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7 killed in attack on Somali presidential palace
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
North Korea threatens war as it tears up 50-year armistice
That 50-year armistice is all that stopped the war in the first place. Without it, we are in a state of active war with the Democrap Repuglic of North Kimmieland.

North Korea announced yesterday that it was abandoning the armistice that ended the Korean War 56 years ago, and threatened war if there were any attempts to search its ships for weapons of mass destruction. I guess they're about to ship a few nukes to Iran?

South Korea reported an increase in patrols by North Korean fighter jets on the border between the two states and there were reports of naval exercises close to the sites of previous skirmishes with the South Korean Navy.

The North’s pronouncements came after reports that it had restarted its plutonium reactor, which generates material for its nuclear arsenal, including the warhead that it tested on Monday. Pyongyang’s increase of tensions — a nuclear test, firing short-range missiles and now threatening war — is raising fears in the South of another direct military provocation.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has tremendous military muscle and its own method of strike is able to conquer any targets in its vicinity at one stroke or hit the US on the raw,” said a statement by the Korean People’s Army. “Those who provoke the DPRK once will not be able to escape its unimaginable and merciless punishment. In case the Armistice Agreement loses its binding force, the Korean Peninsula is bound to immediately return to a state of war from a legal point of view, and so our revolutionary armed forces will go over to corresponding military actions.” Pretty serious saber-rattling. Kimmie must be in DEEP doodoo.

The warning came in response to South Korea’s announcement on Tuesday that it was to join the Proliferation Security Initiative, a multilateral effort to limit the spread of weapons of mass destruction by intercepting shipping and aviation. The North has threatened to abandon the armistice before, and over six decades South Koreans have grown used to the North’s aggressive rhetoric. But the latest moves may be the prelude to a further grand gesture by the North.

Government officials and security analysts anticipate the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, a further nuclear test or a land or sea skirmish with South Korea along the border.

In response, the White House warned that North Korea risked further international isolation, while Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, reiterated the US’s commitment to defending its allies. The US has 18,000 troops in South Korea. At the UN, ambassadors from the five permanent Security Council members — the US, Britain, Russia, China and France — as well as Japan and South Korea were working out the details of a resolution after the nuclear test this week.

The US has said that it wants “strong measures”, and though it was unclear last night how far China and Russia would co-operate, diplomats said that they were prepared to support new sanctions.

Although Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, said that the world “must not rush to punish North Korea just for punishment’s sake”, Moscow did tell the North Korean ambassador that it had “serious concerns” about the nuclear test.

The South Korean Government said that the North’s fighter jets had more than doubled their sorties near the demilitarised zone, and the South Korean Yonhap news agency quoted sources as saying that North Korea was carrying out naval exercises close to the northern limit line, the disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea.

Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said that US spy satellites had detected steam at the Yongbyon nuclear plant since last month. This suggests that North Korea is reprocessing its spent plutonium fuel rods. If all 8,000 are processed, this could add one bomb to the 6 to 12 that North Korea is already estimated to have assembled.

Nuclear weapons require more stringent safeguards against accidental detonation of the high explosives in the weapon, and to keep the weapons from being damaged in such a way they are no longer useful. I'm sure we know where those weapons are being stored. That should be the first target of any rapid reaction against Nork action against the South.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/28/2009 18:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6500 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't see how anyone could say we know where they are stored. North Korea is probably an underground honeycomb of tunnels. You can see where they went underground but they could be actually stored 10 miles away in any direction under a mile of bedrock.

What you can not do is allow the NorKs to attack first. Even if it takes you only a day to wipe out most of their artillery, they will rain death and destruction on some pretty major populated areas in the South during the course of that day.

In addition, North Korea has constructed over ten thousand (10,000) fortified and hardened artillery batteries which have the city of Seoul, South Korea within their range. These artillery batteries meet a second criteria for a U.S. nuclear first strike as they are "targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack," item (a) in the list above.

Seoul, South Korea is a city with a population of ten million civilians. If the North Korean artillery batteries were to open fire, at least one hundred thousand people in Seoul would be killed within a half hour.

North Korea has also developed a frightening array of Chemical and Biological weapons. If chemical weapons were loaded into artillery shells - which has been possible worldwide since World War ONE - the death toll in the City of Seoul would be staggering; literally millions dead within an hour or two.

From this article from Turner Radio Network.
Posted by: crosspatch || 05/28/2009 20:00 Comments || Top||

#2  I think the Iranian naval surge may be related to the North Korean atomic testing and the increased testiness of the Norks. Kim's bomb isn't for Nork use - it's for sale. The Iranians are coming to take possession - or protect the ship that is carrying it(them). The test was just the conclusion of the deal.
Posted by: Rob06 || 05/28/2009 20:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Annoying to be sure, but tell me again why the US should care whether or not NK "rains death" down on SK?

Aren't they the ones always protesting the US presence in their country?

I for one am pretty tired of being the worlds cop. I think a century with the Chinese as the worlds "police" would do the rest of the ingrates a bit of good.

Fortress America...
Posted by: Vespasian Threremp1622 || 05/28/2009 21:02 Comments || Top||

#4  I doubt they have "10,000 batteries".

Seoul is more than 50km from the high ground north of Kaesong where the Norks could build cave positions for their artillery. Relatively few heavy long-range guns and multiple rocket launchers would be in range of Seoul proper. In the hundreds, not the thousands, these things are not cheap even if you pay workers in grass.

In the flat open terrain of the remainder of the border regions massed artillery would stick out.

I don't think they could "destroy Seoul", though they could cause many casualties, especially if they used gas.
Posted by: buwaya || 05/28/2009 22:19 Comments || Top||

#5  I just don't want US military or civilian deaths for either the fecklessness of the SK politicians or own weakass admin
Posted by: Frank G || 05/28/2009 22:30 Comments || Top||

#6  Unfortunately, it would be all too easy in my opinion for the Norks to control Seoul within half a day by bombing out the bridges which criss cross the the Han river through Seoul, effectively making it nearly impossible for the civilians to easily escape southward.

If they made the city into this chokepoint, deaths could be in the millions. The Seoul National Capital Area - which includes the major port city of Incheon and satellite towns in Gyeonggi-do, has 24.5 million inhabitants and is the world's second largest metropolitan area. All the Norks have to do is take out a few bridges, and millions upon millions will be waylaid long enough to be exterminated. Its a nightmare.
Posted by: GirlThursday || 05/28/2009 22:44 Comments || Top||

#7  "The Seoul National Capital Area - which includes the major port city of Incheon and satellite towns in Gyeonggi-do, has 24.5 million inhabitants[2] and is the world's second largest metropolitan area." - factoid by Wiki, I should add.
Posted by: GirlThursday || 05/28/2009 22:47 Comments || Top||

#8  I think if the Norks were to do something like that - where there may well be civilian casualties in the multi-millions we may well have to consider the use of tactical nukes to remove the artillery.

Which would you rather have? 100k dead soldiers or 10M+ dead civilians?

Hard decisions. Very hard.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/28/2009 23:07 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Islamic Courts Union sez...."Aaaarrrrgh!"
The pro government Islamic Courts Union which was routed in recent fighting that saw the seizure of Jowhar in middle Shabelle region threatened Wednesday they will defeat al-Shabaab and recapture the town.
"As a matter of fact, we'll bite their knees off!"
The former governor of Middle Shabelle region of the Islamic Courts Union, Dahir Adow Alasow, said they were planning a heavy attack on al-Shabaab to recapture Jowhar, the home town of Somali president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed. Al-Shabaab captured Jowhar recently from the Islamic Courts Union in fighting that lasted more than two hours and killed five combatants from the two sides.

Al-Shabaab was the military wing of the Islamic Courts Union in 2006 before they were ousted by the Ethiopian troops who claimed they were propping up the Somali Transitional Federal government. They jointly fought the Ethiopian troops and the Somali government, but the Islamic Courts Union joined the government when its leader Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed was elected president in January 2009.

Alasow said they were determined to defeat what he called invading forces to the region and will recapture the town again.

The two sides fought on Tuesday near Mahaday town in Middle Shabelle region after al-Shabaab attacked a base of the Islamic Courts Union. Alasow said they defended against the Shabaab and killed nine fighters, but the new governor of al-Shabaab in Middle Shabelle region said they captured a battle wagon from the pro government Islamists and killed more fighters.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 00:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6502 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Islamic Courts Union sez...."Aaaarrrrgh!"

huh? Is it talk like a pirate day over there?
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 05/28/2009 21:02 Comments || Top||

Al-Shabaab starts issuing orders, grants itself new name
* Wimmenfolk not to sit next to menfolk on public transport in Kismayo

* Media is hereby ordered to use the new name "Harakat Mujahiddin Al Shabaab" - "If you are afraid of the infidels leave as alone and do not mention our name," Sheik Ali Dhere threatened. He vowed new attacks against the African Union troops in Somalia and called for them to pull out from Mogadishu immediately or face further face to face and suicide attacks. He also called for the Somali president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed to repent and surrender to "the Mujahiddin" referring to Harakat al Shabaab.

It is not known why Al-Shabaab has come up with the new orders and what forced them to threaten to the journalists.
Nice pic of the incoming and outgoing Shabaab spokescritters at the link.

This article starring:
Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 00:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

Africa North
Sheik Aweys takes over chairmanship of Hisbul Islam
The leader of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys has taken over the leadership of Hisbul Islam insurgent group on Tuesday. Dr. Omar Iman said he handed over the chairmanship of the group to Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys and added the group agreed the issue.
'Nuther nice pic of Aweys' beard in all its hennaed glory at the link.
Sheik Aweys, who spoke to the reporters, said he accepted the leadership of Hisbul Islam and welcomed it.
"You may call me...Your Excellency."
It is not known the reason behind the decision of why Dr. Omar Iman handed over the power of the Insurgent group.
Object lessons can be so very messy. It's for the best if they remain rumours.
Hisbul Islam comprises four insurgent groups and it was formed after the Somali parliament elected Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed as the president of Somalia. Hisbul Islam is allied with al-Shabaab and they are jointly fighting against the Somali fragile government.
This article starring:
DR. OMAR IMANHisbul Islam
SHEIK HASAN DAHIR AWEYSAlliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia
Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 00:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

#1  Ummm, Hisbul-allah, is that also said as Hisbullah?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/28/2009 11:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Hizb-ul-Islam, roughly "Party of Islam". Roughly.
Posted by: Ulavirong Tojo9533 || 05/28/2009 12:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Hizb-ul-Allah, "Party of God"?
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/28/2009 13:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Hezbollah is (probably deliberately) spelled out in English in a deceptive manner. I think the correct transliteration is Hizb'allah, Party of God.

Of course it's hard to pronounce correctly when the Hezbies' spokesmen's lips keep falling off, so the misspelling is perfectly understandable.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 15:08 Comments || Top||

Tunisia offers to accept 10 Guantanamo prisoners
[Maghrebia] Tunisian Justice Minister Bechir Tekkari on Tuesday (May 26th) said his country is ready to accept 10 Tunisians held at Guantanamo, international press reported. "We are entirely happy to welcome them and examine their penal situation according to legal procedures and under the principle of the presumption of innocence," AFP quoted the minister as saying. Referring to allegations of human rights abuses in Tunisia, in particular the torture of prisoners, Tekkari reiterated that two Guantanamo inmates returned to the country in 2007 successfully appealed previous sentences.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

EU supports war crime trial, wants fairness
[Bangla Daily Star] The European Union (EU) has supported the trial of the war criminals of 1971 and urged the authorities to carry out the trial process maintaining international standards.
That's nice of them. Not useful, but nice.
The EU expressed the view during a meeting of its ambassadors and senior diplomats based in Dhaka with leaders of the Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) Tuesday.
I'm sure the lunch that followed was exquisite.
A release of the SCF said the meeting discussed in detail the relevant trial issues particularly on the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973.

Swedish Ambassador Britt F Hagstrom who heads EU in Bangladesh, said "EU recognises the support for bringing war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War to justice as reflected in the relevant parliamentary resolution." Stressing that the EU has a record of strong support to efforts to bring the perpetrators of crimes to justice, Hagstrom said, "it is for Bangladesh to determine how the judicial process will be mobilised in this regard."

She also stressed that the trial process should be carried out to international standards.

Earlier, Vice-Chairman of the SCF Maj Gen (retd) KM Safiullah briefed the EU envoys about the historical background of the Bangladesh's war criminals and pointed out how these atrocities by Pakistani army and their local collaborators remained unpunished during the last four decades.
And whose fault is that?
From the EU side, Spanish Ambassador Arturo Perez, German Ambassador Frank Meyke, Italian Ambassador Dr Itala Maria Marta Occhi, Danish Ambassador Heinar Heboggard Jensen, EC Head of the Delegation Stafan Frowein, CDA of Netherlands Fritz Meijndert, Counselor of British High Commission John Ryan and CDA of France Patrick Branco were also present.

SFC Vice President Maj Gen (retd) CR Dutta, its General Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Harun-Ar-Rashid, ambassador Anwarul Alam Shahid, Col (retd) Shamsul Alam, Maj Gen (retd) Jamil Ahsan, Maj Gen (retd) Masudur Rahman, writer-journalist Haroon Habib, Dr Sarwar Ali, Maj(retd) ASM Shamsul Arefin and ex-Addl IGP Nurul Alam among others, were present.
No doubt all of the spouses were properly amused during the proceedings, and all were utterly charming during the dinner that followed.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

Abu Hamza's sons jailed over £1 million luxury car scam
The rotten dates didnn't fall far from the poison palm tree...
Three sons of the radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri were jailed today for their part in the theft of more than £1 million worth of luxury cars that were then sold all over Europe.

Hamza's sons, Hamza Kamel, 22, and Mohamed Mostafa, 27, along with his stepson Mohssin Ghailam, 28, helped run the two-year fraud with four other men.

The gang targeted BMWs, Range Rovers and Mercedes that had been left for weeks in long-stay car parks. They exploited a loophole in the DVLA system to divert registration details from the real owners to front addresses. Using false documentation they received log books and keys.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 10:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under: Global Jihad

#1  I think the entire Western world needs to change their laws to hand out stiffer penalties for those who perform criminal acts while being muslim. Too much of their activities go to fund activities directly against the governments where they perform these acts. We should multiply their sentences by 10, with no provision for parole or early release. The North Sea has several abandoned drilling rigs that could be converted into jail space to hold them.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/28/2009 15:47 Comments || Top||

Norks move closer to military clash in Yellow Sea border
SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- Military tension rose sharply between South and North Korea on Wednesday as the North declared an inter-Korean armistice null and void, a move that analysts say may lead to clashes any time. Pyongyang's nullification of the truce that stopped the 1950-1953 Korean War came a day after Seoul announced its decision to join a U.S.-led drive to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
"You know this means war!"
In a statement, North Korea described the current situation as tense "as in wartime" and "beyond the uncontrollable danger line of a war."
"And again I say, 'War.' "
The North specifically referred to the western sea border, the site of two bloody naval skirmishes in 1999 and 2002. The North said it will no longer guarantee the safe passage of civilian ships, as well as U.S. and South Korean warships, operating along the Yellow Sea border, a resounding threat during peak crab-catching season.

"With this warning, a military clash is no more a possibility, but a reality. Words are turning into action," Paik Hak-soon, an analyst with the non-governmental Sejong Institute, said.
"War -- in case you were wondering."
The sea border was unilaterally drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command after the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea has rejected it as illegitimate and in 1999 redrew the border further south. But it still acknowledged South Korea's jurisdiction over several inhabited islands located in the overlapping zone.

Past skirmishes claimed the lives of scores of naval soldiers on both sides.
Naval soldiers? Did the writer mean marines, sailors, or perhaps something I've not heard of?
Paik said if any skirmish recurs there, casualties will be larger due to the lack of inter-Korean communication channels.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6497 views] Top|| File under:

#1  South Korean companies pull out of that Northern industrial park yet or waiting to be hostages?
Posted by: 3dc || 05/28/2009 0:20 Comments || Top||

#2  I remember one time Nork warships tried to play games with Skor warships. One of the Skor ships used its Phalanx in direct fire mode. Cut a Nork ship in half, horizontally.

Which I gather voids its warranty.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/28/2009 0:50 Comments || Top||

#3  Which I gather voids its warranty.

Plays hell with the paint job too.
Posted by: Injun Hupomoting2131 || 05/28/2009 1:55 Comments || Top||


Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/28/2009 2:46 Comments || Top||

#5  OOOPSIES, VENEZUELA > HUGO'S RED BERET may decide to formally pull VENEZ proper out of the OAS, + form a NEW COOPER wid QUBA = CUBA???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/28/2009 2:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Plays hell with the paint job too.

Nah, that'll buff right out.
Posted by: Parabellum || 05/28/2009 8:11 Comments || Top||

#7  I would say, "Our only hope is to start the 6-party talks." What say you, Big O?
Posted by: Alaska Paul in Coffman Cove, AK || 05/28/2009 11:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Help us Obama Wan. You're our only hope.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/28/2009 11:58 Comments || Top||

#9  When do you suppose the world diplomatic community will finally decide that Kim Jong Ill is nuttier than a bowl of granola?

There is just something not quite right with the government in Nork.
Posted by: James Carville || 05/28/2009 15:27 Comments || Top||

#10  Maybe we should ask Russia (who is pretty well pi$$ed with the NORKS) to use one of their "Tsar Bomba" weapons on Pyongyang. Do it when the wind is directly out of the west, and there will be a new "red line" across the country - one of radioactive debris.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/28/2009 15:51 Comments || Top||

#11  OP, what have you got against Japan? If the wind is coming from the West, the fallout will be carried towards Japan.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 05/28/2009 18:24 Comments || Top||

#12  WORLD NEWS > CHINESE [fishing] SHIPS QUIT NORTH-SOUTH BORDER [Koreas], + TIMES OF INDIA: [SecDef Gates] US IS "NOT AWARE" OF [unusual] TROOP MOVEMENTS IN NORTH KOREA, + US ARMY CHIEF [Casey]: US ABLE TO [traditionally]FIGHT NORTH KOREA IFF NECESSARY [+GWOT]. May take some time though to mil "shift gears" away from curr GWOT = ANTI-INSURGENCY/TERROR focii.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/28/2009 23:54 Comments || Top||

Seoul Works Out Contingency Plan for Kaesong Closure
The government has worked out a contingency plan in case North Korea abruptly closes down the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Get your people out and cut your losses, that's my advice for a contingency plan ...
Don't forget the keys and instruction manuals, and lock down anything the untrained might hurt themselves trying to operate without proper training. Perhaps disable key bits of apparatus just to be sure there are no injuries until you get back. Always safety first!
A senior South Korean government official said when North Korea banned South Korean traffic to the industrial park late last year, the government began working out measures in preparation for the possibility of the industrial park's closure. "Since last Friday when the North declared all incumbent regulations and contracts regarding the Kaesong Industrial Complex null and void, we've been mapping out concrete measures in preparation for various scenarios concerning the North's possible close-down of the industrial park."

The key point in the contingency plan is to ensure the safety of South Korean staff at Kaesong, he added.
Here's an idea to ensure their safety: don't send them north of the DMZ.
This also concerns compensation for losses suffered by the firms at the industrial park. A Cheong Wa Dae official said the insurance ceiling for each South Korean firm operating there could be raised from W5 billion to W7 billion (US$1=W1,263).

The National Assembly Research Service says direct investment by South Korean firms in Kaesong amounts to W730 billion, and the estimated production value they could achieve if they were to invest that money in South Korea instead would be about W630 billion. The NARS estimates the South Korean firms' total loss form closure at W1.36 trillion.

Another senior government official said, "With the inter-Korean cooperation fund worth W1.5 trillion per year, there should be no scenario that we can't handle by simple arithmetic. But we're concerned about strained inter-Korean relations and South Korea's international credit standing dropping as a result."

At the moment the government still hopes for another inter-Korean meeting. "Our proposal for another round of talks on Monday, which we made last Friday, still stands," a government official said. "There is no reason for us to reject any counterproposal by the North for a new meeting date."

But a Hyundai Asan staffer identified as Yoo (44) has now been held incommunicado by North Korea for 49 days, an effective hostage to the stalled negotiations. A Unification Ministry official said North Korea "must release him as soon as possible. It's not a matter for any kind of discussion or negotiation. On the other hand, the issues of land use fees, wages and tax could be solved through dialogue."
Posted by: Steve White || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  don't send them north of the DMZ.

Especially don't send troops - they might win and then you'd be stuck with the responsibility of taking care of all those Norks.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/28/2009 13:14 Comments || Top||

Russia wants ŽtoughŽ action against N. Korea
[Iran Press TV Latest] Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the UN Security Council should pass a 'tough' resolution against North Korea over its nuclear test.
"Someone should do something!"
"The UN Security Council should speak out toughly and should develop such measures which in practice would help prevent a further erosion of the nuclear arms non-proliferation regime," Lavrov told a news conference.

Lavrov stressed, however, that the problem can be resolved through talks and that the country should not be punished "for the sake of punishment."

Meanwhile, Moscow is improving its military surveillance activities in the region. A Defense Ministry spokesman told Interfax that "due to the worsening situation" Russia was improving its early-warning surveillance. The spokesman continued that Russia felt obliged to take such measures "due to the possible use of nuclear weapons."

The latest statement from the Kremlin is a sign of Moscow's tough position against Pyongyang. Russia shares a 50-km (30-mile) border with North Korea.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6484 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lavrov stressed, however, that the problem can be resolved through talks and that the country should not be punished "for the sake of punishment."

So now we know what is meant by "tough".
Posted by: gorb || 05/28/2009 0:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Try a strongly worded UN statement, guys.

Or, there is always the Georgia option.
Posted by: newc || 05/28/2009 0:24 Comments || Top||

#3  It's cute when the Slavs get all coy, ain't it?
Posted by: mojo || 05/28/2009 10:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Talk is cheap. You either stand up to Kimmie or you fold on the installment plan. World leaders do not learn from history, do they
Posted by: Alaska Paul in Coffman Cove, AK || 05/28/2009 11:36 Comments || Top||

Japan, U.S. outline draft UNSC resolution on N. Korea's nuclear test
[Kyodo: Korea] Japan and the United States have outlined a draft resolution of the U.N. Security Council over North KoreaŽs second nuclear test, U.N. diplomatic sources said Wednesday. The two countries are expected to circulate the paper to a meeting the five permanent Security Council members are likely to hold with Japan and other key players Wednesday afternoon to discuss the councilŽs response to the North Korean action, the sources said.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The UNSC will pass the resolution and Kimmie will wipe his butt with a copy of it.

That little twerp is crazier than Hannibal Lecter
Posted by: James Carville || 05/28/2009 15:30 Comments || Top||

"Tartan Talib" sprung from Pak prison
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 09:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sea, the link doesn't work, and I can't find the article on the London Times website. It's supposed to be there, but...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/28/2009 16:06 Comments || Top||

#2  It works for me, but:

A Scottish charity worker dubbed the Tartan Taleban has been released from a Pakistani prison where he has apparently been held without charge for three months.

James McLintock, who is known by his Muslim name Yakub Mohammed, was freed on Friday and has since returned to his wife and family in Pakistan.

No reason has been given for his arrest, although it has been reported that he was believed to have all-Qaeda links.

Dundee-born Mr McLintock, 44, was arrested in Peshawar at the end of February. A former pupil of Lawside Academy in Dundee, he converted to Islam after dropping out of university. In the late 1980s he attended a training camp in Pakistan and later claimed in media interviews to have fought as a jihadist.

It is the second time in a decade that Mr McLintock has been imprisoned in such circumstances. He was arrested on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Christmas Eve 2001 but released less than a month later, again without charge. That incident led to his Tartan Taleban moniker.

He has reportedly fought with the Mujahidin in Afghanistan and with the Serbian forces in the Bosnian war. In the 1990s, he moved to Bradford, where he met and married his wife, and worked for an Islamic charity.

Plus his ma still thinks he's a innocent lamb; a victim of circumstance.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 16:09 Comments || Top||

Pakistan: GovŽt moots fresh probe into Bhutto murder
[ADN Kronos] The Pakistani government is considering a fresh inquiry into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. It has sought a legal opinion from the law and justice division of the government as the case is already with the anti-terrorism court, Pakistani daily Dawn said.

Although Rawalpindi police and the Federal Investigation Agency have completed an investigation into the incident and submitted charges to the court, the FIA has been striving to obtain permission for the new investigation.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack after returning to Pakistan from exile, at a rally outside Liaquat Bagh on 27 December 2007, in Rawalpindi. However, the investigation into the tragedy has been controversial.

Five men have been arrested by Pakistan's law-enforcement agencies in connection with the assassination and are being tried by the anti-terrorism court at Rawalpindi's Adiala jail.

The court had declared Bailtullah Mehsud, chief of the militant group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, as having been involved in Bhutto's assassination.

The federal government said that the FIA had all the powers it required and was competent to reinvestigate the case.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Petreus: 'Pakistan realises Taliban threat'
The four major elements of Pakistani society -- the government, the opposition, the military and the civilians -- realise that Pakistan must oppose and confront the Taliban, who pose a threat to the Pakistani state, US Central Command chief General David Petraeus has said.

During an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Central newsroom Director Jay Tolson, he said that while the people of Pakistan had once hoped the Taliban would be able to provide swift justice, they now realise the Taliban only foster oppression. He said the Pakistan Army was also aggressively prosecuting its campaign in NWFP and FATA. He said this bode well for Pakistan as a country that is tolerant and not one in which "religious, ultraconservative or extremist figures can tell the people how to pray, how to groom themselves, what music they can listen to, and all the rest of that".

Better job: To questions on whether the Afghan government needed to be held to certain non-negotiable standards of liberal democracy and universal human rights, he said the Afghan government had to do a better job to achieve the support of its own people. He said the government had undertaken some "ambitious" anti-corruption programmes, but it has yet to be seen as being worthy of the people's support.

The CENTCOM chief acknowledged that security forces needed to do more to ensure innocent civilians were not killed in significant numbers during operations in Afghanistan. However, he added, "We shouldn't have our soldiers go into a fight with one arm tied behind their back." He said he had initiated an investigation and would review its findings to see how the directives could be modified to ensure the forces were not endangering the battle for hearts and minds.

To questions on why the US had been unable to cut the terrorist funding from various Gulf states, he said the Hawala system made tracking any funding very difficult. Referring to the demand of Afghan insurgents for a US pullout as a condition for peace talks, he said the US was trying to differentiate between the "reconcilables" and the irreconcilables, adding "you should not shrink from the fact that the irreconcilables have to be killed, captured or run out of the country". He said the US believed the Iraqi forces could take the peace process forward following the June 20 deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq's cities.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  General Petraeus' words are encouraging but I wonder how Pakistan plans on cleansing it's government, intellence and military of Taliban sympathizers.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 05/28/2009 3:24 Comments || Top||

#2  #1 General Petraeus' words are encouraging but I wonder how Pakistan plans on cleansing it's government, intellence and military of Taliban sympathizers. Posted by: Richard of Oregon

I think after yesterday's attack on the ISI, the sympathies may have shifted away from the Taliban, Richard. We'll have to wait and see, but it does seem that the Taliban have shot themselves in the foot (multiple times) with yesterday's attack.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/28/2009 16:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Certainly TODAY'S attackes will have gotten someone's attention.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 16:27 Comments || Top||

CJP takes suo moto notice of Baloch leaders' murder
[Geo News] The Chief Justice of Pakistan Wednesday took suo moto notice on a news clipping appearing in Daily The News regarding murder of three Baloch Senators in Quetta. The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ordered the Chief Secretary Balochistan to submit comments on this tragic incident. While complying with the orders of this court, the Chief Secretary Balochistan in his comments stated that investigation of case was being supervised by senior Police Officer on the basis of data received through various agencies and that the Government of Balochistan has nominated a committee to carry out investigation strictly according to law. Reportedly the High Court of Balochistan has also taken notice of this issue and a judicial High Court is in progress. According to a the SCP press release, the apex court is pursuing the case vigorously with a view to keep a vigilant eye over the matter so that this Court may be apprised of the outcome of investigation and the real culprits be put to task. The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while showing great concern over the matter has been pleased to call follow up report.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

'Indian hand can't be ruled out' in ISI kaboom
It's like clockwork, isn't it?
Indian involvement in the suicide attack in Lahore on Wednesday cannot be ruled out, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has said.
They've never done such a thing that we're aware of, they don't use suicide boomers, and the Talib-AQ nexus is Pakistain is much the more likely suspect, but they can't be ruled out.
Visiting the blast site, Sanaullah said the attack was being thoroughly investigated to trace the mastermind.
Lex Luthor? Professor Moriarty? Fu Manchu?
I suspect it was Magneto, or those sneaky Joooos!
Meanwhile, Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman -- on behalf of CM -- said "such terror activities should not be politicised", and called on the nation to unite against "anti-state elements".
Why should they not be politicized, when they're political acts?
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  WAFF > INDIANS FIGHTING IN SWAT [Gurkhas of Brits-Indian mils]???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/28/2009 0:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Lex Luthor? Professor Moriarty? Fu Manchu?

My money is on Fu Manchu. He was insidious, after all. And speaking of Indians, there is nothing to rule out the Navajo, either.
Posted by: SteveS || 05/28/2009 0:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Code talkers, SteveS?
Posted by: trailing wife || 05/28/2009 1:12 Comments || Top||

#4  From the Opinion piece by Khalid Aziz (Former Secretary of the NWFP)

It may be noted that in 2005 there was no insurgent movement of the type witnessed in Swat and Buner and elsewhere. It all happened after the occurrence of the October 2005 Earthquake in Balakot and Azad Kashmir. The camps where jihadis used to receive training for fighting against Indian forces in Kashmir had to be sequestered from the prying eyes of US and NATO troops who were using helicopters for delivery of relief to NWFP and Azad Kashmir and were clearly aware of the presence of such camps.

Many of these camps were shifted and relocated in Swat and the Dir mountains.

Posted by: john frum || 05/28/2009 6:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Dr. Doom? Galactacus? A "subtle and extremely dangerous midget"?
Posted by: mojo || 05/28/2009 10:57 Comments || Top||

#6  The Crimson Dynamo?
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/28/2009 12:00 Comments || Top||

#7  I don't think it was Navajos. When they wear turbans they resemble the locals superficially, but their beards aren't nearly bushy enough.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 05/28/2009 15:51 Comments || Top||

#8  Damn that "foreign hand", again!

Posted by: Kofi Claitle6576 || 05/28/2009 18:00 Comments || Top||

Sri Lanka scores 'war crimes' victory at UN
I'm pleased for Sri Lanka but cheesed that I get to be on the same side as Cuba and the UN "Human" "Rights" Council. Though technically I'm more cheesed that the US did not stand up for SL's right not to be terrorized. BTW, nice pic of the barbed wire...
Sri Lanka claimed a propaganda victory last night after the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution praising its defeat of the Tamil Tigers and condemning the rebels for using civilians as human shields.

China, India, Egypt and Cuba were among the 29 developing countries that backed a Sri Lankan-proposed resolution describing the conflict as a "domestic matter that doesn't warrant outside interference". The resolution also supported Colombo's insistence on allowing aid group access to 270,000 civilians detained in camps only "as may be appropriate".

The Sri Lanka Ambassador in Geneva said that European nations had failed with their "punitive and mean-spirited agenda" against his country. "This was a lesson that a handful of countries which depict themselves as the international community do not really constitute the majority," Dayan Jayatilleka said. "The vast mass of humanity are in support of Sri Lanka."

Western diplomats and human rights officials were shocked
by the outcome at the end of an acrimonious two-day special session to examine the humanitarian and human rights situation in Sri Lanka after the blitzkrieg
Blitzkrieg? Nice Nazi reference there, ToL.
of the final military offensive that wiped out the Tiger force.

"The vote is extremely disappointing and is a low point for the Human Rights Council. It abandons hundreds of thousands of people in Sri Lanka to cynical political considerations," Amnesty International said, without a hint of irony.
All the condemnations of the US and Israel, of course, were the high points ...
Sri Lanka, unable to stop the Human Rights Council taking up its case, rushed its own motion to the floor in time to beat a more censorious resolution tabled by Switzerland.

Twelve countries, mostly European and including Britain, opposed the resolution after failing to win support for their version, which called for unfettered access to detained civilians and an internal investigation of alleged war crimes by both sides.

The UN in Sri Lanka says that at least 7,000 civilians were killed in the first four months of the year alone, with the casualty rate sharply rising as the endgame approached. Many of those deaths are believed to have been caused by Sri Lankan army shelling. The Government denies that it caused a single civilian death, blaming all of them on the rebels.

Israel will be among the nations angered by last night's result. The 47-member council, formed in 2006 to deal quickly with urgent humanitarian situations, succeeded in forcing an internal investigation on Israel over its recent offensive in Gaza, which killed an estimated 700 Palestinian civilians.

Western diplomats said that the result called into question the entire purpose of the Human Rights Council -- where the 47 members sit as equals with no right of veto for any country. The United States only recently agreed to join it in the belief that the council had been reformed. Divisions between the West and the developing world were exposed last month when dozens of European and other ambassadors stormed out of the council during an inflammatory address by President Ahmadinejad of Iran.

Tom Porteous, the London director of Human Rights Watch, said: "The Human Rights Council had a chance to prove itself by calling for a serious inquiry into violations of the laws of war and human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, and they failed dismally."

In Colombo, by contrast, there was a mood of jubilation for a government that has cast itself as a plucky minnow fighting the hypocrisy of large Western powers. Sri Lanka's resolution passed with the support of powerful new allies such as China, which provided much of the weaponry used in its decisive defeat of the rebels.

"The support of the international community at the UNHRC is a clear endorsement of our effort to eliminate terrorism without a civilian bloodbath," Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Sri Lankan Minister for Disaster Relief and Human Rights, said.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, had called on Tuesday for an international war crimes inquiry, saying she believed that both sides might be guilty of war crimes. The Tigers are accused of using civilians as human shields and those who fled the war have testified that rebel commanders fired on them to stop them escaping, killing many.

Of more immediate concern, though, is what the failure of the European-backed resolution will mean for the 270,000 civilians interned in camps run by the Sri Lankan Army. Aid agencies have been given only limited access to the sprawling camps and have been barred from bringing in vehicles for fear that Tiger cadres could use them to escape.

Sri Lanka has said that it will allow access to the camps in a month, after screening for former fighters is complete. On a military-led visit to the camps this week, though, officials admitted that no such screening was taking place and that captured fighters were taken to "rehabilitation camps" before they were registered there.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/28/2009 10:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  blitzkrieg

'lightning war'. The SL war was anything but. Once again our MSM shows its understanding of real history.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 05/28/2009 15:09 Comments || Top||

#2  The majority of Western governments are arrogant, insensitive, and crass. Trying to prove you're better than everyone else is NOT a winning strategy, in any field. The real problem is that Sri Lanka won't give the Useless Nitwits a chance to spend another $300 million of other people's money to PROVE their sanctimony is legitimate, regardless of the facts. I lump the US government in with the West in this, especially under Obambi.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/28/2009 16:43 Comments || Top||

Iraq to arrest 1,000 'corrupt' officials
Iraq's anti-corruption watchdog says arrest warrants have been issued for some 1,000 allegedly corrupt officials.

Few details were disclosed, but the Commission on Public Integrity said at least 50 were senior figures.

The commission has previously said the most serious complaints concern the trade ministry, where officials allegedly took bribes for contracts.

This week Prime Minister Nouri Maliki accepted the resignation of his trade minister over corruption accusations.

The former minister - Abdul Falah Sudani, one of whose brothers has been detained for corruption and who has another brother on the run - offered his resignation on 14 May and parliament has been scrutinising his case.

A vote of no confidence is due to take place on Thursday, which could determine whether Mr Sudani - who denies any wrongdoing - will face criminal charges.

The anti-corruption committee statement said there were as many as 997 arrest warrants against officials under suspicion and 53 were at director-general level or above.

The statement added that 51 officials had been arrested in April and 69 were arrested in May, including 33 last Sunday.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/28/2009 01:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is this a much needed house cleaning or is it an ominous purge? How can we tell the difference?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 05/28/2009 3:11 Comments || Top||

#2  grayt succseaius!
Posted by: borat || 05/28/2009 3:31 Comments || Top||

#3  That's nothing. We could find half that many corrupt officials just in the US Congress.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/28/2009 13:17 Comments || Top||

#4  Is this a much needed house cleaning or is it an ominous purge? How can we tell the difference?

Pre-election antics.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/28/2009 14:38 Comments || Top||

#5  I remember the story of a large corporate businessman who quit because of stress, then decided to start a bagel delivery service to large corporate businesses.

He worked on the honor payment system, and soon noted that companies varied considerably in honesty. So in one of the really dishonest companies, he put up a hidden camera, to video employees who were not paying.

When he showed it to the personnel director, the man noted a high correlation between those who stole bagels and those who were suspected of dishonesty on the job. With bagel theft as evidence, they were fired, and the company noted a sharp drop in internal, much more serious, theft, amounting to thousands of dollars.

So the bagel salesman became a security consultant, using bagels as a means to purge dishonest employees. If they would steal his bagels, they were likely to steal other things as well.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/28/2009 17:33 Comments || Top||

Abbas in US to press for settlement freeze
[Al Arabiya Latest] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Washington early Wednesday for his first official meeting with President Barack Obama as Jordan summoned the Israeli envoy in Amman to protest a reported Israeli proposal to set up a Palestinian state in Jordan.
How can Israel do that? Jordan already is a Palestinian state, albeit with foreign Hashemite rulers.
The presidential talks are expected to focus on Israel's continued building of settlements in occupied territory. The Palestinian Authority has ruled out restarting peace talks with Israel unless the Jewish states, removes all roadblocks and freezes settlement activity, top negotiator Ahmad Qorei told the Haaretz daily.

He said Abbas would present the conditions during the White House talks with Obama Thursday.
"Conditions"? I thought the point was negotiation. After all. Mr. Qorei is defined as a top negotiator.
I think that means something different than what you and I think it means ...
The discussions come just 10 days after Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has ignored calls from the United States for a complete freeze on settlement building in the occupied West Bank and rejected limits on building Jewish enclaves in Jerusalem.
President Obama did want the U.S. to be seen as not dictating to other countries. How nice that he started with Israel.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6483 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

#1  Settlements can't freeze, on account of global warming.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/28/2009 13:18 Comments || Top||

Netanyahu pushes Arabs to normalize ties
[Iran Press TV Latest] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is widening the circle of peace process, urging Arab states to normalize relations with Tel Aviv.

The hawkish Israeli prime minister, who has so far opposed peace talks with Palestinians, told Knesset on Wednesday that he was going to introduce new measures in making peace with the Palestinians. In return, he expects Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with Israel immediately.

Currently only two Arab nations --Egypt and Jordan-- have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv.

"We are prepared to make, and we will make, concrete steps for peace with the Palestinians. We expect the Palestinians to make such concrete steps as well. And it would be good if Arab countries joined the peace effort and made concrete and symbolic steps toward normalization with Israel, not later, but now," Netanyahu said.
This is sneaky smart and worthy of Middle East intrigue. It will help blunt some of the world press -- Israel's making peace, after all -- and will wrong-foot the Arab states for a while.
After his arrival from the US last week, Netanyahu said that he was ready to begin peace talks with Arab states adding that US President Barack Obama backed his idea of normalizing ties with Arab countries.

The new Israeli government has so far refused to support the Arab peace initiative, which offers Tel Aviv relations with the 23 members of the Arab League in return for its complete withdrawal from land it occupied in 1967.

Netanyahu did not talk about the Arab initiative.
Possibly because the Arab initiative is unspeakable.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

Southeast Asia
MILF oppose observers
ZAMBOANGA CITY: Citing Manila's cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference which led to the signing of the 1996 peace pact with Moro National Liberation Front rebels in Mindanao, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Nur Hassan Wirajuda said Indonesia is backing the Philippines' bid for an observer status with the group.
It was good enough for the PLO, and look how far the Palestinians have come since!
Wirajuda said during the OIC 36th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Damascus, Syria that the expected decision has been long overdue.

In their plenary statements, Malaysia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates supported Indonesia's proposal, according to a statement of the Philippine Foreign Affairs. It said other countries which expressed strong support for the Philippine bid were Syria, the host and chairman of the 36th CFM; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Morocco, Libya, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Oman, Iraq, Turkey, Uganda, Bangladesh and Brunei Darussalam.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group, earlier said that at least four countries have opposed Manila's bid for an Observer status in the 57-state organization. It said the OIC is not considering granting the Philippines an Observer status after Turkey objected to it. Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran have supported Turkey's decision, the MILF said.

The MILF and the MNLF, which has a permanent observer status in the OIC, are strongly opposed to the Philippine bid. "The OIC decision is by consensus and all it takes is one state to oppose the Philippine bid for an observer status is enough to defeat a motion," said Mohagher Iqbal, a senior MILF leader.

The government statement said the OIC decided during the 36th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers that the criteria for the approval of new observers should be finalized first before the admittance of additional countries as Observers.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary and Philippine envoy to the OIC Rafael Seguis reported that the Philippines had the overwhelming support of OIC member states during the May 23-25 session. Seguis added that had the criteria for observers been adopted, the Philippines would have been granted the Observer seat during the 36th CFM.

The Philippines applied for observer status in the OIC in 2003. However, it was only during the 36th CFM that its application was discussed by the Islamic organization for the first time, upon the initiative of supportive OIC member states. Manila said having an observer status in the OIC would help the government's peace process in Mindanao.
Posted by: classer || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Doh! the headline made me think you had a shy Mother I'd Like to F*** ....

Posted by: Vespasian Threremp1622 || 05/28/2009 9:17 Comments || Top||

#2  My wife chortled at the headline too...
Posted by: abu do you love || 05/28/2009 16:02 Comments || Top||

#3  "I like to watch."
-- Chauncey Gardiner
Posted by: SteveS || 05/28/2009 17:58 Comments || Top||

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka to retain state of emergency
The Sri Lankan government will maintain its state of emergency, including sweeping anti-terrorism powers, after the battlefield defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels, according to a statement posted online Wednesday.

The state of emergency is necessary to prevent a resurgence of the rebel movement and to protect cities, Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told the parliament on Tuesday. The statement by de Silva, who is also the governing party's legislative leader, was posted on a government website. "The termination of civil war does not suggest a complete halt to terrorism and related atrocities," de Silva said. Under the state of emergency, police can make arrests, enter homes and seize evidence without warrants and hold suspects for up to 18 months without trial.

De Silva spoke in response to an opposition motion to suspend the state of emergency declared after the 2005 assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, which the government blamed on the rebels. The government has said it suspects sleeper cells of suicide bombers remain in the capital. Dozens of checkpoints conduct random searches of vehicles in the capital, Colombo, and at transportation terminals that were a favourite target of bombers.

Leading Tamil politician Veerasingham Anandasangaree said it was unfair to keep the emergency powers in place, since most of the Tamil people "gave full support to the army to liberate them. If they are treated in this manner, there is no justice at all." Authorities say they are holding some 9,100 rebel prisoners and would release many for "rehabilitation," while several thousand would be prosecuted on suspicion of involvement in terrorist acts.

In Colombo's diplomatic district, hundreds of Sri Lankans protested at the Canadian Embassy on Wednesday over what they said was Canada's support for the rebels and its failure to protect Sri Lankans and their property from pro-rebel ethnic Tamils in Canada. Protesters pelted the embassy with stones, sprayed graffiti on the wall and painted over a security camera.

Governments told the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday that Sri Lanka must ensure Tamil refugees receive humanitarian help to recover from the civil war. Bangladesh, South Korea and Uruguay joined a chorus of calls for Colombo to allow aid agencies into camps holding tens of thousands of people who fled the northwest war zone in which the separatist Tamil Tigers were cornered and eventually defeated. "The people of Sri Lanka, especially the displaced, should be given all the assistance required to restart their lives," Zambia's delegate told the 47 member-state United Nations forum on the second day of its Sri Lanka examination.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under:

Israel worries about UNIFIL fate after Lebanon elections
[Jerusalem Post Middle East] Israel is becoming increasingly anxious about the fate of UNIFIL if Hizbullah increases its power in upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon.
Wasn't it after the Polish contingent took charge of UNIFIL that it became effective, or am I misremembering?
Defense officials have also expressed concern with American plans to supply advanced military platforms to the Lebanese armed forces.

The Lebanese people will head to polls on June 7 amid predictions that Hizbullah will bolster its position in parliament and form the next coalition.

Israel is concerned that if Hizbullah wins the elections, some European members of UNIFIL will consider downsizing their participation in the force or completely withdrawing their personnel. Poland has already decided to withdraw its forces and transfer them to Afghanistan.

The concern also stems from the scheduled resignation of UNIFIL Command Maj.-Gen. Claudio Graziano, of Italy, and the handover of command of the 12,000-man force to the Spanish military, defense officials said. "We are hoping to receive assurances that European countries will remain committed to UNIFIL even in the event of a Hizbullah victory in the elections," a senior defense official familiar with the issue said.

On Tuesday, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that while Hizbullah was amassing unprecedented amounts of weaponry, UNIFIL's presence in southern Lebanon was "making the task more difficult."
Then shouldn't we want UNIFIL to evaporate?
Senior defense officials said they were concerned with the supply of American arms platforms to Lebanon and warned that if Hizbullah formed the next government, the weapons would fall into the guerrilla group's hands.

Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr was quoted as saying last week that the US has promised to supply dozens of fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and unmanned aerial vehicles following the elections and regardless of its results.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned this week that if Hizbullah gained considerably in the elections Israel would not feel the restraints it did in 2006 about attacking Lebanese infrastructure. "Today Hizbullah controls a third of the Lebanese government," Barak said. "If in the upcoming elections Hizbullah will gain more power in the government, that will open it up more than in the past to the IDF's force, and will give us a freedom of action that we did not have completely in July 2006."

During the early days of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, there was a debate inside the government about the degree to which the IDF should hit essential infrastructure in Lebanon, with much of the world urging Israeli restraint so as not to weaken the position of pro-Western Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.

"The UN investigation will apparently find Hizbullah responsible for the killing of [former Lebanese prime minister Rafik] Hariri," Barak said, adding that this is a further indictment against Hizbullah for trying to undermine the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the region.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

Israel threatening Iran with ŽnukesŽ
[Iran Press TV Latest] As Israel remains adamant on blemishing the prospects of Iran-US dialogue and coaxing the White House into a war, Israel's military Chief of Staff says the regime is ready to use all options against Iran.
And this Iranian press service clearly is not at all pleased about that.
Israel, the possessor of the sole nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, has long strived to portray Iran as a regime hell-bent on starting a nuclear war through the pursuit of its nuclear program.
Possibly because the Iranian regime is indeed so bent.
The UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has not opted against international law while conducting the program, which Iran says has civilian purposes.

"It is my job as army chief to prepare all the options, and that is what we're doing," Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Israel's military Chief of Staff, said.

His remarks come as Iran and the US, which have not had diplomatic ties for nearly three decades, are moving to consider a possible rapprochement. Such reconciliation, however, has rubbed Tel Aviv the wrong way.

Israel, which claims to see Iran as an "existential threat", considers possible friendly ties between Tehran and Washington a major blow to its interests. "The dialogue between the US and Iran is unlikely to succeed, but this is the preferred course for us too," said Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi. "Iran continues with its plans. The existence of nuclear weapons in Iran's hands could destabilize the entire Middle East."

The Israeli general added that the army would take "every possible measure" when it has to deal with Iran.

The remarks come amid doubts raised by Western experts that the Israeli Air Force does not possess the necessary power to bomb the Iranian program out of existence. In return, Israeli defense experts claim that a nuclear strike might get the job done. According to a report by the Sunday Times, Israeli air force squadrons have trained to blow up Iranian nuclear facilities using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters."
Even I know that the bunker busters are conventional, not nuclear. Although perhaps that's just the American model. It could be that Israel developed such nuclear weapons without remembering to inform me.
Ashkenazi's warning against Iran came as the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, publicizes that lifting Iran's alleged "nuclear threat" is his government's mission.

In an address to the right-wing Likud party, Netanyahu said if Israel does not remove the Iranian threat, no one will. Citing Iran as a danger he said, "My job is first and foremost to ensure the future of the state of Israel ... the leadership's job is to eliminate the danger. Who will eliminate it? It is us or no one."
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6509 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Nutjob, may you live in interesting times.
Posted by: 3dc || 05/28/2009 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  I still think the best tack for the Israelis is a plausible deniability radiation attack in Iran. People in a city near a major nuclear site start dropping dead from radiation poisoning, suffering severe skin burns, that sort of thing. Useless for the Iranian government to deny it is them.

A few thousand lives could save hundreds of thousands of lives. The purpose is to teach the Iranian people that what they want will not give them their desires, but it will destroy them.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/28/2009 0:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Obama's America already said to the Israelis we do not care about your lives. So the only entity to protect them is the Israeli Government.
And the time to act is NOW!
Posted by: Ana || 05/28/2009 10:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Obama's America already said to the Israelis we do not care about your lives

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."*
-- John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address

* Offer may be subject to conditions, exclusions, and disclaimers and in no way, represents the current views of the Democratic Party. Not valid outside the continental United States.
Posted by: SteveS || 05/28/2009 20:50 Comments || Top||

Rezaei vows Žfundamental changeŽ in foreign policy
[Iran Press TV Latest] Principlist candidate Mohsen Rezaei says Iran needs a "fundamental revision" in its political agenda, considering the recent changes in the West's approach.

"European countries and the US have backtracked on some of their policies," said Rezaei on Wednesday. "Iran should take that into serious consideration and make the necessary changes in its approach."

Rezaei, who headed Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps for sixteen years, explained that the Ahmadinejad government's "obstinacy" and "steadfastness" resulted in Iran's access to nuclear technology but also brought upon us crippling sanctions and a political deadlock.

He said the government could have pursued the technology within its peaceful framework through dialogue with European countries aimed at lifting the sanctions.

The Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council went on to lay out plans to enter into bona fide negotiations with the West to end the economic sanctions against Iran over its low-level nuclear activities.

Iran's June 12 presidential election is the tenth since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the last prime minister of Iran (1981-989), and Mehdi Karroubi, two-time parliament (Majlis) speaker (1989-1992 and 2000-2004) are vying for the presidential palace.

Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also signed up to seek another four-year term.
Posted by: Fred || 05/28/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

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Thu 2009-05-28
  7 killed in attack on Somali presidential palace
Wed 2009-05-27
  Taliban strike ISI headquarters in Lahore, 35 killed, 250 wounded
Tue 2009-05-26
  SKor military bolsters defense readiness
Mon 2009-05-25
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Sun 2009-05-24
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Fri 2009-05-22
  Thousands flee tense Wazoo
Thu 2009-05-21
  Iran tests long range missile
Wed 2009-05-20
  Army takes Sultanwas, kills 81; Mullah Fazlullah maybe titzup
Tue 2009-05-19
  Prabhakaran dead as a rock!!!!!
Mon 2009-05-18
  Norks to nullify Kaesong agreements
Sun 2009-05-17
  Tamil Tigers say they surrender
Sat 2009-05-16
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Fri 2009-05-15
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