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Syria replaces intelligence chief
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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China-Japan-Koreas
U.S., China Agree on North Korea Nukes
EFL: The United States and China agree that North Korea must end its nuclear ambitions and resolve the standoff through six-nation talks, Washington's top envoy on the issue said Friday, as efforts to restart the negotiations gained momentum. Reviving the stalled talks has taken on greater urgency since North Korea's explosive but unconfirmed declaration last week that it has become a nuclear power. The talks involve the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

North Korea "has made a big mistake in developing these nuclear programs ... and we are to help them overcome this mistake," U.S. envoy Christopher Hill said in Seoul after a visit to Beijing Thursday to meet with Chinese officials.
"But to help them, they are going to have to help themselves, and the first issue they need to do is coming to the table," said Hill, who is also U.S. ambassador to South Korea. Hill, who was appointed envoy for the nuclear talks on Monday, said he and Chinese officials were in "absolute agreement on the need for North Korea to come back to the process."

China announced Thursday that it would send a top communist party official to North Korea this week, though it did not give an exact date for the trip by Wang Jiarui, head of the party's international department.
That should be a fun meeting

Washington hopes China will use its economic influence on North Korea to persuade it to stop developing nuclear weapons. Beijing is North Korea's last key ally and an indispensable supplier of fuel and trade for its impoverished neighbor. North Korea says it is boycotting the talks until Washington abandons what it calls a hostile policy toward the North.

President Bush on Thursday said diplomacy was the right strategy. "Now is the time for us to work with friends and allies who have agreed to be part of the process to determine what we're jointly going to do about it," he said at a news conference in Washington. China has hosted three inconclusive rounds of six-nation talks since 2003. North Korea refused to attend a fourth round, scheduled for last September.
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 9:08:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [442 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kim's regime is China's dog, and the dog is rabid. Time for the chinese to put it down so everybody can get on with their lives. Maybe the deal would be that the chinese abandon the Kim regime in return for a treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of a unified korean peninsula.
Posted by: Jonathan || 02/18/2005 12:51 Comments || Top||

#2  More likely China would want to swap Taiwan for North Korea.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/18/2005 13:02 Comments || Top||

#3  The talks involve the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

Do we still want Russia in on this? Doing what?
Posted by: Jules 187 || 02/18/2005 13:03 Comments || Top||

#4  comic relief?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 13:05 Comments || Top||

#5  It'd just about have to be.
Posted by: Jules 187 || 02/18/2005 13:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Off topic: Frank, I tried to send you an email about birth rates Israel v. PA that you'd questioned, and it wouldn't go through. Please contact me. Thanks!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 17:50 Comments || Top||

#7  just did - look fwd to it, thx!
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 18:04 Comments || Top||

#8  Frank, check your In box -- if I did it right, it should be there.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 22:06 Comments || Top||

#9  got it - thx! I use the subterfuge for email bots, which collect and add website emails to lists. Dave D taught me that
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 22:14 Comments || Top||

#10  Actually, the Russkies are quite threatened by a nuclear armed NK. If they can hit Japan they can hit Russian territory (admittedly, mostly empty, except for a very important port . . . )
Posted by: Jame Retief || 02/18/2005 22:40 Comments || Top||


Defence to top Japan, US talks
Japan's defence and foreign ministers are in Washington for key security talks with US counterparts. There is speculation that one topic on the agenda is the Taiwan Strait, an important flashpoint in the region. According to a draft proposal seen by US and Japanese press, Taiwan will be identified as a mutual security concern - a move set to anger its rival, China.
Just mentioning the name set's them off.
But a Japanese Foreign Ministry press spokesman refused to confirm this ahead of Saturday's talks. Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and Defence Minister Yoshinori Ono will join with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in declaring security in the Taiwan Strait as a "common strategic objective", according to the Washington Post. The revision, which may be announced as part of a joint statement after the ministers' meeting, reflects growing concern in Washington and Tokyo about China's increasing military power. A Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman would only confirm that Japan had long sought "a common strategic understanding of the [Asia-Pacific] region".
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 8:45:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [319 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "...the US has made clear that it might come to Taiwan's defence..."

That's sounds too much like Kerry's "You bet we might have." It would probably be better all around if everyone know that we definitely would intervene.
Posted by: jackal || 02/18/2005 13:52 Comments || Top||


Kim's Birthday Celebration
From the Telegraph

...Children's dance displays, synchronised swimming, fireworks and Kim's personal touch - flower shows featuring the Kimjongilia, a form of magnolia specially bred to bloom early in his honour - marked the 63 years of North Korea's "Dear Leader".

An army dance ensemble performed a concert featuring numbers such as General on a Galloping White Horse and a female solo, I Do Not Know a Warmer Bosom.

Pyongyang's central square "turned into rising waves of dances when the participants presented more enthusiastic dances, waving the flags of the supreme commander", said the official Korean Central News Agency.

"The Korean people unanimously revere leader Kim Jong-il as a brilliant commander," it added. The KCNA's clear assertion that Kim's personality cult is alive and well will come as a blow to those opponents who had hoped from recent leaks from inside the reclusive country that his power was heading for collapse...

Since losing its main backer, the Soviet Union, at the beginning of the 1990s, North Korea has suffered a famine in which at least a million people are thought to have died, industrial collapse, power shortages and now rampant inflation as tentative economic reforms are tried out...

"The day is an auspicious holiday for progressive people all over the world," said the KCNA.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [318 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "...An army dance ensemble performed a concert featuring numbers such as General on a Galloping White Horse and a female solo, I Do Not Know a Warmer Bosom."

...Ya know, I was going to call this 'creepy' - but 'creepy' would have been an improvement.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/18/2005 7:47 Comments || Top||

#2  "I Do Not Know a Warmer Bosom"

Clearly calls for research.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 02/18/2005 9:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Everybody loves a parade -- especially if they'll be sent to a gulag for not participating.
Posted by: Tom || 02/18/2005 9:29 Comments || Top||

#4  ...Children’s dance displays, synchronised swimming, fireworks and Kim’s personal touch - flower shows
Presumably the flowers double as half-time snacks.
Posted by: Howard UK || 02/18/2005 9:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Couldn't find those exact songs, but, there is this site with MIDIs:



North Korean MIDIs including ones close to the "spirit", however Cognac induced to the birthday offerings, one dealing with "The (Little) General" and the other dealing with horses...:

The Hoofbeats on Mt. Paek-du


(Stolen from an American Western - "The Duke" would be pissed...)

General Kim Jeong-Il


(Self elevated - same modus opperandi as Saddahm before "Whaki Iraqi" began his subterrainian life.)

Found no North Korean music about Bosoms. Pity.

It's fun to hate this guy. If he weren't a mass butcher, he'd be thuroughly entertaining...

Posted by: BigEd || 02/18/2005 12:12 Comments || Top||

#6  A parade with no giant puppets?
Posted by: john || 02/18/2005 13:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Nah. Paper machier is good eats in Norkland.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/18/2005 13:46 Comments || Top||

#8  Not exactly, tu - way too much fiber in that diet.
Posted by: Emeril Lagasse || 02/18/2005 14:04 Comments || Top||

#9  Fiber, yes, but the other parts are wheat flour and salt -- both key components in a starvation diet. And, NorK just announced another ration reduction.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 17:52 Comments || Top||

#10  "Hello, Mr. Kim, this is George W. Bush. I hear it's your birthday, and I know how much you like nuclear weapons, so I got one for you. . . . Yeah, it's one of them new bunker-busters. . . . I'm having it delivered right to your front door. . . ."
Posted by: Mike || 02/18/2005 19:56 Comments || Top||

#11  Serve any "long pigs/cows" ala SOLYENT GREEN, or is the good stuff reserved, as usual, for the Norkies fav national predator!? Socialist and Commie Utopia > happiness is a PC well-regulated slave who doesn't know or believe he's a slave - his wine, wealth, lands, identity, women and pet dog, each any and all, jointly andor severally, belongs to the State, and second to the Red Army, even his kimchee!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/18/2005 21:48 Comments || Top||

#12  The Korean peoples fought hard to protect themselves from the Ming, Mongols, Manchus, and invading Japanese samurai armies under Hideoyoshi-Ieyasu, ...etc only to end up in the Cold War with Commies who proclaim Korean unity and sovereignty but covertly take orders from Moscow and Beijing, AND STILL DO EVEN AS THEY AND THEIR CHILDREN STARVE UNTO SELF-OBLIVION.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/18/2005 21:55 Comments || Top||

#13  The North Korean common people have been digging up the recently dead, and killing the recently born, because there is nothing else for them to eat. The new announcement that the food ration will be cut again will just aggravate that particular behaviour. One way or another, the situation there needs to be fixed very soon.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 22:02 Comments || Top||


Europe
15 major terrorist attacks prevented in Europe since 9/11
Since 11 September 2001, at least 15 major terrorist attacks have been prevented in Europe, according to a Norwegian research institute. In an interview with Radio Netherlands, a spokesman for the institute claims that all these attacks would have caused many casualties had they not been foiled. The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) is the chief adviser on defence-related science and technology to the Ministry of Defence and the Norwegian Armed Forces' military organisation. Its key tasks include mapping out terrorist activity by radical Muslims in Europe. This resulted this week in a report on last November's murder of Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh. A typical al-Qaeda-inspired assassination chiefly carried out for political reasons such as the presence of Dutch troops in Iraq, concludes the FFI.

The institute also looked at the organisation of the so-called Hofstad-network, the group of mostly young radical Muslims of Moroccan extraction to which the murder suspect, Mohammed B, allegedly belonged. There are striking similarities in structure between this particular network and other Islamic cells based elsewhere in Europe, according to the FFI. The 15 thwarted attacks were so-called 'mass casualty attacks' designed to take a great number of lives for maximum impact, according to an FFI spokesman, who refused to give further details to Radio Netherlands. In response, the Dutch intelligence and security service AIVD divulged that at least three major attacks had been foiled in the Netherlands since 2000. In addition, several arrests had been made in an alleged plot to blow up the US embassy in Paris.

In another reaction to the Norwegian estimate, terrorism expert Glenn Schoen, of the US security firm 'Transecur', pointed out that the number of foiled terrorist attacks could be elevated to 20 or even 30 depending on the definition of "major attack". More specifically, he listed five thwarted attacks in France and an equal number in Spain, three each in Germany and Britain, and one in Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. Added up, the total would be 19, four more than estimated by the Norwegian research body. And those 19 are only cases about which the authorities has chosen to release details. The real number must therefore be higher, somewhere between 20 and 30, according to Mr Schoen. One also has to bear in mind that the figure of 19 only refers to cases in which hard evidence supporting allegations that a high-profile attack was in the making. If less clear-cut cases are included, the number is set to be much higher.

Take the Netherlands, for example. The AIVD secret service told Radio Netherlands about four thwarted major attacks, but says only one of those meets the strict legal criteria for such a qualification, the other three are therefore not included in the total of 19. That single case involves the October 2003 arrests of four suspects who were found to possess basic bomb-making equipment. Among them was Samir A, a notorious member of the Hofstad network. All four suspects were later released for lack of legally sound evidence, which shows how difficult it is to thwart terrorist plots in the courtroom.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2005 11:15:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:


Use Kid Glove Response: Dutch Report on Van Gogh Jihad-Kushi
Excerpt of security report on Van Gogh Murder, (much more on the pro-US Dutch blog, linked above)

...Contextual analysis of the operation in Amsterdam indicates potential motivations related to multiple contexts that could be considered relevant for Muslim immigrants to Holland, such as Dutch immigration policy and counter-terrorism efforts, the "global war on terrorism" and the invasion of Iraq, as well as increased conflict-levels in areas of political grievance and symbolic value to Islamists and Muslims in general, such as in Palestine, Chechnya and Kashmir. In addition the Van Gogh case suggests that statements by high-profile persons that are exposed in the media might be interpreted as "insults against Islam", and thus serve as partial motivation for terrorism, or at least affect the target selection of the Islamist militants, who have chosen terrorism as a strategy in the battle against the US and its allies. The murder of the filmmaker also showed the effectiveness of an assassination of a public figure in spreading fear and escalating the levels of conflict between the Dutch and immigrants to Holland, adding to a growing xenophobia, which in turn might lead to increased problems of integration, and make alienated young Muslim immigrants receptive of al-Qaida's vision of global jihad.
Eurabia lets Muslimutt heavy breeders immigrate by the millions, and then finds that the mutts protest any immigration limitations. Would the Multicults infest their own homes with termites?

From a counter terrorism perspective, the concept of complex motivations, or multiple social, political and religious motivations (related to different contexts), implies that the police and intelligence services working to prevent terrorist attacks should pay careful attention to political developments beyond the geographical area they police, and be aware that Islamist terrorism might occur as a response by developments in other countries, or faraway areas of the world. There is an urgent need for systematically mapping motivational factors and "triggers", as well as mapping the various types of targets that might be attacked, the timing and the operational patterns of the terrorist cells, in order to develop effective early warning systems. In this respect one has to find out more about who the terrorists are, and the social contexts that "produce" potential terrorists. In addition it seems important, in the prosecution of terrorist suspects, to strike a balance between being firm, on the one hand, and being prudent and just on the other. This in order not to stir unnecessary anger among broader segments of the Diaspora communities and create new incentives for joining militant groups. On the political level, as much as possible should be done to reduce social and political grievances locally and internationally, that might motivate Islamist terrorists, and might be interpreted in terms of al-Qaida's ideology that Islam is under a worldwide attack by the US and its allies.
Yeah, "pay careful attention," and maybe the benign Shiite spin will go the way of the Carrier Pigeon. To hell with milktoast-dhimmi report like this one. I love the smell of napalm in the morning, and charcoal in the afternoon. SAY DOOM!
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 4:29:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good Lord, this reads like a bad PhD dissertation!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 11:53 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought it read like a bad freshman research paper...
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 12:36 Comments || Top||

#3  In addition the Van Gogh case suggests that statements by high-profile persons that are exposed in the media might be interpreted as "insults against Islam", and thus serve as partial motivation for terrorism...

Translation: Don't say anything that'll make Muslims mad. Don't analyze or critique the behavior of Muslims. We native Dutch will just have to shut up or we're asking for our Muslims to become terrorists against us.

What a plan. Have you ever seen such fawning in your life?
Posted by: Jules 187 || 02/18/2005 12:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Yea, but usually its in French.
Posted by: DAJ || 02/18/2005 12:51 Comments || Top||


Great White North
Canadian, US forces announce joint exercise
EFL.

The Canadian Navy and Air Force will join forces with other Canadian government departments and the US Coast Guard in a bi-national domestic exercise designed to further develop coastal surveillance and security of Canada's Pacific maritime approaches. Exercise Sea Barrier will take place Feb 22 to 25 in and around the approaches to Esquimalt Harbour and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

A primary goal of the Sea Barrier exercise is to foster cooperation and coordination between the Navy and its partners including Transport Canada, the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Canadian Coast Guard, and the US Coast Guard to generate a unified and comprehensive recognized maritime picture. By sharing and comparing information, the Navy and its partners can develop an increased understanding of the marine domain and refine procedures to effectively respond to potential threats to the security of our maritime approaches.

"The Strait of Juan de Fuca is one of our busiest bits of ocean," reiterates Rear Admiral Forcier. "Vancouver moves 66 million tonnes of cargo a year including over 1.5 million containers. Exercise Sea Barrier will enhance our ability to defend and protect our trade, and ultimately our way of life", concludes Forcier.

HMC ships Protecteur, Algonquin, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Whitehorse, supported by CH-124 Sea King helicopters from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, CP-140 Aurora Aircraft from 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron at Comox and a team of clearance divers from Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific) will participate in the exercise with U.S. Coast Guard ships Cuttyhunk and Henry Blake, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir Wilfred Laurier, and RCMP and CBSA teams. Training activities will include briefings, surveillance patrols, simulated explosives disposal, maritime interdiction and boardings at sea.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 1:42:14 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [442 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No hockey season, so they've got to keep themselves busy somehow...
Posted by: Jonathan || 02/18/2005 16:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Facts about the Sea Kings - they're antique aircraft:

The Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King: Canada bought 41 Sea King helicopters in 1963; 28 are still in service. Each of the remaining Sea Kings requires 30 hours of maintenance for one hour of flight. The Sea Kings were first purchased in the 1960s. In 1993, then prime minister Jean Chrétien cancelled an order for 50 EH-101 helicopters to replace them.

From: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/01/12/canada/sea_kings040112
Posted by: AJackson || 02/18/2005 18:35 Comments || Top||

#3  The Aurora's (Canadian equivalent of the P3-Orion ASW aircraft) are much newer - only a 25 years old.
Posted by: AJackson || 02/18/2005 18:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Canada is reportedly eliminating between 1/3 to 1/2 of their relatively new F-18 aircraft fleet - doing their Canuck all to make NORAM safer for the Commie Airborne. * "ATTACK/INVADE ME NOW, D*** YOU, aka Savin' Hillary, and Hillary and Boxer-Pelosi-Dean for POTUS!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/18/2005 22:06 Comments || Top||

#5  I used to have an mp3 of this...

Good bye papa please pray for me
My helicopter's crashing in the sea.
I honestly don't mean to poke
But my future is in doubt
My co-pilot just fell out

Good bye papa it's hard to fly
When my air frame's cracking in the sky
For every hour in the air
It takes some thirty to repair
We fly these things on a dare

We had joy we had fun
We had sea kings in the sun
But the engines are on fire
And the sea kings must retire

Good bye good chair my stingy one
You could have bought the E-age warner ones
Instead you blew five hundred mil
Just to cancel out the bill
Now I need an airsick pill.

We had joy we had fun
We had sea kings in the sun
We'll be lucky if we reach
A crash landing on the beach.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 02/18/2005 23:06 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
NPR Commentator Denounces "Support Our Troops" Stickers on Cars
Most Americans, regardless of their position on the war in Iraq, don't object to the expression "Support Our Troops," but earlier this week one National Public Radio commentator asserted that in at least one context, that phrase is "glib," "self-righteous," "partisan," and "vaguely...Ann Coulterish." He also declared darkly that "analyzing its rhetoric" may constitute "treason."

[Tom Johnson, who monitors NPR for the MRC, filed this item for CyberAlert.]

This past Monday on All Things Considered, Bob Sommer, whose son recently completed a year's service in Iraq, began his segment: "You would think that the sight of a yellow-ribbon magnet on the back of a car, proclaiming 'Support Our Troops,' would give me a lift, but it doesn't. It just seems so easy to express patriotism by slapping a magnet with a slogan on your car, so glib, so...self-righteous.
Now that I think about it, it is much easier to express patriotism by slapping a magnet with a slogan on my car than it is by being a commentator on NPR. That's also kinda glib and self-righteous, if I remember correctly. It's been much longer since I've listened to NPR than it has been since I slapped a magnetized slogan on my car.
'Support Our Troops.' That sentence is neither a request nor a statement; it's a command.
Take it as a suggestion. If you don't want to support our troops, you don't have to. Neither do we have to admire you for it.
There's a hint of a dare in it that reminds me of a similar sentence: 'Bring it on.' It's vaguely...Ann Coulterish.
It's long-legged, blonde, with acid wit? But only vaguely so?
Analyzing its rhetoric may be treason."
Yep. We've got 'em lined up six deep, putting them on trial for treason and chopping their heads off. You just don't hear about it in the papers...
Sommer further complained: "I've noticed that these magnets often appear on vehicles that display still-lingering Bush-Cheney stickers. It isn't a big leap to conclude that there's something partisan about them, and the sight of all these yellow magnets is starting to bring out the worst in me.
The very same people who support our troops are the ones who also support President Bush. The very same people who didn't support President Bush tend not to have "Support Our Troops" stickers on their cars. It could be that the majority, that supports our troops, voted Bush, and the minority, that doesn't support our troops, voted for the other guy, the one who described them as being similar to Genghis Khan...
Sometimes, I want to roll down my windows and confront the drivers. I want to exclaim, 'Who doesn't support the troops? What have you done to support the troops?'
To which I'd answer "People who voted for Kerry don't seem to support our troops. You never see magnetic stickers on their cars, do you?"
They may be well-meaning and sincere people, but I'm convinced that they're just driving along, thinking support-our-troops thoughts like 'Thank God I live in a red state,' or 'Maybe it's time to price a Hummer.' That's what I assume they're thinking, anyway."
He assumes that as he's driving down the avenue, thinking ignore-our-troops thoughts like, "Thank God I live in a blue state," or "Maybe it's time to price a Volvo."
After Sommer detailed how he and his wife "expended a lot of emotional energy, as well as some financial resources, supporting our son and his buddies," including "sen[ding] Christmas gifts to the whole squad," he resumed his exegesis: "Still, that curious phrase, 'Support Our Troops,' on those yellow-ribbon magnets, seems to accuse me of not doing my part. Then I realized that 'Support Our Troops' is a code...
Ahah! "I do not think that phrase means what you think it means!"... But... But... Who's competent to crack the code? It must be pretty subtle, packing an entire different message into three little words on a piece of magnetized plastic...
Here's what I think it means: Those who presumably need to be admonished to support the troops are those who oppose the decisions of the [Bush] administration.
Like the guys who don't bother putting such stickers on their cars?
'Support Our Troops' means, then, that we should be supporting the war.
Couldn't have a war without troops, could we?
I believe that most yellow-magnet-bearers want support not just for the troops, but for the mission, the presence, the President. Maybe the magnets should say, 'Shut Up and Support Our Troops.'"
Maybe they should say "Support the mission, the presence, the President."
It's hard to say whether "Support Our Troops" would bother Sommer much less if he saw it on, say, a red-white-and-blue lapel pin...
The same people bitching about the support our troops stickers are the ones who were bitching about the American flag displays after 9-11.
Last month, All Things Considered aired another exotic commentary on military matters, in which regular ATC contributor Andrei Codrescu suggested that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld staged a military exercise in New Orleans because many "foreign artists" and anti-Bush "Hollywood actors" were in town. ..
"Yes, Karl. We must threaten them! I shall stage a military exercise in New Orleans! That will intimidate them! Louisianna shall be ours!"
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2005 12:47:54 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1113 views] Top|| File under:

#1  'The wicked flee when no man pursueth'
Posted by: Mark E. || 02/18/2005 13:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Damn! He knows! Who talked?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/18/2005 13:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Bob Sommer needs to stop drinking seven Starbucks Frapachinos before lunch, vibrate down off his high hoarse, and go do something productive with his time (his writing doesn't count).

Codrescu should know better.
Posted by: Secret Master || 02/18/2005 13:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Proof positive again:

Liberals love dead Americans, especially dead American military.

F*ck 'em. The end.
Posted by: badanov || 02/18/2005 13:29 Comments || Top||

#5  ive seen support our troops stickers on cars that have kerry-edwards stickers on them. This NPR commentator is an idiot.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 02/18/2005 13:32 Comments || Top||

#6  I am really dull, and very stupid. So the doctor told my mom after they examined my head.
Posted by: john || 02/18/2005 13:44 Comments || Top||

#7  meh. I heard him on the way home the other day. Thought he was a twit, but it didn't bother me. Once you hear the voice, you know the type. He made so many assumptions and relied on so many stereotypes that all you can do is roll your eyes and tune out. The only part I would respond to is this:

It just seems so easy to express patriotism by slapping a magnet with a slogan on your car, so glib, so...self-righteous.

Not as easy as it is not to slap a magnet on your car, John. Surely you understand the power of the symbolic gesture, John. Your side is all about the symbolism.
Posted by: BH || 02/18/2005 13:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Let me get this straight, part of my tax dollar goes to pay this persons salary? What an @$$hole.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 02/18/2005 14:36 Comments || Top||

#9  What bothers me is that the government helps fund this spewage.
Posted by: Mac Suirtain || 02/18/2005 14:36 Comments || Top||

#10  Where can I get a "Support the War" sticker? :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2005 14:38 Comments || Top||

#11  You know, it really is time for taxpayers to stop subsidising these self-righteous a**holes.
Posted by: RWV || 02/18/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#12  Maybe it’s time to price a Hummer.

A most unfortunate phrasing; I think they're still around $25 or so...
Posted by: Raj || 02/18/2005 14:58 Comments || Top||

#13  $35 if it's a real tune
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 14:59 Comments || Top||

#14  ’Shut Up and Support Our Troops.’

-Now, that would be a great bumber sticker.

’Who doesn’t support the troops? What have you done to support the troops?’

-um, let's see, first voted for Bush, second stayed in the Corps, third contributed to the training of over 2,000 Marines at Parris Island, fourth never made stupid remarks on NPR about fellow patriotic Americans..........
Posted by: Chase Unineger3873 aka Jarhead || 02/18/2005 15:00 Comments || Top||

#15  This is the crowd that lives by and for its slogans: save the whales, visualize whirled peas, no blood for oil. They take their stickers seriously. So when they see a sticker that doesn't jibe with the worldview, they freek. The synapses just go haywire...
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/18/2005 15:08 Comments || Top||

#16  What he means is he does not support our troops. Hell, he does not even support his own son I bet. A son who is more of a man that his father is and knows it. This guy only knows the US is always wrong.

Guys like this ass need to wake up and discover they don't matter. They don't count. He couldn't get a job in real Broadcasting. NPR is as good as it's going to get for him. Loser.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 02/18/2005 15:48 Comments || Top||

#17  How about a "Nukem till they glow" bumper magnet. Would that be more acceptable?
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2005 15:52 Comments || Top||

#18  My suggestions for alternate 'Support the Troops' stickers:

Whose side are you on: Our troops or the enemy?

Liberals Love Dead Americans.
Posted by: badanov || 02/18/2005 16:02 Comments || Top||

#19  Actually, I really hated that 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon ('Round the Old Oak Tree)' song. For that reason I'd prefer another form factor for my public support of the President, the troops and the war.

Anything good that is NOT a yellow ribbon?
Posted by: eLarson || 02/18/2005 16:45 Comments || Top||

#20  How about we add this the yellow magnets?
Support or Troops, or Support NPR

He's just ticked cause for each yellow magnet he sees, it gives him some idea of just how many people think he's a putz.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 17:00 Comments || Top||

#21  I'm with eLarson, the yellow ribbon thing gives me the willies, they're not yellow and they're not coming from a prison.

I like "Live Free or Get Out of the Way"
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 17:33 Comments || Top||

#22  How about, "Patchouli doesn't hide the stench of bad politics"
Posted by: BH || 02/18/2005 17:39 Comments || Top||

#23  What a poor pitiful excuse for a man. His son has shamed him and he blames Bush and his minions for the angst that he feels. The self righteous superiority that he feels is threatened when he sees a simple reminder of the sacrifices that our troops are making. He lacks the moral and physical courage of his own son and bristles at any reminder.
Posted by: JP || 02/18/2005 19:17 Comments || Top||

#24  Seafarious, I thought it was SHAVE the whales.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/18/2005 19:24 Comments || Top||

#25  Save the Whales! Collect the whole set!
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 19:32 Comments || Top||

#26  BaR:
How about this one?
Posted by: jackal || 02/18/2005 19:35 Comments || Top||

#27  Liberal Hawk- I was in Manhattan this week
to see many VOTE FOR KERRY/EDWARDS banner's and signs in apartment windows as I walked along 5th Ave over to York Avenue. They were all over the city!! Mr. John Kerry will be at the John F. Kennedy library in Boston this month for an open forum- free to the public*** Check out the library web site for date and time.

Andrea Jackson
Posted by: Andrea || 02/18/2005 19:47 Comments || Top||

#28  #10:
Where can I get a "Support the War" sticker?
Never mind that, BAR. Where can I get a "Fuck NPR" bumper sticker? ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/18/2005 21:05 Comments || Top||

#29  uh huh - that's "hate speech" Barbara
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 21:24 Comments || Top||

#30  ;-p Why not make your own "Fuck NPR" bumper sticker? Patent it and who knows what else!

BE CREATIVE***

Andrea Jackson
Posted by: ANdrea || 02/18/2005 21:30 Comments || Top||

#31  ;-p Why not make your own "Fuck NPR" bumper sticker? Patent it and who knows what else!

BE CREATIVE***

Andrea Jackson
Posted by: ANdrea || 02/18/2005 21:32 Comments || Top||

#32  ;-p Why not make your own "Fuck NPR" bumper sticker? Patent it and who knows what else!

BE CREATIVE***

Andrea Jackson
Posted by: ANdrea || 02/18/2005 21:35 Comments || Top||

#33  I have 2 stickers on the back of may car given to me by my 2 grand children. A yellow one from my grand daughter (5) and a rbw from my grand son (7). How should I explain "fuck NPR" to them?
Posted by: SwissTex || 02/18/2005 22:10 Comments || Top||

#34  Sorry, may=my
Posted by: SwissTex || 02/18/2005 22:19 Comments || Top||

#35  How should I explain "fuck NPR" to them?

"I didn't catch the spelling error until it was too late" ?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 22:20 Comments || Top||

#36  Thank you, SwissTex.

Rantburg's still s'posed to be a place of civil, well reasoned discourse.
Posted by: badanov || 02/18/2005 22:20 Comments || Top||

#37  Well, Badanov, Rantburg is the first blog I've ever read (mentioned by Tony Snow in November) and it's still the first I read early morning every day. I must admit I usualy wait for the posting of .com who has a fantastic sens of humor.
Posted by: SwissTex || 02/18/2005 22:41 Comments || Top||

#38  #29:
uh huh - that's "hate speech" Barbara
Damn straight, Frank J.! ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/18/2005 22:53 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Important Player in WoT Missing
With Ambassador Negroponte named to the top intel spot, the question remains, who is minding the terror finance intel shop in Treasury? For more than a year, Treasury's then newly created postion of assistant secretary for Office of Intelligence and Analysis has remained vacant. While assistant secretary Juan Zarate has capably led the other half of Treasury's terror finance unit, the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, the seems to be little rush to fill the intel job.

It was a question that came up repeatedly for Zarate during Wednesday's hearing of the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Zarate insisted that filling the post was a top administration priority, but there was no explanation of why it has taken so long, or when someone would actually be named. Maybe they were waiting for Negroponte's appointment, in hopes of letting the new director have a say? Still, the job has been vacant since its creation, before the legislation calling for the appointment of DNI, so there seems to be something else going on. Could it be a lack of focus on the terror finance issues that everyone keeps saying are so important?
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2005 6:59:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:


"Texan" arrested after saying he sought bin Laden bounty
Authorities said a Texas man told agents at Detroit Metropolitan Airport that he was headed to Syria to try to claim the $25-million bounty on Osama bin Laden.
Syria? Boy, I never would have thought of looking there!
He was arrested on charges of making false statements to federal investigators.
They can't take a joke, but they can arrest the joker
Matt Mihsen, of Sansom Park, boarded a Northwest Airlines flight in Dallas on Tuesday en route to Detroit, the Netherlands and Syria, according to a federal criminal complaint. Customs and Border Protection officers questioned him at the Detroit airport. Mihsen, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Syria, told agents he was on his way to the Middle East to investigate the illegal sale of uranium by extremists.
So, he's Syrian living in Texas, not a native Texan.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 1:08:54 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [343 views] Top|| File under:

#1  OK, this guy was funding his own anti-Jihad expedition and on his way to Syria. From the details we have been given, I fail to see the big issue. At worst he gets his neck cut in Bekaa, and at best he collects the bounty or locates some of Sadam's lost WMD. =)
Posted by: Mac Suirtain || 02/18/2005 14:33 Comments || Top||

#2  My take is either he's a nut or perhaps a not-to-bright syrian want-a-be jihadi. Better he's off the street either way. If he made it to Syria, he could have been kidnapped and made out to be a CIA agent.
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 15:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah, those stun guns don't work too good without the ammunition...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/18/2005 16:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Sounds like he was prepared. Just possibly he knows something. Binny in Syria wouldn't surprise me.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/18/2005 16:03 Comments || Top||

#5  he could have been going too syria then too iraq too fight our troops
Posted by: Thraing Hupoluper1864 || 02/18/2005 17:30 Comments || Top||


Official sez al-Qaeda may enter the US through Mexico
Rep. Solomon Ortiz has been sounding an alarm since last summer that al-Qaeda might exploit the porousness of the nation's southern border and now the Department of Homeland Security agrees with him. Admiral James Loy, deputy Homeland Security secretary, said in written testimony he gave the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday that "recent information from ongoing investigations, detentions and emerging threat streams strongly suggests that al-Qaeda has considered using the southwestern border to infiltrate the United States."

Loy said that al-Qaeda operatives believe they can pay to get into the country through Mexico and that entering illegally is "more advantageous than legal entry." But Loy also said there's no conclusive evidence that al-Qaeda operatives have entered the country illegally through those methods.
If I was in the homeland security business, a hint would be enough to set me investigating. Conclusive evidence is for courtrooms. Indications and probabilities are for intelligence analysis.
Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, has been urging the federal government to end its practice of releasing non-Mexican immigrants awaiting deportation hearings after they've been arrested for illegally entering the country. The majority of the non-Mexican immigrants released are from Latin American countries. Officials have said that detaining the immigrants would be costly. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement keeps in custody those that have committed crimes or are considered a public threat and on average have about 21,000 people in custody daily nationwide. Cathy Travis, a spokeswoman for Ortiz, said some who are arrested and released are from "countries of interest."
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2005 11:03:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [331 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Loy also said that the United States is a "harder target" for terrorists and illegal immigrants than in the past because of improvements in security since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

A problem still exists: once past the border by ten miles or so, a border-jumper is home free. Once the government starts sweeping for illegal immigrants in places far away from the border, then we can all start feeling a lot better.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2005 11:19 Comments || Top||

#2  To a certain extent, they do, BaR. Tucson is 60 miles from the border and I see Border Patrol SUVs stopped alongside washes and such all the time up here. Now, if you revised that to 100 miles, I'd go along. I don't see very many in Phoenix.
Posted by: jackal || 02/18/2005 13:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Where is the Master of the Obvious graphic?
Posted by: RWV || 02/18/2005 14:01 Comments || Top||

#4  Border Patrol is all over San Antonio, I see them on bridges watching the trains and other locations all the time.
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 15:55 Comments || Top||

#5  That's a Union Graphic RWV, it's off until Monday.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 17:53 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Malaysia Still Quizzing Khan's Deputy for N-Proliferation
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi yesterday said his country was not going to hand over an alleged deputy of Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan to anyone as investigations were still in progress. "No, there is no move to hand him over to anybody and he is still detained by us," Badawi told a press conference in Islamabad when asked if Buhary Syed Abu Tahir was being handed over to the United States. Tahir has been named by US President George W. Bush as "deputy" to Khan in an international nuclear trafficking ring.

"Our... intelligence people like to speak and continue to talk to him. Obviously, there are lot of things we would like to know from him," Badawi said. Tahir told Malaysian police last year that Khan sold nuclear centrifuge parts to Iran in the mid-1990s and sent enriched uranium to Libya in 2001. Khan, a disgraced one-time national hero credited with making Pakistan a nuclear power, confessed in February 2004 to leaking nuclear secrets. He was later pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [323 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fred:
Jeff Ooi is reporting religious cop shenanigans in Malaysia. When the Chinese and Hindus formed the majority, the backward Malays didn't dare make a move against the Chinese. China didn't intervene when Indonesian Islamonazis butchered 500,000 ethnic Chinese (starting with those who held debts over Indos). They might make a move if the Malays get uppity. And nobody would give a damn.
http://www.jeffooi.com/
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 4:40 Comments || Top||

#2  IToldYouSo: China didn't intervene when Indonesian Islamonazis butchered 500,000 ethnic Chinese (starting with those who held debts over Indos). They might make a move if the Malays get uppity.

Same kind of thing happened in China after the "Liberation" - only the victims in China had surrendered. China does not have the military power to do anything in Malaysia. More to the point, the Pacific Command will prevent China from trying to realize its ancient goal of "recovering" Nanyang (i.e. Southeast Asia) for the Chinese empire. The Chinese will not get a pass on trying to re-enact a version the German seizure of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland - in Malaysia. Their efforts to do so by backing ethnic Chinese-led Communist guerrillas in the region failed - their second try will have no more success.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/18/2005 9:49 Comments || Top||

#3  China didn't intervene when Indonesian Islamonazis butchered 500,000 ethnic Chinese (starting with those who held debts over Indos).

given overhwleming US naval superiority at the time, how were they to intervene? Walk on water?
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 02/18/2005 10:08 Comments || Top||

#4  and BTW, the militarists who killed the 500,000 or so Chinese in 1965, heavily communists, were not Islamists.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 02/18/2005 10:09 Comments || Top||

#5  I agree with Zhang Fei, China is unlikely to make any move.

Jeff Ooi may be doing some good in exposing the Malaysia local going-ons and often makes entertaining reading but Rantburger should know that he is very anti-Bush like any raving US LLL. Way overdone.
Posted by: Duh || 02/18/2005 12:59 Comments || Top||

#6  Jeff Ooi, referring to the Secret Service's investigation of a blogger for suggesting that someone should kill GWB: It makes (Nazi's) Gestapo and the (Communist China's) People's Red Army pale by comparison.

I guess Jeff Ooi doesn't know that under Moose Dung and Hitler, entire families were put to death for lesser crimes than that of trying to assassinate leadership figures. (Peng Dehuai, one of Mao's closest buddies, and supreme commander of Chinese forces during the Korean War, was beaten to death in a jail cell on Mao's orders - low-ranking nobodies had much worse happen to them). Jeff Ooi is OK for straight news, but his opinions and analyses are way out in cuckooland.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/18/2005 13:16 Comments || Top||

#7  Liberalhawk:
The massacre of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia between 1965-1967, began after local authorities announced alleged activity by a fictitious terror group (Kap Gestapu). Although the central government sent troops into the killing fields, in what one commander said was a "cleansing operation," most of the killings were carried out by means of machete strikes, inflicted by para-militaries. The killers were mostly Islamic militia members, backed by local fatwah authority. The Indonesian government was more interested in killing reformers.
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 13:41 Comments || Top||

#8  LOL! The battle of Leyte Gulf was after Pearl Harbour. Jesus. A google-lifer.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 18:04 Comments || Top||

#9  IToldYouSo: The massacre of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia between 1965-1967, began after local authorities announced alleged activity by a fictitious terror group (Kap Gestapu). Although the central government sent troops into the killing fields, in what one commander said was a "cleansing operation," most of the killings were carried out by means of machete strikes, inflicted by para-militaries. The killers were mostly Islamic militia members, backed by local fatwah authority. The Indonesian government was more interested in killing reformers.

Every mention I've read of Kap Gestapu comes from a left-wing website that alleges the complicity of American paymasters. Frankly, this is of a piece with the guys who allege that the recent tsunami was the product of underwater nuclear tests. IToldYouSo needs to stop relying on tainted sources like this.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/18/2005 18:15 Comments || Top||


Badawi urges US and Iran to resolve dispute diplomatically
Hey, good idea! I wonder why we never thought of that?
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

#1  EXTRA ! EXTRA ! CONDI RICE GETS EINSTEIN TO HOLD PEACE TALKS ON SUMMONING THINGS UP IN THIS WORLD !BZZZTZZZAAPPPUUUUTTTAAAAAHHHHZZZZZZ !
Posted by: Gleeper Angigum7529 || 02/18/2005 2:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Deep, GA. Made no sense, but deep.
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2005 3:12 Comments || Top||

#3  I thought Hillary Clinton was the one who spoke to the dead -- former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt comes to mind.

.com: perhaps high instead of deep?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 4:27 Comments || Top||

#4  "BZZZTZZZAAPPPUUUUTTTAAAAAHHHHZZZZZZ !"
what is that #1
Posted by: Bzzz || 02/18/2005 5:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Man I hate fugue states.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 7:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Yeah, especially when they go for baroque.

Posted by: Doc8404 || 02/18/2005 11:06 Comments || Top||

#7  Badawi spews platitudes while his predecessor bad mouths. Badawi is actually more pro-islamist than the later. These are the main differences between the two.
Posted by: Duh || 02/18/2005 11:38 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Syrian Leadership in Disarray?
"The decision to extend President Emile Lahoud's term was taken by the Asad family itself." So said a smart diplomat when we met yesterday to discuss the crisis. "We know that," he said. "Vice President Khaddam and Interior Minister Canaan — Syria's most knowledgeable Lebanon hands who long handled the Lebanon portfolio — recommended against extending Lahoud's term and manipulating the Lebanese constitution as if it were the Syrian constitution. They were over-ruled by the Asad family itself."

The decision turned out to be a fateful one, for it set Syria on its recent collision course with Lebanon. Why the young Asad brother and cousins decided they could do without the advice of "the Old Guard" is where conjecture and speculation begin. The diplomat I spoke with believes the reason the Asad family overruled the older generation of experienced Lebanon hands was that family members such as Bashar's brother Maher and his cousin Rami Makhlouf had important business dealings in Lebanon which depended on Lahoud. "They needed Lahoud to stay for their own interests," he said. "The family members were pushing for his retention. Perhaps they were trying to create their own Lebanon policy and side-line the 'old guard,'" he added. "Maybe Bashar went along because he is trying to create his own base of power?"

This is where the speculation within the diplomatic community begins to veer off into a number of directions. The diplomat, then concluded, "There doesn't seem to be anyone at the top with a real sense of long-term strategy for Syria's foreign policy. It is being patched together for reasons which are hard to figure. In the past, Hafiz al-Asad was the strategist. He had a clear vision of what Syrias ultimate goals should be. Today, it is not clear where Syria is headed or why decisions are being made."

The theory that the Asad family made the decision to extend Lahoud's presidency at the last minute jives with Hariri's own version of events. The Daily Star yesterday ran an interview with Hariri given to a Lebanese reporter the day before his death. He had spoken off the record on a number of topics, but the reporter broke with journalistic protocol because of Hariri's assassination and wrote up the entire conversation. Hariri explained that he had "gone into opposition the moment Lahoud's term was extended." He explained how he had been completely blind-sided by the decision. Bashar al-Asad himself had called Hariri to a meeting in Damascus and told him that Lahoud's term would be extended and effectively ordered him to ease the passage through parliament. Hariri said that Bashar did not consult him beforehand or ask his opinion on the matter. He was told what to do. The meeting lasted only 10 minutes. For Hariri, this was a Rubicon.

Undoubtedly, Hariri's friends in Damascus, such as Khaddam, had not prepared him for the Asad meeting. Hariri was understandably incensed to be taken so off-guard and cut out of the decision-making process. From what the diplomat explained to me, we can conclude that the reason Khaddam could not warn him or bring him into the decision-making process was because Khaddam himself did not believe that Lahoud would be kept on. Perhaps he and other "old guard" advisors had assured Hariri that Syria would do no such thing. The Syrian government had, after all, announced only weeks before the elections were to take place that it would not interfere. In all likelihood, Hariri had been assured by his "old guard" Syrian friends that the presidential election would go forward without Lahoud. Clearly, Hariri was used to knowing and being consulted about such momentous decisions before the fact. The Asad overrule and disarray within the Syrian chain of command drove Hariri into the opposition. Eventual, it led to his death. But could the Syrian President have ordered Hariri's assassination? No one here will say that, and I don't think they believe it. It is not consistent with his character or policies. The consequences of Hariri's murder are too devastating for Syria for such a decision to make sense.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2005 7:22:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [440 views] Top|| File under:

#1  misconnected thoughts about conflicting orders...
I have some vague recollection of a John Brunner story in which a character destroyed an 'invincible' sim country by means not unlike Bashar's...
I wonder if Bashar has read much Brunner...
Posted by: Dishman || 02/18/2005 19:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Hokay, it does look like a Baby-Ass-ad job entirely, after all. I thought he wouldn't be so stupid. I retract. He's an idiot. He deserves what's coming to him. Unfortunately, it won't be cheap in other people's lives, before this is over.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 02/18/2005 19:42 Comments || Top||

#3  If he's being willfully stupid, it could come pretty cheaply (compared to the alternative).
Posted by: Dishman || 02/18/2005 21:12 Comments || Top||

#4  interesting comments at link.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 22:56 Comments || Top||


Iranian Cleric Challenges Hardliners through Blog
EFL
Blogging might not sound an appropriate hobby for a senior Iranian government official, particularly one who is a Muslim cleric. But presidential adviser Mohammad Ali Abthai has turned the practice of writing Internet journals, or blogging, into a powerful tool against the reformist government's hardline foes and a means to reach out to the country's disenchanted youth.
Abtahi, 45, a mid-ranking cleric who last year quit his post as vice-president, says he learns more chatting with young people on the Internet than he does in any government report.
"A lot of them criticize the (political) system and sometimes I tell them they are right. I talk to them very freely," he said in an interview at his spartan office in affluent north Tehran.
"What do you think about moving to a secular political system? Yes or No???" asked one visitor, who called himself Gomnam.
"Naturally the system of any country should be chosen by the majority of the people," was Abtahi's subtle reply.
Internet use has proliferated in Iran in recent years. Official figures suggest there are more than 4 million users in the country of 68 million and the country ranks fourth in the world in terms of active Web logs.
But Internet use, like other forms of entertainment and expression in Iran, is under threat.
Late last year more than 20 young Internet journalists, web technicians and bloggers were arrested and held for several weeks on charges ranging from endangering national security to insulting senior officials of the clerical establishment.
Soon after their release Abtahi revealed details of their treatment in prison where they were kept in solitary confinement, subjected to physical and psychological torture and forced to write confessions admitting to their crimes.
It was a daring move but it worked. Abtahi's writings brought international attention to the case. Human rights groups and foreign governments called for an immediate inquiry.
Local newspapers, normally too scared of closure to publish anything critical of the judiciary, began writing their own accounts of the bloggers' ordeals.
Finally, judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi met the bloggers and after hearing their claims promised to bring those responsible to justice.
"There's been a change in the atmosphere," Abtahi said. "Now instead of the webloggers being under pressure it's the judiciary which is feeling the heat.
Fereshteh Ghazi, whose nose was reportedly broken during one interrogation session in jail, agreed.
"Abtahi actually pressured high-ranking officials to follow-up our case. Because of our situation, we were scared to talk, but Abtahi had no such fear."
The battle against censorship, however, is far from over.
The judiciary recently ordered local Internet Service Providers to block access to several popular web sites including Orkut (www.orkut.com) a global online friendship portal where Iran contributes the third-most members.
Abtahi recently had to move his own Web site to a server in the United States after a series of problems he believes were related to his writings about the bloggers case.

Iran is fascintating. It is on the edge of obtaining nuclear weapons in pursuit of its old-style attempt at intimidation, and simultaneously on the edge of a political reformation that would reject its repressive, theocratic government. Which will happen first? Popcorn, please.
Posted by: sludj || 02/18/2005 3:30:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1 
Which will happen first? Popcorn, please.

This is not a situation where we can simply lean back and wait and watch what happens. If the arrival of this political reformation can be made to happen earlier via external support/pressure, then the current administration should be doing everything it can behind the scenes to get that train rolling faster.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2005 16:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Bomb-a-rama. Yeah, you are right, I regretted that phrase after I posted it. My point was just that there are two opposite forces at work in Iran and I am watching events play out with fascination. The situation seems so delicate. If the Iranians view the US as the driving force, pushing the political reformation, reformist forces will lose a lot of their power to persuade their countrymen. On the other hand, we need to do what we can.
Posted by: sludj || 02/18/2005 16:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Iranian_Clerics = Iranian_Clerics - 1;

in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...
Posted by: AzCat || 02/18/2005 22:09 Comments || Top||


Iran and the Nuclear Weapons Triggers
The topic of countless bad science fiction movies, rogue nations getting and using nuclear weapons, moves from an ongoing nightmare of US and allied national security advisers, and closer to reality. Two nations are now under increased scrutiny for their alleged attempts to get atomic bombs. Recently, in Paris, an Iranian exile group -- the National Council of Resistance of Iran -- accused Tehran of using smuggled materials to conduct a secret program to develop a neutron initiator "nuclear trigger" using smuggled materials. Such a trigger would be used to detonate a fission bomb.
Most modern nuclear weapons use a neutron pulse tube, which accelerates tiny amounts of Tritium or Deuterium into each other, producing a reaction which then yields neutrons. The electronic pulse can be exactly controlled to nansecond or smaller accuracy to initiate the chain reaction. Polonium-Beryllium initiators were used in early weapons, and a third world bomb built from scratch is likely to use the same technology if such a country can manufacture it. In such a bomb, the limiting factor is the half-life of Polonium-210, which is about 140 days, meaning that the shelf life of such a bomb is about two years. A fission bomb can be detonated without such a trigger if enough of the nuclear material is quickly put close enough together. However, for such a bomb to work without a nuclear trigger, extremely precise manufacturing and precise control of the high explosive used to compress the radioactive material together is required. Such manufacturing finesse is said to be beyond the capability of most third world countries. Thus, countries with less sophisticated capabilities who want nuclear weapons must obtain suitable triggers.
The Iranian allegations made by the National Council of Resistance of Iran were met with some doubt since the group has a checkered record of reporting accurately some of the goings-on within Iran. However, Iran's repeated refusal to seriously negotiate with the West regarding abandoning a nuclear weapons program gives added credence to the group's claims and the International Atomic Energy Agency responded cautiously, noting that the Tehran Research Reactor may be in use through a dummy company to combine polonium-210 and beryllium to create a nuclear trigger.
This news comes upon the heels of word that North Korea has announced that it is again cutting food rations, refused to deny that it has purchased at least one nuclear weapon from abroad, and said it is rejoining multilateral talks aimed at preventing itself from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 10:01:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [442 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have no doubt that North Korea and Iran are capable of doing the same precise machining that the U.S. did 60 years ago in 1945.
Posted by: Tom || 02/18/2005 20:06 Comments || Top||

#2  China is more than happy to provide the machine tools needed to to the work.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 02/18/2005 21:04 Comments || Top||

#3  I can assure you that the Iranian students in my graduate mechanical engineering class 25 years ago are quite capable of building the machine tools from scratch if necessary.
Posted by: Tom || 02/18/2005 21:11 Comments || Top||

#4  The Left > "NO WMDS IN IRAN/SYRIA/NORTH KOREA.............@", ergo Iran doesn't have nuclear triggers, as honest injun as the Geneva Convention regarding to uniformed POWS formally applies to a Left-alleged, Civilian-only anti-US Iraqi insurgency and "freedom fighters", where American milfors must appease the insurgents but the insurgents can kill and behead all they want -you know, AMERICA-SPECIFIC OR PRO-AMERICA
"PATRIOTISM" BY THE US LEFT!? And just because Iran and Syria and NK and ... are planning and want their army units to disguise themselves and engage in nation-wide "people's/guerilla war" ags any US invasion doesn't mean they are mil servicemembers whom are also civilians - GOTTA BE NICE FOR ENEMY MILFORS TO BE PROTECTED BY GENEVA, LEFT-DEMANDED INTERNATIONAL APPLICATIONS OF US LAWS FOR CIVILIAN INSURGENTS, AND THE UNO! Radical Islam attacks the USA and US interests in the overt name of God and covert name of Global Socialism and Communism, while Russia-China work to contain the US mil counter-response via massive global weapons and miltech proliferation -are Communist Fascists = Fascist Communists, espec iff one wears a turban/burqua!? The Clintons and the Commies are as trustworthy and innocent as Mom, Grandma, and Betty Crocker, and Der StalinMarxReich Hillary "I'm just a Girl like Martha" Clinton!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/18/2005 22:33 Comments || Top||


Syria replaces intelligence chief
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed his brother-in-law as head of military intelligence, reports quote Syrian sources as saying. Brig Gen Asef Shawkat replaced Gen Hassan Khalil, who had reportedly reached retirement age.
More likely because he was in charge of the intelligence services that boomed Hariri and they didn't expect the backlash that came from it. So, he takes the fall.
Syrian sources said the appointment could suggest Mr Assad is consolidating his hold over the security services. The move comes amid claims of Syrian involvement in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 9:42:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [669 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IMO, it's the first of his fathers old cronies that he's replacing.
Posted by: gromgorru || 02/18/2005 10:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Wonder if "retirement age" will leave a copper taste in Hassan's mouth? But not for long...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/18/2005 10:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Buzzards and Vultures are complaining because old meat is grainy and hard to chew especially when dried out by a hot desert sun...
Posted by: BigEd || 02/18/2005 12:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Baathist tradition. A minority group (Sunni in Iraq, Alawite in Syria) naming family members to all the intelligence apparati. I think the pressure is on Syria now and its family leadership is taking a huge gamble. First by allying itself with the losers of Tehran. Both regimes are unifying to put off the inevitable since if they don't try to preserve themselves now, they will surely go down in any kind of real election process. 2nd is the naming of the brother in law. Shows desperation.
Posted by: chicago mike || 02/18/2005 12:57 Comments || Top||

#5  I think he's trying to avoid a military coup.
Posted by: Jake-the-Peg || 02/18/2005 14:43 Comments || Top||


'America would back Israel attack on Iran'
President George W Bush added a new twist to the international tension over Iran's nuclear programme last night by pledging to support Israel if it tries to destroy the Islamic regime's capacity to make an atomic bomb. Asked whether he would back Israel if it raided Teheran's nuclear facilities, Mr Bush first expressed cautious solidarity with European efforts, led by Britain, France and Germany, to negotiate with Iran. But he quickly qualified himself, adding that all nations should be concerned about whether Iran could make nuclear weapons. "Clearly, if I was the leader of Israel and I'd listened to some of the statements by the Iranian ayatollahs that regarded the security of my country, I'd be concerned about Iran having a nuclear weapon as well. And in that Israel is our ally, and in that we've made a very strong commitment to support Israel, we will support Israel if her security is threatened."

His comments appeared to be a departure from the administration's line that there are no plans to attack at present and that Washington backs European diplomatic efforts. The remarks may have reflected Mr Bush's personal thinking on an issue causing deep concern in Washington. Moments later, Mr Bush was asked another question on Iran and appeared to return to his script - this time emphasising the need for a diplomatic effort.

Speaking days before he arrives in Europe on a tour designed to mend fences with estranged allies, he underscored the differences still hobbling western policy towards the Middle East. Many figures close to the United States administration believe that the European diplomatic initiative is calculated more to dilute America's hardline approach to weapons of mass destruction than to stop Iran's mullahs building a bomb. Israel, meanwhile, has given warning about Iran's nuclear ambitions, saying that an Iranian bomb might be only six months away and that such a weapon would pose a grave risk to its security. Mr Bush repeated the reasons for America's anxiety: "Remember, this all started when we found [Iran] enriching uranium in an undeclared fashion, and it happened because somebody told on them."

Iran's long march towards becoming a nuclear power appeared to make a significant step forward yesterday with the opening of a £450 million reactor at Bushehr. A senior Russian nuclear official said he would go to Iran next week to sign a protocol agreeing the return of spent nuclear fuel, the last remaining obstacle to Bushehr's functioning. This will allow deliveries of Russian nuclear fuel. The protocol's signing has been repeatedly delayed. It aims to ease concerns that Iran could reprocess spent nuclear fuel from Bushehr to extract plutonium, which could be used in nuclear weapons.

Iran's influential former president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, speaking yesterday after meeting the Syrian prime minister, Mohammad Naji al-Otari, said his country needed to create a powerful alliance with Syria, Iraq and other Arab countries. Mr Rafsanjani, widely expected to run in Iran's June presidential elections, said the region must "stay completely vigilant vis-a-vis the US and Israeli plots".
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/18/2005 4:09:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Israelis are well aware of billionaire Rafsanjani's threats against Tel Aviv. The Mullah thief was prepping for something. Take out Qom and the nuke sites, and Teheran will become a graveyard for Islamofascists. The Persian tyrants are to decide whether or not to return spent nuclear fuel to Russia, next week. If they don't: SAY DOOM!
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 4:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Mr Bush was asked another question on Iran and appeared to return to his script - this time emphasizing the need for a diplomatic effort.

I guess their point the Telegraph wants to make is not Bush's point, but rather - See what happens when the silly little monkey strays from his script?

His comments appeared to be a departure from the administration’s line that there are no plans to attack at present and that Washington backs European diplomatic efforts

Here's a tip to the brain trust - the comment that our administration has "no plans to attack" and "we will support Israel if her security is threatened" are not inconsistent.

It is a pointed comment by Bush yes, but it's perfectly in line with "his administration's script", to support a country that is being threatened with annihilation by tyrants- as well as to continue diplomatic efforts.

Just a lame attempt to manipulate Bush's words to show him in a bad light, meant to poison the well before Bush's European visit.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 5:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Just a lame attempt to manipulate Bush's words to show him in a bad light, meant to poison the well before Bush's European visit.

It would seem Bush is deliberately poisoning the well himself. Dunno why. Just a bargaining chip for the forthcoming Euro trip?
Posted by: Jake-the-Peg || 02/18/2005 6:02 Comments || Top||

#4  "His comments appeared to be a departure from the administration’s line that there are no plans to attack at present and that Washington backs European diplomatic efforts."

Clearly, the treacherous cowboy is preparing to betray naive Europeans!
Posted by: gromgorru || 02/18/2005 6:05 Comments || Top||

#5  Read it again Jake:

"Clearly, if I was the leader of Israel and I’d listened to some of the statements by the Iranian ayatollahs that regarded the security of my country, I’d be concerned about Iran having a nuclear weapon as well. And in that Israel is our ally, and in that we’ve made a very strong commitment to support Israel, we will support Israel if her security is threatened."

That's kind of a no-brainer, it's no change in policy. What stirs it up is people who are duped into seeing like this is some sort of outrage or big deal.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 6:05 Comments || Top||

#6 
2b at #5 What stirs it up is people who are duped into seeing like this is some sort of outrage or big deal.

To EUros, Israel's existence is an outrage.
Posted by: gromgorru || 02/18/2005 6:08 Comments || Top||

#7  Sadly you are right. This is just like a bad rerun of WWII. Iran plows ahead to build a nuke, that we all know will eventually be tested in Israel.

And the "intellectuals" of the world have hissy fits because they don't like the way Bush says nuclear.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 6:40 Comments || Top||

#8  Um? Whats the story here? Hasn't it be the US policy to support Isreal and to even come to her aid if it attacked? Hasn't this been like this from at least the 1960? People are shocked when a president says so?
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 02/18/2005 6:43 Comments || Top||

#9  SPOD - so true! This article is big packaging for a little product.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 6:49 Comments || Top||

#10  More like packaging for no product at all. Wake me when the shooting starts.
Posted by: AzCat || 02/18/2005 7:07 Comments || Top||

#11  [i]More like packaging for no product at all. Wake me when the shooting starts.[/i]

The hell with that. I want to [i]be there[/i] when the shooting starts. Now if they can only hold off a fear or so . . .
Posted by: Jame Retief || 02/18/2005 7:46 Comments || Top||

#12  The point of the story is that Bush, at least personally, clearly would not object to, or try to prevent, self-defensive military action by Israel against Iran (a la Osirak) - which is a markedly different stance from Rice's recent (and unhelpful, IMO) suggestion that an attack on Iran is neither imminent nor on the US's agenda. At least from Iran's perspective, this is military action being put back on the table.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/18/2005 8:21 Comments || Top||

#13  Hey, why not, if you're going to be accused of it anyways?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/18/2005 8:25 Comments || Top||

#14  Just heard on the radio that Putty is convinced that Iran harbors no weapons aspirations and Russia will continue to aid them in the pursuit of peaceful nuclear power. Sounds like the lines are being drawn...
Posted by: JerseyMike || 02/18/2005 8:43 Comments || Top||

#15  To me, the distinction is obvious: We're definitely not going to attack Iran IN THE SAME WAY that we attacked Iraq: No full scale invasion by US Troops with the intent of establishing a consenual, liberty respecting government, and being willing to wait out a long . That's what CONDI said.

What BUSH said was that he didn't object to ISRAEL performing a limited strike upon Iran with the intent of postponing the day that it will get nuclear weapons. That worked with Saddam's Iraq when Osirak was bombed, and will work here.

Two different things stupidly conflated by this particular MSM outlet.

I'm unsure of the motivation that created the conflation: Did the reporter see the difference and deliberately choose to create and propagate an illusion of Administration confusion where none exists out of hate (smart but evil), or did he just believe that the utterances of a chimp does not deserve the careful diplomatic parsing that someone of Chirac's, Schroeder's, or Clinton's background would have been knee-jerkedly accorded automatically? (dumb and confused) Either way, it's not very complimentary of the reporter or of his employer.

I use the word "he" in a generic sense: it has to be telling that the paper elected NOT to mention the reporter's name. I wonder why?
Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2005 9:07 Comments || Top||

#16  "...wait out a long occupation."

Preview is my friend.
Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2005 9:08 Comments || Top||

#17  So Pooty-Poot is convinced. Big deal -- Bush is also convinced that Iran will not have nuclear weapons. Let's note that common belief and work from there...

This is just like the lead-up to the war with Iraq. Everybody's posturing daily. But almost everybody recognizes the obvious -- Iran is not going to have nuclear weapons. What some people are mistaking for diplomacy is nothing more than waiting to be closer to the point of no return before striking. You cannot have diplomacy with someone who constantly refers to you as "The Great Satan". So it's UFOs today and cruise missiles in the not-too-distant future.
Posted by: Tom || 02/18/2005 9:17 Comments || Top||

#18  In order for Israel to attack Iran, they have to fly through Iraqi airspace. Which, of course, is currently the property of the United States Air Force. If we wished to oppose an Israeli attack, it would not happen.

If the Israelis do attack, it would not surprise me to find an AWACS or two, with a strong F-16 or F-18 CAP loitering along the Iraqi / Iranian border. And that we had the Israeli comm freqs and transponder codes (IFF). And that a bunch of guys in Blackhawks and a MASH were on standby for SAR.

I'm just sayin'.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 02/18/2005 9:18 Comments || Top||

#19  Chuck,

You forgot Israeli mid-air fueling provided by the U.S. air tankers.

Sounds like a plan.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 02/18/2005 9:31 Comments || Top||

#20  Two different things stupidly conflated by this particular MSM outlet.

Ptah, I don't see anywhere in the article where the two issues are conflated - they only appear to have been conflated by the earlier commentators.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/18/2005 9:36 Comments || Top||

#21  Chuck you indirectly raise the one issue that I've never quite been able to work through: what happens in Iraq if the US overtly assists Israel in a strike on Iran? Celebrations in the streets? A massive uprising against the US presence? Nothing at all?
Posted by: AzCat || 02/18/2005 9:37 Comments || Top||

#22  I am sure the Iraqi Jews (yes they do exist) will have a private party.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 02/18/2005 9:42 Comments || Top||

#23  Somebody show me where Bush said, "America Would Back Israel Attack on Iran" as the title of this article claims.

What Bush said, was this: "I’d be concerned about Iran having a nuclear weapon as well. And in that Israel is our ally, and in that we’ve made a very strong commitment to support Israel, we will support Israel if her security is threatened."

Now before commenting..go back and read it one more time! Not ONE WORD about an ATTACK by Israel or by us. That's not to say that this isn't a very pointed comment by Bush, or that any of the above interpretations are right or wrong. But the title is not supported by the article.

Wouldn't it have been wise, as a professional journalist, to check with White House sources and ask them what was meant by that before telling us what they thought it meant. Why is their interpretation any more meaningful than yours or mine?
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 9:50 Comments || Top||

#24  Wouldn't a more correct title have been, "Bush reaffirms commitment to support Israel".

The title is intended to inflame and is supported only by innuendo.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 9:56 Comments || Top||

#25  The title is intended to inflame and is supported only by innuendo.

I think you should check with the Telegraph before telling us what you think they're doing.

You don't seem to be as well versed as Bush in the language of diplomacy if you think the first paragraph of the article doesn't support the title.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/18/2005 10:06 Comments || Top||

#26  Step back and get a grip, Bulldog. Iran is perhaps just months away for getting the potential to nuke Israel. If the Telegraph wants to parse through the language of diplospeak then where are the headlines saying, "Mullahs Make Plans to Nuke Israel" ???

do I hear crickets chirping?

Bush publically affirms support for Israel's right to exist and WAHOH!!STOP THE PRESSES!!! There's a madman on the loose.

Hmmm...let me see - one country has "through the language of diplospeak" as you say, made it clear that nuking Israel is a viable option. Euro reacion: Hear that wind blow.

Bush affirms support for the right of Israel to protect itself. Reaction: The entire European Continent and our left shrieks in fear and dives for the bunkers.

Makes sense. Not much sense though.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 10:32 Comments || Top||

#27  I find your comments very diheartening Bulldog. You're a smart guy, I respect your opinions, yet even you seem to be buying into the crazy notion of finding more to fear in Bush's comments than in the Mullahs getting a bomb. I just don't understand it.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 10:59 Comments || Top||

#28  If they don't: SAY DOOM!

Okay, "doom".

Now what?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2005 11:22 Comments || Top||

#29  No attack on Iran would be complete without removing the head of the Iranian thugocracy, the Mullahs.
Posted by: badanov || 02/18/2005 11:29 Comments || Top||

#30  That's the difference between our media and theirs. We allow argument, they don't. Regardless, it's no secret we're going to support Israel in any thing they do. Like it's no secret there's no way in hell we'll let Iran have nuclear weapons. I think 2b's right about this being published intentionally just before the President's European trip. While he's there he might consider putting Putin on notice he could be held responsible for aiding/sponsoring terrorism.
Posted by: shellback || 02/18/2005 11:32 Comments || Top||

#31  On this, like Osiraik, the Israelis do not want out help, do not need our help except diplomatically (against all the condemnations that will follow) and probably think we are a security risk for leaking info.

If/When the Israeli's have a go at Iran's nuclear program, it will be, as usual, up and over TURKISH airspace, by way of the Med.and there will likely be Israeli ships standing by for SAR support at the mouth of the Persian Gulf (probably coverts, like an Israaeli crewed merchant ship thats flagged in a 3rd world nation of convenience).

An alternative is an Entebbe style operation to set up a temporary airbase someplace in the region, at which the fighter/bombers can stage forward into the attack, with the SAR as above.

Given that their very existence is at stake, they would sacrifice men (volunteers not hard to come by for them) to get these nukes.

Bush's words simply say that if the Israelis do go after the Iranian nukes, then we understand why and will support them in the aftermath. Much as we have always done.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/18/2005 11:33 Comments || Top||

#32  2b - I think you're reading waaaay too much between the lines of one page 16 article in the Telegraph. The headline is simply a valid, and also eyecatching, interpretation of Bush's comments re Iran.

The Telegraph does not have an anti-Bush agenda - in fact, it gave its endorsement to George Bush last November. Its editorials are consistently pro-Bush and pro-WoT.

...you seem to be buying into the crazy notion of finding more to fear in Bush's comments than in the Mullahs getting a bomb.

Bush's language definitely suggested that he would have no problem if Israel decided to preemptively strike Iran. You're wrongly assuming that I or The Telegraph thinks there's anything wrong with that.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/18/2005 11:53 Comments || Top||

#33  Page 16, hmmm...maybe I am reading too much into it as being a deeply laid plot. But the whole, "departing from the script" was certainly a gratuitous swipe. A more professional headline would have reflected what Bush said, rather than, wink, wink, what we are all pretty sure that he meant.

"Israel Faces Increased Nuclear Threat, Bush Reaffirms Support" would have been far more informative.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 12:11 Comments || Top||

#34  The "Magnificent Seven" came up with and have used the Machiavellian-Clintonian tactic of syntax.

DEPENDS ON WHAT THE MEANING OF "WE" IS

i.e. We have no plans to attack -GWB
{wink-wink-nudge-nudge to Israel}

The 7 :
Bush - Cheney - Rice - Rumsfeld - Goss - Chertoff - Negroponte
Posted by: BigEd || 02/18/2005 12:33 Comments || Top||

#35  Ashoura festival perversity, with its hacking of flesh and demonstrative bleeding, is an excellent background for a big-snuff of Eastern savages.

IAmTellingYouNow: the Arab-Persian split spin is contradicted by the cultural unity that was displayed at last year's Ashoura, when up to 15,000 Persians made pilgrimage to Iraq, daily. Once indulged, Jafaari will engineer political union with Iran and Syria, and conduce a march to Jerusalem, under black flags as is prophecied in Islamic Hadith. All they need is a leader, from Khurasaan, to complete the cartoon.

So what's the knee jerk reply? We have to respect Iraqis democratic choice, blah, blah. Yeah, like we respected the German peoples' delusional support for Rafsanjani's political clone: Adolf Hitler. Give me the button.
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 13:58 Comments || Top||

#36  fnord mood
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 14:09 Comments || Top||

#37  Today's menu:

Shias whacking themselves with chains, splitting open their scalps

Versus

Sunnis blowing into a thousand tiny pieces Iraqi women with kids in their arms, Iraqi dads braving insurgents by being in security forces, and Americans fighting for better lives for everyone.

Hmmm...which sounds more appetizing?
Posted by: Jules 187 || 02/18/2005 14:09 Comments || Top||

#38  Are going to nuke Christians too, ITYS?
http://www.allaahuakbar.net/image/christian_shias.jpg
Posted by: Tom || 02/18/2005 14:10 Comments || Top||

#39  ITYS - WTF???
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 02/18/2005 14:15 Comments || Top||

#40  Old Spook, I usually agree with you, but this time I have a question. I've been out of the air strike business for quite awhile, but I don't think that the Israeli F15I has the legs to strike all the Iranian sites from Turkish airspace, even if they top off from the Israeli KC-707s before ingress. Bushehr and Saghand in particular seem beyond the max combat radius. Of course, recovery in Iraq and/or Afghanistan would solve that problem. What am I missing here?
Posted by: RWV || 02/18/2005 14:40 Comments || Top||

#41  IToldYouSo, that's SAY BOOM! not SAY DOOM!
Posted by: RWV || 02/18/2005 14:41 Comments || Top||

#42  You are looking for round trip. Think of it one-way with an ejection over the gulf. With 2 tankings (full load of external fuel is heavy - so one tank right after takeoff, one right before feet dry - or maybe even slightly overland in Turkish airspace for the topoff), and wing mounted tanks, rest of the aircraft slick except for 2 AAM (AMRAAM?) and the bomb needed in conformal store - or rigged to be a bit more aerodynamic. Remeber the terrain favors northern approaches with the mountains and valleys for TF flight inbound, then gun it over the flats in the south at 50 feet. OR coudl even do it the navy way - rig wing refuel tanks on a 15 as a milch cow and use a chute and drogue (if you could rig the input pipe on the 15).

Yeah, they'd be dropping a lot of hardware in the drink or into a mountain, but consider the cost if they fail to eliminate nukes in the mullahs hands.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/18/2005 17:03 Comments || Top||

#43  Israel shouldn't be willingly ejecting its best pilots for the likes of the mullahs and their nukes. This is an exercise best left to sub-launched cruise missiles.
Posted by: Tom || 02/18/2005 17:08 Comments || Top||

#44  Israels got IRBMs with skeery payloads as well, if they are desperate enough they could just use them...
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 02/18/2005 17:19 Comments || Top||

#45  The Israelis are working on autonomous long range bombers. Development seems well advanced. And BTW they fly over Saudi Arabia to reach Iran.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/18/2005 17:46 Comments || Top||

#46  My question is if Iran does end up nuking Isreal, what will they do about Jerusalem since it's the capital? Are they really going to destroy the 3rd most sacred place in Islam and risk being impaled by their own people?
Posted by: Charles || 02/18/2005 17:57 Comments || Top||

#47  risk being impaled by their own people?

they already are looking warily at lamp posts...this would be a "hope they're distracted" moment
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 18:10 Comments || Top||

#48  They'd go for Tel Aviv instead.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 02/18/2005 18:13 Comments || Top||

#49  I think the mullahs realize they'd have to kill the entire country and arsenal of Israel, or Qom, Tehran, Mecca, Jiddah, et al would be another "never again" reminder. The Jooooos would have nothing to lose.
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 18:20 Comments || Top||

#50  Sec Defense said something a bit troubling in the hearings today. When asked (was it by Levin - anyway) why they needed the special bunker busters he said something like this:
Well ya know, its like this... lots of stuff in this world today is dual use. One of the more common dual use items is cheap and efficent good tunneling equipment. Stuff that can go down deep like the chunnel. And its good equipment. And there is lots of it. A typical one can dig you a tunnel the height of 2 basketball hoops and three or four lanes wide. And everybody is buying it. Now some of these countries ... even some of them in the axis of evil , well, have been buying a lot of these machines... They like to do stuff down deep where we can't see it. The entrances might be nowhere near where the interesting work is... That makes a problem for us ...... because the conventional weaponry can't accurately get down deep where they are and the bigger stuff, why it makes a mess of everything and might not even take out what's down there. Of course one could use enough to make sure but that's really really sloppy. ... so we need some .. some.. way to get down there and take it out in a way thats not quite so messy. So that's what we are really up to here and on top of it this is only a study. We are not in anyway ready to add such a device in large numbers to our inventory. If you have more questions I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in a more restricted or secure session.


Again its my memory without notes at the time so I am sure I colored it a bit.... The sentiment is still pretty correct.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2005 18:53 Comments || Top||

#51  On this, like Osiraik, the Israelis do not want out help, do not need our help except diplomatically (against all the condemnations that will follow) and probably think we are a security risk for leaking info.

If/When the Israeli's have a go at Iran's nuclear program, it will be, as usual, up and over TURKISH airspace, by way of the Med.and there will likely be Israeli ships standing by for SAR support at the mouth of the Persian Gulf (probably coverts, like an Israaeli crewed merchant ship thats flagged in a 3rd world nation of convenience).

An alternative is an Entebbe style operation to set up a temporary airbase someplace in the region, at which the fighter/bombers can stage forward into the attack, with the SAR as above.

Given that their very existence is at stake, they would sacrifice men (volunteers not hard to come by for them) to get these nukes.

Bush's words simply say that if the Israelis do go after the Iranian nukes, then we understand why and will support them in the aftermath. Much as we have always done.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/18/2005 11:33 Comments || Top||

#52  You are looking for round trip. Think of it one-way with an ejection over the gulf. With 2 tankings (full load of external fuel is heavy - so one tank right after takeoff, one right before feet dry - or maybe even slightly overland in Turkish airspace for the topoff), and wing mounted tanks, rest of the aircraft slick except for 2 AAM (AMRAAM?) and the bomb needed in conformal store - or rigged to be a bit more aerodynamic. Remeber the terrain favors northern approaches with the mountains and valleys for TF flight inbound, then gun it over the flats in the south at 50 feet. OR coudl even do it the navy way - rig wing refuel tanks on a 15 as a milch cow and use a chute and drogue (if you could rig the input pipe on the 15).

Yeah, they'd be dropping a lot of hardware in the drink or into a mountain, but consider the cost if they fail to eliminate nukes in the mullahs hands.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/18/2005 17:03 Comments || Top||

#53  On this, like Osiraik, the Israelis do not want out help, do not need our help except diplomatically (against all the condemnations that will follow) and probably think we are a security risk for leaking info.

If/When the Israeli's have a go at Iran's nuclear program, it will be, as usual, up and over TURKISH airspace, by way of the Med.and there will likely be Israeli ships standing by for SAR support at the mouth of the Persian Gulf (probably coverts, like an Israaeli crewed merchant ship thats flagged in a 3rd world nation of convenience).

An alternative is an Entebbe style operation to set up a temporary airbase someplace in the region, at which the fighter/bombers can stage forward into the attack, with the SAR as above.

Given that their very existence is at stake, they would sacrifice men (volunteers not hard to come by for them) to get these nukes.

Bush's words simply say that if the Israelis do go after the Iranian nukes, then we understand why and will support them in the aftermath. Much as we have always done.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/18/2005 11:33 Comments || Top||

#54  You are looking for round trip. Think of it one-way with an ejection over the gulf. With 2 tankings (full load of external fuel is heavy - so one tank right after takeoff, one right before feet dry - or maybe even slightly overland in Turkish airspace for the topoff), and wing mounted tanks, rest of the aircraft slick except for 2 AAM (AMRAAM?) and the bomb needed in conformal store - or rigged to be a bit more aerodynamic. Remeber the terrain favors northern approaches with the mountains and valleys for TF flight inbound, then gun it over the flats in the south at 50 feet. OR coudl even do it the navy way - rig wing refuel tanks on a 15 as a milch cow and use a chute and drogue (if you could rig the input pipe on the 15).

Yeah, they'd be dropping a lot of hardware in the drink or into a mountain, but consider the cost if they fail to eliminate nukes in the mullahs hands.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/18/2005 17:03 Comments || Top||


US spying on Iran nuclear sites from space -Iran
Washington is using satellites to spy on Iran's nuclear sites, Iran's Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi was quoted as saying on Wednesday. "We believe the United States has been spying against Iran for some time using satellites and other tools," he was quoted as saying on the official IRNA news agency, when asked about U.S. denials that it was using drones over Iran.

Yunesi denied allegations by Washington that Tehran was secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear activities are for generating electricity. "Our nuclear and military activities are transparent. We have nothing to hide," he said. The Washington Post, citing information from unnamed U.S. officials, reported this week that the United States had been flying drones into Iran for the past year looking for evidence of nuclear weapons programmes. The pilotless planes flew into Iran from U.S. military bases in Iraq and used radar, photography and air filters to detect signs of nuclear activity, the newspaper said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [816 views] Top|| File under:

#1  well, duh.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 0:04 Comments || Top||

#2  We better damn well be doing it, or we would be negligent in our duty.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/18/2005 0:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Well if Iran would prefer the spying to be more overt, there's still a couple of operational SR-71s around. And there's not a hell of a lot they can do about either method.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2005 0:18 Comments || Top||

#4  Actually we are and have been for 20 years. Just recently we have started using the Jooo mind probe and top secret Zionist thought traps on all the Iranian "Holy men."
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 02/18/2005 0:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Zionist mind rays--very powerful weapon. One Paleo explains his turning against all things Paleostinian just by that--Zionist mind rays. Upon further prying about details, he responded: "I saw the light--so it works, doesn't it?"
Posted by: Sobiesky || 02/18/2005 0:30 Comments || Top||

#6  But they should revel in their insanity and accuse the US of the really fruity and conspiricy theory stuff:
Like just maybe.... a satelite has one of Judy Wall's Psychotronic weapons bathing their country in its rays...
or
Sending voices to their skulls asking them to convert...

or just maybe...
above top secret could provide them with some really scary stuff we are doing to them....

and for breakfast they could Wander over to that unknown country for the spricy de jour
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2005 1:03 Comments || Top||

#7  Of course we are actually spying on them from tunnels we have dug deep in the bedrock under all their nuclear installations. If they dig just under the foundations of the reactors they should find our tunnels....
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2005 1:06 Comments || Top||

#8  Then again we could throw them a real curve ball by maybe pulling the Project Orion Spaceship out of mothballs and flying low over Iran...

The Great Satan strikes again?
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2005 1:17 Comments || Top||

#9  The Iranians originally procured the F-14 because they needed an aircraft capable of stopping the MiG-25 recon overflights of their country.
Posted by: gromky || 02/18/2005 1:33 Comments || Top||

#10  3dc, and who says we're not doing it? ;-)
There have been numerous reports of UFO sightings all over Iran in the last 6 months.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 02/18/2005 1:42 Comments || Top||

#11  yeah strange we all know US gov bought rec sats to spy hot babes in pools...
Posted by: z man || 02/18/2005 1:48 Comments || Top||

#12  One day soon, the Zionist Death Ray will be put into action again. Unfortunately, technicians are still trying to get rid of the stench of rotten fish.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/18/2005 1:52 Comments || Top||

#13  In fact US is using its satellites to spy on Iranian wymin in their houses when they don't wear tchador.
Posted by: JFM || 02/18/2005 2:03 Comments || Top||

#14  Everything is news to Arab Times.
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2005 2:39 Comments || Top||

#15  In other news, Iranian intelligence has learned that infidel American scientists called "Rite Brothers" have invented a flying machine of some sort and are alleged to be using it for military purposes.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 02/18/2005 3:16 Comments || Top||

#16  Just smile and wave at the friendly spy satellite. Did we mention we could see your women's undergarments through their clothes?
Posted by: BH || 02/18/2005 8:10 Comments || Top||

#17  I understand we're also taking pictures down the fronts of the dresses of Iranian women and posting them on the Internet.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 02/18/2005 9:19 Comments || Top||

#18  Don't forget the nude beaches....
Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2005 9:24 Comments || Top||

#19  I'd prefer overflights by B-2's and B-1's, but that's just me
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 10:00 Comments || Top||

#20  From space? Wow. By Allah, can that be possible? I can tell why he's the Intelligence minister.
Smile for the birdie, Ali.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/18/2005 10:06 Comments || Top||

#21  i see why this guy is chief of intelligence
Posted by: Thraing Hupoluper1864 || 02/18/2005 17:34 Comments || Top||

#22  Now you're in deep trouble Sobiesky - you told them about the highly classified orbital mind control lasers! Hey, it's just a joke, nothing to see here, move on, there's no such thing as highly classified orbital mind control lasers. (You're still in trouble Sobiesky)
Posted by: DMFD || 02/18/2005 23:19 Comments || Top||

#23  As long as they don't find out about the Stargate, it's all still good.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 02/18/2005 23:25 Comments || Top||


Lahoud praises Hariri as Lebanese call for Syria to leave
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [341 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, what else he can do--his skin is on the line. Not that anyone think there is a smidget of sincerity in his 'praise'.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 02/18/2005 0:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah...his alternative is a Ceaucescu style necktie party.....
Posted by: Tom Dooley || 02/18/2005 1:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah, those puppet strings could come in right handy.
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2005 2:37 Comments || Top||

#4  But speaking for the government, Minister of State Albert Mansour said: "Any political slogan raised in the presence of a dead body has no meaning."

Hey, Mansour, ignore the presence of 10,000 spontaneous voices and the dead body it won't have meaning to will soon be your own.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 7:17 Comments || Top||

#5  Sobiesky - If a Project Orion ship flew within a thousand miles of you .. you would know it. It wouldn't be any mamby pamby UFO sighting....
None of that nice touchy feely UFO pablum.

With great minds like Freeman Dyson leading the effort it would have worked.


Little tiny countries like IRAN should look at real projects like this one from the 50's and think twice about their puny little dreams. A flyover by an Orion craft would really really ruin your day... maybe for several hundred thousand years.

If Kennedy had not signed the test ban treaty we could have colonized the solar system with this ship.

In the simplest form it worked LIKE THIS!

Start here if you know nothing about Orion
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2005 12:27 Comments || Top||

#6  masters of Orion 3 sucked, so they say, but masters of Orion 2 was very good. though not as good as Civ, IMHO.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 02/18/2005 14:24 Comments || Top||

#7  Glitch that it ever posted in this topic..
BTW LiberalHawk, take a look at it. It was one of the most daring projects the US ever funded.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2005 19:02 Comments || Top||


Khatami Pledges Support to Syria
President Mohammad Khatami, whose country is in the US firing line over its nuclear activities, voiced Iran's support yesterday for Syria and anti-Israeli groups. "We respect the Syrians who are in the front-line in the fight against the Zionist regime and we salute their legitimate struggle to recover their occupied lands," he said after talks with visiting Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Al-Otari. "We support the resistance in Lebanon and all those fighting the (Israeli) occupation," he was quoted as saying.

Otari on Wednesday said Iran and Syria should form a "united front" against threats from abroad, in an apparent reference to the intense US pressure against both regimes. Earlier meeting the Syrian prime minister Khatami said Iran doesn't want tensions in the Middle East. "Iran supports peace and wants no tension in the Middle East as creating another crisis in this region would just waste energy which could be better used for working toward a just peace," Khatami was quoted by the students' news agency ISNA as saying. Khatami was referring to the harsh rhetoric of the United
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  “We support the resistance in Lebanon and all those fighting the occupation,”
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 0:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Without the (Israeli), it sounds almost French.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/18/2005 1:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, anything that might threaten M.E. stability is bad. It's the #1 concern of Persian and Arab regimes alike. They call for it, fuss over it, virtually swoon in favor of it. Except for the "legitimate armed struggle" stuff, of course. That's okay. So are missiles that can reach Europe and nuke warheads, though they're not developing any. It's all part of, um, preparing for the day in 2297 when the oil runs low and they'll need nuke-powered electricity and the ability to swat really big flies. In Berlin.

Glad it's all so clear.
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2005 2:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Instability also known as history. Those who call for stability are just voicing the fears of the history yet to come, and so they should.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/18/2005 4:34 Comments || Top||

#5  "Iran supports peace" As they used to joke about Hitler: a peace of Czechoslovakia, a peace of Poland, a peace of Russia, a peace of France...
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2005 8:56 Comments || Top||

#6  I am so sick of this "legitimate struggle to recover their occupied lands" crap. Syria was an aggressor in a war. Syria lost those lands. Syria lost the war. Case closed. Want to talk about "occupied lands"? Then talk about Syrian troops in Lebanon.
Posted by: Tom || 02/18/2005 9:24 Comments || Top||

#7  Everything outside of Arabia is occupied lands by Arabs. The invaded and occupied Egypt with its Coptic Christian people, Syria with its Monophysite Christian people, Persia with its Zoroastrian people...
Posted by: jackal || 02/18/2005 14:14 Comments || Top||

#8  Pledge of support:
"We'll stand over here and cheer from the sidelines while you get your head handed to you."
Posted by: Dishman || 02/18/2005 14:54 Comments || Top||


Authorities request Swiss help in murder probe
The Lebanese judiciary announced Wednesday it was requesting the assistance of Swiss experts to probe the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, judicial sources said. Military Tribunal chief investigating magistrate Rashid Mezher is seeking the help of experts specialized in explosives and DNA, upon the request of Lebanon's military prosecutor Jean Fahd. Mezher said the expenses of the foreign team would be carried by the Lebanese government, adding that the experts would start their mission only after being sworn in by the Military Tribunal. The announcement came after repeated calls from the French government, subsequently backed by the United States, for an international investigation into Hariri's murder. The calls were rebuffed by Interior Minister Suleiman Franjieh Tuesday, although the minister had not ruled out seeking assistance from experts from a neutral country. But speaking earlier, president Lahoud conceded he was considering allowing international help "if Lebanon needed it".
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

#1  why are they asking the Swiss?
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2005 7:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Because they are historically neutral.

They can only be bought by the highest bidder, not by the guys that are, you know, their friends or right. Nothing like a full wallet, you know.
Posted by: Jame Retief || 02/18/2005 7:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey Jame, how does that make them different from, say, the French?
Posted by: BH || 02/18/2005 8:11 Comments || Top||

#4  how does that make them different from, say, the French?
Once bought, they stay bought.
Posted by: Steve || 02/18/2005 9:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Most of his money is in Switzerland. Might be a clue?
Posted by: john || 02/18/2005 13:00 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't you have a bigger target?
Posted by: SwissTex || 02/18/2005 21:15 Comments || Top||


Al-Hariri family joins call for inquiry
The family of Rafiq al-Hariri has called on the Arab and international community to back a UN Security Council demand for an investigation into the slaying of the former prime minister. "We pledge that the blood of Rafiq Hariri and his comrades will not have been shed in vain and we will not spare any effort to unmask those who ordered this crime, no matter their position," a family statement said on Thursday. Al-Hariri and 17 others were killed in a massive explosion on Monday that officials said could have been caused by a car bomb. "We call on the Arab and the international communities to implement the declaration of the president of the Security Council ... to identify and punish the culprits within a short and reasonable time," the family said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq-Jordan
No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy (Part 2)
Posted by: ed || 02/18/2005 22:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:


No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy (Part 1)
Posted by: ed || 02/18/2005 22:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Tech
For wannabe F-18 pilots -- complete with carrier landing...
you might like this ( about 3 minutes long)
Posted by: Sherry || 02/18/2005 5:16:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I can't stand up. It'll be embarassing. Thanks Sherry!
Posted by: JerseyMike || 02/18/2005 20:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Too bad the makers couldn't have interspersed the cockpit pilot shots with third-party "observer" clips of other jets in the group maneuvering or doing their thing....would've made for a more interesting video.... :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2005 21:20 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
Kurds Are Republicans. Who Would Have Guessed?
...Sami Shursh, the unofficial minister of culture within the other heavyweight Kurdish party, Massud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party, agrees. "What Kurds want is a republican regime founded on the principle of rotation of power, with a parliamentary system, a separation of powers and a separation of religion and the state," he said Wednesday...
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2005 7:04:56 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No wonder the Turks hate them.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/18/2005 22:04 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistan deploys commandos in preparation for Ashura
Happy Holidays, Islamic-style...
Pakistan deployed specially trained anti-Al-Qaeda commandos to guard against sectarian violence Friday as two Sunni militants planning to attack parades by rival Shiites blew themselves up. The so-called Quick Reaction Force -- which formerly battled militants linked to Osama bin Laden's terror network in tribal areas near Afghanistan -- was to patrol in sensitive central and northwestern regions. The deployment comes ahead of Ashura, the ceremony marking the death over 1,300 years ago of the prophet Mohammed's grandson, when minority Shiites traditionally stage processions featuring graphic displays of self-harm.

The ceremony, which starts late Saturday, is often marked by clashes with Sunnis. Last year's festival was one of the most violent, with 48 people dying in a bloody attack in the southwestern city of Quetta.

Police in Quetta said two members of a banned Al-Qaeda-linked Sunni extremist group had killed themselves with a grenade early Friday after a raid on their hideout.

"The militants could have attacked Shiite processions in the city today and there is also a possibility they were planning to attack the main Ashura procession" on Sunday, said provincial police chief Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqub.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi later said in a statement faxed to newspapers that the militants were its members and that it was proud of their acts.

The group vowed it would carry on attacks against Shiites and warned the government not to be happy about killing two of its men.

"Our members were ready to launch suicide attacks and by dying they have provided inspiration to other Lashkar-e-Jhangvi mujahideen and Sunni youth to follow their footsteps," spokesman Commander Zarar said in the message.

With tensions remaining high, the commandos were biding their time but would be sent out "on an urgent basis to deal with any situation," said Lieutenant General Safdar Hussain, army commander in North West Frontier Province.

The commando force demonstrated its skills at a dress rehearsal in the central city of Multan Thursday, in which pretend militants attacked a mock Shiite procession and staged a chase with military helicopters and ground forces.

"We wanted to assess the ability of the force and test the security arrangements," the force's commander Brigadier Mohammad Ibrahim told reporters.

The situation in Pakistan was already tense following deadly riots in the Himalayan gateway town of Gilgit last month.

The commandos were being deployed in parts of Punjab, Pakistan's largest province, and in North West Frontier Province on the Afghan border, which have been hit by unrest in previous years.

Tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces were covering the rest of the country, officials said, including 4,000 in Islamabad and 15,000 in Karachi.

Authorities in Punjab have declared about a dozen places including Jhang, Multan, Faisalabad and Bahawalpur as sensitive areas.

"Miscreants trying to disturb peace will be crushed with an iron hand," said the military commander of Faisalabad, Lieutenant General Javed Alam Khan.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2005 11:08:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anti-al Qaeda commandos?
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/18/2005 17:38 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
Secular or Islamofascist Iraq?: Pretenders Profiled
In his leftist blog, Juan Cole - a US scholar who lived in the Middle East for 6 years - profiles some of the elected leaders of Iraq. He also translates an article in which the likely President of Iraq- Jaafari - is shown to have clear Islamofascist connections. According to the writer, al-Jaafari wants al-Sadr' terrorists to participate in both the government, and in the new army. What if he is creating Basiji' storm troopers, as operated by the tyrants who misrule his former place of exile: Iran?

Al-Hayat 17 Feb 2005
Al-Sadr Supports Al-Jaafari

Amer al-Husseini, a leader of al-Sadr's Current in Baghdad, told Al-Hayat that the Current "supports the designation of Ibrahim al-Jaafari to the post of Prime minister of the Iraqi government resulting from the elected National Assembly." He added that al-Jaafari's presence at the head of the new cabinet would be "a positive beginning for a better stage in Iraq." Al-Husseini revealed that contacts were being held between the Coalition [the Unified Iraqi Coalition, backed by al-Sistani and the winner of the majority of seats in the Assembly] and the leadership of al-Sadr's Current in al-Najaf. He did not exclude the participation of the Current in the new government.

Al-Hayat has also learned that the Bureau of the Highest Shia Authority Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and the leader of the Iraqi National Council Ahmad al-Chalabi try to normalize relations between "Al-Badr Organization" which is lead by the "Supreme Council" [of Islamic revolution in Iraq, al-Hakim's movement] and the leadership of "Al-Mahdi Army," the military wing of al-Sadr's Current, in light of the tensions that dominated the relation between the two groups during the bloody events at al-Najaf some months ago.

The New Army

Al-Hayat has also learned that a security plan, which was mentioned earlier for the case where the Coalition would lead the new government, foresees the integration of large numbers of "Al-Badr" and "Al-Mahdi Army," as well as the militias of Hizbullah and Al-Dawa, in the ranks of the new Iraqi army.
Houston: we have a problem. Or maybe an opportunity to think of one-button solutions. Oops! Knee-jerk Watch!
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 2:39:12 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [830 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Likely? I have my doubts - #1, Ahmed Chalabi's survived so much political upheaval, who's to say he won't pull through? And just because this figure says that al-Sadr supports Jafaari means nothing; I'd be far more concerned if al-Sistani started making noises to that effect.

P.S. Someone else unload on IToldYouSo for trolling, impersonating a conservative/Jacksonian/neocon and using Juan Cole as a source on anything. :-P
Posted by: Edward Yee || 02/18/2005 8:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Odds are that anyone Juan Cole dislikes is going to cooperate with Uncle Sam. Note that Cole, like his leftist brethren, has never met an anti-American foreigner he doesn't like (except for maybe bin Laden and Mullah Omar).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/18/2005 10:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Note that Cole, like his leftist brethren, has never met an anti-American foreigner he doesn't like (except for maybe bin Laden and Mullah Omar).

When pressed, I am sure they could enlarge their circle of love to even embrace those two. Enlarging it to include us and Bush is definitely NOT on their agenda.

Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2005 10:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Oops! Knee-jerk Watch!

Leave out the 'knee' and it'd be accurate.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/18/2005 11:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Nice back-swing Pappy, the new grip seems to help.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 11:48 Comments || Top||

#6  replace all virtual divots
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 11:58 Comments || Top||

#7  This is excellent news! Juan Cole's track record has been so abysmal on Iraq that I'm willing to bet AGAINST ANY PREDICTION HE MAKES.

The only reason he gets any press is because his postmodern, anti-American cant is letter-perfect. If he had to compete on accuracy, he'd be living out of dumpsters in Detroit.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/18/2005 12:02 Comments || Top||

#8  Grumpy old men at work: finger pointing, jumping into conclusion quagmires, and impersonating Dr Phil' tunnel moralism. I order you to cease and desist. Check out the profile of Peoples-Choice-Jaafari, on the Iraq entity's website,
http://www.iraqigovernment.org/preoffice.htm

I order you to check out leftist, Angry Arab's (AKA: PBS creep, As'ad abu-Khalil) pro-Hizbollah gas-baggery on the Hariri assassination.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/
Remember to prevent appeasement Vice and to promote one-button Virtue. SAY DOOM!

Edward Yee: according to sources, you are a Kos infiltrator at Rantburg, and here with the purpose of promoting appeasement spin-consumption.
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 13:05 Comments || Top||

#9  lovely - can you do the ban now, Fred?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 13:08 Comments || Top||

#10  Juan Cole - a US scholar who lived in the Middle East for 6 years

i hear he speaks arabic, too ;)
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 02/18/2005 13:15 Comments || Top||

#11  hey, if I announce that I support Jafari will Juan "I speak Arabic" Cole explain that Jafari is supported by Zionists?

Interesting article in todays WaPo, by Robert Kagan.

Back during the cold war we were CONSTANTLY told by the left that NOT every communist was pro-Moscow or pro-Cuba, that nationalism trumped communist fellow feeling, and detailed analysis was made of subtle ideological distinctions - knee jerk assumption that any commie, or anyone who had received support from USSR or Cuba was ergo a stooge of them, was the property of the right. Sometimes this subtelty was correct - sometimes it wasnt. Whats interesting is that NOW the left seems insistent on a Shia is a Shia is a Shia. Sistani is probably further ideologically from Khomeinism than Mao was from Soviet Communism. and yes Dawa and SCIRI received support from Iran - Mao received support from the USSR, and North Viet Nam received support from China. Didnt stop VN and China from having a little war, now did it.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 02/18/2005 13:21 Comments || Top||

#12  I think that itys is Boris on his meds.
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/18/2005 13:42 Comments || Top||

#13  Boris from Simi Valley - ITYS is Canuckistan
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 14:07 Comments || Top||

#14  I came into rantburg after Boris left, I think. What's his deal?
Posted by: Jules 187 || 02/18/2005 14:12 Comments || Top||

#15  Jusles, lunacy. (anti-semitism is the main component, but not the only one).
Posted by: Sobiesky || 02/18/2005 14:17 Comments || Top||

#16  My read is that Cole's rationale is to wrap anti-Israel/America rhetoric in academic garb. That kind of "scholarship" is learned ignorance, at best.

I see a lot of personal attacks here. Aren't there rules against that?
Posted by: anti-moby || 02/18/2005 16:06 Comments || Top||

#17  Thanks Frank G

Well, anti-moby, generally personal attacks are allowed if someone prove himself to be a troll. ITYS seems to be baiting people simply to get a reaction or even worse misrepresenting himself as an ultra-hawk in order to push a dovish agenda or discredit the site, either of which make him a troll in the eyes of about 90% of the regulars.

Otherwise, people do get in fights here and generally apologize afterward. Not just a problem here but everywhere on the Internet. If Fred banned everyone who had a tiff, there'd probably be about six regulars still posting.
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/18/2005 16:28 Comments || Top||

#18  fnord mood
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 18:00 Comments || Top||

#19  This is a no fnord zone.
Posted by: Hagbard Celine || 02/18/2005 18:55 Comments || Top||

#20  I'll point out to you that it's a Friday in February Hagbard, thus it is a Fnord zone until first light in Guam.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 19:40 Comments || Top||

#21  Personal attacks are a waste of time, because probably 99% of people who come to Rantburg pay no attention to them. However, .com is 100% responsible for the decline of civility here. That Bill O'Reilly worshipper doesn't even read internet news sources, so he never posts anything here. Rating his contribution, on a ten-point either-way scale, with zero being absolutely worthless, I would give his spew as -9. As for my own contribution: +10.
Posted by: IToldYouSo || 02/18/2005 21:46 Comments || Top||

#22  hmmmmmmm surprising that we are on opposite side of the rating system you established. Americans at RB are on to you Canuck troll
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2005 21:48 Comments || Top||

#23  ITYS, there is a great article over at Sci American about how self esteem is really just self delusion. I recommend you read it.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/18/2005 21:53 Comments || Top||

#24  You better watch out, Mr I told you so, or Ima gonna whack you upside the head with a big ol' golden apple of discord!
Posted by: Eris || 02/18/2005 22:46 Comments || Top||

#25  .com posts comments based on his vast life experience in a certain sandy, oil-soaked part of the world that ITSY refers to as the Jazeera, for some reason. He's been doing this at Rantburg for some years now, and has earnt his seniority.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2005 22:54 Comments || Top||


Leaving Kurdistan, like leaving a country
One of the best ways to understand the political dynamics at play in Northern Iraq is to hop into a taxi and travel north towards the Turkish border. Once you reach the multi-ethnic oil-rich city Kirkuk, every checkpoint is manned by peshmerga guerilla fighters loyal to one of the two Kurdish political parties. And they are on the lookout for one thing: Arabs.

I knew this, of course, even before departing Iraq Tuesday. Traveling from Ranya near the Iranian border towards the provincial capital Arbil a few days earlier I had been forced to disembark my bus a half dozen times for grilling by local peshmerga. They were concerned my American travel documents were false -- because I have vaguely Semitic features, speak some Arabic and do not speak Kurdish. But this was nothing compared to the grilling that a middle-aged businessman from Baghdad was given. As we approached each checkpoint in our communal taxi, the peshmerga would politely ask if there were any Arabs in the car.

"No we're all Kurds," the driver would answer to quicken our trip. But the more persistent among the peshmerga were never satisfied. They would stick their head inside the driver's side window and peer around the car. When they saw the man from Baghdad in the back -- with a full beard and skin slightly darker than that of his neighbours in the north -- they would ask the driver to pull over to a side, and demand that everyone get out. At that point, a full search of the man's bags and a long grilling were in order.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: phil_b || 02/18/2005 12:38:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [347 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I find nothing to fault the Kurds, here. First of all, they did nothing more than very carefully scrutinize for a people known to cause trouble--how would a Moscow policeman greet a Chechen in Moscow? But unlike the Russian, they did not abuse anyone over suspicions of being Arab, they just wanted to make very, very sure that they were not heading north to make trouble. Why *should* an Arab who does not live there, or have family there, travel to Kurdistan? I also suspect that the Kurds are equally cautious about non-Kurd Turks, Iranians, and Syrians who just want to visit Kurdistan. It isn't easy to fault someone for being a little paranoid when they *are* surrounded by their enemies.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2005 9:23 Comments || Top||

#2  It isn't easy to fault someone for being a little paranoid when they *are* surrounded by their enemies.

I think moonbats, trolls, and liberals would find it very easy to fault anyone for defending themselves. I heard of a recent French Proverb that, roughly translated, says what these people believe: "This animal is rabid and must be put down: it bites you when you attack it."
Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2005 9:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Kurdistan is a country, and a lot more of one than any Arab state currently existing.
Posted by: gromgorru || 02/18/2005 10:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Kurdistan is not a country, but it still may be more of one than any Arab state currently existing.
Posted by: Sam || 02/18/2005 11:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Correct in saying that Kurdistan is not a country, but Kurdistan should be a country.
Posted by: DAJ || 02/18/2005 11:28 Comments || Top||

#6  It will be very interesting to see the shape that a federal Iraq takes.
Posted by: RWV || 02/18/2005 14:07 Comments || Top||


Kurds win in 5 Iraqi provinces
Edited for UNHCR spin Shiites and Kurds, already poised to dominate Iraq's parliament after the January 30 election, also notched up crucial wins in the provincial polls held the same day.

Lists presented by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq triumphed in eight out of 18 provinces, mainly in the Shiite-dominated southern and central regions, according to official results released Thursday,

"We obtained a majority in five provinces, including Baghdad, in the Council's name alone and in three other provinces where we had alliances," said SCIRI official Reda Jawad Takki.

"Two-and-a-half million Iraqis voted for the Council," he said, out of just over eight million voters.

The two main Kurdish parties, who took second place in parliament with 75 seats, claimed victory in the three Kurdish provinces of Arbil, Dohuk and Sulaimaniyah. But they also won in the provinces of Tamim and Nineveh, upsetting the balance and possibly leading to further tensions in the ethnic tinderbox of northern Iraq. UN doesn't like uppity Kurds voting. Sets a bad example.

The alliance of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdish Democratic Party obtained 58 percent of votes in Tamim, home to the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk. Kurds claim Kirkuk as the capital of their region after it was heavily Arabised under Saddam Hussein.

With their absolute majority, the Kurds will be able to take decisions at the provincial level without needing to consult fellow Arab and Turkmen council members, raising fears of possible armed confrontation. "The situation has reached boiling point for Arabs, because they've been patient for a long time," said the leader of the Arab Gathering, Ghassan Mezher al-Assi, apparently referring to Kurdish moves to retake power in the area since the US-led invasion almost two years ago.

Nineveh has traditionally been controlled by Sunni Arabs, although it is also home to several Kurdish areas. It also contains Mosul, which means the Kurds now control the city politically. They already control half of it militarily. This is one of the big ignored stories in Iraq. See previous story. Kurdish parties do not hide the fact that they would like those areas to be part of their autonomous region. But I am sure they would settle for the whole province.

Sunnis, who largely boycotted the vote, won only two provinces: the rebel heartland of Al-Anbar west of Baghdad and Salaheddin, where Saddam's hometown of Tikrit is found, north of the capital.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/18/2005 1:02:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  With their absolute majority, the Kurds will be able to take decisions at the provincial level without needing to consult fellow Arab and Turkmen council members, raising fears of possible armed confrontation. "The situation has reached boiling point for Arabs, because they’ve been patient for a long time," said the leader of the Arab Gathering, Ghassan Mezher al-Assi, apparently referring to Kurdish moves to retake power in the area since the US-led invasion almost two years ago.

It's easy for the Arabs to be patient while they're top dog, with everyone else a Dhimmini. The whole world is peachy keen, then. But let the NATURAL MAJORITY arise, exercise their rights, and put the Arabs into a position to have to EARN, rather than TAKE, what they want, and "arab patience" suddenly gets thin.

The apostle Paul said that it is not a virtue or a credit to be patient while suffering the punishment one deserves for ones crimes. If there has been anyone who's been patient, it has been the Shias and, to a lesser extent, the Kurds. The existance of Kurdish terrorist groups who attacked Turkish civilians instead of battling Saddam directly is a taint on their history. I know of no Iraqui Shia insurgency groups (plenty of Iranian shia terrorist groups).

Condi or her male assistant should visit Sistani and tell him we're going to stop Iranian nuke aspirations, but not invade the country. Tell him we'll back up any domestic revolution in Iran that he endorses, up to and including air and logistical support, if the Iranian people and the regular army provide the boots to fight the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (AKA neo-brownshirts/neo-Nazi SS). This may be tough, since the Shiites believe that the son follows the father, and so are convinced that Dubya will let the Iranians hang out to dry like his dad did to them when THEY revolted against Saddam.

He outranks every Iranian Mullah by Shiite religious standards, and EVERYONE knows it. one word from him, and the balloon goes up.

I am aware of rantburgers who are very skeptical of religious leaders with political influence. Sistani's behavior has been, up until now, exemplary and supportive. Sure, sure, occasionally he'll say something that sets y'all a-howling, but ignore what he SAYS and watch what he DOES ("Deeds, not words"-Ronald Reagan). Leave the belief in "well laid, well hidden, secret, and nefarious agendas, plans, and conspiracies" held by those you disagree with to the moonbats and the tin-foil-hat crowd.
Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2005 10:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Ptah, I agree with you're assesment of Sistani so far. He left Fallujah thereby giving tacit approval to the U.S. to eliminate Al Sadr. He didn't say much at all but his actions spoke volumnes.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/18/2005 12:46 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine
New Palestinian cabinet to be presented to parliament
A new Palestinian cabinet led by current prime minister Ahmed Qorei will be presented to parliament for approval on Monday, the deputy speaker of legislative council said on Thursday. "A session of the legislative council will be convened on Monday at 11:00 am (0900 GMT)," Hassan Khreisheh said. A statement from Qorei's office also said the prime minister had sent a letter on Thursday to parliament speaker Rawhi Fattuh asking him to convene a special session next week to present the composition of a new government and obtain the approval of MPs.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [318 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I love watching cargo cult democracy in action, don't you?
Posted by: gromgorru || 02/18/2005 5:58 Comments || Top||


Africa: Horn
Darfur Foes Agree to Revive Peace Talks
Warring parties in Sudan's Darfur agreed yesterday to revive stalled peace talks, after the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged firm action to end a conflict he described as near hell on earth. A mediator at talks between rebels and Sudanese government officials in Chad's capital N'Djamena said the two sides had agreed to respect an oft-violated cease-fire and restart full peace talks in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

The declaration came after Annan urged the UN Security Council to take immediate steps to stop the Darfur war, which has killed at least 70,000 people and displaced 2 million. "The Abuja process is thus relaunched as both sides have made firm commitments," the Chadian mediator, who declined to be named, said at the talks. The agreement was reached between Sudanese government officials and Darfur's two main rebel groups - the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo, current chair of the 53-member African Union, said on Wednesday he hoped peace talks would start again in Abuja at the end of February. "Darfur's people are living in hell," Chad's President Idriss Deby told the talks, also attended by international mediators and AU Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:


Afghanistan/South Asia
Hizbul Mujahideen to reunite with splinter group
The Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant outfit fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, is set to reunite with a splinter group that broke away in 2002. "Reconciliation is underway and is expected to end on a positive note," sources told Daily Times. According to the sources, the reconciliation is the product of the efforts of the Azad Kashmir chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami.

On the instructions of Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Sardar Ejaz Afzal, head of the JI in Azad Kashmir, initiated efforts to resolve differences within the ranks of Hizbul Mujahideen, which is headed by Syed Salahuddin. Sources said Afzal's efforts over the last two to three months would likely succeed at the end of this month. Afzal confirmed the report and said JI wanted the "mujahideen" to remain united for the sake of the Kashmiri freedom struggle. "Unity is very important for the Kashmiri movement," he said.

Sources said the Hizbul Mujahideen split in July 2002 when renowned commander Abdul Majid Dar announced a unilateral ceasefire. After Dar was killed in March 2003, the top commanders of his group and the majority of its fighters joined Hizb-e-Islami under Masood Sarfaraz, though some returned to their parent organisation.
This article starring:
ABDUL MAJID DARHizbul Mujahideen
MASUD SARFARAZHizb-e-Islami
QAZI HUSEIN AHMEDJamaat-e-Islami
SARDAR EJAZ AFZALJamaat-e-Islami
SYED SALAHUDINHizbul Mujahideen
Hizb-e-Islami
Hizbul Mujahideen
Jamaat-e-Islami
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Remember that old song "All We Need Is Love"?
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 02/18/2005 9:11 Comments || Top||

#2  "The first time, ever I saw your fez..."
Posted by: Roberta Flack || 02/18/2005 12:44 Comments || Top||

#3  LOL!
Posted by: Shipman || 02/18/2005 12:46 Comments || Top||


Terror Networks & Islam
Terrorists exploiting Islam should be singled out
Yes. It's Funny Islamic Hats week at Rantburg!
Pakistan and Malaysia on Thursday denounced those who committed terrorism in the name of Islam with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his Malaysian counterpart Abdullah Badawi, saying that Islam was a religion of peace and tolerance. The two leaders were speaking at a ceremony to confer an honorary Doctorate of Law degree to the visiting Malaysian prime minister by the Islamic International University. "Misconceptions about Islam and its values are gaining ground. A handful of people are propagating the idea of a clash of civilisations to widen the gap between Islam and the West," Mr Aziz in his speech.

Mr Badawi told the participants, "Terrorists should be singled out by their terrorist acts because those who commit crimes in the name of Islam are violating the tenets of Islam." He said Islam and Muslim countries should not be held accountable for those terrorists. "Muslims have to clear the confusion created by people who carry out heinous acts and call them a religious obligation," Mr Badawi added. He said ending the false association of Islam and Muslims with terrorism was not enough. "We should do our utmost to eliminate terrorism itself," Mr Badawi added.

He said Muslims should resolve their own problems and "a good starting point will to eradicate extremism, radicalism and sectarian violence." Mr Badawi said the other side should also remove Islamophobia from their minds and the world should also take a stand to stop actions which directly or indirectly promoted injustice, oppression or aggression against Muslims. He called for defining jihad in its true application. "Islamic scholars define jihad in terms of sustained efforts to discipline one's 'self' in obedience to Allah," the Malaysian leader said. Mr Aziz said Muslim leaders should remove fallacies about Islam and enlighten the world about its true values.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:

#1  such taquiyya for the kufr--if it wasn't for the sword of islam and jihad these guys would be worshipping buhdda and kali
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 02/18/2005 0:34 Comments || Top||

#2  "The first time,"

Sorry, used my quota for the day...
Posted by: Roberta Flack || 02/18/2005 14:03 Comments || Top||



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Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2005-02-18
  Syria replaces intelligence chief
Thu 2005-02-17
  Iran and Syria Form United Front
Wed 2005-02-16
  Plane fires missile near Iranian Busheir plant
Tue 2005-02-15
  U.S. Withdraws Ambassador From Syria
Mon 2005-02-14
  Hariri boomed in Beirut
Sun 2005-02-13
  Algerian Islamic Party Supports Amnesty to End Rebel Violence
Sat 2005-02-12
  Car Bomb Kills 17 Outside Iraqi Hospital
Fri 2005-02-11
  Iraqis seize 16 trucks filled with Iranian weapons
Thu 2005-02-10
  North Korea acknowledges it has nuclear weapons
Wed 2005-02-09
  Suicide Bomber Kills 21 in Crowd in Iraq
Tue 2005-02-08
  Israel, Palestinians call truce
Mon 2005-02-07
  Fatah calls for ceasefire
Sun 2005-02-06
  Algeria takes out GSPC bombmaking unit
Sat 2005-02-05
  Kuwait hunts key suspects after surge of violence
Fri 2005-02-04
  Iraqi citizens ice 5 terrs

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