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Iraqi Leaders Don't Want Turkish Troops
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Little Green Cosmos
Hat tip LGF
Astronomers studying radiation left over from the dawn of time believe the cosmos is the shape of a football. They say it is a finite "dodecahedron" made of curved pentagons joined together. However if you went out to the edge of the "ball" you would find yourself coming back in through the opposite face.
Happened to me once, when I was drunk...
The research, reported in the journal Nature, is based on data from a space craft mapping the background radiation left over from the Big Bang. Nasa’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe showed that temperature fluctuations across the sky are smaller than would be produced by an infinite universe. New York mathematician Dr Jeffrey Weeks and colleagues worked out that a football-shaped finite universe best fitted the observations. If the results are confirmed, they would mean the universe is relatively small - about 70 billion light years across. They would also rule out exotic ideas such as "chaotic inflation" which proposes that our local universe is just one of a myriad expanding bubbles.
Shucks. I feel so lonely...
The scientists wrote: "Since antiquity, humans have wondered whether our universe is finite or infinite. Now, after more than two millennia of speculation, observational data might finally settle this ancient question."
Posted by: Atrus || 10/09/2003 4:18:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Siegfried: Tiger only wanted to help Roy
Ok, I initially put a moratorium on laughing about this as it was a man who was really hurt and it would be ’not nice’ to laugh at someone in that predicament, but this statement from ’siegfried’ effectively removes that embargo. "flame on" as they say.....
Despite reports to the contrary, Siegfried Fischbacher said Wednesday that the white tiger named Montecore did not maul his partner,
stop giggling....
magician Roy Horn, during a Las Vegas, Nevada, show last week.
Of course he didn't maul him. He tried to chew his head off...
Instead, Fischbacher said on CNN’s "Larry King Live," Montecore attempted to help his trainer offstage after Horn fell down.
Ladies and gentleman, I am not making this up. this is EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID.
Ummm... Didn't he fall down after the tiger tried to chew his head off?
"A tiger, when he grabs you, it’s the strength," Fischbacher said. "He thinks it’s another tiger, and another tiger has [thick] skin like this, and the fur."
Note to siggy - the tiger doesnt think you're a tiger, he thinks you are food.
The tiger put its jaws around Horn’s neck to lift him as a mother cat does with her cubs, Fischbacher said in the interview, his first since the accident.
siegfried declined to explain how small tiger cubs are almost never eaten by the mother cub by accident.
The Tiger, annoyed at doing two shows a night and a matinee on saturday, being the star of a show yet getting cattle prod in the ass for the slightest discrepancy Unaware of its strength, the 7-year-old tiger ended up nearly killing causing Horn severe injuries that have left the performer in critical condition since Friday’s show, he said. Audience members who witnessed the show at the MGM Mirage said it appeared the tiger momentarily lashed out at his trainer, mauling him and then dragging him offstage.
"Lookitdat, Margaret! He's chewing his head off!"
One audience member said Horn looked like a rag doll in the tiger’s mouth.
it was hard to tell at the time as everyone was giving a standing ovation to the tiger for something they had all secretly wished to do themselves.
"Listen, I say it was an accident," Fischbacher said. "If it would be that the tiger would be out for killing Roy, it would [have happened] in no time."
note to siggy, look closely, it DID!
"Montecore! Stop playing with your food!"
"Yes, Mom!"
Fischbacher spoke from Los Angeles, California,
120 miles away from his playful tiger friends
just two hours after visiting his longtime performing partner
stop giggling...
in a Las Vegas hospital. He said Horn is responding and communicating. "His color is back," Fischbacher said.
that color would be his normal pasty white pallor that hes worked for years to perfect.
And that's after they poured a few gallons of blood into him...
Fischbacher and the duo’s manager, Bernie Yuman, said the 59-year-old Horn had a stroke after suffering massive blood loss in the attack and has had two surgeries since then.
"Doctor Bob! Do you really thing we can sew his head back on?"
"We can but try, Alistaire."
"Roy has the will of a thousand men, and I think probably a lesser man wouldn’t have gotten to this point," Yuman said. "We really believe that we’re about to turn the corner."
"... into a long corridor, leading to a bright light. There he'll meet his sainted Mother..."
"I always say I’m the magician, and he’s the magic," Fischbacher said. "He’s doing his magic. He’s so strong, he’s unbelievable."
The only things that are unbelieveable is that you are this deluded and that this didnt happen sooner.
There has been no change in Horn’s condition since the attack Friday, hospital officials said. Horn remains in critical condition.
The tiger could not be reached for comment, but is apparently enjoying the unexpected time off.
CNN learned Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched an investigation of the show for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Why? the Tiger acted on 6 million years of highly tuned evolution? Why not investigate S&R to find out how they could think that playing with large man-eating mammals would be ’fun and playful’?
The act requires that during public exhibition an animal must be handled in such a way that there is minimal risk of harm to both the animal and the public, a USDA spokesman said.
and as they say in Las Vegas, who wants to see that?
Which was gnawed on? The animal or the public? I forget...
There must also be "sufficient distance and/or barriers between animal and audience," the spokesman said.
siegfried has already taken action - apparently putting 120 miles between himself and the tigers
In the Siegfried & Roy show, the audience sat close to the stage with no barriers.
under big signs for the tigers hanging from the ceiling that said "DO NOT EAT THE CUSTOMERS"
Agriculture inspectors would not say specifically what they are investigating,
Gee, how do you get a wild animal to want to perform in Las Vegas?, thats so like their natural environment.
but public officials in Las Vegas are considering whether there should be new regulations.
They mean lawsuits.
The USDA conducted routine inspections of the Siegfried & Roy show four times in the past three years and found no violations. There was one inspection in 2000, two in 2001, and one last December, the USDA spokesman said.
local wags have noticed that inspectors all coincidentally chose to install pools and jacuzzis at their homes after said inspections were complete.
Fischbacher said he has been overwhelmed by the public support he and Horn have received since the accident. "I never [could] imagine that Siegfried & Roy was that popular and loved," he said. "What we achieved is something. This is bigger. This is huge."
Is he saying that Roy should have been eaten sooner?
Combining magic tricks with tiger stunts, Siegfried & Roy have performed on the Las Vegas strip for nearly 30 years.
Satans Disneyland - Open 24 hours/365 days a year/ We Never Close....
Posted by: frank martin || 10/09/2003 3:45:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Some little twisted conspiracy filled part of me thought that this would be a great gag to fake everyone and add renewed interest to a somewhat lame show. I mean the tigers have to seem dangerous or what's the point.

The fact that Roy can't talk but was able to say don't hurt the tiger and that now Ziggy is also defending the tiger leads me to believe that its' faked (they are magicians after all) or they are both semi-dellusional fools.
Posted by: Yank || 10/09/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Great Wahrks! The competiton for Darwin Awards and Honorable mentions is getting thick! That idiot who tried to put an anti-Iraq-liberation poster on the bridge and fell, the idiot who got high and clipped his doinker, the idiot who fed himself and his gal to a bear, Rachel Araflat, and now this!
Posted by: Atrus || 10/09/2003 16:45 Comments || Top||

#3  pretty obviously the tiger thought he was choking and tried to do a tracheotomy, unfortunately all he had to use was his massive jaws and teeth capable of crushing a water buffalo's spine, but hey, he was working with the tools he had. Give the tiger credit
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 17:00 Comments || Top||

#4  The tiger put its jaws around Horn’s neck to lift him as a mother cat does with her cubs

...or as a hungry tiger does to drag away its prey.

Sheesh, any moron with a T.V. knows this crap.
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 10/09/2003 19:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Either the tiger was homophobic or Roy was menstruating. I don't know which... maybe both.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/09/2003 22:12 Comments || Top||

#6  Roe & Garry read a letter from Steve Wyatt today.

Seems Montecore became fascinated to a lady's do in the front row seats, faced her and stuck his head closer to her instead of hitting his marks. She tried to pet him under his chin. Roy tried to get him away, Montecore grabbed his arm lightly because Roy hit him too hard, no marks, tried to pull him away but Montecore stuck his paw behind Roy's leg and Roy tripped. Montecore grabbed him like he would a kitten, dragged him off stage, dropped him in back and went into his cage. Very calm.

He did all that hitting his and Roy's marks, walking off stage, putting Roy where he was supposed to be after walking off stage...

Maybe the Best of Roe and Garry will have it on Saturday, 12-3 P CDT, wlsam.com hit listen live option. Someone suggested there's an opening and it could now be Siegfried and Roe.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/10/2003 0:01 Comments || Top||

Donk Conference Drinking Game
Please use non-alcoholic drinks becaue there’ll probably be a LOT!
This Thursday evening, the nine remaining candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination will meet in Phoenix for the fourth debate of the year. If these events have started to blend together, why not grab a bottle or two of your favorite tipple and bring on the blurriness by playing Slate’s debate drinking game.


Take one drink if:
A candidate mentions an ordinary American by name
A candidate mentions Bill Clinton
A candidate mentions John Ashcroft
A candidate mentions John McCain
A candidate mentions Enron
A candidate mentions Halliburton
A candidate mentions a member of his or her family
A candidate gives out his or her campaign Web site URL
A candidate flourishes a printout of a strategy paper or a bill he or she co-sponsored
A candidate looks into the wrong camera during introductions
A candidate speaks Spanish
A candidate refuses to answer a hypothetical question
A candidate evades the question of whether they’d vote for Bush’s $87 billion
A candidate uses the phrase "when I’m president"
A candidate promises to "support our troops"

Take two drinks if:
A candidate says a rival is "wrong"
A candidate says he or she is "surprised" by something a rival says
The camera catches an audience member in mid-yawn

Drain your glass if:
You laugh out loud at a candidate’s joke

Finish the bottle if:
The candidates get into a fistfight

Kamikaze version: Take a drink every time a candidate mentions President Bush by name. (Note: This is not recommended if you have to work Friday.)
Posted by: Atrus || 10/09/2003 1:23:19 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Fatal Bear Mauling Was Recorded
More details on yesterday’s posting. Hat tip: Drudge.
The graphic sounds of a fatal bear attack were recorded, Alaska state troopers discovered Wednesday while reviewing a tape recovered near the bodies of a wildlife author and his girlfriend. Trooper Chris Hill said Timothy Treadwell may have been wearing a wireless microphone likely activated when he was attacked by the brown bear at Katmai National Park and Preserve. The videotape has audio only; the screen remains blank for the three-minute recording. "They’re both screaming. She’s telling him to play dead, then it changes to fighting back. He asks her to hit the bear," Hill said. "There’s so much noise going on. I don’t know what’s him and what might be an animal." The bodies of Treadwell, 46, and Amie Huguenard, 37, both of Malibu, Calif., were found near Kaflia Bay on Monday after an air taxi pilot arrived to pick them up. The pilot contacted the National Park Service and state troopers to report a brown bear was apparently sitting on top of human remains at the campsite. After rangers arrived one of them shot and killed a large brown bear when the animal charged through the dense brush. Rangers and troopers later killed a smaller bear apparently stalking them. An autopsy on the human remains confirmed Wednesday the couple were killed by bears. Troopers recovered video and still photography equipment as well as three hours of video footage from the site, across Shelikof Strait from Kodiak Island. Much of the footage is close-up shots of bears — for which Treadwell was well-known. Some scenes show bears no more than a few feet from Treadwell, co-author of "Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild Bears in Alaska." Others show a more timid Huguenard leaning away as bears come close to her on the bank of a river.
The documentation should make them sure Darwin Award shoo-ins now!
Posted by: Dar || 10/09/2003 10:26:15 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  *ROAR*


Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 10:54 Comments || Top||

#2  He called her in to hit the bear while he was being attacked? I can just imagine that conversation with my wife - "I'm being mauled by a wild animal, dear, please come join me in the killing zone." He'd never heard of "run away, save yourself"?

This guy was no loss, but the the girlfriend certainly paid a high price for her bad choice in mates. I'm sure PETA will be apalled they tried to defend themselves at all ...
Posted by: VAMark || 10/09/2003 10:55 Comments || Top||

#3  "An autopsy on the human remains confirmed Wednesday the couple were killed by bears."
What was the first clue? The bear on top of the human remains? "It could have been giant rabid turtles, but we're pretty sure it was the bear."
Posted by: BossMan || 10/09/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

#4  I can just imagine PETA's reaction to this.

" She hit the bear with a stick!? That Nazi pig! "
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 11:27 Comments || Top||

#5  A few more details:
Mr Wilkinson said the tape begins with sounds of Mr Treadwell screaming that he is being attacked and calling for help to 37-year-old Ms Huguenard, who was apparently still inside a tent. "It's obvious that the attack was going on before the tape was turned on," said Mr Wilkinson, who quoted from the tapes. "Come out here; I'm being killed out here," Mr Treadwell said. "Play dead!" Ms Huguenard yelled in reply.
That strategy is commonly used to pacify angry bears in an attack. But Mr Treadwell told Ms Huguenard the strategy was not working and she urged him to "fight back". Mr Treadwell, who never carried weapons, then asked her to get a pan and to hit the bear, police said. At that point, the tape - much of it fuzzy and inaudible, stops, Mr Wilkinson said.

And from Anchorage Daily:
Among the last words Timothy Treadwell uttered to his girlfriend before a bear killed and partially ate both of them were these: "Get out here. I'm getting killed.'' Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said there are no pictures on the tape, leading troopers to believe the attack might have happened while the camera was stuffed in a duffle bag or during the dark of night. Treadwell had talked to an associate in Malibu, Calif., by satellite phone around noon Sunday. He mentioned no problems with any bears. The remains of the Southern Californians who periodically came to Alaska to live intimately with the bears were found the next day. A large but scrawny old bear with bad teeth that a pilot had seen sitting on the brush and dirt pulled over the bodies was shot and killed by National Park Service rangers at the scene after it charged them.

Bingo, scrawny old bear with bad teeth translates to bad tempered hungry bear. It also is the same description used in most cases of man-eating lions.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Hmm...sounds like it was getting harder to get the big game so Papa Bear decided to try the easy--and dumb--pickings that presented themselves. I bet he was pleasantly surprised when his next meal just walked up within inches of him. No hunting--No stalking--No hide--No horns--No claws or fangs--just one big hunk o' nice, warm meat practically serving itself to him.
Posted by: Dar || 10/09/2003 13:42 Comments || Top||

#7  There is another possibility, also. A menstrating woman could attract a bear from the scent. Not a good thing for either of the humans.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/09/2003 13:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Coming soon: The Bear Witch Project
Posted by: BH || 10/09/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#9  AP: Good point. I've also heard that playing dead just gets you dead - that in no way ever are humans to signal to a bear that they're an easy meal.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/09/2003 14:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Coming even sooner: Lawsuit against the Park Service for having dangerous bears in the park.
Posted by: Captain Holly || 10/09/2003 14:41 Comments || Top||

#11  "Lawsuit against the Park Service for having dangerous bears in the park."

There are no dangerous bears, just people endangering bears. If the people hadn't been there, the bear wouldn't have felt threatened and had to defend itself. Then George Bush's chief enforcer John Ashcroft used this excuse to send his Homeland Security Forest Rangers in to kill the endangered bears to clear the way for Dick Chenny's oil rigs. I'll bet that bear ends up as a rug in the oval office Bush stole in 2000.

See how easy that was?
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 15:00 Comments || Top||

#12  Another obvious result of this trajedy - an e-bay bidding war for the audio tape.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/09/2003 16:39 Comments || Top||

#13  Alaskan Browns run up to 1500 pounds, in the big males. A good animal to stay far, far away from.
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 17:28 Comments || Top||

#14  "They’re both screaming. She’s telling him to play dead, then it changes to fighting back. He asks her to hit the bear," Hill said.

Apparently, this guy must have had a last minute change of heart - he had been previously warned about getting too close to the grizzlies, but his reply to that was: "I would be honored to end up in bear scat.".

Be careful what you wish for.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

Resurgence of Taliban in Pashtun areas
Western and Afghan intelligence officials in Kandahar claim that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies are once again covertly backing the Taliban resurgence as they did in the 1990s.
I think we've mentioned that here a time or two...
Islamabad strongly denies such charges, but it is clear that President Pervez Musharraf and the Army wants to retain influence in the Afghan Pashtun belt and the Taliban are its only allies to do so. Pakistan also wants to challenge India’s influence in Kabul and restrain the powerful former Northern Alliance. If leading US officials such as Armitage are prepared to turn a blind eye to these policies, it is clear too many Afghans and Pakistanis will suffer the backlash from supporting another round of extremism. President Karzai played up his anger with Pakistan to the hilt while on a tour of the US and Canada, accusing Pakistan, in a late September speech in Ottowa of "supporting terrorism." Many Afghan leaders are convinced that Washington’s silence on Pakistan is a US led conspiracy, with the Bush administration willing to hand over control of Afghanistan’s Pashtun belt to the Pakistanis. Such conspiracy theories are clearly far fetched, but the Bush administration faces severe pressure from Congress and the US military to reign in Taliban mobilisation in Pakistan. "We see the Pakistani army posts on the border waving in Taliban groups and then waving them out again," says a frustrated mid-level US army officer in Afghanistan. "Washington needs to do something," he adds. While Washington may want to reign in the Pakistani military, at the same time it wants Pakistan to deliver 9000 troops for stabilisation efforts in Iraq and help to capture Osama bin Laden before the US general elections next year. Musharraf is playing a deft game, exploiting his leverage over the Americans while doing just enough to curtail overt US criticism.
Perv is about as "deft" as a claw hammer to the forehead. No doubt the Pak powers that be think they're putting something over on somebody. Maybe they are, in the Solomon Islands or somewhere. What's going to happen when they discover they've only been further down the list all this time?
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/09/2003 2:02:12 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Pakistan denies press reports of sending troops to Saudi Arabia
Pakistan has denied the news items carried in the Middle East and local media, speculating that Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan to send a sizable troop contingent and security and intelligence personnel. A Foreign Office spokesman said on Wednesday that these reports were baseless and incorrect and no such consultations have taken place between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Y'see, they've got this modern airbase, with nobody there, and they couldn't think of what to do with it. Since the Paks have such a nice army, they figured they'd ask if they wanted to use it...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I still believe we should have blown the airbase up, or at the very least bombed the runway.
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  It would be interesting to see what will be the reaction of Pakistani soldiers when they notice the Saudi habit of using Pakistanese as scape goats and
executing them.
Posted by: JFM || 10/09/2003 1:41 Comments || Top||

#3  I'd bet that the documents covering the Saudi-Paki agreements try to avoid phrases such as "cannon fodder" and "population-control".

Notice the number of Paki heads that have rolled for "drug smuggling" recently - with nary a mention of any Saudi complicity? This is an absurdity approaching Clown Prince Abbie regularly serving pork loin as the main course at all of his palaces... Believe this: not a single riyal changes hands in SaoodiLand without a Soddy getting a cut. And if his "partner" is Paki, it's the larger slice, regardless of the relative risks faced. Drug smuggling has "Royal" complicity stamped all over it because of the influence required to get through Customs. I endured some searches that you wouldn't believe looking for pork (flat-nosed beef) - what do you think they would do if they suspected heroin? When a Paki is caught, what you're seeing is a power-play for a larger Soddy cut from the deal. Bank it.
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 2:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Wasn't there a post here a couple weeks ago about a Princeling's jet being used to smuggel drugs?

Haven't heard anything since then.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/09/2003 8:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Raptor, that plane incident was several years ago...the smugglers were just sentenced to prison terms in France, that Soddy prince is on the lam, with an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

I wonder if he's in someone's guest house in Pakistan?
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/09/2003 10:30 Comments || Top||

#6  I'd expect his body will be found in another "went on a picnic in the desert and got lost" story
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 10:32 Comments || Top||

#7  The Saudis apparently already have a lot of Pakistani mercenaries in their armed forces.
Posted by: buwaya || 10/09/2003 11:35 Comments || Top||

Sarkozy: Please Don’t Boo Me Any More, I Surrender!!!
France’s five million Muslims do not enjoy the same rights as the country’s other citizens and might need positive discrimination efforts to reach an equal footing, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday.
"F'rinstance, they need their own Caliph, with a jewelled turban and some dancing girls. It's good for their self-esteem..."
French Muslims, mostly of North African Arab origin, face prejudice at work and a shortage of mosques and other religious services in comparison to other religions, he told an official committee preparing to institute Shariah reviewing the law separating church and state.
How do Frenchies living in Algeria make out? Lotsa churches for them to go to? No prejudice at work, I imagine. And of course they're secure in their homes and persons...
“The term ‘positive discrimination’ doesn’t scare me but being heckled does,” he said, arguing that favoring Muslims might be the only way to create role models for the community. France has traditionally shunned anything that smacks of ethnic profiling. Paris created the commission to consider how to surrender to integrate Europe’s largest Islamic minority at a time when young Muslims — sometimes encouraged by fundamentalists — appear to identify more with their faith than their French citizenship. Noting that many towns refused building permits for mosques on technical grounds, he remarked: “We’ve spent more energy using zoning laws to block the building of mosques than we have to protect our borders when we are attacked seashores.” Muslims also had no schools in France to train imams, or prayer leaders, forcing congregations to recruit men abroad who often speak no French and sometimes preach extremism.
Didn’t they just open such a school out in Provence?
Betcha that makes one more Islamic school than there are seminaries in Algeria...
Sarkozy also criticized French intellectuals who single out Islam for discriminating against women, saying this was a problem in all religions. “I don’t see a lot of women in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in France,” he observed.
Yup, Catholicism is a lot like Islam. I remember having to flee for my safety every time I talked to or even made eye contact with a Protestant boy. And when my mother became an atheist, my priest urged my male relatives to kill her....oh, wait a minute. Never happened.
Stoning adultresses, the auto-da-fe, same thing. As soon as the Catholics stop burning people at the stake... Oh. They have. Never mind.
The minister told the committee that a tougher law that would bar women and girls from wearing traditional Muslim headscarves when they attend school or work in a state office was “neither necessary nor useful nor opportune.”
Funny, I thought Turkey had a similar law until recently. They must have found it useful.
The current law, which dates back to 1905, already rules out the wearing of religious symbols in public offices and schools, he said, and a tougher new one would only isolate Muslims and encourage them to take a more radical stand.
Police statistics showed there were now far fewer cases of girls refusing to take off their headscarves in state schools than a decade ago, he said, citing figures of 1,123 such cases in 1994 compared to only a few hundred now.
"We are making progress! We must surrender now!"

Any bets on when Francistan implements Shariah?
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/09/2003 3:30:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "positive discrimination"

Uh, isn't this new-speak for affirmative action?

JFM, are you ready to come home, yet? You've been on assignment over there long enough, bro!
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 3:50 Comments || Top||

#2  "Positive Discrimination". Whenever I hear that oxymoron I wonder whether the espouser is simply stupid or morally deranged. It's always one or the other.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/09/2003 5:51 Comments || Top||

#3  "Majority discrimination" would be more fitting.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 7:23 Comments || Top||

#4  I'd go further and call it "racism" myself. Or perhaps "faithism". After all, if anyone publicly proposed excluding Muslim individuals in favour of non-Muslim French indviduals for positions, what else would it be called? The same goes for all other forms of so-called positive discrimination. Here in the UK there have been calls for penalising students from fee-paying schools in favour of state school pupils, when it comes to university placements. Apparently, to some people, paying extra out of your own pocket for more-than-bog-standard schooling for your children requires punishment, as it gives them the heinously unfair advantage of a better education. You see, it's not your ability, it's your background that counts. And if your face doesn't fit, you can f*&% off.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/09/2003 8:51 Comments || Top||

#5  He could have at least waited until someone brought out a water gun before surrendering.
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 11:54 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Outrage of the Day
This week the University of Pennsylvania’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) is celebrating its “Islam Awareness Week.” For the keynote address on Thursday, October 9, the MSA invited “Reverend” Baker ro’Baker William W. Baker, a former chairman of a racist and anti-Semitic organization, the Populist Party.

Baker, the founder and director of Christians and Muslims for Peace (CAMP) will be one of two invited speakers and the first non-Muslim ever invited to speak at this annual week-long event.
That there says something about him
Baker’s selection as speaker is bad enough, but the use of university funds to pay for it is a scandal; the Office of the Chaplain and the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life helped MSA come up with nearly $5,000 for the week-long program.

Baker was in the news in 2002 when he was fired by Rev. Robert Schuller of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, following an exposé in the Orange County Weekly, for his ties to neo-Nazism and his anti-Semitic writings. (Schuller’s California-based Crystal Cathedral is perhaps best known for its nationally syndicated television program “The Hour of Power.”)

The weekly’s investigation revealed that Baker had served as the Populist Party’s chairman in 1984 and organized its convention that year. The Populist Party was an initiative of Carto ro’Carto Willis Carto, the well-known neo-Nazi figure also known for founding the Institute for Historical Review, a group devoted to Holocaust denial, and publisher of the nation’s foremost anti-Semitic newspaper, The SPOTLIGHT (now reorganized as the American Free Press).

Baker has a long record of anti-Semitism; for example, his self-published 1982 diatribe, “Theft of a Nation,” called for the dismantling of the “Zionist State.” In a 1983 speech to the racist Christian Patriot Defense League in Missouri, Baker referred to the Reverend Jerry Falwell as “Jerry Jewry” (for his friendliness to Jews), and his disgust at traveling to New York City, getting off the plane to meet, “pushy, belligerent American Jews.”
"They DARE to breathe!"
To accusations of his neo-Nazi ties, Baker responds that he “never supported the views of Willis Carto.” He does acknowledge being chairman of the Populist Party but says it was only for a short time and claims he “publicly resigned due to infiltration from various racist individuals and organizations.”

But this defense is spurious. The Populist platform distributed at 1984 convention included provisions calling for the repeal of sections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the restoration of segregation laws. Baker appeared as a guest on the Carto-backed “Radio Free America” program. His lecture to the Christian Patriot Defense League in Missouri included numerous citations to the The SPOTLIGHT.

Baker had himself called “Dr. Baker” by colleagues at the Crystal Cathedral for his “graduate study” in Jerusalem and Oxford but the exposé could not confirm he had engaged in any graduate study of any kind. Baker also called himself “professor of ancient history and sacred literature” but all evidence suggested he only taught Christian subjects for three years after he graduated from Ozark Bible College in Joplin, Missouri.

Baker’s most recent book, More in Common Than You Think (1998), claims to map “the common ground between Islam and Christianity” and is promoted by such militant Islamic organizations as the Islamic Society of North America. Stephen Schwartz, an expert on militant Islam, finds it clearly “intended to bring together fringe Christians and extremist Muslims.”

A review of Baker’s work reveals that he often glosses over critical differences between the Christianity and Islam. The CAMP website minimalizes the mistreatment of women in Islam and denies the threat of fundamentalist Islam. Baker’s lectures at Crystal Cathedral so blatantly ignored the divinity of Jesus that it offended several moderate Protestant pastors who attended.

Baker promotes himself as an “inter-faith leader” but his inter-faith work seems to be limited to a close relationship with Ahmad Kuftaro, the grand mufti of Damascus and a functionary of the Assad regime who parrots its line. (Kuftaro, for example, called the war in Iraq an “American, British, and Zionist aggression” and called on all forms of “resistence” from Muslims, “including martyrdom operations.”)

Islam Awareness Week co-chairman, UPenn junior Anjum Cheema, stated recently, “The main purpose is to get a big non-Muslim audience to come out and hear what Islam is all about,” he said. Baker’s purpose would seem to be quite different: misrepresenting both Christianity and Islam in an effort to build an anti-Semitic alliance.
Hat tip LGF
Posted by: Atrus || 10/09/2003 3:49:35 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Baker, Baker, ro'Baker
Banana fana fo fakir
fee fi mo maker

Let's do Carto!
Carto, Carto, ro'Carto...
Posted by: BH || 10/09/2003 16:58 Comments || Top||

#2  So "Islam Awareness" involves the views of antisemites and neo-Nazis?

Huh. Good thing Islam means peace, or I'd think they themselves were antisemites and neo-Nazis.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/09/2003 21:25 Comments || Top||

India and China resolve Sikkim dispute.
EFL from Newsday several days ago.
This ties in to the Burma development yesterday.
China has taken the first step toward recognizing the Himalayan territory of Sikkim as a part of India, resolving a long-standing border dispute, an Indian Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday. Sikkim, located between Nepal and the kingdom of Bhutan, was an independent principality before it was annexed by India in 1975. China never recognized Sikkim as an Indian possession and has claimed part of the territory as its own. Border disagreements have long embittered relations between India and China, leading in 1962 to a brief war. India says China still holds 16,000 square miles of its territory in the Kashmir region, while Beijing lays claim to a wide swath of territory in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a 650-mile border with China’s Tibet region. During a visit to Beijing in June, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee agreed with Chinese leaders to have high-level envoys settle territorial disputes and reopen trade between Tibet and Sikkim.
I am having trouble tracking the Indo-chinese proxy battle. It seems to be a factor in India developing nukes to protect itself from Chinese invasion via Tibet. It looks like these two powers are engaged in a perpetual game of Risk.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 2:28:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I guess it all depends on what "resolve" means:
Notwithstanding removal of Sikkim as a separate country from its official website, China on Thursday declined to publicly recognise the fact that the Himalayan state is part of India, saying historical facts must be respected but hoped that the issue could be resolved "gradually". "On the question of Sikkim, this is an issue left over from history. On this issue, we must respect historical facts and at the same time take into account the present circumstances," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said.
"We hope the Sikkim question will be gradually solved," Zhang told reporters when asked to comment that China has recognised Sikkim as part of India by removing it from the Foreign Ministry's website.

"Gradually" to the Chinese means tens, if not hundreds of years. They tend to think long term.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 14:46 Comments || Top||

You Would Think He Would Remember the Good Parts From Aristotle
A gender discrimination debate erupted in the briefing to the parliamentarians on water issue in a local hotel here Wednesday when a senator that women are "less wiser as compared to men."
I’m beginning to think male insensitivity is a worlwide problem.
"Women parliamentarians strongly reacted to the comments and demanded an apology from Senator Liaqat Bangalzai who said he just quoted a saying of Greek Philosopher Aristotle that women had 30 teeth as compared to men who have 32."
Damm it. I’ve just counted my teeth and I have only 25. (I lost one, and dentists had to take out six, six!, because I didn’t have enough space in my mouth for all of them. Say what you will about me, but I have no shot at wisdom.
"The heated debate prolonged, as the women parliamentarians wanted the withdrawal of statement from Bangulzai but he refused to do so."
The women might also opt for calling him a ’male chauvinist pig.’ Although calling someone ’pig’ in Pakistan might be going too far. (Almost as bad as calling someone America-lover.)
"Most of the women who stood up on their seats said that they have equal with like men and the statement of Bangulzai has a created controversy to air the gender discrimination."
You go sisters!
"The women parliamentarians defending the statement replied that the statement of Bangulzai was false and Aristotle was falsely quoted in the comments, which reflect the mentality of senator himself."
The gals shoot themselves in the brain, er, foot, by showing they don’t know what they are talking about. Aristotle did make such statement, and by defending Aristotle where he should not be defended they hurt their cause rather badly.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/09/2003 5:52:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Most of the women who stood up on their seats said that they have equal wit like men

-actually most of us guys would've never stood up on our seats - greater chance of spilling our beer.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 7:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Darn. All of the links are screwed up. I don't know what I did wrong.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/09/2003 9:46 Comments || Top||

#3  He's dead. If you think our women are bad, wait until you PO a radical Islamic woman.
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 11:57 Comments || Top||

#4  If you think our women are bad, wait until you PO a radical Islamic woman.

-Good point. He'll probably get bum-rushed by a half-dozen of them w/tnt strapped to their burkas.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

A Jihadi leader killed with Azam Tariq
Jihadi leader Qari Zia-ur-Rehman was also killed with Maulana Azam Tariq in the Monday’s attack on his car, Daily Times learned on Wednesday. Sources said Qari Zia, who came from Balakot, had been with the maulana for three days. Qari Zia served as the secretary of Commander Baba, a famous jihadi, but later formed his own group called Tehrik Jihad-e-Islami. The body of Qari Zia was sent to his native village Shangeer yesterday.
Ghazi Baba?
However, Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan spokesman Maulana Mujeeb-ur-Rehman denied that any jihadi leader was killed with the maulana. He said a slain guard, Danyial, was from Balakot.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/09/2003 1:11:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "However, Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan spokesman Maulana Mujeeb-ur-Rehman denied that any jihadi leader was killed with the maulana. He said a slain guard, Danyial, was from Balakot."

As you read these 2 sentences, you might assume they are related. Are they? WTF knows. PakiTimes - just following the NYT's lead, I guess.

"No, no, it's not true. You see, I have the little finger - from his left hand, I think - it landed on my doorstep a few hundred yards from the scene of the attack. I have shown it to people in Balakot and they all identified it as Danyial's. Um, does this interview include lunch? Al Guardian interviews always include lunch... for some reason I'm thinking chicken fingers..."
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 1:24 Comments || Top||

Pakistan: The siege within and without
The security environment for Pakistan is becoming increasingly aggravated, both externally and internally. Externally, the Israeli attack on Syria has clearly shown the fallout of the US doctrine of pre-emption. Soon it will be difficult to distinguish it from state terrorism.
If you try real hard, you can't distinguish it now...
And the US refusal to condemn Israel’s aggression (for once Mr Blair’s government resisted the urge to follow the American lead!) against Syria clearly shows that the US is sanctioning local bullies to reign supreme as long as they are perceived as its allies. How does this impact Pakistan?
Hmmm... Got anything in common with Paleostine? Like blowing up civilians? Or cutting people's heads off?
Most directly it shows that states like Israel and India will now use unprovoked strikes on their neighbours, with the US giving a tacit understanding for such action. Israel’s refusal to accommodate Palestinian legitimate rights and its growing frustration over its unsuccessful violent policy against the Palestinians has finally led it to expand its military action and attack its neighbouring sovereign state Syria.
I thought it was frustration over Paleostinians' violent policy against civilians within Israel? Guess I'm wrong, as usual...
And the US acquiescence to this act of naked aggression has emboldened Israel to begin attacking along Lebanon’s border also. As the US becomes increasingly frustrated in its endeavour to stamp out Al-Qaeda and in its inability to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, we may see efforts at hot pursuit increasing along the Durand Line; and if the BJP suffers political losses in forthcoming elections and becomes even more frustrated, it is not beyond the realm of the possible that they may strike at AJK or even along the international border with Pakistan in an effort to regain political support domestically while settling scores with Pakistan also.
Pakland has no such problems since the ISI will fix elections in whatever direction they want
After all, if the Israeli action against Syria is not condemned and Israel made to pay, who is to stop other US allies like India from taking similar aggressive action against its neighbours? So Pakistan may become the whipping boy for frustrated major powers and large neighbours.
That's actually true. One of these days, Hafiz Saeed's boyz are going to blow up one too many crowds...
Also, under the present situation, especially Israel’s expanding military aggression in the neighbourhood, it would make no sense at all for Pakistan to send its forces to Iraq — especially since the new US draft resolution has made no modifications in the request for international forces.
Good idea. Keep them at home, to wave the Talibs across the border...
Beyond this, the Syrian inability to do much in response to the Israeli attack shows the bankruptcy of the Muslim states in terms of options to defend their interests and even sovereignty. The OIC’s total irrelevance in its present form has once again been highlighted. Syria has been attacked, Lebanon is now being targeted and Iran is under siege on the WMD issue — and what has the OIC collectivity been able to do in defence of these states? Absolutely nothing.
Maybe that’s because the mullah-royals are more concerned about where to build their new palace
Worse still, for the first time leaders of states that have oppressed Muslim minorities
Yep, any where muslims are minorities they are oppressed. Maybe its because they keep trying to ethnically cleanse the majority
are being invited to the Kuala Lumpur OIC Summit as Observers — Russia and the Philippines. Given that India has a much larger oppressed Muslim minority,
Pakland has no such problem as their minority has already been ethnically cleansed
Pakistan should be prepared to see India pushing its way into the OIC. Already, India is expanding its influence in the Gulf and has become a full dialogue partner in the GCC, alongside the US and Japan. And India is already active in Afghanistan, Central Asia and increasingly in Iran also. In Southeast Asia, India is increasing its interaction with ASEAN while ensuring that Pakistan is kept out. Indian proactivism is in sharp contrast to Pakistan, which continues to focus almost solely on the US.
And Soddy Arabia, of course...
Opportunities in the neighbourhood go unnoticed or ignored as we look to keep the US appeased even as its officials launch into diatribes against Pakistan — retracting some of them much later when the damage has already been done, or when they finally feel that Pakistan has had enough and will not tolerate more abuse.
That's true. We do have to worry about our diplomats and their families being shot up in church...
Even at the micro level, individual Pakistanis continue to be harassed and abused by US officials, with no reciprocity in such treatment being meted out to Americans visiting Pakistan.
Yep, all those illegal US asylum seekers sneaking into pakland are given Drivers license on arrival
Nor much in the way of strong protest either. Why?
Actually, we get more than enough abuse from Pakistan — it's just that we get more from clerics than we do from the gummint. On the other hand, we can declare war on a government and normally we don't do that on groups of clerics...
Meanwhile, the US continues to hold an increasing number of military exercises with India in Pakistan’s neighbourhood. Given the conflictual situation that prevails in South Asia, America’s exercises with Special Forces in Ladakh and with a nuclear submarine in the Arabian Sea can only send negative signals to Pakistan.
They're called warnings. We're dealing with Pakistan, so we can't be subtle...
All in all, US policies in the Middle-East and Afghanistan and its support of Israel and India have had a direct, negative impact on Pakistan’s external security calculations making it even more critical to strengthen the nuclear deterrence and conventional offensive capabilities.
All Pakland has going for it is its "nuclear deterrence." The army's never won a war and every once in awhile Bugtis beat them up.
However, the more immediate threat may well be from internal developments, with the resurfacing of sectarian violence and killings. The militarisation of civil society has seen violence and killings dominate political debate and rivalries. It seems as if no government — civil or military — can take concrete steps that will truly destroy the foundations of the terrorism confronting our domestic polity. We know the threat and where it comes from and all manner of laws and special courts have been set up but the effectiveness is obviously not there — nor is the deterrence.
That's because you keep making distinctions among krazed killers. They're all the same. That's why you find "sectarian" killers among terrorists and both among what the Paks insist on dubbing "freedumb fighters."
Nor is it just political conflicts and rivalries that have seen violence. The sectarian killings are the most public and debilitating because they strike at the core of our Islamic identity.
Actually, I think of them as an expression of Pakland's peculiar Islamic identity. The only other country that approaches Pakistan is Yemen, and they're trying to control it...
Whether it is domestic violence or youngsters seeking ego salvation, the gun comes increasingly into play. For instance, only a few weeks ago, a young man, who had some years earlier fired wildly at a private party and managed to evade punishment, fired at a young girl and her brother at the opening of a new restaurant in Islamabad. Once again the boy got away with it (incidentally he has US nationality) despite everyone knowing who he was! If extremism is the culprit, then this extremism has pervaded our civil society at all levels and is not restricted simply to the religious domain. There is simply no respect for the law of the land.
That's a side effect of endemic corruption...
Add to that a violent intolerance of differences and the mix is lethal. We have truly developed a most disastrous psyche: We are quite prepared to accept being abused and taken advantage of by outsiders, but are not prepared to even accept different opinions or values amongst each other.
So basically the biggest threat to pakland is from within pakland but lets just go on a rant about the US-Zionist-Hindo conspiracy against the poor oppressed muslim minority. Boo-Hoo. Sniff!!!
That's why they're the way they are, isn't it? Cause? Effect? Nothing but a Western plot!
Posted by: rg117 || 10/09/2003 12:42:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

‘313’ responsible for sectarian killings
Yet another Jihadi grouping in Pakland, only this one has lamest name yet. I assume the group has 313 members, or perhaps it refernces the Quran.
While holding the newly formed jihadi-cum-sectarian outfit ‘313’ as responsible for Friday’s killings in Karachi, investigators fear that more such incidents might take place by Ramazan anywhere in the country as the terrorists want to destabilise the Musharraf government. Well-placed sources in the Interior Ministry told The News that the outfit ‘313’ was an alliance of three banned militant organisations - Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Alami and Harkat Jihad-ul-Islami.
Sounds like another name for the Muslim United Army
"Basically, the organisation ‘313’ was formed by militants of three proscribed outfits, who had fought in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban. It aims to target Western interests in the country and its activists may also have connections with al-Qaeda," said a senior government official, adding: "But we have reports that in order to destabilise the government, the militants belonging to 313 may carry out sectarian killings and attacks on minorities as well." A senior intelligence official said: "The outfit 313 was involved in the Quetta carnage that left 53 people dead. But it was decided at the very high level that the name of this organisation should not be disclosed. We believe that the same organisation is also behind today’s incident." Sources disclosed that recently the Interior Ministry sent a list of more than a dozen well-known personalities, belonging to the Shia sect to the provinces, directing them to provide them foolproof security, as it was feared that these persons could be attacked by the militants of ‘313’. Intelligence sources feared that more such attacks might take place on places of worship of Shia and Sunni sects, as previous records showed that sectarian killings increased before the commencement of Ramazan.
I guess these guys could have wacked Azam Tariq to stir up trouble, but I would still put the blame on Shias who had gotten sick of being slaughtered by his followers.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/09/2003 12:32:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Perhaps it's their abbreviation for "31337"?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/09/2003 6:55 Comments || Top||

#2  the organisation ‘313’

-they probably watched the film 8-Mile w/eminem and wanted to be down w/the homeys so they took the area code for the city of Detroit.

Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 7:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Quran 3:13
Say to those who disbelieve, `You shall be overcome and be gathered unto Hell; and an evil place of rest it is.'
Posted by: Kathy K || 10/09/2003 8:16 Comments || Top||

#4  So, Kathy, hell is like Las Vegas?
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/09/2003 8:29 Comments || Top||

#5  313 isn't very catchy. I would name my group The Psycho Yeti. It has a grundgy garage band feel to it.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 9:22 Comments || Top||

#6  So, Kathy, hell is like Las Vegas?

That's how I imagine it. Vegas without the all-you-can-eat buffets and that great little rollercoaster on the top of the NY/NY. I really don't want to go back there any time soon.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/09/2003 9:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Quran 3:13 Say to those who disbelieve, `You shall be overcome and be gathered unto Hell; and an evil place of rest it is.'

Austin 3:16 Says, 'You just got your ass whipped.'
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm eagerly awaiting Jarhead to tell me what he had for lunch that he washed down with "one beer...two beers....three beers!"
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 10/09/2003 16:11 Comments || Top||

#9  Flaming Sword,

"one bag of pork rinds....two burritos.......three bowls of Texas chili.......and that's the bottomline......."
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 22:47 Comments || Top||

No money, no play: US on the brink in Iraq
Interesting article regardless of which side of the argument you are from. Too long to summarize, recommend you read it all.
This coming October 23 to 24, the United States will be sitting down with rich creditor countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) during an international donors’ conference on Iraq in Madrid. The IMF, the World Bank and the UN have estimated that Iraq will need US$36 billion for reconstruction within the next four years, in addition to $19 billion for other nonmilitary needs calculated by the American occupation regime. With few options left, the US will be passing the hat. This meeting could be a turning point in the occupation because whether the hat goes back to the US full or not will determine whether the US can afford to stay. The decision of donor countries to cough up cash will depend, in turn, on whether this continues to be a unilateral or multilateral economic takeover of an occupied country.
Posted by: rg117 || 10/09/2003 1:14:41 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We can't afford NOT to stay, regardless of the WB and IMF. Hell, we can always start undercutting the Soddies on OOOOOOOIIIIILLLL!

All sound and fury...
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 13:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Newday has a good article on the privatization plan. Here is the first para:

The U.S.-led administration in Iraq will present a plan to privatize the country's state-owned industries by the spring, the official in charge of the effort said Wednesday.

Iraqis will make the final decisions on how to manage the sales, said Thomas Foley, director of private sector development for the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority. He said he would give suggestions for detailed privatization plans to the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, which then would name a commission to oversee the process
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 14:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Perhaps, we could ask the UN about the 30-35
Billions, of Iraqi money, sitting in French bank accounts from the food for oil program?
Posted by: FJH || 10/09/2003 14:51 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeap,seems most everybody has forgoyyen that money,FJH.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/09/2003 19:18 Comments || Top||

Suicide Car Bombers Kill 8 in Baghdad
Edited for topic:
A suicide driver roared through the gates of a police station in Baghdad’s biggest Shiite Muslim slum Thursday morning and detonated his car bomb in the courtyard, killing eight policemen and civilians and injuring up to 45 people, authorities reported. The driver and a passenger also were killed. Some 50 officers had gathered outside in the compound at about 8:30 a.m. to collect their pay when the white Oldsmobile sped up, police opened fire on it, the bomber crashed into a parked vehicle, and the car exploded. "I ran and got hit in the leg. When I looked back, all I could see was fire," officer Khalid Sattar Jabar, 25, said from his hospital bed. He said he got a look at the driver: a man with a beard and a thick head of hair.
Real holy men don’t shave.
Mangled police cars were scattered around the bomb site and debris filled the big courtyard in front of the one-story police building. The blast left a crater about 10 feet across and 4 feet deep, a U.S. Army officer at the scene said. Three policemen and five civilians were killed, said Capt. Sean Kirley of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. In addition, two people in the car died, said Iraqi police Capt. Bassem Sami.
They don’t count.
Sami said 28 people were wounded, but police at Al-Kindi Hospital said 28 wounded were being treated there while officials at Qasim al-Mubarka hospital said they had at least nine. Police said they had reports of an additional eight wounded at Ibn Nafees Hospital. Angry residents thronged the area around the police station after the bombing, and scores of U.S. soldiers surrounded the building in Humvees. An Iraqi policeman who pushed through the thousands-strong crowd was stabbed in the upper right arm after being set upon by the mob, which chanted "No, no to America!" He was treated by U.S. military medics at the scene. Associated Press Television News camera crews also were attacked by the crowds and had some equipment stolen. One crew member was slightly injured. Scores of other journalists were jostled by the crowd.

Rumors flew about who might be responsible: Some blamed ultraorthodox Wahhabi Sunni Muslims, religious enemies of the Shiites; policemen said they had been threatened by a local Shiite imam; and others blamed Saddam’s ousted Baathists and - indirectly - the Americans. Inside, a police sergeant who was wounded in the legs, Saad Drawal al-Dharaji, 29, said a local imam had threatened to take action against the police station unless it turned over some policemen for "punishment" for having served under Saddam. "We will have our revenge for this," al-Dharaji said. He said he didn’t know the name of the clergyman. A fellow sergeant, Jassim Mohsen, 31, confirmed that duty officers earlier this week recorded the threats, made in both last Friday’s sermon and in letters to the police.
Cops take cop killers very seriously, there tends to be a lot of people injured "resisting arrest".
Wounded officer Jabar, meanwhile, mentioned another possible motive for a bombing: Demonstrators had rallied at the police station on Wednesday to demand release of Shiite cleric Moayed al-Khazraji, arrested by the U.S. occupation force on Monday and accused of unspecified "criminal and anti-coalition activities." Those protesters dispersed peacefully. "We didn’t have the imam," Jabar said.
"He ain’t here, try the airport."
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 9:20:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like a job for Agatha Christie
Posted by: B || 10/09/2003 10:11 Comments || Top||

#2  If I worked for Bremmer, I would recommend filming a show like Cops for broadcast on Iraqi TV. It would personalize the officers.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 12:50 Comments || Top||

#3  Some 50 officers had gathered outside in the compound at about 8:30 a.m. to collect their pay when the white Oldsmobile sped up, police opened fire on it, the bomber crashed into a parked vehicle, and the car exploded.

-Sounds like a scene from a John Woo movie.

Cops & civilians dead, & 45 innocent bystanders injured - damn shame. I bet there's gonna be some excessive force used in future apprehensions. I doubt the police there have ever heard of the Miranda rule anyhow.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 13:20 Comments || Top||

Spanish diplomat killed in Baghdad
The Spanish Government has confimed the death of one of its diplomats in Baghdad. Jose Antonio Bernal Gomez, a Spanish military attache, was murdered outside his home in the Iraqi capital. Security was tightened outside the Spanish embassy following the killing.
Little late for that.
Mr Bernal Gomez worked for Spain’s national intelligence centre and had been stationed in Iraq for mroe than two years. Initial investigations into his death indicate that he was murdered outside his front door. Spanish national radio reports say a group of men driving a car with foreign number plates rang at Mr Bernal Gomez’s residence on Thursday morning.
Foreign number plates? Syrian, Iranian, Saudi, New Jersey, what’s concidered foreign in Iraq?
They say he was then shot as he tried to run past them into the road.
And his bodyguard was where?
Mr Bernal Gomez is Spain’s second casualty in post-war Iraq.
Navy captain Manuel Martin Oar died in the bombing of the United Nations’ headquarters in Baghdad in August. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar was an unflagging supporter of the US-led war on Iraq. Around 1,300 Spanish troops now serve with the multinational occupying force there.
Which is why he should of had bodyguards.
Following the confirmation of Mr Bernal Gomez’s death, Spain’s left-wing opposition has called for Mr Aznar to report to parliament on the safety Spanish nationals in Iraq.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 8:53:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  More details, sounds like a kidnapping gone bad:
The plague of postwar violence flared elsewhere in the capital as a Spanish military attache was shot to death after four men, one dressed as a Shiite Muslin cleric, knocked on his door at about 8 a.m., according to a Spanish diplomat in Baghdad who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A school guard opposite the diplomat's home said the men tried to drag him out of his house. He escaped, tried to run away and was shot in the head. The diplomat died at the scene. The Spanish Foreign Ministry identified the dead man as Jose Antonio Bernal Gomez, an air force sergeant attached to Spain's National Intelligence Center.

He was a sergeant, that explains why no bodyguard, not a high enough pay grade. Bastards.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 9:10 Comments || Top||

#2  should've at least been armed - a muslim cleric comes to my door? I open fire through the door, just on G.P.
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||

#3  "I open fire through the door"

I have the same policy with Jehovah's Witnesses.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 9:58 Comments || Top||

#4  We have a saying in California: after the really big earthquake hits, Jehovah's Witnesses will be the only ones alive, cuz they're standing in everyone's doorways
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 10:10 Comments || Top||

#5  Was he Spanish for sure? Normally these guys are pretty speedy Arriba! Arriba! Arriba!
Posted by: Murat || 10/09/2003 10:17 Comments || Top||

#6  Actually Murat, Speedy Gonzalez was a Mexican mouse, not Spanish. Not to mention a cartoon.
Posted by: Kelvin Zero || 10/09/2003 11:15 Comments || Top||

#7  I have the same policy with Jehovah's Witnesses.

Excellent policy. I just trained my dog too attack them. And Mormons after one found my house.
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 11:47 Comments || Top||

#8  Does anyone else smell al'Qaeda in these attacks?

Spain has been rounding up al'Qaeda, including their media flackeys. That makes the Spanish ambassador a target for them.

Then there's the car bomb -- shoot the guards and drive into the target? Sounds like the Kenyan(? I think) attack.

Then there's the story from yesterday or the day before about the AQ guy arrested leaving Iraq. Possibly he was the coordinator/trainer, leaving the area before things got too hot?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/09/2003 12:23 Comments || Top||

#9  Frank--Thanks for the warning! I'll be sure to avoid your house this Halloween! :-)
Posted by: Dar || 10/09/2003 14:24 Comments || Top||

Iraqi Leaders Don’t Want Turkish Troops
In other news, dog bites man. EFL.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq’s interim leaders told U.S. officials Wednesday they don’t want peacekeepers from Turkey or other neighboring countries but are willing to soften their opposition to avoid a confrontation with the U.S.-led coalition.
"Thank you for liberating us, effendi, but would you please keep the cursed Turks out of here?"
They delivered their message as several thousand Shiite Muslims marched to coalition headquarters to demand the release of a cleric arrested for ``anti-coalition activities.’’ Protesters hurled stones and sandals - an Iraqi gesture of contempt - at U.S. troops as they dispersed without winning the preacher’s freedom.
And we didn’t gun ’em down in the streets like Saddam would have. Wonder if MoveOn.org will credit us for the difference?
The Turkish parliament’s decision Tuesday to authorize the sending of Turkish peacekeepers to join the coalition was applauded in Washington, which is eager to bring in more troops to ease the burden on the 130,000 American soldiers.

However, the decision upset many Iraqis because of the legacy of 400 years of Turkish colonial domination of what is now Iraq. Opposition to the Turks runs deepest in the north, where Iraq’s minority Kurds have watched ethnic cousins across the border in southeastern Turkey wage an on-off separatist guerrilla war in recent decades, in part from bases in northern Iraq. Some Iraqis also worry that Turkey may support the interests of ethnic Turks in northern Iraq, a small minority often at odds with their Kurdish neighbors.

Iyad Allawi, president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, told The Associated Press that ``important sensitivities’’ were involved in deploying Turkish troops in Iraq. The spokesman for the council, Haider Ahmed, said members told chief U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer that council members did not want to see any peacekeeping troops from countries - including Turkey - that border Iraq.
Can’t say that I blame them.
After meeting with the council, Bremer said he was willing to discuss the issue but that the final decision rested with the coalition.
Sounds like the decision has been made.
Despite their opposition, key council members said they wanted to avoid a showdown with the Americans over the Turkish presence. Mouwafak al-Rabii, a Shiite member of the council and longtime human rights activist, told reporters ``there are still differences’’ with the coalition over the Turks ``but they are reconcilable differences.’’

``We don’t want any confrontation with the Coalition Provisional Authority, and we have decided to work together,’’ al-Rabii said. ``This is not a stumbling block in our relations’’ with the coalition.’’
I’m impressed (seriously) with the common sense and maturity being shown here.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 12:27:51 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm not impressed. Many of the council members are well educated and have seen us for what we really are. Iraq truly is on the road to Democracy. Just not the French kind I hope...
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 0:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Send the Turks to Afghanistan. Or just say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Then whisper "Northern front" when they turn away...
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 0:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Charles

I will develop the theme one of this day but any
country who has no primaries is not democracy but
partitocracy: candidates are nominated by parties (in France only 1% of people are affilited in a party), in a process who usually favors bigcheese
in parties instead of militants. Then the people
have to cope with whatever dog food has been selected by the party: at elections party loyalty
overcomes other considerations so you know that whatever candiadte is presented by big party X it willget at leat N% of votes even if candiate were
despised by everyone, while the most admirable man on earth but presented by small party Y will get at most N/3 or N/4% votes.

It is still worst on a proportional system where
party internal politics decide if Mr Smith will
be in first posiytion in the list and thus mathematically sure to be elected or in 50th position and thus will only be elected if party
gets 90% of votes (ie no chance in hell).

On that account only true democracy is USA, France
iw bad but the fact we have majority system makes it no so bad since even if in an imperfect wazy the firt round plays as primaries but unification of the right now deprives right wing voters from choices (a note about Chirac: it was his takeover of the gaullist party who made him relevant, by the way he wasn't even a member of it), the UK is worse since there is only one round and party internals can make a PM lose power without new elections (Thatcher, it can still possibly to Blair), proportiona systems like in pre-Gaullist France and Italy are the worst of all: looks like a democracy but isn't

Posted by: JFM || 10/09/2003 2:04 Comments || Top||

#4  In what the Beeb (Juliette Dunlop preporting) calls "the deepening security crisis" in Iraq, this (Turkish troop deployment) is the lead story at this hour. Regards the Kurds' unhappiness over this plan, they say the Coalition is trying to show sensitivity to Iraqi concerns - implying the deployment might be scuttled. Wishful agenda-driven posturing thinking, perhaps?
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 2:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Iraq truly is on the road to Democracy.

Yeah absolutely, with a US appointed puppet council. As I remember well the US is even against the democratic free election to determine the council who has to form the new Iraqi constitution on the argued reason that the Shia would likely get to many votes! What a road to democracy indeed!
Posted by: Murat || 10/09/2003 2:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Murat, I know you were SO looking forward to going to Iraq, but it doesn't look like they want you there.
It's ok. We're here for you. Really.
I know this is a bit complicated, but.....here goes. We apparently asked Ankara to send troops. Ankara said ok. The Iraqis heard about it and objected. We listened to them. Now it looks like we're supporting their decision.
Yep, that's a puppet government if I ever saw one.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/09/2003 3:38 Comments || Top||

#7  JFM - Excellent points - which need to be absorbed by those who don't "get it" about America. Anyone can declare themselves a member of X Party and enter the primary, and potentially win. Or, in the special case of a recall election, come out of nowhere and win, if the public so decides. The Party Hacks only control money contributed by the Party "faithful" (Suckers? I don't know what else would you call people who donate to the party, instead of the candidate.) - they don't have the power in the US that they have elsewhere. As you point out, most so-called democracies are actually merely Party Games. Bullshitocracies?

Murat - Now, now, don't devolve into bitchdom again, okay? You've been doing so well, lately. You get what you want if the Iraqis get what they (seem to) want: No Farkin Turks in Iraq. I'm sure there are things which are known to the Govt's involved that are not common knowledge. I'll wait and see. As for puppetry consider both JFM's excellent observations and the fact that the average Iraqi doesn't know DICK about democracy nor writing a constitution. They'll need help - from the ones who DO know about it. If they were to adopt the US Constitution and Bill of Rights intact, who would be harmed? No one except the asshats - and that's the point, my boy. Somehow the US and Iraq will muddle through without your help. So take your soma and have a nice lie-down, K?
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 4:24 Comments || Top||

#8  .com,

First you know my personal opinion about Turkish troops in Iraq. Whatever our government and parliament has decided now and my opinion wont change that, so I stick to reality.

The Kurds oppose Turkish troops because they want an Iraq divided into a Kurdistan what is not inline with Turkish interests. For the obvious reason Turkey wants to keep Iraq unified and the Kurds see that more Turkish influence in Iraq make their dream more difficult than it already is.

The biggest concern of Kurds is that the US and Turkey will finally agree on a troop number far exceeding the number projected (10.000), in military circles numbers between 40.000 – 50.000 are being discussed. For Turkey it means a big say on the future of Iraq (and of course many body bags), for the US it will mean they can shove aside the UN and bring large numbers of troops back home (something positive for Bush prior to elections). What the final agreement between the US and Turkey on troops will be I don’t know, but it is obvious that the Bush government is very eager to get those troops in Iraq.
Posted by: Murat || 10/09/2003 6:07 Comments || Top||

Murat, re. your post yesterday - I'm sure you're aware the Enlgish squad have come to their senses, and that the game's definitely on for Saturday. (Unless, that is, the Turkish side decides to strike in the face of irresistible odds, BWAHAHAHAHAH!) May the best team win! It seems to be silly season for English football at the moment. I'm sure it has something to do with the players' market engendering a lack of responsibility coupled with breathtaking arrogance. They would have been incredibly stupid to refuse to go to Turkey bacause one team member "forgot" to attend a drug test on time, and they wouldn't have had much public support, I'm sure.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/09/2003 9:21 Comments || Top||

#10  Why are we polling the Iraqis to see what flavor of occupation troups they would accept?
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 9:25 Comments || Top||

#11  Ralph Peters, whose opinion I respect, has come out against a Turkish deployment. He argues that this is a betrayal of the Kurds, who have stood by America for the past decade. The question is whether a Turkish role in Iraq is going to turn out like the Syrian role in Lebanon. Peters argues that Turkey, which has no problem with Saddam, is going to end up allying with Baathists and worsening the terrorist problem. There is a precedent for Turkish trouble-making - just look at Cyprus, a British colony that the Turks invaded and virtually annexed, upon independence.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/09/2003 9:35 Comments || Top||

#12  .com> "Anyone can declare themselves a member of X Party and enter the primary, and potentially win."

And in most democratic nations worldwide anyone can found their own party and enter the election and potentially win. And in most democratic nations worldwide small parties have a much bigger chance of getting influence than in America whose system makes it impossible for any third party to meaningfully exist, even if it would get 10% of the votes or more.

It seems to me that both JFM and you are trying to make a distinction out of nothing. Yes, anyone can declare themselves a member of X party and enter the primary and potentially win. Don't you see that as a sticking point though, that they *have* to declare themselves a member of said X party?

Don't delude yourselves. The two-party system of America has the very same flaws European systems have -- they're simply located differently.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/09/2003 9:38 Comments || Top||

#13  Hi Bulldog,

Yes may the best team win, will be a tremendous game. Missing Owen and Ferdinand won't change the English squad too much (in the negative sense) I think, I'd prefered a Rooney miss. :)
Posted by: Murat || 10/09/2003 9:40 Comments || Top||

#14  No comment further needed:

U.S. may withdraw its U.N. resolution
Posted by: Murat || 10/09/2003 10:07 Comments || Top||

#15  I'm just wondering (casually) whether the appropriate compromise would involve the Turkish troops playing a role in the southern region (well away from the Kurdish areas) or possibly along the Syria/Iraq border -- the latter case made plausible by the fact that Syria & Turkey are already used to dealing with each other across their common border?

Either of these options lets them help out (a good thing, IMHO), without risking the complications of any Kurd/Turk armed "confusion"...
Posted by: snellenr || 10/09/2003 13:01 Comments || Top||

#16  Murat

There is another reason not to want Turkisk troops
in Iraq, they are needed at home in case the islamist government goes too far.
Posted by: JFM || 10/09/2003 14:45 Comments || Top||

#17  Murat,

Do you understand that by the US Consitution we don't directly elect the president? The US is a Constitutional Republic. Supposedly each state appoints Electors to the Electorial College that then vote on the President.
By tradition the Electors for a state vote as a group for the candiadte that won the popular election in that state. The States actually decide how to appoint their electors.

There is always a push in close elections to influence electors to break ranks and vote against the candidate that won the popular election in their states.

In cases where electors have gone out on their own, state legislators have passed legislation to require the electors to vote a certain way.

Oh, Murat
Be very quiet about the whole elector deal. Many Americans aren't aware of the Electoral College. If word gets out, there might be cries of disenfranchisement.

Note - if I were a politico lobbiest in California, I would introduce legislation to require electors to vote in accordance with the the voting results of individual congressional districts and have the extra two electors go to the candidate that won the most votes overall. This bizarre scheme would mean that it was less likely that a candidate or party would right-off my state completely. More campaigning = more money for the operatives.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 16:09 Comments || Top||

#18  SH: your proposal is exactly how Nebraska does it, as I recall.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 17:31 Comments || Top||

#19  Note - if I were a politico lobbiest in California, I would introduce legislation to require electors to vote in accordance with the the voting results of individual congressional districts and have the extra two electors go to the candidate that won the most votes overall.

This is asking for a constitutional crisis. The whole point of the electoral college is that winner takes all scheme - it prevents the president from giving out too many goodies to the big states. All he needs is 1 vote more than his opponent.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/09/2003 23:09 Comments || Top||

Comical Ali: Israel jammed Iraq's satellite tv channel
Iraq's former information minister on Wednesday accused Israel of aiding the U.S.-led invasion by jamming Iraq's satellite television channel, adding that remains of Israeli missiles were found.
Tell 'em about the death rays...
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, speaking on Abu Dhabi Television, said Iraq did not have long-range missiles to attack the Jewish state the way it did in the 1991 Gulf War. "I don't have information if it (Israel) played a military role, but I have information about what is related to our media work and of what we found of remains of Israeli missiles used against us," he said without giving further details on the type of the missiles and where they were found.
"We could tell they wuz Zionist missiles! They wuz all circumcized!"
Al-Sahhaf said "highly qualified Iraqi engineers found out that the jamming of the Iraqi satellite television channel was coming from the west and after further checking we came to the closest realistic conclusion that the jamming was coming from Israel."
If you can't believe Comical Ali, who can you believe?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Only Al Jizzwad or it's ilk would have this clown on staff.

I wouldn't be surprised to have his name enter the english language as a cognate for "lying jerk".

Yeah, that's the ticket!
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 0:59 Comments || Top||

#2  It's good to see he's found a job, after he tried to surrender to the coalition forces and was told to go away. ;)
I guess "shock and awe" means knocking the finals of "Iraqi Idol" off of the air.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/09/2003 2:42 Comments || Top||

#3  With respect to Israeli cooperation with the US, I question whether we have provided them with JDAM's for the Lebanon and Syria campaign. If not, why not? No reason to allow unnecessary casualties among non-combatants.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||

#4  A JDAM isa bolt-on guidance package. I feel sure the Israelis have some, even if they had to build them at home. Probably not too hard, once you know the basics. And the Israelis definitely have spooks working the US defense contractor beat.
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#5  Mojo

You are talking about Israel. That is the
country where most major US technology companies
have laboratories in it, the country who has or had more scientist researchers than all the Muslim world combined (source: a memo from that Ahmadist who got the Nobel Prize in physics), a country who is plenty of the material (Jews) who has produced dozens of scientific Nobel Prizes, Field medalists, most of thebig guns in Manhattan project and half of the top chess players. They don't need stinking spooks to make JDAMs.

Posted by: JFM || 10/09/2003 15:09 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Malaysian court halts deportation of Abu Jibril
A Malaysian court Wednesday granted an Indonesian named as a senior member of the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network a stay against his deportation, the official Bernama news agency reported. Mohamad Iqbal Abdul Rahman, also known as Abu Jibril, was released in August after two years in detention but immediately held by the immigration department pending deportation to Indonesia. The alleged militant, who held permanent resident status in Malaysia, then appealed to the High Court against a declaration that he is an undesirable person and a prohibited immigrant. The court said it would deliver judgement on November 11. The release of Mohamad Iqbal has raised eyebrows as Malaysia is still holding more than 90 other Muslim militants. Many are suspected members of JI, the al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian network blamed for a string of attacks including last year's Bali bombings. Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda has said police would question Mohamad Iqbal about his possible links to terrorism if he was sent back to Indonesia.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have to go get my eyes checked - I read that as Abu Gerbil (insert (gerbil) Richard Gere joke (somewhere) here).
Posted by: Raj || 10/09/2003 13:00 Comments || Top||

Courts jail more Bali bomb accomplices
Judges on Wednesday jailed three men for more than four years for their part in last year's Bali bomb attacks in which 202 people died. In separate trials, judges handed down sentences for the men accused of assisting those accused of the bombings, seen as the worst global terror acts after the September 11, 2002 attacks on the United States. Judge Cokorda Rai Suamba found one of the men, Puriyanto, guilty of having helped hide key Bali bombers Ali Imron and Mubarok while they were on the run, sentencing him to four years and eight months in jail. Puriyanto has yet to decide whether to appeal the sentence, which was lighter than the seven years sought by prosecutors, his lawyer Ari Purwanto said.

At another trial in the same court, Judge Ida Bagus Jagra sentenced Sukastopo, 49, to three years for hiding information on the whereabouts of suspects sought by police. Sukastopo, the judge said, knew that Imron and Mubarok had been taken to an isolated Indonesian island, but did not inform the authorities. Sukastopo's lawyer told the court his client would not appeal.

At a separate trial in the same court building, a panel of judges sentenced Eko Hadi Prasetyo to four years for assiting Puriyanto in taking Imron and Mubarok to the island.

Meanwhile, judges at another trial, postponed the reading of the sentence on another accomplice, Mujarot, until Monday saying that they were not yet ready with the verdict.

The four men are known to be part of the "Berukang" group of accomplices, named after the island in Indonesia's East Kalimantan where Imron and Mubarok were captured in hiding. Bali's courts have already jailed one of the key players in the group, Hamzah Baya, to six years in jail. Some 34 people have been arrested for the October 12, 2002 bomb attacks targeted at popular nightspots on the island. Three top operatives — Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Mukhlas — have been sentenced to face a firing squad. Ali Imron, the brother of Amrozi and Mukhlas and the only bomber to express remorse, got a life sentence.
I am very impressed. If you'd asked me a day before the bombings what the Indon response would be, I'd have said, first that they'd never "catch" the guys responsible, and that if they did, they'd let them off. The bombings were a big mistake on Jemaah's part; prior to them, Indonesia was limp and wishy-washy about terrorism. Today, they're look like they're as hard on the Bad Guys as Singapore.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Bashir appeals his sedition conviction
Abu Bakar Bashir, a Muslim cleric sentenced to four years in jail for sedition has appealed his verdict to the High Court here, his attorneys said Wednesday. Bashir's attorney Mohammad Mahendratta said prosecutors had offered no evidence showing his client wanted to overthrow the Indonesian government. Bashir was merely advocating sharia (Islamic law), the lawyer said.
"Just a simple holy man, trying to do God's work..."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Bashir was merely advocating sharia (Islamic law), the lawyer said."

And offing the Veep (at the time) Milliwatti is covered, I'm sure, under sharia... uppity femalian!

Fred, when the Indos let Bashir count muzzle blasts, I'll be impressed, too. I think they're doing surprisingly well regards the foot soldiers - almost makes a believer out of me - but the JI brass is getting a pass, so no go. Bashir should be burned at the stake, so to speak, cuz he's such a sniveling little weenie, yet here he is complaining about his trifling sentence. Relative to the crime he was convicted of, it's absurd. Relative to his part in Bali, it's grossly offensive. And I would never let the Indos or Mals have Hamball or any other leader that we manage to get our hands on first. Which reminds me - have Mahathir's boys gotten anything out of Mrs Hamball? ;-)
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 1:49 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Israeli Forces Enter Palestinian Camp
Hat tip to Drudge - Breaking News, nothing on JPost yet
A large Israeli armed force rolled into the Rafah refugee camp on the Gaza-Egypt border early Friday on a mission to destroy tunnels used for smuggling arms, witnesses and military sources said. Israeli military sources said Israel had intelligence warnings that Palestinians were planning to use tunnels under the border to smuggle in weapons that could have a strategic impact on the three-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the Egyptians were not taking steps to stop them.
Probably more accurate rockets...
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 6:23:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The US gives Egypt billions in aid every year, yet this smuggling business is still going on. Obviously, Egypt wants to see Israel destroyed, despite the peace treaty. We need to turn the money aid pipeline valve a rev toward closed and see what they say and do.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/09/2003 18:48 Comments || Top||

#2  AP - on the money as usual. None of this smuggling goes on without the approval (even if it's a wink and a nod thing) of Hosni Mubarak and his regime
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 19:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Haaretz:
A large Israeli armed force rolled into the Rafah
refugee camp on the Gaza-Egypt border early Friday
on a mission to destroy tunnels used for smuggling
arms, witnesses and military sources said.
Witnesses said a large number of tanks and other armored vehicles entered Rafah from two
directions. They were joined by special forces, including engineering units with dogs trained to uncover tunnels.

A military commander at the scene said that weapons smuggled in from Egypt to Gaza
eventually make their way to the West Bank, so
"we had no choice but to strike deep against
the tunnels."

Israeli military sources, speaking on condition
of anonymity, said Israel had intelligence
warnings that Palestinians were planning to use
tunnels under the border to smuggle in weapons
that could have a strategic impact on the
three-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but
the Egyptians were not taking steps to stop

Israel has mounted dozens of smaller missions
during the conflict, aimed at uncovering and
destroying the tunnels, turning the Rafah
refugee camp into a constant battlefield.
However, the Friday operation was larger in
scope because of the threat of the new range of
weapons set to be smuggled, the sources said.

The sources said Palestinians were attempting to
acquire missiles that could knock out tanks and
aircraft, weapons they have not used up to now.
These would include Stinger shoulder-mounted
anti-aircraft missiles that could shoot down
the attack helicopters Israel often uses in
operations in Gaza, the sources said. Stinger
missiles could also threaten Israeli warplanes
or civilian aircraft flying close to Gaza.

Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 19:40 Comments || Top||

#4  They wouldn't be getting Stingers from the muji's in Afghanistan; those are out-of-date and would have to be moved quite a long way.

I'd bet they came from Soddy or E-gipped stocks.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/09/2003 21:27 Comments || Top||

Paleos Whine
The Palestinian Authority asked the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to adopt a resolution that seeks to bar Israel from carrying out plans to extend a security wall deep into the Palestinian West Bank.
"We want the right to slaughter."
The 15-nation council agreed to discuss the request on Friday and is expected to schedule a public meeting on the issue next week, diplomats said. The Palestinian draft resolution is the second text seeking to condemn Israel to come before the council in five days, joining a Syrian draft introduced on Sunday after Israel attacked what it said was a training camp for Palestinian militants near Damascus. Syria insists it was a civilian site.
It's called a diplomatic offensive...
In deference to the Syrian proposal, Palestinian U.N. envoy Nasser al-Kidwa left open the timing of an eventual vote on his own draft resolution, which would declare that building the security barrier beyond Israel’s 1967 borders violates international law and ’’must be ceased and reversed.’’
The Paleo rules of propaganda engagement say, as soon as you blow up a significant number of civilians you've got to holler real loud about something the Israelis are doing, and that way the entire world forgets the corpses in seven days or less. Works every time.
’’We can wait. There is no problem whatsoever. But at the same time, we don’t want to have a time gap between the second phase of building the wall and action in the Security Council,’’ al-Kidwa told Reuters. Since its introduction, the Syrian draft has stalled in the council for lack of support. Council diplomats said it would have to add language critical of Arab militant groups launching suicide attacks against Israel to win the nine votes needed for passage, a linkage Syria has so far refused to accept. Even then, the United States has threatened to veto it.
See? If they'd waited a week, no problem...
"Such an addition would be too conducive to Jewish survival"
The Palestinian text, which denounces both the security fence and Israeli plans to build more than 600 new homes in Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, also faces a likely U.S. veto, under criteria set out by U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte. Negroponte last month vetoed a council resolution demanding that Israel back away from announced plans ’’to remove’’ Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, arguing the text was biased against Israel and failed to criticize militant groups that have taken responsibility for suicide attacks in Israel. But Arab nations responded by taking a slightly modified version of the text to the 191-nation U.N. General Assembly, where the United States does not have a veto. The assembly adopted it by a lopsided 133-4 vote with 15 abstentions.
That was predictable.
The United States and Israel accounted for half of the ’’No’’ votes, leaving them isolated from the European Union states and Russia, fellow members along with the United Nations of the so-called quartet of Middle East peace mediators. The quartet has elaborated a road map to peace setting out steps to be taken by both sides on the way to creation of a Palestinian state by 2005. But the plan has bogged down over Israel’s refusal, with U.S. backing, to set off down the path until the Palestinians rein in militants blamed for suicide attacks, and by Palestinian suspicions that Israel would give nothing in return, even if the authority dismantled militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
That and the bus bombing, of course... Oh. I'm sorry. The week's up, isn't it?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/09/2003 5:09:53 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Arab nations responded by taking a slightly modified version of the text to the 191-nation U.N. General Assembly, where the United States does not have a veto. The assembly adopted it by a lopsided 133-4 vote with 15 abstentions.

We'll start ignoring it immediately...
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 17:21 Comments || Top||

#2  The Palestinian Authority asked the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to adopt a resolution that seeks to bar Israel from carrying out plans to extend a security wall deep into the Palestinian West Bank.

And just what would the U.N. do about this? Send in peacekeepers??? Please.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 17:47 Comments || Top||

Home Front
New Republic Cancels an Invite to Foe of Saudis

The New Republic magazine is coming under attack for co-sponsoring a recent forum with Saudi Arabia and allegedly agreeing to the kingdom’s demand that it withdraw its invitation to a leading critic of Riyadh.

Author Stephen Schwartz told the Forward that he was removed from the panel at the behest of Saudi Arabia, which co-sponsored the October 2 panel discussion on the kingdom’s political future and has advertised in the magazine.

"I was deeply shocked," said Schwartz, a convert to Islam and author of The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa’ud from Tradition to Terror (Doubleday), in which he accuses the Saudi government of being the principal backer of the Palestinian militant group Hamas and funding the spread of the puritanical form of Islam known as Wahhabism.

This is a debatable assertion?

"My book says that this evil alliance of the cult of Wahhabism and the House of Saud has had a devastating effect on Islam," said Schwartz, a former Washington bureau chief for the Forward and currently director of the Islam and Democracy Program at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. "I’m the person that has caused them the most trouble. It is because of who I am."

Moderated by The New Republic’s foreign editor, Lawrence Kaplan, the panel discussion included four scholars representing a range of views, including Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a critic of the Saudi regime, and Chas Freeman, a former American ambassador to Saudi Arabia and defender of the kingdom. Though the Saudi government’s co-sponsorship is not mentioned on the magazine’s online publicity section for its events, several participants told the Forward that it was mentioned at the recent panel.

"The fact is The New Republic, as most of its readers understand, can’t stand the Saudis, and I think the problem comes when money demonstrably affects arguments, and in this case I don’t think anyone suspects it would," said Kaplan, himself a critic of the Saudi regime. "This was a case of the magazine co-sponsoring the debate with someone who was on the other side of the debate and I see nothing inherently unethical about that, as long as [the magazine] hews to the editorial line."

. . .

The New Republic’s president and publisher, Stephanie Sandberg, did confirm that the Saudi government was granted some oversight in the formation of the panel. "What we want to do is have a panel which is acceptable to both sides," Sandberg said. She said that such understandings were a "typical" part of promotional arrangements in which sponsors commit to a minimum advertising campaign in exchange for the opportunity to present their views. In this instance, the Saudis took out 12 advertisement pages, allotting them three panel discussions, Sandberg said.


. . .

Clawson, however, said that providing such a platform to a foreign government — and then not clearly indicating that government’s sponsorship — is disingenuous at best. Though he agreed to participate in the event, Clawson argued that the publication had put itself on shaky ethical grounds.

"It’s inappropriate for a magazine to seek sponsors from interested parties for forums, unless there are rigid procedures put in place to ensure the complete independence of the magazine and what it is doing," Clawson said in an interview with the Forward. "It’s particularly inappropriate to seek financing from foreign governments for these purposes."

Posted by: Mike || 10/09/2003 4:11:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Middle East
Latest Arafat Diagnosis.....Stomach Cancer
EFL and Fair Use.....if this is the right diagnosis, he’s in for some suffering. Couldn’t happen to a nicer dirtbag....
Yasser Arafat’s gaunt, fragile appearance during last weekend’s inauguration of an emergency cabinet for the Palestinian Authority has raised hopes for an end to suicide bombings a flurry of speculation over the state of the 74-year-old leader’s health. Palestinian officials on Wednesday denied rumors that Arafat had last week suffered a mild heart attack and explained that Arafat has been suffering from a bad case of the flu or the trots an intestinal infection.
"That’s the last time I eat Fatima’s tabbouleh!"
But according to a source inside the compound, the recent working diagnosis is that Arafat is suffering from stomach cancer.
Pray for mets...
The prognosis for stomach cancer patients depends on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed and treated, and the size and location of the tumor.
Dear God, if this is right, please make it inoperable, and I promise I won’t ask for anything more this week...
Whatever the state of the cancer, however, such a diagnosis poses a major challenge to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which could require some nimble refereeing by the Bush administration.
Refereeing? Sounds like a job for the NFL’s number one fan, Condoleezza Rice....
The most immediate crisis would involve the need to hurry along the inevitable treat Arafat’s condition. The Ramallah compound in which Arafat has been holed up for the best part of two years is hardly the most conducive environment for invasive surgery. It would, in theory, be possible to erect a surgical suite at the compound, but hospitalization would certainly be preferable from a medical standpoint. Israel has until now insisted that if Arafat leaves his compound, he’d be on a one-way ticket out of the West Bank. If Arafat’s condition proves to be terminal,
God, I really wasn’t kidding about the previous request....
the Palestinians will be forced to answer the long-deferred question of succession, and the running debate in Washington and Jerusalem over the prospects for pursuing a peace agreement without the aging Arafat will have been settled. The question of Arafat’s succession is complicated by the fact that his power derives from the three separate offices he holds: Palestinian Authority president, PLO original gangsta chairman and leader of the group of terrorists known as the Fatah movement. The PA constitution requires that if the president is incapacitated, his post would be temporarily filled by the Speaker of the Palestinian legislature. However, the Speaker’s position is currently vacant, following Ahmed Qurei’s resignation from it in order to become prime minister. Rather than a simple transfer of the mantle of power from one uncontested national leader to another, Arafat’s passing would likely open a protracted period of gang warfare over turf power struggles and realignments in Palestinian politics — and it appears unlikely that all three of his positions would be filled by a single successor.
Why is this a bad thing?
The immediate implications for any peace process will be uncertain, although the Israelis and the Bush administration have long insisted that breaking Arafat’s grip on the Palestinian national movement is a prerequisite for progress.

That's assuming a healthy Yasser. Yasser on his deathbed is a different story. After my initial jubilation wore off — and especially in the case of a protracted illness like stomach or pancreatic cancer or Alzheimers — my thought is that it's better he hang on.

Took your breath away, didn't it? Consider: Given a terminal illness, who's going to actually tell him that's what it is? He'd have them shot. At the very least, he'd have the Praetorian Guard Force 17 bump off the guys he doesn't want to take over. And pain, especially pain coupled with morphine, doesn't make you more discriminating in your actions.

That leaves Yasser in power until the very end, only with his grip on the reins (or reigns, as it were) loosening a bit every day. The backstage maneuvering will have the Byzantines chuckling in their graves, but the coordination of action by the Paleostinians will be choked off. The Israelis will still get hit, but it'll be sporadic. The actual open warfare in Gaza and the West Bank probably won't even wait until the old man's in the grave, unless he goes quickly. I saw one bit of speculation yesterday (can't remember where, though I'd have put it here if it'd been reputable) that it had spread to his liver. Six months? Eight months, at the outside? That's a fairly long period for an area to disintegrate into internal anarchy. We're talking Ein el-Hellhole on a massive scale, without really major damage to innocent bystanders.

Why rush things?
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/09/2003 3:49:49 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The only problem here is that when the pustule finally does croak, Israel will be in for a rough time. The only measuring stick for leadership the Paleos seem to have is who can boom the most Jews. So instead of just Hamas, IJ and the Martyrs sending over their DumbBombs (TM), there'll be a whole bunch of wannabes trying to "raise their profile with their constituency".

Granted the internecine warfare will be enjoyable to watch (the office pool on number of martyrs per week is my personal favorite), but still, I wouldn't be planning any pilgrimages to the Holy Land anytime soon....
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/09/2003 16:06 Comments || Top||

#2  The Israelis need to stick to their position: Arafat can go but he can't come back. The PA is going to whine and moan with special circumstances. If the Israelis let this one go, it will become just another can of worms that the Paleos will use to exploit the situation and more Israelis will die.

The Arafish can live in his Ramallah tank, or he can go to another tank, but he can't have it both ways.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/09/2003 16:10 Comments || Top||

#3  even more reason to build the fence, and make it snappy! A big frigging electrified fence with razor wire all over the place and a moat, filled with sharks, with lasers mounted on their heads....
oh, and Yasser? you can forget about being buried by the Dome in Jerusalem. The Joooos said no, lol
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 16:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Saw this in MEMRI today. Might be a case of prepping for a quick getaway when the pustule (on the ass of humanity) finally crumps.

Posted by: Mercutio || 10/09/2003 17:02 Comments || Top||

#5  Fred: gastric carcinoma with liver metastases: actuarial survival under 10 months. Things that make survival less likely (poor prognostic signs, as we docs say): advanced age, debility ("poor protoplasm"), liver, peritoneal or distant metastases, involvement of the whole stomach as opposed to just the antrum of the stomach, perforation of the stomach, and the presence of certain tumor markers.

Surgical options if there are no distant mets ("locoregional disease") generally involve resection of all or most of the stomach combined with a drainage procedure to ensure that food and bile move through the small intestine ("Billroth" procedure or a "Rous-en-Y"), plus extended lymph node dissection, plus resection of any evident extension of the tumor. For a man > 70 years old, poor protoplasm, etc., the operative risk would be very high. Even with localized, resectable disease, the median 5 year survival in the US is about 15 to 40%. For distant mets and non-resectable disease, survival is in months.

Chemotherapy generally doesn't work for advanced gastric cancer though that doesn't stop the oncologists. Some protocol drugs do offer some minor life extension at a very high cost in the quality of the remaining life. Chemotherapy also is tougher on patients of advanced years and poor protoplasm.

Liver mets are PAINFUL. Stretching the liver capsule by the enlarging tumor generally creates intense pain that is not handled well by opiates.

I thought this info would help you, er, "sharpen" your analysis of the situation!
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 18:16 Comments || Top||

#6  any chance of massive inflamed hemmorhoids too? As long as I'm hoping and praying.....
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 19:09 Comments || Top||

#7  All of this may explain why Sharon has not gone after Arafat directly. Putting a bullet through a healthy man is one thing; doing the same thing to a dying man.....
Posted by: john || 10/09/2003 19:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Pancreatic,stomach,liver cancer!I don't give a damn,just die bitch!
Posted by: Raptor || 10/09/2003 19:37 Comments || Top||

#9  From Allah Is In The House (a deliciously funny satire site, kinda an Islamic "Onion"):
One Sick Fuck
Poisoning, hepatitis, stomach cancer: If you believe the Zionist media, the Chairman's gone and contracted every disease known to man plus a few that haven't been discovered yet. We at Gawker P aren't doctors, but judging from those recent photos it looks to us as though Abu Ammar was way ahead of the Pope's thinking about condoms and lethal viruses, if you know what we mean. But why wonder? We finagled an invite (plus one, natch) to last night's opening of Zyklon, the new club in Ramallah, in hopes of putting the question directly to him. He staggered in around eleven and made straight for the dance floor, where he and your humble correspondent ended up doing the bump and grind to a techno remix of "I Hate Israel." He seemed spry, and was looking much better. "It was the chest, the co-ro-na-ry," he said, his fishy lips quivering. "I am had the pain in the chest, but now, no." He has a heart? Who knew? Wait--did we just say that out loud? "Shut up!" he said, storming off. "Shut up! If there is no heart than what is the pump? There is no snarky without accurately. You must be accurately when speaking to General Arafat!" Sheesh. Needless to say, we decided not to take the bus home afterwards.
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 21:53 Comments || Top||

#10  Raptor - Once cancer metastasizes it's killing its host. The "under 10 months" that Steve mentioned isn't a pleasant time for the victim, and the end stage is agonizing, despite the fact that massive amounts of pain killers are required. Dying quickly would be a mercy...
Posted by: Fred || 10/09/2003 22:26 Comments || Top||

#11  Let him go to phrawnce and spend his final days w/his wife.

If he had actually built a functioning society the past 10 years, he'd die in the promised land.

Now he'll be like Moses, so close, yet so far.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/10/2003 0:14 Comments || Top||

The Bell for Round 3?
The House International Relations Committee approved the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, which would give the president the right to impose a variety of sanctions on Syria. The bill, which passed by a 33-2 vote, accuses Syria of sponsoring terrorists, seeking weapons of mass destruction, and occupying Lebanon with more than 20,000 troops.
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/09/2003 3:42:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I expect the Bush administration to put pressure on Syria but to avoid military confrontation until Iraq is settled a bit more and the 2004 elections are decided. Of course we wouldn't want Syria to know the timeline.
Posted by: Yank || 10/09/2003 15:50 Comments || Top||

Amnesty International, Oxfam, IANSA Launch Global Control Arms Campaign
Here they come again, EFL:
The global arms trade is dangerously unregulated, and allows weapons to reach repressive governments, human rights abusers and criminals, says a new report released today. To address these concerns, three international organisations have joined to launch a global campaign in over 50 countries. The ’Control Arms’ campaign aims to reduce arms proliferation and misuse and to convince governments to introduce a binding arms trade treaty.
Why gee, that sounds so "reasonable".
Arms proliferation and abuse, have reached a critical point, fuelling human rights violations, poverty, and conflict. Someone is killed every minute by armed violence while many more suffer abuse and serious injury. But arms are a dangerously unregulated global business, according to the new report. "Each year hundreds of thousands of people are unlawfully killed, tortured, raped and displaced through the misuse of arms. With the ’war on terror’ dominating the international agenda, there should be renewed interest in arms control. Yet the reverse has occurred. The vicious circle of arms transfers, conflict and abuse can and must be stopped," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
"WOT" = It’s Americas fault!
To address these concerns, Amnesty International, Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) have jointly launched the global Control Arms campaign. The campaign will focus on promoting an international treaty covering arms transfers - the Arms Trade Treaty - as well as a number of regional and locally appropriate measures designed to limit arms proliferation and misuse.
You always have to read the fine print to find the real agenda.
"The arms trade is out of control. It is a global problem with horrific local consequences - and it is poor people who suffer the most. An Arms Trade Treaty is desperately needed, to stop the flow of arms to abusers and to help make all our societies safer," said Barbara Stocking, Director of Oxfam.
"Do it for The Children! tm.
Alongside the call for an Arms Trade Treaty, the Control Arms campaign is also calling for:

- Governments to develop and strengthen regional arms-control.
Ok. I guess.
- Governments to rigorously control national arms exports, brokers and dealers, and do more to prevent law enforcers misusing their weapons and to protect citizens from armed violence.
And how do we protect citizens from armed violence, you ask?
- Local authorities and community leaders to help improve safety at a community level by developing projects to reduce the local availability and demand for arms.
And that means your guns as well. Right, when they pry it from my cold dead fingers.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 3:30:39 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Absolutely Insane's agenda would be Al-Qaeda's dream come true; the victims would have a duty to appease.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/09/2003 15:33 Comments || Top||

#2  The irony of these organizations is laughable. Their campaign to reduce weapons will only work on those nations/people that legally possess them, and will do nothing against the tyrannical regimes they mention. Only in societies that respect dissent can orgs like these exist and press their agenday. The ultimate irony is that our society was founded on the notion that the right to bear arms is inalienable, and that these orgs are using the tolerance of the society this has built to disarm its members. Makes me sick...

Posted by: mjh || 10/09/2003 15:35 Comments || Top||

#3  I though Oxfam was all about feeding the hungry. Starving people could use firearms to kill game and eat it.

Isn't this like the NEA being Pro-choice. More abortions - fewer children = fewer teaching jobs.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/09/2003 16:45 Comments || Top||

#4  So...I guess the Russkies and the Chinese are gonna stop selling AK's/Modle 50's to everybody with $30?

In a pigs eye.

And let's not even think about the Norks...
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 17:23 Comments || Top||

#5  Why don't these leftwingers admit it: They want to disarm the USA, so they can destroy it.

Disarming America is long a goal of communists worldwide.
Posted by: badanov || 10/09/2003 17:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Yet the reverse has occurred. The vicious circle of arms transfers, conflict and abuse can and must be stopped," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Lord, please forgive me these next two Star Trek jokes:


2) The Wrath of Khan
Posted by: badanov || 10/09/2003 17:32 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Meryl Yourish: what happens after Arafat expires?
Arafat dies. Then comes the civil war that the Pals have been avoiding. There will be a bloody struggle for control of the West Bank and Gaza. I don’t believe a single leader will emerge. I think there will be two or three factions that will try to work together, or at least say they will. Judging by past history, the consensus will break down early and often, leading to more civil wars.
I’d expect one long, continuous multiyear conflict, with factions combining and dividing frequently . . . sort of like Congo or Liberia with more sand and fewer trees.
In the meantime, Arab leaders who have been funneling blood money to the terrorists will not be able to support a single leader the way they have supported Arafat. It may break the consensus between the Arab states, which have always had a fragile relationship in spite of claims to the contrary. . . .
You could even see different Arab states openly supporting different Palestinian factions, making the Paleo Civil War into a proxy conflict between different Arab states.
Can you hear the bells tolling? They’re ringing the death knell of the status quo.
That’s good. Instability is not a bug, it’s a feature.
The Saudis, the Egyptians, the Jordanians and the Syrians are shaking in their sandals. Israelis aren’t afraid of the chaos that will erupt. It can be no worse than what they’ve suffered these past three years. But the current Arab leaders are in for a world of trouble. Once their people stop focusing on the plight of the Palestinians, the state of their own countries will finally register on the vast unwashed masses—as Iraq inches closer to being the only Arab nation with democratic rule.

Faster, please.
Posted by: Mike || 10/09/2003 2:56:28 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "what happens after Arafat expires?"
Fred burns up a case of 7.62x39mm ululating.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 15:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Unfortunately, Arafats never expire, they just turn into cancer causing trans-fats.
Posted by: Dripping Sarcasm || 10/09/2003 15:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Arafat will die in eactly the same nanosecond as the pope. Thus balance in the cosmos shall be maintained.
Posted by: Yoda || 10/09/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#4  Should be a relatively peaceful year or two for Israel while the honchos play King of the Cesspool
Posted by: BH || 10/09/2003 17:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Oh, it can always get worse. The last thing the administration needs is for Jordan to get dragged into a civil war. On the other hand, it would be a solution if the Jordanians did wind up with the rump of the state.

If the Israelis have half a brain they do not want to stick themselves with a one-state solution.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/09/2003 19:37 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Report: Detroit Arab Leader Stripped Of FBI Award
More evidence of muslim oppression in America:
A local Arab-American leader who was scheduled to receive a national award from the FBI was suddenly stripped of the honor. Imad Hamad, of Dearborn, who is the director of the Midwest region of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, was scheduled to receive the 2003 Director’s Award for exceptional public service.
If you haven’t received the award yet, it was never yours to be stripped.
Hamad says he was called last week by Detroit FBI Director Willie Hulon, who said a flight attendant who died on one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, would instead be the honoree at the awards ceremony. Hamad says there was no conflict over the change in recipients for the award, but a statement released by Cassandra Chandler, the FBI’s assistant director of public affairs, says otherwise, Local 4 reported.

The following is the statement released by Chandler on Tuesday:
Mr. Imad Hamad, director of the Midwest Region of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and a community leader in Detroit, Mich., was a nominee selected for the 2003 Director’s Award for exceptional public service. It has recently come to our attention that evidence referencing Mr. Hamad has been filed in connection with an upcoming deportation proceeding against associates of his. Accordingly, this award has been withdrawn."
Hamad referred to the statement as puzzling, Local 4 reported. He told Local 4 that he would be shocked if that was the reason behind the FBI’s change in plans. Hamad told Local 4 that in his line of work — being the director of a local civil-rights organization — he has had several associates who may or may not have been subject to deportation.
I don’t know, Hamad, ya suppose this could have anything to do with the FBI coming to it’s senses:
When men were arrested (and later convicted) for smuggling arms to Hezbollah over Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge, Hamad wished for "better U.S. relations with Hezbollah," the terrorist group which murdered over 300 American Marines and civilians. "People here are morally supportive" of Hezbollah, he said. When Customs raided several Islamic businesses and arrested owners for laundering over $50 million per year to Yemen in violation of the Patriot Act, Hamad protested. When four Detroit Al-Qaida sleeper cell suspects were charged (three were convicted) of plotting to blow up landmarks and tourist attractions, Hamad protested that, too. Then there’s the 2002 National Palestinian Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, whose ostensible purpose was to promote divestment from Israel. "Annihilate the Jews" was chanted in Arabic at the University of Michigan conference, which featured indicted alleged Islamic Jihad frontman Sami Al-Arian as its keynote speaker, along with other anti-Western, anti-Semitic speakers, some with terrorist ties. Hamad’s Michigan ADC sponsored and endorsed the conference, which was organized by ADC-University of Michigan chief Fadi Kiblawi. Under Hamad’s "leadership," Kiblawi authored an article stating he wished to "strap a bomb to one’s chest and kill" Jews.

At Michigan ADC’s April 25th awards banquet, Hamad gave its "Attorney of the Year" award to Nabih Ayad, an attorney for several accused terrorists and over 130 illegal Middle Eastern immigrants who paid off an INS employee to become instant greencard holders. Hamad and Ayad sued to keep them from being deported. Ayad’s clients, include Omar Abdel Fatah Al-Shishani—accused of attempting to launder $12 million in phony bank checks to fund Al-Qaida—who recently pled guilty to a lesser charge and is awaiting sentencing. Hamad defended him, too.

Hamad has been busy globetrotting to promote the Islamist cause. In January, he led a delegation to terrorist sponsor state Syria, where Syrian officials discussed American disinformation campaigns targeting Arabs and Muslims and hailed Hamad for "enlightening the US public opinion about the reality of the situation in the Middle East." In May, he visited Lebanese Parliament President and former Shi’ite Amal Militia chief Nabih Berry, leading a delegation which included several men who head Detroit Islamic charities that are suspected Hamas and Al-Qaida fronts.
Other than that, he's a solid citizen... Not sure a citizen of where.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 2:06:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  sounds like a candidate for interrogation, not awards....Jeebus!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 14:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Did anybody find the key to Detroit in one of Sadaam's palaces. Didn't hear anything about it. Maybe he still has it with him. Hope the CPA lets everyone know that Sadaam is probably disguised buut will be carrying an oversized ornate skeleton key.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 14:33 Comments || Top||

#3  When men were arrested (and later convicted) for smuggling arms to Hezbollah over Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge, Hamad wished for "better U.S. relations with Hezbollah,"

-Smuggling arms to kill our Israeli allies will definitely help that cause. Idiot.

I'm originally from the Detroit area. Unfortunately a lot of the Muslims there share his sentiment about terror-weenies hizzy-bolah and hummus. Most of them reside in the western Detroit suburb of Dearborn. However, not all Arabs in Detroit are Muslim. Many of my real close friends are Catholics of Lebanese, Syrian, and even Paleo descent. They really despise the Islamic fundamentalists. They blame them for the troubles in Lebanon as well as the west bank. There are also many Chaldeans (Catholic Iraqis) in the area who hate Sammie as much as we do. Although the Christian Arabs have distinguishable customs and courtesies, they don't do the turban and white robe garb fashion. Most I've met are decent hardworking folks just trying to get ahead like the rest of us.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 23:10 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Hamas: Arafish poisoned
Does that mean he’s finally in Hell?
Jerusalem (www.jnewswire.com) - Rumors are circulating in the Palestinian Authority areas that Israel is behind what doctors are calling "a mysterious virus" plaguing PLO arch terrorist Yasser Arafat.
Of course. Always the Jews.
An anonymous Palestinian official quoted on a Hamas-supportive Palestinian website said attempts were being made to verify that Arafat may have been injected with a drug that leads to a natural death, according to The Jerusalem Post Thursday.
It’s called a sperm. And it was injected into the egg almost 76 years ago.
They're bombarding him with invisible rays, too...
According to an anonymous Palestinian official purportedly quoted on the website of the Hamas-affiliated Palestine Information Center, the possibility exists that Arafat has been poisoned by Israel.
They’d blame them no matter what.
Insidious Jewish necromancers have laid the Hairy Hebrew Eyeball™ on him. No one can survive that!
"We have information which we are trying to verify according to which President Arafat may have been injected with a lethal dose that slowly and gradually leads to a natural death within a month," the official was quoted as saying.
So Sharkey Arafish is dead?
Arab propagandists have routinely accused Israel of carrying out all kinds of bizarre "attacks" on Palestinians, including carrying out secret assassinations and secretly infecting Arab girls with the AIDS virus.
Allergic to brain cells, these idiots!
Observers believe it highly likely that if Arafat were to die of natural causes anytime soon, the Arab world would blame Israel, who on September 12, following a dual ’suicide’ bombing that claimed the lives of 15 Israelis, and for which Arafat had reportedly given the green light, decided the PLO leader would be "removed" from the political scene.
Did I just hear a flush?
Hat tip LGF. EFL.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/09/2003 1:37:46 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Poisoned, eh? Well, that explains why the Debka people have been on "vacation" recently. They've been busy, lol.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 10/09/2003 13:39 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought it was the zionist death rays. I'm still hoping somebody will accuse Israel of using nanomites.
Posted by: mhw || 10/09/2003 13:45 Comments || Top||

#3  what doctors are calling "a mysterious virus"

Translation - "We're Egyptian incompetent doctors".
Posted by: Raj || 10/09/2003 14:04 Comments || Top||

#4  OK, I'd say this makes it official. He's dying, they know it, and these stories are setting the stage for blaming Israel. The louder they get, the closer the end is. LGF is running a dead pool for Yasser.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 14:14 Comments || Top||

#5  I think they miniaturized a Mossad team and they're inside his body raising all kinds of holy hell. This is in case The Death Ray doesn't work.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/09/2003 14:32 Comments || Top||

#6  Arafish; loves the cameras so much that he makes sure one is always nearby to catch him being heroic,
Arafish; makes sure that his mukata compound is filled with paleo faithful ready to die for him in a moment,
Arafish; makes sure that western protesters surround him in case the IDF strikes and kills one,
Arafish; makes sure that his muerous death cult camps start training their cadets to be lethal since kindergaden

Yet, somehow, an Israeli snuck past everyone, stuck him with a hypodermic needle, and snuck out.

Two possibilities.
A: "Boy, those Mossad guys are slick"
B; He, like every other person on earth, is mortal

c: bonus answer! A higher power has decided that he has become too foul to continue his existance. I hope it's hurting him, as much as say, a 1/8" bolt permanantly lodged in some poor person's brain for the rest of their lives

I'm calling dibs right now. I called him Araflushed™ first!
Posted by: Dripping Sarcasm || 10/09/2003 15:06 Comments || Top||

#7  I think they miniaturized a Mossad team and they're inside his body raising all kinds of holy hell. This is in case The Death Ray doesn't work.

Some cartoon is what this operation is patterned after. Remember Fantastic Voyage? ;)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 15:23 Comments || Top||

#8  Magical Schoolbus Tour through the alimentary canal is what I bring to mind. NS.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/09/2003 16:49 Comments || Top||

Latin America
Chavez accuses CIA as bombings rock Venezuela
EFL Taipei Times from WND

Tensions mounted in Venezuela Monday after bombings rocked the capital and an ally of Presi-dent Hugo Chavez accused the CIA of backing opponents trying to oust the beleaguered leader.

Two fuel tankers exploded late Sunday at the capital’s municipal airport, 36 hours after the presidential guard barracks and the national telecommunications offices were bombed.

Lawmaker Nicolas Maduro said he would lobby US legislators to open any CIA files on Venezuela. He demands that China not be privledge to secret information that is denied to Venezuala.

"Let them declassify the secret documents on CIA involvement and their financing of undercover activities during 2002-2003 because we have hard evidence that the terrorist attacks were planned," he said. He did not mention which US lawmakers would be asked to help. I think we can gin up a short list of suspects off the top of our heads.

He said the records would reveal CIA funding links to Vene-zuelan opposition groups seeking to oust Chavez.

Maduro also said he will seek US congressional approval for access to any CIA records related to a failed coup in April last year, which swept Chavez from power for less than two days. I’m sure the US thought that throwing one of our top oil producers into total chaos would be an excellent idea?

"A group of legislators will go to Washington so that the secret documents on the coup d’etat are declassified so that we can know the names of those who have received money from the CIA to create this chaos in Venezuela," Maduro said. Maduro is smoking something. Or maybe he is a Wizards fan. Can’t Chavez stick with the standard arguments: I have trashed the economy so badly that we can’t afford a recall, my oppoent is a chicken-choking woman groper, and poor people will be disenfranchised by the recall process.

After the coup, opposition political parties, business leaders and labor agreed to use only legal means to oust Chavez. The deal was brokered by former US president Jimmy Carter and the Organization of American States. Jimmy gets around.

Venezuela’s Constitution allows voters to recall the president at any time after the halfway point of the term, which Chavez has already passed. He rejected all the original signatures becasue they were collected before the midpoint of his term.

Electoral authorities last week set the rules governing the collection of signatures to petition the government for a recall ballot. Chavez is trying to limit the signature collection process to 1 day.

Opponents must gather 12 million signatures, some 20 percent of the electorate, to petition for the recall referendum. Could another possible explanation be that the fired petrolium industry workers didn’t like being evicted from government quarters?
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 12:01:02 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  To: Chavez, Hugo
From: IndyMedia / Terry McAuliffe

RE: Talking Points

Old conspiracy theory: The CIA
New conspiracy theory: The Mossad


The Management
Posted by: Raj || 10/09/2003 12:51 Comments || Top||

#2  --CIA of backing opponents trying to oust the beleaguered leader.--

BWAHAHAHAHA! Anyone who's paying attention the CIA's too busy trying to oust W, they have no time for Chavez.

Posted by: Anonymous || 10/09/2003 13:01 Comments || Top||

#3  How about "NO", Hugo?
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 13:06 Comments || Top||

#4  To: Robert Novak
From: Hilary ClintonKarl Rove

Re: CIA Involvement in Venezuela

Bob, You didn't hear this from me, but Valerie Plame is working on this right now.

Posted by: snellenr || 10/09/2003 13:18 Comments || Top||

#5  Actually, given recent news about Chavez' support for Islamacist terror groups, including allowing training camps there and providing false papers allowing them to travel as if they were Venezuelan .... well, I would be worried about CIA help for his opposition too. This guy is Not Our Friend.
Posted by: rkb || 10/09/2003 13:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't let a groper abuse recall.
Posted by: Anonymous || 12/18/2003 14:42 Comments || Top||

Africa: Southern
Trade union leaders arrested in Zimbabwe, again.
In a continued programme of harassment against trade unionists, at around 17h00 yesterday, Zimbabwean police arrested 5 high-level members of the ICFTU-affiliated Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), including its General Secretary, Wellington Chibhebhe. Although the detained trade unionists were later released, the arrests are a chilling reminder of the repression and intimidation faced by all those who do not support the policies of President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
On the good side, several rotary clubs and the Harare Kiwanis have yet to be surpressed.
In a recent interview with the ICFTU Chibhebhe deplored the increasing repression against trade unionists, stating that "the ZCTU has been equated as the opposition, wherever we go we are tailed and even within the ZCTU it is not possible to speak freely."
That’s because they are not the press. The properly liscenced press is free to say anything that we tell them to.
His, and the other 4 arrests came against a background of steep economic decline and on the eve of a 10 December national strike called by a coalition of civic groups and supported by the ZCTU. Initial reports indicate that tens of thousands of workers have joined the strike, although in some areas, fear of reprisals by the Mugabe regime has left workers with no option but to report to work.
It’s OK this repression is approved by South Africa. It’s legitimate repression.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 11:37:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can we schedule a Jimmy Caqrte trip to Zimbabwe? They have quite a few problems there.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 16:12 Comments || Top||

Home Front
James Lileks in New York
EFL, you know what to do:
Walked with my editor a ways until he had to head towards home. Said goodbye and marched south, down to the hole in the sky.

Late Saturday afternoon, almost five. Hundreds of people looking up at nothing. Hundreds of people looking into the pit. Everyone had come to see what wasn’t there. Flowers stuck into the fence; journals and candles, gifts, votaries, offerings, messages. The daily crop, removed at dusk. To my surprise they didn’t just throw up a fence, but put up a series of signs that explained the history of the site, back to the Hudson Terminal Towers and beyond. The historical plaques, the fence, the reactions of the visitors - it felt like a death camp site. If you had no idea what had happened here you would know almost at once that it this place had suffered a hideous calamity. It had an emptiness I can’t describe, an emptiness made all the more obvious by all the congestion around the site. It was like entering a parlor whose walls and tables were filled with framed photos, and you notice that there’s nothing on the mantelpiece.

One building had a gigantic mural devoted to hope and remembrance. I’m sure it’s just an accident that this wretched culture of ours didn’t put up something reminding us to smite the bearded foreigners and run their blood into the gutters. An oversight. Last minute mistake.

Walked around, up the walkway. You look down and see the new construction; you see the naked subterranean floors still exposed, still raw. Back down the stairs, and there’s-a few square yards of painted wood, smothered with the words of the grieved, the widowed, the friends and neighbors and people who always bought smokes from that store in the concourse and only knew the woman behind the counter as Maria, and everyone else who probably brought a Sharpie intent on saying what they had to say, and so what if they paint it over, it’ll be there still. Something isn’t gone just because it’s buried.

T-SHIRTS TWO DOLLA, TWO DOLLA, TWO DOLLA said the vendor near the bottom of the steps, and I felt like walking over and kicking him in the nuts. But. Well. No. I went south instead, and once I was half a block away I was suddenly in a different world. South of the WTC site is the Deutsche Bank building, now wrapped in black fabric, abandoned. There was no one here, and there were no sounds. I’ve never ever been anywhere in Manhattan where it was this quiet. No horns, no voices, no car alarms, nothing. Absolute silence. The wind had picked up, and was rippling the shroud over the DB tower. All the ripples went up. It looked as if the building was still shedding souls, and they were running beneath the thin dark blanket, looking for the way out.

I paused at the plaza on Liberty, took a picture of the empty sky, and turned around -

And there were old friends. The Trinity Building. The Equitable Building, God bless its unlovable bulk. I walked around and saw the other giants of lower Manhattan - 40 Wall, Cities Service. The Woolworth building. One after the other - giant monoliths old and new, gargantuan towers assembled in the sky by human hands, each one just another piston stroke in the motor of American commerce. You can’t begin to knock all these down. And if you managed to fell them all, you’d have to head north and work on that Olympian lance on 34th, and if you brought that down - it would take you years to make your way ten blocks.

The men who brought down the towers did nothing more than take a hammer to the tooth of a sleeping lion. Oh, you can do that.

But you can only do it once.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 11:35:38 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Middle East
Yasser Death Watch Continues
Yasser Arafat has potentially fatal liver complications from gastritis, an Israeli newspaper said. The story in Maariv on Thursday followed reports the 74-year-old Palestinian leader suffered a mild heart attack last week. Palestinian officials said Arafat was believed to have had only a bout of the flu but that a visiting Egyptian medical team would assess his condition fully — not least in order to address suspicions he may have been poisoned by Israel.
Details from HealthLink:
Gastritis is a mild irritation, inflammation, or infection of the stomach lining. It may be a sudden attack or chronic.
Signs and symptoms: Abdominal cramping and pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever, Loss of appetite, Belching or gas,

Well, that fits with what we have heard about Yasser.

Gastritis may be caused by: Bacterial or viral infection, Excess stomach acid caused by heavy smoking, alcohol use, caffeine, improper diet such as spicy, greasy foods. Use of drugs such as Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, cortisone, Stress.
Yasser has been stressed out for the last decade, or two.

One rumor I saw was Hep B...
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 11:09:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Abdominal cramping and pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever, Loss of appetite, Belching or gas"

think of the poor bastards locked up in the Muqtada with him as well as the ISM human shields! LOL!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#2  ISM are no longer human sheilds, Frank. More like human toilets...
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 11:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Dr. Ashraf Kurdi, Yasser Arafat’s Jordanian doctor, on Thursday told Al Bawaba that the PA leader is denying any deterioration in his health and the alleged mild heart-attack he was struck with, and instead has attacked the Israeli press for their accusations saying “the Israeli press is who infected me with the disease (accusing them of fabricating the story).” Kurdi, the former Jordanian Minister of Health and Arafat’s personal doctor for twenty years, confirmed that he personally called Arafat last night to enquire about his health after hearing in the media reports on the ‘worrying’ state that he was in. According to Kurdi, Arafat denied the reports to him over the phone saying, “I do not suffer from a thing.” Kurdi, speaking to Al Bawaba, said “despite the fact that I am fully aware of Arafat’s (74) health conditions, what I heard in the press really worried me and so I decided to call him just to make sure he was alright.”
Kurdi, who visited the Palestinian leader last month, said that Arafat only suffers from an acute gastronomic infection.

Earlier, the Tel Aviv-based Maariv daily reported in its headline story that the life of Arafat is in danger due to his suffering from severe illness. Citing "Israeli intelligence sources", the newspaper said Arafat suffers from gastritis - a mild irritation, inflammation, or infection of the stomach lining. Gastritis may be caused by bacterial or viral infections.

Sounds like confirmation on the gastritis, now we have to keep our fingers crossed that it's serious. A french language Israeli paper is reporting that they had heard a rumor he had died.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 12:22 Comments || Top||

#4  updated on Fox: He's got stomach cancer, and ow the worry is if he leaves his hovel to get surgery or treatment, that theIsraelis won't let him back in...sounds like the decision's his...heh heh

hope it's really painful, fucker
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 14:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Time magazine's the source
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 14:32 Comments || Top||

#6  Two things:
1) I hope its long and painful.
2) I hope his oncologist is jewish.

( hat tip to cheech and chongs 'big brave motorcyclist sketch)
Posted by: frank martin || 10/09/2003 14:39 Comments || Top||

#7  I only hope that the pain comes often and harsh. After a week or two of suffering he can die a PAINFUL, SCREAMING, FIT-FILLED Death.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/09/2003 14:48 Comments || Top||

#8  or - "Doctors at cedars of lebanon hospital removed a soul destroying parasite from a 75 year old egyptian stomach, the stomach is quoted as saying its pleased to be rid of him"
Posted by: frank martin || 10/09/2003 14:51 Comments || Top||

#9  I was hoping for colon cancer - something that is painful and results in a colastomy bag.
Posted by: Yoda || 10/09/2003 16:32 Comments || Top||

#10  wouldn't a colostomy bag for Yasser be redundant?
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||

#11  Dead man whining.
Posted by: John (Q. Citizen) || 10/09/2004 14:35 Comments || Top||

Africa: East
Somali War Children Explore Life Without Guns
It’s an insult to ask Somali teen-ager Mohammed Ali whether he can use a gun. "What are you talking about! Ask me instead how many people I have killed!" he replies.
Mother must be so proud...
His reaction reveals something of the enormous challenge facing teachers trying to wean Somalia’s child warriors away from weapons. Ali, 16, is enrolled in a U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) course to rehabilitate some of the many children used as killers, thieves and kidnappers by turbulent militia barons. For children raised to think bad behavior means refusing to kill or rape, sitting still in class is no ordinary challenge. But six weeks into the six-month program, teachers are noticing the kind of improvements that might be familiar to their counterparts in successful inner city schools in rich countries. "They were awful in the first two weeks of the course," said teacher Fatuma Aden Oble. "They would smoke in class, steal the books and pens, sometimes they would fight each other. We would threaten to expel them or withdraw their transport allowance."

Gradually, her turbulent charges settled down. "They changed the way they dress, the hair became tidier," she said. "Now they do not feel comfortable smoking in front of me. The boys began to show an interest in practical things like electrics and mechanics. We counseled the girls on rape." The bubbly inmates of her classroom have begun to focus on her lessons about handling conflict, one of which is: Do not react angrily in a crisis or "things will explode."

The youths are among 180 children drawn mainly from militia checkpoints around southern Somalia being trained by UNICEF experts in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Merca. Teachers recruit them from the checkpoints by using go-betweens to conduct tricky negotiations for their release with militia commanders: A typical requirement is that the child leave his gun behind at the barricade for others to use. The children are motivated by a desire to change their lives and in some cases by incentives in the form of an allowance that covers their travel to and from the downtown school. Some graduates from a previous course are running small businesses and the hope is that the current intake follows suit.
Instead of holding them up...
But there are 60,000 militiamen in Mogadishu and thousands elsewhere in the country, which has been without a government since former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was toppled in 1991. "It’s a drop in the ocean," UNICEF child protection officer Abdullahi Eyow said of the program. Experts say the course has importance as a demonstration to donors of what can be done by patient, expert teachers to erode the grip of militia "glamour" on young minds. "The militia becomes like a family for the children," said Eyow. "Until you take them out of that environment they do not realize what they have done." Many parents struggling with basic survival either tolerate or encourage their children to join militias since it is often the only way of making a living. The results are disastrous. "These children have committed horrendous crimes. Going back to the community will be very difficult and so we have outreach workers who will help them with that," Eyow said.

Ali stood on a checkpoint for a warlord called Osman Ato, working the barrier and helping loot the corpses of passengers killed when his comrades shot at vehicles that failed to stop. "The older boys were my heroes. They were brave. I wanted to be like them," he said. "Now I know I learned no good thing in the militia. Only stealing." Ali, who looks more like an 11-year-old, says that in fact he only ever killed once, by mistake. It was a friend, aged 20. "We were playing with our guns and one went off. I was shocked. I threw the gun down and ran away. But I was caught and the Islamic court jailed me for a month. I was whipped."

Nassero Abdi Jama used to cook and clean for a militia run by a warlord called Muse Sudi in another part of the city. Now a demure 17 and planning to become a secretary, she says that at the time she saw her comrades’ atrocities as normal. "I liked them. I felt they were good and brave and ours was the best (militia) team in the country," she said. "They did not interfere with me (sexually) because I was from the same clan. But they would rape girls from other clans and I thought that was normal. I thought it was what they were supposed to do." Abdi Jama also acted as a look-out, spying on cars traveling on the approach roads to her militia’s checkpoint and informing the gunmen which ones looked worth robbing. "I saw people dying when our checkpoint shot at their cars. I thought it was normal. I thought it was good."
Somehow the picture of her own blood on the ground, her own eyes glazing over, her own breath of life turning to frothy red bubbles didn't occur to her. That's why they call them children.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 10:44:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The editor locked up. Meant to made the following observations:

The kids version of "normal" in Somalia would surprise many Americans - if they cared to pay attention. Was our total withdrawal in the face of resistence in our own or the Somali's best interests. The soldiers from the task force that got bloddied seemed to think otherwise.

Unicef is negotiating for the release of a 16 year old gunman, but they leave the AK-47 with the militia so that a 12 year old can be conscripted to replace the 16 year old.

Is training the 16 year old not to defend himself a healthy solution in a society that resembles the Old West?

Note - I am not against what Unicef is doing. I agree that somebody needs to do something. Isn't that what we said more than a decade ago.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#2  crickets chirping

Awful quiet about the Somalia children shooting and raping, but you spank a Canadien kids and the comment board lights up. Jesse Jackson will have something to say about this.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/09/2003 16:42 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Bigger than Watergate
Mark Steyn says the CIA scandal is important not because it put an agent’s life at risk — it didn’t — but because it shows that US Intelligence is either obstructive or inept. Excerpt:
No, this isn’t Watergate; it’s bigger than that. The version of the story that still fits the facts is in that Bob Novak Sun-Times column from July. Novak wanted to know why Wilson had been chosen to go to Africa. It’s one thing not to be a card-carrying neocon, quite another to be as antipathetic to the administration and the war as this fellow. The White House asked the CIA, the CIA recommended Wilson, and their recommendation was accepted automatically. But what the original leakers told Novak was that it was Mrs Wilson who’d proposed her husband for the job. The Company responded that their counter-proliferation officials came up with Wilson and they only used the wife to contact him.

It doesn’t really matter which version you believe, because the end result’s the same: an agency known to be opposed to war in Iraq sent an employee’s spouse also known to be opposed to war in Iraq on a perfunctory joke mission. And, after eight days sipping tea and meeting government officials in one city of one country, Ambassador Wilson gave a verbal report to the CIA and was horrified to switch on his TV and see Bush going on about what British Intelligence had learned about Saddam and Africa. As I wrote in this space last July:

‘The intel bureaucracy got the Sudanese aspirin factory wrong, failed to spot 9/11 coming, and insisted it was impossible for any American to penetrate bin Laden’s network, only to have Johnnie bin Joss-Stick from hippy-dippy Marin County on a self-discovery jaunt round the region stroll into the cave and be sharing the executive latrine with the A-list jihadi within 20 minutes. So, if you’re the President and the same intelligence bureaucrats who got all the above wrong say the Brits are way off the mark, there’s nothing going on with Saddam and Africa, what do you do? Do you say, “Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day”? Or do you make the reasonable assumption that, given what you’ve learned about the state of your humint (human intelligence) in the CIA, is it likely they’ve got much of a clue about what’s going on in French Africa? Isn’t this one of those deals where the Brits and the shifty French are more plugged in?’

If sending Joseph C. Wilson IV to Niger for a week is the best the world’s only hyperpower can do, that’s a serious problem. If the Company knew it was a joke all along, that’s a worse problem. It means Mr Bush is in the same position with the CIA as General Musharraf is with Pakistan’s ISI: when he makes a routine request, he has to figure out whether they’re going to use it to try and set him up. This is no way to win a terror war.
Read the whole thing.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 10:34:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The one responsible for the leak was Joseph Wilson. Was he not an employee of the CIA (or at least hired temporarily) for this assignment. Was he not going overseas to do an investigation for the CIA? He then choose to go on TV and out the entire operation, including his own name (in effect outing a CIA overseas operatives name). Why anybody would think they could go on TV and publicly call the President a Liar, state that AS A AGENT OF THE CIA HE WAS THE ONE THAT INVESTIGATED THIS NIGER INCIDENT FOR THE US AND HE FOUND NOTHING AND THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS A LIAR. It seems to me that either Joseph Wilson broke the law going public about this operation and/or the CIA broke the law utilizing somebody they could not control and was bound to expose the operation. If Wilson's wife is really in danger now this really compounds Wilson's crime.
Posted by: Patrick || 10/09/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

#2  The most reasonable conclusion that I am seeing is that the Wilson choice for the mission was the CIA's way of half-assing the request from the White House. The CIA and the Bush Administraion have been engaged in a mini-war from the beginning, and the sheer ineptitude demonstrated by both the FBI and CIA in the wake of the revelations about 9/11 clues has not helped.

So far, the only people benefiting from this story are Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, and Bob Novak. The CIA looks like a bunch of idiots again, having failed to deny Plame's status to begin with, and having sent administration opponent and WMD naif Joe Wilson to drink tea in Niger for eight days. The White House looks inept, because the CIA's actions are viewed as those of the administration, and because Novak's leak was to no rational purpose.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/09/2003 11:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Did she accompany him on the trip? Was he contacting her sources?
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 14:00 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Palestian PM may resign - Resumes for lapdog wanted
EFLPalestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei told Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat on Thursday he wants to quit his post, Palestinian officials said.
There seem to be an infinite supply of Palestinian officials wanting to play politics via leaks. Did they all study in Washington DC?
Actually, I think it's just that there's an infinite supply of Paleostinian officials. As the jobs disappear, they get taken on by the gummint. Eventually, they'll all be officials, and those who aren't exploding will spend their time bossing each other around...
"Qurei told Arafat he will not form the cabinet and doesn’t want to be prime minister anymore," one of the officials said.
"Nope. Ain't gonna do it. Don't wanna be prime minister, and you can't make me! 'Cuz you're almost dead and I'm not!"
The officials said Arafat wanted to dismiss Interior Minister Nasser Youssef, who would have security powers, and that
Qurei opposed the move.
sorry,thinking is no longer part of the job of PA
On Wednesday, Qurei presided over the first meeting of his cabinet, which in principle can govern for one month. He said that he would seek parliament approval for the ministers the following day, turning them into a regular cabinet,
(and the next day turning them into an crises cabinet then back to a regular cabinet, etc. as long as he could get his picture in the PA newspaper_
and that he hoped to broaden his government eventually.
"How many members do you eventually see in your cabinet, Mr. Prime Minister?"
"2.6 million."
In an unusual move, the parliamentary vote of confidence was to have taken place two days after the government was officially sworn. But two ministers - Interior Minister-designate Nasser Yussef and Health Minister-designate Jawad Tibi - refused to attend Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony;
they would have had to swear allegience to Yassir
Posted by: mhw || 10/09/2003 9:52:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  On Wednesday, Qureia presided over the first meeting of his cabinet, which in principle can govern for one month.

Haaahahahaha!!!!! One lousy month. After that, Arafart will then review their "record" and decide to extend their authority for another month, then another review, etc etc. This is all nothing more than another silly joke originating from Arafart's ass. If GWB and Powell think that negotiations are possible with the Palestinians while this circus is still in town, well, they're living in a fantasy world, to say the least.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#2  The PA constitution requires that if the president is incapacitated, his post would be temporarily filled by the Speaker of the Palestinian legislature. However, the Speaker's position is currently vacant, following Ahmed Qureia's resignation from it in order to become prime minister. Following Thursday’s meeting of the Palestinian legislature at which Arafat’s appointment of an emergency cabinet was rebuffed, Qureia reportedly signaled Arafat that he no longer wants the position.

Things are not what they seem. There are wheels within wheels. I can say no more. Disregard this message...
Posted by: Fred || 10/09/2003 15:00 Comments || Top||

Four IDF Army reserve battalions called up
JPost - Reg Req’d; Confirming Al-Aska Paul’s heads-up on troop mobilizations
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz ordered a special call up of four reserve battalions, roughly 1,000 soldiers, to patrol the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The call up was to begin in about 10 days, after the end of Sukkot, which begins Friday night.
After Yasser’s death?
Mofaz had already ordered two battalions of active-duty soldiers sent to the West Bank and Gaza on Wednesday, canceling leaves and training courses, and ordered the continuation of a strict lockdown on Palestinian areas, reportedly at least through Oct. 22. Restrictions on Palestinians, barring them from entering the country and preventing many from leaving their towns, were tightened after an Islamic Jihad bomber killed 19 in the port city of Haifa on Saturday. Mofaz reportedly went against the recommendations of security officials who said the level of alerts about possible terror attacks was not unusual.
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 9:51:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They're probably preparing for a spasm of violence after Arafat goes.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/09/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#2  The Mossad will be turning up the intensity of the Death Ray&trade and the IDF wants to be ready when Arafart croaks. :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

Suicide Bomber Injures Two in West Bank
In the West Bank, a suicide bomber detonated explosives near an Israeli army base. The bomber apparently was a woman, radio reports said.
"Avner! What was that, that just hit the side of the tank?"
"I think it was a bosom, Moshe."
"Oh. Another female suicide bummer. Hope nobody got hurt."
The explosion killed the attacker and wounded two people, one seriously, paramedics said. The blast went off near a base outside the West Bank town of Tulkarem, security officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
That’ll come soon enough
In a setback for the new Palestinian prime minister, legislators postponed a vote on his Cabinet amid bitter disputes Thursday over its composition and size. The postponement of the Cabinet vote, which was tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, came as factions within Arafat’s Fatah movement argued over the status and size of the Cabinet.
... the shape of the table, the color of the carpet, whether to serve tea or coffee...
The chaos Thursday was considered an embarrassment for new Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.
"I'm so embarrassed!"
Some wanted it to remain an emergency Cabinet, which would have expired in one month, while others favored confirming it with a vote in the parliament, which would turn it into a regular Cabinet, according to Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi. Many of the legislators, including those who had not been included in the Cabinet, voiced objections to its small size.
"It's too small, dammit! You shoulda named me a minister, too!"
"This is a constitutional crisis," Ashrawi said.
As opposed to their normal, everyday crisis.
Things will get worse shortly, I hope...
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 9:06:29 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  just a preview of the chaos when the Arafish dies, except then it'll be armed chaos. Can't wait...
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 9:21 Comments || Top||

#2  update from Jpost:
"Two soliders were wounded, one seriously, in a suicide bombing at an Army base near Tulkarm, news sources reported. A Palestinian also was reported injured. One soldier received serious injuries and was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. The other's injuries were reported as light.

The suicide bomber apparently was at an office at which Palestinians apply for work permits inside Israel. The office was protected, news sources reported. The suicide bombing came after a high security alert had been called this morning for the Hadera and Wadi Ara regions, and all cars were being checked. Early reports said the bomber might have been a woman, but that has since been discounted."

So, of course, when the Israelis close off the Paleos from working in Israel, expect to hear about their 'seething'....
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 9:47 Comments || Top||

#3  So, of course, when the Israelis close off the Paleos from working in Israel, expect to hear about their 'seething'.

One word about the Palestinians and their leadership: S-T-U-P-I-D.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 11:14 Comments || Top||

#4  The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a radical offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's mainstream Fatah group, is claiming responsibility for a West Bank suicide bombing. The blast, at an Israeli army checkpoint, wounded two Israelis. In a phone call to AFP, the group says one of its militants died in the attack in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarm. The group says it will release the bomber's identity later.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 11:59 Comments || Top||

#5  You don't think they purposefully attacked that office in order to cause more misery among the Palestinians? The terrorists want things to be as miserable as possible, to make people as angry as possible.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/09/2003 12:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Wouldn't be at all surprised. I don't think the Al-Aqsa Martyrs would have any problem with the Gruev-Chernyshevskyian school of 'national liberation', i.e. try & ensure your 'beloved' people are as badly off as possible, makes 'em more receptive to violent revolutionary ideologies
Posted by: Dave || 10/09/2003 15:00 Comments || Top||

(Text below from the host website. The video contains scary monsters, sub-Scooby animation, rhythmic chanting of obscenities and supertitled translations thereof. Don’t play it at work unless you’re the boss.)

This is a very shocking anti-American propoganda video made by North Koreans and previously broadcast on South Korean and Japanese Television. English translation titles by Rob Pongi.

Note: This video does not reflect the views of Rob Pongi nor those of anyone else associated with RobPongi.com.

More samples of NK TeeVee are available on his website.
Posted by: Royal Haudenosaunee Space Force || 10/09/2003 4:41:38 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oh my God! We stole their Olympic Gold Medal!

How horrible!

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/09/2003 7:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Juche-rap....awesome!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 9:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Pretty decent, for an Asian rap-clone -- has a beat and everything. The requirement to stay on the beat seems to reduce the spittle-level, though, and reduces the Juche verbosity way below the normal KCNA screeches.

I'd give it a 4.5 -- extra credit for the Gold Medal charges.

(I was a little surprised to see the BBC logo at the end, though...)
Posted by: snellenr || 10/09/2003 13:13 Comments || Top||

A cleric’s call to arms - to liberate Iran
Grandson of the ayatollah advocates U.S. invasion of Iran
by Christopher Hitchens
EFL and Fair Use
Oct 6
— I have no respect for the hereditary principle and neither does Shiite Islam, which considers earthly kingship to be profane. But no one can be completely uninterested in heredity per se, and my first thought, on meeting Hossein Khomeini, was that he has his grandfather’s eyebrows. Still, our conversation quickly banished the notion that this 45-year-old cleric is the least bit interested in running for his grandpa’s job.
Refreshing concept, no?
He is a relatively junior cleric — a sayeed — but he wears the turban and robe with some aplomb and was until recently a resident of Qum, the holy city of the Iranian Shiites and once the Vatican, so to speak, of the Khomeini theocracy. As soon as it became feasible, however, he moved to Baghdad (where he would have been executed on sight until a few months ago) and is now hoping to establish himself in Karbala, one of the two holy Shiite cities in southern Iraq. He refers as a matter of course to the work of the coalition forces in Iraq as a “liberation.” He would prefer, he says, to live in Tehran, but he cannot consider doing so until there has been “liberation” in Iran also.


Though not written as an interview (damn!) it is revealing and important - if accurately reported. I’m sure there will be more very soon either confirming or denying this piece, so watch for follow-ups. BTW, Hitchens (now based at Vanity Fair) is the bane of the NaziMedia crowd since he was once a beloved Lefty Loonie, but his stance on Saddam and Iraq caused great consternation at Moonbat Central - and turned them against him, to put it mildly.
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 3:03:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  NOTE: I don't know why, but in verifying a good posting here on Rantburg, I can't get the MSNBC link to serve the page - although I had it open just a few minutes ago in order to create the post.

No matter, the piece was considered important enough for it to be echoed on Frontpage.mag - here's the link to their repost of the piece:


Apologies for any confusion! Hell, I'm confused by the MSNBC page-load failure!
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 3:13 Comments || Top||

#2  I'd say it was accurately reported. I linked a couple of similar articles about him back in August. He's very much on our side and I sincerely hope he stays alive.
Note: the first link is to my blog, where I have quotes, since the article is no longer available. The second is an NYT story requiring registration.
Posted by: Kathy K || 10/09/2003 8:26 Comments || Top||

#3  He must have excellent security. I didn't think he'ld last a week.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 9:23 Comments || Top||

#4  He must have excellent security. I didn't think he'ld last a week.

Saddam doesn't run the show anymore, and his Baathist sympathizers aren't going to be marching unopposed into Karbala to kill someone they don't like.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 11:42 Comments || Top||

#5  "Saddam doesn't run the show anymore, and his Baathist sympathizers aren't going to be marching unopposed into Karbala to kill someone they don't like."

It's the Shiite thugs controlled from Tehran that he has to worry about. If I was them, I'd wack him and frame the Sunnis.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 12:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Bomb-a-rama, I agree with Steve. There are already quite a few dead Shiite clerics in Iraq that Sadaam didn't whack. I would surround myself with well-paid family members and stay away from toll booths.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

German Sources Say Russia Might Price Its Oil in Euros
YEKATERINBURG, Ural Mountains -- Russia is increasingly looking at pricing oil sales in euros instead of dollars, reflecting the euro’s growing role as a reserve currency, German government sources said Wednesday. "The question is taking on increasing significance," a person travelling with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on an official visit to Russia said.

A switch into euros by Russia, the second-biggest oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia and holder of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, would represent a major shift in the balance of currencies behind the world’s most traded commodity. European leaders have long expressed interest in seeing energy contracts priced in euros rather than dollars to promote the currency and boost price stability in the European Union.
This in turn would hurt the stability of the dollar and put downward pressure on. Short term perhaps good for our balance of payments, but long term bad.
Most energy contracts are settled in dollars, meaning that for European buyers, trade in gas and oil is subject not only to fluctuations in their market prices but also to variations in the value of the U.S. currency. In 1999, just after Vladimir Putin became prime minister, he laid out a proposal to move Russia’s trade out of dollars and into euros.
Vlad, our old friend.
A Russian Energy Ministry official said he could not confirm the report. "We cannot confirm this information. No talks are taking place on the issue. The ministry draws up export timetables, but does not deal with financial issues on oil supplies," the source said.
"I can say no more!"
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 2:10:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Looks like Russia has discovered how to counterfeit Euro's and needs to wash them.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/09/2003 2:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Not sure if this is wishful thinking on the Germans' part, or another case of the Russians trying to play "let's make a deal". They are still torked about the refusal to uphold contracts made with Saddam for Iraqi oil, so maybe they want to see what concessions they can wring out of America?
But then again, Stephen could be right.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/09/2003 2:33 Comments || Top||

#3  And wouldn't it be funny if they did... and then the Euro was eventually dropped as the EU dissolved back into the mass of squabbling mini and micro states it has been since they learned to stand upright on hind legs... the majority of them learned this trick, anyway.

'Course they might all then opt to use those gold-colored foil "coins" made of chocolate. At least they're edible... They could put Chirac's head on one side and Shroeder's on the other. Or not.
Posted by: .com || 10/09/2003 3:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Can someone explain, beyond perceptions, how this makes any difference. Its not as if they buy oil with suitcases of money. Its all electronic transfers, etc, which can be converted to Pesos if desired. All of those sales in EUROS might help stabalize the EURO but its hardly enough to destabalize the Dollar. Whole lot of nothin if you ask me.
Posted by: Yank || 10/09/2003 9:11 Comments || Top||

#5  The anti-American mob* keeps on talking about how using some other country's currency to price commodities is going to bring about American collapse. If oil starts getting priced in euros, the demand for euros will go up, meaning that the euro will strengthen relative to the dollar. European companies are already screaming about how the strong euro is killing their competitiveness with respect to their challengers worldwide. I really fail to see how pricing oil (or any other commodity) in euros is going to do anything good for the EU's economies.

* I use the word mob because they have different agendas, but are temporarily united to cause trouble for the US.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/09/2003 9:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Yank...I had the same question. I think Stephen hit the nail on the head. If you want to launder money (conterfeit or no) it would certainly be easier to work with Chirac, Schroeder and the new Euros than it would with GW and the stable dollar. We know that they do it. It's not really a question if they do it, only how. I guess I'm not smart enough to understand why we would want them to do it in dollars.
Posted by: B || 10/09/2003 9:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Zhanag...thanks for the excellent explanation. Be that as it may, I still suspect those currently in power are less concerned with doing anything good for the EU economy or stabilizing the Euro, than they are with their ability to manipulate the money to help them maintain that power. Maybe I'm just to cynical for my own good.
Posted by: B || 10/09/2003 10:02 Comments || Top||

#8  Yank, Zhang is right in the short term. However (as I understand it, and please remember that the Nobel committee for the economics prize did not call me this week), long-term as the dollar declines overseas investors will be less willing to hold them, and less willing to buy dollar-demoninated debts, such as US Treasury bonds, bills and notes. That puts pressure on the Treasury to hike its interest rates to attract buyers, and that puts upward pressure on interest rates in general, an economy-killer. US equities also become less attractive, so the NYSE declines some.

Having the dollar as the universal exchange for world commodity goods puts the US squarely in the middle of the action. Paying for oil with euros, in the long-term, puts Europe in the drivers seat.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

#9  However (as I understand it, and please remember that the Nobel committee for the economics prize did not call me this week), long-term as the dollar declines overseas investors will be less willing to hold them, and less willing to buy dollar-demoninated debts, such as US Treasury bonds, bills and notes. That puts pressure on the Treasury to hike its interest rates to attract buyers, and that puts upward pressure on interest rates in general, an economy-killer. US equities also become less attractive, so the NYSE declines some.

Actually, in the short run, Treasury bonds will fall, meaning interest rates will go up. Once exchange rates stabilize, US interest rates will stabilize as well. For example, in 1972, the US dollar used to buy 308 yen. Today, it buys only about 110 yen - roughly a 2/3 reduction in the dollar's value vs the yen. And yet interest rates are at historic lows.

Or better still, take the example of Mexico, a not particularly well-run economy* with few of the strengths of the US economy (namely, good infrastructure, a well-educated work force, strong momentum in technological fields, innovation in every other field). It has devalued repeatedly - and each time it devalued, interest rates spiked, and then settled down. Even Russian debt, whose fluctuations triggered the Long Term Capital disaster, has recovered to reasonable levels, meaning interest rates on it are nowhere near the exorbitant levels seen during the peak of the LTCM meltdown. Neither economy is as healthy as it should be - but the problem has nothing to do with devaluations of their exchange rates - corruption, incompetence and over-regulation are to blame.

* due to an excess of government regulations covering every segment of the economy
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/09/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#10  That puts pressure on the Treasury to hike its interest rates to attract buyers, and that puts upward pressure on interest rates in general, an economy-killer. US equities also become less attractive, so the NYSE declines some.

Any foreign investors invested at the time of a decline in the dollar's value will lose money. But it's a one-time hit - the portfolio managers who lost money will be booted, and the new managers will continue to invest in American securities. That's the thing with markets - securities become more attractive when they fall, not when they become more expensive. And the US labor will become more, not less competitive, with a decline in the dollar.

This is why the Chinese, the Japanese and the Europeans are frantically trying to prop up the US dollar against their own currencies. Take it from me - they're not buying dollars because they like Americans. In the natural order of things, the more they export to us, the less the dollar should be worth in comparison to their currencies. As the dollar weakens, their plants become less competitive, triggering job losses. This is why they're buying dollars, to stave off job losses domestically. Bottom line - they get low unemployment (while the US unemployment worsens) and we get lower prices on imports (while they pay higher prices). If they stop buying dollars, and the dollar falls, Americans will get lower unemployment (while employment outside the US falls) and higher import prices (while import prices outside the US fall).

European unemployment is skyrocketing - they can't afford to lose jobs to the US - if the exchange rate moves against them (i.e. the euro rises), they are going to go on a dollar-buying binge to ensure their products remain price-competitive in global markets. Same with China and Japan. This is why Putin's talk about switching to euro-pricing betrays a basic misunderstanding about the nature of the global economy - pricing commodities in US dollars is not a free ride for Americans - this is a Marxist view that Putin seems to have had trouble repudiating.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/09/2003 11:44 Comments || Top||

Mullah Fudlullah: US helped Israel attack Syria
A top cleric in the Shiite Muslim world accused the United States on Wednesday of conspiring with Israel to strike Syria and urged Arabs to revive an economic boycott of the Jewish state.
"Yes! It was a conspiracy! A deep-laid plot!"
"America, which is playing the role of a policeman in the world, wants Israel to be the region's policeman," said Grand Ayatollah Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. "The matter is no longer a threat to one state, or a threat to the region only, because America and Israel constitute a danger that threatens the security of the entire world," Fadlallah said in a statement issued by his office.
"They're comin' to get us! We should all join together, right now, to protect... ummm... me."
Israeli fighter-bombers hit what Israel called a training camp for Islamic Jihad militants about 15 miles from Damascus on Sunday. Villagers nearby said Palestinian militants had abandoned the camp years ago.
Yep. Nothing there. Nothing to see. Move along... But as David Warren points out:
The target was legitimate enough, and the best proof of this was the immediate Syrian effort to seal it from journalistic inspection; together with Hizbollah reprisals along the Lebanon frontier. Had the target been the mere hiking trails Syrian propaganda described — and which liberal media immediately swallowed whole — it would not have had the kind of fencing and gates around it that at least one enterprising journalist observed. Moreover, the Syrian authorities would have led a media parade through the bombsite.
The attack retaliated for a suicide bombing that killed 19 people in Israel on Saturday. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing. U.S. officials have said that Israel did not inform Washington in advance of its retaliatory strike.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This guy has yet to get anything right. Probably not a drawback in a "Grand Ayatollah".

Time to go search the Golan Heights? I'd really like to know if Sammy's CBW are buried there.
Posted by: mojo || 10/09/2003 1:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Israel still holds the Golan, so I expect that's clean. However, the Bakaa could use a good cleaning.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 1:48 Comments || Top||

#3  "The matter is no longer a threat to one state, or a threat to the region only, because America and Israel constitute a danger that threatens the security of the entire world," Fadlallah said in a statement issued by his office.

-It should read - America and Israel constitute a danger that threatens the security of the entire world that harbors and promote terrorist organizations.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/09/2003 7:47 Comments || Top||

#4  "..because America and Israel constitute a danger that threatens the security of the entire world," Fadlallah said in a statement issued by his office.

No, a threat to HIS world.

Tough shit, buddy.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 11:17 Comments || Top||

#5  Israel needs the help of the US to take Syria?????
News to me.
Posted by: JFM || 10/09/2003 15:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Can't Israel just do a controlled burn? That works for the Forest Service when they want to totally level a populated area.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/09/2003 16:36 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
In Congo, U.N. Forces Near Massacre Site
U.N. peacekeepers are moving deep into a volatile northeast province of Congo to prevent massacres like the one that killed scores this week. Peacekeepers are now setting up at least three permanent countryside deployments in Ituri province, where rampaging tribal fighters this week killed at least 65 people, mainly children, said William Swing, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s special representative for Congo.
"Special" representative as in "special" Olympics?
Members of the 3,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force sent to the region last month had kept permanent bases only in Bunia, Ituri’s capital.
"Hmmm, the ’peacekeepers’ sleep here, so we should be able to murder ’n maim to our hearts’ content ... here, here, here and here!"
"Brilliant, just brilliant, boss!"

``It’s in these well-situated places where we can better control the movement of armed groups and avoid new massacres,’’ Swing told The Associated Press in Kinshasa, Congo’s capital. The United Nations is investigating Monday’s attack in Katchele, some 40 miles northwest of Bunia, where bodies were found in a mass grave, a church and in the bush surrounding the village.
Expect a sharply-worded denunciation to follow.
U.N. officials have said the victims were from the Hema tribe. Fighters from the rival Lendu tribe are suspected of carrying out the attack. Ituri has been beset by increased fighting between the Hema and Lendu - and massacres and reprisal killings - since 1999, a year after the outbreak of Congo’s recently ended war. The attack Monday was the first reported large-scale killing in Ituri since the beefed-up U.N. force replaced a French-led emergency force on Sept. 1.
That didn’t take long.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 12:20:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  right...a UN rep in Africa named "Will Swing"? Another UN prostitution story forthcoming from this I'll bet.......
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 8:30 Comments || Top||

#2  a UN rep in Africa named "Will Swing"?

I sure wasn't on top of my game last night since I missed that one! :-)
Posted by: Steve White || 10/09/2003 10:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Just another instance of U.N. "peacekeepers" unable to live up to their mission of keeping the peace. And to think, American money actually gets wasted in such a worthless endeavor.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/09/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Qurei sez he can work with Sharon
Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei said he believed he can work with his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon and secure a ceasefire.
It'll be easier after Yasser's kicked it. But even if he's on his deathbed for months, it'll be harder for him to smack his PM around. If he hangs on for awhile, Qurei may even have his power base consolidated so he can take over without a major civil war...
"There is a chance of making a genuine difference and reaching achievements. I intend to work with your government and achieve a ceasefire. Give us a chance and an opportunity to prevent the deterioration from continuing."
I suppose we're all willing to be surprised by now...
Qurei, who is also known as Abu Ala, was sworn in by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat Tuesday after emergency rule was declared in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Qurei heads a nine-member emergency cabinet which is expected to seek formal approval from the Palestinian Legislative Council, or parliament, on Thursday.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If he does achieve peace I'll know the end of the world is coming around. That much the Book of Revelation makes clear.
Posted by: Charles || 10/09/2003 0:44 Comments || Top||

#2  "If he does achieve peace I'll know the end of the world is coming around. That much the Book of Revelation makes clear."

It comes right after a Cubs - Red Sox World Series.
Posted by: Steve || 10/09/2003 8:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Fox is reporting that, due to the crisis in forming the Emergency Cabinet, Qurei wants to quit. Do these guys ever stop their threatening to quit? I must've heard Erekat resign 132 times
Posted by: Frank G || 10/09/2003 9:34 Comments || Top||

#4  It comes right after a Cubs - Red Sox World Series.

Damn straight. Go Red Sox!
Posted by: Raj || 10/09/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

Murder trial provokes fresh reformist-conservative spat in Iran
The trial of an Iranian intelligence agent accused of killing an Iranian-Canadian press photographer has brought the Islamic republic's political tussle back to the fore, with the affair prompting renewed finger-pointing between the rival conservative and reformist camps. On Wednesday, embattled reformist President Mohammad Khatami stepped into the dispute by accusing the judiciary, a bastion of Iran's religious right, of not having conducted an impartial probe into the death-in-custody of the 54-year-old dual national. "Why were all the people who were implicated in this affair... not interrogated?" Khatami told reporters after a cabinet meeting, the day after the judiciary opened the trial of her alleged killer. "We are asking for nothing else than impartiality, and we think that there should be an impartial trial that is not influenced by the very same people who rank among those who have been accused in the affair."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/09/2003 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Canadiens are quiet.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/09/2003 12:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Canadian government wishes this embarassment would go away so Chretien can go back to smoking dope.
Posted by: john || 10/09/2003 19:42 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2003-10-09
  Iraqi Leaders Don't Want Turkish Troops
Wed 2003-10-08
  Algeria pounds Salafist HQ
Tue 2003-10-07
  Yasser on his deathbed?
Mon 2003-10-06
  Azam Tariq late!
Sun 2003-10-05
  Israel bombs IJ target in Syria
Sat 2003-10-04
  20 dead in Haifa boom
Fri 2003-10-03
  Suspected Saddam executioner caught
Thu 2003-10-02
  Pakistan kills 12 al Qaeda
Wed 2003-10-01
  Senate Panel OKs Bush $87B Iraq Plan
Tue 2003-09-30
  Jug time for teenage exploding Islamic hookers
Mon 2003-09-29
  AMC's Alamoudi jugged
Sun 2003-09-28
  Afghan Constitution Proposes Muslim State
Sat 2003-09-27
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Fri 2003-09-26
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