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4 arrested in Japanese al-Qaeda probe
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Dan Darling’s interning at AEI! - And Rantburg’s mentioned!
CONGRATUATIONS, DAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 05/26/2004 3:43:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6517 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Congratulations, Dan! You're going to be one of their stars.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 15:59 Comments || Top||

#2  ima feeling teary eye. congrats! :)
Posted by: muck4doo || 05/26/2004 16:13 Comments || Top||

#3  Congratulations Mr Darling.
Posted by: Evert V. in NL || 05/26/2004 16:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Way good! I'll be able to say I bloged with him once....
Posted by: Shipman || 05/26/2004 16:47 Comments || Top||

#5  But who is abu Frank?
Posted by: Shipman || 05/26/2004 16:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Good luck, Sir. I am confident that you will excel at your new endeavor.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 16:58 Comments || Top||

#7  As I said in my comment on the Winds of Change thread:

"Kudos! You have to report back and let us know how things are going.

P.S. - If you are lonely in D.C., you may want to look up a girl named Jessica Cutler . . . "
Posted by: Tibor || 05/26/2004 17:05 Comments || Top||

#8  WOW Dan -- how impressive! I always go to you to get the most information... thanks for the mention

Now, go show those folks your stuff!
Posted by: Sherry || 05/26/2004 17:06 Comments || Top||

#9  Wow, cool, Dan. Now you'll get the sekrit neocon decoder ring, learn the secret handshake, and be able to borrow the keys to the Straussmobile. If you see Tim Robbins, tell him we said, "Pppththth!"
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 05/26/2004 17:22 Comments || Top||

#10  Wow, great perseverance in landing that internship. They are blessed to have you, CONGRATULATIONS!
Posted by: cingold || 05/26/2004 17:31 Comments || Top||

#11  Abu Frank? Congrats Dan D!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 17:34 Comments || Top||

#12  Congratulations! Please give my regards to the Illuminati!
Posted by: Sgt.DT || 05/26/2004 17:39 Comments || Top||

#13  Dan,
Congratulations, and good luck.

Stay in touch once in a while

Posted by: Jack Bross || 05/26/2004 17:53 Comments || Top||

#14  Honestly, I was at the bookstore today, and I have to say the main theme is: paranoia.

It's all conspiracy here, and secret society there, and TriLateral Commission/ Council on Foreign Relations/ what the Bushitler Ashcroft Zionist Great Caesar's Ghost of a Ghozer-worshipping Cabal Doesn't Want You To Know.


Glad to know the cabal now has one of the good guys on their side.

Congrats Dan, and drop me a note; first round's on me at the watering hole of your choice!
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/26/2004 17:55 Comments || Top||

#15  Out-frigging-standing!
Posted by: Raptor || 05/26/2004 17:56 Comments || Top||

#16  Good luck and good hunting (hunting for ways to drive liberals crazy, that is!)
Posted by: Mike || 05/26/2004 18:03 Comments || Top||

#17  Excellent, and congrats. And now....for Phase III! Bwahahahaha!!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/26/2004 18:32 Comments || Top||

#18  Honestly, I was at the bookstore today, and I have to say the main theme is: paranoia.

On the front of the local leftist rag: "Urban Blight and the People Behind It".

Congratulations, Dan!
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 19:13 Comments || Top||

#19  Congrats and goodluck,Dan
Posted by: djohn66 || 05/26/2004 19:48 Comments || Top||

#20  Awesome. Just be sure to let us know what the conspiracies are planning . . .
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 20:20 Comments || Top||

#21  Allan be praised.
Posted by: ne1469 || 05/26/2004 21:27 Comments || Top||

#22  Congratulations Dan!

And the VRWC ratchets forward another notch...
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 05/26/2004 23:00 Comments || Top||

#23  Congrats, Dan and Godspeed!
Hope you find a little time to post here or at WOC every now and again.
Posted by: Jen || 05/26/2004 23:20 Comments || Top||

#24  I know it's way to late on this thread but if you happen to check back Dan. Way to go. I saw a year ago that you were a true warrior. Stay cool!
Posted by: Lucky || 05/27/2004 2:18 Comments || Top||

#25  I thought you were much older! Your article at the posting was all very interesting, but especially your account of your struggle to obtain recommendations. You will go far in life, I'm sure.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 2:32 Comments || Top||

Bahraini Army Consists Heavily of Foreigners Despite Local Unemployment - explosive situation?
Posted by: rkb || 05/26/2004 14:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6513 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Omigawd! Mahmood's got a blog!
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 16:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Is this _the_ Mahmood? I thought he spelled the name differently?
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 05/26/2004 18:02 Comments || Top||

#3  This is news? Most of the work in Bahrain is done by 'foreigners'. Still, he does have a dry wit.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/26/2004 18:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Not news that it's true.

Might be news if it becomes a topic of debate ... or if some of the foreigners toting guns and wearing uniforms decide their political loyalties lie elsewhere.
Posted by: rkb || 05/26/2004 19:43 Comments || Top||

#5  According to a MEDEA report, the foreigners in Bahrain's military are Sunnis, which is ticking off the Shiites (who are the 'underclass') to no end. The CIA factbook reports about 6,000 Bahrainis are available each year for military service, and there's a pool of 222,000 military-service age males. Leads me to believe the powers that be are more concerned about the loyalties of their own population.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/26/2004 22:28 Comments || Top||

#6  Yes, that makes sense as a motivation.

But with the topic of under- and un-employment in Arab countries heating up, I wonder if there will be pressure to enlist locals rather than imported bodies. ??
Posted by: rkb || 05/26/2004 22:58 Comments || Top||

#7  And guess where all these underemployed and unemployed people will be going in the next year?

IRAQ. Which is going to be an economic powerhouse, and very soon.
Posted by: RMcLeod || 05/27/2004 0:19 Comments || Top||

#8  This comment had me LOL:

"I guess people dont want to give them time to get thier little ass's nice and cosy. Like Mahmood said, the Passport and Immigration Ministry needs to book 20,000 one way tickets on Yemen Airways to Sana'a, I dont think Beluchistan has an airline, but we have a good supply of camals and donkeys which would ensure them a safe journey home."
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/27/2004 0:49 Comments || Top||

Al-Fowzan Denies Al-Jazeera Fatwa
Sheikh Saleh Al-Fowzan has denied foreign press reports that he issued a fatwa against watching the Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel. “The report is totally false,” Al-Riyadh Arabic daily quoted him as saying.
Maybe he should issue a fatwah against telling big lies?
The German news agency and some websites carried a religious edict attributed to Fowzan in which he allegedly said Al-Jazeera was a Zionist channel.
"The place is crawlin' with Jews! Everybody knows that!"
“The fact is that when I was asked about satellite channels in general, I said it was better to avoid them. I have not mentioned the name of Al-Jazeera. I have prohibited watching only those channels that spread indecency and immorality and create division among Muslims,” the scholar told the Arabic daily.
"I only forbade the ones that have titties on them!"
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 1:08:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What's the penalty for falsifying a fatwa?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 20:18 Comments || Top||

UK firm investigated for kickbacks to Saddam Hussein
A leading British engineering company, which now boasts a BBC governor and the former Nato secretary general, Lord Robertson, on its board, has been identified by US investigators as one of hundreds of firms alleged to have agreed to pay illicit kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime. The allegations about the Glasgow-based Weir Group appear in an internal Pentagon report seen by the Guardian. They have emerged as the United Nations faces a growing barrage of criticism over its $47bn (£26.2bn) humanitarian oil for food programme with half a dozen official investigations in train. Weir has presented detailed denials of the allegations.

Weir Group came under scrutiny after the war last year when it became apparent that the Saddam regime had been insisting on a 10% mark-up on all supplies under the oil for food programme since the middle of 2000. UN officials had long suspected, from anecdotal evidence, that the regime was asking for illicit commissions. But they have since insisted that it was not their job to audit prices and no contract was rejected solely on price.

From June last year a tripartite group of UN agencies, the new coalition provisional authority and Iraqi officials began a comprehensive review to renegotiate thousands of contracts and cancel the kickbacks.

The US defence department ordered a separate price review. A team from the defence contract audit agency examined 759 contracts worth $6.9bn. They included 300 Mercedes cars, worth £16m, which Saddam used as loyalty rewards.

These parallel reviews - revealed in testimony to Congress in the past month - were conducted without publicity. UN and American officials have explained that in their dealing with suppliers no formal reference was made to corruption or kickbacks "so as not to prejudice possible legal action in the future".

The Pentagon investigators concluded that nearly half the contracts, particularly those for food, had been overpriced by up to 40%, amounting to £656m. Payments believed to be kickbacks were often described as "after sales service" charges, the investigators say.

The Weir contract, dated April 2002, was placed by the ministry of oil with a company in the United Arab Emirates called Wesco, a joint venture with the Weir Group and a local firm. Valued at more than $2m, it was for parts for maintaining water treatment pumps.

Wesco ordered the pumps from Weir Engineering Services, part of the Glasgow group. Noting that the price of all 73 items in the Wesco quote had been raised by 10%, the Pentagon report concluded: "We believe this contract was overpriced by $250,796." Ex plaining its reasoning the report says: "When Weir [in Glasgow] sent us its original quote, they also sent us, in writing, the following statement, 'Please note the order placed on our sister company included a portion for after sales services.' As noted above, 'after sales service costs' were considered to be illicit surcharges earmarked for return by the supplier to the Iraqi government."

At the time the contract was made both the chairman of Weir, Sir Robert Smith, who is the BBC Scottish governor, and Lord Robertson had yet to join the board. The contract was eventually reduced in price last August after discussions between the company and the United Nations Office for Project Services (Unops), one of eight UN agencies involved in the review process.

Rolf Sprauten, head of Iraqi projects for Unops, told the Guardian: "We renegotiated with Wesco in Dubai last summer to change the price." He said in many contracts "after sales services fees were just a euphemism for kickbacks".

Weir told the Guardian it was aware of the purpose of the Pentagon investigation and at no time appreciated the reasons why Unops wanted the contract price reduced. A spokeswoman said: "The initial tender for the contract included product supply and after sales service, which covers installation and maintenance. We were subsequently advised by Unops that installation and maintenance were not required and as a consequence the contract was amended and the price reduced to cover product supply only. Correspondence to this effect was exchanged with the US joint defence audit agency at the time."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:20:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Looks like Weir has rolled over and is 'cooperating with investigators'
Posted by: Phil B || 05/26/2004 18:10 Comments || Top||

Trial Sars vaccine 'appears safe'
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/26/2004 19:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

4 arrested in Japanese al-Qaeda probe
Japanese police arrested four foreigners on Wednesday in a widening probe into suspected al Qaeda activities in the country. The government's top spokesman said he hoped the police action would yield clues about the activities of Lionel Dumont, a French national of Algerian descent who was arrested in Germany last December and had spent over a year in Japan until September. "We have information that an al Qaeda-linked individual...had contacts with various people in the country and was engaged in certain activities. I hope that the details will be revealed," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a news conference.

Police searched 10 locations on Wednesday following reports last week that Dumont, who has been linked to the al Qaeda network, had lived in Japan for several months after entering the country on a false passport in 2002. "What is important for our nation's security is that we prevent an international terrorist organization from operating," Hosoda said. Dumont was believed to have been involved in delivering equipment and funds to al Qaeda during his stay in Japan, media reports have said. Wednesday's investigation involved individuals with connections to Dumont, including a Bangladeshi man who police suspect has links to an Islamic group in Pakistan seeking independence for the Kashmir region, Japanese media said. Police said they had arrested an Indian, a Malian and two Bangladeshis for violating immigration laws.

Referring to the Indian, a police official said: "We are aware of reports about his links to the French person and will try to find more about it through our investigation." Television footage showed police officials at various buildings, including what were described as the homes of foreign Muslims and the office of a used car sales firm run by one of them. Japanese police suspect that Dumont was trying to build up a base in Japan to support al Qaeda among a network of foreigners, Kyodo news agency said, adding that the police wanted to investigate their activities and cash transfers among them. Dumont deposited and withdrew sums of several hundred thousand yen (100,000 yen = $894) on about 45 occasions in a one-month period after he entered Japan in 2002, media reports have said. Working with Pakistani colleagues, Dumont sold used cars to Russia and North Korea during his stay in Niigata, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:24:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6541 views] Top|| File under:

Down Under
Bashir ordered Roche to stop recruiting
Terror suspect Jack Roche only abandoned plans to set up an Australian al-Qaeda cell after receiving a direct order from Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, a court was told today. In earlier excerpts of a taped interview Roche gave to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), which was played to the trial jury, Roche named Bashir as the leader of south-east Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which was blamed for the Bali bombing in 2002. Roche, who became a JI member in late 1996, said Bashir assumed the top role in JI after the death of Abdullah Sungkar.

During the AFP interview in November 2002, Roche said Malaysian JI operative Hambali asked him to go to Afghanistan via Pakistan, to meet an unnamed Sheikh who lated turned out to be Osama bin Laden. In Afghanistan, Roche said senior al-Qaeda men directed him to recruit Australian Muslims for a terrorist cell, and undertake surveillance on possible Israeli government targets in Australia. Today the court heard how following his return from Afghanistan Roche was summoned to a meeting with Bashir in Indonesia. "And he said 'Well, look, whatever Hambali's asked you to do just carry on doing that ... whatever it happens to be'," Roche said. "Whether he knew about it or not I don't know - Abu Bakar Bashir that is." But later, after JI's Australian leaders complained about Hambali's interference in their territory, Roche said Bashir contacted him again. "I got a telephone call from Abu Bakar Bashir telling me to just stop whatever I was doing, to stop it," he said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:22:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Someone please tell me why Jack Roche is still alive
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/26/2004 11:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Understand the sentiment, JM, but Jack Roche is still alive so that he can give taped interviews to the Australian Federal Police. Yes! (high five) He is very useful in the WOT because, through him, we get a "bird's eye" view into the inner workings of madmen.
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/26/2004 12:29 Comments || Top||

Greece to shoot ’terror planes’
Greece has vowed to shoot down any aircraft trying to wreck the Olympics with a 11 September-style attack. Any such plane "won’t reach its target," Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis told state television. However, the minister said such action would only be taken if a plane refused to change course after being warned. Nato Awacs surveillance planes are also to boost the massive security effort planned for the games, which are taking place in Athens 13-29 August. It is feared the huge profile of the Games - the first to be held since the attacks on New York, Washington, Bali and Madrid - could make Athens a prime target for terrorists. "If a renegade plane, a plane that is not on its proper course over Greece, enters restricted airspace, and does not change course after being warned, it will not reach the Olympic stadium," Mr Voulgarakis said.

He was speaking after organisers unveiled their plans at a three-day security briefing for representatives of the 202 nations participating in the Olympics. About 70,000 police officers and soldiers will be patrolling the "Olympic village" northwest of the Greek capital and also all the Olympic venues. In addition, tough restrictions on the movement of vessels in the Saronic Gulf off Athens will be in place. The International Olympic Committee earlier this month highly praised Greece’s $1bn security arrangements for the Games - nearly four times what was spent in Sydney in 2000. On Wednesday, US and Australian Olympic Committees - which in the past have questioned security arrangements - also said they were impressed by the security preparations. "Greece will organise the safest Games that can be organised," US Olympic chief security officer Larry Buendorf said after attending the security briefing in Athens.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/26/2004 5:23:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Greece will organise the safest Games that can be organised," US Olympic chief security officer Larry Buendorf said after attending the security briefing in Athens.

I hope Mr. Buendorf has adequate protection for his neck. It's sticking out pretty damn far at this point.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 23:01 Comments || Top||

2 Frenchmen and an Algerian found guilty of recruiting terrorists
Two Frenchmen and an Algerian were convicted Tuesday of organizing networks that sent militants to Afghan camps for training in terrorism. The three men were sentenced to between two and 10 years in prison. One of the Frenchmen is the brother of Jerome Courtailler, who was acquitted in 2002 in a trial in the Netherlands of plotting an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris. During the trial, prosecutors alleged that David Courtailler, 28, had met with Jamal Zougam - a Moroccan who is a prime suspect in March 11 railway bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people. Courtailler was sentenced to two years plus a two-year suspended sentence and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Courtailler, who lives in the French Alps, was not detained during the trial.
I hope he doesn't explode when they go to round him up...
The other Frenchman, Ahmed Laidouni, 35, was handed a seven-year sentence. The Algerian, Mohamed Baadache, 34, received a maximum 10 years.
Seems to me that if you go to somebody else's country to do something terrible the sentence should be doubled or something...
Prosecutor Christophe Teissier charged that the men helped organize the networks so militants could later return to Europe with terrorist aims. Courtailler went to Afghanistan in 1997, training for six months at a camp in Khost, south of Kabul, prosecutors said. Between November 1998 and January 1999, he met Zougam in Spain and went to Morocco to learn Arabic.
Y'gotta know Arabic, otherwise you can't understand your orders...
Baadache oversaw the structure set up to take in foreign volunteers arriving in Peshawar, Pakistan, across the Afghan border, according to the prosecution.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 1:40:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: WoT
US Army Investigating Various Cases of Possible Prisoner Abuse
From the New York Times
An Army summary of deaths and mistreatment involving prisoners in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan shows a widespread pattern of abuse involving more military units than previously known. .... Among previously unknown incidents are the abuse of detainees by Army interrogators from a National Guard unit attached to the Third Infantry Division, who are described in a document obtained by The New York Times as having "forced into asphyxiation numerous detainees in an attempt to obtain information" during a 10-week period last spring. The document, dated May 5, is a synopsis prepared by the Criminal Investigation Command at the request of Army officials ....

In one of the oldest cases, involving the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan in December 2002, enlisted personnel from an active-duty military intelligence unit at Fort Bragg, N.C., and an Army Reserve military-police unit from Ohio are believed to have been "involved at various times in assaulting and mistreating the detainee." ....

According to the Army summary, the deaths that are now being investigated most vigorously by Army officials may be those from Afghanistan in December 2002, where two prisoners died in one week at what was known as the Bagram Collection Point, where interrogations were overseen by a platoon from Company A, 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, from Fort Bragg. .... Lt. Col. Billy Buckner, a spokesman for the 18th Airborne Corps, said in an e-mail message on Monday that no one from the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion had yet been disciplined in connection with any deaths or other misconduct in Iraq. He declined to say if anyone from the unit was the subject of an ongoing investigation.

The document also categorizes as a sexual assault a case of abuse at Abu Ghraib last fall that involved three soldiers from that unit, who were later fined and demoted but whose names the Army has refused to provide. As part of the incident, the document says, the three soldiers "entered the female wing of the prison and took a female detainee to a vacant cell."

"While one allegedly stood as look-out and one held the detainee’s hand, the third soldier allegedly kissed the detainee," the report said. It says that the female detainee was reportedly threatened with being left with a naked male detainee, but that "investigation failed to either prove or disprove the indecent-assault allegations." The May 5 document said the three soldiers from the 519th were demoted: two to privates first class and one to specialist. One was fined $750, the other two $500 each.

In what appeared to be a serious case of abuse over a prolonged period of time, unidentified enlisted members of the 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion, part of the California National Guard, were accused of abusing Iraqi detainees at a center in Samarra, north of Baghdad. The unit, based in San Francisco, operated under the command of the Third Infantry Division .... members of the 223rd "struck and pulled the hair of detainees" during interrogations over a period that lasted 10 weeks. The summary said they "forced into asphyxiations numerous detainees in an attempt to obtain information." The accusations were based on the statement of a soldier. No other details of the abuse — not the number of suspected soldiers nor the progress of the investigation — were disclosed. ....

Another incident, whose general outlines had been previously known, involved the death in custody of a senior Iraqi officer, Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, who died last November at a detention center run by the Third Armored Cavalry, of Fort Carson, Colo. Soldiers acknowledged to investigators that interviews with the general on Nov. 24 and 25 involved "physical assaults." In fact, investigators determined that General Mowhoush died after being shoved head-first into a sleeping bag, and questioned while being rolled repeatedly from his back to his stomach. ....

At a Pentagon briefing on Friday, a senior military official and a senior Pentagon medical official said the Army was investigating the deaths of 37 detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, an increase from at least 25 deaths that a senior Army general described on May 4. ....
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 6:05:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And still no numbers on how many prisoners have been held. Without the scale, the number of "37" is meaningless, simply a piece of propaganda intended to make us more angry at our troops than at our enemy.

Mike seems to be buying into it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 7:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Hmmm - 12 more. I am uninterested in numbers of dead retrobates in Abu Gharib. I want to know what the added 12 did to end up there. Insurgents who fire on our guys are worth much more dead. At least mulch helps flowers bloom better. Otherwise its just another mouth to feed, and I hope it's fed pork. But even that costs taxpayer dollars.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 12:04 Comments || Top||

#3  I'd JDAM-retrofit their dead mook bodies and return them via F-18's. Wouldn't that put a twist in the Mahdi Army's morale?
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 12:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Lt. Col. Billy Buckner,

That name brings up some serious pain here in the heart of Red Sox Nation...
Posted by: Raj || 05/26/2004 12:39 Comments || Top||

#5  An Army summary of deaths and mistreatment involving prisoners in American custody in Iraq..

Yawn. Can you say, "beating a dead horse"?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 17:39 Comments || Top||

#6  The media thought the abuse scandal was the ticket to discredit the war/beat bush once the photos came out. But, predictably, they couldn't help themselves and overplayed their hand. Middle America has concluded that some juvenile retards at Abu Ghraib went to far, are being punished, and Bush has done the right thing with a bad situation. The more the press pounds the prison abuse drum, the less effect it has at this point.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/26/2004 17:46 Comments || Top||

US warns of al-Qaeda attack
Federal officials have information suggesting that al Qaeda has people in the United States preparing to mount a large-scale terrorist attack this summer, sources familiar with the information said yesterday.

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III intend to hold a joint news conference this afternoon to discuss the threat and to ask Americans to watch for several suspected al Qaeda operatives who may be in the country, officials said.

The concerns are driven by intelligence deemed credible that was obtained about a month ago indicating an attack may be planned between now and Labor Day.

That information dovetails with other intelligence "chatter" suggesting that al Qaeda operatives are pleased with the change in government resulting from the March 11 terrorist bombings in Spain and may want to affect elections in the United States and other countries.

"They saw that an attack of that nature can have economic and political consequences and have some impact on the electoral process," said one federal official with access to counterterrorism intelligence.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials are trying to strengthen security at the presidential nominating conventions this summer in Boston and New York. They are also concerned about the possible targeting of other prominent events, starting with the World War II Memorial ceremony Saturday in the District, the G-8 Summit June 8-10 in Sea Island, Ga., and the Summer Olympic Games in August in Athens.

Federal officials have been discussing raising the national threat level between now and Jan. 21, 2005, the day after the presidential inauguration, although Homeland Security Department officials said yesterday no such announcement is scheduled.

The Justice Department and the FBI plan to ask for the public's help today in locating several suspected terrorist sympathizers, including some whose names have not been made public before. The bureau likely plans another public push to find Aafia Siddiqui, 32,, a Pakistani woman who has a doctorate in neurological science and has studied at MIT and Brandeis University in the Boston area, as well as in Houston.

The FBI also could seek help locating a man Siddiqui has been linked to, Adnan G. El Shukrijumah. He is a suspected al Qaeda member who spent time in Florida, and his name has come up in interrogations of captured al Qaeda lieutenant Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

In April, an FBI bulletin to law enforcement agencies warned of possible truck bombs. A source familiar with the government's threat discussions said yesterday truck bombs are a primary concern.

"I'm more worried than I was at Christmastime," said one senior U.S. intelligence official, comparing the "election threat" to the cancelling of specific airline flights around the holidays. He said the U.S. government is convinced there are still as yet unidentified al Qaeda operatives residing in the United States, waiting for the word to launch plots.

"They are here, and there are indications they are preparing" attacks, said the official, who government policy bars from being named.

Another FBI bulletin, issued last week, urged law enforcement officials to be on the alert for possible suicide bombers. Officials were urged to take note of people dressed in bulky jackets in warm weather, clothing smelling of chemicals or trailing electrical wires, and they warned that potential bombers may be dressed in uniform or even disguised as pregnant women.

Within the last three weeks, members of the House and Senate intelligence committees have received briefings from the CIA and FBI on what the CIA counterterrorism center has termed the "election threat." The members have asked the agencies for more specific, follow-up briefings, including an assessment of al Qaeda's presence in the United States, congressional sources said.

One counterterrorism official said al Qaeda still aims to carry off a attack that would kill large numbers of people, and is aiming at modes of transportation such as airlines and ships. Anything less than a spectacular attack, such as a simple suicide bombing, would appear weak to al Qaeda's financiers, according to the counterterrorism official.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:11:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why oh why do they hate us? Surely if we were to leave Iraq and elect John effin Kerry, AQ would realize that we've seen the error of our ways and no longer want to kill us.
C'mon people now smile on your brother everybody get together try to love one another right now!!!

Oh right..they're murderous lunatics and this is a war.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/26/2004 7:37 Comments || Top||

#2  JerseyMike - Now, now. No using logic or facts here. That's mean and uncalled for.

How do you feel about things? That's the key question.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 05/26/2004 8:55 Comments || Top||

#3  I know conventional wisdom says that Al Queda will try to pull a Spain here in the US come election time but my gut tells me they won't.

Al Queda has claimed numerous great attacks against the US in the past two years and so far nothing. Al Queda knows the one really successful attack against the US caused the President's poll numbers to shoot through the roof and caused them to lose Afghanistan. Clearly they know the US responds differently than Spain.

I believe they know how to manipulate the chatter and cause false alarms which cost us money and increase the terror. They can do this at little risk to themselves.

I think the Olympics is the next target and the US summer attack is just a smokescreen and I think Europeans will probably be the targets. From a tactical point of view this has a few advantages the most obvious are further European capitulation and American complacency for not having been attacked since 2001.

Of course its possible that they are just foaming at the mouth fanatics who don't think long term, but if that's the case then the idea of a pre-election attack rings kind of hollow as well.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/26/2004 10:53 Comments || Top||

#4  ruprecht - I think you give far more credit to AQ's politico-military strategy than they deserve. If they can hit us and cause a Spain (in their minds) they'll be on it like a fly on shit. I expect the results would be contrary to the intended results, but they never seem to think that far ahead, nor do they understand the "American mind". They should never have launched 9/11, instead spreading under the radar....
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 11:21 Comments || Top||

#5  Then there was all the chatter predicting an attack on the US preceeding this past Christmas. I stated then and still think that it was Maskirovka: a deception plan to focus US attention elsewhere while AQ moved resources into Spain, Jordan, Iraq, Suadi Arabi, etc. AQ has already proven itself capable of psyops, infiltrating Arab intel services, launching coordinated operations -- why not deception ops?
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/26/2004 11:34 Comments || Top||

#6  The only presidential nominating convention they might have to worry about protecting would be the Republican convention!

11A5S is correct about deception. Look for layer upon layer. That's part of the second track--i.e., building toward the "BIG ATTACK." Like the W.W.II Kamikazes, these men have committed, already, to their own deaths, so anything and everything else--deception, botched plans, some of their own being caught or killed--is just "small potatoes" to them. Death is now integrated into their identity. They'll keep experimenting until they find out what works.

Key: "Anything less than a spectacular attack, such as a simple suicide bombing, would appear weak to al Qaeda's financiers." (Kind of hard to top the WTC 9/11 attack, huh guys? You sick Islamic bastards.)

The Moslem male mind (is that an oxymoron?) has 2 tracks: First and foremost the "BIG ATTACK" against the infidels, and the second is, building toward the "BIG ATTACK" against the infidels. Lesser attacks along the way are okay, if they accomplish progress, but the focus is still on track 1.

The "BIG ATTACK(s)" if they can get it to happen, is equivalent to a coordinated group orgasm to them, so it's really important. (This is what they do with their masculinity. They seek to disseminate destruction.) They don't want to fail, so they'll plan and wait and plan and wait and plan and wait, until they're pretty sure they can pull it off. Otherwise, they will consider themselves impotent. They will be "humiliated." Humiliation regarding "manhood" is what is feared the most by all Islamoidz, world-wide.

Right now, everyone is trying to equivocate their actions with what OBL pulled off. Their "dream" is to do something even more dramatic (then they get to be the "biggest" men in their peer group). Blowing things up is the preferred choice, obviously, considering the psychological context, but causing death and mayhem is okay with them too--they simply adjust, and equate mass murder with the "explosion" of their sexuality.

Their greatest enemy is our President, George Bush. They hate him and they fear him. And they fear him more than they hate him, because he has mounted an effective campaign against them. He is "humiliating" them. Therefore, one of the best strategies the average American can employ to help win the WOT, is to work to assure that the best CIC resides in the White House (with occasional trips to Crawford, TX!)

Posted by: ex-lib || 05/26/2004 13:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Frank G, Reread what I said. I said that I don't think they'll attack the US, that this is a smokescreen and that they realize if they hit us they get hurt.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/26/2004 13:58 Comments || Top||

Group: Terror War Has Hurt Human Rights
I guess perspective depends on which side you're on, huh?
The U.S.-led war on terror has produced the most sustained attack on human rights and international law in 50 years, Amnesty International said in its annual report Wednesday. Irene Khan, secretary general of the human rights group, condemned terrorist assaults by groups such as al-Qaida, saying they posed a threat to security around the world.
Okay. Got that out of the way. Now on to the meat...
But she criticized the response of the U.S.-led "coalition of the willing," saying its powerful governments were ignoring international laws by sacrificing human rights in the "blind pursuit" of security. "The global security agenda promoted by the U.S. administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle," Khan said in a statement. "Violating rights at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad, and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses have damaged justice and freedom, and made the world a more dangerous place."
"All to get at a few thousand head-choppers and boomers!"
Amnesty said the U.S.-led war on terror continued to be waged using indiscriminate and disproportionate means. The report cites the hundreds of foreign nationals who remain in indefinite detention without charge or trial in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It also details alleged unlawful killings of civilians by coalition troops in Iraq and allegations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers. The recent publication of photographs of U.S. troops torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad was met with international condemnation.
And by U.S. action to clear up the problem...
"By failing to protect the rights of those who may be guilty, governments endanger the rights of those who are innocent and put us all at risk," Khan said. The report criticized several governments, including those of Spain, France and Uzbekistan, which it said have introduced "regressive" anti-terrorist legislation and restrictions on freedom since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Could have something to do with the corpses, but I could be wrong...
Britain was singled out for holding 14 foreign nationals under anti-terrorism laws that allow indefinite detention without charge of trial. The laws have been criticized by lawmakers, civil rights groups and Muslim associations.
I can't really think of a greater violation of human rights that chopping somebody's head off. Killing them by other means is a close second, though. But Amnesia International did make their proforma mention of al-Qaeda, so I guess they're covered.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 1:12:33 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6484 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does anyone at these groups have even a clue as to why they are loosing any respect they may have had with a large segment of the US population? Can you say "Moral Relativism?" Good, I thought you could.
Posted by: Jim K || 05/26/2004 14:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Hmm... no mention that the rape squads which are no longer on the loose, the rape rooms are closed down and the people-shreadders are shutdown (not to mention the 'real' torture (such as the gouging out of a man's daughter's eyes right in front of him) or the mass graves which are no longer being filled.)

Oh! Thats right! That was all done (including the head-chopping) by muslims so its all right with Amnesty International and the general media.

Excuse me I have to go puke.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/26/2004 14:34 Comments || Top||

#3  The report cites the hundreds of foreign nationals who remain in indefinite detention without charge or trial in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Not one of the people at Gitmo are entitled to any sort of protection under any treaty the US has signed.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 14:46 Comments || Top||

#4  ever notice how all these farkers never setup shop in any of the places they bitch about? Nope - they complain from the compfy AC office builing while sipping on a latte.

Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 05/26/2004 15:08 Comments || Top||

#5  It also details alleged unlawful killings of civilians by coalition troops in Iraq..

Has this report been edited?? I couldn't find the above passage in the article posted on the WTOP site.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 15:10 Comments || Top||

#6  This dates me, but I remember when Amnesty International would bitch loud and long about the kind of stuff Sadaam did--and America served as the guideline on human rights, not the enemy of human rights. These guys make me sick now. They're just a lie.

Nice comments, everyone.
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/26/2004 15:42 Comments || Top||

#7  I remember a buddy of mine had an AI sticker on his car a long long time ago. I seriously doubt he supports them any more. They are merely useful idiots for the militant Islamic movement. What jackoffs.
Posted by: remote man || 05/26/2004 16:23 Comments || Top||

#8  I've always wondered how many people these self important asshat groups like AI and Human Rights Watch have indirectly killed because they have absolutely no concept of the realities of the real world or don't go after crimes that don't fit their agendas. I'd be willing to bet it's more then one.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 16:49 Comments || Top||

#9  Crap like this makes me regret attending Amnesty concerts in the 1980s. What a bunch of tunnel-visioned ostriches!
Posted by: Tibor || 05/26/2004 17:14 Comments || Top||

Group: Terror War Has Hurt Human Rights
The headline left out: "but of course terrorism itself hasn't hurt a fly."

What a bunch of useless wankers.

Since they're so upset about Gitmo, I have a suggestion. AI members have to take the inmates home and be responsible for them and whatever they do. If the terrorists are the sweet, misunderstood boy scouts AI claims they are, there won't be a problem, right?

Any volunteers from AI? Anyone?

I thought not.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/26/2004 18:11 Comments || Top||

#11  Britain was singled out for holding 14 foreign nationals under anti-terrorism laws that allow indefinite detention without charge of trial.

Hotel Britania isn't detaining these men - theyre free to walk away any time they like. They're just not allowed to remain in Britain as free men. If they agreed go back to the countries they came from, they'd be free again. They have no business in this country; they arrived uninvited and probably with the intention of causing trouble. The choice to be imprisoned is a daily choice, made by them.
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/26/2004 18:24 Comments || Top||

#12  Human rights? Imagine what type of so-called human rights any 'infidel' would have under jihadic rule.

Think, not bash, simply driven by your limousine liberal, snobbish hatred for Bush!

The leftist fools actual foresee themselves as the ones to 'reason' with these bloodthirsty death cultists......if only they can elect John Forbes Kerry ..FORGET IT Charley!

The sell-outs are only being used by the enemy and will be disposed of when no longer of any use.

Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/26/2004 18:29 Comments || Top||

#13  where was amnesty's condemations during the last 25 years when Amercicans were targeted by terrorist? nowhere to be found!

if making these asshats happy means not fighting back then screw them..i hope no administration ever goes back to appeasement and allowing our people to be killed and maimed without retailiation.

at least now, under the Bush doctrine, terrorist enablers know there will be reprecussions for thier actions.
Posted by: Dan || 05/26/2004 19:18 Comments || Top||

#14  Ditto, ditto!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/26/2004 19:19 Comments || Top||

#15  I was a member of AI years ago. Since then, as others have pointed out, its been hijacked by leftists/islamicists and in no way resembles the organization I knew, which was concerned with highlighting the plight of specific individuals who were imprisoned or tortured for their beliefs. Since their main targets (The USA and Israel) don't do this, they have had to completely change their tactics and resort to this 'international law' and 'human rights' BS.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/26/2004 21:52 Comments || Top||

#16  "The U.S.-led war on terror has produced the most sustained attack on human rights and international law in 50 years, Amnesty International said in its annual report."

I guess that whole USSR/PRChina/International Communist Utopia thing never happened, huh?
Posted by: JDB || 05/26/2004 22:27 Comments || Top||

4th Geneva Convention: Protection of Civilian Persons in Wartime
Some excerpts relevant to our discussions about US treatment of prisoners in Iraq:
Article 4. Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it. Nationals of a neutral State who find themselves in the territory of a belligerent State, and nationals of a co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons while the State of which they are nationals has normal diplomatic representation in the State in whose hands they are. ....

Article 5: Where in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State.

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be. ...
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 4:24:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6494 views] Top|| File under:

#1  4. The death penalty shall not be pronounced on persons who were under the age of eighteen years at the time of the offence and shall not be carried out on pregnant women or mothers of young children.
Posted by: rich woods || 05/26/2004 9:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Do you want to really know why the Dems and the rest of the tranzi riff raff were so pissed about Bush's declaration of the end of major combat ops? I mean they're smart guys. A lot of them are lawyers. The knew that no more combat ops mean no more Geneva Convention protections for "freedom fighters." The US still has obligations as the "occupying power," but anyone caught after the end of combat ops is a criminal, whether he's wearing a uniform or not. No Red Thingy visits. No obligation to release them at the end of hostilities. The Dems knew that. So ask yourself, whose side are the Democrats on?
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/26/2004 11:44 Comments || Top||

#3  I mean they're smart guys. A lot of them are lawyers.

Sorry, that's a pet peeve of mine. Smart and lawyer don't necessarily belong in adjacent sentences.
Posted by: Raj || 05/26/2004 12:44 Comments || Top||

#4  how about conniving and lawyer?
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 12:56 Comments || Top||

#5  One of the problems with the Internet Raj, is that you don't get to hear the tone of my voice, if you get my drift.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/26/2004 12:57 Comments || Top||

#6  We have recently learned from WH Counsel Albert Gonzales that Convention IV indeed gives "civilian" thugs and cut throats (ie. terrorists in training) like Fedayeen Saddam, Amn Al-Khas, Ashbal Saddam, and Al Quds, et al sacred POW protections because of an international convention that was signed 50 years ago by 190 states, including Iraq.

In the intervening 50 years, Iraq had evolved into a "terrorist state" and in fact had formally earned a spot on the State Department's "State Sponsors of Terrorism" list several years ago, no to mention earning a "renegade" unofficial staus with the UN for failing to comply with countless resolutions.

It is most unfortunate that President Bush had not formally declared Iraq a "failed state" before the invasion, so that the Geneva Convention rules could have been suspended in Gulf War II, or so I have read. It might have allowed our GI's to use unconventional, "torture lite" techniques to extract life-saving military intelligence. [Lucky we did not sign off on Protocols I and II in 1977, or state-less terrorists like Al Queda would have Geneva Convention protections too. Thank you, Ronald Reagan].

If you want to read more "Alice through the Looking Glass" interpretations of the sacred Geneva Convention[signed by hallowed UN nations, two thirds of which had in 1949 and continue to have in 2004 thugs, despots, dictators as leaders] works to our military's disadvantage, go to the website set up by Lt. Col.[retired] Fox and his Gulf War I American POW military colleagues, who were abused by the Iraqis, who won a judgment against the Iraqi government, but had the judgement blocked by our government, thereby preventing justice to be served re: Geneva Convention abuse of our own Gulf War I vets. I heard about this nonsense from Lt. Col. Fox being interviewed on the May 16 Barbara Simpson talk radio show .

The Gulf War I American POW's website is www.stoppowtorture.org. Here's a bit of the nasty things that the peace loving Iraqis did to our uniformed military in Gulf War I : "...American prisoners of war have been tortured in war after war, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and through the more recent Gulf Wars. During the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq under Saddam Hussein brutally tortured American POWs with savage beatings, starvation, electric shocks, whippings, burnings, drug injection, mock executions, threatened dismemberments, broken bones, shattered eardrums, deprivation of medical care, and confinement in filthy solitary cells without facilities. Because no contact with families was permitted, many of their loved ones did not know whether the POWs were alive or dead..." Tad bit worse than panties on the face, don't you think?

Iraq violated the terms of the Geneva Convention starting Gulf War I and in Gulf War II horrific abuses of our POW's continued. Remember the GI's who were found in shallow graves with their throats slit and bodies mutilated? Or the female GI who was anally raped? Why our government feels it should comply with Geneva Convention IV to the letter of the law with regards to current Iraqi POW's is beyond my comprehension.

P.S. #2 Unfortunately, regardless of President Bush declaring an end to major combat in Iraq one year ago or 2 days ago, WH counsel says Convention IV will always cover Iraqi "civilian" thugs and terrorists. Convention III covers uniformed Republican Guard. On the Bill O'Reilly show last night, I heard a Mr. Roth from Human Rights Watch claiming that even Al Queda and Taliban should be covered as "civilians" under Convention IV. Watch for a push on the front. The ACLU has been posturing on that issue. Stay tuned, folks. Hopefully, because we did not sign off on Geneva Conventions Protocols I and II in 1977, state-less terrorists do not have Geneva Convention protections. Thank you, Ronald Reagan!
Posted by: rex || 05/26/2004 12:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Mike, I stand corrected. The Geneva Convention does cover civilians and spies cannot be summarily executed.

I still think that the conclusion to the TCS article that I posted yesterday is cuts to the nitty-gritty of the issue:

The US government should clearly advertise as strict policy that it will not provide Geneva protection to any combatant who does not follow Article 4A2a-d, whether they are in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere. Combatants across the world need to know in advance that if they do not adhere by Article 4A2a-d there will be negative consequences far beyond those of the captured professional soldier. Above all else, the unlawful combatants in al Qaeda and countless terrorist clans around the globe need to fear capture. There should be no reward of equal protection for unlawful combatants. Doing so only sends them a message that their tactics are legitimate.

Backing up your argument with factual information is quite uncommon - and admirable.
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/26/2004 23:27 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Sidney Jones Facing Expulsion from Indonesia
May 26, 2004 11:56 PM
This is real bad news -- you’d think the Bali and Jakarta bombings, provocations in Ambon and Sulawesi, etc., would have shown that appeasement is not a good way to deal with the islamofascists. Unfortunately, it is the modus operandi of dealing with "religious" tensions in Indonesia. If I do say so myself, I think a good description of the general Indonesian cultural and political climate was addressed right here on a prior Rantburg thread.

Laksamana.Net - The International Crisis Group (ICG) fears the Indonesian government is preparing to expel its Jakarta-based director Sidney Jones, who is widely regarded as the foremost expert on terrorism and human rights abuses in the country. In a statement issued Wednesday (26/5/04), the Brussels-based ICG said the Manpower Ministry had several weeks ago refused to renew the work permits of Jones and her colleagues following a "complaint". Since then their office has ceased to function.
* * *
Seeking an explanation for the government’s refusal to extend her work visa, Jones was told by the Manpower Ministry it had received a complaint but it could not say what it was about or who had made it.
* * *
Who complained is not that hard to figure out. Jones has been blunt about the islamofascist plans for Indonesia, and has not been shy about naming names. However, this is a service she provides, not a harm. I think the overwhelming concern to “never upset the apple cart” attitude of dealing with social problems in Indonesia has been identified by the islamofascists and is now being exploited against the government. The government has, likewise, often withheld work visas from Christian missionaries when the islamofascists, or general Muslims, complain too loudly.
The decision not to renew her visa has raised fears of a crackdown on independent reporting on Indonesia’s trouble spots.
But the governments fear of "muka merah" (red face), and desire to save face is being used against it.
The government was widely criticized in December 2001 for refusing to extend the work permit of award-winning Age correspondent Lindsay Murdoch after authorities objected to his reports on human rights abuses in Aceh and Timor. ICG President Gareth Evans, a former foreign minister of Australia, said he had complete confidence in the competence and integrity of Jones, adding Indonesia’s reputation would be damaged if the ICG is expelled. Following is the ICG statement on the Indonesian government’s accusations against Jones.
* * *
ICG Responds to Expulsion Threat in Indonesia
Jakarta/Brussels, 26 May 2004: The International Crisis Group learned from the Indonesia media this morning that serious accusations were made against its Jakarta-based director, Sidney Jones, in a meeting yesterday between the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and Commission I, the committee of the Indonesian Parliament responsible for security affairs. In response to a question earlier today, Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda reportedly told journalists and political party activists that ICG’s reports were biased, and that the government had the right to expel whomever it chose.
* * *
"If General Hendropriyono, the Foreign Minister, or anyone else have complaints about our work, we will be only too happy to answer them fully and directly. I think the Indonesian government should take into account that if we are expelled from Indonesia, this will do far more damage to Indonesia’s reputation than ICG’s."
If you want to comment to the Indonesian government, you can e-mail the Indonesian embassy at this address: Information@embassyofindonesia.org Still, please, bear in mind that “saving face” is critical to social and political relations throughout Asia -- as is the idea of not rocking the boat. A very short, polite comment that expelling Jones will only help islamofascists and hurt Indonesia will go much, much, much further than an explosive rant that makes you feel better. Remember what Mom said, “you’ll catch more with honey than with vinegar.”
Posted by: cingold || 05/26/2004 6:30:24 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

‘Thai Separatists Won’t Get Observer Status in OIC’
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 14:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

Three Abu Sayyaf rebels slain, seven captured
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines : Government troops killed three Abu Sayyaf kidnappers and arrested seven others in a major anti-terrorist operation in the southern Philippines, the military said.
Killed is good

The suspects holed up on the island of Umapoy were allegedly involved in the abduction of a group of Indonesian, Filipino and Malaysian resort workers from the nearby Malaysian state of Sabah last year. Marines and Navy Special Forces units raided the island, on the southeast edge of the Tawi-Tawi group near the sea border with Sabah on Tuesday following a tip-off that the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers had hid their hostages there for a time, task force commander Navy Captain Feliciano Angue said Wednesday.
Debriefed the hostages that were released, I guess

Navy gunboats and attack helicopters sank two motorboats belonging to fleeing gunmen and intercepted at least one other vessel, he told reporters. The raiders recovered the bodies of three suspected Abu Sayyaf kidnappers and arrested seven others. The rest of the 50-odd group escaped at sea but pursuit operations are continuing, Angue said.
I'm picturing fast motorboats scattering over a choppy sea, shells splashing arround them while choppers wheel overhead and strafe burning hulks.

The Abu Sayyaf, allegedly linked to the al-Qaeda network of Islamic militants, is deemed a "foreign terrorist organization" by the United States. The group has mounted spectacular kidnappings of American and European tourists and missionaries in the past. The Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Umapoy "are all implicated in the kidnapping of the Borneo hostages," Angue told reporters. He said some of the group had relocated to Umapoy after having been displaced by military operations on their traditional holdouts on the islands of Jolo and Basilan.
The gunmen forcibly displaced the fishermen who lived on houses on stilts on the coast of the tiny island, he said. "They kept their six hostages here for a time."
Maybe one of the fishermen dropped a dime on them.

The hostages -- three Indonesians, two Filipinos and a Malaysian -- were snatched from a resort on the Malaysian section of Borneo island in November. The Indonesian captives and a Filipino were released Monday. The freed hostages told the Malaysian authorities one of the hostages had died in captivity while another escaped late last year.
Angue said the naval operation was coordinated with the Malaysian authorities, who arrayed their navy vessels along the sea border just 10 nautical miles away to prevent the kidnappers escaping to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, a Filipino soldier was killed and five others were injured in a grenade blast inside an army base in this southern port city before dawn Tuesday, the military said. The authorities are investigating the cause of the blast, which occurred in the barracks of the First Scout Ranger Regiment, said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Renoir Pascua.
"Hey, watch me juggle these..KABOOM.......grenades"
Posted by: Steve || 05/26/2004 1:09:07 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

Malaysia ’abuses terror suspects’
File under "No skin off my fore"...
Abuses have included beatings, burning with cigarettes and sexual humiliation, the New York-based organisation says in a report issued on Tuesday. Some suspects have been told they will be handed over to the US authorities at Guantanamo Bay, it adds.
Oh, the horror!
The Malaysian government has denied mistreating prisoners. Human Rights Watch says about 100 terror suspects have been held without charge under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act - some for almost three years.
You're breakin' my heart...
The report says detainees have been subjected to sexually humiliating interrogations and forced to stand semi-naked for long periods. Human Rights Watch has urged the Malaysian government to allow independent monitors into its detention centres.
I urge them to simply cut the Bad Guys' heads off...
"US abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo shows what can happen behind closed doors," said Sam Zarifi, the group’s deputy director for Asia.
And Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl show what can happen when the Bad Guys are the ones in charge...
Kuala Lumpur has rejected allegations of prisoner abuse. Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar last week said recent reports of mistreatment were "wild". He called on human rights groups to stop "harping on countries that have got a very good and clear track record". Human Rights Watch says interrogators have used the US camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba as a threat. Detainees who refused to "cooperate" with Malaysian security officials were told they could be transferred to US custody there, the report says. "The Malaysian government uses Guantanamo as a sword and a shield," Mr Zarifi said. "Abuses by US authorities in the ’war on terror’ give cover to governments that abuse their own citizens."
"Maybe if they just asked nicely, the citizens would stop killing people!"
Malaysia’s Internal Security Act was approved in 1960 in response to a communist insurgency. It allows for indefinite detention and in the past has been used against opponents of the governing UMNO party. Since 2001 it has been widely invoked in the fight against militant groups. Most of the 100-odd detainees are accused of being linked to the regional radical group Jemaah Islamiah.
Posted by: tipper || 05/26/2004 2:56:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm beginning to think that allowing terrorists to surrender is too big of a hassle. I'm sure that you can get some enough intel off their hard drives and cells phones. Authorize hollow points for use against terrorists.
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/26/2004 3:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Terrorists will play the abuse and humiliation card if it works. If they succeed in some nasty domestic attacks, the public will not give a rodent's behind what the authorities do with them if they are caught. Actually, being faced with the business end of a german shepherd snout will instill a healthy dose of fear into someone determined to cause mischief.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/26/2004 9:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Why is it only terrorists can be abused and 'humiliated'?

That is the only kind of abuse the media reports. What about Sudan? What about the UN's sex for food program in Nigeria (where UN Guards would exchange food for sex with teenage girls)?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/26/2004 9:36 Comments || Top||

#4  I know I'm a little slow on the up-take,but why is a threat of transfer to Gitmo a violation of someone's human rights?
Posted by: Raptor || 05/26/2004 9:54 Comments || Top||

#5  Human Rights Watch is engaged in the mission of undermining America's allies. They know that only America will pressure friendly countries into taking the steps that will lead to their government's overthrow. It is interesting to note that in East Asia, most of the countries that were America's staunch allies before the US engineered the toppling of their dictators are now essentially neutral, bordering on hostile - Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines are cases in point. By contrast, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, who are under the old authoritarian rulers, remain relatively staunch in their cooperation with the US, whatever their public utterances.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/26/2004 9:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Some suspects have been told they will be handed over to the US authorities at Guantanamo Bay. . .

And the prisoners are then supposed to behave?

Dang. Are we bad, or are we bad!

Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 11:36 Comments || Top||

#7  Also, are they telling the prisoners that Lyndie England will be guarding them once they get to Cuba?

"Arf, Arf!"
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 11:56 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm thinking "Elizabethan Dog Collars" for the next series of pics

Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 12:28 Comments || Top||

No Way Out
Meet Hassan Abbasi, a well-known Iranian political scientist, longtime top official of the Revolutionary Guards, and currently "theoretician" in the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (how does one get a job description like that, I wonder) and the head of the National Security and Strategic Research Center. Abbasi holds special responsibility for North American affairs.

Apparently morale is very low in the ranks of the Basij, the group of fanatical thugs that do the regime’s dirty work in the streets, things like beating up women whose scarves show too much hair, rounding up student protesters, and so forth. Friends of mine in Iran tell me that Basiji are becoming convinced that the regime’s days are numbered, and they are understandably discouraged.

There is plenty of evidence that Iranians are utterly contemptuous of the regime, and are not afraid to demonstrate it. When the New York Times’s Nicholas Kristof went to Iran a few weeks ago, he was astonished to meet Iranians in all walks of life who attacked the regime and told him he could use their names. And on May 18, the well-known university professor, Hashem Agajari, told an Iranian judge that he would not appeal his death sentence (for blasphemy, having said that the people should not be "apes to follow blindly whatever the mullahs say"). "Free me unconditionally or carry out the sentence," he said. As iran-press-service.com dryly remarked, Agajari had been banned for ten years from professional activities, "but (the court) did not say if the bans would take effect before or after the application of the death sentence."

Meanwhile, an outspoken journalist, Ensafali Hedayat, went on a hunger strike to protest his 18-month prison sentence for "insulting regime leaders and writing propaganda against the Islamic Republic."

Such demonstrations of contempt have strained the nerves of the regime’s leaders, especially the judges. On May 25th, for example, Judge Mohseni-Ezhei attacked yet another journalist, Isa Saharkhiz, by "throwing two glass bowls at his head and then biting him on the lower abdomen."

So, last Sunday, Abbasi set out to restore the Basiji’s enthusiasm for the Islamic Revolution. Speaking at the Technical College of Tehran, he made some amazing statements. "The infidels — Western countries and America — are the sworn enemies of God and Muslems and any action taken to terrorize them or frighten them is considered holy and a source of pride." Abbasi went on, "Lebanese Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas have all been trained by these hands," that is, Iranian hands.

Thus far, the usual jihadist rhetoric, although the specific confirmation of Iran’s intimate links to three of the world’s most lethal terrorist organizations was a bit unusual. But then he went on with a megalomanical vision that bears some attention. "We intend to withdraw $53 billion of Iranian and Arab investments from the U.S.A. and thus cause instability [in] its economy, we take pride that our actions have brought 1/9 of the budget deficit in America’s economy this year and we shall keep up with our economic actions." The claim to have caused nearly ten percent of the American deficit probably refers to the rise in oil prices. But this was only the beginning of his promise to bring America to its knees.

"We have identified some 29 weak points for attacks in the U.S. and in the West, we intend to explode some 6,000 American atomic warheads, we have shared our intelligence with other guerilla groups and we shall utilize them as well. We have set up a department to cover England and we have had discussions regarding them[;] we have contacted the Mexicans and the Argentineans and will work with anyone who has an axe to grind with America."

Let’s not quibble over the details, since I doubt Abbasi would be inclined to reveal chapter and verse about specific Iranian operations. His list of potential South American allies omits Venezuela, which actively cooperates with the terror masters, and the figure of 6,000 warheads targeted by Iranian-backed saboteurs is beyond the pale, even for a mullah. But when an official as authoritative as Abbasi tells the regime’s loyalists in a closed meeting that Iran is sabotaging our economy and organizing terrorist attacks on our territory, you can take that to the bank.

Iranian operations inside the United States are of course an old story — enemies of the revolution were killed here in the early 1980s — and Iranians may even have been involved in the September 11 attacks. According to CNSNews.com, documents from the U.S. District Court in south Florida cite a government informer (and former Colombian drug smuggler) that his erstwhile partner in the drug business, an Iranian named Mehrzad Arbane, told the informer he had also smuggled people into the United States.

This sort of link between jihadis and conventional drug smuggling has long existed and available public evidence suggests it is getting even stronger. Little attention has been given to Spanish investigators’ discovery that the terrorists who bombed Madrid on 3/11 had financed their operations by smuggling drugs into Spain. And a leading Italian judge recently announced that the "camorra," the infamous Neapolitan criminal organization, had worked hand-in-glove with Middle Eastern terrorists.

We can’t wage war against terrorism without fighting the narcotraffickers as well. It’s often impossible to say where the one ends and the other begins. And here again, the mullahs play an important role. Iran is a major conduit for Afghan poppy seeds and opium, and can easily place its terror agents within the drug caravans heading south and west. That long pipeline eventually arrives at America’s borders, where, as Abbasi announced last Sunday, Iran is passionately courting our southern neighbors.

Perhaps Secretary of State Powell, who remains aloof from the life-and-death struggle for freedom in Iran, and his loyal deputy, Richard Armitage (who proclaims the Islamic Republic "a democracy") might study the remarks from Abbasi, and ask themselves if it is in our interest to have this hateful regime continue to attack us, even as they speed toward acquisition of atomic bombs.

You’d have thought this president, who has spoken so often and so well about his support for freedom in Iran, would have long since insisted that his administration develop a coherent policy to support the Iranian people’s desire to rid themselves of these murderous mullahs. It hasn’t happened. Moreover, President Bush eloquently and spontaneously condemns the mullahs in private conversations as well as in public speeches, yet he seems oddly detached from his State Department’s slow mating dance with the black widows in Tehran.

Sooner or later we will be forced to fight back against the mullahs, because their war against us is driven by fanatical hatred of everything we stand for and the knowledge that their regime is doomed if we succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no escape from this war, whatever the appeasers in Foggy Bottom may think. We can win or lose, but we can’t get out of it.

Faster, please.
Posted by: tipper || 05/26/2004 8:38:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I really, really hope we paid attention to that speech, and that we figure out what they're talking about so we can shut 'em down real quick. Because if we don't . . .
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 20:46 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Seeking Information on the Following Terrorists /PHOTOS
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/26/2004 18:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Not exactly the crew from American idol, are they?
Posted by: badanov || 05/26/2004 21:01 Comments || Top||

#2  No Irish nun, no fair haired housewife, no Chinese grandpa in the bunch...Calling Norm Mineta...
Posted by: rex || 05/26/2004 21:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Ugly bunch of mutts. I notice an American among them. I'm sure the ACLU is readying a quick reaction team for when they bust him.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 21:20 Comments || Top||

18,000 hard boyz in al-Qaeda's legions
My guess is that this refers to the core network, rather than the entire International Front.

Despite losses around the world, al Qaeda has more than 18,000 potential terrorists, and its ranks are growing because of the conflict in Iraq, a leading think tank warned Tuesday.

Al Qaeda still has a functioning leadership despite the death or capture of key figures, and estimates suggest al Qaeda operates in more than 60 nations around the world, the International Institute of Strategic Studies said in its Strategic Survey 2003-4.

The terrorist group poses a growing threat to Western interests and attacks are likely to increase, the institute said.

"Al Qaeda must be expected to keep trying to develop more promising plans for terrorist operations in North America and Europe, potentially involving weapons of mass destruction," institute director John Chipman told a news conference to launch the annual survey.

At the same time, it will continue carrying out attacks on "soft targets encompassing Americans, Europeans and Israelis and aiding the insurgency in Iraq," he added.

The estimate of 18,000 fighters was based on intelligence estimates that al Qaeda trained at least 20,000 fighters in its training camps in Afghanistan before the United States and its allies ousted the Taliban regime. In the ensuing war on terror, some 2,000 al Qaeda fighters have been killed or captured, the survey said.

The United States remains al Qaeda's prime target, the report said. An al Qaeda leader has said 4 million Americans will have to be killed "as a prerequisite to any Islamic victory," the survey said.

Iraq has become the new magnet of al Qaeda's war against the United States and up to 1,000 foreign Islamic fighters have infiltrated Iraqi territory, where they are cooperating with Iraqi forces, the survey said.

Al Qaeda appears to have successfully reconstituted its operations in dispersed groups and through local allies since being driven out of Afghanistan, the survey said.

"The Madrid bombings in March 2004 suggested that al Qaeda had fully reconstituted, set its sights firmly on the U.S. and its closest Western allies in Europe, and established a new and effective modus operandi," the survey said.

The U.S.-led war in Iraq has increased the risk to Western interests in Arab countries, the survey said.

The West and its allies must continue to mount a major offensive against al Qaeda and progress will be incremental, the report said. Any security offensive against al Qaeda must be accompanied with political developments, such as the democratization of Iraq and the resolution of conflict in Israel, it said.

Progress against al Qaeda "is likely to accelerate only with currently elusive political developments that would broadly depress recruitment and motivation," the report said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:17:17 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  'Progress against al Qaeda "is likely to accelerate only with currently elusive political developments that would broadly depress recruitment and motivation," the report said.'

I suspect that said developments will sound like this: "KA-BOOOM! RAT-A-TAT-A-TAT! KABLOOIE!" That'll broadly depress 'em, along with the building they're in.
Posted by: Just John || 05/26/2004 2:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Polls of koranimals have revealed open support for al-Qaeda in the 40-60% range. On that note, bin Laden has 4-600,000,000 members. Time to dust off the nukes, and let 'em fly.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/26/2004 4:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Polls, DBT?
Like, I am so sure these hard boys answer the phone to Gallup!
"Hello, sir.
How are you this evening?
Are you a member of Al Queda or its affiliates?
Oh, you are?"
Posted by: Jen || 05/26/2004 4:17 Comments || Top||

#4  Progress against al Qaeda "is likely to accelerate only with currently elusive political developments that would broadly depress recruitment and motivation," the report said.

The guys at this think tank have been repeatedly wrong - about both Iraq and Afghanistan. Not that being consistently wrong has crimped their tendency to make sweeping predictions of the future of Muslim terrorism. The whole ideology here is that appeasement works and deterrence doesn't. My take on it is this - deterrence generally works. However, if it fails, and another major terror attack occurs on US soil, the Iranians and Syrians are going to find out about what happens when Uncle Sam takes the gloves off.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/26/2004 10:03 Comments || Top||

#5  Looks like shoddy analysis and a lame conclusion. The WOT has increased the risk? Bull. By their own account if we hadn't gone into Afghanistan, there would be 20,000 as opposed to 18,000, they would be crankin' out the hardboyz by the bushel, and we would still be their #1 target. Makes no sense at all.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/26/2004 10:58 Comments || Top||

#6  My gut instinct is these numbers are high by a factor of ten or more and that they are influenced by political bias more than facts. Just because 18,000 went through the training camps does not mean:
(a) Al Queda keeps accurate records or can even count; (b) others tracking the numbers have reliable sources; (c) thousands weren't killed in Chechnya or Tora Bora; (d) a bunch of those numbers were idiots that had to repeat the course; (e) Others may have gone on to advanced courses; (f) numerous may have been arrested or died of natural causes since this count goes back a decade or more; (g) seeing how the Taliban was slaughtered a significant number may have rethought their allegences; (h) It is known that a large number were guerrillas involved in local conflicts like the Phillipines who may have gone through training but cannot be accurately considered as Al Queda hardboys.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/26/2004 10:59 Comments || Top||

#7  20,000 trained doents sound that far off to me - ive seen reports of as many as 30,000, though some undoubted flunked out, or decided to pursue an alternate career on graduation.

What seems off is the figure of 2000. It really seems to me that looking at the AQ dead and detained during the initial afghan campaign, Tora Bora, etc we had close to 2000 without even counting LFE effort around the world. In any case, how do you know from press accounts which dead Islamists had been through the camps. The Russians regularly off Chechen Islamists in large numbers - while most probably hadnt been to Afghanistan, undoubtedly some had. Similarly for Saudi, etc. I suspect theyve taken a very conservative approach and only counted someone if they knew for sure that hed been through Afghanistan. Which would make the 2000 a low end figure.

I mean weve got 600 in Gitmo alone, and undoubtedly several hundred in Diego Garcia and elsewhere. Assuming all are core members, that half the figure right there, and we're not even talking the deaders, or those in Egyptian, Indonesian, euro, Russian, or other custody.

Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/26/2004 11:06 Comments || Top||

#8  Despite losses around the world, al Qaeda has more than 18,000 potential terrorists, and its ranks are growing because of the conflict in Iraq, a leading think tank warned Tuesday.

Let me see if I have this right. They trained 20k in Afghanistan. We killed or captured 2k. That leaves 18k. How are they growing? Wouldn't the number be more than 18k? Everyday in Iraq we eliminate at least a few from the total number. But with terror it ain't about quantity its all about efficiency...cheap labor...some outside the box thinking...element of suprise in both timing, location, method...and of course, location, location, location (read USA) is everything!
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/26/2004 11:19 Comments || Top||

#9  It seems to me that the key factor should be quality rather than quantity. In 2001, new recruits were training in camps and could do live-fire training, get hands on with explosives, and jump through flaming hoops for propaganda videos. Now they are training in safe houses, at odd hours, and probably having to move around a lot. Except for weapons assembly and disassembly, they are probably not getting any hands on. Marksmanship, planning, and teamwork will all be degraded. The number of "work accidents" will increase. If you can't control someone 24/7 for a couple of months, the effects of indoctrination will be incomplete -- the jihadis won't fight as hard.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/26/2004 12:20 Comments || Top||

#10  Without hoop-of-fire training they must be having morale problems.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/26/2004 13:30 Comments || Top||

#11  Liberalhawk: 20,000 trained doents sound that far off to me - ive seen reports of as many as 30,000, though some undoubted flunked out, or decided to pursue an alternate career on graduation.

Even if there are 30,000 trained jihadis out there, the fact is this - in the face of adversity (repeated defeats) many of them will undoubtedly have deserted the cause. When Lord Kitchener destroyed the Mahdi's army in the Sudan a century ago, that army did not reconstitute itself to threaten the British again. It basically melted away, as the adherents to the cause lost hope for final victory - which may have coincided with the revival of their instincts for self-preservation. The al Qaeda of yesterday (pre-9/11) was well-funded and had the best of everything. Today's al Qaeda, due to (albeit) imperfect financial controls in most of their donor countries, is having sufficient problems scraping together funding that members asked for payment in exchange for media interviews. Even for a holy warrior, it's one thing to get treated royally before embarking on a mission, and quite another to have to eke out a hand-to-mouth existence. Given that al Qaeda is so weakly represented in both Iraq and Afghanistan today, based on their casualty numbers there, I suspect that it is largely a spent force. (This is not to say that there aren't similar Muslim terror organizations waiting in the wings - Zarqawi's is one).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/26/2004 16:12 Comments || Top||

#12  My gut tells me that the number of hard core AQ -types killed in Afghanistan is more than 2000. I personally debriefed an SF ODA that whackomoled a couple of hundered on the outskirts of Kabul as the city fell in Nov 02. Add that to the hundreds that our buddy Dostum took care of in the north, the Tora Bora cave closing ceremony, the hundereds in custody (Balto sick balls !)and you get my drift. Granted not all were hard core but many had been through the camps. Others gained knowledge through distance learning - like the distance of the max effective range of a Barrett .50 cal ! As for the balance - initial training is one thing. The ability to sustain perishable skills (weapons, explosives, driving, etc)is a horse of a different color.
Posted by: The Dude || 05/26/2004 21:24 Comments || Top||

#13  This is disinformation at its finest.

There is a world of difference between the real numbers and these.

You don't want the enemy to know how much we really know about them. If anything, you puff up their numbers - makes them think their disnformation campaign is working (i.e. they want to seem bigger than they are) - might make them slip up or get overconfident.

Napolean once said: "Never interrupt your opponent when he is making a mistake".

They are interrupting us with constant car-bombs and terror attacks in the Middle East, but we seem strangely quiet when it comes to public statements (letting the weapons speak).
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/26/2004 21:53 Comments || Top||

U.S.: Most Iraqi laborers afraid to report for work
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/26/2004 19:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

Shahristani the US choice for interim Iraqi leader?
An Iraqi official in Washington told The New York Sun yesterday that Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani is being pushed by the White House and the chief of the Coalition Provisional Authority for a position as either president or prime minister of the Iraqi government expected to take power on July 1. Dr. al-Shahristani was one of the nuclear scientists sentenced to prison in Iraq after refusing to help build Iraq’s nuclear bomb in the 1980s. He fits the profile of a technocrat the coalition and U.N.envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has hinted they would like to head the new government that is scheduled to guide the country toward elections scheduled no later than January 2005.
This article, however, says he’s declined any such offer. More on Sharistani’s background here.
The move comes as a number of Shiite parties are hinting that they may not recognize the new caretaker government if it side lines the role of existing political parties. Among the parties Mr. Brahimi has apparently sidelined are the Iranian sponsored Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, and the Dawa party, which means Islamic Call. “By sidelining SCIRI and Dawa and other Shiite political parties we could be pushing them into a corner that will force them to work against the new government,” the Iraqi official told the Sun.
Stuff on the Bush/Blair thing and other diplomatic developments snipped.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 6:34:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

Marine recommended for Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor has not been awarded since 1993, to two Delta guys who died in Mogadishu. The Marines currently have no other candidate up for consideration. And though this isn’t official, it should be. I’m only posting a snippet of the story. You really have to read the whole thing yourself.

Early this spring, Cpl. Jason Dunham and two other Marines sat in an outpost in Iraq and traded theories on surviving a hand-grenade attack.

Second Lt. Brian "Bull" Robinson suggested that if a Marine lay face down on the grenade and held it between his forearms, the ceramic bulletproof plate in his flak vest might be strong enough to protect his vital organs. His arms would shatter, but he might live.

Cpl. Dunham had another idea: A Marine’s Kevlar helmet held over the grenade might contain the blast. "I’ll bet a Kevlar would stop it," he said, according to Second Lt. Robinson.

"No, it’ll still mess you up," Staff Sgt. John Ferguson recalls saying.

It was a conversation the men would remember vividly a few weeks later, when they saw the shredded remains of Cpl. Dunham’s helmet, apparently blown apart from the inside by a grenade.

Posted by: growler || 05/26/2004 2:27:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6516 views] Top|| File under:

#1  God Bless your soul.

Thank you.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 05/26/2004 14:38 Comments || Top||

#2  I read the story a few weeks ago when they buried him. Young kid, too, like they all are. Thank God there's still kids around this country with guts. You wonder sometimes...
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 14:44 Comments || Top||

#3  Where do we get people like this? Oustanding Marines!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 05/26/2004 14:57 Comments || Top||

#4  A fine young man. Rest easy Marine.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/26/2004 15:10 Comments || Top||

#5  I read this in yesterday's WSJ. It brought tears to my eyes with thanks to God that men like this are on our side.
Posted by: remote man || 05/26/2004 15:38 Comments || Top||

#6  Oh man.
I lost it here:
He says Cpl. Dunham responded: "I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive. I want to be sure you go home to your wife alive."

Godspeed Marine.
Posted by: Anonymous4021 || 05/26/2004 15:40 Comments || Top||

#7  You won't read this in the NYT or see it on CNN (only if they need to exploit him - but he is white and comes from a small town - not a good candidate)but there are many, many more stories like this one coming out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Chad, the Horn and other places. What this damn war needs is an "Ernie Pyle". But who the hell could he work for beside WSJ and Fox?
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/26/2004 15:55 Comments || Top||

#8  Damn,my heart grieves!
A finer young man never livied.
Posted by: Raptor || 05/26/2004 18:38 Comments || Top||

#9  I grew up twenty miles from this kid's home town. Super volunteer fire department, tiny high school, rural America at its finest.

I set up a page for Jason and other unsung heroes of the War on Terror, since we talked about not seeing them in the media the other day. LINK
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 05/26/2004 20:37 Comments || Top||

#10  Memo to self on deployment:
use **the jihadi**, not self to smother grenade.
Helmets do not appear to contain blast sucessfully. :(
Posted by: N Guard || 05/26/2004 21:15 Comments || Top||

#11  N Guard, turn helmet on its side and focus inner lens of helmet at jihadi.

I e-mailed the article to my family and friends with the following Memorial Day message:

In Somalia, Randy Shugart and Gary Gordon purposefully chose to lay down their life for a fellow soldier. Leaders, who placed a higher value on political expediency than on staying the course to achieve the goal that made the sacrifice necessary, betrayed their sacrifice. How many human beings have died in Somalia since we decided the price was too high? Would the World Trade Center still be standing if we had demonstrated the strength of our will in Somalia, Beirut or Vietnam?

How can we afford to bare the cost of success without achieving success? We paid a blood price in Vietnam, and then betrayed the sacrifice of our soldiers. Would the South Vietnamese government have stood if Congress had continued to provide funding after we evacauated our troops? We can't know, but we certainly did know that without American support the South Vietnamese government could not stand against a Chinese-backed North Vietnamese force.

One man once asked Congress, "How can you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" I ask: would Vietnam have been a mistake if we had stayed the course? We have a chance to find out today. The blood of two generations of American soldiers awaits final vindication through our demonstration of the will to stay the course.

Posted by: Super Hose || 05/27/2004 1:14 Comments || Top||

Fallujah Emerging As Islamic Mini-State
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 14:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Who was the asshat who brokered the Marine withdrawl? Does anybody know? State Department suits?
Posted by: Jim K || 05/26/2004 14:29 Comments || Top||

#2  As Tater quickly learned, nothing makes the locals want Americans around more than a few weeks of religious dictatorship.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 14:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Should the Marines find that they have to engage Fallujah again, they had BETTER raze it to the ground and kill all the "mujahedeen" they come across. In the meantime, I'm perfectly satisfied to let the situation deteriorate on it's own, as long as it gets as much exposure as possible.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 14:46 Comments || Top||

#4  It was MAJ GEN Mattis. The same guy who relieved COL Dowding for not going fast enough and endangering his men on the drive to Bahgdad.
Posted by: anymouse || 05/26/2004 15:30 Comments || Top||

#5  Anymouse,
Thanks for the update.

So General Mattis did not want his men endangered by fighting in Fajulah? This pull back makes no sense.
Posted by: Jim K || 05/26/2004 15:47 Comments || Top||

#6  This story doesn't track with what the Marines and the CPA are saying about Fallujah. First, I thought that the Marines still maintain a cordon around Fallujah to control entry and exit and will remain for the foreseeable future. Second, I thought that just a few days ago the Marines presented the Fallujah Brigade with the names and pictures of the criminals wanted for the murder and mutilation of the four American contractors. The clear point being, find these guys or we will. Third, I thought that there was a considerable to-do about heavy weapons starting to be turned in. What am I missing in this picture that makes this a victory for the jihadis? that some of them are still alive? If they think they won, tell them to cowboy up and try to leave Fallujah and ask them again after the Marines hand them their assorted body parts.

All in all, I think this a propaganda hit piece.
Posted by: RWV || 05/26/2004 16:31 Comments || Top||

#7  RWV hits it. The article is propoganda. The Marines are still there, from everyhthing I hear. What the fundos are doing is terrorizing the locals, trying to strenghthen / maintain their foothold. I'd love to see it backfire as it did with Tater.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/26/2004 17:09 Comments || Top||

#8  It sounds like Fallujah is sorta quarantined and the fundos are making smoke, but are still inside cordon. The jihadis cannot beat the marines, so they do what they do best and that is beat their gums. At least I hope that this is what is happening. If we let them call the shots, we lose this one. Remember that negotiation with these clowns is seen as a sign of weakness on our part. Sure would like to hear the Marine side of the story.
Posted by: Alaska Paul In Nikolaevsk, Alaska || 05/26/2004 17:18 Comments || Top||

#9  Fred, I don't have a link, but I think Wretchard at Belmont Club had a history of Fallujah up a while back.

Fuzzily remembered facts: Fallujah's population is in the hundreds of thousands range today, but was less than 10,000 at the close of WW2. It's on the main route between Baghdad and Syria, and was probably an old caravan stop; I've forgotten what the name was, but Qom, a similar caravan stop further west, means "the tents."

It had grown a lot, especially in the years following the first gulf war, thanks to trade (official or surreptitious) with Syria.

Let me see if I can find it...

Ah, here it is.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 05/26/2004 18:30 Comments || Top||

#10  Several here bothered to actually read the piece, and also cranked in other things they knew about the situation, yielding the reasonable conclusion that this article is full of it. Just read it by itself. It's a mini-classic of the new genre of bad, distorted, poorly reasoned, upside-down "journalism." The headline and leading claims of the article aren't borne out in the rest of it. Just today I again saw someone (a hawkish type, it usually is) moaning about Fallujah becoming a "symbol of resistance." Yeah, right. That's what's inspired all those revolts across Iraq. Oops, there aren't any, and Chubs is on his last legs down south. The scariest thing right now, aside from the world gone stupid in general, is to see so many folks who had a clue about the war lose their bearings and become almost as lost as the likes of Zinni or Kerry or Carter. Rigorous thought, an attention to actual facts and not myths, and a tiny bit of backbone will be required to relieve this condition, I hope those afflicted will manage to come up with these.
Posted by: Verlaine || 05/26/2004 18:38 Comments || Top||

#11  Mini-Islamic State? With the capture of Sadr's brother-in-law, Mookie is not far behind...

Do you like pink or lavender pants on your head, Mookie.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 18:55 Comments || Top||

#12  I'd like to see Fallujah emerge as a minimall parking lot.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 20:19 Comments || Top||

#13  Tu, that's on the list right below Riyadh (or would Ridyah be a better way of putting it?).
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 20:22 Comments || Top||

Gunmen Kill 2 Russians in Iraq Ambush
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 14:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  AP has an interesting way with headlines. If the victims had been Americans or other members of the coalition then the perps would have been called insurgents instead of gunmen. In any case, the aim of the baddies is to thwart progress in Iraq and sadly in this case it seems to have worked.
Posted by: GK || 05/26/2004 14:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Now if this was the old days, there'd be some "gunmen" walking around Iraq with no heads.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 21:06 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Sudan Gov't, SPLA Prepare to Sign Deals
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 14:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
EDITORIAL: General Musharraf and ‘the fanatics’
Speaking at a youth convention in Islamabad, General Pervez Musharraf declared that fanatics and extremists could not be allowed to rule Pakistan. He linked extremists to the terrorism of Al Qaeda, saying he was ‘500 percent sure’ that Al Qaeda activists were in Pakistan and ‘1000 percent sure’ that they were terrorists. He revealed that Al Qaeda elements were operating from the Tribal Areas and were responsible not only for acts of terror inside Pakistan but in other friendly neighbouring states too, including China, whose most dangerous wanted man, he confirmed, was recently killed in South Waziristan.

As if to underline what he said, the same day Karachi police was engaged in a shootout with six terrorists of Harkat-ul Mujahideen al-Alami. The men who were captured as a result of the encounter revealed that they were involved in the 2002 attempt on the life of General Musharraf and the bombing of the US consulate in Karachi. The police encounter with the terrorists took place after the capture of their leader Kamran Atif who confessed to trying, unsuccessfully, to blow up the motorcade of the President in 2002. The six captured were in possession of hand-grenades, rockets, parcel bombs, and large amounts of explosives they were going to use in a car-bomb attack on a Karachi prison to get their companions released.

Almost anyone who is familiar with the rudiments of the terrorist underworld in Pakistan will tell you that Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami is one of the five Al Qaeda-linked organisations that have vowed to assassinate General Musharraf. What is surprising is that General Musharraf has either allowed or is allowing the leaders of some of these organisations to roam freely and issue statements against his policies. It is not possible that he is unaware of their statements because they are published prominently in the Urdu press everyday. It should be remembered that at least three militias included in the five that have vowed to kill him have also been the most effective ‘freedom-fighters’ in Held Kashmir.

The five-member ‘coalition’ of the jihadi organisations was launched in 2001 to avenge the invasion of Afghanistan. The coalition was called Brigade 313 (the number of warriors in the battle of Badr in the times of the Prophet PBUH) and comprised Lashkar-e Tayba, Jaish-e Muhammad, Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami, Harkat-ul Mujahideen al-Alami and Lashkar-e Jhangvi. The leaders of most of these organisations are either publicly free or have been allowed to conveniently disappear at home or abroad. Available literature on Al Qaeda reveals close contacts between the Lashkar-e Tayba and Osama bin Laden. For example, the leader of the Lashkar was allowed to establish his headquarters near Lahore. His stronghold is in Faisalabad from where a top leader of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaida, was most dramatically captured and handed over to the United States. And so on. Everyone knows who wants to kill General Musharraf. But most people don’t know or understand why General Musharraf is allowing the ‘fanatic’ terrorist elements to roam around freely in Pakistan?
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 1:06:04 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6513 views] Top|| File under:

#1  General Musharraf has either allowed or is allowing the leaders of some of these organisations to roam freely and issue statements against his policies. It is not possible that he is unaware of their statements because they are published prominently in the Urdu press everyday. It should be remembered that at least three militias included in the five that have vowed to kill him have also been the most effective ‘freedom-fighters’ in Held Kashmir.

Boy howdy, wot a coincidence!
Posted by: Zenster || 05/26/2004 14:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Nuclear Pakistan, a prize the jihadees must be prevented from controlling.

Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 1:29 Comments || Top||

More Pak peacekeepers off to Liberia
LAHORE: Another batch of Pakistani troops has left for Liberia on a United Nations chartered plane to restore peace there, said an Inter Services Public Relations press release on Tuesday. There are 163 army engineers in the contingent that consisted of 2,500 troops. Saying adieu to the troops at Allama Iqbal International Airport, General Commanding Officer Major General Bilal Omar Khan said Pakistan had always contributed to UN peacekeeping efforts.
Good move, that keeps another brigade away and out of mischief. Maybe they can ship the entire Pak army to different parts of Africa. Both would do better.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 1:03:39 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

Ten Pak Rangers injured as landmine explodes
MULTAN: At least 10 Rangers were injured when a landmine they were defusing exploded. They were admitted to hospital in Rajanpur and Rahimyar Khan where two rangers were in critical condition. “At least 10 persons, including Captain Muhammad Shahid, Captain Muhammad Akram, Sub Inspector Muhammad Jehangir, Havaldar Muhammad Naeem and six soldiers were injured when the landmine exploded on the common border of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan,” Rajanpur District Police Officer Shahid Iqbal said. He said all the injured belonged to the Bomb Disposal Squad. More than 6 civil and paramilitary have been killed so far and more than 24 injured in the area in explosions by landmines set by criminals to foil the enforcement agencies.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 1:02:39 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6487 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cheez, you'd think the Bomb Disposal Squad would know the "red wire, blue wire" thing. And the "have only one guy at a time anywhere near the landmine" thing.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/26/2004 14:32 Comments || Top||

#2  10 guys to defuse a landmine?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 15:35 Comments || Top||

#3  One to difuse mine 9 to issue fatwas?
Posted by: Shipman || 05/26/2004 15:36 Comments || Top||

#4  10 guys to defuse a landmine?

Think of it as the Pak version of a State Highway Dept....
Posted by: Pappy || 05/26/2004 18:52 Comments || Top||

US army suspends Abu Ghraib prison chief
An American general, in charge of US-run prisons in Iraq when the abuse of prisoners took place, has been suspended as commander of the military police brigade at the heart of the scandal and removed from active duty, the army said on Monday. Brig Gen Janis Karpinski, who had commanded the 800th Military Police Brigade, was suspended from her duties, said Lt Col Pamela Hart, an army spokeswoman at the Pentagon. Karpinski previously was formally admonished on January 17 by Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the top US commander in Iraq. The army returned Karpinski on Monday to the Army Reserve from active-duty status, said Al Schilf, an Army Reserve spokesman. In addition, Karpinski no longer serves as commander of her Uniondale, New York-based brigade, and was “temporarily attached” to the US Army Readiness Command at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Schilf said.

The army was seeking an “acting commander” of the brigade, Schilf said. Schilf, however, said that the latest action “is not a punitive measure”, but a temporary reassignment of duties, pending review of her situation by Lt Gen James Helmly, head of the Army Reserve. Seven US soldiers have been charged with abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib on the outskirts of Baghdad. Army Maj Gen Antonio Taguba’s report on the abuse faulted Karpinski’s “poor leadership”. Asked whether Karpinski could face criminal charges, Schilf did not answer directly, but said, “This action doesn’t close any doors.”
But I doubt if she will. Incompetence usually isn't a criminal offense.
“It’s under review now,” Schilf said of possible further steps regarding Karpinski. Karpinski, who has served in the Army for 27 years, has argued that the cellblocks where the abuse was centred were controlled by US military intelligence, not military police.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:54:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Incompetence usually isn't a criminal offense.

True enough, Fred...but under the UCMJ, dereliction of duty sure as hell is. This pathetic excuse of an officer needs to spend a few years contemplating her sins in a Leavenworth cell - that's the least she should pay for giving the Islamofascists and their LLL media allies an incalculable propaganda victory.
Posted by: Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo) || 05/26/2004 19:44 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Afghan troops hunt 200 Taliban after 20 militants killed
Afghan troops were hunting up to 200 suspected Taliban after 20 militants were killed by US warplanes and Afghan ground forces during a clash with militants hiding out in mountains bordering Pakistan. The planes on Tuesday bombed Arghistan, near the border town of Spin Boldak about 470 kilometers (290 miles) southwest of Kabul, where around 200 Taliban suspects armed with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and AK-47 rifles were hiding, Kandahar intelligence chief Abdullah Laghmanai said Wednesday. "During the operation 20 Taliban were killed, two of them were senior commanders," Laghmanai told AFP. He named the two Taliban commanders as Qari Faizullah and Qari Ali Mohammed. "The operation is still on going with government troops chasing down Taliban to the Pakistani border. According to our intelligence we estimated that 200 Taliban were in the area and now they have scattered."
Turn on the light and cockroaches do the same.
Kandahar military spokesman General Abdul Wasay said US air support came in when Taliban fighters attacked the district. "But government troops in the district, numbering 60 to 100 people, resisted and defeated their attackers," he said, leaving more than 20 Taliban dead from either the bombardment or ground forces.
Good for the Afghan troops, stood their ground and fought.
A US military spokesman said coalition planes bombed an area north of Spin Boldak after a US patrol came under attack from an unknown number of insurgents but could not confirm if any attackers were killed. Lieutenant Colonel Tucker Mansager also could not confirm whether it was the same incident. "Coalition forces were engaged by anti-coalition militants down in that vicinity, south of (Zabul provincial capital) Qalat and north of Spin Boldak," he said. Arghistan is about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Spin Boldak. "Ground forces first called in air support as a show of force, but when the enemy continued to engage the coalition forces upgraded their request to precision ordnance."
"Viper One, they say they'd rather die than surrender. Help them with that, will ya?"
There were no reports of US casualties during the exchange of fire which ended shortly after the bombing, he added. "My impression is that after the use of those precision munitions that the engagement ended rather abruptly so I would say that at least that group of anti-coalition militants is on the run."
Now there is a understatement
Afghan troops pursuing the fleeing Taliban fighters along the border had chased them to a village called Lwary, Wasay said. Laghmanai said the US-led coalition provided air support, but no US troops were on the ground.
Posted by: Steve || 05/26/2004 12:53:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  US-led coalition provided air support, but no US troops were on the ground.

Though we've see more like it recently, that's still very encouraging news: Afghan troops on the ground alone mopping up militants.
Posted by: AzCat || 05/26/2004 13:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Whatever happened to the Spring Offensive?
Posted by: Jabba the Nutt || 05/26/2004 19:12 Comments || Top||

‘Infiltration on Afghan border increasing’
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As long as our special forces are waiting with "open arms", and an 'adequate supply' of AA batteries for their GPS hand-helds (snicker). We ready, Perv. Send 'em over.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 13:28 Comments || Top||

#2  A retired officer who spent some time in Afghanistan lately, to evaluate new equipment, says the Special Ops have been going very nicely ... low key, background, effective. In the meanwhile, the Afghan government begins to coalesce its control of the countryside and the beginnings of (re) constructing the infrastructure are underway.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 13:34 Comments || Top||

Countrywide protests if by-poll results not nullified, says MMA
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6486 views] Top|| File under:

Pak-Saudi ties will grow, says Jamali
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6494 views] Top|| File under:

Fazl’s nomination unconstitutional, say opp leaders
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

Six terrs remanded to CID custody
KARACHI: An Anti-Terrorism Court on Tuesday remanded six alleged terrorists to the custody of Crimes Investigation Department (CID) till May 31. Police claims arresting the six with submachineguns, four rocket propelled grenades and rockets and other weapons. The investigators said the accused were involved in high profile cases like the bombing outside the US Consulate, killing of French engineers and the Macedonian Consulate building.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:53:14 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

Pak-US talks on incursions put off
Perhaps because we're not done yet?
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Perhaps the resupply of AA batteries was, um, delayed?
Posted by: Steve White || 05/26/2004 14:35 Comments || Top||

Blast destroys gas pipeline near Nawabshah
That'd be the Bugtis again, I imagine...
A powerful explosion late on Monday damaged a 16-inch-diameter gas pipeline at Veho Wah Canal crossing, some 38 kilometres from Nawabshah. The explosion tore the pipeline into shreds and one of them measuring 30-feet in length landed 300 feet away. The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) closed the main supplies to prevent the fire from spreading. The company said the explosion destroyed about 200 feet of the pipeline. The damaged pipeline supplied gas to Nawabshah, Sukkur, Pano Aqil, Khairpur and adjoining villages. The company has stopped gas to factories in Sukkur and Rohri and began gas loadshedding. The firm said it had stepped up security surveillance of the pipeline and police had been deployed to key installations.
That seems to be working well. Who'd they hire? A tribal lashkar?
It called on the provincial and national governments to ensure pipeline security. The company said that repairs to the pipeline would take 36 hours, but supplies to affected areas were expected to be restored on Wednesday afternoon. Security for oil and gas installations has long been a cause of concern in the area where Bugtis tribesmen often fight for share of benefits from exploration.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:37:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6490 views] Top|| File under:

Perv invites Sonia to Islamabad for talks
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6490 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is so odd that these two would go to nuclear war over a few square miles of rocks in the foothills of the Himilayas.

I think talking is a good start.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 12:55 Comments || Top||

Fazl chosen as NA Opposition Leader
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

Clueless: Brig. Gen Janis Karpinski "baffled by her suspension"
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 10:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6513 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Of course she's baffled, she's female and therefore immune to normal discipline.
Posted by: AzCat || 05/26/2004 10:46 Comments || Top||

#2  does not know why she was suspended and insists the Army was aware of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison months before it launched an investigation.

If she was aware of the abuses, and did nothing about them, that should be a clue to her why she's been suspended.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 10:53 Comments || Top||

#3  How long until the news media casts her as a victim?
Posted by: CanaveralDan || 05/26/2004 11:06 Comments || Top||

#4  I have to admit I am baffled too.

Was not Karpinski taught that losing control of your command will get you relieved of command? Was she not further taught that amoungst the panopoly of events in a war zone, losing control of one's command is the least forgivable error a commander can make?

Did Karpinski think she was such a pioneer in women in the military that rules applying to commanders in all armies since time immemorial did not apply to her?

Enquiring minds wanna know!
Posted by: badanov || 05/26/2004 11:07 Comments || Top||

#5  How long till she's sharing accomodations with Lyndee England?
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/26/2004 11:07 Comments || Top||

#6  the sequal - "Clueless 2: Girls in chains"
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 11:13 Comments || Top||

#7  How long until the news media casts her as a victim?

I think that started weeks ago.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 11:19 Comments || Top||

#8  I think she may be the scape goat. From what I have heard, command was transferrd to Military Intel in Nov of last year. Which was before the abuses occurred.
Posted by: Bill || 05/26/2004 11:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Badanov you are on target! If your command screws up you get fired. This happens ALL THE TIME in the military. on the flip side if your command performs 'above and beyond' they get credit for that too.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 05/26/2004 11:25 Comments || Top||

#10  "she does not know why she was suspended and insists the Army was aware of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison"

She was suspended because (a) she either lost control of her command or (b) has no moral compass to recognize that what was done was wrong. Just following orders doesn't fly. Regardin the Army being aware of the problem, perhaps that would explain why her boss is also being busted.

There is more to being a General than pushing papers around. By the time the dust settles General Karpinski will do more harm women in the military than Lyndee England ever did.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/26/2004 11:27 Comments || Top||

#11  I think she may be the scape goat. From what I have heard, command was transferrd to Military Intel in Nov of last year. Which was before the abuses occurred.

Command of what? The prison?

Gen. Karpinski was still commandant of the prison when she was relieved and is therefore responsible for everything that went on there. It matters, not even legally, if she knew about abuses; she was unaware of events going on in her own command.

She lost control of her command.

I don't care if someone from a theatre command told her their group would run interrogations; soldiers from her command were doing things she was not kept apprised about. That is a failure on two levels: She didnt train her commanders to keep her aware of what is going on and she did nothing to remain apprised about what was going on. In other words: (and repeated for the umpteenth time) she lost control of her command.
Posted by: badanov || 05/26/2004 11:30 Comments || Top||

#12  Oh. That prison...
Posted by: J. Karpinski || 05/26/2004 11:34 Comments || Top||

We were not prepared to take so many prisoners, all of whom have to be identified, sorted, fed, clothed, controled, guarded, and provided with medical treatment.

This failure is common in military operations, even when intentions are good. My father-in-law served in the US Army in Europe at the end of World War Two. During one terrible period he managed a burial detail that was burying several hundred POWs (Germans captured by the US) a day -- dead of starvation and disease that we could not prevent.

A few days ago I watched, on C-Span, the Senate hearings of the US military commanders about the interrogation scandal. One participant remarked that the ratio of prisoners to guard personnel in Iraq exceeded the doctrinal norm by a factor of five. Someone higher than General Karpinski was responsible for that gross shortfall, but I doubt he (I assume it was a he) won't be suspended.

In general, many would like to pin this entire scandal on a few Military Police personnel. We see here that many welcome that easy resolution. The American public as a whole will not buy it, though.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 11:38 Comments || Top||

#14  but I doubt he (I assume it was a he) will be suspended.

Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 11:39 Comments || Top||

#15  In general, many would like to pin this entire scandal on a few Military Police personnel. We see here that many welcome that easy resolution. The American public as a whole will not buy it, though.

Just who is responsible if not the soldiers already under courts martial/reprimand?

And the 'easy resolution' is the best resolution. The commander of the prison ( Karpinski ) was relieved of command. Once discipline is meted out and control over the troops instilled, that ends the story as far as I am concerned.

Someone higher than General Karpinski was responsible for that gross shortfall, but I doubt he (I assume it was a he) won't be suspended.

One helluva a lot of difference between a planning error and losing control of your command.
Posted by: badanov || 05/26/2004 11:46 Comments || Top||

#16  Mike S - I think Karpinski's superior was Sanchez. Sanchez is being "reassigned" as well.

Caneveral -
How long until the news media casts her as a victim?

When Gloria Allred calls a press conference and is sitting next to Karpinski.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 11:50 Comments || Top||

#17  Last summer or early fall the Bush administration asked for money to build new prisond. The bill was voted down with Senator Ted "Bogagas" Kennedy being very vocal on denying this money. That there was not enough room in the prisons and not enough guards can partially be laid at the feet of Congress.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/26/2004 11:55 Comments || Top||

#18  I'm not sure what the female form of the Peter Principle is, but I think Karpinski is the exemplar of it. Most officers get a clue about the time they become captains.
Posted by: RWV || 05/26/2004 12:13 Comments || Top||

#19  Karpinski was relieved of duty in Iraq on January 17, a day after the coalition military announced an investigation into allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.

Hint: This might have something to do with your suspension General.

Was she promoted under Clinton by any chance? Just wondering.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/26/2004 12:44 Comments || Top||

#20  Just following orders is not an excuse. That means that if this general says the army knew she knew and she goes down. If Sanchez new he goes down. At some point you get to a level where they couldn't possibly know about that level of detail.

I think somebody yesterday said the military generally takes that person out as well. That means Sanchez.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/26/2004 12:59 Comments || Top||

#21  In general, many would like to pin this entire scandal on a few Military Police personnel. We see here that many welcome that easy resolution. The American public as a whole will not buy it, though.

What a pity people like you won't let the truth stand on its own, but prefer to throw up smoke screens and lies then whine about the public "not buying" the truth.

From your comments, I see the new "scandal" is that there weren't enough guards for the number of prisoners. Just how did that lead to the abuse? Consider that the abuse didn't happen in other shifts or sections of the prison. If it were really a problem with low staffing, would it have been that limited in scope?

Beyond command issues, which badanov pointed out, I can't see how this gets much higher than the people already charged. All the attempts I've seen to push it higher have been vague waves at "setting the environment", completely ignoring the limited nature of the accusations.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 13:10 Comments || Top||

#22  AzCat et al:

I am seething over Karpinsky's ineptitude and negligence.

So are the VERY competant female officers I know and work with, some of whom are pilots, some of whom are MPs because it's the closest they can get to combat arms.

Believe me, the LtCOLs and COLs I know would never have lost control of the situation if they had been in Karpinski's role. Their subordinates would never have been insubordinate - at least, not more than once! And usually not that often, because these women inspire respect, they know how to lead and they lead from the front.

And if "Mil Intel took charge" of the prison, the rules would have been very clear. And the commander WOULD have been on top of things, as would her junior officers.

The female COL Garrison Commander at West Point has done a really good job post-9/11 of balancing security with livable control. The Academy is a high-profile target, easy to get to from NYC and very visible ... the sort of target that would make compelling evening news if it were hit, not to mention the potential loss of several years' worth of new officers. And on any given day, there would probably be parents and tourists involved too.

The number of stupid moves made in the name of security sinc 9/11 has been small and they generally get corrected quickly. The number of laxities where there shouldn't be laxities has been very small, so far as I can tell.

Karpinski, OTOH, .... words fail me. Or rather, they don't, but I won't say what I think in public.
Posted by: rkb || 05/26/2004 13:30 Comments || Top||

#23  Does the Song, “Charlie Brown” by the Coasters
apply here. . .

"Why is everybody always picking on me. . .
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 13:32 Comments || Top||

Robert Crawford: From your comments, I see the new "scandal" is that there weren't enough guards for the number of prisoners. Just how did that lead to the abuse? Consider that the abuse didn't happen in other shifts or sections of the prison. If it were really a problem with low staffing, would it have been that limited in scope?

Robert, I see several factors. One factor is that the military police were overwhelmed by their burden. The officers were overwhelmed. The NCOs were overwhelmed. The enlisted troops were overwhelmed. Therefore, supervision and discipline generally broke down.

I think we are learning that other prisons suffered similar problems. Fortunately, though, it seems that the phenomenon of photographing the abuse of prisoners was limited to this one prison.

A second factor was an excessive ambition by the intelligence hierarchy to collect tactical intelligence through interrogations. Nobody, apparently, in that hierarchy had the gumption to say that we are not Guantanamo, we do not have the same mission or resources, our prisoners do not have the same status. It was "can do, can do" instead of "no, we cannot." They allowed themselves to be overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations, and so likewise supervision and discipline broke down in their organization. They let outsiders come in and take over and run things. They abandoned their doctrine and regulations.

Frankly, US Army interrogators cannot go into a prison like that and take the worst prisoners and break them down and collect actionable tactical intelligence from them. They don't have the language skills, they don't have the resources, they don't have the time, they don't have the legal foundation. The imposed "Gitomization" of Abu Graib was an unrealistic fantasy.

The linguists (they were probably very few and relatively incapable) there should have concentrated on helping to control the prisoners and on collecting information from prisoners who were cooperative or at least talkative. Those would have been reasonable, attainable goals.

All these gimmicks -- stress positions, white noise, nakedness, sleep deprivation, isolation -- are activities that mostly create an impression on the interrogators' supervisors that the interrogators are applying pressure to force the prisoners to talk.

It's easy to make prisoners talk. Ask them: What is your opinion of the current situation? What do you think of the Americans' invasion of your country? What do you think about Saddam Hussein? How do you think this situation will develop during the next five years. Do you want democratic elections in Iraq? Would you like to go into politics?

Ask questions like that, and practically every prisoner will start talking. Frankly, though, most of our interrogators in our prisons in Iraq cannot conduct conversations well on that intellectual level. Our typical interrogator is a 20-something-year-old wonder who studied Arabic for one year in a military language school. And so they were compelled to resort to the stupid gimmicks and to start by asking futile questions like: Where are weapons of mass destruction? Who is putting bombs along the roads? Who is leading the resistance organizations? Where are the terrorist leaders?

This whole effort was doomed to end in scandal, and so it did. The slippery slope was there for all of us to see. We pranced along the slippery slope for quite a while. And then we all slipped right down it to the very bottom. Because the people who should and could have said, "hey, don't go there," didn't say it.

Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 15:12 Comments || Top||

#25  This whole effort was doomed to end in scandal, and so it did.

Are we talking about the same event?


That term may work to sell newspapers, make political points or get a blowjob from a newsroom intern, but there is no scandal.

A scandal implies a deception, it can also means misappropriation of funds, amoung other things; none of these things are elements of this story.

The slippery slope was there for all of us to see. We pranced along the slippery slope for quite a while. And then we all slipped right down it to the very bottom. Because the people who should and could have said, "hey, don't go there," didn't say it.

The only slippery slope I can see is calling the Abu Ghraib prison story a scandal.

The issues here are quite simple. I have enunciated them repeatedly, and I won't bore the rest of the readership by repeating them yet again.

I realize some folks with an agenda want to keep the story alive, but the way I see it, it is like that movie Weekend at Bernies.

You are really gonna have to spend some personal credibility to get pass the most salient facts, as I have outlined them.

But I guess you can keep trying.
Posted by: badanov || 05/26/2004 15:33 Comments || Top||

#26  It's easy to make prisoners talk. Ask them: What is your opinion of the current situation?

They stated that with the IED they planted.

What do you think of the Americans' invasion of your country?

Yes, lets ask prisoners what they think of us when they're behind bars and arrested for plotting to kill us. I'm sure we'll get wonderful answers.

What do you think about Saddam Hussein?

Glad that he isn't in charge of the prison anymore. If he was, they wouldn't have any hand, would be missing tongues, and would be having their balls electrocuted.

How do you think this situation will develop during the next five years

" I'll be out of a job. There just isn't room for ex-Fedayeen members in a Democratic country. "

Would you like to go into politics?

This is an Air America polling questionare, isn't it. How STUPID do you have to be in order to ask that question to people who want to kill you?

Posted by: Charles || 05/26/2004 15:40 Comments || Top||

#27  Because the people who should and could have said, "hey, don't go there," didn't say it.

Bullshit, Mike.

Your claim is absolutely wrong. The only reason this story became public is because those responsible said it was unacceptable. You keep ignoring that, because it contradicts what you want to believe.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 15:48 Comments || Top||

#28  Charles, those "stupid" questions sure got your hackles up, and got you talking. That's the first step, as Mike explained. "People who want to kill you" often also want to rant against you, and that is the scenario you want: prisoners who want to talk; not prisoners who feel like they have to keep their mouths shut. Great article in the Atlantic Monthly about Israeli interrogation techniques. Prisoners, at some level, and for various reasons, almost always want to tell you what you want to know. Its a matter of being smart about leading them down the path to granting themselves that relief that they are seeking. Mike ain't stupid.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/26/2004 17:33 Comments || Top||

#29  Mike, Sludj -

I'm simply AMAZED at the hands-on expertise you bring to the question of effective interrogation techniques, appropriate to Arab and Muslim culture, under conditions of intermittent deadly attack on US forces.

I'm sure you can expound in breathtaking detail on the nuances of Arab cultural norms for hospitality, the role and exact nature of meal exchanges in establishing limited truces among warring tribes, and the nature of Arabic games of deliberate disinformation, a staple in many boys' upbringing in Arab tribes. And surely you can help us understand how these apply - or not - to gaining information quickly that might save soldiers' lives.

Or, quite possibly, you are full of shit.

Quite likely, truth be told.

Posted by: not an expert but I know a few || 05/26/2004 18:43 Comments || Top||

#30  Not an expert. Glad to hear I'm full of shit. Very persuasive. Just like calling people stupid. You are clearly right. Sorry for speaking up. I'll be quiet now. Or maybe not. See, you have now taken the completely indefensible position that it never, in any circumstances, makes sense to ask questions you think are likely to get a prisoner talking. Interrogators must only ask questions likely to elicit stubborn, defiant silence. I've read what experts have to say (as noted in my post--maybe you missed that) and they say that a variety of techniques should be brought to bear--pressure, fear, discomfort, relief, etc., etc., depending on the prisoner and the situation. I'm not full of shit. Am I still full of shit? Say it, please, say it--you'll feel better.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/26/2004 18:55 Comments || Top||

#31  Expert (not). Here's the article, by Mark Bowden (author of BlackHawk Down). Of course, I'm sure he and all the people he interviewed are full of shit too. It must be depressing to have to call others stupid, full of shit to make yourself feel smart. http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2003/10/bowden.htm
Posted by: Sludj || 05/26/2004 19:01 Comments || Top||

#32  Bowden has a point of view and I've read his article.

I may or may not agree with the people he interviewed. But they at least have some credentials.

When you and Mike take their positions, you're just blowing smoke. Unless YOU have some expertise you haven't mentioned (or demonstrated), YOU are full of shit when you make blanket and simplistic statements about what would have been appropriate interrogation techniques.

And no, I am not an interrogation expert although I do know a few.

And yes - I have been in the Middle East and done business there. It ain't much, but so far as I can tell it's more expertise than you bring to the topic.
Posted by: not an expert but I know a few || 05/26/2004 19:47 Comments || Top||

#33  Expert (not). So you've got just enough expertise to say others are full of shit. Convenient. No one made blanket and simplistic statements except you. Go back and read what you wrote. Are you sure I don't have any expertise? If you do know, how do you know? If you don't know, what is your basis for saying I'm full of shit? Point: you have no support for your knee-jerk, simplistic self-glorifying insults. You also just ignore the substance of my last post--you don't dispute it--and yet you again say I'm full of shit. You are not a serious person.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/26/2004 20:00 Comments || Top||

#34  Expert (not). I also note that you have adopted an anonymous identity for purposes of this discussion. If you want a blog where only experts can express opinions, this ain't it. Everyone is free to speak their mind here. And since you admit you have no expertise, you are a hypocrite. Tone down your insults, engage in debate, learn something, teach something, and have a nice day. Sorry to say I have a 3 hour meeting, and must excuse myself. So have at me in my absence.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/26/2004 20:04 Comments || Top||

#35  not an expert but I know a few: So what that "you know a few." Mike S. is talking about finding the talkers (duh). One at a time. In a quiet room. Give them a Coke and a cigarette. And then "chat." They're expecting you to torture them. Breaking down the fear response is the first step to "getting inside."

But what do I know. I'm full of shit too, and, like you, I'm not an expert either, and I don't know any, so I guess I shouldn't comment. Whatever . . .

The point is, interrogation is a process, not a formula. I could be mistaken, but broomsticks up butts etc. just might not produce viable intel--the kind that will "save soldiers' lives."

Forgive me if I've offended your non-expertise.

Posted by: ex-lib || 05/26/2004 20:13 Comments || Top||

#36  Non-Expert, there are an awful lot of people who know what they're talking about, for one reason or another. And some of us might not, but we're free to say what we want (as long as we don't reveal ourselves to be morons; that just gets us insulted and our arguments smashed) - and believe it or not, most of us have a pretty good idea what we're talking about. Take Sludj's advice - and better still, ask those "experts" you claim to know and bring their knowledge into the discussion.

Mike, I don't think scandal's quite the word for this if you're talking about the understaffing. Yes, it could lead to a problem, but the term for that is more unfortunate incident, or disaster, or logistical nightmare, or the like. If the place wasn't manned sufficiently, then it's certainly all those things, but calling it a scandal is more playing into the hands of the media.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 20:16 Comments || Top||

#37  ask those "experts" you claim to know and bring their knowledge into the discussion

Actually, Doctor, I did. I referenced 3 basic Arabic customs which directly tie into the fact that the cozy little chat scenario being put forward here might work here but has some weaknesses there.

Especially when, as in the Abu Ghraib situation last Nov, there were ambushes happening daily and the need was for info as soon as possible.

But hey, what do I know? All I've done is negotiate deals there ....
Posted by: not an expert but I knew a few || 05/26/2004 20:22 Comments || Top||

#38  Non-Expert, you referenced them, but you didn't expound upon them. I'm familiar with some aspects of Arab culture, but not as many as I'd like. Would you mind expanding on your references and tell us how knowledge of things could have helped?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 20:27 Comments || Top||

#39  Not at length ... but here's one example.

Many tribal boys and men play a popular game which involves one of them asking questions and trying to determine which of them (it might be more than one) has some object(s) on their persons.

The object is to successfully convince the questioner, so that he fails to detect which one(s) are lying. Most of the men get to be pretty good at the game, and those who successfully figure out the "guilty" do so from very subtle body language hints - body language that is culture-specific.

Think about that a little bit, and then get back to me on how easy it would be to chat these guys up over a cigarette and some sweet tea and find out all about those IEDs that were planted yesterday or which guy's cousins have RPGs and are gonna go bag themselves a few coalition soldiers.
Posted by: not an expert but I know a few || 05/26/2004 20:37 Comments || Top||

#40  How does that tie into the shame/honor dynamic that I've read a lot about? Isn't lying shameful, or do they have some way around it? And what kinds of things could our guys use to figure out when they're telling the truth?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 20:40 Comments || Top||

#41  Lying most certainly is not shameful in the tribal cultures. It is also, under some circumstances, encouraged in Islamic teaching.

"Honor" means a lot of different things in different cultures. There most certainly is a serious emphasis on honor in the Arab world, but we're not talking John Wayne in The Silent Man ...

As to things our guys use ... I have only 3rd hand descriptions, very incomplete. But I will say this from my own experience: cross-cultural negotiations can be tricky even when both parties are interested in reaching a deal that can last.

When one party isn't, and the other party needs info NOW, it's a lot harder.

That's why some of the shaming techniques were applied, I suspect - the women's underwear on the head, the nakedness and the simulated homosexual acts. Not to mention what Mike dismissed arrogantly as other "gimmicks" like stress positions etc.
Posted by: not an expert, but I do know some things || 05/26/2004 20:58 Comments || Top||

#42  Let me qualify that last comment of mine.

Lying *to those outside the clan / tribe / family* most certainly is not shameful .... there are norms about that, of course, but they wouldn't apply to US soldiers, political leaders, or interrogators.
Posted by: not an expert, but I do know some things || 05/26/2004 21:01 Comments || Top||

#43  Actually, not an expert, the game which you describe above, with only young arab boys playing, was a nationally televised spectator sport in Saddam's Iraq with Sheikhs and adult tribe members facing off. Sort of Family Feud, Iraqi style.

We can all teach each other something here. Arrogance and name calling do not play well at Rantburg.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/26/2004 23:19 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Car Bombs Explode Near Pakistan-American Cultural Center in Karachi
Two cars exploded minutes apart Wednesday outside the American cultural center in the southern city of Karachi, wounding at least seven people, police and witnesses said. A bomb planted in the first car detonated outside the gate of the Pakistan-American Cultural Center, and one injured person was sent to the hospital, said Ghulam Mohammed Dogar, senior superintendent of city police. Minutes later, a second car parked nearby exploded, billowing fire and smoke. Wreckage from the car flew in the air and hit bystanders, and an Associated Press reporter at the scene saw three photographers and three policemen being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
First bomb draws in the curious, cops and firefighters, second bomb takes them out.
Firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire. After the first explosion, police sealed off the area as bomb disposal experts arrived to examine the wreckage. The second blast damaged the outer wall of the cultural center, but the building itself was undamaged. The bomb experts were checking a third car parked a few yards from the cultural center. Pakistani students were taking English language classes inside the center at the time of the first explosion. They were asked to stay inside, and there were no immediate reports that any were hurt. The center is close to the residence of the American consul general in Karachi. Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city and its main port, has been a target of bombings and terror attacks in the past. On Tuesday, a package bomb exploded at a checkpoint in the port area, killing two people and wounding five.
Posted by: Steve || 05/26/2004 10:04:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

Kashmir Korpse Kount
An army major and three soldiers were killed when militants attacked a search party at Neeligam Handwara in the frontier district of Kupwara, official sources said today. One civilian also lost his life and another was wounded in the firing. Elsewhere in the valley, militants attacked a security force camp and the house of the founder of the counter insurgent group ’Ikhwan’ late Mohammad Yousuf Parray alias Koka Parray two militants were among three people killed overnight.

Official sources said militants attacked the house of former legislator late Parray at Hajan late last night. The guards posted there also retaliated but the militants managed to escape. However, security forces later killed two militants in the same area. It was not immediately clear whether the slain militants were responsible for the attack on Parray’s house. Two AK rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain militants. Militants also attacked a security forces camp at Kulgam with grenades. However, the grenades missed the intended target and exploded without causing any damage. Militants later managed to escape, sources said. They said the body of an unidentified person was recovered at Shopian in South Kashmir today.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 05/26/2004 9:45:49 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6490 views] Top|| File under:

Iraqi Shia cleric's aide 'held'
US troops have arrested the brother-in-law of militant Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, Mr Sadr's office says. Reports of the arrest in Najaf of Sayyed Ryad al-Nuri, a close collaborator of the cleric, have not been confirmed by the US military.
"We have no comment, we'll get back to you"
US forces are battling Mr Sadr's Mehdi Army around a cemetery which houses some of Shia Islam's holiest shrines. At least four people were killed and 29 wounded as US tanks and helicopters pounded Mr Sadr's positions. The fighting comes a day after the shrine of revered prophet Imam Ali was damaged in fighting. It is not clear who caused the damage. Spokesmen for Mr Sadr said Mr Nuri was arrested in a raid on his home at 0400 (midnight GMT) without a fight.
The big guys rarely fight, they're too important
The houses of several other aides were raided but none were at home. "This is part of the US military escalation against the Shi'ites," Qais al-Khazali told Reuters news agency. "We've lost hope in negotiations. What is happening is a liquidation of Shi'ites, especially the Sadr movement."
About damm time
In the past few days, the US military has stepped up the pressure on the radical cleric in an offensive it is calling Operation Iron Sabre. Dozens of Mr Sadr's men have been killed, but both sides, it seems, are determined to fight on.
Works for me.
Posted by: Steve || 05/26/2004 9:19:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm looking forward to "Operation Impalement Pole."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/26/2004 9:52 Comments || Top||

#2  These jerks always claim they want to be martyrs, but somehow never seem to make it. Lots of his "army" are fried, but you know Tater will not allow himself to be mashed.
Posted by: Spot || 05/26/2004 10:01 Comments || Top||

#3  look to hear more "negotiations are ongoing!" talk fom Sadr's Myrmidon's while they are erased from this veil of tears...wishful thinking on the spokesholes' parts
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 10:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Confirmed: A prominent aide to renegade Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was arrested early Wednesday in Najaf, according to U.S. military officials and a representative of al-Sadr's office. Riyad al-Nori was arrested at his house as Army forces carried out a series of raids in the south-central Iraqi city, officials said. Al-Nori is one of several al-Sadr supporters accused in last year's killing of Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei in Najaf.
U.S. forces also raided the house of Fo'ad al-Tofi -- an official spokesman for al-Sadr -- but he was not home at the time. Three of al-Tofi's brothers were taken into custody and are being held at a U.S. base. Shortly after the raids, a U.S. C-130 aircraft fired on militia members who were shooting at U.S. troops, military officials said. A hospital official in Najaf said 11 people were killed and 60 others wounded during the conflict Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Posted by: Steve || 05/26/2004 10:12 Comments || Top||

#5  Are there any of those crazy Wackenhut types in Iraq? Whoever is holding al-Nouri should give custody of him to those guys for a while. A little abuse/humiliation wouldn't hurt....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 10:46 Comments || Top||

#6  What is happening is a liquidation of Shi'ites, especially the Sadr movement."

And a richly deserved one at that, too. Er ... what was this guy's point?
Posted by: Zenster || 05/26/2004 13:45 Comments || Top||

Fouad Ajami Gives Up On Iraqis
From a New York Times opinion article written by Fouad Ajami, professor of Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University, author of Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation’s Odyssey.
... most of us recognized that a culture of terror had taken root in the Arab world. We struck, first at Afghanistan and then at the Iraqi regime, out of a broader determination to purge Arab radicalism. ...

Let’s face it: Iraq is not going to be America’s showcase in the Arab-Muslim world. The president’s insistence that he had sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, "not to make them American" is now — painfully — beside the point. ... We ... expected a fairly secular society in Iraq (I myself wrote in that vein at the time). Yet it turned out that the radical faith — among the Sunnis as well as the Shiites — rose to fill the void left by the collapse of the old despotism.

In the decade that preceded the Iraq expedition, we had had our fill with the Arab anger in the streets of Ramallah and Cairo and Amman. We had wearied of the willful anti-Americanism. Now we find that anger, at even greater intensity, in the streets of Falluja. .... Once the administration talked of a "Greater Middle East" where the "deficits" of freedom, knowledge and women’s empowerment would be tackled, where our power would be used to erode the entrenched despotisms in the Arab-Muslim world. As of Monday night, we have grown more sober about the ways of the Arabs. It seems that we have returned to our accommodation with the established order of power in the Arab world. ...

In their fashion, Iraqis had come to see their recent history as a passage from the rule of the tyrant to the rule of the foreigners. We had occupied the ruler’s palaces and the ruler’s prisons. It was logistics and necessity, of course — but that sort of shift in their world acquitted the Iraqi people, absolved them of the burden of their own history, left them on the sidelines as foreign soldiers and technicians and pollsters and advocates of "civic society" took control of their country. ...

Iraq is treacherous territory, but Mr. Brahimi gives us a promise of precision. The Iraqis shall have a president, two vice presidents, a prime minister and 26 ministers who will run the country. We take our victories where we can. In Falluja, the purveyors of terrorism — nowadays they go by the honored name of mujahedeen — are applying the whip in public to vendors of wine and liquor and pornographic videos. ...

Imperial expeditions in distant, difficult lands are never easy. And an Arab-Islamic world loaded with deadly means of destruction was destined to test our souls and our patience. ... In its modern history, Iraq has not been kind or gentle to its people. Perhaps it was folly to think that it was under any obligation to be kinder to strangers.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 6:14:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6512 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I usually like Ajami. I think here he is perhaps excessively pessimistic. Fallujah is not all of Iraq. He doesnt trust Brahimi, nor do I, but it seems that many pro-democractic politicians will be appointed to the transitional govt anyway. He is disappointed at the failure of secularism to emerge full throttle. So am I. But democracy is still taking root I think, and even Shistani sees it as the best guarantor of stability and Shia rights. If Ajami wrote this to put more pressure on the admin to support democracy in general, and Iraqi secularists in particular, I applaud it. I do not see the basis for giving up, not without a closer analysis of the (not yet announced) new government. And not without seeing the outcome of elections (which at least at the local level have tended to return secularists and independents more than Islamists) Iraq is, unfortunately not populated with millions of Fouad Ajamis. I still have faith in its people, and the possibility of a good outcome.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/26/2004 10:25 Comments || Top||

#2  The only way for Iraq to succeed as a form of democratic (and I use the term extremely liberally) enterprise is to for the USA to let Syria and Iran know in no uncertain terms - mess with Iraq and we will piss on you with daisy cutters! Will this happen? I doubt it. It hasn't happened yet and that is the main cause of all the insurgency - that is where the moral, financial and logistic support is coming from as well as the strange combo of Baathist-Shia interests.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/26/2004 11:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Sharia is being implemented in Falluja. They are moving quickly with bully tactics while their 'victory' over America is fresh on the sheeps minds. Sharia, they deserve that. How long until their mullahs can't get a taxi?

Interesting to note that those that sell porno or booze are even around. But they will be and they'll be part of the black market mafia that is islamic society. Sharia is just a tool to keep the folk polite to the boss.
Posted by: Lucky || 05/26/2004 12:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Arab anger

Someone should trademark this phrase & collect royalties on its use. They'd be rich in a few weeks!
Posted by: Raj || 05/26/2004 12:50 Comments || Top||

#5  [Off-topic or abusive comments deleted]
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls TROLL || 05/27/2004 0:33 Comments || Top||

#6  Hmmm. Occupation?
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/27/2004 0:33 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Two Experts Say Afghanistan is Progressing Toward Elections
There are an estimated 10 million eligible voters in Afghanistan, but so far only about 2 million have registered to take part in the September election. .... U.S. General David Barno, the commanding general of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, acknowledged the problems last week, but said he has developed a strategy that he believes will keep interference to a minimum and allow Afghans to choose a president in September. .... Barno stressed that this does not mean he expects there will be no violence as the election nears, or that all 10 million eligible voters will be registered in time. But he says he does believe the vote will be a significant first step into democracy for a country trying to emerge from three decades of war. ....

Barno expressed optimism that trouble in the border region can at least be minimized, if not neutralized, thanks to what he said was Pakistan’s commitment to policing its side of the border. He said his troops now work well in crossborder coordination with Pakistani forces. .... he believes the region is gradually becoming stabilized.

"We do a great deal of coordination with the Pakistanis. We have what I’d characterize as complementary efforts on both sides of the borders and we share a great deal of information through these various information exchanges. We’ve got radios that commanders have on both sides of the border, they can talk to each other now. We’ve made some significant strides there, I think, over the last several months," Barno said. ....

Radek Sikorski, a former foreign secretary and secretary of defense for Poland who now studies international affairs at the American Enterprise Institute, a private policy research center in Washington. .... [who] has traveled extensively in Afghanistan, said there has been measurable progress in making much of Afghanistan secure enough that voters can elect a president who truly represents his people.

"There is basic security in most of Afghanistan. There are, of course, incidents up in the hills, particularly on the Afghan-Pakistani border. But, you know, that’s a border that has never been quiet in its many-thousand-year history. So let’s not expect too much," Sikorski said.

Sikorski also acknowledged that many Afghan men probably will not permit their wives and daughters to vote, regardless of the country’s liberal election laws, and that there are many nomads who are difficult to register for the election. But he said that is reason enough to increase efforts to enroll as many eligible voters as possible. Sikorsky recalled that Afghans debated vigorously at their constitutional convention last year, and seem, for the most part, to want democracy. ...
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 5:10:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

Central Asia
US Military Bases and Forces in Central Asia
RFE/RL [Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty] Central Asia analyst Daniel Kimmage interviewed Roger McDermott in London on 19 May. McDermott is a research associate at the University of Kent and the author of Defeating Global Terrorism: Developing the Antiterrorist Capabilities of the Central Asian States.

RFE/RL: What military facilities does the United States maintain in Uzbekistan?

McDermott: The United States was granted vital access to facilities at Karshi-Khanabad, by the government of Uzbekistan, in support of the U.S.’s violent overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. The deployment includes around 1,800 personnel, constituted of air support and logistics personnel, military police, and a Special Forces battalion, which provides direct counterterrorist training to the Uzbekistani armed forces.

RFE/RL: How important are these facilities to operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

McDermott: Access to Karshi-Khanabad proved to be a vital element in the rapid military success in Afghanistan, as well as providing a continued suitable base from which to launch offensive air operations in search of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and IMU [Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan] remnants in Afghanistan. Although the U.S. does not directly pay for its use of the base, increased levels of economic aid, which followed the deployment, are seen as an important quid pro quo. Moreover, the political influence of the U.S. military presence, though small in numbers, far exceeds its military significance. That is to say, without the entry of U.S. forces to the country and host nation support for the Global War on Terrorism [GWOT] the U.S.-Uzbek Strategic Partnership signed in 2002 simply would not have taken place.

RFE/RL: What is the main purpose of the U.S. air base at Manas, Kyrgyzstan?

McDermott: Kyrgyzstan granted basing rights to U.S. and coalition personnel in support of combat and combat support units at Manas airport. Each takeoff and landing at Manas costs the U.S. $7000-$7500.

RFE/RL: How do these facilities fit in with the "lily-pad theory" of military bases?

McDermott: In the context of the U.S. examining the possible closure or downsizing of its current European bases, there has been speculation that new bases could be established elsewhere, including within the Central Asian region. Such bases, known as "operating sites" and "lily pads," remain an attractive option for Pentagon planners, aware of the sensitive nature of any suggestion of permanent bases in the region, since the bases could be used during a crisis to allow access and support. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has continued to praise the role of Uzbekistan and access to Karshi-Khanabad in the GWOT, whilst seeking to downplay the prospect of a permanent U.S. military presence. Karimov’s government would most likely be open to any plans for its facilities to be used as "lily pads."

The interview continues with these questions:

How have Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan benefited from military cooperation with the United States?

How long do you think the United States will continue to maintain these facilities in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan?

How would you describe Russian views on the U.S. military presence in Central Asia?

Do you see any prospects for U.S.-Russian military cooperation in Central Asia?

Do you consider that the United States will increase military cooperation with any other Central Asian countries?

Do you consider that the foreign military presence -- both Russian and U.S. -- acts as a stabilizing or destabilizing factor in Central Asia?
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 5:00:51 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

... Each confrontation has its own requirements in Iraq. In Fallujah, we had an opportunity to strike swiftly and eliminate several hundred terrorists. Instead, the decision was made to hand the city over to our enemies to achieve a "peaceful solution." The result? Ambushes and roadside bombs continue to kill Marines in the Fallujah area - Marines who fought bravely and well, only to see victory snatched from their hands by their own superiors.

In the broader insurgency led by the renegade Shia cleric Sadr, the military task was more complex. With outbreaks of violence in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, as well as in a teeming Baghdad slum, the Army faced the risk of alienating the greater Shia population if sacred shrines were violated or civilian casualties soared. But our commanders on the ground also had advantages, which they seized. Sadr's thugs had no deep support - on the contrary, local people wanted them to leave their neighborhoods and stop misusing sacred sites. No senior cleric supported Sadr, a vainglorious junior mullah. And we had good intelligence - some of it coming from the population Sadr pretended to represent.

The Army couldn't just blast its way into downtown Najaf or Karbala, given the religious sensitivities involved. Instead, troops from our 1st Armored Division, "Old Ironsides," methodically peeled away one layer of resistance after another. Shrines weren't violated. Civilians were spared. Damage was minimized. Yet, thanks to the skill of our soldiers and their leaders, Sadr's gangsters were slaughtered by the hundreds. In some Shia areas, Sadr's "uprising" proved to be much ado about nothing and swiftly collapsed. Elsewhere, fighting raged. In Sadr City, the Baghdad slum, our soldiers promptly moved to take control - recognizing that Sadr had drawn most of his recruits from its fetid alleys. Meanwhile, battalion task forces from the 1st AD cordoned the holy cities. With precision and patience, they avoided traps set by the militiamen that would have profaned the sacred tomb complexes. Fighting door-to-door and through a vast cemetery, they staged lightning raids in the hours of darkness, keeping the enemy under pressure. Whenever Sadr's militiamen made the mistake of coming out to fight, the soldiers from the "First Tank" efficiently helped them achieve martyrdom - with remarkably low friendly or civilian losses.

As weeks of skillful fighting approach a climax, Sadr's thugs have been driven from Karbala, Najaf has quieted and our forces have punched deep into his stronghold of Kufa. His militia has been broken. His deputies have been arrested or killed. And Sadr himself is cornered, physically and politically. Now comes the most dangerous phase of the operation. With our troops on the verge of bringing Sadr to justice, the only thing we have to fear is yet another intervention by the guys in ties. If we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again by letting Sadr off the hook, we will throw away the textbook example of success our Army just delivered. Sadr needs to come out of his hiding place in handcuffs or in a shroud.

Writing for my fellow soldiers 10 years ago, I warned that one of the consistent American weaknesses in the future would be the impulse of our own diplomats to rush to the rescue of our enemies just when our military had them on the ropes. It happened in Fallujah. We can't afford to let it happen again. Don't worry about making a martyr out of Sadr. Even his fellow Shias want him dead.
Posted by: tipper || 05/26/2004 03:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6506 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why is everybody assuming that the Marines intend to leave without the killers that tehy came for?
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/26/2004 3:06 Comments || Top||

#2  SH,it sure looks that way.To my mind it seems to me that the Marines should have been allowed to clean-out that hornet's nest.Instead we have a SRG general taking over.Isn't that like setting the weasal to gaurd the hen house.
Posted by: Raptor || 05/26/2004 9:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Didn't the Marines yesterday give the "Fallujah Brigade" a list of 20 - 30 thugs that were to be arrested for the festivities on the bridge? Aren't the Marines still manning a cordon around Fallujah? Aren't the heavy weapons starting to be turned in? While it would have been much more satisfying to have bounced the rubble of Fallujah with a series of B-52 raids followed by a search and destroy sweep, the Marine's approach seems to be working. What's the problem?
Posted by: RWV || 05/26/2004 9:38 Comments || Top||

#4  The endless orgy of coverage of the Abu Ghraib incident, for example, is insufferable. The successes and sacrifices of more than a hundred thousand soldiers go ignored, while a sanctimonious media focuses on the viciousness of a few ill-led criminals in uniform.

The truth is that Abu Ghraib was the story big media longed for, a scandal journalistic vultures could turn into strategic roadkill. Press coverage of our military's many successes has been scant.

Development projects go ignored. If soldiers don't complain, they don't get camera time. When our forces successfully target a terrorist hideout, the evidence doesn't matter. The media leaps to validate enemy lies that a "wedding party" was attacked.

This is right on the money.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/26/2004 10:21 Comments || Top||

#5  I think sending Sadr quietly to meet his virgins, would save everyone a lot of grief. I hope our special forces guys have something going towards that end.

Of course, certain political forces would whine about the military silencing "legitemate voices". But I have two letters for those politicos (Kennedy, Biden, Pelosi, Kerry, et al) , F, and U.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 11:25 Comments || Top||

#6  There are responsible journalists (truth tellers), and there are irresponsible journalists (the "whatever gets me my paycheck" hacks), the amoral journalists (the lie tellers) and then there are the "operative" journalists (the political messege gurus) who, straight up, use the media the way posters like "Antiwar" and "Gentle" and their gang attempt to use Rantburg. The operative types are bedfellows with the amoral journalists and occasionally use the irreponsibles to effect the outcomes they desire.

The thing to remember is that none of them have any obligation to the American public aside from what they, as individuals, decide they have. It's all personal choice, and some of the journalists who do have their consciences intact, never make it to the "big time." The amoral, operative, irresponsible "culture" of the media shuts them up and drums them out.

Nevertheless, a free press at least gives us a fighting chance that somehow, some way, we will hear the truth. If you have the opportunity to hear something that is based as objectively as possible on fact and truth, take the time to thank the writer, filmmaker, radio host, blog manager, etc. It means the world to them, and definitely helps the right side win the WOT.
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/26/2004 12:04 Comments || Top||

#7  Somebody needs to explain to me how the loss of even one Marine in house-to-house fighting in Fallujah would have been worth rooting our the terrorists? Or, in other words, why would we ever fight the enemy on their terms and at their site and time? He's far too eager to needlessly kill Marines.

On one hand he criticizes the Administration for not going in to Fallujah, and then praises them for not going in to Karbala and Najaf. Can't have it both ways.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 05/26/2004 13:01 Comments || Top||

#8  . . .one of the consistent American weaknesses in the future would be the impulse of our own diplomats to rush to the rescue of our enemies just when our military had them on the ropes. It happened in Fallujah."

I think that's what he was saying.
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/26/2004 13:28 Comments || Top||

#9  Chuck, during the "thunder run" of first assault on Baghdad, we whacked many of the jihadis that were willing to impale themselves on our amour.

Unfortunately, the clowns in Fallujah have demonstrated the ability to plan and execute an effective ambush. It would be a mistake to walk away from Fallujah where some of them seem willing to stand and fight only to have the same clowns burying IED's someplace else in a week. In small numbers they can certainly leave the area over time. Full-fledged sieges would probably require more assets than we can spare with Sadr running loose.

We will take fewer casualties in assaulting these clowns than in allowing them leave and pick their own time and place for the battle as they have been doing. While it may look like Pickett's charge, I would say that it's more like the Alesia, except the legions now have night vision.
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/27/2004 3:34 Comments || Top||

#10  Ralph Peters is crazy. Really.
He sits at his NYPost desk in the comfort of NYC and yells at the generals for not using a "scorched earth" policy.
(He's been critical of Rummy from Day One.)
He and the Media have continued to play Falluja as a "defeat" and a "retreat" because the Marines didn't go in there GUNS BLAZING.
I'm glad they didn't. Britain tried that against the Iraqis in 1921 and it didn't do them any good.
Clearly, as President Bush stated the other night, we could have gone in there and wiped out the whole town, bombed it into the dust,but we chose not to.
Our commanders thought it was preferable to work with the locals and talk it out.
Even now, AFAIK, the Marines are still encamped around Falluja in case there are new signs of trouble.
But you haven't heard of any IED attacks on vehicles or soldiers the last few days or even weeks, have you?
The wise general picks his battles to win the war.
Ralph Peters ain't a general and that's a good thing, as Martha would say.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 4:05 Comments || Top||

Caucasus Corpse Count
Two Russian interior ministry soldiers, including an officer, and two pro-Moscow Chechen police officers were killed in the past 24 hours in war-torn Chechnya, officials said on Tuesday.

Six others were wounded in the series of rebel attacks in the separatist Russian republic, the Chechen interior ministry said. An explosive device blew up late Monday, not far from the capital Grozny, under an armoured personnel carrier transporting Russian OMON Special Forces into the city, the ministry spokesman said. "Two of them died, including an officer," and two others were hospitalised with wounds, he said. Also on Monday night, a Chechen policeman was shot dead by three masked men wearing military camouflage in the northeastern district of Shelkovskoi, the official said. Another Chechen police officer died Tuesday morning in the Grozny central market, gunned down according to witnesses by a young man aged about 18 who fled the scene.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:46:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Explosion at Karachi port
At least five people were wounded, some seriously, in an explosion along the main port of Karachi, Pakistan's business capital, last night. There were no fatalities. The blast was likely to have been caused by a parcel bomb though investigations were continuing, police said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:28:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

US airstrike kills 20 Taliban
At least 20 suspected Taliban were killed in US air strikes in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, Afghan officials said. The US military in Kabul could not confirm the attacks. If confirmed, the losses would be among the largest suffered in a single battle by the Taliban. In June last year, 40 Taliban and seven Afghan soldiers were reported killed in clashes in the south of Afghanistan, although no U.S. aircraft were involved.

Khan Mohammad, a corps commander in the southern city of Kandahar, said Afghan forces had been engaged in fierce clashes with suspected Taliban near the town of Spin Boldak, which lies on the Pakistani border. “There has been fighting going on between Afghan forces and the Taliban,” he told Reuters. “They called in US (air) support.” He said 20 Taliban had been killed and that fighting continued. A second Kandahar official, who asked not to be named, said at least 28 Taliban had died.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:25:32 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yessss!!!!!!!!!!!

20 more Islam-o-cockroaches check in to the Roach Motel!!!!

Seeing the look on their collective faces when they first lay eyes on the 20 * 72 "virgins" that make Hellboy look like Elle McPhereson.

Posted by: anymouse || 05/26/2004 1:15 Comments || Top||

#2  One more victory for the real heros serving in the counter-war against the death wish jihadees.

They got their wish! We wish them many more!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/26/2004 1:33 Comments || Top||

#3  We sure there weren't any "weddings" in the area?

Just kiddin'. A good job by our good guys!
Posted by: RMcLeod || 05/26/2004 1:48 Comments || Top||

#4  nah--no weddings--just funerals
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 05/26/2004 2:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Good score.
Posted by: The Screaming Nun || 05/26/2004 6:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Death to the Taliban!!!! (and boy did they get it)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 12:33 Comments || Top||

#7  My nephew's in Kandahar w/the big gun. 26 confirmed evildoers getting their 72 raisins.

Posted by: Anonymous2U || 05/26/2004 12:42 Comments || Top||

THAT Explains it!
From HealingIraq:
People also say that Al-Bahadili (who now poses as a pious cleric seeking British slaves) used to be a comedian before the war, and that he once acted in a theatre play in the role of Khomeini. Interesting.
This is the guy who said anyone capturing a British (female) soldier could keep her as a slave. Now it makes sense - a tryout for Saturday Night Live.
Posted by: mercutio || 05/26/2004 12:17:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Actually, it sounds like a sickly echo of the Iranian comedy, The Lizard.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 05/26/2004 8:16 Comments || Top||

#2  He's here all week. Try the veal...INFIDEL!
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 9:04 Comments || Top||

#3  you don't suppose that bunch of mokes who got wiped by the Scots last week mistook the kilts for Catholic school skirts, do you?
Posted by: Anonymous5011 || 05/26/2004 13:59 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
U.S. Planes Attack Taliban in Afghanistan
U.S. warplanes helped Afghan forces pound Taliban militants in the mountains of southern Afghanistan Tuesday, killing some 20 suspected insurgents at a recently discovered camp, a senior Afghan commander said. The three-hour battle occurred in Arghistan district of Kandahar province, some 120 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul, provincial military commander Khan Mohammed told The Associated Press. Khan said about 150 Afghan troops attacked the camp in an area called Ghbragyan on Tuesday afternoon, sparking a three-hour gunbattle in which three of his soldiers were injured. "After that, U.S. warplanes came and started bombing the Taliban area," Khan said. "U.S. forces told us that they had seen the bodies of about 20 dead Taliban."

Khan said he didn't know how many Taliban were using the camp on a rough mountainside, and U.S. military officials in Kabul had no immediate comment. Still, the clash appeared the most deadly since U.S.-led forces and insurgents stepped up operations in the spring, fueling a spiral of violence that has killed more than 350 people this year, casting a shadow over plans for national elections in September.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:23:03 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  See the movie "OSAMA"
Really makes me not like the Taliban.
Posted by: Johnnie Bartlette || 05/26/2004 10:15 Comments || Top||

#2  must've been a wedding party
Posted by: Frank G || 05/26/2004 10:19 Comments || Top||

#3  When I saw the headline "U.S. Planes Attack Taliban in Afghanistan," I wondered whether we were now reduced to using suicide hijackers to crush the Taliban. Then I remembered Rummy's remarks that there is nothing in Afghanistan to bomb other than bad guys (and certainly no tall buildings to bring down).
Posted by: Tibor || 05/26/2004 14:36 Comments || Top||

Ossetia votes in parliament in defiance of Georgia
The breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia was voting for a new parliament on Sunday, brushing off new President Mikhail Saakashvili's pledge to unite his fractured Caucasus nation. Mountainous South Ossetia is one of two Georgian regions that broke away in bloody wars in the early 1990s. It rejects Tbilisi's rule and wants unity with northern neighbour Russia. Saakashvili has already driven out the leader of the Black Sea Adzhara region, which had never declared independence but was beyond central government control, but analysts say South Ossetia and Abkhazia will be harder to rein in. The South Ossetian economy has crumbled along with its roads, and houses in the capital Tskhinvali still bear 13-year-old bullet scars, but local leader Eduard Kokoity said his region would never bow to rule from Tbilisi. "Our only task is to join the Russian Federation," he told journalists at a polling station, fresh from laying flowers at a monument to the "Victims of Georgian Aggression."

"Money cannot buy off our fight for independence from Georgia. Our desire to join Russia is not for sale. If there are any provocations from Georgia, our reaction will be strong."

A top Georgian official pledged on Sunday to maintain the government's drive to resolve the South Ossetian stand-off. "The elections cannot be legitimate because... the whole world does not recognise them," Goga Khaindrava, the minister in charge of relations with the breakaway regions, said. "Talks with the de facto authorities in Tskhinvali to regulate the Georgian-Ossetian conflict will continue."

Many Georgians say some officials in Moscow tacitly back the South Ossetian independence drive and at least one Russian member of parliament was observing the elections. Analysts said the pro-Russia 'Yedinstvo' (Unity in Russian) party would win. Huge portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tskhinvali's biggest buildings underlined its policy with the slogan "Putin is our president". Most voters in the capital supported the party: "I voted for Yedinstvo because I want us to be part of Russia. I hope this party will do all it can to achieve that," said Ella, 56. But their wishes are unlikely to be fulfilled. Putin considers the region to be part of Georgia, and the region's ethnic Georgians -- as much as a third of the 70,000 population according to some estimates -- are fiercely pro-Saakashvili. "We are part of Georgia. Tell our president to come and visit us," said Liana Zurabishvili in the ethnic Georgian village of Eredvi, which hosted no polling stations and sported no campaign posters. "Their president is not our president and never will be. Their elections are not elections for us," added neighbour Amiran Beruashvili.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/26/2004 12:13:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Interesting trend. It's as if people are realizing that breaking away from a larger whole may not be such a good thing after all. This article (in Polish) says that nostalgia for the USSR remains quite strong. The graphic on the right asks "Where would you rather live?", "w swoim kraju"=in your own country; "w zwiazku..."=in union with Russia,Belorussia,Ukraine; "w zjednoczonej Europie"=in a united Europe (presumably the EU). The rest is self-evident.
Posted by: Rafael || 05/26/2004 1:09 Comments || Top||

#2  To be clear, the Polish article mentioned above talks about Russia, Ukraine, and Belorussia.
There's an idea being floated about to create an alternative to the EU, made up of former Soviet states, including Kazachstan with the three mentioned previously. I think the smarter nations and regions are thinking about their future rather than pursuing some failed notion of independence that leads nowhere. For South Ossetia, they would be that much closer to the goose that lays the golden eggs (for now anyways)...the EU.
Posted by: Rafael || 05/26/2004 1:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Umm, Belorussia=Belarus, but y'all knew that anyway.
Posted by: Rafael || 05/26/2004 1:30 Comments || Top||

#4  "create an alternative to the EU"
Sounds like something we should be encouraging.
Posted by: Raptor || 05/26/2004 8:21 Comments || Top||

#5  I think the smarter nations and regions are thinking about their future rather than pursuing some failed notion of independence that leads nowhere.

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/26/2004 8:24 Comments || Top||

#6  I think the smarter nations and regions are thinking about their future rather than pursuing some failed notion of independence that leads nowhere.

That's my way of saying that breaking away from Russia was not a good idea in the first place. That goes for all the former Soviet republics, with the exception of maybe Kazakhstan.
Posted by: Rafael || 05/26/2004 9:02 Comments || Top||

#7  South Ossetia is one of two Georgian regions that broke away I realize this Rooters that can't be relied upon to give the right time of day, but three regions broke away from Georgia - South Ossetia, Abkharzia, and Ajaria.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/26/2004 9:04 Comments || Top||

#8  Good point, Rafael: There IS such a thing as a false independence that leads to worse things happening than if you stayed where you were.
Posted by: Ptah || 05/26/2004 9:11 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Smack upside the head to the "Dead Tree News"
EFL - Fred
It will not get any play, but what the hell! Thank you to Michael Savage for instigating this action.

Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell Tuesday, May 25, 2004
The following ’’’Open Letter to American Media’’ was written by Dr. Ted Miller, a professor of military studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. In it, he expresses the frustration many of us feel about our mainstream media’s seeming bias against their own country.
...[Michael] Savage used simple comparison to highlight the disturbing evolution that has degraded the mainstream media since World War II. Although grammar and semantics were quite similar, the journalists of the 1940s differed from modern journalistics in one important sense. The journalists of that period allowed bias to creep into their stories just as modern media members do. But in contrast to the current focus on American wrong-doing, criticism of policies, attacks on Administration officials, civilian deaths, collateral damage, second-guessing of strategy, angry locals, harsh treatment of captured enemy fighters, and frustration with the U.S. occupation, those journalists were biased in SUPPORT of the American war effort. They made it clear they were Americans, despite their political orientations, they knew that the support of the American people was vital if we were to defeat the sinister forces threatening the world, and their reporting reflected that understanding and patriotism.

Frequent use of terms like ’’enemy,’’ ’’foe,’’ ’’bad guys,’’ ’’Jap,’’ etc., to refer to our WWII opponents contrast sharply with the ’’insurgents,’’ ’’freedom fighters,’’ ’’opposition forces,’’ and other benign terms used today. Instead of stories praising heroic Marines decimated by treacherous ’’Japs’’ who lured their prey in by flying a flag of truce or by whistling the Marine Corps hymn, modern journalists use military setbacks to suggest that the entire military campaign is wrong-headed. Rather than proudly reporting the story of allied paratroopers who killed over 200 German soldiers on a Dutch bridge when they refused to surrender, modern reporters ignore the hostile fire taken by our helicopters from an Iraqi gathering and report that American troops murdered dozens in a wedding party. Rather than reporting the military victory the U.S. Navy narrowly won vs. the Japanese at Leyte Gulf and minimizing stories of the campaign’s command-and-control failures, modern journalists now, as a rule, focus on the failures and negatives and minimize the positive. Rather than celebrating our armies’ victory against the fight-to-the-death Germans in the Ruhr valley and ignoring the destruction of nearly every house and factory, our reporters today decry the wall of a mosque damaged in a firefight and ignore the fact that terrorists were firing at our boys from this supposedly sacred site.

I am fully aware that sensationalism sells and that capturing scandal, mistakes, and death is your goal. Nevertheless I call on you - editors, producers, writers, reporters, anchors, and on-line media journalists – to take Michael Savage’s lead and spend an afternoon in the library, archive, or micro-film room. Peruse the war coverage of the past and then ask yourself what is different about your own coverage. Once you recognize the shameful deterioration that has occurred since 1941, I call on you to re-assess your practices, your biases, and your patriotism. No doubt many of you will be offended that I have questioned your loyalty, but if you honestly weigh your handiwork against past journalism, you will question YOUR OWN patriotism. Consider this an integrity check. How many of you will pass?

Again, I am not surprised and generally not offended by the generic liberal bias of the mainstream media - it’s become your trademark. The use of this bias to denigrate, demonize, and undermine the efforts of our military forces and our Commander in Chief and his staff in a time of war, however, does offend me. Your falling subscribership and ratings should tell you that many Americans are equally offended. I call on you to examine your biases and your practices ... and start supporting our troops, our President, and our nation in a non-partisan manner. Your political differences, as during World War II, should not be forgotten, but they should be put on the back burner when reporting on our war effort or national policies.

Dr. Ted Miller
Professor of Military Studies
U.S. Air Force Academy, CO
Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/26/2004 11:55:41 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Still -- and even though he represents the seething American street -- Savage is a nut.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 0:21 Comments || Top||

#2  "someone" - nut or no, I think he's right here. Much of the crap our own media puts out is indistinguishable from enemy propaganda (the "wedding" story being the most recent example.) At least now there are sites like this one (thanks be to Fred!) which offer a more balanced perspective. (And good humor, too.)
Posted by: PBMcL || 05/26/2004 1:05 Comments || Top||

#3  The letter was written by Dr Miller, someone, not Savage. Typically, anything that fails to conform to the world view of the fool, must be wrong - never could it be a flawed outlook...

Dr Miller is rational, honest, and correct.

On the other hand, someone, you're just a fool.
Posted by: .com || 05/26/2004 1:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Aside from yelling at the guy on the phone about AIDs, I pretty much agree with Michael Savage on most things and I DEFINITELY agree with Dr. Miller here!
Posted by: Jen || 05/26/2004 1:48 Comments || Top||

#5  I blame it all on TV: in the 1940s few had television sets (or something akin to a television set) => WW2 reporting as described by Dr. Miller. TV rules for next 50 years => Vietnam era and current 5th column reporting. 21st century, we have the internet => information is in the hands of everyone who wants it.
Posted by: Rafael || 05/26/2004 1:49 Comments || Top||

#6  The "fool," in this case, is the one who can't read the content of a short comment. Let me repeat myself in small words for your benefit: I agree with the gist of his letter, but Prof. Miller does our side no favors by attaching his campaign to Savage, who's a nut and an embarassment.

Savage is the guy who, last I tuned in, was shouting that they should lock up all media liberals *under the Patriot Act*. Hey idiot, thanks for feeding nutty paranoia about what the Patriot Act actually does. Way to encourage more antiterror legislation.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 1:59 Comments || Top||

#7  Rafael -
I agree 100%, as soon as little ducky's started getting killed on TV.....
The internet balances the playing field I think tho, choice is at your finger tips.
Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/26/2004 2:00 Comments || Top||

#8  Someone -
What is wrong with locking up a bunch of seditious pukes;-) Did you read the article?

"Way to encourage more antiterror legislation."

Maybe they should add and article of sedition.
Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/26/2004 2:10 Comments || Top||

modern reporters ignore the hostile fire taken by our helicopters from an Iraqi gathering and report that American troops murdered dozens in a wedding party

It simply is not true that "modern reporters ignore the hostile fire taken by our helicopters." The US military's explanations are always reported.

And in addition the media reported that some Iraqis say we attacked a wedding party. That's news that the media should report.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 2:12 Comments || Top||

#10  someone, I usually like what you have to say, but check out the paragraph before the ones posted:
My conviction that our mainstream media has indeed crossed that line was cemented last week.  Love him or hate him, Michael Savage is a bold, in-your-face radio personality who regularly points out ''the enemy within,'' the politicians and journalists who work against the United States' best interests, whether by pushing backward legislation, distorting the Constitution, or supporting our foreign enemies.  He notes that, whether consciously or blindly, by underhanded political tricks, dishonesty, or left-biased news reporting, they consistently oppose policies, programs, strategies necessary to preserve the strength, freedoms, and prosperity of our nation, and they even obstruct and sabotage our efforts to defeat our terrorist tormentors.  The media's big contribution to this effort is reporting that gives the benefit of the doubt to our terrorist enemies, often actually apologizing for American actions against them.  On his radio program last week, Savage painted a vivid picture of the deterioration of American media and the depths to which it has sunk in its opposition to American efforts in our war on terrorism and in its support and encouragement of our enemies.

I can find no real flaw in Savage's commentary.
Savage may be a bit extreme, but not by much: I didn't realize how bad the media really was and how desperate they were for power that they'd do anything to discredit our country, the war, our soldiers and our President until this whole Abu Ghraib "scandal."
Now I know and you know.
It's dominated the media for over 3 weeks and for what?
A few soldiers out of 138,000 who sexually humiliated several killers they had as prisoners and that was already under investigation by the Pentagon?
For this, they called for Rummy to resign, started re-arguing the whole war in Iraq, tried to hurt our soldiers' morale while they are in harm's way, gave the Enemy hope, and some on the Left are even talking of impeaching the President.
Th media may have worse to follow until the election and given what happened with the Madrid bombings and God help us if there is.
(If you'll notice, al Queda is acting as a political group, just as President Bush said last night, timing their attacks to have political effects, as well as economic, religious and psychological.
Posted by: Jen || 05/26/2004 2:14 Comments || Top||

#11  Mike, true, BUT they always give the benefit of the doubt to the Enemy first and then our side has to spend the rest of the time refuting the story and proving it was wrong.
The "media" (such as it was) would have NEVER done that in WWII.
Posted by: Jen || 05/26/2004 2:16 Comments || Top||

#12  Hmmm. I read the content, someone. Perhaps the word "Still" was far more pregnant that it appeared. Or maybe it was the double-dashes, so obviously laden with a paragraph or two of deep thoughts... I'm not sure. Instead of explaining yourself, and apologizing for expecting others to read your mind, you offer tit for tat. I'd have eaten "fool" had you been big enough to admit you dropped the ball. But no, you call me fool for your failure. Sweet. Oh, BTW, FOAD. Got that?
Posted by: .com || 05/26/2004 2:19 Comments || Top||

#13  ...some Iraqis say we attacked a wedding party. That's news that the media should report.

And that's it? Their work ends at that point? How about coming back to the story if it turns out that what the Iraqis said (and what was reported) was wrong? Nah...that's too much work.
Posted by: Rafael || 05/26/2004 2:21 Comments || Top||

#14  Rafael - Belmont Club did an excellent piece on the failure of most "reporters" to follow-up and "evolve" the story (citing one who did as an example of how to do it right) here as the facts come in and followed up with 3 more pieces (just scroll up) on the ramifications of such failures. Wretchard was widely quoted for his clear logic and reasoning - of course it won't change the habits or attitudes of the "annointed" J-school grads or the editorial agenda, but a lot of other people got it.
Posted by: .com || 05/26/2004 2:28 Comments || Top||

#15  Rafael, I could be wrong, but I believe the story was first reported as, U.S. Troops kill 40 civilians at wedding.
Something like that.
Then CENTCOM has to report over and over with proof(in this case, pictures) that it was men of military age with lots of guns.
And the Enemy pulled this same caper in Afghanistan if you will remember and the media never retracted their claims to this day that it was a wedding party and not IslamoNazis.
The burden of proof is ALWAYS on the Good Guys the way they play it and there's something very wrong about that which is what Miller and Savage are saying.
Good Lord, the Enemy already has TONS of media outlets!
How many are there that start with "Al-whatever?"
For medieval societies that ban most music and sexy images (but will show things like the Berg beheading), what do all these radio and TV stations find to fill the time in the Arab world?
Point is, the Enemy has their own media, ours don't HAVE to help.
What Savage and Miller are saying is that the PRESUMPTIVE BIAS of almost all our media is not only Liberal, but Anti-Bush, Anti-U.S. Military and Anti-America.
Posted by: Jen || 05/26/2004 2:30 Comments || Top||

#16  .com: Somehow, I thought that after writing comments here for years, a guy could expect other folks to have some idea of where he's coming from. Suppose not.

Jen: I don't mind extreme per se. But love or hate the "mainstream" media (ok, we're both on the "hate" side), they (like the terrorist groups for whom they fellow-travel) at least realize that there's a PR front to this war we're in. Savage, faults and all, is good for rallying and informing the base but at the same time because of his tone and sloppiness (not on this campaign, perhaps, but still) isn't going to reach those folks who haven't already chosen sides against the MSM. You know, swing voters and all--the ones whom this letter is trying to inoculate. But now I catch myself sounding like LH so I'll stop.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 2:47 Comments || Top||

Belmont Club records the first report as follows:
A U.S. helicopter fired on a wedding party before dawn Wednesday in western Iraq, killing more than 40 people, Iraqi officials said. The U.S. military said it could not confirm the report and was investigating.
The Iraqi sources were identified as Lt. Col Ziyad al-Jbouri, deputy police chief of Ramadi, and Dr. Salah al-Ani, who works at a hospital in Ramadi.

The second report said:
The US military said it could not confirm the report and was investigating.

The third report (two and a half hours after the first report) said:
A U.S. aircraft fired on a house in the desert near the Syrian border Wednesday, and Iraqi officials said more than 40 people were killed, including children. The U.S. military said the target was a suspected safehouse for foreign fighters from Syria, but Iraqis said a helicopter had attacked a wedding party. ....

In a statement, the U.S. Central Command said coalition forces conducted a military operation at 3 a.m. against a "suspected foreign fighter safe house" in the open desert, about 50 miles southwest of Husaybah and 15 miles from the Syrian border.

The coalition troops came under hostile fire and "close air support was provided," the statement said. The troops recovered weapons, Iraqi and Syrian currency, some passports and some satellite communications gear, it said.

With all due respect to Belmont Club, I read his commentary and don't think its compelling. I think these reports properly tell a developing story, and I think that the US public understands how to follow a developing story.

Jen, I think the US Government concluded that we did mistakenly attack a wedding party in Afghanistan and that we apologized for it. Correct me if you have contrary facts.

Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 2:49 Comments || Top||

#18  someone - you're right. I should've just asked you what you meant. Obviously I didn't understand the comment at all. I'm wrong, and I'm sorry. No excuse other than a long bad day - definitely time to call it a night.
Posted by: .com || 05/26/2004 3:01 Comments || Top||

#19  Mike, I believe our military reached a "compromise" with the Media: We let them say it was a wedding party and we are allowed to continue saying that our guys were fired on from there and considered it a legitimate target.
Posted by: Jen || 05/26/2004 3:40 Comments || Top||

#20  Jen: Yes, our pilots fired because they believed they were being fired upon. Moreover, I think that in some of these incidents some of the celebrants do fire, spontaneously but deliberately, at US aircraft.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 4:40 Comments || Top||

#21  .com: all good, I'm sorry if I overreacted on my side of this blue-on-blue incident...
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 5:34 Comments || Top||

#22  Incidentally, I don't think stuff like the media's coverage of the "wedding" thing has much domestic effect; we've heard these sob stories before and only the loonies think whatever--if anything--bad happened was intentional. Much more objectionable is their endless preoccupation with actual bad news (coalition fatalities, any seething locals they can find, Abu Ghraib) and total burial of everything positive.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 6:08 Comments || Top||

#23  I have 2 reasons for watching the Main Stream Media:I like to see what kind of goofy-assed spin the put on a particular incedent.
And my dial-up is so damned slow it's just a waste of time trying to view videos and interviews.
Posted by: Raptor || 05/26/2004 9:28 Comments || Top||

#24  someone says: Still -- and even though he represents the seething American street -- Savage is a nut.

Then, someone says: Let me repeat myself in small words for your benefit: I agree with the gist of his letter, but Prof. Miller does our side no favors by attaching his campaign to Savage, who's a nut and an embarassment.

Oh, sure, I can see how those two statements convey your message quite well! They're almost identical.

Posted by: Analog Roam || 05/26/2004 9:40 Comments || Top||

#25  Remember that Michael Savage is in the entertainment business. He makes his points in a "colorful" way to separate himself from the din of radio and get people to listen to him. The few times I have heard him, he was making good points in a completely over the top fashion - but they were still good points.

This is a good point. The media has always been in the business of trying to shape opinion. If you don't think so, read some of the newspapers from the pre-Civil War era. What is different now is the virulent, reflexive antipathy towards "traditional American values" and anyone who tries to evince those values. The media is not so much pro-Democrat as it is against the values that the Republicans try to evince: a sense of right and wrong; an understanding that in life there are absolutes; that there are winners and losers and it is better to win; a belief in the fundamental goodness of the American people, the American way of life, and the motives of our Government; that people should say what they mean and mean what they say; that your word should be your bond; that just because the interpretation of a law can be twisted and to reach a particular conclusion doesn't make it right; that people have a right to what they earn and make better use of it than the Government; etc.

The media, by and large, are comprised of the same useless, supercilious dolts that we knew in college, the ones who couldn't cut it in calculus and opted for ethnic studies, the ones who liked to look down their noses at those of us who could actually produce something. The ones who cherished their 2S deferment and made fun of the ones who took their place in harm's way. These people think like Al Franken that they are smart enough, they are good enough, and that people like them. Wrong on all three counts. Add to that, no one believes them anymore.
Posted by: RWV || 05/26/2004 10:22 Comments || Top||

#26  Yep, what RWV sez. I used to think Savage was all schtick, read meat served up either raw or burnt, but ok for late night radio up against 'Coast to Coast'. But I've changed my mind with time. He is at one with me, a virtual mind meld.

The guy is at war and he names names, calls a spade a spade. Doesn't speak politely to idiotic apologia. I wont either anymore.
Posted by: Lucky || 05/26/2004 11:57 Comments || Top||

#27  Scary when you see people making points you yourself would like to make, but they're so much better at it than you are, not to mention technically better qualified . . .
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/26/2004 11:59 Comments || Top||

#28  Michael Savage = Howard Beale
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/26/2004 12:18 Comments || Top||

#29  About half the time Savage is dead on, and about half the time Savage is peculiar. In re : The war on terror issue. . Savage is pretty good. Unfortunately , the way things are going here in the media in the US, that means that being a realist you must be a pessimist.

The dupes in the main media should be talking about al-Sadr as a butchering nutcase. They can't. They couldn't use those words in college due to "speech codes". They've continued the speech code practices in their day job "activities".
Posted by: BigEd || 05/26/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#30  I listened to Savage once, and that New Yawk drawl just grated on my nerves.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 12:37 Comments || Top||

#31  I posted the message below in response to something else, but here goes again, in response to RWV #25, (which was just super, I might add).

There are responsible journalists (truth tellers), and there are irresponsible journalists (the "whatever gets me my paycheck" hacks), the amoral journalists (the lie tellers) and then there are the "operative" journalists (the political messege gurus) who, straight up, use the media the way posters like "Antiwar" and "Gentle" and their gang attempt to use Rantburg. The operative types are bedfellows with the amoral journalists and occasionally use the irreponsibles to effect the outcomes they desire.

The thing to remember is that none of them have any obligation to the American public aside from what they, as individuals, decide they have. It's all personal choice, and some of the journalists who do have their consciences intact, never make it to the "big time." The amoral, operative, irresponsible "culture" of the media shuts them up and drums them out.

Nevertheless, a free press at least gives us a fighting chance that somehow, some way, we will hear the truth. If you have the opportunity to hear something that is based as objectively as possible on fact and truth, or on morality or inspiration within the best context, take the time to thank the writer, filmmaker, radio host, blog manager, etc. It means the world to them, and definitely helps the right side win the WOT.
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/26/2004 13:37 Comments || Top||

#32  Savage can be theatrical even bombastic in his presentation of facts, but he is typically 99% on the mark, from my point of view. Savage is an independent talk show host, so there are times he will criticize the President, but when he does so, he is direct and gives good reasons.[eg. letting our southern border remain porous and offering "unofficial amnesty" to 12 million aliens; spending too much time on fund raising instead of spending that time making frequent Presidential speeches to the public about setbacks/progress in Iraq and Afghanistan WOT; too much domestic spending, etc]

If you believe President Bush is 100% right 100% of the time, you should only listen to Hannity or Rush, not Savage. But Savage always says he will vote President Bush this November, albeit with reservations, because the alternative is so scary, which seems fair to me.

Actually, I believe Michael Savage wins over fence sitters with his direct style and his incredible grasp of history and geo-politics as it applies to today's War on Terror. Sometimes when I listen to Savage I feel as though I'm listening to a lecture by a very smart professor. I cannot listen to Rush or Hannity anymore because their unflinching loyalty to the WH erodes their shows' credibility. Those 2 would not be convincing to fence sitters at all because they are so transparent in their pro-Bush persuasion.

As to mainstream media and the changes in journalism since WWII, read the book Coloring the News by Wm. McGowen to learn how journalism and news gathering have been corrupted by diversity hiring over the years. Example, in order to have a story written about gays, nowadays a news organization will assign the job to a gay journalist on staff but in so doing bias and "interpretation" is unavoidable. For war coverage in Iraq, you will notice that often those stories are posted by journalists with a Middle Eastern last name, and it follows there is an accompanying anti-Western bias in the journalist's viewpoint.

In WWII, the NYT did not feel it needed Japanese or German reporters on staff to report the war news. McGowen's website is: http://www.coloringthenews.com

Informative links on the right side of his home page.
Posted by: rex || 05/26/2004 13:59 Comments || Top||

#33  B-a-r, I'm a New Yorker and I can't stand his whining. I only listened to him a few times, and could listen no more. I have no idea what he believes since I couldn't get past the obnoxiousness and rude manners. I don't listen to Rush or Hannity either, but I do know that I could listen to them because they aren't rude. I also agree with someone that we should try not to predicate our arguments on the rantings of someone like Savage because he has such an extreme reputation that people who hear "Michael Savage used a . . . " may well tune out the rational, reasonable argument of someone like Dr. Miller.
Posted by: Tibor || 05/26/2004 14:32 Comments || Top||

#34  The first time I appeared on television, it was for a two minute story evening news story. By TV standards, this is a significant amount.
Remember that the average newscast only has 20 minutes of actual content and some of this is always devoted to celebrities, goofy human interest stuff, and other fluff.
In reading the transcript later, I was amazed at how little information was actually there. Two minutes, major tv time or not, is just not enough time to present a reasonably accurate summation of real world events or issues.

The reason for this is simply that people read a lot faster than they speak, so the ratio of information presented to time spent acquiring it is much higher for print media, including the internet.
Nevertheless, TV influences print. Television is the largest and most profitable medium and is therefore the standard for present-day journalism of all kinds. This means a reliance on emotionalism, vivid though not always accurate imagery, and reference to standard tropes as a substitute for really valid exposition.

This is not always a bad thing, by any means. Forty years ago, video of fire-hoses and dogs being turned on civil rights demonstrators had an impact on public opinion that could not have been achieved with text or still images.

Still, shallowness and irrationality are hallmarks of modern media. Much of this is attributable to the commercial needs of advertisers, and the resulting cultural fallout has had a profound effect on our society.

There is much much more to this and, as usual, I strongly recommend Thomas Franks' landmark cultural history, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/26/2004 16:36 Comments || Top||

#35  As long as Dr. Miler is asking the media to examine themselves, he should ask them to seriously think about how they would be covering this war if a Democrat (especially Clinton) were President.

Yes, I know - if Clinton were still President (God help us all), he would have lobbed a few more missles, gone to attend funerals in New York, and waited for the next attack. But if today's "reporters" could be honest with itself for a moment (I can dream, can't I), they would think hard about this.

And don't tell me their "reporting" wouldn't be any different.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/26/2004 18:44 Comments || Top||

INC’s helpful intelligence
Most of this WSJ piece is commentary on the recent Chalabi hubbub, but this bit is new:
Back in March, the Pentagon requested feedback on the effectiveness of cooperation from five Iraq political organizations. The written report from the chief intelligence officer of one front-line U.S. division declared that the INC "proved to be head and shoulders above the information provided by the other four organizations." According to this report--which is classified but was made available to us--the INC has provided "imminent threat warning" and "reconnaissance surveillance capability that U.S. forces cannot match in an urban environment." For example, Saddam Hussein was captured last December with documents containing eight names. The INC was directly responsible for the capture of four on that list, and thanks to its lead a fifth was captured within a month. The intelligence assessment calls the INC a "true force multiplier" and says that the U.S. division’s "ability to accomplish our mission would have been significantly hampered" without its support. "In the final analysis, the INC has been directly responsible for saving the lives of numerous soldiers as a result of early warning and providing surveillance of known enemy elements," the report says.
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 12:10:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yo! "Someone" - Can you cut and paste the article?
I don't subscribe, shame on me I know..
Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/26/2004 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  OpinionJournal has free registration, and you can opt not to get any email from them...
Posted by: someone || 05/26/2004 0:30 Comments || Top||

#3  LHR - try this kickass link that Tipper provided the other day. Sweet.
Posted by: .com || 05/26/2004 2:34 Comments || Top||

#4  The INC is an organization, and Chalabi is one leading member.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/26/2004 3:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Last night on the Hugh Hewitt show, Frank Gaffney opined that the source of this split with Chalabi could be a vendetta on the part of some folks down in Foggy Bottom and the CIA dating back to the failed coup a decade or so ago.

It would certainly explain Rumsfeld's statement that he had had no prior knowledge of the raid.
Posted by: eLarson || 05/26/2004 11:30 Comments || Top||

GIs Fight Cleric's Supporters in Najaf
Iraq's most sacred Shiite shrine was slightly damaged and at least 13 Iraqis were killed in fighting Tuesday between American forces and militiamen loyal to a radical cleric. The U.S. military charged that gunfire by Shiite militants damaged the holy site.
Maybe they oughta be more careful with their holy sites...
It was the second time the the Imam Ali shrine has been hit in the past two weeks of fighting. On May 14, machine-gun fire struck the golden dome, leaving four small holes and each side blaming the other. After fighting in Najaf eased Tuesday, crowds loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gathered at the Imam Ali shrine to look at the damage. The inner gate of the shrine, leading into the tomb of Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib, appeared to have been hit by a projectile. Debris was scattered on the ground. A veil covering the gate was ripped apart, and parts of the wall were damaged. Bits of mortar and parts of a projectile were scattered on the courtyard floor. Another projectile landed outside the shrine, about 10 yards from the outer wall. Three militiamen were wounded in that attack, and three fighters were killed in fighting in the city, al-Sadr's office said. Supporters of al-Sadr accused the Americans of firing mortars at the shrine.
"It musta been the Merkins!"
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of operations, denied that U.S. forces shelled the shrine. He said the Americans were uncertain whether the damage was caused by exchanges of fire between rival Shiite groups or whether al-Sadr's fighters targeted the compound "to try to provoke outrage so they could blame it on the coalition forces." The Kuwaiti representative of Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, accused al-Sadr's militia of deliberately attacking the shrine "to agitate world opinion against the coalition."
Sounds like Sistani's decided Tater's going down...
Ayatollah Mohammed Baqer al-Mehri said in a statement that the militia fired a mortar shell at the dome of the shrine but hit a wall instead.
They were actually trying for the broad side of a barn...
Al-Sistani, who is more popular among Iraq's Shiite majority than al-Sadr, has long shunned the younger cleric. Al-Sadr has gained support among Shiites through his defiance of the U.S. occupation — and al-Sistani has refrained from criticizing the young cleric openly.
He's been becoming a bit more open lately. I think he's worked out that Tater would have him bumped off if he could...
Explosions and gunfire were heard Tuesday around Najaf's Revolution of 1920 Square and the cemetery, a warren of paths and tombs offering many hiding places for militiamen armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. Eight people were killed and 18 injured in the fighting in Najaf, said Seyed Kifah Shemal, an official at Hakim General Hospital. Two people died and 14 were injured overnight in Kufa, said Riyadh Kadhem, a nurse at the Forat al-Awsat hospital there. They said the casualties were mostly civilians. There were no reports of U.S. casualties. According to figures compiled by The Associated Press, about 328 Shiite insurgents and 21 coalition troops have been killed in al-Sadr's uprising since early April.
That's a better than 10-1 kill ratio, which is good. But it seems to be mostly cannon fodder, which is bad. Better to take out the command and control nodes and leave the cannon fodder to wither on the vine. That'd mean actually scrubbing Tater. If we'd done that in March most of 359 people would still be alive. Those who carp that "violence never solves anything" should consider those 359 lives "solved," and ponder the economies that would have resulted if Tater was now 60 days in the grave.
Fighting in Najaf and other Shiite shrine cities south of Baghdad has raised alarm among Shiite Muslims throughout the world who fear damage to the sacred sites. U.S. officials say they have been careful to avoid damaging the shrines and have accused al-Sadr of using holy places to store weapons and seek sanctuary. The young cleric launched his uprising in early April after the Americans began to crack down on him, first closing his newspaper, then arresting a top aide and finally announcing an Iraqi court had issued an arrest warrant charging him in the April 2003 murder of a moderate cleric. The crackdown triggered unrest in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad and in the formerly peaceful Shiite south, including fighting in Basra, Amarah, Nasiriyah and in the holy cities of Kufa, Najaf and Karbala.
Posted by: Fred || 05/26/2004 12:02:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A holy site ya say? Might be a place of god. That could cause problems, Godly problems. People might talk, say bad things in front of the children, folks being ignorant are easily lead, conflicted, a honor thy father moment. A prophet, talks for god, cagey cat, begots (bigets?) cagey cats.

Me thinks time to say FU. But then again, he is a cleric. And that starts the whole thing all over agian,,, easily lead, conflicted...
Posted by: Lucky || 05/26/2004 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Like I said yesterday, the Imam Ali shrine was shelled by Saddam during the 1991(?) Shiite uprising, and was consequently rebuilt. I'd wager "four small holes" compares much more favorably than what Saddam might have done (not to mention the mass graves filled with Shiites).
Posted by: Rafael || 05/26/2004 2:02 Comments || Top||

#3  It looks to me that we're doing better, casualty-wise than I expected, given the urban setting. We seem to have evolved some good tactics for keeping our casualties low. Then again, I probably shouldn't be so optimistic, because our betters in the media have decreed that we're losing this war.
Posted by: virginian || 05/26/2004 7:05 Comments || Top||

#4  I will have to emphatically agree with Fred on the correct handling of al-Sadr. If you take out the brain, the rest of the body withers, twitches for a while, then dies. We are playing too much footsie with people like al-Sadr, and it will in the long run, cost us too many casualties. Besides, if you selectively take out leaders that pubically advocate killing US forces, the lessons are learned rapidly by many others. They may be nutcases, but they do respect power.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/26/2004 8:59 Comments || Top||

#5  publically, not pubically. LOL! My mistake....
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/26/2004 9:06 Comments || Top||

#6  Wouldn't this "holy place" be made even holier if we killed al-Sadr in it? Have our Muslim friends thought about that? They do love the holy places. Think of the added prestige.
Just a thought.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/26/2004 9:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Wouldn't this "holy place" be made even holier if we killed al-Sadr in it?

You mean like causing it to collapse on top of Sadr? Sounds like a plan. Too bad it won't happen.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/26/2004 11:02 Comments || Top||

#8  I thought the same thing tu3031. Lil Taters' stain on the floor would make the mosk a 6.6 on the 10 point prayer scale. That could be a real money maker for future clerics.
Posted by: Lucky || 05/26/2004 12:36 Comments || Top||

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Wed 2004-05-26
  4 arrested in Japanese al-Qaeda probe
Tue 2004-05-25
  Sarin confirmed!
Mon 2004-05-24
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Sun 2004-05-23
  Qaeda planning hot summer for USA?
Sat 2004-05-22
  Car Bomb Kills 4, Injures Iraqi Minister
Fri 2004-05-21
  Israeli Troops Pulling Out of Rafah Camp
Thu 2004-05-20
  Troops Hold Guns to Chalabi's Head
Wed 2004-05-19
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Tue 2004-05-18
  4 arrested in Berg murder
Mon 2004-05-17
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Sun 2004-05-16
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Sat 2004-05-15
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Fri 2004-05-14
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