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Singapore: Iran assassination plot against Israeli Defence Minister Barak foiled
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 6: Politix
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Trend: Afghan troops killing ISAF counterparts
US commanders are increasingly worried about the trend of Afghan security forces using their weapons to kill their US and Nato counterparts - not because of an insurgent plot but due to resentment, reports said.

A recent report showed there is much distrust and suspicion between Afghan and US troops. Such murder incidents are "no longer isolated; they reflect a growing systemic threat. They are provoking a crisis of confidence and trust among Westerners training and work with ANSFs {Afghan National Security Forces}," the AFP quoted the 2011 report as saying.

Various surveys have shown that Afghan soldiers think US soldiers are "rude, disrespectful and reckless with their gunfire when civilians were nearby."

American troops see Afghan soldiers as "traitorous, lazy, drug-addled and corrupt."

In the most recent incident, which is still being investigated, an Afghan policeman shot two US officers at their desks at the Ministry of Interior. This prompted Nato to withdraw its advisers from Afghan ministries. Isaf's General John Allen has not yet said when they will be reinstated.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 06:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  American troops see Afghan soldiers as "traitorous, lazy, drug-addled and corrupt."

Afghan soldiers proudly see themselves as "traitorous, lazy, drug-addled and corrupt."

Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 8:51 Comments || Top||

#2  This is why we had a Phoenix program in Vietnam. The ARVN was riddled with Viet Cong and just plain worthless types. So part of the program was to create elite units that *were* trustworthy and loyal to their country. And *these* units got all the action, and far more perks, whereas the less trustworthy units got rural checkpoint duty.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 9:12 Comments || Top||

Rasmussen Says NATO Showing 'Restraint' in Afghanistan
[An Nahar] NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization....
troops are displaying "great restraint" in Afghanistan in the face of a wave of violent unrest that left four U.S. troops dead and others maimed, the alliance's secretary general said Tuesday.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted trust had not broken down between alliance-led troops and Afghan cops, despite incidents in which Afghans turned their weapons on their American partners.

The assaults did "not represent the full picture of the daily cooperation" between the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan troops, he told news hounds during a visit to Washington.

"I deplore the violence we have seen during the last week. But across the country ISAF troops are showing great restraint and professionalism. And Afghan cops have shown considerable courage in their effort to minimize the violence," he said.

Two U.S. military advisers were bumped off in the interior ministry in Kabul on Saturday, days after two American troops were killed by an Afghan soldier in the east. On Sunday, seven U.S. soldiers were maimed in a grenade attack during an anti-U.S. demonstration in northern Kunduz province.

NATO promptly pulled its military advisers out of Afghan government ministries following the shooting over the weekend.

Popular outrage erupted after Afghans learned that copies of the Koran were brought to an incinerator at the U.S.-run Bagram airbase. Top U.S. and NATO officers have apologized and insisted the incident was a grave error but not intentional.

Rasmussen accused Islamist snuffies of attempting to exploit anger over the Koran burning
...One of the basic tenets of Islam is that once a Koran has been printed it is expected to last for all time, no matter how old, ratty, and smelly other, lesser holy books may become. Should it actually become necessary to put a Koran out of its misery there is a ritual that includes extensive charivari, long drawn-wailing and head bonking, ritual wife beating, and the sacrifice of dozens of women's noses and pubic lips. When the actual disposal has been completed there is a prescribed period of celebratory gun sex with the expectation of a minimum of two hundred casualties. Should actual infidels dispose of a Koran, Islamic custom calls for three weeks of rioting and a minimum of three dozen dead, which is a holdover from the days of Moloch worship...
and said he hoped that NATO military advisers would soon return to their posts at Afghan government ministries.

"The enemies of Afghanistan will not succeed in dividing us from our partners. We want to resume with the close cooperation as soon as possible," he said.

"But of course we also have to take the necessary measures to ensure our people can do their work in a secure environment."

Echoing comments by U.S. officials on Monday, Rasmussen said the turmoil would not trigger any change in the alliance's timeline for a gradual troop withdrawal and handover to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

NATO has a 130,000-strong U.S.-led military force fighting the Taliban, which has led an insurgency against the Western-backed Kabul government since being toppled from power in 2001.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

Africa Horn
South Sudan Rebels Sign Truce Deal with Government
[An Nahar] South Sudan has signed a ceasefire with the largest of several rebel groups which threaten the stability of the world's newest nation, the government said on Tuesday.

The deal to integrate an estimated 1,800 guerrilla fighters into the South's army comes after rebel chief and renegade general George Athor was killed by government forces in December.

"The Republic of South Sudan has signed an agreement with the former rebels of George Athor, in which they have agreed to the amnesty laid down by President Salva Kiir," Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Agence La Belle France Presse.

The pact was signed on Monday in Pigi county, a rebel base in the troubled eastern state of Jonglei.

"They immediately declared a ceasefire after the signing," Benjamin added.

Rebel front man James Nuot said their forces would integrate into the South's army after leaders were promised senior positions in the government and military, without giving further details.
So the senior guys take the Boeing and the cannon fodder snuffies rubes get enlisted into the army that hates them. Shrewd, real shrewd...
"We reached agreement because we decided to reconcile with the government, and because the government accepted what we need from them," Nuot told AFP.

South Sudan had accused Athor of acting on behalf of Sudan in a bid to destabilize the country, which won independence in July after the end of a two-decade civil war with Khartoum.

Despite a peaceful split, both nations accuse each other of funding proxy rebel groups across their borders. South Sudan has long claimed that the north backed Athor, a charge he denied.

"This is the biggest of South Sudan's rebel groups, and they will not be used by Khartoum any longer to destabilize South Sudan," Benjamin said.

Athor rebelled in April 2010 after claiming that electoral fraud cheated him out of the governor's post in Jonglei.

"Our forces were not funded by Khartoum -- we get our own things differently," Nuot said, without elaborating.

Kiir's amnesty has encouraged several groups to end their rebellions but Athor's militia -- the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army (SSDM/A) -- had long been the grand prize for South Sudan.

Instability is a major stumbling block for the new nation, and the guerrilla army turned government is unable to give estimates on how many rebel groups it is battling.

Benjamin said that negotiations with the rebels started before Athor was rubbed out in a clash with a border patrol, after allegedly going on a recruitment drive in Central Equatoria state.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

Africa North
The Egyptian Nuke ?
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/29/2012 19:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As said before, VARIOUS "ARAB/MUSLIM SPRINGS" + NEW PRO-ISLAMIST GOVTS = neither Iran, nor even Pakistan, etc. is Radical Islam's sole source(s) for NucTechs anymore.

IMO, in the Islamist view the GLOBALIST PREMISE FOR OWG-NWO DIVERSE, "BIPOLAR" OR "MULTIPOLAR WORLD", ETC = telling the Islamists that there is allowance for NUCLEAR ISLAM/ISLAMISM = NON-TRADITIONAL STTAE POWERS + WANNABES, + no longer just for simply those from the Cold War-era.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 20:44 Comments || Top||

US & Egypt negotiating: Blind Sheikh Rahman & 49 others to be swapped for 19 American hostages
Large grain of salt required.

Does Obama understand that if this occurs his presidency is over? Over, over, over? Even Mittens can beat this drum.
Posted by: Glavimble Sheck7109 || 02/29/2012 03:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He must really hate the USA.
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/29/2012 8:45 Comments || Top||

#2  The "fix it team" soundly rejected by host nation. How very strange.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 8:47 Comments || Top||

#3  WTF!I am not American but if he hands over terrorists to the Taliban and now the Muslim Brotherhood he is a traitor to the US!
Posted by: Gruth McGurque5303 || 02/29/2012 8:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Gruth McGurque5303

Wisdom packed her bags, took the first set of silver wings out of America she could book, and left America a long time ago. Now in regards to Egypt, around here it is, pass the bloody popcorn.
Posted by: wr || 02/29/2012 9:33 Comments || Top||

#5  43 pro-democracy workers, including 19 Americans, who face criminal charges from the authorities in Cairo for operating without proper registration and receiving foreign money.

The bottom line is that these are not "hostages", but "righteous busts", who were supporting agitators. I suspect a goodly number of them are employees of George Soros.

There are also other Americans who were caught throwing Molotov cocktails at police.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 9:33 Comments || Top||

#6  If the empty suit is actually thinking about this, it is proof that Soros was up to his eyeballs in the Tahir Square festivities.

Of course, one man's hostage is another man's provoctuer.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/29/2012 10:13 Comments || Top||

#7  If the empty suit is actually thinking about this, it is proof that Soros was up to his eyeballs in the Tahir Square festivities.

How so, Bill? (I'm still recovering from your post on the Afghanistan Koran psyops -- that pulled the whole thing into focus for me.)
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 10:54 Comments || Top||

#8  Even if Obumble is stupid enough to go along with this, I cannot imagine that he hasn't been warned not to do it. Hard to believe.

But hey, every cloud has a silver lining, and the silver lining here would be the guaranteed end of him, his administration, and his ideology. Nobody would want to stand next to him.
Posted by: gorb || 02/29/2012 11:28 Comments || Top||

#9  gorb, you are assuming we will get a Republican candidate with the stones to call him on it. Hope we do. Such a candidate could also have a field day talking about Zero's apology to Hamid Karzai over the Quran burning. But I dunno if Romney will do it.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/29/2012 14:39 Comments || Top||

#10  From what i have watched in the UK there is no outstanding Republican Presidential hopefuls who could wipe the floor with Bambi?
Posted by: Gruth McGurque5303 || 02/29/2012 15:35 Comments || Top||

#11  Trading the blind Sheikh for hostages would be bad, but why would this move finish Obama politically?

Rahman was involved with the 1993 attack which was trivial compared to 9/11. Yet the Taliban who were the state sponsors of 9/11 are no longer a target for elimination (they won't share in Bin Laden's fate), rather the US gov wants to negotiate a return to power and danegeld aid payments with the Taliban.

Mullah Omar is currently not a cabinet minister in Kabul, protected and paid by the West, because he has refused Karzai's (and the West's) offers, not because the West wants to hold him responsible for 9/11.
Posted by: Glavimble Sheck7109 || 02/29/2012 20:57 Comments || Top||

Tunisian President Says Ready to Grant Assad Asylum
[An Nahar] Tunisia is ready to grant asylum to Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad as part of a negotiated settlement to the crisis, President Moncef Marzouki said in an interview to be published Wednesday.

Marzouki had last week called for judicial immunity for Assad and his family during an international conference on Syria held in Tunis.

"Tunisia is ready to grant asylum to Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Light of the Alawites...
and his relatives in the framework of a negotiated settlement to the Syrian crisis," he told La Presse newspaper.

During Friday's Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis, Marzouki had called for an Arab peacekeeping force for Syria in tandem with diplomatic efforts to try to persuade Assad to quit.

"A political solution must be found, such as granting the Syrian president, his family and members of his regime judicial immunity and a place to seek refuge, which Russia could offer," he said Friday.

World powers have piled pressure on the Assad regime to end its deadly crackdown on dissent, which human rights
...which are usually open to widely divergent definitions...
groups estimate has killed more than 7,600 people since March last year.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  "You can stay with us. Bring money. Lots of money."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 8:01 Comments || Top||

#2  New $750,000. astro-turf soccer field at GITMO opens this week. It's just like the new one at KAF built for our NATO partners. Give it some thought.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 8:10 Comments || Top||

#3  7x3x6?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/29/2012 14:16 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
July 7 bomber's widow 'on the run' over links with terrorist cell
Police in Kenya have issued an arrest warrant for a woman using the name Natalie Faye Webb, and carrying a forged in Pakistain South African passport.

Helped by officers from Scotland Yard who flew out to offer advice, they have published her picture to alert the public. But investigators say the woman has three separate identities and one is that of Samantha Lewthwaite, who was married to Jermaine Lindsay, one of the 7/7 bombers.

Lindsay killed 26 people when he blew himself up on the Piccadilly Line between King's Cross and Russell Square in July 2005.

Lewthwaite, from Aylesbury, Bucks, who converted to Islam at the age of 15 and married Lindsay in 2002, is said to be travelling with her three children.
This article starring:
Jermaine Lindsay
Natalie Faye Webb
Samantha Lewthwaite
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 14:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

HRW Calls on Bahrain to Release Democracy Activists
[An Nahar] Human Rights Watch
... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world...
... except in those parts of the world in which HRW observers would be tortured themselves...
on Tuesday called for the release of hundreds of Bahraini freedom fighters locked away after last year's uprising and for all charges against them to be dropped.

"Grossly unfair military and civilian trials have been a core element in Bahrain's crackdown on pro-democracy protests," HRW said. Cases "against everyone convicted on politically motivated charges" should be dropped.

The New York-based group also called for the release of at least four Shiite protest leaders who remain in prison for expressing anti-government sentiments and demanding political reform.

According to HRW, hundreds of Bahraini activists have been tried in special military courts set up after King Hamad
...King of Bahrain (since 14 February 2002), having previously been its emir (from 6 March 1999). He is a Sunni, while the rest of Bahrain is predominantly Shiite...
declared a quasi-state of emergency last March as his security forces crushed a month-long uprising in Manama.

The rights group said that by October, all the special military court cases had been transferred to civilian courts.

But "egregious violations of fair trial rights in political cases" continued in Bahrain's criminal justice system "with serious systemic problems," despite government pledges to reform, HRW said.

"Serious abuses included denying defendants the right to counsel and to present a defense, and failure to investigate credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment," it said, citing a 94-page report on judicial violations.

The report is based on 50 interviews with defendants, lawyers, and observers as well as examination of court documents.

Earlier this month, Amnesia Amnesty International said Bahrain's government had failed to implement human rights
...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you...
reforms demanded by an independent commission which investigated the crackdown.

They said the government was still "far from delivering the human rights changes" recommended by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).

The BICI report was commissioned by the king last June after the violence left 35 people dead and triggered international pressure on the ruling Sunni dynasty.

Near daily protests have continued in Shiite neighborhoods of the kingdom, with the main opposition formation, al-Wefaq, charging that "violations" by the authorities have been on the rise.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [348 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Putin Says Unafraid of Assassination Plots
[An Nahar] Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
...Second President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he is the current Prime Minister of Russia. His sock puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, was installed in the 2008 presidential elections. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile...
said Tuesday he was unafraid for his life and had grown used to plots to kill him, after state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
reported a new conspiracy days before Russia's presidential poll.

"You cannot live with constant fear -- let them fear us. I have been living with this since 1999," when Putin first became prime minister before heading the Kremlin in 2000-2008, Russian news agencies quoted him as saying.

Princess: Nothing hurts you, does it?
Conan: Only pain.
Russia's Channel One television on Monday showed two men with links to Islamic fascisti in Chechnya purportedly confessing to plans to blow up Putin's car after his expected return to the Kremlin in Sunday's ballot.

Several independent analysts and some opposition media said the report's timing appeared aimed at inciting a groundswell of public support around Putin in the face of almost daily street protests against his rule.

Putin, whose earlier career is linked closely to the decision to launch Russia's second war in Chechnya in 1999, said he had been informed of the plot in advance as a safety precaution.

"They reported it to me because people in my position have to live with it," he said after inspecting the site of an apartment block collapse in the southern city of Astrakhan that claimed at least eight lives.

"Such things should never reflect" on how you conduct your daily business, said Putin. "They were never a bother and they never will be."
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under: Islamic Emirate of Caucasus

#1  Starting from: Bag End, Hobbiton, The Shire
Arriving at: The Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow

(distances in miles)

1. Start out going South from THE HILL. 0.6
2. Cross THE WATER. 1.0
3. Turn LEFT onto ROAD TO BYWATER 9.3
4. Turn LEFT onto EAST ROAD, toward FROGMORTON 47.8
6. EAST ROAD becomes EAST-WEST ROAD toward BREE 106.3
7. Turn RIGHT onto GREENWAY toward DUNLAND 359.1
10. Ford R. ISEN at FORDS OF ISEN 90.5
11. Cross R. SNOWBOURNE 219.0
12. Cross MERRING STREAM 330.4
13. At MINAS TIRITH, turn LEFT toward MINAS MORGUL 120.8
14. Continue East toward CIRITH UNGOL. 37.3
15. Bear East-North-East toward ORODRUIN 84.7
16. Climb UP toward CRACKS OF DOOM 19.4
17. South on MOKHOVAYA STREET. .8

When using any walking directions or map, it is a good idea
to stop at an inn or hostelry and inquire about news from
abroad. Find out whether any wars are brewing, and if so,
whether agents of the enemy are pursuing you. This is only
an aid in planning. Your eventual route and mileage may vary.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 8:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Thats because he controls all the threats in his country(Blowing up flats and making up Chechen threats come to mind)
Posted by: Gruth McGurque5303 || 02/29/2012 8:33 Comments || Top||

#3  said Tuesday he was unafraid for his life and had grown used to plots to kill him, after state television

Sorry Puttie, I don't believe you for an instant.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 19:06 Comments || Top||

U.S.: North Korea Agrees To Suspend Nuclear Activities
The United States says North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and implement a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also said the communist-ruled North had agreed to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment and confirm disablement of the North's nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

The U.S. statement on February 29 also said that U.S. and North Korean officials would meet to finalize details of a proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of food aid to the impoverished North.

The U.S. announcement came after envoys from the two sides met earlier in February in China's capital, Beijing.
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 10:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  FTFY, tipper. :-)

If it doesn't involve trading nukes for food, it proves yet again that the Obama administration is bumbling and incompetant.
Posted by: gorb || 02/29/2012 11:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Lucy van Pelt says it all.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/29/2012 11:29 Comments || Top||

#3  gorb, or they're just on the other side.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/29/2012 12:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Fool me once, shame on you
Fool me twice, shame on me
Posted by: Korora || 02/29/2012 12:08 Comments || Top||

#5  The best Charlie Brown football Joke I ever saw,

Charlie Brown comes running and Kicks Lucy out of the picture, the football stays, he grins.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/29/2012 12:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Even the naive gits that toil for Her Eminence the Secretary of State cannot be this stupid. What they can do is put lipstick on something designed for the electioneering of the Manchurian Candidate, so he can claim a huge success. All the while spending Chinese dollars to feed the most evil, dishonest, duplicitous nation state in history who will barely pretend to do anything more than talk to IAEA inspectors after the hundreds of millions of dollars of food get there. Oh, and watch who gets fed, the NKPA, not the peasants. All we have done is prop up another generation of despots, allies, of China, with money we borrowed from them, effectively rescuing their own client state on the verge of chaos, and paying for it. Brilliant on their part, and spending huge amounts of debt for the American people for a brief little press clipping for the Obumble Campaign. They have no shame or sense of duty beyond their own ambitions.
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 02/29/2012 12:41 Comments || Top||

#7  Instead of sending all that food to NK they should think about the starving in the US..
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 13:20 Comments || Top||

#8  It does kinda make you wonder whose side they're on.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/29/2012 15:38 Comments || Top||

#9  We have been over this same subject for years in the 'Burg. Norks are at a tipping point of their regime's existence and we will continue to enable this horrific regime to exist.

This Administration is devoid of all principles, and just plays for the power. With every foreign policy position and move, they are pushing the world to war and instability. Whose side are they on, indeed.

This action would gag a maggot.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/29/2012 18:04 Comments || Top||

#10  "North Korea Agrees To Suspend Nuclear Activities Lies Again"

Posted by: Barbara || 02/29/2012 18:25 Comments || Top||

#11  "Fool me once, shame on you
Fool me twice, shame on me"
Fool me three times shame on us all.
Posted by: Dale || 02/29/2012 20:13 Comments || Top||

#12  I'm interpreting this news as the DPRK Nucprogs going more covert + "underground" than it already is.

IMO, as per the DPRK's new econ agreements wid Mama Russia, the real story here is that the DPRK desires new or expanded FDI + other to counterbalance its FTA vee Rising China.

I suspect that Iran's hallowed "JAPAN MODEL" as per its NucProgs, i.e. possessing the covert ability to quickly produce NucWeaps in the future whilst not doing so in the present, is also favored by Jong-un + Pyongyang Boyz.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 20:54 Comments || Top||

#13  Not to be outdone by Jong-un + Pyongyang Boyz ...


Iran to allegedly hand over 20%-0r-higher HEU in exchange for the US publicly admitting before the World that Iran has no NucWeaps nor intent to build NucWeaps???



Vee Iran Sanctions Act.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 21:40 Comments || Top||

#14  Meanwhile, oer at TOPIX ...




US = Jong-un is a wily dastardly Son-of-A-Kim surrounded by Kims.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 23:19 Comments || Top||

#15  Peanuts: the same jokes, over and over. And poorly drawn at that. Why do people love it so???

The only good gags:

Shroeder at the piano vs. Linus + blanket.
Lucy and the football.
Snoopy flying his doghouse.
Snoopy dancing.

Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 02/29/2012 23:37 Comments || Top||

China Irked by Seoul's Efforts for N. Korean Defectors
Beijing is increasingly irked by South Korean efforts on behalf of a group of North Koreans who were arrested in China and face repatriation. In a press briefing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated the North Koreans "illegally crossed the border for economic reasons. There are no sufficient grounds to consider them refugees."

Hong was replying to a question whether China intends to help defectors given that they face persecution if they are sent back to the North.

"Some defectors were sent back because they frequently crossed the border illegally. Some of them had crossed the border a dozen times," Hong said. "No country would tolerate illegal border crossing or criminal activities assisting such people."
I can think of one...
"I'd like to say once again that the dignity of the Chinese laws should be duly respected and protected," he added. "China will deal with the issue on the basis of domestic and international laws and humanitarian principles."
Or one of those three...
Hong complained that South Korean media reports "are taking an emotional and political approach to the defector issue. This neither accords with the facts nor helps in finding a solution."

He urged Seoul "to maintain a large framework of bilateral relationships by dealing with this issue calmly and narrowing differences between the two countries through communication and cooperation."

In a speech marking the fourth anniversary of his inauguration on Feb. 22, President Lee Myung-bak urged the Chinese government to treat defectors in accordance with international norms unless they are criminals.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Objecting to China turning people over to Nork for torture and murder hardly qualifies as "interfering in China's internal affairs". Instead it should be suggested that those ordering such turnovers are subject to prosecution for "crimes against humanity".
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 7:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Moose, China considers the area of North Korea to be a historical vassal kingdom of Greater China. As such, these 'refugees' are simply considered and treated as miscreants of their proper lord and master who literally kowtows to the officials running the Imperial court.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/29/2012 9:54 Comments || Top||

We must be crazy to want for Turkey to enter EU -- Dutch MP
In an interview with Hurriyet daily of Turkey, Dutch MP Barry Madlener, who attended an international conference in Istanbul, yet again stressed that Turkey has no place in the European Union.

He noted that Turkey is a Muslim country, and many Dutch do not feel safe because of the thousands of Muslims living in the Netherlands. He added that the immigrants have contributed to the escalation of crime in the country.

In Barry Madlener's words, Turkey is not a democratic country, since the criticizing of Islam is banned and journalists are arrested there. "We must be crazy to want for Turkey to enter the European Union," the Dutch MP concluded.
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 13:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

Truth no defence: French court overturns acquittal in al-Dura case
A Paris appellant court overturned a ruling exonerating a French-Jewish politician who claimed that a France 2 TV report suggesting that the IDF killed Palestinian boy Mohammed al-Dura was staged.
A libel suit filed against Carasenti had once been rejected but will now return to court. The France 2 report caused a global stir and caused grave damage to Israel.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 06:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I gather this event was so heavily staged that they could make a behind-the-scenes documentary for the DVD extras.

But "Old Europe" seems utterly impervious to common sense. A libel law that ignores that a duck is a duck, even if it is a duck, looks and sounds like a duck, and acts like a duck; because it is in some weird way more important that the duck is *offended* by being called a duck, will eventually cause a breakdown in society.

"Offensensitivity", as Berkeley Breathed called it, is a path to madness.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 9:09 Comments || Top||

#2  ..from the people who brought you the Dreyfus Affair. When its a fight between the truth and the ruling caste, it's a good bet on the ruling caste. Or as in America, we say "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/29/2012 10:01 Comments || Top||

#3  I haven't read the decision but Cour de Casstioon is not supposed to judge and not supposed to consider the facts, it only examines if everything was according to the law and in case it doesn't it nominates another court for judging again.
Posted by: JFM || 02/29/2012 12:13 Comments || Top||

#4  So it's an interim step, JFM? Good to know.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 12:16 Comments || Top||

#5  It's like the referendums re joining EU, JFM?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/29/2012 14:12 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Guantanamo Bay soccer field pricey addition to prison
The military unveiled a $744,000 soccer field yesterday, a dusty enclosure with two-toned gravel and fences topped by barbed wire — all designed as a quality-of-life improvement for cooperative captives.

The goals were missing, but the military had erected two guard towers, lights and surveillance cameras at the site outside a building called Camp 6, where the Pentagon imprisons about 120 of the 171 detainees.

Prison officers brought about a dozen visiting journalists to the 28,000-square-foot field yesterday, a day before the arraignment of Majid Khan. The former Baltimore resident has agreed to plead guilty to war crimes and testify against other captives in future military commissions.

While the tour was under way, the Pentagon unsealed part of a secret deal with Khan that postpones his sentencing until 2016.

Khan, who turned 32 yesterday, is accused of acting as a courier to carry $50,000 from Pakistan to Thailand for use in the 2003 suicide bombing of a Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. Eleven people were killed, and dozens more were wounded.

Khan also is accused of researching U.S. gas stations as targets for an al-Qaida leader, and at one point, donning a fake bomb vest in a test of his willingness to kill himself and then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 15:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

Pakistani Majid Khan pleads guilty in key Guantanamo case
Pakistani national Majid Khan pleaded guilty on Wednesday at a Guantanamo military tribunal in a landmark case that could speed the trials of September 11 suspects.

Khan, 32, a protégé of September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, murder and attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, and to material support for terrorism and espionage.

Dressed in a dark suit and pink tie, he spoke in fluent English without the aid of an interpreter, denying he every met or spoke to slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden but admitting to taking part in a "conspiracy" in Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Khan, who has spent the last nine years behind bars, faced possible life in prison but will receive a reduced sentence of no more than 25 years as part of a plea agreement that requires him to co-operate with US authorities.
This article starring:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Majid Khan
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 14:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

Project Gunwalker: Holder Pouts before a Different Committee
Different committee this time -- John Abney Culberson, Texas called this one because of maybe a similar program was running out of Texas. Video at site (Megan Kelly) shows Holder and then Megan's interview with Issa.
A visibly frustrated Attorney General Eric Holder slammed the table when responding to a question about Operation Fast and Furious during a Tuesday budget hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

"That was a fundamentally flawed program, fundamentally flawed," Holder said of Fast and Furious. "And, I think that I can agree with some of my harshest critics that there are legitimate issues that need to be explored with regard in which the way Fast and Furious was carried out."

"But, I think one thing that also has to be understood is that once this was brought to my attention" -- Holder said before slamming his hand on the committee room table he was sitting at -- "I stopped it. I stopped it."

During an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly shortly after Holder's comments, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa -- the lead congressional investigator into the Fast and Furious scandal with Sen. Chuck Grassley -- said he and others in Congress don't think Holder is telling the full truth.

"Well, certainly one of the reasons we doubt the legitimacy of that claim is, on Feb. 4 [2011], we received what was in fact an untruthful, a lie, a false letter that has now been retracted," Issa said. "Lanny Breuer, one of his chief aides and number three at Justice, was in Mexico lobbying for more gun-walking. Additional evidence shows that [U.S. agent] Jaime Zapata was killed with a similar program weapon. In other words, this was a policy change that happened and continued up until fairly recently. We need to get to the bottom of it."

In addition, Issa said that if Holder wants to show he's cooperating with the congressional investigation and is interested in really ending gun-walking, he'd fork over the rest of the lawfully-subpoenaed documents he's still hiding from Congress.

"The inspector general at Justice has 80,000 pages and we have 6,000 pages, but even in those 6,000 pages we find damning evidence that high-ranking people in Justice knew all along and not only didn't stop this program, but believed in it," Issa said.

Holder shifts blame to Bush DOJ

During the hearing, Holder also took a stab at the George W. Bush administration, implying that previous attorneys general were briefed on operations similar to Fast and Furious. "In spite of what other attorneys general might have done with briefings that they got, when this attorney general heard about these practices, I said to the men and women at the United States Department of Justice, to the field, to Main Justice, 'This ain't going to be the way we conduct business. Stop it.'
Posted by: Sherry || 02/29/2012 13:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

Gilani advises president to appoint new air chief
[Dawn] Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ...
on Tuesday advised the president to appoint Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt as the new Chief of Air Staff of Pakistain Air Force.

Current Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar SLearned Elders of Islamn is retiring from the post on March 18.

The prime minister has moved the summary for appointing the new air chief to President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari
... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ...
who will take the ultimate decision on the matter.

Air Marshal Butt is currently the senior most officer of PAF. He joined the force on March 6 1977 as a GD pilot.

Butt assumed the office of Vice Chief of the Air Staff on October 5, 2010. In recognition of his meritorious and exceptionally dedicated services, he has been decorated with the awards of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military) and Tamgha-e-Basalat.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  Perhaps because of ...



just sayin'.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 21:21 Comments || Top||

Perpetrators of Kohistan killings will be taken to task: Malik
[Dawn] Minister for Interior Rehman Malik
Pak politician, current Interior Minister under the Gilani administration. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. He later joined the Pak Peoples Party and was chief security officer to Bhutto. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men.
on Tuesday said the firing on Gilgit-bound bus in Kohistan
...a backwoods district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa distinguished by being even more rustic than is the norm among the local Pashtuns....
was a conspiracy to destabilize the country and its perpetrators would be taken to task.

Talking to media persons after having a meeting with Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah, the Interior Minister said President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari
... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ...
and Prime Minster Yusuf Raza Gilani
... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ...
soon after the incident issued directives for taking security measures in order to avoid such incidents in future.

He said out of 18 victims, eight belonged to Gilgit, seven to Hunza Nagar and three to Astore district of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Terming the incident unfortunate, Rehman Malik said those, who were trying to give the incident a sectarian colour, would not succeed in their designs.

"We have got some clues and will trace out the perpetrators soon."

He said he had already constituted a joint team to thoroughly probe the incident which would submit its report in three days.

Answering a question, he said he would be able to give further information about the incident after receiving the inquiry report.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Iran is gonna demand answers, + measures, from Pakland.

* DITTO CHINA as per the above, which is demanding that Pakistan take measures to protect Chinese Citizens in thier country after a Chinese woman was seemingly shot + killed down in cold blood.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 20:36 Comments || Top||

Meddling in country`s affairs to be thwarted, says Hoti
[Dawn] Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti on Monday said no one would be allowed to use Pakhtun land for terrorist activities and that `international game` for interference in the country`s affairs would be thwarted.

Addressing a public meeting here, the chief minister said acts of terrorism were carried out in Pakistain to defame Islam and ruin the already fragile local economy.

He said schools, mosques and religious seminaries were not safe due to bad turban activities but his government would continue fighting terrorism until it was eliminated to bring the province on a par with developed provinces.

Mr Hoti renewed the government`s conditional peace offer to bad turbans, saying the latter would have to lay down arms and accept the government`s writ for talks with it.

"We are followers of Bacha Khan, who always preached non-violence and peace but it shouldn`t be considered our weakness," he said.

The chief minister announced the Rs2.20 billion development projects, including construction of roads, laying of water lines, improvement of sanitation system and establishment of a media colony, for Nowshera district.

He claimed his government had done unprecedented development work in the province and that ANP would contest next elections on the basis of its performance in power.

Mr Hoti listed his government`s educational initiatives and said 100 to 200 new schools would be established under the Rukhana Pakhtunkhwa schemes, while thousands of scholarships would be awarded to brilliant students.

In his address, provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain asked faceless myrmidons to leave the province to prevent death, adds APP.

He said Pakhtun land was dear to ANP leaders and workers, who rendered lives for its protection and would continue doing so. He warned people against sheltering terrorists.

Mr Iftikhar said the government wouldn`t leave people at the mercy of faceless myrmidons and would ensure by all means protection of their life and property.

He regretted that the Taliban justified violence in light of frequent drone attacks by the US and said.

"What a pity that they (Taliban) are holding negotiations with drone attackers while targeting innocent and poor people," he said.

The minister said his government was against drone attacks and terrorism alike and that both were intolerable.

He said the government repeatedly asked the US to share with it drone technology for fighting terrorism. He regretted that drone attacks led to increase in acts of terrorism in the country.

Mr Iftikhar said ANP followed Bacha Khan and that his ideology and philosophy would remain alive forever.

He welcomed the announcement of Rs2.5 billion development package for Nowshera district and establishment of cadet colleges in Nowshera and Mardan and said the initiatives would usher in a new era of development in the region.

The minister said ANP would win the next elections, too, on the basis of its performance over the last four years. He said despite facing terrorism, his government had completed record development schemes in the province.

ANP provincial chief Senator Afrasiab Khattak, provincial minister Aqil Shah, MNAs Masaud Abbas Khan Khattak and Jamila Gailani, and others were also present on the occasion.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Iraq must get out of Chapter VII
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: The Iraqi Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission today called the international community to play greater role in removing Iraq from UN Security Council's Chapter VII and adopting a clear stand to support its legitimate issues, according to a statement.

The statement added that the Commission today received a delegation from the British Embassy in Baghdad. During the meeting, the Commission called upon Britain to play a role in assisting Iraq get out of Chapter VII in order to have its pioneering role in the Arab world and the region.

Iraq is subject to Chapter VII of UN Charter following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, where force was used against it as it was "threatening world peace."

This led to freezing Iraqi assets in world banks to pay compensations to Kuwait and others.
Removing Iraq from Chapter VII would require the U.N. to stop meddling. Two chances of that; slim and none.
The statement added that the Commission along with a delegation from the International Energy Agency discussed the oil situation in Iraq and its legislations in order to have a complete study on oil in Iraq. It is expected that the details of such visit will be published in Agency's annual report on world energy estimations of 2012 next October.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What a shame Iraqi leaders were such dicks when negotiating the SOFA. I'm afraid your pity tickets have all expired. It's realpolitik from here on out; so, what is in it for me the average American who bailed your Shia ass out, when Saddam was hunting you down?

Think hard, and make a persuasive case, I am pitiless and angry.
Posted by: rammer || 02/29/2012 0:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Saddam, Uday And Qusay would all be laughing about now, had they made it to Switzerland with the gold.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 7:39 Comments || Top||

Stratfor cache: Russia gave Israel Iranian system's codes
Quite possibly this is true. But Stratfor's George Friedman says some of the documents are forged, so we may never know. Still, it's useful to know what's being bruited about.
Document by intelligence company suggests Israel, Russia contracted deal several years ago under which Israel provided Russia with codes for UAVs it sold to Georgia in exchange for Iranian aerial defense system codes

WikiLeaks has released an email exchange between employees of Stratfor, the US-based global intelligence company, which reveals Israel and Russia made a deal to swap access codes for defense and surveillance equipment.
According to the leaked document, Israel gave Russia the "data link codes" for unmanned aerial vehicles that the Jewish state sold to Georgia, and in return, Russia gave Israel the codes for Tor-M1 missile defense systems that Russia sold Iran.

In a document by a Stratfor employee dated February 2009 she says that she had met with a "Mexican source/friend" who told her that Israel and Russia had contracted a deal several years ago as part of which Israel provided Russia with codes of UAVs it had sold to Georgia. In exchange Moscow provided the Israelis with the codes for Iran's Tor-M1 aerial defense systems.
The document suggests that the deal was signed before the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008 during which Russian forces invaded Georgia. At the time it was reported that Georgia was using Israel-made weapons.
It can also be understood from the document that the Georgians had at one point realized that their UAVs were compromised and were looking for a replacement for the Israeli made drones.
The Mexican source also addressed the S-300 aerial defense systems which Israel and the West have spent years trying to dissuade Russia from handing over to Tehran. The source said that Israel and Turkey were collaborating very closely in regards to the system and that since Russia sold them to Greece – Turkey's longtime rival – Ankara has been busy trying to crack their codes.
He added that Ankara shared intelligence with Israel to make sure it has an edge over Iran should it get the systems from Russia.
Does dear Mr. Erdogan know about this?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 08:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [338 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This kind of code swapping might be responsible for the Iranians grabbing the US stealth drone. Not that either Israel or Russia were involved, but it makes more sense than Iran having some magic attack system.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/29/2012 14:48 Comments || Top||

#2  If the Georgia accusations are true it could destroy Israel's arms export and arms rehabilitation industry.
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/29/2012 18:32 Comments || Top||


Russia being a "FRENEMY" to both Iran + Israel???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 21:29 Comments || Top||

#4  So let's say the Russians give you a code for the Iranian air defense network. And you surge your entire air force way out on the mission. And someone punches in the code.

Let's say it doesn't work on the first try.

Who do you call?


Always verify what the Russians say.
Posted by: rammer || 02/29/2012 22:49 Comments || Top||

Netanyahu slams Abbas for incitement in meeting with Norwegian FM Støre
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 06:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [323 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I imagine the left in Norway is in full panic because of the massacre. They cannot sustain their political power without their jugend as the next generation. So they are probably trying to deplete national resources so badly that Norway will be impoverished for decades, led by the right, until the left can recover.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 9:15 Comments || Top||

#2  IMO: it would be more productive to slam Norwegian FM---with a sledge. Unfortunately, not practical yet.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/29/2012 14:14 Comments || Top||

Palestinians Urge Security Council Visit to Occupied Territory
[An Nahar] The Paleostinian leadership on Tuesday called on the U.N. Security Council to visit the occupied territories to see the impact of Israel's settlement campaign.

The Paleostinian U.N. envoy, Riyad Mansour, made the request as U.N. under secretary general for political affairs, B. Lynne Pascoe, told the Security Council that events in Gazoo and the West Bank are "dangerous and ultimately unsustainable."

Mansour said he had sent a letter to the 15-nation body calling for the visit as soon as possible. The council is currently discussing future trips but diplomats said the demand was part of a Paleostinian campaign to draw international attention back on the Middle East conflict.

Mansour said he had met ambassadors from several Security Council nations to discuss "the explosive situation in the occupied territory as a result of the provocations of Israel in intensifying the settlement campaign."

"It is an appropriate time for the Security Council to come and visit Paleostine and for members of the Security Council to see with their own eyes the reality of the Paleostinian people in the occupied territory," Mansour told news hounds after a Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

The U.N. expressed concern
...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended...
at the council about new settlements and the destruction of Paleostinian homes in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem. Pascoe also raised concerns about violence between Israeli settlers and Paleostinians and rocket fire from Gazoo into Israel.

Talks between Israel and the Paleostinians have been deadlocked since September 2010. The Paleostinians have refused to hold talks until Israel freezes settlement building, which has also been condemned by the United Nations
...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society...
and the major powers.

Exploratory contacts between the two sides were held in Amman in January but nothing has come from them.

Israel's U.N. ambassador Ron Prosor said he was "surprised" by the Paleostinian request which he called an attempt to divert attention from the Syria uprising.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

Obama Promises Israel Use of U.S. Bases for Iran Attack If It Will Wait
U.S. intelligence and special operations officials have tried to keep a dialogue going with Israel despite the high-level impasse, offering options such as allowing Israel to use U.S. bases in the region to launch such a strike, as a way to make sure the Israelis give the Americans a heads-up, according to the U.S. official and a former U.S. official with knowledge of the communications.

Truth or dare....?
Neither: it is, rather, control if they can trick the Israelis into going along. After all, once the Israelis agree to make use of U.S. facilities and devise a plan to do so, the plan can be derailed by refusing the use of the facilities. "No, not yet, wait a while longer."

Sure, the Israelis would eventually tire of this and go back to Plan B, but in the meantime perhaps things have changed to render Plan B obsolete.
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [406 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't buy it. Offering the use of our bases makes us complicit in the act. Might as well take part in the actual strike and work to ensure its success.
Posted by: SteveS || 02/29/2012 1:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Will Obama also promise to provide lebensraum (living space) to the Israelis should things go badly?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 7:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Wait until when? After the election when he no longer has to maintain any kind of facade?
Posted by: gorb || 02/29/2012 9:01 Comments || Top||

#4  We have bases closer to Iran than Israel? Don't count lend-lease places that have third party clauses* to them. Other than an aircraft carrier, someone point out a wholly owned and operated American base in that region.

*the 'oops, we missed the small print thingy that prohibits us actually carrying through with our agreement'.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/29/2012 9:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Diego Garcia?
Posted by: RandomJD || 02/29/2012 9:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Yeah right...this from the administration who's chief intell officer, Clapper, said that the Muslim Brotherhood is mainly a secular non-violent organization.
Posted by: Jack Salami || 02/29/2012 9:52 Comments || Top||

#7  An Israeli strike on Iran could be the empty suit's October surprise...the US has never voted out a president during a war.

I would almost bet Bebi would time this thing to screw O's reelection chances.

PS everyone that has anything to do with ME intell, policy, or relations in DC is a limp wristed negotiate forever weinie. We would have to fire the entire DOS and start from scratch to ever have any sense or logic in our ME affairs.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/29/2012 10:19 Comments || Top||

#8   Wait until when?

There is always "until it's too late," gorb. Whether that is until Iran has nuclear weapons, so that Israel can do nothing because of the actuality of the threat, or until the world realizes Israel is on her own, or until Israel can be forced to a regional nuclear disarmament conference...lots of "too lates", all of which harm that shitty little country all his friends loathe, led by that man who made him look bad.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 10:42 Comments || Top||

#9  .the US has never voted out a president during a war.

A war we were fighting, Bil, not a war said president refused to fight. A nice majority Americans are strongly pro-Israel, and something like 3/4s are at least somewhat pro-Israel. If Israel gets hit or is seen to be going it alone, it won't change minds, but will be a final straw for a lot of voters to get them to go to the polls and vote against him, I think.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 10:49 Comments || Top||

#10  My apologies for misspelling your name, Mr. Clinton. I'm having a problem with posting half-cocked today for some reason.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 13:28 Comments || Top||

#11  TW

Obama will get the black vote whatever he does or more like dosent do.
Posted by: Gruth McGurque5303 || 02/29/2012 15:25 Comments || Top||

#12  "I would almost bet Bebi would time this thing to screw O's reelection chances."

Go Bibi!
Posted by: Barbara || 02/29/2012 18:20 Comments || Top||

#13  This is total bull.

So the offer is "You can use all our bases, just not today."

And when the day comes to do the deed? "Not today." is the answer.

Wave off that.
Posted by: rammer || 02/29/2012 23:23 Comments || Top||

#14  Obama will get the black vote whatever he does or more like dosent do.

It will be interesting to see in November, Gruth McGurque5303 -- I'm reading about surveys that suggest a surprising number (which number varies, so I wouldn't dare predict what it might be, even were I clever enough to do such things) are not satisfied with their economic situation these days, and blame it on the honourable gentleman they put into office last time round. Voting for the other guy may well be a step too far, but staying home instead of voting is easily done.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 23:57 Comments || Top||

Iranian Defense Minister: Enemies will face 'rainy day' weapons in case of attack
Iran is prepared with hidden "rainy day" military capabilities it is saving for when it is attacked, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Tuesday, warning potential enemies of a "new environment" created by Iran's developing arms industry.

"These days Americans badly fear that an incident happens in the region and they can't stand against the Islamic Republic's firm positions vis-à-vis that given event," Vahidi told Fars.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 08:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [477 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We can deal with umbrellas.
Posted by: Grunter || 02/29/2012 9:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Versus the dreaded "slightly overcast" weapons.
Posted by: Steven || 02/29/2012 10:19 Comments || Top||

#3  will these rainy day weapons put out the sea of fire?
Posted by: chris || 02/29/2012 10:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Suggesting that maybe making nukes is not such a "sin" as their spokesmen suggest becayse the only rainy day weapon that we would give a darn about would be a nuke.

Too bad they wouldn't be around long enough to enjoy it. Unless Obumble is in charge, then he will apologize to them for making them upset enough to use it.
Posted by: gorb || 02/29/2012 11:18 Comments || Top||

#5  gorb, I suggest you're overly sanquine. Rainy day weapons could consist of easy to deliver bio and chemical weapons.

Float a boat load into any or all harbors of ours and/or allies and see what hits the fan. They could even mount a plausible deniability campaign.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/29/2012 12:39 Comments || Top||

#6  I was at the Senate office Building in October of 2001, participating in a meeting with members of Senator Feinstein's Office on issues of terrorism and state government capabilities and plans. The anthrax event in the building sent us to the emergency room of George Washington University for treatment and the start of a series of prophylactic treatments for possible exposure. The initial group of people actually in the building and proximate to the exposure site filled the auditorium with several hundred and we got an initial briefing from medical staff there. In the course of the afternoon and evening I watched the massive numbers of people who self identified as possible exposure cases flodded local hospitals with thousands.
A real anthrax or bio/chem even in major cities, even in limited actual size, mere ounces of confirmed agent in multiple locations, would create a panic across the nation of enormous proportions and expense. The cost, difficulty, effect, denial analysis of such an attack would make any terrorist planning group giddy.
Do you really think there haven't been backchannel communications about these sort of things between allies and even protagonists?
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 02/29/2012 13:18 Comments || Top||

#7  flooded
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 02/29/2012 13:20 Comments || Top||

#8  NMB, sure there have been discussions. But, to what effect?

It wouldn't take much in the way of hard-line jihadis to do this and if they were suicide types with no identifiable tie to a particular country what then? Nuke the entire ME? add in Indonesia and Malaysia and the Magreb for good measure?
Posted by: AlanC || 02/29/2012 14:04 Comments || Top||

#9  It wouldn't take much in the way of hard-line jihadis to do this and if they were suicide types with no identifiable tie to a particular country what then?

There are ways to trace the material.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/29/2012 15:48 Comments || Top||

#10  Pappy,

maybe yes, maybe no. The question is plausible deniability. If it starts getting down to chemical formula then the lefties and "progressives" can stop things pretty easily. Look at what happened in Iraq and the "failed" intelligence about WMD. Could you really be sure that the kind of tracing you're speaking of could come to a real conclusion with the sort of resistence you would see (not to mention if Zero is still around)?
Posted by: AlanC || 02/29/2012 16:58 Comments || Top||

#11  maybe yes, maybe no. The question is plausible deniability

I'm talking 'technical'.

You're talking 'political'.

Big difference.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/29/2012 18:26 Comments || Top||

#12  Yokay, I'll bite - "rainy day"???

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 20:58 Comments || Top||

#13  Nuke the entire ME? add in Indonesia and Malaysia and the Magreb for good measure?

Works for me.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 02/29/2012 22:19 Comments || Top||

#14  NoMoreBS, thanks for your service to me and our nation. I am sorry you had to deal with that situation, and more sorry that our government hasn't been willing to put the stick on the real perps of that crime.

I too had unusual, uncomfortable, experiences in September and October of that year, but here we are ten years hence; so, they were not so bad.

Similarly, do not overestimate the Iranian threats. God has been generous to the United States in providing such weak adversaries. One nuclear weapon detonated over Qom would release the Iranian people from their bondage. The Iranian leadership living there will never do anything to make that happen, which deploying chem/bio weapons in the US would certainly, definitely, absolutely, and quickly cause to happen.

For people outside of the United States a largely Christian nation, you must understand that we really energetically love you in a New Testament way, and we want to help you succeed. Love and hate are not so far apart though, and to reject our love makes us unhappy. To attack us and make us afraid -- that would be bad for you, in an Old Testament way.
Posted by: rammer || 02/29/2012 23:18 Comments || Top||

#15  you must understand that we really energetically love you in a New Testament way, and we want to help you succeed. Love and hate are not so far apart though, and to reject our love makes us unhappy. To attack us and make us afraid -- that would be bad for you, in an Old Testament way.

Oh my, rammer. That was certainly effective communication.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/01/2012 0:00 Comments || Top||

Iran says making nuclear bombs a "great sin"
Iran, facing growing international pressure over its nuclear program, called for more talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Tuesday and condemned production of atomic weapons as a "great sin."

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful but negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have stalled and Western powers have grown increasingly concerned over the possible military dimensions of Tehran's atomic work.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in a speech to the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, said he expected talks to continue and that he was optimistic they would proceed in the right direction.

"I would like to re-emphasize that we do not see any glory, pride or power in the nuclear weapons, quite the opposite based on the religious decree issued by our supreme leader, the production, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, are illegitimate, futile, harmful, dangerous and prohibited as a great sin," he said.

However many in the Western camp were skeptical, with the IAEA saying no further talks were scheduled, given what Western diplomats have described as Iran's unwillingness to address allegations of military nuclear research.
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 05:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ....Clearly then, if building bombs is wrong, they don't wanna be right.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/29/2012 5:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Good morning Mike. I don't see much on the possible strategy of Iran regarding Saudi Arabia.
It looks to me that the Saudi have been encircled. I understand the Persians invented chess. Knowing how they like to play the media game could they be working on securing interests in oil there. We now have several choke points on the flow of oil here. The Arab spring could have been or will be worked to the advantage of Iran. I believe Iran longs for the days of history past.
Mecca would be a supreme necleus of power. Whirlwind of a propaganda event. In politics of our time the bait and switch technique is a very common pratice. Should this be true then their efforts with Isreal will now be tempered. Saved for another day while the python coils about its prey.
Posted by: Dale || 02/29/2012 7:58 Comments || Top||

#3  This is actually funny. Like saying they wouldn't build nuclear weapons because the Catholic Pope wouldn't approve.

There is no original sin in Islam. In fact, the very idea of sin in Islam is almost a nonsequitur, because they believe Allen is omnipotent and everything is predestined. Thus there is also no need for repentance, and forgiveness is also nebulous.

And most of all, they clearly believe that a Muslim can do anything they want to infidels, assuming it is hostile, without it being a sin.

Not just making, but *using* nuclear weapons against infidels would be "A-O.K." as far as Allen is concerned.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/29/2012 9:24 Comments || Top||

#4  I cannot even begin to imagine what audience this guy is playing to. Nobody believes it. Nobody believes anybody else will believe it. Not even Obumble.
Posted by: gorb || 02/29/2012 11:24 Comments || Top||

#5  Playing for time, first of all, and that new word...tarawiya? It is not a lie by a Muslim when the spoken words are narrowly understood by the speaker and completely and deliberately misleading to the listener. Closing his eyes, "I don't see him," he said, so the questioner continued the search elsewhere.

In this case, it would be a sin for Israel or any of Iran's opponents to make atomic weapons, with which they might fight off Iran's jihad. It perhaps might be a sin -- though as Anonymoose points out, not if aimed at enemies of Islam as defined by the speaker, or perhaps if sin is defined as resulting in harm to Iran -- for Iran to produce atomic weapons at the moment he is speaking. And of course, Iran's nuclear weapons program is peaceful in that once the unbelievers and enemies have submitted to the threat of Iran's nukes, there will be peace...for Iran's rulers, at least.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 13:43 Comments || Top||

#6  Tawriya. good article, tipper.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 14:01 Comments || Top||

Security Council Mulling Resolution on Syria Humanitarian Ceasefire
[An Nahar] La Belle France on Tuesday urged Russia and China to accept a new U.N. Security Council resolution on halting the violence in Syria to allow in humanitarian aid.

"A resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire and access for humanitarian aid in the most threatened areas is under discussion at the Security Council. We can hope that China and Russia will not veto this resolution," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told RTL radio.

"We hope that Russia and China will not oppose the adoption of this resolution on the free access of humanitarian aid to victims and that all members of the Security Council, without exception, will agree to end the barbarism," foreign ministry front man Bernard Valero added.

"The talks (on the resolution) should begin today in New York," Valero said.

"The text that is on the table calls in particular for a halt in the violence and immediate and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid to the most threatened areas and most vulnerable people," he said.

U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay on Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to crisis-hit Syria during a special meeting of government ministers in Geneva.

Russia and China have blocked attempts by the Security Council to adopt a resolution on Syria, where monitors estimate that more than 7,600 people have been killed since a crackdown on anti-government protesters began last March.

Juppe said it was possible that Russia would soften its position after a presidential election on Sunday.

"It is undeniable that the pre-election atmosphere in Russia is leading the regime to take nationalist positions," he said. "(Russia) is isolating itself more and more."
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Lebanon to Work on Restoring Syria's Membership in Arab League
[An Nahar] President Michel Suleiman
...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too...
said Tuesday that Leb will exert efforts to restore Syria's membership in the Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
whose decisions are respected by Beirut no matter what its stance is.

"No matter what Leb's stance is at Arab League summits, it commits itself to its decisions," Suleiman said at a joint presser with his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu in Bucharest.

"We will work on restoring Syria's membership in the vaporous Arab League" which "is not only for Arab regimes but for the Arab people," he stressed.

"Leb's stance has always been in favor of Arab consensus," Suleiman told news hounds, saying that no Arab country should be isolated.

The president also expressed keenness on finding a solution to the Syrian crisis as soon as possible.

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November. But Leb voted against the decision.

"Leb will attend the next Arab League summit and will take the appropriate decision depending on the resolutions that will be adopted," he stressed.

Suleiman also said he asked Basescu for Romania's contribution to the United Nations
...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks...
Interim Force in Leb and stressed on preventive diplomacy as a solution to conflicts.

He reiterated the rejection of Lebanese authorities to naturalize Paleostinians in Leb.

On bilateral cooperation, Suleiman said he agreed with his counterpart to consolidate economic and cultural collaboration between the two countries.

The foreign ministries of the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding and preparations are underway to sign a deal to cooperate in the education, cultural and sports fields, Suleiman said.

Basescu, in his turn, vowed to consolidate the Lebanese army by providing it with ammunition. He also said Romania will seek to increase the number of scholarships provided to Leb students.

Suleiman arrived in Romania at the head of a ministerial delegation on Monday.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Clinton Says Calling Assad 'War Criminal' May Complicate Things
[An Nahar] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
... sometimes described as The Woman to Call at 3 a.m. and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Edward Everett ...
said Tuesday an argument could be made for declaring Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Lord of the Baath...
a war criminal, but said such action could complicate a solution in Syria.

"Based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity, there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category," Clinton told a Senate hearing on the State Department budget.

"People have been putting forth the argument," the chief U.S. diplomat said.

"But I also think that from long experience that can complicate a resolution of a difficult, complex situation because it limits options to persuade leaders perhaps to step down from power," Clinton said.

The secretary appeared to be referring to Yemen, where the United States supported a deal that gave outgoing Yemeni president President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it...
"complete" immunity from prosecution in return for stepping down.

The United States defended that deal as a way to promote democracy in Yemen.

In Brussels on Monday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said La Belle France wants to see the Syrian regime dragged before the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
(ICC), saying he would plead for such action before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

He said he would say that he hopes to "see the international community reflect on the conditions of a referral to the ICC."

But he said that, as Syria was not a party to the Rome convention establishing the ICC, the tribunal could not initiate action itself and it would be up to the U.N. Security Council to refer the matter.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  What a subtle, wily diplomat she is, to be sure.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 6:22 Comments || Top||

#2  I wouldn't recommend calling him a "snob" either.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 7:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Assad shouldn't think anything of it, Hillary considers Trunks to be War Criminals(tm) as well. When you're both National/International Socialists using 'Nazi' as a pejorative lacks perspective. 'War Criminal' has a greater degree of separation from each other.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/29/2012 9:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Is this Bashir the "reformer we can work with" al-Assad, or was that some other Bizaro World al-Assad?
Posted by: SteveS || 02/29/2012 18:12 Comments || Top||

#5  "Bizaro World al-Assad"

I think there's only this one in real life, Steve. :-(
Posted by: Barbara || 02/29/2012 18:26 Comments || Top||

#6  PIAPS is a major demon and a constant vexation to the Christian, as is her demonic,rapist $pousal unit and "filthy lucre" cash-generator.
Posted by: Thosh Omugum4787 || 02/29/2012 22:15 Comments || Top||

Iraq Urges 'Free' Syria Elections under Arab-U.N. Supervision
[An Nahar] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
... Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party....
on Tuesday called for "change" and "free elections" in Syria, which has been rocked by violent festivities between government forces and rebels.

"Iraq backs change in Syria," Maliki told Saudi newspaper Okaz in an as-yet unpublished interview, excerpts of which were released by his office in a statement.

"Change is necessary. The situation will not be stable without change."

Maliki did not elaborate on what kind of change he wished to see, but said Syrians "must receive more freedom, and form a national unity government as a first step, and free elections should be held under Arab and U.N. supervision."

He added that "a national council must be chosen which will write a new constitution," according to the excerpted quotes.

Iraq has shied away from imposing punitive measures against Syria as Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Lord of the Baath...
's regime has carried out a bloody crackdown over the past 11 months on an uprising against his rule in which rights groups say 7,600 people have been killed.

Assad is a member of the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, while the majority of Syrians, and of his opponents, are Sunni Mohammedans.

Iraq, by contrast, is governed by majority Shiite Mohammedans, but has a substantial Sunni Arab minority.

Storied Baghdad
...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
said on Friday it would not invite the Syrian government or opposition to an Arab summit to be held in the Iraqi capital in late March, after an Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
request that Damascus
...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world...
not attend.

Arab League member states voted in November to suspend Syria's participation in the vaporous Arab League because of the violence.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Venezuela Confirms Sending Oil to Syria
Venezuela's oil minister confirmed that it sent two shipments of diesel to Syria last year and said it would send further supplies "when required" despite Western-led sanctions.

The United States and the European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
have tightened sanctions in an effort to isolate Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Despoiler of Deraa...
's regime over its deadly months-long crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

But Venezuela's left-wing His Excellency President-for-Life, Caudillo of the Bolivarians Hugo Chavez has defended Assad, accusing Western "colonial powers" of meddling in its internal affairs.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who also heads state-run oil company PDVSA, said Monday that the country had sent two shipments of diesel to Syria last year, without providing further details.

Caracas has been critical of sanctions against both Syria and Iran, with which it has forged closer political and economic ties in recent years.

EU foreign ministers slapped fresh sanctions on Syria Monday, including a freeze on its central bank assets.

More than 7,600 people have been killed in violence across Syria since anti-regime protests erupted in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2012-02-29
  Singapore: Iran assassination plot against Israeli Defence Minister Barak foiled
Tue 2012-02-28
  Yemen's Saleh formally steps down after 33 years
Mon 2012-02-27
  Congressmen Attacked on Mount of Olives
Sun 2012-02-26
  Afghan interior ministry employee sought in NATO killings
Sat 2012-02-25
  Yemen gets new president after 33 years
Fri 2012-02-24
  Air strke kills al-Shaboobs
Thu 2012-02-23
  Ansar as-Sunna Chief Arrested on Syria-Iraq Border
Wed 2012-02-22
  Hugo has new tumor
Tue 2012-02-21
  Afghans rescue 41 child suicide bombers
Mon 2012-02-20
  Syrian army reinforcements head to Homs
Sun 2012-02-19
  Iran stops oil sales to British, French
Sat 2012-02-18
  SWIFT To Cut Off Iran - No Financial Telecommunications
Fri 2012-02-17
  Feds arrest another thinks-he-is suicide bomber heading to Capitol building
Thu 2012-02-16
  U.S. drone kills five insurgents in Miranshah
Wed 2012-02-15
  Thailand charges Iranian bomb suspects in Bangkok

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