An Afghan elder is disputing the Canadian militarys claim that a man with an axe who seriously wounded a Canadian soldier Saturday was a Taliban operative, but Haji Mohammed Eisahs assertion only underlines the murky world of political affiliations in southern Afghanistan.
Eisah says the axe-wielding attacker was Abdul Karim, a 16-year-old boy who was upset by the U.S.-led coalitions heavy-handed tactics and insensitivity to tribal traditions. Eisah said the boy had no Taliban connections.
Brig.-Gen. David Fraser, head of the Canadian contingent of 2,200 troops in Afghanistan, said in no uncertain terms Sunday that the attacker was an operative of the Taliban.
A source at Canadian headquarters, speaking on condition of anonymity, said senior military leaders have a healthy skepticism of Mr. Eisahs version of Karims affiliations.
The source said the military cannot disclose the evidence leading to the conclusion that the attacker worked for the Taliban, the ultraconservative militant group that allegedly harboured Osama bin Ladens Al Qaeda organization when it was in power in Afghanistan.
The Taliban regime was ousted by U.S.-led forces in 2002 after Al Qaedas Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Remnants of the Taliban are still active in Afghanistan, attacking coalition forces and intimidating local populations.
Eisah said Karim was the son of a poor shoe repairman in Kondalan Schinkai. Senior military sources confirmed the identity of the attacker on Monday, but said Karims exact age is impossible to establish.
The town was the scene of the attack Saturday where Karim struck Capt. Trevor Greene of Vancouver in the head with an axe. Karim was shot dead by three Canadian soldiers moments after he struck Greene.
Eisah says the boy was one of many local people who are angry at coalition and Afghan army tactics, such as operations where they search and occupy the homes of villagers.
They come to our village and search our homes and our women, Eisah in an interview by satellite telephone. This guy was very angry about these kinds of operations.
Meanwhile, Greenes condition improved somewhat after surgery Monday at a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.
His condition somewhat destabilized this morning, Maj. Nick Withers, a Canadian medical officer at the hospital, told CBC-TV News.
Withers said Greenes surgery went extremely well and that he was in intensive care in a medically induced coma.
His condition has stabilized but he remains in critical condition, but were much happier than we were eight hours ago, Withers told CBC.
Events on Saturday indicated a degree of co-ordination beyond the act of a single teenager or an angry mob. Moments after the attack, insurgents shot at Canadian and Afghan troops, and someone tossed a hand grenade.
Eisah denied that anyone in the village knew the attack was coming. Canadian soldiers on the scene say children were quietly rounded up and moved away moments before the ambush.
Eisah was part of a delegation of conservative rural tribal elders from the heart of Taliban country who travelled to Kandahar city a couple weeks ago to complain about house-to-house searches.
The elders said coalition troops break down doors and search randomly after attacks, sending women out of the house and outraging community members.
Afghan troops often follow up by occupying houses and stealing their meat, the elders complained.
Coalition forces come and search the homes, Afghan forces stay the night and we have to take our women to another home, Eisah said.
Within hours of the attack, Eisah contacted Afghans who work for international media organizations by satellite phone to dispute claims that Karim had a Taliban connection.
Canadian officials could not confirm Eisahs claim that three local Afghans, including two children, were injured in the firefight that followed the axe attack.
INNSBRUCK, Austria - NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer ruled out on Monday sending troops from the western military alliance to Sudans strife-torn Darfur province. De Hoop Scheffer said he believed that NATO could help in the region during the transition phase from an African Union operation to one led by the United Nations but only with a clear UN mandate. Then we can discuss a NATO role, which I do see in the enabling sphere and not the boots of troops on the ground, he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of EU defence ministers in Innsbruck, Austria.
I'm a bit unclear on the military concept of an 'enabling sphere'.
The United States has been lobbying for a new UN-led force, backed by NATO and probably double the AU deployment, to take over peacekeeping. Last week, the US Senate called on President George W. Bush to ask for NATO troops to be sent to Darfur.
Libya on Sunday named a new prime minister, Baghdadi Mahmudi, as part of a major Cabinet reshuffle, Libyan state television reported. Mahmudi replaces former premier Shukri Ghanem, who had held the post since 2003. Ghanem is no longer part of the Cabinet but will head the state-owned Libya National Oil Company, television said.
The announcement came as Libya's Cabinet underwent a significant reorganisation with the creation of seven new ministries. A General People's Congress, or parliament, source had earlier told AFP that four new posts were to be named, but did not elaborate on why the reshuffle in the oil-and-gas rich north African country was taking place. The new ministries include agriculture, transportation, higher education, health, housing, social affairs, and industry and electricity which replaces the former energy ministry.
Among the key changes, Finance Minister Mohammed Hwij had been named to the post of deputy prime minister, previously held by Mahmudi. Economy and Trade Minister Abdel Kader Kheir is to be replaced by Taeb Al Safi, and a woman, Huda Aamr, was named as social affairs minister.
The last such cabinet reshuffle was in 2004. Ghanem had held the premier's job since June 2003. Ghanem, who studied in the United States, had tried to move the socialist economy towards a free market model, but his policies were roundly criticised by Libya's local People's Committees, which implement government policy. The committees had previously attacked Ghanem's plans for privatising state companies, freezing salaries and getting rid of subsidies on essential products. Ghanem's successor Mahmudi is a 60-year-old former doctor, who has previously served as health minister. He comes from the western Libyan town of Sorman.
Despite a promise made to Washington last November to drop its economic boycott of Israel, Saudi Arabia plans to host a major international conference next week aimed at promoting a continued trade embargo on the Jewish state, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The Post also found that the kingdom continues to prohibit entry to products made in Israel or to foreign-made goods containing Israeli components, in violation of pledges made by senior Saudi officials to the Bush administration last year.
"Next week, we will hold the ninth annual meeting for the boycott of Israel here in Jidda," Ambassador Salem el-Honi, high commissioner of the Organization for the Islamic Conference's (OIC) Islamic Office for the Boycott of Israel, said in a telephone interview. "All 57 OIC member states will attend, and we will discuss coordination among the various offices to strengthen the boycott," he said, noting that the meeting is held every March. The OIC, consisting of 57 Muslim countries, is based in Jidda, as is its boycott office.
Honi, a former Saudi diplomat, has headed the boycott office for the past four years. The scheduled gathering is listed on the OIC's official Web site in a section entitled "Provisional Calendar of Meetings." Hamed Salah a-Din, of the OIC General Secretariat, confirmed in a telephone interview that the conference would take place from March 13 to 15, describing it as "our regular annual meeting about the boycott."
The Saudi decision to host the parley appears to run counter to assurances that Riyadh gave the Bush administration when Saudi Arabia was seeking entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). On November 11, the WTO's ruling general council voted to grant Saudi Arabia entry into the prestigious group, which aims to promote international free trade, after it agreed to scrap restrictions on doing business with Israel.
Christin Baker, the assistant US trade representative for public and media affairs, told the Post via e-mail that the US had "ensured that Saudi Arabia in its recent accession to the WTO has taken on all rights and obligations with respect to all WTO members, including Israel." "Saudi Arabia," she said, "did not invoke the non-application provisions of the WTO agreement with respect to any member," meaning that it must treat all members equally, "including Israel." Likewise, in hearings last month before the US Senate Finance Committee, US trade representative Rob Portman insisted that the Saudis "have a responsibility to treat Israel as any other member of the WTO." "We've received assurances from Saudi Arabia," Portman said in separate testimony before the US House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee. "They will abide by their WTO commitments."
Nonetheless, the Post has found, Saudi customs officials continue to enforce the boycott, asserting that no Israeli-made goods be allowed into the country. "Absolutely not - if it is from Israel it is not allowed," Hamad Abdul Aziz of the Saudi Customs Department at Jidda's Islamic seaport said by phone. "I checked with my manager, and he said it is completely forbidden."
Similarly, a Saudi customs official at King Abdul Aziz Airport outside Jidda also said that Israeli goods were not allowed into the kingdom. "It is prohibited," he said. "It is not allowed to bring any goods made in Israel, whether the whole item or only part of it was made there. That is the rule."
In December, just weeks after being allowed into the WTO, Saudi officials were quoted in the Arab press as insisting that the boycott of Israel would continue. This has raised concerns in Washington that the Saudis are not planning to live up to their commitment. Baker revealed to the Post that "a team of anti-boycott experts from the US departments of Commerce and State has been visiting the region to discuss efforts to eliminate the boycott."
She added that later this month, "a senior USTR official plans to visit Saudi Arabia and will again seek assurances that Saudi Arabia understands and remains committed to its WTO obligations."
If we ever develop a cure for cancer or AIDS, let's give Israel exclusive production rights.
It almost makes me glad that so many of the Middle Eastern countries are so incredibly corrupt. Once the West unhooks itself from the oil teat, none of the gigantic profits taken during OPEC's glory days will have trickled down to all these twisted genocidal masses. They can revert to their nomadic hunter-gatherer ways and, once again, be the marginal insignificant cultures they once were before petroleum made its debut.
What makes you think Israel won't do it themselves, Zenster?
Posted by: Eric Jablow ||
03/07/2006 16:45 Comments ||
Well, given the fact that the biotechnology and computational models required for such sophisticated antiviral and antimutagenic development was essentially invented and built here in America, it sorta gives us a mile long head start in the race. Not that Israel is bereft of talent or anything. More than anything, I just want such profound breakthroughs placed in exclusively Israeli hands so the Saudis and their boycotting anti-Semitic ilk can all FOAD.
Mar 6: Five Kuwaitis freed from U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay were released on bail on Sunday in Kuwait after denying that they had joined Al-Qaida, collected "donations" for it or fought with the Taliban.
The men returned from the Cuban detention centre in November. Kuwaiti prosecutors allege they have endangered their country's "political standing" and its ties with friendly nations. They were released on the equivalent of $1,720 bail. "God willing, (the release) was a good start," Mubarak al-Shimmiri, their lawyer, told The Associated Press.
Depends on what happens to them next.
Four of the men were accused of joining Al-Qaida, and one of fighting alongside Afghanistan's former Taliban regime. Three of the five face charges of working for an Afghan charity the U.S. military says helped finance Al-Qaida.
It appears to be painfully quite obvious that terrorism, similar to pedifilia has a remarkably high rate of recidivism. The current programe of "catch and release" should re-examined for Gods sake. Terrorists are not signatores of the Geneva Convention and when captured, should be interrogated and promptly executed.
If the Netherlands becomes the first European country to ban the burqa and other Muslim face veils this month, Hope says she'll resort to wearing a surgical mask to dress in accordance with her religious beliefs. "I'll wear one of those things they wore during the SARS epidemic if I my owner says I have to," said the Dutch-born Muslim, one of about 50 women in the Netherlands who wear the head-to-toe burqa or the niqab, a face veil that conceals everything but the eyes. "I'm very practical," the 22-year-old added.
Last December, parliament voted to forbid women from wearing the burqa or any Muslim face coverings in public, justifying the move in part as a security measure.
The cabinet is awaiting the results of a study into the legality of such a ban under European cultural suicide human rights laws, before making its final decision. The results are expected in the second half of this month. "This is an enormous victory for traditional Dutch decency," said Geert Wilders, the populist member of parliament who first proposed the burqa ban, after hearing parliament had backed it. "The burqa is hostile to women, and medieval. For a woman to walk around on the streets completely covered is an insult to everyone who believes in equal rights."
The Dutch may have been among the first to legalize cannabis, prostitution and euthanasia -- earning them a reputation for tolerance -- but they are now in the process of imposing some of Europe's toughest entry and integration laws. Social and religious tensions have escalated in recent years, exacerbated by the murder of columnist and director Theo van Gogh by a Dutch-Moroccan terrorist militant in 2004 after he made a film documenting accusing Islam of condoning violence against women. His murder, and that of anti-immigration populist Pim Fortuyn two years earlier, deeply unsettled the country and provoked an anti-Muslim backlash, as well as much soul-searching about the make-up and cohesion of Dutch society.
Famile Arslan, a Dutch-Muslim lawyer, believes a ban would only reinforce today's polarized climate, and prompt more women to wear the niqab as a form of protest. "We are very scared that what starts with a ban on the burqa will end with a ban on the hijab," she said, referring to the Muslim headscarf worn by thousands in the Netherlands. "A country once known for its tolerance is now becoming known for its ignorance," she added, stressing public opinion of the Netherlands' 1 million Muslims had hit an all-time low. About a third of the country's Muslims have Moroccan ancestry, while Dutch-Turks form another sizable community.
The Netherlands would be the first European state to impose a countrywide ban on Islamic face coverings, though other countries have already outlawed them in specific places.
Given all the kidnappings for the sex trade around that part of the world, banning face coverings is a wise law enforcement decision. Remember that 16-year old who was kidnapped in Colorado (?) a few years ago, and forcibly married to that polygamist? He walked around town with both of his "wives" in white burqa-type garb, and got away with it for about a year.
Once again, louder. Its your intolerance that isnt being tolerated Its either ban the burqa or ban the sects of the muslim religion that subjugate women to the extent of eliminating them from view and existence. The denial of individually and basic human rights, The ban of the brainwashing that makes these women believe that this is acceptable treatment; that this is their choice. Choose not to wear the coverings one day and leave your homes alone to stroll the streets uncovered and enter shops. Choose that for one day. Cant, can you? Youll be punished. If its not a choice, then its a dangerous intolerance. At the very least. It may well be a crime. So STFU.
IMHO, covering your face in public is a hostile act. It should be a misdemeanor, on par with enciting panic.
Posted by: Robert Crawford ||
03/07/2006 21:29 Comments ||
A sane reaction to the chauvinism of islam. Islam doesn't want to have you just tolerate it's culture and morals. It seeks to replace your's with it's own. This is the correct response but it's only a begining. Much of the EU elite will have to be removed from their jobs as they see islam as good for the EU.
The prime suspect in the shocking kidnapping, torture and murder of a young Frenchman insisted on the weekend that money, not anti-Semitism, was the only motive in the crime, according to investigators Sunday. But the statements made by Youssouf Fofana, a 25-year-old French Muslim, after his extradition Saturday from Ivory Coast, did little to dispel a widespread perception in France that he was part of a gang that targeted the victim because he was Jewish. Yet investigators determined to present the most watertight case possible are being extremely careful in their handling of the affair. They are hesitant to label the crime as principally anti-Semitic before fully questioning the suspects and their motives. He allegedly confessed -- as he already had while in custody in Abidjan -- that he had participated in the kidnapping of Halimi, but denied having killed him. He blamed other suspects not yet in custody for the death.
Several of the arrested suspects, however, have allegedly described Fofana as the leader of the gang, which called itself "the gang of barbarians". At least one was said to have accused Fofana of having fatally knifed Halimi because the victim managed to lift a blindfold and saw Fofana's face. Fofana also allegedly had the idea -- taken from US crime television shows -- to douse Halimi with acid to erase any fingerprints or DNA. Fofana allegedly said when questioned in Abidjan that Halimi was abducted because it was thought that, being Jewish, his family could pay the initial 450,000-euro ransom demanded. But he also said in a television interview conducted while awaiting extradition that Halimi's kidnapping was carried out "for financial reasons". A source close to the case said Fofana was being held in an unidentified prison outside the Paris area to avoid any communication with the other suspects in the case.
Yeah, I guess that's why the 'Barbarians' chanted anti-jewish koran verses (as acknowledged by the police during phone intercepts) while letting Ilan's family hear him being tortured on the phone... money, that's the ticket!
And that's why 80% of their attempted kidnappings targeted jews, or why the physicians they racketed in a separate case were located in a jewish neighbourhood too.
No antisemitism... I feel so relieved!
French President Jacques Chirac wrapped up a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia Monday without clinching a defense deal as oil giant Total eyed a contract to build a refinery in the oil-rich kingdom. "Saudi Arabia is actively pursuing a detailed study of different solutions" proposed to Riyadh in terms of cooperation in defense and security, Chirac told a news conference. "All this is taking place in an excellent climate," he said.
At stake is the sale of French Rafale fighters and a border monitoring system to Saudi Arabia, which a French presidential spokesman had cautioned would not be finalized during the trip, Chirac's fourth to the Gulf country. French aerospace group Dassault Aviation confirmed last April that talks had taken place on the purchase of the Rafale. The French daily Les Echos said at the time the discussions focused on the purchase of 48 fighters with an option for 48 more in a deal valued at six billion euros (7.2 billion dollars). The fourth-generation Rafale, a multi-role combat jet which can carry out interception and reconnaissance missions as well as nuclear strikes, has yet to find an export market.
The other potential deal involves the Miksa electronic border monitoring system, under which electronic defense manufacturer Thales would supply 225 radars to Saudi Arabia over a period of 12 years for seven billion euros (8.4 billion dollars). The sale of the Miksa -- acronym for Ministry of Interior Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- would also include a telecommunications network, reconnaissance aircraft and about 20 helicopters.
Chirac, whose visit came some two months after it was announced that Saudi Arabia would buy Typhoon Eurofighter jets from Britain, said he was pleased by the contacts established between more than a dozen French businessmen and industrialists accompanying him and Saudi counterparts. Total's chairman Thierry Demarest meanwhile said he hoped to conclude a deal to build a five-billion-dollar oil refinery in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province within months. The refinery, with a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), would be built in Jubail on the Gulf coast. Although he did not give a specific figure, Demarest said such ventures usually do not cost less than five billion dollars.
Chirac, who on Sunday became the first foreign leader to address the Saudi-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, took advantage of his presence in the kingdom, home to Islam's holiest sites, to advocate tolerance and mutual respect at a time when Muslims across the world have been infuriated by the publication of cartoons deemed blasphemous to Prophet Mohammed. "We have always condemned what some call the clash of civilizations, and which I call the clash of ignorances," he told reporters. Chirac also said he "respected" Saudi Arabia's decision to oppose a reduction of OPEC's output so as not to push oil prices further up when the cartel meets in Vienna on Wednesday.
BRUSSELS: The European Union (EU) sought again on Monday to calm the row over Prophet Muhammad (PTUI PBUH) cartoons, reiterating the need for free speech to be tempered by religious respect in talks with a Pakistani minister.
If it's tempered, it ain't free.
But Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU external relations commissioner, speaking after talks with Ijazul Haq, the visiting religious affairs minister, also repeated criticism of violent protests including in Pakistan. I would like to stress that freedom of expression is a fundamental right, but it comes with responsibilities and should be exercised with respect for all religious beliefs and cultures, she said. But she added: Violent acts cannot be justified under any circumstances.
"If you have to watch every word you say for fear of setting somebody off, the somebody is probably a lunatic."
Ferrero-Waldner welcomed the Pakistani ministers visit, accompanied by a delegation of lawmakers, as a chance to bridge the communications gap between the two sides in the dispute. Pakistan is an important partner of the EU and the EU is keen to advance its relations with Pakistan and the EU and its member states will actively promote dialogue, mutual understanding and respect. Together with our partners in the Muslim world we need to look into possibilities of education on human rights. We will work...to foster tolerance as well as respect for religious beliefs and cultures.
Europe's attempts to neuter a critical and fundamental constitutional right like free speech shows just how committed they are to fascism socialism. I dread to think what sort of death-throe the continent will have to undergo in order to shake off their fascination with what is clearly unworkable. It will probably make the French revolution and the Holocaust look like picnics.
I would like to stress that freedom of expression is a fundamental right, but it comes with responsibilities and should be exercised with respect for all religious beliefs and cultures, she said. But she added: those cultures and countries that do not permit freedom of expression have every right to continue to demand the genocide of all people of all religions that are different from theirs. Therefore, all muslims are absolved from any need to excercise any sort of respect or tolerance for others.
Cindy Sheehan, who drew her fifteen minutes of infamy international attention when she camped outside President Bush's ranch to protest the Iraq war, was arrested Monday along with three other women during a demonstration demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The march to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations by about a dozen U.S. and Iraqi anti-war activists followed a news conference at U.N. headquarters, where Iraqi women described daily killings and ambulance bombings as part of the escalating violence that keeps women in their homes.
Women Say No to War, which helped organize the news conference and march, said Sheehan and three other women were arrested while trying to deliver a petition to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations with more than 60,000 signatures urging the "withdrawal all troops and all foreign fighters from Iraq." Police said they were arrested for criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. Richard Grenell, the spokesman for the U.S. Mission, said in response to Sheehan's arrest: "We invited her in to discuss her concerns with a U.S. Mission employee. She chose not to come in but to lay down in front of the building and block the entrance. It was clearly designed to be a media stunt, not aimed at rational discussion," Grenell said. "Rational" and "Sheehan" don't mix.
At the news conference, Sheehan said when her 24-year-old son – a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq – died in April 2004, "the morgues were filled with innocent men, women and children."
Entessa Mohammed, a pharmicist who works at a hospital in Baghdad, became tearful when recalling the deaths and injuries she said she has witnessed daily. She estimated that 1,600 Iraqis are killed in Baghdad every month, with a greater number injured. "Thanks for the liberation from Saddam" Hussein, Mohammed said, addressing the Bush administration, "now please go out."
I am more impressed with the 60k signatures! There are more people living in Berkley or Marin County which is supposed to be the most liberal people in the world. Is this movement growing? I think not.
Cindy needs a new agent - her shtick isn't working anymore. She started out with some sympathy (as in: avert-your-eyes-she's-hurting), moved on to annoyingly pathetic, progressed to a running-gag laughingstock, and is now just pathetically annoying.
WASHINGTON (AP) -Thorny issues involving the changing role of the National Guard and Reserves and friction between federal and state officials over who controls the citizen soldiers must be addressed, members of a newly formed independent commission said Monday.
Members of the panel, many of them retired military, said they will begin rolling out initial recommendations by June. They cautioned, however, that state officials should not look to the commission to overturn unpopular base closure decisions approved by Congress last year.
Instead, the 13-member panel, chaired by retired Marine Corps Gen. Arnold L. Punaro, will do a yearlong review of how the nation should be using the National Guard and Reserves, and whether the units are properly trained and equipped for their changing roles on the home front and the front lines abroad.
Punaro said Monday that the panel is planning to release a preliminary report around June 1, dealing with key issues - including possible funding recommendations for re-equipping the Guard - that Congress may be working on.
The commission, Punaro said, will look at ``what are the threats, what are the requirements and where are the gaps.'' And, he said, the panel is not going to be reluctant to come out with recommendations that differ from those made within the Pentagon. ``We're not going to dodge any of the tough issues,'' he said.
First you got to make the National Guard Bureau subject to either the President or the Secretary of Defense rather than operating as a rogue political-paramilitary lobbying organization.
The governors for internal needs require military police, transportation, communication, medical, and the like services. Very few states need armor or artillery. However, that is exactly how it is set up now with the National Guard mainly infantry, armor, artillery units and the [federal] Reserves organized in the combat support and service support roles. That is how the NGB wants it. That's what you got.
Back when the regular Army was being gutted from 750K to 480K, the central planners wanted to downsize the Reserve and National Guard structure as well because the budget was being cut just as deeply. The NGB and the governors lobbied their Congressional reps and were protected, so the active force took an even larger hit in operational budgets. Go back an review the latter years of the Clinton Administration and see the problems with active duty training and readiness. Unfortunately, this is far more about protecting their piece of the pie and not functional military needs.
Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has been following this is you need additional info
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. A sheriff's deputy who was videotaped shooting an unarmed Iraq War veteran after a car chase will be charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter, authorities said Tuesday.
The decision to charge Deputy Ivory J. Webb, 45, was announced by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos.
Sheriff Gary Penrod said Webb will remain on paid administrative leave during the investigation into the shooting of Air Force Senior Airman Elio Carrion, 21.
"I respect the decision of the district attorney's office," Penrod said.
It is the first time the county's prosecutors have filed charges against a lawman for an on-duty shooting.
Webb's arraignment was set for Wednesday. If convicted, he could face up to 18 1/2 years in prison.
The charge includes the special allegations of infliction of great bodily injury and use of a firearm, Ramos said at a news conference. In California, such enhancements can result in extra prison time.
An attempted-murder charge was not filed because there was no finding of malice, Ramos said.
Carrion, an Air Force security officer just back from Iraq, was a passenger in a Corvette that police chased at high speed on the night of Jan. 29 until the Corvette crashed into a wall in Chino, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles.
A grainy videotape shot by a bystander showed Carrion on the ground next to the car with Webb standing and pointing at gun at him.
A voice appears to order Carrion to rise, but when the airman appears to begin complying, the deputy shoots him three times. Carrion was shot in the chest, shoulder and thigh and was hospitalized for several days.
Authorities found no weapons on Carrion or the driver, Luis Escobedo.
Prosecutors announced they were charging Escobedo with a felony of attempting to evade a peace officer while driving recklessly and misdemeanor driving under the influence. He was expected to surrender Wednesday. The maximum penalty if convicted would be 3 1/2 years in prison.
Webb has made no public comment since the incident.
Carrion's sister, Monique Carrion, 22, was surprised by Tuesday's announcement.
"We've just been trying to stay strong and help my brother get better," she said in a telephone interview. "Just give him support, which is what he needs right now."
The FBI is investigating possible civil rights violations. The sheriff's department conducted its own probe and gave the results to the district attorney's office.
At the time, the sheriff said the videotape "arouses a lot of suspicion," but he pointed out that it is fuzzy and contains gaps.
Ramos assigned two top attorneys to review the shooting and requested an FBI enhancement of the videotape.
Charging Webb was a "difficult decision," Ramos said, but enhancing the videotape "made our decision easier."
At least 8,000 members of the all-volunteer U.S. military have deserted since the Iraq war began, Pentagon records show, although the overall desertion rate has plunged since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
Since fall 2003, 4,387 Army soldiers, 3,454 Navy sailors and 82 Air Force personnel have deserted. The Marine Corps does not track the number of desertions each year but listed 1,455 Marines in desertion status last September, the end of fiscal 2005, says Capt. Jay Delarosa, a Marine Corps spokesman.
Desertion records are kept by fiscal year, so there are no figures from the beginning of the war in March 2003 until that fall.
Some lawyers who represent deserters say the war in Iraq is driving more soldiers to question their service and that the Pentagon is cracking down on deserters to discourage anti-war sentiment.
The last thing (Pentagon officials) want is for people to think that this is like Vietnam, says Tod Ensign, head of Citizen Soldier, an anti-war group that offers legal aid to deserters.
Desertion numbers have dropped since 9/11. The Army, Navy and Air Force reported 7,978 desertions in 2001, compared with 3,456 in 2005. The Marines showed 1,603 deserters in 2001. That declined by 148 in 2005.
The desertion rate was much higher during the Vietnam era. The Army saw a high of 33,094 deserters in 1971 3.4% of the Army force. But there was a draft and the active-duty force was 2.7 million.
Desertions in 2005 represent 0.24% of the 1.4 million U.S. forces.
Opposition to the war prompts a small fraction of desertions, says Army spokeswoman Maj. Elizabeth Robbins. People always desert, and most do it because they don't adapt well to the military, she says. The majority of desertions happen inside the USA, Robbins says. There is only one known case of desertion in Iraq.
Most deserters return without coercion. Commander Randy Lescault, spokesman for the Naval Personnel Command, says that between 2001 and 2005, 58% of Navy deserters walked back in. Of the rest, most are apprehended during traffic stops.
Penalties range from other-than-honorable discharges to death for desertion during wartime.
There is only one known case of desertion in Iraq.
...Well, where the HELL are you going to go?
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
03/07/2006 13:19 Comments ||
That was muslim Marine Wassef Ali Hassoun who deserted to Lebanon, faked his death in a jihadi snuff video, returned to US custody, and deserted back to Lebanon where he is married to his first cousin like a good boy. I can only conclude that he wasn't sentenced to 20 years in the Quantico brig because of multicultural pollution of the government and military made muslims untouchable.
Back in peacetime, I knew an ex-swab who had deserted, and been so *good* at it, that he worked as a bartender on his naval base. He was even shown his own picture by NIS (I think it was, I was Army), a time or two.
Finally, they let him indirectly know that were only after him for administrative reasons (peacetime again), but after hearing his stories of successful E&E, they offered him a promotion and a job on the spot--tracking down other deserters and AWOLs.
For the first time in the Navy, it was a job he really, really liked. And he soon became their #1 tracker. On ETS, they even hired him for a few weeks to train some of the other trackers, at a lot more than military pay.
"That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us."
Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons and faces "meaningful consequences" if it persists in defying the international community, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Tuesday.
Cheney, speaking to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, also reaffirmed that the United States was keeping all options on the table -- including military force -- in its determination to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.
"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences," Cheney said.
Cheney spoke as the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency governing board was meeting in Vienna to decide its next steps on Iran.
"For our part, the United States is keeping all options on the table. ... We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon," Cheney said.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said late on Monday that Washington would seek to have European allies and others, possibly including Russia and China, join it in imposing travel and financial sanctions on Iran if it refused to halt nuclear uranium enrichment.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had dinner on Monday night with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and was to hold further meetings on Tuesday.
March 7, 2006: The release of the names of over 500 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, after the Department of Defense complied with a Freedom of Information Act request by the Associated Press was ordered by a federal judge, is yet another blow to American intelligence efforts. In essence, the Department of Defense 's efforts to protect the families of detainees, who cooperate, from retaliation, has been set back. In addition to that, as the names get named, it will become much easier for al Qaeda to figure out what the United States probably knows, giving the terrorist organization a huge counter-intelligence coup.
In the war on terror, interrogations are going to provide a lot of the valuable intelligence often providing details about the structure of al Qaeda (for instance, such interrogations have shown how al Qaeda compartmentalizes information). Often, people cooperate as long as assurances can be given about the safety of their family. Al Qaeda also will now be willing to tell potential members that if captured, their families could be subject to reprisals, allowing it to enforce a version of the Mafia's code of omerta.
The other effect of the names of who the United States has in custody being released is that it will make damage assessment easier for the terrorist organization. One of the crucial aspects of counter-intelligence is figuring out just what the other side knows (or could know) about your capabilities and intentions. This is what enables you to avoid getting caught by surprise (the way the Japanese carrier force was at the Battle of Midway in 1942). The revelation of who the United States of America is holding will permit al Qaeda to have a very good idea of what the United States potentially knows.
The magnitude of this counter-intelligence coup is staggering considering some of the high-level al Qaeda personnel the United States is known to have in custody. The revelations forced by the Associated Press's FOIA request could be compared with the Japanese knowing about American code breaking efforts in 1942, or if Germany knew of the similar code-breaking efforts during the Battle of the Atlantic, which lasted from 1939 to 1945. This is knowledge that is crucial to the war on terrorism, and now al Qaeda knows the United States has that information. This will lead to counter-measures on the part of the terrorist group and the United States will face increased vulnerability to attacks as a result.
The released names will also result in a flurry of lawfare as media outlets and human rights groups begin to demand more information, while the human rights groups will also solicit plaintiffs and have the threat of friendly judges that they can turn to. These groups will also have the benefit of potentially strained relations between the Justice Department (which controls the appellate lawyers), and the Department of Defense (which is focused on getting actionable intelligence to protect the country, usually by making lots of terrorists good terrorists).
There are two very good reasons why the Pentagon did not resist this very much. First and foremost, Gitmo is only used for the least important of these detainees, because Gitmo is a Potempkin village, a facade designed to attract criticism while the real work is done elsewhere.
Second, and now more important, is that the detainees there are utterly worthless. All we are accomplishing by keeping them there is giving them three squares a day and full medical care. Better welfare than they would get in Sweden.
Of course, when we release them, they will head to parts unknown and will brag about the hideous and inhuman thing we did to them there. And that is what we are hoping they will do--very demoralizing to the baddies.
For the better part of the last several years, there has been an ongoing debate over the detainees held by the United States as enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Members of the administration, including Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, have described those being held there as being "the worst of the worst," while critics have argued that the detainees constitute minimal intelligence value. Now, thanks to several thousand pages of documents released by the Pentagon, it can be safely said that the truth about Guantanamo is somewhere in between. Still, it remains difficult to determine the accuracy of critics' charges that the United States continues to hold individuals of minimal intelligence value because the documents themselves do not state whether such individuals were released or are still detained at the facility.
The first set of documents helps to illustrate this point. Some detainees profess ignorance when confronted with unclassified U.S. allegations concerning their involvement or association with terrorism. Others attempt to explain away such evidence. Since the majority of the documents consist primarily of U.S. allegations against the detainees and the responses of the detainees, there is no way for the reader to determine whether the detainees' answers are credible or not. Still, there are indications that there is much more to some detainees than first meets the eye.
Take for instance this account from a detainee who is the son of a Saudi diplomat and was captured not in Afghanistan, but in Indonesia:
. . . I got introduced to terrorists in Indonesia . . . The third person's name is Habib Rizq. Habib Rizq is the President of an organization, IDF, like, Islamic Defense Front. It is said about him that he has connections with Usama bin Laden. Telephone connections. Habib Rizq and bin Laden talks through the telephone. Habib Rizq is also the guardian of the al Qaida organization in Indonesia.
It is precisely this type of information that is of value to U.S. intelligence. The Front Pembela Islam, usually rendered Islamic Defenders Front or FPI in English, is an Indonesian vigilante group founded in 1998 by Al-Habib Muhammad Rizieq bin Husein Syihab, the "Habib Rizq" referenced by the detainee above. The FPI has actively campaigned for the implementation of sharia in Indonesia and remains active there to this day, most recently organizing protests in response to the cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten in Denmark. If the detainee's claims about FPI and its leader's ties to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are true, then its continued activities in Indonesia would be a matter of grave concern for the U.S. government.
Other statements by the same detainee, such as the following, indicate further cause for his continued detention at Guantanamo:
To show I was a such a big person, I talked about Osama bin Laden and they asked me, did I see Osama bin Laden and I told them yes, when I was coming from Pakistan, I heard one of his announcements, in which he announced that the Muslims should not travel on non-Muslim airlines. If Muslims were to travel on non-Muslim airlines, then al Qaida and Osama bin Laden are not responsible for their lives.
These are by no means the only interesting or disturbing claims made by the Guantanamo detainees, they are simply among the most interesting in the first of more than fifty-three different sets of documents. Even the most virulent critics of Guantanamo must acknowledge that information of this nature is of great value to the United States in pursuing the war against al Qaeda and its allies. And those individuals who possess such knowledge may be too valuable to repatriate or release.
Dan Darling is a counterterrorism consultant for the Manhattan Institute's Center for Policing Terrorism.
I heard one of his announcements, in which he announced that the Muslims should not travel on non-Muslim airlines. If Muslims were to travel on non-Muslim airlines, then al Qaida and Osama bin Laden are not responsible for their lives.
Grant for a second that this is true.
Then all we have to do is sieze each and every "Muslim" aircraft as it lands, and they cannot travel.
BBWAHHHHHhhaha, (I can't breathe, gasp)
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
03/07/2006 14:54 Comments ||
EXECUTING al-Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui over his role in the September 11 attacks would only make him a "hero" and draw young Muslims into extremist groups, his lawyers said in a US court today.
Defence and prosecution counsel started an impassioned debate on the first day of the sentencing trial for the 37-year-old Frenchman, who is the only person to have been charged for the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.
Moussaoui was detained in August 2001 and was in jail when the al-Qaeda hijackers struck.
Prosecutors argue that Moussaoui deserves the death penalty because he knew about the attacks and could have prevented them if he had not lied to investigators.
Moussaoui has rejected his court-appointed defence team and listened with barely a reaction as one of his lawyers said that execution would turn the avowed al-Qaeda follower into a martyr.
Lawyer Edward MacMahon pleaded with the jury not to order a death sentence so that Moussaoui would "live on as some smiling face in a recruiting poster for Osama bin Laden".
"Please don't make him a hero. He just doesn't deserve it," Mr MacMahon said.
The lawyer said jurors should not use Moussaoui as "revenge" for the horror of September 11 or to make up for the "bureaucratic infighting and outright blunders", which he said were made by the US authorities before the attacks.
Mr MacMahon rejected prosecution claims that Moussaoui was an integral part of the plot. The lawyer portrayed Moussaoui as "a strange Muslim loner" who had "failed miserably" in attempts to learn to fly.
"He couldn't fly at all. Any plan that involved Moussaoui as a pilot was destined to fail," said Moussaoui's lawyer.
Mr MacMahon said the Government had no evidence to prove that Moussaoui's failure to tell FBI investigators about September 11 had caused a single death.
"What the Government wants you to believe is only a dream. Its most seductive quality is that we all wish it could have come true."
Moussaoui's mother, Aicha El Wafi, watched events from an overflow courtroom in the complex and buried her face in her hands when she saw her son on a television screen.
Prosecutors started their case by saying that Moussaoui had been an integral part of the September 11 plot.
"One of the conspirators is among us, that man is the defendant," said prosecutor Robert Spencer. "... He lied so the plot could proceed. He lied and nearly 3000 people perished."
Mr Spencer said that September 11 had been "a defining moment for a generation" in the US.
"It started as an utterly normal day, which soon became a day of abject horror... within a few hours out of that clear blue sky came terror, pain, misery and death."
Mr Spencer said the prosecution would prove to jurors "why Moussaoui lied and what effects those lies had".
Moussaoui has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit attacks with al-Qaeda, though he has argued that he was not meant to be part of September 11 and that he was to take part in a second wave of attacks.
A TERRORIST conspirator who studied in London must be executed for causing the deaths of nearly 3,000 people by failing to tell what he knew of the 11 September attacks, prosecutors in the United States argued yesterday.
As Zacarias Moussaoui stroked his beard on the opening day of his sentencing trial, and families of the 11 September victims watched on closed-circuit television, prosecutor Rob Spencer described the horror of the 2001 attacks and laid blame on the only man charged over them.
"He lied so the plot could proceed unimpeded," Mr Spencer charged.
"With that lie, he caused the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. He rejoiced in the death and destruction. Had Mr Moussaoui just told the truth, it would all have been different."
Moussaoui's defence countered that his dreams of being a terrorist were far removed from anything he could actually do, and that he had no part in the attacks.
"That is Zacarias Moussaoui in a nutshell," said his court-appointed lawyer Edward MacMahon. "Sound and fury signifying nothing."
US District Judge Leonie Brinkema had 18 jurors and substitutes sworn in over a 90-minute period yesterday. One who appeared upset at being chosen was excused, meaning the trial will proceed with 12 jurors and five substitutes instead of six.
Moussaoui, a 37-year-old French citizen, has acknowledged his loyalty to the al-Qaeda terrorist network and his intent to commit acts of terrorism, but denies any prior knowledge of the 11 September plot.
Moussaoui pleaded guilty in April to conspiring with al-Qaeda to hijack planes and commit other crimes. The trial will determine Moussaoui's punishment and only two options are available: death or life in prison.
The jury included a high school maths teacher who has travelled widely in the Middle East, a Sunni Muslim woman who was born in Iran and a man who served as a Navy lieutenant in the Gulf during the Desert Storm war against Iraq in 1990-91.
Two prospective jurors with some loose connection to the September 11 attacks made it on to the final panel of 17.
One was a woman whose brother-in-law works for the New York City Police Department and helped with rescue work at the World Trade Centre.
The maths teacher had a more remote connection - the fathers of two of her pupils are firefighters who responded to the September 11 crash at the Pentagon. She helped students make a quilt to give to the fire department.
In his opening statement, Mr MacMahon appealed to jurors to judge his client fairly, not "as a substitute for Osama bin Laden".
He scoffed at the idea Moussaoui had any part in the plot. "Moussaoui certainly wasn't sent over here to tell a lie, ladies and gentlemen."
Frequently ejected from the courtroom earlier because of his outbursts against his court-appointed attorneys, Moussaoui sat quietly through the opening of his trial, often gazing at the jurors or the gallery.
At the end of the morning hearing, he spoke to one member of his defence team: "Just to let you know, you're not my lawyer, thanks a lot."
His mother, Aicha el-Wafi, spoke up for her son in a television interview. "All they can have against him is the things that he said, the words that he has used," she said, "but actual acts that he committed, there aren't any."
Hamilton Peterson, who lost his father Donald and stepmother Jean on hijacked Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, came to witness the trial.
Standing in the hallway outside the courtroom, talking to reporters, he declared: "I want accountability. I would like to have accountability after a fair trial for the world to see.
"I believe Moussaoui is an excellent candidate for the death penalty. He is nothing less than a mass murderer."
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Associated Press sued the Justice Department on Monday for access to American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh's petitions to have his 20-year federal prison sentence shortened.
The federal Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, said the government has improperly refused to turn over Lindh's pleas to have his sentence reduced on the grounds that doing so would be an unwarranted invasion of his privacy. AP's lawyers, in letters to the Justice Department and the lawsuit, however, said Lindh ``is a 'high-profile public figure' whose 'privacy interest in his petition is low to nonexistent.'''
Lindh's lawyer, James Brosnahan, also has told the news cooperative that he would have turned over the documents himself, but he can't under the terms of Lindh's imprisonment.
He was sentenced as part of a plea-bargin. Didn't the lawyer read the fine print?
The Justice Department did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.
Lindh, 25, was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 in the U.S.-led effort to topple the Taliban following the Sept. 11 attacks. Prosecutors charged him with conspiring to kill Americans and supporting terrorists. He pleaded guilty to lesser offenses in 2002, including carrying weapons against U.S. forces. He avoided a potential life sentence and agreed to withdraw claims that he had been abused or tortured in U.S. custody.
The AP said it believes Lindh ``contends in his petition that he was prosecuted and convicted unfairly in the immediate wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that he was not, in fact, knowingly fighting the United States in Afghanistan.''
He says that now, but he pleaded guilty. Sounds like the usual prison con.
Lindh, who is held at the medium security federal penitentiary in Victorville, Calif., first applied for clemency in September 2004, following up on his request 15 months later. Justice officials told him it would be at least a year before any decision is made.
AP first sought the records on Jan. 4. Nine days later, the department replied it could only release the documents with Lindh's written consent, according to the lawsuit. But Lindh is barred from making any public comment on the matter, including consenting to the release, under the terms of his plea agreement, the suit said.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Brosnahan Jihad Johnny's lawyer when he signed the damn document in the first place?
And now he's trying to get it put aside because it was "too harsh"? Talk about chutzpah.
The only thing that would make it more perfect is if Brosnahan argues that Johnny's sentence should be reduced because of his own legal malpractice. (Maybe that's the real reason he doesn't wanna talk about it??? ;) )
CS - I hope has trouble falling every waking hour - and while he's asleep as wll
Posted by: Frank G ||
03/07/2006 12:48 Comments ||
AP (associated press, not me, heh) must have the need for filler material in their stories. Clue: look to Iran, there are lots of stories ready to be written, but you have to get your fat a$$es off the bar stool and get out in the field to get some protein in your stories. Pfeh. A pox--a proliterian pox on your house.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
03/07/2006 13:44 Comments ||
99% of the group know as "reporters" are on the other side if anyone had not noticed. (I know most of you have.) Why do we not treat them as enemies?
Long treated as the step-child among the armed forces, the Coast Guard now wants to grow, and grow fast.
It has sought a manifold increase in its strength to effectively tackle growing operational challenges and maritime threats in the coming years.
Sources say Coast Guard has projected force-levels of as many as 268 ships (which includes 173 small patrol crafts), 113 aircraft, 18 'Nishant' UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and a couple of Aerostat and OTH (over-the-horizon) radars each by 2017.
These force-levels include around 60 helicopters, 35 Dorniers for coastal surveillance, 11 medium-range reconnaissance aircraft, over 40 interceptor boats and six deep-sea patrol vessels, among others.
India has a 5,422-km coastline touching 12 states and Union territories, apart from 1,197 islands and a vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)of 2.01 million sq km, which will go up to almost 3 million sq km after delimitation of the continental shelf.
The Rs 2,427-crore Sethusamudram ship canal project, underway off Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu to build a maritime shortcut between the country's east and west coasts, will also add to Coast Guard's problems.
"With this project, ship traffic in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay will grow immensely. The force will have to be equipped to tackle piracy and terrorist attacks, pollution and search-and-rescue operations," said sources.
Coast Guard is also slated to progressively play a role as the "lead intelligence agency", apart from taking over two crucial tasks Operation Tasha and Operation Swan performed by the much-larger Navy at present.
Operation Tasha pertains to patrolling conducted in the Palk Bay along the Tamil Nadu coast for over a decade now due to the interlinked problems of terrorist activities, smuggling, gun-running and influx of refugees.
Operation Swan, in turn, was initiated after the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts to enhance coastal security and patrolling on the west coast against "suspicious" movement of "hostile" ships.
"The present Coast Guard manpower strength of around 1,000 officers and 5,200 other personnel will also need to be doubled to around 15,000," say sources.
Coast Guard, at present, makes do with around 60 ships and 45 aircraft. Its 2002-2017 Perspective Plan had chalked out a requirement of 169 ships, including a dozen hovercraft and 99 aircraft.
But additional force-levels are now being requested since its charter of duties is rapidly expanding.
There is a need, for instance, to strengthen the security of coastal areas and territorial waters to prevent piracy, smuggling and terrorism, including clandestine shipments of weapons of mass destruction.
This is the text of the document titled "Implementation of the India-United States Joint Statement of July 18, 2005: India's Separation Plan" tabled in Parliament on March 7, 2006:
"The resumption of full civilian nuclear energy cooperation between India and the United States arose in the context of India's requirement for adequate and affordable energy supplies to sustain its accelerating economic growth rate and as recognition of its growing technological prowess. It was preceded by discussions between the two Governments, particularly between President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, of the global energy scenario and the long-term implications of increasing pressure on hydrocarbon resources and rising oil prices. These developments led to the announcement in April 2005 of an Indo-US Energy Dialogue that encompassed the entire spectrum of energy options ranging from oil and gas to coal, alternative fuels and civilian nuclear energy. Through the initiation of a sustained dialogue to address energy security concerns, the two countries sought to promote stable, efficient, predictable and cost effective solutions for India's growing requirements. At the same time, they also agreed on the need to develop and deploy cleaner, more efficient, affordable and diversified energy technologies to deal with the environmental implications of energy consumption. India had developed proven and wide-ranging capabilities in the nuclear sector, including over the entire nuclear fuel cycle. It is internationally recognized that India has unique contributions to make to international efforts towards meeting these objectives. India has become a full partner in ITER, with the full support of the US and other partners. India also accepted the US invitation to join the initiative on Clean Development Partnership.
"2. Noting the centrality of civilian nuclear energy to the twin challenges of energy security and safeguarding the environment, the two Governments agreed on 18 July 2005 to undertake reciprocal commitments and responsibilities that would create a framework for the resumption of full cooperation in this field. On its part, the United States undertook to:
# Seek agreement from the Congress to adjust US laws and policies to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation.
# Work with friends and allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, including but not limited to expeditious consideration of fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapur.
# In the meantime, encourage its partners to consider fuel supply to Tarapur expeditiously.
# To consult with its partners to consider India's participation in ITER.
# To consult with other participants in the Generation-IV International Forum with a view towards India's inclusion.
"3. India had conveyed its readiness to assume the same responsibilities and practices and acquire the same benefits and advantages as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology, such as the United States. Accordingly, India for its part undertook the following commitments:
# Identifying and separating civilian and military nuclear facilities and programmes in a phased manner.
# Filing a declaration regarding its civilian facilities with the IAEA.
# Taking a decision to place voluntarily its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, and
# Signing and adhering to an Additional Protocol with respect to civilian nuclear facilities.
"4. Other commitments undertaken by India have already been fulfilled in the last year. Among them are:
# India's responsible non-proliferation record, recognized by the US, continues and is reflected in its policies and actions.
# The harmonization of India's export controls with NSG [Nuclear Suppliers' Group] and MTCR [Missile Technology Control Regime] Guidelines even though India is not a member of either group. These guidelines and control lists have been notified and are being implemented.
# A significant upgrading of India's non-proliferation regulations and export controls has taken place as a result of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of May 2005. Inter-Ministerial consultations are ongoing to examine and amend other relevant Acts as well as framing appropriate rules and regulations.
# Refrain from transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that do not have them and supporting international efforts to limit their spread. This has guided our policy on non-proliferation.
# Continued unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, and
# Willingness to work with the United States for the conclusion of a multilateral Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.
"5. The Joint Statement of July 18, 2005, recognized that India is ready to assume the same responsibilities and practices as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology, such as the United States. India has an impeccable record in non-proliferation. The Joint Statement acknowledges that India's nuclear programme has both a military and a civilian component. Both sides had agreed that the purpose was not to constrain India's strategic programme but to enable resumption of full civil nuclear energy cooperation in order to enhance global energy and environmental security. Such cooperation was predicated on the assumption that any international civil nuclear energy cooperation (including by the U.S.) offered to India in the civilian sector should, firstly, not be diverted away from civilian purposes, and secondly, should not be transferred from India to third countries without safeguards. These concepts will be reflected in the Safeguards Agreement to be negotiated by India with IAEA.
"6. India's nuclear programme is unique as it is the only state with nuclear weapons not to have begun with a dedicated military programme. It must be appreciated that the strategic programme is an offshoot of research on nuclear power programme and consequently, it is embedded in a larger undifferentiated programme. Identification of purely civilian facilities and programmes that have no strategic implications poses a particular challenge. Therefore, facilities identified as civilian in the Separation Plan will be offered for safeguards in phases to be decided by India. The nature of the facility concerned, the activities undertaken in it, the national security significance of materials and the location of the facilities are factors taken into account in undertaking the separation process. This is solely an Indian determination.
"7.The nuclear establishment in India not only built nuclear reactors but promoted the growth of a national industrial infrastructure. Nuclear power generation was envisaged as a three-stage programme with PHWRs [pressurised heavy water reactors] chosen for deployment in the first stage. As indigenous reactors were set up, several innovative design improvements were carried out based on Indian R&D and a standardized design was evolved. The research and technology development spanned the entire spectrum of the nuclear fuel cycle including the front end and the back end. Success in the technologies for the back end of the fuel cycle allowed us to launch the second stage of the programme by constructing a Fast Breeder Test Reactor. This reactor has operated for 20 years based on a unique carbide fuel and has achieved all technology objectives. We have now proceeded further and are constructing a 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor. Simultaneously, we have launched design and development of reactors aimed at thorium utilization and incorporating inherent safety features.
"8.Concepts such as grid connectivity are not relevant to the separation exercise. Issues related to fuel resource sustainability, technical design and economic viability, as well as smooth operation of reactors are relevant factors. This would necessitate grid connectivity irrespective of whether the reactor concerned is civilian or not civilian.
"9.It must be recognized that the Indian nuclear programme still has a relatively narrow base and cannot be expected to adopt solutions that might be deemed viable by much larger programmes. A comparison of the number of reactors and the total installed capacity between India and the P-5 brings this out graphically [see table].
"10. Another factor to be taken into account is the small capacity of the reactors produced indigenously by India, some of which would remain outside safeguards. Therefore, in assessing the extent of safeguards coverage, it would be important to look at both the number of reactors and the percentage of installed capacity covered. An average Indian reactor is of 220 MW and its output is significantly smaller than the standards reactor in a P-5 economy [see table].
"11. The complexity of the separation process is further enhanced by the limited resources that India has devoted to its nuclear programme as compared to P-5 nations. Moreover, as India expands international cooperation, the percentage of its thermal power reactor installed capacity under safeguards would rise significantly as fresh capacity is added through such cooperation.
"12. India's approach to the separation of its civilian nuclear facilities is guided by the following principles:
# Credible, feasible and implementable in a transparent manner;
# Consistent with the understandings of the 18 July Statement;
# Consistent with India's national security and R&D requirements as well as not prejudicial to the three-stage nuclear programme in India;
# Must be cost effective in its implementation; and
# Must be acceptable to Parliament and public opinion.
"13. Based on these principles, India will:
# Include in the civilian list only those facilities offered for safeguards that, after separation, will no longer be engaged in activities of strategic significance.
# The overarching criterion would be a judgment whether subjecting a facility to IAEA safeguards would impact adversely on India's national security.
# However, a facility will be excluded from the civilian list if it is located in a larger hub of strategic significance, notwithstanding the fact that it may not be normally engaged in activities of strategic significance.
# A civilian facility would, therefore, be one that India has determined not to be relevant to its strategic programme.
"14. Taking the above into account, India, on the basis of reciprocal actions by the US, will adopt the following approach:
"(i) Thermal Power Reactors: India will identify and offer for safeguards 14 thermal power reactors between 2006 and 2014. This will include the 4 presently safeguarded reactors (TAPS 1&2, RAPS 1&2) and in addition KK 1&2 that are under construction. 8 other PHWRs, each of a capacity of 220 MW, will also be offered. Phasing of specific thermal power reactors, being offered for safeguards would be indicated separately by India. Such an offer would, in effect, cover 14 out of the 22 thermal power reactors in operation or currently under construction to be placed under safeguards, and would raise the total installed Thermal Power capacity by MWs under safeguards from the present 19% to 65% by 2014.
"(ii) Fast Breeder Reactors: India is not in a position to accept safeguards on the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) and the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), both located at Kalpakkam. The Fast Breeder Programme is at the R&D stage and its technology will take time to mature and reach an advanced stage of development.
"(iii) Future Reactors: India has decided to place under safeguards all future civilian thermal power reactors and civilian breeder reactors, and the Government of India retains the sole right to determine such reactors as civilian.
"(iv) Research Reactors: India will permanently shut down the CIRUS reactor, in 2010. It will also be prepared to shift the fuel core of the APSARA reactor that was purchased from France outside BARC [Bhabha Atomic Research Centre] and make the fuel core available to be placed under safeguards in 2010.
"(v) Upstream facilities: The following upstream facilities would be identified and separated as civilian:
# List of those specific facilities in the Nuclear Fuel Complex, which will be offered for safeguards by 2008 will be indicated separately.
# The Heavy Water Production plants at Thal, Tuticorin and Hazira are proposed to be designated for civilian use between 2006-2009. We do not consider these plants as relevant for safeguards purposes.
"(vi) Downstream facilities: The following downstream facilities would be identified and separated as civilian:
# India is willing to accept safeguards in the `campaign' mode after 2010 in respect of the Tarapur Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant.
# The Tarapur and Rajasthan `Away From Reactors' spent fuel storage pools would be made available for safeguards with appropriate phasing between 2006-2009.
"(vii) Research Facilities: India will declare the following facilities as civilian:
"(a) Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
"(b) Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre
"(c) Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics
"(d) Institute for Plasma Research
"(e) Institute of Mathematics Sciences
"(f) Institute of Physics
"(g) Tata Memorial Centre
"(h) Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology
"(i) Harish Chandra Research Institute
"These facilities are safeguards-irrelevant. It is our expectation that they will play a prominent role in international cooperation.
"(a) The United States has conveyed its commitment to the reliable supply of fuel to India. Consistent with the July 18, 2005, Joint Statement, the United States has also reaffirmed its assurance to create the necessary conditions for India to have assured and full access to fuel for its reactors. As part of its implementation of the July 18, 2005, Joint Statement the United States is committed to seeking agreement from the U.S. Congress to amend its domestic laws and to work with friends and allies to adjust the practices of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to create the necessary conditions for India to obtain full access to the international fuel market, including reliable, uninterrupted and continual access to fuel supplies from firms in several nations.
"(b) To further guard against any disruption of fuel supplies, the United States is prepared to take the following additional steps:
"(i) The United States is willing to incorporate assurances regarding fuel supply in the bilateral U.S.-India agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy under Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, which would be submitted to the U.S. Congress.
"(ii) The United States will join India in seeking to negotiate with the IAEA an India-specific fuel supply agreement.
"(iii) The United States will support an Indian effort to develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of India's reactors.
"(iv) If despite these arrangements, a disruption of fuel supplies to India occurs, the United States and India would jointly convene a group of friendly supplier countries to include countries such as Russia, France and the United Kingdom to pursue such measures as would restore fuel supply to India.
"(c) In light of the above understandings with the United States, an India-specific safeguards agreement will be negotiated between India and the IAEA providing for safeguards to guard against withdrawal of safeguarded nuclear material from civilian use at any time as well as providing for corrective measures that India may take to ensure uninterrupted operation of its civilian nuclear reactors in the event of disruption of foreign fuel supplies. Taking this into account, India will place its civilian nuclear facilities under India-specific safeguards in perpetuity and negotiate an appropriate safeguards agreement to this end with the IAEA.
"16. This plan is in conformity with the commitments made to Parliament by the Government."
Reuters - India will open 14 of its 22 nuclear plants for international inspections by 2014 as part of a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation deal with the United States, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday.
Here are some key facts about India's plan to separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities:
- 14 thermal reactors that generate about 65 percent of atomic power will be placed on the civilian list between 2006 and 2014 and opened to inspections. India has 15 nuclear power plants in operation, with an installed generating capacity of 3,310 megawatts (MW). Seven more plants with a capacity of 3,420 MW are under construction and scheduled for completion by 2009.
- Four nuclear power plants in operation (capacity 620 MW) and two under construction (capacity 2000 MW) are currently under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
- The experimental fast-breeder reactor (FBR) programme, the subject of hard bargaining during the negotiations, will fall outside the ambit of safeguards. This leaves out the fast breeder test reactor, which was completed in 1985, and the 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, scheduled for completion by 2010. The FBRs, which use spent fuel from existing heavy water reactors to process plutonium, are intended as the mainstay of the country's nuclear power programme.
- India has decided to place under safeguards all future civilian thermal power reactors and civilian breeder reactors with the caveat that it will determine which ones fall in the civilian list. India has plans to increase the installed capacity of its nuclear power reactors to 20,000 MW by 2020.
- Reprocessing, enrichment and other facilities associated with the fuel cycle for the strategic programme have been kept out of the separation plan.
- The Canadian-built CIRUS research reactor, which has been used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, will be shut down by 2010. India has said it is ready to shift another research reactor, "Apsara," out of a high-security atomic research centre in Mumbai and place it under safeguards.
- The safeguards will apply in "perpetuity" but only as long as foreign fuel supplies remain uninterrupted. This will require safeguards and fuel supply agreements with the IAEA applicable only to India.
Sources: Reuters, Indian Atomic Energy Commission (www.aec.gov.in), IAEA (www.iaea.org)
btw, "home grown" means CANDU derivative.
The heavy water reactors are based on Canadian designs.
The fast breeders and the other research reactors - such as Kamini the only U233 reactor in the world, and the (still to be built) thorium reactor are of purely Indian design.
India operates more Candu derived units than any country outside Canada itself.
These are heavy water reactors that use natural uranium fuel. No enrichment is needed.
When used in low burnup mode, significant amounts of weapons grade plutonium are available in the spent fuel rods. Power output is quite low in this mode though.
The recycling of the heavy water causes a build up of Tritium.
Both Canada and India have developed (independently) the technology for detritiating heavy water. This gives a low cost source of large amounts of Tritium (used to boost the yield of a nuclear weapon primary).
Canada recently shut down two CANDU units prematurely becuse it was too expensive to fix their corroded coolant pipes.
In contrast, India has managed to fix (and essentially refurbish) the coolant pipes of its CANDU units quite cheaply, extending their life by decades.
Some background info on the Indian nuclear program
As the US Congress debates the Indo-US agreement on nuclear cooperation, a key aspect from the American viewpoint is that India has certain inherent strengths in the area of nuclear technology, which would enable India to forge ahead, albeit slowly, even without US cooperation.
Central to this argument is the availability of huge reserves of thorium in India. Thorium reserves have been estimated to be between 3,60,000 and 5,18,000 tonnes. The US estimates the economically extractable reserves to be 2,90,000 tonnes, one of the largest in the world. Our uranium reserves, by contrast, are estimated to be at a maximum of around 70,000 tonnes.
India currently has 15 commercial power reactors in operation, most of which are pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) which use natural uranium. Two Tarapur reactors are boiling water reactors (BWR) which need enriched uranium, which has to be imported.
Together they generate about 3300 MWe (Mega Watt Electrical) of power, about 4 per cent of that generated from all sources. Another six PHWRs are in construction, and along with the two VVER Russian built 1000 MWe reactors which use enriched uranium, they would add about 3960 MWe by 2008. The goal is to reach at least 20,000 MWe by 2020.
India's uranium reserves are low. Obtaining enriched uranium for the two Tarapur reactors and VVER type reactors requires the consent of the Nuclear Suppliers Groups countries, including Russia. This is where the agreement with the US is expected to be beneficial to India.
Also central to India's success in achieving these goals, is the harnessing of thorium, for which India has developed a three-stage nuclear programme. India has already developed and tested the technologies needed to extract energy from Thorium, but large scale execution has not yet been possible, mainly because of limited availability of Plutonium.
Stage one is the use of PHWRs. Natural uranium is the primary fuel. Heavy water (deuterium oxide, D2O) is used as moderator and coolant. The composition of natural uranium is 0.7 percent U-235, which is fissile, and the rest is U-238. This low fissile component explains why certain other types of reactors require the uranium to be enriched i.e. the fissile component increased.
In the second stage, the spent fuel from stage one is reprocessed in a reprocessing facility, where Plutonium-239 is separated. Plutonium, of course, is a weapons material, which goes towards creating Indias nuclear deterrent.
Pu-239 then becomes the main fissile element, the fuel core, in what are known as fast breeder reactors (FBR). A test FBR is in operation in Kalpakkam, and the construction for a 500 MWe prototype FBR was launched recently by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
These are known as breeder reactors because the U-238 blanket surrounding the fuel core will undergo nuclear transmutation to produce more PU-239, which in turn will be used to create energy.
The stage also envisages the use of Thorium (Th-232) as another blanket. Th-232 also undergoes neutron capture reactions, creating another uranium isotope, U-233. It is this isotope which will be used in the third stage of the programme. Thorium by itself is not a fissile material, and cannot be used directly to produce nuclear energy. The Kamini 40 MWe reactor at Kalpakkam which became critical in Sept 1996, using U-233 fuel, has demonstrated some of these technologies.
India is currently developing a prototype advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) of 300 MWe capacity. The AHWRs, which use plutonium based fuel, are to be used to shorten the period of reaching full scale utilisation of our thorium reserves. The AHWR is thus the first element of the third stage. AHWR design is complete but further R and D work is required, especially on safety. It is expected to be unveiled soon and construction launched.
In the third phase, in addition to the U-233 created from the second phase, breeder reactors fuelled by U-233, with Th-232 blankets, will be used to generate more U-233.
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has estimated that India's thorium reserves can amount to a staggering 3,58,000 GWe-yr (Giga Watt Electrical - Year) of energy, enough for the next century and beyond
BARC scientists are also looking at other designs, like an advanced thorium breeder reactor (ATBR) which requires plutonium only as a seed to start off the reaction, and then use only thorium and U-233. Here the plutonium is completely consumed and this reactor is thus considered proliferation resistant. A Compact High Temperature Reactor also under development at BARC . This reactor is designed to work in closed spaces and remote locations.
Success in harnessing thoriums potential is thus critical for the Indias future energy security.
India has put in place mechanisms for ensuring safety and security of nuclear facilities. The regulatory and safety systems ensure that equipment at India's nuclear facilities are designed to operate safely and even in the unlikely event of any failure or accident, mechanisms like plant and site emergency response plans are in place to ensure that the public is not affected in any manner. In addition, detailed plans, which involve the local public authorities, are also in place to respond if the consequences were to spill into the public domain. The emergency response system is also in a position to handle any other radiation emergency in the public domain that may occur at locations, which do not even have any nuclear facility.
Regulatory and safety functions of Atomic Energy in India are carried out by an independent body, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). The AERB was constituted on November 15, 1983 by the President of India under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to carry out certain regulatory and safety functions under the Act. The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986. The mission of the Board is to ensure that the use of ionizing radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to health and the environment.
"They [US] should be ready for worse times coming ... we have substitutes and they know why I went there [China] before his [Bush's] visit,"
KARACHI - President General Pervez Musharraf's observation that Pakistan is strategically situated in an "arc of turmoil" from Afghanistan through Iran to the Middle East is aimed at promoting Islamabad's influence in this region.
At the same time, Pakistan itself is caught in a vicious arc of turmoil that all but ties the hands of the Pakistani leader, for whichever way he turns, he is looking down a double-barreled shotgun: domestic wrath that could bring him down, and alienation of his increasingly disgruntled partner in the "war on terror", the United States.
The American barrel
Despite President George W Bush's flying visit to Pakistan on Saturday, the two sides are aware that their alliance now borders on the realm of living in a fool's paradise.
The US and Pakistan are meant to be major allies, yet this marriage of convenience, forged in the tumultuous days following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US and the ouster of the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2001, appears headed for the rocks.
When Bush and Musharraf met in Islamabad, they didn't even have a clear-cut agenda to discuss, unlike Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had met earlier and agreed on a number of important issues, including a civilian nuclear accord.
What Bush did want from Pakistan, according to officials familiar with the meeting who spoke to Asia Times Online, was for Abdul Qadeer Khan to be made available for interrogation.
The US wants to grill Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear-weapons program and self-confessed proliferator, including with Iran, so that it can build a case against Iran at the United Nations Security Council. The US argues that Tehran is bent on building the bomb. The issue of Iran's nuclear program is currently before the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. It is expected to make a decision on referral to the Security Council soon.
Pakistan has outright denied any direct access to Khan, who is under virtual house arrest in Pakistan, although it has agreed to hand over a scientist, named only as Dr Farooq, and a Pakistani businessmen, named only as Mr Jafery, who were allegedly involved in smuggling nuclear components on the international market.
To the Americans, this is only a half-measure, and until direct access is provided to Khan, they believe they will not be able to draw a full picture of Iran's nuclear program and its possible capacity to develop atomic weapons.
Against this background, the US will definitely not provide Pakistan with any cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy, as it did with India. Bush clearly drew a line during his press conference in Islamabad in response to a question on whether his country would deal equally with India and Pakistan. He said Pakistan and India had a different history of nuclear development and requirements.
Between the lines, he clearly outlined the fact that India had developed its nuclear program indigenously and had never been involved in proliferation, while Pakistan had obtained its program clandestinely and then sold on secrets.
Bush raising the issue of democracy in Pakistan and of Musharraf's insistence on wearing a uniform also irked the Pakistani leader, who seized power in a coup in 1999.
Further, in calculated remarks ahead of Bush's visit, Afghanistan lashed out at Pakistan for failing to deal with Taliban bases and their activities on Pakistani territory.
This prompted Musharraf to pay a fruitful strategic visit to China, during which he not only struck a deal for fighter aircraft with an advanced delivery system, but also for nuclear plants. This was a clear message to the United States that Pakistan had options.
"They [US] should be ready for worse times coming ... we have substitutes and they know why I went there [China] before his [Bush's] visit," Musharraf said at a press conference in Islamabad, which was repeatedly broadcast on all private and state-run media.
From the Pakistani perspective, it now sees the US is committed to squeezing Islamabad until it produces on the "war on terror" shopping list, starting with Osama bin Laden, his deputy Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, Taliban leader Mullah Omar and resistance figures Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Much as the US would like to add Khan to this list, Pakistan sees him as non-negotiable.
The Taliban thorn
The Taliban are geared for their spring offensive in Afghanistan, having regrouped in their thousands and established bases in the country, on the border areas with Pakistan and within Pakistan itself, in North Waziristan. They are complemented by al-Qaeda-linked jihadis who have helped train the Taliban in urban guerrilla warfare.
On Monday, after several days of fighting between Taliban and Pakistani forces in North Waziristan, relative calm returned to the area, and the two sides have begun talks. The major demand of the Taliban is a guarantee of free movement over the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
At present, militants use footpaths in the Shawal region to cross into Afghanistan. This hampers their logistical ability and makes supply lines very difficult to maintain. The Taliban are demanding access from Ghulam Khan Mountain, which would allow vehicles to pass so they could fuel the insurgency at the highest possible level.
If they get this, and with more advanced weapons, they could significantly raise the level of the insurgency.
The US, though, by carrying out various attacks within Pakistan, the latest being a drone attack on suspected militants last month, clearly could never accept such a Pakistani deal with the Taliban.
The domestic barrel
Rallies sponsored by the establishment against the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in European countries have turned into ones related to Tehrik-i-Nizam-i-Mustafa, in essence the call for the introduction of sharia (Islamic) law.
Now angry mobs want to destroy all icons of pro-Americanism, including the leaders sitting in Islamabad. Opposition parties have said they will not let Musharraf salute an important parade on March 23.
Musharraf has a stark and unenviable choice. He could go along with the Taliban plan for easy access into Afghanistan. That would mean risking complete alienation from the US, whatever that might entail, but it would take the fire out of the domestic campaign to unseat him.
Alternatively, he could refuse the Taliban, attempt to play ball with the US, and try to defuse the mounting movement against him.
The nucleus of whatever Musharraf decides to do will be North Waziristan. One clear swing toward either of the choices would set off an unprecedented reaction
Bush: PakiWakiLand should be ready for worse times coming
Being substantially responsible for the "arc of turmoil" is damned obvious. Pervy got paid 50x what his support in the WoT was worth... and that doesn't factor in the destabilization efforts in Afghanistan and the other aspects of their perfidy. That he doesn't control the ISI simply means that he's not a worthy partner in the WoT. Sucks, but...
US/Inda vs China/PakiWaki huh? Izzat where he really wants to go?
Mine/block all the passes, including the donkey paths. If Musharref wants to put Pakistan on a war footing with the U.S. and its ally Afghanistan, then we must do our bit to accomodate him, but always with the highest efficiency. Perhaps send a couple of snipers up there as well, to welcome those who get through. ....Actually, this seems like really good training for some of the more accomplished Afghani troops...
Bring him back to the interrogation room. I've got the Weber fired up.
Posted by: Jack Bauer ||
03/07/2006 17:43 Comments ||
When all is said and done, Perv really only needs to do one thing to get out of this okay. Hang tight with George.
Perv is already doing a lot of things that were unthinkable not too long ago, advantaging not only him and Pakland, but the US as well. By staying with us, he makes himself stronger.
He might even win big if he plays his cards right and gives whatever support is requested in the US-Iran fight. That is, he could get resource wealthy Iranian Baluchistan given to his country when the shooting is over.
So far, he has partially double-crossed China, and in favor of the US, over the Gwadar port deal. So I am willing to cut him some slack.
Perv is working both sides of the street like a crackwhore jonesing for another huff. If it weren't for the prospect of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of Islamist radicals, his worth would be less than zero.
It's been long known that Pakistan has ALWAYS been part of the problem. In my mind, Pakistan has been placed on hold while we deal with more pressing concerns; Iraq, Iran, Syria... If we're working Iran, it would be preferable to have Pakistan under control.
Who can replace Muush? Another "General"? ISI? Anyone from their population of crazy Jihadis?
They have been forced to confront Al-Qaeda, though not nearly as much as we would like. So I recommend some more "constructive criticism" of the sort we saw with Bush's most recent visit. Perhaps if Karzai came to the UN to complain about Pakistan support for Taliban terrorist attacks, might get some action in Wazi-land?
You all don't have much faith in George. Remember that George is not in the habit of backing the duplicitous, or losers for that matter. If George dumps him, that will be the end of it. But until then, I will give benefit to doubt.
PakLand is a failed state that is held up only by massive infusions of capital from the Soddies, Chicoms, and the US. Otherwise they would be a simple backwater sh*thole. We need them for access to Afghanistan, so they are presently a strategic simple backwater sh*thole. The adjectives change, but the noun remains the same.
One way or another, the sanctuaries of the NWFP need to be destroyed by Pak or the US. They are festering jihadi Petri dishes. The other part of the equation is our friends the Soddies. They bring the money to make the madarassas that create the jihadis that destroy the civilization that Jack built.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
03/07/2006 22:35 Comments ||
KARACHI: The Jamiat-e-Ulema Pakistan (Noorani) (JUP-N) has started negotiating with Barelvi (generally called Ahle Sunnat) parties to forge a grand alliance, a top JUP-N leader said. "Our party has established a three-member committee to hold talks," Hashim Siddiqui, a central JUP-N leader, told Daily Times. The committee comprises Mufti Jamil Naeemi, MNA Sahibzada Abul Khair Zubair and Pir Ejaz Hashmi and so far it has contacted the Sunni Tehreek and some people in Sindh and the Punjab. The JUP-N's Shoora formed this committee at a recent meeting in Karachi.
There was a general feeling that the JUP-N was upset with the dominance of two Deobandi parties, the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (Fazlur Rehman) and Jamaat-e-Islami, in the six-party religious alliance, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). The JUP-N had a distinguished role in the MMA while its leader, the late Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani was alive as the founding president of the religious alliance. But after his death, over two years ago, the JUP-N took a backseat and the JUI-F and JI virtually dominated the scene.
US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Monday that United States is "certainly" not going to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, but "hopes for progress" on the issue. "It is our firm hope that the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan is going to be successful and that those two countries are going to be able to work out some of the bilateral differences in Indo-Pak relations as well as differences over Kashmir that have been so much at the centre of troubles of South Asia for so many decades," Burns said.
"And as President Bush said repeatedly during his trip, we Americans don't see ourselves as mediators between India and Pakistan on their bilateral differences, and certainly not on the issue of Kashmir %u2026 but we do hope for progress in Kashmir.
US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Monday that United States is "certainly" not going to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, but "hopes for progress" on the issue.
MULTAN: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat and Tehreek-e-Insaf staged demonstrations to protest against the caricatures of the Holy Prophet (ptui pbuh) in European newspapers. The PML-N organised a big rally in Vehari, 100 kilometre south-east of Multan. More than 1,000 activists of the PML and the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal chanted slogans against the US, Israel and Denmark. The protesters torched the effigy of US President George Bush and flags of Israel, Denmark and the US.
Addressing the rally, MNA Tehmina Daultana called the removal of rulers imperative because of increasing lawlessness, inflation and the flawed foreign policy. She said any US attack on Iran would be an attack on the Muslim world and that such a move would be resisted. She said that grave situation in Balochistan and Waziristan was a conspiracy to divide the country to facilitate Washington. She said the troika of the US-India-Israel was a move against China, Iran and Pakistan. The PML-N leader claimed that days of President Pervez Musharraf were numbered. Haji Tufail Waraich of the MMA said that by holding 100 percent strike on March 3, the people of Pakistan had demonstrated against the policies of George Bush and President Pervez Musharraf.
By striking 100% of Outer Waziristan, Musharraf has demonstrated he's not quite ready to leave office yet, Haji. Heh.
She said any US attack on Iran would be an attack on the Muslim world and that such a move would be resisted.
Just breathing is "an attack on the Muslim world". The muslim world is attacking non-muslims on a striking scale. The muslim world is striking other muslims for not being the "right sort of muslim" on a global scale.
What is happening from our point of view, is not an "attack" on the muslim world, but a defence against the incoming violence and barbarity and ignorance.
Gad, these people are dumb. Has it occurred to her that the Chinese are not muslims? Seems real keen on their new partner, doesn't she? Does China know they are to become muslims now?
I've had it with PakiWaki Land. I'd like to see this trough of squalour, violence, hatred and stupidity (lo, doen't forget the hubris - such amazing unwaranted hubris)eliminated and redivided. If any survive what's coming down their road.
LAHORE: Pakistan is the most important country for the US, Europe, China and Japan and any distinction against Pakistan will cost the countries considerably, said Dr Mubashir Hasan, former federal finance minister and noted human rights activist, while talking to Daily Times about American President George Bushs recent visit to South Asia, especially Pakistan.
Another one suffering from delusions of adequacy...
Dr Hasan, who is also a founding member of the Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) and the Punjab Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) president, said Pakistani President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Bushs meeting in Islamabad was a success.
Yeah. Both parties got out alive, for different reasons...
Giving quite a different view than other people on the American presidents visit, Hasan said Bush had taken a great risk by visiting Pakistan and it showed that Pakistan was important to the US.
Since all the turbans for miles around wanted to kill him, I'd say that's an accurate statement...
The American president took a great risk, although Washington had declared Pakistan a high-risk area and this shows Pakistans importance not only to Bush, but also his wife Laura Bush.
"Laura, what are you doing?"
"I'm thinking about Pakland, George. It's so important to me!"
"Go to sleep! It's 3 a.m.!"
I am glad that Bush made no announcements like the ones he made in India and this is because he understands that Pakistanis dislike America, he said.
Kinda hard to miss the fact, isn't it? I'm still trying to figure why so many of them come here.
The more Bush praises Pakistan, the more people would dislike Musharraf.
Ohoh. So that's why he wasn't oozing with kind words. It wasn't that he can't stand the place, or even the idea of the place, but had to go since he was going to be in both Afghanistan and India...
The more publicly the US announces assistance to the Pakistani government, the people of Pakistan would think that the government was a friend of the US, a country that people are against politically.
So we should cut off all aid, just to make them happy? It's a sacrifice, but I, for one, am willing to make it.
Musharraf and Bushs joint message contained all the points that Pakistan had raised at the meeting, but the question is how and when will the US government remove sanctions on the sale of weapons and restrictions on Pakistani experts, the doctor said, As far as Americas generosity to India is concerned, the results are yet to come.
Britain is ready to help Pakistan overcome real difficulties in tackling cross-border terrorism, Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Monday as he welcomed Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to Downing Street. Over the past few years, cooperation in the fight against terrorism - and all the issues to do with cross border infiltration, that cooperation has been a lot deeper than ever before, Blair told reporters. Look, there are certainly real difficulties that Pakistan faces. Now obviously we want to work with Pakistan to overcome those differences.
Referring to clashes between security forces and militants in North Waziristan, Blair said: We have a mutual interest, the two countries, in making sure that that (mission) works, as of course does Afghanistan itself, said Blair with Aziz at his side. Aziz said Pakistan was committed to ensuring an environment that is peaceful in the world and in our region.
Then Aziz rocked leftward and farted. Get out of there Blair, before he kills ya!
Pssst... Aziz! We know what taqiyya means. You, however, do not know dry British wit. Or the growing sense of impatience. Aziz, this is the other big guy tapping you on the shoulder and telling you to hurry up.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) has retained its majority in the Senate by winning 18 seats from the four provinces in the Senate elections on Monday. The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) won 10 seats in the elections. Earlier, 16 senators of the PML and 11 of the MMA were among 50 retired from the Upper House through balloting. The ruling party added two seats to its strength in the Senate while the MMA lost one.
The Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) managed to secure five seats as opposed to seven retired senators. The PML-Nawaz retained its only seat from Punjab. The PPP-Sherpao and the Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) increased their strength in the Senate by one seat each.
ISLAMABAD - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf called neighboring President Hamid Karzai oblivious to events in Afghanistan, stepping up a war of words between the two US allies in the war on terror.
Musharraf renewed a months-long row with Afghanistan over cooperation in the search for Osama bin Laden and remnant Taleban and Al Qaeda militants, just days after US President George W. Bush visited both countries. He said that a list which Afghan officials gave to Islamabad containing details of Taleban militants allegedly in Pakistan, including the regimes fugitive leader Mullah Omar, was nonsense.
"Pshaw! You call that a list! I got lists of enemies longer than that!"
There is a very, very deliberate attempt to malign Pakistan by some (Afghani) agents, and president Karzai is totally oblivious of what is happening in his own country, Musharraf told CNNs Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on Sunday.
"They're insulting our dignity! We'll burn their embassy! You watch us seethe!"
Afghanistans foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah last week told AFP of his concern that Islamabad was not following up on a list of Taleban rebels, which was handed over when Karzai visited Pakistan last month.
But military ruler Musharraf, who abandoned Pakistans support for the Taleban after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, said he was totally disappointed by the intelligence the Afghans had provided. Weve already gone through it, this list. Two-thirds of it is months old, and it is outdated, and there is nothing, Musharraf said. What there was, the telephone numbers that they are talking of, two-thirds of them are dead numbers, and even the CIA knows about it, because we are sharing all this information with them.
And the other third?
The location that they are talking of Mullah Omar is nonsense. Theres nobody there.
"We called and asked. The guy said nobody was there! So stop complaining!"
Musharraf also complained of a conspiracy against Pakistan within Karzais defence and intelligence departments, adding: He better set that right.
Afghan officials have repeatedly accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to Taleban training facilities on Pakistani soil and also alleged that some circles in Pakistan support and finance Islamic radicals behind the insurgency in Afghanistan. We have had it up to our turbans ears with this campaign to malign Pakistan, a senior Pakistani official close to Musharraf told AFP on condition of anonymity. We have provided sufficient evidence to President Bush what certain Afghan officials are doing to fund and supply arms to militants in Pakistan, the official said.
Oh yeah, just what Karzai wants to do with an unstable, fractious country with an insurgency: go next door and cause trouble. That makes sense. Not a lot of sense. Maybe sense in an Islamic way.
One Afghan commander in Jalalabad is sending arms into Pakistani areas, for example. As a result our soldiers are dying and their soldiers are dying too.
That's because the Taliban are on both sides of the border.
Mortars were louder than reason in Baghdad today...
We woke up this morning to the sounds of many explosions in Baghdad and since we are familiar with those sounds we recognized that these were no doubt mortar shelling but not like the usual which is one or two rounds fired by some terrorists in a hit and run manner; this time fire was exchanged between two or more groups and lasted for more than an hour.
he goes on to relate a discussion with his father who is very pessimistic
I thought his father was pessimistic, but realistic and right in many ways. Sadly, his father is right about what may be Iraq's biggest problem, People find solutions only if they wanted to and I think many of the political players do not want a solution
On the bright side, this causes the people of Iraq - just like the people in Palestine - to ask the question they need to be asking; what kind of leadership is it that we want? Is it Sharia we want? Because if we get it, we are destined to not become a modern and free society.
I thought his Dad was a wise man. The question to ask is, if his father is right, what can we do to prevent ambitious politicians to corrupt the power process. The answer in Iraq will be the same as it is in America; a balance of power. Only a balance of power will allow it to work. Our founding fathers understood that when they set up our republic and thats what makes it work today. It pits the ambitious against the ambitious and allows them to assure that no one gets ultimate control. What compounds the problem in the middle east is they are still living in an era where religion has too many trump cards.
This is one for the Iraqi philosphers, literally. An Iraqi equivalent of Thomas Paine or James Madison, who speaks to reason, who persuades against passion and superstition.
Arabic translaters and modernizers of 'The Rights of Man', 'The Wealth of Nations', and 'The Federalist Papers'. It would also not hurt them to have the dialogues of Abraham Lincoln from his debates with Douglas.
This is one for the Iraqi philosphers, literally. An Iraqi equivalent of Thomas Paine or James Madison, who speaks to reason, who persuades against passion and superstition.
Arabic translaters and modernizers of 'The Rights of Man', 'The Wealth of Nations', and 'The Federalist Papers'. It would also not hurt them to have the dialogues of Abraham Lincoln from his debates with Douglas.
interesting. One last thought, his father has good points, but the question that the younger generation must ask is ...if what you say is true...then how do we fix it for ourselves and for our grandchildren.
His father is a realist and a wise man. The solution (if there is one) will come from the Iraqi people. The politicians are not following the will of the people. The questions is - what will the people do about it.
Is Iraq the model the Sunni? If so I can understand pessimism. I see two possible futures for Iraq. (1) Shia do a Rwanda on Sunni and the civil war ends (2) Sunni join the nation, stop dreams of control, stop helping Al Queda, and the civil war ends.
Just a matter of time and I think the mosque bombing of last week tipped things so a resolution will happen sooner rather than later and i think the fact that the Sunni aren't toes up already shows that option 2 is more likely right now despite the wishes of the MSM.
The real problem is the election gave the Religious Shia parties the largest share of the votes but not enough to rule single handed. The other parties can come out ahead, but ONLY if they all agree to ally themselves against the religious shia. That is what is taking so damn long. Plus they'd like to split some of the moderate shia from their front.
Hard work. especially in a civil war.
Posted by: Frozen Al ||
03/07/2006 19:08 Comments ||
What civil war?
The current festivities are killing no more Iraqis than the alQ asshats did. Or the Sunnis / Baathists did. The main difference is who's doing the killing and who's getting killed.
Civil War is a LOT bigger and bloodier and mindless than this. This is payback by a few intentionally and disingenuously inflated and misreported by those who wish Iraq to fail.
The Mujahideen Shura Council issued five communiqués amongst several today, March 6, 2006, in which they claim responsibility for a series of bombings targeting Crusader forces in Baghdad, Tal Afar, al-Mosul, and Tikrit. The group states that on Saturday, March 4, they launched an organized attack on the Crusaders in the village of al-Naaemya in the area of Zobaa, west of Baghdad, in which the mujahideen detonated several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and attacked the barracks with automatic weapons and rockets. On Sunday, the group detonated IEDs on several vehicles, killing or injuring those soldiers inside.
The Mujahideen Shura Council is composed of seven insurgency groups in Iraq: al-Qaeda in Iraq, Victorious Army Group, the Army of al-Sunnah Wal Jamaa, Ansar al-Tawhid Brigades, Islamic Jihad Brigades, the Strangers Brigades, and the Horrors Brigades, collaborating to meet the unbelievers gathering with different sides and defend Islam.
Iraq's president said Monday he would convene parliament for the first time on March 12, but failed to get one of his two vice presidents to agree threatening to further delay formation of a new government and raising questions about whether the political process could withstand the unrelenting violence. In a bid to force a showdown in the dispute over the second-term candidacy of the Shiite prime minister, President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, announced he would order parliament to convene Sunday for the first time since December elections and ratification of results on February 12. That would have started a 60-day countdown for the legislators to elect a new president and approve the nomination of Ibrahim Jaafari as prime minister and sign off on his Cabinet.
Talabani was mistakenly counting on the signature of Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, who lost his own bid for the prime minister's nomination by one vote to Jaafari. Talabani had in hand a power of attorney from the other vice president, Ghazi Yawer, a Sunni, who was out of the country. The Shiite bloc closed ranks and Abdul-Mahdi declined to sign, for the time being at least. In an emergency meeting with Talabani Monday, seven Shiite leaders rejected Talabani's demand for them to abandon Jaafari's nomination.
It remained unclear when parliament might now convene, despite the constitutional directive that set Sunday as the deadline. Nor was it clear how the impasse over Jaafri might be settled. The president had first issued the challenge Wednesday in concert with Sunni Arab and some secular politicians. The oust-Jaafari coalition labelled him a divisive figure in the country's already tattered political landscape. "We want a prime minister who can gather all the political blocs around him, so that the government would be one of national unity," he told reporters in Baghdad around midday Monday.
The Sunni Arab minority blames Jaafari for failing to control the Shiite militiamen who attacked Sunni mosques and clerics after the February 22 shrine bombing in Samarra. Kurds are angry because they believe Jaafari is holding up resolution of their claims to control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Leaders of all Iraq's major political factions scheduled a meeting Tuesday evening in an attempt to untangle the religious and sectarian differences behind the crisis deeply compounded by continuing violence.
The attacks have served to underscore the dangerous leadership vacuum and the fresh political infighting that has led to the disintegration of many tenuous political bonds that were tethering the country's many religious and ethnic factions. There also were increasing signs of a split in the once united Shiite factions, even though they managed to come together Monday night to reject the move to dump Jaafari.
Nevertheless, anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose backing had insured Jaafari's nomination at the Shiite caucus last month, predicted a "quick solution" on approving a government. There were reports that Sadr had threatened to order parliamentarians loyal to him to boycott a Sunday session if Abdul-Mahdi, the Shiite vice president, had signed the Talabani order to convene the legislature. "All obstacles to forming a national unity government soon will be resolved," Sadr said after meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and acting Oil Minister Ahmad Chalabi in the Shiite holy city of Najaf.
Muslim rebels waging a decades-old separatist campaign in the Philippines expect peace talks with Manila to resume soon after a delay due to an alleged coup plot, a senior rebel official has said.
The two sides were set to meet in Malaysia last month, but the talks were called off as President Gloria Arroyo declared a state of national emergency and cracked down on the opposition 10 days ago to deal with the coup plotters.
Kuala Lumpur rescheduled the talks to an unspecified date on grounds that "officials of the Manila government had been busy," Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chairman for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar said.
He told DZRH radio here by telephone that the delay was not caused by any major problems in the negotiations, adding that "the talks are expected to resume anytime."
Arroyo lifted the state of emergency on Friday, saying the plot to oust her by military "adventurists" and communist guerrillas had unravelled.
Manila has said it expects to sign a peace agreement this year with the 12,000-member MILF, which was left out of a political settlement reached by the Philippines and the rival Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996.
The Philippines and the MILF announced in Kuala Lumpur early last month that they had reached a preliminary deal on the controversial issue of ancestral lands -- communal farms that came under state control when the Southeast Asian nation became a Spanish colony in the 17th century.
The proposed peace agreement with the MILF is expected to spell out an arrangement between the government and the Muslim communities to share the proceeds from the economic use of these lands.
Iran vowed on Monday to be a "killing field" for any attackers, responding to a US warning of "painful consequences" if it failed to curb its atomic plans. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said on Sunday his country had been "beefing up defensive measures" to thwart Irans nuclear programme, which the West suspects is a quest for atomic bombs, not just nuclear-generated electricity.
Gholamali Rashid, deputy head of the armed forces, said the US did not understand how to operate in the Gulf region. "Irans armed forces, through their experience of war ...will turn this land into a killing field for any aggressor," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.
Iran has never rolled anyone up ever. They think that "asymmetric warfare" will work. Here is news for the M². I will not work when Europe and China need your oil output. You will not last that long. Oil production feeds people. They will not go hungry to satisfy your weird fixations. The M² are believing their own press clippings. That is always dangerous.
I'm more worried about the world coercing the US into 'nation building' after all the s*** hits the fan, due to quick butt kicking they will receive. Remember the sorrow after the 'BullDozed Trenches' manuever or 'Highway Of Death' action after the first Gulf War!!
The unstated presumption/assumption in almost all the debate about Iran is that it is a cohesive entity. Its not, ethnic Persians are a minority in Iran. Although which fracture lines will give under what pressure is obviously speculation. The clear ones are in the Kurdish north west and the Arab south west, although there are 5 or 6 others I could identify.
History says multi-ethnic states hold themselves together by a combination of an ideology that over-rides ethnicity and repression. Once either breaks down the state will fracture. All thats needed is the right event to trigger the fracture.
The Kurds and Arabs in Iran will be looking across the border and seeing their fellows in Iraq in charge. Once Iraq overcomes the Sunni insurgency, which it will, attention will shift across the border to the depradations on their fellow Arabs and Kurds which will increase as the Teheran government tries to keep these populations under control.
My prediction is that in less than two years Iraq will 'liberate' Kurdish and Arab areas of Iran and there is bugger all the Iranians can do to stop the modern trained Iraqi army (bar a nuclear weapon of course).
I suspect that the Iranians are quietly building a "defense in depth" approach to a land invasion from Iraq. It works great unless your enemy operates in the 3rd dimension.
Just look at the status of forces right now. Iran has a heavy corps the length of its border. The US has airborne and air assault forces that could jump such DID, and also just happens to have a heavy armor brigade in Kuwait in case the Iranians try a snatch grab of southern Iraq.
phil_b, er....respectfully have to disagree with you a bit on the Slovenian analogy.
The Slovenians had other things besides topography in their favor. Keep in mind that all of the former Yugoslavia is mountainous....all the nationalities there know how to deal with that terrain.
The Slovenians managed to keep their territorial defense force (men and materiel) from YNA control. The Yugoslav government thought that their repeal of Tito's policy (each republic had their own small force) had been carried out and were surprised to find out that it had not been there.
Slobo and his generals also decided that he would rather hold on to Croatia because it had a sizable Serb population, as opposed to Slovenia, which did not. The reinforcements that were supposed to be sent from Belgrade never arrived (official reason was mechanical breakdown, but they somehow managed to make it to the Croat region of Slavonia....and just in time to help the YNA offensive. Maybe the Serbs just got a bit confused about the similar names.)
If the lunatics insist...
Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate:
Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?
All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb.But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain,with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will not join them in burial,for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again.
Irans conventional military is undoubtedly stronger than Iraqs was in March 2003. And the terrain is harder. OTOH a conventional war should be winnable by US forces. We'll need more than 4 divisions and three weeks, but thats not insuperable obstacle. So it take 6 divisions and 8 weeks, we still win.
The problem though is what to do next? Leave Iran to its own devices, while the mad mullah supporters, the left, the pro democrats, and the ethnic minorities, fight it out? I wouldnt count on the prodemocrats coming out on top. I wouldnt count on the Iraqi military to act for us. And i sure as hell wouldnt count on the Euros to do anything effective in a situation like this. So we've destroyed their nuclear program - theyre still a country of tens of millions, with lots of educated people. And after a US invasion most everyone there will be supporting a new nuke program, and most will be hostile to the US - at least all the Farsi speakers and most of those speaking closely related languages.
Im not sure net - net, youve really made a huge long term gain.
So if you dont have the stomach for "nation building" in Iran, I think you need to take a long hard look at what a "go in and get out" war actually accomplishes.
No I dont know when the regime will fall to internal dissidents. Waiting, even helping, is not a perfect option. But going in and getting out isnt either, and going in to nation build isnt. So its a choice among bad options.
Chthus, the article you link to was already posted here days ago.
The problem though is what to do next?
LH, I don't see where we have many options. Boots on the ground simply is not one of them. I think the best we can hope for is to decapitate the Iranian majlis, mullahs and all, wipe out their nuclear facilities, then sit back and wait for the dust to settle. We should make it clear that Iran must construct itself along the same democratic lines as Iraq or be prepared for an endless cycle of "rinse and repeat." That's about all I can see our thinly-spread forces being able to do as of now.
As to nation building, however nice it sounds in theory, I think that Iran should be made an example of in terms of crippling them and letting them do all the rebuilding themselves. Yes, it risks them installing another anti-American government. All that represents is another decapitation raid until they get it straight.
Iran has been so hostile and counterproductive that a little suffering would do them a world of good. I think it would serve Iran perfectly to watch from amid the ruins as Iraq gains regional ascendancy while they are forced to dig themselves out. It isn't merely a matter of revenge, so much as demonstrating to the world what awaits those countries who refuse to reform themselves. The global war on terrorism has just begun. We cannot reconstruct every single nation participating in terrorism. At some point we must simply disassemble those that are recalcitrant and continue to move forward against those that remain.
Points in no particular order:
--Iran will not reform itself. The dictatorship of the Mullas has too firm a grip, and too much local support. What Iranian resistance to the Mullocracy there is, is nowhere near vicious enough. They remind me of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, who was too high-minded to blow himself up with Hitler, and who paid for his high standards by missing his target and being tortured to death besides.
-- Iran is not a house of cards. The death throes of the terror regime there will be painful for many, and there is no way to escape that, whether the rest of us do anything or not.
-- Foreign boots on Iranian ground is definitely not an option. So much territory. So few boots.
-- Take out anything resembling Iranian nuclear facilities, turn off the Iranian electrical grids, make as much of Iran a no-fly zone as possible. The object would not be to kill Iranians, but to break things and interfere to the largest degree possible with the ability of the Iranian terror masters to cause trouble outside their country, especially with nukes.
-- If local non-Iranian oil facilities are subject to Iranian attack, take out all Iranian oil import and export facilities. At some point the West will have to endure the pains of oil withdrawal syndrome.
-- Will this be a "huge, long-term" gain"? I doubt it. The perfect is the enemy of the practical. Huge long-term gains will only come from huge long-term efforts, such as the Cold War (aka WW III) was with respect to the Evil Empire. Doing nothing will give Islamic terrorists a new nuclear deterrent, which would threaten to put Persian Gulf oil facilities off-line for decades, checkmating Iraqi civilization-building efforts, and providing al Qaeda a refuge the West won't be able to touch, not to mention providing yet another opportunity for Islamic fascists to inflict a massive suicide attack on the west.
-- "Oil production feeds people." This statement needs to be repeated over and over again. Even Amish agriculture needs petroleum products. Oil production also keeps various parts of the US from freezing to death in the winter or dying of heat stroke in the summer.
if you do the rinse and repeat option without boots on the ground, you increase the chances that some of the nuke program is left over, for the next govt (likely very hostile) to build on. I doubt all our enemies are in the majlis - I suspect most are out in the Rev Guards leadership, etc. Certainly once youve done this once they wont all be in one place again - you cant repeat at least that aspect. Basically you get something like Taliban run Afghanistan, except larger. I suspect you'll get terror attacks, etc galore from them. (I would suggest that the rinsing and repeating will harm our relations with friendly govs around the world - who may not like Iran, but are gonna have difficulties with this policy)
The alternative is, as Phil B implies, to work hard on bringing down the house of cards. Dot com seems skeptical it will fall without a conventional attack, at least any time soon. Im certainly in no position to deny that, but I still think that that course(together with pursuing whatever sanctions we can get) is the best of some bad options - and that a conventional attack should not be implemented until things are more "imminent". (which doesnt mean we shouldnt rattle the sabres from time to time - the fear of the consequences of a US attack is a big part of the motivation for everyone else to go along at the UNSC)
"Points in no particular order:
--Iran will not reform itself. The dictatorship of the Mullas has too firm a grip, and too much local support."
I dont know how firm their grip really is. I think its clear at least some of the ethnic minorities are deeply alienated. Im virtually certain that the middle and upper classes of Teheran are alienated. I dont know how solid the support is beyond that, esp if the economy goes down the tubes.
"What Iranian resistance to the Mullocracy there is, is nowhere near vicious enough."
I know im in the minority here, but im not convinced vicious always translates into effective, whether in opposition or in power.
" They remind me of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, who was too high-minded to blow himself up with Hitler, and who paid for his high standards by missing his target and being tortured to death besides."
Iran is not Nazi Germany. Heck, its not Saddamite Iraq. While its a dictatorship, there seems to be more space for opposition to exist than in a totalitarian regime.
"-- Iran is not a house of cards. The death throes of the terror regime there will be painful for many, and there is no way to escape that, whether the rest of us do anything or not. "
I dont know if Phil B meant to imply that an Iranian implosion would be bloodless. I certainly dont think it would be.
"-- Take out anything resembling Iranian nuclear facilities, turn off the Iranian electrical grids, make as much of Iran a no-fly zone as possible. The object would not be to kill Iranians, but to break things and interfere to the largest degree possible with the ability of the Iranian terror masters to cause trouble outside their country, especially with nukes. "
I think we know by know that turning off the electric grid means lots of civilians will die, whether we intend it or not. If we're gonna do that we need to be prepared to live with the consequences, from the reaction of those Iranians who used to support us, to world opinion.
"-- Will this be a "huge, long-term" gain"? I doubt it. The perfect is the enemy of the practical. Huge long-term gains will only come from huge long-term efforts, such as the Cold War (aka WW III) was with respect to the Evil Empire. Doing nothing will give Islamic terrorists a new nuclear deterrent, which would threaten to put Persian Gulf oil facilities off-line for decades, checkmating Iraqi civilization-building efforts, and providing al Qaeda a refuge the West won't be able to touch, not to mention providing yet another opportunity for Islamic fascists to inflict a massive suicide attack on the west."
Until the Iranians are on the point of actually having at least one working nuke, this is a net loss scenario, im quite sure. Definitely inferior to the diplomacy/sanction/subversion/revolution approach. When they ARE on the point of nukes, the two approaches need to be compared again.
Wow - they've figured out how to manufacture a "killing field" at 20,000 feet? Or even 1,000 feet?
This I gotta see....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
03/07/2006 14:09 Comments ||
liberalhawk, in how many places will we have to put boots on the ground? The list is endless. At some point we will have to resort to aerial attack and simply "break things" without fixing them afterwards.
I advocate a phased attack that pre-empts their nuclear program without snuffing the entire oil production network. If continued resistance is offered, then we go in and choke off Kharg Island and cripple Iran's economy.
I'd prefer this to be accompanied by eliminating as much of the leadership as possible. Whether they cluster up for us or not, we need to locate and terminate them wherever possible. I really don't see a lot of other options. Iran is just one of numerous targets. It is only their nuclear program that gives them any special status or priority.
"liberalhawk, in how many places will we have to put boots on the ground? The list is endless. "
which is why i advocate 1. doing more with soft power, diplomacy, economics, and NOT overrelying on military force 2. Using subversion/revolution rather than relying on conventional war 3. Being smart politically and diplomatically (and yeah, chilling on the antimuslim stuff) so we can use more locals and not need so many boots when we nation build 4. Being "multilateralist" so we can include more foreigners, to stretch our available forces 5. expand our ground forces.
All that said, I agree there will be times and places when going in to break things on a large scale will be the best strategy. I just dont see that being the case in Iran, at least not yet.
"Collapse the state" is a good term and Iran is uniquely vulnerable in that respect, because almost the entire country is mountainous and is therefore critically dependent on infrastructure at key points to hold it together. The US won't invade Iran. What it may well do is punitive strikes against infrastructure. The Slovene lesson is that the Slovenes attacked and took control of dozens of Yugoslav Army facilities and the Yugoslavs found helicopter and armoured forces sent to relieve them were stopped by lightly armed forces. The Yugoslavs then (as DB points out) decided to use their forces to defend Serb populated areas. Will Iran do the same over Kurdistan? I find the parallels are strong and the differences heavily stacked against Iran; longer distances, hostile states on its borders with populations sympathetic to Iran's minorities, lack of a capable airforce.
LH - A worthy hope, but soft power is no power at all in the face of their determined effort to obtain nuclear weapons. Better to break things now, put boots on the ground ONLY to ensure that the right things are well and truely broken, and then get out and let the Iranians sort it out.
If we wait, we will end up killing hugh numbers of people throughout the ME in retaliation. Just my thoughts.
Diplomatic channels are for long duration political processes. What is happening in Iran is no such thing. Islamism represents such an overarching threat, especially in terms of sneaking through a single nuclear terrorist attack upon American soil, that much shorter term solutions must be found. Crippling and otherwise incapacitating the various centers of Islamist terrorism is critical to our agenda of self-defense. Our open borders and low security ports cannot be sufficiently tightened in a short enough amount of time to intercept such a dire, yet difficult to detect, threat.
We must go out to where the threat is being grown and cripple it in situ. Iran is merely the most prominent and vocal of these hazards. Many more exist than we have the military to spare for.
Zenster said: "Chthus, the article you link to was already posted here days ago."
So what, Zenster. Don't be such a snob. I didn't get a chance to see it. So-- thanks chthus, for an informative link, which I've copied to my files.
From the article:
"The defector, Hamid Reza Zakeri, warned the CIA in July 2001 that Iran was preparing a massive attack on America using Arab terrorists flying airplanes, which he said was planned for Sept. 11, 2001. The CIA dismissed his claims and called him a fabricator."
I've never heard of the IRANIAN link -- i.e., Iranians USING Arabs to do the big stuff. Anyone else?
they use Paleos and other Arabs as the Basij - the forces that keep down the University protests and street riots. The goons are less liable to turn on their masters, and more likely to be ruthless with the sheeple
Posted by: Frank G ||
03/07/2006 16:36 Comments ||
I figured the link may have been played before, but some things deserve repeat if only for vetting purposes. Here's the link from last week.
Obviously, Hamid Reza Zakeri, deserves a shake or two as a source. I recall him being discussed here after his testimony was used in the german 9/11 trial. Captain's Quarters has some good treatment of the subject here and here.
Long and short, CIA calls him a serial fabricator, and Timmerman a dupe. Timmerman is unable to get answers why.
Heh. Something's totally wrong with this discussion...
We'll put boots on the ground in very FEW places.
There, that's better.
We don't wanna own it, we wanna break it*.
* = The Nuke Program and the MM regime.
A few points:
1) Time won't allow for a thorough and comprehensive coordination with the people living in Iran who want the Mullahs gone. That sucks, but averaging out all the timelines bandied about and the unknowns of the quality and tenacity of resistance make it extremely unlikely.
2) It seems that a fair-sized chunk of those who do want the MMs gone, still want the nukes. That's a non-starter. DOA.
3) What boots we employ will be most likely used to keep certain infrastructure bits, the tough to replace bits, intact. That would include Kharg Island, key refineries, key distribution junctions, etc.
4) Killing off / neutralizing the regime and the elements that maintain it in power is not as tough as some seem to be thinking - for reasons others have pointed out (eg isolating them, No C&C, No Air, disabling important goodies, such as electricity and water) and can be done via air.
5) Stopping the nuke program dead in its tracks, first, is accomplished the same way. Remove required resources (water, elec) and seal up every rathole we can find. Then, once the chain is broken, then reduce at will. What's to stop us bombing the same deeply buried facility 10x? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Stop the processes, and pound them into tombs or rubble.
6) The naval exploits they seem to be planning, closing off Hormuz, attacking US naval assets, etc. most likely come down to who is prepared first and who shoots first. If we know what they have, where it is, have a solid warplan with a high % of success, and we pull the trigger first, then they've been wanking for nothing. If they pull the trigger first, then the question is: Are our naval assets that vulnerable? Can a WW-II era military with just a few bits of semi-current tech reduce the US Navy to smoking hulks? If so, then there should be a LOT of Admirals dangling from DC lampposts. And it won't stop us from doing everything else on the US warplan that wasn't dependent upon the Navy. Which easily ends the regime and the nuke program.
7) What about attacks on Iraq? Whatever warplan is profferred will have targets identified - missile launch positions, near-border troop concentrations, and a laundry list of other similar Iranian mil assets. I won't pretend to know the minutia, but I certainly trust we have those who do right in the middle of the planning. WIll they create some grief? Yeah. They've been doing it since Day One, in fact. Dropping the hammer on Iran will actually remove a serious impediment to Iraq's development. Let's get it fucking done.
8) Diplomacy and soft power. LOL. A negotiation requires two participants. There never was, nor will there ever be, two sincere parties at the diplodinkywinky table. The EU3 may have been serious (who the fuck knows with all the disingenuous duplicity afoot in that venue?), but the MMs never were. Wotta total fucking idea suggestion - and this has been clear as day for YEARS. Sheesh. Talk about a stuck on stupid notion...
Taking down Iran will cause oil supply grief for awhile, but it will do soooo much that's positive in the WoT, from Israel to Lebanon to Syria to Iraq - the payoff is huge. And it will sure as shit put the Saudis on notice that ending terror support is something we're damned serious about...
In addition to correcting mistakes in my take, there's lots more that people who are more current on mil options and planning can speak to.
"Time won't allow for a thorough and comprehensive coordination with the people living in Iran who want the Mullahs gone. That sucks, but averaging out all the timelines bandied about"
I dont know what the timeline to an Iranian bomb is. I hope the admin knows better than I do. Trent Telenko said a month ago that the Iranians would test one by spring. Im waiting.
"2) It seems that a fair-sized chunk of those who do want the MMs gone, still want the nukes. That's a non-starter. DOA."
well im not sure about that - we can live with an Indian bomb, and a Paki bomb. Whats so special about Iran, once the loons are gone?
Second, assuming a general improvement in US-Iran relations, and the whole ME with the MMs gone, i think the motivation for nukes goes down alot.
"4) Killing off / neutralizing the regime and the elements that maintain it in power is not as tough as some seem to be thinking - for reasons others have pointed out (eg isolating them, No C&C, No Air, disabling important goodies, such as electricity and water) and can be done via air."
Like I said, turning off the electric and water has consequences. Big consequences. We need to think through them.
"5) Stopping the nuke program dead in its tracks, first, is accomplished the same way. Remove required resources (water, elec) and seal up every rathole we can find. Then, once the chain is broken, then reduce at will. What's to stop us bombing the same deeply buried facility 10x? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Stop the processes, and pound them into tombs or rubble."
Some very serious people say this is not so easy to do from the air. Im not inclined to wave this off. I hope there smart people in the Pentagon thinking about how to do this. If they say it can be done, this is something the President can consider. If they say it cant be done, I would hope the President doesnt decide to do it anyway.
") Diplomacy and soft power. LOL. A negotiation requires two participants. There never was, nor will there ever be, two sincere parties at the diplodinkywinky table. The EU3 may have been serious (who the fuck knows with all the disingenuous duplicity afoot in that venue?), but the MMs never were. Wotta total fucking idea suggestion - and this has been clear as day for YEARS. Sheesh. Talk about a stuck on stupid notion..."
My suggestion about soft power was more general, in reply to Zensters comment about the many places troops are needed. I cannot say whether, pushed to the wall, by sanctions that bit, the MMS would cut a deal. For the sake of argument, lets assume they wont. In this case diplomacy and soft power means herding the cats at the UN to get sanctions, so that we "attack" the regime on multiple fronts - at the same time we're subverting them, the sanctions are hitting their economy. Everyone poopoohing the chance of revolution is basing it on the political situation NOW - Iran needs loads of new jobs every month to keep the unemployment rate from soaring. What does the political situation look like when the urban poor, Ahmadinajeds base, is facing high and rising unemployment? Due to sanctions that (as our new Farsi TV will tell them every day) could easily have been avoided? Fun times in Teheran.
"Taking down Iran will cause oil supply grief for awhile, but it will do soooo much that's positive in the WoT, from Israel to Lebanon to Syria to Iraq - the payoff is huge. And it will sure as shit put the Saudis on notice that ending terror support is something we're damned serious about..."
Id be very cautious about claiming what it would do. It could do lots of good things we cant predict. It could do lots of bad things we cant predict. IMHO taking them down by subversion, rather than air attack, would do more of the good things, and less of the bad things. The only reason I can think of for doing the air attack is IF we are convinced they are about to get a working nuke. And like I said, even then the military aspects require review.
In addition to correcting mistakes in my take, there's lots more that people who are more current on mil options and planning can speak to.
"Dropping the hammer on Iran will actually remove a serious impediment to Iraq's development. Let's get it fucking done."
Bingo. That, right there, is (to me, anyway) the second biggest reason to whack Ahmamadnutjob and his cronies-- a very close second, right behind breaking all his expensive and dangerous toys. To the extent that turning Iraq into some semblance of a peaceful, productive state has been a difficult task, much of that difficulty has been due to Iran's interference.
LH, were you finished? You're remarks end with .com's.
The timing for an operation, if we initiate it, is the next 15 months. My reasons for this are driven by the political calendar.
If we initiate attack absent Iranian attack, Bush needs Congressional approval. His only chance for that is to squeeze the critters by making them vote prior to the November '06 elections. Bush will do this, if he can, because he doesn't want to leave Iran for the next guy or, especially, gal.
But if he gets approval but hasn't done it by June of '07, he's now into the NH primary campaign season and policy become a political football for every wacko running, including Mother Sheehan, JFK and the Deaniac, not to mention McCain's opportunity to get even for past slights. Absent an attack, Bush will not be able to strike with any hope of an appearance of national unity under such circumstances.
So, I think he has to get permission by October and act by May. Otherwise, the Iranians will be the big tester of the next President's cojones.
lh - You raise "issues" which are at least as much "tissues" (read: Kleenex) as substantive. I see very little actual substance in your response.
Timeline - we will go when we think they are ready to go. Every minute more is to our advantage - both in planning and in building up relationships with those who are not part of or sympathetic to the MMs. Somebody will take over, maybe the whole, maybe in part, what is now called Iran after the regime is toppled. We will want the best possible relationship with them that is possible. The oil must resume flowing as soon as possible to minimize the economic effects.
"Whats so special about Iran, once the loons are gone?"
Think about this one much before you posted? Consider the effects this would have regards the GCC. "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup! Shhh - everyone will want one!" In the primary oil-producing region of the world... Um, this is an incredibly naive view. This is, also, Persia and Arabia we're talking about. This is Shi'aLand and SunniLand. This is an incredibly bad idea. Think about it.
"turning off the electric and water has consequences"
So does a demonstrably insane bunch getting a nuke. Life is hard. It's a LOT harder if you're stupid and dangerous. The consequences are trivial compared to the threat - and every avenue must be used to advantage in removing it. Period.
"Some very serious people say this is not so easy to do from the air."
Some "very serious people" say other things, too, which are based upon personal finances, self-promotion, partisan political considerations, and other less than honest, less than rational motives. You have presented no argument here, just restated the doubts to make your view seem reasonable.
"In this case diplomacy and soft power means herding the cats at the UN to get sanctions, so that we "attack" the regime on multiple fronts - at the same time we're subverting them, the sanctions are hitting their economy."
Sanctions. Sheesh. Right. The MMs are pissing themselves -- with laughter. Pure tissue paper. They have massive oil income to steal, disburse and subvert, and buy off. Do you really think they can't keep their population in check, save the occasional "Hit Me!" guys, with it? C'mon, you're not being realistic.
"Id be very cautious about claiming what it would do."
Okay. Be cautious. Cool. Do you really doubt that pulling the money source for Hezbollah, just for example, wouldn't have a major effect in Israel, Leb, and Syria? Just that one thing?
Cheney, today, reiterated the crystal-clear message: The Iranians will not have nukes. This indicates, to me, anyway, that the heavy-lifting is already well underway and there is a fair level of confidence. Is it misplaced? Should they be taking their cues from you or others who counsel far more caution? There is absolutely nothing to indicate they aren't being careful.
You can bet the military people are being very very careful regards what they are promising. No matter what happens, they, and the ones they made promises to, will still be around after it's over... so they aren't putting their careers on the line in some macho display.
It's also becoming clearer that Bush means to do what he has to do, with or without the US Congress's specific approval.
The latitude a President has, regards National Security, is vary much an open question. He could easily be impeached for acting without specific approval. But that is no more than being indicted in a political court. Conviction in said impeachment hearings is where the rubber meets the road.
That won't happen.
Most of what impedes the US is partisan political pandering and whoring. Impeach away. It will speed the day that the traitors will be dealt with.
"It's also becoming clearer that Bush means to do what he has to do, with or without the US Congress's specific approval."
My hunch: Bush will take out the Mad Mullahs and wreck their nuclear toys, even if it means almost certain impeachment AND conviction. What with all the bullshit that's been slung by the Dhimmicrats (and by a number of squishyish Republicans) during the course of this war, I suspect Bush has largely let go of the need for contemporary approval and resigned himself to letting history be his ultimate judge.
The MMs have been a major thorn in our side, and a steadily growing menace, for more than a quarter-century. Whoever gets rid of them, will be long remembered for having done A Very Good Thing.
I cannot say whether, pushed to the wall, by sanctions that bit, the MMS would cut a deal.
You'll feel a whole lot better once you rid yourself of the pesky notion that Iran's mullahs are either rational or ethical. There is no negotiating with Iran. There is stalling, deception, prestidigitation and every other sort of diplomatic deceit imaginable, but you have to be deluding yourself if you think that any sort of substantive progress can be made through negotiations with Iran.
The mullahs have one object in mind, and that is to further entrench themselves in power with respect to Iran and the Middle East. Only one thing will do that, namely, nuclear weapons. There is no other diplomatic or political alternative which will achieve those ends. Therefore, Iran will do whatever it takes to keep up the ruse of cooperating with the outside world while it unabatedly pursues development of nuclear weapons. To think that anything else is going on requires smoking immense amounts of rope.
Iran's people can suffer now to a much more limited extent, or they can possibly all die at once when Iran is glassed over in retaliation for them passing out atom bombs like party favors. I'll go with the less catastrophic alternative, and especially the one that disallows for America getting one of its major metropolitan areas flattened.
It's also becoming clearer that Bush means to do what he has to do, with or without the US Congress's specific approval.
That would place the Chm JCS and CentCom commander in a very delicate position. Bush might get SOCOM to quietly provoke an Iranian action that would demand an un-approved response, but that's mostly for novels. I doubt Bush moves without Congress.
My great concern is that Bush is doing so little to prep the American people for this.
The MMs have been a major thorn in our side, and a steadily growing menace, for more than a quarter-century. Whoever gets rid of them, will be long remembered for having done A Very Good Thing.
Absolutely. My dislike for Bush is well known hereabouts, but this I vow. I will oppose any impeachment attempt based upon Bush attacking Iran, with or without congressional approval. I will demonstrate in the street and employ whatever speaking skills I have to persuade everyone I know with respect to this vital issue. America at large continues to be relatively blind regarding the threat we are confronted with. If Bush can summon the wisdom to unilaterally dismantle Iran's clandestine nuclear weapons program, he will have my full support and defense from any repercussions in any way I can.
As I have said many times before, Iran obtaining nuclear weapons would go down in history as one of the most catastrophic events of this new century.
It's a sad situation, TT. Our public institutions, particularly the Press, Education, and two party system, are nearly totally dysfunctional.
I agree with you regards Bush, I think.
Much has been made about him not jumping on every issue and pounding away from the Bully Pulpit. I've heard and read much, both in the news, blogs, and here on the 'Burg. I don't pretend to know what's in his head, but things may be worse than we think - he may already be hog-tied into near-catatonic lameduck status because he's been informed, unambiguously, that he hasn't the legislative support to do much of anything.
That the Dhimmidonks have succeeded in their campaign to derail the US Govt until they can regain power probably has worked, in the derail part, anyway. Knocking off DeLay was pretty big - no doubt that Earle down in Austin is now a "made man".
Dunno who gets the credit for Frist and the slew of RINO assholes. Maybe they were bought off one at a time. Maybe they were always assholes with no guts, no vision, and cowering cowards.
Bush has only fought hard for WoT issues and the SCOTUS nominees, recently. I thank him for those. I think he will stop the MMs - and thank him for his efforts toward that end. I wonder at the rest.
Payback to the Dhimmidonks will come. Hard. It will be ugly, methinks.
Thanks for #42, Zen. He's going to need every friend he can get - because I disagree with NS: he can order the military to act. I haven't a bunch of historical links to offer, but you know this has been done, before. Congress has attempted, over the last few decades, to limit Presidential powers. Their attempts haven't been challenged in court, so no one can say whether they've over-stepped or not. But the is ample precedent for Presidents unilaterally acting where National Security is at stake. After the fact is where the second-guessers and partisans get their moment in infamy recorded.
Certainly the US has opted for the high ground in almost all cases - we waited to be attacked before acting.
.com, I'm not definitive about the President's power to order it, but it should be considered that the bombing campaign would take many days. If W did not have the critters on record, the Schumer, Kennedy, Boxers would head right for the microphones to denounce his unilateral action and to introduce legislation to condemn the bombing. The Snowes, Collins, Chaffees and Specters would demand a lot not to vote with the donks. Perhaps more than a lame duck can afford to pay. It would be a two front war with out an Iranian attack or a prior approval. A lot of Generals would get messages about how thier pet projects would fare in a Donk congress if they went along with "illegal" orders. A mess easily avoided.
Yep - and the process has begun. Bush. Cheney. Rice. Bolton. All have made statements in the last 3 days. Today, Bush pushed it up a notch to say, after meeting with the asshole Lavrov playing the Russian triangulation card, that Iran should not be allowed to enrich Uranium - EVER.
I hate to say it, liberalhawk, but Iran will never be on the receiving end of sanctions with teeth, no more than Saddam Hussein was. Less even, because the world went through that once before, and the cheaters noticed that they gained more from subverting the sanctions than they lost by being caught in the Oil for Food revelations. And Iran has recently signed lucrative contracts/bribes with China, Russia and France, and is trying for Germany.
Ahmadenijad doesn't even care if Iran is attacked, so long as he can destroy Israel first -- like bin Laden, he believes this violence will bring Allah (or perhaps the 12th Mullah) to fight at the side of his legions.
Finally, I don't think we can live with a post-Mullacracy Iran having nuclear weapons. There are plenty of crazies there outside of the Mullahs who would be happy to use what they see as a bigger hand grenade in their internecine quarrels, not to mention thoe who want to play their own Great Game against Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Iraq, and other places I'm not imaginative enough to think of, let alone against the Evil West. Not all those marching against the Danish cartoons were "tools or fools". There are still plenty who believe the Caliphate is coming, with or without the Mad Mullahs, and they want to be the ones wearing that golden turban.
I was glad of the details in lotp's link yesterday about the lockdown of Pakistan's nukes. I'm not as sanguine, in my greater ignorance, because it appears to me that the precautions listed only ensure that the nukes cannot be used without the agreement of the Pakistani head of State, not that their use is prevented altogether.
"I don't pretend to know what's in his head, but things may be worse than we think - he may already be hog-tied into near-catatonic lameduck status because he's been informed, unambiguously, that he hasn't the legislative support to do much of anything."
Consider: given the political grief Bush has taken for his democratization campaign in Iraq, what is the probability that either he or any future President is going to repeat that strategy anywhere else? My guess is the probability is zip-point-shit.
Thanks to the Dummycrats, the response to the next terrorist attack on U.S. soil (pray there is none) will be all or nothing: either Euro-style, craven self-abasement, or we'll nuke the sonsabitches.
"Dunno who gets the credit for Frist and the slew of RINO assholes. Maybe they were bought off one at a time. Maybe they were always assholes with no guts, no vision, and cowering cowards."
Someone here, in the last day or two, commented that the Republicans are damn lucky they don't have a real political party opposing them. Whoever it was, I think he/she was right.
"Payback to the Dhimmidonks will come. Hard. It will be ugly, methinks."
The current trajectory, if it continues indefinitely, will sooner or later lead to civil war. God help us if it does.
Ahmadenijad doesn't even care if Iran is attacked, so long as he can destroy Israel first -- like bin Laden, he believes this violence will bring Allah (or perhaps the 12th Mullah) to fight at the side of his legions.
The above tells the entire story. I don't know why anyone believes that anything can be "negotiated" at this stage when its quite apparent that Iran has played a "stall-for-time-to-complete" game from the outset.
Certainly the US has opted for the high ground in almost all cases - we waited to be attacked before acting.
Those days ended with nukes and biowarfare.
Yup, .com. We're in a whole 'nuther ballgame. Now it's for keeps and gets real, real messy if even one ball goes foul. America must shift to a pre-emptive strategy and pursue its opponents on foreign soil wherever possible.
I also think that Bush is rightfully empowered to determine that Iran is a direct threat to national security and order action taken without congressional approval. Iran has already done enough things to constitute a declaration of war on their own part. We would merely be returning the favor.
Ahmadenijad doesn't even care if Iran is attacked, so long as he can destroy Israel first -- like bin Laden, he believes this violence will bring Allah (or perhaps the 12th Mullah) to fight at the side of his legions.
Iran regards nuclear weapons as merely a bigger and better sort of bomb vest. From all indications, they intend to annihilate Israel even if it comes at the cost of Iran's immolation. It is my firm belief that by attacking Iran we are quite easily saving it from a much more dreadful consequence of its insane leadership. The mullahs and Ahmadinejad are apocalyptic madmen who have told themselves the big lie so many times that it is now truth to them. The sooner they are all dead, the safer this world is.
"Iran regards nuclear weapons as merely a bigger and better sort of bomb vest. [...] The mullahs and Ahmadinejad are apocalyptic madmen who have told themselves the big lie so many times that it is now truth to them. The sooner they are all dead, the safer this world is."
Dang. If nothing else makes this thread a Keeper™, that paragraph does. Sums it all up, nice and compact-like...
No thanks needed, .com. Some issues simply transcend all partisan and ideological boundaries. Iran's possession of nuclear weapons is one of them and so is the global war on terrorism. While some might debate the criticality of Iraq's invasion, it is a done deal and must be given proper follow-through. If anything, Iraq has been a stalking horse to out Islam's real intentions and methods. These are now clear and only fools can pretend that Islam is a religion of peace.
The democratic party's irrational opposition to all things Bush has blinded it to the critical issue of our national security. That their naked greed for power allows them to disregard what should be a unanimous position by all and sundry with respect to fighting terrorism has appropriately marginalized them and their rudderless platform.
Both sides of the aisle continue to sip at the Kool-Aid of moral relativism. Witness how Democratic liberals and Republican fundamentalists alike have moronically thrown over our freedom of speech regarding the cartoon issue. Everyone and their mother should instantly have seen how corrosive to global liberty is Islam's insistence upon preferential censorship solely for their religion. It is the camel's nose in the tent and once the whole critter is inside all that remains is for it to evacuate its bowels upon us. This is what awaits and only fools and drooling idiots can possibly ignore it.
your Joe six-pack, that mythical American, is already to go from 1979. W and forces are building the public case and diplo case for action. I do not think our CIA's estimates are reliable enough, but what else do you go on. I firmly believe W has no intention of passing this problem on to his succesor - timeline accordingly
Posted by: Frank G ||
03/07/2006 20:37 Comments ||
Iran will have to be stopped from acquiring nuclear weapons. They have threatened the US and they have threatened Israel. They have threatened the closure of the Straits of Hormuz, a strategic waterway supplying a huge amount of the world's oil needs. This would affect the economies of the Chicoms, Japan, Europe, a whole load of countries. Iran is also meddling in Iraq, trying to destroy some semblance of government. Iran is funding client states and orgs like Syria, Hamas, Hizb'allah and others.
But the big issue is nuclear. Uranium, well, they can eventually make a gun-type U235 bomb. The biggest bottleneck is concentration. That is not insurmountable. They will not get Plutonium 239 without Bushehr on line, so they will have to get it from the Norks. A plutonium bomb will be the light enough device that is needed to fit on a Shahab-3 vehicle, which will be aimed at Israel. Or maybe they could sneak one with a proxy in Israel's neighborhood.
Condi is publicly talking the State line--UNSC, IAEA, blah blah blah. That is her job. The President, VP Chaney, Rumsfeld, and a few others have said little about things, except that the M²s will not get nuclear weapons. I will take them at their word.
There does not seem to be much in the line of troop movements. Prepositioning stocks can be quietly done. That could be already wrapped up. Diego Garcia is still there with the same BUFFs, B-2s are at DG or Whiteman AFB, like they usually are. The Reagan is mucking about in the WestPac, but maybe wandering toward the Persian Gulf. I'm sure that we have air assets already in Iraq who can deal with Iranian and Syrian mischief across the border. This show will happen and it's going to be an airpower and special ops show.
I hope that the M² leadership and their assets are taken out in a overwhelming and massive attack. The ferocity of the attack will send a message to others that the M² behaviors will not be tolerated. The Donks better be behind this one, because if we are attacked, especially with WMD, there is going to be cry to have them treated like the traitors that they are, and we are not talking the nicities of a courtroom with time for lunch.
Diplomacy will now be a cover for the real operaton. Diplomacy will accomplish nothing with the M²s. They truly believe that they are in the catbird seat.
In the matter of nation building, it is our hope that some groups in Iran could take the lead in getting the country away from its destructive, extremist bent. I am not real optimistic about that. The country has too many factions. It will require an authoritarian govt to do this. The first step will be to take the power away from the clerics, and they are not going to go down without a fight. That seems to me one of the reasons why the Shah fell. Civil law trumped Sharia. M²s don't like civil law. It cramps their style. So it all comes down to decapitating the M² leadership. All else follows from that.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
03/07/2006 22:19 Comments ||
The Rogues want People's War, among other things, becuz it draws America's volunteer/peacetime armed forces into regions away from the other "silent" battlefield, the NORTHERN PACIFIC and ALCAN/CANUSA, and TAIWAN. Wid Chinese moving into Russia's Far East, Japan is finding herself steadily surrounded, and despite Kimmie beating the NorKor-specific war drums its the Chicom PLAAF thats been busy buzzin Japanese airspace. China espec is heavily modernizing her Airborne forces [wid Russian help], as is Russia herself, WITH BOTH NATIONS ADHERING TO THE "LOCAL/WAR/
BATTLE ZONE" ANTI-US STRATEGEM, more popularly known as "SEIZE-AND-HOLD/RESTRAIN" ags the US ENEMY where local CONUS-NORAM areas are immed NUCLEARIZED and Russo-Sino milfors, vv fast air- and sealift suppor, engage in PC [nuclearized]active defense or [nuclearized]passive LOCAL defense. POLITICAL VICTORY/DIPLOMACY, i.e. the Clintons and Anti-American Americanists, have priority over per se battlefield/military victory. Waht more iff you have personages like MOTHER CINDY calling for the liberation, by local violence andor foreign intervention, of "occupied" NOLA and other American areas from Clintonian "Fascists are merely misguided defective imperfect Limited Communists/Socialists"
Fascist Dubya and Male Brute/Monster = Male Dolt/Moron, Limited Commie GOP-Conservatives!? Arrogant =Incompetent Male Brute GOP Fascists whom don't want to be saved by Motherly Commies will be assimilated, or be exterminated.
Well, you got into it pretty heavy at the end there, Joe. But I do agree that the Chicoms could use this coming battle with Iran to their advantage. It could also backfire in their faces. They have a long tenuous sealink with Iranian oil that they require to keep their economic engine alive. Stop Iran and 30% of their supply dries up.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
03/07/2006 22:39 Comments ||
One of the Palestinian groups which retains bases in Lebanon said Monday that it would only discuss laying down its weapons once the country's 380,000 Palestinian refugees have been accorded basic civic rights. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) a hardline pro-Syrian group demanded that a weeklong national dialogue conference under way in Beirut tackle the plight of the refugees and not simply the question of weapons. The Palestinian question in Lebanon should not be discussed exclusively from the security point of view. We're asking the dialogue conference... to decide on concrete steps as far as the humanitarian, civic and political rights of the Palestinians, PFLP-GC spokesman Anwar Rajab told reporters. If that's done, the weapons question will not be a problem.
Resolution 1559, adopted by the UN Security Council in 2004, requires the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon, including the Shiite group Hizbollah as well as Palestinian groups. Implementation of the resolution is one of the key issues on the agenda of the national dialogue conference which opened Thursday. The PFLP-GC spokesman called for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to have the right to work and housing, including the right to own property, as well as the right to engage in political activities in defence of the Palestinian cause.
We have to establish an atmosphere of confidence between Lebanese and Palestinians, he said, recalling that in 1982, after the withdrawal of Palestinians in the face of Israel's march on Beirut, hundreds of refugees had been killed in the Beirut camps of Sabra and Chatila. Rajab accused the Lebanese authorities of trying to get rid of the Palestinian community by stealth by denying them their residence rights. Any Palestinian refugee, even one recognised by the United Nations as resident in Lebanon, can only return home if he gets hold of a visa and they're virtually impossible to get hold of, the spokesman said. The result is that some 100,000 Palestinians registered in Lebanon are unable to return after leaving to work in the Gulf or elsewhere.
It's long past time (by a good two generations) that the situation of the Palestinians who left in 1948 be regularized. These people have, for the most part, been trapped in refugee camps that over time morphed into settled communities. However, they remain officially stateless, generally without the ability to work or own property, taught to hate and seethe by their leaders and by the U.N. commission that takes care of them. I realize it would be hard on countries like Lebanon and Jordan to suddenly make these communities of trained psychopaths into full-fledged citizens but, like so much else these days, the status quo will not serve.
TW: the truth about the Paleos? NOBODY WANTS THEM. Is it any wonder? The negative influence and sick death cult reinforces itself every day. Every day they prove they have no concept of cause and effect nor will they look past the existence of Israel to try and form a real state that serves the interests of the Paleo peoples. F*&K 'em - I'm sick of their game
Posted by: Frank G ||
03/07/2006 13:57 Comments ||
I'm highly aware of that, Frank. My father was there, then, although he never told any stories -- that "Loose lips sink ships" habit too deeply ingrained, I imagine. Nonetheless, the Palestinians are there, and the longer the situation remains unresolved, the more pathological they will become... and the more of a threat to their host countries because they won't be able to get at Israel. Nor can they realistically move to the Palestinian territories -- with no real kin ties they would not be welcomed, and anyway there really isn't enough room.
/yes, this is definitely an "Imagine there's no heaven" moment.
This is a very interesting request, And long overdue. The source surprises me and puzzles. it's a realistic demand and challenging to pick this scab. This could be very good, for unexpected reasons - a hero is born? Someone sees a little less throught the fog of the brainwashing?
Curious minds will follow this.
But why? Someone wants to actually create Palestine, knowing repatriation isn't a possibility and moving to fix? Who's Rajab? Can someone fill me in?
The International Atomic Energy Agency chief said on Monday he hoped a deal to defuse a standoff over Iran's nuclear ambitions could be reached soon, as the IAEA board met in a possible prelude to UN Security Council action. Mohammad Baradei cited a surge of diplomacy involving Russia and EU powers in which Iran has offered not to pursue industrial-scale uranium enrichment for up to two years. But its insistence on doing sensitive research is a key sticking point. "I am still very much hopeful that in the next week or so an agreement could be reached," Baradei said, while acknowledging that Russia's proposal to enrich uranium for Iran had snagged on Tehran's determination to purify nuclear fuel itself.
Javad Vaeedi, deputy secretary of Iran's national security council, highlighted that obstacle when he told Reuters that enrichment "research and development" in Iran was irreversible. Iran seems to be counting on divisions in the Security Council over whether to resort to sanctions mooted by the United States. Wielding vetoes in the council, Russia and China could block sanctions that would disrupt their trade ties to Iran.
We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will. I cannot believe that such a program would be rejected by the people of this country, even if it does mean the establishment of personal contact with the dictators.
I believe it is peace for our time . . . peace with honour.
ElBaradei is useless. Relying upon him is like hoping gravity will fail. It is far more likely that he is in collusion with his fellow Muslims than he is searching for a truly effective solution. To have awarded this limp d!ck the Nobel peace prize was ridiculous in the extreme.
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