Saturday, September 23, 2006

OBL Dead from Typhoid? So Say the French.

Update: Al-Qaeda's reaction to the French small press release of the news that OBL might finally be dead, is to start releasing videos of torture victims, allegedly US soldiers which AQ allegedly tortured to death. Notice all of the allegations--no proven facts as of yet. FOXnews has more details and a video report.

For those of you who don't read/understand French (the headline links to the original article in French), we offer you the English interpretation by The Jerusalem Post.

According to the French regional newspaper, l'Est Republicain, Al-Qaeda (former) leader, Osama bin Laden contracted typhoid in Pakistan on or about August 23, 2006 and later died from it. The exact date of death is not known, but the Saudi Security service first heard of OBL's alleged death on or about September 4, 2006 (see screen shot of Al-Jazeera video below).

Saudi Security has requested the location of the burial site but have not yet announced having it found it yet.

In Pakistan, a senior official of that country's top spy agency, the ISI or Directorate of Inter-Service Intelligence, said he had no information to confirm bin Laden's whereabouts or that he might be dead. The official said he believed the report could be fabricated. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on the topic and spoke on condition of anonymity.


We all need to be held accountable to ourselves, to our own conscience, to our own souls. But there are times when it's helpful to hold oneself accountable to those strangers who've sacrified a piece of themselves--literally--on your behalf without your ever having to ask them for the service.

I'm talking about wounded soldiers in case you can't guess. There are military personnel literally laying down their lives every single day so you and I can sit here in the free world and just read blogs, send emails, go to a safe job where we do all kinds of things that may threaten our patience but not our existence on this good Earth.

Then there are the warriors' families. They sacrifice, too. It's hard enough to send your spouse, sibling or child off to fight a war no one in the world seems to figure is worth fighting, but to have them come back broken into little pieces and be ignored is adding insult to the injury. So here's some accountability.

One Marines View has a description of a warrior who served four tours, not just once did he and his family surrender his freedom so he could go off and fight for our right to be free, but four times! This last time, he was injured so severely, there's no telling if even the folks at Walter Reed in DC (one of the nation's best facilities) can gather enough pieces of him to get him up and running once more. At this point, it'd be nice if he were simply up and breathing on his own.

Imagine this being the condition of your husband or son. Pretty trying on your nerves, right? Well, if you stop by One Marines View and read the comment thread, you'll see both ideas and addresses for how you can help. If you live close enough to DC, stop by and ask what you can do to help. Even giving his family 10 minutes headspace to leave the room and see the sunshine will help--but you can bet they're not leaving his side unless someone else comes by to hold down the fort. You can be that someone else, if you live close enough.

If you don't live close enough to go in person and volunteer to give his family a break by visiting with him, write a letter--to him, to his wife, to his mother. To anyone at Walter Reed (there's an address at One Marines View.

Don't like paper or haven't got any stamps? Really more into the online thing? No problem! Add a pointer from your blog to One Marines View and get the word out. Email your friends, mention it at work. Write to him, write to his wife, write to his mother.

Do whatever you can to spread the word--but do something.

You can also go visit a Military Hospital in your local area. This wounded soldier is far, far from the only one getting sent home this way. There's a WAR going on, in case you hadn't heard. Let's show our support by spending our own time and effort, not just the lives of the ones who put on the uniforms on our behalf.

Another Rally That "Never Happened"

Atlas Shrugs, thank you for keeping the truth in the blogosphere. Otherwise, we'd have to wonder if tens of THOUSANDS of people were just hallucinating about having attended a rally Friday. The media sure as sugar ain't reporting it as an event worth noting.

Officially Screwed documented the event on video (available as embedded YouTube players). Check it out and join the thousands of us living in the Twilight Zone, believing peaceful protests can and do happen in the world, no matter how much of a media blackout there is in the MSM.

Hamas & Fatah: Back to Zero

Both The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz are carrying an AP News story on the fact that Abbas and Haniyeh are actually talking to each other again. They're not saying much and the whole thing is being summed up as "unity government talks back to zero" Well, no kidding!! When Abbas goes to beg US Dollars (and gets turned down) and the people on the street come begging for work or governmental aid (and get shot for it), I kinda think there's not much point to two idjits in fancy suits sitting down to talk. Oh wait, it was a Kodak moment. Now I see the point.

The "talks" are probably focused more on how to team up to get money than they are on how to make an actual government for the "Palestinian" people. Their whole focus is on getting the international aid (read: American Dollars) to start flowing again. Since Haniyeh still insists Israel has no right to exist, and Abbas is courting Egypt, they might actually converge on a point of agreement. Egypt doesn't want Israel around much longer either. Funny, Egypt used to be such a good neighbor.

Nasrallah wants it all--and thinks he can get it!

Update: From The Jerusalem PostApproximately 800,000 converged on Beruit where Nasrallah, under heavy guard and speaking behind bullet-proof glass, thanked God for what he called a "divine victory" against the Jewish state. Okay, if that's what you call victory...but next time, maybe forego the bullet-proof cage and come out to where our bullets can show you Victory in the real world.

Here are the headlines:
From Ha'aretz:
Nasrallah: No army in the world can disarm Hezbollah
From Jerusalem Post:
Nasrallah hails 'victory' in first appearance since July
From AP News:
Hezbollah Leader: Arsenal Undiminished
From Ynet:
Nasrallah: We have 20,000 missiles
And we know from this summer, Nasrallah is not afraid to use them--against innocent civilians, his own and Israeli.

The news sources are all telling the same story. Nasrallah feels victorious, says as much and is still intent on taking over the world. Guess he's a fan of The Brain, too.

The problem, of course, is the UN. Yeah, big surprise. The UN Peacekeepers (*laugh*) are shaking the hands of the Hezbollah as they walk on by--excuse me, as they march on Beruit.

Meanwhile, Deputy-General Guy of the Givati Brigades currently patrolling southern Lebanon said this morning that even if Nasrallah attended the Hizbullah 'victory' rally later today, the IDF would not attempt to assassinate Nasrallah. Of course, we can make no guarantees about stray bullets and what they might do. After all, Nasrallah still hasn't made any friends in the Sunni world.
Many Christian and Druse minorities, as well as the large Sunni Muslim community, are unconvinced [by Nasrallah's 'victory' speeches'] and have called for the state [of Lebanon] and its military to be the only armed force in Lebanon. (see Yahoo! News for more)

Moving Right Along...

If you're reading my blog bottom-up, you'll see a theme going on here. New Year's across Asia. Starts out happy enough but there is more trouble brewing on the other side of the Himalayans. Over in Thailand, the PM is looking at possible prosecution at the hands of his former top military man. According to The Jerusalem Post, after Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin effected a coup, removing Thaksin Shinawatra from the PM's office, vast assets were identified but not (yet) seized. Sondhi said to the Post "those who have committed wrongdoings have to be prosecuted according to the law." There was no mention of what exactly has happened to Thaksin's assets, though I suppose some of the poverty-stricken and starving Thai people might have an idea or two of how to spend the money.

Thaksin Shinawatra, meanwhile, has fled towards the United Kingdom, where his reception may be less than warm. He has no meetings scheduled, as far as Britain's PM Tony Blair knows. I think Thaksin better be sure to have his papers ready and in order.

The coup was, overall, rather peaceful. There were some skirmishes but civilians' lives were not put at risk unduly, nor were there riots in the streets. Sondhi has noted he does intend to act as PM in the interim but was careful to add on behalf of his party, "We would like to reaffirm that we don't have any intention to rule the country and will return power to the Thai people as soon as possible." Sondhi was flanked by the three armed forces chiefs and the national police chief at the time of this remark. I'd say he has the support of the military and the people. Thaksin seems to be the only loser here and as losers do, he's running as fast as his misappropriated assets will carry him.

Bangladesh Not So Happy this New Year

The RIFs War on Peace continues as a Muslim journalist who tried to publish moderate and pro-Israel views is arrested (again) in Bangladesh.

As editor of The Weekly Blitz, an English-language newspaper published in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury criticized the Muslim extremists and urged the government to take a more friendly stance with Israel. Bangladesh does not recognize Israel's existence and refuses to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Read more about him and his paper at MidEast Web.

Because of his "radical" views, Choudhury was arrested in 2003 and charged with sedition (you catching this whole theme here?), held in prison for 17 months (without bail) and was reportedly tortured before being "freed" in April 2005. The government still has charges outstanding against him and has recently decided to pursue him in court (again).

The government is not the only assailant Choudhury faces. Last month, unknown assailants set off explosives outside the newspaper's offices and planted a bomb in the press room that failed to detonate.

In a May 20, 2005 opinion piece published in The Jerusalem Post, Choudhury wrote: "As a journalist, I counteracted the biased 'news' that promoted hatred of Israel and Jews, condemned terrorism, promoted the free exchange of ideas and urged Bangladesh to recognize Israel."

Read Dr. Benkin's site in support of Choudhury for more info on how you can offer your support of this "radical" thinker.

Happy New Year!!

Well, I had great cause to celebrate last night anyway--the Jewish New Year, 5767, began at sunset last night--but this morning's news about Osama bin Laden's possible death from typhoid is just icing on the cake! Enjoy the sounds of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and partying in India. I'll just bet there was much partying in India this Rosh Hashanah *grin*

Party on Baghsu!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Al-Reuters Supporting Palestinian Terror

Thank you LGF for always finding the good stuff! Reuters, it would seem, is donating armored cars to the terrorists. Hey, everyone's gotta do their bit to support the War on Terror, right?

Corps Making Peace On the Northern Front

The Spanish have clearly picked sides, at least. LGF has more.

Abbas Lies to UN (again)

From Yahoo! News we learn that "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly Thursday that the planned national unity government will recognize Israel." The only problem with this remark is that there isn't any Palestinian "national unity government." Hamas and Fatah are too busy killing each other and their own people to form a government (not to mention the amount of time devoted by the RIFs to terrorizing the Christian world.

But now that the IDF and Israeli Security Police have seized terrorist money launderers, Abbas has been sent out to secure new funding. Abbas said to President Bush, "We are in dire need of your help and support." I'll just bet you are!! But why is Bush smiling and shaking his hand, agreeing to help him and his Hamas terrorist organization? According to the AP News:
U.S. officials acknowledged that Bush is largely a bystander in the Abbas-Hamas negotiations, even though Bush this week called creation of a Palestinian state one of the great objectives of his presidency.

Bush's top Middle East aide, Elliott Abrams, also acknowledged the possibility of failure for Abbas when he said that Bush is "aware of the fact that conditions may, in the end, not exist to make it possible."

On the other side of the fence, Haniyeh's political adviser, Ahmed Yousef, said, "there won't be a national unity government if Hamas is asked to recognize Israel." The two parties announced last week that they would team up to govern, in an effort to ease crushing international sanctions imposed on the Hamas government to pressure it to soften its violent anti-Israel ideology.

Their preliminary agreement says the new government would strive to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel - implying recognition of the Jewish state. But coalition talks have faltered because the West and Israel want Hamas to clearly state its willingness to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Jerusalem Post at least picked up on the subtle (is it subtle?) problem here:
The remarks by Haniyeh and his political adviser contradicted PA President Mahmoud Abbas's statement made to the UN General Assembly on Thursday that the planned national unity government would recognize Israel.

Abbas went onto note that the "Palestinian Authority" wants to reaffirm its commitments.
These include the letters of mutual recognition exchanged on Sept. 9, 1993, by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian chairman Yasser Arafat, whom Abbas called "the two great late leaders."

In other words, the PA wants its own existence reaffirmed because it's so painfully obvious now, with no clear leadership and such extensive in-fighting, the only way the "Palestinian Authority" will have any authority at all is to get foreign aid flowing again. Can't do that if there's no name to put down in the "Pay to the Order of slot.

I dunno, the way Arafat worked it, you just wrote Pay to the Order of Yassar Arafat and he was "trusted" to disburse the funds...wasn't he? *smirk*

Thursday, September 21, 2006

IDF Seizes 5,000,000 NIS in Terrorist Blood Money

Overnight between Tuesday and Wedesday of this week, security forces conducted searches at the houses and offices of 13 moneychangers in Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm and Ramallah who are suspected of being involved in the financing of terror activity. Approximately five million NIS and 170 Dinars as well as large quantities of data were seized. (Using the Universal Currency Converter that's about USD $1.2 million) The IDF videotaped the seizures and about halfway through, you can see that some of the other currencies included US Dollars. In the hands of the terrorists.

Granted, moneychangers as they are called in Israel (it's basically legalized money laundering and goes on everywhere in the Middle East) do get dollars in exchange for just about everything, but it's disheartening to see Abe Lincoln on this video.

This is not the first seizure of monies intended for terrorist uses. The moneychangers receive money and other funds from the Syrian headquarters of the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah terror organizations and transfer them to Palestinian terror organizations located in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The funds, most of which came from Iran, were intended to support terror attacks by helping terrorists build infrastructure and acquire the weapons, explosives, suicide belts, rockets and other equipment with which to murder and maime Israel's citizens. Again, check the stats to see how many of the injured or killed are civilians, then tell me if cutting them off at the bank is worth it.

IDF Declares Closure on Gaza & West Bank

The Jerusalem Post reports:
In the wake of specific terror warnings, the army has declared a closure on Palestinian areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz will convene his security cabinet after Rosh Hashana to decide whether to lift the closure.
The IDF web site reports as of today (times are local to Israel--gotta love the time difference):
As of 07:48hrs: Palestinians launched two Qassam rockets at Israel a short while ago. One landed in an Israel city in the western Negev, causing damage. The other landed in an open area in the same region, causing no injuries or damage.

As of 11:02 hrs: A special Border Police force arrested a wanted Islamic Jihad terrorist in Bethlehem. During the operation Palestinians rioted, hurling Molotov cocktails and rocks at the force. A second special Border Police force arrested a wanted Hamas terrorist near Abu Dif, west of Jenin, and took him for questioning.

As of 11:14 hrs: IDF forces are operating on the outskirts of Rafah to arrest wanted Palestinians. A number of arrests have been made. Forces earlier observed an armed gunman and fired at him, killing him. Other armed Palestinians threw grenades and opened fire at the forces from rooftops, leading to exchanges of fire in the area.

Just to keep all this in perspective--that is, the IDF is not necessarily over-reacting here--take a look at the death tolls, as recorded and reported by the IDF, due to terrorist actions inside Israel over the last 5 years. Notice the number of civilian Israelis killed not to mention that the small arms attacks account for the majority of the deaths and injuries.

We'll have to wait and see what occurs in the next 48 hours, but since right now in Israel people are preparing for the start of the Jewish High Holy Day, Rosh Hashanah, the terrorists' spike in violent attacks cannot be discounted as non-coincidental.

Anti-Ahmadinejad Rally at UN

I had no idea there was a rally--which is kinda sorta the point Little Green Footballs made. On the LGF Main Page for this blog entry, there are a couple of links to do live searches at both Google News and Yahoo! news, neither of which has any coverage of this--still, two days later! Even after being blogged by LGF! Haven't they learned once you've been blogged by LGF you've got to cover it? :)

One of LGF's regular readers took photos which LGF has assembled into a nice little slide show here. Be sure to watch for all of the nice posterboard messages, not to mention the Jewish Vets of America's wars standing there. Apparently peaceful demonstration, even when it draws 35,000 to 40,000 peaceful demonstrators to the streets of New York, is not dramatic enough to warrant news coverage. Guess all of those satellite dish vans were there for nothing, huh?

There was one video camera working. Atlas Shrugs was there and took this great 1min video (complete with pre-Rosh Hashanah Shofar blowing in the background), embedded here from YouTube. Gotta love technology and how news happens and gets broadcast despite MSM efforts to pretend it didn't happen.

I'm surprised even the Jerusalem Post didn't have better coverage of this event. They are, instead, giving "Ahmaden-Jihad" his Kodak moment. Poo on you JPOST.

USPS Helps Support the Troops

Buried deep within the US Postal Service web site, found only in a popup, the USPS is "supporting" our troops. Why this isn't a ten-foot-tall banner hanging in every branch office I don't know. Doesn't Uncle Sam still hang out in the Post Office?
Now use Click-N-Ship® to ship to U.S. military addresses around the world. Just choose "United States" from the country menu and pick the appropriate military designation from the state menu. You'll see the mailing restrictions and customs forms requirements for your package's destination. Postage is at the domestic rate and Delivery Confirmation™ is free with Priority Mail®.

After printing the label, you can complete the required customs forms online, too. (Plastic envelopes are required for the customs forms and can be ordered online through The Postal Store®.)

Use our Military Addressing Tips and FAQs to make sure your packages reach our troops.
I'm not sure I quite agree with their addressing tips, though.

Last I heard, you do not include rank on a package, since anyone the package passes in its worldwide travels then has the name, rank and location (APOs are easy to "translate") of an active-duty soldier. But otherwise, the USPS FAQ on what to send, what not to send, and how to send it seems to answer a lot of good questions with reasonable answers.

So now that the rates are lower for overseas shipping, get baking and send some good stuff to the sandbox!

Shotgun Wedding in the Sudan

This is just too funny. I love it!
A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his "wife", after he was caught having sex with the animal. The goat's owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders. They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi.

"We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said.

Mr Alifi, Hai Malakal in Upper Nile State, told the Juba Post newspaper that he heard a loud noise around midnight on 13 February and immediately rushed outside to find Mr Tombe with his goat.

"When I asked him: 'What are you doing there?', he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured and tied him up".

Mr Alifi then called elders to decide how to deal with the case.

"They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife," Mr Alifi told the newspaper.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Read the RIFs their....Miranda rights?

This *has* to be a joke!! Sadly, I fear it is not, not at all, not even
a misquote but an actual new line of attack by our OWN politicians against OUR military. (okay, okay, it's McCain and we all know he hates the military...funny he used to be *for* the military; can't make up his mind, I guess).


It never seems to end. Why don't we all just lie down together on the IEDs and die right now? It'd be a lot quicker and less painful, wouldn't it?

Marine Tour of Iraq 2006

Blackfive, as always, has the best stuff on what's really happening out there in the Big Bad World. This One Marine's perspective is undoubtedly shared by many--far too many. Can't say "one Marine's view" cause you'll think I mean Major Pain, aka Capt B (who's also got some pretty good stories running on his blog today) but this is someone else.

The retrospective from the field is at once hilarious, terrifying, moving, and humbling. Some samples of his highlights are quoted below, but do go read the whole essay. It's well worth the time.
A hilarious sample:
Most Surreal Moment - Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact. I had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as a midget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels. (note: this is tied with "Coolest Insurgent Act " but you'll have to go read the whole essay to find that LOL moment.)

A terrifying sample:
Best Piece of U.S. Gear - new, bullet-proof flak jackets. O.K., they weigh 40 lbs and aren’t exactly comfortable in 120 degree heat, but they’ve saved countless lives out here.

Best Piece of Bad Guy Gear - Armor Piercing ammunition that goes right through the new flak jackets and the Marines inside them.

A humbling sample:
Biggest Surprise - Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we’d get a police force established in the cities in al-Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won’t give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are. - and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp . . .

The number of moving and heart-wrenching entries are too many to list here. Go read the whole essay.


Susiya, originally uploaded by -sry.

Just after sunrise in a little spot called Susiya, near Hebron, Israel

Shalit "Proof of Life" confimred

While not the first "proof of life" received, this one is probably the most welcome to the family of kidnapped IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit. A letter allegedly passed through a Hamas delegation from Damascus and was given to Egyptian officials in Cairo. Egypt allegedly then passed it on to former Deputy Shin Bet head Ofer Dekel, who is in charge of dealing with the affairs of the kidnapped soldiers.

I'm not sure what "lab tests" were performed to verify the authenticity of the letter, as having been written by Shalit, nor am I so convinced as to the truthfulness of its content (taking dictation for video and letters is common practice with terrorist kidnappers), but it's a wonderful gift for the Shalit family to receive with all of its official stamps of endorsement. In the letter, Shalit wrote:
I feel fine and am being treated well [...] I hope to celebrate my next birthday at home [...] I miss you and think about you a lot.
Definitely the kind of message any parent wants to read from their son.

In related news, as recently as yesterday, the IDF has been continuing to take out terrorist weapons supplies & supply lines. The ongoing effort to remove both Hamas and Hezbollah's abilities to fire rockets or other attacks into Israel is being tagged as an attempt "to create the conditions for the return of Corporal Gilad Shalit and to stop terror attacks" but even I have to admit, it sounds more like mopping up or trying to take out one last terrorist before the plug is pulled. Not that I object to every last ditch attempt the IDF can make to eliminate the terrorists and/or their weapons caches. Go for it!

Of Exploding Spaceships and UFOs

Finally, after the "fire on the shuttle" - which turned out to be not fire, not even smoke but a mere smell and on the ISS not the shuttle - and after the "UFO's flying by the shuttle" - which turned out to be debris like everyone said it was in the first place - the Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to land at KSC tomorrow morning at 6:21 a.m. EDT. Weather conditions today (cross-winds at the SLF) were the cause for a wave-off, but it gave the crew extra time to do yet another inspection of the heat shield making everyone on Earth and in space feel all comfy cozy about tomorrow's receipt of the "brick with wings."

Not sure why there's such a need to jinx and curse Atlantis. The launch was beautiful, the mission has gone extremely well, and the landing looks to be a good one. But we are approaching sweeps on TV, aren't we? NASA PAO must having a great week.

Check for the UNsensational news, photos and video on Florida Today's Spaceblog if you can't get to the SLF yourself.

Anti-Semitism on the Rise?

What a strange thing to ask. I never noticed any kind of decrease in anti-semitism. Don't you have to have a trailing off before it can rise up again? The EU Referendum discussion is well-thought-out and does have a link-through to England's attempt to address the issue in the UK. Since the number of Jews in England is in the 7-digit range, I'd say they're wising up to at least take a little look-see.

On the American front, where about 6 million Jews reside and call ourselves Americans, we have the loverly Peggy Fox asking Senator George Allen about his ancestry. Watch the video, she starts out trying to make him a racist before she takes on her own racist stance.

I guess it was a slow news day and she needed some kind of sensationalism for her ratings, huh?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

UK Soldiers Wisting Away

In and amongst the news (like this discussion on Blackfive), I was referred to this little note on David Frum's Diary:
I am told by the father of a British soldier just returned from six months in Iraq (and soon off to Afghanistan) that our troops in Basra receive very few letters of support from people at home, whereas their American counterparts have many letters, cards and parcels from complete strangers. He says that such messages cheer the soldiers up tremendously.
The addresses provided are:

In Iraq:
HQ MultiNational Div (SE)
Basra, BFPO 641

In Afghanistan:
HQ Helmand Province Task Force
Camp Bastion, BFPO 792.t

The Barfly Baking Brigade is mulling over how to support these guys/gals. We don't normally contact total strangers, and I don't advise anyone here to send a package to a generic address or a total stranger. Security today being what it is, not a smart idea.

But writing a letter, generically, to the old "Any Soldier" at one of the above addresses would be very welcome, I'm sure. After pen-palling a bit, sending a package would probably be great.

I urge anyone reading this to think about taking out pen and paper and send a few kind words to the UK Warriors wisting away in the sandbox.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Big Brother Not Only Watches...He Talks Back!

This BoingBoing story is too funny. Gotta reprint it here.

Surveillance cameras in Middlesbrough, England have been outfitted with speakers so that operators can yell at citizens who they see misbehaving. Other similar "talking" systems have been installed elsewhere. From the BBC News:
For example, if an operative now sees someone dropping litter, they can tell them to pick it up, or if they see an incident starting to get out of hand, they can give advice that will hopefully nip it in the bud," (said Barry Coppinger, Middlesbrough Council's executive member for community safety.)

I think that it will give people extra confidence as they go about their business and re-enforce the message that Middlesbrough is a place that is constantly thinking about community safety.
Can you just see this taking off here in the States?, I think the "invasion of privacy" cry might be heard far and wide. A true WTF moment.

Military Spouse Buzz has sponsored a new blog where military spouses can gather, share stories, heartaches, triumphs and find community. The blog already has 12 authors and welcomes more. Read some of their stories, like this eye-watering one by ArmyWifeToddlerMom or this chuckle-worthy one by airforcewife.

Followup on Nasrallah's Rockets

Recovery of the drone launched this summer by Hezbollah into Israel corroborates the depth of Nasrallah's intent to destroy Israel, one rocket at a time. An IDF officer speaking to The Jerusalem Post today reported:

[...] the drone which was launched by Hizbullah during the war in Lebanon, and which was shot down in the area of Haifa, was intended to strike the Gush Dan region, Army Radio reported.

"We found in the wings of the drone 10 kilograms of explosives, with ball-bearings packed inside," the officer said.

"We are talking here about a very accurate machine. In the past there have been attempts by Hizbullah to infiltrate Israeli airspace with drones fitted with video cameras, but never drones armed with explosives."

But Nasrallah insisted he wasn't firing unprovoked attacks or trying to kill innocent civilians. Of course not! Gush Dan is 100% civilian population but your very accurate drone was off course, right?

I return to the lyrics of that catchy tune: Yalla! Ya, Nasrallah! Lilech Mi'poh Yasrallah!

Hamas Solution to Unemployment

Shoot 'em. Shoot 'em all. That's Palestinian Terrorist Hamas "Prime Minister" Ismail Haniyeh's solution for when "his people" protest against their dire living conditions. Right. This is how to care for your people, Haniyeh, and this is how to make use of the "aid" money pouring in. Oh, wait! That's right. You guys in charge pocket the money for yourselves. The protesters said they had blocked the four entrances leading from the square into the building in an attempt to force Haniyeh to talk to them. But Haniyeh doesn't want to hear it. Never mind that:
Poverty and unemployment have skyrocketed in Gaza in recent months after international sanctions made it impossible for the Hamas government to pay its 165,000 employees. Without paychecks for six months, workers have shown increasing signs of frustration in recent weeks, launching demonstrations and widespread strikes.

When your people come to you hungry, hands out asking for you to lead them to self-sufficiency, just shoot 'em, women and children be damned. Then you won't have to listen to their annoying cries for basic subsistence anymore.

Israel Indicts 3 Hezbollah Terrorists

Three down, only how many thousands to go? Somehow the arrests and indictments today of Hussein Suleiman, Mohammed Sarour and Maher Housani, just don't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Will it bring back the lives lost this summer? No.

Will it repair the hundreds of millions in property damage in the north of Israel? No. Will it restore the 50 years' growth of trees burned in the Katyusha Rain on the forests of the Galilee? No.

So what does it get us? Someone to blame. It also provides military intelligence confirmation on the links between Hezbollah and Iran. According to the Jerusalem Post's military sources, the guerillas visited Iran multiple times where they participated in a number of military exercises. It's a small victory, but it's small enough and comes late enough, it still doesn't help the lingering bitter taste of the Katyusha Rain of 2006 and its effects on the Israeli economy.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

US vs AP

So I saw this article on AP News. Usually I do actually trust what AP News has to say, but because of the odd nature of this article, I just knew one of my favorite milbloggers would have the behind the scenes "translation" of this story.

Sure enough, Blackfive has it and has it all. Thank you, Gentlemen!

The bottom line is that some Iraqui who has received an award for a daring photograph he took (and didn't get shot immediately so he was able to pass the photo through to the western media) has associated with the Iraqui RIFs and yet, when he was arrested by US Military forces, claimed he's not really with them, he's one of the Good Guys.

Okay, but you chose to continue to associate with them? Yeah. And you freely went along with them as they committed acts of violence? Yeah. And you were, in fact, with known terrorists at the time of your arrest? Yeah. Okay. Just checking.

More at Blackfive, lots of good link-throughs, too.

RIFs Declare War on All of Christian World

Gunmen killed an Italian nun and her bodyguard at the entrance of a hospital where she worked, doctors and witnesses said Sunday in what some feared was connected to Muslim outrage over the pope's recent remarks about Islam.

The nun, who has not been identified, was shot in the back four times by two gunmen armed with pistols, Dr. Mohamed Yusef told The Associated Press.

Christian leaders and theologians said Saturday night that distorted media coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's speech resulted in Muslim violence.

From what I've seen, the media has, for once, simply shown the video as His Holiness spoke the words without editing it or commenting over it with their own verbage. Judge for yourself, here's the transcript.

As security was beefed up around Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday night, the Mujahideen's Army movement in Iraq threatened to carry out a suicide attack against the Pope in revenge for his comments about Islam and Jihad.

The Pope made a reference, made an apology and the reaction of the Muslim community worldwide (from this nun in Somalia to threats from Iraq to burning churches in the West Bank) has been one of violent retribution, sometimes against Christians who aren't even under the Pope's tutelage. He oversees the Roman Catholic Church, not the entire Christian world - do the RIFs even realize this? According to FOXnews (watch embedded video on their home page), the Palestinian Terrorists have now burned no less than seven churches in the West Bank (the Anglican pictured, both Greek and Roman Catholic churches, and at least one Orthodox Church).

Somehow I don't see the media as who's flown off the handle here.