Saturday, January 08, 2005
Potential progress on these fronts is huge, and - if realized - it would put the Bush presidency on a footing with few equals.
After these successes, Old Europe and the Old Media will come around.
A few huge problems remain: North Korea; Syria and Iran; and the African tyrannies. I feel that Bush will confront these problems, too - and that, because of his imminent successes on the preceding fronts, he will be just as successful.
Of course, the enemy is NOT going to go down without a cunning and ruthless fight. They will counter-attack at every available moment, and attempt to rollback the progress. And, they'll counter-attack with greater and more terrible verocity the closer we get to victory - (remember: the Allies took more losses in the final 4 months of WW2 than in the preceding 4 years!). And, the enemy will counter-attack on many fronts, at our weakest spots - and when we least expect it. The enemy will attempt to distract us from victory on one front by drawing us into another front. (I expect Iran or North Korea to create a crisis just as we near victory in the Middle East.)
PYONGYANG, Jan. 8 (KCNA-Yonhap) -- A U.S. Congressman arrived in Pyongyang Saturday for a four-day trip expected to focus on North Korea's nuclear weapons program and human rights issues, the North's official news agency reported. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, and four of his staff were met by an official at the airport in Pyongyang, the Korean Central News Agency said in a brief report.
Iraqi Minister Says Iran, Syria Back Insurgents
BAGHDAD, 8 January - Iraq’s interim defense minister said yesterday he had proof that Syria and Iran were backing the insurgency raging in Iraq with money and arms. In the latest accusation against Iraq’s neighbors, Hazim Al-Shaalan showed journalists a video of a man he said was the captured leader of an insurgent group called Mohammed’s Army, confessing to receiving aide from Iran and Syria, and threatened revenge. “We, especially in Mohammed’s Army, received a lot of help from Iran, which also supports most of the resistance groups in Iraq,” said the man, who identified himself as Col. Moayed Yassin Aziz Al-Nasiri, from Saddam Hussein’s disbanded army. The video’s authenticity could not be verified. Iran and Syria deny links with Iraq’s insurgents.
It's ultimatum time... or maybe we have to wait until Iraq elects their government - AND THEN THEY ISSUE AN ULTIMATUM OF THEIR OWN: "Stop aiding the counter-revolutionaries or we will counter-attack your nation!" Then, the Iraq government asks us for help - AND WHAM, we whack Iran and Syria destroying all their military assets!
Friday, January 07, 2005
One of the most ancient monasteries in the world, St Matthew's, stands on a barren mountainside in northern Iraq, its last inhabitant a crusty old Syrian Orthodox priest. Nestled between sandstone crags with views of the hills around ancient Nineveh, now called Mosul, it looks like the final redoubt of the Christian world. Seven thousand monks used to worship here; now there is just one, Father Ada Qadr al-Kars. This thinning of the ranks has taken centuries, he said, but in the valleys Iraq's Christian community, targeted with especial ferocity by Islamic extremists for the past year, is disappearing rapidly. Churches have been bombed, priests kidnapped and Christian neighbourhoods subjected to random shootings, the terrorists' revenge for the community's shared religion with the "Christian" invaders.
Apparently the crime against America is not that it gives too little to those who need it, but that it gives too little to those who wish to administer it all. When the terrible wave hit, Kofi Annan was escaping the conundrum of the Oil-for-Food scandal by skiing at Jackson Hole, so naturally George Bush down in 'ole Crawford Texas was the global media's obvious insensitive leader — "on vacation" as it were, while millions perished.
VDH. 'F'N' A-1! RTWT, A/O! OK?! (H-T LGF and NRO).
But, I guess that's to be expected from the kind of wackos who fear Ashcroft more than Bin Laden.
EQUALLY REVEALING: Most of the "Bush is a torturer" crap comes from guys with very questionable personal backgrounds: Kennedy left the scene of a vehicular homicide (to put it POLITLEY!); Biden was a plagiarist; Leahy an officialy reprimanded leaker of national secrets. And that's just the Lefties on the Judiciary Committee. Then there's Clinton - the serial rapist/adulterer/perjurer, and Sandy Berger - who got caught stealing TOP SECRET documents from the National Archives, and Kerry - the slanderer and "war criminal."
Whatta crew! Thank God they're NOT in control of interrogating Jihadoterrorists or national security!
And then they cite the same source I did LAST WEEK:
The tragedy is that this concern about the health risk posed by the dead is misplaced. A report issued last September by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) addressed the management of dead bodies in disaster situations. Its findings suggest that the corpses from the 26 December catastrophe pose no serious risk of spreading infection and disease.Bodies should always be buried in a way that allows for later exhumation, says the PAHO report. "The use of common graves should be avoided in all circumstances," it recommends. The report calls mass burials "a violation of the human rights of the surviving family members.
I hope, now that the MSM is finally on the case, that this abhorrent and unnecessary practice will never be used again. Sadly, it is too late for many - including - possibly - tourists:
UNIDENTIFIED Australian tsunami victims could have been buried in mass graves in Thailand, Australian officials said today.But the head of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) forensic team leading the victim identification process in Thailand said Australians, if they had been buried in mass graves, would be identified and their remains returned home. AFP team leader Karl Kent said he was aware of the location of the graves and he was satisfied Thai authorities had acted responsibly when conducting mass burials. Asked if it were possible that foreigners could be in the graves, Mr Kent said: "Yes." "We know the sites, we have been informed about them. "All of those deceased persons will be exhumed and all will be examined using the international DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) protocol."
I'm not alone: Nick Wadhams of the Associated Press on January 7, 2005, 1:12 PM EST -
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A top U.S. military official said today he expects that insurgents may try to carry out "spectacular" attacks as the Iraqi election draws near, while Sunni religious leaders called for unity but persisted in their demands that the vote be delayed.The comments by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel echoed a warning by Iraq's prime minister the day before that insurgent violence would only increase ahead of the Jan. 30 election for a National Assembly.
PARIS (Reuters) - President Jacques Chirac has urged journalists not to go to Iraq after the disappearance of a French reporter which caused fears of a new hostage crisis. [...] "We are terribly worried," Paris-based media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. "The situation in Iraq is such that nothing can be ruled out."
Thursday, January 06, 2005
"... district attorneys and police detectives routinely invoke the possibility of harsh criminal penalties to get criminals to confess. Federal prosecutors in New York have even been known to remind suspects that they are more likely to keep their teeth and not end up as sex slaves by pleading to a federal offense, thus avoiding New York City’s Rikers Island jail. Using such a method against an al-Qaida jihadist, by contrast, would be branded a serious humanitarian breach."
"Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."
US forces and Iraqi police detained two leaders of Islamist cells linked to al-Qaeda terror chief in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the US military said today.The arrests came in two restive cities of the Sunni Muslim insurgency, Mosul and Baquba. Yesterday, Iraqi police netted two Islamic extremists in Baquba, 60 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, the military said. Police captured Karem Abed Ibrahim, who has "ties to the Zarqawi network in Baghdad", said Colonel Dana Pittard, head of the 1st Infantry Division in Baquba. "It'll put a dent in the insurgency."
UPDATED 1/8: see WIZBANG.
*******UPDATE 1/8******* CLICK HERE. NOW! That's an order from Greyhawk at Mudville!
They just don't get it!
It's as if they live in a parallel universe where terrorists deserve ACLU lawyers and wars and elections are perfect. They've become cry-babies! Whining, hand-wringing, terrorist coddling cry-babies!
The clincher: Bush LOST more states BY CLOSER MARGINS in 2000 and in 2004 than Kerry or Gore and yet contested NOTHING!
That's how adults who live in the real world behave.
I for one - a 4th generation registered Democrat (for the time being) - am ashamed of the Democrats, and PROUD I VOTED FOR BUSH!
It also seems indisputable that the Chinese are by far the best placed to undertake such an action. [...] Well, it's hard to come to a conclusion about something like this at such short notice - to say the least. But Gilley certainly deserves plaudits for thinking out of the box."
11.22.2004 - SomeStraight Talk On North Korea - FROM JAPAN
The head of the ruling party in Japan has said that because the Kim Jong Il regimehas not been sincere/trustworthy in negotiations that regime change may be the only option.
This makes sense. Only how? I think an invasion by China makes the most sense. We should let them occupy North Korea and let them set up a new regime. ALSO: here's a link to an article from a South Korean newspaper with photographic PROOF that billboards of KIM JONG IL are coming down all over North Korea.
According to YAHOO/"Reuters" - TOKYO (Reuters) - "The United States is setting a deadline of early February for a reply from North Korea on whether the communist state will return to six-party talks on its nuclear arms programme, a Japanese newspaper says. If Pyongyang does not reply positively by the time U.S. President George W. Bush gives his State of the Union address, the United States will prepare to bring the matter to the U.N. Security Council, the conservative Sankei Shimbun said on Thursday, quoting an unidentified diplomatic source familiar with the talks."
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
The Bush administration is considering imposing new sanctions on Syria to prod it to crack down on Iraqis there who are providing financial and logistical support to insurgents in Iraq, senior American counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. [...] Syria has long been subject to limited economic sanctions by the United States because of its designation by the State Department as a sponsor of terrorism. Under pressure from Congress, the Bush administration imposed additional measures last spring that prohibit exports to Syria of most goods, excluding food and medicine, and prohibit commercial flights between the United States and Syria by Syrian-owned aircraft. [...] The American officials would speak about Syria only on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want their comments to overshadow recent public remarks by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in Iraq, Richard L. Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, and others. The officials interviewed represented several government agencies involved in counterterrorism policy, including those favoring a more patient approach toward Syria and those urging a harder line. [...] A second counterterrorism official said there remained "a wide range of views" within the administration about taking further action against Syria, with the State Department most opposed. The official said the Pentagon in particular was pressing for a more aggressive approach. "This is not the Ho Chi Minh trail that's keeping the insurgency alive," the official said. "But if Syria were to take action, it would have an impact."
After all, the infiltrations are a major reason why we are taking so many casualties! We MUST do whatever we can do in order to protect our troops; THIS OPEN BORDER IS MORE DANGEROUS TO OUR TROOPS THAN LACK OF ARMORED HUMMERS! So: LET'S GET AS TOUGH AS WE HAVE TO GET, AND NOW!
Agencies - Wednesday January 5, 2005
Indonesian authorities posted police guards at refugee camps today to protect children orphaned by last week's tsunamis from child traffickers. The UN confirmed two attempts to snatch children in Indonesia's devastated Aceh province, the first independent verification of widespread fears that children across the Indian Ocean region could fall prey to traffickers. The Indonesian government banned children under 16 from leaving the country on Monday in an attempt to halt a potential trade in tsunami orphans.
Indonesian police are guarding refugee camps in tsunami-hit regions to protect orphaned children from being kidnapped by trafficking gangs. United Nations charity workers have confirmed two attempts to snatch children from the devastated Aceh province. Indonesia has introduced restrictions on children leaving the country in an attempt to prevent youngsters being sold into forced labour or sexual slavery in rich neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. John Budd, Unicef spokesman, said there were unconfirmed reports of up to 20 other youngsters being taken to Malaysia, and possibly hundreds to Jakarta. He said: "I don't think you could have a more vulnerable child on Earth than a child in this situation. A young child who has gone through what they have witnessed will be barely surviving in terms of psychological health." Unicef, plans to set up a registration scheme for orphans in the area. Criminal gangs are believed to be posing as aid agencies or family friends and a text message is rumoured to be in circulation advertising an auction of 300 orphans. An estimated 35,000 children in Aceh have lost one or both parents in the tragedy.
THOUSANDS of vulnerable children orphaned by the south Asia tsunami disaster now have to deal with another threat: gangs of unscrupulous human traffickers looking for easy pickings, humanitarian organisations said today. "Experience shows that the risks of child trafficking grows in a crisis situation where there are population movements and where the environment that normally protects the child collapses," said Marc Vergara of UNICEF. "There are no parents, no family, no school, no village," the spokesman for the United Nations children's fund in Geneva said. As a result of the threat, the UN is developing a program to register every displaced child in Indonesia's tsunami-hit province of Aceh in an effort to stop human traffickers from smuggling them out, of the country.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Swedish police have arrived in Thailand to investigate reports that a 12-year-old survivor of the tsunami has been kidnapped from a hospital. Two officers are helping Kristian Walker's family and Thai police search for him, amid fears he may have been taken by child sex traffickers.
Joining a global trend, the fundamentalists have added another way to dehumanize women and girls: buying and selling them for prostitution. Exact numbers of victims are impossible to obtain, but according to an official source in Tehran, there has been a 635 percent increase in the number of teenage girls in prostitution. The magnitude of this statistic conveys how rapidly this form of abuse has grown. In Tehran, there are an estimated 84,000 women and girls in prostitution, many of them are on the streets, others are in the 250 brothels that reportedly operate in the city. The trade is also international: thousands of Iranian women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery abroad.
Some may think a thriving sex trade in a theocracy with clerics acting as pimps is a contradiction in a country founded and ruled by Islamic fundamentalists. In fact, this is not a contradiction. First, exploitation and repression of women are closely associated. Both exist where women, individually or collectively, are denied freedom and rights. Second, the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran are not simply conservative Muslims. Islamic fundamentalism is a political movement with a political ideology that considers women inherently inferior in intellectual and moral capacity. Fundamentalists hate women’s minds and bodies. Selling women and girls for prostitution is just the dehumanizing complement to forcing women and girls to cover their bodies and hair with the veil.
Date, Tue, 28 Dec 2004 / From: Martin Rieder
As I am watching the news about the catastrophe in the Indian Ocean area, I am amazed how often it is mentioned that because of the fear of epidemics, dead bodies have to be buried as quickly as possible. Looks like we are still in the 19th century, with all the theories about miasma (meaning bad air, hence "malaria") and dead bodies.
As far as I remember, several scientific studies have shown that after natural disasters, the dead bodies of victims do not cause any increase in the spread of communicable diseases. It is the accompanying situation (lack of safe water, lack of proper sanitation for "still alive" human beings -- well, lack of everything....) that constitutes a threat. Those who fell victim to the disaster and their bodies do no harm, apart from looking ugly and smelling while decomposing.
Whatever infectious agents the deceased victims of the tsunami harbored while still alive will pose less threat to the public health than when they were alive, and no new organisms will develop while the dead bodies are rotting. The real threat to public health is posed by those still living, some of whom may spread infectious agents, and the worsened conditions that help spread whatever they may carry.
Therefore, the utmost priority from a public health point of view is not to bury all the dead immediately (which is what people on TV seem to be telling us), but to restore the safety of the water supply. In fact, for many of the affected countries, it is not a matter of "restoring" but establishing a safe source of water!!! It will also be important to pay attention to environmental issues like vector control, waste disposal, and hygiene education.
Martin Rieder, DTMPH
LET'S END THE UNNECESSARY AND INHUMANE PRACTICE OF MASS GRAVES FOREVER!
Forensic experts from around the world have flown in to help identify bodies. Britain has dispatched a team of about 20 pathologists, forensic dentists, logistic experts and counsellors to help the international operation. It is being led by Australia , whose team was the first to arrive on the scene and has experience in dealing with the Bali bomb. There are two picture galleries in Phukhet town hall. The first are the noticeboards for the missing, which feature hundreds of pictures of honeymooners, holidaying families and retirees - in almost every case healthy and smiling. The second set of boards depicts the ranks of the dead - close-up photographs of the victims, most of whom have been bloated by sea water and stiffened by rigor mortis. They are horrifying images of distended, twisted, blackened children and adults turned into blood-splattered, grey balloons. It is hard to reconcile the smiling faces with the grotesque death masks. Doing so scientifically is likely to be even more difficult.
Monday, January 03, 2005
On Monday, he [Egeland] described himself as "desperate." "We have 20 parallel catastrophes unfolding," he told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York. "I am now as afraid for the situation in Darfur as I was at the peak, nearly, in the summer," he said in reference to the turbulent region in Sudan. "I am just desperate to get attention to the 'tsunami' coming in Congo every four months," he added, arguing that there are as many preventable deaths in that time as the number who died in the tsunami disaster. "In eastern Congo we believe that there are in the millions of preventable deaths in the last decade," he said.