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Democrats To Widen Conflict With Bush
Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Africa Horn
Aethiopian reinforcements heading to Mog
(SomaliNet) Hundreds of additional Ethiopian forces who crossed from the border have reached near Beledweine city, the provincial capital of Hiran region in central Somalia heading to Mogadishu to reinforce their colleagues fighting the local insurgents for the third day. Other Ethiopian reinforcement troops are reported to have reached Afgoie town, 30km south of the capital joining the war with what they called ‘the remnants of the ousted Islamists.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian forces stationing around El-Irfid settlement in northern outskirt of the Somalia capital are reported to have deserted there heading to Afgoie town, 30km south of the city to reinforce the Ethiopian soldiers fighting the insurgents. Witnesses told Somalinet that the Ethiopian soldiers moved out of the compound mid last night.

Short after the Ethiopian shift, the traffic on the road to Balad town which has been blocked over the past week resumed. But there were fears over that the Ethiopian forces might leave mines on the ground.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6503 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I get a wrm and fuzzy feeling thinking the Ethiopian army is headed back into Somalia in general and Mog in paticular. The muzzies ain't gonna like it. This pleases me.
Posted by: Mark Z || 04/02/2007 13:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Good!
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 04/02/2007 14:25 Comments || Top||

#3  exactlt USN, and look at what one of the few countries this is coming from that went through a famine what like 17 yrs ago.
Posted by: sinse || 04/02/2007 21:48 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Azerbaijan Arming Itself Against Iran
Azerbaijan has purchased MiG-29 fighters from Ukraine. No mention yet of how many, or at what price. Second hand MiG-29s have been fetching as much as $35 million each. Ukraine is the second largest user of MiG-29s, with about 210 of them.

Russia has 600 of the 1,600 produced. No longer in mass production, the Russian production facilities are kept busy mostly with modifications and building variants that might attract future orders. Sales of the MiG-29, by Ukraine, require the permission of Russia, as all the spare parts come from there.

Russia probably approved this sale to annoy Iran, which has a large Azeri minority (about a quarter of the population.) Azerbaijan has oil, and has more than doubled (to a billion dollars a year) its defense budget in the past three years.
Far more importantly, the Azeri are waking up to the fact that Iran is as belligerent towards them as it is to the other gulf states. It even threatened to drop missiles on its capital, for being friendly to the US.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/02/2007 16:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6494 views] Top|| File under:

#1  good
Posted by: sinse || 04/02/2007 21:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Or against Armenia to take back Nagorno-Karabakh.
Posted by: ed || 04/02/2007 21:58 Comments || Top||

Don't confuse terrorism with Islam, EU warns
The European Union has drawn up guidelines advising government spokesmen to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism in their statements.
Funny thing, that. We were just discussing the involvement of Islam with terrorism. It's our opinion - and we're not Europeans, so it's not a nuanced opinion, mind you - that not all terrorist are Muslim, but most are, and the Islam is the driver behind Muslim terrorism. When the northern Irish were engaging in their festivities, I recall the news agencies freely referring to the two sides as "Catholics" and "Protestants."
Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers "wimpy warm milk groveling non-offensive" phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks. Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist". The word "jihad" is to be avoided altogether, according to some sources, because for Muslims the word can mean a personal struggle to live a moral life.
Yasss. Many's the photo we've seen of masked Islamists, tastefully draped with bandoliers, waving their AKs and hollering "personal struggle to live a moral life"!
One alternative, suggested publicly last year, is for the term "Islamic terrorism" to be replaced by "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam".
Rapists are men who "abusively initiate sexual activity," then? Robbers "abusively conduct financial transactions"?
An EU official said that the secret guidebook, or, "common lexicon", is aimed at preventing the distortion of the Muslim faith and the alienation of Muslims in Europe. "The common lexicon includes guidance on a number of frequently used terms where lack of care by EU and member states' spokespeople may give rise to misunderstandings," he said.
Or even worse, to clear, unequivocal, non-nuanced understanding. Tusk tusk. Can't have that.
"Careful usage of certain terms is not about empty political correctness but stems from astute awareness of the EU's interests in the fight against terrorism. Terrorists exploit and augment suspicions."
"Really, it's best not to offend them. If we don't they'll leave us alone. We're pretty sure of that."
Details on the contents of the lexicon remain secret, but British officials stressed that it is there as a helpful aid "providing context" for civil servants making speeches or giving press conferences. "We are fully signed up to this drivel, but it is not binding," said one. However, Conservative MEP Syed Kamall hit out at the lexicon. "It is this kind of political correctness and secrecy that creates resentment among both the mainstream in Europe and in Islam," he said.
"What the hell kind of creature refuses to call a spade a spade even when he's being hit over the head with it? Will he call it a spade when it's shoveling dirt into his grave?"
Meanwhile, UK Independence Party MEP Gerard Batten claimed that the EU was in denial over the true roots of terrorism.
Goddamn. That man should be Minister of the Obvious!
"This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality," he said. "The major world terrorist threat is one posed by ideology and that ideology is inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam."
Posted by: ryuge || 04/02/2007 07:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Don't confuse Auschwitz with Nazism.

Don't confuse EU with courage or decency.
Posted by: JFM || 04/02/2007 10:43 Comments || Top||

#2  "Wimps", America sneers.
Posted by: mojo || 04/02/2007 10:57 Comments || Top||

#3  "This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality," he said. "The major world terrorist threat is one posed by ideology and that ideology is inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam."

Posted by: Sonar || 04/02/2007 10:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Islam + terror = TerrorIslam.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles in Blairistan || 04/02/2007 12:31 Comments || Top||

#5  There's no confusion...


Posted by: CrazyFool || 04/02/2007 12:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Remember the squeals and whines even when Lou Dobbs insisted on calling them "Islamists"?
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/02/2007 14:13 Comments || Top||

#7  The Koran exhorts its followers to convert others by force using terrorism and genocide. Islam is this world's principal driver of global terrorism. End of story.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/02/2007 15:11 Comments || Top||

#8  Don't Confuse Terrorism With Islam (Or They'll Kill You!), EU Warns

-- there fixed it for ya
Posted by: DMFD || 04/02/2007 18:21 Comments || Top||

#9  who rioted in paris last year? the answer should sum it up for the EU
Posted by: sinse || 04/02/2007 18:34 Comments || Top||

#10  A religion is what the practicioners do. They commmit terror, or sit terrified, but they do not fight back agains the terrorists.

When the silent masses of Muslims say we can mistreat the dead terrorists in unIslamic ways I'll believe they don't consider the terrorists Muslims, until then I'll consider them as folks waiting to see who will win before chosing a side.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 04/02/2007 18:46 Comments || Top||

#11  Why are they telling government spokesmen not to confuse Islam with terror? Why not tell the Muslims? They're the ones with the confusion.

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 04/02/2007 20:29 Comments || Top||

#12  RC - how logical. It won't sink in....
Posted by: Frank G || 04/02/2007 20:56 Comments || Top||

Two jailed over riot at Paris subway station
A French court jailed Thursday two young men for four months for their part in a riot at a main subway station that ballooned into a major issue for France's presidential candidates. Prosecutors had called for six month sentences for the pair for throwing projectiles at police on Tuesday evening at the Gare du Nord during a riot sparked by the arrest of a fare-dodger. The court delayed proceedings against a third youth accused of having hidden a pair of shoes in a vandalised shop until April 25 following a demand from his lawyer. The 18-year-old will be detained until the hearing when video surveillance footage from the night of the riot should be available.

Posted by: Seafarious || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

Fifth Column
Pelosi shrugs off White House criticism
BEIRUT, Lebanon - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday shrugged off White House criticism of her upcoming trip to Damascus, saying she had "great hope" for reviving U.S. relations with Syria and changing its behavior.

[White House spokeswoman Dana Perino] said it "sends the wrong message to have high-level U.S. officials going there (to Syria) to have photo opportunities that Assad then exploits."

But Pelosi said she thinks it's a good idea to "establish facts, to hopefully build the confidence" between the U.S. and Syria. "We have no illusions, but we have great hope," she said.

More at link...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/02/2007 14:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6520 views] Top|| File under:

No surrender is complete without the person-to-person dhiminitude.
Posted by: Master of Obvious || 04/02/2007 15:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe she can blow a kiss and give a fond farewell wave to the scores of murdering, muzzie thugs that transit the lovely nation for Iraq every week.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/02/2007 15:13 Comments || Top||

#3  First off, I believe Syria is a country US citizens aren't supposed to travel to.

Second, Congress critters are not elected to conduct foreign policy.

Third, By giving aid and comfort to the enemy, Pelosi is committing treason and should be tried, convicted and shot for it.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 04/02/2007 15:15 Comments || Top||

#4  Move over Jane Fonda, make room for another chicken neck on that anti-aircraft gun.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/02/2007 15:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Pelosi on Monday shrugged off White House criticism

I want her to try and shrug off some handcuffs and an arrest warrant.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/02/2007 15:23 Comments || Top||

#6  So this is why she needed The Big Jet.
Posted by: eLarson || 04/02/2007 15:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Two words. Logan Act.
Posted by: Icerigger || 04/02/2007 16:27 Comments || Top||

#8  Syria is on the State Department's T5 list of terrorist-sponsoring countries. As such, citizens of Syria are prohibited from accessing even unclassified laboratories or sensitive areas within the United States and are also prohibited in their travel within this country beyond certain specific parameters.

We would not allow a Syrian citizen on-site at LBNL without something like 3-4 months of prior notice and investigation by the State Dept. and other agencies to clarify the purpose of the visit.

Pelosi's trip to Syria against the wishes of the WH and SD clearly violate a number of regulations and rules, the Logan Act amongst them. Upon her return to this country a special prosecutor should be appointed by the Justice Dept to investigate and possibly prosecute this violation of US law.

Posted by: FOTSGreg || 04/02/2007 16:35 Comments || Top||

#9  No, the Logan Act has never actually been used. John Kerry set a precedent when he negotiated with the North Vietnamese in the 70's. Besides which, Squeaker Pelosi, as a member of Congress, is above the law. (Or so she thinks.)
Posted by: Rambler || 04/02/2007 17:33 Comments || Top||

#10  At risk of being redundant, democrat=criminal=traitor.
Posted by: Mac || 04/02/2007 17:40 Comments || Top||

#11  No, the Logan Act has never actually been used.

Then maybe it's about time we dust that puppy off and put it to work.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/02/2007 18:53 Comments || Top||

#12  What cajones she has. Can you imagine the press if the roles were reversed and say Newt went to Belgrade while Clinton was trying to negotiate? I wonder if the press would be this fawning and would they call Newt a trailblazer? If I were King for a day they next Donk that went a court'n some despot would find themselves barred from re-entering the U.S. I would have to conclude they are now an agent of a another power and no longer have the U.S. interest in mind.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 04/02/2007 19:18 Comments || Top||

#13  Bush as got to do something about this.

This is A) Treason (high Treason) by giving aid and comfort to a hostile foreign power, B) A violation of the Logan act, and C) a Violation of the constitution of the United States which clearly gives foreign policy powers to the office of the president.

She is, basically, usurping presidential authority and establishing precedent which will reduce the office of the President even further.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 04/02/2007 23:00 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
U.S. Senate Democrats vow to push withdrawal
Senate Democratic leaders stress they will keep pushing for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq even if President Bush vetoes legislations calling for a pullout, Associated Press reported on Sunday. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, and Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said lawmakers might work on a new measure that sets "target dates" for withdrawal.

Biden cited a nonpartisan Congressional Research Service report saying, "I think we'll set a target date for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq."

The report indicates that the Army could maintain its wartime operations well into July 2007 with funds already provided. Biden also stated that "we've got to change the mission to get a political solution. That's what we're saying."

Meanwhile, senator Durbin said, "If you follow this escalation of the war by President Bush, you can understand that there is no end in sight." The Democratic-controlled House and Senate passed measures last month setting conditions for an eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
Posted by: Fred || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I would like to set January 2009 as the target withdrawal date for this pond scum from the US Senate.
Posted by: RWV || 04/02/2007 0:27 Comments || Top||

#2  And we will pull that blanket of protection that has worked so well for you in that capitol building while you are inside.

You are a foreign power that Americans elected into office through ignorance and disenchantment. You hold no mandate and I believe you, Congress, are the ENEMY.

You think you are serious about a withdral date, well I AM serious about accountibility and I will HOLD you accountible in ways you cannot even imagine.

Durbin, you know I think you are trash. Since you no longer work for the interest of the nation, would you not think that many would recognize that?
Posted by: newc || 04/02/2007 2:59 Comments || Top||

#3  "We’ve got to change the mission to get a political solution. That's what we're saying."

Ferchrisakes! Even the Code-Pinkers recognize the democrats plan for a date certain withdrawal is nothing more then political theater. What doesn’t seem to get emphasized is that their plan calls for limiting coalition forces to training Iraqi forces, border security, and engagement with AQI. In short, the same strategy the administration has undertook for the last two years. Only their plan calls for reduced troop levels with limited ROE. Every time one of these political whores tries to sloganeer that the President is merely “staying the course” they should be biyatch slapped with that reality.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 04/02/2007 10:47 Comments || Top||

#4  Dems must be feeling very confident to write off the military vote.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 04/02/2007 11:07 Comments || Top||

#5  If most are civilians, harder to challenge the military vote.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 04/02/2007 11:08 Comments || Top||

#6  The battle lines have been drawn:

The US is at war against the Islamofascists

The Donks are at war with Bush
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 17:33 Comments || Top||

Democrats To Widen Conflict With Bush
Even as their confrontation with President Bush over Iraq escalates, emboldened congressional Democrats are challenging the White House on a range of issues -- such as unionization of airport security workers and the loosening of presidential secrecy orders -- with even more dramatic showdowns coming soon.

For his part, Bush, who also finds himself under assault for the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, the conduct of the Iraq war and alleged abuses in government surveillance by the FBI, is holding firm. Though he has vetoed only one piece of legislation since taking office, he has vowed to veto 16 bills that have passed either the House or Senate in the three months since Democrats took control of Congress.

Despite the threats, Democratic lawmakers expect to open new fronts against the president when they return from their spring recess, including politically risky efforts to quickly close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; reinstate legal rights for terrorism suspects; and rein in what Democrats see as unwarranted encroachments on privacy and civil liberties allowed by the USA Patriot Act. "I suppose there's always a risk of going too far," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), "but the risk of not going is far greater."
Posted by: Fred || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6562 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bush should veto any and every frickin' bill he's sent, including "continuing resolutions," that affect his ability to prosecute the war. Stop paying the millions of unionized govt. workers whose dues flow into the Dem coffers. Will he do so? I ain't holdin' my breath. I'm not sure he remembers how to play hardball. I hope he proves me wrong.
Posted by: PBMcL || 04/02/2007 1:00 Comments || Top||

#2  He's gotta fight back even if he takes a hit from the MSM, they already hate him, he's losing his base by pandering or it's Hillary/Obama/Nutroots land.

The whole ground against these facists will be for nothing because the next crowd will give it away
Posted by: Flolumble Elmuling1667 || 04/02/2007 1:45 Comments || Top||

#3  This is political Christmas for Republicans.
Posted by: JSU || 04/02/2007 12:26 Comments || Top||

#4  "This is political Christmas for Republicans."

Don't get your hopes up. The Democrats were pulling this same anti-war, anti-American shit before the last election and people said it would backfie on them; but now the treasonous bastards are running Congress.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/02/2007 13:57 Comments || Top||

#5  That's because of a bunch of Republican fuc&ups. Let's hope they figure out the border issue and get good ROEs when fighting terror and all should be OK again.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 14:44 Comments || Top||

#6  I believe Gorb is correct. The loss of the House was by a small margin considering it was mid-second-term for a President of the other party. And that margin was almost entirely down to those parts of the Republican base who were not going to continue to support the least worst option particularly when that least worst option was weak on the war and weak on the border. Much of the blame for this lies squarely with the President and his hand-holding with the Saudis and the Mexicans instead of unambiguously seeing to American interests.

Of course, the Democrats are a disaster. Perhaps best to see that clearly now instead of after 2008 with a Democratic President. Then the nutroots really would be running the war and the rest of us would have to think what we could do to preserve civilization against the coming Caliphate.
Posted by: Excalibur || 04/02/2007 16:22 Comments || Top||

#7  If I had hemorrhoids, they would probably be Democrats
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 17:35 Comments || Top||

#8  "Much of the blame for this lies squarely with the President and his hand-holding with the Saudis and the Mexicans instead of unambiguously seeing to American interests."

Yup. That, and the silly "Religion of Peace" BS.

I hope you and gorb are right; but I'm having grave doubts lately.

Posted by: Dave D. || 04/02/2007 18:13 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Muslim leaders helped to tackle extremists
Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs
Muslim "opinion formers", including imams, are to be given lessons in civic leadership under a new plan to tackle Islamic extremism in Britain. Ruth Kelly, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, will this week announce details of a £6 million "hearts and minds" drive to deal with growing radicalism among young British Muslims which can fuel terrorist plots.

Also part of the plan are school-twinning projects, in which pupils from mainly Muslim schools will undertake joint projects, such as music and drama, with children from predominantly white establishments. The schools could go on trips together, while groups of pupils could spend days in each other's classrooms.

Miss Kelly will also announce a major increase in the number of "forums against extremism" - regional groups which meet regularly and which were set up in the wake of the July 7 London bombings to enable Muslims to discuss ways of tackling extremism. Eight have been established in troubled areas including Redbridge, Leicester, Preston and Dudley and the number could rise to 40 nationally.

In the civic leadership sessions, -opinion-formers will be given special training in how to face down extremism and to be role models for moderation and tolerance. Ministers hope they will then be able to go on missions inside places where radicalism can be fomented, including prisons and hardline mosques.

A source inside Miss Kelly's department said: "You have got to be able to energise the silent majority in a community so they don't have any truck with any of this extremist nonsense."

Miss Kelly's announcement will form the first part of a twin-track strategy set out by the Government on how to deal with the growing terrorist threat posed by British Muslim extremists. Separate security measures will be unveiled at a later date by John Reid, the Home -Secretary. Miss Kelly has, however, lost out in a Whitehall turf-war resulting from the decision to split the Home Office into a new Office of National Security and a separate Ministry of Justice, revealed by this newspaper earlier this year. Much of the work countering radicalism, which her department has been leading, will be taken over by a joint information unit inside the Office for National Security.

The Department for Communities is expected to lose a chunk of its budget and of its staff when the new system gets under way, a decision that is said to have brought "enormous chagrin" both to Miss Kelly and her senior officials.

This week's announcement, however, will be made before Miss Kelly loses this responsibility. She is expected to say in a speech on Thursday: "While the threat is real and serious, it is a small minority who spread hatred and intolerance. We need a new alliance and strengthened unity of purpose to defeat them.

"I know from my conversations with Muslim communities up and down the country that the desire and commitment to tackle extremism is there. There are many people in communities who are already taking a brave stand and doing incredible work. We need to step up support.

"We need to support people in building communities where extremism is resolutely isolated, and where all doors are shut to those who seek division and violence."

Caroline Spelman, the shadow local government secretary, said: "Ruth Kelly is acknowledging that the Government's approach to creating a more cohesive society has failed and I doubt a regional talk shop is enough to fix the problem."
Posted by: Delphi2005 || 04/02/2007 12:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm thinking "Trust but verify".

I suppose this means that they wouldn't mind signing a paper stating that those involved in preaching hate should have their schools/mosques closed and be deported. Personally, I would feel better.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 13:45 Comments || Top||

#2  And with today being the Second Most Important Day in America, The Mariners want to win the World Series, too.
(don't hold your breath for either thing to happen)
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 04/02/2007 14:44 Comments || Top||

#3  How many one-way tickets to Pakistan can you buy with 6 million pounds?
Posted by: GK || 04/02/2007 14:44 Comments || Top||

Exiled Bhutto plans return to Pakistan
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 02:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

McCain lauds security during Baghdad visit
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 02:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

Kissinger says military victory not possible in Iraq
No, it's not a stab in the back. Read on:
TOKYO: Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who helped engineer the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, said Sunday the problems in Iraq are more complex than that conflict, and military victory is no longer possible.

He also said he sympathizes with the troubles facing U.S. President George W. Bush. "A 'military victory' in the sense of total control over the whole territory, imposed on the entire population, is not possible," Kissinger told The Associated Press in Tokyo, where he received an honorary degree from Waseda University.

The faceless, ubiquitous nature of Iraq's insurgency, as well as the religious divide between Shiite and Sunni rivals, makes negotiating peace more complex, he said. "It is a more complicated problem," Kissinger said. "The Vietnam War involved states, and you could negotiate with leaders who controlled a defined area."
That's true enough, and it defines in part the problem we face. Success in Iraq means a level of violence remains that's more akin to other third-world states such as Nigeria and Columbia. There will be organized gangs and various low-level insurrections going on. It's going to take several decades for the Iraqi people to buy into the ideas of personal liberty and rule of law, if they do so.
But Kissinger, an architect of the Vietnam War who has also advised Bush on Iraq, warned that a sudden pullout of U.S. troops or loss of influence could unleash chaos. "I am basically sympathetic to President Bush," he said. "I am partly sympathetic to it because I have seen comparable situations."

Kissinger said the best way forward is to reconcile the differences between Iraq's warring sects with help from other countries. He applauded efforts to host an international conference bringing together the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Iraq's neighbors — including Iran, Washington's longtime rival in the region. "That is the sort of framework out of which it is conceivable that an agreement should emerge," Kissinger said. "One needs to be prepared to negotiate with adversaries."
Negotiating with Sunni tribes is fine; negotiating with al-Qaeda is not. Negotiating with Shi'a leaders is fine, negotiating with Mookie is not.
Kissinger said that fighting in Iraq is likely to continue for years, and that America's national interest requires an end to partisan bickering at home over war policy. "The role of America in the world cannot be defined by our internal partisan quarrels," he said. "All the leaders, both Republican and Democratic, have to remember that it will go on for several more years and find some basis for common action."
The Democrats aren't interested in common action right now; they're still mad with rage over the 2000 election, and the 1994 election, and being locked out of the spoils, and having their personal apple-carts overturned. Reasonable Democrats who are interested in dealing with the WoT are being hammered down by the far left. Those reasonable Democrats have to grow a spine and push back or it will be the Republicans against the Kos Kiddies for the next decade, and that's a scary thought.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He's wrong about a conference, though. Only worth it if we've already shaped the situation to our liking inside Iraq. And in that sense, too, he is wrong - a "military victory" means accomplishing what we need to accomplish. As we've already tried pure political development, asking nicely, perhaps some voodoo or incantations, perhaps now we could try, gee, I dunno, force. Ya know, the kind that has determined the outcome of every other single armed conflict in human history.

This doesn't mean securing every square inch. It does mean smashing Sunni rejectionists, AQ, IGRC, and select Shi'a militias - in that order.
Posted by: Verlaine || 04/02/2007 0:13 Comments || Top||

#2  You are correct (sir/madam). Any negotiation is a baad idea unless and until the context of said talks have been completely shaped for the desired end result.

Henry did some of this (piss poorly) in the lead up to the VC talks.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 1:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Is Henry wearing Depends
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 1:04 Comments || Top||

#4  He's wrong about involving the neighbouring countries. The USA has to guarantee Iraq's borders then let the Iraqis figure most of the rest out themselves. It will be a mix of negotiation and military force, but it's going to happen anyway.

The big risk is the Turks or Persians (or maybe even Syria; a land corridor to to Iran would look pretty attractive) try to take advantage and grab territory.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/02/2007 1:14 Comments || Top||

#5  I thought military victory was achieved 4 years ago and its the attempts to humanise civilise democratize the resident vermin population have failed
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/02/2007 2:27 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm guessing the US will have military bases there for quite a while. I doubt there will be any land grabs until they are gone, and I doubt the military bases are going to be invited to leave until that threat diminshes.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 4:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Having served through the McNamara, Johnson, Nixon, and Viet "architect" Kissener period. I have observed personally, as have many others, the many misteps and blunderings. It is beyond me how he could go overseas and phueching say ANTHING or make ANY comment on what is going on in Iraq. Forty plus years of your sad groanings is enough you defeatest bastard. Just go away, please just go away.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/02/2007 5:23 Comments || Top||

#8  Accepting an honorary degree from Waseda University? That second-rate dump? Kissinger has surely fallen on hard times.
Posted by: gromky || 04/02/2007 7:37 Comments || Top||

#9  Kissinger is a "realist," which means he believes all problems can be solved by negotiation, that there is no valid moral distinction to be made between various negotiating partners, and that right and wrong are not proper considerations in international diplomacy. (If your only tool is a hammer, . . . .) You can ask the South Vietnamese how well that all worked out the last time we tried it.
Posted by: Mike || 04/02/2007 8:58 Comments || Top||

#10  Let's see, he turfed the Vietnam situation repeatedly, and only Nixon & Abrams, working around him, got the ball as far as the 1972 ceasefire. He enabled the East Pakistan genocide, engineered the idiotic creation of Turkish Cyprus, got us involved in the Pinochet coup, screwed the Israelis during the Yom Kippur War so badly that it took *Carter* to straighten things out, and generally led us into the weakest period of American impotence since the isolationist years.

Yeah, I want to hear what the little war criminal thinks about foreign policy. If only to make sure that we're ignoring him comprehensively, and not even accidentally doing what he might want done.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 04/02/2007 10:28 Comments || Top||

#11  1.Negotiating with Mookie - We already have. And will again. The key is to negotiate with him from strength (as we are doing now?) and not from weakness.

2. Political solutions - yup, that means dealing with the oil, reforming debaathification. Some good first steps, but no closure yet. Will Malike achieve closure? If not, will we go with someone (like Allawi?) who will?

3. Dems - naturally they wanted to regain power - its not like the GOP was less than partisan. Alot of them think they won in 2006 mainly cause of Iraq. Unless and until the situation on the ground improves fairly dramatically, its hard for any hawkish Dem to respond.

4. Kissinger and the ME. K pushed for resupply Israel in '73, when Schlesinger and DoD were opposed. He negotiated the non-belligerency betw Israel and Egypt, which led to the Sadat initiative, which was in part an attempt to head off a Carter mistake, inviting the USSR into ME negotiations.

I wont defend all his other positions in those years, other than to say some of them flowed naturally from his belief, shared by many, that we were beleagured at that stage of the cold war, and had to act accordingly.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/02/2007 11:02 Comments || Top||

#12  I will give you the Yom Kippur War resupply. I was just in an ungenerous mood towards that goddamn little troll.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 04/02/2007 12:40 Comments || Top||

#13  No, LH, "dealing with the oil" and de-Ba'ath are not first steps of any lasting significance, because the Sunni rejectionists (most Sunnis, whether they just feel it or act it) will not be really mollified by such details. This is the game that Zal and crew got suckered into for over a year now, and which predictably went nowhere. The Sunnis don't have a bill of particulars whose resolution will affect the violence, which is all that matters.

You really think the Sunnis calling the shots (no pun intended) in this situation will end their terrorism and violence because of some oil compact or a decision to re-hire Ba'athist high school teachers? Not a chance the situation will be fundamentally changed by such moves. The Sunnis will rightly conclude that their pathetic little "insurgency" has in fact bought them leverage with a feckless Iraqi govt. and a pathetically lazy/misguided super-power that won't stand in their way in the long run. And it's all about getting back on top - or safely avoiding their richly earned comeuppance - in the long run.

A political solution that's of any significance with the Sunnis will follow on that community's subjugation and inability to mount a spoiling campaign of violence. Anything done without/prior to that will be short-lived.
Posted by: Verlaine || 04/02/2007 15:15 Comments || Top||

McCain Comments on Baghdad Surge
BAGHDAD (AP) - After a heavily guarded trip to a Baghdad market, Sen. John McCain insisted Sunday that a U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown in the capital was working and said Americans lacked a ``full picture'' of the progress. McCain, a Republican presidential hopeful who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, acknowledged a difficult task lies ahead in Iraq, but criticized the media for not giving Americans enough information about the recent drop in execution-style sectarian killings, the establishment of security posts throughout the city and Sunni tribal efforts against al-Qaida in the western Anbar province.

``These and other indicators are reason for cautious, very cautious optimism about the effects of the new strategy,'' said McCain, who was leading a Republican congressional delegation to Iraq that included Sen. Lindsey Graham.

McCain, R-Ariz., was combative during the news conference, refusing to respond to a question about whether the U.S. had plans to attack Iran. He also replied testily to a question about remarks he had made in the United States last week that it was safe to walk some Baghdad streets. ``Things are better and there are encouraging signs. I've been here ... many times over the years. Never have I been able to drive from the airport, never have I been able go out into the city as I was today,'' he said. ``I'm not saying 'mission accomplished,' 'last throes,' 'dead-enders' or any of that,'' he said. ``I believe that the signs are encouraging, but please don't interpret one comment of mine in any way to indicate that this isn't a long, difficult struggle.''
Posted by: Steve White || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I heard a little of the audio on Drudge tonight. McCain sounded less convincing than the Brit sailors on Iranian teevee...
Posted by: Seafarious || 04/02/2007 0:25 Comments || Top||

#2  It could be because he had that jack ass, drunk soccer scum CNN reporter heckling him during the presser.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 0:53 Comments || Top||

Israeli High Court suit: Strip three Arab MKs of their citizenship
In a precedent-setting petition to the Supreme Court, the Israel Law Center maintains that three Arab MKs lost their Israeli citizenship - and thus their right to be Knesset Members - when they traveled to Syria, an enemy country, last September.

The three Arab MKs in question are Azmi Bishara, Wassel Taha and Jamal Zehalka, of the Balad Party. During their visit to Syria, they met with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad and leading members of the ruling Baath Party.

Israel Law Center's suit, filed last week by its director, Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, quotes Clause 5 of Israel's Emergency Regulations regarding travel abroad (1948, 1954). The clause states, "An Israeli citizen or resident may not enter [Syria or other specified countries] without permission from the Interior Minister or the Prime Minister" - permission that was not received by the three MKs.
I wonder if Nancy Pelosi is reading this
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/02/2007 02:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Finally! Someone in Israel has actually decided to act against their homegrown traitors. These jihadists should be stripped of their citizenship and deported, with all their immediate family and close relatives, to Gaza! Maybe if they're lucky they can get caught in the next "tsunami."
Posted by: Mac || 04/02/2007 9:13 Comments || Top||

#2  if only they started pulling citizenship for incursions into Lebanon
Posted by: Bruce from MS || 04/02/2007 16:45 Comments || Top||

#3  I can think of several places in Israel, Brucie, where you could get your face and dental work rearranged very quickly for saying that. Why don't you go over there and suggest it to them? Try up north for starters. I'm sure you'd get a fast response there.
Posted by: Mac || 04/02/2007 17:37 Comments || Top||

Pelosi will talk kidnapped soldiers with Syrian president
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 02:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6500 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wonder if Ms. Pelosi is consciously trying to emulate Jesse Jackson or if it just comes naturally to Democrats.
Posted by: RWV || 04/02/2007 9:55 Comments || Top||

#2  But wouldn't let subject come up in Congress. Ass!
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839 || 04/02/2007 10:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Hmmm, I wonder if we are paying for this junket? Clearly she is NOT of official business so the whole trip should come out of her pocket. But if they release the hostages to her the UK should go halfies with her.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 04/02/2007 10:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Israeli soldiers, not Brit sailors, are on La Pelosi's agenda.
Posted by: Seafarious || 04/02/2007 10:43 Comments || Top||

#5  Granted, the Syrians will manipulate a visit from the US Speaker of the House as a “hat in hand” mission but, in the end, even Chinless and the Boyz will all have a good belly laugh after the Pelosi Circus packs up tent.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 04/02/2007 11:05 Comments || Top||

#6  And it is La Pelosi's Circus. The morning news, of course, had pictures of her. In one, she is coming down the steps of some building, surrounded by lots of men in black suits. All of them, with her in the middle, leading the way, in her red power suit.

You couldn't miss that look of "I'm the one in charge" with that photo shoot. WIth all that black, you eye went instantly to that red suit.

Bet there was a memo sent to all men "Wear Black" La Madam wants to stand out!
Posted by: Sherry || 04/02/2007 11:52 Comments || Top||

#7  Maybe she can trade herself for the 15 Sailors/Marines? Don't worry Nancy, we'll come back for ya'.......!
Posted by: OyVey1 || 04/02/2007 16:58 Comments || Top||

#8  Not to advocate anything crazy here.

Oh and traitors should be shot.
Posted by: jds || 04/02/2007 19:54 Comments || Top||

Olmert calls for regional summit with Arab leaders
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 01:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

Crime wave hits Gaza streets

Johnson! Stop the presses!!
Khan Younis - Ma'an - The Gaza Strip witnessed a widespread crime wave including gunfire, bombing, attempted abduction and theft on Saturday night.
All at once?
Palestinian security sources reported that anonymous gunmen shot at a national security officer escorts in the Saraya building on Nasser street in Khan Younis, but no casualties were reported. The sources reported that the gunmen were in a Skoda car, but managed to escape.
I'm bored. Let's go shoot at cops.
Gunmen in a Volkswagen car shot at a member of the national security near Abu Khadra area in the centre of Gaza City, the national security men in the area retaliated, but no casualties were reported.
I'm bored. Let's go shoot at cops.
Other parts of the Gaza Strip witnessed increased criminal activity; cars were stolen and shooting rang out through the streets.
They still bother to report stolen cars in Gaza?
In Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, an explosive device was detonated in front of the house of Mohammad Ziara. There is significant damage to the house but no casualties.
Look out! Hot potato!
In the central governorate, armed men shot at Fadal Mahmoud Sayyed, in Al Bureij refugee camp, he was shot after assailants failed an attempt to abduct him. Sayyed was injured and transported to hospital for treatment.
Bullet riddled feets, don't fail me now...
In Gaza City governorate unknown men stole the car of Palestinian citizen Mohammad Mahmoud on Al Naser Street, the car belongs to Palestine TV.
This is Mo Mahmoud with a Gaza Action News exclusive! SOMEONE JUST STOLE MY FUCKING CAR!!!
In the northern Gaza Strip unidentified gunmen shot at Palestinian citizen, Jabr Khalil, but he was unhurt.
April fools, Jabr!
Posted by: tu3031 || 04/02/2007 00:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6498 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sewage wave, crime wave. Is there, like---just asking, maybe something wrong with Palestinian self-rule?
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/02/2007 2:16 Comments || Top||

#2  When I read the headline, I thought, "How could you tell?"
Posted by: Bobby || 04/02/2007 6:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Bobby, those were my exact thoughts as well.
Posted by: Mac || 04/02/2007 7:19 Comments || Top||

#4  They certainly need more cesspool tsunamis to cool it. But then, who cares if they can cool it. Nope, keep it up and have more s**t.
Posted by: Duh! || 04/02/2007 9:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Whoever has the brains to leave is trying to do so, the remainder think it's cool to be a one-car crime wave. The sorting continues.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/02/2007 11:36 Comments || Top||

#6  A V-Dub for a get-away; I have this mental picture of Bonnie and Clyde screaming away from the last heist in a 36 HP split-window beetle, all four cylinders making that pissed off bee sound, Browning SMG blazing from the broken-out read fixed glass windows; meanwhile 'da Fuzz are in hot pursuit in their '34 Packards......
Some things just are not suited for alternate purposes...
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 04/02/2007 14:42 Comments || Top||

#7  Let me know when they aren't suffering from some sort of "crime wave". That will be news.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 16:27 Comments || Top||

#8  lol yall funny
Posted by: sinse || 04/02/2007 21:45 Comments || Top||

Palestine wants EU to deal with all its ministers
Palestine's national coalition has urged the European Union to deal with all its ministers as it has a united agenda and united leadership. Palestinian Minister of Planning Samir Abu Eisha said Saturday his government had urged the European Union and the International Community to forge direct contacts with the all the Palestinian coalition members. His remarks were made in response to EU foreign ministers who agreed earlier Saturday to limit contacts to non-Hamas ministers in the Palestinian unity government. "The EU stance to deal with any members of the government was a positive development but insufficient," Abu Eisha said, adding that "in any coalition government, all members should be dealt with in the same way."

Mahmud al-Zahar, former Palestinian Foreign Minister and a senior leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), has cautioned that the platforms of the Palestinian national unity government and those of the Hamas movement not be confused. "You should know well that there are differences between the political platforms of the new unity government and the Hamas movement," Al-Zahar said.

Al-Zahar rejected the recognition of Israel, saying, "We would never ever recognize the right of Israel to exist on one inch of the land of Palestine ...If we give up our resistance, this mean we will give up ourselves."

The unity coalition, comprising Hamas and Fatah members, was sworn in earlier this month. The international community, including the U.S. and the EU, boycotted the former Hamas-led government for refusing to recognize Israel.
Posted by: Fred || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Paleos have a point. They should all be dealt with the same way, ignored.
Posted by: RWV || 04/02/2007 0:28 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought IDF is going to do that.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/02/2007 2:23 Comments || Top||

Olmert reminds Rice: Bush is still her boss
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is used to engaging in a diplomatic game of sorts with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visits to the Middle East. Rice tries to demonstrate American involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, while Olmert politely reminds her that her boss at the White House, George W. Bush, afford her little slack.

On her penultimate visit to Jerusalem six weeks ago, Rice discovered upon her arrival that Olmert had informed the media about his telephone conversation with Bush the previous day. "The prime minister and president see eye-to-eye," said a high ranking political official in Jerusalem. The message was unmistakable: What Rice had to say barely mattered. Olmert had it all worked out with the president. Rice did not like it, but proceeded according to plan in convening the triple summit in Jerusalem with Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The summit came and went with no real effect.

Upon her return to the region last week, Rice was met by Olmert's lack of interest again. "His willingness to promote the negotiations has cooled down," one of her advisers noted. At their meeting, Olmert rejected her offer to engage in negotiations on a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians, which were designed to present them with "a political horizon." He answered that they had to first release IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was abducted by Hamas on June 25. Rice contented herself with minor and technical "achievements" such as the appointment of Security Coordinator Lieutenant General Keith Dayton to reorganize the forces loyal to Abbas.
Posted by: Fred || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Miss Rice should negotiate peace between Hamas and Fatah.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/02/2007 2:08 Comments || Top||

#2  I am so disappointed with Dr. Rice. Anyone here still think she would make a good President? Anyone, anyone? Bueller?
Posted by: Natural Law || 04/02/2007 7:19 Comments || Top||

#3  "The prime minister and president see eye-to-eye"

Ahhh yes…the time honored Israeli tradition of dissing the US Secretary of State. Of course, what’s missing from this article is the Presidents’ unequivocal statement to Olmert that he has “full confidence” in Rices’ judgment and decisions. What is different here from past administrations is that Bushs’ statement is more sincere then obligatory.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 04/02/2007 10:01 Comments || Top||

#4  And BTW, When Bush offers “full confidence” in Olmert one could suspect it is more obligatory then sincere.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 04/02/2007 10:27 Comments || Top||

#5  I blame the State Department's corrupting influence.
Posted by: Excalibur || 04/02/2007 16:23 Comments || Top||

State Department: American Citizen Is Missing in Iran
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 04/02/2007 14:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Several weeks? Early March? And we haven't sent JDAMS downtown? WTF is going on? has the entire Washington DC male population undergone a mass castration????????
How much more George? Your fan base is dwindling; keep it up and you should assemble the house band on the stern to play "Nearer My God to Thee" as the good ship Bush slides beneath the waves.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 04/02/2007 14:49 Comments || Top||

#2  What kind of "private business" was this former FBI agent engaged in -- in Iran? Is he of Iranian descent? Trying to help the Jews there, or the Bahai, or one of the other distressed minorities? Doing a sub-rosa Frontline film documentary? Reporting for the New York Times? Before we become indignant, we need to know a bit more; f'r instance, whatever his business, was he better off without overt government interference, which would cause the Iranian government to go looking for him?
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/02/2007 15:13 Comments || Top||

#3  "If you're gonna be stupid, ya gotta be TOUGH!"
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/02/2007 15:16 Comments || Top||

#4  CNN says

• Missing man reportedly working as author/producer, trying to set up interview
• Man went missing on Kish Island, free trade zone under Iranian control
• State Department working through Swiss diplomats to get information

AP says

FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said Monday the agent had retired nearly a decade ago, and the former agent had worked on traditional criminal issues such as organized crime cases — drawing a distinction between those and international terrorism or intelligence work that could have taken him to Iran.

The man was last heard from around March 11 while in a coastal area of southern Iran on or near Kish Island, where he was apparently working on a project for an independent filmmaker.

U.S. citizens are not barred from traveling to Iran but must obtain a visa, although Kish Island is a Persian Gulf resort area and free-trade zone for which no Iranian visa is required.

A State Department official said the man is not of Iranian descent and that "welfare and whereabouts" requests for U.S. citizens reported missing in Iran average about two to three per year.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/02/2007 15:57 Comments || Top||

#5  Sources tell ABC News that the missing American was a former FBI agent, although they stressed that he was now a private citizen and that his trip to Iran was on "private business" and not associated with official U.S. matters.

No matter what the case actually is, this is not going to play well there right now.

Who knows, maybe he defected or fell off a boat. I'd be curious to see how it would play out if the Iranians snatched him like they did the British sailors.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 16:11 Comments || Top||

#6  .com used to send me emails with a picture of John Wayne, watermark, like, in the background. Next to the picture was a saying:

"Life is hard---It's a lot harder if you're stupid."

It is not a smart thing to be a Yank wandering about in Iran right now.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/02/2007 17:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Respectfully disagree TW: he may be doing some really good work, or he could be a complete looney, but as long as he is carrying US citizenship, we owe it to him and his family to secure this to a successful end. If after all the dust settles it is discovered he is out of line, then let the system work him over, but not the Iranians.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 04/02/2007 17:44 Comments || Top||

#8  "working as author/producer, trying to set up interview"

Could be an unfortunate capture of a covert agent - don't know/can't know - but a not-unreasonable cover story. Or could be an author/producer grabbed because his story looked too much like a spy cover.

One doesn't start a war - or force a limited war into the open - over one guy, especially when your forces are already stretched pretty thin, when your political support is evaporating like liquid nitrogen on a hot sidewalk, when your military funding is in serious jeopardy, in other words, when it is not clear you have the tools to WIN. Make war on YOUR terms, not your enemy's terms.
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/02/2007 19:29 Comments || Top||

#9  Missing man reportedly working as author/producer, trying to set up interview

Prob. works for a media outlet. Good odds it's one of the fringe left groups, like Pacifica or CBS.

Could be an unfortunate capture of a covert agent - don't know/can't know - but a not-unreasonable cover story.

AFAICR, it's illegal for actual US agents to take the cover of a journalist. Thank the '70s Democrats for that one.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 04/02/2007 20:26 Comments || Top||

#10  regardless of his status, mark it up to another notch on the payback scale...I'd put it up equal with a barracks destruction of the IRGC - fully stocked, of course. Ima using the current Paleo/Israeli exchange rates
Posted by: Frank G || 04/02/2007 21:16 Comments || Top||

Ahmadinejad vows news soon on atomic work
Iran's president promised on Sunday Iranians would soon hear more news about the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, which the West believes is a covert effort to build atomic bombs despite Tehran's denials. "The Iranian nation will soon hear fresh news about our country's nuclear transition," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying. He did not give details about any announcements or when the news would be released but Ahmadinejad is due to hold a news conference on Tuesday.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 01:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6502 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Will this coincide with the long-awaited reappearance of the long-lost 12th imam? April 6th, right? The same day the Ruskies say we're gonna blast the mad mullahs?

Oh, the convergence is making my head spin!
Posted by: Bobby || 04/02/2007 10:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Iran's president promised on Sunday Iranians would soon hear more news about the Islamic Republic's nuclear program

I'll be disappointed if they don't have another uranium vial Safety Dance.
Posted by: xbalanke || 04/02/2007 15:50 Comments || Top||

#3  Cool! I didn't do the graphic, so this site must have a mind of its own and takes care of the graphics for me! How does Fred do it? :-)

It will be interesting to see what new peaceful technology they will release for all to share.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 16:23 Comments || Top||

#4  Minions gorb, Fred has minions, it'll be denied, but I figure there's about 19 of 'em. Most are stealthy and haven't made their troll-bones yet.
Posted by: Shipman || 04/02/2007 17:42 Comments || Top||

Iranian Jews ready to defend national interest
Posted by: Grunter || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hat tip to Michael Rubin, The Corner, National Review Online.From the Islamic Republic News Agency:
"In obedience to the instructions of Jesus, in the new Iranian Year... Iranian Jews voice their readiness to defend all interests of Iranians..."
Michael Rubin..." Two possibilities emerge: either revolutionary apparatchiks who know nothing of Judaism or Christianity are penning pro-Islamic solidarity messages in other peoples name- or Iranian Jews living in the Islamic Republic (there are still 20,000) are signaling that something is very wrong."
Posted by: Grunter || 04/02/2007 0:53 Comments || Top||

#2  cohersion.
Posted by: newc || 04/02/2007 2:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Another possibility is the Jewish community wanted everybody to realize that this pronouncement was BS without letting the aparachiks know it.
Posted by: mhw || 04/02/2007 13:53 Comments || Top||

Iran Mends Fences with Arabs – Starting with Saudis
DEBKA- salt to taste...
It’s dated April 2nd but I sure as hell hope to God its a April Fools Article
The live wire at last week’s Arab League summit in Riyadh was undoubtedly the non-Arab guest of honor, Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
He breezed around the Arab delegations hard-selling the notion of a mutual defense treaty between Iran and the Arabs on the lines of the Tehran-Damascus pact. Mottaki argued that a treaty of this kind would allay Arab fears of an Iranian nuclear threat, put a stop to a Middle East nuclear arms race, provide the Arabs with a protective umbrella against Israeli aka American aggression and set up an Arab-Islamic front against US and other foreign intervention in the region.
The Iranian diplomat’s proposition fell on willing ears.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that he had a long conversation in Riyadh with Saudi foreign minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal, at which they looked the treaty plan in some detail and agreed that their defense ministries would assign special teams to explore it further. The Iranian minister argued that the joint effort of Riyadh and Tehran to pacify Lebanon and reconcile the internal differences among its rival factions could work as well for the Palestinian Authority. He said increasing Saudi-Iranian cooperation in joint diplomatic-strategic projects across the Middle East ought to extend to the military sphere.

Our source also reported exchanges between the Iranian and Egyptian delegations to the Arab summit last week on the resumption of diplomatic ties. Saturday, March 31, Iran’s chief of staff Gen. Hassan Fayrouz Abadi, prodded the Arabs again; he urged them to hurry up and join Iran in a defense treaty because, he claimed, Israel threatened a war offensive in summer, two months hence. According to the Iranian general, Israel was bent on a “suicide assault” against a number of Arab states to save the Americans from having to pull their troops out of Iraq.

Before the conference ended, the Saudi foreign minister arranged a four-way meeting between King Abdullah, Mottaki, and the two Palestinian leaders, Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Together they discussed how Iran and Saudi Arabia could work together to apply the Mecca reconciliation accords which established a unity government between Fatah and Hamas. This was taken by Iran as Riyadh’s approval of the military assistance Tehran gives the Palestinians and a formal, collective Arab endorsement.

DEBKAfile’s political analysts take this step as a mark of Saudi contempt for Israel, and further, the collapse of the Saudi initiative led by national security adviser Prince Bandar bin-Sultan for direct Saudi-Israeli talks. Instead, the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement led by Saudi al-Faisal has prevailed. The Israel-Palestinian issue has been shifted to the Saudi-Iranian ken by the Faisal faction which has attained ascendancy in Riyadh and argues that the time has come for the Arabs to take their fate in their own hands and drop their dependence on foreign powers, namely the Americans.
This is what happens when you are dealing with a people that hold high honor pride balls, but allow the pansies in your own ranks make you look weak docile and shaky. Your potential allies lose out to those who are against you with the huge middle fence sitters.
DEBKAfile’s sources have learned that talks for the resumption of Egyptian-Iranian diplomatic relations have already begun. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak entertained for breakfast in Cairo last week Iranian ex-president Muhammad Hatami, who now heads the Institute for Dialogue among Cultures. Present too was Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Natif. Relations were broken off in 1979, the first year of the Islamic revolution, after Ayatollah Khomeini praised the murderers of President Anwar Sadat and a Tehran thoroughfares for one of the assassins, Muhammad Islambouly.

Hatami pressed his host to seriously consider resuming diplomatic relations, maintaining that the Muslim world is beset by a crisis caused by Western domination. Muslim powers must therefore work together to recover control of their own countries. He spoke highly of Egypt’s importance in the Arab and Muslim worlds. By working together, the two governments could make a difference, he said.

After the meal, Hatami and Natif put their heads together and agreed that a high-ranking Iranian delegation would visit Cairo in April to set up arrangements for the two embassies to re-open. The Iranian leader made a similar attempt to restore relations in 2001 when he was president. It broke down when Iranian extremists refused to take down Islambouli’s street name as demanded by Cairo.
Guys if true this is a serious bad development. It may just be the warmonger in me but personally if I was Bush and this was real or even thought to be a possibly reality I would launch a all out strike now not later on Iran. Goal in that strike would be two fold 1) to cause as much damage as possible to their Military, WMD, Leadership, and Government control infrastructure 2) Force Iran to use one of the few counter punches they have against US aka west hit their new friends oil fields, Shia rebellions, pipelines, tankers, cities, refineries.

Either way if this type of negotiation is even going on the US needs to re-establish our being the STRONG horse without doubt. A blockade of Iran or maybe even a pre-threatened cruise missile strike on the one and only Iranian Gas refinery. Either would show just how weak Iran is in comparison to US.

Either way, this story is bothersome especially with statements of late like UAE refusal to allow their territory for Iran action, Saudi King openly calling US occupation of Iraq illegal, Musharaf basically surrendering the entire W of Pakistan to the Taliban/AQ as a base to hit Afghanistan with a Pakistan Nuke umbrella over top, Jordan king recent flirting with Hamas, and more.

Posted by: Omaitch Theagum1555 || 04/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Those are your allies in WoT (me, I'd wipe Saudia out and then see if Iran is willing to be reasonable)
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/02/2007 2:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Step one of Iran getting it's vassals in line perhaps.
Won't do 'em any good.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 04/02/2007 7:11 Comments || Top||

#3  KSA probably figures it had better mend fences with Iran since it looks like Iran will be the nuclear big kid on the block pretty soon, and it is clear the (Democratic Peoples Republic of the) USA won't be a reliable defense partner in the future.
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/02/2007 8:24 Comments || Top||

#4  /Sarcasm on
I wonder if they will also reconcile their differences over Shia and Sunni sects too.
/Sarcasm off

Probably not...

A reconciliation between Riyad and Tehran would be bad for everyone else not Muslim I imagine, especially from a defense perspective or access to the oil fields for western companies.
Posted by: Delphi2005 || 04/02/2007 12:33 Comments || Top||

#5  It’s been reported that lately the Saudis have been on the largest military spending binge in the history of the kingdom. They might just be hedging their bets but the safe assumption is that this is in response to an increasingly bellicose Iran. The cozy relationship scenario seems like another “Debka [Speculation] Exclusive”.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 04/02/2007 13:00 Comments || Top||

#6  Sunni don't like Shia. Shia sit atop Iraqi oil, and Saudi oil. Sunni Arabs also sit atop Iranian oil.

If this is true the US should be moving to create a Shia Arab state. Let the Kurds have their independence and the Sunni Iraqi/Sunni Saudi have their sand.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 04/02/2007 13:19 Comments || Top||

#7  Soddy Arabida can buy all the military hardware they can afford (which is a lot), but who's going to operate it? Soddies won't get their hands dirty actually working, and military service is hard work, if it's done right. Nuking Riyadh and Qom would put an end to a lot of the sh$$ going on in the middle east, and cause a lot of folks to rethink their behavior. Even conventional bombing of these two cities, if it destroys the House of Saud and the mullahs, would be sufficient. I consider using nukes because the probability of totally destroying the House of Sh$$ and the idiotsticks in Qom would be considerably higher. It also sends a message that the United States will use whatever is in its arsenal to defeat anyone who make overt or covert war against the United States and its people. Let the velvet gloves come off the iron fist of US military power, and teach these idiots to be afraid, very afraid.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/02/2007 14:56 Comments || Top||

#8  Shades of Molotov and Ribbentrop.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 04/02/2007 15:35 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Yemeni women sign up to fight terror
More at link:

Afrah al-Ansi pulls back her camouflage jacket to show me the pistol strapped to her belt.

She travelled to work this morning wearing a veil and a full-length black balto, an all-encompassing cloak which is traditional dress for women in Yemen.

But now she is dressed in fatigues, heavy black boots and shades.

Afrah, 23, is one of 20 women recruited to join Yemen's elite counter-terrorism unit (CTU) last summer.

Only 13 recruits have stayed the course, after a rigorous training programme that has taught them how to enter a house by force, drive a Hummer military vehicle and shoot.

Yahya Saleh, chief of staff of Yemen's Central Security Forces, sponsored the creation of the women's unit and supervises the CTU.

He says the women's main purpose is to follow their male colleagues on house raids and search any women they encounter.

"Male terrorists often disguise themselves as women in order to evade detection and arrest, but Yemen's strict social code means that women suspects cannot be touched by the men on the unit," he explains.

Yemen's Political Security Organisation runs a separate team of women, trained to gather and assess intelligence, but Afrah and her colleagues in the CTU are the only women to put themselves at the sharp end of Yemeni counter-terrorism.

"At the beginning, we were afraid," she says, "but now we're getting used to our job."
Posted by: Thravirt Thath7880 || 04/02/2007 21:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

NYT: New Generation of Qaeda Chiefs Is Seen on Rise
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 01:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It couldn't possibly be because the old generation is mostly no more/smelling daisies from underneath (thanks for that one, gromgoru!)/gone on to the Elysian Fields/totally and utterly deceased?
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/02/2007 11:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Officials and outside analysts said they tend to be in their mid-30s and have years of battlefield experience fighting in places like Afghanistan and Chechnya.

Have we learned anything from the next generation CIA? And finding the leadership is one thing but we also have to look for the new generation of terrorists amongst us. Even alert citizens are not looking for Muslims from the Balkans and Chechnya. A lot of 30-something Russian/Eastern European-looking males running around Las Vegas, for example. How hard would it be to blow a RR chemical tanker at the base of several hotels with thousands of rooms all in a very compact area? Just mentioning it 'cuz the NYT seems to be fishing for something else to blame Bush policy for.
Posted by: Danielle || 04/02/2007 11:57 Comments || Top||

#3  This type of NY Slimes article surfaces every six months or so, probably using the same "autonomous sources" ole Sy Hersh uses.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 17:32 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
IBM Gives Feds $45M in Translation Tech - honours employee's soldier son
To honor an employee's son who was badly wounded in Iraq, IBM Corp. plans to give the U.S. military $45 million worth of Arabic-English translation technology that the Pentagon had been testing for possible purchase. The offer - made from the highest reaches of the company directly to President Bush - is so unusual that Defense Department and IBM lawyers have been scouring federal laws to make sure the government can accept the donation.

The story begins one night in late February, when Army Sgt. Mark Ecker Jr., 21, on his second tour in Iraq, was on patrol in Ramadi. Preparing to raid a house, Ecker's unit lined up along a side of the building. But an explosive device had been hidden in the wall, and when it went off, it wounded several soldiers. Ecker eventually lost both legs below the knee. Ecker's father, an IBM mainframe sales specialist in East Longmeadow, Mass., shared the story of his son's ordeal with co-workers, and word spread through the company. Eventually it reached Chairman and CEO Samuel Palmisano.

IBM would not make Palmisano available for comment. But according to other IBM executives, Palmisano had heard from several IBM employees who have returned from active duty in Iraq that a shortage of Arabic translators has severely hampered U.S. forces' efforts to communicate. With that and Ecker's experience in mind, Palmisano called and wrote Bush, offering to make IBM's Multilingual Automatic Speech Translator software, known as MASTOR, "immediately available for use by our forces in Iraq." Palmisano offered 10,000 copies of the MASTOR software and 1,000 devices equipped with it, plus training and technical support. "Hopefully this will be helpful to our efforts," he wrote.

Separately, Anne Altman, who oversees IBM's federal sales in Washington, reached out to Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to reiterate the offer and get guidance on how to make it happen. Giambastiani told IBM he appreciated the donation, although according to his spokesman, Lt. Col. Gary Tallman, "the offer is under evaluation right now" and "does not constitute acceptance" by the Department of Defense. "Part of the evaluation is to determine a proper legal way for acceptance," he wrote in an e-mail.

Indeed, it is very rare for a large defense contractor like IBM, which does roughly $3 billion worth of federal business every year, to give the government a freebie. It is also worth noting that MASTOR has been undergoing testing by the Pentagon's Joint Forces Command, in addition to a rival two-way translation technology known as IraqComm from nonprofit SRI International. Both systems take English or Arabic that is spoken into a computer microphone, translate it into the other language and utter it through the machine's speakers.

Joint Forces Command told The Associated Press last October that tests on IraqComm and MASTOR so far had been in quiet offices rather than noisy war-zone settings, and that it might be 2009 before the technology is widely used on patrols or other tense situations.

IBM's Altman said she hoped IBM's gift would accelerate the timeframe, and said other vendors should consider "similar donations." An SRI spokeswoman declined to comment. But Altman added that she did not expect IBM's offer to end up cutting out SRI or any other potential providers. "The government never gets themselves in a position where there's only one provider of a capability," she said. "There's no question that over time, they'll be looking to procure others."

John Pike, a military analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, said he had never heard of such a donation and questioned whether it might have the effect, unintended or not, of making MASTOR a favored choice for future projects because of the "large installed base and large user community." However, he added: "I would have a hard time being overly critical of anything that would accelerate the war effort. It would seem to me that this will give troops more capabilities sooner. That's a hard argument to top. Lord knows they need all the help they can get right now."

No matter how the donation plays out, it has already delighted the Eckers. Ecker Jr., who has been recuperating in Walter Reed Medical Center since Feb. 28, also got a visit from Bush on Friday as the president toured the hospital. "A translator wouldn't have helped in my situation - we were sneaking around the middle of the night, and it was just one of those things," Ecker Jr. said. But overall, he added, "communicating with the locals is difficult. This technology that IBM is going to offer is really going to help."
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/02/2007 16:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6494 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I just left IBM after 9 years (took a bigger job elsewhere). I'm still very much connected to the company. Probably alwasy will be. IBM is a great company. They (it's still hard not saying "we") went through some very tough years that caused a lot of soul searching. And there are core values that really do drive how people think and act. IBM'ers truly do believe that IBM is a company that can make the world a better place.
Posted by: PlanetDan || 04/02/2007 17:08 Comments || Top||

#2  What's the line on when the Donks start screaming about (fill in the blank) on this?
On a serious note: Is there any other thing in the works that IBM could profit from that this could be legitimately seen as currying favor?????
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 04/02/2007 17:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Still baffles me why corporations don't have this as a common practice. I find this not to be a PR gesture, but a sincere effort to help.

The major airlines (where my background lies) "contribute" by law aircraft for troop lift. Companies do accommodate reserves on active duty.

But, otherwise, the US corporations could be doing so much more.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 17:27 Comments || Top||

#4  CA: do the airlines really contribute, or are they obligated to as part of the CRAF? If they are CRAF, they get a subsidy as part of the agreement. I can only remember one time in all the years I flew as active duty getting any sort of a 'bennie:' TWA held a plane at the gate at SEA-TAC so I could get it (Emergency leave) when my Dad was dying and I was going to Kalamazoo.
Turned out he didn't then, but I remember the kindness that flight crew gave me; I always flew them until they went under.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 04/02/2007 17:48 Comments || Top||

#5  Way back when, IBM gave universities a 'deal' (or free) 360 system mainframe computers. Their competitors eventually prevailed against them in court on the grounds that it was an anti-competitive practice, that it got students all 'used to' IBM systems and products so they would demand the same when they got out into the commercial world.
Seemed to me the better response by DEC or whoever would have been to give their stuff to universities too, and let the best platform win.
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/02/2007 19:20 Comments || Top||

#6  a nice gesture, regardless of whether it benefits the company in the long run or not. Were it Di-
Fi's husband's company, the NYT, et al would be parading it as "See? we support our troops!"
Posted by: Frank G || 04/02/2007 20:00 Comments || Top||

#7  The CRAF Agreement encompasses three or more levels CRAF-1, CRAF-2, CRAF-3, etc. Each level with its own requirements and subsidy for carriage. The agreement has been in existence since WW-II.

The biggest expense to the commercial carriers is opportunity cost, the ability to utilize the aircraft for normal purposes.

That said, airline management and employees (particularly pilots) get a morale boost in carrying military.

Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 20:47 Comments || Top||

#8  Speaking here as an IBM stockholder (and retiree), normally I get upset when I hear about IBM giving anything away. In this case, all I can do is applaud.
Posted by: Rambler || 04/02/2007 21:23 Comments || Top||

#9  I'm a shareholder too. Bravo Zulu IBM!
Posted by: Mac || 04/02/2007 23:46 Comments || Top||

Princess Madeleine harassed by Fred Phelps & Co.
Fred Phelps
Publish date is April 2 and the archives reveal other posts on the subject, so I guess it's real.

The Swedish Royal Court has confirmed that it has been receiving abusive faxes from the fanatical Westboro Baptist Church sect.

Led by minister Fred Phelps , the small group's hatred of the royal family and all things Swedish is linked directly to an equally virulent hatred of homosexuals.

Princess Madeleine
Phelps praises homophobic crimes, including murder. When controversial Swedish minister, Åke Green , was convicted of inciting hatred of homosexuals following an anti-gay sermon, Phelps saw red and turned his attention to Sweden.

"You're doomed to spend eternity in hell," he said. "All you Swedes and your Swedish king and his family."

As part of the campaign Phelps launched the hateful website God Hates Sweden , which attacks the royal family and delights in the loss of Swedish lives in the 2004 tsunami disaster.

Princess Madeleine has been the main recipient of the sect's abuse, Expressen reports. "I know that this is happening all the time. There have been strange faxes containing all sorts of terms of abuse," court spokeswoman Nina Eldh told the newspaper.

A homosexual
The court's lawyers have so far failed in their atempts to call a halt to the site's anti-Swedish hate campaign.

Expressen's attempts to secure a comment from the group were met with resistence from an agitated female representative. "We hate Sweden! Don't call here again," she said.
Posted by: mrp || 04/02/2007 06:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6497 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We need to put this whole grp into a mental institution and I am a Baptist these people are not Baptist.
Posted by: djohn66 || 04/02/2007 10:10 Comments || Top||

#2  No John they are not.

When they praised 9-11 and starting coming to our brave soldier's funerals, they crossed the line. Feel free to pass this around.

Fred W. and Margie M. Phelps, Sr.
Westboro Baptist Church
3701 S.W. 12th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66604
phone: 785-273-0325 and 785-273-0338
fax: 785-273-9228

Karl and Deborah Kay Hockenbarger
James Hockenbarger/Jennifer Hockenbarger
1929 S.W. Lane
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: (913) 233-1848
K-K-Karl’s work: 785-296-3959

Fred W. Phelps. Jr. and Betty Phelps
3600 S. W. Holly Lane
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: 785-272-4135
Jr.’s work: 785-296-3195

Margie J. Phelps
3734 S.W. 12th
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: 785-273-7380
work: 785-296-3317

Ben Phelps
3632 S.W. Churchill
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: 785-233-4162

Rebekah Phelps-Davis and Chris Davis-Phelps
1216 S.W. Cambridge
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: 785-272-7741

Shirley Phelps-Roper and Brent Roper-Phelps
Sam Phelps-Roper
3640 S.W. Churchilll
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: 785-273-1445/273-0277/272-1619
Shirley’s work: 785-233-4162
Brent’s work (Foot Locker) 785-273-0068

Jonathan and Paulette Phelps
840 S.W. Watson
Topeka, Kansas 66606
Jonathan’s work: 785-233-4162
Elizabeth Phelps
2001 S.W. 2nd Street
Topeka, Kansas 66606
home: 785-234-9694
work: 785-233-0822

Abigail Phelps
3636 S.W. Churchill
Topeka, Kansas 66604
work: 785-296-7709

Charles W. and Mary Hockenbarger
711 N.W. Page
Topeka, Kansas 66617
home: 785- 246-1567

Rachel Phelps Hockenbarger and Charles F. Hockenbarger
1284 S.W. Hillsdale
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: 785-271-1619

Tim and LeAnn Phelps
3743 S.W. 12th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66604
home: 785-273-4780
Tim’s work: 785-291-5100
Leann’s work: phone: 785-233-4162

Theresa Davis
3632 S.W. 12th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66604
work: 785-291-700
Posted by: Icerigger || 04/02/2007 12:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Geeze, Ice ... you got their whole directory?
Posted by: Bobby || 04/02/2007 13:01 Comments || Top||

#4  They'd fit in well in Waziristan, methinks...
Posted by: Seafarious || 04/02/2007 13:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Phelps is not a Christian, in my view. Nowhere in the Bible does it teach to hate any person. While I believe homosexuality is a sin, it's up to God to judge, not me, not Phelps. Phelps should be treated with the contempt he and his followers deserve. If he ever showed up at a funeral I was attending, I'm sure I'd get arrested.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/02/2007 13:23 Comments || Top||

#6  Best to call them to discuss their views in the wee hours of the morning because they are less busy then. :-)
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 13:27 Comments || Top||

#7  I'd like to know who actually ordained Phelps.

And kudos for the photo of Princess Madeleine.
Posted by: eLarson || 04/02/2007 13:55 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm thinking I should give her a call and console her.
Posted by: gorb || 04/02/2007 14:13 Comments || Top||

#9  gorb, I was thinking much the same - she's quite a princess, isn't she?
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/02/2007 14:26 Comments || Top||

#10  I don't wanna be accused of being anti-homosexual but, I gotta tell you, Princess Madeleine looks like she could cure it.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 04/02/2007 14:26 Comments || Top||

#11  #7. I'd like to know who actually ordained Phelps. It was Rev. B.H. McAlister, a Southern Baptist minister.

Excerpts from The Transformation of Fred Phelps:
In January 1947, Phelps abandoned plans for West Point and enrolled in Bob Jones University, a non-denominational Christian university then located in Cleveland, Tenn. The school offers degrees ranging from two-year associate's degrees to doctoral degrees. The university teaches a literal interpretation of the Bible. In 1983, the Internal Revenue Service revoked the university's tax exemption because it accused the school of practicing racial discrimination. Years later, Phelps renounced the university as "racist."

By the summer of 1947, Fred Phelps had switched his religious denomination to Baptist. He had become zealous, devout, a fiery orator and an eccentric, said the Rev. B.H. McAlister, a Southern Baptist minister who ordained Phelps.

As part of the Rocky Mountain mission assignment in summer 1947, Phelps and two other students from Bob Jones University were to seek out a fundamentalist church, convert non-believers to Christianity and steer the converts to the Baptist church. The three men chose Vernal, a town in northeast Utah about 130 miles east of Salt Lake City. During the day, the trio went door to door seeking converts, then conducted tent revivals at night, preaching on the radio. McAlister was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Vernal at the time.

When it came time for Phelps' ordination, "we put him through the paces because of his young age," McAlister said. "We feared for him because of his youth." Phelps was 17, at least three years younger than most ministers when ordained.

McAlister, who has helped ordain hundreds, described the ordination process: An examination board of 10 to 20 ministers asks a candidate questions about doctrine and scripture. Not everyone passes. Phelps did. He was ordained Sept. 8, 1947, and then returned to Bob Jones University as a Southern Baptist minister.

Today, Nelson and McAlister share Phelps' anti-homosexual sentiments. MONEY QUOTE: But, "I question his wisdom as to his being so zealous," McAlister said.

Despite being ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, Phelps touts himself as a Primitive Baptist preacher and an Old School preacher.(PRIMITIVE AS IN KNUCKLE DRAGGGER) No rules prevent him from switching denominations, said Mark Coppenger, an official with the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

"I was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Vernal, Utah," Phelps says. "There is no such thing as being ordained by the Southern Baptists. You are ordained by the Baptist church. I went to that church, and we liked each other. They baptized me in a mountain stream that was cold and ordained me."

Phelps says he hasn't missed a Sunday preaching lesson since. "So the hunch was good," he said. "If the call was good, it never goes away."

Posted by: GK || 04/02/2007 14:36 Comments || Top||

#12  a Kathy Ireland lookalike. I'm offering my 24/7 by-your-side protection for the Princess
Posted by: Frank G || 04/02/2007 14:54 Comments || Top||

#13  The Phelps gang is not a church, it is a power-freak lawyer cult. Fred himself was a lawyer until he was disbarred some years ago, and 6 or 7 of the 9 Phelps children who remain in the church are lawyers. 4 of them reportedly work for the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 04/02/2007 16:14 Comments || Top||

#14  Yum yum, the princess is sure a cutie.

Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, I have it on good authority that the guy in the lower right corner thinks Fred is a cutie. Fred hasn't indicated publicly whether the feeling is reciprocal, but, you know, the gentleman doth protest too much.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 04/02/2007 16:18 Comments || Top||

#15  LOL. Exposing cockroaches by numbers.

Phelps has definitively jumped the shark ten times over. I mean that Princess could get Louie Anderson to go straight. Wow! Frank's got the right idea.
Posted by: Icerigger || 04/02/2007 16:24 Comments || Top||

#16  AKA "The Party Princess"
Posted by: mrp || 04/02/2007 16:29 Comments || Top||

#17  The church of hate
Posted by: Captain America || 04/02/2007 17:29 Comments || Top||

#18  Phelps, of course, is a registered Democrat.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 04/02/2007 20:28 Comments || Top||

#19  They baptized me in a mountain stream that was cold and ordained me."

It must have been the cold.
Posted by: Throque Gonque2829 || 04/02/2007 20:50 Comments || Top||

#20  One can only hope that Phelps is found slumped over dead of a heart attack and early onset AIDS while still inserted into his underaged male lover.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/02/2007 23:13 Comments || Top||

#21  AIDS.

Anally Injected Death Sentence.
Posted by: Mike N || 04/02/2007 23:35 Comments || Top||

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Mon 2007-04-02
  Democrats To Widen Conflict With Bush
Sun 2007-04-01
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Sat 2007-03-31
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Fri 2007-03-30
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Thu 2007-03-29
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Wed 2007-03-28
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Tue 2007-03-27
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Mon 2007-03-26
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Sun 2007-03-25
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Sat 2007-03-24
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Fri 2007-03-23
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