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Abbas urged to quit, scrap government
Today's Headlines
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Pakistani, Saudi engineers helped destroy Bamiyan Buddhas
The Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed by the Taliban with the help of Pakistani and Saudi engineers.

According to an account published here on Saturday, a local Afghan told the makers of a Swiss documentary on the giant statues which had stood there, carved in the side of a mountain for hundreds of years, had been destroyed by engineers from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The dynamiting of the statues took place in March 2001. Swiss documentary filmmaker Christian Frei, who has made several documentaries that have won praise at various international film festivals, shot ‘The Giant Buddhas’ in Afghanistan. The film is due to be shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on 26 March.

The Taliban went ahead with the destruction of the giant statues, revered for centuries, because they considered them “offensive to Islam”. They ignored appeals from around the world, including UNESCO and an appeal from the then Government of Pakistan, made, it would appear now, more “for the record” than any serious intent to stop the Islamist zealots from destroying what the rest of the world considered mankind’s heritage.

Taliban minister of information Qudratullah Jamal said in a statement later, “The destruction work is not as easy as people would think. You can’t knock down the statues by dynamite or shelling as both of them have been carved in a cliff. They are firmly attached to the mountain.” Museums and governments around the world kept hoping until the end that the Taliban would desist from committing what the rest of the world saw as an act of “cultural sacrilege” but they were adamant in their resolve.

A delegation from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference went to Kandahar to urge the Taliban leaders to change their mind, but was turned down. The Taliban information minister was quoted at the time as saying, “We would repeat to them as we have to other delegations that we are not going to back away from the edict, and that no statues in Afghanistan will be spared.” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also urged the Taliban not to go ahead but was rebuffed. Koichiro Matsuura, the head UNESCO, said the agency would continue efforts to salvage other Afghan relics targeted for destruction. “It is abominable to witness the cold and calculated destruction of cultural properties which were the heritage of the Afghan people, and, indeed, of the whole of humanity,” he said in a statement. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dispatched the Grand Mufti of Egypt to Afghanistan to plead with the Taliban rulers to spare the statues but his emissary had no success either. Zahi Hawas, the man in charge of the plateau holding the great pyramids outside Cairo, said at the time, “They are making bad publicity about Islam - and Islam has nothing to do with what is happening in Afghanistan.”

Xuanzang, a 7th century Chinese monk, pilgrim and chronicler, travelled to Bamiyan and wrote a graphic description of the statues. He even mentioned a giant “sleeping Buddha” in the area, but no trace has been found of that in modern times.
Posted by: john || 03/18/2006 19:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [327 views] Top|| File under:

Africa North
Egyptian Judges Protest Lack of Freedom
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Nearly 1,000 Egyptian judges held a half-hour silent protest Friday to demonstrate for full judicial independence and against the government's order to interrogate of six of their colleagues who criticized recent elections. The protest was larger than previous actions by the judges and drew participants from across the country. Last month, dozens of judges in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria held a similar protest after authorities stripped the immunity of six colleagues. ``The independence of the judges is the battle of the whole nation, and we all have to defend it,'' Zakaria Abdel Aziz, head of the Judges' Club, told the audience.

State security prosecutors want to interrogate the six pro-reform judges about their contacts with the media regarding parliamentary elections in November and December 2005. They had been outspoken about allegations of fraud.

The general assembly agreed to support the six judges in rejecting the interrogation order, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

Judges have demanded the right to supervise polling stations. The recent election was marred by government supporters intimidating and police blocking voters outside stations, as well as allegations of ballot stuffing. Egyptian judges also have been urging parliament since 1986 to adopt legislation that would make the judiciary completely independent of government control.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What a shame irony is haram!
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/18/2006 18:16 Comments || Top||

Spain, Mauritania to stem migrant flow
Spain and Mauritania have agreed to operate joint coastal patrols and target illegal people-trafficking networks to deter thousands of African migrants from trying to reach Europe by sea. A Spanish government delegation met Mauritanian military chiefs late on Thursday to discuss methods to deal with a crisis which the Spanish Red Cross estimates has cost more than 1000 lives since the start of the year. "The two sides have studied the best ways to handle the migration flows and have adopted a series of measures to tackle this serious humanitarian situation," the two governments said in a joint statement on Friday.

Under the agreement, Spain pledged to help Mauritania build and manage reception centres to receive detained migrants. The two sides also agreed to launch joint coastal patrols and Spain would give Mauritania four patrol vessels and help train their crews. Spanish experts would also train Mauritanian security forces to track down migrant-smuggling networks and would give advice on how to detect false identity and travel documents. Madrid also pledged to ask the European Union to give emergency aid to Mauritania.
Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

Link between Soddy, Yemeni al-Qaeda branches disclosed at trial
The Specialized State Security Penal Court acquitted Karama Khamis Monday, March 13. Khamis was freed from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but Prosecution appealed his release, charging him with drug trafficking.

Two days prior to U.S. troop arrivals in Afghanistan in 2001, Khamis gave himself in pledge to an Afghan drug trafficker. The pledge was in return for 50,000 Saudi Riyals, increased to 100,000 Saudi Riyals upon the deal’s completion. Khamis brought 2 million Saudi Riyals worth of drugs into Yemen.

After three years’ imprisonment at Guantanamo, Yemeni authorities received Khamis in mid-2004. However, he proved to be neither an Al-Qaeda nor a Taliban member. Pakistani troops captured him and handed him over to the U.S.

In a separate case, the court released Ghalib Al-Zaidi on commercial bail. Al-Zaidi was accused of hiding Mohamed Hamdi Al-Ahdal, Al-Qaeda’s number two man in Yemen. Following the USS Cole attack in Aden, Al-Ahdal hid in Al-Zaidi’s house for a month and then in Al-Jawf until his December 2003 capture in Sana’a.

Al-Zaidi’s release followed his defense attorney’s demand, which stated that he should be released as he had served three years in prison for hiding the first suspect in his house in Sirwah district in Marib. Defense added that Article 190 of the penal law stipulates that whoever hides a suspect should be fined or imprisoned no more than three years.

The court also held a hearing on testimony involving Al-Ahdal nicknamed Abu-Asim. The Attorney General confirmed that Al-Ahdal traveled to Afghanistan and Bosnia and collected money for mujahideen in Chechnya. He was accused of collecting money in Yemen for Chechen fighters under the name of the Caucasus Charitable Society. Prosecution said Al-Ahdal trained in various types of heavy and small weaponry in Pakistan and Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

The Attorney General affirmed that Al-Ahdal had connections with a man in Saudi Arabia who sent him three cars and money for transporting Al-Qaeda members in Yemen. Al-Ahdal also collected 61,000 Saudi Riyals from some Saudi citizens to distribute among martyrs, prisoners and Guantanamo detainees’ families.

Prosecution confirmed that Al-Ahdal met Abu Ali-Harithi after 2001 and became his companion. While living in Al-Huson area, through Al-Harithi, Al-Ahdal became acquainted with two Saudis who traveled to Iran and Afghanistan via Hadramout’s Raian Airport.

Prosecution mentioned that Al-Ahdal met an Al-Qaeda financial official at the house of an Al-Qaeda mujahideen named Abdulraziq Al-Amir. He also met Al-Qaeda leaders while in Saudi Arabia. Prosecution disclosed that Al-Ahdal was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for more than a year for charging some youth with infidelity.

Last Saturday March 12, the State Security Specialized Penal Court held its third session to try 17 suspects accused of forming an armed band affiliated with Jordanian Abu Mus’ab Al-Zarqawi. The band, which includes Saudi nationals, is charged with plotting terrorist acts targeting senior government officials and foreigners residing in Yemen.

At the hearing, the court allowed suspect No. 1 to affirm his allegation that he voluntarily surrendered electrical circuits to political security, while suspect No. 13, Musaed Mohamed Al-Barbari, was transferred to a legitimate physician.

The court also allowed defense team head Abdulaziz Al-Samawi to defend his clients and have a copy of the indictment against Ali Al-Harithi and Mohamed Sa’eed Al-Qabsh. According to Al-Samawi, the indictment is untrue.

Al-Samawi said the Attorney General accused the suspects of forming an armed band and planning to travel to Iraq. He pointed out that there are more than 130 court cases attributed to individuals accused of forming armed bands, with approximately 30 suspects in each case, as if all Yemenis have transformed into armed bands.

Al-Samawi cast doubt on the authenticity of charges attributed to his clients, saying such harms Yemen’s independence and unity. He commented that authorities filed charges against his clients in response to U.S. Administration demands pressuring Yemen to prevent the suspects from traveling to Iraq.

The defense team head said the U.S. Administration exploits terrorism’s spread to exert pressure on Arab regimes to fulfill its demands. He told the court chief to be brave and do the right thing.

Al-Samawi noted that the indictment says the suspects were planning to travel to Iraq for jihad. “Jihad is mandatory for every Muslim in such circumstances when we see British troops beating Iraqi children and U.S. soldiers inflicting sexual abuse on Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib Prison,” he added.

Seized arms including a gun, a pistol and three cartridges were displayed at the hearing. The court adjourned until concluding appeals at its final sitting Saturday, March 25.

The 17 suspects face charges of targeting foreigners and senior government officials, which, according to the court, exposes society to risk. They use forged identity cards and passports and claim they belong to Al-Zarqawi’s group.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/18/2006 02:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

Al-Enezi welcomes creation of Arab parliament
Anything any member of the illustrious Enezi clan is for, I'm against.
Member of the Arab Provisional Parliament, Awad Burd Al-Enezi, on Friday said he was confident the Arab parliament would live up to its role in reflecting the will of Arab people regarding important issues. Speaking to KUNA, on the sidelines of the ongoing meeting of the Arab Parliament at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital, he welcomed "the significant step forward, which was achieved when the Arab Parliament was launched." "It (the step) was not easy," he said. He added that, during Thursday's meeting, the guidelines for the launching of the parliament were approved. "We also approved the parliament's standing orders," he said.

He added that the standing orders, according to which the parliament would perform, comprised 5 articles and 73 clauses.

He said that members of the Arab parliament enjoyed immunity as they "should not be questioned on the way they perform their duty or prosecuted on that account," according to the seventh clause.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

'Al Qaeda' in Commons
A TERROR suspect allegedly linked to al Qaeda has visited the Houses of Parliament — as the guest of a Labour peer.

Former detainee Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh even sat in the Commons public gallery for a debate. He was invited to Westminster on Tuesday by Lord Ahmed, who met him at Regent’s Park mosque three weeks ago.

The father of five — suspected of being a money man for terror groups — was given a SECURITY sticker for his Parliamentary visit. And he boasted yesterday of sitting in the Commons gallery, adding: “It was very interesting.”

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis last night said Abu Rideh had been able to “walk around one of the UK’s biggest terror targets”.

Lord Ahmed confirmed he invited Abu Rideh, 34, to see him — and said he QUIZZED him over the suspected al Qaeda link. He said: “I gave an appointment to see him this week. He came to see me as a Parliamentarian. It was my duty to hear what he had to say.

“He came through the peers’ entrance. He went through the security check and I met him at security. He did not leave me for one second.

“I did not take him into any public gallery.

Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 00:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So when do we get a well defined enemy?
Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/18/2006 3:06 Comments || Top||

#2  And he boasted yesterday of sitting in the Commons gallery, adding: “It was very interesting.”

"And I imagined them all wearing turbans..."

Jolly Good.
Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 5:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Abu Fawkes.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/18/2006 7:21 Comments || Top||

#4  “He came through the peers’ entrance. He went through the security check and I met him at security. He did not leave me for one second..."

"I even helped him carry his digital camera, measuring tape, and GPS-thingie..."
Posted by: Pappy || 03/18/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

#5  Way to enable scoping out security at Parliament, your Lordship. Lots of interbreeding in your family line, I take it???
Posted by: lotp || 03/18/2006 12:15 Comments || Top||

#6  Lord Ahmed - a grand old chip off the Celtic / Anglo-Saxon block.
Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 12:19 Comments || Top||

#7  That's what I was thinkin' too, GS8888. Not exactly a very common name in England, eh?
Posted by: BA || 03/18/2006 15:20 Comments || Top||

#8  Countdown until the Euroweenies get it:
Posted by: wxjames || 03/18/2006 21:55 Comments || Top||

Down Under
No random phone-tapping: Ruddock
PEOPLE calling the terror hotline could have their phones tapped but only where it was believed it could lead to a terrorist suspect, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said.

Mr Ruddock today rejected claims that proposed new telephone interception powers could be randomly used to tap the phones of anonymous callers to the National Security Hotline.
He said information provided to the hotline was always treated with the strictest confidence and could be given anonymously.

"I am satisfied the strict reporting and oversight mechanisms will ensure this additional power is used responsibly by police and agencies whose duty it is to protect our community from a terrorist attack or serious criminal activity," Mr Ruddock said.

News Limited newspapers today reported the Australian Federal Police as saying they would use proposed new telephone tapping powers covertly on civilians who offer information about suspected terrorists.

Under what are known as B-party warrants, police who can't identify the phone service used by a suspect or can't intercept a target phone service will be permitted to tap phones belonging to the target's family, friends and associates.

Mr Ruddock said changes in the Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006 were part of the Government's commitment to providing appropriate tools to law enforcement and national security agencies.
He said the laws would be available in only very limited circumstances to target the communications of terrorist or criminal suspects when all other investigative means had been exhausted.

Interception of third party telephone conversations would be permitted only when an issuing authority such as a judge was satisfied there were reasonable grounds for suspecting a person was using or likely to use that telecommunications service.

The judge also had to be satisfied information obtained would assist in investigation of a suspected serious offence such as terrorism, murder or kidnapping.

Mr Ruddock said that could only happen when the police or security agency had exhausted all other methods of identifying the telecommunications service likely to be used by the suspect.

"To ensure the use of the proposed new laws is strictly limited, the issuing authority must also consider additional factors such as the impact on the privacy of any person, the gravity of the alleged offences, the usefulness of the material likely to be intercepted and to what extent alternative methods of investigating the offence have been used," he said.
Posted by: Oztralian || 03/18/2006 03:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

Dutch immigration minister in Syrian deportee row
Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk has been grilled in parliament during a debate on the treatment of Syrians being deported from the Netherlands. MPs reacted with incredulity on Thursday to the news a Syrian government delegation demanded and was granted the right to question 181 of the deportees individually without a representative of the Dutch immigration service IND being present.

Under the normal circumstances IND officials could have been present at all interviews, Verdonk said. But after 12 meetings the Syrians indicated the IND was no longer welcome because their present made the meetings "awkward".
"Begone, infidels. This is for human ears only."
The interviewees were not allowed to have a lawyer present either. Secret footage screened on a Dutch news programme on Thursday showed a deportee expressing shock to an IND official about the way the Syrians wanted total control over the interviews. He feared any information he would give would be relayed to the Syrian Secret Service.
An additional concern is that a shadowy Syrian is purported to be the mastermind behind the Hofstad Group and Theo Van Gogh's killer.
It has been alleged the Syrian delegations asked the interviewees whether they had sought asylum in the Netherlands. Verdonk admitted in parliament she could not rule this out. MPs and Amnesty International warned people can face persecution and jail in their native country if the authorities learn they applied for asylum elsewhere.

Coalition party D66 asked how it was possible the Syrians were given such control over the interviews in light of the controversy last year about deportations to the Congo. Verdonk was forced to admit last year in that case the IND passed on information to the Congolese authorities. Human –rights campaigners said the information could have helped identity the deportees as asylum seekers. The deportations of Syrians questioned by the government delegation have been put on hold until parliament debates the issue again next week.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If the deportees are Islamofascists, who cares under what circumstances they get the boot?
Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/18/2006 3:02 Comments || Top||

#2  That's a good dhimmi.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/18/2006 7:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Her most prized possession is her OBL-autographed knee pads.
Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 7:42 Comments || Top||

#4  LTD, some of the deportees may not be the right flavor of the month for Damascus. Pencilneck learned from his daddy how to handle dissidents.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/18/2006 13:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Rita's doing her best to turn that dhimmi ship around - give her credit. Deporting Syrians to Syria is the right move - how many are actual political asylum seekers rather than economic? Won't each and every deportee claim political?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 15:00 Comments || Top||

Danish Muslims to take cartoon case to UN
STOCKHOLM - Danish Muslim organisations are to take the Mohammed cartoon case to the United Nations High Commisioner for Human Rights in Geneva, the Danish Islamic Community organisation said on Friday.
"Our human rights wuz violated! They drew pitchers of the Profit!"
The move came after Danish State Attorney Henning Fode on Thursday ruled that the controversial drawings of the prophet Mohammed published in daily Jyllands-Posten did not violate Danish blasphemy and racism laws.
"What part of the concept of 'free press' is beyond your comprehension?"
"All of it."
“The UN is the natural place for us to file our complaint,” Islamic Community spokesman Kasem Said Ahmad told the Ritzau national news agency on Friday. “Muslims living in the Islamic world have greater confidence in the United Nations than in the European Union,” he said. “The state attorney’s ruling was lousy.”
More confidence in the U.N.? Now isn't that a telling statement.
If they'd gotten their way, they'd have thought it was just ducky.
Ahmad Akkari, the Imam in Denmark’s second city Aarhus, accused Denmark of breaching UN human rights conventions.
"It clearly sez in the UN Convention of Human Rights that you can't draw funny pictures of the Profit! You can look it up!"
“Our point is that in failing to censure Jyllands-Posten, Denmark has committed a breach of its duties as a signatory of UN conventions on human and political rights as well as international agreements on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination,” he said in a statement issued late Thursday.
Your point is on the top of your head. Our point is that free speech means just that, including the right to offend.
The Danish Islamic Community is an umbrella organisation for 27 Muslim organisations throughout Denmark. The organisation had previously said it might take its case to the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. Of Denmark’s 5.3 million people, 200,000 are Muslims.
And the tail is trying to wag the dog.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [318 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Such thin skinned idol worshippers.
Posted by: ed || 03/18/2006 1:20 Comments || Top||

#2  To do what, exactly?

Do these fools think the EU and UN actually merged into a Pan-Euro OWG?

Why, that'd be crazy! Think of all the bureaucrats who'd suddenly become redundant and have to go find those job things!

Good grief! The "people" think Kofi's their Sheikh!
Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 5:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Wonder if they'll get Hans Blix to investigate and issue a strongly worded letter to the Danish government?
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/18/2006 7:52 Comments || Top||

#4  I think Hans Blix is perfect for this. He'll issue a preliminary report in 2018 that he couldn't find anything.
Posted by: Perfessor || 03/18/2006 9:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Prediction: One of the first acts of the new UN human rights body will be to condemn blasphemy.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/18/2006 10:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Cartoon religion takes offense at cartoon images and appeals to cartoon governing body for recourse.
Posted by: Baaaam! || 03/18/2006 10:29 Comments || Top||

#7  Do these fools think the EU and UN actually merged into a Pan-Euro OWG?

They seek "external balancing".

Quite common for many islamos..
They recognise that their states are weak so they seek to use another party to exert influence.

You'll see the Arab states whining to the UN about Israel, Pakistan complaining to the Word Bank, UN and the OIC about India etc.

Posted by: john || 03/18/2006 13:11 Comments || Top||

#8  I better start working on a good Mohammad cartoon then. I want my very own sternly worded letter and Fatwa. PTUI
Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 15:02 Comments || Top||

#9  “Our point is that in failing to censure Jyllands-Posten, Denmark has committed a breach of its duties as a signatory of UN conventions on human and political rights as well as international agreements on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination,” he said in a statement issued late Thursday.

Once again, let's repeat class....Islam is NOT a race, as much as they want to make it one. Now, go home and write this 100 times and bring in for credit tomorrow. NEXT!
Posted by: BA || 03/18/2006 15:13 Comments || Top||

#10  Just checked the MOL (Muslim Offense Level) at The Relgious Policeman. It's still at 'Elevated: Quite Offended'.
btw, his march 16th blog entry is hilarious...
Posted by: Pirate Commander || 03/18/2006 15:56 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Donks Plan To Do National Security Pose To Win Senate

Ol' Harry was too scared to comment on Feingold's Censure measure, much less vote, now he's trying to put patriotic lipstick on the pig
Senate Democrats have mapped a political battle plan for the March congressional recess that calls on lawmakers to stage press events with active duty military personnel, veterans and emergency responders to bash President Bush on virtually every one of his national security policies.

The game plan, devised by the office of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is contained in a six-page memo distributed to Democratic senators on Thursday at a closed-door meeting at the Capitol and provided to The Washington Times by a congressional staffer. Titled "Real Security for Democratic Incumbents," the political document calls for staged town hall events at military bases, weapons factories, National Guard units, fire stations and veterans posts.
"Real Security" to them means waving flags while ankle-biting whenever possible a President at war
Real security to them means getting re-elected.
"Ensure that you have the proper U.S. and state flags at the event, and consider finding someone to sing the national anthem and lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the event," the battle plan states.

However, the Defense Department prohibits political events on military bases. The rule states, "commanders will not permit the use of installation facilities by any candidate for political campaign or election events, including public assemblies or town hall meetings. ..."
How about using DoD servers for political advocacy?

Jim Manley, Mr. Reid's spokesman, said yesterday the planned events are not part of a political campaign. They would involve only incumbent Democratic senators, some of whom are up for re-election, but not Democratic Senate challengers, he said. Democrats hope to capture Senate control in November's election. "These are events to highlight the need for increased funding for the troops," Mr. Manley said. "It's an effort to paint the White House and the Republican Congress as having a failed effort on national security issues, which is a direct result of their misplaced priorities and mismanagement."
Increased funding? Didn't the Donks vote against most of the funding for the War?
The Senate plan urges holding town hall events to "draw attention to the security vulnerabilities caused by the Bush budget and explain how Democrats fought to restore programs that keep America safe."

The plan is the latest attempt by Democrats to criticize Mr. Bush on national security issues in the aftermath of the Dubai ports deal dust-up, which Republicans conceded was mishandled by the administration. One of the few areas where Republicans continue to poll well versus Democrats is on fighting terrorists. In almost every issue in the Reid memo, Democratic lawmakers are called upon to criticize the president for not spending enough federal dollars. The plan urges the lawmakers to:
  • "Hold a town hall meeting with state officials and a local National Guard unit at their armory to discuss the security impact of long deployments. ... Ask National Guard members to offer input on how security and disaster response at home is compromised by long deployments."

  • "Hold a town hall meeting with troops at a local military installation. ... When selecting a location at the military installation for the event, make sure to select a space that allows easy press access and clearly conveys the message in the shot. Planes, vehicles, equipment and signage in the background enhance the pictures coming out of your event."

  • "Work with [veterans] organizations ... to find recently returned Iraq and Afghanistan veterans willing to discuss the mental effects they or their fellow veterans have experienced."

  • "Tour a factory in your state that manufactures military equipment like Humvees or body armor and hold a press availability afterwards with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on the importance of protective equipment."

  • "Visit the home of a military family that has purchased body armor on their own for a family member serving in Iraq or Afghanistan and hold an open press 'conversion' on the issue. ... Ask the family if they would be willing to hold the open press conversation/town hall meeting in their yard, on their front porch or in their home."

  • As commander in chief, Mr. Bush has made frequent visits to military bases in the United States and abroad. His remarks are generally limited to explaining his war policies and encouraging the troops.

    The Democratic memo calls on senators to seek the help of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), which is critical of Mr. Bush. The IAVA political action committee has raised for $100,000 for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans running for the House. It has endorsed all seven Democrats in that category who are running against House Republicans. An IAVA PAC spokesman said Republican candidates chose not to seek the group's endorsement.
    Since the Repubs generally stay away from moon-bats.
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 14:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  I think a lot of democrats would melt into piles of stinky, reddish-brown goop if they tried to pretend they were patriotic. When you wave a flag, some act like vampires before a cross.
    Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/18/2006 15:06 Comments || Top||

    #2  Senate Democrats have mapped a political battle plan for the March congressional recess that calls on lawmakers to stage press events with active duty military personnel, veterans and emergency responders to bash President Bush on virtually every one of his national security policies.

    So the Dems are actively courting the military to violate the law.

    Art. 88. Contempt toward officials

    Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

    I do recall a hissy fit through when a similar incident happen during Clinton's Administration. Once again, law for thee, but not for me.

    The service regulations prohibit wearing the uniform in partisan events.
    Posted by: Flererong Uninerong3586 || 03/18/2006 16:26 Comments || Top||

    #3  I don't think any REAL military people will agree to this, and they cannot be coerced. The only people that belong to "IAVA" are the "political" military members who put politics above their duty to the nation. Once again the Democrats show they are incompetent to govern. They've launched a campaign that can only bring disaster and disgust upon their heads. May they all spend eternity "serving in combat" - what greater hell could they imagine?
    Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/18/2006 18:01 Comments || Top||

    #4  What is not said and very interesting is the dems must be instructed, prodded and coached regarding verbal interaction and exchanges with the military, as oppoed to what comes natural with the President and many others. President Bush in a pickle suit "following the ball" onto a US Navy aircraft carrier deck is still stuck in their slimey, whimpering throats.
    Posted by: Besoeker || 03/18/2006 18:13 Comments || Top||

    #5  "Work with [veterans] organizations ... to find recently returned Iraq and Afghanistan veterans willing to discuss the mental effects they or their fellow veterans have experienced."

    Yeah, that'll go over well with vets.
    Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/18/2006 18:17 Comments || Top||

    #6  All they can do is strike poses-- and they'll do it about as gracefully as Michael Moore dancing Swan Lake.
    Posted by: Dave D. || 03/18/2006 18:28 Comments || Top||

    #7  Michael Moore dancing Swan Lake.

    Arrrrrrck! My eyes, my eyes!
    Posted by: Jeth Glomogum6809 || 03/18/2006 18:31 Comments || Top||

    #8  As I read this plan, one wonders if there might be a backlash from the troops?

    If memory serves, didn't Kerry get the backs of some vets turned towards him when he gave speeches to VFW audiences?

    It is incredibly disgusting to use the military as props.
    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 19:29 Comments || Top||

    #9  You know the last senior officer to publically disagree with an President was relieved of command during war. Truman [D-MO] vs MacArthur.
    Posted by: Snins Ebbavins2425 || 03/18/2006 19:40 Comments || Top||

    #10  I would resign my commission and forfiet my retirement before I would stand in a single photo with a guy like Kerry of any of his counterparts.
    Posted by: 49 Pan || 03/18/2006 19:54 Comments || Top||

    #11  "Pretend like you're an American, and that you give a shit."

    "Lessons are available."
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 19:54 Comments || Top||

    #12  RINO Dems > "security" = "isolationism" > waiting for Aerican cities to be destroyed, or in the alt to pay and give all of our guns and sovereignty to Commie Asia. DO we really have to wonder why the Chicoms want maintream Americans to believe that American-specific extermination and genocide is good for everyone, even for Americans!?
    Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/18/2006 20:20 Comments || Top||

    #13  Here are some other tips:

    Hang out at mental hospitals and see if you can get someone crazy who claims to have been in the military.

    Hang out on skid row, see if you can find someone sleeping in the gutter who, in exchange for a pint of Jack Daniels, will claim to have been in the military. Bring dirty ol' Vietnam era jacket or cammies to dress them in for your photo op. Make sure to bring a flag - perhaps you can show them using it as a ground cover.

    Hang out in graveyards after military funerals and see if you can find an angry family member. Best if you can interview a mother/father/wife/child but if they are supportive of their loved one's sacrifice you can always find one ol' bitch in every family that will be happy to spew blame.

    Hang out at military bars and find out who'se bitter about not making rank, got fired, or got a dishonorable discharge and invite them to a town hall meeting.

    And if you still have trouble finding enough men and women in the military willing to be in your charade, then have your staffers dress up in uniform and answer the questions from a sheet of talking points. It's no less legal than our other suggestions - so tell them not to worry about details like felony convictions.
    Posted by: 2b || 03/18/2006 20:40 Comments || Top||

    #14  Don't do it Pan, contracting sucks!
    Posted by: Thraiter Thomoper7250 || 03/18/2006 20:45 Comments || Top||

    #15  They may win votes for other reasons but nobody except the MSM will buy their security line.
    Posted by: 3dc || 03/18/2006 20:48 Comments || Top||

    #16  Robert Novak on TOWNHALL.com has an article indicating thatAL Gore may defeat and run against Hillary for 2008. WIll say again that iff the Rogues crisez remain unresolved by the Dubya and GOP-Right, I believe Hillary at best will run as VPOTUS - Americans, includ most Amer women, will NOT accept a woman as POTUS during times of national emergency or wartime; plus the Clintons may be about POWER but they are also about easy street and espec MEDIA SAINTHOOD. As quiet Commmies they, the Lefties, and aligned do not wish to be linked to anything pol incorrect and detrimental, includ but not limited to conspiracy for the attack, defeat and destruction of their own country and people for OWG and Socialism. America must "lose" even at it believes it is winning. A CLinton or Clintonite in the WH is a sure guarantee America will suffer detriment and defeat in the various Rogue crise the Mullahs will win, Kimmie will win, and TAIWAN and American superiority in the PACOA will be lost, PC of course. However imperfectly, America will have lost the WOT, its freedoms, and its sovereignty.
    Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/18/2006 21:00 Comments || Top||

    #17  "Robert Novak on TOWNHALL.com has an article indicating that AL Gore may defeat and run against Hillary for 2008."

    This is indeed possible. There definitely is a God, and he has one helluva sense of humor. Stock up on popcorn.

    Posted by: Dave D. || 03/18/2006 21:13 Comments || Top||

    Home Front: WoT
    NY Slimes: Before/After Abu Ghraib, a U.S. Unit Abused Detainees
    Come and get it! Fresh bullshit from the NY Slimes Front Page

    As the Iraqi insurgency intensified in early 2004, an elite Special Operations forces unit converted one of Saddam Hussein's former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center. There, American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers into their own interrogation cell. They named it the Black Room.
    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 18:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [334 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Thank you, Captain America, for reminding me again why I don't read the NYT anymore. Newspaper of record, indeed!
    Posted by: trailing wife || 03/18/2006 19:14 Comments || Top||

    #2  By early 2004, both the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. had expressed alarm about the military's harsh interrogation techniques.

    The C.I.A.'s Baghdad station sent a cable to headquarters on Aug. 3, 2003, raising concern that Special Operations troops who served with agency officers had used techniques that had become too aggressive. Five days later, the C.I.A. issued a classified directive that prohibited its officers from participating in harsh interrogations. Separately, the C.I.A. barred its officers from working at Camp Nama but allowed them to keep providing target information and other intelligence to the task force.

    The warnings still echoed nearly a year later. On June 25, 2004, nearly two months after the disclosure of the abuses at Abu Ghraib, an F.B.I. agent in Iraq sent an e-mail message to his superiors in Washington, warning that a detainee captured by Task Force 6-26 had suspicious burn marks on his body. The detainee said he had been tortured. A month earlier, another F.B.I. agent asked top bureau officials for guidance on how to deal with military interrogators across Iraq who used techniques like loud music and yelling that exceeded "the bounds of standard F.B.I. practice."

    Nothing new here. Nothing that hasn't been dealt with. The only question in my mind, is the leak from the FBI or the CIA? Foolish me.
    Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/18/2006 19:52 Comments || Top||

    NYT Abu Ghraib Lies
    A front-page article last Saturday profiled Ali Shalal Qaissi, identifying him as the hooded man forced to stand on a box, attached to wires, in a photograph from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal of 2003 and 2004. He was shown holding such a photograph. As an article on Page A1 today makes clear, Mr. Qaissi was not that man.

    The Times did not adequately research Mr. Qaissi's insistence that he was the man in the photograph. Mr. Qaissi's account had already been broadcast and printed by other outlets, including PBS and Vanity Fair, without challenge. Lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib vouched for him. Human rights workers seemed to support his account. The Pentagon, asked for verification, declined to confirm or deny it.

    Despite the previous reports, The Times should have been more persistent in seeking comment from the military. A more thorough examination of previous articles in The Times and other newspapers would have shown that in 2004 military investigators named another man as the one on the box, raising suspicions about Mr. Qaissi's claim.

    The Times also overstated the conviction with which representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International expressed their view of whether Mr. Qaissi was the man in the photograph. While they said he could well be that man, they did not say they believed he was.

    The United States cannot lose this war on the field of battle.

    It can only be lost in the American living room.

    The MSM has chosen to ally with America's enemies in this war.

    Even in a major set back such as this the MSM continues to blame the U. S. Despite the previous reports, The Times should have been more persistent in seeking comment from the military.

    One wonders whether the military is now waging war against the MSM using passive-aggressive techniques such as non-correction of errors.

    They should also set Rummy out on Monday to ridicule the NYT for trying to pin the blame for their failure to do proper research on the military. They didn't even read their own prior articles!

    Link to full NYT page 1 article in today's edition covering the fiasco as news.
    Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/18/2006 10:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [390 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  my belief is that MSM is losing credibily and impact in ordinary American/Canadian homes. the internet connections, blogs must have helped.

    I'm hearing water-cooler discussions in the last three months that I wouldn't have believed possible last year. The cartoon wars and the lack of response from MSM is a big thing, cooler-talk wise.

    The beast awakes!
    Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/18/2006 11:22 Comments || Top||


    Approximately $1.6 Billion of Debt Securities Affected.

    Particulars here.
    Posted by: Angert Fluck8181 || 03/18/2006 13:32 Comments || Top||

    #3  Nice catch AF. Bottom line...

    A multi-notch ratings transition will be considered in light of the
    company's financial and operating challenges
    Posted by: 6 || 03/18/2006 14:47 Comments || Top||

    #4  Heh heh. Angert Fluck8181---Now there is a name you just don't play with.
    Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/18/2006 21:21 Comments || Top||

    #5  The Times is carrying $1.6 billion in debt? Whooo. It's not like they have anything near that in hard assets.
    Posted by: lotp || 03/18/2006 21:45 Comments || Top||

    #6  MoDo on her back oughtta bring in $200-300 a night just from curious Arabs/Eurotrash
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 23:08 Comments || Top||

    US skeptical of Iran offer on Iraq talks
    White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley expressed skepticism on Friday about Iran's offer to talk to the United States about Iraq, saying it may be an attempt to divert pressure over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Hadley told a group of reporters his concern was that the Iran offer was "simply a device by the Iranians to divert pressure that they are feeling in New York," where members of the U.N. Security Council are debating a statement aimed at reining in Iran's nuclear program.

    The United States offered last November to hold talks with Iran about U.S. allegations that Iranians were shipping components for homemade bombs into Iraq for use against Iraqi and U.S. targets and otherwise acting to provoke instability. Iran initially rejected the offer. But Tehran shifted course on Thursday and said it was willing to open a dialogue with the United States on Iraq.

    Hadley said the United States was still prepared to hold talks with Iran but reiterated they would be limited to U.S. concerns that Iran was stirring up trouble in Iraq, not used as a way to open negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, would be the U.S. representative for any such talks.

    Hadley said that by offering to open a dialogue with Washington, Iran appeared to be "trying to drive a wedge between the United States" and its allies at a time when the international community is trying to stay united and force Iran to give up its nuclear program. Washington and its allies will not let that happen, he said. His comments appeared to be an effort to tamp down any expectation that Washington and Tehran were on the brink of a breakthrough in icy relations.
    Posted by: Pappy || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

    PakiWakis Reject US-India Nuke Deal

    President Bush's decision to seek Congressional support for a plan to share civilian nuclear technology with India could upset the balance of power in the region, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said.

    The Foreign Ministry said Bush, who visited the South Asian neighbors earlier this month, should have offered both Islamabad and New Delhi similar deals to enhance their respective nuclear programs.

    The U.S. plan will "only encourage India to continue its weapons program without any constraint or inhibition," the ministry said in a statement Friday.

    Congress must either amend U.S. law or approve an exception for India if the agreement is to go ahead. American law currently restrict the trade of nuclear material and equipment to countries that have not submitted to full nuclear inspections, which India has not done.

    "The grant of (such a) waiver as a special case will have serious implications for the security environment in South Asia as well as for international nonproliferation efforts," the statement said.

    Pakistan is a key U.S. ally in its was on terror, but Washington is refusing to share civilian nuclear technology with it, fearing it may not be able to keep the technology from other countries.
    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 15:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Reject?

    I don't recall Bush or Singh asking permission from Perv?

    Posted by: john || 03/18/2006 16:00 Comments || Top||

    #2  Perv, old boy,

    Don't you understand? We don't trust you or your people to come in out of the rain, much less keep secure sensitive information. We don't like what's happening in the Tribal Areas, we're tired of the constant war in Jammu & Kashmir, we're tired of the two-faced Mad Mullah loving imams that run madrassas that are little more than jihad training grounds. We'd like to see India grind you into paste and flush you into the Indian ocean, but we're too polite to say so in public. If you want a deal, show us you can actually do what you pledge, and that you actually have control of your government, especially the ISI. Otherwise, go piss into the wind.
    Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/18/2006 16:30 Comments || Top||

    #3  AMEN
    Posted by: RD || 03/18/2006 17:14 Comments || Top||

    #4  Perv made this speech at his installation as Honorary colonel of his old regiment - "The Dashing 16"

    Forty-two years after gaining a commission as a second lieutenant in a Pakistani artillery regiment, known as the ”Dashing 16,” President Pervez Musharraf became its honorary colonel commandant, reports said on Saturday.

    General Musharraf was installed as the honorary colonel of the Dashing 16 at Bahawalpur garrison in central Punjab province on Friday. Founded on May 17, 1956, the regiment is to celebrate its golden jubilee shortly.

    Speaking to the serving and retired officers of the regiment, Musharraf said the armed forces of the country were well prepared to face the challenges of modern warfare.

    Musharraf joined the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961 and was commissioned in the Dashing 16 in 1964. He saw action in the 1965 war with India as a young officer in Khem Karan near Lahore and Sialkot with an artillery regiment.

    He also volunteered and served for seven years in the Special Service Group, known as the “Commandos.”

    He also participated in the 1971 war - again with India - as company commander in a commando battalion and served in various command, staff and instructional positions in the army before his appointment as army chief in October 1998.

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

    #5  What kind of drugs are they doing in Pakiwakiland? They got to be good.
    Posted by: 3dc || 03/18/2006 20:19 Comments || Top||

    I may backtrack if India remains mum on my proposals: Musharraf
    Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said he may consider "taking steps backward" if India does not respond to his self-rule and demilitarisation proposals on Kashmir. He, however, told Kashmiri leaders that they should "once and for all" give up their independence proposition as it was "not durable and no time should be wasted on such futile exercises".
    Much better to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pak-land.
    Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh told reporters in Jammu on Saturday that "Musharraf complained India was not responding to the proposals that he had been repeatedly been making to New Delhi. He said if India does not respond, he may consider 'taking steps backward'."

    Singh was among the mainstream Kashmiri leaders who met the Pakistan President at the Pugwash Conference in Islamabad on March 10. Singh quoted Musharraf as saying he had offered to sit "anywhere and anytime" with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and face leaders of all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

    Musharraf also asked the Hurriyat Conference leaders to work jointly and create a consensus on the issue. He also claimed that his government was training youths in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and had destroyed all terror hideouts there.
    Training them to do what, exactly?
    Posted by: john || 03/18/2006 12:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Sounds like an ultimatium.
    Posted by: 3dc || 03/18/2006 14:31 Comments || Top||

    #2  Poor Perv. Demoted from "Pakistani Kamal Ataturk" to Arafish.
    Posted by: gromgoru || 03/18/2006 14:47 Comments || Top||

    More than 20,000 rally against Prophet cartoons in Lahore
    More than 20,000 supporters of a radical Islamic group held a peaceful rally against the publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons Friday in an eastern Pakistan city and accused the government of being "soft" on the West over the controversy. "The government should have taken a hard stance against those countries where these cartoons were published to insult our beloved Prophet Muhammad," Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the leader of Jamaat al-Dawa group, told the mass gathering at a park in the city.

    Saeed is a nutcase renowned cleric and a former leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamic militant group that was banned by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 2002 in an effort to curb extremism and militancy. Since then, Saeed has set up the Jamaat al-Dawa group, which mainly preaches Islam, runs seminaries and operates medical centers. The government had recently put Saeed under house arrest for several days to stop him from leading rallies against the cartoons after a spate of violence during protests last month left five people dead.

    On Friday, Saeed urged protesters to continue organizing rallies to force the government to sever diplomatic ties with all countries where the cartoons, regarded by Muslims as blasphemous, were published. "All Islamic countries should immediately boycott the products of such countries, and we will not tolerate any bad thing against Islam, the holy Quran and our beloved Prophet Muhammad," he said.

    Several other anti-U.S. clerics also addressed the rally. Although leaders of several countries where the cartoons were published have expressed regret for the offense caused by the caricatures' publication, some hard-line Islamists in this Islamic nation of 150 million say the cartoonists should be sentenced to death.
    Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [386 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Give us a break and move on.
    Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/18/2006 3:03 Comments || Top||

    #2  This is the greastest crisis the World has ever faced.
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 5:26 Comments || Top||

    #3  Yep, even bigger than Kq'Uro'an Kris II
    Posted by: 6 || 03/18/2006 6:25 Comments || Top||

    #4  Seethers to the left , all others to the right , move along ..

    one,two,three ..... SEETHE !
    Posted by: MacNails || 03/18/2006 6:26 Comments || Top||

    #5  Can you say "misdirection"?

    C'mon it's easy if you sound it out.

    Can you say "sublimation"?

    C'mon. It's easy if you spit all over yourself.
    Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/18/2006 11:39 Comments || Top||

    #6  Holy Crapolie! These guys are still complaining up a storm over them TOONS?
    Posted by: Happy 88mm || 03/18/2006 15:14 Comments || Top||

    #7  Says a lot about the enemy, no ?
    We should be mass producing those cartoons and dropping them from B52s all over muzzieland. That and pictures of jelly rolls with "Eat Me, I'm a Danish" written on them.
    Posted by: wxjames || 03/18/2006 22:46 Comments || Top||

    In The Files: Saddam's Philippines Terror Connection
    SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME PROVIDED FINANCIAL support to Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law in the Philippines in the late 1990s, according to documents captured in postwar Iraq. An eight-page fax dated June 6, 2001, and sent from the Iraqi ambassador in Manila to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, provides an update on Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and indicates that the Iraqi regime was providing the group with money to purchase weapons. The Iraqi regime suspended its support--temporarily, it seems--after high-profile kidnappings, including of Americans, focused international attention on the terrorist group.

    The fax comes from the vast collection of documents recovered in postwar Afghanistan and Iraq. Up to this point, those materials have been kept from the American public. Now the proverbial dam has broken. On March 16, the U.S. government posted on the web 9 documents captured in Iraq, as well as 28 al Qaeda documents that had been released in February. Earlier last week, Foreign Affairs magazine published a lengthy article based on a review of 700 Iraqi documents by analysts with the Institute for Defense Analysis and the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Plans for the release of many more documents have been announced. And if the contents of the recently released materials and other documents obtained by The Weekly Standard are any indication, the discussion of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq is about to get more interesting.

    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 15:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [432 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  If this is true, and we knew Kadaffi was pumping money into the ASG, I wonder what Sadam's connection to Kadaffi is?
    Posted by: 49 Pan || 03/18/2006 17:13 Comments || Top||

    #2  Captain Ed's all ovr this as are Powerline and Michelle Malkin - links from CE's
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 17:53 Comments || Top||

    #3  ht Rantburg Dan

    many thousands of new documents are being translated and released..

    pajamasmedia: http://blogs.pajamasmedia.com/iraq_files/

    IRAQ: http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/products-docex.htm

    Afghanistan: http://www.ctc.usma.edu/harmony_docs.asp

    ITM: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

    Posted by: RD || 03/18/2006 17:58 Comments || Top||

    #4  Didn't Saddam Hussein get start-up information for his nuclear program from Qaddafi? (I think that spelling is prettier) Which Qaddaffi had gotten from A.Q. Khan of Pakistan, and which AQK had gotten from China? Also Capt. Ed talks about documents showing Qaddafi moved the $$ and weapons to Abu Sayyaf that Saddam Hussein provided.

    It's going to get interesting as more documents are made public.
    Posted by: trailing wife || 03/18/2006 18:04 Comments || Top||

    #5  I don't mind givng attributions where do, but the author here, Stephen Hayes, literally wrote the book, "Connections".

    Moreover, the Powerline folks have not reported the Philippinies terror connection as of yet.

    In reality, there are several sources tracking these unfolding results. Let's not minimize one source by touting others. Each is making their own unique contribution. Sheesh.
    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 18:31 Comments || Top||

    #6  In fact, Captain Ed is citing the same Steve Hayes article on his web site as HIS source.
    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 18:32 Comments || Top||

    #7  Correction: the Powerline boyz are citing the same article as cited here, again, the source is Steve Hayes' article.

    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 18:36 Comments || Top||

    #8  CA - links to others that provide insight are not bad, even if there's one original source. Otherwise Dan Rather might still be employed, Capische?
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 18:45 Comments || Top||

    #9  Meant no effort to hide or diminish Hayes' work. Just like Claudia Rosette's at the UN - they do the tough legwork and original analysis and should get the credit. Others can add on.....
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 18:47 Comments || Top||

    #10  Otherwise Dan Rather might still be employed, Capische?

    My sentiments also. For example, Powerline really benefited from Free Republic on the Rather caper.

    Too bad RB doesn't have a separate page for indexing Iraqi files materials and sources. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Lot's of linkages to the infamous terrs db.
    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 19:10 Comments || Top||

    #11  We all thought the money was getting to the ASG through the OIC and Qaddafi, (thanks TW for the spell check). There are half a dozen muzzie NGO's in Zamboanga pumping money and aid into the ASG and MILF areas. I can't wait till we get the Iranian link and the circle will be complete.
    Posted by: 49 Pan || 03/18/2006 19:17 Comments || Top||

    #12  Not a spell check, 49 Pan, just an aesthetic preference. When you're dealing with transliterations from a language whose sounds don't have a one-for-one correspondence, preference is pretty much all there is. Think of the various spelling for Hanukkah (Ch, nn, k, no h) or Jehovah/Yahweh/YHVH, f'r instance.
    Posted by: trailing wife || 03/18/2006 19:21 Comments || Top||

    #13  Thanks, I learn something new every day on Rantburg, great site-great folks.

    Was .com booted or just on holiday?
    Posted by: 49 Pan || 03/18/2006 19:36 Comments || Top||

    #14  .com booted? pshaw! - tending to his loving-side, I expect :-)
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 19:52 Comments || Top||

    #15  I hope so, our resident troll assassin needs to get back on patrol.
    Posted by: 49 Pan || 03/18/2006 19:56 Comments || Top||

    #16  It won't matter to the Left save as more things to spin in their favor - eight years of Clinton for the Left justified Leftism-Socialism once, before, and forever. 9-11 and the WOT is about forcing SWO and OWG on unsuspecting America, more popularly known as Power and Control - facts are not facts. etc. unless the Left/MSM, and only the Left/MSM, says its the same. America volunteering to give up its sovereignty = America being forced to = America being defeated-destroyed =...THE LEFT T'AINT GONNA CARE.
    Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/18/2006 20:14 Comments || Top||

    #17  Resident troll assassin! I love it, pan! That's a keeper. I, too, was worried about .com after the cleanups with the sinktrap a few weeks ago. I thought he might have tired of it. However, earlier this week, he popped in and said he was doing fine. Gettin' a lil' "R&R" if you know what I mean.
    Posted by: BA || 03/18/2006 22:18 Comments || Top||

    (Few) Protesters Mark Iraq War Anniversary
    No news as to whether the large puppets were able to attend. And as usual, the 'Free Paleostine' signs were all over the place.
    SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Anti-war protesters marched in Australia, Asia, Turkey and Europe on Saturday in demonstrations that marked the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq with a demand that coalition troops pull out. Around 500 protesters marched through central Sydney, chanting "End the war now" and "Troops out of Iraq." Many campaigners waved placards branding President Bush the "World's No. 1 Terrorist" or expressing concerns that Iran could be the next country to face invasion.

    "Iraq is a quagmire and has been a humanitarian disaster for the Iraqis," said Jean Parker, a member of the Australian branch of the Stop the War Coalition, which organized the march attended by very few people. "There is no way forward without ending the occupation."

    Saturday's protest was small compared to the mass demonstrations that swept across the country in the buildup to the invasion - the largest Australia had seen since joining U.S. forces in the Vietnam War.

    The turnout also was lower than protesters had hoped in Britain, whose government has been the United States' strongest supporter in the war. Authorities shut down streets in the heart of London's shopping and theater district for the demonstration, which organizers had predicted would attract up to 100,000 people, but police estimated the crowd was about 15,000 people.

    Some protesters carried posters calling Bush a terrorist and other placards pictured Prime Minister Tony Blair, saying "Blair must go!" Britain has about 8,000 soldiers in Iraq but plans to pull out 800 by May. "We are against this war, both for religious reasons and on a humanitarian basis, too. No one deserves to be bombarded," said one march, student Imran Saghir, 25.

    In Tokyo, about 2,000 people rallied in a downtown park, carrying signs saying "Stop the Occupation" as they listened to a series of anti-war speeches. In Turkey, thousands gathered in Istanbul for protests and other demonstrations were planned in the cities of Izmir, Trabzon and the capital, Ankara. "USA, go home!" said red and black signs carried by hundreds of the some 5,000 protesters gathered in Kadikoy on the city's Asian coast.

    In Sweden, about 1,000 demonstrators gathered for a rally in Stockholm before a march to the U.S. Embassy. Anti-war demonstrations were also planned for a very few people in Spain, Austria, Germany, Greece and Denmark.
    Posted by: Steve White || 03/18/2006 14:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Antiwar movement running out of steam ... or aging Hippies just plain tired.
    Posted by: Happy 88mm || 03/18/2006 15:13 Comments || Top||

    #2  About 1000 in Toronto.
    Posted by: Pirate Commander || 03/18/2006 15:47 Comments || Top||

    #3  So the turnout in the entire workld was inferior to the number of bodies in an average mass-grave.
    Posted by: JFM || 03/18/2006 17:12 Comments || Top||

    #4  Or the kneeling capacity of the London Grand Mosque.
    Posted by: ed || 03/18/2006 17:52 Comments || Top||

    #5  ouch! JFM - don't you know those don't exist? Or if they do, it was the fault of Booosh 1 and 2 and teh Jooos
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 17:52 Comments || Top||

    #6  Looks like only the paid professional protestors turned up. With their trainees. but no one else.
    Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/18/2006 18:10 Comments || Top||

    Islamic Movement of Kurdistan denies involvement in Halabja violence
    An official from the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan on Friday denied reports on involvement in the recent violent incidents in Halabja, northern Iraq.
    "Wudn't us...well, mostly not us. Maybe a little. Possibly a little gun sex, who knows?"
    Member of the Political Office in the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan Kamil Al-Hajj said the movement is ready to be held legally responsible for the violent incidents if there are any evidences proving such accusations. In a statement to a local radio station in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq, Al-Hajj touched on the Halabja victims' memorial, considering it a symbol for the martyrs of Halabja and the crime of dictatorship against the city. He also denied claims on the IMK leader's descriping of the memorial as a temple.
    Posted by: Seafarious || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [312 views] Top|| File under:

    Hakim confers by phone with Larijani
    The Head of Iraq's Islamic Revolution Higher Council, Abdel-Aziz Al-Hakim, on Friday held a phone conversation with Iran's Secretary-General of National security Ali Larijani on Iran's nuclear row with Washington. According to a statement issued by the council, of which a copy was received by KUNA, Al-Hakim thanked Iran for taking into consideration his advice to engage into a dialogue with Washington over the nuclear issue.

    "We do not approve any plan for turning Iraq into a platform for conspiring against other countries," Al-Hakim said before a crowd of supporters at Sadr City. He called for getting rid of "armed gangs, whose aims extended to other countries." "We call on Iran's officials to engage into a frank and open dialogue with the Americans on issues regarding Iraq," he said. He stressed that he expected Iran, which always stood by Iraqi people, to reach agreement with the US over Iraqi issues.

    However, the Iraqi Consensus Parliamentary Coalition, the largest such Sunni Muslim group in parliament, said it was opposed to any such negotiations and was not committed to implementing them.
    Posted by: Seafarious || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Must've used Dixie cups, since they were pulling their puppet's strings.
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 5:42 Comments || Top||

    #2  I don't know, pretty primative over there. Could be using a Dixie Lan.
    Posted by: 6 || 03/18/2006 8:24 Comments || Top||

    75 per cent of Iraq will be under Iraqi control this year
    WASHINGTON - The US military expects to have turnedcontrol over 75 per cent of Iraq to Iraqi security forces by the end of the summer, a top US commander said on Thursday. Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, commander of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq, praised the performance of the Iraqi army during the recent bout of sectarian violence and said it was well trained for counter-insurgency warfare.

    Despite a heightened threat of civil war, Chiarelli said ”battlespace” was being turned over to Iraqi army units at such a rate that it is “hard for me even to keep track of on a daily basis.” “To the point where by this summer about 75 per cent of Iraq -- that battlespace will be owned by Iraqi units,” he said, adding later that he meant by the end of the summer.

    That would put the transfer of security from US-led forces to Iraqis well ahead of President George W. Bush’s stated goal of having most of the country under Iraqi security forces by the end of the year.

    General John Abizaid, the commander of US forces in the Middle East, said on Thursday he expects the downward trend in US force levels to continue despite heightened tensions in the wake of a bombing of Shiite shrine February 22. “We’re finding Iraqi units with our support can be used in about any operation we do in a counter-insurgency role,” Chiarelli told reporters at the Pentagon via a video-link from Baghdad.

    “And this is a force we have built, and the Iraqis have built for that counter-insurgency fight,” he said. “And I think they are particularly well prepared, well trained and have the ability to do that, both in the cities and as you saw in Swarmer out in the middle of the desert.”
    Posted by: Steve White || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

    Hamas to Take All Key Posts in Cabinet
    Isn't that routine? They won the elections...
    Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Minister for Cultural False Friendship, One-Way Trade, and Booming with the Zionist Entity™

    doesn't roll right off the tongue....maybe in Arabic?
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 0:52 Comments || Top||

    #2  Middle East: Looks like the balls are being racked up. Who will break?
    Posted by: Jules || 03/18/2006 2:28 Comments || Top||

    #3  Minister for Suicide Boombers, Minister for Kassams, Minister for Rachel Corry.
    Posted by: gromgoru || 03/18/2006 14:57 Comments || Top||

    Siege of Gaza Starts Biting
    Hundreds of Palestinians lined up outside bakeries in Gaza yesterday to buy bread as shop owners complained they were running out of flour because of Israel’s closure of a commercial crossing into the strip.
    That'd be the one the Paleostinians shot up and swarmed across, right? Wonder why they closed it?
    And to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian economy, donor countries are looking into the possibility of paying salaries directly to 140,000 Palestinian Authority employees.
    Oooh. That's gotta hurt. No rakeoff at the top.
    Israel has been closing Karni, the main commercial crossing with Gaza, on and off for the last two months, citing security concerns.
    What's a few shootouts, a riot here and there? That's hardly any reason for closing it down, right?
    It has said the closures were not a response to the election victory of Hamas in January.
    Might have had something to do with the booms, though...
    Palestinians have complained of looming shortages of many basic food stuffs while UN agencies have warned that stocks were running low and prices skyrocketing. Outside one bakery in Gaza City, at least 70 Palestinians jostled and pushed each other to get bread. The owner said he had to limit the quantities people could buy. Hisham Al-Shanti, owner of one of the largest bakeries in Gaza City, said he had enough flour for one more day. “If the crossing continues to be closed, we will shut the doors of the bakery,” Shanti told Reuters.
    Life's tough. It's tougher when you're armed, dangerous, and stoopid.
    An Israeli Army spokesman said Karni had been closed again on March 13 after being open for several days. There were no immediate plans to reopen it, he said. An Israeli security source said an alternative crossing at Kerem Shalom could be used from tomorrow to transport goods in and out of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have rejected such alternatives in the past.
    "Kerem Shalom? A second-rate crossing. Not up to our standards. Bring us a better offer!"
    Palestinians said the crossing has not been kept open long enough to make up for the previous closures.
    Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [431 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Still working on the cause / effect principle. After they master that, probably somewhere around 2100-2200, we will give them the wheel and the plow. That will keep them busy until the next millenium. The debate continue on whether to ever give them fire.
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 5:49 Comments || Top||

    #2  Let the UN's Gaza Airlift begin!
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 6:41 Comments || Top||

    #3  I get this visual - manna from Heaven... Only these are Paleos, not thankful Jooos, so they immediately start bitching... Why no zatar? Where's the laban? What, no hummus? This isn't as good as my mother used to make...

    And God finally just says, "Aw, fuck it." and blasts the bitches off the face of the planet.
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 7:37 Comments || Top||

    #4  The subtle language of the Holy QkUran has 64 variations of ingratitude. It's important to the speakers. Like snow to Eskimaux.
    Posted by: 6 || 03/18/2006 8:38 Comments || Top||

    #5  6
    Posted by: Jules || 03/18/2006 11:33 Comments || Top||

    #6  Funny. Israel is a tiny country. You'd think, like the rest of the world, the Paleo's might be able to get their flour elsewhere. But it appears they can only get it from hated Israel. Go figure.
    Posted by: 2b || 03/18/2006 12:22 Comments || Top||

    #7  Let them eat cake!
    Posted by: Souha Arafat || 03/18/2006 12:55 Comments || Top||

    #8  at least they have their Zam Zam
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 14:56 Comments || Top||

    #9  I see a marketing opportunity for kosher hardtack..
    Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 03/18/2006 18:45 Comments || Top||

    #10  Let the UN's Gaza Airlift begin!

    Posted by: Pappy || 03/18/2006 20:04 Comments || Top||

    #11  2b, the Israelis control all access into / out of Gaza. They patrol the sea approaches and man checkpoints on the roads and of course it is walled. The only exception is the Rafah crossing into Egypt and that is currently only open to people, not goods. An additional crossing is planned but is held up pending an agreement on it between the Palestinian govt and Israel.

    Data and (near the end of the file) a map here.
    Posted by: lotp || 03/18/2006 20:30 Comments || Top||

    #12  Thanks. Didn't know that.
    Posted by: 2b || 03/18/2006 20:45 Comments || Top||

    #13  ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNND, the Israelis have the Big Knife Switch™ for electric power, as well as the Big A$$ed Gate Valve™ for water. The Paleos have all the saline wells they can handle. The Paleos have sh*t royally into their own mess kit.
    Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/18/2006 21:30 Comments || Top||

    #14  What's wrong w/flour from Egypt or another of their neighbors?
    Posted by: anonymous2u || 03/18/2006 23:46 Comments || Top||

    #15  Israel's destroyed all the tunnels into Egypt?

    If arms can find their way in, so can flour.
    Posted by: anonymous2u || 03/18/2006 23:50 Comments || Top||

    #16  There's no money in flour, but arms importing seems to be a big profit enterprise. Maybe flour has to be more scarce befire it is worth importing. Supply and demand thing, ya know. Econ 101.
    Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/18/2006 23:58 Comments || Top||

    Incoming Palestinian prime minister suggests Hamas could one day make peace with Israel
    The Palestinians' incoming prime minister suggested Hamas could one day make peace with Israel, but undercut his statement by saying his militant group wouldn't disarm or recognize Israel unless it recognized a Palestinian state within boundaries the Israelis reject. Israel dismissed the comments as doubletalk.

    Asked in an interview with CBS News aired Thursday if he could foresee a day when he would be invited to sign a peace agreement with Israel, Ismail Haniyeh replied, "Let's hope so." But Hamas, which won Palestinian parliamentary elections in a landslide in January, has rebuffed Israel's conditions for talks, namely, that the group disarm and recognize the Jewish state's right to exist. Haniyeh told CBS that Hamas wouldn't meet those conditions for talks unless Israel "recognized a Palestinian state within the boundaries of Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem."

    Israel, while accepting the principle of an independent Palestinian state, has said many times that it has no intention of returning to the borders it held before capturing those territories in the 1967 Mideast war. Haniyeh is considered a pragmatist, but he does not call the shots in the Palestinian government. Major Hamas decisions are taken in secret by a group of leaders inside and outside Gaza and the West Bank.
    Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  This guy musta attended the Kerry School of Finer Double-Speak. I was for peace with Israel; that is, until we demanded boundaries that they will not accept.
    Posted by: Captain America || 03/18/2006 0:34 Comments || Top||

    #2  Taqiya.
    Posted by: Grunter || 03/18/2006 6:19 Comments || Top||

    #3  Sure they can.

    The peace of the grave.

    They keep their shit up, they might just be surprised at whose grave it is.
    Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/18/2006 11:03 Comments || Top||

    #4  Hamas wouldn't meet those conditions for talks unless Israel "recognized a Palestinian state within the boundaries of Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem."

    They rewrite history and imagineer geography. There never has been a Palestinian state within those borders. Historically, the Philistines inhabited modern Gaza and Lebanon, the Edomites had the east bank of the Jordan, and the sons of Ishmael were settled from Havilah to Shur in the desert near Egypt and all of Arabia. Israel's boundaries, with Jerusalem as its capitol, included the West Bank and extended to near Damascus. Maybe science could determine these true ethnic homelands using DNA? If they don't like Israeli law then a move to Jordan would be more comfortable. But if they insist on being unreasonable, the Palestinians will be "unrecognizable". ;)
    Posted by: Danielle || 03/18/2006 15:14 Comments || Top||

    #5  I think it's time to field-test the MOAB. Gaza would be a perfect place to do that - there's nothing socially, culturally, or politically significant there, just a bunch of seethers and whiners. The world won't miss them. I think I'll pass this along to DOD for comment.
    Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/18/2006 18:14 Comments || Top||

    Hamas says cabinet to be finalised on Saturday
    Hamas will finalise its cabinet on Saturday and hopes to soon submit the names to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a spokesman for the Islamic militant group said on Friday.
    "Unless he resigns and dissolves the Paleostinian Authority first, of course."
    "The government will be ready tomorrow with its formation and its ministers but we will not announce the government before we hand it over to the president," spokesman Salah al-Bardaweel said.
    Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Wait, Abbas, we want the target list before you flee.
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 5:50 Comments || Top||

    #2  Hamas will finalise its cabinet on Saturday

    I thought it was IAF's job?
    Posted by: gromgoru || 03/18/2006 15:01 Comments || Top||

    #3  Okay, now that was funny.
    Posted by: 6 || 03/18/2006 15:48 Comments || Top||

    Fatah won't join Hamas govt
    Ramallah, Paleostine (Rantburg News Service):The Fatah party, ably led by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, says it will stay out of a government being formed by the Islamist movement Hamas. "We're not in charge anymore," pointed out Paleostinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. "They're going to hose it. When the hummus hits the fan, we'd rather be out of range."

    Fatah says it has exhausted all means to try to reach an agreement over Hamas's political program, the BBC has reported. "We tried," Erekat said. "Allen knows we tried, but you just can't talk to them. Those people are crazy!"

    Fatah, the party founded by Yasser Arafat, dominated Palestinian politics for decades but a spokesman has confirmed that it will now go into opposition. "We've already got plans in place for an intifadeh against them," a Fatah spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Fatah had said it would only join the new government if Hamas accepted all the past agreements that Fatah leaders have made with Israel but Hamas refuses to recognise Israel, saying that would constitute acceptance of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. "We tried to explain to them," Erekat said, "that accepting the agreements doesn't mean you've got to abide by them. We never did. But they just wouldn't listen."
    Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Fatah will form an opposition abroad.
    Posted by: gromgoru || 03/18/2006 15:13 Comments || Top||

    #2  Fatah still has the arms, security apparatus, and hidden skimmed euros. Wait til Hamas demands that Fatah disarm and turn over the Euros....and that all foreign aid come through Hamas instead of Fatah...hee hee...

    Is that popcorn buttered? salted? excellent!
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 16:30 Comments || Top||

    #3  Fatah will form an opposition abroad.

    Damn, rents on Parisian flats are gonna go up again ...
    Posted by: lotp || 03/18/2006 18:02 Comments || Top||

    #4  as will security deposits, apparently
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 18:42 Comments || Top||

    #5  Is this some weird Paleo variation of Groucho's joke about how he wouldn't belong to any club that would accept him as a member?

    If they want to run with the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" meme, Fatah could hook up with the Israelis to stamp out Hamas. Wouldn't that be fun to watch! There is not enough popcorn in the world for that.
    Posted by: SteveS || 03/18/2006 20:28 Comments || Top||

    Southeast Asia
    Malaysia Aims For Credible Coast Guard Agency
    The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will strive to be a credible enforcement agency and create its own identity through the adoption of best practices in the Coast Guard environment despite its present personnel shortage, said its director-general, Laksamana Madya Datuk Mohammad Nik. The MMEA, which will be officially launched on March 21, currently operates with 1,200 personnel, only 30 percent of the targeted 4,000.

    "We have to start small but that first step is a big step for us," he said, adding that the agency was in the process of recruiting more personnel as not all the vessels that it received from the various agencies came with the crew. Although many of the MMEA's personnel formerly served with the Royal Malaysian Navy, many also came from other branches of the government.

    Given the specialised nature of the MMEA's operations, Mohammad said conversion training was being conducted at its recruitment centre in Johor Baharu for the recruits who came from diverse professional backgrounds.

    "Their experience is in their own assignments but we have to formulate our own training requirements to develop our skills and competency," he said, adding that the MMEA had also established a new training centre in Lumut, co-located with the RMN's training facility at the naval base. Over the long term, he said the MMEA planned to set up its own training centre and academy under its strategic development plan. In the meantime, it has also sent its personnel to more established Coast Guard agencies in the United States and Japan.

    In outlining the primary tasks of the agency, also known as the Malaysian Coast Guard, he said they included maintenance of law and order; preservation of the peace, safety and security; prevention and detection of crime; apprehension and prosecution of offenders; collection of security intelligence; and conducting search and rescue.

    The Malaysian Maritime Zone refers to Malaysia's internal waters, territorial sea, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone and the air space over the zone. On the MMEA's task to cover 600,000 sq km under the Malaysian Maritime Zone, Mohammad admitted that it would be a Herculean task to cover every inch of it. To be really effective, he said the MMEA has chosen to focus on areas with a high concentration of illegal activities through co-ordinated patrols using both vessels and aircraft.

    The MMEA has received and will continue receiving a total of 70 vessels for its operations from the Royal Malaysian Navy, Marine Police, Fisheries Department and Customs Department spanning three phases from July last year until July this year. The agency has also purchased 38 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats from the Mara Shipyard Engineering (Terengganu) to augment its fleet.

    To improve its surveillance capability, the MMEA is also in the process of leasing patrol planes and helicopters.
    Posted by: Pappy || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

    Shame: Iranian Statistics From the Nutty Republic
    Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/18/2006 07:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

    Syria opponent sees Romania-style revolt
    All this talk of Pencilneck going down, it begins to give one hope.
    BRUSSELS - Syrian President Bashar Al Assad faces the same fate in the coming months as Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu suffered in 1989, according to Syria’s former vice-president, who broke with Assad last year.
    I think Pencilneck might have guessed that by now. Argentina's probably starting to look pretty good...
    Taking time out from late-night negotiations with a coalition of opposition movements from Islamists to communists in a smoke-filled Brussels hotel conference room, Abdel-Halim Khaddam predicted a popular revolt to oust Assad soon. “Poverty is very widespread, corruption is extremely widespread also, security is very tight. People are not allowed freedom of speech and the economic situation is at its worst.
    That's Syria for the last 30 years.
    ... and there hasn't been a popular revolt in all that time. Not a successful one, anyway.
    “All those factors combined resemble a lot the position of Romania which led to the uprising,” the former foreign minister and ruling Baath party official said.
    They resemble lots of places that haven't had popular revolts, too. My guess is that a coup's more likely than a successful popular revolt. A year from now Syria could be Burma.
    Like the men who ruled Romania after Ceausescu and his wife were toppled, summarily tried and shot in 1989, Khaddam has re-invented himself as a democrat in the belief that the Syrian people will turn to reformists from within the ruling party to govern them after a revolution.
    And make him Mr. Big, at least for a while.
    “There is a big part of reformists within the Baath party who totally support my actions. They will be active partners in the regime change and there will be no massacre,” said the diminutive, soft-spoken political veteran, who was in government for 35 years until he fell out with Assad last year.
    Nope, no massacre at all, except for everyone with the last name of Assad.
    And then everyone who opposes the new regime.
    Posted by: Steve White || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [368 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Burma? You probably know it as Myannmar, but it will always be Burma to me!
    Posted by: J. Peterman || 03/18/2006 22:09 Comments || Top||

    Syria opposition vows unity to oust Assad
    Exiled Syrian opposition leaders including a former vice-president and the head of the Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday they were forming a united front to replace President Bashar al-Assad with democracy. Former Vice-President Abdel-Halim Khaddam, who broke with Assad last year after serving under his late father Hafez al-Assad, told Reuters he held talks with nationalists, liberals, Islamists, Kurds and communists and would announce a common programme for a transition to democracy on Friday.

    "The Syrian people are fed up with the current situation and we expect that a lot of new circumstances will lead to the uprising of the Syrian people," he said in an interview. Khaddam forecast "regime change" in Damascus this year, within a few months, because he said Assad was making many mistakes and "digging himself into a hole" and the economic and social situation was becoming more intolerable.
    This year? You mean like prior to 9-11-06? Good idea.
    Posted by: Fred || 03/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

    Terror Networks
    Hicks struggling says father
    THE father of Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks said Britain would be responsible for retrieving his son if it loses a bid to strip him of his recently won citizenship. Terry Hicks today said his son was struggling to stay positive after the Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice in London began hearing an appeal from the British Government, which is trying to prevent Hicks from obtaining UK citizenship.

    Even though the British High Court determined Hicks had a right to British citizenship through his mother, the Government has tried to prevent him getting it. The Home Office suspended granting citizenship to Hicks, who was captured fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the US.

    In December last year, the High Court ruled the Home Office decision was illegitimate and ordered him to be registered as a UK citizen. The British Government is now appealing that decision.

    Terry Hicks said it was hard to know how the appeal process would end. "It's at a crucial stage – this could be over in a few hours or it could be a number of days," he said.

    The former Adelaide chicken processor and one time jackaroo has been detained at the US military prison in Cuba for more than four years as he awaits trial before a military commission on terrorism-related charges. "His condition is not really good," Mr Hicks said of his son. "Physically he's got a bad back, he's got trouble with his ankles, trouble with his neck and his eyesight.
    Sounds like most middle-aged Americans I know.
    "He needs to be looked after psychically as well as psychologically."

    Mr Hicks said he last spoke to his son on Christmas Eve. "He told me then that he wasn't travelling too well," he said.
    And now he's not travelling at all.
    "I don't think he's giving up hope but he's in a situation that nobody else can understand and he's struggling."

    If the appeal fails, Mr Hicks said it was up to the British Government to act on his behalf. "If David wins the appeal then it falls on the British Government to get him back," he said.
    They can try, but I don't think they want him.
    If he loses the next step would be the Supreme Court, Mr Hicks said.
    Posted by: Oztralian || 03/18/2006 03:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  My sympathy meter doesn't even twitch. But my "Ask Me if I Give a Rat's Ass" monitor sure is going nuts!
    Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/18/2006 8:00 Comments || Top||

    #2  The question you've got to ask yourself, Blondie, is do I give a rat's ass? Well, do ya?
    Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/18/2006 9:22 Comments || Top||

    #3  NO.

    (Why even ask, NS? ;-p)
    Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/18/2006 12:29 Comments || Top||

    #4  Cue the femtoviolins...
    Posted by: PBMcL || 03/18/2006 13:12 Comments || Top||

    #5  Sounds like Dad needs a periodic ass-kicking to STFU and quit whining about his POS progeny.
    Posted by: Frank G || 03/18/2006 15:04 Comments || Top||

    #6  I've got a brand-new, super-duper, state-of-the-art "Why is this POS still consuming oxygen?" meter, and now the needle's bent. I should sue.
    Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/18/2006 18:24 Comments || Top||

    #7  OP---you forgot to check the retard feature option when you ordered it.
    Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/18/2006 21:34 Comments || Top||

    Al-Qaeda documents offer rare glimpse into organization
    Recruits at Osama bin Laden’s terrorist training camps in Afghanistan were clamoring for suicide missions against the United States more than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to al-Qaida documents declassified by the U.S. Defense Department.

    One document published on the Pentagon Web site this week contained rare criticism of bin Laden from an al-Qaida operative, who accused the terrorist leader of monopolizing decision-making and ignoring advice.

    “We must completely stop outside operations until we sit down and consider the disaster we have caused,” said the operative, who used the name Abdel Halim Adel.

    Adel appealed to a friend in the al-Qaida leadership to steer the group away from the policies of bin Laden, whom he referred to as Abu Abdullah.

    “Stop foreign operations, stop sending people to detention, and stop planning new operations, whether they are ordered by Abu Abdullah or not,” he wrote.

    The documents provide a rare glimpse of the mentality and training of recruits at al-Qaida’s camps in Afghanistan, where bin Laden was based until late 2001. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, the United States threw its weight behind opponents of the Taliban regime that hosted bin Laden.

    While the camps in Afghanistan have been destroyed, many of those who trained there have returned to their home countries, taking al-Qaida’s ideology and tactics with them.

    The U.S. military said the documents, published Wednesday, were “captured during recent operations.” Some were seized in the 2003 invasion of Iraq but many, according to U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, were found in Afghanistan.

    “Why have the martyrdom operations against the Americans been delayed?” one recruit wrote on a calendar page dated July 8, 2000.

    Another recruit referred to the 1998 suicide attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 231 people, saying: “We look forward to martyrdom operations like the ones in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. What are the characteristics of the man that is required to execute such operations?”

    A third recruit asked the leadership why it disapproved of assassination: “Why do you oppose and find it inappropriate, knowing that it cleansed many tyrants?”

    The recruits called bin Laden “sheik,” a clerical title. But it was not clear whether their questions were addressed to him or to one of his lieutenants.

    “Our sheik, you have previously given us lessons and asked the question: ‘How do we drive the infidels out of the Arabian Peninsula?”’ a recruit said in one document.

    He then asked: “Is striking at the origin (America) the priority or is it driving them out (of Saudi Arabia)?”

    The documents show al-Qaida members were concerned about their safety and the safety of their families, although they embraced suicide attacks.

    Adel, the operative who criticized bin Laden, protests the leadership’s posting on the Internet of a letter in which he sent kisses to his children.

    “Please quickly take it off because I think the whole world now knows how many kids I have and their names,” he wrote.

    A recruit said a reconnaissance plane had been spotted over the camp and asked: “Why aren’t there enough personal weapons (Kalashnikov rifles) for the self-defense of all the holy warriors, particularly as an attack on the camp by the global infidels is possible anytime?"

    Bin Laden is thought to have written one of the documents — a letter to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. It is not clear whether the letter was written before or after Omar was overthrown.

    Bin Laden told Omar that if they continued attacks in the “Islamic republics” — apparently Muslim-dominated areas of the former Soviet Union — it will “keep the enemies busy and divert them away from the Afghan issue and ease the pressure.”

    “It is a fact that the region of the Islamic republics is rich with significant scientific experience in conventional and non-conventional military industries, which will have a great role in future holy war against the enemies of Islam,” the letter said. It was not specific about the type of non-conventional armaments, but seemed to refer to biological and chemical warfare.

    The letter also addressed the importance of communicating with the media, a matter on which Mullah Omar would have disagreed. The Taliban leader was known for refusing press interviews and avoiding cameras.

    “It is obvious that the media war in this century is one of the strongest methods (of struggle). In fact, its ratio may reach 90 percent of the total preparation for battles,” bin Laden wrote.

    The release of the documents, which is expected to continue for months, is designed to allow U.S. lawmakers and the public to investigate issues such as what Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime said about weapons of mass destruction.

    The Pentagon cautioned it has made “no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, validity or factual accuracy.”
    Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/18/2006 03:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  “It is obvious that the media war in this century is one of the strongest methods (of struggle). In fact, its ratio may reach 90 percent of the total preparation for battles,” bin Laden wrote.

    'Nuff said. I wonder if anyone at MSNBC realizes the irony of this statement appearing in their article?
    Posted by: trailing wife || 03/18/2006 4:39 Comments || Top||

    #2  MSNBC, who employs Larry O'Donnell?

    LOL. Not a chance.
    Posted by: Glunter Sneash8888 || 03/18/2006 5:31 Comments || Top||

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