The Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed by the Taliban with the help of Pakistani and Saudi engineers.
According to an account published here on Saturday, a local Afghan told the makers of a Swiss documentary on the giant statues which had stood there, carved in the side of a mountain for hundreds of years, had been destroyed by engineers from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The dynamiting of the statues took place in March 2001. Swiss documentary filmmaker Christian Frei, who has made several documentaries that have won praise at various international film festivals, shot The Giant Buddhas in Afghanistan. The film is due to be shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on 26 March.
The Taliban went ahead with the destruction of the giant statues, revered for centuries, because they considered them offensive to Islam. They ignored appeals from around the world, including UNESCO and an appeal from the then Government of Pakistan, made, it would appear now, more for the record than any serious intent to stop the Islamist zealots from destroying what the rest of the world considered mankinds heritage.
Taliban minister of information Qudratullah Jamal said in a statement later, The destruction work is not as easy as people would think. You cant knock down the statues by dynamite or shelling as both of them have been carved in a cliff. They are firmly attached to the mountain. Museums and governments around the world kept hoping until the end that the Taliban would desist from committing what the rest of the world saw as an act of cultural sacrilege but they were adamant in their resolve.
A delegation from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference went to Kandahar to urge the Taliban leaders to change their mind, but was turned down. The Taliban information minister was quoted at the time as saying, We would repeat to them as we have to other delegations that we are not going to back away from the edict, and that no statues in Afghanistan will be spared. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also urged the Taliban not to go ahead but was rebuffed. Koichiro Matsuura, the head UNESCO, said the agency would continue efforts to salvage other Afghan relics targeted for destruction. It is abominable to witness the cold and calculated destruction of cultural properties which were the heritage of the Afghan people, and, indeed, of the whole of humanity, he said in a statement. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dispatched the Grand Mufti of Egypt to Afghanistan to plead with the Taliban rulers to spare the statues but his emissary had no success either. Zahi Hawas, the man in charge of the plateau holding the great pyramids outside Cairo, said at the time, They are making bad publicity about Islam - and Islam has nothing to do with what is happening in Afghanistan.
Xuanzang, a 7th century Chinese monk, pilgrim and chronicler, travelled to Bamiyan and wrote a graphic description of the statues. He even mentioned a giant sleeping Buddha in the area, but no trace has been found of that in modern times.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan Coalition forces disarmed an improvised explosive device discovered in a mosque in the Pachir Wa Agam District of Nangarhar Province on Friday. An Afghan disclosed the location of the IED to Afghan National Police officers who in turn notified Coalition forces. With permission from local religious leaders, explosive ordnance specialists entered the mosque and rendered the IED harmless.
The emplacement of an IED in a mosque or any other public building, targeting innocent Afghan citizens, is a heinous act, said Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, spokesman for the Coalitions Combined Joint Task Force 76. That an Afghan citizen sought the help of police and Coalition forces clearly shows that the country is united and confident in its stand against extremists, he said.
If our troops want to see more co-operation between locals and Coalition forces, they should go to mosques to pray to God or when they are invited for reasons good to the locals.
Mosques are for prayer not terrain for random sweeps.
If our troops want to see more co-operation between locals and Coalition forces, they should go to mosques to pray to God or when they are invited for reasons good to the locals.
Mosques are for prayer not terrain for random sweeps.
nice bullshit pablum, "Kevin". We do not place arms in mosques...muslims do. So much for sanctity of holy places. You're either a naive troll or an islamist provacatuer. Mosques should be entered and searched to the mortar by Iraqis. If they refuse, level the buildings.
Posted by: Frank G ||
03/19/2006 19:12 Comments ||
Kevin actually talks like someone who is "asquainted" with Houses of Prayer, but apparently hasn't actually USED one AS a House of Prayer. As an actual user of an actual House of Prayer, I know I would be royally pissed at having an IED planted in it, and would WELCOME periodic checks by men who were just as equally opposed. Heck, I'd consider them a "captive" audience and "kill" them with kindnesses: a box of cookies one day, a coffee the next. Being "nice to your enemies" is advice that Trolls, lefties, and Muzzies want Christians to practice TOWARDS THEM, but follow it THEMSELVES? To THEIR enemies? NEVER!
Taliban rebels determined to keep southern Afghanistan in chaos have teamed up with drug barons against the government and its opium eradication campaign, officials say.
The campaign to destroy opium poppy fields was begun March 8 in southern Helmand, the producer of most of Afghanistan's opium crop -- which makes up nearly 90 percent of the world total -- and also one of the provinces worst-hit by a Taliban-led insurgency.
"Terrorists and narcotics are very close; they're supporting each other," said Helmand province Gov. Muhammad Daud. "When narcotics production is up, terrorism automatically goes up."
Lt. Col. Henry Worsley of the 3,500 British forces deployed in the province agreed. "Taliban and drugs feed each other. You cannot separate them here."
In their final two years in power, before they were toppled in a U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, the Taliban banned opium and succeeded in drastically slashing its production to 185 tons from 3,300 tons.
Some observers say their motivation was to win international favor. Others say they wanted to push up the price of the raw ingredient of heroin.
Four years later, the Taliban rebels are willing to protect opium crops and farmers against the new administration in Kabul. The United States and other Western countries, which see opium as a source of terrorist funding, are pressuring the government led by President Hamid Karzai to eradicate the crop.
Several anonymous letters attributed to the Taliban have been distributed in the past few months in Helmand and other insurgency-infested provinces that threaten farmers with reprisals if they do not plant opium, residents said.
Some letters also offer protection against government eradication attempts.
"Taliban will try to disrupt the eradication campaign," said the Helmand governor who has vowed to remove all the opium from his province in two months.
"Eradication will cause fighting," said Mohammed Sardar, an official from the nongovernmental group Mercy Corps that is trying to persuade opium farmers to switch to other crops.
"Poor farmers won't fight, but Taliban and smugglers will," he said.
The campaign to destroy opium poppy fields was begun March 8 in southern Helmand, the producer of most of Afghanistan's opium crop -- which makes up nearly 90 percent of the world total -- and also one of the provinces worst-hit by a Taliban-led insurgency.
No coincidences here. A head-on collision of interests: Order vs chaos.
Has anyone considered what will happen if they do erasdicate 90% of the world's opium? Crime and violence will skyrocket globally. All the drug lords profiting from heroin won't take to being cut-off, nor will the junkies. The economic impact and loss from cash circulating from drug sales, affects far more than the Helmand farmers, who have no alternative method of income. The land is even more barren since the refugees took to eating roots that helped prevent erosion during the worst of the war with the Soviets. The solution to the poppy problem takes more than a government campaign or it will be all-out chaos, and probably why Britain backed off their military from destroying the fields. Maybe the UAE should build a Las Vegas in the Afghani desert, as nothing else will grow in that God-forsaken barren hell-hole.
The Britts are not eradicating any fields themselves. The Afghan Army is. As long as there are poor farmers, poppies will be grown in Afghanistan. They have tried alternate crops, lots of things will grow there, but nothing comes close to paying what poppys do. If they were somehow able to take out all the Afghan fields, it would solve a lot of Europe's heroin... America's heroin mostly comes from Mexico.
Anyhow, the Taliban have been in the drug trade for some time... this is just a means for them to make money. Contrary to popular belief, they are extremely strapped for cash and this is a big money maker for them.
THE objectives of the British mission to Afghanistan could take as long as 20 years to achieve, according to a confidential Ministry of Defence briefing seen by The Sunday Times. The assessment by senior military officers highlights the risks to the 3,300 British troops to be deployed to the lawless Helmand province and warns that even in five years the best that can be hoped for in terms of security and stabilisation would be interim status.
The disclosure contrasts with assurances given to the Commons by John Reid, the defence secretary, that the mission will be completed in three years.
Questioned last month about the danger that British troops could end up bogged down in southern Afghanistan, Reid told MPs: We will make our judgment on the basis of changes on the ground: extension of central government control, a reduction in insurgency, growth of the Afghan security forces and economic development.
The exit strategy involves one of the entrance aims: the achievement of a degree of success in all those respects in a relatively short time three years in the south.
Much hand-wringing, little substance to support two-decade war theory. There is much work needed over an extended period in Afghanistan, but please.
There is absolutely no certitude with such projections. No contingency consideration for a regime change in Iran or PakiWakiland.
Posted by: Captain America ||
03/19/2006 0:30 Comments ||
And it would have cost an estimated 500,000 American lives to invade and capture Japan, but...
Folks, I am not aping Zenster - he denies the pliability of Muslims in accepting our secular state model if we asserted strength - but I will tell you that the growing concept of the cheapness of jihadi life, combined with limited success of inclusivist democraticization and the presence of terrorist financiers in our midst, not to mention the concept of our inflating counter-terror debt as a sort of indulgence, will lead to the use of America's nuclear stockpile as a means of final destruction of the terror menace.
Another 20 years of the same old s@#$ is as unthinkable as is nuclear-jihad thinkable to Iran's Mullah tyranny. Don't link me with Zenster, but nuclear-counter-terror has to be taken as a viable option and given the pre-emptive war doctrine, NCT is inevitable, and soon. Iran already has a Euro-missile capability. Next they meet the 3000 mile radius. Then 5000. Then...
I admit to the amusement value of the green banner/black flag morons, but: my future does not include jihadis, period.
you know what, when i read stuff like this im honestly thinking why bother, why bother spending billions to defeat them, why bother letting the media have a field day every time one of our soldiers die, why bother trying to sort these hell holes out when your mocked by the press for every move you make, why bother when the media only wants to see the bad side of the situation. Now more importantly why bother fretting about the health and well being of these savages, why bother about feeling guilty if we kill them for no one is to blame when our people die but our goverments so surly thier goverments are also to blame by the same logic. Why bother giving them aid for that money could be better spent at home, why bother keeping bases all round the world lets pull our forces from all these shit hole places even from the likes of Germany and other so called allied nations as they deserve no assistence in war or peace. Why not consolidate out military at home and use nuclear weapons beacause if nuclear weapons where used against us it would be fair game to the eyes of the rest of the world so why not use them, why not use the nuclear power on pakistan and iran, do we really care if several million people and several whole cities are turned to glass parking lots? I can tell you honestly that it wouldnt make a differance to me one bit, I couldnt care a hoot for radiation left behind or for mutated kids twenty years down the line, i couldnt care less if innocent people die for because in to me thier all guilty by association just as we are in thier eyes - guilty because of what we are and who are leaders are, well screw them that works both ways. Americans killed by the thousand on 9/11 yet the eneamy just said well its tough because your countrys been horrible to us so you all deserved it even though those that died in the towers were civilians, by that same logic the people of these hell hole countrys are also guilty. Lets stop this fcking about playing nice to those who would rather kill us and do away with them before they do the same to us and fck what the media and the hordes of Koranimals say, if they want to start burning flags and screaming death to the UK and America then fckin drop a tactical nuke on them. Tough shit to all the leftys and the eneamy if we want to win we have to cripple the eneamy with no mercy what so ever!
Great comments. Honest and heartfelt and hardcore correct. Shep, I'm there with you - and it sucks to be there, I agree - but we accept the facts: this is where it leads and how it will end. They will have it no other way. They're not smart enough to package it properly to get past our guard - and we're not buying.
Nuclear weapons are, before the huffies and puffies get themselves all lathered up, primarily a metaphor for deciding to, decisively and in one go, defeat this pathology before it defeats us. Not during the lives of our great grandchildren, but here and now while the will still exists and the means are many. What we use, the methods, means, timing, everything, will be decided by those who are best qualified. The civilian leadership will eventually get it, drop the ROE, and say, "Save us, please!" and the military leadership will take it from there, and save the world from this disease using the best tools available as the situation demands.
Truth is, it's all about timing, now. We should thank our lucky stars (and we seem to have a lot of them, despite the hand-wringing) that they went apeshit over cartoons. Great eye-opener, it seems, for the denser twits in the West. Blowing up buildings and ships and buses and trains and embassies and knots of passers-by - killing thousands upon thousands of truly innocent people - wasn't enough for the jaded morons. Even self-confessed lunatics driving an SUV into a crowd of people doesn't move some fools to even call it terrorism. Beyond stupid - that's willfully stupid. But those innocuous cartoons might be. Fucking Western idjits. It makes me wonder if a couple more big hits would've done anything to turn the tide. Cartoons. Boggle.
But once awakened...
This is what the Caliphatists, Islamists, whatever you want to call them didn't count on, didn't expect.
They didn't expect us to see where their terror leads, because they don't think that way, but we do.
They didn't' expect us to fight back, because they don't think that way, but we do.
They didn't expects us to realize the fact that we will have to go barbarian to defeat barbarians, because they don't think that way, but we do.
They didn't expect the emergence of the will to survive, first and foremost, because they don't think that way, but we do.
They didn't realize that we would see them clearly in spite of their tried-and-true taqiya, because they don't think that way, but we do.
We've been lied to by the best and this is just another commercial to us for a new and improved way to hell. We tune out the hype and go for the heart of it. We're the Cynical Skeptics of the West and these simple-minded (transparent) feints and lies are about as persuasive as "the dog ate my homework". Straight to the heart. And when it comes to threatening our families, our friends, our very Freedom, the heart of darkness.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Look, Zenster doesn't want to kill them all, either. He's just got to the point where he doesn't see any other way to end this thing that he sees as otherwise going on endlessly, until we lose by default. There are days when my optimism fails, and I agree that is where we'll be pushed to going, that all our efforts to separate the moderate Muslims from their passive support/non-opposition to the violent radicals ones is fated to fail, and the only answer will be to kill all those who adhere to what will have turned out to be an unredemably murderous fascist creed, that there just aren't enough of those willing to let Islam be a personal faith rather than a flag of conquest. But then, I've not lived in the heart of the beast, like .com, Mr. Wife and some others of you, and the Muslims in my circle are Westernized, and happy to be so. And I am admittedly not tough minded --- thus far it's not been required of me. On the days my optimism fades, I fear I will soon have to be, that we will have to choose between those actions that will destroy our souls that our children can live free, lest we end up living enslaved by the Salafi/Deobandi/triumphantly fascist Islam, our souls destroyed nonetheless, and those of all our descendents, forever. Well, you all anyway -- their pronouncements assert that me and mine won't be allowed to share that future.
That is the real question, the purpose of these experiments in Afghanistan and Iraq: can Muslims give up their need to for their religion to conquer the rest of the world, and live in peace and equality with others. Or, like Nazism/fascism, must it be that those carrying the meme be destroyed by iron and fire? And can we let the experiment continue longer or will that allow the nihilists within to destroy our ability to fight the enemy without?
I've no poetry summarize this, just thoughts that range between optimism and selfish despair -- I don't like making difficult choices, and I don't like hurting or harming others. Even though I know that sometimes the brutal way is actually kinder.
A growing recognition of this in the commetariat. Lowrey's tipping points in pubic opinion. NRO's "To Hell with Them Conservatives." I have suggested a number of times that America's Jacksonian nature will eventually come to the fore. I agree, it stinks to be there, but perhaps recognition NOW that the Islamists must be decisively defeated will avoid the destruction of American cities with massive loss of AMERICAN life. If we agree on their decisive defeat, we need only decide on what that defeat entails and on the means.
Perhaps GWB's noble experiment in Afganistan and Iraq would have succeeded with the support of a unified country. Ironic if the antics of our leftists have brought on the outcome they opposed. On the other hand (and probably more likely), the vrus that is militant Islam may have defied all cure in any event.
Unfortunately I dont think a single repeat of 9/11 will convince some people - it may take a couple or a cratered city. Believe me I work in the Peoples Republic of Seattle and I dont think even a airliner going through the Columbia Tower (tallest bldg in Seattle) will convince some of these people - they are that dense!
Seattle, when people chain themselves to things.
You've got a bunch of Paleos up there. Nail up a bunch of handbills with the dreaded cartoons on them and they'll start marching around and seething. Says so somewhere in the Koran, I think. Thou shalt make a pest of thyself. Something like that.
Maybe seeing their beloved Paleo neighbors show their true colors would help?
Lots of emotion, anger and philosophical discussion here. Let's get down to war and the perspective of survival from the animal perspective. Most animals run in herds, have stricture and strive to contribute to the herd, we are no different. When an animal attacks and challenges the herd he is attacked and beat down or killed. This is how the world is, too bad. We are not a higher specie, Hamas, Taliban, Bin Laden and the rest have shown they are determined to destroy the herd, western civ. Like a crazed dog they will attack and attack until we are gone unless we completely destroy them.
The only thing they understand is being dominated or destroyed. It was their choice, they made it not us, now it is up to us to either destroy them or let them slowly destroy us. The choice is ours.
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
03/19/2006 10:03 Comments ||
Been away a few days. Thought it might be an easy like Sunday morning catch up with the 'Burg, but this is looking pretty heavy...
I'm more optimistic than you lot. Perhaps it's because I had the privilege this past week of spending time with a few of the guys (and their gals) who are at the very sharpest point of the tip of the spear. These men aren't cartoon or video game super heros, they are good citizens who have chosen to take on extraordinary responsibilities on our behalf and are immeasurably heroic for doing so. Their wives and girlfriends are every bit as committed as their men and are integral to the mission and to their purpose. Together, they are the very best of what a free people produces. It is humbling and inspiring to be in their presence.
Shortly after 9/11 my best friend summarized the conflict as tribal warfare between his tribe and an opposing tribe: freedom loving motherfuckers versus slave holding sons of bitches. I am confident that we will prevail--and with our values intact--because our love of freedom is more potent than the other side's love of tyranny. Will it take 20 years or 200? Will it involve nukes? I've no idea. I am merely placing my faith in the fundamentals.
You all are great Americans. (That includes you too Shep.) The debate and discussion and resolve expressed here matters enormously. That I know for fact.
Nukes if necessary but not necessarily nukes. Nuclear blackmail actually worked on one occasion. Ironically, US diplomats chased invading Soviet troops out of Iran during the US nuclear monopoly period. I strongly suspect that US diplomats are cultivating Russian support for similar threats designed to de-nuclearize the Ayatollahs. If, on the other hand, diplomats are sitting on their hands and waiting for the fait accompli of an Islamic Republic nuclear jihad, damn them all.
I have avid admirers of Osama bin Laden in both my workplace and my neighborhood, and I am required to tolerate their free exercise of conscience. And I am required to respect the democratic wishes of Palestinians, who elected the same types who carried out the 9-11 massacre, and imposed almost one half trillion dollars in counter-terror costs, with benefits that are no where near consummate. A fortune can be spent stabilizing an area, only to have it destabilized by some bearded freak who shouts, "jihad," to a crowd of compliant morons. Something is terribly wrong there.
Nuclear weapons are, before the huffies and puffies get themselves all lathered up, primarily a metaphor for deciding to, decisively and in one go, defeat this pathology before it defeats us. Not during the lives of our great grandchildren, but here and now while the will still exists and the means are many. What we use, the methods, means, timing, everything, will be decided by those who are best qualified
Metaphors and resolve I can get behind. Keeping an open mind on means I can also get behind: nukes if necessary, but not necessarily nukes. That's pretty much where I am too.
Comment from someone close to me who worked the strategic intel side during the cold war: "I figure it will take losing 10,000 or 100,000 before Americans will take real action. And then millions of Muslims will die." That's about how I read it too.
One reason for some patience - not denial, but patience - is that I hear the same things from troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq that Classical Liberal does. We're in the tactical skirmish stage of a major, longlasting world war. Dividing the enemy territory and controlling Iraq and Afghanistan is a classic way to set the battlefield. Relations with India is another. So too is the growing support in Japan for changing their constitution to allow offensive military action, and their joint participation with us in ballistic missile defense.
Taking the war seriously means, among other things, shaping the battlefield the way we want it. Not riskfree to take time do that, but then last I looked there really weren't any riskfree solutions out there. I see a lot of strategic moves being made while the enemy is making tactical, classic barbarian raider attacks. His presence in Europe is a serious threat, though, especially given the nuclear and other arms present in western Europe. Let's hope enough people wake up to neutralize that over the next few years. I'm not optimistic, but I'm not convinced it won't happen either. Like .com said, the cartoon furor was a major miscalculation on their part -- even if the idiots in the UN issue proclamations, a whole lot of eyes have been opened in the last few months.
Europe has certainly screwed itself. If Dar es Islam is the big loser in the coming war, Europe will be a close second. No wonder they are so close to the Paleos. They have developed the same knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I hope the Brits, Danes and New Europeans can escape the coming destruction.
And the Euros are certainly making the Pacific Century happen a lot faster than it might have. It is astounding to watch a civilization implode. Helps me understand why no one lives in Chaco Canyon any more.
At what point does NATO become a liability as opposed to a non-entity?
BTW, 'shaping the battlefield' includes the homefront. If and when we use tactical or strategic nuclear weapons it will be incredibly important that a majority of Americans consider that step justified. That's true of the troops as well as of civilians.
We're not there yet as a country. My own estimate - and it's just my own, yours may be better informed - is that any use of strategic force right now would lead to impeachment and possibly civil war here. But more likely impeachment, because the country is near but not yet at the point of seeing a need and justification for such a major step.
Hence the desireability of shaping international relationships (India, Japan, whatever we can do in Afghanistan and Iraq, whatever the EU3 decide they can / want to do). We need operational support of the kind Dubai is giving, the technical and economic contribution of Japan, the geopolitical help of India in containing Pakistan and China. Not for any single strike or even a short air campaign, but for the long haul. Those, plus growing awareness at home, will set the stage for us to do whatever it turns out we need to do.
The old saying that professionals focus on logistics while amateurs study tactics has some applicability here. We took months to get supplies stockpiled, equipment shipped and units ready to go into Iraq. Few people outside of places like Rantburg had a very clear picture of just how much was going on in the runup to March 02. My own take is that the same thing is happening now, only it's at the strategic level rather than the operational level because we are not interested in US boots on Iranian ground. Or Egyptian ground or any other Islamacist ground, except as it serves us i.e. with SOCOM.
lotp, I am shocked. While discussion of glass parking lots is good emotional release, I can conceive of no circumstances except response to a nuclear attack where the U. S. would employ nuclear weapons. Can you describe any? To do so would be nothing more or less than genocide.
Mass civilian deaths will happen once a general war starts and world trade stops. I'll start googling, but does anyone know which countires are net exporters of food and which importers? It's going to hurt to be an importer. Especially if you're not on the U. S. side.
I'm enjoying the positives I'm hearing here. More optimism than I've heard in a long time. Thanking the protesters is hysterical, but accurate.
Iran is dead-ahead. We should all let our congresspeople know what we think about it. Keep it simple - the first point of contact will be some staffer who probably makes peanuts and is there for the resume and thinks they should "protect" their boss. Do the O'Reilly routine - keep it pithy. If it's sharp and to the point, without sounding crazed, it'll probably be passed along to become a data point in their "position". If you've donated, don't fail to mention it, LOL.
After Iran, assuming we don't fail right there and set ourselves back 20 years or more, things will change so much that we'll be laughing hysterically over what seems inevitable now and just went *poof* - along with the Mad Mullah regime and their nuclear program.
BTW, I'm jealous, Classical_Liberal. You went to a Common Sense Revival! The warriors aren't the problem, they steal a 30 IQ point march on the Average Joe regards being informed and cognizant.
Here's hoping old Joe knows (or suspects, finally) that he's only getting a heavily-filtered version and wants to know more. One look at the faces of the troops when Bush or Rummy or Condi comes by to see them should make him wonder aloud...
While discussion of glass parking lots is good emotional release, I can conceive of no circumstances except response to a nuclear attack where the U. S. would employ nuclear weapons. Can you describe any? To do so would be nothing more or less than genocide.
Agreed, NS, and I generally fall into the category that .com would call "huffies and puffies". I have a pretty good idea, I think, of what using nukes would do to us as well as to the target country and the world economy. It's not something I would choose except in extreme circumstances. In addition to a nuclear attack on us, those might include a successful biological or chemical attack that could be traced with some likelihood to a country government or to a group that a country harbors and won't give up.
But no, I'm not anywhere near the point of thinking we have justification to use them. One of the outcomes of successfully shaping a battlefield is that the enemy may well choose to avoid the fight or to delay long enough to allow overwhelming force to be assembled, so as to avoid a real slaughter.
But "the enemy gets a vote too", as I know you know. Neither I nor the person I mentioned above wants to see a successful attack on us. But we both recognize the possibility - and we've read our history. Such an attack would unleash a fury in enough Americans to make use of massive force in response highly likely.
One last point: I agree with .com that the time has come to make an overt push back against Islamacism in all its forms. I've been saying for a while that we all here need to be out pushing back against idiotarians in Congress, against the ACLU/CAIR nexus, against California schoolbooks written by Islamacists and slanted against Jews, Israel and Christians, against all this crap. The close we verge on the use of more military force the more important that kind of pushback becomes IMO. And every one of us is already armed for that struggle here at home. The big weapons - missiles, bombs, aircraft carriers, whatever - arent aren't the only or even the best weapon against the Islamacist enemy. It starts with a clear determination to protect our country and our civilization against this aggressive barbarism and a willingness to oppose them at every step.
The civil war at home started a few years ago.
The net and Rush have helped tremendously.
Timing is everything, where would we be if the net as we have used it the past few years were still about 10 years away?
Think about what we'd really be getting fed by the MSM.
I have a close friend who grew up in a dem household, became conservative (and is the poorest of the family - oddly enough) who said around the 2004 election, Where would we be w/o Rush? Whether you agree or not, he jumpstarted a badly-needed dialog.
We are definitely in a two-front war, and both fronts need equal attention. The home front would keep us busy enough, with over 40 YEARS of twisted values, government handouts, and lack of responsibility have created a large subset of the population that see themselves as victims with no sense of responsibility for their situation and their destiny. It has been a systematic destruction of this country's sense of values by the Left.
The only thing that has kept this country from going down the drain is the core group of loyal, dedicated Americans willing to take the heat and to keep alive the sense of values that has kept this country alive.
Well, the country is beginning to wake up. The MSM is starting to be on the defensive. People are starting to question the Left. The issue is whether we can turn the tide and steer a good course in the time we have. We have a lot of internal work to do. This is a race with time. I am optimistic, but I am not assured so far of the outcome.
On the external front, we have made progress, but at a great cost. We are fighting a PC war, and that has hurt us. The enemy does not look at our surgical strikes and efforts to protect civilians as a sign of strength. They look at it as a weakness to be exploited.
We are not willing to impose our will with our full strength. We are not willing to take those big terrorist fish we caught, interrogate them, try them by military tribunal, and execute them. Not doing so brings us the Great Escape at Bagram. For whatever reason, we do not go into the NWFP of PakLand and send them an airborne message that if they mess with us in the neighborhood, they will get their neighborhoods messed up. Iran has had NO major acts of sabotage yet. They need to understand that their meddling in Iraq will cost them dearly at home.
We are fighting a war PC because we are fighting the Left at home. The sooner the war at home is decided, the sooner that we can defeat the external enemy.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
03/19/2006 13:23 Comments ||
As this continues on I get more and more frustrated. First, I agree that just tossing nukes is not the best idea. In a western mind diplomacy is the best option. Lots of civ casualties, fall out etc... Also, Iraq and Afghanistan are great example of removing sanctuary and peace takes over. Being transnational our enemy has some great tactics. Running to neighbor countries and then returning. If we were fighting the people of Iraq and Afghanistan out tactics would be sound, but we're not. The peace we, and our soldiers, see is just a ruse as our enemy bounces from nation to nation for support, and gets it. Next on our list is Iran, then when AQ moves to Pakistan we go there, then to Somalia, Palestine, Sudan and on and on and on. They are using the same tactic angainst us they used against the Russians in Afghanistan, except on a global scale. We can not sustain this war for another twenty years, our economy as great as it is will not sustain it. We have to let the nations that are friendly to the AQ know that it will cost them everything to go against us. They know we will invade Iran and remove the government, then we will get dragged down even further, they know sooner or later we will lose the will to continue on and our economy will fail. This is there victory, how they see it, and it may not make sence to us but it's how it is.
This leads us to the total war philosophy. Iran is hosting AQ at this time. Let them know we are going to destroy their infrastructure in total on a given date if all the AQ are not handed over. On that date execute the plan. Just like Hiroshima they have the option to leave. If they stay, it was by their own choice. Next turn to the Paks and give them the option. Fighting a PC war just is not going to work.
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
03/19/2006 14:34 Comments ||
If you really want to win this war, end the money that is financing it. That leads to Iran and Saudi Arabia. The rest is small potatoes. I will leave the details to others, heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
03/19/2006 14:54 Comments ||
And taking Iran out should do a lot to reduce the Saudi problem. But it's going to be tough without that oil for a while. Especially for Japan.
One of the most illuminating books I've read lately. is "Lincoln: A Life of Power and Purpose" by Andrew Cawardine." I'm not sufficiently well-informed to assess the originality of all the points he makes, but what it helps one gain some perspective on how different perceptions at the time of and after a great struggle can be. Lincoln's missteps in Missouri, for example, sabotaged a truce with pro-secession forces, leading to open warfare, missteps traceable to a division in his cabinet (pp 175-6). Lincoln's early military defeats were severely criticized, but Lincoln had little desire to destroy the South. Rather, the North's military policies evolved from a war of conciliation to a "hard war" against Southern whites(p. 251). I cannot help but detect the love and mercy that Lincoln demonstrated (while doing all he could to preserve the Union) in the policies that the Bush Administration now pursues. Mistakes are certaintly inevitable -- who among us is perfect? -- but, in my mind, there is no question that Bush is pursuing the most humane, LEAST costly, most effective one possible.
BTW, 'shaping the battlefield' includes the homefront.
...and if there are enough of people like me in your country, you will lose this battle as well. The reason is that right now you guys are looking like the very same extremists that the rational people of this world are fighting against. If you lose, it will be as much your own fault as your enemy's.
Quite honestly, you seem like a group that already has conceded victory to the other side. How else can you explain this ratcheting up of rhetoric on your part? Pitiful.
Posted by: Rafael ||
03/19/2006 15:13 Comments ||
glad to see you support the pushback lotp. I've been for it, but apparently, misjudged your position. Agreed too that we are not yet domestically ready for the big bash. Maybe some more cartoons, or, Allan forbid, animated GIF's????
Posted by: Frank G ||
03/19/2006 15:18 Comments ||
Heavy thread and thanks to all.
I have a different slant on these times. This WOT is a character builder. To date, we have witnessed some of our leaders standing atop debris, promising to retaliate. We have witnessed sucessful military operations and single acts of heroism. We have witnessed the worst cruelity possible from our enemies, and our own traitors acting and speaking against us. Through it all, we have identified slanted news outlets, and misguided politicians. We have witnessed a continent at the brink of chaos. It's as if a play has been written with the goal to lead the audience to arrive at the same conclusions. The left has no stomach for war. Political correctness is non-functional drivel. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion cannot protect the masses of evil doers from retribution. We need to identify the problem and effect a solution. Our Congress has not grasped that fact, to date. If they have, then, they are not up to the task. We wait, and as we do, the world changes. Tipping this way and that, tsunamis, hurricanes, higher oil prices, street riots all lead us and all help us grow in character. Yesterday, there were many sleeping Americans, content with the nightly news. Today, there are countless agitated Americans, aware of the ports, the borders, the first response, security, the internet, and most importantly, the opinions of others. We are once again becoming one people.
Whether this WOT goes on for decades is not of importance. How we fight it, who we save, who we sacrifice; these are the important things. Those who seek to diminish us during these times will be remembered as the last of the fools. Tomorrow, we will spit upon the Harry Reids, the Murthas and Schumers, the Carters and Gores, the Clintons and Rockefellers. And especially, those who have fallen the furthest, the Kennedys. The likeness of those wise enough to lead us will be cut in granite.
Ladies and gentlemen, to your character, a mighty HOOAH.
you seem like a group that already has conceded victory to the other side. How else can you explain this ratcheting up of rhetoric on your part?
"The enemy always has a vote" in any plan. We did not seek an armed conflict nor a cultural battle. But the Islamacists have repeatedly made it very clear that they INTEND both. And they are prosecuting that war with all the resources and rigor they can muster.
I wonder why you seem not to realize that. They've been quite clear about it. Do you not take them seriously?
I absolutely do not cede victory to these barbarians. What I will debate here and elsewhere are the means to fight back. And those range widely, with heavy weapons or military force only the smallest part of it IMO.
Raphael does point another path that things might take. The Left are true believers that the proper course is to keep their own hands clean at - at ANY cost. The cost includes our lives. Indeed, they cannot admit the possibility that their non-action will lead to the death of the West, but they feel it strongly.
If there are enough people like Raphael in our country, then we will dither until our cities begin to be destroyed. Does anyone want to guess what happens then? Civil War II that .com wrote about a while back. I believe that part of the population will not submit to the Left's program.
If you want to know what know what that will probably be like, read about Marion and Tarleton in South Carolina during the Revolution: a war with NO quarter, prisoners executed, civilians murdered in retaliation, people hanging from lamp posts.
The modern American conservative needs to keep two contradictory belief in his mind at all times, in the best example of doublethink:
Belief #1: The War in Iraq (same as the war in Afghanistan) is a huge success that has all the terrorists on the run and has hugely diminished their ability to hurt the West.
Belief #2: Current tactics (which include the War on Iraq) hurt the terrorists so little that we must start considering possibilities (like nukes and/or genocide) altogether more drastic rather than proceed as we are currently doing.
Above all else the modern American conservative must refuse to contemplate the possibility of a third scenario: that it's not any lack in amount of force used that's the problem, but rather the stupidity in the specifics of its usage.
That idea might after all actually make them start *thinking* about said specifics, rather than simply have them holler the infinite variations of the "Just hit them harder!" slogan.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a lecture on American conservative thinking and military strategy by a Greek, liberal, twenty-something conscript who has never even set foot in the United States.
I wonder why you seem not to realize that. They've been quite clear about it. Do you not take them seriously?
Sure I take them seriously but my response is far more tempered. That's because you will never be rid of the threat completely, no matter how well you shape the battlefield. In fact, there's nothing you can do to outright win against islamofascism. You can only hinder and delay. The change has to take place from within, and on that point it seems I am far more optimistic than most people. Or at least, it's not too late.
Unless of course, you start talking about killing everyone in sight, including your friends. But that is up to you.
If there are enough people like Raphael in our country, then we will dither until our cities begin to be destroyed.
*rolls eyes* I don't know what to say to that except maybe...start building a bunker underneath your house... store up on canned food and rice...???
230 years and you still don't understand.
I understand probably more than you realize.
But we do get you.
Oh? And what do you get?
Posted by: Rafael ||
03/19/2006 17:36 Comments ||
I love being lectured on US policy by foreigners. Makes me feel all gushy and warm inside.
A timely and interesting discussion. Of course, Alaska Paul went right to the heart of the issue.We know full well who is feeding coal into the furnace. Have you noticed how much Condi is traveling ? The consensus building thingy, you know. We've allowed the Euros to play out their theme on Iran. Result ? Utter failure. And they know it. Now even Chirac is talking about using nukes. We all know the next lesson for these nutcakes will be Iran. We're just allowing everyone else to get comfortable with the idea/outcome. We're not going to invade. We're going to use these poor bastards as a lesson for the loons. The attack on their facilities will be missiles only. A VERY decisive lightening strike. There will be loss of life, so the intellectual consensus must be reached first. That is what's going on now between governments. Talking is almost over. These will still be conventional weapons only, but potent. If this lesson still cannot be absorbed, then there will be a time for more complete destruction later. Reserving Pakland for this lesson, just like Hiroshima before was saved from the fire bombing campaign.
Whatever happened to the Canucks? You guys used to be good cousins, now you just sound french.
It's called perspective, vantage point, etc. Sometimes it's good to step back and examine your conscience, if only to confirm that you are on the right track. Haven't seen any of that from most people here.
Posted by: Rafael ||
03/19/2006 18:38 Comments ||
What you miss, Rafael, is that at least some of the commenters here have dealt with these issues for many years and have reflected on them at length. Rantburg regulars include military, intel, law enforcement veterans with decades of experience. Some policy analysts and academics, too -- and people who have direct experience living and working in the middle east and amid other cultures.
I won't claim it for all, but for a number of people I know here the comments you see are based on a whole lot more than some sort of knee-jerk emotional basis. Don't be misled by seeing only the surface result.
What you miss, Rafael, is that at least some of the commenters here have dealt with these issues for many years and have reflected on them at length....and people who have direct experience living and working in the middle east and amid other cultures.
In Canada, you can visit Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China, and scores of other different parts of the world, all in one day. I have close friends who are Pakistani, Afghan (Tajik, to be precise), Indian, and Bangladeshi. These are friends...not acquaintances, co-workers, or what have you. One of them is a retired Indian Air Force general. Another is a retired police chief. Up until recently, my line of work put me in direct contact with immigrants from all over the world. I've heard it all from them, believe me. Not to belittle the experience of the people you mentioned, but it is not unique.
I don't judge people's experiences, just their comments.
Posted by: Rafael ||
03/19/2006 19:27 Comments ||
Resistance is futile Rafael. Bow quietly and accept your station.
why do we need a wet noodle conscience that leans toward the enemy?
Who is your enemy? Islam or Muslims? My enemy is islamofascism. There are many Muslims who agree.
Posted by: Rafael ||
03/19/2006 20:00 Comments ||
Since my nom de guerre threw you off. I've known a "diversity" of people too. I have lived in Central America, Asia, and of course many places in the US. People are all the same. Some are good, some indifferent and some just plain f*%$ing evil. You have to be able recognize the differences.
Ta 3dc for the link.
These comments show the moral ascendency of the western way of thought and make me confident for our childrens future.
The education of the disadvantaged will take longer than two decades.
We are all born equal and hold these truth's to be self evident.We just carry the torch/meme
--elief #2: Current tactics (which include the War on Iraq) hurt the terrorists so little that we must start considering possibilities (like nukes and/or genocide) altogether more drastic rather than proceed as we are currently doing.---
Aris, welcome back.
What makes you think that wasn't an option after the 2nd plane hit the WTC?
Rafael, what happened to Canada? My history books discussed the glory of the Candian Armed Forces in both World Wars as well as Korea. As they say, Canada fought "above it's weight". Now it's subs don't float well, it has no airlift and has to look to the USAF or the freaking Ukrainians, the Army is so underfunded it will take years to recover. Sad, so sad. And all for the glory of...ummmm, what? Government-rationed healthcare? Government-mandated gay marriage?
I sure hope the new leader ship in the GWN succeeds in moving Canada even a bit to the right.
What makes you think that wasn't an option after the 2nd plane hit the WTC?
What is astounding is that you think questions like that actually help your cause.
Good God people. You're going to be responsible for your own demise. When are the next elections in the US? Watch them closely and take note. If I'm wrong I'll be the first to admit it.
Posted by: Rafael ||
03/19/2006 23:07 Comments ||
Rafael, what happened to Canada? My history books discussed the glory of the Candian Armed Forces in both World Wars as well as Korea. As they say, Canada fought "above it's weight".
Everything is as it always was. Canada was never a military super power, and it always leaned left. Compare Canada's military strength just before both WW1 and WW2. It wasn't exactly anything to write home about. But men and women of that era stepped up and did what they had to do with what was available. Whether that can be repeated again is a good question, but it doesn't apply only to Canada. Such are the times we live in.
And as far as I can recall, the US also has its share of political "third rails". Socialized health care is our version of it. Thought admittedly it's in dire circumstances.
Posted by: Rafael ||
03/19/2006 23:22 Comments ||
KANDAHAR - At least nine policemen, a former governor, his four companions and a security guard were killed in separate attacks in Afghanistan blamed on the Taleban, officials said on Saturday.
A bomb blast Friday killed nine policemen who were escorting the bodies of four Albanians kidnapped by Taleban terrorists fighters last week in an area between Kandahar and neighbouring Helmand province in the south. Initial reports had said five policemen were killed in the attack in Maiwand district but Kandahars governor on Saturday revised the toll upwards to nine. The new information we have got indicates that nine policemen were killed in Fridays attack, governor Asadullah Khaled said.
On Saturday, suspected Taleban terrorists rebels killed former Ghanzi province governor Taj Mohammad, known as Qari Baba, and his four companions in the southern province, one of the hotbeds of the Taleban. I confirm that Qari Baba and his four companions were killed this morning, local police official Habibullah Jan said.
Baba was working as an advisor to the current governor of Ghazni, Sher Alam. Jan blamed the attack on remnants of the Taleban terrorists and their Islamic allies, including those loyal to former Afghan prime minister and warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, now on the US most wanted list. Taleban and Hekmatyars men are believed to be behind this cowardly attack, Jan said.
Cowardly is the right word for Hek.
Also on Saturday, an attempt to kill Sher Alam failed while two of the attackers were shot dead by his security personnel. A group of Taleban terrorists attacked our convoy near Gulan district, Alam said. He said no one was hurt in his convoy and in retaliatory fire his bodyguards killed two Taleban. The rest of the attackers escaped.
Two gut-shot? Very nice.
Late Friday suspected Taleban terrorists attacked a private construction company site in southern Afghanistan that left one security guard dead while two others were reported missing, officials said. The men, who were guarding a reconstruction site for a private Afghan company, came under attack by dozens of suspected Taleban terrorists militants in Zabul province, police chief Ghulam Nabi Mullahkhil said.
In another attack claimed by the Taleban terrorists, four Afghan soliders were wounded in a clash with Taleban fighters in Zabul, a local commander said. The soldiers were in bad condition in a local hospital, Zabul military commander Rahmatullah Raufi said.
The Taleban are waging a bloody insurgency against the new government and its foreign allies. The violence left about 1,700 people dead in Afghanistan last year, many of them terrorists militants.
A suspected pirate pilots a skiff off Somalia on Saturday in a photograph provided by the U.S. Navy.
Somali militiamen who skirmished with U.S. Navy vessels claimed Sunday they did not fire the first shot and that they had been patrolling Somali waters to stop illegal fishing vessels.
"We wuz just sailin' along, mindin' our own bidniz..."
On Saturday, two U.S. Navy ships exchanged gunfire with suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, killing one suspect and wounding five others.
"You may fire when ready, [KABANG!] Gridley!"
It said that the incident took place on international waters and the Navy had taken 12 suspects, including the wounded, into custody after the gunbattle.
"Clap 'em in irons, [CLANK!] Mr. Gridley!"
Saleban Aadan Barqad, a spokesman for the militias, confirmed the casualties Sunday to The Associated Press. He said that in total 27 Somali militiamen had been patrolling off the Somali coast before the gunbattle. Fourteen returned to shore safely, Barqad said on two-way radio from the central Somali town of Harardhere. The U.S. Navy opened fire first on the Somali militiamen's small utility boat, which was towing a pair of skiffs, said Barqad.
"Hmmm... Could be honest militiamen, patrolling the Somali coast, eh, Gridley?"
"They're flyin' the jolly roger, sir!"
"I was making a joke, Gridley!"
"Heh heh. Very funny, sir! A whiff of grapeshot, perhaps?"
His statement contradicted U.S. claims that the Navy vessels were fired upon. Barqad said that the boat caught fire, but did not explain how.
"Mahmoud! Don't smoke in the [BANG! BANG! BANGETYBANGETYBANG!] ammunition locker..."
The militiamen, "were in an operation to protect the country's sea resources from illicit exploitation by foreign vessels," Barqad said. Geraad Mohamud, also from the same militia group, threatened that they would kill any hostage they capture and that they would attack any ship unlawfully plying Somali waters unless their men were released.
"Mahmoud! Go capture some hostages so we can kill them! And put that cigar out!"
See, we militia are the real protectors of the Somali people. Kinda like that Sadr guy in Iraq, ya know? Now if the damned imperialist Merkins would just go away we could continue to rape and pillage and extort protect our fellow countrymen with impunity in peace and safety
That's a long way from shore to be needing those smaller boats for anything other than chase/attack boats. And the weapons confirm the purpose. So I don't really care who fired first or whether it was 25 miles or 10 miles -- interrogate the pirates, have a proper and speedy military trial on board, and then execute them all, returning them to the sea.
Did you photoshop that picture to make them into ninja characters? Or was it done by DOD to "protect their identities"? LOL. Sometimes I have to wonder about how everyone demands, and usually receives, US-style "rights" without a second thought, in foreign lands where such things do not exist. And never will. :)
Actually, there is a good chance the US fired the first shot, but it would have been a warning shot to signal the vessel to stop for inspection, after it ignored more subtle signals - like radio, flag, bullhorn, etc. I suppose the militia navy could have been "protecting the country's sea resources" - if you define 'sea resources' as sea 'turf' for their proprietory pirate operations.
It's all about spin.
If they were in international waters, they weren't patrolling Somali waters, were they?
Posted by: Robert Crawford ||
03/19/2006 13:36 Comments ||
Depends upon what you mean by "international waters"... They don't appear to be equipped to know where the hell they are, LOL.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that Somali waters are among the most densely shark-infested on the entire planet. Surely that factoid indicates that their "resources" as safe from any random pillaging, LOL.
The US Navy shot first? SO WHAT?? I say good shootin. A skiff starts at you and the men on board are armed, what shoud you do? Wait until the boat detonates or fires on the US ship? This is not hollywood, first one to shoot lives, second one to shoot dies. They are lucky they're not shark food and not reported.
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
03/19/2006 14:12 Comments ||
Damn! its such a shame all the USnavy poisonous dart firing remote controled dolphins were washed away by hurricane catriona, i can see a use for them off the somali coast. Wheres my tinfoil hat i need to paint a skull and crossbones on it.
THE leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, who was killed in a raid last month, has delivered a chilling final video testament warning that his group will overthrow the Saudi royal family and threatening more attacks against the kingdom and Americans in the region.
The video, released yesterday, showed Fahd Faraaj al-Juwair shortly before setting off on a terrorist attack wearing a red T-shirt and what appears to be an explosive belt. As he read his will he was seated with a map of Saudi Arabia behind him, with the slogan "Expel the infidels from the Arabian Peninsula".
Addressing the Saudi royal family, al-Juwair said: "If you know what the youth are preparing for you, you will be busy to escape this peninsula."
In the video, sent to the Associated Press news agency, he warned the Americans: "Get out of Muhammad's peninsula, get out of all Muslim lands, stop supporting the Jews in Palestine, halt supporting Christians in Muslim lands, or else you'll have nothing but killing, destruction and explosions."
Al-Juwair was reported killed by Saudi security forces along with four other leading militants in a February 27 raid in the capital, Riyadh, launched in the wake of an al-Qaeda attack on the Abqaiq complex, the largest oil processing facility in the world.
The e-mail accompanying the video confirmed his death, with the phrase "May God accept him as a martyr" and identified al-Juwair as the former head of al-Qaeda's branch in Saudi Arabia and as the supervisor of the attack on Abqaiq. The authenticity of the e-mail, signed by "The Voice of Jihad for Media Production" could not be independently confirmed.
In the video, al-Juwair addressed Saudi police who have been pursuing militants, urging them to join al-Qaeda's jihad, or holy war.
"What are you going to tell God when you kill a holy fighter in defence of the Americans or if you are killed while you are defending the despots?" he said. "Stop working for the oppressors and join the mujaheddin [holy warriors]."
He made similar appeals to Saudi's official clerics, and called on "the mujaheddin to remain steadfast and wait for God's promised victory".
"Our jihad is aimed at making God's word supreme, ridding Muhammad's peninsula of the infidels and implementing God's law in all aspects of life and all people," he said.
He ended by praising al-Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden, top of the US most wanted list with a $25m bounty on his head. Bin Laden is believed to be hiding in the mountainous border country between Pakistan and Afghanistan, communicating periodically with his followers by video.
Al-Qaeda militants have been involved in a campaign of violence in Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden's birthplace, since 2003. Saudi security forces have carried out a crackdown since, killing or capturing most of the group's leaders.
The February suicide bombing on Abqaiq was the first attack on Saudi Arabia's vital oil infrastructure. Bombers in two explosives-laden vehicles tried to ram through the facility's gates, but were stopped by guards who opened fire on them, detonating the vehicles.
However, some of the attackers escaped, including al-Juwair. He and two accomplices were shot dead three days later after being hunted down by Saudi forces.
The size of the Al-Qaeda structure in Saudi Arabia is unknown but pre-war Iraqi government documents released last week revealed that thousands of Saudis appeared to be willing to fight in Afghanistan after it was invaded following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
One Iraqi intelligence document indicated Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen paramilitary forces were investigating claims in 2001 that as many as 3,000 Iraqis and Saudis had left the two countries to fight.
The translated document stated: "In the report... there is an entry that indicates that there is a group of Iraqi and Saudi Arabians numbering around 3,000 who have gone in an unofficial capacity to Afghanistan and have joined the mujaheddin to fight with and aid them in defeating the American Zionist Imperialist attack."
The Scotsman. What is it with the moron press and all this projection crap? It just doesn't work, people! Get a new scam - this is very lame childish pseudo-psy-ops, suitable only for frightening small children at bedtime.
An extremist leader was killed in a police 'crossfire' between the policemen and a gang of extremists early Saturday at Charkol village under Sadar upazila in Jhenidah. The deceased was identified as Shamsul Haque alias Sumon (40), son of late Jahiruddin Mondol of Charkol village.
Pops may have been in a previous crossfire. We hope.
Police said Sumon, who was killed in the police crossfire was one of the top leaders of Purba Bangla Communist Party (M L - Janajuddha) as well as accused in 20 cases including 19 murder charges.
How unusual, they whacked a commie.
Police sources said acting on a tip off, ...
... Mahmoud the commie-hating Weasel strikes again ...
...Kotchandpur thana police conducted a raid Friday morning at Chandpara Khapur village under Chougachha thana and arrested him.
"Well, well, if it isn't our local commie. C'mon, Sumon, youse comin' wit us."
Later, following his confession ...
... conducted according to Marxist principles ...
... police conducted another raid early Saturday along with Sumon to arrest his henchmen accomplices and recover their hidden arms lair den.
Just another early morning stroll in a field ...
Police said as they reached the field of Chorkol village, the ambushed accomplices of Sumon opened fire on them to snatch away their leader and they retaliated.
Just like the RAB would. How quaint.
At one stage, police claimed that Sumon tried to escape, received several bullet injuries all to the back of the head and died on the spot.
"He's dead, Jim!"
The accomplices of Sumon, according to police, who opened fire on them managed to flee the scene unhurt leaving a local made gun and four rounds of bullets.
No one else hit, no one else injured, no hernias and no trips to the Chittagong Med School ER.
Police raided the house of an Islamic militant cleric on Thursday and confiscated a number of items. No arrests were made.
Omar Bakri Mohammed, a Syrian born cleric, was barred from Britain in August 2005, after the Home Office deemed his presence was "not conducive to the public good". The former spiritual guide of al Ghurabaa and head of al Muhajiroun which disbanded in 2004 currently lives in Beirut.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman confirmed that police had searched the house in Tottenham, north London on Thursday.
In a telephone conversation with Asharq al Awsat, Bakri, aged 46, said the raid scared his children. They confiscated two computers, including a laptop used for personal use, and a number of books and articles about Salafi and religious discussions.
The raid took place as five of his followers were arrested, including the lawyer Anjam Choudry, secretary general of al Ghurabaa and al Muhajiroun who was released Friday without charge. Omran Jawid and Abdul Rahman Salim were charged with incitement for racial hatred, after they took part in angry demonstrations in protest at the publications of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
"I had abstained from speaking to the media because of the security pressure in Lebanon. But, when it comes to scaring my wife and my young children in London, I find myself obliged to speak to reveal the extent of the fragility of human rights that they boast about and the extent of feelings of hatred of the British authorities towards preachers and students of knowledge," the cleric said. He confirmed he would not return to London under any circumstance.
"The raid on my house was carried out in a very bad manner. Several police cars surrounded my house in the early morning and a large number of police officers searched my house. My wife and young children have lived alone since I left the country. My wife was mistreated and a female police officer refused to allow her to use the toilet alone and insisted on accompanying her."
"They are playing with fire," he added, in reference to the British authorities.
Bakri described the latest raid as intimidation and "part of an attempt by the British authorities to drum up charges against me." He revealed that the Metropolitan Police were aware that this wife and children were planning to leave Britain and join him in Lebanon .
The cleric attacked campaigns in the British media "that call for deporting my family from Britain despite my wife and children carrying British passports and have never been [politically] active. This is evidence of the hypocrisy of those calling for democracy and human rights."
Meanwhile, Choudry indicated that the police raided his house and
confiscated a personal computer and a leather jacket he was wearing during the cartoons protest. Jawid will appear in court on 7 April charged with incitement to kill by taking part in last month's protest. Abdul Rahman Salim and Omar al Zaheer were released on bail.
In the aftermath of the 7 July London bombings, Bakri caused controversy when he indicated he would not cooperate with the British police even to alert them of an imminent terrorist attack.
ANDREW Ramsay, the Glasgow accountant abducted this month as he walked home with his girlfriend, claimed to have knowledge of a criminal ring with links to terrorist activity.
Friends say Ramsay, 51, claimed to have stumbled on a £40m money laundering operation and was in fear of his life. He believed huge sums of cash were being raised by a complex Vat fraud known as carousel trading and voiced concerns of links with Al-Qaeda.
A former business colleague and close friend has revealed that Ramsay fled to Belgium but later returned to Scotland.
The figures Andy talked about were in excess of £40m, said the friend. He said it was to do with terrorism and mentioned Al-Qaeda. Andrew really believed it; he was paranoid that people were looking for him.
The guy was scared. He kept his cards pretty close to his chest but he genuinely believed that he was in serious trouble. He told me he was sitting in a cafe when he saw a man who he thought was following him. It really rattled him.
The suggestion of links with terrorism will heighten the mystery surrounding Ramsays abduction.
Almost a month after his disappearance, detectives are unable to explain why he was approached by two bogus police officers as he returned home from a pub in Cardonald with his girlfriend. He was handcuffed, escorted to a car and has not been seen since.
Prosecutors in Chechnya have launched a criminal case against a number of Ukrainian citizens suspected of involvement in armed fighting against Russian forces in the republic as mercenaries, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office has told Interfax.
"Following an investigation on March 15, 2006, the Chechen prosecutor's office initiated a criminal case against Dmytro Korchynsky and other individuals whose activities show signs of a criminal activity described in Part 3 of Article 359 of the Russian Criminal Code (involvement as a mercenary in an armed conflict or military activities) ," a source in the Prosecutor General's Office told Interfax.
The men, "who are members of the so-called Ukrainian National Assembly - Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO)," are suspected of having fought as mercenaries in 1996-2003, he said.
"An investigation has established that among people who are non- Russian citizens and did not reside in Russia but were involved in an armed conflict in the territory of the Chechen republic are Dmytro Korchynsky, Anatoly Lupynos, Shakhmud Kaisarov and a number of other people," he said.
"A mercenary known under the name Andrei led the UNA-UNSO members suspected of involvement in armed fighting against Russian forces," he said.
Investigators have evidence that these men fought against Russian forces for money, he said.
SAN DIEGO - A Pakistani who spent five years in prison for selling missile parts to Iran in the 1980s has been convicted of illegally exporting military aircraft parts to Belgium, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. Arif Ali Durrani was convicted on Friday in US District Court on four counts of exporting engine parts and other components for the F-5 fighter jet and the Chinook helicopter, said Jennifer Silliman, assistant special agent in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. Durrani was also convicted on one count of conspiracy to export parts, she said. The ultimate destination for the parts was Iran, she said. Durrani faces up to 45 years in prison when he is sentenced June 5. Calls to Durranis lawyer, Moe Nadim, were not returned.
"Go away. I'm done with him."
He had a lawyer named Moe?
Durrani coordinated the exports from Rosarito Beach, Mexico, where he moved after being ordered deported from the United States, officials said. He had served five years in prison after being convicted in 1987 of selling missile parts to Iran in the 1980s. He said his actions were part of the Iran-Contra scandal in which the United States exchanged arms to gain release of US hostages held in Lebanon.
Pakistan is all set to test-fire Babur cruise missile with its improved version in a day or two after completion of its successful laboratory tests, The Nation has learnt here.
All arrangements have been made to test-fire the cruise missile on Monday. It will have capability to hit pinpointed targets from surface, warship or submarines, the sources maintained.
The Babur missile will have a range of nearly 300 miles to hit the target either from a fixed location or the submarines.
The laboratory tests showed cent per cent accuracy in the latest technology of the cruise missile, the sources said.
The Babur missile is prepared mainly for the submarines but it can also be fired from the fighter jets and have capability to chase the target in case of movement, they disclosed.
In response to a question, the sources revealed that the cruise missile would be undetectable from the radar system before or after its launching to hit the target. This is the latest technology in the world.
Pakistan has already fired the first version of the Babur but its improvement is continuing as Islamabad continues to improve its defence capabilities.
The submarine reference caught my attention. It turns out that the Pakis have spent $1.2 billion on submarine construction, but were set back a bit when a bunch of their French engineers were killed. Clearly, they don't need anything from us.
Mohammed Ajmal Khan, a Pakistan-trained terrorist and the global quartermaster for Lashkar-e-Toiba, has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment after admitting to charges of conspiring to provide funds for terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir..
The Pakistan-trained terrorist, hailing from Coventry, had travelled widely to make available funds from an ''unidentified but undeniably terrorist-related source,'' Justice Fulford said, while giving his judgment at the Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday.
Khan(31) allegedly used millions of pounds raised by supporters in the UK to purchase Kevlar body armour, firearms and hi-tech surveillance equipment which were sent to rebels in Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir.
Justice Fulford called on the UK government to urgently consider introducing greater sentencing powers. The maximum sentence for the charge is 14 years in prison. The sentence was reduced because of Khan's guilty plea.
Khan admitted to charges of conspiring to provide money and property to terrorists for four years from March 2001. He also admitted to directing a terrorist organisation and the membership of LeT, outlawed under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Firzana Khan, 41, a housewife from Coventry, has also admitted her involvement in the conspiracy. She is yet to be sentenced.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis told the court that Khan held an influential position in the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba. He said the organisation was closely affiliated to the Al-Qaeda and was involved in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The government is determined to hold elections on schedule in 2007 but disturbances in Balochistan and Waziristan or unforeseen developments in the region may delay the process for one year, ruling PML president Chaudhry Shujaat Husain said on Saturday.
Talking to Dawn, he said some gloved hands were responsible for the worsening situation in Balochistan and Waziristan. He said overall conditions in the region were also leading to uncertainty and in case of an emergency situation the government might invoke the constitutional provision which empowers it to put the electoral process on hold for one year.
The possibility of delaying the polls for a year cannot be ruled out, he said.
Chaudhry Shujaat said he had been urging relevant authorities to implement the parliamentary partys recommendations on Balochistan so that the situation could be normalised.
He said Jamhoori Watan Party president Akbar Bugti was safe and sound at his residence and reports that he was hiding somewhere were baseless. He pointed out that only a few days ago Nawab Bugtis son-in-law had met him in Gujrat and informed that the Baloch leader was at his residence. The PML leader said he had asked Mr Bugtis son-in-law whether the veteran leader wanted to go abroad, but he answered in the negative.
Answering a question, the Pakistan Muslim League chief said there was no restriction barring Benazir Bhutto from returning to Pakistan and taking part in elections. However, he added, under the constitution she was not eligible to become prime minister for a third time.
As for Mian Nawaz Sharif he said the exiled former prime minister could not come back or contest the election. He, however, added that to be able to return and take part in political activities Mr Sharif would have to approach the Saudi government which had played a role in taking him out of the country.
About Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal president Qazi Husain Ahmeds reported claim that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had a strong desire to see Mr Sharif as the prime minister even if he had to buy votes for him, Chaudhry Shujaat said he did not think there was a contact between the two.
I personally think that the two were not in contact with each other.
When his attention was drawn to President George Bushs exhortation that the 2007 elections should be open and honest, the ruling PML leader said even the 2002 polls were free and fair.
He said whenever somebody alleged rigging, he obviously meant manipulations made by the state, and in Pakistans history the only polls which the state had rigged were held in 1977. The rigging, he recalled, had led to a bloody movement and the imposition of martial law.
He said rigging at the individual level was a common phenomenon across the world and even President Bush had been accused by his rivals of doing that.
Suspected militants fired rockets at army installations in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, on Saturday but no casualties were reported. Eight rockets were fired at security check posts, two of which landed in a grid station, two in a stadium and the rest around the army fort. Witnesses said security forces retaliated with firing, which continued for two hours.
KARACHI: Unidentified armed men on Saturday shot dead PML-Q leader Bader Iqbal along with his driver. Bader Iqbal, previously leader ofMQM, was travelling in his car when some unidentified armed men opened fire on him near Light House. Badar and his driver died on the spot. The assailants fled the scene.
SIALKOT: A complete shutter down was observed in the village Kuluwal near Sialkot International Airport on Saturday against allegations that a local quarrel led to desecration of Holy Quran.
Eyewitness said that Shaifq, 20, was found in a bedroom with his sister-in-law Noreen by his father Muhammad Latif. When the later objected to his presence in the room, Shafiq became angry and started breaking house hold items. In his anger, he desecrated the holy book. A neighbour, Nasir, who claimed to have seen the incident, reported it to Head Marla police. Police arrested Shafiq and registered a case against him. After hearing about the incident, local residents began to protest, demanding that all shops, schools and government offices in the area close. Noreen is said to be wife of Muhammad Anwar, a prayer leader of an Islamabad mosque.
So somebody, somewhere thinks they heard that somebody, somewhere says they saw somebody, somewhere hurl a Koran across the room in a fit of pique and the entire village shuts down for the day to riot, roll their eyes, ululate and have gun sec.
No wonder they're poor, uneducated and lack responsible government. Does anyone ever work a full week?
Blasphemers beware! What would happen if a prominent Muslim toured the US and proclaimed that Jesus Christ wasn't crucified? The late, unlamented, Wahabi whore, Ahmad Deedat, not only did that, but debated Billy Graham, Anis Shirosh and Jimmy Swaggart on the subject in front of thousands of people. http://store.yahoo.com/talkislam/b2194.html
ISLAMABAD: Six people were off loaded from different international flights for carrying fake travel documents. Immigration officials at the Islamabad Airport stopped Masood Qasim and Mohammad Junaid, who were to board the London-bound flight PK 785 and checked their travel documents, which were found to be bogus.
Safder Iqbal, an employee of PTCL, was off-loaded from the same flight for possessing a private passport and going abroad without informing his department. Sajjad Khan, resident of Sawat, was barred by the immigration officials from boarding the same flight for d checked his travel documents, which were found to be bogus. Nadir Khan and Mohammad Shabbir were offloaded from the Jadha-bound flight PK 753.
QUETTA: Two police constables were injured when two unidentified motorcyclists hurled a hand grenade at them on Saturday. The two constables were patrolling Shahbaz Colony on a motorcycle when they were attacked by the unidentified motorcyclists with a hand grenade. Balochistan government spokesman Raziq Bugti linked the hand grenade attack to the ongoing unrest in the province.
KARACHI, Pakistan - Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying a former provincial minister in southern Pakistan on Saturday, killing him along with his bodyguard before fleeing, police said. Badar Iqbal, a leader in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q party, was attacked on a road in the heart of port city Karachi, said Tariq Aslam, an area police chief. He said one passer-by was also injured when a stray bullet hit him, but gave no further details.
Iqbal was a provincial minister in the 1990s. At the time, he was a member of the countrys ethnic-based Mutahida Qami Movement (MQM) party. However, he changed political loyalty recently and joined the ruling party.
That would do it.
MQM, a party mainly representing Urdu-speaking migrants from India, is also a partner in the coalition government that rules the southern Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital.
KARACHI: Two Pakistani doctor brothers, cleared of convictions for providing medical treatment and money to al Qaeda-linked militants, have been freed after nearly two years in custody, an official said Saturday. The brothers, Akmal and Arshad Waheed, had been arrested in Karachi in June 2004 on suspicion of sheltering, helping and treating Pakistani and foreign militants. They were convicted in 2005 and sentenced to seven years in prison. But last week, a Karachi court quashed their convictions and asked authorities to immediately free them.
But, instead of implementing the court order, police re-arrested them under a law that allows the government to hold any terror suspects for three months. Rashid Alam, the official in charge of police and civil security agencies in Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, said the brothers had been released, and reached home on Friday.
Saddam Hussein ordered plans drawn up for a chemical weapons attack on Kurdish guerrilla bases in northern Iraq in 1987, according to a letter signed by his personal secretary that is among documents recently declassified by the US military.
The documents - a series of memos between Saddam's office, military intelligence and the army chief of staff found by US troops in Iraq - do not say whether the attack was carried out.
But a doctor who travelled with Kurdish troops at the time says some were injured in a mustard gas attack 10 days after the last memo.
The disclosure, as Saddam's trial on unrelated massacre charges is underway, could shed new light on deaths of Kurds that the former Iraqi leader could be tried for in the future. Although Saddam has long been blamed for chemical attacks, the memos are some of the first documents to be made public that appear to directly link him to use of chemical weapons.
It is known that Iraq's armed forces were using chemical weapons against Iranian troops during the 1980-88 war between Iraq and Iran, then led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The planned attack outlined in the new documents appears to have been part of the 1987-88 Anfal campaign that left more than 180 000 Kurds dead and demolished hundreds of Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. In the most notorious attack, Saddam's army bombed the town of Halabja with mustard and nerve gas on on March 16 1988, killing an estimated 5 000 residents. The memos date to about a year before the Halabja attack and concern an area about 200km to the northwest.
A March 11 1987 report from the head of military intelligence outlines a number of bases for Kurdish rebels led by Ibrahim Barzani and Iranian troops in the area.
Saddam's office responds with a March 12 letter signed by his personal secretary, saying: "The leader Mr President has ordered that your department study with experts a suprise attack with special ammunition in the areas of Barzani's gangs and the Khomeini Guards."
"Special ammunition" is the phrase used throughout Saddam's regime for chemical weapons. Later documents in the series of memo mention specifically the nerve agent Sarin and mustard gas.
The order sets off discussion among military commanders over how best to use the weapons. The military intelligence chief recommends in one memo that any strike and the joint Kurdish-Iranian bases be put off until June because snows in the area will reduce the effect of Sarin and mustard gas.
But in a March 31 letter, military intelligence recommends two alternative targets: Kurdish guerrilla bases near the towns of Balisian and Qaradagh, "considered suitable because they are in a low-lying area, which helps chemical agent sedimentation".
It recommends using two-thirds of the stores of Sarin and a third of the stores of mustard gas and says the attack could be done by mid-April.
A message from Saddam's office, signed by his secretary, approves the strike.
Two last memos from April 5 and 6, from the chief of Military Intelligence and then-Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Saadeddine Aziz Mustafa ordering the Army's 1st and 5th Corps to draw up plans for the strike within days.
None of the documents show that the strike was carried out.
According to the Washington-based Henry L Stimson centre think tank, there were two documented chemical weapons attacks in 1987 - one in April in the southern province of Basra, killing or wounding 5 000 Iranians, the other in October in the southeastern province of Wassit, killing or wounding 3 000 Iranians. Both are far from the Kurdish regions of the north.
Saddam and seven of members of his regime are currently on trial for killing of Shi'ites in a crackdown launched in the town of Dujail in 1982. The case does not involve the use of chemical weapons.
But Saddam and others are likely to go on trial later for charges related to the Anfal campaign and the Halabja gas attack, and prosecutors have said they hold documents related to those charges.
Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid - better known as Chemical Ali for use of chemical weapons against Kurds - commanded the Anfal campaign and is now in American custody.
None of the newly declassified documents appear to bear Saddam's signature or mention al-Majid.
The approvals for the attack come from Saddam's office and are signed by his secretary. The signature is not legible, but the man who held the post at the time was Hamed Youssef Hamadi, who is in custody and was brought to testify last month in the Dujail trial.
US President George W Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq after accusing Saddam of hiding weapons of mass destruction, but no weapons have been found since Saddam's regime fell in April 2003.
The weapons of mass destruction appear to have been destroyed by UN experts following the 1991 Gulf War.
or moved out of the country or buried or ....
The memos are among hundreds of documents gathered by the US military since the invasion of Iraq that are now being declassified. The US military cautioned on its website that the government "has made no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, validity or factual accuracy of the information contained therein".
I agree complete, in a way. Swarmer accomplishes several things.
The first is to persuade the Iraqi military of the "higher concept" that is air-assault operations.
Having a permanent air-assault unit is perfect for Iraq because it is relatively inexpensive, just "helicopter infantry" as it were, and yet if used properly gives them a unique ability in the region. Something akin to "light cavalry".
Light cavalry tactics are not well-known in the world outside of Europe and the United States. But they are to a war what the knight is to a chess board: a gawky, odd piece that can have a devastating effect if properly used.
Again, since air-assault units can be assembled quickly, their emphasis is tactics and training, both of which were given out in Swarmer.
The second purpose of Swarmer is brilliant: an Iraqi military unit trained in air-assault tactics would be a superb reaction force to have in case of a civil-war revolt.
For example, if a major city rose up in revolt, it would normally take the Iraqi army days to respond. But an air-assault unit could be there in hours, before the situation got out of control, and could keep things under control until the rest of the army showed up.
Such "city revolts" have taken place several times in Iraq, such as in Sadr City, Najaf, Fallujah and Mosul. In each case it even took the US military far too long to respond.
An air-assault operation could have minimized each one of these early on in the fight.
The representatives of the Kurdish list, the Sunni Iraqi Concord Front and much of the Shiite Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI) have reportedly reached an accord on a new prime minister. Their agreement not to reconfirm Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime minister and instead nominate Abdel Mahdi, a leading SCIRI figure and currently vice president, was reported by the al-Arabiya network and confirmed by Sunni deputy, Salman Jumeiri. The nomination of a new prime minister is the main sticking point in efforts to forge a new government in Iraq after the elections in December.
The representatives of these lists have the parliamentary majority needed to reconfirm president Jalal Talabani as president and nominate Abdel Mahdi as prime minister.
The line-up of those endorsing Abdel Mahdi - who lost narrowly to Jaafari in an internal vote on a prime ministerial candidate - may well exclude MPs from the faction of radical Shiite imam Moqtada al-Sadr and those of the Islamic party Dawa, led by Jaafari.
The choice of a new prime minister has become the crucial obstacle in forming a new national unity government, following last December's elections.
I like this because Jaafari is inept - and it puts al Sadr on the outside (I hope). He will throw some nasty tantrums and the new PM Mahdi will not be predisposed to kiss his ass, as Jaafari was. Eventually, I hope sooner rather than later, this will lead to the demise of al Sadr and his militias. They have enjoyed the cover of Jaafari and other Iranian tools up to now. No longer.
There seems to be a wealth of individuals who are ineffective, are put into power for this very reason, and yet enjoy the trappings of power. Considering the range of depravity of which humans are capable, it's hardly surprising. Every day, one gets up, showers, looks into the mirror, and thinks to oneself, "Yeah, I'm a zhlub, but I'm the right zhlub in the right place at the right time." Not exactly Saddam or BTK, but not George Washington either.
Iraqi police and soldiers found the bodies of 22 people in Baghdad on Saturday who were shot in the head and showed signs of torture, security forces said.
The bodies were found in different neighborhoods and could not be immediately identified.
In other developments Saturday, 60 people arrested in the U.S.-Iraqi military sweep north of Samarra remained in custody out of 80 who were initially detained, according to a spokesman for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division. The 20 had been released.
The U.S. military said it had confiscated weapons in Operation Swarmer, but reported no casualties or firefights.
The operation, which began at dawn Thursday with 1,500 U.S. and Iraqi troops, is targeting villages in a rural area of Salaheddin province, where insurgents are believed to be based, according to Iraqi security sources.
The region is sparsely populated farmland northeast of Samarra, where the Askariya Mosque, a Shiite shrine, was bombed last month. The February 22 attack set off a wave of Shiite reprisals and Sunni counter-reprisals that caused hundreds of deaths and strikes on mosques, sparking fears of full-blown civil warfare.
By Friday, the number of U.S. and Iraqi forces had decreased to 900.
The Pentagon has called it the largest air assault operation in Iraq since U.S.-led forces attacked -- exactly three years ago this coming Monday.
Roadside bombings in Baghdad wounded 16 people, including a group of Shiite pilgrims walking south to Karbala, Baghdad emergency police said.
Nine pilgrims were wounded by the 8 a.m. blast, police said.
They were observing the Shiite holy day of Arbaeen, the end of the 40-day period commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. That day falls on Monday -- also the third anniversary of the war in Iraq.
At the same time, another roadside bomb in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Mustansriya exploded, wounding five Iraqi soldiers as their patrol was passing by, police said.
Two civilians were wounded in a separate car bomb attack in central Baghdad.
Three U.S. soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, were killed Thursday in the north-central region of Iraq. They were not involved in Operation Swarmer, the U.S. military reported.
One was killed while manning an observation post in Samarra; the other two were killed in an indirect fire attack at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, northwest of Tikrit, the U.S. military said.
Another U.S. soldier was wounded in that second attack.
Six people detained during an Iraqi army operation in the Abu Ghraib area of western Baghdad have confessed to killing a top local journalist, an Iraqi Defense Ministry official told CNN Saturday.
Amjad Hamid Hassan, the director of the state-owned TV station Iraqiya, was killed, along with his driver, in a drive-by shooting last week in western Baghdad.
Two others are being sought in the killing, the official said.
Thousands of weapons supplied to Iraq by British arms companies have fallen into the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists targeting UK troops, an Observer investigation reveals. A deal approved by ministers to export semi-automatic pistols to Iraqi police forces has ended up arming the supporters of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq.
The Department of Trade and Industry last year sanctioned export of the Beretta 92S guns, although there is no evidence that special checks were put in place to prevent them from reaching insurgents.
The two British companies involved in supplying the 20,318 weapons to Iraq have said there was a risk that some of the weapons could end up with the 'wrong people' if preventative measures were not introduced.
Critics said last night that the revelations raised damaging questions over Britain's role in exporting arms to Iraq, amid evidence that Shia militia 'death squads' linked to the Badr Brigade are embedded within Iraq's police. Recently, ministers even said the UK authorities 'sought to reintegrate militia members' into Iraq's fledgling police force.
The House of Commons Quadripartite Committee, which oversees arms sales, said it would be seeking answers from the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price said: 'The failure [of the coalition authorities] to monitor properly the end-user for the shipment could prove to be criminally negligent. When the government lifted its embargo in July 2004, they were warned Iraq was far too unstable for the export of small arms. The failure to heed that warning has put Iraqi civilian and British soldiers' lives at risk.'
The Beretta deal was instigated when the US government asked its procurement arm, Taos Industries, to find weaponry to arm the Iraqi police. The US firm contacted London-based Super Vision International, which negotiated procurement of the semi-automatic pistols from Beretta's Brescia factory and asked Cornwall-based arms firm Helston Gunsmiths to obtain an export licence from the UK government.
The DTI approved the licence and the Beretta 92S guns were flown from Italy to Stansted airport, Essex, where customs officials approved the paperwork before they were dispatched to the US military base in Baghdad. In February 2005 the guns were handed over to the Coalition Provisional Authority for distribution to Iraqi police.
However, Iraqi officers have reported that a number of the Beretta pistols have been found among the 'friends of al-Zarqawi' and 'in the possession of the enemy forces'. Italian prosecutors have launched an investigation into how the guns could have ended up arming al-Qaeda loyalists and have confirmed that they have contacted UK authorities. Zarqawi remains one of the main figures behind the destabilisation of Iraq and is behind a series of attacks against the Shia majority with the aim of provoking a sectarian civil war. The Jordanian-born insurgent has admitted responsibility for attacks on British soldiers, including the death of Anthony John Wakefield, 24, from Newcastle, who was killed last year by a roadside bomb in southern Iraq. Zarqawi was also named as the ringleader behind the London bombings last July.
Roger Berry, of the Commons Quadripartite Committee, said the revelation raised concerns over what the UK government had done to ensure the guns did not end up arming terrorists targeting British troops. 'Everybody knows the potential for leakage in Iraq is massive. We need to know what checks and assurances were made to make sure this kit did not fall into the wrong hands,' he added.
A spokesman for the DTI said the deal, approved by Nigel Griffiths, the minister then responsible for arms exports, was sanctioned only after considering the 'risk that the equipment will be diverted within the buyer country [Iraq]'. Both British arms companies involved in the sale admitted weapons had been found in the possession of insurgents. However, they said it was impossible to know exactly how many, although the figure is believed to be in the thousands.
The admission of the two UK arms firms that they had concerns over where the guns might end up could prove politically damaging to the government at a time the coalition is struggling to stabilise Iraq.
Chris Price, proprietor of Helston Gunsmiths, near Truro, Cornwall, which has a UK government licence to supply guns to police forces across the world, said: 'Some police I presume are corrupt, and they sell them on the black market. Some of these Berettas have turned up in the hands of wrong people and it's opened the lid on it. Because Iraq is in such a mess, there must be kit flying all over place. Everyone must be at it.'
Chris Bradbury, managing director of Super Vision International, based in Barnes, south-west London, who is also licensed to sell guns to foreign police forces, said he was not surprised some of the Berettas were in the wrong hands: 'The police forces are recruiting people off the streets. We don't know who their loyalties belong to or whether they are the wrong people.'
In Italy, the discovery of the guns in the possession of Iraqi insurgents has caused a political scandal amid reports the weapons were second-hand and meant to be destroyed rather than sold. Brescia prosecutor Francesco Piantoni told The Observer that British authorities have been contacted as part of an investigation into the deal.
Bradbury said that Scotland Yard and MI5 had also questioned him over the shipment, but found no evidence of wrongdoing. Helston Gunsmiths and Super Vision International said they had obeyed the American government's contract to deliver the guns to the CPA at Baghdad, and are not accused of behaving inappropriately. 'There is no wrongdoing whatsoever, nothing immoral either,' Bradbury said. 'It's all very straight and above aboard.'
On the positive side, the Iraqi center - the majority - hates both extremes. The Sadrites are the easiest target because they are under central control and insist on wearing visible black uniforms. Frankly, a scorched earth assault on al-Sadr would lead to Sunni moves on al-Qaeda in Iraq, etc. Notwithstanding the concessions made by leveraged Iraqi Parliamentarians to al-Sadr, he is gonzo.
"there is no evidence that special checks were put in place to prevent them from reaching insurgents"
And what sort of checks does the Observer have in mind? They don't seem to say, actually. Typical.
"there was a risk that some of the weapons could end up with the 'wrong people' if preventative measures were not introduced"
Vendors covering their asses.
This is typical political BS - and only those who happily swill BS daily would care. The Iraqi police need to be armed. They needed good dependable firepower at least equivalent to that wielded by the bad guys. There is always corruption, of course. Doubly so because this is Arabia. There were no alternatives to doing something precisely like this and the outrage is cowardly politics.
I suggest the UK Pols who are "up in arms" take those arms over to Basra and patrol the streets. Surely they will fare well lecturing the militias. Isn't moral grandstanding more powerful than mere physical weaponry?
NEWLY released documents seized in Iraq immediately after the American invasion in 2003 point to the presence of Al-Qaeda members in the country before the war and moves to hide traces of chemical or biological materials from United Nations weapons inspectors.
The documents were posted on the internet as part of a rolling programme by the US government to make public the contents of 48,000 boxes of untranslated papers and tapes relating to the workings of Saddam Husseins regime. Saddam is said to have routinely taped talks with cabinet members and intelligence chiefs.
John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, was ordered by President George W Bush to release the material. Hundreds of thousands of previously unseen documents and hundreds of hours of tapes will be placed on the web in the coming weeks.
The first documents to be released offer tantalising clues to possible Iraqi contacts with Al-Qaeda. An Iraqi intelligence report dated September 15, 2001 four days after the attacks on America says Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban were in contact with Iraq and Al-Qaeda members had visited the country.
It claims America had proof that the Iraqi government and Bin Ladens group had agreed to co-operate to attack targets in America and that the US might strike Iraq and Afghanistan in retaliation.
However, the information comes from an unidentified Afghan informant who states merely that he heard it from an Afghan consul, also unnamed. According to ABC News, which translated the tapes, the claims are sensational but the sourcing is questionable.
Another document from a trustworthy source and dated August 2002 claims people with links to Al-Qaeda were in Iraq. There is a picture a few pages later of the Jordanian terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. But the papers suggest Saddams agents were trying to verify the presence of Al-Qaeda rather than colluding with it.
Documents from 1997 confirm that Saddam was giving UN weapons inspectors the runaround by removing correspondence concerned with prohibited weapons and clearing labs and storages of any traces of chemical or biological materials.
The transcript of one tape recording shows an official named as Comrade Husayn expressing concern to Saddam that outsiders would find out about imported material, including some from America, apparently for chemical weapons.
They have a bigger problem with the chemical programme than the biological programme, he tells Saddam. We have not told them that we used it on Iran, nor have we told them about the size or kind of chemical weapons that we produced and we have not told them the truth about the imported material.
In another taped conversation from the mid-1990s, a man called al-Sahhaf possibly a former information minister says: On the nuclear file, sir, are we saying we disclosed everything? No, we have uncleared problems in the nuclear field.
Apparently confirming that the nuclear programme had been abandoned, he adds: Everything is over, but did they know? No, sir, they did not know, not all the methods, not all the means, not all the scientists and not all the places.
Saddam expelled the UN inspectors from Iraq in 1998.
Bush intervened personally to secure the release of the documents after Bill Tierney, an Arabic-speaking former UN weapons inspector hired by the government to translate
12 hours of Saddams tapes, revealed their contents at a private intelligence conference near Washington last month.
On one tape, recorded in the mid-1990s, the Iraqi dictator is heard to say: Terrorism is coming. I told the Americans . . . and told the British as well . . . that in future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction.
You're right, RD. This will be a major battlefield between now and November between the few news sources who aren't in BDS collusion, including the intelligent conservative blogs, versus the MSM and the screeching moonbat blogs.
It would only take one or two solid hits that:
1. connect al Qaeda to Iraq (I can't hope for a direct Iraqi - 9//11 connection - that would be far too sweet and give me cavities)
2. and confirm Iraqi WMD's were existent and moved out of country, when not destroyed, as he played parlor games with Blix the tools of UNSCOM...
Just a couple of each. Please. I'll be good. Promise. It would blow the entire LLL meme catalog out of the water.
The three-day-old sweep through villages 60 miles north of Baghdad stirred growing unease among leading Sunnis and Associated Press reporters. One called it a needless "escalation" at a time of difficult negotiations over forming a broad-based government representing all of Iraq's communities. In the counterinsurgency sweep, through a 100-square-mile area of semidesert northeast of the Tigris River town of Samarra, Iraqi soldiers and units of the 101st Airborne Division had detained about 80 suspected insurgents as of Saturday, said Lt. Col. Edward S. Loomis, a U.S. spokesman. Seventeen were released after questioning, he said. Among those detained were six people, not further identified, allegedly responsible for the March 11 killing of Amjad Hameed, a journalist for the Iraqi television network al-Iraqiya, and his driver, the interim Iraqi government said.
The security net thrown down by Swarmer, described as the largest Iraq operation by helicopter-borne troops in three years, has angered residents of the area, which was a political stronghold of the Sunni-dominated government of Saddam Hussein ousted by the 2003 invasion. One leading Sunni Arab, Iraqi presidential security adviser Wafiq al-Samaraei, urged that the operation ease restrictions on traffic across Samarra's vital Tigris River bridge, and cease "disarming the people of Samarra of their own authorized weapons." He said the arms were needed to confront the "Zarqawi terrorists."
Many Sunni spokesmen differentiate between what they see as an Iraqi nationalist resistance against the U.S. occupation and Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Iraq, many foreign, led by people like Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian allied with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida. "Many young people were detained, some of them innocent, and I call for their quick release," al-Samaraie told a TV interviewer. But he also called on Samarra's youths "to lay down their arms and join the political process." A Sunni leader in Parliament, Tarek al-Hashimi, told reporters the operation has come at too delicate a moment in Iraq. "There was no need to escalate military acts as the country is passing through a dangerous political dilemma," he said Friday.
In other action, Iraqi counterinsurgency troops staged a pre-dawn raid near Baqouba, 27 miles north of Baghdad, touching off a clash in which two gunmen were killed, one was wounded and 18 were arrested, including a Jordanian, Brig. Saman al-Talabani said. Along with ammunition and arms, the soldiers seized computer discs of fatwas edicts issued by Islamic clerics to kill Iraqi police and soldiers, al-Talabani said. A Sunni extremist leader was captured south of Baghdad along with five other "dangerous terrorists" and confessed to killing hundreds of Shiite Muslims in recent months, police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammedawi said. He identified the alleged ringleader as Mohammed al-Janabi.
Israeli forces arrested Saturday three parliament members and followers of the Islamic organization Hamas in the city of Jerusalem. Hamas sources said that the Israeli police arrested MPs' Mohammed Abu Dheir, Ibrahim Abu Salem and Ahmad Atwan and one of their bodyguards, where they have been taken to the settlement of Ma'ale Adummim near Jerusalem. The sources added that the Hamas MPs' were arrested as they were heading to a village near Jerusalem to inspect several national institutions.
Paleo "national institutions"???
According to the sources, MP Abdul Salem was released while the other two were taken to an undisclosed location.
During a tour of Israels northern border positions Sunday, March 19, Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz pointed out the Hizballah build-up of troop strength in forward bases armed with missiles and artillery.
Hizballahs main object appears to be a renewed attempt to repeat last years failed operation to abduct Israeli soldiers or civilians. A special command post has been set up to orchestrate the operation. DEBKAfiles military sources reveal that for the first time Hizballahs preparations for an offensive are open and visible. The scale and organization indicate the Shiite terrorists are aiming for a very large-scale kidnap operation inside Israel.
Israel's northern positions have been on high alert for a Hizballah attack since March 12. You don't kidnap people with "missiles and artillery". Might I suggest preparations for a heavy, sustained barrage from several directions? Not just Lebanon and Gaza, but now the West Bank, too.
The point Ms Skolau, Israel cannot afford the international flack.
p.s. Remember who led the baying pack the last time IDF counterbattery fire blown up 3 Katusha launchers and (approx) 150 Leb civilians?
#7 gromgoru - then I'd suggest the "civilians" and the collaborators UN get out.
Do the Darwin awards have a passive division?
Also, with the worldwide real-time satellite communications we have today, Israel should plan for this and have cameras trained on the populated areas where they know the firing will come from, to show the world in real time who's responsible for any deaths.
Better yet, figure out where the shelling will hit in Israel, evacuate the Israelis from the area, and take some reporters there instead as soon as any shelling starts. (Make sure they don't have their own transportation.) Then ask those reporters whether the Israelis should shoot back in order to stop the shelling, or if the reporters think their own lives are less important the the lives of the people cheering the shelling on from Hizzy-land.
And do it on camera.
(Yeah, I know it won't happen, but it would be great theater - and richly deserved payback.)
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
03/19/2006 21:52 Comments ||
Inside UN posts sounds like a feature, not a defect. Grom, the UN et. al. will condemn Israel regardless of what they do. Sharon realized this. I hope the new leadership does too. Most of the reasonable (read non-moonbat) people realize who Hezbollah is. The moonbats will never admit who Hezbollah is.
Grom, wherever Hisbollah is, fire. The fault is their by taking shelter among civilians vs. fighting like men, in the open and in uniforms. My thought still stands: Line ujp the arty and shoot. Shoot until they cry uncle. Shoot until they plead to allen to stop the Jooos. Shoot until they realize it is NOT a good idea.
That is what the Geneva Convention is for - to protect civilians. This is specifically why illegal combatants (i.e. those who hide among the civilians and are not clearly identifiable as combatants) are ***NOT*** given any protections under the GC.
This is also why we must not give illegal combatants GC protections. We should make it very clear that illegal combatants will not be given GC protections and may be shot in the field and then follow through with summary executions.
Do you think Hizballah follows the GC conventions? does Hamas?
Iran held secret talks with Shia militant leaders from Iraq and Lebanon only days before the country's nuclear negotiators threatened America with "harm and pain", independent sources in Teheran have revealed.
The Iraqi firebrand cleric, Moqtadr al-Sadr and the chief of the armed Shia group Hizbollah in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, held separate consultations with leading officials in Teheran.
Al-Sadr commands thousands of fighters in Iraq, with the power to destabilise further the country and target British and American troops, while Hizbollah's missile-wielding fighters are stationed on Lebanon's southern border with Israel. The revelation of their visits to Teheran has stoked fears that Iran's Shia clerical rulers are drawing up plans to wage a co-ordinated proxy war, using foreign Shia militias, in the worsening dispute with the West over its nuclear ambitions.
In a statement 10 days ago to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran said that America could inflict harm and pain, before adding: "But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain."
On Friday, Ali Larijani, a leading Iranian nuclear negotiator, said: "Iran has chosen the path of resistance till achieving full access to nuclear energy, because we consider it a legitimate right." Iran insists that its nuclear plans are for peaceful purposes, a claim disputed by the United States, which fears that Teheran is developing nuclear weapons.
The visits of al-Sadr and Nasrallah to the Iranian capital went unmentioned in state-controlled media, but were reported on the Iranian expatriate internet site, roozonline, widely regarded as a reliable source of information from inside the tightly controlled Iranian regime.
While Iraq and Lebanon are home to the most powerful Shia militias, the voice of Iran's ruling clerics also holds sway with Shia minorities and Iranian communities in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Its capacity to destabilise the Middle East also extends to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Iran's most prominent dissident journalist has been freed from jail after six years, much of which was spent in solitary confinement. Akbar Ganji was imprisoned in 2001 for investigating the murder of five dissidents by intelligence agents.
Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi told IRNA according to the ministry statistics the number of missing people in the terroristic event of Zahedan-Zabol road was not more than 12. However, he added, "I hope the figure will be less."
The minister, who arrived in the province on Saturday said the provincial people's expectations on security is reasonable, but unfortunately there are some problems in border areas. He said that he inspected some border areas by helicopter and that he had seen the border checkpoints adding though the border guards have been strengthened, they should be reinforced.
Armed bandits closed Zahedan-Zabol road on Thursday evening and forced the crossing cars passengers leave their cars and then shot them. According to the official figures 21 people were killed and 7 injured.
The interior minister participated in a ceremony held for the victims of the terroristic attack.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.