Showing posts from July, 2003
Saudis still funding Hamas The Saudis war on terror does not include one of the leading terrorist organization, Hamas, that is still getting over half its funding from Saudi charities. “Unfortunately, while the Saudis appear to be taking their own domestic threat seriously, there is no indication that they have scaled back their support for Hamas,” according to an internal 11-page Senate staff memo obtained by NEWSWEEK. “The Israeli national assessment is that Saudi Arabia today funds more than 50 percent of the needs of Hamas and the Saudi percentage in the total foreign aid to Hamas is actually growing. U.S. assessments [of Saudi funding of Hamas] are even higher.”
The Guardian does not get it The left wing UK paper says that Bush does not get it in the Israel Palestinian dispute. It is the Guardian that does not get it. The Guardian thinks Abbas's weakness is a reason for Israel concessions. "...His remarks, in a prepared statement, also seemed to imply that Mr Abbas must achieve complete political control within the authority, including ousting Yasser Arafat from any position of real influence or executive authority for good, before Israel would act. "Mr Sharon is asking for the impossible, as he must know very well. For the second reason for challenging Mr Bush's optimistic assessment is that Mr Abbas has neither the political nor military power to satisfy these Israeli demands at this stage, even if he were fully minded to do so. "His position remains weak, as is to be expected after only a few, controversial months presiding over a government divided and impecunious after years of intifada. He canno
Bolten blast Kim John Bolten with the Bush state department was not diplomatic when it comes to North Korea. Kim "lives like royalty in Pyongyang," Mr Bolton said, while "he keeps hundreds of thousands of people locked in prison camps with millions more mired in abject poverty, scrounging for food." "...The Bush administration recently held talks with Britain, Australia, Japan and several European allies on a 'proliferation security initiative,' designed to intercept North Korean missiles and weapons of mass destruction at sea, in the air or on land, before they reach Pyongyang's client list of rogue states. "Mr. Bolton said Kim was 'dead wrong to think that developing nuclear weapons will improve his security.' North Korea triggered a crisis last autumn when it admitted having a secret nuclear weapons programme, in contravention of a deal brokered by the Clinton administration to cease nuclear research in exchange for fu
The WMD hunt "Evidence of WMD plotting found in Iraq" "The United States has found evidence of an active programme to make weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, including 'truly amazing' testimony from Iraqis ordered to dupe United Nations inspectors before the war, the man leading the hunt said yesterday. "David Kay, a former UN inspector and now the CIA's leading consultant who is joint head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), offered an unprecedentedly bullish assessment of the hunt for weapons of mass destruction. "Although he called for patience, he predicted that doubters were in for a "surprise" by the time his work was done. "...That evidence included documents detailing how to conceal arms plants as commercial facilities, and for restarting weapons production once the coast was clear, officials told reporters." The latter issue is justification alone for the war with Iraq regardless of whether any actual W
Iran to deal al Qaeda captives? NBC says the US and Iran are negotiating the turn over of al Qaeda opertives captured in Iran. "...THE THREE OPERATIVES are among the most wanted members of al-Qaida: Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, an alleged poison expert who got medical treatment in Iraq. Sa’ad Bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s third-oldest son who is believed to be planning new al-Qaida operations. Suleiman Abu Ghaith, the al-Qaida spokesman famous for introducing bin Laden in a widely seen videotape after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States." The trade would be for some Iranians who had been waging war against from Iraq called the Mujahadeen al-Khalq, or MEK. "Hawkish Republicans say under no circumstances should the United States negotiate with Iran while it’s pursuing nuclear weapons. “We shouldn’t do anything that makes it look as if we’re recognizing, legitimizing, and favoring the regime in Iran,” says foreign policy expert Michael Ledine of th
John Podhoretz "It used to be that such people believed Bush was too dumb to be president. Now they believe he has an almost mystical talent for obfuscation. Whatever they need to believe they will believe, I guess."
Furor over futures "Betting on human lives seems ethically questionable. Yet if it helps save lives, surely the moral questions are mitigated. Not so, according to those in Congress (and elsewhere) who created such a furor this week over a planned Pentagon program to project geopolitical risks that the program was quickly shut down. The plan was to use markets to "price" such risks, and it was quickly dubbed a "terrorism futures market." Unfortunately, in hastily ending this program, the government may be closing the door on an important source of information and a promising avenue for research." "...Financial markets are incredibly powerful aggregators of information, and are often better predictors than traditional methods. The examples are numerous. The futures market in orange juice concentrate is a better predictor of Florida weather than the National Weather Service. The Iowa Electronic Markets outperform the opinion polls in predicting
Huessein supporters urged to look at root causes of US violance against Saddam's sons "Academics Urge Ba'athists to End Cycle of Violence." "In the wake of the attack earlier this week that left Uday and Qusay Hussein dead, many in America's academic community came forward to encourage the remaining supporters of Saddam Hussein to 'look past their anger' and try to discover the 'root causes"'of the American attack. Said Middle East correspondent and professional idiotarian Robert Fisk, 'While it might be tempting for Saddam's supporters to lash out at the west, they would be better served by trying to understand why they are so hated throughout the world, including in their own country.'"
Terrorism futures Fortune "While the Pentagon program may sound outlandish, there is strong evidence that futures exchanges can predict events better than other forms of analysis. Betting pools on election results have proven more accurate than polls, and options markets are better predictors of future stock prices than the price targets set by individual equity research analysts. The reason, economists say, is that markets are extremely efficient at aggregating information from all investors—including inside information." The idea came from a group headed by John Poindexter, the formaer National Security Advisor in the Reagan Administration who was forced to resign after the Iran Contra issue got too hot. His presence probably caused the Dems visceral reaction to the program. The Democrat senators are the ones who need to rethink their position and quite acting in a knee jerk fassion because of the source of the idea.
Army needs more troops The new head of the Army says more troops are needed. He is right. To fight the war on terror and take on the remaining two members of the axis of evil more troops are going to be needed. The proposed increase is from the current 480,000. This is remarkably small considering the scope of the current wr. During the Vietnam War the US had more troops than that in the Vietnam theater of operations.
Terror exchange The proposal to let investors predict future terror events has been killed. The idea has some merit. It in effect enlist traders throughout the world to help predict terrorist event. It would have the effect of multiplying intelligence resources who are looking at the prblem. Democrats naturally killed the idea.
When the going gets tough Texas Dems are out of here Texas Democrats are again doing their best to thwart democracy. Democrat Senators left the state to deny a quorum to the special session that will more equitably divide US congressional seats in Texas.
How the BBC missed the US entry into Baghdad Denis Boyle at National Review Online spent April 5, 2003 listening to the BBC World Service while the US troops were entering Baghdad. "...Saturday, April 5: this will be the day most people will remember as the day when the journalistic standards of the World Service committed suicide. The BBC's bad day in Baghdad started early: A column of U.S. soldiers had entered southwestern Baghdad just after daybreak. The soldiers — in tanks and armored personnel carriers — drove through the city for several kilometers encountering only sporadic resistance. Near the university, the column turned left, drove out of the capital and parked at the international airport, which was already securely in American hands. In Qatar, the Coalition command center announced the incursion, saying that elements of the 3rd Infantry had gone into the center of Baghdad. At first, the maneuver was reported as a grab for urban territory. Later, more accur
Syria is deeply frustrated with the new reality in Middle East Logic having failed him Syria's foreign Minister has resorted to insults. "...The administration of President Bush is exceptional. Perhaps there have been similar administrations in the past, but never one at the same level of violence and stupidity." These are the words of some one who is frustrated that he has lost an argument. Next: "The external pressure applied to Syria is the heaviest it has ever faced, perhaps since the 16th century. The danger lies in the fact that those applying the pressure do not recognize its elements, among them Secretary of State aide [i.e. U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security] John Bolton, who tried to attack Syria with accusations including [possession of] weapons of mass destruction, without knowing that Damascus had called for the [U.N.] Security Council to make the Middle East free of WMD." In fact, Bolten does know ab
Dems at the weakest point in last 70 years A Democrat pollster had bad news for the party. "...less than one-third of Americans now consider themselves Democrats, down from 49 percent at their peak in 1958. And Democrats lag well behind Republicans among other growing groups of voters whose loyalties swing back and forth between parties and who hold the key to close elections - including suburbanites, professionals and middle-class families with children. That leaves the party in a poor position to build the new coalition it needs to beat President Bush and build an enduring majority in an evenly divided country." "...Already, said DLC founder Al From, the party is reviving an unwelcome image as the pre-Clinton party of "tax-and-spend" big government, weak on defense and captive to special interests. That image cost the party three straight presidential elections in the 1980s, From said."
Turning thugs into victims Jim Dunnigan takes on the Iraq stories: "What is really happening in Iraq? The media make it sound like another Vietnam, with the Iraqi population sliding towards mass resistance as Iraqi society collapses in violent anarchy. But the reality is a lot different. Attacks on coalition troops are declining, the availability of public services is increasing and public opinion towards the coalition becomes more favorable each day. The gunmen who are attacking coalition troops are being hunted down and arrested, and huge arms caches found and destroyed...." "The Special Forces doesn't allow embedded reporters and usually operates at night. These practices do not encourage journalists to go after the story. Indeed, the story of Special Forces in Afghanistan two years ago has yet to be told. There, less than 200 Special Forces troops, working with the Northern Alliance, were all that it took to run the Taliban out of power. Iraq is not Af
Andrew Sullivan takes on BBC "Good" news: There was something wonderfully strained about how various news organizations dealt last week with the news of the deaths of Qusay and Uday Hussein. From the BBC to Reuters, there was palpable - if sternly repressed - dismay. One of the first headlines that the Baathist Broadcasting Corporation put out on the news was: "US celebrates 'good' Iraq news." The quotation marks around "good" did not refer to any quote or source in the text. They were pure editorializing on behalf of the BBC, whose campaign to undermine the liberation of Iraq is now in full swing. It was not clear to the BBC that the deaths of two of the most sadistic mass murderers on the plant was in any way a good thing, especially if they redounded to the credit of Tony Blair or George Bush. And immediately, of course, pundits started to criticize the U.S. action as "extra-judicial," as a violation of the law against assassin
Iraq is a terrorist magnet Terrorist are coming to Iraq to die. "...U.S. Army Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, said attacks against U.S. forces have increased in 'sophistication, especially in the improvised explosive devices that they are using, and we're working to learn from that and to be able to counter them.' "But he said the methods are crude, though there is some evidence the attacks are being coordinated on an area basis. "He said there is evidence that terrorists and religious extremists from outside Iraq have entered the country to engage coalition forces, but no evidence indicates they are being sponsored by other governments. "'This is what I would call a terrorist magnet, where America, being present here in Iraq, creates a target of opportunity,' Sanchez said on CNN's 'Late Edition.'" "But this is exactly where we want to fight them. ...This will prevent th
Aggressive action thwarts attacks in Iraq Attacks against US forces have been cut in half because of action taken to go after former Baath Party members. "...Thousands of suspected Iraqi fighters were detained over the six-week period, many temporarily, in hundreds of U.S. military raids, most of them conducted in the dead of night. In the expansive region north of Baghdad patrolled by the 4th Infantry Division, more than 300 Iraqi fighters were killed in combat operation, the military officials said. In the same period, U.S. forces in all of Iraq have suffered 39 combat deaths. The continuing casualties -- such as the four soldiers killed Saturday -- are the direct result of the intensified U.S. offensive, the military officials added." "...At the beginning of June, before the U.S. offensives began, the reward for killing an American soldier was about $300, an Army officer said. Now, he said, street youths are being offered as much as $5,000 -- and are being
North Korea's hunger Women are trading sex for food in North Korea. "...Prostitution — long associated with the national shame of 'comfort women' enslaved by imperial Japan — is back as desperate families try to survive Kim Jong-il’s nuclear standoff with the outside world. "The women beckoning from the shadows show that Kim’s totalitarian rule is beginning to disintegrate. They come out on the streets in the evening and overtly lure older men who enjoy party privileges and access to food, the travellers said. "Abandoning Korea’s strict Confucian sexual morality, the women take customers to apartments or hotel rooms available only to officials, and the police do nothing to enforce the law. "The regime has also given up trying to stop private traders setting up stalls at crossroads selling pastries, nuts, snacks and beer."
Significance of deaths of Saddam's sons For terror to be effective as a strategy, there must be a belief that it will continue. That is what the sons representated in in Saddam's reign of terror. They were the continuation of terror into future generations, that made killing him useless unless the boys were also killed. Iraq was a state that was ruled by terror for over 30 years. That the terror is now ending is a gift US forces have given the Iraqi people. Hopefully, they will seize this opportunity and rebuild there country. While the Dems make much of the current cost of Iraqi occupation, those cost will be increasingly borne by Iraq, when their oil starts reaching the market. The recent slide in prices suggest that many in the market expect Iraqi crude to be sold soon.
Weak attacks continue in Iraq In Iraq Saddamites are still able to assinate US troops. The importance of these attacks is that they are not militaily significant. They do not effect the combat effectiveness of any US military units. Their only significnace is political. Those who opposed the liberation of Iraq can use them as an excuse to oppose the Bush administration. The opposition is totally irresponsible. No one, who is responsible, thinks the US should flee in response to these weak attacks. In the meantime weapon seizures continue. "...During the past week, U.S. forces in Iraq have seized hundreds of surface-to-air missiles and large caches of other weapons and munitions, the Pentagon told CNN on Friday. "Among the arms seized are 12 Al-Samoud surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, which, officials say, likely have a range in excess of 93 miles [150 kilometers] and might violate restrictions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations in 1991 after t
The "Real" Dr. Kelley The Brits have had trouble adequately describing the man responsible for the allegations of "sexing" the government dossier. This article in the Independent goes through the various stories on the matter in recent days, but it does not give a frank assessment of Dr. Kelly. The man was a coward. Rather than resign his position and oppose the government, he chose to hide behind the skirts of secrecy, where he could ambush without having to debate his contentions like a man. Then when put to the question before an investigating committee, he told a different story than what he told the BBC. The question then is, was his sworn testimony a lie, or was he lying to the BBC to advance some agenda consistent with the BBC bias against liberating Iraq. Either way his credibility is in doubt. If you are going to be a whistle blower, make a stand in public and be willing to face the consequences. The UK and and the US are not Saddam's I
Malawi al Qaeda suspects surface in Sudan The five al Qaeda suspects were wisked out of Malawi shortly before President Bush's trip to Africa. The story gives no explanation of haw they got to the Sudan, where they were cleared of "wrongdoing."
Al Qaeda Irag meeting documents resurface The Totonto Star has found the documents in the Iraq intelligence office that discuss a March 1998 meeting in Baghdad of a al Qaeda representative who stayed for 16 days. This meeting was followed with a December 1998 trip by an Iraqi representative to Afghanistan to meet with Osama bin Laden. "...The letter describes bin Laden as an 'opponent' of the regime in Saudi Arabia and said the message to convey to him through the envoy would relate to 'the future of our relationship with him (bin Laden) and to achieve a direct meeting with him.'" "...A second signature on the page, also in code, recommends bringing the unnamed agent to Iraq because 'we may find in this envoy a way to maintain contact with bin Laden.' "The remaining pages confirm bin Laden's agent arrived in Baghdad on March 5 and stayed a full 16 days as a guest of the Iraqi government at the Mansur Melia Hotel, one of t
Saudis want redacted portion of report published The Saudis do not think the President did them a favor by withholding the portion of the congressional report critical of them. "...What has been produced is nothing less than a charter for Saudi-bashing, all the more so because of the 28 pages supposedly dealing with Saudi links to the hijackers, blocked on White House orders. Anyone who thinks that President Bush is doing us a favor can forget it. Whatever the intention, this is an invitation to the US and other media to speculate. It would be far better if the section were published...."
Saudis react to Congressional report The Saudis are not happy witht he recent report on 9-11. "...Any notion that the Saudi government funded, organized, or even knew about Sept. 11 is 'malicious and blatantly false,' said Prince Bandar. 'Al-Qaeda is a cult seeking to destroy Saudi Arabia as well as the United States. By what logic would we support a cult that is trying to kill us?'"
Iraqis should ignore advise of Arabs "Baghdad’s fall was evidence of the erroneous hereditary Arab analysis." "...It would have been better for the person who came up with this conspiracy theory to acknowledge the discrepancy in strength between the two sides and to consider the defeat a foregone conclusion." "...Arabs, it is true to say, are “enemies of what they are ignorant of.” They haven’t got even the vaguest idea of just how evil Saddam’s regime was, because two forces tried to conceal the truth. The first is the Arab media, which had been bought and had no qualms about justifying even the most horrific crimes committed against Iraqi civilians. "The other force believes in the old Iraqi leadership and its political discourse and doesn’t comprehend the nature of the regime or believe what is being said about it after its fall."
Killing sons of Saddam leads to numerous tips "Iraqi Informants' Tips Grow After Brothers' Deaths" "In the three days since American soldiers killed Saddam Hussein's sons, informants have produced a stream of new tips, some of which have led to major raids in the last 24 hours alone, military officers in Iraq said today. "In the three days since American soldiers killed Saddam Hussein's sons, informants have produced a stream of new tips, some of which have led to major raids in the last 24 hours alone, military officers in Iraq said today." ..."'It is fair to say that we are seeing an increase in people coming forward,' said a military official in Baghdad, who spoke on condition of anonymity. 'But it's too early to say why. They may feel more confident now that the threat has been removed.'"
Democrat street erupts The Arab street has been relatively quiet since the liberationof Iraq. It has been the Democrats that have erupted since the victory. The Dems are scrambling since the liberation of Iraq trying to discredit the victory because they recognise the victory is not politically favorable to them. They have not been this hysterical since attempting to avoid responsibility for the mess they made in Vietnam.
The trap From Opinion Journal's Best of the Web: Careful, Saddam, This Sounds Like a Trap "U.S. officials said the bodies (of Saddam's sons) would be stored in a refrigerated tent at Baghdad International Airport until a family member came forward to claim them."--Associated Press, July 25
Saddam's guards captured Saddam's personal security detachment was captured in Tikrit. "Based on the informant south of Tikrit, we detained 13 individuals. Somewhere between five to 10 of those, we are still sorting through it, are believed to be Saddam Hussein's personal security detachment."
The new war on terror The continuing war on terror is now more difficult. Not only does the Bush administration have to deal with al Qaeda and the Saddam Fedeyeen, they also have to deal witht he Democrats who want to spend resources on their constiuency groups in the fire and police unions. The Democrats idea of homeland security is to protect unions and attempt to get the federal government to pay more of the cost of local public safety. The Bush administration has a better idea. Fight the terrorist on their own turf, before they can get here. It is much more efficient to fight islamist in Iraq where US troops can dominate the area than trying to defend every community in the US against a terrorist . Lately, the Democrats have been more interested in fight Bush than fighting terrorist. They are attempting to avoid responsibility for the wrong policy positions on the succesful campaign to liberate Iraq. That is why they are so bent on trying to dicredit what has been
Who would have thought it? "Poll: Americans Say Islam Urges Violence" "An increasing number of Americans believe that Islam is more likely than other religions to promote violence among its followers, according to a new survey that examined religion, politics, gay marriages and other issues likely to have a bearing on the 2004 election." Did they get that idea from all those muslims shouting "death to America?"
Stryker unit sent to Iraq A brigade that uses the new stryker armored personel carrier will rotate to Iraq soon. "...The brigade draws its name from the new, high-tech vehicle it uses, an eight-wheeled, 20-ton armored troop carrier. The brigade has 300 Stryker vehicles, and each carries a $1.5 million price tag. "They were designed to fill the gap between the "heavy" but cumbersome Cold War-era armored forces and the rapid but less-lethal "light" units, such as airborne brigades." "...John Pike, a defense analyst and director of, a military policy group, said the vehicles are designed for stability and support operations -- 'what happens after major combat operations and before peace.' "He said he believes the Stryker vehicles will strike a better balance between tanks and Humvees. "'One of the problems we have in Iraq right now is that we're annoying the local population with the
Decapitation strike 10 minutes too late The resturant strike almost got Saddam and his family according to the Times of London. "...When the first bombs fell on a house in a southern suburb, where the Americans believed Saddam and his sons were meeting, he and Uday were on the other side of the city in one of dozens of safe houses belonging to trusted friends and relatives through which the three men were to pass in the weeks to come. "The bodyguard said the Americans’ next 'decapitation' strike came a lot closer, and that Saddam survived only because several safe houses had come under attack and he suspected there was an informant within his camp. "Saddam asked the suspect, a captain, to prepare a safe house behind a restaurant in the Mansour district for a meeting. They arrived, and left again, almost immediately, by the back door. 'Ten minutes after they went out of the door, it was bombed,' the bodyguard said. "Saddam had the
American soldiers really aren't spoilt, trigger-happy yokels US forces are doing a good job in Iraq. "Whether the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein were self-inflicted or not, the military operation to capture them was immaculate. There were no American deaths, 10 minutes of warnings were given over loudspeakers, and it was the Iraqis who opened fire. So sensitive was the American approach, they even rang the bell of the house before entering. "The neat operation fits squarely with the tenor of the whole American campaign, contrary to the popular negative depiction of its armed forces: that they are spoilt, well-equipped, steroid-pumped, crudely patriotic yokels who are trigger-happy yet cowardly in their application of overwhelming force."
US tells Iran to turn over al Qaeda operatives Iran has been told to turn over the al Qaeda operatives they claim to hold to the US or to their country of origin. Presidential spokesman Scott McCellan said, "The statements would appear to confirm what we and others believe to be a significant al Qaeda presence in Iran, including members of the senior leadership. These terrorists, we have made very clear, must be brought to justice." Iran acts more like it is holding these guys in protective custody.
Reuters ask Iran questions about al Qaeda "Who are the suspects it is holding? What is it going to do with them?" "And perhaps most uncomfortably of all: What have the suspects been up to all this time? "Iran watchers say Tehran is still far from demonstrating an unequivocal commitment to work with other countries to bring al Qaeda members to book."
Saddam sightings US forces have been getting numersous reports of Saddam sightings, after announcing the deaths of his sons. "The fact that Hussein's sons were discovered to be in a distant relative's house, an obvious target for the U.S. teams organized to hunt down the former Iraqi leader, 'suggests the circle of safety is pretty small,' the intelligence official said. "The circumstances surrounding Uday's and Qusay's killing, particularly the fact that they had been at the house just a few weeks before they were attacked by U.S. forces, suggests that Hussein and his sons 'have no particular stronghold, no underground bunker; they are living on the run' and much more vulnerable to detection, said Kenneth M. Pollack, an Iraq expert who formerly worked at the CIA and the National Security Council.
Iran Says It Holds Al Qaeda Operatives Jerks in Iran again say they hold al Qaeda operatives, but they still will not identify them. This seems to be a little show they put on whenver Bush rachets up the pressure on them and accusines them of harboring the terrorist. If these people were seriously fighing al Qaeda as they claim, then they would immediately thurn the terrorist over to the US so they could be interrogated and imprisoned.
Sons of Saddam in Mosul house for 24 days In the past Huessein's regime had given Nawaf Zaidan Nasiri business, and he bragged of a close association. Then the door bell rang and he was asked to return the favors. "I answered the doorbell and there they were, right in front of my face. They asked to stay in my house and I could not refuse them. This is a disaster for me." Maybe not. "On Monday night, an informant told the U.S. military that the brothers were in the house, perhaps hoping to collect a $30 million reward from the U.S. government for information leading to the capture or death of both men. The identity of the informant has not been disclosed." The Arab News idnetified Nawaf as the informant. If so he will get $30 million. That sounds like a profitable month in Iraq.
Quagmire watch Opinion Journal's Best of the Web has caught Dick Gephart speaking of a "looming quagmire" on our shoulders alone. The Vietnam analogy is dispelled and the post war Germany analogy is suggested. "...The situation is more analogous to postwar Germany, where, as History Today explains, the occupying Allies faced attacks from a guerrilla/terrorist force called the Werewolves, which was not organized until the fall of 1944: 'The Werewolves specialised in ambushes and sniping, and took the lives of many Allied and Soviet soldiers and officers--perhaps even that of the first Soviet commandant of Berlin, General N.E. Berzarin, who was rumoured to have been waylaid in Charlottenburg during an incident in June 1945. Buildings housing Allied and Soviet staffs were favourite targets for Werewolf bombings; an explosion in the Bremen police headquarters, also in June 1945, killed five Americans and thirty-nine Germans. Techniques for harassing the o
Bad guys The evil of Saddam's sons knew no boundaries. "...The first-born son, Uday should have been groomed to take over his father's mantle, but his psychotic behaviour prompted Saddam to begin grooming the Qusay instead. "Uday's main interest was girls, the younger the better. He used his family's influence to prey on thousands of young women, running a network of pimps to search out the prettiest for him. "The pimps were terrified of Uday. One, Ali Hussein Ali, 40, had his right arm chopped off below the elbow after failing to "deliver the goods" to his master. "Girls who rejected his advances - some as young as 14 - were raped, and if their families made a scene he humiliated or even executed them. "Twice Uday, 39, turned up at wedding parties and raped the bride-to-be as her and the bridegroom's families were held at gunpoint, listening. At the second such occasion, in 1998, the groom shot himself.&quo
THE PRE-9/11 MIND Andrew Sullivan: "The more I read emails or talk to anti-war types, I get a sense that 9/11 never really happened. Or if it happened, it meant nothing more than a discrete crime with discrete criminals who alone deserved justice. The notion that it meant that we were and are actually at war with a series of terrorist entities and the tyrannies that support them never truly took hold on the far left (or right). As the months have passed, their complacency and denial have undoubtedly metastasized among others as 9/11 recedes from our collective consciousness and its emotional wound begins to heal. These people, it's worth remembering, believe that the exercise of American military power is almost always more morally problematic than any foreign tyranny or even a serious security threat to the homeland. They can only justify American military power if it is wielded under imminent, grave danger that can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. That's why
Saddam's pain Celebratory gunfire at the death of Saddam's sons was probably more painful for Saddam than the news of the deaths. The celebrations, that were entirely unscripted, showed the Iraqis true feelings for the odious regime.
Why Irtaq is not like Vietnam Austin Bay says that if Vietnam was like Iraq "the United States would have occupied Hanoi, killed or dispersed the Politburo and utterly destroyed the North Vietnamese Army. Laos and Cambodia would not have served as sanctuaries for communist troops and supplies. (Syria understands this difference.) Southerners from Saigon would be part of a new national council in the process of drawing up a democratic constitution." "...Saddam's Baathists lack a sustaining sea of support -- they operate from a few isolated ponds of Baath-Sunni holdouts (like Fallujah). The men who kill Americans for cash are pond scum, not soldiers in a wider people's war. In time, they will be isolated and captured -- or, if they fight, they'll be slain, just like the 101st Airborne killed Uday and Qusay. As for outside jihadis coming to wage holy war, bring 'em on. The United States has the military instruments in place to kill them over there, i
Change of focus Two weeks ago US forces changed their focus to concentrate of lower and mid level opponents of liberation. "...That shift produced a flood of new information about the location of the Iraqi fugitives, which came just before the attack in which Hussein's two sons were killed by U.S. forces in the northern city of Mosul, the officials said." "...The captured Baathists provided much new detail about their organization and contacts, officials here said. Some gave information about their financing and their means of communication, they added. Others identified members of their networks. Some described the routes and contacts that fugitive leaders were using. Threats to ship the recalcitrant captives to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay on the eastern end of Cuba were especially helpful in encouraging them to talk, officials said." "...The mid-level operatives who were captured turned out to be knowledgeable about how the
Iraq's trade mission to Niger Terrence Jeffrey uncovers Iraq's trade mission to Niger. "...If Iraq's emissary to Niger sought trade, the implication is obvious: Did Saddam want Niger uranium, or did he want Niger cows or cowpeas?"
List of guerillas found with bodies of Saddam's sons David Hunt on Fox News said that US forces found $50 million and a list of guerilla commanders through out Iraq. That would be a true intelligence coup.
Sons of Saddam shot Saddam's sons were killed in a shoot out with the US forces in Mosul in northern Iraq. Their death confirms what has been previously stated in this space. There was really no sanctuary in Iraq for the members of the old regime. DEBKA files suggest the sons were done in by diversity in Mosul. "...This population admixture was the cause of the downfall of Udai and Qusai Hussein. "The Al Falah district is shared by Sunnis and Kurds. Zeidan’s villa is surrounded by Kurdish families loyal to Jalal Talabani, head of the Kurdish Patriotic Union, the PUK, and a member of the new 25-man Iraqi governing council. "These neighbors were the first to catch sight of Saddam’s sons when they arrived at the villa. "According to DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources, a group went running to their leader’s nearest military headquarters to bring him the news in person. Talabani, who also happens to rent one of the Saddam family’s villas in
Playing by the rules Muslim enemies of the US fight outside the rules of modern conflict. "...Al Qaeda destroys airplanes and buildings that it itself could not possibly build. The Palestinian Authority has failed in every field of endeavor except killing Israelis. Saddam Hussein's Iraq grew dangerous thanks to money showered on it by the West to purchase petroleum Iraqis themselves had neither located nor extracted." "...the West plays by a strict set of rules while permitting al Qaeda, the Palestinians and Saddam Hussein to play without rules. We restrain ourselves according to the standards of civilized conduct as refined over the centuries; they engage in maximal ruthlessness. "Had the United States retaliated in kind for 9/11, Harris tells me (Daniel Pipes), the Islamic holy places would have been destroyed. Had Israelis followed the Arafat model of murderousness, the West Bank and Gaza would now be devoid of Palestinians. Had the West done t
Saudis find more terrorist in their midst Saudi Arabia has arrested 16 more terror suspects and confiscated numerous weapons and several tons of explosives. ..."The source added that information received from Al-Qaeda suspects now in custody almost certainly facilitated the latest crackdown. "Saudi Television, which broadcast the ministry official’s statement, showed footage of automatic rifles, weapons, binoculars, mobile phones, surveillance cameras, bullet-proof vests, passports for several nationalities, forged identity cards, cars, motorcycles, audio tapes, computers as well as cash collection boxes. "Saudi television also said the chemicals and weapons were found in Riyadh, in the Eastern Province and in Al-Qasim. “A number of bags filled with more than 20 tons of chemical substances to make explosives were found hidden underground,” the ministry official was quoted as saying."
The Saudi Whabbi lobby Educating muslims to hate not only non muslims but other muslims appears to be the Saudi's chief investment of their oil wealth according to this article in the Telegraph. ..."What is the link between the twin towers of New York and the minarets of Mecca? The men who mounted the most devastating act of terrorism in modern times, the al-Qa'eda organisation for which they worked, and the Taliban regime that gave them sanctuary, all emerged from a single Islamic fundamentalist movement. That movement - Wahhabism - originated in Saudi Arabia." ..."Only after the September 11 attacks did the global extent of the Wahhabi menace become clear. From Algeria to Bali, from Tunis to Tel Aviv, from Moscow to Riyadh, Islamist suicide bombers left a bloody trail behind them. In the background lurked the shadowy network of Wahhabi influence. "Through charities and schools, youth groups and private foundations, Saudi oil money has been de
Party of Sadotage David Horowitz takes on the Democrats. "...Not a day has gone by since American forces liberated Iraq that Democrats have not attempted to undermine the leadership that brought about the victory. The greatest triumph of American policy since the end of the Cold War has become the unending target of Democratic snipers -- among them all its presidential nominees and its chief congressional spokesmen . "The war cost too much; the rationale for the war was deceptive; the President is liar. "We want congressional investigations to tie up the Administration, distract it from its war tasks, and encourage our enemies."
Historical perspective in Iraq Ralph Peters reviews historic examples of occupation. "...During the federal occupation of the South after the Civil War, a hostile, impoverished population lived amid ruins and cholera. Deadly riots and murders were common. The terrorists of the Ku Klux Klan enjoyed far greater support among the population than do today's Baath Party dead-enders in Iraq. Attempts to achieve inclusive democracy were frustrated for a century." "...We face criminals, not a quagmire. "Yet the breathless media reporting of each American casualty in Iraq implies that the occupation has failed. Yes, every soldier's life matters. But we also need to keep the numbers in perspective. In one recent week, as many Americans died in a workplace shooting in Mississippi as were killed by hostile action in Iraq. The total casualties for the war and its aftermath hardly rise to the number of deaths on America's highways over a long holiday wee
BBC under attack Rupert Murdoch's papers are taking on the BBC on the "sexed up" dossier story. The Times "alleged the BBC may even have 'sexed-up' its own coverage. 'It is now the BBC that appears to have deliberately deceived viewers, listeners, its board of governors and parliament about the origins of this extraordinary battle with the government.'" The Sun added, "How can we ever trust the BBC again? Its behaviour over the Dr David Kelly tragedy has been disgraceful." "At every turn the BBC has displayed a total lack of judgement, bad faith, hypocrisy and low standards - all motivated by an absurd desire to prove it was bigger than No 10."
The Iraqi militia The US is putting together a new Iraqi army to take on some of the internal security load in Iraq. This is an important step in defeating the low level raiding strategy used by opponents of the Iraq liberation. The key to defeating a raiding strategy is to increase the force to space ratio in the area the attackers attempt to operate in. Adding Iraqis to this force gives a bonus not only interms of more force to space, but also creates a tie with the population making it more willing to give information that leads to the destruction of the guerrilla force. Governing counsels also give ownership of the problem to the Iraqis. "...A brigade of Ahmed Chalabi's Free Iraqi Forces, trained by U.S. Special Forces, proved itself in quickly pacifying the town of Shatra in southern Iraq in April. For its efforts the FIF was disbanded by edict of the U.S. command, which also postponed forming an Iraqi governing body. Appointment of a Governing Council means
Taking on the "Bush Lied" argument Den Beste responds to the "Bush Lied" crowd. "The new refrain is "Bush lied about the reason for attacking Iraq. He claimed that Iraq tried to purchase Uranium from Africa, and that wasn't true." Therefore... only they don't proceed with the "therefore" because their unspoken therefore is "therefore we shouldn't have attacked Iraq; we should have pursued other approaches and left Saddam in power." "And they don't want to formally say that, since Saddam was a monster and the people of Iraq are incalculably better off now without him. But those making these arguments don't care about the plight of the people of Iraq, or indeed the plight of impoverished people anywhere else, except in very abstract terms. The dirty little secret of those on the far left making these arguments is that for all their claims of compassion for the downtrodden of the world, they are pri
Does the US need more troops? There is a debate over whether the US needs to increase the number of troops in the military. "...Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and senior military officers spent time over the weekend considering how to assign enough soldiers to fill the long-term mission of stabilizing Iraq while simultaneously fulfilling other overseas commitments and providing security against terrorism at home and abroad. "Mr. Rumsfeld has been telling Congress in recent days that before the Pentagon takes the major step of asking for money to enlarge the military, he hopes to cut back on less urgent foreign assignments, to move people in uniform out of administrative tasks and back into combat units and to change the balance of assignments between active-duty forces and those in the National Guard and Reserves." "...Mr. Rumsfeld did not say so expressly, but the concept of increasing troop numbers — and costs — contradicts a basic tenet of hi
Seizing defeat from the jaws of victory The losers in the debate over liberating Iraq are like Jason in the hockey mask who keep coming back to life. They cannot admit they were wrong. "Again and again, in statements and debates in the House of Commons, Mr Blair took his stand on two things. One was the fact that, because of the UN inspections process and Resolution 1441, the burden lay with Saddam to comply with inspection over WMD, not with the allies to prove their existence. The other was that the threat in the world today is not superpower rivalry, but chaos, and that this chaos can be brought about by the combination of well-armed rogue states with terrorist non-state actors, such as al-Qa'eda. The former requires enforcement, said Mr Blair, the latter pre-emption. "He was right. We went to war, and we won. How nice for the BBC if New Labour spin now allows it to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. How dreadful for the nation."
BBC admits Kelly was source The man who committed suicide was the source of stories that were critical of the British governments dossier on Iraq. ``Over the past few weeks we have been at pains to protect Dr. Kelly being identified as the source of these reports,'' the BBC statement said. ``We clearly owed him a duty of confidentiality. Following his death, we now believe, in order to end the continuing speculation, it is important to release this information as swiftly as possible.''
No USMC casualties in southern Iraq The Marine commander had a message for the Iraqis in his area. "Maj. Gen. James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, summed up for Wolfowitz what Conway called 'the U.S. Marine Corps way of doing business' with Iraqis. "'No better friend, no worse enemy — it's your choice,' he said the Iraqis are told." "...Conway cautioned that no return date is guaranteed, but he indicated he is confident that the Marines have taken the right approach to establishing security in their part of Iraq. One key, he said, is interacting continually with regular Iraqis — especially children. "'U.S. Marines have lost a lot of soccer games,' he chuckled. 'We don't really consider that we truly lost — a lot of goodwill was gained.'"
The Iraqi collapse The Iraqi army was hollow. "...The rapid collapse of Iraq's premier fighting forces surprised American and Iraqi military commanders alike. But Iraqi officers from both the regular army and the special forces said the breakdown was due not only to U.S. bombardment but to the hollowness at the core of a military built on mistrust, deception and abuse." "...Hussein formed the Special Republican Guard, with an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 soldiers, and put his son Qusay in charge. In 1995, he created the feared Fedayeen paramilitary force -- tens of thousands of men originally trained to quell internal uprisings and demonstrations. The Fedayeen answered to Hussein's more ruthless son, Uday. And just after the Palestinian uprising against Israel began in the fall of 2000, Hussein built the Al-Quds Army, a specialized military force that bore the Arabic name for Jerusalem and was ostensibly geared toward fighting the Israelis. "'
Saddam's attacks on aircraft in no flight zone led to his regimes demise Retaliation for attacks on coalition aircraft focused on the network of fiber-optic cable that Saddam Hussein's government used to transmit military communications. They also concentrated on radar and command centers. " reason it was possible for the allies to begin the ground campaign to topple Mr. Hussein without preceding it with an extensive array of airstrikes was that 606 bombs had been dropped on 391 carefully selected targets under the plan...." "...One major target was the network of fiber-optic cable that transmitted military communications between Baghdad and Basra and Baghdad and Nasiriya. The cables themselves were buried underground and impossible to locate. So the air war commanders focused on the 'cable repeater stations,' which relayed the signals. From June 2002 until the beginning of the Iraq war, the allies flew 21,736 sorties over southern Iraq
Bush Suckers the Dems William Kristol says President Bush is driving the Democrats mad. "KARL ROVE is a genius. No--Rove probably gets more credit than he deserves for political smarts, and the president gets too little, so let's rephrase that: George W. Bush is a genius. "Almost two weeks ago, the president ordered his White House staff to bollix up its explanation of that now-infamous 16-word "uranium from Africa" sentence in his State of the Union address. As instructed, and with the rhetorical ear and political touch for which they have become justly renowned, assorted senior administration officials, named and unnamed, proceeded to unleash all manner of contradictory statements. The West Wing stood by the president's claim. Or it didn't. Or the relevant intelligence reports had come from Britain and were faulty. Or hadn't and weren't. Smelling blood, just as they'd been meant to, first the media--and then the Democratic party
Brit's bizaar reaction to Kelly's suicide The man who may have been the source for a erronous report by the BBC killed himself and the Henny Penny press of the UK thinks its all Tony Blair's fault. If he was not the source for the report, he had no reason to be depressed. If he was the source for the report, he permitted himself to be used by the BBC staff looking to make mischief for the government because of the BBC's hatred of the liberation of Iraq. If that were the case he may have been depressed because of consternation caused the government and the BBC. The botom line is that it was the BBC that used him and left him twisting in the wind, "to protect the confidentiality of its sources." The government had every right to be upset at being charged with manipulating evidence for going to war with Iraq by people who pretend objective, but have an antiwar agenda. If you are going to charge the government with the "crime" of manipulati
Dem's defensive crouch Kerry and the Dem's think the President is not doing enough to help "first responders." What he is really saying is that the President is not going along with the Dem's attempt to pump more money into their contributors in the public employee unions. It was the Dem's putting their union buddies ahead of national security that lost the senate for them in 2002. Kerry apparently is trying for a repeat in 2004.
North Korean defects A north Korean walked across the border with south Korea to defect. "...The defection occurred one day after North and South Korean soldiers briefly exchanged machine gun fire in the DMZ, the buffer area that separates the two Koreas. The shooting happened more than 75 miles west of where the man sought asylum. "The North Korean, believed to be in his 30s, walked along the eastern coast and appeared at a South Korean guard post at 3:49 a.m., according to South Korea's office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The man told South Korean soldiers that he defected to escape harsh living conditions." This event suggest that one way to defeat the wackos in the North is to encourage further defections. People who are working on their nuclear program should be offered substantial incentives to go south.
400 more reason why the "Bush Lied" crowd is wrong "You know, it's odd that no one is accusing Bush of lying about how brutal and vicious Saddam was." Den Beste gives his take on the latest mass grave in Iraq. "...In the latest in a series of grisly discoveries, the U.S. military said Thursday it found another mass grave this one in northern Iraq and thought to contain the bodies of up to 400 Kurdish women and children slain by Saddam Hussein's regime. "Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division found the grave on the side of a dry riverbed in Hatra, 200 miles north of Baghdad. An assessment team was sent to the site. "Some 25 sets of remains all women and children have been pulled from the grave, each with a bullet hole in the skull. The military said the size of the area leads them to believe the site contains between 200 and 400 bodies."
The "Bush Lied" crowd The "Bush lied" crowd real goal is to prevent preemptive wars. "... Somewhat less self-interested—though no less pernicious—are the folks who are perpetuating the myth because they want to torpedo any future pre-emptive attacks. On CNN last week (debating this columnist), Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel was clear about her motives for assailing Bush: 'The preemptive doctrine… has now turned out to be an abysmal failure based on the fact that it is predicated on having 100 percent reliable intelligence -- and we’ve seen an administration which clearly manipulated intelligence to take us into war.' "If vanden Heuvel and her cohorts can convince enough voters that the war was based on a lie, a President’s ability to defend America with pre-emptive strikes will be seriously diminished. And that’s exactly what the left wants." Meanwhile: "In the past week, North Korea has made further advances tow
Democrats unhinged Mark Steyn: "...But here’s a much more pertinent question than whether BUSH LIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!: how loopy are the Democrats? One reason why the President, in defiance of last week’s Spectator, is all but certain to win re-election is the descent into madness of his opponents. They’ve let post-impeachment, post-chad-dangling bitterness unhinge them to the point where, given a choice between investigating the intelligence lapses that led to 9/11 and the intelligence lapses that led to a victorious war in Iraq, they stampede for the latter. Iraq was a brilliant campaign fought with minimal casualties, 11 September was a humiliating failure by government to fulfill its primary role of national defence. But Democrats who complained that Bush was too slow to act on doubtful intelligence re 9/11 now profess to be horrified that he was too quick to act on doubtful intelligence re Iraq. This is not a serious party...." "...But tarring Bush as a liar w
Iran holds al Qaeda spokesman Abu Ghaith is in Iranian custody. The blustery Kuwaiti has had his citizenship revoked and Kuwait has indicated it does not want his returnn. "...He has appeared on several video and audio tapes, claiming responsibility for al-Qaeda attacks. "The tapes have a large audience in the Gulf. "After the attacks of 11 September, Mr Abu Ghaith promised 'a storm of aeroplanes' would hit American targets. "He is one of America's most wanted al-Qaeda suspects."
Minefield for Dem critics Tome Brokaw's interview with David Kay (excepts below) reveals a potential huge problem for the Democrats who are hammering President Bush on prewar intelligence. Kay points out that the thousands of yards of documents contain documentation on procurment of materials for making weapons of mass destruction. Six months from now, after most of the documents have been reviewed is is quite possible there will be evidence not only of chemical and biological agents for making weapons, but also yellow cake uranium. That possibility would give less desperate politicians pause in making assertions against the credibility of President Bush. The current hysteria is a relflection of the desperation of the liberal media and the liberal Democrats. Based on fragmentary and unproven assertions the liberals are challenging the credibility of no only the President, but the US as well. The anti liberation left will be saddled with a credibility problem of its own
Attacks in Iraq are acts of desperation "The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq says he believes coalition successes are forcing increasingly desperate supporters of the former regime to step up their guerrilla attacks." "You have to understand that there will be an increase in violence as we achieve political success because the people that have a stake in ensuring the defeat of the coalition realize that time is getting short," General Abizaid said.
Brokaw interviews the man with the WMD evidence Tom Brokaw interviews David Kay about his piles of documents that contain evidence of Saddam's WMD program. "...Brokaw: But there’s no doubt in your mind, I gather, that in fact there was a program and it was substantial. "Kay: I’ve already seen enough to convince me, but that’s not the standard. I’ve got to have enough evidence to convince everyone of that. And that’s why we’re going through this process. "Brokaw: There’s a lot of political pressure on, David. "Kay: You know that’s not what worries me. What worries me is that I know if we can’t explain the WMD program of Iraq, we lose credibility with regard to other states like Iran, Syria, North Korea. I also know I have to worry about where did what was here go? It would be the ultimate national tragedy if in a war to end proliferation, we actually allowed to escape to other states and rogue groups. And thirdly, I strongly believe that we are g
Is Saudi Arabia next? Den Beste makes a case for focusing on Saudi Arabia next in the war on terror. The rationale is based on evidence that al Qaeda drew much of its' funding from the Saudis. He makes a logical argument, but I do not agree for several reasons. It is a mistake to look at the Saudis in a black and white prism. During the 91 Gulf War they were excellent allies. Of the Arab states who participated, they were the only one who made a material contribution to the war effort. They did so with bases, troops, planes and money. Their reluctance to take on Saddam in Gulg War II is probably drawn more from latent pan arabism than from any sympathy for the former dictator. Saudi Arabia is currently going through the process of reevaluating its relationship with the Whabbis. Several clerics have been fired for preaching jihad. The attacks in Riyadh were a big mistake for the Islamist. The crackdown on their ranks has been significant. The Saudis still ha
Dem's hypocrites in intelligence Max Boot reminds that Democrats had no problem with Clinton's attack on a Sudan asprin factory which was based on faulty intelligence. "...The evidence that the Sudanese plant was actually making nerve gas for Osama bin Laden — as Clinton claimed — was subsequently discredited. Yet Democrats rushed to his defense. 'We believe the president acted correctly and responsibly,' House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said in a joint statement." "...Politically opportunistic Democrats are invoking preposterous comparisons with Watergate because of the president's statement that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Democrats smell blood because the administration has admitted that its own findings about Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium in Niger were based on forged documents. But it