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Wazoo tribesmen attack Qaeda bunkers
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 5: Local News
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Eight 'Taliban', 5 Afghan troops killed in clash
Suspected Taliban militants attacked a checkpoint manned by Afghan troops, leaving eight militants and five Afghan troops dead, officials said on Saturday. Afghan troops had been manning a checkpoint in the southern province of Uruzgan when a large group of militants attacked their compound on Thursday, the statement from the US-led coalition said. “Afghan security guards aggressively fought off the attacking Taliban force in a pitched battle, killing eight Taliban fighters during a six-hour fire fight,” it said. The incident could not be independently verified due to the area’s remoteness.

Five Afghan troops were killed and one was wounded in the clash, NATO’s International Security Assistance force said in a statement. Separately, coalition and Afghan troops on Friday detained a suspected local Taliban leader who was reportedly involved in an assassination attempt on a powerful tribal elder in Kandahar province on March 9, a coalition statement said. The militant, who was not named, was arrested alongside two other men in the southern village of Maranjan, in Kandahar province, the statement said.
Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 09:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

Romanians Securing Vital Afghan Highway
HIGHWAY 1, Afghanistan -- The Romanian soldier quietly makes the sign of the cross, then thrusts his rifle through the narrow slit of an armored vehicle as it rolls toward one of the most vital -- and dangerous -- highways in Afghanistan.

As night falls, machine gunners constantly rotate their turrets and searchlights on the four patrol vehicles and rake the passing countryside for possible ambush sites amid rocky outcrops, mud-brick farm houses and orchards of blossoming almond trees.

The Romanian presence, analyst say, is an example of what must be done to win the war in Afghanistan: convince NATO countries unwilling to put their soldiers in fighting situations that engaging in combat will pave the way for progress.

One of only six NATO nations willing to take on combat operations in the country, the Romanians are tasked with securing a stretch of Highway 1, the strategic and economic lifeline between the capital, Kabul, and the key southern city of Kandahar.

More at link. Thanks, Romania...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  US, UK, Canada, Romania, Netherlands (?) - who's the 6th one? Australia? Didn't the fwench special forces actually participate in festivities there over the last 5 years?
Posted by: Verlaine || 04/01/2007 1:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Verlaine, it's the Danes. They've been there in combat since very early in the campaign. I don't know how many there are, but they pull their weight. France and Germany are in the north, where it's relatively safe. The Aussies are not a part of NATO.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 13:58 Comments || Top||

#3  The Aussies are always punching above their weight in Southwest and Southeast Asia, and they are not part of NATO. I am surprised that the Albanians and Hungarians are not in combat roles in Afghanistan; although that may be more to economics on their part, than lack of will.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 04/01/2007 14:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Verlaine, it's the Danes. They've been there in combat since very early in the campaign.

Makes me damn proud to be half Danish and ALL American. I might even have to fetch up a bottle of Tuborg from the cellar for tonight!
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 15:48 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Truce Fails to Stop Somali Fighting - Streets Strewn With Corpses
A truce brokered by influential clan elders between the government and Islamic insurgents failed Sunday to halt fighting that has left the streets of the capital strewn with corpses.

Uganda, which has about 1,400 troops here as the vanguard of a larger African Union peacekeeping force, said it had lost its first soldier, who was hit by a mortar shell on Saturday. So far, Uganda is the only country to contribute to the peacekeeping force.

Mortar shells continued to rain down hours after Mogadishu's dominant clan, the Hawiye, said it had brokered a truce to stop the fighting between the insurgents and the government and its Ethiopian allies.

There are fears the conflict could widen. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit sent urgent letters to the United Nations, Arab League and the African Union urging a speedy intervention to end the fighting in Somalia.

"Egypt is following with great concern the military confrontation in Somalia," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the presence of foreign troops in Somalia is complicating the situation.

Masked gunmen carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns were brazenly walking the largely abandoned streets of Mogadishu, one of the world's most violent and gun-infested cities.

Shopkeepers closed their stores and families fled their homes for fear of stray mortars and bullets.

Untold numbers of civilians have been killed and hundreds wounded; corpses were not being taken off the streets or even tallied.

Clan elders have tried to negotiate several cease-fires but the government and Ethiopian offensive has sparked the heaviest fighting in the Somali capital since the country tumbled into anarchy in the early 1990s.

Hussein Ali Mohamed, 13, said he was doing homework when he felt an explosion rock his home and his leg was blown off by a mortar shell.

"They had to bury my leg," Mohamed said from Medina Hospital, which was overwhelmed with bloodied patients and exhausted doctors. "I will never forgive the people who did it. I will never be able to play with my friends again."

The insurgents are linked to the Council of Islamic Courts, which was driven from power in December by Somali and Ethiopian soldiers, accompanied by U.S. special forces. The U.S. has accused the courts of having ties to al-Qaida.

The Islamic courts stockpiled thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition during the six months they controlled Mogadishu. The insurgency will likely last until that stockpile is depleted, or key leaders are killed.

The militants have long rejected any secular government and have sworn to fight until Somalia becomes an Islamic emirate.

The U.N. refugee agency says 58,000 people have fled violence in the Somali capital since the beginning of February.

Mumino Haji Hassan, a mother of four who escaped Mogadishu last week for Hawa Abdi, about 12 miles away, said she was quickly running out of supplies to keep her family alive.

"We are thirsty - we don't have any water to drink, let alone food to eat," she told The Associated Press. "We ask that donors give us urgent help, my youngest boy is in critical condition."

Hajira Hussein, a mother of eight, was sitting by the side of a road on the outskirts of Mogadishu, saying it was safer to live outside than to stay in the city.

"I know don't know what to eat or where to live," she said. "I don't even have a tent where I can put my children."
Egypt has a very substantial army. Why don't they intercede?
They could travel via Sudan.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 14:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6512 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Egypt probably doesn't intercede for several reasons:
1) Too much Muslim Brotherhood influence
2) Too little logistical capacity
3) Concern over nearer neighbors
4) Might get whupped
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/01/2007 16:10 Comments || Top||

#2  It's a quagmire!

Seriously, though, I haven't been following the news all that much lately in regards to the Mog (finished my novel on 03/28 (01/01/07-03/28/07 with 65k words and 35 actual writing days (not to mention a buttload of research)). How did this all boil out of control after the Ethiopians took control there?

Posted by: FOTSGreg || 04/01/2007 18:19 Comments || Top||

#3  propaganga sg
Posted by: sinse || 04/01/2007 22:01 Comments || Top||

Bogus greenbacks from North Korea close to 'perfect'
TOKYO -- Kim Il-nam's first encounter with counterfeit U.S. currency was embarrassing. On an overseas trip several years ago, the North Korean diplomat took a $100 bill from a wad of more than $7,000 he had received from the Trade Bank in Pyongyang to the front desk of his hotel.

"I had to buy some toiletries, so I asked the cashier at the hotel front desk to change one of the new bills," said Mr. Kim, who uses a pseudonym to protect his identity since defecting. "She took my note away and returned, saying, 'Sir, this is fake.' I felt like a criminal and protested to the Trade Bank when I got back to Pyongyang."

Things are different now. A new generation of fake "supernotes," far harder to detect, has appeared, counterfeiting experts say.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We should start making counterfeits of their shit and dump it in Nork by the millions.
Posted by: Mike N. || 04/01/2007 0:45 Comments || Top||

#2  The North Koreans deserve nothing less than our missile targeting coordinates being close to 'perfect' as well.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 0:59 Comments || Top||

#3  In Communist countries, the problem for its slaves has never been accruing Commie script, it's been finding something/someone willing to accept it in exchange for quality goods.
Posted by: mrp || 04/01/2007 6:37 Comments || Top||

#4  I had a thought recently, perhaps that 25 million that Kimmie's squawking about in the Macao Bank is Kimmie's private "Getaway" stash?

It would explain why he's trying so desperately to get it unfrozen, as it was pointed out here, as nations go 25 mil is less than pocket change, but to an individual, it's a very comfortable lifestyle.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 8:40 Comments || Top||

#5  We should start making counterfeits of their shit and dump it in Nork by the millions.

They would just eat them.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 04/01/2007 8:56 Comments || Top||

#6  We should start making counterfeits of their shit and dump it in Nork by the millions.

They would just eat them.

They already do, but exactly what is counterfeit dirt?
Posted by: Throque Gonque2829 || 04/01/2007 9:57 Comments || Top||

#7  We should start making counterfeits of their shit

Countereit SCUDs and bogus reactors - now there's a thought!
Posted by: SteveS || 04/01/2007 12:46 Comments || Top||

#8  what is counterfeit dirt?

Uncomposted shit.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 13:16 Comments || Top||

#9  they don't have shit too counterfeit besides a military parade
Posted by: sinse || 04/01/2007 13:49 Comments || Top||

#10  Do the "supernotes" have the embedded plastic filament that says "$100" in the paper or not? Because if the filament is NOT there, no way are those fakes close to being near perfect notes. And if it is, we should be able trace the paper manufacturer since that is a very involved process, and only a few paper companies in the world have demonstrated the technology.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 04/01/2007 14:16 Comments || Top||

#11  #7: We should start making counterfeits of their shit

Nah, just a waste of good paper and Ink
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 15:19 Comments || Top||

#12  I have heard (But not seen, unfortunately) of a Pistol, made during WW2, .45 cal, two shots, stamped (Cheap) construction, Airdropped by the thousands by a small parachute behind enemy lines complete with two .45 cartridges and a printed (Pictures only) page showing how to get yourself a brand- new Schmesser.

Seems like time to do it again, but make them 9MM this time, Kimmie would shit.

It would be even nicer to add a bit of food to the parachute package, say 1/2 pound of rice in an unidentifiable plastic sack, then Kimmie's Peons will seek these out, not ignore them
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 15:34 Comments || Top||

#13  The FP-45 "Liberator"

Posted by: mrp || 04/01/2007 16:09 Comments || Top||

#14  Thanks, some info I did not know, 10 rounds, not two, and never really deployed as planned.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 19:40 Comments || Top||

#15  Ham it all to dell, I lubs this place. Wotta great idea, Redneck Jim! Thank you too, mrp, for the background information. This is just one of many reasons why I like Rantburg so very much.

I think yours is a splendid idea, RJ. Blanket North Korea with these little suckers and promise bounties for their top officials. The additional rice idea is important so as to make picking up the weapon irresistible. Obviously, there would be a death penalty for possession, so make it worth retrieving and worth shooting the law enforcement personnel who came after you for snagging the little sucker. Talk about "Care" (CAdre Reduction Equipment) packages!!!
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 21:26 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Hicks gets 9 months
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba -- A U.S. military tribunal sentenced an Australian to nine months in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism -- the first conviction at a U.S. war-crimes trial since World War II.

A panel of military officers had recommended a term of seven years, but a plea agreement that had been kept secret from the panel capped the sentence at nine months for David Hicks, who has been held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years.

Hicks, a 31-year-old kangaroo skinner and confessed Taliban-allied gunman, appeared relieved as the judge, Marine Corps Col. Ralph Kohlmann, disclosed the agreement. Asked if the outcome was what he was told to expect, Hicks said, ''Yes, it was.''

The United States had agreed to let Hicks serve his sentence in Australia, and he is to leave the Cuba-based prison within 60 days under the plea agreement.
I am speechless.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He should be on death row for nine months until he is terminated.
Posted by: Tholuper Poodle5257 || 04/01/2007 3:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Is this guy a dead man walking? Enough of this $hit and people will take the law into their own hands. I don't know how cognizant government is of this, but it's happened before, and it will happen again if this keeps up.
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 4:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey, don't pay your taxes and see what the f*ck happens to you. You will probably get more than 9 months. Got to feed the hungry congress critters and make certain they get their benefits.
Posted by: pissed || 04/01/2007 7:14 Comments || Top||

#4  I advocate summary execution for ANYONE who even trained at one of the 5 al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. And, 2 weeks before 9-11, the "Islamway" website of the Islamic Circle of North America, lost their ISP after American Muslims bragged about taking terror training. We should shoot on sight, any supporter, financial or moral. Jihadi = cockroach
Posted by: Sneaze || 04/01/2007 8:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Like I've said: Somewhere there's an Aussie Digger who has put in his time fighting the terrorists. One day, Hicks and this unknown bloke are going to cross paths. Hicks will lucky to escape alive and I'm sure that none of us wish him luck (so to speak).
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 14:47 Comments || Top||

#6  a plea agreement that had been kept secret from the panel

Oh really, there's a Court Martial offense right there.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 15:15 Comments || Top||

#7  I was in Oz in February, and the local moonbats had 'free Hicks' signs hanging from a church. Pathetic, useful, idiots. Like Zenster, I do expect he'll eventually meet up with someone who has 'differing' views...
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 04/01/2007 18:26 Comments || Top||

#8  Sneaze, while I may agree, generally, with your sentiments, and, while I do not want to take anything away from the mods here, your statements border dangerously on advocating murder of American citizens or legal residents.

I choose to believe you meant advocating the targetted assassination of militant, outspoken, jihadis across our national boundaries who have been proven to be enemies of the USA, and not US citizens or legal residents.


Posted by: FOTSGreg || 04/01/2007 20:25 Comments || Top||

#9  He must not have come back to look around yet. :-|
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 21:01 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Dupe URL: 'Drudge: McCain heckled by CNN reporter
Sun Apr 01 2007 13:50:38 ET


During a live press conference in Bagdad, Senators McCain and Graham were heckled by CNN reporter Michael Ware. An official at the press conference called Ware’s conduct “outrageous,” saying, “here you have two United States Senators in Bagdad giving first-hand reports while Ware is laughing and mocking their comments. I’ve never witnessed such disrespect. This guy is an activist not a reporter.”

Senators McCain and Graham flew into Iraq and drove into Bagdad, making stops at an open market and a joint Iraq/American military security outpost before appearing at the press conference.

This is not the first time Michael Ware has taken issue with Senator McCain’s comments about early progress in Iraq. Last week, after Senator McCain told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he needed to catch up on the news coming out of Iraq, Michael Ware responded, saying:

“I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad.”

Michael Ware has also publicly expressed his views on the war last year in an interview with Bill Maher, saying, “I've been given a front-row ticket to watch this slow-motion train wreck … I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I'm here … In fact, I'm drinking now.”

Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 15:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No honor...
Posted by: badanov || 04/01/2007 16:52 Comments || Top||

#2  And Ware, who couldn't cut it as a lawyer, helped to make Iraq a "trainwreck"
Posted by: badanov || 04/01/2007 16:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Can we call him "Malware"?
Posted by: twobyfour || 04/01/2007 17:07 Comments || Top||

Redacted by moderator. Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity. Please correct the condition that applies and try again. Contents may be viewed in the sinktrap.

Once again, folks: we don't permit posts that advocate the death of an American, no matter how despicable. And Mr. Ware is pretty despicable. AoS.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 17:11 Comments || Top||

#5  This guy is an activist not a reporter.

This is news?

Posted by: Raj || 04/01/2007 17:24 Comments || Top||

#6  In fact, I'm drinking now. Says it all.

The anti-war left - drunk, high and/or mentally ill.

Posted by: Angaiger Tojo1904 || 04/01/2007 17:28 Comments || Top||

#7  CNN likes to interview a conservative, then have one of their "reporters" comment about what is said after, so they get the last word.

Earlier in the week, McCain commented to Wolfie that he could now walk in a Baghdad market, that Wolfie needs to get up-to-date on matters.

After the interview, they brought Ware on to cast dispersions on what McCain had been saying (since it directly contradicted what Ware's been reporting).

Looks like McCain called Wolfie and Ware on it. Ware simply showed why he is a grade A asshole.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/01/2007 18:13 Comments || Top||

#8  Dupe URL: 'Drudge: McCain heckled by CNN reporter dupe?.

Self Avowed Drunk If you can stand it here's 6 minutes of Michael Ware taken during FEB..

1) How is it that this besotted CNN appointed war correspondent has wound up being an "expert" of all things war, Iraq, logistics, strategery, tactics, governance?

2) How is it that CNN appointed him?

3) Conclusion 2 parts.

part 1. Drunks have been known blame or justify their alcoholism on everything but themselves.

part 2. If you were to give Michael Ware a tiny AO somewhere out in al An-Bar Province staffed with other Iraq reporters [Kevin "shithead" Sykes etc] that drink with him and told them it was their mission to defend it, clear the roads of IEDs and VIBEDS, gather intel from the locals, raise a platoon of IAs and answer to headquarters how would this genius and his fellow travelers do?
Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 18:14 Comments || Top||

#9  They would vanish, one way or the other.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 19:47 Comments || Top||

#10  The dupe URL points to Drudges flash page, which has been here before.
Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 21:15 Comments || Top||

#11  He should be publicly castigated and then fired for his behavior.
Posted by: Grumenk Philalzabod0723 || 04/01/2007 22:25 Comments || Top||

#12  Yea, a bit of going medieval on him wouldn't hurt: tar and feathers.
Posted by: twobyfour || 04/01/2007 22:41 Comments || Top||

#13  "Fragging" wasn't limited to "officers" during Vietnam. I'd hate to see that abominable behavior reborn, but if it's directed at people like Michael Ware, I think I could forgive myself. Some people just don't deserve to continue to exist.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 17:11 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
State Dept. Warns: Be Careful Overseas
If we had a No Shit, Sherlock category on the 'Burg I'd have filed it there; but we don't, so into SAST it goes.
As if you needed reminding: It's dangerous out there. And if your parents' warnings that the world is full of malevolent people and mishap-prone places didn't stick, the State Department is ready to fill the void.

From the spectacular to the mundane, while terrorism grabs headlines, most problems faced by Americans abroad have nothing to do with al-Qaida but rather cutthroat con artists, corrupt officers and dismal drivers.

The colorful quirks of foreign lands, be they unscrupulous cabaret girls in Cyprus or the arbitrary enforcement of unwritten laws in Laos, are laid bare each year in safety and security reports compiled by State Department analysts for every country on Earth.

The department puts them online, mainly for employees of U.S. firms doing business abroad but are available to anyone. According to this year's updates:
_"Driving in Qatar is (like) participating in an extreme sport."

_"Police involvement in criminal activity is both legendary and true in Mexico."

_"Be aware of drink prices" in Croatia's gentlemen's clubs, where tourists can "unknowingly run up exorbitant bar bills, sometimes in the thousands of dollars."

These little publicized assessments venture beyond the bland, carefully worded travel advice the State Department is normally known for, and are often downright undiplomatic.

The Mexican Embassy in Washington, for example, objected to the characterization of police corruption, calling it an "unfortunate cliche.""Things are changing in Mexico for the good," spokesman Rafael Laveaga maintained.

But unflattering descriptions of countries are not uncommon.

"The tragedy of Haiti is that Haitians have become great leaders in every profession and in every country, with the exception of Haiti," says the report for the impoverished Caribbean nation, warning that trained personnel are lacking to respond to any emergency.

In deadpan fashion, another report praises Maltese authorities at the expense of the Mediterranean island's closest neighbor. "Despite Malta's geographic proximity to Italy, organized crime is almost nonexistent," it says.

Although deadly, the Mafia, along with natural disasters and terrorists, should be the least of your worries outside the United States.

Automobile accidents cause the biggest portion of non-natural, non-combat deaths of Americans abroad, accounting for nearly a third of the more than 2,000 cases reported to the State Department between 2004 and 2006. Thus, the department's Overseas Security Advisory Council places heavy emphasis on local motoring mores in the reports.

In the oil-rich Gulf nation of Qatar, the population of fewer than 900,000 racks up an astounding 70,000 traffic accidents per year, its report says. "Drivers often maneuver erratically and at high speed, demonstrate little road discipline or courtesy, fail to turn on their headlights during hours of darkness or inclement weather, and do not use seat belts," it says.

Sound bad? Well, it may be worse in Tunisia. "Among their many traits, local drivers rarely use lanes designated for turns, often cut across multiple lanes of traffic, rarely look before changing lanes, do not yield the right of way when merging, commonly run through red lights without stopping, and generally drive oblivious to other vehicles on the road," the Tunisia report says.

"Driving in Egypt," meanwhile, "can be a harrowing experience and not for the faint-hearted," the analysts opine.

In the historic center of the French city of Strasbourg, cars face nonmoving threats as "vehicle arson has come into vogue here with an unofficial New Year's Eve competition" among vandals wrecking numerous autos each December 31, the report for France says.

After accidents, assaults, suicides and drownings are the next leading causes of U.S. civilian deaths overseas, according to the State Department. Terrorist attacks claim far fewer American lives, it says.

Yet there are perhaps less well-known dangers lurking beyond U.S. borders.

Even the staid environs and clockwork efficiency of Switzerland can be risky, the analysts say. "Being surrounded by the majestic, snow-covered Alps, combined with a pervasive sense of orderliness, it is understandable that travelers might forget that the city of Geneva and the adjacent cantons are not immune from crime," the report on Swiss security says.

Elsewhere, the lacing of drinks with date-rape drugs is common, but even without such adulteration, visits to watering holes far from home can be perilous, the reports say.

The U.S. embassy in Cyprus has ordered staff to avoid "cabaret girls," or "artistes," who work with unscrupulous bar owners to overcharge patrons in search of female companionship, the analysts say. They add that the usually diligent Cypriot police are generally unsympathetic to victims. But at least Cyprus has capable and respected law enforcement officers.

In nearby Greece, "police have limited ability to deter criminals" and "receive little support from the Greek government and even less respect from the Greek population," the analysts say.

In Laos, authorities may simply make up the rules, the analysts say, noting that "while the country does have published laws forming the basis of its law enforcement mechanism, the population is also beholden to unpublished laws and proclamations."

Closer to home, Mexico is not a place to rely on the local constabulary, they say. "Reporting crime is an archaic, exhausting process in Mexico, and is widely perceived to be a waste of time."
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That one about Haiti is a riot.

I don't know if this is Condi or Negroponte, but someone gets praise from me for this.
Posted by: Mike N. || 04/01/2007 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  ... In the oil-rich Gulf nation of Qatar, the population of fewer than 900,000 racks up an astounding 70,000 traffic accidents per year, its report says.

I blame PWI (Praying While Driving).

drivers rarely use lanes designated for turns, often cut across multiple lanes of traffic, rarely look before changing lanes, do not yield the right of way when merging, commonly run through red lights without stopping

I saw this in Armenia. Sitting in a taxi at a thoroughly red light for more than fifteen seconds, I witnessed another vehicle in a slower lane barrel through the intersection at top speed. If I hadn’t had a previous understanding of the residual Soviet gangsterism still prevailing, I would have been stunned.

A Philippine girlfriend of mine once pointed to the striped white line separating the lanes we were driving in and said: "In Manila, those lines are for decoration only."
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 1:37 Comments || Top||

#3  The first time I drove in Rome, I discovered that the white lines were there only for decoration. Six cars would line up abreast at a stoplight - on a four-lane highway. The French will run red lights, cut across two or three lanes of traffic to make a left turn, and pass you on the left when you're riding the center line. The Germans just drive FAST.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 14:13 Comments || Top||

#4  And it's open season on pedestrians in Boston. I think they give bounties, IIRC.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/01/2007 16:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Here in Mobile, Red Lights are "Advisory" (many wrecks by light runners, Some slow down, others just ignore, I had to slam on the brakes to miss one just last week)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 19:59 Comments || Top||

#6  Tucson is #3 in the nation for red light running. I almost hate to post this because of what seems to happens to #3s around here.
Posted by: Jackal || 04/01/2007 20:11 Comments || Top||

#7  The Germans drive exactly as fast as their vehicle and ability allow, no faster, and only foreigners break the law. I've seen the results of German parallel parking: about 5" between their car and the bumpers of the cars fore and aft. As for some other nations: when we moved to Brussels, I was told to expect one car accident a year. On the 366th day we were there, I was in an accident that totalled my car. I felt pretty lucky at that -- there were frequent crashes at the corner of our quiet side street. It seems in Brussels everyone except me was too important to learn and obey the traffic laws.

I remember when Mr. Wife came back from that factory start-up in Egypt. He's always been a very good driver, but now... we were driving downtown one evening, and he suddenly turned the wrong way on a one-way street -- clearly marked -- and when I protested, his comment was, "What's wrong? I've got my lights on!" The drivers in Cairo (presumably it's the same throughout the Arab world), drive wherever they please, and at night turn off their lights "to save the battery". *sigh* Mr. Wife did return to American driving habits with time, and later even recovered from five years of driving on the Autobahn. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/01/2007 22:51 Comments || Top||

Tribesmen attack Qaeda bunkers
WANA: Local tribesmen attacked foreign Al Qaeda militants hiding in bunkers in ongoing clashes that killed five people in South Waziristan on Saturday, bringing the total death toll since fighting began on March 19 to 177, officials and residents said.

Pro-government tribesmen launched an assault overnight on bunkers occupied by the militants as part of efforts to drive them from the tribal agency bordering Afghanistan, they said.

They seized seven bunkers dug into a mountain from where Uzbek militants and their Chechen and Arab allies could launch attacks on the main town of Wana, they said.

“The foreign militants fled. They suffered casualties but details were not available,” a security official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

He said a pro-government tribal commander was wounded in the fighting which continued until Saturday morning.

Foreign militants also shelled Pakistani army soldiers in the area, killing two, another security official said. Troops from an army base in the area responded with artillery fire targeting foreign militants on the outskirts of Wana, he said.

Two children were killed late Friday when a mortar shell fired by Uzbeks landed in their home in Shen Warsak town and the body of a tribal fighter was found in the area on Saturday, residents said.

Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said more than 50 people had been killed on Friday during clashes between Islamist militants and local Pashtun tribesmen. Witnesses said the estimate was on the high side, but even by their reckoning the fighting has taken a heavy toll.

A resident of Shin Warsak, the village where fighting is concentrated, said he saw the bodies of 21 dead foreigners. “Sporadic heavy fire continued throughout the night, but it has become more intense now in Shin Warsak,” Noor Ali, another resident, told Reuters.

The clashes began after the Uzbek militants tried to assassinate a pro-government tribal leader earlier this month, and flared again on Wednesday after attempts to broker a truce broke down.

Officials have said the onslaught by local tribesmen against foreign Al Qaeda militants could curb cross-border attacks by the rebels in Afghanistan. The Pakistani government “is not intervening” in the clashes, a top security official told AFP.

“We hope this onslaught against foreign militants will help reduce cross-border activity. The foreigners were involved in this cross-border activity,” the official said. “This is a decisive battle for us.”

The Al Qaeda militants numbering around 500 were effectively under siege as all roads to the areas where they are dug in are controlled by tribal commander Mullah Nazir, who is said to have around 1,500 men, residents said. agencies
Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6520 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Deliciously good news.
Posted by: Mike N. || 04/01/2007 0:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Good news indeed! Now if we can just find several sets of balls for congress. The fight with congress is more daunting than the fight against terrorism.
Posted by: JohnQC || 04/01/2007 8:31 Comments || Top||

#3  It's not balls, or lack thereof, it's intelligence Congress needs (And Lacks)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 12:48 Comments || Top||

Police & Sunni Tribesmen Take Out 21 AQ near Syrian Border
BAGHDAD, Iraq: Iraqi security forces, backed by Sunni tribesmen, clashed Sunday with a united of al-Qaida fighters near the Syrian border, killing at least 21 members of the terrorist organization, police said.

The fighting, near the border town of Qaim in Anbar province began after midnight and lasted several hours, said Col. Tariq Youssef, a police official in the city, 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Baghdad. The colonel said "a small number of the tribal fighters suffered minor wounds" and all 21 al-Qaida members in the unit were killed.
No Abu Graib panty heads, no Gitmo obesity complaints.
Bandages and O'Douls for the tribal fighters!
"The operation was launched by police forces backed by the Abu Faraj and Abu Shaaban tribes against members of al-Qaida," he said. "We believe that they were trying to flee the country because they are surrounded now in Anbar by the growing number of tribes that reject al-Qaida."
I hope there were a lot of Saudi and Yemeni stoops out there wondering just what the hell had happened in their personal quests for jihad ...
An increasing number of Sunni tribes in Anbar province, a stronghold of the insurgency, have joined with the government and U.S. military to expel al-Qaida from the region. Youssef did not say whether those killed were Iraqis or foreign fighters.
We can guess ...
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/01/2007 16:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "We believe that they were trying to flee the country "

Reasonable assumption given other reports that many AQ operators in Iraq are turning up in Lebanon.
Posted by: crosspatch || 04/01/2007 17:22 Comments || Top||

#2  21 killed, no injuries, none captured.

Now that's an effective action.
Posted by: mhw || 04/01/2007 18:19 Comments || Top||

#3  "all 21 al-Qaida members in the unit were killed"

Allahu akbar!

Did the chicken$hits actually fight to the death of the last man? Musta had no choice.
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 20:01 Comments || Top||

#4  No runs, 21 hits, no errors.

Great score. Do it again.
Posted by: Jackal || 04/01/2007 20:12 Comments || Top||

Iraq agrees to relocate Kirkuk Arabs
Iraq's government has endorsed plans to relocate thousands of Arabs from Kirkuk in an effort to undo one of Saddam Hussein's most hated policies -- forcing Kurds out of Kirkuk and replacing them with Arabs from the south.

The contentious decision was confirmed yesterday by Iraqi Justice Minister Hashim al-Shebli, a Sunni.

Opposition politicians said they feared it would harden the violent divisions among Iraq's fractious ethnic and religious groups and possibly lead to an Iraq divided among Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shi'ite Arabs.

At least 36 persons were killed in a series of bombings and attacks around the country yesterday, including nine construction workers who died when gunmen opened fire on their bus south of Kirkuk. The deaths capped a week in which more than 500 people were killed in sectarian violence.

Kirkuk, an ancient city that once was part of the Ottoman Empire, has a large minority of ethnic Turks as well as Christians, Shi'ite and Sunni Arabs, Armenians and Assyrians. The city is just south of the Kurdish autonomous zone stretching across three provinces of northeastern Iraq.

The Iraqi Constitution sets an end-of-the-year deadline for a referendum on Kirkuk's status. Since Saddam's fall four years ago, thousands of Kurds who once lived in the city have resettled there. It is now believed Kurds are a majority of the population and that a referendum on attaching Kirkuk to the Kurdish autonomous zone would pass easily.

Justice Minister Hashim al-Shebli said the Cabinet agreed on Thursday to a study group's recommendation that Arabs who had moved to Kirkuk from other parts of Iraq after July 1968 should be returned to their original towns and paid compensation.

Mr. al-Shebli, who had overseen the committee on Kirkuk's status, said relocation would be voluntary. Those who choose to leave will be paid about $15,000 and given land in their former hometowns.

"There will be no coercion, and the decision will not be implemented by force," al-Shebli told the Associated Press.

Tens of thousands of Kurds and non-Arabs fled Kirkuk in the 1980s and 1990s when Saddam's government implemented its "Arabization" policy. Kurds and non-Arabs were replaced with pro-government Arabs from the mainly Shi'ite south.

After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Kurds and other non-Arabs streamed back, only to find their homes were either sold or given to Arabs. Some of the returning Kurds found nowhere to live except in parks and abandoned government buildings. Others drove Arabs from the city, despite pleas from Sunni and Shi'ite leaders for them to stay.

Adil Abdul-Hussein Alami, a 62-year-old Shi'ite who moved to Kirkuk 23 years ago in return for $1,000 and a free piece of land, said he would find it hard to leave.

"Kirkuk is an Iraqi city, and I'm Iraqi," said the father of nine. "We came here as one family, and now we are four. Our blood is mixed with Kurds and Turkmen."

But Ahmed Salih Zowbaa, a 52-year-old Shi'ite father of six who moved to the city from Kufa in 1987, agreed with the government's decision. "We gave our votes to this government and constitution, and as long as the government will compensate us, then there is no injustice at all," he said.

Mr. al-Shebli, a Sunni Arab, confirmed he had offered his resignation on the same day that the Cabinet approved the plan. He cited differences with the government and his own political group, the secular Iraqi List, which joined Sunni Arab lawmakers yesterday in opposing the Kirkuk decision.

He said he would continue in office until the Cabinet approved his resignation.

The Iraqi List is led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shi'ite. The group holds 25 seats in the 275-seat parliament.

Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said Mr. al-Shebli quit before he could be fired in a coming government reshuffle. Neither Mr. al-Dabbagh nor Mr. al-Shebli would say if the minister had resigned over the Kirkuk issue.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 13:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

Iraqi insurgency groups declare intention to drop arms
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani affirmed on Saturday that the leadership was holding continuous contacts with armed groups in a bid to persuade them join the national conciliation political process and renounce usage of arms.

Talabani, speaking at a ceremony marking credentials-delivery of the newly-named American Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and the new Japanese ambassador, affirmed that some of the armed groups expressed desire to join the process of normalization in the country. "Some organizations that consider themselves as part of the national resistance have contacted us and expressed readiness to drop the arms and join the political process and we have welcomed them," Talabani said.

He praised resolutions of the recently-held Arab summit concerning Iraq, namely the decisions that denounce terrorism, call for setting debts and backing the national conciliation process. The Arab summit, concerning Iraq, was successful and all Iraqi proposals and demands were me -- unanimously, the president said.

On status of the (Shiite) Mahdi militia, Talabani said that he assured Crocker that the group was no longer significantly effective and that the top leadership has recently received no new complaints about activities of this militia from local Sunni quarters. The government is bent on clamping down on terrorism and cooperating with the Multi-National Forces, he said.

He praised stand of Sunni tribes, namely Al-Zuwbaa' tribe, in confronting armed terrorists and elements of Al-Qaeda organization, west of the Iraqi capital. Armed Sunni tribes have engaged in fierce clashes and fighting with Al-Qaeda followers in the region.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 10:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hudna?
Posted by: Raj || 04/01/2007 10:51 Comments || Top||

#2  good news if true, perhaps word of kurdistan doing so well has begun to put pressure on the killers at the home front.
Posted by: Bertie Sninesh7058 || 04/01/2007 10:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Hmmm, Bertie, hope that's part of it, but I doubt it. Probably most of the so-called "resistance" can't be trusted - in the medium and long run, not just now - so it would probably be better if they were ravaged by more fighting with the Coalition, govt., and AQ. Don't think Iraqi Sunnis of the violent persuasion are any more likely to be suitable parts of a true national reconciliation than hard-core Nazis were of a post-war Germany or militarist fanatics of a post-war Japan. "Reconciliation" is a pretty rare thing, but acceptance of defeat is historically more beneficial to all concernced.
Posted by: Verlaine || 04/01/2007 12:34 Comments || Top||

#4  In this case, I think it is more the realization that they are on the losing side, whose dwindling numbers are lusers. Plus, now that the remaining Sunnis are only about 10% of the population, even the dimwits are realizing that they don't have much left.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 12:43 Comments || Top||

#5  These are hard core elements that really don't belong in part of any political coalition. I'd like to think this is a sign that the surge is working. We're atritting the bastards quickly enough for a change to where they're seeing the writing on the wall. If none of the above, see post #1. Hudna.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 15:43 Comments || Top||

#6  This seems to have support that is broad enough to reduce the liklihood that it is just a hudna, but you never know. If someone put a gun in my ear and said to pick one, I'd guess they're as serious as they know how to be.

Do I understand the Sunnis are packing up and leaving for other countries in droves?
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 15:51 Comments || Top||

#7  I believe the Shia militia are under orders to 'cool it' right now, since it looks pretty certain the US will be forced out by domestic politics in the near future (or by running out of troops to rotate through). By doing nothing they make it easier to hasten US withdrawal. Once the US is gone the purge can crank back up. Of course, given the limited C & C of the militias, some Shia actions will occur anyway.
The risk some Iraqi leaders would be taking with this approach is not that the Sunni Iraqis would successfully resist the Shia, but that a three part struggle would emerge, Iraqi Nationalist Shia with some Sunni allies, Religious Shia with large Iranian control, and old-line Sunni/Baath with AQ and some Syrian allies. Messy, Lebanon-style civil war. Kurds will sit on the sidelines with popcorn.
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/01/2007 16:31 Comments || Top||

#8  And somehow Democrats translate this as meaning we need to get out of Iraq NOW
Posted by: ikez78 || 04/01/2007 19:29 Comments || Top||

#9  With the additional troops and revised strategies barely in place yet Iraq is nevertheless showing encouraging early signs of improvement. Evidence points to a corner having been turned in Iraq. The elected government is gaining strength and legitimacy while the insurgency is entirely discredited except in the eyes of the Western mass media. Only the antiwar brigades can save the enemies of civilization now.
Posted by: Grumenk Philalzabod0723 || 04/01/2007 22:36 Comments || Top||

More on that Chlorine VBIED attack - from a participant
Hattip Instapundit

Lt. Col. Clayton Fisher, commander of Military Transition Team (MiTT) 6 at the brigade level (and my chaperone on an IA mission) was injured in Wednesday's chlorine truck bomb attack on the Fallujah Government Center and left this comment:

We wanted you to know that your Marine MITTs and IA [Iraqi Army -- ED] came out OK and did great, even after 2 SVBIEDs [Suicide Vehicle-Borne IEDs] , mortars, complex attack etc. Most walking wounded, but hey, we're walking! A few of us were medevac'd to the outskirts of Baghdad, but should come out fine in a few days. Chlorine gas, concussions, some shrapnel, cuts, bruises. Not too bad.

As for the IAs, they proved themselves. The jundi did a great job and pretty much stopped the initial attack as the insurgents were trying to shoot/ram their way inside. The IA and IP [Iraqi Police] figured it out and opened up on them, causing them to set off at the gates or just outside the buildings, vice inside where it would have been worse. Still too close than most would like, but it will do. After all "shook it off," we got most of us out of the rubble and the gas, did a head-count, realized there were still some back in. All rubble, smoke and chlorine gas, hard to see what was what, and of course you can't breathe. So of course, we ran back in it. Got to find those guys. It was not pretty but, we got them all out, to include a few guys you know. They are good now. We then got a US/IA triage and casualty system working. The chlorine thing is a whole other conversation.

And then those of us still standing, most wounded and gassed, ran back in again, slugged it out and fended off the counter attacks and any exploitation the insurgents were trying to get started. Many refused to be medevac'd during the fight. The USMC/Iraqi team was sluggin' it out side by side. Something to see. US Marines and Jundi still gasping for air, fighting side by side. Some jundi still in their sleeping sweats or shower sandals refusing to be evacuated, fighting back with their AKs and PKCs into enemy positions. Yes, some of these jundi got what it takes.

I'd like to say "Bill, you should have been there!" but no, I'd prefer you were not this time. After things settled down a bit, we built the defense back up, got most the wounded out, US and IA reinforcements came in to shore things up. After all was on the mend, the endorphins and adrenaline finally wore off, we realized we were a bit of a mess, our work was done for now and finally agreed to be medevac'd out also. Walked out carrying our shield, not on it.

Well that's kind of it. Everyone is OK as can be. Marines and Jundi alike did well. I thought folks in the USA should know.

It's a good blog. Go to the main page and scroll through the posts; Bill Ardolino is back from an embed with the Marines, and has lots of good stories, photos and links therefrom. If you really like what he writes, hit the Paypal button... and if you've more spare change, hit Fred's Paypal. The lovely and ever-patient Mrs. Pruitt is no doubt overdue for a dinner date, with all the work he's put in to write that fancy new nic-generator. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/01/2007 10:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I assume this was the attack that (typically) left large numbers of muj KIA - not that this characteristic futility would be noted in the "reporting" on the incident. Thanks to the USMC, the MITT guys, and the Iraqi soldiers.
Posted by: Verlaine || 04/01/2007 12:43 Comments || Top||

#2  yeah sure is funny you never hear these stories in the msm. good job guys.
Posted by: sinse || 04/01/2007 13:37 Comments || Top||

#3  and you know too think of it I personally not heard any international outcry at the insurgents using chemical weapons but they wanna cry and butch because we had KSM in a secret prison. sorry i just had too rant on that
Posted by: sinse || 04/01/2007 13:38 Comments || Top||

#4  I'd certainly recommend Michael Ware for waterboarding.
Posted by: doc || 04/01/2007 15:24 Comments || Top||

Sunnis try to blast Al-Qaeda out of Iraq
Sunni insurgent groups that were previously allied with Al-Qaeda in Iraq have turned against it, killing its leaders, attacking its supporters and vowing to drive it out of the country. At least two Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad. Others have been forced to flee after insurgents passed their details to US and Iraqi commanders. Fierce fighting has broken out between insurgent groups and Al-Qaeda in Anbar province, west of Baghdad.

Until the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, in a US airstrike last summer, the groups cooperated with it in their bloody struggle with the coalition forces. But the insurgents have come to believe that Al-Qaeda in Iraq is destabilising the country by the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, often with truck bombs. Some senior Sunni insurgents believe that Al-Qaeda in Iraq shares the agenda of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias to plunge the country into ever more violent sectarian conflict rather than concentrating on the fight against the US-led coalition.

Late last year Salam al-Zubaie, Iraq’s deputy prime minister, began secret talks with the Sunni groups with the aim of coaxing them away from Al-Qaeda. He held meetings with commanders of groups including the 20th Revolutionary Brigade, the general command of the Iraqi armed forces, the Islamic Army of Iraq, the Ba’ath party and the Salah al-Deen al-Ayyubi Brigade. He encouraged them to form a unified Sunni alliance that could fight Al-Qaeda and attack Iranian influence. They proved receptive to his arguments. “Both Al-Qaeda and Iran seem to have an identical agenda to try to widen the sectarian split between Sunnis and Shi’ites, maintaining instability,” Abu Baker, a commander in the 20th Revolutionary Brigade, told The Sunday Times last week. “They stepped up their attacks on innocent Iraqi people and we could not accept that.”

A senior commander in the Islamic Army said Zubaie had promised not only to help to unify the Sunni groups but also to provide them with financial and logistical support to stop Iranian infiltration. The insurgents demanded assurances from the government that they would not be arrested or attacked by the security forces. They also asked for promises that they could eventually join the security forces.

There was one sticking point. “We insisted that our fight with the occupying forces would continue as they are to blame for our current situation,” the Islamic Army commander claimed. “Zubaie’s response was that first we had to get rid of Al-Qaeda and turn ourselves into a strong legal force to be reckoned with. Then we’d be in a position to negotiate with the occupying forces and demand their withdrawal. This was something we could not accept.”

Within weeks, however, the insurgent groups set out to “cleanse” parts of Baghdad of Al-Qaeda influence. Shaker Zuwaini, an Al-Qaeda emir, was assassinated by the 20th Revolutionary Brigade in the Adel district of Baghdad. The emir of the Amiriya district was also killed and another commander was chased away from the Khadra district. Abu Omar, leader of a Ba’ath insurgent group and military commander in Amouriya, said: “Al-Qaeda have turned into a bunch of criminals and gangsters up to their eyes in kidnapping and robberies. We resolved to put an end to them.”

The drive against Al-Qaeda has continued despite an attempt to assassinate Zubaie last month. He was seriously injured by a suicide bomb. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility. Zalmay Khalilzad, the outgoing US ambassador, said the United States had also held talks with Sunni insurgents “to explore ways to collaborate in fighting the terrorists”. Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has carried out many of the most brutal attacks on civilians, is made up largely of foreign fighters. Although it shares a name with Osama Bin Laden’s group, it is unclear how closely the two are linked.

General David Petraeus, the US commander, blamed Al-Qaeda for provoking carnage in Tal Afar, in northwestern Iraq, with a truck bomb that killed 152. Shi’ite militants and police then cold-bloodedly executed as many as 70 Sunnis.
Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 09:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There was one sticking point. “We insisted that our fight with the occupying forces would continue as they are to blame for our current situation,” the Islamic Army commander claimed. “Zubaie’s response was that first we had to get rid of Al-Qaeda and turn ourselves into a strong legal force to be reckoned with. Then we’d be in a position to negotiate with the occupying forces and demand their withdrawal. This was something we could not accept.”

how about Shiiteand Kurd brigades of the army disarm and "occupy" the Sunni areas, how does THAT work for you, asshole?
Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 10:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Who cares about any of that, I want a complete $2.00 mystery novel for 25 cents. Matter of fact I want to stock up on same and glory in me stacks of goodness.
Posted by: Shipman || 04/01/2007 10:21 Comments || Top||

#3  I wonder how good that novel is, I never heard of "Gentry Nyland"? have you?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 12:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Perfect illustration of why the only good Sunni Iraqi chauvinist is a ***** Sunni Iraqi chauvinist, to a borrow a phrase from a less delicate era.

But don't forget, the "insurgent" delusions here are matched by parallel ones on the side of the Coalition, the idea that some sort of deal can be worked out absent a crushing of the Sunni will to resist. I'm not aware that Petraeus doesn't fully share these delusions - he's just got some obvious tweaks in the methods by which we pursue the chimerical "national reconciliation" sans defeat of one side.
Posted by: Verlaine || 04/01/2007 13:03 Comments || Top||

Iraq bombs kill 22 as Crocker vows to end bloodshed
A string of bomb attacks killed 22 people in Iraq on Saturday as Washington’s new ambassador vowed that the US would do everything to curb the unrelenting bloodshed. Ryan Crocker, a fluent Arabic speaker with extensive experience in the Middle East, this week became the third US ambassador to Iraq in as many years and presented his credentials to President Jalal Talabani on Saturday.

The deadliest car bombing killed five and wounded 15 when it exploded outside the Al-Sadr hospital in Baghdad’s Shia enclave of Sadr City. A second car bomb killed four people and wounded another 20 near a service station in Hilla, a police source said.

In the mixed town of Tuz Khurmatu, near Iraq’s contentious northern oil hub of Kirkuk, another two civilians were killed and 11 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a central square, local police chief Abbas Mohammed Amin said. In the town of Suweira, south of Baghdad, three civilians were killed and seven wounded in a roadside bomb explosion.
Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 09:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

UN Agency Sending Staff Back to Baghdad
BAGHDAD -- The U.N. refugee chief said Saturday that the agency planned to begin basing non-Iraqi staff in Baghdad for the first time since the United Nations sharply curtailed its international presence in the aftermath of the bombing of its headquarters in 2003.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said he recognized the dangers facing foreigners as well as Iraqis in the violent capital. But he said the desperate situation required a new commitment.
More at link, mostly rationales for avoiding admitting things are actually getting better in Iraq...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's gotta hurt them to say things are looking better.
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 0:13 Comments || Top||

#2  The Useless Nations
Posted by: Thuns McCoy3169 || 04/01/2007 0:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Rest assured, the locals know its only going to take 1 bomb to send them packing. Again.
Posted by: Mike N. || 04/01/2007 0:47 Comments || Top||

#4  Who needs 'em?
Posted by: Elmereter Hupash6222 || 04/01/2007 17:54 Comments || Top||

U.S. March Toll Nearly Twice Iraq Forces
BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military death toll in March, the first full month of the security crackdown, was nearly twice that of the Iraqi army, which American and Iraqi officials say is taking the leading role in the latest attempt to curb violence in the capital, surrounding cities and Anbar province, according to figures compiled on Saturday.
You know what? I'm beginning to think it doesn't matter whether the "surge" succeeds or not: even if it does, the MSM will spin it as a failure. They WILL find an angle.
The Associated Press count of U.S. military deaths for the month was 81, including a soldier who died from non-combat causes Saturday. Figures compiled from officials in the Iraqi ministries of Defense, Health and Interior showed the Iraqi military toll was 44. The Iraqi figures showed that 165 Iraqi police were killed in March. Many of the police serve in paramilitary units.

According to the AP count 3,246 U.S. service members have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.
Of course what they never mention is that our Iraq casualties the last four years is down in the mud compared to past wars, somewhere between the number of people who've died in ATV rollovers and the number who've died in recreational boating accidents during the same period. How would today's press have dealt with the Battle of the Bulge? Saipan? Guadelcanal? Okinawa?
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Farewell Marine

During the past month, the US has lost more military soldiers in Iraq than the Iraqi military. Terrorists know that they have defeated the party in majority control of the US Congress. They know that the battle should not center on Baghdad but must be taken to our troops as they now know our politicians are on the run.

This disgracefull cowardice by the Democratic Party is costing the lives of greater and nobler men and women who are on the front lines of the WOT.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sergeant Major Joseph J. Ellis, 40, of Ashland, Ohio, died February 7, 2007, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Ellis was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

The military told Traci and Rachael Ellis that he was doing a routine checkpoint search when he approached a suspicious man who detonated a suicide bomb, killing him and injuring another Marine.

In reality, the 23 year veteran placed himself between the suicide bomber and his fellow marines...

The President of the United States now seems more interested in gaining support and sweet talking to the coward Democratic Congress than standing up to them for our people on the front lines.
Posted by: Sheba Angaish9336 || 04/01/2007 0:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Damnit. I was working under mistaken impression that casualties were down. It didn't make sense with the new up-tempo, but I was hopeful. Damnit.
Posted by: Shipman || 04/01/2007 6:43 Comments || Top||

#3  "mistaken impression that casualties were down"

I would still have expected a lot higher casualties based on so many additional US troops going outside the wire on a daily basis. Including troops that have been there a while and are not numerically part of the surge per say. I believe the long term average casualty rate has been about 60/month. 81 for March is above that, but on a per capita outside-the-wire basis the individual risk must indeed be coming down.
Posted by: Phusorong Panda3347 || 04/01/2007 8:34 Comments || Top||

#4  You know what? I'm beginning to think it doesn't matter whether the "surge" succeeds or not: even if it does, the MSM will spin it as a failure. They WILL find an angle.

cira the 1960-70 the elite media Corps. re-wrote Vietnam history, please remind the younguns they are seeing a very similar process. The difference is that now we....

...well I've said it to many times already.
Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 8:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Do you really trust MSM to actually have gone out to count the number of Iraqi casualties across the country? I have bridge to sell you.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/01/2007 9:04 Comments || Top||

#6  AP = All Propaganda
Posted by: RWV || 04/01/2007 11:56 Comments || Top||

#7  I just read a really depressing piece at Powerline in which a soldier spoke not only about the utter crap that is the Maliki government and how they are infiltrated/actively support the Iranian-backed militias, but how our own military is incredibly inflexible and beauracratic with utterly idiotic ROE. This guy was not optomistic.
Posted by: Remoteman || 04/01/2007 12:37 Comments || Top||

#8  Some of today's and yesterday's titles on Irak (q)

04/01/07 ireland.com: Two killed in Mosul bomb attacks
04/01/07 KUNA: Violence overwhelms Mosul cityoutbreak of clashes in several parts of the city, a security source said.
04/01/07 thisisleicestershire:British soldier wounded in Iraq
04/01/07 Reuters: 2 truck bombs wound 15 at Iraq army base
04/01/07 AP: Two suicide vests found unexploded in heavily fortified Green Zone
04/01/07 LATImes: Five killed in hospital blast in Baghdad
04/01/07 KUNA: Two leading Iraqi figures survive bid on their lives near Baghdad
04/01/07 Reuters: Iraq second most dangerous place in the world for minorities
03/31/07 AP: U.S. March toll nearly twice Iraq forces
03/31/07 NPR: Aid Groups See Declining Living Conditions in Iraq
03/31/07 Reuters: car bombs kill 4 in Hilla, 2 in Tuz Khurmato
03/31/07 Reuters: Car bomb wounds 6 in Mosul
03/31/07 Reuters: 5 bodies found in near Suwayra, 13 found in Baghdad
03/31/07 Reuters: Four Sunnis killed in Tal Afar
03/31/07 Reuters: Mortar fire wounds 3 in Husseiniyah
03/31/07 Reuters; Iraqi Tal Afar bomb killed 152, deadliest of war
03/31/07 VOA: Car Bombings in Iraq Kill 11
03/31/07 IWPR : Victims pile up at Mosul city morgue
03/31/07 MNF: Coalition Forces captured 16 suspected terrorists

My point? None.

Or all the above.
Posted by: SwissTex || 04/01/2007 13:25 Comments || Top||

#9  If monthly US casualties have been running at 60/month and now we suffered 81, then the news is that Iraqi security force casualties are DOWN by a significant margin.

Iraqi Army and Police usually have twice as many casualties as the US. If the ratio is reversed then their causalties must be about 1/3 what they were before.

Of course, don't expect the MSM to tell you that.

Posted by: Frozen Al || 04/01/2007 13:51 Comments || Top||

#10  From the misleading article, US casualties were about 80 for the last three months. NO CHANGE even with up-tempo ops for the surge.

Notice that it is also correct to say US casualties were roughly half that of the Iraqi police, although that lacks quagmirism. Rather than using the word 'spin', I'll just call the AP a sack of lying bastards.
Posted by: SteveS || 04/01/2007 16:14 Comments || Top||

#11  US March toll may be twice Iraqi ARMY losses, but Iraqi Police are pulling a lot more weight than in the past, and are paying for it with losses roughly double the US. I don't know what the AIF toll is running. Iraqi civilian losses are about flat pre/post 'surge', concentrated in a few big bombings of soft targets, though seemingly with fewer 'reprisal' executions than in the past.
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/01/2007 17:22 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Elderly couple and a teacher killed in southern Thailand
A retired teacher and an elderly couple were shot dead Saturday while four other civilians were wounded in a bomb explosion in Thailand's violent-ravaged south, police said.

Sawai Phrommani, a 62-year-old retired teacher, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he rode a motorcycle home in Pattani's Mayo district, said police Lt. Col. Narat Thepchalerm.

In Narathiwat, suspected insurgents posing as customers shot dead a Buddhist couple - Charin Ngaono, 70 and his 68-year-old wife Rabiep - in their grocery store in Rangae district, police said.

Four Buddhist civilians also were wounded in Yala province, when a roadside bomb exploded as their car passed over it, police said.

In its latest strategy, the government said Friday it will impose restrictions on motorcycle riders in southern Thailand, who often are blamed for carrying out drive-by shootings linked to Muslim insurgency. Under new restrictions, motorcyclists will be barred from carrying any male passengers and female passengers will only be allowed if their faces are not covered by veils. The government has not said when the new law will come into effect.
Posted by: ryuge || 04/01/2007 01:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  More muslim presents from the demon allan.
Posted by: anymouse || 04/01/2007 1:45 Comments || Top||

Mob Attacks British Embassy
Britain is in "direct bilateral communication" with Iran over the 15 sailors and marines captured by the Middle East country, according to the Defence Secretary. Des Browne said: "We are anxious that this matter be resolved as quickly as possible and that it be resolved by diplomatic means.

"It's not my intention to go through the detail of that blow by blow, and it wouldn't be appropriate to do that, but we are in direct bilateral communication with the Iranians."
If you're going to solve it by 'diplomatic means', that means you've surrendered your sovereignty in the same way Jimmuah Carter did in '79. It's going to work out about as well.
Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said the comments could be significant, as Iran has been angry that Britain has taken the issue to the United Nations. It has felt "this is only a bilateral disagreement, ie only between the two countries and it didn't require intermediaries.

"If Mr Browne chose his words very carefully then the word bilateral was a deliberate use to show everybody that we are dealing with it bilaterally.

"It seems they are edging towards each other."

The news came after rocks and firecrackers were thrown at the British embassy in Tehran as the row over the issue escalates. Witnesses said there had been several small blasts and smoke could be seen rising in the compound. Demonstrators called for the expulsion of the UK ambassador and the closure of the embassy, calling it a "den of spies". Around 200 people massed outside, chanting "death to Britain" and "death to America". Marshall said the demonstration would have been sanctioned by Iranian officials. He added: "This is a warning. In the last protest there were around 10 people, around 200 this time and next time it could be thousands." The demonstrators - mainly students - did not breach the compound, which was protected by police, and there were no reports of injuries.
This is starting to sound familiar...
Earlier, George Bush condemned Iran's "inexcusable behaviour" in taking the service personnel. He said he strongly supported the British government's attempts to resolve the stand-off peacefully - and insisted the "innocent hostages" be released immediately. Speaking at his Camp David retreat in Maryland, the President rejected suggestions that Iranians held in Iraq be freed in return for the release of the Britons. He said: "Iran must give back the hostages. They're innocent, they did nothing wrong and they were summarily plucked out of the water."

French presidential hopeful Segolene Royal suggested European sanctions should be introduced against Iran. She told French TV that she was "shocked" at the capture.

However, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attacked Britain as "arrogant and selfish" for trespassing in his country's waters.

A formal protest to Britain over an alleged shooting incident in Iraq has also been lodged.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 12:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ahmadickhead is harking back to his glory days. Hey, it worked the first time around...
Posted by: Jonathan || 04/01/2007 12:37 Comments || Top||

#2  The pansies are yet to understand that when you give to a bully it doesn't end the situation it only makes the demands and bullying worse.

Britian is about to find out just how much worse it can be. The embassy staff/marines better be ready and loaded to hold at all cost for a extended period of time. However it plays out it will be a longtime before we are able to attempt a rescue evac.
Posted by: C-Low || 04/01/2007 12:52 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't think it will work this time. That bag of tricks has been all used up over the last ~30 years.

My prediction - he will be crushed. Too many strong dogs in this fight and too much at stake.
Posted by: Angaiger Tojo1904 || 04/01/2007 12:56 Comments || Top||

#4  My prediction - he will be crushed.


Because he's certainly acting like someone perfectly intent on getting crushed.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 04/01/2007 13:02 Comments || Top||

#5  Those who refuse to learn from 1979 are doomed to repeat it.

Instruct the Marines to fire into any crowd that enters the embassy grounds.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 13:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Truth be told, I am surprised at the timidity of the Iranians.
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/01/2007 13:38 Comments || Top||

#7  Students my ass.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 04/01/2007 13:40 Comments || Top||

#8  Actually, Iran has committed an act of war by crossing into Iraqi waters and taking hostages. So, Well?

Posted by: newc || 04/01/2007 15:41 Comments || Top||

#9  Britain still has an embassy in Teheran? Excellent. In no time at all, 444 days in captivity won't just describe the American embassy hostage situation in 1979. You gotta love soft power.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 04/01/2007 20:05 Comments || Top||

More details on rumor of April 6th Attack
The United States will be ready to launch a missile attack on Iran's nuclear facilities as soon as early this month, perhaps "from 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 6," according to reports in the Russian media on Saturday.

According to Russian intelligence sources, the reports said, the US has devised a plan to attack several targets in Iran, and an assault could be carried out by launching missiles from fighter jets and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf. Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted a security official as saying, "Russian intelligence has information that the US Armed Forces stationed in the Persian Gulf have nearly completed preparations for a missile strike against Iranian territory."

The Russian Defense Ministry rejected the claims of an imminent attack as "myths." There was no immediate response from Washington...
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 10:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope we do, and I hope we use enough force to drop these Iranian sons of whores back to the Stone Age.
Posted by: Mac || 04/01/2007 11:04 Comments || Top||

#2  psyops? C'mon, MM's! Get smart! Take the stuff out of the sites and out in the open before we hit em....
Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 11:41 Comments || Top||

#3  US forces were ready when they arrived, the preparation part is in DC.
Posted by: Herman Sleling7674 || 04/01/2007 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Again, a reminder. If we attack, it will do little long term good, though it destroys their nuclear program. All the scoundrel nations will line up to re-provide them with everything they need to rebuild.

For this reason, we must partition Iran. If they lose Khuzestan, especially, it will double or triple the time they will need to rebuild. If they also lose Iranian Baluchistan, four or five times. And, as good measure, Iranian Kurdistan, which along with Khuzestan, will completely cut them off from the Persian Gulf.

A "partitioning movement" would be *perpendicular* to their axis of attack, and roll up their air-attack-depleted military from the flanks.

Then we turn over the new territories to Iraq, Kurdistan, and Pakistan, for *them* to defend against a decimated Iranian military and IRG.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 12:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Destroying Saddam Hussein's nuclear facility did little permanent good either, Anonymoose, but it gave us breathing space to elect George W. Bush, who removed that threat permanently. The same can happen to Iran, and if not, it removes the Damocles' sword currently hanging over Israel.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/01/2007 12:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Right, TW. Too often, we fall for the ANWR Argument™ - since one little thing, all by itself, will not completely and irrevocably solve the problem, we shouldn't bother with it at all.

Also known as the "Silver Bullet Theory".
Posted by: Bobby || 04/01/2007 12:22 Comments || Top||

#7  For this reason, we must partition Iran.

I understand your reasoning, 'moose, and it does make sense. My only dispute is that any partitioning effort would require boots on the ground or, at least, some continually reinforced "no-fly" type zones. The zones would be needed to interdict any Iranian forces trying to counter partitioning efforts by the natives.

I do not think America's politicians or people have the stomach for that sort of protracted effort at this point, however much greater good it might do. Right now, all of us may have to settle for smashing Iran's nuclear R&D and hoping for more action downstream. The best we can hope for after that is a "rinse and repeat" if they try to rebuild any of the facilities.

As I have maintained in the past: If we hit the facilities during peak occupation we may be able to remove one of the most significant resources of all, namely, trained Iranian nuclear technicians and scientists. This would represent the biggest setback to their entire project as it takes years to educate and train personnel for these sort of complex operations.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 13:46 Comments || Top||

#8  It seems George Carlin's alter ego, Al Sleet, is doing some part time consulting for RIA Novosti.
Posted by: doc || 04/01/2007 13:50 Comments || Top||

#9  I'd like to see the free world gang up on Iran, blast all their ports and harbors, take out their refineries, destroy their nuc "research" facilities, tear up their airfields and military barracks, and level the city of Qom, all within about 12 hours in a spectacular "shock and awe" display. Use either conventional or nuke weapons - I don't care. Seed the rest of the country with mines, BLU-24s (cluster bombs), and whatever else we decide to do to be nasty. Confiscate every nickel Iran has deposited anywhere else in the world, and let them stew. The Brits can have Kharq Island as reparations for their soldiers. Maybe they can even re-annex Bushire (Busaher), like they did for a short time in 1919, only this time, permanently. If you can't live with the rest of the civilized world, you deserve to either be destroyed or conquered, and it's time to stop playing games with non-options.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 14:34 Comments || Top||

#10  Right on the money, Old Patriot! Iran needs an entire sixpack of whoop-@ss opened up on them. No holds barred.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 14:42 Comments || Top||

#11  Why do these stories keep showing up? It is complete fantasy. What connections do the energy oligarchs have with the Russian media? It is obvious that the reports of this kind are designed to scare the price of oil up. Russia is the #2 oil exporter on the planet. I believe Iran might be #3. It is in their economic interest to create stories such as this that put the jitters in the oil markets.

Also be aware that a significant amount of Russian oil flows via Iran. For example, if a country buys Russian oil, they will work a deal with Iran where the purchaser picks up Iranian oil in the Persian Gulf and Russia replaces it via pipeline to Northern Iran. Iran basically acts as a Persian Gulf port for Russia.
Posted by: crosspatch || 04/01/2007 14:58 Comments || Top||

#12  #4: Again, a reminder. If we attack, it will do little long term good, though it destroys their nuclear program. All the scoundrel nations will line up to re-provide them with everything they need to rebuild.

Let them, it makes the whole region slightly "Nuclear Poorer".
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 15:43 Comments || Top||

#13  Might not do any long term good, but it's high time the good guys started putting some points on the board. That said, this is a Russky April Fool's joke.
Posted by: regular joe || 04/01/2007 16:27 Comments || Top||

#14  That is assinine. The russians are are phishing rumors to act relevant.

What the heck is a massive TLAM attack going to do against hardened, buried targets?
Posted by: anymouse || 04/01/2007 16:31 Comments || Top||

#15  Asinine is exactly the right word. This report has no business being repeated without any confirmation. Smells like more of the kind of rubbish DEBKA would repeat. Honestly, just because someone says something, it doesn't mean it should be given any weight.

I doubt there will *ever* be any military action against Iran unless they physically attack someone else first. As for these hostage events, they could end tomorrow if the media organizations simply refused to report on them. Without the media coverage, these hostages are of no use to Iran at all. The wall-to-wall coverage the events are given are crucial to the game the Iranians are playing.
Posted by: crosspatch || 04/01/2007 17:16 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Victor Emmanuel Grusong8179 || 04/01/2007 18:42 Comments || Top||

#17  What kind of hardware are we goiig against?
Posted by: Victor Emmanuel Grusong8179 || 04/01/2007 18:45 Comments || Top||

#18  Insteresting to note a very recent article about succesful testing of the 30,000 bomb that also includes a rocket pack to give it 2,000 mph terminal velocity.


Seems to me this article's release coupled with the timing and overlap of 3 CBGs in the persian gulf and the report of US forces massing along the Iran-Iraq border ( not I suspect as an invasion force but an anvil should the dipshits actually try a land offensive), all add up to significant, visible readiness. Then leaven in Newt's comments about taking out their sole gasoline refinery, and naval blockade to interdict gas imports, and you have the makings of a fine strategy. with levels of force, in the works. All open source info, so one assumes I'm not the only guy who looks for threads.....maybe the SAVAK analysts read the same stuff.
Posted by: JustAboutEnough || 04/01/2007 19:01 Comments || Top||

#19  Among other things, Russian Tor M1 anti-aircraft missile systems, delivered last year

The Russians backed off of plans to sell the mid-range S300s, though.

Posted by: occasional observer || 04/01/2007 19:35 Comments || Top||

#20  BTW, the state-run company sold the same systems to Syria, not surprisingly.
Posted by: occasional observer || 04/01/2007 19:36 Comments || Top||

#21  What kind of hardware are we goiig against?

Mostly vaporware combined with deceit and underhanded tactics, but apparently there is some Russian stuff we'll have to be careful about. Oh, and don't forget that allan is on their side, too.
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 20:05 Comments || Top||

#22  fuck allan
Posted by: sinse || 04/01/2007 22:07 Comments || Top||

EU Refuses To Back Britain
Blair is left to make a statement of disgust after the airing of another video from captured British troops

European foreign ministers failed last night to back Britain in a threat to freeze the €14 billion trade in exports to Iran, as the hostage crisis descended into a propaganda circus.

Tony Blair could only issue a new statement of disgust as Iran tormented him with another sailor’s video confession and a fresh letter from the young mother detainee.

A first written message from the Tehran Government offered some hope of a deal, but time is running out before the Iranian new year holiday ends and militant students and politicians return to business.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Germany called for the sailors to be freed but ruled out any tightening of lucrative export credit rules. The EU is Iran’s biggest trading partner. British officials are understood to have taken soundings on economic sanctions before the meeting but found few takers.

France, Iran’s second-largest EU trading partner, cautioned that further confrontation should be avoided. The Dutch said it was important not to risk a breakdown in dialogue.

...Britain’s response to the seizure of its sailors and Marines has been branded weak by Republicans in Washington. John Bolton, until recently the US Ambassador to the United Nations, described the Government’s incremental approach as “pathetic”.

He said that Mr Blair should be threatening “real pain, real economic sanctions” unless Iran released the sailors immediately. “Britain has got to be tougher here,” he said.

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, urged Britain to threaten military force to destroy Iran’s petroleum industry.

more at link... if you can bear to read it.

Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 10:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bastards. Folks look, if it comes down to hammer time the Royal Navy can by itself blockade the Persian entity. It would take less effort than the Falklands reclamation, no ground would be required. 2 SSN and 3 or 4 SS would cut off Iran from the world.
Posted by: Shipman || 04/01/2007 10:27 Comments || Top||

#2  That is, if they have the balls to use them.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 10:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Use of the term "balls" in describing any EU member is an oxymoron.
Posted by: ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ || 04/01/2007 11:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Pretty ironic that Blair wants to scuttle half the Royal Navy. I say we blockade these fucktards while we still have the capability.
Posted by: Sonar || 04/01/2007 11:07 Comments || Top||

#5  Although having said that, there is the question of Sunburn anti-ship missiles...
Posted by: Sonar || 04/01/2007 11:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Sonar, last I heard Sunburns aren't much of a threat to submarines.
Posted by: RWV || 04/01/2007 11:18 Comments || Top||

#7  Yes but what about the US and French ships in the area?
Posted by: Sonar || 04/01/2007 11:43 Comments || Top||

#8  I suspect the U.S. ships can defend themselves adequately. They can also retaliate, massively.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 11:51 Comments || Top||

#9  Why am I not surprised...
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 04/01/2007 12:02 Comments || Top||

#10  Yes but what about the US and French ships in the area?

Oh, don't worry about the French. They have had their white-flag alertness level at its highest level since the sailors were taken hostage. Once the order comes in from Paris, the flags will be deployed and the French ships and sailors will be surrendered to the Iranians within literally minutes.
Posted by: garbagecowboy || 04/01/2007 12:03 Comments || Top||

#11  Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 12:03 Comments || Top||

#12  Let me guess, a raven clock face ?
Posted by: wxjames || 04/01/2007 12:17 Comments || Top||

#13  I'm not up on the all latest details of ship defence, it was some time ago that I read about the Sunburns. But it seems likely that if the British go for a blockade, the Iranians will try to hit any Western target they can.
Posted by: Sonar || 04/01/2007 12:29 Comments || Top||

#14  And what if they do? We hit back. And we can hit back a *LOT* harder than they can hit us; it's merely a matter of will.

At some point you have to stop the hand-wringing and fretting over what the enemy might do, and just STOMP on the sonofabitch.

Will we take hits? Of course we will. That's war.

Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 12:38 Comments || Top||

#15  wxjames: That is the current EU flag, but integrating the "roadkill crow" symbol of the old Holy Roman Empire, which lasted a thousand years and accomplished almost nothing, was pretty well ignored and powerless, and was just generally ineffectual.

Its only effective leader was its founder, Charlemagne, and it was all downhill for 975 years after his death.

Which seems to be much the same course the EU is following.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 12:47 Comments || Top||

#16  ...but time is running out before the Iranian new year holiday ends and militant students and politicians return to business.

Does anyone know what the hell this is supposed to mean?
Posted by: Unique Battle || 04/01/2007 12:51 Comments || Top||

#17  Is it time to stick a fork in the UK? (meant as a real question, and said with great sadness and frustration)
Posted by: Verlaine || 04/01/2007 12:57 Comments || Top||

#18  It's time to leave NATO and the WTO, offer the UK and Denmark and Poland and who ever wants to join it the same trade deal Canada and Mexico have and mutual defence treaties on the condition they leave the EU.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 04/01/2007 13:05 Comments || Top||

#19  They won't take it, they've chosen the gigolo and the ovenmaker.

So let it be written, so let it be done.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 04/01/2007 13:19 Comments || Top||

#20  If the British just took Newt's suggestion of threating a cruise missile strike on Iranian Gas Refinery, this would be ended in short order. Iran would be stuck with three options 1) bow to the British and give the Brits back 2) accept the destruction of thier only gas refinery and the domestic consequences 3) go offensive against the British and see the US gladly come to our allies aid in a widespread bombing campain directed at the Iranian WMD, leadership, Military, and central government control ability.

Will Britian have the kind of balls to try it. Doubtfull

The odd part is that even with Britians weakness Iran is very likely to take the weakness as a sign to make a play for all and overreach, forcing the reaction the west still has in itself but lacks the political leadership to use short forced. Once the Iranians overreach and open Pandora's Box it falls the generals who do have the sack and will.
Posted by: C-Low || 04/01/2007 13:20 Comments || Top||

#21  If we are doomed to pay $5 a gallon for gas this summer, then I certainly desire the Iranians to be paying $5, instead of their subsidied .35/gallon. That will have to piss off Iranian soccer moms.
Calling Iranian disidents...it's go time.
Posted by: Capsu 78 || 04/01/2007 13:26 Comments || Top||

#22  well the french ships have prob already ran like hell
Posted by: sinse || 04/01/2007 13:41 Comments || Top||

#23  "Is it time to stick a fork in the UK? (meant as a real question, and said with great sadness and frustration)"

Not yet. We'll know in another couple of days, though; if by next weekend those hostages aren't home and the Iranians aren't licking some serious wounds and wondering what the fuck hit them, then the answer will be "yes".

And frankly, you could probably stick a fork in us, too; if we can't cover the Brits' backs well enough to give them a good shot at kicking the snot out of the Iranians, then we're not good for much, either.

Or at least, our national leadership isn't.

Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 13:56 Comments || Top||

#24  It's time to leave NATO and the WTO, offer the UK and Denmark and Poland and who ever wants to join it the same trade deal Canada and Mexico have and mutual defence treaties on the condition they leave the EU.

The time for something like this is long past. We need to form a Union of Democratic Nations that will begin sanctioning all rogue regimes and tyrannies.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 14:02 Comments || Top||

#25  The EU doesn't get it. They are supposed to stick together to increase their clout. Instead, they are running in the direction of lower personal short-term profit instead of greater collective long-term profit. They have a mentality that ensures a tragedy of the commons on its way. And why would they pick supporting a rogue nation that will certainly cause them problems in the future at almost any cost? Do they think that if they are nice that everything will be OK when the devil comes to get what's due to him?

And someone commented that the prop has a tendency to fall off that French aircraft carrier? I was wondering if is because it was designed to be operated in the opposite direction . . . .
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 16:14 Comments || Top||

#26  Do they think that if they are nice that everything will be OK when the devil comes to get what's due to him?

In light of the EU's moral relativism, this certainly seems to be the case. These morons simply cannot bring themselves to think that one day they will have to pay the Iranian or Islamic pipers. What continues to be less than amusing is their ability to decry American culture while turning a blind eye to the most barbaric Islamic behavior. This is where their moral relativism becomes sheer hypocrisy. Otherwise they would be just as accepting of America as they are of Islam.

It only be an intense jealousy that explains Europe's willingness to triangulate against those who have repeatedly saved her bacon defended her while simultaneously embracing those who transparently seek to destroy them. How much longer the United States can be expected to tolerate such nonsense is the only remaining question.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 17:43 Comments || Top||

#27  Hey what does this mean?

A first written message from the Tehran Government offered some hope of a deal, but time is running out before the Iranian new year holiday ends and militant students and politicians return to business.

Unique Battle asked this earlier as well.
Posted by: Jan from work || 04/01/2007 17:56 Comments || Top||

#28  We are obviously going to have to come up with a term that fits better than "moral relativism". Any way you cut it, this Islam thing doesn't hold a candle to western culture. I can't imagine what "relative" point of view would justify the European governments or people siding with terrorists, except for money. It couldn't be that bad, could it? Is part or all of the problem that they are so easily baited by money right now? Are jealousy or pride wrt England blinding the governments to what they are asking for? Are the people truly being represented by the government? Certainly England is very close to France, how's that for relative? Did you see the thread yesterday that dealt with moonbat POVs?

This whole thing is doomed if they don't get a handle on what they are thinking right now. This is as close to a no-brainer as it gets.

What would happen if some French sailors were to intrude into Iranian waters for real on a similiar non-aggressive mission? If they were let go quickly, it would speak volumes . . . .
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 18:05 Comments || Top||

#29  We are obviously going to have to come up with a term that fits better than "moral relativism".

How about "moral blindness", as in immune from any and all moral compulsion?

It couldn't be that bad, could it? Is part or all of the problem that they are so easily baited by money right now?

Evidently, it is. The EU is so concerned over economically keeping up with the Joneses United States that they will sacrifice every single moral and ethical obligation they have to themselves, America or the human race in general. Europe's support for Iran is a prime example of this.

This is as close to a no-brainer as it gets.

In the land of the brainless, the single-synapse man is king.

What would happen if some French sailors were to intrude into Iranian waters for real on a similiar non-aggressive mission?

Limitless Islamic ingratitude dictates that even the ass-kissing French would be made to kiss yet more tracts of Islamic ass. Nothing less would satisfy the voracious Muslim desire to subjugate and humiliate the West, even lapdog France. France's own Islamic population certainly doesn't cut them any slack at home, why would Muslims abroad do any different?
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 19:25 Comments || Top||

#30  BTW, why wasn't the crew of that cargo dhow scooped up along with the British sailors?
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 19:55 Comments || Top||

#31  The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy nor Roman for most of its existence.

As for the EU, The UK needs to withdraw and point to the knife in their back as the reason.
Posted by: OldSpook || 04/01/2007 21:09 Comments || Top||

#32  Sadly, things will have to get a lot worse before they get better. America can not fight Europe's battles for them, and the tendency now for Europe is to apply a diplomatic approach which hardly masks their weakness.

England and the rest of the EU have a long, long way to go before they are pushed too far and the political calculus favors a firmer approach.
Posted by: Grumenk Philalzabod0723 || 04/01/2007 22:45 Comments || Top||

IDF intelligence: Iran, Hizbullah preparing for possible US strike
Iran, Syria and Hizbullah are preparing for a possible military confrontation with the United States in the summer, the head of the IDF's Military Intelligence said Sunday.

"Their preparation is defensive ahead of war … They fear a war initiated by the Americans because they understand that there might be an attack against Iran over the summer, but not by Israel," Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told the Cabinet.

"We are closely following these preparations, for fear that one of the sides misinterprets certain moves in the region. I bring up the Six Day War in this context – when you reach a war no one is interested in as a result of the involvement of many players.

"We need to be ready, and at the same time be careful that such steps do not cause others to get the wrong idea about our moves," he added.

According to the intelligence chief, Hizbullah has been maintaining the ceasefire so far, because the organization is not interested in getting into another conflict with Israel. "The organization is busy rehabilitating… like the Syrians, Hizbullah too needs to prepare for a war in the summer."

Haniyeh: Divide and conquer?
Turning his attention to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Yadlin said that the latter was seeking to separate between the moderate Hamas government and the more militant Hamas movement.

"When Haniyeh retuned from the Arab summit, he made some extreme statements and hinted that if the Hamas government is not recognized by the international community and the boycott not lifted – a third intifada may break out," Yadlin said.

However, Yadlin stated that there were elements within Hamas that were unhappy with the approval of the Arab initiative. "In the last month, he (Haniyeh) has been leading the move towards a unity government, and he is now being blamed for leading a moderate approach in the Riyadh summit," he explained.

Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 10:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bring it on, you fucktards. Galvanize American opinion against Iran more than it is already. You know you want to.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 15:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Haniyah, Nasrallah, Baby Assad, Nutjob and the shadow crew don't have the balls. They'll just talk big and do nothing more than hide behind their bunkers and their accomplices/civilians and not dare to really take Israel head-on. >:-)
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 16:21 Comments || Top||

#3  We will not...I repeat...will not attack Iran. Just won't happen.
Posted by: anymouse || 04/01/2007 16:29 Comments || Top||

#4  The Iranians will play this hostage game just like they did back in 1979 with Jimmah. This is a propaganda tactic that works against govts with weak leadership. The MMs KNOW that it will not work against the US. Queen Palosi may be head of the propaganda show in the US, but she is NOT CINC. GWB, as weak as he has been on some things, will NOT play along with the hostage game.

The MMs are playing divide and conquer. The ball is in the Brits' court. The US can help, but Tony Blair has to come to a decision on what he is going to do with the hostage situation. If he vacates his embassy in Teheran, then there may be hope of a tough stance. You cannot make business dealings with governments that take hostages---especially YOUR nationals. THAT is insane.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/01/2007 17:30 Comments || Top||

#5  You cannot make business dealings with governments that take hostages---especially YOUR nationals. THAT is insane.

Sorry to say it, AP, but since when has Europe exhibited any sanity? This is a majority of the problem right now. They continue to sell their souls to the devil as though he will never come collecting on the bargain. The EU is receivership already and just doesn't recognize admit it.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 17:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Remember the image of Chamberlin and the piece of paper he got from Hitler after selling the Czechs down the river. I have this vision of the UK doing something really pathetic and weak, and Blair getting his people back and making some sort of statement in a very Chamberlin-esq sort of way. Feels like 1939....

As I previously said,

Inch by inch we edge to the confrontation that is long overdue. The Marine Barracks, LtCol Higgins, Station Chief Buckley, and so many more have a butcher's bill due from these creatures....one hopes they will push it too far and the event will unleash the massive can of whup-ass that begs to be opened. When that happens, they will act here, terrorism in the US, multiple locations and multiple types of attacks.
The cementing of American resolve will be iron-clad, overcoming the cultural suicide of political correctness that threatens the very nation. Tolerance of the intolerant will end, and, sadly, fear will unlock the common-sense of our fellow citizens who have been lulled by material plenty and the nanny state into near suicidal ignorance of the way these people intent to dominate and end the Western World!
I wish it weren't so, but I'm convinced we need that bloody catharsis to save the Republic.
Posted by: JustAboutEnough || 04/01/2007 19:14 Comments || Top||

#7  I'm convinced we need that bloody catharsis to save the Republic.

America does not need "bloody catharsis" in order to mobilize. What we really need is a government and media that are honest enough to provide accurate information (i.e., truth), so that informed decisions could be made by the public.

We do not have this at present and due to that fact, America does require "bloody catharsis in order to awaken. Should that sort of profound atrocity or atrocities occur upon American soil, my only hope is that our population will dismantle its political (not constitutional), system and start over. To varying degrees, both sides of the aisle are betraying the American public and there must be Hell to pay for it.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 19:35 Comments || Top||

#8  As much as I hate it, if the Iranians do strike and strike herein the US< that will be what we need to finally get the last of the loons out of the way and start taking the problems seriously. I say lets send Rosie O'Donnell over there as a the first hostage. We'll do like the Romans did - hold her funeral, say she's already dead to us and that we are mobilizing even though she was a despicable A-hole.
Posted by: OldSpook || 04/01/2007 21:13 Comments || Top||

UK Looks at Options in Iran Standoff
LONDON -- Britain examined options Sunday for new dialogue with Tehran over the seized crew of 15 sailors and marines, as a poll suggested most Britons back the government's goal of resolving the standoff through diplomacy.
Maybe this is part of the problem...
Government and defense officials refused to discuss a report that claimed a Royal Navy captain or commodore would be sent to Tehran as a special envoy to negotiate the return of the personnel.
Negotiate? Or beg?
The official would deliver an assurance that British naval crews would never deliberately enter Iranian waters without permission, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.
They don't want "assurances". THEY WANT TO HUMILIATE YOU.
Britain's Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense said they would not comment on negotiations, or on options being considered. "We will continue to conduct our diplomatic discussions in private," a Foreign Office spokesman said on the government's customary condition of anonymity.
That way, the groveling will not appear quite so blatant...
But Transport Minister Douglas Alexander said Britain was engaged in "exploring the potential for dialogue with the Iranians."
That'll send a shiver down their spines, won't it? Yikes!
"The responsible way forward is to continue the often unglamorous, but important and quiet diplomatic work to get our personnel home," Alexander told the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Sunday AM program.

more mewling at link...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 09:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I recommend a candygram.
Posted by: doc || 04/01/2007 15:26 Comments || Top||

#2  How about Iran agrees to deliver them within one hour or Tehran disappears into the mist.
Posted by: John || 04/01/2007 17:28 Comments || Top||

#3  How about, instead of Tehran disappearing into the mist, it disappears with a bright flash and a mushrom cloud?

Posted by: FOTSGreg || 04/01/2007 18:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Sadly, they will end up making a national apology by some proxy method, and skulk back into the mists of self-congratulatoy noise about dipomacy trimphant, while the rest of the world sees them for the gutless cowards they have become. Yes, you probably should halve your navy, and don't run with scissors either, someone might get hurt.
But realize this, the day is coming when the muzzies will demand much more, face-to-face, and you will have brought it on by running from this now.
Posted by: JustAboutEnough || 04/01/2007 19:19 Comments || Top||

#5  diplomacy triumphant...
god I hate to mis-spell
Posted by: JustAboutEnough || 04/01/2007 19:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Sadly, they will end up making a national apology by some proxy method, and skulk back into the mists of self-congratulatoy noise about dipomacy triumphant

If Britain's morbid ongoing fascination with "Soft Power" continues to hold any sway, your analysis is most likely correct, JAE.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 19:43 Comments || Top||

#7  morbid ==> suicidal
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 20:23 Comments || Top||

UK Ready for Diplomatic Attack on Iran
The Security Council "statement" criticizing Iran's continued "detention" of 15 British Royal Navy sailors is only the first step in what may turn into a major diplomatic attack by London, say U.N. diplomats.
"Major diplomatic attack"... oh, nevermind.
The watered-down statement, unexpectedly accepted by British Ambassador to the U.N. Sir Emyr Jones Parry late Thursday, while criticizing the Iranian move, only demanded immediate access to the soldiers by British consular officials. It did not address the claims and counter-claims about whether the Royal Navy violated Iran's territorial waters.

However, on Monday, the UK assumes the monthly rotating presidency of the Security Council, followed by the United States in May. During April, London will be able to control the Council's "program of work," putting itself in a central position to use the U.N. body to exert even more diplomatic pressure on Tehran.

The feeling among Council diplomats was that the Thursday statement on Iran was approved by the British not so much for what it said, but more for use as a "springboard" for harsher measures should they be needed while it chairs the U.N. body.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6484 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Diplomatic Attack = Pacifist Insurgency
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 0:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Whoever put the words diplomatic attack together deserves to get bitchslapped.
Posted by: Mike N. || 04/01/2007 0:37 Comments || Top||

#3  against the WEST: since August 1988 the A$$otollas have collective batting average of .938

Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 0:43 Comments || Top||

#4  of course we did have a proper payback for Jihmmuh Cartiers hostage failure 1979 - November 4, 1979.

the previously alluded to period of the Iran Iraq War, September 1980 to August 1988.
Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 0:57 Comments || Top||

#5  We are not going to do anything overt. covert, but not overt.
Posted by: anymouse || 04/01/2007 1:46 Comments || Top||

Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 3:12 Comments || Top||

#7  Mullahs have already won. Because the question is no longer their nuke ambitions, but the release of hostages.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/01/2007 6:25 Comments || Top||

#8  Yep, fire up the rhetoric bombs in lethal measure. Then toss some verbal jabs. That will send 'em a message.
Posted by: Sneaze || 04/01/2007 8:14 Comments || Top||

#9  What we need is the kind of global tsunami against Iranian assets that I recommended for Al Qaeda in 2001.
Within the space of 24 hours, the following should happen:
B-2s and ballistic missiles take out the nuclear facility at Bushehr (its vaunted 75 foot depth is pie-crust to our new weapons).
Carrier forces, land-based tac-air, and cruise missile destroy Iran's handful of overworked gasoline refineries.
Submarines, surface ships and other air assets sink the entire Iranian navy, at its moorings or at sea, even if this is the middle of the Atlantic. (Ideally, I would like to catch one of their scows off Cherbourg or Brest, just outside the Froggistan dhimmi-zone, er, territorial limit so its demise could have a certain instructive value.)
Every Iranian merchant vessel on the high seas is boarded or sunk.
Every Iranian citizen in the US or the UK is rounded up and sent to a processing center, where those with anti-mullah sympathies will be sorted out and sent on their way, and the rest held until the crisis is resolved.
Prominent pro-Iranian propagandists arrested and charged with failure to register as a foreign agent.
All Iranian assets within our reach confiscated.
Iranian UN mission closed and its accredited diplomats expelled, with non-accredited personnel to be arrested.
Iranian owned satellites destroyed if possible and jammed if not.

Once this is done, we contact Dinnerjacket and his mullah bosses (assuming the outraged populace hasn't lynched them) and offer to talk.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 04/01/2007 10:52 Comments || Top||

#10  Works for me AC, it works for me... Oh, and presumably said seized Iranian assets could be used to pay for this display? (heh!)
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 04/01/2007 11:49 Comments || Top||

#11  Speaking of diplomats, all countries should pull their Ambassadors and staffs out of Iran most rikky tik.
Posted by: wxjames || 04/01/2007 12:21 Comments || Top||

#12  That's a big go, AC. Hit the Iranians so hard and from so many different directions that only their hair won't hurt.

Oh, and presumably said seized Iranian assets could be used to pay for this display?

Tony, it needs to be made standard procedure that after subjecting rogue nations to the usual "break the bad boys toys sans nation-building", they also get sent a bill for the ops. Iran has plenty of oil to finance their own comeuppance. Pump them dry for all I care.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 13:07 Comments || Top||

#13  Zenster

Oh I concur completely matey. None of this bollox about 'rebuilding your cities', oh no. In my opinion, there's far too much of 'living by the sword' and far too bloody little of 'dying by the sword' going on at the moment.

Preferably the latter should come before the former. Or as I reminded by the comic version of Judge Dredd; "Next time we get our retaliation in first".

Posted by: Tony (UK) || 04/01/2007 18:12 Comments || Top||

#14  I really think that seeing Rosie locked up as an unregistered foreign agent would break them but it is admittedly a very tall order.
This is all about media. The media industrial complex is not a tool of terrorism, it is the other way around.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 04/01/2007 18:27 Comments || Top||

#15  Mullahs have already won. Because the question is no longer their nuke ambitions, but the release of hostages.

I'm not so sure that will be true this time around. While it is true that they got the focus off their nuke ambitions, what the Mullahs seem to be missing is that they are enhancing our ambitions to nuke them.

It seems like I am seeing the same signals that we sent before Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't think this will fizzle out. I think that they may be hoping to use these hostages as shields. IE: Nuke the reactor and the lady gets it. Having the sailors as sheilds may give them some leverage, but I don't think it is enough to prevent a strike, it just gives us more justification to do so.

The MSM has been doing a daily body/atrocity count since the war began. The idea was to wear everyone down. But after enough time, it seems that, sadly, everyone is just starting to tune it out as status quo.
Posted by: Angaiger Tojo1904 || 04/01/2007 19:19 Comments || Top||

#16  C'mon, this is going into its second week and all that has happened is the fable 'Diplomatic Attack.'
Where's the Hell frozen over sign? That will happen before the UK does anything. And GWB is so-Pelosi-whipped he won't say shit even with a mouth full.
Posted by: USN, ret. || 04/01/2007 19:46 Comments || Top||

#17  In my opinion, there's far too much of 'living by the sword' and far too bloody little of 'dying by the sword' going on at the moment.

Brilliant, Tony, gobsmacking brilliant! Same goes for:

"Next time we get our retaliation in first". [guffaw]
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 19:48 Comments || Top||

#18  And GWB is so-Pelosi-whipped he won't say shit even with a mouth full.

Say it ain't so, USN, Ret.! Bush simply must find the grit to at least censure, if not arrest, Pelosi for violating the Logan act. This one single act might finally make the American public aware of what sort of treason is being fomented within the Democratic party's camp.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 19:53 Comments || Top||

#19  I don't underestimate the power of the western world to wimp out. But if we have a plan in action to wipe out their reactor, I doubt that we would allow this incident to cause much in the way of a change of plans.

I suspect there is a plan because we seem to be going down the check list of items that they went through before.
Posted by: Angaiger Tojo1904 || 04/01/2007 19:56 Comments || Top||

Power struggle in Iran over hostages
THE fate of the 15 British marines and sailors held in Tehran may depend on the outcome of a power struggle between two of Iran’s top generals, write Uzi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin.

According to an Iranian military source, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards has called for them to be freed. Major-General Yahya Rahim Safavi is said to have told the country’s Supreme National Security Council on Friday that the situation was “getting out of control” and urged its members to consider the immediate release of the prisoners to defuse tension in the Gulf.

However, Safavi’s intervention was reportedly denounced by another senior general at a meeting of high-ranking commanders yesterday. Yadollah Javani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ political bureau, was said to have accused him of weakness and “liberal tendencies”. Javani is said to have demanded that the prisoners be put on trial.

Reports of the clash emerged as Terry Waite, who was kidnapped in Beirut while trying to negotiate a hostage release in 1987, offered to travel to Tehran to try to secure the release of the 14 servicemen and one woman. “I don’t think one needs to be afraid of these people, but one does need to have respect for their point of view, whether you agree with it or not,” said Waite, who spent almost five years as the hostage of an Iranian-backed fundamentalist group in Beirut.
Oh, good grief...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Please go Terry, for old time's sake.
Posted by: Thuns McCoy3169 || 04/01/2007 0:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Go to Terry Hell and Waite.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 2:05 Comments || Top||

#3  one does need to have respect for their point of view

Why, exactly?
Posted by: SteveS || 04/01/2007 3:14 Comments || Top||

#4  MM using their good cop/bad cop routine on the Western morons.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/01/2007 6:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Iirc, Terry was an emissary from the Arch-Druid of Canterbury when he was kidnapped in Beirut. No wonder his brains are addled.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 04/01/2007 8:08 Comments || Top||

#6  No wonder his brains are addled.

Yes, long before Captivity.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 8:54 Comments || Top||

#7  Javani is the communist party hack, looking after the parties interests, the other general is just military with his tactical ass on the line.

This would be a good time for the defector general to start calling other generals at home and letting them know that Life is Good outside of iran.
Posted by: Herman Thrort9033 || 04/01/2007 10:30 Comments || Top||

#8  Herman,
Calling is dangerous...lets hope he's texting them with XOX
Posted by: Capsu 78 || 04/01/2007 13:30 Comments || Top||

Blair facing 'long haul' in quest to free hostages
See if he can beat 444 days.
TONY Blair was last night facing the prospect of Britain's dispute with the Iranians escalating into an extended hostage crisis, as Tehran refused to rule out the prospect of putting the 15 captured British sailors on trial.

As Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett blasted Iran for "sabre-rattling" over the plight of the seized sailors and marines, senior Downing Street officials admitted that Britain had to prepare for "the long haul". The grim prognosis followed nine days of bitter diplomatic wrangling which has failed to bring an end to the row over Iran's claims that the British personnel had encroached into its waters during a routine patrol in the Shatt al-Arab waterway.

It also raises the possibility that Blair's final days in office could be tarnished by an intractable hostage dilemma similar to the 444-day Iran hostage crisis that blighted Jimmy Carter's US presidency in 1979.

"We want to get these people out as quickly as we can," a senior Blair aide said last night. "That is what we are working towards. But it is not easy and we have to accept that these things take time. We must prepare for the long haul."

The dramatic intervention lays bare the growing distress at the highest levels of the British government over the failure of bilateral and international pressure to achieve a breakthrough that would secure freedom for Faye Turney and her 14 male colleagues.

more at link...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That long haul is only because he's come up far too short on the rescuing of his own loyal warriors.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 1:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Blair, the secondmost liability in WOT.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/01/2007 6:37 Comments || Top||

#3  Congratulations, Mr. Blair. You have offered yourself up for Iranian propaganda exactly as they planned. Yet again, any Dark Ages princeling can make our elected leaders into a puppet.

Those hostages should long since have been declared war dead and our own campaign declared. At this point I would be delighted to see Iranian citizens taken into internment; any random assortment will do. That' the Chicago way.
Posted by: Excalibur || 04/01/2007 7:41 Comments || Top||

#4  Blair should have said his patience in not without limits.
Posted by: Keystone || 04/01/2007 8:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Does Britian have any such thing as "Recall Elections"?
Seems to be time.

"We want to get these people out as quickly as we can,"
Liar, unleash the Navy If that's really what you want, Give no warning, then the ENEMY (There, I've said the unspeakable word) Will not have time to move their HOSTAGES, (Bad word again) to your Shelling Target Area
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 9:01 Comments || Top||

#6  I have this mental image of Moonbats screaming and covering their ears when ENEMY, and HOSTAGE is Written/spoken, just like the three year old children they really are would do when an adult says a "Bad Word".
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 9:31 Comments || Top||

#7  just like the three year old children they really are would do when an adult says a "Bad Word

Funny, I remember the days when we eagerly learned those "Bad Words" from adults.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 13:18 Comments || Top||

#8  It seems to me quite likely that the Brits simply feel they do not have the power on hand to conduct a rescue op.

They wasted their chances for such an op when they a) allowed the kidnapping to be conducted in the first place, b) relied on the "Softly, Softly" diplomacy of their Foreign Ministry to resolve the issue quickly, c) trusted the Iranians to rationally respond to their "Softly, Softly" diplomacy, and d) wasted so much precious time the hostages were able to be transferred to Tehran where their whereabouts are likely uncertain.

The Iranians know we planned a rescue mission for our hostages so they likely will have learned a few lessons about keeping the British hostages separated and in secret locations.

The minute the hostages were moved to Tehran is the minute the brits ran out of any conclusive rescue op capability.

Posted by: FOTSGreg || 04/01/2007 18:43 Comments || Top||

#9  We have two issues here:
1. A nation committing an act of piracy and war, contrary to normal international relations.
2. Holding histages.

Allowing any nation to pursue and encourage acts of war brings on more lawlessness, and encourages other thug regimes to do the same. Stopping this criminal behavior in its tracks trumps No. 2.
Britain needs to stop No. 1 now. The hostages in No. 2 are going to hang tough. Britain needs to make clear that any harm coming to their hostages will cause personal harm to the leaders of Iran. Tony Blair must make a speech to the nation about his course of action, which includes the ultimatum to Iran. Ball is in his court. My bets are that Britain talks with the MMs and that is it. The US will keep up the covert pressure in the psyops, insurgent aid, and financial departments.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/01/2007 19:06 Comments || Top||

Ministers seek deal with Iran for captives
Ministers are preparing a compromise deal to allow Iran to save face and release its 15 British military captives by promising that the Royal Navy will never knowingly enter Iranian waters without permission.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt of plans to send a Royal Navy captain or commodore to Teheran, as a special envoy of the Government, to deliver a public assurance that officials hope will end the diplomatic standoff.

The move, which was discussed at a meeting of Whitehall's Cobra crisis committee yesterday, came as Downing Street officials explicitly cautioned against hopes of a speedy outcome and said that families of the hostages should prepare for the "long haul". The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, have been warned that the impasse may develop into a long-term stand-off. Privately, officials are speculating that the crisis could continue for months.

The renewed search for a solution was given greater urgency when a senior Iranian official said that moves had begun to put the 15 British captives on trial. Details of the strategy emerged as a former Falklands War commander expressed fury at how the sailors surrendered to Iranian gunboats without a fight. Maj Gen Julian Thompson called for a review of the Navy's rules of engagement, dictated by the United Nations, that they cannot open fire unless they are shot at first.
I think I've spotted the problem...
"In my view this thing is a complete cock-up," he said.
Gott sei dank!!! At last, someone who can speak plain English!!!
"I want to know why the Marines didn't open fire or put up some sort of fight. My fear is that they didn't have the right rules of engagement, which would allow them to do this."

A former Iranian ambassador to the UN, Sayed Rajai Korasani, said that Britain should be more conciliatory and called for a delegation of MPs to seek the handover of the sailors.
Send Gorgeous George. In his red tights. Offer to exchange him for the hostages.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Either that, or promise not to send Gorgeous George in his red tights.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 04/01/2007 0:23 Comments || Top||

#2  If they send someone to Iran to make that statement, all Iran is going to do is make a fuck out of the British government and the poor sap they send.
Posted by: Mike N. || 04/01/2007 0:34 Comments || Top||

#3  I think Sir Elton is the right man for the job.
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/01/2007 8:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Ministers are preparing a compromise deal to allow Iran to save face and release its 15 British military captives by promising that the Royal Navy will never knowingly enter Iranian waters without permission.

Fucking Idiots, Britain is NOT run by the Church (Name your favorite here) the Churchmen will only be the fodder for round two, but without the authority and (Supposed) protection of the Military Services.

Second thought, Does Blair realise that after this NOBODY will join any British Military, A huge part of the Contract is that the service looks after it's own, clearly breached here.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 9:10 Comments || Top||

#5  allow Iran to save face

What in Hell is going on? Who the fuck cares if Iran can "save face" besides the mullahs in Teheran? Why should anyone else give a flying fuck? All this concern for our enemies has paid off royally, now hasn't it? Look at how they overflow with effusive gratitude. The Iraqis just trip all over themselves in their attempts to show how grateful they are for no longer being fed into industrial shredders. Enough of this horseshit!
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 21:47 Comments || Top||

Bush Calls on Iran to Free U.K. Sailors
CAMP DAVID, Md. (AP) - President Bush on Saturday said Iran's capture of 15 British sailors and marines was "inexcusable" and called for their immediate, unconditional release.

Bush said Iran plucked the sailors out of Iraqi waters. Iran's president said Saturday they were in Iranian waters and called Britain and its allies "arrogant and selfish" for not apologizing for trespassing.

"Iran must give back the hostages," Bush said at the Camp David presidential retreat, where he was meeting with the president of Brazil. "They're innocent. They did nothing wrong."

It was the first time that Bush had commented publicly on the captured Britons. Washington has taken a low-key approach to avoid aggravating tensions over the incident and shaking international resolve to get Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program.

Bush did not answer a question about whether the United States would have reacted militarily if those captured had been Americans. The president said he supports British Prime Minister Tony Blair's efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, now in its second week.

Bush would not comment about Britain's options if Iran does not release the hostages, but he seemed to reject any swapping of the British captives for Iranians detained in Iraq.

"I support the prime minister when he made it clear there were no quid pro quos," Bush said.

Like Bush's words, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments were his most extensive on the crisis. They tracked tough talk from other Iranian officials, an indication that Tehran's position could be hardening.

"The British occupier forces did trespass our waters. Our border guards detained them with skill and bravery," Iran's official news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. "But arrogant powers, because of their arrogant and selfish spirit, are claiming otherwise."

Britain, however, appeared to be easing its stance, emphasizing its desire to talk with Iran about what it termed a regrettable situation.

Know what? The Iranians are going to keep right on doing crap like this, as they have for the last 28 years, until we let go of enough of our oh-so-precious civility to stomp their damned asses. Until we do that, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is going to change.

More weasel-worded reporting at link...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Watch as all the moonbats with their assorted varieties of Bush Derangement Syndrome find some reason to criticize the president for stating what any moral person knows to be true.

And by the way, where are the UN or world sanctions against Iran for manufacturing the IED's which have killed scores of US servicemen in Iraq?

Posted by: Tholuper Poodle5257 || 04/01/2007 3:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Big problem here is that britan will have to do the shooting first, if they don't and we do, then BRITAN IS REDUCED TO 'PUPPET' STATUS
Exactly what Iran Wants.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 9:21 Comments || Top||

A late good morning...
Eight 'Taliban', 5 Afghan troops killed in clashUK Ready for Diplomatic Attack on IranTribesmen attack Qaeda bunkersEU vows to work for peace with Abbas, PA moderatesIran Questions EU's 'Illogical' Support For Britain Over SailorsIraq war funding in limbo on HillWoolmer probably accused Pakistani players of gambling
Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 10:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  She has legs just like I like them. From her fett all the way up.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 04/01/2007 10:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Looks really tall for Angie.
Posted by: Bobby || 04/01/2007 10:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Angie was married to Steve McQueen who was known to comment on her lack of satisfactory boobage.
Posted by: ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ || 04/01/2007 11:22 Comments || Top||

#4  hope you're feeling better, boss
Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 11:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Better than yesterday in the sense it couldn't get worse. I've been asleep most of the day.
Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 15:28 Comments || Top||

#6  Sounds like you have the same crud we have here, Fred. Hope you remember to take lots of aspirin/Tylenol, drink plenty of liquids, and SLEEP. It's truly the only thing that helps. Just got up from a 3-hour nap myself.

BTW, Angie beats the dickens out of most of the girls from today...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 17:04 Comments || Top||

#7  Get well, Fred. That Angie has legs longer than a holiday sermon!
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 17:54 Comments || Top||

#8  get well Fred do you want sum morphine? hot and sour soup, chicken noodle soup works wonders when mixed with 'spirits'.

Just guessing but I'd bet you'll go back to work no matter how you feel.

The real "CRUD" can return with a vengeance ifn ur not careful, ask Dr. Steve .. >::
Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 18:28 Comments || Top||

#9  Sleeper tight FredMan.
Posted by: Shipman || 04/01/2007 18:56 Comments || Top||

#10  Perhaps I could talk her into arresting me!
Posted by: gorb || 04/01/2007 20:18 Comments || Top||

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