Hi there, !
Today Sun 11/09/2003 Sat 11/08/2003 Fri 11/07/2003 Thu 11/06/2003 Wed 11/05/2003 Tue 11/04/2003 Mon 11/03/2003 Archives
Rantburg
450651 articles and 1593993 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 32 articles and 215 comments as of 4:23.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area:                     Posting Order
Attack of the Meccaboomers
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
0 [258] 
0 [273] 
9 00:00 Daniel King [354] 
0 [274] 
4 00:00 Raj [385] 
16 00:00 Jarhead [378] 
3 00:00 Rafael [351] 
5 00:00 .com (RoPMA) [277] 
19 00:00 Seafarious [347] 
4 00:00 Tim [381] 
3 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [282] 
13 00:00 Raptor [379] 
9 00:00 BH [297] 
3 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [255] 
3 00:00 Rafael [263] 
1 00:00 Super Hose [266] 
15 00:00 Yank [277] 
0 [266] 
3 00:00 Yank [286] 
5 00:00 Christopher Johnson [354] 
15 00:00 IceCold [399] 
12 00:00 Stephen [271] 
2 00:00 snellenr [275] 
9 00:00 snellenr [251] 
38 00:00 Jarhead [353] 
6 00:00 liberalhawk [256] 
2 00:00 Dakotah [258] 
9 00:00 .com (RoPMA) [272] 
3 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [322] 
1 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [286] 
3 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [252] 
0 [270] 
-Short Attention Span Theater-
Geezer Guns mugger Gets arrested (or why I left NY)
Don’t ya hate this crap?
A mugger in the Bronx got quite a surprise when the 80-year-old man he attacked in an elevator pulled out a .38 caliber handgun. There was a struggle, a shot was fired, and now the elderly victim is being criminally charged.
Whats the charge sir? resisting mugging without a license?
Marcus Solis is in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx where he talked with the man. Lester Campbell says the gun belonged to his mother, and that it was passed onto him when she died. And he said he would carry it with him when he went to cash checks. Campbell had just cashed his Social Security check and gone to the supermarket near his house, when the mugger followed him into the elevator of his building. What the mugger didn’t realize was that the octogenarian was packing heat. And after Campbell pulled out his gun, a fierce struggle ensued.

Lester Campbell, Mugging Victim: "He tried to keep the barrel away from him, twisting and turning. And when I was going to pull it, see, I lose some grip. And that’s when he started twisting and twisting."

The mugger had knocked Campbell to the ground and ripped his pants while grabbing for his wallet. The retired security guard fired one shot that hit the side of the elevator, and richotted up into the ceiling. The elevator stopped on the third floor where the suspect ran out, and Campbell cried out for help. The thief made off with $262 in Social Security money. And now Campbell’s eye is bloodshot, and his cheek is purple from injuries he received in the assault. Police however arrested Campbell and charged him with misdemeanor criminal possesion of a weapon. While he admits he knew the gun was unlicensed, Campbell insists he did nothing wrong.

Lester Campbell: "He had no business doing that. I was minding my business. I don’t bother nobody."

Ernest McKenzie, Building Resident: "The way I feel, if he didn’t have the gun probably something would happen to him, serious. And at the same time, he has to be licensed."
Ernest was on break from his new movie "Ernest
rethinks the Constitution"

Police confiscated the gun, along with another one in the apartment. So Campbell was cited for two counts of misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon, and was given a desk appearance ticket. He’ll have a court appearance next month.
Posted by: chriskarma || 11/06/2003 2:47:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [379 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So Campbell was cited for two counts of misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon, and was given a desk appearance ticket. He’ll have a court appearance next month.

Could shape up to be Bernhard Goetz Lite.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 14:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Sad to say, it's better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 14:58 Comments || Top||

#3  This kind of stuff makes my blood boil like an old tea kettle. Once again gun control punishes the innocent while assisting the criminal. A pox upon the houses of all gun control advocates: the blood of the people is on your hands, you phonies!
Posted by: Secret Master || 11/06/2003 15:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Secret Master, right on my friend. Gun control means two hands on the weapon and a 2" grouping.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 16:28 Comments || Top||

#5  It's a good thing that Mr. Campbell didn't hit the mugger. He probably would have been charged with assault, and sued by the mugger (or the mugger's survivors)
Posted by: Joel || 11/06/2003 16:40 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm glad you left my city, ya right wing nut. Grow up.
Posted by: NewYorker || 11/06/2003 17:25 Comments || Top||

#7  Just for the record, "NewYorker", any comment about the mugger?
Posted by: Steve White || 11/06/2003 18:12 Comments || Top||

#8  There is only one solution to this nonsense, and that's to hang, poison, stab, or shoot every idiot that wants to suppress the rights of free men, and anyone obeying the dictates to suppress such rights. That's the ONLY thing these nanny-groups will understand, and then only after the majority of them are dead.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/06/2003 18:19 Comments || Top||

#9  OP -- Calling for a "Committee for Aesthetic Deletions"?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/06/2003 21:54 Comments || Top||

#10  I'm glad you left my city, ya right wing nut. Grow up.

Seeing NY turn into a cauldron of lefty crime victims in my lifetime would be sweet indeed.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 22:13 Comments || Top||

#11  Actually NY City is more my "city" then yours.
I can trace my lineage to the founding Fathers
of both NYC & the U.S.A!
If you hate freedom so much why stay in the USA?
you are free to live in gun control utopia China/Mexico/ or your old friends the Taliban could have ya! they disarmed all of Afghanistan
according to the NY Times
Posted by: chriskarma || 11/06/2003 23:48 Comments || Top||

#12  That's what you get for living in NYC where the Second Amendment is considered "obsolete".

NewYorker--I hope you're the mugger's next victim, asshole.
Posted by: Dar || 11/07/2003 1:04 Comments || Top||

#13  City boy sure wouldn't like living in my neck of the woods.Not a word of support for the victem of a vicious crime just condemnation,what a Liberial ass.NMM lives in NYCity doesn't he.
Posted by: Raptor || 11/07/2003 8:46 Comments || Top||


Jealous Wife Tries to Castrate Husband
She should’ve just hired a penis snatcher...
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A popular karaoke performer was hospitalized after his jealous wife tried, but failed, to cut off his penis while he slept Wednesday, Phnom Penh police said.
Tried but failed? Well, it’s the thought that counts...
Kan Bun Hou, 26, was asleep when his wife, Ma Len, attacked him with a razor blade, said Touch Sarin, a Phnom Penh police chief. Police were looking for the woman, who fled after the attack.
Close shave, eh there, Kan?
"The injury is not severe. It could have been worse if she had used scissors," he said.
EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!
"His wound is treatable."
Rub some dirt on it and take a lap. That’s what coach used to say...
The attack apparently stemmed from Kan Bun Hou’s popularity as a karaoke performer. The couple had fought the day before.
Karaoke? Sounds justifable to me. She just couldn’t take it anymore...
"He’s a handsome man and used to party a lot at night," Touch Sarin said.
Looks like a lifestyle change might be in the card for Karaoke Man.
In August, a man was allegedly killed by his wife after she squeezed his testicles until he fainted and then tied his neck to a bed with a scarf. The woman, who said her husband used to beat her, turned herself in to the police.
Wonder what he was into? Show tunes, maybe?
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/06/2003 12:27:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe it was a cry for help on her part?
Posted by: Hiryu || 11/06/2003 12:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Lucky thing he isn't a mime.
Posted by: BH || 11/06/2003 12:39 Comments || Top||

#3  And the winner of the meanest female award goes to.....Kampuchea!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/06/2003 12:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Are they sure about the motive. Maybe he left the seat up.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/06/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#5  What ever happened to the old Cambodia Tradition of throwing acid on your husband's girlfriends face? Some people have no respect for tradition anymore!

Perhaps he had too many 'girlfriends'....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/06/2003 13:26 Comments || Top||

#6  After reading that... I feel kinda small.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||

#7  Same thing in Thailand. You do NOT cheat on your wife if you have any brains - and want your current anatomy left intact!

As for girlfriend(s) - if you have more than one you're called a butterfly (flitting from flower to flower) - sounds nice but actually a very derogatory term.

"Rub some dirt on it and take a lap."
LOL! We had the same coach, methinks.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 14:08 Comments || Top||

#8  Rantburg: on the cutting edge once again.
Posted by: Mike || 11/06/2003 14:23 Comments || Top||

#9  How very---------uh--------incisive!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/06/2003 15:09 Comments || Top||

#10  Touch Sarin. I've seen a lot of odd names before but never one that was an actual sentence. A simple one, but a sentence none-the-less. It also is a name that even the US State Department should flag as worth further investigation even if he's a cop.
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#11  Thank god this isn't biting satire.
Posted by: BH || 11/06/2003 15:36 Comments || Top||

#12  f*ck the khmer rouge......pussies compared to these broads (no pun intended)........
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 16:31 Comments || Top||

#13  When drinking in full regailia,
Sometimes yer memory will fail ya,
But Kan Bun woke up thinking,
"I must really have been drinking,
I've gone and misplaced my genitalia!"
Posted by: Steve White || 11/06/2003 18:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Maaaaann, I'm glad I don't like karaoke!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/06/2003 18:21 Comments || Top||

#15  Steve White, very, very funny.
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 18:43 Comments || Top||


Europe
Ever wondered why Euro media is so left wing?
Blame public television. In Finland (pop. 5,000,000) alone, mandatory fees to support public TV amount to probably $470m a year. To put that amount in perspective, Federal government contributions to PBS stations amount to about $400m a year here, and PBS puts out its version of current events and news to 290m people.

License to View Needed for New Nokia TV Phone

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Planning to buy the new Nokia cellphone that allows you to watch television? Don’t forget to tell the government -- they might want to charge you for it. Nokia unveiled the 7700 model last week, a space-age looking device with a large touch-screen display that gives users the possibility to watch TV. The 500 euro ($572) device is due to hit the shops in the second quarter of next year. But there could be a catch. Most European nations charge their citizens a license fee to cover the costs of public service television.

In Finland, owning a TV set is the only condition for having to pay the license, which currently costs 165 euros ($188.8) per year. One license covers all television sets in the household. An official at Finland’s communications watchdog FICORA said users of the 7700 would need to have a license, but he did not think it would be an issue for owners. "If you can use it as a TV, it’s a TV set. But if you can pay that for that kind of telephone I think you can afford to pay the TV fee," said Esko Kotilainen, director of television fee administration at FICORA.

Nokia said it was looking into regulatory matters with the phone, which will open up a new category of mobile entertainment devices. "One of the goals with doing this pilot project is to find out what the issues are that need to be resolved, and obviously, regulatory issues are a big part of that," said spokesman Damian Stathonikos at Nokia Mobile Phones.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/06/2003 3:58:37 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [381 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Jeebus. How about "I already pay your tax, for the TVs at home. Now you want to charge me again because I have a portable? ESAD, jerks."
Posted by: mojo || 11/06/2003 17:16 Comments || Top||

#2  But we get such a great service for that money.In the past,the Finnish national broadcaster went out of its way to be balanced - for every story bashing the US,there had to be equal time given to praising the Soviet Union.They've since dropped half of that.(Guess which one?)What is it with public broadcasting?
Posted by: El Id || 11/06/2003 17:56 Comments || Top||

#3  What is it with public broadcasting?
It's that little thing called 'accountability'. Public broadcasters are not accountable to their viewers. It doesn't matter what they put on, they still get paid. They don't have to please the audience, they don't have any sponsors they have to please, and the majority of the people have little choice of what to watch. One of the major reasons most governments are down on satellite dishes is because it gives the average citizen too many choices. It's just another subtle (sometimes not too subtle - kinda like a 20-pound sledge to the temples) form of control governments exert over their citizens.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/06/2003 18:30 Comments || Top||

#4  $188 bucks for PBS. I don't think so.
Posted by: Tim || 11/06/2003 19:57 Comments || Top||


Great White North
Canadian Thought Police Strike Again
Better get that border fence ready. EFL:
An American evangelist’s television series on Islam in America was canceled by a Canadian station after the first program because Muslims complained his tone and demeanor was an incitement of hatred. San Antonio-based pastor John Hagee’s "tone in his comparison of what Christians believe according to the Bible and what Muslims believe according to the Quran" violated the code of ethics of Toronto station CTS, said Program Manager Rob Sheppard in a letter of apology to a Muslim activist group.
Sheppard told WorldNetDaily he believes Hagee’s primary intent was not to preach from his religious convictions but to incite hatred. "It was a tonal thing," he said. "You could see what he was trying to do by his tone and body language." It wasn’t so much his exact words, Sheppard said, but Hagee’s purported inference Muslims cannot be loyal Americans.
So, it’s not what he said, but how he said it.
CTS pulled the final two of three programs in the series titled "Islam in America," scheduled to run in August on "John Hagee Today," which continues in its regular time slot, albeit under closer scrutiny, according to Sheppard. The program manager said his station’s actions – a letter of apology to Muslims and a warning to Hagee’s group – was prompted by 50 to 100 letters of complaint from viewers, followed by contact from the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canadian branch in Ottawa. Judging by the names, Sheppard said he believes most of the letters were from Muslims.
Tap, tap...nope.
In his apology to CAIR Canada, an affilate of Washington, D.C.-based CAIR, a group with ties to Hamas, Sheppard wrote, "I trust you will understand that we are very sorry for this incident and we are very aware of the effect it has had on the Muslim community. We have made it very clear that he must follow our code of ethics and any program that does not meet your our standard will be rejected."
Sheppard said, "Once we were made aware of complaints made by people with a history of violence viewers 
 we responded immediately."
Caved faster than the Red Sox in October.
Charles McZety, Canadian representative for John Hagee Ministries, told WorldNetDaily this is not the first time complaints of this kind have been lodged against the pastor’s program. He contends the charges in this instance are too vague. "When you get down to talking about tone, the tone of one’s voice, then there is nothing to talk about," he said. "It’s too subjective."
Hagee, who is traveling in Israel, was not available for comment.
Well, there’s another strike against him right there.
Sheppard acknowledged the judgment against Hagee is based on subjective criteria, but said it was the response from viewers that precipitated pulling the remainder of the three-part series. "I listened to the people who contacted us, and they perceived his tone to be demeaning," Sheppard said. "It is subjective, but there were a lot of people who contacted us who were upset."
Truth hurts, don’t it?
CTS, or Crossroads Television Systems, which positions itself as a "family friendly" inspirational station, reaches 6.5 million people in the Toronto area, Sheppard said, and many more across the nation via satellite. It features programming from a variety of religions. McZety said complaints about program content related to Islam was a longstanding problem on the previous Canadian carrier of Hagee’s program, the multi-faith Vision TV network, which censored each one of the shows for 12 years. A program in which Hagee played video of Muslim imams in both the United States and overseas preaching hatred and violence against Jews and Israel upset Muslims and resulted in complaints filed with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, or FCC.
They don’t like that video being shown in public, it hurts their image as a Religion Of Peace(tm).
That action forced Hagee Ministries to pull the rest of the programs in that series. On another occasion, programs about Iraq also were pulled. Finally, this summer, Hagee Ministries decided to part ways with the Vision network after it produced a documentary series comparing the U.S. to the Hitler regime. Vision’s six-part series charged the U.S., in collaboration with its "CIA-trained partner" Osama bin Laden, planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a pretext for attempts to gain world dominance. The U.S. is going about this, Vision said, in much the same way Nazi brownshirts torched the Reichstag, or parliament, in Berlin in 1933 and blamed it on Adolf Hitler’s enemies to provide a pretext for a crackdown propelling Hitler into power.
And this isn’t considered controversial in Canada?
Canada’s genocide and hate-propaganda law bars a public statement that "willfully promotes hatred" against groups "distinguished by color, race, religion or ethnic origin." The code has an article that excuses statements expressed in "good faith," including religious expression, but judges have ruled against defendants deemed to have intentionally incited hatred. It also has a defense if the accused establishes that the statement in question is true.
Which is why they just took Hagee’s show off the air instead of charging him. The truth was too evident.
Violators of the law are subject to a prison term of up to two years. Critics of the controversial statute say its vague wording can be used to criminalize legitimate public dialogue. The House of Commons passed a bill this year adding "sexual orientation" as a protected category of people, creating a scenario in which the Bible or Quran could be considered "hate literature" for its condemnation of homosexual behavior.
So what are the odds of them charging a muslim under this law?
Posted by: Steve || 11/06/2003 2:57:09 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Has anyone made a survey of what's said inside North American mosques? You know, like MEMRI does for the Saudi and other Arab-nation mosques.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/06/2003 15:18 Comments || Top||

#2 
So what are the odds of them charging a muslim under this law?
Three chances of it, actually - fat, slim and none.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 11/06/2003 16:07 Comments || Top||

#3  An American evangelist’s television series on Islam in America was canceled by a Canadian station after the first program because Muslims complained his tone and demeanor was an incitement of hatred.

Translation: Usage of tone and demeanor in incitement of hatred is unacceptable. However, outright proclamations of hatred (of the kind that originates from many a mosque) is perfectly okay.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 16:35 Comments || Top||


How unCanadian-
More than half of the people questioned -- 58% -- said the only way to repair our international standing is to completely refurbish the Armed Forces, which have suffered severe cuts over the past decade.
Maybe they’re getting their sh*t together...

What did surprise some observers is that many people in Quebec continue to oppose a rebuilt military. Only 41.1% of Quebecers said the state of the Armed Forces should be improved, with 32.4% saying "the Americans will be there to defend Canada so we don’t need to spend a lot."
But then again - maybe not.
Posted by: rawsnacks || 11/06/2003 2:31:25 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Qubebec'ers = French = "my panties are in a bunch"

what do you expect from a bunch of ex-patriot frogs??

(tongue firmly in cheek, BTW)
Posted by: alaskasoldier || 11/06/2003 14:56 Comments || Top||

#2  English Speaking Canada will eventually join the US thanks to Quebec. Probably during our lifetimes.

United Europe should be watching Canada closely to see how their own future will turn out.
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 15:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Textbook example of the perils of "Socialized Defense". It may be beneficial at some point to allow one of our sharp-tongued "allies" to be invaded without intervention by US. Might spur the others to start pulling their share. Or at least STFU.
Posted by: BH || 11/06/2003 15:35 Comments || Top||

#4 
What did surprise some observers is that many people in Quebec continue to oppose a rebuilt military.
Why were they surprised? That sounds about right for the baby Frogs.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 11/06/2003 16:03 Comments || Top||

#5  Only 41.1% of Quebecers said the state of the Armed Forces should be improved

Hell this is easy. Who's gonna be the first target?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 17:07 Comments || Top||

#6  How many of the 32,4% who think US will be there to defend them also opposed the Iraq war?OK,stupid question.
Posted by: El Id || 11/06/2003 18:03 Comments || Top||

#7  What would you expect. We have our own mini-France here in Canada where an anti-American attitude is regarded as sophisticated. I keep hoping the Quebecois will vote to separate but they haven't the guts to do it.
Posted by: John B || 11/06/2003 18:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Refurbish their military. For what? The Moose population about to launch a premptive on'em?

Posted by: Paul || 11/06/2003 18:48 Comments || Top||

#9  Paul: Yeah, the Moose limb population.
Posted by: BH || 11/06/2003 18:51 Comments || Top||


Canadian jailed in Saudi Arabia seeks inquiry
A Canadian jailed for 31 months in Saudi Arabia says an inquiry is needed to investigate why Ottawa considered him guilty and stood idle as he was tortured.
We’d like to know as well.
William Sampson told the Commons foreign affairs committee Thursday that even before going to trial, the Foreign Affairs Department did not believe in his innocence. Sampson says he was tortured by his captors even after he suffered a heart attack. "I was tortured, forced to confess to crimes I didn’t commit, sentenced to death," he told MPs. "Whilst I was in prison, my case was being handled by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canada and by the embassy officials who were members of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh. "Throughout my incarceration, I considered that the activities of the embassy officials at the Riyadh embassy fell well short of anything that could be considered supportive. "Their behaviour and treatment of my family, my father in particular when he visited Saudi Arabia, was thoroughly inadequate. And certainly the handling by Department of Foreign Affairs officials here in Canada of my family during this rather difficult situation for us, was again, less than adequate."
Sampson was jailed for his alleged involvement in two car bombings, which killed one person.
The "alk runner" bombings.
Sampson told MPs that only a visit by Bloc MP Stephane Bergeron and Liberal Dan McTeague got the department to take an interest.
Visits by high ranking politicians tend to do that.
Sampson was originally sentenced to death and later freed by Saudi Arabia. He says he lost teeth during his torture and has had four heart operations since being freed.
Posted by: Steve || 11/06/2003 12:43:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He'd get more press if he played the "Blame Bush" angle. The "Blame Chretien" campaign is D.O.A..
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/06/2003 13:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Why Ottawa stood idle? Very simple: it is all about oiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil!
Posted by: JFM || 11/06/2003 15:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Come to think of it, gas prices have eased up a little bit at my local pump.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/06/2003 18:14 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Indian tea estate dispute ’kills 21’
Commie-ism at its best. Fight for people by burning off a layer of their skins.

Twenty-one people have been burned to death in eastern India in a dispute between two trade unions, police say.

Two factions of a Marxist trade union clashed over the recruitment of clerical workers on a tea estate in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

Police officer Chayan Mukherjee said that about 500 people attacked the house of the secretary of a local trade union and burned it down.

The attackers also set fire to the adjoining three houses.

Two of the dead are said to be women.

"The bodies are badly charred and have not been identified," said Mr Mukherjee.

Police say more than 100 people, including 25 women, have been arrested in connection with Thursday morning’s incident.

Tension had been rising in the Dalgaon tea estate in Jalpaiguri since last month when a group of workers supported hiring of outside workers, while another group opposed it.

Both groups belong to the ruling Marxist government affiliated Centre for Indian Trade Unions (Citu).

The groups clashed late on Wednesday over fresh hiring by the garden management.

Jalpaiguri district police chief Siddhinadh Gupta told the BBC that the mayhem continued for at least three hours before the police intervened.

This is the worst clash in the troubled tea gardens of West Bengal so far this year.

Several incident of attacks on tea executives by angry workers have been reported from the neighbouring state of Assam in recent months.
Posted by: rg117 || 11/06/2003 10:18:31 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [354 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Tension had been rising in the Dalgaon tea estate in Jalpaiguri since last month when a group of workers supported hiring of outside workers, while another group opposed it.

So I guess this was the compromise they worked out???
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/06/2003 10:33 Comments || Top||

#2  who knew the "common ground" would be covered in ash?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 11:02 Comments || Top||

#3  That is nothing. At Boston they had a dispute over tea who caused the death of tens of thousands.
Posted by: JFM || 11/06/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

#4  LOL! Gosh, were they wearing fake Native American Indian outfits??!!?! I wondered if anyone was gonna bring up that little masquerade party! Good catch, JFM!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 14:25 Comments || Top||

#5  They'd better not screw with my Darjeeling.
Posted by: Christopher Johnson || 11/06/2003 21:58 Comments || Top||


Sri Lankan PM promises to fix political crisis
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged to sort out the constitutional crisis consuming his country after emerging from talks in Washington with US President George W Bush. The White House meeting was expected to have been dominated by the Government's peace moves with Tamil Tiger rebels. However, it has been overshadowed by a political showdown engineered in Mr Wickremesinghe's absence by his rival, President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Sri Lanka is now in a state of emergency after Mrs Kumaratunga sacked three key cabinet ministers, suspended Parliament, and deployed troops around key installations. But Mr Wickremesinghe says he is confident the problems can be resolved. "The [U.S.] President wanted to know what was happening in Sri Lanka," he said. "I said things were quite alright when I left but since then it has changed, but these are a part of Sri Lankan politics. In 25 years we have these ups and downs. I told him that I have a majority of parliament with me."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "In 25 years we have these ups and downs."

This is known as using Africa as a guide.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 11:03 Comments || Top||


Seminaries will be monitored
Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said on Wednesday the government was set to launch a long-delayed plan to monitor Islamic seminaries, which have often been accused of breeding religious extremists. Hayat told Reuters that a new law to monitor and regulate the seminaries, or madrassahs, would be put before cabinet in about a month. “The policy is aimed at monitoring the activities of these madrassahs, of these organisations, keeping a watch on their performance,” Hayat said. Hayat said the vast majority of the madrassahs were just educational institutions. They teach mostly Islam, some rudimentary mathematics and other sciences. “We have no problem with them. The problem arises with a few madrassahs,” he said.
The question is whether they'll do anything about them. And I'd dispute that the problem arises only with a few. Guess it depends on your definition of "problem," eh?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder how many madrassahs there are altogether in Pakland. I suspect so many that its possible that most could be refraining from training for active jihad, and yet those that are could still be numerous. Also I suspect that Pak govt considers "problem" to be active recruiting and training for AQ, Taliban, and Paki groups that engage in domestic violence in Pakland. I doubt that they consider recruiting and training for Jihad in Kashmir a problem. And i doubt they worry to much about general anti-Kaffir hatred and jihadi thought (a la Saudi) as long as its not tied to actual recruitment and training.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#2  LH - Spot-on. Just spewing the IslamIST party line of hating kufr, kafr, kafir, kaffir, infidels will be fine since the "monitor" will be a Muslim. After all, it'll get you phreaking killed in Pakiland to actually be rational or tolerant, so he's gonna complain? Hah! Only the spew view is allowed. And none of that Science or Health or Mathematics or History (except the Indians did it!) or anything else unnecessary for employment as a jihadi. This be a Paki joke.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 10:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said on Wednesday the government was set to launch a long-delayed plan to monitor Islamic seminaries, which have often been accused of breeding religious extremists.

"Monitor"? As in just watching? Or will there be (hopefully) some constructive involvement?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||


JI protesting against army operations in Tribal Areas today
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Deputy Secretary General in the North West Frontier Province Zar Noor Afridi said public meetings organized by the Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) would be held in all agency headquarters to protest the Army operation in the South Waziristan Agency. Mr Afridi said the government had no proof that there were any Al Qaeda members in the tribal areas. He also said the Army has not been able to arrest any terrorists in the area.
What about the deaders?
He said the government must stop this operation to avoid any bad consequences. Mr Afridi said they would launch a movement to counter the Frontier Crime Regulations (FCR). He said the tribal areas could not develop because of the FCR laws. He said the MMA would honour the mandate the tribal people had given it.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
Why they hate us
Great quick quote courtesy of best of the web - just scroll down to it

"It’s not difficult to understand why somebody might pick up an AK-47 against us. Maybe we killed his father in the first Gulf War, maybe in this Gulf War, maybe he’s just a dick."--Sgt. Reginald Abram, with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in western Iraq, quoted in the Asia Times, Oct. 24
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 8:20:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:


SBS Soldier Killed in Action
From the blog Belmont Club. Link to the Mirror didn’t work:
This happened last Friday and gives an indication of the kind of activity going on behind the scenes. From the UK Mirror:

A SPECIAL forces soldier was shot dead and four injured in a top secret mission in Iraq. Special Boat Service Corporal Ian Plank, 31, was gunned down in a battle with al-Qaeda terrorists. Four SAS soldiers were also wounded by guerrillas linked to Osama bin Laden’s terror network. Cpl Plank and his team attacked a rebel hideout in the desolate wastes in the north of Iraq on Friday night. Dozens of enemy fighters were killed in the attack but Cpl Plank and the others were hit as the guerrillas returned fire.

Unlike the incident related above, the targets of the raid were probably non-Iraqi Al Qaeda. From the context, one may guess that the Al Qaeda had been infiltrated from Syria. Moreover, the SBS must have attempted the infantry assault, as opposed to calling down an air strike on the terrorists, in the hopes of taking prisoners. Corporal Plank died in an attempt to know more -- about what the Left says there is nothing to know.

They also say that CENTCOM has been very quiet lately, too quiet:

Today CENTCOM went six days without a single new press release. Not that it had many even before. The last was issued two days before the the tragic shootdown of a Chinook helicopter carrying 33 American soldiers over Fallujah -- and had to do with administrative matters. Not a single press release in October announced the start of a new operation or campaign against the terrorists. Even blogs based in Iraq have been notably short on detail on what, if any, riposte CENTCOM has in store for spate of terrorist attacks launched against a variety of targets during the Ramadan, except that they have ceased to post as frequently as they used to. While the US reacted to the North Vietnamese Tet offensive in 1968 in a lot of public announced detail -- the Marines moving to retake Hue City, the First Cavalary moving against NVA formations moving down from the North -- CENTCOM has successfully managed to obliterate nearly every detailed account of its recent intentions and doings, even before the Ramadan.
Interesting.
Posted by: Steve || 11/06/2003 4:48:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [351 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If nothing else, the attacks on our troops has taken away the "you can't bomb/attack/fight during Ramadan, you'll hurt their muslim sensitivities". Killing goes 24/7/365 now asshats
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 18:28 Comments || Top||

#2  The fact that we're hearing nothing at all indicates something big is about to happen. What it is I can't even imagine, but I think the majority of CENTCOM's personnel are busy planning, training, equipping, and they just don't feel the need to tell anybody what they're doing. My dad used to tell me that the best way to know the Germans in WWII were up to something was that it would become quiet on the battlefield. We'll see if that advice still holds in by what happens - or doesn't happen - in the coming few weeks.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/06/2003 18:57 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe they have the goods on Sammy's whereabouts. Oh how I wish it were so...
Posted by: Rafael || 11/06/2003 20:29 Comments || Top||


Weasley: A new course needed in Iraq
MY 34 YEARS in the Army taught me to steel my spine, but not my heart, whenever I hear news of American casualties. On Tuesday I read about Sergeant Ernest Bucklew, who was headed home to attend his mother's funeral when his Chinook helicopter was shot out of the sky en route to Baghdad. Fifteen American soldiers died alongside him.
This is called personalizing the tragedy. It's designed to tug at the reader's heartstrings. From the first paragraph, we should draw a conclusion in the second, right?
For the sake of every member of our armed forces, we need a plan to end the conflict in Iraq. Retreat is not an option. Withdrawal would be a disaster for America, a tragedy for Iraq, and a crisis for the world. It would destroy our credibility, give terrorists a new haven, and throw the Middle East into greater turmoil. No matter how difficult it will be, we need a "success strategy."
I guess having an "exit strategy" didn't fly. If we don't have a plan to "end the conflict" then our military's in the wrong business. Publicizing the content of the plan would be pretty stoopid, since the Bad Guys would then be able to analyze it at their liesure and come up with counterplans. Since we're agreed that retreat isn't an option, staying is the only option. Even a brilliant "success strategy" designed by Gen. Clark would include a cold-eyed estimate of the number of casualties a continuing occupation would involve, figured as a percentage of the total force. (This, by the way, avoids personalizing the casualties — planners don't say things like "Well, guess PFC Jones is going to have to take a bullet...") So what's different in Gen. Clark's proposal from what we have now?
Success won't be easy, but only success can honor the sacrifice of our soldiers and allow the troops to come home. Success means that Iraq is strong enough to sustain itself without outside forces. Success means that representative government has taken root. Success means that Iraq's economy and civil society are healthy again.
"Honoring the sacrifice of our soldiers" is pretty-sounding blather, a semantic null. Clark's criteria for success aren't really what you'd call hard objectives. The problem is that Iraq was strong enough to sustain itself without outside forces under Sammy. The regime did that by killing people, stealing all the money in sight, and picking fights with its neighbors. We want to leave a different type of regime, but we have to work with the same raw material, a populace that's been beaten up for 30+ years and that's torn by its own internal rivalries and contradictions. We've been working on the representative government from the very first. Jay Garner set up local elections within weeks of the regime's collapse. And Iraq didn't have a working economy when we arrived. It was an artificial construct, just as artificial as the Soviet system was. The money came in, Sammy took it, and he handed it out as he pleased. We'd like to build something a bit more sophisticated than that.
Congress just gave the administration an $87 billion check to continue down the path that we're on. But President Bush still has no strategy to succeed. I do. Here's my "success strategy":
  • End the American monopoly.
    We must call a summit of the leaders we've alienated, the people whose advice we've scorned, the organizations whose assistance we've turned down. Out of this gathering, we can build a new organization to replace the Coalition Provisional Authority and internationalize the face of the occupation.
    That's making the assumption that the alienation of those leaders was our fault — we're required to please them. In every dispute leading up to the Iraq war there were two sides. In most of those cases ours was the right side. Does Gen. Clark have a plan to nudge them into pleasing us? Other than the diplomatic plans Bush/Powell have been implementing in the face of the changed circumstances Sammy's fall has brought about?
    To guide the reconstruction of Iraq, we need a civilian from an allied country. That civilian official would report to an international council, composed of representatives from nations that support our efforts to build a democratic Iraq.
    Whatever for? Is Clark accusing Bremer of incompetence? What's the matter with having an American in charge? What makes an "international council" more effective than reporting to the State Department and the Defense Department? The lights are back on, the schools are open, the hospitals are running. There are groceries on the shelves. What's Bremer doing wrong?
    As we saw in the Balkans, when we share power, other countries share our burden. I would transform the military occupation into a NATO operation with US forces in charge. With US command, NATO authority, and UN endorsement, other NATO countries would send troops, and Arab countries would also step in.
    We have troops from both NATO and non-NATO countries. There's no indication that NATO operations are more effective than American-run operations. I'd venture to say just the opposite, in fact.
  • Find the right force mix.
    The more conventional forces we have, the more logistics we need. The more unarmored Humvees on patrol, the more unnecessary American deaths from roadside bombs.
    On the other hand, the more tracks we have, the more we present the feel of heavily-armed occupation. Taking the helmets off and replacing them with soft caps has its uses, too. The right force mix for an army of occupation is heavier on military police than on artillery, heavier on civil engineers than combat engineers. Managing operations in a fluid situation — which Iraq remains — is a matter of control and feedback, with adjustments made as needed. Because there are large numbers of people, organizations, and issues involved, all of them in constant flux, plans at the operational level will often have to be made up in the morning and modified in the afternoon.
  • Better border protection.
    To stanch the flow of foreign jihadists into Iraq, we must seal the borders. That requires assistance from Iraq's neighbors. Using carrots and sticks, we can persuade these countries to cooperate.
    Or not. Iran's our declared enemy and Syria's our undeclared enemy. Regardless of the size of the stick and the flavor of the carrot, they're going to do what they see in their own interests, which at the moment involves shipping jihadis in to fight us. Once the jihadis are bumped off they'll modify their own plans, possibly toward our point of view, more likely toward some other inimical tactic. It takes two to negotiate, and it only takes one to break an agreement.
  • Secure ammunition.
    Weapons dumps throughout Iraq are unguarded. It is estimated that 500,000 tons of ammunition is still not secure. We must patrol these sites and destroy these weapons.
    I agree. So, no doubt, do Rumsfeld and the field commanders. The problem is the sheer quantity of the arms and ammunition that Sammy bought. Sammy's demand for ordnance went far beyond the requirements of a normal state and into that realm of pathological obsession. There are more ammunition dumps to guard and dispose of than we have available troops and auxilliaries.
  • More intelligence resources.
    Success in Iraq depends on developing good information and a good rapport with civilians. Right now too many of our linguists and intelligence experts are working on the search for weapons of mass destruction. International inspectors should take over that search, which would free up enough experts to help us track down those who are killing our soldiers and creating chaos.
    That's a great idea, so long as the internatinal inspectors aren't following their own agendas and report to our military and political chain of command. Otherwise, we'll just have to make due, building our own intel apparatus within the country as we can. It's too bad there aren't more Americans we speak fluent Arabic, but colleges offer more French, Spanish, and German — and there's no requirement for a foreign language in any of our schools, as far as I can see.
  • Formidable Iraqi security forces.
    We should recall the Iraqi Army to duty right now. If given good pay, good training, and solid background checks, Iraqi civilians can also help fill the intelligence and security gap.
    Wasn't there some sort of a problem with the Iraqi army before? Lemme think real hard here... Oh, yes. It was more dangerous to the citizenry than it was to us. Reconstituting the units is an idea, though I don't know if it's a good one or not. There are pros and cons. Even with reconstitution, the officers' corps certainly has to be revamped. So what's the quick solution to that?
  • Give the Iraqis a rising stake in our success.
    It would be wrong to transfer authority to the Iraqis before they are ready to succeed, but we can give Iraqis more control over their destiny. The administration says the Iraqis can't have a sovereign government without a constitution. This is backwards. Iraqis, appointed by representatives from Iraq's 50 elected regional councils, should name an interim government even while a constitution emerges. That is what our Founding Fathers did. If we give the interim government control over oil revenues and transfer authority on an ongoing basis, it will be easier for the Iraqi people to see that those blowing up pipelines are sabotaging their future. If we give civilians a stake in stemming the violence, they will help us solve this problem.
    There's a timetable for the drafting of the constitution and it'll be followed by elections for a government. The Iraqis know that. We allowed the Afghans to choose their own constitutional destiny and they came up with an Islamic republic that ten years from now won't be too different from the Taliban. Allow us to learn from our recent mistakes, at least.
As of today, 383 of our soldiers have been killed in action. When he died, Sergeant Bucklew was only 33. In Fort Carson, Colo., his wife and two sons are grieving. Not a single soldier from Fort Carson died before May 1, when President Bush declared an end to major combat. More than 20 Fort Carson soldiers have died since.
Our casualties have been relatively light in Iraq — nothing compared to the casualties we took in Vietnam. The casualties are designed by the Bad Guys to panic the country into losing its resolve and withdrawing, which probably the majority of the Dem presidential candidates are in favor of. I don't see much difference between what Clark is proposing and what Bush/Powell/Rumself are doing. I think that what they're doing will work in the long run, and that a year from now Iraq will be a lot closer to being pacified.
It is unconscionable to allow our country to continue staggering down the track that we're on in Iraq. Bush keeps saying we need to "stay the course." We need to change the course. With a strategy to succeed, our armed forces will turn things around.
And they're doing so...
Wesley Clark, a retired general, is a Democratic candidate for president.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 10:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [399 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think I'd rather have Wesley Crusher than Wesley Clark as President.

see http://www.mcdevzone.com/weblog/archives/001430.html
Posted by: mhw || 11/06/2003 10:04 Comments || Top||

#2  agree clark is weaselly, and some of the criticism above are spot on.

BUT:"What's the matter with having an American in charge? ". er that it makes it look like an American occupation, and this alienates SOME Iraqis, and has costs outside of Iraq. I suggested before the war was over that we should get a non-American from the Coalition of the Willing to be in charge - i think i suggested Vaclav Havel. I havent seen anything from the admin about why they didnt do something like that - it would certainly have reduced pressure for UN involvement.

About an interim govt. Does Clark understand the implications of this? That means an interim govt composed of Kurds, SCIRI, Alawi and Chalabi. Im not sure that would be so bad (and i think it unlikely it would lead to an Islamic state) but is Clark saying that Wolfie et al were RIGHT to be enthused about Chalabi and the Kurds? Besides theres an intermediate position between current policy and recognizing an interim govt - that would be to give more DE FACTO control to the IGC, while retaining sovereignty and ultimate veto in the hands of the CPA - so that if the IGC does something totally out of hand we can step in, but we make the occupation more IRAQI and prepare them for self-govt. Reports I have seen indicate far too much micro-management by Bremer. Which is frustrating the heck out of the IGC folks. It is THEIR country after all. Maybe its better in theory (as per Fareed Zakaria) to wait 2 or 3 years and let political parties evolve, and hold all power in CPA hands to keep Kurds and exiles from running things - but A. We dont have unlimited time cause 1. We could lose in Iraq, in a number of different ways 2. The whole point of this was to achieve change to impact the GWOT. We could wait 3 years for Iraq to reach where we want it to be, and meanwhile AQ could take out a city. If we want Iraq to be the start of falling dominoes, and we want that to happen in time to matter, we've got to get things moving politically. B. I suspect even if we wait 3 years we'll end up with a similar political constellation. Certainly no change among the Kurds, who seem quite loyal to the KDP and PUK. SCIRI's influence in the south may recede a bit, but not much. And the INC, contrary to what both the left and some on the right think, is not likely to go away either - its not JUST Chalabi, it includes a number of secularist exiles, who have extensive ties with non-exile Iraqis.


in summary, i agree their are problems with Clarks view - the biggest that its expressed by someone who has been so weaselly in his few on the war in general. But I think there is a major critique that can successfully be made of Bush's policy in Iraq.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 10:44 Comments || Top||

#3  "I would transform the military occupation into a NATO operation with US forces in charge. With US command, NATO authority, and UN endorsement, other NATO countries would send troops, and Arab countries would also step in."
NATO, huh? Didn't Wesley's puppetmaster, Bill Clinton, just say this? This guy is so controlled by the former Clintonites that it is laughable. The way he is dropping in the polls is heartening -- it shows that people can see the "man" behind the curtain controlling things.
Posted by: Tibor || 11/06/2003 11:12 Comments || Top||

#4  LH - Clark's picture is classic 20/20 hindsight. All post-war occupations with which America has been involved have gone exactly this way, in fits and starts replete with mistakes and reassessment and restarts. InstaPundit has blogged numerous examples of the same things happening in post-war Germany.

OT: Which reminds me again, where has TGA gone? I miss the hell out of his perspective!!! With Bulldog, JFM, TGA, and others, I felt like I had a decent range of views to grasp the below-the-radar mood in Europe. He's sorely missed!

Re: Iraq, the true key to following through to make this a success that reaps the benefits forseen when it was undertaken is the reelection of Bush. Anyone else would fuck it up - some in spades. I'm afraid it's as simple as that, regards the big picture. Just to prove that NMM is a totally blinded moron knee-jerk, I voted for Carter cuz he was a very smart guy. Proof that smart people (like Weasley) don't necessarily deserve positions of authority.

This is one of the primary reasons that I am committed to Bush - the guy is a hardcase and will push through to the end if he's not thrown out. The warts and miscalculations and mistakes will be addressed as they are identified. Keep pointing them out - I'll bet someone is listening now and then. Thx for the analysis!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 12:16 Comments || Top||

#5  It is unconscionable to allow our country to continue staggering down the track that we're on in Iraq.

See what happens when you let a Kennedy drive the train?
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

#6  Everytime Clarkbar opens his mouth it reminds me of General Sir Michael Jackson's encounter with Clarkie over the securing of an airfield in Kosovo to prevent the Russians from landing. Here is Jeff Elkins take on the whole thing. But in summary, now that Mike Jackson is chief of staff of UK military I wonder what will happen to our 'special relationship' if Clark is elected President?

http://www.lewrockwell.com/elkins/elkins17.html
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 11/06/2003 13:26 Comments || Top||

#7  The problem with bringing in a non-American to replace Bremer is the fact that there are no viable alternatives. Any of the Commonwealth countries might bring back memories (imagined, of course) of British colonialism; none of the Arab countries are trustworthy; France, Germany and Russia don't deserve even the slightest recognition for their "help"...

Another problem is that Iraq would turn into another Bosnia -- permanent international presence, as "aid workers" turn "assisstance" into careers.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/06/2003 13:37 Comments || Top||

#8  How about an Italian or Spaniard.... pitching in and not a lot of baggage.

Wait... make that how about an Italian?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 14:13 Comments || Top||

#9  "LH - Clark's picture is classic 20/20 hindsight"

Interestingly one of the things Clark calls for is an allied individual to head the occupation. Lieberman called for that in FEBUARY, before the war began! And IIRC, we discussed exactly that right HERE!

Clark may be a weasal, but some of us supported the war from the beginning were concerned about the admins reluctance to nation build. I think Wolfie gets the importance of changing the region. Im NOT sure about Cheney, Rummy, or Condi. Let alone Powell.

Dot com - you ever read Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism" ?- you should.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 15:07 Comments || Top||

#10  rantburg - 2/27/2003

"Senior Bush administration officials, speaking anonymously, have briefed reporters on their vision of a postwar Iraq and these plans emerged last night:
The US military would control Iraq in the short term after President Saddam's removal; troops would maintain security, protect Iraq's oil fields, ensure that other nations respect Iraq's existing borders and find and destroy weapons of mass destruction.

A civilian administrator would work on engaging Iraqis in the formation of a democratic government. A transition would last months, not weeks. The administrator would not necessarily be an American.

If it's not going to be Tommy Franks, it should be somebody on the order of Havel. No Frenchies, no Arabs, no UN... "
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#11  LH - Lieberman is the one Donk who has been consistent and not a limp-dick phool tool. If he was electable, I'd want to know what else he thinks. He's not - and that sucks, actually, because it leaves America divided solely based on the Iraq question, I'd say: Stick it out or Cut 'n run. An election should be about the whole picture, but the Donks have chosen polarization on one issue as their prime strategy. I think they shoulda demanded a refund from their Paid Pol Advisors long ago.

Re: Admin / Nation Building / NeoCon short-term thinking. OK - you get to say I Told You So. ;-) I wondered the same thing about Afghanistan - and it may soon return to Totally Fucked. Iraq is ultra-crucial, IMO. Another dropped-ball like Afgh would make a joke of everything. Hence Bush 2004 or emigrate, officially, probably to Thailand - as I would have zero left in common with NMM's PamericaC. Re: Cheney, Rummy, Rice, and Powell... Which ones are phools? Not Rummy and not Rice. Cheney is still an enigma, IMO. Powell is smart & politically astute, as we saw when running JCS, and playing his assigned role. If he's a dolt, then Dubya is to blame cuz that's where 99% of his words and actions originate. Wolfie gets paid for Big Ideas & GlobalThink™, prolly. So it falls to JCS and State's tiff and turf games to ID the specific screwups. I've said before that I see Dubya in a somewhat unflattering light. Details are not his strength, IMO. He's like Reagan, IMO. He says what his vision is and expects the people he's hired and who report to him to get the damned job done. That works great in business, obviously it can fail / fall on its ass in Govt. Personally, I think much of what failed initially can be traced back to upper and mid-level State people and their back-stabbing political turf bullshit. I do not believe them to be above sabotage. I'd dearly love to see them fired en masse. But that time has passed. Dubya has to get on-track and keep it there till the bloody bitter end - probably another 18 months. Just my 2 cents.

I'll have a look at the Berman book. It's certainly unavailable here and I dunno about Amazon's int'l shipping. I'll check it out. Thx!

BTW, Havel would've been a great choice, if he'd been interested.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 15:57 Comments || Top||

#12  Rice is an old Kissinger protege, IIRC. And Rummy an old Nixon hand, IIRC. Not people whose natural focus is on a global war for democracy. People whose thinking is "realist" if more muscular than the State Dept variety. Doesnt make them fools by any means - Kissinger was no fool - nor was Metternich! But what we need now is something different from "realpolitik" - its a vision to win an ideological war against a new variety of fascism.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 16:49 Comments || Top||

#13  Please don't drag Metternichs name into anything having to do with Kissingbug. Kissingbug has Bechtel paid scholars who do nothing but look for passages with his and Metternichs name in the same paragraph.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

#14  Interesting. This coincides with a political opinion piece in today's Gazette by E. J. Dionne, of WaPo. In it he speaks with glowing words about the Democratic Party's alternative foreign policy. What it all boils down to is the same old sh$$: turn the whole thing over to the United Nations, apologize for acting "independently", and stop being so much of a bully.

The Democratic Party is firmly and unswervingly committed to ending US sovereignty and making this nation subservient to the United Nations and "world opinion". Those in public offices should be expelled, and the entire party dumped somewhere north of Montreal.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/06/2003 19:24 Comments || Top||

#15  Clark's comments are mostly (1) obvious and represent no real change from current strategy, or (2) laughable. Especially laughable -- though perhaps it's not so funny, as here's a former 4-star SACEUR vying for a major party pres. nomination mouthing the words -- is this bizarre suggestion that a non-American be put in political control. Presumably this would be to appease the perverse, or bad-faith, or outright hostile opposition of "allies" and others to the US destruction of the Iraqi regime. That's jaw-dropping enough.

But how vapid can Clark get? Does he believe that Iraqis, overwhelmingly desperate for our basic success in vanquishing the diehards and fearing most that we will leave before the job is done, would be somehow reassured (rather than appalled or concerned) that a non-American (seemingly, ANYBODY but an American?) was "in charge" of the occupation? This is a brutal test of wills, a sort of hybrid civil war with international involvement. Iraqis, sensibly enough, care about results, not the passport of the guy at the Republican Palace in Baghdad. Equally sensibly, they know the US will make or break this, so why would a non-American proconsul help?

Honorable military service, first in his class, real smart guy, sure. But when he has talked in public much above the tactical level and outside narrowly military issues, Clark has been amazingly unimpressive (polite, respectful formulation for a reality that merits far harsher language).

I know memories are short, but was it supposed to be humorous for Clark to suggest NATO involvement? Though not probably his fault, his famous experience with NATO in the Kosovo war was one of the biggest fisacoes since WWII. It was a burlesque of political-military bumbling saved only by the fact that the adversary was a solitary little pipsqueak of a country that had a ready exit by ceding some territorial control. It's going to be "a long, hard slog" in Iraq even with a fairly well-run, determined operation with clear US control. Substituting some fanciful NATO operation cannot even be considered a serious idea.
Posted by: IceCold || 11/06/2003 21:45 Comments || Top||


Baghdad Made Last-Ditch Try to Avoid War
Just days before U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq, officials claiming to speak for a frantic Iraqi regime made a last-ditch effort to stall avert the war, but U.S. officials rebuffed the overture, Pentagon officials said Thursday.
"Sorry, the shot clock just ran out"
An influential adviser to the Defense Department received a secret message from a Lebanese-American businessman indicating that Saddam Hussein wanted to make a deal, they said. The chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service and other Iraqi officials had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction and offered to let American troops and experts do an independent search, said officials, who discussed the matter only on condition of anonymity.
I guess we took them up on the "American troops doing the independent search" part.
The Iraqi officials also offered to hand over a man accused of being involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who was being held in Baghdad, they said.
"Thanks, but we’ll pick him up when we get there."
Iraq said long before the war - and captured officials still maintain - that the country had no unconventional weapons. Though none has been found in seven months of searching, finding the weapons and overthrowing Saddam were the main reasons the Bush administration gave for going to war.
You forgot that little part about ignoring UN resolutions.
Defense Department officials confirmed some details of the prewar overture, first reported late Wednesday by ABC News and The New York Times. But they dismissed the idea that the offers could have averted war, since numerous other efforts by the United Nations and others had failed.
"Iraq and Saddam had ample opportunity through highly credible sources over a period of several years to take action to avoid war and had the means to use highly credible channels to do that," said Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita. "Nobody needed to use questionable channels to convey messages," he said in a statement.
Yup, if Sammy wanted to make a deal, he had ambassadors in the UN to talk for him.
Messages from Baghdad, first relayed by the businessman in February to an analyst in the office of Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy and planning, were part of an attempt by Iraqi officers to persuade the Bush administration to open talks through a clandestine channel, people involved in the discussion told the Times. The attempts were portrayed by Iraqi officials as having Saddam’s endorsement, but it was not clear if American officials viewed them as legitimate.
If they did have his endorsement, it was to use them to stall for time.
In early March, Richard Perle, an adviser to top Pentagon officials, met in London with the Lebanese-American businessman, Imad Hage, officials said. According to both men, Hage laid out the Iraqis’ position and pressed the Iraqi request for a direct meeting with Perle or other U.S. representatives. The CIA authorized Perle’s meeting with the Iraqis, but eventually told him they didn’t want to pursue the channel. Hage, speaking to The Associated Press in Beirut Thursday, said he believed the Iraqis he spoke to were desperate to avoid war. "Definitely these people feared for their life and they realized that the threat was real," Hage said. "They were motivated for some deal, that some deal could be achieved ...."
Hage told the AP he had six meetings - five in Beirut and one in Baghdad - with senior Iraqi intelligence officials in the last three months before war broke out. He said he was disappointed because he believed an opportunity was missed. He also said he was bringing the matter to public attention now because of what he said were leaks in Washington about his mediation efforts.
Or because you have another agenda, perhaps?
The Times quoted internal Pentagon e-mails from Mike Maloof, the analyst in Feith’s office, to an aide to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, outlining the Iraqi overtures. It was unclear, however, if top officials at the Pentagon pursued the matter. Maloof, who lost his security clearance over another issue, is on paid administrative leave from the Pentagon.
Hage previously lived in suburban Washington, where he started an insurance company. He moved to Lebanon in the 1990s and has been trying for 10 years to break into politics there but so far with little success.
Gee, a want-a-be Lebanese politician and a sacked analyst, now those are reliable sources.
Posted by: Steve || 11/06/2003 9:51:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Steve, This story is being disputed: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,102346,00.html

This is the money shot from the article:"One U.S. official told Fox News that while there were numerous offers and leads as the war neared, they were all thoroughly investigated and it was determined that they weren't in a position to deliver anything that would have been acceptable to the United States." Sounds like more left wing wishful thinking.



Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/06/2003 10:51 Comments || Top||

#2  It doesn't matter whether the story is true or not. Saddam's time was simply up, and administration officials acted properly in dismissing the overtures if the story is true. He had his chances, passed them by, and paid the price for his reckless gambling. Game over.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 10:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Bomb-a-rama: what you said. This is just political jimmy-jammy.
Posted by: Secret Master || 11/06/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

#4  So, if true, Saddam was willing to turn over an AQ member who's been there since 1994?

No ties my #)$*#(!
Posted by: Anonymous-not above || 11/06/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Oh, I agree the story is B.S. But you know that the dimocraps and their media wing will play it as another opportunity that Bush passed up because he wanted a war.
Posted by: Steve || 11/06/2003 11:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Even assuming this story is all true, this is no different from what goes on in any war. For example, minor civilian officials both North and South made independent attempts during the American Civil War to start negotiations about peace terms.

They ended up going nowhere for the same reason stated by the unnamed U.S official in Cyber Sarge's snippet from Fox News: the people putting out peace feelers were not in a position to actually deliver.
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 11/06/2003 11:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Saddam was interviewed on national TV by Dan Rather. He could have made an offer right there...
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/06/2003 12:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Saddam was interviewed on National TV by Dan Rather. He could have made an offer right there...

Only if he knew the right frequency!
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 11/06/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#9  Only if he knew the right frequency

LOL
Posted by: Kenneth || 11/06/2003 14:16 Comments || Top||

#10  I like Stephen ("VodkaPundit") Green's take:

The anti-war folks will tell you this story (if true, although I have no reason to doubt it) startles because we rejected such a generous offer. Surely, they'll claim, the chance of inspections led by the US military and the promise of free elections made avoidable (or at least delay-able) the horrors of war.

Oh, please. Some back-channel promises made by a guy who knows a guy who knows Saddam weren't going to stop a just and necessary war. And yet I still find this story a bit shocking.

Why?

Because of how brick-chewingly stupid Saddam was, yet again.

Here's a guy with a decade's experience in foiling the US and playing to the world's (admittedly cynical) sympathies. And yet he still offered US weapons inspections and free elections through
secret back channels.

What if Saddam had made his offer publicly? British public opinion might very well have forced even Tony Blair into abandoning an immediate war -- and Saddam could have gone back to playing hide-and-seek, while the promised elections were quietly rigged (or sadly failed to materialize). And there you have it: the 21st Century's Biggest Political Blunder.

Of course, the century is still young. . .
Posted by: Mike || 11/06/2003 14:22 Comments || Top||

#11  All Saddam had to do is have his UN Ambassador stand up in the General Assembly and say we will comply 100% with the inspections regime. No minders, no discussions on the composition of the inspectors and no problems with taking scientists out of the country for talks. One short speech and he would still be in power. This back channel stuff is total crap.
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 15:15 Comments || Top||

#12  The basics of story do sound consistant with Saddam's previous diplomacy.Remember,there have been several posts lately discussing back channel meetings with French and Russians.This attempt would have been a good way to determine American resolve-were the Americans willing to cut a deal or were they determined to oust Saddam.If the Americans indicated a willingness to talk,the back channel could have been used to stall for a while negotiating,and at end Saddam could nix any deal,saying they were not accreddited members of his gov't.At any he could leak fact US and Iraq were negotiating in private thereby undercutting US.As part of a policy of delay,delay,delay and hope US gives up this makes sense.
Posted by: Stephen || 11/06/2003 18:48 Comments || Top||


43,000 Alerted for Duty in Iraq
The Pentagon began alerting 43,000 Reserve and National Guard troops late Wednesday for the possibility of yearlong duty in Iraq or Kuwait as part of a force-rotation plan that would reduce the overall American military presence in Iraq by next spring, senior Pentagon officials said.
Good idea, if they're replacing the infantry with MPs. Rest up the regulars in anticipation of slapping Syria and/or Iran next year.
The alert warnings and deployment orders approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday reflected concern by Pentagon officials and the administration over stresses that large mobilizations have placed on reservists and their families. These, in turn, have prompted complaints in Congress. The orders were drafted to give the troops maximum warning about their possible duty and to ensure that the bulk of them had not already been called up since Sept. 11, 2001, senior Pentagon officials said.
It's probably time to start designing and building units specifically for occupation and rehab. It wouldn't hurt to task Leavenworth with coming up with doctrine — comparable to the thinking that went into designing combined arms operations — for pacification forces.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 09:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "It's probably time to start designing and building units specifically for occupation and rehab"

Do i detect a grudging consideration of the idea of a "peacekeeping corps"? I realize that regular army units specializing in occupation would be different from the peacekeeping corps idea floating around (and advocated on Oxblog). Clearly having folks who carry guns, but are trained in languages and cultures (a la foreign service) and in all the skills in building and local politics our troops have learned painfully over there would be good. Better to recruit and train seperately with focus on the civil stuff, with military training as an extra, and with the notion (again a la foreign service) that these folks can be deployed overseas indefinitely, if necessary - or simply take a light infantry unit and teach them foreign languages, and rudiments of civil affairs - with the awareness that they will expect rotation home same as other Army units?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 9:38 Comments || Top||

#2  "Peacekeeping corps", with an emphasis on civil stuff with extra military training, sounds like jihadi cannon fodder. The sort of people we need to put into these regions should be equally adept at being vicious fighters and "hearts and minds" types. This combination seems to have worked well for the Marines who initially occupied southern Iraq -- they seem to have made a positive impression on the citizens for their openness while still being regarded as highly dangerous by the bad guys.

And every single trooper who has the aptitude should be enrolled in intensive language courses, focusing on Arabic for the moment. Every single unit who is deployed needs to have *at minimum* one soldier who can speak the language. And it probably wouldn't hurt the folks who are already in country to get some training as well.
Posted by: snellenr || 11/06/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||


Marines Slated for Iraq Troop Rotation
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Marine Corps, which played a central role in toppling Saddam Hussein last spring, will return to Iraq as part of a U.S. troop rotation approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday, officials said.
I wondered if this would happen. Choices were 1) activate more Guard units, 2) bring in the Turks or 3) send in the Marines.
Since the Marines’ departure from Iraq in September, the military effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq has fallen almost entirely to the Army, plus multinational units led by Britain and Poland. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit recently began anti-smuggling operations in the Persian Gulf coastal area in southern Iraq. But no Marines have been doing stability operations, such as working with Iraqi civilians on rebuilding projects or hunting for fugitives loyal to Saddam, since the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force departed south-central Iraq in September.

Also included in the next U.S. rotation will be thousands of newly mobilized National Guard and Reserve troops as well as active duty Army units such as the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, and the 1st Infantry Division in Germany, according to officials who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity.

No National Guard combat brigades will be called on, beyond the three already mobilized from North Carolina, Arkansas and Washington state to prepare for deployment to Iraq next year. The extra Guard and Reserve troops to be mobilized will be combat support forces such as military police. Instead of relying almost exclusively on the Army to provide reserve forces for support, the Pentagon intends to mobilize specialists from the reserve components of the Air Force and Navy, too.
Interesting force mix.
On Capitol Hill, Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said troop orders were being issued Wednesday and Pentagon officials planned to publicly release details on Thursday. Pace said members of Congress were being briefed on the plan Wednesday. He declined to give reporters details. Pace said that by May the Pentagon expects to have just over 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, a drop of 30,000 from present levels. The Pentagon also hopes to have about 170,000 Iraqi security forces by then - compared with about 100,000 now - and two multinational divisions of about 12,000 each.
If the Iraqi units work out this might be ok.
The Pentagon has struggled to set the troop rotation for 2004 because of the Bush administration’s inability so far to persuade its international partners to contribute significant troops. Turkey had offered to send thousands but has balked in the face of Iraqi political opposition.

The Army has shouldered most of the burden of attempting to stabilize Iraq. It has been stretched thin by multiple overseas commitments, including anti-terrorism efforts Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

The first major Army unit to be replaced in Iraq next year is the magnificent 101st Airborne Division, which played an important role in the march to Baghdad and has operated mainly in northern Iraq since then. When the Army announced in July an outline for the next troop rotation, it said the 101st would be replaced by a multinational division to be identified later. Because that international force has not materialized, the Pentagon has been forced to call on other U.S. forces to fill the gap. It appears the Pentagon will replace the 101st with a smaller group of forces, in part because the area in which it operated - northern Iraq - has been relatively stable and peaceful.

Some units that will return home in the next rotation will not be replaced. This includes a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as the 173rd Airborne Brigade. As a result, the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq is likely to fall to near the 100,000 mark next spring. That compares with about 130,000 there now. Also coming home in the next rotation will be the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, and the 1st Armored Division from Germany.
And in the meantime, we have to thump the Ba’athists.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/06/2003 12:40:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [353 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Jarhead what say you as to Marine deployment here?
Any any mil people agree with troop reduction like this? Seems like the Rumsfeld lean and mean strategy has been adopted
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 11/06/2003 0:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Should be interesting to see what happens when the Marines rotate in. I read some news articles which said that Iraqi combatants developed an aversion to attacking the Marines, as it tended to result in massive f*loads of rounds coming down range. Don't know if that will deter the Islamakazes, though.
Posted by: BH || 11/06/2003 1:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Of course they're scared of the Marines--they think you have to kill a family member to get in--per last week's posts
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 11/06/2003 2:34 Comments || Top||

#4  My Sister-In-Law must die. I'm calling my recruiter.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/06/2003 7:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Time to to crack open the Small Wars Manual.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 8:02 Comments || Top||

#6  If the 1st Armored is going back to Germany I hope it's just so they can pack up all the stuff they left and leave.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 11/06/2003 9:11 Comments || Top||

#7  "Time to to crack open the Small Wars Manual."


Maybe a sense that what works best in Iraq is closer to USMC doctrine? Saw some articles saying that some of the success in the south was due not only to demographics, but to Marine approach to occupation. They may be good at killing, but theyre also keen on local politics, etc.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 9:44 Comments || Top||

#8  NMM, looking forward to it. I hope they send us to the triangle as I hear that place sucks the most ass ;) We don't box are selves up in APCs or due the firebase mentality as per our Army bro's. We patrol out in the populace and they get to see us up close & personal. Somedays we'll be friendly (pass candy to the kiddies, kiss babies, fix minor crap), the next day its back to being hitler youth nazi mother-f*ckers. (learned that from Brit vets of Derry, Ireland) Keep'em off guard, constantly change our patrol routes, times, tactics, etc. Make them think we're crazier then a bunch of sh*t house rats - that's the deal. Watch Blackhawk down or read the book and you can glean more of what I'm saying. Half the battle (or more) is a mental game. Shipman makes a great point about the SW Manual - great read if you guys get a chance.

I'm not trying to bang on my Army bro's, my old man was 101st in 'Nam & is die hard airborne. I love those guys and the 82nd, the Rangers, and my boys in SF. I think its a lot of the 'leg' outfits & N.Guard that are getting it bad. Keep the N.Guard fellas out as much as possible imo. Put them up north or way down south in the more secure places. I appreciate the weekend warriors but this isn't their gig. Put us in the shit w/the 101 & 82nd.

If we get fired on its sop to call indirect fire on suspected un-friendly positions. No f*cking around w/these folks. They mistake kindness for weakness - it's a cultural thing like somalia. If they mess w/you - you never turn the other cheek. They don't understand that shit. Most westerners fall for that, you can't think like a westerner or a good Catholic when dealing w/them. You can bet there's gonna be a helluva return salvo if we take fire. I posted last week about a buddy of mine who leveled a village in Afghan just to make a point to the locals. (the village was empty of course, and most of the hostiles had left but he wanted to show what type of firepower 13 Marines could unleash) he said the intended affect was not lost on them.

We definitely agree w/troop reduction for the obvious reasons (time away from family, another shithole country, op tempo, no beer, ugly women, etc.) The quicker we train up the local hard-chargin' Iraqis to police their own then that's only better for us. They obviously know who the local sh*t-heads are and can be heavy handed as hell w/them. Thus relieving us of the human-rights anti-mil propaganda for beating down assholes who probably deserved it anyway. (Not that I personally give a rat's ass, but its bad for our C-n-C)

If we're gonna do this we need to do this shit right the first time. I don't want my 3-month old son fixing our screw ups 19 yrs from now. Everybody needs to jump on board because we're in there now - let's finish it now. Support the lads over there and their families here. We either fight this now no matter how nasty it gets or our kids & maybe some of y'alls grand kids do this op again in 15-20 yrs. I don't want that & don't think any other American does either.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 10:08 Comments || Top||

#9  Good luck, Jhead. You be careful over there.
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/06/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||

#10  They mistake kindness for weakness - it's a cultural thing like somalia. If they mess w/you - you never turn the other cheek. They don't understand that shit. Most westerners fall for that, you can't think like a westerner or a good Catholic when dealing w/them.

This is the concept that a large majority of the anti-war folk don't seem to get.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 11:15 Comments || Top||

#11  Thanks, Tu. I still have another 6 mos here in S.C. to go before going back to the operating forces. Probably be seeing sand-land in late '04 or definitely in '05. Until then the resident knuckle dragging redneck jingoist will still be posting to the mighty R-burg.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

#12  LH, you bring up something I forgot to mention in my last long-ass post. Our C.O.'s, Public Affairs folks & those who liaison w/the local leaders usually harp one theme to them about us. They call it "No better friend, no worse enemy." i.e. - You need something, we'll help to the nth degree, (fixing schools, fixing infrastructure, speaking english w/the kids, helping out orphanages, handing out chow, etc.) but if you can't keep your folks in line - we turn the dogs loose & start wiping shit out.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 11:34 Comments || Top||

#13  God bless the marines! I'm praying for everyone there, and I'll put in some extra for you, Jarhead.
Posted by: Ptah || 11/06/2003 11:39 Comments || Top||

#14  The Small Wars Manual can be found in pdf format here:

http://192.156.75.152/sw_manual.asp

It specifies that it is the 1940 edition. I have no idea if there are more recent editions.
Posted by: BH || 11/06/2003 12:03 Comments || Top||

#15  Thanks Ptah. Say one for our families as well please. They need it just as much if not more then us. No such thing as an atheist in a fox hole! ;)

B-A-R, right on. Goes hand-in-hand w/their self-loathing, U.S. is always wrong dogma. It's lost on them that there are actually countries out there who are damn racist, ethnocentric, xenophobic, and don't cherish life like we do. i.e. basically the whole M.E.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#16  Jarhead:

Good luck, good hunting, get home safe, and stay in touch.
Posted by: Mike || 11/06/2003 12:18 Comments || Top||

#17  Amen
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 12:26 Comments || Top||

#18  "Until then the resident knuckle dragging redneck jingoist will still be posting to the mighty R-burg."

Woot! Woot! LMAO!

Hey, if you get there before November and give Fred some means of contact, I promise I'll send you an AIR CONDITIONER! No joke. You tell him /me how to get it to you and it'll be there. I donated big to the website Dar posted that was sending A/C units some months ago. There is nothing on this earth like summer / fall in the sand lands. I smoke, but almost quit because of the Saudi summers - 120F in the shade / 135F in the sun - and lasted well into October. I'm projecting here, but I can't think of anything you won't already get that would do as much good, except maybe the baby-wipes everybody asked for - cuz you'd actually be able to sleep! I once swore to myself I'd never sleep in a puddle of my own sweat again - and haven't... if that sounds familiar, then take me up on the offer. I'm serious.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#19  Jarhead--Yeah, definitely be sure to leave your FPO with some of us. I'll be happy to send over some goodies and reading material. Been doing it for some time now for a handful of guys (remember Bodyguard?) and it's the least I can do to show my appreciation for what you all are doing.
Posted by: Dar || 11/06/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#20  Dar, can you dig up that URL again?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#21  What Dar said. Give me an e-mail or snailmail address and you and your unit'll have letters from a whole pack of Cub Scouts.
Posted by: Mike || 11/06/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#22  Sure can--it's http://www.operationac.com/, and they're now sending heaters as well! :-)
Posted by: Dar || 11/06/2003 13:04 Comments || Top||

#23  Jarhead: hope you'll be able to stay in touch when you go in-country. Curious whether you're seeing many changes (eqpmt, etc) based on some of the lessons learned readouts after the war, and whether you (or your unit) is getting any language training.
Posted by: snellenr || 11/06/2003 13:06 Comments || Top||

#24  Thanks guys, appreciate your generous support. Heck, you fellas would bring a tear to a glass eye! LOL. I will definitely send you my FPO address. But like I said, it will be a while yet.
Until then, you know the rest - we'll still have much fun clowning on jihadis, silly mullahs and them kooky North Koreans.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 13:06 Comments || Top||

#25  Jarhead,
Damned! You and your fellow servicemates make me so proud to be American. God bless you and your family. Semper fi!
Posted by: Craig || 11/06/2003 13:08 Comments || Top||

#26  Way cool - Thx! I guess every well-equipped trooper needs a matched set in that hellhole!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#27  Hey, the HeadBlade / Headslick offer is great - only $15 and no Shipping chg thanks to the mfg offering the Opn AC guys a discount. And on the Sale Packages page, there's a Refill Kit that's a good offer, too. So one of each sound like a good start today!

JH - you a shaved guy? LOL! Your other head, smartass!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#28  Not that you guys don't believe Jarhead, but some Marine buddies of mine who were in Nasiriya (sp?) during the war said pretty much the same thing. The locals would come and ask for such and such, the Marines would deliver. Bad guys would try to take a sucker punch and they would get leveled. Also the point he makes about patrols is exactly what they would say. Part of the problem is the 4ID is a heavy unit. They set up checkpoints by parking an M1A1 and wrapping concertina wire around it. Not exactly highly mobile you know. I'm not positive but I'd bet most of the Army casualties are from Guard/Reserve units and heavy units. I wonder the percentage of their losses vs say the 101 or 82nd Airborne? Like jarhead said, it's just not their thing (4ID included). Anyways, rotate the heavy units out (get some rest so we can take it Syria), get the Marines and more MP units in-country (triangle specifically). Also keep training those Iraqi cops and military. The situation is NOT nearly bad enough to warrant wholesale reactivation of the Iraqi army. IMHO.
Posted by: Swiggles || 11/06/2003 13:52 Comments || Top||

#29  MSN had a good article on Falluja the other day that backs up Jarheads point. If you look on a map you can see that Falluja is a pretty important focal point, being on the main highway between Bahgdad and Syria/Jordan. Apparently this city was missed during the war and basically had no military presense. By the time the 3rd id sent some people in they have basically been chased out of the town multiple times. Most heavy fighting lately has been at Falluja. The article stated that the Army boys were basically driving around in their APC's getting shot at. Well now the 82'nd airborne is there and they appear to have a new attitude that matches Jarheads methods. When the Mayor's office was torched a couple weeks ago the 82'nd airborne showed up and held the office for 2-3 days (which by that point was burnt out) out of pure stubborness. They basically flattened any house in which incoming fire came from which apparently shocked the residents who had not scene that type of response before. Sad to say the situation is still pretty dire, since it was 82'nd airborne guys that were in that helicopter crash last week. I bet you one of the first spots you Marines will be heading is Falluja to keep up the pressure.
Posted by: Patrick || 11/06/2003 14:24 Comments || Top||

#30  "which apparently shocked the residents who had not scene that type of response before"

Can you say one-front war? Fuck Turkey. The triangle has gotten a pass far too long. Long overdue to bring the war home to Fallujah and the rest - a real one, not the shooting gallery described. Jarhead's attitude will make the point beautifully, methinks. ;->
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 14:57 Comments || Top||

#31  Fact is no matter how bad ass units in the Army might be nobody has a reputation world wide like the Marines and the comments on the Small Wars Manual are exactly right, the Marines have a lot of experience in this kind of war, its a good choice.
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#32  Thanx Craig, A hearty Semper Fi & Semper Hard back to you bro!

Snell - I'm originally from Detroit bro, so I know all the good arab swearwords! LOL. Seriously, I'll fill you in when I get back to the operating forces on what we're doing to get prep'd to deal w/them.

.com - I go high & tight my friend. I went "Mr. Clean" (sans the earring) one time in 29 Palms. I'm starting to lose some hair up top and am not exactly a tall guy, so yeah, Mr.Clean will be my look in the near future. Thanx for asking, if I get over there - I will ask for some good blades bro!.

To the rest: Thanx for all the support, thoughts, and prayers. Like I said before, I'll be here (stateside & on R-Burg) until at least this coming summer. I'm not due to rotate back to the operating forces until June '04. I'll probably see sand-land in late '04 or prolly '05.
I'm damn proud to be a U.S. serviceman, an officer, and a Marine. It's an honor to protect our country and defend the freedoms of all you fine Americans. Wish I could say the same of a lot of people I run into back home. I'm not an expert on everything going on over there but will give y'all the straight scoop when I can. I hope and pray we don't do this thing half-assed. Too many good young American mofo's are depending on our national leaders to go ball's out and handle business from their end - we'll do the rest if we're allowed to. That's where you guys come in. Stay on your elected officials to make sure they're letting us do our job. Complacency kills Americans & failure is not an option. If you ever see a servicemen in the airport, bus station, or wherever thank'em for their service - means a lot to these kids believe me. If we're there to win a war let's go win it. Schwarzkopf (sp?) once descibed himself neither a hawk nor a dove, he said he was an owl. Once an owl makes a decision he goes full force without restraint to accomplish it. I hope we're going full force.


Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 15:36 Comments || Top||

#33  In case this hasn't been posted somewhere else already, this piece by Ralph Peters is a good read.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#34  Jarhead, good luck.

And like my Dad says Gung Ho*

*I never been to China but he says it means Pray For War.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 17:28 Comments || Top||

#35  Thanx Shipman. Gungo Ho actually means "work together" in Chinese, it's also a battle grunt or describes a highly motivated individual - but I like your dad's definition better!
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 20:00 Comments || Top||

#36  Jarhead, you take care of yourself. I am a former Marine (seven years) and damn, do you make me proud to be an American and a Marine.
SEMPER FI!
Posted by: djh || 11/06/2003 20:40 Comments || Top||

#37  Jarhead, take care of yourself. Feel free to post what you see or think whenever you're close to a connection.
Posted by: Fred || 11/06/2003 22:09 Comments || Top||

#38  djh - Thanx, if we ain't making you former Leathernecks proud then we ain't doing our job! "Once a Marine Always a Marine" - Semper Fidelis Brother!

To all: I know I can count on you hard chargers to watch our "six" back here in the land of the BIG PX! I'm going to hit the rack now.....good night Chesty Puller wherever your are.... ;)
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 22:13 Comments || Top||


US troops arrest two Saddam generals
US forces have captured two former Iraqi generals suspected of financing and organizing attacks on coalition forces around Fallujah, near where a US military helicopter was shot down Sunday, the military said Wednesday.
Wring 'em...
The generals, who were not identified, were seized in a raid in Fallujah early Tuesday by soldiers from the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, the military said in a statement.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Two words: thumb screws.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 11/06/2003 0:08 Comments || Top||

#2  EX-Cell-ent! now crank up the sodium pentothal drip to MAX
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 11/06/2003 0:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Give a full pardon to the Lt. Col who fired his pistol during an interrogation, then give them to him to question.

We know he's been effective in the past...
Posted by: snellenr || 11/06/2003 1:01 Comments || Top||

#4  A lot of saddam's $$$ must still be around Fallujah. We need to get the $$$ as much as we need to get more illegal weapons and Baathist/Fayadeen/AlQ-wannebbe thugs
Posted by: mhw || 11/06/2003 8:56 Comments || Top||

#5  before anyone gets too excited, remember that Iraq had a huge number of general officers. Maybe these guys are important, but you cant assume that based on their regular army ranks.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 9:40 Comments || Top||

#6  before anyone gets too excited, remember that Iraq had a huge number of general officers.

At last count, about 11,000 of 'em.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/06/2003 10:30 Comments || Top||

#7  Exactly. The Iraqi army had somthing like 14,000 generals. The US army has like 400...
Posted by: mojo || 11/06/2003 10:34 Comments || Top||

#8  The Iraqi army had somthing like 14,000 generals.

An old tribal thing?
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 13:35 Comments || Top||

#9  There's prolly more to that than ya might think on first blush, Raj!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 13:55 Comments || Top||


Baath official hurt in Kirkuk attack
An Iraqi woman linked to the Baath party and her daughter has been wounded in an attack on their home in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad. Iraqi police on Wednesday named the woman as, Jamila Abbas Khumeidi saying that she was ''targeted because she was a high official of the Baath party''.
Sometimes that'll do it...
Khumeidi, is the former head of the Association of Iraqi women, which worked closely with the former government of Iraq. In a separate incident in Kirkuk, a rocket slammed into the offices of a cultural centre. The attack on the al-Shafaq Kurdish cultural organisation is linked to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (DDP), according to members of the group. The front of the building was damaged in the blast, but there were no reports of any injuries. Ahmad Taqana, a member of the DDP said: ''I cannot accuse anyone but I believe there will be more attacks in the coming days.''
You know it. The Bad Guys are trying to mount their Ramadan offensive...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ''targeted because she was a high official of the Baath party''

local kurds taking things into their own hands. No tears for the Baathist, but this sort of thing needs to be kept under control.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 9:42 Comments || Top||

#2  I read someplace once that there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,000 reprisal killings in France in the 12 months following Liberation.

My own wife's Tory ancestors bolted North Carolina for Nova Scotia in the 1780's.

A lot of Ba'athists goons are getting whacked around the country and I'm afraid it's inevitable.

Yeah, the anti-liberation creeps will use it to say we can't keep a lid on Hell but to paraphrase Jefferson, the tree of Liberty needs the blood of tyrants.
Posted by: JDB || 11/06/2003 13:50 Comments || Top||

#3  ..Jamila Abbas Khumeidi saying that she was "targeted because she was a high official of the Baath party".

Well hell, makes sense to me, being as how the Baathists had free rein over Iraq for the past thirty years or so. Since she was a Baath official at some point, what are the chances that she was, at one time or another, involved in something unethical or shady by common standards?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 16:47 Comments || Top||


East Asia
You don’t have to speak Chinese...
... to be Gung Ho.

China launches an English language propaganda outlet website.

Posted by: Rawsnacks || 11/06/2003 9:26:51 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon
I hear ya.....
From MEMRI:

THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE KUWAITI DAILY AL-SIYASA WROTE: ’SYRIA HAS BECOME A THREAT TO AMERICAN AND WORLD INTERESTS IN THE REGION. THE SURVIVAL OF THE [SYRIAN] REGIME IS NO LONGER OF INTEREST TO ANYONE.’ (AL-QUDS AL-ARABI, LONDON, 11/6/03)

Posted by: mercutio || 11/06/2003 5:54:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [354 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'll drink to that!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 11/06/2003 18:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Pithy as well as remarkably honest. I haven't been able to locate this on Memri, yeah I'm getting lazy this late in the "day" - got a direct link to a page?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 18:24 Comments || Top||

#3  They left out the Saudi regime, the Iranian, the Pakistani, the Egyptian...
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/06/2003 18:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Lybian, Yemen, Sudanese...
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 18:54 Comments || Top||

#5  .com --- Go to "previous reports", then "news ticker headlines". URL is

http://www.memri.org/ticker.html

But mercutio has reproduced the whole of the item, so it doesn't gain you anything. I wonder what else, if anything, Al-Quds Al-Arabi had to say about it. Its editor is (or was) Abdel-Bari Atwan, frequent guest on the anti-American BBC program Dateline:London (he was one of the *least* anti-American on the show), and supposedly had "close ties" to (pre-war) Iraq.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/06/2003 19:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Thanks, Angie. I used to frequently torture myself with the Beeb Dateline show, but became disgusted when even the Americans they invited to receive the bashing were apologists or nervous nellies. Even Perle waffled a bit, though smugly so. I dunno if this was their "regular" Arab or not - if so, I know who you mean - and that makes this much clearer. He's being dramatic and saying the war-mongering US has already written the Syrian epitaph. More subtly than his usual excited style, but that would be how I'd take it if he said it on Beeb. Sound about right to you, assuming he's the mustachiod long-faced western-clothes excitable guy I think he is?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 19:33 Comments || Top||

#7  .com---Mugshot here.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/06/2003 21:48 Comments || Top||

#8  Rex Mundi - way ahead of you there...
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 22:48 Comments || Top||

#9  Come on Robert C. Baby Steps.
Posted by: Daniel King || 11/07/2003 10:25 Comments || Top||


Africa: East
Terrorists in Kenya Killings Posed as Fishermen
Registration req’d
The terrorists who attacked an Israeli resort and an airliner along the Kenyan coast last November posed as lobstermen while they smuggled missiles and other weapons from Somalia aboard a wooden boat, according to a United Nations report. The report, a detailed study of the arms flow into Somalia, was delivered to the United Nations Sanctions Committee this week, but has not yet been made public. It provides the most comprehensive look to date at the attacks, linked to Al Qaeda, that killed 12 Kenyans, 3 Israelis and at least 2 suicide bombers at a hotel full of Israeli tourists in Mombasa, Kenya. An attack against an airliner carrying Israelis home failed when the missiles missed their target.

The study describes how the terrorists prepared for more than a year for the Nov. 28, 2002, attacks. In their pose as fishermen, they conducted surveillance for months along the coastline, becoming familiar figures who raised no suspicions when they later turned to weapons smuggling. The SA-7B missiles used in the Mombasa attack came either from Yemen, a major source of smuggled arms in Somalia, or Eritrea, which had made an arms shipment to one of the major Somali warlords in 1998. Four separate groups took part in the Mombasa attack, the experts found. One cell remained in Mogadishu, Somalia, another attacked the hotel while a third went to the Mombasa airport. A fourth group went to Lamu, an island off the Kenyan coast, to prepare a getaway boat. On Nov. 29, the day after the attacks, those who survived regrouped in Lamu and left two days later for Somalia by dhow, the traditional wooden boats in abundance along the coast. The attackers remained in Mogadishu for several months, living on cash allowances provided by an unidentified Sudanese financier, the report said. The report says that some of the participants in the attack have returned to Kenya and that at least four remain in Somalia. Kenya has made numerous arrests in connection with the attacks, but investigators say an undetermined number of suspects remain at large.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/06/2003 5:52:07 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front
Remarks by the President at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy
Edited for length; full text available at the link.

Historians in the future will reflect on an extraordinary, undeniable fact: Over time, free nations grow stronger and dictatorships grow weaker. In the middle of the 20th century, some imagined that the central planning and social regimentation were a shortcut to national strength. In fact, the prosperity, and social vitality and technological progress of a people are directly determined by extent of their liberty. Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity -- and creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations. Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity, and the best hope for progress here on Earth.

The progress of liberty is a powerful trend. Yet, we also know that liberty, if not defended, can be lost. The success of freedom is not determined by some dialectic of history. By definition, the success of freedom rests upon the choices and the courage of free peoples, and upon their willingness to sacrifice. . . .

The sacrifices of Americans have not always been recognized or appreciated, yet they have been worthwhile. Because we and our allies were steadfast, Germany and Japan are democratic nations that no longer threaten the world. A global nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union ended peacefully -- as did the Soviet Union. The nations of Europe are moving towards unity, [not necessarily in a good way, but at least they’re] not dividing into armed camps and descending into genocide. Every nation has learned, or should have learned, an important lesson: Freedom is worth fighting for, dying for, and standing for -- and the advance of freedom leads to peace.

And now we must apply that lesson in our own time. We’ve reached another great turning point -- and the resolve we show will shape the next stage of the world democratic movement.

Our commitment to democracy is tested in countries like Cuba and Burma and North Korea and Zimbabwe -- outposts of oppression in our world. The people in these nations live in captivity, and fear and silence. Yet, these regimes cannot hold back freedom forever -- and, one day, from prison camps and prison cells, and from exile, the leaders of new democracies will arrive. Communism, and militarism and rule by the capricious and corrupt are the relics of a passing era. And we will stand with these oppressed peoples until the day of their freedom finally arrives. . . .

Our commitment to democracy is also tested in the Middle East, which is my focus today, and must be a focus of American policy for decades to come. In many nations of the Middle East -- countries of great strategic importance -- democracy has not yet taken root. And the questions arise: Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom, and never even to have a choice in the matter? I, for one, do not believe it. I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free.

Or as someone wrote about 227 years ago, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to representative government. This "cultural condescension," as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would "never work." Another observer declared the prospects for democracy in post-Hitler Germany are, and I quote, "most uncertain at best" -- he made that claim in 1957. Seventy-four years ago, The Sunday London Times declared nine-tenths of the population of India to be "illiterates not caring a fig for politics." Yet when Indian democracy was imperiled in the 1970s, the Indian people showed their commitment to liberty in a national referendum that saved their form of government.

Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress. In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, and the peaceful resolution of differences. As men and women are showing, from Bangladesh to Botswana, to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy, and every nation can start on this path.

It should be clear to all that Islam -- the faith of one-fifth of humanity -- is [or at least can be] consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries -- in Turkey and Indonesia, and Senegal and Albania, Niger and Sierra Leone. Muslim men and women are good citizens of India and South Africa, of the nations of Western Europe, and of the United States of America.

More than half of all the Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically constituted governments. They succeed in democratic societies, not in spite of their faith, but because of it. A religion that demands individual moral accountability, and encourages the encounter of the individual with God, is fully compatible with the rights and responsibilities of self-government.

Yet there’s a great challenge today in the Middle East. . . .

As the colonial era passed away, the Middle East saw the establishment of many military dictatorships. Some rulers adopted the dogmas of socialism, seized total control of political parties and the media and universities. They allied themselves with the Soviet bloc and with international terrorism. Dictators in Iraq and Syria promised the restoration of national honor, a return to ancient glories. They’ve left instead a legacy of torture, oppression, misery, and ruin.

Other men, and groups of men, have gained influence in the Middle East and beyond through an ideology of theocratic terror. Behind their language of religion is the ambition for absolute political power. Ruling cabals like the Taliban show their version of religious piety in public whippings of women, ruthless suppression of any difference or dissent, and support for terrorists who arm and train to murder the innocent. The Taliban promised religious purity and national pride. Instead, by systematically destroying a proud and working society, they left behind suffering and starvation.

Many Middle Eastern governments now understand that military dictatorship and theocratic rule are a straight, smooth highway to nowhere. But some governments still cling to the old habits of central control. There are governments that still fear and repress independent thought and creativity, and private enterprise -- the human qualities that make for a -- strong and successful societies. Even when these nations have vast natural resources, they do not respect or develop their greatest resources -- the talent and energy of men and women working and living in freedom.

Instead of dwelling on past wrongs and blaming others, governments in the Middle East need to confront real problems, and serve the true interests of their nations. [Otherwise, that bit about "the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government" applies.] The good and capable people of the Middle East all deserve responsible leadership. For too long, many people in that region have been victims and subjects -- they deserve to be active citizens.

. . .

As changes come to the Middle Eastern region, those with power should ask themselves: Will they be remembered for resisting reform, or for leading it? In Iran, the demand for democracy is strong and broad, as we saw last month when thousands gathered to welcome home Shirin Ebadi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The regime in Teheran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people, or lose its last claim to legitimacy.

For the Palestinian people, the only path to independence and dignity and progress is the path of democracy. And the Palestinian leaders who block and undermine democratic reform, and feed hatred and encourage violence [and their ISM/ANSWER/EUroweenie enablers] are not leaders at all. They’re the main obstacles to peace, and to the success of the Palestinian people.

The Saudi government is taking first steps toward reform, including a plan for gradual introduction of elections. By giving the Saudi people a greater role in their own society, the Saudi government can demonstrate true leadership in the region.

[Diplomatically gentle--much more gentle than I would have been--but the point is still there.]

The great and proud nation of Egypt has shown the way toward peace in the Middle East, and now should show the way toward democracy in the Middle East. [Wish he’d said "Otherwise, kiss the $2 billion goodbye," but the implication is still there.] Champions of democracy in the region understand that democracy is not perfect, it is not the path to utopia, but it’s the only path to national success and dignity.

. . .

In Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council are also working together to build a democracy -- and after three decades of tyranny, this work is not easy. The former dictator ruled by terror and treachery, and left deeply ingrained habits of fear and distrust. Remnants of his regime, joined by foreign terrorists, continue their battle against order and against civilization. Our coalition is responding to recent attacks with precision raids, guided by intelligence provided by the Iraqis, themselves. And we’re working closely with Iraqi citizens as they prepare a constitution, as they move toward free elections and take increasing responsibility for their own affairs. As in the defense of Greece in 1947, and later in the Berlin Airlift, the strength and will of free peoples are now being tested before a watching world. And we will meet this test.

Securing democracy in Iraq is the work of many hands. American and coalition forces are sacrificing for the peace of Iraq and for the security of free nations. Aid workers from many countries are facing danger to help the Iraqi people. The National Endowment for Democracy is promoting women’s rights, and training Iraqi journalists, and teaching the skills of political participation. Iraqis, themselves -- police and borders guards and local officials -- are joining in the work and they are sharing in the sacrifice.

This is a massive and difficult undertaking -- it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe -- because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo.

Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace.

The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country. From the Fourteen Points to the Four Freedoms, to the Speech at Westminster, America has put our power at the service of principle. We believe that liberty is the design of nature; we believe that liberty is the direction of history. We believe that human fulfillment and excellence come in the responsible exercise of liberty. And we believe that freedom -- the freedom we prize -- is not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind.
Posted by: Mike || 11/06/2003 5:33:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [385 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Go here to see what BBC website readers think of the speech. Short answer: The wogs can't do democracy and any attempt to bring it to them is cultural imperialism.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/06/2003 19:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Kind o' scary, ain't it.

I guess that's why tyranny keeps on keeping on. A lot of people seem to like it.
Posted by: Michael || 11/06/2003 19:44 Comments || Top||

#3  Wow. I dunno who's more clueless:

wild-eyed barbaric brutal backward convert-you-tax-you-or-kill-you Islamists
or
regular run-of-the-mill-safe-in-their-socialist-safetynet (provided gratis by the US and UK Govt's, in spite, apparently, of their devout and fervent wishes) BBC visitors

Makes me wonder if we shouldn't create the Fortress America we've always been accused of living in - and bomb the living motherfuck out of everyone else as fast as we can manufacture the god-damned bombs.

But no strong feelings, yet. Letting it marinate.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 20:05 Comments || Top||

#4  I think that's the heaviest shit I've heard since Reagan's 'Tear down this wall'. I think this is our smackdown message. Deftly sidesteps / defuses the issue of Islamism. Won't be heeded, but notice is served.
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 23:15 Comments || Top||


Rangel Calls for Rumsfeld Resignation
Never saw this coming...
More politix as usual from a quintissential hack...
A high-ranking House Democrat on Wednesday took Donald Rumsfeld to task, saying the defense secretary should do the country "a service" and resign from his post.
Some of us wish you’d do the same, you pompous windbag!
Referring to a memo leaked last month in which Rumsfeld asked his four top aides several ponderous questions about gauging the success in the war on terror, Rep. Charles Rangel of New York said Rumsfeld doesn’t have the strategy for getting U.S. troops out of Iraq nor a clue whether efforts in Iraq have been successful or not. "The whole idea of having a leaked report that says that there is no game plan, he doesn’t know whether he’s winning or losing, that he’s asking questions outside of the box — he’s not supposed to be asking questions, he’s supposed to be giving answers to those questions. Our men and women that are dying every day are entitled to a game plan," Rangel told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.
Great leaders ask a lot from subordinates, even giving negative feedback. Note that Saddam Hussein was infamous for feeding people to the shredders not tolerating the same.
"We owe it to the troops to have some type of plan and he’s the guy that’s responsible for this, he ought to come up with a plan or resign."
Charlie, on the other hand, has all the answers...
On Sunday, Rumsfeld appeared on a "Fox News Sunday" and spoke in specific detail about U.S. postwar planning and what has been achieved in Iraq.
So, he has a plan after all. Care to retract, Mr. Rangel?
"We now have over 100,000 Iraqis who are serving in the Army, the police, the site protection, the civil defense, the border patrols. It’s gone from zero up to 100,000. Our plan is to take it in excess of 200,000 by next year. And it will be Iraqis that will be out killing and capturing the remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime," Rumsfeld said, adding that it is impossible for the Iraqi security forces to go from zero to 100,000 troops without a plan.
That’s a big FU to Rangel. But wait! There’s more!
But Rangel, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said he is incensed that the secretary says the contents of the leaked memo reflect his thinking. Among the questions in the memo, which ended up in reporters’ hands last month after a Pentagon staffer made photocopies of it, Rumsfeld asked, "Is the U.S. winning or losing the global war on terrorism?"
He probably asks himself that question every day. The answer probably varies more often than he'd prefer...
"Is our current situation such that ’the harder we work, the behinder we get?’ It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog," he stated in the memo. Rumsfeld also posed some of his own discussion topics, including, "It is not possible to change [the Department of Defense] fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror, an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution, either within DoD or elsewhere — one that seamlessly focuses the capabilities of several departments and agencies on this key problem."
So there are institutional problems to overcome, like, oh, I dunno, obstinate Congressman, for starters...
Rumsfeld wrote that in terms of cost and benefit, the "ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists’ costs of millions."
So then Charlie sez...
"He doesn’t know whether we’re winning or losing, he doesn’t know whether we’re creating more terrorists than we’re killing, and ... he has no answers to the problems of how the hell we’re going to get out of Iraq," said Rangel, who added that he’s not "overly impressed" that the greatest military power in the world "knocked off" the military "running around in Iraq."
How about some answers / sugestions from you, Einstein?
"If he doesn’t know, he will to have to step aside so we can find somebody who can tell us whether we’re winning or losing," Rangel added.
Guess not.
Rumsfeld said based on numbers alone, the United States is clearly winning the war on terror — many more terrorists are being killed or captured than are coalition troops. But he acknowledged that he does not know how to measure how many terrorists are being created in radical Islamic schools and elsewhere.
You could start by bombing them and counting the bodies, but that might be viewed by our European counterparts as simplisme. Subtlety was never my strong point.
"Our goal has to be to continue doing what we’re doing on the global war on terror. And that is going well. We are capturing and killing a lot of terrorists," he said. "But we also have to think about the number of new ones that are being created, it seems to me. And the memo I wrote raised that question. How might we do that? How do we win that battle of ideas? And it’s not going to be so much the United States as it is other people from other countries who see their religion hijacked and taken away from them."
What say you, Sir Charles?
Rangel also complained that troops on the ground in Baghdad aren’t happy with their circumstances and morale is suffering as a result.
I’d get sick of eating MRE’s and farting like a racehorse all day. Well, maybe from eating MRE’s all day...
"I think the worst thing the most harmful thing that a combat soldier can read ... is that the people back home have no clue how long you’re going to stay there, who the enemy is, and when can you possibly determine victory. It just seems to me that that is what is really undermining the morale of the troops," Rangel said.
Note - Charles Rangel was the first Congressman to suggest reinstating the draft.
On Wednesday, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace inadvertently revealed elements of the plan to rotate troops in and out of Iraq in the coming months.
SOP.
Speaking at a House Armed Services Committee, Pace said that currently four divisions are in Iraq, but in the next rotation, only three will remain.
Wow! Another plan!
According to a plan And another! signed by Rumsfeld on Wednesday and expected to be released Thursday, the 101st Airborne (search) will be replaced by U.S. Marines.
Jihadis, beware!
In the revised rotation schedule, heavy armored divisions are to be rotated with lighter Marines units, Army light infantry and motorized divisions and National Guard and Reserve units with specialties in military policing and civil affairs. The plan foresees the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq dropping by more than 20,000 by May, assuming that Iraqi forces will continue to be quickly trained to take over. On Sunday, Rumsfeld said that process is moving quickly, and likely will depend on recruiting ex-Iraqi soldiers to take over. "We’ve been recruiting them for six months. We’ve been putting them in the police force. We’ve been putting them in the border patrol and the site protection and in the Army," he said.
The concept is called training, Sir Charles. Training Arab troops / police in modern techniques takes time.
Finally, Rangel said he was angered by Rumsfeld’s "lack of sensitivity" over the deadly helicopter crash in Baghdad this weekend that killed 15 American soldiers.
Why, ’cuz he wasn’t crying?
During his weekend appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Rumsfeld said, "One has to say that this is a tragic day for those young men and women who are serving our country so wonderfully, and my prayers and sympathy go to the families and the loved ones of those that were killed and wounded." He added that days like that will occur in war, and Americans must recognize that.
I’d wish leftists like Rangel would, too. I won’t hold my breath.
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 4:49:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [378 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let's be honest, Rumsfeld should have been careful with that memo. Even with your little comments, Rumsfeld is still the one looking like a moron on this one.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/06/2003 17:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Rummy looks like he's doing his job. Rangel looks like he's speaking at an International ANSWER rally.

Wonder what ScrappleFace will do with this one?
Posted by: Mike || 11/06/2003 17:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Nice hair, Chuck. Now go extort somebody, huh? Thanks.
Posted by: mojo || 11/06/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

#4  OK, let's see how long it takes Democrats to distance themselves from Rangel's lies and idiocy...

(Hey, how many Dems objected to Rangel's last blast of brilliance -- reinstituting the draft?)
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/06/2003 17:43 Comments || Top||

#5  Rumsfeld is still the one looking like a moron on this one.

Only a moron would make that claim.

Sitting on one's laurels without performing constant reevaluation, reassessment, and a bit of self-criticism in a constantly changing situation makes the possibility of failure much more likely.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 17:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Right on target Bomb-a -rama. That's why the Donks (sans Zell Miller) find themselves in the position they're in....lots of group-think, everyone marching in lockstep. No hint of analysis or critical thinking. If they keep this rediculous crap up to the O4 election they will not carry a single state.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 11/06/2003 18:09 Comments || Top||

#7  Anonymous... you have no idea what you're talking about. That memo showed that Rumsfield views every situation as if we're the underdog and nothing can be taken for granted. It's exactly what you want the leadership to be doing and actually reminds me of things Gates says in memos about the competition (Netscape, Apple, Oracle, Sun etc..) before Microsoft completely and utterly decimates them. You know why? Because he takes nothing for granted and always fights like his back is against the wall... no matter what.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 11/06/2003 18:12 Comments || Top||

#8  Chuck thinks that HE is the only one that can lead the military. Rangel can rant like this because he is in a 'safe' district. It's hard to believe that that many people actually agree with the spew coming out of this man. Chuck has the distinction of being only the 2nd congressman that I have written to outside my State. I told him his draft idea would KILL GIs. I go no response. BTW Chuck probably thought his was at a ANSWER meeting.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/06/2003 18:14 Comments || Top||

#9  the only reason he wanted to reinstate the draft was to destroy the military, not save it. Rangel, like Kerry uses their previous (honorable) military service to deflect questions about their dishonorable conduct in congress and on the campaign trail. F*&k em both
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 18:25 Comments || Top||

#10  There's only one thing to do: grab Charlie Rangel, dress him in a bright fluorescent orange jumpsuit, and equip him with a super-soaker filled with lemonade, and drop him into Teheran on a secret mission. "Sorry, Congressman Rangel, we can't tell you what we want you to do, it's a secret. But you'll think of something. Time to go."
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/06/2003 18:38 Comments || Top||

#11  Lest we not forget that it was Rangel that ran screaming through the halls of Congress that the minorities made up the majority of combat arms troops in Iraq.

Bzzzzt! Sorry, wrong answer, they're the majority on the support side of the house. If you would have done your homework, asshat, the press wouldn't have had to "old school" your sorry ass on the one thing you Democrats seem to always overlook...the facts.

Chuckie, YOU are the disgrace to the US. YOU resign, it would do wonders for the country.
Posted by: Paul || 11/06/2003 18:45 Comments || Top||

#12  Rangel is just confused because the memo was intended to spur thinking on how to win the war and didn't mention anything about attacking the other political party.
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 18:48 Comments || Top||

#13  Yank - you're absolutely right! It's beyond not only his experience, but his imagination.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 11/06/2003 19:59 Comments || Top||

#14  This looks like a job for the Rumsfeld Strangler!
Posted by: Old Grouch || 11/06/2003 20:26 Comments || Top||

#15  Contact the greaseball here.

Your Zip Code is 10027-4404
Posted by: Parabellum || 11/06/2003 21:17 Comments || Top||

#16  Rangel craks me up. Minorities make up only about 20% of front line troops at the very most. They probably make up 50% of support and about 30% overall (consistent w/the pop) Rangel was caught in a blatant lie on this one. I respect his service record but he is abusing it in the worst way imho.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 21:56 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Israel: Sensitive IAI missile launch recorded by Channel 10
Hat tip to Drudge
Israel Aircraft Industries was frantically engaged in damage control yesterday after an unprecedented security lapse allowed a Channel 10 television technician to capture an internal screening of a secret missile test via an ordinary satellite dish. The technician said that he captured the unencrypted footage via an ordinary household dish with a one-meter diameter - the kind owned by the tens of thousands in Israel and by millions throughout the Middle East. Thus, as Channel 10’s military correspondent, Alon Ben David, noted, the intelligence services of any hostile country could have captured the film the same way.
Anybody believe they didn’t know this was going out? How about a veiled warning to Tehran and the blackhats?
After the initial shock, IAI officials tried to portray the slip-up as less serious than it seemed. "This a completely unclassified project," IAI’s security officer, Naor Zeidman, told Haaretz. "We do dozens of missile tests. So what? You don’t run to the media with every test. We don’t even have a customer for this missile. Had this been anything connected to the Israel Defense Forces, I assure you that there would have been IDF encryption on [footage of] the launch." But despite the denials, senior defense officials exerted massive pressure on Channel 10 in an effort to stop it from screening the footage. Moreover, after Ben David asked the defense establishment for comment, IAI was immediately ordered to shut down its internal television network. And, despite the fact that the project was "unclassified," the military censor demanded that Ben David’s report be sent to it for approval. According to Ben David, the censor nixed significant portions of the report, including anything that could have identified the missile or revealed technical details such as its range and flight path.

In a terse statement released yesterday, IAI said that it "fired a long-range and accurate artillery projectile in a test conducted off the coast of Israel. Not all the goals of the test were achieved." It added that the projectile was developed on the assumption that there is a global market for an accurate, long-range weapon. Malam, the IAI division that conducted the test, is also the maker of the Arrow anti-missile missile, the Shavit satellite launcher and, according to foreign reports, the Jericho surface-to-surface missile.

The incident began on Monday, when the Channel 10 technician, doing a routine scan of all frequencies broadcast via Israel’s Amos satellite, captured some unusual pictures that were being broadcast live. The pictures resembled control-room activity before a missile launch and appeared to have been transmitted from one control room to another. However, the technician was unable to capture footage from the second source, as that was encrypted. The technician called Ben David, who advised the technician to monitor that frequency continuously. Over the next 48 hours, Channel 10 thus filmed all the launch preparations plus the tests themselves - which took place over the Mediterranean Sea Tuesday and yesterday mornings. The missile, which was supposed to hit its target within three minutes, went wild after two minutes and fell into the sea.

The presence at the launch of high-level officials - including CEO Moshe Keret, Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazy and commander of the ground forces Major General Yiftah Ron Tal - seems to indicate that the defense establishment had high hopes for the missile. Zeidman, however, said that senior IDF officers are invited to all such tests, in the hopes that the army can be persuaded to buy. Today, IAI will begin investigating the lapse. According to Zeidman, Malam was responsible for all the arrangements.
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 4:13:21 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Missile? What missile? That was a...a...ummm...Look! Over there! It's William Shatner!" :: flees ::
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/06/2003 16:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Was it viewed by people in Damascus and Tehran? If so, good.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 16:29 Comments || Top||

#3  I think the Nielsen ratings there were low, but the focus group intended got it
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 16:41 Comments || Top||

#4  Consider... The Israelis launch all their satellites going into the wind. This gives the Zionist satellite program an ungodly anti-rotation, makes it easy to hide in the glare of the sun.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

#5  ROFLMAO!!! Oh shit, coffee spew! I just LOVES Dr Science!

(http://www.ducksbreath.com/index.htm
Check out the Real Audio of his radio programs...
Remember, he knows more than you do!)
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/06/2003 18:16 Comments || Top||


Korea
Clinton calls for aid to end N.Korea arms crisis
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Thursday Washington should offer food and energy supplies to North Korea in return for access to its laboratories to help resolve a crisis over the North’s nuclear programme. ’’I think we ought to offer them a mega deal. Help with food, help with energy, help with becoming a self-sustaining economy... in return for total access to all the labs, all the sites, taking the plutonium rods out of North Korea altogether,’’ Clinton told a business forum in Hong Kong.
Now why didn’t we think of that? Oh yeah, we did.
’’I don’t believe that North Korea wants to drop a bomb on South Korea or Japan. I think what they want to do is eat and stay warm,’’ Clinton said.
Among other things.
His comments come after Washington proposed suspending a project to build nuclear power stations in North Korea for a year to see what comes of diplomatic attempts to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons programmes. The project is based on a 1994 pact agreed during Clinton’s administration. Under that deal, the North Koreans agreed to freeze their nuclear arms programme in return for two light-water reactors, fuel oil shipments and food supplies. The United States initially sent fuel oil to meet immediate energy needs, but stopped those deliveries a year ago after the United States announced in October last year that the North had a secret uranium enrichment project in violation of the 1994 pact. The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation, the international consortium building the nuclear power stations in North Korea, is expected to officially announce a decision on the future of the light-water reactor project by November 21.
See that funny dent in my scalp? That’s where my head keeps banging against the keyboard...
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/06/2003 4:06:37 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [347 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does Clinton WANT WWIII!?
Posted by: Atrus || 11/06/2003 16:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Hey, if he can't be president during a war, he'll bloody well set the stage for one!

Someone needs to carefully take Clinton aside, calmly explain to him that he's no longer in office, and then break his knee caps so he gets the point.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/06/2003 16:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Desperate Attempt #572 at rewriting "the Legacy" and the Nobel Peace Prize
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||

#4  Yes, by all means. Let's set Kimmy up with a nice package, let him stabilize his regime so he can starve, rape, imprison, and torture his people to his little heart's content without all those pesky "running the government" issues.

Was this idiot really our president? Did I vote for this moron? Move over, Seafarious, I have some head-pounding to do too. Consider it penitence.
Posted by: BH || 11/06/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Again, Bill...WE CAN"T MISS YOU IF YOU WON'T GO AWAY!!!!
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/06/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#6  ’’I think we ought to offer them a mega deal. Help with food, help with energy, help with becoming a self-sustaining economy... in return for total access to all the labs, all the sites, taking the plutonium rods out of North Korea altogether,’’ Clinton told a business forum in Hong Kong.

Who gives a rat's ass what Clinton thinks? He made one agreement that NK didn't honor, so now what? Another Clinton-style bargain? No thanks. The "rewards" of the previous agreement are still being reaped.

Jerkoff.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#7  Hey Clinton! Want me to give you something? The finger, not my vote! ..!..
Posted by: Atrus || 11/06/2003 16:22 Comments || Top||

#8  My questions:

1) Do we go into NKor and distribute food under Kimmies nose? Does he propose we should trust the UN to do that? Or do we just call it for what it is - nuclear blackmail.

2) Would it not be better (albeit more harsh) to let them starve themselves into a revolution and throw kim out on their own.

3) If #2 above is not feasible, is it an even bet he'd trigger something off with ROK?

4) Or, do we just ignore him as another half-witted dictator?

5) Or, as soon as Iraq is more manageble in the next 18 mos, do we turn to beefing up Skor & beating the sh*t outta kimmie?

Any of you guys - please feel free to throw in some comments for me to chew on.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/06/2003 16:26 Comments || Top||

#9  ...and then break his knee caps so he gets the point.

I hear Tonya Harding's available (note to Clinton - I'm told she gives FANTASTIC oral).
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 16:32 Comments || Top||

#10  Jarhead, honestly I don't think an internal revolution is possible. Not unless it's the army the does the revolting. The people, from what I know, are too hungry, cold and afraid to fight. Kind of similar to how Saddam had the Iraqi's down. Also, I don't know if he'd pick a fight with SoK or not. Personally I am not so sure he does have a nuke. And I know I read something the other day that supported that, i'll look for the link. Personally, I think Kimmie is a bitch in dire need of some slapping. Not another war though, at least not right away. Surgical strike, take the bastard out and see what happens. Sure, probably end up with another bad guy in charge, but anybody other than Kimmie would be an improvement I think.
Posted by: Swiggles || 11/06/2003 16:46 Comments || Top||

#11  Actually, the biggest flaw of the Agreed Framework was that the plutonium stayed in North Korea. If the plutonium rods were moved out of NKor, then Kim is as irrelevant as Burma or Zimbabwe.

North Korea only matters because of their nuclear weapons potential. We have be-turbanned fish to fry.
Posted by: john bragg || 11/06/2003 16:53 Comments || Top||

#12  This is not a job for little Bill. Call in the pros.

Jiiimmuuuuah! We caught the raaaaaaabuuuuuut!
Posted by: Shipman || 11/06/2003 16:57 Comments || Top||

#13  I see... so the solution to the NK problem is to repeat past mistakes, but do it more spectacularly this time. Uh-huh.

What a clueless, farking idiot.
Posted by: Dave D. || 11/06/2003 17:08 Comments || Top||

#14  Bill who?...


Oh, HIM. Never mind.
Posted by: mojo || 11/06/2003 17:12 Comments || Top||

#15  "Hey everybody Lookit MEEEEEEE!!!! I'm Bill Clinton, you remember the one with more charisma than Bush (well at least according to me and the local gals at the local Tap)."

Egomania generally doesn't love company, can't figure why Bill would get all chummy and do a square for Lil' Kim.
Posted by: Brainiac || 11/06/2003 17:34 Comments || Top||

#16  That worked so well when Clinton (and Carter) tried it in 1994.
Posted by: A Jackson || 11/06/2003 17:55 Comments || Top||

#17  Seafarious and BH, move over, I get the numeric keypad.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/06/2003 18:09 Comments || Top||

#18  Sea, BH, SteveW... Instead of beating your head against the keyboard, why don't you do something that will REALLY help? Get an old fashioned punching bag and a pair of bag gloves. Consider the bag WillieJ, and let the fists fly. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel after a half-hour or so. You'll also be much more physically fit to do it in reality if you ever get the chance - and the inclination.

In the meantime, I think everyone should boycott the Clintons: don't buy their books, don't go to their meetings, and do your utmost to erase them from your lives. Maybe in a century or two they'll get the message and go away...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/06/2003 19:03 Comments || Top||

#19  Wow, my keyboard's getting crowded...

Anyone wanna order out for kimchee?
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/06/2003 22:54 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Sydney Prize
Hat tip LGF
Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi said that attacks on her in Australia were worse than any she had received from Israelis, as she received Australia’s main peace prize from the city of Sydney. Ashrawi, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian statehood and member of the elected Palestinian parliament, received the 50,000 dollar (34,500 US dollar) Sydney Peace Prize at a gala ceremony here. But her choice as recipient of the prize, awarded annually by Australia’s largest metropolis, was so controversial that Sydney Mayor Lucy Turnbull boycotted the event.

Hours before the ceremony, Australian Prime Minister John Howard fueled the controversy by joining those who claimed Ashrawi did not deserve the prize because of her alleged failure to unconditionally condemn militant attacks that killed Israeli civilians. Howard said former Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, would have been a better choice for the award for his efforts to curb the influence of Palestinian Authority president Sharkey Arafish Yasser Arafat. "I simply say that on the scale of merit I certainly would have put Abu Mazen and some others well ahead of her," Howard said.

A vocal segment of Australia’s Jewish community lobbied furiously against the award, saying Ashrawi effectively encouraged terrorism by equating Israeli military actions against the occupied Palestinian territories to Palestinian suicide attacks on Israel. But the Sydney Peace Foundation, a non-profit organization attached to the University of Sydney and funded in part by the local government, defended its choice. New South Wales state Premier Bob Carr, one of Australia’s most high profile politicians, rejected calls that he boycott the award ceremony and described Ashrawi Thursday as "a defender of the fundamental rights of every human being." "Here is a woman who talks the language of peace," Carr said as he awarded Ashrawi the prize.
She talks the talk sometimes. Sometimnes not. Does she walk the walk, though? Evidently not.
Ashrawi, a scholar and longtime spokeswoman for the Palestinian cause who has also been a fierce critic of corruption in the Palestinian Authority under Arafat, expressed astonishment at the level of vitriol her presence here evoked. "I was amazed at the degree of, not just negative response, but a certain degree of hatred, which I don’t find even with my discussion with Israelis," she said. "I have never seen such a mobilisation for hate language and rejection as I saw in a very, very, small minority. I felt that the further away people are from the situation and the conflict the more license they give themselves to distort and to interfere negatively. I don’t know why feelings are so high here."

While her critics claimed Ashrawi continues to harbor the goal of destroying Israel so that Palestinians could recover all the lands they held prior to the creation of the Jewish state, she insisted in her acceptance speech Thursday that the only solution was Israeli and Palestinian states living side-by-side. "There can be no legitimacy for Israel without the Palestinians and there can be no legitimate Palestinian state without sharing the land of Palestine and recognising the legitimacy of the state of Israel," she said.

Around 200 guests attended the awards dinner while a small number of pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian activists demonstrated peacefully outside. Carr acknowledged the difficult reception Ashrawi had received. "Dr Ashrawi, we are all of us uncomfortably aware tonight that for you, these things are not an academic argument. They are the life you have lived every day," he said.
Posted by: Atrus || 11/06/2003 1:02:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  These Peace Prizes are some of the only awards that I know of that are awarded when the goal has not been achieved. I guess its simular to how they give out plenty of extra prizes and hugs at the Special Olympics. Why don't we save the peace awards for the Palestinian Conflict until after the meat stops flying.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/06/2003 13:08 Comments || Top||

#2  ...said that attacks on her in Australia were worse than any she had received from Israelis,

I thought Tim Blair was Stateside this week?
Posted by: Raj || 11/06/2003 13:40 Comments || Top||

#3  "Here is a woman who talks the language of peace," Carr said as he awarded Ashrawi the prize.

Actually, if one listens closely to any of her interviews, she can be heard to be speaking Arafartese.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||


Israel closes accounts with Dov Driben’s killers
JPost Reg req’d - another reason to like Israel’s approach - perseverance and not forgetting.....remember the Munich Olympics killers?
In a coordinated operation involving elite undercover Border Police, IDF, and regular police units, Israeli forces on Thursday captured Ibrahim Database Dababse, a Palestinian fugitive wanted for his role in the murder of Dov Driben at Maon Farm in April 1998. Dababse, a resident of Kafr Yatta south of Hebron on the West Bank, was captured near Hebron. He was transferred to Hebron Police for interrogation. Dov Driben, 29, the father of four, was shot to death on a ranch situated at Moshav Maon in the southern Hebron Hills in April 1998. In November 2001 Border Police undercover units and IDF soldiers shot and killed Fatah Issa Halil Dababse of the Tanzim near his home, after he aimed his weapon at the unit that was trying to catch him. Meanwhile, Palestinian security forces on Thursday claimed to have arrested two would-be suicide bombers, members of Islamic Jihad and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
WTF??? Didn’t get their clearance from Yasser?
The two were reportedly in the final stages of planning suicide bombings in Israel. There has been no official confirmation of the report from Israel.
Show-arrests with the same splodeydope belts being used in future attacks
Posted by: Frank G || 11/06/2003 12:40:13 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Guess they drew the short straws. Do you think the IDF can help out with the investigation into the killing of the American diplomats the other week. They seem to get better results than the PLA is known for.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/06/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||


Africa: East
Liberia’s Interim Leader Apologies for Sierra Leone War
The head of Liberia’s interim government apologized Thursday for his country’s role in fueling a 10-year war in Sierra Leone - a gesture toward mending relations after the exile of indicted war criminal and ex-President Charles Taylor. "Not all of us endorse what has happened, and we deeply regret what happened," Gyude Bryant said after meeting with Sierra Leone President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.
"It was Chuck’s idea, I had nothing to do with it!"
"I beg you to forgive us, put away the bitterness of the past and let us live and work together to move our countries forward."
"I’m trying to steal, er, run a country here"
Taylor, who resigned in August besieged by rebels and under international pressure, faces war crimes charges for being a major supporter of Sierra Leone’s brutal insurgency. Exiled this year after a peace deal ended a civil war in Liberia, Taylor now lives in Nigeria. It is considered unlikely that he would appear before the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, though he has sent lawyers to argue on his behalf.
Posted by: Steve || 11/06/2003 12:26:20 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front
Kyl Blasts Dems on Intel Memo
Hat tip: Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review Online

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), a member of the Senate leadership, today issued the following statement one day after Senate Democrats’ refused to repudiate a staff memo outlining a strategy to use a nonpartisan Intelligence Committee investigation for political attacks next year against President Bush.

Also, one day after "Give ’em Hell!" Zell Miller’s very strong statement ("Heads should roll!") on the same subject.

The Senator called on Democrat leaders to publicly denounce the strategy. He also suggested that if staff members deserved the blame for drafting the memo, they should be fired.

"First, Democrats sought to blame an unnamed staffer for this memo, saying it had never been approved by any Senators. Next they tried to argue the memo’s merits without accepting responsibility for it. Then, on CNN, Senator Rockefeller attributed it to his three staffers but claimed it was just one ’option’ or ’idea’ adding, ’I disavow nothing.’

"Further failing to accept responsibility, Democrats had the audacity to suggest the Senate investigate how these attack plans might have been obtained - the equivalent of offenders blaming the cops because they got caught. This effort at spin control is patently absurd in any event, since by Senator Rockefeller’s own admission, this strategy memo was not an official committee document and certainly contained no intelligence information.

"Another Democrat explanation is that they simply are frustrated that the administration has not provided as much intelligence information to the committee as they have demanded. But what makes them think they would get more information by signaling in advance that they intend to use the information politically or that they’ve already begun to do so? The White House could be excused for taking a dim view of the Democrats’ demands.

"All of the Democrats’ artful dodges are attempts to obscure what must be the central questions in examining this serious matter. Does the Democrat leadership repudiate this strategy or does it embrace it? Does the Democrat Party intend to use what is supposed to be a nonpartisan intelligence investigation as a political weapon or doesn’t it? Will Senate Democrats demand accountability for the inappropriate partisan use of the Intelligence Committee or won’t they?

"The American people have a right to hear the answers to these questions. I, for one, am not satisfied with what I’ve heard so far."
Posted by: Mike || 11/06/2003 11:37:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It will be interesting to see how Rockefeller treads through this one. I doubt he will get too much flack from WV. Whatever he says can't be half as bad as what Byrd says everyday. Maybe at least Rockefeller's credibility will be hurt outside of WV.

Anybody know what happened to the California Dems that accidently broadcast their budget strategy to all and sundry? It will be interesting to see whether they continue to be reelected. I guess it depends on what district they represent.

Posted by: Super Hose || 11/06/2003 13:23 Comments || Top||

#2  The Senator called on Democrat leaders to publicly denounce the strategy.

What good does it do at this juncture? The memo was leaked, no Senate Dem has disowned the concept behind it or disowned any affiliation with it, so how would publicly denouncing it look like anything other than a knee-jerk reaction?

File it away for future reference.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 14:49 Comments || Top||

#3  The point here is the damage is done. Trying to spin it, or denounce it only creates more damage and keeps the issue in the American public's mind longer. This is the one issue where the public doesn't trust the Democrats and the Democrats have handed the Republicans some ammunitition to use. This will come up again, and again until the election.
Posted by: Yank || 11/06/2003 15:17 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon
Syria Blames U.S. for ’Terrorism’ in Iraq
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - The Syrian foreign ministry called on the United States to pull its troops out of Iraq, saying their presence has led to chaos and terrorism, according to remarks published Wednesday.
Sure, Bushra, we can load ’em up at Latakia. Nice port, Latakia, should meet our needs for all the equipment and people we’ll bring through to get them out of Iraq. Bushra? Hello?
There was no terrorism problem in Iraq when the United States entered the country, a spokeswoman for Syria’s foreign ministry said in an interview with the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. ``Now, there is the problem of terrorism and of al-Qaida,’’ Bushra Kanafani said in published remarks.
And then his lips fell off!
In Washington, State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli downplayed Kanafani’s comments. ``The analysis is faulty, to say the least,’’ Ereli said.
But say more please!
The United States has repeatedly accused Syria, long on the U.S. State Department list of countries sponsoring terrorism and an opponent of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, of not doing enough to ensure Muslim militants do not slip across its border into Iraq. Syrian officials say the long, porous border makes it hard to stop infiltrators. ``The problem here is not Syria, but America,’’ Kanafani was quoted as telling Asharq al-Awsat. Kanafani said the United States can help restore order if it accepts a timetable for withdrawing its troops from Iraq and allows a greater peacekeeping role for the United Nations.
No doubt Syrian and Pakistani ’peacekeepers’ would participate -- hmmm, which ones would I trust less?
Syrian President Bashar Assad has also blamed the U.S.-led occupation for instability in Iraq. ``The world has discovered that the war of ’liberation’ of Iraq has liberated the Iraqi citizen of the state, the institutions, sovereignty, dignity, food, water and electricity,’’ Assad said in a speech at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit in Malaysia last month.
Not to mention the secret police, political detentions and the shredding machine.
``The Iraqi citizen has become ’liberated’ from the gift of life, and everyone, without exception, has discovered that the excuses which led to war lacked credibility,’’ Assad said, referring to the U.S.-led coalition’s failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Mind if we look in your country for them? Some crazy rumors floating around, Bashar, we just want to be thorough.
In addition to Iraq, Syrian-U.S. ties have been strained over Syrian support for terrorist anti-Israel groups based in Damascus and for the Lebanese Hezbollah group. Washington correctly calls those groups terrorist organizations. Kanafani told Asharq al-Awsat she was not optimistic about an early improvement in U.S.-Syrian ties.
We have some ideas, though.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/06/2003 12:49:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I suppose it's all part of diplomacy and all that... but I hope that I'll live to see a government official just collapse with laughter when asked for the U.S.'s response to statements like this.
Posted by: snellenr || 11/06/2003 1:06 Comments || Top||

#2  The time to hurl threats over the back fence is nearly over. Time to change to rocks (precision guided of course).

Dorf
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/06/2003 7:52 Comments || Top||

#3  snellenr - You almost got your wish when Richard Boucher made his now famous chocolate makers remark. He didn't double over with laughter, but I'm sure most of us did! I think we're headed toward that day - in our simplisme way, of course. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 11/06/2003 9:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Ah, the western desert, as the Iraqis call it. Flat and empty. Hell of a place to do a little weapons testing, huh?

Wasn't there something about autonomous robotic "Guardian" development in "Evil Empire News"?
Posted by: mojo || 11/06/2003 10:41 Comments || Top||

#5  The Syrian foreign ministry called on the United States to pull its troops out of Iraq, saying their presence has led to chaos and terrorism, according to remarks published Wednesday.

Since when did chaos and terrorism in Iraq become something of great concern in Damascus?

There was no terrorism problem in Iraq when the United States entered the country, a spokeswoman for Syria’s foreign ministry said in an interview with the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

No terrorism by external organizations, no doubt. Of course, that just leaves that nagging little problem of Saddam Hussein.....

Syrian officials say the long, porous border makes it hard to stop infiltrators.

Anyone care to bet on how long that "porous border" would remain porous if U.S. forces began to gather there?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||

#6  It would seem to me that the western desert at night would be an infared target shooting gallery.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/06/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#7  Anyone care to bet on how long that "porous border" would remain porous if U.S. forces began to gather there?

To be honest, I think it would get a lot more porous if that happened.
Posted by: snellenr || 11/06/2003 13:11 Comments || Top||

#8  To be honest, I think it would get a lot more porous if that happened.

Ah, but the rub would be that the porous border would be as far as the crossers would get into Iraq before being filled with lead.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 16:50 Comments || Top||

#9  BAR: I was actually thinking in terms of the Syrian forces on the border, and their rapid (very, very rapid -- unimpeded by equipment & uniforms) advance in the general direction of "anywhere away from those M1A2s".
Posted by: snellenr || 11/06/2003 18:10 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Palestinans yet to resolve impasse
Palestinian leaders have failed once again to resolve a dispute holding up the formation of a new government that has already dragged into overtime.
Comes as a surprise, doesn't it?
The central committee of the mainstream Fatah movement met twice on Wednesday to end the impasse over the choice of a new interior minister, but both meetings failed to find a solution, party sources said. A third meeting is to be held on Thursday morning, but one senior Fatah source believes neither side was showing signs of backing down. Palestinian foreign minister-designate Nabil Shaath said the meeting was called in a continuing attempt to decide on the powers of the prime minister, interior minister and national security council, which Arafat chairs. The main sticking point is Ahmad Qurei's choice of General Nasser Yousuf as interior minister with control over security forces. Qurei's predecessor, Mahmoud Abbas, quit in September after a similar dispute with Arafat over security powers.
So will Qurei's successor, whoever he may be...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Finance minister Fayed says he wont work until theres a formal cabinet (IOW until Arafat gives in to Qurei) That is throwing a monkey wrench into the upcoming donors conference. The euros may not have run out of patience with Arafat, but it seems that a number of Pal politicos are. Arafat could dispense with Abbas and Dahlan. He may think he can dispense with Qurei and Yousuf. But can he dispense with Fayed as well? Losing Fayed should upset even the Euros. Not to mention lots of Pals (at least the politicos - i dont know about the street) Eventually a tipping point....
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 9:50 Comments || Top||

#2  It would a deep irony after all this if the people who exiled Arafat were the Palestinian legislature rather than the Israelis.
Posted by: mhw || 11/06/2003 10:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Jeebus, it's like watching an Austin Powers movie. Just shoot the bastard, ok?
Posted by: mojo || 11/06/2003 10:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Palestinian leaders have failed once again to resolve a dispute holding up the formation of a new government that has already dragged into overtime.

Move along, nothing to see here.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/06/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#5  On the general subject, a few minutes ago the PA said they arrested two suicide bomber wannabees


--------
Palestinians say they arrest two for planning J'lem attack

By Uri Ash, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and News Agencies

Palestinian security forces arrested two people in
the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Thursday ....
-------------------------

There is a rumor that Jordanian agents have moved into Bethlehem to whip two of the PA 'security precincts' into shape. This might be from that sub operation.
Posted by: mhw || 11/06/2003 13:17 Comments || Top||

#6  i have a feeling the arrests are connected to the Israeli relaxations of roadblocks. I have a very strong intuitive feeling that this isnt just some Pals seeing the light on terror - its a political maneuver coordinated between Sharon and Qurei, in an attempt to checkmate Arafat.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/06/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||


Korea
Kim wants to rule all Korea: Hwang
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's biggest ambition is to rule over a unified, Communist Korea, the North's highest-ranking defector said in an interview published on Tuesday. Hwang Jang-yop, speaking through an interpreter, also said that Kim Jong-il was "brilliant" as a dictator but a failure as a leader and has turned his country into a prison. A former mentor to Kim Jong-il, Hwang told The Washington Times that Kim's "priority in life is to become the supreme ruler of the unified Chosun, or as you call it, Korea."
Guess that's one method of "reunification." I think we've mentioned that here a time or two before. The idea seems to be positioned in the SKors' blind spot, though...
"Before Kim Jong-il came to power, there was his father, Kim Il Sung. No one starved to death under Kim Il Sung. However after Kim Jong-il came to power, millions of people starved to death. The economy has been destroyed and the whole government and the country became one big prison," Hwang said. "As a leader of his people, this man has been a failure. However, as a dictator, in maintaining his dictatorial regime, this man has been brilliant," Hwang told The Washington Times.
What's it like to live in a country where Kim Jong-Il represents "the good old days"?
Hwang said in the interview that he does not believe Kim Jong-il would initiate a war against South Korea unless he was certain that he would prevail. He also said that the North Korean leadership's failures led it to seek nuclear weapons to maintain its grip on power and that Kim would be willing to use nuclear weapons in a conflict with the South. "I would think that by having these warheads, it would be possible to maintain the status quo of the dictatorial regime of North Korea." Hwang said " And also possibly use them against South Korea, to occupy South Korea by force."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/06/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What's it like to live in a country where Kim Jong-Il represents "the good old days"?

You've heard of those houses where someone goes nuts and keeps 300-400 cats...
Posted by: snellenr || 11/06/2003 1:10 Comments || Top||

#2  "You've heard of those houses where someone goes nuts and keeps 300-400 cats... "

In North Korea thats called a factory farm. Mmmm, tastes just like chicken.
Posted by: Dakotah || 11/06/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
32[untagged]

Bookmark
E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Thugburg
Gulf War I
The Way We Were
Bio

Merry-Go-Blog










On Sale now!


A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
Pappy
lotp
Scooter McGruder
john frum
tu3031
badanov
sherry
ryuge
GolfBravoUSMC
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Gloria
Fred
Besoeker
Glenmore
Frank G
3dc
Skidmark
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2003-11-06
  Attack of the Meccaboomers
Wed 2003-11-05
  Iranian role in Hakim assassination?
Tue 2003-11-04
  Pakistan Army Kills Two Al-Qaida
Mon 2003-11-03
  Soddies shoot it out with Bad Guys in downtown Mecca
Sun 2003-11-02
  13 dead as US helicopter shot down
Sat 2003-11-01
  Pak opposition leader arrested on treason charges
Fri 2003-10-31
  Ivory Coast Uncovers Assassins Plot
Thu 2003-10-30
  Izzat Ibrahim running al-Qaeda ops in Iraq
Wed 2003-10-29
  New JI leader on trial in Jakarta
Tue 2003-10-28
  Bob has a stroke?
Mon 2003-10-27
  Red Cross rocketed in Baghdad
Sun 2003-10-26
  Wolfowitz hotel rocketed in Baghdad
Sat 2003-10-25
  Jordan charges 108 with terrorism
Fri 2003-10-24
  Residents foil bomb plot in Baghdad burb
Thu 2003-10-23
  Sudan refuses to close down Hamas and Islamic Jihad offices

Better than the average link...



Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
18.207.106.142
Paypal:
(0)    (0)    (0)    (0)    (0)