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Leb Army seals Syrian border
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
1 00:00 Photle Fleart1604 [307] 
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1 00:00 Listen To Dogs [289] 
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Is the VOA still a global broadcaster?
Posted by: Evil Elvis || 03/03/2006 20:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [307 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Considering you've downsized your military and are redeploying what you still have to be more focused on strategic missions, it seems consistant to do the same thing with other 'Cold War' left overs. Welcome to the club.
Posted by: Photle Fleart1604 || 03/03/2006 21:17 Comments || Top||


Europe
One-way sympathy
I'm not quite sure where this article goes.
Since the start of the Danish cartoon controversy, Vatican officials have expressed sympathy with Islamic outrage over the depictions of Muhammad. This sympathy comes from knowing what it’s like to have your beliefs treated with disrespect and even contempt. Yet in much of the Islamic world, that sympathy isn’t a two-way street.
The dingbats and beauzeaux don't much care. To many of them, we deserve to be vanquished.
That’s why the Vatican recently issued a statement “urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities.” As Angelo Soldano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State put it: “If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us . . . ”

Destroy is not too strong a word. The anger originally directed at Denmark is increasingly being directed at Christians. In Turkey, a priest was murdered in an attack that the Turkish media has connected to the cartoon controversy. In Pakistan, protesting mobs have ransacked churches and beaten Christians. In Beirut, which, unlike Pakistan, has a large Christian population, a Christian neighborhood was attacked by a Muslim mob.
But that sort of thing was going on long before the Mohammad cartoons. Oppression of other religions is a hallmark of Islam in most of its forms.
By far the worst attacks have occurred in Nigeria. In the state of Borno, attacks left as many as fifty-one Christians dead, including a priest. The Christian property destroyed included at least six churches, both Catholic and Protestant, the Bishop’s home, and a Christian bookstore. The rioters, who went on a rampage after hearing a Muslim cleric denounce the cartoons, sent a clear message with their choice of targets: These are our true enemies, the Christians. This led to a deplorable, yet predictable, response: Nigerian Christians retaliated against Muslims, killing one and burning a mosque. This is tragic.

And where Christians aren’t under physical attack, they still face restrictions that far exceed the ones being decried by Muslim protesters. These restrictions, which have been chronicled on “BreakPoint,” include bans on public and, in Saudi Arabia, even private worship.

This lack of reciprocity, along with the violence in places like Nigeria and Pakistan, has the usually-conciliatory Vatican saying, “Enough!” Pope Benedict told the Moroccan ambassador that peace requires a reciprocal “respect for the religious convictions and practices of others . . . ” Other Vatican officials were even sharper. The Secretary of its supreme court told an Italian newspaper, “Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It’s our duty to protect ourselves.”
His frustration arises from the well-founded doubts that the West will do anything about Muslim persecution of Christians. He noted that “half a century” of relations with “Arab countries” had not produced “the slightest concession on human rights.”
"Not one?"
"No no not one!"

Sadly, he’s right. While countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are cited for their violations of religious freedom, there are not any sanctions. So, the message is that we are not really serious about freedom and democracy. Without religious freedom, efforts to spread democracy are futile, because societies that don’t respect the rights of religious minorities cannot be expected to respect any other human rights. What this tragic turn of events really proves is that, contrary to the politically correct wisdom of our day, not all worldviews or religions are alike. And the differences really matter—just ask the Christians living in the Islamic world.
Posted by: Korora || 03/03/2006 0:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I would like to point out that Islam, in practice, is an ideology - of slavery, of aggression, of the glorified return of barbarisms vanquished ages ago, of hate and intolerance, of global dominion.

That is all. Thank you. Back to your regular programming.
Posted by: .com || 03/03/2006 3:20 Comments || Top||

#2  I seem to have a picture of the last Pope kissing the Koran. A Pope should know why Muslims cannot reciprocate: the "finality of prophethood" dogma dictates the abrogation of all Jewish and Christian canons, except where they conform to Islam. Unless there is a strategic reason for doing so, no Muslim would dare accept Jewish or Christian scripture as a gift. Muslims cannot share Western values, because Western values are anathema to Islam.
Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/03/2006 8:13 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Derbyshire: Hesperophobia
A couple of days after 9/11 I posted a column with the title "Hesperophobia." I had borrowed this word from Robert Conquest, who used it to mean "fear and hatred of the West." My attempt to re-float the word into general circulation didn't fare any better than Conquest's introductory effort had. I still think it's a very handy word, though. It is, for example, the word that comes to mind when I look at those pictures of Muslims in Europe and Islamia, rioting about the Danish cartoons.

Lord, how they hate us! If you think this is just Islam, you are kidding yourself. The West, and Westerners, are hated all over the world. A friend who has been looking into the Nigerian "419 scams" tells me that while the main motivation for them is of course financial, a strong secondary factor among the Nigerian scammers is the desire to humiliate those suckers in the West who (still!) fall for them. The Chinese seem to have slowed down their production of rabidly anti-Western movies recently, but I have no doubt that hesperophobia still lurks just below the surface of Chinese life. In South America, politicians like Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales are riding to power on anti-Americanism, which is merely a targeted style of hesperophobia. The West is hated all over the rest of the world. Why?

There are all sorts of answers to that question, most of them inspired by wishful thinking of one kind or another. Paleocons tell you that it's all because of our support for Israel, and if we just cut loose from the Israeli connection, everything between us and the Third World would be tickety-boo. I know people, quite intelligent people, who actually believe this; though why Nigerian con men and Andean coca farmers give a fig, or a coca leaf, about our support for Israel, my paleocon friends find hard to explain. Nor can they explain why Third World hesperophobes were smiling and gloating over the recent riots in France, a nation that has not, let us say, distinguished itself by courageous support for Israel.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: tipper || 03/03/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Interesting. Just a small tale; a portuguese journalist was not much years ago in the Cabinda Enclave. (North of Angola) he then picks up is satellite phone and talks to his wife. Some peasants near ask what was all that thing. He explains how it works and that he was talking to his wife in Lisboa (Lisboa the capital of Portuguese Empire usually called in colonies "the metropolis" that once you needed weeks to get there) then one peasant with admiration said this: "You whites are near Gods."
So hesperophobia isnt a clear in everyone and i bet that most have a double feeling that can be used by any political clever guy, for good and for bad...
Posted by: Cralet Thraing9228 || 03/03/2006 1:09 Comments || Top||

#2  I can't stand Derbyshire. Do yourself a favor and don't read past the excerpt posted on rantburg. Next month's article by Derbyshire - The Reasons Why The White Male Should Make Slaves of the Inferior Brown Folk.
Posted by: 2b || 03/03/2006 3:39 Comments || Top||

#3  I forced myself to get to the end of this article before posting this, in case he actually came to some sort of valid point.

But let me say this: So what if he is right? So what if it is true that different races have different strengths and weaknesses? I'm an American. Some of my ancestors were here at Jamestown. Some crossed the plains in covered wagons. Some came from Ireland. We keep moving west. But I'm no less American, (hmmm.. in some ways, maybe less so), than the guy who came here yesterday for opportunity - like my ancestors.

America is the land of opportunity. So back to my point of so what if Derbyshire is right? So what if blacks are more athletic and Jews tend to be doctors/lawyers/artists, so what if Mexicans tend to be ...I don't know...whatever. Isn't that what makes America great? That we all contribute something different? Don't you know "whites" who could fit into any category that I could name about any other group? We are a melting pot, a matrix, hybrids, mutts. Damn, I love that about us. I so tire of the Derbyshires who want to be somehow superior through birthright. Ain't gonna happen Derby, this is a "what have you done for me lately" kind of country. That's what makes it great.

As for his poo-poohing democracy. Well, it's late, I'm tired, and Screw him. Everyone deserves the chance to control their own destiny. Even the Paleos may learn from their election of Hamas that perhaps there is a better way.

Hey Derbyshire - Screw you. No one is special. Eveyone is special. Deal with it. We hold these truths to be self evident, all men are created equal.
Posted by: 2b || 03/03/2006 4:01 Comments || Top||

#4  The human genome project will, at some point, deeply inform the nature/nurture argument. Until we have all the facts, it is pure speculation to say that there are (or are not)significant genetic variations regarding social abilities and behavior. Anyone who says this is (or isn't) the case is speaking only from their own anecdotal experiences.

So I'll qualify my own thoughts on this issue as speculation based upon my own observations in life.

Yeah, there probably are measurable differences in behavior that hold true for ethnic groups in some cases.

And no, it ultimately doesn't matter, because people can learn and adapt.
Posted by: no mo uro || 03/03/2006 6:41 Comments || Top||

#5  You said it nicer than I did. Well said.
Posted by: 2b || 03/03/2006 10:12 Comments || Top||

#6  Dang.

From the headline I thought it might be a discussion of "The Wreck of the Hesperus" by Longfellow.

Instead I find a silly article by a long-winded fellow. :-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/03/2006 14:53 Comments || Top||

#7  #2: I can't stand Derbyshire. Do yourself a favor and don't read past the excerpt posted on rantburg. Next month's article by Derbyshire - The Reasons Why The White Male Should Make Slaves of the Inferior Brown Folk.
Posted by: 2b|| 2006-03-03 03:39 ||Comments Top||

Intriguing admonishment and oblique reference to rascism. I have seen much here of late, labeled in a similar manner.
Posted by: Visitor || 03/03/2006 15:08 Comments || Top||

#8  Oblique?! One wonders what Visitor would consider direct.

Rascism, the last refuge of a rascal?

I have seen much here of late, labeled in a similar manner.

Now that's oblique!
Posted by: SLO Jim || 03/03/2006 16:07 Comments || Top||

#9  This isn't about race - it's about culture.

But that said, the line is pretty fuzzy and Visitor is quite right about that.

I can't stand him either, Visitor - one of the things we have in common. ;-)
Posted by: lotp || 03/03/2006 16:13 Comments || Top||


International-UN-NGOs
VDH: Rocks and Ripples
Playing it smart in the Middle East.

Fear in the U.S. of Russian nukes made strange bedfellows during the Cold War, like our relationship with the shah of Iran, Franco, Somoza, and Pinochet. The logic was that such strongmen, unlike Communist thugs, would evolve eventually into constitutional governments, or, unlike elected socialists, they could at least be trusted not to turn their countries into satellites of the Soviet Union.

We paid a price for such realpolitik when the Berlin Wall fell. Few gave us the deserved thanks for bankrupting the Soviet empire, but we did get plenty of the blame for the mess left behind by third-world dictatorships.

Now Middle East autocracies use the same "it's either us or them" blackmail. They hope to survive the tide of democratization by showing off their antiterrorist plumage. The problem is that the defeat of terrorism — like that of global Communism — ultimately rests with promoting freedom, not authoritarianism.

Decades of supporting right-wing authoritarians did nothing to ameliorate a dysfunctional Middle East. Perhaps support for democratic reform will usher in Hamas in Palestine, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, something worse than Gen. Musharraf in Pakistan, and a shaky post-Saddam Hussein government in violence-torn Iraq, but what else is the United States to do?

About what we are doing now: We should keep supporting the process, but not necessarily the result; much less should we subsidize elected anti-Americans. The key is to keep a low profile and promote consensual government, but without bullying or grand moral pronouncements when the odious are elected.

We should praise the relatively free voting that ushered in Hamas, insist that they institutionalize the process that brought them to power, but under no circumstances give such terrorists any American money as long as they pledge to destroy Israel.

Allowing the autocratic Mr. Mubarak to go his own way without any more American largess may well empower the Muslim Brotherhood. Fine. Let the zealots talk all they want about bringing corruption-free government to Egypt at last, and hatred of the United States too. In response, America need only quietly explain that we no longer subsidize dictators — or terrorists who are elected to power through principled American support for democratic elections. I'm sure that after all the invective subsides, the Egyptians can sort out both our logic and idealism.

The key is consistency — and subtlety in expression. That way we avoid the unsustainable paradox that Americans are dying for democracy in the Sunni Triangle while subsidizing its antithesis in Cairo. And by the same token, we need not tour the Middle East demonizing Hamas; that will certainly not result in ostracism of that terrorist organization by "moderates," but it will give rise to the opinion that we behave hypocritically when the Arab street votes in someone we don't like.
Rest at link.
Posted by: ed || 03/03/2006 09:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:


So long, Europe. Hello, India.
Posted by: lotp || 03/03/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Contrast this comfortable, sleepy Europe afraid of disturbing the status quo with a vibrant, wide-awake India that is pulling itself out of desperate circumstances

John, can you comment on this? What's your take on this article?
Posted by: Rafael || 03/03/2006 0:35 Comments || Top||

#2  India learned during the 1962 Sino-Indian War that India needs to be strong and to have strong friends to keep the Chinese on their side of the border. The Soviet Union filled that role for a long time. Now that they are gone, we are the only country strong enough to back them against the Chinese, hence the new friendship.
Posted by: RWV || 03/03/2006 0:41 Comments || Top||

#3  I accept triangulation was the reason, RWV - but they have those decades of anti-Americanism deeply ingrained in their population. The only physical confrontation I had in Saudi was with a dickhead Indian who thought the Muzzy shithead who tossed a hand grenade into a tent full of his officers in Kuwait was both funny and justified. His baseline attitude was echoed by the other 4 Indians I knew there.

Then there's the issue of their anti-business government, which John has so eloquently described...
Posted by: .com || 03/03/2006 1:50 Comments || Top||

#4  The Himalayas do a pretty good job of keeping the Chinese on their side.
Posted by: gromky || 03/03/2006 2:48 Comments || Top||

#5  The Chinese own the Himalayas. Own Tibet, and I suspect them of the current subversion of Nepal.
It's a downhill run into India from there.
Posted by: Grunter || 03/03/2006 9:42 Comments || Top||

#6  The spectacles are just a bit rosey.

India is moving our way, but from a very distant position. For a long time they'll be a fair distance away. We should encourage closeness, not emphasize difference.

Europe, however, is on the critical list, and much as I despise them, they are important to us. If Europe falls, it will not fall apart, it will fall to Islam. So we need to get them moving in the right direction. Perhaps with some tough love.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/03/2006 10:09 Comments || Top||

#7  While we could do much to encourage the Europeans, but in the end, they have to do it themselves. There is little we can do to save them from themselves.
Posted by: 2b || 03/03/2006 10:15 Comments || Top||

#8  2b, exactly what do you think that we could do to encourage the Euros? No sarcasm intended, it's just that with the institutionalized anti-Americanism amongst their elites I can't imagine anything we could do (short of reinstating Willie boy) that would have any significant, positive effect.
Posted by: AlanC || 03/03/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#9  Back when Clinton was President, they derided him much as they do Bush now, although they never did call him stupid. That Rhodes scholarship thingy, I s'pose. They only like him now because he's not running the country.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/03/2006 11:15 Comments || Top||

#10  I'm hearing rumors that this deal is much bigger than it seems. Allegedly it includes the Ruskies doing the construction work and their dumping the Iranian Moolahs, etc.

Must be some of that strategery that Bush is known for. But never mind, there's still the Katrina story, the Cheney buckshot, the port bullshit, etc., etc., etc.
Posted by: Captain America || 03/03/2006 15:12 Comments || Top||

#11  2b, exactly what do you think that we could do to encourage the Euros

I don't have any ideas, I just meant it as opposed to "not encouraging them", which seemed unkind. Can the Euros rise to the occassion? I don't know. But I do know that we can't save them from themselvs.
Posted by: 2b || 03/03/2006 21:14 Comments || Top||


'We're being sold a turkey on global warming'
It is said that turkeys are so stupid that when it rains they stare up at the sky with their mouths open until they drown. Turkey farmers insist this is an apocryphal story put about by those who know nothing of the ways of Meleagris gallopavo.

There is a no less apocryphal tale about Homo sapiens, according to which humans stare up at the sky and do nothing as the earth’s climate changes and their livelihoods go down the drain. It would be funny were it not at the heart of so many dire predictions of the effects of global warming. From cities vanishing under rising seas to global starvation as key crops fail, they blithely ignore the time-honoured response of humans confronted by climate change: adaptation.

When the glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers downed spears and took up farming instead. When American farmers were hit by the Dustbowl droughts of the 1930s, they responded by switching to hardier crops, diversifying production and improving irrigation – which allowed them to ride out an even greater drought that struck in the 1950s.

Yet despite this long history of successful adaptation, the climate change debate remains doggedly focused on mitigation strategies, such as the Kyoto protocol, that seek to compel the whole atmosphere to do our bidding. Even the staunchest supporters of such mitigation policies would concede that they have thus far been more honoured in the breach than the observance. The reason is not hard to find: politicians are chary of doing anything that threatens economic growth, and mitigation carries a hefty price tag.

Politicians might be more keen to take decisive action if they knew what happens when adaptation is factored into the equation. The dangers of failing to consider adaptation have long been recognised. Almost a decade ago, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation warned that predictions of the impact of climate change that ignored adaptation were “unrealistic”. In 2001, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, widely regarded as the voice of the climate science community, declared that adaptation must be considered alongside mitigation when developing strategies for dealing with climate change.

Yet as the UK House of Lords select committee on economic affairs pointed out last summer, adaptation remains the Cinderella of the climate change debate. Its report was summarily dismissed by climate scientists, who claimed the committee lacked the expertise needed to pronounce on the subject. Only climate scientists obsessed with mitigation could deny that by comparison adaptation has received scandalously short shrift.

Take the latest study of the likely effect of global warming on Africa, published this week by an international team of scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It concludes that as crops wilt under heat and drought, African food production may be “severely reduced”. Yields of maize, Africa’s favourite crop, will be especially badly hit.

Only after reaching this headline-grabbing conclusion do the researchers state that they have taken no account of attempts farmers might make to avoid such a calamity, such as planting different crops or making better use of land and irrigation. They hint that a switch to other crops such as sorghum might help, but give few details.

When the effects of adaptation are taken into account, the results are frequently revelatory. In research about to appear in the journal Environment and Development Economics, a team led by Robert Mendelsohn of Yale University examines the economic impact of predicted climate change when adaptation is included. It finds that a warmer world can actually produce net economic gain – at least for the richest nations. In contrast, the poorest nations look set to suffer disproportionately, essentially because they have hot climates already.

This has important implications for policies for dealing with the impact of climate change. Because if rich nations actually thrive on a warmer planet, they will be in a position to assist more vulnerable nations to deal with the effects – without jeopardising their own economic growth.

Many questions have still to be addressed: what is the optimal mix of mitigation and adaptation, and how should rich nations assist those worst affected by global warming? But the biggest question of all is why climate scientists still seem so reluctant to accept that humans are more resourceful than the average turkey.


The writer is visiting reader in science at Aston University, Birmingham
Posted by: lotp || 03/03/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Requires subscription.
Any chance of posting the full article?
Posted by: tipper || 03/03/2006 0:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Works for me.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/03/2006 8:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Dang! When I first got there, the full article was available and I browsed it before returning to commnent, but now it's suscribers only. Someone, somewhere, is making fun of me, I just know it...
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/03/2006 8:38 Comments || Top||

#4  text posted now.
Posted by: lotp || 03/03/2006 14:04 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Nonsensical Proliferation Panic?
A recent Op-Ed piece from the Jordan Times suggests that non-proliferators are waging a war of panic-laden rhetoric against would-be proliferators. The Jordan Times reports:
Lost somewhere in the mists of history is the knowledge that it was the pro-American shah of Iran who initiated Iran's quest to build a nuclear bomb. And it was the anti-American revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini that initially suspended work on the bomb, from 1972 to 1985.

A slight correction may be in order here. The work was not initially halted by the good will of the Khomeni regime, but rather by bombs dropped by Iraqi war planes during the Iran - Iraq war. Work on reactors continued on a minor scale following the 1979 revolution.

Fanning the panic of proliferation has been a mainstay of the Bush administration, supported in the wings by the British government and, more recently, by France's President Jacques Chirac.

So, when Tehran makes statements such as "...the process of enrichment is a sovereign right of any state" and breaks off negotiations, we should assume that this is the panic of proliferation brought on by the west?

It is a high-stakes game that can slide too easily into the call for regime change, as it did with Iraq. Yet current would-be proliferators are arguably not as dead set on proliferating, nor even as advanced in their capabilities, as their antagonists suggest. But unyielding critical rhetoric combined with a lack of incentives to back down seems to only have the effect of making the likes of North Korea and Iran more determined than they ever were. Moreover, today's game overlooks the success of previous policy in persuading countries to give up and unwind their nuclear armaments' plans or stocks of bombs — South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and, most recently, Libya. This was because the right incentives were put before them.
Uranium enrichment on Russian soil isn't enough of an incentive?

In fact, the Libyan nuclear programme had gone on for many more years than has either the Iranian or North Korean. Despite a great deal of assistance from Pakistan's rogue nuclear weapons entrepreneur, A.Q. Kahn, Libya appeared seriously slowed, if not stalled, by apparently insurmountable difficulties. Iran may well be trying to build nuclear weapons, but it doesn't give the impression of being in a tearing hurry. Its heavy water moderated research reactor will not be online until 2014. Those who have suggested an earlier timetable ignore the slow progress made on completing the Bushehr reactor, a light-water nuclear power reactor initially ordered from Germany in 1975.

Joe Public is being led by the nose on nuclear weapons' policy. It has become nothing more than a political game.

Political game? I don't think so.
Posted by: Hupaith Fleth5783 || 03/03/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Proliferation not a problem? Last I heard Iran's Mullahs incite "Death to America," shrieks every Friday at Teheran U, etc. Some barking dogs do bite, when they can.

There is a good bet that the NKs will evolve into a benign form in the not too distant future. But the Mullahs are surrounded by mortal Sunni enemies, in addition to the hated West. Nuclear jihad is in their future, unless we write that future for them.
Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/03/2006 7:59 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2006-03-03
  Leb Army seals Syrian border
Thu 2006-03-02
  JMB chief Abdur Rahman nabbed
Wed 2006-03-01
  US journo trapped in Afghan prison riot
Tue 2006-02-28
  Yemen Executes American Missionaries’ Murderer
Mon 2006-02-27
  Saudi forces clash with suspected militants
Sun 2006-02-26
  Jihad Jack Guilty
Sat 2006-02-25
  11 killed, nine churches torched in Nigeria
Fri 2006-02-24
  Saudi forces thwart attack on oil facility
Thu 2006-02-23
  Yemen Charges Five Saudis With Plotting Attacks
Wed 2006-02-22
  Shi'ite shrine destroyed in Samarra
Tue 2006-02-21
  10 killed in religious clashes in Nigeria
Mon 2006-02-20
  Uttar Pradesh minister issues bounty for beheading cartoonists
Sun 2006-02-19
  Muslims Attack U.S. Embassy in Indonesia
Sat 2006-02-18
  Nigeria hard boyz threaten total war
Fri 2006-02-17
  Pak cleric rushdies cartoonist

Better than the average link...



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