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Three get life in Morocco trial
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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2 00:00 CrazyFool [336] 
6 00:00 raptor [438] 
3 00:00 Yank [314] 
11 00:00 whitecollar redneck [433] 
1 00:00 Anonymous [415] 
5 00:00 Charles [363] 
5 00:00 Pappy [364] 
5 00:00 Not Mike Moore [306] 
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1 00:00 Ptah [302] 
6 00:00 Not Mike Moore [290] 
1 00:00 DANEgerus [299] 
6 00:00 Super Hose [295] 
7 00:00 Dar [292] 
4 00:00 Steve [305] 
1 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [298] 
5 00:00 Super Hose [290] 
7 00:00 Ptah [285] 
2 00:00 Yank [281] 
8 00:00 Steve [298] 
4 00:00 tu3031 [293] 
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2 00:00 N. Guard [737] 
15 00:00 Not Mike Moore [392] 
22 00:00 Not Mike Moore [390] 
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2 00:00 Frank G [303] 
16 00:00 True German Ally [349] 
4 00:00 DANEgerus [290] 
15 00:00 eLarson [311] 
17 00:00 Aris Katsaris [383] 
3 00:00 Not Mike Moore [290] 
-Short Attention Span Theater-
U.S. Treasury-Turkey Loan Should Be Signed on Sunday
Fri September 19, 2003 01:37 PM ET
By Anna Willard
DUBAI (Reuters) - A senior U.S. Treasury official said on Friday $8.5 billion in U.S. loans to Turkey should be signed on Sunday.

Asked when the deal, in the works since March, would be signed, Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs John Taylor told Reuters "hopefully on Sunday."
The first tranche of roughly $2.1 billion of the U.S. loan was expected to be paid out soon after the IMF review.

President Bush offered the money to Turkey in March to compensate the country for the economic costs of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

A second condition of the loan disbursements was that Turkey must co-operate with the United States on policies toward Iraq.

Turkey’s National Security Council, where the military discusses policy with elected officials, met on Friday to discuss a U.S. request to send troops to Iraq.

Investors believe a deal will guarantee the loan package and improve relations between the NATO allies after Turkey refused in March to allow U.S. forces to invade Iraq from its soil.

But the U.S. Treasury has said disbursements do not depend on whether Turkey agrees to the troop request.

National Security Council did not endorse the troop request today, but the Turks will still get the money. Why? What is so special about them?
Posted by: . || 09/19/2003 2:11:07 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [363 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The first tranche of roughly $2.1 billion..."

Hopefully the downpayment is to get their attention and the balance will be offered as their cooperation warrants. That's my money, Murat. What have you done to deserve borrowing it, and how are you going to repay it?
Posted by: Tom || 09/19/2003 14:59 Comments || Top||

#2  WTFO!
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 18:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Actually, Turkey got hosed big time during Desert Storm. They joined the coalition which created increased border security problems and hordes of refugees. By then we were concerned with other matters, so the world stiffed them.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 18:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Hey Tom--it sure is YOUR money, since the Bushies have reduced the taxes for the corporations and those making over 300K--now WE'RE paying the bill
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 22:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Keep dreaming Moore. The 'rich' in this country pay around 75%-90% of the total taxes in this country.

You make $60,000 dollars a year then you pay around $10,000-$15,000 in taxes. Bush gave a tac cut and reimbursment check to them.

While if you make $300,000 a year you pay around HALF that in taxes. Probably more in most cases. And the more you make, the more you pay.

Despite popular belief, most people in this country make a good living if they listened in school. The lower income families are usually illegals, legals without a education (Which they can recieve on our expense), and High-school drop-outs.

I'm not saying there aren't exceptions, but that's generally how it is.
Posted by: Charles || 09/20/2003 0:08 Comments || Top||

Bush says terrorism on the run

Two years after President Bush vowed to defeat terrorism in an unprecedented global war, the White House has issued a detailed report showing significant progress in the ongoing offensive.

The 22-page report, released yesterday, points out that the United States and its allies have "dismantled the repressive Taliban, denied al Qaeda a safe haven in Afghanistan and defeated Saddam Hussein’s regime."

Overseas, allied forces have killed or captured two-thirds of al Qaeda’s top leaders and operatives. Domestically, the Justice Department has charged 260 persons in terrorism investigations, including 140 who have pleaded guilty or been convicted.

"The U.S. government has disrupted alleged terrorist cells in Buffalo, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, North Carolina and Tampa," according to the report, titled "Progress Report on the War on Terrorism." "Terror networks have lost access to nearly $200 million."

The report comes at a time when partisan criticism of the president is at its highest level in two years. Democratic presidential losers candidates are no longer afraid to savage Mr. Bush for his prosecution of the war against terrorism.

At a Democratic debate late Tuesday, White House hopefuls accused the president of willfully misleading the public in the war effort. They also denounced him as a "bully," an "abomination," a "gang leader" and a "miserable failure."

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!

Rep. Ed Schrock, Virginia Republican, yesterday compared the Democrats to activist Hanoi Jane Fonda for her trip to North Vietnam in 1972 to protest the war. He added gravely that American prisoners of war "were tortured more because she went there because [the Viet Cong] thought they were winning."

Interesting comparison. But perhaps a bit strong. I dont think even the Demos would report prisoners who pass them notes to send to their loved ones.

"It’s all turned into a big political football with these nine characters out there running for president trying to make this thing look like the worst thing that’s ever happened. Frankly, this administration is doing a terrific job," said Mr. Schrock, a Navy Vietnam veteran.

Damn Right!

While Mr. Bush declined to directly respond to such attacks yesterday, he insisted he has been successful in the war effort, which has consumed and defined his presidency.

"Since September 11, this nation has been unrelenting," he said at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. "We’ve taken unprecedented, effective measures to protect this homeland."

While taking the battle to their territory.

Indeed, in the two years since al Qaeda terrorists piloted fuel-laden jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, U.S. law-enforcement authorities have disrupted and dismantled much of the al Qaeda network — as promised by Mr. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

There has not been another major terrorist attack in the United States and, according to the FBI, more than 100 suspected terrorist plots have been disrupted since the September 11 strikes that killed more than 3,000 people.

More than 3,000 suspected al Qaeda members, operatives and associates have been jailed in more than 90 countries, and several key leaders of the terrorist network have been killed or detained, including most of those who were directly involved in the September 11 attacks.

According to Justice Department records, hundreds of suspected terrorists have been identified and tracked throughout the United States; the nation’s human sources of intelligence have doubled since September 11; counterterrorism investigations also have doubled; and more than 18,000 subpoenas and search warrants have been issued.

And its all ’A Miserable Failure!’(tm)

The hundreds of terrorists who have pleaded guilty or been convicted include shoe bomber Richard Reid, "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh and three of the six members of the Buffalo terrorism cell. In addition, more than 500 deportations have been ordered, all of which were linked to the September 11 investigation.

The Justice Department and Treasury Department, along with the FBI, have dismantled 62 designated terrorist organizations believed to have helped fund past strikes, seized more than $125 million in assets, frozen more than 600 bank accounts around the world, and conducted 70 investigations into terrorist financing with 23 convictions or guilty pleas.

The department also has disrupted nine major alien smuggling networks and stopped hundreds of terrorists and criminals at the U.S. border through the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, including 11 suspected terrorists with at least one known member of al Qaeda.

The border checks also resulted in the detention of 649 aliens wanted on criminal warrants and 77 convicted felons, including a murderer, cocaine traffickers, child molesters and persons charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

But... but...but... they were poor illegal aliens! undocumented workers is all!

The FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, in a joint antiterrorism operation, charged four persons in a $25 million drugs-for-weapons scheme and three others were indicted for trading drugs for antiaircraft missiles, which they said they planned to sell to al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan.

Although the administration has been attacked by liberals for enacting the Patriot Act, which gives law-enforcement authorities greater tools to fight terrorism, the president is pushing for enactment of what has been dubbed Patriot Act II.

"You need to have every tool at your disposal to be able to do your job on behalf of the American people," Mr. Bush told FBI agents yesterday. "The House and the Senate have a responsibility to act quickly on these matters; untie the hands of our law-enforcement officials so they can fight and win the war against terror."

Last night on CNN’s "Larry King Live" Mr. Ashcroft again defended the Patriot Act, saying every antiterrorism case being developed by the Justice Department is being overseen by a federal judge whose job it is to make sure the law is followed and that civil liberties are respected.

He also noted that the act requires that a comprehensive report be given to Congress on a twice-a-year basis.

"So the Congress looks at these things very carefully, and there hasn’t been any evidence of abuse according to the most recent statements I’ve seen out of the Congress," he said. "I don’t believe we’ve had any abuse here. All of these cases are individually reviewed by the federal courts, federal judges."

Despite progress in the war, Mr. Bush cautioned Americans against letting down their guard.

"The enemy is wounded, but still resourceful and actively recruiting, and still dangerous," he said. "We cannot afford a moment of complacency.

"Yet, as you know, we’ve taken extraordinary measures these past two years to protect America," he added. "And we’re making progress. There are solid results that we can report to the American people."

(tm)’A Miserable Failure!’ is apparently an trademark of Gepheart for president.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/19/2003 11:21:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is there a link to the report? I'd like to read it. Checked www.firstgov.com and it doesn't look like it's there...
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 09/19/2003 11:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Jane Fonda and accomplices did a lot worse than simply betraying their country. Communist leaders candidly told after the war that it was because of people like Jane Fonda and the "pacifists" that they continued the war after the Tet fiasco since they assummed the US will to fight would crack soon or later. When you think in the boat people tragedy, in the Vietnamese reeducation camps, in the ethnic cleansing of the H'Mong, in the Cambodian genocide have a thought for Jane Fonda and the other people who made this possible.

When, oh when there will be a Nuremberg of the Vietnam-war activists?
Posted by: JFM || 09/19/2003 11:51 Comments || Top||

#3  I could not find a link to the report. I would like to read it as well.

As for Hanoi Jane. I notice that she is not living in Vietnam. I was only about 10 at the time it ended. I am still looking for a decent (read: unbiased) report of what actually happened.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/19/2003 12:20 Comments || Top||

#4  "denounced him as a 'bully,' an 'abomination,' a 'gang leader' and a 'miserable failure.'..."

What an impressive level of public discourse. The way these guys are campaigning I think the one to get the nomination will be the first one to officialy change his name to "Notbush".

"I, John Q. Notbush, pledge that at no time during my admnistration will I be George W. Bush." (Thunderous applause from the left.)
Posted by: Matt || 09/19/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Who's the man? ;)

Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 09/19/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

#6  With respect to... Regarding About that bi@#h Jane Fonda, didn't Kerry work for her after he got back from Vietnam?

What exactly did he do during the war that get's him a pass on throwing somebody elses medals over the White House fence while other soldiers are being beaten snotless in the Hanoi Hilton?

So far all I have heard is that his record of service was impeccable and he got several Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts. That is nothing to sneeze at but other than being an enlisted man in the brown water navy, what did he actually do to win bronze stars?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 14:56 Comments || Top||

Gov. Gray Davis Stumps for Aliens Vote
Gov. Gray Davis, returning to the site of his two inaugural ceremonies, acknowledged Wednesday he had isolated himself over the past five years by talking exclusively with lawmakers, lobbyists and his staff at the expense of real people. Davis answered some questions with personal stories, including one about his ill mother, and with apt anecdotes from the past, but, surprisingly, he got caught up when someone asked him to explain his "vision for the state."
"My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on the earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every, of people from every planet, of every country on earth," he said.
California, it’s a whole ’nuther planet!
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 9:18:42 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is x-Govoner Brown running too?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/19/2003 9:39 Comments || Top||

#2  "Davis' stumbling on this question may have come from fatigue..."

Doesn't this guy have an aide or someone else who can tell him that he's incoherent and needs rest? Or is this just typical talk from a former Moonbeam Brown staffer?
Posted by: Tom || 09/19/2003 9:42 Comments || Top||

#3  the only people pulling lower than Davis in the polls are the 9th Circuit court Judges
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 9:44 Comments || Top||

#4  While I've never personally been to San Francisco, based on what some friends who once lived there told me, there are some parts of town where the "people from every planet" concept is at least plausible.

Either that, or the Governor was just remembering that Star Trek located the Federation headquarters in SF.
Posted by: Mike || 09/19/2003 10:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Never met an alien who's vote he didn't think he could buy...illegal or otherwise. Driver's Licenses for Pentaxians!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 09/19/2003 11:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Driver's Licenses for Pentaxians

No! The Pentaxians 5 arms give them to much of an edge in the fast food industry. I'm tired of these saucer creeps with their 60 dollar mattress tied to their mother ship getting all the good jobs.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/19/2003 12:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Arrr! Illegal aliens from outer space, me laddies! Time t' splice the mainbrace...
Posted by: mojo || 09/19/2003 13:01 Comments || Top||

#8  Shiver me timbers, aye forgots that today be "Talk Like A Pirate Day". Arr, methinks it be the cheap grog that scurrvy barkeep be selling me. Arrrr.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 14:38 Comments || Top||

Taliban Escape Madrassa Siege
Several dozen Taliban fighters escaped a siege by government troops of a religious school in violence-torn eastern Afghanistan overnight with the help of locals, the provincial police chief said on Friday.
"The local population provided them passage and they managed to flee on Thursday evening," General Daulat Khan, chief of police in Paktika province, told AFP in the provincial capital Sharan. The heavily-armed fighters had taken shelter in the madrassa (religious school) late on Wednesday after attacking government buildings in the district of Wazakhwa, 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the Pakistani border. Khan said up to five Taliban commanders had already fled on motorbikes before the siege of the madrassa in the nearby village of Karmadin.
Took off and left the cannon fodder behind.
During the siege, local elders clutching copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, had urged the troops not to assault the madrassa, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported on Thursday. Government troops in Urgun, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Wazakhwa, were seen seeking instructions from the authorities in Kabul over how to handle the siege.
"HQ, this is Rover. WTF? Over."
"Rover, HQ. Let em go, we’ll catch up to them later."
Paktika, bordering Pakistan, is one of the main battlegrounds in an apparent resurgence by the Taliban and their supporters among the ethnic Pashtun majority, who dominate Afghanistan’s southern and eastern provinces.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 11:18:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Seems to me that more forces should have been used and/or positioned to cut off any escape attempts, assisted or otherwise. With any luck, they'll learn from this experience.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 11:31 Comments || Top||

#2  "Gunship One, this is spotter. I got targets, but ya got to wait till they clear the city limits this time. Warm up the miniguns."
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 11:46 Comments || Top||

#3  "Several dozen Taliban fighters escaped ..."
Say children, can you say in-com-pe-tant?

People escape a siege. I dont think so. There is another more obvious answer.
Posted by: flash91 || 09/19/2003 12:01 Comments || Top||

#4  These Taliban guys are evidently hell on a dirtbike.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/19/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Does the the"aiding and abetting"bring anything to mind.Like arresting the villagers involved.
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#6  "..Warm up the miniguns."

Good heavens. That word evokes in my mind images of numerous little pieces of flesh scattered about amongst shredded tree trunks and pockmarked ground....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 12:42 Comments || Top||

#7  This is a job for the Gunship vs. Taliban video!
Posted by: Dar || 09/19/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

Blast near US Afghan air base
At least three people have been killed in an explosion close to a United States air base in Afghanistan. Witnesses said the blast happened in a house by the Bagram military base north of the capital, Kabul. "About 15 people are still inside, but I cannot say if they are dead or injured," a US official said.
Too dangerous to get close.
Investigators are trying to establish what caused the explosion. US firefighters and doctors rushed to the scene, while Afghan soldiers cordoned off the area. The house was virtually destroyed by the explosion. Neighbouring houses were also badly damaged, AFP news agency reported. Small blasts followed the main explosion and unconfirmed reports said there appeared to be ammunition stored in the house.
It’s a Afghan house, of course there was ammo stored there. Sounds like either a "work accident" or somebody was using land mines to hold the shelves for their stereo system. The stuff that didn’t go up with the initial blast is still cooking off.
"There are still bodies lying on the ground and people inside but we can’t go to rescue them," the agency quoted a villager as saying.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 9:09:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Details: U.S. and Afghan troops rushed to the scene of the blast, which occurred around noon when the father of the family living in the house apparently tried to dismantle the 122mm rocket, officials said. Maj. David Long said two bodies had been recovered and a third may have been buried under the rubble of the house. He said five injured people were taken to the hospital at the U.S. base. Long said the man had apparently been trying to dismantle the rocket to recover scrap aluminum. But Mohammed Araf, an Afghan commander, said the man, Shah Mohammed, was trying to extract explosives for use in a construction project. Explosives are often used to clear rocky areas or to break down large rocks into smaller ones used for building. Mohammed's wife and two children were killed, and Mohammed was injured, as were three other members of his family, Araf said.
Well that sucks, he's breaking up rockets in the living room, and his wife and kids pay the price.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Do I hear smell a Darwin Award Winner? Or perhaps at least an honorable mention?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/19/2003 9:43 Comments || Top||

#3  More details from Islam Online:
At least six people were killed Friday, September 19, in two blasts at a house owned by an explosives trader next to the U.S.-led coalition's Afghanistan headquarters at Bagram Air Base, witnesses said. A trader was storing mortars and rockets inside the house which exploded around 1:00 pm (0830 GMT), according to residents. "The owner of the house was buying rockets and bombs and then he removed the explosives and sold them to people mining for precious stones in Badakhshan province and the Panjshir valley," villager Jan Mohammad told AFP.
Mohammad said the owner had lost his left leg and left eye two years ago in an explosion but he had continued his trade. "It's a good business; he was making a lot of money."

I'd look for a new line of work, or at least move your operation to a remote area. Need to work on those zoning laws.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 11:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Doesn't appear to be a lot of Federal oversight for "explosives traders" over there, huh? Too bad, Lefty...
Posted by: tu3031 || 09/19/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

Saudi Arabia Says It Does Not Want an Atomic Bomb
Sept. 18 — LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said Thursday it had no intention of developing a nuclear weapon.

Citing a "strategy paper" of unclear origin, London’s Guardian newspaper reported Thursday that oil-rich Saudi Arabia was mulling the option of acquiring a nuclear weapon.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not considering acquiring a nuclear bomb or nuclear weapons of any kind," the embassy in London said in a statement. "There is no atomic energy program in any part of the kingdom and neither is one being considered."

Don’t know who to (dis)believe here--the Saudis or al-Guardian. If you hit the link to yesterday’s story, you can read the comments in which Fred makes a persuasive case that the Sauds might lease Pakistan’s nukes.
Posted by: Mike || 09/19/2003 11:57:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Me either
Posted by: Michael || 09/19/2003 12:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Saudi Arabia said Thursday it had no intention of developing a nuclear weapon.

And in other news, for some as yet unexplained reason, the noses of members of the Saudi royal family lengthened by a half a foot or more. An investigation is to be conducted.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah. Right. Sure.

Like who financed the Paki bomb?
Posted by: Hiryu || 09/19/2003 13:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Lying to unbelievers is OK. Saudi wants a bomb. Who is going to have custody of it? Especially with the fracturing of the royal family and govt.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/19/2003 13:31 Comments || Top||

#5  The whole story is fishy. This whole thing is just the Saudi reaction to recent American demands. Verbal fencing.
Posted by: Yank || 09/19/2003 17:08 Comments || Top||

#6  I bet they put the bomb in Mecca--hide it under that big stone--the Infidels won't dare disturb bomb the shit outta that
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 22:35 Comments || Top||

Joschka Fischer divorces in secret
Rantburg is certainly above petty gossip, but heck, it’s Friday and I survived Hurricane Isabel (had to take a cold shower this morning though)...
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was secretly divorced for the fourth time last week, the mass circulation tabloid Bild reported on Thursday. In a story splashed across the front page, Bild said that Fischer, 55 and Nicola Leska, 34, were divorced in a Frankfurt court on 8 September. Fischer and Leska, a journalist, had secretly married four years earlier. Bild newspaper said that the German foreign minister already has a new partner, a young student and mother of a small child, who has already moved into his apartment in Berlin.
Posted by: seafarious || 09/19/2003 3:10:19 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [433 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Liz Taylor's record is within reach...
Posted by: Raj || 09/19/2003 15:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, now Princess Stephanie is (temporarily??) off the market, but J-Lo is supposed to be available....
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 09/19/2003 16:29 Comments || Top||

#3  This guy seems to have a lot of secrets.
Posted by: Michael || 09/19/2003 16:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Secretly married, secretly divorced. How do we know he was every truly married then? Something is rotten in the state of Germany.
Posted by: Yank || 09/19/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||

#5  "My idea of a long term relationship is staying for breakfast."

Quote from Alaska Paul's electrician
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/19/2003 17:58 Comments || Top||

#6  Hmm,and this guy is Germany's top diplomat.
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 18:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Schröder is on his fourth wife... surprised?
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/19/2003 21:23 Comments || Top||

#8  Maybe Germany should have a Kenneth Stern looking into this marital infedelity--they could spend millions of dollars investigating--try to impeach him--oops--that was a tactic political strategy tried by someone else, a different party, a different country, sorry
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 22:45 Comments || Top||

#9  (YAWN) Get a ghost writer, mike.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 09/19/2003 23:42 Comments || Top||

#10  Whitecollar redneck--get a life or post a riposte--moron illiterate
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/20/2003 1:57 Comments || Top||

#11  Hi Mike,
Myyyyy, but we're touchy. I merely write to the level of my audience. I'll try to keep the words simple. Seriously though, work on some new material. You are a one-trick pony.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 09/20/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

Germany Will Share the Burden in Iraq
Whoa. Definitely a change in tone. Has TGA been hired as a speech writer? I don$B!G(Bt suppose Chirac would write something like this, especially after he got called an "enemy" in the New York Times.

BERLIN $B!&(BTerrorism continues to be a very serious risk to security and stability in the world. With the fight against terrorism far from over, Germans and Americans stand united in the battle. Together, we will prevail. All true.

For many months now, German soldiers have been fighting side by side with American troops in Afghanistan, once a haven and a logistical base for international terrorism. I am firmly convinced that we have no choice but to continue on in this common struggle, given the threat that global terrorism and Al Qaeda pose to the international community.

I put my own political future on the line in 2001 when I asked the German Bundestag for a vote of confidence for sending troops to Afghanistan, a military commitment unprecedented for Germany. Ok, we wont mention the rhetoric in Germany$B!G(Bs last election campaign.

Until very recently, German troops played a leading role in the International Security Assistance Force, which has brought a measure of stability and order to Kabul and the surrounding areas. Though the force is now commanded by NATO, a German NATO general is in charge. Freeing Afghanistan from the bondage of the Taliban and Al Qaeda was an exceptional accomplishment. This needs to be repeated. Haven$B!G(Bt heard it so much lately.

Now, however, we must focus our efforts on helping a troubled country introduce democracy and rebuild itself under extremely difficult circumstances. Germany is therefore prepared to participate in extending the reconstruction program beyond Kabul and to assign military personnel to protect civilian aid workers and organizations.

It would be tragic, both for the Afghan people and the international community, if this country were to relapse into tyranny or once more become a breeding ground for terrorists. We have a joint responsibility to prevent this, for it is in our common interest and in keeping with our common values. True and notice it is not phrased as partisan paniced hand-wringing.

German-American cooperation is solid in some other areas as well. Our troops are working with American forces in the Balkans to ensure stability there. Our navy is helping to patrol the Horn of Africa, protecting international sea routes. And more than 8,000 German troops are participating in peacekeeping missions around the world.

In the fight against terrorism, German intelligence services and law enforcement are working closely with American and other international partners. And on the diplomatic front, Germany and its European partners are doing their utmost with Washington to bring forward the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Our commitment to peace in the Middle East, based on the security of Israel and the right of the Palestinian people to form a state of their own and we don$B!G(Bt care if it$B!G(Bs run by corrupt terrorist-supporting thugs, is a pillar of our foreign policy.

It is true that Germany and the United States disagreed on how best to leave in place deal with Saddam Hussein$B!G(Bs regime. There is no point in continuing our stubborn refusal to support the overthrow of a viscious tyrant and enemy of the West this debate. This debate is gonna rage for a long time no matter what anyone says but it$B!G(Bs nice to see Shroeder seeming to accept the overthrow of Saddam. We should now look toward the future. We must work together to win the peace. The United Nations must get back in and control play a central role. The international community has a key interest in recovering our sweetheart oil contracts ensuring that stability and democracy are established as quickly as possible in Iraq. The international mission needs greater legitimacy in order to accelerate the process leading to a government acting on its own authority in Iraq. So long as the cooperating countries act constructively and realisitically - triangulating kept to a minimum.

In addition to its current military involvement in Afghanistan, the Balkans and elsewhere, Germany is willing to provide humanitarian aid, to assist in the civilian and economic reconstruction of Iraq and to train Iraqi security forces. Now, that$B!G(Bs the kind of declaration a real statesman might make.

When we gather in New York next week for the United Nations General Assembly, we will underline that Germany and the United States are linked by a profound friendship based on common experiences and values. For Germans, the 2003 general assembly is very special. It was exactly 30 years ago that Germany was admitted to the United Nations, a milestone in our postwar history. Back then, Germans were still forced to live in two states, divided by a wall and a dangerous border. Today, Germany is united.

We Germans will not forget how the United States helped and supported us in rebuilding and reuniting our country. That Germany is living today in a peaceful, prosperous and secure Europe is thanks in no small measure to America$B!G(Bs friendship, farsightedness and political determination. I can$B!G(Bt imagine that Chirac could$B!G(Bve brought himself to admit say that.

Beginning with President Harry S. Truman, all American presidents have supported and encouraged European integration. This remains a wise policy, for a strong and united Europe is also in the interest of the United States unless it$B!G(Bs defined as an Anti-American alliance, i.e. it$B!G(Bs lead by France. With the adoption of a European constitution and the enlargement of the European Union, Europe is opening an important new chapter in unity. Germany, as a civilian power in the heart of Europe, knows from its own history that cooperation and integration are conditions for security and prosperity.

Not until after the fall of the wall and unification did Germany fully regain its sovereignty. Today we are a full member in the international community $B!&(Bwith all the rights and obligations this entails. Germany$B!G(Bs role in the world has changed and so has our foreign policy. My country is willing to shoulder more responsibility. This may entail using military force as a last resort in resolving conflicts. Whoa. That$B!G(Bs a small but significant concession compared to what he has said before.

However, we must not forget that security in today$B!G(Bs world cannot be guaranteed by one country going it alone; it can be achieved only through international cooperation. Nor can security be limited to the activities of the police and the military. If we want to make our world freer and safer, we must fight the roots of insecurity, oppression, fanaticism and poverty $B!&(Band we must do it together. Agreed! By the way, what did he mean by "fight"? Can$B!G(Bt we all agree that Saddam was one big root of insecurity, oppression, fanaticism and poverty (yes, fanaticism too!)?

Gerhard Schr$B‹E(Ber is the chancellor of Germany. This was translated by the German Embassy from the German.

All sarcasm aside. There seem to be some concessions here toward the American side. The platitudes about multilateralism are there but it lacks the deVillepin-esque acrimony and determination to reject the Bush request for help and sabotage the new Iraq.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 09/19/2003 7:21:46 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [392 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I feeling pretty shocked at the moment..
Posted by: Dcreeper || 09/19/2003 9:48 Comments || Top||

#2  While I'm willing to bury the hatchet, I'm somewhat skeptical: Liberals and trolls have a habit of pre-buttering their outrageous demands with statements like this, giving themselves an out of "I tried to be statesmanlike and was rebuffed."

Deeds, not words.
Posted by: Ptah || 09/19/2003 10:01 Comments || Top||

#3  NO offense to TGA, of course: He, and many other sensible Germans, are the reasons why I WANT to bury the hatchet with Germany.
Posted by: Ptah || 09/19/2003 10:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Actions speak louder than words, but I do like the sound of these words. I'll be convinced when the first German deployment orders are issued.
Posted by: Dar || 09/19/2003 11:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Aye, aye, Matey, burying the hatchet.

In phrawnce....
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/19/2003 11:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Something weird is going on. When I saw "By GERHARD SCHR$B%h(BDER" I started laughing until I realized that there's no joke there. Using a different character set, yes? :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#7  Ha! Take that Chirac! No sweeter sound than that of France being marginalized...
Posted by: mjh || 09/19/2003 13:13 Comments || Top||

#8  Interesting opinion piece obviously meant to sway the American readers.

TGA, what are the German press saying about this?

It’s true that rhetoric does not always match deeds. For example, while Schroeder and Fischer were decrying the invasion of Iraq, the Wehrmacht was supporting the effort. Anti-chemical warfare teams called the Fuchs Panzers were stationed in Kuwait as part of Enduring Freedom (wink,wink). I believe in a least one case the Fuchs Panzers were deployed into Iraq to support our troops during an investigation, exploitation, of a suspicious chemical dump or factory.
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 09/19/2003 14:56 Comments || Top||

#9  Reading this carefully,I get 2 impressions.
1)We want in on the rebuilding contracts in Iraq.We have done you a lot of favors so it's payback time.
2)Like it or not,Germany is committed to a United Europe.Since Germany's future is in a United Europe,we will have to do things the US might not like,but it's business,nothing personal.
Posted by: Stephen || 09/19/2003 17:36 Comments || Top||

#10  Thanks for the flowers. I could have written some lines of this but certainly not all.

Anyway, this is no surprise. It's certainly true that the serious German press has pointed out the irresponsability of the French stance and the necessity for Germany to do something. German media has been quite blunt about the lofty European statements about Iraq as well. Europe has no Iraq plan, so it shouldn't go about demanding things which are not only impossible, but downright absurd. German media also don't believe that the U.N. can replace the U.S. in Iraq.
So the question just boils down to this: Can we just sit quietly and watch the U.S. or should we help. It's true that every help will come with a price tag but I think the U.S. knows best about the fact that there are no free rides. Poland, Denmark or Spain don't provide their help for free either. But it comes with the sense of a common responsibility. And that's something Chirac doesn't share.
As for the "sweetheart oil contracts": Germany (to my knowledge) didn't barely have any. Germany certainly was involved economically in Iraq but more on a point to point basis: contracts with Iraqi firms rather than with the Saddam government. ( No claim of innocence here, but selling a machine to a Iraqi company is not quite on the same level as getting oilfields from Saddam at bargain prices.)
When I said yesterday that Bush should put the last 12 months behind, it did refer to the wrong and stupid tunes that came from Germany, but which were sometimes matched by shrill replies from Washington. The Bush-Schröder meeting in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel still is very low in protocol (not Camp David, the White House or even the Ranch), but it's a starter. I think Schröder is ready for compromises he can sell, let's see what Bush can do.
Btw on Sunday Bavaria goes to the polls. The conservative CSU is poised to pull about 60% of the votes, the SPD a mere 20%, the Greens 8%.
Don't writer Stoiber off as the next chancellor just yet.
So the New York Times declares war on France and Schröder gets to write there a day later. Honi soit qui mal y pense...
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/19/2003 21:22 Comments || Top||

#11  Sorry to rain on your parade TGA but wasn't Germany the country building Osirak that the Israelis destroyed--Germany acts as much in its economic self-interest as France does--so don't be dis-ingenuous on that point
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 22:52 Comments || Top||

#12  Osirak was a French reactor, that Jacques Chirac, then French Prime Minister, personally sold to Saddam in the late 70s. German companies did trade with Iraq in the 80s (like everybody else including the U.S.) and did sell quite a bit of "dual use" technology (machinery for the chemical industry). Also weapons of joint French/German production were sold, via France because Germany's regulations about exporting to no NATO countries were (and still are) very restrictive. Nobody covered himself with glory in the 80s. Remember Iraq was then see as a bulwark against fundamentalist Iran.

NMM, show me one country that does NOT act in its economic self-interest. I'm just saying that the Germans weren't nearly as much in bed with SAddam as France was. The trade Germany made with Iraq was mainly machinery and technology (water pumps, electricity plants, medical equipment etc) that still is in high demand for the reconstruction of Iraq. Actually I believe that going with the U.S. would have served Germany's economic interests much better while France couldn't expect to keep its very lucrative oil fields obtained under a most preferential treatment from Saddam.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/19/2003 23:13 Comments || Top||

#13  Yes TGA, Ve knew nothing, nothing--it vuss those damn French
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 23:31 Comments || Top||

#14  I seems that you verify your sources just the way the real Mike Moore does. Just don't let real facts stand in your way. And if you re-read my statement you'll find that I'm not excusing my country. You mentioned Osirak as German built and it was French. Sorry if that doesn't meet your requirements.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/20/2003 0:11 Comments || Top||

#15  OK TGA, I stand corrected--but Germany looks out for its national interests just as much as "phwrance" does--only they are excoriated for it by the Rantbourgeoisie
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/20/2003 2:02 Comments || Top||

European DisUnity News Roundup
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown attacks EU push towards federal state
Brown is tipped (not least by himself) to be Blair’s most likely successor as Labour leader.
Gordon Brown launched his most outspoken attack on the European Union yesterday, accusing its leaders of planning a "federal state" with harmonised taxes that would be a recipe for economic failure. "The credibility of Europe is at stake," the Chancellor warned. He insisted that economic reform was not just "desirable" but an "urgent necessity" if the EU economy is not to fall further behind the United States. Mr Brown’s remarks, in an article for the Wall Street Journal Europe, left little doubt that he has privately ruled out a referendum on the euro before the next election. His stridently sceptical tone will alarm Tony Blair, who insisted on Wednesday that a referendum before the next election remains an option. Rather than making the case for Britain to be at the centre of the EU - as the Prime Minister wants ministers to do - the Chancellor put the onus on Europe, saying it had to adopt the British and American model of deregulation before it could move forward. He also appeared to undermine Mr Blair’s attempts to play down the importance of the EU constitution when he accused European leaders of having a "federal" agenda. "As long as Europe clings to the outdated view that the single currency will be followed by tax harmonisation and then a federal state, confidence about future economic growth will remain low," wrote the Chancellor.

Mr Brown’s comments came two days before Mr Blair travels to Berlin for talks on Iraq and the future of the EU with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and President Jacques Chirac of France. Mr Blair is keen to mend fences with both leaders following disagreements over Iraq and before an intergovernmental conference on the EU constitution opens in Rome next month. A Treasury spokesman said that Mr Brown was outlining the responsibilities the EU had to face up to before a meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Dubai this weekend. Mr Brown painted a picture of a Europe held back by outdated economic and political ideologies. It was throttled by regulation, inflexible labour markets and product and capital markets that desperately needed to be liberalised. He added: "Every proposed regulation should be put to the costs test, then the jobs test, and then the ’is it really necessary?’ test."
99 % of all EU dictats would fall at one hurdle, at least...

Yesterday, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the former French president who chaired the Convention on the Future of Europe that drew the initial blueprint for the constitution, said the whole exercise could fail if the federalists pushed nations such as Britain too far. Addressing a conference in Brussels he said efforts to force Britain and others to accept tax harmonisation would fail. He said: "This is a fragile situation, and if anyone tries to make big changes to what we have proposed, the balance will change and that could bring the whole structure tumbling down."
What he’s saying is, "sign or don’t sign". But don’t try to water down the constitution, Tony.

Franco-German pact ignores critics’ cries of profligacy
The leaders of Germany and France announced a grandiose multi-billion pound investment programme yesterday, despite criticism that their spending is already out of control. At their meeting in Berlin, Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and President Jacques Chirac announced a vast programme that would include spending on 10 infrastructure programmes designed to boost growth in the sluggish euro zone. Both countries have run up huge budget deficits, in breach of the European Growth and Stability Pact, which limits government overspend to three per cent of GDP. Both countries are expected to breach the limit next year, too.

But the two leaders airily waved away questions about how they planned to finance the projects, which unofficial estimates have suggested might cost £35 billion. They said it would include public and private funding and loans from the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. "We did not talk about figures in detail," Mr Schroder said after six hours of meetings between the two. "We’re not talking here so much about state funding in the specific sense, rather about projects that would be financed by the European Investment Bank, which is why I can’t talk about exact figures at this stage." M Chirac did little to clarify the funding issue: "There’s nothing to be gained from talking about figures," he said.
EU politics - there’s never much room for ugly realities.
"The most important result of this meeting is our shared conviction that Europe cannot wait for growth, but must seek it out." Despite the mention of the European Investment Bank, the institution only puts up a maximum of half the funding on any project. That would leave France and Germany still looking for vast sums from elsewhere.

The initiative will be presented to other European Union members later this month. But it is sure to be criticised by smaller euro zone states which have asked Brussels to impose financial penalties on France and Germany for their budgetary profligacy. The project would cover telecommunications, transport infrastructure, research and development and sustainable development. Other initiatives discussed included plans to develop the Galileo satellite and to merge the high-speed railway networks between the two countries.

Mr Schroder, who has recently started much-needed structural reform in Germany, was quick to dismiss criticism that either his fiscal policy or the Franco-German initiative was endangering the future of the growth and stability pact. He said he thought it was a mistake that the word "growth" was often excluded from the pact’s title. "We are now in a stage - the third year of stagnation in Germany - where we have to stress the importance of growth," he said. "In the pact itself there is room to give impetus to growth." In their joint declaration, the leaders criticised what they saw as the European Commission’s anti-industrial stance, and gave warning of the "danger of the de-industrialisation of Europe" through over-regulation.
Going to need the slave nations to come up with the goods, after all.
Their defence ministers also discussed plans to merge two shipbuilders - Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft of Germany, and the French company DCN.

There was also a commitment to the controversial idea of developing an autonomous EU military capability despite criticism that it would duplicate and undermine Nato. There was a commitment to transforming the European security and defence policy into a full-scale defence union "so that the EU can emerge as a full and equal partner on the world stage". The defence union would be open to all EU members, an offer sure to anger Washington.

Yesterday’s meeting, including cabinet ministers and an entourage of aides, was part of the consolidation of the Elysee treaty which was signed between the two countries 40 years ago. Other projects under the pact include an annual Franco-German day on January 22, the creation of a joint history book for schools, and eventually, dual citizenship.
It gets complicated here. The proposed constitution includes dual citizen status for all EU members (national citizenship & "EU citizenship"). Therefore, French and German citizens would be triple citizens, not dual. That is, until the problematic national citizenships are revoked.

M Chirac spoke of the importance of French and German language learning to intensify co-operation, although observers were quick to point out that neither Mr Chirac nor Mr Schroder speak the other’s tongue. The gathering came two days’ before the leaders are due to meet Tony Blair in Berlin to discuss the European position on Iraq. They will also try to gain his backing for the investment project, which is entitled "Germany and France for more growth in Europe".
Franco-German axis? Nonsense!

EU plan to outlaw smoking in bars
Or "Hypocrisy and Autocracy: EU gotta love/hate the weed."
The European Commission is drawing up plans for a ban on smoking in bistros, bars and cafes across the European Union, ignoring the message from Swedish voters in last weekend’s euro vote that Brussels is meddling too much in national affairs. Legally, Brussels lacks the power to dictate tobacco policy, but EU officials believe that they can force through the rules as a health and safety measure aimed at protecting workers from the effects of passive smoking. The proposals are certain to face strong resistance from some EU governments which may be able to veto the idea. They will also be opposed by sections of the European Parliament, and may not come into force for several years.

David Byrne, the European health commissioner, said the plans were at an early stage but would ultimately take the form of restrictive laws. "My officials are working to try to see in what way we can bring forward policy that is directed at this problem," he said. "There might ultimately be legal exposure for employers in circumstances where workers have been exposed to this risk." It was crucial to protect employees who were often exposed to smoke for hours on end, he told the Brussels news agency EUpolitix.com.

Perversely, the EU continues to spend £700 million a year, or one per cent of its budget, on subsidies for tobacco farmers in Greece, southern Italy and the Loire Valley in France.
CAP: perverse? Well who’da thunk?!

Terry Wynn, a Labour Euro-MP and chairman of the European Parliament’s budget committee, said this situation made a mockery of Mr Byrne’s anti-smoking drive. "It’s a nonsense to try to stop smoking while you’re spending a billion to grow the stuff. It does the credibility of the EU no good whatsoever," he said. Mr Byrne, a straight-laced Irishman, has made it a personal crusade in Brussels to cut smoking.
Aaaah, that good ol’ Kremlin-flava EU democracy.

Ireland and Holland already impose smoking bans on restaurants, forcing diners out on to the pavement if they want to light up. But smoking is still a way of life across Mediterranean, and EU newcomers such as Poland and other East European states are still cigarette societies. Mr Byrne said smoking played its part in the death 500,000 Europeans a year and was too important an issue to be left in the hands of national governments.
No comment necessary.
Posted by: Bulldog || 09/19/2003 2:09:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [349 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Democracy EU style: "Democracy is far too important to be let to the elector"

Here are a few examples:

In 1992 there was a referendum in France about the adoption of the euro. The electoral campaign was completely lopsided with journalists massively supporting the euro at TV or papers,
making remarks about how wonderful would be a
united europe ("If Europe had been united it would have got more olympic medals than the US". The fact is that a united europe would have had only only have two athletes per discipline), a completely unbalanced 'speaking time' for politicians in the yes or no side, apocaliptic
forecasts about what would happen if the NO
won (BTW the euro was supposed to create millions
of jobs, still waiting) and last but not least a tax-payer funded advertisemnt campaign for the YES. Despite this, despite the general feeling that the governing parties would find a way to force the issue even if the NO was to win, despite the shameful way the Alsatian vote was bought (this could have made the difference) there were still 49.5% people to vote NO.

But the Eurolatric side had learned his lesson so the next step, Amsterdam treaty, wouldn't face referendum. What was Amsterdam treaty: making every law or regulation (regulations taken by mere bureaucrats) superior to the Constitution. In other words it voided the Constitution. The French constitution was adopted by referendum in 1962 and it was well made clear by its creator, General de Gaulle, that "la voie parlementaire c'est pour les reformettes" ("the parlementay road is only for minor reforms"). And here we had the parlementary way being used for a reform who gave power to any unelected bureaucrat in Brussels to void the constitution. Your democracy at work.

Now a politician who no longer would be elected in his own village, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, has
written a constitution for us the poor citizens living in darkness, far away from that beacon of light named Brussels. Guess what? The Europeist side is telling that a referendum is unsuitable, that it would be far better to use the parliamentary road.

This was about the deep links between the EU and Fascism.
Posted by: JFM || 09/19/2003 4:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Blair's only hope of getting the constitution ratified by the UK now is directly through a vote in parliament, and that's only feasible if he can reduce the power of the constitution, as it has been drafted, by negotiation. If Blair fails to gain significant concessions throught negotiation, it will be politically for him to avoid putting it to a referendum, which will almost certainly result in rejection. We are approaching a major watershed in the development of the EU.

JFM, the 1992 referendum was over the Maastricht Treaty, wasn't it? Ratification of that gave the French Government the power to adopt the euro and ditch the Franc, but it was not a referendum specifically concerning the adoption of the euro. Or were there separate referendum questions? (Given the federasts' disdain for the democratic process I doubt whether the voters were given the option of voting on separate Maastricht topics during their time in the polling booths.) Britain obtained an opt-out, as did Denmark after the voters rejected Maastricht first time round. No country has yet voted to adopt the euro directly, through a referendum.

BTW, Weren't there accusations of other "irregularities" associated with the 1992 French referendum?
Posted by: Bulldog || 09/19/2003 5:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Bulldog

You are right it wasn't a referendum about the
Franc but about the Maastricht treaty as a whole.
However this topic was at the center of the campaign: whether France
would drop an attribute of sovereignty as important as the right to have her own money.

I don't remember accusations of "iregularities" about 1992's referendum except for the fact that the half of France who was against Maastricht saw its taxes used in the advertising campaign for the YES vote.
No accusations of irregularities doesn't mean they weren't any: the people who had advocated for the NO were not the leaders of governmental parties (ie those who are in governemnt or in position to reah it) and they had to mend bridges with party leaders or risk political death. That is why they would think twice before pointing at irregularities. Not to mention that journalists
had been so partial toward the Euro that it was dubious they would report on irregularities.

As I said the Alsatian vote was bought even if
technically it was not an irregularity. The
division of EU institutions between Brussels and
Strasbourg costs a LOT of money and is disliked by euro-deputies who every month have to move
(them and their archives) to one city and back. So there were proposals to abandon Strasbourg and put all institutions in Brussels. The fact is that during the campaign at the precise moment the polls showed the NO side had passed the YES, it was announced the Parliament would stay in
Strasbourg "for now". That meant jobs and prestige for Strasbourg and Alsace. 80% of Alsatians voted YES. Given how close it was we can think that the NO could have won without the 10 or 20% of Alsatian votes who were tilted by that, oh so opportune announce taking place during the campaign.

Next time you fill your income tax declaration
think in that part of your money who is being used for buying the Alsatian vote.

Posted by: JFM || 09/19/2003 6:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Bulldog,
In my book this Brown guy comes off as conservative. Is that an accurate assessment? I often create overly simplistic assumptions that fall apart in the face of fact. In the past I had built the following equivalences between EU/UK institutions and US ones:

A. Tory = Republican
B. Labor = Democrat
c. France with respect to EU = California with respect to the other 49 states
D. Greece with respect to EU = Florida with respect other 49 states

Please punch holes in these simplifications for fun at your leisure. Also what is with knocking off the smoking in pubs. I thought that Bloomberg's diaster was isolated to NY.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#5  "Mr. Byrne...has made it a personal crusade in Brussels to cut smoking." Something's up, because this is a side of David Byrne we've never seen before. Is this not the man who said:

"Havin' sex and eatin' cereal
Wearin' jeans and cmokin' cigarettes now"


"Yeah - we smoke cigarettes
We dance with the dead"

His solo work certainly diverges from all this tranzi crap he's suddenly spouting.
Posted by: (lowercase) matt || 09/19/2003 10:25 Comments || Top||

#6  Super Hose> I'd compare France to Texas instead - both places seem to produce a lot of the most arrogant obnoxious types populating each union. :-)

As for Greece... If Cuba had turned democratic in the 1970s and applied to become one of the United States, that'd be the perfect comparison to Greece in relation to the EU. But now... well I'm afraid I don't know much about Florida's political attitudes in respect to the other 49 states so I'm afraid I can't much evaluate that assessment of yours...
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#7  "I'd compare France to Texas instead"

Them thar is fight'n words!
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 11:50 Comments || Top||

#8  Sort of OT:

I took Aris' suggestion and read Article 59. First problem out of the box, #1. Any member state may decide to withdraw from the EU in accordance w/its own constitutional requirements.

Have the nations altered their constitutions to fit this? We had a war.

#2, what guidelines has the European Council set out? I can't find the guidelines.

Set out the arrangements for withdrawal??? XXX plus 500% interest?

#3, Once the State has said goodbye, the constitution no longer applies. However, the constitution can be extended. So, one can leave and still get the benefits of the constititution while under negotiation to leave?

Another interpretation could be the negotiations on getting out will go for years, but the state can choose to either live or not live under the constitution.

P. 46 in my pdf format.

The constitution may cease to apply after 2 years, that doesn't mean the state is out.

Guess we won't know until someone tries.

And I'm neither male nor a boy, Aris.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/19/2003 11:56 Comments || Top||

#9  Chirac and Schroder couldn't give any specifics of their spending plans because I suspect they don't have any plans.They want some favorable pr at a time when both are being hammered in press.

Fearless prediction-desperate for money to jump-start their economies,French and German workers at EU-ocracy are going to start proposing heavy fines on American business's for violating just created EU regulations and will send forth a wave of new regulations(w/heavy fines attached) for EU members in next few months.
Posted by: Stephen || 09/19/2003 12:16 Comments || Top||

#10  Aris,

Enjoyed the heated discussion on the Canadien activists yesterday.

Florida is a state that is full of internal divisions. Even the Hispanic vote includes Cuban Americans that vote conservatively and other Hispanics that vote more consistently with other Hispanic communities in America.

Counties in Florida routinely almost block vote Republican or Democrat except in Palm Beach where some of the older liberals have trouble reading the ballots and accidently vote ultra-conservative.

I think of Greece and Florida mostly because they jut out into the large bodies of warm water and as such are ocean trade. While other states are reducing spending, Florida is making an effort to establish trade with foriegn nations like Chile. That would work less well here in Indiana.

Florida has a very low tax rate and vibrant tourism industry (or used to, anyway.)

Florida's physical proximity to Cuba is an approximation to Greece's proximity to Turkey.

Have been to Corfu once and Souda Bay twice, so I may be reading mainland Greece wrong.

P.S. Florida is also governed by George Bush's younger brother. How does that sound :-) ?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 12:24 Comments || Top||

#11  Anonymous> Given the that you haven't chosen a nick, I hope you don't expect me to remember what previous discussion of ours you are referring to.

I don't bother trying to decipher whether the "Anonymous" people of one day are the same as the "Anonymous" people of another day, so you may have just as well started posting today where I'm concerned. In short - I really don't remember or understand what your comments about you not being a boy or a male refers to.

"Have the nations altered their constitutions to fit this?"

Most nations already have articles in their constitutions that concern their entering (or withdrawing from) treaties with other nations.

"What guidelines has the European Council set out?"

The article says this: "...the European Council shall examine that notification. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an
agreement with that State....", etc, etc.

I definitely get the impression it means that the European Council will provide guidelines of negotiation after examining said notification -- after all the reason for a withdrawal may differ from case to case, so the kind of negotiation needed will be different from case to case.

"Once the State has said goodbye, the constitution no longer applies. However, the constitution can be extended. So, one can leave and still get the benefits of the constititution while under negotiation to leave?"

I don't know what you are talking about. I think you are confusing the notification of departure with the actual departure from the union.

The country gives a notification it wants to leave. By mutual agreement with the rest of the union (aka negotiation) the time it will leave or the terms of its departure can be arranged --- if no agreement is reached, then two years after the notification the constitution nonetheless ceases to apply.

"This Constitution shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, decides to extend this period."
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 16:35 Comments || Top||

#12  This is actually true for the Constitution. But not for the Euro. I remember the discussions in Germany. Every time somebody stood up and asked: Can Germany leave the Euro and get its DM back if it wants to, there was a lot of wavering and "yeah, technically speaking" etc...
As a matter of fact, there are no provisions about the possibility of leaving the Euro.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/19/2003 21:47 Comments || Top||

#13  True. In fact joining the Euro has become EU "acquis", and the ten new members had to also accept to join the euro once they satisfy the criteria for it, before they could join the EU.

I'm not bothered by this -- after all a country that has chosen the Euro can still choose to abandon it by leaving the EU as a whole, if they think such a course adviseable...
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 22:07 Comments || Top||

#14  I would have preferred that not the "country" (read government) had chosen the euro but the people. But in that case the Euro would not exist today. In Germany the two big parties favored the Euro, so the people couldn't even vote out the Euro in elections. Interestingly enough, a German referendum of the Euro would have been very similar to the Swedish results, all polls of 1998 prove this.
I think this is something Bulldog rightfully deplores: The "big" EU decisions are made over the heads of the people. And there is no real accountability of the EU commission, that technically makes guidelines that the different countries have to follow by making the respective laws. If this doesn't change in the next years, Europe will just be choked to death by its bureaucrats.
That's not what I want.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/19/2003 22:20 Comments || Top||

#15  The Commission can't pass guidelines by itself without authorization/support by either the European Council or the European Parliament.

Other than that, I also want more democratization of the Union. But frankly there are a ton of important *national* decisions that don't get put on the polls either... people truly seem to me to be much more sensitive about imperfect democratic structures of the EU than they seem about imperfect democratic structures at the national level.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 22:59 Comments || Top||

#16  Not at all Aris. But if I don't like what my government does, I can kick it out at the next elections.
I cannot do the same with the EU Commission or the European Council (the latter also only indirectly accountable to the people). And the European Parliament, which is the only democratically elected body of the EU cannot pass a single law or guideline, it can only suggest, assist or endorse or whatever. It cannot make a single decision alone. I don't say that the EU institutions are not democratic, but they could be a lot more.

And the decision to change your currency that stood for prosperity in your own country for a currency shared by 12 nations IS INDEED more than just another important national decision. And because the major German parties supported the Euro, the Germans weren't even able to influence the decision.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/19/2003 23:44 Comments || Top||

Le Pen in sight of regional election triumph in Frankistan
There are many grounds for mistrusting Jean-Marie Le Pen, but electoral prediction is not generally among them. When he hazards a guess the veteran leader of France’s far right is rarely wrong. And this, he said yesterday, is the most winnable election of all his long career.

Even his opponents agree that next spring’s regional polls, the first since the presidential and parliamentary elections last year which produced the biggest upset in the country’s postwar political history, will probably give the pugnacious National Front president his greatest chance yet of a historic victory.

"I see things very clearly," he said yesterday, formally beginning his campaign for the presidency of the Provence, Alpes and CÃŽte d’Azur (Paca) region before a battery of TV cameras in a chartered yacht replete with champagne and canapes in the Baie des Anges, off Nice. "I am confident that here, finally, we will emerge as the winners of a three-way battle."
And remember, death is not an option: Le Pen or Chirac. Discuss.
Many observers think Mr Le Pen may be right. The anti-immigrant Front has come close to controlling France’s 20 regional councils before, notably at the last polls in 1998, when several conservative council presidents tried to make ultimately unsuccessful deals with far-right leaders in an effort to retain their seats. This time its chances of winning an outright victory, particularly in its heartlands in eastern and southern France, may be even better.

The Socialist party is still reeling from the events of last year, when their boneheaded presidential candidate, Lionel Jospin, was knocked out by Mr Le Pen, and their government humiliated by nearly everyone a landslide conservative victory in parliamentary polls.

The early flush of Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s centre-right government has faded, and its approval rating is falling steadily on issues such as its allegedly inept handling of this summer’s heatwave and its unpopular reforms of state pensions, the civil service and the national health system.
Inept French government? But they train their young people for this!
Nowhere is the risk of the Front gaining its first taste of serious power higher than in Paca, where Mr Le Pen won a record 28% of the vote in the second round of last year’s presidential election. Unemployment there, at 11.5%, is more than two points higher than the national average, encouraging support for the far-right.

Thierry Mariani, a conservative MP who has successfully fought off Front challenges in his southern constituency Vaucluse, said the prospects of Mr Le Pen becoming regional president - with control over a large budget for economic development, education, transport and culture - were "terrifyingly real". "Here the Front can count on as many votes as both the right and the left," he said. "It would of course be a catastrophe: every regional decision would be politicised."
"Instead of being left to people like me!"
Mr Mariani knows what he is talking about. In the four southern French town halls it has controlled, Orange, Vitrolles, Marignane and Toulon, the Front has not hesitated to implement its policies of national preference for French citizens in jobs, housing and social benefits, and to promote "traditional" French culture. Subsidies have been withdrawn from rap and ethnic musicians and from festivals which showed gay movies; cultural centres which held "non-French" events have been closed; schools stopped from offering special meals to Jewish and Muslim children; municipal libraries banned from subscribing to leftwing publications.

Michel Vauzelle, the current Socialist president of the regional council, is equally pessimistic. "There’s a very big risk," he said. "Neither the left nor the right can win by saying, ’If the worst comes to the worst, we’ll merge to keep out the Front.’ That would hand them victory on a plate."

Blinking in the sun on the deck of the Star CÃŽte d’Azur yesterday, Mr Le Pen brimmed with an unaccustomed confidence. "True, the president of a region does not have the same powers as the president of the republic," he said. "But victory here will send a very, very strong signal. ... After the earthquake of the presidential elections, it will mark the beginning of fundamental change for France."
Le Pen kicks over the first domino, and the radical Muslims in the cities do the rest.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/19/2003 12:42:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If Le Pen's mob won in the region and then in the republic: would France decend into civil war with the resident Ummah?
Posted by: Anon1 || 09/19/2003 2:45 Comments || Top||

#2  the Front has not hesitated to implement its policies of national preference for French citizens in jobs, housing and social benefits, and to promote "traditional" French culture. Subsidies have been withdrawn from rap and ethnic musicians and from festivals which showed gay movies; cultural centres which held "non-French" events have been closed; schools stopped from offering special meals to Jewish and Muslim children; municipal libraries banned from subscribing to leftwing publications.

Am I missing something here? This all sounds like good, solid French conservatism, something that has been lacking for decades in France.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/19/2003 6:41 Comments || Top||

#3  He looks like the Pat Buchanen of France. Don't half of the Front's policies violate EU mandates?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 9:36 Comments || Top||


First the brownshirts in Germany planning to blow up mosques, now this! Boy, things are looking up in old Europe, wouldn'tcha say?

The return of Fascism is coming to Europe folks. DEAL WITH IT!
Posted by: jlc || 09/19/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#5  HIP, HIP HOORAY!!! First the brownshirts in Germany planning to blow up mosques, now this! Boy, things are looking up in old Europe, wouldn'tcha say? The return of Fascism is coming to Europe folks. DEAL WITH IT!

One of us needs help. Kindly explain how stopping subsidies of hostile culture is fascism.

I think Le Pen is good for France; I think he will clean up French politics from its drippingly rotten socialist policies. I keep looking at what Chirac is doing and what Le Pen wants to do and I see no facsism, just French nationalism. In my opinion, pride in one's country can't be a bad thing.
Posted by: badanov || 09/19/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#6  Oh goody, another Franco-French War looms.
Posted by: Hiryu || 09/19/2003 13:04 Comments || Top||

#7  badanov, you misundertood my post: I agree with you.

My assertion that fascism is returning to Europe is somewhat over the top, but only a little.

The important thing to note, IMO, is that this is a reaction to the stiffling Orwellian, socialist nanny superstate being coerced on the hapless Euro proletariat by the "I know what's best for you" socialist tyrant elites of these countries. That and the fact that their discredited, Jurassic, socialist cradle-to-grave nanny policies have created only about 4 new (govm't) jobs in all the EU over the last 5 years. Now that some of masses are beginning to wake up and smell the coffee and, in effect, giving the beaurocrats a collective fuck you, is just plain delicious.
Posted by: jlc || 09/19/2003 13:47 Comments || Top||

#8  Jlc is the philo-Nazi scum from earlier discussions. The fact alone that he likes Lepen gives you an indication of what Lepen is like. The rest of Jlc's ravings would have been amusing if they weren't so sad.

Badanov> Here:

"Le Pen has repeatedly made statements that attempt to diminish or deny the Holocaust, once remarking that the Nazi gas chambers were "a mere detail" in history."

"One of Le Pen's more egregious comments, evoking widespread protest from parties across the political spectrum and from human rights and Jewish organizations, was that "the races are not equal."

"Pen and his aides have also consistently espoused anti-Semitism. In February 1997, for example, Le Pen accused President Chirac of being "in the pay of Jewish organizations, and particularly of the notorious B'nai B'rith."

Make no mistake, badanov, on this matter jlc is well-informed and knows how to recognize a fellow philo-Nazi as Le Pen is.

Anonymous> Given the that you haven't chosen a nick, I hope you don't expect me to remember what previous discussion of ours you are referring to. I don't bother trying to decipher whether the "Anonymous" people of one day are the same as the anonymous people of another day, so you may have just as well started posting today where I'm concerned. In short - I really don't remember or understand what your comments about you not being a boy or a male refers to.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 16:18 Comments || Top||

#9  The part of my comment above which was directed to Anonymous was meant to go to another thread. Apologies.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 16:22 Comments || Top||

#10  The ad hominem attacks above directed at me by Katsaris I will take as a compliment.

The rest of Jlc's ravings would have been amusing if they weren't so sad.

I figures that you wouldn't elaborate on what exactly is so amusing about my statements.
This from a citizen of one of the most anti-American states in old Europe. The more drivel that I hear coming out of your mouth and that of your fellow countrymen, the more I feel that Greece should of remained part of Turkey (the Ottoman empire). By the way, is Greece still the poorest nation in the EU? If it wasn't for all the EU money since the 70's untill now, no doubt Greece would still be a third world shithole. No wonder you're scared shitless about far right-wing radicals gaining more power in Germany/France; they will certainly forcibly remove Greece from the EU money teat.
Posted by: jlc || 09/19/2003 18:19 Comments || Top||

#11  "The ad hominem attacks above directed at me by Katsaris I will take as a compliment"

You do that. Your various insults against my country I will take as nothing but continuing proof of the stupidity of racists of all kinds; people who somehow think that when insulting someone the focal point of one's attack shouldn't be his personality or individual deeds, but rather his race, his colour, his ancestry or his ethnic group.

When you stop insulting Greece I can perhaps start insulting Iran or China or the Klingon Empire or whatever, but you'll still haven't made a single point about my person, except within the confines of your miniscule little racist mind.

"I figures that you wouldn't elaborate on what exactly is so amusing about my statements."

Oh, my, let me count the ways. The ways that you attack EU of being "Orwellian" and yet at the same time support the kinds of people who *would* turn Europe into an Orwellian nightmare? The ways you fail to understand that the anti-EU hatred of the Neonazis is one of the signs that EU is moving the continent into the right direction? Your failure to understand that the threat of nationalistic fascism rising again is one of the things EU was created to combat, not something which "suddenly" appeared to be a blow against the EU? Your failure to understand that the fact said threat is real is one of the things that has made me such a vocal supporters of the EU?

The fact your rhetoric sounds so close to that of a communist, naming the extremists as a glad response to the ills of society (e.g. "the socialist nanny state") rather than the usual attitude that conservatives claim to have about personal responsibility?

And your "they had it coming" attitude about how the fascists are a response that pleases you to the oh-so-horrible evils of the "socialist nanny-state" EU (but in several continental countries EU was a force for economic liberalization, not for socialism, didn't you know that either?) is pretty identical to the response other people have had about the islamofascists' attack on the United States on 9/11.

You see -- all the things that made your comments very amusings are the same things that made them very sad as well...
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 19:41 Comments || Top||

#12  Stop feeding trolls. That applies to the brown ones as well.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/19/2003 22:34 Comments || Top||

#13  Point. I had to make that first post and show Le Pen's true colors to the people here who had thought he was just a Berlusconi rather than a Heider... but I probably shouldn't have bothered to mention my opinion about jlc in said post.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 22:52 Comments || Top||

#14  Aris, I usually agree with you--but are Greeks a race? Obviously jlm is a French fascist who tries to curry favor on Rantburg by parroting the latest Bushie line carried to it's logical conclusion--xenophobia, fascism, etc. But I do think many Rantbourgeois have a point about the return of nationalism to Old Europe--according to many of my friends in France, Italy and Germany--they are being overrun by a foreign culture that does not assimilate EVER in much the same way Texas, Florida and California have been overrun--colonialism in reverse. I don't know enough about Greece to know if the same thing is going on there--but a good friend of mine in Florence is tired of Somalis pissing on her front door
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 23:13 Comments || Top||

#15  "but are Greeks a race?"

Well since "races" are human conventions, that'd be "No", but then again "black" and "white" aren't objective "races" either, as no such thing exists. E.g. there's more genetic division inside the African peoples than there's in the whole rest of the world combined. So it makes no sense to group them all as "black", as if that's a "race".

Would it make you feel better in this linguistic curiosity if I told you that in Greek we use the same word for "race" that we use for "tribe"? "Fylh", pronouced "Fee-lee"? It makes little difference if jlc insults me for my colour-tribe (aka "white") or my ethnic-tribe (aka "Greek"). I was born into both and chose neither.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/19/2003 23:34 Comments || Top||

#16  Umm Aris--you forgot the rest of my comment.... what do you think?
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/20/2003 2:07 Comments || Top||

#17  About what?

I think that your good friend understandably doesn't like people pissing on her front door (regardless of whether they are Somalis or not) but I also think that the objection to "non-assimilating" foreigners sounds a bit like the objections to the non-assimilating Jews, and all other peoples who kept to their own communities and customs throughout the centuries. And I think the rest of the objections are objections about poor people (as immigrants generally are) coming to the neighbourhood, rather than about foreigners instead.

And I think that people are seriously fooling themselves if they think that nationalism can return to Europe without the return of anti-semetism and fascism as a whole. And they are also fooling themselves if they think that nationalism can return to Europe without a repeat of Bosnia and the ethnic cleansings there.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 09/20/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

U.S. Planes Bomb Pakistan
U.S. warplanes taking part in the anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan dropped three bombs that landed about 50 yards inside Pakistani territory on an empty field, residents and Pakistani intelligence officials said Friday. No one was injured in the incident Thursday near the border town of Wana, 240 miles southwest of Islamabad.
Three Pakistani intelligence officials, all who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believed the U.S. forces were targeting Taliban militants, who often take refuge on the Pakistani side of the border. U.S. forces do not have permission to pursue them across the frontier.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman said he had no information about a bombing on Pakistani territory. U.S. military officials at Bagram air base, the main military headquarters north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, had no immediate comment.
"Nope, no comment."
A Pakistani military official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was unaware of the incident. However, he added that if the bombing did occur, Islamabad would consider it an unintentional attack and would not complain.
Hummm, that’s nice of them.
Residents in Wana say they often see U.S. planes flying on the Afghan side of the border. The villagers said the three bombs caused no damage.
Three bombs in a empty field, huh? Accident or attention getter?
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 10:56:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I was hoping a particular 40 square mile area in the Northwest frontier was levelled.
Posted by: Yank || 09/19/2003 11:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Bet the fields were not entirely empty when the packages were dropped.
Posted by: john || 09/19/2003 11:23 Comments || Top||

#3  3? One is either a miss or an abort to a safe area. Two is strange. Three is a large target or a demonstration of rug bombing.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/19/2003 12:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Humm, part of this operation?:
U.S. troops fought a one-hour gunbattle with suspected Taliban after coming under fire near Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan, the military said Friday. The fighting occurred Thursday near a U.S. base at Shkin, in Paktika province, which has been the site of near-daily skirmishes and rocket attacks. The soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division fired back with small arms and artillery and called in American warplanes for close air support, according to a statement from Maj. Ralph Marino, a spokesman at Bagram Air Base, the U.S. military headquarters.
The fighters retreated toward the Pakistani border, Marino said.

I don't have a map that shows if Paktika province in Afghanistan borders the Pak town of Wana. Anyone?
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

India slams Pakistan as 25 die in Kashmir violence
The Kashmir theater is really heating up lately, I wonder what the story is?
India accused Pakistan on Thursday of refusing to cooperate in the fight against terrorism in Kashmir as 25 people were killed in the disputed Himalayan region. Thursday’s deaths follow the violent death of 28 people in Kashmir on Saturday, the highest day’s toll in two months. "Pakistan continues to assess terrorism as an instrument of leverage in its dealing with India," an Indian foreign ministry statement said in New Delhi. "If Pakistan is to move towards moderation and a progressive society, as General (Pervez) Musharraf claims as his objective, it has to give up using fundamentalism, terrorism and subversion against other countries"
India said it had killed at least 16 suspected Muslim guerrillas in a string of gunbattles as they tried to slip into disputed Kashmir from Pakistan. One group of heavily armed intruders were gunned down in the Rajouri area of revolt-torn Jammu and Kashmir state after six hours of fighting that started early on Thursday, a defence official told Reuters. He said the bodies of eight militants and several assault rifles and grenades were recovered from near the heavily militarised Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
In other incidents, police said four intruders were killed late on Wednesday in a gunbattle in northern Kupwara district, soldiers shot dead four rebels in fighting near the Kashmir ski resort of Gulmarg, and five civilians, two soldiers and two militants were killed in explosions and shooting elsewhere in the region. Police in Indian Kashmir say more than 171 people, mostly rebels, were killed in separatist violence in the first two weeks of September
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 09/19/2003 2:31:03 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder what the story is?

It's that time of year again. Stove is getting cold... time to turn up the heat (to last atleast thru the winter).
Posted by: Rafael || 09/19/2003 4:49 Comments || Top||

#2  that's right - if they don't getthru the passes before the snows hit they have a tough time, and are easily tracked
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 9:42 Comments || Top||

MMA bans ultrasound by male technicians
EFL, the main problem is that there are practically no female doctors in the whole of NWFP, and the Shia ones are busy being killed off.
Last week, the clerical government of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal [MMA]—an alliance of six pro-Taliban religious parties—imposed a new ban in the Northwest Frontier Province [NWFP] that bars all local hospitals from conducting Electro Cardiograph [ECG] and ultrasound of women by male technicians and doctors. “The latest ban confirms the MMA’s chauvinistic mindset and anti-women credentials”, says one woman NGO activist. This is not the first act of its kind. The MMA government had earlier banned public dance, music, kite-flying, cinema houses, bill-boards that displayed female images, beauty parlors, and fashion exhibitions. All these elements, according to MMA clerics, were a source of perversion in society. “To cleanse the country of such evils, it was essential to outlaw all such things”, one MMA stalwart explained to TFT.
But the MMA’s spokesperson, Riaz Durrani, expresses his ignorance about the latest ban. “I am unable to understand why such rumors are being spread. To the best of my knowledge, the MMA has not imposed any such ban. There are so many issues of pressing importance that we have to grapple with. Why would we create troubles for us by imposing such a ban?” he asked TFT. But, hospitals in Peshawar as well as health department confirm that the ban has been slapped and is being rigidly enforced.
“We think that men could derive sexual pleasure from women’s bodies while conducting ECG or ultrasound. Similarly some women could lure men under the ECG or ultrasound cover. In both cases, perversion could prevail in society. Therefore, to save the supreme values of Islam and the message of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), the MMA has decided to impose the ban. Our decision is in line with the May 8 Resolution of the NWFP Assembly that clearly says that nothing repugnant to Islam will be allowed,” said Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, provincial general secretary of MMA.
“The stupid policies of the MMA have made our lives a hell. Even a child will not act the way MMA is behaving. It has failed to address the needs of the people and is now hell bent on looking at very issue through the prism of fundamentalist Islam. My wife is pregnant and I have brought her to Rawalpindi all the way from Peshawar and spent almost 10 times more than what it would have cost me in Peshawar if the ban had not been slapped. I have to take leave from my office. My two daughters had to take off from their school. My wife had to take off from her office—just for a 15-minute ultrasound! I will distribute sweet meats when I will see the back of the MMA,” said one particularly angry citizen of the NWFP.
In Pakistan only 35% of the women receive any antenatal check-up from a doctor. It is estimated that each year in Pakistan about 30,000 women die due to pregnancy related causes. A large number of these women suffer unnecessary risk associated with childbearing, indicating a high burden of disease and death.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 09/19/2003 1:13:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is not the first act of its kind. The MMA government had earlier banned public dance, music, kite-flying,

They'll have to pull the string from my cold dead fingers.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/19/2003 9:28 Comments || Top||

#2  I think kite "tails" were considered too racy
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 10:58 Comments || Top||

#3  I know for a fact that when I'm feeling REALLY rebellious and in the mood to defame organized religion, there's nothing more fun than getting all liquored up and flying a kite! (What the hell is wrong with these creeps?!?!?!)
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 09/19/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Thank goodness they still allow women to be stoned to death for enticing men to gang rape them... or else they might be tempted to dally with Satan by flying kites!
Posted by: DANEgerus || 09/19/2003 17:25 Comments || Top||

Iraq: Italian diplomat in hurry gets interpreter killed by US troops
Edited for brevity.
U.S. troops opened fire on a car carrying an Italian diplomat who holds a senior position in Iraq’s U.S.-led administration, killing his Iraqi interpreter, American military sources said Friday. Pietro Cordone, senior adviser on culture for the U.S.-led authority, was unhurt, Italian Foreign Ministry sources said. Cordone has been leading efforts to recover priceless antiquities looted from museums and archeological sites since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The U.S. military sources said Cordone’s car was shot at after it repeatedly tried to overtake a U.S. convoy near Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown. Soldiers repeatedly warned the car not to overtake, the sources said, and opened fire when they thought the vehicle was trying to ram them.
What idiot ignores commands from heavily armed soldiers in a war zone?!
Posted by: Dar || 09/19/2003 1:06:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [363 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Diplomatic idiots, of course. They're use to the little people getting out of their way.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 16:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe Cordone thought he was driving in Naples?
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/20/2003 2:09 Comments || Top||

Soldier wounded in Iraq is rewarded with U.S. citizenship
Army Spc. Hilario Bermanis was maimed in service to the United States, and a grateful nation made him one of us. Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi took part in a ceremony Wednesday making Bermanis, of the 82nd Airborne Division, a U.S. citizen. Bermanis also is a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Thank you, Hilario.
“This young soldier serves as a true example of sacrifice to a nation that today he can call his own,” Principi was quoted as saying in a VA news release. “He gave of himself so that others could have a better tomorrow. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be there for Spc. Bermanis and thousands of other brave men and women returning home from harm’s way.”
Bermanis lost both legs and his left hand during an attack June 10 in Baghdad while he and a fellow soldier, who was killed instantly, were guarding a weapons turn-in point. Bermanis was evacuated to Germany and then transferred to Walter Reed. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his conduct in action and a Purple Heart for his injuries. Bermanis enlisted in the Army three years ago. His parents and 5-year-old brother attended the ceremony at Walter Reed Army Medical Center along with Secretary Principi; Secretary Tom Ridge of the Department of Homeland Security; and Peter Christian, speaker of the Micronesian Congress.
On July 3, 2002, President Bush issued Executive Order 13269 providing naturalization for aliens and noncitizen nationals serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces during Operation Enduring Freedom, from September 11, 2001, to a date not yet determined.
Thank you all, and welcome.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 1:00:31 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Those are pretty serious injuries. I second the thanks to Hilario. Would that the other illegals in California emulate his behavior (save for getting shot, maimed, or killed, of course.)
Posted by: Ptah || 09/19/2003 15:40 Comments || Top||

Top Iraqi official surrenders
Iraq’s former defence minister has surrendered to United States forces in northern Iraq.
An Iraqi negotiator said Sultan Hashim Ahmed, 27th on a US list of the most wanted former Iraqi officials, had given himself up in the city of Mosul.
The news comes shortly after three American soldiers were killed in an ambush near Tikrit, the hometown of the former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein.
76 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the end of hostilities was declared in May this year.

Isn’t this the guy they gave the surrender or die ultimatum to yesterday?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 10:04:10 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  damn - didn't see the other post - got too nauseous reading Murat's post - delete, please, Fred
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 10:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Bwahahaha
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 11:52 Comments || Top||

#3  so whats the deal with Mosul? Is it just the first town with a bus stop on your way back from being deported from Syria? I cant believe the Kurds are giving aid and comfort the anyone from Saddams team, but since Ugly and Quesy were killed there and this guy is there it makes me wonder whats so attractive about this place?
Posted by: Frank Martin || 09/19/2003 16:34 Comments || Top||

#4  I am under the impression that Saddam Hussein expelled a lot of Kurds from Mosul, confiscated their lands and houses, and gave them to Sunni and/or Tikriti supporters. I suspect these guys
are the ones hiding the former regime's officials,
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 09/19/2003 18:39 Comments || Top||

#5  There were some incidents at the liberation where Khurdish men tried to take their property back, but it seemed to calm down rather quickly.

I think Sadaam is also taking advantage of tribal sheiks that he has "favored" for an extended period of time.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 19:18 Comments || Top||

We are facing death in Iraq for no reason
We are facing death in Iraq for no reason

A serving US soldier calls for the end of an occupation based on lies

For the past six months, I have been participating in what I believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After the horrific events of September 11 2001, and throughout the battle in Afghanistan, the groundwork was being laid for the invasion of Iraq. "Shock and awe" were the words used to describe the display of power that the world was going to view upon the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was to be an up-close, dramatic display of military strength and advanced technology from within the arsenals of the American and British military.

But as a soldier preparing to take part in the invasion of Iraq, the words "shock and awe" rang deep within my psyche. Even as we prepared to depart, it seemed that these two great superpowers were about to break the very rules that they demanded others obey.
Of course the US is free of rules

Without the consent of the United Nations, and ignoring the pleas of their own citizens, the US and Britain invaded Iraq. "Shock and awe"? Yes, the words correctly described the emotional impact I felt as we embarked on an act not of justice, but of hypocrisy.

From the moment the first shot was fired in this so-called war of liberation and freedom, hypocrisy reigned. After the broadcasting of recorded images of captured and dead US soldiers on Arab television, American and British leaders vowed revenge while verbally assaulting the networks for displaying such vivid images. Yet within hours of the deaths of Saddam Hussein’s sons, the US government released horrific photographs of the two dead brothers for the entire world to view. Again, a "do as we say and not as we do" scenario.
Oops, well eeuuhh but we took care their look, we even stitched back the heads on the bodies and shaved them, that’s definitely more humane!

As soldiers serving in Iraq, we have been told that our purpose is to help the people of Iraq by providing them with the necessary assistance militarily, as well as in humanitarian efforts. Then tell me where the humanity is in the recent account in Stars and Stripes (the newspaper of the US military) of two young children brought to a US military camp by their mother in search of medical care.

The two children had, unknowingly, been playing with explosive ordnance they had found, and as a result they were severely burned. The account tells how, after an hour-long wait, they - two children - were denied care by two US military doctors. A soldier described the incident as one of many "atrocities" on the part of the US military he had witnessed.

Thankfully, I have not personally been a witness to atrocities - unless, of course, you consider, as I do, that this war in Iraq is the ultimate atrocity.

So what is our purpose here? Was this invasion because of weapons of mass destruction, as we have so often heard? If so, where are they?

.! Euuhh, yes he (Saddam) must have cooperated with that Syrian lad (Assad) to hide em, we definitely have proof, you can ask Colin he is keeping those satellite photo’s
Did we invade to dispose of a leader and his regime because they were closely associated with Osama bin Laden? If so, where is the proof?
Bush: no proof

Or is it that our incursion is about our own economic advantage? Iraq’s oil can be refined at the lowest cost of any in the world.
Nah, we never would think that way, we are the just cause jockeys , world benefactor and exporter of peace and democracy.

This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free an oppressed people or to rid the world of a demonic dictator relentless in his pursuit of conquest and domination, but a crusade to control another nation’s natural resource. Oil - at least to me - seems to be the reason for our presence.
No lad, we are here to get chemical Ali, albeit with a delay of 15 years, but better late than never.

There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are dying. There are an estimated 10 to 14 attacks every day on our servicemen and women in Iraq. As the body count continues to grow, it would appear that there is no immediate end in sight.
I once believed that I was serving for a cause - "to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States". Now I no longer believe that; I have lost my conviction, as well as my determination. I can no longer justify my service on the basis of what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies.
Pssst, don’t say that too loud lad, the reppies on this board will call you a democrat softie
With age comes wisdom, and at 36 years old I am no longer so blindly led as to believe without question. From my arrival last November at Fort Campbell, in Kentucky, talk of deployment was heard, and as that talk turned to actual preparation, my heart sank and my doubts grew. My doubts have never faded; instead, it has been my resolve and my commitment that have.

My time here is almost done, as well as that of many others with whom I have served. We have all faced death in Iraq without reason and without justification. How many more must die? How many more tears must be shed before Americans awake and demand the return of the men and women whose job it is to protect them, rather than their leader’s interest?

· Tim Predmore is a US soldier on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division, based near Mosul in northern Iraq. A version of this article appeared in the Peoria Journal Star, Illinois

Posted by: Murat || 09/19/2003 3:50:49 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [390 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Thankfully, I have not personally been a witness to atrocities - unless, of course, you consider, as I do, that this war in Iraq is the ultimate atrocity."

This wet blanket thinks like a(n unreformed) human shield. So he hasn't actually seen anything specific himself, he's heard a few stories. If he wants atrocities, why doesn't he pick up one of the many DVDs available in Iraq now, showing footage of Saddam's regime's beatings, executions and other barbarous acts, which, someone should remind this moral coward, happened to hundreds of terrified individuals on a daily basis for the duration of Saddam's rule and would have continued indefinitely if it haddn't have been for Tiny-Minded Timmy and his fighting colleagues.

"There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are dying."

Spoken like a classic lefty loon: moronic, meaningless rhetoric.
Posted by: Bulldog || 09/19/2003 4:23 Comments || Top||

#2  So what is our purpose here? Was this invasion because of weapons of mass destruction, as we have so often heard? Did we invade to dispose of a leader and his regime because they were closely associated with Osama bin Laden?

You did it so that your children wouldn't have to do it 50 years down the road, possibly involving nukes.

Oil - at least to me - seems to be the reason for our presence.

Too soon to tell if it is about oil. So far prices at the pumps are increasing steadily or remaining stable but definately are not decreasing. So if the US is getting oil I'd like to know where it's going, 'cause I'm not seeing any of the benefits at my local gas station yet. Now if the price of oil doesn't decrease in the long run (about a year) I am willing to bet that Murat will say the American gov't is hoarding oil for its secret plan to invade every country on Earth. You'd need lots of oil for that.

Nice try Murat.
Posted by: Rafael || 09/19/2003 4:29 Comments || Top||

#3  It's been a while, 3 weeks at least, since I last saw the It's All About OOIIILLLL theory.

Thanks Tim (and Murray) for playing that oldie but goodie.

No mention of Predmore's rank? He hasn't attempted to speak for anyone but himself which I hope indicates that his fellow soldiers don't see eye to eye with him (is that why he said "with age comes wisdom, at 36 I can no longer blah blah blah"). Probably a loner.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 09/19/2003 4:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Wow... and Pvt. Predmore seemed like such a promising young soldier... I'm guessin' this means he's not going to reenlist? We sure will miss ya Timmy... Don't let the door hit ya on the way out...

(Anybody who would talk to the Al-Guardian should be charged with treason)
Posted by: ----------<<<<- || 09/19/2003 6:53 Comments || Top||

#5  A nice anecdote from august 2002 by Fikret Bila columnist of the Milliyet newspaper, months before the Iraq war had started the USA requested Turkey to use its soil to sent Special Forces into Northern Iraq. Ankara granted the permission on a condition to conduct the operations jointly with the Turkish Special Forces (Debka reported these special Operations a several times). US Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz accepted the condition and the joint special forces began their operations.

One of the cloudy events of august 2002 was when the USA requested the Turkish foreign ministry to transit two suspected barrels with possible WMD related material, found by their special forces. The foreign ministry allowed the transit but requested to take samples of that material on which the US drew back their request (something to hide perhaps?). A while later US officials made a new request for transiting with the statement that “the found material quantity was to small to give a sample” on which Ankara rejected the request.
Posted by: Murat || 09/19/2003 7:15 Comments || Top||

#6  I can read the stupid subject title and know it's the Rat. Nice anti- american rant turk boy...how's that empire going?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 8:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Nice one Frank G. One only has to look at the 'source' of this 'report' to see that it is horseshit. I doubt this person even exists. I'll check though, I know 8 guys in the 101 who are still in Iraq. Oh and guess what? They are proud of what they are doing and they have all reported having good relations with the Iraqi people. Sorry Murat, nice try though. And I love the 'ignoring the pleas of the citizens' crap! Since when did democracy mean listening to the 30% opposed instead of the 70% for the war? Give me a break. How's that Turkish economy doing? Need some cardboard to make some houses? I just bought a new refrigerator and have a big box if you need it. Seriously, let me know. I'll even pay to ship the box to you.
Posted by: Swiggles || 09/19/2003 9:09 Comments || Top||

#8  Only if it is a White Westinghouse box Swiggles, to sent my old refrigerator back to the states, that American piece of scrap made me buy a Samsung, hope that Koreans manufacture more quality.
Posted by: Murat || 09/19/2003 9:37 Comments || Top||

#9  you mean the Koreans that America has kept safe for over 50 years...oh, that's right, it's all about the oooiiilllll, right? lol, that one really hurt, rat
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 9:41 Comments || Top||

#10  This kid is facing death for one clear reason: he volunteered. Even if this is a wat strictly to support free trade of oil, American Servicemen have been called to do such and done it effectively and bravely since the Tripolitan War.

My conclusion: the letter is a fraud or the kid is a punk. Hope he/she makes the right decision at reenlistment time and gets the hell out of whatever service he is in.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 9:46 Comments || Top||

#11  I googled his name and found his letter is very popular with the usual anti-war groups. The Peoria Journal Star say's this about him:

Tim Predmore is on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division near Mosul, Iraq. A 1985 Richwoods High School graduate and native Peorian, he has been in Iraq since March and in the military for about five years.

OK, if he graduated from High School in 1985 at age 16 -17, that would have made him about 29 - 30 in 1998, which is the five years ago when he was supposed to have enlisted. Army website says age requirements are 17 - 34, so he would have been on the high age end. And he made it into the 101? Five years in, most likely on a six year enlistment if he has this attitude, don't think he sounds like he would be re-up material. Smells fishy to me.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 10:38 Comments || Top||

#12  Murat, if this soldier is your most valid argument against the mission in Iraq. I think you should go back to work selling Doner Kababs.

In every Army in the world, in every war that has ever taken place, there have ALWAYS been slackers and cowards. Hell, in the first Gulf War you had people that refused to deploy. Not because they felt the war was wrong, but because (whiny voice : "I don't want to die.")

There are some people in life that are chickenshit losers that wouldn't jump into a lake to save their own kid from drowning or rush into a building that's on fire to save someone else's baby either.

Yesterday I talked to a platoon sergeant that just rotated back on orders. Much to my surprise his chem platoon was mostly female. When I asked about Iraq, he laughed. "The media's a joke.", he said. The morale isn't close too the "rock bottom" that's portrayed by the media and Pvt Cryme A. River. It's just the basic bitching and griping all soldiers do. His soldiers run patrols and convoys like everyone else. They get shot at and ambushed (not very well, he added). He said the females had a lot of fire and after the inital trials under fire they're good to go.

The job is a dangerous one. Anyone that's ever served knew that before they went in. It sounds to me like Pvt. P. Hispants, was just a college boy in and out in four years to get his college money. And like some National Guard and Reservists, thought they'd get alot of bennies and an easy life playing boyscouts for a few years. Sad face, Pvt. I. Wantmymommy. Suck it up and drive on. I know your type. You'll be the first one home telling everyone how you destroyed 6 Iraqi tanks with nothing but a P-38 can opener and your dog tags.

I will wager 2 things though,

1) He's not in a combat arms line company.


2) If he was, and his platoon members found out about that letter, they'd be on him like a pack of wolves.

In the military organization, war serves two good functions. It weeds out the poor leaders and the cowards. Natural selection large and in charge.
Posted by: Paul || 09/19/2003 10:56 Comments || Top||

#13  To sum up the general anti-war arguement:

"Screw em' let the wogs die."

I find that attitude disgusting.
Posted by: Yank || 09/19/2003 11:14 Comments || Top||

#14  Hey Murat, since I arrived here only a few months ago and probably missed it, could you please make a clear declaration so I'd know EXACTLY what your point is in posting these worthless propaganda pieces.

Choose from the following please:

1) Iraq and its people were far better off under the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein and the government of Iraq posed no real dangers to either its neighbors or its own citizens;


2) I'm a troll and I just like to post anti-American rhetoric;

Just a simple declaration Murat, that's all I'm asking for. If you honestly support statement #1 above, then hey let us all know it. On the other hand, if you simply like yanking chains, then I suppose we'd all respect the fact that every site of this nature has somebody like you.

No coverups, no flowerly language, simply let us know Murat, does statement #1 approximate your position, or is statement #2 more accurate.

THANKS in advance for your anticipated honesty.
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 09/19/2003 11:22 Comments || Top||

#15  For the past six months, I have been participating in what I believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Read this.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 11:37 Comments || Top||

#16  "From my arrival last November at Fort Cambell"
Sounds like one unhappy Reservist who did not want to be called up for active duty.
Posted by: Stephen || 09/19/2003 12:27 Comments || Top||

#17  Thanks Bomb-a -rama ....great link.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 09/19/2003 12:51 Comments || Top||

#18  Ditto--thanks, Bomb-a-rama. That was a good read.
Posted by: Dar || 09/19/2003 13:13 Comments || Top||

#19  Thanks Bomb-a-rama. Good Read.

I get the idea that this person just joined up to get the benefits and is now pissed that he has to fuilfill his part of the bargain.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/19/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

#20  Hey, Swiggles:

Only 2 thoughts concerning the original article:
1) It's a fake - the most likely scenario, given what Steve figured out, or;
2) Pvt Predmore is actually in Iraq in the 101st, in which case I must ask the simple question, "Is he still alive, or have his buddies found out about him and extracted appropriate retribution for having sullied the 101st's name?"

LVK C-1-18 RVN (class of '66-'67)
Posted by: LVK (C-1-18 1ID RVN) || 09/19/2003 14:21 Comments || Top||

#21  Old news Murat...this first appeared 24 August. What, you can't find any new propaganda to disseminate?
Posted by: Watcher || 09/19/2003 19:40 Comments || Top||

#22  How quick we are to turn on our military boys that don't parrot the Bushie line...
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/20/2003 2:11 Comments || Top||

Iraqi ex-defence chief (# 27) surrenders
Iraq’s last defence minister under Saddam Hussein, former General Sultan Hashim Ahmed, has surrendered to US forces in northern Iraq, a Kurdish mediator says. Mr Ahmed - number 27 on the Americans’ list of most wanted former regime officials - reportedly surrendered in the northern city of Mosul on Friday after weeks of mediation. Dawood Bagistani, who arranged the surrender to US Major-General David Petraeus, said Mr Ahmed was handed over "with great respect" and was with his family at the time.
Posted by: Bulldog || 09/19/2003 3:36:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The real story is probably more interesting. Wonder if we'll ever hear it. The "de-Baathification" dilemma is a hard one. This guy has probably done some terrible things. But offering immunity to him may be the best solution, even if it is unjust to his victims and their families that he may never stand trial.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 09/19/2003 4:52 Comments || Top||

#2  TT, we didn't offer him immunity, all we did was promise him a honorable surrender:
"I offer you a simple, yet honourable alternative to a life on the run from coalition forces in order to avoid capture, imprisonment and loss of honour and dignity befitting a general officer," Maj-Gen Petraeus said in the letter, written at the end of last month. "I officially request your surrender to me. In return, I will accept this from you in person. You have my word that you will be treated with the utmost dignity and respect, and that you will not be physically or mentally mistreated while under my custody. As a sign of good faith, I will personally ensure that my staff will attend to any medical conditions you have," the letter over Maj-Gen Petraeus’s name and signature said.
No promises that he won't stand trial for war crimes.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 8:40 Comments || Top||

Iraq Ambush Kills 3 U.S. Troops, Wounds 2
TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) - Attackers ambushed a U.S. military patrol late Thursday, killing three American soldiers and wounding two on the outskirts of Saddam Hussein’s hometown.
The assault near Tikrit came hours after insurgents ambushed two U.S. military convoys with remote-controlled bombs, opening a three-hour gunbattle in a volatile city 50 miles west of Baghdad.

The U.S. military said two soldiers were wounded in the Khaldiyah ambush, the latest in a string of attacks that has raised questions about the Bush administration’s handling of post-war Iraq.

The three soldiers from the Army’s 4th Infantry Division were killed when attackers opened fire with small arms in the village of Uja, just five miles south of the center of Tikrit, shortly before midnight Thursday, Lt. Col. William McDonald said. Uja was Saddam’s birthplace. The two wounded soldiers were evacuated to a medical treatment facility and the names of those killed were withheld pending notification of next of kin, he said.

The soldiers were part of a patrol investigating a suspected site used to launch rocket propelled grenades, or RPG’s, at American military convoys. The weapons have been used to launch repeated attacks against the U.S. military in and around Tikrit. "They were responding to a suspected RPG site when the incident occurred," McDonald said.

He provided no further details and did not say if any Iraqis had been killed in the firefight.
I’m no military expert, but I really do think it’s time to lower the boom on Tikrit and surrounding environs. We need to teach the locals that you do NOT shoot at us and get away with it.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/19/2003 12:48:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Run everyone out of town with whatever they can carry, then burn it to the ground. Have a nice walk.
Posted by: mojo || 09/19/2003 1:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Not run, walk, and remove all headcovers. You never know who you'll find.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/19/2003 1:23 Comments || Top||

#3  hahahaha the happy Iraqis welcoming their Liberators in a peculiar very eccentric and uniquely Iraqi. Iraq where villagers who r suposed to welcome us with flowers suddenly throw away the flowers and start engaging us with Rpgs. Those soldiers who bit the dust had it coming. Iraqis r tired of loosing brother and sisters to trigger happy G.Is then getting an apology over the weekend. Oh we r sorry and we r investigating. How do you think Locals in Southern Utah would react if the FBI shot dead ten locals then apologized and offered each family 2500 dollars ahaha. Iraqi resistance is legitimate and must continue. 76 soldiers have bitten the dust and we r counting ahahaahah.
Posted by: stevestradamus || 09/19/2003 1:46 Comments || Top||

#4  the poltergeist is back
Posted by: Rafael || 09/19/2003 4:35 Comments || Top||

#5  Mr stradamus.

You would have people being gassed, opponents being put in plastic shredders, three month old babies having their eyes torn and you would be happy for this as long as the US loses so you can have an erection thinking in dead US soldiers. You are beyond repugnant. You are ready to have every Iraqui killed for your satisfaction, just as the sixties never-do-wells were ready to have every vietnamese and cambodian killed (by the VC and the Khmer Rouge) in order to shock daddy.
Posted by: JFM || 09/19/2003 4:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Bad troll!....bad boy.... now get back in your cage and be quiet.

Don't feed this clown.
Posted by: ----------<<<<- || 09/19/2003 7:03 Comments || Top||

#7  stevestradamus:an irratating,irrational,recuring rash,treatment:repeated applications of topical Redwing leather to postierierior of the irratant,and liberal application of Muleskin encased knuckles to the cranium.Keep applying until a minimum of 6 knots raised.Repeat as necassary.
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 8:36 Comments || Top||

#8  The military's refusal to disclose Iraqi casualties is starting to annoy me. We don't want to get into the whole bodycount mess, but it is vitally important that we present the cost that these bandits are paying for their attacks.

E-mails from serving troops seem to indicate a ratio of 5-1 or greater. I think reports of our losses would be better balanced if the dead Iraqis were pointed out as well.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 09/19/2003 9:43 Comments || Top||

#9  Chuck:

Don't you think their staying away from body counts because of Vietnam. I remember the tv news with the little figures showing the total dead per day. Blue guys and red guys. Too many bad memories.
Posted by: Tornado || 09/19/2003 10:32 Comments || Top||

#10  I don't care what all of you think about me. My goat just left me for a mule, my Penis Pump's(TM) batteries are dead, I can't find the tire repair kit for my blow up Shirley Sheep Doll (with vibrating action)(TM) and even my daddy won't poke me anymore. (Daddy, I told you the rash wasn't gone yet.) WAAAAAHHHHH! Why won't somebody (or something) love me?
Posted by: Mr. Stradamus || 09/19/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#11  Don't you think their staying away from body counts because of Vietnam.

Something to remember is that what is happening in Iraq with regard to U.S. military casualties is nowhere near the scale of Vietnam. Now Iraqi casualties, the reason they're probably not disclosing those is that anti-war groups will start screaming about "innocent Iraqi civilian deaths" even though it's insurgents that are being whacked.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 11:44 Comments || Top||

#12  Bomb-a-rama:

I agree. This isn't Vietnam. I just think it raises too many negative connotations for those who watched the news in the 60's/early 70's.

Maybe I'm just to sensitive?
Posted by: Tornado || 09/19/2003 11:48 Comments || Top||

#13  Porphyrogenitus has an interesting letter up. I suggest all read it.

It seems bombs are being put into candy and kleenex boxes and mixed in w/the trash.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/19/2003 12:06 Comments || Top||

#14  Here's the link to the letter Anonymous mentions above: More From the Front:
"Each bomb appeared to be a box (one candy, the other Kleenex) packed with C-4 explosives and nuts and bolts serving as projectiles. How they were detonated remains unknown... A median, elevated with planters, served as a directional backstop for the candy box concealed among so much other trash in this unsanitary country..."
Go read the whole thing.
Posted by: Old Grouch || 09/19/2003 13:31 Comments || Top||

#15  It seems bombs are being put into candy and kleenex boxes and mixed in w/the trash.
That could explain this story(Hat tip: Power Line)
Posted by: eLarson || 09/19/2003 17:43 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Progress report on war on terror


Since September 11, 2001, the United States, with the help of its allies and partners, has dismantled the repressive Taliban, denied al-Qaida a safe haven in Afghanistan, and defeated Saddam Hussein’s regime. Actions at home and abroad have produced the following results:

Of the senior al-Qaida leaders, operational managers, and key facilitators the U.S. government has been tracking, nearly two-thirds have been taken into custody or killed.
The Department of Justice has charged over 260 individuals uncovered in the course of terrorist investigations, and convicted or secured guilty pleas from over 140 individuals. The U.S. government has disrupted alleged terrorist cells in Buffalo, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, North Carolina and Tampa.
Terror networks have lost access to nearly $200 million.
It’s 23 pages so probably better to print it... Btw, not sure if this is ok to post, but I thought it would interest many people.... feel free to remove it if you don’t consider it news since it’s not from the press (it’s from the white house).
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 09/19/2003 2:31:33 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [415 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gee, I wonder how they define "senior Al Qaeda leaders." Hope it's not in a way that guarantees that 2/3 of them have been captured.
Posted by: Anonymous || 09/20/2003 18:36 Comments || Top||

First ever North Korean bank robbery?
A small-time bank robbery does not make headline news in many parts of the world. But when three armed robbers held up a bank in secretive North Korea last month, the incident was said to be unprecedented in the country’s history. The full force of North Korean officialdom appears to have united in search of the culprits.

Immediately after the incident, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il himself issued an order to "unconditionally arrest the criminals", according to a senior North Korean official currently in China. The authorities are said to have distributed wanted posters throughout the country. The Ministry of People’s Security and the State Security Department have also fully mobilised in the hunt for the criminals. Security forces defending the border areas are on special guard duty to prevent the robbers from escaping.

Accurate and up-to-date information is notoriously difficult to obtain from communist North Korea. The bank robbery has only now come to light - in an article in the South Korean newspaper Choson Ilbo - although the incident happened in August.

The three robbers are said to have entered the Foreign Trade Bank of Korea in the middle of the day, forcing bank employees to lie on the floor while they stole approximately $40,000 from the vault.
Chances are they’ve eaten the $40,000 by now.
Posted by: Dar || 09/19/2003 7:07:46 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [420 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "unconditionally arrest the criminals"

WTF does that mean? Vis a vis conditionally arrest the criminals. The Army-Based Policy seems to be breaking down. Police are running hither and thither.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/19/2003 19:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Forty grand probably buys enough grass & tree bark to last for several years.
Posted by: PBMcL || 09/19/2003 20:10 Comments || Top||

#3  If they had a hidden camera, would they have seen combat fatigues peeking out underneath the trenchcoats?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 20:45 Comments || Top||

#4  You dont think the robber is Kimmie-boy in drag do you?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/19/2003 21:24 Comments || Top||

#5  Maybe the reason this crime caused such a stink is that $40,000 is *all* the money in North Korea?
Posted by: SteveS || 09/20/2003 3:37 Comments || Top||

U.S. Decision to Apply Sanctions against DPRK under Fire
Rodung thinks we’re all doomed...again.
The Bush administration recently decided to impose sanctions against the DPRK and some other countries on charges of failure to actively combat such modern crimes as flesh traffic. Rodong Sinmun today in a signed commentary dismisses this as a ridiculous farce.
Ah, yes. The "flesh traffic". Pimp Dog Il and his purple Escalade tooling down Big Kimmie Blvd. checking out his stable.
The commentary says:
Human traffic is not allowed on any account in the DPRK institutionally and legally and such thing does not exist, in fact, at all, as it is a man-centred socialist society.
Man-centered? The sexist bastards! Get NOW on this, pronto!
It is the height of sarcasm for the U.S. to talk about modern crimes in the DPRK. It is none other than the U.S. which is fraught with modern crimes. Over 34 million cases of crimes of all kinds are reported every year in the U.S. The reactionary U.S. ruling quarters, however, are lukewarm in combating them.
Yeah, going to work today was like running a convoy into Fallujah...
Nevertheless, the U.S. is obtrusive enough to seek sanctions against the DPRK, crying over the lack of struggle against modern crimes there. The DPRK’s might is growing stronger as the days go by. On the contrary, the U.S. is running downhill to decay.
Oh, no. The clock is ticking.Please Rodung! Spare us your mighty wrath!
The farce of applying sanctions against the DPRK reflects the U.S. reactionary rulers’ uneasiness and nervousness over this. It is a foolish attempt to put the brake on the building of a great prosperous powerful socialist nation in the DPRK.
The U.S. imperialists are going to frighten the army and the people of the DPRK and isolate and stifle it by sanctions. This is, however, a ridiculous dream. They will get nothing in that farce. The U.S. should clearly understand this and stop running amuck.
Hey, Rodung. You said we’re on the road to ruin. Whatta we got to lose?
Posted by: tu3031 || 09/19/2003 6:47:04 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well lessee...not much here.
"DPRK’s might is growing stronger as the days go by"...weak.
" building of a great prosperous powerful socialist nation"...passe.
The U.S. "running amuck" is a nice note, however, but doesn't make up for an overall pretty poor performance.
A limp, shallow attempt at international sarcasm...4.0
Posted by: Watcher || 09/19/2003 19:37 Comments || Top||

#2  It is a foolish attempt to put the brake on the building of a great prosperous powerful socialist nation in the DPRK.

I am sure that South Korea and China will rejoice that you are now self sufficient, prosperous, and no longer need food and oil assistance.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/19/2003 21:20 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Guards at Tomb of Unknowns weather Isabel
Edited for brevity.
As the winds from Hurricane Isabel swept over Arlington National Cemetery, the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns were given - for the first time in history - permission to abandon their posts and seek shelter. "They told us that. But that’s not what’s going to happen," said Sgt. Christopher Holmes, standing vigil on overnight duty. "That’s never an option for us. It went in one ear and right out the other."

With the fierce storm bearing down Thursday night, cemetery officials decided to let the guards move indoors if they felt they were in danger. Cemetery Superintendent John Metzler said he believed it was the first time they have been allowed to do so. "We certainly didn’t want to put these guards in jeopardy unnecessarily," Metzler said.

The tomb is protected by soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. Usually about a half-dozen are there, taking turns standing guard, and security cameras also are used. Holmes’ group was on duty for 24 hours, from 6 a.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday. They took turns patrolling the tomb in hourly shifts.

Staff Sgt. Alfred Lanier, also on duty Thursday night, said guards might move inside if the storm became truly life-threatening. But he didn’t think it was likely. "Once you become a badgeholder, it’s like you’ll do whatever you have to do to guard the unknowns," Lanier said. "For one, it’s my job. And for two, that’s just how much respect I myself have for the unknowns. That’s just something we cherish."

The sentries were not entirely unprotected in the storm; they wore rain gear and could warm up with coffee or hot chocolate when not standing guard.
Posted by: Dar || 09/19/2003 3:47:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [438 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Class.
Posted by: Mike || 09/19/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Those be some seriously dedicated troops.Way to go "Old Gaurd"
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 18:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Wonder if guys like that have trouble remembering 9-11. If you placed a tombm-marker for each citizen that disapeared at the mercy of a Sadaam's desert, the visual image might break peoples indifference.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 19:09 Comments || Top||

#4  The Federal Government doesn't do much right, but Arlington is sublime. Go see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns ..... and keep a dry eye.
Posted by: Jabba the Nutt || 09/19/2003 22:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Got that right, Jabba.
Posted by: Ptah || 09/20/2003 6:22 Comments || Top||

#6  "Fields of Stone"I think that is the name of the movie.To much of a tear jerker for me but a good movie.
Posted by: raptor || 09/20/2003 8:03 Comments || Top||

Sharansky: Campus a battlefield
"We don’t want no brains ’round here, Zionist pawn!"
“The real battlefield is
[on] campus,” Sharansky
told Israel Radio on Friday.
Both Palestinians and Jews were
protesting Sharansky’s
speech at Rutgers University on
“Human rights, justice
and democracy – a Jewish
approach,” one leg of a
United States speaking tour.
The Palestinians were calling Israel a
“racist state,” said Sharansky, and
some of the Jews were members of the radical
ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta sect, who said
that “Jews must leave Israel.”
Well well
 Arafat’s fifth column.
The man who threw the pie was Abe Greenhouse, a
member of the central New Jersey branch of Jews
Against the Occupation, according to a posting
on the Indymedia New Jersey Web site. The
posting called Sharansky a
“Zionazi” member of “war
criminal Ariel Sharon’s
government,” and his former post as
housing and construction minister was described
as being “more accurately, Minister of
Illegal Settlements and Demolition.”
Then his lips fell off.
According to the Web site, Greenhouse was
arrested and charged with disorderly conduct,
and was briefly held by police and then
Sharansky said that actions such as the
pie-throwing served to energize the audience.
In a previous incident at Boston University,
where a pro-Palestinian group told the police
they had placed a bomb in the hall where the
lecture was scheduled to take place, the
university moved the lecture to another, larger
hall – and the size of the audience
increased from 200 to 600.

“They wanted to cancel [my speech] in
several places, but I adamantly refused,”
he said.
Sharansky also said his “enemies”
are particularly irritated by his lecture
topic, human rights. “We must be proud of
Israel,” he said.
Posted by: Katz || 09/19/2003 3:32:33 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oops… I accidentally snipped the first paragraph.
Posted by: Katz || 09/19/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Here's the first paragraph…

"The real Israeli-Palestinian battlefield is on
university campuses, Minister without Portfolio
Natan Sharansky said Friday, the day after a
Jewish pro-Palestinian activist threw a cream pie
in the minister’s face as he was about to
begin a lecture at a New Jersey university."
Posted by: Katz || 09/19/2003 15:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Where did the pie-in-the-face and naked protest ideas come from anyway? They are hardly like to convince anyone of the rightiousness of your cause.
Posted by: Yank || 09/19/2003 17:03 Comments || Top||

Bremer: Iran works to destabilize Iraq
The top US official in Iraq warned in an interview on Friday that Iran should halt what he termed as its "plots to destabilize" the country. Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority and effectively Iraq’s civilian ruler, said that Tehran, which has been watching the American occupation of its neighbour with mounting concerns, "continues to meddle in various ways in Iraq’s internal affairs".
He noticed, so have we.
In his interview with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Bremer claimed that Iranian intelligence agents were working to destabilize the reconstruction process. According to him, their activities included "support for various people, some of whom have taken violent action against both Iraqis and against the coalition." Asked whether Iranians were suspected of possible involvement in shooting and bomb attacks against US forces, he replied: "There’s certainly some indication of that, yes."
He’s been counting bodies and taking names, I’ll wager.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 1:37:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [364 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Time for GWB to put into place a plan for toppling the mullahs by the Iranian population. If he doesn't have a plan, he'd better get one pronto.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 14:22 Comments || Top||

#2  I like Old Patriots idea of using Iraqi forces to guard the border. They would be particularly effective along the borders to Iran and Kuaitt I would expect.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't think GWB can muster support for direct military action against Iran at this time, and there are risks to trying to foment a civil uprising (like it might fail and thousands of Iranians get slaughter and GWB takes the blame). I think there is a good chance of regime change in a second GWB term, when he doesn't have to worry about re-election.
Posted by: sludj || 09/19/2003 18:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Tit For Tat start covertly arming the disidents.
Posted by: raptor || 09/19/2003 19:05 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't think military intervention is need or wanted at this time. Not to say it won't be at some point. But other things need to be done first, like helping the opposition and potential opposition set up communications. There is stuff being done, albeit low-key.
Posted by: Pappy || 09/19/2003 23:26 Comments || Top||

East Asia
Navy tests ’unambiguous’ devices to warn unwelcome craft
I think a 5-inch gun would be pretty unambiguous, but I can see how that might upset some people. EFL:
Navy gunmen aboard the USS Blue Ridge shot flares, grenades and other explosives Thursday at an approaching boat to test new unambiguous-warning devices that could keep suspicious boats away.
And a fun time was had by all.
The shooters fired traditional deterrents such as flares and parachuted explosives, and tested a new “flash bang” device the Navy is considering for development. The drill was designed to measure the success of the new devices in the real world. It also allowed the Navy to see the explosives’ effect on a community like Yokosuka.
I’ll tell you how Yokosuka reacted, they pitched a fit about the noise those damm americans were making. They bitched about everything else.
The shots are nonlethal explosives that send an unequivocal message to boats that they’re getting too close to Navy ships.
“To deter any type of small-boat attacks,” said Chief Petty Officer Alonzo Tate, a gunner’s mate on the Blue Ridge. The deterrence might have helped prevent the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen three years ago, Tate said, when a small boat drifted up and exploded, killing 17 sailors.
Ah, no, they were aproaching it deliberately. It would help you sort out the bad guys from the sloppy boat drivers, though.
The flash-bang devices are designed to be a clear warning — unlike flares that can be mistaken for a distress call, or celebratory fireworks. The devices emit 175 decibels of sound and a flash equivalent to 6 million candles, said Carl Jarvis, with NAVSEA/ Crane, the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind., where prototypes were created.
Yeah, that’ll wake them up.
Yokosuka is the first real-world location where the device was tested. “There’s a big difference between shooting it out over a cow pasture [in Indiana] and shooting it out here,” Jarvis said.
Yeah, the cows don’t protest outside the gate.
Master-at-arms and gunner’s mates tested the explosives in daylight and at night, using 12-gauge shotguns and M-79 grenade launchers.
No doubt the senior ranks decided this warranted their personnal hands-on attention. "Ah, Chief, I wanted to shoot one." "Shut up and hand me another round."
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 1:27:49 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

#1  a few bursts from the 25mm chain gun works well too.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 09/19/2003 13:33 Comments || Top||

#2  I'll take a gross. Serious problem with crows ya know.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/19/2003 14:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Simple method to prevent repeat of USS Cole:

1. If Clinton state department offical tells you to refuel in Yemen or any other unsafe enviroment for political reasons, claim you had a fuel tank leak and don't want to foul their harbor. Take on fuel at sea from the nearest UNNS ship available.

Warships are at their most vunerable in port. Under no surcumstances should a US warship enter an unsecure port unless the ship is part of an invasion force.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 15:06 Comments || Top||

#4  The best way to help ensure safe ports is to start putting entire fleets into port at the same time and then giving 72 hour open liberty and free beer to all the sailors and marines.

and then look the other way when they trash the place.
Posted by: Frank Martin || 09/19/2003 16:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Probably made by Halliburton at the cost of $2million apiece
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 22:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Mosque leader: Brothers’ plan was ’beyond stupid’
Story from yesterday, edited for new laughs:
The president of the Beaverton mosque where two members of the so-called Portland Seven worshipped said Thursday that he feels "personally betrayed" by their involvement in a conspiracy to help the Taliban fight against American forces in Afghanistan. "This is a big disappointment," Shahriar Ahmed said Thursday, when Ahmed Ibrahim Bilal, 25, and Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, 23, each pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy and firearms possession. "It was beyond stupid," Ahmed said of the now-admitted conduct by the brothers, whom he called "well-liked" worshippers at the Bilal Mosque (no relation) (Uh huh). "It was beyond -- anything."
As part of their plea agreements, the brothers admitted to possessing firearms in the United States for training purposes.
They also admitted to traveling to Asia in October 2001 to take up arms and die as martyrs, if necessary, to defend the Taliban. Three other charges against Ahmed Bilal were dropped, and two against Muhammad Bilal were dropped. Only an event beyond their control -- their inability to enter Afghanistan via Pakistan -- kept them from achieving their objective of fighting with the Taliban, both men acknowledged in written plea agreements.
Note that these two morons may be the only people on the planet who couldn’t get into Afghanistan from Pakistan.
In his agreement, Ahmed Bilal said that after the group’s failure to reach Afghanistan he went to Indonesia, where he obtained contact information -- from a person from Portland -- for an Indonesian-based terrorist organization. The agreement said he was trying to decide whether he wanted to participate in a violent "holy war" by other means.
Decisions, decisions.
In entering the pleas, the Bilals joined another of the Portland Seven, Maher Mofeid "Mike" Hawash, in agreeing to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of "other individuals involved in criminal and terrorist activity." The 38-year-old Hawash, who apparently was not involved in the firearms possession and training activities, pleaded guilty in August to the less serious conspiracy charge, in exchange for a likely sentence of seven years.
The Bilals’ pleas mean that only three of the Seven are scheduled to go to trial in January: Jeffrey Leon Battle; his ex-wife, October Martinique Lewis; and Patrice Lumumba Ford. They are charged with conspiring to levy war against the United States, providing material support and resources to al-Qaida and contributing services to al-Qaida and the Taliban. Ford and Battle also face firearms-related charges, and Lewis and Ford are charged with money laundering for allegedly wiring money to other co-defendants who were in Asia as part of the alleged conspiracies.
One of Ford’s attorneys, Marc Sussman, was present when the Bilals entered their pleas Thursday. Asked what the pleas meant for his client, Sussman replied, "Two more witnesses against him."
Unlike previous court appearances, there were no supporters present in the courtroom.
Kind of hard to drum up supporters when you’re pleading guilty.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 11:40:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's not Beaverton, the Fortification Mosque of Peace is right off of Barbur and Capitol and their mosque is a few blocks away on Huber and they got arrested at their apartments a few blocks from that when nervous neighbors noticed them loading rifles in their car's trunk.

The Portland Tribune makes the Whoregonian look good... I had to threaten them with small claims to quit throwing their rag in my yard...
Posted by: DANEgerus || 09/19/2003 17:16 Comments || Top||

Middle East
IDF thwarts major terror attack; Israeli car fired at in West Bank
JPost Reg Req’d, EFL
An Israeli car was fired at south of the Alon highway junction near Kochav Hashahar on Friday. No casualties were reported, but the vehicle was damaged. The shots were fired from the same place where, exactly three weeks ago, Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorists shot dead Shalom Har-Melech, 25, and seriously wounded his seven months’ pregnant wife.
should’ve planted mines there
Early Friday, soldiers in the village of Burkin near Nablus demolished the house of Shadi al-Tubasi, who blew himself up at Matza restaurant in Haifa in March 2002, killing 15 Israelis.
Also Friday, IDF soldiers in the village of Rantis north of Ramallah demolished the house of Iyhad Abed al-Kader abu-Salim, the Hamas suicide bomber responsible for the attack in Tzrifin last week, in which eight soldiers were killed.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli troops in armored vehicles entered the West Bank town of Jenin and an adjacent refugee camp, taking over eight homes and conducting searches, as part of the ongoing military operation in the area.

The IDF imposed a curfew on Jenin and arrested three Islamic Jihad militants. In addition, a major terror attack was thwarted when soldiers detected a GMC jeep in the center of the town, filled with explosives and ready to be used in an attack in the near future, IDF officials said. The soldiers blew the jeep up.

What? No Massacre in Jenin™?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 10:42:32 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  should’ve planted mines there

Here's a better idea: Send over Spectre or Spooky to "circle" the place once or twice. That'd do the trick. ;)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Man Attempts to Break Into Airliner Cockpit
A man attempted to break into the cockpit of an airliner flying from South Africa to Atlanta on Thursday, the FBI said. The incident was not a terrorist attack, said Theodore Jackson, FBI agent-in-charge in Atlanta. James Drake, a 53-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and faces federal charges including interference with a flight crew member, the FBI said. Drake was arrested in 1987 after a similar incident on an airplane, according to FBI spokesman Jeff Holmes.
OK, add him to the "No Fly" list, please.
The Thursday morning incident occurred about 2 hours before the South African Airlines plane was scheduled to land. Drake rushed to the front of the plane and began banging on the cockpit door with his hands, Holmes said. Two passengers restrained Drake and persuaded him to sit down for the remainder of the flight, which had departed from Cape Town, Holmes said.
I’ll just bet they "persuaded" him. Score another victory for the Civilian Air Passenger Defense Force.
The FBI did not immediately know Drake’s hometown. Authorities probably will ask for a mental evaluation of Drake, who was being held pending a hearing in federal magistrate court in Atlanta, Holmes said.
Nuts can crash planes too.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 9:58:55 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another victory for the 93rd Volunteer Infantry!
Posted by: Mike || 09/19/2003 10:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Thank God the days of passivity and appeasement are over! This guy was probably just a little screwy and not a real terrorist, but every incident like this broadcasts the message to the real terrorists that we're done playing nice!

"Heather, my love, there's a new sheriff in town."
Posted by: Dar || 09/19/2003 11:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe he was an undercover airliner security quality control officer. Carrying it to an alarming extreme, though...........
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/19/2003 11:45 Comments || Top||

#4  "Persuaded" him to sit down? I would have pummeled the guy to the point that I'd have to be restrained myself.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#5  ..As glad as I am to see this sort of thing happening, I am curious to see what will happen when the day comes were one of these nutcases is literally torn to shreds by the passengers and it turns out he really was just a garden variety fruitcake. The legal arguments alone will be fascinating...

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 09/19/2003 13:45 Comments || Top||

#6  The legal arguments alone will be fascinating...

Hopefully by then, the lawyers will become the next target.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/19/2003 14:28 Comments || Top||

#7  The General Militia in action!
Posted by: Ptah || 09/19/2003 15:31 Comments || Top||

San Diego Arson Fire Work of Eco-Terrorists ELF
A fire that destroyed three homes under construction was the work of the eco-terrorist group Earth Liberation Front, officials said. The fire broke out about 2 a.m. and was confined to the homes that were already on fire, said Susan Smith, a dispatcher with the city fire department. It took firefighters about an hour to knock down the flames, she said.
The California Highway Patrol on its Web site reported the blaze as an "Earth Liberation Front fire." The group is a loose association of militant environmentalists and previously has claimed responsibility for acts of arson and vandalism. A banner was hung on a building near the fire, but no information was being immediately released on its content, said Officer Rich Vergara of the San Diego Police Department. No damage estimate was immediately available and no injuries were reported.
Got lucky again, but sooner or later somebody is going to die.
The Earth Liberation Front took responsibility for a $50 million arson blaze in August that destroyed a five-story apartment building in San Diego that was under construction. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been investigating that incident as well as an arson and vandalism attack targeting Hummers and SUVs in Los Angeles County earlier this month.
And they’re doing such a good job too.
A second blaze was reported at 3:52 a.m. and destroyed one home that was under construction, a fire dispatcher said. Firefighters had the blaze, which also scorched a patch of grass, under control in about half an hour. The fire, which broke out about three miles west of the original blaze, was under investigation, said fire dispatcher Kelly Refer.
Got a very active ELF cell out there in SoCal, maybe they’ll get greedy and the cops will catch a break. More likely they’ll decide it’s too hot there, go to ground and begin planning their next attacks in another area of the country.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 9:39:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Arsonists are no friends of anyone who has ever gone to sea on a ship. Any arsonist that is caught on a ship is immediately put in protective custody and removed from the ship quickly. This is to protect the arsonist form injuries sustained from "falling up ladders" and other paranormal occurences. Sailors take special exception to someone who desires to kill them in a firey inferno.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

#2  They are not even smart. The first San Diego Elf arson a few months back was three blocks from where I work. Its a grubby little dirt splotch between condos (occupied and evacuated during the fire) on one side and freeways on the other. Its not as if they were preserving the deserts and the natural wildlife.
Posted by: Yank || 09/19/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

Russia-Iran nuclear deal ’far off’
Russia has said there is no immediate prospect of a deal to provide Iran with fuel to launch its first nuclear power plant.
Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said the talks had stalled over arrangements for the return of spent fuel to Russia and that they "could last a long time".
"It depends on whose check clears first."
The negotiations have reportedly broken down over Iran’s demand that Russia pays for the spent fuel, which Moscow refuses to do. Russia is building the $800 million plant in Bushehr despite strong pressure from the United States to drop the project, as Washington accuses Tehran of secretly developing an illegal weapons programme. Iran denies all the charge, saying that its nuclear programme is designed exclusively to meet the country’s energy needs.
"We need it cuz we’re gonna run out of oil in 50, 60 years or so. We’re just planning ahead."
Mr Rumyantsev - who was speaking after talks in Moscow with US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham - denied any suggestion that Moscow was delaying the deal under pressure from Washington.
"Nope, no connection at all."
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 8:56:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I bet that the Russian's have agreed to stall for awhile. It's possible that this is tied to events in Palestinean, Iraq or North Korea.

If this is Powell, then it is brilliant work. George Bush Sr. is firmly in Powell's court and would ahve made a visit to Russia at Powell's request/suggestion.
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 9:42 Comments || Top||

#2  It could be that the administration has decided to make its best possible deals with Tehran and Moscow (if various stories turn out to be true) so as to get out of its current stalled state in Iraq.

Moscow gets first crack at Iraqi oil, seeing as no one else is crazy enough to work in a war zone.

Tehran gets a stable border and an opening to the West.

We get local security and a base against Damascus and Riyadh.
Posted by: Hiryu || 09/19/2003 13:08 Comments || Top||

#3  *shakes head* Russia's shaping up as a net exporter of oil, so I don't see how they'd benefit. Perhaps you mean Iraqi oil infrastructure contracts?

And somehow, I don't think secure borders are what Iran has in mind.
Posted by: Ptah || 09/19/2003 15:38 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Three get life in Morocco trial
A Moroccan court has sentenced a French national and two Moroccans to life imprisonment for planning terrorist attacks in an attempt to overthrow the state. The court also gave a variety of other sentences of up to 30 years to 30 other defendants in the case. Two of the accused were found innocent.
Frenchman Pierre Robert, 31, had denied all the charges and claimed he had been tortured in custody.
"Lies, all lies."
Robert, a French convert to Islam, was found guilty of being the leader of the group, giving them military and ideological instruction. His lawyers say they will appeal. In his most startling testimony, Robert said he had been working undercover for French intelligence, infiltrating Islamic extremist networks in Europe, BBC correspondent Sebastian Usher said.
Sure you were.
The French Government has denied this.
"Lies, all lies."
The defendants were tried under Morocco’s new anti-terrorism law which was rushed through parliament after the Casablanca bombings.
Morocco is taking this very seriously, well done.
Posted by: Steve || 09/19/2003 8:47:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [737 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Life sentence in Moroccan prison? Ouch!
Posted by: Frank G || 09/19/2003 10:00 Comments || Top||

#2  life sentence in a moroccan prision? That wont take long.
Posted by: N. Guard || 09/19/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||

Africa: Southern
Zimbabwe Police Defy Order for Newspaper
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Police defied a judge’s order Thursday to allow the country’s only independent daily newspaper to resume publishing, a lawyer for the paper’s owners said.
Why that’s, that’s, ... against the law!
Earlier Thursday, High Court Judge Younis Omerjee had also ordered police to return confiscated equipment and allow evicted staff back into their offices.
"Beggin’ yer pardon, yer honor, but we can’t return all their stuff."
"Why not, Constable?"
"Well, yer honor, we sold it all."
"That settles that. Case dismissed!"

Police shut down the Daily News last Friday for failing to register under the strict media laws imposed by President Robert Mugabe’s government. Police evicted the staff, removed the newspapers computers and occupied its offices and printing plant since Friday.
Wonder if those computers are in close proximity with certain mainframes from a customs office in Australia?
Gugulethu Moyo, legal advisor for the Associated Newspaper group, the Daily News owners, said police prevented staff from returning to work in the paper’s downtown Harare offices after Omerjee’s ruling. ``They said they had not received the court order. This is a travesty of justice,’’ she said. Plans to let staff publish a Friday edition were being thwarted by the police action, she added.

Omerjee ruled Thursday that authorities immediately return confiscated computers and allow the newspaper to continue publishing. No equipment has been returned, Moyo said.
But the coppers used the loot to buy drugs ho’s cars white slag food.
Omerjee’s ruling followed an urgent application by the paper’s owners to resume operations on grounds its closure was illegal.

Sam Sipepa Nkomo chief executive of the publishing group said after the ruling that The Daily News would be back on the street Friday in a small eight page edition. ``We want to have a paper tomorrow. We are working out something with our friends whom we dare not name publicly. Police have assured us they will bust our heads wide open cooperate,’’ Nkomo said.

Chief Supt. Clemens Madzingo, the officer in charge of the police closure of the paper, was in court Thursday to hear Omerjee’s ruling. He told reporters then: ``It is fair. We have no problem with it.’’
"Nope, nope, no problems, jes’ as soon as we find the stuff. Legume! Front and center!"
Madzingo, who remained in command at the Daily News offices late Thursday, appeared to have been overruled superiors acting under government orders.
"Madzingo, are you nutz? Git yer fat ass back out there and git back to oppressing people!"
There was no immediate comment available from police or the government.
"We can say no more!"
The paper printed only one edition since the pro-government Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the failure to register meant the newspaper was illegal. The closing of the Daily News came amid a government crackdown on dissent as Zimbabwe struggles with a dictatorship an economic collapse and international isolation.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/19/2003 12:32:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What kind of dictator is Mugumby? How can you not have better control of the judiciary than this? He needs to grab all the money bags (shattering Taylor's record take) and retire from dictatorship? Nothing more pitiful and disgusting than an ineffective dictator?
Posted by: Super Hose || 09/19/2003 9:15 Comments || Top||

#2  they got the mainframes back, they tried to sell 'em kinda a stupid thing to try to pawn off, last I heard the two thieves are in police custody
Posted by: Dcreeper || 09/19/2003 9:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Who really cares WTF is going on in this former British cluster F*ck? What is in America's interest here? I say Who cares?
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 09/19/2003 22:30 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2003-09-19
  Three get life in Morocco trial
Thu 2003-09-18
  Another Hamas big toes up
Wed 2003-09-17
  Aqsa gunny toes up in Nablus
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
  Two Hamas booms today
Mon 2003-09-08
  Toe tag for al-Ghozi?
Sun 2003-09-07
  Yassin promises Dire Revenge™
Sat 2003-09-06
  Missed, dammit! IAF rockets Sheikh Yassin
Fri 2003-09-05
  U.S. Says Talibs on the Run, 70 to 100 Toe Tags

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