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Woman blows herself up at Chechen security base
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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US expects Taliban and Qaeda to go back to hit and run
The US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan expect Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters to resort to terror attacks after their failure on the battlefield, a US military spokesman told reporters at the Bagram Air Base on Saturday. Colonel Rodney Davis said, “The Taliban and Al-Qaeda have been reluctant to attack coalition forces en masse, opting not to confront troops engaged in a major US-led Afghan army combat operation underway in Afghanistan. They tend to not take us on head-on and this is when they typically resort to acts of terrorism.”
They get their butts kicked, so they have to go back to bombing market stalls and burning down schools...
“Given the fact that we are experienced in this type of warfare, we would expect anti-coalition forces to probably try to commit acts of terrorism, because whenever they are unsuccessful on the battlefield they resort to criminal and terrorist acts so of course we are preparing ourselves for any eventuality,” he said. Some 1,000 Afghan soldiers backed by US and Italian troops are engaged in Operation Warrior Sweep against suspected Taliban remnants in Paktia. “The coalition forces have cleared illegal checkpoints on the Gardez-Khost road, while Afghan troops have taken control of the approach road leading to Zermat town from local militia leaders,” Col Davis said.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 01:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So, uh, you're saying they aren't really up to scratch. Reduced to sniping and hit & run attacks. Second-tier aggravation. Terrorism underachievers. On behalf of my freedom-fighting brothers I protest! Be nice! You'll hurt their self-esteem and they'll turn out disaffected and socially twisted. I warn you - it won't be their fault and they can't be held responsible for their actions. Besides, mom had to work and we weren't breast fed long enough. I mean, can you imagine what it's like having to give up the tit before you reach 16? Horrible, I tell you.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 4:33 Comments || Top||

Afghan and Pakistani forces clash again
KABUL: Afghan forces have clashed with Pakistani troops along the border in eastern Afghanistan. “Pakistani forces attacked our forces two days ago and wanted to capture one of our posts on a high strategic point but our forces pushed them back,” said General Mustafa Khan, a border commander in eastern Nangarhar province. “The fighting was going on for one hour but now the situation is quiet”, the general told AFP by telephone. “About a week ago we also had 12 hours of clashes with Pakistani forces. We didn’t have any casualties on our side but we have no information on the Pakistani side,” Khan said. Tensions on the border between the two countries have been running high since Pakistani troops were deployed to the frontier region of Mohmand in Pakistan’s tribal belt for the first time in the country’s history. The deployment was meant to block the infiltration of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda activists from Afghanistan. But it triggered protests from Afghan tribesmen who claimed that Pakistani troops had set up check-posts deep inside Afghan territory. A mob later attacked the Pakistani mission in Kabul. Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali Tuesday visited Pakistan to discuss the issue with Pakistani authorities. A tripartite commission of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States set up a sub-committee to conduct a ground check of Pakistani militia posts along the border.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 01:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [329 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "That's my rock!"
"No, it isn't! It's mine!"
"Oh yeah? We shall smite you for 12 hours!"
"So what? There will be no casualties!"
And so it went. To and fro. To and fro. There was much gnashing of teeth, wearing of sack cloth and ashes, and hopes that soon, one side would be victorious and ululate. Then peace would come, and with it, the spring.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 4:41 Comments || Top||

#2  "you fool!. Look! your bullets broke the rock!"

"Hokay, let's move the checkpoint over to that rock"
"You can't...that's our rock...."
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#3  "Ok, so that's your rock? Here it is, moron! [throws rock]
"Hey, uhhhhh!" [hit in head with rock]
[Staggers, blood streaming down from head wound, touches blood with hands]
"By Mo's Beard you made me look like a Shiite on parade. You'll pay for this!"

And they went at it, throwing rocks until the sun set, with a few breaks for call to prayer. And Allah looked down at the scene, and thought that these guys have definitely been in the sun too long, and said to himself, "I need a vacation, but where will I go?"
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 07/27/2003 13:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Paradise Island?
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 13:38 Comments || Top||

3 Arrested for Possessing Printed ‘Terror’ Material
Security forces arrested three men at a checkpoint in Al-Ka’akia district of Makkah on Friday morning after they were found to be in possession of printed material that included a fatwa or “religious edict” in support of terrorist acts against Western targets, Al-Nadwa newspaper reported yesterday.
Perhaps they might give some serious thought to picking up the turban who compiled the "fatwa"?
Security forces became suspicious of the men, who approached a checkpoint in the holy city in a Lexus. The Saudi, Algerian and Moroccan had their car searched after they handed over their identification papers. They found newspaper clippings and other documents printed from websites which advocate terrorism, as well as the paper containing the fatwa. The three men were arrested on the spot and were handed over to the appropriate authorities for interrogation.
"Mahmoud, hand me the Number 3 truncheon, wouldja?"
This is the third arrest of terror suspects in the holy city after the May 12 terrorist attacks in Riyadh, which killed 26 bystanders and nine of the suicide attackers.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 11:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [320 views] Top|| File under:

#1  the Number 3? This is a par 5...

How hard would it be to follow up on the Fatwa-source?
Time to whack a cleric in the public square with that big ol' sword. Make an example, or stfu (and especially that worm Al-Jubeir).
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Ha! A Lexus. These Terror People are soooo stupid. We are always suspicious of people in a Lexus. Everyone knows this. Ha! And if they read - ha! - a dead giveaway! We will get them all. They never learn! Ha! We see many fatwa's everyday. Many of them say to kill the infidel. But in a Lexus - ha! - a dead giveaway! They are ours! Ha!
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

County alert on terrorist attacks against Western targets
SAUDI ARABIA: Americans and Britons living in Saudi Arabia were Saturday reminded by their embassies to remain alert for further "terrorist attacks against Western targets" in the kingdom. "We continue to receive information that terrorists may be considering further attacks against Western targets in Saudi Arabia, including housing compounds," the British embassy said in a fresh warning. "The Saudi security forces' recent successes may have disrupted some of these plans, but the risk remains. There is also a continuing risk of opportunistic attacks on Western individuals," the embassy added. The US embassy in Riyadh informed Americans of the decision by the State Department to allow the immediate return of all employees and their family members, but reminded them of "remaining security concerns." "US citizens are reminded of remaining security concerns and the potential for further terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia," the Gulf region, and abroad said a new warden message posted on the embassy website Saturday.
We're going through a dull spot in the War on Terror. The Riyadh and Casablanca attacks were the most recent gasp (the Lashkar e-Jhangvi slaughter of Shias doesn't count — they're not an al-Qaeda affiliate, just occasional hired help). The Soddies nabbed 16 Bad Guys last Monday, which may have thrown them off stride, but I'd guess they've got another attack in the chute that should be arriving fairly soon...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 00:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I used to receive "Warden Messages" from both the American and British Consulates - I lived in the same compound in which the Brit Consulate was located, in fact, Al Bustan Village in Al Khobar - 20 km from Dhahran. These messages came approx biweekly. Below is the text of the May 1, 2003 message - just two weeks before the Riyadh bombings. The prior 10 or 15 messages were all exactly like this. Really really helpful. Your tax dollars at work. ;->

"The Embassy requests that wardens pass the following message in its entirety to members of the American Community:
United States Department of State
May 01, 2003

This Travel Warning is being updated to alert U.S. citizens to increased security concerns in Saudi Arabia. This Travel Warning supersedes that of February 12, 2003.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Saudi Arabia. Information indicates that terrorist groups may be in the final phases of planning attacks against U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia. There is no information regarding the possible target. Non-emergency personnel and family members of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia continue to be authorized to depart Saudi Arabia on a voluntary basis. Private U.S. citizens currently in Saudi Arabia should evaluate their own security situations, and should consider departing Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates have advised employees and family members to limit travel to essential business only.

As stated in the current Public Announcement, Middle East and North Africa Update, Americans are reminded of the potential for further terrorist actions against U.S. citizens abroad, specifically in the Middle East, including the Persian Gulf.

Personnel at the United States Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia remain available to provide emergency information and services to American citizens.

U.S. citizens who remain in Saudi Arabia despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, or at the Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran, and enroll in the warden system (emergency alert network) in order to obtain updated information on travel and security in Saudi Arabia.

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, U.S. travelers can get up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S., or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Saudi Arabia http://travel.state.gov/saudi.html and
the World Wide Caution Public Announcement http://travel.state.gov/wwc1.html, on the Department's internet website at http://travel.state.gov.


Agiane E. Ziadeh
Consular Assistant
American Consulate General, Dhahran
Phone: 966 3 330-3200 x 3120
Fax: 966 3 330-6816
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 2:06 Comments || Top||

#2  There actually was an attack on an American two days ago but it's being covered up.
Posted by: anon || 07/27/2003 2:28 Comments || Top||

Security team to Riyadh for war on terror
KUWAIT CITY : A high-ranking Kuwaiti political-security delegation, headed by Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, will Saturday visit Saudi Arabia to expand cooperation between the two countries in their war against terrorism and sleeper cells in light of recent blasts in Saudi Arabia. Reliable sources say Sheikh Nawaf will meet with his Saudi counterpart Prince Nayef bin AbdulAziz to exchange information on several security issues. These sources said the Kuwaiti delegation, which also includes Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah, will meet with senior Saudi officials to exchange information on blasts which took place in Riyadh nearly two months ago and recent apprehension of a sleeper terrorist cell and confiscation of a large cache of weapons. The sources told the Arab Times the security situation following the capture of a sleeper al-Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia and the seizure of thousands of tons of explosives and ammunition found in the possession of the cell will be the centre of negotiations between the two sides. Reports said earlier the 16 arrested members of the cell included three Kuwaitis. The Kuwaiti delegation's visit to the Kingdom at this stage, the sources added, has political and security purposes mainly to enhance cooperation between GCC states to quell any attempts aimed at endangering the American presence in Iraq and arrangements made by the United States to establish the new Iraqi government including the formation of Iraq's Transitional Ruling Council.

"The discovery of sleeper terrorist cells in Saudi Arabia brought up the need to coordinate with our brothers in the region. The threat from these cells could extend to Kuwait which also hosts a US military base," said the sources. They added the growing intensity of the war against al-Qaeda groups in the region may instigate some of these cells to carry out further attacks which can only be quelled through more coordination and cooperation amongst security authorities in GCC states.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 00:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [348 views] Top|| File under:

Links made between Al Qaeda, Tawhid
Rehash of article of 7/25/2003, adds a bit of detail...
A German intelligence agent said Friday during the trial of a Jordanian national up on terrorism charges that there were close links between a radical Palestinian group and Al Qaeda. The leader of the Palestinian extremist organisation Tawhid, Abu Mussab Zarqawi, also had a top role in Osama Bin Laden's network, said a terrorism expert from the BKA federal crime office whose name was not revealed before the court. Tawhid's goals include overthrowing the state of Jordan and killing all Jews.
That's a pretty succinct mission statement...
The US government has described Zarqawi as a link between Al Qaeda and former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The defendant in the case, Shadi Mohammad Mustafa Abdullah, a 26-year-old Jordanian of Palestinian origin, stands accused of belonging to Tawhid and plotting attacks here against Jewish and Israeli targets, all of which were foiled. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of membership of a terrorist organisation and passport forgery. The BKA agent cited the fact that Zarqawi, who is at large, had operated a training camp in the Afghan city of Herat that was financed by Bin Laden as evidence of the ties between the two groups. German authorities first began observing Tawhid in 1997 and opened a formal probe in October 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States as part of a sweeping crackdown on Islamic extremist groups. The agent said that since then, Tawhid had increased efforts to forge passports for Islamist fighters in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan to help them flee US forces. He said that the German Tawhid cell intended to not only attack Jewish interests in Germany but that “the United States and the Bundeswehr [or German armed forces] were in the group's crosshairs,” according to new findings. Abdullah has said during his trial that Al Qaeda and Tawhid have cooperated on fund-raising but described their relationship as more of a rivalry than an alliance.
Something along the lines of cooperating egos...
He testified Thursday that Tawhid operatives in Germany received an order from their superiors the day after the Sept. 11 attacks to bomb Jewish sites in Germany.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 11:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [330 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It doesn't take a high IQ to read the messages on this site for a couple of weeks and understand that we are at war with a foe that intends to destroy every government it cannot control for its own purpose. It's time to stop taking half-steps against them and whack 'em good, hard, and often. Stop all these puny "ten years in jail" stupidities and hang the perps in the largest public square available, with a big sign in the local language "These people wanted to kill you." Let the people of EVERY nation know that we will not tolerate this buffoonery and butchery, under any circumstances. The place to start is to clean out the hellhole of Lebanon and Gaza.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 07/27/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Green Party of the US calls for impeachment of President Bush
On the final day of the 2003 national meeting of the Green Party of the United States, delegates from state Green Parties represented in the national party's Coordinating Committee approved two major proposals:
(1) The Green Party endorsed a call to Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings and resolved to take political leadership in the growing movement for impeachment.

The resolution cites President George W. Bush's and Vice President Dick Cheney's "pattern of making false statements to Congress, the American people, and the world to win support for actions by the American government and military forces" in violation of the U.S. Constitution, Charter of the United Nations, and other international laws; "[s]quandering the resources of the American people to serve the interests of transnational corporations"; and war crimes, including the use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs in the preemptive invasion of Iraq.

According to the resolution, "Evidence has emerged that the intelligence agencies of the United States had repeatedly informed the President that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction nor means to threaten the United States, and that alleged evidence produced by the administration was fraudulent." The resolution also authorizes the Green Party's Peace Action Committee (GPax) to coordinate party activities with other organizations that have called for impeachment.

"The problem isn't 16 erroneous words in the President's January 28 State of the Union address, but dozens of false statements on dozens of issues," said Elizabeth Shanklin, chair of the Bronx County Green Party and a New York delegate at the national meeting.

(2) Greens endorsed a "Home by the Holidays" campaign calling for the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, and the Philippines, with this year's winter holidays as a deadline for total return of military personnel. The resolution demands the removal of U.S. troops from harm's way, citing the rising number of combat deaths (over 340) and injuries and numerous noncombat fatalities and the damage to health and the environment from the deployment of chemical, nuclear, and ecological weapons.

According to the resolution, the White House's policy of invading other countries "is hostile to the democratic traditions of the American Revolution, and must be actively resisted by all patriotic Americans."
The texts of both resolutions will be posted at the Green Party's web site http://www.gp.org. The meeting took place from Friday, July 18 through Sunday, July 20 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. During the meeting, the Green Party of Alabama was admitted to the national party, bringing the number of accredited state parties to 43.
And the Great State of Alabammy is just pleased as punch...

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, mclarty@greens.org
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 11:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [500 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ah, the pleasent pastoral setting of the Bronx. The Garden spot of the nation. Why is it that so many of the Green Parties membership seems to live a life so removed from nature IMHO
Posted by: Someone who did NOT vote for William Proxmire || 07/27/2003 11:53 Comments || Top||

#2  So, just how long has this upsurge in Belgian immigration being going on?
Posted by: Paul || 07/27/2003 12:13 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't remember seeing the American people electing any Green members to Congress. I don't remember anything in the Constitution about a two-bit bunch of nanny-state extremists having authority to be the governing body of the United States. In other words, uh, not no, but he$$ no. Go away and play with yourselves again.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 07/27/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

#4  What was that? Little Green People you say? Has anyone notified the personnel of Project Bluebook? Oh, it was shut down in 1974? In that case, did anyone tell Speilberg?

Enquiring minds want to know. BTW, for those who know that the Truth Is Out There, go here and here and have a Close Encounter of the fourth kind. GPax hangs out there, I hear.

This sounds like a Joschka Fischer plot...
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 12:43 Comments || Top||

#5  Did they have a rock band there? If so, they ought to have called Beauzeau and the Moonbats.
Posted by: Tangara || 07/27/2003 14:31 Comments || Top||

#6  Ah, but did they get behind McKinney as their gal in '04? That's the question. The impeachment thing's going nowhere.
Posted by: mojo || 07/27/2003 15:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Are greens an off-shoot of the Commie party? If not they have similar thoughts. My Dad (Bless his liberal soul) thinks this impeachment is going to happen. I said it before and I will say it again, the liberal, greens, commies, and lefties are goint to take a big ass whuppin this next election. They will probably claim that everyone did not understand their message or it was distorted by the Vast right Wing Conspiracy. Hell we don't have to do anything to make them look like idiots, they are doing a fine job on their own.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 07/27/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||

#8  I say we give and give generously to the Green party. For myself I am a strong green supporter but only if they run candidates for election. Could care less for their politics myself.

There will be nothing funnier next summer than to see top democratic candidates trying to get Green votes, as 90 percent of the nation walks merrily by to vote for the right.

So give generously to the greens. Give yourself added value to that summer 2004 entertainment dollar.
Posted by: badanov || 07/27/2003 16:11 Comments || Top||

#9  What's he supposed to be impeached for? The Africans statement which the Brits stand behind?

That wasn't even mentioned until Jan of 03 and the Iraq vote was in 02?

Posted by: Anonymous || 07/27/2003 20:53 Comments || Top||

#10  Ecological weapons??

Posted by: Anonymous || 07/27/2003 20:54 Comments || Top||

#11  When did the "16 words" suddenly become a "dozens of false statements on dozens of issues"? The Donks are claiming that Bush is pathological liar too, but no one ever enumerates the claims. All they can do is whine about impeachment, just trying to settle the score for Clinton getting busted. I'm not even american, but I wouldn't mind sending the Greens some money to see them make bigger fools of themselves.
Posted by: jason || 07/27/2003 22:33 Comments || Top||

#12  I hate green parties because they DAMAGE the environment.

They PRETEND to care about it and suck people in, but they divert all their time and attention simply to fighting capitalism and conservatives.

They are just socialists in disguise.

Watermelons if you like: Green on the outside, and RED on the inside.

I actually CARE about the environment, and I DESPISE the Greens (particularly Bob Brown of the Australian chapter: proudly fond of his campaigning against a Uranium mine in Kakadu but couldn't give a shit that the Cane Toad just marched in and is killing every endangered animal, snake, fish and bird in the place).
Posted by: Anon1 || 07/27/2003 23:35 Comments || Top||

Pakistan bans latest issue of Newsweek, calls article offensive to Islam
Followup to article from 7/24/03, adds a bit more context...
Hat tip: Tacitus for the first 2 links...
There are three bits here... The real reason this is newsworthy is that Islam, Religion of Peace™, is not only based upon, but actually dependent upon, the absolute claim that it is "the verbatim revelation of Allah, speaking to his prophet, Muhammad, through the Angel Gabriel, in Arabic."
Of course this is problematic, given modern science... Read the Tacitus intro (see third item on page linked above)... Note that questioning this claim is forbidden: "Islamic scholars who have dared ignore this taboo have often found themselves labeled heretics and targeted with death threats and violence."

Per the title, here’s the "news"...
Pakistan bans latest issue of Newsweek, calls article offensive to Islam

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 24 — Pakistan has banned the latest issue of Newsweek’s international edition, saying an article on new interpretations of the Quran offends Islam.
The information minister said Thursday that customs authorities have been ordered to seize copies of the edition.

And the light-reading version about the fire beneath the smoke of PakIslamic indignation...
Challenging the Qur’an
A German scholar contends that the Islamic text has been mistranscribed and promises raisins, not virgins
By Stefan Theil

July 28 issue — In a note of encouragement to his fellow hijackers, September 11 ringleader Muhammad Atta cheered their impending “marriage in Paradise” to the 72 wide-eyed virgins the Qur’an promises to the departed faithful. Palestinian newspapers have been known to describe the death of a suicide bomber as a “wedding to the black-eyed in eternal Paradise.” But if a German expert on Middle Eastern languages is correct, these hopes of sexual reward in the afterlife are based on a terrible misunderstanding.

And, finally, the real thing for those that actually have do an inquiring mind... From The Atlantic, January 1999, this is the spark that started the fire.
What is the Koran?
Researchers with a variety of academic and theological interests are proposing controversial theories about the Koran and Islamic history, and are striving to reinterpret Islam for the modern world. This is, as one scholar puts it, a "sensitive business"...

by Toby Lester

This is actually a good read and quite interesting - especially given the sputtering outrage and dire threats that have emanated from Islam... including taking the step of banning an issue of Newsweek just for mentioning the resulting debate.
Islam - Religion of Tolerance™
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 1:25:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [331 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Raisins, RAISINS, You mean I blew myself up for 72 ** RAISINS ** ???

Oh, THIS will hurt recruiters

From article: Luxenberg, a professor of Semitic languages at one of Germany’s leading universities, has chosen to remain anonymous because he fears a fatwa by enraged Islamic extremists.

Gee, 'ya think? Move over Rushdie!

From article: in Sura 24, the verse that calls for women to snap their scarves over their bags

Now there's a word picture!

From article: The forthcoming book contains plenty of other bombshells

If he lives to publish...
Posted by: parallaxview || 07/27/2003 2:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Muhammad to the faithful, "Oops! My bad!"
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 3:43 Comments || Top||

#3  What a coincidence! Several months ago, I banned Newsweek from my home for being offensive to common sense.

Posted by: JDB || 07/27/2003 4:32 Comments || Top||

#4  And it was your action, thoughtful and selfish, that has led to this moment. I hope you're satisfied! Ha!

(Eyes flashing with indignant self-righteousness, he hit the "Submit Query" button and in an flash of irrelevant affected thought, common to his mental affliction, he wondered why it wasn't labeled something more purposeful and fulfilling... something like "Submit Righteous Indignation" or "Submit The Truth" or "Submit, I am GOD!" and then, as quickly as it had come, it was gone. And as the page refreshed he saw how pathetic, how lame, how insincere his response was... and he sighed, deeply, and thought, "Aw Fuck It." - and turned off the BBC so he could regain some perspective.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 4:52 Comments || Top||

#5  PD - rare form today...heh heh..lost your meds? ;-)
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#6  Frank G - uh, no, I finally found 'em... but how could you know that? Spooky.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#7  There may be the start of an answer - fund the Druze!

*Druze Studies Org* - Hakim was the 6th Fatimid Caliph who became the head of the Islamic Fatimid state in 996 at the age of eleven. Although Hakim’s attitude towards the emerging reform movement that later became known as ‘Druze’ is not fully discernible from available sources, he is regarded within the Druze manuscripts as the founding father of Druzism and the source of its strict unitarianism. Among the reforms he introduced were resolutions to (1) abolish slavery, (2) prohibit polygamy, and (3) implement a form of separation of church and state. While these reforms did not become part of orthodox Islam, the Druzes, as well as other Islamic sectarian movements, adopted them.
Only those members of the community who demonstrate piety and devotion and who have withstood a lengthy process of candidacy are initiated into the teachings of the Druze faith. Women may also be initiated in the Druze doctrine. The Druze tradition considers women to be more spiritually prepared than men to enter such circles because they are considered less likely to be exposed to deviant or immoral practices such as murder and adultery.
SEE ALSO *the Druze*
Posted by: John Anderson || 07/27/2003 14:02 Comments || Top||

#8  "the verbatim revelation of Allah, speaking to his prophet, Muhammad, through the Angel Gabriel, in Arabic."

No, it was Lucifer who told Mohammed that sheer lie!

*ducks stones*

72 raisins. And the terrorists have a fiery eternity over which to spread out the eating.
Posted by: Tangara || 07/27/2003 14:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Arabic, Aramaic, whats a few virgins raisins among the faithful friends?
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

Fazl comes under fire at MMA meeting
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Secretary General Mulana Fazlur Rehman came under fire during a meeting of the MMA Supreme Council here on Saturday night. “Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani, Professor Sajid Mir and Allama Sajid Naqvi criticised Mr Fazl regarding his statements during his visit to India on the Kashmir issue,” MMA sources told Daily Times. Sources said that when Qazi Hussain Ahmed criticised Mr Fazl’s statements on Kashmir, MMA’s Hafiz Hussain Ahmed said it was misreporting by the media. “Maulana Fazlur Rehman assured the MMA leaders that he would follow the policies made by them,” sources said.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 01:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [354 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Secretary General Mulana Fazlur Rehman came under fire during a meeting of the MMA Supreme Council here on Saturday night.

Oh, thought that they meant it literally, my mistake. One can always hope.......

/sarcasm off
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 07/27/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

Uday and Qusay found with $, Viagra and Women’s Purses
Subtitled: Living the Hard Life on the Run ;-)
See How They Ran
By Evan Thomas and Rod Nordland, Newsweek

In his famous short story "The Things They Carried," writer Tim O’Brien shows that you can learn a great deal about men by what they take into battle.

IN THE CASE OF the platoon he described slogging through the rice fields in ’Nam, those items included love letters from home, grenades and land mines, lucky charms, insecticide, copies of Stars and Stripes, fingernail clippers, bags of marijuana, bandages, psyop leaflets and tanning lotion. "Often," O’Brien writes, "they carried each other, the wounded and the weak."

And what did Uday Hussein carry to the fight? After a hot and noisy siege last week, American soldiers found, in the rubble near his body, his briefcase. The contents, NEWSWEEK has learned, included painkillers, numerous bottles of cologne, Viagra, unopened packages of men’s underwear, dress shirts, a silk tie and a single condom. Uday and his brother, Qusay, also had with them a huge stash of cash, as well as, for some reason, two ladies’ purses.

As they say: Read it All - much more on the hunt for HVT-1 (Sammy)
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 5:52:39 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Women's purses probably part of disguise they're using when traveling, along with burqas.
Posted by: Anonymous || 07/27/2003 20:37 Comments || Top||

#2  LOL - the visual...with THOSE beards lol.....he he
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 20:42 Comments || Top||

#3  They always said Qusay knew how to accessorize.
Posted by: Dar || 07/27/2003 20:51 Comments || Top||

#4  I wonder if this is even true. It reeks of Psyops. It makes them sound like drug-addicted, promiscuous (yet impotent), dirty underwear wearing cross-dressers who can only get it up once.
Posted by: jason || 07/27/2003 22:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Considering everything I've read about Uday being an impotent (due to injuries from a failed assassination attempt) and vicious a**hole, it sounds pretty much about right. Qusay may have had the purses as gifts for his spouse/daughters/girlfriends, so it's not much of a slam against him.
Posted by: Dar || 07/27/2003 23:18 Comments || Top||

#6  Gee, jason...ya mean they weren't?
Posted by: Watcher || 07/27/2003 23:31 Comments || Top||

#7  Reeking is good, in this case, anyway. ;->
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 23:42 Comments || Top||

So You’re Coming to the Sandbox

This article is in the grand tradition of posts describing simulations of military life in some sorts or another. I think the first US type of this genre is a letter written from a blockade sailor to his mother in the Civil War. Details of the letter are in Shelby Foote’s Masterpiece on the war.
From LT Smash 24 July 2003

The rest of you can read the following valuable guide on how to prepare for a deployment to The Sandbox:

Medical Readiness

Go to the hospital, and sit for about five hours in the waiting room.

Have your physician run every medical test known to man. Especially the painful or embarrassing ones.

Request every immunization they have, all at once—regardless of whether you’re up to date.

If you have any serious medical conditions, have the doctor say “Oh, it’s nothing to worry about,” and sign a waiver.

Camp Life

Rip out any vegetation you have in your back yard.

Cover the yard in several feet of sand. Build a sand berm around the perimeter tall enough to block your view of the outside world. Have an armed sentry patrol the berm 24 hours a day. Nobody enters or leaves without authorization.

Cover the sand with a three-inch layer of gravel.

In the upwind corner, place a single port-a-potty. Attach a heater to ensure that it remains above 100F inside at all times. Don’t have it serviced until it is at least two-thirds full.

In the downwind corner of the yard, pitch a large tent. Invite eight to ten people to camp with you, at least three of whom snore loudly.

Sleep on military issue cots. If you don’t have any, a 2’ X 6’ piece of plywood should be an adequate substitute.

Assign radically different working schedules to each of your tent mates, at least twelve to sixteen hours a day. Ensure that each person makes plenty of noise and bumps into at least two occupied cots when entering and leaving the tent.

Place the generator as close to the tent as possible. Connect the generator exhaust directly to the tent ventilation intake.

Set the ventilation system to keep the temperature at about 90F at noon, and 80F at midnight. Assign someone to pour sand into the ventilation ducts at regular intervals.

Recruit a pool of cheap laborers who don’t speak English. Search them for weapons before they enter the camp, and have armed guards follow them everywhere they go.

Set up a chow tent, and have the foreign laborers prepare and serve the same meals every day. Lunch must always include hot dogs. Everyone must eat at least one MRE in lieu of a hot meal each day—preferably the one that they like the least.

Attach a leaky shower nozzle to the end of your garden hose. Connect the hose to your hot water heater, and set it to 120F. Set it up on a pole in a tent, and have everyone stand in line to take four-minute showers. The fattest and ugliest of these people should not be wearing a towel, or shower shoes.

Turn off the showers at random intervals. Use baby wipes to keep clean.

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation

Have your loved ones mail letters and packages. Hold onto them for at least a month before distributing, and lose some altogether. Any breakables in the packages should be properly destroyed, and all food should be melted, crumbled or spoilt by the time the packages are opened.

Put up fliers for a USO show at “another camp” with celebrities, rappers, rock stars, country singers, NFL cheerleaders, and Wayne Newton. Schedule it for a time when nobody at your “camp” can attend.

Set up a morale tent, with a television. Tune it into a satellite channel that runs the lowest rated programs on television, with low budget public service announcements instead of commercials. Take a vote on which movies to show each night, then play something that nobody wants to watch.

Spread rumors every day about when you’re supposed to go home. Shoot down the good rumors, and confirm the bad ones.

Weapons Training

Bury all of your weapons in a sandbox.

Take them out, disassemble, clean, and lubricate.

Go to the weapons range and fire a couple of hundred rounds.

Repeat until you can do this three times in a row without a single weapons jam or misfire.

Admin Training

Take a blank piece of paper.


Flip it over, and write the same on the opposite side.

Follow the instructions on the paper.

If this gives you a headache, slam your head against the table until you feel better.

Acclimatization Training

Dress out in complete Desert Combat Utilities with the sleeves rolled down. Put on your helmet, flak jacket, and load-bearing vest with full combat load. Now you’re ready to rock n’ roll!

Set up a portable generator so that the exhaust vent faces the afternoon sun. Turn it on. Stand in the exhaust stream. Feel that refreshing breeze?

Have someone dump bags of very fine sand (talcum powder is an acceptable substitute) in front of the generator exhaust vent. Breathe in deep.

Ah, life in the desert!
Posted by: Penguin || 07/27/2003 5:38:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [342 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hilarious. As a bridge engineer we often have office trailers on the bridge site, serviced by generators and septic tanks. I visited one of our "difficult" colleagues on his site, and on walking in to the trailer was struck by the funky smell and haze...I asked why the ambience was so unpleasant and he said the contractor's foreman had to move the generator and septic tank earlier in the week, for some vague reason.
I guess his bad attitude got the gen. and porta-potty holding tank positioned right by the air-intake for the trailer's air conditioning lol
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 18:03 Comments || Top||

Disguised U.S. Soldiers Reportedly Escape From Iraq
By Aws al-Sharqi, IOL Iraq Correspondent
IslamOnline.net - U.S. soldiers in Iraq are escaping from Iraq under the guise of Kurdish citizens, wearing the famous Iraqi and Arab al-Dashdasha (loose headdress) which has become mush sought-after recently, Iraqis told IslamOnline.net Sunday, July 27.
Whoops! There goes another one now...
However, a U.S. colonel categorically denied that 2,500 U.S. soldiers have escaped from duty so far, noting that it was a rumor propagated by the Baathists and the loyalists to ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
"And no, I have not stopped beating my wife..."
Speaking to IOL, Saeed al-Aidany, a galabia (gown) seller, said, "We were surprised at the very beginning to see a lot of U.S. soldiers buying al-Dashdasha, but it came to our knowledge that they used it as a camouflage to make their escape to Gulf states".
Not, as you might at first think, as souvenirs...
Aidany further claimed that U.S. soldiers were also seen buying Kurdish costumes to make their way to Turkey through northern Iraq.
"Why, Bob! You look so... Kurdish."
Abdul Amir al-Hasnawi, a truck driver, alleged he helped two U.S. soldiers escape to Kuwait. "Two Black U.S. soldiers arrived in Basra through a Christian go-between from Baghdad, who used to work as a translator with the Americans. They were in jeans and I smuggled them to Kuwait in return for $450 each," Hasnawi told IOL. "The go-between told me that the two soldiers did not to be gunned down in Iraq without a cause," he added.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 11:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now this is a scream! I used to belong to a group that bought souvenirs for the poor legs who were stuck out in the dunes after Gulf War I (the AF pukes all lived in town - in the infamous Khobar Towers). Most of the poor grunts never got a chance to see the glories of Al Khobar and its crown jewel: the Al Shula Mall - an overstatement if there ever was one, believe me. Anyway, the point is: the numero Uno choice, the overwhelming choice by a landslide souvenir was the Arab headgear. Everyone wanted a dishtowel & fan belt set. So that's what we bought. Tons of the shit. There was no doubt it was a hit at the next Halloween party after they got home.

This twinkie dress merchant, Saeed al-Aidany, is prolly selling the stuff like he sez - but in his tiny little mind it would never occur to him that it was because our troopies think it's some seriously funny shit. So he's doing what all small-brained creatures do: assuming they would do what he would do - run like hell.

As for the truck driver, you know he was paid in greenbacks, if the story's true. So, Abdul Amir al-Hasnawi, show me, dude. $450 in $USD? Hey vets - how long would it take for you to come up with that much scratch (not to mention in a war zone) when you were tooling around in the Big Green Machine? Several months at least. And Mr al-Hasnasal would've done it for $45, not to mention $450. I like the part about them being black - IOL thinks this will make it more believable. Heh, what jerkoffs.

This is either "tell the reporter what he wants to hear" silliness - or it was created from scratch by the "journalist." And, icing on the cake, it is brought to you by Al Jizzwadi's erstwhile competition for the most outrageous BS they can dream up to peddle to the idiot A-rab Street, the National Enquirer of the A-rab press (and that's really saying something): Islam OnLine.

What a hoot!
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 12:26 Comments || Top||

#2  I remember "reuters" running a similar story during the Kosovo campaign in '99. You'll recall we lost no pilots (praise to Allah!)...

Anywho, "reuters" found a couple of Greeks (sympathetic to the Serbs) who insisted that the US was shipping home 20-25 coffins a day because these Greeks had seen them! Therefore, we were lying about no combat losses and the plucky Serbs had us on the run!

ILO is propaganda, "reuters" is gullible, and our enemies, foreign and domestic (see Green Party above) will clutch at any straw.
Posted by: JDB || 07/27/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#3  3 words for the so-called "journalist": Pa-the-tic!

In the words of that great philisopher, Bugs Bunny: Watta maroon!
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 07/27/2003 13:44 Comments || Top||

#4  JDB - I didn't know that little goodie - Thx! Ah, how short the memories of the truly and uniquely gifted ungrateful can be... the US defending the hapless helpless Muslims of Bosnia from the Serbs whilst all of Arabia and Islam played the fiddle lyre (or is that liar?)...

Barbara - (snicker) I lovs Bugs. "Is you is or is you isn't my baby?" Mel Blanc had a way with werdz, no? And then there was Foghorn Leghorn...
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 13:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Daffy Duck's great comment after seeing the rich widow ducks son:

"Cute, like a stomach pump!"
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 07/27/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Foghorn after an encounter with Prissy Hen:

"That girl, I say that girl reminds me of the road between Dallas and Forth Worth ---- no curves!"
Posted by: Steve White || 07/27/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#7  SW - Wasn't that sweet when they actually removed the toll? Imagine that: build a toll road, collect tolls till it's paid off, turn it into a free public highway, exactly as advertised. Phreakin miracle! Re: Prissy Hen - musta looked like Olive Oyl, but with a bigger beak, eh?
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

#8  In a relates story an unnamed Iraqi source said that the Americans were cooking their stomachs at the Baghdad Airport. I had someone pick me up a towel and fanbelt, but at a Dining Out somebody stole it when I got drunk :-(
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 07/27/2003 15:38 Comments || Top||

#9  What this story actually confirms is what a backward view of the world the shopkeeper must have. Where does he think these 2500 soldiers will escape to? Does he think they can just cross the dusty border from Mexico into the US, like perhaps from Pakistan into Afghanistan, then go happily home thinking nobody will bother them so they can chalk everything up to experience and forget about it? Will they stay in the arab states, convert to Islam, and pilgramage to Mecca every year? C'mon....
Posted by: Rafael || 07/27/2003 16:01 Comments || Top||

Uday’s executioner: feeding rivals to lions
Edited for brevity.
A chief executioner to one of Saddam’s sons has revealed how he helped drag two victims into a cage to be devoured by lions. The executioner said that he was ordered to seize two 19-year-old students and take them to a farm of Uday Hussein, Saddam’s oldest son who was killed by American forces last week. As soon as they arrived the students were dragged to a cage containing the lions and forced inside. “I saw the head of the first student literally come off his body with the first bite,” he said. He then had to stand and watch the animals devour the two young men: “By the time they were finished there was little left but for the bones and bits and pieces of unwanted flesh.” He was told later that the two young men “had competed with Uday where some young ladies were concerned”.
More depravity detailed in the full story.
Posted by: Dar || 07/27/2003 12:57:30 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [347 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Found this part interesting:
The Americans say they have captured several of Saddam’s bodyguards, and yesterday it emerged that they believed they had come close to seizing the former Iraqi leader in Mosul shortly after the deaths of his sons last Tuesday.

According to military sources, intelligence intercepted a single satellite phone signal known to belong to Saddam during the bombardment of the building where Uday and Qusay were trapped.

Soldiers searched the nearby villa from which the call was made but Saddam was not there. US officers said the intercept was highly accurate, and they were convinced he had been hiding in the building. Yesterday they said they believed he was still in Mosul.

Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 11:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Ha! I knew it. It was all about wymyns. No wonder. It all makes sense to me now... the torture? Ha! Whaddya think he was going through. Others getting the wymyns, when he had none. Now that's torture, baby. The soccer teams and the other athletes? He was crippled from an assassination attempt. Imagine how he felt - watching them... and them, with their easy swagger and confidence - taking more and more of the wymyns! Ha! He just needed some counseling, a friend he could open up to. So sad. I bet he cried himself to sleep at night. We should forgive him cuz that's the way the myns are wired - can't help themselves. Uday! Oh Uuuuuday! Alleee, alleee in freeee!
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 12:01 Comments || Top||

What IDIOT Called in the Morticians?
What IDIOT called in the morticians for Uday and Qusay? He or she has all the brains of a fireplug, and deserves the appropriate treatment from every passing dog! It was going so well. They were following my advice, albeit taking too long.
[snipped. Thanks for your opinion...]
Posted by: John Moore (Useful Fools Blog) || 07/27/2003 12:11:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Spot on. This is so stupid in fact, that it makes me wonder if we have a large influential group of internal saboteurs intentionally misleading whomever is authorized to make such decisions. Only someone who doesn't know dick about Arabs could've done this. Those who've dealt with them at length know that you have to shove proof up an Arabs's ass to get a damn response, much less an acknowledgment of it - to get an admission, Allah has to reveal it himself directly to the asshat in question.

Apparently, those of us in the West, raised on Aristotelian precepts, will never truly understand those who weren't. For Arabs, truth is just a matter of convenience - a mere referential term - and has no intrinsic value. Until those who deal with them on our collective behalf fully grasp this fact, we will continue to sputter along in our efforts, whether it's rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq or expecting their assistance in the WoT or following through on any agreed upon obligation on their part. Constant negotiation and renegotiation as well as active obfuscation is their daily bread.

Let them eat cake.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 3:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Rantburg isn't for commentary, though I generally agree with the sentiment.
Posted by: someone || 07/27/2003 4:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Where was the cultural outrage over the mass graves of two hundred children? Twenty years of excess by these two bozos? And now people are upset that they got clown faces? Sorry boys, the 'Arab Street' can stick it if they find this offensive or want to wallow in their already unchangable beliefs that is all a CIA or Mossad plot, because I find most of the actions of the 'Arab Street' offensive. Let's rerun the video from the West Bank from 9/11. Those who want reform will be there. The mob in the steet isn't going to change short of the destruction of Western Civilization. It's the fence sitters who have to make the choice. If those fence sitters find this offensive in face of the brutality and butchery of the boys, then they can go join the mob. It'll make a bigger target when the time comes.
Posted by: Don || 07/27/2003 9:36 Comments || Top||

#4  What IDIOT called in the morticians for Uday and Qusay?

That's our basic decency shining through. We agonized over whether to show the bodies whereas Saddam showed the bodies of our men as soon as they could so Arabs could launch into wild ululations. Prettying up corpses is what funeral directors do. Given that this was a mandatory open casket type situation, they had to make do with what they could.

I have no problem with what was done. Respect for the dead is part of our canon. Whatever their sins in life, they have now gone to their reward.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/27/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Time we stopped worrying about Arab sensitivity. They have never given a rat's ass about Western sensitivity. Have a problem with the corpses of Saddam bros? Bite me! Wait until we get a hold of Big Daddy!
Posted by: john || 07/27/2003 11:17 Comments || Top||

#6  Pfhsst! Hey, someone pass me another beer. I'm giving mine to John.
Posted by: Paul || 07/27/2003 12:19 Comments || Top||

#7  Oops! Sorry, I didn't realize it wasn't for commentary. I figured it was for rants when I got the invitation, given the name Rantburg.

Will not re-offend.

Posted by: John Moore (Useful Fools) || 07/27/2003 14:13 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Malaysia warns Burma over Daw Suu Kyi
Malaysia warned Burma today to free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi or risk intervention from the United Nations or other countries. "It is wiser for Burma to listen now," Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar told reporters.
"Or we may be forced to mock you mercilessly! You been warned!"
"This is in the context of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), it is within our grasp, we can manage it and handle it. "But if nothing happens, then we are concerned by the possibility that other countries, other regional organisations including the United Nations, may come in to decide their fate, then it will be more difficult."
"Boy, are you gonna get it if that happens!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 12:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [447 views] Top|| File under:

#1  [sets up calibration routine for QIB (quaking in boots) meter.....all systems nominal]

[points QIBM in direction of Burma. Lets meter settle. Settle some more. Taptaptap. No reading. Goes through calibration routine again. OK. Points back at Burma. Nothing. High gain. Nothing. Hmmmmm]
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 07/27/2003 13:51 Comments || Top||

#2  O-o-o-o-o-o-u-u-u-u-u-u-h-h-h-h!!

I WANT a QIB meter of my very own!! Pretty please?
Posted by: Steve White || 07/27/2003 23:15 Comments || Top||

M'sia denies knowledge of Indon rebel's presence
Malaysian authorities have no information confirming that a top Indonesian separatist rebel is in the country as he has claimed, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today. Free Aceh Movement (GAM) chief spokesman Sofyan Daud told AFP by telephone yesterday that he was in Malaysia on a "secret" mission after leaving Aceh and flying out of Jakarta using a different name more than 10 days ago. Abdullah, who is also home minister in charge of security, told the official Bernama news agency that apart from the news report "we don't have any information yet."
"Just 'cuz he says he's here don't mean he's actually here. 'Here's' a flexible term. Your 'here' is my 'there,' innit?..."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 12:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [318 views] Top|| File under:

Philippine coup plot foiled
President Arroyo said Saturday her government has discovered a coup plot by junior military officers and warned that they would be severely punished. “On my orders, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are hunting down to arrest a small band of rogue junior officers and soldiers who have deserted their posts and illegally brought weapons with them,” she said. Members of the Philippine Military Academy batches 94 and 95 are being pointed out as coup instigators. Mrs. Arroyo, a vice president who came to power in a military-led popular uprising in January 2001, said her government was in full control of the situation, warning “the republic will exact the maximum penalty for the purveyors of mutiny or rebellion.” She also issued a warning to those “unscrupulous politicians who exploit the messianic complex of these officers for their naked ambitions. I call on our people to be vigilant and denounce these misguided elements.”
Pretty much standard post-coup attempt rhetoric...
Rumors that a military clique was plotting to overthrow the government have been swirling in Manila since last week but the President had dismissed them.
Seems like it's over now...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [323 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Rooters sez: Arroyo said the crisis was over and the 296 mutineers, including 70 junior officers, would face court martial proceedings.
"Civilians shown to be involved in any conspiracy will be prosecuted," she said in a brief televised speech.

Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 11:34 Comments || Top||

Burmese junta claims it foiled bombing plot
BURMA’S ruling generals claimed yesterday they had uncovered a plot to sabotage the government and arrested 12 opposition supporters in connection with an alleged bombing campaign. The junta, which has always said a strong hand is needed to keep the ethnically diverse country together, has come under increasing international pressure in recent weeks over its detention of pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Y'don't suppose that's why they discovered a bomb plot, do you?
Senior military intelligence officers told a news conference that the 12 people had planted several time bombs in the capital Rangoon and nearby townships and had tried to link up with leaders of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) to foment unrest. Four of the bombs were detonated, killing two people and injuring dozens, they said. "They had plans to contact the NLD in creating civil unrest, but I’m not sure whether the NLD leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were aware of the plans," said Deputy Military Intelligence Chief Major General Kyaw Win. Another senior military intelligence officer, Colonel San Pwint, said the group had received explosives, detonators, weapons and time bombs disguised as lunch boxes and pencil cases from the ethnic minority Karen National Union, which is fighting a guerrilla war against the government on the Burmese-Thai border.
The Karen are kind of a classic example of an oppressed minority. Mostly Baptists, believe it or not, they're a non-Burman forest tribe. The ladies smoke pipes, which lends kind of an exotic ethnic flavor. They're not particularly warlike — it took a lot of oppression to get them fired up. They seem to have the determination to keep on fighting against the junta.
He said the suspects also had links with pro-democracy exile groups, such as the All Burma Students Democratic Front, and were planning to plant five bombs in Rangoon on July 19, the day Burma honours Suu Kyi’s father, independence hero Aung San.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

Al-Ghozi back in custody?
Sounds like rumors...
MILITARY and police operatives pursuing the escaped terrorist Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi are at loggerheads over who should be given credit for the reported arrest of the Indonesian bomber. On Sunday a top military intelligence official told The Times that al-Ghozi is already in the custody of the military and police officials. His reported arrest would be announced anytime today or tomorrow in time for the State of the Nation address of President Arroyo.
Great news, if it's true. I'm holding my breath, see?
“They’re wrangling over who should be commended for the arrest. Al-Ghozi is an international terrorist. Anybody involved in his arrest deserves a promotion. That means a lot. That’s why they’re bickering,” the source explained. He added that a ranking official of the Philippine National Police insisted on presenting al-Ghozi to the President “to appease her.”
Y'think she's still cheesed over that little coup thing yesterday?
But Lt. Col. Daniel Lucero, chief of the Armed Forces’ public information office, flatly denied that al-Ghozi had been rearrested by the Anticrime Task Force (Actaf). The National Police also said it had no information on the reported arrest. “We wish that report was true,” said Lucero. “We are continuously exerting our efforts to make this report a fact.” Although he denied the arrest, Lucero confirmed that agents of Actaf are in Socsargen (South Cotabato, Sarangani, General Santos) coordinating with the Police Anticrime Emergency Response (Pacer) to track down al-Ghozi. Besides Mindanao, the police and the military are also hunting al-Ghozi in Northern Luzon, Lucero said.
I doubt if they actually have him. The egg's going to remain on their faces. This sort of thing just makes it worse.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [352 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "This sort of thing just makes it worse."
Agreed. Every time I read one of these pieces about the Phillipines, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Yemen, et al I can't help but marvel at the notion that they are "countries" in the sense that we Westerners customarily construe the word.

The idea that any of these, not to mention the "countries" of the whole friggin continent of Africa, actually control the territory of their nation is a joke. It may be populated and it may have some form of civil authority and they may even vote in elections, but to consider (as 99% of us prolly do) that this means that Mindanao (Phillipines) or Hadhramaut (OBL's home province in Yemen) or the so-called North West Frontier Province (Pakistan, where Sharia Law was adopted last month) is anything like Kansas or Oxfordshire is utterly insane.

Since it's obvious that civilization isn't likely to come to these places anytime soon - and in self-defense of sanity and perspective - we need a new lexicon which puts the events in perspective... example: normalcy was maintained yesterday as some really insane shit happened in an insane place, details to follow...
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 4:22 Comments || Top||

Puerto Ricans Lament Loss of Vieques Dollars
MIAMI — File this one under "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

The people of Puerto Rico are facing some unanticipated consequences from a victory they won in 2001.
You betcha.
For several years, Puerto Rican protesters demanded that the U.S. Navy leave the island of Vieques (search). Groups staged violent protests outside the main gate of "Camp Garcia," saying they were sick and tired of the live-fire bombing exercises.
Remember, even Jesse and Al Sharpton were arrested in order to get their names in the press.
The violence resulted in the gates of the base being torn down. Several U.S. troops and police dogs were injured in the demonstrations.

In response to the years of protest, former President Clinton agreed to stop Navy exercises there. Congress and President Bush ratified the deal and live-fire exercises were halted last May. But with its mission muzzled after 60 years, the Navy has decided to pull out of Puerto Rico completely.
That means the largest employer on the island, the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station (search), is now slated for closure that could come as early as October.
Not soon enough.
Island workers are accusing the Navy of economic revenge.
And the point is??
"You dedicate all your talents, all your efforts. You’re loyal to your employer, this case being the U.S. Navy, and what do you get in return? A kick in the you-know-what," said Ana Angelet of the Puerto Rican chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees.
Hey Ana, how come your group didn’t have counter-demonstrations and quiet the anti’s??? SO SHUT YOUR GOT DARN MOUTH, BAYBEE!!!
The 2004 defense-spending bill that is working its way through Congress has a provision in it to close the base down officially. With the loss of the base, Puerto Rico will also lose nearly $300 million the military pumped into it each year.
However, it won’t stop the $billions that the U.S. taxpayers pour into P.R., since those dregs sponge free welfare, food stamps, AFDC, and all other free money and don’t pay Federal taxes....WHAT GARBAGE!!!
Puerto Ricans say the Navy is just mad because they won, and forced the live exercises to end. The Navy does not hide its disappointment. Navy officials say the location was long considered the best overall spot for exercises and stopping the live-fire training cost American military lives.
Thank you.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a member of the Armed Services Committee (search), said Puerto Rico’s politicians are to blame for the financial misfortune since they backed the protests.

"I just think it’s a shame that the people, the ones that are suffering, are the people of Puerto Rico because it was the politicians that did it to them," Inhofe said.
Puerto Rican Gov. Sila Calderon, who backed the booting of the Navy from Vieques, made no apologies for a decision that could crush the Puerto Rican economy.

"We are partners with the U.S., but definitely the rights of the people of Vieques are not for sale or for any other purpose," Calderon said.

She also refused to discuss the possibility that the base closure could become law.

"This decision is not final at this point. The bill is not approved, and our aim as the commonwealth government is to have the decision postponed for 2005, when all the bases are going to be evaluated," she said.
Sorry, punta, but it’s closing down sooner than you think. I wonder how she’ll spin the blame on the U.S.
The U.S. government may decide to hold onto the more than 8,000 acres, rather than returning it to the people of Puerto Rico.
"Those that don’t want that to happen say well, ’Let’s just give back to the Puerto Rican politicians,’ and reward them with an asset that’s worth $1.7 billion for kicking us off that range that has cost American lives. That’s just not going to happen," Inhofe said.
Inhofe for President!!
The sense on all sides is that Congress will give the green light to shut down "Rosie Roads" officially. Bush could sign the bill into law as early as next month.
If it does happen, there is definitely a God.
Posted by: TJ || 07/27/2003 5:03:10 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [608 views] Top|| File under:

#1  All that land (MOST of the island) will be turned into a National Wildlife Refuge, just like they did on neighboring Culebra when they stopped bombing there.

Bwah Ha ha ha ha ha!
Vieques Map
Posted by: Parabellum || 07/27/2003 20:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Well this just kind of sucks. Puerto Rico (the sixth NYC borough) is a great place to visit but could definitely use an economic boost. We should be building a kickass vacation destination to siphon off Cuba-bound Euros and take a larger chunk of the Carribean tourist industry. I like Inhofe's frankness, but it seems shortsighted. Also, how much of this is old-military thinking?
Posted by: Joe || 07/27/2003 22:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Joe--

That was part of the scam that Democrats were playing in Vieques. They wanted to "redevelop" the range into condo sites, etc., but the Federal gov't now tells them that it's far too dangerous because of unexploded ordinance so the area must be maintained as is--no development.

It should come as no surprise that the anti-navy folks had allegedly bought up land around or otherwise stood to gain financially if that part of Vieques did "go condo" but now it won't happen and they're stuck and their constituents are screwed!

I don't know who's telling the truth on that (or if even those charges are true) but the bottom line is the PR politicians and their mainland Democrat supporters went out on a limb and sawed it off.

You gotta love the irony of unintended consequences.
Posted by: JDB || 07/27/2003 23:41 Comments || Top||

#4  How about returning the land to Puerto Rico? And them releasing them from their commonwealth status? That'll be one less headache to worry about.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 07/28/2003 0:12 Comments || Top||

#5  B-A-R they've been repeatedly offered that yet stay suckling on the Fed teat
Posted by: Frank G || 07/28/2003 0:46 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Israel security barrier cuts off Palestinians from Jerusalem
More on the fence
JASON KEYSER, Associated Press Writer Sunday, July 27, 2003
(07-27) 11:29 PDT JERUSALEM (AP) --

Workers will soon complete a key part of Israel’s separation project from the Palestinians: two snaking barriers of electronic fences, trenches and razor coil that will cut off Jerusalem from Palestinian areas to the north and south.
Any idea why they might want to do that? something about splodeydopes going off in civilian areas?
The barrier -- which Israelis call "the fence" and Palestinians have taken to calling "the wall" -- aims to separate most of the West Bank from Israel, blocking suicide bombers who have killed Israelis by the hundreds in recent years. Yep

But the section around Jerusalem, which straddles the Israel-West Bank dividing line, is politically explosive as a physical demonstration of Israel’s annexation of what Palestinians see as their capital. And it has become a sticking point in negotiations over a U.S.-backed peace plan.
Paleos see all of Israel as their land? Any idea why everyone else should feel bad when their fantasies are broken?
President Bush suggested the barrier should come down, saying after last Friday’s talks with Palestinian Premier Mahmoud Abbas that it was difficult to build confidence "with a wall snaking through the West Bank." The barrier also is expected to come up in Tuesday’s talks between Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Washington.
Not a chance, GWB
A solution will not be easy. Israeli attitudes are hard on the issue, especially in Jerusalem, which has suffered much in the last three years of violence: 20 suicide bombings by Palestinian militants in the city have killed 103 people and injured hundreds.

"Peace is an illusion," said Israeli Avishai Gabbay, 24, standing on Ben Yehuda street, which was repeatedly battered by attackers. "You’ll be on your side, we’ll be on ours, and let’s keep it that way."
And your side will be a hellhole of whining nonproductive asshats
Palestinians, however, bristle at what they see as another Israeli attempt to control their movements and divide them from each other and their agricultural lands, places of worship and jobs.

"It feels like a prison," said 32-year-old high school teacher Nidal Dirawi on Jerusalem’s rural southern outskirts, watching dump trucks unload gravel to support the fence built in part by Palestinians who said they were desperate for work.
boo friggin hoo
Israel seized east Jerusalem -- which includes the walled Old City with its sites holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews -- from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it.

But east Jerusalem has remained the center of commercial and religious life for the roughly 2 million Palestinians of the West Bank, which surrounds the city from the north, east and south.
I thought Ramallah was their center?
The new northern section of the barrier cuts off all of Jerusalem from the West Bank administrative center, Ramallah, and the gateway to Nablus and other towns. The southern barrier separates the city from the biblical town of Bethlehem, Hebron and other areas.
So Ramallah is their center, Jerusalem is just the focus of their latest "outrage"
Together, the northern and southern barriers -- built mostly during the past six months -- are some 12 miles long; plans are not clear on how to close the gap between the two, facing the lightly populated area to the east of the city.

Israelis say separation is essential to stopping terrorism and enabling negotiations for a peace treaty after which the West Bank barrier, or parts of it, might be moved or removed.

Palestinians, however, have condemned the project as a grab of land they consider theirs. Along the stretch of barrier completed in the north of the West Bank, significant tracts of Palestinian agricultural land were seized.

The Jerusalem fences, opponents say, also mean West Bank Palestinians will be cut off from the city’s schools, hospitals and jobs -- as well as from Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque, a key Islamic holy site. The barrier also will divide the roughly 200,000 Arabs of east Jerusalem from relatives and friends in the West Bank.

Israeli roadblocks set up since fighting broke out in September 2000 already has made such access very difficult. But it was not impossible, and there was hope that one day the roadblocks might go away.
Simple answer - quit killing Jews. Cause/Effect lessons still not taking, are they?
The project also undermines the Palestinians’ efforts to develop a commercial hub in a future east Jerusalem capital, said Stephanie Koury, a legal adviser to the PLO.
A commercial hub? In a future civil-war society with as corrupt a government as there is on earth?Bwahahaha
The situation is complicated by the fact that Israel has ringed east Jerusalem with Jewish neighborhoods -- making a simple division impossible and even creating a slight Jewish majority in the occupied sector.

The project also sometimes leaves Palestinian areas caught between the fence and other travel restrictions.

The southern Jerusalem barrier, for example, veers into the West Bank to incorporate on the "Israeli" side Rachel’s Tomb, revered by religious Jews as the burial site of the biblical matriarch. The site is just south of Jerusalem, inside Bethlehem; about 400 Palestinians living near the tomb will be cut off from Bethlehem -- but aren’t expected to get Jerusalem access permits either.

The new barrier is impossible to hop over. In some places it stretches as wide as a football field, with a 10 foot high fence with electric sensors in the middle. On either side are 13 feet deep trenches and pyramid-shaped stacks of six coils of razor wire. On the Israeli side is a smoothed strip of sand to detect footprints and a paved patrol road.

Other than the Jerusalem sections, work is nearly done on a 90 mile stretch in the northern West Bank. That barrier also drives into the West Bank in some areas, separating Palestinian farmers from orchards and olive groves.

In its first phase, the fence complex alone takes up 2,850 acres of Palestinian land. Israel set aside $22.3 million to compensate Palestinians whose property has been seized, but few have taken the money, fearing it would ruin chances of ever getting the land back.

Ultimately, according to current planning, the entire West Bank barrier -- including the Jerusalem section -- will be up to 370 miles long.

Israeli officials note that there have been practically no attacks recently to originate in the Gaza Strip, which has been fenced off for years. Backers of the project hope the new barrier will do the same for the West Bank.

"We have to defend the lives of our citizens," said Avi Pazner, a spokesman for the Israeli government.

Not everyone sees the fence as a peacemaker.

On the city’s northern outskirts, the barrier reaches just a few steps from Palestinian homes, and some residents fear gunmen will take up positions in their yards to fire on Israeli army patrols, drawing return fire.

"The fence will be one of the reasons for the next war," said Sameeh Abu Ramila, who lives on the West Bank side of the barrier.
I see, and is this war on the Road Map?

Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 4:00:40 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [520 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "I see, and is this war on the Road Map?"
Sure, Frank. Just check your program... See? Right there. Comes right after the First Intermission, which is where we are now.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 22:33 Comments || Top||

Beydoun says US acted with ‘tribal mentality’
Former Lebanon Water and Energy Minister Mohammed Abdel-Hamid Beydoun called for the formation of an “effective” parliamentary opposition front Friday, accusing the Unites States of acting with a “tribal mentality” in Iraq. Speaking at his office in Tyre, Beydoun, who was dismissed from the Amal Movement’s politburo in March after a dispute with the group’s leader, Speaker Nabih Berri, said the “execution without trial” of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s sons, Odai and Qusai, “indicates that the Americans acted with a tribal mentality, and not in accordance with law and democracy.”
"Execution without trial" in a shootout, he means...
“The Americans have also executed Saddam’s grandson, aged 14, indicating that an individual is held responsible for his family’s actions and not just his own,” Beydoun added.
Suppose he coulda put the gun down and stopped shooting... Nah. That wouldn't have worked.
The Tyre MP then questioned the US forces’ “real aims” behind publishing photographs of those “executed” and publicizing them to the world through the media. He said that the Americans probably wanted to recall the images of death and executions that marked the darker episodes of Iraq’s history.
Yasss... We must examine the real motives! Things are not what they seem! There are obviously deep-laid plots, sinister conspiracies at work here...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 12:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Damned if we do, but seriousy screwed if we don't. Easy choice. Piss off little one, ye are but a gnat dreaming of being a fly, again. Small mind, small thoughts, small dreams. Think he's sucking up and posturing to get a job? Pfeh. He's much too obvious.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 13:36 Comments || Top||

#2  A wise person [alas not me] once said [paraphrased] "We could have avoided all this crap about the pictures by giving them to al Jazeerah first."
Posted by: John Anderson || 07/27/2003 14:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Somebody from that part of the world says WE act with a tribal mentality? That's rich.
Posted by: eric || 07/27/2003 14:57 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Conflict Spreads North
Liberian rebels on Sunday pushed across a key bridge north of the capital Monrovia and are "on the offensive," moving towards the capital's airport, the deputy army chief of staff told AFP. The LURD rebels "have crossed the (Stockton Creek) bridge already and they are on the offensive," General Benjamin Yeaten told AFP. "I gave instructions to my commanders on the ground and I gave them a strong warning not to allow the rebels to reach Red Light Junction," a district at the intersection with the airport road, Yeaten added. If they break through, the rebels will be able to attack the capital from the east. The rebels have been trying further south to penetrate the city center via the Johnson and Old bridges, where Yeaten said: "We are under serious attack this morning. Lots of civilians are killed for nothing. Lots of my boys are wounded; I'm trying to push these guys back." The Stockton Creek Bridge has been the focus of intense fighting for days. It is on a road that also leads west to the city's Atlantic seaport seized by the rebels on July 19.
This is the objective of the 221st Heavy Girly-Boy Division...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 12:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [325 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can we PLEASE stay away from the tarbaby? I don't care if Kofi approaches with his forehead bleeding from scraping the ground, this is a lose-lose situation.

Not that K.A. comes from such a great place - http://www.particonstitutionnel.net/p1054001.htm
Some reports say there are around 5,000 Trokosi slaves within Ghana. But local humanitarian groups say the figure could be as high as 10,000 to 12,000. Under this system, virgin girls are given to priests to appease the gods for crimes committed by relatives of the family.
Posted by: John Anderson || 07/27/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Virgins? In this life? Shhhhh, you'll tempt all the Izzoid clerics! And you know what happens if you tempt a Muslim! Not pretty.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||

Woman blows herself up at Chechen security base
A woman blew herself up at a security base in the centre of rebel Chechnya on Sunday in the latest of a string of suicide attacks by Chechen women fighters against Russian rule in the Muslim region. The woman approached guards at the base in Tsatsan-Yurt, 30 km south-east of the regional capital Grozny, which accommodates a special security unit attached to the pro-Moscow head of the Chechen regional administration, Akhmad Kadyrov. ''There was a military review of troops going on when the woman tried to enter the building,'' Shamsail Saraliyev, a public relations adviser to Kadyrov, told NTV television. ''The guards were suspicious of her. They asked her to stop and at that moment she blew herself up,'' he said. The suicide bomber was killed and a woman passerby was slightly hurt, a spokesman for Kadyrov's press service said. There were no details of the attacker's identity, although witnesses said she was around 20 years old. This is at least the fifth such attack, or attempted attack, since mid-May by Chechen women suicide bombers trying to put pressure on Moscow to pull its troops from the region.
I notice in the same period there haven't been a lot of attacks by the gents... Wonder why...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 11:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [940 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Boy these Chechinysianians wymyns are serious! Uh, no pun intended, but this thing of their femalians of child-bearing age blowing themselves into little tiny bits is what I would call a biological box canyon. On the plus side, if the Chechnyansian femalians keep this up, then we I won't have to learn how to spell it.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 11:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Chechinysianians wymyns

Soda alert!
Posted by: Steve White || 07/27/2003 15:08 Comments || Top||

#3  those chechyn women must be another breed of Islamofascist

after all, the Middle Eastern variety are so downtrodden and used to being treated second-rate that they haven't got the initiative, courage and chutzpah to go and do this type of thing very often.

Chechyns must be a cross-breed between western women's equality and islamofascism.

And what the hell are the chechyn men doing?
Posted by: Anon1 || 07/27/2003 23:29 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Palestinians cheer as Israel removes checkpoint
RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 27 — Palestinians cheered and sounded car horns in noisy celebration on Sunday as an Israeli army bulldozer tore down a key West Bank checkpoint and opened a road leading to dozens of villages.
Per the "roadmap" Israeli continues in good faith, alone... BTW, any ululating?
Palestinian traffic flowed freely through the Surda checkpoint north of the city of Ramallah for the first time since the army erected the roadblock a few months after the Palestinian uprising for independence began in September 2000.
It’s been a long time since you asshats could be trusted to walk down the street without blowing up.
One woman ululated as the bulldozer removed cement blocks in a gesture intended to show Israel’s commitment to a U.S.-backed peace "road map" backed by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen.
Ah, there it is. Of course she did.
"May God protect you, Abu Mazen. May God bring about peace," the woman, Um Ali, said as she travelled along the dusty road carrying a baby and holding her toddler’s hand.
Uh oh, a baby factory, er, I mean a good Muslim woman...
Other women and men chanted in praise of Abbas, who met U.S. President George Bush in the White House on Friday.
Mahmoud Abbas, now gaining in popularity, leads his chief rival and alter ego Abu Mazen, in the latest Pal schizophrenia polls - at least the ones that don’t get trashed cuz they don’t reflect the official Al Aqsa party line.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to meet Bush on Tuesday in Washington to discuss the peace plan.
Pssst, Sharon! The fence! Tell Dubya to piss off about the fence!
The Surda checkpoint was one of many erected across the West Bank by Israel, which says such roadblocks are needed to prevent attacks on Israelis. Palestinians say they are a collective punishment and that they fuel anger and resentment.
Think it’s anything like the pain and anguish of Israeli families who’ve had members killed by suicide bombers?
Palestinian officials estimate that 90,000 people cross the Surda checkpoint each day on their way to or from Ramallah, the Palestinians’ main commercial and political hub just north of Jerusalem. They said it had cut off about 150 villages.
90,000? The Israeli soldiers will be happier to see it go than the Pals.
Until now, people had to park their cars near the checkpoint and take a more than one kilometre (mile) detour around it to get to the other side. Some Palestinians did a busy trade ferrying people on horse-pulled carts.
Ah, Arab ingenuity at its finest.
Palestinian bulldozers tried to pull the checkpoint down before the Israeli bulldozer started work, but Israeli soldiers stopped them and took over the task as planned minutes later.
Wait for it... wait for it... Okay, go!
"I hope this is the end of one of the harsh measures taken by the Israeli authorities," said Hanna Naser, President of Bir Zeit University, which had been cut off by the roadblock.
Harsh measures... In response to, uh, bad breath? Poor manners? Slight differences between Halal and Kosher methods? Gosh, what could it have been?
One man, 41-year-old Marzouk Marzouk, said: "I doubt the sincerity of the Israelis. Now they remove the checkpoint. After two months they will put it back in place again."
Two months? You got some inside info from Hamas, Marzouk?
Ramallah governor Mustafa Liftawi urged Israel to remove 10 other checkpoints around Ramallah. Yitzhak Deri, deputy head of the nearby Israeli civilian and military liaison office, said more checkpoints would be lifted if calm prevails.
One step at a time. You guys need to learn some self control, ya know? If you don’t fuck up and accidentally strap on a suicide belt and accidentally fall onto an Israeli and accidentally blow yourself up, then we’ll talk...
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 8:51:11 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [346 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "take a more than one kilometre (mile) detour"

Uh, the two are not interchangeable...0.6 miles, perhaps, but hey, what's "the truth", when you're celebrating and demonstrating how eeeevil the Jooooows are? Excellence in "Journalism" again
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

#2  One other good use of that concrete fence - it makes a nice barrier to hide behind and pot paleos when the next war breaks out. Only problem I see is that they didn't leave enough places open to insert claymore mines, and the top isn't covered with broken glass and about a million feet of concertina wire.

One small glitch - barriers work both ways. The Jews should remember what happened in Warsaw. I'd heavily mine that sucker with HE, so they could blast some holes in it for rapid ingress of Merkavas, followed by some really TOUGH, MEAN hombres.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 07/27/2003 15:50 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Liberian President Yet Again Renews Pledge to Quit
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - President Charles Taylor urged international peacekeepers Saturday to hurry to Liberia and renewed pledges to step down when they arrive, as shelling brought new carnage to the capital’s trapped people.

Taylor’s promise - which he has reneged on before - came hours after a mortar round slammed into a church harboring thousands of refugees, killing at least three and wounding 55 others. The explosion at Monrovia’s Great Refuge Temple marked the second time in two days that deadly shells have hit public buildings crowded with refugees in this city of 1 million people.

President Bush, who has ordered U.S. troops to Liberia’s coast to support a promised West African peace force, repeatedly has demanded that former warlord Taylor cede power as part of any peace deal. ``Let nobody have any concern about, ’Will President Taylor step down?’’’ Taylor told a prayer rally in Monrovia’s leading sports stadium, packed with 30,000 refugees. ``I will step down.’’
"No, really! This time I mean it!"
In his first comments since Bush’s deployment order, Taylor said, ``The presence of peacekeepers in this country is extremely necessary to redeem us and save my hide our people. After they come, we will receive them, and I will cling to turn over my office.

``I hope they can come sooner, and not later.’’
One day after you leave. How’s that?
He also insisted Monrovia was safer with him than without him, at least until peacekeepers arrive. ``If I were not here, there would be bodies of my supporters all over the streets,’’ he said. A fresh mortar barrage followed Taylor’s speech Saturday, although most shells appeared to fall into the Atlantic.
Right about where Chuckles will end up.
At least hundreds of civilians have died in a week-old rebel assault on Monrovia, the latest round in insurgents’ two-month battle to take the city and topple Taylor, who faces U.N. war crimes charges in neighboring Sierra Leone and is blamed for 14 years of fighting in his own country. Taylor claimed Saturday that 1,000 people had been killed.

Also Saturday, Defense Minister Daniel Chea accused a smaller rebel faction of attacking government positions in southeastern Liberia. Chea said the attacks began three days ago and rebel fighters were within 30 miles of Buchanan, a city packed with refugees fleeing the rebel assault on Monrovia.

``Terrible, terrible, this war,’’ said Konah Macgee, whose uncle was killed in the barrage [on the church]. ``Our people are just dying day and night. Rockets are falling. Innocent people are dying.’’

After weeks of hoping for rescue, Monrovia’s people reacted with disbelief, even bitterness, at news that Bush ordered deployment of U.S. troops to Liberia’s coast. Bush, who has made any troop deployment contingent on Taylor stepping down, said Americans would have only a limited role in what will be a West African-led peace force. The force’s planners have yet to announce a firm deployment date. ``You see, everybody looking to George W. Bush,’’ Monrovia resident Bill Jacobs said. ``But I think it’s only God can solve our problem right now. Because we have to depend on Bush for a long time, man.’’
How ’bout you doing some of the heavy lifting yourself, Bill?
Meanwhile, spiritual and government leaders declared Saturday a day of prayerful fasting - a move bitterly resented by many ordinary people struggling to survive in the besieged, disease-ridden and hungry city. ``Everybody is already fasting, because there is no food,’’ said Boaki Kiate, who has lived for two months in the squalid sports stadium, where refugees have been sleeping on the concrete floors of old locker rooms and corridors.

Ragged refugees largely ignored the finely dressed, 5,000-strong crowd gathered in the bleachers above to hear Taylor. He apologized for the suffering of refugees at the stadium but took no responsibility for it.
"It’s not my fault! Nothing’s my fault!"
Posted by: Steve White || 07/27/2003 12:37:31 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [315 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But, this time Chuck really, really, really means it!
Posted by: Dar || 07/27/2003 0:48 Comments || Top||

#2  I mean, really...
Posted by: seafarious || 07/27/2003 2:17 Comments || Top||

#3  You'd think he was waiting for the US troops to save his ass or somethin'.....hey...wait a minute... I bet he's not telling the truth about leaving. Ya think?
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 11:02 Comments || Top||

#4  I wonder... by the time it's all said & done, which will have occured more frequently - Chuck Taylor's 'I'm stepping down' announcements or John Kerry mentioning his Vietnam credentials?
Posted by: Raj || 07/27/2003 12:03 Comments || Top||

#5  wow...Kerry was in Viet Nam?
I hadn't heard that....today

Oh wait, there he is on CNN...yep, you're right
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Abbas admits Arafat is real leader
"I'm just a figurehead. But you knew that, didn't you?"
Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas said in an interview he could not govern independently of Yasser Arafat. "He is the leader of the Palestinian people," Abbas told Newsweek. "I cannot be independent." The interview appeared as Abbas wrapped up a series of meetings with US officials in Washington on the implementation of the so-called "road map" to Mideast peace, which would found a Palestinian state by 2005. US President George W Bush gave Abbas a warm welcome, but pointedly did not invite Arafat, whom Washington sees as tainted by links to terrorism. Bush did call Israel's security fence along its West Bank border "a problem," an assessment Abbas shared. "It is an uncivilised wall," Abbas told the news weekly.
Slightly different phrasing...
Abbas also repeated his response to the Bush administration's request to dismantle Hamas and Islamic Jihad, despite the unilateral ceasefire they and other radical groups declared on June 29. "Why should we go to civil war against our own people?"
"They'd kill us all. Those people are crazy!"
Even if these groups hold to the belief that Israel has no right to exist, Abbas said that, as long as they do not engage in violence, the radicals can "keep their slogans". "I believe that if [Israel can be confined] within the 1967 borders, [Hamas] will live with it and will accept it. It's only 22 per cent of the historical Palestinian territory," he said in the issue of Newsweek that appears on news stands on Monday. "We are not going to miss this opportunity," Abbas said of the road map. "We are going to grasp this opportunity."
If so, that'll be a first. To date, the Paleos have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [365 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's only 22 per cent of the historical Palestinian territory ...

My math might be off, but pre-1967 Israel is a lot bigger than the West Bank and Gaza. Add it all up and it isn't 100% of any hysterical "historical" Palestine, unless you ... include Jordan. Hmmmm, wonder if a message is being sent?
Posted by: Steve White || 07/27/2003 0:41 Comments || Top||

#2  "Why should we go to civil war against our own people?"
Uh, because you agreed to do so when you accepted the "roadmap" to peace? DOH! Classic Arab duplicity and selectivity... Lying motherfuckers.

Public Service Information...

Here's the text of the "roadmap" to peace. For reference, here's the text of the "hudna" agreements of Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad (Al Aqsa, a renegade (???) component of Fatah, refused to sign either or write their own) that's supposed to get the roadmap off the ground and help the PA fulfill the Phase I Security requirements placed upon it.

Key Observations:
1) The borders will be established as those existing on Sept 28, 2000 - not 1967 borders. (Phase I Introduction)
2) The Phase I Security section has a number of requirements - judge for yourself how GOI (Govt of Israel) and the PA are doing, thusfar - and who's making a bona-fide effort vs lip service and obfuscation.
3) Phase I Palestinian Institution Building - other than appointing PM Abbas / Mazen / whatever, nothing in this section appears to be underway. I guess the Pals know something some of us don't seem to get: this is a joke.
4) There is no mention, zero, zip, nada, of requiring Israel to release any prisoners, much less all as demanded by the "hudna" linked above.
5) The only GOI Phase I requirement that is not being fulfilled in its entirety, thusfar, is the Settlements section.

This puppy is doomed for the usual reason which Fred points out: "To date, the Paleos have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity..."

Here's a link to a FrontPage Symposium which poses the question Roadmap To What? (well put, IMHO) which you may find of interest.
R.I.P. - Q.E.D.
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 3:12 Comments || Top||

#3  "It is an uncivilised wall," Abbas told the news weekly.

Suicide/murder bombings are even less civilized.

"Why should we go to civil war against our own people?"

In other words, "We will not live up to our end of the agreement".

"I believe that if [Israel can be confined] within the 1967 borders, [Hamas] will live with it and will accept it. It's only 22 per cent of the historical Palestinian territory," he said in the issue of Newsweek that appears on news stands on Monday.

Sorry, but it isn't Israel that needs to be "confined".
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 07/27/2003 4:17 Comments || Top||

#4  We would be much better off if we took any aid to the Paleos ($100 mil lately?) and bought more concrete for the friggin wall. Can't you hear the wails and gnashing of teeth once the Paleos are left to their own "society" without any Israelis to kill or blame for their own squalor? It'll be a giant ain-el-hilweh. The UN and NGO's will be like pigs in shit...literally
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 11:32 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Liberian Rebels Advance as Peacekeepers Awaited
Rebels edged forward against Liberian President Charles Taylor's forces, with no sign on Sunday of a quick deployment of West African or U.S. troops to halt the bloodshed. Taylor said more than 1,000 people had died in eight days of fighting that has cut in two the scarred and terrified coastal capital, Monrovia. Military sources said that rebels of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) had advanced on Saturday on a key road that bypasses Monrovia's center through populated suburbs despite promises of a unilateral cease-fire. South of Monrovia, another rebel group known as Model launched fresh attacks and residents said there was fighting about 19 miles from Liberia's second port of Buchanan. Taylor, who controls less than a third of the broken country and has been indicted by a U.N.-backed war crimes court, reiterated on Saturday his promise to step down. He said he would hand over to either his vice-president or the speaker of parliament. Taylor did not explain exactly what would influence his choice or when he would go, other than it would be once foreign troops arrived. But details still need to be completed for the deployment of West African soldiers and it is unclear if they will even come while the fighting continues.
Hard to keep the peace when the country's wracked by shootouts among rival groups of transvestites. Hard to keep a straight face, too...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 07/27/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [529 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nigeria is a key player in moves to bring peace to Liberia. Aside from its role as west Africa's big brother, Washington's other big interest in Nigeria is its huge oil reserves. Described by one oil executive this week as a US strategic target. The United States already imports 1.5 million barrels of Nigerian crude per day -- three quarters of Nigeria's OPEC export quota -- and expects to source much more of its energy in Africa in the years to come. Many analysts see Nigeria as a useful source of oil far away from the political and military uncertainties of the Middle East. http://www.smithbits.com/NEWS_REVIEW.asp?id=7732

In Africa, Shell's oil exploration and production activities on Ogoni land in Nigeria has brought to the public's attention the impact these operations have not only on the environment but also on tribal peoples' land rights. Shell is not the only oil company operating in Nigeria; British Petroleum, Chevron / Esso, Du Pont, ERAP, Texaco, and Total also have interests in Nigeria, where any exploitation is facilitated by a compliant oppressive regime. http://www.mcspotlight.org/beyond/oil.html

The US currently receives 16 percent of its imported oil from sub-Saharan Africa—more than it gets from Saudi Arabia. West Africa exported almost twice as much crude oil to the US in 2001 as it did to Europe (68.1 million tonnes to the US, 34.9 million tonnes to Europe.) According to projections by the US National Intelligence Council, the proportion of oil imported to the US from sub-Saharan Africa will reach 25 percent by 2015, exceeding that from the Persian Gulf. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug2002/oil-a20.shtml

Was BushI motivated to send troops to Somalia because of the hunger and starvation there?

Nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia's pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush Administration' decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there. http://www.ddh.nl/pipermail/wereldcrisis/2002-January/002537.html
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 0:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Fullwood--

Do you smell a conspiracy? Why not just come out and tell us what you're driving at instead of all the Chomskeyite "fill-in-the-blanks" crap?

Do us a favor: Start a business in a high crime neighborhood, pour your live savings, time, and expertise into making it a success; then keep track of the minutes it takes you to phone the police when the local yokels start tearing your investment to shreds.

Posted by: Anonymous || 07/27/2003 4:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Anon: Thank you, my sentiments exactly.

Since we were in Afghanistan for the oil, and Kuwait for the oil, and Iraq twice for the oil, and Somalia for the oil, and now Liberia for the oil, we must be awash in oil. That must be why the price has come down so dramatically.

You have to marvel at the foresight of President Polk. Long before the automobile, we were in Texas... for the oil.
Posted by: Mark IV || 07/27/2003 10:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Was BushI motivated to send troops to Somalia because of the hunger and starvation there?

I guess the implication here is that the US got into Somalia because of nebulous reasons related to oil. This is wrong on so many levels that they need to be enumerated, and questions have to be asked:

- If Somalia had exploitable oil resources, why were Somalis starving, necessitating the aid mission in the early '90's? Why is Somalia not swimming in petrodollars, now that US forces have left?
- How exactly does the US get any special benefit from having access to Somalia's notional oil, unless we annex Somalia's territory to the United States, given that we buy oil from every one of our suppliers at market rates?
- If Somalia's notional oil was so precious to American interests, why did politicians on both sides of the aisle demand a pullout of American forces from Somalia after a mere 19 KIA? After all, we took 100,000 KIA in the Korean and Vietnam wars, where nothing as important as oil was at stake.:-)
- If Somalia's notional oil was so vital, why did the Clinton administration steadily divert military resources from that theater of operations?
- In light of the fact that most host governments have opted to tear up pre-discovery oil contracts in favor of nationalization, how exactly does a notional discovery of oil by US or European oil companies in Somalia benefit the United States?
- Given that we incur all of the costs and none of the benefits, how did an intervention in Somalia make any kind of sense? I think the implication is that American policymakers are greedy and stupid.

If you want a really solid example of invading territories for oil, take a good look at China and Russia - both of them have good operating templates for this kind of thing. China invaded East Turkistan about 50 years ago. There are now a million Chinese troops on East Turkistan's territory. Oil exploration continues at a rapid pace. Nuclear, biological and chemical experiments have been conducted on East Turkistan's vast territory. China has expanded its military operations to the the South China Sea where it has invaded islands atolls owned by Vietnam and the Philippines in order to acquire their offshore oil rights. This is how land grabs to acquire oil are done right.

Russia invaded Chechnya twice. The Russian occupation forces are pumping oil from Chechnya's oil fields as fast as they can - none of the benefits of the oil accrue to Chechens, who are mired in intense poverty. Nonetheless, the Russians continue to pump men and money into keeping the legitimate government of Chechnya from taking power again. The Russians are losing casualties in the teens on a daily basis.

Invading countries to seize their oil involves killing and expelling large numbers of their natives, and replacing their numbers with settlers. Trucking in free food and other aid is not how you do it - that tends to suck in even people from neighboring countries. To call the operation in Somalia anything but a humanitarian operation is to harbor a level of hatred and anger at the US government that the country's enemies understandably harbor. What excuse does an American citizen have for this level of sentiment?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/27/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||

#5  Moonbat fever - catch it!
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 11:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Zhang Fei, If Bush really cared about the concerns of Africans, he would do well to start at home with the members of the black Caucus who he refuses to meet with, and whose members have been actively involved in the promotion of African issues even before his father snubbed them, as well, in his term.

I stand chastised that the UN was motivated to intervene in Somalia by 'humanitarian concerns'. But I refuse to believe that either Bush I or Bush II has, or had, concern for any starving African. That's not anti-American Zhang Fei, that's anti-Bush.

. . .how exactly does a discovery of oil by US or European oil companies in Somalia benefit the United States? - Given that we incur all of the costs and none of the benefits

You have stumbled into my argument here Zhang. Bush and other industry insiders don't care about the cost effectiveness or the practicality of sacrificing American lives or resources to further corporate influence in these exploitable countries. These natural resources have enriched a small minority while the vast majority have become increasingly impoverished.

Mark IV: I assume that no oil royalties have been forthcoming from any of these interventions that have been made available to you and your ilk. Suprising though, with all of the aid and comfort you provide to these corporate traitors.
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#7  Anonymous: Local Yokels?

'Trust the people'- GWBush
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#8  --These natural resources have enriched a small minority while the vast majority have become increasingly impoverished.--

Yup, the ruling class of the countries in question.

They are the ones ultimately in charge. Unless our corporate interests are holding their families hostage? Well, I guess one could say they are, if the handcuffs are covered in jewels. And they're ensconced in villas, driven in RR, etc. And don't forget the private airplanes.
Posted by: Anonymous || 07/27/2003 13:22 Comments || Top||

#9  Just to give you a flavor of the area. My pilot friend was flying DeHaviland DHC-3 twin otters for Chevron out of Khartoum in the Sudan. One chap died right in front of the hotel where my friend was staying. He lay there in the 115F heat for three days before some chaps came to pick him up and haul him away.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 07/27/2003 13:56 Comments || Top||

#10  mmmmm thanks AP
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 14:03 Comments || Top||

#11  My Ilk and I are having a hard time dividing Somalia's annual average barrels of oil pumped fairly, cause "0" keeps causing one of those Division errors in Excel.

It's always possible that there's some oil there. A thoughtful article by Bush apologist Abdulkadir Abiikar Hussein, Engineering Geologist to King Fahd, examines the matter, concluding in part "Many oil experts believe that Somalia has got a high potential, and that the country needs peace, democracy and political stability in order to attract international investment necessary for exploration and development. Once the country embarks on the mentioned course, interested oil companies will return immediately and resume exploration."

Meanwhile, back in Peshawar market:

Crazy Ali says, Help! We’re overstocked!

Previously-martyred AKMs, 9 for a goat! 20 for 2 goats!! These are the real Avtomat Kalashnikovi, not cheap Chinese copies!

See our stall (Peshawar Sporting Goods and Religious Supply) – be one of the first 10 visitors and get a FREE grenade launcher attachment!!!

“The stall with it all (insh’allah)!”
Posted by: Mark IV || 07/27/2003 14:52 Comments || Top||

#12  Ah, yass, it's all about oiiil.

"that's not anti-American, it's anti-Bush" - and there you have it.
Crazy anti-globalization protester? Extreme left-wing Democrat activist? Green party? ANSWER enthusiast? - Which are you, fullwood?

Can't you guys come up with anything else besides these tired old myths?
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 07/27/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#13  Move beyond any attachment to
Every war and every conflict between
human beings
has happened because of some
disagreement about names.
It's such an unnecessary foolishness,
because just beyond the arguing
there's a long table of companionship,
set and waiting for us to sit down.
What is praised is one, so the praise is
one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge
All religions, all this singing, one song.
The differences are just illusion and
Sunlight looks slightly different on this
wall than it does on that wall.
and a lot different on this other one,
but it is still one light.
We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light,
and when we praise,
we pour them back in.
~Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi - 13th century~
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 15:23 Comments || Top||

#14  If Bush really cared about the concerns of Africans, he would do well to start at home with the members of the black Caucus who he refuses to meet with, and whose members have been actively involved in the promotion of African issues even before his father snubbed them, as well, in his term.

So, like Jesse Jackass, who helped Clingon prop up Charles Taylor during the Clinton presidency? Like that? Don't use arguments that are self-defeating. It marks you as a loser.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 07/27/2003 15:38 Comments || Top||

#15  Ah, now I understand, Woody. Hippy-dippy retread or hippie wanna-be?
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 07/27/2003 15:56 Comments || Top||

#16  Well, Old Patriot,
How do you feel about the Bush administration's support of Nigerian's president,Olusegun Obasanjo? Behind its military rulers, five companies tower over Nigeria: British/Dutch Shell, Italian AGIP, French Elf-Aquitaine, and US giants Chevron and Mobil. They operate in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), a government-run corporation. Control of the NNPC is rumored to have made General Sani Abacha, head of the country's military junta, a billionaire and his military associates millionaires. His 'election' was plauged by charges of vote-rigging. Who do you support in Africa?
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 15:57 Comments || Top||

#17  Trying to claim the High Road, huh?

Here I am trying to reach out, understand, feel your pain - and you pull the old post some unfathomable poetry shit that has been through 20 translations but thoroughly rewritten to make it sound really really good and touchy-feely and attribute it to some ancient guy so it seems wise and beyond question routine.

Ha! I'm onto your game, phool (that's Phrench for fool). Ha!
Posted by: PD || 07/27/2003 16:01 Comments || Top||

#18  I should have said Congressional Black Caucus. Jackson is a private citizen. I won't characterize his views on Africa. I apologize.
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

#19  Sani Abacha? That late son of a bitch! I sent money to his son to recover his fortune, along with my credit info and account numbers, and does he respond? No! I responded to his emails! you'd think a simple courtesy call or sumpthin' would be in order....but, I digress
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 16:05 Comments || Top||

#20  Alright Uncle Joe, you've got me pegged. Hippie. Retread. Better?
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 16:08 Comments || Top||

#21  "You have to marvel at the foresight of President Polk. Long before the automobile, we were in Texas... for the oil."

And the Lousiana purchase; and Alaska. We're good. Darn good. But why didn't we get Canada and Mexico for their oil long ago? Or Norway? When the reasons are all oil, how could any countries with oil escape our attention? Why do we pick the hard ones far away with angry Islamists?

Face it, we intervened in Somalia from humanitarian concern and the desire to show Moslems we'd intervene to help Moslems who have nothing but dirt and khat.

Why it's easier to believe America is awful is beyond me.

As to meeting with the congressional black caucus as a direct indicator of our interest, just what did our prior president do that was so great for Africa? (sheesh, i'd have settled for him doing something good for America--but he never did meet with congressional american caucus so maybe there is a link)

Posted by: BJD (The Dignified Rant) || 07/27/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||

#22  ~When the reasons are all oil, how could any countries with oil escape our attention? Why do we pick the hard ones far away with angry Islamists?~

The importance of Africa's oilfields has increased in recent years for a number of reasons:

* The increasing volatility of the Middle East.

* The large amounts of oil discovered in the region.

* The development of technology allowing the extraction of oil from fields as deep as 8,000 feet.

* The scarcity of big new oil prospects elsewhere.

The region is also attractive to US companies because it is geographically closer than the Middle East. The region’s crude oil production exceeded four million barrels a day in 2000—more than Iran, Venezuela, or Mexico. The US currently receives 16 percent of its imported oil from sub-Saharan Africa—more than it gets from Saudi Arabia. West Africa exported almost twice as much crude oil to the US in 2001 as it did to Europe (68.1 million tonnes to the US, 34.9 million tonnes to Europe.)
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 16:50 Comments || Top||

#23  Fullwood--

Stop smoking pot.
Posted by: JDB || 07/27/2003 17:09 Comments || Top||

#24  JDB, we must have met before.
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

#25  Fullwood: Did you read the papers before we went into Somalia? It was a bloody year of every NGO, the EU, and the UN screaming at us to intervene before we went in. Were they part of the conspiracy, too? This is a documentable part of the historical record. Or was it all part of some world-wide deception plan?

Your logic isn't consistent. Why even bother with Africa when we could just take over Venezuela or Mexico? Why not Norway? We get a lot of oil from them and we'd take a lot fewer casualties. Hell, they barely fought the Nazis.
Posted by: 11A5S || 07/27/2003 17:38 Comments || Top||

#26  "... increasing volatility of the Middle East..."


Yep, Africa's the place, for stability.

Do they have newspapers wherever you soph your mores?

Is extracting from 8000 ft. down "geographically closer"? (Not like Alaska closer, but, y'know,closer).

As Anon pointed out first time around, you have yet to spell out your point (unless Frank G has grocked it). This allows you to play the old "I didn't say that -you're putting words in my mouth" game until your local Starbucks closes for the night.

Put some words in your mouth.

Consider that the world's poor OUGHT to be fortunate that they are sitting on rotting Jurassic fauna they that wouldn't have had a use for, if they had a clue that it was there in the first place, if their corrupt warlords and backwards worldview hadn't shafted them royally (to make the unintentional pun). You're friggin' welcome.

By the time it's gone, we'll have moved on to another fuel source. They will get the benefits of western technology for free, again, if their feudal society lets it trickle down, except they won't have made or banked enough capital to buy the consumer goods that take advantage of it, so they'll whine and bitch and blow up some more stuff.

Oil, hydrogen, radioactive isotopes, solar, whatever. When will you realize that it's "all about decomposition (TM)"?
Posted by: Mark IV || 07/27/2003 17:53 Comments || Top||

#27  Four American oil giants had negotiated oil concessions with the previous government in Somalia, effectively dividing up more than two-thirds of the land area of Somalia into four giant oil concessions. Geologists had told the oil companies that a subterranean structure, from which oil was already being extracted in Yemen, extended in a sweeping arc beneath the Gulf of Aden and much of the Somali desert.

But in order to gain access to those oil deposits, the four companies, Chevron, Amoco, Conoco and Phillips Petroleum needed a stable government in Somalia that would honor the agreements they had negotiated with a previous regime

From the late 1970s until just before Siad Barre's overthrow in early 1991, the U.S. sent hundreds of millions of dollars of arms to Somalia in return for the use of military facilities which had been originally constructed for the Soviets. These bases were to be used to support American military intervention in the Middle East.
Had the U.S. government not supported the Barre regime with large amounts of military aid, he would have been forced to step down long before his misrule splintered the country.

Barre severely weakened traditional structures in Somali society which had kept civil order for many years. To help maintain his grip on power, Barre played different Somali clans against each other, which in turn contributed to mass starvation and spurred the humanitarian intervention by the UN in 1992.

As the United States poured in more than $50 million of arms annually to prop up the Barre regime, there was virtually no assistance offered that would have helped build a self-sustaining economy which could feed Somalia's people. In addition, the United States pushed a structural adjustment program through the International Monetary Fund which severely weakened the local agricultural economy. Combined with the breakdown of the central government, drought conditions and rival militias disrupting food supplies, there was famine on a massive scale, resulting in the deaths of more than 300,000 Somalis, mostly children.

Was'nt the intervention viewed by conservatives as an ill-advised assertion of well-meaning liberal internationalism?

What was Bush doing there?

Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 18:08 Comments || Top||

#28  The Congressional Black Caucus has NEVER done anything to promote the security of the United States. They are a racial-victimization racket pimping their "constituents" votes for power within the Dem Party. Explain why we should care about what they propose. They throw their own "constituents" to the mercy of inefficient and overpaid educational labor unions for a place at the table. When you take moral direction from Maxine Waters you've lost any cred with me Mr. Fullwood
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 18:28 Comments || Top||

#29  I'll say this for MarkIV. You're clever and you've got a sharp tounge.

I don't think we get a fair benefit from the $400 billion+ we spend a year on defense. It's more than the next 25 nations combined.

There are needs here at home that could use some attention. Surely there is some need outside of defense and global militarism that you could support spending our tax money for here at home.

There are of course legitimate interventions, and we have UN and NATO involvments that I suppose have merit.

But,I would argue that the priorities for our military are set by standards that overwhelm such lofty aspirations as elimination of despots and the like.

Corporate interests that go beyond oil. Cozy relationships between the administration and military leadership and Lockheed, for example.

But, I suppose I should feel lucky to be a contributor in all of that. But, I really don't.
Posted by: fullwood || 07/27/2003 18:40 Comments || Top||

#30  Fullwood >>

NEWSFLASH!!!>> That's what big oil companies do. Get oil contracts from countries that have oil. The more desperate the country the better deal they'll get. (Capitalism isn't always pretty, but it's a fact of life.)

Also, that's what the US, Russia, and any other world power does to spread their influence. Give arms and/or protection in exchange for use of military bases, airspace, etc. Then again you already pointed that out since the bases were built for the Soviets. I guess it was in exchange for farm tractors. Kuwait, Saudi, Germany, Turkey, England, Belgium, Holland, Japan, Korea, and Iceland also spring to mind just to name a few. Besides, we all know the military protection for ice cubes deal we got with Iceland going on. "Keeping America's beverages cold since 1945." (Shhh...keep that between you and me.)

I also know from a good source that our "Heroic Dear Leader" President Hillary Bill Clinton and his sideshow wife would have won their little known "Hidden War" trying desperately to dismantle all of this oil/big business corruption going on that the Republicans created. They would've done it too if it weren't for that fat intern, his weakness for cigars and her sudden windfall playing the stock market. (See, even good honest people get side tracked sometimes.)

Besides, They only had 8 YEARS to do it in! Sheesh!

Oh, if you want me to cry a river for the kids in Somalia, you'll have to wait. You see, I'm still not done crying for the children of Rwanda. You seem to have forgotten that in your "Dear Leader's" internship as President he failed to act, costing millions of lives. (Honorable mention to the Congo too, as that conflict has been going on for over five years.) Bill would've gotten to it if it weren't for for those damn cigars, I'm sure.

I mean hell, I thought he was suppose to be the blackest white guy in America and he couldn't even help a brother out? Hmmm......

Lastly, we give money to hundreds of countries around the world. Does that mean we are now responsible for all of the bad things that they do?

If so, please give me some of what you're smoking, it must be good stuff. (Note: to Rantburg residents: Don't worry...I don't inhale.)
Posted by: Paul || 07/27/2003 19:16 Comments || Top||

#31  Fullwood,

I don't support ANYONE in Africa. The entire area is a disaster, looking for a place to happen. The big problem is the behavior of colonial powers in Africa since the early 18th century, and the lack of progress toward ending the root causes of the continued bloodshed in Africa: tribalism, cronyism, and greed.

If the British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese had invested as much into infrastructure - roads, schools, etc. - as they did in exploiting the readily-available riches of the area, there would be no problems in Africa today. Instead, a lot of people, thinking they knew better than anybody else, imposed boundaries, institutions, and faiths upon these people, but failed to prepare them for independence. That failure haunts the world today. The disease of Africa isn't the result of actions of the United States, but of the centuries of benign neglect and rampant looting by Colonial Europe.

It ain't our fight, it ain't worth doing, and it's impossible to impose a solution. Africa's going to have to work this out for itself. It'll result in a lot of bloodshed, but that's the only way a REAL solution can come about.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 07/27/2003 19:23 Comments || Top||

#32  Paul, I inhale, and I still don't grasp what plane of reality some of these people operate at. There are clear causes that would justify intervention, and what's so beautiful about the hypocrisy is that the "crowd" badgering Bush to get our troops killed in Liberia were all against us defending ourselves in Afghanistan and doing the hard pre-emption work now in Iraq. How many did we save? I don't know, but it's multiples of those dead in Liberia. Where was the CBC in pushing WJC in Rwanda? no votes there huh? Congo? Too tough? . STFU Maxine, Elihu, et al
Posted by: Frank G || 07/27/2003 19:38 Comments || Top||

#33  Old Patriot,

That infamous right-wing apologist for America*, Ousmane Sembene, points that out in his novel and film XALA: THE CURSE OF IMPOTENCE.

Since he's an old-line, non-PC, Marxist, he's unafraid to point out that the first colonial oppressors of West Africa were the Saharan Muslims, cf. his movie CEDDO. 1976

*sarcasm alert, Sembene's a Marxist
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 07/27/2003 20:31 Comments || Top||

#34  Wasn't Carol Moseley Braun a member of the Congressional Black Caucus?

Wasn't she a friend of Abacha?

--Cozy relationships between the administration and military leadership and Lockheed, for example.--

Don't forget Loral. Our children will be cleaning up that mess, too.
Posted by: Anonymous || 07/27/2003 20:49 Comments || Top||

#35  NEWSFLASH, Fullwood: Liberians are BEGGING the US to go in, and the US does not particularly want to.

So go, sit on that US beach and with your tweezers pick out every black grain, and put it in a jar, and tour the world's blogs telling everyone how the US beach is a black, ugly beach whose foreign policy decisions are ALL about oil .

You and your ilk like to condemn the US every time you see them getting involved in a foreign conflict either for
a) self interest (which is expected of every nation state on the international stage)
b) humanitarian reasons (you both don't believe it, bleat that it's all about OIL or MULTINATIONAL CAPITALISM or else say 'who do they think they are? The global cop?'
c) for NOT intervening in cases YOU think they should (eg: Rwanda. The logic goes: how dare they interfere in LIberia when they could have stopped that massacre in Rwanda and didn't. It's obviously only about the OIL)

So whether the US ever intervenes internationally or not, whether it does so (quite rightly) in it's own national interest (be that oil or security or anything else) or because it is begged to by the UN or the country in question - whatever it does, YOU will always condemn it.

And that is why I throw out all your arguments, all your sophistry, all your selective quoting of facts that you link together to imply causality when in fact NO causal relationship has ever been proved.

Your line of argument is a seductive fraud that has sucked in the majority of unthinking young people in western society, and is weakening our world.

Your line of argument is directly helping our enemies who with their absolutism and religious fanatacism know no such doubts or self-questioning or self-criticism.

Why not have a go at criticising some of the OBVIOUS and non-American targets of international injustice for a change? Of course, you won't get the social credibility then. Your friends, university lecturers, drinking buddies - they won't be impressed. They won't have heard of the places and people you describe and the massacres and human rights abuses will seem remote and irrelevant to them, compared to Shell's ABUSE of the Ogoni or whatever terrible Capitalist Crime is taking place . There won't be any social reward for you except to know that you've made an attempt to put international relations into perspective and balance, by reading about the faults of countries that are NOT america, and caused by non-western cultures and NOT global capitalism.

If you are at all interested in truth and balance, that is...

which I doubt...

because there are too many rewards for spouting marginally-informed, out-of-perspective crap.
Posted by: Anon1 || 07/27/2003 23:23 Comments || Top||

#36  There are too many rewards for spouting marginally-informed, out-of-perspective crap.

I throw out all your arguments, all your sophistry, all your selective quoting of facts that you link together to imply causality when in fact NO causal relationship has ever been proved. Your line of argument is a seductive fraud that has sucked in the majority of unthinking young people in western society, and is weakening our world. Your line of argument is directly helping our enemies who with their absolutism and religious fanatacism know no such doubts or self-questioning or self-criticism.

It's amazing. I have learned nothing from these exchanges about issues in Africa. I have however learned a great deal about the responders.

You are an intellegent bunch. The insults are a bit much. But you listened. And, I thank you all for that.


Posted by: fullwood || 07/28/2003 11:32 Comments || Top||

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Sun 2003-07-27
  Woman blows herself up at Chechen security base
Sat 2003-07-26
  Casablanca Trial of 35 Extremists Starts
Fri 2003-07-25
  Fazl sez Mujahideen should cease operations
Thu 2003-07-24
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Wed 2003-07-23
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Tue 2003-07-22
  Uday & Qusay: Doorknob dead!
Mon 2003-07-21
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Sun 2003-07-20
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  Liberia rebels take key bridge
Fri 2003-07-18
  Al-Aqsa Brigades demand Yasser dissolve Abbas gov't
Thu 2003-07-17
  North, South Korea Soldiers Exchange Fire
Wed 2003-07-16
  Abdullah Shreidi decomposing in Ein el-Hellhole
Tue 2003-07-15
  Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Claims Attack on Nightclub
Mon 2003-07-14
  Paleos threaten violence if disarmed. Huh?
Sun 2003-07-13
  Chechen boom mastermind no longer ticklish

Better than the average link...

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
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