Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Defeating them strategically

I was reading a thread over at LGF on the future of the Democrat Party and made this comment:

Bush has the Democrats defeated strategically and they don't even know it.

Socialism is a declining demographic.

DeSoto in his book on the nature of Capitalism which I review here shows that man is by nature capitalist.

If you follow Bush's economic strategy you can see that his intent is to make as many people as desire it, owners.

The Democrats have no counter for this.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Unenforceable Rights?

I've been thinking again about the judicial appointments process and how a way long time ago Judge Bork couldn't get elevated to the Supreme Court Bench. With Rhenquist likely to retire very soon due to ill health, the question of appointments and filibusters comes up.

I think Judge Bork would have been a terrible Supreme Court Judge. I think the best indication is his calling the IX and X Ammendments "ink blots". In essence what he is saying is that we have rights that cannot be protected in the courts. I think that is a dangerous position.

So I Google™ - Bork "ink blot" - and who do I come up with? Clayton Cramer, Randy Barnett, and Prof. Bainbridge discussing Raich. How timely.

Clayton says that the IXth and Xth Ammendments are unenforceable since they make mention of nothing specific.

I would like to point out that the 2nd was designed for just such situations. When the government can't figure out what the people's rights are or protect them. The 2nd Amdmt was to help the government understand.

So far the people of California have been restrained in the matter. Taking it to the courts. If the courts read the election returns they know that medical marijuana is popular even in a heavily Republican State like Montana.

BTW I think Randy has the better argument. Unenumerated rights are just as defensible as enumerated rights.

From time to time you can learn what unenumerated rights are important when you see citizens reaching for their guns.

Question is why let it get that far?

Stupidity in government.

So what else is new?

Steve Gardner

Powerline has posted a bit about what has happened to Steve Gardner after speaking out against John Kerry. Steve was the only Swiftie on John Kerry's Boat(s) who did not support John.

It turns out Steve has lost his job - or rather the position was eliminated.

The company is the Millenium Information Services and their contact page is here.

Millenium answers their critics. They may not be the bad guys. It could all be one big misunderstanding.

Via Instant Pundit.

Target Iran

The United States has just fired a shot across the bow of Iran. The war of words has become more heated in the last week or two as the Iranians have played a double game with Europe. I said that the situation in Iran might be a job for the Marines. Well it turns out that at the very least the Army is having a go at it.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. commander in Iraq (news - web sites) warned Iran and others in comments published on Monday to think twice before trying to take advantage of the U.S. military at a time when it is fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Why the Iranians would want to move against us in an overt manner that would cause us to use our air or naval power against them would be beyond me," Army Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command, said in an interview with USA Today.

Abizaid, who was speaking in Qatar, was asked about concerns in Congress that a shortage of U.S. troops might tempt nations such as Iran or North Korea (news - web sites), both accused by Washington of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Abizaid, the top U.S. military commander for Iraq and Afghanistan, said the armed forces were not overextended.

The United States has 138,000 troops in Iraq and more than 18,000 in Afghanistan, with others deployed in Kuwait, Japan, Germany, Africa, South Korea and Bosnia.

"We can generate more military power per square inch than anybody else on Earth, and everybody knows it," Abizaid said. "If you ever even contemplate our nuclear capability, it should give everybody the clear understanding that there is no power that can match the United States militarily."

Washington and some Iraqi officials have accused Iran of supplying Iraqi insurgents with money, arms and militants, but on Sunday Tehran said it was ready to co-operate with Iraq to stop militants crossing their mountainous 1,000-mile border.
Now it seems to me that the statement about nukes is a warning to Iran that using nukes might not be in Iran's best interest even if they manage to build a few.

A bio of the General can be read here.

The Fools May Be Making Peace

A few days ago I said that the Palis needed to stop incitements (Sharon's condition) and start the peace talks. I ended the piece with a quote from German Gen Rundstedt - "make peace, you fools".

So I read yesterday that Hamas is ready for a ten year 'hudna'. That is a ten year truce. Not peace by a long shot. But not your usual Hamas rhetoric either. I thought to myself. Those boys must be hurting. Still a long way to go, though, for any kind of peace agreement.

So I open the Jerusalem Post today and what do I see in the headlines? PA orders end to incitement.

The Palestinian Authority leadership has ordered PA-controlled media to stop all incitement against Israel and Jews, the London-based Arabic daily A-Shark Al-Awsat reported Monday.

The order also pertains to video clips, songs and music videos which call for the continuation of the armed intifada, the paper reported.

According to the report, the order was given 24 hours after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon urged the Palestinians to put an end to incitement as a prerequisite to the resumption of talks based on the road map peace plan.
Interesting that it takes a week for the news to filter out.

I'd say the Stupidfada is over.

The Palis lost.

Now it is probably a little early for full scale celebration but it may be, with Arafat's death, sanity or at least a bit of it may be returning to the Palestinians.

It may just be that the fools are making peace.

A Japanese view of Arab Culture

Well I'm noodling around Al Bawaba forums again and came across this article by a Kuwaiti Arab, Muhammad Al-Rumayhi, reviewing "The Arabs: A Japanese Point of View," by Japanese researcher Nobuaki Notohara. It was originally translated by MEMRI.

What Enabled the Japanese to Enter the New Cultural Age?

"Whenever some Arabs meet at a scientific convention and Japan is mentioned, the participants compare Japan's revival to the yearned-for Arab revival. They say that Japan succeeded in entering the new age while at the same time preserving its social culture. Apparently, this is the majority opinion among Arab observers. It appears that this is an apologetic view or justification aimed at saying, 'You can enter the age of modernization, globalization, and production without giving up your social heritage, the traditional political pattern, and the behavioral norms that are inappropriate for our time.'

"'And if they are told that the Japanese entered the new age because they changed the political patterns and social behavior to which they were accustomed and because they adopted new ideas, some Arabs respond to this with amazement and denial…'
There is way more of interest including why Japan as a nation is not still angry about getting nuked twice.

The short answer. It does not help to lay blame on others. Self criticism is the only way forward.

Here is hoping the Arabs get it before too long.

Iran's Nucular Program is Peaceful - Really

Iran is promising to really give up its nuclear (and you thought I couldn't spell) program. In fact it is promising to keep the promise it made just last week. Really, no lie. (except to kufars). Yep. It could be true this time just ask them. Rooters has the story:

Under the terms of the deal, Tehran pledged to suspend all activities related to plutonium reprocessing and the enrichment of uranium, a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants or, when very highly enriched, in weapons.

In exchange, France, Britain and Germany have offered on behalf of the EU a package of economic and political benefits, including a promise to build a light-water nuclear reactor that is more difficult to use for weapons purposes than other types.

In a cliffhanger week of backroom haggling, Iran had asked that 20 centrifuges -- which enrich uranium by spinning at supersonic speeds -- be exempted from the deal it reached with the EU's "Big Three" freezing its nuclear program on Nov. 7.
Iran has been promising and unpromising since 7 Nov.

Even the North Koreans did a better job than that.

Say. Maybe this is a job for Jimmy Carter. He did so well with the Iranians when he was President and with the North Koreans when he wasn't.

OTOH perhaps this is a job for the Marines.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Nuke 'em

A war cry has gone up. It is the war cry of the American left. They want their enemies nuked. In America. By Iran.

Wright Patman says in post #11:

I live in Texas. But I can see your point.

A nuke delivered to Collin County, Texas (northern suburbs of Dallas), would hit nothing but red.

And the really neat thing is that it is nothing but paved-over prairieland to begin with, so there would not be any noticeable loss of scenery. In fact, the craters might make for interesting tourist attractions.

One could combine one's vacation trip by first visiting Dealey Plaza where the original coup was plotted and carried out and then travel 30 miles to the north to witness the (literal) fallout the military-industrial coup generated 41 years later.
As so many have said. They are not just the loyal opposition. They are on the other side.

Several posters are not concerned by Iranian nukes. After all, they point out, the first target will just be the Jews in Israel.

These are not lovers of peace. They are war lovers. The peace they hope for is a loss for their side. And a win for the opressors of women.

How progressive.

Palestinian Logic

Israel has a plan to leave Gaza. Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has a few thoughts on the subject.

"In simple words," said Sourani, "nobody in Israel wants Gaza -- Left or Right. If this plan is applied, then it means the occupation will continue, meaning we will have no control over our destiny.
So there you have it.

If the Israelis stay in Gaza it will of course be occupied territory.

But if they leave it will be no different. Gaza will be occupied territory.

This is very subtle.

Perhaps what he is saying is that the wrong people are occupying Gaza.

I could go with that.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Pat Tilman - Sportsman of the Year

Black Five says go to Sports Illustrated and vote for Pat Tilman as Sportsman of the Year. So do I.

I'd appreciate it if you took some time to go here to vote, select Pat Tillman on the sliding window on the left of the site (he's second from the bottom and wearing a red football jersey), click on his picture, then hit the vote button. Just in case you have trouble finding his picture, here is a screenshot of what Pat Tillman's ballot looks like.

Looking at Defeat In Iraq

No it is not America looking at defeat. It is the Jihadis. This just in from Middle East News:

BAGHDAD [MENL] -- Sunni insurgents have expressed concern over the prospect of a defeat by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

Islamic sources said that for the first time in more than a year the Tawhid and Jihad group led by Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi appears to have lost control over many of its insurgents in the Sunni Triangle. The sources said Iraqi and U.S. assaults on major insurgency strongholds in such cities as Baghdad, Faluja, Mosul, Ramadi and Samara have resulted in heavy insurgency casualties and a break in the command and control structure.

Over the last few days, Al Zarqawi supporters have appealed for help from Al Qaida and related groups.
via LGF comments.

Faith Based Sex Education

Well Bush is off on one of his moral crusades to get abstinence only sex education more funds. A nice quote from the article:

Teaching only about abstinence means students will be less able to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, say supporters of comprehensive sexual education.

``The only 100 percent way to avoid a car collision is not to drive, but the federal government sure does a lot of advocacy for safety belts,'' said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a group that promotes education about birth control and condom use.
On top of that it seems that no one knows which approach is best. All Bush can say is that people desire the programs. It is stuff like this that made me vote for Obama.

After Action Report

A very good after action report from 2slick.

We moved all of our vehicles and soldiers from Camp Fallujah to a position about 1 mile north of the city. That's also where we set up our TF support area (re-fuel, re-arm) and where we set up the Tactical Operations Center. All day long while were setting up at that location, Air Force and Marine Corps aviators shaped the battlefield with laser-guided bombs and hellfire missiles. Although American forces had not been into the city since April, we had been collecting intelligence on the city for months through unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's), human intelligence, and Special Forces. So we knew exactly where they stored their weapons and where they held meetings, and so on...all of these attacks from the air were precise and very effective in reducing the enemy's ability to fight us before thebattle even started.

With each attack, secondary explosions of weapons/ammo blowing up were heard. The Coalition also threw the enemy a curveball by destroying all the vehicles that had been parked in the same location for more than 3 days---the enemy planned to use these as car bombs when we attacked. Again, almost every single vehicle the air assets attacked had huge secondary explosions.

After 12 hours of massive air strikes, Task Force 2-7 got the green light and was the first unit to enter the city.
Read the whole thing.

Sergeant Angel and Friends

Some very good looking Seargents pose with pistols.

American women.

Ya gotta love them.

In fact I do.


I was thinking today (and most other days in the past, weeks, months, and now years) about our Soldiers and Marines and Air Men and Sailors dying doing our work. And it hurts. And it makes me sad. And it makes me wonder if I have the right to call on their lives in my name.

It is a heavy burden. It weighed my heart down this Thanksgiving. There was just a little bitterness from the food. The sweets were not perfectly sweet. I think of all the Thanksgivings our young men and women are giving up to do a very dirty job for us. We have asked them to turn a sewer into a home for a bunch of people many of whom resent their help. Oh yes. Some of you are going to get killed doing the job. Not many as compared to previous sewer cleanings. But still. On the average 3 of you a day out of one hundred and thirty thousand. And how can I ask for the gift of your life. It weighs heavily on me.

And that got me to thinking. About the towers. The jumpers most of all. The jumpers. So I was thinking some more about that day and the days after. And the people on flight 93 counter attacking 90 minutes after the first attack. The counter attack was successful. But the whole attacking party died to win that victory. Not to mention those on the plane who only watched. Those are some heavy odds. And Americans rose to the challenge. After taking a vote. How American. We started that tradition in the Revolutionary War where the militia voted for its own officers. A democratic army of the people.

And I said to myself, what can I do to honor their sacrifice too? The citizen soldiers who have shown the way for our fine boys and girls.

So I have said this many times since I found out about flight 93. Silently. To myself. If I am ever in position to make a counterattack I promise to make it in the same spirit as our fine military and flight 93. Without regard to my own life.

Thank you all for all you have given to this country. And when my opportunity comes I only hope I can be as courageous and worthy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 26, 2004


Randy Barnett, a great American lawyer who posts from time to time at the Volokh Conspiracy, is going to argue Raich vs. Ashcroft in front of the US Supreme Court on Monday November 29th. The case revolves around the raids the DEA did in California on various cannabis co-ops around October 2001, shortly after the attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Angel Raich in October of 2002 sued the Federal government to stop the raids on the various co-ops in California.

Drug War Rant has a very good run down of the details of the case and the arguments of the various parties pro and con.

Because of the way the case was framed it has a very good chance of changing the way that the Federal Government deals with the medical marijuana issue.

Here is a bit I wrote just after the raids started on what was happening and why I was against the raids. Ashcroft will soon be gone but the damage he did will linger on for a while. Let us hope the Supreme Court sees fit to restrain the Feds, the Justice Department and the DEA.



There is something going on in California. Something that has received practically no press anywhere in America. The DEA is going on a rampage against medical marijuana users and their legal suppliers despite the fact that marijuana as medicine was voted for by 56% of Californians over five years ago.

Here are the details of what has been happening. On the 25th of October approximately 30 Federal agents raided the West Hollywood headquarters of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center after over five years of operation. The center is supported by the local sheriff's office. Sheriff's Captain Lynda Castro said the raid was "a difficult pill to swallow." Three members of the West Hollywood City Council showed up after the raid to protest the DEA action. The raid was based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stated that marijuana does not have medical value and therefore it is against federal law.

The value of marijuana as medicine was never properly contested but only stipulated by the government under the protests of the defence.

The government's own Institute of Medicine reported in 1999 that even smoked marijuana may have medical value under certain circumstances.

In addition the government also distributes government grown marijuana to seven patients. And the DEA's own administrative law judge Francis Young said in a 1988 ruling that "It would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record." So the Supreme Court ruling is based on a stipulation that even the government knows is a lie. Proving that the big lie technique still works. Even in America.

But that wasn't the only major DEA raid on California. On the 28th of September the DEA raided the offices of Dr. Mollie Fry and her husband attorney Dale Schafer who announced in July that he would run for El Dorado County district attorney. In this case the G men were collecting about 6,000 to 7,000 patient records because Fry was well known for recommending marijuana to AIDs and cancer patients among others. The doctor and her husband were also well known for testifying for the defence in medical marijuana cases in California. In theory the files taken should be protected by attorney-client privilege as well as doctor-patient privilege. In fact these days there is no protection against the Federal government. Not law, not custom, not judges, and not people asking for redress of grievances. This one sure looks like a political prosecution to me. We are sure lucky America isn't a banana republic. Think of what this country would be like if we had really corrupt people at the helm. Well no need for thinking any more if you can just open your eyes.

In this time of national emergency we don't have the time, money, and manpower to waste on recreational pot smokers and nationalized corruption. We certainly don't have the resources to waste on the sick and infirm. Attacking the sick is bad sense in time of peace and is a total waste in time of war; in addition it violates every tenet of morality I ever heard of. Hurray for Attorney General Ashcroft, touted in his confirmation hearings as a paragon of morality and a good Christian. I thought Jesus promoted comforting the sick, not attacking them. I'm sure if I was a member of the church Mr. Ashcroft attends it would all be clearer to me.

We Americans cannot expect government to continue behaving in such an immoral manner and still hope to win the war against fascism. This lack of fundamental god given morality will corrupt us and sap our will just as racism did in Vietnam. We must end prohibition now.

Saying of the week:

If drugs back terrorism why don't the terrorists deal in aspirin?

Ask a politician:

Do you support drug prohibition because it finances criminals at home or because it finances terrorists abroad?

This weeks politician:

Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah - the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He voted for Mr. Morality Ashcroft. Mr Hatch promoted him as just the remedy for Janet "Burn the Women and Children" Reno. So now we get John "Persecute the Sick and Dying" Ashcroft. This could actually be an improvement. But somehow I doubt it.

Contact Senator Hatch in Washington D.C. Voice: 202.224.5251 Fax: 202.224.6331 or you can e-mail him by going to: http://www.senate.gov/~hatch/help_contact.htm on the www. Voice or fax is probably better for those not resident in Utah.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Welfare Story

So on this Thanksgiving I'm kinda going places on the net I don't usually visit.

And I come across this:

...studying [the]Statistical Abstract of the United States in 1995 for evidence to refute the conventional but false wisdom that out-of-control welfare costs were due to an exploding number of “welfare queens” ever more deftly defrauding the system, I discovered another kind of ripoff that – had I still been working as an investigative reporter – I would have labeled “the greatest welfare fraud of all time.” From 1970 through 1990, the welfare bureaucracy had increased its own administrative costs by 5,390 percent (not a typo) even as it slashed the value of stipends and services to recipients by nearly two thirds. The administrative cost hikes of course included substantial salary increases and workforce expansions: there were “welfare queens” aplenty, but they were all members of the bureaucracy.
He goes on a tear. And from a humanists point of view it gets worse as he describes his own experience and that of others in the welfare system.

It is quite a story. Not a pretty one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Iraq Exit Strategy

Blackfive has a map.

Via Chicagoboyz.

Crippling Iran's nuclear ambitions

Developing nuclear weapons is very energy intensive. It requires a LOT of electrical power. (look at why Oak Ridge, Tennessee was so important to the Manhattan Project).

If I wanted to disrupt Iran's nuclear ambitions without knowing all the nuclear sites I would go after the Iranian power grid.

Common Law

So I'm over at Al Bawaba again having a discourse with Faust and the rest of the denizens and I'm inspired to write this little piece.


Let me put in my 2 cents.

A decision has been made some where in the labrynth of the US government that the US is going to be #1 on the planet for the next 100 years. Basically until the transition away from oil as an energy resource is complete. (one must know the trends in science and technology not just politics to know what is happening).

In 100 years the planet will be 99% civilized. And it will be American/British civilization, not French. Common law will be the rule.

Now Brit civilization is very interesting in that respect because common law is what the Brits/Americans are ruled by. The laws reflect the actual behavior of the people. As opposed to the French system where law is handed down from on high and obedience is demanded. Islam is a French system. The will of the people does not have the force of law.

The Brit/American system is adaptable. It bends. It changes. The French/Islamic system is brittle, change is difficult. The French/Islamics bridge the gap between law and reality by ignoring the inconvenient parts of the law. What we anglos would call hypocracy. It appears in every brittle system. Take the Soviet Union for instance.

Now the surprising thing is that I learned all this in a high school (Omaha Central) class over 40 years ago. English history. A truly fascinating subject. The Norse pirates were a very big influence on the course of English law. The Magna Carta was the outcome of the clash between Norse law and the French system imposed by Wm. the conquerer.

This war we are in is truly a clash of civilizations at least 1,000 years in the making.

We will have same sex marriage in America (in time) and the drug laws will be repealed. Because it is what the people want. There are very few fixed rules in the anglo system except listening to the will of the people. Things are decided by the way people live. Not rules handed down from on high by our betters. You know, the mullahs and kings.

Any way as far as I can tell the outcome of the war was decided a long time ago. What you see in action is just the mopping up operation. The Italian Oriana Fallaci has written extensively about the power of the plebes. For those interested she is a very good read and understands the issues in her bones. Men will fight and die so that they can make their own rules. This is a fact.

Jefferson sealed it in 1776. July 4th is the official date. Go back and read what he said. Good stuff. It defeated the Soviet Communists. It will defeat Islam.

Well any way I'm starting to get like Adnan. Verbose.

Think. Think. Think.

A caliphate or self rule? Who has the most power?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Iranians give their word

The Iranians have pledged to stop work on nuclear weapons. And we know their word is good. After all they gave it once before.

On Monday, Iran said it has kept a promise it made to the European Union last week by freezing its entire uranium enrichment program and the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, gave a cautious confirmation.

Iran made a similar promise in October 2003 but never fully suspended its enrichment program.

Meanwhile the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a group of Iranian exiles who revealed in August 2002 that Tehran was concealing a uranium enrichment plant and other sites from U.N. inspectors, called on the IAEA to inspect two sites in Tehran which the NCRI says are secret enrichment plants.

The Right of Return

Reuters reports that the top candidate for Chairman of the PA insists the "right of return" is not negotiable.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian presidential favorite Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Tuesday never to give up the late Yasser Arafat's bedrock demand that Israel recognize a "right of return" of Palestinian refugees.

The issue was a key factor in the collapse of peace talks in 2000. President Bush last April publicly embraced Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's position that refugees be allowed into any new Palestinian state but not into Israel.

"We promise that we will not rest until the right of return of our people is achieved and the tragedy of our diaspora ends," Abbas told a session of parliament held to mourn Arafat, who died of an undisclosed illness in France on Nov. 11.
I guess this means eternal war. Or as long as they can keep it going. There is not going to be peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis for a very long time. In fact such a stance is almost official.
In Beirut on Tuesday, Farouk Kaddoumi, a senior hard-liner who co-founded Fatah with Arafat in 1959 and has replaced him as its secretary-general, said Palestinians could not realize their aspirations unless they kept fighting Israel.

"We cannot achieve goals except through continued resistance by all routes and means," said Kaddoumi in remarks at an Arafat memorial rite in Beirut likely to please militant groups.

Kaddoumi rejected 1993 interim peace deals with Israel co-authored by Abbas and Qurie that gave Palestinians limited self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza, and he did not return with them and Arafat from exile a year later.
The war will grind on. Mostly grinding the Palestinians.

Suha Needs Help

So I open my e-mail today and guess what? Suha Arafat is in need of some help. Here is her personal letter to me. Why is she asking a Jew for help? Go figure:

Dear Friend,

This mail may not be surprising to you if you have been following current events in the international media with reference to the Middle East and Palestine in particular.
Yep. I was expecting this letter. In fact I'm surprised you waited so long to ask for my help.
I am Mrs. SUHA ARAFAT, the wife of YASSER ARAFAT, the Palestinian leader who died recently in Paris. Since his death and even prior to the announcement, I have been thrown into a state of antagonism, confusion, humiliation, frustration and hopelessness by the present leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the new Prime Minister. I have even been subjected to physical and psychological torture. As a widow that is so traumatized, I have lost confidence with everybody in the country at the moment.
I wonder if she is seeing a doctor for her emotional problems. And to think she was tortured by the Palestinian authorities. Who would have believed such a thing? They seemed like such nice honest people.
You must have heard over the media reports and the Internet on the discovery of some fund in my husband secret bank account and companies and the allegations of some huge sums of money deposited by my husband in my name of which I have refuses to disclose or give up to the corrupt Palestine Government. In fact the total sum allegedly discovered by the Government so far is in the tune of about $6.5 Billion Dollars. And they are not relenting on their effort to make me poor for life. As you know, the Moslem community has no regards for woman, hence my desire for a foreign assistance.
A real women's libber apealing to our better instincts. And those terrible Arab swine. How did she know I voted for Bush? She must have read my blog. I'm honored. And she is keeping the whole $6.5 billion from those corrupt Palestinian Authorities until there is honest government in Palestine. I hope she doesn't have long to wait.
I have deposited the sum of 20 million dollars with a security firm abroad whose name is withheld for now until we open communication. I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your bank account for safe keeping and any Investment opportunity. This arrangement is known to you and my personal Attorney. He might be dealing with you directly for security reasons as the case may be.
You can count on me to keep your funds safe, honey. BTW why is it always $20 million? Why not $19.5 or $23.7? The mysteries of high finance. I can't wait to hear from your attorney. What's his name BTW?
In view of the above, if you are willing to assist for our mutual benefits, we will have to negotiate on your Percentage share of the $20,000,000 that will be kept in your position for a while and invested in your name for my trust pending when my Daughter, Zahwa, will come off age and take full responsibility of her Family Estate/inheritance.
Hey this could be a bonanza. I could get rich off the interest alone. I wonder how she knew I could be trusted. Must have been reading the blog.
Please note that this is a golden opportunity that comes once in life time and more so, if you are hornet, I am going to entrust more funds in your care as this is one of the legacy we keep for our children.
I'm hornet. I'm hornet. Honest.
In case you don't accept please do not let me out to the security and international media as I am giving you this information in total trust and confidence I will greatly appreciate if you accept my proposal in good faith. Please expedite action.
Uh. Oh. It looks like I may have screwed the pooch here. Oh. Well. Easy come easy go.
Yours sincerely,

Suha Arafat
I guess the check will not be in the mail. Oh. Well.

Israel Responsible for Palestinian Economy

The World Bank is trying to fix the Palestinian economy in light of the Israeli defensive fence and the Gaza pullout. Nigel Roberts, director of the World Bank's office in the territories made the following points:

Currently, he said, some 40,000 Palestinians work in Israel, half of them illegally, and he expressed hope that once the separation fence is completed, thereby reducing the number of illegal workers, Israel will increase the number of legal workers.

Asked whether the PA bore some responsibility for its own economic decline for having launched the intifada, Roberts declined to answer, saying he prefered to focus on the future.

He also said it was illogical to expect Arab states to hire Palestinians in Israel's stead, because Palestinian workers have been barred from the Gulf states ever since the Palestinians backed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's 1991 invasion of Kuwait.
So there you have it. Backing the wrong side in a war leads to an unassailable economic boycott. Being the wrong side in a war is supposed to get you the economic backing of those you fight against.

Can some one please explain the logic to me?

Or is it the fact that the Israelis are mostly Jews?

We report, you decide.

Foreign Fighters in Fallujah

I'm reading some of Sgt. Stryker's stuff and I come across this bit on the foreign fighters of Fallujah by Kevin Connors.

In this must-read TCS article, Stephen Schwartz makes a convincing argument that the terrorist forces in Fallujah were, contrary to popular belief, neither native Iraqi or even Iranian, but Wahabbist Saudis.


And the 26 leading Wahhabi radicals in Saudi Arabia published an open letter to the Iraqis calling for stiffened resistance in Fallujah and forbidding any cooperation with the U.S. forces.
Then I connect it with this bit from Little Green Footballs.
Saudis, Arabs Funneled Millions to President Clinton’s Library.

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. - President Clinton’s new $165 million library here was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen.
Then I connect it with this piece from Instapundit quoting Strategy Page:
While the Sunni Arab thugs have the edge in experience, and reputation, their violence is not overwhelming. The army and police are fighting back, killing and arresting thousands of Sunni Arab gunmen. The Sunni Arabs don't like to dwell on the fact that they are only a fifth of the population, or that they get slaughtered whenever they get into a fight with American troops. Trying to disrupt the January elections is now a major goal for the Sunni Arab extremists. They can do some of that in Sunni Arab areas. But in the next ten weeks, the number of Sunni gunmen available for this may be too low to make much of an impression. The Sunni Arabs are fighting a losing battle. Trying to bring back the good old days of Sunni domination will only work if the Shia Arab and Kurd majority is too weak to resist. No wonder the Sunni Arabs hate foreigners so much.
Curioser and curiouser.

So the thing is we may be actually at war with Saudi Arabia by proxy.


Monday, November 22, 2004

What to do?

There is a very interesting discussion of what is needed to get an Israeli/Palestine peace agreement at Terrorism Unveiled by some people sympathetic to both Palestine and Israel who also read the Arabic Press and TV.

I'd excerpt bits but best to just go and read the whole thing.

Al Jazeera Says

So I'm looking up some stuff about jihad and come across this blog Terrorism Unveiled by a student of Arabic and terrorism studying in the Middle East.

And there is this terrific post on how Al Jazeera is taking the Marine shooting of the insurgent.

Then it shows the clip of the Marine shooting the man. He was not sitting up but lying on the floor and the camera was from a distance where I could not make out the actual situation and movements of the man who was shot. He also seemed to be somewhat covered by a blanket. You could not see his face. The Marine was hovering over him, approximately a 2 feet away.

After it shows the gun go off, it then once again circles the man's white ankle-band and shows blood stains on the ground. It then shows a larger picture view of the mosque and many dead bodies on the floor.

The soundbite is a quite disturbing factor in this incident, but we can't know what the situation was from just the video clip. But the way al-Jazeera put the whole segment together, it appears the US is killing innocent men in mosques and blowing the whole city apart.

I would like to see the video in it's entirety, without editing, deleted scenes, or added clips that are not chronological nor even dealing with the mosque in question.
The bottom line here is that it does not matter what actually happened. Al Jazeera is going to make it look like whatever they want it to look like.

Now if it was me and I saw what Al Jazeera was playing: The US of A destroying Falluja and men women and children, I'd want to get out of the way.

Evidently their audience does not think like that. They feel the need to defend their homeland. So fighters are attracted to a situation that is much different than what is portrayed. They find out that they are only defending thugs against a population that is mostly tired of thugs.

No matter how gullible the audience there is some limit to how long they can keep up the fictions. The truth eventually filters back.

There Will Be No Elections

Here is a prediction for January.

There will be no Palestinian elections.

They are not in the interest of any of the thugs.

They are getting their excuses ready.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

One Man, One Woman

Hugh Hewitt is on about one of his favorite hobby horses gay marriage.

I sent him this:


Please define Man. Please define Woman.

Genes? Equipment? Hormone balance?

The definition does not solve the problem completely.

And then we have Julius Caesar.


This whole brouhaha is a Zen test.

We have words. We have reality.

The fight over reality is over. People live as they see fit.

All that is left is the fight over words.

That is pretty pathetic.

Changing the Map

Powerline suggested this very good piece on the Road Map to Peace in the Middle East.


Go read it all. It is about where Bush and Blair stand on the Israel/Palestine issue.

From the rumblings in the PA I gather democracy is not too popular with the boys at the top. Or with Hamas or Islamic Jihad or the rest of the thugs.

Iran is asking for it

President Bush is expressing concern over Iran's nuke intentions.

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) on Saturday warned Iran of growing international concern over reports that Tehran is preparing large amounts of uranium for an enrichment process that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

"This is a very serious matter. The world knows it's a serious matter and we're working together to solve this matter," Bush told reporters during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Santiago.

The two leaders were in Chile for a summit hosted by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (news - web sites) forum.
A serious matter. The last time Bush got serious Saddam had to go job hunting. I think he got a job as a sewer cleaner. I guess when times are rough you have to take what you can get.
Bush was referring to reports from diplomats that Iran was aggressively producing uranium hexafluoride, or UF6, days before a Nov. 22 deadline by which Tehran promised the European Union (news - web sites) that it would freeze enrichment and all related activities.

UF6 is the form of uranium that is fed into gas centrifuges, which purify uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants or weapons.

Iran had promised France, Britain and Germany to freeze its enrichment program in a bid to ease concerns that its nuclear plans are aimed at producing atomic weapons and to escape a referral to the U.N. Security Council when the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, meets on Nov. 25.
Do you suppose the Iranians are spinning the Euros? I wonder if that is such a good idea.

The AP looks into the diplomatic reports:
While Iran says it is only interested in enrichment to generate power, the United States and its allies accuse Teheran of pursuing nuclear technology to manufacture weapons-grade uranium.

In the latest accusation, US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday said he had seen intelligence to confirm claims by an Iranian dissident group that Teheran was secretly running a program intended to produce nuclear weapons by next year.

Iranian Foreign Minister spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi dismissed that allegation Thursday. "There is no place for weapons of mass destruction in Iran's defense doctrine," Asefi said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Asefi suggested that US officials "reconsider their intelligence sources."
Colin Powell is concerned. Colin Powell!

I think this means Bush has no intention of letting Iran get nukes.
A senior EU diplomat said its decision to carry out uranium processing right up to the freeze deadline disappointed the Europeans and cast doubt on Tehran's goodwill - even if it did not violate the letter of the agreement.

It also appeared to bolster the United States' push to have the UN Security Council examine Teheran's nuclear activities. When the deal was announced last week, it looked set to weaken the US drive, even though the agreement commits Iran to suspension only while a comprehensive aid agreement with the EU is finalized.

Asked about quantities being processed at Isfahan, one of the diplomats said "it's not little" but declined to elaborate.

But another diplomat familiar with the International Atomic Energy Agency - the UN nuclear watchdog - said the Iranians apparently were in the process of converting 22 tons of uranium into gas, either as a precursor to uranium hexafluoride or all the way to the end product, racing to finish before the Monday deadline.
So let us see if we can get a rough idea of what is involved.

22 tons assuming they mean American tons - is 20 metric tons. 10,000 kg of Uranium Hexaflouride.

I know the atomic weight of Uranium is 238. What is Flourine? 19.

That would be (238/(238 + 6(19)))(.0035) to get aproxmately the amount of U235 they will get assuming they can get 50% processing efficiency. That would yield about 24 kg of bomb grade material, about 50 lbs American. Probably enough for one bomb.

My guess is that they chose this amount for the express purpose of indicating that they know what they are doing.

Now what do we know about
Uranium hexafluoride
Uranium hexafluoride or UF6, is a compound used in the uranium enrichment process that produces fuel for nuclear reactors and bombs. It forms solid grey crystals at STP (0°C and atmospheric pressure.)

It is highly toxic, reacts violently with water and is corrosive to most metals. It reacts mildly with aluminum, forming a thin surface layer of Al2 F3 that resists further reaction. It has only a single stable naturally occurring isotope. By subjecting UF6 to repeated boiling and condensing, separation of U-235 from U-238 occurs by statistical enrichment. This process is very energy intensive.
Now the Iranians are not using the gaseous diffusuuion method. They are using centrifuges because it makes the whole process easier to design and build.

It is still very energy intensive.

The DOE has a nice bit on UF6.
Uranium hexafluoride (UF6) at ambient conditions is a volatile, white, crystalline solid. Solid UF6 is readily transformed into the gaseous or liquid states by the application of heat. All three phases — solid, liquid, and gas — coexist at 147°F (64°C) (the triple point). Only the gaseous phase exists above 446°F (230°C), the critical temperature, at which the critical pressure is 45.5 atm (4.61 mPa). The vapor pressure above the solid reaches 1 atm (0.1 mPa) at 133°F (56°C), the sublimation temperature.
Now here is the bit I have been looking for:
Density of solid UF6 at 68°F (20°C) is 317.8 lb/ft3 (5.1 g/cm3). A large decrease in UF6 density occurs when UF6 changes from the solid to the liquid state, which results in a large increase in volume. The thermal expansion of the liquid with increasing temperature is also high. Therefore, it is important to maintain control of the total mass and physical state of UF6 throughout an operational cycle. To avoid hydraulic rupture, when items with restricted volumes, such as traps and containers, are filled with UF6, full allowance must be made for the volume changes that will arise over the working temperature range to which the vessels will be subjected.
So what I want to find out is how much space (aproximately) 22 tons of UF6 will take up. (22tons * 2000lbs/ton)/(317.8lbs/cu ft) = 138.5 cu ft. A cube about 5 1/4 feet (1.6 m) on a side. It would easily fit in your living room.

UF6 is some very nasty stuff to work with chemically.
For UF6 to be handled as a liquid, the pressure must be in excess of 0.15 mPa (1.5 atm) and the temperature above 147°F (64°C) because the sublimation temperature lies below the triple point. Thus, any process using liquid UF6 is above atmospheric pressure and is subject to a potential leakage of UF6 to the environment, with vapor loss and cooling occurring simultaneously. Solidification occurs exothermically when the pressure falls below 1.5 atm (0.15 mPa). Thus, if a cylinder heated above the triple point is breached, a rapid outflow of the UF6 occurs until the pressure drops sufficiently to start the solidification process. The rate of outflow then decreases but continues until the contents cool to about 133°F (56°C), which is the atmospheric sublimation temperature. Some release of material may continue, depending on the type and location of the breach.

UF6 is hygroscopic (i.e., moisture-retaining) and, in contact with water (H2O), will decompose immediately to uranyl fluoride (UO2F2). When heated to decomposition, UF6 emits toxic fluoride fumes.
So whatever process is used has to be completely seal from the atmosphere. This cannot be done in open vats. Both for moisture and pressure reasons. In addition because of its corrosive nature it cannot be processed in metal containers. My guess is that everything this stuff comes in contact with must be teflon lined. Why do I think that? Because teflon was used in the Manhattan project.
Scientists working on the Manhattan Project faced the difficult problem of separating the isotope U-235 (which makes up about 0.7 percent of the element uranium in its natural state) from the far more plentiful but inert U-238. The method they settled on was gaseous diffusion, in which a gas is forced through a porous material. Since heavy molecules diffuse more slowly than light ones, multiple repetitions of the diffusion process will yield a gas enriched in the lighter isotopes. Gen. Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project, chose Du Pont to design the separation plant. To make it work, the designers needed equipment that would stand up to the highly corrosive starting material, uranium hexafluoride gas, which destroyed conventional gaskets and seals. PTFE was just what they needed, and Du Pont agreed to reserve its entire output for government use.

For security reasons PTFE was referred to by a code name, K 416, and the small production unit at Arlington, New Jersey, was heavily guarded. Despite the tight security and Du Pont’s efforts to control the polymerization process, the Arlington production unit was wrecked by an explosion one night in 1944. The next morning construction workers stood by while Army and FBI investigators looked for evidence of sabotage. Working with Du Pont chemists, they found that the explosion had been caused by uncontrolled, spontaneous polymerization that was detonated by the exothermic, or heat-releasing, decomposition of TFE to carbon and tetrafluoromethane. When the investigators left, the construction crews took over, working two 12-hour shifts a day. Within two months the unit had been rebuilt with heavy barricades surrounding it.
This is some very serious stuff to fool with. The article goes into more of the history and other uses of teflon. Neat stuff. The military uses a lot of it as wire coating. It is an excellent insulator too. Expensive though.


Update 02:59z 21 Nov 2004

It turns out some of my premises were wrong.
But another diplomat familiar with the International Atomic Energy Agency - the UN nuclear watchdog - said the Iranians apparently were in the process of converting 22 tons of uranium into gas, either as a precursor to uranium hexafluoride or all the way to the end product, racing to finish before the Monday deadline.

Iran has huge reserves of raw uranium and has announced plans to extract more than 40 tons a year.

Converted to uranium hexafluoride and repeatedly spun in centrifuges, that amount could theoretically yield about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium, enough for about five crude nuclear weapons.

Iranian officials say the Isfahan plant can convert more than 300 tons of uranium ore a year.
So 22 tons of uranium? Do they mean Uranium oxide or pure uranium? Let us try pure uranium this time and assume 100% U235 extraction.

So 22 tons of uranium would make ((238+114)/238)) * 22 * 2000 lbs of UF6 about. About 65,000 lbs. A cube about 5.9 ft (1.8 m) on a side. It would yield at 100% extraction 22 * 2,000 * .007 lbs of U235. About 310 lbs. Probably two or three bombs worth. Maybe more.


Update: 04:08z 21 Nov 2004

Here is a political update from Arieh (don't ya just love the name) O'Sullivan of the Jerusalem Post.
The IDF believes that Iran is running a secret nuclear weapons program in parallel to the one it had agreed this week to temporarily suspend.

Senior military sources told The Jerusalem Post that in the worst-case scenario Iran could produce a nuclear bomb within two years.

"Without a more determined stance by the West against Iran, they will reach a point of no return within six months," said a senior officer. From then it would take another 18 to 24 months to produce a nuclear bomb, they added.
The train is leaving the station. Next stop Iran.The Post goes on to say:
"The Iranians have a 'declared' secret program which they have agreed to temporarily suspend," said one senior Israeli officer. "But they also have a 'secret' secret program. The agreement with the Europeans is not touching this program. Furthermore, it is our understanding that the suspension is only temporary and partial."

The military source said the negotiations Iran conducted with Britain, France, and Germany over the pace of its uranium enrichment program amounted to a "Persian bazaar."

The military sources declined to give details about their knowledge of Iran's parallel program.

The assessment in the IDF is that once Iran has converted several dozen tons of uranium tetrafluoride (yellow cake) into UF6 (uranium hexafluoride), it would be able to make a few bombs.
You know this is starting to look like the run up to the Iraqi battle of the war.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

PC is passe' MC is the new thing

MC stands for moraly correct. It is new kind of blindness.

I was commenting ove at the Command Post about this. Here is what I had to say:

Combatants dressed as civilians playing possum have killed Marines in the recent fighting.

Want to stay alive in a battle area?


Want to die? Play dead.

Those in the room who surrendered at once lived. Those who did not died.

Seems fair enough to me.

Surrender or die. Simple rule. Easy to follow. In fact even if the fighters were protected by Geneva - which they are not because they are not signatories and not in uniform and not under a central command authority and fighting on protected ground - that is the rule on the battlefield.

Perhaps the terrorists need to give their fighters classes in the Geneva Conventions before allowing them to fight. I know our soldiers are given instruction.

Islam means surrender.

Perhaps the trouble is the “insurgents” were not following their own religion.

Say, did I mention that torture and behedding of captives is a violation of the Geneva conventions?

Funny thing is you never hear any complaints from the morally correct about such behavior.

Why is that?

Condi Speaks for America

So I'm over at Al Bawaba gloating over the Marine victory in Fallujah. And I come across this piece by JohnnyRotten. He is discussing the meaning of Condi Rice, Iraq demographics, and the coming elections in Iraq. The pigs he refers to are al-Zarqawiand the "insurgents". The boy is brilliant.

Wait to the elections.......wait for those women to start voting.Their going to have rights and pigs like that will have nothing.Iraq is over 51 % women.Wait for the vote.Those women are tired of being treated like pigs by those men..Iraq is really getting ready to change.The women will soon start to wear western close...etc etc etc..Your running out of gas.Nothing better then a bunch of women that can speak their mind.The Iraqi women can look at Miss Rice and see that they can have a feauture with the New Government.....Not with those extremists.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Losing hope

I frequently visit the Al Bawaba political forums to have some flame war fun and test the mood of the "Arab street" so to speak.

The Arab street is demoralized.

The fall of Fallujah in a week has demoralized them.

Normally you see a lot of "God is great" posts and the "Americans are losing" and "the great Arab fighters will hand the Marines a bloody nose."

It is true the Marines have gotten a bloody nose. Unfortunately to accomplish this great feat of arms the "insurgents" needed to take a knife in the belly.

I do believe the election of Bush and the fall of Fallujah has taken the starch out of the enemy. I do not believe they are ready for this. I do not think they are ready for relentless.

Not at all.

Another stunning insurgent victory

al-Zarqawi's thugs are at it again.

DUBAI (Reuters) - The group led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said it beheaded two Iraqi soldiers in broad daylight in Mosul, a statement found on an Islamist Web site on Friday said.
Uh. You know this tactic of going after the police does not seem like a winning strategy to me. It seems to attract more police recruits every time. Well they seem to have learned their strategy and tactics from Saddam.
"Just when the enemies of God thought they would crush us with their tyrannical military campaign in Falluja...the al Qaeda organization in Iraq slaughtered two 'National Guards' on Thursday afternoon," the statement said, adding the men killed were at the rank of major and lieutenant.

U.S. and Iraqi troops this month launched a campaign to crush insurgents, including Zarqawi's group, in the rebel town of Falluja west of Baghdad.

The U.S. military says it has taken control of the city, but the offensive has fueled violence across Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, especially in Mosul in the north.

Zarqawi's group has claimed responsibility for hostage beheadings and some of Iraq's bloodiest suicide attacks.
Ah. A charm offensive. To attract the people of Iraq to the One True God™ or else.

The tactic does not seem to work so well with Americans hovering in the background.

The Palis just don't get it

Sharon says he wants to restart the peace talks. All he asks of the Palis is that they stop saying bad things about the Jews in their official press.

Is that too much to ask?


Sharon, proposing what he called a test for a new Palestinian leadership, said on Thursday it could show its desire for peace by ending anti-Israeli "incitement" even before the crackdown he has long demanded it launch against militants.

"(The Israelis) should begin by abandoning their policy of setting conditions and stop their incitement (against the Palestinians)," Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat told Reuters in response.

Sharon told members of his Likud party late on Thursday that anti-Israeli propaganda in Palestinian schools and media was as dangerous as Palestinian weapons.
What is with the Palis? Can't they see the handwriting on the wall? Their patrons are falling one by one. They should follow the advice of the great German Gen Rundstedt - "make peace, you fools" .

Oil prices up?

I have been following oil futures prices fairly closely over the past few weeks. Some times every day. Some times every other day.

If you follow the NYMEX chart you can see that oil prices have been falling steadily ever since a few days before the election.

So here we have Rooters claiming that there has been a sharp upward spike in the price of oil. However at the end of the article they say:

Some producing nations are concerned that a potential build-up in crude stocks over the next few months could depress oil prices.

On Thursday the OPEC cartel revised down its expectations of oil demand growth for next year and projected a rare big winter stockbuild if the group keeps producing at current levels.

OPEC estimated likely demand for its oil to average 28.2 million bpd over the fourth quarter this year and first quarter 2005, some 2 million bpd below its estimated October production, the group said in its monthly Oil Market Report.

The figures imply an unusual increase in inventories at a time when heating demand will be peaking during the northern winter. Last year world oil stocks fell 350,000 bpd in the same period.
I get it. As usual oil prices these days are not based on supply and demand figures. They are based on politics. And in my considered opinion market manipulation to try to affect American politics.


07:44z 20 Nov 2004

Oil prices closed up $2.22 Friday on the NYMEX. So perhaps the report was not in error. Or maybe the threat of an OPEC cutback reversed the trend temporarily.

Rules of Engagement

I was visiting over at Al Bawaba and came across this bit on the new rules of engagement by God Is Great. I'm going to take the liberty of quoting the whole thing.

1. If the guy shooting at you runs out of bullets, you can't shoot him.
2. If the guy shooting at you turns and runs, you can't shoot him.
3. If you shoot a guy and wound him, you must not shoot him again to kill him.
4. If you shoot a guy and wound him, you must immediately provide medical attention to him and evacuate him to your hospital.
5. If you have better weapons than your opponent, you cannot use them.
6. If you have better training than your opponent, you must train your opponent to "level the playing field".

I mean fair is fair.
Pretty much sums it up.

Faust as usual has a nice reply. You will have to go to the url to read it.

We Have been silent enough

An Iraqi soldier estimates what has been accomplished in Fallujah.

Mustafa said that after the city is secure, the 1st Battalion will head to the northern city of Mosul, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have been clashing with insurgents for the past several days.

"I think people there are waiting for us," Mustafa said.

He said he would never think about giving up now, not when his country needed him. "If I don't try and others don't, those rats will spread with their diseases," he said. "We have been silent enough."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Argument for Socialism

Why should the rich be allowed to keep the money they earn?

Doesn't that set a bad precident?

Bush Chooses Spelling

Actually I think he needs more help with pronunciation.

Oh? SpellingS is going to be Education Secretary? Never Mind.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Wartime Atrocities

As a antidote to the Marine killing a "wounded man" hysteria of the last few days I'm postng this bit on violators of the Geneva Convention. On the other side.

Mutilated bodies dumped on Fallujah’s bombed out streets today painted a harrowing picture of eight months of rebel rule.

As US and Iraqi troops mopped up the last vestiges of resistance in the city after a week of bombardment and fighting, residents who stayed on through last week’s offensive were emerging and telling harrowing tales of the brutality they endured.

Flyposters still litter the walls bearing all manner of decrees from insurgent commanders, to be heeded on pain of death. Amid the rubble of the main shopping street, one decree bearing the insurgents’ insignia - two Kalashnikovs propped together - and dated November 1 gives vendors three days to remove nine market stalls from outside the city’s library or face execution.

The pretext given is that the rebels wanted to convert the building into a headquarters for the “Mujahidin Advisory Council” through which they ran the city.

Here is a violation. The "insurgents" killed some one definitely in their custody.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqis reacted with anger and disbelief Wednesday to news that British-Iraqi aid worker Margaret Hassan, who worked in Iraq (news - web sites) for decades before being kidnapped a month ago, had been killed by her captors.

Irish-born Hassan, 59, moved to Iraq more than 30 years ago after marrying an Iraqi engineer. She learned Arabic and became a pillar of support in local communities, often helping the needy in the face of opposition during Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime.

Sites for Sore Whys

Earlier I linked to Kevin Sites place because he had some interesting photos of Iraq and because I found the link at a place I trusted. I even blog rolled him. That has been corrected.

Well I'm over at LGF and I learn this guy is no friend of our troops. Here is just a bit of what he has to say talking about a commander in the field:

He has a reputation for being one of the most aggressive commanders in the theatre -- and if things goes well here, he likely get his first general's star.

"I have a military problem here and I'm applying a military solution," he says with complete confidence. "Our adversaries are not militarily effective. They are mercenaries, terrorists and pirates and they will be defeated."

I understand the logic of his reasoning, can identify with his belief system, share a cultural and communications bond with his American soldiers that I live amongst -- even find myself nodding and talking weapons hardware like some beltway think tank geek.


So in some ways, embedded in this unit, I begin to feel I've betrayed the people that depend on me to be skeptical; to question the dominant powers and institutions of my nation and the actions it undertakes in the name of its citizens. I am not a military or American cheerleader, not a mouthpiece signed on to some institutional agenda whether I believe in it or not. I am here to ask the hard questions of the people who make the hardest decisions; ones that result in people dying or people being killed. I must remember as one journalist advised, "write in your notepad every day 'I am not one of them.'"
It is very good to have such as him on the battlefield although they ought to be in the minority. We need to see this live. Up close. And personal.

Creating More Terrorists?

Rooters does its usual smashing job on the Marine who shot a wounded Iraqi.

Now the article finishes with the usual:

Viewers said images, which Arab televisions aired repeatedly of a Marine killing a severely injured Iraqi, fueled growing hatred against America and helped create more 'terrorists.'
Well go look at the photos yourself. Dying alone on the floor of a dusty mosque at the hands of an American soldier does not look like a big recruiting tool to me. But, hell, I wouldn't be a suicide bomber either so what do I know?

This Rooters article has a more even handed bit.
In Saudi Arabia -- the birthplace of Islam and of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), whose group carried out bombings in the country -- residents said insurgents were to blame for taking their battle into mosques.

"If I was in the U.S. soldier's place I would have killed all the insurgents because they are mercenaries," said Saudi Zaher al-Saleh, a 32-year-old teacher. "They have turned the mosques into battlefields and they're killing civilians."
Then of course they go on with more ravings from outraged fascists.

Belmont Club looks into the Geneva Convention angle.

They're Going to Get Themselves Killed

Front Page Magazine has an article on a Moslem march in Dearborn, Michigan.

Last Friday, Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan, held an anti-American, anti-Israel demonstration. Protestors carried a large model of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and waved signs bearing slogans such as “US Hands Off Muslim Land.” But the most arresting image was of a Muslim woman carrying a large sign featuring the face of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Time dims memories. I wonder if any onlooker at the demonstration saw the Khomeini sign and remembered those tense days of the Iranian hostage crisis, when Khomeini’s regime violated the traditional sanctity of the embassy and held 50 Americans for month after month while Jimmy Carter dithered. I wonder if any of the onlookers knew that Khomeini’s triumph in Iran in 1979 embodied the idea that Islamic law was superior to all other ways to order societies, and must be pressed forward by force. As Khomeini himself put it: “Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world....But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.”
Are we going to have a religious war in America? Why not? Theo Van Gough proved they are already having one in Europe.

Half as Long

Winston Churhill was being interviewed by the press at the beginning of WW2.

"Mr. Minister, can you tell us when you think we may lick these boys?"

For the first time, Churchill looked puzzled. To that point, The Washington Post reported, he had been "flinging back answers that almost caught the questions in mid-air." But he did not understand what 'lick' meant. Early went over and translated it for him.

"If we manage it well," Churchill answered with a smile, "it will only take half as long as if we manage it badly."
I'd say the same rule applies to this war.

Shamlessly stolen from Winds of Change.

Iran has a secret

Iran is hiding a secret military nuke development site from the U.N. Now there is a surprise. The U.N. dupped? Who woulda thunk?

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's government is conducting nuclear activities linked to a covert atomic weapons program at a military site unknown to U.N. inspectors, says an exiled opposition group that has given accurate information before.

"We know of a military site where Iran has been carrying out nuclear work," Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told Reuters.

Diplomats in Vienna who follow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations (news - web sites)' nuclear watchdog, say the NCRI has been the best source of information on Tehran's previously undeclared nuclear program.

War Kills

Well we have some news.

War kills. Without benefit of judge and jury.

We have a story about a Marine shooting what appears to be a wounded "insurgent".

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The fatal shooting of a wounded and apparently unarmed man in a Fallujah mosque by a U.S. Marine angered Sunni Muslims in Iraq on Tuesday and raised questions about the protection of insurgents once they are out of action.

International legal experts said the Marine may have acted in self-defense because of a danger that a wounded combatant might try to blow up a hidden weapon; a key issue was whether the injured man was a prisoner at the time. BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The fatal shooting of a wounded and apparently unarmed man in a Fallujah mosque by a U.S. Marine angered Sunni Muslims in Iraq on Tuesday and raised questions about the protection of insurgents once they are out of action.

International legal experts said the Marine may have acted in self-defense because of a danger that a wounded combatant might try to blow up a hidden weapon; a key issue was whether the injured man was a prisoner at the time.
War is some very ugly shit. It is not to be entered into lightly. However, Fallujah has had since April to get its act together. If what is happing is a surprise it is only surprising to the willfully ignorant.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Euro Israeli Defence Cooperation

Well not exactly Euro, Poland and Italy actually:

"Today is a special day for Poland," Szmajdzinski said. "It sends out a special message to the people of Poland that today our army has a far higher capability."

Prior to the ceremony, Mofaz signed an agreement with Szmajdzinski enhancing bilateral ties and defense and military cooperation between the two countries. At a meeting the two discussed the situation in the Middle East, global terror and industrial ties between both countries.

Italy too:
After his two-day visit in Poland, Mofaz is to travel to Italy for a four days. He is to be hosted by his Italian counterpart, Antonio Martino, and meet with Italian leaders. The visit comes after Israel and Italy reportedly agreed to invest $140 million to develop a new electronic system to disable enemy aircraft. Defense officials said this project would be one of several that Mofaz is to discuss during his visit.

Accompanying Mofaz will be ministry Director-General Amos Yaron and Amos Gilad, ministry head of foreign relations.

Relations between Israel and Italy have improved substantially against the background of the shared support the governments have given to the US-led war on terrorism. Almost alone among European leaders Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has backed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's hard-line stance toward the Palestinians virtually without reservation.

The new electronic warfare system is meant to provide Israeli and Italian fighter aircraft with the ability to identify threats from enemy planes and to neutralize their offensive capabilities, an Israeli defense official told AP.

They said that each plane equipped with the system would be able operate against several enemy aircraft over a wide swath of airspace, leaving accompanying planes free to carry out offensive maneuvers.

The 10% solution

Since the economy is so lousy in Rockford and our biggest high tech employer (Sundstrand Aerospace) is leaving town, I have been spending my spare time designing products. Energy savers mostly.

A flashlight. Some automotive stuff. Power grid stuff. Military vehicle stuff. Telco stuff. I've had it looked over by other engineers. I've had the preliminary business plans looked over by investment bankers. And what it comes down to is this. It seems like there are no risk takers left in America.

Every one I have talked to said the plans had merit. The market was there. Patents are possible. Manufacturing processes were all standard. Time to market varied from three to nine months. Several project go/no go points were suggested in order to limit the risk.

So what is the problem? The problem is the 10% solution. In this market what investors want is to make a "guarenteed" 10% on their money. In a word, real estate. The kind of deals I am suggesting are the double or nothing kind. If the projects fail there is no residual value.

Now if it is happening to me it must be happening to many others as well.

So what I want to know: any ideas for solutions?

Given the amount of money spent on political campaigns where there is no residual value (possibly even further losses) if you are on the losing side, it would seem that there ought to be resources out there for this kind of venture.

Well if you know of any, you know where to reach me.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Photo Blog: Taking Falluja

Some very nice pictures of the pointy end of the sword.

Link via Marine Corps Moms.

Words and photos by an embed.

War Is Hell

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."

General William Tecumseh Sherman

Shamelessly stolen from: The Mudville Gazette.

Gaining ground everywhere

Andrew Sullivan (find your own link) says we need more troops and the insurgency is gaining ground everywhere.

Well mainly in your mind Andrew (which in fact is where the majority of any war is fought - in people's minds).

Mudville has a different point of view:

That said, the past weekend was an ugly one, as insurgents launched rather feeble yet deadly attacks outside Fallujah, ostensibly to draw off the impending assault. These accomplished nothing of any tactical military value but did give sympathetic reporters the ability to publish sentiments similar to this:

"Widespread lethal attacks prove that even as coalition forces mass for the inevitable battle in Fallujah, control of the broader situation remains elusive for the Americans and their allies".

The attacks have no other purpose save to provide those lines to the media, without whose support the insurgency in Iraq would fall.
In WW2 they called the people who were always shaking in their boots "Nervous Nellies". Get a grip Andrew.

Iran Nukes under control?

Why sure. The Euros have it under control.

Last month, envoys from Britain, France and Germany offered Iran a deal that included a light-water research reactor if Iran pledged to abandon uranium enrichment and related activities. In a subsequent round of talks that finished in Paris on Nov. 6, a tentative agreement was reached, according to representatives from all sides.
Now a research reactor if it is large enough (40MW thermal) is a good tool for making plutonium. Even with a smaller reactor it just takes longer to acquire enough plutonium.

And this helps how?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Has the Pali Civil War Officially Started?

There are reports today of Palis gunning for each other at Arafats funeral.

There is no honor among thieves.


12:35z 15 Nov 2004

Two security personnel killed in Arafat mourning tent shooting.

GAZA CITY : Two members of the Palestinian security services were killed in a shooting incident as PLO leader Mahmud Abbas visited a mourning tent at late leader Yasser Arafat's Gaza City headquarters, medical sources said.

Four other people were wounded in the incident although Abbas himself, surrounded by aides and guards, was unharmed, the sources added.
Such a lovely people.

It gets better.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Mahmoud Abbas, the temporary successor to Yasser Arafat, escaped unharmed Sunday when militants firing assault rifles burst into a mourning tent for the deceased Palestinian leader, killing two security guards and wounding six other people.

The shooting raised grave concerns about a violent power struggle in the post-Arafat era. Some of the gunmen shouted slogans calling Abbas, a moderate who has spoken out against violence, an agent of the United States.
What you want to bet that Abbas is now more than ever against violence.

May I quote from the esteemed Wm. Burroughs "Naked Lunch":
A rout of Mullahs and Muftis and Musseins and Caids and Glaouis and Sheiks and Sultans and Holy Men and representatives of every conceivable Arab party make up the rank and file and attend the actual meetings from which the higher ups prudently abstain. Though the delegates are carefully searched at the door, these gatherings invariably culminate in riots. Speakers are often doused with gasoline and burned to death, or some uncouth desert Sheik opens up on his opponents with a machine gun he had concealed in the belly of a pet sheep. Nationalist martyrs with grenades up the ass mingle with the assembled conferents and suddenly ex- plode, occasioning heavy casualties.... And there was the occasion when President Ra threw the British Prime Minister to the ground and forcibly sodomized him, the spectacle being televised to the entire Arab World. Wild yipes of joy were heard in Stockholm. Interzone has an ordinance forbidding a meeting of Islam Inc. within five miles of the city limits.
Well it was a funeral of the great leader. Abbas had to pay his last respects.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Addiction or Self Medication

"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to one class of men, and deny equal privilege to others, will be to constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic, and have no place in a Republic. The Constitution of this Republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom." abridged quote --Benjamin Rush, M.D., a signer of the Declaration of Independence
Let me start this little essay on the uses of marijuana with an idea. A very simple idea. An idea that strikes at the very heart of the drug war and it's moralistic foundation. The very idea that those who use unapproved drugs are the lawful subjects of religiously motivated government persecution.

What we call addiction is in fact self treatment of undiagnosed pain.

This is a truly revolutionary idea. If it is in fact true then the whole notion of a drug war to save the children is a lie from beginning to end. Those of you who have read my article on heroin have a window into this new idea. What I tried to show in that article was that medical research shows that victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse ( PTSD ) are many times more likely to get addicted to heroin than the general public.

Let us next look at the case for marijuana.

Natural molecules similar to an active ingredient in marijuana play a part in helping the brain clear fearful memories and keep them from being permanently debilitating. The British journal Nature has reported this discovery by scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany. The scientists of the Institute say that this has implications for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and other fear based conditions.

It turns out that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States. They are worth $46 billion a year to the pharmaceutical industry. You don't suppose this fact has any thing to do with the pharmaceutical industries being in the forefront of the Drug Free America campaign do you? Of course not. They are just trying to keep you from being addicted to natural products at the cost of 1/10th of a cent per dose when they are more than willing to sell you an FDA and doctor approved, pharmacy sold product that will do the job for a dollar a dose. They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.

All humans show fear reactions to dangerous situations. However, in the case of one out of ten people ( surprisingly the same percentage of people who are susceptible to substance addiction ) the fear does not die down in the absence of the dangerous situation. The fear stays at debilitating levels even in the absence of danger. These people have a definite if ordinarily invisible problem. You cannot find this problem with x-rays. It is possible that this problem could be found with a many thousand dollar PET scan. Or you could take a few puffs of a joint and see if that helps. If the joint was legal. Which it is not.

Pankaj Sah of Australian National University believes that chronic marijuana users are self medicating for anxiety problems. He goes on further to say that we self medicate for head aches with aspirin and this causes no social problems. He speculates that people experiencing emotional problems are taking cannabis for relief. Of course since this medicine is not doctor approved it is against the law. Especially it is against Federal Law as a number of states have made medical use of marijuana legal. The Feds in California know how to stop this though. They put the sick, the dying and the pain wracked in jail to show their compassion. You don't suppose it has anything to do with maintaining at all costs the State and Federal $50 billion dollar drug war do you? Not a chance. They are the government and they have only your best interests at heart. Trust them.

You can read a good review of the report here.

Let me leave you with a final quote from a Supreme Court Judge:

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." Justice Brandeis

That quote and an impassioned speech for the right of self medication can be found here

Marijuana Medicine?


Good medicine too. It seems like there are a lot of canibinoid receptors in the brain. And they do different things. Here is a report:

San Diego -- A decade ago, when Daniele Piomelli went to scientific conferences, he was often the only researcher studying cannabinoids, the class of chemicals that give marijuana users a high.

His work often drew snickers and jokes -- but no more. At the annual Society for Neuroscience conference last week, scientists delivered almost 200 papers on the subject.

Why the attention? Many scientists believe marijuana-like drugs may be able to treat a wide range of diseases, far beyond the nausea and chronic pain typically treated with medical marijuana.

Researchers presented tantalizing evidence that cannabinoid drugs can help treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease and obesity. Other researchers are studying whether the compounds can help victims of stroke and multiple sclerosis.
Reminds me of what DEA Law Judge said of pot in 1988. "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care."Of course it is illegal.

How would the drug companies survive? I wrote something about that a while back. Let me see if I can find it and repost it here.

Key quote from that piece re: the topic at hand:

It turns out that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States. They are worth $46 billion a year to the pharmaceutical industry. You don't suppose this fact has any thing to do with the pharmaceutical industries being in the forefront of the Drug Free America campaign do you? Of course not. They are just trying to keep you from being addicted to natural products at the cost of 1/10th of a cent per dose when they are more than willing to sell you an FDA and doctor approved, pharmacy sold product that will do the job for a dollar a dose. They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.

Montana Marijuana

I have been meaning to say something about this since post election. This is important.

The State of Montana voted for Bush by 59 to 39 (2 other). It voted for medical marijuana by 62 to 38. Which is what I keep telling my Republican friends. Medical marijuana is more popular than George Bush.

When will the Republicans get a clue?

Robb Kampia of MPP discusses that and other outcomes of the election.

Trapping Kids with Drugs and Friendship

This story caught my eye. They are sending undercover cops to high schools to entrap kids willing to raid their home medicine chests. I'll quote the gist but read the whole thing.

"Students sold the drugs, many of which may have been taken from home medicine cabinets, for a pittance, Police Chief Rick Scarbrough said.

"'They ( students ) are not as street-savvy and business-savvy as our usual street dealers are. They almost give the drugs away.'"

Really? Why would that happen? Is that what a ruthless pusher would do?

Sounds to me like some kids are looking for friendship, social acceptance and approval. Because police can pretend to be students looking for drugs convincingly enough, some students pretend to be drug dealers as well as they can. It would be a silly game, if the consequences for students weren't so real.

Democracy in Iraq? Ask your cousin

I just ran across a fascinating article on cousin marriage in the Middle east and why it might hamper development of a national democracy in Iraq.

LGF also covered this a while back with refrence to Saudi Arabia.

Coalition Warfare

Voting coalitions are ruled by the least commited members.

So the question to the cultural conservatives is: do you want 2004 to be the Republican high water mark or would you like to extend the string.

BTW I have yet to get an answer from any of my "we need a law" anti-abortion friends on why a black market in abortion services and abortion drugs would be a good thing.

All I hear is "if there was a law there would be no abortion". Sure. Well I suppose it is nice to have faith.

So tell me if your faith is so strong why do you need a law (men with guns) to enforce your position?

So what have the cultural conservatives learned from alcohol prohibition? From drug prohibition?

I'd say aproximately nothing.

I actully had a commenter on the subject say that abortion was different. OK. So what happens to policing and criminal justice when 300,000 miscarriages a year are each turned into a murder investigations? Aren't 30 or 40 thousand murder investigations enough?

What will reality look like (as opposed to utopia) if you get your wish?

I call this whole exercise Republican socialism.

In any case if you get your wish expect to see the Democrats make gains. A lot of RINOs will leave the coalition.

Look at how Keyes did in Illinois vs. Bush.

So is this the high water mark or the beginning of the end?

Do you want to make gains on the economic front and on the war or is abortion so important that you would give up further progress in those areas?

And how pray tell is it that smaller government people want to enlarge government in this area?

Oh. Well.

BTW I voted Bush/Obama. If you look at Illinois Bush got 1 million more votes than Keyes.

And that is just one RINO state. You take hits like that (or even 1/4 of that) in States Bush won and you would be howling like a post election Democrat.

Well any way I predicted these post election Republican purges in May of '03. I knew the cultural conservatives could not withstand the scent of power. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Did any of you remember Bush asking for the RINO vote in the last days of the campaign ("you may not agree with all my positions but I want your vote")? So you going to throw them off the bus now that you have won? That is not nice. People remember.

Welcome Instapundit readers.