Showing posts from November, 2003
Iraq attempted to buy a missle production line from North Korea NY Times: ..."For two years before the American invasion of Iraq, Mr. Hussein's sons, generals and front companies were engaged in lengthy negotiations with North Korea, according to computer files discovered by international inspectors and the accounts of Bush administration officials. The officials now say they believe that those negotiations — mostly conducted in neighboring Syria, apparently with the knowledge of the Syrian government — were not merely to buy a few North Korean missiles. "Instead, the goal was to obtain a full production line to manufacture, under an Iraqi flag, the North Korean missile system, which would be capable of hitting American allies and bases around the region, according to the Bush administration officials. ..."Mr. Hussein discovered what American officials say they have known for nearly a decade now: that Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, is less than a
Samarra ambush backfires on Saddamites Washington Times: "Fierce fighting between U.S. soldiers and Iraqi militants in Samarra Sunday left 46 rebels dead and at least 18 wounded. ..."The rebels were wearing the uniforms of the pro-Saddam Hussein Fedayeen, MacDonald said." While the Iraqi Saddamites may have had some intelligence about the convoy, it was clearly not enough. The convoy was escorted by M-1 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles as well as attack helicopters. A platoon size force attacking such a convoy is badly outmatched. Anytime the Saddites have attempted to attack in units that large the consquences for them have been disasterous for them. It could have been desperation driving the futile ambush. The convoy is reported by Fox News to have been carrying the new Iraqi currency. Captured Iraqis could give valuable clues to their command structure.
Friedman's tin ear Tom Friedman: ..."Just a few hours earlier, terrorists in Istanbul had blown up a British-owned bank and the British consulate, killing or wounding scores of British and Turkish civilians. Yet nowhere could I find a single sign in London reading, 'Osama, How Many Innocents Did You Kill Today?' or 'Baathists — Hands Off the U.N. and the Red Cross in Iraq.' Hey, I would have settled for 'Bush and Blair Equal Bin Laden and Saddam' — something, anything, that acknowledged that the threats to global peace today weren't just coming from the White House and Downing Street. "Sorry, but there is something morally obtuse about holding an antiwar rally on a day when your own people have been murdered — and not even mentioning it or those who perpetrated it. Watching this scene, I couldn't help but wonder whether George Bush had made the liberal left crazy. It can't see anything else in the world today, other than the
The proof trap Analysis of prewar intelligence is focusing on the doughnut holes and not the doughnut. "'Even a cursory review' of charges the U.S. and British administrations made in white papers released before the Iraq war 'shows that point after point that was made was not confirmed during the war or after the first [six] months of effort following the conflict,' Cordesman found in his study, a draft of which he provided to The Washington Post. "...Cordesman found, the Iraq experience shows that U.S. intelligence is 'not yet adequate to support grand strategy and tactical operations against proliferating powers or to make accurate assessments of the need to preempt.'" This is where Cordeman falls into the proof trap. What is obvious is that rogues states that are hostile to the US should not play games. It is not a good idea to go pulling on Superman's Cape when he is busy looking for people responsible for murdering a lot
Ever eager to miss the opportunity to discuss peace, Palestinians say they want while barrier is under construction Palestinians are not very smart when it comes to dealing with Israel. Their latest ploy is to refuse to meet with Israel until Israel stops building teh barrier that is being put in place too keep Palestinians from coming into Israel and exploding around Israelis. A rational person might ask why Israel would agree to such a condition. If Israel continues to build its barrier, the Palestinians will have even less negotiating leverage, since the threat of exploding Palestinians will be reduced. If the Palestinians were smart, rather than emotianally immature, they would negotiate a settlement that would at least put the barrier in a more favorable location from their perspective. One way or another the barrier will be in place anyway as long as there are exploding Palestinians.
Saddamite strategy is to isolate US by attacking support personel The attack on the Spainish intelligence team is an example of how Saddamites are trying to peel off support for US efforts in Iraq by killing people from other countries or from support organizations like the Red Cross. They are still too weak to attack the US directly and their hope is that by chasing off allies and support units they can cause the US to bear more of the burden and thus give up. As startegies go, it is probably the best they can come up with, but it is still pretty weak, because in reality the Saddamites are very weak. With only a few thousand "troops" they are suffering attrition with each attack they initiate or with each attack the US initiates. This is not a viable strategy long term, unless the Democrats come to power in the US. That is certainly what Yasser Arafat is waiting on in Israel and it is what the Saddamites are reduced to at this point.
France--the banker for the3 axis of evil Michael Gonzalez, Opinion Journal: "'Follow the money' is an old adage, and it means that economic interest will eventually explain much human behavior. That France opposed the removal of Saddam Hussein because he owed millions to French banks is proof of this. Less well known, but much more troubling, are key French financial links with other U.S. enemies. They raise the belief that the Franco-American conflict over Iraq was just one slice of the action. For France was not just Baathist Iraq's largest contributor of funds; French banks have financed other odious regimes. They are the No. 1 lenders to Iran and Cuba and past and present U.S. foes such as Somalia, Sudan and Vietnam. "This type of financing is shared by Germany, France's partner. German banks are North Korea's biggest lenders, and Syria's--and Libya's. But France is the most active. In Castro's sizzling gulag, French banks pl
Al Qaeda up to something in US USA Today: "A top counterterrorism official says al-Qaeda operatives dropped plans this year for several small attacks in the USA to focus on plotting a "more spectacular" assault comparable to the Sept. 11 attacks. ..."Recent intelligence reports indicate that al-Qaeda remains fascinated by the idea of using aircraft as missiles, despite the additional security at U.S. airports since the 9/11 attacks, the official said. "U.S. analysts still say explosives typically used in more limited assaults, including vehicle bombs in suicide attacks, remain al-Qaeda's most likely weapon here."
Omar spotted in Quetta BBC: "Former Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was seen in the Pakistani border town of Quetta last week, according to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "Mr Karzai told The Times newspaper he had received information that Mullah Omar was spotted praying in a mosque."
The yap dogs of war John Podhoretz: "THE president's stunning trip to Baghdad is already the subject of wild over-interpretation by the solipsists in the American chattering classes, who can't help but think the journey was really about them. "Politically obsessed people are sure the trip was part of his reelection campaign, with Bush fans excited by and Bush opponents reeling in shock and awe from the public-relations coup. ..."Philip Taubman, the Washington bureau chief of the Times, whined to Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post that "in this day and age, there should have been a way to take more reporters. It's a bad precedent." "Memo to The New York Times: Want to know why people hate the press? Listen to the words of your own paper's bureau chief, who has succeeded here in elevating the self-absorption of the media to an entirely new level of absurdity. ..."Tom Rosenstiel, the highly respected director of the
Lee Roy doesn't want the ball Democrats keep urging the administration to turn operations in Iraq over to the UN. They sound like the coach who keeps yelling at his quarterback to give the ball to Lee Roy every play. The quarterback finally yells back to the coach, Lee Roy says he doesn't want the ball. Clearly the UN has no interest are aptitude for taking over the operations in Iraq. But,... "A day after President Bush's surprise visit, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) arrived here Friday in less dramatic style, saying it was not too late to bring the United Nations back to Iraq. ..."Clinton and Reed said U.N. participation would provide legitimacy, easing the political burden and expense to the United States of administering Iraq." The approriate response to this suggestion is, so what. Even if you concede their point, which is dubious at best, the UN has already bugged out of Iraq shortly after its headquarte
High anxiety over Dean Donald Lambro: "Democratic leaders and advisers say there is growing anxiety about the prospect of antiwar candidate Howard Dean becoming their presidential nominee next year, which has triggered talk of a 'stop Dean' movement in the party. "These Democrats say that the concerns center in large part on Mr. Dean's bitter opposition to the war in Iraq that, they maintain, will make their party look weak on national security and the war on terrorism in next year's presidential election. "...Mr. Panetta's carefully worded remarks reflect widening fears among Democratic leaders here and elsewhere in the party — especially in the South — who say that Mr. Dean is too liberal, not just in his opposition to using military force to topple Saddam Hussein but in his call for repealing all of the Bush tax cuts, imposing regulations on businesses, erecting new trade-protection rules and favoring civil unions for same-sex &#
March against terrorist in Baghdad Washington Times: "Hundreds of pro-coalition demonstrators chanting 'yes to Iraq, no to terrorism' marched through Baghdad yesterday amid a huge security operation mounted by American and Iraqi forces. "Led by the relatives of two policemen killed in twin suicide bombings last Saturday and protected by two U.S. helicopters and scores of heavily armed Iraqi policemen, the marchers rallied in Firdus Square, where a large bronze statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled by Iraqis and U.S. Marines on April 9 after the fall of Baghdad in the U.S.-led invasion. The march came one day after the surprise visit by President Bush to U.S. forces."
Italians and Germans arrest 3 who were recruiting muslims to go to Iraq and explode NYTimes: ..."The arrests provided new evidence of an increasingly organized movement of fighters from Europe to Iraq. "Prosecutors in Milan said they believed that people recruited in Italy by members of this group were responsible for suicide attacks in Iraq, according to Italian press reports."
Bush in Baghdad and Saddam is not George Bush frustrated his enemies foreign and domestic with a Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad. Jerry Bremer told the assembled troops that greetings from the President should be read by the most senior offical present. ..."That's when Mr. Bush emerged from under radar-reflective camouflage netting and the soldiers, packed into the small hall, erupted into thunderous applause. "The president clearly was moved by the reception, his eyes welling with tears. His voice choked with emotion several times during his short speech. "You're engaged in a difficult mission," Mr. Bush told the soldiers. "Those who attack our coalition forces and kill innocent Iraqis are testing our will. They hope we will run. "We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost in casualties, defeat a brutal dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs
Al Qaeda's latest targets Christopher Hitchens: ..."I have not yet read any article explaining how the frustrations of the oppressed Muslims of the world are alleviated by this deed, or how the wickedness of American foreign policy has brought these chickens home to roost, or how such slaughters are symptoms of "despair." Perhaps somebody is at work on such an article and hasn't quite finished it yet. (I have noticed, though, a slight tendency on the part of this school to shut up, at least for the time being.) "There is a vulgar reason for this reticence. In recent attacks from those gangs who have been busily fusing Saddamism with Bin Ladenism—and who didn't start this synthesis yesterday—it has been noticeable that Saudi citizens (the week before last), or Iraqi citizens (every day, but most conspicuously in the blasting of the Red Cross compound in Baghdad), or Indonesian citizens (in the bombing of the Marriott in Jakarta in August), or
Pro terrorist Arab TV networks challenged Washington Times: "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his top military adviser said yesterday they have evidence that the Arab television news organizations Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya cooperated with Iraqi insurgents to witness and videotape attacks on American troops. "Mr. Rumsfeld said the effort fit a pattern of psychological warfare used by remnants of the Ba'athist government, which want to create the impression that no amount of U.S. firepower can end the insurgency. "They've called Al Jazeera to come and watch them do it [attack American troops], and Al Arabiya," he told a Pentagon news conference. " 'Come and see us, watch us, here is what we're going to do.' "
Dyke fingers wrong newsprogram The Telegraph: "Greg Dyke is not happy with the standard of impartiality set by American television stations during the Iraq war: in a speech in New York on Monday night, the BBC's director-general accused them of "banging the drum" for coalition forces - a grievous offence in the corporation's eyes.... "Day after day during the campaign, the corporation misled its audience by exaggerating the extent of resistance met by British and American forces - so much so that one of its embedded reporters begged it to stop. Paul Adams, a BBC defence correspondent, asked his bosses: 'Who dreamt up the line that the coalition are achieving 'small victories at a very high price'? The truth is exactly the opposite.' ..."Such skewed coverage is symptomatic of a wider problem. The BBC seems unable to control the political impulses of its journalists, which point with depressing uniformity in a Left-liberal di
Terrorist roulette David Ignatius: "Imagine for a moment a horrifying game called 'terrorist roulette.' The unfortunate players are huddled in different groups and spend much of their time bickering about who got them into this mess. "Every few days one of the players is taken away and shot. "If the players could agree on a common strategy, they could overwhelm the assassins. But none will sacrifice their individual prerogatives for the logic of collective action. Some imagine they'll be safe if they stay separate and keep their heads down. Others try subtly to make friends with the captors. The most muscular member of the group insists he can 'go it alone.' "So the quarreling goes on. And every few days, another victim is hauled off and killed. "Unfortunately, this isn't a ghoulish exercise in game theory but an analogy to what has happened over the past few months as the war in Iraq has become more deadly and mor
A weak insurgency in Iraq Dana Dillon: ..."An insurgency requires several elements to succeed. Chief among those requirements are popular support, then money, weapons, and finally a safe haven to hide and train, and to plan the insurgent campaign. In all areas except arms, the Baathist insurgency is either weak or possesses limited resources. "...the Baathists lack a credible ideology to inspire new recruits. Returning Saddam to power doesn't generate enthusiasm anywhere in Iraq. The insurgents have not articulated a political ideology or inspired religious fervor; they rely almost solely on Iraqi opposition to foreign occupation. What's more, the ongoing efforts to transition to an elected Iraqi government will only reduce interest among potential recruits to the insurgent cause. There is a healthy contingent of foreign jihadists, but they also lack popular support and do not appear to represent a significant force. "...the guerrillas' strategi
The Dems phony committee scam Dick Morris: "THE Democratic Party is being replaced by a new group called "Americans Coming Together," which has been launched with two $10 million donations from financier George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, chairman of the Progressive Corporation. The new organization wants to raise $94 million to finance a massive campaign against Bush - all with soft money. "The Democratic Party, which is only allowed to raise hard money (donations limited to $2,000 per person) by the McCain-Feingold law is unable to amass the resources necessary for a national campaign, so it is ceding the main role to Americans Coming Together. "Hypocrisy in American politics at least provides material for humor. How else are we to view the attempts of Democratic Party leaders to circumvent the McCain-Feingold prohibition on the use of soft money in campaigns after their party insisted on its inclusion in the bill? "...the Democrats have
Dems resonse to ad is for losers John Podhoretz: ..."Democrats greeted the ad with screams of outrage. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle demanded that it be retracted. Sen. Ted Kennedy said its intention was to 'stifle dissent' in this country. "Please. For six months, the Democratic candidates for president have been going after Bush for his handling of the War on Terror and the war in Iraq. One, the flaky Rep. Dennis Kucinich, opposes the war in Afghanistan that routed al Qaeda and ousted the Taliban. All of them have attacked the USA Patriot Act, the key domestic element of the War on Terror, for its supposedly draconian qualities. "This weekend, Wesley Clark said we could find Osama bin Laden 'if we wanted to' - suggesting, in other words, that Bush really didn't want to. John Kerry has said that 'a dangerous gap in credibility has developed between President Bush's tough rhetoric and timid policies, which don't do nea
The Bushphobes part II Paul Kugman is a major league Bushphobe. His latest column attempts to make the case that the Bush administration mislead the country into supporting tax cuts. This is on the same day that his own paper is reporting "Economy Grew Even Faster Than First Thought in 3rd Quarter." "The economy roared ahead at an astounding 8.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the fastest pace in nearly two decades and a much stronger performance than previously thought. It raises hope that a long spell of lackluster business activity is finally over. "The revised gross domestic product (GDP), released by the Commerce Department Tuesday, was a full percentage point higher than the 7.2 percent growth rate estimated a month ago."
The Bushphobes, part I David Bosse: "To most Americans, the name probably doesn't ring a bell. To the enlightened news media, his name probably conjures up images of a likable international financial tycoon. They portray him as a wealthy philanthropist who dabbles in public policy and international affairs by doling out billions of dollars to liberal causes and institutions on issues ranging from campaign finance reform to United Nations funding, and AIDS research to international economic development. "Recently, however, the Hungarian native anointed himself a major player in American politics by declaring the electoral defeat of President George W. Bush in next year's presidential election as the new central focus of his life. According to Mr. Soros, defeating Mr. Bush is a matter of life and death. "'America under Bush, is a danger to the world. And I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is,' he declared in announcing that he woul
Hypocracy "cairtoon" study Mark Steyn: "The other day, a producer called me up and asked if I wanted to take part in a discussion about an American cartoon strip - to whit, B.C. by Johnny Hart, which has been running in a gazillion newspapers around the world for as long as I can remember. ..."On this particular day's strip, Johnny Hart shows us the caveman walking up a hill at night - there is a crescent moon in the sky - and heading for a wooden outhouse, with a crescent moon on the door, as outhouses traditionally have, at least in America. My own outhouse in New Hampshire certainly did, before it was dashed to smithereens in a hurricane (don't worry, I wasn't inside at the time). "Anyway, we next see a sound effect - 'SLAM' - to indicate, presumably, the closing of the outhouse door. The final frame shows a speech bubble coming from within the outhouse with the words: 'Is it just me, or does it stink in here?'
Al Qaeda warns of new attacks in US DEBKAfiles: "Al Qaeda marked Eid al Fitr, the festival closing the Muslim festival of Ramadan, with a dramatic warning. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources reports that a message published over al Qaeda’s electronic channels and websites declared that the countdown has begun for the biggest operation ever carried out in the United States. 'The big blow will fall very shortly. It will consist of a series of surprise attacks that will cut America off from communication with its armies in Muslim countries.' The reference is clearly to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Divided country or divided party? Michael Barone: "The country is closely divided between Republicans and Democrats, but it's not a symmetrical division. The Republicans are united and the Democrats are divided. Republicans are solidly behind George W. Bush. Democrats are about evenly divided on issues like military action in Iraq and gay marriage (a possible election-year issue given the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court last week). About a third of all Democrats give Bush a positive job rating."
Republican ad David Horowitz: "...the ad, called 'Reality,' is designed to expose a difference of opinion between the parties on 'whether or not a policy of preemptive self-defense approach is the best approach to protecting our national security.' ..."For six months, ever since the liberation of Bagdhad, Democrats have been politicizing the war, accusing the President of lying about its rationale, alienating our allies, and bungling the job. For six months the President has taken these blows without responding directly. Now the Republican National Committee is responding and suddenly they want cloture on the debate. And these are the people who whine that there was 'not enough' debate on the war in the first place."
NY Times still doesn't get it Andrew Sullivan: "Arthur Sulzberger Jr describes the work of Walter Duranty as "slovenly." That simply misses the point. Duranty wasn't slovenly; he was an active and knowing apologist of mass murder, tyranny, and brutality. If the Times had won a Pulitzer for someone denying the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, there would not even be a question of the Pulitzer standing. But what Duranty did was no different. It was a wilful attempt to disguise mass murder in order to promote Communist ideology. It wasn't slovenly; it was extremely diligent and entirely malign. The NYT doesn't see this. They still fail to see that tolerating mass murder on the left is no different than the same on the right." Duranty won a Pulitzer for his reporting on the economic miracle of Stalin's regime while omitting the deliberate starvation of millions in the Ukraine. Sullivan is correct, this is not slovenly it goes to the heart of Du
Saddamites attack in Turkey Laurie Mylroie: ..."Bombing attacks south of the Turkish-Iraqi border are regularly attributed to one party, Baathist stalwarts, while bombs north of that border are said to be the work of a completely different party, al Qaeda, as if one had nothing to do with the other. Why? "A major intelligence failure that began on Bill Clinton's watch persists. American officials remain wedded to the conviction that Islamic militants operate independently of terrorist states. The U.S. error was compounded by an Israeli intelligence failure, closely linked to the ill-fated 'peace process.' ..."This division between 'secular' and 'fundamentalist' is not meaningful. Princeton's learned Bernard Lewis has cautioned that this is a Western distinction that does not exist in Islam. Nonetheless, many analysts persist in making it. "Moreover, such analysts habitually invert the relationship between states and
Missing Links found William Safire: "Two blockbuster magazine articles last week revealed evidence that Saddam's spy agency and top Qaeda operatives certainly were in frequent contact for a decade, and that there is renewed reason to suspect an Iraqi spymaster in Prague may have helped finance the 9/11 attacks. "Deniers derogate as 'cherry picking' Feith's intelligence summary available to senators: 'The Czech counterintelligence service reported that the Sept. 11 hijacker [Mohamed] Atta met with the former Iraqi intelligence chief in Prague, al Ani, on several occasions. During one of those meetings, al Ani ordered the IIS [Iraq Intelligence Service] finance officer to issue Atta funds from IIS financial holdings in the Prague office.' "If true, that would implicate Saddam's regime in the murder of 3,000 Americans. Though the C.I.A. can confirm two Atta trips to Prague, in 1994 and 2000, it cannot confirm the two other visits th
It must be a pretty good ad Dems urge GOP to pull ad for President Bush "With the television advertising wars gaining steam in the presidential campaign, the Senate Democratic leader angrily called today on Republicans to withdraw an advertisement that Democrats say depicts them unfairly as undercutting the fight against terrorism." The Dems went on to explain their patriotism problem.
Turkey will deal harshly with terrorist Claude Salhani: " selecting Turkey as their new battleground, al Qaeda, or their Turkish affiliates, may have committed a monumental tactical mistake by picking a fight they may well regret. Unlike most Western European countries and the United States, Turkey has a long history of dealing with homegrown terrorism and has always gone about it with a successful, though somewhat, heavy hand. And those tactics have yielded positive results. "Turkey has had to deal with terrorist activity emanating from its Marxist-Leninist extreme left, Kurdish separatists and Armenian nationalists. And in all instances they have managed to ferret out and cause severe harm to those who have tried to undermine the Turkish state. "...Turkey will now embark on an unrelenting hunt to track down those involved in this latest wave of terrorism and bring them and those behind it to justice — one way or another. ..."The terrorist wa
The Dems patriotism problem NY Times: "The Democratic candidates for president denounced the Republican Party on Friday for its new advertisement painting them as undermining the fight against terrorism — saying it effectively questioned their patriotism. ..."And some took news about the commercial as another opportunity to rally the faithful against President Bush, who is shown giving the State of the Union address as the screen flashes phrases like 'Some are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists.'" It is the same old story; Democrats try to avoid criticism of their critcism by claming it is an attack ontheir patriotism, rather than an attack on their wrongheaded positions on national security. Hiding bad policy behind the facade of patriotism is just more Dem demogogery.
EU shelves report that concludes Muslims are anti-semantic bigots Financial Times: "The European Union's racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined."
The real crusades Thomas F. Madden: "...Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. ..."So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands. "Christians in the eleventh century were not par
Terrorist with Tofu breath Michele Malkin: "They are bomb-throwing Birkenstock brats. Wolves in hemp clothing. Enemies of scientific progress. Inveterate haters of humanity. They are environmental extremists and animal rights zealots. They are running loose. And they are endangering us all. "The national press, which has put a happy green face on the environmental movement for three decades, has largely ignored a recent rising tide of violence being waged by eco-nuts across the country — and around the world." Amir Taheri described them recently as watermelons. Green on the outside and red on the inside. In many cases they are communist who have wrapped their anti capitalist agenda in the green flag.
The al Qaeda franchise Washington Post: "Leaders of the al Qaeda terrorist network have franchised their organization's brand of synchronized, devastating violence to homegrown terrorist groups across the world, posing a formidable new challenge to counterterrorism forces, according to intelligence analysts and experts in the United States, Europe and the Arab world. "...With most of its senior leadership killed or captured and its financial structure under increasing scrutiny, Osama bin Laden's network, now run largely by midlevel operatives, relies increasingly on these groups to carry out the jihad, or holy war, against the United States and its allies. Al Qaeda has turned to inspiring and instigating such attacks. "...A senior FBI official said the main link among the groups appears to be their shared experiences in the al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. Approximately 20,000 people from 47 countries passed through the camps from the mid-199
Is Osama in western Iran? Monsoor Ijaz, a Fox News analyst said yesterday that sources he believes are credible told him Osama bin Laden and his side kick Zawaheri have been spotted in Western Iran. This should put them near the border with Iraq. What I find interesting about this report is that terror attacks in Pakistan have decreased recently while terror attacks in Iraq, Saudia Arabia and Turkey have increased. There have been no reports of terror attacks in Iran. Similarly, there were no terror attacks in Iraq during Saddam's reign (other than those Saddam visited on his own people). If Ijaz's source is correct, then Osama has put himself in range of a Delta Force operation. While Osama may have protection provided by the revolutionary guard, there are many in Iran just waiting to be liberated by the US. It could be expected that some of those wishing to see the fall of the ayatollahs might find themselves in a position to provide information on Osama's
Al Qaeda strategy? Andrew Sullivan: "What exactly is the strategy behind going after Turkey and Saudi Arabia? We know the motivation - they despise Turkey's secular form of government and they loathe Saudi Arabia's connections to the West. But doesn't this strike you as spectacularly dumb from a strategic point of view? They have only helped make the West's case to the Saudis - that they cannot ignore this threat and certainly cannot buy it off. They may well alienate Turkey's Muslim population. And by murdering Brits, they have hopelessly undercut the anti-Western demonstrations in London. Your average Brit, after all, may be a little queasy about American military power. But when al Qaeda starts murdering British subjects abroad, the sympathy for Arab terrorists (which is a clear under-current of the far left in Britain) begins to look to waverers as sickening as it genuinely is. We may have made errors in Iraq - disbanding the army in May seems in re
Why do they hate you? John Podhoretz: ..."Why do they hate you, Mr. President?" a British journalist asked yesterday during a press conference. "Why do they hate you in such numbers?" "After listening to Bush's speech and considering the views expressed by the protestors and others, I have one possible answer: They hate him because he calls their values into question. "The Bush-haters are moralistic poseurs. The man they hate is a moral actor. They condemn barbarity. He does something about it. They call him a monster, a villain, a Hitler. In response, he celebrates the fact that they live in societies that permit free speech. "He is a giant. "They are dwarves."
Kucinich looking for the idiot vote Washington Post: "Democratic presidential candidate Dennis J. Kucinich said yesterday that U.S. military action against Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was not justified and has proved to be a 'disaster' and a 'nightmare.' "...two hours later, he called a reporter to clarify his remarks. "He said that he had voted for the congressional resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in response to the attacks. 'On the philosophical question as to whether it was justified, the answer is yes,' Kucinich said. 'The record on that is clear. . . . I misspoke.' "...Throughout the interview, Kucinich returned repeatedly to the importance of 'international cooperation' in resolving conflicts. 'International cooperation is the key to the future in terms of peace,' he said. 'We need international cooperation to defeat terroris
Who gave Iraqis the freedom to protest? Boris Johnson, Telegraph: "It's the call every Telegraph columnist has come to fear. 'Trefgarne here,' said the power-crazed new comment baron, and I sprang to attention. 'You've got to write about the anti-Bush marchers,' he said. 'Get out into the streets and get some colour. There must be thousands of them! Go, paras, go!' Yessir, I said, and ran out into Whitehall. Helicopters whirred above. "Thousands of yellow-jacketed policemen dotted the deserted streets, like dandelions sprouting from concrete. Riot fencing ran in ribbons round Westminster. But where were the rioters? "...Outside, at last, we found three people carrying a Bush effigy and wearing badges. "...Now I have a question for you. Here you are, protesting on the streets of London. The Metropolitan Police is showing you every possible kindness and consideration. The British taxpayer is coughing up a fortune to all
Dems are competing for the 31 % who think the US should not have gone into Iraq Fox News: "...the Gallup poll shows a majority of Americans say the decision to go to war was the right thing to do, compared with 31 percent who disagree. Seventeen percent say it's too soon to tell." Fighting over 31 percent of the voters is no way to win an election.
Another al Qaeda strategic blunder BBC: "Bomb attacks on the British consulate and the HSBC bank headquarters in Istanbul have left at least 25 dead and about 400 injured. "The attacks are thought to have been carried out by suicide car bombers, and the UK foreign secretary said they bore all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda and associated organisations." Like the recent attacks in Saudi Arabia the Turkish attacks distract from al Qaeda's campaign against the US in Iraq and make the Iraq attacks look like what the US describes them as, a part of the war on terror. By Attacking outside of Iraq, the attacks discredit their supporters in the US who want to describe Iraq as a Qaugmire. Making Saudia Arabia and Turkey quagmires takes the focus and pressure off the US.
The Saddam strategy myth Ralph Peters: "THE latest nonsense served up by defeatist pundits insists that Saddam Hussein, a strategic genius, had a secret plan all along to lure us into Iraq where he could wage a brilliant guerrilla campaign to defeat us. "In other words, it was Saddam's intention to see his sons killed, the majority of his senior leadership imprisoned, his police-state shattered, his military dissolved, his palaces repossessed, his country overrun and his domestic enemies empowered. "Some strategy." While Peeters is correct to denegrate this ridiculous proposition, I think the intent of those who put it forward is primarily to denegrate the victory the US achieved against Saddam's forces. Whatever their intent, it is still a really crazy strategy they think is brilliant which says much about their own ability at strategic thinking.
Dems scramble to get around soft money limits they imposed NY Times: "...Faced with decreased party fund-raising, and the threat of President Bush raising at least $170 million for his re-election, Democrats have responded by forming a handful of outside groups to collect large contributions from wealthy donors, an effort that provoked sharp attacks from Republicans this week. "Democrats have moved aggressively to form groups to raise millions from those like George Soros, the financier and philanthropist who has already pledged at least $12.5 million to Democratic groups. "One group, America Coming Together, has pledges for about a third of its $94 million goal, including about $10 million each from Mr. Soros and Peter B. Lewis, chairman of the Progressive Corporation. The organization hopes to put workers in battleground states to contact voters directly in an effort to increase the turnout. Other groups have different strategies, including running adver
NY Times finally acknowledges memo tying Saddam and Osama Paper still attempts to discredit reported ties. "...The Oct. 27 memorandum from Douglas J. Feith, under secretary of defense for policy and planning, to the Senate intelligence committee listed 50 points of raw intelligence that, he said, pointed to an operational link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. "The letter itself was highly classified, but its contents were reported over the weekend by The Weekly Standard, a journal with close ties to administration hawks. At a time when Democrats have been crowing about the administration's failure so far to find illicit weapons in Iraq, conservatives have seized on the claim as evidence that, because of its ties to Al Qaeda, Iraq did indeed pose a real danger to the United States. "...Government officials with knowledge of intelligence on Iraq said that the reports cited by Mr. Feith were indeed authentic. But they also said they were not new, that some were
Post finally takes a serious look at revealations of Saddam Osama connections Walter Pincus of the Washington Post after two snarky blurbs about the Weekly Standard article revelaing intelligence informationon the Saddam Osama connection, finally takes a serious look at some of the allegations in the article. Pincus focuses on the CIA position that tends to discount the connection, mainly by challenging some of the sources of the data. Pincus also lets Sen. Rockefeller put his incoherent spin on the revealtions. "...Yesterday, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), the panel vice chairman, said, 'This is an egregious leak of classified information that jeopardizes intelligence sources and risks damaging our ability to find and stop terrorists before they strike again.' Rockefeller also took issue with the Standard's assessment that the Feith memo proved a strong operational relationship existed between al Qaeda and Iraq before the war began last spr
London protest in context Fraser Nelson in the Scotsman: "...The Queen has kept some dodgy company during her state receptions over the years, but London, at large, did not seem to mind. Human-rights abuses in Zimbabwe, Romania and China didn’t provoke mass demonstrations. "It has taken the president of the United States for British protesters to bring London to a standstill. Dictators, it seems, can be paraded in safety around the capital - but it is no safe place for George W Bush. "...Today, sober critics of America will be marching - fuelled by concern over what they see as an ill- educated cowboy visiting war on parts of the world previously at peace. The key to their mindset is their definition of war and peace. "There was, of course, no peace in Iraq while Saddam Hussein was using starvation as a weapon to kill hundreds of thousands of Shia infants and his goons were throwing enemies into torture chambers, en route to mass graves. &quo
The shameful protest David Frum: "...The war on terror has glaringly exposed the moral contradictions of contemporary political radicalism: a politics that champions the rights of women and minorities, but only when those rights are threatened by white Europeans; a politics that celebrates creative non-violence at home but condones deadly extremism abroad; and, perhaps above all, a politics that traces its origins to the Enlightenment - and today raises its voice to protect militantly unenlightened terrorists from the justice dispensed by their victims. "...It's a deeply shameful context, and though I would not quite endorse the verdict of the taxi driver with the poppy stuck in his dashboard who dropped me off at the demos ("Not many of them traitors out tonight, I see"), he at least saw something that they, with all their apparently abundant education could not: that the two leaders they most scorn are the latest in the long line of Anglo-American s
Atta's curious Prague connection Slate's Edward Jay Epstein: "This month, I went to Prague to meet with Czech officials who had directly handled the pre-9/11 expulsion of a senior Iraqi diplomat, a case that would became known as the Prague Connection. Because it goes to the heart of the issue of whether Saddam Hussein might have played a role in the attack on the World Trade Center, this controversy has continued to rage, without any satisfying conclusion, for more than two years. "...The issue re-emerged three days after the 9/11 attack when the CIA intelligence liaison was told by the BIS that the Hamburg 'student' who had met with al-Ani on April 8 had been tentatively identified as the 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta. Since al-Ani was an officer of Saddam Hussein's intelligence (and diplomatic) service, this identification raised the possibility that Saddam might have had a hand in the 9/11 attack. It could also be potentially embarrassing, as K
Dems memo complaints National Reviews Corner: "A reader notes the irony of Senators Durbin, Kennedy et al. protesting the disclosure of internal memos between their offices and liberal interest groups. After all, how can voters make an informed decision about the quality of their representation without access to otherwise confidential communications that may shed light on their policies? 'Given their insistence that Mr. Estrada's internal working papers from his tenure at the Solicitor General's office be published, one would think that these Senators would be glad that similar papers from their own offices would be published, to the greater good of informing the voting public of the fine service these Senators perform 'behind the scenes.'"
Recycling insults Austin Bay: "...This month is the 20th anniversary of the Great Euromissile Crisis. Oh, the accusations! Reagan was stupid. Reagan was dangerous, a warmonger seeking the nuclear destruction of the USSR. Reagan was -- good heavens -- a unilateralist. Today, the mayor of London calls Bush "the greatest threat to life on the planet." "Twaddle. The current crop of Axis of Neville (Chamberlain) leftish pundits and leaders are thus exposed, recycling 20-year-old insults. "...The leftish teeth-gnashers will never get it. The figment utopias they tout can't be challenged by difficult facts. The green-cheese moons they detect orbit their own weightless imaginations, and the gravity of down-to-Earth decision, particularly when it comes to defending liberty, exerts little pull. Hence, the rhetorical hokum they spew that Bush is 'more dangerous than bin Laden.' "Ironically, the Euromissile Crisis proved to be the last b
Why the press ignors the "data points" on Saddam Osama connection Jack Shafer in Slate: "Everybody knows how the press loves to herd itself into a snarling pack to chase the story of the day. But less noticed is the press's propensity to half-close its lids, lick its paws, and contemplate its hairballs when confronted with events or revelations that contradict its prejudices. "...What's keeping the pack from tearing Hayes' story to shreds, from building on it or at least exploiting the secret document from which Hayes quotes? One possible explanation is that the mainstream press is too invested in its consensus finding that Saddam and Osama never teamed up and its almost theological view that Saddam and Osama couldn't possibly have ever hooked up because of secular/sacred differences. Holders of such rigid views tend to reject any new information that may disturb their cognitive equilibrium. "...Help me! Many a reporter has hitched
What "cut and run" would look like Elliot Cohen: " administration would do something that would look more like 'cut and shuffle' than skedaddle. Somalia after the 'Blackhawk Down' incident would provide the model -- a pulling back from engagement in heavily populated areas, a hunkering down of American forces in their compounds, a declaration that the main mission (overthrowing Saddam Hussein or neutering Iraq as a menace to its neighbors) had been accomplished, and a disengagement over a year or two. During that period, authorized but anonymous senior officials would complain about the impossibility of getting Iraqis to take charge of their own destiny, while U.S. troops on the ground would do what they could to obtain a decent interval of stability before the whole mess disintegrated into obvious failure. "The cardinal fact is that no one would be fooled.... "Cut-and-run cannot be disguised, and the price to be paid for it w
Wahhabis lobby for intolerance The Saudis continue to fund and export a religion of intolerance and terror, according to the US commision on religious freedom. "'It is an ideology that is incompatible with the war on terrorism,' said Michael Young, chairman of the State Department's Commission on International Religious Freedom."
Vietnam should be as lucky as Iraq Claudia Rosett: "...Is Vietnam the next Iraq? "The answer, sadly for the people of Vietnam, is: Fat chance. For all Iraq's many troubles, the Vietnamese should be so lucky as to have the opportunities now before the Iraqis. Vietnam is one place where the great American superpower is entirely unlikely to come clamoring for a rematch in the cause of freedom. For most of the Western world, Vietnam lives on not as a real country inhabited today by 80 million real people, but simply as a sort of eternal shorthand for lost causes, a TV talk show sound bite: 'Pick-yer-debacle: The next Vietnam?' "...The fall of Saigon in 1975 was followed by brutal moves to collectivize the south. Hundreds of thousands were forcibly relocated, tens of thousands sent to labor camps. Terror and hunger produced an exodus in which ultimately more than 1.5 million people fled Vietnam--many by boat, braving pirates and sharks in the South C
MoveOn can't move on NY Times: "When Wes Boyd walked into the New York offices of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist, in September he was not sure why he had been invited. "Mr. Soros quickly made it clear. He and another philanthropist, Peter B. Lewis, wanted to donate millions of dollars to, the Internet group that Mr. Boyd and his wife founded five years ago. For Mr. Soros, already a generous contributor to Democratic causes, it was another way to meet his goal of defeating President Bush next year. "...For all of's efforts, its record is mixed: Mr. Clinton was still impeached; the Bush administration invaded Iraq; Gov. Gray Davis of California was still recalled; Republicans still pushed through the Texas redistricting. Only one in three candidates it supported in the 2000 and 2002 elections was elected."
Gay marriage gets less popular with every court victory Poll shows opposition growing to gay marriage. "Opposition to gay marriage has grown since midsummer, with 32 percent favoring it and 59 percent opposing it, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. "In a previous poll by the center, conducted in July, 38 percent approved and 53 percent disapproved. "...Political attitudes sharply affected beliefs about gay marriage, the poll indicated. Four in five of those who said they would vote to reelect President Bush oppose gay marriage, while those who said they favor a Democrat for president are evenly split." This looks like a lose-lose issue for the Dems. Their voters are split and the Bush voters oppose. Gays make up less than five percent of the population. Among gays it is likely that only a minority think this is an important issue. Traditionally gay relationships have tended to be p
A letter to the President Frederick Forsyth: Dear Mr President, Today you arrive in my country for the first state visit by an American president for many decades, and I bid you welcome. You will find yourself assailed on every hand by some pretty pretentious characters collectively known as the British left. They traditionally believe they have a monopoly on morality and that your recent actions preclude you from the club. You opposed and destroyed the world's most blood-encrusted dictator. This is quite unforgivable. I beg you to take no notice. The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin. It has marched for Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov. It has slobbered over Ceausescu and Mugabe. It has demonstrated against everything and everyone American for a century. Broadly speaking,
Marriage on the streets of London Amir Taheri: "George W. Bush's visit to London this week will be historic for at least two reasons. He will be the first U.S. president to come to Britain on a state visit. He will also observe a bizarre political marriage: one between the remnants of the Marxist-Leninist Left and militant Islamists. Negotiated over the past two years, the "wedding," will be celebrated in a mass demonstration against Bush's visit. "The demonstration is organized by a shadowy group called "Stop the War Coalition," part of the Hate-America-International, which has orchestrated a number of street "events" in support of the Taliban and the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein since 2001. "When I called the coalition to ask whether the idea was to stop all wars, a spokeswoman assured me that this was not the case. "She referred me to the first article of the coalition's charter that states: 'The ai
An Iraqi responds to the anti war pukes Andrew Sullivan: "A simple, haltingly English message from a man who can speak it more powerfully than I can: "I was counting days and hours waiting to see an end to that regime, just like all those who suffered the cruelty of that brutal regime... Through out these decades I lost trust in the world governments and international committees. Terms like (human rights, democracy and liberty..etc.) became hollow and meaningless and those who keep repeating these words are liars..liars..liars. I hated the U.N and the security council and Russia and France and Germany and the arab nations and the islamic conference. I’ve hated George Gallawy and all those marched in the millionic demonstrations against the war. It is I who was oppressed and I don’t want any one to talk on behalf of me, I, who was eager to see rockets falling on Saddam’s nest to set me free, and it is I who desired to die gentlemen, because it’s more merciful
Why Bush is favored for reelection Dana Milbank, Washington Post: "...The day-to-day news about violence in Iraq and lingering economic worries at home obscure a fundamental reality about next year's election: Historically speaking, it should belong to President Bush. Since the presidential primary system became influential in 1952, an incumbent president has never lost a reelection bid if he did not face significant opposition in the primaries. "...The pattern has repeated itself perfectly. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all ran for reelection without major challenges from within their own parties -- and all easily won second terms. Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush faced primary challenges while seeking reelection -- and all were ousted in the general election. "...Bush's campaign strategists, while predicting a close outcome next year, agree that the lack of a primary opponent is a significa
Soros buys off "watchdogs" Ed Gillespie the head of the Republican National Committee said campaign finance groups have raised no objections to billioniare Soros huge contributions to defeat President Bush. "...Citing reports that Soros's Open Society Institute has given as much as $18 million to groups that advocate changing campaign financing, Gillespie said in a conference call with reporters: 'I'm wondering if that is why there has been such hesitancy to raise concerns' about Soros's contributions of $10 million to America Coming Together, which seeks the defeat of President Bush, and $5 million to other organizations."