Showing posts from September, 2006

Video found of happy mass murderers of 9-11

Sunday Times: FILM of the ringleader of the September 11 hijackers reading his “martyrdom” will inside Afghanistan at Osama Bin Laden’s headquarters has emerged five years after the Al-Qaeda outrage. It is the first time that a videotape has appeared of Mohammed Atta — who flew an American Airlines plane into the north tower of the World Trade Center — at a training camp in Afghanistan. It fills in a significant gap in the timing of the build-up to the attacks on the United States. Dates on the tape show Atta was filmed on January 18, 2000, together with Ziad Jarrah, the pilot of United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after the passengers apparently stormed the flight deck. ... Despite the deadly tasks the men had been assigned, they appear in high spirits, laughing and smiling in front of the camera. Only when Atta, with an AK-47 propped on a wall beside him, reads a document marked in Arabic “the will”, does he become solemn. Both are well groomed, without the hagga

The irreverant Kinky

Sunday Telegraph: Kinky Friedman, irreverant country singer, satirist and self-proclaimed "equal opportunities offender", was his usual ebullient self as he bounded on to the stage at the latest stop in his remarkable campaign to become governor of Texas. "You know the definition of politics?" the former frontman of the Texas Jewboys band asked a packed audience at the Flying Saucer bar in San Antonio. "Well, 'poli' means more than one and 'tics' are bloodsucking parasites!" The crowd roared as Friedman, in his trademark black cowboy hat and vest, ever-present unlit Montecristo cigar in one hand and glass of Guinness in the other, attacked the "failed two-party system" of his Democrat and Republican rivals. But Friedman's independent campaign has proved no joke. The latest opinion poll gave him his highest rating yet — 23 per cent, level with Democrat Chris Bell and making ground on Republican incumbent Rick Perry on 35 per ce

Iran's nuke ambitions go back to Iraq war

Haaretz: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, former Supreme Leader of Iran, wrote in 1988 that Iranian military leaders were seeking nuclear weapons, according to a letter released Saturday by former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani. Khomeini reportedly sent the letter to political leaders during the Iran-Iraq War. In it, he describes why he was forced to agree to a cease-fire which, as he described it, was like "drinking poison." In the letter, he quotes military leaders who had urged him to stop the war unless the army was equipped with advanced weapons systems including fighter planes, helicopters, and laser-guided missiles. The officers also told him, he wrote, that if Iran wished to win the war and not reach a cease-fire, it should obtain nuclear weapons, a process which could take five years. This is the first time an official document has come from Iran indicating the country's interest in achieving nuclear capability, a charge the government consistently denies. Insp

Muslim mobs destroy churches in Nigeria A mob of Muslim youths injured six Christians – one critically – and set fire to 10 churches last week in Dutse, capital of Jigawa state in northern Nigeria. The attacks on September 19 and 20 were sparked by allegations that a Christian woman had blasphemed the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Angered Muslims demanded that the woman, identified only as a tailor named Jummai, be stoned to death for her comments. “Muslims believed that the Christian woman would not be stoned to death, and that is why they decided to vent their anger on Christians and their churches,” Malam Isa Hussani told Compass. Rumors spread rapidly, and after a few skirmishes on the evening of the dispute, a rampage broke out the following morning against the churches, homes and businesses of local Christians. Hundreds of Muslims assembled on September 20 at 10 a.m. at Dutse’s Central Mosque, with another group congregating at the district Muslim leader’s residence. Christian leaders said the mobs were addre

The comined operations approach to imposing our will

The Adventures of Chester explores how combined operations beyond the kinetic battle space are used to effect policies. One of the hallmarks of maneuver warfare as it has been conceived in the Marine Corps is the use of combined arms. "Combined arms" refers to the use of various weapons systems in concert, such that each reinforces the weaknesses of the other. The doctrinal definition is this: Combined arms is the full integration of arms in such a way that to counteract one, the enemy must become more vulnerable to another. We pose the enemy not just with a problem, but with a dilemma -- a no-win situation. [from Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1, Warfighting ] There's no reason to think that this doctrine couldn't be articulated at the national level as well. Rather than confining it to the realm of military strategy and the use of force, why not include all the elements of national power -- diplomatic, economic, informational, military, etc -- and force them

Enemy becoming less effective in Ramadi

Stars & Stripes: The security situation in Ramadi, long regarded as one of Iraq’s most dangerous cities, is finally improving, the U.S. military commander who oversees coalition operations there said Friday. In a video teleconference with Pentagon reporters from Ramadi, Army Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, noted that when he last spoke to journalists, in July, he told them “we’re at a tipping point” in the fight for Ramadi. “Well, I think we’ve actually tipped,” MacFarland said Friday. Attacks against U.S. and Iraqi security forces “are down by 25 percent over the past couple of months,” from 20 per day to 15, MacFarland said. “Overall, the effectiveness of the enemy attacks has decreased somewhat,” MacFarland said. “This month, particularly, there’s been a noticeable drop-off — I’d say about a 50 percent drop-off in effectiveness.” ... Insurgents, meanwhile, are less willing to face coalition forces head-on, MacFarland said. “The e

Baghdad body guard suspected of al Qaeda ties and plans for massive car bomb attack

AP /Fox News: A bodyguard detained at the home of a leading Sunni Arab politician is suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda in Iraq, thought to be involved in planning a major suicide car bombing assault inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, the U.S. command said Saturday. Guard Khudhir Farhan was taken into custody Friday at the home of Adnan al-Dulaimi, the head of the largest Sunni bloc in parliament, al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press. "The detained individual is suspected of involvement in the planning of a multi-vehicle suicide operation inside Baghdad's International Zone," the U.S. military said in a statement without identifying the suspect. The zone in downtown Baghdad is home to the Iraqi government, parliament and the U.S. and other western embassies. "Credible intelligence indicates the individual, a member of Dr. Dulaimi's personal security detachment, and seven members of the detained individual's cell were in the final stages of launch

The real "state of Denial"

William Kristol: The country would be better off if there were bipartisan agreement on what is at stake in the struggle against jihadist Islam. But despite areas of consensus, there is still a fundamental difference between the parties. Bush and the Republicans know we are in a serious war. It's not the Bush administration that is in a "State of Denial" (as the new Bob Woodward book has it). It's the Democrats. Consider developments over the last week. Democrats hyped last Sunday's news stories breathlessly reporting on one judgment from April's National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)--that the war in Iraq has created more terrorists. More than would otherwise have been created if Saddam were still in power? Who knows? The NIE seems not even to have contemplated how many terrorists might have been created by our backing down, by Saddam's remaining in power to sponsor and inspire terror, and the like. (To read the sections of the NIE subsequently released is t

Zawahiri declares holy war against UN

Washington Times: Al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri, called on Muslims in a video released yesterday to start a holy war against proposed U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region. "O Muslim nation, come to defend your lands from crusaders masked as United Nations [troops]. Nothing will protect you except popular jihad," al-Zawahri said in the video posted on the Internet. The European Commission said yesterday its president, Jose Manuel Barroso, and a top EU aid official would go to Sudan this weekend to try to convince Khartoum to allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur. Sudan's government refuses to accept a U.N. peacekeeping force and has resisted extending a mandate for 7,000 troops from the African Union, which are now in Darfur. ... I predict that the UN will take a supine position on al Qaeda's declaration of war against it. Perhaps if al Qaeda flew a plane into UN headquarters they might take notice.

Muslim religious bigots chase French teacher into hiding

NY Times: A French high school philosophy teacher and author who carried out a scathing attack against the Prophet Muhammad and Islam in a newspaper commentary says he has gone into hiding under police protection after receiving a series of death threats, including one disseminated on an online radical Islamist forum. The teacher, Robert Redeker, 52, wrote in the center-right daily Le Figaro 10 days ago that Muhammad was “a merciless warlord, a looter, a mass-murderer of Jews and a polygamist,” and called the Koran “a book of incredible violence.” The Redeker case is the latest manifestation in Europe of a mounting ideological battle that pits those who believe Islam and the Prophet Muhammad can be criticized in the name of free speech against those in the Muslim community who believe no criticism can be tolerated. ... In his commentary, Mr. Redeker compared Islam unfavorably to Christianity and Judaism, although he admitted that the history of the Catholic Church was “full of dark pag

India says Pak ISI behind Bombay blasts

AP /NY Times: The police officer leading the investigation into train bombings that killed more than 200 people in the Indian city of Mumbai in July accused Pakistan's spy agency on Saturday of masterminding the attack. Tariq Azim, Pakistan's minister of state for information, denied the claim, calling it ''sad and unfortunate.'' ... Mumbai police Commissioner A.N. Roy said an intensive investigation that included using truth serum on suspects revealed that Pakistan's top spy agency had ''masterminded'' the bombings. Roy said Pakistan's Directorate of Inter Services Intelligence, or ISI, began planning the attacks in March and later provided training to those who carried out the bombings in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. ''The terror plot was ISI sponsored and executed by Lashkar-e-Tayyaba operatives with help from the Students Islamic Movement of India,'' Roy said at a news conference to announce the completion of the investigatio

Wal-Mart voters

Washington Post: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. yesterday launched a voter registration drive aimed at its 1.3 million U.S. employees in what it describes as the largest such effort by a private company. The kickoff was held in Iowa, a key battleground in the upcoming midterm elections. Workers at Wal-Mart's roughly 3,800 other facilities across the country also received registration forms yesterday. Although the world's largest retailer said it does not want to influence how its workers vote, David Tovar, director of media relations, said the drive was prompted by recent criticism of the company by politicians. Wal-Mart workers "read the newspapers and see the headlines, just like you and I do," Tovar said. "They recognize there were some elected officials that were saying some things that didn't really represent the company. They wanted to have an opportunity to have their voice heard." Wal-Mart is working with Democratic strategist Charles Baker of the law fir

Israel raises alert level in Golon after Syria threat

Telegraph: Israel has gone on heightened alert over a possible war with Syria amid reports that President Bashar Assad may be considering military strikes to regain the Golan Heights. For years Israeli military intelligence has down-played Syria's capacity to launch a meaningful attack against Israel, and the threat level has been kept "low". But Israeli reports have revealed that the threat level had been raised after intelligence assessments that Damascus is "seriously examining" military action. The raised threat level comes as Israel prepares for Monday's Day of Atonement, known as Yom Kippur, a solemn Jewish holiday when the entire country effectively shuts down as residents fast and seek forgiveness for sins. It was on Yom Kippur in 1973 that Israel was caught by surprise as Syrian and Egyptian forces launched a joint attack and inflicted heavy losses before being repelled. "The first two days of that war were huge defeats for Israel," said P

Zawahiri imitates Democrats

BBC: Al-Qaeda's number two has called US President George W Bush a "liar" who has failed in his war against the network, according to a new video. "Bush, you are a lying failure," Ayman al-Zawahiri is purported to have said in the video posted on the internet. ... "Bush, oh failure and liar, why don't you be courageous for once and confront your people and tell them the truth about your losses in Iraq and Afghanistan," the militant said, according to Reuters news agency. He also called Pope Benedict XVI a "charlatan" because of his remarks on Islam, Reuters reported. "This charlatan accused Islam of being incompatible with rationality while forgetting that his own Christianity is unacceptable to a sensible mind," he said. ... This from the guy who is responsible for the declining respect for Islam around the world and who claims that human bomb attacks are rational behavior. Oh, Zawahiri, why can't you talk without padding

An increase in ineffective attacks in Iraq

Maj.Gen. William Caldwell: ... This has been a tough week. Over the past two weeks, we have seen a rise in the number of attacks, especially in Baghdad. Let me point out that an "attack" can mean anything from a stray round fired from a rifle to a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. In terms of attacks, this week's suicide attacks were at their highest level in any given week, with half of them targeting security forces. Last week almost 50 percent of the vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices were suicide attacks. The clear intent of these high-magnitude attacks are to produce mass casualties. But while we are seeing this increase in overall attack numbers, their effectiveness has not increased. That is, casualties have not increased proportionally with the number of attacks. ... Keep this in mind when you hear about Bob Woodward's new book and its assertion that the Bush administration has understated attacks in Iraq. It i

Dems demonstrate bad faith, again

David Limbaugh: The New York Times has again selectively leaked sensitive national security information, this time cherry picking an April National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report to support the left's template that our attack on Iraq has spawned more terrorism. In response, President Bush declassified other portions of the report to complete the picture. If anything, on balance the report emphasizes how critical Iraq is to our ultimate victory in the war on terror. But how dare Bush defend himself? Caught crying wolf again, Democrats have pulled a familiar trick out of their playbooks. They are demanding Bush declassify the entire document, knowing he cannot afford to comply and reveal secrets to the enemy, to create the false impression that he has something to hide. In the meantime, the national interest be damned. Democrats pulled the same kind of stunt during Miguel Estrada's Senate confirmation hearings for the appellate bench. As one of their bogus excuses for filibus

Saddam was trying to extort money to bury Kurds

AFP: ... The claims emerged in the sensational finale of a nine-month probe into whether Australian wheat exporter AWB illegally channelled 220 million US dollars to the regime of Saddam, who is on trial in Iraq for the genocide of 182,000 people in a 1987-88 campaign against the Kurds. In a last-minute twist, a lawyer for the probe revealed that the wheat exporting monopoly could face terrorism-related charges if it knowingly supplied cash that could have funded human rights atrocities. An internal document appeared to suggest that executives of AWB, which has taken a severe battering at the inquiry, knew the Iraqis wanted foreign currency in 2001 to build 2,000 concrete burial bunkers. "The bunkers will have cement walls and floors so they are actually designed for burying the Kurds," an email from AWB executive Daryl Borlase to several other AWB staff said. "Under the cement?? They intend to build them with fumigation capability so the mind boggles as to whether they

"Intellectually anorexic"

Melanie Phillips: The speech by Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett at the Labour party conference was simply embarrassing. Thin? It was intellectually anorexic. It was the speech of someone who seemed to have nothing original or even half-way thoughtful to say about anything. But one paragraph in particular caught my eye. Referring to the Middle East, she said, amongst other vapidities, this: "No doubt there will be yet again those whose goal is to obstruct the prospect of peace. Because let’s not forget in the welter of accusation and counter-accusation it was the desire to obstruct such progress that led directly to the terrible events of the summer in Palestine and the Lebanon." Excuse me? ‘Terrible events of the summer in Palestine and the Lebanon’? What about the terrible events of the summer in Israel, the country that was actually attacked from Lebanon and from Gaza — which is presumably what Ms Beckett means by ‘Palestine’? What about the terrible 4000 rockets tha

Institutional ignorance of warfare

John Miller: A decade ago, best-selling author Stephen Ambrose donated $250,000 to the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater, to endow a professorship in American military history. A few months later, he gave another $250,000. Until his death in 2002, he badgered friends and others to contribute additional funds. Today, more than $1 million sits in a special university account for the Ambrose-Heseltine Chair in American History, named after its main benefactor and the long-dead professor who trained him. The chair remains vacant, however, and Wisconsin is not currently trying to fill it. “We won’t search for a candidate this school year,” says John Cooper, a history professor. “But we’re committed to doing it eventually.” The ostensible reason for the delay is that the university wants to raise even more money, so that it can attract a top-notch senior scholar. There may be another factor as well: Wisconsin doesn’t actually want a military historian on its faculty. It hasn’t had one

Clinton's tantrum of deceit

Donald Lambro: Former President Clinton's angry, finger-pointing attempt to defend and revise his abysmal pre-9/11 record on terrorism is coming under increasing scrutiny. That's because he made a number of unsubstantiated claims last week during his theatrical temper-tantrum response to Fox News reporter Chris Wallace's questions about what Clinton did, or didn't do, to combat the terrorist threat in his eight years in office. Stung by the harshly critical ABC network dramatization (which admittedly included some fictional scenes) of what led to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States which blamed his administration for not going after Osama bin Laden when it had the chance, Clinton came to the Fox interview ready to rumble. Perhaps no one else in modern American politics is better than Clinton at the counterattack, and he gave a boffo performance that met with rave reviews from his party's angry leftist road warriors in the blogosphere. But it turns out th

Democrats and others desperate for defeat in Iraq

Washington Times: Twice in recent weeks, we have been treated to more examples of how far some in the mainstream media and congressional Democrats are prepared to go in order to score political points against President Bush and the war in Iraq. Earlier this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee -- or more precisely a majority comprised of the panel's Democrats and Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe -- released a report about the flaws in prewar intelligence that appears to whitewash evidence of Saddam Hussein's links to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Then on Sunday, the New York Times and The Washington Post ran front-page stories selectively quoting from a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in an effort to show that the war in Iraq was responsible for creating a new generation of terrorists. According to the banner headline of Sunday's NYT story, for example, the NIE (which represents the joint findings of 16 intelligence services) con

Agility in warfare

Robert Scales: The threat posed by radical Islam around the world is forcing our military services to change how they fight -- and how they are preparing to fight in the future. Not unexpectedly, the services most involved in fighting, the Army and Marine Corps, have been first to adapt to this new and diabolical threat. The ground services understand that war is moving into the third dimension. Our enemies will continue to challenge us in the most remote, distant and inhospitable places. As we have seen in both Afghanistan and Iraq, getting to (and staying) in these places often can be done only by air. The enemy understands that they can best survive against American precision killing power by dispersing and distributing their forces in remote mountain areas and in the crowded and narrow urban places. The enemy has learned the advantage of killing the most vulnerable part of our force -- the huge and soft ground convoys that we rely on to supply our gas-guzzling iron monsters inh

Al Qaeda in Iraq "in dire need"

AP /Washington Times: The new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq said in an audio message posted online yesterday that more than 4,000 foreign terrorists have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 -- the first apparent acknowledgment from the insurgents about their losses. The message also called for experts in the fields of "chemistry, physics, electronics, media and all other sciences -- especially nuclear scientists and explosives experts" to join the terror group's holy war against the West. "We are in dire need of you," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir -- also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri -- the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. "The field of jihad [holy war] can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases [in Iraq] are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty, as they call them." It was not clear why al-Masri would advertise the loss of the group's

Democrat rule ruins Michigan

Washington Times: The fever among voters to throw incumbents out of office -- furiously stoked by Democrats in Washington -- might backfire in this state, where Republicans are riding a surge of voter discontent. With Democrats holding both Senate seats and the governor's mansion, Michigan is suffering the worst economy of any state in the nation. The state's unemployment rate is nearly twice the national average of 4.7 percent, and the auto industry is losing jobs by the tens of thousands. A recent job fair offering factory work for $10 an hour with no benefits drew 4,000 applicants. "They're Democrats, but they want jobs," John Katinsky said of his neighbors in this hard-hit town downriver from Detroit. Much of the discontent is being directed at Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the first-term senator who is trying to fend off a challenge from Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "Only one state in America has lost jobs for three straight years and

Mexican media intimidated by Nuevo Laredo quagmire

San Antonio Express-Light /Houston Chronicle: For some time now, this city's gunfire has found its echo in silence. Even the border city's freewheeling and competitive news media — until this year the noisy barometers of an ongoing struggle between two drug cartels — have abandoned their traditional role. It was a gradual shutdown, but by summer it was complete. In the latest example, a 30-minute shootout Sept. 22 in a ritzy part of the city went unreported by local media. "Call it self-censorship," said Raymundo Ramos, a former police reporter who now runs a local news Web site. "This is a silenced press, enforced because there is no guarantee for our safety." One veteran reporter described the state of Nuevo Laredo police reporting like this: "I see, I hear, I shut up." When the turf war for control of smuggling routes into Texas ratcheted up two years ago, victims' families were the first to keep quiet. They learned that if their loved ones

Senate approves tribunals

Washington Times: The Senate gave its final approval yesterday for President Bush's proposal for interrogating and prosecuting the terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, sending the legislation to the White House for Mr. Bush's signature. Immediately after that vote, the Senate agreed to vote today on the bill to construct 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. After a week of stalling the bill, Democrats supported the procedural move. The terrorist tribunal bill, a modified version of a proposal offered by Mr. Bush, passed on an 65-34 vote. Fifty-three Republicans and 12 Democrats voted for the bill. Thirty-two Democrats were joined by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island Republican, and Sen. James M. Jeffords, Vermont independent, in voting against the measure. One Republican -- Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine -- did not vote. "This legislation recognizes that we are a nation at war," said Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republic

Euros say surveillance of terrorist financing illegal

NY Times: The Belgian banking consortium Swift breached European privacy rules when it aided a United States antiterrorism program by providing confidential information about money transfers, Belgium’s privacy protection commission concluded Thursday. “It has to be seen as a gross miscalculation by Swift that it has, for years, secretly and systematically transferred massive amounts of personal data for surveillance without effective and clear legal basis and independent controls in line with Belgian and European law,” the report said. Swift, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, has come under scrutiny for participating in a Bush administration program that allows analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency and officials from other United States agencies to search for possible terrorist financing activity among the millions of confidential financial transactions it oversees. The Bush administration has defended the once-secret program, which began afte

Iraq honey trap works--al Qaeda claims 4000 killed

CBS News: The new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq said in an audiotape posted on the Internet Thursday that more than 4,000 foreign insurgent fighters have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. "The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir - also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri - the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, though the voice could not be independently identified. The Arabic word he used indicated he was speaking about foreigners who joined the insurgency in Iraq, not coalition troops. He also told Muslims on the recording that their holy month should be turned into what he calls a "month of holy war." Ramadan began last weekend across the Muslim world. Al-Masri appealed directly to insurgents in Iraq, urging them to take Westerners prisoner. "I appeal to every holy warrior in the land of Iraq to exert all efforts in this holy month so that God may e

Leakers and liars

NY Post Editorial: President Bush, by releasing a de- classified version of that controver sial intelligence report on terrorism and the Iraq campaign, has put the lie to claims that even his own spies say toppling Saddam Hussein was a bad idea. Yes, the report says that the war in Iraq is one of four factors that have energized the jihadists. But it also maintains that the greatest threat to America and the West will come if the insurgents are seen to have won in Iraq - and that the way to prevent that is to defeat them, not to follow the Democrats' cut-and-run formula. "Perceived jihadist success [in Iraq] would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere," the report notes, adding: "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight." Repeat: Showing the terrorists that America will stay the course until they are defeated will dissuade others from

Pak "truce" leads to more attacks in Afghanistan

AP /Washington Times: American troops on Afghanistan's eastern frontier have seen a tripling of attacks since a truce between the Pakistani army and pro-Taliban tribesmen that was supposed to stop cross-border raids by militants, a U.S. military officer said yesterday. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry rejected the U.S. assertion and said home-based insurgents were behind the violence in Afghanistan, where at least 25 militants were reported killed in fighting yesterday. Raising further questions about the cease-fire, a Pakistani political leader maintained that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar approved the deal. A government official denied that. The developments came amid a public feud between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who had dinner last night with President Bush at the White House. The U.S. officer said the cease-fire that began June 25, cemented by the signing of a peace accord Sept. 5, contributed to the Taliban&#

"Fighting" Dems losing

AP /Washington Times: The "Fighting Dems" aren't a collective powerhouse after all. For months, the Democratic Party has trumpeted the congressional candidacies of several dozen Democrats who served in the military. Six weeks before the midterm elections, only a few have a fighting chance to win. The rest lost in the primaries, dropped out, or trail their Republican opponents in fundraising. Many of the Democrats are little-known political novices who don't have the financial backing of the party's campaign committees, which buy ads to benefit those they think can win. Democrats concede that only a few are in competitive races. "The key point is that we had so many veterans running as Democrats and that veterans were willing to stand up and say that 'I'm a Democrat and I'm running for office,'" said Karen Finney, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). "They understand that our party is committed to

Al Qaeda losing the hearts and minds battle in Iraq

Judith Apter Klinghoffer: Al Qaeda has desicively lost the Iraqi battlefield. Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very). Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally—71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a fav

The al Qaeda NIE leaked

NY Sun: On a day when much of the capital's attention was focused on leaked excerpts of an intelligence estimate report that suggested the Iraq war was creating more jihadists, the military quietly released an intercepted letter from Al Qaeda complaining that the terrorist organization was losing ground in Iraq. The letter, found in the headquarters of Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, after he was killed on June 7, was sent to Zarqawi by a senior Al Qaeda leader who signs his name simply "Atiyah." He complains that Al Qaeda is weak both in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and in Iraq. A former jihadist who fought in Algeria in the 1990s, Atiyah appears from the text to be speaking for Al Qaeda's Shura Council — the group's decision-making panel chaired by Osama bin Laden. In the letter, he sharply criticizes Zarqawi's leadership, saying he alienated key allies necessary for the implementation of jihad in Iraq. "Know that we, li

Irresponsible Democrats request ask for release of full NIE

Power Line: The Democrats evidently aren't happy with the release of the "key judgments" of the National Intelligence Estimate on global terrorism, because now they've demanded that the White House release the entire report . That will get them what they're looking for, i.e., headlines like this one: "White House refuses to release full NIE." The Democrats knew, obviously, that the administration can't release the entire document without both endangering agents and compromising the ability of intelligence analysts to write candid assessments without worrying that their work product will wind up in the newspaper. But for now, at least, they can change the subject. Ted Kennedy weighed in with the most surreal attack: "The American people deserve the full story, not those parts of it that the Bush administration selects," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. That would be hilarious, if it were not so contemptible. When Democrats in th

Muslims should be concerned about the western street

Max Boot: EVER SINCE 9/11, a dark view of Islam has been gaining currency on what might be called the Western street. This view holds that, contrary to the protestations of our political leaders — who claim that acts of terrorism are being carried out by a minority of extremists — the real problem lies with Islam itself. In this interpretation, Islam is not a religion of peace but of war, and its 1.2 billion adherents will never rest until all of humanity is either converted, subjugated or simply annihilated. Is the war on terrorism really a "clash of civilizations"? The overreaction to Pope Benedict XVI's relatively innocuous remarks at the University of Regensburg on Sept. 12 would seem to lend weight to this alarming notion. ... Where are the demonstrations in the Muslim street when the president of Iran denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of Israel? Or when Palestinian kidnappers force two Western journalists to convert to Islam at gunpoint? Or when Sun

The real Clinton

Dick Morris: From behind the benign face and the tranquilizing smile, the real Bill Clinton emerged Sunday during Chris Wallace’s interview on Fox News Channel. There he was on live television, the man those who have worked for him have come to know – the angry, sarcastic, snarling, self-righteous, bombastic bully, roused to a fever pitch. The truer the accusation, the greater the feigned indignation. Clinton jabbed his finger in Wallace’s face, poking his knee, and invading the commentator’s space. But beyond noting the ex-president’s non-presidential style, it is important to answer his distortions and misrepresentations. His self-justifications constitute a mangling of the truth which only someone who once quibbled about what the “definition of ‘is’ is” could perform. Clinton told Wallace, “There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk Down.” Nobody said there was. The point of citing Somalia in the run up to 9-11 is th

Another insurgent leader arrested in Iraq

AP: Iraqi security forces have arrested another leader of the 1920 Revolution Brigades, a group accused of numerous attacks on U.S. forces, the General Command of the Armed Forces said Wednesday. The man was arrested Tuesday night in the village of al-Jazira, about 60 miles north of Baghdad , said Brig. Qassim al-Mussawi. The operation follows the arrest of another leader of the group and seven aides early Saturday in the same area. ... This series of arrest suggest that Iraqi intelligence is getting better information on the enemy and is able to act on it. As the Iraqi army takes over more operations, I believe the intelligence against the enmy will continue to get better.

Locals look at immigration enforcement

Washington Post: CHARLOTTE - Police here operated for years under what amounts to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward illegal immigrants. As elsewhere in the United States, law enforcement officers did not check the immigration status of people they came into contact with, and in the vast majority of cases, a run-in with the law carried little threat of deportation. But that accommodation for the burgeoning illegal population ended abruptly in April, when the Mecklenburg County sheriff's office began to enforce immigration law, placing more than 100 people a month into deportation proceedings. Some of them had been charged with violent crimes, others with traffic infractions. The program takes one of the most aggressive stances in the United States toward illegal immigrants, and officials in scores of communities, including Herndon and Loudoun County, are considering adopting their own version. The House earlier this month was weighing a measure "reaffirm


Ralph Peters: AFTER more than two decades in the intelligence world, I know a few secrets. Some would merit brief, trumped-up headlines. But keeping those secrets is a matter of honor. I don't keep secrets from the American people. I keep secrets for the American people. I took an oath not to divulge classified information. In return, I was trusted. And I never broke my word. That means that I and all those like me who keep the faith don't fit in Washington, D.C., where leaking our nation's secrets is now a competitive sport - for both Democrats and Republicans. The climate of leaks-without-penalties must end. But it probably won't. Why? Because senior figures in both parties see political advantages in well-timed leaks. They're willing to betray our nation for a brief partisan edge. I've already used two out-of-date words that mark me as a patsy in D.C.: "honor" and "betray." What happened to honor? Among our elected and appointed of

Case will test seriousness of SC attitude about immigration enforcement

Houston Chronicle: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a California case that should help clarify when legal immigrants convicted of relatively minor crimes can be automatically deported. The case, to be argued this year or early next year, is the third case the court has accepted to interpret the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was intended to make it easier for the federal government to expel immigrants who commit crimes. Next Tuesday, the justices will hear similar cases involving Mexican nationals convicted of drug possession — one in Texas, another in South Dakota. The case accepted this week, Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, involves a Peruvian immigrant who was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to three years in prison for aiding and abetting an auto theft. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Luis Alexander Duenas-Alvarez's conviction did not amount to a conviction for the broader crime of auto theft, which is an "aggravated felony" that

Al Qaeda Anbar leader zapped

Bill Roggio: Task Force 145, the global hunter-killers of high value al-Qeda targets, is conducting a full court press in Iraq. The Kuwaiti News Agency reports al-Qaeda's Emir in Anbar province, Khalid Mahal, and Nasif Al-Mawla, his aide, were killed during an operation in the Thar Thar region. An American intelligence source will not comment on Mahal's death but did state “operations are ongoing." Regional emirs are essentially military commanders (or senior generals in western terms), and Mahal would have reported directly to the Mujahdeen Shura, al-Qaeda's leadership council in Iraq. ... It has been a bad week to be al Qaeda in Iraq. The leadership targets keep falling as al Qaeda keeps creating enemies in Iraq. It is possible that the Anbar tribal leaders who have declared war against al Qaeda provided some actionable intelligence. Isn't interesting how al Qaeda keeps creating enemies around the world by its attacks on non combatants. Somebody tell the