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Iran agrees to UN nuke inspectors
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Thank Goodness for Racist Canadians??
EFL from TCS

Don’t find much in Tech Central Station that I disagree with. Can’t bring myself to commend Canada for taking an action that smells too much like it belongs in a Belgium style court.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- During the many years of Apartheid, our southern African neighbours, such as Zimbabwe and Zambia, provided Nelson Mandela’s liberation organisation (and now government), the African National Congress (ANC), with practical and moral support, often at considerable risk. Today, Zimbabweans who are suffering under the murderous rule of one of Africa’s most brutal tyrants unfortunately have not been afforded the same.

However it seems that the support they desperately need may come from far further away; the Canadian government is currently considering indicting Mr. Robert Mugabe on the charge of crimes against humanity.
Iran killed one of your citizens. wWy are you concerned with Mugabe?

A group of international lawyers has prepared draft indictment papers and has written to the Canadian Minister of Justice urging him to act swiftly against Zimbabwe’s tyrant. If the indictment goes ahead, it will be the first time that Canada’s three year old Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act will be used. Great - universal jurisdiction.

The move has been supported by a number of Canadian MPs from different parties, including Dr. Keith Martin of the Alliance Party, who recently visited Zimbabwe. Should Canada proceed with the indictment, Mr. Mugabe would effectively be trapped in his country as he would run the risk of arrest and deportation to Canada if he left. (Unfortunately for Mr. and Mrs. Mugabe, this means that the shopping sprees in Paris that they so love would be a thing of the past.)
Soon no American will be able to travel. There are enough leftist lawyers, countries that hate us and judges who will play along to sieze us all.

The first charge in the 20 point draft indictment is that of extermination. Mr. Mugabe’s particularly heinous policies -- such as withholding food aid from people who could not demonstrate that they were ZANU PF (Mugabe’s party) supporters or who had dared to oppose his policies -- can be seen as nothing less. The indictment also cites the disappearance of people either through arrest, detention or abduction; the routine torture of Mugabe’s opponents; the persecution of groups (such as farmers and farm labourers); and, lastly, widespread imprisonment in violation of the fundamental rules of international law. Hey, at least all the Saudis, Norks and Chicoms will be in jail with us, right.

Should Canada go ahead, a good many feathers -- particularly in Africa -- will be ruffled. One official I spoke with from Zimbabwe’s opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (who preferred not to be named) worried that the any potential indictment would deepen the rift between the black and white countries in the British Commonwealth. He suggested this would not necessarily be helpful to restoring democracy to Zimbabwe.
This inditement idea is stupid for many reasons.

Should this happen, it would be most unfortunate: Acting against Mugabe only becomes a race issue if one chooses to make it so. Responding to the Zimbabwean crisis should have nothing to do with race, but with what is right and what is wrong. It is wrong to abuse, torture and starve your population. It is right to make a public stand against such behaviour and try to bring an end to it as soon as possible. If one is accused of being racist for making a firm and unequivocal stand against Mugabe and his violent abuse of power, then Canadians should be happy to be labelled as such.

Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 8:23:28 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [18671 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Better deal with your own's treatment in the hands of Iran before you dabble in such hobbies for your lawyers as Zimbabwe.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 20:36 Comments || Top||

#2  AP, I thought about this one some more (pretty poor spell/edit job on my behalf - not to mention forgetting to dump it in Africa or Canada.) From a certain perspective it would be more honorable for Canada to worry about Zimbabwe rather than Iran because Canada has no stake in Zimbabwe.

In reality, Canada's worst nightmare would be to have another country actually extradite Mugambe to Canada for trial.

I do agree with the writer that Canada's symbolic gesture is better than the enablement action that South Africa is laying down.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 21:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe Canada should claim Mugabe has weapons of mass destruction, bully the UN, lie to their population and just go in and take him out?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 21:36 Comments || Top||

#4  Now is this the same Canada that didn't think Saddam needed to be brought to justice, and who said if they found him they wouldn't turn him over to the US?
Posted by: Carolyn Bacon || 10/21/2003 22:17 Comments || Top||

#5  LOL, bully the UN... yeah. Where do you come up with stuff like this?

Apropos this story... one call from Chirac, Chretien bends over, and these international lawyers are going no where. Case closed.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/21/2003 22:18 Comments || Top||

#6  I don't care how it's done, I'd just like to see Bob gone - real gone, like forever. Maybe we can accuse him of making rude comments about Bin Laden's mother or some such.

There is one way for this to make sense: if Canada DOES charge Mugabe with a serious (capital) offense against say, the Canadian representative in Zimbabwe (I don't think Canada has an embassy there), and bring the matter before the UN as an attack on diplomatic personnel, they may get somewhere. What would most likely happen would be the imposition of even MORE sanctions, and the bottling up of the Zimbabwe people, along with their trash - the Zanu PF. If enough countries felt strongly enough that dozens of warrants were issued, not only for Mugabe but for any member of his political party or government, and if the governments of nations bordering Zimbabwe follow through, he could be out of there in less than a year. Of course, in the meantime, another 20,000 will probably either starve, disappear, or be killed.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/21/2003 23:25 Comments || Top||

#7  I don't know Carolyn--did they REALLY say that or did you read it in the Washington Times/Moonie paper?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:11 Comments || Top||

Words just fail me.......

During September 2003, mass hysteria spread through Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, which was ultimately quelled by police intervention and statements made by the health minister. The panic was caused by rumors of foreigners roaming the city and shaking men’s hands, making their penises disappear. The rumors were spread rapidly by text messages on cellular phones, and diverted the public’s attention from a breakthrough in negotiations in Kenya between Sudanese Vice President Ali Othman and SPLA leader John Garang. [1]

Posted by: Mercutio || 10/21/2003 7:25:38 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ya think that this little rumour can get started in Saudi, Iran, or other state, or have they evolved enough where idiotic things like this that are accepted at face value in Khartoum won't take hold.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 19:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Ditto to what paul said. These sheeple can't think rationally for themselves because the dictators think for them. Mao/Marx would be proud!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/21/2003 19:38 Comments || Top||

#3  First dial-a-fatwa, now this. SO many opportunities for mischief!
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/21/2003 19:56 Comments || Top||

#4  "OK, Kimmie, you've got yourself a deal on the nukes. Here, let's shake on it."
Posted by: Matt || 10/21/2003 20:33 Comments || Top||

#5  I think the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders could take out these morons by wearing Halloween costumes--amazing ignorance
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 21:39 Comments || Top||

#6  Mebbe these mokes should check out the "magic woodie" several posts down....... 8p
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/21/2003 21:43 Comments || Top||

Nuisance monkeys face sterilisation
EFL from BBC
Loitering in groups, pestering passers-by, stealing food - India’s urban monkeys have become a menace to society. Simian delinquency is booming, fuelled by a steady rise in the monkey population.
How about some personal responsibility, here.
But in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, the humans have had enough - and, perhaps literally, the knives are out.
That line gives me a sinking feeling.
Authorities in the region have decided it is high time the nuisance monkeys are sterilised.
This sets entirely the wrong precedent.
They have applied to the Environment and Forests Ministry in Delhi for permission to proceed with a sterilisation programme.
I’m not a big fan of PETA, but in this case -- where the hell is my checkbook.
A senior wildlife official told the BBC the state’s female monkeys can rest easy - male monkeys will be the sole targets of the initiative.
I like this less and less.
According to the official, tests have shown sterilisation is far more effective in male primates than it is in females.
This crap wouldn’t happen in Pakistan.
If given the go-ahead, each of the state’s sterilised monkeys would have a micro-chip implanted in it, to make sure the same animal was not operated on twice.
And the left says John Ashcroft is evil.
Though denied the protection afforded to the sacred cow, monkeys nonetheless have an easy life in India.
Until now! If cows could throw their excrement, there would be a lot fewer sacred cows.
The presence of pilgrims and devotees at these temples provides the monkeys with a ready source of food - and to judge by their antics, entertainment.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 3:27:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [385 views] Top|| File under:

#1  make sure the same animal was not operated on twice.

Wouldn't they be able to tell without the microchip?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/21/2003 15:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Monkey vasectomies? Okay, the UN's gotta be around here someplace...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 16:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Kind of harsh. It's not like the monkeys are blowing sh*t up or demanding that the Indians convert to some stupid monkey religion, or anything like that.
Posted by: BH || 10/21/2003 17:42 Comments || Top||

#4  There are thousands of monkey cells all over the country, waiting to spring into a Jihadi frenzy upon hearing an audio tape of Osimian Bin Laden.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 19:54 Comments || Top||

#5  This most definitely has to be a Pakistani plot to foment a revolution among the Indian monkey tribes. Watch out for plastic explosives hidden in shipments of bananas, and hand grenades among the cocoanuts. Most of all, don't let monkeys have access to fruitcake, or they'll start running around screaming "All your monkey farms are belong to us".
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/21/2003 23:32 Comments || Top||

Hosting Matters blogs down again...
1 p.m. EDT

FYI...Glenn posts at Instabackup that there is a problem again at Hosting Matters, or possibly the AT&T backbone. So for the time being, no Instapundit, LGF, Daily Pundit, Amish Tech Support, or prolly at least half the blogs on Fred’s blogroll ----->

There’s information about the previous DDOS attacks on Hosting Matters’ servers in the archives at LGF, when they become available.
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/21/2003 12:55:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [539 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Early this a.m., I read that they had a DDOS attack last night. Now this, third time. Aaron at Internet Haganah seems pretty emphatic that it's al Qaeda, from Malaysia predominently.

Most DDOS attacks use "innocent" computers that they've managed to infect with a worm. Everyone should check their virus software, and spyware protection.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/21/2003 13:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Last night, some of the blog-posters (especially at LGF) took exception to Al Guardian's continuing effort to incite the assassination of President Bush. A DDOS attack in response would be consistent behaviour for AG's crypto-trotskyite terror-profiteer audience.
This kind of incitement, btw, has been a subtle trend lately in fifth column media, except at Guardian, where it has been very blatant.
See Al Reuters' story demonizing the Royal Australian Air Force's fairly routine precautions for Bush's visit and subtly equating these precautions with some kind of extra-legal oppression.
Posted by: Charlotte Ravens Bloody Nose || 10/21/2003 13:35 Comments || Top||

#3  hee hee...Glenn just put up a counter at instabackup, saw that he's getting hits, and is blogging away...
Posted by: seafarious || 10/21/2003 13:47 Comments || Top||

#4  DDOS? Sorry, I'm not familiar with that acronym.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/21/2003 13:59 Comments || Top||

#5  Distributed Denial of Service...

Check this site out - look around - he explains it quite nicely. Good old Steve Gibson, one of the best coders ever!

And do the Shields test while you're there!
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 14:02 Comments || Top||

#6  'bout half of Hosting Matters' blog are back. LGF is still down though.
Posted by: BigFire || 10/21/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

#7  They're bringing things back in server by server. They are having to make changes to IP addresses on some of the servers. The ones they didn't have to change, needless to say, come back up first.
Posted by: Kathy K || 10/21/2003 14:12 Comments || Top||

#8  Explanation & status updates can be found here... (may not be permanent link).
Posted by: Old Grouch || 10/21/2003 16:01 Comments || Top||

#9  Someone needs to clue al-Guardian in regarding the prospects of "President Cheney".
Posted by: Dishman || 10/21/2003 16:18 Comments || Top||

#10  When this happened a few days ago, someone commenting on an HM blog said that this was why he used some other service. Stephanie (of HM) got slightly snippy about it.

But the guy was right---no matter how good HM is, if many of the most popular blogs are on HM, and something happens to it, blog readers are SOL. That's true if it's HM's screw-up, a DOS attack, or an act of God.

The moral: Do not put all your bleggs in one basket.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 10/21/2003 16:39 Comments || Top||

#11  If it was in my power, I would cut off all communications out of Malaysia. Where are the government authorities, who should be dealing with this attack on businesses?
Posted by: Anonon || 10/21/2003 16:41 Comments || Top||

#12  Those "running the world" Jews haven't told them what to do yet...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 16:46 Comments || Top||

#13  "Last night, some of the blog-posters (especially at LGF) took exception to Al Guardian's continuing effort to incite the assassination of President Bush."
It's worth noting that these exceptions took the form of some remarks about home-made cruise missiles (as discussed here at R-burg a few days ago) and the GPS coordinates of the Guardian offices.
Naturally, moonbats and trustafarian mumia-cong would be upset at this. How dare anyone but designated pop-culture authorities and other "progressives" endorse extra-legal violence in democratic countries?
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/21/2003 17:04 Comments || Top||

#14  LGF's back!
Posted by: Atrus || 10/21/2003 17:08 Comments || Top||

#15  Muslim cyber-terrorist identifies himself, and his server.


ObL Crew terrorists back on at a New Zealand run coconut island website.


Posted by: Anonon || 10/21/2003 17:14 Comments || Top||

#16  Did they just strike again!?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/21/2003 17:32 Comments || Top||

#17  I think so. I just tried PowerLine (powerlineblog.com) and couldn't get in. Their with the same hosts.

If you stop by grc.com, also try the leak-test. It is a test that something on your machine is accssing the net without your knowing it.
Posted by: eLarson || 10/21/2003 17:37 Comments || Top||

Raving Moonbattery Alert
Bob Heinlein, call your agent...
Mahathir’s speech properly addressed the dilemma of the Muslim world. But because he was careless in characterizing the enemy, he allowed them to use the speech against Muslims.
Bad monkey! Bad, BAD monkey!!
The enemy is the Illuminati. Jewish leaders like Foxman work for Illuminati financiers. Muslims, Christians and Jews need to be very clear about who the Illuminati is.
Uh...Is that the Bavarian Illuminati, or what?
Exactly a year ago, I featured an article about an Illuminati defector, a former "mind programmer" named Svali. Everything Svali said should be taken very seriously. Svali said the Illuminati is not Jewish but Luciferian.
Huh??! Is that Martin Lucifer?
Lucifer Vandross?
"Yes, there are some very powerful Jewish people in this group. For instance, the Rothschild family literally runs the financial empire in Europe (and indirectly the States), and are a well-known Jewish family. I have also known people whose parents were Jewish diamond merchants in the group, and at every level. But to rise to power in the Illuminati, a Jewish person at night would be forced to renounce their faith, and to give their first allegiance to Lucifer and the beliefs of the Illuminati."
BWAHAHAhahahahahaha! Kneel before ZOD!!
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 11:40:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [695 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ROFLMAO!!!

Oh yeah AlBwababababadabadabdoo, take it all vewy vewy sewiously!

No wonder the average Arab doesn't have clue one. Between this loonie news outlet, IOL, Al Jizz, ad infintum ad nauseum, not to mention their local Imam for whom the lever and the wheel are inexplicable, they don't have a chance. What a load.

Doh! Beesides the obvious missing element of individualism, there seems to have been a slight problem instilling the ability to discriminate between shit and shinola. Gullibility Central. Can you imagine the field day that our advertising assholes will have if they ever get their hands on these suckers? Almost makes me feel sorry for them. Almost.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 11:55 Comments || Top||

#2  This Henry Makow guy has to be Albabawa's equivalent to Ed Anger. He can't be real.

Has anyone played this Scruples board game and if so do you have to beat Lucerific Illuminati? If one defects from the Illuminati, where do you go? They're all-powerful right?
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/21/2003 12:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Did it ever occur to this journalist that several movies have been made with some, if not all, of what was told to him?

Only one word can describe this man.

Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#4  If you read this carefully you'll see a rather clear link to the Sea People who built the Great Pyramids of Giza and how they were able to transfer this secreat knowledge around the globe to such far flung places as they new world.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/21/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Lucky! Where you been, man? Welcome back!

Are the Sea People like Sun People or Ice Cave People?
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 12:50 Comments || Top||

#6  I've put all you guys on the master list.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/21/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#7  I thought it was the Rockefeller family that ruled the USA (the Rotschild are too busy ruling us europeans). I'm surprized Bilderberg was not mentioned (the luciferian are a nice touch, though, usually this goes with high level free-masons).
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 12:59 Comments || Top||

#8  Methinks Mahathir has taken a bit of damage to his frontal lobe.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/21/2003 14:08 Comments || Top||

#9  Paranoid conspiracy theories play a major role in inciting terrorism and, just as importantly, in blunting the civilized world's response. To skeptical students of the subject, this has been evident for many years, at least since the Oklahoma City bombing.
The media, mesmerized by the profits to be reaped from a demonstrably gullible audience, have tended to ignore this in favor of ever-greater efforts to exploit conspiracist claims.
It is not true, for example, that Tim McVeigh was inspired simply by the events at Waco. He was in fact heavily influenced by paranoid conspiracy theories that go far beyond the accepted facts about Waco, into the realm of the Illuminati, Jewish banker conspiracies, intricate plans for genocide, and other notions of a secret and all-powerful totalitarian shadow-government.
This kind of thinking, if we may call it that, has come into the commercial media mainstream since 9-11.
Comedian (and ultimate insider) Richard Belzer has long been a proponent of moonbat conspiracy theories; particularly of those claims that would tend to inspire violence if they were true; the Moon hoax claim, the alien collaboration claim, various secret genocides.
Madison Avenue icon Bryant Gumbel has recently joined in, lending his air of authority to a sci-fi channel conspiracy program that could easily incite violence against the US military.
This deals with the so-called Kecksburg incident in the 1960s, touted as a new Roswell by ufools. Like Roswell, it almost certainly involves a hasty and authentic cover-up, but not aliens. In this case, the crash of a Soviet Venus probe that failed to make orbit, and its recovery by the Air Force in the Pennsylvania woods, are probably responsible; facts the program did not deign to mention.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/21/2003 15:45 Comments || Top||

#10  U. of Toronto: Uh, like, what does it take for me to get my, you know, dissertation accepted? Looking for a job, man. Please don't hold it against me that I'm not an Illuminati.
Posted by: Michael || 10/21/2003 16:41 Comments || Top||

#11  Jewz rule the world.....
Better start being nice to us...
Posted by: pill || 10/21/2003 16:41 Comments || Top||

#12  Sea People my ass. Everyone knows it was Space Aliens who built the Great Pyramids!
Posted by: Spot || 10/21/2003 17:31 Comments || Top||

#13  The enemy is the Illuminati. Jewish leaders like Foxman work for Illuminati financiers. Muslims, Christians and Jews need to be very clear about who the Illuminati is.
Well anyone who's heard of David Icke knows that the illuminati are actually shape-shifting, blood-drinking lizards from the planet Zog. IIRC the ADL got rather upset when Ickie accused Henry Kissinger of eating blond Aryan babies, which is conclusive proof that the lizards control the ADL (well obviously with Abe Foxman in charge...)
Posted by: Dave || 10/21/2003 18:26 Comments || Top||

#14  Dave, shame on you for not including a link to David Icke's website, probably the maddest on the web. Visit, and find out all about conspiracies and the conspiratorial conspirators who conspire them (usually the "reptillians").
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/21/2003 19:03 Comments || Top||

#15  Why do I keep hearing theremin music in my head when I read the article?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 20:50 Comments || Top||

#16  Theremin--now that was an interesting movie! Did you see it AP?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 21:46 Comments || Top||

#17  Bull! It was elvis'es love child who built the pyramids after going back thru time.

Didn't you people read your future history? Jeeze!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/21/2003 22:10 Comments || Top||

#18  NMM---I was thinking of the electronic musical instrument that played themes like the first Star Trek and other SF jenre. Never saw the movie, maybe I will check it out.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 23:24 Comments || Top||

#19  NOW who's channeling???

Bob Heinlein, call your agent...
Both have been dead for several years.

It wouldn't take an Einstein to set up a program that would create a half-dozen new "conspiracies" each week, get people's interest by including some "celebrity" names, and just literally playing with minds the way some people play with marbles. The US has never been super-successful with psychological warfare because we just can't believe people would accept such blatant lies. The truth is, there is always someone that will believe anything. I think if we stirred the pot carefully, selected 'ingredients' with special care, and kept at it day and night, we could totally wreck the Middle East without firing a shot. Start a rumor that "xxxxxxxxx is really a Jew, but was too scared to go through with his Bar Mitzvah, and was thrown out of his family", or "did you know that Prince xxxxxxxxxx has a harem of young European women he's bought from the Italian mafia?". It's not hard to get a rumor started about ANYTHING! Controlling it, now that's a whole different ball of wax!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/21/2003 23:50 Comments || Top||

#20  Alaska Paul--it's about Theremin who invented the instrument--a documentary--he disappeared, was found--gave an interview shortly before he died--believe he was in a gulag--fascinating story--found it at Block Buster
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:01 Comments || Top||

’Magic’ wooden penis saves woman
I hear .com’s got one of these....
An abbot’s ’magic’ wooden penis has been credited with restoring a woman to health in Thailand. Ladda Satiya, 66, was lent the carved phallus by an abbot at the Thepprasart Temple in Pattaya after falling ill from eating poisonous mushrooms.
of course! Everyone knows the antidote to ’shroom poisoning is a "magic" wood penis. common knowledge...
Satiya called the abbot, Pra Boonsong, when the mushrooms made her feel dizzy and out of breath. He gave it to her brother and suggested she swallowed a mixture of rice and water ground up by the penis. Satiya said it was like eating pepper and her symptoms disappeared soon afterwards. Speaking to the Pattaya Mail, the abbot said he had cast a spell on the phallus.
My ex-wife did that to mine...I got better
He said the ’magic’ wood is able to heal people poisoned by toxic substances and prevent the bearer being affected by black magic. But he refused to reveal the source of the penis wood for fear of forest devastation.
"Rain forest deforestation due to magic wood penis harvesting - coming soon to a town near you!"
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 9:44:58 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Watch out for liberials handing out Magic Penis'.

" It not only quenches your lust, but restores your health too! "
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 10:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Hey, stop talking 'bout my woodie!

Phallic carvings are very common in Thailand. So are the shaman types. These Buddhists are also animists - some pretty weird stuff - which they originally got from the Hindus. It's a pretty weird mix with special emphasis on pregnant women and demons and such. Lots of folklore I could relate, but hey, all unscientific ooga booga is a waste of breath / keystrokes when it counts. I always remember, as a kid, being given a rabbit's foot and told it would bring me luck. All I could think about was the poor rabbit - and how it hadn't been lucky at all for him. Ooga booga - can you say 30 new Cardinals, Frank? What, was there a shortage? ;->

Suffice it to say I don't exactly buy the lady's claims - assuming she used it as directed. Now if she was a little more liberal in her application, well now, that would be quite different and certainly could've brought the rosie pink flush back to her cheeks... 8->
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 10:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Right now, there is some guy in Idaho, turning and burning some pine on a lathe, with dreams of being first to market on E-bay. I salute the man. Capitalism rules the market.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 10:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Pine? I'd have thought you'd want to use a hard wood.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/21/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#5  When will Pra be setting up the website and sending out all the spam and popup ads?
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm kinda wondering - did she try to suck it?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 11:11 Comments || Top||

#7  B-a-R - Personally I wasn't wondering... hey, there was no mention of her having splinters in her tongue... ;->
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 12:19 Comments || Top||

#8  special emphasis on pregnant women and demons and such

LOL. That about covers the Lucifarien waterfront.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/21/2003 12:59 Comments || Top||

#9  Super Hose predicts that the next plague sweeping the continent of Africa will be Dutch Elm Disease.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 14:50 Comments || Top||

#10  Can you adapt this prop to an afro-centric rendition of The Magic Flute? -- sorry, this was fertile ground.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 15:00 Comments || Top||

#11  Hmmmm. I think, given the scarcity of the Dutch in Africa these days, it may already have done its worst... Yet another genocide, sniff sniff... I think the remnants are down in Cape Town.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 15:00 Comments || Top||

#12  ..The Magic Flute?

That would be called the Magic Skin Flute. ;)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 16:29 Comments || Top||

#13  Bomb, if I were able, I would answer with a Woody the Woodpecker maniacle laugh. Please, imagine it for effect.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 17:25 Comments || Top||

Blithering Idiot Man Survives Historic Plunge Over Niagara
NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - A man survived a plunge over Niagara Falls with only the clothes on his back, witnesses said, the first person known to have done it and lived. Witnesses described seeing the man float by Monday in the swift Niagara River, go headfirst over the churning 180-foot waterfall and then pull himself out of the water onto rocks below. ``He just looked calm. He just was gliding by so fast. I was in shock really that I saw a person go by,’’ Brenda McMullen told WIVB-TV in Buffalo. ``I saw him disappear over the edge of the falls,’’ McMullen’s husband, Terry McMullen, said. The Columbus, Ohio, tourists snapped photographs afterward, showing the man dressed in street clothes, apparently lying on the shoreline at the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
Of course he was in street clothes, it was too cold for a swim suit.
Only one other person known to have survived a plunge over the Canadian falls without a barrel or other contraption: a 7-year-old boy wearing a life preserver who had been thrown into the water in a 1960 boating accident. No one has ever survived a trip over the narrower and rockier American falls.
Yar! Our falls are tougher! Bwahahaha!
Video shown by the Buffalo television station showed officers walking from the scene with a shirtless man in handcuffs and a blanket covering his face. ``At this point, there does not appear to be any evidence of foul play,’’ the Niagara Parks Police said in written statement. Officers would not release the man’s name nor would they comment on why the man went over the Falls.
Pick one: a) suicidal b) daredevil c) stupid d) all of the above
About a dozen daredevils have taken the plunge in barrels or other protective chambers since 1901. About half have survived.
Darwinism at its finest.
Parks Police said emergency crews responded to a report of a man going over the Canadian falls around 12:45 p.m. Rescuers descended the gorge in a tourist elevator to an observation deck and reached him from there. He was taken to Greater Niagara General Hospital for medical treatment, said police. Hospital spokeswoman Marilyn Bellows said the man was in stable condition, according to the Canadian Press.
Stable? He went over the blinkin’ falls! How stable can he be?
Posted by: Steve White || 10/21/2003 1:40:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Perhaps he was a Canadian desperate for living in a free, non-socialist, country who is not ruled by Jean Loup Chretien. :-)
Posted by: JFM || 10/21/2003 6:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Perhaps he was a Canadian desperate for living in a free, non-socialist, country who is not ruled by Jean Loup Chretien. :-)

JFM, that may come sooner rather than later:

"Canada's two Right-of-centre parties are set to unite, ending a decade in which the ruling Liberals under Jean Chrétien faced a divided opposition and won three consecutive elections. The new party, known as the Conservative Party, will field one candidate instead of two in each constituency in an election expected next year. ... Avoiding a split vote is expected to give the Conservatives at least 30 extra seats in next year's election. ..."
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/21/2003 6:40 Comments || Top||

#3  in handcuffs and a blanket covering his face.
That's a little harsh! Maybe he was an escaping criminal. "I seem to have shaken those fools."
Posted by: B || 10/21/2003 8:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Pick one: a) suicidal b) daredevil c) stupid d) all of the above

You forgot the last one. E) Democratic Presidential Candidate.
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 10:07 Comments || Top||

#5  LOL!!! Good 'un Charles!
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 10:37 Comments || Top||

#6  You forgot the last one. E) Democratic Presidential Candidate.
Uh, Charles, how does that differ from choices a, b, and c????
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/21/2003 10:54 Comments || Top||

#7  A guy can want to be on Letterman too much. Let him know that is safer to team your gila monster to eat spaghetti through its nose.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 10:54 Comments || Top||

#8  Uh, Charles, how does that differ from choices a, b, and c????

E has money to pay for lawyers.
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:17 Comments || Top||

#9  What makes you people think there is something wrong with the man's head?
Posted by: Imam Hotep Bejesus || 10/21/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

Governor claims arresting 19 Taliban infiltrators
Provincial authorities in southern Afghanistan said on Tuesday they had detained 19 Taliban guerrillas, including a group mounted on motorcycles to facilitate cross-border infiltration.
"Mahmoud! Are the Shriners the ones with the turbans or the ones with the fezzes?"
"Fezzes, Ahmed."
"Thanks. Here, you people! Halt in the name of the Law!"
Hafizullah Hashmi, the governor of Zabul province, said 10 guerrillas from among a group of 20 on motorcycles were detained on Sunday night in the province’s Shinki district. Hashmi said the group arrested in Zabul had been responsible for attacks recently on government forces in which some soldiers were killed. He said they had been given new motorcycles to allow them to enter Afghanistan easily from Pakistan to carry out attacks. The governor of neighbouring Uruzgan province, Jan Mohammad Khan, said another nine guerrillas had been detained there the same day. Earlier this month, the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review magazine reported that the Taliban had bought more than 1,000 motorcycles over the past three months in Pakistan’s Quetta region.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 20:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

Inches divide life, death in the Afghan darkness
EFL.We’ve got some amazing people over there. Go to the link and read the whole thing.
For a few seconds on a frigid Afghan night, Army Master Sgt. Tony Pryor fought America’s war on terror with only his bare hands. One of 26 Special Forces soldiers raiding an al-Qaeda compound in mountains north of Kandahar last year, Pryor found himself alone in a room with three enemy fighters. He shot two of them dead in the first few seconds. The third he would have to fight and kill hand to hand, so close he could smell the man’s sour breath.

War creates widows, orphans, disabled Purple Heart veterans and soldiers such as Pryor, proficient in the dark art of killing. All of the nation’s nearly 30,000 special operations soldiers, sailors and airmen are skilled at close combat. But Pryor was specially trained. He was one of more than 80 Army Special Forces troops who drilled relentlessly in close-quarter fighting a combination of martial arts and street fighting to prepare for a series of raids in Afghanistan. "Whatever digging, scratching, biting, hair-pulling, ear-ripping-off whatever you got to do to get the job done, that’s what you do," Pryor says, explaining actions that night that won him the Silver Star for heroism and saved the lives of other team members in the compound. "Because, bottom line, I got a life at home. They (his comrades) got a life at home. And we’re coming home."
I’m glad this guy’s on our side. Read the whole article.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 3:32:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [395 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good find--hell of an article! I got a kick out the "defragging the hard drive" line--quite an interesting choice of metaphor!

I hadn't heard the story of SFC Paul Ray Smith and his last stand at the airport. I googled his name and found a nicely done tribute site that goes into more detail about what happened and why he's being considered for the CMOH.
Posted by: Dar || 10/21/2003 15:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Yes, Read the entire article. It goes on about how they are not the 'kill! kill! kill!' Rambo types the left says they are....

The other GIs tell of a firefight weeks earlier during which Pryor entered a room that was ablaze and spotted movement under a blanket. He didn't shoot. Pausing to search, he found a baby girl, pulled her free and passed her to a team member.

Damn! This is what I call a hero....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/21/2003 16:07 Comments || Top||

#3  "Pryor, whose healthy-size cranium has earned him the nickname "Bucket," led the way. He stepped around a corner and shot a man coming at him with an AK-47 a few feet away"

nice story, and good shooting, "Bucket"!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 17:23 Comments || Top||

#4  What were the names of the two spooks, who vountarily repelled into the helo crash site at Mogadishu to protect the pilot, eventhough they knew that there was little chance that they would be recovered?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 17:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Super hose : I think they were Delta commandos snipers Randy Shughart & Gary Gordon, at Mike Durant's crash.

OT, the original Philadelphia inquirer Mark Bowden article, from where I drawn that info is online in 30 parts at http://inquirer.philly.com/packages/somalia/sitemap.asp
Stumbled upon by accident, loved it; this convinced me to buy the french version of his book in a near future.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 17:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Anon: Those articles were the basis of "Black Hawk Down." The book is truly excellent, and the movie doesn't do a bad job with it.

As for Sgt Pryor: He is the quintessential American hero. I am awed and honored to be his countryman.
Posted by: R. McLeod || 10/22/2003 3:12 Comments || Top||

Yemeni Police Arrest Five
Yemeni police have arrested at least five people and seized a cache of weapons and explosives after a search of a car at a checkpoint in southern Yemen, police officials said yesterday. Police, who stopped a car Friday at a checkpoint in Lahij province, found 45 bags of ammunition, five rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 15 grenades and a number of night vision goggles.
"Awright! Youse guys better have your elk licenses or you're in big trouble!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 19:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

Eye on sleepers ... Kuwait tightens security
Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Sabah said Monday the country will deal seriously with threats attributed to al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden that were broadcast two days ago. "Any threat to Kuwait is not taken lightly, but seriously because the country was the target of some terror attacks," the minister said in statements carried by the official KUNA news agency. "Kuwait has always dealt seriously with threats especially those targeting the safety of citizens and residents," said Sheikh Mohammad before leaving the country on a tour of Poland, Bulgaria and Spain.
Guess they caught the message, too...
A message attributed to bin Laden was broadcast Saturday, threatening to send suicide bombers to the United States and to attack any forces joining the US-led coalition in Iraq, including Kuwait. "Bin Laden represents the misguided group in the Islamic nation and his threat was not limited to Kuwait, but also included Saudi Arabia, Gulf states and other Arab and Islamic countries," Sheikh Mohammad said. Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi meanwhile called for taking all necessary precautions whether bin Laden's threats were genuine or not. On Sunday, Kuwaiti Information Minister Mohammad Abdullah Abulhassan said his country received "general warnings" about a possible terror attack, but decided not to issue public alarm bells.
I can see a Qaeda desire to drive a wedge between Kuwait and the U.S., and if something happens I'm sure their Islamist bloc will point the finger and blame it on their cooperation with us. But it also has to the potential to backfire — we've been a good friend to Kuwait, and so far Binny hasn't given them much. Destruction for the sake of destruction won't win him any friends.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They see you when your sleeping, they know when your awake... Come on Mohamed, everybody sing.
Posted by: Steve D || 10/21/2003 19:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Didn't one of Les Rantbourgeois--.com I believe refer to Kuwait making Soddy look like Islam Light?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 22:10 Comments || Top||

Saudis hold suspected militants
Police in Saudi Arabia have arrested a number of suspected Islamic militants and seized large caches of weapons including what appear to suicide bombers’ belts. They made the arrests in the desert kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, and the port of Jeddah, the government reported. State TV showed off plastic explosives, home-made pipe bombs and a large number of assault rifles and ammunition. Monday’s announcement did not specify how many arrests were made.

Followup, from Pak Daily Times
The latest terror suspects arrested by security forces were preparing to carry out suicide bombings across Saudi Arabia, evidenced by the amounts of explosives found in their possession, a senior Saudi security official said on Tuesday. The suspects whose arrest was announced late on Monday were trained in Afghanistan by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terror network, said the official. “For the first time, security forces seized explosives belts, a clear indication that the suspects were bracing to carry out suicide attacks along the lines of the May 12 triple bombings against residential compounds that left 35 people dead in Riyadh,” he said.
Yeah. I'd say that was a pretty likely sign...
The arrest of an unspecified number of “wanted” militants was announced in an interior ministry statement which detailed the seizure of weapons, high explosives and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, in addition to “a guidebook on how to carry out assassinations”, in six regions of the vast kingdom. Besides the capital, these included the Red Sea Port city of Jeddah, the Muslim holy city of Mecca, the al-Majmaa province 180km north of Riyadh, Shaqra province 200km west of the capital, and the al-Bkairiyeh province in the Qassim region, 400km north of Riyadh.
By the way, how many bad guys did they pick up?
The security sweep, whose exact dates were not given, produced among other items 19 kilogrammes of highly explosive materials and “explosives belts used for suicide operations with 16 vests designed to carry weapons and explosives”, the statement added. The state-run Saudi television aired the footage of what the statement said was a “fiberglass tank used by the terrorists to store weapons that was buried underground” in the Mecca region. The tank held pipes used to mix explosives, home-made bombs, Kalashnikov rifles and ammunition, according to the statement, which said a total of 186 Kalashnikovs were seized. The explosive materials found in Qassim were hidden “in a well in the desert”, it said. “The manner in which the bomb-making materials were hidden suggests we are up against professional terrorists,” the security official said.
As opposed to wannabe terrorists...
“But security forces have since May succeeded in breaking up most terror cells. Only a small number of suspects — one or two cells — remain at large, and authorities are determined to track them down. We hope that will come soon,” Polyanna he added. As in the interior ministry statement, which spoke of the arrest of “some” militants and the ongoing hunt for “some” fugitives, the official declined to give figures, citing “security” considerations. “We are still facing the threat of bombings of the May 12 variety,” he said.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/21/2003 12:03:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sorry Fred, I didn't see that you already posted a similar article a few hours ago.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/21/2003 0:09 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm hoping we get more infor for follow-up...
Posted by: Fred || 10/21/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

Two get life for murder of bride
Two cousins were jailed for life Monday for slaughtering murdering a 21-year-old woman on her wedding day. Prosecutors said Rafaqat Hussain, 33, and Tafarak Hussain, 26, were angry that their relative, Sanjda Bibi, was marrying a divorcee and non-blood relative.
Not a blood relative? Why, the brazen hussy!
So minutes before the wedding ceremony, they cornered her and Rafaqat stabbed her 22 times with a kitchen knife. Rafaqat, from Camberley, in southern England, pleaded guilty to the dressmaker's murder. Tafarak, who denies the charge, was convicted 10-2 by a jury of the same offense last week. Rafaqat told police that the killing had been accidental, but officers believe he was incensed that she intended to marry a divorcee.
"Honest! It was accidental, y'r honor! I din't know the knife was loaded!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [368 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Stabbed 22 times is an accident?

He's been reading Muslim News outlets again. His problem is that he's stupid enough to think we all are.

Don't incarcerate these scum... Burn 'em.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 13:11 Comments || Top||

#2  My, THAT was fast!
Posted by: Ptah || 10/21/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#3  No... Hang them....

Doesn't that insure they go stright to hell, do not pass go, and do not collect 7 raisins or something?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/21/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

#4  "...was marrying a ... non-blood relative." Maybe the prescribed inbreeding explains the Muslim radicalism.
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 10/21/2003 13:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Show me an "honor" killing and I'll show you an inheritance dispute.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/21/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Britain doesn't require a unanimous jury verdict? Do they require a simple majority for a conviction?
Posted by: Dar || 10/21/2003 14:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Hussain, eh? Any relation to Sammy?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/21/2003 14:43 Comments || Top||

#8  I guess returning the ginsu set is out of the question.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 14:55 Comments || Top||

#9  Britain does not require a unanimous verdict, and I believe it must be at least 10-2 (or greater) for conviction. I'm not sure whether this is true for all crimes or not (for which a jury is available, anyway).
Posted by: Nick || 10/21/2003 21:18 Comments || Top||

#10  Anyone besides me think that the UK has a 5th column problem? Or is all the ire reserved for France?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 22:18 Comments || Top||

#11  NMM, We all know what you think. Thanks.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 4:48 Comments || Top||

#12  Thanks, Nick! I'll have to do some googling to understand more of their judicial system.
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 10:12 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Rooters: Callsign "BOND"...
Australian Aircraft Licensed to Kill for Bush Visit
Armed fighter jets with a license to kill have begun patrols in the skies over Australia’s capital as the city on Tuesday began an unprecedented security operation for a visit by President Bush.
OOOH! A "license to kill!"...And who the hell flys UNARMED fighters?
Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornets, with permission to shoot down suspicious planes, will escort Bush’s plane, Air Force One, into Canberra on Wednesday night and patrol the usually sleepy city’s skies during the president’s 20-hour visit. It is only the second time armed air force jets have flown operationally over Australia’s mainland since World War II. The first such operation was mounted last year as leaders of the 54 Commonwealth nations attended a summit on the northeast coast.
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 10:40:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Better doublecheck the pilots who are flying the Jet-fighters. Wouldn't want a Muslim to fly them, now would we?
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:23 Comments || Top||

#2  A license to kill! Yikes!

I'd settle for a license to make out.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/21/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#3  "It is only the second time armed air force jets have flown operationally over Australia’s mainland since World War II."

This is an absolute lie. Like any other suitably equipped air force, the RAAF maintains a short reaction air-defence alert (SRA) with armed aircraft, and these are occasionally airborne with their weapons.
The details of their rules of engagement are classified, but they would not be substantially different from the ones that will apply during Bush's visit. "Shoot to kill" is routine, though obviously not automatic, in the air defence business.
Throughout the Cold War, the RAAF maintained a much more stringent quick-reaction alert (QRA) with take-off times on the order of two minutes or even less. Again, it wasn't unusual for these aircraft to be airborne during these alerts.
Posted by: Charlotte Ravens Bloody Nose || 10/21/2003 14:02 Comments || Top||

#4  There will soon be a new 9-11 conspiracy theory floated: the perpetrators were military pilots who wanted more flight pay.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 14:57 Comments || Top||

#5  Aussie's never practiced bombing runs with live weapons, huh, Roooters? What a waste of ink/bandwidth...no wonder the heads are rolling on the news staff
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#6  Hmmmm....
First Al Guardian openly incites the assassination of President Bush, then their fellow-travellers at Al Reuters post some lies in an apparent effort to undermine public support for the President's protection.
A prediction: before the end of the week, Bryant Gumbel or Katie Couric will make some innuendo or gesture along the same line, in a plausibly deniable way, of course.
Pre-emptive disclaimer: this is not a conspiracy theory. Media outlets scarcely need conspiracy or collusion to start a trend. Their staff, and to some extent their core audience, are composed of people for whom trend-spotting is akin to a religion.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/21/2003 16:22 Comments || Top||

#7  Saw a blurb for Bryant Gumbel on the SciFi Channel the other night. He's doing one of those "special report" for them on Area51 at Roswell.
Yeah, his career's going places...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 16:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Et tu, Tu? I addressed that very thing on a different string. Great minds think alike (and so do some of us, it seems.)
By some accounts, the Perky-burqa herself, Couric, might be on the skids as well. All the more reason for her and Gumball to latch onto a "dangerous" leading edge trend as defined by the Euro culture-lords.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/21/2003 16:50 Comments || Top||

#9  Yep Katie Couric is a card carrying member of the Taliban while Bryant supports just Al Qaeda and the Chechen rebels! Morons--want a ride in a black helicopter to see a skyline view of the New World Order?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 22:22 Comments || Top||

UK bid to defuse EU defence row
EFL Guardian

Nato ambassadors tried to defuse a damaging transatlantic row about plans to boost EU defence capacity last night.
Speaking after a special meeting at the alliance’s Brussels headquarters, a spokesman, Jamie Shea, insisted that a "transparent" discussion had reassured a worried US.

British diplomats also played down talk of a crisis, but documents seen by the Guardian say the UK had to "contain US jitters" about last month’s summit in Berlin, where Tony Blair first signalled a shift.

Peter Ricketts, Britain’s ambassador to Nato, is playing a key role trying to bridge the gap between the European allies and the US. He met the US envoy, Nicholas Burns, three times last week alone.

EU and Nato officials were dismayed when ill-tempered exchanges between ambassadors led to the issue being portrayed as a major rift. They said yesterday’s session was held in a better atmosphere.

But the matter is far from settled. Pentagon hawks have been blamed for creating a crisis atmosphere, while in Britain the Ministry of Defence, whose instinct is to protect Nato, is worried about a policy being devised in Downing Street. Whats the deal with using the term "Pentagon Hawks" without quotes in a non-editorial piece. I thought I was reading a news article. Is the writer implying that the pentagon is trying to start a new landwar in Europe?

Nigel Sheinwald, Mr Blair’s new foreign policy adviser and a former ambassador to the EU, is credited with masterminding an approach he hopes will help mend fences in Europe after the Iraq war.

Mr Blair insisted after last week’s EU summit in Brussels that Nato remained the cornerstone of European security. But Britain does want the union to undertake more missions like the recent one in the Congo and generally share more of the defence "burden".

However, the government agrees with the US in opposing a call from Germany, France and Belgium for a new EU military HQ at Tervuren, near Brussels.

The three countries - derisively dubbed the "chocolate summiteers" after their controversial mini-summit last April - led the anti-US revolt inside Nato over the question of defending Turkey in the run-up to the Iraq war.

"The chocolate summit reflected the worst fears of US hardliners about the dangers of ESDP (EU security and defence policy) going off in a Nato-incompatible direction," Sir David Manning, Britain’s ambassador to the US, reported back to the Foreign Office.

Faced with opposition from Mr Blair and other EU leaders, Paris and Berlin have agreed to modify their headquarters plan. But US officials fear that in return Britain will go along with some form of independent EU military planning.

Further exchanges are expected in Brussels today

I would think that we had better things to do than to fight with the EU about NATO. The EU structure will, for the most part prevent its members from being attacked. France and Germany are certainly in no imminent danger. I think we have bigger national security interests in South America, the Pacific Rim and ME. Let’s all have a group hug and we’ll continue to operate militarily with those NATO members with whom we maintain a common interest.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 10:06:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [378 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I could care less about an independet EU army, I would welcome it. Who cares.
Posted by: g wiz || 10/21/2003 23:10 Comments || Top||

#2  They want a new NATO HQ then let them pay for it.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 0:27 Comments || Top||

Romania approves EU membership amidst voting irregularities
Edited for brevity.
Romanians overwhelmingly approved a new constitution designed to prepare the formerly communist country for membership in the European Union, officials said Tuesday. While the result appeared to be a victory for the government, balloting was marred by reports of widespread irregularities and voter coercion. Cristian Beldiman, a statistician at the central elections office, said 89.7 percent of those who voted endorsed the new constitution. About 8.8 percent opposed it, Beldiman said after vote counting ended Monday night. According to official results, some 55.7 percent of nearly 18 million registered voters turned out. Just 1.49 percent of the votes were declared invalid. For the vote to be valid, more than half of eligible voters had to participate.

Government officials were alarmed at the low turnout on the first day of voting, and most of the irregularities occurred on the second day. Among irregularities detailed by rights groups, newspapers and election monitors were the unwarranted use of mobile ballot boxes normally reserved for the infirm, threats and material incentives — including free TV sets, furniture, soccer tickets and firewood — in exchange for votes. "The coercion is reminiscent of communist times," said Mircea Toma, who heads the Agency for Monitoring Press Freedoms. In a Transylvanian village, the mayor reportedly threatened retirees that their pensions would not be paid if they did not vote, the groups said. In the southern port of Galati, people were offered a free seat to a soccer match if they could prove they had cast a ballot, they said.
At least they’re not impaling people in Transylvania anymore! Whaddaya think of progress, Vlad?
Posted by: Dar || 10/21/2003 2:10:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What kind of TV sets? Sounds like I'm voting in the wrong contry.
Posted by: Steve D || 10/21/2003 18:56 Comments || Top||

#2  This is obviously part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to take over the world
Posted by: typical lefty || 10/21/2003 23:16 Comments || Top||

Where the Moors Held Sway, Allah Is Praised Again
EFL, rego required
GRANADA, Spain — Muslims are back in this ancient Moorish stronghold, the last bastion of Islam in Spain before the 15th-century emir Boabdil kissed King Ferdinand’s hand and relinquished the city with a legendary sigh. But the row of men kneeling in prayer at the city’s new mosque, the first built here in more than 500 years, are not modern-day Moors; they are well-educated European converts. While immigration is gradually spreading Islam across Europe, a homegrown movement is giving it added momentum in Spain, where a generation of post-Franco intellectuals are reassessing the country’s Moorish past and recasting Spanish identity to include Islamic influences rejected as heretical centuries ago.
Hugo Chavez and other Latin Americans have used the same argument to explain why they should be allied to radical Muslim regimes, and that sympathy is why Hezbollah has been able to operate unhindered there for years.
The movement has its roots, not in the austere Islamic fundamentalism that dominates popular Western imagination these days, but in the Beat Generation and the hippies who pursued spiritual quests to Morocco when it was a counterculturalist Mecca of sun, sand and cheap hashish. There, a young patrician Scot, Ian Dallas, converted to Islam. He eventually changed his name to Sheik Abdalqadir al-Murabit and returned to Britain, where he began gathering Western converts, who became known as the Murabitun. The movement is marked by his proselytizing vision, which strives ultimately to found an Islamic caliphate with an economy based on gold dinars. A handful of Spaniards accepted Islam under his tutelage on the eve of Franco’s death and returned to Córdoba to start an Islamic community there. The new Muslims attracted leftist intellectuals looking for spiritual alternatives to the strict Catholicism that dominated life under Franco. Spain’s Muslim converts now number in the tens of thousands, though many of the new Muslims no longer follow Sheik Abdalqadir.
I’ve noticed that, in Europe especially, Islam seems to be particularly attractive to leftists who in the past would have been followers of Mao and Che. Many neo-Nazis, like Ahmed Huber, also seem to be attracted to Islam, and they seem to agree with the leftists on so many issues apart from race. Perhaps this is the seeds of a European "Third position", underwhich Europeans radicals are able to come together under a shared ideology and with shared hatreds. Given the demographics in Western Europe, perhaps EUrabia isn’t so far away?
Granada has about 15,000 Muslims today, mostly Moroccan and Syrian immigrants and North African students who worship at three nondescript Muslim prayer rooms in different parts of town. But the town’s 1,000 or so converts are very significant, Mr. Ruiz said, because they give Islam a voice that cannot be ignored. Granada’s Islamic Council, for example, has been lobbying to stop annual celebrations of the fall of Granada into Christian hands. Across Europe, plans to build mosques have met resistance in traditionally Christian communities, where people worry that the growth of Islam is changing the character of their towns. But nowhere, perhaps, has a mosque stirred as much emotion as in Granada, where the location, across a ravine from the reddish-brown ramparts of Islam’s last stand, carries unmistakable symbolism.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/21/2003 1:49:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [512 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Tolerance is a great thing. But it cannot be one way. Unfortunately, it is.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 10/21/2003 2:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Clemenceau said:

"Tolerance! There are houses for that!". In French a house of tolerance is a brothel.
Posted by: JFM || 10/21/2003 3:44 Comments || Top||

#3  I’ve noticed that, in Europe especially, Islam seems to be particularly attractive to leftists...

Wretchard at Belmont Club has written some brilliant stuff on this subject. If you haven't discovered this blog before, it's worth reading from the first post onwards.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/21/2003 5:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Fascism was started by socialists looking for a "third way"; they were troubled by the failures of Marx to get anything correct, but too enamored of the power a strong state would give them over other people to consider (true) liberalism worthwhile.

That the left is now turning to Islamic fascism is no surprise.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/21/2003 7:16 Comments || Top||

#5  "they are well-educated European converts."

That is, by definition, impossible.
Posted by: BH || 10/21/2003 10:06 Comments || Top||

#6  Wire Paladin, Palace Hotel, San Francisco...
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 10:27 Comments || Top||

#7  BH, they're well educated EUROPEANS. Different standards of "well educated" over there.
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 10:28 Comments || Top||

#8  The "growth" of Islam has been puzzling to me ever since I found out what it was really like. Makes me wonder what the PR version looks like. In the real world of how it is practised, Islam appeals to many men for some pretty bad reasons - it is more than obvious that Little Mike had "issues" with women and was, by any modern Western definition, seriously screwed up - and that's leaving out the "voices" thing, y'know? No matter what the outward appearance and credentials are, for a man to find its practices palatable, he has to be a complete loser. When it appeals to a Western woman, hey, you've got to consider her more than just a little fucked up. Can you say masochistic with a full-blown "Daddy" complex? What a mess these people must be. Islam is a bottom-feeder. I certainly view Lew Alcindor, Cassius Clay, Will Smith, Cat Stevens and the rest much much differently, now. Proof that you can hold the world in your hand and still be a loser.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#9  It was just too long a wait until the next millenium. Wait for the next comet approach and these new muslim brothers will find a new passtime.

Islam takes quite a bit of effort. All the praying interrupts vacations, television and siesta time. Drinking isn't allowed.

For the "Euro-socialists" Islam is a passing fad.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 11:02 Comments || Top||

#10  All who refuse to follow the rule of morality and law will always find some means of rejecting and destroying the fabric of society
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 11:29 Comments || Top||

#11  Anonymous - Care to expand on that? That's just exactly vague enough to be worthless. The Law of the land I can handle...

Rule of "morality"? Whose?

BTW, any society that is held together by common consent, not some imagined "laws of morality", will be resilient enough to weather the rejection by its inevitable miscreants and misfits. If not, then it is not worthy to survive, nor will it.

Are you advocating something? Spell it out so we can see if it holds water.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 12:09 Comments || Top||

#12  I read an article about the Murabitun earlier this year; the impression was that they were idealists that had lost their paradise, as the communist experiment pitifully crashed, and had simply replaced it with an another one. Converting to islam : the ultimate rejection of western society. Same thing in France; the loudest converts to islam, from holocaust deniers to rap "artists" were originally leftists or communists. There is also an undeniable convergence; Tarik Ramadan, Geneva-based ideologist of the muslim brotherhood in Europe (grandson of the founder), was recently invited in the "Larzac 2003" & "European social Forum" antiglobo jamborees, and basically said muslim youths will add their weight to the mvt if the antiglobos only addressed their issues. Last saturday, he also was featured in the very same popular show that launched the conspiracy theory 'terrible lie' book (gvt-owned network), where he had a love affair with the leader of one of our equivalent (?) of your ACLU.
Revolutionnary islam is up. Muslims are the new international working class.
Posted by: Another Anonymous || 10/21/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

#13  Will Smith is Muslim!?
Posted by: someone || 10/21/2003 14:10 Comments || Top||

#14  Why do lefties like Islam?

It's the hash, folks...
Posted by: Raj || 10/21/2003 14:40 Comments || Top||

#15  "Will Smith is Muslim!?"

Yeah - converted during filming of Ali. So much for the Bad Boys & MiB series.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 14:50 Comments || Top||

#16  right...make Jada Pinkston Smith get her ass in a burka and I'll be impressed, Will. Bet it was a PR thing
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

#17  The rule of morality is what all people know is wrong no matter if they denie it
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#18  The lack of objective exposition of Islam is creating a window of opportunity for Muslim programers. It is political-correctitude at work again.
Posted by: Anonon || 10/21/2003 15:59 Comments || Top||

#19  "The rule of morality is what all people know is wrong no matter if they denie it

I think I follow your thinking - and wish I could agree. There was a time, back when I was a bit younger, when I thought that a bomber / suicide bomber who blew up innocent people would be universally condemned. Universal = all people. I was wrong. Sorry, but I can't imagine anything more obviously wrong and immoral than that. Whether it's Harrods or Haifa or Oklahoma City - same thing.

Sadly, the world does not accept your definition. The proof is in the actions, which span the entire spectrum, and the fact that there are supporters for every "cause" - regardless of the acts perpetrated in the name of that cause.

You and I might, indeed, agree on a code of conduct, but "all" will not happen - not in this world. Thx for the response!
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 16:47 Comments || Top||

#20  It's not a matter of following of what is right but knowing in your mind that you commited wrong even the sucicide bombers you speak of knew they commited murder as they blew themselves up
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 19:25 Comments || Top||

#21  It's not a matter of following of what is right but knowing in your mind that you commited wrong even the sucicide bombers you speak of knew they commited murder as they blew themselves up
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 19:25 Comments || Top||

#22  The population of Granada is about 218,000 according to world gazette--google it. So we're worried about 1000 nut jobs?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 22:39 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Hanoi and US try to forget ’war crimes’ of VN war, but Morons at BBC keep bringing it back up

Vietnam has played down new reports of a massacre by US soldiers in the Vietnam War by saying it wants to put the conflict behind it. - Hem, the BBC has used the pegorative term masacre. Lets review the rest of the article for some hard facts.

A Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Le Dung, was responding to reports in the Toledo Blade newspaper that an elite unit of US soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed villagers in Vietnam’s Central Highlands over seven months in 1967.

Le Dung said Vietnam did not want to dwell on the past, and better bilateral relations were the best way to solve its consequences.

The statement came as Hanoi announced the first visit by a Vietnamese Defence Minister to the United States.

We advocate strengthening mutual understanding... that is the basis to solve the consequences left by the past.

The Toledo Blade newspaper reported that soldiers from the Tiger Force unit of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division had admitted to a series of atrocities, including wearing severed ears as trophies and dropping grenades into bunkers where children and women were taking refuge.

The Toledo Blade said that the US army conducted a four year investigation into the allegations, but it was closed in 1975 and never made public.

The US Defence Department said the case was more than 30 years old and there was no new or compelling evidence to justify reopening it.

Pham Van Tra said his US trip would help enhance military links between the two countries and allow issues to be discussed like the effects of Agent Orange, the defoliant used by the US military to destroy the jungle in which Vietnamese forces operated.

Military links have lagged behind growing cooperation between the two countries in other areas. They restored diplomatic ties in 1995 and signed a trade agreement which took effect in December 2001.

My 7th grade English teacher told my older brother he worked with a sniper that collected ears. Kind of attrocious. Why the BBC would walk past the mass graves in Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia, Rawanda, NK ... to get to some guy in Toledo who might have worn a necklass made of human ears 30 years ago I don’t know.

Here is my Vietnam War summary with respect to war crimes - People wearing civilian clothes shot at us, we killed a bunch of civilians, John McCain got the @#$% kicked out of him in the Hanoi Hilton. We left. North Vietnam invaded the South and exterminated a whole host of their own citizens.

We decide to do better the next time. Now stop combing the Toledo Blade in hopes of convening a war crimes trial in the Hague.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 10:28:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [413 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sigh, they don't care. Right...wrong...they don't care. Never mind the suffering or death toll. Never mind the survivors. Let's just focus on what America did wrong so we don't need to trouble ourselves with details. Deaths only matter if we can assign blame. Blame is everything. Blame is it. Blame America and all is right with the world. Right???
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 4:10 Comments || Top||

CID arrests militants
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Sindh police has arrested four suspected militants of banned sectarian outfits and is interrogating them in various cases of terrorism in the city reported lately. The sources said the CID arrested three activists of the outlawed Sipah-e-Mohammad Pakistan who are suspected to be involved in many acts of sectarian terrorism in Punjab.
I'd guess that's a misprint for Sipah-e-Sahaba, unless they've cloned themselves again...
The officials refused to disclose their names, but said the activists were mainly based in Punjab and moved to Karachi a few weeks back to avoid their arrest there. “We are constantly in touch with the Punjab police to share the details about the arrest and interrogation of the suspects,” a senior CID official said.
"Welcome to Sindh. Stick 'em up!"
It is learnt these suspects are also being interrogated about the killing of five brothers, who belonged to the Tablighi Jamaat, on Aug 9 in Jamshed Quarters area. “We do not know whether these suspects have any link to those killings, but we do not want to leave any possibility aside that could lead us to solve the case,” an investigator said. The CID officials have already arrested an activist of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, identified as Shahjehan alias Shahu, who is said to be deputy to ` alias Jameel alias Khalid whom the police arrested on March 13 on a charge of killing nine Shias hailing from the Northern Areas in Al-Falah area in February. He was also alleged to have killed another two men in Arambagh area and involved in the blast outside the PSO House in which a man was killed and two others were injured. Wahab also allegedly killed a fellow LJ activist, Omair, on the suspicion that he had become a police informer.
Another one-man crime wave. Mother must be so proud...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 20:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sipah-e-Mohammad Pakistan is a Shia sectarian outfit, basically Lashkar-e-Jhangvis opposite number
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/21/2003 23:15 Comments || Top||

2 Yemenis, one Pakistani held in Faisalabad
Law enforcement agencies arrested two Yemenis and one Pakistani from Faisalabad on Monday night on suspicions they were part of Al Qaeda. The agencies also confiscated two kalashnikovs, hand grenades, two laptops and six computer disks with sensitive data about Afghanistan. A security official said, “During initial interrogations, one of the Yemenis said his name was Hasnaat while the other one remained silent. The name of the Pakistani is Javed. They have confessed to being engaged in Al Qaeda and Taliban operations in Afghanistan for three years. The Yemenis are highly qualified and skilled in the information technology.” The official said they were carrying out underground activities in Afghanistan after the fall of Taliban regime. “They crossed into Pakistan through Wazirastan several weeks ago and managed to escape when Pakistani troops launched an operation in Wana, Waziristan some days ago. They came to Rawalpindi and then to Faisalabad, Javed’s hometown. Security agencies raided Javed’s house after a tip-off and arrested him with the Yemenis,” the official said. He said the agencies checked the computer disks and found marked maps of Afghanistan and militarily details. “We are trying to gauge their importance in the Al Qaeda network and have shifted them to Islamabad for further questioning,” the official said.
I hope it's a very painful experience...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 19:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Islamo high tech--they knew how to make Outlook work in the real world?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 23:19 Comments || Top||

Bisham bans shaving
Barbers in the town of Bisham have stopped shaving beards. All 17 of the town’s barbers now refuse to use the razor to remove existing beards or stubble because they term shaving “un-Islamic”. The decision was taken after a committee of barbers decided it was un-Islamic to shave beards, a BBC report said. Islamic sentiment runs high in the town, a stronghold of Tehrik Nifaze Shariat Mohammadi. The ban on shaving beards is not expected to have a large affect the locals because almost all men boast bushy facial hair.
Many of their wives do, too...
Sher Ali of the Bisham Barbers’ Association said the ban is the result of “an on-going debate about our work. There were concerns that our earnings from shaving beards were un-Islamic and tainted, so we have decided to stop.” The town’s barbers will continue to trim men’s hair, massage scalps and groom those who use the public baths. They are reportedly considering a further ban on “western-style” haircuts.
"Tighten that turban for you, sir?"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 19:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [384 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The decision was taken after a committee of barbers decided it was un-Islamic to shave beards"

Hmm... and here I thought the EU was a beurocratic nightmare.
Posted by: g wiz || 10/21/2003 23:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Wonder if they banned back waxing?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:28 Comments || Top||

Kidnapped British army officer set free
Update to yesterday’s post. Slightly EFL.
A British army officer and his four Nepalese helpers who were kidnapped by Maoist rebels in Nepal have been set free. All five men are reported to be unharmed. They have been in contact with the district headquarters, said Prem Narayan Sharma, chief of Baglung district. They were left by the rebels at a school at Bihu village, near the area where they were first taken away. Sharma said he expected them to reach the district headquarters later. It is about three hours drive to the nearest airport at Pokhara from the district headquarters. Hundreds of soldiers and police had been deployed in the area and were scouring the rough terrain on foot in a hunt to look for the abducted men. It was the first time the rebels had abducted a foreigner since their insurgency began in 1996. The rebels want to abolish Nepal’s constitutional monarchy and set up a communist state, and cite Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong as their delusion inspiration.

The British officer was trekking in the area, recruiting young Nepalese men to work as Gurkha soldiers in the British army. The rebels are opposed to Nepalese men working for foreign armies and call them mercenaries. The British Embassy in Katmandu has also confirmed that the team of five British Gurkhas had been in contact but said they are waiting for information.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/21/2003 7:09:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [836 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The terrs probably had a classic "Oh shit!" moment. They would have been facing the Gurkas hunting them, and that would have been a very bad thing.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/21/2003 8:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeap,the Gurkas are some of the meanest,baddest troops on the planet.Got cool knives too.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/21/2003 9:38 Comments || Top||

#3  That has to be the World's Indoor Record for hostage release times. Apparently these bad guys have a better understanding of cause and effect.
Posted by: Matt || 10/21/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Perhaps Britain should "lend" Nepal their batallion of Gurkhas, and send a few dozen SAS people to train the Nepalese Army in special weapons and tactics. I'm sure THAT will totally mess up the Maoists day as well. There's also the possibility of having the retirees from the Gurkha batallion give their native country a hand. I think the Maoists would be climbing Everest in their birthday suits to leave Nepal if something like that happened.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/21/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Old Patriot, Nepal should be one place in the world where you can immediately outfit a national army with effective Junior Officers & Enlisted. Once the Maoists are mopped up there are some places in Africa that could use an effective security force.

The British Parliment justed stiffed the Ghurkas on retirement pay. I think some renegotiations are in order. The retireees would make an awful good reserve force.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 11:18 Comments || Top||

#6  SH, the problem is that the Nepalese haven't been doing squat with the Maoists. Corruption, nepotism, incompetence, etc. have allowed the Maoists to run free. This shouldn't happen. Might be time for the Nepali government to 'invite' the Brits to help them -- a couple of Brit officers and a regiment of Ghurkas would fix the problems in a year's time, but only if they're allowed to do the job properly.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/21/2003 12:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Then the Nepalese government has an untapped assett that it can exploit for fixing its current problem and to provide hard currency in the world market.
The fact that the UK pays a lower retirement to Gurkhas may work to the advantage of Nepal ... if they would wake the hell up and sample the carmel machiato in the near future.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#8  Carmel is a city near Monterey, SH. Possibly you meant caramel...

;> (nit;pick)
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#9  I stand deliciously corrected - off to Starbucks.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 16:28 Comments || Top||

#10  The British Parliment justed stiffed the Ghurkas on retirement pay. I think some renegotiations are in order. The retireees would make an awful good reserve force.

Gurkhas do get lower retirement pay than reulgar British forces, which is arguably unfair, but considering the fact that the vast majority return to Nepal in retirement, their income and savings are still astronomical compared to the local average. Bear in mind that Nepal is one of the very poorest nations on earth. Considering the relative difference in the cost of living in Britain and Nepal, the different pay is justifiable (Gurkhas are not granted British citizenship, even after a full career, IIUC). If you visit Pokhara, you'll see multi-storey hotels dotting the town's lakeside are - all built by Gurkha retirees doing well for themselves and which should be doing a good job boosting the local economy (if it weren't for the Maoists). Compared to the income of the majority of Gurkha 'mercenaries,' who are in fact employed by India, British Gurkha retirees are kings in their community.

Unfortunately, the retirees are actually targetted by Maoists, especially those who live outside of towns. They are regularly effectively mugged of their pensions.

Might be time for the Nepali government to 'invite' the Brits to help them -- a couple of Brit officers and a regiment of Ghurkas would fix the problems in a year's time, but only if they're allowed to do the job properly.

The Nepali government have invited assistance from western governments, including Britain and the US. I'm not sure whether active assistance has been provided/promised, but some weaponry, including helicopters, has.

SH, the problem is that the Nepalese haven't been doing squat with the Maoists. Corruption, nepotism, incompetence, etc. have allowed the Maoists to run free.

Mainly true. The government has made little effort to fight smart as regards the insurgency, and has failed to recapture hearts and minds of those now living in Maoist-controled territory (most of the country by land area). Government troops have been heavy handed and brutal, though the Maoists are far worse. The Maoists regularly execute those who oppose them, as examples to others in rural communities.

The govermnent forces need to take the fight to the Maoists rather than fight a defensive battle which gives the insurgents the advantage.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/21/2003 18:31 Comments || Top||

#11  Bulldog,
A major problem that the CPA is having is that the indiginous force doesn't have the quality in the middle ranks. A permanent presence of capable sgt's that speak the local language ought not to be the problem in Nepal.
I posted once that I respected the warlike nature of several cultures throughout the world. The Ghurkas was one of those I mentioned as high quality fighters. My assertion was met with a less than positive reception, the first time. I make it again, none the less.
If Nepal can produce a high quality, diciplined mercenary soldier, the world need that type of person in many places. That should be to Neplas national benefit. Your description of the respect that the retired Ghurkas enjoy should be a good thing.
Posted by: Steve D || 10/21/2003 19:09 Comments || Top||

#12  Yep, the typical British plan--get their colonials to do their dirty work then screw them on pensions, etc. Fuck the UK--they are the ignorant bastards that have created the mess in the ME with their drunken carving up of territories into unviable states--now Americans are losing their lives to correct their idiocy--and we need the UK for? Their great dental skills? The bastards are still illegally occupying Ireland--YEARS later! The only thing keeping us in alliance with their creaking joke of a class laden "democracy" is the mutual corporate interests that pull the strings in Parliament and the US House
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 23:33 Comments || Top||

#13  I get it, you're a Provo.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||

#14  Is Britain a bogeyman for the left-field herd in the States at the moment? I'm getting that impression from carefully reading between the lines of some otherwise-deceptively balanced and thoughtful posts like those of NMM, Steverossa/stradamus/Robinson.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 13:07 Comments || Top||

Kashmir Korpse Kount
  • Krazed killers Militants on Monday took 10 civilians, including an imam, hostage inside a house in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said. Security forces laid siege to the house in village Thraren at Shopian, some 65 km from Srinagar, as tension ran high in the area. "After the five villagers including an Imam went in to persuade the snuffies militants to surrender, they took them hostage. There is a standoff now between the turbans militants and the troops, who are worried about the safety of the civilians being held hostage," the police officer said. The operation is still continuing.
    Followup from al-Jizz:
    Resistance fighters have released 12 hostages being held in a house near the village of Shopian, south of Srinigar. The hostages were seized yesterday morning after separatists had snatched the civilians in an attempt to negotiate their own surrender. On Tuesday the Indian army fired tear gas into the house to try and flush out the separatists and secure the release of the hostages. The hostages were released but the resistance fighters remained inside the building.
    Guess it's time to burn the place down, huh?

  • In another encounter, security forces on Monday killed two unidentified gunnies militants at Muran in Pulwama district while one BSF jawan got injured. A BSF spokesman said two AK rifles were recovered from the slain militants.

  • Security forces on Sunday night killed two Jaish-e-Mohammad bad boyz militants in an encounter at Kanthwali Jumagund in Kupwara district. One was identified as Bilal Choudary of Jumagund. 1 AK rifle, 3 magazines, 75 rounds, 1 RPG and 1 hand grenade was recovered.

  • On Sunday evening hard boys militants barged into the house of Wali Mohammad Mir of Panzwah in Handwara, in Kupwara district and kidnapped his son Zubair Ahmad a 7th class student and later shot him dead, police said.

  • Grenade artists Militants on Monday afternoon hurled a hand grenade towards a security force vehicle near Batamallo general bus stand which missed the intended target as usual and exploded on the road causing injuries to 14 persons including 4 school going children and 2 women also as usual.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/21/2003 12:03:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Y'know, we could "clean up" if we were to show these soccer-playing weenies how to throw. Cheap lessons would net a bundle. They got that foot-eye coordination thing down pat, but can't throw for shit. I can't recall hearing (or reading) of any grenade attack that worked.

Recall the post-apocalyptic "vision" of HollyWeird Directors? They imagined some unspecified global nuke exchange after which civilization is ruptured and mankind descends to his animal level and all societal norms break down into chaos. I used to think that Neville Shute's On The Beach or Peterson's (?) The Last Ship epitomized how the end would come.

Hell, Pakiland is already there and clearly demonstrates that there is no end. They breed 'em and indoctrinate 'em faster than they can kill each other off. Of course, the key is the fact that they've splintered into 6 or 7 thousand different groups, ala the Life of Brian's colosseum scene. But sooner or later these TFL (TotallyFuckingLoony) barbarians will start looking outward - beyond India and Kashmir. Their recent Saudi visitors might have provoked the first step in that direction. Picture them united under the Wahabbis... We need to be prepared to be pre-emptive and cauterize the wound, lest mankind bleed to death. We'll do the self-flagellation atonement gig later. Wow, I'm feeling kinda bad about it already.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 14:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Wow, I'm feeling kinda bad about it already

really? Not me....
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 15:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Oops, fergot my smiley winker thingie... ;->
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 16:03 Comments || Top||

Oil Firms Engaged in High Stakes Game of Chicken
EFL Newsday

Even as bullets fly in Baghdad, the price of holding back from at least analyzing data from Iraq’s oil fields is to miss out on what one consultant calls the future "center of gravity" of the world’s petroleum industry.

"Iraq is it. Iraq is THE oil province," the consultant, Mohamed Wafta, said Tuesday at a meeting for potential investors in Iraq’s oil industry. Wafta, a Dubai-based data manager for oil field services firm Schlumberger, was one of more than 100 participants at the conference, held in a Geneva hotel. I think this whole free marketplace thing is really going to hurt the Iraqi people.

Some oil companies, particularly large, Western multinationals, are reluctant to send employees to Iraq to take a closer look at opportunities there until the U.S.-backed coalition can stop or sharply curtail attacks by Iraqi militants. Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos., ConocoPhillips and Mitsubishi Corp. are among those waiting to see security improve before they take the plunge. Watch the risk adverse companies become more courageous once the first competitor makes a move.

"The first thing we need them to do is secure the safety so we can easily go in," said Tetsuro Imai, general manager for energy at Mitsubishi’s European headquarters in London.

Safety concerns have led Iraq’s Oil Ministry to delay by at least one month a meeting for oil executives planned for December in Baghdad. Some oil specialists doubt the meeting will happen at all, and suggest that Iraqi oil officials would be better off continuing to woo investors at overseas gatherings such as this one.

The stakes are high, both for Iraq and the oil companies. Iraq’s official estimate of its proven crude reserves is 112 billion barrels, second only to those of Saudi Arabia. Schlumberger’s Wafta claims this figure is long out of date and argues Iraq’s true reserves are a staggering 300 billion barrels -- the largest anywhere.

"I think five years down the road, Iraq will be the center of gravity for the oil industry," he said.

Iraq is unusual for its large number of identified but untapped oil fields, and many analysts believe the operational risk of drilling for crude there is low. Although Wafta acknowledged Iraq’s political uncertainty and security problems, he said they were temporary and advised would-be oil producers to get started now with the time-consuming study of seismic data and other information from any of Iraq’s 80 oil fields.

Sweden’s Linden Petroleum AB has recent experience in Iraq, and like some other smaller, independent oil firms, it’s chasing fresh opportunities there. Iraq is "too big to ignore," said Ian Lundin, the firm’s chairman.

Lundin Petroleum had a contract in 1997 to explore for oil in Iraq’s Western Desert, but it couldn’t begin work because of U.N. economic sanctions in effect then. The new Iraqi government is likely to change the terms of this contract, so Lundin is resigned to seeking other projects in Iraq.

Lundin Petroleum also does business in Sudan, where the government has fought for years against southern insurgents. Iraq’s lack of security, Lundin said, is not an issue.

"You don’t just pack your bags and leave because there are a few bullets flying in different directions," he said. We feel safer around the rebel militants because they keep away the eco-freeks. Those clowns are crazy.

Lundin’s big concern about Iraq is that its Oil Ministry has yet to decide what kind of commercial contracts to offer international oil companies that want to explore there. The ministry hopes to make its first formal contracts available next spring.

"All the companies that have an interest in Iraq are watching very closely to see what type of contract will be offered," he said. We want all of our competitors to know that we have no intension of closing a deal.

Mitsubishi’s Imai said he’d have trouble signing any contract with an Oil Ministry that wasn’t part of an elected government. The current administration has been appointed by the Americans, and he worries that any contract signed with it wouldn’t be legally binding. But if our competitors make a move, we are in like Flynn.

"There is no political legitimacy in the country," he said.
When we sign a deal with a governement, we like the dictator president to have, no less, than 80% backing in the last election. We have no interst in this project but we attend all the meetings out of simple respect ...
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 9:50:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Isn't Schlumberger a FRENCH Company?! OK Rantbourgeois get your knickers in a twist since they might take biz away from Haliburton
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 23:50 Comments || Top||

U.S. Military Leaving Kuwaiti Air Base
KUWAIT CITY -- The United States is leaving an air base in Kuwait it had used in the war on Iraq, saying its presence there is no longer needed now that Saddam Hussein has been toppled.

"The mission is accomplished," Ambassador Richard Jones told reporters Tuesday. He said the last of the U.S. forces at Ahmed Al Jaber air base were leaving Tuesday, but did not say where they were headed. Now let’s get while the gettings good.

At the same news conference, Lt. Gen. Walter E. Buchanan III, commander of U.S. air forces in the region, said some of the forces that had been in Kuwait had been moved into Iraq.

U.S. warplanes and helicopters had flown out of Ahmed Al Jaber, 50 miles west of Kuwait City, since the 1991 Gulf war that forced Saddam to reverse his 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Among other missions, aircraft from the base helped monitor the zone over southern Iraq from which the United States had barred Iraqi fighter planes.

The United States also has Camp Doha, an isolated Army base along the Gulf coast about 12 miles west of Kuwait City, and another air base, Ali Salem, about 40 miles northwest of Kuwait City. No mention was made Tuesday of the fate of those installations.

Jones said see yah, wouldn’t wanna be yah the closure of Ahmed Al Jaber was not in response to Kuwaiti opposition to U.S. military presence here or to any perceived threat to U.S. interests in Kuwait. He said Kuwaiti and U.S. forces would continue to train together in Kuwait, with the next exercises as early as April.

Kuwaiti Gen. Sultan Jawhar, commander of Ahmed Al Jaber, said his base would be available if the Americans wanted to return for exercises, and praised the U.S. role in the region.

Americans "have fought two wars here for good causes," Jawhar said.

Many Kuwaitis remain thankful to the United States for ousting Saddam in 1991. But scores of Kuwaitis trained and fought with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s militants in Afghanistan.

Good news for Americans and for those who hate us. High fives all around.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 9:31:35 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [412 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yup--we did a great job of turning Kuwait into a representative democracy--Mr al Sabah is now firmly in control what a friggin joke
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:25 Comments || Top||

U.S. Believes Syrian Banks Hold $3 Billion in Iraqi Funds
NY Times
October 21, 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 — American investigators have evidence that $3 billion that belonged to Saddam Hussein’s government is being held in Syrian-controlled banks in Syria and Lebanon, Bush administration officials say.

A delegation led by the Treasury Department has spent nearly two weeks in Damascus trying to win access to accounts established by the former Iraqi government or its confederates, the officials said last week. Syria has promised to cooperate, but has so far failed to do so, the officials said.

A United Nations resolution passed after the American-led war against Iraq calls on all nations to seize and return to the American-administered Fund for Development in Iraq all assets of the former Baghdad government so they may be used to benefit the Iraqi people.

The officials said the $3 billion, most of it in Syria, was by far the largest American discovery to date of Iraqi money outside Iraq.
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 5:01:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

Soldiers Miss Flights Back To Iraq
From the WaPo:

Soldiers Miss Flights Back to Iraq
Few of More Than 30 Absent Troops Offer Explanation

By Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 21, 2003; Page A20

More than 30 soldiers who came home from Iraq for two weeks of leave have failed to show up for their flights back to the combat zone, military officials said yesterday.

The soldiers, among more than 1,300 troops so far in the first large-scale home leave program since Vietnam, have yet to be declared absent without leave -- a violation of military law, said Army Col. Paris Mack, the Pentagon official overseeing the program.

A week after return flights began, 28 soldiers had not made it to Baltimore-Washington International Airport for the journey back to Iraq, said Air Force Maj. Mike Escudie, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command in Tampa. Six others did not make yesterday evening’s flight out of BWI for unknown reasons, said Lt. Col. Robert Hagen, an Army spokesman.

Refresh my memory - you got 24 hours before you’re AWOL, right? How come these jokers are getting a week or more?

Escudie said "a small number" have been granted emergency extensions by military commanders because of extenuating circumstances, including deaths in the family. Military officials could not say how many presented valid reasons or how many others had failed to contact authorities.

"Many of them are understandable due to illnesses or canceled airline flights," Escudie said. One soldier was unable to board his flight to BWI because he lost his wallet, while another had a sick baby, Hagen said.

But a military advocacy group cited two cases in which service members called to say they do not want to return to the long and difficult mission in Iraq.

"Ultimately, every one of these cases will be looked into and there will be a determination if there are any mitigating circumstances," said Marine Maj. Pete Mitchell, a Central Command spokesman.

Mack said the soldiers who have missed their flights are "definitely a concern," but she added that the Army had anticipated that some soldiers would not return, and that the numbers thus far are small.

"If you put it into the context of the 1,200-plus who have returned, it’s not a large number," Escudie said.

Mack said no consideration is being given to curtailing or canceling the leave program because of the absent soldiers. "The program is going very well," she said.

A survey of 1,935 soldiers in Iraq published last week by the military newspaper Stars and Stripes found that 49 percent rated morale in their unit as low or very low.

Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center in Silver Spring, said the absences demonstrate that "there is a morale problem." Robinson said he had been contacted by two soldiers home on leave who do not want to return to their units

One of the soldiers, a National Guardsman from Florida, missed his scheduled flight back to Iraq three days ago, Robinson said. "I told him he needs to get his [rear end] back to Iraq," Robinson said.

"I definitely don’t want to go back there," the guardsman told a reporter for CBS News. "I think most people -- if not all people who are there -- don’t want to be there."

Mister Rogers: "That’s called desertion. Can you say desertion? I knew you could!"

The soldier did not return a message left on his cell phone yesterday. "He’s on the run," Robinson said.

See above.

Soldiers failing to return from leave on schedule is an old story for the military, but nonetheless potentially a significant problem for commanders. Soldiers could face demotion or jail time for the offense.

"We had the same problem in Vietnam," said retired Marine officer Gary Solis, who commanded a company in Vietnam and later wrote a history on military law during that war.

Solis, of Alexandria, said the combination of "Australian women and Australian beer" kept several of his Marines from returning from leave on time.

The leave program from Iraq, which unlike in Vietnam is bringing soldiers home to the continental United States to reunite with their families, may make it even more difficult for soldiers to return, Solis said.

"It’s a lonely thing to do, but then that’s the soldier’s duty," he said.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

I am pretty sure that SOMEBODY should have seen this coming - the drill should have been to fly them back to Europe for a couple weeks, not back stateside. The risks of having large numbers of people simply decide to quit the war just were’nt worth it.
As far as a ’small number’, let me put it this way - when I was working Munitions Flight Staff at Shaw AFB in the late 90s, part of my job involved sending up the daily roster of sick, injured, on leave, TDY, etc. We never had a single AWOL in all the time I was there, but the base as a whole often did - but never more than perhaps 4-6 out of more than 5000 assigned to the base. 30 out of 1300 would - to me at least - seem like a pretty disturbing number, especially as apparently some of them (see above) have already gone underground.


Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 10/21/2003 1:16:15 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [527 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Solis, of Alexandria, said the combination of "Australian women and Australian beer" kept several of his Marines from returning from leave on time.

I can't imagine why...
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 10/21/2003 13:30 Comments || Top||

#2  "I am pretty sure that SOMEBODY should have seen this coming..."
Mike, when this policy was first announced, a Rantburger predicted something like this would happen. Alas, the Pentagon doesn't read our rants.
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 10/21/2003 13:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Of course they saw this coming. But look at the bright side, the people who are truly going AWOL are the people you probably wouldn't want watching your back anyways. So in a way this is a good thing, the AWOL people were probably a constant drag on unit morale. Now they are gone. And hopefully will be dealt with according to the law. Plus, it's only a little more than 2%, hardly unexpected in war time, and hardly the end of the world.
Posted by: Swiggles || 10/21/2003 13:42 Comments || Top||

#4  "I definitely don’t want to go back there," the guardsman told a reporter for CBS News. "I think most people -- if not all people who are there -- don’t want to be there."

Well DUH. Of course no one wants to be there. But as military personnel, there is a duty to perform. If these people don't want to live up to their commitment, then it's time to dish out the consequences.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 14:17 Comments || Top||

#5  And stevestradamnus hasn't put his phony 2¢ worth in yet? I'm surprised!
Posted by: Atrus || 10/21/2003 16:58 Comments || Top||

#6  We're talking about young adults here. Many probably missed the charter to Kuwaitt in the first place. If any of these boys thought that one of their buds was going to get shot becasue one member was missing from teh fire team, there would have been no absences. Outside of the Sunni Triangle - where I assume these guys are posted - things probably don't seem as life or death.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 17:41 Comments || Top||

#7  Dudes, maybe it sucks to be you but you signed a contract.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/21/2003 18:15 Comments || Top||

#8  Only 28? Heck when I was on the freedom Bird to Korea there were over 100 people who failed to make the flight. Note to the un-indoctrinated: If you miss you military charter, they used to make you take one of those yucky commercial flights. The ones with the cute attendants and free liquor. "Gee sir I missed my flight, I guess I will have to take a last minute first-class seat to Jeddah."
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/21/2003 19:35 Comments || Top||

#9  Cyber Sarge,

I'm sure several of the soldiers have discovered that they are conscientious objectors. Another larger group will have had mysterious injuries.

Personally, my favorite guys are the ones that are so thoroughly engaged in romantic activity that they feel that the loss of a stripe is worth reporting late. In the larger scheme of things I guess I heartily agree with their enthusiasm. Carpe Diem.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 19:58 Comments || Top||

#10  We had a guy here at Fort Carson that came home from the airport to two fire engines in front of his fire-gutted quarters. He's been granted an "unlimited" extension, until he can get his family settled in, and things back in working order. The family lost almost everything. That's a real problem, and needs a real solution, including extending his 2-week leave.

The people here in town have already replaced his furnishings, raised enough money to replace most of the lost clothing and personal items, and his wife and family will be living in a local condominium at cost until the sponsor returns from Iraq permanently. The guy is happy for the chance to come 'home', but wants to get back to his buddies and his duties.

Not hard to tell which NCO is a professional and which one is just a paper soldier, is it?
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 0:20 Comments || Top||

#11  Since I'm not ex-military I won't comment but will ask a question--if you don't show up to be deployed and are AWOl what is the penalty?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:37 Comments || Top||

#12  AWOL can range from restriction,extra duty,and article15(fine)-reduction in rank and brig time.After 30 days is considered desertion.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/22/2003 8:43 Comments || Top||

Baathists, RG officers detained in Tikrit
In Tikrit, US troops detained four suspected high-level Baath party members and a former Republican Guard officer involved in arms sales to insurgents, the military reported Monday. A total of 19 suspects were detained in four separate raids and a huge weapons cache was uncovered in one location, said Maj Josslyn Aberle, spokeswoman for the 4th Infantry Division which controls much of the country's north. Of the suspects, four turned out to be high-level Baath party members and another was a former Republican Guard special forces officer believed involved in arms sales to anti-coalition forces, according to Aberle. Three other suspects were implicated in mortar attacks on US troops in the Balad area, between Baghdad and Tikrit, 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of the capital. Also, US troops acting on a tip from an Iraqi informer discovered a huge weapons cache in Taji, just north of Baghdad.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  involved in arms sales to insurgents

Now that's interesting. The Blood for Sadam crowd is making a few bucks off the gunnies. It seems like the SRG would like hmmmmm give away RPGs and AKs... but no, they're trying to sell them.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/21/2003 13:08 Comments || Top||

Sistani calls for crackdown on arms
Iraq's most influential Shiite Muslim cleric warned of "new grave problems" if nothing is done to stem the proliferation of firearms in the country and blamed recent clashes between his supporters and followers of a radical cleric on the weakness of the central government. Grand Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, spiritual leader of most of Iraq's Shiite majority, also warned that there could be "no substitute" for a general election to choose delegates to a convention to draft a new constitution despite US demands for a quicker selection process. His comments were in reply to a reporter's written questions submitted to his office in Najaf. His written replies bore his office's seal, meaning they were considered official statements. Al-Sistani's demand for measures against illegal arms possession appeared to be a call on US and Iraqi authorities to take action against the Imam Al-Mahdi Army, a militia set up by firebrand cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, whose members fought nightlong battles against Al-Sistani's supporters a week ago in the holy Shiite city of Karbala.
The Boy Ayatollah moving against Sistani's people can't make him feel more secure, despite the fact that Sadr was smacked down. I'm sure he remembers what happened to Khoei just a few months ago.
Al-Sadr, a populist cleric whose militants message appeals to poor and young Shiites but who lacks Al-Sistani's scholarly weights, has been flaunting his army recently, allowing recruits to parade with their firearms in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala as well as in a Shiite-dominated Baghdad district.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [376 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does the disarmament call include Sistani's militia, too?
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 13:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Healing Iraq says al-Sadr speaks w/an Iranian accent.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

#3  Sistani just doesn't get it. We're not going to do anything to Sadr as long as he's just talking, even if it's offensive talk. It's up to the Iraqis to listen, and hopefully discount, his ravings.

But if he starts shooting, he's dead meat.
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#4  In Iraq we see the NRA's agenda carried to it's logical conclusion--I say make possession of an RPG mandatory 20 year sentence--a Kalishnakov rifle--5 years in the Big House. Why are we letting these assshats stay armed?--the only reason I can buy is that the NRA nutz that supported Bush think it's OK to have an armed citizenry--this is NOT a good thing for OUR soldiers to have to deal with
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:46 Comments || Top||

#5  AH,dumb ass(NMM)the NRA does not advocate possiesion of automatic weapons or rpg's.
The NRA is trying to keep pacifist wennies like you from keeping me from having the ability to defend myself and my family.
Also an unarmed populace is an easly dominated populace.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/22/2003 8:44 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
No slip of the tongue: Cunning tactics behind Mahathir’s rant
From World Tribune.com
Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Mahathir’s stereotypical anti-Semitic diatribe at last week’s meeting of the Organization of Moslem Countries [OIC] in Kuala Lumpur wasn’t just demagogic exuberance, as many Western observers interpreted it. It was a calculated, classic Mahathir political stratagem -- even in what are supposed to be his last days in office following more than 30 years running a prosperous nation of 23 million.

What many of those in the West may not realize is that Malaysia owes most of its economic progress largely to the ethnic Chinese who comprise 40 percent of its population.

Mahathir was courting his Moslem audience, particularly the Arab states. Mahathir was also courting investment from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms since Western and Japanese investors have become increasingly skeptical about Malaysia’s future after Mahathir steps down.

The speech was shrewd and demagogic and therefore typical of Mahathir’s style as the longest ruling politician in the region, with the exception of Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew who, as "senior minister," is still a backroom arbiter in that neighboring city-state.

After critics abroad denounced the speech, the Malaysian foreign ministry was quick to say that Mahathir had been misunderstood and hinted that he had been carried away by his own rhetoric. But the speech was carefully calculated.

"The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy," Mahathir said.

The OIC, until now a semi-moribund organization, has taken on new life, energized by the revolutionary atmosphere in the Moslem world following 9/11 and the American responses in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mahathir wants to use Malaysia’s chairmanship to bolster the organization and perhaps give him a new post-retirement personal bully pulpit.

The Malaysian leader’s call to revitalize the "ummah" -- the whole of the Moslem world -- strikes a chord from Casablanca to Zamboanga. While a general call for modernization, it was in fact a rallying cry to do battle against the U.S. and the West by acquiring the skills needed to make the Moslems states militarily powerful and able to resist the ignominious defeat suffered by Saddam Hussein.

Even Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri was quick to get to her feet to demonstrate her support of what Mahathir had said. Megawati, the daughter of one of Indonesia’s founders and longtime president, Soekarno, has a secularist background. She is under attack at home from Moslem parties, both moderates and fundamentalists and is particularly vulnerable with Djakarta under pressure from the U.S. and Australia to act against the region-wide Islamist terrorist network.

Indonesia has convicted and sentenced to death Indonesian terrorists for bloody attacks in Bali and Djakarta and for their implication in aborted plots in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. There are close ties between the terrorists arrested in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand with Islamists in the Philippines.

Mahathir, an ethnic Indian Moslem and not a Malay, has a wide appeal, representing as he does one of the few Moslem-majority states that has made a rapid transition from a pre-industrial, colonial economy to a nation with modern technology, such as computer hardware and software.

But what many of those in the West may not realize is that Malaysia owes most of its economic progress largely to the ethnic Chinese who comprise 40 percent of its population.

The Chinese community in Malaysia dominates the business world, as it does elsewhere in Southeast Asia. A large number of Malaysian Chinese trace their origins to the Fukien coast opposite Taiwan. Ethnic and family ties to the Mainland, especially to one of the most important boom areas in China today, play an increasingly important role in Malaysia’s industrialization and international commerce.

To buy racial harmony and try to foster a Malay entrepreneurial spirit, Mahathir and the UMNO political party have written into law preferential treatment for the Malay population, native to the country before the colonial era. In fact, these subsidies have led to a kind of "crony capitalism" that greatly contributed the 1997-98 financial crises in Malaysia as elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

When Mahathir’s anointed successor, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, announced a reform program that would have targeted some of Mahathir’s closest political allies, Mahathir turned on him. In 1998 -- with great skepticism in Malaysia and outside -- Anwar was accused, tried and sentenced for corruption and sexual crimes. He was thrown into prison, beaten and sentenced to indefinite time, where he still languishes. Anwar’s prosecution triggered street protests in Malaysia and international condemnation abroad and bruised the country’s image for years.

Mahathir has always courted the Malay Moslem ultras in what has been Malaysia’s governing party, a fragile coalition of three major political groupings based on ethnicity. More recently, he has been up against formidable opposition from the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), a political movement of Islamic fundamentalists who advocate instituting Koranic law (sharia). They now govern in two of Malaysia’s 11 states. Even PAS’ opponents admit it has reduced corruption. PAS has been eroding the support of Mahathir’s UMNO’s Malay partners.

All this becomes particularly significant since the new anointed successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is considered a moderate with a much softer if less prestigious image. Abdullah will have to prove his mettle in the face of a pent up sentiment for liberalization from Mahathir’s coalition’s grip on power and a rash of infighting in UMNO.

The electorate also expects Abdullah to return Malaysia to the prosperous pre-1997 days when annual growth was 8 percent. This will not be an easy task, given the increasing competition between East and Southeast Asian exporters, not the least being Mainland China with its slave-level wage scale and undervalued currency.

Mahathir is probably a racist. Tengku Abdul Rahman, the Malay politician, threw him out of the Malayan Youth Organization early in his career. Tengku Abdul Rahman won independence from Britain and brought together the Borneo Malay states with Peninsular Malaya. Tengku Abdul Rahman tried to heal the ethnic strife always just under the surface among the Malays, Chinese and Indians who comprise its population.

At the time, Mahathir was preaching hatred and urging the expulsion of the local Chinese population. Not much has changed.

Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 7:05:22 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

Filipino embarrassment over erroneous claim
The Philippine authorities have backtracked over claims that a “bio terrorism” manual and traces of biological weapons had been found at a Jemaah Islamiyah hideout. Vice chief of staff Lieutenant General, Rodolfo Garcia, said on Tuesday examination of powders found at an apartment in Cotobato on the southern island of Mindanao showed they did not contain the tetanus bacteria as originally reported.
"Uhhhh... Seems they hand't washed their coffee cups in awhile..."
"Our finding is, there were no chemical or biological agents found," Garcia told reporters in the capital Manila.
"Just another bachelor kitchen. Nothing to see here, folks... Never mind."
Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Leopoldo Bataoil also said Garcia's claims that a “bio terrorism” manual had been found were not substantiated. He said only "notes on bio terror, bio toxic materials" were discovered.
Oh. Well. That's different... How's that different?
Garcia's “revelations” on Monday had raised fears that Jemaah Islamiyah may have been planning to launch a biological attack in the region.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:

#1  " Oh dear Allah, a Bio-terror weapon! "

" Infidel! That's my dinner from three nights ago, we don't exactly have a out-house! "

Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:27 Comments || Top||

#2  "Uhhhh... Seems they hand't washed their coffee cups in awhile..."

Sounds like the coffeemaker at my office. That thing hasn't been cleaned in so long it produces some real bio-weapon grade coffee......

Good stuff!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/21/2003 13:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Food for thought...even if someone cleans out the coffee pot from time to time, they NEVER clean the handle...
Posted by: seafarious || 10/21/2003 13:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Sefarious, after you use the restroom and wash your hands, do you touch the door?
Posted by: Steve D || 10/21/2003 19:43 Comments || Top||

Four more Bali bombing suspects charged
Indonesian prosecutors have formally charged four more suspects over the deadly Bali bombings, including two who could face a firing squad if found guilty. Prosecutor B J Nainggolan submitted files on Suranto Abdul Ghoni alias Umar, Sarjiyo alias Sawad, Achmad Roichan alias Saad and Hafidin alias Heri to the district court in the Balinese capital Denpasar. Abdul Ghoni and Sarjiyo are accused of helping mix explosives used in the bombing of the two nightclubs in the resort island in October last year. The two could face the death sentence if convicted. Roichan and Hafidin are charged with harbouring bomb plotters and could face up to 15 years in jail. Prosecutors said Hafidin had hid key suspect Imam Samudra before the latter was arrested late last year. Police have also said that Hafidin recruited a group of would-be suicide bombers in the western Java town of Serang.
The world will be a better place without any of them, but start with Hafidun just to be on the safe side...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 11:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

Jihad in Myanmar
As the world continues to glare at Myanmar’s ruling junta for its ongoing oppression of the country’s popular democracy movement, it is hardly by coincidence that tensions between Buddhists and Muslims, in the past instigated by Yangon in times of political crisis, are on the rise again.
The writer takes it for granted the Buddhists rulers are the ones instigating clashes between Muslims and Buddhists. I don’t.
Some in Myanmar point the finger at alleged new "terrorists" among the Muslim minority. Do these allegations represent a heightened Islamist presence in Myanmar, or is this just the inner grumblings of a regime hoping to use the "war on terror" for desperately needed international support?
First, that’s a false dillemma. It could very well be the Myanmar government is trying to win international support AND there is a growing Islamist presence in Myanmar.
"We have a problem in Myanmar; we have a problem here in Mandalay. The problem is called Islam. There are many new Muslims in Mandalay from Pakistan [and Bangladesh]. These people are thieves and terrorists. They do not respect our religion and our women. We are Buddhist, and we are peaceful, but we must protect ourselves."
Throw the Muslims out. Throw them out while you can.
While Win Rathu might be the first to claim that the US’s sanctions on Myanmar are aimed at terrorists rather than the ruling junta, he is not the first person to claim that terrorists have mingled with Myanmar’s Muslims. International attention was drawn to the Rohingya Muslim community when its links to Islamist groups were discovered. Anti-terror officials around the world took note, and so did the ruling junta in Yangon.
Repeat after me: ’Islam is a religion of Peace, terrorists are not real Muslims...
"There have been problems before, but the problems have really grown in the last several years with the Pakistani Muslims," said Wi Rathu. "They want Myanmar to be Muslim - but Myanmar is Buddhist. They want the rest of Asia to be Muslim and live by Muslims rules - but we are Buddhist."
They want the rest of the world to be Muslim.
As the government faces economic sanctions and renewed international condemnation for its imprisonment and treatment of Aung San Su Kyi from the West, one should expect the same diversionary tactics from the regime. The recent military campaign against Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) rebels in south confirms this.
If democracy in Myanmar leads to increased Islamism, then damm democracy in Myanmar.
If violence does once again break out, it will be agitators like Win Rathu at the lead. And this religious violence threatens to divert the world’s attention from the real issue in Myanmar - the continuing deprivation of its people’s prosperity by an unpopular military dictatorship.
I’m glad the author has such telepathic powers to asign fault for violence not yet committed. Or perhaps those are self-denial powers to ignore the challenge of Islamism?
Posted by: Sorge || 10/21/2003 9:06:49 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [515 views] Top|| File under:

#1  the junta in Myanmar has been resisting democracy for years. This is just the flavor of the month. Their not resisting democracy cause it will lead to islamism, but to keep power out of the hands of the buddist majority - and keep it in the hands of the buddist junta.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/21/2003 9:14 Comments || Top||

#2  The Burmese Junta is truly loathsome, and they have had trouble not just with their Muslim minority, but also with just about all of their dozens of ethnic minorities, whether Muslim, Christian or Buddhist. It is true that many Burmese Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Pakistan have fallen in with local Jihadis, but the major Rohingya groups active in Burma are secular, and thus have received little to no support from the above mentioned Muslim countries.
As for throwing them out, the Junta have managed to drive out hundreds of thousands, but they have done the same to the Karen, Shan and others.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/21/2003 9:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Mr. liberalhawk;

They resist democracy because it will lead to their demise, I agree with that. But I'm worried about a democratic, weak Myanmar, in which Islamism will be tolerated. (See Philliphines.)

Mr. Moloney;

Secular Muslim groups turn Islamist with frightening speed. Come to think of it, the 'Palestinian Authority' is a secular Muslim group. (Oxymoron warning.) Also, throwing out others minorities is despicable, but throwing out muslims is not. (Like the Spaniards were right expel the Muslims after 1492, but wrong to expel the jews.)
Posted by: Sorge || 10/21/2003 10:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Sorge - That's what I wondered about. If When the junta is toppled, Burma will be weak - and if there is a strong Izzoid presence I have no doubt at all they will make a play to take over. There are droves of Pakis being caught at the border and turned away regularly. The papers here in Thailand are full of the stories. Hell, there are even NorKs being caught these days. Burma would be a pushover if the numbers are there and they pick the right time.

I have never met a secular or moderate Muslim, when there was another Muslim around. They remind me of the Golden Rule of Parakeets (Honest!). If you have just one, he'll be friends with you. If you have two, they'll be friends with each other. Same same.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 11:11 Comments || Top||

#5  i fail to see that a military run PI would be any more effective than Arroyo.

In particular a democractic Burma would be able to reach out to the West in ways that the current regime cannot. And would be less like to snuggle up to China (have we forgotten about them?) And just might do a better job of mobilizing its own populace.

Oh, and throwing any minority out is despicable.
And btw PA is not an organization, its a pseudo govt. The org youre thinking of is Fatah. Which does nasty things yes. So does PFLP, under the leadership of George Habash, Christian by background, Marxist by practice. Are you claiming he's really an Islamist, too?

Dot com - ever spent any time in Turkey or the Balkans? (I havent, but Turks Ive met over here seem pretty secular. Ive also met an Afghan, who while not secular, was pretty bitter about the Taliban and AQ - something about being tortured by them)
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/21/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

#6  LH - Nope. I have muRat as my guide to moderation and secularism condensed into an inferiority complex that makes him act like a mindless twit full of hatred. I have seen the GRofP occur hundreds of times, however.

If you'd like to say Turkey is an exception, fine - I'll grant a tiny anount of leeway, but they certainly are NOT the rule. 70 Million Turks is a drop on the advertised 1.3 billion Muslim bucket.

As for Afghans, I have zero doubt your guy is an exception - hell, he's over in Merika, right? Not your average AK-47 totin' Warlord followin' be-turbaned Afghan, I'd wager.

Look, knowing an individual is not the same as the culture or the society. They always put their best foot forward when they are the visitor. How do they act at home and YOU are the visitor - that will tell a far different story.

It's like saying that knowin a guy named Wang in HS means you're ready to run the China Desk at State. Wait! That may just be the secret criterion used! Shit! ;-)
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 12:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Mr. liberalhawk--You fail into a non-sequitor fallacy: "I fail to see that a military run PI would be any more effective than Arroyo." My argument is for keeping the military junta in Burma for the short term, I said nothing about the Philiphines. And 'Oh, and throwing any minority out is despicable' is a not an argument, but an expression of belief. To be fair, I didn't argue either for the opposite--it would be inappropiate to do so in Rantburg--but I'll be posting my argument on my website either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/21/2003 15:34 Comments || Top||

Mahathir: Reaction proves Jews do rule the world...but I was taken out of context
Hat tip to Drudge; in a hole, but the Moonbat won’t stop digging
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says his comments about Jews during a speech at an Islamic summit last week, which prompted harsh criticism in the West, had been taken out of context. ``In my speech I condemned all violence, even the suicide bombings, and I told the Muslims it’s about time we stopped all these things and paused to think and do something that is much more productive. That was the whole tone of my speech, but they picked up one sentence where I said that the Jews control the world,’’ he told Bangkok Post in an exclusive interview yesterday, which covered aspects of his 22 years as leader of Malaysia, as well as his straight-forward views on terrorism, democracy and US policy. Dr Mahathir added, however, that ``the reaction of the world shows that they [Jews] do control the world’’.
It’s like listening to John Kerry in a turban - how many ways is he trying to have it?
During a speech at the Organisation of Islamic Conference in Malaysia last week, Dr Mahathir said Jewish people, because of their ties with the United States, had an influence in the world which far outweighed their numbers which should be reduced. ``It cannot be that there is no other way; 1.3 billion ignorant backward illiterate and far-flung Muslims cannot be defeated by a few socially and technologically advanced million Jews,’’ he said.
I notice that "defeat" of 1.3 billion Muslims by the few million Jews assumes there’s an accepted state of conflict between all Muslims and all Jews....
The United States, Israel, Australia and the European Union have accused Dr Mahathir of anti-Semitism.
and general stupidity
Dr Mahathir said the Americans and Europeans were out to condemn him. The European Union had done nothing when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Burlesconi made a statement calling Muslims terrorists. ``Did the European Union pass a resolution to say that this was against Muslims? Why is it that when people condemn Muslims the European Union does not try to say anything?’’
Why do my friends Jacques and Dominique (who is reportedly a man) not defend me!
Dr Mahathir said his comments about Israel and Jews were true. ``Israel is a small country. There are not many Jews in the world. But they are so arrogant that they defy the whole world. Even if the United Nations say no, they go ahead. Why? Because they have the backing of all these people.’’ Dr Mahathir said that in his speech he urged Israelis and Arabs to stop the killing and to think, pause and settle. ``I even quoted from the Koran, which says that when the enemy offers to make peace you must accept. I told the Muslims you must accept even if the terms are bad. You have to negotiate. This is the teaching of Islam. All that was in my speech... But those things were blacked out by the Joooos,’’ he said
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 8:03:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [652 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe we should cut the guy some slack and focus on the good things he said. We already know that even moderate Muslim's blame the Jews for all the world's ills and want them to vanish from the face of the earth. So it seems to me that it wouldn't hurt to get them focused on a real education. If Muslims were raised on science and Technology, instead of Jew-blaming, in the process of the education, they might actually wake up to the realization that Jew-blaming does nothing to improve their world.
Posted by: B || 10/21/2003 9:56 Comments || Top||

#2  B: I kinda wanted the moosleems to be educated too, with the hope that if they learned to wipe their a**es correctly they might quit trying to kill or convert everybody.

This guy is calling for education and technological advances so that they can kill more efficiently. I'm not so sure anymore that it's a bad thing these Thuggees can't read.
Posted by: BH || 10/21/2003 10:13 Comments || Top||

#3  B - I hear ya. Your common sense tells you this should be the logical outcome to being exposed to rational thought. Yep, I thought the same way. Then I met a bunch of Saudis who had been educated abroad in US & UK (admittedly, university only) and other Muslims from various countries, including Iraq. To a man, they may have been more open-minded about things new to them and some even picked up the patter ("Bloody Hell!" was common out of the Iraqi; educated in UK and worked there for 8 years... 8 YEARS + the years for University for BS, MS, & PhD), but those things taught to them from birth were still there, like a reflex. Bring up the "Palestinians" and they spewed dogma straight outta Saeb Erakat's disgusting mouth. I tried to reason with the Iraqi guy, thinking his long time and education in the West would allow him to at least think before spewing. No joy. Never met an exception in over 4 years - and these are the best educated Saudis in the country and I was talking to the most Western-oriented of those. No joy.

So don't hold your breath. Your heart and head are in the right place, but theirs are up their asses. :-(
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 10:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Hey, that's why they call it "MAL-asia", y'know?
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 10:33 Comments || Top||

#5  You don't have to go to the ME to find people with their head in the wrong place. Paul Krugman in today's NY Times actually defends Mahathir's speech ("part of a delicate balancing act") and blames -- surprise, surprise -- America. In-credible.
Posted by: Matt || 10/21/2003 11:02 Comments || Top||

#6  Your common sense tells you this should be the logical outcome to being exposed to rational thought.

In the ME, those Muslims exposed to "rational thought" are likely to end up with a drastically shortened life expectancy.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 11:18 Comments || Top||

#7  Let all remember that Dr. Mahathir represents the so-called 'educated’ Muslim. Since this guy should know better then what do you thing he teaches the ‘common’ Muslim? This is the same type of people who started the National Socialist Party in Germany. They had some educated people, some muscle, blind followers, and vitriol hatred. I fear we missed a chance to cleanse the gene pool when we had them together at the Muslim Summit. Ok now I have to go back to my Zionist overlords.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/21/2003 11:30 Comments || Top||

#8  The Jews are making him say this. Its part of a clever plot to make Muslim leadership appear ever more foolish. Its working.
Posted by: Dakotah || 10/21/2003 12:28 Comments || Top||

#9  I think Mahathir missed his own point. People of Jewish decent have been sucessful in many different societies because they have integrated themselves.

We saw a pretty good example of integration several days ago. On one of the previous posts concerning the US extermination of its aboriginal culture, there was an informal survey of Rantburgers who were of Native American decent. The percentage was high.

I am reasonably sure the George Bush has a Native America somewhere in his family tree. Has Sitting Bull's insideous plan for world domination has been realized? Have Native Americans secretly commandiered the Club of Rome? I don't think so.

Americans are from a diverse ethnic cilture. Some ethnic traditions become part of the total ethnic fabric of the country. While many Americans of diverse backgrounds choose to get loaded on St Patty's Day as well as Cinco De Mio, I haven't been to a sweat tent in recent memory.

Why does this clown think the Jewish influence on our coutnry is different?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 12:42 Comments || Top||

#10  Shit, I missed the survey. I'm sorta-kinda Comanche. Woohoo! Cootahey!

Dakotah SH - I think you guys are onto something! Clever, indeed! Mahathir does, indeed, look like a total fool - every time he opens his trap. And NOW I know what that secret handshake I was taught as a child is about! I'll be waiting to be contacted. Send someone to Thailand. Chiang Mai. Doiping Mansion. Tell 'em to take their time, I'm cool with that.

Okay, I have to go back and report to my Jewish overlords, too.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 13:26 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Qaeda honks sleepers
Al Qaida has sent a message to its network of sleeper agents in the Persian Gulf. Gulf intelligence sources said a taped message by Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden was meant to send orders to sleepers to carry out one or more unspecified attacks in Gulf Cooperation Council. The sources said the main target is believed to be Kuwait.
Oh, good catch, Dan!
"We believe this was directed at Al Qaida's large sleeper network in Kuwait to move into action," an intelligence source said. "There's nothing more specific than this." Over the weekend, Bin Laden sent a message that was broadcast over the Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel that warned of fresh attacks against the United States and its allies in Iraq. In that message, Bin Laden named one only Arab country -- Kuwait.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If and when Kuwaiti authorities get their hands on Al Qaida agents, I hope they string 'em up with no questions asked.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 14:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Isn't Al-jazzy banned in Kuwait? If so, I doubt they are the target - no photo op for them. Best way to prevent bombings, attacks, ambushes etc. in Iraq and anywhere else is to follow all the Al-jazzy camera crews around and see where they plant themselves. Wherever it is - that is where someone is going to get it.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 10/21/2003 14:42 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Arafat suffering from gallstones
I know we were all concerned. I hope he’s in agony...
Veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is suffering from gallstones but does not need surgery at this stage, an official within his office revealed. The problem had been discovered during recent examinations carried out by Egyptian medics when Arafat was officially diagnosed as having heavy intestinal flu, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday. Time magazine recently reported that 74-year-old Arafat was suffering from cancer while Britain’s The Guardian newspaper said he had suffered a minor heart attack.
Let’s hope everybody’s right...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 4:08:46 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No mention of the Death Ray?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/21/2003 16:14 Comments || Top||

#2  officially diagnosed as having heavy intestinal flu

That's funny, he doesn't look fluish...
Posted by: seafarious || 10/21/2003 16:29 Comments || Top||

#3  He's going to end up like Mr Burns, all the diseases in the world in perfect balance, none able to kill him off. Dammit.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 10/21/2003 16:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Saeb Erekat as Smithers, the ass-kissing lackey?...Laurence, you may be on to something
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#5  I always said the greasy bastard had a lot of gall.
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 18:22 Comments || Top||

#6  I just hope they're big ugly jagged suckers...
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 19:34 Comments || Top||

#7  Sweet agony!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/21/2003 20:03 Comments || Top||

#8  Gall stones, heart bypass... whatever... I'm ready to try the surgery and have left my axe out in the rain to... season.
Posted by: DANEgerus || 10/21/2003 22:25 Comments || Top||

Palestinians interfering with U.S. probe of Gaza bombing
From World Tribune.com.....
U.S. officials say the Palestinian Authority is blocking its nvestigation of an attack on a U.S. embassy convoy in which three American security officers were killed.
I guess that the PA has given up even on pretending to be on the road...map.
Officials said the PA failed to provide FBI investigators with sufficient access to the bombing site. Furthermore PA authorities allowed pedestrians to enter the scene of the attack and destroy evidence.
Any surprises, so far? Nope.
So far, the PA has arrested eight suspects from the Jabalya refugee camp, near which the attack took place, Middle East Newsline reported. The suspects were said to have been members of the Popular Resistance Committee, which took responsibility for the bombing on Wednesday, as well as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The United States remains dissatisfied with security cooperation of the Palestinian Authority and has banned visits by U.S. officials to the Gaza Strip.
(Even St. Pancake types?)
U.S. officials said the travel ban came in wake of a determination that the PA has failed to cooperate with the investigation. Officials said PA cooperation in the investigation has been insufficient and those arrested do not appear linked to the bombing. "Everybody has promised they will help," an official said. "In most cases, the promises have just remained promises."
Paleo SOP.
The Preventive Security Apparatus, officials said, has been the most helpful to the five-member FBI team of the 13 PA security agencies. "The Palestinian Authority has got to create an empowered Palestinian prime minister who can have security forces that are unified and then these security forces can begin to break up these terrorist groups, and we can get back on track on the road map," a senior U.S. administration official said.
Mission Impossible for the Paleos!
Most of the suspects were said to have confessed to participating in the bombing attack. But U.S. officials said the attack was believed to have been ordered by Palestinians connected to leading members of the PA. The U.S. embassy has placed a travel ban on government personnel to the Gaza Strip. Officials said the ban, which they said won’t affect U.S. aid, will be indefinite and comes as the embassy reviews security arrangements in the PA areas.
US aid ought to stop right now, especially after the boom. Actions/Consequences, not Actions/Enabling
On Monday, the FBI delegation met PA security officials at the Israeli-patrolled Erez terminal in the northern Gaza Strip. No details of the meeting were released.
What can one say that has not been said about the PA so far? Why are we keeping up pretenses with this scum?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 3:28:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Paleos are interfering? GEE, I wonder WHY.
So what else is new?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/21/2003 15:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, they're probably pissed we haven't found the Mossad guys that pulled it off yet.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Time to declare the PA to be what it is - a terrorist-sympathizing outfit - and treat it accordingly.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

#4  Dammit!
This is shaping up to be one of those "unfortunate incidents" that'll just gradually fade away and it's business as usual. To hell with the Roadmap and the Paleos, what's needed is a Roadgrader and redesignation of the PA as speedbumps.
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/21/2003 17:10 Comments || Top||

Israeli troops enter Ramallah - surround mosque
Al-Jizz - watch the spin
Around 40 Israeli army jeeps and armoured trucks entered the administrative capital of the Palestinian territories shortly after 6:30 pm Tuesday and imposed a curfew in the centre of the city. Troops surrounded the landmark Abd al-Nasir mosque, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said. People inside the mosque were told to leave in groups of four and present their identity papers to the soldiers. Medical sources said five people had been slightly injured after the Israelis opened fire with rubber-coated bullets after they were pelted with stones.
(Ed - My emphasis)
An Israeli military source confirmed that forces had entered the city. He would not give the size of the troop presence but said it was "not a large force". "We are conducting searches but there are no details of any arrests." Some of the Israeli troops entered the Al-jazeera office in Ramallah and asked the staff to close the doors and remain indoors. Journalists inside were also told not to step out or we’ll kill ya. A curfew has also been imposed on al-Bera, Beit Zeyt and Kofr Malik. Live Al-jazeera footage showed troops taking up positions in the centre of Ramallah. Gunfire could be heard. Palestinian sources also said around 10 Israeli jeeps had entered the nearby university town of Beit Zeyt, close to where a group of Israeli occupation soldiers was ambushed by resistance fighters on Sunday night. Three of the soldiers were shot dead in the attack by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
Cause Effect lesson #7,689
Posted by: Frank G || 10/21/2003 3:05:16 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Medical sources said five people had been slightly injured after the Israelis opened fire with rubber-coated bullets after they were pelted with stones.

Someone needs to take that automated stone-throwing machine out of mothballs and truck it around to be used in retaliation against stone throwers.

Oh, and search that mosque. I'll bet there's quite a stash to be found there.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 16:07 Comments || Top||

#2  No mention on the "holy place" status of the mosque? I'll stay tuned...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 16:11 Comments || Top||

Arab League discusses expanding anti-terror
The Arab League has advanced efforts to expand its authority to combat Islamic insurgency. An expert panel at the Arab League Interior and Justice Ministers Council has been drafting revisions on an agreement to combat terrorism. The revisions include a range of measures meant to expand the war against Islamic insurgency. Mohammed Ali Koman, secretary-general of the Arab council, said the revisions also included the Arab League accord on battling organized crime. Koman said the panel will complete the revisions and submit them to Arab interior ministers for approval. The revisions on the anti-terror accord include a ban on incitement and fundraising. The Arab League would make these activities illegal.
Except for "freedom fighters," of course...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [384 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Arab League has advanced efforts to expand its authority to combat Islamic insurgency.

That can't mean a hell of a whole lot.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 14:29 Comments || Top||

#2  The Arab League has advanced efforts to expand its authority to combat Islamic insurgency.

From what? Nothing???
Oooooooooo! I'll bet that strikes fear in the hearts of....somebody.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 14:30 Comments || Top||

Africa: Central
Choppers Hit Rebels in Teso
Helicopter gunships have been deployed against rebels here in Teso. A gang of the Lords Resistance Army rebels attacked a village in Soroti on Monday killing three people. Army spokesman Maj. Shaban Bantariza told The Monitor on Monday that the rebels who attacked Amen village, 3km along the Soroti - Lira highway, are not a new group. He said these are rebels under Charles Tabuley, an LRA commander. The rebels torched 14 huts on Monday before withdrawing. "It is not true a new LRA rebel group has re-entered Teso as the media reported last week. This is the usual Tabuley group that is on the run, which attempted to attack Soroti town on Monday,'" Bantariza said.
Okay. They didn't re-enter, they were there before...
He laughed off a letter left behind by the rebels on Monday.
"Letter? I laff! Haw-haw!"
The rebels are said to have been critical of the deployment of the Arrow Group to fight them. In their letter, the rebels are said to have demanded peace talks with President Yoweri Museveni. "The LRA are just trying to cover up their criminal activities by saying they are killing civilians in Teso because of the deployment of the Arrow Group militia," he said. Bantariza said that the LRA was killing civilians even before Arrow Group was formed. He said that the rebels should channel their letters calling for peace talks through the Presidential Peace Team and not ordinary civilians. "As for UPDF we are not party to peace talks between government and terrorists," the army spokesman said.
"It's our job to hunt them down and kill them. It's their job to negotiate with them."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:

#1  " Paper or plastic bodybag? "
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Just rent a wood chipper. You know: The Circle of Life and all that.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 14:58 Comments || Top||

#3  "Hey! They're using gunships! Can they do that?!"
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Could we provide them with one of the C-130 type gun ships? It sounds like they are whacking some guys that need killing.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 17:34 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Arafat urges Quartet to end Israeli folly
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has urged the international community to bring pressure on Israel to end the "military folly" after a series of deadly air strikes in Gaza. The Palestinian movement Hamas has vowed to avenge the deaths caused by five separate air strikes across Gaza on Monday. This latest wave of Israeli violence has deepened the gloom over the prospects of progress in the Middle East "roadmap". The peace plan, sponsored by the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, known as the Quartet, now looks damaged beyond repair.
That happened when the bus blew up. Remember the bus?
"I appeal to the international community, the United Nations and the quartet to stop this military folly through which they (the Israelis) are looking to destroy our holy ground and our people," Arafat told a small group of journalists from his battered compound in Ramallah. The response in Israel to Monday's attacks has been mixed. Israeli newspapers on Tuesday warned that a wave of air strikes on Gaza was likely to prolong the conflict. One journal said the brutal wave of attacks was prompted more by a sense of humiliation after the killing of three Israeli soldiers rather than logic.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yes, three JOOOOOSSSS being killed is nothing to retaliate for. Does anybody know who was killed in the airstrikes? Any Hamas leaders? That would explain Arafish crying "foul".
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:22 Comments || Top||

#2  What about the 11 rockets fired into southern Israel from Gaza?
AP does not like it's story to get too complicated.
Posted by: Barry || 10/21/2003 12:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey Yasser ol' boy, it's not too late for abject surrender on your part.

I've no love for Greater Israel crowd but this war can end whenever you want.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/21/2003 14:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has urged the international community to bring pressure on Israel to end the "military folly" after a series of deadly air strikes in Gaza.

What about the folly of Arafart's little intifada? Any chance that this is going to be even mentioned?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 14:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Translation: We are starting to get low on boomers and rockets! We need time to regroup and re-arm! Can someone call 'time-out'?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/21/2003 14:40 Comments || Top||

#6  The IDF oughta fire one of their "follys" right up his ass.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/21/2003 14:48 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Liberia's parliament appoints rebel as speaker
A senior rebel official has been appointed as speaker of Liberia's new transitional assembly, set up under a peace deal meant to end nearly 14 years of war in the West African country. George Dweh, a founding member of the main rebel faction Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), was elected with 49 votes, including those of most of his former government foes, lawmakers said. Six lawmakers voted against him and two abstained. Ahead of the vote, human rights campaigners and members of civil society groups had expressed concern over his candidacy as parliament speaker, accusing him of brutality during fighting which crippled a country founded by freed American slaves. Mr Dweh fought for a rebel group known as ULIMO during a savage seven-year civil war in the 1990s in which 200,000 people died. Former warlord Charles Taylor emerged as the strongest faction leader in that war and was elected president in 1997 but two years later LURD rebels took up arms against him. After his appointment, Mr Dweh called on Liberians to "let bygones be bygones".
"All the victims will still be dead, but we're not. Let's count ourselves lucky and move on to the next crisis..."
"This legislator will not be a factional one. It will represent the interests of the people," he said of the new assembly, in which the three warring factions have 12 representatives each.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 12:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [313 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "the new assembly, in which the three warring factions have 12 representatives each."

And people make fun of our electoral college. Kind of short changes political parties that were peaceful.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 14:53 Comments || Top||

#2  "Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who..."
-- Monty Python & The Holy Grail
Posted by: mojo || 10/21/2003 15:07 Comments || Top||

Iran agrees to UN inspections of nuclear sites
Iran has agreed to sign up to tougher United Nations inspections of its nuclear program. The breakthrough was made in talks between Tehran and the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany. Under the deal reached in Tehran, Iran has agreed to suspend the enrichment of uranium and to allow UN experts to conduct snap inspections of its nuclear facilities. The United States had earlier voiced concerns that Iran may be trying to make a nuclear bomb. But the Iranian Government denies it is developing weapons, saying it is merely trying to develop peaceful nuclear energy. Iran will now sign an additional inspection protocol. In exchange the European ministers are expected to offer to help Iran gain access to technology for its energy program.
Makes you wonder if they've been following the Soddy-Pak plotting and machinations...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/21/2003 11:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [761 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In exchange the European ministers are expected to offer to help Iran gain access to technology for its energy program.

And once Iran has the Technology, they'll tell Europe to f*ck off.

foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany.

Great, the future Islamic Coalition of Europe negotiated this. Who wants to bet that France has already been sending the Technology, but used this as an excuse to do so legally?
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Nothing but Rope-a-Dope II.

Ignore every word, assume the worst, take them down.
-The Survivor's Creed
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 12:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Pretty close to the 10-year-old NKor playbook. And the French and German foreign ministers are about as clueless as Clinton and Notsobright were.
Posted by: Tom || 10/21/2003 12:51 Comments || Top||

#4  If these guys are smart, they'll comb past intelligence data for activity that would indicate construction of secret facilities of some sort. The only real reason that Iran would be willing to sign up for any inspection regime would be if it could continue its program clandestinely in spite of international scrutiny.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 14:28 Comments || Top||

#5  These fuc**** Euro and State dept bastards care nothing for the humanitarian situation in Iran and only about money and dealing with the Islamofascist dictators... FREE IRAN - LONG LIVE FREEDOM AND THE IRANIAN PEOPLE -- DEATH TO THE MULLAHS!!!
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 14:46 Comments || Top||

#6  Iran learned a great deal from watching Iraq and NK deal with the UN. Iran is stalling for time in order to build the nukes it must have in order to face off with the USA. Ball appears to be in the US court. What do we do now?
Posted by: Mark || 10/21/2003 18:51 Comments || Top||

#7  I say US should tell the Iranian people to rise up against the regime - and that we definitely have their backs if the regime starts killing which they are sure to do.. Unfortunately many won't believe that we will defend them since we haven't always followed through on all of our promises..

Anyhow - US should get honest with the American people and the world about the Iranian regime - and condemn European ties if Europe refuses to back away from the mullahs..
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/21/2003 20:11 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Box Cutter Idiot Suspect Charged, Released
BALTIMORE (AP) - A college student who told authorities he placed box cutters and other banned items aboard two airliners to test security was charged Monday with taking a dangerous weapon aboard an aircraft and was released without bail. Nathaniel Heatwole, 20, told federal agents he went through normal security procedures at airports in Baltimore and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Once aboard, he said he hid the banned items in compartments in the planes’ rear lavatories. A preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 10. Assistant U.S. Attorney Harvey Eisenberg said the government was not seeking detention, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey freed Heatwole on his own recognizance. Although Heatwole sent an e-mail to federal authorities saying he had placed the items aboard two specific Southwest Airlines flights, it took authorities nearly five weeks to find them.
This is the real problem.
The judge set a number of conditions for Heatwole’s release, including that he not enter any airport or board any airplane. Heatwole sat stoney faced during the hearing. His parents were in the courtroom but did not greet or acknowledge him during the hearing and did not comment afterward.
And just try to persaude your father to pay your tuition bill this winter!
The charge against Heatwole, a junior at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Wonder if Heatwole pondered that one at all?
Discovery of the items Thursday aboard Southwest planes that landed in New Orleans and Houston triggered stepped-up inspections of the entire U.S. commercial air fleet - roughly 7,000 planes. But after consulting with the FBI, the Transportation Security Administration rescinded the inspection order and no other suspicious bags were found. Deputy TSA Administrator Stephen McHale said Monday’s court action ``makes clear that renegade acts to probe airport security for whatever reason will not be tolerated, pure and simple... Amateur testing of our systems do not show us in any way our flaws. We know where the vulnerabilities are well sorta, maybe we do, we’re not sure and we’re not talking and we are testing them ... This does not help.’’ An FBI affidavit obtained Monday by The Associated Press said Heatwole breached security at Raleigh-Durham airport on Sept. 12 - the day after the two-year anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. He did it again Sept. 15 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. His bags contained box cutters, modeling clay made to look like plastic explosives, matches and bleach hidden in sunscreen bottles, the affidavit said. Inside were notes with details about when and where the items were carried aboard. They were signed ``3891925,’’ which is the reverse of Heatwole’s birthday: 5/29/1983. On Sept. 15, the TSA received an e-mail from Heatwole saying he had ``information regarding six security breaches’’ at the Raleigh-Durham and Baltimore-Washington airports between Feb. 7 and Sept. 14, the FBI affidavit said. The TSA did not send the e-mail to the FBI until last Friday. FBI agents then located Heatwole and interviewed him.
Ah, so the screw-up is with the TSA and not the Bureau.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, whose department includes TSA, said officials ``will go back and look at our protocol’’ for handling such e-mails. He said the agency gets a high volume of e-mails about possible threats and that officials decided that Heatwole ``wasn’t an imminent threat.’’ The e-mail provided details of where the plastic bags were hidden - right down to the exact dates and flight numbers - and even provided Heatwole’s name and telephone number. It was unclear whether Heatwole actually hid items on four other planes. ``The e-mail author also stated that he was aware his actions were against the law and that he was aware of the potential consequences for his actions, and that his actions were an ’act of civil disobedience with the aim of improving public safety for the air-traveling public,’’’ the affidavit said. The e-mail was signed ``Nat Heatwole.’’
I sorta see why the TSA blew him off.
Guilford is a Quaker college with a history of pacifism and civil disobedience that dates to the Civil War. Heatwole is not a Quaker, but shares many of the tenets of their religion, including a belief in pacifism, according to a February 2002 interview with The Guilfordian, the campus newspaper. Heatwole, a double-major in political science and physics, refused to register for the draft when he turned 18 as required by law, according to the Guilfordian interview. Instead, he sent the Selective Service System a blank registration form and a letter explaining his opposition. ``I wanted to let them hear the voice of dissent,’’ he told the newspaper, ``just in case they were listening.’’
Congrats! You got their attention. Now what?
Posted by: Steve White || 10/21/2003 1:54:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [689 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Heatwole did us all a favor. Instead of being indicted he should be congratulated for bringing attention to serious problems within TSA and FBI. Give the kid a job offer. Though I don't agree with his pacifist politics, I admire his initiative.
Posted by: Mark || 10/21/2003 6:18 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought failing to register for Selective Service was illegal. Why don't they throw that one at him, too?

I guess this is just another pacifist so wrapped up in his own self-worth that he considers himself above the law.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/21/2003 7:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Okay, I travel and my husband does often, too. And I have to say that I think it's ridiculous to demand that every possibly-useful-as-a-weapon item be screened before people board planes.

Bombs, guns, large knives, yes. But the hysteria over other items just leaves me shaking my head. I can't even bring needlepoint to work on during a long flight, for goodness sake! Those 2", blunt tipped needles and scissors with round points might be lethal in the hands of this grey-haired woman.

Get a grip, America.
Posted by: rkb || 10/21/2003 7:56 Comments || Top||

#4  My grandmother inher 70s got in trouble with the Australian authorities for carry on a plane a tiny blunt knife to cut her food up.
Posted by: Bernardz || 10/21/2003 8:21 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm not impressed since this guy would considering yarn a lethal weapon when used properly.
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 10:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't give this kid the attension he craves. We knew some kook was bound to pull such a stunt.

I'm not sure that we need to alter security procedures to detect matches in a bottle of suntan lotion or clay. It's bad enough that we're shaking down granny for her knitting needles we don't need to be confiscating Playdough and Silly Putty.

Passenger screening is more effective than the cavity searches because this delinquent decide to make a spectacle.

Give the steward/stewardesse a taser to make everybody feel better, but don't worry about box cutter boy.

In reality, if I think Mohammad is going to try to down the plane and all he brought is an exacto-knife, we're sitting pretty as long as I have access to the beverage card. Unless he has donned a helmet, a man can only take a certain number of full soda cans off the head before slipping into unconsciousness.

Once he's down - it's not like they confiscated everyone's belts. Have you ever heard of the term "whipping boy." I'd match my imagination against pacifist boy any day.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 11:14 Comments || Top||

#7  I'm not going to advocate that he be given a "free pass" for his actions, but he *did* bring this issue front and center. From what I've seen and heard, much of the hoopla about "improved security" after 9/11 is just that--hoopla. Perhaps his action may be just the wake-up call needed to inspire a more serious approach to airline security.
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 10/21/2003 11:37 Comments || Top||

#8  Bombs, guns, large knives, yes. But the hysteria over other items just leaves me shaking my head.

Because the government is not interested in stopping terrorists at the expense of political correctness. If this wasn't the case, they'd be looking at PEOPLE, and not items.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 11:45 Comments || Top||

#9  A neighbor took her 85-year old mother to San Jose (CA) Mineta airport the other morning - at 5:30 AM - for her return flight to Massachisetts. Mom had put her cane through the conveyor before her replacement hip set off the metal detector. The guardians of public safety immediately hussled her to the side, and told her to step up onto a thick rubber mat. She, barely able to walk, tripped over the raised edge, fell and hit her head and shoulder on one of the tables there. Off to the ER and a day in the hospital. Daughter will have to fly home to get her settled and cared for. As soon as the two women started to leave the scene, someone rushed out and removed the mat.

I feel SO much safer!
Posted by: Dave || 10/21/2003 12:34 Comments || Top||

#10  Profiling is bad they say. That is why there is no profile of those suitable for security profiling.
Is there no end to the current wave of stupidity infecting those accredited with protecting the people including those out of left field?
FBI agents not doing their work, interpreters for the pentagon not living up their oath of allegience, TSA agents not passing the test to screen old ladies and babies!
Posted by: Barry || 10/21/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

#11  rkb says:
Get a grip, America.
It ain't America, cookie, it's Norm Mineta, a DEMOCRAT, who for some inexplicable reason the president did not replace when he came into office, and the other IDIOTS at the TSA. God forbid they hurt someone's feelings by looking at people; better just to take everything and pretend they're making you safe.

This bullshit won't prevent highjackings in America; what's preventing them is everybody knows the next time someone tries it, the passengers will kill the bastards on the spot.

I drive everyplace I can; it's not worth flying anymore - and I loved to fly.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 10/21/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

#12  The Feds are going to blow lots of smoke over this one, threaten Heatwole with years of rock hockey in the big arena, blah blah blah. In the end Heatwole will quietly get probation and the Feds and the airlines will probably learn something. And that will be that. Next issue...
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/21/2003 14:29 Comments || Top||

#13  ..and the Feds and the airlines will probably learn something.

I seriously doubt it.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/21/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

#14  At LaGuardia this weekend I was yelled at and told to take my belt and shoes off because I was a "moron" trying to walk through with them on (OK .com and Fred--don't pile on with the "moron" remark! LOL
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 23:08 Comments || Top||

#15  Huh? Did they tell you (or was there a sign) to take them off? Was it at the metal detector? I'm not sure I understand.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 23:55 Comments || Top||

#16  There was no sign, nada--just a fat guy yelling at everyone--Delta terminal at La Guardia--"take ya belt off--take ya shoes off--you're holding up the line!"
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:20 Comments || Top||

Japan Suspects N. Korea Fired 2 Missiles
North Korea test-fired an anti-ship missile off its east coast Monday as President Bush and other leaders opened an Asian summit, the communist country’s latest military exercise amid tensions over its nuclear program. On Tuesday, Japan said it suspects that North Korea may have test-fired a missile off its eastern coast for a second straight day. The government said it was trying to confirm the information. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday declined to further identify the type of missile, but said North Korea has fired the same type two or three times this year. ``The land-to-ship missile North Korea test-fired today is seen as part of its annual exercise,’’ said a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul.
Okay, no problem.
Monday’s test came as Bush, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, promoted a plan in which the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea would jointly give North Korea written assurances it wouldn’t be attacked, in exchange for its promise to dismantle its nuclear program. Senior Bush administration officials, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said they’d concluded the missile test was a deliberately provocative action intended to grab attention.
Ya think?
The missile would not have posed any immediate security threat to neighboring countries, a Japanese Defense Agency official said, adding that the missile reportedly had a range of about 60 miles plus or minus 60 miles. North Korea test-fired two short-range anti-ship missiles in late February and early March. In those tests, North Korea fired the missiles at targets about 70 miles off its east coast. Washington and South Korea have criticized the tests as attempts to force the United States into direct talks. In April, U.S. officials said North Korea test-fired another short-range anti-ship missile off its west coast, in apparent response to the launching of spy satellites by Tokyo to monitor the isolated communist nation days earlier.
Attaboy, Kim, they launch a satellite, you launch a rusty Silkworm. That’ll show ’em.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/21/2003 1:46:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [651 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't remember ever hearing of a silkworm sucessfully hitting a ship that it was aimed at but they are awful big and fly low. Wasn't the missile that hit the mall in Kuwaitt a silkworm?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah it was a silkworm SH. However, ships are moving targets, unlike a bridge near a mall.
Posted by: Charles || 10/21/2003 12:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Charles, I don't know that a Silkworm could even hit a ship at anchor. It's like launching an unguided VW bug full of dynamite at an enemy.

I may be wrong about this, but if they were effective weapons, sales would be higher. I speculate that they are low fliers this giving them advantage over Scuds with respect to Patriot interception.

I wonder what the Iraqis were trying to hit. I will fear teh Silkworm when I see the video of one slamming into the side of a ship that is underway. Maybe Kim will provide the evidence of his highly sucessful test.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#4  silkworm hitting a ship - falklands/malvinas conflict maybe?
Posted by: flash91 || 10/21/2003 12:59 Comments || Top||

#5  Regards the test and assuming it was a success, which is a stretch, we'll just anchor our TLAM platforms 70 or 80 or 170 or 180 miles off the coast. Makes little difference, no?
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 13:07 Comments || Top||

#6  I believe the Silkworm is a derivative of the
Styx... an early Soviet anti-ship missle. It indeed hit a ship at anchor.... an Israeli destroyer no less... The Indians also had some success with it against fixed harbor installations in Karachi in the last war. But mind you this was the real Soviet McCoy.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/21/2003 13:12 Comments || Top||

#7  As I recall, Iran had Silkworms on it's coast in GWI and the US Navy was QUITE concerned about them - maybe an artifact of the lack of searoom to maneuver in the Gulf?
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/21/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Yeah - the Gulf is relatively small and very shallow. In the case of NorK, this is not a problem.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 14:09 Comments || Top||

#9  The major worry with the Silkworm sites in Iran was that they are located near teh straights of Hormuz between Iran and Oman - a chokepoint. Not a big deal for the Navy ships, but at the time my ship was escorting "American-flagged" tankers out of Kuwaitt through the straights. It wears on the nears to be parked next to a floating supertanker in a missile engagement zone.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 15:09 Comments || Top||

#10  Supe... thanks for the clarification.

Was it no big deal for the Navy ships because of point defenses or lack of accuracy on the part of the Silkworm? Given the news that came out in GWI, I, and a lot of non-military types were under the impression that the Silkworm was a badass piece of hardware.
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/21/2003 17:15 Comments || Top||

#11  The missles used in the Falklands were Exocet missles.
Posted by: redclay || 10/21/2003 17:36 Comments || Top||

#12  I believe the Silkworm is a derivative of the
Styx... an early Soviet anti-ship missle. It indeed hit a ship at anchor.... an Israeli destroyer no less... The Indians also had some success with it against fixed harbor installations in Karachi in the last war. But mind you this was the real Soviet McCoy.

I think the Indians also took out a Pakistani frigate & a minesweeper with Styx missiles. IIRC at least one tanker was hit by Iranian Seersuckers (longer range version of Silkworm aka HY-2) during the Iran-Iraq war & during GW1 an Iraqi TELAR fired an apparently defective Seersucker at the USS Missouri. HY-2 packs quite a punch (~400 kg warhead) but they're old & lumbering & if I was buying anti-ship missiles today I'd probably go for something like Yakhont or Sunburn, something fast that can do the old terminal weave malarkey.
Posted by: Dave || 10/21/2003 18:48 Comments || Top||

#13  Mercutio, my trip to the gulf was during the period just before Iraq invaded Kuwaitt. Things had smoothed out considerably along the Iranian coast at the time and the US was attempting to reduce our naval presence in the gulf. The Iranians were behaving because we had whacked them pretty well.

We were aware of the silkworm sites but naievely thought that all the countries in the gulf were interested in continuing the status quo.

I believe Dave is correct about the Silkworm being an offshoot of the Styx. They are big, but I don't believe they have sophisticated guidance. They might be able to hit a tanker, but their guidance system is probably still based on a 70's Soviet design.

The French Exocet missiles are much smaller , but would worry me much more. They fly low to a programmed area and then search for, acquire and attack whatever they lock onto in the area - before you can react.

You might knockout a cruise missile like an Exocet, Harpoon or Tomahawk, but probably only if your defense systems are in automatic mode. Ships have systems that can react in automatically in way very simular to the Patriot batteries.

US Navy ships don't often sail with weapons systems in automatic. That's why the Stark ate two Exocet missiles from an Iraqi plane during the Iran-Iraq War.

If the NK is shooting Exocets, then we need to get teh word out to the American public.
Posted by: Steve D || 10/21/2003 19:38 Comments || Top||

Pakistan-Saudi trade nuke tech for oil
Should be read with salt firmly in hand, although frankly, I believe this report; especially since the Saudis partially funded the Paki nuclear program
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have concluded a secret agreement on nuclear cooperation, an unimpeachable source said Monday. "It will be vehemently denied by both countries," added this ranking Pakistani source known to this correspondent for more than a decade as a knowledgeable insider, "but future events will confirm that Pakistan has agreed to provide KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) with the wherewithal for a nuclear deterrent." In a lightning, hastily arranged, 26-hour "state visit" in Islamabad, Crown Prince Abdullah Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, flew across the Arabian Sea with an entourage of 200, including Foreign Minister Prince Saud and several Cabinet ministers. The pro-American Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan, who is next in line to succeed to the throne after Abdullah, was not part of the delegation. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf met Abdullah at the airport and saw him off Sunday night with a 21-gun salute. In Washington, Mohammed Sadiq, Pakistan’s deputy chief of mission, said Monday the report about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia reaching agreement on nuclear cooperation was "totally wrong."
No, no! Certainly not!"
"This is against our policy. Pakistan would never proliferate its nuclear technology. It’s a very clear policy. This was not even discussed in the talks we held with the Saudis in Islamabad this week. It was not even on the agenda. It is out of the question."
"Unless they give us money, of course..."
The CIA believes that Pakistan already exported nuclear know-how to North Korea in exchange for missile technology. Last year, a Pakistani C-130 was spotted by satellite loading North Korean missiles at Pyongyang airport. Pakistan said this was a straight purchase for cash and denied a nuclear quid pro quo. This correspondent and the chief of staff of the North Korean Air Force stayed at the same Islamabad hotel in May 2001.
He’s lucky he wasn’t eaten.
The Sunni Saudis have concluded that nothing will deter Shiite Iran from continuing its quest for nuclear weapons. Pakistan, on the other hand, is openly concerned about the recent armaments agreement between India, its nuclear rival, and Israel, a long-time nuclear power whose inventory is estimated at between 200 and 400 weapons. Iran and India, located on either side of Pakistan, have also signed a strategic agreement whose aim is regarded with suspicion in Islamabad.
That would make for some interesting trilateral talks
To counter what Pakistani and Saudi leaders regard as a multiregional threats, they have decided quietly to move ahead with a two-way exchange — free or cheap oil for nuclear know-how and expertise. In their private talks, Abdullah and Musharraf also discussed the possibility of Pakistan supplying troops, not to Iraq, but to the kingdom. Abdullah can see that the world’s largest oil reserves look increasingly vulnerable over the next 10 years.
And what army has a finer record that the Pakistanis? Apart from the infidel French, of course.
The denials of any secret nuclear agreement between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the source said, "must be seen in the same context as Iranian denials about its own nuclear weapons plans."
Libya is also said to have a nuke program, things could get very interesting in the next few years if the Bush administration’s ’domino theory’ doesn’t work.
Prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, along with the United Arab Emirates, were the only countries that recognized and aided Afghanistan’s Taliban regime that had been educated in Pakistan’s madrassas (Koranic schools). Pakistani officials are also fearful that the Bush administration will leave them in the lurch after al-Qaida leader Osama bin laden has been killed or captured. They also speculate about what the policy would be in the event of a Democratic Party victory in the 2004 U.S. elections.
I shudder to think...
To this day, the Saudi clergy continues to fund Pakistan’s madrassas that are a substitute for the country’s non-existent national education system. The only schools outside madrassas are expensive private institutions. Pakistan, with a crushing defense burden, only spends 1.7 percent of GDP on education (vs. 8 percent in India and 16.5 percent in the United States). Some 12,000 Koranic schools provide free room and board to some 700,000 Pakistani boys (ages 6 to 16) where they are taught to read and write in Urdu and Arabic and recite the Koran by heart. No other disciplines are practiced, but students are proselytized with anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Indian propaganda. By the time they graduate, the majority is convinced that becoming a jihadi, or holy warrior, is the only way to block America’s alleged plans to destroy Islam.
They make for cheap and willing cannon fodder while the Princes, Generals and Mullahs fantasise about their Khalifah.
Musharraf, in a milestone speech three months before Sept. 11, 2001, denounced the danger of these schools and urged syllabus reform. But all attempts at reform have been blocked by the mullahs with the support of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal — a coalition of the six major politico-religious parties — that now governs two of Pakistan’s four provinces. Musharraf has opted for appeasement of the MMA rather than confrontation. At the state banquet for Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah, the principal MMA chieftains were invited and attended. The two traditional mainstream parties were not present. They were pointedly left off the guest list.
If the Pakistanis are very good, the Saudis just might let Qazi and Hafiz Saeed rule over the revived Mughal Empire, and let Hamid Gul and the Army serve as the Khalifah’s Imperial Guard. Of course the Al-Sauds will have to work out some sort of compromise with the ultra-radical Islamists like al-Hawali, but i’m sure they would be able to renew the Saud-Wahabi alliance. But just who gets to wear the bejewelled turban?
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/21/2003 1:27:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [404 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Abdullah can see that the world’s largest oil reserves look increasingly vulnerable over the next 10 years. What Ab-dull-ah can't see is that if he keeps behaving like this, in 10 years we won't need his oil. We don't oil, but we do have technology.
Posted by: B || 10/21/2003 8:51 Comments || Top||

#2  I hope we have already toppled Iran and given it back to the Iranians, cleansed SryLeb of asshats, and had a chance to replenish our people and stocks before this heats up to serious levels. The Royals won't be there all that much longer, folks - and you KNOW they will skedaddle to Switzerland when it gets hot -- and leave all this technology in Wahabbi hands. Think about that for a moment or two...
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||

#3  As the Saudis leave, let's be sure to seize the oilfields and let the mad mullahs have all the holy sites and sand they want.
Posted by: Craig || 10/21/2003 12:23 Comments || Top||

#4  If worst somes to worst on the oil front, we can always repeal some of the laws covering genetic engineering, and try the Chinese Tallow Tree (which is already invading the Gulf Coast grasslands and proving something of a nusance).

The Tallow tree is one of the few plants whose oil (inside the seeds) is so rich, it can actually be burned directly in a diesel engine with no futher treatment other than filtering for bits and pieces of solid plant matter.

A bit of redesign, some concentration, and we could have a tree whose sap would be suitable for shipping to refineries. It would be rather like the annual maple sap tapping, only FAR more useful. Heh.

Ed Becerra
Posted by: Ed Becerra || 10/21/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#5  This isn't about the oil - it's about the Saudis getting nukes from Pakiland and then, when the Mad Mullahs come for them - likely in the next few years, high-tailing it for cuckooland. Believe it, they will be gone in a heartbeat. They have their own fleet of cargo and passenger jets ready to rock 'n roll... they will load up the cash and the jewelry and the favorite wife or two - leaving the nukes and everything else for the Izzoids.

That's the problem, boys. This equation sucks any way you look at it:

Wahabbis + Nukes = Insanity = Nukes + Black Hats

There will be true believers among the techs. Enough? A complete set? Who knows. Unacceptable situation, regardless.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 16:26 Comments || Top||

#6  .com--they won't leave a nuclear device--it will be shipped by container freight to the port of New York or Los Angeles--where the BUSH under funded--Homeland Heimat Security forces will miss it--I'm just glad I'm not in a port city anymore
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 23:44 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
GSPC kills three cops ...
Guess Hattab’s successor is learning the tricks of the trade ...
Suspected Islamist rebels killed three Algerian policemen and wounded 13 other officers in a road-side bomb attack on a convoy in the east of the country, state radio said on Saturday. It said "terrorists" detonated a home-made bomb while two police vehicles patrolled the quake-torn town of Zemmouri, some 50 km (30 miles) east of the capital Algiers. The police were then fired upon, the radio said, citing security sources.
Gee, those tactics sound kinda familiar, wonder where else I’ve heard of them being used?
Algeria’s armed forces have stepped up a campaign to eliminate what remains of the Islamist organisations Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), known for slitting the throats of its victims.
Nice folks, ain’t they?
State media usually use the term "terrorist" when referring to Islamic rebels who have been fighting the government since 1992, when authorities cancelled elections that an Islamist party was poised to win.
State media is also right-on when it comes to this, not that it’ll matter much to Rooters ...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/21/2003 12:42:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [399 views] Top|| File under:

#1  GSPC and GIA are not known for slithing the throats of their victims, they are known for throwing babies into fires, impaling children and by their treatment
of captured girls with a mullah who "marries" the girl to one of the men, man rapes her, repudiates her, then mullah "marries" her to another man. Once the girl is no longer fun or if she gets pregnant they kill her. The people who have their
throats slit are the lucky ones

But of course that doesn't make the GIA or GSPC worthy of being called terrorists, thugs or slime by Reuters. This also doesn't make them unworthy of Saudi funding.

About the cancelled lections: the fact is that the turn over for the first round had been under 30% and since Algeria had no requirements on turnover the FIS had gained so muvh deputies in this first round that he would have got the majority at the chamber even if everyone of the 70% had taken part in the second round and had voted agsint the FIS.
In most other countries election is not valid if turnover is too low: this prevents the people being caught sleeping by small but active minorities. Funny how Reuters manages for not telling the entire truth and making the Islamists look like the good guys and the real democrats.

Posted by: JFM || 10/21/2003 7:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Juar what the poor people that are recovering from an earthquake need - Wyatt Earp and his lobotomized minnions turing the neighborhood into a shooting gallery.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/21/2003 10:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Wyatt Earp was the good guy remember?
Posted by: JFM || 10/21/2003 12:43 Comments || Top||

#4  JFM - He certainly was, but HollyWeird has recently tried to portray the Earps quite differently of late.

Personally, I'd say Wyatt Earp would be the cure for any action by the Mahmoud Clinton (Ha! Whaddya know! Any relation, ya think?) gang...
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 12:54 Comments || Top||

#5  Mahmoud Clinton? Where is that coming from?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/21/2003 22:07 Comments || Top||

#6  Here, Mikey, I'll explain:

Clinton: It's a take-off on Klanton... Remember the Klantons (Ike and his fuckwad sons and his hired guns?) - Earp brothers rivalry culminating in the OK Corral shootout? See the names are quite similar and pronounced similarly. It's called a pun when you play upon words.

Mahmoud: Generic Islamic name cuz the story's about Izzoids, see? And then SH made a comment about Wyatt. See that? The JFK comments that Wyatt's a good guy. There it is just above. Then I mention that Hollyweird shithats have taken some liberties of late with Wyatt and the Earps, portraying them as money-grubbers - when it's the film-making leaf-eating lib weenies who grub for money. Wyatt would shine his boots with their hides if they had said something like that in his presence - and he did work in Hollyweird late in life as a consultant so they'd get it right. He did not suffer pfools. And then I decided to play with the Clinton/Klanton thing and give the Izzoid version Mahmoud as a first name. I know it's all very complicated.

Now run along.
Posted by: .com || 10/21/2003 22:37 Comments || Top||

#7  OK gotcha .com remember I'm a liberul and kinda slow on the uptake
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/22/2003 0:16 Comments || Top||

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