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Major attack in Riyadh
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Naval grads seek gay alumni chapter
Not very surprising news to us other former O-gangers.

Associated Press

While at the Naval Academy in the late ’80s, Jeff Petrie thought he was the only gay midshipman at the school. Homophobia was rife, and he took pains to hide his sexual orientation. "I kept my secret. I lived a double life in exchange for the opportunity to serve," he said.

NOW, PETRIE is leading an effort to establish an official gay and lesbian chapter of the school’s alumni association, in what would be a first for any U.S. service academy.
The chapter’s 29 members-to-be, none of whom still serve in the military, want to support gay midshipmen still bound by the Department of Defense’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, Petrie said.

"Just by existing, I think we will be able to help current midshipmen by showing them we have been through it successfully, and if that’s what they want to do, they can do it too," said Petrie.

Petrie, a 1989 graduate, said he plans to file an application with the academy’s alumni association next week.

He said the academy has fostered a "disapproving and damaging environment for gay and lesbian midshipmen for decades."

"We don’t have the power to change that," said Petrie, who now lives in Gay ParadiseSan Francisco and calls his would-be chapter USNA Out. "But we do have the power to make things a little easier with astroglide."

Will the chapter have a secret salute for members?

Skid Heyworth, vice president of communications for the military college’s alumni association, said Friday he had not received the group’s application but would pass it to the association’s board of directors for review. He said he didn’t know of any similar request in the academy’s history.

"We’re not going to speculate on the ’what-ifs’ at this point until we see the request," Heyworth said. He added he is hoping for a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy plug though.

Aaron Belkin, director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara WTF? Taxpayer supported Center? , said it’s the first request for official recognition by gay and lesbian service academy graduates. There are several unofficial networks, often with anonymous members, around the country, he said.

"I’m impressed with what they’re trying to do," Belkin said.

"To a greater extent than ever, officers will say they’re not uncomfortable around gays and lesbians on a personal level. But there are still pockets of intense resistance to integration." It’s 2003! No one cares anymore. All we care about is if you can kill Al Qaeda! What you do on your own free time is your biz, Lieutenant.

Petrie said he has been working since July to compile a roster of potential members, all of whom belong to the Service Academy Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association, a 150-member alumni association that is not officially sanctioned by any of the military academies. Many of its members are anonymous. Probably more in fear of their spouses finding out then the Academy.

’WHY NOT?’
An official gay and lesbian chapter of the Naval Academy’s alumni association would take a step forward, advertising its members and offering contact information, said John Sewell, a 1990 graduate who has signed onto the roster.

"Being out would give the group a little more political say," said Sewell, who now lives in Seattle after serving three years as a nuclear submarine officer in Norfolk, Va. "We know who the members are, and we’re not some hidden organization."
So that explains the glory hole in the crew’s head. I thought it was an authorized shipalt.

Sewell said the academy’s alumni association would simply be following the lead of other colleges and universities by agreeing to a gay chapter. I mean, they already followed the lead in watering down the curriculum.

"If I had graduated from Harvard or Yale or Stanford, I would have an official chapter, so for me it’s, ’Why not?"’ he said.

Petrie said he learned he wasn’t the academy’s only gay midshipman during a weekend trip to Washington, D.C., when he met a fellow gay midshipman carrying a USNA duffel bag.

"He started talking to me and said, ’Do I know you?’ I pointed to his sackbag and said, ’I think we go to the same school.’ We immediately became best friends," Petrie said with a wink.

For the record, I am not homophobic. I just think it is a non-story.

Posted by: The Butt Pirate || 11/08/2003 6:35:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [450 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "To a greater extent than ever, officers will say they’re not uncomfortable around gays and lesbians on a personal level. But there are still pockets of intense resistance to integration."

-Personal level - no. Openly serving in a professional military organization - hell no. Stay in the closet - harsh truth. I don't give a shit what they do on their off time in the privacy of their home. However, I (as an officer) cannot protect openly gay folks from the average warrior who does not or will not understand their lifestyle - nor should they be made to. The military is not a f*cking social engineering experiment no matter how many pc douche bags think so.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 19:10 Comments || Top||

#2  My wife has always speculated that there are more than a few transvestites on ships for years. Should have never showed her the movie of our crossing the line ceremony.

To graduate from USNA your highest priority, other than God, has to be service to the country. Those who wish to serve the agenda of a special interest group need not apply. Nobody cares if you're gay or if you're the Grand Druid of you local Chapter of Wiccan Hermaphrodites as long as you shut up and do your job dependebly.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

#3  ya know JH? It's not that different from civ life: I work for a major public West coast institution. I work with several people who we know are gay. They, and we , are cognizant of the fact that we like them for who they are, what they can do, not what/who they did last nite...is that so hard? In the foxhole/military theory, I understand why don't ask/don't tell works...at the end of the day we (civs) all go home to our personal lives - in the military - this is your personal lives
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 21:39 Comments || Top||

#4  The thing that gets me is why someone has to make a big deal pubically about their sexuality. Why is your approach to a bung the defining quality of one's life? Define who you are by your life's work and personal character. The rest is just narcissism.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/08/2003 22:21 Comments || Top||

#5  All good posts. This hits home w/me as I have an uncle whose gay. (lucky my Irish-Catholic grandfather is dead, be turning in his grave) anywho, I still love the guy and don't give a shit about what he does behind close doors. Grown adult, his business. He knows my stance on gays in the mil.

If they want to serve within the confines of "don't ask - don't tell", good enough for me. However, (SH knows) from experience in the mil, there's no room for the openly gay 'flamer'. My other uncle (whose not gay) was in the Navy - use to say how known or suspected gays on his ship disapeared (i.e. mysteriously ended up overboard) during their floats. I don't advocate that at all - but on the same token can't protect them or the people that don't want to serve w/them. This is clearly a case of bending the majority to the outta mainstream's politics for nothing more then pc. The big picture is that it breaks down cohesion and esprit de corps among the lads. "If the action taken does not help success on the battlefield in reality - do not take the action." That's my belief on letting gays serve openly.

I've been lucky in my career to not have to really deal w/homos other than sending a few Marine recruits home who claimed to be practicing queers.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 23:28 Comments || Top||


Youth facing charges after hickey incident
RICHLAND HILLS, TX - A 13-year-old boy accused of giving a girl a hickey at Richland Middle School is facing a misdemeanor assault charge, which his parents call excessive. School police issued the teen a citation on Sept. 26 for assault by contact after the girl's parents reported the incident to the school, officials said. Her family could not be reached by telephone. The boy's mother, Patricia Singh, said her son has been punished by a three-day suspension from school. "Boys and girls have been doing this in middle school forever," Singh said. "Some people should probably be behind bars if this is assault."
I'd prob'ly still be in jug for the flasher I put on Judy Heide's neck when I was 16 and she was 15...
The teen, who is not being named by the Star-Telegram because he is a juvenile, is expected to meet with a Richland Hills prosecutor in December.
He's a juvenile, acting just zackly like juveniles act — so they want to throw the book at him.
The Singhs hope to get the charge dismissed or the fine waived. If not, they'll try to win his case in a municipal court trial, Singh said. Assault by contact is a Class C misdemeanor, similar to a traffic citation, police said. The fine is $283, Singh said. The boy pleaded not guilty at his hearing Thursday. He told Judge Ray Oujesky that he gave the girl the hickey but was not guilty of assault. In a statement, the girl wrote: "I had leaned over to get my backpack when I stood back up he bit me on the left side of my neck and then started sucking on the right side of my neck. I tried to get away, but he put his arms around my backside and locked."
"Ricky! Stop it! Lemme go!"
The boy's mother, however, said her son and the girl had been kissing and hugging throughout the day. The boy called the girl's statement a lie. "I did not force myself on her," he said Thursday before his hearing. The girl told her parents about the incident later that day, and they returned to the school, where they reported it to the school resource officer, Richland Hills police Detective Robert Moore said.
"What the hell is that honker on your neck, young lady?"
"Uhhh... It's a bruise, Pop."
"That's a hickey! Where's my belt?"
"Pop! He made me do it!"
The boy said his friends saw him and the girl kissing and hugging during the school day. School Resource Officer Winston Humphreys said after the hearing that he was unable to find any students or teachers to corroborate the boy's story. Moore said the boy has since been warned not to touch girls inappropriately, including hugging. Singh said she understands her son needed to be punished for giving the hickey — she and her husband grounded him and spoke to him about appropriate behavior with girls. But, she said, "I don't see paying nearly $300 for a hickey. It doesn't make sense. You have kids in Dallas schools having oral sex. This is a hickey."
"Okay. So y'want to be a cop. Any criminal record?"
"Uhhh... One conviction."
"For what?"
"I gave somebody a hickey."
"Sorry. Can't use you. Try McDonald's."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 12:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Amok.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 15:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Somebody needs to do a careful study of the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence. This kind of stupidity was exactly what Tom was talking about. We have a legal system that is totally off the rails.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 16:12 Comments || Top||


NYC store owner fined $6,000 for one (1) ashtray
A business owner who left an ashtray sitting out in his shop has been fined $6,000 by New York City’s health inspector, who was enforcing the city’s tough, new anti-smoking law. Brooklyn video-store owner Marty Arno also was charged with not having "No Smoking" signs and not posting his company’s official nonsmoking policy, the New York Post reported. On the ticket, health inspectors M. Dundas and S. Holloway reported: "One (1) ashtray with cigarette butt, and ashes, was seen on the counter of the establishment."

"I’m a tiny video store – it’s just me and a girl who comes in part-time," Arno explained to the Post. "She knows smoking policy: We don’t smoke in the store – it’s bad for the videos." The ashtray was there, he said, because a customer came in the store with a cigarette. Rather than make her go back outside, Arno let her snuff it out in the ashtray. Ashtrays are outlawed, according to Health Department spokesman Andrew Tucker, so that "there is not an invitation to smoke in the establishment." The law says, according to the Post, ashtrays "shall not be used or provided for use" and "No Smoking" signs must be "conspicuously posted so that they are clearly visible."
Another victory in the WoS (War on Smoking)! Heil, Bloomberg!
Posted by: Dar || 11/08/2003 12:55:31 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bloomberg will be gone next election.
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#2  To be replaced by somebody just as worse...
Posted by: Fred || 11/08/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Tax the hell out of everything and fine them by the buttload for trivial matters. It's a great way to get businesses to leave NYC.
Posted by: Raj || 11/08/2003 14:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Welcome to the Nanny State. Please check your free will at the state line.

I'm *allergic* to cig. smoke, and I don't support this kind of big-government crap.
Posted by: Cadrys || 11/08/2003 15:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Fits exactly with my comments in the previous post. Time to kill all the lawyers.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Why did they let him run as a Republican?
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 16:54 Comments || Top||

#7  compared to Green and the other flakes - Bloomberg was the most conservative....nice indictment of NY liberals
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 17:24 Comments || Top||


‘Tandoor’ Killer Gets Death
NEW DELHI — A court yesterday handed down the death penalty to a former politician convicted of shooting his wife and burning her dismembered corpse in the tandoor (oven) of an open-air restaurant. Additional Sessions Judge G.P. Thareja on Monday pronounced Sushil Sharma guilty of murdering his wife Naina Sahni, 29, in July 1995 and burning her body parts in the grill of the Baghiya restaurant in New Delhi to try to get rid of the evidence.
A number of questions pop to mind immediately, aside from the question of whether he'd ever considered divorce. What was the cook saying as Sushil was tossing the little woman's head into the oven? Did patrons notice a slightly different odor as they stopped by for chicken? Did he have to make two trips to dispose of her bosom?...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Jesus Jinn....
Just when I'd convinced my wife we needed an outdoor fireplace.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 7:55 Comments || Top||

#2  How does this effect his political future? His name recognition should have improved. Can we get some polling data?
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 10:49 Comments || Top||


Depressed, moi? Why the French are driven to drugs
This is just too funny to EFL too much.
Nearly one in four French people are on tranquillisers, antidepressants, antipsychotics or other mood-altering prescription drugs, according to an alarming report published yesterday.
Funny, I could have sworn the figure was higher!
It revealed that an average of 40% of men and women aged over 70 in France were routinely prescribed at least one of this class of dependence-creating drug, as well as some 4% of all children under nine.
And about 90% in the Quai d’Orsay.
"The French now consume between two and four times as many tranquillisers and anti-depressants as the British, Italians and Germans," one medical expert, Martine Perez, said in Le Figaro. "The problem is not new, but this underlines the fact that it is getting worse."
The country smells like an armpit, they pour sauce over all the food, the women are castrating, the men are jerks, the wine is overpriced, jihadis are infiltrating the country -- nope, nope, no reason for anti-depressants!
The French are avid consumers of pills and potions of all kinds, to the extent that the health minister, Jean-François Mattei, faced with a budget overrun of €6.1bn (£4.2bn), this summer listed some 900 so-called medicines (out of a total of 4,300 prescribed in France) that would no longer be reimbursed by the health service because they had "little or no recognisable medical effect".
Does that include all the "enlarge-your-manhood" pills?
They included such popular Gallic remedies as "bronchial lubricants" for the lungs, "hepatitic protectors" for the liver, "veinotonics" for the circulation and "choleretics" for the bile. Panoplies of medicines exist here for ailments that do not appear to exist anywhere else, such as la crise de foie (liver crisis).
Wonder if Dominic deVillepin takes pills for ’prétendu être homme’ (being alleged to be a man)?
A dangerous dependence on mood-altering drugs is an altogether more serious problem. The question troubling some health professionals is whether it is the unique French attitude towards illness, most memorably portrayed in MoliÚre’s 17th-century comedy Le Malade Imaginaire, that has driven them to drugs, or the excellence of the country’s health system. The French are plainly not sicker than anyone else:
Debatable.
according to yesterday’s survey, while 9% of them were prescribed antidepressants in 2000, only 4.7% could be clinically diagnosed as suffering from depression. "Has the French approach to illness and the body brought about a health system that panders to le malade imaginaire, or has the efficiency and popularity of the system itself bred a whole nation of hypochondriacs?" asked one Paris doctor, Fabrice Henard. "Either way, it’s something we should worry about urgently." Edouard Zarifian, a professor of medical psychology, said both patient and doctor are to blame: patients because they will not be happy unless they walk out of a consultation with a sheaf of prescriptions, and doctors because they are happy to write them. But change can only come by altering doctors’ perceptions, he argues. "French doctors have become merchants of false happiness", Prof Zarifian said recently. "They are unable to resist the pressures of either the patients or the big drugs companies. They are the ones who really need educating."
Yeah, let’s blame the doctors!
Posted by: Steve White || 11/08/2003 1:34:40 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The country smells like an armpit": was true in 1944 (most houses had been built during 19th century: ie had no showers, besides soap and heating were rationned), no longer true: most people I know bath or shower daily.


"Pour sauce all over the food": what are you speaking about? They don't put ketchup on it if that is what you are referring.


"Women are castrating": Mr Steve White, you have of-fended my girl friend, you have of-fended our daughters, tomorrow my witnesses will email you.
Seriously, while I am not as stunning as the Estonians, there tend to be very pretty, are rarely overweight and unlike in some parts of America they will not sue for harrassing just because you told they were wearing a pretty dress.


"Men are jerks". True. It would explain why French women are on anti-depressors.

Posted by: JFM || 11/08/2003 2:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Hmm. I remember reading something a while back that just before the French revolution, there was an outbreak of ergot fungus on grain crops in France.

The theory goes that folks ate the ergot infected grain, and while things sucked under Louis, that was the impetus for the revolution as well as the excesses of the reign of terror afterwards.

So, could French perfidy prior to the war, as well as their percieved need for a counter-pole to American power be the result of another drug problem?
Posted by: Ben || 11/08/2003 4:39 Comments || Top||

#3  A more prosaic explanation is that this led to high prices for bread and made people receptive to propaganda. The highest bread price in Paris for the whole XVIIIth century was July 13th, 1989. Bastille was taken the 14th.


A few years later Napoleon ever opened his working days by reading two things: the quotation of the Treasure bonds and the price of bread.

Posted by: JFM || 11/08/2003 4:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Ben, I don't think ergotism would be very conducive to a revolution, it would be more associated with convulsions and loss of body extremities.

"Convulsive ergotism is characterized by nervous dysfunction, where the victim is twisting and contorting their body in pain, trembling and shaking, and wryneck, a more or less fixed twisting of the neck, which seems to simulate convulsions or fits. In some cases, this is accompanied by muscle spasms, confusions, delusions and hallucinations, as well as a number of other symptoms.

In gangrenous ergotism, the victim may lose parts of their extremities, such as toes, fingers, ear lobes or in more serious cases, arms and legs may be lost. This type of ergotism causes gangrene to occur by constricting the blood vessels leading to the extremities. Because of the decrease in blood flow, infections occur in the extremities, accompanied by burning pain. Once gangrene has occurred, the fingers, toes, etc. become mummified, and will eventually fall off as a result of infection. If the infected extremities are not removed, infection can spread further up the extremity that has been infected. Gangrenous ergotism is common in grazing, farm animals.

http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/wong/BOT135/LECT12.HTM


Posted by: Stotegobbler || 11/08/2003 5:45 Comments || Top||

#5  How come the LifeBuoy Cartel can't penetrate France?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 7:56 Comments || Top||

#6  JFM,

these numbers seem exceptionally high....Does this sound accurate? I know we got a "prozac nation" going on over here but this article seems way high. BTW - We're you able to catch my last post to you the other day? Wanted to make sure we were good to go.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 9:06 Comments || Top||

#7  Slightly off-topic, but worth a look: Elizabeth Nickson (the Peggy Noonan of the Great White North, IMNTBHO) writing in the National Post on the problems of being addicted to psychotropics.
Posted by: Mike || 11/08/2003 9:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Now we have the data to back up calling them delusional.
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:38 Comments || Top||

#9  See also this blog posting.
Posted by: Mike || 11/08/2003 13:49 Comments || Top||

#10  Jarhead

I remember that France is something like a world record for consumption of anti-depressors (and just this month a magazine is advocating for medical prescription of... marijuana, BTW marijuana is still illegal), I don't remember exact numbers but I believe these are true.

Yes I saw your post and we are good to go.
Posted by: JFM || 11/08/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

#11  I had a moment of distraction in my first post and wrote "while I am not as stunning as the Estonians",
should have read "while French women are not as
stunning as the Estonians".
Posted by: JFM || 11/08/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||

#12  JFM, thanx. So is the reason that there's such a high use of medications due to easy access by the health care system, or is there an underlying problem not as easliy seen?
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 16:39 Comments || Top||

#13  About nation on Prozac: remember that the 40% who have been prescribed drugs applies to people over 70 not the general population.

The reasons for the attitude of the French are not drugs but:

1) State-run schools: these has led to the professoral body leaning to the left. While french schools are supposed to be secular, there is no provsions stating they have to be apolitical. (Go to ttp://thedissidentfrogman.com for a truly revolting example, in english, of indoctrination at a french school). In addition those teachers are no longer the "black hussars of the Republic": the generation of teachers who instilled patriotism on the future soldiers of WWI: a couple weeks ago I saw a leaflet aimed at 7 years old telling them that violence was bad and that if they suffered violence they had to tell "it is forbidden". When I was their age we admired those who fought evil and tried to protect the "widow and the orphan" (at the age of three I tried to defend other child against the school bully). We didn't admire people who tell "it is forbidden". What will become of those kids once they become adults? How will they enforce laws to criminals and dictators if they are unable to resort to violence due to the brainwashing they got from their teachers? What will they be their attitude toward those who defend themselves instead of calling mom, the teacher or the UN?


2) Not having guns. I strongly believe that the fact of being powerless in front of an armed criminal leads to habits of passivity and cowardice even when in equal conditions and that the habit of not being powerless (due to possession of a gun) leads to looking for ways of turning tables even when you are unarmed and the bad guy is armed


3) Infiltration of the media by the far left. When Mitterrand reached power he tried to reequilibrate the media. But while the socilist party was wary on infiltration by communists and the communists on infiltration by the far left, the socialists weren't vigiliant on infiltration b y the far left (weak on voters, but proportionally striong on militants). Those far left militants supported one another in their ascension. Today directors of many important papers and TV chains are former far left militants and they use their media for distorting the facts they are supposed to report (As an example: a mock vote at Le Monde, the most prestigious French paper, showed a majority of voters for Besancenot, a trostskist candidate to presidency who got under 5% of votes in the general population)


4) The pan-Europeist dream: this contaminates the center and moderate right media: they dream of France losing its identity into a mega Europe and this one dominating world. This leads to confrontation with the US, in addition they need a war, a cold war, in order to create a European national feeling (today inexistant). The European dream has led to hostility toward US in people who were traditionally quite friendly to them.

Posted by: JFM || 11/08/2003 17:54 Comments || Top||

#14  Jarhead


I cannot tell the reasons. I notice that high consumption of drugs and high suicide rates tend to be the norm in "soft" socialized societies like the Scandivian countries. When people are busy working, taking decisions and trying to survive then suicide rates (and possibly use of antidepressors) drop dramatically: suicides are at their lowest during wars: people have better things to do than think about why their mom kissed them only twice a day instead of three a day for little sister.

Posted by: JFM || 11/08/2003 18:02 Comments || Top||

#15  "What will become of those kids once they become adults? How will they enforce laws to criminals and dictators if they are unable to resort to violence due to the brainwashing they got from their teachers?"

-Maybe the parents can counteract such sentiments. I.E. - This is the best example I can think of off the top o'my head - My son will probably go to a private Catholic school. I am a Catholic but don't buy into 100% of everything taught (my own experiences of the guilt trip). I will always be there to clarify things for him when I feel the school is going overboard in an area, i.e. turning the other cheek to a bully.

-Are your schools accountable at all to the parents? Is that even feasible? Does the average French citizen see the other variables you mentioned the same way?
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 18:13 Comments || Top||


Are You a Coward?
Earlier today, a military court dismissed charges against Sgt. Georg Andreas Pogany, who had been accused of committing "cowardly conduct as a result of fear" while serving in Iraq. Pogany’s commander then charged him again, this time with "dereliction of duty." What is "cowardly conduct" and how does it differ from other insubordinations? Cowardice is "misbehavior motivated by fear," according to Article 99 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which governs military conduct in the presence of the enemy. The article notes that fear is natural when going into battle, but it specifies that any member of the armed forces who becomes frightened and refuses to obey orders or abandons duties when foes lurk nearby can face death or other punishments.

Cowardice charges are very rare. The last recorded conviction occurred in 1968, when Pvt. Michael Gross was found guilty of running away from his company in Vietnam and sentenced to two years in prison. Officials say there have been only four or five formal cowardice charges since 1950. (Informal cowardice charges, including playground taunts involving poultry, are more common.)

Pogany, who served as an interrogator for a squad of Green Berets in Samarra, Iraq, told the New York Times that after seeing an Iraqi cut in half by machine gun fire, he had a panic attack and told his superiors he was not fit to work and needed help. The official charge sheet from the incident claims Pogany refused to join missions and interrogate captured Iraqi suspects. Pogany says that although a military psychologist recommended he rest a few days and return to work, a senior officer told him he was a coward and he was sent home. Army officials decline to discuss the case.
I’m soooo sure they just shipped him off on the next MAC flight out. Interrogators are just such a dime-a-dozen. Yeah, we don’t need them there.

"Dereliction of duty," the charge Pogany now faces, is a more frequent and easier-to-prove crime, punishable by discharge, forfeiture of pay, and up to six months of confinement. Article 92 of the UCMJ explains that dereliction of duty occurs when a member of the armed forces refuses to perform a task either explicitly assigned or reasonably known to be a duty. The crime has nothing to do with fear or the presence of adversaries. Since cowardice must occur at a time and place where an enemy either has already appeared or may yet turn up, servicemen in peacetime—and ordinary civilians—can breathe a sigh of relief. If you are yellow-bellied back home, you’re not technically a coward.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 12:44:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [432 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We talked about this one yesterday at length. I highlighted my thoughts in the rant above. This gives more info. Still need to hear the Company Commander's view on this guy.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 0:46 Comments || Top||

#2  I keep wondering what the problem is here. I've seen a few patients in my time with post-traumatic stress syndrome (none military related), so I know it's a real problem. Treatment generally involves rest, discussion, and therapy designed to help the person (soldier) face up what he saw and experienced. That therapy works most of the time, and many soldiers with real PTSS have gone back to active duty.

I can't make a long-distance diagnosis of course, but it sounds like this fellow wasn't ready for combat and -- as his first experience -- saw something that really hit him hard. Perhaps the military psychologist who advised rest, etc, knew what he was doing and got overruled by a type A commander.

Perhaps putting him back to Kuwait for a couple weeks, some light duty and counseling, would have fixed this, and he could have gone back into Iraq. Then again, maybe he's an asshole and we're missing a vital fact.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/08/2003 1:20 Comments || Top||

#3  You are probably right Steve. However, it appears that the commander did not view the situation the same way you or I would. But then again, we are in combat.

Fear is problematic, lets face it, warfare is not a healthy occupation. But it can destroy a unit, making them ineffective, and dead in battle. Some military commanders think they must smash down hard on any signs of cowardice, before it spreads and destroys the unit, kills the men in their command, and renders the mission unobtainable.
Posted by: Ben || 11/08/2003 4:44 Comments || Top||

#4  I think Steve's correct also.

I hope like hell it's not a Byng thing.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 7:59 Comments || Top||

#5  The cat asked three time to go back only after told he was getting punished. How afraid was he?
Posted by: Rawsnacks || 11/08/2003 9:26 Comments || Top||

#6  I have worked supervising and observing teams of one sort or another for nearly the last 20 years, but never elite teams of this type so my analysis might be inaccurate.

That said, what I think is happening here is the culling out of a team member that doesn't belong. All team members have strengths and weaknesses - successful teams are set up to excetuate each menber's strengths and deemphasize each member's weaknesses.

In cases where there is a member with an abundance of weaknesses, it is best to dump the clown by any means. I imagine that this little rule is magnified when heading into combat.

Notice that the punk that performed the gernade attack on his own unit had been left behind for nothing overtly specific at the risk of charges of racism. Everybody pretty much knew that the punk didn't fit i.e. his lack of loyalty was his weakness. A lack of loyalty or dependability is not a weakness that can be hidden on a team sucessfully.

As Jarhead and others have pointed out, if this guy had had just a moment of weakness, we would not have heard about it because his team would have covered for him in some fashion. When the team doesn't cover for a member's weakness, it is because they don't trust him to perform his part of the mission. Addition by subtraction in effect.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

#7  SH, thanks for that, that's a great explanation.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/08/2003 11:55 Comments || Top||

#8  I've stayed out of this conflice more or less, but I think it's time to put my two cent's worth in here.

The military has a problem with dealing with mental issues. Been there, done that, have the scars to show for it. Commanders under pressure are the worst at handling mental issues, mainly because they don't understand them, and the military medical system isn't very forthright in discussing the problems with commanders. That's a problem that needs to be addressed, but is still festering because no one is willing to take the risk.

At the same time, there are a lot of people who have problems dealing with stress. Combat is one of the most stressful situations you can imagine. If you have a person that can't handle stress, that expects to work in a nice clean, orderly, safe environment and suddenly gets tossed into the maelstrom of combat, it can push them so hard they don't recover for YEARS.

I think our interrogator expected nice sanitary working conditions, found that war really is hell, and pulled a turtle. The commander doesn't have time to coddle one dysfunctional soldier, and decided to get rid of the guy. Maybe the means weren't the most appropriate, but if my evaluation is correct, you can't blame the commander, or the rest of the unit. All you can do is send Joe Turtle back home, and weed him out of the slot, so someone who CAN handle the situation can have it. Not good for Joe Turtle, but NECESSARY for an effective military.

Thanks to the entire PC atmosphere that exists in Washington and certain other major areas of this nation, we have an abundance of Joe Turtles, and quite a number of them are in our military. War is a nasty way to discover them, but it does weed out the unfit.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||

#9  Just to prove a point, in the 80's, I once served under a type A general. This man had lost BOTH legs in a parachute jump, yet still led the unit on its thrice-weekly five mile run. And when I say led, I mean exactly that. He ran faster than most healthy people could or would, and on the rare occasion when his stumps would bleed, he'd just sneer and shout "Drive ON! Drive ON!"

These sort of commanders pop up on a regular basis in all branches of the military, and they DO have their uses, just as you need spirited stallions in the horse-breeding business. But that doesn't mean you want an un-cut stallion pulling a plow, however. *grin*

Sounds like the commander who over-rode the initial "rest & recouperate" recommendation was of the Monty Python - Black Knight sort. "Tis just a flesh wound! Come back! I'll bite you on the kneecaps!" kind of guy.

The sort of frothing warrior you'd want to lead a desperate charge in a perilous battle, but not someone who I'd trust to make cool, rational, non-emotional, Spock-type judgement calls.

Of course, we don't have enough information, so no real judgement can be passed at this point. It'll probably play out in the courts, both military and civilian, eventually.

Ed.
Posted by: Ed Becerra || 11/08/2003 17:14 Comments || Top||

#10  OP when you refer to the PC element in DC, are you reffering the dilution of boot camp?

I'm not rurprised when I see a kid succumb to post tramautic stress. It was surprising for me to see a sepcial operator get freaked out at seeing death before being shot at himelf.

In his case, I would definitely study him to see what was really up. Hopefully its an isolated case an no chanes need to be made in training and screening for spec ops.

As for the officer corps, it certainly could do with some training on mental illness. My oldest boy is bi-polar. After learning to deal with him I would probably make a better Division Officer today.

Genrally, officers are chosen for their agression not their sensitivity. It takes marrige and kids for most officers to develop the caring that good senior enlisted have learned on their way up through the ranks.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 17:21 Comments || Top||

#11  Brief note from CNN's news-crawl:

"Officer accused of cowardice may be exhibiting symptoms/side effects of anti-malaria drug..."

No further info at this time (15:25, Mountain Standard time)

Ed.
Posted by: Ed Becerra || 11/08/2003 17:24 Comments || Top||

#12  As a "zero" - SH should know what that means - I think an officer's biggest problem is his own ego.

Inexperience + Arrogance + Self-Righteousness = tactical disaster.

"The official charge sheet from the incident claims Pogany refused to join missions and interrogate captured Iraqi suspects."

-If this is true - case closed. Time to get a cattle brand w/a letter "C" on it.

"Pogany says that although a military psychologist recommended he rest a few days and return to work, a senior officer told him he was a coward and he was sent home."

-See my statement above. If Pogany didn't do the above then this senior officer is going to get his ass in the sling.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 18:44 Comments || Top||

#13  Jarhead, haven't been following his case well enough to realize he was an officer. Can't have that; his CO made the right call. You have to have a higher standard for officer behavior. There are some functions that an officer performs that require the team's confidence.

In cetain circumstances an officer is called on to send a person of a whole team including himself to their death. Having an officer act squirrely around special operators is the last thing that anybody needs.

I would think that it would be best to pull a high percentage of officers involved with spec ops from the enlisted ranks. There work is incredibly based on team karma and a belief in personal immortatlity.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 22:15 Comments || Top||

#14  SH - agreed. If this guy was an officer - needs to go. The men smell fear like blood in the water to a shark. I think leadership is 10% talent and 90% intuition/experience. The ability to keep your ego in check, relate to your men, and listen to their needs is crucial. I put a high premium on setting the example but not being unapproachable. I've always preferred the gritty, knuckle dragging, down-to-earth, foul mouthed blue collar types to the 'soldier-statesmen'.

I've seen the best and worst officers (BTW - I strive to be consistently mediocre :) come from the "mustangers" or prior service guys.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 23:41 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
US warns of possible abductions of journalists by Taliban remnants
Suspected Taliban guerillas last week attempted to kidnap US journalists in eastern Afghanistan but were thwarted when the car they stopped only contained a local driver, a relative of the driver said.
"Okay! Hand over the infidels you're driving!"
"There ain't nobody in the car but me!"
"Oh. Well. You seen any infidels?"
After the incident, the US State Department on warned that Taliban remnants were planning to abduct American journalists in an attempt to win the release of their compatriots currently held by the United States.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 20:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There can't be too many American jounalists in Afghanistan. I rarely see a story coming out of there. When I do, it is from some Reuters clown hanging out in Kabul.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 21:24 Comments || Top||


Eight killed in renewed Taliban attacks
The headline's al-Jizz spin. Seven of the eight killed were Talibs...
A suspected Taliban attack on government offices in southeast Afghanistan has left eight people dead amid a wave of renewed anti-government activity. The fighters attacked Khak-e-Afghan administrative building in Zabul province at 2030 GMT on Thursday, Zabul deputy governor Mawlawi Mohammad Omar told AFP on Saturday.
He's a Mawlawi. Mullah Omar's only a mullah, so he outranks him. Or is it the other way around? I forget...
One government militiaman was killed in the fighting which lasted three hours. "Seven to eight Taliban bodies were also seen being carried by Taliban fighters early in the morning in nearby villages," Omar said.
That accomplished a lot, didn't it? But wait! There's more...
The Taliban also kidnapped four close relatives of the district chief and threatened to kill them unless the governor surrendered the district to them, he said.
I took over Pennsylvania like that a few years ago. Popped on up, kidnapped the governor's wife and kiddies and threatened to slaughter them like goats unless he turned the state over to me. I held it for four days, but then was forced to retreat when Ohio counterattacked. I had time to loot Altoona, though. Another couple days, and the riches of Pottstown could have been mine...
Zabul province was a former nest of lunatics Taliban stronghold and fighters continue to launch attacks from mountain hideouts.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 20:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [337 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We ought to ship some blood hounds over there. I bet the Taliban would be easy to track with dogs; it doesn't look like personal hygene is a high priority for them.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 21:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Super Hose---The Taliban will overpower their nasal membranes.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/08/2003 22:28 Comments || Top||


Net booms in Kabul
Our camel's nose in their Islamic tent...
Line of sight is a curious thing. For 20 years, the clear view of Kabul from its surrounding hills gave successive factions perfect aim to fire rockets into the city. But now, less than two years after the Taliban were removed from power, that same line of sight is being used to provide wireless internet access.

For Kabul the future is arriving at last: the city is experiencing an internet boom. Without any infrastructure to build upon, the Afghans are rushing to install wireless connections across the city. Internet cafes are appearing in every neighbourhood, mobile phones are the must-have item, e-government initiatives are transforming the way the country is run, and e-commerce is kicking off. And even while the official infrastructure struggles to produce electricity for more than a few hours a day, home-built antennae pointed at the hills are producing an ad hoc broadband network faster, cheaper, and simpler than anything in the UK.

But having access to the internet is one thing: knowing what to do with it quite another. To this end, the UN Development Programme is training more than 1,800 people in basic computer skills. The priority is to train the civil service and local government staff, and then move on to academia and the public. "We start with a package of MS Office training," says Mahmood Zahir, information and communication technology programme assistant for the UNDP, "where we teach our students an introduction to computers - Windows XP - and then Word, Excel, PowerPoint and an introduction to the internet. We also teach an introduction to the paperless office." For the country's civil service, Zahir says, the arrival of computers has been a revolution in itself, never mind getting on to the internet. Going from pen and paper and typewriter to the latest desktop machines has meant that tasks that would have taken all day are done in 10 minutes. Jobs such as completing the office's payroll are greatly simplified, and the office workers are keen to adopt IT when they see how much time it saves them. "You have to remember that this country has been through 23 years of war," Zahir says, "and now all that everyone is interested in is development, and they say that the root of all success is in computers." Training on one Office program costs $5 (£3), and $45 for a complete four month-long course in Windows and the entire Office suite. As the UNDP uses private firms to do this training, a small training industry is developing.

The practical differences are obvious. By networking the government, and connecting provincial capitals to Kabul over the internet, the civil servants are solving a problem that has long hampered Afghanistan. In the days of typewriters and the postal service, it would take weeks for news of a regulation or law to make its way to the provinces. With the birth of the Afghan e-government, nationwide policy can be instigated with a single email. While this might be obvious for the average developed-world corporate employee, the difference it is making to a country of 22m with little infrastructure is marked. It's so successful that the priority for outlying regions is to connect them to the net, for email and instant messaging especially, before connecting them to the telephone system.
I use e-mail a lot more than I use the telephone, though caller ID does a better job of keeping phonespam away than SpamAssassin does for junk e-mail...
It's not just the internet that is booming in Kabul. The other must-have in peacetime Afghanistan is a mobile phone. There are two GSM networks in the capital, and increasingly in the other major cities. Because the local infrastructure was built from scratch over the past year, the quality of the calls is just as good, if not better, than in the west. Cheaper too: clear international calls cost 25p a minute, local calls just 6p. The inner-city streets are full of shops selling pre-paid handsets and Sim cards. Afghan Wireless, the owner of the first network to go live, is excited. Earlier this month, it claims, Kabul passed a key milestone: in any given day, more mobile calls are made in the Afghan capital than in downtown Manhattan. This may be overstating it somewhat, but in a city of more than 2 million people, the desire for communication is almost overwhelming. "The thing you will see on every PC is chat", says Zahir. "MSN, Yahoo, chatrooms. Everyone is interested in chatting with new people, talking to new people, gaining information. Other than that, the most popular thing is Google."

Connecting Afghanistan's networks to the world isn't easy. The nearest landline connections, in Pakistan, are on the wrong side of a mountain range and some lawless tribal areas. Laying a cable from Kabul to Peshawar would be neither cheap nor convenient. Instead, the local ISPs, non-governmental organisations and government rely on satellite connections. This means that Afghanistan's internet traffic is routed through a handful of bottlenecks, which can cause problems. Wais, the manager of the Afghan.com cafe, one of the 20 or so such cafes in the city, knows this only too well. On the day I visited, their connection, which serves 150 customers a day, was unusably slow - the result of the SoBig.F virus overwhelming a data centre in New York, The Guardian quoted him as saying. Like all the internet cafes in Kabul, the Afghan.com cafe has been a success since opening in May. Frequented by staff from the nearby offices of NGOs and embassies, the business is using the money to open a cheaper branch in a residential area and convert the building opposite into a showroom: Wais is opening the first official HP Compaq service and distribution centre in Afghanistan. Dell's is just down the street.

The major hardware brands are in for a fight. Unlike Microsoft, which is on a level playing field with free- of-charge Linux because the pirate versions of their titles are easily obtainable around the city, companies such as HP and Dell are going to have to fight a hard battle on price. A case in point: the UNDP buys its machines, fully branded Dell boxes from Malaysia, for around $2,000 each. Similarly specified systems, without the Dell badge, go for a quarter of that in Kabul.
But then, nobody's getting a rakeoff from the UN procurement system for the unbranded systems. Dell's internet site offers desktops starting at $349.
Unbranded machines are trucked in from Pakistan and Iran. I was offered a 2GHz Pentium 4 for $500, complete with CD burner and DVD-Rom. The availability of cheap PCs, along with the introduction of the internet, and IT training, has had at least one unforeseen effect: no one is buying televisions. Says Zahir: "On television we only have one channel - from 6pm until 10pm - and all that shows is the news, which they can get on the radio. People are saying why shouldn't they spend this money on a PC instead, where they get a CD and a DVD player and a computer? And then they buy a TV card for the PC."
I guess they may be Islamic, but they're not dumb...
Zahir, like many working in the technical field in Afghanistan, is a returned refugee. He left Afghanistan with his family 10 years ago, as war approached the capital. Schooled in Pakistan, he returned to help rebuild his country. His success, and UNDP wages, meant he could bring the rest of his family home. In turn, the people he trains can find higher paid work and do the same. Indirectly, Zahir believes, the programme has trained more than 10,000 people in basic computer skills.

This chain of training is precisely what Afghanistan needs, according to Muhammad Aslam, the technical manager of the .af domain. "We have to get people trained, but after the training it won't do anything if those people do not go on and train others." If anything shows the development of the country, Aslam's job is it. One of the first tasks of the interim government was to recover the ownership of the .af internet domain. It succeeded - and Aslam now controls the registration of all .af domain names. "Anyone can register an .af domain," he says, "as long as they provide documents that show they are entitled to the name." It costs $20 for Afghans and $100 for foreign companies and, so far, Aslam has registered 95 domains, including CNN.af and BBC.af. Western media companies, especially, are keen to protect their trademarks. The latest registrant? CartoonNetwork.af. In Aslam's office, high up in the Ministry of Communications building - by far the tallest in the city - he shows me the server that shares control of the entire .af domain. It sits by his desk, and hums hopefully. "Of course, this isn't the only server: we have another in New York," he says. "If it was, the power cuts would shut down the entire domain for half of the day. "We're all working at it," he says, pointing out of the window. Another wireless link is going up on the roof below. "We're working at it."
Keep shipping those machines in, by golly. And keep using that Google, guys. The best way to combat Islamic bliss is with knowledge — and a few titty sites to browse in the off hours.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 12:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  GREETINGS, I AM ASSHAT OMAR, THE BROTHER OF THE LATE MULLAH OMAR. I WRITING TO SEEK YOUR HELP IN TRANSFERRING A BANK ACCOUNT OF MY LATE BROTHER CONSISTING OF 1,574,293,000 AFGHANIS ($1.22 US) OUT OF THE COUNTRY ...
Posted by: A Jackson || 11/08/2003 13:05 Comments || Top||

#2  One of the (very few) benefits of not having much infrastructure in place is you aren't restricted to legacy systems and can begin installing the most current technology. Given a chance, Afghanistan and Iraq may both have much better wireless and broadcasting systems than the West within 10-15 years.

That's not to say I'm willing to pick up and move there! However, without all kinds of capital tied up in existing systems and companies looking to recoup their earlier investments, they can begin installing the latest and greatest with dollar one.
Posted by: Dar || 11/08/2003 13:22 Comments || Top||

#3  I read a really fascinating article referenced on http://slashdot.org several months ago about how some people in that area of the world (probably not Afghanistan (since this was pre 911)) were using used PC components in homemade wooden cases and running Linux.

Hopefully they will have access to broadband, since Redhat Linux and dsl/cable were made for one another.
Posted by: badanov || 11/08/2003 14:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Dar, I wouldn't try to even begin to imagine what the communications infrastructure is going to look like in 10-15 years in the US... look how much it changed in the last 10 years and the change is happeneing an order of magnitude faster now than it was then... I have trouble even imagining 5 years from now...
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 11/08/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||


Taliban claims holding US prisoners
A spokesman for the ousted Taliban movement in Afghanistan claims his group is holding U.S. prisoners.
Or so they say...
Hamed Agha told Saudi daily al-Hayat Taliban has U.S. and other foreign prisoners, which it will seek to swap for prisoners detained by the United States in Guantanamo Bay.
As far as I know, they've got one — a Turkish engineer...
"With time, we will talk about the U.S. and foreign prisoners we've got in detail. I will not talk about their numbers or possible whereabouts now," Agha said in response to questions faxed to him by the newspaper. He said Taliban has stepped up its armed resistance against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. "Those attacks succeeded in inflicting tens of casualties among U.S. troops and their allied militiamen," UPI quoted him as saying.
"You just don't hear about them..."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 12:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think if they had enough prisoners to trade for those at Gitmo, we would have heard by now.
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Tens of casualties. Yet how many are we inflicting on your "rag tag" milita? I think he's aggregating the entire campaign together.
Posted by: Brian || 11/08/2003 14:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Let Murat bargain for one of the master race.
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 18:51 Comments || Top||


Former Taliban commander killed in Kabul
A prominent former commander of the ousted Taliban regime Agha Shirin Salangi was assassinated by unknown gunmen in Afghan capital Kabul. "Unidentified armed men Wednesday evening opened fire on Agha Shirin Salangi outside his residence in Kabul city killing him on the spot," daily ERADA reported. The murderers made their good escape. However, Kabul Deputy Chief Amin Khalil Zada said that a sport utility vehicle with blacked-out windows pulled up to Agha Shirin Salangi's home Wednesday and shot him with a Kalashnikov rifle. Salangi died later at a hospital, Zada said, adding "no arrests were immediately made." Shirin Salangi used to live in mystery since the fall of the fundamentalist Taliban nearly two years ago and since then his whereabouts were not known to public.
Meaning he came over to the Karzai regime, maybe even before the going got tough...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 12:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If his whereabouts were unknown, how did they find him? Someone is a traitor.
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:50 Comments || Top||

#2  The murderers made their good escape? Did they also set him up the bomb?
Posted by: BH || 11/08/2003 14:08 Comments || Top||

#3  BH - Did all his bases are belong to us, too?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 15:42 Comments || Top||

#4  I don't think the author's problem is so much the
poor command of English as the lack of clear thought. i.e., Salangi was killed on the spot outside his home, but he died in the hospital.
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 11/08/2003 21:08 Comments || Top||

#5  GK - Everyone seems to have tense problems with Engrish. I'm sure you'll recognize "I am washing your truck to you on Friday." - or a first cousin of it. As an English major, I sympathize! ;-)
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 21:27 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Al-Qaeda hits Riyadh
Breaking news, should get clearer as the story developes ...
Three explosions rocked the Saudi capital Riyadh around midnight Saturday, and smoke could be seen rising from the area of the blast, diplomats said.
The diplomats said there was one big explosion at about midnight, followed by two smaller ones 15 seconds apart. Police cars raced toward the direction of the blasts, which appeared to have happened in the western part of the city. An American Embassy spokeswoman confirmed the explosion, but said it was not in the diplomatic quarter. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear, and it wasn’t known if there were any casualties. Almost all the foreign embassies in Riyadh - including the U.S. Embassy - and most diplomats’ homes are inside the quarter, an isolated neighborhood whose entrances are guarded. But there are several residential compounds housing Western business people relatively near to the diplomatic quarter on the city’s west side. A western diplomat said he got a call from a friend who reported seeing smoke rising from a building on the other side of the diplomatic quarter near an area where the palaces of the royal family’s senior princes are located.
Did al-Adel and Co decide that they were sick and tired of this crackdown business and decide to target the royal family directly?
Might lend a new dimension to the word "suicide boomers" if they did...
The Al-Arabiya television network said an explosion shook a building in west Riyadh, but it did not give a source for its information or provide footage. American diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia were closed Saturday for an undetermined period amid warnings that a terror attack could be imminent in the tense Gulf kingdom.
This would appear to be that.

Followup: Here's the al-Jizz version...
Many are reported dead and at least 100 people, mainly children, have been wounded after three explosions rocked a residential housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Details are still emerging from the scene but a Saudi journalist told Al-jazeera that a shootout took place in the compound where the explosion occurred. Abd al-Rahman al-Lahim reported from the scene of the explosion and said there was a large fire in the compound where he heard three blasts, only seconds apart. Al-Lahim added that the compound houses foreigners from various countries and said security forces have blocked off the area surrounding the compound, preventing people from entering.
They're hoping that's the case. AFP sez it's almost exclusively Soddy housing, about 200 villas, of which four are inhabited by foreigners — two French, one German, one British.
Saudi Arabia's interior ministry confirmed the explosions saying "A terrorist bombing occurred at al-Muhaya residential compound west of Riyadh tonight." A Saudi security source said the blasts occurred about 10 km west of Riyadh at a compound used by Saudis and foreign, mainly Arab, workers. The Riyadh blasts come one day after the United States warned of terrorist attacks and shut its missions in the kingdom.
Guess we were right about that one, huh?
A US Embassy spokeswoman confirmed the explosion, but said it was not in the diplomatic quarter.
AFP says that "The compound, a former US Marine base, is located in the Wadi Laban suburb, behind the al-Yamama royal palace."
The extent of the damage was not immediately clear.
I read somewhere — maybe heard it on Fox News — that ten houses were flattened. Fox News reports one American is missing, who was working in the compound...
Another diplomat said he got a call from a friend who reported seeing smoke rising from a building on the other side of the diplomatic quarter near an area where the palaces of the royal family's senior princes are located.
That's what gave rise to the story about the royals being attacked...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/08/2003 5:18:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [988 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I like it - Al-Qaeda is ultimately doing more damage to the Islamist cause by alienating the chief funding source (SA) than they are in bringing converts and attention
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 17:22 Comments || Top||

#2  So which part of the "royal" family attacked which other part?

Damn bastards should start wearing jerseys so we can tell them apart.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/08/2003 17:29 Comments || Top||

#3  I read a story over at LGF today wherein a Soddie spokesman was calling the US lame for closing up it's embassy. The guy said the US had been "overreacting" since Sept. 11th. Looks like US intel made the right call on this one. F**kin' Soddies are trying to figure out how much more $$$ it'll take to buy AQ off for a few more months or to get them to exclusively hit Americans.
Posted by: Mark || 11/08/2003 18:09 Comments || Top||

#4  More:

Associated Press Writer

November 8, 2003, 6:08 PM EST


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Three explosions rocked a residential compound in the Saudi capital Saturday night, and a government official said the blast came after gunmen broke into the compound and exchanged fire with security guards.

The manager of the targeted compound estimated that 100 people were wounded, the Al-Arabiya television channel said. Diplomats reported one big explosion about midnight, followed by two smaller ones 15 seconds apart.

The U.S. Embassy had issued a warning Friday that terror attacks could be imminent in the tense Gulf kingdom, and American diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia were closed Saturday as a result. The official Saudi Press Agency referred to a single blast, and called it a "terrorist explosion."

The streets were crowded with late night crowds because of Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims fast during the day.

A woman living in the compound told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that "there is lot of blood" at the scene of the explosions.

"I am extremely terrified; I am really scared. I felt it was an earthquake," the woman said without identifying herself.

"Lots of houses are damaged, windows shattered and police echoing with sirens of ambulances," she said. "The ambulances were picking up lots of people. It looks like there are lots of people who died."

The Saudi official said the explosions took place in the Muhaya compound. He said the attackers exchanged fire with the guards and he said there were apparently three explosions.

He said most of the wounded were believed to be children because their parents were out shopping during Ramadan. Most of the residents are Arabs and few Westerners live in the area.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said the attack targeted the B2 compound, which is in the Nakheel neighborhood near the Muhaya shopping center. The official said all embassy personnel were accounted for.

Dozens of police cars and ambulances raced toward the direction of the blasts, sirens wailing, and helicopters hovered overhead. Traffic was tied up across the city.

Hanadi al-Ghandaki, manager of the targeted compound, told al-Arabiya that about 100 people were wounded, mostly children "because most adults were outside the compound at that time." She did not elaborate.

Al-Ghandaki said the residential facility has 200 residential villas occupied by Arab tenants, plus four others occupied by one French family, two German families and a British family.

Rabie Hadeka, a resident inside the targeted compound, told the Al-Arabiya television network that "about 20 to 30 people have been killed and 50 to 60 injured."

She told Al-Arabiya that "shattered glass was spread everywhere after we heard three very strong explosions."

Police said the explosions were three miles from one of the entrances to the Saudi capital's diplomatic quarter.

"We heard a very strong explosion and we saw the fire," Bassem al-Hourani, who said he was a resident at the targeted compound, told Al-Arabiya in a telephone interview.

"I heard screams of the children and women. I don't know what happened to my friends if anybody was injured," he said. "All the glass in my house were shattered."

Almost all the foreign embassies in Riyadh -- including the U.S. Embassy -- and most diplomats' homes are inside the diplomatic quarter, an isolated neighborhood whose entrances are guarded. But there are several residential compounds housing Western business people relatively near the diplomatic quarter.

A western diplomat said he got a call from a friend who reported seeing smoke rising from a building on the other side of the diplomatic quarter near an area where the palaces of the royal family's senior princes are located.

The city's main palaces, including those of senior princes and the king's sprawling Riyadh residence, are just outside the east side of the diplomatic quarter. Each of the palaces is behind a high wall, with automatic gates for cars to drive through, and guards.

A May attack on western residential compounds in Riyadh killed 35 people, including the nine attackers. Since then, Saudi authorities have arrested hundreds of suspected militants throughout the country.
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 18:23 Comments || Top||

#5  nice.....mostly children.... SA - welcome to the monster you created - ROPMA!
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 18:25 Comments || Top||

#6  tap tap tap... Damn, my sympathy meter's busted...
Posted by: Dave D. || 11/08/2003 18:33 Comments || Top||

#7 
"...Rabie Hadeka, a resident inside the targeted compound, told the Al-Arabiya television network that 'about 20 to 30 people have been killed and 50 to 60 injured.'"

From Fox News story (via Command Post).
Posted by: Old Grouch || 11/08/2003 18:36 Comments || Top||

#8  Since then, Saudi authorities have arrested hundreds of suspected militants throughout the country.

I guess some of them slipped by, eh?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/08/2003 19:20 Comments || Top||

#9  "Dr. Frankenstein! Code Blue!
Dr. Frankenstein! Code Blue!"
Posted by: Fred || 11/08/2003 19:44 Comments || Top||

#10  Wow - the Beeb is showing images of the just-before-dawn blast devastation with a voice-over saying dozens dead - and it's the Saudi Govt channel video that's being fed. THAT is NEWS. Regular Saudis are getting real NEWS instead of the usual: a procession of people kissing the Clown Prince's thobe, Mecca drones circling the Black Box, and Qu'uranic recitation.

Dr. Frankenschteen, indeed! This is a Saudi "F**king Duh!" moment. Now I remember why I left!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 20:28 Comments || Top||

#11  I still don't understand why they haven't hit an oil facility although the reports I heard said that this was a relatively soft target.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 21:43 Comments || Top||

#12  SH - There are definitely places where they could truly hurt the Saudi oil production - there are unguarded pipeline junctions (pipes are underground, mostly) in many places. There are many other easy oil targets - and saltwater conversion plants and a hundred other things that would actually hurt. These guys, AlQ or whatever, are solely focused on people. They be blindered morons from the 7th century...

I think there is an intelligence issue at work. They aren't, in many ways.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 22:07 Comments || Top||


Let Saudis Manage Our Schools Abroad
Ali Al-Mousa • Al-Watan
The crisis involving the King Fahd Academy in Bonn has now been contained. The drama started with the German authorities getting suspicious that the academy was inciting violence and hatred toward others. The issue was resolved after officials were forced to intervene and offer concessions that would guarantee that the school continues its work.
Meaning that the indoctrination becomes more low-key...
Anyone following this case knows that the fiasco was caused by one of our “Arab brothers”, who happened to be a naturalized German. German authorities say the man gave speeches that incite violence and encourage hatred. Two points are worth making here. First, we can’t go on accusing others, whether in the West or in the East, of plotting and conspiring against us.
"We're doing a hellofa job conspiring against ourselves, without their help!"
The claim that everyone is against us lacks justification and is no longer convincing.
... and hasn't been, from the start.
The case of the Saudi school in Bonn testifies to this. A tape containing the speeches given by the man linked to the case was enough to convince Saudi officials that something was not right, and it was enough to support the case of the German prosecution.
Inconvenient, when they've got the goods on you, isn't it?
The incident took place in Bonn, not in London or Washington, the two capitals where there have been malicious media campaigns against us. Germany has proven itself to be a country that adopts a rational foreign policy, a country that follows a wise and independent path away from America’s terrorist and arrogant policy.
"The infidel Fritzies are much more malleable than the Merkins..."
As Saudis, we have never had a political quarrel with the Germans. The latest Western leader to visit the Kingdom was Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who received a warm welcome. We paid millions of dollars to set up an educational institution in Bonn where Saudi children can learn. But having spent the money we didn’t pay much more attention to it, and this kind of negligence has often cost us dearly in the past. Instead of the academy serving as a cultural center to bring the people of the two countries together, it is now being regarded negatively by the German and other foreign media.
Little pools of xenophobia and incitement to violence in the midst the we-can-all-get-along Europeanism...
We continue to build schools and other academic institutions in major capital cities around the world only to hand over their keys to our “Arab brethren” to run them. These brothers, unfortunately, have no loyalty or love for the countries that gave them their new citizenship. If we insist on building these schools, the least we should do is allow our own people to run these institutions. There are many qualified and competent Saudis with untainted records whose loyalty to their country is beyond question and who could be trusted to manage these centers.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 12:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hmm Anyone tell the Sods that the capital done been moved?
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 11/08/2003 17:10 Comments || Top||


Down Under
Howard rejects criticisms over Brigitte security lapse
Prime Minister John Howard has described the security relationship between Australia and France as very good.
Not "intimate," but still very good...
Howard was commenting on revelations that suspected French terrorist Willie Brigitte had been in Australia for four months before the Australian Government was alerted by French authorities to his presence. The Opposition has called for an inquiry into national security after it was revealed this week that France had issued suspected terrorist Willie Brigitte with a new passport while he was living in Australia in July, yet had not alerted the Australian Government about Mr Brigitte's Al Qaeda links until September.
A small oversight on their part?
Previously the Australian Government has said French authorities passed on information leading to the suspected terrorists' deportation as soon as it became available to them. The Opposition says an inquiry is needed to find out how such a serious breakdown of communication could occur.
Another tiresome "what did they know and when did they know it" investigation...
Speaking on his arrival in London at the start of a six-day visit Mr Howard absolved Australian security agencies of any responsibility for the delay. "If there was a communciation breakdown it was between certain agencies in France, not in Australia," he said. Mr Howard described the security relationship between Australia and France as very good, though not as intimate as the relationships we have with Britain and the US.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  sounds like the same instructions went to the Australian French embassy as the Damascus embassy: "Give em a passport and get em out of the country"
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 8:58 Comments || Top||


Europe
Vlad! You eat with that mouth?
President Vladimir Putin has a reputation for foul-mouthed asides, but Italian journalists sitting in straight-backed chairs in a Kremlin reception room cannot have expected what was coming. Opposite them, Vladimir Putin, immaculately dressed and statesmanlike, answered a question about one of the country's notorious billionaires. The interpreter's voice petered away into embarrassed silence. "You must always obey the law, not just when they've got you by the balls" is a rough equivalent of what Mr Putin had said.

For a western politician such a salty choice of words, shown on national television, might mean political embarrassment, even censure. But President Putin, once seen as a faceless KGB officer with a wooden delivery, now regularly sprinkles his public statements with the argot of the street. Moscow liberals are appalled and say he is betraying his lack of pedigree for the highest office in the land.

But many ordinary Russians adore Putin's earthy indiscretions for the grit and defiance of convention that they convey. For many, they carry echoes of Nikita Khrushchev, the most boorish of Soviet leaders who took off his shoe at the United Nations and banged it on the lectern. Prof Robert Russell, the head of the Russian department at Sheffield University, said: "Like Khrushchev, Putin has an earthy turn of phrase. It means people see him as one of their own. He's always controlled and usually rather unemotional but there's something else Russians respond to, something more visceral. I think he does these things deliberately for that reason."

Mr Putin had only just come to power when he uttered his first corker, saying he would deal with Chechens by "wiping them out in the shit house". Last year when a French journalist asked a hostile question at a European Union summit in Brussels, the Russian president said: "Come to Moscow. We can offer you a circumcision. I will recommend a doctor to carry out the operation in such a way nothing else will ever grow there again." When the translation was released, European Union officials expressed their fury. In Russia it ruffled few feathers.

In recent history, the Kremlin has not been blessed with great orators. Leonid Brezhnev was interminably hard on the ear, especially after his first stroke. Mikhail Gorbachev spoke bureaucratic, convoluted Russian. Boris Yeltsin's tone was annoyingly familiar and his words often slurred.
The combination of Brezhnev's stroke and his alcohol consumption made him almost incomprehensible when he spoke. Gorbachev always made me think he was reading from Pravda, even when speaking off the cuff — very heavy on the polysyllables. I never actually heard Yeltsin speak that I can recall, but I'm told he was almost as bad as Brezhnev, since he was usually sloshed. I've only heard Vlad on the teevee before the voice-over translation kicked in, but he speaks clearly enough for my rusty ear to follow him with no trouble...
Mr Putin, by contrast, has shone. When the cameras stop rolling, Mr Putin is even reported to resort to mat, the bawdy and highly taboo domain of Russian invective that forms the mainstay of prison, military and teenage street slang.
"Mat" is Russian for "mother," and the range of comments and observations on her propensity for sexual activity is actually wider than it is in American street slang...
According to the Russian writer Victor Erofeyev, Mr Putin told the veteran Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov: "We don't fucking need a military base in Cuba!" At a recent meeting of leaders of the former Soviet states, he urged them to work harder and to stop "just chewing snot from one year to the next".
I give it a 9.8...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 21:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [355 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ya know... I'm liking this KGB s**ter.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 21:46 Comments || Top||

#2  mat = Russian gangsta rap? 8^)

Hey, werdz don't offend me - they're just vibrations in the air / contrasting pixels on the screen. I assign meaning and modulate based on the source.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 21:58 Comments || Top||

#3  I have no complaints
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 21:58 Comments || Top||

#4  I believe the phrase was "yob tov mat" (guessing at the spelling here) which means "F*** your mother", more or less.

Ed Becerra
Posted by: Ed Becerra || 11/08/2003 22:52 Comments || Top||

#5  yob tvoi mat. It means "I *bleep*ed your mother". A multi-purpose phrase used as a greeting, retort and expletive.
Posted by: SteveS || 11/08/2003 23:17 Comments || Top||

#6  I like how he shoots straight. I don't like how he is detaining the "capitalists"
Posted by: Brian || 11/09/2003 22:28 Comments || Top||


Rock ’n’ Roll - Destroyer of Civilization Communism
Hat tip: Volokh Conspiracy. Edited for brevity.
When not practicing diplomacy, Andras Simonyi practices blues-rock on his guitar, just as he did as a teenager. Hungary’s ambassador to the United States is coming to the Rock and Roll of Fame [Cleveland, OH] to explain his belief that when rock ’n’ roll found its way into his country, it helped spark a yearning for freedom and an eventual end to a communist government. Simonyi contacted Rock Hall Chief Executive Officer Terry Stewart last May and asked whether there might be interest in what he had to say. Stewart was thrilled. He arranged Simonyi’s appearance to an invitation-only audience of about 250, planned for Saturday night [tonight] at the hall’s main stage.

Simonyi, 51, an economist, is convinced rock music was as key as any political or economic factor involved in the Hungary’s change. Born in Hungary, Simonyi had lived with his family for a few years in Denmark, where he became acquainted with Western-style music. When the family returned to Hungary, he still wanted the music. He found out he was not alone. "Not only for me but also for other Hungarians of my generation, this became the stuff that really linked us to the free world," he said. "As I listened to this kind of music, I felt I was part of the free world myself."

In a nation where the governing party frowned upon rock music, Simonyi said he and his friends always found a way to gather collections. They would trade or borrow tapes and records smuggled into the country. They also would try to listen to Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and other foreign stations. "It was the power of music that was really exciting," Simonyi said. "It was the rock generation of the 1960s that said, ’Listen, we don’t like to be separated from Europe, and we don’t like this dictatorial system.’ That is how I feel about it. Of course, that might not be true for everyone, but for a big part of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, this is definitely the case."
Posted by: Dar || 11/08/2003 1:51:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe al this is true and good, but maybe, just maybe George Jones singing "He Stopped Loving Her Today" may have even more quickly hastened the departure of the commies...

Naaaaah!
Posted by: badanov || 11/08/2003 14:32 Comments || Top||

#2  The Islamists are fairly sure that a similar effect would occur in their countries.
Posted by: Ptah || 11/08/2003 14:45 Comments || Top||

#3  may there be "no stairway" signs posted all over guitar stores in eastern europe w/in the next 20 years.......
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#4  "They would trade or borrow tapes and records smuggled into the country."

Shhhhhh! The RIAA is everywhere!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 15:19 Comments || Top||

#5  The other week I saw a special on some channel of Paul McCartney playing in Red Square. It was incredible to watch what looked to be a quarter million people singing the words along with him. They even knew the stuff he cut with Wings.

There was an interview with the current Russian defense minister who said that his first album was a bootleg of Let It Be. It totally defied McCartney's imagination how powerful songs like Back in the USSR were for these oppressed people. I think they cut the song as a joke to poke fun of the Beach Boys.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 16:49 Comments || Top||

#6  "I think they cut the song as a joke to poke fun of the Beach Boys."

-that's true. They also cut "helter skelter" upon hearing the press declare the Who as the worlds heaviest rock band.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 16:59 Comments || Top||


Bosnia offers to send troops to Iraq, host US bases
Bosnia is ready to send troops to Iraq and host US military bases on its territory, the country's Muslim president said after meeting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman.
Returning the favor, are they?
Bosnia is ready to "assume its international obligations by sending its military to Iraq," Sulejman Tihic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, told a press conference after talks with Mr Grossman. He said Bosnian military chiefs would decide exactly what level of commitment the Balkan country could offer after a review of its capabilities over the next 10 days. Bosnia has been weighing whether to deploy soldiers in Iraq since August, even though it depends for its own internal security on more than 12,000 NATO-led international peacekeepers including some 2,000 US soldiers. Mr Tihic said it was important for US troops to remain in Bosnia and he would write to US President George W Bush to offer "other forms of military cooperation". "We plan to offer the stationing of [US] military bases here. We believe that it would contribute to overall stability, not only in Bosnia, but in the region," he said.
See? My surprise meter's not really busted. Boy, did that needle jump!
Among other countries in south-eastern Europe, Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia already have troops in Iraq, while Croatia and Serbia have expressed their willingness to contribute to the international coalition there. Post-war Bosnia's two semi-independent entities - the Serbs' Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation - have their own distinct armies. Under the reforms the two armed forces will have a central command, the same uniform and a common flag, but they will remain ethnically distinct.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [441 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'd been holding off buying a surprise meter due to your recent problems. I may reconsider.
Should I go with a name brand (HP) or does HeathKit make one?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 8:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I think they are mistaken about what a US base would bring to their country. The cash flow would be welcome, but they could probably do without the flypaper effect.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 10:58 Comments || Top||

#3  If you can do the engineering yourself, I strongly recommend doing so. On top of that, I've got a personal bias against letting anyone else interface (even indirectly) to my wetware.
If you do it yourself, you can add in other nifty features, like a "satisfaction meter" and a salt detector. I've got mine rigged with an audible alarm that goes off whenever the salt detector reads low.
If you can't do your own engineering, but can understand someone else's, I'd go with the Heathkit. They've got both wet-interfacing and purely external models.
If you can't do the engineering at all, I'd go with a flexible pure-external.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/08/2003 11:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Sigh. There are already too many Muslims in Iraq, thank you. Clean up your own act, children, and drop this inane time-bomb called ethnicity. It doesn't mean shit cuz it's an accident of birth. Merit is all that matters because it's the only thing over which anyone can exercise control. The equation is very simple. if it's a choice, then it goes into the judging pool. If not, it's irrelevant. Color, race, ethnicity, gender - all luck of the draw, so they don't mean dick. Choices, those things you choose, DO matter. Thank you for your kind offer.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#5  There are already too many Muslims in Iraq, thank you

So, having more put there won't harm things now, will it? Except perhaps in showing the Islamists that this isn't an infidels-against-the-faithful campaign but a freedom-against-tyranny one?

Unless you don't trust Muslims in Iraq -- in which case you shouldn't have gone there in the first place, because Muslims existing in Iraq are the one fact that nobody has yet sought to change.

Myself, I think Arabs could use come contact with the secular Muslims of Bosnia.

Clean up your own act, children, and drop this inane time-bomb called ethnicity.

Agreed... this time-bomb called "nationality"... One more reason to support the EU for me.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/08/2003 11:40 Comments || Top||

#6  LOL! You would take the one joke line and focus on it, spend most of your time on it - and ignore the important shit.

Clique-ism, tribalism, nationalism, racism, genderism... all points on the same stupidity curve... for the reasons I pointed out.

Normally I'm not one to bait you, because you are a pedant and unworthy of debate, but your conclusion is asinine. How is the EU anything different from nationality writ-large? Same circle-the-wagons game, just with more wagons.

In fact, we all know it's the ankle-biter / PFrench gambit to check American hegemony. Yep, by all means get your EU thing up and cooking. That'll fix everything. Good for you, bro, I hope it works out.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#7  "You would take the one joke line"

Um, so does that mean you don't have any real problem with Muslim troops in Iraq? If that's the case, then you made it difficult for me to distinguish your joke remark from other people's serious comments about them also not wanting foreign Muslim troops in Iraq.

"How is the EU anything different from nationality writ-large?"

Because it moves towards the direction of transnational unity, diminishing the relevance of the nation-state. Or even the relevance of larger ethnic groupings like the Francophones-vs-the-Germanic tribes-vs-the Slavs.

The more nationalistic divisions removed and rendered impotent, the better.

Ofcourse from *your* perspective you see only the whole America-vs-Europe thing, and from *your* perspective it doesn't matter one bit if internal European nationalisms are destroyed.

From my own European perspective, it matters quite a lot. I'm sure it matters quite a lot from the perspective of my fellow Balkanians in Bosnia as well.

Perhaps the day will one day come to exchange the EU for an even wider global federation. But since that's not currently a possibility, your criticism of EU as irrelevant to the ceding of nationalism, is quite ludicrous -- seemingly based on the proposition that if we can't render *all* nationalisms impotent at one stroke, then we shouldn't try to render any nationalism impotent at all.

Ludicrous.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/08/2003 12:39 Comments || Top||

#8  I think the American Experiment™ as a melting pot for people from many nations is a proven thing. I hope the eu experiment is at least minimally successful, because we're too busy right now to bail them out again.

dorf (anonymous as ever)
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/08/2003 12:54 Comments || Top||

#9  If you were anyone else, I would ask you to respond to what I said, rather than inventing shit so you can respond with predigested tripe, but in your case that's asking too much. I've read enough of your commentary to harbor such wildly unreasonable expectations. That would be asking you to stop being yourself.

I believe it's quite simple: it's the Reward Model, stupid. What follows is 100% personal opinion and homegrown.

Every society, whether based on the rule of law and secularism, religion, or whatever indoctrinates its children with a mixture of truth and bullshit. It only differs in mix and degree. Some adults learn to be more pragmatic, so they may subjugate it for mercantile or other interests, but they are also often blind to reason (change) as it is far more ingrained in their identity.

The primary positive aspect of dissolving nation-states into a larger entity is, if the larger goal is kept faithfully in view and pursued honestly, a reduction in / removal of historical enmities, misunderstandings, self-serving lies, etc. (The former Yugoslavia with its Serb-dominated official "creative" history was a classic example of a system in dire need of reality checks). The education system is where this can be changed most effectively and with the best long-term results. Assuming it's actually attempted, it's at least a generation away from bearing fruit - and two if you count the time it will take before these enlightened people are in charge of anything. And the society must reward them all along the way to reinforce the change.

I do not envy Europe - you have much more baggage (history, culture, traditions, etc.) than we do. Our version, the PC celebrating diversity (ethnicity, etc.) and such asinine "rainbow" pretensions, is equally foolish as it is both destructive (creates strife and false divisions) and foolish (another layer of stupidity to overcome).

We could ALL rid ourselves of false divisions, points on that stupidity curve, on our own - with or without changing lines on maps. It only takes sincerely challenging (Fisking) the tenets you've been indoctrinated with, by parents, family, peers, school, society, and religion. That takes guts, for it's a lonely process.

Societies generate people with the traits they reward. There are exceptions, of course, but in the main, the statement is demonstrably true. People get along if they're rewarded for doing so and honest if that is rewarded. People trust and share and are willing to expend personal treasure, even life, if they find those things rewarded - even if posthumously for their families and society, but most importantly for their fellows on the line.

Your mistrust of the US is noted. What I get most clearly from your comments is that you don't get us. At all. Most people are grinding some ax - and that means there are a shitload of sharp axes around - so being careful makes sense. If I tell you that the US is about freedom, you can take it or leave it, but your choice changes nothing about the truth in that fact. We will protect what good there is in the world and fight for it anytime it's threatened - and promote it at every opportunity. And we will not apologize for it.

And the EU is just more wagons in the circle, as I said, I could ask you to stop being a disingenuous ass, but that would be to ask you to discard your precious identity. I figure it's too late for that.

I'm done. Good luck with the EU thing, honest, and as I said earlier, I hope it works out. We will all be winners if it does - and all share in the fallout if it doesn't.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 15:10 Comments || Top||

#10  If the Iraqi regime is more comfortable w/Muslim Croats (as opposed to the Turk fiasco) fine by me. Put'em in the triangle. I hope things work out.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 16:00 Comments || Top||

#11  .com> Wow, I really can't decide whether it's wankiness or irrelevancy that dominates your post, but I do know that it's not content or argument.

If you'd actually bothered to reply to me rather than simply masturbate on screen, then you'd have seen fit to answer the one question I asked you -- given how I did answer to *your* question, the one about the EU.

Let me repeat:
****
Do you have a problem with the idea of Bosniak troops in Iraq or don't you?
****

"Your mistrust of the US is noted. What I get most clearly from your comments is that you don't get us. "

Yes, somehow my "mistrust of the US" is noted by you even in those posts of mine that don't contain a single reference to the US. It's just like magic. You can certainly pull off "mistrust of the US" out of anything I write, can't you?

My "mistrust of the US" is no bigger a mistrust than what I have towards *any* other government *anywhere*. Certainly I currently have much more mistrust of the Greek government than I have of the American one.

I wonder if in this post you will "note" a subtext of lesbian bestiality towards antarctic bears or something.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/08/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#12  I think Aris had a good point that for Iraqis, seeing secularized European Moslems could be beneficial. On the other hand--I don't think we need a base in a country like Bosnia just because it's Moslem.
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 11/08/2003 17:06 Comments || Top||

#13  Aris - LOL! I just skipped to the *finish* rather than following your *tortuous* route. I love it: your EU-nirvana masterbations are legendary - not to mention pure *speculation* since it's still being *born* - and that must be what brought that to mind! There is nothing *new* or *innovative* or *dazzling* about the EU other than the potential I pointed out. It MIGHT reduce the number of *state-sponsored* lies and enmities embedded in your *cultured* and *history-laden* minds and save your children from your current *schizophrenic* world spew view. That would be *good*. You certainly have more than your share of totally fucking *twisted* versions of history in your neck of the woods. Then again, it might not. After all, it will contain the *Balkans*, known world-wide for their *stability* and *tolerance*, right? Yeah, right. No matter.

You're an encyclopedia salesman - I broke the sequence of your patter so now you're flustered. Heh, sorry. You're just pissed cuz I didn't play your game. As for mistrusting the US - that has been a theme in many of your posts -- that it wasn't featured in this one is beside the point. I certainly didn't go out of my way to make it the theme of my post, now did I? So why so exercised? Ah, no matter.

I've had a nice nap and feel great - but you aren't interesting - and now I recall why engaging you is such a treat -- for masochists.

Oh yeah, your *all-important* question regarding *Bosnian* Muslim troops in Iraq? No thanx. The *Iraqis* will provide the Muslim troops. And Muslim police. And Muslim political administration. Etc. There is nothing remarkable about *Bosnian* Muslims that I'm aware of, but them I'm sure *you're* going to *masterbate* something about that, now. You're still the same asshole - even when someone meets you part-way. No matter. I've got more interesting things to do anyway. Thx and have a nice time.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 20:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Keep on babbling - it's I who refused to follow your game in speaking about irrelevancies rather than about the issue at hand.

I mentioned the EU in one line, then you sought fit to expand and expand and expand on it. Asking me a question I answered it, not realizing you meant the question as a troll bait. Then when I perceived this game of yours I stopped.

Can we actually get back to discussing points of the article, pretty please?

"Oh yeah, your *all-important* question regarding *Bosnian* Muslim troops in Iraq? No thanx. "

But why?

I gave my own reasoning, aka a) feeling that it's a good idea to include Muslim allies in the War on Terror, to strike at the propaganda that this is a war commited by infidels against the whole of Islam, and b) that the secular democrat Muslims of Bosnia might be a good influence to the less-advanced Arabs.

Why won't you give your own reasoning? You say there's nothing remarkable about Bosnian Muslims -- well there's nothing remarkable about Polish Christians, but nonetheless they are in Iraq.

And btw, not to be nitpicky and all (everyone knows how I hate to be nitpicky ;-) , but "Bosniak" is more accurate to describe the people commonly called "Bosnian Muslims" -- more accurate, since these "Bosnian Muslims" ofcourse include atheists, agnostics and even Christians, like any other nation.

I'm telling you this, since you saw fit to emphasize "Bosnian", perhaps thinking you were correcting a mistake I made.

"You're still the same asshole - even when someone meets you part-way."

Why would you think that I'd be more polite to people that agreed with me than to people who disagreed with me? *That* would be dishonest.

Much more commonly I face politeness with politeness and rudeness with rudeness.

You met me part-way? By doing what, by calling me a "pedant", "unworthy of debate", "stupid", "disingenuous ass", etc, etc? Oh, yeah, that would *definitely* motivate me to be any less of an "asshole" towards you.

"As for mistrusting the US - that has been a theme in many of your posts -- that it wasn't featured in this one is beside the point."

LOL! Yes, if there was a point to your continuing wankery and obsession about me (and the EU) in this thread, then it'd be definitely beside it. I noticed how you saw fit to mention me in other threads as well today. Making your rude commentary there as you did here.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/08/2003 21:44 Comments || Top||

#15  Rude. That's me.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 22:13 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Five years imprisonment for Quetta assassins
The Judge of Anti terrorist Court No.2, Shaukat Ali Rakshani has awarded five years R.I. imprisonment each to the assassins in two incident in Quetta. On June 8 twelve policemen were killed. In the second terrorist attack on July 4 which thirty prayers were assassinated. The Court awarded R.I. imprisonment to Shafiq Rind and Usman Saifullah in their absence in the case occurred on June 8. In the second incident of July 4, the Court also sentence five years R.I. imprisonment to accused Usman Saifullah, Daud Badani, Ziaul Haq, Malik Ishaq and Dr. Munir Ahmed. In the first sectarian attack in on Shiite community of Hazar tribe. 12 police cops under training were shot dead when they were traveling to their training center in Queeta on bus on June 8. The second incident occurred on July 4 this year in which a group of terrorists with four suicide attackers attacked Imambargah (Shiite Mosque) located at Prince Road in the Balochistan province during Friday Pray. The indiscriminate firing killed 30 prayers and injured fifty others. Three of the suicide attackers also killed on the spot when bomb ridden to their bodies exploded whereas the fourth injured expired in the hospital. The dead included a Business Manager of an English national daily, Willayt Hussein and Riaz Noori, brother of Press Information Department’s senior information officer, Khadim Hussein Noori. The four terrorists of the gang of saboteurs were suicide bombers and were laden with bombs with their bodies. All of them according to unofficial reports were killed including one arrested with serious injuries but breathed his last in the hospital.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 12:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Five years for mass murder? Cop and praying mantis Muslim killers? How, uh, um, typical. And the parade marches on.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 20:38 Comments || Top||


'Hindu' staff arrested over anti-government articles
Authorities in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have ordered the arrest of the publisher and senior editorial staff of one of India's most prominent daily newspapers, The Hindu. The state assembly sentenced five journalists to 15 days in prison for what it called breach of privilege, after the newspaper published articles critical of the state government. Following the order, police raided the offices of the paper in the city of Chennai, but did not make any arrests. In a front page editorial, The Hindu said the raid was a violation of the right to free speech guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
You expect this sort of thing in Pakistan, not India...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:


Political activist among three killed in Kashmir
Suspected Muslim rebels have shot dead two people including an activist of a party that favours Indian rule, while Indian troops killed a militant, police say. Suspected militants gunned down Abdul Majid Rather, a local leader of India's main opposition Congress party, as he came home from a mosque in Wagoora village of the northern Baramulla district, police said.
They like to get them when they're on their way to the mosque or coming home from the mosque...
Rather is the fourth activist of a pro-India party to be killed in a week. Two of the other victims belonged to Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's People's Democratic Party, which rules in an alliance with Congress.
In Islamist circles, this is known as "having a political discussion."
Separately, suspected rebels overnight shot dead a Muslim civilian in Sonarkalipora village of the central Budgam district, said police, who did not immediately know the motive for the killing.
Now they need motives for bumping people off? When did that start?
Indian troops also shot dead a rebel in the northern Kupwara district, police said.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  is Abdul Majid Rather related to Gunga Dan Rather?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 9:02 Comments || Top||

#2  is Abdul Majid Rather related to Gunga Dan Rather

Yes you are on the correct frequency.
Posted by: Kenneth || 11/08/2003 10:32 Comments || Top||


Musharraf says N Korea links over
Pakistan’s president says his country did obtain missiles from North Korea but all defence contacts are now over. General Pervez Musharraf, ending a three-day visit to South Korea, said Pakistan had not handed over any nuclear technology in return. He said: "There is absolutely no interaction with North Korea whatsoever on any defence related matters."
"No, no! Certainly not!"
President Musharraf said in Seoul on Friday that his country had obtained short-range missiles and technology from Pyongyang but that now it could make the missiles itself. Pakistan has been suspected of supplying uranium-enrichment technology in return for missiles but President Musharraf said there had been "no transfer and no proliferation" of such technology. He also said that visits to North Korea by the father of the Pakistani nuclear weapons industry, Abdul Qadeer Khan, were related only to the purchase of conventional missiles.
"Well, yeah, she was nekkid and I was nekkid, and we wuz on the bed, but, honest, honey! Nothin' happened!"
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/08/2003 2:20:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  LOL!

1. "on any defence related matters"

2. "no transfer and no proliferation"

3. "visits to North Korea by the father of the Pakistani nuclear weapons industry, Abdul Qadeer Khan, were related only to the purchase of conventional missiles"

Anybody believe ANY of these assertions?

1. Why qualify the statement with this? Who has any other kind of connection to Nork, other than MommaSan China?

2. Right. Norks developed everything else they have (exactly what they have seems to be in dispute if the CIA has recovered and is providing intelligent intelligence -- is that still an oxymoron?) all on their own. Sure thing. They can't feed themselves, but they are nuke whizzes. Yep. You betcha.

3. Why send the "father" of Pakiwacki's Nuke Pgm to buy conventional missiles? Isn't this guy a tad important, perhaps too important, to send off to see the looney Dear Leader for something less than vital? Since Pakiland measures the size of its National DICK by its nuke deterrence to Indian nukes, does anyone with 2 neurons to rub together buy this?

Even one "coincidence" makes a good detective nervous. Three? Naw, he'd never buy it - and neither do I. Smoke? Does anyone smell smoke?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 3:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Is it getting hot in here, or am I just on fire?
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||


US report voices concern at al-Qaeda links with J&K terror outfits
I know this usually Paul’s department, but I figured I’d give it the old college try ...
A new report prepared for the US Congress points to a rise in terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and has raised concerns over Al-Qaeda’s reported forging of alliances with terrorist outfits that are active in J&K.
Most of these "alliances" are 5-10 years old, as most the "new" terrorist orgs that have shown up in Kashmir are the same old ones that joined bin Laden’s International Islamic Front years ago under new names.
"Separatist violence in the Indian Jammu and Kashmir state has surged in recent months," says a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). It also notes how Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf "adamantly insists" that Islamabad has done all it could to stem cross-border infiltration. But then the report unmasks the claims vis-a-vis the terror outfits. It says, "Though officially banned, these groups continue to operate under new names: LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) is now Jamaat ad-Dawa; JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) is now Khudam-ul Islam; and Harakat-ul Mujahideen is now Jamiat-ul Ansar."
It’s that childish delight with false moustaches and assumed names ...
It also notes that Musharraf has provided "little concrete evidence" of his promised crackdown on the "more extremist madrassas" that are inculcating "militant anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Hindu values."
Right now Pakistan appears to be playing a double (triple?) game in regards to how it handles terrorist organizations. On one hand, they cooperate with the US at least when it seems to come to the al-Qaeda bigs because they plan on ruling Pakistan in place of Musharraf. OTOH, they also want to keep the jihadi infrastructure intact to bleed India dry and to retain their assets in the event of a war. OTOH (that’s three hands!) the MMA and Co up in the north appear to have their own lunatic agenda that seems to run counter to that of the more pragmatic nuts in the military and the ISI.
"Pakistan’s powerful and largely autonomous ISI is widely believed to have provided significant support for militant Kashmiri separatists over the past decade in what is perceived as a proxy war against India," says the report. It also refers to India as providing the US "solid documentary proof" last March about 70 terrorist camps in Pak-occupied Kashmir.
We probably have our own satellite photos to go with what the Indos gave us...
Put together from different sources, the report comes close on the heels of a special hearing on terrorism in Asia that was conducted by a panel of the House International Relations Committee. Its predominant focus, however, is on the regrouping of Al-Qaeda and Taliban in northwest Pakistan. "Al-Qaeda forces that fled from Afghanistan with their Taliban supporters remain active on Pakistani territory, and Al-Qaeda is believed to have links with indigenous Pakistani terrorist groups that have conducted anti-Western attacks and that support separatist militancy in Indian Kashmir," it says. Though Islamabad provided "vital assistance" in the Afghan operation, the report voices growing American concern over the "haven" that Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives have found in Pakistani cities and rugged border areas. This has helped the dreaded groups to "at least partially regroup."
I’m pretty sure that most of the Taliban leadership and maybe even their Cyclops supremo himself can be founded in either Quetta or Peshawar these days.
The report goes on to say, "There remain doubts about Islamabad’s commitment to core US concerns in the vast ’lawless zones’ of the Afghani-Pakistani border region where Islamic extremists find shelter. Especially worrisome are indications that the Taliban receive significant logistical and other support inside Pakistan."
This is where the MMA does its stuff, raising a stink every time the Pak military makes a pretense of operations within the tribal areas. If the feds are kept out, then the areas are effectively under the control of Qaeda and the Talibs, hosted by the tribal leaders. Commerce can take place — bringing in groceries and fresh turbans and arms and ammunition — but not policing. What they've done is set up their own autonomous areas, outside the control of the government.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/08/2003 1:14:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I believe you are right sir,Taliban are in "packiwackistan"(no offense meant,I can't help myself) imho they need to get the boot.
preferably to gitmo
Posted by: chriskarma || 11/08/2003 3:33 Comments || Top||

#2  preferably to gitmo.

we don't need any info they have to offer anymore . Kill.Them
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 9:08 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Mass graves may contain 300,000 bodies in total
Hat tip: Hell in a Handbasket. Edited for brevity.
Iraqi and U.S. rights investigators said on Saturday they suspected Iraq had up to 260 mass graves containing the bodies of at least 300,000 people murdered by the former regime of Saddam Hussein. They told a conference that the task of identifying bodies and preparing evidence for tribunals could take years and millions of dollars, but the long process would be worth it to heal the wounds of three decades of brutal Baath Party rule. "We have reports of 260 mass graves and we have confirmed approximately 40 of them," said Sandra Hodgkinson, director of the Coalition Provisional Authority’s (CPA) mass grave action plan’. We believe, based on what Iraqis have reported to us, that there are 300,000 dead and that’s the lower end of the estimates. In Bosnia it’s now eight or nine years since similar atrocities and only 8,000 bodies out of 30,000 have been uncovered. Here in Iraq it’s 300,000," said Hodgkinson, a human rights lawyer brought in by the CPA after U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam in April. More sites could still be found.

The U.S. military has footed the bill for satellite imaging to identify sites, but Turki said more money would be needed. Iraq’s Governing Council asked an international donor conference in Madrid last month for $100 million to be spent on equipment and manpower over the next five years, but Turki said little has been forthcoming yet. A team of forensic experts will arrive in Iraq in January to begin work on up to 20 sites around the country where evidence will be collected for future trials of regime figures. Work to identify bodies has begun at the other 200-odd sites.
Posted by: Dar || 11/08/2003 2:13:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [339 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One third of a million people murdered: If ever there is a reason to stay and finish this work, this is yet another one.

May I suggest we get the US Senate intel committee to visit these sites; maybe the lefitsts in the committee can figure out a way to blame Bush and the USA for these bodies.

F*ckin' bastards.
Posted by: badanov || 11/08/2003 14:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Ah but where are the weapons of mass destruction?
Pretty hollow sounding now, isnt it.....we were right to go in there and we are right to stay!!!!!!! I will NOT be moved regarding this, no matter how long it takes!
Posted by: debbie || 11/08/2003 15:06 Comments || Top||

#3  The weapons of mass destruction are secondary to the mass destruction, fer God's Sake!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/08/2003 22:47 Comments || Top||

#4  may I suggest we get g.h.w. bush and his heli buff negotiator from hell gen. scwartzkopf to stand up for a review of the corpses
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/09/2003 0:19 Comments || Top||


Red Cross pulls out of Baghdad, Basra
The International Committee of the Red Cross has decided to temporarily shut its offices in Baghdad and Iraq's southern city of Basra. The organisation says the decision has been made because of concerns for the safety of its staff in Iraq. It says it is still discussing what to do with its foreign staff in Iraq. An ICRC spokesman says the situation is extremely dangerous and volatile in Iraq following an attack on its Baghdad offices, in which 12 people were killed.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [354 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cowards! Don't let the door hit you on the way out you pussies. I hate the red cross. They are a corrupt group of bigots with a superiority complex. I wonder how hard it is to sleep at night, after handing a bill for services to a soldier that has been treated for their wounds, sustained while protecting the red swastikkka's rights to exploit heros?
Posted by: Islam Sucks || 11/08/2003 10:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Why would they pull out of Basra?
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 10:55 Comments || Top||

#3  SH, I thought the Brits were running Basra. Maybe Bulldog knows more about this. I know they had some minor fighting down there but nothing on par w/the sunni triangle.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#4  Leave. Make it permanent. The domestic RC is just to the Left of ANSWER, the Int'l flavor is off the chart. Besides, we can't afford their terrible ratio of $ to benefit.

Regards Iraq reconstruction, we'll just have to muddle our way through without them and their ilk. Our people are proving to be more honest, ingenious, and flexible that I would've ever guessed. They kick ass, in fact.

Time to stop making them duck, too. This shooting gallery shit is getting very old, indeed. Get medieval. Gloves off. Tough shit version of tough love. Deal with the Sunnis with an iron fist and zero mercy. USE the 4ID power to level anything or anyone in the Triangle dumb enough to stick its head up. 10x return fire - and no BS no-fire zones in the Triangle.

Then gather the so-called religious leadership of all the phreakin flavors and camps and factions and splinters and whatever together and issue this edict: stop the violence by reporting every foreigner you encounter to the police or military. Report every criminal who was released by Saddam to sew confusion and anarchy. Report anyone who demands baksheesh. All corruption stops NOW. Denounce the perps and the slackers. Use your ooga-booga threats / powers and skeer 'em if you need to, but fucking do it. Forget running your own militias. Not happening. Forget this Holy Ground BS. Get a grip. Saddam' pricks went wherever they wanted - which proves it ain't so Holy after all. If you don't cooperate in all of these things you're out - no representation in any governmental body. You'll have to fight your way up politically the hard way after the process is turned over by the coalition. You'll be an outsider - those who cooperate in making Iraq civil will be incumbents. If you make any seditious noises or even suggest you might put together a militia, you will be rounded up and taken to the Western Desert for re-education - or deported to your sponsor country. If you DO cooperate, you will find many plums in your Ramadan stocking to pass out to your dumb-as-dirt followers. They will love you for it.

Forward to Pentagon PC Specialists for prettification and then to Cracker Jack Corp for sugar-coating.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 11:17 Comments || Top||

#5  So sez the Red Cross: Our personal cowardice trumps our humanitarian impulses. If the going even looks like it might be rough, count on us to cut and run. Gosh, if we stayed that might actually help the US effort to rebuild Iraq. We can't have that now, can we?
Posted by: Mark || 11/08/2003 14:34 Comments || Top||

#6  The Italian Red Cross is staying--and they're staying in Baghdad no less, according to Reuters.
Posted by: Dar || 11/08/2003 14:56 Comments || Top||

#7  I have a suggestion. Let's quit playing games with the nutzoid NGO's and set up a person-to-person aid program in Iraq. I've already volunteered to help Zayed get anything he needs - there are several dentists in the local area willing to help. Maybe we need to adopt a "Chief Wiggles" type approach, multiplied by the number of people willing to help. We did that in Europe with CARE. Now, CARE's joined the list of leftist NGO's. Let's start fresh, one-on-one. I think that will achieve much better results, and much sooner, than all the NGO crap in the universe.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 16:36 Comments || Top||

#8  I've been contributing to the various websites, such as Operation Air Conditioner (excellent and organized) and Chief Wiggles' effort (much less so, sadly). If you get something going with Zayed, I'm in. If the US is willing to restart the Peace Corps / CARE idea anew, that would be excellent. I think this sort of effort may be called upon again, soon.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 20:45 Comments || Top||

#9  I hope I'm not too late with this comment. I've got a line on used medical equip. here in Wisconsin the people here would be thrilled to get the $ to send a couple of containers over there.
Posted by: Ron || 11/09/2003 2:37 Comments || Top||


US warplanes bomb targets in Saddam's hometown
US warplanes and armoured vehicles have battered suspected guerrilla hideouts in Saddam Hussein's hometown after six soldiers were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter was shot down earlier this week. F-16 fighter planes dropped bombs on targets near Tikrit, 175 kilometres north of Baghdad, and troops backed by Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles destroyed several houses which the US military believed had been used by insurgents.

Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Russell of the 4th Infantry Division based in Tikrit confirmed the Black Hawk that crashed on Friday had been brought down by guerrillas. "We do believe it was brought down by ground fire," he said. Soldiers said the Black Hawk was probably hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. It was the third US helicopter to be shot down in Iraq in the last two weeks. The US response was swift. After dark on Friday, warplanes swooped over Tikrit, dropping several 500-pound bombs near the helicopter crash site. Then raids were launched around the town — a hotbed of resistance to the US-led occupation. "We are targeting those areas where we have had attacks on coalition forces," Lieutenant-Colonel Russell said. "We want to eliminate those threats."
I hope the bastards are stacked nine deep. But al-Jazeera should be carrying footage of the destroyed baby duck hatcheries any time now...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 05:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yes! Bombs! Break out the Rockeyes.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 8:05 Comments || Top||

#2  "We want to remind this town that we have teeth and claws and we will use them," said Lt. Col. Steven Russell of the 4th Infantry Division who led raid.

Russell's a quote machine! I love him!
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 9:15 Comments || Top||

#3  More:
After midnight, Russell's convoy of Humvees and Bradley fighting vehicles, their headlights turned off, set out across the town toward three building that insurgents were suspected of using.

Shoulder-fired rockets, a missile, and heavy machine gun fire slammed into the abandoned warehouse.

Soldiers yelled, "knock, knock" and "good morning" in celebration as the structure crumbled amid plumes of dust and smoke.

Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 9:17 Comments || Top||

#4  This was for us as much as for them... still an excellent idea. Bring back the assault gun and make many friends.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 10:37 Comments || Top||

#5  "no better friend, no worse enemy"
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#6  Steven seems to be getting alot of action and attention. A future general perhaps?
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||


Poland Still Committed to Iraq Mission
Prime Minister Leszek Miller said Friday that Poland remains committed to the Iraq mission despite suffering its first combat death since the aftermath of World War II. But Miller, who departs Saturday for a Middle East tour that will include a visit to Polish troops in Iraq, said the mission was not open-ended. ``We don’t want to be in Iraq for long, only until new authorities are in place,’’ Miller said. ``Our troops are there to accelerate the democratic transition.’’
Sorta what GWB said.
The fatal shooting of Maj. Hieronim Kupczyk, 44, in an ambush north of Karbala on Thursday has tested popular support for the mission, already waning with near-daily attacks on coalition forces.
God bless you, Major Kupczyk, and condolences to your family and your team.
Despite public wariness and calls by small opposition parties to debate the mission in parliament, the government, most opposition parties and the military remained steadfast behind the Polish deployment. While Poles overwhelmingly backed the war, sentiment for Poland’s deployment of 2,400 soldiers to lead a multinational force of 9,500 in south-central Iraq has been declining with reports of casualties among U.S.-led forces. Poland’s top military officer, the chief of general staff, Gen. Czeslaw Piatas, also said the Polish force would not be swayed, despite increasing attacks.
No way the Poles cut and run.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/08/2003 1:37:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "the mission, already waning"

LOL. I think this journalist is using what Glenn Reynolds refers to as the "Veitnam template".
Posted by: g wiz || 11/08/2003 3:24 Comments || Top||

#2  I emailed the Polish MOD way back in the spring to express my gratitude that Poland is sending troops for the war in Iraq. I now want to express my condolences and to reiterate my gratitude to the Polish people for their aid and their faith in this noble cause in Iraq.

You and your unit are our heroes, Major Kupcyzk. God rest your soul.
Posted by: badanov || 11/08/2003 8:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Here ius an email to the Polish MOD aka Ministry of Nationa Defense that can be used to extend your expressions of sympathy.

bpimon@wp.mil.pl
Posted by: badanov || 11/08/2003 8:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Poland knows what it's like to be under a dictators thumb. First with Germany, and then with the USSR. The Poles will stick by us until the bitter end I believe.
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,
Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,
Za twoim przewodem
Zlaczym sie z narodem.


Rest in peace, brave friend.
Posted by: Mike || 11/08/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#6  THere is a way to send care packages to Polish soldiers....I sent one today. The info is on the blog "Blogo Slovo". Scroll down to October 31 entry.....I am sorry I do not know how to link but if you search for Blogo Slovo thru your search engine you will find it.
Posted by: debbie || 11/08/2003 16:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Here's the good stuff that Debbie mentioned:
So, if you wish to send a Christmas care package to a Polish soldier, to show your gratitude for their support in Iraq, then here is how to do it:

1> Buy appropriate stuff: The American Center for Polish Culture recommends: deodorants, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, soap, hair shampoo, cologne, talcum powder, CD’s, and Christmas cards. You get the idea, toiletries and the like. If you would like your package to go to a female soldier (there are about fifty Polish women serving in Iraq), you might also include face powder, lipstick and handkerchiefs. No food. No weapons, they have enough of their own.

2> Put it in a box no bigger than 12" x 12" x 12". Tape it, don't tie it. The whole thing should weight ten pounds or less.

3> Ship to the following address:

LtCol Mariusz MICHALSKI
Chief of MWR Branch
MND CS – Poland
BABILON
APO, AE 09332 USA
“For POLISH SOLDIER” If you want to to go to a female soldier, note that here.

4> As a matter of courtesy, send an e-mail to the Director of the The American Center for Polish Culture at director AT polishcenterdc DOT org. They need an accurate count of care packages, they want to make sure that every Polish soldier in Iraq gets one. If you don't mind, tell them you got this information from Dave Kaiser of Blogo Slovo.

5> Get it in the mail by mid-November or so, to make sure that it gets there on time.

6> Smile. You just made some poor Kowalski happy. He's stuck in the desert, a thousand miles away from the fields and uplands of his native Poland, helping police and rebuild a country despite the wishes of his European brethren. You let him know that we're grateful and that America remembers its friends.
Posted by: Dar || 11/08/2003 17:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Hey this is great thanks for the info. Could someone tell me though where (and what) APO, AE 09332 is?? Washington?
Posted by: Rafael || 11/08/2003 17:47 Comments || Top||

#9  Dar, thanks for providing the details when I could not....I'm still a computer novice.
Posted by: debbie || 11/08/2003 20:48 Comments || Top||

#10  Dar - since the people at Opn A/C also ship these essentials, do you think they'd be willing to include our comrades in arms in their program? I'm in the odd position of being out here in the stix - helping via cash contributions is more efficient than having it shipped around the world multiple times. I'll email Frankie about it, but if you know people there, it might be better received. Thx!

debbie - Thx for the heads-up!!!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 20:54 Comments || Top||

#11  If interested, here's a map showing the Polish sector in Iraq, as well as the American & British sectors.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/08/2003 21:21 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Bali bombing suspect implicated in Sulawesi attacks
A senior Indonesian anti-terrorism official says a fugitive member of the Bali bombing cell was involved in deadly anti-Christian attacks on the island of Sulawesi last month.
Really? That's never happened before, has it?...
The senior Jemaah Islamiah figure, Dulmatin, has been sought by police for the past year as part of the Bali investigation. Now he has been implicated in another attack. Ansyaad Mbai, who heads the counter-terrorism desk in the Ministry of Political and Security Affairs, says Dulmatin had an important role in attacks which killed 12 Christians near the Sulawesi town of Poso over two days. The attacks coincided with the anniversary of the Bali bombings.
He's a sentimental kind of guy...
Mr Mbai says he could not elaborate on exactly what role Dulmatin had played but that he has been implicated by suspects already arrested for the Poso killings. He says authorities believe Dulmatin could still be in Sulawesi. Police have arrested 17 people and killed six others since the Poso attacks.
Let's try and get those kill numbers a little higher...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:


Burma's Suu Kyi refuses to accept freedom: UN
Burma's generals have freed democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, but she is refusing to accept liberty until 35 colleagues are released from detention, UN envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro has said. The UN human rights envoy said he had been told by the ruling generals during talks in Rangoon this week that Ms Suu Kyi, detained after a bloody clash between her followers and government supporters, was no longer under house arrest. Mr Pinheiro, who talked with Ms Suu Kyi for two hours on Thursday, said she demanded the release of 35 colleagues in the National League for Democracy before she would consider herself free. She also demanded an inquiry into the May 30 violence, which each side blames on the other, and for those responsible to be held accountable, he said. "She wants justice, not revenge," the Brazilian academic added. He quoted her as saying: "Let's move forward. Let's work so it doesn't happen again."
For that to happen, you've got to fire the generals and probably disband the military and start a new one from scratch...
However, Mr Pinheiro said, the generals who have ruled Burma since 1962 "have not yet agreed" to his offer to conduct "an independent assessment" of the May violence and gave no indication on when Ms Suu Kyi might move around again.
Did anyone expect they would? Go ahead, raise your hand... Dumbass.
She has made similar pronouncements before during the long periods she has spent confined to her lakeside house in Rangoon, including the last time when she emerged just weeks before the May violence.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 05:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  She's got a lot of guts. I wonder what the international community would actually do if she died suddenly.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 11:04 Comments || Top||

#2  SH - excellent question. If she truly has liberty, then when will the press conference be held - instead of some second-hand version from a paid political flunky? If there was any rational way to deal with irrationality, other than trying not to get any on yourself, we would surely apply it to the junta. She is probably the only reason the isolation isn't 10x worse. They'd better take very good care of her.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 12:11 Comments || Top||

#3  .com, that must irk them to have to treat her with kid gloves. Good to see that she is keeping th epressure on them.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||

#4  SH - Agreed - on both points. She's a trip and a handfull!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 21:36 Comments || Top||


US trains elite Indonesian police force
THE UNITED STATES is funding, training and arming specially screened Indonesian policemen in a new pilot programme that will ultimately leave Indonesia with a self-contained, 400-strong counter-terrorism unit capable of tackling everything from bomb investigations and terrorist acts to hostage-taking and armed assaults. When fully operational in 2005, it will be able to respond swiftly to incidents throughout the archipelago. The U.S. expects that the new force, dubbed Detachment 88, will significantly strengthen the police’s ability to shoulder most of the burden in the war against terrorism in Indonesia.
This is a good move, the Indon police have done a fine job tracking down and arresting JI terrorists, while the politicians play political games to get the Islamist vote, and the Indon Army gets up to all sorts of murky dealings in Aceh, West Papua, support Laskar Jihad etc.
Western military experts say, however, that it may take several years before it can match the capabilities of Indonesia’s 4,500-strong military special forces, which have traditionally been responsible for counter-terrorism operations. The police already have a core of U.S.-trained hostage negotiators but, as one Western military officer points out, "they really aren’t yet capable of doing high-level tasks."
The Indonesian special forces have an atrocious human rights record, killed some Americans in West Papua in the hopes that seperatists in that province would get the blame from Washington.
Indonesia's military tradition is rooted in WWII, when it was set up and trained by the Japanese.
The officials say that if Detachment 88 builds on the successes the police have enjoyed so far in rounding up the terrorists responsible for deadly bombings in Bali and Jakarta over the past 13 months, the U.S. is also likely to supply the unit with helicopters and C-130 transport aircraft. So far the Americans have graduated three 10-man police investigation teams, three eight-man tactical response units and three five-man bomb squads in a programme that will effectively merge three police departments into one. Security experts familiar with Indonesian police capabilities expect most of the instruction on bomb disposal will centre around improvised explosive devices. All recruits to the counter-terrorism force are vetted to ensure that they have clean human-rights records and have not served in the former Indonesian territory of East Timor.
I hope they're also checking to make sure they haven't put any time in at any pesantren, either...
On a more mundane level, the police’s decision to call their counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 was made when the Americans first began offering Indonesia anti-terrorist assistance, or ATA as it is more commonly referred to. The Indonesians mistook the acronym and the way it was pronounced for 88. "Once we got all that cleared up," explains U.S. Ambassador Ralph Boyce, "we all got together and decided to call it 88 anyway."
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/08/2003 1:43:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [410 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can they be that schizophrenic?

My first reaction was "Oh shit - we can't trust them any more than we can trust [insert any other Indo entity here]!"

I hope you're right. This was the plan in the Phillipines, too, right? If I'm wrong, please whack me! They went into meltdown instead of gaining a sense of purpose / espirit de corps, larger picture, for the good of the country, etc. Makes me wonder if we can export these concepts and methods to anyone who has failed to develop something on the same level on their own. Just beyond the grasp of the vast majority of places where it's needed, I think.

Maybe, if it works in Indo, it can be replicated where we understand the social psychology so well that we are able to accurately vet potential recruits. Done wrong - it backfires into Central American Death Squad shit. I beleive maintaining a presence with the command, if not the units themselves, is the only way to know if it begins to run amok or works as intended.

Thx for the heads-up - never heard of Det 88, before this!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 2:46 Comments || Top||

#2  PEPPE:People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar
As deplorable,and dispicable as thier methods were the PEPPE's certainlly got the job done.One example:the PEPPE's captured Escopar's chief attorny and the attorny's son,killed them and hung a sign around thier neck saying something to the effect"How is this in exchange for the bombs,Pablo".

"Viva Columbia Pablo Escobar is dead"

The PEPPE's now appear to be going after FARC.
Posted by: Raptor || 11/08/2003 6:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Who is doing the training? The same CIA crowd who trained the Paletinian security crowd for Abu Mazen, which can not be used cause Arafat effectively holds the reins?
Would have though that some of that crew could have found out who blew up the 3 Americans in Gaza last month.
Posted by: Barry || 11/08/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

#4  David Duke is a malignant narcissist.

He invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and the trappings of power further exacerbate this. Real life authority and David Duke’s predilection to surround him with obsequious sycophants support David Duke’s grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience.
David Duke's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".
Duke fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, and mythology. The leader is this religion's ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.
Duke is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people - or humanity at large - should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Duke became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman".
But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.
In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things "natural" - or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to, as "nature" is not natural at all.
Duke invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial - though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols - not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.
In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.
Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism - and the cult's leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.
Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways" - against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon David Duke like (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.
Minorities or "others" - often arbitrarily selected - constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is "wrong". They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are "decadent", they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin ... They are different, they are narcissistic (feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenseless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.
This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm - together with Stalin - as a malignant narcissist. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.
Duke prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime - Duke having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "Earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.
It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of David Duke. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform David Duke like narrative. Thus, David Duke who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite - is highly unlikely to use violence at first. The pacific mask crumbles when David Duke has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, and the prime sources of his narcissistic supply - have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, David Duke strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. "The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)", "they don't really know what they are doing", "following a rude awakening, they will revert to form", etc. When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail, David Duke becomes injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized - is now discarded with contempt and hatred. This primitive defense mechanism is called "splitting". To David Duke, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. Duke is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country, etc. The "small people", the "rank and file", and the "loyal soldiers" of David Duke - his flock, his nation, and his employees - they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated - is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of David Duke. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.
Posted by: Anonymous4781 || 05/10/2004 2:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Fred, David Duke troll cleanup on Aisle 4!
Posted by: Jen || 05/10/2004 2:59 Comments || Top||


Africa: Southern
Instability spreads as thousands flee from Zimbabwe
The effects of Robert Mugabe's regime are forcing thousands of people to seek sanctuary in neighbouring countries — a situation that is threatening to destabalise the whole region. Less than a mile from the mirror-panelled banks and high-rise offices of Botswana's richest firms, penniless Zimbabweans gather on dusty street corners begging for work. Unregistered, unkempt and unlawful in a foreign land, the desperate men whisper "Piece work, piece work" sotto voce, meaning "odd job" to any passer-by. If you are brave enough to stop your car at what appears to be an empty junction, a mini-stampede erupts as Zimbabweans surge towards the vehicle, hands flapping for car door handles in an unseemly scrum to be first in line. Malnourished and haggard, the men try anything to convince would-be employers. Some brandish O-level certificates as proof that they passed through Zimbabwe's once respected but now barely functioning education system. Others show references from employers back in Zimbabwe long closed down or even character references from the country's opposition Movement for Democratic Change, to indicate that they are not tainted by association with President Robert Mugabe's regime. All the documents have to be retrieved from a carefully secreted position — tucked in a sock or hidden behind a belt. To be found with such paperwork by the police is grounds for the bearer to be kicked out of Botswana as an illegal.

"I have been coming across the border regularly for two years now," said 24-year-old Mqondisi from Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo. "We get a few days' permission to be here, but we all stay to look for work because a little bit of money here in Botswana is more than we can hope for in Zimbabwe. The police catch us and stick us in the trucks that take us back over the border, but after a few days we come back."

The problems caused to southern Africa by the Mugabe regime's systematic destruction of the economy and the democratic system are causing worsening trouble. An estimated three million Zimbabweans are seeking sanctuary in neighbouring South Africa, while 400,000 have gone to Mozambique. Anything from 10 to 20 per cent of the Zimbabwean population have left their homes to seek job security and wages in neighbouring lands. Trains, buses and lorries have been used by the South African authorities to deport 498,321 since the crisis began in 2000, according to official figures, although it is believed that only one in six illegal immigrants is caught. Even desperately poor Mozambique is now attracting Zimbabweans. Thousands have streamed over the mountainous eastern border into Manica province, hoping to be paid in any currency other than the Zimbabwean dollar. Ironically, many black Zimbabweans are leaving for Mozambique to work on farms being run by the same white farmers kicked off their land by Mr Mugabe. Zimbabwe may hate the white farmer, but scores have been welcomed into Mozambique by the authorities keen to lure agricultural specialists, especially in the tobacco sector.
The ghosts of Spenser, Jonson, and Blackstone just snickered in unison. Guess that makes it poetic justice...
Botswana, too, has also been inundated. A rare African economic success story, it is now under threat from hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. It is dramatic proof of the regional chaos caused by Mr Mugabe's chaotic rule. With a tiny population of only 1.7 million, Botswana faces being overwhelmed by those fleeing the economic chaos, political violence and spiralling lawlessness of Zimbabwe, which has a population more than eight times greater.
...More...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 21:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [372 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Part of the excuse given for Mbeki's refusal to condemn Mugabe was that he was afraid that detabilization would lead to a flood of refugees into S.Africa. Now that it's happening, I wonder what tune he'll be singing now?
Posted by: Pappy || 11/08/2003 23:34 Comments || Top||

#2  I hate to say it but the US should step in... I'm not saying militarily but we should tell Mugabe he's got to go, similar to what we did with Taylor. I'm sure the surrounding African nations will help provide pressure due to the refugee situation developing and if he won't go we might have to take the scum bag out. If this problem gets much worse we'll be forced to come in later when it's far more difficult to solve.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 11/09/2003 0:34 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Israel behind Bush's drive
Yup. It's them pesky Jews again...
Cairo: A state-owned Egyptian newspaper on Saturday said US President George W Bush's drive for democracy in the Middle East was an Israeli-inspired idea aimed against countries hostile to Israel. Akhbar Elyom's chairperson and chief editor Ibrahim Saada, a man close to President Hosni Mubarak, said in an opinion piece covering the entire front page that Bush's message was also an attempt to divert Americans' attention from the Iraqi "swamp."
That's Quagmire® to you, buddy.
"I don't rule out that the Israelis were the ones to have advised President Bush to announce this important discovery, that is democracy, and his invitation for implementing it in the Arab world and Iran as well as other countries hostile to both the United States and Israel," wrote Saada. "I also do not rule out that the US Jewish lobby stands behind this invitation that contains attacks against Arab governments with which it (Washington) has old ties," in order to damage those relations. "I tend, indeed, to believe ... that the content of Bush's speech is an attempt to divert the attention of his people away from the tragedy of the attrition swamp in which the US soldiers have fallen in occupied Iraq. But it will he a failed attempt. Nobody's attention will be diverted and it will only lead to more Arab hatred towards the United States and its government."

Oh, I agree. It's probably a losing cause, trying to inject democracy into the Middle East. The inhabitants thereof exhibit an amazingly lemming-like mentality, a disbelief in cause and effect, and a pure and unsullied love for the sight of their fellow man's blood and preferably his entrails as well. Brutal traditions and institutionalized stupidity result in easily led Arab Masses™, willing to believe what they're told by pernicious politicians whose ultimate aim is the retention of personal and family power. They'd much rather be ruled than governed — the prospect of individual liberty (for anyone but themselves, individually, of course) is frightening, not to be borne. Their societies are riddled with holy men of doubtful sanctity and even more doubtful grip on reality. They treat their women as breeding stock and inflict unspeakable cruelties on those who're different, to include the colors of their turbans.

So, yeah. Attempting to lead the Middle Eastern horse to the clear waters of democracy probably won't work, and even if we get it there it probably won't drink, and if it drinks it'll probably spit it out. But still Bush is trying...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 15:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Had an XO on my fist ship that had a sign in his stateroom that read," you can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink... but you can drown the fucker." Words to live by.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 16:33 Comments || Top||

#2  There's a great quote in Lloyd Biggle's, "The World Menders":
Democracy imposed from without is the sheerest form of tyranny."

I've thought about that a lot, and have to agree. However, I believe most people long to be free, and will embrace democratic government(in one of its myriad forms) if given the chance. That's what scares the bejeebers out of the asshats that rule in most of the countries of the ME.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 16:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Can you really blame him for trying, Fred? I know, I've got my doubts too, and they're severe; but the alternative, if Bush's "Middle East Democracy Project" doesn't succeed, is to just push the damn button and incinerate a third of a billion people in a nuclear fireball.

Make no mistake: were it to come to pass that pressing that button is the only alternative to having our children live under sharia, I'd press it in a heartbeat- but I can understand Bush's desire to try something less drastic first.
Posted by: Dave D. || 11/08/2003 18:42 Comments || Top||

#4  I don't blame him for trying. I admire him for it. We're probably lucky if there's a 1:100 chance of success -- but who knows? We might hit the lotto, too.

We're actually already showing success in the Gulf States. They're not American-style democracies, but neither are they autocracies anymore. Kuwait had a lot more citizen involvement before Gulf War I.

Pan-Arabism and its accompanying fascist ideology is dead, except in Syria. Libya is becoming African instead of Arab, Morocco's cleaning house, Mauritania has relations with Israel and at least the pretense of elections, and Tunisia hasn't been nutty since the PLO departed. Jordan was actually on our side, almost openly, during the war.

That leaves Iran, with a tottering theocracy; Soddy Arabia, with its besieged princes and its doddering king; and Pakland with its mad maulvis and its Islamic nukes as the core of Islamic lunacy, plus the satellite states like Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Chechnya and Indonesia. Bush has actually accomplished a lot in the past two years.

I think that Egypt, with its hereditary quasi-democracy and its goofy religious establishment will be one of the last Islamic dominoes to fall. I think it will someday, though probably after I'm dead -- and I'm not that old.

I just sometimes despair over the stupidity and the virulence of the enemy...
Posted by: Fred || 11/08/2003 19:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Fred, I think you underestimate the power of "President of the United States" as a speaking platform. It is the only position in the world that can communicate strategy and tactics to the advocates of Democracy all over the world. People are, of course, free to reject what the President suggests. That in no way diminishes the power of the suggestion.
One particular tactical suggestion I noted was "use instant messaging".

I think Mubarak recognizes "the beef" in Bush's speech. I think it scares him. Good.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/08/2003 20:38 Comments || Top||

#6  What I find interesting is how they never take the US at its word. Even when the check clears the bank, there's some moronic conspiracy crap afoot that it is a Jooo plot. They are so accustomed to lying to each other that they are incapable of accepting the truth - even after they've spent the money. Sad / pathetic.

O/T: I worked for a woman at E-Systems many many years ago, a very avant garde woman (and sexy, too) and she had a sign on the office wall directly behind her chair that read:

"Sexual harassment is not only tolerated here, it is encouraged. Grades will be posted in a timely manner."

Does that count?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 21:22 Comments || Top||


Latin America
Hugo Alleges Plot to Topple Government
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denounced an alleged plot to topple his government Friday after security forces reported seizing weapons, ammunition and camouflage uniforms in several raids. Government agents seized caches of firearms, ammunition, plastic explosives, uniforms and cash in three cities, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said. Chavez said two people were arrested, but he gave no details. The president repeated allegations that the opposition, which is seeking a recall vote next year, is preparing another attempt to overthrow his elected government. Radicals are trying "to create problems inside the military," Chavez told soldiers at a central Venezuela military air base. He urged the armed forces "to respond with dignity, unity, conscience and leadership."
If they succeed with the recall, they won't have to overthrow him. If he kills the recall using his typical dirty tactics, they'll prob'ly want to overthrow him.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 15:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They will try something every so often to try to gut the recall. There are so many Cuban infiltrators in country now that things will get pretty dangerous. Maybe we can convince the Venezualan dissidents to settle in Mississippi. That state could use a boost.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 16:37 Comments || Top||


Africa: North
U.S.-Backed Leader Wins Mauritania Vote
President Maaoya Sid Ahmed Ould Taya, who developed close ties to the United States and Israel, won re-election in this Arab-dominated nation on Saturday, the government declared after defeating a challenger backed by Islamic conservatives and liberal reformers alike. With all results tallied, Taya the country's president for the past 19 years garnered 67 percent of the vote, enough to assure him of a first-round victory, according to the Interior Ministry, which ran the vote.
Meet the New Taya, same as the Ould Taya...
His strongest competitor among five challengers, Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla, trailed with 19 percent, the ministry said. The results must still be confirmed by the courts to become official.
I think we all knew he was going to beat the Big Khouna...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 15:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:


Middle East
Qurei caves
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat came out the winner Saturday after weeks of bitter political infighting with his prime minister, keeping his grip on security forces and putting a handpicked confidant in the post of interior minister. The agreement clears the way for the formation of a government in the coming days and the resumption of high-level talks with Israel, but frustrates American efforts to sideline Arafat. Arafat and Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei met Saturday with top officials from the ruling Fatah movement to finalize agreement over control of eight security branches and the makeup of a new Cabinet. With the arrangement, an intense power struggle and weeks of political limbo appeared close to an end. Arafat also rejected the prime minister's choice for interior minister and placed his own hairdresser creature confidant, Hakam Bilawi, in that position. Pushing Qurei hard in the deal, Arafat appears set even to reject a last face-saving consolation for his prime minister, who sought to have his rejected pick for the interior minister, Gen. Nasser Yousef, stay in the government as a deputy prime minister. Arafat is resisting.
Rolled over, spread wide, and crooned, "Oh, Yasser!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 15:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That's actually a better development. This way there will be very few people trying to bring us back to the table. Let the targetted assainations continue.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 16:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Screw targeted assassinations. Bomb the Gaza and West Bank to oblivion, send in a battalion of Marines to frog-march the survivors to the nearest border, and shoot those that try to come back. IF I were Sharon, and did something like that, I'd also drop the word that I'd nuke any capital that tried to stop me. This crap has been going on for 55 years. It's time to stop.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 19:30 Comments || Top||


Home Front
State Department Worker Found Dead Outside Agency
A State Department employee was found dead outside the agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., Friday around 5 p.m., Fox News has confirmed. State Department sources told The Washington Post that John Kokal worked in a unit that dealt with intelligence and research. Sources said he handled classified documents regularly but was not involved in intelligence analysis. Police said the official cause and manner of death is to be determined by the D.C. medical examiner, the Post reported.
As Drudge likes to say: "developing . . . ."
Posted by: Mike || 11/08/2003 1:40:40 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [344 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Might want to have somebody double check the DC med examiners work - when they complete it in six months.
Posted by: VAMark || 11/08/2003 23:01 Comments || Top||


Charges Revived Against Jordanian Student
In a vindication of the government's terrorism investigation, a federal appeals court on Friday reinstated charges against a Jordanian college student who knew two Sept. 11 hijackers and was accused of lying about one of them. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ordered perjury charges restored against Osama Awadallah, 23, a San Diego man who said he was mistreated by FBI agents and guards at federal jails before his case was thrown out in April 2002. The appeals court said the government's jailing of material witnesses for a grand jury investigation into the terrorist attacks was constitutional, overturning a ruling by Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan. Robert J. Boyle, a lawyer for Awadallah, said he had not decided whether to appeal. He predicted Awadallah will be exonerated of the "silly perjury charges" at trial and noted that Awadallah was not suspected of criminal involvement in the attacks.
Perjury's such a silly offense, isn't it?
The appeals court said the indictment must be reinstated because the material-witness warrant used to detain Awadallah for questioning was valid and his grand jury testimony should not have been suppressed. The court also noted there was evidence that at least one of the Sept. 11 hijackers had Awadallah's home telephone number and had lived near him. Evidence against Awadallah, a student at Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif., included videotapes and a picture of Osama bin Laden.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 13:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Of course it is - just look at how the dummycheats decided Bill's purgery was 'just a little thing, nothing to get excited about'. Problem is, such BS comes home to roost, and usually in a not very pleasant manner.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Report: PA transfers $50,000 monthly to Martyrs’ Brigades
Jpost Reg Req’d
The Palestinian Authority pays members of al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades up to $50,000 a month, the BBC reported.
surprise meter’s broken again....
Abdel Fattah Hamayel, Minister for Sports & Youth rockthrowing and booming brigade until Mahmoud Abbas resigned as prime minister in September defended the payments, saying, "Originally, some people in these groups had been chosen to work for the security services, so they were getting salaries and still are doing so."
riiiiggghhhtt. See? It’s severance pay.
A Fatah leader told the BBC that "Fatah has two sections: a military wing, led by the military and a political wing, led by politicians. But there is no difference between Fatah and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades."
no shit?
Zakaria Zubaydi, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades leader in Jenin, said that "when Arafat calls for a ceasefire, we will respect his decision and stop."

when he calls for it in Arabic, and means it, which has never happened, and never will
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 9:13:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's an abcess. We need a large needle. Let's keep it clean.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/08/2003 10:40 Comments || Top||

#2  How many members of the brigade can be paid $600,000 per year. It must be hell trying to get a tee-time in teh West Bank with all those millionaires running around.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 10:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Then again he could call for it in arabic, but wink, wink, nod, nod!
Only the media would accept it as binding.
The skunk signed agreements under the gaze of the UN, EU and all the swooning media, on the front lawn of Willie's White House and then proceeded to break them.
Posted by: Barry || 11/08/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#4  Geez, how much clearer can it get?
WTF does it take?

Just what box on the Total Fucking Asshole List hasn't been publicy checked off?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 11:52 Comments || Top||

#5  We aren't still giving money to the PA, are we?
Posted by: Charles || 11/08/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||


International
U-nited N-annies sez no mo’ dirty war...
EFL and sane parts (which aren’t many)
I got this from http://www.junkscience.com
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan">Kofi Annan">Kofi Annan">Kofi Annan called today for tougher international laws to protect the environment in times of armed conflict.
Tell us how, other than sending combatants a bill, the payee of which would be you?
In a message to mark the observance of the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, the Secretary-General said, "I urge the international community to examine how legal and other mechanisms can be strengthened to encourage environmental protection in wartime.
I wonder how hard did greenpeace commies have to grease your hand for you to declare such a day
"Ensuring environmental sustainability is not a luxury; it is a prerequisite for the future peace and prosperity of our planet."
Markets are a prerequisite for peace and prosperity, but I suspect you know that and went ahead to declare this
The instances in which the environment was deliberately targeted have been relatively few, he said, but too many grey areas remained where more care should be exercised to protect the environmental base on which sustainable development and recovery from conflict largely depended.
You mean like your hero, Saddam, draining swamps? I guess the US authority will be expecting a visit and an invoice from you, Kofi?
And don't forget the part about setting fire to oilwells in both GWI and GWII, and the oil-filled trenches (very bad for baby ducks, y'know). And there was that thing with dumping oil into the Gulf during GWI — lotsa pictures of oil-soaked birdies with that one. But I'll bet Kofi wasn't referring to Sammy...
The Geneva Conventions and Protocols and other international laws had discouraged the worst excesses of armed conflict, including targeting civilians, mistreating prisoners of war, and destroying sensitive infrastructure, such as large dams and nuclear power stations, he said.
You ask an dedicated green about dams and they will... well, damn them.
The increasingly devastating potential of modern warfare showed, however, that existing international laws have not fully addressed environmental dangers, such as the indiscriminate use of landmines, the ecological destruction caused by mass movements of refugees and the potential devastation threatened by weapons of mass destruction, he said.
Ahh, I see. This is all a cover for re-energizing a ban on land mines. And I see the green ’concern’ includes those pesky humans you all so hate.
How about IEDs, Kofi? Do we need a convention banning them, too?
Article 35 of the 1977 Geneva Protocol I bans "methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment,"
That protocol was supposed to cover instances of deliberate destruction of such things a foliage, not, as this article advocates, a comprehensive application of current environmental law on battlefields.
"But most legal experts have concluded that these and others fall far short of what is ideal and what is needed," Mr. Toepfer said.
Well, the UN falls well short of what is needed to address resolution of human problems. And my guess is that getting us out of the UN would go a long way towards resolving the problem of niggling, meddling communists at the UN and their enablers, supporters and allies in the green movmement
In a new report commissioned by the German Environment Ministry, Daniel Bodansky of the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens, Georgia, United States, argued that the requirement to prove "widespread, long-term and severe damage" rendered the Geneva Protocol I ineffective for environmental protection, the UNEP chief noted.
Right. It requires you lazy f*ckers to do some work before invoking one of these protocols.
"The Protocol also appears silent on the issue of long-term risk, of the so-called ’precautionary approach’, which guides many of our modern environmental treaties, covering everything from the ozone layer to climate change," Mr. Toepfer said.
Sorta like Kyoto for the battlefield but without all the silly ratifying. Adapt an existing protocol to undermine traditional law. Very sneaky.
Twenty or so years down the road, some of the pollution arising from recent theatres of war might prove to be a long-term environmental and public health hazard, he said, but the Protocol applied to expected damage, rather than possible hazards.
You mean like using ’sexed up’ data, such as the underpinnings of Kyoto?
"Should striking an oil tanker sailing near a coral reef be deemed unacceptable, or a legitimate act of war? Does the crippling of an enemy’s oil supplies justify the killing of an ecosystem upon which hundreds, maybe thousands, of the poor rely for food in the form of fish?" he asked.
The oil tankers of a combatant in time of war is a legal target for destruction, regardless of the consequences
About twenty years ago I read a study on the effects of the large number of Japanese ships that were sunk off coral reef systems in the South Pacific. The immediate effect was large-scale death and destruction to the sea life, which then proceeded to recover and become even healthier as the oil dissipated, the coral restarted, and then spread to the new reef structures — the sunken ships themselves. The cycle to recovery was something on the order of 12 years...
The UNEP chief also reminded the international community that the United States used chemical defoliants on Viet Nam, Iraqis sabotaged oil installations and the Congolese, Rwandans and Sudanese killed scarce wild animals to raise funds for armies.
Of which, the canopy's back in place in Vietnam and Laos, and the Gulf has recovered from Sammy's little gifts. The worst long-term effects are to be found in Africa, where the wildlife (including the pygmies) is also under threat from other types of encroachment.
Posted by: badanov || 11/08/2003 8:40:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [343 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hmmmm and dealing with Saddam after the oilfires and sabotage in GW1 would make Kofi ("Oil for Palaces") an environmental war criminal then too?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 8:56 Comments || Top||

#2  LOL! No wait, Frank, Kofi's got cooties and a bad case of toejam, immunity cuz, uh, well, just cuz! He's the World BlameBody's UNberDink! At the moment, anyway...

Typical gutless multilateralist approach:
Long after the real work is finished, they want to sue people for not doing it "right" - even if the action they were too cowardly to take for themselves saves them.

I guess we've gummed up the works by not signing onto their World BlameBody Court, huh? Ain't life a bitch, sometimes?
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Once again KKKofi has nothing to say about arab eco-terrorists like the former saddam hussien, and instead focuses on how to criticize the very nation that hosts and thus protects his racist ass. What a gentle, soft spoken cock sucker this guy is. I hope that he is killed by a JDAM while he cowers in a protected patch of foliage. That would be beautiful.
Posted by: Islam Sucks || 11/08/2003 10:28 Comments || Top||

#4  William T. Sherman: "War is Hell."

Kofi Annan: "And in the future, your JDAMs must be equipped with lemon-scented doilies."
Posted by: Matt || 11/08/2003 10:29 Comments || Top||

#5  I think we ought propose that the UN provide referees for all conflicts. He'll give them striped shirts and whistles. Nobody will be allowed to deliberately target a UN referee or else that soldier will receive a five minute major penalty.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 10:47 Comments || Top||

#6  God! What a farking IDIOT!

Doesn't this make Kofi a war criminal for not condemming the Palistinians (and others) for deliberately targetting civilians, ignoring the kuwaiti oil fires and the drainage of the marshes in Iraq which practically destroyed the marsh arabs..

Its offical. The U.N. is now a complete laughingstock.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/08/2003 10:48 Comments || Top||

#7  I guess this means you can't attack an enemies supply lines, lines of communication, and war plants anymore. You have to straight at them. Frontal assault and all that. You can't even send troops around the enemies flank to rip up his rear. You might wreck bridges, train track, airfields, etc.

As Mark quoted Sherman: "War is hell. You cannot refine it." Sherman also said that since the North couldn't destroy the South's will to fight, they had to destroy it's ability to fight. He intended to make war so horrible that the South never again would even consider it. Destroying the infrastructure then becomes necessary.

I suppose next the UN will demand that we clean up all the destroyed Iraqi vehicles littering the landscape. Terrible environmental hazard.
Posted by: Slumming || 11/08/2003 11:17 Comments || Top||

#8  There are times I regret Al Quaida didn't target the
UN in 9/11.
Posted by: JFM || 11/08/2003 16:18 Comments || Top||

#9  Kofi needs to be invited to a necktie party. It should consist of a noose made in one end of a 200-foot bungie cord. Loup the noose over Kofi's neck. Tie the other end to the top of the UN building and toss Kofi over the side. Every time he comes back up, whack 'im. Let the world know this is the punishment the US will visit upon anyone so grossly stupid.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/08/2003 16:26 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
Chuck ramps up security as US offers $2m bounty
Security has been stepped up around former Liberian leader Charles Taylor's home in Nigeria, after the United States slapped a $US2 million bounty on his head. A former Liberian official who followed Mr Taylor into exile says Nigeria has promised to defend the former warlord.
"Chuck, we will defend you with our blood!"
The official is accusing the United States of inciting violence and risking civilian lives. "It's an incitement to terrorism because any bloke in Nigeria who is money hungry could take up that offer. Imagine the bloodshed," he said.
Imagine how many blokes in Nigeria are money hungry!
"We're prepared for the worst."
Hopefully you'll get it...
No Nigerian official is immediately available to confirm the claim. The US Congress included the $US2 million reward in its $US87.5 billion special budget for Iraq and Afghanistan, which President George W Bush signed into law on Thursday. The money has been set aside to help bring Mr Taylor
... or significant pieces of him...
before a special tribunal on war crimes in Liberia's neighbour, Sierra Leone. The exact significance of the new law for US policy towards Mr Taylor's exile in Nigeria is not clear, and a diplomat says the US embassy in Abuja is seeking clarification from the US on the issue. Asked whether the money could be paid as a reward to anyone who seized Mr Taylor and managed to bring him out to Sierra Leone, the official replied: "Theoretically, yes, I suppose so."
Dilemma time: What happens if Kony and the entire Lords Resistance Army shows up and captures Chuck?
Before Mr Taylor agreed to step down as Liberia's president, a British-based "private military company" was reported as having offered to kidnap him for $US2 million. But west African mediators, with US support, preferred to encourage Mr Taylor to take up the offer of exile in Nigeria to allow an interim, peace building government to take over and end 14 years of civil war.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 06:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [352 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dilemma time: What happens if Kony and the entire Lords Resistance Army shows up and captures Chuck?

It's Nigeria! Tell them that upon receipt of Chuck's head, their account numbers, and personal financial info, that we will make a deposit in their account as a matter of good faith. This is a very secret (ssshhhhh!) deal based upon the fortune left to us by the very honourable Sani Abacha, president, which we are unable to secure without their assistance.......
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 8:41 Comments || Top||

#2  It wouild be interesting to hear what Jesse Jackson's take is on a $2M bounty being placed on the capture of his buddy. I'm sure he'll be asked next time he shows up on the O'Reilly Factor.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 10:54 Comments || Top||

#3  SH, LOL! Bitch-ass Jesse Jack-off will never appear on the factor, one, because he's too busy shaken' down krispy kreme or dunkin' donuts & two, because Billy O' would eat him alive. A Reverend w/an illegit kid........bwhahahaha
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Jarhead, I'm about the most conservative person in my group at work. Right after it became known that the good Reverend JJ had fathered a child, we were talking about the 2000 election in the office, and I wondered aloud whether Jesse Jackson would still refer to the election as "illegitimate."

The silence that followed, and then the stifled giggling, was just wonderful. :-)
Posted by: Steve White || 11/08/2003 11:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Steve W., sounded like a thing of beauty. I'm an independent, my dad (who is fairly lib) hates JJ w/a passion. JJ does a dis-service to poor blacks in this country. Shake down artist & race baiter - nothing more. "the Absolute spotlight junkie." Wiped MLK jr.'s blood on himself and paraded around like a crusader......total charlatan. I don't think it's even a matter of con vs. lib when it comes to JJ. I think its a matter of those of us who are anti-hypocrasy vs. the morons.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 16:34 Comments || Top||

#6  JJ is a big-time political opportunist, and I thought he also successfully shook down Coca-Cola and Denny's? The idea of a "Reverend" screwing around registering on the meter, well after Swaggart, Barker, et al. call me jaded on that front
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 11/08/2003 16:57 Comments || Top||

#7  NMM, too many corporations too mention - don't forget about the Toyota shakedown - my personal favorite next to Burger King's in NYC. Man of the cloth? Only if its a g-string.......
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 17:03 Comments || Top||

#8  Also, I forgot to mention, he pulled one over on NASCAR to. Yes, I have a little hatred for this douche bag.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 17:04 Comments || Top||

#9  Myth Making 101:
"Hey, bro, I got a press conference in 10 minutes, can you rub a a little of that blood on my shirt for me? Cool, thanks."
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 21:50 Comments || Top||

#10  There will always be low level shakedown artists. My problem with Jesse is that he has warped MLK's message into a hunt for a personal gravy train.

I also didn't like that Clinton annointed him as our representative to Africa. Jesse is the guy that convinced Clinto to support Charles Taylor. I am sure that he is a supporter of Bob M also. Unleashing this asswipe on the continent of Africa is unexcusable. He would have trouble doing too much damage to the US of A, but his race baiting is something that Africa needs not.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 21:57 Comments || Top||

#11  Jesse was also quoted as saying during his stint in the food industry he used to spit in the food of the "whiteys" he was serving. This guy has the same moral equivalency as Byrd does in my book.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 23:46 Comments || Top||


Home Front
US on alert over Al Qaeda cargo plane plot
The US Government has alerted officials nationwide to an uncorroborated report that members of Al Qaeda might be planning to hijack cargo aircraft and crash them into targets in the United States. America's Department of Homeland Security has posted a warning to state and local authorities around the nation and particularly to officials responsible for safety at nuclear plants, bridges and dams. A spokesman at the department said Al Qaeda could be plotting to hijack cargo airliners abroad and fly them into infrastructure targets in the United States. This suggestion has come from a single source and has so far not been corroborated.
Another probably false alarm — but the Bad Guys were bragging that other day that good Muslims should evacuate Washington, New York and L.A...
In a separate development, America's embassy and consulates in Saudi Arabia are closed today and for the immediate future after they received what was described as credible information, that terrorists in the kingdom had moved from the planning to the operational stage of an attack.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/08/2003 05:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another probably false alarm — but the Bad Guys were bragging that other day that good Muslims should evacuate Washington, New York and L.A...

Has there ever been an attack after one of those warnings? Seems like they're really an "all clear."
Posted by: VAMark || 11/08/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||

#2  It's time to tighten security on teh cargo industry anyway. The shipping industry may still be too big a nut to crack financially but cargo workers need to be cleared.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#3  I think what's going on here is that AQ loses OpSec, and all the camp followers start to cheer. At that point, either AQ leadership gets spooked or we bust the plot. It's probably not 100% reliable, though.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/08/2003 11:12 Comments || Top||

#4  ... thinking further...
I remember hearing about OBL fearing a security leak by way of the camp followers. Now AQ knows we're listening to the camp followers, so they're likely spooking themselves.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/08/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#5  I spent a chunk of time yesterday blogging about what I see as the mistakes being made in the fight against terror in the US. Basicly, I think they're still trying to prevent the last attack, or prevent the most unlikely attack, and not playing the percentages.

Here
Posted by: Chuck || 11/08/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||


Caucasus
9 Killed in Chechnya Festivities
Attacks by Chechen insurgents left nine Russian soldiers and policemen dead, an official in the Chechen administration said Thursday. Four soldiers were killed and nine others wounded in 18 rebel attacks on military outposts during the last 24 hours, the official said on condition of anonymity. Two rebels and one serviceman died and five others were wounded in a clash near the village of Avtury, he said. In the capital, Grozny, two policemen were killed in attacks on police patrols and a Russian sapper died while trying to defuse a mine, the official said. Another policeman died and three were wounded when their car hit a mine near Alkhan-Kala.

During most of the four-year Chechen war, Russian forces have pounded rebel outposts with air and artillery while suffering daily casualties from ambushes and mines. President Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s actions Thursday at a Rome summit with European Union leaders. Russia has been criticized for refusing to seek negotiations with the rebels and for widespread allegations of atrocities by Russian soldiers, Putin stressed his long-standing claim that global leaders apply a double standard to Moscow’s attempts to drive out the rebels, denouncing terrorists in one part of the world but failing to do so in Chechnya.
He’s kind of got a point there ...
The Kremlin asserts it is stabilizing Chechnya through political means, including last month’s election of a Chechen president. But the republic suffers not only from fighting, but from crumbling infrastructure and rampant lawlessness.
Is it a Quagmire(R) for Putin then?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/08/2003 1:20:03 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The more I learn about Chechnya and the Chechen Izzoid terrorists the more I wonder:

When will Russia get truly medieval on their asses?

I have few doubts about there ever being anything like peace. Even if given independence, I would expect they would then just fire it up again in Dagistan, etc. as this would be capitulation in their eyes. I am perplexed by Dubya's apparent coolness on this obvious example of Izzoid terror. Bargaining chip?

I'd donate my share in the MOAB inventory to the Russkies. Someday, probably after Putin (if he isn't declared Prez For Life), we should find ourselves in a pretty close relationship with Russia. There are a helluvalot of common interests with them, particularly in commerce. Someday.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 2:28 Comments || Top||

#2  When have you heard GWB or the US Gov't tell Russia to play nice with the Chechen rebels? We have said, IIRC, that the civilian populace needs to be treated humanely, and that's still true, there or Iraq. We understand the difficulty of a rebel force that melts in and out of the civilians (boy, do we!)....I'm hoping the sending back of the Marines indicates a tougher stand by us in Iraq, and we should keep out of Chechnya's handling - ever since the Moscow theater incident, chechen rebels aren't so "heroic"
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 8:50 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm gonna get shot for this, but...

I think the US and Russia are headed for the same realization: you can't exempt the "moderates" who allow themselves to be used by the "fanatics" - in the end, they are one and the same and equally complicit. Today's moderate provides cover, support, and trainees for tomorrow's jihadi. Is it a hostage situation? Is it really? That's the real question, isn't it?

I believe the WoT will end up at the "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" nexus. It's only a matter of time. Dubya prolly knows this and is playing PR until the case for pre-emption is made for him by asshat actions. If not, a bitch of a wake-up call is coming.

For example, if we hesitate too long with the Black Hats, Israel will cease to exist. It won't be rational - hatred never is - but it will have been preventable with pre-emptive action. And we will know it. Regrets aren't worth warm spit. The fine after-action legalistic questions of morality argued in front of the World BlameBody Court will be just another scene in the farce - and it will be worth even less.

Is that too far-fetched? Sorry, bro, no offense intended, but that's the crux of the biscuit, IMO. Okay, here goes: I've worked my way throught the morality arguments and this is where I've ended up - cuz we are the only ones actually concerned with morality in conflict. World "opinion" and "press" reactions prove to me, time and again, that you will be damned, regardless, by the pussies and weaklings of the world who would be far more vicious were they the ones wielding such power. And their damnation isn't worth warm spit - it's meaningless ankle-biting jealousy. Prevarication and nit-picking and endless moral equivocating, ala Aris' absurd view of morality, just gets people, good regular life-loving people, very fucking dead.

My conclusion: you must proceed as fast as your own conscience allows - or just a little faster cuz people are dying while you're fiddling, ignore those who try to add their baggage or use your own civility against you, achieve your goals to rid the world of threats, and tell everybody to fuck off. If we don't have the cajones for the task, the shitheads win. And I don't care much for that epitaph. If I were in charge... Fuck the Caliphate. Fuck the ankle-biters. Fuck the second-guessers. Fuck the moralists. They'll have the luxury of debating and pissing on my grave afterwards because I dismissed them beforehand.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 10:16 Comments || Top||

#4  I say bomb the shits.
Posted by: Kenneth || 11/08/2003 10:34 Comments || Top||

#5  .com - righteous anger bro! Good post.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 10:58 Comments || Top||

#6  jh - tanks, er, I mean tanx! ;->
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 11:37 Comments || Top||

#7  .com, I also think GW knows it. I hope so. Take for an example, Al Pacino's "Attica, Attica" rant in 'Straw Dogs'(?). It was one of the most significant scenes in cinema that I've ever seen. The "moralistic baggage" he was calling for to mask the facts and to create a public sympathy for himself hit me like a 2x4 accross the side of my head, smack!

If you've seen that movie, Al's side kick and cousin, a dim bulb but sympathetic character, follows along with Al's scheme gets wacked. Way to go Al. The look on Al's face at the end of the movie clearly shows that he 'gets it'.

Attica wasn't Waco, Ruby Ridge, or the Elian Gonzales fiasco. Attica was heavey handed justice. But it was justice. That's the reason the "Attica" rant was so 'out there'. Today we have moralists shouting "Attica Attica" while they send morons to kill us. Heavey handed justice is called for. I also think that Putin understands that, after Checnya, it wouldn't end there. If it wasn't Islamists I could sympathize with them. But clearly Islamist are the enemy in this war. So Mr Putin, whack away.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/08/2003 12:21 Comments || Top||

#8  "Prevarication and nit-picking and endless moral equivocating, ala Aris' absurd view of morality, just gets people, good regular life-loving people, very fucking dead."

Yes. Then again destroying Grozny and torturing and raping civilians also gets people, good regular life-loving people very fucking dead.

Is there any particular reason that *any* of you thinks that Putin has shown *any* restraint in his handling the Chechens? Regardless of whether you call them terrorists or insurgents or whatever?

The only thing he hasn't done so far in Chechenya is nuke it.

http://www.chechnya-mfa.info/print_news.php?func=detail&par=52

http://www.chechnya-mfa.info/print_news.php?func=detail&par=71

http://www.chechnya-mfa.info/print_news.php?func=detail&par=86

http://www.chechnya-mfa.info/print_news.php?func=detail&par=84
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/08/2003 16:38 Comments || Top||

#9  nukes it is, then
Posted by: Frank G || 11/08/2003 17:56 Comments || Top||

#10  Or MOABS. MOABS might be good. 8-)
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/08/2003 20:18 Comments || Top||


2 Russian officials wounded in Grozny
The Chechen Republic Interior Ministry reported Thursday two Russian Interior Ministry officers were wounded as the result of gunfire in Grozny. The Russian information agency Novosti said the incident occurred when several unidentified people in a car unexpectedly opened fire at the automobile in which the officers were riding. The officers, Maj. Igor Vrublevsky, the chief of the Oktyabrsky district’s provisional interior department, and Capt. Nikolai Temeskov, an operative, were hospitalized.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/08/2003 1:17:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:



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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
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lotp
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john frum
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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2003-11-08
  Major attack in Riyadh
Fri 2003-11-07
  Accusation of a coup plan as Mauritania election nears
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

Better than the average link...



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