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Yemen Charges Five Saudis With Plotting Attacks
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 2: WoT Background
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UK troops will not destroy poppy fields
The commander of the British forces in southern Afghanistan insisted yesterday that his troops would play no part in destroying poppy fields. Ministers had declared that one of the main tasks of the 5,700-strong force was to help end Afghan heroin production, which supplies 90 per cent of the narcotics sold illegally on British streets. But Colonel Gordon Messenger, of the Royal Marines, said troops deploying to Helmand, the biggest centre of heroin production, will not become involved in the process being considered by president Hamid Karzai's government of eradicating poppies.

"There will be absolutely no maroon berets (of the marines) with scythes in a poppy field," he said. "British forces will not even directly stop vehicles suspected of smuggling the drug. That will be the task of Afghan police and army."

The main role of the British forces will, instead, be to enable the Afghan police and army to establish control over areas which had so far remained outside their reach, allowing a resurgent Taleban and drug lords to gain ascendancy, said Col Messenger.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/23/2006 08:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "No my yob, man"
Posted by: doc || 02/23/2006 8:46 Comments || Top||

#2  That will be the task of Afghan police and army." The main role of the British forces will, instead, be to enable the Afghan police and army to establish control over areas which had so far remained outside their reach ...

That makes some sense to me. Strengthen and back up the Afghan government so that poppy eradication is seen as a national policy rather than as something imposed by the forces who will be gone soon. And - force the Afghan leaders to take responsibility for that policy.

Works for me.

Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 8:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Mmmm... help the Afghan army and police collect their bribes more like. Smells of chicken shit to me. Get in there and f*ckin burn em.
Posted by: Howard UK || 02/23/2006 10:09 Comments || Top||

#4  What, you want to stand downwind?? ;-)

Yeah, the bribe thing is real. So is the lack of other cash crops and markets that could replace the income from poppies.

And so is the British hands-off preference for their troops, as we saw in Basra to a fair degree.

Still, if we mean it when we say we're there to help the Afghans set up a representative government out from under the Taliban and its ilk, that does seem to imply backing them up rather than taking over from a more-or-less-freely elected government.

Or so it seems to me, anyway.
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 10:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Whew, that was close!
Posted by: Keith Richards || 02/23/2006 11:29 Comments || Top||

#6  likewise the tobacco growers here. It'd be nice if they started growing something else too.
Posted by: Jan || 02/23/2006 14:03 Comments || Top||

'Stop naming missiles after Afghan heroes'
Afghanistan has complained to Pakistan for naming lethal ballistic missiles and other weaponry after heroes of Afghan history - the latest episode in the testy relations between the Asian neighbors, an official said Wednesday.
"Yeah! Why name 'em after Afghan heroes? Why don'tcha name 'em after some Pak heroes, like... ummm... uhhh..."
Makhdom Raheen, the Afghan information minister, said Kabul recently sent a letter through its Foreign Ministry to Pakistan over its use of names including Mohammed Ghauri, a 12th-century Muslim conqueror. One series of Pakistan's ballistic missiles is called Ghauri. "We asked them not to use the names of great elders of Afghanistan on weapons of mass destruction or other war equipment," Raheen said. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam refused to comment or say whether it had received such a letter. Afghanistan is also complaining about Pakistan's use of the name of Ahmad Shah Abdali.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "They're our heroes, dammit!"
Posted by: Edward Yee || 02/23/2006 1:31 Comments || Top||

#2  "Yeah! Why name 'em after Afghan heroes? Why don'tcha name 'em after some Pak heroes, like... ummm... uhhh..."
Best line of the day for me, and I've been to a South Park quotes website.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/23/2006 15:02 Comments || Top||

#3  They're Pak heroes.

Prithviraj III, the king of Delhi defeated Mohammed Ghauri in 1191. He however forgave him and restored his kingdom.

Rather foolish since Ghauri attacked a year later, defeating Prithviraj and establishing muslim rule in Delhi for the first time.

Prithviraj was taken in chains to Afghanistan, blinded, tortured and beheaded.

He was buried at the entrance to Ghauri's own tomb, so that a vistor must step on his remains to pay homage to Ghauri.

Indian DRDO named their missiles Prithvi (earth), Agni (fire), Akash (sky), Sagarika (Oceanic) etc,

Pakistanis saw the name Prithvi and thought the missile was named after the Hindu king.
Hence the naming of the Pak missile Ghauri.

All other Pak missiles are now named after the muslim conquerors who invaded and looted parts of India.

Posted by: john || 02/23/2006 20:31 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Sudan Govt Rejects UN Troops for Darfur
Sudan rejects US-backed efforts to have UN peacekeeping troops take over from African Union troops in the country’s troubled Darfur region, Foreign Minister Lam Akol said yesterday. The United States has said genocide is continuing in Darfur with rape, looting and killing by Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, and has urged the African Union to accept a hand over to UN peacekeepers. “The government has rejected this ... We did not hear anybody saying they (the AU) are not doing enough to stop the violence. What we are hearing is that they’re short of funds,” Akol told Reuters. Sudanese officials had previously shown a softer position toward the deployment of UN troops in Darfur, which the AU says it supports “in principle.” The United Nations has already begun contingency planning for any takeover.

African foreign ministers will make a final decision in early March on any handover. In a statement issued yesterday the head of the AU mission in Sudan, Baba Gana Kingibe, said the transition was “inevitable” in the long run. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million herded into camps during more than three years of fighting in Sudan’s remote western Darfur region. Non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing Khartoum of neglect.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

Africa North
GSPC given 6 more months to surrender
The Algerian government has given armed Islamic extremists six months to surrender and obtain amnesty under a new peace and reconciliation charter, officials said Wednesday.

The measure, adopted late Tuesday, aims at finally turning the page on political violence that has wracked the north African country since 1992, claiming more than 150,000 lives.

The amnesty is the second championed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika since he first took office in 1999. Thousands of guerrilla activists, including the outlawed Islamist opposition party's armed wing, took advantage of the previous amnesty/

The charter, approved in a referendum last September, offers amnesty for those militants who are not implicated in so-called "blood crimes."

Under the deal, legal proceedings will be dropped against rebels who have "ceased their armed activities and surrender to the authorities" in the next six months, except those "implicated in collective massacres, rapes or attacks involving explosives in public places."

The amnesty will also apply to those who have been convicted in absentia for crimes other than "blood crimes," according to a government statement.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/23/2006 02:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Six more months or you're on double secret probation!
Posted by: Spot || 02/23/2006 8:17 Comments || Top||

Egyptian oppo leader seeks nuclear reactors
CAIRO - Imprisoned Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour asked US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday to look into whether Egypt can benefit from a US offer to help developing countries develop nuclear energy.

Nour, President Hosni Mubarak’s main rival in presidential elections last year, is serving a five-year sentence for forgery but says the charges were fabricated to keep him out of politics. One of his deputies in the liberal Ghad (Tomorrow) Party, Hesham Kassem, is seeing Rice on Wednesday when she meets a group of prominent Egyptian liberals and intellectuals.

At a news conference with Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Tuesday, Rice described Nour’s imprisonment as a setback and a disappointment. Aboul Gheit said Nour’s case had gone through due legal process.
"Forget it, lady, he stays in jug!"
But in his letter to Rice, released on Wednesday in the form of a statement by the Ghad Party, Nour surprisingly did not mention his own case or complain at the government’s treatment of his party. Instead, he said Egypt needed six 2,000 megawatt nuclear reactors to produce half its electricity needs and replace natural gas, which now produces much of Egypt’s electricity.
They can't use NG because ...
President George W. Bush offered last week to provide developing countries with small-scale reactors that are secure and cost-effective, provided they forego activities, which could lead to nuclear weapons. Nour faulted the Egyptian government for failing to ask about Bush’s offer before it supported the United States against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency this month.

Analysts said Nour raised the nuclear issue to underline his concern with issues other than his treatment by the government.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

More on US-UAE relations
When the United Arab Emirates paid $6.5 billion for 80 advanced F-16 fighters from Lockheed Martin in 2000, the deal was applauded by members of Congress and local American officials as a milestone that would solidify relations and help preserve thousands of American aerospace jobs.

But in the days since the Bush administration approved the purchase by a state-run company from Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, of rights to manage seaports in six American cities, lawmakers have denounced the port deal as a security threat and threatened to block it.

The episodes highlight how Persian Gulf sheikdoms and other Islamic countries in the region have come to be treated paradoxically in Washington as both strategic allies and, since the attacks of September 2001, as untrustworthy foes in combating terror groups like Al Qaeda.

Few countries encapsulate this paradox more than the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. Around 1,500 American military personnel work and live at an airbase an hour outside the capital of one of the emirates, Abu Dhabi, from which surveillance aircraft and refueling tankers fly missions over Iraq and Afghanistan.

But in Washington, and especially on Capitol Hill, the emirates' reputation has been colored more by the blistering treatment the country was dealt by the 9/11 Commission, the congressionally mandated panel that conducted an exhaustive investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The commission's inquiry found that "the vast majority of the money funding the Sept. 11 attacks flowed through the U.A.E." Its government, the panel said, ignored American pressure to clamp down on terror financing until after the attacks.

Even now, when by all accounts the emirates have taken action in response to some American demands to enact tougher controls in its banking sector and cooperate against Al Qaeda, many lawmakers say allowing Dubai Ports World, the state-run U.A.E. company, to take over the ports remains too much of a risk.

Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and a member of the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, said it was reckless to allow a country to manage the ports that does not have a "solid" record against terrorism.

The United Arab Emirates is composed of a disparate group of sheikdoms that banded together in 1971. Dubai, which runs Dubai Ports World, has built itself into a financial and transportation hub in the region. The country is the world's fifth-largest exporter of oil, but the vast bulk of its oil reserves lie in the more conservative Abu Dhabi, the emirate that holds the country's presidency and dominates its foreign and defense policy-making.

The emirates grew closer to Washington when commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf was threatened during the "tanker war" between Iran and Iraq in the 1980's. The ties expanded in the 1990's, culminating in the F-16 sale in 2000. Revelations about the Dubai banks' role in the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, however, have introduced tensions on both sides.

Current and former American officials who have dealt with the United Arab Emirates say the portrayal of the emirates by opponents of the port deal is at best misleading and at worst could jeopardize the assistance the Pentagon, the F.B.I. and other agencies say they need in preventing terrorism.

If the port deal is overturned, few experts expect that U.A.E. would significantly reduce military cooperation with the Pentagon, which Abu Dhabi sees as vital to protect it from far larger neighbors, like Iran and Saudi Arabia. Abu Dhabi is unlikely to cut off oil and gas sales, which form a small part of American imports, experts said.

"It certainly will not mean that U.A.E. will start ending cooperation with the U.S.," said Theodore Kattouf, who was ambassador to the emirates from 1998 to 2001. "But I think it would be seen as a real rebuff to a country that is sort of leading the way in the Middle East in terms of globalization and free trade."

Pentagon officials say that part of the emirates' public relations problem stems from their unwillingness to disclose all but the most basic description of their cooperation with the American military. Worried about appearing too close to Washington, the emirates permit American troops and equipment in their country only under the condition that the United States cannot describe the scale or nature of the American mission, military officials said.

But the Pentagon in recent days has disclosed more details about American bases, apparently to counter the claims about the U.A.E.'s sympathy for terrorists. In remarks to reporters Tuesday, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "In everything that we have asked and worked with them on, they have proven to be very, very solid partners."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/23/2006 02:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

The UAE pre-9/11
The United Arab Emirates has become what the Bush administration calls a reliable partner in the war against Islamic terrorists, but its rulers maintained close ties to Osama bin Laden before September 11, and the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have since served as operations and financial bases for al Qaeda terrorists.

But the United Arab Emirates, the most Western of Persian Gulf nations, also has become the United States' closest military ally in the region. Its ruling emirs permit Navy warships to dock in the bustling commercial center of Dubai on lengthy liberty calls. It also hosts U.S. Air Force warplanes, refueling jets and spy planes at the sprawling Al Dhafra air base near Abu Dhabi. The base sits across the gulf from U.S. adversary Iran.

During the Clinton administration, the United States even considered killing bin Laden when he was on a hunting expedition but did not because one of his hunting partners was one of the United Arab Emirates' emirs.

"They have been helpful and supportive and a good partner in the fight against terrorism," said a U.S. counterterrorism official.

It is these two faces of the Arab nation -- a one-time sympathizer of al Qaeda, yet strong post-September 11 U.S. partner -- that Washington is considering in the debate over the Bush administration's proposal to let United Arab Emirates company Dubai Ports World run six large U.S. seaports.

The U.S. September 11 commission's report is replete with accounts of some of the 19 hijackers -- two of whom came from the United Arab Emirates -- using Dubai's permissive banking system and lax passport certification to gain entry into the United States and bankroll a mission that killed more than 3,000 people.

During bin Laden's stay in Afghanistan -- where he built terror training camps, a personal army and a financial network -- some of the United Arab Emirates' upper crust, known as emirs, visited him. The United Arab Emirates was one of only a handful of countries that recognized the harsh Taliban regime, bin Laden's protector.

In 1999, bin Laden spent time in the Afghan desert south of Kandahar near the Sheik Ali hunting camp. It was regularly used by visitors from the United Arab Emirates, according to the September 11 commission report. U.S. intelligence detected an official United Arab Emirates government airplane there on at least one occasion.

"According to reporting from the tribals, bin Laden regularly went from his adjacent camp to the larger camp where he visited the Emiratis," according to the report.

In fact, the presence of the United Arab Emirates rulers at the camp gave the Clinton administration second thoughts about ordering an air strike to kill bin Laden, more than two years before the attack on the United States.

"According to CIA and defense officials, policy-makers were concerned about the danger that a strike would kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with bin Laden or close by," the commission said. The Clinton administration was so concerned about the emirates' cozy ties to bin Laden that one official called a United Arab Emirates political leader to complain.

Weeks later, the camp was dismantled, and bin Laden disappeared. The implication was clear: Someone in the United Arab Emirates tipped off bin Laden, the United States' most-wanted fugitive, who then was planning the September 11 attacks.

"The United Arab Emirates was becoming both a valued counterterrorism ally of the United States and a persistent counterterrorism problem" the commission wrote. It said President Clinton personally pressed United Arab Emirates leaders to break financial and travel ties with the Taliban, but they refused.

Hamdan bin Zayid, United Arab Emirates foreign minister, told a U.S. diplomat that his country maintains relations with the Taliban to counterbalance "Iranian dangers."

Those dangers are one reason that the United Arab Emirates stands as the United States' best military ally in the Gulf, opening key parts of its country for U.S. operations.

Its Mina Jebel Ali port, the largest man-made harbor in the world, hosts more U.S. warships than any other rest stop outside the United States. CIA and FBI agents collect intelligence there on militant Islam. The United Arab Emirates has cooperated with the U.S. Treasury Department in shutting down bank accounts linked to al Qaeda.

"The United Arab Emirates is a country that's been an ally in the global war on terror," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said on the Michael Reagan radio show this week. "We have a port there where they help us. They have an airfield. We share intelligence, and we have a partnership that has been very, very helpful to the things we do in that part of the world."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/23/2006 01:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The United Arab Emirates has become what the Bush administration calls a reliable partner in the war against Islamic terrorists, but its rulers maintained close ties to Osama bin Laden before September 11, and the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have since served as operations and financial bases for al Qaeda terrorists.

Like I said; What do we do when an overseas container arrives with UAE diplomatic seals on it? Arab governments, by nature, are far too duplicitous for us to trust with even minor aspects of national security. We are at war.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 14:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Sigh.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 14:52 Comments || Top||

#3  I'll do more than sigh. How will this overseas container with UAE diplomatic seals on it be handled differently than it would if the company that owned the management agreement for the port were British? Will they UAE managers tell the American longshoremen and stevedors, the Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Customs, to all ignore the container behind the curtain? It won't be handled any differently and every body know that.

Based on Zenster's argument we appear to be at war with all Arabs and I presume the war won't be over till they're all dead. Does this include Abazaid?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 15:04 Comments || Top||

#4  "The United Arab Emirates has cooperated with the U.S. Treasury Department in shutting down bank accounts linked to al Qaeda."

It's about time. The Treasury department was also investigating the NK counterfeiting ring since the early '90's and State is just now confronting them on it. Treasury was also in on the secret meeting that approved the UAE deal without President Bush's knowledge. Maybe Treasury needs investigated? Allowing foreign access seems foolish unless the blackmarket has made a deal with the insiders and need to make sure they don't lose any more turf in the smuggling business. Clamping down on the borders forced new routes and the cargo containers offer the most opportunity. Bin Laden father was once a Yemenese dock worker and the UAE emirs certainly don't have American best interests at heart, keeping control of records on their own soil to avoid government oversight. Afghanistan still grows the most poppies and the US the largest consumer of heroin. The deal smells of the UN, especially when many think the next attack will come through our ports.

Rev. 18:15-19
The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn and cry out:
“‘Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’
“Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
“‘Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!
Posted by: Danielle || 02/23/2006 16:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Based on Zenster's argument we appear to be at war with all Arabs and I presume the war won't be over till they're all dead. Does this include Abazaid?

Don't over-reach yourself there, NS. Yes, we are at war. No, we are NOT at war "with all Arabs." The critical point I hope to make is that, historically, there has been way too much collusion between Arab nations, and a lot of it has been Anti-American in nature. The extent of this collaboration, when correlated against the UAE's recent and uncomfortably close relationship with bin Laden, leads me to conclude that it is unwise, at best, to concede any control over our ports to an only recentlty converted ally, especially one who is in the thick of our enemies.

"How will this overseas container with UAE diplomatic seals on it be handled differently than it would if the company that owned the management agreement for the port were British?"

I refuse to believe that you are this incredibly opaque, NS. Britain poses no terrorist threat. The Middle East represents one of the greatest concentrations of extremely corrupt nations on earth. The possibility of wavering or questionable allegiances, switched cargo, bribed warehouse staff and bought-off port authorities at the container's point of origin make such a scenario worthy of comment andsuspicion.

Too often political differences have been overcome by religious solidarity, especially so in the case of Islam and Islamist terrorism. Anti-American sentiment is simply too prevalent and deeply inculcated in Arab countries for this situation not to represent some sort of risk. When that risk becomes part of a scenario that facilitates a nuclear terrorist attack upon American soil, the cost-benefit ratio rapidly approaches less than zero.

Remember, all it takes is one single nuclear terrorist attack to cause nearly irreparable harm to our nation's economy. With hatred of America running so high in Arab countries, this relatively minor business issue makes no sense at all.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 17:04 Comments || Top||

#6  Coding tags, why do they hate us? That should read:

Based on Zenster's argument we appear to be at war with all Arabs and I presume the war won't be over till they're all dead. Does this include Abazaid?

Don't over-reach yourself there, NS. Yes, we are at war. No, we are NOT at war "with all Arabs." The critical point I hope to make is that, historically, there has been way too much collusion between Arab nations, and a lot of it has been Anti-American in nature. The extent of this collaboration, when correlated against the UAE's recent and uncomfortably close relationship with bin Laden, leads me to conclude that it is unwise, at best, to concede any control over our ports to an only recentlty converted ally, especially one who is in the thick of our enemies.

"How will this overseas container with UAE diplomatic seals on it be handled differently than it would if the company that owned the management agreement for the port were British?"

I refuse to believe that you are this incredibly opaque, NS. Britain poses no terrorist threat. The Middle East represents one of the greatest concentrations of extremely corrupt nations on earth. The possibility of wavering or questionable allegiances, switched cargo, bribed warehouse staff and bought-off port authorities at the container's point of origin make such a scenario worthy of comment and suspicion.

Too often political differences have been overcome by religious solidarity, especially so in the case of Islam and Islamist terrorism. Anti-American sentiment is simply too prevalent and deeply inculcated in Arab countries for this situation not to represent some sort of risk. When that risk becomes part of a scenario that facilitates a nuclear terrorist attack upon American soil, the cost-benefit ratio rapidly approaches less than zero.

Remember, all it takes is one single nuclear terrorist attack to cause nearly irreparable harm to our nation's economy. With hatred of America running so high in Arab countries, this relatively minor business issue makes no sense at all.

Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 17:07 Comments || Top||

#7  This has been done, end to end and top to bottom.

When even Tommy Franks derisively (he laughed and almost snorted when asked) dismissed any notion of there being a security issue as pure politics, I knew we had the right take. You are wanking pointlessly.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 19:25 Comments || Top||

#8  a cargo with diplomatic seals will go through regardless of country of origin. They are subject to external radiation, mag imaging checks, but can't be opened.
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 19:56 Comments || Top||

#9  The possibility of wavering or questionable allegiances, switched cargo, bribed warehouse staff and bought-off port authorities at the container's point of origin make such a scenario worthy of comment and suspicion.

How are doing any of these things made easier by having two or three guys from Dubai sitting in the big wheels' chairs in the front office in Newark?

a cargo with diplomatic seals will go through regardless of country of origin. They are subject to external radiation, mag imaging checks, but can't be opened.

And that's going to be true whether the port is managed by a British firm or a UAE firm.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 20:28 Comments || Top||

Zenster, I'm with you buddy! I think it is BAD idea for too many reasons to repeat here. If the deal goes through, and something happens, we can at least say they were warned.

As for Tommy Franks, a decent General Officer and brave warrior, but also a mouthpiece for the Administration.

Posted by: Vinkat Bala Subrumanian || 02/23/2006 22:11 Comments || Top||

#11  LOL. Yewbetcha, I'll take your word over his. He's just a tool and you're someone I can listen to for your deep access and knowledge, not to mention obvious trustyworthiness as a source. Righty-O.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 22:17 Comments || Top||

#12  Funny, last week Billary was bitchin about how the Repubs are playing the fear card. My how the Donks and MSM have dealt themselves the same card.

We act like a bunch of cowering fools to whine about this deal. The Dubai Ports Authority, as is always the case, does not do security. It is the Coast Guard. The US apparatus remains in place.

The only change is who will cut the payroll checks for the same workers who load and unload cargo.

As for the impact of 9/11, the US is a vastly different country today than pre-9/11. The UAE has joined our side, time to show some gratitude.

If they screw up, we pull the contracts.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 23:10 Comments || Top||

Kuwaiti Islamist group calls for funding Hamas
KUWAIT CITY - A Kuwaiti Islamist group on Wednesday called on the oil-rich emirate and other Arab and Muslim countries to boost financial aid to Palestinians in the face of Western threats to freeze funding for a Hamas-led government.
Of course they would, that's the 'Salafi' part.
The Salafi Movement, one of three Sunni Islamic groups in Kuwait, urged the government in a statement to increase aid to Palestinians, provide loans and grants and to contribute to rebuilding Palestinian infrastructure. It also called for fund-raising campaigns by charities, allowing monthly deduction from salaries and for guns and ammo providing special care to Palestinians who are killed or wounded by Israeli forces.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

SKor Lawmakers Give Details On NorK Counterfeiting Scam
North Korea uses a printing press in Pyongyang to counterfeit U.S. dollars and then circulates them through a state-run trading firm, a South Korean lawmaker said on Thursday, referring to samples he said he got from the North.

Another legislator said he had also obtained counterfeit U.S. $100 notes through North Korean trading company officials who he said were certain to be intelligence agents.

North Korea has denied U.S. charges that it is involved in illicit financial activities, including counterfeiting, that Washington says helped fund the North's nuclear programs. Pyongyang has said the charges are part of U.S. smear campaign designed to topple the leadership in Pyongyang.

The South Korean legislators were scheduled to disclose the samples and photographs at a parliamentary question session later on Thursday.

The center of North Korea's counterfeiting of U.S. notes is a nondescript building in Pyongyang that also prints photographs of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, opposition Grand National Party parliamentarian Kim Jae-won said through an aide.

"The information comes from a recent defector from the North who was a high-ranking official," the aide said by telephone. The aide declined to disclose the defector's identity for security reasons. Counterfeit U.S. notes are then circulated through a state trading company under the supervision of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, the aide said.

Kim Jae-won was not immediately available for comment.

Another opposition parliamentarian, Kim Moon-soo, said he had also obtained 2003-issue $100 U.S. notes through human rights activists in the Chinese city of Dandong that borders the North. "I paid $70 to get each of these, but you can get them for as little as $50 in China," Kim told parliament. Kim Moon-soo said in parliament counterfeiting notes of the quality he acquired would be impossible without the involvement of the North Korean government.

The U.S. embassy in Seoul said on Wednesday Washington had provided South Korea with evidence North Korea had been producing high-quality counterfeit U.S. notes.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan said Seoul had yet to see conclusive evidence that points to North Korean government involvement. "I have not been told specifically about how and when," Lee told parliament on Wednesday, when asked about possible North Korean state involvement.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 05:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

Vatican to Muslims: practice what you preach
Hattip Drudge. More trickle down from the "Cartoonifada." I hope the Catholics are proud of their Church's leadership on this issue. EFL

After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammad cartoons row, the Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities.

"If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us," Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State (prime minister), told journalists in Rome.

"We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities in Islamic countries and, even more, in cultural contacts," Foreign Minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo told the daily Corriere della Sera.

Reciprocity -- allowing Christian minorities the same rights as Muslims generally have in Western countries, such as building houses of worship or practicing religion freely -- is at the heart of Vatican diplomacy toward Muslim states.

"Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It's our duty to protect ourselves," Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Vatican's supreme court, thundered in the daily La Stampa. Jesus told his followers to "turn the other cheek" when struck. "The West has had relations with the Arab countries for half a century, mostly for oil, and has not been able to get the slightest concession on human rights," he said.

Bishop Rino Fisichella, head of one of the Roman universities that train young priests from around the world, told Corriere della Sera the Vatican should speak out more.

"Let's drop this diplomatic silence," said the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. "We should put pressure on international organizations to make the societies and states in majority Muslim countries face up to their esponsibilities."
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 15:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [427 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is the shoe in mid air?
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/23/2006 16:04 Comments || Top||

#2  How entertaining. Let's see if one of the world's most firmly established religions can lead by example and cause another, supposedly, established religion to make good on reciprocity.

Part of me wants to scream, "FAT CHANCE!" But another little part of me is ever-so-slightly hopeful that the Vatican can pull another hat trick like they did in Poland.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 16:40 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't think it will make any difference on the Muslim side at this point, but that such things are actually being said, publicly, is important. One more item on the tipping point scales.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 17:07 Comments || Top||

#4  One more item on the tipping point scales.

Bingo, tw!
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 17:10 Comments || Top||

#5  it also points out to us Catholics that there are limits to turning the other cheek. Some already knew that. Others, blissfully felt that appeasement/inaction/remaining quiet is taking the moral high ground. Those are the ones we need to wake the F*&k up.
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:23 Comments || Top||

#6  there are limits to turning the other cheek

I know whacha mean, Frank. First you get slapped, then you get spanked and then you run out of cheeks to offer and things get real squirrelly.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 17:57 Comments || Top||

#7  I meant I only do it once - and the left side only. I'm told my right side is my good side. Best eye on the scope as well... :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 18:19 Comments || Top||

#8  and the left side only

Don't tell me you've got some sort of Muslim hang-up about this?
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 18:23 Comments || Top||

"it also points out to us Catholics that there are limits to turning the other cheek."

I don't believe there is anything in the Old Testament about turning the other cheek! All that twaddle is New Testament clap-trap intended to encourage a "kindler, gentler" Christianity.

Posted by: Vinkat Bala Subrumanian || 02/23/2006 18:55 Comments || Top||

#10  LOL - no muslim here - I wipe with both and wash after
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 19:19 Comments || Top||

#11  No, it is another 'child of the 60's' misreading of the testament. In Christ's time you slapped a social inferior or slave with the back of your hand. If the person slapped turns the other cheek you would be forced to slap with the palm side, which means you are slaping an EQUAL. Not crawling under the table.
Posted by: Midway || 02/23/2006 19:22 Comments || Top||

#12  hokay - my R.C. "child of the 60's" ('59 actually) teachings sez you may get in one shot. But it will definitely come with a price, and I reserve the right to escalate :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 19:41 Comments || Top||

#13  Jesus gave counsel on what *I* should do when someone slaps *me* in the cheek. No counsel given when they slap someone else's cheek.

Also, the advice is given to individuals. There is no guidance given in the New Testament to nations or governments.
Posted by: Ptah || 02/23/2006 19:50 Comments || Top||

#14  Reciprocity -- allowing Christian minorities the same rights as Muslims generally have in Western countries, such as building houses of worship or practicing religion freely -- is at the heart of Vatican diplomacy toward Muslim states.

Not doing very well, is it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/23/2006 21:38 Comments || Top||

#15  Midway is dead on - the Radical Islamists/Extremists = Lefties > desperate for Ideo-Validity + Faith-led Modernity in all things.
For Myself the Church is trying hard NOT to say ISLAM AS A FAITH WILL NOT BE SAVED MERELY BY ISLAM FORCING ITSELF ON THE WORLD AND TAKING OVER THE POSSESSIONS AND IDEAS, ETC. FROM THE INFIDELS. Islam must be saved from within, by and for Islam and Muslims, by "true believers" whom believe that God is for all, NOT the FEW vv waffling God-based Policrats, Governmentists, and Regulators, etc by and for the sake of same, THAT GOD MUST BE CONTROLLED!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 23:01 Comments || Top||

#16  One of my hopes and dreams as a Christian is a re-unification of the Church. By that I don't mean under the Pope in Rome or a Patriarch in Constaninople (sp) but a unity of purpose and ideals. I was raised Catholic and still have certain afinity for the creed and practices of the RC Church. At the same time time I am involved with a women who was raised Luthern. And to me donomination differences don't mean shit. And they don't to most priests/pastors I have met either. The world today is in a war for our spirits. On one side there is the faithful that practice moderation and fellowship, no matter there creed or religion. On the other are those whose single minded belief in one aspect of their faith allows them to condone acts beyond the pale.

Just my 2 cents
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/23/2006 23:34 Comments || Top||

German convicted for "insulting" islam
DUESSELDORF, Germany (Rooters) - A German court on Thursday convicted a businessman of insulting Islam by printing the word "Koran" on toilet paper and offering it to mosques.

The 61-year-old man, identified only as Manfred van H., was given a one-year jail sentence, suspended for five years, and ordered to complete 300 hours of community service, a district court in the western German town of Luedinghausen ruled.

The conviction comes after a Danish newspaper printed cartoons depicting the Warlord Prophet Mohammad (may the voices in his head become silent) -- sparking violent protests around the world from Muslims who saw the images as sacrilegious and an attack on their beliefs.

Manfred van H. printed out sheets of toilet paper bearing the word "Koran" shortly after a group of Muslims carried out a series of bomb attacks in London in July 2005. He sent the paper to German television stations, magazines and some 15 mosques.
Hmmm, a little extreme, and I'd be angry if someone created toilet tissue with a cross and a picture of Jesus, but the First Amendment sez that ... oh, right, not applicable in the world of Y'urp-peons.
Prosecutors said that in an accompanying letter Manfred van H. called Islam's holy book a "cookbook for terrorists." He also offered his toilet paper for sale on the Internet at a price of 4 euros ($4.76) per roll, saying the proceeds would go toward a "memorial to all the victims of Islamic terrorism."

The maximum sentence for insulting religious beliefs under the German criminal code is three years in prison.
Somebody wake me up when a muzzie is convicted for insulting a religion.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 02/23/2006 12:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [355 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Did the toilet tissue become “Koran” just writing a single word on it? What will happen to me if I am in Germany, happened to eat a regular breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, then end up writing the word “Koran” on a piece of paper? Will I be punished if I washed my hands before writing the word?
Posted by: Annon || 02/23/2006 14:01 Comments || Top||

#2  You will be politely asked to behead yourself.
Posted by: Chinter Flarong9283 || 02/23/2006 17:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Is not not obvious that members of religions other than Islam, must treat Mohammed's "prophet" claims as false? Is it not obvious that Muslims do not respect the right of free exercise of conscience? Is it not obvious that non-Muslims should recognize Muslims as enemies, who want to impose their cult on the rest of us? I guess not.
Posted by: ToughLove Not Hate || 02/23/2006 18:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Surprisingly (?) he was not imprisoned, though that option was available to the judge, he was given 300 hrs (IIRC) community service time. Only had to bare his belly button, it seems.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 19:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Let's all flush the Bill of Rights down the freakin toilet. That must be in the Karen somewhere.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 23:12 Comments || Top||

Sakra has 16 aliases
Syrian Louai Sakka, on trial for top-level links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, apparently used 16 different code names and identities.

Information regarding Sakka’s codes name and forged identities, along with a fact-finding report of his testimony at Istanbul Security Dept. were included in the indictment prepared by the chief public prosecutor’s office.

According to a related statement, Palestinian “Abu Zubeydah” called Sakka “Alaattin,” a name he often used in 1998 in Pakistan.

Sakka, claimed to be al-Qaeda’s Turkish mandate and the mastermind of attacks committed on HSBC and British Consulate in Istanbul, introduced himself to Habib Akdas in Islamabad with another code name, “Ayhan”.

Sakka used the named ”Haci Omer Inanc” during the preparation of attacks against an Israeli cruise ship carrying tourists in Antalya.

Sakka was captured in Diyarbakir as “Ekrem Ozel” in August 2005.

His lawyer had also confirmed the operation plan.

Reportedly, the al-Qaeda operative said in dialogues with police that one of the high-ranked administers of al-Qaeda, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi also called him ”Little Brother”, ”Louai” means ”Monster”; Sakka said he deserves this name.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/23/2006 02:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I imagine this guy played hell with the org charts and databases. Sybil would certainly be jealous.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 3:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Did this guy steal Fred's poster name generating program? Haci Inanc? Ekrem Ozel?
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/23/2006 7:27 Comments || Top||

#3  I read a WaPo article about Sakka a few days ago. It was interesting because there were some bits of info in there that show how technically unsophisticated he is, surprising given that Al Qaeda had assigned him a major operation that included building a bomb. What technical skills these guys do have seems to be very limited and narrowly focused. Not a recipe for success for those wishing to take over the world.
Posted by: HV || 02/23/2006 9:31 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Sheehan to protest at U.S. posts in Germany in March
Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq and the woman who protested the war last summer outside President Bush’s Texas ranch, is scheduled to bring her anti-war message to U.S. military installations in Germany next month.

"[We’ve already heard] that Cindy Sheehan is like Hanoi Jane [Fonda] coming here," said Elsa Rassbach, an event organizer with American Voices Abroad, which is supporting Sheehan’s trip.

But, she said, "We’re here to just democratically talk about U.S. policy."

On March 11, protesters plan to walk from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to a parking lot just outside Ramstein Air Base, where Sheehan will be at a "camp," paying tribute to those who have died in the Iraq war.

"Cindy will be with us at Camp Casey Landstuhl/Ramstein to call attention to the fact that Germany is Europe’s logistical hub for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and others threatening Iran and the Middle East," according to an event flier. "Germany has the power to stop the further use of U.S. bases in Germany for illegal wars and criminal methods of warfare — the power and the right to just say no!"

Organizers are hoping to erect the camp — known as Camp Casey for Sheehan’s son — in a parking lot outside Ramstein Air Base’s west gate. The parking lot is under German jurisdiction, said Erin Zagursky, an Air Force spokeswoman at the base. Protest organizers are meeting with city officials in Ramstein and Landstuhl to gain permission for their event.

Sheehan’s goals are to bring the troops home and have peace on earth, she said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

Her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, 24, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Sheehan said in an e-mail she was too busy for a phone interview with Stars and Stripes.

"I don’t know anything about the visit," she wrote. "It is being arranged by some people in Germany."

With the Kaiserslautern military community home to more than 50,000 Americans with military ties, Sheehan could face a rough welcome. When asked for comment Wednesday on Sheehan’s upcoming visit, several soldiers in Kaiserslautern asked if they could be quoted anonymously.

One soldier, who recently returned from Iraq, did give his name but didn’t have much to say about Sheehan.

"Anything I would have to say about her, you couldn’t print," Army Staff Sgt. Mark Genthner said.

Beginning March 9, Sheehan’s European visit will take her to Frankfurt, Aachen, Landstuhl and Ramstein in Germany. On March 13, Sheehan is scheduled to have a news conference in Paris, and the following day will address the European Union parliament in Strasbourg, France.

A protest organizer in Landstuhl said he was asked by others, including some of the 732 members of the European Union parliament, to arrange the protest involving Sheehan.

"The meeting with Cindy Sheehan is coming to us by an offer of members of the European Union in Strasbourg," said Detlev Besier, a Protestant reverend in Landstuhl. "They asked whether it was possible or not to visit Ramstein Air Base and the hospital. It was not our idea. We were asked whether it was possible or not."

On March 11, protesters would like to bring gifts, such as books, flowers and homemade goods, to the wounded troops at Landstuhl to show "solidarity to the soldiers wounded in the Iraq War," according to the event flier.

"We want to make it very clear to soldiers and staff there, we are glad that there is a good medical facility for the wounded," Rassbach said. "We just want less wounded troops and for this to go away."

Officials at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center have received no requests for the group to visit the hospital or make donations, said Marie Shaw, hospital spokeswoman.

Rassbach said she did not know what response servicemembers would have to Sheehan’s appearance outside Ramstein Air Base.

"Some press and some opponents say that Cindy is coming as their enemy," Rassbach said. "Our message is 'support our soldiers, bring them home, take care of them.' That’s what we're about."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/23/2006 15:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [356 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "I don’t know anything about the visit," she wrote. "It is being arranged by some people in Germany."

Come Cindy. Sit Cindy. Roll over Cindy. Good girl Cindy! Here's a cookie for YOU!
Skating on your dead kid's ghost. He'd be soooo proud of you...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/23/2006 16:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Bam! That is so spot-on, tu, that it hurts. She's one of the sickest, most pathetic, most opportunistic people ever produced in America. Moore, Chomsky, Clooney - those I can fathom - they're just money whores. Sheehan is something else entirely. And it's seriously twisted.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 16:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Is the idea of a woman driven mad by the loss of her child that hard to fathom?

I hate the damage she's doing, but I can't get past pity for the woman herself. I wonder how ashamed her son or even the person she was a few years ago are of what she's become?
Posted by: Elmeans Elmomong3975 || 02/23/2006 16:16 Comments || Top||

#4  Good for you, EE - and I mean that. Someone who can, should still care for her - without making apologies for her acts unrelated to grief. I am a parent - and her actions are beyond my ken. She is off the chart, IMHO. Sick and twisted is what I see. Her son certainly deserves far far better than her.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 16:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Feel free to keep her, Germany.
Posted by: eLarson || 02/23/2006 16:52 Comments || Top||

#6  she was sick and twisted before he joined
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Elmeans Elmomong3975, from what I've been able to gather, Ms. Sheehan did not much like her son before his death, and he entered the military openly against her wishes. This is a woman so off kilter that her son's father divorced her when she started her shenanigans, and her children published an open letter begging her to stop dishonoring their brother's memory. I'm a mother myself, and from what I've seen it isn't grief driving her mad, but love of the spotlight.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 17:14 Comments || Top||

#8  BimbaRella in the 21st Century.
Posted by: 6 || 02/23/2006 17:15 Comments || Top||

#9  True TW.

Some things and some acts can be 'overlooked' because the person is mad with grief -- but that has its limts and Cindy Shithan has passed those limits long, long, ago. Calling those who killed her son 'freedom fighters' and openly supporting the enemies (Hugo) of the United States - which her son willingly and knowingly died to defend - are all beyond the point where they can be explained away by 'grief'.

Clawing on the corpse of her dead son to advance her own political viewpoint (which her son did not share) is also beyond being 'overlooked'. Cindy is a media Vampire trying desperately to suck the last drop of attention and honor from her son's death.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/23/2006 17:50 Comments || Top||

#10  HHHHhhhhmmmmmm, TOON/HAIR-GATE vv the DANISH RIOTS, and now Cindy in GERMANY proper. Sounds like Mother Cindy wants to help the Spetznatz's/Spetzlamists protect their conventional first-strike, anti-NATO beachhead???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 21:35 Comments || Top||

#11  Yessss. It's been over 2 weeks since I'd last seen Cindy in the news. Sometimes it's hard when you can't get your fix of Cindy. She's so awesome - the loopiest, most self-refuting anti-Bush activist that you could hope for. For us hawks, we couldn't hope for a better person to be the face - the leading symbol of the appeasement movement. She's guaranteed to repel most semi-rational people under the age of 60. Most Libs and many hard-leftists are now embarrased by her publicity stunts and her act as the willing dupe / clown of Medea Benjamin and Code Pink. The only people who still take her seriously are the menopausal / geriatric hippies. Every day she's still in the media spot light is a triumph for Karl Rove.
Posted by: Monsieur Moonbat || 02/23/2006 21:58 Comments || Top||

Lineup set for anti-war concert 'Traitorstock'
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan will be the guest of honor at the "Bring 'Em Home" concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.

Among the performers scheduled to play March 20 are R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, Bright Eyes, Rufus Wainwright, Fischerspooner, Public Enemy's Chuck D, Devendra Banhart and Peaches, Billboard.com reported.

Sheehan will address the audience at the concert noting the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Billboard said.

Janeane Garafalo will broadcast her Air America Radio show "The Majority Report" live from the concert.

Money raised by the show will go to Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace.
Image hosting by Photobucket
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/23/2006 15:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [385 views] Top|| File under:

#1  These bands suck...
Posted by: Beavis || 02/23/2006 15:59 Comments || Top||

#2  never heard of them.
Posted by: 2b || 02/23/2006 16:09 Comments || Top||

#3  There it is folks. Definitive evidence that the 60's are over.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/23/2006 16:21 Comments || Top||

#4  be nice to hack their PA sysyem for a couple rounds of Neil Young's "Let's Roll":

Written: 2001/11/21)
Notes: Song is a tribute to those lost on Flight 93.
Rough mix first played on Jim Ladd's radio show.
Band is Booker T & the MGs (with Poncho replacing Steve Cropper).

I know I said I love you,
I know you know it's true,
I got to put the phone down,
And do what we gotta do.

One's standing in the aisle way,
Two more at the door,
We got to get inside there,
Before they kill some more.

Time is runnin' out, let's roll.
Time is runnin' out, let's roll.

No time for indecision,
We got to make a move,
I hope that we're forgiven,
For what we gotta do.

How this all got started,
I'll never understand,
I hope someone can fly this thing,
Get us back to land.

Time is runnin' out, let's roll.
Time is runnin' out, let's roll.

No one has the answers,
But one thing is true,
You got to turn on evil,
When it's comin' after you.

You got to face it down,
And when it tries to hide,
You got to go in after it,
And never be denied.

Time is runnin' out, let's roll.

Let's roll for freedom,
Let's roll for love,
Goin' after Satan,
On the wings of a dove.

Let's roll for justice,
Let's roll for truth,
Let's not let our children,
Grow up fearful in their youth.

Time is runnin' out, let's roll.
Time is runnin' out, let's roll.
Time is runnin' out, let's roll.

Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:05 Comments || Top||

#5  Oh, goodie, I don't listen to any of them anyway.Those that I have heard of, anyway.
*$%&!!!, sometimes I feel like I spent the whole of my adult life cleaning up after a-holes who just couldn't get enough of those 1960ies glory years.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 02/23/2006 18:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Janeane Garafalo will broadcast her Air America Radio show "The Majority Report" live from the concert.

I hope muck4doo checks in tonight -- he'd know for certain about this. But I was under the impression that Air America had gone under, due to a a significant majority not listening to the "Majority Report" or any of the other offerings?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 22:43 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
More details about Marines selling their body armor on Ebay
Go read the whole thing, but key facts are that this case goes back to 2004; the civilian who sold the stuff on Ebay helped Homeland Security and the Navy make cases against the three civilians and twelve Marines involved (some of whom are now in Iraq, presumably without their body armor); and this appears to be several isolated individuals, not a criminal gang at Camp Pendleton.

A Vista woman was sentenced to prison yesterday for buying from Camp Pendleton Marines stolen body armor meant for Iraq-bound troops, then selling it to undercover agents posing as foreign arms dealers.

Erika Jardine, 47, was arrested in November 2004. Jardine pleaded guilty a year later in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to charges of violating the Arms Control Export Act and selling stolen U.S. property, said Dean Boyd, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 16:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wuz hoping they were doing the time honored borrow from the Army routine.
Posted by: 6 || 02/23/2006 17:18 Comments || Top||

It's hard to say 'Daddy is gone'
EFL; go read it all.
The moment of truth Julie Gonsalves dreads is still some time away — when her 3-year-old is old enough to understand that Daddy won't come home anymore. "That's the hard part, telling Cody his daddy is gone," said Gonsalves, the 30-year-old widow of Turlock native Chad Gonsalves, a Green Beret who was killed in Afghanistan last week.

"I tried to tell Cody, but he just didn't get it," Gonsalves explained by telephone from her home in Fayetteville, N.C. "I told him Daddy wasn't coming home, he was in heaven. Cody said, 'Daddy not coming home? Silly Mommy. Daddy's coming home.'"

If it's hard for her son to grasp the grim reality, Julie understands. It's still hard for her to realize this deployment has no end. He won't be coming home to her, Cody, or twin sons Dylan and Blake. . . .
Rest in peace, and God watch over your family.
Posted by: Mike || 02/23/2006 12:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [406 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Godspeed, young soldier. The best of the best in my book. God bless you and yours.
Posted by: BA || 02/23/2006 13:52 Comments || Top||

#2  No words today, just tears.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 22:45 Comments || Top||

Army testing unmanned Stryker convoys
Engineers conducting show-and-tell with a 20-ton robot on the last day of two weeks of trials on Fort Gordon were cautiously optimistic.

Karl Murphy, a software engineer from Robotic Research, said there was a new principle of “Murphy’s Law” at work on the test field Feb. 10. "One of my professors reminded us that we have 'sight-ons' present whenever an experiment is being viewed,” Murphy said. “The more 'sight-ons' you have, the greater is the potential for something to go wrong."

Tongue in cheek, he continued explaining that sight-on fields increase with the rank and reach of individuals viewing a test. With national, regional and local media rolling cameras, the “sight-on” field was very high that Friday.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: tipper || 02/23/2006 05:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [320 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wrote about something similar for Tech Central Station, and posted a slightly expanded version of the essay on my site.

A Soldier-Free Battlefield

Expanded version
Posted by: Happy 88mm || 02/23/2006 10:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Robot convoys, robot airplanes, death rays . . . this must be the 21st century!
Posted by: Mike || 02/23/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#3  For some of us, at least ....
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 11:29 Comments || Top||

El Lay Times - Rumsfeld OpEd: War in the Information Age
In a 24/7 world, the U.S. isn't keeping up with its enemies in the communication battle.
Our nation is engaged in what promises to be a long struggle in the global war on terror. In this war, some of the most critical battles may not be in the mountains of Afghanistan or the streets of Iraq but in newsrooms in New York, London, Cairo and elsewhere.

Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but for the most part we — our government, the media or our society in general — have not.

Consider that violent extremists have established "media relations committees" and have proved to be highly successful at manipulating opinion elites. They plan and design their headline-grabbing attacks using every means of communication to break the collective will of free people.

Our government is only beginning to adapt its operations for the 21st century. For the most part, it still functions as a five-and-dime store in an EBay world.

I have just returned from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. In Tunis, the largest newspaper has a circulation of roughly 50,000 — in a country of about 10 million people. But even in the poorest neighborhoods you can see satellite dishes on nearly every balcony or rooftop.

Regrettably, many of the TV news channels being watched using these dishes are extremely hostile to the West. The growing number of media outlets in many parts of the world still have relatively immature standards and practices that too often serve to inflame and distort rather than to explain and inform. Al Qaeda and other extremist movements have utilized these forums for many years, successfully adding more poison to the Muslim public's view of the West, but we have barely even begun to compete in reaching their audiences.

The standard U.S. government public affairs operation was designed primarily to respond to individual requests for information. It tends to be reactive, rather than proactive, and it operates for the most part on an eighthour, five-days-a-week basis, while world events — and our enemies — are operating 24/7 across every time zone. That is an unacceptably dangerous deficiency.

In some cases, military public affairs officials have had little communications training and little, if any, grounding in the importance of timing, rapid response and the realities of digital and broadcast media. Let there be no doubt that the longer it takes to put a strategic communications framework into place, the more we can be certain that the vacuum will be filled by the enemy and by hostile news sources who most assuredly will not paint an accurate picture of what is actually taking place.

We have become somewhat more adept in these areas, but progress is slow.

In Iraq, for example, the U.S. military command, working closely with the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy, has sought nontraditional means to provide accurate information to the Iraqi people in the face of an aggressive campaign of disinformation.

Yet this has been portrayed as inappropriate: for example, the allegations of "buying news." The resulting explosion of critical media stories then causes all activity, all initiative, to stop. Even worse, it leads to a "chilling effect" among those who are asked to serve in the military public affairs field.

Improving our efforts will likely mean embracing new institutions to engage people around the world. During the Cold War, institutions such as the U.S. Information Agency and Radio Free Europe proved to be valuable instruments for the United States. We need to consider the possibility of new organizations and programs that can serve a similarly valuable role in the war on terror.

Although the enemy is increasingly skillful at manipulating the media and using the tools of communications to its advantage, it should be noted that we have an advantage as well. And that is, quite simply, that truth is on our side. Ultimately, the truth wins out.

I believe with every bone in my body that free people, exposed to sufficient information, will, over time, find their way to the right decisions.

We are fighting a battle in which the survival of our free way of life is at stake. It is a test of wills, and it will be won or lost with our public and the publics of free nations around the world. We need to do all we can to correct the lies being told, shatter the appeal of the enemy and attract supporters to our noble and necessary efforts to defeat violent extremism around the globe.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 05:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Someone needs to read the riot act to the NY Slimes and the Washington Compost.
Posted by: doc || 02/23/2006 8:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Somebody needs to stop subscribing and linking.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 8:12 Comments || Top||

Redacted by moderator. Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity. Please correct the condition that applies and try again. Contents may be viewed in the
sinktrap. Further violations may result in
Posted by: wxjames || 02/23/2006 10:12 Comments || Top||

#4  We could also publicly support DoD's attempts to get our message out through friendly media ...
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 10:21 Comments || Top||

#5  "Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity."

How incredibly vague. If I were a Mod I could sink-trap 80% of the posts - on any site - under that logic.

I happen to think the readacted post of wxjames, above, was (and still is) a common and easily defended attitude - and for good reasons which can be articulated for the 10,000th time, should any of the Mods really need to hear them.

I think the comment should be reinstated and an apology issued to her / him.

I find the current wave of censureship arbitrary. That's a bad thing. Ask any parent. How about some give 'n take before pulling the trigger on a regular who hasn't called for the violent overthrow of the US Govt or the lynching of a Mod, eh?

It's rather embarrassing to see something like this whacked, when a majority here would've / could've said the same thing, but then some asstard posts unsubstantiated politically-motivated bile, but ever so politely stated, you see, and it gets a pass. Yeah, right.

This is Rantburg, is it not? I heard nothing but sucking sounds yesterday - and this isn't a very good start for today, IMHO. What's going on here?

I've been trying to be more moderate in tone - but you can bet your sweet ass it wasn't to please some fucking Mod or any PC-addled finger-wagging drone who hasn't posted an original thought ever. It was for my own peace of mind. This shit just stirs me back up again. Fucking PC twaddle. Justify your actions, on each and every event, or cease "redacting", or change the name to PCville or Burkeville or whatever actually reflects the New Whatever-It-Is.

Pfeh. This really pisses me off. I am not alone, I'd wager.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 14:12 Comments || Top||

#6  .com: the comment suggested that we gather names and addresses of 'anti-American' journalists with the idea that 'things would right themselves in time'. It could easily be read, and indeed was meant to be read, as an incitement to violence. Please see the sinktrap for details.

I redacted the comment as opposed to banning the commenter.

We've redacted such comments before. We'll continue to do so. No apology for it, either. We will not carry comments that suggest, imply or advocate a specific call to violence.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/23/2006 14:23 Comments || Top||

#7  I saw it - and concur with it.

"It could easily be read, and indeed was meant to be read, as an incitement to violence."

I say it's a prognistication that violence will come - and that the press will find itself among the targets for its many treasons. And you know what? It will. You should have read the Opinion peice from Yesterday: Gramscian Damage. It rather brilliantly identified the roots of many of the memes, such as "all violence is bad", which you are using, at least partially, to justify your action.

Not all violence is bad. Were I a tad more erudite, a man of letters, I could construct a logical sequence for you that both demonstrates this and would put you in the awkward position of choosing between violence to preserve liberty and submission. The pieces are there. The only thing missing is that such constructs as not my speciality.

In the fullness of time, many things will happen. wxjames sees this, I see this, and you see this, too. He did not call for dick, he made an observation that any one of us could have made, but perhaps using different wording.

"No apology for it, either."

LOL. Well that sums it up - the rest is just blather. See us. We make no mistakes, we never misconstrue, we never injudisciously malign, we never fuck up. Right. Bullshit, Steve. Total bullshit and you know it. You drop 20 pegs for that obvious load.

This reminds me of a sound byte from a Firesign Theater routine...
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 14:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Steve White:

I dont get it. I have seen some regulars in here
post stuff like:

"The Democratic Party is a threat to the Security of the U.S."


"The current leadership of the Democratic Party makes me want to spit"

and no dedaction or warning?

Yet if a person comes to defend against comments like that they are banned or dedacted?

Seems to me you have a double standard in here for what you call "trolling".
Posted by: Common Sense || 02/23/2006 15:10 Comments || Top||

#9  Ah, that's better, muddied waters by one of the players.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 15:16 Comments || Top||

#10  .com

believe it or not, I actually agreed with your post#5.
Posted by: Common Sense || 02/23/2006 15:24 Comments || Top||

#11  Lol. What's that supposed to do, change my mind about you as a classic dimwitted troll who comes here for no discernible constructive purpose and merely wastes bandwidth?

Look. Go home. You're Not up to this, son.

Oh, okay - here's your shot: Read the brilliant piece I linked to in #7: Gramscian Damage. It is a serious article assessing the issues facing Freedom. You are on the wrong side of it, hence I deem you at least a tool if not a dangerous fool.

If you can read it, actually comprehend it, digest what it means, and come back here still convinced you're right, lol, then you're lying, lol.

If it gives you pause, makes you reassess, convinces you to examine the underlying memes that you prattle on about - and pull your head out of your ass, well, I'm sure I'll hear the "POP!" all the way out here in Vegas - and note the change in your posts. Then I will happily have another "dialog" with you. Until then, bite me, junior, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 15:44 Comments || Top||

#12  God a nut job shows up and kills a thread that need to proceed.

Like PD I have self moderated my commnets because it's the thoughtful and responsible thing for me to do.

My feelings are well know in respect to the "press" and the practitioners of "law" in the United States. If they are actively working to harm our society and way of government. They deserve to feel real pain. Make your own mental image of what that actually means. This image will let you know what I think should happen to government employees whom leak inteligence to the press or talk about their work should face. It would and has been sink trapped when posted here.

I usually wouldn't give Eric S. Raymond the time of day but Gramscian damage" was spot on and an important read. So is this address The Adversary Culture by Keith Windschuttle.

I am questioning some of the redactions too. But at the end of the day it's Fred's site and he can't do as he pleases but some of the moderation a of late is troubling.

Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/23/2006 15:44 Comments || Top||

#13  This, obviously, is a big issue for Rummy and hence US and company.

Any swinging dick can put some garbage out in the ME news outlets that slanders our country, our brave soldiers, and our mission.

Unlike previous wars, this war is being waged everyday in the real time news.

The MSM want it both ways, they complain when the military tries to get the truth out by using a PR firm, but they go way out of their way to slime us all.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 17:13 Comments || Top||

#14  This Political Correctness crap is BULLSHIT. I'll come back when this joint turns back into RANTburg again.

And if it doesn't then, well, I guess I won't. See ya...

Posted by: Dave D. || 02/23/2006 17:19 Comments || Top||

#15  All we need is a list of names and addresses of the anti-American journalists. Things will right themselves in the fullness of time.
Posted by: wxjames || 02/23/2006 10:12 Comments || Top||

'Net closing on bin Laden' - Predictions For The Year by Aegis
There will be at least one terrorist attack on a European target this year and either Osama bin Laden or his right hand man will be killed or captured in 2006, British security experts predicted on Thursday. Furthermore, there will be no civil war in Iraq as insurgents lose the support of the mainstream population, and Iran will back down in its nuclear dispute with the West without sanctions or military action, Aegis Defence Services said.

In its annual terrorism report, Aegis, which assesses global risks for governments and international companies, said the net was closing on the leaders of bin Laden's al-Qaeda group. It called bin Laden a "spent force", whose only role was as a talisman, and predicted he or his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, would be out of circulation in the next 12 months.

At the same time, it said, al-Qaeda was showing signs of moving away from destruction towards more "earthly" political aims, meaning talks might be possible with their successors. "Al-Qaeda is striving to cast themselves in a political role," Aegis managing director of research and intelligence Dominic Armstrong told Reuters. "There is going to be more practical engagement."

But Aegis, which correctly predicted there would be a large-scale bombing in the UK last year, said growing radicalisation of Islamist youths in Europe, combined with social and economic alienation, would mean further attacks.

Britain and Italy remained the most likely targets but France, Spain and the Benelux countries were also at risk. "We are not going to see a 9/11 level of attack or that sort of destructive spectacular," Armstrong said. "It is more likely to be a number of smaller attacks against softer targets with an economic knock-on effect."

Weapons of mass destruction would not be used, he said. "They do not own and will not own nuclear weapons or lethal pathogens," he said. "The successful attacks that take place this year will be conventional."

Aegis, which has a $293m US contract to co-ordinate security for contractors in Iraq and has 1,000 staff on the ground, said the situation there was not as bad as the media portrayed and the country was not on the verge of civil war. "The insurgency will continue, but it will increasingly be down to criminals and foreign fighters as mainstream Iraqis become involved in the political process," Armstrong said.

He said 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces were trouble-free. "Foreign fighters will be made to feel less welcome and that will be a turning point for Iraq.

"For all the insurgency, the political process has not been delayed by a single day."

The report also predicted Iran would back down in its dispute with the West over its nuclear ambitions with an agreement to allow it to use foreign-supplied enriched uranium for reactors, thus avoiding sanctions or any military action. "They are going to take it as far as they can, but they will step back," Armstrong said. "It's only aggressive brinkmanship."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, that some interesting stuff, alright, but what we really want to know is:

Will Fred's hair grow back? Can we topple the MM's anyway, just for practice?
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 0:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Osama and the Burqua Boyz are fighting a Hyper-Power, nka GLOBAL UNIPOWER [word of week], where its unclear whether Dubya will stick to being a lameduck POTUS once he hits the last 6-12 mos. of his admin. My money is on Moralist, Leader Dubya continuing to lead America as he has up to the last hour of the last day before his [GOP?]successor is formally inaugurated in Jan 2009. IT MEANS THE TERRORISTS CAN EXPECT NO LET-UP FROM DUBYA IN THE WOT.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 2:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Can we topple the MM's anyway, just for practice?

Years ago my little sister was asked if she knew the difference between 'may' and 'can'. Her answer?

'Can' is when you're able and 'may' is when .... you can.

There's some deep wisdom in that. Or deep confusion. I keep going back and forth on that one ;-)
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 7:22 Comments || Top||

#4  I think I have more confidence in the predictions of the National Enquirer, or the Caribbean 1-900 phone fortune teller women.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/23/2006 7:32 Comments || Top||

#5  I predict LSU will make it as far as Sweet 16 in this year's NCAA.
Posted by: badanov || 02/23/2006 7:47 Comments || Top||

#6  I believe the Bush Administration has Bin Laden in a jail and will announce his capture to influence the elections in 2002 2004 2006.

And I predict that Bat Boy will run for president in 2008.
Posted by: Dreadnought || 02/23/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#7  We predict a resurgence in Dionne Warwick's career...
Posted by: Psychic Friends Hotline || 02/23/2006 10:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Iran will back down in its nuclear dispute with the West without sanctions or military action

Is medical marijuana legal in England?
Posted by: Secret Master || 02/23/2006 12:49 Comments || Top||

#9  You rang, Glenmore?
Posted by: Sister Cleo || 02/23/2006 12:52 Comments || Top||

#10  I see,uh umm.... I see um...uh Whiskey! YES! A trainload of Whiskey! Enough for ever manjack and femalian in this "Burg. It's a miracle! I see a Man, a strange man, a man with a gun..... um a Pistol! It's AB! and he driving the Train!
Hallelujah brothers and sistern we are saved!
Posted by: Oracle Jones || 02/23/2006 17:25 Comments || Top||

#11  "They are going to take it as far as they can..."

That means, they'll wait to see six aircraft carrier battle groups poised in the immediate area, Patriots and other batteries shored up in Iraq, Israel and Afghanistan, and "W" calling for a national news conference on the threat (ie the '24 hour get out of town speech') before they do. I hope some nervous trimble fingered Iranian general don't accidently push a button, when this happens!!
Posted by: smn || 02/23/2006 21:46 Comments || Top||

PPP protest falls flat
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab took out rallies against the publication of caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PTUI PBUH) in every district of the province but the party failed to stage an impressive demonstration in Lahore because of intra-party differences. Around 200 PPP members gathered outside the Lahore Press Club and shouted slogans like “We are slaves of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and are ready to die for him”,
I hope you're happy being slaves. I'd prefer to die a free man than to be a slave, but to each his own...
“Go Musharraf Go” and “Prime Minister Benazir”.
Lotta thought went into those, didn't it?
PPP Lahore leaders Azizur Rehman Chan, Samiullah Khan, Zikria Butt, Tahir Khalique and Sardar Hur Bukhari reached the press club at around 3pm. A few minutes later MPAs Uzma Bukhari and Faiza Malik and a few other female PPP activists joined them. Former Punjab governor Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar also joined the protesting PPP members. However, the two female MPAs moved to another place with other PPP members when they saw Khar standing next to them. A few moments later, Sajida Mir, PPP candidate for women’s seat in Senate, arrived at the scene with six supporters and started shouting pro-Benazir slogans.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 21:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

India: Committees formed to check terror funding
India has formed two top-level committees in New Delhi and Srinagar to check the flow of funds to Jammu and Kashmir. State Home Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told the Rajya Sabha that various agencies of the government were taking measures to prevent funding to militant organisations. He said that the arrest of a Dubai-based engineer in Delhi on February 3, and the recovery of Rs 5.5m in cash and explosives from his possession confirms the involvement of Middle East businessmen in 'hawala' operations to fund militancy.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

Pakistan will stand by China against US 'siege', says Rashid
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

‘TNRM will end when Islamic govt is in power’
The Tahafooz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat Movement will conclude after a government implementing the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) system is established in the country, said MMA President Qazi Hussain Ahmad on Wednesday. Talking to reporters at Jamaat-e-Islami’s JI’s Lytton Road office about an MMA rally in Lahore on February 26, the JI chief said that people would gather at Nasirbagh and from there march onto the Punjab Assembly. He warned the Punjab government not to try to stop the rally. “We will not compromise on the route of the rally. People will start processions from all city streets to join the main rally and no one can stop them,” he added.

Qazi said that Pakistanis were not afraid of being jailed or being shelled by tear gas. Muslims will sacrifice their lives for the Prophet (RUCK-TOOEY pbuh), he said. The rulers’ days are numbered and the people will evict them soon, he added. He condemned the government’s action in Islamabad on February 19. The government had imposed a curfew in the capital by closing all entry and exit point but still the MMA activists protested peacefully, he said. The protests in Islamabad proved the government had masterminded violence in earlier protests in Lahore and Peshawar, he added. The MMA leader said that Pervez Musharraf had visited Norway in September when the cartoons had already been published, but did not complain to the Norwegian government and instead tried to conceal the issue from Pakistanis.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

Foster Brooks Akbar Bugti will be arrested
District Coordination Officer (DCO) Abdul Samad Lasi said that as soon as the arrest warrants of Akbar Bugti, his two grandsons and 12 others were issued in lieu of the three cases registered against them in the Sui police station, they would be arrested.

Talking to a private television channel on Wednesday, the DCO said that the overall security situation in Dera Bugti was very good and after the return of the Kalpar and Masoori tribes, Sui and Bakkar were becoming more peaceful. He said that the 3 cases were registered against Nawab Akbar Bugti his two grandsons and others under Sections 147, 148, 149, 427 and others of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosives Act and under Section 7 of the anti-terrorism act.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  About f*in' time.
(I also see that he's wearing the "Best in Show" ribbon that his pig won at the county fair. Very smart!)
Posted by: Spot || 02/23/2006 8:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Foster Brooks


I never noticed that before.
Posted by: eLarson || 02/23/2006 16:53 Comments || Top||

#3  The pipes are singing a happy tune of relief.
Posted by: 6 || 02/23/2006 17:33 Comments || Top||

Pakistan, China for closer defence ties
President Gen Pervez Musharraf said he wants to "inject more vigour" into a strategic partnership with China after meeting on Wednesday with the country's defence chief in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. "Pakistan will continue to contribute to developing friendly cooperation with China's defence department, military and other departments," Xinhua quoted Musharraf as saying. "We want to continuously inject more vigour into the two nations' close strategic cooperative partnership," Musharraf said.
We knew that'd happen when we started pressing for closer relations with India...
The news agency quoted Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan as saying he hoped Musharraf's five-day visit - which marks 55 years of diplomatic ties between the two neighbours - will help "deepen all-around cooperation with Pakistan, and maintain regional and world peace and stability".
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:

India must separate civil, military N-facilities
President Bush has asked India to separate its military and civilian nuclear programmes, saying that the July 18 nuclear cooperation agreement signed between the two countries would need that to proceed. "By following through on our commitments, we'll bring India's civil nuclear programme into the international mainstream and strengthen the trust between our two nations," Bush said in a major speech delivered at Asia Society on Wednesday. "This is not an easy decision for India; nor is it an easy decision for the US. Implementing this agreement will take patience." He said that he would continue to encourage India to create a credible, transparent and defensible plan to separate its separate its civilian and military nuclear programmes.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

Bush to push Indians, Pakistanis to resolve Kashmir
US President George W. Bush said on Wednesday he would push the leaders of India and Pakistan to resolve their long-standing conflict over Kashmir during his visit to the South Asian nations next week. “I will encourage them to address this important issue,” Bush said ahead of his meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Noting that the two governments were now engaged in a dialogue about the difficult question, Bush said they “now have an historic opportunity to work toward lasting peace. “For too long, Kashmir has been a source of violence and distrust between these two countries,” he said.
He just plows ahead, doesn't he? Port flap, what port flap? He's got an agenda and he's going to get it done.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Food Beard fight!
Posted by: Spot || 02/23/2006 8:30 Comments || Top||

#2  I hope he is paying attention to the port flap because it has a strong possibility of turning into much more than a flap and is due primarily to political incompetence within his administration. He needs to recognize that the MSM is a major enemy, not only of his administration, but of the nation's interests. His administration needs to take more proactive efforts to manage the media spin machine. Bring back Mike Deaver.

If he doesn't fix this problem, his administration will be ground to a halt by all the sand being thrown in the gears.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 8:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Kashimr will not be resolved because India is in the strong position and won't give, and Mushariff can't lose face without losing his job (life) by giving in. Even a compromise split down the middle is unlikely at this point.

I expect as Iraq because hostile to foriegn fighters they move to Checnya and Kashmir to keep the battle going and regroup.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/23/2006 10:24 Comments || Top||

#4  No Way Hosea! Your asking both war torn, impoverish nations to look down into the lush green fields and blue water flowing valleys of near paradise, to turn and forget what they have seen as not worth it?! There's only two solutions; nuke each other over it, or nuke Kashmir to stop the prior!
Posted by: smn || 02/23/2006 21:55 Comments || Top||

Memri : Iraqi Shi'ite Leader Muqtada Al-Sadr AJ interview
Iraqi Shi'ite Leader Muqtada Al-Sadr: Arab and Islamic Forces in Iraq Would Also Be Considered Occupation; If Asked by Syria and Iran, We May Confront the American Forces in Iraq

The following are excerpts from an interview by Iraqi Shi'ite Leader Muqtada Al-Sadr that aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 18, 2006.
See at link.

Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/23/2006 14:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

Shrine corpse count now 80 (in Baghdad alone)
BAGHDAD : Gunmen have killed at least 80 people in Iraq in sectarian violence that flared after the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine and reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques.

Amid warnings that sectarian violence could spiral further out of control, Iraqi political leaders went into an emergency meeting with President Jalal Talabani.

The bloodshed is likely to complicate the task of Shiite and Sunni political leaders who have pledged to set up a government of national unity in the wake of the December elections which illustrated a deep sectarian split in Iraq.

Eighty bullet-ridden corpses were brought to the Baghdad morgue between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, the deputy director of the morgue, Doctor Kais Mohammed, told AFP.

"I've only been able to carry out autopsies on 25 of them," he said, adding that all had been shot. The bodies, which had been dumped in Baghdad and its suburbs, could not immediately be identified.

Iraq has already placed its security forces on high alert and cancelled all leave. The night curfew in Baghdad was brought forward from 11:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Wednesday.

The upsurge in killings came after suspected Al-Qaeda linked militants Wednesday morning bombed the 1,000-year-old Imam Ali al-Hadi mausoleum, one of the countries' main Shiite shrines, in the town of Samarra, north of Baghdad.

Early Thursday the police also reported finding the bodies of three Iraqi journalists working for Dubai-based Arabiya satellite television who were kidnapped near Samarra Wednesday evening while reporting on the shrine bombing.

"The bodies of the presenter Atwar Bahjat, of cameraman Adnan Abdallah and of soundman Khaled Mohsen were found early this morning some 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of Samarra," police said.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/23/2006 07:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

#1  From Iraq The Model - The sense in the streets and the statements given by some Shia clerics suggest that retaliation attacks are organized and under control and are focusing on mosques frequented by Salafi and Wahabi groups and not those of ordinary Sunnis.

Sadr's cosying up to the Sunnis suddenly makes sense to me.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/23/2006 15:33 Comments || Top||

#2  The TV reporter and her crew were targeted for killing. A truck drove up, someone shouted "we've come for the correspondent" and gunned all three down where they stood. Brave lady. She left al Jizz to work for al-Iraqiya.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/23/2006 15:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Why am I thinking of sows' ears and silk purses?
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/23/2006 16:34 Comments || Top||

US troops taught Iraqi gestures
The US military has funded a computer game to teach its troops how to use and decipher Iraqi body language. The purpose is to teach soldiers that using the wrong gestures can potentially cause offence and escalate already tense situations.

In the program, users must build trust with local people through verbal communication and gestures.

One of the system's creators says the training tool, known as Tactical Iraqi, has already been a great success. Hannes Vilhjalmsson, a research scientist at the University of Southern California, gave details of the Tactical Iraqi at a conference in St Louis, US. The system also gives troops Arabic language skills.

The program teaches military personnel some key gestures such as an up-down movement with the right hand to ask someone to slow down and gives them tips such as removing mirror sunglasses when approaching local people. In Iraq, to show sincerity you have to put more effort into your gestures," said Dr Vilhjalmsson. "In Western countries, we control our body language more. In Arabic culture, it is important you show how open you are."

He added that reserved body language in exchanges with local people could be interpreted as having something to hide in Iraq, potentially escalating a tense situation.

Military personnel also learn that people can approach each other more closely than one normally might in the West. Dr Vilhjalmsson said it was important troops should not automatically interpret close proximity in an exchange as a threat. And the game teaches them that pointing the finger at a person can be considered aggressive in Arab cultures.

Tactical Iraqi is built on top of the game engine for Unreal Tournament, a first-person computer "shoot-em-up". In the training tool, though, subjects use communication to resolve situations. Dr Vilhjalmsson said initial testing of Tactical Iraqi with marines deployed to Iraq had shown the programme to be very effective.

The University of Southern California is also working on other versions of the game: Tactical Pashto, which trains troops in communication specific to Afghanistan; and Tactical Levantine, which teaches them Arabic language and gestures specific to Lebanon and other surrounding areas.

The training system has been funded by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 04:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lots of game technologies being used or developed for training. Goes way beyond the tank simulators I saw in the 80s although they're not issuing virtual reality headsets to troops. Not yet, anyway lol

BTW, the Army has put language courses online, behind a portal that soldiers and civilian employees can use. These are the Rosetta Stone courses, with audio and visual clips plus text in English and the target language. Troops can run them from any computer anywhere and pick up where they left off.

A whole lot of other training is available online now too. Some of the mandatory security briefings etc. can now be done without long meetings - click through the course, answer the questions and get the certificate to turn in.
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 7:15 Comments || Top||

#2  This only makes sense. Different cultures, different hand gestures. What to us my be benign or even one of approval may be a deadly insult elsewhere.
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/23/2006 12:48 Comments || Top||

#3  I bet the troops can communicate some message through gestures to Zarq and his thugs.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 17:14 Comments || Top||

#4  I have 75,000+ kills in Unreal Tournament - this seems like a letdown
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:54 Comments || Top||

#5  US troops taught Iraqi gestures

Ya mean they're going to teach seething and eye-rolling in boot camp?
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 18:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Understanding gestures in other cultures/languages is a big part of the communication. The "body language" all humans use when speaking helps convey what you mean - and how you mean what you mean. Words alone can have many meanings. Think of gestures as vocal inflection and you'll see their importance in truly understanding what is being said.

An idea well behind it's time. Just learning the translation of your words is not really helpful. You need to learn how to say it in the destination language, And also to understand what is being said, you must understand the full communication package - body language, tone, inflection, words and the context of the words.

Cool training package.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/23/2006 19:09 Comments || Top||

#7  The Italians had better just stay home. Forever.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 19:31 Comments || Top||

#8  Funnily enough, the Italians might just be very good at it.

Spittle. Rolling eyes. Gotta work on the hand gestures a bit.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/23/2006 19:38 Comments || Top||

Askariya's significance
Today's attack on al-Askariya shrine marks the first time that Iraqi sectarian violence has targeted one of the country's central religious symbols.

The Shia Muslim shrine has existed in the middle of the ancient city of Samarra, one of the largest archaeological sites in the world, since 944, when it was built to house the tombs of two ninth century imams, direct descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.

Ali al-Hadi, the tenth imam who died in 868 and his son Hassan al-Askari who died in 874, were buried at the end of the turbulent period during which Samarra was built as the new capital of the Abbasid empire, briefly taking over from Baghdad, then the largest city in the world.

But the continued and intense religious importance of the site is connected to the 12th imam, the so-called "Hidden Imam" who Shias believe went into hiding in 878 under the al-Askariya shrine to prepare for his eventual return among men.

According to Shia tradition, the Mahdi will reappear one day to punish the sinful and "separate truth from falsehood". For many years, a saddled horse and soldiers would be brought to the shrine in Samarra every day to be ready for his return, a ritual that was repeated in Hilla, about 100 miles to the south, where it was also thought that Mahdi might reappear.

"It's one of the foremost important shrines in Iraq," said Alastair Northedge, a Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the Sorbonne in Paris who has just completed an archaeological survey of Samarra.

"Najaf and Karbala are the two most important shrines in Iraq but only slightly subsidiary to them are the sites in Samarra and Baghdad.

"The shrine is central for the Shia. This is not just a major cathedral, this is more than that, this is one of the holiest shrines."

According to Professor Northedge, the shrine was extensively rebuilt as Samarra withered over the centuries and power was restored to Baghdad. Modern-day Samarra, a tough, Sunni-dominated town in the middle of the Sunni Triangle north of Baghdad, fills just a fraction of the enormous ancient city built along the banks of the Tigris.

The latest remodelling of the shrine took place in the late 19th century, with the dome that was destroyed today added in 1905. Covered in 72,000 gold pieces and surrounded by walls of light blue tiles, the shrine attracts thousands of Shia pilgrims from across the world.

Despite being an active base of Sunni insurgents since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the al-Askariya shrine had survived unharmed and largely unthreatened until today.

It managed to escape any damage when Samarra was retaken in the first major US and Iraqi combined offensive in October 2004, which was aimed at sweeping out the Sunni factions that had taken over the town. The shrine has also remained intact while other archaeological sites have suffered under US efforts to control the insurgency.

The 101st Airborne Division, which took over Samarra shortly before Christmas, has continued the policy of using bulldozers to create a mud wall around the town to make it harder for insurgents to move in and out.

Professor Northedge, who last met Samarra's director of antiquities at a conference in Paris in September, believes the attack to be the work of al-Qaeda related militants from outside the town.

In September, Sunni rebels in Samarra joined an unprecedented condemnation of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq after the execution of a leading cleric in nearby Ramadi.

"It is really quite surprising that something like that has happened in Samarra," he says. "The people there have a a very, very powerful sense of community identity, they know how to act in their best interests."

"If you look at the resistance situation in Samarra, there are two general sorts: there are local fighters and there are al-Qaeda fighters and foreign jihadis," said Professor Northedge. "I'm absolutely certain that this is not the local people from Samarra, they would not have blown it up."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/23/2006 02:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  For everyone to copy, file and forget, here is the list of the Shia Top Ten Eleven, lol. This one, in Samarra, comes in at #7, folks...

1 Mecca
2 Medina
3 Najaf
4 Karbala
5 Kazimayn
6 Kufa
7 Samarra
8 Mashad
9 Qom
10 Damascus
11 Quds (Jerusalem)

Note that Baghdad isn't here...

Note, also, this gem in the story:
"The shrine has [sic] also remained intact while other archaeological sites have suffered under US efforts to control the insurgency."

Point that remarkably dull intellect at the assholes, you TimesOnline wankfucks. Bite me.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 4:02 Comments || Top||

#2  baghdad is the birthplace of Muqty isnt it? The sacralization of that spot is too new make the lists.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/23/2006 16:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Looks like GUNS N' ROSES forgot the hoss-and-saddle in their "DON'T CRY" video - D***, Axel, you got JAMES + JOSEPH UNDERWATER but your Band all forgot the Hoss, like the Navy with the Battleship Oklahoma. *The days and decade when the world post-MADONNA discovered Global Warming + Sunspots.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 22:25 Comments || Top||

The history of Samarra
Samarra has suffered mightily in the Iraq war, but seldom as badly as Wednesday when two bombers dressed as policemen blew apart the glorious golden dome atop one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites – the Askariya shrine.

The location of the shrine, one of four main Shiite holy places in Iraq, had always been somewhat awkward because the Tigris River city has a mainly Sunni Muslim population of about a quarter million.

Residents had prided themselves on being gracious and tolerant hosts of the tens of thousands of Shiites who once visited the shrine.

Things have changed since the start of the Sunni-dominated insurgency in 2003. Sunni militants embittered by the loss of the power they wielded under Saddam Hussein resent the new Shiite dominion in Iraq. Many Sunnis now view the Shiites as American collaborators.

Shiite pilgrims nearly stopped going to Samarra altogether. They feared for their lives in the city which can only be reached on roads that cut through the so-called “Sunni Triangle,” where insurgents are most active and attacks on Shiite travelers are common.

Samarra had been among the most difficult cities to pacify in the Sunni heartland. In 2004, it fell under the control of extremists, and al-Qaeda flags could be seen flying over some buildings.

The militants had been so confident of their hold on Samarra in the fall of that year they hoisted their black banner – in a taunt of American soldiers not far away – atop the city's 170-foot tall spiral minaret at a 9th-century mosque. The minaret, itself, was damaged in a bombing last April.

Toward the end of 2004, U.S. troops moved in, flushed out the insurgents and held forward positions inside the city. The Americans brought in Iraqi commandos to help them patrol the city while they worked to build a local police force.

Since then, Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, has been relatively quiet but far from entirely peaceful.

There have been car bombs, assassinations or gunfights but none of the wholesale violence that once ranked Samarra with Fallujah, west of Baghdad, as a “no-go” insurgency stronghold for the U.S. military.

Suspicion for Wednesday's attack quickly fell on militant Sunnis, most probably from al-Qaeda. The target conforms with the terror group's publicized aim of igniting a Shiite-Sunni war in Iraq.

Some Samarra residents have complained of abuse and mistreatment by paramilitary commandos based in the city, who are primarily Shiite and come from areas outside of this Sunni Arab dominated province.

A new battalion of commandos was sent to the city in December, and U.S. commanders said that had doubled the number of the Iraqi forces in Samarra to about 900.

The number of U.S. soldiers based within the city was simultaneously trimmed by about two-thirds, to some 200.

U.S. commanders in Diyala province, the religiously mixed area east of Samarra, said several Shiite mosques were destroyed in the mostly agrarian area outside the city of Baqouba last year. Most had been loaded with explosives and were empty at the time.

Tradition says the Askariya shrine, which drew Shiite pilgrims from throughout the Islamic world, is near the place where the last of the 12 Shiite imams, Mohammed al-Mahdi, disappeared. Al-Mahdi, known as the “hidden imam,” was the son and grandson of the two imams buried in the Askariya shrine.

Shiites believe he is still alive and will return to restore justice to humanity. An attack at such an important religious shrine would constitute a grave assault on Shiite Islam at a time of rising sectarian tensions in Iraq.

The shrine contains the tombs of the 10th and 11th imams, Ali al-Hadi who died in 868 A.D. and his son Hassan al-Askari who died in 874 A.D and was the father of the hidden imam.

The golden dome was completed in 1905.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/23/2006 02:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Completed in 1905?
Then that really is rebar sticking out of concrete, not so old as they made us to believe.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/23/2006 20:34 Comments || Top||

Askariya attack highlights Iraq's sectarian divide
An attack Wednesday that destroyed the soaring gold dome of one of ShiiteIslam's holiest shrines is being interpreted by most Shiites here as a direct attack on their faith - and has sharply raised sectarian tensions.

It's unclear if any people were killed in the massive explosion in Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. But the destruction of the shrine may be the most emotionally charged of attacks on Shiite targets thus far in the war, and could set back already hamstrung efforts to form a government of Shiite and Sunni unity.

As citizens deserted the streets of Baghdad in the wake of the attack, many said they feared this could be a seminal moment in Iraq's low-intensity civil war.

"The war could really be on now,'' says Abu Hassan, a Shiite street peddler who declined to give his full name. "This is something greater and more symbolic than attacks on people. This is a strike at who we are."

The attack occurred shortly before 7 a.m. in the largely Sunni city of Samarra, which has remained an insurgent hotbed despite years of US operations there. It was carried out by a small group of men who somehow gained access to the usually heavily protected Askariya shrine, set demolition explosives, and then fled.

Though the shrine dates back 1,000 years, it has been rebuilt numerous times. Its current dome was built in 1905. There are no records of previous attacks on the building or its predecessors.

"This could be a tipping point,'' says Juan Cole, a historian of Shiite Islam at the University of Michigan. "At some point, the Shiite street is going to be so fed up that they're not going to listen any more to calls for restraint."

Within hours of the attack, tens of thousands of angry Shiites - many of them members of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army who brandished rifles and rocket-propelled grenades - took to the streets in at least least a half-dozen central and southern Iraqi cities. A spokesman at Mr. Sadr's main office in Baghdad said the militiamen were acting spontaneously, and had not been ordered out onto the streets.

The Iraqi and US militaries scrambled forces in Baghdad and other cities in an effort to protect Sunni mosques. US soldiers cordoned off the approaches to the Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad's Sunni- controlled Adhamiya district.

Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most respected cleric, issued a statement forbidding attacks on Sunni mosques and calling for seven days of national mourning. But in a rare move, he also called for public protests. Ayatollah Sistani has typically called for even peaceful protesters to stay off the streets, fearing a downward spiral into violence.

Ayatollah Sistani "has the coolest and wisest head in Iraq, but this has chaos written all over it,'' says Mr. Cole. "He must know the likelihood of these protests being completely peaceful is low, so he's got to be absolutely furious to call for people to come out on the streets."

Eyewitnesses in at least four cities reported attacks on Sunni mosques. Tariq al-Hashemi, leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of the biggest Sunni groups, said at a press conference that 29 Sunni mosques were burned across the country and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice. He also dismissed Shiite protesters as "rabble," a term favored by Saddam Hussein to refer to Shiites.

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the cleric who leads the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), one of the country's two most powerful Shiite parties, and which has ties to the Shiite Badr militia, threatened reprisals in an interview with Sharqiya TV.

"If the government can't protect us then we will have to do it ourselves,'' he said.

He also said US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is partly to blame for Wednesday's attack. The ambassador has made a number of forceful statements this week urging Shiite leaders to give Sunni Arabs a bigger say in government than they won at the ballot box, and has warned against allowing groups like SCIRI, which he deems overly "sectarian," from seeking to control security posts in the next government.

Mr. Khalilzad's "statements created more pressure and gave a green light to terrorist groups, [so] he shares part of the responsibility," Mr. Hakim said.

Shiite leaders like Hakim frequently use the word "terrorist" as a blanket term for Sunni political groups that have ties to the insurgency, and which Khalilzad would like to see join the next government.

In much the same way that a Danish newspaper's cartoons of the prophet Muhammad stirred violent protest across the globe, the reaction to this incident stems from a deep cultural identity and religious faith that can surprise outsiders. Though there was outrage at a bomb attack in Baghdad's dangerous Dora neighborhood that killed 21 Shiites on Tuesday, no attack has stirred the type of tension created by this one in Samarra.

Samarra is not simply a Sunni city with a Shiite shrine at its heart. It hosts a confusing welter of tribal allegiances and rivalries that have left it violent and unstable since the war began. About half of its 200,000 residents have abandoned the city in the past two years, and US soldiers built a vast earthen berm around it last August in an effort to keep insurgents out.

The city's history is also wound up with an age-old Sunni-Shiite rivalry, as well as with the apocalyptic beliefs of many Shiite clerics, like Sadr. The shrine contains the tombs of Ali al-Hadi and his son Hasan al-Askari, the 10th and 11th imams of Shiite Islam who died in the 9th century. Legend has it that Askari's son, Muhammad al-Mahdi, was born in the city. It is one of four main Shiite pilgrimage sites in Iraq.

Mahdi was the 12th and final of the Shiite imams. Legend has it that he was "occulted" by God before his death, and will return to earth to bring an era of justice and peace, followed by the end of the world. Sadr's militia is named for this imam.

Sadr and his followers are convinced that the time for the Mahdi's return is close. "He disappeared into a supernatural realm from there ... so this will be interpreted as an attack on the imam al-Mahdi, an attack on their guy; so for the Sadr people it's an apocalyptic moment,'' says Cole. "There will be reprisals."

There was also outrage in Iran, the most populous Shiite state, whose president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, is a deep believer in the looming return of the Mahdi.

In the 19th century, the shrine became a keyseat of Shiite learning and helped contribute to mass conversions to Shiism in central Iraq, alarming then-ruling Sunni Ottoman officials, who took steps to limit the influence of Shiite clerics.

Under Mr. Hussein, the city's importance to Shiites diminished, in part because of government measures to limit Shiite pilgrimages to the shrine. Al-Askariya enjoyed a brief revival after his fall before the city was swept by violence.

Askariya Shrine

• Located in Samarra, Askariya is one of the most important Shiite shrines in the world, attracting millions of pilgrims.

• Askariya contains the tombs of the 10th and 11th imams, Ali al-Hadi and his son Hassan al-Askari. Shiites believe that Askari's son Muhammad al-Mahdi, the 12th imam who disappeared in 878, will return to earth.

• The mosque, first developed in the 10th century, has been rebuilt numerous times. Its golden dome, which dominates the skyline, was built in 1905 and contains some 72,000 gold pieces.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/23/2006 01:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [247 views] Top|| File under:

Sadr heads for home after Samarra dome blast
Radical Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr cut short his visit to Lebanon on Wednesday after the destruction of the golden dome of a famous Shiite shrine in Iraq.
Hmmm... Got his alibi established, does he?
Al-Sadr cancelled a meeting with his dentist Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and left by road for Syria, from where he was expected to travel to Iraq, reported Al-Manar television, the channel of the Shiite guerilla group Hezbollah. Syrian government officials confirmed al-Sadr crossed the Lebanese-Syrian border about midday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. Al-Manar television reported that al-Sadr had abandoned his 10-day trip to Lebanon, which began Tuesday, and headed for home in response to the blast at the Askariya mosque in Samarra.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [341 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And the Lebs said, "Thank Allan!"

Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  hmmmm, coincedince that he was away from the mosk when this happen, all of a sudden I smell Iran
Posted by: djohn66 || 02/23/2006 0:20 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm still waiting for the worldwide islamic protests condemning the destruction of one of their holiest sites, fatwas, and head money. Then I realized just how low on the totem pole their holy sites are compared to cartoons.
Posted by: ed || 02/23/2006 0:34 Comments || Top||

#4  Dear #1 -- that's "Inshallan". Or, more grammatically, "in sha'a allan, which means, of course, "If Allan willed it."
Posted by: Unurong Spaiting6242 || 02/23/2006 6:23 Comments || Top||

#5  ed, take a look at the stories about Shiite violence against Sunnis yesterday. It's mostly the Sunnis who care about the cartoons. It's the Shiites who care about the shrines -- and who are getting pretty ticked off at absorbing al-Q / Sunni attacks.

(although I wouldn't entirely rule out Iran behind this one, since there is rivalry between Qom and the Iranian Shiite holy sites. But this one looks like al-Q to me, possibly with Sadr complicity)
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 7:26 Comments || Top||

#6  I think the demolition at Samarra is a perfect object lesson to the entire Arab world. They can choose to continue down their already well-established path of wanton destruction or reconcile themselves to some sort of coexistence. Further pursuit of the former will lead to eventual destruction of almost all of Islam's shrines at the hand of warring Islamic factions. The latter represents one of the only viable solutions. Whatever sort of compact these wingnuts arrive at will constitute a giant leap forward as it should then serve as a template for how Islam will finally achieve some sort of coexistence with the kufir world around them.

Of course, there is the possibility that, regardless of whatever negotiated peace they create amongst themselves, they will still remain unable to reconcile any sort of coexistence with the infidels. What that will amount to is their own death sentence and not much else.

These loons have a golden, literally, opportunity to finally initiate some sort of sincere rapprochment. The loss of Samarra must signal the pinnacle of their lunacy or merely be a foretaste of the sort of destruction that will continually rain down upon them. First by their own hands, and then by ours.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 11:30 Comments || Top||

#7  Well, with 130+ bodies piling up today, I'm not holding my breath, Zen! And, as you say, even if they internally agree to differences, agreeing with us infidels is a WHOLE 'nother ballgame!
Posted by: BA || 02/23/2006 12:35 Comments || Top||

#8  Be a real shame if he got popped by bandits on the way.
Posted by: mojo || 02/23/2006 15:18 Comments || Top||

#9  Unurong Spaiting6242, .com is speaking in the Saudi dialect/accent, of course, whereas you seem to have adopted Iraqi pronunciation. 'Most as bad as a boy from the hills of Tennesee trying to understand a New Yawker. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 22:58 Comments || Top||

Straw urges Iraq unity
Britain's foreign secretary has told Iraqi leaders they must form a national unity government free of domination by a single group. Jack Straw said on Tuesday that the results of the 15 December parliamentary election indicated that the Iraqi people wanted a "broad government of national unity" to bring together "all the different elements" of Iraqi society.
I didn't think they indicated anything of the sort.
"It is a crucial moment today for the people of Iraq," Straw told reporters alongside President Jalal Talabani.
I think the crucial moment came when the Sunnis succeeded in booming the Shiite shrine. Straw sounds pretty stoopid, calling for reconciliation before the corpses have cooled.
"The international community, particularly those of us who played a part in liberating Iraq, obviously have an interest in a prosperous and stable and democratic Iraq."
And the international Salafist community doesn't. But it takes less effort to squirt warm milk from the oozing udder of goodwill than it does to organize an international crusade against Salafism.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Straw = fart in wind
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 17:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Sounds like a song Capt.
Posted by: 6 || 02/23/2006 17:36 Comments || Top||

Jordan may cut back ties to Israel under Islamist threat to monarchy
Jordan threatened to cut back its official ties with Israel Wednesday night after OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh warned earlier in the day that King Abdullah II risked being toppled by an "Islamist axis" and could be the last king of Jordan.

"Hamas is gathering strength and a dangerous axis starting in Iran, continuing through Iraq and Jordan is in the process of formation," Naveh told a closed meeting of journalists and diplomats, including the Jordanian Counsel General, at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. "I don't want to be a prophet but I am not sure there will be another king after King Abdullah."

Naveh continued: "Already now, 80 percent of the population [in Jordan] is Palestinian. Let us try and imagine that the entire [Hamas] movement from the West Bank will continue to flow across the bridges into Jordan together with Hamas ideology and leadership. The family ties are taking on Hamas characteristics and this means that in a few years Hamas will become stronger in Jordan."

The Jordanian Charge d'Affairs in Israel Omar Nadif condemned the top IDF officer's prediction, threatening that the remarks could have a "negative effect" on Israeli-Jordanian relations.

"We strongly condemn and reject this irresponsible remark made by Maj.-Gen. Naveh," Nadif told The Jerusalem Post. "We expect the Israeli government to take appropriate action against the officer who made the remark, which indicates both a lack of discipline and a lack of understanding. Such an unfriendly remark may, if it is not corrected, have a negative impact on Jordan-Israel relations."

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz distanced themselves from Naveh's remarks, which officials said were under investigation.

"Mofaz and Halutz wish to clarify that the remarks associated to Naveh do not represent Israel's official position," the statement read. "Israel sees Jordan as a strong and stable country with a glorious tradition and a promising future. Israel wishes to express respect and appreciation to the Hashemite kingdom's vital contributions to the stability and peace in the region."

Military officials said that Naveh's remarks were misunderstood by the Jordanians who were in the crowd and listened to the talk through simultaneous translation to English. The remarks about Jordan, they said, were part of a larger idea that focused on the dangers Israel and Jordan faced from the creation of an Iranian-Hamas axis. Naveh, the officials said, made his remarks with the intention of praising King Abdullah and the cooperation between Israel and Jordan.

JCPA President Dr. Dore Gold said he interpreted Naveh's remarks to be referring to the growing Islamic terror threats both Jordan and Israel were beginning to face.

"Naveh was concerned with the threats that both Israel and Jordan face in the new strategic climate emerging to Israel's east," Gold said. "Specifically he added that Hamas not only posed a potential threat to Israel but also to the Hashemite Kingdom."
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Military officials said that Naveh's remarks were misunderstood by the Jordanians who were in the crowd and listened to the talk through simultaneous translation to English.

Ah, so the english and arabic words are quite different!
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/23/2006 20:07 Comments || Top||

#2  How to win friends and influence people.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 20:20 Comments || Top||

Fatah Agrees ‘in Principle’ to Join Palestinian Govt
The Fatah faction said yesterday that it had agreed in principle to join the new Palestinian government led by Hamas. At a joint press conference with Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar held in Gaza City, Azzam El-Ahmed, head of Fatah in the Palestinian Legislative Council, announced yesterday that "participation in a Palestinian Cabinet led by Hamas is in principle accepted by the Fatah movement."
A government of national unity. It's the best way. Go for it.
He told reporters that both Fatah and Hamas should first agree on a joint program of the new government. Al-Zahar, who led the Hamas delegation at the talks in Gaza City, said that "all the parties, including our brothers in Fatah, intend to participate in the government." "We have agreed to continue our discussions," he added.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fatah Agrees ‘in Principle’ to Join Palestinian Govt

How can an organization that is utterly bereft of principles agree to anything "in principle"? Bah!
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 11:11 Comments || Top||

Iran says it will finance a Palestinian Authority run by Hamas
Iran offered Wednesday to help finance a Palestinian Authority run by the Hamas militant group, state radio reported. The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, announced the offer after a meeting with Khaled Mashaal, the political leader of the Hamas, in Tehran, the radio said. Larijani said the decision was taken after the United States said it would not provide aid to an authority governed by Hamas until the group renounced violence, recognized Israel and agreed to abide by existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We felt we could offer them a better deal," Larjani said...
"The United States proved that it would not support democracy after it cut its aid to the Palestinian government after Hamas won the elections. We will certainly help the Palestinians," Larijani said, according to the radio. The United States and European Union, which consider Hamas a terrorist group, have said they will halt their grants of hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the Palestinian Authority after a Hamas government takes office unless it changes its attitude toward Israel and violence.
I imagine Medea Benjamin should be trotting out some starving Paleostinian children any time now...
... dressed in pink, natch ...
Hamas has long called for the destruction of Israel and has refused to negotiate with the Jewish state. Its leaders have refused to change their policies since the group won last month's Palestinian elections by a landslide. On Tuesday, a moderate Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was asked to form a government by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
They're quick to put scare quotes around the word "terrorist," but they can call Haniyeh a moderate without even pausing for breath.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oh no!
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 0:20 Comments || Top||

#2  It's the death sentence for Hamas and any Paleo state then.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/23/2006 1:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Iff the Mullahs are going to proclaim that suicide bombers, etal. may act and be protected in the name of Islama and the State, any Terror enacted by HAMAS may end up [rightfully] being blamed on Iran.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 2:32 Comments || Top||

#4  might be a good thing

after funding the Paleos for a few months, Iran may get donor fatigue (especially if Hamas doesn't resume suicide bombings) and begin quarrelling with the Paleos.

In the meantime Hamas will start heavy handed enforcement of Islamic strictures which the Paleos will blame on both Hamas and Iran.
Posted by: mhw || 02/23/2006 8:25 Comments || Top||

#5  A few days ago someone posted a link towards an article by an, I think, expatriate Iranian who was pissed about the "Palestine, Palestine, Palestine" discourse of the Mad Mullahs, the "Palestine" street into the smallest Iranian villages when in fact the Palestinians positively hate Iranians, that bunch of non-Arab and non-Sunni Iranians. It couleb fun when Mullahs will tell Iranians they will have to tighten their belts in order to give more to Hamas ie Sunni fundamentalists who hate Iranians still more than the PLO people did.
Posted by: JFM || 02/23/2006 10:48 Comments || Top||

#6  funny pic, .com LOL
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 10:50 Comments || Top||

#7  IF this happens (and I expect Hamas will prefer Saudi money to Iranian) this should be great fodder for the new Farsi TV station we're launching. Juxtapose stories on aid to Hamas, Hamas waste and corruption, with stories on the Iranian economy.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/23/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#8  Do it Iran. Let's get some clear lines drawn between "us" and "them." It makes things MUCH easier.
Posted by: Secret Master || 02/23/2006 12:30 Comments || Top||

#9  I 2nd lotp, .com....GREAT pic! If this doesn't push us (closer) to war with Iran, I don't know what will. It's almost as IF the MM's wanna fight (/sarcasm off).
Posted by: BA || 02/23/2006 12:31 Comments || Top||

#10  You folks should check out SomethingAwful PhotoshopPhriday "contests" - there are some amazingly gifted (read: mentally deranged artists, lol) who contribute work there. Some of it is silly, of course, but some is awesome, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 22:23 Comments || Top||

Hamas, Fatah seek common ground
Fatah has agreed at initial talks with Hamas to try find common ground for a governing partnership between the long-dominant Palestinian faction and the group that crushed it at the polls. The head of Fatah's parliamentary faction, Azzam al-Ahmad, said on Wednesday that "there is an agreement in principle and the intention is there (to participate in a coalition) but we must aawait the programme".
Good idea. Form a government of national unity. That always works wonders.
Al-Ahmad was speaking on Wednesday after a meeting between senior Hamas and Fatah figures in Gaza City. "We are in a dialogue that has only just begun and we want to find common ground and we hope that we will seal an agreement," he said.
"I mean, we both like killing Jews. That should count for something, right?"
Hamas swept to victory in the 25 January election on a platform of rooting out corruption in a Palestinian Authority dominated by the mainstream faction.
Fatah blew the election by arguing over how to split the boodle before their competing candidates had snatched it.
Outlining what appeared to be a major sticking point, al-Ahmad told Reuters that Fatah would insist a Hamas-led administration adopt President Mahmoud Abbas's vision of negotiating peace with Israel. Hamas's Mahmoud al-Zahar, who hosted the session with Fatah, said the two groups would meet again so that a coalition could be formed "as soon as possible". Hamas, sworn to Israel's destruction, has said talks with Israel would be a waste of time.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I would suggest a cemetery, a very big one, but that would be bad. Heh.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 19:33 Comments || Top||

Science & Technology
Navy investing in "shock dampening" technology
by Victorino Matus, The Weekly Standard
EFL'd to give you a taste; go read it all.

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE has given millions of dollars to a company you've never heard of in order to fund something called Project M, whose aim is "The Use of Modern Sensing and Actuation Technologies Coupled With High Speed Processing to Control Complex Dynamic Systems." In English, this means three objectives: "active control of vibration, active control of mechanical shock, and active control of magnetic fields."

But for what purpose? To create an army of Magnetos capable of hurling large metallic objects at the enemy? Not quite. . . .

. . . "Throughout history," [Rear Admiral Jay Cohen] said, "we had used rubber mounts" to reduce noise and vibration. "What all navies have traditionally done is put heavy, large cables all around the perimeter of the ship. We then pass electric currents through them to try and nullify the electromagnetic feature of the steel hulls."

But what if you could drastically reduce the amount of noise a ship makes directly at the source? One small company in Alexandria, Virginia, was proposing just that. The result was Project M.

Vibration & Sound Solutions Limited (VSSL) suggested placing mag-lev sensors at the source of the electromagnetic fields, such as motors. "The idea was to actually levitate the machinery with an array of electromagnets while using a small amount of power. " . . .

Other applications include shock-absorbing seats for landing craft and humvees, which reduce casualties when a vehicle gets hit. Cool stuff with a high geek factor.
Posted by: Mike || 02/23/2006 06:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is really an extension of the noise cancellation technology in your speakerphone. Very interesting and clever.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 9:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Vibration isolation is a small but significant subset of that universal definition of life itself:

Friction Management
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 14:17 Comments || Top||

#3  The Right Amount.

In the Right Place.

At the Right Time.

Why, if it wasn't for friction, we'd all fall down - and never get up again...
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 14:20 Comments || Top||

#4  I also like the chief engineer's saying from "The Sand Pebbles":

Maintain an even strain.

It refers to the optimal distribution of vibration and off-center torque in the driveshaft of a naval vessel. Some main bearings of the drive line are loosened and others tightened to achieve minimum vibration and noise.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 14:44 Comments || Top||

#5  The Right Amount.

In the Right Place.

At the Right Time.

Makes Jack a happy camper. [big grin]
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 14:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Sophisticated Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers.
Posted by: Al-Aska Paul || 02/23/2006 18:33 Comments || Top||

#7  Zen: watched that the other night (Steve McQueen Box DVD Set) - his instruction of numbah one was painful..."Valve" "walwe"
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 19:10 Comments || Top||

#8  The past methods described are pretty much pre-war or early WWII, which does not say a lot about the Navy. Shock and vibration noise are no jokes. Bismarks' hydrophones could 'hear' Hood and Price of Wales before they met in the Denmark Strait and both Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk inpart due to their machinery being knocked off their mounts by shock waves of explosions and near misses.
Posted by: Midway || 02/23/2006 19:17 Comments || Top||

#9  Zen: watched that the other night (Steve McQueen Box DVD Set) - his instruction of numbah one was painful..."Valve" "walwe"

Pretty painful movie in general. The entrenched racism and encouragement of "looksee" imitation, instead of actual teaching, like McQueen's character was doing. I strongly recommend reading the book. Just don't expect the usual Hollywood ending.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 19:49 Comments || Top||

Russian task force makes Syrian port call
Russian missile cruiser Moskva - on a NATO exercise - docked at Syrian Latakia port on Feb. 21

A task force led by the Moskva and the Azov landing ship became the first Russian naval force in a decade to call at a Syrian port.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report: The force sailed out of its home port of Sevastopol on the Black Sea, on Feb. 5, to join a NATO-led anti-terrorist operation in the Mediterranean for a combined three-month drill focusing on combating the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, illegal weapons trade and migration. The drill is named The Active Endeavors Operation. NATO leaders and US army chiefs were keen enough on Russian participation for NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to promise the gesture of the first visit by an alliance chief aboard the Moskva.

However, neither he nor the Americans taking part in the exercise had any idea that the Russian naval force intended to break away from the exercise long enough to put in at a Syrian port – a call which Syrian president Bashar Assad took as a gesture of support from Moscow. The visit underlined the Kremlin’s plan to play a larger part in the military affairs of the Middle East, largely by making friendly overtures to America’s adversaries. President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to discuss arms sales in Moscow with an invited Hamas delegation was part of this picture.

On Feb. 15, in the course of the NATO drill, the Moskva captured the British destroyer the Nottingham when it played the part of the enemy. The Russian cruiser also seized the Spanish frigate Navarro.

Is it just me, or is this a little too ironic?
Posted by: RWV || 02/23/2006 11:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I took part in similar exercies in the Balck Sea back in '96. It sounded very impressive on paper but in reality it was a big joke. They were extremely incompetent and it was pretty much the USN advisor onboard that told them how to do everything. They couldn't even do a simple VERTREP. Thay also ran out of fuel and we had to by more, via the US embassy, from Romania for them to get back home.

Take this with a HUGE grain of salt.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 02/23/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Docked just long enough to bring aboard takeout kabobs, the Hariri detonators, and detailed topo maps of the Bekaa valley with lots of red X's on them...
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/23/2006 12:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Russian Spetsnaz in mufti, and scientists loading up Saddam's WMD cache before Bashar gets bashed would be my guess.
Posted by: Visitor || 02/23/2006 12:44 Comments || Top||

#4  the Moskva captured the British destroyer the Nottingham

Boarding parties?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 12:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Russian Spetsnaz in mufti, and scientists loading up Saddam's WMD cache before Bashar gets bashed would be my guess.

My thoughts exactly...
Posted by: DanNY || 02/23/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

#6  As I recall the Moskva was originally designed to take on surface task forces and as an anti submarine platform. Russians do not envisage multiple roles for their Navyal vessels the way just about every other navy does.

I doubt she would have the capabilities to launch an SSM for an interdiction strike. Just anti ship and anti sub missions.
Posted by: badanov || 02/23/2006 18:26 Comments || Top||

#7  NATO should scorn the Moskva, after it leaves port by forbiding it's rejoining the exercise for breaking rank, and deployment protocols. Let her set sail for home with egg on her face!
Posted by: smn || 02/23/2006 21:34 Comments || Top||

Leb sources deny any Qatari proposal for resignation of Lahoud
Sources close to the Lebanese presidential palace denied Wednesday any Qatari proposal to make a change in the country's political scene through the resignation of President Emile Lahoud. They told KUNA that the "move" initiated by Qatari First Premier and Foreign Minister Hamad al Thani was aimed at improving the Lebanese-Syrian relations and had nothing to do with the presidency. Coming from Damascus, the Qatari foreign minister met with Lahoud earlier and told the press after the talks that his visit aimed at clearing the atmosphere between Syria and Lebanon.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/23/2006 09:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

Iran: U.S., Israel Destroyed Iraqi Shrine
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the United States and Israel on Thursday for the destruction of a Shiite shrine's golden dome in Iraq, saying it was the work of "defeated Zionists and occupiers."
Makes me think he's involved.
Speaking to a crowd of thousands on a tour of southwestern Iran, the president referred to the destruction of the Askariya mosque dome in Samarra on Wednesday, which the Iraqi government has blamed on insurgents.

"They invade the shrine and bomb there because they oppose God and justice," Ahmadinejad said, referring to the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq.
Round up the usual suspects.
"These passive activities (sic) are the acts of a group of defeated Zionists and occupiers who intended to hit our emotions," he said in a speech that was broadcast on state television. Addressing the United States, he added: "You have to know that such an act will not save you from the anger of Muslim nations."
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 08:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yes, the 10 armed Arabs with swarthy complexions who entered the building, were actually white Texans with shoe polish on their faces, and training in the local lingo. can't put anything past Iran.
Posted by: ToughLove Not Hate || 02/23/2006 18:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Mamhoud's in this up to his rolling eyes. The whole cartoon thing was dying down too fast.

All the guile of a 2 year old.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/23/2006 18:57 Comments || Top||

#3  Additional thought. this was the shrine of the 12th (hidden) Imam. the one Mahmoud believes lives in the well - his greatest hero and who coming he is hastening. He wants his planned mosque to be the greatest and most holy. this is soooo right up his ally.

Need proof real fast of his meddling.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/23/2006 19:25 Comments || Top||

Putin Sees Hope After Iran Talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday he still saw a chance of Russia striking a deal with Iran, which could defuse an international crisis over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and boost Moscow’s international profile.
Over there! Is that Hayley Mills?
But a source close to talks, at which Russian and Iranian delegates discussed Moscow’s proposal to enrich uranium for Tehran, was quoted as saying the sides had stumbled on a crucial point on which neither was ready to compromise. An agreement to pursue discussions this week during a visit to Tehran by the head of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom was the only visible result of two days of talks that ended on Tuesday. “The negotiations are not easy but we are counting on reaching a positive result,” Putin said in the Azerbaijan capital Baku. “We are not losing optimism.”
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ROFL, Fred! Perfect in-line! *snort* LOL.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 0:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Did she play Pollyanna?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 8:16 Comments || Top||

#3  TW, you're so young.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 8:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Putin Sees Hope After Iran Talks

What did Puti-Put do?
Hold A seance?
Posted by: BigEd || 02/23/2006 12:31 Comments || Top||

#5  An agreement to pursue discussions this week during a visit to Tehran by the head of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom was the only visible result of two days of talks that ended on Tuesday.

Sounds like we need to nominate these diplos to a position at the U.N.

"Nope, can't do that agreement. Say, why don't we meet next week, Jeeves?"

"Sounds good, Achmed. Say we meet in Tehran?"
Posted by: BA || 02/23/2006 12:46 Comments || Top||

#6  Yea, but does Hayley know karate? Does she (heart) the KGB?

Looks can be deceiving, but she does play with dolls just like Putty.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 17:18 Comments || Top||

#7  "I hope they fall off a cliff."
Posted by: mojo || 02/23/2006 22:38 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Innocently on the other side? MSM losing nonetheless
I'm afraid that sometimes Schadenfreude is called for.

Reuters: a disappointing 2006 outlook sent its shares down sharply. Reuters shares fell 10 percent to 406 pence ($7.11) in trading on the London Stock Exchange. Numis Securities noted that the company's guidance of 3 percent underlying revenue growth for 2006 was below forecasts of 4 percent. "The shares have had a good run but numbers are at the bottom range of expectations..."

CBS Records $9B Loss on TV, Radio Charges to write down the value of its radio and television businesses, a net loss amounting to $6 per share for the three months ended Dec. 31, weighed down by charges to write down the fair market value of its radio and television properties. The valuations of radio stations in particular have suffered in recent years due to stagnant revenues and higher costs.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 16:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I just love the smell of asset impairment in the morning...
Posted by: Raj || 02/23/2006 16:41 Comments || Top||

#2  :>
Posted by: 6 || 02/23/2006 17:17 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2006-02-23
  Yemen Charges Five Saudis With Plotting Attacks
Wed 2006-02-22
  Shi'ite shrine destroyed in Samarra
Tue 2006-02-21
  10 killed in religious clashes in Nigeria
Mon 2006-02-20
  Uttar Pradesh minister issues bounty for beheading cartoonists
Sun 2006-02-19
  Muslims Attack U.S. Embassy in Indonesia
Sat 2006-02-18
  Nigeria hard boyz threaten total war
Fri 2006-02-17
  Pak cleric rushdies cartoonist
Thu 2006-02-16
  Outbreaks along Tumen River between Nork guards and armed N Korean groups
Wed 2006-02-15
  Yemen offers reward for Al Qaeda jailbreakers
Tue 2006-02-14
  Cartoon protesters go berserk in Peshawar
Mon 2006-02-13
  Gore Bashes US In Saudi Arabia
Sun 2006-02-12
  IAEA cameras taken off Iran N-sites
Sat 2006-02-11
  Danish ambassador quits Syria
Fri 2006-02-10
  Nasrallah: Bush and Rice should 'shut up'
Thu 2006-02-09
  Taliban offer 100kg gold for killing cartoonist

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