Showing posts from August, 2006

Hezballah's plan for war crimes

Dan Gordon: ... There was, of course one other indispensable element to their war plan; the centering of their offensive capability against Israel's civilian population within Lebanon's civilian population. Much has been made in the Western press of Hezballah's benign social services function in Lebanon, of the hospitals and schools it has built. Almost no notice however has been paid to the large numbers of these hospitals and schools which were built over its military bunkers and rocket launching sites. This was perhaps both the most cynical and barbaric disregard for innocent civilian lives of all of Hezballah's and Iran's strategic choices. It was also the most successful. It was predicated not on its knowledge of its enemy (Israel) but its true genius lay in its knowledge of the press. The calculus was simple: launch a rocket from within a civilian population; if you kill Jews that's a victory. If the Jews hit back and in so doing kill Lebanese civilians,

Choices in Iraq

President Bush: ... Here at home we have a choice to make about Iraq. Some politicians look at our efforts in Iraq and see a diversion from the war on terror. That would come as news to Osama bin Laden, who proclaimed that the "third world war is raging" in Iraq. It would come as news to the number two man of al Qaeda, Zawahiri, who has called the struggle in Iraq, quote, "the place for the greatest battle." It would come as news to the terrorists from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and other countries, who have to come to Iraq to fight the rise of democracy. It's hard to believe that these terrorists would make long journeys across dangerous borders, endure heavy fighting, or blow themselves up in the streets of Baghdad, for a so-called "diversion." Some Americans didn't support my decision to remove Saddam Hussein; many are frustrated with the level of violence. But we should all agree that the battle for Iraq is now cent

Pakistan and the Taliban

Bill Roggio: News from Pakistan's western tribal belt is less than encouraging these days. The Taliban and their al-Qaeda backers continue to operate from safe havens within Pakistan, particularly in North Waziristan and Quetta. The Taliban have fought the Pakistani Army to a standstill, and forced them to largely remain in barracks in the North Waziristan agency capital of Miranshah. Beheadings of suspected U.S. spies are now commonplace; the bodies of the two latest victims "were dumped at separate places near Miranshah." Despite this, the Pakistani government is openly negotiating with the Taliban. This is the second time the Pakistani government has negotiated a settlement with the Taliban since the Pakistani Army was largely defeated in 2004. The Taliban are not only negotiating a settlement which will allow them to remain in control of North Waziristan, but one which would require the Pakistani government to pay ‘huge compensation’ for fighting in the region .

Amnesty International's war crimes fantasies

Alan Dershowitz: The two principal "human rights" organizations are in a race to the bottom to see which group can demonize Israel with the most absurd legal arguments and most blatant factual mis-statements. Until last week, Human Rights Watch enjoyed a prodigious lead, having "found" - contrary to what every newspaper in the world had reported and what everyone saw with their own eyes on television - "no cases in which Hizbullah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack." Those of us familiar with Amnesty International's nefarious anti-Israel agenda and notoriously "suggestible" investigative methodology wondered how it could possibly match such a breathtaking lie. But we didn't have to wait long for AI to announce that Israel was guilty of a slew of war crimes for "widespread attacks against public civilian infrastructure, including power plants, bridges, main roads, seaports, and Beirut

Striking a nerve with Democrats

R. Emmett Tyrrell: ... These are very touchy pols. Leader Reid went on to elaborate that the administration that Rumsfeld serves "is more interested in lashing out at its political enemies" than it is in winning the war on terror and in bringing an end to the war in Iraq." But Rumsfeld never in his entire speech mentioned "political enemies." As James Taranto notes in his indispensable Best of the Web Today column, the only American politician Rumsfeld mentioned was the late Senator William Borah who upon hearing of Hitler's 1939 invasion of Poland sighed: "Lord, if only I could have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided." Borah was a Republican isolationist, so perhaps we can understand the aforementioned Democrats' indignation. As I say, they are exceptionally touchy. But they are also ignoramuses. The entire speech is cast on a very high level. It is dispassionate, erudite, and difficult to refute. The only individuals Rumsf

Asking those on a "mission from God" to compromise

Amir Taheri: 'TALK to Iran!" The phrase has become a mantra for all who fear the Kho meinist regime but are equally scared of challenging it. The idea of talks is based on the assumption that every problem must have a solution - all we need to do is look for it. Most people find unbearable the idea that a problem might defy solution in a given timeframe. Yet life, including international life, is full of problems that lack ready-made solutions at the time of our choosing. Thus, by recommending talks, we cling to the hope that the process might somehow produce a miracle. The "Talk to Iran" party pretends that it has struck gold with an original thought. Yet this banal idea has been in circulation for a quarter of a century. President Jimmy Carter thought of it in January 1979, a month before the mullahs seized power in Tehran, when he established contact with the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then operating from a Paris suburb. Once the mullahs were in contr

Walmart voters

Ryan Sager: Back in June, I wrote about a new species of "it" voter. We've had soccer moms, security moms, NASCAR dads, etc. etc. etc. Now, pollster John Zogby is hyping "Wal-Mart voters." Weekly Wal-Mart shoppers make up about one-fifth of the U.S. population, and Zogby found that 85 percent of them voted for George W. Bush in 2004; conversely, 88 percent of folks who never shop at Wal-Mart voted for John Kerry. The point of my earlier column was that Wal-Mart voters suddenly seem up for grabs in this year's midterm elections. In the depth of Bush's unpopularity this summer, they were giving him a 35 percent approval rating -- compared to 45 percent from born-again Christians, 49 percent from NASCAR fans, and 54 from self-identified conservatives. So, how have the Democrats chosen to capitalize on this political opportunity? By launching an all-out attack on America's most successful company: Wal-Mart. ... While the Democrats seem quite sure th

Anti war left's self licking ice cream cone

Ralph Peters: IT'S fascinating to watch Anglo-American leftists (those champions of human rights and freedom) welcoming every Taliban attack and fantasizing of a Western defeat. But the rest of us deal with reality. And Afghanistan's reality is that things are going as well as any sane person could expect. The get-Bush-and-Blair partisans who yearn for Afghanistan (and Iraq) to fail, no matter the human or strategic cost, impose impossible standards for success, then insist we're being defeated when their standards aren't met. It's a self-licking ice-cream cone straight from the talinist dairy. The reality is that Afghanistan will always be . . . Afghanistan. The relevant question is straightforward: "Is it a better Afghanistan today than under the Taliban?" Of course, the answer is an emphatic "Yes!" Afghanistan is never going to resemble the liberal-arts faculty at Columbia. It's a country of jealous clans patched together with uneasy comp

Outsourcing the media battle space

Washington Post: U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq. The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone as part of a program to provide "public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military command's performance, according to a statement of work attached to the proposal. The request for bids comes at a time when Bush administration officials are publicly criticizing media coverage of the war in Iraq. The proposal, which calls in part for extensive monitoring and analysis of Iraqi, Middle Eastern and American media, is designed to help the coalition forces understand "the communications environment." Its goal is to "develop communication strategies and tactics, identify opportunities, and execute e

Chavez embraces Syria in anti US bid

AP /Washington Times: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez received a hero's welcome in Syria, where he said yesterday that the two countries will "build a new world" free of U.S. domination and vowed to one day "dig the grave of U.S. imperialism." Thousands of Syrians waved banners and Venezuelan flags along Mr. Chavez's route to a meeting with President Bashar Assad. His visit was the latest in a series of international stops where he has trumpeted his opposition to Washington's global influence and advanced what he calls a "multipolar" vision of world affairs. His trips also coincide with Venezuela's push to win a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council, over U.S. opposition. ... Chavez wants to represent our enemies in the Security counsel. He continues to embrace the dark side in his ridicuous anti US positions. We should do what we can to see that he does not succeed in the UN or at home.

Comparisons of wars

Josh Manchester: ... The result of these two national experiences is that warfare exists along a one-dimensional axis for most Americans. World War II exists as the positive terminal of this circuit, and Vietnam as the negative; the tendency then is to reinforce the one, while eschewing the other. The truth is something more complicated: World War II was a total war, fought by societies in their entirety, and won therefore by the side that could materially and technologically outperform the other side. Vietnam was a counterinsurgency, and won by the side that managed to win the civilian population over to its beliefs. These are merely two types of warfare, not two opposing poles; our own experience seems to show us that if only we try to fight every war as World War II, then we'll win; and therefore counterinsurgency campaigns are to be avoided at all costs. And once you find yourself in the middle of one . . . then all is lost! But deciding that only one kind of warfare is eve

The Battle of the Saluki

Jerusalem Post: ... The Battle of the Saluki was a microcosm of all the mistakes that were made during the war in Lebanon. Soldiers waited for a week, like sitting ducks, for orders that were twice received and twice canceled, reflecting a total lack of clarity and confidence within the General Staff, and perhaps the political echelon. When the orders finally came, they made no sense; why push to the Litani hours before the UN was set to approve a cease-fire? What was the point of the brief, bloody operation, the soldiers asked, especially given the fact that two days after crossing the Saluki, they crossed it again - this time heading home? Senior officers criticized the operation this week, saying it was launched at the last minute in an effort to influence public opinion in Israel and in Lebanon ahead of the UN Security Council vote on the cease-fire resolution. "The army wanted to show that it could conquer ground," one officer said. "They wanted to prove that they w

War and media fraud

Melanie Phillips has a catalog with links on most of the media fraud and distorions from the Hezballah war. We know that the enemy considers half the battle space to be in the media and that he intends to manipulate the media to his benefit. What we do not know is why the media is so complicit in this strategy. We know the way they jumped on the Jessica Lynch story that any thing that makes ourside look heroic or good is subject to great scrutiny. Why isn't the same scrutiny applied to the people who would force them to convert is Islam at the point of a gun?

The questions Greta did not ask

Cliff May: ... 1) Has any Palestinian religious or political leader publicly condemned the coerced conversion? Has U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan said a word about it? (Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the U.N. Charter.) How about the leading Muslim organizations in the U.S. and Europe? If not, why not and what does this tell us? 2) Centanni and Wiig continue to emphasize that their experience should not discourage news organizations from covering Gaza, from "telling the story of the Palestinian people...Come and tell the story. It's a wonderful story," Centanni said. Is the mission of Fox's London bureau to tell the "wonderful story" of the British people? Do reporters cover the White House in order to tell the "wonderful story" of George W. Bush? This is patronizing and it's pandering. Journalism and public relations are both respectable professions. But there is a difference between them. When dealing with violent groups in the Middle

Terrorist violations of the Genva Conventions

Michelle Malkin: What kind of cold-blooded thugs use ambulances as killing aids or propaganda tools? Islamic terrorists, of course, have an unsurpassed history of using emergency vehicles as tools of their murderous trade. International charities and media dupes have gone along for the ride. In March 2002, Israeli Defense Forces discovered a bomb in a Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulance near Jerusalem. The bomb, packed in a suicide belt, was hidden under a gurney carrying a Palestinian child. The driver confessed that it was not the first time ambulances had been used to ferry explosives. Female suicide bomber Wafa Idris, who blew herself up in a January 2002 attack in Jerusalem, was a medical secretary for the PRCS. Her recruiter was an ambulance driver for the same organization, which receives support from governments worldwide and the American and International Red Cross. As I reported in May 2004, an Israeli television station aired footage of armed Arab terrorists in southern

GOP Gallups back into contention

Donald Lambro: Republicans have moved closer to the Democrats in a congressional voter-preference poll just as the election campaigns near the official Labor Day starting gate. The surprising findings in a little-noticed Gallup Poll that were ignored by most of the national news media shows the Democrats barely leading the Republicans by just two points -- 47 percent to 45 percent. After months of generic polling numbers by Gallup and others showing the GOP lagged far behind the Democrats by a seemingly insurmountable 9 to 10 points, the titanic political battle for control of Congress is virtually dead even. This means we may not experience the feared Category 5 political storm some election analysts have forecast that would topple the GOP's House majority and cut deeply into its grip on the Senate. The venerable and respected Gallup organization, which did the poll for USA Today, said the GOP's unexpected rise in the polls "represents the Republicans' best perform

Justice and the Pendleton 8

Rick Amato: They've been shackled in chains and held in solitary confinement, their defense attorneys have been denied access to key evidence of the case and now their right to request a waiver of a pre-trial hearing — known as an article 32 — has also been denied. Such has been the treatment of the men known as the Pendleton 8 in their quest to receive a fair, impartial hearing with a true presumption of innocence. The Pendleton 8 are seven Marines and a naval corpsman being held in a brig at Camp Pendleton while waiting trial on charges of kidnapping and murder. On April 26, they were on an ambush mission in Hamdania, Iraq, designed to snare known local insurgents. The men are charged with allegedly taking an Iraqi villager, 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad, from his home, kidnapping him, placing him in a hole, shooting him repeatedly and staging the scene to make it appear he was an insurgent planting a bomb. The defendants deny the charges and claim they followed the rules o

Annan shows ignorance on blockade comments

AP /Washington Times: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday called Israel's air and sea blockade of Lebanon a "humiliation," while Israel said it won't end the embargo until peacekeeping forces on the border can prevent Hezbollah guerrillas from importing new weapons. Mr. Annan said the United Nations hoped to double its 2,500-member force in southern Lebanon by Friday, but that number was still far short of the 15,000 international troops authorized under a Security Council cease-fire resolution approved Aug. 11. The U.N. chief arrived in Israel after visiting U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, who will play a key role in maintaining the fragile truce that ended 34 days of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. His visits to Lebanon and Israel occurred a day after Italy and Turkey moved to join the international force in southern Lebanon. Mr. Annan said he told Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz about lifting the blockade on Lebanon

War critics don't know much about history

NY Times: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday that critics of the war in Iraq and the campaign against terror groups “seem not to have learned history’s lessons,” and he alluded to those in the 1930’s who advocated appeasing Nazi Germany. ... Comparing terrorist groups to a “new type of fascism,” Mr. Rumsfeld said, “With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?” ... On Monday, Mr. Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney gave separate speeches to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to the American Legion Auxiliary on Tuesday and President Bush is to address veterans later this week. Mr. Cheney, too, spoke of appeasement at an appearance on Tuesday at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, reciting a passage that echoed verbatim one of his stock speeches. “This is not an enemy that can be ignored,

Perry calls special election for DeLay seat

Houston Chronicle: Gov. Rick Perry today officially set the special election to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay to coincide with the general election on Nov. 7. Candidates wishing to run in the special election must file by 5 p.m. Sept. 1 with the Texas Secretary of State to appear on the ballot. ... This should help Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs' Republican write in campaign since it will be easier for people to spell her unusual name correctly. If she wins she could get a leg up on seniority over others newly elected to congress.

A failure to understand how business is done in Venezuela

BBC: The mayor of Venezuela's capital Caracas says he plans to expropriate two exclusive golf courses and use the land for homes for the city's poor. Mayor Juan Barreto has said playing golf on lavish courses within sight of the city's slums is "shameful". Mr Barreto, an ally of President Hugo Chavez, has been trying to address a dramatic housing shortage in Caracas. But critics say property rights are being eroded in Venezuela, where farms and ranches have also been seized. Three years ago Mr Chavez's left-wing government started redistributing agricultural land that it said was underused to help landless peasants. But this is the first time officials have announced plans to expropriate privately-owned urban land to make way for public housing, says the BBC's Greg Morsbach in Caracas. ... I predict it will be a failure, and business in Venezuela will also suffer. This appears to be a reverse Kelo where land will be put to non productive use. You

Perspective on media gullibility

David Frum got this messge from a reader: Take it from someone who's fired the Maverick, if it had hit those ambulances the crowd would be standing in a hole, not in the vehicle. The later models are so destructive we have to set aside targets on the Nellis ranges for them. Once hit, armored vehicles are in pieces, light skinned vehicles are shredded/vaporized and just about everything else is so completely, um, disassembled that it not longer is big enough to serve as a useful aiming reference/ target. The Hellfire is smaller but the penetration and blast renders commercial vehicles unrecognizable. You know what the biggest problem is? War and the tools of war, tactics and even the simplest combat concepts are now so unfamiliar, no, utterly unknown, to the folks reporting it that the latter's manipulation is easy. Couple this with their professional cynicism and it becomes inevitable. The media's ignorance of warfare has made them easier to manipulate by the enemy and too

The politics of the DeLay seat

Greg Giroux of CQPolitics says the seat is now leaning Democrat. If so that is only because of the success of the Democrat legal campaign and not because of sentiment in the district. What they have done is put hurdles in front of a Republican victory in a Republican leaning district. The Democrat candidate has no real base of support in this district. The only part of it that was in his old district is the Clear Lake area which did not support him. The one advantage that his opponent has is that Republican voters are probably more capable of comprehending the mechanics of a write in campaign than would Democrat voters. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs has to get over the hurdles, but I would not be surprised to see a backlash against the Democrat's lawfare approach to politics.

Isolating the enemy in Ramadi

Stars & Stripes: As far as Capt. Justin Michel is concerned, Entry Control Point Eight is the roughest intersection in town. A heavily fortified checkpoint on Ramadi’s eastern edge, ECP-8 is the kind of barren, shell-pocked outpost that makes a visitor walk a double-time zigzag for fear of snipers, or clench his gut in anticipation of falling mortar rounds. In the past four months, this key entryway into Ramadi has been struck by what Michel called two “particularly nasty” car bombs and has suffered numerous attacks by snipers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. In the first week alone, Michel’s Company A, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment endured daily attacks as U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and engineers struggled to fortify the checkpoint with more than 30,000 sandbags, nearly 2,000 feet of razor wire and 200 concrete barriers. “This place is something else,” said Michel, 42, of West Point, Miss. “We put an awful lot of work into it.” As U.S. and Iraqi army tro

Both sides of the cloud over Iraq

The Belmont Club does a side by side of commentary from those who think Iraq is hopeless to those who do not. The suggestion that we are losing militarily in Iraq is just ludicrous and shows a remarkable ignorance of warfare and any understanding of the significance of various events in the country. The enemy in Iraq is actually incapable of making an militarily significant attack. That is why most of his attacks are concentrated against non combatants. Yesterday's incoherent combat between Iraqi forces and Sadr's militia are an exception that proves the rule. The attack appears to be a reaction to Iraqi forces applying the law. The "attack" shows little if any planning or coordination. The one place where the US and its allies are not succeeding is in the media where the enemy gets them to play its tune regularly. You have to ask if the media knows it is being manipulated or just does not care.

Terrorist theater

Caroline Glick: What are we seeing when we watch events from the Middle East on our television screens? Is it news or is it terrorist theater? Let us observe two media events which occurred on Sunday in Gaza. Sunday afternoon released hostages and Fox News journalists Steven Centanni and Olaf Wiig spoke before the cameras. The fact of their release and their statements were reported by more than 1,000 news organizations throughout the world. At the press conference, Centanni and Wiig, who were forced by their Palestinian captors to convert to Islam, praised the Palestinians. Centanni said, "I just hope this never scares a single journalist away from coming to Gaza to cover this story because the Palestinian people are a very beautiful, kind-hearted and caring people that the world need[s] to know more about." Wiig similarly praised the Palestinians. While their remarks were covered extensively, no one seemed to think that the fact that their first post-release statements were

War stories from Lebanon

Israel National News has stories of heroism in the battles of southern Lebanon. The stories also give hints of the Israeli's tactical surprise of Hezballah counter attackers. Most of the stories coming out of the early reporting of the war suggested that Hezballah was the one with tactical surprise. In the stories where Hezballah does achieve surprise, the Israelis still find a way to prevail because of their superior skill and assets.

Censorship and Iran

CNN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on U.S. President George W. Bush to participate in a "direct television debate with us," so Iran can voice its point of view on how to end world predicaments. "But the condition is that there can be no censorship, especially for the American nation," he said Tuesday. Ahmadinejad blamed "special concessions" granted to the United States and Britain as "the root cause of all the problems in the world." ... Actually the root cause of much of the problems in the world is Islamic religious bigotry and he is one its primary pushers. But, on top of that how ridiculous is it that a man who is responsible for censoring blogs and throwing media in jail for saying something other than the religious bigots line would be worried about censorship in this country. He is not just out of touch with this country, but also out of touch with his own. Perhaps he is so bigotted that he does not recognize the cen

MoveOn and the ethnic hatred of Jews

Robert Goldberg: Last week, Sen. George Allen personally apologized to a staff member of his Democrat opponent, James Webb, for calling him a "macaca." This was the latest in a string of public apologies for what has been described as a racial slur aimed at individual who is of Indian descent. The moral outrage pouring from the media and Democrats was heartwarming. It was reassuring to see that such expressions of bigotry by any party, politician or political organization (or movie actor) will not be tolerated. So no doubt the media and the Left will soon turn their attention to the vicious anti-Semitism the followers and members of a political organization that donates millions to Democratic candidates and uses the Web to whip up support for its policies. I am referring to; an entity that claims it is merely the vehicle of "real Americans — from carpenters to stay-at-home moms to business leaders — we work together to realize the progressive visio

Those who got it wrong on Wilson

John Podhoretz: ... Corn has put a stake in the heart of one of the foundational theories behind the "Bush Lied" lie - after having spent several years promoting that very theory. So here we are, more than three years after the publication of the Novak column. No one's come forward with the proof that Valerie Wilson was a covert operative. Special prosecutor Fitzgerald brought no charge on that matter, despite his outrageous and unseemly claim, during his notorious press conference announcing the indictment of Libby, that Plame's identity was "classified" - a word that in this context has no legal meaning. Fitzgerald indicted Libby while claiming he was the first "known" official to have talked to reporters about Valerie Wilson. But Fitzgerald was simply wrong about this central contention in his case. He was wrong to indict Libby on questionable charges of having been deceitful about a matter that wasn't in fact criminal to begin with. Vale

Another media meltdown

Howard Kurtz: Will every anchor, correspondent and producer who shamelessly hyped the John Mark Karr story now apologize for taking the country for a ride? Don't hold your breath. This was such a sham, from the opening moments, that it instantly goes down with the greatest media embarrassments in modern history. A strange, creepy character emerges from the shadows of Thailand and says he killed JonBenet Ramsey a decade ago? A guy with no known connection to the family? A yutz whose own relatives, including an ex-wife who hates him, says he wasn't even in Colorado at the time? ... Unfortunately, there is more. My speculation about this since it first became news is that Karr was trying to get out of Thailand and this was a way to get someone else to come up with the airline fare. The normal charge on a one way ticket is over $1,000. Karr's trip back was probably twice that because it was first class with an escort. Apparently while in Thailand Karr took advantage of thei

Nasrallah's blunder

Amir Taheri: WELL, what do you know: What was presented as a "Great Strategic Divine Victory" only a week ago is now beginning to look more like a costly blunder. And the man who is making the revisionist move is the same who made the original victory claim: Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah. In a TV interview in Beirut Sunday, Nasrallah admitted second thoughts about the wisdom of capturing the two Israeli soldiers, an incident that triggered the war: "The party leadership never expected a response on such an unprecedented scale and volume [by Israel]," he said. "Had we known that what we did would lead to this, we would certainly not have embarked upon it." For a roundabout way of eating humble pie, this was not bad for a man whom Western media have portrayed as the latest Arab folk hero or even (as one U.S. weekly put it) a new Saladin. Why did Nasrallah decide to change his unqualified claim of victory int

Return from Pakistan blocked for relatives of terror suspects

NY Times: Federal authorities have prevented two relatives of a father and son convicted recently in a terrorism-related case from returning home to California from Pakistan unless they agree to be interviewed by the F.B.I. It is unclear whether the men, Muhammad Ismail, 45, and his son Jaber, 18, have a direct connection to the terrorism case or if they have been caught up in circumstance. ... The United States attorney, McGregor W. Scott, reiterated a comment he had made to The San Francisco Chronicle, which reported Saturday about the Ismails’ troubles. “They’ve been given the opportunity to meet with the F.B.I. over there and answer a few questions, and they’ve declined to do that,” Mr. Scott said through a spokeswoman, Mary Wenger. The Ismails live in Lodi, Calif., a small farming town south of Sacramento, where their relatives Umer Hayat and his son, Hamid, were arrested last summer as part of what federal prosecutors said was an investigation into terrorist links. ... Th

Rumsfeld faults enemy media manipulation

AP /NY Times: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in ''manipulating the media'' to influence Westerners. ''That's the thing that keeps me up at night,'' he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots. Rumsfeld was asked whether the criticism he draws as Pentagon chief and a leading advocate of the war in Iraq is an impediment to performing his job. He said it was not and he knows from history that wars are normally unpopular with many Americans. ''I expect that,'' he said. ''I understand that.'' ''What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is,'' he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror. ''They are activel

Virgina Jihadis' CAIR & St. Louis connection

Gateway Pundit has more information on this story from the weekend. ... CAIR Communications Specialist and AK47 packing Randall ("Ismail") Royer , an American convert to Islam and St. Louis native, was earlier sentenced for his role in the terror plot. Royer was more than just your average communications specialist for CAIR, as Daniel Pipes wrote about back in 2003.... ... Check out the Pipes piece and the pictures at the Gateway Pundit link above. It adds some context and detail to the earlier story. Perhaps this case explains why CAIR settled its libel claim against Andrew Whitehead earlier this year. CAIR had claimed that allegations of ties to terrorism were libelous.

The "Hubris" files

Byron York takes a look at the new book about the Plame flameout by David Corn and Michael "Koran in the Krapper" Isikoff. It turns out that this story is mostly a big never mind. ... No one in the press corps knew it at the time, but if a newly published account of the CIA-leak case is accurate, Powell knew much, much more than he let on during that session with the press. Two days earlier, according to Hubris , the new book by the Nation ’s David Corn and Newsweek ’s Michael Isikoff, Powell had been told by his top deputy and close friend Richard Armitage that he, Armitage, leaked the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak. Armitage had, in other words, set off the CIA-leak affair. At the time, top administration officials, including President Bush, were vowing to “get to the bottom” of the matter. But Armitage was already there, and he told Powell, who told top State Department officials, who told the Justice Department. From the first week of O

Fast women

The fighter chicks and their F-16's have a site with several photo links too. I feel safer.

How the media supports terrorism in the middle east

Michael Totten: ... “Lots of Qassams hit this city,” Shika said. “Most people killed by the Qassams live here.” “How many rockets are hitting the city right now?” I said. “Not as many today,” he said. “Because of the war in Lebanon.” “What does Lebanon have to do with it?” I said. “All the journalists forgot about us during the Lebanon war. So the terrorists are waiting for the media to come back before firing rockets again. They don’t want to waste those they have.” ... In Iraq the enemy makes militarily insignificant attacks on non combatants in order to get media coverage. It appears that the media is a central character in the Palestinian strategy too. Then there are the media hoaxes they perpetrate.

Anti tank weapon scorecard

Strategy Page: ... Hizbollah fired some 500 ATGMs, and scored hits on about fifty Israeli armored vehicles. Not all the ATGMs were fired at armored vehicles, and about a third of them appeared to have been used against Israeli infantry.... ... The Israelis had over a thousand armored vehicles in Lebanon, and five percent of them were hit. It hurt, but the ATGMs did not stop the Israelis, or even slow them down much. A little perspective on the effectiveness of Hezballah's favored tactic for stopping the Israeli offensive. It appears the Isaelis did a better job of stopping themselves than the Hezzies did in attacking their forces.