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Another Hamas big toes up
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Idiot Busted 42mins after release
From the repeat offender file:
Vothy Chhay was a free man — for 42 minutes. Released from the Clark County Jail at 7.25am on Wednesday, he was booked back in by 8.07am for investigation of car prowling — the same charge on which he was previously jailed.
If at first you don’t succeed.......
Sheriff’s deputy Tim Gosch was called outside the county courthouse around 8am after a Juvenile Court worker saw a man try to open the door of her white 2003 Lexus and asked what he was doing. "Chhay responded by telling her she had a nice car and he would give her 30 large" ($30,000) "along with something on the side," Gosch wrote in his arrest report.
Chhay has been watching too many old gangster movies.
The woman replied that her car wasn’t for sale. Gosch found Chhay, 19, nearby and arrested him. He had just been released pending trial in another car-prowling case.
I’m sure the judge will be happy to see him again.
Chhay has been convicted of possessing stolen property, forgery, violating a protection order, second-degree theft, permitting a minor to consume liquor, unlawful possession of a firearm and a drug offense, Superior Court records show.
Memo to Vothy Chhay, find a new line of work. This one doesn’t seem to be working.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 3:54:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sheriff’s deputy Tim Gosch was called outside the county courthouse around 8am after a Juvenile Court worker saw a man try to open the door of her white 2003 Lexus and asked what he was doing.

We should have a law that " puts down " stupid people.
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:09 Comments || Top||

Freedom Fighter Attacks Hard-Core Cop Tactics in London
He wears a baby-blue spandex jumpsuit and shiny gold panties, gloves, cape, boots and goggles. He wields a giant, metal-cutting circular power saw.
In a combined tribute to Liberace and Bob Villa.
Who is Angle Grinder Man?
(Does he have a sponser?)
He is Britain’s self-styled "first wheel-clamp and speed camera vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist entertainer type person." That’s who. For those not familiar with industrial machine tools, an angle grinder is the saw best suited to cutting through plates of steel, such as, say, the wheel clamps that authorities use to immobilize illegally parked cars in London. And Angle Grinder Man offers his "free clamp-removal service" to "all good, decent law-unabiding people" who would rather fight back than pay to have their cars released.
He must use a cordless to enhase his mobility. Say, is that a battery pack in your spandex jumpsuit or are you just excited about fighting injustice?
All a clamped motorist has to do is call AGM’s hotline and out comes the roadside rescue superhero to saw through the brace and release the car.
Beware the undercover evil Sherrif of Nottingham, do not seek to participate in the fabrication contest sponsored by Home Depot. It’s a trap.
British newspapers love him. Taxi drivers are talking about him. And apparently he is for real. His Web Site shows him, sparks a-flying, carrying out an act of apparent criminal damage on a clamp to "liberate" a red saloon car on a London street. He advertises his hotline at his Web Site, anglegrinderman.co.uk. Since the press latched on to him, his voicemail box has been full.
I believe he met his sidekick, Medium-sized Mel, who wears a bowling shirt and full cowl on a high-rise worksite. Mel is an acetylene torch specialist. The Medium-sized one impressed Angle Grinder Man with his superior rivit gun operation skills. Story is that he knocked the Grinder off an I-beam from 4 stories. Luckily, there was a safety net. Mel and the Grind have been friends ever since.
His tips: "You will need a petrol-driven, 5,000 revolutions-per-minute angle grinder and a 300mm diameter metal cutting disc. It is dangerous to use a diamond-tipped or similar slotted cutting disc on metal. Always use a solid one."
(Insert plug for a yet undetermined brand. Super Hose recommends Metabo that I am sure that the True German Ally will recommend as Well.)
Also: better to saw off clamps attached by private contractors than those placed by actual police, who can arrest you. Angle Grinder Man says his actions are a political protest against "the arrogant contempt that politicians hold for the people who put them in power." But police say it is no joke. Even private clamp owners can press charges. "What might seem a light-hearted gesture to some would be considered criminal damage to others," a spokesman for Scotland Yard said. "Any act of deliberate vandalism would be acted on by the police."
Note: Angle Grinder Man and Medium-sized Mel are looking for an overweight clergyman of any denomination that has access to a set of lock-pick tools. The also could use someone who is a talented lyricist, has libertarian political leanings and can play the banjo.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 9:57:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Angle Grinder Man has a website with pictures, even an action picture. Check it out here.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Thank you Alaska Paul. I like the testimonials the best.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 12:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Also: better to saw off clamps attached by private contractors than those placed by actual police, who can arrest you.

Private companies can boot a person's car in the UK?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 13:23 Comments || Top||

#4  And coming soon to a neighborhood near you-Beeb Buster!Driving a grey minivan filled with home-made jamming equipment,Beeb Buster follows BBC mobile detection units and prevents them from finding unlicensed users.

Beware Angle Grinder Man.You are making powerful enemies.By being available 24 hours a day you are violating labor regulations proposed by the EU.By using "petrol-driven" grinders you are violating the Kyoto Treaty and earning the wrath of Greens everywhere.By acting alone you are acting unilaterally,drawing down upon youself the ire of the United Nations.
Posted by: Stephen || 09/18/2003 17:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Just typical. Private companies to boot, but try to get rid of mice and one must call the crown, according to Peter Briffa.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/18/2003 21:57 Comments || Top||

#6  Looks like his ass is on fire,AP.
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 8:46 Comments || Top||

World's oldest genitals discovered in Scotland
Scientists scouring ancient rocks in Scotland have discovered fossils of the world's oldest genitals belonging to 400-million-year-old insects.
Ummm... Fascinating.
Jason Dunlop says the fossils of the ancient harvestmen insect, commonly known as a daddy-long-legs, show its penis was two-thirds the length of its body and remarkably similar to the modern-day species. Mr Dunlop says his team of researchers from Humbolt University in Berlin has also uncovered a long egg-laying organ called an ovipositor from a female. He says as well as the genitals, the fossils have the oldest known arachnid respiratory system, suggesting the insects' ancestors had long since crawled out of the sea and learned to breathe. The previous oldest penis, dating back 100-million years, had belonged to an ostracod, an early crustacean related to crabs, shrimps and water fleas.
"And what do you do for relaxation, doctor?"
"I collect fossilized genitalia."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The guy could work for Ghostbusters. Maybe he's Egon's cousin.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 0:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Hope he washes his hands before sneaking a candy bar.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 5:50 Comments || Top||

#3  At first I thought this story was about Helen "The Harridan" Thomas.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 09/18/2003 8:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Actually, when I first read it, I thought it might be about a gal I once met in Okinawa...
Posted by: Fred || 09/18/2003 8:54 Comments || Top||

#5  I saw this headline yesterday and decided to pass. Hurricane jitters getting to you, Fred?
Posted by: Tom || 09/18/2003 11:04 Comments || Top||

#6  There's one big walking, talking genital in a compound in Ramallah someplace.....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 15:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Yeah, me too, but not by choice.......
Posted by: Grampa || 09/18/2003 16:01 Comments || Top||

#8  " Hey, Ralphy, c'mere and look at my fossilzed balls I bought on E-bay. "
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:15 Comments || Top||

#9  4 years of college, 2 for the masters, 2 for the doctorate. Bucks deluxe for college loans.
But something like this makes it all worth it!
Posted by: tu3031 || 09/18/2003 18:24 Comments || Top||

U.S. Says Aircraft Kill 11 Afghan Taliban
The U.S. military said on Thursday U.S.-led forces had killed 11 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in the past three days, while local officials said a group of rebels was surrounded by troops. U.S. military spokesman Major Ralph Marino told a news briefing that warplanes killed 11 Taliban fighters in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Zabul in the past 72 hours. "There were no reported coalition casualties or damage to equipment," he said. "Operation Mountain Viper" was launched in August in response to the presence of hundreds of Taliban guerrillas and their allies in Uruzgan and Zabul provinces, and over 100 rebels have been killed, mainly by air attacks by jets and helicopters.
The hunting has been good.
Khalid Pashtun, an official in Kandahar, also said three guerrillas were killed and two injured commanders arrested on Wednesday in fighting in Shahwali Kot district, 47 miles north of the provincial capital. "We have arrested two injured Taliban commanders — Mullah Abdullah and Mullah Baz Mohammad," Pashtun told Reuters, but it was not clear whether those killed in the clash were among the 11 deaths reported by the U.S. military.
Hope the injuries are painful.
In a separate incident, Afghan forces surrounded a group of Taliban fighters in a religious school in the Waza district of Paktika province after a brief overnight exchange of fire, the province’s police chief Dawlat Khan said. Khan told Reuters that locals had appealed to provincial forces not to harm the group, which was being led by Abdul Basir, a top official of the ousted radical movement. He said the troops were awaiting orders from the central government.
Put a tight cordon around the place and wait them out.
I'd say pulverize the school and the Bad Guys with it. Let them off and they'll be fighting them again next week.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 9:12:29 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  gotta think an injury/wound in that region is almost a sure fatality for the Talibs...good
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 12:05 Comments || Top||

#2  option 1:surrender
option 2:die
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 9:04 Comments || Top||

Yemen Extradites 8 Terror Suspects
Yemen extradited to the Kingdom yesterday eight Saudi nationals wanted by Riyadh on criminal and terrorism charges, Yemeni security sources said. The sources told Arab News that envoys from the Saudi Interior Ministry flew to Sanaa to bring back the fugitives who had fled to Yemen at different times this year. Among the eight handed over was Bandar ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Ghamdi, who is believed to be a member of a group that planned terror acts in Riyadh. Al-Ghamdi is reportedly among a group of 19 wanted militants listed in a Saudi warrant issued a week before the May 12 suicide bombings in Riyadh which killed 35 people.
The Al-Ghamdi family name keeps turning up, doesn’t it?
He was sent back to Riyadh along with his wife, Nawal Abdullah, and a newly born daughter, Yemeni Interior Ministry officials said.
How sweet.
The officials did not provide more information about the identities of the other seven suspects or the charges against them. Also handed over were the bodies of two Saudi fugitives killed in Yemen, the officials said, adding that one of them was shot dead by his brother, who was accompanying on his escape to Yemen. The murderer was among those extradited, said the Yemeni officials, giving no details about the other body.
Humm, didn’t like his brother or didn’t want him talking?
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 3:27:50 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Out of the pan and into the fire?
Posted by: Tom || 09/18/2003 15:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Tom -- Do you mean "Out of the frying pan and into the prison fire?"
Posted by: Tibor || 09/18/2003 16:41 Comments || Top||

Saudis shopping for a nuke?
Hat tip: Damian Penny, the pride of Corner Brook, Nfld. EFL
Recent developments in West Asia have led Saudi Arabia to embark on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, says The Guardian.
"Recent" is apparently at least a year old...
According to the British newspaper, ’this new threat of proliferation in one of the most dangerous regions of the world comes on top of a crisis over Iran’s alleged nuclear programme. A strategy paper being considered at the highest levels in Riyadh sets out three options: To acquire a nuclear capability as a deterrent; to maintain or enter into an alliance with an existing nuclear power that would offer protection, or to try to reach a regional agreement on having a nuclear-free Middle East.’ Until now, the newspaper said, ’the assumption in Washington was that Saudi Arabia was content to remain under the US nuclear umbrella. But the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US has steadily worsened since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington:
I wonder why.
15 of the 19 attackers were Saudi.’
Oh, that’s why.
While it is not known whether any decision has been taken on any of the three options, ’the fact that it is prepared to contemplate the nuclear option is a worrying development,’ The Guardian said. Quoting UN and nuclear weapons analysts, the newspaper said the Saudi review reflected profound insecurities ’generated by the volatility in the Middle East, Riyadh’s estrangement with Washington and the weakening of its reliance on the US nuclear umbrella.’Saudi Arabia is concerned over an Iranain nuclear weapons programme and the complete lack of international pressure on Israel, said to have 200 nuclear devices. It is also worried about a string of apparent leaks in American papers from the US administration critical of Saudi Arabia, said the daily.
To quote Ronald Reagan, "Facts are stubborn things."
It quoted David Albright, director of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington thinktank, as saying he doubted whether the Saudis would try to build a nuclear bomb, seeing as they don’t have the smarts to do it, preferring instead to try to buy a nuclear warhead. They would be the first of the world’s eight or nine nuclear powers to have bought rather than built the bomb. Four years ago, Saudi Arabia sent a defence team to Pakistan to tour its secret nuclear facilities and to be briefed by Abdul Qader Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb. A UN official said: "There’s obviously a lot of restlessness in the Middle East. Regional insecurity tends to produce a quest for a nuclear umbrella. The Saudis have the money and could provide it to Pakistan."
Unstated minor premise: the Pakistanis have the bomb and could provide it to the Saudis.
However, Albright said he doubted whether anyone would sell.
I don't...
Wish I had his confidence in the basic goodness of mankind. If this is even possibly true, it’s yet another argument for regime change in Riyadh.

I think it's entirely likely it's true. A year ago, I didn't think it would happen — for practical reasons:
The Saudi military isn't very large — there aren't enough Saudis to sustain a large force; the population is about 22.7 million, and of these 5.3 million are "expats." That makes it rather smaller than Iraq, which has almost the same population but without the foreign labor. Total military manpower is about 162,000, which includes 105,500 regulars. Despite being one of the world's largest weapons importers, they have not historically been military adventurers. It's easier, more efficient, and in the long run cheaper to work behind the scenes and through proxies. That's what leads me to believe they'll prefer to contract out any nuclear adventurism, and have someone else take the hit.
Even though the Soddies have begun making what appear to be some serious efforts to get their domestic terrorism problem under control, the U.S. has ceased buying their polite fictions. There have been too many of them, and they've been too easily disproven. Another incident or two and they could find themselves openly on the poop list.

But I still think that for practical reasons they won't openly maintain their own nuclear force. Instead, I think they'll lease Pakistan, which has a dog-like devotion to the Soddy kingdom and to all things Arab. Official Pakistan wants to be the Arabs' good friend, selling them missiles. They're also training the Soddy army, despite the fact that they've never won a war. Qazi wants an Axis of Islam, starring Soddy money and Pak muscle, co-starring Iran, Malaysia and Indonesia, and they've made a step in that direction with the Supreme Council of Global Jihad, though that's admittedly an unofficial body. The Pak-Soddy alliance is one that will continue to strengthen, especially behind the scenes — the old secret protocols trick. And Pakland will be Soddy Arabia's nuclear guarantor.
Posted by: Mike || 09/18/2003 8:27:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6483 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is Jimmy Carter busy? Can we get him over there on the double to make things better?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 8:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Send Madeline over there in a Burka. That will scare the Saudis into rethinking the whole nuke idea. Heh heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 9:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Heh... send Madeline over there without her Burka. After they gouge their eyes out, we can take over...
Posted by: snellenr || 09/18/2003 10:00 Comments || Top||

#4  If they want a nuke, we should give them a nuke. Let's just drop a small one in their desert where the Iranians can see the mushroom cloud too. Might give them all pause to reflect on how many we have.
Posted by: Tom || 09/18/2003 11:11 Comments || Top||

#5  I like your idea, Tom...a used nuke!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 11:51 Comments || Top||

#6  Time to stop pussy-footing with the Saudi's. The US should have a two pronged attack (1) promote the independence of the Shia dominated oil regions just south of Kuwait. (2) promote vegetable oil usage for diesel engines in the US with tax incentives, etc to promote the distribution of vegetable oil at existing gas station infrastructure and to increase the number of people buying diesels, and to get the car manufacturs to use diesel engines over petrol engines. Combine that with tax incentives and laws the promote two-way power meters and inexpensive roof solar tiles.

The combination of the two could have the US free of foreign oil supplies within 5 years and the technology is there, its just a matter of having the willpower to screw the Saudi's and our own oil industry friends.

The vegetable oil has the advantage of smelling like French Fries instead of nasty diesel fumes and its a source the US can depend upon as long as Fast Food is super popular here.
Posted by: Yank || 09/18/2003 12:18 Comments || Top||

#7  They will have the bomb, I figure it will come from France. The pressure is on in the happy kingdom. Yank, I agree, I love a powerful V8 but I did once own a Mercedes 220D (Beirut taxi/car bomb) and it was a very reliable car with poor passing power but it could cruise effortlessly. New deisels are now able to excellerate. "Let's drill"
Posted by: Lucky || 09/18/2003 12:41 Comments || Top||

#8  The one thing that I have been griping about to congressmen and women since the 70's is the development of a national energy policy with milestones for achievable goals to get off the ME oil tit. Both parties have pissed away 30 years of good development time. We have the smarts. We have the technology or we could develop it. We as a nation have not had the national will to do this.

The people have to lead. The politicians have been s--king status quo d--k at our expense for too long.

Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 14:32 Comments || Top||

#9  Agree 100%, Paul. We would have a hotel on Titan by now if fear-mongering luddites hadn't been calling the shots for 30 years.
Posted by: atomic conspiracy || 09/18/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#10  Saudi Arabia is concerned over an Iranain nuclear weapons programme and the complete lack of international pressure on Israel, said to have 200 nuclear devices.

Israel is NOT a Saddam Hussein-esque dictatorship, and the Saudis have no real reason to fear nuclear attack, unless of course Saudi operatives are incubating some other more sinister plans for the future...
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 16:34 Comments || Top||

#11  .. in which case it's probably already too late for them to do anything about it.
Posted by: Dishman || 09/18/2003 21:54 Comments || Top||

#12  well, i still like ethanol for cars since it can already be used (is used in racing vehicles, just need to modify the engine to not have parts made of materials that corrode in ethanol) and it is a liquid so it can be used in the existing tanker-transport-petrol bowser system.

Get the cars off the Soddie's black pus first, that will put the fear of allah into them!

I know people don't like that idea because they want cars that go faster for less, and ethanol fuel is more expensive, but i think it is worth it for the satisfaction of weaning us off the saudi teat.
Posted by: Anon1 || 09/19/2003 3:14 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Two arrested over airport computer theft
Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers have arrested two men over the theft of two computers from a secure area at Sydney airport last month. Customs Minister Chris Ellison launched an independent review of security at the airport customs office after the computer mainframes were stolen. Senator Ellison has now revealed the AFP has arrested and charged two men over the theft. They were taken into custody last night. Senator Ellison says he has been assured by the AFP the theft was not an attack on national security. Police will allege the computers were sold for profit before being recovered by authorities. Two men will face court next month.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Boys, you need to stick with rifling the luggage. Lifting a couple of mainframe terminals from a system that services highly classified info, is not very smart. Not as dumb as backpacking in jungle frequented by communist revolutionaries, but still not very smart.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 5:38 Comments || Top||

French Aide Warns Militant Mosques and Radical Muslims
France’s law-and-order interior minister threatened today to close any mosque in France that is considered extremist and expel any Muslim prayer leader who preaches a radical message.
In an interview in the daily Le Figaro, the minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, also pledged to deny visas to Muslim participants in conferences who do not respect the values of the French state.
"The Muslims are not above the law, but they are not below the law either," Mr. Sarkozy was quoted as saying. "Because I have reached out my hand, I can be very firm against all fundamentalist movements."
Better check that hand and see if all the fingers are still there.
More than any other official in France’s center-right government, Mr. Sarkozy has sought to set strict limits on the behavior of the country’s growing Muslim community. He is determined to create an "official Islam for France" that will take France’s second-largest religion out of the "cellars and garages" and demonstrate that most Muslims are mainstream, law-abiding citizens. In April he was booed and whistled at when he said at the annual conference of one of France’s most important Muslim groups that Muslim women would have to go bareheaded when posing for pictures for their identity cards.
In the interview, Mr. Sarkozy declared: "No one should expect any weakness from me. Mosques where extremist Islam is preached will be closed. Imams who give radical sermons will be expelled. And conference-goers who don’t show proof of respect for republican rules will find themselves systematically denied visas to enter France."
"Unless, of course, they are here to purchase French aircraft. Or missles, reactors, wine, chemicals, did I mention the wine? Or if you have any oil, I’m sure we can talk about it.
He added, "There are five million Muslims in France. Whether that makes people happy or not, it’s still a reality."
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 3:09:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, he talked the talk, but does he have the muscle to walk the walk? And will he get support from the government to back him up?

And why does Msr. Sarkozy and the govt. have to creat an Official Islam for France™? Can't the Muslims get themselves out of the cellars and garages? At least we can see the govt feeling the heat. However, the clock is running.....toward Frogistan.......
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 15:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Glad to hear a Frenchman willing to speak harshly to extremists. Hope he walks the walk and survives doing it.
Posted by: Tom || 09/18/2003 16:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Interesting.Is France trying to establish a Western Islam that could then be exported elsewhere?

He can walk the walk as long as the unions don't try to use this as wedge to bust govt.
Posted by: Stephen || 09/18/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Don't expect an exodus of millions just yet...
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

Chirac: Transfer should take months, not years
Edited for brevity.
French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday he would like to see a transfer of power in Iraq in a matter of "months," as he and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder renewed their push for a quick return to sovereignty. Chirac, speaking to reporters after talks with Schroeder, said France wants a quick transfer of power to Iraqis. "When I say as quickly as possible, I of course mean months, not years," he said. Chirac’s remarks about "months" did not in any way indicate a change of position, said a French presidential spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.

France has demanded a quick timetable on transfering power as a condition for accepting a U.S.-proposed resolution on Iraq at the United Nations. On Friday, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin called for the provisional government in a month, a draft constitution by year’s end and elections next spring.
Gee, guys, I don’t know. It’s hard to ignore Chirac’s position on this because he is somewhat of an expert on the subject. After all, it only took six weeks for France to transfer power to Germany in 1940.
Posted by: Dar || 09/18/2003 1:20:32 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hmmmmm. Chirac vetoed every decision to use force in Iraq. Chirac has harped and bitched about every decision the United States and its willing allies in Iraq have made. Chirac has threatened to veto any further United Nations actions in Iraq that don't conform to his personal ideas about what should happen in Iraq. Chirac - and France - also stand to lose billions for their activities in Iraq prior to the war. Gee, wonder why he wants a transfer of power so fast...

Tell the little weasel to shut his face, or we'll skin him and use his pelt to polish our (British-made) shoes.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 09/18/2003 13:26 Comments || Top||

#2  he was elected in 2002 with a 5 yr trm. If the transfer takes years, he tends to lame duck status, and won't get his cut of any bribes and payoffs for ELF-Aquitane
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 13:36 Comments || Top||

#3  LMAO! France Demands? Of who? France nor Germany has ANY experience with handing over a country to a DEMOCRATIC type government. Six months? Based on what? I think France and Germany think way too much of themselves
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 09/18/2003 13:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Months, heh? OK, how about thirty of 'em?
Posted by: John Anderson || 09/18/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

#5  Somebody better tell Jacques and Gerhard that we already have way too many candidates running for the Democratic nomination. They don't stand a chance. Besides, the party symbol is a donkey, not a frog or an ass.
Posted by: Tom || 09/18/2003 14:07 Comments || Top||

#6  OK, how about thirty of 'em?

Forty eight would be fine by me. :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 14:57 Comments || Top||

#7  Why is it that everytime I hear Chirac I think of Wormtongue of 'Lord of the Rings'...
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/18/2003 14:58 Comments || Top||

#8  I could think of two countries that could need a transfer of power within weeks.

Ok, I'm working on that for one.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 15:10 Comments || Top||

#9  If we add Chirac and Schroeder to the ten democratic candidates then we could have a remake of "the Twelve Bastards".
Posted by: JFM || 09/18/2003 15:34 Comments || Top||

#10  "The Dirty Dozen"?

Chirac could be the Telly Savalas character.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 16:58 Comments || Top||

#11  We could even have a "Twelve days of Christmas: The Socalist Version" album for Christmas.
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:20 Comments || Top||

#12  If we really get jumping in Iraq, with the UN's help we could be out by Kwanza. HARAMBEE!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 18:21 Comments || Top||

#13  watching Fox this afternoon, I get the impression there's been a split between Germany and France. Shroeders' saying it will take time to do it right and starting to warm to contributing to the effort. France is still playing their games, thinking we're Libya. Any news, TGA?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 19:49 Comments || Top||

#14  Frank G, you hear a lot of lofty joint Chirac/Schroeder declarations (economy etc). But look behind the scene and you'll find France panicking about what Bush and Schroeder may have to discuss on Wednesday in New York.
The split is not talked about openly. But it's there.
France wouldn't mind the U.S. failing in Iraq (insert your favorite reasons).
Germany definitely wants the U.S. (and U.N.) to succeed in Iraq, because Schroeder is at least smart enough to realize that a failure would have most serious consequences for Europe as well (a point the French in their incredible vanity seem to ignore). The German media leaves no doubt about that either. Germany WILL contribute in some ways, I think Tony Blair will have some interesting things to say as well in Berlin. And Blair gets along better with Schroeder than with Chirac.
You don't hear Schroeder repeating Chirac's BS about that "transfer of power in months". Actually you don't hear anyone (except the most radical loonies) in Germany backing the French on that one.
And if George Bush is able to put the past 12 months aside I think significant progress can be made.
The comments in the German press about France aren't exactly heart warming (for the French). You may have noted Germany's abstention in the UNSC regarding Arafat.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 21:12 Comments || Top||

#15  TGA, it's not only W who might have to put the last 12 months aside, it's the US. And phrawnce.

Between this and the mosque statement, makes me wonder if someone got some very important intel as to boomers, chem/bio.

Either that or the jig is up and Chiraq knows it. Wonder what documents were found? Or is it the US economy and our boycott? Tony not exactly going down? All/ pieces or none of the above?? I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall.

Man, I hope I'm around when the books come out.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/18/2003 22:30 Comments || Top||

#16  Anonymous I didn't quite understand your statement.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 22:47 Comments || Top||

#17  --And if George Bush is able to put the past 12 months aside I think significant progress can be made. --

You wrote that. I could have wrongly assumed you meant how he/we was/were treated by phrawnce and the UN.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/19/2003 1:25 Comments || Top||

#18  We're probably going to be lucky if we can stay longer in Iraq more than two or three years but there are basics that have to be done before we can even dream of leaving.

Of course, Paris doesn't care. Just bring back the people who gave us the sweetheart business deals
Posted by: Hiryu || 09/19/2003 13:11 Comments || Top||

Spain Arrests Five More Al Qaeda Suspects
Spanish police arrested five people of Syrian origin on Thursday for suspected ties to al Qaeda, including a highly trained guerrilla prepared to commit a major suicide attack, police sources said.
Syrians, huh? Guess all the Algerians and Yemenis were booked.
A separate source involved in the investigation said some of the suspects were linked to a journalist for Arab TV network Al Jazeera who is already charged in Spain with belonging to the militant group led by wealthy Saudi exile Osama bin Laden.
The arrests came a day after Spanish High Court judge Baltasar Garzon formally charged bin Laden, the journalist Tayseer Alouni and 33 others with "belonging to a terrorist group." Alouni strongly denies any wrongdoing.
"Lies, all lies!"
The latest arrests also came on the orders of Garzon, who has been investigating suspected al Qaeda members for years and ordered his first batch of September 11-related arrests two months after the attacks on New York and Washington.
He’s been a very busy judge.
The anti-terrorist police source said there were two arrests in Granada in southern Spain, where Alouni lived and was arrested earlier this month, two in Madrid and one in Alicante in the east of Spain. The man arrested in Alicante was identified as Sadeq Merizak, said to have achieved "third level" status within al Qaeda, the same as September 11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta, the source said.
"Third level" members get the special decoder ring and use of the time-share condo in Islamabad.
He said Merizak had trained at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.
Well, who didn’t?
He also said authorities had photographs of Merizak with Imad Eddim Barakat Yarkas, also known as Abu Dahdah, currently in jail awaiting trial as the suspected al Qaeda cell leader in Spain and formally charged with a role in September 11.
"Abu? Never heard of him."
"Oh, really? Then explain this photo of you with him."
"That’s not me, it’s somebody else."

One of the men arrested in Granada was found with false documents belonging to Senmaran Nasser, whom the police source said was one of the most wanted leaders of al Qaeda.
All five of the latest men arrested were due to appear in court on Sunday.
All tremble before the Spanish Inquisition!
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 12:27:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Spain's been rolling them up pretty quickly, wonder if it's all that experience with the Basque ETA?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#2  No "comfy chair" with THAT Spanish Inquisition, I bet.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 21:43 Comments || Top||

Oprah chastised by Swedish Govt for pro-war bias
Tip o’ the hat to Andrew Sullivan.
Sweden’s broadcasting watchdog says it is censuring an Oprah Winfrey talk show for showing bias towards a U.S. military attack on Iraq. The censure means Swedish television network TV4, which broadcast the show in February, must publish the decision but there are no legal or financial penalties, Annelie Ulfhielm, an official of Sweden’s Broadcasting Commission, told Reuters.
How typically Swedish — you did bad but there’s no penalty! My mother should have been this nice.
"Different views were expressed, but all longer remarks gave voice to the opinion that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States and should be the target of attack," Sweden’s Broadcasting Commission said on Wednesday.
"Eeeek! An independent opinion!"
U.S. forces attacked Iraq in March and toppled Saddam’s government after a three-week war. Before the war, Washington said Iraq’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction posed a threat but no such arms have yet been found. The Swedish government strongly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq, saying it lacked a U.N. Security Council mandate. A TV4 spokesman said the Oprah Winfrey show usually drew an audience of about 100,000-140,000 Swedes, making it one of Sweden’s more popular day-time television programmes.
I’m betting her ratings go up after this.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 12:54:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good Lord. Oprah is a threat to Sweden's intellectual conformity. I guess she didn't schedule enough guests like Dominique DeVillepin or Arundhati Roy to give voice to the opinion that Saddam Hussein was not a threat the the United States and should not be the target of attack.

Is the show dubbed or subtitled?
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 09/18/2003 2:23 Comments || Top||

#2  She's being silenced, I tell you! Intimidated out of her Free Speech rights by critics of her stance on the war.

Perhaps Oprah will do as badly as the Dixie Chicks after their "dissent was silenced" by the evil ClearChannel people...what'd they make on that tour, $60 million?
Posted by: R. McLeod || 09/18/2003 3:55 Comments || Top||

#3  If Swedish sales of her book club aren't high enough, she should demand that her program be removed from Swedish television. 100,000 viewers is not worth extradition to the Hague on charges of Crimes Against Humanity. She dodged the bullet this time but she needs to heed the warning.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 5:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Is it worth asking Sweden now to send troops to Iraq? /sarcasm off
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 7:57 Comments || Top||

#5  Alaska Paul, they can't. Swedish Army is 9 to 5 these days, don't you recall?
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 09/18/2003 8:23 Comments || Top||

#6  Oprah gets taken to the tool shed for her pro-war stance.

Someone please tell me someone, anyone, got taken to task for their anti-war, pro-murder stance.
Posted by: badanov || 09/18/2003 8:40 Comments || Top||

#7  Could you picture anything like this ever happening in the US? Someone being censored by an "American broadcasting watchdog"?

So bizarre. It follows perfectly with the statement made by the former premiere a few days ago that Swedes should have never been asked their opinion in the first place on voting the Euro.

You lucky Swedes!

Posted by: g wiz || 09/18/2003 9:16 Comments || Top||

#8  I get really tired of hearing about "advanced" countries and their "civilized" approaches to funding the arts, accepting immigrants, providing womb to tomb welfare, and so on. Strange that those who fawn over them omit thier supression of free speech -- but that's an American thing.
Posted by: Highlander || 09/18/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||

#9  Bollocks.All the Broadcasting Commission does is give opinion on whether the media follow 'good journalistic practice'.We have a similar body in Finland.The media can and do ignore its statements,with no consequences whatsoever to the "offender".It's not censorship.
Posted by: El Id || 09/18/2003 9:32 Comments || Top||

#10  Chuck---I forgot! My upper level thinking does not kick in till 7AM local time. I was up at 4AM just to find that my 6am flight was cancelled. I guess we cannot ask the Swedish military for anything, esp. now with limited business hours.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 9:53 Comments || Top||

#11  Sweden needs to reconsider its decision. Oprah has enough money to buy their entire country and make it a suburb of Chicago, if she so chooses.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 09/18/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

#12  I still think Oprah's show sucks.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 15:08 Comments || Top||

#13  I didn't even know the Sweds allowed colored shows on the air.
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:25 Comments || Top||

#14  So I don't suppose FOX is shown in Sweden? Nah.
Posted by: john || 09/18/2003 19:02 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
The Braden Files" target=_blank>The Teacher’s Union Strikes Again
"What will your child learn about 9-11 on the second anniversary of the attack on America’s security and economy? On the occasion of the first anniversary of 9-11, the National Education Association urged teachers to not "suggest any group is responsible."

In suggested lesson plans, the NEA recommended that teachers "discuss historical instances of American intolerance" as the lesson children in elementary, middle and high school should take away from the most dastardly attack on America since Pearl Harbor. The NEA is an American Fifth Column, an enemy within that uses our public schools to turn children against their nation."

Alan Caruba

Posted by: Lynwood || 09/18/2003 1:56:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If you follow the links back to the National Association of School Psychologists you find some good ideas about tolerance and peace and not blaming the group for the actions of a few. IMHO that does not excuse the above.
Posted by: Lynwood || 09/18/2003 14:23 Comments || Top||

#2  My wife is a school psychologist and she hears teachers bitching about us being in Iraq, our overreaction to 9-11, yadayadayada. They ask her what she thinks, and she sez:

"What if you were threatened or attacked by a psychopath, a person who does not have the ability to empathize, who does not care about you? What would you do? Would you
1. Negotiate with them and hope for their better side?
2. Roll over and capitulate?
3. Defend yourself with your own weapons and call the police?

I would pick number 3. And that is why we are going after terrorists all over the world. We have to end the threat of the psychopaths."
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 14:45 Comments || Top||

#3  On the occasion of the first anniversary of 9-11, the National Education Association urged teachers to not "suggest any group is responsible.


It was the fault of AA and United! It was Boeing's fault! But no, no "groups" are responsible.

Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 14:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Oh yes... the NEA...

Also known as the 'National Extortion Association'...

"You *will* pay tribute to the Democratic party or you *will* lose your Job and not be able to work in your profession" (Policy of the Washington [state] Education Association - a branch of the NEA.)

If this is not extortion I dont know what is. Yet they are allowed to get away with it because the legislature is so terrified of them and they are 'teachers'.... I'll be damn if I am going to subject my son to their socialist brainwashing.

The NEA is *not* your friend.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/18/2003 15:28 Comments || Top||

#5  I love it! Don't suggest any group is responsible for 9/11, but do show examples of American intolerance!

It's okay to show a group is responsible for wrong doing if that group is Americans! We're the evildoers in the world, and anything bad that happens to us is just bad luck or comeuppance!
Posted by: Dar || 09/18/2003 15:30 Comments || Top||

#6  There is another, miore fundamental problem: these
people are bing paid to teach not to
indoctinate. If their teaching time is used
for indoctrination then it is justice they refund
their salaries to the tax payer (with interest, of course).

If teaching is supposed to be secular, there is
no reason it should not be apolitic.
Posted by: JFM || 09/18/2003 16:04 Comments || Top||

#7  Memo to Bush: Have a requirement of Federal Funding be that the school must teach THE TRUTH.
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:28 Comments || Top||

#8  Not only are the schools not supposed to "suggest any group is responsible", but here no one even talked about it. The teachers that mentioned it at all were those against any sort of war or "interference with other countries." And of course theres a large of number of them that dislike Bush and everything he has ever done, and say so at any oppurtunity. The Principal came on the intercom and read something Bush said last year and ended with-"Please join me in a monent of silence" (insert one second here)"And now your announcements for today." Some people tried to bring it up in classes that afternoon, but the teacher just sat there and wouldn't say anything. Someone help me on this- What happens if teachers don't follow what the teachers union says? Do they even find out, or do they have to wait until someone comes whining to them?
Posted by: S || 09/18/2003 18:06 Comments || Top||

#9  We should re-classify the NEA (and its member organizations) as a Criminal Politial Organization and not a Labor Union and not subject to the privledges and protections unions enjoy.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/18/2003 18:17 Comments || Top||

#10  BTW---My wife refuses to join the NEA, though she still has to pay some fees in liu of dues. They do not take care of their own people, only the high enders that like to feather their nests at the expense of new struggling teachers. Asshats! They need their tax exempt status yanked.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 18:31 Comments || Top||

#11  Just ask my son what they discussed on 9/11/03.He said not much at all the subject barley even came up.Not sure how to react,initial reaction is to be pissed for ignoring one of the pivitol events of the last 100 years.
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 9:45 Comments || Top||

Great White North
Gay couple denied U.S. entry
TORONTO (CP) - Two gay men who are legally wed in Ontario say they were refused entry into the United States after a U.S. customs official at the airport wouldn’t accept their customs clearance form as a family.
Duh, because they are NOT!

Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell went public Thursday after they abandoned their trip to Georgia when the customs official at Pearson International Airport rejected their family customs declaration form, insisting that they fill out separate forms as single people.
After complaining to a customs supervisor, Bourassa said, the couple was told that they wouldn’t be allowed into the United States as a family because the country doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages.
"When we realized we weren’t going to be allowed into the country, we had to make a real hard decision," Bourassa, claiming a violation of human rights, said in an interview from their Toronto home.
"We could have filled out separate forms, but how much of your dignity do you want to have chipped away? We feel we had an affront to our dignity, so we decided to go back home."
We will miss you

The incident comes on the heels of a heated debate in the Commons earlier this week about same-sex marriage. A Canadian Alliance motion affirming marriage as the union of a man and woman was narrowly defeated.
Same-sex marriage is legal in British Columbia and Ontario, where there have been favourable court rulings. Ottawa has drafted legislation that redefines marriage as a union of two persons, but it won’t be introduced in Parliament until the Supreme Court of Canada reviews the constitutionality of the proposed legislation, likely next year.
Bourassa said he and Varnell were heading to Braselton, Ga., to speak at a human rights conference featuring Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Minority Civil Right = Gay Rights!
Bourassa, who works full time as an advocate for same-sex marriages, and Varnell, a banking manager, were married in 2001 before the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized last June the right for gays to legally marry.
Anyone seeing the connection here?

Their 2001 ceremony was then recognized as a legal union in the province in light of the court decision.
The couple’s lawyer, Doug Elliott, said he spoke to Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham early Thursday and Graham advised him to deal with Deputy Prime Minister John Manley because he would have more authority over border issues.
A spokesman in Manley’s office said Immigration Minister Denis Coderre would have to deal with the issue, but there was no immediate response from his Ottawa office Thursday.
Elliott said although the U.S. customs official was enforcing American law by not allowing Bourassa and Varnell into the United States, "he was doing it on Canadian soil."
"We can’t force the U.S. to change its laws on same-sex marriage, but we can insist that Canadian citizens be treated with respect, that the Canadian law regarding family recognition gets respected."
Not going to happen real soon!

Elliott said he’s also investigating whether any legal action can be undertaken on his clients’ behalf.

In the words of President Bush “Bring it on!” Traveling to the U.S. is NOT a right but a privilege and that means you have to RESPECT our laws in this country. The U.S. does not (IMO should never) recognize that two homo’s want to play house like a ‘real family.’ Hat’s off to the customs person for standing his ground! P.S. I am NOT a HOMOPHOBE, I am HOMOFEDUP.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 09/18/2003 4:58:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

Posted by: Katz. || 09/18/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Are Coretta and her demon-brood still mining coin from MLK's corpse for christ's sake?

Posted by: mojo || 09/18/2003 17:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah, that just priceless. They were supposed to SPEAK at that Georgia gathering, but rather than filling out an extra form or two and adding the incident to their list of "grievances" to be aired at the conference, these worthless sots bailed out on their COMMITTMENT. How typical!
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 09/18/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

#4  The happy couple ought to fill out some entry forms to get into Saudi Arabia and see how far they get. At least the US gave them the choice of entry if they filled out separate forms.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 17:20 Comments || Top||

#5  A staged non-event meant to influence the debate going on this country in hope of heading off our adopting a possible constitutional amendment.
An affront to their dignity? What sanctimonious garbage.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 09/18/2003 18:07 Comments || Top||

#6  How does the U.S. handle Saudi men with their wives?
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 18:24 Comments || Top||

#7  "We can’t force the U.S. to change its laws on same-sex marriage, but we can insist that Canadian citizens be treated with respect, that the Canadian law regarding family recognition gets respected."

Sorry... but when it comes to CUSTOMs and entry into the US, US Law trumps Canadian law. If you don't like it we can pull our customs stations out of canada and make you go through customs (and immigrations) at an offical Port of Entry in the USA like every one else.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/18/2003 18:30 Comments || Top||

#8  "Duh, because they are NOT!"

In what way aren't they a family? In that they can't procreate? Neither can many sterile men or barren women and yet they are allowed to marry.

"because the country doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages."

I thought that a handful of states (Vermont I believe?) do recognize same-sex marriages? And wasn't there a law or something that marriages recognized in one state are recognized in all?

"The U.S. does not (IMO should never) recognize that two homo’s want to play house like a ‘real family.’"

Ah well once upon a time the US didn't recognize one black and one white person wanting to play house like a "real family" either. Times are changing. Wanna bet that in 10 or 15 years time, gay marriages will be recognized by the United States, if not at a federal level, at least in the majority of the states?


Ah, yes, I think that's something like the difference between the military and political wings of Hamas.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/18/2003 19:10 Comments || Top||

#9  Ahh logic from the resident Greek - profiling again Aris?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 19:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Let's not confuse the issue. You want to enter our country? You fill out the forms the way we tell you to, or you just stay out! Doesn't matter what you are. Our customs and immigration officers are busy enough -- they don't need your crap.
Posted by: Tom || 09/18/2003 19:48 Comments || Top||

#11  Aris, EVERYONE else in the world can change and call to gay people a 'family' but I won't. I could care less if Canadians start marrying golphers and recognizing that as a 'family', not me. Note: Vermont recognizes civil unions between homos not the same as the Canadian law.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 09/18/2003 19:50 Comments || Top||

#12  Tom - well put. Wanna play games and establish precedent? I bow to AP's suggestion they try to visit Saudi and make the Hajj
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 19:50 Comments || Top||

#13  What a hypocrite you are, Aris! When it comes to Americans in foreign lands, its the Ugly American who doesn't respect the local laws and customs, but it sure appears that you don't want to apply that rule to anybody else when they come to the US of A!

The Ugly Greek is a fake to boot.
Posted by: Ptah || 09/18/2003 20:00 Comments || Top||

#14  This is an absurd discussion. Next thing I hear is Saudis claiming to fill in one form for their four wives, one maybe of preteen age.
You enter the United States, you observe the laws of the United States.
I can enter the U.S. without a visa, other nationalities can not. It's the sole discretion of the U.S. to decide this.
Note customs didn't deny entry to the couple, they just wanted them to fill out the forms correctly.
When will Canadians want to import marihuana into the U.S. because it's legal in Canada?
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 20:55 Comments || Top||

#15  Frank G.> Profiling about what? Sorry-me-confused-A-me-ri-can-lingo-com-pli-ca-ted.

"You fill out the forms the way we tell you to, or you just stay out! "

Well that's what they did, wasn't it? They stayed out.

That doesn't anything however about the law does right in asking them to fill out the form in said specific way or not.

Cyber Sarge> I know that *you* won't ever call gay people family, but that doesn't actually answer my question about why do you think that gay people can't be as much a family as straight people can.

You know those things with question marks in the end? They are called "questions" and not all of them are rhetorical ones. The ones that aren't would like an answer returned.

"Vermont recognizes civil unions between homos, not the same as the Canadian law."

Yes, the Canadian law seems to me straightforward and honest, while the Vermont law is quibbling with terminology. It's not marriage, it's "civil union". That even smaller a difference than the difference between a "HOMOPHOBE" and a "HOMOFEDUP".

Ptah> "What a hypocrite you are, Aris!"


"When it comes to Americans in foreign lands, its the Ugly American who doesn't respect the local laws and customs"

When have I ever said that? Give me an example or I demand that you take your accusation back with an apology attached.

"but it sure appears that you don't want to apply that rule to anybody else when they come to the US of A!"

If a country said that black people can't be married to white ones (e.g. South Africa in the years of the apartheid) I'd have no problem calling it a racist country -- and I have no problem calling USA a homophobic country when it says that gay people can't be married to each other.

Only difference is that currently most countries in the world share that homophobia so it doesn't strike anyone as uglily as it really is. Ah, well.

Soon, my darlings, soon. *insert evil laughter as I plan to crumble the foundation of western society that is the sacred marriage between man and woman through my support of gay marriages*
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/18/2003 21:01 Comments || Top||

#16  TGA, the discussion isn't on whether the Canadians should be admitted in violation of the American law, but on whether the American law in question ought to be changed. Don't mistake the matter of the incident that sparked this with the question at hand.

A person said the gay couple aren't a family. I asked him why is that so, he still hasn't responded, and I don't think he can without bringing religion into this. Ah, well.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/18/2003 21:04 Comments || Top||

#17  I guess they could have let them in, and then did the full luggage, strip search, and cavity search on them. Even get the drug dogs to sniff everything of theirs. Then hold them up for four hours saying you are waiting for paperwork to clear. Make 'em miss their flight connections.

That might change their opinions a bit.
Posted by: penguin || 09/18/2003 21:19 Comments || Top||

#18  Penguin> Yeah, it'd definitely change the opinions of millions of gay Americans on whether their country deserves their patriotism or not... :-)
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/18/2003 21:22 Comments || Top||

#19  Aris, this has nothing to do with homophobia, this has to do with current U.S. law. It's not up to visitors to decide what the law is, it's up to the immigration officer. You know, he actually can refuse entry and send you back if he thinks America might have a problem with you.
As it stands, the United States don't define "family" the same way as Canada (or Saudi Arabia).
Whether the U.S. should change it's law is up to the American people. It's not up to two male Canadian visitors to force a U.S. immigration officer to bend the current law for them. I don't know about Vermont but a "civil union" between two people is not a family. If it were, the law would say so.
To compare South Africa's racist laws with the U.S. not recognizing marriage betwen same sexes is ridiculous. I think since the beginning of mankind families have been defined as man, woman, children. For rather obvious and logical reasons. If Canada (and other countries) are changing this conception, that's their right. But it's not their right to force this conception upon others countries.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 21:34 Comments || Top||

#20  TGA, it's indeed not up to visitors to decide what the law is, but it *is* up to the US citizens. People here have shown little restraint in criticizing the laws of other countries (e.g. Belgium, e.g. Sweden) so I don't see why I should not be allowed to criticize American law.

"I think since the beginning of mankind families have been defined as man, woman, children."

You yourself have given the example of some definitions of family that are considered outdated by modern-day western civilisation. E.g. the Saudis and their many wives. Definitions change. What was once considered acceptable for the Mormons or the Saudis or the Hebrews or whatever most people no longer consider acceptable.

Blind tradition can't work in this as an argument. We have to think what marriage means, in what way it functions, what role we want it to have. It seems to me healthy, IMAO, for society to recognize the loving bond of two people who've each proclaimed the other the most important part of their lives, and promised to aid and support each other through better and worse, etc, etc.

The way I see it gender has very little to do with this, and therefore I'm in support of gay marriages. The tradition argument is extremely weak, as *traditionally* all traditions have always had a purpose for existing, and when that purpose ceased they slowly but surely fell by the wayside.

So, what role does marriage have nowadays? If you say "tradition", as its self-proclaimed defenders do, then you're *depriving* it of any other meaning and function... And that's the way I see it - that the "defenders" are actually harming what they seek out to defend.

By saying that gay people have no reason to marry (even if it's an affirmation of a loving relationship, even if it's a good way to legally give to the other partner certain exclusive rights of decision-making/financing/whatever, even if it's a good way to proclaim to society that the other person is the most important individual in your life)... what the "defenders of marriage" are actually saying is that none of the above reasons apply to hetero "traditional" couples either.

Gay people seek the right to marry. That means that to them marriage is important. That means they value it and its importance.

If people want to protect the meaning of marriage, then go after divorces. Or more accurately divorce-and-remarriages and those people who treat marriage as little more binding than going steady with your boyfriend/girlfriends. If a person has already divorced twice, don't allow them to legally remarry, because the state and society doesn't have to recognize the bonds of a person who has proved he doesn't have the responsibility required for marriage.

But I guess it's not politically correct for me to criticize American law in this forum (even though I've never refrained from criticizing happenings in my own country either) so I doubt the ramble above will be appreciated by anyone. Ah, well.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/18/2003 22:12 Comments || Top||

#21  I know there are homosexuals who have become straight,but I don't know of any blacks who have changed their race.My point is homosexuals do not deserve minority treatment.Homosexuality is a choice.I would like to see empirical scientific evidence which proves homosexuality is not a choice.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/18/2003 22:40 Comments || Top||

#22  Aris, first of all this article wasn't about whether the U.S. should have gay marriages or not. It's about U.S. sovereignty. It happened on Canadian soil but from what I know these "pre-clearing" of U.S. customs happen under U.S. jurisdiction by mutual consent between Canada and the U.S. to make immigration swifter.
What I think of gay marriage hardly matters. But if you want my opinion, it's not just a tradition like wearing a turban or a nose ring, it's one of the essential biological conditions of mankind. Sure you may argue that in modern societies all this is no longer necessary. In 50 years women may buy their babies in labs, who knows, and the male as we know him may become extinct. Whatever. Maybe the U.S. will accept gay marriages in ten or 20 years. Maybe marriages will lose all their meanings. Maybe the sky will fall down in 50 years.
But for now, the U.S. define family as a union between male and female. And for now this couple has to accept this if they want to enter the country. It's not that they were refused entry because they were married but because they refused to fill out the proper papers. Get over it.
If a Chinese couple insisted on filling out the papers in Chinese letters they'd get into trouble, too.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 22:42 Comments || Top||

#23  Homosexuality is exhibitionism. Therefore, homosexual 'families' are based upon the same concept, the roles are exhibitionism, not real.

If these gay guys are so in love with themselves and their role they cannot see their way clear to raising a family with a woman as a partner, why should the USA raise a finger to help?
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/18/2003 22:45 Comments || Top||

#24  Anonymous> Michael Jackson.

And I've never seen evidence of any homosexuals that have become "straight"; at most I've heard of homosexuals who decided to abstain, or bisexuals who decided to pursue only straight relationships; but their desires and sexual drives remained the same... The sexual preference doesn't seem to be a choice at all; it's either biological or atleast forming very early in the childhood; and it seems it can even be detected through difference in the physiology/neurology/whatever-you-call-it of the brain.

"Aris, first of all this article wasn't about whether the U.S. should have gay marriages or not. "

No, but some of the commentary was about that. E.g. the "they are not a family" comment, which I disputed, and which launched the whole discussion. Or atleast (since I'm not sure if I'd call it discussion) it launched the whole accusing me of hypocricy thing.

If you want to keep on repeating things about sovereignty and American law that I've already repeatedly conceded/accepted and so on, be my guest. But you are not participating in the discussion that *I* was involved in, or saying much if anything that's relevant to it.

And as a sidenote, I've not still not heard from Ptah of evidence for my hypocricy, or gotten an answer from the original poster about why a gay couple can't be a family.

So, TGA, *you* get over it. You keep on talking about forms and trivialities and this particular incident, I'm talking about the wider issue at hand.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/18/2003 22:58 Comments || Top||

#25  "If these gay guys are so in love with themselves"

You made a grammatical mistake. You meant "are so in love with each other" instead.

No sweat about it, though. When I was first studying English this sort of thing was an easy mistake to make also. ;-)
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/18/2003 23:02 Comments || Top||

Sri Lanka’s explosive Muslim factor
Although this is from Asia Times, it seems pretty credible, I have read Indian reports claiming that Pakistani Jihadi groups have been activrely recruiting amongst Sri Lankan Muslims, who in these case support their Buddhist dominated government against a Hindu dominated seperatist group.
A wave of tension is sweeping through Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province following the killing last month of around five Muslims, allegedly by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In this atmosphere of mounting uncertainty, Muslim extremism appears to be gathering momentum in the eastern parts of the island. According to media reports, hardliners within the Muslim community are winning support for the idea that Muslims must take up arms to protect themselves from attacks by LTTE militants. Some reports suggest that they have established links with Islamic militants overseas. The Associated Press (AP) cites a Sri Lankan police intelligence report that says that Islamic extremists have already set up two training bases. While serious weapons training at the bases is yet to begin, the intelligence report says that the emphasis now is on raising the level of anger among Muslims to prepare them for a jihad. The AP report admits, though, that "no one in the rice-growing area [in eastern Sri Lanka] acknowledged the [existence of] the bases". The report, however, observes out that "many people looked away" when asked about the weapons training bases.
Was AP always that mealy-mouthed about reporting events? Or did I just not notice it before?
From the mid-1980s onwards, there have been occasional reports of Muslims receiving funds and arms from sources in the Middle East. If the present reports of mounting Islamic extremism are true, it signals a worrying complication in the Sri Lankan conflict. It is in the island’s Eastern Province that interaction between the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim populations has been most explosive. Once a Tamil-dominated area, the province’s demographic composition has changed drastically, with the government settling Sinhalese there. Today, while the Trincomalee district — the northernmost of the three Eastern Province districts — has a large section of Sinhalese, Batticaloa is predominantly Tamil, while Amparai is mainly Muslim. The role of the Sri Lankan government in deepening Tamil-Muslim rivalry has been significant. Throughout the 1980s, for instance, much of the violence unleashed on Tamils and Muslims was the work of the government. A special task force is said to have played a huge role in inciting Tamil-Muslim communal violence. The LTTE did not trust the Muslims, many of whom were providing information to the armed forces. It hit out against the "traitors". The government armed the Muslims, who in turn trained their guns on unarmed Tamils in the East. In 1990, the LTTE drove out about 65,000 Muslims from the north. Muslims were massacred in the east as well. Having failed to win the support of the Muslims, it was said, the LTTE decided to evict them from the north.

As in the 1990s, so also today, the LTTE’s hostile policy towards Muslims seems to make little sense. The Tigers need Muslim support to achieve their goals and they are an important part of its logistics network. If the killings were indeed the work of the LTTE, it is likely that it is convinced that however much it may work to appease the Muslims to win their support, they are unlikely to throw in their lot behind the Tigers. Hence, the reversion to violence against the Muslims. Perera says that the killing of Muslims lies is part of the LTTE’s twin-track policy. "The political track is currently epitomized by the deliberations in Paris regarding a response to the government’s proposed interim administration for the northeast. Tamil intellectuals from Sri Lanka and abroad are attending these deliberations. These deliberations are expected to yield a demand from the LTTE that would ensure virtually total political control over the northeast. The military track, however, operates on a parallel, and is not subordinate to political imperatives. The intimidation and coercion of the Muslims is part of the LTTE’s strategy to physically dominate the northeast."
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 09/18/2003 3:48:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Don't ya hate those explosive muslims? I know the Israelis do...
Posted by: mojo || 09/18/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

Move to Repeal Anti-Women Law Triggers Controversy in Pakistan
Islamist groups in Pakistan are up in arms against the abolition of the draconian Islamic penal law called Hudood, after a government commission recommended its repeal last month, saying it has sparked an increase in crimes against women. Enacted as a law by the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq in 1979, the Hudood Ordinance is steeped in archaic and discriminatory clauses, one of the most controversial being that a woman must produce four Muslim male witnesses to prove rape, failing which she faces the charge of adultery. The law prescribes stoning to death as punishment for those convicted of adultery. The testimony of a female is considered half that of a man. Incredibly, Zina or extra-marital sex is considered a crime against the state of Pakistan.

Hudood has been severely censured by human rights organizations and the secular media. Liberal political parties and rights groups have called for its repeal as according to them, violence against women - particularly incidents of rape - have shot-up since the ordinance was imposed. According to an independent study, about 70 to 75 percent of women in jails in Pakistan are imprisoned or convicted under Hudood. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) mentions in its annual report that of the 2,200 women in Pakistani prisons in 2001-02, most are awaiting trial or were convicted under Hudood. According to HRCP, one woman was raped every two hours and one subjected to gang rape every eight hours in Pakistan in 2002. "The actual incidence of rape could be far higher. Social taboos and the stigma attached to rape meant that most rape cases went unreported, with families at times going to extraordinary lengths to cover-up cases," it reports. Women rights groups say many rape cases go unreported partly because of the impossibility of proving the crime under the Hudood laws.
That and the fact that it's always possible Mom or Sis could end up getting stoned to death. Who'd do the laundry then?
But liberal opposition to Hudood has led to a backlash from Pakistan’s religious groups. Holding that the law originates from the Holy Quran and Hadith, the fanatics have declared they would not allow the government to touch Islamic law. "We strictly oppose the idea of imposing the suggestions and opinions of a few Westernized women on the nation, contrary to the will of a majority of women," says the vice-president of the women’s wing of the Jamat-e-Islami (JI), Sakina Shahid. The NWFP assembly has unanimously supported Hudood by adopting a resolution in its favor and against the NCSW’s recommendations. "We will never allow anyone to repeal or amend the Hudood laws," warns the MMA’s deputy secretary general and deputy parliamentary leader, Liaquat Baloch. "Hudood should not be considered an act of an individual (General Zia) rather it is a divine law."
Liaquat is Qazi's deputy amir. It's a sign of Islamic piety to enshrine barbarism like this in holy writ.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 09/18/2003 2:33:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And of course the so-called "moderate majority" of Muslims around the globe sit on their hands with their lips sealed rather than doing the obvious and honorable thing--objecting to ridiculous practices such as this. "Holy Quran" my ass!
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 09/18/2003 11:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Next thing you know they'll be outlawing Barbie or something ridiculous.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 12:43 Comments || Top||

#3  How can you argue against a "divine law". Just collect the rocks and keep the peace.
Posted by: Lucky || 09/18/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#4  "Who'd do the laundry then?"
No sweat. Just go down to the local pet store...
Posted by: .com (Prez for Life - My Isles of Langerhans) || 09/18/2003 16:49 Comments || Top||

Upsurge in terror in the Valley
There has been "a quantum jump" in infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC) as well as terrorist violence in the hinterland in Jammu and Kashmir in the last three months. Army officers claim Pakistan is desperate to push in as many heavily-armed militants as possible before snow blocks the mountain passes and traditional infiltration routes along the 740-km-long LoC. Anticipating more fidayeen (suicide) and "stand-off" terrorist attacks against "high-value" targets in the coming days, the Army does not want to reduce force levels in J&K. Army vice-chief Lt-Gen Shantonu Choudhary himself said on Wednesday that Islamabad had "revived" terrorist-training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). "We have photographic evidence of this," he said, rejecting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s claim that his government had clamped down on jehadis.
Perv says that all the time. Any time he's done it, if actually ever, it's lasted only a short while...
The Army also has other "evidence" to show an estimated 3,000 terrorists are being trained in these camps, with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other tanzims running scores of recruitment centres. LeT district commander Mohammed Shahzad, captured in Banihal on September 13, for instance, has given a detailed account of this. Latest Army statistics show the total number of terrorist incidents have shot up from 130 in September 2002 to almost 180 in just the first half of this month. The comparative figures for July and August have also jumped by 70 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively. Similarly, the number of IED (improvised explosive device) blasts have registered a sharp increase. Compared to four IED blasts in September 2002, over 15 have already taken place this month.

The security forces, of course, are also notching up more successes against terrorists. The "kill ratio" has improved, with roughly five terrorists being killed for every soldier. Ninety-two militants, including some key leaders like Gazi Baba and Nasir Mehmood Ahwan "Ansar" of Jaish-e-Mohammad, have been killed by the security forces so far this month. In all, around 560 militants have been killed since January.
With a large number of battlefield surveillance radars and hand-held thermal imagers now being inducted, which can detect movement almost 2.5 to eight km away, Army troops are also better equipped to detect infiltration bids across the LoC. "Even though militants also now have night sights, we have killed around 80 infiltrators since July. But only one out of four to five infiltration attempts is detected," said an officer.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 09/18/2003 1:45:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

Gazi Baba's right hand man decomposing
Security forces overnight raided 12 houses in Srinagar and shot dead Nasir Mehmood Ahwan, a Pakistani who was deputy commander in India of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, a police statement said. It said Mr Ahwan served as the “right-hand man” of Gazi Baba, who was killed in a raid in Srinagar on August 30. Since Mr Baba’s death, violence has soared in Indian-administered Kashmir with at least 205 people killed.
How many of them were gunnies? And how many of them were civilians the gunnies kidnapped and cut their heads off?
Police were tipped off to Mr Ahwan’s presence late on Tuesday when they questioned two men who led them to “12 well-constructed and concealed hideouts of Jaish-e-Mohammad”, the statement said. Police and troops from the paramilitary Border Security Force headed to one of the hideouts when they were ambushed by rebels, setting off a two-hour gunbattle in which Mr Ahwan was killed, it said. Police said Mr Ahwan was from Attock in Pakistan and “was involved in about 20 killings of security force or police personnel” in Kashmir. Another 11 people were detained in the overnight raids and arms and ammunition were seized.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Director General of Police Gopal Sharma refuted reports that there have been rise in militancy in the past two months. Sharma reasoned that during the last fortnight only 51 civilians were killed by militants compared to 72 civilians last year during the same period. He added about 90 militants were killed during last 15 days as compared to 62 last year.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 09/18/2003 1:09 Comments || Top||

Four shot dead in Quetta court
Four people were shot dead in a sessions court in Osta Muhammad on Wednesday morning. Eyewitnesses said two unidentified men approached on a motorcycle and opened fire at a group of people inside the sessions court, killing Ghulam Hussain Imrani, his son Muhammad Hussain Imrani, grandson Fateh Ali Imrani and another man. The men fled. Police has registered a case. Officials in Osta Muhammad said the killings were part of a feud. They said Ghulam Hussain and his son had come to the sessions court to attend the proceedings of a case.
Think real hard, coppers, and you might come up with a suspect or two...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Isn't there a security requirement to have court sessions not be accessable to drive by machine-gun fire.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 8:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Since they cannot outlaw guns, they should at least make an effort to outlaw motorcycles to stop this rash of drive-by shootings.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 9:55 Comments || Top||

#3  maybe not letting the motorcycles into the courtroom would help stop incidents such as this? Just a thought.....
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

#4  If you are convicted of a drive by shooting in Iran, is that considered a moving violation? Is it points? Will it drive your be harder to find insurance or increase your premium?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 15:10 Comments || Top||

#5  Ok, enough with the shootings of the Ali's, Bin's, Muhammads, Hussains, and Imrams, hell you're going to drop the rag market drastically, and give motorcycles a bad reputation
Posted by: Alaska Bob || 07/10/2004 4:48 Comments || Top||

#6  PakiWacky version of a deadlocked jury?
Posted by: ed || 07/10/2004 6:08 Comments || Top||

Today’s Bleat
James Lileks is on today:
Let’s go back to the editorial page the day after the 1998 bombing. (Desert Fox)
Lead edit. Title: “BOMBING SADDAM. Reason is clear; let attack be sustained.” The writer lays out the case: Saddam has not complied with his obligations; he threw away the last chance that President Clinton gave him in November; Tony Blair agrees. Said the editorial: “Neither will the attack be credible if it is limited to a few cruise missiles lobbed at Iraq. This must be the sustained, punishing effort that Clinton has promised.”

The end result of which was five more years of Saddam’s rule. Interesting choice of words, that: “Punishing.” Saddam must be punished, then left in power. He must be hit with a credible attack, then left in power. The punishing, credible attack that leaves him in power must be sustained. And so forth.

I’ve read enough editorials from various papers from this period to reinforce something I’ve long suspected: the reason many editorialists hate this war is because they don’t feel it’s theirs.

If Clinton had risen to the occasion, wiped out al-Qaeda, sent Marines to kick down the statues and put bullets in those filthy sons’ brainpans, this would be the most noble effort of our time. We would hear clear echoes of JFK’s call to bear any burden. FDR, Truman, Marshall Plan, forbearance, patience - the editorial pages of the land would absolutely brim with encouragement and optimism every damn day, because the good fight was being waged, and the right people were waging it.
Read the whole thing, but you knew that.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 10:50:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Best. Bleat. Ever.
Posted by: Mike || 09/18/2003 15:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Since Lileks works for the Star Tribune (his "Backfence" column is often very entertaining, though extremely silly and devoid of any politics), I wonder if he'll ever get in troule for embarrasing his employers and co-workers with his forensic fisking.

His website has got to be drawing attention with all the traffic he generates. The recent radio gigs too.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 09/18/2003 19:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Taro: Based on past experience, and some comments he's made in previous Bleats, it seems that the Strib doesn't mind if Lileks publicly disagrees with the house editorial position. That's a good attitude for any newspaper to take with its op-ed writers--you get a better product that way.
Posted by: Mike || 09/18/2003 20:19 Comments || Top||

U.S. Troops Ambushed in Central Iraq Town
KHALDIYAH - U.S. troops were ambushed on the main road of this central Iraqi town Thursday, coming under heavy gunfire that destroyed a truck. An Associated Press reporter who arrived on the scene saw four U.S. tanks surrounding the smoldering truck as helicopters hovered above. Taking fire from unknown positions, U.S forces were firing with no obvious targets, in an apparent effort to protect themselves until reinforcements arrived, a witness said. Al-Arabiya television reported eight Americans were killed and one wounded. There was no confirmation of any casualties, and initial casualty reports have proven incorrect in the past. The AP reporter was fired on by one of the tanks with three rounds from its 50-caliber machine gun. An AP photographer said his car was shot up by American fire, the windshield blown out and all the tires flattened. The photographer was not injured. Shortly afterward a huge explosion rocked the area, and there were unconfirmed reports from residents that U.S. Humvees had come under attack a few miles distant.
Posted by: Murat || 09/18/2003 9:44:46 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And good morning to you, Murat!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 9:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Telegraph reports that Al-Arabiya TV are claiming at least 8 US dead.

"Witnesses said up to 10 burned bodies were carried from a US transport vehicle after it drove over a bomb in the town of Khaldiya, about 50 miles west of Baghdad. They said the convoy tried to continue after the first explosion but was hit by rocket-propelled grenades shortly afterwards. Al-Arabiya television said eight Americans were killed and one wounded in the ambush.

US Central Command has not confirmed the attacks but reports said US tanks and helicopters have sealed off the area. It came after a 14-year-old Iraqi boy was reportedly killed and six people wounded when American soldiers mistakenly opened fire on a wedding celebration in the nearby town of Falluja last night. Witnesses said the soldiers in a convoy of Humvee military vehicles attacked the wedding party after guests had fired guns into the air in celebration. Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the US coalition military commander in Baghdad, said he could not confirm if the boy was killed but that the incident was under investigation."
Posted by: Bulldog || 09/18/2003 10:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Reuters: KHALDIYA, Iraq, Sept 18 - Two American soldiers were wounded on Thursday in a small-arms and explosives attack on their convoy in a volatile area west of Baghdad, a U.S. military spokesman said. "There was an improvised explosive device and small-arms attack east of Ramadi at 3 p.m. (1100 GMT)," Sergeant Mark Ingham said in Baghdad. "There were two wounded in action and they are in stable condition." A military spokeswoman said three vehicles had been attacked -- two trucks and a Humvee. On the main road near the town of Khaldiya, east of Ramadi on the way to Baghdad, Reuters witnesses saw a U.S. truck and Humvee ablaze. Another crippled American truck stood on the highway less than a kilometre (mile) away.

Two wounded, not eight dead. About what I figured when I saw the first reports were from Al-Arabiya.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 11:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Watch your sources Murat. Getting shown up by Reuters is pretty pathetic.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 09/18/2003 12:20 Comments || Top||

#5  The AP reporter was fired on by one of the tanks with three rounds from its 50-caliber machine gun. An AP photographer said his car was shot up by American fire, the windshield blown out and all the tires flattened.

Okay, let's try to picture this. Three rounds==three bullets. One takes out the windshield, check. But TWO bullets take out FOUR tires, AND leaves the AP reporter shaken but unharmed?

Murat, that is either damn good shooting, or someone's just blown smoke up your ass...
Posted by: Ptah || 09/18/2003 14:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Ptah, I'd think that if three 50 cal. rounds hit a car, there might not be much left of it. A 50 cal. is a huge round. You're right, the AP report is hogwash.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 09/18/2003 14:36 Comments || Top||

#7  Well, if the car was at a 90 degree angle to the gunner, and he was a good shot, yeah you could do it. I don't think a 50 cal is gonna slow down much going through a tire and a car body.

Of course, if they were Michelin tires, they most likely surrendered after the first shot.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 14:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Witnesses said the soldiers in a convoy of Humvee military vehicles attacked the wedding party after guests had fired guns into the air in celebration.

One would think these dumbasses would have learned already the danger posed by this sort of "custom", not only to themselves but to others nearby.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 14:59 Comments || Top||

#9  Some people have morning coffee, some people have stories with Americans being shot.

Whatever floats your boat, Murat.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

#10  I took a look at the AA report and laughed. AA is run by the terrorists, Murat. Wait until other sources confirm the death toll.
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:33 Comments || Top||

#11  Murat still hasn't figured out that the stories he...ahem...*pleasures himself* with...don't necessarily have much basis in reality.
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 09/18/2003 18:38 Comments || Top||

Foreign fighters sneak into Iraq
Terrorism in Iraq may have a lot to do with what’s going along the porous border between Iran and Iraq. Iranians and Afghans sneak across it every day.
Really, we hadn’t noticed.
Like the three Iranians who claimed they were making a pilgrimage to holy Shia cities in Iraq.
"Which holy city you going to?"
"They’re all holy, don’t you read the book?"

They will soon be handed over to the Americans for questioning. Bakr Shakr, an Iraqi border guard commander, said he has captured more than 40 Afghans in the past two weeks.
What, they get tired of all the peace and quiet at home?
He said members of Ansar al-Islam — an Iraqi group linked to al-Qaida and believed to be making inroads in the United States WTF? — fled into Iran when their bases in northern iraq were destroyed during the Iraq war. Now, he said, they are easily crossing back. A smuggler told NBC News that human traffickers he works with have said that many Afghans bring explosives with them into Iraq to carry out attacks.
It’s part of their cultural heritage.
In a videotape obtained exclusively by NBC News, Syrian, Egyptian and Afghan fighters said the leaky borders make it easy for them to get in.
Ain’t it funny how NBC can find them, and we can’t? (as far as NBC knows)
Now they operate around Fallujah, a hotbed of anti-American activity, and they join forces with Iraqi militant groups in the area, groups that have carried out many attacks against U.S. troops. Though not part of the al-Qaida terrorist network, the foreign fighters say they support its mission.
“They believe in the same kind of ideology,” said M.J. Gohel, a political analyst. “They’re all part of what we call the global jihad network.”
Global Jihad Network - a member of the Wahabbi Group.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 9:36:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's always nice when your enemies actually RUN TO a free-fire zone, instead of hiding among law-abiding civilians. Whack & stack 'em, and for the families that have enough money, return the iced bodies to the point of origin - airmail...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 09/18/2003 17:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Since when is Ansar al-Islam not part of AQ?
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/18/2003 23:13 Comments || Top||

Green GIs Eyed in Shooting of Iraqi Cops
American soldiers who mistakenly killed eight Iraqi policemen and a Jordanian guard this month had been in this turbulent city for only one day and were in the midst of a handover from one military unit to another, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials. According to these officials, confusion and inexperience may have contributed to the Sept. 12 killings, the worst "friendly fire" incident since major hostilities were declared over May 1. Capt. Jimmy Cummings, spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division’s headquarters in Fort Bragg, N.C., dismissed any suggestion that the soldiers — who had been in Iraq for a week — were ill-prepared. "They did receive training. They had just gotten back from Afghanistan and before they deployed to Afghanistan they had training and before they went back they got the training again," Cummings said. He said the second round of training had been refined with lessons learned in Afghanistan and the Iraq conflict.
That doesn't make them "green," whoever wrote the headline...
The Sept. 12 killings stoked tensions in the city. Taha Bedawi, the U.S.-backed mayor of Fallujah, said U.S. military officials have asked to meet with Fallujah’s tribal chiefs and dignitaries to try to defuse the anger that has swept the city of 200,000 people. He said the meeting, tentatively scheduled for later this week, will also decide on a financial settlement known in Arabic as "diya," or blood money, to be paid to the families of the victims. "Those guys did similar missions in Afghanistan," Cummings said. "They’ve had the real world experience in Afghanistan." Of their training, he said: "It deals with rules of engagement, some of which is classified, dealing with civilians on the battlefield and also cultural awareness classes."

The policemen were killed while chasing a white BMW thought to be used by highway bandits. The Iraqi police gave up the chase when the BMW got away. As they made their way back to Fallujah, they came under fire from U.S. soldiers. The shooting happened in front of the Jordanian hospital, which also came under fire from the Americans. Survivors said the Americans fired at them for at least 30 minutes despite their screams in both English and Arabic that they were police. Some took off their identity arm bands and waved them in the air for the Americans to see them, but to no avail. None of the 25 policemen and members of the Fallujah Protection Force returned fire, witnesses and survivors said. The U.S. military said the American troops were fired at first and Bedawi, the mayor, told the AP that there were unconfirmed witness reports that passengers in the BMW fired at the soldiers as they sped past them. The investigation, which will be detailed in a public report, will look at what was done to calm the situation and whether the handover led to confusion over the policemen’s identity.
Posted by: lkl || 09/18/2003 6:21:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I DO NOT believe that American troops fired for thirty minutes without ever receiving return fire. With NO incoming fire, they'd have stopped in moments. More hosesnot.

BTW, I believe we wacked the folks in the BMW.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 09/18/2003 11:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Huh? "The policemen were killed while chasing a white BMW thought to be used by highway bandits. The Iraqi police gave up the chase when the BMW got away. As they made their way back to Fallujah, they came under fire from U.S. soldiers."

Took place during the chase: no, afterwards: the suspects had disappeared: no, in fact they were shooting at the troops as well as at the cops: the cops were not shooting, even at the fleeing suspects...

Posted by: John Anderson || 09/18/2003 14:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah, I keep hoping for further clarification too. That part about the police not shooting back but our guys keeping on shooting them doesn't seem right. If that were true, why did we stop before we killed them all? This plus the other Fallujah-related story above seems to indicate something is happening over there, but it appears that we don't yet know what.
Posted by: lkl || 09/18/2003 15:15 Comments || Top||

"Baghdad Bob" admits France was given preference in oil contracts
Al Jazeera runs a long interview with "Baghdad Bob" (Muhammed Said Al-Sahaf), the former "Information" Minister of Iraq. Most of it is the usual nonsense ("We had no weapons of mass destruction, we were just swell guys with a song in our hearts, yadda yadda yadda."), but one comment stands out as what the legal business calls a "statement against interest."
Question: How did Iraq deal with members of the UN Security Council?
Al-Sahaf: We would contact any country which becomes a temporary member of the Council. We would send them delegations and materials to make our positions clear to them. More and continuous contacts were carried out with the three permanent members of the Council, France, Russia, and China. They were also given preference in oil contracts and trade to keep them as close as possible to the Iraqi side.
Emphasis added. No comment necessary.

Hat tip: LGF.
Posted by: Mike || 09/18/2003 6:07:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Blood for Oil.
Posted by: g wiz || 09/18/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Sacre bleu! This is infamous. We shall now adopt the Swedish practice of banning opinions that differ with those of the French government.
Posted by: Highlander || 09/18/2003 9:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Escargots pour l'huile.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 11:16 Comments || Top||

#4  Bomb-a-rama

Huile is the word for edible oil (ie olive oil)
and the supposedely edible erzatz of it (colza, sunflower).

The world for mineral oil is petrole.
Posted by: JFM || 09/18/2003 13:50 Comments || Top||

#5  Well, crap. Cheap-ass English-French dictionary....hehe
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 15:06 Comments || Top||

#6  Listen, we know this is true from other news reports. No need to cite al Sahaf, who has the about the least credibility of basically any source in the world. Note in the article he also says Iraq has no WMDs.
Posted by: Nick || 09/18/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

#7  Honestly, did anyone here not alreadu know about this? Besides Murat and the french guy cowering in the corner.
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

#8  Well duh
Posted by: Cheddarhead || 09/18/2003 19:05 Comments || Top||

U.S. Says New Iraq Army Won’t Join Combat
WASHINGTON (AP) - The new Iraqi army will not initially join U.S. troops in combat operations against holdouts from the deposed government of Saddam Hussein, a senior American adviser to the U.S. occupation authority said Wednesday.

Walter Slocombe, adviser on national security matters to Iraq civil administrator L. Paul Bremer, told a Pentagon news conference that the new Iraqi force is being trained for less demanding tasks such as providing security for vehicle convoys and manning checkpoints. Eventually it will be of sufficient size and sophistication to defend Iraq’s territory, he said, "because Iraq lives in a dangerous neighborhood, and it needs to be able to defend itself."

The first group of about 800 Iraqi soldiers is due to finish its training next month. Slocombe said the goal is to have 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers trained and operating within one year, which he said is half the time U.S. authorities initially believed raising an army of that size would take. The timetable has been accelerated because U.S. officials discovered that the former Iraqi military had competently trained its conscripts; the bigger task now is for training officers.

The Iraqi army has played no role in U.S.-led efforts to stabilize the country because, Slocombe said, it disintegrated during the major combat phase of the war in March and early April. Iraqi soldiers and commanders who were not killed or captured in the fighting simply went home, he said, and "took with them whatever they thought was worth taking; and what they didn’t take, people came in and stole or destroyed or looted. "The degree of the looting of military installations in Iraq is really hard to imagine. They didn’t just steal stuff that was not nailed down, they stole the toilet fixtures, and they stole the pipes and the tile in the latrines."

Those being recruited to join the new army are mainly former conscripts and lower-ranking officers, he said. Iraqis who were senior members of Saddam’s Baath Party are banned, as are the special security and intelligence services that were the backbone of the dictatorship.

The new army will be mainly light infantry and will operate under the command of the senior American general in Iraq until the United States returns sovereignty to a new Iraqi government, Slocombe said.

Establishing a new Iraqi army is part of a broader U.S. strategy for stabilizing the country and hastening the day when the U.S. occupation authority can relinquish control to an Iraqi government and send U.S. troops home. Other elements of the strategy include re-establishing a police force, border guards, a facilities protection service and a civil defense force.
This is the answer; certainly better than letting Indian and Pakistani troops in, and better than caving to the French.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 1:33:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I happened across the briefing in question on CSPAN. Slocombe was excellent. He is a walking quagmire killer.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 6:00 Comments || Top||

#2  If the new Iraqi troops have any kind of self respect, they will soon demand to be on the Baath hunt detail. It would be a shot in the arm if some of the new Iraqi troops were part of the task force that catches Saddam.
Posted by: mhw || 09/18/2003 8:25 Comments || Top||

#3  I agree with mhw. Getting some of these guys out with our troops--after they've had some training and screening--would be a great way to establish some close ties for future joint training and operations, establish a cadre of experienced veterans who will disseminate what they've learned, and help the Iraqi military re-establish a sense of pride in themselves and their country.
Posted by: Dar || 09/18/2003 10:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Read the first sentence carefully:
The new Iraqi army will not initially join U.S. troops in combat operations . . . .
They're not going into combat now because they're being trained. That "initially" suggests that they're going to be held back until training reaches a high standard, which is best for the long-term quality of the force. Don't want to send them out before they're ready.
Posted by: Mike || 09/18/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Slocombe said that Iraq had an adequate basic training program that turned out recruits that could accomplish basic security functions. This cut the estimate to achieve force readiness by about a year. For example, most Iraqi males older than 12 years can field strip, clean and reassemble an AK-47 in a very short period. The existing soldiers can march and make their beds, but they have no leaders.

Slocombe says the training focus will be to establish a corps of effective NCO's and Junior Officers. He says out of the Iraqi force of 500,000 there were 11,000 people of flag rank. Kind of top heavy. Many of the flag rank and other military jobs were in the construction industry or performed other functions that whould be civilian jobs anyway.

Based on what I saw of the interview, I don't expect to see Iraqi soldiers on missions for a while. Without effective NCO's they would be a danger to everyone except the opposing force. I doubt that we have enough Arabic speaking Special Forces types to lead Iraqi soldiers in numbers.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 15:33 Comments || Top||

#6  My suggestion, for what it's worth, is to put them to work securing the borders. That will give them experience, possibly slow down the jihadi influx, give them some well-earned (rather than pseudo) pride in performance, and some skill in handling unhealthy situations. Put them under competent US officers and SENIOR NCO's, with the instruction of that group to keep an eye out for quality officer and NCO candidates. After six to nine months on the border, give them responsibility to guard pipelines and oilfields, working toward giving them more control of the military requirements of the country as a whole as they progress in experience and competence.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 09/18/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

Venezuela Won’t Recognize Iraq Delegation
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday Venezuela won’t recognize an Iraqi delegation at an upcoming meeting of OPEC ministers, although his oil minister said informal talks may happen. ``We don’t recognize a ’quote government unquote’’’ under foreign occupation, Chavez told a meeting of foreign journalists at the presidential palace.
"Unless they’re occupied by Cubans, of course!"
An Iraqi delegation will attend an OPEC meeting for the first time since U.S.-led forces deposed Saddam Hussein. Reintegration into OPEC is crucial to Iraq, given the importance of oil exports to its economy and to the success of its interim government.
Why is OPEC important? Iraqis can pump all the oil they want.
Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said there wasn’t any Iraqi government to send a delegation to the Sept. 24 meeting in Vienna. But he acknowledged there could be ``informal’’ talks with an Iraqi ``observer’’ at the meeting.
Who could ’informally’ tell the Venezuelan ’delegation’ to ’piss off.’
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 1:19:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Excellent. Iraqis already appreciate the despicable role played by brother Arab states in their decades of tyranny; now they can get a full dose of OPEC thuggery and arrogance. This just gets better and better .....
Posted by: IceCold || 09/18/2003 1:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Chavez is opposed to the removal of tyrants as a matter of principal, really!
Posted by: Dishman || 09/18/2003 1:49 Comments || Top||

#3  It's time that Hugo receive his proper recognition. It takes special talent to take a burgeoning economy of a country with unlimited resources and mismanage it to the point of near collapse. There is a fundemental misconception in our culture caused by the term "village idiot" in our culture. The Village Idiot is not supreme in the hierachy of morons.
Chavez's stupidity goes even beyond the national level. He qualifies at least as Hemispheral Ninny. He will be in the running for World Buffoon if Robert Mugumby ever "retires" from office. Bob's ability to pave paradice and put up a parking lot is unsurpassed in our generation. Bob would finish a distant 3rd on an economics exam against 10 randomly chosen Special Olympians.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 6:43 Comments || Top||

#4  "a matter of principal"...

That would be "principle".
Principal is either the dude that runs the school you attend so infrequently, or the base figure for calculation of interest.
Posted by: alphasheep || 09/18/2003 8:38 Comments || Top||

#5  Too bad Chavez couldn't be transported to Iraq and dropped off in the middle of Baghdad after telling the local population about his preference for a Saddam Hussein's continued rule.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 11:28 Comments || Top||

#6  Open mouth, insert foot.

OPEC is almost as dumb as the Paleos...
Posted by: mojo || 09/18/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#7  Most of OPEC support the Paleos, Mojo. Idoits befriending idiots.
Posted by: Charles || 09/18/2003 17:39 Comments || Top||

U.S.: Iraq sheltered suspect in '93 WTC attack
U.S. authorities in Iraq say they have new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime gave money and housing to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, according to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials.
No links, huh?
The Bush administration is using the evidence to strengthen its disputed prewar assertion that Iraq had ties to terrorists, including the al-Qaeda group responsible for the Sept. 11 attack. But President Bush, in contrast with comments Sunday by Vice President Cheney, said Wednesday, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved."
Just a little aid and comfort...
Cheney had said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that "we don't know" if Iraq was involved but said some suggestive evidence had surfaced. He asserted that the campaign in Iraq is striking at terrorists involved in the attacks. Cheney also disclosed the new evidence about the 1993 suspect on the program, but he did not name Yasin. Military, intelligence and law enforcement officials reported finding a large cache of Arabic-language documents in Tikrit, Saddam's political stronghold. A U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity said translators and analysts are busy "separating the gems from the junk." The official said some of the analysts have concluded that the documents show that Saddam's government provided monthly payments and a home for Yasin.
That's aid. That's comfort.
Yasin is on the FBI's list of 22 most-wanted terrorist fugitives; there is a $25 million reward for his capture. The bureau questioned and released him in New York shortly after the bombing in 1993. After Yasin had fled to Iraq, the FBI said it found evidence that he helped make the bomb, which killed six people and injured 1,000. Yasin is still at large.
And that makes me wonder where he learned to make bombs...
Even if the new information holds up — and intelligence and law enforcement officials disagree on its conclusiveness — the links tying Yasin, Saddam and al-Qaeda are tentative. The World Trade Center bombing was carried out by a group headed by Ramzi Yousef, who is serving a 240-year prison term. Federal authorities say Yousef's group received financial support from al-Qaeda via Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. But a direct al-Qaeda role in the 1993 attack hasn't been established.
I think USA Today's being a bit legalistic here...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm not interested in the aq role, I want Iraq's role.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/18/2003 0:42 Comments || Top||

#2  rofl I didn't realise that they still had some credibility.

How about those 70% of americans that believe Saddam was involved in 9/11, pmsl

Was reading the National Review Online earlier and some dickhead was saying that the link was proven and now Georgie comes up with a denial...love it :)
Posted by: Igs || 09/18/2003 4:24 Comments || Top||

#3  I think it's important to establish how comforatble the guy was made. Did he get to party at the Uday's rapem parties? Was he turned away at the door? Did his accomidations include a colonial, ranch or just a double-wide. We need to have all the details to judge how deeply Sadaam was in-bed with some of these terrorists.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 8:49 Comments || Top||

#4  You have to wonder why the Bush administration just sits on this kind of info even after all the scrutiny they've been under since the end of the Iraq war. This is the kind of info that helps to justify the war from a security standpoint, but Bush just mentions is matter of factly as if it's common knowledge. Does he think the liberal media is talking about this all day? Bush's PR machine needs a major shakeup. Unless they're that confident about winning the next election then I guess they can continue not responding to their critics.
Posted by: g wiz || 09/18/2003 8:58 Comments || Top||

#5  The Bush PR machine needs a good swift hard kick in the ass. They need to push the word out and not just on 'meet the press' or Sunday morning TV (which I dont think most people watch ) but on the evening news. Don't they see that the liberal media and democratic party bootlickers are walking all over them with their half-truths?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/18/2003 9:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Igs, Bush was referencing 9/11 specifically, and he's correct: there is no firm evidence that Saddam had a hand in 9/11. However, NRO is also correct, in that Saddam has sponsored, aided and abetted terrorists for quite a long time. His sheltering Yasin is just one more example of that.

Thanks for allowing me to clear that up for you!
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 11:59 Comments || Top||

#7  Steve with regards to 9/11 and Saddam, the Bush administration has deliberately allowed the misconception of the two being related and in many cases has implied a direct link. Knowing full well that there was no link betweenSaddam and 9/11 they had the obligation to state this before the Iraq invasion. Failure to do so is simply misleading the public.
Posted by: Igs || 09/18/2003 21:10 Comments || Top||

#8  Igs: No worries. When the Democrats elect Wesley Clark there will never, ever been any misleading. Who, after all, could ever claim that such Democratic stalwarts as LBJ(Vietnam), Jimmy Carter (1979 authorizes covert CIA war in Afghanistan), or Bill Clinton (Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, etc., etc., etc.) ever misled the American people?
Posted by: R. McLeod || 09/19/2003 1:10 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
’Contrite’ Bali bomber gets life in jail
Ali Imron, a 33-year-old Islamic teacher, was convicted of planning an act of terrorism which killed more than 200 people.
He was sentenced to life in prison. He could have faced the death penalty, but the court said it had taken into account Ali Imron’s expression of regret. Two other men, including Ali Imron’s brother Amrozi, have already been convicted and sentenced to death for their part in the Bali conspiracy.
Ali Imron had admitted to helping assemble one of the bombs which exploded in Bali on 12 October and driving a bomb-laden minivan to the site of the attack.
"Ali Imron has been found guilty in a legal and convincing manner of terrorism," said Judge Mulyani, who read out the verdict. The defendant had committed "an extraordinary crime and a crime against humanity", the judge said. What has set him apart from the other key suspects has been his expressions of remorse.
Played the "I’m sorry" card and won.
Judge Mulyani said Ali Imron "had felt guilt and has honestly expressed regrets". He was polite throughout the trial and had realized that the blast "was a mistake according to Islam", the judge said. Unlike the others, he has made no angry gestures or criticisms of the US, and has urged people not to follow in his footsteps.
This one listened to his lawyers.
For this reason, the prosecution had only asked for a sentence of 20 years in prison, rather than the maximum penalty of death.
Asked for 20 and got life. Should have got the wall, but I can live with life in a Indo slammer.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 8:56:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

Suu Kyi recovering in hospital after operation: report
Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been successfully operated on for gynaecological problems at a private hospital in the capital Yangon, Japan's Kyodo news agency has reported. Ms Suu Kyi was reportedly underwent a successful operation on her uterus at the private Asia Royal Hospital on Thursday morning.
Not sure we needed quite that much detail...
"This is not true," Reuters quoted hospital administration officer Myat Thu told as saying.
Oh. Okay. Then she didn't...
But a Yangon doctor told Reuters Ms Suu Kyi had entered the hospital. "It is quite true. I have friends who work at the hospital and they say she was there," the unnamed doctor said adding the ninth floor of the hospital had been sealed off on Wednesday and plainclothes security men were in the building.
Uhhh... I guess she did, then...
"There were arrangements for an operation on a VIP patient, but only authorised people could gain access," a second doctor told Reuters.
So how'd you know it was her? How'd you know what part of her got cut?
Burma's military rulers have kept Ms Suu Kyi, 58, at an undisclosed location since May 30, after a bloody clash between her convoy and government supporters in north of the country. The junta says she is being held in protective custody and has ignored an international calls for her release.
"We ain't giving her up. Keep harping on it, and we'll operate on her again!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 08:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

Ali Imron gets life
An Indonesian court on Thursday sentenced Islamic militant Ali Imron to life in jail for planning the Bali bombings which killed 202 people last October. "We sentence the defendant... to the punishment of jail for life," said chief judge Lilik Mulyadi. Imron, 33, appeared calm when the sentence was read out but appeared to be frowning when two policemen later led him away. The sentence was heavier than the 20-year term sought by prosecutors but less than the maximum penalty of death which can be imposed in terror cases. Mulyadi said the defendant had committed "an extraordinary crime and a crime against humanity". However, the judge said Imron "had felt guilt and has honestly expressed regrets". He was polite throughout the trial and had realized that the blast "was a mistake according to Islam", the judge said.
Yeah. Sometimes ideas don't look so good after you've carried them out. Then, when you get caught, they look even worse...
One of Imron's lawyers, Suyanto, said the defense team will consider whether to appeal. They will have seven days to make their decision. Two other Bali bombing accused, including Imron's brother Amrozi, have been sentenced to death.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 08:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sigh, second.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 8:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Bwahahaha I was almost third
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

DAP slams PAS support for suicide bombers
The Democratic Action Party has criticised remarks by Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang supporting Muslim suicide bombers. DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang said on Tuesday that PAS was sending a wrong message to the world commemorating the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. He cited the remarks by the PAS chief as an example of the incompatibility of politics advocated by the party and its concept of an Islamic state. Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi also embraced Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups openly as brothers-in-arms.
That's because they think the same way. Glad to see not all Malaysians do. Of course, those who don't have just as much to fear from those who do as we do...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

Middle East
Hamas, police in shootout
Three people were wounded in a shoot-out between Palestinian security services and members of the radical Islamic group Hamas Thursday night, Palestinian sources said. According to a statement released by the Palestinian security ministry, the clash erupted in the wake of a kidnapping of a member of the security services allegedly by Hamas on Wednesday.
They won’t do anything about the boomers, but grab one of their own and they take offense.
Sources at the main al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City said three people had been shot, but would not say to which side they belonged.
"We can’t tell the difference."
The ministry blasted Hamas for their alleged role in the kidnapping and said it was cracking down hard on suspects.
"This kidnapping is unacceptable, and we have arrested seven suspects who will be interrogated and eventually tried in the courts," it said.
"If they survive interrogation, that is."
It added that the alleged Hamas plot is "contrary to the interests of the Palestinian Authority and those of the Palestinian people, who need unity in the face of Israeli aggression".
"Ya, stick to killing the Jooo’s. Leave us alone."
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 3:44:41 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What was it that President Bush said after 9/11? Something about causing terrorists to turn against each one another?

I love it when a plan comes together!
Posted by: Dripping Sarcasm || 09/18/2003 17:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Willing to bet somebody in Hamas thought the ministry member was giving up Hamas leaders to Israelis.Other alternatives:boys were just playing Family Feud;or the start of something dearly wished for-like not talking about a no-hitter,don't wanna jinx it.
Posted by: Stephen || 09/18/2003 17:57 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Ex-IRA Thug Says He Pulled off 1993 Brinks Job
Ten years after a Brink’s depot was emptied at gunpoint of $7.4 million, a former rebel from Northern Ireland admits in a memoir that he masterminded the heist. Millar, who had served time in his homeland for a botched bombing, was convicted in 1994 along with an Irish-born priest, the Rev. Patrick Moloney, of stashing $2 million from the robbery in a New York City apartment.
Another holy man, they don’t all wear turbans.
No one was convicted of the actual robbery - a Brink’s guard was acquitted of carrying out an inside job - and no one can be charged now because the statute of limitations ran out five years later.
Which is why he can brag about it now.
The rest of the money from the nation’s fifth largest armored-car holdup is missing. Investigators have said they suspect it was funneled to the Irish Republican Army.
It’s called "midnight fund raising".
But Millar maintains the money was stolen a second time after he stashed it that night at the home of a friend of his purported accomplice - a man identified only as "Marco."
The fact that Miller is still breathing indicates that the IRA got their money, they’re picky about that.
An FBI spokesman in Buffalo, Paul Moskal, declined to comment Thursday, but the chief investigator was skeptical of Millar’s account of what happened to the missing loot. "That’s a little far-fetched," retired FBI agent Dale Anderson told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
I agree.
Millar’s autobiography was published in Ireland this month by Galway-based Wynkin deWorde, which also published his first novel, "Dark Souls," in April. Millar, now 49, lives in Belfast with his wife and children.
I’m sure he’s in demand on the literary cocktail circuit.
As a member of IRA’s youth wing, Millar racked up a decade behind bars in Northern Ireland, in part for a botched bombing in 1976. Millar drew a five-year sentence for stashing the money from the heist, but was transferred to a Northern Ireland prison under a prisoner-exchange program in 1997 and released two months later.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 2:08:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The JV Mafia in Rochester had a lot to do with this. There's been at least one, maybe two "rubouts" over it, some attempteds and federal grand juries all round. Entertaining to see the Giotti wannabes.

They can be charged if they are found with the money, poss. of stolen property.


Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 09/18/2003 14:34 Comments || Top||

Two ’Portland Seven’ Brothers Plead Guilty
Two brothers who were among seven people in Portland accused of aiding terrorists pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to help al-Qaida and the Taliban during the war in Afghanistan.
There you go again, pleading guilty. Didn’t you get the memo?
Ahmed Bilal, 25, and his brother, Muhammad Bilal, 23, appeared before U.S. District Judge Robert Jones to formally enter their pleas. Jones had announced the plea agreement Wednesday.
The brothers also pleaded guilty to firearms charges in exchange for having the main charge of conspiracy to levy war against the United States dismisssed. Both face up to 14 years in federal prison. They had been accused of traveling with four other men to China shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack in a failed attempt to enter Afghanistan and fight with the Taliban against U.S. forces.
They must be the only people who couldn’t get into Afghanistan.
The plea agreement came less than a week after Attorney General John Ashcroft asked Jones to prevent the Portland defendants from viewing evidence used to obtain secret warrants that allowed the FBI to intercept conversations and bug the home of at least one of the seven defendants. Ashcroft cited national security concerns. The defense said it wanted to review the evidence before deciding whether to challenge the warrants on constitutional grounds.
In the plea deal, Ahmed Bilal agreed to a term of 10 to 14 years while his younger brother agreed to eight to 14 years.
I expect that they also agreed to spill their guts.
One other Portland defendant has pleaded guilty. Three have pleaded innocent, and the seventh person charged last year is a fugitive.
Jeffrey Leon Battle, Patrice Lumumba Ford and October Martinique Lewis are scheduled to go to trial Jan. 5. They have pleaded not guilty. At a recent hearing, Ford said he would never cooperate with the investigation and would not plead guilty. The seventh member of the group, Habis Abdulla al Saoub, is a fugitive the FBI thinks remains out of the United States. The agency is offering as much as $5 million for information leading to his arrest.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 1:52:08 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I’m confused (still) didn’t CAIR and AMC declare that these were witch hunts on INNOCENT peace-loving Arabs? How many peace loving people do you know that would travel half-way around the world to join a war? Against you own COUNTRY? Doesn’t sound too peaceful to me. In their defense, the local Imam probably told them they were doing a good thing by killing infidels. These two are going to enjoy prison. I have notice that CAIR and AMC have been muzzled lately?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 09/18/2003 14:34 Comments || Top||

#2  I have notice that CAIR and AMC have been muzzled lately?

If they're muzzled, it's because of their own choosing.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 15:11 Comments || Top||

Former East European Presidents Blast Castro
The former presidents of three Eastern European countries have launched a campaign calling for the peaceful overthrow of Cuba’s communist government.

In a letter sent to several leading newspapers internationally, Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, Lech Walesa of Poland and Arpad Goencz of Hungary said European countries should set up a fund to help opposition groups within Cuba.
The three, all of whom were dissidents when their countries were ruled by communist regimes, said President Fidel Castro’s regime was "at its last gasp" and compared its situation to Eastern Europe in the late 1980s.
Facing an economic downtown and growing discontent, the Cuban Government in March arrested 75 members of opposition groups.
But the former presidents said in their letter that the dissident movement had not been adversely affected.
"The internal opposition is getting stronger, it has not been brought to its knees by the police round-up last March, times are changing, the revolution is getting old and the regime is getting nervous," they said.
"Fidel Castro knows well that one day the revolution will die with him."

Embargo attacked

The letter said that European governments were being too soft on Cuba.
"Europe ought to make it unambiguously clear that Fidel Castro is a dictator, and that for democratic countries a dictatorship cannot become a partner until it commences a process of political liberalisation," it said.
It also called for a "Democratic Cuba Fund" to support civil society which should be "ready for immediate use in the event of political change".
But it attacked the United States trade embargo, saying that this was allowing Mr Castro to shift the blame for the difficult economic situation.
Europe and the US should seek a common policy on Cuba, the former leaders added.
Posted by: rg117 || 09/18/2003 12:04:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can someone explain to me why Europeans go to Cuba? They have a dozen islands throughout the region where they can go safely. Is it really that much cheaper in Cuba?
Posted by: Yank || 09/18/2003 12:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Bonefish
Posted by: Shipman || 09/18/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Thin women, free aspirin, antique cars, great exchange rate, clear broth,
Posted by: Lucky || 09/18/2003 13:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Nice beaches, cheap whorehouses...
Posted by: Fred || 09/18/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Good cigars, russian vodka, warm weather
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 09/18/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Baseball!
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 09/18/2003 15:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Can someone explain to me why Europeans go to Cuba?

Good exchange rate, nice beaches, great rum and cigars, foreigner-only hotels, restaurants and stores, low-cost prostitutes, a loveable dictator, and above all, a chance to stick it to the Yanks.
Posted by: Pappy || 09/18/2003 16:01 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Islamic extremists kill 9 soldiers in Algeria
Nine soldiers were killed by Islamic extremists at Oued Djemaâ in the Aïn Defla region, 140 kilometres (85 miles) east of the capital Algiers, newspaper reports said Thursday. The soldiers were operating in the mountainous sector on Wednesday when their progress was halted by homemade bombs and they came under fire from suspected members of the hardline Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Their attackers stole their weapons before fleeing into a neighbouring forest, the reports said.
The Algerian army really needs to work on not walking into ambushes, this happens way too often.
The latest victims take the number of people killed this month in violence involving Islamic militants to at least 12, according to estimates based on officials and press reports.
Must be a slow month.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 11:33:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Algerian forests? I searched on google images and nothing close was found...what are we talking about here? tall weeds?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 12:43 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't know that training the Algierians to be better soldiers is in the interests of the US. It would be nice if they were more proficient at killing terrorists, but we train the Saudi's and so many other hostile forces, why train the Algierians too?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 14:58 Comments || Top||

#3  The Atlas Mtns in coastal Algeria top out at 2328m / 7638ft so there's bound to be substantial vegetation and forests on north-facing slopes due to winter rain and snow off the Mediterranean. It's probably similar to the mountains in the desert southwest of the US. The higher up you go the more vegetation, etc. So Calif has lots of chaparral and scrub oak forest -- that's what burns during fire season. It's completely different from the forests in NY or New England.
Posted by: Ned || 09/18/2003 18:36 Comments || Top||

#4  Ned - thx - forgot about Atlas range - my poor memory... regardless, there's not much veg here in So Cal (San Diego here) to hide if anyone has good binocs and/or IR and a helo
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 19:43 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Why the Donkeys hate Dubya
Bill Moyers may have his politics, but his deferential demeanor and almost avuncular television style made him the Mr. Rogers of American politics. So when he leaves his neighborhood to go to a "Take Back America" rally and denounces George W. Bush’s "government of, by and for the ruling corporate class," leading a "right-wing wrecking crew" engaged in "a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States way of governing," you know that something is going on.
Moyers is the stone calling the down-feather hard.
That something is the unhinging of the Democratic Party. Democrats are seized with a loathing for President Bush — a contempt and disdain giving way to a hatred that is near pathological — unlike any since they had Richard Nixon to kick around. An otherwise reasonable man, Julian Bond of the N.A.A.C.P., speaks of Bush’s staffing his Administration with "the Taliban wing of American politics." Harold Meyerson, editor at large of The American Prospect, devotes a 3,000-word article to explaining why Bush is the most dangerous President in all of American history — his only rival being Jefferson Davis.
But they try to defend the Taliban.
The puzzle is where this depth of feeling comes from. Bush’s manner is not particularly aggressive. He has been involved in no great scandals, Watergate or otherwise. He is, indeed, not the kind of politician who radiates heat. Yet his every word and gesture generate heat — a fury and bitterness that animate the Democratic primary electorate and explain precisely why Howard Dean has had such an explosive rise. More than any other candidate, Dean has understood the depth of this primal anti-Bush feeling and has tapped into it.
tap tap tap

Whence the anger? It begins of course with the "stolen" election of 2000 and the perception of Bush’s illegitimacy. But that is only half the story. An illegitimate President winning a stolen election would be tolerable if he were just a figurehead, a placeholder, the kind of weak, moderate Republican that Democrats (and indeed many Republicans) thought George Bush would be, judging from his undistinguished record and tepid 2000 campaign. Bush’s great crime is that he is the illegitimate President who became consequential — revolutionizing American foreign policy, reshaping economic policy and dominating the political scene ever since his emergence as the post-9/11 war President.
They dread a Republican with the urge to stop the Bad Guys™
Before that, Bush could be written off as an accident, a transitional figure, a kind of four-year Gerald Ford. And then came 9/11. Bush took charge, declared war, and sent the country into battle twice, each time bringing down enemy regimes with stunning swiftness. In Afghanistan, Bush rode a popular tide; Iraq, however, was a singular act of presidential will.
But Iraq was sympathetic to the terrorists.
That will, like it or not, has remade American foreign policy. The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy is the subtitle of a new book by two not very sympathetic scholars, Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay. The book is titled America Unbound. The story of the past two years could just as well be titled Bush Unbound. The President’s unilateral assertion of U.S. power has redefined America’s role in the world. Here was Bush breaking every liberal idol: the ABM Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, deference to the U.N., subservience to the "international community." It was an astonishing performance that left the world reeling and the Democrats seething. The pretender had not just seized the throne. He was acting like a king. Nay, an emperor.
On the domestic front, more shock. Democrats understand that the Bush tax cuts make structural changes that will long outlive him. Like the Reagan cuts, they will starve the government of revenue for years to come. Add to that the Patriot Act and its (perceived) assault on fundamental American civil liberties, and Bush the Usurper becomes more than just consequential. He becomes demonic.
A mendacious ass-ault to throw a wrench in the Republican works.
The current complaint is that Bush is a deceiver, misleading the country into a war, after which there turned out to be no weapons of mass destruction. But it is hard to credit the deception charge when every intelligence agency on the planet thought Iraq had these weapons and, indeed, when the weapons there still remain unaccounted for. Moreover, this is a post-facto rationale. Sure, the aftermath of the Iraq war has made it easier to frontally attack Bush. But the loathing long predates it. It started in Florida and has been deepening ever since Bush seized the post-9/11 moment to change the direction of the country and make himself a President of note.
He’s anti-abortioninfanticide, he’s a Republican, and he’s pro-free-speech. That’s three counts they have against him.
Which is why the Democratic candidates are scrambling desperately to out-Dean Dean. Their constituency is seized with a fever, and will nominate whichever candidate feeds it best. Political fevers are a dangerous thing, however. The Democrats last came down with one in 1972--and lost 49 states.
Watch out with that comparison.
Posted by: Katz || 09/18/2003 10:57:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Meant to file this under Home Front.
Posted by: Katz || 09/18/2003 10:58 Comments || Top||

#2  yeah, yeah.... whatever...

History will be kind to GW regardless of what the jackass party thinks...
Posted by: ----------<<<<- || 09/18/2003 11:50 Comments || Top||

#3  When hatred reaches the point where it overpowers common sense, you have the seeds for totalitarianism. Look at Hitler, Stalin, just about every other jack-booted thug in the last 100 years. The Democrats claim that Bush is "the new Hitler", but the actions of their own "leaders" indicate that they, not Bush, fill this role.

The little guy, the guy that actually pulls the lever and VOTES, is tired of the wimp image of the United States, fostered by the Democrats. They also welcome the additional dollars in their pockets George has insured for them. George Bush has rekindled their pride in this country. It would take some major revelation - even greater than Watergate - to shake Bush's presidential ambitions in 2004.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 09/18/2003 13:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Democrats understand that the Bush tax cuts make structural changes that will long outlive him. Like the Reagan cuts, they will starve the government of revenue for years to come.

If memory serves, the money went flooding into the treasury after a couple years... unfortunately the spending saw it head out in larger quantities...
Posted by: eLarson || 09/18/2003 18:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Which is why the California recall vote may become very interesting.

The Dems have guessed they cannot stop Bush from being re-elected in 2004. That is game over. But they need prevent another mid-term style debacle in Senate and Congressional races. Otherwise Hillary won't have a party to run for in 08.

So....lets stop the vote. If the Supremes let the 9th Circuit decision stand, then the ACLU should be able to waltz into court and suspend the election in any tight race.....
Posted by: john || 09/18/2003 19:23 Comments || Top||

#6  While this won't matter to most of the people who puruse this site, it's mostly the lying. This is going back to the election when the man presented himself as being fairly moderate but where he turns out to be Gingrich in sheep's clothing.

If the man stood for anything else but tax cuts for his countryclub buddies it might be different.

To put it another way, how do you respect a man who wages war in a half-ass way when failure is not an option?
Posted by: Hiryu || 09/19/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

American Muslim Council figure is charged with federal terrorist finance crimes
The "moderate" image of some high-profile US Muslim groups continues to collapse as the Senate steps up hearings on Islamist terror networks inside the United States and as federal investigators find increasing alleged connections to terrorism. In recent days, former officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that senior figure in the American Muslim Council (AMC) - which an FBI spokesman had previously characterized as one of the most "mainstream" Muslim groups in the country - has been held since June as a major player in the financing of international terrorism. That senior terrorist figure is AMC advisory board member Soliman Biheiri, an Egyptian whom a federal prosecutor says "came here as the Muslim Brotherhood’s financial toehold in the US." The goal is to spread a global Islamic theocracy. The Muslim Brotherhood, according prosecutors, spawned both al Qaeda and Hamas.
Really? Comes as a surprise, huh?
"The case of Soliman Biheiri has become the spearhead of a two-year investigation into whether Islamic activists and their wealthy Saudi backers assembled an empire of dozens of well-funded businesses and charities in this country to support terrorists and their causes," according to the Wall Street Journal. "The Justice Department says those elements converged around Mr. Biheiri, head of a now-defunct New Jersey investment firm who has been charged with immigration fraud and held in US custody since mid-June." Significantly, Rove and the Republican activist, Grover Norquist, have ignored warnings from national security experts that the organizations they were courting, including CAIR and the AMC, were tied to terrorists. Both have been behind a barrage of attacks on the Justice Department’s fight against domestic terrorism and against Attorney General John Ashcroft personally - this as Norquist’s group, the Islamic Institute, takes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from a Wahhabi regime in the Persian Gulf.
They still think (publicly) that CAIR and AMC are "moderate" muslim groups they can work with.
Both Rove and Norquist reportedly are behind an effort to pressure President Bush to slow down the war against the terrorists, called the "No More War in ’04" strategy.
Humm, I haven’t seen any evidence of this, it may be a figment of the extreme far, far right’s imagination.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 10:10:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  From our distant vantage points it is difficult to verify that Rove and Norquist are playing footsie with the so-called Muslim moderates™. But it is a good thing that the Senate is doing something useful in this area and holding hearings on what is going on. The DOJ must keep the heat on this 5th column and needs all the help it can get to keep the mission going, for all of our safety. Religious freedom in the US is seen as a weakness to exploit by the Wahabbis and other nutcase groups.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 10:22 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Arafat to Israelis: ’Aren’t you ashamed?’
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has told Israelis they should be ashamed of themselves for wanting him dead.
"A decent loving father like me? despicable! Now get on that bus, don’t mind the boomer in the trench coat....c’mon, we don’t have all hudna day"In response to Israel’s decision to "remove" him, Mr Arafat, 74, has launched a media offensive with a series of interviews.
MTV, Home and Garden Channel, Actor’s Playhouse...
"Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?" Mr Arafat said in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, referring to its recent poll which found 37 per cent of Israelis favoured killing him and 23 per cent wanted him exiled.
Israel’s right-wing government accuses Mr Arafat of stirring violence during an uprising for independence that began in September 2000. He denies this. Then his lips fell off
On Tuesday, the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding Israel not act against Mr Arafat, saying it lacked references to suicide bombings in Israel.

He shrugged off the veto and said is "not the first veto against the Palestinians and will not be the last."

However, there are fears that Israel could see the US move as a licence to kill him.

Mr Arafat called on Israel to halt its military crackdown to help re-establish a ceasefire that was called off last month after Israel killed a Hamas leader in Gaza.

The death followed a suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem that killed 23 people.

Yesterday, Mr Arafat he is ready to fight to the death should Israel tried to expel or kill him.

Pointing to his machinegun lying on the floor of his semi-demolished headquarters, he said: "I am a Palestinian soldier. I will use my gun to defend not only myself but also defend every Palestinian child, woman and man and to defend the Palestinian existence."
and they should be ashamed ??Bwahahahahah
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers have shot dead Jihad Abu Swerah, 34, a senior member of Hamas’s armed wing, when they came under attack during a raid in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
heh heh heh
Posted by: Frank G || 09/18/2003 8:55:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Jeebus, how this slanted "reporting" infuriates me! Mr Arafat called on Israel to halt its military crackdown to help re-establish a ceasefire that was called off last month after Israel killed a Hamas leader in Gaza. The death followed a suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem that killed 23 people.

Note the disconnect -- it's all Isreal's fault that the ceasfire was called off! Duh, um, wait a minute ... uh, why did the bus go boom if there was a ceasfire in effect???
Posted by: JP || 09/18/2003 10:54 Comments || Top||

#2  "Yes, we are ashamed.... we're ashamed that we ever allowed you back into our land, ashamed that we shook hands with you on the white house lawn, ashamed that we are only talking about killing you but not actually doing it, ashamed that we are so controlled by the world opinion that we haven't yet done what any other country would have done years ago."
Posted by: Ken B. || 09/18/2003 11:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has told Israelis they should be ashamed of themselves for wanting him dead.

Uh huh. And all the while, his minions and comrades plot the deaths of more Jews.

Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers have shot dead Jihad Abu Swerah, 34, a senior member of Hamas’s armed wing...

Whatever the average life expectancy is for Hamas leadership, it seems to be getting younger and younger after every toe-tag.

"I am a Palestinian scumbag soldier. I will use my gun to defend not only myself but also defend every Palestinian child, woman and man and to defend the Palestinian existence..."

"...except for the ones we eat when the Saddam-O's run out, or send to blow up Jooooos, or line up in front of me to take my bullets (though I welcome martyrdom, hey, closer together over there), or test security at the fence, or..."

Arafat should get another Nobballs Peace Prize for this speech alone.
Posted by: Hyper || 09/18/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Uhhh yes some Israelis are "ashamed". The rest ride buses, go to cafés, get married, try to live...
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#6  "... there are fears that Israel could see the US move as a licence to kill him. "

Put out a call to Double-O Shlomo...
Posted by: mojo || 09/18/2003 16:07 Comments || Top||

#7  Mojo,

LOL, that was hysterical! In all seriousness, I'd copyright that name pronto, before someone like Mike Myers grabs it.
Posted by: Dripping Sarcasm || 09/18/2003 17:02 Comments || Top||

#8  I think it's time for Mr. Arafart to take a bath. Boiling oil sounds appropriate. After that, the rest of Palestine can either follow or learn to "get along" with Israel.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 09/18/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#9  In earlier aricle posted today,Arafat compared himself to a mountain.Looks like the Israelis are trying to move the mountain to Muhammed.
Posted by: Stephen || 09/18/2003 17:28 Comments || Top||

Africa: Southern
Zim: Impact of Economic Crisis On Agriculture
Zimbabwe's major fertiliser companies say they may not be able to supply the country with desperately needed agricultural inputs, unless government addresses problems such as the shortage of foreign currency. Production in Zimbabwe's agricultural sector hit an all-time low this year and the slump in output of Southern Africa's former bread-basket - which has been blamed on the government's fast-track land resettlement programme, erratic weather and the impact of HIV/AIDS - could worsen, fertiliser producers of have warned.
Okay. Who's surprised? Raise your hand...
The major national seed supplier, Seedco, had a more positive outlook, saying it had 1.9 million mt of seed, 91 percent of the country's annual seed needs of 2,1 million mt. But the company warned that the critical shortage of fertiliser may scuttle attempts at an agricultural revival, in a country where 80 percent of farming activities depend on availability of the inputs required for various types of soil conditions. The Zimbabwe Farmers Union had previously warned that inflationary pressures were having an extremely negative impact on the ability of farmers to access agricultural inputs.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 08:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sorry, but Zimbabwe reminds me of the image of the guy who takes his pistol, aims it at his foot, blows a hole it it, and then screams that he is injured and someone will have to give him aid.
Posted by: Highlander || 09/18/2003 9:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Actually, if his goal is to amass a personal fortune. He is going about it in exactly the correct way.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Me 'un Bob got your fertilizer.... see right over there in mah tank farm.
Posted by: Billie Sol Estes || 09/18/2003 12:41 Comments || Top||

Terrorism Shifts Attention From Civilians in Conflicts - Oxfam
The international community's focus terrorism has led donors to lavish aid on countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, while neglecting the plight of civilians caught up in less strategic conflicts such as Liberia and Burundi, Oxfam said on Tuesday.
That's why Afghanistan is... uhhh... thriving?
It said in a report titled "Beyond the Headlines: an agenda to protect civilians in neglected conflicts," that the focus on international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction since the suicide attacks on New York on 11 September 2001 had left civilians trapped in the world's forgotten conflicts more vulnerable than before. Oxfam said rebels and governments alike had been terrifying civilians for years in too many civil wars. For decades these had caused much more death and destruction than terrorism. Oxfam complained that international humanitarian law was inadequately enforced by the international community in most of the world's 42 conflicts and the suffering of civilians continued unabated. The UK-based relief agency cited the civil war in Liberia as one case where armed attacks on civilians by both government and rebel forces had become commonplace over the past four years. Displaced people, who had been forced to leave their homes by the fighting, were particularly vulnerable to harrassment by gunmen, it noted. A general climate of heightened fear and insecurity in Liberia had been heightened by the abduction and killing of civilians and aid workers. Oxfam said those marched off at gunpoint were often men and youths who were in turn forced into military service for the warring parties.
They, in turn, got to march other fellows off to join the rebels or the gummint forces. Once they get the ladies' underwear, they're lost...
In June and July this year, more than 200,000 people fled from the outskirts of Monrovia to the city centre as rebels overan camps for displaced people on the outskirts of the city and advanced into its western suburbs. The violence killed over 1,000 people in less than two months, OXFAM said, adding that up to 50,000 people were left sheltering in the national sports stadium where sanitation was a huge problem. Latrines were overflowing and people were living in total darkness in rooms packed with bodies.
We noticed that. Oxfam appears to be imposing an obligation on third parties to clear up messes where we have no strategic interest. That's a fine thing, if we have the time and resources to devote, but if we don't, the parties actually involved seem to have an obligation to conform to some sort of norms. Holding them accountable has been a theoretical task of the UN for the past 50 years or so — not that they have what you'd call a stellar success rate...
Oxfam complained that donor governments had diverted their humanitarian aid to strategic countries away from many of the people who most needed their assitance. This had undermined the independence and impartiality of humanitarian aid, it stressed.
On the other hand, they've been doing a much better job of protecting their own citizens from senseless violence perpetrated by Islamists. You put your money where it's going to give you the most return...
Oxfam pointed out that nearly half of all the funds given by donor governments in 2002 to the UN's 25 humanitarian appeals went to just one country, Afghanistan. It admitted that Afghanistan was a desperately poor place, but noted that it was also top of the list of priorities in the "war on terror".
"That's a point against it, of course..."
The remaining 24 countries had to struggle by on what was left, Oxfam said, noting that this pattern of unequal funding recurred year after year.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 08:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think what Oxfam is trying to say is: when the sky is not green, it is blue.

Typical of an NGO to complain when donations' patterns do not fit their particular agenda.
Posted by: badanov || 09/18/2003 8:43 Comments || Top||

#2  So their ideal is to keep all poor countries equally miserable? I've always found that concentrating your efforts on one problem, and solving it, has the side effect of freeing up more resources for solving the NEXT problem you tackle.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/18/2003 8:49 Comments || Top||

#3  But Robert, if they solve the problem, then they'll have to find real jobs.
Posted by: Steve || 09/18/2003 9:18 Comments || Top||

#4  They could start by cutting their overhead. Doesn't Oxfam's head make 7 figures?
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/18/2003 23:10 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Uneasy Calm in Guinea Bissau
Barely 32 hours after the military coup that ousted President Kumba Yala of Guinea-Bissau, normalcy is gradually returning to the country with human and vehicle traffic now on the streets of major cities. Yesterday the new military leader, General Verissimo Correia Seabre, held talks with leaders of political parties and other groups.
"Lookee here, youse guys! I'm in charge here!"
Subsequently, soldiers headed back to their barracks while the international airport is expected to re-open soon.
Once the airport's open, CNN and BBC will show up and we'll learn what George Bush, Tony Blair, and Dick Cheney did to cause this. No doubt the whole thing was engineered in the Halliburton board room...
Several African countries including Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, as well as the United Nations and Portugal, have condemned the coup. But there is said to be relief among many ordinary people in Bissau that President Kumba Yala is gone. The deposed president was often criticised for his erratic leadership.
"Every night, the same thing. Y'try to get to sleep, and there's the president, howling at the moon!"
Seabre, the new military leader, said he will remain leader until elections are organised in the West African state. The military authorities said the meetings are part of efforts to establish a transitional, civilian-led government. The coup leaders said they are planning to set up a transitional government to include "all national political orientations".
"Except for Mister President's, of course..."
But in a telephone call with the president of neighbouring Senegal, the army chief of staff was urged to hand power back to the country's elected president. President Abdoulaye Wade said that the African Union would not recognise whatever government General Seabre planned to instal and asked him to "devolve power back to President Kumba Yala".
"Sets a bad precedent, y'know. Not that we expect anything like that to happen here in Senegal, mind you..."
A communique from the army said the deposed president would be transferred on Monday from Bissau's main army barracks to his private residence.
"Ngongo! Lock him in his room and don't let him come out! And no teevee!"
President Yalla dissolved the government last November, promising new elections but the polls have been postponed four times since. Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been beset by food shortages and strikes. It has never really recovered from an army revolt and then a war in the late 1990s.
But having an army coup and maybe a war now should fix it right up...
The secretary general of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, said in June that the country was embarking on a downward course. The Organisation of West African States recently said it was worried, not least by the silencing of political opponents of the president.
Brilliant. That's why they made Kofi secretary-general...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 08:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

Latin America
Jailed Peru Rebel Chief Lays Down Arms
That’s easier to do when you’re in jail, isn’t it?
The imprisoned leader of a Peruvian rebel group that was once involved in a lengthy hostage drama says his group has given up armed conflict and now wants to become a political movement.
Since they’re all dead or in jail.
In an interview published in Wednesday’s Peru21 newspaper, Victor Polay acknowledged that the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement has been defeated. ``The moment has arrived for the MRTA to actively join the political fight, within the framework of democracy,’’ said Polay, using the group’s initials in Spanish.
Sure, no probs, once you finish your life sentence.
He said he would like authorities to grant amnesty to imprisoned MRTA guerrillas. ``I hope there will be a political way out for my companions, the majority of them young people who have been in prison for an average of 12 years,’’ he said.
"They were just impressionable kids trying to hook up with girls!"
The Cuba-inspired Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, along with the larger Shining Path, helped plunge Peru into chaos in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Che was Cuba-inspired too, right up to the moment he bought the farm in Bolivia.
The MRTA grabbed the world’s attention in December 1996 when 14 of its members seized the Japanese ambassador’s residence during a cocktail party and held 72 hostages for four months. A raid by army commandoes freed 71 of the captives but left one hostage and all the guerrillas dead.
Condolences to the family of the dead hostage. Guerrillas got what they deserved.
Polay was first captured in 1989, but escaped in a prison break a year later. Police recaptured him in 1992.
This guy isn’t much good at anything, is he?
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 1:16:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Who was it said you can't defeat a terrorist group? The defeat of these guys isn't unique. It takes consistent pressure, the destruction of the leaders and as many followers as possible, and the support of most of the people who live in the terrorized nation. Peru did a good job with these guys.
Posted by: R. McLeod || 09/18/2003 2:25 Comments || Top||

#2  My brother worked in Peru in the 90's,as a driller(mineral exploration)he had to have an armed gaurd everywhere he whent.
Posted by: raptor || 09/18/2003 8:05 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Hamas fighter killed by Israeli assassins
Fierce fighting erupted in Gaza as an Israeli assassination squad and helicopter gunships targeted and killed a senior Hamas member.
"Another one bites the dust..."
Jihad Abu Swerah, from the Izz-el-deen al-Qassam armed wing of Hamas died during the raid on a Hamas stronghold in the central Gaza Strip during the early hours of Thursday.
If the deader's named "Jihad" it's extra promotion points...
The helicopter gunships fired atleast three missiles into his home killing him and injuring innocent bystanders.
The carnage among the baby ducks was particularly horrible...
The raid was the latest in an aggressive series of Israeli moves which further shatter the peace process in the region.
The peace processor's unplugged, Mahmoud...
Observers say the Israeli clamp down on Palestinian militants is destroying the US-backed "road map" for peace.
Ummm... Hamas did that, when they boomed the bus...
Ambulance medics said Jihad Abu Swerah, 34, was killed and his elderly father was wounded in the missile strike.
[Sob!] Not poor old Dad?
The helicopter gunships were called in to back up a small contingent of Israeli troops who came under a fierce resistance attack from Palestinian grenade and automatic weapons fire. The terrified soldiers had surrounded Swerah's home early on Thursday during a mission to arrest him and were caught by surprise ambush. The fighting was among the heaviest confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip in months. The helicopters fired three missiles at the house during the gun battle, camp residents said. Ambulances that arrived at the scene after Israeli forces withdrew found the body of Swerah in the rubble of the house.
Could that be why they fired the missiles?
An Israeli military official said three soldiers were wounded when they came under "massive fire" during "a pinpoint operation" in the Gaza Strip.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6499 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Even a successful ambush can't help out the typical paleo gunnie's "spray 'n pray" firing technique, it seems...
Posted by: mojo || 09/18/2003 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  My memos are getting through to the IDF. Commando squad -- finally. Ensure death/capture of the target, and re-establish some intimidation thru in-your-face whuppass. Stand-off attacks aren't always the best choice. They should try the following for a few weeks, see how it works: ignore Arafish, quadruple commando raids on key Pal terror leaders.
Posted by: IceCold || 09/18/2003 1:25 Comments || Top||

#3  The commando raid situation discovered that the Hamas bigwigs are being protected by numbers of gunnies. This means concentrations of targets. Tune tactics and you get more baddies to toe tag.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/18/2003 8:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Observers say the Israeli clamp down on Palestinian militants is destroying the US-backed "road map" for peace.

This "clamp down" is an action that was expected to be taken by Palestinian officials. It's all very simple; if the Palestinians won't take care of the problem, then the Israelis will. And not in a way that the Palestinians will like.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 11:35 Comments || Top||

#5  Even the Siberian gulag inmates know the road-map is dead, so the Paleononothings that keep harping on it are wasting their breath. I hope, very strongly, that Israel keeps whacking the bad guys, wherever they raise their ugly heads. I'd also like them to go ahead and off Arafart and all those that huddle around close beside him. They are not "innocent civilians", they are unarmed co-conspirators to the prolonging of terrorism in Israel.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 09/18/2003 17:33 Comments || Top||

#6  A war is a pretty effective "peace process".
Victory tends to ensure a more lasting peace. Or at
least rids your enemy of a credible means of
disturbing that peace.
Posted by: eLarson || 09/18/2003 23:28 Comments || Top||

Syria conditions ties with US
Syria is ready to cooperate with the United states if Washington's demands are "logical and realistic," Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara said Tuesday, responding to a new warning by US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Interesting concepts, when it comes to Arab interpretation of same...
On Monday, Powell said Washington needed more "forceful" cooperation from Syria if Damascus wanted good relations with the United States and the new post-Saddam Iraq. "The American demands are very numerous, but Syria is ready to cooperate if these demands turn out to be logical and realistic," Shara said during a press conference with visiting EU external relations commissioner Chris Patten. "Syria will be at the head of countries that cooperate with the United States if the (American) demands come within the framework of international legality, in favor of the unity of Iraq and with a view to finding a just solution to the (Arab-Israeli) conflict," he added.
Bet that doesn't include stopping the flow of gunnies into Iraq...
The US congress is to begin to debate Tuesday the Syrian accountability act, on the grounds that Damascus had fallen short of the required cooperation since Powell visited there in May. Speaking in Kuwait Monday, Powell said: "I made it clear to Syria, if they wanted to have good relations with the US and good relations with the liberated Iraq, they should do everything they could to make sure that the wrong sort of people (do not) cross the border to cause trouble in Iraq, and help US find records and bank accounts for the former (Iraqi) regime in Syrian banks."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What's the price tag? They WILL want money, count on it. And they'll weasle out of any but symbolic acts (winking all the way) if they can.

Hold their toes to the fire. How about a nice DMZ in eastern Syria?
Posted by: mojo || 09/18/2003 0:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Mojo: how about letting the Israelis do a recon-by-fire in the Bekaa Valley?
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 1:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Assad must need the oil spigot placed back into teh "on" position.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/18/2003 8:52 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Arafat calls for truce
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has called for a truce between Israel and the Palestinians.
Yasser always says that when he knows the Paleos are due for a whacking...
In an interview with Israeli television, he said all the world wants peace for the good of the Middle East and future generations of both peoples. Earlier President Arafat said he was willing to die as a martyr and will use his machine-gun to defend himself if Israeli troops try to exile or assassinate him.
"You'll never take me alive, coppers!... Ummm... You want to, don't you?"
Israel touched off an international outcry last week by announcing it had decided to remove Mr Arafat, following two suicide bombings that killed 15 Israelis. Israel blames Mr Arafat for fomenting attacks in the three-year-old uprising for statehood. He denies the allegation and instead blames Israel for the violence.
"Lies! All lies!"
Meanwhile, Mr Arafat says the United States veto of a United Nations resolution demanding Israel not harm or expel him will only encourage Israeli policies against all Palestinians. While some Palestinian officials now fear Israel will see the US veto as a licence to kill Mr Arafat, the Palestinian leader says he is not concerned. "The new veto will not shake our Arab nation, and will not shake the Palestinian people," he said. "We have challenged other vetos, and we have challenged these vetos since the Zionist conference. This land is not without people, and we will continue challenging them, and the mountain will not be shaken."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 09/18/2003 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Earlier President Arafat said he was willing to die as a martyr..

Humor the guy. NOW.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/18/2003 0:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Hey, he can have my 72 rasins...
Posted by: Ishmael || 09/18/2003 0:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Arafat said he was willing to die as a martyr and will use his machine-gun to defend himself if Israeli troops try to exile or assassinate him.

Guess that means the Israeli's will have to whack him from beyond machine-gun range. Allowing for average Paleo proficiency with an automatic weapon, that's about, oh, um, .... 50 yards.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/18/2003 0:59 Comments || Top||

#4  The Barrett XM-107 .50 sniper rifle comfortably outranges the Kalashnikov series of assault rifles.

In case anyone was wondering.
Posted by: Mike || 09/18/2003 5:52 Comments || Top||

#5  So does the m-16,Mike as well as the USMC's new sniper rifle.
Posted by: raptor || 09/18/2003 8:03 Comments || Top||

#6  So do the MLRS and the M109A6 Paladin. Why use 5.56mm when you can use 155?
Posted by: JFM || 09/18/2003 8:57 Comments || Top||

#7  Boom! I blew up some of you. And now you're going for payback. Quick, let's have a truce. Ah good, a truce.

Boom. I blew up some of you.

And so on.
Posted by: Highlander || 09/18/2003 9:28 Comments || Top||

#8  JFM: Good one! I like your approach.
Posted by: Mike || 09/18/2003 9:53 Comments || Top||

#9  Yo Fishie! Satan has given each of your 72 virgins(all souls of dead ISM moonbats, BTW) a different STD. Just FYI.
Posted by: Katz || 09/18/2003 10:37 Comments || Top||

#10  The Israeli decision starts to make sense to me. Everytime Hamas sneezes Arafat's pants will smell. Arafat might soon classify as a biological weapon.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/18/2003 13:50 Comments || Top||

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Thu 2003-09-18
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Wed 2003-09-17
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Tue 2003-09-16
  NPA assassins target George Bush?
Mon 2003-09-15
  Abdur Rahim: Dead again!
Sun 2003-09-14
  Human shields surround Yasser
Sat 2003-09-13
  Arafat fears "Zionist death rays!"
Fri 2003-09-12
  Syria gets new prime minister
Thu 2003-09-11
  Yasser to get the boot?
Wed 2003-09-10
  Another miss: IDF strikes at Zahar
Tue 2003-09-09
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Mon 2003-09-08
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