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Showing posts from October, 2003
The flypaper syndrome

If you could think of a way to get the various Islamic radicals in one place so that they could be destroyed, shouldn't you do it?

From the NY Times:

"Across Europe and the Middle East, young militant Muslim men are answering a call issued by Osama bin Laden and other extremists, and leaving home to join the fight against the American-led occupation in Iraq, according to senior counterterrorism officials based in six countries.

"The intelligence officials say that since late summer they have detected a growing stream of itinerant Muslim militants headed for Iraq. They estimate that hundreds of young men from an array of countries have now arrived in Iraq by crossing the Syrian or Iranian borders.

". . .Signs of a movement to Iraq have also been detected in Europe. Jean-Louis Bruguière, France's top investigative judge on terrorism, said dozens of poor and middle-class Muslim men had left France for Iraq since the summer. He said some of them …
Who would have thought it?

The NY Times says Saddam is behind attacks in Iraq.
Coalition strategy and the odds of being hit

Strategy Page:

"Despite the large number of attacks on Iraqi targets, coalition troops are getting ambushed or sniped at some 30 times a day, more than double what it was last month. That means that each patrol or movement (by a convoy) has about a two percent chance of getting shot at, and maybe one chance in several thousand of getting killed or wounded.

"The coalition strategy is still to select, train and arm as many Iraqi security troops as are needed to deal with the Baath Party resistance, foreign terrorists and local criminals. The Baath Party group is seen as the easiest to defeat, as they are largely former Saddam government employees from the Sunni Arab minority. Not all Sunni Arabs supported Saddam and only a minority of them are supporting the resistance. A lot of this support is paid for by large hordes of cash kept by a few Saddam supporters. Hunting down the Baath Party leaders, and seizing them and their money, tak…
Al Qaeda emails its latest threat

Posturing at his keyboard Abu Mohammed al-Ablaj, identified as a senior member of al-Qaeda, is quoted in a Saudi magazine as saying, "Al-Qaeda is going to carry out a death blow against Americans during the month of Ramadan."

". . .Ablaj, who regularly communicates with the London-based weekly via e-mail, did not specify if the threatened strike will be carried out in the United States or against American interests abroad.

"'Muslims have the right to draw the blood of Americans, civilian or military, everywhere in the world,' Ablaj said

"'Bin Laden has ordered his supporters to carry out a guerrilla war against Arab and Muslim countries where there is an American military and commercial presence,' Ablaj said.

"'The guerrilla war decided by bin Laden and his assistants won't be limited to martyr (suicide) operations mentioned in his last two messages. This (war) will be carried out by other means an…
Disaster for Dems

John Podhoretz:

"THERE'S no getting around it: Life is getting a whole lot better for Americans and a whole lot worse for the Democrats running for president.

"The huge national economic growth spurt announced yesterday came as a thrilling surprise even to Bush stalwarts. One former key economic adviser told me on Tuesday that he was all excited because he believed the growth rate would be 6 percent. Instead, it was 7.2 percent - which means it was 15 percent greater than even this cockeyed optimist had hoped for.

". . .And a lot of that growth came exactly where you would want it to come - from growth in business spending. That grew by 11 percent, which means businesses are finally shelling out big-time for new equipment. And in very short order, they will need new workers to run that equipment, which means the employment picture is on the verge of brightening considerably."


Disaster for bin Laden

The news on the economy is also a disaster for …
More evidence of al Qaeda involvement in Iragi blasts

Fox News:

"Homicide bombers used thousands of pounds of powerful plastic explosives in the nearly simultaneous series of attacks in Baghdad this week, a possible sign of Al Qaeda involvement, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said Thursday.

"The way the attacks were carried out could indicate a change in tactics for those attempting to drive U.S. forces out of Iraq, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

"Each vehicle used in the attacks on the International Red Cross (search) headquarters and four Iraqi police stations was loaded with 1,000 pounds of plastic explosives, the official said. The explosives are being traced by the FBI and are believed to have originated outside of Iraq.

"Prior to Monday, a series of bombings in Iraq used old Soviet-era munitions, rocket-propelled grenades or rockets that are more readily available within Iraq."
Al Qaeda affiliate working with Saddam's former general to coordinate attacks in Iraq

Fox News:

"A senior member of Saddam Hussein's ousted government is believed to be helping coordinate attacks on American forces with members of an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group, a senior defense official said Wednesday.

"Two captured members of Ansar al-Islam have said Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is helping to coordinate their attacks, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"That information is the first solid evidence of links between remnants of Saddam's regime and the non-Iraqi fighters responsible for at least some of the attacks on U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies, the official said."
Iraqis condemn bombings

Foreigners blamed for bombings in Iraq.

“'They are criminals. Syrians, Palestinians and Jordanians from the Arab world. Iraqis wouldn’t do this,' said Saeed, a retired oil worker whose son was wounded in Monday’s attack on the Red Cross (ICRC) office which killed a dozen people.
It might be one of the few things on which Iraqis agree with US President George W. Bush, who on Tuesday pointed to foreign Islamic fighters as key suspects behind the rise in violence along with fighters loyal to ousted President Saddam Hussein.
Saeed, gesturing angrily at the shattered Red Cross building, said all suicide attacks were wrong.

. . .“'They are either Al-Qaeda or other fundamentalists. Iraqis wouldn’t do this because there were no military vehicles around here at the time,' said (Jacob) Joseph.

. . .“'The people who did this are not Iraqis ­ they are from other countries,' said Najah Shamon, a luggage vendor.

“'The people making these attacks …
Backfiring on the terrorist

While the ever reliable Tom Daschle used the terrorist bombing in Baghdad as an excuse to criticize the President, something unexpected happened. Saddamites and al Qaeda types were trying for their own Tet offensive to drive the US out of Iraq and the opposite happened.

President Bush is still running for reelection and is still committed to defeating the terrorist. More interesting is that the liberal columnist linked below have finally spoken out on the differences between what is happening in Iraq and what happened in Vietnam. James Robbins also makes some great points in his linked article.

Democrat candidates have still not been able to ovecome their partisanship on this point, but that only makes them look smaller and more extreme.

The terrorist made a grave error that should result in more of them being found in their own grave.
Walk of shame

Jonah Goldberg:

". . .Rarely has the intellectual rot of liberalism been more evident. Both at home and abroad, the honorable tradition of liberalism — and there is one — has been hollowed out by its own appetite for power and vengeance. Indeed, it is exceedingly difficult to see how liberalism, at the national level, stands for anything but appetite — undirected, inarticulate, unprincipled, ravenous appetite. Truly it has become Bill Clinton's party.

". . .Whether the war was necessary or not, reasonable people of all political persuasions outside the arena of partisan politics understand that the task of reconstructing Iraq is immensely necessary.

"If the United States were to 'bring the boys home' now, Iraq would implode, America would be seen as not merely a bully (which is not always bad, but rarely good) but also a bully with a glass jaw — which, as every thinking person must understand, would be an invitation to disaster of precisely the …
Analysis on autopilot


James Robbins:

"It was a seven-year struggle against diehard indigenous guerrillas, a controversial war that helped bring down a Democratic president, a hard-fought jungle conflict in which both sides committed atrocities, and the sentiments of the domestic peace movement were echoed by disenchanted soldiers longing for nothing more than a ticket back to the world. Yeah, you guessed it: I'm referring to the Second Seminole War. Every day I watch the coverage of events and Iraq and pray that the United States has not gotten itself into another Florida.

". . .A Vietnam story is a form of analytical autopilot, usually negative, almost always misguided. Nevertheless, recent comparisons of the Ramadan bombings in Iraq to the Tet Offensive are strangely apt. Not just because the attacks also began on a holiday, but because they have engaged the media's Tet-response mechanism.

". . .The Vietnamization of the storyline kicked into high gear when the …
Another liberal columnist notices Iraq is not Vietnam

Richard Cohen:

". . .while the similarities to Vietnam are always worth noting, the differences may be more important. Among them is the nature of the insurgency. The Vietnamese independence movement was both long-standing and widespread. (Ho Chi Minh lobbied for independence from France at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.) That cannot be said about whoever is behind the Iraq terrorism attacks -- bitter-end Baathists or Islamic zealots taking a short cut to heaven. Neither embodies Iraqi national aspirations.

"Another difference is that Iraq has no "North" -- as in North Vietnam. In Vietnam, the war on the ground was waged in the South, but supplies and manpower came down the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail from the North. Iraq has no triple-canopy jungle to screen a supply line. It's an arid, desert country where a goat can be spotted from the air. Iraq is not Vietnam.

". . .Iraq in a way is much more impor…
Bad news for Dems

Economys grows at fastest rate since 1984.

"The economy grew at a scorching 7.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter in the strongest pace in nearly two decades. Consumers spent with abandon and businesses ramped up investment, compelling new evidence of an economic resurgence.

"The increase in gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy's performance, in the July-September quarter was more than double the 3.3 percent rate registered in the second quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

"The 7.2 percent pace marked the best showing since the first quarter of 1984. It exceeded analysts' forecasts for a 6 percent growth rate for third-quarter GDP, which measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States."
Iraq not arabic for Vietnam

Tom Friedman:

"SINCE 9/11, we've seen so much depraved violence we don't notice anymore when we hit a new low. Monday's attacks in Baghdad were a new low. Just stop for one second and contemplate what happened: A suicide bomber, driving an ambulance loaded with explosives, crashed into the Red Cross office and blew himself up on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This suicide bomber was not restrained by either the sanctity of the Muslim holy day or the sanctity of the Red Cross. All civilizational norms were tossed aside. This is very unnerving. Because the message from these terrorists is: 'There are no limits. We have created our own moral universe, where anything we do against Americans or Iraqis who cooperate with them is OK.'

". . .The people who mounted the attacks on the Red Cross are not the Iraqi Viet Cong. They are the Iraqi Khmer Rouge -- a murderous band of Saddam loyalists and al-Qaida nihilists, who…
A great cartoon

The only thing missing is a guy with a liberal label.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer is not intelligent in its attacks on Nethercutt

James Tarranto in his Best of the Wed Today column discusses the Post-Intelligencers mistreatment of Nethercutt.

". . .First came an Oct. 16 editorial denouncing 'an effort to put a more positive spin on Americans' perception of the war in Iraq:'

"'Then there was U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt's ham-handed attempt to redirect news coverage and public attention to the war's positive side. 'It's a better and more important story than losing a couple of soldiers every day," the would-be senator gaffed at a gathering Monday.

"'The family of Pfc. Kerry Scott of Concrete, who buried their young hero Tuesday, likely would not share Nethercutt's news judgment.'

"Anyway, yesterday Nethercutt bought an ad in the Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times in which he accused the former paper of misquoting him, and this prompted the P-I to publish its first new…
Rooting for the enemy

Volokh Conspiracy:

"Leading 'peace movement' group admits that it supports the enemy: International ANSWER, which co-organized last Saturday's Washington protest, now openly admits that it wants 'the Iraqi anti-colonial resistance' -- which, as Michael Totten points out, apparently consists of 'three primary groups[:] Saddam’s Baathist remnants, local theocratic Islamists, and foreign foot soldiers for Al Qaeda' -- to win:

"'The anti-war movement here and around the world must give its unconditional support to the Iraqi anti-colonial resistance.'

"Yup, that's right. They fully admit it: They want people to give unconditional support to our nation's enemies, and a particularly evil set of enemies at that. (What do you think will blossom in Iraq if 'the Iraqi anti-colonial resistance' will win? Democracy? Religious freedom? Women's equality? Gay rights? Free speech? 'Civil rights & civil l…
New al Qaeda base

Strategy Page:

". . .Western and Arab intelligence sources claim that Al-Qaeda is building secret bases in Mali's Sahara desert (especially in the north, and the area near the Algerian border) with the help of Algerian extremists. Regional intelligence spotted an influx of Islamic extremists from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, concluding that Algerian extremist groups were helping them relocate to the Sahara.

"The Sahara, stretching between Mauritania and southern Libya, is only loosely patrolled by the forces of Algeria, Libya, Niger, Mauritania and Mali. For instance, Mali rejected a French demand that it crack down on people trafficking organizations that help illegal immigrants reach Europe and North America, arguing that such immigrants send home $65 million a year in remittances."
Evidence suggest WMD sent to Syria

Bill Gertz:

". . .Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to the arms programs were shipped to Syria.

"Other goods probably were sent throughout Iraq in small quantities and documents probably were stashed in the homes of weapons scientists, Gen. Clapper told defense reporters at a breakfast.

". . .He also said the Iraqi government carried out operations after the fall of Baghdad in April to cover up the hidden weapons programs. The chaos following might have included both looting and 'organized dispersal made to look like looting,' he said.

". . .Convoys of vehicles, mostly commercial trucks, were spotted going into Syria from Iraq shortly before the start of the war March 19 and during the conflict, he said."

The helpful Dems

Steve Hayward:

". . .I attended the 1984 Dem convention in SF as a reporter, and as I watched the--shall we say "colorful"--gay parade go down Market Street the day the convention opened, I ran across an old YAF activist who quipped: 'In 1972, we paid people to do this to McGovern. Now they're doing it for us.'"
Why history does not end

Victor Davis Hanson takes on the silly idea that the fall of the Berlin Wall was "The End of History."

I put this phrase in the same category as "post modern." Neither makes any literal sense.
Saddam moves to Klan strategy

The Mogudishu strategy did not work. Attacking US troops is too dangerous. Saddam has resorted to the Klu Lux Klan strategy. He is terrorizing his own people much as he did before the war. Only now, he does not have the resources of teh state to engage in his prewar genocide against the Shia and the Kurds. He is down to attacking police and the Red Cross in Baghdad and a few Sunni cities.

Ralph Peters:

". . .* How long can the Iraqi terrorists maintain this pace of attacks? We don't know. The Iraqi terrorists themselves don't know. But we should be encouraged, not discouraged, that the best they can do is to ram a few suicide wagons into public buildings. They're not overrunning our troops. They're desperately scraping up all the suicide drivers they can. It's only surprising that they've been able to find so few.

"* Do the Iraqi people support the terrorists? No. The Iraqi people just want to live in peace - without …
Dems give GOP campaign material

Dorothy Rabinowitz:

". . .Not since the Democratic Convention of 1984, which saw parades of the wild-eyed take to the streets of San Francisco for all the nation to see, have Americans had the opportunity to view so telling a display of the frenzy driving Democratic candidates.

". . .This display comes much earlier in the campaign. It's a struggle so revealing in its evidence of presidential aspirants willing to say virtually anything--about the war in Iraq, the motives of the administration and even the state of the nation--in order to appeal to voters, that it is hard to recall its equal. It is hard to recall any time in memory when we heard as extreme a level of assaultive oratory as the one directed Sunday at the administration, and the president in particular, from candidates for the nation's highest office. Can this unremittingly strident display of Bush hatred--barely lower than the cacophony that comes booming from the crowds of…
Euro parliamentarians question Sharon

DEBKAfiles:

". . .Asked by Irish parliamentarian David Norris how Israel could talk about 'executing (sic) Arafat if it is indeed, as it likes to say, the only democracy in the Middle East,' Ariel Sharon replied: 'Don’t worry about our democracy. Arafat lives, and not only is he healthy, but he is very active in organizing acts of murder against women and children.'

"He went on to deny any intention of killing him, 'although the man is responsible for the deaths of… thousands… mostly civilians.'

"When one of the mission’s organizers said the Europeans’ number one concern was the separation fence between Israel and the West Bank, Sharon rapped out: 'If there were no Palestinian terror, there would be no fence.'

"He then countered with charges of his own: I have never heard anyone in the European Parliament speak out against Iran’s public threat to destroy Israel or its race for a nuclear weapon. …
Little Green Footballs takes on Krugman

LGF:

"Paul Krugman attempts to defend his ugly column excusing Mahathir Mohamad’s antisemitic speech to the OIC, in a confused piece that plumbs new depths of moral equivalence: A Willful Ignorance. I don’t have time to fisk the whole thing (it pretty much fisks itself anyway), but one sentence really sticks out:

"'Why won't the administration mollify Muslims by firing Lt. Gen. William Boykin, whose anti-Islamic remarks have created vast ill will, from his counterterrorism position?'

"'Mollify?' This sentence makes more sense if you substitute the first synonym for 'mollify' listed at Merriam Webster’s dictionary: 'appease.' He excuses the noxious hatred of Mahathir Mohamad, while at the same time calling for General Boykin to be fired for creating 'vast ill will' ... it’s just sick, and totally ignores the fact that Islamic ill will toward America and Israel existed long before these char…
Good news from Iraq--another car bomb

Exploding a car in Fallujah seems to be all the Saddamites are capable of doing today.

Why is this god news? Going into the war with Iraq, the worse case scenario was that defeated elements of Saddam's despotic regime would engaged in Palestinain type tactics. They are not much better at it than the Palestinians who having been losing to Israel for over 50 years.

Long after the US turns to government over to Iraqis, the Saddamites will continue to act like the Klu Klux Klan. It took over 100 years for the Klan to be driven into submission, even though certain less violent strains of it still exist. The US needs to recognize that this Klan like activity will probably continue for generations.

It can be vigorously attacked. It can be denied sanctuaries. If it turns out that Syria is a sanctuary then Syria must suffer the consequences of its action.

If Democrats think this is happening because the Bush administration made a mistake by going …
Iran claims it is holding al Qaeda suspects for crimes committed in Iran.

Iran says it will not turn over al Qaeda suspects held in that country because they are to be tried for crimes committed there.

Dems fog of war

Andrew Sullivan in TNR:

"The foreign policy views of Wesley Clark and John Kerry deserve special consideration because both men represent what is supposed to be a foreign policy realism among Democrats. They're not Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich or Al Sharpton. But that makes Sunday night's rhetorical cheapness, nitpicking, and Tuesday-morning quarterbacking all the more frustrating."

Sullivan takes apart the hollow rhetoric piece by piece. Please read it.
Baghdad bombers

John Podhoretz:

"THE horrors in Baghdad over the past few days have reminded us of the inhuman nature of our militant Islamic foes - and how their mission now as ever is to dishearten and divide us so that we will eventually run away from Iraq and the Middle East and give them free rein.

". . .The race for the Democratic nomination is now entirely dedicated to the proposition that a) the war on Iraq was a mistake and b) that the major domestic effort in the war on terror - the USA Patriot Act - is a dangerous and horrible piece of legislation."
World Tribune:

"North Korea has delivered 400 ballistic missiles to clients in the Middle East and sharply increased sales over the last year.

"The South Korean Defense Ministry told parliament in a report that Pyongyang delivered 400 Scud-class missiles to a range of Middle East countries since 1985. The report said the missile export constituted the largest source of hard currency for the Stalinist regime.

"The report said the best clients of North Korea were Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The report did not say how much Pyongyang earned from the exports. But the Yonhap News Agency said the figure was $110 million.

". . .North Korean missile revenues for 2003, the analysts said, were expected to match or exceed those reported for last year. The analysts cited increased North Korean missile cooperation with Iran."
Bombing the Red Cross

Jonah Goldberg:

"It seems to me that blowing up the Red Cross is a sign of extreme desperation (and profound criminality and barbarism). You don't kill neutrals like that unless you really fear that the place might be getting better. You don't invite that kind of hatred unless the status quo is really working against you. The interesting question will be how the Europeans respond."

It must have been the crusader symbolism. Of course the people under this symbol come only to help and tht is scary if you are al Qaeda or a Saddamite.
Attacks driven by desperation

Fox News:

"President Bush said Monday that U.S. progress in Iraq is making insurgents more "desperate" and spurring attacks such as the bombings at the international Red Cross headquarters and four police stations across Baghdad that killed dozens of people.

"The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity that's available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become," Bush told reporters at the White House.
Iraq is more like Lebanon than Vietnam

Strategy Page:

". . .The resistance in Iraq is led by Sunni Arabs (Baath Party) who want to regain control of the country. Working with this group are Islamic radicals (al Qaeda and local religious zealots), who would normally be fighting the Baath Party. Thus the resistance in Iraq has an ethnic minority (the 20 percent of the population that is Sunni Arab) as a base of support. What's developing is a civil war, similar to what went on in Lebanon from 1975-90. There, Islamic radicals (mostly Shias) first used suicide bombers against their political enemies (mostly Arab Christians.) The civil war in Iraq will probably be more vicious than the one in Lebanon, because the Sunni Arabs were quite savage towards the Shia Arab and Kurd majority, over centuries. But the last few decades of Sunni Arab rule were particularly nasty, and the Shia and Kurds will not be gentle in dealing with Sunni Arab resistance. In some Sunni Arab areas, the locals…
Who is winning?

Andrew Apostolou:

". . .On September 10, 2001, al Qaeda had operatives all over the world. Their largest ever attack was about to happen and had been planned in Afghanistan and Germany, in Malaysia and the U.S. Al Qaeda's network, fed with Gulf money, was run from a seemingly impregnable base in Afghanistan, a base which although theoretically isolated could be easily accessed from neighboring Pakistan. The regime in charge of Afghanistan, the Taliban, was in al Qaeda's pocket. The regime in charge in Pakistan was not unsympathetic.

"Today, some of al Qaeda's top operatives are in prison or dead, others are on the run and finding it hard to control, influence, or even contact their colleagues. Their Taliban allies are now an insurgent force, hiding with bin Laden in Pakistan or along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It would be better if Osama bin Laden were now dead or in U.S. custody. The fact that he is in Waziristan or Baluchistan is, however, p…
Dems don't care about terrorism

Byron York:

". . .The survey focused on Democrats who take part in the nominating process in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. And, Iraq aside, what it found was that Democrats, at least those who are most active in politics, simply don't care about terrorism.

"Just don't care.

". . .In Iowa, one percent of those polled — one percent! — said they worried about fighting terrorism. It was dead last on the list.

"Two percent said they worried about homeland security — next to last.

"In New Hampshire, two percent worried about fighting terrorism and two percent worried about homeland security. In South Carolina — somewhat surprisingly because of its military heritage — the results were the same.

". . .While some might take that to mean that Democrats want a tough, security-minded leader, the poll's results in fact suggest that Democrats want a leader who has the ability to fight terrorism, but will not actu…
Hysteria in Sudan

Mark Steyn:

"I haven't really followed Sudanese current events closely since, oh, Gen. Kitchener's victory over the Mahdi at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. But a recent story from that benighted land happened to catch my eye. Last month mass hysteria apparently swept the capital city, Khartoum, after reports that foreigners were shaking hands with Sudanese men and causing their penises to disappear. One victim, a fabric merchant, told his story to the London Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. A man from West Africa came into the shop and "shook the store owner's hand powerfully until the owner felt his penis melt into his body."

"I know the feeling. The same thing happened to me after shaking hands with Sen. Clinton.

". . .The invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, in its exhaustive coverage, noted that the penises of Khartoum were vulnerable not merely to handshaking. "Another victim, who refused to give his name, s…
Orwell and the intelligencia

Andrew Sullivan:

"ORWELL ON WAR CRITICS: "It is, I think, true to say that the intelligentsia have been more wrong about the progress of the war than the common people, and that they were more swayed by partisan feelings. The average intellectual of the Left believed, for instance, that the war was lost in 1940, that the Germans were bound to overrun Egypt in 1942, that the Japanese would never be driven out of the lands they had conquered, and that the Anglo-American bombing offensive was making no impression on Germany. He could believe these things because his hatred for the British ruling class forbade him to admit that British plans could succeed. There is no limit to the follies that can be swallowed if one is under the influence of feelings of this kind. I have heard it confidently stated, for instance, that the American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution. One has to belong to the in…
A former Saddam aide worked in hotel hit by rockets

Washington Times:

"A contractor supplying kitchen staff and secretaries for the Al Rasheed Hotel, the scene of yesterday's rocket attacks, was allied to Saddam Hussein's security services and might have been providing intelligence to the anti-U.S. resistance, an Iraqi informant said yesterday.

". . .The informant, who identifies himself fully in his letter but declined to have his name published, focuses his charges on Muslel Muhammed Farhan Al-Dilemi, 53, the manager of the Al-Tamoor Trading Co. which provides services to the hotel.

". . .The letter says Mr. Al-Dilemi placed several people with jobs in the hotel kitchen and staffed the hotel with a number of "beautiful secretaries" for whom he arranged sexual liaisons.

"'His people are the ones who get the hotel kitchen food ... and he gets half of what they get on a daily basis,' said the letter, implying that Mr. Al-Dilemi was running a …
Defector from North Korea says no to deal with Kim

NY Times:

"After six years under virtual house arrest in Seoul, South Korea, Hwang Jang Yop, who proudly clings to his status as North Korea's highest-ranking defector, is to arrive in the United States on Monday to talk with Washington's elite about the inner workings of North Korea's secretive government.

". . .Mr. Hwang, 80, made it clear that he would oppose any deal in which Mr. Kim would give up his nuclear bombs but remain in charge in North Korea.

"I absolutely oppose giving North Korea guarantees if the North withdraws its nuclear weapons program," he said. "I completely oppose any policy that will ensure maintenance of the North's dictatorship."

"It is necessary to put America in a leading role of a coalition of South Korea and Japan to eliminate the North Korean dictatorship," added Mr. Hwang, who relied on a hearing aid and spoke through an interpreter. "I won'…
Why Arabs keep getting beat

The Arab News:

"In the war of October 1973, Egypt crushed the Israeli army of occupation. They destroyed the Barlief Line that was described by military experts as unparalleled in military history and ended the lie that Israel had an invincible army. This year for the first time Egypt is celebrating its victory throughout the month of October rather than just on the day of victory."

The writer omits that once Isreal responded to the attacks, it's forces also crossed the Suez and were headed for Cairo. In the north Isreali forces were on their way to Damacus when the Arabs asked for a cease fire. As long as these guys keep living under the delusion that their wars with Isreal were victories, there is little chance that they will ever make peace. In their next war with Isreal, the world should do them a favor and not stop the Isreali tanks on their way to Arab capitols. Maybe then they will recognize they are losers.
Why should the US care what happens to our enemies the Palestinians

David Horowitz:

"A recent poll conducted by a Palestinian research organization showed that the majority of Palestinians support the forces in Iraq that are fighting our troops, in other words al-Qaeda and its ally Saddam Hussein. This is hardly surprising since Arafat and the Palestinians were Saddam Hussein's biggest and most vocal allies in the Gulf War of 1991. Yet not a single news source reporting these facts nor a single political figure has drawn the obvious conclusion: the Palestinians are America's self-declared enemies and part of the Axis of Evil. . . . So why is there the fiction of a 'peace process' with this part of the Axis of Evil and not the others?"
Dem candidates credibility takes another hit

Can you believe Democrat candidates for president say they would be a better commander in chief than George Bush?

Who are these guys trying to fool? Oh, everybody.

". . .some party regulars warned after the debate that their candidates were missing the point.

"'There's a huge credibility gap our party has on national security -- not because we don't have enough military medals, but because we have no plan of action,' said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile."

At least Al Gore's former campaign manager gets it. You have to wander how many other Democrats have a clue.
Wolfowitz more determined than NY Times

Paul Wolfowitz showed determination after the attack on the hotel where he was staying in /Baghdad.

"Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy civilian chief at the Pentagon, promised an 'unrelenting' effort to crush Iraqi resistance after his hotel in Baghdad was hit by a barrage of rockets early yesterday.

". . .Mr Wolfowitz, who was on a visit to Iraq intended to highlight the reconstruction process and improvements in security, described the attack as "the desperate acts of a dying regime of criminals".

"The criminals who are trying to destabilise this country abused and tortured Iraq for 35 years and we have ended that mass oppression. There are a few who refuse to accept the reality of a new and free Iraq. We will be unrelenting in our pursuit of them."

NY Times looking for defeat

Popping off a few rounds toward a hotel is enough to put the NY Times in full retreat. The paper claims insignificant attacks on a hotel in Baghdad as a defeat for the administration.

The paper is quick to surrender in the face of impotent attacks by forces that lack the means to make a potent attack. It is an example of what is wrong with modern liberalism. It is to quick to flinch in the face of cowardly bullies. It would consign Iraq and the administration to defeat because a few rounds are shot toward a hotel.

What kind of cowards are these people? If it is not easy, do they want to run and hide? The Mogudishu strategy will always defeat the liberals at the NY Times. Hopeful the rest of the country is more determined to do what is right despite the acts of impotence of the few.

Since the end of major combat operations, has any "Iraqi resistance" unit mounted any attack with a force larger than a reinforced platoon? No! In Vietnam the f…
Al Qaeda's new base

What should be done about al Qaeda's new home in Iran?

". . .What to do? As with other major decision points since 9/11, the current debate is between the aggressive, comprehensive war strategy of the president and some of his top aides, and the cautious, incremental view of many of the military, intelligence, and diplomatic officials responsible for carrying it out. These officials tend to see most issues raised by the war as discrete and separable. Their views have a veneer of expertise and sophistication. Sunnis are not Shiites, they point out. Arabs are not Persians. Governments are not terrorist movements. Islamists don't like secularists. All very true, and yet Islamist warriors are today infiltrating into Iraq to fight side-by-side with Baath restorationists.

"So, elements of the U.S. government, and of other governments, do not want to hold Iran accountable for allowing al Qaeda to establish a new global headquarters within its borders.…
Osama's best friend

Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard:

"IN A LITTLE-NOTICED DECISION in a New York courtroom on September 25, 2003, a man described as Osama bin Laden's 'best friend' got some good news. U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts ruled that Mahmdouh Mahmud Salim could not be sentenced to life in prison.

"Salim--who was present at the founding of al Qaeda in 1989 and who was for years one of bin Laden's most trusted confidants--had been captured in Germany in 1998 and extradited to the United States for prosecution related to his role in the grand conspiracy that resulted in the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. The bombings killed 224 people and injured more than 5,000.

". . .So who is Mahmdouh Mahmud Salim? He served al Qaeda in a wide variety of roles. He was a financier. He was a religious leader. He was a technology wizard. Most important, perhaps, was Salim's work as an emissary and a weapons procurer. Tho…
Arab world told of al Qaeda confession to 9-11 attacks

Al Jazeerah:

"The two suspected Al-Qaeda members believed to have been the architects of the Sept. 11 attacks have given interrogators full confessions, according to a German magazine report.

"The report in Der Spiegel news magazine, due to hit newsstands across Germany tomorrow, quotes US and German security experts as saying the confessions came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his right-hand man, the former Hamburg technical university student Ramzi Binalshibh, both of whom are in custody.

"The two men have reportedly told interrogators that plans were drawn up as early as 1996 for flying planes into strategic targets in the United States.

"Mohammed’s original plan envisioned loading high explosives aboard light aircraft.

"But Osama Bin Laden himself is said to have dismissed that idea with the words, 'Why use a hatchet when you can use a bulldozer?'

"Thus, the idea of hijacking airliners was …
Emblamatic ethnic hatred

Daniel Pipes:

"THE prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, informed the world this month, among other things, that 'Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.' Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. national security adviser, described Mahathir's comments as 'hateful, they are outrageous.'

But she then added, 'I don't think they are emblematic of the Muslim world.' If only she were right about that.

"In fact, Mahathir's views are precisely emblematic of current Muslim discourse about Jews - symbolized by the standing ovation his speech received from an all-Muslim audience of leaders representing 57 states. Then, a Saudi newspaper reports, when Western leaders criticized Mahathir, 'Muslim leaders closed ranks' around him with words of praise ('very correct,' 'a very, very wise assessment').

"Although anti-Jewish sentiments among Muslims go back centuries, today&#…
Think tank battles

Richard Rahn:

"Why have the 'conservative' think tanks been so successful, while those on the left have withered? The Democrats have been increasingly concerned by the fact they are losing the war of ideas, and they ought to be.

". . .The non-statist, 'conservative' think tanks are unified in looking for market solutions to problems because empirical evidence has shown most 'state' solutions cause more problems than they solve.

". . .The problem with think tanks of the left, or closely affiliated with the Democratic Party, is that they are captives of the statist ideal or self-serving constituent groups, like unions. Hence, even though it is widely recognized public schools are failing in many places, a leftist think tank would likely be unable to set forth a voucher program or some other support for competing private schools because it would upset the teachers unions. The conservative think tanks are not so constrained, and henc…
Dems would not change Iraq policy

Donald Lambro:

"The Democratic presidential candidates have been attacking President Bush relentlessly on the Iraq war and occupation, but most of them would follow the same general course of action.

"Ever since Mr. Bush sent American air, naval and ground forces into Iraq on March 19 to topple Saddam Hussein's regime, the Democratic candidates have been escalating their campaign rhetoric against the way the president went to war and is handling postwar reconstruction.

"Their noisy political offensive has masked the fact that a majority of them would keep U.S. troops in Iraq while seeking increased financial and peacekeeping support from the United Nations and U.S. allies, just as the administration is doing."

Even Howard Dean would not pull US forces out of Iraq.
Dems gunned down

"Democratic presidential candidates are distancing themselves from tough gun control, reversing a decade of rhetoric and advocacy by the Democratic Party in favor of federal regulation of firearms.

"Most Democratic White House hopefuls rarely highlight gun control in their campaigns, and none of the candidates who routinely poll near the top are calling for the licensing of new handgun owners, a central theme of then-Vice President Al Gore's winning primary campaign in 2000.

". . .the Democrats' shift away from gun control is rooted more in politics than a belief that gun laws do not help prevent crime and death, several Democrats said privately."
The other Mexican immigration

The Americans are moving to Baja.

"Slowly but surely, acre by acre, Mexico's Baja Peninsula is becoming an American colony.

"'For Sale' signs are sprouting all over the 800-mile-long peninsula, offering thousands of beachfront properties. Americans are snapping them up. They have already created communities where the dollar is the local currency, English the main language and Americans the new immigrants transforming an old culture.

". . .This new land rush, involving billions of dollars, tens of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of miles of coastline, is gaining speed despite the fact that Mexico's Constitution bars foreigners from directly owning land by the sea.

"Mexico's government wants foreign capital as much as Americans want a house on the beach — maybe more. So it worked around the Constitution. In 1997, it changed the law to allow foreign ownership through locally administered land trusts. A Mexican bank …
Life without Saddam is good

JOEL BRINKLEY NY Times:

". . .On Friday evening, the American authorities lifted the curfew on Baghdad starting early Sunday morning, saying life here was returning to normal. Across the city on Saturday, numerous Iraqis agreed and provided ample evidence. Streets swarmed with people shopping and socializing. Coffee houses were packed. Families strolled; vendors clogged the sidewalks.

"The manager of a travel agency said he is busy for the first time in more than a decade, primarily booking thousands of vacations to the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, where Iraqis had been forbidden to travel since 1991.

". . .Outside the city passport office on Saturday afternoon, dozens of Iraqis milled about, waiting to apply for travel papers. Rouda Jasim Ali sat under a tree outside the office, obviously proud as she held travel papers just issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority, written in English and Arabic.

"She had never left the country be…
Anti war pukes demonstrate their ignorance

Ignorance will be on parade in Washington this weekend.

"Protesters began converging on the nation's capital yesterday for what they hope will be the largest antiwar demonstration since the fall of Baghdad."

Their apparent goal is to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Note their goal in relation to the fall of Baghdad. Their objective makes about as much sense as turning the south over to the Klu Klux Klan after it had been defeated in the Civil War.
NY Times weird idea of what is the mainstream

The NY Times says California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown is out of the mainstream. She like Pricilla Owens in Texas won election to her position on the State Surpreme Court getting around 80% of the vote. It would appear that both of them are much closer to the mainstream of America than the NY Times.
Arab apartheid

Palestinian terrorist threatened to kill any arabs that sold land to jews.

". . .Fatah's Aksa Martyrs Brigades distributed leaflets in Jerusalem on Wednesday threatening to execute Palestinians who sell their property to Jews or act as intermediaries in such deals.

". . .Six Jewish families have moved into Sheikh Jarrah in recent years, prompting Palestinian activists to renew their call for imposing the death penalty on Palestinians involved in the transactions.

"The Aksa Martyrs Brigades has decided to execute the traitors in public," the leaflets stated.

"The PA mufti of Jerusalem has in recent years issued repeated threats to Palestinians involved in land deals with Jews.

". . .Shortly after the warning, Fatah activists and Palestinian Authority security agents kidnapped and killed six Arabs from Jerusalem after accusing them of selling lands and houses to in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem to Jewish groups.

"The bullet-riddled…
More Almoudi revelations

The man arrested with $340,000 in Lybian money had other interesting evidence on him.

". . .Alamoudi’s Palm Pilot, which the government claims included the names and numbers of six designated global terrorists.

". . .The government also alleges Alamoudi had a Swiss bank account and $2.2 million in unreported income, on which he failed to pay taxes.

". . .in an audiotape of a conversation obtained by NBC News, Alamoudi seems to embrace violence and suggests al-Qaida should choose better targets: (Translated) 'I prefer to hit a Zionist target in America or Europe or elsewhere.'"
Clinton explains the trick

Lowell Ponte:

"WE CAN’T WIN IF PEOPLE THINK WE’RE TOO LIBERAL,” said former President Bill Clinton. “But we can’t get our own folks out if people think we have no convictions. So the trick is to get them both.”

What is wrong with the French

Jonah Goldberg:

". . .What is astounding is how much of a free pass this one-time ally is getting here in America. Because the war was unpopular with many liberals, it's assumed that France's actions are informed by the same principles as, say, Howard Dean's. I think Dean's positions on the war are scandalously dim-witted and ill-advised. But he still wants what is best for America and even Iraq. It is impossible to say the same thing about France."
Bad week for Dems

John Podhoretz:

"IF you're a Democrat and you're paying close attention to the electoral portents for 2004, this is not a happy week for you.

"Prescription drugs: House and Senate negotiators are on the verge of agreeing to a $400 billion bill creating a prescription-drug benefit - a bill the president is eager to sign.

". . .Don't get me wrong. I think the prescription-drug benefit is a terrible idea. At this moment it appears the only way America will be saved from it is if Democrats oppose its creation because it isn't terrible enough.

"Partial-birth abortion: This week, 10 years of GOP efforts to ban this disgusting practice - during which a viable fetus is pulled out of the birth canal, its head smashed and its brain sucked out - finally paid off. The president signed the ban into law.

". . .The economy: New jobless claims have remained below 400,000 for three straight weeks now, a strong indicator that substantial economic…
Stop the Christians?

Wesley Pruden:

". . .The message here is plain enough: The enlightened elites must stamp out the Christian faith, lest it anger the hijackers of Islam. The Boykin incident has all the makings of a modern Dreyfus case, the cashiering of a decorated military officer to appease bigots who are offended by his religious faith."

When you get to the heart of the Boykin critics arguement, it is that Boykin is providing clippings for the other teams bulletin board.
Prominent muslim who took money from Lybia arrested

Abdurahman Alamoudi who received $340,000 from Lybia recently could face a maximum 105 years in prison.

". . .Court documents filed to supplement the indictment allege Alamoudi has ties to the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas and worked with the nephew of Osama bin Laden.

"The documents also paint Alamoudi as an extremely wealthy man, allegedly receiving more than $2.1 million in his personal bank accounts from 1996 to 2002. None of that money was reported on tax returns, authorities said."
Saudi schools in Germany tied to terror

"Explosives and a testament like those written by suicide bombers have been found at the home of a man linked to a Saudi-funded school, German secret service sources said yesterday, intensifying pressure for the institution to be closed.

". . .Although 40 per cent of the 500 pupils have German citizenship and will probably spend their lives in the country, education officials are concerned that only one to two hours a week are dedicated to learning German.

"Religious instruction is give eight to nine hours. Textbooks seized last week by police and examined by experts are said to have a 'disturbing' content and to present a 'very narrow interpretation' of Islam.

"A teacher at the school was filmed by German television calling for a holy war 'in the name of Allah' during prayers at a mosque attached to the institution. The teacher was suspended."
The Boykin attacks

Leiberman complains about Boykins expression of religious beliefs in church.

"Democratic presidential candidate Joe Lieberman said a top Army general should be reprimanded for his criticism of Muslims, calling those comments the ``mirror opposite'' of Osama bin Laden's vilification of Christians and Jews."

If the first amendment guarnatee of freedom of religion has any meaning, it should mean that expressions of religious belief in a church should not subject someone to the abuse that Boykin has endured. These expressions were not made to be broadcast to the world but at a service ina church. By making the comments public in order to criticize them the media is manufacturing a story. Obviously, the media for the most part does not like the views expressed by Boykin.

What is important about Boykin is whether his views prevent him from executing his duties. There is zero evidence that it does. While his views may anger some muslims, it is unli…
Dem's economic strategy not working for old Europe

High taxes and high services has led Germany into the same stagnation as France.

"Germany will join France in breaking European Union budget rules for a third year in 2004, Finance Minister Hans Eichel said on Thursday, as the government raised its 2003 borrowing goal and slashed its growth forecasts.

". . .Economy Minister Wolfgang Clement said the government cut its 2003 growth forecast to zero from 0.75 percent and expected Europe's largest economy, emerging from its second recession in as many years, to expand between 1.5 and 2.0 percent in 2004.
Unilateral?

Steven Den Beste:

". . .A lot of those nations, both Gang-of-8 and Vilnius-group, are in Iraq, helping us: Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain have boots on the ground. I was particularly surprised by how large the Netherlands contingent was (and I offer my thanks).

"Of course, the UK has the second biggest presence after our own. Australia's not listed, but they were there for the invasion. But I'm surprised and pleased to see that New Zealand's there. (Maybe there's hope for the anglosphere yet. Hello, Toronto? Care to get back into the game and make it five of five?)

"Also Dominica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua (!) are in, collectively providing some 1140 troops who are operating with the Spanish.

"You also got Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Macedonia, Ukraine.

"The la…
Rumsfeld's memo

Andrew Sullivan:

"THE RUMMY MEMO: It's the most reassuring statement on the terror war I've yet read. The important thing about any administration in its third year is that it not be complacent, that it not be in denial, and that it ask tough questions of itself. Rumsfeld sure is no McNamara. And if I were a terrorist, I'd be alarmed at how earnest the U.S. government now is about tackling the threat. Of course, a MoDo column ridiculing this is now inevitable. Which is more indication that it's an encouraging sign."

And Sullivan on North Korea:

". . .One of the lessons I drew from Iraq is that, when push comes to shove, there are some regimes that, regardless of any other factors, should be destroyed, if we can, purely because of their unmitigated evil. North Korea is one of them. Yes, I know that its ambiguous nuclear capacity makes military action all but impossible. But the horrors of its system beggar belief. I'm suspicious of an…
Rumsfeld's memo

Lilek:

"The Rummymemo flap is depressing on a number of levels. Oh, in one respect, it’s heartening; you could take it to mean “okay, we’ve conquered Afghanistan and Iraq; is there anything else we should be doing?” - a sentiment which would have seemed quite reassuring to some after 9/11. (And horrifying to others, who hoped that having been knocked flat by a sucker punch, we would crawl back to our corner, spit into the bucket, and request permission from the French and German judges to declare the bout a draw.) It’s not an “admission of failure, ” as Daschle put it - hell, the administration could put Osama’s head on a stick in the Rose Garden, and Daschle would call it an admission of failure that they hadn’t located the torso. I will never trust these people with national security again. Never, never, never. We’re in the fight of our lives, and all they can do is carp and bitch and piss and moan, because - as was the case with many conservatives in the Bosn…
Kim's game

Jim Hoagland:

"North Korea's Kim Jong Il can claim no more than a temporary and tactical success by having drawn President Bush into talking publicly about possible U.S. security guarantees for North Korea. That's fine by Kim. He'll take temporary and tactical any day.

"Kim buys time to survive a little longer, the paramount goal for a regime that seems to perch endlessly on the doorstep of oblivion. He must pray to his Stalinist gods that Napoleon was right when he said that nothing endures like the temporary.

". . .This represents a serious challenge for the Bush administration, which seems to alternate in foreign policy between tactical and strategic phases -- rather than putting the former consistently at the service of the latter. The State Department does process, the White House and Pentagon do substance, and somehow the twain are supposed to meet."
Liberals against religious expression in church too

Ann Coulter:

"In an emerging scandal, NBC News has produced tapes proving beyond deniability that the new deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence is ... a Christian. Lt. Gen. William G. 'Jerry' Boykin has been captured on a series of grainy tapes, attesting to his faith at churches and prayer breakfasts. Having driven the Judeo-Christian value system out of the public square, the classrooms and the Alabama Supreme Court, liberals now want to drive it out of church."
Ambush busters

"The Air Force and the Army are working on a classified project to use new combinations of surveillance aircraft and other sensors, along with intelligence on the ground, to try to detect and counter the increasingly deadly ambushes against American forces in Iraq, senior Pentagon officials said on Wednesday," the NY Times reports.

". . .The Pentagon plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on surveillance and other new ways of fighting insurgents, Congress has been told. But senior military officials are wary of disclosing too much about the Air Force-Army surveillance project, saying they do not want to tip off Iraqi insurgents and foreign fighters who are clashing with American forces as many as two dozen times a day.

". . .Mr. Wolfowitz said the spending would include $38.3 million for tethered blimps equipped with digital cameras to spy on guerrillas' movements, more than $30 million for electronic jammers to disrupt their remote-contro…
Liberal critics were wrong about prewar intelligence

"A Senate investigation has found no evidence that the Bush administration pressured CIA analysts to tailor their intelligence to suit the White House's views on the threat posed by Iraq.

". . .The committee finding comes amid claims from former intelligence officials that the White House pressured the CIA and other branches of U.S. intelligence to confirm its views on the Iraqi threat.

"However, no current intelligence analysts came forward to the committee to back up that charge. And the White House says the intelligence it received on Iraq was unbiased and accurate."
Winning in Iraq

Austin Bay:

". . .Looming strategic success in Iraq runs counter to "if it bleeds it leads" headline coverage and commentary from Axis of Neville (Chamberlain) pundits. The headlines aren't false. Parts of Iraq are war zones, where fighting and dying continue. 'Disarming' may take years. Saddam's filched billions and hidden weapons caches prop a flickering resistance. 'Rearming' Iraq police is going too slowly.

"Headlines, however, aren't the full story. Building goes on behind and around the bleeding, and that's the truly big news. Brick by brick creation isn't as sensational as bomb by bomb destruction, but brick by brick amounts to more. It's why in three years, give or take, Iraqis will have their own make-or-break chance to do something truly revolutionary -- run an Arab democracy.

". . .Another project provided 22.3 million doses of vaccines to 4.2 million children. Shots from a syringe don't rat…
Another reason Dems should not be trusted on national security

Andrew Sullivan:

"THE DEMS AND TERRORISM: A very striking finding in a recent poll on Democratic party activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Given a list of issues and asked to say which ones they cared about most, almost none said terrorism. In Iowa a full one percent said they wre concerned about terrorism - less than three years since 9/11. The base wanted a candidate with credibility on national security - but didn't seem to care about the issue as such. A combination of cynicism and amnesia. I'm not a Republican. But polls like these make me realize I'm even less of a Democrat."
Clinton's al Qaeda legacy

The Washington Times:

". . .In an interview yesterday with the Washington Times, Mr. (Mansoor) Ijaz summarized his view of the Clinton administration's culpability regarding September 11. 'I said then as I say now: Bill Clinton's inability to understand what was fueling the rise of bin Laden as a phenomenon — not as an individual — was the greatest U.S. foreign policy failure of the last half-century. It has affected hundreds of millions worldwide. Even if we get him now, who will be the next bin Laden? There are many willing candidates standing in line. Islamic radicalism exists today because Clinton didn't dismantle al Qaeda when he had the chance.'

"With all this information in mind, there is one important question regarding Bill Clinton's claim that he warned Mr. Bush about the al Qaeda threat. If Mr. Clinton did believe bin Laden posed the most serious danger to America's security, why didn't he take the opport…
Saudis get under Pak umbrella

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have cut a cheap oil for Pakistan nuke protection deal.

"It will be vehemently denied by both countries," said the Pakistani source, whose information has proven reliable for more than a decade, "but future events will confirm that Pakistan has agreed to provide [Saudi Arabia] with the wherewithal for a nuclear deterrent."

Now that is puzzling. What is the value of nuclear deterrent, if its existance is kept secret? That is Dr. Strangelovian.
Kim's gulags

Claudia Rosett:

"The latest hallucination of geopolitics has it that if only we can make North Korea's Great Leader Kim Jong Il feel safe from the fate of Saddam Hussein, maybe he'll stop testing missiles and making nuclear bombs. So the experts--whose ranks have now swelled to include, alas, even President George W. Bush--have been scrambling for ways to make Kim feel more secure.

"Bad mistake. . . . Ensuring the safety of monsters is not only an invitation to even more trouble ahead, it is also wrong.

". . .Not that North Korea's longstanding gulag has been a complete secret. Though Kim's regime denies its existence, and foreign observers have no access to it whatever, enough people have escaped North Korea in recent years to provide substantial testimony about conditions inside the country, and even inside the prison camps."


Whispers of democracy in middle east

The Christian Science Monitor:

"Ever so gently, the breezes of change - we can't yet call them 'winds' - are rippling across hitherto repressed parts of the Islamic world.

• Saudi Arabia announced last week it will hold elections for municipal councils within a year - its first flirtation with real elections.

• In Morocco, King Mohammed VI outlined sweeping changes in polygamy, marriage, and divorce laws, proclaiming: 'How can society achieve progress while women, who represent half the nation, see their rights violated and suffer as a result of injustice, violence, and marginalization?'. . .

• In Iraq there's movement toward swifter empowerment of the Iraqi Governing Council, to be followed by a new constitution and national elections, perhaps in 2004."
Mohammed executed Pearl

The NY Times reports:

". . .American officials said Tuesday that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, once Al Qaeda's top operational commander, personally executed Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was abducted in Pakistan early last year. Mr. Mohammed had previously been linked to a militant group believed to have committed the murder.

". . .Mohammed, who is being held at an undisclosed location as a suspected terrorist, might be charged with Mr. Pearl's murder at a military tribunal. However they said he was unlikely to be accused of the crime in an American criminal court because of the risk of divulging classified information."
Intelligence does not win wars

John Keegan:

"How important is intelligence in bringing victory or averting defeat?"

". . .As the American David Kahn, the supreme intelligence historian, puts it: 'There is an elemental point about intelligence - it is a secondary factor in war.'

". . .In reality, intelligence is muddled, partial, contradictory, often proving not very secret at all and always confusing."