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Palestinians commandeer the Rafah crossing
Today's Headlines
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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Would-be suicide bombers blown up in Afghan blast
Those suckers are on a roll, aren't they? These have got to be Hek's Secret Suicide Army of Doom™...
Two would-be suicide bombers have blown themselves up while strapping on explosives in an Afghan town bordering Pakistan, police said.
Of course it was close to Pakistan. You notice they don't do this stuff close to Iran or close to Tadjikistan, or close to Guatamala...
No one else was hurt in the blast near the market in Spin Boldak, Afghan border force commander Abdul Raziq told Reuters. "They were hiding explosives under their clothes when they went off," he said, adding that police suspected the bombers had intended to target troops from the US-led force in Afghanistan.

Earlier, two US soldiers were wounded when their vehicle was hit by a bomb blast in neighbouring Helmand province, said US military spokesman Lieutenant Mike Cody. A spokesman for the Taliban guerrillas, Qari Mohammad Yousuf, claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after an American and an Afghan soldier were killed and two US troops were wounded in a similar attack in eastern Kunar province.
Posted by: Fred || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No one else was hurt in the blast near the market...Good. Real shame about teh boomers though, real shame. :-/
Posted by: Florida Gators (DragonFly) || 12/30/2005 0:32 Comments || Top||

#2  When someone straps on an explosive vest intending to blow themselves up, and they do blow themselves up albeit in a way which spares others, is that person not in fact a successful suicide bomber? Killing others is not usually a prerequisite for committing suicide, and these mopes were definitely bombers who died of self inflicted wounds as they intended, so are they really would-be suicide bombers.

I'm just askin'.
Posted by: Baba Tutu || 12/30/2005 5:41 Comments || Top||

#3  No virgins for this guy, only the same old tired goats. The trend seems to be more and more of them blowing themselves up at home or on their way to the site. Is this a product of the capturing or killing of capable bomb makers or has someone figured out haow to call Ahab a little early?
Posted by: 49 pan || 12/30/2005 8:21 Comments || Top||

#4  police suspected the bombers had intended to target troops from the US-led force in Afghanistan.

Ya think?
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/30/2005 10:09 Comments || Top||

#5  /tinfoil hat on

I wonder if someones been adding something to commerical explosives that makes them go off, say from a specific radiowave...

/tinfoil hat off
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 12/30/2005 12:17 Comments || Top||

#6  BP-

I was wondering something similar, only I was thinking that maybe some Other Government Agency (*cough*) had gotten into the business of supplying high quality detonators...
Posted by: Glains Theash7392 || 12/30/2005 13:33 Comments || Top||

#7  Baba Tutu: I understand where you're coming from, but it's that kind of thinking that has leads to grade inflation and a spiral of ever lower expectations.
Posted by: Perfesser || 12/30/2005 15:22 Comments || Top||

#8  BP and GT
Actually the Green Berets used that technique in Viet Nam until the anti-war crowd found out about it and created a "scandal" about unsportsman like conduct against the poor dear VC. Don't know if we're allowed to use that now.

/one can only hope
Posted by: Frozen Al || 12/30/2005 18:35 Comments || Top||

Six suspected JMB men held from different parts of country
Members of law enforcement agencies arrested six suspected Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) men from the different parts of the country yesterday.

According to RAB sources, RAB personnel arrested a suspected JMB man Abdullah Bhuiyan (62), son of late Mohiuddin Bhuiyan, of North Uttar Khan in the capital from city's Uttara area. Acting on a secret information, a team of RAB-1 raided Chanpara area in North Uttar Khan under Uttara police station and arrested the man at around 1-50am.

Our Habiganj correspondent writes: Two suspected JMB cadres were arrested by RAB members from Baniachang upazila. The arrested were identified as Farid Mollah (38), of village Chanpara and Maulana Mostaq Ahmed (48).

Our Bagherhat Correspondent reports: Police arrested two persons for their suspecting links with JMB on Thursday morning. The arrested are Abdus Salam (32) and his cousin Sheikh Rafiqul Islam (23). The detective branch of police arrested them in separate drives from Dashani and from the premises of the Islamic Foundation at Mithapukur area in the town. Abdus Salam, son of Abdus Sattar, hails from Karapara village under Sadar upazila and Rafiqul Islam, son of Sheikh Syed Ali, also hails from the same village.

Our Moulvibazar Correspondent adds: Police arrested Kamal Uddin, teacher of Katarai Madrasha from Sadar upazila on Thursday for his suspected links with the JMB. During the interrogation Kamal confessed to his involvement in the August 17 bombings in Kusumbagh area of Moulvibazar, police sources said.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
3 Dutch Salafists deported from Azerbaijan
Three citizens of the Netherlands accused of terror have been deported from Azerbaijan, Dutch press reported.

The detainees, who are believed to be residents of the Hague, became missing in mid-November. One of them is a member of the Salafi-Takfiri radical Islamic group, according to the Mediaforum website.

The foreign nationals’ family members and the Hague Mosque informed the police about their disappearance. The Dutch intelligence service didn’t rule out that the three went to Iraq to join military operations.

Early in December, the Dutch citizens told their relatives not to be worry, saying they were on vacation. It was ascertained that the three bought tickets to Istanbul and they are most likely in Turkey, as one of them is reported to be of ethnically Turkish origin.

The NRC Handelsblad newspaper reported on December 25 that the Dutch citizens were arrested and extradited to the Netherlands, accompanied by Dutch police officers, who arrived in Azerbaijan for the purpose. Initially, the detainees gave testimonies to the Azerbaijani police and then to the Dutch law enforcement in Baku, according to the newspaper. The three have not been indicted yet and are currently at large, the same source said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 01:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If you were heading to Iraq via Turkey, it makes little sense to start from Azerbaijan. However, if you were going via Iran then Azerbaijan is a logical place to start.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/30/2005 1:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Chechnya may be the more likely destination, methinks.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 1:36 Comments || Top||

#3  The mortality rate in Iraq makes Chechnya more attractive.
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 12/30/2005 3:05 Comments || Top||

#4  "the Dutch citizens told their relatives not to be worry, saying they were on vacation"

Nice place to vacation, Chechnya in December! In Turkey it would be a pretty simple matter to pick up land transport via the thousands of trucks that ply the roads to Chechnya or Iraq.
Posted by: TomAnon || 12/30/2005 9:25 Comments || Top||

Splodydope fails and succeeds at same time in southern Russia
MAKHACHKALA, Russia - A suicide bomber blew himself up in southern Russia on Thursday, but there were no other casualties, witnesses said.
Gawd, I love it when that happens...
The man blew himself up in the Muslim region of Dagestan near a gathering of people mourning a security services officer who was killed two days ago, they said. Local media reported that no one else died in the blast in the town of Makhachkala, main city of the region that borders Chechnya. The bomber’s body was torn apart by the blast. One of his detached hands still held the remote control apparatus about the size of a mobile phone that he had used to detonate his bomb. Other body parts, including his head, lay nearby. “The person blew himself up. He is dead,” regional interior minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov was quoted as saying by local media.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Splodydope fails and succeeds at same time in southern Russia

I feel a quality Koan a coming....

What is the sound of one body bursting?
Posted by: Leon Clavin || 12/30/2005 10:04 Comments || Top||

#2  One of his detached hands still held the remote control apparatus made in Germany or China, about the size of a mobile phone
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/30/2005 10:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Could be a doorbell ringer, they were using lots of those on IEDs in Iraq. Plenty db ringers made in China...
Posted by: Seafarious || 12/30/2005 10:15 Comments || Top||

#4  He blew up near a mosque. I'll give 10:1 odds that immmediately after there was frantic flushing of korans explosives.
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 10:47 Comments || Top||

Sipah-e-Sahaba tried to establish offshoot in Japan
A member of an Islamist extremist group banned in Pakistan entered Japan two years ago to try to establish a foothold in the country, a Japanese newspaper said on Friday.

Japanese police had warned this month that Islamist extremists may tempt Muslim communities in Japan to turn radical and attack Japan, whose government has been a staunch backer of the U.S.-led war on Iraq .

In a report that underscores such concerns, police learned from an informant that a member of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a Sunni extremist group outlawed in Pakistan, had entered Japan to start an SSP branch, the Sankei newspaper said.

After checking immigration records, police found that a Pakistani man in his 30s had entered Japan in 2003 with a visa for religious activities and that he had told others while worshipping that he came to Japan to establish an SSP offshoot, the newspaper said.

"We will step up efforts to grasp the actual conditions of the Islamic community in Japan that could be used improperly by terrorists," the paper quoted a police source as saying.

Sankei said the man was detected both entering and leaving Japan that year, but did not make clear his current whereabouts.

A spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said he had no information on the case and declined to comment.

The man had been seen at mosques near Tokyo and also had contact at train stations with a 27-year-old Pakistani in the trading business who had lived in Yokohama near Tokyo and a 40-year-old Pakistani and former employee of a Tokyo bookbinding firm, Sankei said.

Tokyo police have arrested the 40-year-old Pakistani on suspicion of violating immigration laws, and are continuing surveillance activities to track down the SSP network in Japan, the newspaper said.

Japan, which has sent some 550 ground troops to Iraq on a reconstruction mission, has been on guard against possible attacks since being mentioned by members of Islamist militant group al Qaeda as a possible target.

Prior to Japan‘s deployment of troops to Samawa in southern Iraq, al Qaeda had reportedly threatened to "strike in the heart of Tokyo" if Japan sent troops to Iraq. Japan dispatched its main contingent of troops to Iraq in February 2004.

In May 2004, Japanese police arrested several foreigners in a probe into the activities of Lionel Dumont, a French national with links to al Qaeda who entered Japan on a false passport in 2002 and stayed for over a year.

There is no official data on the number of Muslims in Japan, but police sources have put the number around 90,000. They are mainly from Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Iran and Turkey, the sources said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 00:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Johnny on the spot they are.
Posted by: Ptah || 12/30/2005 8:09 Comments || Top||

#2  They don't worry themselves about silly things like warrents and such when security is involved
Posted by: Steve || 12/30/2005 8:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Tokyo police have arrested the 40-year-old Pakistani on suspicion of violating immigration laws

Think we might want to consider outsourcing our immigration problem to the Nips. It seems they don't mess around.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/30/2005 10:14 Comments || Top||

#4  In Japan, when someone is arrested by the police, it is assumed that they are guilty and will be convicted. Something like a 95% conviction rate in Japan. And if you are a foreigner, then no constitutional protections for you. Japanese constitutional rights are for Japanese only. And not even for sure on that account if you are mixed race.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 12/30/2005 11:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Sipah specializes in doing terrible things to Shiites.

It takes a certain amount of brilliance to try the Islamist crap in Japan, where foreigners stick out like a sore thumb.
Posted by: Fred || 12/30/2005 14:38 Comments || Top||

#6  They are Pakistanis after all

Posted by: Sholuting Jerong9172 || 12/30/2005 15:07 Comments || Top||

#7  doesn't help when you order the Karachi Roll at the Sushi bar
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 15:25 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Guantanamo hunger strikers double
The number of detainees taking part in a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has more than doubled in the past week, US authorities say. Some 84 prisoners are now refusing food, with 46 of them reported to have joined the protest on 25 December.

Human rights groups have challenged the US in the past over the number of detainees it says are refusing food and whether they have been force fed. Guantanamo spokesman Lt Col Jeremy Martin said: "The number of detainees involved in the current fast, which began on 8 August 2005, routinely fluctuates.

"On the anniversary of 11 September, the number of strikers spiked to 131. They steadily decreased over the weeks and months until 25 December, and then they spiked again."

In a statement, the army said it was providing appropriate nutrition through nasal tubes, a procedure that would be consistent with force feeding, our correspondent says.
As I recall from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, the Soviets had a simple way of handling hunger strikers: 1) they let you starve yourself to death 2) they made sure no one, no one, ever heard about it. Thus any moral claim was dismissed, since the world wouldn't know. And if the jailers wanted to help the process along, they'd make you mine coal for 12 hours a day while you held fast to your hunger strike. Not that the human rights lawyers currently complaining about our use of feeding tubes on these guys have any clue.
Lawyers for some of the detainees have said the hunger strikers are protesting against their continued detention without trial and against the conditions in which they are being held, he adds.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  they made sure no one, no one, ever heard about it.
this is key most definitely. We need to take the power away from them.
Posted by: Jan || 12/30/2005 0:05 Comments || Top||

#2  The number of detainees taking part in a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has more than doubled in the past week, US authorities say. Some 84 prisoners are now refusing food, with 46 of them reported to have joined the protest on 25 December.

Excellent! With any luck, there will be soon be vacancies to fill. :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/30/2005 0:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Time for a cookout!!

Pork ribs anyone?
Posted by: badanov || 12/30/2005 0:11 Comments || Top||

#4  "Hunger strikers double" sure..double over in agony for all I care.
Let em rot.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 12/30/2005 1:30 Comments || Top||

#5  I hope thats puree ham going down the feeding tubes..
Posted by: 3dc || 12/30/2005 3:00 Comments || Top||

#6  I hate to be pushy - but you gong to eat that honey-glazed chicken or not?
Posted by: Leon Clavin || 12/30/2005 6:50 Comments || Top||

#7  I would cook a big spread of all the foods that those pigs like and then would have a big feast with non strikers volunteers stuffing their faces up , with those appetizing foods , while those jerks watched . Kind of a "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" thing.
Posted by: Pescador || 12/30/2005 6:59 Comments || Top||

#8  3dc, that may not be a bad rumor to start...
Posted by: Ptah || 12/30/2005 8:09 Comments || Top||

#9  Breaking a hunger strike is not that hard. Close the place to visitors for a week, put the idiots in isolation and pump the smells of cooking goat and fish throughout the building. Then after three day of no food or water place food in each cell. They will eat, they are too weak not to. If not bring in the body bags.
Posted by: 49 pan || 12/30/2005 8:15 Comments || Top||

#10  Alright. Extra food we can send to Dafur.
Posted by: plainslow || 12/30/2005 8:26 Comments || Top||

#11  ..and then would have a big feast with non strikers volunteers stuffing their faces up , with those appetizing foods , while those jerks watched . Kind of a "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" thing.

Careful, the people at Asshol...er, Amnesty International won't like that.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/30/2005 14:22 Comments || Top||

#12  "The number of detainees taking part in a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has more than doubled in the past week"

And this is a problem because....?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 12/30/2005 20:06 Comments || Top||

#13  I just enjoyed grilled chicken, mozarella and tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette on a bed of lettace. My beverage of choice of sweet ice tea. I followed this with a piece chocolate cake with raspberry filling and cup of coffee.

At half-time I believe I will have some ice cream. Butter rum? Maybe something with pistachio?

Just my way of saying, I care.
Posted by: Florida Gators (DragonFly) || 12/30/2005 20:22 Comments || Top||

#14  RIP John C
Posted by: Red Dog || 12/30/2005 21:28 Comments || Top||

Bangalore attack masterminded from Bangladesh
There are definite indications of the involvement of terrorist outfits with roots in Bangladesh in the attack on the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at Bangalore on Wednesday night.
Mohammad Ibrahim, the Bangladeshi arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in connection with the blast in Hyderabad, had disclosed during interrogations that IT centres like Bangalore were on the hitlist of leading terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.

"The modus operandi of the terrorists who barged into the premises of IISc, outside the JN Tata Auditorium, more than suggests that it could have even been a fidayeen attack. The terrorists escaped since there was no retaliation from any quarter. These are tell-tale signs of Lashkar's involvement," said a senior Delhi Police official.

Initial investigations have hinted at the involvement of a four-member gang, which had executed the plan of attack, leaving a retired professor of IIT, Delhi, dead and four others wounded. Professor MC Puri's body was flown to the Capital on Thursday evening from Bangalore.

Though no terrorist outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack, the disclosure of Ibrahim clears the involvement of Lashkar indirectly with one of the Bangladeshi outfits.

Police officials here are of the opinion that Lashkar's offshoot Harkat-ul-Jihad was behind the killings as Ibrahim during his interrogations had specifically pointed out that Bangalore was the target for the next attack.

The blast at Hyderabad took place on October 12 last. "The attacks on two major metros are clear indication of Lashkar's growing tentacles in South India," said the officer and added: "These militants are trained by Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan and then sheltered in Bangladesh. Lashkar has been using Bangladeshi groups for striking in India and the alert given by intelligence agencies recently mentioned Bangalore and Hyderabad as the prime targets especially in context of the presence of American interests in the two city." "Both Hyderabad and Bangalore have more than 2,000 IT industries and they have been targeted because of increasing international trade of India, which Pakistan wants to neutralise," the officer added. Additionally Hyderabad is hosting the annual convention of Indian Science Congress in January.

NRIs are also meeting here in January for their annual Pravasi Bharat jamboree.

After the neutralisation of a sleeper cell of LeT in Delhi in March, the Delhi Police had repeatedly been sounding wake-up calls about plans of jihadi terrorists to target IT companies in Bangalore. Hoax calls to blow up IT companies in Bangalore since March have created an atmosphere of terror there.

The recent hoax message of an attempt by al Qaeda to blow up Parliament had also originated from Thirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. It is a hotbed of the activities of the Al Ummah, which had organised a number of serial blasts in Coimbatore in February 1998.

Following Wednesday's attack security has been beefed up in all the embassies, IT industries, government establishments, institutions, army establishments, public places and hotels in the capital and in all the metros.

The security officials are checking the railway stations in Delhi and all the vehicles entering the city from any of the route are going through tight vigil.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 00:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Taliban now rule over North Waziristan
Pakistani followers of Afghanistan's Taliban have gained sway in a sensitive border area where they have been killing their opponents with impunity despite the heavy presence of government forces.

The word of the militants, who call themselves Taliban, has virtually become law in parts of the semi-autonomous North Waziristan tribal area while the military appears loathe to intervene.

"The situation is no longer under their control," Rahimullah Yusufzai, a prominent journalist and expert on the region, said of the Pakistani army.

The government had "totally abdicated" its authority in North Waziristan, he said.

"It seems it's Taliban raj (rule) there."

Waziristan is part of Pakistan's tribal belt that stretches through rugged mountains and deserts along the Afghan border.

The latest violence follows a Dec. 1 blast in a house near the region's main town, Miranshah, where officials said an al Qaeda commander, Abu Hamza Rabia, and four others were killed,

Although Rabia's body was not found, authorities say he died when explosives at his hideout detonated accidentally. Villagers said the blast was caused by a missile from an aircraft, possibly a U.S. drone.

While there does not appear to be a direct link between Rabia's reported death and subsequent violence, the widespread belief that U.S. forces attacked Rabia has added to the tension, residents say.

Despite the militants' brazen killing of more than 20 rivals this month, the government says the situation is under control.

Authorities were "fully cognisant" of the situation, said military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan. "But at this moment, rather than taking hard military action, political developments are being allowed to take precedence."

The area's civil administrator, Zaheerul Islam, dismissed the violence as a tribal dispute. "The situation is under government control," he said.

Despite such assurances, law and order seem a long way off.

"Elements linked to al Qaeda rule the territory and not the Pakistan army," the Daily Times said in a recent editorial.

British colonial rulers gave the fiercely independent Pashtun tribes a large degree of autonomy, and administered the region through officials known as political agents.

Pakistan stuck with the system after independence.

But the Sept. 11 attacks and Pakistan's support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism and invasion of Afghanistan threw the traditional system into question.

Vowing to bring the area under the control of the government, the army sent in 70,000 troops but some analysts blame the violence on the army's intervention.

"The military has mishandled the situation," said analyst Ayaz Amir, a former army officer, diplomat and politician.

The army has made deals with some tribal leaders, while going after others seen as backing al Qaeda-linked militants.

"The result has been a lack of trust and the situation has deteriorated instead of improving," Amir said.

About 50 tribal leaders who supported the campaign against the militants have been killed, while the army seems no closer to imposing authority.

"In effect, the army is confined to fortified bases while the Taliban are filling the vacuum outside," Amir said.

The result has been brutal gun law.

The latest violence began on Dec. 6 with a clash between the militants and rivals led by tribal leader Hakim Khan, whose men, residents said, had adopted the common practice of extorting "taxes" from motorists.

Ten of Khan's men, branded bandits by the militants, were killed in the initial clash along with five militants whose comrades mutilated and strung up several bodies of their rivals, decapitating one and putting his head on a pole.

For days the militants drove around Miranshah brandishing weapons and hunting, killing and beheading several more rivals.

Emboldened, the militants have started appealing for funds they say they need to fight crime, a nervous resident said this week.

Sneering at laws against displaying weapons, the militants have been accorded authority by some people who have turned to them with complaints that should be dealt with by the administration, residents say.

Military spokesman Sultan said action would be taken if things got of hand but another officer said that wouldn't happen yet. "When two tribes are fighting we can't take sides," said the officer, who declined to be identified.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 00:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now that Uncle Sam has evicted the Taliban from Afghan soil, it's pretty funny that they have found a new home in Pakistan. Given that it was Pakistan's ISI that nurtured and nudged these guys to power in Afghanistan, I sure hope Pakistan's Taliban live long and prosper. (Of course, if they look like they might take power in Islamabad, Musharraf will just have to ask for either Indian or American assistance (probably American), and we will take care of his problem for him).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/30/2005 9:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Make no bones about it: we will eventually have to go in and clean out thsi vipers nest, either directly or covertly. To fail to do so will leave a "sanctuary" for terrorists to operate from, into Afghanistan and other areas.
Posted by: Oldspook || 12/30/2005 11:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Too bad the tribal leaders of these areas don't have internet (and could read)- otherwise they would realize that they had a pretty good gig going but those dag-burn Taliban are going to go and ruin it for them....just like they did in Afghanistan. Next thing you know - the "Tribal Leaders" are going to have to be pressing the flesh and the women are going to be winking at the cute boys.
Posted by: 2b || 12/30/2005 11:42 Comments || Top||

#4  OldSpook---Your statement is right on. ANY sanctuary is a problem for us. It is just another Jihadi Petri Dish™ where this disease can incubate. We have had to play footsie with the Paks for our logistical issues in Afghanistan. We are sure as hell not going to do a bunch of nation building in Pakistan---they are too screwed up and we have limited resources.

I do not have access to the necessary intel, but it seems to me that dealing with the funding sources quietly, up close and personal, would ease the pressure. The Saudi wahhabists finance madrassas and mosques all over the world. That is the training ground for future jihadis. The wahabbists also have their tentacles into every trouble spot with Muslims: Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, Chechyna, Iraq, you get the picture. I would Iran has funds going into that kind of mischief, too, witness Hizb'Allah and now Hamas is trying to jump on the bandwagon.

It would seem to me from my viewpoint down here in the dark with the mushrooms that we would get more bang for the buck if we just sit down and reason a bit with the financiers.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 12/30/2005 12:10 Comments || Top||

#5  Perhaps a matter of degrees, but the truth be told, the Taliban have basically owned NoWaz for over three years. It is believed that AQ is running training camps out of there.
Posted by: Captain America || 12/30/2005 12:13 Comments || Top||

#6  I agree with AP - it's time to take the fight to the Princelings who provide the support. Wetwork, one way trips for picnics in the desert, spontaneous combustion, alien abduction, I don't frigging care how. It's time to put fear in their little dishcloth and fanbelted heads that every time they ride in a car or walk on the street, it might be their last.
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 14:12 Comments || Top||

#7  Call them all to Waziland. Let them think they can get their sanctuary there. As I understand it is not a very large area. Fire up the satellites and once they are nice and comfortable send in one ODA with a satphone and laser designator.
Posted by: 49 pan || 12/30/2005 14:23 Comments || Top||

#8  The ISI and the Pak Army want this to be a nest of terrotists. Pakistan uses these people as agents of it's foreign and internal policies. Lots of lip service to being a supporter of the WoT but like Iran up to it's neck in involvement and support for terrorism and terrorist acts. As long as this is a fact India and Afganistan will pay the price. Iraq will too.
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 12/30/2005 15:57 Comments || Top||

#9  Talk about a game of "Whack a Mole".
Posted by: newc || 12/30/2005 16:39 Comments || Top||

US planning phased pull-out from Iraq
The U.S. will carry out planned withdrawals of American troops in Iraq only from regions where Iraqi forces can maintain security against the insurgents, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said Thursday.

Gen. Peter Pace said the current force of 160,000 would drop to below 138,000 by March, then U.S. commanders on the ground would work with the Iraqi government to determine the pace of future pullbacks in areas that have been secured by local security forces.

"The bottom line will be that the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police will gain in competence, that they will be able to take on more and more of the territory, whether or not there are still insurgents in that area," he said in an interview with a small group of reporters, including The Associated Press, aboard a military plane en route to the United Arab Emirates.

Amid congressional pressure and growing public opposition to the war, the Bush administration last week announced plans to reduce U.S. combat troops in Iraq to below the 138,000 level that prevailed most of this year.

The number of American forces in Iraq was raised to about 160,000 to provide extra security during the October referendum and December parliamentary elections, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said those extra troops would be leaving soon.

The exact size of the additional troops cuts has not been announced, but senior Pentagon officials have said the number of American troops in Iraq could drop to about 100,000 by next fall.

The decision where to cut troops "will be based on the Iraqi units in that area and the threat that exists in that area," Pace said earlier at a news conference in Bahrain.

The key, he stressed, "is the Iraqis' ability to control that area."

Pace has said American units will steadily hand off more security duties in the coming months to Iraqi forces and stressed the U.S. military needs to be flexible, but his comments offered a detailed glimpse of the administration's plans.

Pace's tour of the region came two weeks after Dec. 15 Iraqi parliament elections, which the United States considered a key step toward stability that could allow a drawdown of troops.

But violence has not stopped in Iraq. On Thursday, gunmen killed 12 members of an extended Shiite Family south off Baghdad and a suicide bomber killed a policeman in the capital.

Complaints by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups of widespread fraud and intimidation during the vote also have threatened to spark a serious crisis that could set back hopes for a broad-based government that could have the legitimacy necessary to diminish the insurgency - a key part of any U.S. military exit strategy from Iraq.

Pace said efforts were under way to recruit Sunnis into the Iraqi security forces, "especially on the officers' side."

Pace, who was making his first official visit to the region since becoming the first Marine to be named chairman of the joint chiefs of staff three months ago, said the withdrawals of two brigades in the coming months would provide a test for the decision to pull out troops.

"We are going to have to watch how these drawdowns go to see if we have judged it properly," he said.

Pace, who was traveling with his wife, Lynne, and a group of entertainers to offer holiday cheer to U.S. troops in the region, began his weeklong trip Wednesday in Qatar. He also planned stops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the East African nation of Djibouti.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 01:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So the Dims won?

Waitaminute! This is what W has been saying all along! But it's trumpeted as "news".

Maybe next year more common sense will return to the media?
Posted by: Bobby || 12/30/2005 1:21 Comments || Top||

#2  The answer Bobby is "non".
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 12/30/2005 1:42 Comments || Top||

#3  The question that I'm interested in is.
How long after the last US soldier leaves before the Iraqi gov announces a weapons for oil deal with China?
Posted by: gromgoru || 12/30/2005 6:09 Comments || Top||

#4  This was mentioned on one of the local TV newscasts last night.

I wonder what makes this "news", when a gradual of our troop strength has basically been the plan all along?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/30/2005 10:03 Comments || Top||

#5  This is news because the MSM is getting ready to give Kennedy, Kerry, Muthra(sp?), Shithan, etc... credit for the withdrawl (over white house objections...)

Even though this was the plan from day 1.

And after Iraq survives without US troops they will give the above the credit for that as well (and they will suck it up for all its worth - "I was for the war before I was against it before I was for it..."
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/30/2005 10:18 Comments || Top||

#6  Crazy Fool:

I suggest you go back and read paragraph#4 of
the original article.

You telling me that Congressional Republicans up for midterm elections in 2006 are not part of that
"congressional pressure"?
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 10:55 Comments || Top||

#7  Actually the article is fundamentally misleading.

Iraq has stabilized to where it does not need as many troops, and its troops are taing over (and have done so in wide swaths).

These were the preconditions for a drawdon that were detaield a long time ago.

The only reason this is "news" is because of the incredible (biased) lack of recall amongst the mainstream press. They seem ot think that Bush was planning to keep 130K troops there forever. Just like they misstated a whole pile of things in other ares. A lie repeated ofent enough will become "the truth" for ignorant people.

Himmler would be proud of the Dims and their allies in the press; they have mastered one of his best protocols.
Posted by: Oldspook || 12/30/2005 11:24 Comments || Top||

#8  Cassini,
I'm not saying it. I'm saying that the MSM will spin this as an 'anti-war' (Democrat or Repub) victory and a 'defeat' for the White House.

Just as they overlook the fact that a phased pullout (when Iraq was ready for it) was in the plan all along. They will spin this such that following the original plan is some sort of 'new direction' forced on the WH by congress.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/30/2005 11:28 Comments || Top||

#9  The thing is, this has been the policy all along. Bush and the Generals have been saying this since we got there. Why is the press spinning this so hard? Bias perhaps?

From General Pace:

The decision where to cut troops "will be based on the Iraqi units in that area and the threat that exists in that area," Pace said earlier at a news conference in Bahrain.

The key, he stressed, "is the Iraqis' ability to control that area."
Posted by: Oldspook || 12/30/2005 11:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Crazy Fool:

First of all, I dont buy this repeated mantra by repubs/cons that the so-called MSM has some "liberal biased" vendetta against the Bush administration to deliberately slant the news in a negative way against them.

Certainly a "phased pullout" was always in Bush's plans for Iraq, however I do believe that his open ended "stay the course" mantra meant:

"I'll make the call whenever I get ready to, because I am the commander in cheif."

I most definitely believe that President Bush and his administration capitulalted to public pressure from Congress and growing public opposition to the war. Both were demanding some form of specifics on his Iraq plan and I think they are now getting it. Whether or not it's for partisan political advantage is the question.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 11:44 Comments || Top||

#11  First of all, I dont buy this repeated mantra by repubs/cons that the so-called MSM has some "liberal biased" vendetta against the Bush administration to deliberately slant the news in a negative way against them.

If you don't think the MSM (Old Media)is biased you're from another planet. The biggest loser of 2005, and for the last 5 years, is the Old Media. They have been exposed and they're pissed about it. Nobody believes a damn word they say anymore. They are nothing more than the media wing of the Democratic Party. The funny thing is that they are still in denial about it. It's kinda pathetic really. Their game couldn't go on forever tho. Thank God for Blogs like this, talk radio and Fox news.
Posted by: Intrinsicpilot || 12/30/2005 12:00 Comments || Top||

#12  They are nothing more than the media wing of the Democratic Party.

That pretty much sums it up.
Posted by: Crusader || 12/30/2005 12:06 Comments || Top||

#13  Intrinsicpilot,

"If you don't think the MSM (Old Media)is biased you're from another planet."

Quite, espcially after the recent UCLA study:

"While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

These are just a few of the surprising findings from a UCLA-led study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly.

"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

"Overall, the major media outlets are quite moderate compared to members of Congress, but even so, there is a quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left," said co‑author Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri economist and public policy scholar.

The results appear in the latest issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which will become available in
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 12:07 Comments || Top||

#14  "especially"
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 12:08 Comments || Top||

#15  Intrinsicpilot:

I'm sorry sir, but I simply dont buy it. the only people i hear repeating this mantra are right wing repubs/cons.

Everytime President Bush or Republicans do or say something that causes them negative publicity or counter-reaction, it's always the fault of the "liberally biased msm" reporting. It never has anything to do with the statements, actions or policies of the Bush/Repubs. When these controversies start, i say "consider the source".
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 12:09 Comments || Top||

#16  As we see what a vomit-brained fool Cassini is...
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 12:15 Comments || Top||

#17  The phase out has been foretold even before the invasion. Besides, the next stop is Iran.
Posted by: Captain America || 12/30/2005 12:16 Comments || Top||

#18  And our fine institutions are producing more:

"Nov, 2005 U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES - Democrat professors outnumber Republicans 13-to-1 at the University of Southern California School of Journalism and 8-to-1 at the USC Gould School of Law, according to a recent study conducted by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

The Democrat to Republican faculty ratio is 6-to-1 at American journalism schools and 8-to-1 at law schools, according to the study.

The study, conducted by conservative David Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, analyzed the political affiliations of the faculty at 18 elite journalism and law schools by checking their party registration and voting records."

Every time a study has been done about MSM journalists and their party affiliation it always shows a similar pattern. Roughly 90% are Dems. Facts are a real bitch huh?
Posted by: Intrinsicpilot || 12/30/2005 12:22 Comments || Top||

#19  Ernest Brown:

Withe all due respect. There are millions of people who think like I do, we are called Democrats. We think that "liberal media bias" is a "myth", that repubs/cons use as an "excuse" when their policies and statements produce negative reactions from the american public. We believe that repubs/cons only want want "favorable" news reported about their politicians and seek to censure the press.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 12:22 Comments || Top||

#20  First of all, I dont buy this repeated mantra by repubs/cons that the so-called MSM has some "liberal biased" vendetta against the Bush administration to deliberately slant the news in a negative way against them.

How long of a list would you like in response to this incorrect statement?

When these controversies start, i say "consider the source".

Um, that's the whole point of our argument, isn't it?
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 12:24 Comments || Top||

#21  And your insane delusions are refuted by reality yet again. Do you think that the UCLA Poly Sci department is mind-controlled by Rove and Halliburton?
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 12:25 Comments || Top||

#22  Sorry Cassini. I remember the antics of the MSM during the last election. Rather's attempt to sway the election with the fabricated national guard story (Dan, BTW, is a professional journalist - he couldn't have been stupid enough to fall for a simple MS-Word forgey).

I see the current media completely ignoring any progress in Iraq (of which, according to the blogs, there are many) - the rebuild schools / hospitals / etc... , the restored power / water, or almost any 'good' news to focus on the 'body bag count' and the explosions.

I see the tunnel-vision of the MSM on Plumegate and willful ignorance (or glossing-over) of Burger theft and destruction of secret documents. I see the NYT releasing classified material to advance their 'liberal' slant. Their outright misrepresentation of a Dead soldier's 'last words' to his family.

Yes, the media is biased. In fact I would say some of them on actively and knowingly on the other side,.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/30/2005 12:26 Comments || Top||

#23  Sorry to go off topic. Just had to respond. I wholeheartedly agree with CA. The next big story is Iran. I don't see how definitive action from the US, Israel or both isn't coming. Perhaps the headline should read "US planning phased pull-out from Iraq - Troops to set up new bases in Tehran"
Posted by: Intrinsicpilot || 12/30/2005 12:28 Comments || Top||

#24  Dammit Earnest! That's classifed! Who do you think you are? The New York Times?
Posted by: Haliburton Mind-Control Division || 12/30/2005 12:29 Comments || Top||

#25  Cassini, y9u idiot - consider the source: a UCLA study. Not exactly a redneck conservative institution frm the Southeast.

It was a scholatic study and well done.

No consider yourself gobsmacked and try learnign instead of the usual liberal pouting and spouting. Thats why you guys are losing: you cannot face reality and admit your biases. Its a psychoses of some sort with your type.
Posted by: Oldspook || 12/30/2005 12:32 Comments || Top||

#26  I would say MOST of the BBC are actively and knowingly on the other side.

Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 12/30/2005 12:32 Comments || Top||

#27  Ernest Brown:

Prove that their is a "formal" agreement between the Democratic Party and the so-called MSM to deliberately negatively slant the news against President Bush and Republicans.

Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 12:33 Comments || Top||

#28  The Liberal Media: Every Poll Shows Journalists Are More Liberal than the American Public — And the Public Knows It
Nine Out of Ten Reporters
Picked Clinton in 1992
.........Journalists Voters

Other historical data at the link. I also recall that in the 2004 elections, Washington DC based journalists voted 93% for Kerry.
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 12:36 Comments || Top||

#29  Cassini,

Boy, you really are an idiot if you expect me to fall for that goalpost-moving idiocy. I leave the deliberate conspiracy theories about top-hatted vampires at the TIMES to Chomsky and his Holocaust Denier Inc. buddies, since like-mindedness is more than sufficient to explain what is going on. There is ample proof of Bernard Goldberg's -bias- thesis, the UCLA study just re-iterates it.
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 12:38 Comments || Top||

#30  Ernest Brown:

I asked you a simple question, why dont you answer it.The items you listed are not proof.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 12:40 Comments || Top||

#31  Cassini is swilling from a goat bladder full of Kool-Aid, and as such is probably a lost cause.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 12/30/2005 12:42 Comments || Top||

#32  This assumes the Iranians don't intervene in a big way.

One of the Iraqi bloggers claims there are already 1,200+ Iranian IRGC and spies in Iraqi prisons.

Posted by: Frozen Al || 12/30/2005 12:44 Comments || Top||

#33  Rex Mundi:

Funny, democrats think the same thing about republicans..your paranoia is quite telling..

"Everybody is out to get us..!!!lol
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 12:44 Comments || Top||

#34  From Today's Boston Globe:

Example One, a story on the Justice Dept. (finally) probing the leaks on domestic spying. By my count, half the paragraphs are phrased negatively against bush (i.e, 'Administration officials insisted', etc.) and even worked in two paragraphs about the Valerie Plamre case, which has absolutely nothing to do with the story in question.

Example Two, Long Gas Lines in Baghdad, attacks kill six (if it bleeds, it leads). Surprisingly, President Bush was not mentioned in the article.

Example Three - Democrats seek 'data' on Romney. Even before he announces his candidacy for President, the Democrats are digging for dirt on Romney (good luck). The majority of paragraphs are from Democrats, with a few token paragraphs from Romney's people.

Feel free to show some examples of conservative media bias.
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 12:45 Comments || Top||

#35  From the above link:
The Media Elite, 3-to-1 Liberal: Lichter and Rothman’s Media Elite surveys were conducted shortly after Hess’s; they, too, showed top reporters disproportionately described themselves as liberals. According to the authors, “a majority [of leading journalists] see themselves as liberals. Fifty-four percent place themselves to the left of center, compared to only 17 percent who choose the right side of the spectrum....When
they rate their fellow workers, an even greater difference emerges. Fifty-six percent say the people they work with are mostly on the Left, and only eight percent place their co-workers on the Right — a margin of seven to one.”
Americans’ perception of the national media as too biased and too liberal have grown significantly over the past two decades. In less than twenty years, since the 1985 Times Mirror polls began routinely assessing the public’s perceptions of the national media, the percentage of Americans who perceive a liberal bias has doubled from 22 percent to 45 percent, nearly half the adult population. Even Democrats now generally regard the press as a liberal entity.
Three Times More See Liberal Bias than Conservative Tilt: A Gallup poll conducted in February 2003 asked whether, “In general, do you think the news media are — too liberal, just about right, or too conservative?” As the other polls had discovered, far more respondents identified liberal bias as the problem (45 percent) as worried about a conservative tilt (15 percent), while just 36 percent said coverage was about right.

Plurality of Democrats See Liberal Bias: In a July 2003 survey, Pew found that twice as many Americans (51 percent) believed news organizations have a liberal bias than a conservative bias (26 percent). Not only did a majority of Republicans and independents hold this view, but a plurality of Democrats (41 percent) thought the media had a liberal bias, compared with 33 percent of Democrats who saw a conservative bias.

Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 12:46 Comments || Top||

#36  I am sorry Cassini but your a F*cking idiot, where is Aris at least he is intelligent.
Posted by: djohn66 || 12/30/2005 12:49 Comments || Top||

#37  probably? loser from the start...
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 12:49 Comments || Top||

#38  To expand on Example Two, the overwhelming majority of stories from Iraq are of the '(insert number here, any number will do) Iraqis / U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq' variety. Over time this gives the impression that our military is losing the war, which reinforces the Democrat / MSM press (to the extent they can be differentiated) desire to cut and run 'bring our troops home'.
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 12:52 Comments || Top||

#39  A question for all the repubs/cons in here on "liberal media bias"

So what all of you are saying is that:

The statements, actions or policies of President
Bush have absolutely nothing to do with the negative reactions/criticism of the american public. It's all the fault of negative media

Do you agree or disagree?
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 12:52 Comments || Top||

#40  Cassini -

1) I basically answered that in my last post.

2) Who broke the story on Clinton's adultrey with Lewinsky? Was it:

a) The New York Times;
b) The Washington Post;
c) Newsweek;
d) Time Magazine;
e) The Los Angeles Times;
f) The Boston Globe;
g) The Drudge Report?
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 12:56 Comments || Top||

#41  Paranoia? WTF? Are you capable of stringing together any rational thought at all?
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 12/30/2005 12:58 Comments || Top||

#42  Cassini: Who gave a fawning interview with the Clintons after Gennifer Flowers admitted an affair with Bill Clinton? Was it:

a) Washington Times;
b) Boston Herald;
c) Manchester Union Leader;
d) Fox News, or
e) 60 Minutes?
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 12:59 Comments || Top||

#43  Oh, do I really need to bring up Dan Rather and Mary Mapes? You do know what I'm talking about, right?
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 13:01 Comments || Top||

#44  Cassini, you ought to be damned grateful for the autonomic nervous system; without it, you'd be too fucking stupid to breathe.
Posted by: Dave D. || 12/30/2005 13:01 Comments || Top||

#45  OS,
Himmler would have only been proud if the Dems stood up the gas chambers and started gassing all of us on the right. Goebbles is the one that wrote the playbook on propaganda that the Dems are using.
Posted by: 49 pan || 12/30/2005 13:05 Comments || Top||

#46  Cassini, you're a tool. You've been given ample objective data (including the UCLA study) and your rebuttal amounts to "Nuh-uh".
Posted by: Crusader || 12/30/2005 13:05 Comments || Top||

#47  I asked two simple questions and I still havent got a straight answer. So, I'll ask them again.

1. Prove that their is a "formal" agreement between the so-called msm and the democratic party to deliberately slant the news against
repubs/cons negatively.

2.Prove that the statements, actions and policies
of President Bush have nothing with the negative reactions they foster.

I'm sorry but polls or opinion, book, etc dont answer these questions...

If so show proof.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 13:18 Comments || Top||

#48  I'm sorry but polls or opinion, book, etc dont answer these questions...
Yes they do - you just don't like the answers.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 12/30/2005 13:23 Comments || Top||

#49  Cassini, The MSM is attempting to do today what they did during the Vietnam war - in short they are trying to turn the WOT into a Vietnam quagmire while in fact it is anything but. Turn a great victory (the Tet offensive for example) into a great military defeat (as reported by Cronkite and others during Vietnam - now by CNN/BBC/ABC/CBS/etc.... ).

We (or I - I can't speak for everyone here :) are not saying that the negative polls (some of which can be questionable IMHO) are solely the fault of the negative reporting - but the purely negative reporing has an siginifican impact on the public's perception.

If the media was balanced and reporting both sides of the war (not just the negative) I dont think the numbers would be negative.

A prime example is the MSM coverage of the recent election - or lack thereof. A three-day stint by some malcontents in a prison (which, BTW, was already being investigated) dominated the news for over year while millions of purple-fingered Iraqis participating in their first democratic parlimentry election in history only gets barely a passing mention (while reporting the latest body-bag count.)
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/30/2005 13:26 Comments || Top||

#50  There is no need to postulate a "formal" agreement between the Democrats and the MSM to say that the latter is -biased- in the DEMOCRATS favor, Moronicus Rex, King of Idiots.

We leave that idiotic media conspiracy theorizing to degraded filth like Chomsky. It is a simple fact that Bernard Goldberg is correct, the media is biased against Republicans/conservatives -without- there being an overarching conspiracy with secret handshakes and jejune initiation ceremonies. Once again, like-mindedness is sufficient to explain this to anyone with a single firing gial cell, unlike you.
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 13:29 Comments || Top||

#51  Then youre not really reading what the repubs/cons in here are saying.

What they are saying is that the so-called MSM
has a vendetta against President Bush/Republicans and some sort of formal agreement with the Democratic Party to "deliberately" slant the news coverage against them. They are also saying that the policies, statements or actions of Pres.Bush have "absolutely nothing" to do with negative reactions or criticisms they foster.

To me this is absolute nonsense and a a bunch of lame excuses.

I ask them to prove it and all they can come up with is polls, opinion pieces, books, & insults etc, that prove nothing that i asked.
Posted by: Crazy Fool || 12/30/2005 13:36 Comments || Top||

#52  1. Prove that their is a "formal" agreement between the so-called msm and the democratic party to deliberately slant the news against
repubs/cons negatively.

Why is it necessary to prove a formal relationship when an informal one has been so readily established? George Stephanopolous used to work for Clinton; now he hosts a Sunday talking heads show. Same with Tim Russert; he used to work for Tip O'Neill. Chris Matthews wrote speeches for Jimmy Carter. Shall I continue?

Your insistence on a formal arrangement between the two entities looks like a strawman argument.

2.Prove that the statements, actions and policies of President Bush have nothing with the negative reactions they foster.

Maybe I wasn't clear on this point. When the MSM / press run a unrelenting barrage of negative stories on Bush and his administration, public opinion will eventually turn against Bush in the absence of positive stories (from Fox News, blogs, etc.) or a pushback by the Administration. Do you remember what happened to Churchill?

You may not have noticed a recent increase in Bush's ratings since he started pushing back at his critics last month, but I have.
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 13:36 Comments || Top||

#53  Oh, that last point is called 'cause and effect'. If that is not sufficient 'proof' for you, then nothing is.
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 13:39 Comments || Top||

#54  Where has anyone here made the claim that there is such a "formal" organized push?


That's completely different from saying that SOME members of the MSM conspired with Bush haters to push lies, (cf. Gunga Dan and the Guard forgeries) but no one in this thread is saying that there is an over-arching "formal" conspiracy between the MSM and the Dems in order for there to be media bias, just like-mindedness.
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 13:44 Comments || Top||

#55  "I'm sorry..."

boy, you sure are...

"...but polls or opinion, book, etc dont answer these questions..."

A properly-conducted and peer-reviewed scientific study done by left/liberal professors -does- answer the question, you mucous-brained willful idiot. Stop with the strawman arguments and learn to THINK for once in your misbegotten partisan life.
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 12/30/2005 13:50 Comments || Top||

#56  . Prove that their is a "formal" agreement between the so-called msm and the democratic party to deliberately slant the news against
repubs/cons negatively.

You disprove that Their is not one.
Posted by: Leon Clavin || 12/30/2005 13:54 Comments || Top||

#57  don't let the Cassini/Left Angle/NMM.... troll catch you up in a game of technicalities. It's like arguing with a moron...actually, it is EXACTLY like ...
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 13:54 Comments || Top||

#58  Gotta love it when they want 'proof'. Proof is a judgements based on the facts presented. Facts were presented, but Cassini was unwilling to accept facts.
Posted by: Brett || 12/30/2005 14:01 Comments || Top||

#59  Yur rite Frank. I dunno what happened. It's too early for NMM tho, unless she got laid. Off.
Posted by: Leon Clavin || 12/30/2005 14:02 Comments || Top||

#60  You repub/con guys are too funny..Really you crack me up.

Liberal media bias is no more than a lame excuse for republicans when their policies fail and they generate their own negative publicity thru their own actions or statements.

The problem is that you DONT WANT IT REPORTED when it happens because it reflects badly on President Bush & co. ...THAT is the problem..lmao

The majority of democrats and republicans have a big difference of opinion on this subject. I have seen nothing in here to change my mind or for that matter any democrat.

We agree to disagree. I'm done. lol
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 14:04 Comments || Top||

#61  Ernest Brown:

A question for you:

How many people did that USC study interview?
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 14:09 Comments || Top||

#62  I'm sorry sir, but I simply dont buy it. the only people i hear repeating this mantra are right wing repubs/cons.

Thank you for providing me with The Laugh of the Day™.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/30/2005 14:09 Comments || Top||

#63  From the link I gave earlier: The most exhaustive study of journalists attitudes on specific policy issues was the poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times in 1985, which asked a series of identical questions to more than 3,000 reporters and editors and nearly 3,000 members of the general public.
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 14:12 Comments || Top||

#64  bomb-a-rama:

Same thing I said about post#12.lol
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 14:14 Comments || Top||

#65  I'm done.

You haven't even left the starting gate.

From the link I gave earlier:

Why bother? These things are only being heard coming from right-wingers, so it has to be all bullshit.

The next claim will probably be that the study was totally conducted and funded by right-wingers somehow....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/30/2005 14:19 Comments || Top||

#66  repubs/cons: A last question..

Lets say that there is a vendetta by the "liberal media press" to deliberately slant the news in a negative way against President Bush and the Republicans.

Are you saying that the average american is not able to discern this and explain how it affects or changes the way they vote?

Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 14:20 Comments || Top||

#67  This is not news, it spin.

But news is no longer the business of the MSM is it?

Info-tainment is.

Posted by: ElvisHasLeftTheBuilding || 12/30/2005 14:38 Comments || Top||

#68  Cassini - I take it you found my arguments unpersuasive.

And it was a UCLA study, not USC.

Kindly do a better job of commanding the subject matter.
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 14:38 Comments || Top||

#69  Cassini,
There is no "secret" pact between journalists and the Democratic party. Nor is there a "vendeta". There is a political and philosophical alignment between the vast majority of journalists (esp. the Washington DC press corps at 90+%) and the left wing of the Democratic party. The news you read or see on the TV is filtered through those journalists biases. Most Americans (as study after study has shown) detect an increasing amount of it and are tuning out or seeking additional sources.
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 14:38 Comments || Top||

#70  No bias here, right?

Bush grants pardons less than predecessors

By Judy Keen, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Bush demonstrated again this month that penitent lawbreakers have little chance of gaining a pardon unless their crimes were non-violent and occurred years before he took office. Political connections probably aren't much help, but Texans seem to have a bit of an advantage.

Cassini, that's not a news item (as advertised), it's a god damned editorial. And that's just the first paragraph!

How much more proof do you need?
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 14:42 Comments || Top||

#71  Ok, so who the hell stole my tagline (CrazyFool) in comment #51? You can tell because I dont place a space between Crazy and Fool - so inept that they can't even steal a name.....

Looks like Cassini is attempting to impersonate me (as far as I can tell he is the only one asking for proof).
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/30/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#72  If Cassini found the Dan Rather and Mary Mapes' example as 'right-wing / neocon spin', I for one won't bother responding anymore on this thread. That, and his USC gaffe, are clear indicators that he is not giving our aguments / proofs of concept even a cursory consideration.

He asks for proof, and then blithely dismisses it all with a haughty wave of the hand. That's dishonest, to say the least
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#73  How much more proof do you need?

For anyone deep into Lefty-flavored Kool-Aid, there will never be enough.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/30/2005 14:53 Comments || Top||

#74  Let's pin you down on this, Cassini - were the Texas Air National Guard documents used in the Dan Rather story real, or were they forgeries?
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 14:54 Comments || Top||

#75  You're right, BAR - to ask the question is to answer it.

Calling Dr. Cassini...
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 14:55 Comments || Top||

#76  I asked a question in post#66, will any of you
repubs/cons answer it?

I think its really a very easy question for you guys to answer.

You know, I came over here from msn slate's ballot box forum because lately there are mostly
libs/dems over there and its like talking to myself because we all have similar views. I dont
know if you all are familiar with another site call Polipundit but this site reminds me a lot of that one, lots of repubs/cons in there.

I have a challenge for the repubs/cons in here. If you think that my views are so out of the mainstream go over to Slate's Ballot Box forum and you'll have some real fun and I'm going to invite some them over here to mix it up.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 15:07 Comments || Top||

#77  That is sooo thoughtful, Cassini. Have you ever been to democraticunderground.com? Try it. I, and I assume most Rantburgers, find the moonbat quotient to be hilariously high there.

One of the main reasons I like this site is because the comments can be very informative and insightful as there are many knowledgable folks who post here.
Posted by: Brett || 12/30/2005 15:15 Comments || Top||

#78  Let me qualify, "Nor is there a "vendeta"." In the case of the Dan Rather - Mary Mapes fake TANG story, there was an vendetta to smear the president just before an election. They were so blinded by their hatred that they went as far as to dismiss their own document experts who warned that the docs were forgeries, one that was picked up immediately by the viewing audience. In this case, it was a TX Democratic Party operative (Bill Burkett) who steered 60 Minutes to Barnett and the forgeries. So would this case meet the criteria for Cassini's "formal agreement" between Dan Rather - Mary Mapes and the Domocratic Party?
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 15:16 Comments || Top||

#79  The Wall Street Journal Responds to the Dubious Ucla Report...

View Forum Post
Topic: Miscellaneous items
Date/Time: 12/21/2005 10:08:58 AM
Title: Dow Jones responds to media bias "study"
Posted By: Jim Romenesko

Dow Jones responds to UCLA media bias "study"

Statement by a spokesman for Dow Jones and Co.:

The Wall Street Journal's news coverage is relentlessly neutral. Of that, we are confident.

By contrast, the research technique used in this study hardly inspires confidence. In fact, it is logically suspect and simply baffling in some of its details.

First, its measure of media bias consists entirely of counting the number of mentions of, or quotes from, various think tanks that the researchers determine to be "liberal" or “conservative." By this logic, a mention of Al Qaeda in a story suggests the newspaper endorses its views, which is obviously not the case. And if a think tank is explicitly labeled “liberal” or “conservative” within a story to provide context to readers, that example doesn’t count at all. The researchers simply threw out such mentions.

Second, the universe of think tanks and policy groups in the study hardly covers the universe of institutions with which Wall Street Journal reporters come into contact. What are we to make of the validity of a list of important policy groups that doesn’t include, say, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the AFL-CIO or the Concord Coalition, but that does include People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals? Moreover, the ranking the study gives to some of the groups on the list is simply bizarre. How seriously are we to take a system that ranks the American Civil Liberties Union slightly to the right of center, and that ranks the RAND Corp. as more liberal than Amnesty International? Indeed, the more frequently a media outlet quotes the ACLU in this study, the more conservative its alleged bias.

Third, the reader of this report has to travel all the way Table III on page 57 to discover that the researchers’ "study" of the content of The Wall Street Journal covers exactly FOUR MONTHS in 2002, while the period examined for CBS News covers more than 12 years, and National Public Radio’s content is examined for more than 11 years. This huge analytical flaw results in an assessment based on comparative citings during vastly differing time periods, when the relative newsworthiness of various institutions could vary widely. Thus, Time magazine is “studied” for about two years, while U.S. News and World Report is examined for eight years. Indeed, the periods of time covered for the Journal, the Washington Post and the Washington Times are so brief that as to suggest that they were simply thrown into the mix as an afterthought. Yet the researchers provide those findings the same weight as all the others, without bothering to explain that in any meaningful way to the study’s readers.

Suffice it to say that “research” of this variety would be unlikely to warrant a mention at all in any Wall Street Journal story.

Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 15:22 Comments || Top||

#80  " I asked a question in post#66, will any of you repubs/cons answer it?"

Sure. You asked:

"Are you saying that the average american is not able to discern this and explain how it affects or changes the way they vote? "

I don't see anybody saying that. If anything, the message here is that the average American IS able to discern it, and is doing so more and more. Circulation at major liberal newspapers is down, and so is viewership of the network TV "news" programs. Hint: there's a connection there.

As for how it affects people's voting, you might want to note that in the last decade the Democratic Party has lost leadership of both the House and the Senate, and has lost the Presidency twice to George W. Bush.

Says something, doesn't it?

Cassini, I don't know what you're using for a brain, but if you don't stop yanking on it you're gonna grow hair on your palms.
Posted by: Dave D. || 12/30/2005 15:23 Comments || Top||

#81  Are you saying that the average american is not able to discern this and explain how it affects or changes the way they vote?
Yeah. And Bush won last election if I'm not mistaken.
Posted by: plainslow || 12/30/2005 15:32 Comments || Top||

#82  The Wall Street Journal's news coverage is relentlessly neutral. Of that, we are confident.

So Cassini agrees the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Pages are relentlessly neutral. Or does Cassini suspect some bias in that statement?
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 15:34 Comments || Top||

#83  Dave D.

I dont see you as a political science genius either, to say the least.

That is not what the repubs/cons in here are saying. They are saying that the so-called
msm have a vendetta against President Bush and a formal agreement with democrats to deliberately slant the news negatively against him and the republican party.

Politics happens in cycles. You seem to forget that former President Clinton twice defeated
Republicans held the white house for eight years
and during his second term democrats I believe, held all three major facets of the government as the repubs do now. So by no means is what's currently happening for republicans permanent.

your comment on how it's affecting peoples voting is speculation, not a fact. use YOUR brain, dude.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 15:40 Comments || Top||

#84  I **DO** use my brain; that's why I'm no longer a Democrat.
Posted by: Dave D. || 12/30/2005 15:42 Comments || Top||

#85  ED:

No, I agree with the WSJ's assessment of the UCLA report on "Media Bias".

Thats exactly why I dismissed it when the repubs/cons in here tried to use it as proof.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 15:43 Comments || Top||

#86  Cassini is living in Oz. He is the Scarecrow and he is there to ask the Wizard for a brain.
Posted by: Hank || 12/30/2005 15:44 Comments || Top||

#87  Dave D.

Touche' ok that pretty good..lol

youre like Anakin Skywalker...
YOU went over to the DARK SIDE..LMAO
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 15:46 Comments || Top||

#88  Cassini - I asked a question in #74; will you answer it?
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 15:54 Comments || Top||



do something other than discussing politics..
think about it..most all of the politicians we discuss in these forums republican or democrats are millionaires.
Posted by: Cassini || 12/30/2005 15:55 Comments || Top||

#90  That is not what the repubs/cons in here are saying. They are saying that the so-called
msm have a vendetta against President Bush and a formal agreement with democrats to deliberately slant the news negatively against him and the republican party.

Cassini, I did a search of this thread and you were the first to mention a "vendetta" or "formal agreement". Those are your words. What most of the posters are saying that there is a demonstrated bias among journalists for the Democtatic Party. i refer you to the Media Elite’s
Presidential Voting Record: pg 3
. It is hardly representative of the American norm. I would find it very difficult to find any other group so skewed, including ex-cons.

In addition, the table on page 9, shows you just how to the left the press is on public policy issues wrt to American public. In the intervening years, all studies have shown the press-public gap widening even more.

BTW, didn't you detect any bias during Clinton's impeachment for perjury when the media was hysterically spinning it a private matter between a president and his intern, instead of perjury by a serial sexual harasser?
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 15:57 Comments || Top||

#91  Cassini - if you don't want to answer my question in #74, then just say so. It's much more honest to do that than to say 'ta ta, little ones - I'm off to price some Volvos!'
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 16:02 Comments || Top||

#92  No Cassini. That was not the I asked. Do you believe the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Pages are relentlessly neutral or was there bias when an opionion page writer was defending the credibility of his paper's business reporting? Can't have it both ways, Cassini.
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 16:03 Comments || Top||

#93  Link hosed. Media Elite’s Presidential Voting Record: pg 3
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 16:05 Comments || Top||

#94  They are saying that the so-called
msm have a vendetta against President Bush and a formal agreement with democrats to deliberately slant the news negatively against him and the republican party.

The only person blathering about a "formal agreement" is yourself; claiming that is the argument others are making is due either to your unwillingness to understand the argument or a deliberate lie.

The slanting of the news, BTW, is obvious. Compare the economic reporting from the Clinton years with the economic reporting from the Bush years. Record productivity, years of growth, and what the Clintons called full unemployment is ignored or actually reported as bad.

Look at the reporting about Hurricane Katrina; the reality is the response was faster than previous responses, yet the press claims it was slower. The problems in New Orleans are the results of incompetent local and state administration; contrast the responses in Mississippi and Alabama
where the main force of the storm hit.

(I know of a Katrina-related scandal that will never happen, a news story that could make a reporter's career. But I know it will never, ever, get reported, because it makes a Democrat look bad.)

Then there's the TANG story. Anyone with any sense was able to spot those as fakes, and their hired experts even warned them away -- but CBS went with the story anyway. The reason they ran it is they believed it regardless of the evidence; their biases simply did not allow them to consider the possibility they were wrong.

Finally, back to the story that started this. The spin is planted in this paragraph:

Amid congressional pressure and growing public opposition to the war, the Bush administration last week announced plans to reduce U.S. combat troops in Iraq to below the 138,000 level that prevailed most of this year.

The "congressional pressure" doesn't exist; Congress has held multiple votes on the matter, and they've always come out against immediate withdraw. The "growing public opposition" is a cute phrasing -- if the opposition had gone from 1% to 2%, they would have said it had "double". If the numbers have gone from 30% to 33% and they can call it "growing opposition".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/30/2005 16:07 Comments || Top||

#95  Yeah, you repubs/cons, prove that there was a formal agreement between the PRC and the US to stalemate the Soviet Union during the cold war. Oh wait there wasn't one. Then prove that there is a formal agreement between the US and Japan for Japan to invest in the US if the US buys its consumer products. Crap, another bad example. I got it! Prove that there was a formal agreement between Franco and the Brits to not allow the Nazis to use Spain as a base against the Allies during WWII! Um, well, the Brits informally bribed Franco with a few metric tons of gold to close that deal. I guess I'll just go away now...
Posted by: Huygens || 12/30/2005 16:11 Comments || Top||

It may be a bit late in the game to post this link for friend Cassini, but just in case.

Here is a link to UCLA study itself! Read, and be educated Cassini. If that is possible

A Measure of Media Bias

Posted by: ResearchFreak || 12/30/2005 19:49 Comments || Top||

#97  Damn, are all the new trolls named after cheap eyepeaces now? Watch out for Erfle, he lives under his Mom's sofa.
Posted by: Leon Clavin || 12/30/2005 19:53 Comments || Top||

#98  #98
Posted by: Red Dog || 12/30/2005 21:36 Comments || Top||

#99  Jesus, who left the mat outside the door that said "Idiots Welcome". They've been here in droves lately.
Posted by: remoteman || 12/30/2005 21:38 Comments || Top||

#100  yep agreed remoteman..aris ain't enough i'm guessing
Posted by: Red Dog || 12/30/2005 21:43 Comments || Top||

#101  I know - Pot calling kettle black here, but ya gotta quit taking the bait. Why would ANYBODY think there was some secretmasonic handshake formal agreement between the MSM and the Donks? Anybody asking for proof of same should be ridiculed once and then ignored. Left Angle, Cassini, NMM - all the same asshole. Aris is a different asshole, but subject to same recommendations
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 21:56 Comments || Top||

International team to review Iraqi election results
An international team agreed to review Iraq's parliamentary elections, a decision lauded by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups who have staged repeated protests around Iraq complaining of widespread fraud and intimidation.

Meanwhile, gunmen killed 12 members of an extended Shiite family near Latifiyah, a Sunni Arab-dominated town about 20 miles south of Baghdad. Police said the men were taken from their homes, packed into a minivan and shot.

The decision announced Thursday by the International Mission for Iraqi Elections to send a team of assessors should help placate opposition complaints of ballot box rigging and mollify those groups who felt their views were not being heard, especially among hardline Sunni Arab parties.

"It is important that the Iraqi people have confidence in the election results and that the voting process, including the process for vote counting, is free and fair,' U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said.

He added that "these experts will be arriving immediately and we are ready to assist them, if needed."

The team was coming despite a U.N. observer's endorsement of the Dec. 15 vote, which gave the Shiite religious bloc a big lead in preliminary returns. The observer, Craig Jenness, said Wednesday that his team which helped the Iraqi election commission organize and oversee the poll found the elections to be credible and transparent.

Sunni Arabs and secular Shiites rejected Jenness' findings, saying their concerns which included political assassinations before the elections were not addressed.

There have been about 1,500 complaints lodged against the elections, including about 50 serious enough to alter the results in some districts. The overall result, however, was not expected to change.

On Thursday, the United Nations said it had encouraged Iraq's electoral commission to get more outside observers involved in the process, and Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the participation of the International Mission for Iraqi Elections, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"It is critical that those Iraqi groups who have complained about the conduct of the election are given a hearing," Dujarric said in a statement. "This team of assessors, which was not involved in the conduct of the elections, offers an independent evaluation of these complaints."

The Iraqi Accordance Front, which is the country's leading Sunni Arab group, applauded the decision, as did the secular Iraqi National List headed by former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite.

"We are optimistic with this international response and hope that it will find a solution for this crisis," Accordance spokesman Thafir al-Ani told The Associated Press.

It was unclear if the review would further delay the release of final results, now expected in early January.

A serious crisis involving the elections could set back hopes for a broad-based government that would include minority Sunni Arabs as well as secular Shiites. Such a government could have the legitimacy necessary to diminish the insurgency a key part of any U.S. military exit strategy from Iraq.

The presence of two Arab experts on the International Mission for Iraqi Elections team could go far in helping to convince Iraqis that the review of the vote will be fair. The team will also consist of a Canadian and a European.

The independent group said it helped monitor the elections in Baghdad and was "assisted by monitors from countries of the European Union working under IMIE's umbrella."

The team will travel to Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi election commission a point noted by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"The Electoral Commission has once again demonstrated its commitment to fair and credible elections that meet international standards," Rice said in a statement welcoming the invitation to the independent team.

An official for the commission, Safwat Rashid, said a review could "evaluate what happened during the elections and what's going on now. We are highly confident that we did our job properly and we have nothing to hide."

Preliminary results from the vote have given the governing Shiite religious bloc, the United Iraqi Alliance, a big lead but one which still would require forming a coalition with other groups.

In northern Iraq, President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, was holding talks with Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the cleric who heads the United Iraqi Alliance, and other members of that religious group about forming a coalition government.

There were no Sunni Arabs or secular Shiites at the meeting. They said they were waiting for the results of the investigation into their complaints.

"Whenever the results of the investigation come to the surface, then the time will be suitable to talk about forming the new government," Allawi told Al-Arabiya television.

In other developments:

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed a police officer, gunmen assassinated an Iraqi driver working with a French company, and a drive-by shooting killed a university student.

Al-Qaida in Iraq threatened to kill five kidnapped employees of the Sudanese Embassy in Baghdad in two days unless Sudan removes its diplomatic mission from Iraq. The claim could not be immediately confirmed.

Gunmen kidnapped a Lebanese engineer in Iraq, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry said. The ministry's statement gave no other details on the disappearance of Camile Nassif Tannous, who works for the Schneider engineering firm.

Iraq's largest oil refinery has suspended operations since Dec. 24 after insurgents threatened to kill drivers and blow up trucks that distribute its oil products across Iraq, said Assem Jihad, a spokesman for the oil ministry.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 00:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There have been about 1,500 complaints lodged against the elections, including about 50 serious enough to alter the results in some districts. The overall result, however, was not expected to change.

I wonder how many 'complaints' were lodged following the 2004 election?
Posted by: Bobby || 12/30/2005 1:24 Comments || Top||

#2  But what does Jimmy Carter say? He's the only true moral authority on elections.
Posted by: Jackal (from Moms house, like d-Kos posters) || 12/30/2005 8:32 Comments || Top||

14 Shiites killed in Iraqi home
Fourteen Shiite men and women have been killed in an area south of Iraq's capital, Baghdad, known as the "triangle of death". In the latest outbreak of violence, 14 people believed to be from a single Shiite family were found shot to death in their home in Mamudiyah. "Armed men broke into their home and their bodies were then taken by minibus to a police checkpoint in Latifiyah," a security official said. Another security source says the victims are "Shiites living in the midst of Sunnis".
Posted by: Fred || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Iraq’s Al Qaeda threatens to kill Sudanese hostages
DUBAI - Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for kidnapping five Sudanese embassy employees in Baghdad, including a diplomat, and threatened to kill them within 48 hours, according to a statement and video posted on an Islamist website on Thursday.

The group said it had “arrested five employees of the Sudanese embassy in Baghdad, including “diplomats’”, in a statement signed by the Al Qaeda branch headed by Iraq’s most-wanted man Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. “Al Qaeda in Iraq’s Islamic court has decided to give the Sudanese government 48 hours to clearly announce it is breaking off diplomatic relations with the (Iraqi) government in the Green Zone, closing its Baghdad embassy and withdrawing all its representatives” in Iraq, it added.

“Otherwise the government must assume responsibility for sacrificing its “diplomats,’” added the statement whose authenticity could not be verified.
Because Zarqawi can never be responsible for anything.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There's no ryme or reason to it anymore. Now they're killing sudanese?
Posted by: Sheamble Glang9520 || 12/30/2005 14:41 Comments || Top||

Death threats close Iraqi oil refinery
Authorities in Iraq have admitted that they have been forced to close the country's biggest oil refinery after tanker drivers stopped work because of death threats. The threats were in response to a steep rise in the price of petrol this month, which provoked widespread protests. The death threats were addressed to the plant's drivers. They began arriving on December 21. Four days later the refinery ceased production after hundreds of drivers stopped work over safety concerns.

The stoppage will cause fuel shortages and electricity problems as far as Baghdad and across the north. Even before the latest incident, Iraqis had become accustomed to daily power cuts and having to wait hours to fill their petrol tanks. The Oil Ministry says it is developing a plan with the defence and interior ministries to protect routes of fuel distribution. The refinery plans to reopen within the next few days.
Posted by: Fred || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  stopped work because of death threats. The threats were in response to a steep rise in the price of petrol this

Arab logic.
Posted by: Leon Clavin || 12/30/2005 6:52 Comments || Top||

Palestinians commandeer the Rafah crossing (updated)
Armed Palestinians commandeer the Rafah crossing Friday shutting down the Gaza-Egypt border terminal indefinitely. The European monitors fled to the Israeli border facility at Kerem Shalom

DEBKAfile reported Sunday, Dec. 25, on the threat by Jemal Abu Sema Dana, head of the Palestinian Resistance Committees chief and Fatah al-Aqsa Brigades, to seize the Rafah terminal and “cleanse” it of foreign monitors. This latest incident signals the final breakdown of agreed measures for securing the Palestinian-Egyptian border built into the international understandings that permitted Israeli troops to withdraw from Gaza. None of these measures are now working, regardless of Israeli government claims to the contrary, especially by defense minister Shaul Mofaz and security coordinator Amos Gilead. Palestinians sources are covering up the seizure by terrorists of the only Palestinian exit point by depicting it as a police blockade in protest against the killing of a fellow officer Thursday.

More Details:
Palestinian policemen angry over the killing of a fellow officer stormed the Gaza-Egypt border crossing Friday, firing in the air and forcing European monitors to flee and close the crossing for several hours, officials said. About 100 policemen stormed the Rafah compound and took up positions alongside border patrol officers at the customs section of the crossing, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.

Hours after the European observers — responsible for monitoring the crossing and ensuring the terms of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement are upheld — fled, Julio De La Guardia, spokesman for the monitors, said the situation had been brought under control and the border would be reopened later Friday. It was not immediately clear how the incident was resolved.

The policemen who stormed the border crossing were friends and family of an officer killed Thursday in a family feud in Gaza, Palestinian security officials said. They said no Palestinian officials would be allowed to leave Gaza until the gunman responsible was executed, according to officials. The policemen shut the border's main gate and fired in the air when a car carrying an unidentified Palestinian official tried to enter the compound. The chief Palestinian security officer at the crossing asked the policemen to leave, but they refused. The border had been closed because according to the Israeli-Palestinian agreement the crossing cannot operate if the European contingent is not present, said De La Guardia.
Posted by: Steve || 12/30/2005 08:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Euro newspapers will not want to admit that the IDF at Kerem Shalom protected their monitors. I figure they will use all kinds of weasel words to cover it up (good chance the NYTimes will also).

Posted by: mhw || 12/30/2005 9:35 Comments || Top||

#2  The European monitors fled to the Israeli border facility at Kerem Shalom

I laughed and laughed, then puked.

Posted by: Leon Clavin || 12/30/2005 10:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Palestinian policemen angry over the killing of a fellow officer stormed the Gaza-Egypt border crossing Friday, firing in the air and forcing European monitors to flee and close the crossing for several hours, officials said.

The Paleos actually have cops? I always thought they were mostly thugs with badges...
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/30/2005 10:14 Comments || Top||

#4  16 more resolutions and we can solve the problem. Sub contract it to Isreal.
Posted by: plainslow || 12/30/2005 10:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Make the Egyptians shell the bastards this time.
Posted by: mojo || 12/30/2005 11:11 Comments || Top||

#6  More hard evidence that the "Palestinian people" are nothing but sub-human savages completely at odds with anything resembling civilization. Maybe they should be removed to Europe, where they would likely be received with open arms. Birds of a feather, and all that.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 12/30/2005 12:08 Comments || Top||

#7  "forcing European monitors to flee"
Exactley, how is this any better than just a camera?
Posted by: plainslow || 12/30/2005 12:29 Comments || Top||

#8  "Run awayyyyyy"
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 15:20 Comments || Top||

#9  I thought Egypt was responsible for enforcing the agreement? Egypt should be cleaning out the Paleo-Terrorists and reopening the crossing. As for the Euro monitors they are all cowards who ran away from their posts. They are not reliable as monitors given that fact.

Where are all the Euro's with balls? Their Grandparents left for the US and they were born here. Europe is the weak kneed and spineless end of the gene pool. "Run away, run away." the motto of the EU.
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 12/30/2005 15:44 Comments || Top||

Israeli checkpoint bombing kills four
A bomber has blown himself up at a military checkpoint in the northern West Bank, killing an Israeli army officer and two Palestinian bystanders. An Israeli army spokesman said three other Israeli soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in the attack on Thursday at the checkpoint near Tulkarem which had been set up to prevent the bomber from crossing into Israel and causing much greater carnage.
So they knew he was coming. They're good...
"We know that in addition to the soldier and bomber, two Palestinian civilians were also killed," the spokesman said. The Palestinian victims were the driver of the taxi that the bomber had been travelling in and another passenger.
The other passenger would likely be his handler, so no great loss.
West Bank medical sources said that five Palestinians were also wounded in the blast. Aljazeera's correspondent in Tulkarm, Mueen Shadid, said six Palestinians, including a woman, were injured in the attack.
Witnesses said the wounded might have been shot by Israeli forces, often accused of indiscriminately shooting at people.
They might have been, but I doubt it.
The impact of the blast was so huge that the Israeli army had initially said it was the work of two bombers. The Israeli military said the bomber had been travelling in a taxi which was stopped at an impromptu checkpoint. "Three passengers exited the taxi, including the bomber who was wearing a large overcoat," an Israeli army spokesman said. "The roadblock commander requested that the bomber open his coat to be searched. The bomber then opened his coat and detonated an explosives belt concealed under his coat."
Should have indiscriminately shot him and then asked...
The belt had been wired to a large amount of explosives and was packed with nails and other shards of metals. The Israeli army said that the bomber had intended to blow himself up in a crowded public place after crossing the border into Israel.
Posted by: Fred || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They prevented an attack most likely on a children's party. Ha'aretz
Posted by: Penguin || 12/30/2005 0:21 Comments || Top||

#2  The other passenger would likely be his handler, so no great loss.

Actually, that's a big loss: I hear that good handlers are hard to come by, so this prevents multiple suicide bombings in the future.
Posted by: Ptah || 12/30/2005 8:18 Comments || Top||

#3  My condolences to the officer's family and I hope the wounded men recover quickly and completely.

I couldn't care less about the Paleos.
Posted by: Jackal (from Moms house, like d-Kos posters) || 12/30/2005 8:34 Comments || Top||

Iraq Al Qaeda claims missile attack on Israel
DUBAI - Al Qaeda in Iraq said it had launched missiles at Israel from Lebanon as part of a “new attack” on the Jewish state, a statement posted on the Web said on Thursday.
'cause Zarqawi's got all sorts of free time since things in Iraq are going so well ...
It appeared to be the first claim of responsibility from Al Qaeda for an attack on Israel from Lebanon. “The lion sons of Al Qaeda launched ... a new attack on the Jewish state by launching 10 missiles ... from the Muslims’ lands in Lebanon on selected targets in the north of the Jewish state,” said the statement, attributed to Al Qaeda and posted on an Islamist Web site.

The statement could not be authenticated, but was posted on a main Web site frequently used by Iraqi insurgent groups. It did not give the date of the attack. It was not immediately clear if the group was referring to a rocket strike, which wounded three people in an Israeli border town late on Tuesday, or some other attack.
Or anything in particular.
The Israeli security source said: “For this to be true, it would mean that Al Qaeda, a virulently anti-Shia group, has penetrated the heartland of Hezbollah, a virulent Shia group, on such a scale that it can mount a rocket salvo independently.

“This claim should be regarded with extreme skepticism.”
He was being kind.
The statement said: “This auspicious attack was a response by the mujahadeen (holy fighters) to the oath by the mujahid sheikh Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda ... which the (Jews) and idolaters’ servants in Muslim countries failed to grasp. The future shall be more bitter and more harsh.”
Posted by: Steve White || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yeah, and I claim I've got Osama chained up inside a doghouse in my back yard. But I'm keeping the location a secret, and not sharing photos. So just take my word for it. It's true!
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 12/30/2005 12:42 Comments || Top||

#2  So when are you, Zed and the Gimp gonna get busy with Osama?
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 13:06 Comments || Top||

#3  ROFLMAO That's good shit, ed!

Squeal boy, squeal like a pig!


That makes my holiday season complete, thanks!

Posted by: ElvisHasLeftTheBuilding || 12/30/2005 16:56 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Top masterminded Indonesian robberies
Elusive Malaysian terror suspect Noordin Mohammad Top was behind a fatal jewelry store heist in Yogyakarta province earlier this month, police said Friday.

The armed gang which raided the shop in the tourist town of Yogyakarta, killing the store owner and his assistant before fleeing with nearly five kilograms of jewelry, was recruited by Noordin, a senior officer said.

"Based on police investigations, there are indications that the gold store robbery in Yogyakarta was carried out by Noordin M. Top's group," said Indonesia's top detective, Comr. Gen. Makbul Padmanegara.

Makbul said bullet casings found at the robbery matched those found after a shootout between police and Noordin's top accomplice, Azahari Husin, in his East Java hideaway last month.

But he refused to say whether the robbery was motivated by the militants' attempt to fund themselves for future attacks in Indonesia.

Azahari died in the shootout but Noordin remains at large after he managed to escape during a separate raid in Central Java last month.

Indonesia's intelligence chief Syamsir Siregar on Wednesday warned that Azahari's death could trigger revenge attacks and kidnappings for ransom.

Before his death, Azahari and Noordin had recruited an unspecified number of trained militants who were "capable of carrying out their jobs without being ordered by the two" Siregar said.

He also warned the extremists could turn to kidnapping for ransom to fund their activities.

Documents found in Azahari's East Java hideaway also indicated that extremists were planning attacks over the holiday period.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 13:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

'Threat' to US Malaysian mission
The US embassy in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, has been closed in response to what US officials called a terrorist threat. Officials said they were alerted to the threat via several sources and viewed the intelligence as credible. A spokesman was unable to say when the mission would re-open, but said it was in any case due to be closed on Monday for the New Year holiday.

Militants in Asia have often seen Western embassies as targets. In September 2004, 11 people died when militants bombed the Australian embassy in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. A number of people suspected of plotting to attack Western embassies in Singapore are still being held in Malaysia under internal security laws.
Posted by: Steve || 12/30/2005 08:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Please someone publish the USEMBASSY closure dividend. Are there others we can shut down as well?
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/30/2005 11:12 Comments || Top||

#2  A certain anti-American recently was seen in the company of Mahathir Mohammad, the Jew-baiting and America-hating former Prime Minister of Malaysia.

There, the San Fran clown spoke at a conference that included the likes of Robert Mugabe, Daniel Ellsberg, and of course, MP George Galloway.

What a strange coincidence that our embassy should be threatened while clown-boy is there. Not that he had anything to do with it save for the fact that he shares the same level of hatred for America as do people like Galloway, Ellsberg, and Mahathir.

The San Fran clown-boy, according to his own writing, was perhaps engaged in additional activities: Justin Checking Things Out

Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 12/30/2005 12:20 Comments || Top||

#3  And just in case we had any doubts, our anti-American world traveler and pal of Mahathir doubles up as a world famous clown.
Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 12/30/2005 12:22 Comments || Top||

Last Indonesian troops leave Aceh
Indonesia's military has pulled the last of its troop reinforcements from Aceh province, fulfilling one of the major conditions of a landmark peace agreement with separatists. The withdrawal of 2500 soldiers on Thursday comes after the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) disbanded its military wing this week. The Finnish-mediated pact ended one of Asia's longest running separatist wars. It was signed in August after talks between the two sides accelerated following last December's Indian Ocean tsunami, which left 170,000 people dead or missing in Aceh.

Smiling soldiers carrying weapons and backpacks boarded several ships set to depart from the port city of Lhokseumawe. Lieutenant Anugerah, from the East Java city of Surabaya, who has been in Aceh for eight months, said: "I'm very happy. I have missed my wife terribly."
Posted by: Fred || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Only to return once the Aceh rebels regroup and start the violence over again.
Posted by: 49 pan || 12/30/2005 14:00 Comments || Top||

Sonata faces court over terrorism charges
The man Indonesian police accuse of being the key financier behind the group that carried out the first Bali bombing and the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta has made his first court appearance on terrorism charges. Abdullah Sonata was arrested earlier this year. Prosecutors read six charges including possession of firearms and explosives, raising funds for terrorism, aiding terrorists including Indonesia's most wanted man, Malaysian Noordin M Top and conspiracy to commit terrorist acts.

One charge, of planning and motivating others to commit terrorist acts carries a penalty of life imprisonment or death. Police say Sonata's arrest stopped the flow of foreign funds to Indonesia's main terrorist groups and the head of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) says this has forced the terrorists to turn to armed robberies and to planning kidnappings to try to finance their operations.
Posted by: Fred || 12/30/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

German media reports US (and Turkey?) preparing to hit Iran
The Bush administration is preparing its NATO allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in Iran in the New Year, according to German media reports, reinforcing similar earlier suggestions in the Turkish media.

The Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel this week quoted "NATO intelligence sources" who claimed that the NATO allies had been informed that the United States is currently investigating all possibilities of bringing the mullah-led regime into line, including military options. This "all options are open" line has been President George W Bush's publicly stated policy throughout the past 18 months.

But the respected German weekly Der Spiegel notes "What is new here is that Washington appears to be dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible attack rather than merely implying the possibility as it has repeatedly done during the past year."

The German news agency DDP cited "Western security sources" to claim that CIA Director Porter Goss asked Turkey's premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide political and logistic support for air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets. Goss, who visited Ankara and met Erdogan on Dec. 12, was also reported to have to have asked for special cooperation from Turkish intelligence to help prepare and monitor the operation.

The DDP report added that Goss had delivered to the Turkish prime minister and his security aides a series of dossiers, one on the latest status of Iran's nuclear development and another containing intelligence on new links between Iran and al-Qaida.

DDP cited German security sources who added that the Turks had been assured of a warning in advance if and when the military strikes took place, and had also been given "a green light" to mount their own attacks on the bases in Iran of the PKK, (Kurdish Workers party), which Turkey sees as a separatist group responsible for terrorist attacks inside Turkey.

Goss's visit to the Turkish capital followed the rising international concern over recent statements by the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel should be "wiped off the map," denying the existence of Holocaust, and suggesting that Israel's Jewish population might be re-located to Europe.

In a December 23 report, the DDP agency quoted an anonymous but "high-ranking German military official" telling their reporter: "I would be very surprised if the Americans, in the mid-term, didn't take advantage of the opportunity delivered by Tehran. The Americans have to attack Iran before the country can develop nuclear weapons. After that would be too late."

The DDP report also said that several friendly Arab governments, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan, had also been informed in general terms that the Pentagon was preparing contingency plans, including "the option of air strikes," in the event of the new Iranian government precipitating a crisis.

Arab diplomatic sources have told United Press International that they have been given no briefings on any policy change beyond President Bush's "all option are open."

Bush's most recent such statement in public came on Aug. 13, during an interview at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he told Israeli TV: "As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and, you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."

Other NATO sources have told United Press International that "all this may be mood music, a way to step up the diplomatic pressure on Tehran."

It is possible that leaks from NATO and German security sources are part of a ploy to convince the Iranian government that the Americans and their NATO allies are in dead earnest when they say a nuclear-armed Iran would not be tolerated, and that Iran had better start negotiating seriously.

But the German media speculation about the supposed U.S. plans has been fueled by a number of high-profile visits to Turkey this month, including trips by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, by the CIA's Porter Goss and by the FBI Director Robert Mueller, who also delivered U.S. intelligence reports on Iranian backing for PKK operations aimed against Turkey. There have also been some significant Turkish visits to Washington, as reported by Der Spiegel.

"Two weeks ago, Yasar Buyukanit, the commander of the Turkish army and probable future chief of staff of the country's armed forces, flew to Washington. After the visit he made a statement that relations between the Turkish army and the American army were once again on an excellent footing," Der Spiegel reported Friday.

"Buyukanit's warm and fuzzy words, contrasted greatly with his past statements that if the United States and the Kurds in northern Iraq proved incapable of containing the PKK in the Kurd-dominated northern part of the country and preventing it from attacking Turkey, Buyukanit would march into northern Iraq himself," the German weekly added.

The CIA Director's Dec. 12 call on the Turkish prime minister last for over an hour, far longer than customary for a mere courtesy call, and followed an even longer meeting with senior staff of MIT, Turkish intelligence. The Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet reported on December 13: "Goss also asked Ankara to be ready for a possible U.S. air operation against Iran and Syria."

Der Spiegel noted Friday that the latest high-level visitor to the Turkish premier was NATO Secretary-General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer. This is not unusual, since Turkey is a member of NATO, but the coincidence of these various trips prompted Spiegel to comment "the number of American and NATO security officials heading to Ankara has increased dramatically."

"In Berlin, the issue is largely being played down," Der Spiegel reported Friday. "During his inaugural visit with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Washington last week, the possibility of a U.S. air strike against Iran 'had not been an issue,' for new German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, a Defense Ministry spokesman told Spiegel."

The original story in the German press which provoked the wider media furore was written for the DDP agency by a veteran reporter on security and intelligence matters, Udo Ulfkotte, who has in the past been criticized in the German media for being "too close to sources at Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND" (Bundesnachrichtendienst).

At the same time, Ulfkotte has himself come under scrutiny by German security services, and his home and offices have been repeatedly searched in the course of inquiries into allegations that he had published official secrets.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 14:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  faster please
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 14:22 Comments || Top||

#2  But the respected German weekly Der Spiegel notes "What is new here is that Washington appears to be dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible attack rather than merely implying the possibility as it has repeatedly done during the past year."

Yea, kraut fu**s, thanks for the free publicity. As that famous Irishman Emeril Lagasse would say, "we're kicking it up a notch."
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/30/2005 14:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Iran will fall on it's own knife. We only need to blow up an oil well, or refinery or two.
Posted by: anymouse || 12/30/2005 14:27 Comments || Top||

#4  When Bush invited those newspaper bosses over for a chat I wonder if he gave them this phone-tapping thing in return for them keeping quiet about preparations for Iran?
Posted by: Jake-the-Peg || 12/30/2005 14:39 Comments || Top||

#5  Wheelin and dealin. No doubt the Turks want the PKK's ass.

Iran is fucked, one way or the other.

But what of the State Department, where the hell is their damn revolution for Iran?

Posted by: ElvisHasLeftTheBuilding || 12/30/2005 14:47 Comments || Top||

#6  And in other news, the Third Army was renamed the Golden Horde.
Posted by: ed || 12/30/2005 14:59 Comments || Top||

#7  "But what of the State Department, where the hell is their damn revolution for Iran?"

Stuck somewhere in Foggy Bottom...
Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 12/30/2005 15:12 Comments || Top||

#8  If the vote about Turkey helping with Iraq was a close defeat, it seems to me ever more unlikely that Turkey would be willing to help out with an attack on Iran.

Especially since Erdogan has been generally been a bit more philo-Iranian than his predecessors.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/30/2005 15:38 Comments || Top||

#9  That's right, The Turks are actually planning a suprise attack on the Greeks. They plan on owning the Greeks as slaves and they will. The EU will be powerless to stop them since they couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag.
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 12/30/2005 15:47 Comments || Top||

#10  Good point, Aris. They probably think they can screw the USA again like they did with Iraq. I don't think we are offering much this time since Encirlik would be convenient, but not really needed.
Posted by: SR-71 || 12/30/2005 15:50 Comments || Top||

#11  Got some deep-rooted psycho issues, anonymous coward "Mahou sensei", of the sort that prevents you from seeing my name even once without trying to turn a thread into a garbage pile? Is that a Pavlovian response you have developed, whoever you really are?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/30/2005 15:54 Comments || Top||

#12  Aris is right. I honestly don't see the Turks helping us with Iran. It's far more likely that they will try to "play" us in some manner.

In the short run, Erdogan is not an ally. In the long run, he is probably an enemy.
Posted by: Secret Master || 12/30/2005 16:06 Comments || Top||


Isn't that the "Der Spiegel" Building in Hamburg Germany? Why are we seeing that on the onboard cruise missile cameras? They are all supposed to be headed to Iran...
Posted by: BigEd || 12/30/2005 16:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Things that will have to happen before the US launches any preemptive offensive operations against Iran (look for these):

1) Status of the US Navy:

2) Dispersal of US and British forces, Iraq. Movement of artillery, MLRS, anti-missile batteries to the East.

3) Xfer of critical support and attack air wings to theater.

4) Withdrawl of friendly foreign nationals and draw down of allied or friendly nation embassy personnel in Iran. It being Iran, this will be faster than normal.

5) Improvements to alternate air bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

6) About a gazillion other things.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/30/2005 16:25 Comments || Top||

#15  Things that will have to happen before the US launches any preemptive offensive operations against Iran (look for these):

1) Status of the US Navy:

2) Dispersal of US and British forces, Iraq. Movement of artillery, MLRS, anti-missile batteries to the East.

3) Xfer of critical support and attack air wings to theater.

4) Withdrawl of friendly foreign nationals and draw down of allied or friendly nation embassy personnel in Iran. It being Iran, this will be faster than normal.

5) Improvements to alternate air bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

6) About a gazillion other things.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/30/2005 16:26 Comments || Top||

#16  It'll be a lot easier to get the Turks on-board for Iraq than it will for Iran because of the latter's direct and continuing support for both al-Qaeda and the PKK. We've noted here the links between various al-Qaeda attacks in Turkey and the group's Iran-based leadership and if we know it, so do the Turks. Iranian support for the PKK (and any other group that wants to take a shot at the Turkish government) is a matter of public record since the 1979 revolution.

As for Erdogan being philo-Iranian, I disagree. He and the AKP appear to be receiving a large influx of Saudi or at least Gulf cash (which again we've documented here) to fund their political machine and there have been some disturbing reports about his respect for the rule of law and the like, but that's a different issue altogether from whether or not he'll support action against the mullahs. I would also note that Erdogan's beliefs may be irrelevant on this one since the Turkish military seems to be on-board from the article and it was the secular parties, not the AKP (whatever one thinks of them) that scuttled the Iraq vote for political advantage the last time around.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 12/30/2005 16:29 Comments || Top||

#17  To follow up on Dan's remarks, we should also remember that Turkey considers Iran to be a regional threat. There are border issues as well. Add to that the opportunity to squash the PKK and make nice to the US (still their most reliable Western ally), and it adds up to a plausible scenario.

The real issue, for me, is that an attack will certainly turn the Iranian people against us. Right now a big chunk of the young and the business community are favorably disposed towards us, but an attack will swing them behind the Mad Mullahs™ in a hurry. And it will give the MM's the opportunity to kill/jug a lot of political opponents.

I'd still prefer to see the Second Iranian Revolution. But if the MM's are too close to a nuke, then air strikes it is.

Aside to Aris: you're being baited. Don't bite.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/30/2005 16:39 Comments || Top||

#18  Never trust the Turks. Or Greeks for that matter.
Posted by: Oldspook || 12/30/2005 16:39 Comments || Top||

#19  The problem won't be the Turks, but the Americans. Bush needs to do a lot more home work before he can launch another pre-emptive attack.

Has anyone asked the CIA to figure out what the likely response of Iran to an attack would be? Has anyone asked the CIA to figure out how long Iran could go without selling oil?

This smells like a psyop.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/30/2005 16:41 Comments || Top||

#20  #7 "But what of the State Department, where the hell is their damn revolution for Iran?"

Waiting on the Air Strikes. The Iranian gov has got thousands of trained and ready suicide bombers, not to mention I dont think anyone in the gulf region dont remember the 91' Shia Kurd uprising that go slaughtered by a few helicopters and tanks. With massive air strikes decapitation and gutting of the military then go to a nation wide no-fly-zone, then wait to see what happens the cities that revolt get SOF insertion and weapons so they can grow from thier. Oil spot theory after a Sledge hammer theory is done. I think once the Iranian leadership is crushed and hiding thier command and control is obliterated air force is gone along with the air defences, thier armour and major units are trapped in hiding and if they try to move to the hot spot they are decimated on the roads, the revolution will happen its the only way they will have a fighting chance.
Posted by: C-Low || 12/30/2005 16:58 Comments || Top||

#21  I am sorry, but if we are in control of iran to the west and afganistan to the east, we are talking to turkey about - what?
Posted by: flash91 || 12/30/2005 17:18 Comments || Top||

#22  A third front.
Posted by: Raj || 12/30/2005 18:38 Comments || Top||

#23  a warning not to take our distraction with the "Iranian problem" as license to intervene with Iraq's Kurds...
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 20:01 Comments || Top||

#24  W has been preparing the country for the last year. If he decides that we need to strike Iran, he will strike. He knows that he has convinced as many as he can already. He also knows that he will not convince the LLL. A nuke detonating in NY would convince them.

The Dhims and the LLL are already threatening impeachment for legal wiretaps. He will order the strike if he deems it necessary.

We will not depend on Turkey again. If it is in their interest to cooperate on Iran, fine. Otherwise, no bribes (foreign aid). Erdogan played us like a tin whistle last time. Never again. As far as I am concerned, they are on their own.
Posted by: SR-71 || 12/30/2005 21:01 Comments || Top||

#25  He won't order a pre-emptive strike without congressional approval. He's been preparing the country, but the country is not prepared. The debate next time will be vigorous, especially as the donks will be doing auditions for thier convention acceptance speeches. Absent an attack on the U. S. proper, we won't strike Iran.

Israel, on the other hand...
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/30/2005 21:21 Comments || Top||

#26  Let's suppose there's no airstrike. Suppose that from somewhere in the Indian Ocean sometime past midnite 16 tubes launch with multiple warhead capacity aboard each. Flight time = 20-30 minutes.Kerrrboom!
Posted by: SOP35/Rat || 12/30/2005 21:39 Comments || Top||

#27  Bush won't do anything. His Potemkin Village credibility depends on happy Iraq Shiites aping his "freedom" BS. An attack on Iran would topple the facade of positive development in the Iraq' dog's breakfast. Rich oil-patch brats think only in terms of quarterly profits. Dallas wouldn't want their President to cause downward spikes.

It all about the oil, boys and girls. And I would like to see the Mid East patch restored to its rightful Anglo-American owners in place of towel-heads with Texas pals. Send the Bedouins back to their camels, and the Persians back to their sheep.
Posted by: CaziFarkus || 12/30/2005 21:46 Comments || Top||

#28  always interesting Cazifarkus, to know what drivel you'll put up, but it's sure to circle around the Oil war....
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 21:58 Comments || Top||

#29  However, if the Euros reject Turk membership in the EU, they could seek other alliances.

However, US engagement with the Islamofascist leadership of Turkey, would mirror the perverse rehabilitation of the terror entity of Pakistan.
Posted by: CaziFarkus || 12/30/2005 22:00 Comments || Top||

#30  FrankG? Aren't you the genius who denies growing clerical power in Iraq? I challenge Bush family anti-Secularism because it facilitates consolidation and development of anti-Secular tyrannies. You support it because...you are a pliant little weasel. Grow a backbone.
Posted by: CaziFarkus || 12/30/2005 22:07 Comments || Top||

#31  LOL - no, I don't deny SCIRI and friends are growing power. I just think they get more attention than they deserve. I still think Sadr should've been taken out of the "living" category early on in his first defiance. Backbone, huh?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 22:10 Comments || Top||

#32  I do not believe that W will seek Congressional approval for a strike on Iran. The Dhims and probably the Rinos will not approve. They and their staffs would leak selectively, and it would be a circus from the beginning.

A strike would decapitate their government and significantly set back their weapons program. Ground action would be confined to sealing their borders. Nation building is probably not contemplated. The Iranians will have to do this on their own.

If the Administration decides that Iran has nuclear weapons (very soon) and is an existential threat (I believe now), W will order the strike. The stakes are too high. W takes his oath to defend the nation too seriously to let political games prevent him from acting.

I believe that he will make the decision irrespective of personal political or legacy considerations.
Posted by: SR-71 || 12/30/2005 22:10 Comments || Top||

#33  Cassini and CaziFarkus are starting to make me long for the good old days when Aris was the most obnoxious kid at the burg.
Posted by: Darrell || 12/30/2005 22:11 Comments || Top||

#34  we've had our share of dipshits: Gentle, NMM, Murat....

all share a common denial of reality.
Posted by: Frank G || 12/30/2005 22:26 Comments || Top||

#35  Check this out, funky soul brothers:

Posted by: CaziFarkus || 12/30/2005 23:02 Comments || Top||

#36  Ask the CIA?

Didn't their last report state that Iran would have a nuclear bomb/missle in 5-10 years? I seem to remember some WaPo or NY Times frontpage story telling everyone to go back to sleep.

Don't know if I'd ask the CIA what time it is...

Posted by: Danking70 || 12/30/2005 23:18 Comments || Top||

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