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Italy: Police arrest two Moroccan terrs
Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 6: Politix
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German soldiers are 'too fat to fight' Taliban because they drink so much
They drink too much and they're too fat to fight, that's the damning conclusion of German parliamentary reports into the country's 3,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan.

While British and U.S. troops in the country face a strict ban on alcohol, their German comrades are allowed two pints a day.

The stunning statistics reveal that in 2007 German forces in northern Afghanistan drank 1.7million pints of beer and 90,000 bottles of wine. The troops also downed 896,000 pints of beer in the first six months of this year, the Times reported.

The statistics only add to the embarrassment of the country's federal army, Budweiser Bundeswehr, after a report earlier this year found troops to be too fat, smoked too much and didn't exercise enough. It showed they lived on beer and sausages while shunning fruit and vegetables.

The parliamentary report claimed that some 40 per cent of all German army personnel are overweight - a higher percentage than in the civilian population. At the time Reinhold Robbe, the parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, stated: 'Plainly put, the soldiers are too fat, exercise too little, and take little care of their diet.'

The Times also reported the damning allegation from a senior officer that Germany is failing in its main mission to train the Afghan police. He descibed the efforts as 'a miserable failure'.

Since 2001, 28 German soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 12/04/2008 05:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [405 views] Top|| File under:

I suspect it's eye-opening and embarassing to the Germans to actually work side by side with US troops.

If so, good.
Posted by: lotp || 12/04/2008 6:05 Comments || Top||

#2  I prefer them this way. Perhaps they can ship their excess sausage and Beer to Russia. But that might imporve the Russians' diet.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/04/2008 6:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Years ago I had the pleasure of eating a few German field rations. Very civilized. MRE's don't even come close. As far as 'Too fat to fight the Taliban'... well I'm glad they're there, overweight or not. If you took the time to examine some of our crack troops in Forward Operating Bases (FOBS) (non-field soldiers) you might find a bit of excess poundage as well.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/04/2008 7:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Perhaps their real mission is to get the Taliban drunk and slow?
Posted by: ed || 12/04/2008 8:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Besoeker

I was positively shocked to find German soldiers shopping for beer in groups and in uniform. Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned, but I think that in a serious army (one who really prepares for war , meaning that it must preserve both displine and its public image) this would land you in jail/detention/arrest or whatever you call it for so long that you would get white hair before being released.

Also: remember, they have lost 28 men and they already have recruiting problems. The once fearsome Germans have become poodles.
Posted by: JFM || 12/04/2008 8:57 Comments || Top||

#6  JFM... Correctly or incorrectly so, cultivated by the left (yes there are leftests there as well) the German military legacy of WWII continues to haunt them. Never mind the fact that dozens of German officers and scores of others were executed for the various attempts to assassinate Hitler. The Holocaust rememberence crowd will never let Germany, it's military, or the world forget the past or get behond it. Pol Pot and Joe Stalin must still be chuckling and poking fun at Hitler in hell.

Posted by: Besoeker || 12/04/2008 9:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Much of this is "piss and curl papers". This is what you get when you send troops on a mission led by bureaucrats, who give them endless rules of what they can't do, and "no-responsibility" missions. Their morale must be in the negative numbers.

This was so bad in Mexico, that it even afflicted their language, creating a common tense of "somebody should do something", whenever something needed to be done.

Imagine what would happen to a combat company of US infantry, if their company commander was Bill Clinton, their platoon leaders were Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Henry Waxman, and their NCOs were equally worthless. Unless the privates mutinied and took charge, they would "drink beer and eat sausages" all day, while their "leaders" whined about how fat they were getting.

"Why don't they eat tofu and bean sprouts, exercise, and go persuade the enemy not to be so mean? (As long as nobody gets hurt.)"
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/04/2008 9:30 Comments || Top||

#8  Three threads of truth run through Besoeker, JFM and Anonymoose's comments and brought together, pretty much show the state of the German and EU troops today.
Clinton managed to destroy our military in a short 6 months and it is only because we had such good NCOs and a few officers that it didn't become a complete cluster fuck. The Germans have had decades of this crap, they aren't motivated, aren't disciplined, aren't well led and have no real encouragement to do anything.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/04/2008 9:50 Comments || Top||

#9  Well, don't count me in on this criticism. After two world wars in the 20th Century and millions of dead to go into the accounting column, I for one am more than happy they've come to embrace the light side of the force [traditional partying Rhineland/Bavaria] rather than revert to the dark side [traditional marching Prussia/Saxony].
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/04/2008 10:13 Comments || Top||

#10  They may be more effective at training the Afghans than at first glance. A recent US returnee from duty told me he had befriended some in the Afghan ranks, introducing them to vodka and pork chops, which they LOVED. (Don't ask, don't tell how he got them) Islam be damned, they found the recipe to brew their own on the internet! Part of the war is cultural, and beer and brats are preferable to beheading any day, IMO.
Posted by: Thealing Borgia 122 || 12/04/2008 10:35 Comments || Top||

#11  Do the math, that's 1.33 pints of beer and .07 bottles of wine a day per soldier. Not what I'd call an excessive amount. But it looks shockingly big in print and that's what journalism is all about today.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 12/04/2008 10:42 Comments || Top||

#12  I lived in Germany for a year. It is actually very noticable, at least in the city where I was, that there are a lot LESS fat people than there are in Canada. My sister, a family doctor, commented on the same thing when she came to visit me. Her thoughts were that she would prefer to have a patient base that was more like the average German than what she currently has. They are at a healthy weight on average.
Posted by: Chemist || 12/04/2008 12:10 Comments || Top||

#13  Tell the Germans that the Taliban are holding the beer hostage or something. Then be sure to get out of the way!
Posted by: gorb || 12/04/2008 12:31 Comments || Top||

#14  Procopius2k, I don't disagree that German leadership needed to be fixed wrt 2 world wars. I differ that the lax quality and martial standards of their soldiers is a good thing. Plus, a few classes on the duty of the warrior to disregard unlawful orders from hhq doesn't cause weight gain.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 12/04/2008 14:04 Comments || Top||

#15  I've been telling y'all for years the line troops in Germany suck - because theri NCO corps is broken and the officers are all political.

Poland would roll them if they wanted to get pushy - their regulars are tough, hard fighters and are well lead.
Posted by: OldSpook || 12/04/2008 21:10 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Yarr!!! We be rich pirates
December 1, 2008: The owners of the Ukrainian ship (and its 33 tanks and other weapons) have agreed to pay the Somali pirates a $20 million ransom. This is the largest ransom ever paid to the Somali pirates, and will encourage more groups to get involved in pirate operations. The GPD for all of Somalia is only about $2.5 billion (meaning the average income per person is $250). So $20 million in cash is a really big deal.
Posted by: ed || 12/04/2008 08:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  http://www.hongfire.com/cg/data/25/Pirate1.swf

(slightly naughty)
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/04/2008 9:17 Comments || Top||

#2  I think it's arrrh!
Posted by: Wolverine || 12/04/2008 9:38 Comments || Top||


Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 12/04/2008 12:47 Comments || Top||

EU warships begin anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia next week
(SomaliNet) A flotilla of EU warships will begin anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia next week. The six ships and three reconnaissance aircraft will replace a Nato force that has been in the region and escorting cargo ships carrying relief aid to Somalia since the end of October.

Although the Nato ships have helped deliver nearly 30,000 tons of humanitarian supplies to the impoverished nation, they have not been able to stem the upsurge in pirate attacks on foreign shipping in one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.

Foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the EU warships will arrive on Monday, and the handover with the Nato force will take place on December 15.

Britain, France, Greece and Germany will provide ships for the initial naval contingent, and France and Italy will provide patrol aircraft.

The task force - codenamed Operation Atalanta - will be the EU's first naval operation. It will have the same duties as the Nato mission, including escorting cargo vessels, protecting merchant ships and deterring pirate attacks. "These tasks will be done with very robust rules of engagement," Foreign policy chief Javier Solana said.

EU foreign ministers have agreed to ask the UN Security Council to clarify the legal issues involved in the anti-piracy effort. Ministers said they would also consider the possibility of deploying a follow-up anti-piracy mission to assist the EU ships.

Under the current UN mandate, the international fleet operating off the Horn of Africa has not been able to board ships seized by the pirates in order to free their hostages.

Besides the Nato ships, 10 others from the United States, India, Russia and Malaysia are patrolling the region at present.
Posted by: Fred || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [471 views] Top|| File under: Pirates

#1  EU warships begin the Winter Cruise Season anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia next week

Fixed it for you. Still waiting for the ROI papers from the Eurocrats, that are then modified by the participating Cruiser Line owners, and then interpreted by the Commodore of the Somalia Yachting Regalia [pictured above]. In the Commodore's own words, "Remember men, looking good is what it's all about!"
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/04/2008 10:07 Comments || Top||

#2  If they catch pirates, I have $10 that says they will have to give every damned one of them asylum and welfare payments back in france.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 12/04/2008 10:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Most likely the pirates will catch the Euros.
Posted by: Kelly || 12/04/2008 11:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Will they write them up and fine the pirates or just issue warnings?
Posted by: DMFD || 12/04/2008 20:02 Comments || Top||

PLA General: We Should Fight Pirates
Posted by: 3dc || 12/04/2008 18:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: WoT
Fort Dix Five jurors hear informant's recordings
Posted by: ryuge || 12/04/2008 05:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

Hamid Gul: Indian Government should listen to Communists
Hamid Gul, former chief of ISI and ideologue of fundamentalism, has said that New Delhi should listen to views of the Indian Communists parties here and stop playing a ‘lackey’ to the US.

Appearing on a TV show, he contested that Lashkar-e-Toiba thrives on Pakistani protection. Mr Gul said this perception was “completely wrong” and blamed the India’s current engagement with the US for the spate of violence.

“This is a perception that is shared by the Communist parties. India has become a lackey of the US in the lather’s attempts to create a counter-weight to China. We have been routinely hearing it from Left parties,” he said.

Prakash Karat and his colleagues have been maintaining that the “sole strategy” of the US was to capture the Indian market because China will be equal to the US in terms of economy and growth by the middle of this century. “China has to be encircled as it is the most powerful socialist country capable of challenging the might of the US,” Mr Karat had said recently.

Mr Husain Haqqani, now Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, had written about Lashkar in a 2005 essay. “The most significant jihadi group of Wahhabi persuasion — influenced by the doctrine of 18th century Islamic scholar Muhammad ibn-Abdul Wahhab — is Lashkar-e-Toiba, which is backed by Saudi money and protected by Pakistani intelligence services,” Haqqani wrote.

According to Mr Haqqani, LeT justifies its ideology by the religious verse that says, “you are obligated to fight even though it is something you do not like.” When this was pointed out to Mr Gul, he gave a curious explanation: “The essay was written when he was a journalist, much before he became a diplomat.”
Posted by: john frum || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under: ISI

#1  "The most significant jihadi group of Wahhabi persuasion -- influenced by the doctrine of 18th century Islamic scholar Muhammad ibn-Abdul Wahhab -- is Lashkar-e-Toiba, which is backed by Saudi money and protected by Pakistani intelligence services," Haqqani wrote.

Can someone tell me why Saudi Arabia/Pakistan are our allies?????

Ps Hamid Gul needs targeting along with Le T Boss Saeed!!!!
Posted by: Paul2 || 12/04/2008 6:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Oil and Afghanistan.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/04/2008 6:57 Comments || Top||

#3  Thanks Nimble

Is the US/West working on supplying their own energy supplies as being dependent on our enemies makes us as vunerable as a heroin addict!!!

Posted by: Paul2 || 12/04/2008 7:55 Comments || Top||

#4  No. We're hooked and to out of it to worry; be happy, dude.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/04/2008 8:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't worry people....ObaMao will fix everything.
Posted by: Sonny Ebbeamp1305 || 12/04/2008 9:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Nobody should have endured listening to communists. Nobody.
Posted by: Spike Uniter || 12/04/2008 16:57 Comments || Top||

Deccan Mujahideen threaten to attack Indian airports
The Deccan Mujahideen group that claimed responsibility for the Mumbai terrorist attacks, has now threatened to attack the New Delhi, Banglore and Chennai airports between December 3 and 7, a private TV channel quoted Indian media as saying on Wednesday. According to the channel, the threat was given in an email sent from Saudi Arabia and received by Indra Gandhi Airport officials. Security at all the Indian airports was put on high alert after the email. Earlier, on November 26, the little known group had claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks that left almost 200 people dead.
Posted by: Fred || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba

Lashkar-e-Taiba denies role in Mumbai attacks
(AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Kashmiri separatist group Laskhar-e-Toiba has sought to distance itself from last week's Mumbai terror attacks by suggesting disgruntled Indian militants were responsible for the violence. In a telephone interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Lashkar-e-Toiba spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi said the attack was not carried out by any Kashmiri militants.

"This is definitely an inside job from within the Indian establishment which helped the attackers go into Mumbai via the Arabian Sea, if they really infiltrated from Pakistan," he said.

"Otherwise, tell me how the boat, on which those attackers reached Mumbai, avoided Indian naval radars guarding Indian territorial waters everywhere and how any Pakistani fisher trawler can mistakenly enter into their waters, even a mile inside, and they don't leave any stone unturned to immediately arrest him."

"How come the attackers dodged them?" Abdullah Ghaznavi said.

Abdullah Ghaznavi said that there must have been collusion between some elements in the Indian establishment and the militants who carried out the attacks.

"Laskhar-e-Toiba does not have such capabilities." Abdullah said. "Nor do we have such penetration within the Indian establishment to carry out the attack at such a level nor did we in the past. Our activities are restricted to Kashmir and also against the Indian occupying troops in Indian-held Kashmir."

Lashkar-e-Toiba was more than happy to take responsibility for its attacks, the spokesman told AKI.

"If you go through our past records. If we really carried out any action against the Indian forces in Kashmir we proudly claim it but this incident we denounce. Our operations were never against the civilian population, whosoever they are," Abdullah asserted.

Lashkar-e-Toiba, is the military wing of the well-funded Pakistani Islamist organisation Markaz-ad-Dawa-ul-Irshad, which was founded in 1989 and recruited volunteers to fight with the Taliban.

During the 1990s, experts say Lashkar-e-Toiba received instruction and funding from Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in exchange for a pledge to target Hindus in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and to train Muslim extremists on Indian soil. Pakistan's government has repeatedly denied allegations of supporting terrorism.

Until it was banned in Pakistan in 2002, LeT claimed responsibility for several attacks.

India has asked Pakistan to hand over 20 top fugitives amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed nations following the deadly terrorist attacks which killed at least 188 people and injured up to 300 others.
Posted by: Fred || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba

Hafiz Saeed should be arrested, says Indo expert
(AKI) - India should demand the arrest of Pakistani extremist leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, over the brutal Mumbai terror attacks, an Indian defence expert said on Tuesday. Alok Bansal, from the Institute for Defence Studies & Analysis in New Delhi, also said India should strike the group's training camps in Kashmir if there was concrete proof of their role in Mumbai and if Pakistan failed to cooperate with Indian police.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is the head of the Islamic wahabi fundamentalist group, Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, that spawned Lashkar-e-Toiba. Speaking in an interview with the Italian daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, Bansal said it was important for the Indian government to show that was not "impotent" in the face of terrorist attacks.

India has asked Pakistan to hand over 20 top fugitives amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed nations since the attacks. Pakistan said it would "frame a formal response" once it received the list of names.

Bansal said the terrorists had moved around Mumbai because they had prepared their plans with great care. "They had been trained and armed well and the fact that they moved around a crowded city like Mumbai was an advantage," he said. "If you have no fear of death and you want to create the greatest possible number of victims, there are endless possibilities."

Bansal said Pakistan's spy agency, Interservices Intelligence (ISI) had given Lashkar-e-Toiba financial support because it furthered Islamabad's objectives in Kashmir.

He said the security situation in Pakistan was of serious concern particularly because the Taliban had moved their military bases into the tribal regions inside Pakistan. "Now the offensive by the US and Islamabad's army in the tribal regions are pushing militants more to the east," he said. "With this step, there is a risk they will arrive in the Punjab, in the heart of the country."

Bansal, a former naval officer with 26 years of service in the Indian Navy, specialises in internal disorder in Pakistan. Now based at the New Delhi think-tank, he has edited two books and published a number of research papers and writes extensively for Indian, Pakistani and international newspapers and websites.

Bansal said better coordination was needed between Indian intelligence agencies. "For too long this sector has not received the attention it deserves," he said.
This article starring:
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
Posted by: Fred || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba

Pakistan to try suspects, not surrender them to India, says Zardari
Suspects wanted by India in the attacks on Mumbai will be tried in Pakistan if there is concrete evidence against them, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday.
How's Omar Saeed Sheikh doing, Gomez?
He told Larry King in an interview from Islamabad that if proof of wrongdoing surfaced, the men would be tried in Pakistani courts and sentenced. The state of Pakistan is in no way responsible for the Mumbai attacks, he said, which were the work of 'stateless', meaning non-state, actors. Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, he said in answer to a question, is a banned organisation in Pakistan and all around the world. "If indeed they are involved, we would not know. Again, they are people who operate outside the system.

Asked what Pakistan would do if India does produce evidence linking the terrorists with Pakistan, Zardari replied, "I would -- my government would take action, our government would take action, the democratic government of Pakistan would take action against all the actors and anybody who is involved."
I seem to recall that the Taliban tried the same thing shortly after 9/11: they said that while they wouldn't turn Binny and the al-Qaeda mooks over to us, if we just gave them all the evidence that they would try Binny in an 'Islamic court'. Bush didn't fall for that, and I hope the Indians don't fall for it now.
Lone survivor: Zardari said no "tangible proof" had come forth so far that the lone survivor from among the terrorists, was a Pakistani, as was being claimed.

Zardari said any Indian strike across the border at a suspected terror base would be counterproductive. "The threat is in the region, and just not to Bombay or to India. The threat to the state of Pakistan. There's a threat to the state of Afghanistan. It's a threat throughout the region. So that would be counterproductive." When his attention was invited to a new report predicting the possibility of a terrorist strike against a major US city in the next five years, Zardari replied that it was all the more reason to help Pakistan.

He agreed that in the past "lots of mistakes" had been made but the present government would not provide support to militant movements. "I can assure the world from my side, from my army's side, from my parliament's side and the people of Pakistan that we are not helping any such activity, he added. To a question about President-elect Barack Obama, Zardari said there is a "world romance with Obama" and "we are looking forward to working with him". He called Hillary Clinton "an excellent choice" for secretary of state. He said it would not ever be necessary for America to take action in Pakistan, as that is something Pakistan will itself do if any "actionable intelligence" was given to it.
Posted by: Fred || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  The Indians shouldn't hold their breaths. The US is turning blue waiting for the Pakis arrest, try and punish Pakis who planned, funded and assisted the 911 atrocities.
Posted by: ed || 12/04/2008 9:09 Comments || Top||

Israel preparing strike against Iran - report
ISRAEL is reportedly drawing up plans to attack Iranian nuclear facilities and is prepared to launch a strike without backing from the US.

"It is always better to coordinate," a top Defence Ministry official told The Jerusalem Post. "But we are also preparing options that do not include coordination."

Israel would prefer to work in consultation with the US because the US Air Force controls the Iraqi airspace its jets would need to cross on a bombing mission. "There are a wide range of risks one takes when embarking on such an operation," a top Israeli official said.

A report, published in September in Britain's Guardian newspaper, claimed that Isreali Prime Minister Ehud Olmert requested a green light to attack Iran in May but was refused by George W. Bush

Iran has already dismissed the possibility of an Israeli strike. "We think that regional and international developments and the complicated situation faced by Israel itself will not allow it to launch military strikes against other countries," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said, according to the Press TV Web site. "Israel makes threats to promote its psychological and media warfare."
Posted by: Oztralian || 12/04/2008 02:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/04/2008 2:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Hmmmmmm. Time's a wastin', boyz. I don't think the teen crushes of Brooks, Gerson, and their ilk are gonna count for much when we're talkin' strategic existential threats to national existence, and stuff. I'm still unable to see really satisfying Israeli military options, but the perfect may not be the enemy of the good-enough, in this case.
Posted by: Verlaine || 12/04/2008 3:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Was thinking about that last night. They don't want to do it so close to inauguration that it makes Bambi respond. Nor close to Christmas so that it appears to be somehow anti-Christian. New year's eve sounds like a good time. Lots of distractions. Much later gets to be a PR problem.

I'm not so sure airstrikes are the best way, either. If they have been working on this for a long time, and I suspect they have, sleeper bombs may already have been placed in appropriate locations to be set off remotely.

Sure hope somebody does something.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/04/2008 6:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Five million Obama zombies in D.C. on Inaugeration Day. Another 50 million watching on TV. A billion angry, US hating muzzies all lathered up and screaming. I'd give the 19th or 20th of January high marks.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/04/2008 8:01 Comments || Top||

#5  This is the policy blurb from the Atlantic Council of the United States, the think tank for Obama's new National Security Advisor.

We need to better understand Iranian concerns: they are rightfully worried about national security. Israel and the U.S. continue to espouse bellicose rhetoric with regards to Iran. This is not helpful. Moreover, Iran is a Shiite state in a largely Sunni region and this plays an important part in their desire for autonomy that the West sometimes fails to apprecitate. Not to mention that their population doubled in the last 20 years, and oil reserves won't sustain their demographic forever. Nuclear energy is their right, but it needs to be developed following international norms. A UN process for the provision of enriched uranium is one option. The most obvious benefit of this is that the Iranians would receive fuel at a far cheaper price than they could ever produce it themselves, and, under IAEA inspection, it would be taken away once burned.

These folks completely miss the forest for the trees.
Posted by: ed || 12/04/2008 8:08 Comments || Top||

#6  These folks completely miss the forest for the trees.

Hell, they wouldn't know a good tree if it fell on them.
Posted by: xbalanke || 12/04/2008 16:18 Comments || Top||

Report: Obama advisors want NATO troops in West Bank
This is a Paleo news agency so salt is required. But if true it's going to be a real problem. No way in hell do I want US troops patrolling the West Bank. Let the French do it.
Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US President-elect Barack Obama is considering a deployment of NATO forces to the West Bank as part of a plan for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, an American newsmagazine reported on Wednesday.

Former US-national security advisors Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski reportedly endorsed the strategy in recent days. Meanwhile, Obama's nominee to head the National Security Council, Gen. James Jones, apparently favors the idea, all according to Newsweek, a weekly American newsmagazine.
Scowcroft and Brzezinski are out of touch hacks who are happy to crush the little people under their feet while playing the 'Big Game'. Zbig, especially, has long been willing to canoodle with bloodthirsty thugs. No thanks.
"A principle that appeared to be out of bounds I think is now in bounds," said Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy from the International Quartet countries.

Israel has long argued that the country cannot deal with Palestine until the Palestinian Authority (PA) manages to control militants. And Palestinians complain that they cannot conciously ask militias to disarm so long as Israel continues to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But a NATO force, Obama's advisors argue, would bridge the impasse on both sides.

"But then it's not clear how NATO could prevent the Israelis from taking matters into their own hands," according to the Newsweek report, if Palestinian fighters began "picking off" NATO soldiers.
What about OUR response if Paleo hard boyz start potting our soldiers? What would world opinion be if we flatten the house of a Paleo gunnie? Or whack him and his best friends? Or conduct raids to find some mid-level Dogmush?

And suppose we grab a Paleo for good cause -- where do we put him? In an Israeli prison? Gitmo?

How soon would the MSM, aided and abetted by the hard left, start to describe our soldiers in the West Bank as oppressors and occupiers?

And what would we say to the spouse/children/parents of an American soldier gunned down by a Paleo hard boy while on patrol in Bethlehem?

We'll see how smart and realistic Bambi is on this issue: if he goes along with this he's an idiot and a one-term president for sure.
"And should all-out fighting resume--this is, remember, one of the world's most intractable conflicts--NATO could be drawn into the middle," the article goes on to say.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [974 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What Steve said, especially in that last annotation.

WTF is it with the head-smackingly dumb s**t that people come up with - including people "who've been there" like Zbig and Brent? The foreign policy field, more or less my home forever, seems to have an amazing abundance of of and tolerance for simply idiotic ideas.

I'm pretty sure Obama's not as smart as many like to believe, I'm positive he's utterly over his head in these matters, but I still don't see anything like this happening. The problems and booby traps are too obvious even for the Clinton III/Beltway Lightweight Brigade to ignore. Plus there's risk (eewwwwww, we don't do risk, even if we ARE "transformational").

In any case, Iz'rl would have a veto over anything remotely like this, so I can't see it being feasible.

Meanwhile, if the new team (or the Iraqis) doesn't manage to screw up Iraq, whatever will we do with the hallucinogenic touchstone assumption that all good things in the MidEast can only proceed from and follow upon a love-fest between Iz'rl and the Paleos? The assertion that has beclowned a thousand think tankers, "intelligence community" analysts, State weenies, and former big-shots will just be left there, writhing on the deck. Not that it will die, or its buffoonish adherents suffer a bit - first principle of idiotic Beltway conventional wisdom foreign policy: no ridiculous claim or idea, however spectacular or undeniable the debunking thereof, can result in a loss of prestige or regard for the clown who authored it. Absolute zero accountability.

Posted by: Verlaine || 12/04/2008 3:37 Comments || Top||

#2  In any case, Iz'rl would have a veto over anything remotely like this, so I can't see it being feasible.

Actually, I think the Israelis are smart enough to allow this. It would be a black hole sucking the life out of the Obama regime for no accomplishment or less than zero benefit. Scowcroft and Jones should be smarter than this, but looking at the policy papers of the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank they are assoc with), this is just like the self defeating actions they advocate.

It's going to a long four years and we are going to appreciate just what a tough guy Jimmy Carter was.
Posted by: ed || 12/04/2008 8:01 Comments || Top||

#3  and less than zero benefit.
Posted by: ed || 12/04/2008 8:01 Comments || Top||

#4  NATO won't play. I've said for some time that Obama may will try to enfluence the action in Africa through the deployment of US troops under the new AFRICOM/US State (Peace Corps-Lite) structure. Scowcroft, Brzesniki and Kissenger are bitter old men who no longer have any visible or elected public role in international affairs. The need to go find Florida. I well remember their hayday. It wasn't that outstanding, believe me.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/04/2008 8:08 Comments || Top||

#5  They would be human shields for a massive Paleo arms upgrade, same as the Lebanon border.
Posted by: Grunter || 12/04/2008 8:35 Comments || Top||

#6  I can see one reason to have NATO forces there. To assist in moving the Paleos into Jordan, in lieu of the Israelis forcing them to leave, prior to reclaiming the West Bank as part of "greater Israel".
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/04/2008 9:38 Comments || Top||

#7  "They need to go find Florida. I well remember their hayday. It wasn't that outstanding, believe me."

Ditto, in spades.
Posted by: AlanC || 12/04/2008 9:48 Comments || Top||

#8  Grunter is right, and I forgot to include that important point in my diatribe. The Widows Ammunition Fund would indeed be busy ...
Posted by: Steve White || 12/04/2008 9:49 Comments || Top||

#9  There is now a "Temporary International Presence in Hebron" called by the acronym TIPH which most Israelis refer to as "Two Idiots Patroling Hebron".

It is acknowledged as a farce by both Israelis and Palestinians.
Posted by: mhw || 12/04/2008 10:02 Comments || Top||

#10  I would take this with a huge mountain of salt.

But if true...
It would be the political equivalent of using a flamethrower to remove a wart on your nose.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/04/2008 10:07 Comments || Top||

#11  Let's also not forget that if U.S. troops actually shoot any palestinians it will have negative consequences in our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere in the muslim world.
Posted by: DoDo || 12/04/2008 11:09 Comments || Top||

#12  But DoDo, to the left that's not a bug, but a feature.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 12/04/2008 11:52 Comments || Top||

#13  This is outside of the NATO charter.
Posted by: Lagom || 12/04/2008 13:09 Comments || Top||

#14  Oh yeah, lets send lots of practice targets for the nasty little animals to take pot-shots at. Great idea.
Posted by: mojo || 12/04/2008 14:05 Comments || Top||

#15  V2 of this will be a UN peace-keeping force. Someone will point out that no other member of the UN would send troops there either, for the same reasons.

V3 of this will be a Pan-Arab peace-keeping force, I suppose because the Palestinians will presumably be less willing to shoot at other Arabs. Even the Arabs are too smart to fall for that.
Posted by: buwaya || 12/04/2008 15:50 Comments || Top||

#16  On behalf of Florida, we don't need any more trash washing up on our beaches, thanks.
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 12/04/2008 18:46 Comments || Top||

New boat to break Gaza siege
The leaders of the Arab community are scheduled to sail into the Gaza Strip to break the Israeli imposed siege on the territory.

Dozens of Arab leaders residing in Palestine will set sail Sunday from the Israeli port of Jaffa to break the blockade on the populated territory, Zahi Nujeidat, a spokesman for Israel's Islamic Movement said on Wednesday.

The regime has kept its border crossings with the coastal strip closed over the last month in response to 'rocket attacks by Palestinian factions'. It has blocked all food and fuel supplies to the territory which is home to 1.5 million people.

Nujeidat said the ship will take humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip 'to defy the government's blockade of the territory', the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Earlier this week, Israel prevented a Libyan Ship from reaching Gaza. The ship which was carrying three thousand tons of humanitarian and medical aid was stopped before entering the territory.
Posted by: Fred || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  In related news, Israel to break new boat.
Posted by: ed || 12/04/2008 9:12 Comments || Top||

#2  All Israel has to do is put some fishing nets in the way. Once their propeller gets hopelessly tangled, which is a serious 3-shop repair, unless you have expert divers and several days, the current does the rest.

Then the Israelis suddenly experience compatibility problems with their distress calls. Eventually, they offer to give them a tow to international waters. Which, in the Mediterranean basin, is far off the coast of Spain.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/04/2008 9:42 Comments || Top||

#3  One shot across the bow and these 'Leaders' will scream like little girls. It will no doubt be their aides on board not them anyway. Danger or risk is for the little people, not arab leaders.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 12/04/2008 10:56 Comments || Top||

#4  "Surface action port, ready the for'ard five-inch gun..."
Posted by: mojo || 12/04/2008 12:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Let em dock, let em off, sink the boat, enjoy Gaza folks...
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/04/2008 12:51 Comments || Top||

#6  "Arab community"...

Posted by: mojo || 12/04/2008 14:08 Comments || Top||

Aoun on historic Syria visit
Lebanese Christian leader Michelle Aoun, long hostile to Syria, arrived in Damascus on Wednesday in a historic first visit to Syria that will include talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and leaders of Syria's Christian community.

Lt. General Aoun, head of the parliamentary minority, told reporters at the airport that he hoped that his visit would usher in a bright stage in the Syrian-Lebanese relations, the official SANA news agency reported.

The head of the Lebanese arrived at the Damascus International Airport aboard Assad's private plane of and was met by Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Fisal al-Miqdad, who took him to the al-Shaab presidential palace.

The Syrian al-Watan daily quoted Aoun on Wednesday as saying that his three-day talks in Damascus would touch on Syrian-Lebanese diplomatic ties, demarcating borders and the missing Lebanese who are believed to be detained in Syria.

Aoun dismissed criticism of the historic visit by the rival March 14 coalition led by Saad Hariri, whose father Rafik Hariri, a former prime minister, was assassinated in 2005 in a bombing many blame on Syria. "I am being attacked because I said that Christianity had originated in Syria," the Lebanese al-Nahar daily quoted him as saying before his trip. "I want to separate Christians from the March 14 alliance because it was mistaken."
Posted by: Fred || 12/04/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

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