Friday, March 30, 2007

Global Warming... Hardly A New Idea

I saw the following video over on evangelical outpost, where Joe has some interesting thoughts on the following video.


In short, the idea of catastrophic man made global warming via co2 is not a relatively new idea.

This guy is a jerk

Gavin King:kingg@tcp.newsltd.com.au is a jerk. He is actually much, much worse.

What did he do?
Read all about it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

It is Time to Cave into the Iranians and Give Them What They Want


As a world community we must at some point realize that the Iranians will not stop until they get what they want. We have tried diplomacy, we have tried sanctions, we have tried hollow threats. We have dangled carrots, we have asked nicely, we have promised consequences, and it is now clear that all of our efforts have been in vain and sooner or later we will have to just give them what they want.

It is easy to say, "Never! We will never cave to the Iranians, they will never get what they want!" Easy to say, but impractical. We cannot hold out forever, we cannot keep them from their goal. No. Sooner or later we are going to have to assent to their demands and give them what they want. So why don't we already?

Is what they want so bad? Sure, we will sacrifice "blood and treasure" and it will make the whole world community weary, but the Iranians resolve will not be challenged and they will get what they want sooner or later, so why not just give it to them.

Let's look at the last 5 years, this list will in no way attempt to be complete:

  • In defiance of international laws and treaties, Iran has been working to produce nuclear weapons.
  • Iran has repeatedly made threats to "wipe Israel off the map."
  • Iran has supported Iraqi insurgents with weapons, intel, and other material support.
  • Iran held an international conference to debate whether or not the holocaust happened.
  • Iran elected as President a leader of the 1979 Hostage Crisis, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  • Iran has abducted and taken hostage 15 British soldiers from international waters - an overt act of war.




It is obvious that Iran is hell bent on having a war with the Western World, and we should give them what they want.

We have tried diplomacy, but Iran has been resolute. They will have their war with the West, and the only question the west need ask is whether we give them what they want now, or whether we wait until they become a nuclear super-power.

Democrats Stab Soldiers in the Back



Senate OKs Iraq Troop Withdrawal Bill

In a mostly party line 51-47 vote, the Senate signed off on a bill providing $122 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also orders Bush to begin withdrawing troops within 120 days of passage while setting a nonbinding goal of ending combat operations by March 31, 2008.
Read the Article.


I am disgusted. Sick, even. There is no chance in hell of this bill becoming law, but that isn't the point.

The Democrats were elected because they promised the people a "plan for success in Iraq." They claimed that Bush's policies were a failure, that the Republicans had no plan for victory in Iraq, and that a new direction was needed. They claimed to have a "plan" - the details of which were never particularly clear. The plan would achieve victory and make America safer.

The Democrats didn't tell the American people they planned on cutting and running before the job was done. The Democrats didn't tell the American people they planned on spitting in the face of the US soldier by bringing them home before the job is done.

The Democrats want us to lose in Iraq. They don't realize that this war was waged for the security and safety of ALL AMERICANS. Saddam was a threat to the United States - a threat that in a post 9/11 world could not be allowed to remain. No matter how you want to look at it, the war in Iraq WAS justified. The Democrats, however, refuse to see the war as anything other than "George Bush's" war. They hate George Bush so much that they are willing to put political vendetta above the safety and security of the American people.

The Democrats hatred of Bush is so great that they will disgrace the ultimate sacrifice made by thousands of US soldiers who paid the ultimate price to keep America safe by pulling our soldiers out of Iraq, effectively letting the terrorists win. Despite the sacrifices made by our troops, the democrats place short term goals of scoring political points by ensuring "George Bush's" war fails over VICTORY in Iraq. Victory which is attainable. Victory which is within reach.

Look at the recent Progress in Iraq!

If you are an American. If you are outraged by the Democrats' lies to the American people, their promises for a plan for victory. If you are outraged by "slow bleed" and pulling out. If you are outraged by the Democrats selling out American security and handing the Terrorists a victory in Iraq, then remember this when you head into the voting booth in '08.

If you served in Vietnam, and you supported the war - because you were fighting communism, because you won every battle of the war, because victory was within reach and the communists were going to surrender BUT FOR the DEMOCRATS' "Peace Movement" - if you fought in Vietnam or had a loved one who died there, and you remember what happened AFTER WE PULLED OUT OF A WAR THAT WE WERE WINNING, then you know what will happen in Iraq if we pull out now.

If you think the world hates America now, see what happens if we pull out of Iraq and a real civil war breaks out. See how hated we are if genocide returns to Iraq.

No doubt today Al Qaeda is celebrating their victory in Congress.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Progress in Iraq: "Headed in the Right Direction"

Iraq ‘headed in the right direction’
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — Several positive developments indicate that Iraq’s leaders and its people will eventually surmount insurgent violence occurring in the country and ultimately achieve stability, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Iraq told reporters in Baghdad today.

“In my view, although difficult challenges lie ahead, and there is a long way to go, Iraq is fundamentally headed in the right direction and success is possible,” Zalmay Khalilzad said at the news briefing.

President Bush has nominated Khalilzad, who has served as the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq for the past 21 months, to become the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Taking stock of the situation in Iraq, Khalilzad said he’s buoyed and “cautiously optimistic” about that country’s future due to several indicators:

- The early success of the Operation Law and Order anti-terrorist campaign in Baghdad and western Iraq.

- The improved performance of Iraqi soldiers and police.

- The Iraqi government’s example of dealing evenhandedly with lawbreakers.

- More Iraqis are turning their backs on al Qaeda.

- Some Iraqi insurgent groups have agreed to fight al Qaeda terrorists and work toward reconciliation.

- Iraq’s leaders are reaching out to include all Iraqis in the sharing of the country’s oil wealth.

- Improvement in Iraq’s economic situation.

- Iraqi leaders’ comprehensive plan to achieve national reconciliation and stability.

Indeed, ongoing joint U.S., coalition and Iraqi security operations in Baghdad “appear to be having a positive effect,” Khalilzad said, noting violence has decreased in Iraq’s capital city by about 25 percent since Operation Law and Order began in mid-February.

The Iraqi security forces “are performing better and they are doing better in terms of carrying their share of the burden,” Khalilzad pointed out. Iraqis seem to appreciate the presence of their soldiers and police on the streets to help effect stability, he said, noting citizen-provided tips about insurgent activity have been flowing in steadily.

Also, the Iraqi government is bolstering its credibility among its citizens, Khalilzad said, by dispensing justice fairly without discriminating against any one group. Iraqi involvement with al Qaeda is on the wane, Khalilzad said, adding that some insurgent elements have openly turned against al Qaeda.

Some of these insurgents are “in touch with the (Iraqi) government, seeking reconciliation and cooperation in the fight against al Qaeda terrorists,” the ambassador said.

And the recent approval of a national hydrocarbon law that shares the nation’s oil wealth with all citizens demonstrates that the Iraqi government is reaching out to all Iraqis, Khalilzad said.

Iraq’s economic situation is looking up, and the Iraqi government has committed $10 billion for reconstruction programs, the ambassador said.

“Iraqi leaders have also adopted measures on fuel import liberalization, investment law reform and fuel subsidy reductions, as well as maintaining fiscal discipline,” said he added.

Iraq’s leaders also are taking steps to achieve good relations with neighboring countries, Khalilzad said, while continuing government efforts to achieve reconciliation between the nation’s different sects and tribes.

“Also, the United States and Iraq have agreed on a combination of pressure and engagement to create incentives for changes in behavior on the part of states currently seeking to destabilize Iraq,” the ambassador said.

Though these are all significant indicators and developments for Iraq, more needs to be accomplished, he said, to maintain the positive momentum.

Iraqi leaders need to enact a program to demobilize militias, make amendments to the constitution, schedule provincial elections, and reformulate the de-Baathification program so that insurgents can lay down their arms and join the political process, Khalilzad said.

“Iraqis have an unprecedented opportunity” to establish a better life for themselves, Khalilzad said. Yet, Americans and their elected representatives, he said, would like the Iraqi government to achieve more progress involving reconciliation, constitutional amendments and other issues.

“The members of the coalition as well as other countries have made enormous sacrifices to give Iraqis the chance to build a stable and democratic order,” Khalilzad said. “Iraqis must not lose this opportunity, and they must step up and take the tough decisions necessary for success.”

Success is possible... if we don't put deadlines or pull-out dates in the way of victory.

I don't care much whether you believe that the war in Iraq was a good idea, in hindsight. What matters is that we are currently at war, and the consequences of failure in Iraq cannot be understated.

That being said, the Democrats offer a plan of withdrawal while the President offers a plan for victory, a plan which is working.

Americans can either support surrender or support victory in Iraq. Which shall it be?

I say, Support the Surge! Let the Democrats in Congress know that "Slow bleed" is not a plan for victory, that the surge is working, and that history will judge them as traitors.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

For No Reason at All

Just one artist's rendering of al Gore's testimony before congress:



I would have posted that comic with some commentary last week but I was on vacation. I also never finished my Plame testimony post... I wish I had about 8 more hours in a day.

From the Inbox:

I was wasting time before heading home this afternoon and came across this interesting little article.

Iran to hit back at US ‘kidnaps’
IRAN is threatening to retaliate in Europe for what it claims is a daring undercover operation by western intelligence services to kidnap senior officers in its Revolutionary Guard.

According to Iranian sources, several officers have been abducted in the past three months and the United States has drawn up a list of other targets to be seized with the aim of destabilising Tehran’s military command.

In an article in Subhi Sadek, the Revolutionary Guard’s weekly paper, Reza Faker, a writer believed to have close links to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warned that Iran would strike back.

“We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks,” he said. “Iran has enough people who can reach the heart of Europe and kidnap Americans and Israelis.”

...

“The capture of Quds members in Irbil was essential for our understanding of Iranian activity in Iraq,” said an American official with knowledge of the operation.

...

Military analysts believe that Iranian threats of retaliation are credible. Tehran is notorious for settling scores. When the Israelis killed Abbas Mussawi, Hezbollah’s general secretary, in 1992 the Quds Force blew up the Israeli embassy in Argentina in revenge.

...

“In Iraq, the Quds Force can easily get hold of American — and British — officers,” said a Jordanian intelligence source.

Read the Full article

Not particularly threatening at the time but look at it in the light of the recent "apprehension" of Royal Navy "spies" in the Shatt-al-arab waterway.

Wow, that IS kinda scary.

It is a major problem when these islamo-fascists repeatedly tell us what they are going to do before they do it and still we do nothing to stop them. When they scream death to America, America needs to respond with death from above.

I haven't blogged much about the UK soldiers abducted in international waters by the Iranians. I don't know how else to see this than as outright act of war. This was a military attack on the UK, a NATO nation and close ally of the United States. Maybe these are just hollow words, or maybe I have just got it wrong, but I thought that an attack on one NATO nation was an attack on all NATO nations. Why haven't the NATO nations jointly invaded Iran and freed first the British soldiers, then the Iranian people?

The President's Remarks on Tony Snow

THE PRESIDENT: This morning I got a phone call from Tony Snow. He called me from the hospital. He told me that when they went in and operated on him they found cancer. It's a recurrence of the cancer that he thought that he had successfully dealt with in the past. His attitude is, one, that he is not going to let this whip him, and he's upbeat. My attitude is, is that we need to pray for him, and for his family.

Obviously, a lot of folks here in the White House worry a lot about their friend, as do Laura and I. And so my message to Tony is, stay strong; a lot of people love you and care for you and will pray for you. And we're hoping for all the best. I'm looking forward to the day that he comes back to the White House and briefs the press corps on the decisions that I'm making and why I'm making them. In the meantime, I hope our fellow citizens offer a prayer to he and his family.

Thank you.

I think very highly of Tony Snow. I have the utmost respect for him. I so wish there was a cure for cancer. In the mean time, prayers don't heal, but they help.

Funny Pic, Funny Site



Kudos to LindaSoG, she just made her way into my daily reads in Google Reader. Check out her blog.

Hilarious Global Warming Article

I laughed at this article until I was nearly sick... I'm not sure whether it was serious or tongue in cheek. In any event, I suggest you read this, just because:

People Get What They Deserve: Climate Change

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cheney: Update in the War on Terror

This is why I love Cheney... I wish the President had the courage to stand up to the Democrats and tell it like it is:

Cheney: The ones doing the fighting never lose their focus on the mission, or on what is at stake in this war. And neither should the rest of us. Five and a half years have passed since the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the loss that morning of nearly 3,000 innocent people here in the United States. As we get farther away from 9/11, I believe there's a temptation to forget the urgency of the task that came to us that day, and the comprehensive approach that's required to protect this country against an enemy that moves and acts on multiple fronts. In fact, five and a half years into the struggle, we find ourselves having to confront a series of myths about the war on terror -- myths that are often repeated and deserve to be refuted.

The most common myth is that Iraq has nothing to do with the global war on terror. Opponents of our military action there have called Iraq a diversion from the real conflict, a distraction from the business of fighting and defeating bin Laden and al Qaeda. We hear this over and over again -- not as an argument, but as an assertion meant to close off argument. Yet the critics conveniently disregard the words of bin Laden himself: "The most... serious issue today for the whole world," he said, "is this Third World War...[that is] raging in [Iraq]." He calls it "a war of destiny between infidelity and Islam." He said, "The whole world is watching this war," and that it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation." And in words directed at the American people, Osama bin Laden declares, quote, "The war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever." This leader of al Qaeda has referred to Baghdad as the capital of the Caliphate. He has also said, and I quote, "Success in Baghdad will be success for the United States. Failure in Iraq is the failure of the United States. Their defeat in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars." End quote.

Obviously, the terrorists have no illusion about the importance of the struggle in Iraq. They have not called it a distraction or a diversion from their war against the United States. They know it is a central front in that war, and it's where they've chosen to make a stand. Our Marines tonight are fighting al Qaeda terrorists in al Anbar Province. U.S. and Iraqi forces recently killed a number of al Qaeda terrorists in Baghdad, who were responsible for numerous car bomb attacks. Iraq's relevance to the war on terror simply could not be more plain. Here at home, that makes one thing, above all, very clear: If you support the war on terror, then it only makes sense to support it where the terrorists are fighting us.

The second myth is the most transparent -- and that is the notion that one can support the troops without giving them the tools and reinforcements they need to carry out their mission.

Twisted logic is not exactly a new phenomenon in Washington -- but last month it reached new heights. At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain put the following question to General Dave Petraeus, who was up for confirmation: "Suppose we send you over to your new job... only we tell you... you can't have any additional troops. Can you get your job done?" General Petraeus replied, "No, sir." Yet within days of his confirmation by a unanimous vote in the Senate -- I repeat, a unanimous vote of confidence in General Petraeus, not one single negative vote -- a large group of senators tried to pass a resolution opposing the reinforcements and support that he believed were necessary to carry out his mission. The House of Representatives, of course, did pass such a resolution. As President Bush said, this may be the first time in history that a Congress "voted to send a new commander into battle and then voted to oppose the plan he said was necessary to win that battle." It was not a proud episode in the history of the United States Congress.

Yesterday, the House Democrats passed the defense appropriations supplemental to fund our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. This will hamper the war effort and interfere with the operational authority of the President with our military commanders. It's counterproductive, it sends exactly the wrong message because of the limitations that are written into the legislation. When members of Congress pursue an anti-war strategy that's been called "slow bleed," they're not supporting the troops, they're undermining them. And when members of Congress speak not of victory but of time limits, deadlines, or other arbitrary measures, they're telling the enemy simply to run out the clock and wait us out.

Congress does, of course, play a critical role in the defense of the nation and the conduct of this war. That role is defined and limited by the Constitution -- after all, the military answers to one commander-in-chief in the White House, not to 535 commanders-in-chief on Capitol Hill. If they really support the troops, then we should take them at their word and expect them to meet the needs of our military on time, in full, and with no strings attached.

There is a third myth about the war on terror, and this is one that is perhaps the most dangerous. Some apparently believe that getting out of Iraq before the job is done will strengthen America's hand in the fight against the terrorists. This myth is dangerous because it represents a complete validation of the al Qaeda strategy. The terrorists do not expect to be able to beat us in a stand-up fight. They never have, and they're not likely to try. The only way they can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon the mission -- and the terrorists do believe that they can force that outcome. Time after time, they have predicted that the American people do not have the stomach for a long-term fight. They've cited the cases of Beirut in the '80s and Somalia in the '90s. These examples, they believe, show that we are weak and decadent, and that if we're hit hard enough, we'll pack it in and retreat. The result would be even greater danger for the United States, because if the terrorists conclude that attacks will change the behavior of a nation, they will attack that nation again and again. And believing they can break our will, they'll become more audacious in their tactics, ever more determined to strike and kill our citizens, and ever more bold in their ambitions of conquest and empire.

That leads me to the fourth, and the cruelest, myth -- and that is the false hope that we can abandon the effort in Iraq without serious consequences to our interests in the broader Middle East. The reality is that, if our coalition withdrew before Iraqis could defend themselves, radical factions would battle for dominance in that country. The violence would spread throughout the country, and be very difficult to contain. Having tasted victory in Iraq, jihadists would look for new missions. Many would head for Afghanistan and fight alongside the Taliban. Others would set out for capitals across the Middle East, spreading more sorrow and discord as they eliminate dissenters and work to undermine moderate governments. Still others would find their targets and victims in other countries on other continents.

We must consider, as well, just what a precipitous withdrawal would mean to our other efforts in the war on terror, to our interests in the broader Middle East, and to Israel. What would it tell the world if we left high and dry those millions of people who have counted on the United States to keep its commitments? What would it say to leaders like President Karzai and President Musharraf, who risk their lives every day as fearless allies in the war on terror? Commentators enjoy pointing out mistakes through 20/20 hindsight. But the biggest mistake of all can be seen in advance: A sudden withdrawal of our coalition would dissipate much of the effort that has gone into fighting the global war on terror, and result in chaos and mounting danger. And for the sake of our own security, we will not stand by and let it happen.

Five and a half years ago, the President told the Congress and the country that we had entered a new kind of war -- one that would require patience and resolve, and that would influence the policies of this government far into the future. The fact that we've succeeded in stopping another attack on our homeland does not mean that we won't be hit in the future. But the record is testimony not to good luck, but to urgent, competent action by a lot of very skilled men and women -- and to a series of tough decisions by a President who never forgets that his first job is to protect the people of this country.

We can be confident in the outcome of this struggle. America is a good and an honorable country. We serve a cause that is right, and a cause that gives hope to the oppressed in every corner of the Earth. We're the kind of country that fights for freedom, and the men and women in the fight are some of the bravest citizens this nation has ever produced. The only way for us to lose is to quit. But that is not an option. We will complete the mission, and we will prevail.
Source.

I was thinking earlier today at how angry the US voter should be with the Democrats, who throughout the 2006 election cycle PROMISED a plan to WIN the war in Iraq. Yet today, several months into Democrat control of Congress, where are the plans for victory?

Where are the discussions of victory?

All they have to offer are plans to end the war. Plans to pull out. Plans to cut and run. How will this achieve victory? The simple answer is that the Democrats have no plan for victory. They lied to the American voter, promised a super secret plan to win, and then took their new found power and dedicated all of their efforts to ensuring we lose the war on terror - that we leave Iraq whether we have won the war or not... consequences be damned.

George Bush made Iraq the central front in the war on Terror. He essentially drew a line in the sand and said "Bring it on!" The result has not been the tragic loss of thousands of US soldiers, the unreported result is the killing of tens of thousands of Islamo-fascists, who would just as happily drive a plane into a building, or blow up as school bus on US soil, as fight the US on a battlefield.

George Bush brought the fight to them, and the fight is still ongoing. He said scores of times that he was bringing the fight to them, so that the battle with terrorists did not play out on American soil. When the violence stops in Iraq it will be a sign that one side was victorious. As long as al Qaeda and other terrorists are willing to wage jihad in Iraq the US involvement in Iraq MUST continue.

Cheney gets it. Cheney understands what is at stake. The President knows what is at stake, but has been too silent in the face of criticism. Has been to weak and ineffective in dealing with the American press, which is hell bent on the US losing in Iraq. Bush has been too weak in dealing with the Democrats, who are hell bent on making the War in Iraq a mistake, even if they have to be the ultimate cause of the disaster by bringing our troops home too soon.

Cheney is 100% right about the Iraq War Mythology, so I think I outta get cracking and write a few more posts for that series.

More Good News From Iraq

But you have to visit Blackfive to see it.

Read more about the progress in Iraq.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Democrats Make Enormous Mistake / Send Wrong Message

Just as the troop surge was beginning to show real promise that the tides are turning in Iraq and total victory is within reach (see progress in Iraq posts), the Democrats in the House have taken the first steps towards ensuring defeat in the War on Terror.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US House of Representatives Friday voted to impose an August 31, 2008 deadline to pull combat troops out of Iraq, prompting a veto threat and a furious rebuke from President George W. Bush.

In the boldest challenge yet to Bush's war powers, lawmakers voted 218 to 212 to link a 124-billion-dollar war budget to a timeline for withdrawal, significantly raising the stakes in an escalating feud with the president.
More.

In doing so, Congress sends a powerful message to the troops:



The Democrats have claimed a "mandate" since the '06 election when they gained the narrowest of margins against the Republicans. They have taken their new found power and have at every opportunity provided no solutions for victory or for dealing with terrorism. Instead they have put forwards a "slow bleed," cut and run strategy that will only ensure that 9/11 is just a preamble to the what will inevitably come next.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Few Thoughts on Edwards

I do not like John Edwards. To be honest, I am not a fan of his wife, who I remember in '04 proudly declaring that you most certainly can support the troops and not their mission... No, you can't.

I don't really like the Edwardses, but I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers. I'm not going to take it easy on John: give him a pass when it is undeserved - but I will offer my deepest sympathy to his family. He won't get my vote, but he and his wife will have my sincerest hope that Elizabeth will beat this cancer.

I hope all of us on the right of the blogosphere show support for Elizabeth in her fight for life.

Cancer is a terrible thing. I have lost too many loved ones to cancer. I know what their family is going through and I am hoping for a miracle... And miracles do happen, you know. Sometimes people just wake up one morning and the cancer is gone. It is extremely rare, but it happens. I wish it happened for everybody. I wouldn't wish cancer on my worst enemy.

More Video of the Anti-War Rally

I came across this video over here. Take a good look at the crowd. Does it look like the "thousands" written about in the press, or the 10,000 claimed by answer?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Uh Oh, More Good news from Iraq

Warning, this post may challenge your preconceived notions about who is winning the Iraq War. A Perfect Contradiction cannot be held responsible for any spontaneous aneurysm that may result from the actual truth reaching your brain.

Lets start off with:

Downturn in violence, increased confidence
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD — Violence is down in Iraq and Iraqis “are starting to see this growth and gaining new confidence,” a coalition spokesman said.

Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell told reporters at a news conference that the decrease in violence has created an opportunity for new progress.

Combined efforts between coalition forces and Iraqi fighting forces have brought down the level of violence in the Iraqi capital, Caldwell said.

“Iraqi forces are getting better each day, and are demonstrating the commitment needed to defend the government and the people,” he added.
Read more.

If the surge is working, and it clearly is, then why are the Democrats so hell bent on pulling out of Iraq before victory is achieved? The answer, of course, is they want us to lose the Iraq war. They don't see a loss in Iraq as an American loss, they see a loss in Iraq as a political loss for the Republicans, George Bush in particlar. Their hatred of the right is so pervasive and so perverse that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of potentially millions of Iraqi's in order to achieve their short term political goals. But I digress, back to the progress in Iraq.

On the home front, after 4 years of decidedly negative media coverage, the MFN is reaching out directly to the American people, via You Tube.
Coalition operations on YouTube
Combined Press Information Center

YouTube users around the globe are tuning in for a unique view of the Multi-National Force – Iraq mission. It is the same view those on the ground have during combat and support operations.

Army officials here launched the military coalition’s channel on the popular video-sharing Web site March 7 and, 10 days later, are reporting more than 15,000 channel views and have passed 39,000 total views of the video clips currently posted.

“We launched this channel as a way to help tell the complete story about what coalition forces are doing in Iraq, but even we have been surprised by the high level of interest it has generated,” said Brent Walker, webmaster for www.mnf-iraq.com and the new channel’s supervisor. “It is exciting that people are responding to this footage. It shows people have a genuine interest in developing a more informed perspective on what is happening in Iraq.”

The initiative has attracted attention from several media sources and bloggers across the Internet, which is helping to drive up the channel’s viewership, Walker said.

“There are increasing numbers of people every day receiving their news and information in new and exciting ways. We want to be a part of that, and YouTube provides an excellent vehicle for sending this information to this unique audience,” he said.

The initiative also received strong support from MNF-I leadership and quickly moved from brainstorming sessions to action.

“We want the American public, from an unfiltered vantage point, to be able to see what coalition forces and Iraqi security forces are doing here in Iraq,” said Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, MNF-I spokesman.

Mechanisms are in place so video clips can quickly and accurately be posted to the Web site, while still adhering to operational security requirements, Walker said.
Read more.

Back to Iraq, Sadr City in particular. I've been blogging a bit about Sadr City recently, there has been a lot of good news coming out of what used to be one of the largest hot spots for violence in Iraq. The US forces along with Iraq Forces recently held a humanitarian outreach effort, providing medical aid to some of the poorest residents of Iraq.
Medical assistance operation in Sadr City
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraqi police from the 8th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division and paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team conducted a humanitarian medical assistance operation in Sadr City Mar. 17 as part of operations to bring security and stability to the former Mahdi Army stronghold.

Iraqi and Coalition medical providers treated 453 people, including 153 women and 122 children, during the first large-scale humanitarian aid operation conducted in Sadr City since Iraqi and Coalition forces moved into the area in early March.

“Medical operations are just one way that we can make an immediate positive impact in areas in which we operate. This is just the beginning of a long-term program to improve the quality of life for residents of Sadr City,” said Maj. Kyle Simpson, Brigade Civil Affairs Officer for the 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div.

“As we move forward, we will work with the Iraqis to improve the security, infrastructure, and economic conditions in Sadr City. It will take time, but life will get better in Sadr City,” added the civil affairs officer.

While residents were waiting to be seen, Civil Affairs Soldiers asked them about needs in their community in order to plan future development projects. Iraqi policemen and U.S. paratroopers also passed out hundreds of soccer balls, clothing, toys, shoes, and school supplies.

Since Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces entered Sadr City as part of the Baghdad Security Plan, violence has dropped off 75% and the overall security situation has dramatically improved since December, when surge troops began arriving.

Did you get that last part? The surge is WORKING and we are WINNING in Iraq.

Still need proof?
Fardh Al-Qanoon lowers violence in northwest Baghdad
BAGHDAD — Violence has reduced since moving Coalition forces out of big forward operating bases and into smaller community-based combat outposts as part of the Fardh Al-Qanoon, a senior Army officer serving there said Friday.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division has seen a significant drop in violence over the past few months in the province of Shula and Kadtimiya, said Col. J.B. Burton, the unit’s commander.

Murders are down, from 141 in January to 63 in February to only 16 so far in March, he said. However the area has seen an increase in car bombs targeting Shiite gathering places, Burton said.

About one million people live in the area patrolled by Burton’s troops. It is principally Shiite-occupied in the northeast, Sunni in the west and southwest, and mixed in the southeast. Sectarian fault lines define the areas, and both Sunni and Shiia extremists fight for control over portions of the city and its citizens, said Burton.

Burton stated that the decline in violence was directly attributed to his Soldiers living in the neighborhoods and working side by side with the Iraqi security forces.

Originally, the combat outposts were designed solely to create and keep a troop presence in the community. However, they have transformed the outposts into combined command posts, or joint security stations, with Iraqi forces working in cooperation with Coalition forces. This allowed for better and faster information sharing and easier operations planning, Burton said.

“Every day I go out and visit these joint security stations, I see better interoperability, increased command and control processes and increased sharing of information,” Burton said. “What we started out with as a means to get Coalition forces out into the battlefield has grown into a very promising effort to execute combined operations across western Baghdad.”

But, while violence has decreased since implementing the Fardh Al-Qanoon, Burton was quick to add that it is still too early to say how long the downturn will last.

“Make no mistake, we are not proclaiming victory yet. There's a lot of tough work ahead, but we are very optimistic,” Burton said.

Still need proof?

Troop surge paving way for political solution
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — The U.S. troop surge in Iraq is in its early stages, but seems to be paving the way for a political solution to the country’s woes, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on CBS's “Face the Nation.”

“The way I would characterize it is so far so good,” Gates said in his first network one-on-one interview since taking over at the Pentagon in December.

Gates said the situation in Iraq cannot be solved by the military alone, but the troop surge is helping create a political environment where issues can be sorted out among the Iraqis. “We’re basically buying them time. That’s the purpose of this whole strategy,” he said. “They’re going to have to step up to the plate. And we can help them by giving them the time to do that, and to make their military forces able to carry the burden by themselves.”

In January, President Bush pledged 21,500 additional U.S. troops to Iraq to help stem sectarian violence, and last week the Defense Department announced that 7,000 more support troops are on their way to Iraq.

Gates said the Iraqis are meeting their commitments and working to reconcile their differences. “The troops they have promised are showing up,” he said. “They are allowing operations in all neighborhoods. There is very little political interference with military operations.”

Gates said Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, has said it will probably be summer before it’s known if the surge has been successful. “That’s why we have to wait and see what kind of trend line appears over the next weeks and few months,” Gates said.

U.S. military commanders anticipate that as the U.S. changes its strategy in Iraq, terrorists and insurgents will also change strategies by operating in areas on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders have stated that they wanted to create a firm base in Anbar province and other areas to destabilize Iraq’s neighbors and launch attacks against the U.S.

Characterizing the situation in Iraq as a civil war is an oversimplification, Gates said. “The reality is that stoking sectarian violence is a very specific strategy on the part of al Qaeda and the insurgents,” he said. “You don’t have thousands of Shia and Sunni falling in on each other or attacking each other. You have hit squads going around the city.”

The defense secretary also talked about the vote to take place this week in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bill that would place constraints and a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq. Gates said everyone involved in the debate is patriotic and looking out for America’s best interests, and that most people agree, regardless of political affiliation, that leaving Iraq in chaos would be a mistake.

“We’re all wrestling with what’s the best way to bring about a result that serves the long-term interest, not only of the Iraqi people but of the United States,” he said.

Gates said he was concerned that the specific deadlines and strict conditions in the House bill will make it “difficult, if not impossible” for military commanders to achieve their objectives. “And frankly, as I read it, the House bill is more about withdrawal, regardless of the circumstances on the ground, than it is about trying to produce a positive outcome.”

Lest you think this is the only good news from Iraq in the past few days, take your time and enjoy the following:
Soldiers kill two insurgents before they can plant roadside bomb
Coalition Forces Detain 18 Suspected Terrorists
Iraqi Security Forces Soldiers stop suicide bombers
Coalition forces capture 12 suspected terrorists
Troops Find Weapons Cache, Detain Two Suspected Insurgents
Paratroopers find large weapon cache
IED maker, eight other suspects detained in raids
Coalition Forces Detain Nine Suspected Terrorists in Raids

Obama "Most Liberal" Candidate for Presidency

Obama "Most Liberal" Candidate for Presidency

Obama more liberal than Kucinich, analysis reveals
By Steven Thomma
McClatchy Newspapers

ObamaramaWASHINGTON - The most liberal member of Congress running for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination isn't Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

It's Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.
Read the article.




Wow, you have to try REALLY hard to be more liberal than Kucinich.

What I Missed On St Patty's Day

Well, I definitely missed the peak of of the protest, but Michelle Malkin didn't:



Honestly, though, the corned beef and Guinness were REALLY good. We probably should have done lunch after the protest. Oh well.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Gathering of Eagles / Anti War Rally

I made the long trek to DC this past weekend to see the Anti-War rally. I interviewed Capitol police, a few members of the Gathering of Eagles, and a few anti-war protesters.

(I'll blog about this in greater detail later and upload pictures... hopefully this afternoon).

Well it took a little longer to get the pics on to my laptop, but I am happy to be getting this post up.

Now I must admit I had hoped to be in the thick of things during the protest, but it was St. Patty's day and well... I was enjoying corned beef and cabbage and a pint of Guinness in a nice warm Irish Pub while the hundreds upon thousands of protesters were freezing in the cold and making idiots of themselves.

I started up on Capitol Hill and walked down to the Wall. While walking around the Capitol Building, I saw Capitol Police marching around the perimeter of the Capitol Building. They were marching 2 officers wide by about 7-8 deep in full gear. I thought about taking a picture of one of the several groups, but didn't want to draw their attention from the tasks. I also thought that taking pictures of a security detail in DC might draw the wrong kind of attention to myself.



When in front of the Capitol Building, I looked out towards the Washington Monument and didn't see much in the way of protesters or signs... just a lot of tourists with their families. I walked over to two of the Capitol Police, the two furthest to the left, to ask them a few questions.

I asked if there had been any vandalism to the Capitol Building or any of the monuments. He said that there hadn't been any reports of vandalism at that point, but that the protest was ongoing. I asked if there had been a lot of protesters. He said not at the Capitol, but that there were "a couple thousand" protesters somewhere between the Pentagon and the White House.

This was the view from Capitol Hill:


If you look at the middle of this picture you can see a yellow banner and some tents where some of the Protesters had made camp.

There were about 8-12 tents. Not a lot, really, for the millions upon millions of protesters who marched that day.



This is a pretty good representation of the tents. Several of the tents were large enough to sleep 5-6, and two of the tents were for meetings.



A few of the tents did not look large enough for anything other than a small curled up child.



Surprisingly, the ACLU did not show up and demand that these crosses be taken down.



I was afraid that maybe I had missed my chance to see the protesters. I did see a few here and there. Mostly in groups of 2-3, and occasionally in groups as many as 15-20. In all I estimate we saw 300-400 protesters. I am sure there were more, but most of the estimates I heard from people who watched were about 2000.



It is hard to see from this pic, but these protesters were carrying an effigy Bush with a flag covering his eyes. In one hand was a TV with CBS/ABC/FOX/CNN on it. In the other hand was an SUV and the names of some of the larger oil Companies. The protesters were chanting, "Don't be blinded by patriotism!" They were also chanting something about how the press is covering for the Bush's friends in the oil companies.



This guy was sitting right outside the Lincoln side entrance of the Wall. Below is another large crowd of what turned out to literally be billions and billions of protesters.



This large throng of protesters was right outside the Lincoln Memorial. Almost all of the protesters we saw came from that direction. When I was walking through, tourists outnumbered protesters about 10-1.



This was pretty typical of the signage. I posted this one out of order, it was near the tents.

When we made it to the wall, we did notice a few protesters. The ones we saw were solemn, respectful, and some of them were crying for loved ones lost. The wall, however, was untarnished.



I saw some of the Gathering of Eagles crowd and asked if there were any problems. "None, thank God," was their answer. One of the GoE members told me that Capitol Police had set up Metal Detectors at the entrances to keep cans of spray paint out. I asked if the protesters had become unruly. What I was told was the the great majority of protesters we visited the wall that day did so with all due respect.

Below are a few Vietnam Vets who came out for the GoE to protect the wall. These guys seemed pretty cool. They said there were LOT of Vietnam Vets, a large number of Iraq War Vets, and even a few WWII fellows all out to protect the monuments from vandalism. I asked if there were any altercations with the protesters. He said there was a good deal of shouting back and forth, but the protesters ultimately knew better than to start any trouble with their group.

He told me that there really weren't that many protesters and that there were at least as many and probably more Gathering of Eagles members than protesters.



I know that the Washington Post described the crowd of protesters in the thousands and the crowd of Gathering of Eagles in the hundreds. The protesters have claimed that their numbers were closer to 10,000.

I showed up when things were just about completely wound down. I estimate that I only saw a few hundred protestors, so 2000-2500 seems like a very reasonable number for the actual count. It was a really chilly day, with a strong cold wind that cut to the bone, so I am sure that the weather could have played a role in the rather low turn out.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Br'er McCain and the Tar Baby

Looks like Br'er McCain has got himself into a sticky situation:


McCain regrets use of term 'tar baby'
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

RINO

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Republican presidential contender John McCain on Friday used the term "tar baby," considered by some a racial epithet, and later said he regretted it.
Read the article.

No word on whether Jessie Jackson has been reached to schedule an apology:



I just don't like McCain.

To his credit, at least he didn't say something stupid like, Obama is the first clean, intelligent, articulate black man. Let's hope that the Biden effect takes hold and McCain disappears from the polls.

I have already decided that I am backing Giuliani for the Republican nod. I have also decided that the only possible running mate that I think Giuliani should consider is Newt Gingrich. He would balance out the ticket and make winning the White House a cake walk.

Interesting Hillary Pic: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy at Work

Believe it or not, this pic is real:


Looks like she is flicking us off, right? (h/t)



Amazingly, the "Related" news story listed by Yahoo is "Clinton: Right-wing conspiracy is back"

Is this irony or just an amazing coincidence?

In the related story we learn that on Tuesday (March 13, 2007) Hillary said, "To the New Hampshire Democratic Party's credit, they sued and the trail led all the way to the Republican National Committee. So if anybody tells you there is no vast, right-wing conspiracy, tell them that New Hampshire has proven it in court"

Hillary was alluding to an incident where some Republicans in New Hampshire, in what was clearly a dirty trick, jammed phones to disturb a Democratic "get out the vote" effort.

I suppose using Hillary's logic (woops... now there is an oxymoron if ever I saw one) that when Acorn (an extremely liberal, 100% democrat supporting group) paid an Ohio man in "crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey" that this must, by analogy, be proof of a "vast left wing conspiracy."(Source.) Why would a Democrat front group go out and register dead people as Democrats?

Or when Democrats pay homeless people with cigarettes to vote Democrat. Would this help evidence a vast left wing conspiracy?

Why is there only ever talk of a vast right wing conspiracy?

Maybe it is because only moonbats subscribe to vast conspiracies of any sort.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad Admits Guilt in 9/11 Attacks


Al Qaeda Operative Admits to Masterminding 9/11 Attacks
By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2007 – Suspected al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Muhammad has admitted masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as well as the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

“I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z,” an interpreter read from Muhammad’s statement to the Combatant Status Review Tribunal on March 10 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The tribunal was an administrative trial to determine only whether Muhammad could be designated as an enemy combatant. Muhammad used the opportunity to submit, through an interpreter, a two-part personal statement with 38 terrorism-related admissions.

He led the list by pledging his jihad allegiance to Osama bin Laden and finished with an admission to trying to destroy the American oil company in Indonesia owned by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Muhammad claimed responsibility for the 2001 attempted shoe bombing of American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris.

He offered a chilling confession to “managing and following up on the Cell for the Production of Biological Weapons, such as anthrax and others, and following up on Dirty Bomb Operations on American soil.”

He also named four other skyscrapers that were supposed to be destroyed in a “second wave” of attacks after 9/11. They were the Library Tower in Los Angeles, the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Plaza Bank in Seattle and the Empire State Building in New York City.

“I shared responsibility for the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II while he was visiting the Philippines,” Muhammad also admitted.

Muhammad’s lengthy closing oral statement began with a pledge to Allah in Arabic followed by a refusal to take an oath as part of the tribunal. He explained that he was not lying, but that his religious beliefs prevented him taking the oath and thereby accepting, at least in part, American law and its constitution.

Muhammad went on to say that he was not trying to make himself out to be a hero, but an enemy of America.

He drew a comparison between bin Laden and George Washington, both fighting for independence, and said that the term terrorist is “deceiving.” He said that during the Revolutionary War, Washington would have been considered a terrorist by the British.

Muhammad said he did not like to kill people, especially children.

“I don’t like to kill people. I feel very sorry they been killed kids in 9/11,” Muhammad said in broken English. But, he said, their deaths are part of the “language” of war.

He closed by stating that war is part of life and that it will never stop.

Unclassified transcripts of the tribunal are online at: www.defenselink.mil/news/Combatant_Tribunals.html.

Muhammad’s tribunal was one of three for the 14 high-value detainees who were transferred Sept. 6 to Guantanamo Bay from CIA custody.

Proceedings were March 9 for Abu Faraj al-Libi, an alleged senior member of al Qaeda, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who is said to have helped Muhammad plan the Sept. 11 attacks.

Shibh also elected to not participate in the tribunal. His personal representative said that Shibh was “uncooperative and unresponsive.”

Evidence submitted by the U.S. government against Shibh included a diary recovered in a 2004 raid detailing his involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks. He was also identified on a videotape of potential suicide operatives, the evidence cited. Shibh attempted to obtain a U.S. visa four times in 2000 for the purpose of attending flight school here, the evidence states. All applications were rejected.

Many other connections to pre-9/11 terrorist activities were cited in the evidence, including wiring money to the actual terrorist hijackers.

Libi elected to not participate in the tribunal, citing through his personal representative that his freedom “far too important to be decided by an administrative process” and that he is awaiting legal proceedings.

Evidence submitted against Libi included sources who stated that Libi was the supervisor of an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. Computer and other documentation were seized during his capture that contained manuals for explosives, detonators, chemicals, military tactics, missiles and tanks.

CSRTs are a one-time administrative process used to determine whether detainees at Guantanamo Bay can be designated as enemy combatants. No decisions have been made about the detainees’ status.

Not all of the three detainees chose to participate in the CSRT proceedings. It was not released which detainees did or did not participate. The detainees have a right to personal representation and to receive an unclassified summary of evidence in advance of the hearing.

The CSRTs for the detainees were not open to media because of national security concerns.

The U.S. government established the CSRT process at Guantanamo Bay as a result of a June 2004 Supreme Court decision in the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for bin Laden who challenged his detention at Guantanamo Bay. Between July 2004 and March 2005, DoD held 558 CSRTs at Guantanamo Bay. At the time, 38 detainees were determined to no longer meet the definition of enemy combatant, and 520 detainees were found to be enemy combatants.


UNCLASSIFIED
Department of Defense
Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy
Combatants at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
08 February 2007
TO: Personal Representative
FROM: OIC, CSRT (08 Feb 07)
SUBJECT: SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE FOR COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW
TRIBUNAL - MUHAMMAD, KHALID SHAYKH

1. Under the provisions of the Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, dated 14 July 2006, Implementation of Combatant Status Review Tribunal Procedures for Enemy Combatants Detained at US. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a Tribunal has been appointed to determine if the detainee is an enemy combatant.

2. An enemy combatant has been defined as "an individual who was part of or supporting the Taliban or a1 Qaida forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who committed a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces."

3. The following facts support the determination that the detainee is an enemy combatant.

a. On the morning of 1 1 September 200 1, four airliners traveling over the United States were hijacked. The flights hijacked were: American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93. At approximately 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, resulting in the collapse of the tower at approximately 10:25 a.m. At approximately 9:05 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into he South Tower of the World Trade Center, resulting in the collapse of the tower at approximately 955 a.m. At approximately 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. At approximately 10:03 aim., United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Stoney Creek Township, Pennsylvania. These crashes and subsequent damage to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon resulted in the deaths of 2,972 persons in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

b. The detainee served as the head of the a1 Qaida military committee and was Usama bin Laden's principal a1 Qaida operative who directed the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States.

c. In an interview with an a1 Jazeera reporter in June 2002, the detainee stated he was the head of the a1 Qaida military committee.
R- 1
Page 1 of 3
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED
SUBJECT: SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE FOR COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW
TRIBUlVAL - MUHAMMAD, KHALID SHAYKH

d. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained information about the four airplanes hijacked on 1 1 September 2001 including code names, airline company, flight number, target, pilot name and background information, and names of the hijackers.

e. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained
photographs of 19 individuals identified as the 1 1 September 200 1 hijackers.

f. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained a document that listed the pilot license fees for Mohammad Atta and biographies for some of the 1 1 September 200 1 hijackers.

g. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained images of passports and an image of Mohammad Atta.

h. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained transcripts of chat sessions belonging to at least one of the 11 September 2001 hijackers.

i. The detainee directed an individual to travel to the United States to case targets for a second wave of attacks.

j. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained three letters from Usama bin Laden.

k. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained
spreadsheets that describe money assistance to families of known a1 Qaida members.

1. The detainee's name was on a list in a computer seized in connection with a threat to United States airlines, United States embassies and the Pope.

m. The detainee wrote the bojinkaplot, the airline bomb plot which was later found on
his nephew Ramzi Yousefs computer.

n. The bojinkaplot is also known as the Manila air investigation.

o. The Manila air investigation uncovered the detainee conspired with others to plant
explosive devices aboard American jetliners while those aircraft were scheduled to be airborne and loaded with passengers on their way to the United States.

p. The detainee was in charge of and funded an attack against United States military
vessels heading to the port of Djibouti.

q. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained a letter to the United Arab Emirates threatening attack if their government continued to help the United
States.
Page 2 of 3
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED
SUBJECT: SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE FOR COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW
TRIBUNAL - MUHAMMAD, KHALID SHAYKH

r. During the capture of the detainee, information used exclusively by a1 Qaida
operational managers to communicate with operatives was found.

s. The detainee received funds from Kuwaiti-based Islamic extremist groups and
delivered the funds to a1 Qaida members.

t. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained a document that summarized operational procedures and training requirements of an a1 Qaida cell.

u. A computer hard drive seized during the capture of the detainee contained a list of killed and wounded a1 Qaida martyrs.

v. Passport photographs of a1 Qaida operatives were seized during the capture of the
detainee.

4. The detainee has the opportunity to contest his designation as an enemy combatant. The Tribunal will endeavor to arrange for the presence of any reasonably available witnesses or evidence that the detainee desires to call or introduce to prove that he is not an enemy combatant and that is deemed relevant to that issue. The Tribunal President will determine the reasonable availability and relevance of evidence or witnesses.
Page 3 of 3
UNCLASSIFIED

Iraq Progress Update: Soldiers Greeted by Cheering Children in Sharqot

This past weekend I watched a news story about the dwindling subscription numbers for traditional newspapers. Believe it or not, I have the solution to the newspaper industry woes. When the NYT's starts putting articles like this next one on it's front page, I and countless others will subscribe. Until then, and as long as they only cover terrorist propaganda and the US body count, I simply will not buy the newspapers.

Enjoy a story the traditional media would not dare print:

Army platoon enters uncharted territory
Wednesday, 14 March 2007
By Staff Sgt. Antonieta Rico

SHARQOTIn a moment reminiscent of the first triumphant days of the Iraq war, American Soldiers walked through a crowd of cheering Iraqi children. On a dirt road in the village of Sharqot, the children whistled loudly for the Soldiers, then, remarkably, broke into applause.

Surprised, 1st Lt. Michael E. Havey Jr. beamed at the cheering crowd.

“That was pretty monumental,” said Havey, platoon leader of 3rd platoon, Battery A, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment. “(Before) they wouldn’t even give us a wave.”

Territory for Soldiers of 5-82 FA, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas was recently expanded to include Sharqot, a town about 60 miles south of Mosul.

The people of Sharqot have remained mostly unexposed to coalition forces since the beginning of the war, said Havey.

In Sharqot, the coalition Soldiers have a chance at a fresh start with the Iraqi people.

“I’m trying to work with the people so that they understand that I’m there to help them, not hurt them, with my forces,” said Lt. Col Robert McLaughlin, battalion commander.

Soldiers of Havey’s platoon, who are in charge of Sharqot, find themselves in a delicate situation. They have to root out terrorists believed to be hiding in the area, without isolating the people of Sharqot.

The happy scene of children cheering was a stark contrast to another scene hours earlier, when Havey had sat before an Iraqi colonel, asking him to convince his Iraqi soldiers to join his own Soldiers in handing out clothing and blankets to needy people in the town.

The colonel refused. He recommended Havey get the people of Sharqot to welcome the Soldiers of 3rd Platoon, then maybe his Iraqi soldiers would be willing to be seen working alongside the Americans.

“When you make relationship with the people outside, then we go with you,” said the Iraqi colonel, through an interpreter. The colonel is the commander of the 13th Strategic Infrastructure Battalion, the Iraqi army unit responsible for the Sharqot area.

“They are afraid of working side by side with coalition forces,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gabriel Boyd, platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon. Boyd said he thinks the Iraqi soldiers feel terrorists will target their families and other people in Sharqot if they work with the 3rd Platoon troops.

Townspeople are guarded about how coalition presence will change the security situation in Sharqot, said leaders of 5-82 FA.

“Maybe the people were a little bit complacent in the fact that things were quiet, but they didn’t care how or why they were quiet,” said Havey. “They were willing to put up with having terrorists and other people coming through so long as it wasn’t directly harming them.”

But Soldiers of 3rd Platoon cannot ignore terrorist presence in the area.

“As long as they are complacent and quiet about it, it will continue to grow. (Terrorists) will continue to launch operations from that area,” Havey said, “Eventually it will come back to (the people)…That’s only bad for them,” he said.

So the Soldiers of 3rd Platoon, Battery A are patiently trying to win over the people of Sharqot. They hope their concentrated efforts will pay off, not only in earning the respect of the townspeople, but also in stopping terrorists from spreading their influence.

Based on the advice of the 13th SIB commander, Soldiers of 3rd Platoon are courting the sheiks of Sharqot as a way to earn the trust of the 13th SIB Soldiers. Havey believes having the trust of the Iraqi soldiers is an indicator of the feelings of the people of Sharqot, since most of the SIB Soldiers are from the Sharqot area.

“Sheiks, particularly in this area, seem to hold more influence and more power, even though they don’t hold an official position,” Havey said, referring to the fact that Iraqi soldiers are more likely to listen to their sheik instead of government officials.

“If we win the Sheiks’ hearts, we can also win the people,” said Boyd.

In the past six weeks, since 3rd Platoon started operating in Sharqot, the Soldiers have met with the Sharqot sheiks and the city council. They have signed contracts with local workers for small projects in the area, including one to clean up trash in the town.

One of the most influential sheiks in Sharqot has seen the work of 3rd Platoon Soldiers and is spreading the good word to his people, said Boyd. When the Soldiers handed out clothing and blankets to the people of Sharqot, it was from the home of the sheik.

“Just the people seeing us with him, and him feeling safe with us, meant a great deal,” said Havey.

“The ultimate goal is to be able to work with 13th SIB Soldiers and Iraqi Police in Sharqot, build the trust with the local populace, continue working projects in the area for the people and interdict any anti-Iraqi forces that may be influencing the population of Sharqot,” Boyd said.

With the new security plan in Baghdad, 5-82FA Soldiers believe terrorist activity could increase in their area.

“If we control the area of Baghdad, obviously anti-Iraqi forces will try to push somewhere,” Boyd said.

And the Soldiers of 3rd Platoon are intent that that “somewhere” will not be Sharqot.

“We don’t want any anti-Iraqi forces coming from the south to influence the people of Sharqot,” Boyd said

“It’s a hard process down there and our Soldiers are working patiently,” Boyd said

Already their efforts are paying off. Havey said the people have begun to warm up to the platoon Soldiers.

“They seemed a lot more relaxed,” he said.

With a smile he recalls the cheering children.

“It was a pretty moving moment,” Havey said.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle: My Review

Today I began watching what is THE MUST SEE documentary of 2007.

The Great Global Warming Swindle is undoubtedly the greatest rebuke of Global Warming I have ever seen. Imagine EVERY hole in the theory of global warming being exposed in one simple, easily understood television program. Add to that the theory of solar activity explained in great detail, in a very easily understood manner.

It is my sincerest hope that this program is brought to America. In the meantime, it is available online. I'm not sure if that is with the permission of the producers or not, but google video currently has the video up here.

Honestly, this documentary is simply amazing. Every article I have ever read in opposition to global warming (and that is MANY, MANY articles) seem to be represented in this movie.

If you don't believe in global warming, you should see this movie.

if you do believe in global warming, YOU MUST SEE THIS VIDEO!!!

Assimilate or Be Destroyed: How Global Warming Scientists Reach A Consensus



Global warming proponents have found an effective way to silence skeptics: they just threaten to kill anyone who disagrees with them.

I'm not kidding:


Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'
By Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph

Scientists who questioned mankind's impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.

They say the debate on global warming has been "hijacked" by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.
Read More.

Is there any question how unhinged the global warming crowd has become? Is there any question that global warming is becoming a quasi-religion?

Why are global warming proponents so afraid of open, honest debate about the cause of global changes in temperature?

Read more about global warming.

Quote of the Day

It’s time to check all of your electronic devices to see if they made the transition to the new Daylight Saving Time hours that started two weeks earlier this year thanks to several hundred bloviating retards in Congress.
via Barking Moonbat

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Edwards: Jesus would be 'appalled' at US selfishness

Incase you missed this story last week:



Edwards: Jesus would be ‘appalled’ by U.S
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Multimillionaire Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says Jesus would be “appalled” at how the United States has ignored the plight of those suffering around the world.

Edwards, who was recently criticized by his neighbors in North Carolina for building a monstrous estate reportedly covering 102 acres of land, said in an interview with the Web site Beliefnet.com that Jesus would be most upset with the selfishness of Americans and the country’s willingness to go to war “when it’s not necessary.”

“I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs,” Edwards told the site. “I think he would be appalled, actually.”

NEWSFLASH: Hey Liberals: paying an accountant to figure out the way to pay the least in taxes, and then paying those taxes IS NOT CHARITY!!!!

I love when these elitist limousine liberals talk about how awful the plebian class is in America, how WE ALL ought to be giving more, and how taxes, in general, just aren't high enough. Maybe when you are as rich as they are and have so much that it is cheaper to pay a team of accountants to figure out how not to pay your taxes - when in reality they have so much they could just write the check and not even feel it. They want to raise taxes on those of us who don't "save" by hiring accountants while they figure out creative ways to screw Uncle Sam.

Then they have the audacity to say they don't need a tax cut (how many of them gave the money back though?) and that taxes aren't high enough. They have the audacity to think that they are charitable because they want to raise OUR taxes and make us adopt THEIR social welfare programs.

Hey John, if you want to give back to the community, why not open up your brand new mansion to the homeless? Why not make it a woman's shelter, or let some poor inner city kids move in with you so they can go to a good school. THAT is charity, not raising taxes on everyone else.

America is Drunk on / Addicted to Ethanol?

I wanted to write earlier this week about how beef, chicken, and pork prices may jump because of growing interest in ethanol:

Corn ethanol to raise meat prices
Associated Press
Originally published March 10, 2007
WASHINGTON - Strong demand for corn from ethanol plants is driving up the cost of livestock and will raise prices for beef, pork and chicken, the Agriculture Department said yesterday.

Meat and poultry production will fall as producers face higher feed costs, the department predicted in its monthly crop report. Corn ethanol fuel, which is blended with gasoline, is consuming 20 percent of last year's crop and is expected to gobble up more than 25 percent of this year's crop.

The price of corn, the main feed for livestock, has driven the cost of feeding chickens up 40 percent, according to the National Chicken Council.

The most popular meat with consumers will soon cost more at the grocery store, the council predicts. The industry worries the competition from ethanol could cause a shortage of corn.

I thought this tied in nicely from a story a few weeks back about how rising corn costs will make tortilla's, a staple in the mexican diet, too expensive for for millions of improvished Mexicans.

Romancing the corn
The price of a tortilla is going up—and the United States is partly to blame. America’s infatuation with ethanol has a price south of the border. And in the aftermath of tight elections in Mexico, it’s enough to shake the political landscape.
Read more.

Although America may not be the "great satan" behind the rising price of the tortilla:
Washington, DC -– Rising tortilla prices in Mexico are due to a supply issue in that country – not increased U.S. ethanol production or U.S. corn prices.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) report that lower corn production in Mexico and the lack of import licenses have caused white corn shortages there.

In any event, a recent AP article does an amazing job covering the emerging ethanol problem:

Biofuels Boom Raises Tough Questions
MATT CRENSON
AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- America is drunk on ethanol. Farmers in the Midwest are sending billions of bushels of corn to refineries that turn it into billions of gallons of fuel. Automakers in Detroit have already built millions of cars, trucks and SUVs that can run on it, and are committed to making millions more. In Washington, politicians have approved generous subsidies for companies that make ethanol.

And just this week, President Bush arranged with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for their countries to share ethanol production technology.

Even alternative fuel aficionados are surprised at the nation's sudden enthusiasm for grain alcohol.

"It's coming on dramatically; more rapidly than anyone had expected," said Nathanael Greene, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

You'd think that would be good news, but it actually worries a lot of people.

The problem is, ethanol really isn't ready for prime time. The only economical way to make ethanol right now is with corn, which means the burgeoning industry is literally eating America's lunch, not to mention its breakfast and dinner. And though ethanol from corn may have some minor benefits with regard to energy independence, most analysts conclude its environmental benefits are questionable at best.

Proponents acknowledge the drawbacks of corn-based ethanol, but they believe it can help wean America off imported oil the way methadone helps a junkie kick heroin. It may not be ideal, but ethanol could help the country make the necessary and difficult transition to an environmentally and economically sustainable future.

There are many questions about ethanol's place in America's energy future. Some are easily answered; others, not so much.

...

WHAT ABOUT ETHANOL'S ECONOMIC BENEFITS?

Making ethanol is so profitable, thanks to government subsidies and continued high oil prices, that plants are proliferating throughout the Corn Belt. Iowa, the nation's top corn-producing state, is projected to have so many ethanol plants by 2008 it could easily find itself importing corn in order to feed them.

But that depends on the Invisible Hand. Making ethanol is profitable when oil is costly and corn is cheap. And the 51 cent-a-gallon federal subsidy doesn't hurt. But oil prices are off from last year's peaks and corn has doubled in price over the past year, from about $2 to $4 a bushel, thanks mostly to demand from ethanol producers.

High corn prices are causing social unrest in Mexico, where the government has tried to mollify angry consumers by slapping price controls on tortillas. Lester R. Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, predicts food riots in other major corn-importing countries if something isn't done.

U.S. consumers will soon feel the effects of high corn prices as well, if they haven't already, because virtually everything Americans put in their mouths starts as corn. There's corn flakes, corn chips, corn nuts, and hundreds of other processed foods that don't even have the word corn in them. There's corn in the occasional pint of beer and shot of whisky. And don't forget high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that is added to soft drinks, baked goods, candy and a lot of things that aren't even sweet.

Some freaks even eat it off the cob.

It's true that animals eat more than half of the corn produced in America; guess who eats them? On Friday the Agriculture Department announced that beef, pork and chicken will soon cost consumers more thanks to the demand of ethanol for corn.

It's also true that there's a difference between edible sweet corn and the feed corn that's used for ethanol production. But because farmers try to grow the most profitable crop they can, higher prices for feed corn tend to discourage the production of sweet corn. That decreases its supply, driving the price of sweet corn up, too.

In fact, many agricultural economists believe rising demand for feed corn has squeezed the supply - and boosted the price - of not just sweet corn but also wheat, soybeans and several other crops.

America's appetite for corn is enormous. But Americans consume so much gasoline that all the corn in the world couldn't make enough ethanol to slake the nation's lust for transportation fuels. Last year ethanol production used 12 percent of the U.S. corn harvest, but it replaced only 2.8 percent of the nation's gasoline consumption.

"If we were to adopt automobile fuel efficiency standards to increase efficiency by 20 percent, that would contribute as much as converting the entire U.S. grain harvest into ethanol," Brown said.

Read the Full Article... a must read if you are interested in Ethanol.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mysterious "Substances" Found in Iraq Weapons Cache

It's probably nothing, but I thought I'd better mention it:

Coalition, Iraqi forces dismantling terrorist network
Saturday, 10 March 2007

IRAQ — Coalition and Iraqi forces detained 48 suspected terrorists and found several weapons caches in operations throughout Iraq on March 5 and 6.

Coalition forces detained 24 suspected terrorists during several raids targeting al Qaeda in Iraq networks.

- In southern Baghdad, ground forces detained eight suspected terrorists during a raid in which they targeted a group reported to be involved in the coordination, movement and emplacement of car bombs used against Iraqi and coalition forces.

- In Rutbah, coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists while targeting a suspected weapons dealer who is known for providing improvised explosive device-making material and is also believed to be involved in foreign fighter facilitation.

- In Samarra, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists. Intelligence reports indicate terrorists in the targeted area are involved in weapons trafficking and the acquisition of identity cards and passports.

- Northeast of Karmah, coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists with alleged ties to senior al Qaeda in Iraq leadership.

"Coalition forces operations continue to systematically dismantle the al Qaeda in Iraq network," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "The al Qaeda in Iraq network is contrary to the peace and stability Iraqi citizens deserve."

In other developments, Iraqi army troops and paratroopers from Multinational Division Baghdad worked together to successfully complete "Operation White Rockets," finding two ammunition caches and detaining two suspects.

Soldiers of 5th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Squadron, dismounted to clear out suspected insurgent sanctuary areas near Bin Muhammad, south of Baghdad.

They discovered and confiscated caches consisting of homemade explosives, some unknown substances, weapon parts and ammunition.

While troops clearing buildings, they detained two suspects. An explosive ordnance disposal team secured the ammunition caches for controlled detonation. The unknown substances are being tested for identification.

Elsewhere, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained 22 insurgent suspects and secured weapon and ammunition caches south of Baghdad March 6.

Soldiers of 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, conducted targeted raids to capture known terrorists and secure weapons and ammunition near Jabella. Besides the 22 detainees taken into custody, several caches were found.

The caches consisted of a 60 mm mortar round, two sticks of dynamite, 9 feet of detonation cord, three blasting caps, three AK-47 ammunition magazines, three passports, a machine gun barrel, an AK-47 butt stock, two empty ammunition boxes, one box of primers, two AK-47s, six 7.62 mm ammunition magazines, one 8 mm round, two 8 mm mortar fuses, five blasting caps, and a rocket-propelled-grenade booster.

Like I said, it is probably nothing, but until the tests come back we can't rule this out as being insignificant.

It's good to see that the progress in continuing in Iraq.

Read more of the recent Progress in Iraq.