April 6, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 04/06/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
White House backs stem-cell bill “The White House yesterday signaled support for legislation that provides federal funding for stem-cell research using embryonic cells that have no chance of surviving.” (READ MORE)

Liberals push to impeach Bush “Congressional Democrats say their constituents are clamoring for something even the most liberal lawmakers promise they won't pursue: President Bush's impeachment.” (READ MORE)

Sailors' behavior in captivity probed “Fifteen British sailors and marines flew home after 13 days in Iranian captivity yesterday to a barrage of questions about their behavior while detained.” (READ MORE)

D.C. students graduate without meeting requirements “A government audit released yesterday questioned whether D.C. public school system officials fairly apply graduation requirements in city schools and uncovered more than a dozen students at one high school who graduated despite failing to earn diplomas.” (READ MORE)

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted “Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides ‘all confirmed’ that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.” (READ MORE)

Justice Department In New Fight Over Papers on Firings “The Justice Department is refusing to release hundreds of pages of additional documents related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, setting up a fresh clash with Capitol Hill in a controversy that continues to threaten Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's hold on his position.” (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Patrick S Lasswell: A Dormant Hell in Iraq “The Red Building in Suliamaniya, Iraq, is a legacy of Saddam Hussein's brutal state. It is shattered and dormant it is like an extinct volcano in the middle of the city, reminding everyone that hell once ruled here. This is where the Hussein regime took suspect citizens and held them for years to break their families. The people taken here were mostly family members of the Peshmerga fighting in the hills and held hostage to force others to comply, not because they were suspected of anything themselves.” (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: An Army, Not a Militia “Iraq is a country with three armies and I’m-not-sure-how-many militias and death squads. The Iraqi Army is nominally the national army, but it’s still being trained, supplied, and augmented by the coalition forces, which is to say the Americans. It’s also not allowed to operate in the north. The third army is the Kurdish Peshmerga, the liberators and protectors of the only part of Iraq – the three northern governates – that may be salvaged from insurgency, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and war.” (READ MORE)

Afghanistan JAG: Village Assessment for Humanitarian Mission “My Afghan colonel told me about a village in Kabul that was in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Unfortunately, you can't just jot down an address and run out and start distributing aid. You must always recon the area first. We planned the convoy during much of yesterday afternoon. As senior officer, I was the convoy commander.” (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: Changes “The times are changing at Camp Falluja. It's not just the situation outside the camp, though we've seen many changes there. The summer is coming, bringing hot air and dust storms. New Marines are arriving in Falluja, and before long, others will go home again. The chow hall and the telephone center are jam-packed 24/7. There are more people asking for directions.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Charles Krauthammer: Where was the EU in the capture of the British sailors? “Iran has pulled off a tidy little success with its seizure and subsequent release of those 15 British sailors and marines: a pointed humiliation of Britain, with a bonus demonstration of Iran's intention to push back against coalition challenges to its assets in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Burt Prelutsky: More Observations than you can Shake a Stick at “Being a U.S. attorney is not the same as being a Supreme Court justice. It's not a lifetime career. You want security? Get a job at the Post Office. But of course when Clinton lowered the boom on all those lawyers who'd been appointed by Reagan and Bush I, neither the media nor the GOP raised a stink about it.” (READ MORE)

Kathleen Parker: The Mother of All Blunders “On any given day, one isn't likely to find common cause with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He's a dangerous, lying, Holocaust-denying, Jew-hating cutthroat thug -- not to put too fine a point on it.” (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Gen. Pelosi's gift to our enemies “It is frankly astounding to me that people aren't making a bigger deal of the colossal impropriety of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's unauthorized trip to Syria. Where is the outrage?” (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Please bomb me! “It's probably a good rule to do the opposite of anything the Iranian theocracy wants. Apparently, this government is now doing its darnedest to be bombed. So, for the time being, we should not grant them this wish.” (READ MORE)

John Boehner: Mr. President, Veto This Bill “Democrats in Congress are evidently guided by a belief that skating on thin ice is better than skating on no ice at all. They insist on sending the White House a troop funding bill loaded with billions for completely unrelated pork barrel projects. American combat troops are now being used to grease the skids for spinach growers, citrus producers, tropical fish breeders, and the peanut industry. How proud my Democratic friends must be.” (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: President Bush has been too nice to Democrats “One thing Republicans should have learned over the past six years is the importance of having a President who is a master communicator. Unfortunately they have had to learn it by having a President who is not one. Not only is President Bush not a master orator, but he has just been too darn nice to Democrats who are playing politics at the nation's expense.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Liberals Need To Learn That Weakness Invites Attack “After the horrors of WWI, people became so adverse to war that, in 1928, nations across the world actually signed onto an international treaty called the Kellogg-Briand Pact. This, let's be generous and call it "ambitious" treaty, actually made war illegal and it was signed by 62 nations including Britain, France, the United States, and perhaps most notably, Germany.” (READ MORE)

Oliver North: The Price of Appeasement “’Where is the outrage?’ Those are the words of one of five former U.S. hostages I have spoken with since March 23, when 15 British sailors were taken hostage by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).” (READ MORE)

Rich Tucker: Hooked Up - and Reeled In “We’re also several decades into the modern ‘women’s rights’ movement, the one personified by the ERA. So it’s worth asking what women have really gotten from that movement. Sure, they’re free to ‘hook up’ with any man they please. But is that really good for them?” (READ MORE)

Rich Lowry: The Capitulation Caucus “On one day this past week, the Caucus had two high-profile symbolic standard-bearers: the captured British sailors smiling and shaking hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, thanking him for their release; and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meeting with the criminal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, relaying an offer from the Israelis to negotiate, without mentioning that they want him to abandon terrorism first. Pelosi and the sailors thus demonstrated the Caucus' favorite posture of the ingratiating cringe.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Opinion Journal: Democrats at War “Prime Minister Pelosi and Secretary of State Lantos undermine U.S. foreign policy--and maybe their own party. Democrats took Congress last fall in part by opposing the war in Iraq, but it is becoming clear that they view their election as a mandate for something far more ambitious--to wit, promoting and executing their own foreign policy, albeit without the detail of a Presidential election. Their intentions were made plain this week with two remarkable acts by their House and Senate leaders.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: The Taliban's internecine war in Waziristan “The Uzbek-Taliban fighting isn't what the Pakistani government wants you to believe - The Pakistani government continues to push the fiction that the fighting in South Waziristan is between tribes loyal to the government and 'foreign fighters' - namely Uzbek al Qaeda. We've noted from day one that the fighting is actually an internecine war over land and power between Uzbek al Qaeda and their Taliban allies, and Taliban who support al Qaeda.” (READ MORE)

Michiel Mans: European Civil War: Sooner Than You Think “Paul Weston wrote an interesting article about the inevitability of Civil War in Europe by 2025. I think it will be much sooner. I even hope it will be sooner. Not because I am a warmongering idiot — perhaps an idiot, but not a warmongering one — but because sooner will mean less death and destruction. To quote Mark Steyn: ‘At hinge moments of history, there are never good and bad options, only bad and much, much worse. Our options today are significantly worse because we didn’t take the bad one back then.’” (READ MORE)

Dymphna: The Vandals “Normally when we get a new post from Fjordman, it arrives in email form and the Baron formats it for the blog, finds an illustration, and then posts it. Once it’s up, I read it and follow the discussion in the comments. This last time, however, when I saw the subject line on the email that would become his most recent post — ‘Gang Mayhem Grips Los Angeles’ — I was intrigued. For personal reasons (discussed in an earlier post in which I described the gang beating my son recently experienced) the issue was on my mind.” (READ MORE)

Captain Ed: No Change In Iranian Position After Release “The US has determined that the release of 15 British Navy personnel reflects no great change in the Iranian diplomatic posture. The New York Times reports that the White House believes that the order for the capture came from lower levels, and the decision to release them came only after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrung as much publicity as he could without any negative consequences:” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Impeachment chorus on the rise Updates: Senator Teethflash weighs in “According to a Washington Times exclusive: ‘Congressional Democrats say their constituents are clamoring for something even the most liberal lawmakers promise they won’t pursue — President Bush’s impeachment.’” (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Ouch– Human Rights in Syria, and Pelosi’s Silence “Pelosi takes on the “tyrant” Bush, right? But not the real tyrant, Assad. ‘Pelosi’s visit took place at a time when several Syrian political and human rights activists are facing trial for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Former prisoner of conscience Kamal al-Labwani is due back in court on April 10. He was arrested in November 2005, on his return to Syria after several months in Europe and the United States, where he met with officials to call for peaceful democratic reform inside Syria.’” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Catching Hillary in a lie “Hillary spun this yarn for the Caucus blog at the NY Times and Jeff Zeleny failed to challenge it. Said Hill: ‘What has historically happened is that there has to be some negotiation and compromise. We may not get it, but I’m not ready to concede that. I saw a lot of what happened when my husband had a Republican Congress. We would stake out one position, they would stake out one position. And then people would begin to try to figure out how to narrow the difference. That’s what should be happening here.’” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: A New Pragmatism “The New York Times published an OP Ed today, written by a couple of academics, extolling the virtues of resolving any and all differences with Iran by acquiescence, concession, willful ignorance, or submission to Iran. Yes, I’m quite sure that would make Iran less belligerent. As a model for negotiation, however, Nasr and Takeyh provide a breath-taking example of ‘winning consensus’ by surrendering every objective in contention. Iran clearly subscribes to the North Korean school of conflict resolution, and in this Op Ed, the Times suggests that we would benefit playing the same game with Iran.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: April 6, 2003 “It was almost exactly a year after the fact that I met Larry Gwin. Joe Galloway had steered me toward him, when I told Joe I wanted to talk to local veterans of the Ia Drang battles for the 40th anniversary. In those days I pretty much just wanted to talk to combat veterans, people who knew about it. Larry, formerly of Alpha Co., 2/7 Cav, had 45 combat assaults behind him, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart, and had lived through a couple of the worst days in US military history.” (READ MORE)

Greyhawk: Exclusive: Poorly trained "reporter" gets facts wrong “A breathless exclusive from Editor and Publisher: ‘Soldier In New Friendly Fire Case Did Not Get Full Training‘Along with the reporter's lack of knowledge of circumstances, there are numerous factual errors in this report.” (READ MORE)

Dale Franks: Morality and Politics “Let me continue with the theme in my previous post. It isn't just the self-righteous tone of the left that gets up my nose. It is the assumption that their brand of politics is uniquely moral that irks me more than anything. First of all, all politics involves some level of immorality, because political power is the power, at the end of the day, of government coercion. To give money and power to the government is to give it the power to coerce the citizenry to do things they otherwise would not do. We don't, after all, submit our tax returns by 15 April of every year because we think it's a public-spirited thing to do.” (READ MORE)

Justin Levine: Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (part 5) “I am admittedly confused about one thing: Why is ‘compromise‘ over language necessary when there is supposedly ‘consensus’? That’s ok. Whatever the ultimate outcome is - we can rest assured knowing that it is ’science’. They just apparently need to meet behind closed doors and warn their people ‘not to divulge details of the negotiations’ in order to determine what the ’science’ is. Obviously. Doesn’t seem political at all.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: R-E-C-I-P-R-O-C-I-T-Y: Find out what it means to me “For some time, I've found the best metaphor for international politics is a playground. It isn't a perfect one, as it lacks adult supervision yet doesn't degenerate into a Lord Of The Flies environment (most of the time), but overall it works pretty well. (I spelled it out here, but another blogger did it sooner -- and far better -- here.) This is probably a bit of projection here, but sometimes I think that the United States is going through something similar to something I deal with pretty much every day -- what I call ‘The Big Guy's Burden.’” (READ MORE)

CJ: GWOT Success Worrisome? “As a Soldier, there are few things more frustrating than this. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that this country's war on terrorism is producing tangible results, the media has to find something else to minimize its value. Upon reading the very first paragraph, one would think there's cause for celebration: ‘President George W. Bush's administration has crippled al Qaeda's ability to carry out major attacks on U.S. soil but at a political and economic cost that could leave the country more vulnerable in years to come, experts say.’” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Price of Liberty “Pat Dollard claims that Mohammed Javad Sharaf-Zadeh, aka the Iranian ‘diplomat’ Jalal Sharafi, and the top Iranian terror-master in Iraq, was traded for the 15 British sailors. Eli Lake of the NY Sun, describes who his sources say Jalal Sharafi was: ‘The decision to release Jalal Sharafi on Tuesday was made at the White House, according to an administration official who asked to be anonymous because of the sensitivity of the information.’” (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: Save the World, Screw the Poor "Headline, 1998: Al Gore Charitable Contributions in 1997= $353. Today, the new and improved Al Gore is all about making the world a better place for all of us. He is contributing millions to the economy through the Feel Like You're Doing Something to Save Planet Earth sector, which is a subset of the much broader Self Esteem Sector, which itself is a subset of the Me Me Me sector. Yes, the Me Generation has tapped into a traditional urge, to do good (with someone else's money), and successfully married it to the traditional foibles of the well intentioned: naiveté and profound gullibility." (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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