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Showing posts from November, 2005
Democrats descend back into incoherence on Iraq with Kerry as spokesman

Stephen Spruill:

Political Teen has posted the video of that John Kerry press conference one of my readers e-mailed about earlier. Here's what Kerry said:Secondly, this debate is note about an artificial date for withdrawal. Several times in his speech today, the president set up this straw man and then knocks it down. That's not what this debate is about.

The United States Senate had a vote — a Republican resolution and a Democrat resolution — and neither sought to seek an artificial date for withdrawal.

What it did on the Democratic side seek to do was set an estimated timetable for success which will permit the withdrawal of our troops. Everything that we have presented has been presented on the basis of how you succeed.Ok, just so I'm clear on this: It's not a debate about a timetable for withdrawal. It's a debate about a timetable for "success which will permit the withdrawal of our troop…
The "timetable" trap

In his response to the President's speech on the war in Iraq, Sen. Kerry tried to explain the Democrats plan for defeat in Iraq as a plan for success. What Kerry claims they are asking for is a time table with specific goals to be achieved by specific dates. This shows a profound ignorance of warfare. As Clausewitz pointed out war is not like other enterprises because you have a thinking enemy who is actively working to thwart your objectives. By giving a timetable, you give the enemy a specific goal of thwarting your objective. A specific timetable is just another way for the Democrats to declare defeat if the objective is not met. That is exactly the metric that the Democrats are interested in.
Another look at the Muslim Brotherhood

Little Green Footballs:

Scott Burgess is investigating a subject almost no one else seems to have noticed—a Muslim Brotherhood document discovered by Swiss authorities, detailing a vast secret plan to combine jihad, surveillance, infiltration and propaganda (among other techniques) in order to “establish the reign of Allah throughout the world.”The Daily Ablution: The Project, Part IThe Daily Ablution: The Project, Part II.This news is especially pertinent, because muddle-headed Westerners like former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright do not recognize the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood, and are urging countries like Egypt (who banned the Muslim Brotherhood precisely because they do understand the peril) to give them access to power: Arabs should not exclude Islamist parties - Albright....
The rogues' at the CIA war against the Bush administration

John Hinderacker:

THE CIA'S WAR against the Bush administration is one of the great untold stories of the past three years. It is, perhaps, the agency's most successful covert action of recent times. The CIA has used its budget to fund criticism of the administration by former Democratic officeholders. The agency allowed an employee, Michael Scheuer, to publish and promote a book containing classified information, as long as, in Scheuer's words, "the book was being used to bash the president." However, the agency's preferred weapon has been the leak. In one leak after another, generally to the New YorkTimes or the WashingtonPost, CIA officials have sought to undermine America's foreign policy. Usually this is done by leaking reports or memos critical of administration policies or skeptical of their prospects. Through it all, our principal news outlets, which share the agency's agenda and pro…
The left's desperation for defeat

Vasko Kohlmayer:

The War on Terror has brought on many complex problems and challenges. Perhaps none is more critical than the conduct of the political Left which is apparently set on sabotaging our efforts. Unable to come up with a logical explanation, political observers either throw up their hands in bewilderment or ascribe the Left’s posture to some irrational nihilistic impulse. But such conclusions are neither satisfactory nor correct.The Left’s sabotage of this war is a deliberate attempt to give relief to the other side. This is because their corresponding views on capitalism and the West make Islamic radicals and the Left natural allies. The Left seeks to weaken us from within in order to help those whose shared worldview binds them in a common pact. Once we understand the nature of this stealth partnership, the reasons behind the Left’s often seemingly inexplicable actions will become alarmingly apparent.But to do so, we must start at the …
President Bush tells you what the NY Times did not want you to know about Cpl. Starr

Michelle Malkin:

The president delivered a very necessary speech at the Naval Academy defending the war in Iraq. He also paid tribute to Cpl. Jeffrey Starr, whose memory was butchered by the New York Times, and read from his moving letter to his girlfriend.

You read about the NYTimes' disgrace here first.Good for the White House for fighting back against MSM bias. Question: How will the Times report on the president's remarks? Watch closely....
The moral inversion of the antiwar pukes

AP via Fox News:

A peace group blamed the United States and Britain for the abduction of four activists — an American, a Briton and two Canadians — shown in an insurgent video, saying the kidnapping was the direct result of the occupation of Iraq.

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A German archaeologist — bound and blindfolded — knelt among masked gunmen in one video. Four frightened peace activists were shown in another blurry tape.The latest attacks are part of a new wave of kidnappings police fear is aimed at disrupting next month's national elections.Christian Peacemaker Teams, a group that has had activists in Iraq since October 2002, said it was saddened by the video of their workers. The workers, the group said, were working against the occupation of Iraq."We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and U.K. government due to the illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people…
The white flag Democrats

Max Boot:

AND THE DEMOCRATS wonder why they are considered weak on national security? It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's because a lot of people doubt their judgment and toughness.

As if to prove the skeptics right, Democrats have been stepping forth to renounce their previous support for the liberation of Iraq even as Iraqis prepare to vote in a general election. Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, John Murtha — that's quite a list of heavyweight flip-floppers.

Clinton characteristically wants to have it both ways. He says the invasion was a "big mistake" but that we shouldn't pull out now because "there's a lot of evidence it can still work." (You mean, Mr. President, that we should continue sacrificing soldiers for a mistake?) The others are more consistent. Because they now think the war is wrong, they favor a withdrawal, the only question being whether we should pull out sooner (Murtha)…
Libs and media lie about the war for political gain

Douglas MacKinnon:

Politics is politics and ratings are ratings. But at what point does the non-stop antiwar Iraq rhetoric by many Democrats and many in the media cross the line and morph into outright falsehoods, personal vendettas against the president, and become utterly demoralizing to our troops on the ground in Iraq? I would submit that that line was deliberately and gleefully crossed quite a while ago.
Why? If you are a liberal in the Democratic Party or in the media, there are several reasons why you would twist the facts, try to rewrite history and privately state that "the end justifies the means." First, and maybe still most importantly, for many on the left, they have never considered George W. Bush a legitimate president. They have an irrational hatred for him and wrongfully feel, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Mr. Bush somehow stole the 2000 election.
Second, many don't real…
Media missed strategy and redeployment that has been underway for some time in Iraq

Donald Devine:

Why does no one know 30 U.S. bases in Iraq have been turned over to Iraqis with American forces withdrawn to more remote and defensible fortifications?
In early November, U.S. troops withdrew from the first major installation in the troubled Sunni region, Saddam Hussein's sprawling 18-palace hill compound in his Tikrit hometown, magnificently straddling the Tigris River, that so impressed this visitor then. Gen. Donald Alston offhandedly mentioned this was the 30th U.S. base turned over to Iraq this year. Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, 42nd Infantry Division commander, told reporters the move was meant to "reduce the footprint" of U.S. forces in the area to "discourage attacks and prepare the way for eventual reduction" of U.S. troops.
Somehow this crucial fact was missing from the debate in Congress recently on U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. President George W. Bush wa…
Signs of hope in the Bosnia quagmire

Dick Morris:

HERE'S a story most newspapers buried, if they ran it all all: Bosnia's three key ethnic/political groups (Muslims, Serbs and Croats) have all agreed to unify their nation and end the tripartite government bequeathed them by the Dayton peace accords negotiated in 1995 after a heavy round of American bombing. No longer were racial hatreds so deep that these three factions needed to stay away from one another. Now the desire to centralize to join Europe and grow economically has overcome the animosities that led to 250,000 deaths in the early 1990s. Should we expect a similar article 10 years hence — about Iraq? As intense as the killing has been in Iraq, with 30,000 civilian and 2,000 U.S. military deaths, it doesn't come close to Bosnia's quarter-million genocide. But constitution-making, nation-building and planting the seeds of democracy have still worked in Bosnia. To cap it all off, the Bosnian Serbs said that t…
The gumbo sound mixes with chile in Austin

Washington Post:

The self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World, the place that gave rock-and-roll superstar Janis Joplin her start in the 1960s, is sounding a little funkier these days. The chili, as one of the famed Neville Brothers sings in his new regular gig, has met the gumbo.Among the estimated 1 million Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina are musicians trying to reestablish New Orleans's distinct second-line beat in a city better known for folk and roots, rhythm and blues, indie rock and country rock.The city's population of more than 8,700 musicians has not only grown a bit but also diversified racially and ethnically. Relocated here indefinitely, among others, are Cyril Neville and Tribe 13, Ivan Neville and Dumpsta Funk, the Hot Eight Brass Band, the Iguanas, the Caesar Brothers Funk Box, the Radiators, and Big Chief Kevin Goodman of the Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indian tribe. So…
Strong economic growth frustrates media and Democrats

AP:

The economy grew at a lively 4.3 percent pace in the third quarter, the best showing in more than a year. The performance offered fresh testimony that the country's overall economic health managed to improve despite the destructive force of Gulf Coast hurricanes.The new snapshot of economic activity, released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, showed the growth at an even faster pace than the 3.8 percent annual rate first reported for the July-to-September quarter a month ago....
Catch and release will continue for at least a year

Washington Time:

Ending the "catch-and-release" policy for non-Mexican illegal aliens will take at least a year, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has estimated.
But Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said he has heard estimates from Mr. Chertoff's department that it will take as long as three years to end the policy, stressing why better enforcement must come before Congress acts on President Bush's call for a guest-worker program.
Mr. Bush has spent the past two days in Arizona and Texas pushing for an end to the policy in which non-Mexican aliens are processed and then released into society on the usually false hope they will return voluntarily to be deported.
Mr. Chertoff, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, said it would take a year to end the program as the department boosts the number of detention beds to hold illegal aliens and tries to trim the time …
France gets tough on immigration enforcement

AP:

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced tightened controls on immigration yesterday as part of his government's response to the nation's worst civil unrest in four decades.
Authorities will better enforce requirements that immigrants seeking 10-year residency permits or French citizenship must master the French language and integrate into society, Mr. de Villepin said.
France also will implement a stricter screening process for foreign students and plans to crack down on fraudulent marriages that some immigrants use to obtain residency, he said.

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As the post below points out, it appears that France is more serious about the rule of law when it comes to enforcing immigration laws.
Houston ICE office not investigating sham marriages

Washington Times:

Documents show that the Houston office of the federal agency charged with interior immigration enforcement has stopped investigating individual cases of "sham" marriages, which terrorists have used in the past to stay legally in the U.S.
"Due to our current goals, priorities and lack of resources, we will not be participating in conducting one-on-one marriage fraud investigations," Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Gus Meza wrote in an October 2004 e-mail obtained by The Washington Times, citing the direction of supervisory agents in Houston.
In another e-mail, an official at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the bureau that grants visas, says ICE agents regularly decline to investigate 70 percent of fraud cases, including sham marriages, sent over by the fraud unit at USCIS.
Both federal agents and independent analysts say "sham marriages" …

Booming economy sends Times looking for the dark lining

NY Times: Gasoline is cheaper than it was before Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans. Consumer confidence jumped last month and new- home sales hit a record. The stock market has been rising. Even the nation's beleaguered factories seem headed for a happy holiday season.By most measures, the economy appears to be doing fine. No, scratch that, it appears to be booming.But as always with the United States economy, it is not quite that simple.For every encouraging sign, there is an explanation. Consumer confidence is bouncing back from what were arguably some of its worst readings in years. Gasoline prices - the national average is now $2.15, according to the Energy Information Administration - have fallen because higher prices held down demand and Gulf Coast supplies have been slowly restored. The latest reading on home sales, released yesterday, contradicts most recent measures of housing activity, which generally indicate a slowdown. And, yes, manufactu…
The antiwar left hasn't a clue about stadard munitions like white phosphorous and apparently they would not recognize a US military man if they saw him

James Tarranto has the story about a MoveOn ad that supposedly pictures US troops standing around a table of food in Iraq. However as an Army captain points out the troops in the picture are British.
Media bias on Iraq shown by "reaction" to Leiberman article

Newsbusters:

Twelve days ago when Democratic Congressman John Murtha, who had long been critical of the Bush administration’s running of the war, advocated withdrawing troops from Iraq, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all emphasized his importance and influence as they led with his press conference. CBS showcased Murtha’s attack on Vice President Dick Cheney’s lack of military service and ABC ran a 90-second excerpt of Murtha. But on Tuesday night, after the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed (“Our Troops Must Stay”) from the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate, Senator Joe Lieberman, in which he cited “real progress” in Iraq and argued against withdrawing troops, ABC and CBS didn’t utter a syllable about his assessment. The NBC Nightly News, at least, squeezed in a soundbite from Lieberman, though David Gregory also highlighted a puny protest as he relayed how “opposition to the war followed the Pr…
Rumsfeld says Iraqis are stepping up

VOA:

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"It's their country. They're going to have to grab a hold of it and run it," he added.He said Iraqi officials understand the need to do that. And he offered some specifics, saying no one should assume that the strategy of clearing insurgents out of parts of the country, holding the ground and rebuilding the infrastructure is exclusively, or even primarily, a U.S. responsibility."It is the Iraqis' country," he said. "They've got 28 million people there. They are clearing. They are holding. They are building. They're going to be the ones doing the reconstruction in that country. With 160,000 troops there, the idea that we could do that is so far from reality, nor was there any intention that we should do that."Secretary Rumsfeld said there is a tendency among Americans to feel that that the U.S. military should be responsible for doing whatever needs to be done in Iraq. But he says that…
Pace answers questions on white phosphorous

AP:

The top American general defended the use of white phosphorus in Iraq and said Tuesday the U.S. military goes to greater lengths than any other force to protect civilians from being harmed by its weapons.Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the incendiary agent is used primarily as a flare, to light up a target for airstrikes, and as a shield of smoke to hide troop movements.“White phosphorus is a legitimate tool of the military,” Pace said at a news conference in the military’s Pentagon headquarters.“It is not a chemical weapon. It is an incendiary. And it is well within the law of war to use those weapons as they’re being used, for marking and for screening.”...When white phosphorus strikes skin, it ignites and continues burning straight through or until it is cut off from oxygen.In Tuesday’s news conference, Pace was asked the wisdom of using such a weapon, even for shielding or illumination, in a cro…
Camp Katrina is a blog for troops helping with the hurricane recovery

The blog also has commentary on politics and Iraq war news. Take a look.
Sometimes the truth slips through

Ed Driscoll finds this gem:

This is the headline of an article from Friday's San Francisco Chronicle:BERKELEY
Mao debunkers defend their book
Critics call it effort to discredit communismAfter over 100 million killed, one certainly hopes. (For our earlier looks at Jung Chang and Jon Halliday's Maobook, click here and through the links on this post.)
White phosphorous apparently illuminates minds at NY Times

Balloon Juice:

It was only a matter of time before the ‘WP’ debate leaped from left-wing anti-war activists to left-wing blogs to the foreign press to the NY Times editorial page, so this was to be expected:Now the use of a ghastly weapon called white phosphorus has raised questions about how careful the military has been in avoiding civilian casualties. It has also further tarnished America’s credibility on international treaties and the rules of warfare. White phosphorus, which dates to World War II, should have been banned generations ago. Packed into an artillery shell, it explodes over a battlefield in a white glare that can illuminate an enemy’s positions. It also rains balls of flaming chemicals, which cling to anything they touch and burn until their oxygen supply is cut off. They can burn for hours inside a human body.The United States restricted the use of incendiaries like white phosphorus after Vietnam, and in 1983, …
On patrol in Husaybah

Bill Roggio:

The nighttime mounted patrol in Husaybah was followed by a pair of foot patrols. I linked up with the 1st Platoon of Lima Company of the 3rd Marines, 6th Battalion, call sign Jackal 1. 1st Lieutenant William Oren took me on a patrol through the southern neighborhoods outside of Battle Position Beirut. We snaked through the streets, and my impression of Husaybah changed little from the night’s view. Interspersed with the trash, rubble, pieced-together walled homes and the ever present dogs was a mix of interesting architecture and a multitude of smiling Iraqi children and their parents.
...The Iraqi troops that patrolled with the squad were quite impressive. Having served as an infantryman, I was curious to see how they handled themselves while patrolling through an urban environment, one of the most dangerous tasks for the infantry. An Iraqi soldier ran point, the entire way. They understood and responded to hand signals, maintained their intervals and …
Ex Powell aid shows why he is an ex

Astute Blogger:

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This is the FOURTH time in recent months that Wilkerson has gone out of his way to be critical of Bush. More HERE and HERE and HERE on those instances. Like Michael Scheuer, Joe Wilson, Cindy Sheehan, George Galloway, Jim Moran, David Duke, and Ray McGovern- Wilkerson blames the Iraq War on NEOCON efforts to protect Israel, and asserts that the war was not in America's interest. These days, when you scratch a dove you find an anti-Semite. (And often a wacky wacky anti-Semite who in addItion to believing that Bush is in Ariel Sharon's pocket, ALSO believes that Bush is a puppet of the House of Saud!) Their anti-Semitism proves that they really aren't pacifists or anti-war; but for the other side. They would ALL sacrifice Israel as Chamberlain did the Sudatenland. In a heartbeat. And of course, by calling for withdrawal from Iraq, they prove they would abandon Iraq the same way, too. Just as they did South Vietnam and the …
Evidence from Jordon hotel bombing leads to hit on terrorist "safe" house in Mosul

NY Post:

Intelligence gathered in the Amman hotel bombings probe led to the recent U.S. raid on an al Qaeda safe house in Mosul where eight followers of terror master Abu Musab al-Zarqawi blew themselves up to avoid arrest, The Post has learned. Officials said U.S. commanders in Iraq learned that the safe house in the northern section of the city was considered an "important location," and was being used by the group for meetings — sometimes by Zarqawi himself. Sources said the improved understanding of al Qaeda in Iraq's structure has emerged in recent weeks from the joint U.S.-Jordanian probe of the Nov. 9 suicide attacks at three Amman hotels. The Nov. 19 raid, which ended with eight terrorists dead and as many as 11 U.S. soldiers injured, was carried out by the Army's high-tech 172nd Brigade Combat Team. Early speculation that Zarqawi was killed in the battle was later …
Steel curtain drapes foreign fighters in Iraq

Rowan Scarborough:

The U.S. is seeing significantly fewer foreign fighters on the battlefields of Iraq, because the coalition has killed or captured scores of terrorists in recent months and is doing a better job of securing the long border with Syria.
But the U.S. military has noticed in recent weeks a willingness of young Iraqis to become suicide bombers, once the monopoly of ideologically driven foreign jihadists
"We are killing them," a senior Pentagon official said yesterday, when asked about shrinking foreign-fighter numbers in Iraq.
The trend is one reason that the Bush administration is talking more confidently about reducing the American troop presence next year to less than a base level of 138,000. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said the current 160,000 level will revert to 138,000 after the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections.
Defense sources said the deployment of newly emerging Iraqi brigades along th…
Tear down that wall Wisconsin--Eau Claire

David Limbaugh:

Did you hear about the University of Wisconsin -- Eau Claire (UWEC) banning resident assistants (RAs) from leading Bible studies in their own dormitories? That's the subject of my latest e-mail blast from the ever-vigilant Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). This outrageous, indefensible assault on Christian religious liberties provides a perfect opportunity for the church-state separation crusaders to prove they're really devoted to religious liberty, as they claim. Let's see if they protest. An UWEC official sent RAs a letter forbidding them from leading Bible studies because students might conclude that such RAs were not "approachable." Don't laugh. Violators, warned the letter, would be subject to disciplinary action. Of course, the letter also purported to prohibit Koran and Torah studies, but it appears such studies were not even at issue. "Wall of separation" advocates …
Why Democrats should not be trusted with national security

Lori Byrd:

This month, the president finally began to fight back against the Democrats’ claims that he lied about pre-war intelligence and misled the country into war in Iraq. The issues that the president has addressed--the accusation that he lied about pre-war intelligence and that Democrats lied when they accused him of lying--needed to be dealt with, and his excellent performance already appears to be showing some good results. There is a related issue, though, that is screaming to be addressed, and it needs to be done before the next election. The administration and Republicans at all levels next need to explain to the public how the actions of the Democrats over the past three years have exposed them as incapable of governing in today’s world of global Islamic terrorism. One lesson learned over the past three years is that intelligence collected and interpreted by humans always contains an element of subjectivity and even …
A voice of sanity from the Democrats

Joe Leiberman:

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It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

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Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. publ…
The opportunity timetable

Amir Taheri:

IN the circles opposed to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, one word is making the rounds these days: timetable. Having failed to stop the war that liberated Iraq, and with their hopes of an insurgent triumph dashed, they are now focusing on one issue: the withdrawal of the U.S.-led Coalition forces. The truth, however, is that a timetable has been in place from the first day of the war that ended the Ba'athist tyranny in 2003. In that timetable, the Coalition's military presence in Iraq is linked, as it should be, to the program for the nation's political reconstruction. In other words, the Coalition forces are in Iraq to accomplish a precise political task, and not to provide the United States or any other foreign power with a forward base in the Middle East. The goal was to take power away from a small clique led by Saddam Hussein and hand it back to the people of Iraq. The idea was not to impose democracy on Iraq, as some anti-lib…
Deceptive bustle in NO

Washington Post:

The arched spine of high ground along the Mississippi River here pulses again three months after Hurricane Katrina -- the $19 appetizer has returned to the French Quarter restaurant scene, guys in suits ride office-tower elevators, hipsters linger over chicory coffee on Magazine Street, and jazzy eighth notes pop and sizzle in the Faubourg Marigny.But New Orleans's beguiling bustle can be deceptive.Nighttime tells the truth. Nighttime tells that the city is not whole. Then, the great expanse of the city's center and much of its lanky eastern edge lie dark and silent and creepy. Block after block of homes, mile after mile, rot in pitch-blackness. Streets in the Treme neighborhood, home to so many musicians, echo in their emptiness, and fancy pads out by Lake Pontchartrain are hollow. Mid-City's little camelbacks and side-hall shotguns, archetypes of New Orleans architecture, sit vacant, their doors smashed open by men in protective mask…
Iraqi battalions taking over their own battle space

Washington Times:

A growing number of Iraqi troop battalions -- nearly four dozen as of this week -- are playing lead roles in the fight against the insurgency, and American commanders have turned over more than two dozen U.S.-established bases to government control, officials said yesterday.
Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, a spokesman in Baghdad for the U.S. command that is responsible for the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces, said approximately 130 Iraqi army and special police battalions are fighting the insurgency, of which about 45 are rated as "in the lead," with varying degrees of reliance on U.S. support.
The exact numbers are classified as secret, but the 45 figure is about five higher than the number given on Nov. 7 at a briefing by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who previously led the training mission. It is about 10 higher than the figure Gen. Petraeus offered at a Pentagon briefing on Oct. 5.
An Iraqi ba…
Reading x-rays for class actions

NY Times:

About a decade ago, a radiologist in this small town gradually stopped seeing patients and instead adopted what turned out to be a much more lucrative practice: reading X-rays full time.

The doctor, Ray A. Harron, now 73 years old, reviewed as many as 150 X-rays a day, or one every few minutes, and produced medical reports for $125 each. Some of his reports supported claims by more than 75,000 people seeking compensation for lung injury caused by inhalation of asbestos. For his work, he probably earned millions of dollars over the years.Plaintiffs' lawyers who have used Dr. Harron's services recently did not return phone calls seeking comment. But in the eyes of defense lawyers fighting some of those claims, Dr. Harron was not a professional rendering an independent opinion, but a vital cog in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit machine. They contend that Dr. Harron's X-ray evaluations are unreliable at best, fraudulent at worst.The defen…
No confidence in Liberal Canadians

NY Times:

Canada's three opposition parties voted in the House of Commons on Monday night to bring down the Liberal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin, contending that the governing party is corrupt. The result of the no-confidence vote had been expected for the last month, since the release of a report by a federal inquiry looking into accusations that the Liberal Party in the late 1990's laundered money and committed fraudulent campaign finance practices in Quebec Province to counter separatist forces. The report said the party had benefited from a kickback scheme. "In this campaign we will hear nothing but pessimism" from the opposition, Mr. Martin said after the 171 to 133 vote in a speech that did not mention the scandal. "We will fight for a Canada in which no one is left behind." New parliamentary elections will pit Mr. Martin against Stephen Harper, the Conservative Party leader, for the second time in …
The high cost of Cat 5 protection for NO

NY Times:

Amid all the arguments over how to rebuild this pummeled city, there is one universally held article of faith here: New Orleans must have a flood protection system strong enough to withstand Category 5 storms, the worst that nature can spawn.

It is a rallying cry heard on radio broadcasts and in a front-page editorial in The Times-Picayune, in ruined neighborhoods and in corporate boardrooms. Strong protection is the linchpin that everything else depends on, said Joe Veninata, the owner of a shopping center and rental homes in the Gentilly neighborhood, "for people to come to the city and invest, for the people to feel secure." "Without that," Mr. Veninata said, "we can't build New Orleans anymore." Building Category 5 protection, however, is proving to be an astronomically expensive and technically complex proposition. It would involve far more than just higher levees: there would have to be extensive c…
Parris Island lures recruits from liberal northeast

Lowell Sun:

In the face of a bloody war with no end in sight, the U.S. Marine Corps continues to find men and women willing, if not eager, to lay their lives on the line. “I was kind of looking forward to it. All of my brothers and sisters are over there,” said Marine recruit Kevin Hayes, 18, of Shirley. “His brothers and sisters” are his fellow Marines, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hayes is on the deck of the training pool at Parris Island Recruit Depot in South Carolina, where, on any given day, 4,500 recruits prepare for battle. They are called “warriors,” and it is no secret on Parris Island that recruits could find themselves in the deserts of Iraq within three months of graduating basic training. It is a reality many Marines seem to embrace.
...“I wanted to serve with the best fighting force in the world,” said Matthew Tremblay, 19, of Chelmsford. Tremblay, like several other local recruits interviewed by The Sun, chose to b…
Supreme Court turns down PLO appeal

AP via the Guardian:

The Supreme Court refused Monday to overturn a $116 million judgment against the Palestine Liberation Organization in the deaths of a Jewish couple near the West Bank. The PLO, and its governmental entity, had been sued in federal court in Rhode Island over the 1996 drive-by shooting of Yaron Ungar, an American citizen, and his Israeli wife, Efrat, as the couple returned home from a wedding. The family's relatives argued that the PLO and Palestinian Authority provided a safe haven and operational base for the Islamic militant group Hamas, which was responsible for the attack. A judge issued a default judgment after the PLO did not respond to requests for depositions from Yasser Arafat and others. Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the lawyer for the PLO, told justices in the appeal last month that Ungar relatives have ``commenced sweeping national and international efforts'' to collect the millions of dollars, inclu…
Trial of terrorist who plotted to kill 80,000 with WMD

Gateway Pundit has the story of Zarqawi's thwarted plot to kill Jordanians with 20 tons of WMD smuggled in from Syria.
The myth of the quick clean war

Lt.Col. Gordon Cucullo:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” -John Stuart Mill Watching the Democrats in Congress – abetted by some ill-informed, poorly disciplined Republicans – engage in the politics of betrayal this week was grim. Seeing so many supposedly intelligent, dedicated, patriotic individuals engage in infantile defeatism was maddening. They are attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and many of us are frustrated and upset. Part of what drives these individuals – aside from Beltway poll watching, and unchecked ambition - also troubles many Americans: our obsession with achieving the impossible. We wa…