July 25, 2006: In what is a very blunt Information War operation, the Taliban this year have deprived some 200,000 Afghan children of school. One of the Taliban beliefs is that the only proper schools are those supervised by (Taliban approved) religious leaders. Since the millions of Afghan children who have returned to school, since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001, are doing so at government schools, and without a religious curriculum, they are in violation of Taliban customs. The Taliban are particularly incensed at schools for girls. The Taliban are decidedly Old School when it comes to women, believing ignorance, pregnancy and housekeeping are all the women need. Anything else is un-Islamic, and not to be tolerated. So some 200 schools have been closed in southern Afghanistan, and at least 40 teachers and students killed in the process. The Taliban use terror to close the schools, or discourage parents from sending their kids, often accompanied by violence (burning down the school and/or threatening the teachers and villagers.) Where terror tactics did not shut down a school, threats against parents (and their children) often got the kids withdrawn from school. All this has not made the Taliban popular, but since the Taliban are on a mission from God, who cares?
The Afghans affected believe that the Taliban want people to stay ignorant, as that makes them easier to control. While many Afghans in the south agree with the Taliban, they are not the ones sending their kids to school.
KABUL, July 22 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Afghanistan's major creditors have written off $10.4 billion in debt, a further major reduction in the country's debt in the Paris Club, finance ministry spokesman said on Saturday.
Aziz Shams told Pajhwok Afghan News US, Russia and Germany canceled their debt what he said was $10.4 billion. US had $108 million and Germany 40 million debt on Afghanistan.
Paris club played a mediator role between in-debt and creditor countries. The U.S. State Department said on July 21 that the agreement means that 92 percent of Afghanistan's total debt to the three Paris Club creditors -- Germany, Russia and the United States has now been written off.
Finance Minister Anwarulhaq had attended the Paris Club, he added. He said besides discussing major creditors of the Paris club US, Russia and Germany, the attendants discussed on canceling the debts provided by World Bank, Asian Bank in the last four years, but he said this discussion did get finalized. Afghanistan had received over 600 million US dollar as debt from different donor, he contended.
Shams said Russia had claimed it had $10.5 billion payable debt on Afghanistan while the documents in hand with the Afghanistan government show the Russian debt was only $9.5 billion dollar. He also said Afghanistan insisted on not paying these money and it also did not accept the money as debt on Afghanistan and Afghanistan terms it as expenses of former Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Russian government is asking for payment of debts while Afghan people are calling them as inheritors of Former Soviet Union and demanded Russians to pay compensation for the devastation this country inflicted in Afghanistan during its invasion on central Asian country.
I think it's a great idea for them to stiff the Russians. Heh.
What is it with the Russians thinking that they would have ever got $10.4G back from Afghanistan's old Taliban gov't? They repeated the same stupid mistake with Iraq, too, only more so, if I remember right. Or maybe both mistakes were done in parallel, so we'll call it one mistake. The Germans did essentially the same thing, I believe. And the French got suckered by Iraq too, I think. I have a hard time believing that the Taliban or Saddam, with their dinky economies, had any intention of paying off their debt, but were planning on stringing out the Russians for their veto should the UN come knocking, and for German support should world events conspire against Iraq's terrorist ways. Anybody know anything here? Was Iraq going to pay the Russians back with cheap oil or something? Am I messed up?
Does Iran fall into this category somehow, too? It might explain a lot.
TOP Saudi Arabian officials have pressed US President George W. Bush to agree to seek a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.
"We requested a ceasefire to allow for the cessation of hostilities, to allow for the rebuilding of the forces of Lebanon, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said today after a meeting of more than an hour with Mr Bush and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Mr Bush has resisted calling for an immediate ceasefire, saying Israel has the right to defend itself and a cessation of hostilities must address the root causes of the conflict, including Hezbollah's attacks on Israel and abduction of Israeli soldiers. Accused by some Democrats of moving too slowly on the crisis, Ms Rice departed today evening for Israel and the Palestinian territories and will go to Rome on Wednesday to discuss the crisis with European and Arab officials, including officials from Lebanon.
Prince Saud said he brought a letter to Mr Bush from Saudi King Abdullah seeking ways to end the bloodshed in Lebanon. The Saudis had requested the meeting with Mr Bush. Prince Saud said the letter called for an immediate ceasefire, the start of a prisoner exchange between Hezbollah and Israel and delaying the dismantling of Hezbollah for now. The Saudis did not object to an international force deployed in southern Lebanon.
You'd almost think the Saoodis were on the side of the Hezbies with those talking points.
Typical Arab M.O. Finally Hiz is beginning to get its a$$ kicked, and their enemy the Saudis wants to stop the fighting. Just like they bugged us about with Sammy in GW1. Screw them. Put Hiz in the chipper and take out Iran's little dog Syria, too. This is a golden opportunity to start the final dismantling of the Axis of Evil.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
07/24/2006 2:34 Comments ||
...about the same time you stop exporting your own citizens to Iraq for jihad.
On Oct. 2, 2004, the container ship Ever Unique, sailing under a Panamanian flag from Yantai, China, berthed in the Port of Newark. As cranes unloaded the vessels shipping containers, which were filled with a variety of commercial goods, dockworkers singled out a container and placed it aboard a flatbed truck, which was driven to a warehouse a few miles away. There, F.B.I. and Secret Service agents, acting as part of a sting operation, gathered around the container and cracked it open. Beneath cardboard boxes containing plastic toys, they found counterfeit $100 bills worth more than $300,000, secreted in false-bottomed compartments.
The counterfeits were nearly flawless. They featured the same high-tech color-shifting ink as genuine American bills and were printed on paper with the same precise composition of fibers. The engraved images were, if anything, finer than those produced by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Only when subjected to sophisticated forensic analysis could the bills be confirmed as imitations.
Counterfeits of this superior sort known as supernotes had been detected by law-enforcement officials before, elsewhere in the world, but the Newark shipment marked their first known appearance in the United States, at least in such large quantities. Federal agents soon seized more shipments. Three million dollars worth arrived on another ship in Newark two months later; and supernotes began showing up on the West Coast too, starting with a shipment of $700,000 that arrived by boat in Long Beach, Calif., in May 2005, sealed in plastic packages and wrapped mummy-style in bolts of cloth.
Continued on Page 49
The counterfeiting issue, and the crackdown on Banco Delta Asia, is a major factor which is contributing to Kim Jong Ils posturing.
Lemme get this straight. Kimmie is faking our money. We caught him at it and shut down his banking 'helper'. He gets mad and lights off a few missiles. And this is our fault. I love the 'balance' in this story, with all the nice quotes suggesting the counterfeiting is "no big deal, really. Hardly worth bothering about." The NYT can go F itself.
The reason for the currency change was to inhibit this worldwide counterfeiting wasn't it ? Now they have the "new" formula already ? This sounds like something Chicoms are involved in also. I somehow don't see how Kimmie pulls all these rabbits out of his ass, when his populace is starving.
Amen, PBMcL. China is, of course, far more likely the source - probably producing the plates, paper, and ink. No one here actually believes that the starving NorKies, who subsist on rocks, grass, and bark are capable of producing these supernotes alone, are they?
It's well past time to have a no punches-pulled confrontation with China - and begin reciprocating the slow-burn war they declared on us long long ago. Their triangulation efforts with NorK and in the UN are, alone, worthy of this wholesale change in attitude.
Begin by throwing their "students" out of the country - they occupy far too many scholarships which should be going to Americans - and many would be amazed by the number and value of these. Clean out Silicon Valley of all firms which can be traced to Chinese fronts, etc. There are many ways to communicate or displeasure with these whores of history. Let's employ some of them.
North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, has been shacking up living with his former secretary, who is virtually acting as the country's "first lady", it was reported yesterday.
He's not so ronery any more.
There is no official information available about the marital history of Mr Kim, 64, but he is believed to have been married three times. His last wife, Ko Yong-hi, reportedly died of cancer two years ago. Since then, Mr Kim has been doinking living with Kim Ok, who had served as his personal lap warmer secretary since the 1980s, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed South Korean government officials familiar with the family. Ms Kim, 42, "virtually acts as North Korea's first lady", and frequently accompanied the communist leader on his visits to military bases and meetings with foreign dignitaries, Yonhap said. She also travelled with him on a secretive trip to China in January, when she was received by officials as Mr Kim's wife, the report said. Ms Kim also met the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, it said. "She is a cute woman rather than a beauty like the leader's previous wives or live-in women," another source said.
Must .. not .. go .. there ...
Little is known about Ms Kim, except that she is double-jointed studied piano at the North's elite Pyongyang University of Music and Dance. It is not known whether she has any children by the North Korean leader, who is known to have three sons - one from his second wife, two from his third. North Korean experts say Mr Kim's 25-year-old son Kim Jong-chul will most likely succeed him. His eldest, Kim Jong-nam, is said to have fallen out of favour after he was caught trying to enter Japan on a fake passport in 2001, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut on Sunday promised a bruising fight in the U.S. Senate against confirming John Bolton to be the country's ambassador to the United Nations. "This is going to be a bruising fight," Dodd said on CNN's "Late Edition" program. "I'm sorry the administration wants to go forward with this." He argued that problems Democrats had raised last year were not resolved. "The problems still persist. Many ambassadors at the U.N. feel he hasn't done a good job there," said Dodd, who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee. "It's polarized the situation."
We care about the other ambassadors' opinions...why?
Bring it on, bitch. You'll get a public smackdown that will leave your ears ringing for years. Even the crybabies "get it". What a complete political whore, not that he's unique or anything, LOL. :-)
The US Senate. A real can of worms there, Sock Puppet. Our own frequently dysfunctional House of Lords. If only ours slept as soundly... Even the "progressives" have some problems with it, although arguably it must rank right alongside judicial activism as their best ally. One look at its ranks, the stupidity that flows from it, the confirmation partisanship, and the unconstitutional filibuster tradition certainly make that clear to me.
This seems like an opportunity, not a problem. Dodd & Co. are only painting themselves further and further into a corner on this issue before the November elections. This may help Dodd get Kos support in his run for the Presidential nomination but it is going to make the Donks look more and more irresponsible on national defence.
This has a lovely potential to backfire on Chris baby if he decides to follow through on it. He can scream all he wants about how Bolton is an extremist, and all the administration has to do is release Bolton's statements telling off Malloch Brown, et al, when they made blatantly anti-American remarks. Considering how unpopular the UN is with the rest of America, it may be enough to guarantee his confirmation.
Bolton has gone out of his way to make the un work the way it is charted too. If Dodd and company have a list of missteps then bring them out, but if all they have is talking points then they should just shut up.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict. "If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor.
Yeah, sure, you'd have gone to the U.N. or something. Loser.
Bush has been so concentrated on the war in Iraq that other Middle East tension arose as a result, he said. "The president has been so absent on diplomacy when it comes to issues affecting the Middle East," Kerry said. "We're going to have a lot of ground to make up (in 2008) because of it."
If you'd been paying attention instead of trying to get your allowance up'ped from Tay-ray-sa, you'd know that the Hezbies are strangely resistant to diplomacy. You think Iran and Syria would be impressed with our resolve if you as Prez would have pulled us out of Iraq? You think the Hezbies would have been shaking in their shoes after you'd gone to the U.N. begging for help in an 'international resolution' to Iraq?
Hezbollah guerillas should have been targeted with other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban, which operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kerry said. However, Bush, has focused military strength on Iraq.
You'd have been for it and then against it. Targeting Hezbollah at the same time as the Taliban would have meant two invasions -- Afghanistan and Lebanon -- at the same time. Is that what you're advocating? I can't tell because you aren't making sense. Targeting Hezbollah at the same time as al-Qaeda would have been particularly stupid as it would have driven them together in 2002. You work to defeat your enemies in isolation and in detail. Didn't you learn that in the Navy?
"This is about American security and Bush has failed. He has made it so much worse because of his lack of reality in going into Iraq. We have to destroy Hezbollah," he said.
Just like in 1998 when you said we had to destroy Saddam. Loser. This is what happens when you lack a brain, a heart and a spine.
Kennedy blew his brain fart the other day, so the Junior Senator from Masshole had to throw in his echo to make it a duet. Didn't Dean hit this meme, too, recently? Expect similar brain farts soon from the usual clueless "Return To Clintoonian Camelot!" assholes.
Donk 2006 campaign strategy: Throw mindless BDS meme shit out into the wind to see what sells and gets picked up by the MSM. Same as 2004, in other words. Same effect, I hope.
Hezbollah guerillas should have been targeted with other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban, which operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kerry said. Does Kerry have doodoo for brains [or a brain at all]? He must think A-Q and the Talis are our friends. What the hell planet is he from.
"If I was president, this wouldn't have happened." I hate to agree with Kerry but on this point he may be right. If Kerry were President, Hezbollah would be extremely powerful (kowtowing to Iran) and they would have open imported better weapons to destroy Israel long before two weeks ago. He most certainly would have supported Hamas and that would have left a weak Israel with two powerful opponents, Israelis would have little choice but to submit or flee. Yes, I would have to agree this would not have happened on President John F. Kerrys watch.
This guy(Kerry) has more political lives than a cat. He is also a legend in his own mind. I wouldn't be surprised if the demos ran Kerry or Gore again. They just can't abandon their left wing whacko base. On the other hand, that is not all bad.
Niteen V Pradhan is an angry man. One of India's leading criminal lawyers, he has mailed a letter to the 18 core accused in the March 12, 1993 bomb blasts case, telling them he will not fight the case for them any more.
In conversation with Sumit Bhattacharya, Pradhan says July 11, 2006 was a "day of reckoning" for him, and he felt he was "defending the wrong cause."
You have defended people like Abu Salem and some of the accused in the stamp scam case. Why did you decide not to defend the 1993 blasts accused anymore?
There is a bit of a history. Initially some other lawyers were appearing for the bomb blasts accused. Those lawyers expressed their no-confidence in the then presiding officer of the court. The accused retracted and said, 'We want this judge.' The judge directed that these lawyers should not come within the precincts of the court.
There were 48 prime accused. The series of charges against them included smuggling RDX (Research and Development Explosive), transportation of RDX, hatching conspiracy in Dubai, having conspiratorial meetings in India, storage of RDX, preparing vehicular bombs, planting those bombs and detonating them on March 12, 1993.
These 48 persons were left high and dry by the order of the judge.
The judge appointed me and Mahesh Jethmalani as amicus curae (friend of the court, who assists the court to come to the right conclusion) in July 1994.
The day after, representatives of three Muslim organisations met me. They said, 'We don't want you to appear as amicus curae. We want to pay your fees and we want you to act as a professional defence counsel.'
I was reluctant. I made enquiries.
They (the community leaders) said, 'We don't want Mahesh Jethmalani because his father was vice-president of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).'
I apprised the learned judge of the meeting. The judge said, 'I don't have any objection.'
In the first meeting, I asked them, 'Why do you want the community to pay?' -- they said my fees would be paid by the community. I asked them, 'Why is the community trying to identify with those who are accused of killing people mercilessly with vehicular bombs?'
It was the first time something like that had happened in India, and I was surprised (with the community identifying with the accused).
They said the community is offended because of the application of Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code -- which means waging war against the country. Under English law, it meant the offence of treason.
They said, 'We are not traitors. And if our community has been accused of being traitors, we feel the entire community has been accused of being traitors.'
I agreed with them. Because according to me, the bomb blasts had nothing to do with waging war against the government. The bomb blasts had something to do with the Ayodhya issue, December 1992 riots and the January 1993 riots (in Mumbai). It was arising out of the communal frenzy.
I felt this community is not a traitor. They love India like any other person. It is not that Hindus love India more than the Muslims, or the Christians, or the Sikhs, or any other community or religion in India.
I defended them. My submissions were accepted by the judge and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) also. M Natarajan, the senior advocate appearing for CBI, made a bold statement. He said that I am legally correct in my submissions. Ultimately he conceded that this charge of Section 121 should be dropped. The matter (case) went on.
Finally these 18 persons, the core accused, I defended them as a matter of professional duty. I was told the money for my fees was being collected during the Friday sermons. After my appearance in 1994, when I came out of the matter in 1995, several bomb blasts took place in Bombay -- Ghatkopar, Vile Parle, Gateway of India, etc.
The biggest one was the recent one -- July 11. I was extremely perturbed because (despite) whatever I had been told by the so-called leaders, those leaders have not come out against these bomb blasts, or the carnage of tourists in Srinagar. They have not come out in support of the Kashmiri Pandits living in refugee camps.
At least one Muslim leader should come out and say, 'I don't stand by the so-called jihad, so-called pious duty they are talking about. That Islam they are talking, that Islam they are preaching, that Islam they are executing, that is not my Islam. I feel ashamed if they belong to my community, my religion.'
Nobody said this. Nobody came out. I am not talking just about the leaders who came to meet me. I am talking about community leaders from the film world, the industry, from the commercial establishments, from educational institutions, from politics. None of them came out saying that 'I want to collect money for Kashmiri Hindus. I want to come out in support of these victims.'
After 1993, Bombay is by and large calm. There is no communal frenzy here. The loss of faith in each other, which happened in 1992, has been now retrieved. What is the occasion for all these bomb blasts, particularly July 11?
The 1993 bomb blasts -- I am not justifying it, it is no doubt beyond justification -- were the aftermath of the Ayodhya issue, the December 1992 riots and January 1993 riots (in Mumbai). What has happened now? Who has committed atrocities, even allegedly?
I am convinced now that all these terrorist activities, all these bomb blasts are aimed against Hindus. They want to kill Hindus at random and as many as possible.
This is the same impression I have mentioned in my letter to the accused. I said, 'My community and my country do not deserve this. My community and my country, despite being ruled by Muslims for a thousand years, despite the atrocities, have accepted them as brothers.'
But we have seen people like Shah Rukh Khan condemning the blasts.
Tell me, is this the same Shah Rukh Khan who refused to touch the feet of Lata Mangeshkar saying his religion does not allow him to touch someone's feet? How much money has he paid to Kashmiri Hindus? Has Shah Rukh Khan defended Feroze Khan for what he said in Pakistan?
How many of them have defended Feroze Khan, who told the truth -- that Pakistan is a failed State; that minorities in India are far better treated than the minorities in Pakistan? Did Shabana Azmi support him? Did Javed Akhtar support him?
July 11, 2006 was a "day of reckoning" for him, and he felt he was "defending the wrong cause."
Took the carnage to open his liberal eyes.
I was extremely perturbed because (despite) whatever I had been told by the so-called leaders, those leaders have not come out against these bomb blasts, or the carnage of tourists in Srinagar. They have not come out in support of the Kashmiri Pandits living in refugee camps.
Though embroiled in a bloody war over the future shape and identity of their country, Iraq's Sunni Arabs, Shiites, Kurds and even Christians have unified in condemning Israel over its fighting in Lebanon against the Hezbollah militia.
Condemnation of Israel's actions in Lebanon and of the United States as the Jewish state's backer has emerged as a rare bridge issue, cutting across political, ethnic and religious lines. Demonstrators loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr marched through the city center of Najaf on Sunday evening in support of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, chanting "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!"
Across the city, more moderate Shiite clerics loyal to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a statement urging support for the Islamist militia in Lebanon and condemning the U.S. and Israel. "The enemy is the same," said a statement issued by the Hawza, the network of seminaries in Najaf. "Their aim is to enslave and humiliate us. What's happening today in Lebanon is part of a bigger scheme to crush the blessed [Islamic] nation."
Vice President Tariq Hashimi, a Sunni Muslim Arab, expressed his "extreme concern over the Zionist aggression against" the Lebanese as well as Palestinians...
Though embroiled in a bloody war over the future shape and identity of their country, Iraq's Sunni Arabs, Shiites, Kurds and even Christians have unified in condemning Israel over its fighting in Lebanon against the Hezbollah militia. Sounds like typical LAT wet dream and wishful thinking. Credibility scale does not budge.
I do wonder what kind of unity of purpose the Shiites in Iraq and Iran and in Lebanon have. Personally, I think they are all our friggin enemy and we should act accordingly.
given the region, it would be suicidal for them to not condemn Israel. Watch the hands, not the mouth. Sadr asked Maliki not to visit the US in protest. Sadr was backed by his own party, and the Fadilah party. Maliki said Iraqi interests are more important, and is backed by SCIRI on that.
BAGHDAD (AP) The U.S. military has dismissed all charges against a Pennsylvania National Guardsman accused of killing an unarmed Iraq civilian near Ramadi, finding that the soldier had reason to believe the man had a weapon.
Spc. Nathan Lynn, 21, of South Williamsport, Pa., was accused of voluntary manslaughter and conspiracy to obstruct justice over the death of Gani Ahmed Zaben during a Feb. 15 raid on a suspect's house. Lynn will return to his unit soon, U.S. military officials in Baghdad said Sunday.
"I'm tickled pink," Lynn's grandmother, Shirley Lynn, told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg. "It's the way it should be. Nate's not that type of kid. He's always been a good boy."
Another soldier, Sgt. Milton Ortiz Jr., 36, of Islip, N.Y., still faces one count of obstructing justice for allegedly conspiring with another soldier to put an AK-47 near the Iraqi's body. An Article 32 the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing concluded last week. Lynn and Ortiz belonged to a combat team whose members began returning home last month.
It is a precarious situation. Since we can't control any territory due to manpower shortages, we could be in deep doo-doo. This is precisely what Gen. Shinseki had considered in determining necessary force estimates. Unfortunately, Dumsfeld and Wolfdog wouldn't believe him. It's soon going to be time to crap or get off the pot here. We need a lot more troops on the ground since this is a regional action, as we can readily see.
Dumsfeld? Really? How Donkish and limited your vision.
Tsk, tsk. And here I thought you were a free-thinker, out of the box and all that rot.
Show me the post where YOU perfectly predicted the current situation 3+ years ago, then you can preen in public.
Climb out of that box and ask what would change the threat level - and kill 4 or 5 birds with one stone. Duh. Is it more boots, or something else? Duh. How about eliminating the threat? Duh. Go ahead, take your time. Duh.
Sheesh. 20-100 hindsight specialists give me enough gas to run a fucking flare. Great minds, heh. Champ Angeger5024 should demand a refund.
Whoa, hot-button time. I agree that Iran is the key, Glinesing, and even the thing about boots, to be honest. Yup, it will solve several issues in one shot when we take it out... but you harshed my mellow, man. Ease up on the caffeine and tease instead. You don't happen to work in the DoD, do you? In the DefSec's office, perhaps? LOL.
So the same forces that have only been able to blow up women and kids in the markets for the last year is going to suddenly cut off 100,000 US troops in a flat river basin for long enough for us to run out of supplies?
If they massed to do anything like this our forces and the air force would grind them to hamburger.
My bad - I'm sorry, SOP35. It is a major whopping big deal brain-stopper issue to me... And it stopped, so I fucked up. Apologies to all - and especially SOP35. Let's compromise and decapitate the Mullahs so we don't need more boots. Then we'll all be happier about where this WoT thing is heading.
We have a lot more manpower than what is in Iraq, just sitting around in old Cold War duty stations like Germany and South Korea. If we really need them, we can pull them out of those places and send them in. Also, what are the Shiites going to do about the Kurdish-led Phoenix program in Iraq that will start up as soon as the US supply lines are under full scale assault? The only reason the Kurds are behaving themselves at all is because we keep asking them to : lots of dead Arabs if we don't pull back on the reins. Kurds are NOT Arabs. Also, if we get attacked by the Shia in Iraq, we then have incentive to permit several more Baathist units to be reconstituted and sent against the Shias. Think that the Sunni Baathists would not suddenly end their terror campaign and join in an army smashing the Shias? Because they then get back their "historical leadership position" and get to oppress the Shias again.
This is tribal warfare writ large and the US has an excellent history of our own, in exploiting tribal feuds to kill large numbers of the enemy tribe of the moment.
Did anybody here really think that only Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be the only names in the book of fried cities? We had the pretext then, and we have the pretext now. Iran can be neutralized without the cost of a single American life.
I had the privilege of observing New York from the WTC years before 9-11. When I saw the twin towers fall, the life of a jihadi lost all value. Hopefully, Condi's diplomacy is in the form of the "two track" policy that served to democraticize Central America. The World War 2 generation torched 200,000 Tokyo residents in 1 raid. Then there was Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nukes will fly; whether they fly from US forces against the enemy or from Iran to the US Homeland, they will fly.
Unfortunately, Dumsfeld and Wolfdog wouldn't believe him
And I wouldn't either because the man to make the call is the Theater Commander in accordance with the Goldwater-Nichols Act. Now name me one Iraq theater commander who has complained he hasn't been given what he has asked for. The Goldwater-Nichols Act was established because deskjockies back in Washington were making the calls on operations in Vietnam. The Act switched the arrangement and the Washington folks support the theater commander. They can support'm or fire them, but they do not run the show. The man on the ground makes the call. So again which active theater commander for the region has been bitchin?
Yawn, more worst case scenario whining. Would Shia guerillas supplied out of Iran be any more able to shut down our supply lines than Sunni rebels supplied from Syria? If we cut out all of the ice cream, sodas, and reconstruction supplies, could we supply enough bullets, spare parts and MREs to sustain the force by air? Would the situation be static? I mean, wouldn't we go on the counter offensive and kick Taters ass in short order just like we did the last time he got frisky? And build a new MSR in the desert to the south that doesn't go anywhere near the Shia areas and would be easier to secure?
I think that this is just another asshole, sitting in his office thinking, "If I come up with a really clever argument, that will force Bush to leave." Which isn't to say that this won't be soon added to the anti-war narrative and become another informational weapon for the Tranzis and other assorted fools. This is a battle in the informational war, not the shooting war.
That would take a helluva lot of rebels. I was in TQ for over 6 months - (the logistics hub of western Iraq). We had convoys coming in from Kuwait every day (the "kuwaiti express"). I'm not sure of the author's credentials but he's assuming a very, very worse case scenario. Plus, if he's such a mid-east expert he may realize that Iraqi Shia's are arab tribalists first and foremost. Iranian Shia's are persian tribalists. (big difference) If he had the type of insight I would expect of one to write such an article this distinction would be stark. Just like how experts on the mafia understand the destinctions between Sicilians and mainland Italians. There were plenty of iraqi shia iirc that died fighting their co-religionists during the iraq/iran war of the 80s. Sadr may have some pull but Sistani is still the man there and he wants no part of a fight w/us.
1. In 2004, we came damn close to having the supply lines to Baghdad cut off, with Sunnis making trouble to the west and north, and the Sadrists to the South. With things arguably worse on the ground in Baghad, a cut off doesnt seem like a loony tunes idea. Note, the main roads all go through urban areas, so the flat terrain may not be so helpful.
2. OTOH when the Sadrist rose in 2004, we took them down at large cost to the Mehdi army. And we know more about urban warfare than we did then. Clearly they couldnt maintain a siege for very long.
3. OTOH, it took us a while to clear them out in 2004. Clearing the siege might well NOT be instantaneous, and could create a lot of problems for us in the short term. Given the precarious political support for the war, the short term matters
4. OTOH IF, as seems likely, the Sunni insurgency in Anbar is quieting down a bit, then the Jordan route is more viable than it was in 2004.
5. Number of troops and prescience - I certainly didnt predict things would be just like this. But then I didnt have access to the intell, the knowledge of US capabilities, etc, that OSD had in 2003. At some level I had to go on trust. And then judge who was right, and who wrong. And, in retrospect, it sure looks like Shinseki was closer to right than OSD was. With consequences that have made Iraq MUCH worse than it had to be (granted it was never going to be a walk in the park, plans not surviving, yada, yada) As for the regional CINC, my impression is that Rumsfeld made it quite clear what his approach was, and what he expected the CINC to request and to accept. If even an Army COS could be dealt with as Shinseki was, it was clear what would happen to any CINC. And look at how folks here have ripped into the general who HAVE gone public with complaints. Now a regional CINC is supposed to report directly the President, not the SecDef. Does anyone think Bush has enough first hand knowledge of the military situation in Iraq to second guess Rumsfeld at the request of a regional CINC? Esp if Rumsfeld is backed by Cheney? I dont know for sure. Thats the kind of thing we wont know for sure for years, when all the memoirs come out.
A little more clarification on terminology. Commander in Chief now applies only to the President. The term National Command Authority has gone away. (I believe that it was originally a Cold War term... the senior man/junta that survived a first strike would constitute an NCA. It then mutated to mean the President and SECDEF.) The Combatant Commanders do report to the SECDEF in the chain of command. The Joint Chiefs are essentially the SECDEFs military staff. They have no command authority. The service secretaries are essentially procurement and budget guys these days. All of their pre-WWII authority has been given to the SECDEF.
I tried finding the Rumsfield quote (from memory: "There is no NCA. There is the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense).
If you don't believe me, repeat the little exercise I just did. Go to the JEL, and do a word search for "National Command Authority" in any of the JPs published from 2003 on. You won't get any hits. Then search for "President." You'll find that where the term NCA was used before, you find "President and SECDEF" instead.
About.com National Command Authority The term National Command Authority is used in U.S. military and government circles to refer to the ultimate lawful source of military orders, nominally the President of the United States.
The use of the term dates from the Cold War era in which the United States and Soviet Union had nuclear missiles on constant alert and a responsible official had to be available to authorize a retaliatory strike within a matter of minutes. Detailed Continuity of Government plans provided for monitoring the whereabouts of certain key Government officials who would become the National Command Authority if the President were himself victim of an enemy attack.
From Wikipedia National Command Authority
The term National Command Authority (or NCA) is used in United States military and government circles to refer to the ultimate lawful source of military orders. The term refers to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense.
Only the NCA can order the use of nuclear weapons, including the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). Neither individual, by himself, can order that strategic nuclear weapons be used against any country or region.
If the NCA determines that a nuclear strike is necessary, they must jointly inform the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who in turn will direct a general officer on duty in the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at the Pentagon to execute the SIOP.
The use of the term dates from the Cold War era in which the United States and Soviet Union had nuclear missiles on constant alert and a responsible official had to be available to authorize a retaliatory strike within a matter of minutes. Detailed Continuity of Government plans provided for monitoring the whereabouts of certain key government officials who would become the National Command Authority if the President were himself victim of an enemy attack.
That's what I remembered, NCA is the term used to describe who authorizes nuke release. Not used in any other chain of command area, at least not in military circles.
Steve: NCA _had_ over the years become shorthand for the president and SECDEF in many, many military publications. Here is a quote from Joint Pub 1, Joint Warfare of the Armed Forces of the United States, published in November 2000 (the capstone publication of all joint operations and warfare):
National Command Authorities. The NCA, which consist of the President and the Secretary of Defense or their duly deputized alternates or successors, are the highest levels in the military chain of command. The NCA exercise authority over the Armed Forces both through the combatant commanders for those forces assigned to combatant commands, through the Secretaries of the Military Departments for those forces not assigned to combatant commands, and through the Secretary of Transportation for the US Coast Guard.
As you can see, the concept had mutated to include chain of command responsibilities. Rumsfield was right to expunge it from the military lexicon. BTW, it no longer appears in the DoD dictionary.
(KUNA) -- Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert Sunday did not rule out negotiations with his Lebanese counterpart Fuad Siniora to bring about the release of two Israeli soldiers, held capitives by Hezbollah. "The Lebanese government and its Prime Minsiter Fuad Siniora are a partner in dialogue, it is possible that this happens but on the right time," Israeli radio quoted Olmert as saying during a cabinet meeting.
Olmert's statement came hours after Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri had said that Hezbollah agreed to allow the Beirut government negotiate with foreign parties to swap the Israeli soldiers with the Prisoners in Israeli jails. The radio, meanwhile, said Olmert informed visiting German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier tonight that the Jewish state was considering approval of an international force on the Lebanese-Syrian borders, coupled with military and fighting capabilities provided by the European Union (EU).
Olmert said Israel would decide on this force after clearing some questions like the control over the Syrian-Lebanese borders, deployment in southern Lebanon and backing the Lebanese army, implementing UN resolution 1559 and disarming Hezbollah. Israeli defense minister Amir peterz had said Tel Aviv supported the deployment of Nato-led combat forces in southern Lebanon.
Yes, please do negotiate, put in some European peacekeepers in the South, and give Hezbollah time to put in longer-range missiles farther North to fly over the peacekeepers. A real winning strategy.
The UN relief chief condemned Israel yesterday for violating humanitarian law over its blistering raids on Lebanon as the Jewish state killed more civilians in another wave of attacks. As Israel tightened its grip on a strategic border village seized in south Lebanon, Syria fueled fears the fighting could spread by issuing a warning that it would intervene if Israel dared to launch an all-out invasion of Lebanon. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was also heading to the Middle East with Washington increasingly estranged from European and Arab allies over a conflict that has killed close to 400 people in just 12 days and triggered a major humanitarian crisis.
UN Humanitarian Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland, in Beirut to launch an urgent appeal for funds for half a million people made homeless by the conflict, made no attempt to hide his fury as he toured bombed-out areas. This is destruction of block after block of mainly residential areas. I would say it seems to be an excessive use of force in an area with so many citizens, he told reporters in the southern suburb of Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold. Asked if the Israeli raid that destroyed the burned-out buildings before him constituted a war crime, he replied: It makes it a violation of humanitarian law.
His comments came as at least eight civilians, including a Lebanese press photographer, were killed in new Israeli airstrikes across Lebanon on the 12th day of Israels punishing war on Hezbollah. Hezbollah said three of its fighters had also been killed. In a wave of pre-dawn raids, fighter-bombers for the first time struck directly inside the southern city of Sidon, where tens of thousands of Lebanese have sought refuge from the relentless Israeli offensive. A three-story building housing a Hezbollah religious center was hit. Hezbollah responded with a new hail of rocket fire on Haifa, killing one person in his car and a second as he worked in a warehouse.
Blaming Israel for the incessant attacks of terrorists whom reportedly comprise 30-40% of Lebanon's govt - Israel is fighting terror groups entrenched in Lebanon for decades, groups which had gotten militarily and poli stronger despite the presence of the UNIFIL peacekeeping force. FNC's SHEPARD SMITH > LEBANESE > HEZBOLLAH IS "THE GOVT", OR AT LEAST THE GOVT IN SOUTH LEBANON ONLY.
Jan Egeland - isn't he the "US is stingy on tsunami aid" moron. On the subject of 'violating humanitarian law' - what did the UN have to say about raining rockets packed with explosives and ball bearings on civilians in Haifa? ... crickets ...
When once questioned by CNN's Newswomen Raltsa Vasileva on that "stingy" remarked, he mumbled something quite incoherent but certainly not amounting to an apology. Seems like he gets eggs on his face everytime he opens his mouth these days.
Re; egg -- Only in places like Rantburg, sadly.
The UN, with Egeland, Malloch-Brown, and of course Kofi, among so many useless parasites (Christine whatever of the "new" Human Rights joke?), have no detectable sense of shame. Not even the slightest hint of it. They live in an echo chamber where their farts are idolized. They are the phoney moralists of our time. People whose actions and malfeasance will eventually kill and starve more innocents than Pol Pot and Stalin combined.
There is no saving grace to the UN. Anything that might be worthy, such as WHO, as was argued here once upon a time, have no need of it - they can easily be independently maintained.
I pray I live to see the day it is scrapped by the US and Japan - the only countries I think would seriously consider dropping it and creating something that actually makes sense. Or, as someone much smarter than me posted a week or so ago: Should we decide to only contribute our fair share (1/200th?) and keep our Perm seat and veto everything that is offered until the end of time, I would accept that as a substitute.
CF, it is Hib'Allah's Legitimate Right(tm). Ev'rybody knows that.
This am on Imus his military commentator was talking about HB fortifying its border with Israel, marching around in formation with grenade and rocket launchers while the UN observer forces played volleyball...
LEBANESE parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri today rejected a ceasefire proposal by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice aimed at ending Israel's war on Hezbollah, an aide to the Lebanese official said.
A meeting between Ms Rice and Mr Berri, who is acting as an intermediary for the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group, was marked by "differences," a source close to Mr Berri said after the surprise visit to Beirut by the top US diplomat.
"There was no agreement because Rice insisted on a mechanism on a global settlement before a ceasefire," the source said on condition of anonymity.
"Rice set, as conditions for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Hezbollah to the Litani river and the deployment of an international force in the area which would, she said, allow the return of displaced people."
The Litani river is about 20km from the border with Israel, marking an area that is largely under the control of Hezbollah.
Mr Berri, a veteran Shiite politician, had called for a ceasefire to be followed by a prisoner exchange and for Israel to allow the return of Lebanese who had fled the south "before discussing a complete plan to resolve the conflict."
Ms Rice had refused to discuss an exchange of prisoners, the source said.
But US Middle East envoy David Welch, said suggestions that the meeting was not a success were unfair.
"This gentleman is the ranking Shia of the Lebanese Government," he said as Ms Rice flew to Israel after her five-hour stop in Beirut.
"He spoke with much more emotion about the problem, (than other Lebanese leaders)" he said, adding that many of Mr Berri's fellow Shiite Muslims were facing difficult conditions in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah has demanded the release of Arab prisoners held in Israeli jails in return for two soldiers it captured in a deadly border raid on July 12 that triggered Israel's massive offensive on Lebanon.
Asked by reporters travelling with Rice about the reported plan for some sort of buffer zone, Mr Welch said: "I am not going to go into that."
In an earlier meeting, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora angrily attacked Israel for its relentless bombing campaign which has claimed mainly civilian victims.
"Israeli aggression is not only targeting Hezbollah but Lebanon itself, sending it back 50 years with its bombardment," he told Ms Rice.
Mr Siniora cited more than 350 deaths in Lebanon since the start of the campaign and some 1500 wounded, a statement issued by his office said.
Ms Rice's visit came as Washington appeared increasingly estranged from many European and Arab allies over Israel's massive onslaught that has set off fears of a humanitarian disaster as thousands of foreigners and Lebanese flee.
Washington had faced calls for bold action amid criticism it was stalling to allow Israel time to attempt to wipe out the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which provoked the conflict after seizing two soldiers on July 12.
Israel is struggling to knock out Hezbollah despite its vastly superior military might and has now suggested it would accept some form of international force in southern Lebanon, currently in the grip of the Shiite militia.
In the latest fighting least eight civilians were killed, including children, when Israeli fighter jets pounded southern Lebanon, turning homes to rubble, while troops were locked in pitched battles with Hezbollah guerrillas near the border.
Two soldiers were killed in the fighting with Shiite Muslim militiamen as troops in tanks and bulldozers pushed even deeper into Lebanon although the Israeli government says it has no plans for an all-out invasion -- for now.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington's closest ally, called the conflict a "catastrophe" that was damaging fledgling democracy in Lebanon, a country that had gradually been rebuilding since the 1975-90 civil war and the end of Syria's long military and political dominance last year.
He said he hoped a plan would be announced in the next few days to bring about an end to the worst cross-border conflict since Israel invaded its northern neighbour in 1982.
But clashes erupted again as Israeli forces moved towards Bint Jbeil, the largest town in the border zone and a Hezbollah stronghold, after taking control of the nearby strategic village of Marun al-Ras.
Two soldiers were killed in the fighting and another two died in a helicopter crash, bringing to 41 the number of Israelis killed since July 12.
The army said a barrage of about 20 rockets landed in towns across northern Israel, slightly wounding one person.
At least eight civilians including two children were also killed in a new round of air strikes largely around the port city of Tyre in southern Lebanon, which has borne the brunt of Israel's devastating bombardments.
Streams of people have been making a desperate trek from the area after Israel ordered them to leave their homes and massed troops on the border.
The offensive has left Lebanon virtually cut off from the world, made hundreds of thousands of people refugees in their own country and destroyed billions of dollars of infrastructure.
Despite Israeli claims it would quickly hobble Hezbollah, a minister said it was time for the government to re-evaluate its goals.
"We raised hopes too high by promising to disarm Hezbollah's armed wing and decapitate its leadership. There is no question of us losing this campaign but we will have to set ourselves realistic goals."
Israel also launched a public relations offensive led by its best-known elder statesman Shimon Peres to tell the world why it was not yet silencing its guns.
"The free world is facing a threat, the goal of Hezbollah is to set the world aflame and we will not let them succeed," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said after talks with Ms Rice.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah remained defiant, vowing that deeper incursions would not stop the rocket fire, and ruling out any efforts for a negotiated settlement unless it involved a prisoner swap.
"We are truly in a state of war and Hezbollah's priority is to stop the savage Zionist aggression on Lebanon," he told As-Safir newspaper.
UN chief Kofi Annan said he would press for a truce and establishment of a buffer force at a crisis meeting on Lebanon in Rome on Wednesday.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is to meet Rice today, has said would accept a peacekeeping force in Lebanon made up of troops from EU nations.
In the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli army is fighting a second offensive aimed at retrieving a captive soldier and halting rocket attacks, six Palestinians including two children were killed by Israeli fire.
The deaths bring to 113 the number of Palestinians killed since Israel began a massive military operation there late last month which has targeted the ruling Hamas movement.
As the bombardments continued, foreign governments have laid on ferries, warships and cruise liners to evacuate stranded nationals, mainly to the nearby resort island of Cyprus which has been battling to find temporary accommodation and flights for the estimated 70,000 evacuees at peak summer holiday season.
Lebanese 9-11 > the desired defeat and destruction of Israel ALSO MEANS THE SAME IN LT FOR AN INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC LEBANON + SYRIA TO RADICAL IRAN AND SHIA-BASED IRANIAN REGIONAL EMPIRE. So goes Israel, so goes Western dmeocracy = democracies in the ME and elsewhere. Israel = USA > 9-11 = the "status quo" is no longer acceptable/tolerable to their enemies, from within andor without. ISRAEL = USA > LIVES AND RULES/DOMINATES, OR IT WILL BE SUBORNED AND DESTROYED, ALONG WID ANY AND ALL ALLIES AND ALIGNED NEUTRALS.
France and the United States worked together to oust Syria from Lebanon and, despite tactical differences due to divergent agendas in the region, they agree who is to blame for the current crisis -- Hizbollah. The born-again allies, their rift over Iraq a thing of the past, want to isolate and disarm the Shi'ite Muslim group, whose backers Iran and Syria underscore the wider strategic issues at play in the latest round of Middle East conflict.
Israel began its assault on Lebanon after Hizbollah seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12. Some 373 people have since died in Lebanon. At least 37 Israelis have been killed in Hizbollah rocket attacks and clashes.
Both Washington and Paris have accused Hizbollah of provoking the Jewish state and leaving Lebanon -- a French-speaking Middle East state with historical ties to France -- to bear the brunt of Israel's riposte. "The Americans have never been interested in Lebanon as such, (they) have always reacted regarding Syria and regarding Israel," said Olivier Roy, head of research at the France-based CNRS institute. "For the French, Lebanon is the priority. They have come to the conclusion that now Hizbollah is playing against Lebanon's political and territorial integrity."
Commentators agree the assassination of President Jacques Chirac's friend Rafik al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister killed by a car bomb in February 2005 blamed on pro-Syrian agents, abruptly changed the French leader's view of Hizbollah. Chirac met grieving relatives in Beirut on the day Hariri was buried and his killing led directly to the anti-Syrian entente with the Americans at work now. "With the current war, clearly Hizbollah provoked the Israelis, knowing that the Israelis were going to strike Lebanon," Roy said. "And that plays into Syria's hands, so it shows that the problem right now is Hizbollah's military power. So for different reasons, the French and the Americans have come together again."
That said, there are still clear differences of approach between Paris and Washington over how to respond to the war.
You knew there'd be a "But," in here somewhere
The U.S. administration wants any ceasefire in Lebanon to remove the threat to Israel posed by Hizbollah but has no plans yet to meet with the group or its Syrian backers. France -- co-author with the Americans of the 2004 U.N. Security Council resolution that forced Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon -- says broad-based negotiations are vital.
Negotiate? About what, exactly?
"We talk to everyone. We are everyone's friend and, above all, we say the same thing to each side," Catherine Colonna, the French minister for Europe, told France Info radio on Monday.
The word you're looking for is "whore"
While Washington has not criticised Israel for its attack on Lebanon, Chirac has denounced it as "aberrant."
Anxious to end the onslaught, France has called for a strong international force to take up position in southern Lebanon.
I don't think the French have offered troops
Lebanon expert Roland Jacquard, who has close links to the French establishment, said the country was already looking past the conflict to the rebuilding of Lebanon as part of its diplomatic push. "We (France) will probably ask for some financial aid to rebuild Lebanon. I know that President Chirac has already asked some Arab heads of state," he said.
Looking for your cut, Jacques?
"I know that for the past three days French diplomacy has been very active with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Emir of Qatar and Syria," he said in a phone interview late on Friday.
France believes rebuilding the authority of an already weak Lebanese state -- as much as the country's physical infrastructure -- is the best way to neuter Hizbollah. "(France's) concern is that Israel is in the process of destroying the Lebanese state. And the best way of countering Hizbollah is precisely to reinforce the Lebanese state, not destroy it," he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an unannounced visit to Beirut on Monday to seek a "sustainable" cease-fire in Lebanon, where Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli forces are fighting in the south.
Rice met Prime Minister Fouad Siniora after her heavily guarded motorcade sped through Beirut from the U.S. embassy to the north where her helicopter had landed from Cyprus. "Thank you for your courage and steadfastness," she told Siniora, who has repeatedly pleaded for an immediate cease-fire.
On her way to the region, Rice said she was seeking a "sustainable" cease-fire in a war that has cost 373 dead in Lebanon and at least 37 Israeli lives in nearly two weeks. A U.S. official in Rice's party said she would announce aid for Lebanon, where Israeli bombing has displaced half a million people and wrecked installations worth an estimated $1 billion (539 million pounds).
Rice has no plans to meet Hizbollah leaders, but was due to see Shi'ite Muslim Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a pro-Syrian politician who has acted as a link between the Islamist group's leaders and Siniora since the war erupted.
One of the most debilitating aspects of PCism, worthy of flushing as both irrelevant and self-defeating, is the ban on profiling. What a sad joke to allow this to be saddled with emotive baloney, rather than descriptive of applying intelligent reasoning based upon hard facts.
It's much like the word discrimination. Hijacked from the language to have an extremely narrow meaning full of emotive BS. Discrimination, choosing among alternatives, is obviously the intelligent thing to do.
So is profiling.
PCism will get us all killed unless we fight back - and kill it.
One of the goals of terrorism is to destroy our society by using its freedoms against it. Before that happens, we need to declare Martial Law and have a...cleansing of the host. So to speak.
1st Amendment or not, I do not think that anyone should have the right to demonstrate in favor of terrorists. Sooner or later we will have to draw the line somewhere. Unfortunately I think we'll have to lose a city or three before the majority accepts that fact, and the shrill chattering classes shut up out of fear for their own safety.
Arab heavyweights Egypt and Saudi Arabia were pushing Syria to end its support for the guerrillas, Arab diplomats in Cairo said. A loss of Syria's support would deeply weaken Hezbollah, though its other ally, Iran, gives it a large part of its money and weapons. The two moderate Arab governments were prepared to spend heavily from Egypt's political capital in the region and Saudi Arabia's vast financial reserves to break Damascus from the guerrillas and Iran, the diplomats said.
Syria said it will press for a cease-fire to end the fighting but only in the framework of a broader Middle East peace initiative that would include the return of the Golan Heights. Israel was unlikely to accept such terms but it was the first indication of Syria's willingness to be involved in efforts to defuse the crisis.
In Washington, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal asked President Bush to intervene. "I have brought a letter from the Saudi King to stop the bleeding in Lebanon," Saud told reporters after the Oval Office meeting.
Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that once the offensive had gotten Hezbollah away from the border, his country would be willing to see an international force move in to help the Lebanese army deploy across the south, where the guerrillas have held sway for years. "Israel's goal is to see the Lebanese army deployed along the border with Israel, but we understand that we are talking about a weak army and that in the midterm period Israel will have to accept a multinational force," Peretz told the Cabinet, suggesting NATO be in charge of the force.
LOL. The Saudi Jihad and Dawa scam is coming apart! They spent a lot of money but never had the will to really push for the caliphate. OBL went off on his own direction. Syria has defected, HAMAS has defected. Who's next? The Pakis? Thanks for paying for our Bomb, Abdullah, but we gotta go.
Syria, one of Hezbollah's main backers, said Sunday it will press for a cease-fire and was willing to engage in direct talks with the United States to help end the fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group. But Syrian officials said Damascus would only cooperate within the framework of a broader Middle East peace initiative that would include a return of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in 1967 and annexed in 1981, and warned they will not stand by if the Israelis step up their offensive. "Syria and Spain are working to achieve a cease-fire, a prisoners' swap and to start a peace process as one package," Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal was quoted as saying by the Spanish daily newspaper ABC. "Syria is working on achieving real, comprehensive, fair peace based on the withdrawal from all the occupied territories, including the Golan."
It was unlikely Israel would agree to such a deal, but the remarks were the first indication of Syria's willingness to be involved in international efforts to defuse the Lebanese crisis. Damascus is one of the Arab world's strongest opponents of Israel. The Jewish state has said it had no plans to target Syria or Iran, Hezbollah's other main backer, in the current conflict. "If Israel invades Lebanon and enters it by land ... then we will not stand with our hands tied," Bilal said in Madrid after talks with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos. Bilal's interview was also carried on the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.
Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, suggested his country was ready for direct talks with Washington on ending the fighting in Lebanon. If the United States wants to involve Syria in the diplomatic efforts, "of course Damascus is more than willing to engage," Moustapha said on CBS'"Face the Nation."
The Bush administration has rejected calls for a quick cease-fire, saying its diplomatic efforts would focus on finding a strategy for confronting Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian backers. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton dismissed the idea of talks with Syria. Syria "doesn't need dialogue to know what they need to do. They need to lean on Hezbollah to get them to release the two captured Israeli soldiers and stop the launch of rockets against innocent Israeli civilians," he told "Fox News Sunday."
Yup, fully expected. Several retired military types have commented on Fox the last few days about how incredibly weak Syria is, militarily. Some even say Hezbollah is stronger as an actual fighting force. Syria may have Iranian weapons, and a homegrown arms industry copying them, but they can't deliver.
So they "press" for a cease-fire.
Fuck 'em. They will fall along with their Iranian masters.
(KUNA) -- Head of Israel's Northern Command, Udi Adam, said Sunday the Israeli military command started preparations to establish a civil administration in Southern Lebanon. In a press conference, held today in the headquarters of Israel's Northern Command in Safad, Adam said the civil administration would substitute the Israeli army in the Lebanese areas occupied by Israel during the last few days.
Israeli army said earlier today it controlled Maroun Al-Ras area, located in the middle strip of Southern Lebanon, after five days of furious fight with Hezbollah, who confirmed this information. Adam, however, noted that the Israeli civil administration would not resume its responsibilities before extensive discussions and consultations.
The Israeli civil administration had run the day-to-day affairs of the occupied Southern Lebanon from 1982 until the Israeli unilateral withdrawal in 2000. The West Bank was also subjected to Israeli civil administration from 1967 until 1994 when the Palestinian Authority took over full responsibilities of Palestinian lands. Under civil administration, all details of the population affairs, including health and education, are run by military officials, in this case Israeli military officials. Civil administrations are usually established when an army intends to occupy an area for a long time.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran has asked Switzerland to organise an international conference to resolve its stand-off with the West over its nuclear programme, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday.
A Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to comment on the report in the NZZ am Sonntag. There was no immediate reaction from Tehran.
The report cited "reliable sources" as saying the request was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki at meeting in Tehran with a senior Swiss government official last week. Iran wants invitations to the conference extended beyond the permanent five -- the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia -- to include countries such as Japan and Spain and possibly India and Pakistan, the newspaper said.
Save your f**kin' breath. Just talk directly to Japan. Ask them what happens when you want a bomb so bad. We might just give you several too. But since we like you better, we're going to give you megatons not skimpy kilotons. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, ours actually detonate when we expect them to.
The Iranians have no intention of ever giving up their nuclear ambitions. All this is just delaying tactics to try to stall the US response. Ahmedinejad should be strung up by his thumbs under the Brooklin Bridge, just low enough even a garbage scow would slam his bu$$.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
07/24/2006 19:48 Comments ||
Yemen announced yesterday it has withdrawn its proposal for an emergency Arab summit on Israel's attacks on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, saying the summit could create an inter-Arab divide. "Taking the (Arab) nation's interest into consideration and trying to avoid a divide in the Arab front, the Republic of Yemen regretfully announces an end to its efforts for holding an emergency summit," Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu-Bakr Al-Qerbi said at a press conference in Sanaa.
"The summit was aimed at introducing a new Arab-international initiative to achieve peace after the failure by the international community to do so," said Al-Qerbi. He said the proposed initiative was based on the peace plan introduced by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and was approved by the Arab summit in Beirut in 2002.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.