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Showing posts from August, 2005
War reporting for Cowards, reviewed by NY Times

Sounds like an interesting read.
Roggio adds thoughts to the "Battle on the border"



New Orleans/Atlantis

The Chinees idiogram for the word "crisis" consist of two characters, the first meaning trouble and second meaning opportunity.

That is the situation in Lousiana right now. The first opportunity concerns what to do witht he city of New Orleans. The levee system made economic sense because it was cheaper than and rebuilding the city in a better place. Since we are going to have to rebuild the city anyway, it makes sense to look at all alternatives. The worst would be a return to a city nine feet below sea level surrounded by levees that are not up to a big storm surge, i.e. the old status quo.

Since much of the money for rebuilding the city is going to come from all of us, we should have some say in picking the right option.

The next opportunity concerns who will do the rebuilding. Louisana only pays lib service to the free market system. All the groups have their piece of the public till and in some cases the private tills. I can remember when eye glasses co…
Finally a serious story about the war on the Syrian border

Ellen Knickmeyer and Omar Fekeiki:

U.S. warplanes bombed alleged safe houses being used by Abu Musab Zarqawi's insurgent group near the Syrian border Tuesday during what one local leader called an unprecedented push by a Sunni Arab tribe to drive out Zarqawi's foreign-led forces. The bombings occurred along the Euphrates River in two towns that U.S. officials and Iraqis describe as havens and transit points for insurgents moving weapons, money and recruits into Iraq from Syria. Ali Rawi, an emergency room director in the border city of Qaim, said at least 56 people -- the majority of them apparently followers of Zarqawi -- were killed in Tuesday's airstrikes and ground fighting. Zarqawi's group, al Qaeda in Iraq, said in a statement posted in local mosques that it had lost 17 men.
Neither U.S. nor Iraqi officials gave death tolls.The clashes between Sunni Arab tribes and insurgents, coupled with growing vows by I…
The war of Ideas in the West

The American Thinker:

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As has been documented scores of times by The American Thinker, the homeland battle of ideas is an attempt by the mainstream media, the academic world, government schools, textbook publishers, establishment churches, wealthy foundations, city governments, Hollywood liberals, State Department bureaucrats, the Ivy League playpen at the CIA, pop stars, rap artists, civil libertarians, and other assorted noisemakers to mislead the public about the nature of the enemy, an attempt repeatedly frustrated by the enemy himself, who reveals his nature with every attack.The “war on terrorism” is thus a shooting war with Islamofascist terrorists and a battle of ideas with respectable society, which, for its own truly perverse reasons, at best exhibits a dull-witted indifference to the terrorist threat to our lives and way of life.It is a war that we could lose—and with it everything. Which is harder, publishing a false story about Koran abuse or …
The anti American left

Dana Milbank and Alan Cooperman:

Cindy Sheehan: anti-American communist?That was the accusation coming yesterday from the Heritage Foundation, which hosted author John J. Tierney Jr. for a forum titled "The Politics of Peace: What's Behind the Anti-War Movement?"
Tierney researched the movement for a book and came up with some choice descriptions. "I have to say it is communist," he told an audience at the conservative think tank, also describing the groups involved as "revolutionary socialistic" and "cohorts" of North Korea, Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro's Cuba. "We're really dealing with . . . a comprehensive, exhaustive, socialistic anti-capitalistic political structure," he said. Tierney, of the Institute of World Politics, identified five groups: ANSWER, Not in Our Name, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, and MoveOn.org. He said these groups "come from the Workers World Party" and …
Former terrorism Chief and WaPo reporter team up for misleading story

Richard A. Clarke, the former head of counterterrorism in the White House under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said yesterday that there were twice as many attacks outside Iraq in the three years after the 2001 attacks as in the three preceding years.

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Clarke took sharp issue with President Bush's repeated statements that by fighting terrorists abroad, the administration is preventing attacks in this country. "That is illogical on its face," Clarke said. Citing bombings in Madrid and London, Clarke said that "absolutely nothing prevents them from coming here."
There seems to be a lot of things that are keeping them from coming here, otherwise they would be here, since we are the focus of the war they declared. The country is certainly better off without this man's service. It can also be said that there have been fewer attacks on US facilities in other countries than there w…
Rendering justice in arbitration on Wednesday, more blogging later in the day
Peace in the bread basket of Iraq

Christian Science Monitor:

In the fertile "bread basket" of central Iraq's Diyala valley, roadside-bomb attacks have nearly stopped. This ethnically complex patchwork of towns, villages, fields, and orchards, which US commanders call a "little Iraq," has seen its share of insurgent activity since 2003. But nowadays, the local Sunni Arabs appear inclined to climb aboard the US-backed political process, rather than trying to derail it through violence.
The relative peace in the breadbasket is the result of a carefully managed transition from US to Iraqi security responsibility, US and Iraqi commanders say.While roadside-bomb attacks in July were down more than 30 percent compared to the same month last year, the drop has been especially drastic in August. The local Iraqi Army unit, the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, officially took the lead in a roughly 1,158 square-mile battle space, containing nearly 300,000 residents, on July 31.…
More info on the medic who saved the life of the man who shot him

Army News Service:

Numerous articles have been written about Spc. Stephen Tschiderer, the medic stationed in Baghdad who survived being shot in the chest by a sniper only to turn around and treat his would-be assassin’s wounds.

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In the end, it was the Iraqi citizens who led Tschiderer and his friends to the sniper.

“We ended up searching three homes on the west side,” said Tschiderer. “The families in the neighborhood kept pointing us in the right direction. In addition, the sniper’s toe was injured, so we were able to track him through a blood trail.”

As they went through the first house, Tschiderer’s platoon sergeant yelled that the sniper was in the next yard. Tschiderer and two IA Soldiers ran out the front of the house as the sniper tried to get through the gate in the front yard. When he couldn’t get through, he jumped over the adjoining wall.

Tschiderer, close behind, jumped over the wall, grabbed the sniper, sea…
NY Times and Husaybah story

The Times report leads with a questionable claim of civilian casualties in the raids on the safe houses today. The reports are based on calls to hospitals that have been notoriously inaccurate in the past, particularly if the hospital staff is sympathetic to the enemy, or the reporter is. They also tend to label enemy deaths as civilian since they violate the Geneva Convention by camoflaging themselves as civilians.

The airstrikes took place in and around the border city of Husaybah, a common transit point for insurgents entering Iraq from Syria and the site of frequent bloody skirmishes between American forces and militants in recent months. One major tribe in the area supports the insurgents, and its members have fought in the past with another tribe that supports the Iraqi government and American forces. Last week, local residents warned American military officials that terrorists were meeting in a house in the area, and American F-16 fighter-bombers bombe…
High ranking Lebanese with ties to Syria held in Hariri murder

NY Times:

A United Nations team investigating the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister ordered the detention on Tuesday of five high-ranking current or former Lebanese officials with close ties to Syria, citing them as suspects in the February killing and sending a message to Damascus and its allies that no one will be spared scrutiny in the inquiry.

Mustafa Hamdan, the commander of the Lebanese Presidential Guard, who investigators have suggested played a major role in covering up the killing, turned himself in to the authorities, while a former pro-Syrian member of Parliament named Nasser Qandil, who was in Syria on Tuesday morning, was reportedly apprehended by the police at a border crossing late Tuesday afternoon.In separate raids on Tuesday morning, investigators working with the Lebanese police detained Jamil al-Sayyed, Lebanon's former head of general security; Maj. Gen. Ali Hajj, onetime chief of the…
Al Qaeda's extradition strategy

Times:

THE protracted process of extraditing Osama bin Laden’s London lieutenant to the United States is close to its conclusion, The Times has learnt. Khalid al-Fawwaz, who has been charged in the United States over the 1998 East Africa embassy suicide bombings that killed 224 people, has been fighting extradition for seven years.
But according to a Home Office report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Mr Fawwaz’s lawyers have been given a deadline by which they must submit last-ditch pleas against his surrender to the American authorities. Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, will then decide if Mr Fawwaz, a Saudi and personal friend of bin Laden, can be handed over. Mr Clarke faces pressure to make a decision in the long-running case, which is proving an embarrassment for the Government. After the London bombings in July, Tony Blair promised to speed up extradition in terror cases by setting a maximum time limit. While Mr Fawwaz’s case…
Roggio weighs in on the action near the Syrain border

In the western Iraqi town of Qaim, clashes continue between the pro-government Bumahl tribe and the pro-al Qaeda Karabila tribe. Newsday, in an article titled "Heavy Fighting Erupts in Western Iraq", reports that "20 members of the Bumahl tribe and 15 from Karabila were killed in the clashes," with dozens wounded. Reuters reports 47 were killed in multiple U.S. air strikes directed at terrorist safe houses. "Intelligence leads Coalition forces to believe that Abu Islam and several of his associates were killed in the air strike," a U.S. military spokeswoman said in Baghdad. A hospital official in Qaim, near the Syrian border, told Reuters at least 47 people died in the U.S.-led strikes. Mohammed al-Aani said 35 people died in one house and another 12 in a strike on a second house. The U.S. military said in a statement it had carried out three separate strikes, initially dropping four bombs on a house in…
Assets of Palestinian Authority frozen in US to settle terrorism judgement

Boston Globe:

A Rhode Island lawyer trying to collect a $116 million terrorism judgment against the Palestinian Authority has obtained a court-ordered freeze on all its US-based assets, severely limiting most Palestinian economic and diplomatic activities in the United States at a critical moment for the fledgling government.

The frozen assets include US holdings in a $1.3 billion Palestinian investment fund meant to finance economic development as well as bank accounts used to pay Palestinian representatives in Washington, according to lawyers and court documents filed in Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and New York. Also frozen are about $30 million in assets from the Palestinian Monetary Authority, the Palestinian equivalent of the US Federal Reserve.Providence attorney David Strachman, who is representing the orphaned children of a couple killed in Israel by Palestinian militants, has also initiated a court ac…
Demonstration supporting the President and the troops a Smash



True believers

The Belmont Club:

Reader DL sends an excerpt from Paul Berman's recent Terror and Liberalism who "puts his liberal credentials on the line ... by critiquing the left while presenting a liberal rationale for the war on terror". Berman believes the Left should have arrived at a logical opposition to radical Islamism independently because:... Islamism (is) a totalitarian reaction against Western liberalism in a class with Nazism and communism ... Berman delineates how all three movements descended from utopian visions (in the case of Islamism, the restoration of a pure seventh-century Islam) into irrational cults of death. In a word the Left would logically be expected to oppose Osama Bin Laden because it represents everything Berman thinks the Left has fought against since it's inception. The question Berman tries to answer is why the precise opposite has happened. To get a handle on the problem he dissects the failure of the 1930s French Left to re…
Response Cliff May's letter to Cindy

Among the angry responses to my letter to Cindy Sheehan was this one: On Friday, August 26th, your letter to Cindy Sheehan was published in the MANCHESTER NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER newspaper. It contained a "comment" written by you as follows:

"THE IRAQIS WILL WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE UNDER SADDAM HUSSEIN -- THE MASS MURDERS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS"

Please tell me where these bodies are buried. Is it possible that they are with the WMD'S? This reader’s ignorance is understandable. There was precious little coverage in the MSM of Saddam Hussein’s crimes while the dictator was in power and there has not been much more since his downfall.

By contrast, of course, every suicide bombing is front-page news – and is characterized not as an atrocity but as a victory for the “militants” (dubbed in the European press as the “Resistance”) and a failure for the U.S.

On a related note: Fil…
Jay Nordlinger on Cindy and the Dems

...What bothers me about mainstream Democrats is that they pretend she is not nuts, and they let her — yes, they let her — serve as a kind of spokesman, when she should be off having a rest or whatever. It reminds me of what Mitch Snyder, the "homeless advocate," used to do in Washington, D.C. He'd have these poor homeless fellows as props — "Nothing wrong with Walter and Jeffrey here, just a little down on their luck, victims of a racist and capitalist society" — and they were obviously deranged. Snyder himself was barely hanging on. But everyone pretended.And who has taught Cindy to mouth these lines? I know her greatest hits — about Bush as the world's No. 1 terrorist, about a war for oil, or for Halliburton, or for the Carlyle Group — but Victor Davis Hanson taught me a new one in his piece last Friday: "Yes, he [Casey Sheehan, Cindy's son] was killed for lies and for a PNAC neocon agenda to benefit Israel…
The left and Iraq

David Limbaugh:

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That is, even if we conclude we were wrong to have attacked Iraq -- which we certainly were not -- our decision is done and can't be retracted, even by withdrawing. Our decision to remain or withdraw must be based on what is going on today and the likely consequences of remaining or withdrawing.The problem is that the antiwar Left has conflated these issues. They have been so obsessed with establishing (through monomaniacal repetition) their fraudulent case that President Bush lied to get us into this war, they have literally paralyzed themselves from contributing anything constructive to any issues concerning the ongoing war effort.
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Yes, let's meet head on the Left's charge that our mission in Iraq is neither part of, nor advancing our war on terror -- which it emphatically is. But let's do so in the context of how we should prosecute the war now that we're there, instead of dwelling on the moot issue of whether we should have …
A question for the antiwar pukes

Dennis Praeger:

All those who support the American war in Iraq should make a deal with anyone opposed to the war. Offer to answer any 20 questions the opponents wish to ask if they will answer just one:

Do you believe we are fighting evil people in Iraq? That is how supporters of the war regard the Baathists and the Islamic suicide terrorists, the people we are fighting in Iraq. Because if you cannot answer it, or avoid answering it, or answer "no," we know enough about your moral compass to know that further dialogue is unnecessary. In fact, dialogue is impossible. Our understanding of good and evil is so different from yours, there is simply nothing to discuss. Someone who was asked a hundred years ago "Do you believe that whites who lynch blacks are evil?" and refused to answer in the affirmative was not someone one could dialogue with.The anitwar pukes do not care. They hate any war more than they fear the enemy. Sitting in a dit…
The Dem dilemma over Roberts

E.J. Dionne:

Reports that Senate Democrats are deeply divided over how to deal with the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John Roberts both oversimplify what's happening and underestimate the conundrums the party faces.Democrats are less divided than they are uncertain. They worry about doing too little to challenge Roberts, but they also doubt their capacity to stop his nomination.'Reports that Senate Democrats are deeply divided over how to deal with the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John Roberts both oversimplify what\'s happening and underestimate the conundrums the party faces.','E. J. Dionne Jr.') Most Democrats are certain that Roberts is significantly more conservative than Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whom he would replace, and that he will push the court to the right. But they wonder whether that alone can justify a full-fledged fight against him, let alone a filibuster.Democrats who have studied tapes of Roberts'…
Bush comes out for enforcment of immigration laws

Washington Post via Houston Chronicle:

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Two weeks after the Democratic governors of Arizona and New Mexico declared states of emergency along the border, Bush used a Medicare speech here to promise local residents an increasingly robust federal campaign that will deploy more agents and provide more detention space to stop those trying to sneak into the country."We have an obligation to enforce the borders," Bush said to applause. "I understand it's putting a strain on your resources. What I'm telling you is there's a lot of people working hard to get the job done, but there is more we can do."
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Katrina raining cats and dogs in Houston

Hosuton Chronicle:

Houston kennels, shelters and swanky downtown hotels relaxed their policies Monday, opening their doors to cats and canines displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In the lobby of the downtown Hilton Americas hotel, a Great Dane, a poodle and a hound dog milled about the lobby with their owners who fled Hurricane Katrina's wrath. The grassy area across from the hotel became a potty pit and barking wafted up to other floors."They were barking this morning," said hotel spokeswoman Anna Drake, who estimated more than 100 animals, including birds, hamsters and rabbits, were now guests at the hotel."There are dogs throughout our lobby kind of hanging out with their owners. It's a zoo here."Although the hotel normally accepts pets with a pet deposit, officials dismissed the 40-pound weight limit restriction.
More terrorist "unsafe" houses bombed near Husaybah, and Karabilah

AP via NY Times:

U.S. warplanes launched airstrikes Tuesday near the Syrian border, destroying what the military described as three terrorist safe houses. Iraqi officials said fighting was underway there between tribes that support and oppose foreign fighters.

A U.S. statement did not mention tribal fighting but said four bombs were used to destroy a house occupied by ''terrorists'' outside Husaybah. Two more bombs destroyed a second house in Husaybah, occupied by Abu Islam, described as ''a known terrorist,'' the statement added.''Islam and several other suspected terrorists were killed in that attack,'' the statement said, adding that the strikes began about 6:20 a.m. The statement said intelligence reports indicated several of Islam's associates fled his house in Husaybah for the nearby town of Karabilah.''Around 8:30 a.m., a strike was conducted on …
Retired Mobil cop, stays in touch with his students in Iraq

Mobil Register:

It wouldn't be the first choice for a trip abroad for most people, or the second or third, for that matter, but when the opportunity to go to Baghdad, Iraq, presented itself to Larry Hearn, he found he couldn't say no. Hearn, a retired Mobile police officer, said when he was offered the chance to train Iraqis at a police academy there, he couldn't pass up the pay. But the monetary motivation for the job was soon overshadowed by something else, he said. "Initially, I think the big factor was the money," Hearn said recently, several weeks after returning home to Mobile. "It pays good.
"But after I got over there, the priorities changed." For 59-year-old Hearn, the desire to help the Iraqi friends he was making began to outweigh the compensation he was receiving for his work. "The main thing that surprised me is how friendly, helpful and hopeful they are that this will work,…
“We have a mission to do, and when it’s done, we’ll come home.”

The Sarasota HeraldTribune has an interview with a PFC getting ready to head back to Iraq. Too bad more politicians and media types do not have the same wisdom.
Using UAV's

Sierra Vista Herald:

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Two systems, Shadow and Hunter, are the main players in the Army's UAV program.

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Unlike the Hunter which needs something akin to a runway to takeoff and land, the Shadow uses a rail launcher. But the Shadow lands in the normal way.

One thing the Shadow is incapable of is hanging missiles under its wings, in what the Army is calling weaponization.

A newer model of the Hunter, which is larger than the Shadow, has that capability and has proven it lethality in a test setting at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

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Employees in Sierra Vista are working on the Fire Scout, a small helicopter that will be remotely controlled, he said. The company also is involved in a number of other UAV programs.

"We (the company) have small Killer Bees up to Global Hawk," Edwards said. The Global Hawk is an Air Force controlled UAV. The Killer Bee is designed for the Marine Corps.

...

Major Gen. Barbara Fast, commander of the Intelligence Center and…
Marine shot in Juarez

AP:

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The 23-year-old Marine got into a heated argument with the driver of a white sport utility vehicle who pulled out a gun and shot him, said Claudia Banuelos, a spokeswoman for state investigators in Chihuahua state, which includes Juarez.

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The Marine was accompanied by three other men who told authorities they were also Marines visiting Juarez for the day, Banuelos said.Banuelos said the group had just left a nightclub and was walking in the street when the sport utility vehicle raced by, almost hitting them."The tourists were angry and apparently threw a glass bottle at the car, prompting the driver to get out," she said.Sounds like adult beverages may have been consumed.

Reuters adds these details:

Mexican media named the soldier as Herbert Galvan, 23, a sergeant, who was shot apparently during an argument with the driver of a vehicle that sped away.Chihuahua state's attorney general, Patricia Gonzalez, told the United States that authorities w…
Saudis thwart attempted theft of autos for use as bombs in Iraq

AFP:

Saudi security forces exchanged fire Monday night in the eastern region of Jubail with four Iraqis "who infiltrated into the kingdom to steal cars and smuggle them (to Iraq)," the first incident of its kind, an interior ministry spokesman said.

"A security patrol detected four Iraqis in Jubail province, and when it approached them, they opened fire on the patrol and tried to flee," General Mansur al-Turki told AFP. "The security men returned fire. One of them (Iraqis) was wounded and transferred to hospital and the three others were arrested," he said. Turki said security forces seized two cars stolen by the gunmen. "The arrested men are being interrogated," he said.The Saudis appear to be much more aggressive in stopping the assistance to the enemy in Iraq. Recent stories in the Arab News indicate a series of arrest that coincide with the US killing of al Qaeda's man resp…
African condom shortage blamed on Bush


Who knew he was that active in Africa?
Who is Hugo?

NY Sun Editorial:

For all the fuss about Pat Robertson's suggestion that America assassinate Hugo Chavez, there's been surprisingly little focus on just what Mr. Chavez has done to prompt such a rumination.There's Mr. Chavez's extremist stance against America in the war on Islamic extremist terrorism. He opposed not only the Iraq war but even the effort to destroy Al Qaeda in Afghanistan after the attacks on America of September 11, 2001.There's Mr. Chavez's treatment of his neighbors. A protege of Mr. Chavez, Evo Morales, for example, led the June demonstrations in Bolivia that resulted in the resignation of the pro-American president, Carlos Mesa. In his recent trip to Paraguay, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said: "There is certainly evidence that both Cuba and Venezuela have been involved in the situation in Bolivia in unhelpful ways." FARC in Colombia, which the American government has designated a terrorist organization for its activities…
Cindy's satelite truck



Katrina report

While the storm was several hundred miles from Washington Texas, The nearby town of Brenham, approximately 70 miles northwest of Houston, had all its hotels filled with a lot of Louisiana lisence plates in the lot.

My sister in Lafeyette said they had little effect from Katrina, other than her two grandsons getting up early to watch the storm on TV. My brother-in-law spent the past few days scrambling to get his crews off the rigs in the Gulf, and now must scramble to get them back on the access the damages.

My speculation is that the storm went to the east of most of the rigs. The Louisiana Offshore Terminel used to unload imported crude may have been in the path of the storm. Judging by the falling prices of crude, the market has pretty much decided that the damage is minimal.
Malaysia's mobile phone porn problem



Roundup of good news from Iraq




Xtreme Defense

Washington Post:

Lightning guns, heat rays, weapons that can make you hear the voice of God. This is what happens when the war on terror meets the entrepreneurial spiritThis is a long and interesting story about disabling stun guns, and disorienting lasers. (Hat tip to Small Wars Journal.)
More Evidence of al Qaeda's attempt to expand the war beyond Iraq

AP via Washington Post:

The arrest in Serbia of a top terrorist fugitive has raised fresh concerns of an al-Qaida presence in the volatile Balkans, where thousands of U.S. and other international troops are stationed as peacekeepers. Abdelmajid Bouchar, a 22-year-old Moroccan, sought for involvement in last year's train bombings in the Spanish capital Madrid, that killed nearly 200 people, was caught at the Belgrade railway station in June.
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Bouchar was sitting in a train compartment with several other people. He said he was an immigrant from Iraq en route to Western Europe _ a common sight for Serbia's police which are used to escorting people who are heading west.But Bouchar stood out, they said. He was traveling in the wrong direction, from north to south, had no documents on him and was too well-dressed for a poor Iraqi immigrant in search of a better life in Western Europe.A month and a half later, aft…
Oil spots, aka strategic hamlets

Jack Kelly:

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In effect, the U.S. has been doing both. Fourteen of the 18 Iraqi provinces have effectively been oil-spotted; there is no insurgent activity to speak of in them. In the remaining four, the locus of action is being pushed out of the populated areas into the mostly empty desert west of Ar Ramadi.The key to a successful oil spot strategy is to have Iraqi security forces of sufficient size and competence to be able to hold and clear areas (like Fallujah) from which insurgents (largely) have been driven. This process got off to a woefully slow start, but has been going gangbusters since LtGen. David Petreaus took over responsibility for training the ISF a year ago last Spring. But it takes time. It will be late next Spring at the earliest before sufficient numbers of trained Iraqi soldiers and cops are on hand to make an oil spot to be truly effective.In the meantime, U.S. troops have been for months transitioning into precisely the role Krepi…
Warren Buffet and Berkshire-Hathaway are paying the price for betting against America

WARREN BUFFET IS BEARISH on the United States, and he's bullish on Europe. For the first time in his life, starting in 2002, Mr. Buffett entered the foreign exchange markets and shorted the dollar. This rare macro-economic bet was based on a belief that U.S. consumers and the U.S. government were spending beyond their means, and that the trade deficit was a sign of economic weakness.

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Buffett's anti-American investment sentiment has cost Berkshire Hathaway shareholders dearly. During the 12 months ending in mid-June, his stock price was down roughly 7 percent, while the S&P 500 was up 5 percent. The stock market voted "non" on this Berkshire investment strategy, just like the French and Dutch voted against the European constitution.
Buffet put his and his investor's money where his Democrat politics led him. Always a bed bet.
The quagmire of the media mind

Scott Johnson:

IF JOURNALISM were a profession, Peter Braestrup's 1977 book Big Story would be required reading in every journalism school. Braestrup's long subtitle is a little dry: "How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington." But his analysis was memorable. Braestrup showed that the press blew the story of the Tet offensive, portraying a major American battlefield victory as a disaster. In the introduction to the 1994 edition, Braestrup characterized the coverage as "an unusual media malfunction," one "on a scale that helped shaped Tet's repercussions in Washington and the Administration's response."Many have noted the media's efforts to portray the the current war in Iraq as a replay of Vietnam. These efforts date back to R.W. Apple's invocation of Vietnam on day 24 of the campaign in Afghanistan:Like an unwelcome specter from an u…
How the terrorist lost the battle against US supply lines



The clueless tribe of Sunnis

Strategy Page:

Many Sunni Arabs themselves are getting fed up with the terrorism, and lack of order in Sunni Arab areas. The contrast between the poverty stricken Sunni Arab areas, and the peaceful, and increasingly prosperous Kurdish and Shia Arab zones, is growing. Sunni Arab tribes are taking sides, and going to war with each other over this issue. That’s part of the problem with the deadlock over the new constitution. The other problem is that many Sunni Arabs really believe that they represent the majority of the population. Even those Sunni Arabs who know better, believe that the Sunni Arabs deserve more power, and oil income, than their 20 percent of the population justifies. The fact that Sunni Arabs have called the shots for centuries is something the Sunni Arabs just cannot give up, or at least not give up easily. At the same time, Sunni Arabs appear to be clueless when it comes to confronting their blood soaked past, and the fact that they grabbed…
The hateful unpatriotic left on campus

Wynton Hall & Peter Schweitzer:

As college students hit campuses across the nation this week, a new generation of young veterans will step off the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and onto the ideological battlefield of our university campuses. For those on the frontline in the war on terror, the antiwar hostility of liberal professors and campus activists will assuredly prove unsettling.

Just ask Marine sergeant Marco Martinez, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a full-time psychology major at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. “A woman on campus had apparently learned I might be a Marine. When I told her I was, she said, ‘You’re a disgusting human being, and I hope you rot in hell!’ ”Indeed, Martinez, who will be the first male in his family to receive a college diploma, says he is receiving more of an education than he bargained for: “There are a lot of people who don’t appreciate military service in college,” Martinez …
Palestinians are determined to be poor, ignorant and angry

Richard Chesnoff:

Bet you thought that as soon as Israel finished its dramatic withdrawal from Gaza and the upper West Bank, the Palestinians would roll up their sleeves, get to work building new lives and forge peaceful ties with their neighbors in the Jewish state. Guess again. Israeli forces were still in the process of removing settlers from their homes and synagogues when ministers in the Palestinian government began whining that Israel's withdrawal from Gaza was nowhere near enough. Many Gazans dismissed it all as a PR "charade." Other Palestinians warn that a third and bloodier intifadeh is on its way. And Hamas, the increasingly powerful Islamist terrorist party, says Gaza and even the entire West Bank aren't enough. "All of Palestine is our land," says Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar. That, of course, includes Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has done dangerously little t…
Why did 9-11 panel ignore Iraqi connection to '93 attack on World Trade Center?

Stephen Hayes:

AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his "pocket litter," in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis.…
People who love grizzlies, consumed by grizzly who loves to eat people
Avoiding the consequences of Lawrence v Texas

Jeff Jacoby:

"I believe severe punishment is required in this case," the judge said at Allen and Pat's sentencing in November 1997. "I think they have to be separated. It's the only way to prevent them from having intercourse in the future."

Allen and Pat were lovers, but a Wisconsin statute enacted in 1849 made their sexual relationship a felony. The law was sometimes used to nail predators who had molested children, but using it to prosecute consenting adults -- Allen was 45; Pat, 30 -- was virtually unheard of. That didn't deter Milwaukee County Judge David Hansher, however. Nor did the fact that the couple was genuinely in love and didn't understand why their relationship should be a crime. Allen and Pat didn't "have to be bright," the judge growled from the bench, to know that having sex with each other was wrong.

He threw the book at them: eight years for Allen, five for Pat, to…
Iraq's new constitution has a better chance than the EU's

Mark Steyn:

The constitutional wrangling in Baghdad is par for the course in Iraq's nation-building -- as least as filtered through the Western media. As the deadline approached we read the whole business about to go belly up, there's no agreement on the way forward, Washington's will have to admit it called things disastrously wrong and step in to salvage what it can by postponing the handover to an Iraqi administration/the first free elections/the draft constitution/whatever.
This time round, we were reliably informed the constitution was turning into a theocratic rout of Kurds, women and any other identity groups the media could rustle up. I'm not sure what the homosexual scene is like in Fallujah, but no doubt the Shi'ites were railroading through constitutional prohibitions on same-sex partner benefits for gay imams, too.
Iraqi women were better off under Saddam, various types told us, t…
Militarily significant attacks from China

Peter Brooks:

MODERN warfare is increasingly de pendent on advanced computers, and no country's armed forces are more reliant on the Digital Age than ours are. This is both the American military's greatest technological strength — and, regrettably, its greatest weakness. Today, the Pentagon uses over 5 million computers on 100,000 networks at 1,500 sites in 65 countries worldwide. Not surprisingly, potential adversaries have taken note of our slavish dependence on cutting-edge, network-centric warfare. Last year, the Department of Defense suffered a record 79,000 computer network attacks, including some that actually reduced the military's operational capabilities. In the past, top-flight military units such as the Army's 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the 4th Infantry Division have been "hacked." According to Pentagon sources, most attacks on America's "digital" Achilles' Heel are originati…
Senator No

Jesse Helms:

The Raleigh News & Observer dubbed me "Senator No." It wasn't meant as a compliment, but I certainly took it as one.
There was plenty to stand up and say "No" to during my first of five terms representing the people of North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.
That was why I had sought election in 1972 -- to try to derail the freight train of liberalism that was gaining speed toward its destination of "government-run" everything, paid for with big tax bills and record debt.

...

By some twist of logic, the big newspapers decided that the way to be "progressive" was to toss aside the underpinnings of our society. Anyone who thought differently was dismissed as "out of touch."
I've been called a "troglodyte" on more than one occasion when I angered some writer or some group who wanted me to get out of their way and let them proceed with their unrestrained liberal agenda.
In my f…
Buffalo roam the battlefield

Washington Times:

When U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Keith Kempke returns to Iraq to find and destroy land mines and improvised explosive devices, he'll be supported by a growing fleet of new armored vehicles such as the Buffalo and the Cougar.
He's already seen them in action.
"I saw the Buffalo going down Iraq's Highway 1, which is normally where IEDs are planted," said Sgt. Kempke, who has been training soldiers for bomb-disposal work at Camp Dawson, W.Va., since returning from Iraq last year. "That giant armored beast is no doubt saving lives."
Indeed, what has been referred to as a "Humvee on steroids," the Buffalo is a 24-ton mine-protective, countermine/IED vehicle with a long grappling arm that faces down bombs, removes them and withstands terrific blasts without harm to its passengers.
"It's done so perhaps thousands of times," said Mike Aldrich, vice president of sales and marketing for Ladson, S.C.…