Saturday, August 30, 2003

Get set, go!

Well, it's official. North Korea has started an Asian arms race.

The Japanese military has asked Parliament to spend 1 billion a year through 2007 to build a missile defense program. This missile defense program will be built with American technology. 85 million is sought by the military to build new Navy boats capable of intercepting North Korean spy ships. 240 million is being sought to fight guerilla attacks, mainly against Japan's nuclear power plants. One billion dollars is being sought to buy a Naval Destroyer, capable of housing 11 helicopters. An additional billion is being sought to buy a GPS smart-bomb guidance system. Rounding out the list is a 220 million dollar refueling plane. Japan's F-15's do not have the fuel range to fly to North Korea and back on one tank.


Friday, August 29, 2003

Says Germany: "Show me the money!"

Remember before the Iraq war when all those liberals stated that the war was all about money? The examples they gave included the US profiting financially from oil sales, oil access, and the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure.

President Bush and others in the federal government stated over and over that this war was not about oil, it was about enforcing UN resolutions, freeing the Iraqi people from a repressive regime, and making sure that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Still other political pundits noted that if Saddam was indeed deposed as the leader of Iraq and a democratic government was put in place, it could set a good example for the rest of the Middle East, possibly resulting in other countries, such as Iran, moving toward democracy. In short, it was about everything BUT money.

However, some countries, such as France and Germany, thought no good could come from a regime change in Iraq and fought tooth and nail against the US.

Well, my friends, today Germany has let the whole world know that, for them, it IS all about the money.

Members of the U.N. Security Council reacted coolly yesterday to the Bush administration's willingness to accept a wider U.N. role in Iraq, with France saying that only a genuine power-sharing arrangement would be acceptable.

"The eventual [security] arrangements cannot just be the enlargement or adjustment of the current occupation forces," French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said.

"We have to install a real international force under a mandate of the United Nations Security Council," Mr. de Villepin told the annual meeting of French ambassadors in Paris.

His remarks came one day after Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told reporters that the Bush administration is considering a multinational force under U.N. leadership, but with an American in command.

The idea, administration officials said yesterday, is to have a draft resolution ready to circulate informally to ministers and leaders who will be in New York for the General Assembly session in late September.

But yesterday afternoon, few diplomats stationed at the United Nations appeared to have been won over.

Key Security Council envoys described Mr. Armitage's remarks as a step in the right direction, but said his ideas still appeared to fall short of political, economic and military cooperation.

"This is an interesting approach but so far it just takes into account the security side," said Germany's deputy ambassador, Wolfgang Trautwein. "We have always said security, politics and economics are all interlinked."

So, what Wolfgang Trautwein means is, "what is in it for Germany, in terms of money?"

I'm waiting for the Angry Left to start the protesting of Germany.


Another day, another fatwa

A coalition of Pakistani religious/political parties has issued a "fatwa" stating that any Pakistani troops that serve in Iraq will no longer be considered Muslims.

Pakistani soldiers who serve in Iraq with coalition forces and their families will no longer be considered Muslims and "will face serious punishment under the laws prescribed by Sharia (Islamic Law)." So decreed a fatwa issued recently by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a coalition of six politico-religious parties that governs two of Pakistan's four provinces and controls 20 percent of the national assembly.

And it does not stop there. These moonbat Pakistanis also state that the US is not carrying out a war on terror, but a war on Muslims. To this I wonder: Was it a war on Muslims when the US freed occupied Kuwait? How about when the US helped to stop the slaughter of the Kosovo Muslims? How about when the US let Turkey in to NATO? Or when the US gives 2 billion dollars of food and aid to Egypt every year?

"Let's destroy America wherever its troops are trapped" is the new extremist slogan at public rallies and Friday prayers in Pakistan. In his latest public pronouncement, retired Gen. Hamid Gul, a former chief of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, and "strategic adviser" to MMA, said, "The Muslim world must stand united to confront the U.S. in its so-called war against terror which is in reality a war against Muslims. God will destroy the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan and wherever it will try to go from there."

Funny, isn't it, that the Pakistani government has no problem buying C-130's and F-16's from the evil Americans. Or maybe they're still upset that we wouldn't give them more.


Thursday, August 28, 2003

Koizumi and the war on terror?

There is a very interesting editorial concerning Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appearing here. Koizumi is in favor of amending the Japanese Constitution in order to allow Japan to have a larger military, or "Self Defense Force". According to Koizumi, this Self Defense Force should be able to take part in military actions and to be of greater help in military issues, such as the missile defense shield.

This is article 9 of Japan's Constitution, which dictates how Japan can run its Self Defense Force:

(1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
(2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of aggression of the state will not be recognized.

As you can see, section 9 of the Constitution forbids Japan from engaging in war and forbids Japan from keeping an armed forces. Japan has kept a small Self Defense Force for decades. This Defense Force is seen as not conflicting with the Constitution.

The editorial I mentioned above contains the following statement:

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, North Korea's nuclear and missile development and the sense that President George W. Bush's administration wants the United States to be the world's sheriff have all had dramatic impact on the security environment surrounding Japan.

Japan has traditionally followed a policy that combines the Constitution's Article 9 and the Japan-U.S. security relationship to maintain peace and stability at home and in the region. Now, however, Japan is asked to be involved in forms of international cooperation that require a higher SDF profile in such activity as logistical support for U.S.-led military actions and missile defense. The disparity between the Constitution and security has never been more obvious.

Japan, of course, did not take part in combat in Iraq. And, with deterioration of security there, Japan has put off sending the SDF to help with Iraq's postwar reconstruction.

SDF stands for "Self Defense Force."

So, the question seems to be: should Japan change its Constitution in order to allow itself to better fight terrorism and to better assist the US? If that is indeed the question then the answer would be obvious, although it could lead to a mini arms race between China, North Korea, and Japan.

Richard Perle weighs in on the matter:

Richard Perle, a former U.S. assistant secretary of defense involved in military policy, recently appeared on a TV Asahi program in which he urged Japan to amend its Constitution and become a good ``deputy sheriff.'' Richard Armitage, deputy U.S. secretary of state, has always considered the Japan-U.S. relationship as being patterned after the British-U.S. alliance.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.


Thinking positive

Since we in the blog-o-sphere like to point out a lot of the negative, it seems only fair that we also point out the positive as well.

From the Jordan Times:

The Emirates president, Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan Al Nahyan, confirmed Wednesday his government had closed a think tank that had hosted speakers who expounded anti-American and anti-Semitic views.

When it came to the attention of Sheikh Zayed that the centre that carries his name "had engaged in a discourse that starkly contradicted the principles of interfaith tolerance, directives were issued for the immediate closure of the center," said a statement from Sheikh Zayed's office faxed Wednesday to the Associated Press.

Sheikh Zayed "has always been a strong advocate of interfaith tolerance and harmony among religions, as constantly reflected in his words and actions. This respect for all faiths is a basic principle of Islam," Wednesday's statement added.

The Emirates has funded and hosted the centre, whose official patron is the Arab League, since it opened in 1999.

Attempts to reach officials at the centre were unsuccessful. The centre's website displayed only one line Wednesday: "This site has been stopped." An Arab League official had no immediate comment Wednesday, saying the league had not yet received official word of the closure.

The think tank was established with the aim of promoting Arab unity and has hosted such speakers as former US Vice President Al Gore and former US Secretary of State James Baker. It also has sponsored speakers who disparaged Jews and expounded anti-American conspiracy theories.

One speaker, Moh'd Ahmad Hussain of Cairo University, told the centre that Jews, "with their media machinery," used the Holocaust to breed hatred towards non-Jews and cover up massacres committed by Israelis, according to an earlier posting on the centre's website.

The centre also hosted Thierry Meyssan, author of "9-11, The Big Lie," which implicates US military officials in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

This is what the Anti Defamation League says about the Zayed Center:

The Center regularly publishes anti-Semitic and conspiracy theory literature and promulgates anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism through its speakers and official publications.

The Center has provided a platform to speakers who promote the view that the war in Iraq was merely a "strategic" step in a U.S. conspiracy whose goal is the "domination of the Middle East and [the] world." The Center's Web site claims that the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. were actually orchestrated by the U.S. military in an effort to blame the attacks on the Muslim world.

Some Zayed speakers have engaged in attempts to deny the Holocaust, though all references to Holocaust denial on the English pages of the Center's Web site were removed in 2002.

Good riddance.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Fidel to Gitmo?

Maybe Castro realizes that there is nothing to gain from being friendly with Iran. Or maybe Castro figures that the US will turn the whole island in to a terrorist prison camp if he doesn't watch his step. Either way, Cuba has decided to heed Washington's words. A Iranian diplomatic facility that was jamming US satellite signals in to Iran has been halted at the request of the US government.

Cuba has told the United States that an Iranian diplomatic facility in or near Havana was the source of the jamming that disrupted U.S. Farsi-language satellite broadcasts to Iran last month, the State Department said.

And, in an unusual display of cooperation between the Cold War enemies, Havana appears to have acted on pledges to halt the interference, which had prompted a formal protest from Washington.

"It has ceased," said Jo-Anne Prokopowicz, a department spokeswoman.


A fence for (relative) peace

Daniel Ayalon, Israel's Ambassador to the United States, has written a great piece detailing why the Israeli security fence along the West Bank is necessary. Mr. Ayalon writes (in part)...

Constructing a security fence, thereby creating a physical barrier between Israel and the terrorists in the West Bank, is one of many defensive measures adopted by the government of Israel in order to combat the infiltration of suicide bombers into Israeli cities. The concept is both simple and tested. Despite the fact that Gaza is the center for both Hamas and Islamic Jihad — the two terrorist organizations most active in carrying out suicide attacks against Israelis — there have been practically no successful infiltrations of suicide bombers from this region into the Israeli heartland. The reason for this is that a security fence separates Gaza from Israel. This security fence acts as a shield, preventing access for terrorists. As the reality on the ground has proved in Gaza, by transferring this security measure to the West Bank it will be possible to substantially reduce the number of terrorist infiltrations into Israel.

The security fence is partially complete and is already producing positive results. In those parts of Israel now protected by the fence, we have experienced a dramatic reduction in terrorist infiltrations. The city of Hadera is a key example. Situated in the heart of Israel, Hadera and its surroundings have suffered a significant series of murderous suicide bombings coming from the West Bank against public transportation centers and shopping malls, resulting in horrific casualties. But since the construction began on the northern sector of the security fence, which shields the region of Hadera, there has been a substantial period of tranquility.

The security fence will not only save lives, but it can save the political process. Today, terrorist groups have the ability to hold that process hostage because of their capability to conduct these devastating acts. The creation of this security fence, coupled with decisive action by the Palestinian leadership to dismantle the terrorist organizations, will neutralize this ongoing threat to the peace process.

Some have called this security fence a wall. This is true in only two small areas of the security fence where concrete is used in order to prevent sniper fire into Israel. The security fence is primarily comprised of wire and electronic devices used for surveillance purposes, similar to that which Israel has on its border with Lebanon, which has also proved to be an effective measure against incoming attacks on Israel.

Mr. Ayalon makes some great points. The security fence has a plethora of benefits. First and foremost, it will stop or bring to a trickle the number of suicide bombers that come in to Israel via the West Bank. Also, it will reduce the necessity of the Israeli Defense Forces to act en masse inside the West Bank, alleviating a stress on the IDF. Additionally, it will take power away from terrorist groups, such as Hamas, because they will not be able to launch terrorist activities that undermine peace initiatives, feeble as they may be. Lastly, it will drain Arafat's power for the same reasons that the fence will drain Hamas'.


Tell Fidel hello

At least one business is good in Cuba:

In another sign that the US mission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is set for the long haul, the military has announced it is building a fifth camp to hold more detainees and expand interrogation facilities.

Camp V would make room for 100 more detainees, increasing the capacity at the remote naval base in eastern Cuba to 1100, Lieutenant Colonel Pamela Hart said.

At least Cuba is good for something.

And we have good reason to keep expanding too. Apparently just the word "gitmo" is enough to get the scumbag terrorists we catch in Iraq crying like babies.

"Our search and destroy missions are largely at night, free of reporters and generally terrifying to those brave warriors of Allah. The only thing that frightens them more is hearing the word "Gitmo". The word is out that a trip to Guantanimo Bay is not a Caribbean vacation and they usually start squealing like the little mice they are, when an interrogator mentions "Gitmo"."



Brinkmanship?

CNN reports that a North Korean ship passed in to South Korean territory on Monday. A South Korean ship fired a warning shot:

The South Korean navy has fired warning shots in the direction of a North Korean patrol boat that crossed the disputed border off the western coastline of the divided peninsula.

The incident took place around 7 a.m. (6 p.m. EDT Monday) in the West Sea when a North Korean patrol boat crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) boundary, according to a spokesman for the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Who would have guessed it...North Korea taking a provocative action just prior to the 6 way talks scheduled for Wednesday?


Monday, August 25, 2003

WMD on the move

A report has recently surfaced claiming that US intelligence believes that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were moved in to Lebanon prior to the Iraq war.

U.S. intelligence suspects Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have finally been located.

Unfortunately, getting to them will be nearly impossible for the United States and its allies, because the containers with the strategic materials are not in Iraq.

Instead they are located in Lebanon's heavily-fortified Bekaa Valley, swarming with Iranian and Syrian forces, and Hizbullah and ex-Iraqi agents, Geostrategy-Direct.com will report in Wednesday's new weekly edition.

U.S. intelligence first identified a stream of tractor-trailer trucks moving from Iraq to Syria to Lebaon in January 2003. The significance of this sighting did not register on the CIA at the time.

This is nothing new. It was reported here in May and I recall an article in the Jerusalem Post stating that Israeli intelligence believed that Saddam had moved his WMD to Syria (who then, presumably, moved them to Lebanon).


No proof?

This item has already appeared over at Little Green Footballs, but it is so outrageous that I had to place it here as well.

According to Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, "diplomatic advisor to President Chirac", there is no proof that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are terror groups!

Diplomatic advisor to President Chirac, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, is quoted to have said to the Israeli ambassador in France, Nissim Zvilli, that there is no proof that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are terror organizations. "If we find that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are indeed terror groups opposed to peace, we may have to change the EU's stand," said Gourdault-Montagne. "However, we mustn't limit ourselves to one, clear cut, position."

I mean really, who would think that a group with the word "jihad" in it would be linked to terrorism?


Big jail...

People of Tikrit, welcome!

"The U.S. army opened the first unrestricted Internet access in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit Saturday in a bid to convince skeptical Iraqis their occupation will bring tangible benefits.

"This Internet cafe we are inaugurating gives people in Tikrit for the first time total freedom of access to the Web," Major Troy Rader, in charge of the project, told Reuters.

"Before, we had no free e-mail, no chat, no good information, no connection with the world," cafe user Asim Abdullah said. "We were in a big jail."

Come on in and make yourself at home!


On the "roadmap" and tolerance

From the official text of the "roadmap" to peace:

"A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty"

From a Ha'Aretz article:

"A group of Muslim worshippers on Monday morning tried to prevent Jewish visitors from entering the Temple Mount compound."

"The Muslims were standing at the Mugrabi Gate in order to prevent the entrance of the Jewish visitors, and a confrontation erupted between the groups. After police intervention, the Muslims left the area and the Jews were allowed to enter the site."


Who would bomb the Red Cross?

Will these people stop at anything?

"Also Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it was scaling back its work force in Baghdad after receiving warnings that the organization might be a terror target."

If this doesn't show the Iraqi people who the real enemy is...


Saturday, August 23, 2003

Germany... so sneaky!

The New York Times reports the following:

"Officials say 3,000 Germans now stand guard at United States bases in Germany, replacing Americans sent to Iraq. Before Mr. Rumsfeld asked Germany to provide those patrols, thousands of reservists were almost mobilized for the mission."

So, essentially, Germany is helping the US send troops to Iraq by filling the positions that US troops held on German military bases with German troops. This seems like a sneaky way to actually help the US out a little, without it becoming public knowledge. Gerard Schroeder, you sneaky devil!


Friday, August 22, 2003

Blame America first

This news article criticizes the US military and the US media for the absence of reporting about Iraqi civilian casualties. The example given in the article:

"In late July, for example, the major story out of Iraq was the killing of Saddam's two sons, Uday and Qusay, and his grandson, Mustapha, in a raid on a house in the city of Mosul. But Western media missed a crucial aspect of the story.

Several reports of the sons' deaths mentioned that some Iraqis celebrated the news in a traditional Iraqi way: firing guns into the air. What was missing in the coverage was that many Iraqis lost their lives in the celebrations. Al Mu'tamar newspaper, published by the Iraqi National Conference – the closest of American allies – quoted medical and security sources in Baghdad citing that 31 civilians were killed and 76 injured as a result of the revelry gunfire. No U.S. media reported such news."

See, it's America's fault! If they had never have killed Uday and Qusay 31 innocent civilians would not have died!

It seems the Angry Left will stop at nothing to criticize the United States. Even Iraqi civilian deaths that were a result of celebratory gunfire from other Iraqi civilians (celebrating an action that the US military undertook) is the US's fault.


Has the world gone mad?

This is a bit of an old story, but an odd one:

"Calling them "dangerously irresponsible," a federal judge sentenced three pacifist nuns to at least 21/2 years in prison Friday for damaging a nuclear missile silo during an anti-war protest last fall."

"Hudson, 68, Gilbert, 55, and Platte, 66, were convicted in April of obstructing the national defense and damaging government property last fall after cutting a fence and walking onto a Minuteman III silo site, swinging hammers and using their blood to paint a cross on the structure."

Don't these nuns have something better to do?

Michael Moore, never one to miss an opportunity to say something stupid, thinks that the sentencing of the nuns has something to do with George W. Bush and claims that the nuns were jailed to distract the country from his "lies."

Update:
Michael Moore's ranting has been moved here.


More coming?

The LA Times has reported the following bit of information today:

"Part of the strategy in seeking a new resolution may be directed toward potential troop contributors outside the U.N. Security Council more than the reluctant countries in it. A senior British official said part of the exercise was to satisfy countries such as India and Turkey that felt they needed some kind of U.N. blessing before sending troops.

India and Turkey each have about 10,000 troops on tentative offer."

This is a change from information that has previously been circulated, stating that India would not send troops.

In related news, Turkey is trying to convice Pakistan to send troops, so that it is not the only Muslim country contributing troops.

"Turkey, not wanting to be the sole Muslim country that is sending troops to Iraq, is trying to win over Pakistan
ANKARA (Turkishnewsline) - Ankara is trying to decide whether to assist United States in Iraq by sending thousands of Turkish troops there. One of the worries for Turkey is to be seen as the sole Muslim majority country contributing to the international force."



25 dead, 160 wounded...peace is at hand!

When was the "cease-fire" supposed to start?

"The Israeli military noted Thursday that 25 civilians, including Israelis, a Bulgarian worker and five Americans, were killed and 160 others wounded in attacks in the past two months, before the militants formally abandoned the cease-fire Thursday."


Thursday, August 21, 2003

Exaggeration alert

The Australian has published a news story that includes the following excerpt:

"The Palestinian Authority, agonising over how to pull militant groups into line to give the peace process a chance, said the killing would fuel a new cycle of violence, with Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas describing it as an "ugly crime"."

This is the first I have heard about the PA "agonising over how to pull militant groups into line." If they need a suggestion, I'll offer one: arrest the terrorists, outlaw the terrorist groups, freeze the bank accounts of terrorist groups, and stop anti-Israeli instigation in the media. Has anyone heard that the PA has done anything to "pull militant groups into line", aside from talking to them? Seriously...have there even been reports that they have done anything? This could be the largest exaggeration I've ever read in a newspaper.


Passing the buck

From a recent AP article regarding the Israeli response to the recent suicide bombing in Jerusalem:

"On Wednesday, Abbas ordered the arrests of suspects directly involved in the Hamas bombing, but said he would not clamp down on militant groups without Arafat's backing, Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr said."

Well, this seems to be a change in policy for Abbas. Prior to this, he has said he would not clamp down on the terrorist groups (Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade) because it would start a "civil war." Now its because Arafat won't allow it? These people better get their stories straight.


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Organization of Islamic Conference

Pakistan, at the request of the US, is trying to decide whether or not to send 10,000 troops to Iraq. Pakistan has said that it will consider doing so if it is done under the UN or the "Organisation of Islamic Conference." Here is some history concerning the Organization of Islamic Conference, directly quoted from its web page:

"The Organization was established in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on 12 Rajab 1389H (25 September 1969) when the First meeting of the leaders of the Islamic world was held in this city in the wake of the criminal arson perpetrated on 21 August 1969 by Zionist elements against Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied Jerusalem."

So, the US is relying on an organization which can not even bring itself to use the word "Israel", instead calling it a "Zionist element", to allow Pakistan to send troops to Iraq?

More from the Organization of Islamic Conference web site:

"It was indeed in order to defend the honour, dignity and faith of the Muslims, to face this bitter challenge launched in the holy city of Al-Quds so dear to them and against the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, the first Qibla and third holiest Shrine of Islam, that the leaders of the Muslim world, at their Summit in Rabat, seized that event - which brought about unanimous worldwide condemnation and reprobation - to think together of their common cause and muster the force required to overcome their differences, unite and lay the foundations of this large grouping of States, that is, the Organization of the Islamic Conference which they entrusted, in absolute priority, with liberating Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa from Zionist occupation."

Does the US really need help from people that want to "liberate Jerusalem" from "Zionist occupation?". The Organization of Islamic Conference is just another jihadi-intifada-Jew hating organization that is perpetuating terrorist violence against innocent civilians. If help from Pakistan depends upon its approval, then the US should tell Pakistan "thanks, but no thanks."

Postscript:
We just sold 6 C-130 aircraft to a country that wants to "liberate Jerusalem" from "Zionist occupation."


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Score for the CIA

Buried in a recent news article was the following paragraph:

"Much of the intelligence coming out of Saudi Arabia is emerging from CIA interrogations. This is given more credibility by international experts than details provided by the Saudi Interior Ministry. Some of the best information is believed to be from Ali Abdul Rahman al-Faqaasi al-Ghamdi, who is accused of masterminding the Riyadh attacks, and who surrendered in Jeddah. Mr Ghamdi met Bin Laden in southern Afghanistan before the Taliban regime fell."

This is the reason why the US must remain vigilant and at the forefront of the War Against Terror. If it weren't for our guys, the CIA, the intelligence from these terrorists would be minimal.


Manipulated by Western countries

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is urging Muslims to fight against the US and UK in Iraq because "If these countries truly believe in democracy they should allow the Iraqis to form their own government in whatever way they choose". Mohamad also says "We (Muslims) should not allow ourselves to be influenced or to be manipulated by Western countries."

So, I have to ask, is it OK for Muslim countries to be manipulated by other Muslims countries?



Do you hear that?

After Hizbullah shelling killed a young Israeli, more than one Israeli F-16 flew "low" over Syrian President Assad's palace in Northern Syria, evading all Syrian radar. Israelnn.com reports:

Military sources said that the message was well received, together with other, more diplomatic Israeli warnings to Syria, and that Hizbullah has in fact quieted down over the past few days.


Amir Taheri, again

Amir Taheri has written another great article, this time concerning the hijab.


Our friend, France

The more I read about this situation the more frustrated I become. The UK and the US have reached agreement with Libya regarding compensation for the 1988 Pan Am Lockerbie bombing. In return for the compensation, the US and UK will present a resolution to the UN to lift the economic sanctions that are in effect against Libya. Note that the sanctions have been "suspended" already...that took place in 1999. The resolution that the US and the UK are placing in front of the Security Council of the UN would just make the suspension permanent, or lifted.

But France has a problem with this. In 1989 Libya was held responsible for the bombing of a French UTA plane. Libya and France reached a deal regarding that incident and monies have changed hands.

Now, France, in light of the recent agreement struck regarding the Pan Am bombing, says that the deal they reached with Libya isn't good enough and that they will veto the UN resolution permanently suspending the sanctions against Libya if they don't get a "better deal."

This is unilateralism and blackmail to the fullest extent. France has already reached an agreement with Libya. Whether or not they got a "good deal" has nothing to do with the Pan Am bombing, and has little to do with the sanctions against Libya.

It is becoming abundantly clear that France intends to use its UN Security Council veto power for reasons that are obstructionist, pure and simple.


Monday, August 18, 2003

Those Syrian Peaceniks...

In an article in the Tehran Times the Syrian ambassador to Tehran claims that the "roadmap" is a "scheme to create disagreement and divisions among Palestinians."

That's right...the Syrian ambassador to Tehran claims that the "roadmap" is a plot to divide and weaken Palestinians! Do I even have to point out the sheer lunacy of that? The Syrian ambassador (Hamed Hassan) might as well have said "intafada forever!"


Number 4 isn't bad, right?

The London-based World Markets Research Centre is soon to issue a report detailing the countries most likely to suffer a terrorist attack within the next 12 months. From an article in the Indian Express:

Pakistan is the third most likely country to be the target of a terrorist attack within the next 12 months followed by the US in a list of 186 countries, according to a research paper.

The London-based World Markets Research Centre in its yet to be released report ‘‘World Terrorism Index’’ puts Columbia on top of the list followed by Israel, Pakistan and the US.

North Korea is at the bottom of the list.

The article also adds that:

The report is due to be released tomorrow. The criteria used for the rankings included motivation of terrorist groups, the presence of terror cells, the scale and frequency of past attacks, the ability of terror groups to organise and obtain weapons, and the ability of the government to prevent the attacks, company director and the author of the report Guy Dunn said.


That's all well and good, and I know that these people are supposed to be experts, but I have a hard time believing that the US should be ranked above Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Thailand, or even perhaps Saudi Arabia (1), (2), (3), (4).


F-16

According to this Newsweek article, 2 F-16's were dispatched to the East coast during the first moments of the recent blackout.


Saturday, August 16, 2003

Noam is at it again...

Noam Chomsky, hero of the radical left, is at it again with a new and meandering essay in which he makes the following claims:

-That any "challenge" to US military power should not be met with "force", but with something else.....the opposite of force?

-That John Ikenberry, one of the "foreign policy elite", is right is stating that the US should not allow itself to be in the position to carry on as "global leader, protector, and enforcer", even though, more often than not, the international community wants it that way (see Liberia, Kosovo, and Bosnia...not to mention World War I and World War II. In addition, the French didn't mind our help in Vietnam.)

-That the UN had zero obligation to enforce the resolutions that it had passed regarding Iraq.

-That the US and the coalition of the willing carried out an "preventive war" in Iraq that is on par with the "preventive war" Germany engaged in during the 1930's and 1940's...holocaust and all!

-That "historian" Arthur Schlesinger is correct in stating that "the global wave of sympathy that engulfed the US after 9/11 has given way to a global wave of hatred of American arrogance and militarism". Someone ought to tell the both of them that Albania, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine have all sent troops to Iraq to help with the post-war situation. How's that for a "global wave of hatred of American arrogance and militarism?"

Then Chomsky goes in to some very confusing ideas. He says that only the people of Iraq were punished by liberating Kuwait because Saddam unfairly escaped unharmed. But Chomsky is not in favor of removing Saddam, thus his disagreement with the recent Iraq war. So, that being said, I'm not sure what option was left, other than to let Saddam have Kuwait, which is not very kind to the Kuwaiti's, is it? Are you as confused with all this as I am?

Noam Chomsky, you've done it again!



Friday, August 15, 2003

Amir Taheri

Amir Taheri, an Iranian born writer with an impressive resume, hit the nail on the head with his recent column in, of all places, the Arab Times. Taheri says that the Arabs made a grave mistake when they decided to "reject" Israel and are now making another grave mistake by "rejecting" the new governing council of Iraq.

Taheri writes:

"For 30 years Arab policy on Palestine was based on rejectionism. It produced no benefits for the Palestinians who had to pay, often with their blood, the price of Arab League “heroism.” A new generation of Arab rejectionists now believe that they can play the same game with Iraq. They are mistaken.

Iraq is not Palestine. It is one of the most important Arab countries with immense human and natural resources. Even today, after 30 years of the most vicious tyranny and four wars, Iraq is generally in better shape than some Arab states. Iraq’s many problems, mostly due to a collapsing infrastructure of services, are highlighted because of global media attention. Power brownouts in Baghdad and Basra are massively reported. But few people learn of blackouts in other Arab capitals. Acts of violence in Baghdad make the world headlines because of American presence. But there is no coverage of the bigger violence that affects several Arab countries right now."

Taheri also wrote, in the NY Post, that:

"This chorus wants us to believe that most Iraqis regret the ancien[t] regime, and are ready to kill and die to expel their liberators.

Sorry, guys, this is not the case.

Neither the wishful thinking of part of the Arab media, long in the pay of Saddam, nor the visceral dislike of part of the Western media for George W. Bush and Tony Blair changes the facts on the ground in Iraq.

ONE fact is that a visitor to Iraq these days never finds anyone who wants Saddam back.

There are many complaints, mostly in Baghdad, about lack of security and power cuts. There is anxiety about the future at a time that middle-class unemployment is estimated at 40 percent. Iraqis also wonder why it is that the coalition does not communicate with them more effectively. That does not mean that there is popular support for violent action against the coalition.

Another fact is that the violence we have witnessed, especially against American troops, in the past six weeks is limited to less than 1 percent of the Iraqi territory, in the so-called "Sunni Triangle," which includes parts of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, the coalition presence is either accepted as a fact of life or welcomed. On the 4th of July some shops and private homes in various parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish areas and cities in the Shiite heartland, put up the star-spangled flag as a show of gratitude to the United States.

"We see our liberation as the start of a friendship with the U.S. and the U.K. that should last a thousand years," says Khalid Kishtaini, one of Iraq's leading novelists. "The U.S. and the U.K. showed that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Nothing can change that."

Taheri has also written a piece detailing his crashing of an anti-Iraq war rally.



Stop the unilateralists!

It seems that the unilateralists have struck again.

"A new rift erupted Thursday between the United States and France as French officials threatened to veto a deal to lift United Nations sanctions against Libya for its role in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland."

Viva la veto?


China and Russia invade N. Korea?

Russia has been doing some thinking, according to The Australian:

"Moscow suggested yesterday that Russia and China could become part of a multilateral security pact alongside the US to reassure North Korea it would not face attack if it surrendered its nuclear weapons. The proposal will be one of the most substantial issues discussed in the first roundtable talks between the US, North Korea and its four neighbours later this month."

Russia should get an A for effort, but what is the point of China and Russia promising not to invade North Korea? Was that really even a slight possibility? Is North Korea really worried about this? Why is Russia trying to guilt the US in to a nonaggression pact with North Korea? And people wonder why the US doesn't always play nice with the "international community?"

What you talkin' about Riduan Isamuddin?

Riduan Isamuddin, aka Hambali, has been captured by the US and is now being held at an undisclosed location. Hambali was/is one of the leaders of Jemaah Islamiyah, ying to Al-Queda's yang. Hambali planned the recent bombing in Bali and also had a role in the USS Cole bombing as well. He was captured in Thailand, which is apparently hard up for cash, because they have placed a claim for the 4 million dollar reward the US was offering for his capture.

Interestingly, Hambali had changed his appearance by having plastic surgery.

Also interesting, apparently Jakarta had no idea the Hambali had been taken in to custody.


Morning Round Up

Part of the "Road Map" requires the Palestinian Authority to end incitement against Israelis. To that end, the PA is running a music video described by The Jerusalem Post as follows:

"This week a music video that depicts a shahid, a Muslim martyr who died for the sake of Allah, joining beautiful maidens in heaven returned to PA TV.
The clip begins with scenes depicting a budding romance which is cut short when soldiers shoot the woman in the back.

The woman goes immediately to heaven, where she joyously joins other young woman, all dressed in identical long white gowns the "Maidens of Paradise." The maidens are dancing in water, a clear reference to the Islamic idea of the afterlife, which the Koran describes as having "flowing streams."

Later on in the video, the man visits the woman's grave and the soldiers shoot him in the back as well. At the moment he falls to the ground, he immediately goes up to heaven and joins the maidens."

Meanwhile, in Belarus, Ha'Aretz reports that...

"Belarusan Jews and international Jewish organizations appealed to FIFA and UEFA, soccer's world and European overning bodies, to boycott soccer teams from this former Soviet republic in protest over the renovation of a soccer stadium built over a Jewish cemetery, a Jewish group said Wednesday.

Construction workers began enlarging Grodno's Niemen stadium in January, dumping aside truckloads of dirt that
also contained human jawbones, broken headstones, gold teeth and even entire skulls. The bones are the remnants of a
once vibrant Jewish community that was nearly wiped out during World War II. In 1953, this then-Soviet republic built the
stadium over the Jewish cemetery, which had held the remains of about 14,000 people."


Thursday, August 14, 2003

The Angry Left strike....in Thailand?

Thailand looks more and more like the US every day.

"AFTER almost two years of denying the threat of terrorism in Thailand, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has suddenly declared the country a potential "breeding ground" for terrorists, and rushed through anti-terror laws by executive decree."

"Their sudden implementation, without sanction by parliament, reflects fears Thailand may have become a safe haven for the region's terror fugitives as well as a possible target for attack.

But it has also resulted in a domestic political backlash. Many human rights groups and opposition parliamentarians accuse the Government of issuing "draconian" measures that infringe civil liberties."

The Angry Left is not just limited to the US, I guess.

Would Pakistan do the same?

A new story is out detailing how Indian officials stopped a North Korean ship in 1999 and found "an assembly line for ballistic missiles." The missiles, by the way, were headed to Libya, who just decided to formally admit to carrying out the Pan Am bombing.