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18 Held in Oct. Hotel Attack in Baghdad
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Loving the Bush Haters
I LOVE GEORGE W. BUSH. I worship the man. I wake up every morning glad he is president. When annoyed by small things--traffic, the weather, an overcharge--I say to myself, "President Bush," and at once feel better. I like his worldview. I like his dogs and his wife and his mother. I think he looks cool in his shorts and his t-shirts. But it isn’t these things that make my heart flutter: It’s that he drives the people I hate the most nuts.

The Germans created the word schadenfreude to describe the pleasure one might feel at the woes of one’s allies, but no one has yet coined a word for the happiness that can come to a person when those who annoy him complain. Open the paper, and there they all are: the hard-faced women who refer to abortion as "choice," the soft-faced male writers who look a little too pampered, the actors, the artists, the faculty hotshots, the with-it, the urbane and the urban, the concerned, the refined, the sincere.

They are enraged that someone unlike them has power; enraged because they think he is dumb, and he always outsmarts them; enraged that he pushed back when the Democrats, backed all the way by the Supreme Court of Florida, flooded the state with lawyers after the 2000 election, armed with game plans to subvert the result.

Above all, they are enraged that they can’t sell their wrath to the rest of the country, which calmly remains unenraged. So, they write the same book over and over (and buy it in job lots), write the same pieces over and over, and post the same things on the web. I read them all.

And in them I find a perverse satisfaction. If, as Churchill maintains, it is exhilarating to be shot at and missed, it is also enlivening to have your opponent empty both barrels, to more or less meager effect. I read Sidney Blumenthal’s mournful account of the Florida recount. I read junior writers at policy journals proclaim with no proof they are smarter than Bush is. I read them all, and I wickedly grin.

I grin because I have been once where they are, and have stood in their sandals myself. Liberals insist Bush exists in their minds as a vast malign presence, a huge psychic drag on their consciousness. I know, I know--I felt exactly the same way about Clinton, back in l999. Shortly later, I was told by a dentist that during the eight year reign of the Clintons, I had been grinding my molars to dust. "I’ve been grinding my teeth less since Clinton left office," I said, thinking he’d think it was funny. He didn’t. His office is on Capitol Hill, and his practice is filled with political people, all gnashing their teeth in a frenzy of outrage.

It’s your turn, now, fellas. Grind on!

Posted by: tipper. || 11/09/2003 6:57:37 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [341 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Spot on! I've been grinning a lot more myself lately, too.

You said
no one has yet coined a word for the happiness that can come to a person when those who annoy him complain.
May I suggest schlickster-fraude? :-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 11/09/2003 19:27 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm glad all my bridge work was done post - Clinton. I'd have no molars otherwise.
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 19:34 Comments || Top||

#3  This author has hit it right on the head.
Living in Europe, I have no greater joy than watching the loons here rant against the "Bushhitler."
Heck, I even voted for Clinton once (although I corrected that mistake the second time around).
But when a co-worker (an Oxford graduate) referred to me as a "facist s*** (out of my hearing, lucky for him), I knew I had made the right choice.
W in '04!
Posted by: Baltic Blog || 11/09/2003 19:43 Comments || Top||

#4  I watched Gore on CSPAN today, I WAS GRINDING!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 11/09/2003 20:22 Comments || Top||

#5  a-men...
Posted by: ----------<<<<-- || 11/09/2003 21:39 Comments || Top||

Mercy of court saves murderer Mutairi
The Court of Appeals said Saturday it invoked its right of leniency in commuting the death sentence imposed on Sami Mohammed Marzouk Al-Mutairi by the Criminal Court for murdering Michael Rene Pouliot and seriously wounding his colleague David Caraway, both Americans, on Jan 21 this year. Pouliot and Caraway were on a military contract at Camp Doha under the sponsorship of a San Diego, California-based software company, Tapestry Solutions. The Appeals Court said in its ruling that it concurred with justifications put forward by the Criminal Court before it issued the June 4, 2003, verdict, but resorted to Item No 83/1 of the Kuwaiti Criminal Law to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment.
Does that mean their victim isn't dead anymore? Didn't think so.
The Appeals Court said it also agreed with the Criminal Court that Mutairi was aware of what he did and had committed the crime of his own free will, not because of a mental disorder as argued by his lawyers.
I guess you could argue that a religious frenzy is a mental disorder...
Regarding confessions made by the accused to investigators, the court said he confessed willingly and did not do so under duress.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 09:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope he gets a burly boyfriend and daily truncheon-target practice. Make his "life in prison" worse than death. I'm looking for punishment, not rehabilitation
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 9:14 Comments || Top||

#2  In other words a Mulim who kills a kaffir does not deserve death penalty. This is nothing but Sharia at work: the guy was sentenced to death in order to placate Americans but then they apply him the leniency principle. The reality is that according to Sharia Mulims are superior to non-Muslims and they should not be sentenced to death if they kill a untermensch non-Muslim, but if a dhimmi strikes a Muslim even if in leagitimate defence then he should be sentenced to death all according to Sharia.

Anyone opposing North Korea testing her nukes on Ryadh?

Posted by: JFM || 11/09/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#3  It seems to me that whoever we get as allies in the WoT in the Middle East, it seems that we have to accept them as is, warts and all. Change is limited and gradual. We have limited leverage. That is the the reality of the neighborhood and culture, IMHO.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 12:55 Comments || Top||

#4  I've seen the principles behind the "Higher" value via LGF several days ago. We should just put a Sniper bullet in this guys head.
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:15 Comments || Top||

Saudi bombing strikes near royals’ homes
We said that last night... Extracts only...
Interior Minister Prince Nayef and some other Saudi royals had private homes near the compound. "It was about half a mile from one of the houses of Prince Nayef," a diplomat said on Sunday. The diplomat said the compound might have been chosen as a "soft target" after a recent tough crackdown by security forces.
Here's the significant part...
Leading Saudi dissident Dr Saad al-Faqih agreed that this was likely, blaming the kingdom’s authorities for provoking violence.
"Yeah. It's all their fault, not ours... uhhh... al-Qaeda's!" al-Faqih is the head of the Movement for Islamic Reform.
“By closing the small margin for (political) expression, the state has done nothing to prevent attacks,” he told Aljazeera.net. “Every citizen has become a victim of this massive security campaign.”
"So what else could we... uhhh... they do?"
He claimed that the clampdown, with attacks on peaceful demonstrators and widespread searches by security forces, had built-up resentment among ordinary people.
... most of whom own explosives and enjoy blowing up Lebanese...
“Those who want to protest against the regime are left with two choices, obedience or violence,” he said.
"Both are Islamic, of course, but violence is more Islamic."
He conceded that al-Qaida — the only group capable of such an attack, he said — did not represent ordinary Saudis’ wishes by targeting soft targets, such as Western and expatriate compounds, rather than regime symbols. Witnesses said there was heavy gunfire when the bombers drove two apparently explosives-packed cars into the complex, which had security guards. One resident said most of the people living in the compound were Lebanese, Egyptians and Syrians. "This is a crime against innocents which is in the style of al-Qaida. It is an al-Qaida operation," a Saudi security source told Reuters. "This is a suicide operation."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 08:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [386 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Al Faqih operates openly from London, and the Labor Government seems content to let him do so. Their clandestine radio station that broadcasts to Saudi Arabia is arranged through European "broadcast broker", TDP, and at present originates in Lithuania. Because the Movement for Islamic Reform is also virulently anti-American the US should apply more pressure to our so- called "allies" to bring this outfit to heel.
Posted by: Tancred || 11/09/2003 9:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Fox news this am was speculating that A-Q may have chosen this target due to bad intel (this used to be a compound for westerners , supposedly) and it being a soft target-comparatively speaking.
IMHO this was a major FU on A-Q's part, and could well be the tipping point in sentiment for them. I believe even the inbred lazy fools in the Royal Family will get the hint. Frankensteins' monster is at the door: "Honey! I'm HOME!"
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Don't expect people to blame AG for this. They will be solidly laying the blame at the West. If they can blame 911 on the CIA I'm sure this is small cheese for their Rama-Damned imagination. I found this comment on BBC to prove my point:

"It is very sad to see the innocent suffering. The fact of the matter is that whole Muslim world is suffering because of America. America has to pay the price and the process has begun in Iraq. Middle East is going to be graveyard for America.
Zamrudda Khan, India"

BTW, is it bad that I actually have little sympathy for these people, except for the kids. Considering had the dead actualy been westerners or other non-muslims these same people would have been celebrating (as much as you can during Ramadam).
Posted by: rg117 || 11/09/2003 9:33 Comments || Top||

#4  "Get out of Iraq or we'll blow up more Lebanese!You hear me now?!Hey!"
Posted by: El Id || 11/09/2003 10:14 Comments || Top||

#5  rg117 - Isn't it very convienent that the US is there to be blamed for the middle easts problems... what a crock - ooh yea it's the Jews - right - 3 million people that scare the shit out of billion (go figure - as long as it distracts the people from the core problems of the middle east).
Just how is the whole muslim world sufferring because of america? Does the US force these people to treat their woman as they do, does the US force force slavery on the muslim world? Does the US force these countries to stand by while the poorer countries suffer while the rich arab countries party in Europe? No - the midlle east is its own enemy.
If countries in the middle east think they can take on the United States then they are going to pay - and yes the process has begun in Iraq and it will not end in Iraq. As long as countries support terrorist we will be knocking at your door (knocking down).Your attitude is a main reason why people in the West have no sympathy for muslims.
Ramadam - celebrating a peaceful religion - yea right.
And you quote the BBC - BBC is a very liberal news organization. If it were up to people that run the BBC we would run away. Not going to happen!Why don't you go to Iraq and play with some American troops? Or are you too busy in Kashmir? Where the people do not want you but you bastards keep coming over from pakland...oh well have more of your friends go over so this world can be cleansed of another islamo scumbag!
Posted by: Dan || 11/09/2003 10:32 Comments || Top||

#6  Dan - I think RG wa explaining the current mindset in the Arab world, not rationalizing it. Their habit of blaming the US and the Joooos while painting themselves as victims will continue until they're bitch-slapped into the 21st century
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 11:03 Comments || Top||

#7  Gotta say, if al-qaida wants to target the saudi royal fucktards, I wish them well. These royals have been supporting the very terror orgs that are now turning on them. They fund them, they export them, and they spread their vile culture of oppression and dhimmitude all across the globe. If they are targets, I say good. The Sauds need to be removed, and if we do it, or qaida does it, I don't care. In fact, it is better for us if qaida does it. If the sauds subdue qaida, then the Bush team might just go back to acting like the sauds are not a bunch of bigoted terrorist fucks, rather that they are our friends and allies. On the other hand, if qaida takes out the Sauds, we don't have to pretend to anyone, and we can get on with killing more islamic radicals without the weight of arab appeasement around our ankles.
Posted by: Islam Sucks || 11/09/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#8  Frank G - Yes rg117 may be explaining the mind set of the Arab world but he(or she)puts himself on the side of the enemy.
Posted by: Dan || 11/09/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#9  he(or she)puts himself on the side of the enemy?

From RG's posts I've gotten the impression they are Hindu/Indian oriented, not Islamic. RG, feel free to correct that If I'm off the mark
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 11:34 Comments || Top||

#10  On the other hand, if qaida takes out the Sauds

IMO, if Al Qaeda takes out the Sauds, that'd be quite similar to what happened when the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the Islamists.

Namely a vile tyrant overthrown by an even viler one. Not an improvement to the situation at all.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/09/2003 12:32 Comments || Top||

#11  I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm with Aris on that
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 12:35 Comments || Top||

#12  Yes I am Indian/Hindu and no I was not justifying or rationalizing the Arab mindset. I was simply pointing out what they would probably be thinking. There is a population of 1 Billion muslim that has a firm belief that all of its problems are not of their own making. It is always someone else's and this latest bombing will be no different.
It is not just with the US or Israel, but in most places (India, SE Asia, etc) muslim always justify terror actions against others by saying that it was in retaliation for something that allegedly happened against them.
I don't think my previous post was that ambiguous but I hope this clears it up, in case it was.

PS that should have been AQ and not AG in my previous post.
Posted by: rg117 || 11/09/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||

#13  Dan, whoever rg117 might be (an indian living in UK I reckon), he's certainly not "on the side of the ennemy". His RB contribution is valuable, and his voice adds diversity to this otherwise all-american, all-republican site; your judgement is unwarranted and unfair, IMHO.
As for the bombing, somehow that feels like poetic justice...
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/09/2003 13:06 Comments || Top||

#14  If someone by the likes of al Q takes over Saudi that the country will cease to become an oil producer, and therefore an income producer. Al Q is a parasite, depending upon their sponsers (like members of the Royal ne'r do wells slugs Family for their very existence. Regardless of who the Saudis blame (insert: Merkins or Jooos), the bottom line is that they will get no goodwill or ensure their survival by killing the host.

Something will have to give in Saudi. Al Q has thrown down the gambit. It is the govt's turn to move. One final thought, whatever happens, killing little kids is something hard for anyone to stomach, with the exception of al Q and the Paleos. This booming will the beginning of significant change is Saudi Arabia. It will be vitally interesting to see what direction it takes.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 13:10 Comments || Top||

#15  Dan, I understood rg117's comments rather differently than you did. He is reminding us of the widespread delusion blaming "America and the Joos".
It's interesting to note that the quote he used was from an Indian moslem.
It seems to me that the Saudi battlefield is becoming overt. Between Ramadan and the end of the Kissinger doctrine, I think AQ picked a really stupid time to do this. Then again, they're not really known for strategic planning.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/09/2003 13:37 Comments || Top||

#16  I think the Saudi regime will take the opportunity to lump the peaceful rights protesters that held demonstrations in with AQ as they crack down. The peace boys are going to take theis one on the chin.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 13:51 Comments || Top||

#17  Anon - rg117 is stateside...
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 14:29 Comments || Top||

#18  Raj, Anon is correct, I am an Indian living in the UK. Thanks for the support y'all.
Posted by: rg117 || 11/09/2003 14:38 Comments || Top||

#19  The actual comments rg117 refers to are here:


(They may have had Khan's remark up at the other link at one time, but they've changed it now.)

What's really...amusing...are the other comments.

Andy Smith of the UK says that Riyadh is still a lot safer than London or New York, and complains that "over-reaction" by UK authorities will make it difficult for him to return there. If it does, the terrorists will have won!

Chris, of England, says this is a big PR disaster for Al Qaeda, adding, "attacking their own people on holy soil seems a strange way of fighting a cause...", thereby implying that Al Qaeda *has* a legitimate cause, but are doing it wrong.

And, of course, Badar al Omar of Riyadh says that these people are out of their minds, "...and I'll never say that they have anything to do with Islam."
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/09/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#20  he's [rg117] certainly not "on the side of the ennemy".

I second that, based on past comments. Rg, are you a Sikh by any chance??
Posted by: Rafael || 11/09/2003 16:17 Comments || Top||

IMO, if Al Qaeda takes out the Sauds, that'd be quite similar to what happened when the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the Islamists.

Namely a vile tyrant overthrown by an even viler one. Not an improvement to the situation at all.
Ah yes, but in Iran, we fled like pussies. If qaida knocked out the Sauds, it would only be a good thing if we then went into Arabia, killed as many qaida terrorists as possible for as long as needed, and really freed the region from these fucks. And the old tired argument that knocking out tyrannical dictators is risky because they might just be replaced by another dictator or worse, just doesn't hold water for me anymore. If they are replaced by something as bad or worse, take that piece of shit out too. After a while, either the population will begin to get it, or they will be plunged into such chaos that they will be spending very little time fighting jihad, and much more time trying to figure out how to get some food for their one meal a day.
Posted by: Islam Sucks || 11/09/2003 16:47 Comments || Top||

#22  rg117 - Now I'm curious. How'd you manage that mail drop of the NY Post's "Axis of Weasels" cover to me w/ a NYC postmark?
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 17:25 Comments || Top||

#23  Could someone please explain to me how AQ could have bad intel in SA????

SA??? These people live there!
Posted by: Anonymous-not above || 11/09/2003 18:05 Comments || Top||

#24  Raj, Now I'm rather confused. Are you referring to some webpage that I pointed too in one my earlier posts, because I don't remember all the posts that I've ever made here.
Posted by: rg117 || 11/09/2003 18:24 Comments || Top||

#25  I think these guys know exactly what they want to do. There will be a buttload of muslims that will blame Jews and Christians. ISucks, Yes indeed. The house of saud will be a house of sand soon. And they only have themselves to blame, the poor genteel bastards. Regardless a new faze is nnow underway in the WoT.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/09/2003 18:31 Comments || Top||

#26  One can only assume the WOT is having an severe effect in the pocketbook. The cost of protection charity just went up.
Posted by: john || 11/09/2003 19:54 Comments || Top||

#27  rg117 - you sent me a copy of the NY Post's 'Axis Of Weasels' paper, dated 2/14/2003 via snail mail. It was postmarked NYC 4/23/2003. I will frame it as soon as I get winterized, but the postmark is / was making me wonder where you're really at.
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 23:17 Comments || Top||

#28  Sorry Raj but that really wasn't me. I only discovered Rantburg much later than that (I think March) so I'm pretty sure it wasn't me. I'm afraid you're comfusing me with someone else though I am not familliar with any other rg117. Sorry!
Posted by: rg117 || 11/09/2003 23:42 Comments || Top||

More on yesterday's Riyadh attacks
A car bomb attack Saudi officials said appeared to be by al-Qaida killed at least five people and wounded more than 80 in an upscale Riyadh neighborhood, a day after the U.S. Embassy warned of terror attacks in the tense kingdom.
The Saturday night blasts came after gunmen exchanged fire with security guards. An Interior Ministry official told The Associated Press that two security guards from India and Sudan were killed. The Lebanese Embassy in Riyadh added three Lebanese a woman, a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl were also killed.
That's considerably lower than yesterday's estimate of 30 killed... Fox News sez the count is at least 11...
The Interior Ministry official said 86 people were wounded, most of them children and women, in a compound of about 200 houses where most of the residents were Lebanese. Some Saudis also live there, plus a few German, French and Italian families. In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Amanda Batt said one American was wounded and another was unaccounted for. The compound attack was by a suicide car bomber and similar in style to a series of May 12 car bombings in Riyadh compounds housing foreigners that were blamed on al-Qaida and that killed 35 people, including nine suicide bombers. Some witnesses said Saturday's bombers used what appeared to be a police car. The Interior Ministry official said he did not know how many attackers were involved.
'Nother words, they haven't gotten close enough to get the details yet...
In comments published Sunday on the Web site of Saudi daily Okaz newspaper, Interior Minister Prince Nayef said they could not rule out a connection to suspected al-Qaida terrorist cells targeted in recent sweeps, as a number of suspects from those cells were still at large.
That could be because the cops are better at beating up women than at catching crooks and terrorists...
In London Sunday, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Turki al-Faisal, condemned Saturday's attack as the work of an "evil cult" whose "sole aim is the destruction of the kingdom." By targeting foreigners' housing compounds, the attackers were targeting the backbone of the Saudi economy. Saudi Arabia is home to 6 million expatriate workers, including about 35,000 Americans and 30,000 Britons. The kingdom relies on foreigners in its oil industry, security forces and health sector.
That's because Soddy efficiency is legendary...
"This evil must be stopped," Prince Turki said, without naming al-Qaida. "We call on all the people of the world to work with us in fighting this evil and ridding the international community of this plague."
All us people of the world call on Soddy Arabia to clean house, starting with the holy men who intigate this sort of thing.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 08:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  and followed by a few thousand Princes...
Posted by: Yank || 11/09/2003 9:01 Comments || Top||

#2  The Saudis will clean house ... of all their opposition. Anyone who carried a sign in a protest will be in jail. It's safer to arrest guys without guns.

If I wanted to find AQ likely folks, I would look in the ranks to the religious police, volunteer vigilantees.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 13:56 Comments || Top||

Zhirinovsky: We want part of Estonia back
Staff and wire reports
Baltic Times, Oct. 30-Nov. 5

Russia’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal-Democratic Russian Party and asshat an outspoken nationalist, said on Oct. 27 that the Estonian cities of Narva and Tartu belonged to Russia
especially from ’45-’91
and that the border agreement between the two countries should be rewritten.
(Click here to see the region in question).
In a meeting with the electorate held in the culture center of Ivangorod, which is located across the river from Narva, he said, "Narva and Tartu should be taken over from Estonia because these are Russian towns ... Narva is a Russian town, and Tartu is Yuryev, also a Russian town."
That would be news to the people of Tartu, who bill it as "the most Estonian" city in the country.
For Estonians, Russia’s fascist tool far-right firebrand would leave it the country’s other big cities.
We can? Oh, thank you Vlad!
"We should leave [the Estonians] Tallinn and Parnu. That’s all of Estonia — the rest is Russia," Zhirinovsky said, adding that the Vilnius region in Lithuania fell under the same category of historically disputed territory.
Okay; who here wants to tell the Lithuanians they’re gonna need a new capital?
Estonian officials downplayed the rant, writing it off to Russia’s upcoming Saddam-like rubber stamp election campaign but conceding the verbal attacks from its former occupier ruler might not end when the Baltic state joins the EU and NATO next year.
The surprise meter is still pegged at zero.
Posted by: Baltic Blog || 11/09/2003 4:57:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [388 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Next to Zhirinovsky, Putin is an angel.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/09/2003 17:13 Comments || Top||

#2  To paraphrase Bugs Bunny, "I'd trust the EU about as far as I could t'row da Big Mo'." (The battleship Missouri, for you youngsters out there.)
Posted by: PBMcL || 11/09/2003 17:56 Comments || Top||

#3  I wonder when he'll be asking for Alaska back to......
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/09/2003 18:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Zhirinovsky wants to rebuild the old Soviet Union, and nothing else will satisfy him. If he can't do it all at once, he'll try to do it a bit at a time. The man needs to be put on the Trans-Siberian railroad, with a one-way ticket to the smallest station on the line east of Lake Baikal.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/09/2003 18:49 Comments || Top||

#5  Soviet Union, hell. He wants to rebuild Czarist Russia (with himself as Czar). Isn't he the one who wants Alaska back? Keep your powder dry, Paul!
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/09/2003 22:15 Comments || Top||

#6  They will have a hard time getting Alaska back. If I remember my Alaska reading, the Russians paid 7 million for Alaska, but after they took possession of the gold bullion, only 5 million made it back to mother Russia. I do keep my powder dry. IMR 4360 in tins.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 22:34 Comments || Top||

Srebrenica survivors to sue UN
Survivors of Bosnia's wartime massacre in Srebrenica are to sue the United Nations and the Netherlands for more than half a billion dollars for failing to protect the enclave. The massacre is the worst European atrocity since World War II. "In the next three or four months we are to file suit against the UN and the Netherlands before appropriate courts for breaching international laws and the European convention on human rights," Samir Guzin, one of the lawyers representing families of those killed in Srebrenica, said. "Survivors demand at least one billion convertible marks ($590 million) in compensation for their loss," said Guzin, whose team represents about 8000 family members and survivors. More than 7000 Muslim men and boys were summarily executed after Bosnian Serb troops overran the Muslim enclave in eastern Bosnia, a UN-declared "safe haven" protected by lightly-armed Dutch peacekeepers, in July 1995. The entire Dutch government resigned in 2002 after the country's report claimed partial responsibility of the Dutch authorities for the massacre.
Holding the UN accountable? Interesting concept...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 08:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [352 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...file suit against the UN and the Netherlands before appropriate courts f... Just curious where are these courts and who will enforce the rulings?

Posted by: Anonymous || 11/09/2003 9:02 Comments || Top||

#2  The article cites The Hague as the venue, but I suspect a ruling from that court will have the full force of law and morality than U.N. resolutions do, and about the same relevence.
Posted by: badanov || 11/09/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#3  They'll go through the carade and issue the obvious ruling, which will be promptly ignored. Everyone will then blame the United States for setting the precedent by refusing to submit to the ICC, and refusing to sign Kyoto and the anti-land mine treaties.
Posted by: Ptah || 11/09/2003 15:05 Comments || Top||

#4  I want to change my vote now. I really think the U.N. should take over ALL peacekeeping efforts around the world. Bring the troops home and let Kofi take over. This was their FINEST hour!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 11/09/2003 15:46 Comments || Top||

#5  here's a new one for the un - both judge and defendant!
Posted by: Dan || 11/09/2003 19:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Lets not forget Kofi's other great moment - Rwanada.

He was in charege of UN peace keeping when Dallaire (the Canadian General in charge) sent message after message warning Annan about what was about to happen. At one point, Dallaire said that he could nip it in the bud if he launched a counter attack on weapons depots. Annan told to take no further action and notify the government. After the notification, Dallaire's informant was killed and the genocide was launched.

I guess that is how he got the UN chair.
Posted by: Larry || 11/09/2003 23:54 Comments || Top||

Pakistan sees poverty as biggest challenge
Still having trouble with cause and effect, aren't they?
Pakistan called for “a multi-dimensional approach” to eradicate poverty in the Least Developed Countries (LDC). “(Poverty) is the biggest challenge for the least developed countries,” said a delegate from Pakistan while addressing the economic issues committee of the United Nations General Assembly on its agenda for the UN conference on LDCs. Senator Babar Khan Ghori said eradicating poverty would also require greater synergy among efforts by states, civil society organisations and the international community. The LDCs must get support from the international community to eradicate poverty and reach international development goals, he said.
It'd be interesting if there was some sort of guage that could meter the correlation between Shariah and poverty, wouldn't it?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 13:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  i.e.: education in something other than the Koran
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 13:36 Comments || Top||

#2  All it takes to eradicate poverty are three things: respect for private property; a general education that includes things like HISTORY, SCIENCE, and MATHEMATICS, instead of harping solely on religion, religion, religion; and personal freedoms, including freedom of expression. Guess which one is missing? If you said all three, go to the head of the class.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/09/2003 15:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Shutting down the Madrasses would be step no. 1. OP---you summed it all up. All the rest is window dressing. Some rational thinking skills will help the position of women in their society. The only thing holding Pak up economically is US and Saudi money. And oiiiiiiiillllllllllll. Take a look at literacy rates in these areas and you can see what a hole these Islamocracies have dug themselves. (CIA world fact book is a good source)
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 16:18 Comments || Top||

#4  “a multi-dimensional approach” and "efforts by states, civil society organisations and the international community" hmm...let me put this through the Babelfish... ..."first we're gonna beg the UN for money.Then we're going to beg the Merkins,may Allah slay them,BTW,for money.Then we're going to beg from the EU.Did I forget anybody?"
Posted by: El Id || 11/09/2003 17:17 Comments || Top||

#5  Get your head outta the Qu'ran, support your females getting a higher education (half their brain power's gone when they shut the women up in the homes), & quit encouraging your already poor to have more kids then they, the economy, or the environment can support........
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/09/2003 18:49 Comments || Top||

#6  Let's just have NEC run a recruitment drive...No Madrasses Left Behind. (Hey it worked in public schools!)
Posted by: john || 11/09/2003 20:06 Comments || Top||

#7  In the last decade and a half, poverty has increased in Pak from around 20% to around 30%; while India has experienced the inverse (or close to it)
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/09/2003 20:22 Comments || Top||

Balochistan to reinforce network of intelligence
QUETTA: The Balochistan cabinet on Saturday decided to reinforce intelligence network to thwart terrorism in the province.
Are the Baluchs starting to get tired of the Pashtun nonsense?
Chief Minister Mir Mohammad Yousaf presided over a cabinet meeting to review law and order against the backdrop of the recent terrorist acts in Quetta and Jafferabad. The meeting showed satisfaction at the decrease in crimes in the province and decided to seek cooperation of the public in eradication of terrorism.
Meaning they've now actually got more terrorism than crime — except for the Bugtis, of course...
The meeting also reviewed reforms in health and education sectors and measures to check prices in Ramazan. It approved the extension of Civil Hospital in the capital and the establishment of Margala University in the private sector.
Good idea. I just love veal Margala...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 13:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

Missile downed Black Hawk
Military sources say they believe a Soviet-built surface-to-air missile brought down a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed near Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, killing all six aboard. ... Sources with the 4th Infantry Division told CNN they suspect a Soviet-built Kolomna KBM Strela-3 low-altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) hit the helicopter, using an infrared guidance system. Earlier, U.S. military officials had ruled out the use of SAMs in the crash but had not discounted the Black Hawk went down as a result of hostile fire. "We do believe it was brought down by ground fire," said Lt. Col. Steve Russell, commander 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Division. ... Meanwhile Saturday, U.S. forces attacked targets in the Tikrit area in what they called a "show of force." Two F-16s fighter planes flew low over the marshy region and dropped at least two 500-pound bombs near the crash site north of Baghdad. U.S. forces also used Apache attack helicopters, Bradley fighting vehicles, M1A1 Abrams tanks and close air support, coalition spokesperson Maj. Josslyn Aberle said. Coalition forces were firing dozens of artillery shells, mortars and howitzers into the area, starting late Friday and continuing early Saturday.
No MOAB??? Yet...
The downing of the Black Hawk came a day after a memorial service for U.S. service members killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down last Sunday. Fifteen were killed in the crash; one died of injuries later.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/09/2003 2:49:53 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [447 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Meanwhile Saturday, U.S. forces attacked targets in the Tikrit area in what they called a "show of force." Two F-16s fighter planes flew low over the marshy region and dropped at least two 500-pound bombs near the crash site north of Baghdad.

Show of force???? What's the purpose of showing force if there's no intent to use the slightest semblance of it in battle? Evacuate everybody out of Tikrit and drop several MOABs on it - that'll send a nice, CLEAR message.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/09/2003 21:01 Comments || Top||

#2  And salt the ground afterward for good measure. "Full Roman" as Lileks might say.

Ceterum censeo Tikrit esse delendam
Posted by: eLarson || 11/09/2003 21:23 Comments || Top||

18 Held in Oct. Hotel Attack in Baghdad
U.S. troops have arrested 18 people in connection with last month's fatal missile barrage against Baghdad's Al-Rasheed hotel, a U.S. military official said Sunday. Lt. Col. George Krivo, a spokesman for the U.S. command, said the suspects were taken into custody by the 1st Armored Division, which is in charge of security in Baghdad. Krivo did not say when the arrests occurred. The Al-Rasheed was used by coalition military and civilian personnel until it was rocketed Oct. 26. One U.S. colonel was killed and 18 other people were wounded. The hotel was then evacuated. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war, was staying at the hotel but escaped injury.
Hit them hard enough, and hit them enough times, and they'll lead us to more Bad Guys.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 09:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [703 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "U.S. troops have arrested 18 people in connection with last month's fatal missile barrage against Baghdad's Al-Rasheed hotel..."

Unfortunate to see the word “arrested” used here. These are military operations, not police actions. “Arrested” brings all sorts of images of court trials and rules of evidence and Judge Judy…

...don’t need no mo’ confusion, a la Guantanamo, as to how the enemy should be treated in the battlefield, whether in this, the second operational theater of the war on terrorists, or Damascus Riyadh any future battlefield.

Posted by: Hyper || 11/09/2003 10:18 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm with Hyper. If the U.S. military is using the word "arrested" instead of "captured," they need to stop. We are still at war; you don't "arrest" opposing troops, you capture (or, in the case of these particular opposing troops, preferably kill) them.

I'd like to think it's the media using the word and not the military, but the way the upper levels of the Pentagon (a) have been infused with PC and (b) are resisting efforts to reform/update our military, I suspect I'm wrong. Sigh.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 11/09/2003 10:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Actually, we shouldn't consider these sandfleas 'combattants', but terrorists. You can either 'capture' terrorists or 'arrest' suspected terrorists. The difference is significant: if they're foreign combattants, the Geneva Convention rules apply. If they're terrorists, I'm not sure if any rules should apply. If you go outside the bounds of just actions by committing terrorist acts, you shouldn't expect to be treated by the conventions established for actions within those bounds.

Drain 'em dry, whack & stack 'em, and let the world know. Also let them know we don't give a happy rat's a$$ what the rest of the world thinks about our behavior. This is a war against the United States (actually western civilization, but there are just too many idiots who refuse to accept that). Unless you are our ally, you have no say in this war.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/09/2003 11:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Regardless of the final disposition, I am happy to see 18 apprehended. Apprehension of locals would be impossible in a civilian population that was sympathetic to their cause.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 13:27 Comments || Top||

Revenge killings claim lives of Saddam's cronies in southern Iraq
Dozens of Saddam Hussein's followers in Iraq's southern capital have been assassinated as they try to regroup and attack the coalition, the city's security chief told AFP on Sunday.
To me, that's a good sign...
"There have been too many political assassinations, dozens of them," said Colonel Mohammad Kazem Ahmad al-Ali, police director of internal security in Basra. "These were liquidations of senior members of the previous regime who had committed crimes against the people," Ali said in an interview. He declined to identify the perpetrators, but local residents said that members of the 20-to-30 political parties active in Basra have carried out the "revenge killings," targeting ranking members of the Baath party.
He says that like it's a bad thing...
"We provide full support to those who dissociate themselves from the (Baath) party ... But not to those who are trying to revive the regime and the party. These (people) are hoping to rebuild the party," Ali said. The coalition forces are investigating the deaths and have arrested some suspects, Ali said. "Arresting people involved in the assassinations is the task of the coalition. We focus on maintaining security on the streets," he said.
"We don't really care about dead Baathists..."
Some previously unknown political parties such as the "Tharallah" (God's Revenge) Party, are suspected by locals of having taken the law into their own hands because of the slow progress in arresting and trying former Baath officials. A large colour portrait of Saddam was found hanging from a major pedestrian bridge in downtown Basra early this week, witnesses said. The portrait was torn into small pieces by dozens of activists. Ali charged that "remnants of the deposed regime" were coordinating with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network to carry out attacks against vital institutions. "Just five days ago, a group of terrorists hurled several hand grenades on a school in Jomhuriya neighbourhood. Thank God, no one was hurt and there was no damage. "A group of people were arrested. They are members of the former regime, but were found to be linked to al-Qaeda," said Ali, declining to give further details.
"I can say no more!"
According to Ali, coalition forces in the Basra area have arrested a large number of suspected "terrorists" and Saddam loyalists. The ousted Baath party is reorganising and behind an increasing number of attacks on oil installations in Iraq, the Middle East Economic Survey reports in its Monday edition. The respected newsletter gives credibility to a statement purportedly issued by the Baath party this month outlining a new strategy to end occupation. It says deposed president Saddam has named a new leadership to organise the party throughout the country and to lead the resistance. asra, an open, port city, is rife with oil smuggling and organized crime, but is also a favourite spot for foreign fighters to enter Iraq, Ali claimed.
That might ahve something to do with the smuggling and organized crime, y'know?
"Terrorists try to come through Basra ... They include members of terror networks like al-Qaeda and organized crime gangs. They try to infiltrate through the southern region also because of its long land borders," with Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, he said. The coalition forces in coordination with Iraqi police have launched a crackdown on oil smugglers and others involved in illegal activities. Hundreds have been arrested. Even so, Ali warned the Iraqi police face a tough battle rounding up thousands of ex-convicts freed by Saddam in October 2002 ahead of the US-British invasion. "Some 60,000 hardcore criminals serving long prison terms and some awaiting execution were freed from Saddam prisons. These have become a time bomb," said Ali.The police department receives an average of 50 arrest warrants daily against criminals, he said. So far we have arrested hundreds of suspects, many with previous criminal records. Many are former convicts released before the war," Ali added. As a result, the number of murders, house robberies and armed assaults has "dropped significantly," during the past few months, he said. But the perception on the street is that the city remains dangerous.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 09:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [348 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Asswipe al-Baathi you stand in judgement for the following:

count number one: crimes against the people of Iraq. Count number two..."


"...what do you know? No need for count number two..."
Posted by: Hyper || 11/09/2003 10:30 Comments || Top||

#2  this a feature, not a bug of the regime change
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 13:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Sounds like things are getting unruly in Basra. How about a midnight basketball league to give the yutes something to do with their time.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 13:32 Comments || Top||

#4  The yutes? Oh, I get it the yutes! Just don't tell me what they're gonna use as the ball.
Posted by: Matt || 11/09/2003 13:46 Comments || Top||

#5  When they're done there, someone should ship these guys to the Sunni Triangle. I love a good fireworks show.
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 14:25 Comments || Top||

"He says that like it's a bad thing..."
In the short term, this stuff gets rid of potential problems, but things can't go on that way forever. IMO Kazem Ahmad is trying to get legitimate authority established, and when there's legitimate authority random citizens shouldn't just go out and whack someone, no matter how deserving. Instead they should be dropping the dime on the baddies so they can be arrested, tried, convicted, and THEN whacked.

Right now, the average Iraqui (understandably) distrusts his government's ability (or desire) protect him from criminals and exploiters, especially politically connected ones. Words won't overcome this: Justice has to be seen to be done. That won't happen if all that's left for the govermnent to do is sort out Baathist bodies. And the justice has to apply to everybody, which is why it's important to find and prosecute the people doing the killings. Ultimately, the government must achieve a monopoly on the use of force, but we won't see the private militias disband until the people they protect feel safe.

Also these targets must have knowledge that would be useful to the occupation. Dead people don't yield you much information, no matter how impressive your moustachio.
Posted by: Old Grouch || 11/09/2003 15:30 Comments || Top||

#7  When they're done there, someone should ship these guys to the Sunni Triangle. I love a good fireworks show.

I'll bring the beer!
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:39 Comments || Top||

#8  The "God's Revenge" party. You got to hand it to the Religion of Peace.
Posted by: John || 11/09/2003 23:42 Comments || Top||

How Sammy beat the Mansour bombing...
The former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein survived, according to former Iraqi officials, an American bombardment that had targeted a house he was to be meeting in with four of his associates on April 7th when he had realized that one of them leaked information about the place of the meeting just a quarter of an hour from the moment of the bombardment. A high ranking Iraqi official who fled from Iraq said that Saddam summoned "the four men" as well as his two sons Ode and Qusai, with whom he was still meeting after the beginning of the US military operations against Iraq. These officials were the second ranking official in the regime, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, defense minister Sultan Hashem Ahmad and the chairman of the intelligence department Taher Jalil al-Habbouish al-Takriti.
And which one sold him out?
The meeting was presumed to be in a Villa in al-Mansour quarters, a residential area in Baghdad, Saddam used to use for "holding meetings of such kind and to take his food meals" as it is only just few meters from al-Sa'a (clock) restaurant which is owned by the Iraqi intelligence department. Invitation was extended for the meeting to "Saddam's nephews who used to assign them, since several months, to communicate messages to his deputies in person." The Iraqi official said that "Saddam arrived on Monday afternoon in a yellow rent car and was followed by Taha Yassin Ramadan who arrived in a white rental car. Earlier, Izzat Ibrahim and Sultan Hashem arrived in the house and when the chairman of the intelligence was late in reaching the place, Saddam asked his nephew (Dr. Sabawi) if he "notified Taher about the meeting." The latter confirmed that he had actually extended the invitation to the chairman of the intelligence and then Saddam felt that he was trapped and "he left the house directly on foot and walked in the narrow routes for hundreds of meters before he took the rental car which had also Taha Yassin Ramadan."
"Hokay. See y'all later. Lemme know if Habboush shows up before the JDAMs do..."
The official said that "Saddam ever doubts Taher al-Habboush since the beginning of the bombardment operations on March 19 and therefore he considered his absence as a definite evidence on his treason." He stressed that the American forces smuggled al-Habboush together with other officials who collaborated with these forces from Baghdad immediately after they broke into it.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 08:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Damn. Everyone was wondering if the Intel was good on that bombing, because of the damage and location. From a tactical stand-point, he just dodged a bullet.

I also wonder how much this effected him. He must have seen the crater on TV, so Sammy must be realizing that could be him in that hole. He has to be paranoid and relying on others to move him around. I doubt he's in the right state of mind anymore. Well, more than usual, anyway.
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:12 Comments || Top||

U.S. Ponders Alternatives to Iraq Governing Council
EFL and fair use
Increasingly alarmed by the failure of Iraq’s Governing Council to take decisive action, the Bush administration is developing possible alternatives to the council to ensure that the United States can turn over political power at the same time and pace that troops are withdrawn, according to senior U.S. officials here and in Baghdad.
They're doing the rule-by-committee thing, with a weak "presidency" that rotates every month. Who expected much out of them?
The United States is deeply frustrated with its hand-picked council members because they have spent more time on their own political or economic interests than in planning for Iraq’s political future, especially selecting a committee to write a new constitution, the officials added. "We’re unhappy with all of them. They’re not acting as a legislative or governing body, and we need to get moving," said a well-placed U.S. official who spoke on the condition anonymity. "They just don’t make decisions when they need to."
That’s a way of life over there.
Ambassador Robert Blackwill, the new National Security Council official overseeing Iraq’s political transition, begins an unannounced trip this weekend to Iraq to meet with Iraqi politicians with a 2 x 4 to drive home that point. He is also discussing U.S. options with L. Paul Bremer, civilian administrator of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.
It also puts a shot across the IGC's bows — shape up quickly or evaporate...
The United States is even considering a French proposal, earlier rejected, to create an interim Iraqi leadership that would emulate the Afghan model. During the debate before the new United Nations resolution on postwar Iraq was passed Oct. 17, France and other Security Council members had proposed holding a national conference — like the Afghan loya jirga — to select a provisional government that would have the rights of sovereignty.
Ba-a-a-a-d idea. If the current members of the IGC can’t do the job, sack a few and find some replacements. They’ll get the idea.
Among several options, the administration is also considering changing the order of the transition if it looks as though it could drag on much longer than the United States had planned. The United States has long insisted that a new constitution was the essential first step and elections the final phase in handing over power. "If our exit is going to take longer, if it looks like it could go more than two years to get it all done, then there’s an incentive to look into a transitional phase and some other governing mechanism," a State Department official said.
It took us 4 years with West Germany and 7 with Japan. What’s the rush?
The move comes after repeated warnings to the Iraqi body. Two weeks ago, Bremer met with the council and bluntly told members that they "can’t go on like this," a senior U.S. official in Baghdad said. Bremer noted that at least half the council is out of the country at any given time and that at some meetings, only four or five members show up.
Even more reason to sack a few.
Since the council appointed 25 cabinet ministers in late August, the body has done "nothing of substance," the U.S. official in Baghdad added. The council has been seriously remiss in oversight of its own ministers, holding public hearings, setting policy for cabinet departments and even communicating with cabinet members, he said. The United States, which financially and politically backed several of the council members when they were in exile, has also been disillusioned by the council’s inability to communicate with the Iraqi public or gain greater legitimacy. The senior official in Baghdad called the council "inept" at outreach to its own people.
"I mean, they act like a bunch of Texas Democrats!"
Ironically, Iraqi council members counter that they should be given the powers of a provisional government — with rights of sovereignty — because they have no real powers to act as long as the CPA occupies and rules Iraq. In an interview, a council member also charged that the United States has an "unrealistic idea" that difficult issues can be sorted out in a day or two. "It’s not possible," the Iraqi added. A senior Iraqi National Congress official added that just because the principals are not at meetings does not mean they are not working.
"We’re really good at feathering our nests. You should see how we can do this when we’re out of the country!"
Adel Abdel-Mehdi, a council member with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, said the Iraqi mission should not be rushed. "Figuring out how to write the constitution is the most important thing we will do. We have to make sure we take the time to do this right," he said. Council members, he added, were busy talking to Iraqis about the issue informally.
"I talk to my bodyguards and handlers about this daily!"
Coming out of decades of either a dictatorship or a monarchy, Iraqis also need time to learn how to use and share power. "The council is trying its best. You have to remember we are 24 goofy and semi-psychotic personalities," said Mowaffak Rubaie, a moderate Shiite Muslim physician who returned from exile in Britain. "We have never worked together. There is no precedent for what we are doing."
And not much more patience!
Posted by: Steve White || 11/09/2003 1:23:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hmmm..that seems to be the achilles heel of the Bush administation. He seems unable to sack people who don't measure up or to upgrade to the best people available.
Posted by: B || 11/09/2003 6:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Iraq will respond well to the United States'post-war generosity and opportunities, but only after seeing the USA ruthlessly (no FireSign Theater jokes please) and overwhelmingly crush those who oppose us... including the memebers of an uncooperative and self interested Governing Council.

How many times have we heard (and seen the proof) that the people and regimes of this region respond best to, and show deferential respect for, the use of unequivocal strength?

Let's start the Council replacement program with some ass-kicking and biatch-slapping of the scum in the Sunnicide Triangle - round 'em up and SHUT them down. Then give the council's ignorant asses the bum's rush.

Time to reaquaint Iraq with the meaning of unequivocal.

Posted by: Hyper || 11/09/2003 10:01 Comments || Top||

#3  He seems unable to sack people who don't measure up or to upgrade to the best people available.

Thats' the problem. He WON'T sack people who don't perform. For example, why is Tenet still FBI director? Why is Mineta still Transportation Secretary? And don't even mention the State Department.

If this is the manifestation of GWB's "compassionate conservatism", then it's not a virtue, but a hinderance.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/09/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Bush has sacked several people: O Neil, the Sec of the Army, Bremer's predecessor and some other guy on the economic side. I'm not sure why Tenet is still there. As for Minetta, trying to change the bureaucracy of the Transportation - that has never had any reason to change before ought to be quite challenging. Plus he's the token Democrat.

Someone, the other day, posted that Iraq has a Constitution from the 20's that could be modified rather than starting from scratch. It has never been recinded. Maybe that would speed things up.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 14:16 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Malaysia slams US for terror travel warning
Malaysia Saturday criticised the United States for a safety warning to Americans in the country, saying security nationwide is adequate and ruling out fears that it will hurt foreign tourist arrivals. The US said Friday it was concerned about the safety of its citizens in Malaysia, warning they could fall prey to Southeast Asian terror groups. It stressed extra caution to American citizens in the troubled eastern Malaysia state of Sabah on Borneo Island. Shafie Apdal, deputy defence minister told AFP that the new travel advisory was unwarranted since security was under control, even in Sabah.
The Soddies were saying the same thing, just the other day...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 13:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [328 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Soddies were saying the same thing, just the other day...

Say good-bye to Malaysia's towers.
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Say good-bye to Malaysia's towers.

If that were to happen, think Mahathir would see fit to criticize Islamic extremists?

I wouldn't be holding my breath.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/09/2003 23:56 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Illegal Immigrant Workers Sue Wal-Mart
FREEHOLD, N.J. - Nine illegal immigrants who worked as janitors at Wal-Mart until they were arrested during federal raids last month have sued the company, accusing it of discrimination.

The nine say they were paid lower wages and offered fewer benefit because they are Mexicans, and they accuse Wal-Mart and its cleaning contractors of failing to pay for overtime, withhold taxes or make required workers’ compensation contributions.
Well that is what you get for being ILLEGAL!
Their lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Superior Court in Freehold, seeks more than $200,000 in back pay.
And I thought these things only happen in California or Florida.
The plaintiffs, who now face deportation, were among 250 people arrested in an Oct. 23 federal immigration crackdown at 60 Wal-Mart stores in 21 states. Theirs is the first lawsuit among the immigrants arrested.

According to the lawsuit, Wal-Mart employed cleaning contractors "with full knowledge" that they paid illegal immigrants less than legal workers.

"Wal-Mart must have known about these violations," the immigrant’s lawyer, Gilberto Garcia, told The New York Times. "If these people are going to work at Wal-Marts, then Wal-Mart and its contractors should abide by the labor laws."
Does that include the laws against hiring ILLEGAL ALIENS in the first place? Thought not....
Mona Williams, Wal-Mart vice president of communications, said the company did not know about the alleged labor violations or that the contractors used illegal immigrants. She said Wal-Mart has long insisted that its contractors obey the law.

"Clearly, hungry sharks lawyers are converging on these illegal immigrants as if they were accident victims," Williams said. "We have seen absolutely no evidence showing that Wal-Mart did anything wrong."
The files and computers removed from a company’s Executive’s office notwithstanding of course....
She acknowledged that Wal-Mart has received a letter from federal prosecutors warning that it faces a grand jury investigation into illegal immigrants employed at its stores. An employer can face civil and criminal penalties for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants or failing to comply with certain employee record keeping regulations.

The plaintiffs say they worked at least 56 hours a week and were not paid time and a half for overtime, hours worked beyond 40 a week. They say they were paid $350-$500 a week.
The sad thing is... they will probably win this case.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer and the largest private employer in the United States, has 1.1 million domestic employees and about 3,500 stores.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/09/2003 10:30:54 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [364 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Their mouthpiece shopped around for a sympathetic judge. Wal-Mart is going to have some sizeable legal expenses in court and appeals. However, weren't these illegals hired by CONTRACTORS? In that case, the contractors would be held accountable for checking out the ID of the illegals and noting all the details on I-9s.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 22:38 Comments || Top||

#2  So let's see: list of complainants = list of illegal immigrants. List goes to the INS. INS pays a visit. Illegals go back to East Bum****.
You mean it doesn't work like that?
Posted by: charlie32 || 11/09/2003 23:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Wal-Mart will settle. Each of the Mexicans will get a check for $56 and the ambulance-chasers who filed the suit will get a couple mil.

All in a day's work for the guardians of justice.
Posted by: John || 11/09/2003 23:36 Comments || Top||

#4  These bastards should be given a free ride to Douglas, AZ, then have a boot put to their asses as they are "sent home".
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/09/2003 23:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Unless it can be shown that Wal-Mart knowingly hired contractors they knew to have illegal aliens doing the work, this suit will fail...and Wal-Mart will not go to settlement.

This has to be the most absurd piece of crap I've ever seen. The people are here illegally. Yes, they are entitled to their money...from the contractor. Then they are entitled to be booted out of the country.
Posted by: RMcLeod || 11/09/2003 23:58 Comments || Top||

Riot at ’woman-tigress hanging’
EFL from BBC

The best case I have ever seen for not allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

A riot broke out after police tried to disperse a crowd gathered to watch the rumoured hanging of a "woman-tigress", Iran’s Jomhuri-Eslami paper reports.
Some 50 people were arrested after the would-be spectators turned on police who tried to disperse them in the city of Qom, said the hardline daily.

It was rumoured a woman had "insulted religious values" during Ramadan. According to local folklore, anyone who commits such a crime risks having their head turned into that of an animal.
A local journalist told French news agency AFP that rumours had circulated of a woman insulting Islamic values during the fasting month. Some deranged mullah must have issued that fatwah after reading A Midsummer Nights Dream between drags on a crackpipe.

Her head had been turned into that of a ferocious female tiger as divine punishment, it was rumoured. "Drawings of the woman with the head of a tigress were even distributed in the city, especially in schools," said the journalist, who asked not to be named. Still drawing on paper. Didn’t they have access to digital cameras and editing software?

A large crowd turned up in a square in the city to watch the hanging - only to be met by police attempting to convince them the rumour was false. In the ensuing violence, several windows of surrounding buildings were smashed, said the newspaper. Nothing like showing up to see a cat-headed woman be hanged and being shoved away by the police to anger a mob into full riot. I think the whole incident started when the mascot for LSU partied too hard on Friday night before heading to the airport...
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 8:34:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

Exposing Pyongyang’s Prison State
North Korea is frequently referred to as a "gulag nation," but that must seem like empty rhetoric to the hundreds of thousands of North Koreans who live—and in many cases die—in actual prison camps. Last week, the private U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea released The Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea’s Prison Camps, a chillingly comprehensive description of Kim Jong Il’s hellish penal system. Written by veteran human rights investigator David Hawk, the report draws on interviews with 30 former guards and inmates, including escapees forcibly repatriated from China. Among their revelations:

No Crime Too Small
North Koreans have received life sentences for crimes as simple as singing a South Korean pop song or spilling ink on a photo of Kim Jong Il. Often, up to three generations of a prisoner’s family are sentenced along with the culprit, on the theory of guilt by association.

Empty Stomachs
Prisoners are forced to labor in deadly conditions while being given "only enough food to be kept perpetually on the brink of starvation." One prisoner was so maddened by hunger that he stole a leather whip, soaked it in water and ate it. When caught, he was beaten to death with a feces-covered stick.

No Escape
Prisoners are forced to sit motionless for days, or kept in tiny isolation cells without space to stand up or lie down. One failed escapee was dragged to his death by a car in front of assembled prisoners. The inmates were forced to touch the mangled corpse; when one prisoner protested, he was shot.

Human Statues
Forced laborers at a kiln in one prison camp were constantly showered with powdered cement, which mingled with sweat and turned their tattered, unwashed clothing into concrete suits, leading to skin abrasions and infections.

Pregnant women repatriated from China are required to have abortions because their children might be half-Chinese. If their pregnancies are close to full term, the babies are delivered and then suffocated—in full view of their mothers.
Posted by: rg117 || 11/09/2003 8:02:13 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [363 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Amnesty International, what say you?

Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 23:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Amnesty International isn't interested -- no money or glory in it. Besides Kimmie-boy is a hero of the left....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/09/2003 23:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Kim Il Monster is definitely a hero of the Stalinist WWP which runs ANSWER. They speak approveingly of his "progressive" state. Even MoveOn.org has a letter blaming the US for the situation in NK. I suppose this is like blaming the US for the 300,000 in mass graves in Iraq.
Posted by: Larry || 11/09/2003 23:43 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Arafat wins power struggle with PM
Yasser Arafat retained control over all security in the territories Saturday in a deal worked out with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia. Under the agreement, Palestinian forces will take their orders from a 12-member Supreme National Security Council that Arafat chairs. Qureia is a member of the group, which was set up in September. Arafat also got his way in the choice of an interior minister. Qureia relented on his demand that Gen. Nasser Yussuf get the job. Instead, a close associate of Arafat’s, Hakam Balaawi, was named. If the appointment is confirmed, Qureia wants the new interior minister’s powers restricted. But Arafat wants Balaawi to play a central role carrying out security orders, rather than simply handling civilian matters. Talks were scheduled to continue Sunday at Arafat’s compound in Ramallah.
Damn. No word on Arafat’s health.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/09/2003 4:36:15 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hope he chokes on his success - literally
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Arafats in charge again!? Isreal won't negotiate anymore now. I wonder if someone would just walk up to Arafish and shoot him. I'm sure there are some SF in the army who are willing to risk the shot.
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:17 Comments || Top||

Montazeri slams Iranian clergy’s ‘absolute power’
Iran’s top dissident cleric Hossein Ali Montazeri on Saturday berated his country’s clergy for wielding “absolute power”, which he said was bad for Iran.
Just ask the Papal States...
“A government system cannot and must not be concentrated in the hands of one person,” Montazeri, 82, said in an interview with the weekly Welt am Sonntag to be published Sunday. “We need a collective government in which the people play a dominant role.”
He means without a clerical veto...
“The clergy’s absolute power is bad,” he added. Montazeri, one of just a few clerics who holds the rank of Grand Ayatollah, was once the designated successor to Iran’s Islamic revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but was later placed under house arrest for five years in Qom.
That was shortly after absolute power corrupted Khomeini absolutely...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 13:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Grand Ayatollah

Still a good name for an SUV.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/09/2003 16:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Drink Ayatollah-Cola. It's Grand!
Posted by: john || 11/09/2003 20:13 Comments || Top||

Middle East
‘US must loosen ties with ME autocrats’
Leading US dailies on Saturday commended President George W Bush’s speech on promoting democracy in the Middle East and said he should follow through by loosening US alliances with autocratic governments in the region.
Uhhh... Isn't that what he said we should do? Or did I miss something?
“One measure of US policy in the Middle East will be whether, in addition to threatening its longstanding enemies, the Bush administration begins to talk differently to some of its allies,” a Washington Post editorial said. “Mr Bush spoke well. He is right that Washington has failed to support abroad the values Americans live by at home,” The New York Times said. “The president’s warning of the futility of excusing dictatorship in the name of security seems custom-made for Saudi Arabia,” the editorial went on. “Promoting democracy there must become an urgent American priority.”
Agreed, as long as "democracy" is taken to mean "individual liberty." Democracy isn't essential for liberty — in fact, a republican system is better suited to fostering it. In theory, you could even have individual liberty under a benign dictatorship, the problem being that dictatorships don't remain benign. Uncontrolled democracy can (and often does) lead to "one man, one vote, one time."
“Another country where America relies too much on a dictator for security is Pakistan... President Pervez Musharraf’s timely support for Washington in Afghanistan two years ago should not permanently immunise his dictatorship from needed criticism.”
It's temporarily immunized him from needed criticism. But Perv, for all his many faults, doesn't run a dictatorship along the lines of, say Syria. He doesn't have a party apparatus, there's no cult of personality, next to no secret police banging on citizens' doors in the dead of night. He actually seems over-indulgent of his opposition. He's more the front man for an oligarchy made up of the military, ISI, the industrialists, and a proportion of the feudalists than a bloody-handed dictator. Let me be dictator in Pakland for a year and shortly after having the 20-foot posters of myself printed I'd be holding organized Qazi-hunts with prizes for the biggest turban bagged. I'd be stuffing the jails full of nazims and nabobs and other officials with their hands in the till. At the end of the year my power would be secure because my opposition would be doorknob dead or in hiding and afraid to come out.
Both papers urged Bush to encourage democratic opposition movements in the Middle East. “To succeed in this vitally important endeavor, the Bush administration will have to learn to put the same kind of energy and resources into the diplomatic and educational sides of foreign policy as it has devoted to unilateral military action,” the Times said.
Both are liberal papers. They're in the habit of calling for more and more diplomacy, but not paying attention as it's occurring around them every day. I guess that's why they pay their reporters so well...
“There is a big difference between defending existing democracies and trying to create new ones through invasion and occupation.” Washington should nourish independent civic movements, nascent political parties, human rights activists and dissidents, the Post concurred.
We'll also have to occasionally inflict democracy on countries run by tin hats or oligarchs. But we also have to pick and choose and in some cases found the civic movements, nascent poltiical parties and human rights activists we support. The mere fact of dissidence isn't a recommendation except to the Times and the Post. Motives and ultimate objectives have to be examined, too...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 13:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [341 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In the meantime, the Post busily makes suggestions to Israel guaranteed to doom the only working democracy in the Middle East.

A suggestion coming from the Liberal Media telling us to do something is either redunant or a recommendation to do the opposite.
Posted by: Ptah || 11/09/2003 15:26 Comments || Top||

#2  I suppose closing the embassy in Rhyad doesn't count as 'loosening ties'? Oh right, done for the wrong reasons, my bad.
Posted by: john || 11/09/2003 20:27 Comments || Top||

#3  There ain't nothing BUT autocrats in the ME.
Posted by: John || 11/09/2003 23:39 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Wes Clark : even those from the South and stupid should be represented
From a press op on the subway in NY
Q: Some folks have been saying that his dear friends, Bill and Hillary Clinton, are touting him behind the scenes as a stalking horse for a possible Hillary candidacy.

A: "That’s just silly. That’s silly talk. It’s partisan."
? Some of those questioning are Dems..
Q: And what is Clark’s reaction to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s pandering comment that that he, Dean, wants the votes of Southerners, i.e. "guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks"?

A: "Well, he shouldn’t have said those things. I think all Americans - and this is a joke! - all Americans, even if they’re from the South and ’stupid,’ should be represented."
a joke? He means his candidacy I ’m guessing... Did Clark put the ellipses around ’stupid’?
Minutes earlier, the general had grappled with the subtle and complex ways of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. At the 51st St. station in Manhattan, there had been the usual trouble with the Metrocard. Like a refugee detained at a Balkans checkpoint, the general stood on the wrong side of the turnstile while an aide tried over and over to let him through.

"PLEASE SWIPE AGAIN" was the machine’s repeated message.

Finally, the aide got the thing to work and the general made his way to the platform, smiling sheepishly and reddening slightly.
shades of the trumped up grocery scanner episode with Bush 41 - think the press will note this?
Clark continues to show why he’s not qualified to be President - keep on talking, Wes!
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 12:33:19 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [409 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'll bet this suckers got a temper. I like to see it....
Posted by: Shipman || 11/09/2003 12:43 Comments || Top||

#2  "...-think the press will note this?" No, I'm sure they won't. I wouldn't have known about this if it wasn't for Rantburg. So I guess it's up to the bloggers to bring this stuff out, as usual.
Thanks Frank.

Posted by: Uncle Joe || 11/09/2003 12:48 Comments || Top||

#3  actually it's out already - I should've hat-tipped to Drudge - my bad
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Since Clark himself is from the South and not the brightest bulb on the old magnolia, it's easy to see how he would take this position.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 11/09/2003 17:32 Comments || Top||

#5  AC - I'm not sold on Clark, but I wouldn't sell him short on smarts. Being a Rhodes Scholar is one thing - finishing #1 in a class of 579 at West Point is another. I know a bit about the academics there, and no mediocre mind is going to finish at the pinnacle of a USMA class.

Wisdom is another issue ...... and that is where we seem to have had a vacuum for W-A-A-A-Y too long. I haven't seen anything out of any of the talking horses that suggests to me that any of them are the answer to the current challenges.
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 11/09/2003 20:22 Comments || Top||

#6  Did Clark put the ellipses around ’stupid’?

That's really a perceptive and funny comment, except those aren't ellipses ... those dots are.

Those are single quotation marks, and they are used when one quotation uses another internally that requires quotation marks.

In this case, the word "stupid" didn't really require quotation marks, so these must be an example of ironic quotation marks (which are contained in the same set as sneer quotes, scare quotes and the like).

I just wonder if Clark wiggled two fingers on each hand when he said the word "stupid," or, if knowing he would be quoted, he helpfully wiggled just the index fingers of both hands, so that journalists would phrase the quotation correctly.

Thanks for the funny mental pictures anyway!
Posted by: JP || 11/09/2003 22:13 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Israel’s Cabinet narrowly approves prisoner swap with Lebanese guerrillas
A really bad idea....
Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday narrowly approved a hotly contested prisoner swap with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, by a 12-11 vote, Israel TV said. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had staked his prestige on the deal, which would have Israel exchange more than 400 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners for an Israeli businessman and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers. The swap excludes Israel’s most famous MIA, airman Ron Arad, who was shot down over Lebanon 17 years ago.
Why would they take this deal???
Critics of the deal warned that Israel would be seen as rewarding violence and would boost Hezbollah’s standing in the Arab world. In Lebanon, Hezbollah officials warned they would kidnap more Israelis if the deal collapses.
F16’s over Lebanon and Syria would be my response
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 12:26:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Just a wild guess, a fair percentage of the 400 imprisoned terrorists have been turned and will begin reporting back on HB activity once they rejoin their former comrades. Some will recant, of course, but if only a few stay turned, the deal will be worth it.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 11/09/2003 12:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Even if they're not, the HB will have to assume some are - wonder how many will be wrongly killed as collaborators? - paranoia reigns supreme
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 13:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Even if Israel was unable to turn ANY of them, the paranoia will sow enough chaos in the wake of the exchange to make it useful to the Israelis. At the same time, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a few of those being exchanged have small, almost undetectable bugs on them that can be traced by sophisticated surveillance systems. The next couple of weeks could prove quite interesting.

The deal also cements further the Israeli soldier's commitment to the defense of Israel, knowing the government will do whatever is possible, even when it doesn't make good sense, to get them back, should they be captured.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/09/2003 15:26 Comments || Top||

#4  *sigh* Truthbetold, I'm ambivalent on this and wish Ron Arad were included, but yeah, there's the "no man left behind" factor -- now if only I were as confident as you in Hizb'ullah being paranoid enough to start the rubouts, I'm sorry but I'm not as optimistic ...

In Lebanon, Hezbollah officials warned they would kidnap more Israelis if the deal collapses.

There's always blaming Hizb'ullah for planning to undercut the deal to kidnap Israelis anyway and hitting first ...
Posted by: Lu Baihu || 11/09/2003 16:09 Comments || Top||

#5  cements further the Israeli soldier's commitment to the defense of Israel,

Dead on.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/09/2003 16:36 Comments || Top||

#6  OP, Frank, and Atomic: Thank you for pointing that out. I never thought about the infiltration angle until now. That gives me some hope.
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:07 Comments || Top||

Iran to halt uranium enrichment (temporarily....)
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran said Sunday it will temporarily halt its uranium enrichment program while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigates the country’s nuclear activities.

Hamid Reza Asefi, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters that the uranium enrichment program will be put on hold within the next few days.
"soon as we have enough for a bomb or two..."
Inspectors with the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, are in Iran to assure the country is not operating a nuclear weapons program.

The United States has said Tehran is seeking to build such weapons, but Iran denied the accusation and said its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes.
BS for all the reasons listed so many times before
Asefi said his country, a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), expects European countries with advanced nuclear technology to provide Iran with such technology once the IAEA determines there is no nuclear weapons program.

The IAEA’s governing board is scheduled to meet Nov. 20 to hear from inspectors. A verdict on whether the IAEA is complying with its NPT obligations is expected sometime after.

Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 12:02:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why does a country sitting on an ocean of oil need nuclear power?

It doesn't.

Nuclear research only makes sense within the context of nuclear weapons, and letting these maniacs develop a bomb is absolute madness. Or have we forgotten November 4, 1979? Do we think they were disinterested bystanders over Pan Am 103? Iran is a terrorist regime and terrorist sponsor.
Posted by: Douglas De Bono || 11/09/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Go Ahead, Make My Day!


In the 1971 movie "Dirty Harry," actor Clint Eastwood introduced the world to the double-action Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44-cal. Magnum revolver--"the most powerful handgun in the world."

"Did I fire six shots, or was it only five?"

It was a crown S&W wore proudly, albeit briefly.

The rising popularity of handgun hunting for big game (spurred largely by the .44 Magnum itself) prompted the introduction of newer and significantly more powerful revolver cartridges. Many powerful enough that they had to be chambered in single-action handguns because existing double-action designs could not contain the recoil forces and pressures they produced.

Since S&W does not make single-action revolvers, and no double-action frame at its disposal could handle the new loads, S&W was effectively dethroned.

At the 2003 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, the manufacturer regained its crown. And, most significantly, it did it by introducing a new massive double-action revolver that is chambered for an equally new .50-cal. cartridge.

Too bad our pilots don’t have them, but I suppose it would adversly affect cabin pressure.
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 10:09:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IIRC they've done some grip/barrel mods to get the kick down to less-tha-wrist-breaking levels
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 10:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Here's a nice pic of the new .500 Mag.
Here's another pic of the thing in action.

It's a beaut, but my .357's are more than adequate for me.
Posted by: Dar || 11/09/2003 11:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Argh--screwed up that second link.
Posted by: Dar || 11/09/2003 11:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Now that S&W has the crown back I suppose that we will be seeing a revolver chambered for .600 Nitro Exress. Or a T/C Encore chambered for .50BMG
Posted by: Cheddarhead || 11/09/2003 12:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Um, Raj? We want the pilots to kill terrorists without installing windows in the fuselage.
Posted by: BH || 11/09/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#6  The hand-cannon race. If you have the room, I prefer a shotgun.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 16:14 Comments || Top||

#7  It's all for naught. The cows will invest in high quality body armor.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/09/2003 16:22 Comments || Top||

#8  .357 revolver w/.38 load - enough said. Back it up w/the pilot's choice of tazer, stun gun, black-jack, or hvy duty pepper spray. Worse case - one hand to the adam's apple, thumb from other hand to the opponent's eye socket.....grab, twist, pull...."sorry for the turbulence, we're now cruising comfortably at 31,000 ft........."
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/09/2003 18:43 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Arab League chief criticizes US Middle East policy
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa has stressed that any aggression or threat against Syria is an aggression on all the Arab states adding that Arab solidarity and coordination are the way to protect Arabs and keep their security and stability.
Sounds like a threat to me...
In a press conference held in Cairo at the AL headquarter on Thursday, Moussa said that the Arab solidarity is the most appropriate avenue to back Syria or any other Arab state. He strongly criticized US dealing with the region's issues asserting that there is a mistake in the US understanding of the situation in the region. This understanding which ignores the reason behind Arab's rejection of the US policy which is "its full bias to the Israeli practices which contradict international law."
Back to the One-Note Samba...
Concerning the EU's latest poll which showed that 59% of Europeans see Israel as being the greatest danger and threat to world peace, Moussa said that the poll's outcome reflected the Europeans' understanding of the "dangerous aggressive practices of Israel against unarmed Palestinians."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 08:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [342 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...and in related developments, polled swine squeal, "the stinkier shit makes for the best sty"...
Posted by: Hyper || 11/09/2003 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  So when does the windbag Moussa come out with:
"Any aggression by AQ on Saudi Arabia is an attack on all Arabs"?

..........waiting.....crickets chirping...
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 9:38 Comments || Top||

#3  "Arab solidarity". Now, THERE's an idea whose time has come and gone.

Make our day, sand ticks. Make our day...
Posted by: Dave D. || 11/09/2003 11:13 Comments || Top||

#4  "... any aggression or threat against Syria is an aggression on all the Arab states..."
Your terms are acceptable.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/09/2003 13:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Why is Syria so special? You never said this about Iraq. Or is it because you have nowhere left to ship the WMD's to, since we cut Syria off from Iran?
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:22 Comments || Top||

#6  Concerning the EU's latest poll which showed that 59% of Europeans see Israel as being the greatest danger and threat to world peace, Moussa said that the poll's outcome reflected the Europeans' understanding of the "dangerous aggressive practices of Israel against unarmed Palestinians."

Ths only thing that the poll might indicate is that Europe pretty much hates Israel (or Jews, take your pick). That's all.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/09/2003 23:52 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Religious lecture for the first time given by a woman
For the first time in the history of Morocco, a woman has given a religious lecture at the traditional lectures organized every Ramadan by the king of Morocco. Rajaa Naji Mekkaoui, a university teacher, presented her lecture before King Mohammed VI at the royal palace in Rabat, which serves as a venue for such event. Her lecture before an audience of scholars and theologians from the Muslim World was entitled "The universality of the family structure in a world of multiple distinctive features." In her analysis, Mrs Mekkaoui congratulated the monarch for his "great role" in reforming the family code that gives women more rights. The Ramadan religious lectures were instituted by the late king Hassan II in the eighties. They are attended by members of the government, high ranking military officials, foreign ambassadors accredited to Rabat and guests from the Muslim World.
I'll bet having the lecture given by breeding stock a woman unravelled a few turbans...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 08:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [325 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fatwa watch in 5, 4, 3...
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 10:23 Comments || Top||

#2  The tide will turn against radical Islam in the Middle East with the emergence of freedoms for women. Wars will be waged and ideologies argued, but until the women of the Middle East deny and destroy the patriarcal and abusive traditions that oppress them in disgusting and pathetic ways, no paradigm shift can take place.

The USA should be encouraging (read: actively FUNDING, training, supporting, etc) any and all womens advocacy groups opposed to radical Islam.

God help these women through the tough road ahead. The dangers at hand are as numerous as the opportunities that await them.
Posted by: Hyper || 11/09/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#3  While all the men are out committing suicide and murder for Islam, who're gonna teach the kiddies?
Posted by: badanov || 11/09/2003 10:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Morocco is not Saudi Arabia or Algeria: her king is supposed to be a descendent of Muhammad so he doesn't need to play the "more Muslim than thou" game, in addition unlike the Seoud he doesn't have a financial and political interest in promoting Islamism. By the way some ten years ago I heard an old Moroccan praising those Moroccans who had helped Jews during WWII and telling "Who saves a man saves the entire humankind" a sentence found in Talmud and Koran.
Posted by: JFM || 11/09/2003 11:17 Comments || Top||

#5  So-called "womens's rights" groups are generally left-leaning and I don't recall many of them demonstrating against Radical Islam or Mid-east dictators, especially since Bush is in charge.

What is the position of Islam on abortion? Is abortion legal or allowed in these countries in question?

Posted by: Uncle Joe || 11/09/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#6  I believe abortion is illegal, except in cases where the parents aren't closely enough related...
Posted by: Fred || 11/09/2003 13:01 Comments || Top||

#7  Jeeze Louise, Fred! That is awful.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 13:11 Comments || Top||

#8  That wasn't funny.... that was mean. LOL
Posted by: Shipman || 11/09/2003 16:16 Comments || Top||

#9  Oh! That was just wrong Fred! :)
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:04 Comments || Top||

#10  Fred, it was sick and disguisting. That's why I liked it. LOL!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/09/2003 20:54 Comments || Top||

#11  Heh. Well if abortion is illegal, I'm sure the "women's rights" crowd has been striving to change Islam into accepting it. Right?
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 11/09/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

Africa: Central
Ugandan rebels kill 60, church officials say
More than 60 people have been killed in northern Uganda this week by suspected Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, Roman Catholic Church officials have said. "Thirty people were killed in the villages of Awayapiny and Alanyi, 20 in Omarari and nine more at Omoro North Primary School - all in Abako sub-county," in north Uganda's Lira district Thursday night, Catholic missionary Father Sabbat Ayele said. Father Ayele quoted witnesses as saying that the rebels beheaded some of the people while a number of grass-thatched huts were also torched. He said that one person was also killed at a Adweki trading centre on the road leading to Soroti from Lira. "I talked to a woman by the name of Consolata Atim, one of those people beaten up by the rebels, who told me that she witnessed people being beheaded," said Father Ayele, an Eritrean Comboni missionary. Lira's army spokesman Lieutenant Chris Magezi said the army was yet to compile the total number of those killed, but added that three other people, including a police officer, were killed on Friday night in another attack on a displaced people's camp at Agwata in Dokolo county.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 07:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why would you call yourself the Lord's Resistance Army if your plan is to go around beheading villagers. A missionary that has spent the last 20 years or so in Uganda spoke at our church 2 years ago. Don't know how you could psychologically survive in that country under those conditions for that period.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Bush call for democracy draws scorn from Palestinians
Second verse, same as the first...
US President George W. Bush's call on Thursday for greater democracy in the Middle East drew rebukes from Palestinian commentators and officials, who condemned Washington for its continued support for Israel.
  • Ali Sadek, a prominent political analyst, wrote in the Palestinian Authority's official Al-Ayyam newspaper that the policy of the Bush Administration made the US one of the most hated countries in the world.
    They hate it when we're right...
    "Bush is searching for an excuse to intimidate the Arab governments so that they would agree to play functional roles that serve his imperialist policy," Sadek said. "In our view the worst Arab regime, with regards to freedom and constitutional rights, is more democratic than the US. The American democracy is arrogant and offensive, and this is reflected in the picture of the American soldier trampling with his boots on an Iraqi citizen who is fasting during the month of Ramadan. This is similar to the daily killings of Palestinian children."
    At the moment, the worst Arab regime, with regard to freedom and constitutional rights, appears to be Paleostine, with its drooling, inimical president-for-life and its lickspittle "legislators," its myriad "security apparatus" that double as terror organizations, its "militias," its penchant for bumping off "collaborators" without trial, and the tight integration of street thugs into the fabric of the regime...
    Sadek accused Bush of lying when he talks about democracy, saying Washington's goal is to enhance its cards in the Middle East after running out of excuses. "How can we believe those who support the killing of our children and youth in Palestine and Iraq?" he asked. "How can we believe them when they say that they regret the lack of democracy in the Arab world?"
    If the Paleos had "democracy" — Bush was actually talking about individual liberty, using the term "democracy" as shorthand — perhaps they'd be able to actually negotiate with the Israelis and adhere to the agreements they make. Perhaps if they offered something other than a continuous stream of vitriol and enmity their neighbor might not regard them as enemies.
  • Fuad Abu Hijleh, another Palestinian commentator, said the "Arab street" hates the US because it's an imperialist superpower that is hostile to the freedom and advancement.
    Baathists — which the Paleo Authority is in essence — defines freedom as accruing to the state, not to the individual. "Advancement" doesn't seem to apply to building a middle class and engaging in commerce and research, but to the acquisition of weapons...
    "The Arab peoples hate America because of its bias towards Israel and because it supports tyrannical regimes in the Arab world," he explained. "They [also] hate America because it is occupying Iraq and is threatening to occupy Syria, looks down on the Arabs, is waging a war against the real Islam, and because it is stealing Arab oil. We hate America and we don't hide this."
    So lemme get this straight: they hate us because we support tyrannical regimes, and also because we overthrew one tyrannical regime and we're threatening another? That makes sense. Not a lot of sense, but sense. See my comments yesterday for a hint as to why we "look down" on Arabs. "The real Islam" attacked our country and killed 3000 of our people, after declaring war on us. And we pay for all that Arab oil we're stealing.
  • Abu Hijleh lashed out at Arab governments that are prepared to send their troops and policemen to protect US embassies and McDonald eateries in the Arab world.
    Embassies are sovreign territory, and they're accorded security as needed by the host country. Not to provide that security is considered an unfriendly act. If you don't like McDonald's, why not go to a felafel joint instead? Somebody must like them, otherwise they'd go out of business. But in countries with that authoritarian mindset it's considered permissible to tell other people what to like and dislike...
  • Youssef Qazzaz, director of the Voice of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority's official radio station, said in a letter addressed to Bush that the Palestinians and the Arabs don't believe in his views regarding peace, democracy and freedom. "Solving the Palestinian problem is the master key to solving all the problems of the region and to spreading democracy and peace," he added.
    It's like the One Note Samba, isn't it?
    "There is no cause, only effect... There is no Dana, only Zool..."
  • PA cabinet minister Saeb Erekat urged Bush to realize his vision of democracy by helping the Palestinians to hold free and democratic elections.
    Bush demanded that the Paleos hold elections a year and a half ago. Didn't ask, demanded. They blew him off, as we knew they would.
    "We have been trying to hold elections for a long time, but we failed because of the Israeli occupation," he said.
    Yep. It's all the Zionists' fault Paleos can't hold an election...
    "We hope President Bush would help us to provide the appropriate conditions for holding the elections under his auspices and the supervision of the international community."
    That would have been the road map that Hamas used for toilet paper.
The one thing we can always count on with the Paleos is that we're not going to get anything constructive out of them. There aren't any idea, there aren't any proposals, there aren't any compromises, just vitriol and blind hatred.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 07:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [327 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One thing is for certain, OBLadin did Islam no favors by attacking the USA. Where once we were ignorant, we have now begun to focus on the Islamic World; and though our hate is slow to build, when in full flower it is much scarier than the Muslims could ever expect. In other words, Ali you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Posted by: Tancred || 11/09/2003 9:08 Comments || Top||

#2  "Solving the Palestinian problem is the master key to solving all the problems of the region and to spreading democracy and peace," he added.
And, pray, how does this resolve the Saudi's problems? First Mecca and now Riyad?
Posted by: Barry || 11/09/2003 9:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Paleostine will not get better until Arafat is dead and the ineveitable Civil War takes place - real Paleos have to get rid of the hate and victimhood and decide to improve their lives with what they have, not what they want (Jews pushed into the Med). First things first...how ya feeling Yasser?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 9:49 Comments || Top||

#4  The American democracy is arrogant and offensive, and this is reflected in the picture of the American soldier trampling with his boots on an Iraqi citizen who is fasting during the month of Ramadan. This is similar to the daily killings of Palestinian children."

I think we just found Terry McAuliffe's successor.
Posted by: Raj || 11/09/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Raj - LOL, he couldn't do worse.

Fred, you were posting yesterday about the likelihood of us bringing democracy to the ME. I don't know whether we can or we can't, but it does seem to me that every time Bush says the D word people like these guys start running around like cockroaches after someone turns on the lights.

"Lemme see, if we had elections I'd probably get elected to be ... well, can't let that happen."
Posted by: Matt || 11/09/2003 11:17 Comments || Top||

#6  here's a thought: how about a nationwide 5 year mortorium on buying middle east oil? we could still get plenty from mexico and russia.
Posted by: dabbey || 11/09/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

#7  I would force Egypt, Leababnon and Jordan to naturalize all the Palestineans that have been born in their country and allow them to won property. The naturalization would be optional. The money that goes to keeping th ecamps open could be paid to those governements for a number of years.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/09/2003 14:06 Comments || Top||

#8  Oh how they fear Democracy! Check with Kuwait, I think it's working for them?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 11/09/2003 15:41 Comments || Top||

#9  The Paleostine Civil War should be happening within 6 months, I would imagine. Seriously, the leasers in the PA know Arafish is killing any chance they have of peace. It's no longer a matter of establishing a state. It's a matter of survival.

Those who wish to save Paleostinian live will rise against Arafish. The rest will be to loyal to the dying PA. In the end, there is just one question thos PA leaders have to ask: Who do you serve, Arafish or the People?
Posted by: Charles || 11/09/2003 20:30 Comments || Top||

#10  "How can we believe those who support the killing of our children and youth in Palestine and Iraq?"

Hey, I thought he was talking about Bush, how did that reference to Arafat get in there?

"We have been trying to hold elections for a long time, but we failed because of the Israeli occupation," which he won't let us do - if we occupied Israel, all would be OK!
Posted by: John Anderson || 11/09/2003 21:49 Comments || Top||

Georgia ballot count halted amid mass protests
Election officials in the former Soviet republic of Georgia have suspended the counting of ballots in the general election, as 10,000 protesters call for President Eduard Shevardnadze to step down. Officials say they have decided to stop tallying votes in the disputed November 2 poll because of the many complaints of irregularities they have received. Mr Shevardnadze is fighting for his political life, with protesters marching on downtown Tbilisi in the biggest political demonstration since a civil war in 1991, which eventually swept him to power. Thousands vowed they would not budge from outside the country's parliament building until Mr Shevardnadze, who has fallen out of favour because of a stumbling economy and increasing corruption, resigns. For about an hour, Mr Shevardnadze was trapped in his office after a splinter group of about 100 protesters blocked the only road leading from the presidential administration building.
Looks like the end of an era. Hope they don't shoot him, though...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/09/2003 07:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

CIA: N. Korea Doesn’t Need Nuclear Tests
The CIA has concluded that North Korea has been able to validate its nuclear weapons designs without a nuclear test, the agency disclosed to Congress. The intelligence service believes that conventional explosives tests, conducted since the 1980s, have allowed the North Koreans to verify their nuclear designs would work. The agency believes North Korea has one or two nuclear weapons similar to what the United States dropped on Hiroshima during World War II; a minority of U.S. analysts believe the communist country may already have made more.
Is this a quality assessment or is the CIA in la-la land again?
CIA officials do not describe the precise mechanism by which the North Koreans could have verified their designs. The explanation to Congress provides the rationale behind the agency’s conclusion that North Korea already has a nuclear weapon. The relatively simple fission weapons that North Korea is believed to have produced would presumably detonate a precisely built shell of acorns conventional high explosives around a plutonium core, and the tests may have involved the designs of that shell. A CIA spokesman declined last week to expand on the agency’s conclusions.
"I can say no more!"
North Korea has suggested it may conduct a nuclear test to demonstrate it is a nuclear power. But U.S. officials are not sure that the North Koreans would expend a nuclear weapon if they have only a few.
Better to keep everyone guessing.
``A North Korean decision to conduct a nuclear test would entail risks for Pyongyang of precipitating an international backlash and further isolation,’’ the CIA says. ``Pyongyang at this point appears to view ambiguity regarding its nuclear capabilities as providing a tactical advantage.’’ The CIA’s conclusion was reported in an unclassified letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee in August. That letter, along with similar communications from the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI and State Department, was obtained by the Federation of American Scientists, a watchdog group that focuses on security and intelligence matters. U.S. intelligence officials have acknowledged uncertainties about North Korea’s weapons programs. The Defense Intelligence Agency, in its letter to the Senate committee, said a once-feared North Korean missile, the Taepo Dong 1, now appears to be only a research and development platform that is not intended for operational use. North Korea remains ready, however, to test the Taepo Dong 2 - a newer, long-range missile that may be capable of reaching the United States, the DIA says.
Looks like the TD1 worked, then.
The defense agency vaguely suggests that such a test could take place either from North Korean soil or ``perhaps in another country’’ that the agency did not name, although Pakistan, Iran and North Korea are known to have cooperated on missile projects in the past. In their political analyses, the American intelligence agencies said the government of Kim Jong Il appears unlikely to crumble from within, although they differed on who would succeed Kim if he died. ``We lack reliable insights into the internal dynamics of his regime, however successor(s) to Kim would most likely come from the military,’’ the DIA said.
"We don’t have a clue, but military’s as good a guess as any."
Posted by: Steve White || 11/09/2003 1:11:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [354 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Russian strength during cold war, Iraqi strength..etc. The CIA assessments are starting to remind me of Pinkerton assesments during the civil war.
Posted by: B || 11/09/2003 6:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Past CIA blunders aside, there may be a kernel of truth here. One of the things stolen from the national labs by the Chinese was a sophisticated modeling database for nuclear weapon's design. Basically, the software allows you to "test" a weapon without actually making a hole in the ground.

Of course, this would mean our good buddies in Beijing either sprung a leak or gave the software to North Korea.
Posted by: Douglas De Bono || 11/09/2003 8:24 Comments || Top||

#3  The CIA assessments are starting to remind me of Pinkerton assesments during the civil war.

Bobby Lee was notorius for 50,000 Virtual Rebs in reserve.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/09/2003 9:24 Comments || Top||

#4  software verification works only if you've proven your technology in the first place - i.e.: am actual test. They don't know if the tech they got from China or Pakland was accurate (IMHO) unless they 'splode one in the first place. I agree that the ambiguity is a lot more useful for extortion than a botched test. The CIA has good reason to err on the conservative (worst case) side since they've been caught so often on the short end of the intel stick
Posted by: Frank G || 11/09/2003 11:32 Comments || Top||

#5  maybe they work... maybe they don't... they aren't much value for detterence/extortion if you don't pop one off every once and a while though.
Posted by: ----------<<<<-- || 11/09/2003 22:10 Comments || Top||

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Wed 2003-11-05
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Tue 2003-11-04
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