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1,000 more British troops fly out to Gulf
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Page 1: WoT Operations
1 00:00 George Tenet [10798] 
3 00:00 Rex Mundi [10799] 
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2 00:00 Chuck [10798] 
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7 00:00 dsaucer [10796] 
9 00:00 Hiryu [10798] 
7 00:00 R. McLeod [10801] 
1 00:00 Rex Mundi [10796] 
5 00:00 Dishman [10798] 
2 00:00 Anonymous [10796] 
9 00:00 Frank Martin [10797] 
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"U.S. citizens in Iraq should depart"
the entire warning can be found at the source...
February 19, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to alert American citizens that following the temporary closure of the U.S Interests
temporary as in after the dust settles
Section at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Baghdad, other embassies and consulates have also suspended operations in Iraq, further limiting any assistance to Americans. No consular services are available to U.S. citizens at this time in Iraq. The U.S. Government continues to urge all U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Iraq. U.S. citizens in Iraq should depart. This replaces the Travel Warning of February 7, 2003.

The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iraq, and there is no U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. While our interests in Iraq are represented by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Baghdad, due to the temporary closure of the U.S. Interests Section, there are no consular services available to U.S. citizens in Iraq. Following the temporary closure of the U.S Interests Section, other embassies and consulates have also suspended operations in Iraq, further limiting assistance any Americans can expect.
Foreigners present in Iraq have in the past been used as "human shields" by the regime during periods of confrontation with the international community. There are credible reports that foreigners may face the risk of kidnapping in Iraq.
warn & give enough time for our citizens to depart......check
Posted by: RW || 02/19/2003 11:09 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  CIA agents and Special Forces operating in the country already disregard this warning...
Posted by: George Tenet || 02/19/2003 23:28 Comments || Top||

U.S. Would Remove Iranian Opposition in Iraq
The United States will "give no quarter" to the Iranian opposition based in Iraq if U.S. forces invade the country, a U.S. official said.
I like that phrasing...
The Mujahideen Khalq organization, which broke with the Tehran government in the early years of the Iranian revolution, has thousands of well-armed and disciplined troops and large military bases in Iraq along the Iranian border. "We see them as part of the problem, an element that would have to be removed," the U.S. official said. The United States has designated the group as a "foreign terrorist organization" but the Mujahideen has many supporters in the U.S. Congress and it continues to run an office a few blocks from the White House.
In that case it should be shut down...
The U.S. official said the Mujahideen had "American blood on its hands" because the group had killed some Americans during attacks in Tehran during the late 1970s, before the Islamic Revolution. "We are not going to be giving them any quarter and we don't expect others to give them aid or comfort," he added.
Without Sammy, who's there to give it to them?
One aim of any U.S. military operation in Iraq was "dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism in Iraq," he said. "The Mujahideen is part of that infrastructure. It has been used to crush the Shi'a uprising in the south and is part of (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's brutal apparatus."
That would imply that that Ba'ath, which is Sammy's brutal appratus, is also not going to be treated gently, contrary to opinions expressed in the past few days.
Mujahideen officials in Washington were not immediately available for comment.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/19/2003 08:42 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Mujahideen officials in Washington were not immediately available for comment."

Sure they were. Their first two words were "Ohhhhh shit ..."
Posted by: Steve White || 02/19/2003 20:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Wonder where the plane was going to?

Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 21:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Whole lotta payback goin' on.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 02/20/2003 0:57 Comments || Top||

Miss Germany goes Iraq
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
The newly crowned Miss Germany left for Iraq today, hoping to meet President Saddam Hussein and persuade him to fully cooperate with the United Nations.
Disarm and I strip?
Although shunned by most of the world's leaders, Saddam was Alexandra Vodjanikovva's choice when asked which head of state she would most like to meet, after winning her title in January.
Yum Yum, fresh meat for Uday
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 08:35 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And I would have guessed Kadafi, given his recent history. Of course, he's still hot for that Ugandan queen.
Posted by: Chuck || 02/19/2003 21:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, I think she'll regret meeting Uday.
Posted by: Chuck || 02/19/2003 21:29 Comments || Top||

U.S. Lands in Turkish Port Without Permission?
Story from Islam online, engage BS filter:
The U.S.-flagged ship Tellus Wednesday, February 19, offloaded 522 military vehicles among other military equipments, in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, southern Turkey without permission from the Turkish government.
They just sailed in and started offloading?
The vehicles included army trucks, radio transmission vehicles and other types of troop transporters, according to footage broadcast by the network, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said.
The CNN-Turk television network said the vehicles were assigned to units involved in the “upgrade” of Turkish ports and airports, a mission authorized earlier this month by the Turkish parliament ahead of a possible war with Iraq.
Oh, it must be that shipment of M-1A2 bulldozers we ordered.
Meanwhile Aksam newspaper reported that tempers flared on Tuesday, February 18, when some 50 battle-ready U.S. commandos arrived by bus and sought to obtain entry to the port facilities. Port authority chairman Cumhur Ozturkler initially refused them entry to the port facilities, saying they did not have proper permission, the newspaper said.
Note the "initially refused them entry" part.
It was possible to reach officials at the port for confirmation on Wednesday, AFP said.
Does he mean "not possible"?
Aksam also reported that 12 patrol boats, dispatched by Turkey to the Iskenderun region, were preventing fishermen from putting out to sea.
Humm, something going on out there they don't want people to see, perhaps? Sounds like the Turkish navy is in on it. Or are they doing it without permission as well? Nah.
Officials recently suggested that ships carrying U.S. military equipment to Turkey were currently lying offshore, waiting for a green light from the Turkish parliament to start deploying combat forces.
Anybody think we're offloading tanks without permission from somebody? Me neither. Something sneaky is going on, bet the deal is done and nobody's talking about it. Heh, heh, heh!
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 03:18 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Steve-
There is at least one major news outlet reporting on this:

Posted by: growler || 02/19/2003 17:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, if this is a deception operation, it's not working.
Posted by: Patrick Phillips || 02/19/2003 15:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Some news was bound to slip out. Watch the Turkish news outlets and see if the denials continue. The only place I've seen anything was my story from Islam Online, and the pictures Murat posted this morning. There is nothing else out there. Everyone is talking about Turkey stalling. The fix is in.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 15:49 Comments || Top||

#4  1. The line will be something like: "They are unloading supplies for a previously scheduled NATO exercise. All activities will be performed in a narrow "NATO" exercise corridor, which for the duration of the exercise will be under NATO command. Turkey as a NATO Contingent will be participating in the exercise, and Iraqi military attaches are being invited to observe."

2. If you can tell if they are there or not, its harder to defend yourself against the oncoming threat. Turkey, may just be a "FORTITUDE" operation. ( or maybe not.....)

Civilian Military Interpretation Rule #3: All military strategy is based on deception. What you hear is what you are meant to hear, not whats is necessarily true.

Go back to your lives citizens, theres nothing to see here.
Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/19/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

#5  It's beautiful watching Sun Tzu's teachings in action.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/19/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Well, speaking as military and a vet I will say this. Don't ever discount Fuck-up in your calculations of things. It's real easy for the chaos-factor to slip in and botch everything.

the military is NOT a well oil machine, now matter how it looks, cause there's alwasy some guy (like me) who is in charge and he usually doesn't know what the hell he's doing either.

"the horns hold up the halo"
Posted by: DeviantSaint || 02/19/2003 16:18 Comments || Top||

#7  Cumhur Ozturkler initially refused them entry to the port facilities, saying they did not have proper permission....just a little misunderstanding, the Turkish shake down custom, either that or the authentic documents completely threw him for a loop. Cumhur was later seen scaping barnicles, wearing a t-shirt that read "my government got 50 billion and all I got was this lousy demotion"
Posted by: dsaucer || 02/19/2003 19:29 Comments || Top||

Money gobbling Turks - whose goose will be cooked?
ANKARA — Yet another Turkish delay of a request by Washington for the deployment of up to 40,000 American troops in Turkey.

Turkey's parliament has not received a government request for U.S. troop deployment, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will not ask for a parliamentary vote until negotiations over a U.S. compensation package with Turkey are completed. "The United States has thousands of troops on ships waiting outside of Turkish ports," a Western diplomatic source said. "This situation is quickly coming to a head. It's a matter of hours and days."

The latest delay has infuriated the Bush administration. "If parliament doesn't pass the proposal, we will review our relations and they could suffer enormous damage," the Ankara-based Hurriyet daily quoted a U.S. official in Washington as saying. "We wouldn't forget such a thing."

On Tuesday, the Gul government relayed to U.S. ambassador Robert Pearson a new proposal for a compensation package for Turkey. Ankara was said to have asked for up to $25 billion in economic and military aid to compensate for losses incurring from a war against Iraq. The Sabah daily reported that the Turkish request would include $10 billion in grants.
Why does this remind me of shopping excursions in Mexico?

Washington is expected to respond to the latest Turkish proposal by early Thursday. "The other side must meet our demands, and if they do, then we shall see," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, head of the ruling Justice and Development Party and regarded as the leading civilian authority in Turkey. "After this is finalized, the authorization will come to parliament.
I'm about to walk....see, I'm moving toward the door....

Turkish President Ahmet Sezer said his country could not allow the deployment of foreign troops without a UN decision. He cited Turkey's constitution, which restricts the entry of foreign troops.
Hope we have a good back up plan. I think we've been screwed, though not as screwed as they will be if they don't come around. Maybe those Kurds would like their own country after all.
Posted by: Becky || 02/19/2003 06:31 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Darn..title was supposed to be Money gobbling Turkies!
Posted by: becky || 02/19/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Why don't we just back an independent Kurdistan? They sure in Hell deserve--they're running a democracy right now. What the US should be doing is backing democracy at every turn. It's the moral truth. Why don't we just go for it. Democracy for all. The world will be a better place. Enough of this shit making deal with corrupt regimes. It's over. Democracy, Democracy, Democracy.
Posted by: Rodger Dodger || 02/19/2003 15:28 Comments || Top||

#3  OK...get yer salt shakers. Debka says we're ready for this. Smaller contigent of troops to be airlifted into N. Iraq, with other troops linking up coming in from Jordan. I'm not aware of any sizeable deployment in Jordan though. We're the best friend they got. If they muck this up... sod 'em.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 02/19/2003 15:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Watch the hands, not the mouth:
The U.S.-flagged ship Tellus Wednesday, February 19, offloaded 522 military vehicles among other military equipments, in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, southern Turkey without permission from the Turkish government.
She's there, she's offloading, you think she didn't have permission? This may be the biggest diversion since D-day.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 15:43 Comments || Top||

#5  heh, heh, I guess we could also wonder if it really is a diversion! Maybe those ships are full of cardboard tanks and the things we just promised to give to Turkey to protect itself. Iraq would have to spread itself thin...just in case! Oh...the intrigue!
Posted by: becky || 02/19/2003 18:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Iskenderun? Quickest route from Iskenderun to Iraq is through Northern Syria. Pay attention Assad
Posted by: john || 02/19/2003 18:49 Comments || Top||

#7  hmmm.. Iskenderun to Iraq through Syria....wonder where those "Analysts were baffled by the timing" redeployed 4,000 Syrian troops from Batrun Lebanon will end up. Ya don't think.....boy, that would be a shocker.
Posted by: becky || 02/19/2003 20:13 Comments || Top||

#8  I've done my part to support Turkey. Any of you reading the labels in your clothes?
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 21:13 Comments || Top||

#9  The current government in Ankara really wants no part of this war, which is inconvenient in the short run but makes it easier to do right by the Kurds. Without the latter element we might as well forget about trying to reform Iraq; the place can't remain a Sunni Muslim overlordship.

It does make one wonder if Old Europe has made Ankara a deal that's too good to be true.

The landing of equipment strikes me as a fluke.
Posted by: Hiryu || 02/20/2003 7:32 Comments || Top||

Yemen denies asylum offer to Saddam
Yemen denied on Saturday reports that it was chosen as providing asylum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the event of a U.S. war on Iraq in the next few weeks. A Turkish newspaper on Friday quoted a Turkish official as saying that Saddam "may go to Yemen because Washington refuses his exile to a country neighboring Iraq."
Like Soddy Arabia...
A Yemeni official told the agency that, "The subject of asylum to the Iraqi president has not been discussed with Iraqi officials, or the Americans, as alleged." The official described the reports in the Turkish press as "mere fabrications without any basis." The Turkish official, who was not named, said that as the United States "prepares for a full-fledged war, it is also exerting psychological pressure on Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq." He said the possibility of the Iraqi president's departure from Baghdad to Yemen was "one of the reasons the Turkish government is reluctant to submit a memorandum to Parliament for allowing foreign military deployments" in the country.
"If he's gonna leave anyway, why should we... Oh. If we don't, he won't leave, huh? Well, let us think about it..."
The Turkish paper quoted the official as citing two choices with the start of a war regarding the fate of Saddam: Either for the United States to topple him, or for him to agree at the last moment to leave Iraq and head to Yemen.
Or Libya, or Burkina Faso, or Mauritania...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/19/2003 11:58 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yemen is a great choice -- we already have experience with remote-controlled planes there.
Posted by: Tom || 02/19/2003 14:30 Comments || Top||

#2  "Well, let us think about it..."
Well, OK but we're not giving him back the scuds
Posted by: dsaucer || 02/19/2003 18:12 Comments || Top||

#3  I suggest asylum for Saddam in Huntsville, Tx.
Posted by: Ellis Unit Warden || 02/19/2003 19:45 Comments || Top||

#4  How about St. Helena? Nice ocean view, house only used by one previous tenant for short while.
Posted by: Drew || 02/19/2003 21:59 Comments || Top||

#5  Unfortunately they've probably changed the wallpaper at the St. Helena house.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/19/2003 23:20 Comments || Top||

Iraqi intelligence casing U.S. embassy in Cairo
Source: Geostrategy Direct (Thanks, Paul!)
U.S. intelligence officials say Iraqi intelligence officers in Cairo have been spotted recently conducting surveillance of the U.S. Embassy there, raising fears that Iraq is planning a terrorist attack. Egyptian security identified the men as officers posted to the Iraqi Embassy in Cairo.
More clumsiness, on the same order as the Philippines. These guys must think they're back home...
So far, the handful of Iraqis at Iraq’s diplomatic residence in Washington have not been observed conducting similar activities. The State Department on Feb. 14 expelled Iraqi News Agency reporter Mohammad Hassan Allawi from the United States for improper activities that endangered U.S. national security, officials said. Philippines authorities said two weeks ago an Iraqi diplomat, Husham Hussein, received a phone call from a member of the Al Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorist group after the group detonated a bomb outside a military base in the southern city of Zamboanga on Oct. 2.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/19/2003 11:50 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can anyone explain why there would be any Iraqis left in that diplomatic residence, unless it's infested with listening devices bugs?
Posted by: Raj || 02/19/2003 13:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Wonder if any of em will surrender w/the goodies. It's not like they're going home.
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 14:42 Comments || Top||

UN gave Iraq 48 hours warning before U2 spy plane flights began
The UN warned Iraq 48 hours before American U2 spy planes took off for their flights over Iraqi territory in support of UN weapons inspectors. A spokesman for the UN weapons inspections team in Iraq said that the U2 flights started yesterday, but according to an Iraqi request, the UN gave Iraqi authorities two days advance notice before the spy planes took off, reports Israel Radio.
Boy, I guess the UN really, really doesn't want the U2 to find anything, do they?
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 10:19 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "1,2,3.................................................................................................................................172800.
I'm coming, ready or not!"
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/19/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Did they bother to put film in the camera?
Posted by: Parabellum || 02/19/2003 10:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Camera?
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 10:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Pathetic. A complete waste of perfectly good jet fuel.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 02/19/2003 11:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Clearly this is a typo. The UN warned Iraq that they had 48 hours before U2 frontman Bono was to be nominated for a Noble Prize and Saddam only had a short while to do something really anti-American to ensure he was also nominated.

The confusion over the message may have caused Saddam his nomination and only increases the likelyhood of war as he tries to for the write in vote by thinking up something particularly vile.
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 19:33 Comments || Top||

1,000 more British troops fly out to Gulf
Another huge wave of British troops flew out to the Gulf today as the military build-up ahead of a possible war against Iraq neared completion. Around 1,000 members of 16 Air Assault Brigade, including paratroopers, infantry and support units, left RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on three overnight flights. The troops, who are mainly from the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, which is based in Colchester, are expected to be among the last deployed to the Gulf. They will join around 40,000 other British military personnel who have been deployed over the last few weeks. Equipped with light artillery, mortars and rifles, the 16 Air Assault Brigade is seen as an ideal force to secure bridges and passages into the heart of the country. According to the Ministry of Defence, it "can deploy and fight across enormous depth to secure a point of entry to a theatre of operations", opening up access to heavier formations. Military experts expect the brigade to be dropped to the west of Basra by helicopter to prevent a counter-attack in the event of an amphibious assault on Iraq. The troops could also be sent in to destroy launch sites for Iraqi missiles which could be used to attack Israel. A spokeswoman for the MoD refused to confirm exactly whereabouts in the Gulf region the troops would be landing.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 10:20 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10812 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Military experts expect the brigade to be dropped to the west of Basra by helicopter to prevent a counter-attack in the event of an amphibious assault on Iraq."
"A spokeswoman for the MoD refused to confirm exactly whereabouts in the Gulf region the troops would be landing."

Let me get this right - Saddam's not to know where they're playing ping pong for the next couple of weeks, but it's OK to shout off about where their insertion points are likely to be. I hope someone's coordinating all this leaked info.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/19/2003 9:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Since the Iraqi military is primarily run by Saddam and his son, YouBoy, all these plans serve as a giant deception. Even a serious planning staff would have to quail at the range of options that exist, and the leaks have Saddam wondering and worrying about everything. Oh, except Patton coming ashore at Calais. He's sure of that.
Posted by: Chuck || 02/19/2003 9:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Yup, they have to decide between the Light Forces plan, the Heavy Forces plan, the southern front, northern front, two fronts, western desert special forces front, vertical insertion directly into Baghdad front, amphibious assault, air assault on the oil fields, the air bombing first plan, the combined bombing/invasion at the same time plan, plus trying to keep track of the Kurds, Turks, Iranians, etc. Throw in not trusting your own generals and the generals being afraid to tell Sammy the truth about the status of their troops for fear of being shot and you got a problem.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 10:15 Comments || Top||

#4  "Waho Mohammed!"

Good luck, good hunting, and get home safe.
Posted by: Mike || 02/19/2003 10:53 Comments || Top||

#5  When? Assuming that all logistical material is in place, and there are no diplomatic obstacles, and the Iraqis have not delivered regime change, there are numerous reasons why March 23 is the ideal date. Notwithstanding Iraq, that would also be a good time to leave Syria.
Posted by: Anon || 02/19/2003 19:20 Comments || Top||

#6  This is looking more and more like a typical engineering project:
It will be at least 2 weeks away until the day it starts.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/19/2003 23:25 Comments || Top||

Saddam is out of time, Australia tells UN
Australia has emerged as the strongest supporter of the United States in the worldwide debate about Iraq, telling an open meeting of the United Nations Security Council that it rejects the plan to give weapons inspectors more time to disarm Saddam Hussein. Australia was the only nation that used Tuesday's meeting to declare Iraq in "material breach" of resolution 1441, which set up the inspections regime. Australia's UN ambassador, John Dauth, urged the 15 members of the council to "quickly" consider a second resolution, authorising force. "In Australia's view the Security Council should not wait forever to confront this issue. In our view the council should move quickly to consider a further resolution that deals decisively with Iraq's failure to comply."
Good friends stick together. Thanks, mate!

But Iraq's ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Aldouri, who spoke before Mr Dauth, urged members of the Security Council to ignore the US, Britain and its allies, and listen to the "call of millions" who marched in anti-war rallies last weekend. Mr Aldouri said the US and Britain's "feverish efforts" to wage war were part of a plan for world dominance. He said Iraq had destroyed all its weapons of mass destruction, and provided weapons inspectors with "all kinds of active co-operation". Most of Iraq's neighbours also urged the council to avoid war. "Where is the immediate danger that Iraq poses to the world to warrant a war?" asked the League of Arab States representative, Yahya Mahmassani. Others warned that the Middle East could face chaos if war took place. The Iranian envoy, Javad Zarif, warned that "the extent of destabilisation in the region and uncertainty in Iraq in the case of a war may go far beyond our imagination today". Envoys from Iraq's neighbours Jordan and Turkey, which both have close ties to the United States, said that they were still suffering from the economic and human dislocations caused by the last Gulf War. The open meeting of the Security Council started late on Tuesday because of heavy snowfalls in New York, and only 27 of the 60 scheduled speakers were able to speak. The debate will continue this morning, Australian time, and the US will not present its second resolution until it is over.

In Washington, President George Bush said he would not be deterred by global protests against war. "I respectfully disagree" with those who doubt that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace, he said. War remained a last resort, but "the risk of doing nothing is even a worse option".

The 27 speakers at the UN yesterday presented a cross-section of views. Many argued that Iraq should get more time to disarm, but several others said time was running out. The Turkish ambassador, Umit Pamir, said Iraq should move "irreversibly and sincerely" towards disarmament, and Kuwait's Mansour Ayyad Al-otaibi criticised Iraq for its "continuing challenge to the will of the international community". Japan's Koichi Haraguchi said Japan, like Australia, wanted the Security Council to adopt a second resolution. New Zealand's ambassador, Don MacKay, said his Government would not support a war not sanctioned by the UN. Speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated states, the representative of Greece, Adamantios Vassilakis, said force should be used "as a last resort".
Those against the war will never find a last resort.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 10:23 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  blah blah blah blah...
The US doesn't need a resolution
Britain, Australia can survive without a resolution
Kofi and Chirac need a resolution ot they will have to start paying NYC parking tickets.
Posted by: john || 02/19/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

NATO Approves Deployment of Defense Equipment to Turkey
NATO has formally approved the deployment of defensive equipment to Turkey ahead of a possible war in Iraq. NATO's Defense Planning Committee made the decision Wednesday to deploy AWACS surveillance aircraft, Patriot anti-missile defense systems, and chemical-biological response units. It is not clear when the equipment will be sent. The United States welcomed the decision. U.S. NATO ambassador Nicholas Burns said alliance solidarity has prevailed. Wednesday's action follows the Defense Planning committee's decision Sunday to authorize the start of military planning to defend Turkey, ending a stalemate over the issue within the alliance. France, which opposed the move, is not a member of the committee. Turkey is the only NATO member that borders Iraq and could be a target for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein if the United States decides to attack Iraq. NATO Secretary-General George Robertson is due to meet with President Bush later today in Washington.

Meanwhile, the United States is continuing efforts to reach an agreement with Turkey to allow the deployment of U.S. forces on Turkish soil for a potential attack against Iraq. The U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, Robert Pearson, told reporters after delivering a message to the Turkish foreign ministry that time is now critical in reaching a deal. Turkey's parliament has delayed a decision on the issue, and the government is reported to be pressing for an increase in a proposed U.S. economic aid package to help Turkey cope with the cost of a potential war with Iraq.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 10:24 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

Latest Turkish press news
US freighter “Tellus” started unshipping at the Turkish port of Iskenderun
Posted by: Murat || 02/19/2003 10:29 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thanks Murat! I'm pleasantly surprised to see no editorial attached to this post.
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 7:46 Comments || Top||

#2  From GlobalSecurity:
A roll-on/roll-off car transporter named Tellus is due to arrive in Antwerp shortly. She will load additional helicopters belonging to V Corps and tanks and other equipment possibly belonging to the 1st Armored Division.
So the 1st Armored Division and V Corp are landing their gear. Gee, do ya think somebody believes a deal can be completed?
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 8:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Anonymus
Gee, what to do I was almost scolded as the next antichrist by some, because I was expressing my anti war opinions. :)
Posted by: Murat || 02/19/2003 8:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Murat - I for one, don't mind when you post news that supports your point of view. It's when you add opinion, false facts or liberal cliche as if it were news, that your posts become obnoxious.
Posted by: becky || 02/19/2003 8:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Looks like the paint shop's gonna be busy.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/19/2003 8:52 Comments || Top||

#6  tu3031, the northern front is mountains and forests. The green camo paint should not be a problem there. The southern and western deserts are where you need the tan desert paint.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 9:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Thanks Murat. I like seeing my tax dollars at work.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/19/2003 9:40 Comments || Top||

#8  The paint shop will be busy painting the soldiers to match the vehicles. Less paint and they dry faster.
Posted by: seafarious || 02/19/2003 11:49 Comments || Top||

#9  This is the ship that docked without "permission". Funny, doesn't look like they had to force entry to me.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 15:38 Comments || Top||

#10  Maybe it's actually Basra.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/19/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

Iraq parades outspoken scientist
Iraq put on a rare public display of one of its weapons scientists yesterday, intensifying its battle with Britain and America for world public opinion. The appearance of Sa'ad Ahmed Mahmoud as the UN security council debates the future of the weapons inspections was intended to press home Iraq's claim that it has improved its cooperation.
If you really want to improve your cooperation, Sammy, let us take Sa'ad, his wife and young'uns over to Turkey for a spell.
Mr Mahmoud, the deputy director of a company producing rocket motors, dismissed the contention by the US and Britain that Iraq has tried to divert aluminium rocket tubes to its nuclear programme. Officials in Baghdad may be trying to capitalise on the doubts over military action raised by last weekend's anti-liberation war protests in Europe and the US. Mr Mahmoud said he was interviewed for three hours on Monday by five weapons experts from the UN nuclear agency, the IAEA, seeking evidence of the possible dual use of the aluminium tubes. He said the session, without an Iraqi government chaperone, convinced the weapons experts of Iraq's claim that there was no connection between the tubes and Iraq's nuclear programme. "We asked them, are you really convinced that these tubes are being used for any other purpose?" he said. "The answer was: 'no'."
Was the tape recorder running then?
The US and Britain contend that some 160,000 aluminium tubes, imported in 1998 for Iraq's rocket programme, were being diverted.
This is easy to resolve: show us the 160,000 rockets.
Suspicions were deepened by reports of changes to the specifications of the tubes in further shipments. Mr Mahmoud said yesterday that the tubes, which were for an infantry rocket which entered production in 1998, had been repeatedly inspected at his plant, the Rashid General Company. "They saw for themselves we imported a quantity of tubes because the older tubes had corroded," he said.
Corroded? How? Side effect of uranium extraction?
Although the UN and Iraq have managed to break the deadlock over aerial surveillance - preparations for the first U2 flight began at the weekend - the weapons inspectors still complain that they have not been able to interview scientists as they would have wished. A UN spokesman said yesterday that Unmovic had sought private interviews, without tape recorders, with Iraqi experts on 30 occasions. Only three took place.
Want to bet the Iraqis knew what was said anyway?
The IAEA has not shared Unmovic's insistence on private interviews. Mr Mahmoud said the UN's insistence on private interviews was political, and driven by pressure from America. He pleaded with advised inspectors not to ask Iraqi scientists to be interviewed outside the country. "I am speaking as a citizen and as an individual with a 9 mm pistol to my head. I would not accept such an invitation."
"Please don't kill me!"
Posted by: Steve White || 02/19/2003 02:28 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hmmm so the aluminum tubes corroded in less than 5 yrs? But you keep producing more rockets of the same material, just with tighter tolerances in the tooling? As an engineer (actually anyone with common sense...) I know this is crap, why would the IAEA guys not acknowledge that as well? Maybe....they have an agenda?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/19/2003 10:11 Comments || Top||

#2  I can believe the previous batch corroded quickly. After all, it was never intended for chemical weapons.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/19/2003 14:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6)
Physical and chemical properties of UF6, and its use in uranium processing.

Uranium Hexafluoride and Its Properties
Uranium hexafluoride is a chemical compound consisting of one atom of uranium combined with six atoms of fluorine. It is the chemical form of uranium that is used during the uranium enrichment process. Within a reasonable range of temperature and pressure, it can be a solid, liquid, or gas. Solid UF6 is a white, dense, crystalline material that resembles rock salt.

The most common enrichment process used outside of the United States is gas centrifuge enrichment
Posted by: Frank G || 02/19/2003 17:40 Comments || Top||

#4  sorry, meant to link: Uranium enrichment
Posted by: Frank G || 02/19/2003 17:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Uranium hexaflouride is supposed to be EXTREMELY corrosive.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/19/2003 15:11 Comments || Top||

US, Brits plan second 18th UN resolution on Iraq
The US and British governments will begin work today on a new United Nations resolution that will set an ultimatum for Iraq to cooperate fully by next month or face war. The two governments have been on the back foot since the UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, produced a report on Friday more favourable to Iraq than expected and, a day later, more than 6 million fools rubes rustics anarchists agitators people joined anti-war demonstrations worldwide. The US president, George Bush, confirmed yesterday that the US would prefer a second resolution. "We don't need a second resolution. It's clear this guy [Saddam Hussein] couldn't even care less about the first resolution. He's in total defiance with 1441. But we're working with our friends and allies to see if we can get a second resolution."
We're doing this for our pal Tony.
UN officials expressed relief that Mr Bush has ignored pressure from hawks in his administration.
Thus confirming that UN officials are spawned on another planet in a parallel universe and shipped here as part of their probation.
The US and Britain, which held their own informal talks in New York yesterday, will sound out other members behind closed doors today at the security council. A security council official said the resolution was unlikely to be tabled until after Mr Blix has reported on February 28.
After which it won't matter much anyway. This is just to give the lemmings journalists something to do for the next week and a half.
The US and Britain have narrowed down half a dozen variations to an agreement that the draft resolution should take the form of an ultimatum to Iraq. They are considering a list of tests, such as destruction of the Samoud missiles and unrestricted interviews with Iraqi scientists. It is expected to be short and use some of the language of resolution 1441, passed unanimously in November.
Worked once.
Failure to comply by a fixed date would see the UN declare the inspections process "no longer meaningful", a UN official said. UK ministers and officials hope that President Saddam may yet back down.
He won't but that's okay.
The timetable for war appears to be slipping. Mr Blix's next report was not, like recent ones, related to resolution 1441, but to an earlier one. That holds out the prospect of a further report stretching into March at least. "February 28 is not likely to be D-day," said one Whitehall insider.
When's the new moon?
Mr Bush insisted he would not be deflected by the anti-war demonstrations. "Democracy is a beautiful thing and people are allowed to express their opinion. Evidently some in the world don't view Saddam as a risk to peace. I respectfully disagree," he said. Tony Blair seemed confident at his monthly press conference yesterday that the security council would provide the vital diplomatic cover for war, that the process still had weeks to run, and that sceptical voters would be won over in the end.
I hope he's saying this for domestic consumption. We don't want this to run for weeks.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/19/2003 02:27 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  New Moon: March 3rd
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 5:46 Comments || Top||

#2  blah blah blah blah...watch the hands not the mouth.
Posted by: john || 02/19/2003 11:31 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Top Abu Sayyaf Leader Dies From Battle
A top commander of the Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf reportedly died Wednesday from wounds suffered during a government assault on his hideout a day earlier, a military commander said. Mujib Susukan, whose capture or death carried a $92,500 bounty, was shot under the right armpit and in the right leg in a clash outside Talipao town on Jolo island Tuesday, Jolo army commander Col. Alexander Aleo said. Susukan was the leader of one of several Abu Sayyaf factions operating the Philippines. He said other guerrillas and villagers carried Susukan into the jungle. Intelligence sources and villagers reported he died Wednesday and was buried in a shallow grave in the village of Bandang in Talipao. Aleo ordered a search for the body.
Dig him up, check the ID, and drive a stake through his heart. These guys tend to come back from the dead otherwise.
Four Abu Sayyaf gunmen and one soldier also were killed in Tuesday's fighting between government troops and about 50 guerrillas, Aleo said. On Wednesday, seven guerrillas and three soldiers were killed and seven soldiers wounded in fierce fighting between government troops and 70 gunmen in the jungle outside Patikul town near Talipao, raising the death toll in two days of fighting to 15.
Susukan was one of the leaders of an Abu Sayyaf band that raided the Malaysian resort of Sipadan in April 2000, seizing 21 people, including Western tourists. The guerrillas brought the hostages to Jolo and released all but one Filipino resort worker in exchange for millions of dollars in ransom reportedly paid by Libya. Last year, U.S. troops trained Filipino soldiers in a six-month counterterrorism exercise designed to crush the Abu Sayyaf operating on neighboring Basilan island, near Zamboanga. The exercise was credited with the capture and killing of key Abu Sayyaf members and leaders.
Sounds like that training is paying off.
The government announced a similar exercise will be held this year on Jolo, where many Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf guerrillas have sought refuge. The guerrillas on Jolo, 590 miles south of Manila, are holding three Indonesian sailors and four women from the Christian sect Jehovah's Witnesses seized last year.
They still have those Jehovah's Withesses/Avon ladies. Look for anybody wearing eyeliner and nail polish.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 01:55 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Got some in the P.I. - outstanding. Keep up the good work.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 02/19/2003 14:45 Comments || Top||

North Korean Mig 29 Violates DMZ Airspace

Just heard over CNN Europe that a Mig-29 has violated South Korean airspace near Seoul. It was intercepted By South Korean F-5's, but it not stopped before it returned over the DMZ.

No links just yet.

And just who is the wise ass who gave Mig 29's to Daffy Duck?
Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/19/2003 11:11 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  CNBC Europe has corrected the "Mig-29" to be a Mig-19.

Mig-19 vs f-5 = I favor the F-5. Mig -29 Vs F-5 = Mig 29.

Maybe they just told daffy that it was a Mig-29!
Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/19/2003 23:24 Comments || Top||

#2  The details are at :

SEOUL, South Korea - A North Korean fighter jet briefly crossed the western sea border with South Korea on Thursday, and a South anti-aircraft missile unit went into battle position, a South Korean military official said.
The North Korean jet retreated without incident after two South Korea fighter jets went to the area, said Major Lee Dong-chan, a spokesman for the South Korean air force.

The incident came three days after North Korea threatened to abandon the armistice keeping the peace between the two Koreas if the United States went ahead with sanctions or other actions against the communist country.

The North does not recognize the so-called Northern Limit Line maritime border that was drawn up by the U.S.-led U.N. Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, and the border has been a site of tensions in the past.

A North Korean MiG-19 jet fighter crossed the border at 10:03 a.m. and headed back into communist territory two minutes later. This was the first incursion by North Korean military jet since 1983.

"We will strongly protest this provocation," Lee said.

A South Korea anti-aircraft missile unit based near Incheon, a seaport west of Seoul, went into battle position. At the same time, two South Korean F-5E jets went to the scene to try to intercept the North Korean intruder, Lee said.

Later, four more South Korean F-5E jets were deployed to the area.

Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/19/2003 23:51 Comments || Top||

#3  MiG 19? What a dinosaur. Still, it's what they have to work with, so one can't discount their intentions. Bastids.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 02/20/2003 0:36 Comments || Top||

Latin America
Police defuse massive bomb targeting Colombian vice president
Police in northeastern Cucuta city said they disarmed a huge explosive device inside a bus that was set to go off on Wednesday, when visiting Vice President Francisco Santos’ motorcade drove by. Police said the 40-kilogram bomb found on Tuesday was planted by the leftist National Liberation Army, adding that two presumed members of the guerrilla group in charge of triggering the bomb were under arrest. Despite the foiled assassination attempt, police said Santos was not canceling his official visit to Cucuta, some 600 kilometers northeast of Bogota. With an estimated 4,500 fighters, the ELN is Colombia’s second-largest leftist rebel group behind the 17,500-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Fatih! And where would the world be without the Irish?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/19/2003 07:31 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

Over 270 people killed in Iranian military plane crash
Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Feb 20, IRNA -- At least 270 people were killed Wednesday evening after an Iranian military plane, on a domestic flight, crashed near the central city of Kerman, an official said in this southeastern city. All those aboard the Ilyushin plane were the personnel of the
Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps (IRGC), the head of the IRGC in the Sistan Baluchestan province, Ali Mowlavi Haqiqi, said.
Tap, tap, tap. Nope.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 02:50 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10801 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If we were like them, we would say that this is a sure sign of the will of Allah...who knows...maybe..
Posted by: Poitiers || 02/19/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Shoulda stuck with the Tupolevs...
Posted by: mojo || 02/19/2003 15:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe not:
Wednesday's crash was the latest in a string of air disasters in Iran involving mostly Russian-built airliners. A Ukrainian An-140 aircraft flew into a mountainside Dec. 23, 2002, while preparing to land at an airport near the central city of Isfahan, killing all the estimated 46 scientists aboard. In February 2002, the Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154 airliner, carrying 119 people, smashed into snow-covered mountains not far from its destination of Khorramabad, 230 miles southwest of Tehran.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 15:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Fly the friendly skies of Iran. Well, maybe not...
Posted by: Patrick Phillips || 02/19/2003 15:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Planes fly successfully on physics, money, good airmenship, and maintenance, not mullahs.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/19/2003 16:35 Comments || Top||

#6  Should of known this was coming:
A military plane crash in mountainous southern Iran killed 302 of the nation's elite Revolutionary Guards. The crash was the deadliest in a string of plane accidents that the government has blamed on US sanctions preventing the country from repairing and replacing its aging fleet.
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 20:44 Comments || Top||

#7  Uh, how could the US withold spare parts for Russian-made airplanes? They may want to talk to Putin about their maintenance problems...
Posted by: R. McLeod || 02/20/2003 0:57 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Hamas Says Israel Killed at Least 6 in Gaza Blast
At least six members of the Palestinian group Hamas died in a mysterious explosion in Gaza City today, hours after Israel's defense minister vowed retaliation for a Hamas bombing in Gaza on Saturday that destroyed an Israeli tank and killed the four soldiers inside. Hamas blamed Israel for the blast today, suggesting that the men were killed by a booby-trapped toy plane. But the Israeli government did not comment on the deaths. Israel has tracked down and killed scores of militants, often without claiming responsibility. Many have also died by accidentally triggering bombs they were assembling.
In Gaza, the bomb went off as several Hamas militants sat in a car near a farmhouse in a southern neighborhood of Gaza City, Palestinian officials said. One of those killed was Nidal Farahat, a top leader of the military wing of Hamas.
Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, a leader of Hamas, said one of the men was examining a strange toy found in the car when the explosion occurred. "This is an assassination done by Israel," he said.
Later, in a statement, Hamas said the men had been working on a small remote-controlled plane, which they evidently planned to use in an attack. Hamas said the men had received the plane today, implying that it had been booby-trapped by Israel.
Another leader of Hamas, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, said, "We're going to retaliate."
That would be one of the model planes that DEBKA reported on in January, and I reported here:

Model planes packed with explosives and operated by remote control. Last month, Palestinian toy importers in Jerusalem and Ramallah were told to order hundreds of these toys for distribution to Palestinian children in hospitals. Subsidies from European Union member-governments could legitimately be allocated to this humanitarian purpose. The model airplanes were purchased in Europe and shipped quite openly to the Palestinian shopkeepers. According to our sources, not a single toy reached an injured Palestinian child. The model planes were sent to Palestinian workshops for conversion into miniature air bombers with explosive payloads. DebkaFile estimated that the modified toys could fly for about a kilometer, and an altitude of 300 meters.

So DEBKA scores another one.

Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 11:30 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Here's a radical idea: Cut off all but food aid to the paleos, and tell them to just grow the f*** up.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/19/2003 11:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Ah, the old " Magic Booby Trapped Remote Controlled Plane Trick".
Another "work accident" is my bet.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/19/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#3  you think they'd learn: www.idftoys.com is selling em so cheap ...for a reason
friggin dumbasses.... and tell me the Israelis don't know how radio controlled devices can be steered the wrong way (!) with an overriding signal...

"good work mahmoud!... finally one's taken off to implement our evil plot against the Zionists...wait, it's coming back! no!"

when they have to revert to such rube goldberg designs you know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel
Posted by: Frank G || 02/19/2003 13:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Is it just me or does this sound like a V-2. Wonder if those toy planes came from Germany, if so it would be ironic.
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/19/2003 14:36 Comments || Top||

#5  I didn't realize Wiley Coyote was working for Hamas these days. Still buying his gadgets from Acme. Beep, beep, Ka Boom!
Posted by: Steve || 02/19/2003 14:42 Comments || Top||

#6  Anonymous, I think you mean V-1? Not half as sophisticated or practical as the Germans' efforts back in the 40s though, as these birds would be easily jammed, as said before...
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/19/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#7  My father and brother fly RC airplanes, and I've been around them all my life.

If the Paleos are ordering consumer models of these airplanes, they usually weigh in between 5 and 15 lbs, and are powered by 0.45 to 1.2 cu.in. engines. Some big ones now are using 4-cycle, gasoline powered engines similar to or identical to what you find in gas-powered weed whackers. The engines generally have a muffler; with that at an altitude of say 400 feet the sound would be noticable in a quiet (desert) environment but not in a city environment. The "payload" on these might be a couple of pounds (2 lbs of C-4 could do some damage).

The radio controllers use one of a defined set of frequencies (last I heard it was ~72 MHz in the US but that might have changed; I try NOT to listen to my father and brother :-) and have 3 to 6 channels. To make one go boom you'd have one channel set to control a servo that would work a detonator. That in turn could be as simple as a circuit and a AA battery. The transmitters have line of sight range to the horizon. My dad used to fly RC gliders from the back of a pickup truck driven by a friend; so you could move about to keep the plane in sight. I imagine this would bring a strong response from the IDF. Consumer models sold in the U.S. (almost all made in the far East) have the usual FCC-required shielding for interference; I imagine their radiated signal would be easily noted with appropriate detection gear.

Pre-built, "ready-to-fly" kits would run $40 to $200, an engine would be $50 to $150, and a 4 channel radio rig would be $100 to $300.

Flying these takes some practice, most beginners crash and break their first several planes. A Paleo RC plane bomber would have to get some proficiency; this takes perhaps 20 to 50 hours practice. After that it would be rather simple to fly a plane out towards and onto a potential target, particularly if you have a spotter working for you.

Frank G notes one simple countermeasure. It's consumer quality equipment so this is certainly possible. I'm sure there are others; the IDF isn't talking :-)

Hope this helps the discussion!
Posted by: Steve White || 02/19/2003 17:51 Comments || Top||

#8  Shhh Steve, this ain't a forum (see top). But, do/can they have gyros? I mean, could you get them airbourne and set them on auto trim? Can't see they're an improvement on mortars or rockets, myself...
Posted by: Deleteme || 02/19/2003 18:06 Comments || Top||

#9  The Cheap Option: Off the shelf handheld GPS, Gyros, and a common off the shelf motherboard/CPU combo, with off-the-shelf mapping software, a couple of grand and it sounds like you could come pretty close to a system that could be put in a drone -style RC aircraft.

The Expensive Option: Off the shelf GPS Slaved Outpilot systems for any General Aviation Aircraft.

Is it me or am I hearing more than the usual background noise about "drones" lately? What is it that they would get with a drone that they wouldnt get with microlight piloted aircraft?
Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/19/2003 23:41 Comments || Top||

North Koreans Give Voice to Deep Anti-U.S. Feelings
Bloodthirsty, brainwashed, and out of touch with reality. That's a dangerous combination...
Merciless Punishment to the U.S.!
Image courtesy Corsair the Pirate
From a white pavilion, the view offered a timeless tableau of Northeast Asian tranquillity: a frozen lake, a shoreline of fir trees, and an ornamental pagoda perched on a snow dusted island. But the strident voice of a park guide grated with this image of peace. "If the United States attacks, and if there are U.S. troops in South Korea, they should be attacked," Kim Hwang Hyok, a 30-year-old guide in a black parka, told a knot of South Korean reporters here today. "If there are U.S. troops in Japan, they should be attacked."
"In fact, if there are U.S. troops anywhere, to include the moon, they should be attacked!"
North Koreans are notoriously shrill about their animosity toward the United States. But random interviews today with 10 North Koreans — a composer, a band director and his assistant, a tourism director, and half a dozen park guides — underlined how pervasive and deeply held anti-Americanism is in "the hermit nation."
Insular, ignorant, prone to rabies...
As North Korea's government presides over a failed economy, the poorest in the region, the United States serves as a scapegoat. It also serves to motivate what is probably the world's most militarized society, with 1.1 million men and women in arms, the fifth-largest army in the world. This is the backdrop of officially sponsored hostility against which the United States must determine its response to what seems to have been a decision to produce nuclear weapons.
Sure seems like it, doesn't it? Since they said they were gonna do it. (Where do they get these people?)
The policy options being debated in the Bush administration include negotiations and sanctions. Chun Moon Il, a 44-year-old composer from Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, was watching a brass band performance when a South Korean broached the topic of the United States, noting that the United States has rivaled South Korea in food donations to the North. "We can live without it," Mr. Chun, a member of the Pyongyang elite, snapped dismissively. "The United States showed its true colors during the Korean War, by making North Korea a victim. The Korean War was started by the U.S., and today the U.S. continues to threaten us with the nuclear issue. We have a lot of monuments about atrocities committed by the U.S. during the war. We don't have nuclear weapons, but our nuclear weapon is our strong unity among ourselves."
Yep. We started the Korean War by stopping Kim Il Sung's proposed "reunification" of the country. It was all our fault...
In reality, it was a 16-country United Nations force that battled on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea's People's Army launched a surprise invasion of South Korea. But every year, a million North Koreans, about 5 percent of the population, go through the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang, where exhibits indicate that the United States attacked North Korea. At the 82-room museum, visitors are taught that American troops committed worse atrocities than Nazi soldiers did in World War II, dropping germ and chemical bombs on northern villages.

Another popular spot is the Pueblo, a Navy spy ship captured in 1968 by North Korea and never returned. A videocassette describes American negotiations for the return of the 83-member crew, saying the "enemy knelt down before the Korean people, as the myth and might of the United States crumbled before the will of the Korean people." Films, art work, television documentaries and newspaper articles relentlessly portray Americans as bloodthirsty aggressors. One new poster given wide distribution last month shows a People's Army soldier thrusting missiles toward a shredding American flag and an exploding United States Capitol.
Actually, they're artillery shells, but the Times can probably be forgiven for not knowing the difference...
"All servicemen of the Korea People's Army should always be on the alert," the newspaper Rodong Shinmun warned in an editorial today, the birthday of the nation's leader, Kim Jong Il. "All party members and workers must burn with hatred and hostility in their hearts toward U.S. imperialists."
Indoctrination here is so deep that when five Japanese citizens returned to Japan last fall, 25 years after they had been kidnapped by North Korea, the Japanese government had to resort to a cult deprogrammer to get them to abandon plans to return to Pyongyang. The depth of this anti-Americanism hampers any initiative from Washington. "North Korea is the only socialist country left in the world; why does the United States want to get rid of it?" said Li Ok Hwa, a 27-year-old guide. "But the United States is not attacking us, because we are strong militarily." In a system where might makes right, several guides told interpreters that they thought that the United States' reluctance to attack North Korea showed a national weakness. Ri Jo Won, a 23-year-old guide, said: "I don't think the United States is particularly strong. If they are so strong, why haven't they engaged us in war already?"
Couldn't possibly be because we're not bloodthirsty warmongers, like... ummm... North Korea.
Ms. Kim, the woman in the black parka, predicted, "The United States will probably attack Iraq, but not North Korea because North Korea maintains a strong military and is much stronger." Any nuclear bombs that Pyongyang may be producing, several people said, are to protect North Korea. "We don't want war, but we are not afraid of war against the United States," Chang Myung Ae, a 21-year-old guide. Referring to the atom bomb attacks that ended the war with Japan in 1945, she said: "The United States used nuclear bombs to invade other countries. But we just want to use them for our survival." Kim Chong Duk, a North Korean band manager, argued here today with South Koreans that the sole obstacle for uniting the two Koreas into a nation of 63 million people was the presence of American troops on the peninsula. "The South must expel that presence," he said. "Only then will it be possible to unify."
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/19/2003 11:35 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The United States used nuclear bombs to invade other countries"
Twisted view of history, but it doesn't surprise me one bit: they are also taught from a young age that the reason the sun rises in the east is because dear leader wishes it.
Posted by: RW || 02/19/2003 10:07 Comments || Top||

#2  "Kim Chong Duk, a North Korean band manager"

They have brand managers in North Korea! In the West that job description involves figuring out how to get consumers to buy your company's product instead of the dozen or so other options on the shelves.

The NK per capita GDP is something like $400 and they eat grass. Why the hell do they need brand managers?
Posted by: JAB || 02/19/2003 10:15 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh. Band manager, now it makes sense.
Posted by: JAB || 02/19/2003 10:16 Comments || Top||

#4  The sole obstacle for uniting the two Koreas into a nation of 63 million people was the presence of American troops on the peninsula. "The South must expel that presence," he said. "Only then will it be possible to unify."

Remember they tried to "unify" the country in 1950?
Posted by: Fred || 02/19/2003 10:48 Comments || Top||

#5  A heavy blow to coercion! Razor sharp judgement given to Americans and murderers!

Heh heh, gotta luv the NorKors....I'm gonna miss 'em.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 02/19/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#6  Band manager? Looking for gigs at the Copa, or what?
Posted by: Chuck || 02/19/2003 12:39 Comments || Top||

#7  About a month ago there was a NYTimes interview with a North Korean woman who had defected to South Korea. She said she had believed all that propaganda until she saw the high quality of South Korean pocketbooks. That was her suggestion for bringing down the regime -- flood North Korea with high quality consumer goods! (Also Bibles, apparently an afterthought).
Posted by: Sharon || 02/19/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#8  After seeing that picture above, I think we should tone down our rhetoric, we don't want to provoke the N.Koreans. After all, those giant bullets look scary...
Posted by: RW || 02/19/2003 13:19 Comments || Top||

#9  Actually, I think they're giant anti-American sex toys.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/19/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#10  Errrr...
actually, the US/UN/ROK pretty much did unify Korea around November 1950. It was the appearence of about a quarter million Chinese 'volunteers' that created the division of Korea as we know today.
Posted by: Don || 02/19/2003 13:46 Comments || Top||

#11  mmmm......Bananas
Posted by: dsaucer || 02/19/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#12  RW-- Those cartridges are NKor upsizing of Weatherby rounds. Notice the radiused angles of the cases. These suckers will produce a hell of a kick, especially with wildcat powder loadings. I would give these guys a wide berth and much distance, TIC.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/19/2003 14:20 Comments || Top||

#13  Actually, they're just .308s. The NKOR soldiers are bred for small size -- all the better to run between the enemy's legs unnoticed.
Posted by: jrosevear || 02/19/2003 15:46 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Paleos seek £1bn in foreign aid
The Palestinian Authority called for £1bn (£625m) in aid to deal with the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Territories at talks in London yesterday. Palestinian cabinet flunkies ministers and a lower-level Israeli delegation met international donors at the start of a series of meetings on Palestinian reform and international peace efforts. The first meeting focused on the need for aid. The Palestinian and Israeli economies have been crippled by two years of violence. The Israeli government is seeking $12bn (£7.5bn) extra in aid from the United States.
Wonder who we should help first?
In the occupied territories the situation is dire. Most Palestinians live on less than about £1 a day, and the level of malnutrition in the Gaza Strip is comparable to that in Congo. The Palestinian Authority's plea for funds was issued after Unrwa, a UN agency that feeds Palestinian refugees in the Occupied Territories, said it needed $94m immediately for food.
Israel made the Negev bloom. The Paleos made Gaza, well ... Gaza.
The Palestinian delegation travelled to London after the Israeli government lifted a travel ban it imposed on Palestinian officials after a suicide bombing killed 23 people in Tel Aviv in January. It is believed the Israeli authorities lifted the ban under pressure from Washington. The meetings in London was held as Israeli and Palestinian officials began tentative discussions – also apparently under American pressure -- and Yasser Arafat agreed to appoint a new Palestinian Prime Minister to take over negotiations with the Israelis and the day-to-day Palestinian leadership. Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Finance Minister, considered a front-runner for the job, ruled himself out yesterday. "I'm not a candidate for this position," he said.
"Please don't blow up my house!"
Mr Fayyad was reported to be the Americans' favourite.
Where he comes from, that's the kiss of death.
He has won international praise for his efforts to reform the Palestinian economy and root out corruption. But Mr Fayyad said: "I'm a newcomer to the Palestinian Authority. There's no doubt in my mind there are others ... who are more suitable for the job."
"Someone who doesn't mind dying."
Mahmoud Abbas, Mr Arafat's deputy in the Palestine Liberation Organisation and another leading candidate, said yesterday he would consider the job if offered it.
Abbas is the "mayor's man", as we would say in Chicago.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/19/2003 02:22 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another "worsening humanitarian crisis" in Paliland? Well, boo hoo hoo.
Some things never change.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/19/2003 8:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Where are the gun-control nuts? Why don't they sponsor a "turn in a gun/mortar/roadside bomb/drone airplane bomb.... - get a food coupon" drive?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/19/2003 10:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Frank, that's a great idea! For every gun, a loaf of bread, for every mortar, a fruit basket, and for every phoney passport, a super-sized order of "freedom fries"!
Posted by: Steve White || 02/19/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#4  Super-size! And hold the lard, please...
Posted by: mojo || 02/19/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

Latin America
Anti -Chavez Soldiers, Protestor Assassinated in Venezuela
Three military dissidents and a female protester opposed to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have been killed execution-style after being kidnapped, bound and gagged, police said on Tuesday.
The Caracas Chief Of Police says it looks like "suicide"...
Police refused to comment on the investigation, or to discuss possible motives or suspects. All four victims frequented Plaza Altamira, the site of more than 120 days of protests against Chavez' government. The dead military men had also joined a call for popular resistance led by anti-Chavez Gen. Enrique Medina. A 14-year-old girl who apparently witnessed at least one of the killings was hospitalized after being shot, but is talking, police said. Raul Yepez, deputy director of the Caracas police homicide division, said the four victims had been fired upon with shotguns. It appeared that all of them went missing last week. "We are conducting the investigation to try to answer these questions," he said.

Despite occasional violence in Venezuela's political standoff, there have been no confirmed selective killings of Chavez's allies or enemies. Still, street clashes have claimed at least seven lives and left scores injured since December. The Venezuelan leader says his self-styled "revolution" for the poor is a peaceful one. His opponents, however, blame his aggressive class-warfare rhetoric for inspiring his supporters to take up arms.
Funny how having the authorities steal from people is always met with resistance. Fundamental Economic Rule #2: If you can't OWN property, you ARE property.
Police said the victims were army soldier Darwin Arguello, marine infantry corporal Angel Salas and air force soldier Felix Pinto. A forensics report seen by Reuters indicated that a least of two of soldiers had been dead for about 72 hours. Their bodies were abandoned on the side of a multi-lane highway heading out of Caracas. Yepez said at least one other victim was found on a farm on the outskirts of the capital. The civilian victim, Zaida Perozo, had been wounded during a Dec. 6 shooting at Plaza Altamira, where she was protesting, said Carlos Bastidas, a lawyer for the dissident military officers.

At least one gunmen left three people dead and more than 20 injured in that attack which opposition leaders blamed on the government. Pinto was a material witness to the incident and had been considering testifying against the alleged shooter, Joao de Gouveia, said Bastides. "It's very easy to put forward ideas or personal judgments ... but there is an element between this case and the case of Joao de Gouveia: that is one of the victims and a witness to Dec. 6 have died," Bastidas said.

Chavez is struggling to consolidate his power after surviving a coup last year. He has rebuffed calls by his opponents for early elections to cut short his term in office, which is set to end in 2007.
Pay no attention to this story, the perpetrators were Socialists with only the best of intentions towards "the people". The victims were just deluded common folk under the control of capitalist bankers. Besides you cant make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, eh?
Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/19/2003 02:25 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought the quote in Rule 2 came from Nevada rancher Wayne Hage??
What is Rule 1??
Posted by: martin harris || 12/25/2004 12:03 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2003-02-19
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Tue 2003-02-18
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Mon 2003-02-17
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Fri 2003-02-14
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Tue 2003-02-11
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