by: yorgos || 05/24/2004 14:53 Comments || Top||

#17  Yorgos, your remark about Methodism once again reveals your utter and absolute ignorance of America and American culture.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/24/2004 16:02 Comments || Top||

#18  Where are you from yorgos? Just curious where such an ignorant waste of flesh comes from.

Posted by: AllahHateMe || 05/24/2004 16:23 Comments || Top||

#19  Why do we always get the idiot trolls.
Posted by: djohn66 || 05/24/2004 16:35 Comments || Top||

#20  Yorgos, first of all, if the methadone thing was meant to be funny, it fell miserably flat. Do us all a favor and don't try to make any jokes next time; your posts will do just fine.

As far as I know, Bush's religious faith runs very deep. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, fellow RBers, but I believe he claimed his faith was one of the things that helped him escape the death spiral of alcoholism that he was caught up in once upon a time. There's also a book out there, called, if I recall correctly, The Faith of George W. Bush, which explores it quite nicely.

And are you referring to the Iraq wedding? Get your facts straight if you want to even start to try and condemn us, first of all. Getting the country wrong doesn't help any case you might try to build. And how could it be "so late" that the press wouldn't pick it up? Are we talking time-wise here? They're still going on about it! They're ignoring the fact that he said anything at all!

And you'll have to be more specific on the Golden Calf issue. But I'll save that for another time - gold bars in the forge are almost done. Got to go.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 16:37 Comments || Top||

#21  Yorgos, is it too much to suppose that the same people who denied Saddam's atrocities, fabricated the deaths of millions from sanctions, and turned a blind eye to the oil-for-food scam, might, just might, invent a fictitious wedding party?

BTW, you're a fucking drunk, it's obvious from the way you write. No, look it up, dipshit: the presumption of clairvoyant authority is a clinical symptom of alcholism.
I think alchohol abuse literally, seriously explains why the BBC and Reuters sympathize with the terrorists: their British drinking class chatterati staff love the sweeping authoritarianism, the monumental hypocrisy, and the absurd pretense of morality. All are characteristic traits of both alcoholics and, oddly, teetotaling Islamofascists.

How strange, an irony within a paradox within a dichotomy, but there is a solution:
We know that the predispostion to alcoholism is inherited. Interestingly, so is the tendency to be a leftist, (see "red-diaper baby"). This brings the immutable laws of evolution into play: Maybe the lack of booze in Islamic culture prevents the selective elimination of those who exhibit these traits to the most egregious degree, since the worst examples would otherwise die of cirrhosis before they had a chance to reproduce.

The Arabs need a stiff shot of Jim Beam. We can send it in bulk on super-tankers that would otherwise be returning empty. It should be issued free of charge to all who want it, mixed with Mecca cola when necessary.
When the nastiest drunks have finally expired, the process of civilized acculturation can begin.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/24/2004 20:00 Comments || Top||

#22  Listen AC - I'm no Sadamist sympathiser, and don't confuse Sadam with Islam either. He's no Moslem! And I'm not a moslem or an Islamist! I don't drink or do drugs, but who, other than an alcoholic or a drunk, would bother searching for for some obscure psyco-profilic definition pertaining to alcoholism?

Wake up! Denial is not a river in Egypt.

I find it amusing that many who post their opinions here are so fearful of differing opinions that they can only resort to ad hominem attacks!

The BBC and Reuters aren't terrorist sympathizers, where do you get such a ridiculous idea? Try to be a little objective and balanced in their reporting does not equate to "terrorist sympathizers".

Saddam was never the issue in Iraq - it's the oil!

Saddam could have been eliminated decades ago but he was needed, his meglomanic greed was needed to so deplete the resolve and souls of your average Iraqis that an invasion would not be seen as an invasion but as a liberation. hasn't worked, has it? We knew he (Sadam) wouldn't spend a dime on maintaining essential infrastructure, health and education - in fact we counted on it!

We let close to 1 million children die for our greed! We encouraged him for the past 15 years so we could go in and blow the crap out of everything and charge them for the cost of reconstruction and demolition! they're people just like us. They're mothers and fathers and we let them suffer. We were and are seen as the cause of their suffering!

By "us" and "we" I mean every democratic capitalist, including the Israelis!

You think you're a patriotic American - you're not! You're just plain ignorant! And the worst thing about that is that you've got your head so far up your own ass, and its been there so long, that you believe your shit don't stink and the crap you feed on is, somehow what the whole world needs to eat too! If I was recruiting canon fodder, you'd be the first on my list. Tell me can you play flight simulation games? I might be able to make a buck!
Posted by: yorgos || 05/24/2004 22:28 Comments || Top||

#23  Yorgos, Yorgos, Yorgos . . . where do I begin?

While I will admit that sometimes we're a little harsh on differing opinions here, I think that I'm starting to detect a pattern: we don't like it when people smear the United States in unjustifiable ways in addition to broadcasting their opinions. Often, the two don't work together very well, and it just ends up being an angry attack with any potential counterarguments obscured in a cloud of foam-spitting irrelevance. I seem to recall a few arguments with a guy named Aris that ended up in back-and-forth shooting - and yet, there were some good discussions with him, too. Coming here and attacking everything we hold dear just doesn't tend to work very well. It may be to our detriment sometimes, admittedly, but more often than not it just results in you being insulted and not getting your point, if any, across.

Ahem. Moving on to your other remarks. If the BBC and Reuters aren't terrorist sympathizers, then they are at the very least not terribly objective, either. Admit it: there are an awful lot of stories that make the US look bad. How many stories are there of Israeli or US attacks versus a detailing of the horrors of the Islamic extremists? No country with as many good intentions and honorable people as we have could possibly be as depraved as we are sometimes portrayed. Yes, we have our faults. Yes, we make mistakes . . . but how many other countries can do the things we can? How many other countries have made the kind of progress we have?

Now . . . regarding your charge that Saddam could have been eliminated decades ago but he was needed, his meglomanic greed was needed to so deplete the resolve and souls of your average Iraqis that an invasion would not be seen as an invasion but as a liberation. Do you really think that we had this in mind decades ago? Do you really believe that this kind of conspiracy could be carried out so efficiently, that a group of people twenty, thirty years ago could have said "We believe that we need Saddam because we need that oil"? That's simply not logical, not reasonable, and not possible. If we were that good, would we really have allowed things to get out of hand in Saudi Arabia, in Iran, in North Korea, in a dozen other places? What would we have to gain by manipulating circumstances such that half the world's a total disaster? We're trying to clean up some messes made by tinpot Islamic dicators. You want evidence that this ain't about oil? Look at the prices at your local gas station. Enough said.

As for that "1,000,000 children dying" thing, that's an obvious exaggeration, and furthermore, how many children died under Saddam? Answer me. How many? For every one that may have died, how many have we saved? How many have the chance for a future in which they aren't servants of a bloodthirsty egomaniac?

We aren't charging them for the cost of reconstruction and demolition. Hell, just yesterday there was a story here about how France was rejecting the option we offered for slashing the debt Iraq accrued under Saddam!

I'm sorry, Yorgos, but you're the one who's just plain ignorant. I don't normally condemn people like that - I actually got yelled at once for defending someone who few here agreed with - but your own ad hominem attacks and your obvious lack of understanding leave me with little recourse.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/24/2004 22:52 Comments || Top||

#24  it's the oil!

Ye gawds... how dim are you, man? That talking point is soooo 2002.
Posted by: eLarson || 05/24/2004 23:00 Comments || Top||

#25  Jeeze, you guys. One troll comes on screen and you write a diss-ertation. Lighten up. Go out and smell the flowers. Smile. Or think about that French diplo-dimwit who advocated Nukes for Arabs to counter the actions of Israel. In that case worry and weep. Just quit feeding the trolls, heh heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/24/2004 23:13 Comments || Top||

#26  The alchohol stuff hit a nerve, didn't it?
Again, shitbag, you started the ad hominems. It's quite pathetic and lame to provoke a pissing contest then whine when you lose.
Your failure to recognize sarcasm is just another indicator of humorless authoritarianism.

You make one pronouncement after another with nothing but your own opinion to back it up. Examples of BBC and Reuters bias are documented on this board every day, most recently when the Beeb ran the alleged Iraq wedding video without a word about its doubtful provenance.
Denial is your problem, not mine.

Your presumed power has been shot to pieces and you can do no better than respond with more lies and strawmen.
You are a troll, the equivalent of a lunatic making Napoleonic speeches in an empty room.
The posts are there for all to see. Now go away, you gibbering fool.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/25/2004 0:20 Comments || Top||

#27  Admit it: there are an awful lot of stories that make the US look bad.

Now why is that? Fiction? Just having a bad trot? An anti-US conspiracy?

How many stories are there of Israeli or US attacks versus a detailing of the horrors of the Islamic extremists?

Do the numbers - count the bodies!
Islamic extremist = 3,000 GWB = 50,000
Islamic extremist = 700 Sharon = 3,500

Because your "non-terrorist sypathizer" press ignores the numbers don't think that the rest of the civilized world blindly follows suite.

No country with as many good intentions and honorable people as we have could possibly be as depraved as we are sometimes portrayed.

Oh yes you can - remember it is not in the majority of times only sometimes. The only remaining superpower and you think you should be above scrutiny? With great power comes even greater responsibility. You're under the microscope and you don't like it.

Unfortunately at this present time in history Americas most visionary, ethical and honourable, academics and intellectuals are branded as non patriotic. A redneck has sneeked into the oval office! Four years ago when the race for the US presidency was on I and many other non-americans believed GWB to be potentially the greatest world leader in the last half century! Oh how his minders protected him and conned the world. it may surprise you that there is more interest in the US Presidential race by "foreigners" than by the very citizens your president is elected to represent. Your average European is more au fait with the American Constitution, Election process, Foreign Policy etc than your average American. And that is a sad fact! So when you hear criticism from afar while your elected leaders are bleeting how great thou art, instead of looking for the truth and reason behind the criticism you ignorantly denounce objectivity in favour of a protected subjectivity and threaten to drop a daisy-cutter on the first "insurgent" to voice objection!

Yes, we have our faults. Yes, we make mistakes . . .

Yes you do - ain't it good to be human!?
...but how many other countries can do the things we can? How many other countries have made the kind of progress we have?

Measure your greatness against you own standards not the shortcomings of other lesser cultures, for they measure your greatness based on your standards too.

Posted by: yorgos || 05/25/2004 10:06 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Jack Bross || 05/24/2004 20:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One of the reasons I'm able to sleep at all is due to knowing the caliber of troops that America has fielded, both now and throughout our nation's history. We are among the few who inculcate our soldiers with independent thinking and critical analysis during their training.

I make a definite point of personally thanking and shaking the hand any military veteran I chance to meet. Active or peacetime service is irrelevant. Korea, Vietnam, the World Wars, Gulf Wars it matters not in the least, they have all earned my profound gratitude.

I am immensely grateful that we have such honorable and dedicated people defending our nation and individual liberty.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/24/2004 1:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Well said. Ditto.
Posted by: .com || 05/24/2004 2:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Thanks for the pictures. As for these troops being one of the last Marine infantry companies still in Iraq, rest assured that that is a temporary condition and more are coming. My son's battalion, for one, is scheduled to ship over in the Fall.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 12:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Our troops are the greatest.
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/24/2004 15:45 Comments || Top||

A letter from one of the USA’s Super Heroes
The title does not even do this man and his Marines justice.
I feel it is almost time to defend our Military with all means possible. I am so sick of the left and thier politics. Islamo Nazi’s, meet your paradise provider!!

EFL -Fred
E-mail from Dave - May 22, 04

Dad -

You probably heard that Mike was wounded this week. We take rockets and mortars from time to time and he got caught outside when a rocket came in. He was lucky as he only got hit with some shrapnel in the back of the head. Grateful that it was only a flesh wound. He was medivaced to a surgical unit. I got word that he was going to be medevaced to the surgical unit on my camp and went by that evening looking for him only to find out he went to a different treatment facility. They put some staples in his head and he hopped a helo to return to his camp and was back at work that night... In fact, I actually saw him yesterday as I had to go to his position for some business. It is always a quietly thankful moment when you see a guy who has been wounded or who you think was wounded and he turns out to be ok. Mike was actually embarrassed about the whole thing and shrugged off any mention of it as he feels like he is not "doing enough" right now. We only were able to talk for a short time and I swear that within a few minutes I had forgotten about the whole thing until we shook hands when I had to go. He turned to leave and I saw the zipper of staples on the back of his head. He was going back to work.

You would be very proud of the Marines as they have been able to switch gears from intense offensive operations back to what we call "stability operations." Stability operations simply translates to getting out into the countryside and teaching Iraqi Police and soldiers how to do their jobs. ... As I have shared with you over the past 15 months or so, it is hard to imagine trying to establish a police force or "national guard" (the equivalent of what we are working with) out of a population that has never even seen such entities as we understand them. If you said National Guard in Missouri, most people would think "the guys who show up when there is a flood, blizzard or tornado to help people." Or maybe after 9/11, that guy at the drug store who left for Iraq for a year as part of an engineer unit. Here, they simply have no paradigm of what such a force is. We have to sit down and go over the most basic principles of protecting the people by being there to help when there is a crisis on one hand and getting out on night ambush to keep the muj out of the village on the other. ... I have heard a lot of false exaggeration about the fact that the Iraqi Army would not stand and fight with the Marines in Falluja or the Army in Baghdad.

Nonsense. I could tell you stories of individual heroics of Iraqi soldiers. One specific example is of an Iraqi SgtMaj who came into our lines during the first days of fighting in Falluja. He made his way through the mujahadeen and risked being killed by us to tell us that he was concerned about the ICDC (Iraqi Civil Defense Corps) armory in town. ... Honestly, I would have thought that they had already done it as the police stations and every other good piece of ground seemed to be occupied by the muj by that time. In short, he wanted to let us know that he was going back into the town to get the weapons. The Marines asked him if he wanted us to help. No. He only wanted us to take the weapons from him when he came back through. This guy took a couple young Iraqi soldiers with a truck and drove back through our lines into the hornets nest of Falluja. He went to the armory, emptied the weapons and ammo stored there and brought it back out through the fighting to us. We expected him to want to stay with us or to move on to Baghdad or some other safe area. He refused and stated that he was going back into the city as that was where his duty was. Not a coward by even the most cynical standard.

We had a group that showed up shortly thereafter. You have probably heard about them as they came out of Baghdad and on the way were ambushed a couple of times. By the time they made it here only 200 of 700 were in their ranks. I know that the public story is that they folded after a couple of days of fighting and disintegrated. They actually made it through three days of fighting. Not just taking a few rounds, they held through accurate machine gun fire, mortars and multiple assaults. They also moved forward and occupied positions on the Marines’ flanks. After three days, we pulled them out. The Marines will tell you that they did a hell of a job.

The Marine Corps has been around for 230 years. We have many battles and history under our belts that instills in the Marines a profound sense of duty and tradition. ... The Iraqis had none of this going into Falluja. In fact they had and continue to have just the opposite. ... For decades, Sadaam played one neighbor against another, one tribe against another, one sect of Islam against another and one race against another. ... Here if you join the police or the army, you are eventually approached by the terrorists and threatened. If they think you are a leader, they tell you that they will kill you and your family. The orders are simple, look the other way when you are on duty and leave when the terrorist show up. ... Imagine that young guy who joins the ICDC or police. He may be ... an idealist when he gets out of our initial training but when he shows up to his unit, the muj have already infiltrated it and immediately make it clear that there is no hope of survival if he does not do exactly what they say. For good measure and effect, they regularly assassinate Iraqi policemen and soldiers just to make it clear that they will kill them on a whim. ... Without the tradition and culture of the Marine Corps and constantly thinking that their very presence next to us may get their families killed, I am amazed they made it for an hour much less than three days. We decided to pull them because this place needs young patriots. It does not need us to put them into a position where they will be ground down in intense combat or maybe to be killed when it is over. Hopefully they can be a nucleus for tomorrow’s leaders...

We are back at it with the police and ICDC. With us are retired police officers from the US and other civilians who are trying to contribute. Police forces back in California are sending us equipment and expertise on training. The lesson that we have learned for this iteration is for us to focus first and foremost on our true strength and that is the character and decency of our Marines. ... If we demonstrate the best aspects of the Marines who they see every day, we are giving the young Iraqi men something that can never be taken from them. They are seeing the best part of a free people. Hopefully the lights will go on.

The enemy is confused right now. He goes to bed convinced he is going to win because he watches the Al Jazeera and then the US media and believes that we are a weak willed people who can be terrorized and who have a penchant for self-loathing. Then, he wakes up and he comes across a coalition check point and he sees a young Soldier or Marine who stands there like a rock and exudes strength and conviction. The same terrorist who was in the mosque the night before in a frenzy is now subjugated by the presence of a guy who does not match up with what he has been told and sees on TV. It must be confusing as all get out. Every day, he will continue to see in three dimensions the best that our society has to offer and their is no amount of sound bites that will trump that in the end.

In another email, I will share with you what I think is going to happen this summer. It will be a tough pull. However, we are prepared. ... I will close with something that was on my mind this morning when I punished myself by watching CBS news. I saw the anchor come on and just before he spoke, I told my rack mate "Lets see what the opening line is going to be...." Sure enough before he said anything else, he said "It just keeps getting worse and worse...." Yes, he was talking about Iraq. Honest to God we laughed at him. I’m not kidding. It is getting to the point where the Marines are getting past their anger at the talking heads and are laughing. To really get a rise out of them, requires a retired military officer who betrays his oath and stokes the fear mongering.

Do you remember when I came back last fall and people would ask about WMD and I would say that I did not care if we ever found any? The day we found the mass grave is vivid to me still. ... Very quickly people came from miles and miles away. We stood and watched the family members digging up bones and clutching remains as they sat in the dirt, rocked back and forth and cried. ... Every single body had its hands and feet wired together with ROMEX. Each skull had a bullet hole in it except for a few that were smashed with a club or rifle butt. There were clearly men but also women and children. The grave never made the news as there were no media with us and it was small by Iraq standards. One detail that I found particularly outrageous was that the assassins left the identifications on the bodies as if they were so arrogant that it never occured that someday, someone would dig up the bodies and hold them accountable. I will never forget it... We liberated a people from a regime that will go down in history as one of the most brutal ever. That would be enough.

However, we are now in a life and death struggle with an enemy who wants nothing more for us to leave so that they can bring their own brand of terror to the same people. Our biggest failings have been that, as a coalition, we have not been able to overcome our own-ham handed actions and horrible mistakes/crimes and simply convince the Iraqi people that we do in fact want to leave them a free and prosperous country where there is hope. The most successful way to do that is to continue to go out and show them every day and not to cut and run. ... Inside this country right now, there are extremists who have set up courts where in one room, they try Iraqis and in the next they kill them minutes later. Not fantasy - reality. Again, the death sentence? Accepting payment for damage we have done in fighting or in an accident. Taking a job working on a coalition base. Having a brother who has done his job in the police or ICDC... Are people so naive as to think that if we left, things would get better? The country would implode and thousands of people would be killed. ... I understand that some people are simply frightened by the violence - for good reason. ... The fact that we are not popular does not change our moral obligation....

Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/24/2004 2:34:33 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One thing that I fail to mention is Hugh Hewitt. The man provides a lot of information about our Military, including this Marines.
He also provides a plethora of kick booty blogs for Right minded people.
The man is a great American. I failed to give him a long distance high five.
Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/24/2004 0:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Wow, I'm about to cry--this email is from such a fine, upstanding and decent man.
I'm so proud of him and all the thousands of soldiers we have over there who are just like him.
Men (and women) like Dave are what our military is all about and what OIF is about, not those 7 trailer-trash losers who humiliated prisoners in Abu Ghraib.
Bless you for posting this, Long Hair Republican--it made my night and maybe my week!
Posted by: Jen || 05/24/2004 0:39 Comments || Top||

#3  This Marine Dave is a typical hard-working honorable sort we have over there, and this is a powerful insight into what our folks are thinking.

Anybody with more than noodles between the ears should be greatful we have guys like this.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 0:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Dear "right minded people":

Put up or shut up: name a single Secular ally that GWB has ever backed on the face of this Wahabi/Khomeni/Ikhwani/Jesse Jackson/Pat Robertson/Falwell/JP2 polluted earth.

Objectively, only creation of a Secular Iraq will enhance American security. "Faith based" Bush hates Seculars, globally.

Could it be that the noisy minority who posts here are: narrow minded?

Tomorrow, GWB will deliver a "stay the course" speech on his alliances with Islamofascist garbage in Iraq. Respect the 700+ dead American troops, by pressuring abandonment of "faith based" imbecility.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/24/2004 1:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Dang, I need to hear stuff like this more often. It's so easy to start believing the Big Lie and give up hope. Then you go to, "Kill 'em all!" I hate Islam, but I also forget that some of the muslim individuals I have known were some of the decent people I have met. These things are hard to reconcile. Without info like Dave's, it's easy to fall Dog Bites Trolls' thinking. (WTF?!?)

Well, maybe not that far.
Posted by: scott || 05/24/2004 1:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Obviously, troll-biter, you define "secular" as anyone George Bush opposes. By more common and rational standards, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Turkey, and myriad other staunch US allies are secular states and all have the backing of the current administration in their long-standing alliances.

Objectively, only creation of a Secular Iraq will enhance American security.

My goodness, who needs gods when you are here to hand down divine wisdom such as this? Even if your omniscient pronouncment is valid, how do you propose to create a "secular" Iraq? Restore Saddam Hussein, perhaps? We could kill off the Islamo-loon Mehdi army, I guess. Oh, wait a minute....
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/24/2004 1:31 Comments || Top||

#7  AC:
You would do well to read some English language media sources in the "staunch US allies." Iraqi support for GWB "nation-building" is now negligible. And Americans know what a bill-of-goods looks like. Watch today's dead-duck presidential speech. GWB will trumpet the forthcoming jihad-ballot as a victory for the forces of "freedom." A cleric controlled election in Iraq can have only one victor: the Iran component of the "axis of evil." Go down with the Oil-Patch ship, like a true fanatic. But have some dignity, and cease support for suicidal rules-of-engagement that prohibit disproportionate retaliation against the koranimals who plant Road Side Bombs to the delight of local savages. As for the "Mahdi Army", Bush-Powell-Bremer allowed those armed pigs exclusive patrol zones in Baghdad, until the inevitable occurred. What geniuses! Your mentality: if in doubt - and you are!!! - then deny.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/24/2004 2:44 Comments || Top||

#8  (WouldGodthatIhada)Dog (thatwould) bite trolls,
how dare you come on this thread with your lies!
And you're not too bright, as usual.
All the countries in the world are "secular" except for the ones that call themselves "Islamic."
Posted by: Jen || 05/24/2004 2:47 Comments || Top||

#9  Maj Dave drips class. I'll spend some time carefully reading his account of Fallujah.

The troll is just a drip. Unworthy.
Posted by: .com || 05/24/2004 2:58 Comments || Top||

#10  Troll, why lie about my post when it is right there for all to see? What does it say about support for GWB's Iraq policy? Nothing, one way or the other, it says that these are secular countries that we support through our military alliances.
You might do well to start comprehending the English language in any context. It's one thing to be an arrogant lying authoritarian trying to put words in my mouth, quite something else to be laughably stupid about it.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/24/2004 8:41 Comments || Top||

#11  Your mentality: if in doubt - and you are!!! - then deny.

BTW, troll, you don't get to tell me what I think or why. You are a delusional idiot for presuming that kind of power and control. Any cow-college freshman should know better. Take your drunken fantasies somewhere else, you semi-literate pretender.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/24/2004 8:46 Comments || Top||

#12  can someone see this email gets to Hugh Hewitt?
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 05/24/2004 10:00 Comments || Top||

#13  YS - I think he already dealt whith this Email last week, and he is gone for two weeks now.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 12:12 Comments || Top||

#14  DBT, WTF does your comment have to do with this article? Do you just look for a random article from which to launch your diatribe? Go post on the DU where like-minded folks lurk in their own alternate reality.

As to this article, I live in San Diego and see the Marine Corps Recruit Depot turn out companies of men like this every other week. With Miramar MCAS and Camp Pendleton nearby, we tend to take Marines for granted and only occasionally reflect on what they truly are, the pride of the nation and the ones who stand between us and the monsters that lurk beyond our borders.

As long as there are US Marines, trolls like DBT will be able to spew their venom without consequence. Without the Marines, DBT wouldn't live out the week.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 12:51 Comments || Top||

#15  Anti-Bush propaganda by posters like ManBitesDog Dog Bites Troll will be showing up rather frequently on RB as the election draws closer.

Posted by: ex-lib || 05/24/2004 15:18 Comments || Top||

#16  RWV - my office window faces the SD Bay - watched the Stennis Carrier group depart for the Persian Gulf this AM - beautiful....
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 15:37 Comments || Top||

#17  A fast ship going in harm's way. Godspeed.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 21:11 Comments || Top||

36 Bad Boyz Sent to Seek Virgins
Task Force 1st Armored Division conducted offensive operations, dubbed "Operation Iron Sabre," in Karbala, Husaniyah and Kufa May 21 to destroy the militia of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, create safe environments for local businesses, citizens and pilgrims traveling to the holy sites, and facilitate transition to Iraqi Security Forces. The militia had continued to fight despite calls for their withdrawal made by several Iraqi religious leaders.

In Karbala, Task Force 1-37 Armor captured 10 militiamen. Afterward, local citizens told the task force that the remaining militia fled the city. Soldiers on earlier missions this month found stores of ammunition and weapons stored in the Mukhayam Mosque and other buildings in the mosque compound. During that operation, Iraqi Security Forces found two severely beaten Iraqi policemen bound and gagged in a building filled with ammunition and explosives rigged to detonate. Militiamen also severely beat three other Iraqi policemen. "Ridding Karbala of militia fighters will allow the city to resume its normal activities," said Major General Martin Dempsey, commanding general of the 1st Armored Division. "Schools can open and children can study in safety. Businesses can open and prosper, and the community can flourish," he said.

In the vicinity of An Najaf and Kufa, Soldiers of the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Task Force 2-37 Armor and members of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism fought enemy forces holding fighting positions near the Al Sahlah Mosque. The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Force entered and cleared the mosque, capturing a .30 caliber machine gun, two 60mm mortar tubes, 12 rocket-propelled grenades, more than 200 82mm mortar rounds, and a number of RPG launchers. "We have no intention of entering the shrines," Dempsey said, adding Iraqi Security Forces would enter the holy places if it became necessary. The militia was putting the holy places at risk by using them as fighting positions, he said. Nearby, the Task Force engaged a mortar firing point, destroying one mortar system, a truck loaded with mortars and killing four militia members. The task force was also attacked by militia from two different buildings: the technical college in Kufa and a building known as Saddam’s Palace. The task force and ISF returned fire, killing 32 attackers. In Husayniyah, Task Force 1-36 Infantry searched the city but were unable to find any militia.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 05/24/2004 10:36:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Those 36 bad guys are in for a huge shock :)
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 0:04 Comments || Top||

#2  72 "Virgins" in "Paradise"!

Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 0:28 Comments || Top||

#3  MAN, BigEd, with 72 of those prickly virgins nibbling and scratching on they're eternal souls, they'd be hamburger meat in short order!!
Posted by: smn || 05/24/2004 1:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Via Healing Iraq
A statement of the Najaf clerics (Sistani et al)
(highlights by myself)

1. It is the movement of Sayyid Muqtada Al-Sadr that is losing legitimacy in the strictest sense, and not the one led by Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al-Sistani, the overall, most learned and assidious Marji' of Iraq and not the rest of the Marji's, not even Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Kadhum Al-Ha'eri, nor other people of fortitude and experience in the field of politics who are seared by the fire of the Iraqi crisis and its complications wrought by Muslim brethren from well-known Islamic political movements and organizations, nor others besides them, people of judgement, experience and education, engaged in political affairs.

2. It is the movement of Sayyid Muqtada that has encouraged the occupiers to cross the red lines. And as aside from that, the American occupiers while storming into Iraq and marching towards Baghdad through Najaf and Karbala did not commit the stupidities and insolence with regard to the sanctities in the two holy cities they have committed now.

3. And it is clear that the organization of Sayyid Muqtada - and whoever follows the Sadrist movement - were the first to violate the sanctity of the yard of Haydari Shareef (Imam Ali's shrine in Najaf) when they fired shots inside it at Sayyid Abdul Majeed Al-Kho'ei and killed Sayyid Yasiri within it and wounded Sayyid Majeed and killed Sayyid Hayder Al-Kelidar afterwards. And they are the very same who ignited the fuse of the bloody fight, whose victims among gathered believers were sacrificed over control of the shrine of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), and it is possible for our lord [Nasrallah] to verify the former by asking his Excellence the Marji' Ayatollah Sheikh Ishaq Al-Fayyadh and from the sons of his Excellence the Marji' Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Sa'eed Al-Hakim and the latter with the help of his Excellence Sheikh 'Abdul Mahdi Al-Karbala'i, the representative of the Marji'iyah in Karbala and from his Excellence Sayyid Muhammad Ridha Al-Sistani [the son of Grand Ayatollah Sistani] in person.

4. The organization of Sayyid Muqtada is now carrying out intimidation of the general public and arrests of citizens, not only those whom they call collaborators with the occupation, the police, owners of stores selling foodstuffs to occupiers and others, but also students of religious sciences opposed to them and some of the members of the Badr organization [SCIRI], in addition to raiding offices of the Da'wa party in Kufa, and you can verify the former by asking his Excellence Sheikh Muhammad Mahdi Al-Asifi, his Excellence Sheikh Muhammad Hadi Al Radhi, and his Excellence Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqubi, and the latter by asking his Excellence Sayyid Omar Al-Hakim and Dr. Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari [GC member].

5. The firing of shots at the great dome of the shrine of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) [in Najaf], according to some specialists was most likely from the weapons of Sayyid Muqtada's followers and not from the weapons of others, inasmuch as the time of shooting was the day fighting flared up in the Valley of Peace cemetery, and there wasn't any fighting from the side of Alnabi street, whereas you claimed in your important sermon that the direction of the shooting was from the side of the Qibla gate [to the shrine], which is the side of Alnabi street.

6. The strike on the home and office of his Excellence Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani happened within the security perimeter whose every span was controlled by the organization of Sayyid Muqtada, and the office of Marji' Ali [Sistani] was in the immediate proximity to the center of the security perimeter of Sayyid Muqtada's organization [office], well guarded, and especially so in the vicinity of both of their offices, and so how can it be conceived - and you being an expert in these matters - that this stringent security perimeter was breached by an unknown organization, which carried out a protracted strike on the home of the Sayyid Marji' [Sistani] and then retreated without the cognizance of the organization of Sayyid Muqtada.

Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/24/2004 15:15 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Professor Denounced for POW Memo for Bush
Some graduating University of California law students used their commencement Saturday to denounce a professor who helped the Bush administration develop a legal framework that critics say led to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. About one-quarter of the 270 graduates of Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law donned red armbands over their black robes in a silent protest of a legal memo law professor John Yoo co-wrote when he served in the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Outside the ceremony, they also passed out fliers denouncing Yoo for "aiding and abetting war crimes." Yoo said beforehand he didn’t plan to attend the graduation. "I respect freedom of thought, but I think he should abide by some basic moral standard," said Andrea Ruiz, 35, one of the armband-wearing students. "Respect for human persons is at the core of what the law is about."

The Jan. 9, 2002, memo, first reported by Newsweek magazine Monday, laid out the legal reasons why the United States didn’t have to comply with international treaties governing prisoner rights. It argued that the normal laws of armed conflict didn’t apply to al-Qaida and Taliban militia prisoners because they didn’t belong to a state. Yoo, who worked for the Justice Department between 2001 and 2003, wouldn’t comment on the memo or his government work, but said the students have a right to express their opinions. "I’m happy to listen to their viewpoints. Beyond that I’m not going to change what I think," Yoo, 36, said during a telephone interview Friday.

A petition signed by nearly 200 law students and alumni since Thursday alleges that Yoo’s memo "contributed directly to the reprehensible violation of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere."

"We’re embarrassed that he’s at our institution," said law student Abby Reyes, who launched the petition. "We came to law school in order to uphold the rule of law, not to learn ways to wiggle our way out of compliance with it." The student petition urges Yoo to repudiate the memo, declare his opposition to torture and encourage the Bush administration to comply with the Geneva Conventions that protect the rights of prisoners of war. Otherwise, he should resign, the petition says.

Yoo said he had no plans to resign. "To the extent that the petition goes beyond expressing views, I worry that it’s an unfortunate effort to interfere with academic freedom," he said.

Interim Dean Robert C. Berring Jr. said the law school had no plans to discipline Yoo. "The image of Berkeley is the very progressive image," Berring said, "but I think you’d find at Berkeley a pretty wide range of opinions. Professor Yoo is certainly not the only conservative on campus or at the law school."

During a May 13 appearance on "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," Yoo said he thought the pictures of prisoners being abused at the Baghdad prison showed clear violations of the Geneva Conventions. "So the question is not whether the Geneva Conventions apply or really whether they’re violated or not but how we’re going to remedy the situation, and the military is undertaking that," he said, adding that violators should be punished and tried.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/24/2004 3:20:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "We came to law school in order to uphold the rule of law, not to learn ways to wiggle our way out of compliance with it."

This woman has completely missed the point of law school.

A googling on Abby Reyes is most instructive. Previous anti-war activities. Letter to Al Gore re: her dead boyfriend, Terence Freitas.

It's high time that someone tried to clarify the legal status of captured Al Qaeda and other terrorists. Reyes et al would like to make them equivalent to captured Nazis, if not captured burglars. Someone alse needs to explain that "not covered by the GC" does not necessarily mean they are fair game for torture.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 05/24/2004 0:39 Comments || Top||

#2  These spoiled Mumia-cong brats have no problem with another and much more illustrious legal colleague, Ramsey Clark, profitably abetting Saddam Hussein's atrocities for years in his capacity as Saddam's official legal representative in the United States.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/24/2004 1:38 Comments || Top||

#3  "We came to law school in order to uphold the rule of law, not to learn ways to wiggle our way out of compliance with it."
It's funny, I didn't read a thing in the article that pointed out how Prof. Yoo was wrong in his legal analysis. It's all emotion. I thought law school was intended to teach legal reasoning and argument.
I'm not surprised they didn't point out Prof. Yoo's errors, because he didn't make any. The Geneva Conventions apply only to those States, which have signed the treaties and have agreed to abide by their provisions. The terrorists do none of this. Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg show how they treat prisoners, not to mention the fact that both of these guys were non-combatants.

You should only benefit from the rules of civilization, when you abide by those rules. There is no obligantion, explicitly stated in the Geneva Conventions, to treat terrorists as decent human beings. Not there and this is no attack on human rights. It's upholding human rights.
If one-side doesn't play by the rules, it has an advantage. There's no reason to tie our hands, unless you want America to lose. Now, that's the crux.
Posted by: Jabba the Nutt || 05/24/2004 2:14 Comments || Top||

About one-quarter of the 270 graduates of Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law donned red armbands over their black robes in a silent protest

So, about three-fourth's didn't participate in the protest.
Posted by: Anonymous4978 || 05/24/2004 2:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Great. More lawyer larvae. Just what we needed.
Posted by: mojo || 05/24/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

#6  "We came to law school in order to uphold the rule of law, not to learn ways to wiggle our way out of compliance with it."

So much for your career in Democratic politics...
Posted by: Raj || 05/24/2004 12:53 Comments || Top||

#7  Looks like the Public Defenders office for you, Abby... and it ain't like the movies...
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/24/2004 13:19 Comments || Top||

#8  I agree with the absence of POW status for the Guantanimo hardboys, at least for the first year or so when we still might get some information out of them, but now, I think things might be better to grant them POW status since any info they have is old, and the identities of most is known already because we've released so many prisoners already.

When Al Queda and the Taliban surrender (or we find some other route to peace) we can discuss a prisoner transfer.

I think such a move now would eliminate much of the human rights abuse claims against the US regarding such prisoners. Am I wrong?
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/24/2004 15:25 Comments || Top||

#9  It is stuff like this that makes it so hard to admit being an attorney in California.
Posted by: Sgt.DT || 05/24/2004 16:20 Comments || Top||

#10  When Al Queda and the Taliban surrender (or we find some other route to peace) we can discuss a prisoner transfer.

Who do we negotiate with and why? Do we release killers so the world feels better about us? I don't think so
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 16:28 Comments || Top||

#11  When Al Queda and the Taliban surrender (or we find some other route to peace) we can discuss a prisoner transfer.

Nope. Absolutely not.

Any al'Qaeda we capture should be grilled for intelligence info, then executed. They've placed themselves outside the law; let them pay the price for it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/24/2004 16:35 Comments || Top||

#12  "Who do we negotiate with and why?" If Al Queda or the Taliban choose to negotiate they determine who the negotiator will be. We then determine how much we trust that negotiators ability to do what he says. Saying we negotiate is a far cry from saying we'll bend over and release everyone. I'd turn over a hundred Al Queda lackeys for Bin Laden (or his head).
"Any Al'Qaeda we capture should be grilled for intelligence info, then executed." What are we waiting for then. We've gotten all of the intelligence out of these guys months or years ago. Now they are in legal limbo. I'd be happy to execute them. I'd be happy to change their legal status to POW and otherwise let them rot. As I said above, I'd be happy to free a few POWs if the exchange resulted in Bin Laden (or some other Al Queda leaders) capture.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/24/2004 17:01 Comments || Top||

#13  ruprecht asks:
I think such a move now would eliminate much of the human rights abuse claims against the US regarding such prisoners. Am I wrong?
In a word, yes. The clowns who claim "human rights abuse" against us will continue to claim that, or something else, until America is defeated and destroyed. Nothing less will satisfy them.

Anyway, the Gitmo inhabitants aren't human. If you think they are, I invite you to take some home with you for the weekend.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/24/2004 17:19 Comments || Top||

#14  I guess my question was not clear. I never said these were nice guys, I never said they were human, and never said to release them outright.

Short of executing them I don't see an advantage to using the Unlawful Combatant classification any longer. We're facing some serious legal problems as the thugs go to trial that could be settled with a change of classification.

Classifying them as POWs eliminates any claims to a civilian jury trial, something that will be screamed about endlessly otherwise. It also allows us to hold onto the prisoners until there is a formal peace treaty (something I don't think will ever happen).

What advantage is there in keeping these guys categorized as non-combatants after a two years of incarceration? Do you really think they have any intel at this point? Do you honestly think the Bush Administration would execute them? If your answer is no then whats the advantage? This is war and we shouldn't just let advantages slip by because of emotions.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/24/2004 18:16 Comments || Top||

#15  I'm not sure there's any intel value, but these prisoners would cut your throat given half a chance - I don't think there's any rehabilitation possible with these animals. No release except at 25,000 feet...
Posted by: Frank G || 05/24/2004 19:24 Comments || Top||

Madison planning to make Rafah a sister city
I live in a suburb of Madison and am ticked.
A storm is brewing in the United States over a Madison, Wisconsin city council vote next week. Jewish Agency representative in Madison, Shir Yechezkel, told Maariv Online that the idea to forge a sister city alliance with Rafah was raised by a human rights organization whose members are defined as radical left-wing activists.
So I figured.
According to Yechezkel, the organization’s activists are distributing harsh anti-Israeli propaganda in the city, comparing Israeli operations in Rafah to Nazi acts in the Holocaust. Several Jews are among the most prominent activists.
In other news, several chickadees were campaigning to bring sparrowhawks to America.
“The organization is, under the guise of humanitarian reasons and civil as well as human rights, attempting to persuade city council members to agree to sign a sister city pact with Rafah”, said Yechezkel. “But a review of the ads distributed by the organization reveals that this is a front for a venomous anti-Israeli campaign”.
Well, I read somewhere that during the Cold War, San Francisco considered Leningrad as a sister city.
As of now, seven of the 21 city council members in Madison support the proposal to make Rafah a sister city. According to Yechezkel, if the left-wing activists succeed in their mission, the city of Olympia will follow suit. Olympia was the home of activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an IDF bulldozer.
Which she wasn’t, IIRC.
Next week, the city council will convene a face-off between representatives of the organization with representatives from the Jewish community. Community members invited Jewish Agency delegates to participate in the face-off and present the actual reasons for Israeli operations in Rafah. “The atmosphere is charged. Demonstrations for and against the move are taking place every day. This story is being carried across the United States. The New York Times has sent correspondents to cover events in Madison”, she said.
I think I know the one-sided way they’ll cover the events.
Yechezkel added that Jews are extremely concerned about the vote: “The dispute has already inflicted damage against Jews. They are presented as people who allegedly oppose a humanitarian cause. Particularly emphasized is the fact that this is a confrontation among Jews themselves, and that the Jews in Wisconsin are essentially serving the interests of the State of Israel”.
Posted by: Korora || 05/24/2004 12:27:23 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I seem to recall Madison making Fidel Castro an honarary mayor or at least giving him their key to the city. Makes Berkeley look like a bunch of underachievers.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/24/2004 2:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Galloway twinned Nablus with Dundee, IIRC, a long time ago, and when he was head honcho at the city that is the home of the Beano. Ironically, Nablus has probably got a few more things going for it than Dundee. Can't speak for Madison and Rafah.
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/24/2004 6:05 Comments || Top||

#3  believe me, Madison isn't even in the same state as the rest of the state. It's population has been co-opted by the under graduates who came to school at UW and stayed on to live there. Between state government and the uW they have the most recession proof economy I've ever seen out side of DC.
Posted by: cheaderhead || 05/24/2004 6:18 Comments || Top||

#4  I always knew the cheeseheads were stupid, I just didn't know they were seditious traitors.

Oh, and the Badgers suck.
Posted by: Chris W. || 05/24/2004 12:05 Comments || Top||

When the roll is called up yonder
From the MEMRI News Ticker:

May 21, 2004

Perhaps Chirac may wish to reconsider how much of Iraq’s debt to France he’s willing to forgive. Maybe these recordings were what Jim Baker carried in his little black bag during his visits to Iraq’s creditors.
Posted by: RWV || 05/24/2004 11:44:14 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Play them. I want to see CBSNBCABCCNN forced to run the recordings of Chiraq and Ted Kennedy on the take.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 05/24/2004 0:02 Comments || Top||


Teddy Kennedy only remotely resembles that remark.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/24/2004 0:35 Comments || Top||

#3  This is the second mention I've seen of this in an "Arab" media organ in a couple of days...Hmmm.
(As if they didn't know already what Saddam and the EUro-weasels were up to!)
I want these tapes played 24/7 for a week on CBS's "60 minutes!"
Posted by: Jen || 05/24/2004 0:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Laurence,

I've heard that very few Americans took Saddam's bribes. Either our leftists were too stupid to get in on the game or, more likely, our currency transfer record laws are too strict to accomodate it.
Posted by: mhw || 05/24/2004 7:54 Comments || Top||

#5  BigEd, maybe they consider inebriation a foreign state.
Posted by: BH || 05/24/2004 10:31 Comments || Top||

#6  If this is true, its not likely ABCCBSNBCCNN will play this up, unless it can reflect badly on the US.
It's not American soldiers or Mossad making prisoners wear womens underwear on their heads, which is far worse apparently.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/24/2004 15:41 Comments || Top||

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