Showing posts from May, 2007

Al Qaeda 3.0

Telegraph: If international terrorism has a global headquarters, it is probably to be found in the barren mountains of Waziristan lining the ungovernable north-west frontier of Pakistan. Here, British officials believe al-Qa'eda's core leadership, headed by Osama bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has regrouped and found refuge. For several years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, they were engaged in little else than avoiding capture and fleeing the American-led offensive in Afghanistan. Today, by contrast, they are probably secure enough to give strategic direction to al-Qa'eda cells across the world. Once, al-Qa'eda was best thought of as a "franchise" operation: a brand name adopted by numerous terrorist groups operating independently of the key leaders around bin Laden, who British counter-terrorism officials call "core al-Qa'eda". But this assessment is probably outdated. "Core al-Qa'eda" is believ

US winning hearts and minds and al Qaeda losing them

AP: A battle raged in west Baghdad on Thursday after residents rose up against al-Qaida and called for U.S. military help to end random gunfire that forced people to huddle indoors and threats that kept students from final exams, a member of the district council said. ... U.S. forces backed by helicopter gunships clashed with suspected al- Qaida gunmen in western Baghdad's primarily Sunni Muslim Amariyah neighborhood in an engagement that lasted several hours, said the district councilman, who would not allow use of his name for fear of al-Qaida retribution. Casualty figures were not immediately available and there was not immediate word from the U.S. military on the engagement. But the councilman said the al-Qaida leader in the Amariyah district, known as Haji Hameed, was killed and 45 other fighters were detained. Members of al-Qaida, who consider the district part of their so-called Islamic State of Iraq, were preventing students from attending final exams, shooting randomly and

Global warming hits Neptune too

Neal Boortz: Yesterday on the show we discussed a news story detailing some unexplained warming on the planet Neptune . A recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters (surely you're a subscriber) revealed that Neptune has been getting warmer since 1980. Researchers are investigating whether increased output from the Sun might be the cause. This warming of Neptune must be particularly distressing to Al Gore and the anti-capitalist global warming cabal out there. You see, there has been no recent build-up of greenhouse gasses on Neptune. No deforestation. No contrails from jets. No SUVs. Yet Neptune is warming. During our conversation Royal opined that the reason might be that Neptune is getting warmer because its orbit is elliptical .. and that it is getting closer to the sun. Royal cited the fact that at some times Pluto's orbit is actually outside that of Neptune due to the odd orbit. Well, Royal was right ... about Pluto being outside of Neptune on occasion.

Economy reacting to Democrat Congress?

AP: The economy nearly stalled in the first quarter with growth slowing to a pace of just 0.6 percent. That was the worst three-month showing in over four years. The new reading on the gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department Thursday, showed that economic growth in the January-through-March quarter was much weaker. Government statisticians slashed by more than half their first estimate of a 1.3 percent growth rate for the quarter. The main culprits for the downgrade: the bloated trade deficit and businesses cutting investment in supplies of the goods they hold in inventories. ... Isn't that just typical of the AP to not notice the biggest factor was the change in Congress and the threat of all those new taxes which causes people to cut back on investments. And, with the threat to trading importers also needed to get their goods in now before the Democrats screw that up too.

Do the Swiss have any troops in Muslim countries?

NZZOnline: Islamic:inspired terrorism is still a threat in Switzerland, according to an internal Swiss security report published on Thursday. The Federal Police Office's annual report said that the country was in the "danger zone" in western Europe and that it was also used as a logistical and propaganda base. In the past few years it has become clear that militant group al:Qaeda is still able to carry out attacks in western Europe, often using untrained individuals and at unexpected times, said the Police Office. It added that Switzerland was known to be a logistics, preparation, propaganda centre, and retreat for extremist groups. But the report noted that there were other reasons, apart from its geographical location, why Switzerland could become the target for a terror attack. "Individual supporters of Jihad [Holy War] see Switzerland as part of a plot against Islam," said the Police Office in a statement. "At the same time, according to our curr

Why I like Rudy Giuliani

Josh Gerstein: Mayor Giuliani is labeling Senator Clinton's plan to reverse President Bush's tax cuts "an astounding, staggering tax increase" that would turn back the clock and damage America's economy. In a potential preview of next fall's presidential contest, Mr. Giuliani, who is seen as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, directly attacked the leading Democratic candidate, Mrs. Clinton, over a speech she gave Tuesday in New Hampshire bemoaning the return of "robber barons" and promising to pursue "shared prosperity" by increasing taxes on Americans making more than $200,000 a year. "This would be an astounding, staggering tax increase," Mr. Giuliani told reporters yesterday after a visit to a restaurant on the edge of California's Silicon Valley. "She wants to go back to the 1990s. … It would hurt our economy. It would hurt this area dramatically. That kind of tax increase would see a decline in your vent

Iran's latest American hostages

Michael Ledeen: Rarely have so many journalists, politicians and commentators so totally missed a headline. There are now five American hostages in Iran. Each case has been largely treated by itself, almost as if it were an oddity, something requiring a special explanation, instead of another piece in a luminously clear pattern whose meaning should be intuitively obvious to us all. ... Iranian and Iranian-supported terrorists have been trying unsuccessfully to capture Americans in Iraq for some time (a hostage-taking operation failed last September, for example), but they found that the Americans fought back. They have now snatched unarmed Americans within Iranian borders. Several of them have been charged with espionage. Esfandiari has been accused of an additional crime: being married to a Jew. In the words of a website closely tied to President Ahmadinejad, Esfandiari is “married to Shaul Bakhash, a Jew, (and) is one of the leading figures in the international Zionist lobby planning

Rachel Carson's legacy of death in Africa

Angela Logomasini: This week, the world celebrates the 100th birthday of environmental icon Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 book, "Silent Spring." To mark the event, a Senate resolution offered by Sen. Ben Cardin, Maryland Democrat, would honor Miss Carson for what its sponsor says is a "legacy of scientific rigor coupled with poetic sensibility." Another proposal offered by Rep. Jason Altmire, Pennsylvania Democrat, would name a post office in Miss Carson's home town of Springdale, Pa., after the author. Both these measures are on hold because one senator objects. According to Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, Miss Carson's work does not pass the test of "scientific rigor." Instead, the needlessly alarmist tone of "Silent Spring"has produced tragic results. Mr. Coburn is right, yet he is among few lawmakers with the courage to step up. In "Silent Spring," Miss Carson used explosive rhetoric to condemn the pesticide DD

Living with bad neighbors

Fred Thompson: Let me ask you a hypothetical question. What do you think America would do if Canadian soldiers were firing dozens of missiles every day into Buffalo, N.Y.? What do you think our response would be if Mexican troops for two years had launched daily rocket attacks on San Diego -- and bragged about it? I can tell you, our response would look nothing like Israel's restrained and pinpoint reactions to daily missile attacks from Gaza. We would use whatever means necessary to win the war. There would likely be numerous casualties on our enemy's side, but we would rightfully hold those who attacked us responsible. More than 1,300 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since Palestinians were given control two years ago. Israelis, however, have gone to incredible lengths to stop the war against them without harming Palestinian non-combatants. But make no mistake, Israel is at war. The elected Hamas government regularly repeats its official promise to destroy Israe

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Christina Hoff Sommers: PARENTS and educat ors are wringing their hands over the poor academic performance of boys. Girls are better readers, earn higher grades and are far more likely to go to college. America does a much better job educating girls than boys. But now, out of nowhere, comes a book that may hold the secret to male learning. "The Dangerous Book for Boys," written by two English brothers, Conn and Hal Iggulden, violates all the rules of political correctness - and males between the ages of 8 and 80 are reading it in droves. Already a major best seller in Great Britain, the book is now topping the lists in America. Its appeal is obvious - it goes directly for the pleasure centers of the male brain. "The Dangerous Book for Boys" is all about Swiss Army knives, compasses, tying knots and starting fires with a magnifying glass. It includes adventure stories with male heroes, vivid descriptions of battles and a history of artillery. Readers learn how to

Real lessons of Vietnam

Henry Kissenger: THE IRAQ WAR has reawakened memories of the Vietnam War, the most significant political experience of an entire American generation. But this has not produced clarity about its lessons. Of course, history never repeats itself exactly. Vietnam and Iraq are different conflicts in different times, but there is an important similarity: A point was reached during the Vietnam War when the domestic debate became so bitter as to preclude rational discussion of hard choices. Administrations of both political parties perceived the survival of South Vietnam as a significant national interest. They were opposed by a protest movement that coalesced behind the conviction that the war reflected an amorality that had to be purged by confrontational methods. This impasse doomed the U.S. effort in Vietnam; it must not be repeated over Iraq. This is why a brief recapitulation of the Indochina tragedy is necessary. It must begin with dispelling the myth that the Nixon administration

Institutional Integrity at World Bank?

Opinion Journal: ... Mr. Zoellick's first test will come early. As we go to press, sources inside and outside the bank tell us that a follow-up to the putsch against Mr. Wolfowitz is being engineered by Managing Director Graeme Wheeler and Staff Association Chair Alison Cave against Suzanne Rich Folsom, who runs the bank's Department of Institutional Integrity, or INT. Ms. Folsom, an ethics lawyer brought in by former president Jim Wolfensohn and promoted to her current job by Mr. Wolfowitz, has been aggressively pursuing corruption investigations, much to the alarm of some at the bank. Prominent among those investigations is one concerning an Indian health project. Irregularities in the project, including indications of bid-rigging and bribery, led Mr. Wolfowitz to veto further loans to India in 2005 while the investigation unfolded, despite fierce protests from the project's managers. Now that the INT is about to issue a report about the project, Mr. Wheeler has been lobb

Border mayors whine about fence offer no solutions

Houston Chronicle: Along the Rio Grande, Texans are agitated about the government's plan to build 370 miles of fencing at the U.S.-Mexico border, including 153 miles in Texas. Mayors, county judges and others up and down the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico border are pressing the Department of Homeland Security to delay construction, saying community concerns are being ignored. But the government's sense of urgency could intensify because the fence has become enmeshed with the push for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. ... Conservatives, who insisted on the enforcement benchmarks, view them as essential components of an immigration bill painstakingly crafted by a bipartisan group of senators working with the White House. "The American people will not be sold on the idea of doing immigration reform until they are confident that our border is secure," said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., calling the enforcement mandates "a stroke of genius." ... "Absolut

Plame has some explaining to do for Senate

UPI /Washington Times: Three Republican senators are asking retired CIA employee Valerie Plame to explain what they call discrepancies in several accounts that she has given of her role in the decision to send her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, to Niger in 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore there. "One area of inquiry, which now seems to be unresolved, is why [Mrs. Plame] provided different testimony to the CIA inspector general, [Senate intelligence] committee staff and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform," they wrote in additional views to a Senate report about prewar intelligence on Iraq, published Friday. The additional views were submitted by Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Sen. Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Richard M. Burr of North Carolina. ... There is more. She has told three different versions of how her husband came to go to Niger and on

Putin's excuses

Peter Brooks: YESTERDAY, the Kremlin seemed to put another nail in the coffin of U.S.-Rus sian relations by testing a new intercontinental ballistic missile supposedly capable of penetrating any missile-defense system. Any missile-defense system? More like our missile-defense system. In reality, the new Russian RS-24 long-range missile test is about a lot more than the advent of U.S. missile-defense systems. A lot more . . . For starters, the missile's real targets include the domestic audience. Putin longs for Russia's heady superpower days - and so does much of his public. The once-proud Russian military, especially its strategic forces, have weakened from neglect; advanced U.S. missile defenses make it feel even more effete. A new ICBM is a real shot in the arm. Demonstrations of renewed military might not only please his generals, but also distract from problems such as the retreat of democracy, corruption and rollbacks on media freedoms. And the RS-24 isn't re

Conservatism vs. Democrat philosophy

George Will: ... Today conservatives tend to favor freedom, and consequently are inclined to be somewhat sanguine about inequalities of outcomes. Liberals are more concerned with equality, understood, they insist, primarily as equality of opportunity, not of outcome. Liberals tend, however, to infer unequal opportunities from the fact of unequal outcomes. Hence liberalism's goal of achieving greater equality of condition leads to a larger scope for interventionist government to circumscribe the market's role in allocating wealth and opportunity. Liberalism increasingly seeks to deliver equality in the form of equal dependence of more and more people for more and more things on government. Hence liberals' hostility to school choice programs that challenge public education's semimonopoly. Hence hostility to private accounts funded by a portion of each individual's Social Security taxes. Hence their fear of health savings accounts (individuals who buy high-deductible h

Freshmen Democrats embrace culture of corruption

Washington Times: The class of 41 freshman House Democrats has selected a registered lobbyist to form its political action committee, in what ethics watchdogs and Republicans are calling a contradiction of their promise to end a "culture of corruption" in Washington. The custodian of the Democratic Freshmen PAC is William C. Oldaker, 65, whose most-recent lobbying clients include the oil industry, the tobacco lobby, pharmaceutical industries and American Indian gambling interests. Mr. Oldaker also has been removed from several Democratic PACs over conflict-of-interest concerns. According to a 2005 report by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), "When lobbyist William Oldaker sits down to negotiate with a member of Congress, he brings years of experience working for the federal government to the table, as well as the legislative resources of his own firm. He also brings quite a bit of money." CPI has publicly referred to Mr. Oldaker as a "rainmaker,

The return to service of amputees

AP /Houston Chronicle: In the blur of smoke and blood after a bomb blew up under his Humvee in Iraq, Sgt. Tawan Williamson looked down at his shredded leg and knew it couldn't be saved. His military career, though, pulled through. Less than a year after the attack, Williamson is running again with a high-tech prosthetic leg and plans to take up a new assignment, probably by the fall, as an Army job counselor and affirmative action officer in Okinawa, Japan. In an about-face by the Pentagon, the military is putting many more amputees back on active duty — even back into combat, in some cases. Williamson, a 30-year-old Chicago native who is missing his left leg below the knee and three toes on the other foot, acknowledged that some will be skeptical of a maimed soldier back in uniform. "But I let my job show for itself," he said. "At this point, I'm done proving. I just get out there and do it." Previously, a soldier who lost a limb almost automatically receiv

Intelligence goes high tech

AP /NY Times: Using a new laptop and a satellite link, FBI agents can find out within two minutes whether the fingerprint from a newly captured suspect overseas matches a terrorist database in Virginia. Intelligence officials are running documents in languages such as Arabic through a new computer program called ''English Now.'' It converts the foreign characters into the Roman alphabet and makes words such as Baghdad, President Bush or Osama bin Laden jump out to spies who can't read Arabic. The language software and the fingerprint-recognition system are examples of new spy gear that the national intelligence director's office bought last year. They may seem like tools that should have been available years ago, but the government isn't noted for its ability to quickly develop new technology. A fledging center called IARPA is hoping to change that. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity will try to develop groundbreaking technology for the 16

NASA head irks globo warmer wackos

Houston Chronicle: NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, whose agency's observations of the Earth have helped to confirm a global rise in temperature, said he doubts that global warming is an issue mankind should address. "I have no doubt that global — that a trend of global warming exists," Griffin told National Public Radio's Morning Edition in an interview set for broadcast today. "I'm not sure it's fair to say that is a problem we must wrestle with." NPR made a transcript of Griffin's remarks available Wednesday. "To assume that is a problem is to assume that the state of the Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure it doesn't change," he said. "First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. "Second of a

Judge orders release of convicted bomber on immigration charge

AP /NY Times: A Middle Eastern man jailed for nearly four years must be released by June 8 because the government, which wants to deport him, has taken too long to find a country that will take him, a federal judge has ruled. The judge, Jerome Barry Friedman of Federal District Court here, said in an order issued on Friday that the government violated the constitutional rights of the man, Majed T. Hajbeh, and that he must be released within 14 days. “The court finds it difficult to conceive how his continued confinement remains reasonable,” Judge Friedman wrote. “There is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future.” Mr. Hajbeh was arrested and detained in 2003 in a sweep of people suspected of immigration violations. An immigration judge ordered him deported, reasoning that Mr. Hajbeh entered incorrect information on papers when entering the United States in 1993. Mr. Hajbeh said he had made a mistake and checked “single” instead of “married.” The judge

Chavez style "fairness" doctrine may spread to Bolivia and Ecuador

Washington Times: The leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador are moving with Cuban encouragement and in concert with their mentor, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to restrict press freedom in their countries. Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa both announced steps to crack down on independent broadcasters within days of Mr. Chavez's closure on Sunday of Venezuela's main independent television station, RCTV. Speaking before an international gathering of leftist intellectuals in Cochabamba last week, Mr. Morales proposed creating a tribunal to oversee the operations of privately owned press and broadcast outlets. Mr. Correa announced over the weekend that he would order a review of the broadcasting licenses of opposition news channels in his country. Both leaders have drawn support and inspiration from Mr. Chavez's increasingly authoritarian government since coming to power in the past 18 months, and both are drafting new constitutions

Lebanon gets chance of justice in Hariri murder

Washington Post: A sharply divided U.N. Security Council voted Wednesday to create an international criminal tribunal to prosecute the masterminds of the February 2005 suicide bombing that killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri and 22 others. The vote will lead to the creation of the first U.N.-backed criminal tribunal in the Middle East, raising expectations that Hariri's killers will be held accountable. But that has stoked fears among Lebanese authorities and some council members that supporters of Syria -- which has been linked to the assassination -- will plunge Lebanon's fledgling democracy into a bloody new round of internal strife. Fearing unrest, authorities imposed a partial curfew in Beirut, leaving the streets deserted. Lebanese placed lighted candles on boulevards and balconies to celebrate the outcome and sent congratulatory text messages countrywide. Lebanon's political leaders are deeply split over the ongoing pursuit of justice by a U.N. comm

Lt. in charge of removing bodies in Haditha testifies

LA Times: ... Lt. Max Frank, who had been ordered to remove the bodies, said he assumed the Marines had "cleared" three houses of suspected insurgents according to their standing orders: by throwing in fragmentation grenades and entering with blasts of M-16 fire. The smoke from the grenades, Frank said, would have kept the Marines from noticing that they were firing on women and children. "It was unfortunate, but I had no reason to believe anything they had done was on purpose," Frank said during a videotaped deposition. ... ... Defense attorneys say that Marines were "clearing" houses after receiving gunfire from one of the houses. But Frank testified that, while hauling away the dead bodies, he saw no indication that insurgents had been using the houses. He said he saw no weapons and no shell casings during the 10 hours he was on the scene. ... "The terrorists are laughing in their caves," Brian Rooney, one of Chessani's lawyers,

Credibility real issue on immigration "reform"

Rasmussen Reports: There’s a simple reason the immigration bill being debated by the U.S. Senate is unpopular with voters—the general public doesn’t believe it will reduce illegal immigration. And, in the minds of most voters, that’s what immigration reform is all about. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 16% of American voters believe illegal immigration will decline if the Senate bill is passed. Seventy-four percent (74%) disagree. That figure includes 41% who believe the Senate bill will actually lead to an increase in illegal immigration. If voters had a chance to improve the legislation, 75% would “make changes to increase border security measures and reduce illegal immigration.” Just 29% would” make it easier for illegal immigrants to stay in the country and eventually become citizens.” Voters who believe that the current bill will succeed in reducing illegal immigration favor its passage by a 51% to 31% margin. Those who believe the b

Sadr group claims credit for Brit kidnapping

Telegraph: A Shia militia commander claimed today that the five British nationals kidnapped in Baghdad were driven straight into a hostage holding centre in a neighbourhood ruled by the firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. A cell commander in Sadr's Mahdi Army, the militia suspected of orchestrating the kidnapping, told The Daily Telegraph that the five men were taken to the centre near Mudafra Square in Sadr City, the Iraqi capital's biggest Shia district. He claimed that the order to seize the hostages, who were visiting the finance ministry in central Baghdad, was handed down by Hassan Salim, the leading figure in the Mahdi Army militia in Sadr City. "We are holding the British until they release our brothers from Camp Buca in Basra," he said. "There are hundreds there under British security, some of them for years. When they are released the British will be allowed to go." ... Sadr should be brought in for questioning as well as the men mentioned in the sto

Hateful crimes that aren't "Hate Crimes"

Stuart Taylor: No. 1 : Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend, Channon Christian , both students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, were carjacked while on a dinner date in January, repeatedly raped (both of them), tortured, and killed. His burned body was found near a railroad track. Hers was stuffed into a trash can. Five suspects have been charged. The crimes were interracial. No. 2 : Three white Duke lacrosse players were accused in March 2006 of beating, kicking, choking, and gang-raping an African-American stripper, while pelting her with racial epithets, during a team party. No. 3 : Sam Hays bumped against Mike Martin in a crowded bar, spilling beer on Martin's "gay pride" sweatshirt. Martin yelled, "You stupid bastard, I should kick your ass." Hays muttered, "You damned queer" and threw a punch, bloodying Martin's lip. Now the quiz. Which of these would qualify as a federal case under a House-passed bill -- widely acclaimed

Who knew the CIA had so many young agents in Venezuela?

A.M. Mora y Leon: Venezuela is on fire. Triggered by a media shutdown over the weekend, tens of thousands of students from virtually every university, ranging from trade schools to military colleges to the most prestigious universities, and now high schools, are protesting in the streets of Caracas. It's Venezuela's longest nonstop street strike since March 2004. It doesn't seem entirely peaceful this time. Most of the past ones were peaceful. This one is different. Sure, there were some agents provocateurs, but it looks like more than that. It's street rage in spontaneous combustion. Over 100 kids, some hurling rocks and bottles, have been arrested, and others have been tear-gassed, and shot at with rubber and real bullets. As motorcycle cops swirl, the streets are becoming burning barricades, with many roadblocked by cops. Gangs of young men on the Chavista side bunch in alleys and doorways, as anti-Chavez others roam around menacingly. It makes downtown Caracas resem

The troops talk about the surge

MNFI: In the first days after his battalion began operating in east Baghdad’s Sha’ab neighborhood, Capt. Will Canda said he often saw the beds of Iraqi police trucks stained red with dried blood. “It was like they had just come from a butcher shop,” said Canda, a Westcliffe, Colo. native and commander of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Like wagons rolling through plague-stricken villages in medieval times, the police trucks were being used to pick up the bodies of murder victims found littering the neighborhood. That was in February, when Canda’s battalion became one of the first units to move into a battle space as part of Operation Fardh al Qanoon – which translated, means “enforcing the law” and is the name for the strategy to stabilize violence in Baghdad by pushing thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi forces into the city’s neighborhoods. Since then, troops have continued to pour in, dotting Baghdad with small outposts and joint security station

A procedural challenge to Senate immigration bill

The Hill: House conservatives are ready to stop the Senate immigration bill in its tracks with a potent procedural weapon should the contentious measure win passage in the upper chamber. The trump card conservatives may hold is a constitutional rule that revenue-related bills must originate in the House. The Senate immigration measure requires that illegal immigrants pay back taxes before becoming citizens, opening the door to a House protest, dubbed a “blue slip” for the color of its paper. House Republicans used the same back-taxes mandate for a blue-slip threat that derailed last year’s immigration conference. The new Senate bill still must survive two more weeks of voter scrutiny and contentious amendments, but several conservatives already are lying in wait for the Senate to “make the same mistake twice,” as one House GOP aide put it. “If we get an opportunity to do it, believe me, we’ll do it,” the aide said. “I think it’s going to be a matter of who will get there first. A numbe

Awakening threat to al Qaeda in Iraq

Bill Roggio: The formation of the Awakening movements - the Sunni tribes and former insurgents opposed al Qaeda's Talibanization of Iraq's communities - poses a great threat to al Qaeda in Iraq. The prototype Awakening movement, which was formed in Anbar province in the fall of 2006 by Sheikh Sattar al-Rishawi in the Ramadi region, has led to the wide scale rejection of al Qaeda and a dramatic reduction in violence in most of Anbar province. The Awakening has now spread to Diyala, Salahadin and Niwena provinces, with the help of Sheikh Sattar. Al Qaeda has responded violently to the formation of the Awakening movements in the provinces, and, like in Anbar and Diyala, is targeting the leadership and their families in the province of Salahadin. ... Al Qaeda's campaign to break the newly formed Diyala and Salahadin Salvation Councils will likely only intensify over the next several months. As the Baghdad Security Plan progresses, operations will ramp up in the belts in the re

Predictions of disaster overlooked?

Don Surber: ... But wait a second, wasn’t this the same “intelligence community” that assured us that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? And wasn’t Rockefeller chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002 when the war was authorized? Rockefeller said on Oct. 10, 2002 : “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.” “Unmistakable evidence”? If Bush was warned, then Rockefeller was warned. Why didn’t Rockefeller heed that warning and sound the alarm? The Gazette concluded, “The current administration has done grievous harm to America. Thank heaven, only 19 months remain until it ends.” That is 17 days longer than remains in Rockefeller’s term. It would be nice if West Virginians finally held him accountable for

Protest continue in Venezuela

Gateway Pundit has more stories and photos on the reaction to Chavez's throttling of free speech. Certainly his new programming is no winner either.

Secrets of the Six Day War

Melanie Phillips: ... Michael Oren, a notable historian of that war who has been mining the treasure trove of recently de-classified documents about it, related how, during the period leading up to June 1967 when attacks upon Israel were mounting, the tension in Israel became unbearable as people feared a second holocaust at the hands of the Arab states who were clearly preparing for all-out war. De-classified documents have shown that Egypt, Jordan and Syria were planning to cut Israel in half; Jordan was planning to take out whole populations from Israeli towns and shoot them. Plans for the destruction of Israel had been laid to the smallest detail. Israel, however, planned for no more than a 48-hour surgical strike, explicitly resolving not to enter Gaza or the West Bank. What Israel had not expected was that King Hussein of Jordan, who had hitherto been signaling covertly that he had no hostile intent, would launch a serious attack, but Egypt told him falsely, after Israel had des

Oh, come on!

ABC News: ... "We have to remember that while more women are showing more cleavage, you really have to use your breast power responsibly," Squires said. ... From the author of "Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls," you can get advice like this. It appears to be about how much to get off your chest if you got em. He goes on to say, "... Bra fitters tell me that an E cup is the new C cup." I had no idea.

A shoe fetish out of control

AP /MSNBC: Police seized more than 1,500 pairs of girls’ shoes from the home and storage unit of a man arrested for breaking into a high school, police said Tuesday. “He liked to smell them,” said Lt. William H. Graham. Police said the recovered shoes may be related to the burglaries of three Waukesha public high schools and a middle school over the past two years. The 27-year-old Kenosha man, who was not identified because had yet to be formally charged, worked for a cable company and collected keys to the schools as he responded to calls, Graham said. The same man was convicted in 2005 for stealing shoes from Kenosha Tremper High School. ... Apparently rehabilitation failed him. There is no way I can began to relate to this compulsive behavior, but I am curious as to why he did not get a job in a shoe store.

What Terrorist are thinking

Robert Merz: Arguments are raging about whether U.S. troops should redeploy out of Iraq or "stay-the-course." With all the emotion, important issues have been lost in the sea of 30-second sound bites. Among these issues are what kind of people are we fighting and what are their long-term battle plans? What would really happen if the U.S. were to pull out of Iraq? Are there other long-term considerations that haven't been explored? So far, all the pundits have been able to tell us is that if the U.S. leaves, there will be a bloodbath in Baghdad as Sunni and Shi'ite factions try to kill each other. This may be true, but it is only a fraction of the story. Obviously the terrorists' goals are far larger than just driving us out of Iraq. Osama bin Laden doesn't think small and his plans are reportedly based on what he sees as Islam's defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Therefore, he sees radical Islam as the true reason for the disintegration of

Pelosi helps Syria facilitate terror

Jack Kelly: Jihadists affiliated with al Qaida have been entering Lebanon from Syria, and now constitute about half the fighters battling the Lebanese army in a Palestinian refugee camp in the northern city of Tripoli, the commander of Lebanon's internal security forces told the Washington Times. "The head of Fatah al Islam, Shakir Absi, was in the Syrian air force before being released from a Syrian jail and sent to Lebanon by the Syrian military intelligence," sources in the Reform Party of Syria told the Middle Eastern News Line (MENL). Syria's strategy is to distract and weaken the Lebanese army to make it possible for the terror group Hezbollah to seize control of Lebanon later this summer, said Lebanese-American Walid Phares in an analysis for the Counterterrorism Blog. The movement of jihadists into Lebanon via Syria follows a letter written several weeks ago by al Qaida's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri, to the leader of al Qaida in Iraq urging that jihadist

Confusing effect with cause

David Limbaugh: Whether or not blind faith in man-made, catastrophic global warming has become a new religion, many of its adherents, ironically, embrace it with the same type of unquestioning zeal they sloppily attribute to and summarily condemn in Christians. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after leading a congressional delegation to Greenland, declared that she and her fellow travelers saw "firsthand evidence that climate change is a reality, there is just no denying it." Pelosi is also sure the "global warming" is caused by human beings. She said, "It wasn't caused by the people of Greenland; it was caused by the behavior of the rest of the world." Well, that settles it then. Speaker Pelosi sees Greenland's ice expansion, and the world is coming to an end. The debate is even more over; we now have a consensus about the already-declared consensus! Never mind substantial contrary evidence and opinion. Pelosi, in keeping with her M.O. o