History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Thursday, March 31, 2005

    Last Rites

    It appears that G-d is calling John Paul the Second home soon. Last Rites have been administered, a sign that the end is near. When he passes from the mortal plane another bit of a past era will pass with him. One by one the giants of the last days of the Cold War are passing away. Soon that time will be but a shallow memory to the living, and legend to those yet born.

    I wish I could have resumed blogging on a happier note.

    Update: Some info on Last Rites, and annointing in general, can be found here.


    Friday, March 18, 2005

    The End of Old Syria

    See this Jerusalem Post story for details.


    A Blog of Interest

    Via Technorati, I came across a blog called Combat Boots. Its a great looking site, and has apparently included me on its blog roll, which is interesting, because I haven't noticed it before now. With so few visitors and linkers to my site, I know pretty much all of them by now. Its nice to know that there are still some suprises out there.


    Progessive Priorities?

    Q: What's more important: supporting human rights or opposing a neocon?
    A: Opposing a neocon.


    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    They Can Take My Life...

    ..but they will have to pry my cold, dead fingers away from my keyboard!

    And I am not Alone.


    China Serious About Invading Taiwan?

    First there was the anti-seccesion law, and now this.

    Still, I think Bill Roggio may be right.


    No Syrian Coup

    See Publius Pundit for more.


    Blogging Hiatus

    I am afraid that my work is stacking up, and may stay that way for 2 weeks or so. I don't think I will be able to blog much until next month, but hopefully then time should be more plentiful. Just a warning to everyone if they notice I haven't blogged anything for a few days.


    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Quote of the Day

    Here it is:
    I suspect – based on absolutely nothing – that any attempt to crack down on Lebanon would earn Damascus a few products from the Raytheon assembly lines.
    From todays Bleat.


    You Guessed it. Another Link Dump

    Busy as a bee, time only for some links.

    Via Glenn, here is a blogger who argues that China is readying itself to invade Taiwan. I think that he is incorrect, in so far that China will wait until after the 2008 Olympics to strike, assuming it does. I am not so sure yet that it will.

    American Digest
    tells us about a paranoid friend who finds something rather unexpected in Israel.

    Mythusmage opines that our trade deficit might not be as bad as some think. Here is a link to the bit by David Brin.

    No Pasaran
    brings us some sage advice from President Andrew Jackson.


    Monday, March 14, 2005

    Must Read

    Go read Wretchard now.



    People Power parries the Hizb'allah/Syrian/Iranian counter-attack.

    I hope Assad has some good antacids, because his troubles are just beginning. If the elections in Lebanon are in any way fair or free, then it is easy to see that Syria is going to be told to get out. Knowing this, it remains to be seen if Syria/Iran will allow free and fair elections. Their options are running out, and desperation will likely start setting in soon. Keep your eyes peeled. The Breakout is just beginning.

    Courtesy of Marc Schulman of the blog American Future, here is a link to an article by Caroline Glick examining the Hizb'allah issue.


    Saturday, March 12, 2005

    Hans Bethe is Dead

    To understand why his death, and life, are important, go here.

    Yet another door closes on the past...


    The Black Death, and Much, Much More

    Jack of the blog TigerHawk explores a possible connection between the Bubonic Plague and HIV. Be sure to read the comments as well, as they are also full of fascinating information.


    Friday, March 11, 2005

    Good News

    I have decided to dedicate this post to good news.

    First up, it looks like the next Star Wars movie won't be fore kids. This brings such joy to my heart, short lasting though it may be. The first two prequels were far too "kidsy", and suffered greatly for it. Hopefully this last one does it right. We must all hold onto some dreams, after all.

    Then we move back to Lebanon/Syria. Debka, who appears to have fairly good at intel work close to Israel, at least at the moment, is reporting this:
    Syrian Kurds poised for massive demonstrations backed by US and Iraqi Kurds to mark first anniversary of their “Kamishli uprising.” More Syrian opposition factions expected to join protest.
    Hopefully this pans as out, as we need to keep as much pressure on Syria as possible.

    More later as I find it.


    Thursday, March 10, 2005


    Phase 3 Posted by Hello

    We come now to the phase wwhich I had described earlier, Phase 3, the breakout phase.
    Phase 3 is now the breakout phase, where the tentacles of freedom start spreading throughout the region. Because the fight, at the moment only ideological, is outside of Iraq, the fighting will soon migrate out of Iraq as well. Much of the fighting inside Iraq was sponsored and supported in Iran and Syria, now they will be slowly forced onto the defensive. Iraq was in itself an offensive operation, but tactically the US operated defensively after the fall of Baghdad. That is now changing. Containment has failed, and a wider war is inevitable. The only question now is exactly what that war will look like. Will Syria and Iran follow "Hama Rules?" And will the US retaliate with "Chicago Rules?"
    To expand on my earlier thoughts: In phase 3 we see the WoT expand beyond Iraq and Afghanistan in a significant way. The blue arrows indicate major efforts directed by the ideological forces that the US has unleashed with its invasion. Remember, this war is as much political and about ideas as it is military and about troops. We have seen a breakout, so far only of ideas and ideals, occurring in places like Lebanon(protests), Kuwait(protests), Egypt(possible multi-party elections) and even Saudi Arabia (municipal elections, held now after 20 years). The enemy had tried to contain the forces we were unleashing in Iraq, but that failed. Now, instead of fighting democracy and people power inside Iraq, they have to fight it in Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No longer fully hemmed in, the US and its allies are starting to get some room to maneuver, and are able to go on the tactical offense again.

    The questions arise: what will the Syrians, the Iranians, and Al Qaeda do in response to this breakout? Will they implement "Hama Rules" as my earlier post ask? And what will be the US response to their actions? Will we return with "Chicago Rules?" This phase could look radically different from the previous one, and so I can offer no accurate prediction of how it will turn out. However, I will venture the guess that it will involve both ideological and military conflict. The only question is, where, and to what degree?

    Edit: I realized that I forget to include some red arrows on all three phase posts, and am sorry about that. I don't really want to mess with the pictures at the moment, so just pretend they are there, sorry. The Phillipines, and other areas, are still a part of the WoT, though they get little media notice.



    Phase 2 Posted by Hello

    Here we see a map of Phase 2, which I call the Beachhead or Invasion Phase. During this phase, which began March 19th, 2003, and ended January 30th, 2005, the US invaded Iraq, intent on establishing a representative government. This phase of the war was a strategic attack, in that it was the equivalent of an amphibious assault on a hostile beach. We forcibly introduced ourselves into Iraq, in the hope of fortifying it up for phase 3.

    Afghanistan is blue in this because it indicates that we have essentially secured, or at least, denied it to the enemy. They can at the very least no longer use it as they once did. Iraq, on the other hand, is the focal point of the conflict right now. We had over a hundred thousand troops there in order to remove the Bathist regime and help set up a new, democratic one. During this phase in Iraq we saw clearing operations, as well as building up infrastructure, on the close-in tactical level. However, in a larger tactical sense Iraq was defensive for us, as we had to defend our beachhead at all costs. This entailed fighting off forces attempting to "push us off the beaches."

    That is where the red lines come in. Here we see that enemy action is now directed inwards, towards Iraq. We have shifted the momentum of the conflict, from pressing outwards towards new territory, towards defending against a new, insidious foe: democracy. This was our strategic objective for Iraq in phase 2, to distract and disrupt the enemy. The enemy attempted to foil our plans, by crushing the beachhead, by forcing US troops to withdraw. The re-election of President Bush was a crippling blow to this movement, and the election in Iraq demonstrated that their last assault on our fortified position failed. After the election, we start Phase 3.



    Phase 1 Posted by Hello

    I had earlier explained that we are currently engaged in Phase 3, the breakout phase, of the WoT. Here is a very simplistic map explaining the situation just before, and starting with, Operation Enduring Freedom. This phase, Phase 1, I call the "treatment" phase. This refers to the fact that the US was "treating", or fixing the battlefield in preparation for the major battles ahead. The US attack against Afghanistan was a strategic attack, in that it was an example of territorial denial. The US wanted to deny Al Qaeda Afghanistan to use as a training center, as well as a base of operations. In a way it was the geo-strategic equivalent of strategic bombing, we were taking out much of the enemies war supporting ability so that we might be prepared to fight him in force.

    The yellow zones indicate areas of treatment. As you can see, Afghanistan is encircled to indicate that it was the centerpiece of a denial operation. However, Iraq was also the target of major, ongoing denial operations as well, through the continued attacks in the "no fly zone." These efforts weakened the Iraqi military, preventing it from fully recuperating from the '91 war. This was treatment for the 2nd phase of the WoT, which will be covered later.

    The red arrows indicate "pushes" or fronts by Al Qaeda and its sympathizers. They are meant for understanding and not accuracy, so pardon their crudeness. It is my attempt to indicate how Al Qaeda is pushing against other Gap states, and even the Core, in the hopes of spreading its ideology, and thus increasing its power, influence and authority. Note that it is pushing outwards, spreading the chaos towards even more states . This was the case up until phase 2.


    Feline-Led Assassination Foiled

    The recent attempted assassination by a cat against a human highlights the dangers we face from these cute, but evil villains. We must always keep in mind that although they lack opposable thumbs, cats can still do us in if we aren't careful. Remember, they look cute only because it is the perfect defense mechanism!


    The Seeds of War are Sown

    Austin Bay believe that a second Lebanonese civil war is on the horizon. I have trouble
    I cannot speak to this report’s specific points, but note my prior post arguing that Hezbollah has chosen to fight a civil war. This free-Lebanon post asserts Syria intends to fight a “small intensity conflict.” Guess what– that’s not news. Assassination, gun-toting extortion, and occasional gunfire are Syria’s m.o. in Lebanon. What Damascus intends to do is add more gunfire in the streets. If that fails to intimidate the democrats, a “third-party” (Hezbollah or other front organization) attack on the Lebanese Army is an option. The Lebanese Army is very weak.


    Syria is pursuing a bold political strategy to set conditions for a civil war. A civil war sets conditions for a continued Syrian occupation. Freedom is in for a fight. You can bet Tehran is pulling for Damascus.
    I suppose all eyes are on Lebanon now, as the WoT moves into another phase. We are starting to see what I suppose could be called phase 3. Phase 1 was the removal of the Taliban and the pacification of Afghanistan. Phase 2 was the Iraq War, leading up to the election. Phase 3 is now the breakout phase, where the tentacles of freedom start spreading throughout the region. Because the fight, at the moment only ideological, is outside of Iraq, the fighting will soon migrate out of Iraq as well. Much of the fighting inside Iraq was sponsored and supported in Iran and Syria, now they will be slowly forced onto the defensive. Iraq was in itself an offensive operation, but tactically the US operated defensively after the fall of Baghdad. That is now changing. Containment has failed, and a wider war is inevitable. The only question now is exactly what that war will look like. Will Syria and Iran follow "Hama Rules?" And will the US retaliate with "Chicago Rules?"

    Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do?
    Eliot Ness: Anything and everything in my power.
    Malone: And THEN what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way because they're not gonna give up the fight until one of you is dead.
    Eliot Ness: How do you do it then?
    Malone: You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send on of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?
    Eliot Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so.
    Malone: Well the Lord hates a coward. Do you know what a blood oath is Mr. Ness?
    Eliot Ness: Yes.
    Malone: Good, cause you just took one.

    Update: I have decided to expand my thoughts on this somewhat, and have written three more posts based on the idea of the "phases" of the WoT.

    Phase 1
    Phase 2
    Phase 3


    Hillary Running in '08

    Here she is in the NY Times directing attention to violence and sex aimed at kids in the Entertainment industry. If that isn't trying to boost her creds with "soccer moms", I don't know what is.

    WASHINGTON, March 9 - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday sharply criticized the sex and violence in video games and other entertainment directed at children, calling the prevalence of such images an epidemic.

    Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat from New York, also called on industry leaders to create a uniform ratings system that would warn parents about sex and violence in video games, television and other forms of entertainment that children might be exposed to. By contrast, parents now look to a patchwork of ratings systems that differ from one sector of the industry to another.

    At a forum held by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Mrs. Clinton cited studies indicating that children who are exposed to graphic images of violence display more aggressive behavior.

    She is running, and laying the ground work of this even as we speak. Such views are actually somewhat hurtful on the left, as a general rule, so I assume she is aiming for moderates.

    On a sidenote, her picture there indicates she hasn't aged as well as could be. So I also wouldn't be surprised if she had some work done to, at the very least, remove some wrinkles.


    Small, but Tough

    No, I am not talking about the Polo. I am talking about Estonia:
    CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, (Army News Service, March 8, 2005) -- One small European country is playing a major role in keeping supply convoys safe while moving through Iraq.

    Each day, hundreds of trucks travel the streets of Iraq carrying cargo bound for military installations and forward operating posts. One of the ways the Army is minimizing the risk involved in delivering supplies to Soldiers in Iraq is through a joint operation that includes Soldiers from 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., and a platoon of Estonian infantrymen.

    The two units work together keeping each other safe while patrolling Gazalia Village, a 15-kilometer section of road in the heart of Western Baghdad that is known to be a “hot spot” for improvised explosive devices.
    Go read the rest. Hopefully the people of Estonia decide to stick with us in these dark days. I am impressed by the quality of the Estonian troops, who show that a small, elite force is far more capable than a large force with troops of poor quality. History has demonstrated this time and time again, and its good to see that the Estonian goverment realizes this as well.

    Hat Tip: Chuck


    Driving Left of Center...

    ...takes on a whole new meaning.

    Hat Tip: Kagar, who has recently joined the blogosphere. Why not stop on by and give him a welcome?


    Wednesday, March 09, 2005

    Exit Strategy: Part II

    How to get our troops out of Iraq...

    Why not use the Eastern Route?

    Hat Tip: The Corner


    Afghan Blogger

    Thanks to Omar at Iraq the Model, here is the latest member of the blogosphere: Waheed.
    Go pay a visit and welcome him to the 'sphere.


    Vietnam- The Next Iraq?

    So wonders Claudia Rosett.

    There's been a lot of talk since Sept. 11 about how President Bush's war-lovin' ways have galvanized terrorists, recruiting jihadis to the ranks. What's increasingly evident, however, is that the character suffering the real blowback is Osama bin Laden, who, as it turns out, jolted the U.S. into a global recruiting drive for democrats. Faced with an unprecedented attack on American shores, Mr. Bush smashed the mold for Middle-East policy, and with the invasion of Iraq lit a beacon for freedom-lovers in a part of the world that until quite recently was widely seen as having none.

    As it turns out, there are many. Already, Mr. Bush has been answered by the breathtaking election turnout in Iraq, the uprising in Lebanon, the tremors in Syria and Iran, the stirrings in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But the effects hardly stop with the Middle East. In many places, people trapped under tyrannies are now watching. Ballots cast in Baghdad echo way east of Suez.

    So it happens that a message reached me last weekend from within one of the world's most repressive states: Vietnam. Word came that the Sharansky of Saigon, democratic dissident Nguyen Dan Que, had been released from his latest stretch in Vietnam's prisons. Though Dr. Que, as he prefers to be called, is now dogged by state security agents around the clock and allowed no phone or computer of his own, he could arrange to be on the receiving end of a phone call.

    Now go and read the rest. Revolution is in the air.

    Hat Tip: Glenn


    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Death by Bureaucrat

    You think the EU is a bureaucratic monster? Try the People's Republic of China for size:
    China now has 46 million government bureaucrats, new statistics revealed yesterday, a number almost as great as the entire population of England.

    While the country is used to outdoing the rest of the world for sheer numbers, the explosion in officialdom is alarming its ruling Communist Party.

    Its excessive and corrupt bureaucracy was regarded as one of the principal causes of the decline of imperial rule. Yet there are now 35 times as many people on the government payroll, even as a proportion of the population, than at the time of the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911. Corruption aside, today's civil servants are also expensive, requiring official cars, holidays masquerading as training sessions and receptions.

    Those worried about China's "unparalleled economic growth" can rest somewhat easier upon reading this. The bureaucracy inherent in any good communist state is in full force, even if communism isn't. I can't wait for the Chinese leaders to try and reduce this number drastically. It will cause no small amount of problems in China along the way, and I must admit that I will fully enjoy watching from the sidelines. Of course, they could choose to ignore it. In which case it will likely slowly strangle their economy over time. Perhaps time is on our side after all?



    For those of you who fail to understand why the Bush Administration is pushing democracy so much, and why this is in America's best interest, read this.



    Debka once again. Since they were correct just before, the credibility of this piece can't be dismissed out of hand.

    A small excerpt:
    DEBKAfile reports exclusively: Nasrallah has booked mass anti-US rallies in Tripoli next Friday, Sidon next week and pro-American Maronite Christian Zakhla March 18.
    This bodes ill for the future. We could be looking at the Iranian and Syrian counter-revolution in action. Whether they can stop further dominoes from falling remains to be seen, but this could indicate that the latest phase of the WoT will not be as non-violent as some hoped. Both Syria and Iran realize they must nip this in the bud, before it becomes too massive to be stopped. The very survival of the Assad regime and of the Mullahs in Iran is in question. Nothing is too radical or too much to assure their continued existence, at least from their perspective. Both have tried to squash the spread of democracy in Iraq, the spread of people power, before it escaped into the greater Middle East. They failed in that, and I have hope and confidence that they will fail now that the seeds of freedom have been sown far across the region.


    What is Arabic for Solidarity?


    I think that this picture is appropriate right now.

    Update: Courtesy of Glenn, it appears that even Le Monde agrees.

    But this "Arab Spring", per the expression of the American media, must be encouraged and if needed defended by all those who see respect for human rights as a universal value.
    The times, they are changing.


    The Plot Thickens...

    Those pro-Syrian protestors? Well, they might not have been Lebanonese at all.

    Hat Tip: Roger L. Simon


    Monday, March 07, 2005

    Bad News from Lebanon?

    Debka(POSN) has reports that don't look good:

    Following phony “redeployment” in Beqaa Valley, Syria and its proxy Hizballah prepare to lord over one of biggest rallies Beirut has ever seen Tuesday.

    Armed terrorist columns will march cheered by tens of thousands of Shiite supporters.

    DEBKAfile reports: Lebanese opposition is fading. But Bush and Chirac agreed to keep up pressure on Assad despite loss of people power momentum. Our Gulf sources report opposition leader Walid Jumblatt gone to Gulf emirates, told his Druses followers to keep their heads down.

    Same message to Sunni following from Hariri's son and daughter Baha and Bahiya who have run for cover from Syrian death threats. Last pro-active opposition Christian Maronites will be engulfed by sheer pro-Syria masses.

    Once again, Debka is at best erratic. But this, if true, is chilling. Hopefully the people of Lebanon show more backbone than their leaders and stand up to the Sryians and all of their friends in crime.

    Update: Debka appears to have been right on this one.


    Protesting Against Rape

    You would think that unnecessary, but then again, this is Pakistan we are talking about.

    Hat Tip: LGF

    P.S. Lets not forget about the protests in Kuwait for Women's Suffrage, either.


    You Know You Are Making a Difference......

    ...when the Independent is forced to admit you just might be right. Posted by Hello


    Sunday, March 06, 2005


    Austin Bay analyzes the threat by the Iranian Mullahs to close the Strait of Hormuz.

    I suspect he is correct about the military dimensions of the situation. The Iranians could very well spike the cost of oil for a while, maybe a week or even a few weeks. But they lack the capacity to keep itshut, and will eventually be reduced in strength from an attempt to do so. This would also provide the US an opportunity to spur an uprising in Iran. So don't expect much more than hype from the Iranians when Hormuz is concerned.



    From Debka:

    Russian-Iranian military cooperation reaches into space. DEBKAfile’s military sources report Russia will next month launch on Iran’s behalf two satellites. Kosmos-3 will loft Mesbah (Dawn) military surveillance probe and Sinah-1 (Sinai-1) into space.

    Iran claims resolution of Mesbah’s instruments high enough to pick up valuable military and strategic data for attacks on Israel. Launching put forward from summer to April at Tehran’s insistence.

    I find this interesting, in that it it mentions April again. Debka has mentioned April before, and I thought it made sense before. Perhaps the Iranians wants their assets up before they think the US will attack. Once again, caution is advised because of the source, but it is certainly worthwhile to keep an eye on the situation.


    We have a Mystery to Solve!

    Posted by Hello

    Many bloggers have covered the recent incident involving the freed Italian hostage and US troops, not the least of which is Charles. I can't help but think something fishy is going on. Thing just don't add up, and I think it is up to the blogosphere to find out how. We have a mystery to solve!

    Clue 1: The car apparently was not the one used to transport the Italian. So that begs the question, where is the car that got shot up?


    Saturday, March 05, 2005

    Bold Predictions: Part II

    Here are some more (in some cases, not so) bold predictions on my part:

    Prediction 1: Syrian forces will have completely left, or have been evicted from, Lebanon by the end of this year.

    Prediction 2: The first attempt at a new Iraqi Constitution will fail. It will be voted down in at least three provinces, forcing new elections to have a new Assembly try again.

    Prediction 3: Michael Jackson will found be not guilty in this most recent of trials.

    Prediction 4: Many Leftists will choose to ignore reality, or make up their own, in order to avoid giving Bush credit for the wave of democracy spreading out through the Middle East right now.

    Oh wait...

    Update: Part 1 can be found here.


    Friday, March 04, 2005

    Political Orienteering

    Was Fascism truly a political movement of the right? According to John Ray, it was in fact a movement of the Left, and still today bears many similarities with modern Leftist thought and ideas.

    The ideas of Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), the founder of Fascism, are remarkably similar to the ideas of modern-day Western Leftists. If Mussolini was not the direct teacher of modern-day Leftists, he was certainly a major predecessor. What Leftists advocate today is not, of course, totally identical with what Mussolini was advocating and doing 60 to 80 years ago in Italy but there are nonetheless extensive and surprising parallels. Early in the 20th century, he prophesied that the 20th century would be the century of Fascism and he got that right in that most of his ideas are still preached by the modern-day Left.
    Its a long article, but worth reading through, as its thoroughness makes it hard to scoff off as an attempt by someone on the right to "clean up" the right by removing sores, in the form of political movements like Fascism.

    Hat Tip: No Pasaran


    CIA-Criminally Incompetent Agency

    Discardied Lies examines the serious problems that currently befall the CIA, which is now mired in D.C. bureaucracy and is overcome by Political Correctness.


    May Deadline

    President Bush has given Assad until May to remove Syrian troops from Lebanon.

    US President George W. Bush said he wants all Syrian forces out by May, when Lebanon holds parliamentary elections, stepping up previous calls in which he set no deadline.

    "I don't mean just the troops out of Lebanon, I mean all of them out of Lebanon, particularly the secret service out of Lebanon, the intelligence services," he told the New York Post in an interview published Friday.

    "This is nonnegotiable. It is time to get out," he said. "I don't think you can have fair elections with Syrian troops there." Bush told the paper there was no threat of military action.

    "There's no half-measures allowed," Bush said regarding Syria's suggestion of a partial pullout, speaking in New Jersey Friday.

    Bush has been speaking more and more forcefully on this, and I think its safe to say that the pressure on Assad is only going to intensify. I suspect that the US has been looking for an opening like this for a while, and is intent to push it for all its worth. As for the bit about no military action planned, I suspect that is true. However, the US may try and control the situation so that the Syrian are forced to either crack down on protestors themselves, and thus open them to US attack, or leave the country. Syria is running out of time and options.


    Thursday, March 03, 2005


    Mythusmage has new digs, go pay a visit.


    Getting Somewhere

    Jane's efforts on behalf of Abdul Kareem Al Khaiwany have already garnered some serious attention in the blogsphere. Michele Malkin and Glenn Reynolds both linked to the letter she received. And now Michael Ledeen calls attention to it at the Corner. Hopefully even more attention is brought to this injustice, so that something may be done about it.


    New Policy

    Based on the comments section of this post over at Michael Totten's site, I have now decided to call the "insurgents" or "terrorists" in Iraq by a new name: Sunni Death Squads. I find it to be a most apt description. And the right is good as well.


    Yet Another Link Dump

    I have been busier than expected, so all I can offer at the moment are some links to sate your thirst for knowledge.

    First, here we have Iran threatening the Middle East Oil Supply if attacked.

    Second, the Greek Orthodox Church is apparently having some serious problems. Anti-semitism only one of them.

    Chester has directed me to an essay asking What Became of the CIA?

    Gerard is on a roll. Keep scrolling down, and don't stop.

    Evan Coyne Maloney recently interviewed a reporter from the Washington Post, its worth checking out.

    What Do Mel Brooks and Kim Jong-il have in common? Armed Liberal shows us.

    Thats all for now Folks!


    Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    Welcome Lizardoids!

    It appears that the great Lizardoid Master has linked to my humble blog, and no doubt curious lizard minions will find themselves here. Make yourself welcome, and be sure to check out some of my earlier posts. I have been somewhat busy as of late, but if you check out some of my older stuff you might find something interesting, perhaps even enjoyable, entertaining or educating.


    The Forgotten City

    Callimachus of the always fascinating Done With Mirrors has noticed something very interesting. Apparently, Fallujah has dropped off the map for most of the news organizations.
    Remember Fallujah? Three months ago, U.S. Marines waded into the warren of its streets and fought their toughest battle since Vietnam. They captured the former capital of the Islamist terrorists in Iraq. They ended the reign of Abu Musab al Zarqawi there, where he had created a grotesque miniature picture of what all Iraq would become if the U.S. packed up and came home, as war opponents wanted us to do.

    Our troops scoured the city, and chased or killed the thug army that had made it its citadel. The fighting devastated Fallujah, which once had been home to 300,000 people. We said we would help them build a new Fallujah, when they returned. This was to be a showplace of the new Iraq, in the heart of the Sunni region, in the Baathist bastion.

    Well, how's it going? Are we keeping our promise? Are we doing it well or poorly? What do the people say?

    You'll never find out by reading the Associated Press. Or the New York Times. For the print media, Fallujah seems to have fallen off the map as totally as Atlantis.

    Like the rest of the "rebuilding" leg of the Iraq story, Fallujah has been neglected by our media. There are exceptions, and I'll get to them in a minute. But when I scrolled back through the wire services we subscribe to -- AP, Knight-Ridder, New York Times, Cox, and half a dozen smaller papers -- for the past month, I found only a handful of stories about Fallujah.
    The rest is worth reading as well. Here we see another blatant example of media bias. The only real coverage there is negative, there is nothing else. While I am not saying that the negative news isn't correct, I find it to be indicative of a critical flaw in the mindset of reporters in Iraq. They are looking for "blood stories", and while Fallujah has some negative aspects to it, there is simply not enough blood anymore. Hence, they focus elsewhere. I suspect that if more word of negative events in Fallujah got out, then media interest would increase. But only then.


    "She Only Had Herself to Blame"

    Discarded Lies brings us a tale of misogyny and terror in Germany.

    It only became big news when a group of 14-year-old Turkish boys mocked Hatin during a class discussion at a school near the crime scene. One boy said, "She only had herself to blame," while another insisted, "She deserved what she got. The whore lived like a German." The enraged school director not only sent a letter home to parents, but also to teachers across Germany. The letter ignited a media fury. Less known, however, is that the letter also hit a nerve among educators. "Teachers from across the country wrote back saying they had had similar experiences," Boehmecke said. They reported Turkish boys taunting Turkish girls who don't wear headscarves as "German sluts."
    This is only going to get worse. I stated this in the comments there:
    If that doesn't wake up the German people, I frankly don't know what will. When they kill a German woman for it?
    I was perhaps too quick in that. However, I think that Germany needs to be quick, otherwise it will be too late. If more murders like this occur, then women from Islamic families will become too scared to break away from the Dark Age practices of their families. Hopefully the German people will stand up to this barbarism. Alas, I am not keeping my hopes up.


    Iraq's Assembly Opens Next Week

    Via the Iraq Election Discussions blog, here is a report about Iraq's National Assembly going to be opened next week:
    BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq (news - web sites)'s new 275-member national assembly will hold its first session next week with or without an agreement on the lineup of the country's next government, a Shiite official revealed.

    "The plan is to open the national assembly next week," between March 6 and 10, said Jawad al-Maliky, deputy to the front-running Shiite candidate for prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari.

    "We will open the parliament whether or not there is an agreement," said Maliky, who is Jaafari's number two in the fundamentalist Shiite Dawa party and deputy speaker of the current interim parliament.

    "We want to reach an understanding before the parliament and when we convene we want to have reached an understanding about the government and the ministries," he added.

    The reason for this opening?
    A Western official based in Baghdad told AFP that Maliky's announcement of an opening date for parliament was a pressure tactic to force the Kurds to agree to join a governing coalition.
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Both the UIA and the Kurds have presented unreasonable demands, so it may take a while for them to work on a compromise.


    The Truth From Yemen

    Jane has received a letter from a political prisoner imprisoned in Yemen. Read it.


    Tuesday, March 01, 2005


    I won't have much time for posting today, perhaps tomorrow.

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