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Bangla Bhai bangla nabbed
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 2: WoT Background
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Afghanistan
StrategyPage Afghanistan: The Best Terrorists Money Can Buy
The increase in Taliban violence in Afghanistan over the last year has been caused mainly by money. Terrorism supporters in the Middle East (mainly Saudi Arabia) moved 5-10 million dollars to Pakistan to fund the current fighting. This is known from interrogations of captured Taliban fighters, and months of Afghan and American troops wandering around the back country of southern Afghanistan and just talking to people. The U.S. Army Special Forces are particularly good at this, since many of them speak the local languages, and have developed many contacts in the rural areas.

It goes like this. Taliban leaders, many of them returning from exile across the border in Pakistan, showed up in Afghanistan last year with lots of cash. That, plus their tribal and family contacts, enabled them to hire hundreds of fighters. For unemployed, or under- employed, Afghan young men, this was an attractive offer. The recruiting was going on among pro-Taliban tribes. If you signed on, you got $300 cash up front, plus $150 a month for 6-10 days of work a month. That compares to $50-100 a month for a full time job, if you could find it. Many of these guys keep their Taliban activities quiet, for there are a lot of people who support the new national government, or simply were mistreated by the Taliban in the past and haven't forgotten. The government also pays for information.
Rest at link.
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 13:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:


‘Pakistanis acted as bounty hunters in Afghanistan’
A Guantanamo Bay prisoner has said that Pakistani officials were paid bounties of as much as $10,000 to turn over terror suspects in Afghanistan to the Americans. Said Amir Jan, whose testimony was found in one of the 5,000 documents obtained by the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, said that Pakistani officials were “making a business off the war”.
My heat bleeds for them... [Urp!]
“When Americans came to Afghanistan, I was in prison. We cheered them. We were going to be released as the Taliban wasn’t in power anymore. How could I ... turn around and fight against the people who released me from prison,” Jan said.
Because they were infidels?
Appearing before an internally-constituted tribunal at the prison camp, Jan said: “Please ... look at my case ... try to find out who I am, and decide about me.” One detainee from Kazakhstan said that he was captured by Afghans and turned over to the Americans, but did not understand why he was in custody because he was just a farmer. A tribunal official asked him why he was in Afghanistan. He answered: “I went to Afghanistan with my family for a better life. They captured me at the house, and that is why I am here.” When asked if he grew poppy in his garden, he replied: “I don’t know what poppy is.”
And I'm an Irishman named Murphy. I love these little tales.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He was just a simple farmer and She is really a woman.
Posted by: SPoD || 03/06/2006 4:14 Comments || Top||


Bangladesh
Reveal names of JMB patrons within govt
Workers Party Politburo member Fazle Hossain Badsha yesterday demanded revelation of identities of those in the ruling alliance and administration who helped JMB chief Shaekh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai to operate in Bagmara in 2004. "The ruling alliance leaders who said Bangla Bhai was the creation of media and those who spoke for the militants in the parliament should also be identified," he said during an interview with The Daily Star yesterday.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Russian foreign minister leaves for Canada, US
Russia's top diplomat left for Canada and the United States Sunday on a high-level diplomatic trip that will likely include talks on Iran's nuclear programs, Israeli-Palestinian relations and Russia's G8 presidency.

In meetings with Canadian officials, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be discussing, among other things, Canadian funding for scrapping mothballed Russian nuclear submarines, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

In Washington, Lavrov is expected to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin was quoted by ITAR-Tass as saying that the situation in the Middle East, the war on terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation would top the agenda.

Russia is also seeking to wrap up agreement with Washington on joining the World Trade Organization.

Russia has recently taken on a major role in trying to resolve several festering Middle Eastern conflicts.

This past week, a delegation from Iran travelled to Moscow for talks on establishing a joint uranium enrichment venture to ease concerns over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Russia has offered to host the enrichment of uranium for Iran, a proposal supported by the United States as a way to ease concerns that Iran could divert the material for weapons.

Top leaders from the Palestinian military group Hamas -- which won parliamentary elections in January -- also travelled to Moscow this week at President Vladimir Putin's invitation.

Before the trip, an influential U.S. foreign policy organization warned that Russia's emergence as an increasingly authoritarian state could impair U.S.-Russian ability to co-operate on key international security issues.

In a report released Sunday, the Council on Foreign Relations said Russia's drift away from democratic norms under Putin "will make it harder for the two sides to find common ground and harder to co-operate even when they do."

Russia took over the rotating presidency of the Group of Eight major industrialized countries this year and will host G8 leaders at a summit in St. Petersburg in July.



Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 09:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Deny his visa. Lavrov is no honest broker - just a triangulation whore - and his boss is an integral part of the problem. Neither belongs in any solution set - unless it's the one in which killing all the Jooos is the only item.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 20:08 Comments || Top||


Down Under
Thales plans takeover of Australian defence firm
French defence giant Thales announced plans Saturday for a complete takeover of Australia's largest military manufacturer ADI, in a move that could raise concerns in Washington.

Thales and Australian construction giant Transfield currently each own a half share in ADI, which was privatised by the Australian government in 1999 for almost 350 million dollars (260 million US).

"Thales Australia today announced its plans to increase its stake in Australian defence contractor ADI Limited to 100 percent," the company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the French parent, said in a statement posted on the ADI website.

Thales said the transaction was conditional on approval

from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.

No figures were given for the ADI takeover bid, but the number is certain to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Australian newspaper said the United States would be concerned about a French-controlled company handling some of its sensitive military technology.

The US and Australian military cooperate closely and share technology, with "interoperability" between the two forces one of Canberra's stated goals when acquiring defence hardware.

The newspaper said a similar takeover proposal was scuttled five years ago because of security concerns.

Thales is 30 percent owned by the French government, which has questioned elements of Washington's "war on terror", while Australia is a strong US ally that has participated in the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

ADI has annual sales of 700 million dollars and employs 2,500 people.

It has a wide range of contracts with the Australian military providing munitions, minehunter ships, missile frigate upgrades, armoured personnel carriers and software for a fleet of Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters.

Thales operates in more than 30 countries, has 60,000 staff and annual revenues of 10.3 billion euros (12.4 billion US).


Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 14:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thales? This French company, 30% state owned?

From RB Archives on 9-26-2005:
French defense-electronics group Thales SA on Monday denied allegations from a fired company executive that it paid out millions of dollars in bribes and sold chemical weapons to the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.

"The Thales Group formally denies accusations of corruption in France and internationally, lodged against it by a former manager at THEC," the company said in a statement.

Michel Josserand, former chief executive of Thales Engineering and Consulting, or THEC, said in an interview with newspaper Le Monde that that the paying of bribes by Thales was widespread - in violation of French law and international conventions.

"I estimate that Thales must pay out between 1 percent and 2 percent of its global revenue in illegal commissions," he said. Thales posted revenue of 10.3 billion euros ($12.5 billion) for 2004.

He also said Thales had "sidestepped the (U.N.) Oil for Food Program and delivered chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein's government."

Posted by: Danielle || 03/06/2006 16:27 Comments || Top||

#2  yup - that one.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 16:46 Comments || Top||

#3  This is a lot more disconcerting than DPW.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 16:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeah - that's my take too.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 16:56 Comments || Top||


NZ gets first Maori defence chief - Everybody Lets do the Hakka!
New Zealand has appointed its first Maori defence chief. Maj Gen Jerry Mateparae, 51, currently head of the country's army, will serve in his new position from 1 May, the government said. Maj Gen Mateparae had successfully "melded together" the traditions of the Maori warrior and the British army, Defence Minister Phil Goff said.

Maori, New Zealand's indigenous people, make up about 15% of the country's population, and 17% of its military. Maj Gen Mateparae will also be promoted to lieutenant general on his promotion. "He will continue to be a role model and I have total confidence he will be fully accepted, not only by all Maori, but all New Zealand. He is an excellent future leader," said the man he will succeed, Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson. Maj Gen Mateparae, who will take command of 13,000 military and non-military staff across the army, air force, navy and joint headquarters, said he was pleased with his new appointment.

Good stuff. Balance at link, GO ALL BLACKS!
Posted by: Cleanter Spairong2465 || 03/06/2006 12:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder if the Maori will eventually demographically outnumber the whites, and while keeping with their good traditions, such as democracy, phase out their timidity and weakness.

It would be good to see NZ equated with both "rough and tumble" and as a Maori state. In a way, like the Samoans, another people with a good attitude towards life and things.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2006 12:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Amazing, I would have swore I had just posted this BBC piece with the, "Good stuff. Balanace at Link, GO ALL BLACKS! as well. A bit of Rant post plagurizing I see. Nicely done Stevie, I'll bet you rummaged your mums bloomers as well.
Posted by: Cleanter Spairong2465 || 03/06/2006 12:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Credit noted CS2465. Sometimes the mods edit/touch an article and forget to remove their name from the edit.
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 13:10 Comments || Top||

#4  CS, you did post it, but failed to put the link in the source block. I just fixed that and posted it, so it showed up as me being the original poster. I'll see if I can fix that.
Posted by: Steve || 03/06/2006 13:12 Comments || Top||

#5  Ok, it worked. Credit where credit is due.
Posted by: Steve || 03/06/2006 13:14 Comments || Top||

#6  I think it's a new bug. I may have just invented it.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 13:15 Comments || Top||

#7  Should be fixed now, though...
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 13:44 Comments || Top||

#8  phase out their timidity and weakness.

LOL!
Posted by: 6 || 03/06/2006 14:36 Comments || Top||

#9  Now all they need is a Defence Force :P
Posted by: Oztralian || 03/06/2006 15:29 Comments || Top||

#10  I'd leave the :P out, Oz...
Posted by: Pappy || 03/06/2006 19:34 Comments || Top||


Howard ready to re-examine uranium policy with India
Prime Minister John Howard has arrived in India for a three-day visit where he is expected to be asked to consider changing Australia's policy on exporting uranium to the South Asian giant. According to newspaper reports, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will ask Mr Howard to change Australia's position in the light of the United States last week signing a nuclear co-operation deal with India.

Australia currently does not sell uranium to nuclear-armed India because it has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
This will change if Bush persuades the Congress to go along with the deal he's struck with the Indians.
Mr Howard has told reporters on his arrival in New Delhi that he is willing to re-examine the policy. "We are interested in the agreement that's been struck between the United States and India," he said. "We do have long-standing policy of only selling uranium to countries that are part of the NPT regime, but we'll have a look at a bit more information about that and we'll further assess it.

"Australia does have large supplies of uranium, we have some of the largest uranium deposits in the world, and provided the rules are followed and the safeguards are met, we are willing to sell."

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on Friday that while he welcomes a nuclear deal between India and the United States, it will not lead Australia to sell uranium to India. "If we were to export uranium to India, that would constitute a significant shift in our policy. I mean, it would open up questions of whether we'd export uranium to countries like Israel and Pakistan as well," he told AM last week.
Easy: Israel yes, Pakistan no.
"And I think it's probably easier for us to support the current policy. It's probably better for us to give all the support we can to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."
Posted by: Steve White || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:


Europe
Charges to be filed against 3/11 killers
CHARGES are set to be issued shortly against some 40 suspects in connection with the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid as the second anniversary of the blasts which killed 191 people approaches, a judicial source said overnight.

A total of 116 people are under investigation for the March 11 blasts on four Madrid commuter trains, for which Islamic extremists sympathetic to Al-Qaeda have claimed responsibility.

But the source said only "a figure probably much reduced", likely around one third, would be charged and brought to trial for Spain's worst-ever terror attack, in which nearly 2,000 people were also injured.

Of the suspects, 24 are in jail in Spain and a further one is in prison in Italy.

The remainder are free but have had various restrictions imposed upon them.

The source said that judge Juan del Olmo, who is in charge of the investigations, would "in the next few days" hand over the dossier on completion of his pre-trial investigations.

Under Spanish law, suspects can spend up to two years in pre-trial detention, but this can be extended following hearings.

The trial is expected to start in late 2006 and last around a year.

To date, only one person has been convicted over the attacks, a 16-year-old who in November 2004 pleaded guilty to transporting explosives stolen from a mine in the Asturias region of northern Spain and also to collaborating with a terrorist group.

The youth, nicknamed el Gitanillo or "little gypsy", received six years detention in a youth prison.

A large quantity of information regarding where the bombs were assembled and where the explosives came from is already known, but the indictments are expected to reveal further details, such as who is believed to have planned the attacks.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yea, yea.
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/06/2006 4:34 Comments || Top||


Former Italian minister honored to be targeted by al-Qaeda
A former Italian minister who made T-shirts emblazoned with cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad said on Sunday he was honoured to be singled out by al Qaeda in its latest call for attacks against the West.

Al Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged Muslims to launch strikes like those against New York, London and Madrid in an audio recording posted on the Internet on Saturday.

In the message, he specifically pointed to Italy's former Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli, whose inflammatory T-shirts cost him his cabinet post and have been partly blamed for deadly riots outside an Italian consulate in eastern Libya.

"And then there is this Italian minister who wore a shirt with these criminal pictures (cartoons of Prophet Mohammad)," Zawahri said.

"All of this is considered the right of the West which occupies our land, violates our sanctities and then defames our Prophet."

Calderoli, of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, said the harsh words pleased him and that he was happy to irritate al Qaeda with the T-shirts, which he has worn on Italian television.

"To be (verbally) attacked by Zawahri and these criminals that exploit religion for political ends is, for me, an honour," Calderoli said, in comments widely published in Italian media.

Calderoli is being investigated by Rome magistrates for "offending religious faiths through public insult", a crime punishable with a fine of up to 5,000 euros ($6,012).

It was the second time in the past week that Calderoli has expressed appreciation for derogatory remarks about him.

After Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi called him a "fascist minister" who used "racist and despicable language", Calderoli responded: "I should thank Gaddafi twice. To be insulted by this kind of person is a big honour to me".

The Feb. 17 riots in Benghazi, which Gaddafi said were inspired by "hate" for Italy as a former colonial ruler, killed at least 11 people and injured more than 60 others.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a strong U.S. ally who sent troops to Iraq after the fall of Baghdad, has sought to downplay any added security risk to Italy as a result of the T-shirt controversy.

After forcing Calderoli to resign, Berlusconi said last month he was "acting in such a way to prevent our country being a particular target."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  European manhood not dead yet?
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/06/2006 4:35 Comments || Top||

#2  not entirely, it would seem.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 8:18 Comments || Top||


Chirac turns charm on Saudis, seeks business
VISITING French President Jacques Chirac has praised Saudi reforms overnight, and urged respect between Islam and the West in a charm offensive that may win contracts from the world's biggest oil exporter.

Addressing Saudi's consultative Shura council, which reformers hope forelornly will one day act as a parliament that balances the powers of the absolute monarchy, Mr Chirac said France could contribute to "spectacular development" in Saudi Arabia. "Saudi Arabia and France can unite efforts to foil those who, flaming the fire of fanaticism, incite an unfortunate 'clash of ignorance', described as a 'clash of civilisations'," said Mr Chirac, the first Western leader to address the body.
"See how progressive we are, we even allow infidels to talk to us. We don't listen, but we let them talk."
"The introduction of elections for renewing municipal councils, in a spirit of democracy, and woman gaining places in chambers of commerce boards, have been followed with sympathy in France and the world," he told the all-male assembly.

Saudi Arabia last year held limited though pioneering elections for half the seats to local councils. But since the new king took power in August, creating an atmosphere of openness in the conservative Muslim country, women have been elected to key business bodies.

Mr Chirac is accompanied on the three-day trip by about 15 business leaders and his economy, defence, foreign affairs and trade ministers, as well as experts on the Arab world. The trip ends on Monday. The delegation includes the heads of Dassault Aviation , the maker of Rafale jets, and French defence electronics company Thales , which has been chasing a deal for more than a decade to supply Riyadh with border security equipment worth $8.5 billion.

There has been no word of any deals clinched so far, but Thales Chairman and Chief Executive Denis Ranque said he was confident even if the "Miksa" deal is not concluded now. "It is a question of timing, I am still confident. The prospective customer exists, the contract will exist but it is taking more time than planned," Mr Ranque told reporters.

Other business leaders include the chief executives of Total , Alstom and Alcatel. Mr Chirac urged greater tolerance and respect after violent protests in recent weeks over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which were first published in a Danish newspaper but have been reprinted in many countries, including France. "We must now, more than ever, embrace global values that form our common existence. We must cultivate all opportunities for dialogue to avoid misunderstandings," he said. "With globalisation, everything is known immediately and everywhere. We are no longer isolated, each one in their own country."
"Please! We want your business! Don't hold those Danes against us!"
The row over the Danish cartoons has reinforced some Saudis' resolve to turn away from Western business partners and look to Asia, where King Abdullah made a ground-breaking tour in January. Rival U.S. and British firms already have a strong foothold in Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, this will teach me to go back to my old habit of reading all the stories before posting any comments.

Yup - here's the real reason dickhead's in Saudi.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 0:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Jacques Chirac? Follow the money. QED.

So much for EU solidarity on extenal threats, economic matters or politcal matters, it is France first and formost. SOSDD.
Posted by: SPoD || 03/06/2006 5:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, since they lost a good customer in Saddam, they do need the business.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/06/2006 10:44 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
Rachel Corrie Pancake Breakfast
The Rachel Corrie Memorial Committee of Victoria Invites you to a memorial pancake breakfast at Denny's Restaurant on Douglas Street near Finlayson, 10 am, Sunday March 12, 2006 to celebrate the life and untimely death of Rachel Corrie, Peace Activist with the International Solidarity Movement.
Rachel Corrie, speed bump on the roadmap to peace
There will be a reading of highly edited selections from Ms. Corrie's letters and diary, followed by a ceremony at Topaz Park, where a stone cairn will be erected in her honour. Attendees are encouraged to wear their keffiahs, and to dress in black.
I'm guessing Caterpillar baseball caps would be frowned upon
No weapons, drugs, or alcohol please.


Posted by: Steve || 03/06/2006 10:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [378 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What a perfect pic! I think that's what I must have looked like, too.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/06/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#2  (Sorry for the double)

The comments over there are shaping up nicely.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/06/2006 11:12 Comments || Top||

#3  If you lived in the area and just happened to have access to a Caterpillar D-9, imagine the fun you could have rolling up to the parking lot with it. Madcap hijinks ensue!
Posted by: Mike || 03/06/2006 11:34 Comments || Top||

#4  That IS D9 smashed her flatter than a _______ .
Posted by: Visitor || 03/06/2006 11:41 Comments || Top||

#5  A pancake breakfast in honor of St. Pancake... LOL!!!
Posted by: Uleck Whavirt8388 || 03/06/2006 12:04 Comments || Top||

#6  The article says: "wear your keffiahs". Apparently, they all have one to wear. 'Nuff said.
Posted by: Spot || 03/06/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

#7  "Pass the bacon, please. And a little of the sausage, it's delicious!"
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/06/2006 12:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Mmmmmmmmmm...pancakes!
If you read the comments, even the freakazoids are having trouble figuring this one out...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/06/2006 12:17 Comments || Top||

#9  It's a pity they decided to hold it at Denny's, the all-night home of goths and transients. If they had held it at IHOP, then they could have all had "Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity's" to eat.

I wonder, how do you get maple syrup out of a burka?
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2006 12:32 Comments || Top||

#10  I wonder if this will be like "St. Alphono"s Pancake Breakfast (where I stole the margerine)"?
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 03/06/2006 12:34 Comments || Top||

#11  THAT'S ALFONZO'S PC breakfast!!!
Posted by: ARMYGUY || 03/06/2006 12:48 Comments || Top||

#12  Deacon
Zappa looks down from on high and blesses you.
Posted by: 3dc || 03/06/2006 14:34 Comments || Top||

#13  I love the article below the invitation at the link...worth a coffee alert!

When you are more useful to your friends dead than alive, it is time to find new friends QUICKLY.
Posted by: john || 03/06/2006 14:55 Comments || Top||

#14  Seems my spelling has gone to carp.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 03/06/2006 15:17 Comments || Top||

#15  Where Saint Alphonzo stole the margarine?
Posted by: mojo || 03/06/2006 17:09 Comments || Top||

#16  I'd like some matzoh brei, please.
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 03/06/2006 17:50 Comments || Top||

#17  While a real D9 might be hard to come by, you could probably get a Tonka one. Drive it over everyone's pancakes and turn their sausages into bacon.
Posted by: Jackal || 03/06/2006 19:52 Comments || Top||


Idiots Imitate Satire
(via LGF)

Truly, reality has come full circle, as Indymedia unwittingly imitates Little Green Footballs: Rachel Corrie Pancake Breakfast.
No, it’s not a joke.

The Rachel Corrie Memorial Committee of Victoria Invites you to a pancake breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant Sunday March 12 , 2006 10 am.

The Public is invited to a memorial pancake breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant on Douglas Street near Finlayson, 10 am, Sunday March 12, 2006 to celebrate the life and untimely death of Rachel Corrie, Peace Activist with the International Solidarity Movement.

There will be a reading of selections from Ms. Corrie’s letters and diary, followed by a ceremony at Topaz Park, where a stone cairn will be erected in her honour.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their keffiahs, and to dress in black.

No weapons, drugs, or alcohol please.

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/

ISM offers many ways for you to get involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom. Whether you’re thinking of traveling to Palestine to work with us, or you’d like to work to educate your community about the reality in Palestine, we welcome your involvement.

I wonder if it will be your choice between bacon and pork sausages? "I'd like a Rooty-Tooty Fresh and Fruity. What do you mean they only serve that at IHOP? I'm being oppressed! I DEMAND A ROOTY-TOOTY FRESH AND FRUITY TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!!! Say, how do you get syrup out of your veil?"
Posted by: Fred (actually, not Fred. A bug) || 03/06/2006 09:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [591 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Imagine the madcap hijinks that would ensue if someone drives up to the parking lot during the festivities in a Caterpillar D-9.
Posted by: Mike || 03/06/2006 9:33 Comments || Top||

#2  I wonder if raspberry syrup will be available.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 9:45 Comments || Top||

#3  I bet the pancakes taste like crepe.
Posted by: BH || 03/06/2006 10:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Waiter! This pancake isn't flat enough!
Posted by: Grunter || 03/06/2006 10:43 Comments || Top||

#5  MMMMM Pancakes!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 11:01 Comments || Top||

#6  "My pancake looks angry"
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 11:16 Comments || Top||

#7  Porgy: Hi Mom! Bombs away Dad! Oh boy, groatcakes again, heavy on the 30 weight!

George Tirebiter: Don't eat with your hands son, use your entrenching tool!
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 11:48 Comments || Top||

#8  Would be funny to flood the Denny’s with folks wearing yarmulkas.
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 11:55 Comments || Top||

#9  For you pancake lovers out there who would like a lower-carb alternative, I would highly recommend buckwheat pancakes. That is, process buckwheat flour in a pancake mix, not crude buckwheat, or that stuff that tries to imitate whole wheat.

It is also gluten free, and buckwheat isn't even a grain, it's a berry. Cooks and tastes just like regular pancakes.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2006 12:44 Comments || Top||

#10  Cooks and tastes just like regular (insert food)

Yep, tastes just like horse beef.
Nice girl, great personality, makes here own clothes and a fine cook.
The checks in the mail, I still luv 'ya and I swear I won't....
Posted by: 6 || 03/06/2006 14:43 Comments || Top||

#11  Gentlemen. In an entirely neutral stance I am disgusted with your words and behaviour. This young lady died for a cause she beleived in. How many of you can say the same?

You are a bunch of apathetic morons hiding behind your sticky keyboards. Very rarely is there any intelligent comment here. Small wonder we are in the shit we are in if you are examples of the 'good folks'.

It makes you look and feel like those humans you despise so much. Go have a shower or something.
Posted by: Trex || 03/06/2006 14:54 Comments || Top||

#12  Trex, next time buy the CAT.
Posted by: john || 03/06/2006 14:58 Comments || Top||

#13  Fred is quite clever, but even he hasn't figured out how to connect the Web to the Great Beyond. So clearly, none of those posting have emulated the flat Miss Corrie, who chose to commmit suicide-by-large-machinery, thus proving all our mothers correct when they told us

(1)Choose your friends carefully and

(2)Don't play around construction equipment or you'll get hurt.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2006 15:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Hear, Hear Trex!
I live in GoreTex myself. I like to flash morons.
Posted by: 6 || 03/06/2006 16:10 Comments || Top||

#15  "This young lady died for a cause she beleived in."

So did Adolf Hitler, for the same cause: killing Jews.
Posted by: Thoth Theash6328 || 03/06/2006 18:08 Comments || Top||

#16  she died a wasted death, and I'm glad she's gone. She was hateful, anti-american waste of oxygen, spreading her venom to others. Happy Trax?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 19:11 Comments || Top||

#17  Trex: So you don't like buckwheat pancakes?

More to the point, Rachel Corrie was a fanatic, filled with rage and hate. No different in many ways from the crazy Lori Berenson, who joined the Shining Path down in Peru.

Her cause was not just, because it was less concerned with helping the Paleos to help themselves, then by supporting them in their war, much like the Arabs who give them money solely that they will fight and die in a proxy war.

The house she was defending had been used by snipers to shoot at civilians, not soldiers. And by saying so, it strips her of any semblance of fairness or reasonableness. She was helping snipers to shoot at women and children!

You do not HELP anyone by encouraging war.

What had she done in the name of peace? Did she try to change how they teach their children? Did she show how their leaders were corrupt and stealing money from their own people? Did she do anything to help the Paleos help themselves?

NO. She died trying to stop the Israelis from defending themselves against attack. She was a vile creature who supported terrorism against those she hated. Her idealism was no different than the idealism of Pol Pot, but perhaps not as intense.

She was a crazy woman who deserved to die, both for her hateful desires, and her willingness to inflict death and destruction on others.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2006 19:20 Comments || Top||

#18  This young lady died for a cause she beleived in. How many of you can say the same?

Died? No. Wounded? Yes.

Now fuck off, you British Columbian git.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/06/2006 19:49 Comments || Top||

#19  Gee. You lot are pretty sad - at least as bad as the other lot. eg So brave too, insulting a dead girl.

"She was a crazy woman who deserved to die, both for her hateful desires, and her willingness to inflict death and destruction on others."

Amazingly hypocritical.

She thought she was saving the world but instead she was an unfortunate wee girl who got into something she knew nothing about.

Your alternative descriptions are self-aggrandising vitriolic BS.

I thought I shared some views with you guys (you know who you are). But hey, we all make mistakes eh.
Posted by: Trex || 03/06/2006 20:03 Comments || Top||

#20  she was an unfortunate wee girl who got into something she knew nothing about.

Not hardly.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 20:10 Comments || Top||

#21  Pancakes for Corie?

What next, the Joan of Arc Memorial Bonfire and Candlelight Vigil?
Posted by: too true || 03/06/2006 20:12 Comments || Top||

#22  Nothing quite like a good finger-wagging bit of silly posturing from a "self-aggrandising" moral superior.

The Minimum RDA is one per lifetime. We're all covered, now. Thanx, asstard. Back under the mossy wee rock.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 20:26 Comments || Top||

#23  Trex - you are correct. She should be honored with an award. I was thinking, perhaps a Darwin.
Posted by: DMFD || 03/06/2006 20:34 Comments || Top||

#24  LOL I missed it!! dern!!
Posted by: RD || 03/06/2006 23:55 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Bolton thinks W gets it
Interview of John Bolton at Atlas Schrug. EFL

JB: ... Like Iran, I've been working on this for three and a half years

Atlas: And you'll be working on it for three and half more

JOB: I hope not, I hope not because now that it's in the Security Council, now is the time to say this is their chance that either they give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons or we go to what the President said, we do something else.

Atlas: We do something else? That's a little vague, don't you think? Deliberately vague?

JB: Yeah, sure absolutely. The President said I never take options off the table. And you've got to be that way. Look this has happened to me enough times before .... if I said, well -- I'll give you an example......after the invasion of Iraq, after Saddam was overthrown I said something in a BBC interview like I hope the governments of Syria and Iran take notice of what's just happened and I got into enormous trouble for that because it sounded like I was threatening the invasion of Iran and Syria.

Atlas: I think we've moved too slowly and they've gotten too far. It is frightening to me because Israel is such a small country, it would just take one, to get one off

JB: yeah

Atlas: One

JB: Well, the president has used this phrase enough times, I don't know if he ever used it in a speech, but he talks about his concern about a Nuclear Holocaust -- that's his phrase.

Atlas: He's right

JB: He's got Iran specifically in mind. That's why I am confident over time at the State Department, the President knows what he needs to do.

Atlas: You're clear on that.

JB: Yeah, he's got that, he's got North Korea which he calls a prison camp. He said to Kofi Anna last September - it's a disgrace that during our administrations this regime still keeps its entire population in a prison camp -- which Kofi didn't know what to say. There are things he's gott in his mind that are very clearly fixed.

Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 16:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [496 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anyone (other than the willfully disingenuous) was in doubt?

Bush has said it amazingly plainly several times. Those who still don't get it don't get much of anything.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 17:48 Comments || Top||

#2  "Anyone (other than the willfully disingenuous) was in doubt?"

Actually, yeah, I think there are: people who learned, during Bill Clinton's two terms in office, to discount as total bullshit damn near every word uttered by a President who almost never meant what he said or said what he meant.

For some, it's hard to let go of the cynicism born of Bill Clinton's dishonesty.

Bush has said that Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons. I'm inclined to take him at his word.

Posted by: Thoth Theash6328 || 03/06/2006 18:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Oops, I did dismiss terminal cynicism, heh. Good catch, TT...
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 18:40 Comments || Top||

#4  I liked JB's WonderWoman/SuperWoman pic at the top sidebar. To bad it appears to be a photoshop. (heads at the wrong angle on the body)
Posted by: 3dc || 03/06/2006 23:50 Comments || Top||


Court upholds campus military recruiting law
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that universities that get federal funds must allow military recruiters on campus, even if their law schools oppose the Pentagon's policy prohibiting openly gays and lesbians from serving.
"Don't ask, don't tell" is the common term for the current military policy which implements Public Law 103-160, codified at 10 U.S.C. Sec. 654. Passed by Congress, signed by Bill Clinton. I don't see universities banning him from appearing on campus.
The high court upheld as constitutional a federal law dating back to 1994 that allows the government to withhold money from universities that deny military recruiters the same access to campuses given to other employers.
Posted by: || 03/06/2006 10:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [396 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Unanimous. Let's hope this is the beginning of the end for the LLL control of academia.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 11:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Smackdown! Even Ginsburg and Breyer ruling against the law schools.
Posted by: Mike || 03/06/2006 11:31 Comments || Top||

#3  I wonder if the LLL will consider this "settled law" like abortion or is it just another chapter of a long fight? I wonder if this applies to High Schools as well or can locals use this ruling? I aint a lawyer so please learn me.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 11:39 Comments || Top||

#4  P.S. I think the LLL Universities ceded the high moral ground when the let a poorly educated ex-Taliban official into Yale while still banning the U.S. Military.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 11:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Good. This wasn't free speech, it was the suppression of speech. You don't ban people and call it free. Good for the court to also say, "You can ban them, you just can't do it on our dime"

Liberal-dictator universitie asshats....
Posted by: mmurray821 || 03/06/2006 12:03 Comments || Top||

#6  I wonder if the LLL will consider this "settled law" like abortion or is it just another chapter of a long fight? I wonder if this applies to High Schools as well or can locals use this ruling? I aint a lawyer so please learn me.

What's the arabic word for a 'pause', which the enemy will assume is a 'truce'?
Posted by: Bobby || 03/06/2006 21:38 Comments || Top||

#7  hudna
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 21:55 Comments || Top||


Murtha attacks Pace on Iraq
The Pentagon's top general acknowledged Sunday that "anything can happen" in Iraq, but he said things aren't as bad as some say. "I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at."

The comments drew criticism that Gen. Peter Pace is glossing over problems in the three-year-old U.S. campaign.

"Why would I believe him?" asked Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a major critic of the Bush administration's handling of the war. "This administration, including the president, (has) mischaracterized this war for the last two years."

Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cited political progress such as holding elections and writing a constitution as well as military progress like training Iraqi security forces.

"No matter where you look - at their military, their police, their society - things are much better this year than they were last," Pace said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Murtha, responding to Pace in an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," said that Iraq has 60 percent unemployment, oil production below prewar levels, and water service to only 30 percent of the population.

American troops are doing everything they can militarily but "are caught in a civil war," said Murtha, a former Marine who has called on the administration to bring U.S. troops home.

"There's two participants fighting for survival and fighting for supremacy inside that country," he said of ethnic divisions. "And that's my definition of a civil war."

Murtha added: "The rhetoric is so frustrating - when they keep making statements which are very optimistic, and then it turns out to be the opposite. ... And the public has caught on to that, and they're very pessimistic about the outcome."

Pace and Murtha spoke as Iraqis continued a stalemate over forming a new government, a delay that has prevented parliament from meeting since it was elected Dec. 15.

Pressure mounted Sunday on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to give up his bid for a new term amid anger over the recent surge in sectarian killings that has complicated already snarled negotiations on a new Iraqi government.

Pace said the violent firestorm that followed the bombing of a revered Shiite mosque two weeks ago had forced Iraqis to look into "that abyss" and realize "that's not where they want to go."

"Anything can happen, I agree," Pace said, then added: "I believe the Iraqi people have shown in the last week to 10 days that they do not want civil war."

Ending the insurgency depends not only on military efforts but also on whether the Iraqi government can give the people what they want, Pace said. He said the number of people in the insurgency will drop if people see that the new government can come through with jobs and services.

"If you have an opportunity to get a job and feed your family, you're much less likely to accept $100 to go plant a bomb inside a road," Pace said.

Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the U.S. must stick with the Iraqis.

"They're talking about putting their act together," Lugar, R-Ind., said on CBS. "Now, the fact is that they may or may not be successful, but we better hope that they are, because the consequences for our country and the war against terror are very fateful if they are not."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [453 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why doesn't someone put them on the same program so Murtha can call Pace a liar to his face? That's precisely what he's doing - from a safe distance. I think Pace might look forward to ending this asshole's Cut & Run treason campaign.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 1:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Put them in the same room alone. Two enter one leaves.
Posted by: SPoD || 03/06/2006 2:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Can we have that Ozzie hunch-back guy as Moderator? Heh.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 2:22 Comments || Top||

#4  .Com

Do you honestly think that if Gen. Pace and Rep.
Murtha were in the same room being interviewed and expressing opposing viewpoints about Iraq and each individuals rhetoric, that they would actually come to blows?
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 9:49 Comments || Top||

#5  Did .com say anything about blows?

Nope - Pace would enviscerate his arguments and hot air, and Murtha knows it. PA's my home state but I'm ashamed of this Denethor.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 9:55 Comments || Top||

#6  I doubt that seriously. I just read a poll in the Washington Post this morning in which a majority of americans want the U.S. to pull out of Iraq and up to 80% think a civil war is going to break out in Iraq.

btw: "blows" can be verbal as well as physical.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 10:09 Comments || Top||

#7  Not blows, but I suspect that Murtha (like other Kool Aid Drinkers) tender their anger or outrightt sing another tune when faced with facts, figures, or a live person to deal with. Sure they are all piss and vineger when they don't have an opposing opinion, but when confronted with their own wild claims they quickly retreat. I have seen howling Howard, Billary, and any of the LLL Dhimis change (or "clearify") their statements when confronted with facts.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 10:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Cyber Sarge:

I believe that there are facts, figures and live persons on both sides of the issue that are credible. In the article used for this post Murtha and Pace are both issuing opinions based upon facts. Its all a matter of perception and right now according to the latest polls I have been reading President Bush is losing the that
battle badly. The majority of americans want the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq and believe that civil war there is inevitable.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 10:45 Comments || Top||

#9  CyberS,

I think you need to check those "facts" that Murtha uses. Powerline tears them apart like the tissue paper they are.

One side uses facts, the other doesn't.
Posted by: AlanC || 03/06/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#10  In your (wet) dreams, "Just Curious" / Cassini / Left Angle / etc. etc.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 11:34 Comments || Top||

#11  Heck, I want our troops out of Iraq as well.

However, at the right time. And specifically NOT at the behest and on the schedule of covert hostiles like Murtha/Just Curious (my ass).
Posted by: Ptah || 03/06/2006 11:51 Comments || Top||

#12  Alan & JC, What I was saying that when LLL/Dem has the stage all to themselves they rant about all things and all ways with reckless abandonment. When they have to share the stage with another opposing opinion (person) they tone their rhetoric down. They have to because they don’t have facts to support their position and the other person comes loaded with them. Think of the last time Hillary, Kerry, Dean, Pelosi, Conyers, et al had to share the stage/interview with an equal on the Republican side? They can’t because their LLL moonbat talking points are dissected right before their eyes and they look (because they are) stupid. Murtha isn’t qualified to oppose Pace in a face-to-face, therefore they have to appear different shows. I don’t think Murtha or any other LLL moonbat has the balls (except Hillary) to call Gen Pace a liar to their face.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 11:52 Comments || Top||

#13  "...and believe that civil war there is inevitable"

Of course it is inevitable...Chris Matthews and Wolf Blister have been saying it for 2 weeks now.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/06/2006 12:38 Comments || Top||

#14  Cyber Sarge & ltop:

Cyber Sarge, I have heard both sides offer legitimate arguments as to their positions on Iraq. I have also heard both sides hype-up
their rhetoric. It all depends on your point of view and which side you support.

As a matter of fact, it has
become a major issue for President Bush as to whether he hyped the intelligence or lied to the American public in the lead up to the Iraqi War.

Personally, I was against going to war against Iraq, but now that we are there we must finish what we started. I dont think the U.S. should be there indefinitely as most republicans do. If the Iraqi people care that much about their freedom and democracy then they should be willing to fight for it without U.S. assistance.

Ltop: you are in denial about declining american
public support for the Iraq War and President Bush. Several polls point to a sharp decline.

here is a sample:

Majority of Americans Believe Iraq Civil War is Likely: Washington Post-ABC News Poll Finds Sharp Decline in Optimism About Iraq War

By Richard Morin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 6, 2006; 10:45 AM

An overwhelming majority of the public believes fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq will lead to civil war and half says the United States should begin withdrawing its forces from that violence-torn country, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey found that 80 percent believe that recent sectarian violence made civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third say such a conflict was "very likely" to occur.

Expectations for an all-out sectarian war in Iraq extended beyond party lines. More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents believe civil war was likely.

In the face of the continuing violence, fully half--52 percent--of those surveyed says the United States should begin withdrawing forces. But only one in six favors immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.


Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 12:44 Comments || Top||

#15  "a major issue for President Bush as to whether he hyped the intelligence or lied to the American public in the lead up to the Iraqi War." It's only an issue with the true-blue koolaid drinkers on the far left. The have tried DESPEARTELY to make this case of over the past 5 years but nothing has or will ever become of this. Hindsight is 20/20 but no "rational" person doubts that President Bush went into Iraq with anything other than the noblest of intentions. But then you aren’t one of them if you think that Bush is Hitler and invaded simply to make money, a name for him self, or because he was drunk with power. I only hope that the Dhimicrats stick to the same game plan this year about “Bush Lied” because it won’t help them a bit. They will need the vote from the center and the right to regain control in congress and I doubt that there are too many right or center right voters that believe the Bush Lied fairytale.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 13:05 Comments || Top||

#16  CyberSarge:

Say what you will but there are millions of people that believe it. Sure they mostly occupy the far left, but there are just as many unhinged on the right who call anyone who opposes Bush on the Iraq "moonbats and treasonous traitors".

I agree dems will have to come to the center to take back the congress in 2006 and I believe they will.

I listened to former Sen. and v.p candidate John Edwards this weekend and I like his approach.
He said he voted for the War at the time based on the intelligence, but knowing what he knows now he says it was a mistake.

But he believes that that is the past. What we need to do is concentrate on solutions to finishing what we have started in Iraq.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 13:49 Comments || Top||

#17  doesn't Edwards have another class action suit to make millions off of?
Posted by: anon || 03/06/2006 13:51 Comments || Top||

#18  anon:

thats pretty funny, however on Edwards
currently:

"Edwards is roaming around, with 2008 in mind. His travels to more than 30 states have been organized around his interest in poverty. His Senate term ended nine weeks after the election. While his wife, Elizabeth, continues to recover from breast cancer, he is directing the new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina."
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 13:58 Comments || Top||

#19  Cyber S, my apologies, my comment in 9 should have been directed at JustCurious.

So, JC, why don't you check out the difference between real, true facts and the kind of "fake but accurate" facts so beloved by the Murtha's of Invention?
Posted by: AlanC || 03/06/2006 14:40 Comments || Top||

#20  Just Curious, Maybe there are millions who believe the "Bush Lied" conspiracy, but that number is not increasing. Sure there will always be a solid left or right fringe that believes what they believe. I think it would be real hard for any Senator or Congressman to declare Bush Lied now and then defend that later in a national or local campaign. In order to defend that statement they would have to rely on fringe websites, statements, theories, and MOST Americans simply don't subscribe to that, if they did Kerry would be President today. Also once a candidate drinks from that fever swamp they have to take all the baggage that comes with it. I am talking about the rants about: Haliburton, Diebold, Carlyle group, Industrial-Military complex, Downing Street Memo, Forged Niger Docs, National Guard Docs, etc. The right simply doesn't have that many conspiracy theorists running around, they are a distinct minority, and easily dimissed.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 14:52 Comments || Top||

#21  you can change your nym, but your tripe remains the same JC
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 15:00 Comments || Top||

#22  Cyber Sarge, et al:

There were enough right wing conservative "conspiratory theorist" against former President & Sen. Clinton during his presidency as to start a cottage industry.
Several of these people made small fortunes
writing character assasination books based off of bogus lies and false conspiracies on them.
So please, lets not go there.

Did Bush exxagerate the intelligence to start the Iraq War and mislead the american people in doing so? I really cant answer that question because it has never been fully invesitigated by
Congress and probably never will be as long as republicans are in control. Bush is president because of better voter turnout and Kerry winning no southern states. Finally, I think the next dem prez candidate should focus on solutions in Iraq as Edwards suggested.

Alan: As I said before I believe there are
credible arguments based on the facts
that support both viewpoints. The problem is
that any argument against Bush on Iraq is
illegitimate in your veiw because you are
blinded by your partisanship.

Frank G.: I'm just stating my opinions, I dont see you doing the same. I believe just as strongly in what I say as what you dont say.

Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 15:33 Comments || Top||

#23  Just Curious, your opinions are based on opinions, not facts. (Yes, I mean exactly what I wrote there.) And those opinions are based on feelings, which while facts, are not the kind of facts upon which arguments of this sort can be based. Beyond that, there are plenty of unhinged radicals on the right who dislike Bush as much as the unhinged radicals on the left do. That just proves that the radicals of right and left are exactly the same except for the rhetoric, and both fight against the middle, which twice elected Bush, and looks to elect more Republicans in November. Learn to think, my dear whatever you call yourself these days, and please keep your juvenile and cutesy attempts at cleverness to yourself. You fail to convince, and you even fail to amuse.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2006 15:53 Comments || Top||

#24  trailing wife:

I'm always thinking and yes my opinions are based upon the "facts" of what has occured in Iraq. Maybe you cant differentiate the two, but I can. Maybe you need to comprehend what you are reading before YOU speak.

Just because you view the "factual" information coming out of Iraq in your support of President Bush doesnt preclude me from reading the exact same information and coming to a very different
conclusion.

I'll say it once again that I never supported the invasion of Iraq by President Bush, but since we are now there we must finish what we started.

That is my opinion based upon the "facts", not other opinions. You may have reached another conclusion, but that is your perogative.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 16:06 Comments || Top||

#25  btw-trailing wife:

Would you call these statements by Gen. Peter Pace made in the topic post facts or opinions?

The Pentagon's top general acknowledged Sunday that "anything can happen" in Iraq, but he said things aren't as bad as some say. "I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at."

"No matter where you look - at their military, their police, their society - things are much better this year than they were last," Pace said on NBC's "Meet the Press
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 16:49 Comments || Top||

#26  “Did Bush exaggerate the intelligence to start the Iraq War and mislead the American people in doing so? I really can’t answer that question because it has never been fully investigated by Congress and probably never will be as long as republicans are in control.” That may sell in the LLL MSM Fever swamp but it doesn’t cut it in real America. Why is Congress (and only a Democrat controlled one) the only body that can competently investigate the intelligence that lead to war? Ever hear of the 9/11 commission, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, or the Butler report? You remind me of the losers after the 2000 election who thought the if they only counted the votes enough times Gore would win Florida. I guess you are hoping that enough moonbats get into congress; they will find that missing memo, file, or photo that will surely shine the light of truth, as you know it. You would think after five years that maybe the truth is staring you in the face and you are too blinded to see it?

P.S. Steve I am sorry for feddingthe troll.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/06/2006 17:13 Comments || Top||

#27  ROFL. Just happened to read this WaPo poll, huh? LOL. Wotta Load.

Just Curious. Right. Simply Disingenuous is a far more accurate handle for DrollTroll.

Murtha is like the carton of Chinese takeout which gets lost behind the big jar of pickles. You rummage around for something else and rediscover it. You can't even remember the last time you brought Chines takeout home... You look inside and, whoa!, it's not just disgusting and unidentifiable, but it's something so vile and corrupt you realize the whole fridge needs to be emptied out and scrubbed down with ammonia.

Pace would happily man a brush, methinks.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 17:37 Comments || Top||

#28  "Edwards is roaming around, with 2008 in mind. His travels to more than 30 states have been organized around his interest in poverty" May Edwards find true poverty by 2008. His ideas are already there...
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 03/06/2006 18:32 Comments || Top||

#29  the return of the Breck Girl, hmmm? That much traveling, he's obviously trying to meet the carpetbagging quota of the angry, brittle Senator from Arkansas, Chicago, New York
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 19:23 Comments || Top||

#30  a poll in the Washington Post this morning

Ah, the poll which the Washington Post wouldn't release the demographics for, until 5pm EST?

And still haven't been seen?
Posted by: Pappy || 03/06/2006 19:58 Comments || Top||

#31 
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 20:34 Comments || Top||

#32  He is prettier, though. But modern, post-feminist women don't choose men just for their looks. We expect brains and competence as well. And poor, dear Mr. Edwards, Esq., isn't quite clever enough to realize it.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2006 21:06 Comments || Top||

#33  I always thought Marilyn was the brains of that family anyway.
Posted by: Visitor || 03/06/2006 21:08 Comments || Top||

#34  Heh, V - agreed. Brains, money, bullet-proof helmet...


"I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay..."


"modern, post-feminist" sez...


;-)
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 21:16 Comments || Top||

#35  Speaking of John E....or was that Murtha?
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts ... for support
> rather than illumination."
> - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 03/06/2006 21:21 Comments || Top||

#36  Marilyn Quayle was tough, her husband was pilloried and ridiculed just as W is by the MSM press. Things have changed. They no longer control the information. When an ambulance=chasing POS pretty boy with little else besides his looks can get the Donk nod....I welcome the challenge. Hell, Mitt Romney could hand him his contingency fee without trying
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 21:46 Comments || Top||

#37  They just can't quit him, Frank.
Posted by: Matt || 03/06/2006 22:06 Comments || Top||


Few in Congress eager to end NSA program
Despite widespread criticism of President Bush's warrantless surveillance program, even vociferous detractors in Congress stop short of calling for an end to the anti-terrorist eavesdropping.

At issue for many Republicans and Democrats isn't the program itself, but how little the White House told Congress about it and how much it expands presidential power.

Republican senators such as Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are working with Democrats on bills that would put the secret program in line with laws protecting Americans from domestic spying. Legislation in the works includes proposals to subject the surveillance to regular congressional and judicial oversight.

The program lets the National Security Agency (NSA) intercept — without a court-approved warrant — international communications with one end in the USA and one party suspected of ties to al-Qaeda or an affiliated terrorist group. Bush authorized the program shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Since the program was disclosed in December, Bush has argued that his constitutional powers as commander in chief allow him to pursue, without explicit congressional permission, an enemy operating inside U.S. borders.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said the administration will consider congressional proposals as long as they do not restrict the government's power to spy on terrorists. Initially, the administration's position was that no congressional involvement was needed.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said in an interview that the challenge is not to halt the surveillance but to "get it right." Kennedy helped write the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which limits domestic spying and requires court-approved warrants for such activity. Kennedy said the Bush administration should have sought congressional approval for warrantless surveillance.

By ordering the program without specific congressional approval, Kennedy said, Bush is jeopardizing prosecutions of captured terrorists who could claim the evidence against them was collected illegally.

Other Democrats, including Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, have had similar measured reactions. Feingold has criticized Bush's handling of the program, but he said in a Senate floor speech last month that fighting terrorism requires the use of wiretaps.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who has advocated appointment of a special prosecutor to determine whether Bush committed an impeachable offense in going around the FISA law, has not called for stopping the surveillance. Nadler, whose district includes the site of the World Trade Center, destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, says he would at least consider amending the FISA law "to permit what they are doing."

The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal and civil liberties groups have not been so reserved in their reaction to the program.

Several legal challenges are pending, including one filed by the ACLU. Last month, the American Bar Association urged Bush to suspend domestic surveillance of terrorism suspects until it is explicitly authorized by Congress.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [518 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is called pandering and hypocrisy - or, in a few cases, triangulation. They are characteristic of opportunistic partisan political whores and RINOs who traded honor and integrity for expediency and perceived advantage.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 1:44 Comments || Top||

#2  What he said.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 8:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Nope. Kennedy, Feingold, Nadler, ACLU? Traitors.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 8:13 Comments || Top||

#4  "Other Democrats, including Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, have had similar measured reactions...".

The President was blunt, so I will be blunt: This program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program
Sen.Feingold (D-WI) February 7, 2006 delivered from the Senate Floor


Calling the President a lier and and a criminal from the Senate floor is a measured reaction?
Give me a Break! They must have one helluva belly-laugh after they write this shit.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/06/2006 8:35 Comments || Top||

#5  No surprise here, as all Dems are for the time being RINO's and CINO's - its not Socialism or Communism, its SAFETY, SECURITY, PROTECTION, RESPONSIBILITY, and CONTROL, ...etc feel-good, FASCISM = LIMITED COMMUNISM/SOCIALISM, Populist labels. WHen it comes to electing a Dem POTUS for 2008, Bush = Adolf Hitler-incarnate whom must be stopped or wiped out at all costs; when it comes to inducing America to create new global Socialist empire. Dubya and the GOP are mere PARTIAL, DEFECTIVE SEMI-SOCIALISTS/-COMMIES WHOM HAVE TO REGRET THE ERRORS OF THEIR MALE BRUTE RIGHTIST SOCIALIST WAYS AND NEED TO BE SHOWN THE RIGHT WAY TO MOTHERLY MARX-HEAVEN; or in the alternate politely EXTERMINATED, in that kinder, gentler, Globally-desired AMERICAN HOLOCAUST/GENOCIDE, for the good of the Sun and world.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 22:27 Comments || Top||

#6  No surprise here, as all Dems are for the time being RINO's and CINO's - its not Socialism or Communism, its SAFETY, SECURITY, PROTECTION, RESPONSIBILITY, and CONTROL, ...etc feel-good, FASCISM = LIMITED COMMUNISM/SOCIALISM, Populist labels. WHen it comes to electing a Dem POTUS for 2008, Bush = Adolf Hitler-incarnate whom must be stopped or wiped out at all costs; when it comes to inducing America to create new global Socialist empire. Dubya and the GOP are mere PARTIAL, DEFECTIVE SEMI-SOCIALISTS/-COMMIES WHOM HAVE TO REGRET THE ERRORS OF THEIR MALE BRUTE RIGHTIST SOCIALIST WAYS AND NEED TO BE SHOWN THE RIGHT WAY TO MOTHERLY MARX-HEAVEN; or in the alternate politely EXTERMINATED, in that kinder, gentler, Globally-desired AMERICAN HOLOCAUST/GENOCIDE, for the good of the Sun and world.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 22:29 Comments || Top||

#7  No surprise here, as all Dems are for the time being RINO's and CINO's - its not Socialism or Communism, its SAFETY, SECURITY, PROTECTION, RESPONSIBILITY, and CONTROL, ...etc feel-good, FASCISM = LIMITED COMMUNISM/SOCIALISM, Populist labels. WHen it comes to electing a Dem POTUS for 2008, Bush = Adolf Hitler-incarnate whom must be stopped or wiped out at all costs; when it comes to inducing America to create new global Socialist empire. Dubya and the GOP are mere PARTIAL, DEFECTIVE SEMI-SOCIALISTS/-COMMIES WHOM HAVE TO REGRET THE ERRORS OF THEIR MALE BRUTE RIGHTIST SOCIALIST WAYS AND NEED TO BE SHOWN THE RIGHT WAY TO MOTHERLY MARX-HEAVEN; or in the alternate politely EXTERMINATED, in that kinder, gentler, Globally-desired AMERICAN HOLOCAUST/GENOCIDE, for the good of the Sun and world.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 22:31 Comments || Top||


Kerry campaigns in No. Ireland, advises Bush to "end empire of oil"
The United States must rebuild the power of the United Nations and help "end the empire of oil" if it wants to win the "war on terror," U.S. Sen. John Kerry said Sunday. The Massachusetts Democrat avoided explicit criticisms of the Bush administration during a wide-ranging speech on the global dynamics of terror. But he said Bush's policy of imposing democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan risked looking like a crusade. "If it is seen as the result of an army marching through Muslim lands, it will fail," Kerry told an audience at the University of Ulster campus in Londonderry, the second-largest city in Northern Ireland.

The "war on terror," Kerry said, was not principally about the U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but was "fundamentally a war within Islam for the heart and soul of Islam, stretching from Morocco east to Indonesia."

Kerry, who lost to Bush in the 2004 presidential election, said today's myriad terrorist threats to security in the West and within Muslim nations themselves exist in part because "no center of moral authority has emerged to stop those who would murder in the name of Islam." But Kerry suggested the current focus on American-led military interventions was not the way to promote stable democracies in the Middle East, a region of dictatorships underpinned by oil money. Sustainable political change required concerted international political pressure combined with appropriate development aid. "Great American presidents, from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy, understood that success requires a community of nations working together, drawing strength from shared sacrifice and steadfast commitment to our shared ideals," he said.

Kerry said the UN must play a forceful role in places like Iraq and Darfur, referring to the western region of Sudan where Sudanese Arab militias have been wiping out black African communities with impunity. "Literally, the West must reclaim its moral leadership," he said.

Developing effective replacements for oil-based fuels also was key, he said. The West's insatiable appetite for petroleum from the Middle East "has frustrated every impulse towards modernization of the region, while giving its regimes the resources to hold onto power. The international community of democratic nations cannot afford to continue funding both sides of the war on terror. We must end the empire of oil."
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does this mean Johnny and Teresa will sell their Gulfstream 5? The one that uses as much fuel in 2 hours as an American family uses in a year.
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 1:01 Comments || Top||

#2  No! Do you know who I am?

/channeling beggarman husband
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 1:06 Comments || Top||

#3  .com, the perfect grafic! a must for every portfolio. consider it stolen, thank you.

http://www.gridcafe.com/images/Kerry_reflections_Allahpundit.jpg
Posted by: RD || 03/06/2006 1:22 Comments || Top||

#4  RD - Ah, heh, that was an AllahPundit creation - I left his tag on the end of the name cuz I thought it was very well done, lol. BTW, Allah moved here, but he doesn't update very often, unfortuantely. He probably just tired of the impersonantion gig - though you could tell he loved the attention at first.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 1:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Oops - I shoulda said he seems to have stopped altogether, now. Sorry, I hadn't checked in some time.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 1:33 Comments || Top||

#6  He was plugging "Syriana" for an Oscar.
Posted by: Monsieur Moonbat || 03/06/2006 1:54 Comments || Top||

#7  "Great American presidents, from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy, understood that success requires a community of nations working together, drawing strength from shared sacrifice and steadfast commitment to our shared ideals," he said.

Yeah, Roosevelt dragged this country, kicking and screaming, into 'the community of nations'.

Kennedy went into Viet Nam, albiet under the auspices of SEATO, and only Truman had the cooperation of the UN, but only because the Soviets were sucking their thumb, and missed the veto.

There are leaders and there are followers. Kerry wants to lead us into following. Shared sacrifice? When was the last time anybody volunteered for that? Lead by example, Johhny - sell the Gulfstream! Or better yet, cut it up into pieces and recycle it!
Posted by: Bobby || 03/06/2006 7:07 Comments || Top||

#8  Nice edit. I'm guessing the placement of his finger represents his inability to decide on anything -- not even which nostril needs maintenance.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/06/2006 8:01 Comments || Top||

#9  "end empire of oil"
Surly("Global test")Kerry is not suggesting that we sieze the Middle east oil fields.Couldn't be.(sarc)
Posted by: raptor || 03/06/2006 9:47 Comments || Top||

#10  "We must end the empire of oil."

A Trans-Atlantic blueblood multi-millionaire making a populist statement in a foriegn country.
I used to think they can't possibly know how foolish they appear. But I've come to the conclusion that as long as it gets them cash, votes, or a headline they just don't care.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/06/2006 10:12 Comments || Top||

#11  "Say what, John? Say what, John? Come again, say what?"
-- Eric Idle
Posted by: mojo || 03/06/2006 10:16 Comments || Top||

#12  Well, yes, imposing democracy where there is no history of it via the US military is always a failure. Especially if we were to be one of the primary parties in drawing up a constitution.

I mean, look at Japan.

(/sarcasm off) Yeah, I know, if it happened before Vietnam, it doesn't count.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/06/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#13  Let's start by planting windfarms off of the mass. coastline.
Posted by: Ptah || 03/06/2006 11:53 Comments || Top||

#14  Surely not in MY backyard
Posted by: RFK, Jr. || 03/06/2006 14:28 Comments || Top||

#15  "Sustainable political change required concerted international political pressure... Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy, understood that success requires a community of nations working together"
Let's take the Roosevelt/Truman approach to Iran -- the Japanese model. We'll nuke a couple of cities, require unconditional surrender, write a new constitution for them, and allow them nothing but self-defense forces for at least six decades.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/06/2006 17:07 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
The Entire Clinton Crew $$ought Out Port Deal
Late Friday, Department of Justice lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel were attempting to determine if former President Bill Clinton had registered as an "Agent of a Foreign Principal."

Federal statute requires that anyone -- even a former President -- doing political or public affairs work on behalf of a foreign country, agency or official must register with the Department, and essentially update his status every six months. It was not clear the Clinton had done so.

If his status is less clear, here is what we do know: If Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton did not know about her husband's standing with the United Arab Emirates and with Dubai World Ports, members of her Senate staff most assuredly did.

"There were enough people in the Clintons' orbit who were potentially going to be part of the deal," says an employee of a firm that does work for both Clintons. "We were pursuing work on the ports deal, and we cleared our participation with Clinton's office. We didn't want there to be a conflict."

In fact, at least two senior outside advisers to Senator Clinton were attempting to get business out of the Port Deal, and President Clinton was the go-between. Associates with the Glover Park Group, which houses just about the entire shadow staff for Hillary's run-up to a Democratic presidential bid, were attempting to get a slice of the DPW deal before the deal was made public about three weeks ago. According to current and former President Clinton staff, Hillary Clinton's Senate office was aware that Glover Park was in the running to do work on the DPW deal.

"She was also very much aware of President Clinton's financial arrangements with the UAE," says a former Bill Clinton staffer. "We're talking about more than a million dollars, some of paid out soon out after they left the White House. That income helped the Clintons buy the properties that allow them to live both in New York and Washington, D.C. This was not an insignificant financial arrangement."

What is not clear is whether or not the junior Senator from New York was aware that Clinton was acting as an agent of a foreign principal, which Clinton clearly was. According to sources with knowledge of the deal, President Clinton was advising members of the DPW buyout team in the UAE, London, and Washington before the deal hit the headlines. He encouraged them to hire a number of people working in consulting firms based in Washington with whom he had both personal and financial ties: The Cohen Group, the Albright Group, and the Glover Park Group. Other sources claim that longtime Clinton confidante and golf partner Vernon Jordan's name was also suggested as potential helpful fixer in the capital.

Much of this activity and consultation took place before the DPW deal hit the front pages of newspapers in mid-February, and about ten days before the DPW deal was to close in Great Britain.
Posted by: Captain America || 03/06/2006 14:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1 
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 20:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Calls into question her competence/control or her honesty....jeez, like that's never been an issue before
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 21:14 Comments || Top||

#3  That kind of explains the tip toeing around the Port issue by some of the Dems.
Posted by: Visitor || 03/06/2006 21:18 Comments || Top||


Indianapolis Internation Airport taken over by Furners
Drudge Flash. EFL

Indianapolis International Airport, a facility that serves more than 8 million passengers every year, is operated by a foreign-owned company.

And the company has stated contractual obligations at the airport -- which include law enforcement!

BAA Indianapolis LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of BAA plc, a private company which owns and operates seven airports in the United Kingdom including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports serving London.

Indianapolis International is now the largest privately managed airport in the United States.

Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 09:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hey, now. They're just managing the airports that Americans don't want to manage.
Posted by: BH || 03/06/2006 10:34 Comments || Top||


Guards Say Homeland Security HQ Insecure
The agency entrusted with protecting the U.S. homeland is having difficulty safeguarding its own headquarters, say private security guards at the complex.

The guards have taken their concerns to Congress, describing inadequate training, failed security tests and slow or confused reactions to bomb and biological threats.

For instance, when an envelope with suspicious powder was opened last fall at Homeland Security Department headquarters, guards said they watched in amazement as superiors carried it by the office of Secretary Michael Chertoff, took it outside and then shook it outside Chertoff's window without evacuating people nearby.

The scare, caused by white powder that proved to be harmless, "stands as one glaring example" of the agency's security problems, said Derrick Daniels, one of the first guards to respond to the incident.

"I had never previously been given training ... describing how to respond to a possible chemical attack," Daniels told The Associated Press. "I wouldn't feel safe nowhere on this compound as an officer."

Daniels was employed until last fall by Wackenhut Services Inc., the private security firm that guards Homeland's headquarters in a residential area of Washington. The company has been criticized previously for its work at nuclear facilities and transporting nuclear weapons.

Homeland Security officials say they have little control over Wackenhut's training of guards but plan to improve that with a new contract. The company defends its performance, saying the suspicious powder incident was overblown because the mail had already been irradiated.

Two senators who fielded complaints from several Wackenhut employees are asking Homeland's internal watchdog, the inspector general, to investigate.

"If the allegations brought forward by the whistleblowers are correct, they represent both a security threat and a waste of taxpayer dollars," Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote. "It would be ironic, to say the least, if DHS were unable to secure its own headquarters."

Daniels left Wackenhut and now works security for another company at another federal building. He is among 14 current and former Wackenhut employees - mostly guards - who were interviewed by The Associated Press or submitted written statements to Congress that were obtained by AP.

A litany of problems were listed by the guards, whose pay ranges from $15.60 to $23 an hour based on their position and level of security clearance. Among their examples of lax security:

_They have no training in responding to attacks with weapons of mass destruction;

_Chemical-sniffing dogs have been replaced with ineffective equipment that falsely indicates the presence of explosives.

_Vehicle entrances to Homeland Security's complex are lightly guarded;

_Guards with radios have trouble hearing each other, or have no radios, no batons and no pepper spray, leaving them with few options beyond lethal force with their handguns.

Wackenhut President Dave Foley disputed the allegations, saying officers have a minimum of one year's security experience, proper security clearances and training in vehicle screening, identification of personnel, handling of suspicious items and emergency response.

"In short, we believe our security personnel have been properly trained, have responded correctly to the various incidents that have occurred ... and that this facility is secure," he said. He declined, however, to address any of the current or former employees who have become whistleblowers.

Wackenhut is no stranger to criticism. Over the last two years, the Energy Department inspector general concluded that Wackenhut guards had thwarted simulated terrorist attacks at a nuclear lab only after they were tipped off to the test; and that guards also had improperly handled the transport of nuclear and conventional weapons.

Homeland Security is based at a gated, former Navy campus in a college neighborhood - several miles from the heavily trafficked streets that house the FBI, Capitol, Treasury Department and White House.

Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle said Wackenhut guards are still operating under a contract signed with the Navy, and the agency has little control over their training. A soon-to-be-implemented replacement contract will impose new requirements on security guards, he said.

Daniels, the former guard who responded to the white powder incident, said the area where the powder was found wasn't evacuated for more than an hour. Available biohazard face shields went unused.

Doyle said the concerns were overblown because all mail going to the Homeland Security complex is irradiated to kill anthrax. He said "the incident was resolved before anything was moved."

Daniels said that after the envelope was taken outside, and the order finally given to evacuate the potentially infected area, employees had already gone to lunch and had to be rounded up and quarantined.

Former guard Bryan Adams recognized his inadequate training one day last August, when an employee reported a suspicious bag in the parking lot.

"I didn't have a clue about what to do," he said.

Adams said he closed the vehicle checkpoint with a cone, walked over to the bag and called superiors. Nobody cordoned off the area. Eventually, someone called a federal bomb squad, which arrived more than an hour after the discovery.

"If the bag had, in fact, contained the explosive device that was anticipated, the bomb could have detonated several times over in the hour that the bag sat there," Adams said.

The bag, it turned out, contained gym clothes.

Doyle, the Homeland spokesman, responded to several allegations raised by the guards. He said dogs were replaced because, "If you overuse them, their effectiveness drops." The detection equipment that substitutes for the dogs is a better method for detecting explosives, he said.

Guards who used the equipment said it was no match for the reliability of the dogs.

The Associated Press videotaped two vehicle entrances at Homeland headquarters with light security.

One is guarded only during morning and evening rush hours. Movable metal barriers and an unmanned security vehicle only partially blocked the driveway, leaving enough room for a small car or motorcycle to drive through.

Another entrance was guarded with a manned vehicle with two guards, but no other barriers.

Doyle said the vehicle entrances were adequate because in all cases, a 10-foot fence topped with barbed wire separates vehicles from all buildings.

Some guards who continue to work at Homeland, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because of fear of losing their jobs, said they knew of two instances in which individuals without identification got into the sensitive complex.

Another described how guards flunked a test by the Secret Service, which sent vehicles into the compound with dummy government identification tags hanging from inside mirrors. Guards cleared such vehicles through on two occasions, this guard said, and one officer even copied down the false information without realizing it was supposed to match information on the employee's government badge.

Doyle, the agency spokesman, said such tests are conducted routinely and "I can assure you that if people fail the test they are let go."

Marixa Farrar, a former guard, said two guards always should have been stationed inside the main building where Chertoff had his office, but she often was on duty alone.

One day last fall a fire alarm rang. As employees walked by Farrar, they asked if this was a fire or a test.

"There were no radios, so I couldn't figure out if it was a serious alarm," she said.

There was no fire.

Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 08:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:


A glimpse into the Gitmo detainees
Among the hundreds of men imprisoned by the American military at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, there are those who brashly assert their determination to wage war against what they see as the infidel empire led by the United States.

"May God help me fight the unfaithful ones," one Saudi detainee, Ghassan Abdallah Ghazi al-Shirbi, said at a military hearing where he was accused of being a lieutenant of Al Qaeda.

But there are many more, it seems, who sound like Abdur Sayed Rahman, a self-described Pakistani villager who says he was arrested at his modest home in January 2002, flown off to Afghanistan and later accused of being the deputy foreign minister of that country's deposed Taliban regime.

"I am only a chicken farmer in Pakistan," he protested to American military officers at Guantánamo. "My name is Abdur Sayed Rahman. Abdur Zahid Rahman was the deputy foreign minister of the Taliban."

Mr. Rahman's pleadings are among more than 5,000 pages of documents released by the Defense Department on Friday night in response to a lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act by The Associated Press.

After more than four years in which the Pentagon refused to make public even the names of those held at Guantánamo, the documents provide the most detailed information to date about who the detainees say they are and the evidence against them.

According to their own accounts, the prisoners range from poor Afghan farmers and low-level Arab holy warriors to a Sudanese drug dealer, the son of a former Saudi Army general and a British resident with an Iraqi passport who was arrested in Gambia.

One 26-year-old Saudi, Muhammed al-Utaybi, said he was studying art when he decided to travel to Pakistan to train with the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. He was not much of a militant himself, he suggested, saying the training "was just like summer vacation."

The documents — hearing transcripts and evidentiary statements from the two types of military panels that evaluate whether the detainees should remain at Guantánamo — are far from a complete portrait of those in custody there.

They do not include the classified evidence that is generally part of the review panels' deliberations, nor their final verdicts on whether or not to recommend the detainees' release. Of the about 760 men who have been held at Guantánamo, the documents cover fewer than half.

But a reading of the voluminous files adds texture to the accusations that the men face and the way they have tried to respond to them. It also underscores the considerable difficulties that both the military and the detainees appear to have had in wrestling with the often thin or conflicting evidence involved.

At one review hearing last year, an Afghan referred to by the single name Muhibullah denied accusations that he was either the former Taliban governor of Shibarghan Province or had worked for the governor. The solution to his case should have been simple, Mr. Muhibullah suggested to the three American officers reviewing his case: They should contact the Shibarghan governor and ask him.

But the presiding Marine Corps colonel said it was really up to the detainee to try to contact the governor. Assuming that the annual review board denied his petition for freedom, noted the officer, whose name was censored from the document, Mr. Muhibullah would have a year to do so.

"How do I find the governor of Shibarghan or anybody?" the detainee asked.

"Write to them," the presiding officer responded. "We know that it is difficult but you need to do your best."

"I appreciate your suggestion, but it is not that easy," Mr. Muhibullah said.

Bush administration officials and military leaders have often justified the extraordinary conditions under which detainees are held at Guantánamo by insisting that the detainees are hardened terrorists. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld famously described the Guantánamo detainees as "the worst of the worst."

And while many administration officials have privately backed away from such claims, they argue that most of the 490 detainees still being held would pose a significant threat to the United States if released. Pentagon spokesmen have generally dismissed the detainees' protestations of innocence as the predictable lies of well-trained militants.

The hearing transcripts are from review panels known as Combatant Status Review Tribunals, where three military officers weigh whether a detainee is properly classified as an "enemy combatant." Few of them have made the process as easy as Ghassan Abdallah Ghazi al-Shirbi.

"Honestly," he said, "I did not come here to defend myself, but defend the Islamic nation; this is my duty, and I have to do it."

Among the accusations against Mr. Shirbi recounted in the hearing transcript were that he trained with Al Qaeda, was "observed chatting and laughing like pals with Osama bin Laden," and was known as the "right-hand man" to Abu Zubaydah, a top Qaeda operative. Mr. Shirbi said he was willing to accept all of those accusations.

He then told the hearing officers, "I found the accusations against you to be many."

With that, Mr. Shirbi unleashed a tirade against capitalism, America, homosexuality, Israel, support for Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, and the more recent war against Iraq.

"Your status as enemy combatants does not need a court," he told the officers.

As for his own classification of enemy combatant, Mr. Shirbi was blunt: "It is my honor to have this classification in this world until the end, until eternity, God be my witness."

In other cases, the incriminating evidence has generally been less clear-cut.

Another Saudi, Mazin Salih Musaid al-Awfi, was one of at least half a dozen men against whom the "relevant data" considered by the annual review boards included the possession at the time of his capture of a Casio model F-91W watch. According to evidentiary summaries in those cases, such watches have "been used in bombings linked to Al Qaeda."

"I am a bit surprised at this piece of evidence," Mr. Awfi said. "If that is a crime, why doesn't the United States arrest and sentence all the shops and people who own them?"

Another detainee whose evidence sheet also included a Casio F-91W, Abdullah Kamal, was an electrical engineer from Kuwait who once played on his country's national volleyball team. He was also accused of being a leader of a Kuwaiti militant group that collected money for Mr. bin Laden.

As for the Casio allegation, Mr. Kamal said the watch was a common one in Kuwait and had a compass that could be used to find the direction of Mecca for his prayers. "We have four chaplains" at Guantánamo, he said. "All of them wear this watch."

While many of the detainees are citizens of Afghanistan or were captured there during and after the Taliban's overthrow, the documents also make clear the long reach of the American campaign against terror.

One unidentified Pakistani detainee was seized as he tried to cross into the United States from Mexico. He said he had paid an immigrant smuggler $16,000 to $18,000 to take him to Guatemala and then north; his smuggler was known to the American authorities for having ties to Arab militant groups, documents from his case show.

Another Pakistani, Saifullah Paracha, was arrested in Thailand in July 2003. Mr. Paracha, a wealthy real estate developer who said he attended the New York Institute of Technology, was accused of making investments for Qaeda members, plotting to smuggle explosives into the United States and urging the use of nuclear weapons against American soldiers. He acknowledged having met Mr. bin Laden twice, but denied the other allegations.

An unidentified 34-year-old Mauritanian who appears to be Mohamedou Ould Slahi, the onetime imam of a mosque in Montreal who was linked in Germany to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, told of being "kidnapped" after he turned himself in to the Mauritanian authorities and of being taken to Jordan for eight months while "they tried to squeeze information out of me." He said he was flown from Jordan to Afghanistan, and then on to Guantánamo.

Yet for all the gravity of the global fight against terrorism, the give-and-take at the Guantánamo hearings is sometimes reminiscent of a local arraignment court.

Consider the exchange over a Belgian detainee, captured in Afghanistan. One allegation, read in court, was that he was a member of the Theological Commission of the GICM.

"What is GICM?" asked the detainee, who was not identified.

The tribunal president asked a clerk, "Could you explain what GICM is? I have the same question."

The clerk said he was not sure, either. Another accusation was read: that GICM is associated with Al Qaeda. The detainee answered again, "I don't know this group."

The tribunal president announced a short break so the clerk could "find out, for everyone's benefit, What GICM stands for." When the tribunal reconvened, the clerk announced that GICM stood for Groupe Islamiste Combatant du Maroc, or the Moroccan Islamic Combat Group.

To which the detainee responded, "I never before heard of all this."

The files are replete with retractions. Detainees who had confessed to having ties to Al Qaeda or the Taliban or terrorism frequently told the tribunals that they had only made those admissions to stop beatings or torture by their captors.

"The only reason for my original statements is because I was tortured when I was captured," said a former mechanical engineering student from Saudi Arabia who was accused of training at a Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. "In Kabul, an Afghan interrogator beat me and told me they would kill me if I didn't talk. They shot and killed someone in front of me and said they would do the same if I didn't cooperate."

Another common defense of the detainees, particularly those captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan, is that they were turned over to American forces in exchange for some kind of bounty, or that they were arrested when they refused to or could not pay bribes to the local authorities.

"The Pakistanis are making business out of this war," said a detainee from Tajikistan who was arrested in Pakistan in November 2001. "The detainees are not being captured by U.S. forces, but are being sold by the Pakistan government. They are making 2, 3, or $10,000 to sell detainees to the U.S."

As the Pentagon has defined the term enemy combatant for purposes of the tribunals, it includes anyone "who was part of or supporting the Taliban or Al Qaeda forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners."

But many of the detainees protested in their hearings that such a wide net was catching many who were not real enemies of the United States.

One 29-year-old Saudi acknowledged having fought with jihadist groups in the Philippines and Afghanistan, saying he had been a "zealous" younger man. But he also said that he had a brother and a cousin who had both married Americans, and he had a complex set of views on the United States.

"I'm an educated guy and I understand politics," the detainee said, suggesting that he had had a change of heart. "The United States has made some wrong decisions, but that doesn't give me the right to consider them an enemy or kill their people."

However improbably, many of the detainees said that the allure of Afghanistan for them was not jihad. Maasoum Abdah insisted that his mission was entirely personal.

In 2000, he said, he left Syria and traveled to Turkey and Iran and finally Afghanistan. He was accused of living in a Taliban safe house in Kabul. The authorities said his name was on a list of men being trained as snipers.

He acknowledged that he knew how to shoot from his days in the Syrian police. But even in the police, he said, "in a year and a half, I only shot seven bullets." And he said he had no allegiance to the Taliban.

Then why the long, arduous journey to Afghanistan, a tribunal officer asked. "I wanted to go to Afghanistan to find a wife and get married and stay there," Mr. Abdah answered through a personal representative.

"It is very expensive to find a wife," Mr. Abdah explained. "The price is at least $3,000. I might work for years and still not be able to collect that much money. In Afghanistan, it is very cheap. The most is $300."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The only "glimpse" I wanna see of these guys is their faces right before the sharks take them under...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/06/2006 15:40 Comments || Top||


NEWS FLASH: U.S. Rep. John Murtha officially not intelligent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. presence in Iraq is hurting the worldwide war on terrorism and benefits only Iran and al Qaeda, U.S. Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record) said on Sunday.
Uh huh... opposed to the U.S. succeeding in Iraq and Afghanistan, giving freedom to some 50 million people, and creating a long term solution to terrorism through democracy... but hey lets give up on that its bad for the war on terrorism.
"The only people who want us in Iraq are Iran and al-Qaeda," Murtha said on CBS's "Face the Nation" political talk show. "And I talked to a top-level commander the other day and he said China wants us there also. Why? Because we're depleting our resources ... our troop resources and our fiscal resources.

"... The war on terrorism is worldwide. In Iraq, it's a civil war," said Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat.
Hmm its amazing to me that today top U.S. Marine Gen. Peter Pace said Iraq is not on the brink of civil war, but yet Murtha still claims this. I wonder who has spent more time in Iraq, Gen. Pace or Murtha???
Murtha, who in November called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, said it was useless for the United States to advise Iraqis.

"One of the problems I see and frustrating things is our ambassador keeps giving advice to the Iraqis," Murtha said. "Every time we give the Iraqis advice, they vote for someone else ... The Iraqis don't pay attention to our advice."
How is this guy a U.S. Rep.??????
The U.S. role in fighting terrorism around the world is being subverted by Iraq, said Murtha, who characterized the sectarian strife between Iraq's Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims as a civil war that must be settled internally.

Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran who retired from the Marines Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990, said Iraq would do a better job of rooting out terrorists once U.S. troops leave the country.
Ummm not if the Iraqi government falls in a coup b/c we left too soon. More or less its- Murtha: Lets give control of Iraq over to Zarqawi
"I'm convinced they know where they are, they know who they are," he said. "But they won't tell us because they've turned against us. We've lost the hearts and minds of the people."
Apparnetly Murtha didn't read the article posted yesterday about Sunni tribesmen capturing over 1000 terrorists and turning them over to the Iraqi national government.
The United Nations is scrutinizing Iran because of its nuclear research but Murtha said Tehran has become emboldened because of the U.S. focus in Iraq.

"We have a situation where our military is in such bad shape, it couldn't deploy to a second front," Murtha said. "And the Iranians know this. North Korea knows it. China knows it. We're depleting our resources in Iraq."

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday and said the war in Iraq was going "very, very well" but Murtha was skeptical.

"Why would I believe him?" he said. "This administration, including the president, has mischaracterized this war for the last two years ... So why would I believe the chairman of the Joint Chiefs when he says things are going well?"
Refer to my earlier comment about Gen. Pace
Posted by: bgrebel || 03/06/2006 00:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Find out who picked his aides: Betcha he's being led by the nose by some snot-nosed college grad who voted for Kerry.
Posted by: Ptah || 03/06/2006 7:49 Comments || Top||

#2  "One of the problems I see and frustrating things is our ambassador keeps giving advice to the Iraqis," Murtha said. "Every time we give the Iraqis advice, they vote for someone else ... The Iraqis don't pay attention to our advice."

Sorry for the double comment, but the US didn't advise Iraquis on how to vote, but DID advise the Palestinians. He's confusing Palestine and Iraq, the idiot.
Posted by: Ptah || 03/06/2006 7:51 Comments || Top||

#3  I suspect the person who runs against Murtha this fall will have no problem raising funds. Suggestion 1, put up ads at every VFW and American Legion. Suggestion 2, get pictures of Murtha using his walker. Suggestion 3, Use the money to show ads of Murtha calling Pace a liar with the response from Pace at his press conference this week.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 8:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Ptah, Murtha's pathology goes way back, unfortunately. Remember, he's the guy who helped persuade Clinton to leave Somalia.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 8:20 Comments || Top||

#5  This guy reaaally doesn't want to get re-elected, doesn't he?
Posted by: mmurray821 || 03/06/2006 9:32 Comments || Top||

#6  PA is a disputed state, reds vs. blues. Murtha's rallying the base as well as doing his normal despicable thing.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 9:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Keep playing and playing the Dems own words like this all the way to the November election. All the doom and gloom by so many 'conservatives' is just a lot of nerves. They put Murtha out there, just make him a poster boy for the party of defeat. Don't show any mercy. They've already started to whine and cry about the Reps fear mongering, however, it is a real danger and only demonstrates the Dems utter failure to face the threat. Show some god damn backbone and push back.
Posted by: Ominese Clainter3533 || 03/06/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#8  So ltop & others:

So what happens when President Bush's "victory"
is achieved, the U.S. military coalition withdraws and Iraq dissolves into Civil War and there is another domestic terrorist attack on the U.S.?

I dont call this doom and gloom. I call it totally realistic.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/06/2006 12:55 Comments || Top||

#9  I suspect this "top level commander" was playing him for a sucker. Note the China comment. The Chinese do not want us there, they do not want us anywhere in the region. And they certainly don't want our military getting useful field training, while our R&D goes into overdrive advancing our technologies by 20 years into the future.

In fact, the only saving grace, as far as the Chinese are concerned, is any opportunities to gather intelligence about our operations and tech.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2006 13:01 Comments || Top||

#10  So if we withdraw at the military's pace (not Murtha's) and Iraq falls into civil war, like, say Columbia - and there is another terrorist attack - then what? I suppose it proves your point?

All possible events. I don't think there are many here (Rantburg)who equate winning the war in Iraq with zero terrorisat attacks here (in the USA). Better clarify your point.
Posted by: Bobby || 03/06/2006 17:28 Comments || Top||


Gitmo Inmates Despair of Ever Leaving
(AP) Ahamed Abdul Aziz has been in the Guantanamo Bay prison for more than three years and, by his account, has been interrogated 50 times without being charged with any crime. He waits with anguish for freedom but fears it will never come. "We are in a grave here," he told his lawyers, echoing the despair felt by many of the roughly 490 prisoners held as suspected terrorists at the U.S. naval base in eastern Cuba. Charges have been filed against only 10 of them.
As opposed to the real graves you dumped your victims in various spots around Afghanistan and Iraq.
Transcripts of hearings, which the Pentagon released Friday after a successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Associated Press, show the frustration among prisoners waiting for the military to decide whether to charge them, transfer them or release them. "I don't want to spend any more time here. Not one more minute," Afghan prisoner Mohammed Gul said at a combat status review tribunal.
Okay, what will you do in return?
Another unidentified Afghan man told his tribunal: "I was not a Taliban. I was not against the Americans. I want to go home."

An Afghan man, identified only as Abdul in one of the transcripts, urged U.S. military officers overseeing his tribunal to free him so he could feed his family. "I don't know what they have to eat," he said.
Guess the Taliban Workmans Comp Plan didn't cover the family.
The United States has released or transferred to authorities in their home countries about 270 detainees since the prison opened in January 2002, months after the U.S.-led military campaign that ousted Afghanistan's hard-line Taliban regime for harboring Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida bases.

Major Paul Swiergosz, a Defense Department spokesman, said that holding detainees who are considered a risk is necessary in time of war, while the review process ensures innocent detainees are released. "Holding detainees in Guantanamo is not a punitive measure, it's preventive," Swiergosz said. "That keeps them from continuing to fight against the United States and its allies. The Defense Department will continue to work diligently to process all the detainee cases we have."
He needs to point to some of the ones we released who did go back to fighting.
U.S. officials say the camp houses only people who want to kill American troops or civilians. "The folks that are at Guantanamo Bay all have a valid reason for being sent here," said Army Maj. Jeffrey Weir, a prison spokesman. "Some are mainly security, others are intelligence. It's across the board."

Aziz, who is from Mauritania in West Africa, was captured in Pakistan in 2002, according to one of his lawyers, Anna Cayton-Holland. His lawyers do not know what he is accused of. "He thinks he's going to die here," said another member of his defense team, Agnieszka Fryszman.
If he's a Mauritanian, what was he doing in Pakistan? Was he captured there or in Afghanistan? If the latter, what was he doing there? Was he but a simple aid-worker providing guns and ammo to the widows and orphans?
Many detainees are accused of specific deeds, but some complain they spend years in confinement before learning the allegations.

Boudella al Hajj, an Algerian cleric who said he worked with orphans in Bosnia for a humanitarian group and the Bosnian army, was accused of being in contact with al-Qaida member Abu Zubaydah and belonging to an Algerian militant organization, among other things. In the transcripts, he denied the allegations and asked why he had never heard them before. "I've been here for three years, been through many interrogations and no interrogator ever mentioned any of these accusations, so how did they just come now?" he said. "It's weird how this just came up now."
It's even more weird that you ended up in Afghanistan. All the Bosnian orphans finally had their own guns?
One tribunal member, who was not identified, later said: "We didn't realize you had never been confronted with these allegations."
Our bad.
Another man, Pakistani millionaire Saifullah A. Paracha, was told by a U.S. Air Force colonel running his hearing that he would one day be able to pursue his case in American courts. "I've been here 17 months _ would that be before I expire?" Paracha asked.
The wheels of justice turn slowly. Tell us, Mr. Paracha, just what were you doing with your millions in Afghan-land?
With some Bush administration officials now referring to the war against terrorism as the "long war," Guantanamo appears to be turning into a more permanent detention site. A two-story prison building that can house 200 detainees is slated to open this summer. It is modeled after a mainland maximum-security prison and will be located near a similar facility that can house 100 detainees. "It's becoming clear that we will need to continue to house some number of detainees for an extended period," said a Pentagon spokesman, Maj. Michael Shavers.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cry me a river, Gitmo Guyz, but Ima plumb outa sympathy cards.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/06/2006 0:37 Comments || Top||

#2  They could do the honorable thing and hang themselves.
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 1:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Screw 'em. No one travelled from Mauratania to Pakiland without ill-intent.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/06/2006 8:00 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm feeling deep pain over the treatment of these detainees. Wait a minute... oops, sorry - that was gas.
Posted by: BH || 03/06/2006 11:35 Comments || Top||

#5  Manolo! The violin! No, the BIG one!!!
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/06/2006 15:15 Comments || Top||

#6  Manolo! The violin! No, the BIG one!!!

tu, darling, I think you mean the cello, yes? ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2006 16:02 Comments || Top||

#7  "We are in a grave here,"
We wish you had been left in a grave back in Afghanistan. Hopefully we will learn from our mistakes.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/06/2006 16:59 Comments || Top||


US maritime leaders see little risk in UAE port deal
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Are these guys telling America our nation can't find one or two Mad Geniuses to convert a rolling tracked/railed container lifter into a rolling MRI Container Imaging/XRay System or related. * His Name is "NOT FRANKENSTEEEEN, ITS FRANKENSTEIN", D*** YOU!!!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Only the paramoid politicians perceive problems.

Which the sky-is-falling media exploits.
Posted by: Bobby || 03/06/2006 6:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Those cargo containers are made of steel.
Steel does not pass x-rays well, either you'd need a hell of an x-ray machine (With the resulting contamination of some cargos, film comes to mind) or you need some other inspection device than an x-ray.

Bad idea folks, think up another.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 03/06/2006 10:45 Comments || Top||

#4  "Only the paramoid politicians perceive problems."

Those fools! They're just paranoid wimps. There is no rational reason to suspect the UAE port deal. The 911 UAE terrorists are dead.
Posted by: Hank || 03/06/2006 11:58 Comments || Top||

#5  The trucks carrying the same cargo containers passing the Mexico/US Otay Mesa border are all required to go through a full size xray machine - it penetrates the steel just fine
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 12:07 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
High-level Japanese defence delegation in India
Continuing the series of recent high level defence exchanges between Tokyo and New Delhi, a top level Japanese Defence delegation headed by Gen Tsutomo Mori, Chief of Staff Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces, has commenced a four day visit here.

Mori on Monday held discussion with his Indian counterpart Gen JJ Singh on "army to army issues". His visit assumes significance in the wake of the recent high level meeting held in US Pacific command, where participants, including Japan, voiced concern over safety of passage in the crucial Malacca straits.

Tokyo as well as Washington want India alongwith Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to play a more active role in policing the straits, through which the bulk of the world crude containers pass.

Mori, according to defence ministry sources will also hold discussions with the Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash and Air Chief SP Tyagi and Defence secretary Shekhar Dutt. He will also call on the Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Heri will be the first Japanese Army Chief to visit Jammu and Kashmir where he will visit some forward posts on the Line of the Control and be briefed on the situation by senior officers of the Northern Command.

The Japanese army chief will also witness exercises by paratroopers in Agra, who form the bullwark of India's rapid deployment force.
Posted by: Jeamp Thratle7267 || 03/06/2006 14:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Successor to the one at Imphal a few years ago?
Posted by: borgboy || 03/06/2006 18:19 Comments || Top||

#2  or the one that surrendered Saigon to the 20th Indian division?



Posted by: john || 03/06/2006 18:53 Comments || Top||

#3  gonna pucker some assholes in Beijing
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 19:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Izzat close to Peking?
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 19:24 Comments || Top||

#5  Is that ner Peiping?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 19:26 Comments || Top||

#6  near the colon, dammit! lol - what a bunch of Jokers
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 19:38 Comments || Top||

#7  *giggle* Rantburg U -- dept. of human anatomy/world geography.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2006 21:11 Comments || Top||


Australian PM Howard reviews policy on uranium trade to India
AM - Monday, 6 March , 2006 08:00:00
Reporter: Catherine McGrath
TONY EASTLEY: The Prime Minister John Howard has opened the door to changing Australia's policy allowing uranium sales to India, saying as long as the rules are followed and safeguards met, Australia would be happy to sell.

Currently Australia cannot sell uranium to India because the government in New Delhi has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But the nuclear deal reached between the United States and India last week has increased the pressure on Australia to review its policy, and according to media reports India's Prime Minister will ask Mr Howard, who's on a trip there at the moment, to consider opening up Australian uranium exports.

Chief Political Correspondent Catherine McGrath is travelling with the Prime Minister, and she filed this report from New Delhi.

CATHERINE MCGRATH: How quickly things can begin to change. Last week Alexander Downer said the US deal wouldn't impact on Australia's policy. But on his arrival India the Prime Minister indicated he was open to the idea of selling uranium.

JOHN HOWARD: I'd be very happy to talk about the issue. Australia does have large supplies of uranium. We have some of the largest uranium deposits in the world, and provided the rules are followed and the safeguards are met, we are willing to sell. But we have to be satisfied about the safeguards.

CATHERINE MCGRATH: This is not a done deal, but the Government has certainly softened its stance on selling uranium to a country that has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Arriving in New Delhi at the start of his short trip, Mr Howard said he wasn't motivated by the fact that the United States had taken a position, but more that the deal could open Indian nuclear facilities to international inspections.

JOHN HOWARD: It's important for us all to get a bit more information about the deal. It hasn't been explained in total detail, and the Indian Government is under some constraint because of its obligation to report to parliament. And of course the deal from the American point of view has to go through Congress.

So I think we're just running ahead of ourselves a bit. Let's digest exactly what the Americans and the Indians have agreed to. I welcome the fact that for the first time a lot of India's nuclear capacity is going to be subjected to international inspection. So that's certainly a big step forward. But that wasn't… that doesn't happen now.

CATHERINE MCGRATH: But with China concerned that the nuclear agreement between the United States and India is aimed as a counterbalance measurer, Mr Howard says the Australian position will be determined in our national interest.

JOHN HOWARD: Well, I don't think Australia should ever make decisions in relation to these things just on the basis of we don't want to do something that might upset somebody else.

We have a good relationship with China. That hasn't stopped us having the closest relationship we've probably ever had with the United States. And the same thing applies with India.

CATHERINE MCGRATH: Any change in position would be a major shift in a policy that was grounded in the importance of containing the use of nuclear weapons, using the UN treaty.

John Howard has emphasised that no decision has been made, however he's certainly willing to talk to the Indian Prime Minister about it during their bilateral meeting later today.

This is Catherine McGrath in New Delhi reporting for AM.
Posted by: Jeamp Thratle7267 || 03/06/2006 14:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [327 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Since the fuel (and the civilian reactors it would be used in) would be under IAEA safeguards, this should not be a problem.
Posted by: john || 03/06/2006 14:35 Comments || Top||


Taliban talk radio
Pakistan's North West Frontier Province is always hard to control, but it now poses a new challenge, with scores of illegal radio stations transmitting a message of jihad and sectarian hatred.

This has so alarmed the central government in Islamabad that it is has closed 40 stations in the mountainous region along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Charsadda is a town bristling with the antennae of pirate radios. Mullah Mohammed Hashim, 45, keeps his "radio station" - a car battery, radiator-shaped transmitter and amplifier - in a cupboard. "We are not aggressors, but if we are attacked, then we tell our listeners to be ready for jihad," he declares.

His radio station condemns the actions of Pakistan and US armed forces continuing antial-Qa'eda and Taliban operations in the tribal areas, where Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar are believed to be hiding, describing the operations as "part of a wider conspiracy to shed the blood of innocent Muslims". Mullah Hashim uses basic equipment and setting up a radio station costs less than £100.

The radicalising effect of unlicensed stations has been keenly felt in Bara village in the Khyber tribal agency. There, two "FM mullahs", as they were dubbed by the local press, one who followed a Sufic tradition and another, a newcomer who is a disciple of a more austere form of Islam, waged a turf war via their private channels.

After inciting their followers to bloody riots, a jirga (tribal council) ruled last week that both should be expelled from the area. Now the government is under pressure from secular-minded local leaders who doubt the commitment of President Pervez Musharraf's government to crack down on the stations.

"We have closed over 40 stations during the last four months as they are creating differences and sectarian issues," said the information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. "There are still a few preaching jihad but we are closing them down."

The government has launched several of its own radio stations, broadcasting music and more secular programmes.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like FRANKEN AND GORE!!!
Posted by: ARMYGUY || 03/06/2006 7:40 Comments || Top||


Taliban training in Quetta
The turbans in black or white, the long beards and the omnipresent "pirhan-tunbon", the baggy trousers and long shirts that are the traditional Afghan dress, tell me I'm in Afghanistan in the late Nineties, during the Taleban regime.

But this is 2006, and I am in Quetta in Pakistan.

Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, lies about 200 kilometres southeast of Kandahar, across a porous border. Many of my fellow countrymen have made the journey here. In fact, some sections of the city seem to be populated almost entirely by Taleban who fled after the United States-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

Now they lie in wait in Quetta, plotting their return.

Over the last year, Kandahar has seen an alarming rise in suicide bombings and attacks on troops and government installations. In the past three months alone, there have been more than 20 acts of violence, leaving dozens dead, hundreds wounded, and an entire province terrorised.

Quetta provides a ready supply of young men prepared to wreak havoc in Afghanistan, local observers tell me. There are eight major madrassas or Muslim religious schools in Quetta, each with over 1,000 students or "taleban" in the original sense of the word. In addition, there are hundreds of private madrassas, some with just 100 students, often occupying unmarked, rented houses.

It is these private schools that are a major source of the fighters who are now carrying out insurgent operations inside Kandahar, according to these observers.

One 23-year-old madrassa student, wearing the characteristic black turban of the "taleb", spoke to me on condition of anonymity.

“I am preparing for jihad here, until I am sent to Afghanistan,” he said. “Jihad is my duty and martyrdom my hope.”

Another Taleb, 25-year-old Saadullah, explained why he had decided to wage jihad in his homeland.

“I was recruited by one of my friends who told me terrible things about the Afghan government,” he said. “I was also told that the Americans were always abusing people, killing them, going into their homes and insulting their religion.”

Mullahs did their part, too, he added, preaching fiery sermons against the Afghan government and the American occupiers during Friday prayers.

Saadullah said he was dispatched on a mission to Kandahar to fight both Afghan and foreign troops.

“I was to carry out a suicide attack on an Afghan National Army base in Kandahar,” he said.

But at the border, the friend who was supposed to be accompanying him on the mission gave him 30 US dollars, wished him luck, and headed back to Quetta.

“I thought, ‘Why am I to die while you go back to Quetta?’” Saadullah recalled. “Why are these people not doing jihad themselves? They're just taking advantage of the emotions of young people. They are liars.

"I came back and I will never have anything to do with them again.”

With Pakistani police a rare sight in much of this city, Quetta residents say that the Taleban operate with impunity. They run offices and openly recruit candidates for insurgent operations in Kandahar.

One resident called Abdullah, 40, said the city contains a number of prominent Taleban leaders such as military commanders Mullah Dadullah and Mullah Abdul Ali Dubandi.

“The whole world knows that the Taleban are trained in Pakistan but they ignore it. The Taleban are all over Quetta,” he said.

When you walk through the streets of Quetta, you hear Taleban religious songs blaring out of music stores. These incendiary chants, called "tarana", call on youths to join the jihad, kill infidels and repel the occupiers. Such recordings were banned a few years ago, but now they are back.

“Pakistani police used to close down shops that played Taleban songs, but now no one is afraid. The mullahs are very strong,” said one shop owner.

A bookseller who did not want to be named said, “The Taleban are putting out magazines. These publications used to be banned, but now they're published openly and we sell them in our stores.”

The magazines, like the songs, contain open calls to violence.

“When you read them, you just want to grab a gun and go to jihad,” said the bookseller.

Mullahs here openly incite their followers to attack the current Afghan government. In Friday sermons, they encourage the congregation to join the struggle.

“These attacks should continue. Our struggle is legal. We want to install an Islamic regime in Afghanistan,” said one mullah in the Chawlo Bawlo area of the city.

Some city residents claim that the Pakistani military is playing a role in training the would-be insurgents.

“The Pakistani military headquarters in Quetta is the main Taleban training base,” said Tariq, 31, a resident of the Askari Park area. “I've seen with my own eyes that Taleban were taken there for training. One of my relatives was among them.”

Military officials refused to comment on the allegation. Governor Owai Ahmad Ghani, speaking on Pakistani television, flatly denied that the Taleban were operating in Quetta and rejected claims that Pakistan was interfering in Afghanistan.

“The Afghan government is weak. It can't control the remote areas of its country, so it accuses Pakistan of meddling in its affairs,” he said.

Taleban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, in an exclusive interview with IWPR, said the stories of Taleban bases inside Pakistan were just propaganda.

“People think Pakistan is our friend, but it is not true,” he said. “Pakistan is an ally of America, not of the Taleban.”

The Taleban had no need of foreign bases, he insisted, adding, “The Taleban are sons of Afghanistan. They are in Afghanistan and they will fight in Afghanistan.”

But Afghan officials remain convinced that Pakistan is serving as a major operations base for the increasingly frequent insurgent attacks that threaten to destabilise the southern part of their country.

In mid-February, Afghan president Hamed Karzai led a high-ranking delegation to Pakistan, telling officials there that Afghanistan would no longer tolerate support for terrorists from across the border. While he stopped short of outright accusations, Karzai made it clear that he expected Pakistan to make serious efforts to halt the flow of personnel and weapons across the border.

“If [the attacks] don’t stop, the consequences… will be that this region will suffer with us, exactly as we suffer. In the past we suffered alone. This time everybody will suffer with us,” Karzai told reporters.

Assadullah Khalid, governor of Kandahar province, has repeatedly alleged that Pakistan is behind the recent wave of attacks. In particular, he blamed Pakistan for a suicide bombing that killed 27 and wounded 40 in Spin Boldak in January.

“Pakistan is responsible for the past two decades of war,” he said. “Pakistani police are guarding the houses of the Taleban. We have evidence indicating that memorial services for the suicide bombers are being held in Pakistan.”

Even some Pakistani politicians and analysts agree that their country is heavily involved in creating mayhem on its neighbour’s territory.

“Pakistan does not want stability in Afghanistan,” said Hasel Bizenjo, leader of the Baluch National Party, which represents ethnic Baluchis. “Pakistan wants Afghanistan under its influence.”

Awrangzeb Kasi, a Pakistani political analyst in Quetta, said he believes that there are special terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

“There have been terrorist camps in Pakistan for 26 years, where Inter Services Intelligence [ISI] provides training” he said. “The Pakistani government is always saying that it supports peace in the region, and that it will arrest al-Qaeda leaders, but it is really not doing anything.”

Abdul Rahim Mandokhel, the Quetta-based deputy leader of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami, an ethnic Pashtun party in Pakistan, agrees.

“It is clear that these terrorists are trained and supported by Islamabad,” he said. “Pakistan can stop these terrorists, but it doesn’t want to.”
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [313 views] Top|| File under:


‘Bush initiated arms race in South Asia’
US President George W Bush’s visit to Pakistan has exposed the Musharraf regime’s flawed foreign policy that has left Pakistan alone in the comity of nations, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president Syed Zafar Ali Shah said. “The US President Bush’s visit which began from an unannounced visit to Afghanistan will leave negative impact on the future political scenario in South Asia in particular and on the world in general,” Zafar said in a news release on Sunday.

He said that Bush praised India for its role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and promised the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take up the infiltrations issue with President Pervez Musharraf, while Pakistan, its frontline ally in the war on terror, was asked to do more to rein in terrorists. The PML-N leader criticised the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, stating that the deal would encourage an arm race in the area.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ... left Pakistan alone in the comity of nations

Since Pakistan is not really a nation, it's only fair.
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/06/2006 4:39 Comments || Top||

#2  ‘Bush initiated arms race in South Asia’. Well, I certainly hope so.
Posted by: Perfesser || 03/06/2006 9:20 Comments || Top||

#3  No, the arms race has been going on for a few hundred years. Ask the British, the Russians, the Portugese, the French, and the Chinese. Then, ask the Indians and the Pakistanis. Now, add the Nepalese, the Burmese [I refuse to use the name Myanmar], the Sri Lankans, the Vietnamese, etc.

Where is this guy's sense of history?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 03/06/2006 18:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Where is this guy's sense of history?

seventh century knowledge, logic, wherewithal...
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 19:09 Comments || Top||


‘Bush has upset the balance of power in the region’
American President George Bush has disturbed the balance of power in the region by signing a nuclear deal with India, said Punjab Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Javed Iqbal at a press conference on Sunday.
Oh, gee. Golly. Gosh. Shucks. We're just soooooo sorry we did that.
Javed said the American president’s visit would bring strategic changes to the region and India would play the leading role instead of Pakistan under the prevailing circumstances.
India, for all its faults, isn't stuck on stupid, with the choice lying between either spittle-spewing holy men or fire-breathing generals who've never won a war. India's a secular state. Pakistan is where most of the lunatics are stored.
He said Bush had delivered a clear message that ‘India’s friends would be America’s friends’. India’s nuclear ties with the US showed that the Pakistani foreign policy had failed, therefore the Pakistani president should resign immediately and elections should be held, he said, adding that only political parties could govern the country and make decisions of national importance. He said the government should allow Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and Altaf Hussain to return to Pakistan and play their role in the country’s politics.
The problem with Pakland during its periods of civilian rule has been Bangla-style corruption, with the holy men and the generals elbowing each other in the ribs as they jockeyed for position as puppet masters. What Pakistan needs is to become a secular state where most of the people happen to be Muslims, but they resolutely refuse to do that. And because of that, they'll remain a larger version of Afghanistan — except that Afghanistan, because its had its experience being a shariah paradise, may eventually pull out of its rut and leave them behind.
Javed said Bush had clearly indicated that he wanted Indian domination in the region and Pakistan would now have to follow Indian instructions to please America. He said he doubted if Musharraf would take off his uniform or hold free and fair elections in the country. The opposition would tender its resignation from the assemblies at an appropriate time, he said and added that a campaign against the government had been launched, which would be expedited with the passage of time.
If they spent a little less time plotting to achieve power and a little more time actually governing, they might accomplish something, but that's not gonna happen.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Methinks China is already attempting to upset the East and South Asian balance of power by supporting Commie/Maoist collusions with local Hard Boyz. The Chicoms intend to inevitably control or dominate both India and Pakistan, etc. not just one of them.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 0:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Bush has upset the balance of power in the region’

As they say in the computer biz: "That's not a bug, Thats a feature!"
Posted by: N guard || 03/06/2006 10:08 Comments || Top||


Iraq
StrategyPage Iraq: Whatever You're Looking For
As Iraqis increasingly fight each other, there has been a sharp decline in American casualties. There were 6,790 U.S. troops killed and wounded last year, compared to 8,837 in 2004. That's a drop of 23 percent. But so far this year, the casualty rate for Americans is down 62 percent from 2005. Given that the main goal of the Sunni Arab terrorists is the expulsion of foreign troops, why the sharp reduction in attacks and casualties among the American forces? One of the least reported reasons is that U.S. troops have been winning the tactics and technology race with the terrorists. Although the media make much of terrorist innovations, less is said about the more frequent, and more effective, improvements in tactics and technology American troops are using. The cumulative effect has been steadily lower American casualties, and larger losses for the terrorists. Another reason for the decline is a sharp reduction in the number of Iraqis and foreigners committing terrorist attacks, and fewer Sunni Arabs fighting their government.

In order to deny the enemy information, the government and Coalition do not discuss terrorist casualties a lot, plus the media tends to avoid reporting terrorist losses. American losses, no matter how meager, are more sought after. But the arrest of terrorists has been increasing, and losses from fighting with Iraqi tribal groups have been high (if hard to count) as well. Many more men have been leaving terrorist groups. Numbers on this trend are kept secret, because of the sources and techniques used to acquire the information. But it is known that fewer foreigners are coming into Iraq as al Qaeda volunteers, and more of the Sunni Arab tribal militia who used to fight alongside the terrorists against the government, are now fighting the terrorists. Many of these battles are mistakenly reported as attacks on police or soldiers, when, in fact, the police and soldiers are just there for crowd control, and to pick (up) the wounded and arrest surviving terrorists.

If the government security forces are on good enough terms with the local tribal militia, they will sometimes cooperate in attacking al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, but usually the violence is strictly between the terrorists and the Sunni Arab tribes. The goal is often not to wipe out the terrorists, but to get them out of the tribal area. The police, on the other hand, want to kill or capture the terrorists. Rather than get into an argument, over tactics, with the armed tribesmen, the police just wait for the fighting to die down before going in. Since few foreign journalists get out of their secure compounds, and the Iraqi reporters they use to collect information know the foreigners want a certain type of news, the tribe versus terrorist battles frequently get reported as whatever the foreign journalist is looking for that day.

For the average Iraqi, the biggest complaint is crime. Murder, extortion, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, muggings and carjackings are things that every Iraqi, especially in Baghdad, have to worry about. There are thousands of criminal gangs in Iraq. Some of them are basically enforcers for tribal leadership or the local religious leader. These semi-legitimate gangs get "paid" by whatever they are given, or take, in return for their protective services. This is basically an extortion racket, and the police will often leave these guys alone as long as they don't get greedy, and more violent.

But the most worrisome gangs are those that kidnap, murder (for hire, or as a side effect of some other crime), rape and barge into, and loot, peoples homes. Many of the violent gangs are very temporary, either because the cops, or local vigilantes catch them, or because members find less stressful, and dangerous, employment.

The most common crime fighting tactic is to put more gunmen on the street, particularly at night. For most of Iraq, the police have brought peace to the streets in daylight. But night is another matter. That's when more of the criminals are about, and when they are harder to catch. Most police don't like to operate at night. There are several thousand special police (SWAT and the like) who are trained and equipped to go gangster hunting at night, and some of these are being assigned to that task. But for the moment, the priority is still taking down terrorist gangs.

It's becoming more common for neighborhoods to organize their own local security. In upscale areas, security guards are hired. In less affluent neighborhoods, volunteers form a night guard. This doesn't lead to as many shoot outs as you might think, because the word gets around, and the bad guys go hunting where there is less resistance. The two fold process of putting more security personnel on the street 24/7, and hunting down the hard core, career gangsters, will take years to bring the crime rate down to pre-invasion levels.

Who are the bad guys? Saddam released thousands of the worst criminals several months before he was forced from power. Thousands of Sunni Arabs have adopted the outlaw life in order to replace the paycheck they used to get as an enforcer for Saddam. Several hundred foreigners have set up shop as Islamic terrorists, who often resort to crime to raise money. All these have to be captured or killed before Iraqis can enjoy their new political freedoms. And, as Iraqis are finding out, they have to fix this problem themselves, or it isn't getting fixed.
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 13:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So, a) How would I e-mail this to Rep. Murtha, and

b) would he believe it?

Are these facts, or opinions? What is truth? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Posted by: Bobby || 03/06/2006 17:40 Comments || Top||

#2  72?
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 17:43 Comments || Top||


Iraqi Sunnis now looking to the US for protection
Two years ago, doctor Riyadh Adhadh cursed the U.S. soldiers who had overrun his homeland, toppled the Sunni-dominated government and tormented prisoners at Abu Ghraib. A member of the city council, he loudly demanded that American troops leave Baghdad.

Last week, his Sunni Arab neighborhood under attack by Shiite militiamen, Adhadh found himself huddled over the telephone in panic, begging the U.S. Embassy to send American soldiers.

The moment of bitter irony for the 52-year-old father of six is emblematic of a sharp shift in Iraqi opinion. Three years after the March 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, with the threat of civil war looming, leaders of a nervous Sunni Arab minority have started to drop demands for an immediate U.S. withdrawal.

"We've changed our ideas," Adhadh said. Iraq's current government, dominated by Shiites, has been "abusing people more than the Americans," he said. "Iraqi security is the responsibility of the Americans. They have established this type of government — this will be written in history. We are living in a jungle."

Meanwhile, Iraq's Shiite majority, which initially cheered the arrival of the Americans, has grown far stronger and is quickly losing enthusiasm for foreign soldiers and diplomats.

"The reality is that the Americans have switched position a little bit. They seem to be siding with the Sunnis, and the Shia are not happy," said Saad Jawad, a moderate Shiite politician. "Certainly in our areas there is no need for American soldiers."

Many Iraqis are dismayed that the violence here increasingly pits Iraqis against each other instead of against foreign invaders. The stakes are high as the two main Muslim sects vie for power in the emerging state.

Shiite groups stand poised to control Iraq's government and economy. They have consolidated their power over key government ministries; organized armed militias to patrol the streets and wrangled bitterly over power sharing in the government.

By contrast, the Sunni Arab minority, which dominated Iraq for most of the 20th century, has spent the last three years grappling with a sense of dispossession. Already stripped of resources and clout, they seem poised to lose much more.

In recent days many Sunni mosques have been burned and scores of men slain, apparently by Shiite death squads retaliating for the bombing of a prominent Shiite shrine in Samarra.

Many Sunnis hold a substantial grudge against the United States for launching the invasion and remain distrustful of its designs on Iraq. But the alternative — abandonment in a Shiite-dominated country — is even less appealing. And so even an irritating foreign presence is looking to many Sunnis like a layer, however thin, of protection.

"When the Americans entered Iraq, the Shia helped them a lot, and the Sunnis stood against them," said Alaa Makki, a senior leader in the Iraqi Islamic Party, the main Sunni party. But "the Sunnis are now accepting the American political direction. It's not suitable for the Americans to leave. Everything they have arranged during the past three years would be destroyed."

Many Sunnis say the United States pushed their sect into a precarious position and has a responsibility to establish security before leaving. It is common to hear Sunnis say that there was no sectarianism in Iraq until the war unleashed long-buried religious tensions.

"We would refuse the withdrawal of American forces during this period," said Salman Jumayli, spokesman for the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front, the main Sunni bloc in parliament. "They have to fix what they destroyed … [and] guarantee that no sect will dominate the other sect and no party will dominate another party."

The sectarian violence that raged across the country these last weeks was the latest chilling reminder to Sunnis of their vulnerability. Many fear that a campaign of sectarian cleansing has begun to pick up pace.

Sunni concerns have been fed by mounting evidence that Shiite militias have infiltrated the Interior Ministry, which runs the police forces. Investigations into the Shiite-dominated ministry have revealed a torture chamber and death squads responsible for kidnapping and killing Sunnis, all with alleged ties to official security services.

Many Sunnis believe that if a civil war erupts, Iraqi police brigades would devolve into Shiite militias and government weapons would turn against Sunnis.

Brig. Gen. Mudhir Moula, a secular Shiite who is a senior official in the Defense Ministry, expresses a similar fear.

A career soldier, Moula is leery of an American pullback. Government ministries have become too mired in sectarian tensions to function, he said.

"If [the Americans] don't do their best to control and coordinate, maybe there will be civil war," he said.

The Interior Ministry has arranged its security forces to ensure that their sect would dominate in case of civil war, he said.

"They're a lot stronger than the Ministry of Defense. This is the reality, let's be honest."

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Recently, Defense Ministry soldiers and police commandos from the Interior Ministry each staged raids on the same neighborhood at the same time. The soldiers ended up surrounding a group of commandos and detaining them. Negotiations for their freedom went on for days.

"Their faces were covered and they had black uniforms. It didn't say 'Iraqi Police,' " Moula said. "They came outside their jurisdiction. There was no coordination."

Amid the tensions, Sunni leaders are battling through contentious negotiations for a place in Iraq's new government. The Americans are increasingly acting as their strongest advocates.

Both the Sunnis and the U.S. Embassy are pushing for a national unity government that would give Sunnis more than a token or opposition role in the government. U.S. officials, who believe that the deadly insurgency is largely driven by the disenfranchisement of the Sunnis, have insisted upon their inclusion — or leaders acceptable to them — in significant government posts.

"The ministers, particularly security ministers, have to be people who are nonsectarian, who are broadly acceptable, who do not represent or have ties to militias," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad recently told reporters in Baghdad. "This is the single most important issue that Iraq faces: forming a national unity government."

When the shrine at Samarra was attacked a few days later, on Feb. 22, angry Shiite leaders blamed the American ambassador for stirring up anti-Shiite sentiment.

"The ambassador's statements were irresponsible," said Abdelaziz Hakim, leader of the main group in the Shiite coalition in parliament. "He gave the green light for terrorist groups, and therefore we blame him for part of what happened."

Hakim's office later issued a clarification, saying that he blamed terrorists, not Americans, for the shrine attack. But the message had been delivered — and was echoing from Shiite leaders across the country.

"There's a lot of interference in the internal affairs of the country by the Americans," said Sadruddin Qubanchi, a Shiite cleric based in Najaf who is allied with Hakim. "We don't want conditional support. The ministries here don't want foreign help."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Arab logic is blame disguised as irony camouflaged as coherence masquerading as projection cloaked in cognitive dissonance.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 2:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Arabic mouth takes leave of any normal logic. Inside the fold of macho brotherhood of i-slam they deserve one another.
Posted by: Duh! || 03/06/2006 3:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Death to the Great Satan---but not right now.
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/06/2006 4:29 Comments || Top||

#4  .com - well said!

I'm going to keep that little formulation.

Normal concepts of irony, hypocrisy, and double-standards are grossly inadequate in dealing with the sort of nonsense we're hearing in the posted article.

It's in our, and the Iraqi Sunnis', best interest that we basically ignore almost everything they say. Stay focused on the few things we care about and let the local pathologies play themselves out.
Posted by: Verlaine in Iraq || 03/06/2006 6:38 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't forget boys, it is the LA Times....
Posted by: Bobby || 03/06/2006 6:51 Comments || Top||

#6  From personal experience: Never underestimate the ability of Arabs to hold and vociferously advocate two opposing concepts at the same time.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/06/2006 11:23 Comments || Top||

#7  Pappy, not unlike eating and s****ing simultaneously, eh?
Posted by: Duh! || 03/06/2006 12:40 Comments || Top||

#8  The moment of bitter irony for the 52-year-old father of six is emblematic of a sharp shift in Iraqi opinion.

He calls it "bitter irony". We call it "poetic justice".

I can just hear this wanker now: "Hey, they're using our own tactics against us! Who do they think they are? What right do they have to do such a thing?"

Aren't people's heads supposed to explode when they do this? Isn't there some way we could arrange for it to happen?
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 12:41 Comments || Top||

#9  Before the war, I recall reading an (overly optimistic) statement to the effect that the Sunni wouldn't be much trouble for US occupation troops. After all, the Sunni would need the US Army to protect them from the Shiites.

Looks like that prediction finally came true, about two years too late for the Sunni.

Idiots.
Posted by: Pat Phillips || 03/06/2006 13:14 Comments || Top||

#10  Arab logic is blame disguised as irony camouflaged as coherence masquerading as projection cloaked in cognitive dissonance.

...with a C-4 cherry on top.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/06/2006 13:29 Comments || Top||

#11  LOL! eggcellent!
Posted by: RD || 03/06/2006 13:50 Comments || Top||

#12  Hang on, .com, Ima still wrapping nested parentheses around the concept.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/06/2006 18:56 Comments || Top||

#13  AP - How about if I reverse the sequence:

Arab logic is classic cognitive dissonance perversely presented as peurile projection callowly confused with cogent coherence expressed as brutish barbaric blame.

Clearer? ;-)
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 19:20 Comments || Top||

#14  "please hold, your call is important to us, except we're busy preparing to leave your area. Security will be provided by your Shiite neighbors, in fact, your call is being routed to the nearest militia unit right now. Thanks for holding...."
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 19:29 Comments || Top||


Kurds to declare independence if civil war breaks out in Iraq
Many Iraqi Kurds believe Kurdish territories should secede from Iraq if sectarian violence continues to escalate. As Kurdish leaders in Baghdad, led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, urged national unity and brokered political talks between Sunni and Shiite leaders, Kurds in the northeastern city of Sulaimaniyah said their leaders should stop negotiating and go it alone if the situation does not calm in Baghdad.

Iraq's Kurdish territories, widely considered the safest area in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, have remained largely immune to the sectarian violence that wreaked havoc in Baghdad and other southern and central provinces, particularly in the last week.

For many in Iraqi Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region of Iraq since 1991, the violence raging elsewhere serves to reinforce their strong desire for independence.

"Sectarian sentiments are stronger than nationalist [ones] in Iraq, so the Kurds need to split [from Iraq] if a sectarian war explodes," said Azad Rostam, 23, a university student, reflecting a commonly held view.

As Baghdad shut down for a three-day curfew, life remained pretty much the same in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iraqi news stations carried virtually non-stop coverage and analysis of the crisis, but the main Kurdish station, Kurdsat, focused on issues that affect the Kurds, such as the bird flu outbreak in Sulaimaniyah that has panicked citizens here.

Kurdish leaders are currently trying to negotiate a national unity government in Baghdad, but the Kurdistan Regional Government President Masood Barzani has warned that if a civil war broke out, the Kurds would declare independence.

But one Kurdish Iraqi analyst, Behman Tahir, suggested that this was not a serious threat, rather "a pressure card" aimed at drawing together Iraqi political factions that are now battling over the new Cabinet.

Although Tahir did admit that if civil war engulfed the country, it would provide the Kurds with a rare opportunity to "liberate other parts of Kurdistan that are still under Iraqi government, such as Kirkuk."

Kirkuk is one of several predominantly Kurdish cities outside of Iraqi Kurdistan that were ethnically cleansed under Saddam Hussein's regime. Many Kurds carry a deep mistrust of Arabs because of the campaigns, and are particularly frustrated with central government's failure to address their grievances over Kirkuk.

Leaders of the two ruling parties in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, refused numerous requests for interviews for this story.

Commenting on how Iraqi Kurdistan should respond to the escalating violence, Muhsin Bayyz, deputy minister for Peshmarga (Kurdish forces), said that the trend was worrying and that efforts would be made to prevent the insurgency spilling across into the region.

"We don't want this conflict to ignite in Iraq, and we'll do our best to maintain the stability of our region," he said.

Bayyz said the Kurdish authorities were prepared to welcome families from other parts of Iraq who were trying to escape the troubles, as they did when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

While many Kurds believe the violence could hasten their independence, there are some who caution against such a move because of the strong economic ties that have emerged between Iraqi Kurdistan and Baghdad.

Halkawt Ramazan, 34, a businessman, traded goods between Baghdad and Sulaimaniyah until last week when violence broke out.

"The start of a sectarian war in Iraq would not work in favor of the Kurds," he said. "We might lose all of the political and economic achievements we have gained in the last few years."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Kurds. I knew very little about them before the first Gulf War, became fascinated with their ingenuity and guts versus Saddam - and even more impressed by their progress during the interim No Fly period.

And my admiration for these tough sumbitches just keeps growing.

The only bastion of intelligence and rational thought in Iraq. They recognize the full range of pros and cons - and hope for the best, but will make the most of their lot if the worst comes. No pie in the sky, no whimpering and whining. No blame. They rock.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 2:01 Comments || Top||

#2  He, he, he.
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/06/2006 4:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Iraq The Model says the Shiites are pitching for an independant southern Iraq, Which makes the Kurd statements about independence make sense. Note the Shiias and the Kurds have all the oil. With some redrawing of boundaries, I like this outcome.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/06/2006 6:42 Comments || Top||

#4  I like this outcome.

I'll pass. I suspect all these groups are far nicer as victims than as masters. Let each have its way and they'll be at eachothers throats as they are now only without the pretence of a unifying nation to try to smooth things out. An independent Kurdistan nakes sense only if we are ready top go in and redraw all the boundaries is south west Asia. And the American people are not ready for that, no matter how much sense it makes.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 7:27 Comments || Top||

#5  The real opportunity of an independent Kurdistan is not coming from Iraq, but Iran. That is, if Iran is crunched in such a way that its Kurdish territory breaks off and becomes part of Iraqi Kurdistan, there just might be too many Kurds to stay in Iraq.

That is, a united Kurdistan might become the majority in Iraq. Something the Shiites could not tolerate. The "Kurdish inertia" might even lead to a partitioning of Syria, though not of Turkey; perhaps a mass exodus of Kurds from Turkey, or their being expelled by the Turks; or nothing--a permanent entente with Turkey including the Iraqi Turkamen.

It is true that the Kurds keep the path to independence clear, and only remain with Iraq as it benefits them. This begs for eventual secession, for whatever reason. How integration could again happen without bloodshed escapes me.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2006 12:57 Comments || Top||


S Korean troop cut in Iraq to begin in April
South Korea's planned one-third cut in its military in Iraq will begin next month, a military general in charge of South Korean troops in the Middle East told Yonhap news agency. South Korea's Parliament approved a defence ministry plan in December to reduce its 3,200 troops in the northern Iraqi town of Arbil to 2,300 this year. "The reduction, beginning with the replacement of troops in April, will be done by the end of this year," Major General Jung Seung-Jo said in an interview. "It will be such a way as the number of home-bound troops is increasing while the number of replacements to come in for them is decreasing."
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And the U.S. withdrawal from Korea begins when? 2525? 3535?
Posted by: Perfesser || 03/06/2006 9:21 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Ties between Hamas and al-Qaeda are plentiful
The ideological compatibility of Hamas with other jihadi movements in the Middle East raises the question of whether the new Hamas government that is about to be sworn in could create in the West Bank and Gaza a new center for global terrorism.

Russia certainly doesn't think so, because President Vladimir Putin invited a Hamas delegation to Moscow. France has supported the Russian move. And in many diplomatic circles, even in Washington, the argument is being made that Hamas can be brought into a political process and moderated. This is clearly being raised by individuals who have no idea what Hamas truly represents and why Israel has cut off all financial support to the new Palestinian government even before it is formally set up.

True, unlike al Qaeda, Hamas until now has not been involved in terrorist attacks against Western targets in the United States and Europe. It was left by those fostering the global jihad to focus its military efforts on Israel alone. Yet Hamas has maintained critical links with al Qaeda. And last week, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he was concerned that al Qaeda had infiltrated the West Bank and Gaza.

Earlier evidence of links exists. In 2003, an Israeli ground unit in Gaza, seeking Hamas suspects, went into a school established by the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. Written materials that Israeli soldiers collected revealed the writings of a famous Saudi Wahhabi religious authority, Sheikh Sulaiman al-Ulwan. His ideological entry into the world of Hamas immediately raised eyebrows. After all, his name was featured in a famous Osama bin Laden video clip from December 2001, when the al Qaeda leader entertained his entourage on camera by re-enacting with his hands the hijacked aircraft slamming into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

In that video, one Saudi messenger entered the scene at the end, telling bin Laden that he brought with him a "beautiful fatwa" from al-Ulwan, who had justified the mass murder of Americans. Now his ideas have penetrated the Palestinians as well. And his Islamic religious ruling justifying suicide bombing attacks appeared on the Hamas Web site along with those of other al Qaeda clerics.

Also, in 2003 and 2004, Israeli forces found Hamas posters that were distributed in West Bank cities that extolled the war being waged by Islamic militants in the Balkans, Chechnya and Kashmir. At the top was the portrait of Hamas leader Yassin alongside the portraits of bin Laden and Chechen militant leaders like Shamil Besayev, who took credit for the bloody attack on a Russian school in Beslan.

That Hamas and al Qaeda share some common ideological roots should not have come as any surprise. Hamas is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement. Article Two of the Hamas Covenant reads, "The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine."

Throughout the Arab world, the Muslim Brotherhood is regarded as the common wellspring of all modern jihadi terrorism. Its spiritual leader, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, has been one of the pivotal figures in the globalization of the Danish cartoon rage as well as a supporter of fighting against U.S. forces in Iraq. Much of the al Qaeda leadership -- from bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam, to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of Sept. 11 -- started out with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas and al Qaeda, as Muslim Brotherhood offshoots, have had a number of notable links.

Bin Laden sent emissaries to Hamas in September 2000 and January 2001; Israel arrested three Hamas militants in 2003 after they had returned from an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda operations chief Abu Zubaydah entered the world of terrorism through Hamas. And according to a 2004 FBI affidavit, al Qaeda recruited Hamas members to conduct surveillance against potential targets in the United States.

Hamas poses a unique danger in the world of global terrorism, because besides its past ties to the Sunni Islamic extremism of al Qaeda, Hamas is now erecting a strategic partnership with Shiite Iran. For years, Iran has funded Hamas, but now that relationship is about to be seriously upgraded.

Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas political bureau, declared at a recent news conference in Tehran that "Iran's role in the future of Palestine should continue and increase." He is clearly prepared to open up Gaza to Iranian influence and serve Iranian national interests.

Just recently, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah moved one of its command centers from its base in Beirut to the heart of Gaza. So now both of the major Islamist terrorist organizations have established themselves in this Hamas-dominated territory.

Hamas is not the PLO of 1993 that lost its collapsing Soviet patron, and hence had to moderate its behavior in order to obtain Western diplomatic and financial support. The patrons of Hamas today are pushing it in a completely opposite direction. And so Mashaal spoke openly recently about the defeat of the United States in Iraq and his opposition to Western policies across the entire globe, from Darfur to East Timor.

As the struggle between the West and Iran over its nuclear program heats up, Hamas could become an important instrument for any countermeasures that Iran seeks to take. Rather than accommodate Hamas, the West should seek ways to contain its spread. Palestinian society will eventually seek another path, but in the interim, it would be a cardinal error to assume that Hamas is about to change.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hamas and AQ in cahoots? OK…I’ll bite…lets see what Ambassador Gold has for evidence.

Pamphlets with quotes of Sheikh Yassin and Posters calling for Jihad in the Balkans were found. Sorry Dore…I’ve seen stronger evidence in Traffic court. What else ya got? Hamas and AQ share some common Muslim Bro ideology…holy shit man..stop the presses. C’mon…throw me a something I can sink my incisors into. Israel arrested three Hamas militants in 2003 after they had returned from an al Qaeda training camp. Alrighty then..cept the term “Hamas militants” is a tad ambiguous and news of their “arrest” seems alittle dated. Must be something substantial…right? AQ allegedly recruited Hamas members to conduct surveillance against the United States. Hmmm…alittle sketchy…but not bad…still not quite the smokin’ gun. That’s it? Ok then…it may not be Gaza but…quickly…start talking about places like Chechnya, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iran, Beirut, Darfur, and East Timor. And even if they really don’t support your assertion, throw in some scary names like Yassin, al-Ulwan, Besayev, al-Qaradawi, Abdullah Azzam, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Abu Zubaydah. And don’t forget numerous references to Big Daddy Bin Laden. Be sure to remind us about the pending nuclear Iran and associate a nefarious group like Hezbollah. Don’t forget to bring up Beslan and 9/11. And just for good measures throw in Putin has not been helpful. (Fukkin’ Commie!)

Another classic from Dore Gold. Throw a big bag of smelly stuff against the wall and see what sticks.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/06/2006 11:46 Comments || Top||


Hamas ready to ‘change manners’ after Russia trip
Islamic group Hamas admitted on Sunday that it had to “change its manners” after winning the Palestinian elections but showed no sign of compromise with Israel as it wrapped up a landmark trip to Russia. The comments came as Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal finished the group’s first formal visit to a major power with a tour of the Kremlin and a meeting with Patriarch Alexei II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who called for talks with Israel.

After three days of insisting that the next move in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was up to Israel, Hamas leaders sought to sweeten their rhetoric on Sunday while still rebuffing calls to recognise Israel and renounce violence. “We don’t say ‘no’ to everything,” senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal said. “We know that we are in a new phase, a new stage” following Hamas’ victory in the January 25 Palestinian elections, he said. “Hamas must change its manners. We know that very well. But what we are saying is that we want a response from the Israelis. If you want Hamas to change its policies, you must also request that the Israelis change their policies.”
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Only the Russians can do things right or get things done.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 0:55 Comments || Top||


More Jewish settlers to be relocated from West Bank
A key aide to acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says there are plans for further withdrawals of Jewish settlers from the West Bank. Speaking on Israeli radio, Avi Dichter says more withdrawals from the West Bank will go ahead if the acting Prime Minister's Kadima Party wins this month's national election.

Mr Dichter says Jewish settlers will be relocated to major settlement blocs, adding that Israel will define its final borders within four years. An Israeli newspaper is reporting that at least 17 settlements in the West Bank will be dismantled in the first stage. Settler leaders have reacted angrily to Mr Dichter's comments, vowing to physically resist any effort to remove them from their homes.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:


Science & Technology
AT&T's 1.9 trillion call database
By far the biggest danger to privacy is corporate rather than federal. Most people don't have a clue how much info companies have - and how it is shared and used.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 16:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [439 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Never ever do something bad with a phone. Even worse is a cellphone.

The average cell call detail record contains all sorts of neat stuff from all through your call...
Things like power measurements and time to beacons and mulitiple cell sites (can we say figure location to a foot or two even with reflections?).

Just don't!

Posted by: 3dc || 03/06/2006 23:47 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Danish embassy in Jakarta to reopen
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:


Thousands rally for US pull out from Iraq, Afghanistan
Thousands of Muslims rallied in front of the tightly guarded US Embassy in Indonesia on Sunday, demanding American troops leave Iraq and Afghanistan and calling President Bush a terrorist. The protesters, many of whom were from the hardline group Hizbut Tarir, were kept well away from the mission, which is ringed by two concrete walls and barbed wire. Some 2,000 police stood watch and two water cannons stood by, but the rally ended without incident. "Out of Iraq," the protesters chanted, gathering for hours under the blazing sun. "Bush is a terrorist."
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Out of Bali! Out of Malakus! Out of Papua New Guinea ! Muslims are Hypocrites!

Well, I feel better now.
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 10:57 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
StrategyPage: Iran Tests Europe Busting Missile
Iran has apparently successfully test fired a new missile, the Shahab 4, which has a range of 4,000 kilometers. The missile was destroyed in flight, but apparently proved that it worked. With that range, the Shahab 4 can reach targets in Western Europe.

The Shahab 4 is apparently based on the shorter (2,200 kilometers) range Shahab 3. Both seem to use technology from an old Soviet era missile, the SS-5. This is 1950s stuff, using a liquid fuel rocket which gave the missile a range of 4,000 kilometers. The SS-5 served as a truck-mobile, and silo based system until the mid-1980s. The Russians deny that they sold the technology to Iran, but any of the many Russian missile engineers and managers with access to the stuff could have made the sale. The information needed would fit into a briefcase, or on a CD. The Iranians have the engineers, and manufacturing capability, to produce the SS-5 components. Iran says they are developing the Shahab 4 as a satellite launcher. Iran has spent about a billion dollars on the project. The first test launch of the Shahab 4 was three years ago. It may be another year or two before the Shahab 4 is reliable enough for regular service (as an IRBM or satellite launcher.)
A range map of missiles lunched from Iran is here: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/missile/
Posted by: ed || 03/06/2006 13:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [451 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Stick around folks, it's just half-time. After the game we've got a really, really big fireworks display right here on the field. You won't wanna miss it.
Posted by: Visitor || 03/06/2006 14:03 Comments || Top||

#2  We need to turn the airspace above Iran into a battle laser track & terminate testing range. Non-civilian flights and all launches should be viable targets.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 14:48 Comments || Top||

#3  The missile was destroyed in flight

By whom? Allan?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 14:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Orders for Patriot missle batteries have increased substantially to countries in Europe...

I wonder what Syria will do whilst its sugar daddy is getting a beat down? I hope Musharaf takes some notes.
Posted by: Danking70 || 03/06/2006 15:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't worry though, It's just for launching satellites. And they only want plutonium for academic purposes.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 03/06/2006 15:54 Comments || Top||

#6  i doubt the chances of Patriot intercepting Shahab 4. It isnt designed for 4000km range missiles.
Posted by: Ebbash Ulereper3503 || 03/06/2006 20:30 Comments || Top||

#7  Lots at the Missile Defense Agency website.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 20:46 Comments || Top||

#8  I wonder what the European elites think of that idiotic President Reagan's "Star Wars" proposal now.
Posted by: Matt || 03/06/2006 20:50 Comments || Top||

#9  But, but, but what about all the new orbiting debris this would create??!! This has got spacemire written all over it!
;-)
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 20:54 Comments || Top||

#10  If the fuze is lit on a Shahab and it even LOOKS like it's headed toward France, our worries are over. I suspect Jock will send a multi-warhead whopper directly into Tehran and vic. Just my guess.
Posted by: Choluque Hupating3789 || 03/06/2006 20:57 Comments || Top||

#11  Interesting point, CH...

So, um do the French have their own launch detection satellites - or do they rely upon the US (via NATO, perhaps)???

Lol. I smell opportunity...
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 21:00 Comments || Top||

#12  Hopefully, information of that nature won't be found in an open forum such as this.
Posted by: Choluque Hupating3789 || 03/06/2006 21:07 Comments || Top||

#13  "Jacques? George. Hey, there's a big one headed right for you. Or maybe not -- I can't tell what this blinky thing means, but Don sure seems worked up about it. Oh well, your call."
Posted by: Matt || 03/06/2006 21:25 Comments || Top||

#14  The Map > Greenland is mostly toast - OTOH, the Clintons, for now, are safe in Naw Yawk regardless of whether the missle is from Iran or North Korea. I doubt the Russians or Chinese will ever allow it, unless of course they're put in control Iran's missles.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 22:06 Comments || Top||


Helmut Kohl agrees with Ahmadinejad on Holocaust
Tehran, Iran, Mar. 06 – Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reportedly told Iranian businessmen in Germany that he agreed with statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust was a “myth”, the semi-official Jomhouri Islami reported on Monday.
Somehow, I don't believe this.

The government-owned daily wrote that at a dinner gala with Iranian hoteliers and entrepreneurs, Kohl said that he “heartily agreed” with Ahmadinejad’s remarks about the Holocaust. “What Ahmadinejad said about the Holocaust was in our bosoms”, the former German chancellor was quoted as saying. “For years we wanted to say this, but we did not have the courage to speak out”.

Ahmadinejad caused an international furore last year when he publicly declared that the Holocaust was a “myth” and threatened that Israel must be “wiped off the map”. His comments were supported by senior Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The country’s state-run media have systematically defended the position of the Iranian president and given extensive coverage to historians and “experts” who deny the Holocaust took place.
Posted by: Steve || 03/06/2006 12:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Any chance of running the comments in German? Ain't buying til I read the exact language.

Did this-"What Ahmadinejad said about the Holocaust was in our bosoms”-mean that Kohl agrees with Ahmadinejad (the holocaust was a myth), or did it mean that Kohl admitted the holocaust was Germany's fault and no one else's, kind of an 'it happened in our heartland' comment. Ahmedinejad has already spoken about Nazi Germany being responsible for what happened to Jews there; Kohl's comments may have simply been an admission of this.

Too bad Iran-in fact nearly all Muslim-run governments-can't admit that they have been busy persecuting and killing Jews, too. More than anyone else, in our times.
Posted by: Jules || 03/06/2006 13:38 Comments || Top||

#2  See yesterday. The site is a front for the MM.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2006 13:46 Comments || Top||

#3  The exact translation of Kohl's comments.

"Holocaust a myth? We wish."
Posted by: rjschwarz || 03/06/2006 13:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Follows then, the painter from Austria was a "myth" as well?
Posted by: Visitor || 03/06/2006 14:06 Comments || Top||

#5  "...the semi-official Jomhouri Islami reported on Monday."

Now theres some credentials.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/06/2006 18:25 Comments || Top||


Posters Recall Islamic Caliphate
Beirut, 6 March. (AKI) - In the streets of Sidon, Lebanon's third city, posters from banned groups glorifying the defunct caliphate have begun appearing on walls. "The caliphate, one sole state for all the Muslims of the world" read a message, written in red on a white background, and signed by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an outlawed Islamic party. "The absence of the caliphate has handed us over to our enemies, the colonialist and evil Western countries who have undermined our spiritual force. "The caliphate is the only solution for Islam", read another message. The leaders of Hizb ut-Tahrir (the party of liberation) explained that it was not an explicit invitation to create an Islamic state in Lebanon, adding that "the posters have been put up for the anniversary of the fall of the Ottoman calliphate".

The last Caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on March 3, 1924, and the title has since been inactive. Scattered attempts to revive the Caliphate elsewhere in the Muslim World were made in the years immediately following its abandonment by Turkey, but none were successful.

"The slogans want to recall that date and invite the faithful to work to reunite the Islamic nation in one sole state," explained Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Ayman Qadiri. More explicit was another message on a wall in central Sidon. "Anyone who is faithful to the Western nations, to their leaders, to their partners, betrays God and his Prophet".

Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose symbol is a black banner with the credo of Islam written on it, is an Islamic party founded in Jerusalem in 1953 by the Sheikh Taqi ad-Din an-Nahbani. Its stated aims include "the liberation of the Muslim lands from the colonial occupation and the re-creation of the Islamic Calliphate based on Sharia law". The group is banned in most Arabic and Islamic countries, but also in Germany and Britain.

After the Lebanese port of Tripoli, Sidon is the city with the largest population of Sunni Muslims and the local authorities acknowledge the presence of illegal cells of Hizb ut-Tahrir. "We have on various occasions presented official requests for recognition to the interior ministry in Beirut and to date we have always had ambiguous replies. In any case, our members are arrested even if they don't carry out any political activity," Qadiri said.
Posted by: Steve || 03/06/2006 12:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The absence of the caliphate has handed us over to our enemies, the colonialist and evil Western countries who have undermined our spiritual force..."

It's good to know that that the West is "undermining their spiritual force". If it's that easy to shake...
Posted by: Jules || 03/06/2006 14:58 Comments || Top||

#2  ...and evil Western countries who have undermined our spiritual force.

Sounds like we've been stealing their precious bodily fluids.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 03/06/2006 17:37 Comments || Top||

#3  The British obtained a fatwa from the muslim ulema in India that declared the Ottoman caliphate as illegitimate since they were not the rightful heirs of the prophet.

This fatwa still stands....

Prior to this, the Padishahs e Hind (the Emperors of India) did not see themselves as beholden to any self styled Turkish caliph.

They were the rightful rulers of their lands and the muslim clerics were beholden to them..

Their legitimacy derived from the right of conquest. They were the "House of Timur", the first Mogul emperor Babur was descended fom Timur (Tamerlane), himself descended from Genghis Khan.

Likewise the Persian Shahanshah, considered by his Shia subjects to be the rightful Caliph...


Posted by: john || 03/06/2006 19:39 Comments || Top||


Iran vs. Tom and Jerry
The Iranians' hate toward Israel and the Jews seems to be driving them crazy.

This is the only possible explanation for the new war declared by the Iranians. An Iranian official recently lashed out against Tom and Jerry, the illustrated cat and mouse, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday. Hasan Bulkhari, a senior adviser to the Iranian education minister, said a number of days ago that Hollywood created the animation series as part of a Jewish conspiracy aimed at changing the perception of dirty mice, resulting from the comparison the Nazis made between Jews and mice.

Bulkhari explained that "the mouse is the wise and smart one, and he violently beats the poor cat. And yet, this cruelty does not cause you to despise the mouse. He looks so nice, and he is smart." "The program was produced in an attempt to erase the image of the mouse from the minds of European children and to show that the mouse is not dirty and that he even has nice characteristics," the Iranian official charged.
So, Pinky and The Brain must be about the Zionist plan for world domination?
Posted by: || 03/06/2006 09:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think he's getting Tom and Jerry confused with Maus (I read Maus years ago, it's very good)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 03/06/2006 10:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Perhaps the Iranians should open a couple of schools to learn something first before they open their vocal cords
Posted by: T || 03/06/2006 11:32 Comments || Top||

#3  You'd think that praying five times a day would tend to prevent the onset of DQST (Dangerous Quantities of Spare Time).

But noooooooooooooooooooooo!!! [/Belushi]
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 11:42 Comments || Top||

#4  We need to broadcast episodes of Itchy and Scratchy (The Simpsons) toward Tehran and watch their turbans explode....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/06/2006 12:04 Comments || Top||

#5  They are indeed confused. It's MIGHTY MOUSE that's a part of the Zionist conspiracy.
Posted by: Perfesser || 03/06/2006 14:16 Comments || Top||

#6  I've got Clutch Cargo working for a straw front CIA logistics operation, prolly involved moving Islamic terrorists to eastern Europe while deadheading Opium to fund Central American operations.
Posted by: capsu78 || 03/06/2006 18:58 Comments || Top||

#7  is there nothing that doesn't inflame the MM mind? Jeebus, if they ever saw Jessica Rabbit....
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 19:31 Comments || Top||

#8  *sniff* I'm just drawn that way...
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 19:36 Comments || Top||

#9  Best pose line in the entire movie.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 20:59 Comments || Top||

#10  can you imagine the turbans exploding? Pair her up with Mo and the toppling of a caliphate due to ink and pen is complete. Spontaneous combustion: continent-wide
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 21:29 Comments || Top||


Iran issues threats ahead of IAEA meeting
Iran threatened on Sunday to embark on full-scale uranium enrichment if the U.N. nuclear agency presses for action over its atomic program, and a top U.S. diplomat warned the Islamic republic of possible "painful consequences."

The comments came as the International Atomic Energy Agency's board prepared to meet Monday to discuss referring Iran to the
U.N. Security Council, but delegates said whatever step the council might take would stop far short of sanctions.

John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday there was an urgent need to confront Iran's "clear and unrelenting drive" for nuclear weapons.

Iran "must be made aware that if it continues down the path of international isolation, there will be tangible and painful consequences," Bolton told the conference of the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee.

But Iran's government cautioned that putting the issue before the Security Council would hurt efforts to resolve the dispute diplomatically.

"If Iran's nuclear dossier is referred to the U.N. Security Council, (large-scale) uranium enrichment will be resumed," Iran's top negotiator, Ali Larijani, told reporters in Tehran. "If they want to use force, we will pursue our own path."

He said Iran had exhausted "all peaceful ways" and that if demands were made contrary to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the nation "will resist."

Larijani said Iran will not abandon nuclear research, or back down from pursuing an atomic program that Tehran insists has the sole purpose of generating electricity with nuclear reactors.

IAEA delegates suggested the U.N. agency's board will not push for confrontation with Iran and said any initial decisions by the Security Council based on the outcome of the meeting will be mild.

They said the most likely action from the council would be a statement urging Iran to resume its freeze on uranium enrichment — an activity that can make both reactor fuel and the core of nuclear warheads — and to increase cooperation with the IAEA's probe of the Iranian program.

Even such a mild step could be weeks down the road.

Still, it would formally begin council involvement with Iran's nuclear file, starting a process that could escalate and culminate with political and economic sanctions — although such action for now is opposed by Russia and China, which can veto Security Council actions.

Bolton said a failure by the Security Council to address Iran would "do lasting damage to the credibility of the council."

"The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses," Bolton said, "the harder and more intractable it will become to solve."

Russia and China share the concerns of the United States, France and Britain — the three other permanent council members with veto power — that Iran could misuse enrichment for an arms program.

But both have economic and strategic ties with Tehran. While they voted with the majority of IAEA board members at a Feb. 4 meeting to alert the council to suspicions about Iran's nuclear aims, they insisted the council do nothing until after this week's IAEA meeting in Vienna.

Russia is unlikely to agree to strong action while it negotiates with Iran on a plan that would move Tehran's enrichment program to Russian territory as a way of increasing international monitoring and reducing the chances for misuse in arms work.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due in Washington and New York this week to discuss the status of those talks with Bush administration officials and U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan.

Both Tehran and Moscow have said new talks are planned; diplomats in Vienna, who demanded anonymity in return for discussing the situation, said no dates had been set.

In Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran could reach an agreement with Russia or the
European Union within hours, but did not elaborate. Iran rejected an EU proposal last fall to end enrichment in return for the West providing reactor fuel and economic aid.

Past IAEA board meetings have ended with resolutions taking Iran to task for hindering investigations into a nuclear program that was kept secret for nearly 18 years and more recently urging it to reimpose a freeze on enrichment.

The Feb. 4 resolution asked IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei to report those concerns and others to the Security Council and to formally hand over the complete Iran file to the council. It also asked him to provide the council with his latest report, drawn up for Monday's IAEA meeting.

That report, made available to The Associated Press last week, said Iran appeared determined to expand uranium enrichment, planning to start setting up thousands of uranium-enriching centrifuges this year.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/06/2006 01:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Jeez more wanking. Meeting to meet again. The zit has a zit.

UNium.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 1:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Ohhhhhhhh, but wait!

The IAEA thinks a deal is possible!

I'm not holding my breath.
Posted by: Bobby || 03/06/2006 6:43 Comments || Top||

#3  This is very serious. By the way, what's for lunch?
Posted by: Perfesser || 03/06/2006 9:17 Comments || Top||

#4  If any of you seriously question the IAEA's presence in Tehran, please try to remember that Iran is one of the last remaining sources of caviar.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 11:54 Comments || Top||

#5  If any of you seriously question the IAEA's presence in Tehran, please try to remember that Iran is one of the last remaining sources of caviar.

Ah, now that puts things in perspective. Good catch, Zenster.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 03/06/2006 12:15 Comments || Top||

#6  If any of you seriously question the IAEA's presence in Tehran, please try to remember that Iran is one of the last remaining sources of caviar.

The reason it's illegal to use caviar from the California Bay Delta region sturgeon.

Supposedly, the caviar from our fish out here is essentially the same as Beluga (and thus the reason for the current embargo).


Posted by: FOTSGreg || 03/06/2006 17:35 Comments || Top||

#7  The reason for the current embargo is that Russian mafia and cash strapped Iranian poachers have nearly wiped out the entire Caspian Sea fishery.

California sturgeon are being poached by Russian immigrants but is also undergoing successful and very tasty farming. Check the Tsar Nicoulai web site for delicious details:

http://www.tsarnicoulai.com/

From their web page:

Historically, 90% of the World's caviar has come from the Caspian Sea region and its tributary rivers. The supply, however, is shrinking rapidly. The effects of pollution, loss of spawning habitat, increased poaching (due in part to the economic havoc caused by the break up of the USSR), and over-fishing has proven to be devastating to the sturgeon population and, consequently, caviar production. CITES (the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) recently restricted the fishing of Caspian sturgeon, further limiting global Caviar supply.

The production of caviar in the former Soviet Union countries declined from 2,270 tons in 1981 to 1,045 tons in 1990.[1] This represents a reduction of more than 55% over this ten-year period. Based on unofficial data, the exports from the same region in 1995 had further declined to less than 300 tons. (Baku Sun, July 7, 2000). The estimate of 2001 caviar production for export from the Caspian region was 150 tons. Combined with reductions of inventory, caviar exports from the region (including Iran) in 2002 could be limited to an estimated 120 tons, representing less than 5% of the region's caviar exports in 1981.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 21:18 Comments || Top||


Syria pledges to cooperate with UN probe
Syria pledged on Sunday to fully cooperate with a UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, saying the terms of the cooperation had been agreed on last month with the new head of the inquiry. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem also said his country would step up diplomatic activity to counter intense U.S.-led international pressure on Damascus over its policies in Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Serge Brammertz, head of the U.N. inquiry into Hariri's killing, made his first visit to Syria last month and discussed the commission's work with Moallem. "We will cooperate with this commission. We have agreed on the basis of this cooperation [during Brammertz's visit]," Moallem said in an interview with Lebanon's Al-Manar television Sunday. "We believe that as long as Mr.Brammertz leads his investigation in a professional way, he will get full Syrian cooperation."

Moallem's comments come as Brammertz has begun preparations to leave Lebanon by the end of this week, when he will head to New York to present his first report to the UN Security Council. The "Security Council has already scheduled a briefing from Brammertz on March 16," Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, told reporters.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "As long as they don't ask any impertinent or probative questions - or make any demands - yes, of course we will cooperate!"
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 1:12 Comments || Top||

#2  I see Iran has asked for a diversion. Iran will play nice for the next week with the UN and Syria will take the spotlight while they build. I have a feeling Irana neds only another week or two to make a first strike. The new nice, nice along with this report is worrying.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 03/06/2006 19:30 Comments || Top||

#3  is this a macro-key story?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 20:06 Comments || Top||


Aoun says Emile won't be toppled
Head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Michel Aoun reiterated his opinion about the presidency Sunday, as he announced the opening of an FPM radio station. Aoun said: "the presidency will neither be toppled in the street nor will there be a constitutional resignation." Aoun was speaking on Sunday during a news conference to announce the opening of Sawt al-Ghad (Voice of Tomorrow) radio station, which he said was granted to the FPM by Former Minister Suleiman Franjieh.
Franjieh's owned by the Syrians, so it looks like Aoun's been at least rented...
Addressing the station's director and the editorial staff at his residence in Rabieh, Aoun said that the issue of the presidency is still being discussed in the National Dialogue that started on Thursday and the results will not be known until the dialogue is over. "I am curious more than the world to know the next president will be," the FPM leader said in response to a question asked if the next president was named in the discussions.

In his assessment of the dialogue, Aoun said: "The positions made are clear and face-to-face confrontation is the best outcome of the dialogue." Aoun hoped that after the dialogue is over, the next things to be discussed will be the economic improvement or economic projects for Lebanon. As for some political forces that criticized the dialogue, Aoun said that there are political parties that have different positions about the dialogue. "Those political forces are not coherent," he said.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:


Nassib Lahoud signs petition to oust Emile
Democratic Renewal Party leader Nassib Lahoud signed the national petition Sunday that was initiated by the March 14 Forces as a campaign to oust President Emile Lahoud. Lahoud signed the public petition in the presence of the representatives of the various parties making up the anti-Syrian March 14 Forces. The March 14 Forces are hoping to secure more than one million signatures for the petition, now one week old. Lahoud said changing the president is "fundamental for salvaging the country."

Lahoud, who said he would be willing to run for president if the March 14 Forces pick him, said that the current national dialogue would not be wrapped up soon but "will take its time since what is needed is an equation for a new national consensus based on the convictions that will hopefully make Lebanon prosperous." He believed that change in the presidency "has become a very urgent demand and the dialogue itself proves how a president who is a capable authority is needed to draft a national accord that the Lebanese people need."
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Boy, you are soooo off the Christmas card list.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 18:58 Comments || Top||


Palestinian arms top agenda as Assad hails talks
Lebanon's national dialogue will resume in its fourth day Monday, with the issue of Palestinian weapons as the first item on the agenda and an agreement expected. Syrian President Bashar Assad welcomed the talks as a "positive" step. On Saturday, Assad, speaking during a speech to the fourth session of the general conference of Arab parties in Damascus, had said: "The national dialogue, which is happening in Lebanon today, is a positive and reasonable step."

"Syria and Lebanon are two sisterly countries that are impossible to separate," Assad said, adding: "The problem is not between Lebanon and Syria but between a movement in Lebanon that has a problem with Syria," referring to the March 14 Forces.

Assad also said that the majority in Lebanon "supports the establishment of good relations with Syria." But he added that the parliamentary majority is not representative of the public majority. Assad had once referred to Lebanon's parliamentary majority as the "false majority."

In Lebanon, Saturday witnessed intense discussions on a number of issues without a decision being made on any of them. Talking to The Daily Star, Arafat Hijjazi, political adviser to Speaker Nabih Berri, said Monday's first session will tackle the issue of disarming Palestinian factions outside refugee camps in Lebanon. "An agreement is expected on forming a committee with the participation of Hizbullah in order to help the government engage in dialogue with these factions over their disarmament," said Hijjazi. "Hizbullah enjoys good relations with these factions, and their presence in the committee will facilitate the process of convincing Palestinians to lay down their arms," he said.

Hijjazi added that since Saturday witnessed intensive discussion into all the issues without decisions, issues will be discussed separately and consecutively starting Monday.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:


Europe did not hear the ‘voice of reason’ in Iran
French President Jacques Chirac said on Sunday the West would still reach out to Iran for a deal on its disputed nuclear file, in the first address to the Saudi consultative council by a foreign leader. “In Iran, the voice of reason that France, the United Kingdom and Germany wanted to be heard on the nuclear file has not been heard, for the time being,” Chirac told the non-elected advisory council. But despite the failure of negotiations between Tehran and the European Union, “the hand remains stretched out, and Iran can, at any moment, take it back by restoring its commitment to suspension of sensitive (nuclear) work”. Chirac said Iran had been “assured that it can develop its nuclear capacity for civilian purposes”.
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hey Cheeser. Real world leaders go to the US congress to speak. They do not to travel to the majic kingdom and address the Saudi consultative council and say we must keep doing what has failed.

Jacques Chirac is a bona fide fudge packer. Now of his action are bona fide however.
Posted by: SPoD || 03/06/2006 0:23 Comments || Top||

#2  This is diversion...

This "address" was just for MSM consumption.

The trip to Saudi was for other reasons.
Posted by: .com || 03/06/2006 0:47 Comments || Top||

#3  jebus, I bite my self again. PIYF
Posted by: SPoD || 03/06/2006 0:59 Comments || Top||

#4  Europe did not hear the ‘voice of reason’ in Iran

It is a logical contradiction for any sentence to simultaneously contain the words "voice of reason" and "Iran".
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 13:04 Comments || Top||


Assad urges Hamas not to recognise Israel
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad urged Hamas, which now holds a majority in Palestinian parliament, not to recognise Israel unless Palestinians' rights are restored, state media said on Sunday. "Recognising Israel is linked to the restitution of Palestinians' rights," Assad was quoting as saying by the SANA news agency during a speech Saturday to the fourth session of the general conference of Arab parties. "There should not be recognition of Israel for free, as if it were a gift for Israel, so that the West is satisfied with us," Assad said in the speech, which he gave at the university of Damascus. "Why are they asking for Hamas to recognise Israel, given that the Palestinian Authority has already recognised the state? That means there are other goals."
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  this pencil-necked POS still thinks he matters or will be in power by Labor Day. I think not
Posted by: Frank G || 03/06/2006 0:09 Comments || Top||


IAEA to clear way for UN action against Iran today
Posted by: Fred || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So, what are we up to now? The stern lecture? A slap on the wrist? Telling mommy? Waiting for dad to get home? ...
Posted by: Zenster || 03/06/2006 14:45 Comments || Top||


Everything is on table, Iran warned
The US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has told British MPs that military action could bring Iran's nuclear programme to a halt if all diplomatic efforts fail. The warning came ahead of a meeting today of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which will forward a report on Iran's nuclear activities to the UN security council. The council will have to decide whether to impose sanctions, an issue that could split the international community as policy towards Iraq did before the invasion.

Yesterday the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said: "Nobody has said that we have to rush immediately to sanctions of some kind." However the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, visiting Washington last week, encountered sharply different views within the Bush administration. The most hawkish came from Mr Bolton. According to Eric Illsley, a Labour committee member, the envoy told the MPs: "They must know everything is on the table and they must understand what that means. We can hit different points along the line. You only have to take out one part of their nuclear operation to take the whole thing down."

It is unusual for an administration official to go into detail about possible military action against Iran. To produce significant amounts of enriched uranium, Iran would have to set up a self-sustaining cycle of processes. Mr Bolton appeared to be suggesting that cycle could be hit at its most vulnerable point.

The CIA appears to be the most sceptical about a military solution and shares the state department's position, say British MPs, in suggesting gradually stepping up pressure on the Iranians. The Pentagon position was described, by the committee chairman, Mike Gapes, as throwing a demand for a militarily enforced embargo into the security council "like a hand grenade - and see what happens".

Yesterday Mr Bolton reiterated his hardline stance. In a speech to the annual convention of the American-Israel public affairs committee, the leading pro-Israel US lobbyists, he said: "The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become to solve ... we must be prepared to rely on comprehensive solutions and use all the tools at our disposal to stop the threat that the Iranian regime poses."

The IAEA referred Iran to the security council on February 4, but a month's grace was left for diplomatic initiatives. By yesterday, those appeared exhausted. A meeting of European and Iranian negotiators broke down on Friday over Tehran's insistence that even if Russia was allowed to enrich Iran's uranium, Iran would enrich small amounts for research. Iran says that it needs enrichment for electricity. According to Time magazine, the US plans to present the security council with evidence that Iran is designing a crude nuclear bomb, like the one dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. The evidence will be in the form of blueprints that the US said were found on a laptop belonging to an Iranian nuclear engineer, and obtained by the CIA in 2004. However, any such presentation will bring back memories of a similar briefing in February 2003 in which Colin Powell, then US secretary of state, laid out evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which proved not to exist.

While the US and Britain keep a united front over Iraq in the UN security council, there are clear differences over Iran. Britain has ruled out a military option if diplomatic pressure fails. The US has not. There is no serious consideration of large-scale use of ground forces, but there are disagreements in the administration over whether air strikes and small-scale special forces operations could be effective in halting or slowing down Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme. Some believe Iran has secret facilities that are buried so deep underground as to be impenetrable. They argue that the US could never be certain whether or not it had destroyed Iran's "capability".
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IRAQI WMDS have been found/proven, including but limited to enriched uranium, and I'm certain Dubya is the kind of leader whom isn't going to accept being a "lame duck" at any time in his second term. The burden was always on Saddam and Iraq, not the USA or UNO, to prove Saddam gave up his WMD programs and stockpiles, and for Saddam to cooper fully with the UN in their search of same. As for IRAN, and likely again NORTH KOREA, its clear that Dubya's and America's enemies want the sole burden on America, AGAIN, to prove that enriched Uranium is NOT a WMD nor would be used for Iran/NK-centric indig WMD/Nuke purposes. IRAN = NK > it doesn't matter what war or violent rhetoric is made by Iran-NK vv the destruction of threat ags any UNO member state, but for America and only America to prove the intent, dev, and actual use of WMDS as per Iran-NK. IOW, IFF AMERICA DOES NOT ATTACK AND WAGE WAR, AMERICA WILL ATTACKED AND WARRED AGAINST - WASHINGTON MUST TAKE OVER EVERYTHING IN AMERICA, SO THAT AMERICA CAN SURRENDER, VOLUNTARILY = FORCIBLY, ITS SOVEREIGNTY, FREEDOMS, AND ENDOWMENTS TO OWG.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 0:45 Comments || Top||

#2  WASHINGTON MUST TAKE OVER EVERYTHING IN AMERICA, SO THAT AMERICA CAN SURRENDER, VOLUNTARILY = FORCIBLY, ITS SOVEREIGNTY, FREEDOMS, AND ENDOWMENTS TO OWG.
You've stated the exact danger the UN poses. Couldn't have said it better myself - Nice job Joe.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/06/2006 10:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Not everything is on the table ...
Posted by: DMFD || 03/06/2006 20:28 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
SCOTUS rules campuses must allow military recruiters
Here's the Fox News story.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that colleges that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, despite university objections to the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

Justices rejected a free-speech challenge from law school professors who claimed they should not be forced to associate with military recruiters or promote their campus appearances.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision, which was unanimous.

Law schools had become the latest battleground over the "don't ask, don't tell" policy allowing gay men and women to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to themselves.

Many universities forbid the participation of recruiters from public agencies and private companies that have discriminatory policies.

Roberts, writing his third decision since joining the court, said there are other less drastic options to protest the policy.

"A military recruiter's mere presence on campus does not violate a law school's right to associate, regardless of how repugnant the law school considers the recruiter's message," he wrote.

The federal law, known as the Solomon Amendment after its first congressional sponsor, mandates that universities give the military the same access as other recruiters or forfeit federal money.

College leaders have said they could not afford to lose federal help, some $35 billion a year.

The court heard arguments in the case in December, and justices signaled then that they had little problem with the law.

Roberts filed the only opinion, which was joined by every justice but Samuel Alito. Alito did not participate because he was not on the bench when the case was argued.

"The Solomon Amendment neither limits what law schools may say nor requires them to say anything," Roberts wrote.

The case is Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, 04-1152.
Posted by: lotp || 03/06/2006 10:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The vote was 8-0, with Justice Alito not participating.
Posted by: Ominese Clainter3533 || 03/06/2006 10:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, and while you're at it, turn over your commie professors.
Posted by: wxjames || 03/06/2006 10:54 Comments || Top||

#3  The SCOTUS was also sending a message to all the liberal law schools who opposed military recruiting on political grounds, about the complexion of the new court.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2006 12:38 Comments || Top||

#4  "...on political grounds, about the complexion of the new court"

Uh, OK. What I found striking was that the university types swayed NOT ONE of the existing liberals on the court. Not ONE.
Posted by: Jatle Unolush6139 || 03/06/2006 12:58 Comments || Top||

#5  I am not convinced these schools care about the DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL policy - for me its more a cover for a basic issue, i.e. that Lefties can claim they don't have to fight in any war iff they don't want to but are still entitled to the rights, priveleges, and PUBLIC AIDS $$$ of full American citizenship. In WW2 many men whom successfully claimed CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR to war or combat were still taken by the armed forces and placed in medical or other OBA support units. These lib schools know that without federal funding, or lower federal funding, they would have to charge private tuition rates which would escalate costs for students and eventually induce many schools into banruptcy due to low attendance coupled with higher faculty costs.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 21:51 Comments || Top||

#6  The law has said for many decades that any private institution that accepts any form of federal student aid or other publicly subsidized aid, however partial, is akin to a public land grant institution and must allow ROTC andor mil recruitment.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2006 21:57 Comments || Top||



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