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Sri Lankan troops capture Kilinochchi
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 5: Local News
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Page 6: Politix
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2 00:00 Old Patriot [358]
9 00:00 Rambler in Virginia [365]
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Good morning
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [433 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That's not a hat. It's an upside down frisbee.
Posted by: gorb || 01/03/2009 2:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Rosemary, Lane two of a three Lane highway of talent

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/03/2009 2:39 Comments || Top||



Rosemary & Priscilla

No plain Lane

Warm & Fuzzy

Between scenes
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/03/2009 3:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Is plate balancing still taught in the good schools?
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 6:43 Comments || Top||

#5  [Dumbass spam]
Posted by: viarfarloleapeFex || 01/03/2009 8:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Nah, that looks like the little water catcher thingy that was under my potted plant. Now I know where it ended up!
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 01/03/2009 9:18 Comments || Top||

#7  thanks GolfBravoUSMC

The starlets were so HOT then. more of a classic beauty... not like the little anorexic skanks we have today.
Posted by: Abu do you love || 01/03/2009 13:09 Comments || Top||

#8  I note less skin-ink.
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 18:57 Comments || Top||

#9  "They don't make hats like that anymore"

As a woman (who actually remembers wearing hats), Gott sei dank.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/03/2009 19:51 Comments || Top||

Pakistan drives Taliban into trap
Afghanistan and Pakistan's ongoing military offensive in the Tribal Areas is chasing Taliban across the border, where they are being intercepted by a United States-Afghan security initiative, a US commander said, according to a report in The Washington Times on Friday.

The level of violence over the past couple of months in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan has risen significantly from the same period last year, and is expected to increase another 10 to 20 percent in the spring, largely because of the results of operations across the border in Bajaur Agency, US Army Colonel John Spiszer told the newspaper.

Although Pakistan's commitment to the campaign against terrorists has been questioned and some Pakistani troops are reported to have been redeployed to the eastern border with India, the Bajaur campaign was having an impact, Spiszer said.

"Pakistani pressure... has denied [the insurgents] safe havens and led to more contact in Afghanistan," he said, adding that an increase of Afghan security forces in the region also has contributed to a rise in hostile engagements this winter. "And thatŽs not a bad thing."

Spiszer said the trend is likely to continue as additional US forces are deployed to help secure the mountainous terrain that divides the two countries.

Of the 3,500 to 4,000 troops from the 3rd Combat Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, scheduled to deploy in January, roughly 500 will help stabilise his area of operations, which also includes Nangarhar and Laghman provinces, he said. In the near term, a joint initiative known as Operation Lion Heart is under way to better coordinate counterinsurgency efforts on both sides of the border through intelligence sharing and border interdiction, the report said.

Spiszer said the initiative is "less about synchronicity and more complementary", with commanders exchanging tactical information daily to prevent insurgents from resupplying and transiting unchecked through traditional filter points.

US-led operations inside Afghanistan will increase as winter progresses to support the Pakistani offensive, he said, adding that the sustained nature of Pakistani operations "has the potential to make some differences". He added, however, that Pakistan has been focused away from the immediate border, "so we haven't closed all the gaps on either side".

Reports that Pakistani forces are being redeployed from the Tribal Areas to the Indian border -- after the Mumbai attacks that India blames on Pakistan-based elements -- suggest that the military is growing frustrated by a domestic counterinsurgency campaign it is ill-equipped to fight, preferring to confront an old and conventional foe. .

However, Nadeem Kiani, a spokesman for the Pakistan embassy in Washington, said reports that Pakistan is moving troops to the border with India are 'not true'.

"We have not moved troops from our western borders," he said. "Security forces are continuing their operations against militants in the Tribal Areas. Currently an operation is going on in Khyber Agency against militants who were disrupting the NATO supply route to Afghanistan."

Kiani added that "all the three valleys and important towns have been cleared of militants".

Spiszer, who commands a brigade of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, said that about $80 million was spent last year on reconstruction in the region despite the hostilities.

He said the presence of coalition outposts deep in the backcountry also has allowed development projects to accelerate in more densely populated areas such as Nangarhar province, which has been relatively peaceful.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  January 3rd and still no mention of the Dread Afghan Winter"?

tonight on the Media Channel: "When Memes Die!"
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 6:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Powerful Islamic Courts dies in Dread Afghan Winter. Islamic Court was proceedered in death by Millions of Body Bags and his BFF The Harsh Desert Environment.
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 6:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Chief Mourner, the puny-looking Ever Deepening Recession was escorted to the ceremony by the Elite Repulican Guards mounted on Cycles of Violence.
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 6:32 Comments || Top||

#4  Pakistan drives Taliban into trap

and that skinflint Taliban refused to chip in for gas. Let's see him *walk* back from Trap, the cheap bastard.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 01/03/2009 8:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Pakistan drives Taliban into trap

then rescues them
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 13:37 Comments || Top||

#6  suggest that the military is growing frustrated by a domestic counterinsurgency campaign it is ill-equipped to fight, preferring to confront an old and conventional foe. .

Against whom they have a track record of getting badly mauled.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 01/03/2009 14:17 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Ethiopia says Somalia pullout under way
Ethiopia's final troop pullout from Somalia has started and will last several more days, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's spokesman said Friday. "We have already started to implement our withdrawal plan. It will take some more days. It is a process and it will take some time," Bereket Simon told AFP.

Ethiopia invaded neighboring Somalia in 2006 to rescue an embattled transitional administration and oust the Islamic Courts Union, which had taken control of most of the country and started imposing a strict form of Sharia law.

Addis Ababa announced late last year that it would have fully withdrawn from Somalia in the first days of 2009. It had already significantly reduced its troop presence but the exact timetable for the final pullout remains unclear. Ethiopian forces were still operating in Mogadishu Friday. Two soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb explosion in the capital, prompting retaliatory fire that left seven civilians dead, according to witnesses.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [395 views] Top|| File under: Islamic Courts

French hand over eight 'pirates' to Puntland
The French Navy has handed over eight suspected pirates captured in the Gulf of Aden to the authorities of Somalia's breakaway state of Puntland, an official said Friday. "The Puntland regional government received eight pirates from the French Navy, who intercepted them while they were attacking a commercial vessel," Puntland Assistant Minister for Seaports Abdel-Kadir Moussa Yusuf told reporters.

"They will be charged for their crimes according to criminal law. This is the second time the French Navy has transferred captured pirates to Puntland," he said.

The Premier Maitre L'Her, a French frigate patrolling the waters as part of an EU task force, intercepted the pirates Thursday after twice responding to a distress call from the Panamanian-flagged S. Venus.

In October, the French Navy handed over nine suspected pirates to Puntland. Another 12 suspected pirates are being held in France. They were arrested during two separate operations to free the crew of two French yachts in April and September 2008.

Yusuf praised France for combating piracy, which has wreaked panic in world shipping by turning the Gulf of Aden into the world's most dangerous waters, and for handing over suspects. "The French Navy is cooperating and they are the only ones who are sending prisoners to Somalia," he told reporters in Bosasso, Puntland's main port on the Gulf of Aden.

In November, the British Navy handed over eight suspected pirates to the authorities of Kenya and in December signed a memorandum of understanding providing a legal framework for such cooperation.

Somalia is not party to any of the treaties and conventions regulating the world's waters and many of the nations represented in the naval coalitions patrolling pirate-infested zones have been reluctant to send suspects there.

Also on Friday, a Chinese cargo ship evaded two pirate boats chasing it in the Gulf of Aden, state media said, citing officials.

Hong Kong-registered Chipolbrok Sun was pursued by two pirate speedboats in the Gulf's northern region, Zhai Jiugang of the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency. The captain assembled the crew at the stern to fight off the pirates and contacted the International Maritime Bureau and two warships in nearby waters for assistance, the report said.

The Chipolbrok Sun, owned by the Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Company, managed to shake off its assailants half an hour after first sighting them, the report said, giving no further details.

China warned Somali pirates last week it was prepared to use force, having dispatched warships to the Gulf of Aden to combat a wave of piracy that has disrupted international shipping.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [361 views] Top|| File under: Pirates

#1  Puntland Assistant Minister for Seaports Abdel-Kadir Moussa Yusuf told reporters "They will be charged for their crimes according to criminal law.

Anybody know what the law against piracy is in Somalia? Is the penalty a big feast and goat sex party?
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/03/2009 0:14 Comments || Top||

#2  The problem is "law" and "Somalia" don't really go together these days.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 01/03/2009 0:41 Comments || Top||

#3  This is Puntland, not Somalia. Puntland coasties are almost as good as the French navy.

I believe the charge for piracy is $12.95.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 9:27 Comments || Top||

#4  The ones captured by India were handed over to the Yemenis. The Germans just confiscated the weapons and released the group of pirates they caught.
Posted by: john frum || 01/03/2009 10:21 Comments || Top||

#5  what have the Chinese done with the ones they caught?
Posted by: Betty Gletle5958 || 01/03/2009 12:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Wouldn't it make more sense just to sink all pirate boats on the high seas with all hands on board? I believe that has been permitted by international law for centuries. It would also stop repeat offending.
Posted by: Keystone || 01/03/2009 12:28 Comments || Top||

Africa North
Death penalty against 2 terrorists involved in the assassination attempt against Bouteflika
Criminal Court in Batna province, eastern Algeria, had sentenced to life two terrorists bearing the initials of C.T, nicknamed Abou Zinad, and M.Z, involved in terrorist cases. The terrorist nicknamed Abou Zinad, joined terror fiefs in the 90's; he was nominated by his terror group, all along two other wanted terrorists, to commit suicide bombings.

In the meantime, the same court sentenced to death the named Fayçal. M. He had been charged with an attempt to kill a self defence guard at Chemra municipality. He has links with the terror group which plotted the assassination attempt against President Bouteflika, during his visit to Batna in Sep.2007.

The court issued a death punishment against a brother of a smuggler of cigarettes. He has been charged with causing the death of a National Gendarmerie Officer who chased cigarette traffickers at Barika, in Batna.

Furthermore, security services have arrested 2 elements charged of providing foods and provisions to terrorists. Their arrest came following information furnished by another element arrested at Kimel municipality, western Batna.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [361 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa

Egypt police beat, detain Gaza protesters in Cairo
CAIRO - Egyptian riot police used batons to beat opposition protesters who tried to stage a rally in downtown Cairo on Friday against the seven-day-old Israeli offensive on Gaza, witnesses said. Police also briefly detained a Reuters cameraman, confiscated his tape and prevented other cameramen from filming, witnesses said.

Thousands of riot police were deployed in Cairo and other cities ahead of the protests called for by the Brotherhood, the strongest opposition group in the country. The group has historical and ideological ties with Hamas which rules Gaza.

‘This will not prevent us from declaring our anger and expressing our solidarity with the Palestinian people,’ Mohamed Habib, the Brotherhood deputy leader, told Reuters. He said Egypt should break off diplomatic and economic ties with Israel.

In other cities thousands of protesters rallied against the raids, which have killed more than 400 people. The Jewish state says the attacks are designed to stop Hamas from firing rockets on towns in southern Israel.

A rally in the costal town of El-Arish in North Sinai turned violent when protesters tried to force their way through a police cordon and move to other areas. ‘The people charged at the police and pelted them with rocks,’ a Reuters witness said. ‘Police started rounding people up and beating them,’ he added.

In the city of Ismailia, around 5,000 people demanded tough actions by Arab governments. ‘We demand the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador,’ read one banner.

Security officials put the number of detainees in Cairo after the prayers at around 30. They said most of them were likely to be released later on Friday.

Protesters in countries like Lebanon, Yemen and Iran have accused Egypt of cooperating with Israel by refusing to throw its border crossing with the Palestinian coastal strip wide open. The Egyptian government says opening the crossing fully without the presence of the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza would give legitimacy to the Islamists’ rule in the strip. Hamas pushed Abbas’ forces out in June 2007.

Egyptian officials also say an influx of hundreds of thousands of Gazans may pose a security risk because militants could sneak in among them.
And, much worse and more to the point, the hundreds of thousands of Gazooks might decide to stay in Egypt ...
Earlier in the day, Egyptian police detained 20 members of the Brotherhood in pre-dawn raids in four provinces.

The Islamist group has been leading a campaign against the Israeli-led blockade on Gaza, enforced since Hamas won Palestinian general elections in 2006. Analysts say the Egyptian government, which says the Brotherhood is outlawed but which allows it to operate, is wary that the group may attract more popular support by extending help to the Palestinians.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [382 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ‘This will not prevent us from declaring our anger and expressing our solidarity with the Palestinian people,’

OK, then I'm sure you'll like being deported to Gazastan to join them.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/03/2009 0:16 Comments || Top||

#2  And, much worse and more to the point, the hundreds of thousands of Gazooks might decide to stay in Egypt ...

Not so sure. Quite a few Gazooks that visited Egypt were surprised by the level of poverty in Egypt.

Egypt govt thinks of Paleos as crooks, cheats and scammers. Which must be really bad, considering Egypt's internal supply of the same.

So Gazooks don't want to move to Egypt (why, to quit partaking on the UN supplied dole?), they just want a better access for their "bizness".
Posted by: Spike Uniter || 01/03/2009 2:45 Comments || Top||

Terrorists set off 3 bombs against an Army patrol in Boumerdès and Tizi Ouzou
2 bombs have been set off yesterday by terrorists targetting an Army patrol along the road linking between Tihssain and Naciria in Boumerdès central province. Fortunately, only 1 soldier left wounded.

In the meantime, a hand made bomb has exploded last Wednesday, at Ait Yahia Moussa, targeting an Army convoy. No casualty has been mentioned. According to a local source, the blast occurred midnight. However, inhabitants in a chalet-style housing settlement at Bordj El Bbahri municipality eastern Algiers have been frightened as a rumour circulated about a bag containing a bomb set in the near street. Immediately, security services had surrounded the place and ordered the inhabitants to stay home, while El Khabar could not confirm whether the thing is really about a bomb, as no information has been leaked yet.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [405 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa

Gang on rampage in Golders Green
A gang of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rampaged through the heart of the Jewish community on Wednesday evening, attacking businesses and assaulting a motorist.

Police and the CST have increased patrols and security following the incidents in Golders Green, North-West London, amid concerns of further trouble during Shabbat.

The group of around 15 men had been demonstrating in support of Palestinians in Gaza but then made their way along Golders Green Road, attacking the man as he got into his car. They attempted to gain access to a number of kosher restaurants and Jewish businesses, and
At one point entered Solly's restaurant, but were thrown out by staff and diners. Despite officers arriving in the area quickly, the gang was able to escape on the Tube.
at one point entered Solly's restaurant, but were thrown out by staff and diners. Despite officers arriving in the area quickly, the gang was able to escape on the Tube.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Tucker, acting borough commander of Barnet police, said: "We were aware that the activity in Gaza was going to have an impact on antisemitism because of our very large Jewish population in Barnet. We have liaised with the CST in advance to make sure our response is joined up.

"We will not tolerate any incidents of antisemitism and will investigate any allegations robustly. People have a legitimate right to demonstrate but that cannot be a front for antisemitism or any other type of crime."

A CST spokesman said: "The gang-related incident in Golders Green is extremely troubling."
A CST spokesman said: "The gang-related incident in Golders Green is extremely troubling. The idea that events in the Middle East can trigger this kind of rampage is something that the community, police and politicians need to now consider with the utmost urgency. The incidents that have occurred this week are very serious and reflect exactly why we have such a large scale security operation already in place."

He said urgent talks were taking place with police to ensure a visible police presence around synagogues and other Jewish community sites.

Earlier this week, the slogans "Jihad for Israel" and "Jihad the only solution for Palestine" were daubed on buildings.
Earlier this week, the slogans "Jihad for Israel" and "Jihad the only solution for Palestine" were daubed on buildings in Stamford Hill, Golders Green and Manchester, and outside the main entrance of Finchley Synagogue. Abusive messages were also left on the switchboard of the Board of Deputies.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 09:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [376 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  What is old is new again.

Time to put more racist pigs down.
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/03/2009 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Obvious Greenflag Op by the Masooooooooooood.
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 11:39 Comments || Top||

#3  They made their getaway on the tube? Asian hordes, after raiding and pillaging, ride triumphantly off on the train. Doesn't have a catchy ring to it. Why aren't the police going around and collecting up all these neer-do-wells. The Brits have cameras everywhere. Did they run out of film or something?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 01/03/2009 11:53 Comments || Top||

#4  More important is what are the Jews going to do. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if these demonstrators had weapons, there would have been a lot of dead Jews. Fair warning. Next time, the Jews had better be armed.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/03/2009 12:49 Comments || Top||

#5  Unfortunately for them this is the UK and not the US. That would happen once in my neighborhood.
Posted by: anymouse || 01/03/2009 13:15 Comments || Top||

#6  It's England, Anonymoose. Self-defence would unfairly impinge on the human rights of the attackers.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 13:24 Comments || Top||

#7  We may not take this too seriously, because it's Londonistan, but the group of around 300 towel heads in Ft. Lauderdale deliberately headed across a street toward a pro-Israel group of about 50. Police stopped them. Think they wanted to just congratulate the Israeli supporters on how polite they were conducing themselves? We are soon going to have trouble here too. It does flush them out exposing just how many of these dogs have sneaked in here. Troubling. Very troubling.
Posted by: Woozle Elmeter 2700 || 01/03/2009 13:30 Comments || Top||

#8  January 20th in D.C. should be very interesting.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/03/2009 13:53 Comments || Top||

#9  Is it just me, or does it seem that the average British cop is good for shit?
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/03/2009 14:27 Comments || Top||

#10  I detect a marketing opportunity for kosher pepper spray.
Posted by: Super Hose || 01/03/2009 15:11 Comments || Top||

Hamas counterattacks in France
Posted by: tipper || 01/03/2009 20:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [493 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That'll make the IDF back off.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/03/2009 21:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Competing with Car-B-Ques?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/03/2009 21:46 Comments || Top||

#3  The islamo-thugs are trying to intimidate the entire West. Gaza/Israel is just a front-line action. Paris, London and the other European capitals are rearguard actions. And they have the support of the Left.

Posted by: lotp || 01/03/2009 21:59 Comments || Top||

#4  Nothing like looting the neighborhood to show that you stand in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.
Posted by: Super Hose || 01/03/2009 23:36 Comments || Top||

Dutch MP calls for intifada
Dutch MP calls for intifada during demonstration. He is a memebre of the socialist party....
Posted by: Chereth Jinetch3041 || 01/03/2009 12:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [392 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What, no fatwa? Freakin' rookie mistake by the Nazi-wannabes.

For those who think the Dutch will eventually choose the right side on the WOT, recall this ole timely limmeric:

When god made the Irish
He didn't make much
But he sure made them better
Than the god-damned Dutch.
Posted by: regular joe || 01/03/2009 15:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Must be part of the peace movement.
Posted by: Super Hose || 01/03/2009 15:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Put him on the next Dignity boat to Gaza. I'm sure he wants to get down there as soon as possible to organize it, right?
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/03/2009 15:29 Comments || Top||

#4  good idea tu, i'm willing too chip in on his plane ticket
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 01/03/2009 15:38 Comments || Top||

#5  The YouTube commentators must be very angry. I can't understand a word they're posting.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 15:53 Comments || Top||

#6  I speak a little german so I understand a little, very little Dutch. And it seems most commenters tell that Hamas people are terrorists and sgould go to hell.
Posted by: JFM || 01/03/2009 16:58 Comments || Top||

#7  JFM,

/sarcasm :-)
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 17:09 Comments || Top||

#8  they're getting their intifada right now
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 01/03/2009 19:40 Comments || Top||

Naxalite IED attack foiled, one held
LUCKNOW: An informer-turned-naxalite, who had allegedly planned to blow up a culvert targeting police party on the Republic Day, has been arrested with an IED at Sonebhadra, police said on Saturday. The arrested Ram Vichar Chero was once a police informer who used to provide information about naxalites before he turned an outlaw himself, ADG (law and order) Brij Lal told in Lucknow.

At the time of arrest on Friday, Chero had an IED in his possession. He had specific plans to plant IEDs under two culverts on Kanach-Kanhaura road in Sonebhadra on January 26, to target police party on Republic Day duty.

According to the plan, Chero was supposed to inform police about presence of Naxalites in the area where the IEDs were planted and trigger them on their arrival, the ADG said. The insurgents had, earlier, planned to carry out attack on the night of December 30 and 31, but it was postponed to January 26, the ADG added.
Posted by: john frum || 01/03/2009 10:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [384 views] Top|| File under:

Drones are killing off Qaeeda 'senior management'
The top hierarchy of al-Qaeda has taken such a hit from US missile strikes that Osama bin Laden and his deputy have had to replace people in the terrorist organisation with men they have never met, according to Western intelligence sources.

A dozen of al-Qaeda's "senior management" have been killed by Predator drone attacks, which have been so effective in locating their targets that the militant group has been forced to move from traditional outdoor training camps to classroom-style facilities that are hidden from view.

After the success of the new weapons, which are unmanned and operate by remote control from 15,000 feet, the United States is to step up its drone attacks. On January 1 Hellfire missiles, operated from an air force base in Nevada, hit targets in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan, close to Afghanistan, and yesterday two missiles slammed into the stronghold where Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taleban leader, is believed to live.

The killings have had a huge impact on the structure, organisation and effectiveness of al-Qaeda, limiting the capacity for commanders to liaise with each other, further separating the top command from the lower ranks and introducing a high degree of uncertainty and a constant awareness of the likelihood of death lurking in the skies.

Bin Laden, al-Qaeda's figurehead leader and Ayman al-Zawahiri, his Egyptian deputy, have had to rely on the loyalty of their associates to stay alive and remain hidden from the American surveillance networks.

Predators, armed with Hellfire missiles and precision-guided penetration bombs, have already succeeded in targeting two individuals believed to have ranked number three in the al-Qaeda chain of command: Hamza Rabia and Abu Laith al-Libi. They have also killed Mohammed Atef, reputedly the chief of military operations, and several of the group's most experienced explosives and biological weapons specialists.

One of the consequences of the Predator attacks has been that al-Qaeda has had to give up its traditional terrorist training camps. Sending recruits out into the open to receive military-style jihadist instruction in combat and bomb-making has become too risky. "As soon as they are spotted, the Americans attack with Predators," a counter-terrorist source said. Now terrorist training in the tribal regions in Pakistan is carried out "in the classroom", less visible from the air and making it more difficult for the Americans to monitor the scale of the recruiting.

Communications between the top echelon and operatives is now restricted to human couriers. Mobile and satellite phones are never used by the core leaders because they know that American signals intelligence will be able to pinpoint individuals as soon as the devices are switched on.

Since the Americans acquired missile-armed Predators and the newer model, called Reaper, the CIA and Pentagon have focused on killing terrorist targets rather than monitoring and tracking the activities of suspected al-Qaeda figures. The killing option has led to an increasingly successful record.

Despite a number of attacks that led to civilian deaths, in more recent Predator missions -- particularly over the past four months -- the intelligence has been more accurate. In one mission in November a Predator strike on a compound in the village of Ali Khel in North Waziristan killed two of the most senior al-Qaeda operatives, Abu Zubair al-Masri, an Egyptian explosives expert, and Rashid Rauf, the British Pakistani who is alleged to have been linked to the Heathrow bomb plot of August 2006. There were claims that Rauf was not in the compound at the time, but counter-terror officials firmly believe that he was there and that he died.

The killing of al-Libi, reputed to be a number three in the al-Qaeda hierarchy, in January last year was one of the biggest blows for bin Laden and al-Zawahiri. He was head of the Libyan fighting group of al-Qaeda and was regarded as an important director. He was also a charismatic, respected religious figure and operational planner who could smooth the way for al-Qaeda in the tribal areas whenever there were confrontations between the terrorist leaders and their Pakistani hosts over the constant threat posed by the American Predators.

Another serious loss to al-Qaeda was that of Abu Abeda al-Masri, the head of external relations who died of natural causes after becoming ill with hepatitis. He was a significant loss in terms of the threat to the UK because his role was to train Britons.

Another key Predator victim was Abu Suleiman al-Jusayi (or al-Jazairi), an Algerian who was an al-Qaeda trainer and explosives specialist. He had been involved in a series of European terrorist networks. He was killed in the Bajaur tribal district of Pakistan in June.

One of the most sought-after American targets was Abu Kabbah al-Masri, al-Qaeda's most experienced biological weapons scientist. He was engaged in the chemical and biological trials that were uncovered in Afghanistan in 2001. He was known to be continuing his experiments in the tribal regions of Pakistan. He was tracked by the Americans and killed by a Hellfire missile in the second half of last year. Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, another poisons expert, is also believed to have been killed by the Americans in a Predator attack.

The only al-Qaeda commander to have been killed by other means in the past 12 months was Abu Ghadiyah, who was in charge of the production line of suicide bombers from Syria into Iraq. He died during a controversial US commando helicopter raid across the border from Iraq in October.
This article starring:
Abu Abeda al-Masrial-Qaeda
Abu Ghadiyahal-Qaeda
Abu Kabbah al-Masrial-Qaeda
Abu Laith al-Libial-Qaeda
Abu Suleiman al-Jusayial-Qaeda
Abu Zubair al-Masrial-Qaeda
Hamza Rabiaal-Qaeda
Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umaral-Qaeda
Mohammed Atefal-Qaeda
Rashid Raufal-Qaeda
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [480 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

#1  Hmmm. Tops dogs don't even really know who they're promoting anymore. At some point they might even promote somebody we know....
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/03/2009 0:08 Comments || Top||

#2  I was assured by my friends on the Left that the terrorists wanted us to respond with force because it made them stronger. That theory has to be revisted; sometimes killing the bad guys means fewer bad guys. In retrospect, that has to look sort of obvious.

To the modern liberal, all anti-American militants are the Viet Cong, and we are doomed to failure if we engage them militarily. This turns out to be untrue. Hmm.
Posted by: Baba Tutu || 01/03/2009 0:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Few things are more peaceful than a dead terrorist.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/03/2009 1:22 Comments || Top||


Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/03/2009 3:58 Comments || Top||

#5  "Come out, come out, wherever you are..."
Posted by: mojo || 01/03/2009 4:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Come on, who still believe bin laden is still alive?
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 01/03/2009 5:44 Comments || Top||

#7  Predators, armed with Hellfire missiles and precision-guided penetration bombs,

Are they using the Predator as a generic term here? Or is there a new really, really, small diamater bomb being used?
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 6:21 Comments || Top||

#8  already succeeded in targeting two individuals believed to have ranked number three in the al-Qaeda chain of command

Help Wanted:
Number 3
Must be able to learn responsibilities quickly, easily locate executive washroom when given key, efficiently locate and train new team members and groom them for early promotion. The ideal candidate will look on this job as an opportunity to make a big impact on the organization in a very short period of time before moving on to other opportunities. Benefits include heated cave with dramatic views on all sides, and an instant family comprised of silent, properly veiled wives and obedient children. Pay commensurate with experience.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 6:25 Comments || Top||

#9  Did you see that at wearemonsters.con?
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 6:34 Comments || Top||

#10  You can tell when they go after some bio weapons developer, because the hole left burns for hours and is really, really hot.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/03/2009 8:48 Comments || Top||

#11  So...when's the MSM going to start with the label 'Second Highest' to tag the next corpse? We went through that for what, maybe 6 months in Iraq?

"Ahmad, good news is that you get a promotion. The bad news is you're now 'Second Highest'. Your predecessor was fired [up]."
Posted by: Procopius2k || 01/03/2009 8:55 Comments || Top||

#12  Sri Lanka appears to be cleaning up their terrorism problem.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 9:39 Comments || Top||

#13  Yeah, I don't think they realize the difference between a reaper and a predator or any other drone.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 01/03/2009 10:16 Comments || Top||

#14  Until January 20th when Zero puts a stop to it. But I'm sure the new Secretary of Kumbaya will have a unique solution to the problem.
Posted by: DMFD || 01/03/2009 10:19 Comments || Top||

#15  Drones are killing off Qaeeda 'senior management'
Posted by: 3dc || 01/03/2009 11:13 Comments || Top||

#16  Since the Americans acquired missile-armed Predators and the newer model, called Reaper, the CIA and Pentagon have focused on killing terrorist targets rather than monitoring and tracking the activities of suspected al-Qaeda figures. The killing option has led to an increasingly successful record.

Well ..... doh!! Good to see the "killing option" (how can killing be considered just an "option" in war, esp. a war against murderous nutjobs?) back in vogue in some circles. Perhaps a step away from the "there is no military solution to military problems" lunacy that is shockingly widespread? And I'm referring to senior uniformed types, not idiot pundits or politicians.

All snark aside, that sentence about choosing attacks over surveillance makes little sense, since you can and must do both as part of an operation that leads to kaboom endings against the right mud hut.

Posted by: Verlaine || 01/03/2009 11:41 Comments || Top||

#17  Points at FredMan laffs, but hey it still works.

Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 11:43 Comments || Top||

#18  Nvr Mind...
2 lumps Pls.
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 11:44 Comments || Top||

#19  AMF
Posted by: Shalet and Tenille1168 || 01/03/2009 13:03 Comments || Top||

#20  A smart strategy for the new numbers 3,4 & 5 would be to roll on 1 and 2. After those two are gone this targeted killing op will be wrestling for funding with the manned Mars landing crew.
Posted by: Super Hose || 01/03/2009 15:22 Comments || Top||

#21  Disproportional Corpse.
Posted by: HammerHead || 01/03/2009 15:39 Comments || Top||

#22  "Disproportional Corpse."

True, HH - there aren't enough of them.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/03/2009 16:12 Comments || Top||

Police recover stolen Lal Masjid weapons
The capital police have recovered some of the weapons recently stolen from the armoury of the Aabpara Police Station, police said on Friday.

Islamabad SSP Ahmad Latif said the mastermind behind the theft was a police constable - Zahirudden Baber - adding the police had recovered four rifles, three pistols and a vehicle used during the theft.

The SSP said Baber confessed to stealing the weapons during investigation and also informed the police about his accomplices - Bacha Hussain and Abid Rahman.

Babar told reporters an arms dealer, Imran, had suggested he steal the weapons recovered during the 2007 Lal Masjid operation. "I sold the arms for over Rs 300,000 to Imran," Baber said.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [391 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  ... and 11 bullets; it was a real haul!
Posted by: Odysseus || 01/03/2009 12:17 Comments || Top||

Tribal elder shot dead in Bajaur
Unidentified gunmen on Friday killed an elder of the Mamoond tribe in Kalan village of Bajaur Agency. Malik Stana Khan, 46, was shot dead when he was on his way to Kalan, a political administration official said. Khan was killed instantly. Authorities cordoned off the area and launched a search operation for arresting the gunmen.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [360 views] Top|| File under: TTP

Taliban impose sharia in Hangu
Taliban announced the enforcement of sharia in the Shakai, Sheikhan and Mulakhel areas of Hangu district in the NWFP on Friday. The decision was made in a jirga and announced in mosques during the Friday sermons, and comes days after a similar decree in the bordering Orakzai Agency.

Women have been stopped from visiting bazaars, other than for medical treatment, and that too only if they are accompanied by an elderly male relative. TV, CDs and video centres have been banned.

Sources in the area said the Taliban had been using loudspeakers installed in mosques to ask people to bring their issues to the 'Taliban Islamic courts' to resolve them in accordance with Islamic law. The Taliban also blackened the faces of three men and paraded them on donkeys in the area for alleged immorality, the sources said, but it was not clear when the incident took place.

Last week, Taliban had made a similar announcement of enforcement of sharia on 16 of Orakzai Agency's 21 tribes. They had set up complaint cells in Ghiljo and Kandi Mishti areas of Upper Orakzai and Mamoozai and Feroze Khel areas of Lower Orakzai.

Hangu borders Orakzai Agency in the north and Kurram Agency in the West. It shares its southern border with North Waziristan. NWFP's Kohat and Karak districts lie to the east of Hangu.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [393 views] Top|| File under: TTP

Pakistani forces reopen key NATO supply route
Pakistani security forces partially reopened a key northwest supply route for Western troops in Afghanistan Friday, three days after shutting it to drive militants from the area, officials said. Security forces backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy artillery on Tuesday launched the operation in the rugged Khyber tribal area near Jamrud, the gateway to the famed Khyber Pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The offensive, prompted by a series of attacks on truck depots in and around the city of Peshawar that saw hundreds of NATO vehicles torched, forced the closure of the highway from Peshawar to the Afghan border town of Torkham.

The highway was reopened only from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. when authorities relaxed the curfew in force in Jamrud, the administrator of the Khyber tribal area, Tariq Hayat, told a news conference.

"The road is clear and more secure now - all type of vehicles are using the road and NATO supplies also resumed," another local administration official, Rahat Gul, told reporters.

The officials said it would again be open only during the curfew break on Saturday.

Hayat said the military operation was ongoing, but predicted that the situation would "return to normal in one or two days."

The bulk of the supplies and equipment required by NATO and US-led forces battling the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is shipped to Pakistan's largest port, Karachi, in the south. From there, the containers of food, fuel, vehicles and munitions are taken by truck to depots outside Peshawar before being transported to Afghanistan via the Khyber Pass.

But the fabled road passes through the heart of Pakistan's lawless tribal zone, where militants sought refuge after Afghanistan's hard-line Taliban regime was ousted in a US-led invasion at the end of 2001.

Beyond the looting and torching of NATO trucks, Pakistan's military is also trying to put a stop to a spate of kidnappings for ransom in the border area. "Militant camps and support centers are still being targeted," Hayat said. "The troops will stay in Jamrud until the objectives are achieved."

So far, more than 200 people had so far been detained in the operation, he said.

Authorities displayed a large quantity of arms and ammunition seized since the offensive began, including light machine guns, grenades and thousands of bullets. Hayat said rocket batteries had also been recovered. Food items stolen from NATO supply trucks were retrieved from militant hideouts, as were "provocative" leaflets from Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, he said.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [361 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan

50 kg of heroin seized on Iraqi-Syrian borders
Aswat al-Iraq: Fifty kilograms of heroin that were supposed to be smuggled in a car from Iraq to Syria were seized at Rabiea border point, the director general of the point said on Friday. "The heroin was hidden in a BMW car," Brig. Khalaf Hussein al-Juburi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. "One-hundred bags of heroin, each weighing 500 grams, were seized inside the vehicle," he said. "The operation took place based on intelligence tip-offs," he added.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [382 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  Not huge, but still a significant bunch of heroin. I wonder how it got into Iraq in the first place. Via Iran from A'stan?
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/03/2009 0:28 Comments || Top||

#2  "Via Iran from A'stan?"

Or via Iran from P'stan. While a lot of the poppies are now grown in Afghanistan most of the heroin processing is done in Pakistan. While it could be shipped back to Afghanistan, it could also be going direct through Iran and onwards.
Posted by: crosspatch || 01/03/2009 1:00 Comments || Top||

#3  yeah it's probably karachis biggest export besides terrorist
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 01/03/2009 9:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Those NATO supply trucks are not making empty turnarounds.
Posted by: Skunky Glins 5*** || 01/03/2009 15:18 Comments || Top||

6 long-range rockets seized in Wassit
Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi security forces seized six long-range rockets that were hidden underground at an area northeast of al-Kut city, a security source from Wassit province said on Friday. "The rockets were found at al-Sada al-Witriya area, 150 km northeast of Kut," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. "The operation was conducted based on intelligence tip-offs," he said. He pointed out that the rockets are "newly made," not giving further details.

Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  Iran must have that rocket factory going 24/7 considering how many they are spreading around right now.
Posted by: tipover || 01/03/2009 0:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah... it'll be a shame is something were to happen to their rocket factory.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/03/2009 0:48 Comments || Top||

#3  I have some targeting coordinates for our agents in Operation Lemony Snickett ...
Posted by: Steve White || 01/03/2009 1:25 Comments || Top||

#4  This posting has the same by-line as the 50 kg. of heroin seized at the the Syrian crossing--is this an established smuggling route from Iran?
Posted by: Danielle || 01/03/2009 14:37 Comments || Top||

#5  That's ok, Steve. I'm sure the target coordinates have been cranked into a Tomahawk several years ago, and haven't been removed. I just wish someone had the testicular fortitude to actually USE them.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 01/03/2009 14:39 Comments || Top||

Iraq suicide bomber kills 23 at tribal lunch
BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber struck a lunch gathering of Sunni Arab tribal leaders on Friday in a town south of Baghdad, killing at least 23 people and wounding 42 others, security spokesman Major-General Qassim Moussawi said. The U.S. military said its initial reports said 21 were killed and 44 were wounded. An Iraqi security source said as many as 30 people died and more than 100 were hurt.

Moussawi said Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Salih, a leader of the Sunni al-Qaraghouli tribe, hosted the lunch for tribal leaders at his home. The bomber, a relative of the host named Amin al-Qaraghouli, entered through the rear gate of the house and blew himself among the guests, Moussawi said. The sheikh was among the wounded.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [423 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Told you Kosher pickles are unappropriate.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/03/2009 6:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I hate getting stuck with the bill.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 13:34 Comments || Top||

10 suspects nabbed in Diyala
Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi army forces arrested 10 suspected members of al-Qaeda network in northern Baaquba city on Friday, a military source said.

"Army forces started an operation in the area of al-Nada, (10 km) southern Mandili, capturing 10 suspected members of al-Qaeda organization on charges of involvement in acts of violence and planting improvised explosive devices in the area," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

The district of Mandili lies 55 km northeast of Baaquba. "The detainees are under investigative custody now," the source said, not giving more details about the operation.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [377 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

Hams begins executing Fatah supporters
Fatah officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Hamas militiamen had been assaulting many Fatah activists since the beginning of the operation last Saturday. They said at least 75 activists were shot in the legs while others had their hands broken.

Wisam Abu Jalhoum, a Fatah activist from the Jabalya refugee camp, was shot in the legs by Hamas militiamen for allegedly expressing joy over the IDF air strikes on Hamas targets.

"Hamas is very nervous, because they feel that their end is nearing," a senior Fatah official said. "They have been waging a brutal campaign against Fatah members in the Gaza Strip."

Meanwhile, sources close to Hamas revealed over the weekend that the movement had "executed" more than 35 Palestinians who were suspected of collaborating with Israel and were being held in various Hamas security installations.
Posted by: mhw || 01/03/2009 20:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [613 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They have been watching too much Blazing Saddles?
Posted by: 3dc || 01/03/2009 20:46 Comments || Top||

#2  "[...]Fatah official said. "They have been waging a brutal campaign against Fatah members in the Gaza Strip."

Cry me a river, idiot.

Hamas kills Fatah and Israel kills Hamas. I will take 36 month financing with that deal.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 20:53 Comments || Top||

Dozens of Hamas fighters killed as IDF infantry and tanks enter Gaza
Dozens of Hamas fighters were killed by IDF infantrymen. The army issued no official statement confirming the report. Channel 2 reported that the Navy was imposing a blockade on the water near Gaza to prevent Hamas from receiving assistance through Gaza's coastline.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 16:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [603 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  the SS Indigity McKinney is blocked? Oh noes!
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 16:26 Comments || Top||

#2  "Remember that you must return with both ears, or something of equivalent duality, or it will not count to your bonus."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/03/2009 16:41 Comments || Top||

#3  A different kind of Austrian - Arnold Schwarzenegger:

“This past year, we have seen far too much violence throughout the world, from the continued genocide of the people in southern Sudan to the horrible bombings in the city of Mumbai, to this week’s violence between Hamas and Israel.

“Every nation has the right to defend itself against terrorism and cold-blooded attacks on its people. Israel is no different and is right to defend itself against the unceasing violence of rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

“The goal should be just and lasting peace not only in Gaza but throughout the world, and all sides have the choice and ability to reject violence and work toward that goal.

“My thoughts are with all of those who face senseless violence and with all Californians who are affected by conflicts throughout the world.”

/HT to IsraellyCool
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 16:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Doens of Hamas terrorists (not fighters, terrorist) are no longer producing CO2 and contributing to gloval warming.

Tell this to the nearest leftista dn tell him to be happy.
Posted by: JFM || 01/03/2009 17:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't miss this opportunity to meke a leftist happy: tell him that dozens of terrorists no longer contribute to global warming. Then give him candy.
Posted by: JFM || 01/03/2009 17:33 Comments || Top||

#6  from the Muquta blog:

12:56 AM Arab media sources report massive naval invasions from the Gazan coast in multiple locations, of IDF soldiers.
Posted by: 3dc || 01/03/2009 18:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Wake the Hamas Navy up! Inflate the boats! Charge! (Paddles? Where's the paddles?)
Posted by: Muggsy Glink || 01/03/2009 18:51 Comments || Top||

#8  The HamAss people will have their assess handed to them...where's my hankie, no wait the champagne.
Posted by: HammerHead || 01/03/2009 19:28 Comments || Top||

#9  GO IDF kill the hell out of them
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 01/03/2009 19:39 Comments || Top||

#10  Photobucket
Posted by: Sonny Ebbeamp1305 || 01/03/2009 20:06 Comments || Top||

#11  Go with God, O Wolves of the IDF! The Lions of Islam haven't a chance against you.

I really love the flag, Sonny Ebbeamp1305. About bloody time.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 20:25 Comments || Top||

#12  tw, what does the flag say in English? "Don't tread on me"?
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 01/03/2009 22:20 Comments || Top||

#13  Oh the bravery.. so this blockade is different from the one that was already imposed before this entire human disgrace started.. the Assraeli faggots will scurry back home after they've killed enough women and children to satisfy their blood thirst.
Posted by: Psion Cow || 01/03/2009 22:44 Comments || Top||

#14  Sacred Cow,

I think they will stick around this time, until all the women and children are killed.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 22:51 Comments || Top||

#15  Speaking of sacred cow I had some nice kimchi beef tonight while watching the attack on TV and the Internet.

But back to bases.
First not being Jewish it's not my beef but I seem to recall that faggotry is something more associated with "the Arab way".

Second, Israel should be praised for making lots of "GOOD JIHADISTS" tonight because as we in the the US learned after 911 the ONLY GOOD JIHADISTS IS A DEAD ONE.

As to a Human Disgrace ... I think Islam has that pretty well covered for the rest of the human race.

Time to sip my amaretto and toast the IDF!

Posted by: 3dc || 01/03/2009 23:00 Comments || Top||

#16  The Israelis may go home, but the Gazans will not have homes to go to... and Egypt will no longer sell them the means to rebuild nor allow them to flee for safety beyond the border. Remember that the Egyptian army has shot at those who tried in the last few days? It seems they are still angry about the last time Gazans broke through the fence, spreading violence and forged money everywhere they went.

Gaza has no friends left, Psion Cow/troll, except a few rioters here and there, who can make no difference.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 23:01 Comments || Top||

#17  tw, what does the flag say in English? "Don't tread on me"?

I do believe so, Rambler dear. The grammar feels right, even though I'm not near a dictionary to check the vocabulary. I just wish I could remember whether it was an ayin or an aleph that began the last word. *sigh* if only I were a language prodigy instead of only slightly gifted.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 23:07 Comments || Top||

The start of the ground offensive? IDF artillery opens up
For the first time since the operation in Gaza got underway, IDF artillery cannons started to shell targets in the Strip.

IDF artillery cannons began pounding the eastern sector of the Gaza Strip around 4 pm Saturday. Ynet correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai reported that portable artillery batteries are engaging in a heavy bombardment of the area. This is the first time in three years that the IDF has fired artillery shells at Gaza targets.

Most shells are landing in what the Palestinians characterize as the "security zone" adjacent to the Gaza Strip fence. The IDF is targeting rocket launching sites in Jabaliya, Khan Younis, and Beit Hanoun.

Palestinian witnesses said the barrage caused a large explosion in Gaza City. Later, Palestinian sources reported that at least 10 people were killed and dozens injured in a blast in a Beit Lahiya mosque in the northern Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Air Force aircraft continued to drop leaflets in Gaza, calling on residents to leave their homes in order to avoid injury. The leaflets dropped Saturday read: "Area resident, as result of the acts undertaken by terror activists in your area against Israel, the IDF is forced to respond immediately and operate in this area. For your own safety, you are asked to leave the area immediately."

Earlier Saturday, the Air Force attacked a vehicle in Khan Younis carrying Hamas officer Muhammad Maaruf and another group member. The two were reportedly killed in the strike. Saturday morning, a senior Hamas commander was assassinated.
This article starring:
Muhammad Maaruf
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 11:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [540 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Artillery heh? Not so much door knockery now maybe.

Abu.... ye got 12 8 2 nvr mnd.
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 11:47 Comments || Top||

#2  you are asked to leave the area immediately...

Rush the Egyptian fence? Not many places to go..
Posted by: 3dc || 01/03/2009 12:26 Comments || Top||

#3  They can always head to the beach and go for a swim....
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 01/03/2009 12:39 Comments || Top||

#4  I just hope they don't go in. Fighting in urban areas against "civilians" is a no win situation.. The only time it works, is if you are prepared to do a Hama and I don't think the Israelis are that blood thirsty.
Posted by: tipper || 01/03/2009 12:40 Comments || Top||

#5  This is hilarious. Hamas set up a bunch of ground defensive positions to ambush the Israeli ground offensive, not imagining that they would initiate with artillery fires.

I bet this is also making Hezbollah poop its drawers as well, because they had the same idea in Lebanon.

There is nothing like skilled, well coordinated artillery fires to totally mess up you day.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/03/2009 12:46 Comments || Top||

#6  How far can Israeli artillery reach?
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 13:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Standard field artillery has an effective range of what, twelve miles? The Strip is no more than ten miles wide at any spot.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 01/03/2009 13:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Can't wait to watch some Ass-raeli talmud tail being kicked in a ground offensive back to their Beersheeba bitches.
Posted by: Observer || 01/03/2009 13:36 Comments || Top||

#9  Fox is now reporting "reports" of troops crossing the border.
Posted by: crosspatch || 01/03/2009 13:42 Comments || Top||

#10  IIRC, 155s should have a range of at least 24 km.
Posted by: Minister of funny walks || 01/03/2009 13:43 Comments || Top||

#11  Well, I certainly hope they make the best of it. They've essentially got 2 weeks before the Obamessiah starts posturing, arm twisting and threatening (behind the scenes diplocatic US military aid pressure). Diehard Democratic pro-Obama Jewish communities here in the US please take note of your November 4th, 2008 decisions.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/03/2009 13:47 Comments || Top||

#12  The Israeli artillery can hit anywhere in Gaza at will.

And the troops are going in. God go with you, guys.
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/03/2009 14:03 Comments || Top||

#13  The IDF claims their goal is to take control of the border areas of Gaza to deny Hamas areas from which to launch rockets, so looks more like an incursion rather than an invasion.
Posted by: tipper || 01/03/2009 14:10 Comments || Top||

#14  Do enjoy your wait, Observer. No doubt it will be a long one, and at the end you will declare victory entirely unrelated to actual events, just like you did after the second invasion of Lebanon and the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 14:15 Comments || Top||

#15  "Can't wait to watch some Ass-raeli talmud tail being kicked in a ground offensive back to their Beersheeba bitches."

heh-heh-heh, ha-ha-ha, ho-ho-ho
yeah, asserver, that's gonna happen.
Better stick to whining about Israel's "disproportionate response".
So far, Israel ain't dropped the ball once and the fact that they're willing to bomb Mosques means that the human shield bullshit ain't gonna work either.
It's popcorn time!
Posted by: Goober Omaviper6933 || 01/03/2009 14:19 Comments || Top||

#16  "Diehard Democratic... communities here in the US please take note of your November 4th, 2008 decisions".


I'm more concerned Obama will be poll driven like his Dem predecessors. Polls suggest more than 2/3rd of Obama's constituency think Israel should still be jabbering rather than resorting to principles of self-defense.
Posted by: MarkZ || 01/03/2009 14:33 Comments || Top||

#17  The Israelis had 24 175mm cannon and shells for them in 1974. They have an effective range of about 40km. They can park them in Beersheba and put rounds into Gaza City. I don't know if they have any currently active, though.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 01/03/2009 14:44 Comments || Top||

#18  The IDF claims their goal is to take control of the border areas of Gaza to deny Hamas areas from which to launch rockets, so looks more like an incursion rather than an invasion.

It's been suggested here before at Rantburg. The IDF should grab some Gaza territory and keep it. Then tell Hamas, and Observer and Ariel Sharon too (love is all you need, guys), that if the rockets don't stop more territory will be grabbed. Tell them they can have some of it back if they remove that part of their charter that calls for the destruction of Israel. Rinse and repeat until there is no more Gaza and no more Hamas left. Any bets on whether Hamas will be firing missiles from the beach before the D9s push them into the Med?

Posted by: Abu Uluque || 01/03/2009 14:44 Comments || Top||

#19  There is nothing like skilled, well coordinated artillery fires to totally mess up you day.


Somebody had to say it and OP doesn't seem to be around.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/03/2009 14:49 Comments || Top||

#20  You forgot:
clank clank clank
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 14:57 Comments || Top||

#21  Game on!
Posted by: Wolverine || 01/03/2009 15:06 Comments || Top||

#22  Arclight is bombers (buff-loads to be precise).

Field Artillery is still the King of Battle.
Posted by: OldSpook || 01/03/2009 15:08 Comments || Top||

#23  Muqata is a good source of info as is IsraellyCool

A prayer for the IDF soldiers:
English Translation:

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Force, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

May Hashem cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighting men from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor. May He lead our enemies under their sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is Hashem, your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you. Now let us respond: Amen.
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 15:08 Comments || Top||

#24  Since Gazens are tunnel rats.... Likely tunnels in more places than the Egyptian border, the troops should remember to watch in all directions all the time. Also, flooding tunnels works well... So do skunks and snakes dropped into tunnels.
Posted by: 3dc || 01/03/2009 15:17 Comments || Top||

#25  "Area resident, as result of the acts undertaken by terror activists in your area against Israel, the IDF is forced to respond immediately and operate in this area. For your own safety, you are asked to leave the area immediately."

I like the use of the word, area. The semantic war also needs to be won.

Occupation=all of Israel
Area=all of Gaza (get out while you can)
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 15:18 Comments || Top||

#26  FWIW I think the Israeli objective is to get Hamas on the move and kill as many operatives as possible, while getting the bulk to 'desert'. Fatah can then stage a counter-coup and do the wet work.

We shall see.
Posted by: phil_b || 01/03/2009 15:36 Comments || Top||

#27  tipper if they never go in this shit will never end it will always be atit for tat. As far as i'm concerned when they put the kiddies in hamas style fatigues and the women want too blow themsleves up among the pigs and apes they are no longer civilians
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 01/03/2009 15:41 Comments || Top||

#28  #23 Frank G - I ain't Jewish (or Christian, either) but I join our Israeli friends in saying that prayer with great meaning.

Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/03/2009 16:02 Comments || Top||

#29  I'm Catholic :-)
so I had to get the translation
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 16:05 Comments || Top||

#30  The tanks are rolling through Gaza.
Posted by: Darrell || 01/03/2009 16:21 Comments || Top||

#31  Gazens keep shooting toward the Western Negev communities. (What's the target?)
Posted by: 3dc || 01/03/2009 16:23 Comments || Top||

#32  Bless the IDF - may they be smart, agile, and accurate.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 01/03/2009 16:35 Comments || Top||

#33  The Israeli's used the 175mm to great effect in the siege of Beirut. I also believe they have some of the 8" howitzers that fires a 200lb shell. With either, tunnel=grave.
Posted by: A_Rovian_Desciple || 01/03/2009 16:48 Comments || Top||

#34  #32
I'll trade accurate for high lethality and PK in that prayer.
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 01/03/2009 18:27 Comments || Top||

#35  Just what I needed, Frank. Thank you.

Translation note: Hashem literally means the name, ie the name of God, ie God. Amen, as I recall (Hebrew school was many, many years ago) translates as so be it, or so mote it be.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 20:41 Comments || Top||

#36  pleased to comfort, TW. I'm there with our Jewish allies under siege. As a Catholic, it is my duty and privilege.
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 21:40 Comments || Top||

#37  AU - Let's see if I got this straight from you fags.. (1) Grab more Paleo land (2) build settlements on grabbed land (3) convince downtrodden ruskie juice to move to promised land in said settlements (4) evicted Paleos fire rockets at thieving born-again juice (5) Israel Defense Fags kill women and children (6) Goto Step (1).. does that sound about right?
Posted by: Yawlad Metnaka || 01/03/2009 23:12 Comments || Top||

#38  Trailer Park Wife - God has nothing to do with these talmud thumping degenerates
Posted by: Yawlad Metnaka || 01/03/2009 23:16 Comments || Top||

#39  FG - your duty and privilege is to bend over and take in an Ehud with a little side Olmert deep while you salute the david star in beersheeba.
Posted by: Yawlad Metnaka || 01/03/2009 23:20 Comments || Top||

#40  Yawlitosis,

I wish you'd show up earlier. I'm watching a football game. IDF vs. Hamas, sudden death OT.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 23:26 Comments || Top||

#41  "Let's see if I got this straight from you fags. people who disagree with me. (1) Grab Kill more Paleo terrorists land (2) build settlements on grabbed land (3) convince downtrodden ruskie juice to move to promised land in said settlements (4) evicted Surviving Paleos fire rockets at thieving born-again juice Israeli kindergartens (5) Israel Defense Paleo Fags kill women and children (6) Goto Step (1).. does that sound about right?"

Pretty much, YM. Though calling even the paleos "fags" is rude (not necessarily incorrect, but rude).

Perhaps you could explain about getting juice from Russia, though. I doubt they can grow oranges (or other sub-tropical and tropical fruits) that far north, and anyway Israel grows its own.

As could the paleos if they weren't too busy murdering Jews.

But thanks for playing, and I'm sure Fred and the mods have some lovely parting gifts for you. Like a kick in the ass - though that would probably give you even more brain damage.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/03/2009 23:28 Comments || Top||

#42  Not quite, Mr. Metnaka. More like:

1. Jews buy land in good faith from Arab landowners.

2. Arabs attempt unsuccessfully to steal the land back; some get killed in the process.

3. Arabs gather five British-trained armies in unsuccessful attempt to drive the Jews out; many get killed in the process, Arabs demand hudna, which foreign press translate incorrectly as cease fire.

4. Repeat several times, each spectacularly unsuccessful, each resulting in the Jews -- now with their own country called Israel -- conquering more Arab land, for which the Arabs paid in many deaths and much destruction in their remaining territory.

5. Prove to Israel and the world that the Palestinians can neither be bought nor bargained with, but that they will continue to murder Israelis so long as the Palestinians live. Prove to the world that the Palestinians are as rabid dogs, unsafe to have in the neighborhood. Then watch as Israel realizes they may not have an ally in the White House for very much longer.

6. I'm sorry, but there will be no repeat for the Gazans. Hopefully those in the West Bank will have learnt the lesson well. Else sooner or later Step 5 will be repeated on their side of the line.

Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 23:32 Comments || Top||

#43  "6. I'm sorry, but there will be no repeat for the Gazans. Hopefully those in the West Bank will have learnt the lesson well. Else sooner or later Step 5 will be repeated on their side of the line.


TW, can I hope in this particular case "shalom" translates as "FOAD"? ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/03/2009 23:36 Comments || Top||

#44  But surely, Mr. Metnaka, you can come up with something better than "Trailer Park Wife". Even that sad little Saudi boy waxed eloquent over my armpit hair, although he was a bit confused about the kind of chemistry my father taught at university. But then, the Saudi boy had something remotely resembling a proper education, which gave him a bit of an advantage over you. As for that other other attempt, you really shouldn't display your ignorance like that to those who actually know what you fancy you're talking about.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 23:37 Comments || Top||

#45  Barbara dear, you know I would never curse under such circumstances. The recipient must have earnt such language, and poor Mr. Metnaka isn't capable of getting close.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 23:39 Comments || Top||

#46  That's OK, tw - you know I'll be glad to do it for you.

I think you're going to have to re-sharpen your shiv knife - such a thorough carving up of Mr. YM undoubtedly dulled it a little. ;-p

(But not nearly as dull as he is.)
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/03/2009 23:52 Comments || Top||

Air strike kills Hamas leader
AN Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip killed a senior commander of Hamas's armed wing, the Islamist group said today. A week after Israel launched devastating air strikes against the Palestinian enclave with the declared aim of ending Hamas rocket attacks on its southern towns, an end to hostilities remains elusive despite international diplomatic efforts.

The overnight air strike in Gaza killed Abu Zakaria al-Jamal, a senior leader of Hamas's armed wing, the Islamist group said. The Israeli army said only that it carried out a series of air attacks throughout the night.

On Thursday, an Israeli air strike killed another Hamas leader, Nizar Rayyan. Most of Hamas's top officials have gone into hiding, anticipating assassination attempts by Israel.
This article starring:
Abu Zakaria al-Jamal
Nizar Rayyan
Posted by: tipper || 01/03/2009 01:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [363 views] Top|| File under:

#1  poke your pointed lil head up and it gets whacked. Make it a macro, IAF!
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 8:46 Comments || Top||

#2  The pizza IDF site is working.

Enjoy, ladies and gentlemen! ;)

(And for the usual trolls that will check this thread out later....you could send one to a family in Sderot who is caught in the middle of all this if you were serious about "peace".....just a thought.)
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 01/03/2009 9:14 Comments || Top||

#3  from a comment at AOSHQ, apparently from Ynet:

Abu Zakaria Al-Jamal's house was bombed in one of the airstrikes. According to the IDF, his job was to direct the firing of rockets and was in charge of rocket launching cells.

The house of Ismail Ghanem, a member of Hamas' military wing, was bombed in the town of Beit Lahiya. According to the IDF, Ghanem is one of the main people responsible for the firing of Grad rockets at Israel.

The IAF also bombed the house of Izz al-Din Haddad, head of Hamas' military wing in the eastern part of Gaza city, and the car of a Hamas activist who according to the IDF was unloading weapons from his car to a Gaza storehouse. Navy forces attacked Hamas posts, training camps and rocket launching pads.
Posted by: Frank G || 01/03/2009 9:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Cell phones... why do they hate us? Wahahhaha
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/03/2009 9:58 Comments || Top||

#5  I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting itchy for the ground game in Gaza. Sounds like Hamas is going to try to stand and fight as soldiers. What a glorious destruction that would.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 01/03/2009 11:47 Comments || Top||

#6  Cornsilk - Pizza IDF, perhaps my favorite website for in the weird, cool, only-in-the-internet-era category.

I still laugh when I recall the comment left there by one pizza donor (this must have been sometime during the first Dubya administration): "consider these pizzas a small down payment compensating for the behavior of Colin Powell". Hilarious.

Generally though the comments there are of the nice but strictly serious variety ("the Rothstein family sends its prayers for your safety and thanks for defending us all" blah blah blah).
Posted by: Verlaine || 01/03/2009 11:49 Comments || Top||

#7  any word on ducks or unicorns killed
Posted by: macofromoc || 01/03/2009 12:01 Comments || Top||

#8  Verlaine, that's classic! Will have to keep it in mind for the next time....
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 01/03/2009 12:35 Comments || Top||

#9  "[...]was in charge of rocket launching cells."

Terrorist or non-terrorist, middle management always gets the ax.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/03/2009 13:32 Comments || Top||

Israeli land attack rebuffed: Hamas
THE armed wing of Hamas says its fighters have repelled a patrol of Israeli special forces troops trying to cross the border into the Gaza Strip. A spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades told AFP on Saturday that fighters spotted an unspecified number of special forces trying to enter the Shijaiyah border neighbourhood of eastern Gaza City at around 1am on Saturday (1000 AEDT).

He said the fighters fired six mortar rounds at the Israelis, who returned fire with small arms and retreated. He said there were no casualties.

An army spokesman could not immediately comment on the claim.
Posted by: tipper || 01/03/2009 00:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [421 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The self defense argument is patently false. You come into my f*cking living room, and lay your f*cking bed, invite your f*cking unsuspecting ruskie cousins to stay and then when I try to kick you the f*ck out, you cry "self defense". f*ck you all and your f*cked up logic. f*ck you.
Posted by: Ariel Sharon || 01/03/2009 1:42 Comments || Top||

#2  They were probably just moving the tanks around to keep the terrorists from sleeping. Big deal. Leave it to their propagandists to turn it into some kind of victory, because that's the only way they're going to get one.
Posted by: gorb || 01/03/2009 2:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Sounds like you're talking about Israel with that Ruskie cousins' bit but you name yourself Ariel Sharon, what gives?

It becomes unclear whos living room it is when the area was part of the Ottoman empire and they allowed the initial zionists to move in and buy land. IT becomes unclear whos living room it is when the British owned that neighborhood for some time afterwards. IT becomes clear whos living room it is when the UN decided that it belonged to both Israeli and Arabs.

If you want to go back to before the Ottomans the Jews have the older claim to the land. Otherwise the land ownership is clear through a few generations and it is only an Arab living room in the delusional Arab mind that continues to include Andalusia.

When one side pledges to slaughter the other and follows through on those promises in attempt after attempt after attempt than self-defense is indeed the correct term for it.

Perhaps a bit less emotion and a bit more logic.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/03/2009 2:42 Comments || Top||

#4  The real story in all likelihood:
A stray dog, an escapee from an Israeli kennel, wandered across the fence and heroic Hamas freedom-fighters fired 26 RPGs, 12,400 7.62 rounds, and an SA-14 SAM toward it. The frightened dog then retreated back to Israel so quickly that even the BBC and Reuters couldn't get there quickly enough to cover the event. One Hamasnik was killed by a badly aimed RPG and three others shit their pants.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 01/03/2009 3:29 Comments || Top||

#5  What gives? How is that fat f*ck anyway? it seems y'all here is up on the news and know a little bit of history. So y'all saying Paleos were actually Turks before they became land selling Arabs who then got kicked out of their f*cking living room by the Poles and Ruskies? F*ck me - now I'm f*cking confounded. And the UN, that f*cking fag organization, the same one the same Poles and Ruskies pi*s and sh*t on since, what was that, 1948, while their juice co*k is being su*ked on by their G.I Joe big bro. Fu*k you 16 times, fu*cking F16s.
Posted by: Ariel Sharon || 01/03/2009 4:10 Comments || Top||

#6  Could anyone clean garbage in aisles 1 and 5? I don't care about his side. He uses too much five letter words and this is a family site (sort of).
Posted by: JFM || 01/03/2009 4:33 Comments || Top||

#7  AC, your story kinda reminds me of translations we had to do in my old (commie) country on a daily basis.

Yes, it is kinda convenient, an old trick I do not have to learn. But the funny part is I escaped from it, and it is almost as if it was only for a short while (I don't mean Ham-ass PR, I mean media in general, Rooters, AP... without their cooperation, the Hamas/Fatah/AQ/MBPACs would be nothing)
Posted by: Spike Uniter || 01/03/2009 4:52 Comments || Top||

#8  JFM, apparently the #1/5 is an asshole, which seems to limit its perspective on things--everything is passed through prism of its experience and function.
Posted by: Spike Uniter || 01/03/2009 4:55 Comments || Top||

#9  You should keep the troll droppings.

It shows that
a) the left are mad.
b) they always support the west's enemies.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 01/03/2009 5:37 Comments || Top||

#10  Yeah, I'm an asshole, I'm also bloody comatose. I'm at least not a myopic juice d*ck loving evangelical hellulja moron. Oh and how's that 401(k) doing btw? keep flapping your blabber mouth while your greenback gets ass-b*nged from here to 2011, pretty soon you'll be paid in new shiqels for that bl0wjob.
Posted by: Ar1el Shar0n || 01/03/2009 5:54 Comments || Top||

#11  AS I think the subject is "Hamas repells invasion" not whatever you are selling. BTW nobody seems to address the issue that hamass has both mortar and missile capabilities. These are in violation of the (can't count that high) un sponsored "cease fire" agreements. Also they managed to get the material in spite of the "Harsh" Israeli "Blockade" that prevents food, medicine, and ponies to get through to gazaland.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 01/03/2009 6:14 Comments || Top||

#12  #1 and 5 were somewhat amusing, but #10 had no style....
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 01/03/2009 6:25 Comments || Top||

#13  Get 'em Scooter!
Posted by: .5MT || 01/03/2009 6:47 Comments || Top||

#14  A surprising number of Rantburgers share your experience, Spike Uniter. I'm glad y'all made it out to enrich our part of the world.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/03/2009 6:59 Comments || Top||

#15  Bring out yer trolls... Bring out yer trolls...

Here at Rantburg, we always enjoy welcoming new people to suck it make speaks with.
Posted by: Mike N. || 01/03/2009 10:00 Comments || Top||

#16  Plus ir gives me an opportunity to showcase my html skillz.
Posted by: Mike N. || 01/03/2009 10:02 Comments || Top||

#17  I think the dog theory is the more accurate one.
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/03/2009 10:34 Comments || Top||

#18  Perhaps a bit less emotion and a bit more logic.

That's an awfully tall order for these people.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 01/03/2009 14:56 Comments || Top||

Israel set to begin ground war against Hamas in Gaza
Israel is poised to launch a major ground offensive into Gaza tonight after allowing hundreds of foreigners living in the devastated territory to evacuate.

After a week of air strikes that have killed at least 420 Palestinians and left scores of buildings in rubble, the Israeli army was set to fling hundreds of troops and tanks into a blitz to stamp out Hamas's military wing, The Times understands.

Despite the looming onslaught, more Hamas rockets -- which have so far killed four Israelis -- were fired into southern Israel today.

The Islamist group vowed that its attacks, which have lasted for years and which finally provoked the massive Israeli campaign, would not stop. "I call on the resistance to continue pounding Jewish settlements and cities," said Sheikh Abdelrahman al-Jamal at the funeral of a hardline Hamas political leader killed, together with his four wives and 11 children, in an Israeli air strike on his home.

"We will remain on the path of jihad until the end of days."

The funeral was held outdoors because an earlier air raid had smashed the mosque where the service was due to take place. Israel said the building had been used to stockpile weapons.

Among the mounting Palestinian death toll today were three young brothers, aged between seven and 10, who were killed in one of the 30 or so strikes carried out by Israeli warplanes across the strip.

All along the border, Israeli tanks and troops have turned fields into makeshift camps from which to launch their offensive into Gaza. The Government has already mobilised more than 6,000 reserve troops and has given the green light to call up almost 3,000 more.

Artillery barrages were also being fired into the strip while aircraft dropped bombs on open ground that the army will need to cross, and where Hamas has placed mines and dug tunnels to allow its guerrillas to outflank the invaders.

Support for Operation Cast Lead is sky high in Israel, with polls showing that almost 85 per cent of the public backing the campaign.

There is also majority support for expanding it into a ground campaign, despite the dangers of high casualties in an urban battlefield against highly trained and motivated guerrillas waging war on their own turf. Almost 42 per cent of Israelis wanted the army to move in, while 39 percent favoured a continued air campaign.

Hamas has an estimated 15,000 fighters who have used the 18 months that they have controlled the strip to hone their skills and transform a militia into a small army. Hamas's military wing has been waiting for a ground offensive to face the Israeli army in open combat, despite Israel's vast military superiority.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [361 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  i can't think of too many places bad enough where the ppl would have enough money too move too Gaza. this is in response too the foreigners leaving or is it the big guys of hamas leaving before it starts, if it does
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 01/03/2009 9:20 Comments || Top||

Israel Launches Fresh Attacks in Seventh Day of Fighting
Israel bombed a mosque and the homes of at least half a dozen Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip on Friday and allowed foreign passport holders to leave the ravaged territory, as speculation rose that a ground assault could be imminent.

A day after an airstrike killed a senior Hamas leader -- the first from the militant group known to have died during the Israeli assault -- Hamas continued to launch rockets into Israel, with several missiles landing in the southern city of Ashkelon. No deaths or serious injuries were reported.

Most of the homes of Hamas operatives targeted Friday were apparently empty, though wire services reported that one man was killed in the strikes. On Thursday, cleric Nizar Rayyan, who served as a liaison between Hamas's political and military wings, was killed, along with several members of his family, when an Israeli bomb obliterated a house in the densely packed Jabalya refugee camp north of Gaza City. By late Thursday, the Palestinian death toll was 412, according to health officials in the strip.

Israel's offensive in Gaza, which began last Saturday, has been carried out exclusively by air and by sea. After a day of heavy rain, the weather improved Thursday, and military analysts said Israeli tanks and other vehicles massed on Gaza's border could more easily enter the territory. "The forces are there, and they're ready for anything," said an Israeli military spokeswoman, Maj. Avital Leibovich.

Israel's exact objectives in Gaza remain unclear. Israeli military officials have said they are determined to substantially reduce Hamas's rocket fire. Analysts expect Israel to seek a truce with Hamas on terms more favorable to the Jewish state than the ones under the six-month deal brokered by Egypt that expired in mid-December.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Thursday floated the idea of using international monitors, or even armed forces, to ensure that any future cease-fire holds. Israel has indicated it would welcome unarmed international observers.

Although Israel rejected a cease-fire proposal this week, there were signs Thursday that it was stepping up its diplomatic efforts. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni traveled to France, where officials have been leading an international campaign to persuade Israel and Hamas to hold their fire.

But there is pressure within Israel for the government to continue its campaign, and perhaps topple Hamas altogether. That would almost certainly require a ground operation, which would be likely to raise the death toll substantially on both sides. "There is no way to take Hamas out without going into Gaza. The problem is the price," said Yaakov Amidror, a retired Israeli major general who headed the military's research and assessment division. "My feeling is that we should do it. All the other players in the region are wondering why we are hesitating if we are so strong."

Already, the air campaign has made this the bloodiest conflict in Gaza since Israel seized the territory in 1967. Precision-guided missile strikes have taken a heavy toll on Hamas's police force and its rocket-launching squads. More than 60 civilians have also been killed, according to United Nations estimates.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [368 views] Top|| File under:

Israeli air force strikes 20 Hamas targets
(AKI) - The Israeli Air Force attacked 20 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Friday, on the seventh day of Israel's offensive in the coastal territory. The latest attacks occurred as Hamas leaders urged Palestinians to observe a "day of wrath" and pledged revenge for the assassination of senior Hamas leader, Nizar Rayyan, killed by an Israeli air strike in his home.

Medical officials in Gaza said more than 400 people have now been killed there and the United Nations said at least 100 of them are civilians.

Among the sites targeted by the Israeli Defense Forces in the latest attacks were the headquarters of the military wing of Hamas, a tunnel used to smuggle weaponry, rocket launchers, and weapons manufacturing and storage facilities. The IDF said it would continue its attacks on Hamas and what it called "terror" groups in Gaza.

Two Palestinians were killed and 12 people were wounded in the latest attacks, hospital officials said.

"The IDF will continue to target the Hamas infrastructure and the infrastructure of other terror organisations in Gaza," the IDF said in a statement on its website. "The IDF will not hesitate to strike those involved both directly and indirectly in attacks against the citizens of the state of Israel."

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Ismayl Radwan said Palestinians would seek every opportunity to avenge the death of Nizar Rayyan. "After the death of Nizar Rayyan before the Palestinian resistance every opportunity will be used to strike the enemy, including suicide attacks to strike Zionist interests wherever they are around the world," Radwan said, in a statement broadcast on Gaza TV station, al-Aqsa.

"They will be sorry for the crimes that they are committing against our people," he said. "I am calling for all Palestinians, and in particular the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas' military wing) to vindicate the death of Rayyan and his family."

He also criticised Arab foreign ministers for failing to take any initiatives at the Arab League meeting held in Cairo in the past few days and called on Egypt to open the Rafah border crossing.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [385 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

IAF strikes target Gaza airport; 1 dead, 5 wounded
A Hamas television station said that the IAF on Friday night bombed an airport in the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported. One person was reported dead in the attack, and five wounded. Throughout Friday, IAF planes attacked 35 targets in the Strip, including homes of Hamas terrorists, weapons caches, and smuggling tunnels, according to Israel Radio.
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

Gazans brace for Israeli ground invasion as death toll from air attacks reaches 430
Israeli warplanes killed three young brothers and demolished a mosque in Gaza on Friday as Hamas vowed to avenge the deadly weeklong offensive against the impoverished enclave. A missile fired by an Israeli jet slammed into a house in southern Gaza, killing three boys, aged from seven to 10. It was one of more than 40 fresh raids carried out in the overcrowded enclave on Friday.

Since Israel unleashed its air and sea campaign, at least 430 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 children, and 2,250 others wounded, according to Gaza medics. The United Nations has estimated that at least one quarter of all Palestinians killed were civilians.

The bombardment has destroyed dozens of houses and raised heightened fears over the enclave where most of the 1.5 million residents depend on foreign aid.

"The protection of civilians, the fabric of life, the future of the peace talks and of the regional peace process has been trapped between the irresponsibility of the Hamas attacks and the excessiveness of the Israeli response," Robert Serry, UN envoy for the Middle East, told reporters in Occupied Jerusalem.
Robert pro'ly never leaves 'occupied' Jerusalem, so he's not had the experience of having mortar shells and missiles launched at him.
Also on Friday, thousands of Hamas supporters attended the funeral of Nizar Rayan - a firebrand terrorist leader who was killed with his four wives and 11 of his children a day earlier.

Hamas representatives vowed to avenge the death of its most senior official to be killed since the assassination of then-party leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi in 2004. "I call on the resistance to continue pounding Jewish settlements and cities," said Sheikh Abdel-Rahman al-Jamal. "We will remain on the path of jihad."
"We shall have Dire Revenge™!"
A mosque in the northern town of Jabaliya that the Israeli military claimed was a "terror hub" used to stockpile weapons was among the latest targets hit in Israeli raids. Long queues formed outside bakeries and other stores, which only open during the rare hours when electricity is available. The UN emergency food program has begun distributing bread to families caught up in an "appalling" humanitarian situation in Gaza, the agency said Friday.

"The current situation in Gaza is appalling, and many basic food items are no longer available," the World Food Program (WFP) representative in the Occupied Palestinian territories, Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, said in a statement.

The Rome-based agency appealed for $9 million in emergency funds "to meet foreseen additional food needs" as the conflict raged unabated.
We gave at the office ...
"As an emergency response to alleviate the suffering of families living close to areas affected by conflict," the WFP began distributing bread to some 15,000 first-time recipients in Beit Hanun, northern Gaza, Van Nieuwenhuyse said. "This area ... is one of the poorest and most heavily affected by the recent conflict," she added.

Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip have hampered humanitarian efforts targeting 265,000 people, the statement said. "The scarcity of wheat has meant that the majority of mills and bakeries have stopped working in Gaza, and there is an acute shortage of bread, the staple food," it added.

Max Gaylard, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, also weighed in on the crisis. "There is a critical emergency in the Gaza Strip right now ... By any definition this is a humanitarian crisis and more," he said.

"Schools are closed, the population is staying home, Gaza is experiencing a food crisis ... Hospitals and clinics are absolutely overwhelmed," he added. "There probably is an air strike every 20 minutes on average, probably intensifying at night," Gaylard said, adding that rockets fired at Israel by Gaza militants "are indiscriminate and expanding in range."
This article starring:
Abdel-Rahman al-Jamal
Nizar Rayan
Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [362 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  Also on Friday, thousands of Hamas supporters attended the funeral of Nizar Rayan

Now, that's a missed opportunity.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/03/2009 5:29 Comments || Top||

#2  g(r)omgoru, word.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 01/03/2009 6:25 Comments || Top||

#3  I think that every time I see Muslims in one of their funerary death orgies.
Posted by: Excalibur || 01/03/2009 8:26 Comments || Top||

#4  That's when we know the gloves are really off- here was a chance to virtually exterminate Hamas.
Fuel-air explosives or cluster bombs? Can't decide.
Posted by: Grunter || 01/03/2009 10:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Grunter - napalm. I guarantee that if the IAF starts using napalm on all gatherings of more than 10 people, Hamass will flee so fast they'll leave a contrail.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 01/03/2009 14:58 Comments || Top||

#6  Maybe they missed the boat, so to speak, and should have let the SS Dignity dock. then sink it at the pier and let all the rats that were aboard it, assist in the hamass mission. including that dumbass former senator.
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 01/03/2009 16:38 Comments || Top||

#7  OP, here we see the benefit of a good education- you just know what to do in these situations! Good on you.
Posted by: Grunter || 01/03/2009 18:34 Comments || Top||

Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan troops capture Kilinochchi
Sri Lankan forces captured the Tamil Tigers' de facto capital Friday, winning a major victory in a decades-long battle to destroy the ethnic separatists and crush their dream of establishing an independent state.

The rebels, who still control 620 square miles of northeastern jungle -- an area about the size of Los Angeles, swiftly sent the message they would fight on. They carried out a suicide attack near air force headquarters in the capital, Colombo, killing three airmen and wounding 37 other people, authorities said.

Sri Lanka's ethnic minority Tamils have long complained they are treated as second-class citizens, with Sinhalese used as the nation's de facto official language and members of the dominant group traditionally favored for government jobs. They have also accused the government of sending Sinhalese settlers into traditionally Tamil regions to overwhelm them demographically.

The fall of Kilinochchi was a devastating blow to the rebels' dream of establishing a state for Tamils in the northeast after decades of marginalization by governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority.

The rebels had built a massive 10.5 mile-long earth and moat fortification to defend Kilinochchi. Over the past two months, they held off government troops _ with the aid of pounding monsoon rains, in battles that reportedly killed hundreds of fighters.

But Army troops cleared the way into the town Thursday when they captured a key crossroad north of Kilinochchi that allowed them to close in from three directions, the military said.

They said they entered Kilinochchi the following morning with only minimal resistance, an apparent sign the rebels had retreated to their northeastern jungle bases to fight another day, analysts said. The rebel-affiliated TamilNet Web site said the Tamil Tigers had moved their headquarters farther to the northeast before the town fell.

The capture of Kilinochchi was a milestone in a civil war that has killed at least 70,000 people and plagued this Indian Ocean island nation off and on for 25 years. A 2002 cease-fire collapsed in new fighting three years ago, and government forces have pushed deep into the rebels' heartland in the jungles of the north in recent months.

Foreign mediators have called for a political solution to the fighting, saying that warfare will not resolve the underlying tensions between the Tamil minority, which makes up 18 percent of the population, and the Sinhalese majority that accounts for 74 percent of the country.

The Tamil Tigers have been blamed for scores of bombings and suicide attacks and are listed as a terror group by the United States and European Union.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid described the Tigers as "one of the most notorious and brutal terrorist organizations" but called for a peaceful dialogue to resolve the legitimate concerns of Tamils.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has vowed to destroy the group formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, announced the fall of Kilinochchi in a nationally televised speech.

Posted by: Fred || 01/03/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [730 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off!

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/03/2009 9:45 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2009-01-03
  Sri Lankan troops capture Kilinochchi
Fri 2009-01-02
  Girls to marry militants, orders Taliban
Thu 2009-01-01
  Senior Hamas leader killed in IAF air strike in Gaza Strip
Wed 2008-12-31
  Iranian 'students' attack Jordan, UK embassies, Saudi air office; threaten Egypt; burn Benneton store ...
Tue 2008-12-30
  Death toll in Gaza rises to 350; over 1,600 injured
Mon 2008-12-29
  Somali president resigns
Sun 2008-12-28
  230 killed as Israel rains fire on Hamas in the Gaza Strip
Sat 2008-12-27
  Israel Launches Unprecedented Series of Strikes on Gaza
Fri 2008-12-26
  Spokesman: Somali President not resigning
Thu 2008-12-25
  Pak in war frenzy; intensifies troop movement
Wed 2008-12-24
  Æthiops to withdraw all 3000 troops from Somalia by end of year
Tue 2008-12-23
  Pak air force on alert for Indian strike
Mon 2008-12-22
  Israel threatens major offensive against Gaza
Sun 2008-12-21
  Truce ends with airstrike on Gaza
Sat 2008-12-20
  Delhi accuses Islamabad of failing to deliver on promises

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