May 29, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 05/29/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Bush Looks To Intensify Pressure On Sudan - President Bush has decided to implement a plan to pressure Sudan's government into cooperating with international efforts to halt the violence in its troubled Darfur region, where his administration said almost three years ago that genocide was taking place. (READ MORE)

Campaign Puts New Strain on Secret Service - The U.S. Secret Service expects to borrow more than 2,000 immigration officers and federal airport screeners next year to help guard an ever-expanding field of presidential candidates, while shifting 250 of its own agents from investigations to security details. (READ MORE)

U.S., Iran Open Dialogue On Iraq - The United States and Iran held their first official high-level, face-to-face talks in almost 30 years Monday to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, and officials emerged generally upbeat about the renewed dialogue, suggesting additional meetings were likely. (READ MORE)

Talks revive U.S.-Iran ties - The United States and Iran broke a 27-year diplomatic freeze yesterday with a four-hour meeting on Iraqi security. The American envoy said there was broad policy agreement but that Iran must stop arming and financing militants who are attacking U.S. and Iraqi forces. (READ MORE)

Jihadists moving into Lebanon from Syria - Heavily armed foreign jihadists have been entering Lebanon from Syria from around the time Western authorities noticed a drop in the infiltration of foreign fighters from Syria to Iraq, Lebanese officials say. (READ MORE)

Minority caucuses question alien bill - Members of the House minority caucuses say they have serious misgivings about the Senate immigration bill and the debate surrounding it, saying that many of the important issues of trade and agricultural policy are being overlooked. (READ MORE)

Chavez channel prompts protests - National guard troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets yesterday into a crowd of protesters angry over a decision by President Hugo Chavez that forced a critical television station off the air. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Badger 6: Transition “It's late. Late in our time here to be changing missions, but missions is why we are here and the Soldiers will do what they need to do to accomplish those missions. Although all of our Soldiers in the Sapper platoons trained to do the Route Clearance missions, however, for a variety of reasons, when we arrived in Ar Ramadi some of those Soldiers though were tasked with other missions.” (READ MORE)

Duke in Iraq: Casualties of War “Women and children are both a direct and indirect casualty of war. One of my roles during this deployment has been to care for the children who have been injured as well as care for those who have come to our gates seeking help where many Iraqi’s consider the only place in their country where their children can be helped. There are many reasons why children are injured. The most common reason children come to us is from IED blasts or mortar attacks.” (READ MORE)

Duke in Iraq: Final “I am flying on a C-17 flying to Andrews AFB. I have finished my second tour in Iraq and now I am accompanying about 40 injured home. I am on this flight as a medical attendant for an Army Sergeant who was shot in the back by the Taliban after leaving a ‘Peace talk’ meeting the US Army had set up to help the Afghani and Pakistani border guards get along. As he and his fellow soldiers left the meeting they were ambushed by members of the Taliban from behind. He was shot in the back three times. He requires an attendant so continuous pain medicine can be slowly dripped directly over his spinal nerves (an epidural) for pain relief. It is an honor to leave my deployment in Iraq in this manner.” (READ MORE)

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross: Featured Report from Iraq: A look at the surge from Baghdad “As I write this, I’m nearing the end of my time embedded with the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery (known as 2-32), which is working with the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division while in Iraq. During my time in the country, I was able to go on a number of patrols; see some of the fruits of the current military ‘surge’; get a look at the Iraqi security forces and interview American soldiers and officials about their progress; speak with a number of servicemen, military officials, and Iraqis; and visit several locations in Iraq, including the International Zone and Baghdad outside the wire. This report, which I wrote exclusively for The Fourth Rail, is designed to summarize what I found.” (READ MORE)

Gene E. Blanton: Featured Report from Iraq: Grandkids and War Zones “CAMP HABBANIYAH, AL ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ: In September 2005, when I told my wife, Shelia that I was going to be embedded with the 2nd Marine Division in Al Anbar Province, she said ‘When most guys hit fifty, they get a Corvette, or a Harley or a woman half their age. You run off and play Marine.’ I planned the trip around the arrival of my granddaughter – Hannah - who was scheduled to be born five days after my return. By scheduling the trip to coincide with the new arrival, I knew it would keep my wife busy with less time to worry about me. I had given my daughter, Heather, a direct order that she was not to deliver before I returned. She disobeyed the order.” (READ MORE)

Omar: And so they met today! “Iran's and America's ambassadors to Baghdad met here today. Iran's attitude didn't only make the meeting unproductive, it made it insulting. Ignore the meaningless diplomatic pleasantries of ‘the meeting was positive’ or ‘we'd like to meet you again in the future’ and stuff like that that we hear after almost every meeting between diplomats. Iran mocked Iraq and America today, their ambassador was here just to laugh at us and buy time for his regime by trying to fool us with his we-want-to-work-this-out-through-negotiations.” (READ MORE)

Noah Pollak: Remember the conventional wisdom? “I’ve had little time to post over the past week, as we’re in full production mode at the journal I work for and my days have been busy. But I wanted to make a brief observation about the situation today in Gaza, as by my lights there are three fundamentally important premises of recent Middle East diplomacy that the lawlessness there has overturned -- and quite violently, at that. The first is the notion that power would moderate Hamas.” (READ MORE)

JD Johannes: Kharmah Awakens "'In fact, there is a civil war in progress in Iraq, one comparable in important respects to other civil wars that have occurred in postcolonial states with weak institutions. Those cases suggest that the Bush administration's political objective in Iraq--creating a stable, peaceful, somewhat democratic regime that can survive the departure of U.S. troops--is unrealistic.' Professor James D. Fearon, writing in the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs. There is one problem with Professor Fearon's thesis--the facts on the ground that I am seeing right now and that he has not seen in person or not seen recently." (READ MORE)

On the Web:
W. Thomas Smith, Jr: For the families “This Memorial Day week - I say week, because Monday was MD observed, Wednesday is MD actual - we remember lives lost in all of America’s wars since 1775. But I personally feel it is especially important to remember the most recent losses.” (READ MORE)

Ashley Herzog: Why feminists don't speak for me “During my three years as a columnist for my college newspaper, I’ve resisted frequent requests that I explain my opposition to feminism.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: A War of Words “It has long been recognized that those on the political left are more articulate than their opponents.” (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: Liberal Hypocrisy on the 2008 Campaign Trail “There’s been no shortage of stories to strengthen the ‘hypocrite’ label that’s dogged John Edwards’s presidential campaign, but that doesn’t mean the other Democrats running for the White House haven’t been acting holier-than-thou. Here are few liberal campaign follies you might have missed because you were watching the Johnboy?s ‘I Feel Pretty’ YouTube for the 100th time.” (READ MORE)

Peter Berkowitz: The Conservative Mind “The left prides itself on, and frequently boasts of, its superior appreciation of the complexity and depth of moral and political life. But political debate in America today tells a different story. On a variety of issues that currently divide the nation, those to the left of center seem to be converging, their ranks increasingly untroubled by debate or dissent, except on daily tactics and long-term strategy. Meanwhile, those to the right of center are engaged in an intense intra-party struggle to balance competing principles and goods.” (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: Bond of the Sea “Aboard the USS San Jacinto--This Memorial Day weekend, Martin Brown boarded a ship he had first known as a much younger man. The USS San Jacinto is today a 9,600 ton, 567-foot Aegis cruiser with phased-array radar that can simultaneously track scores of targets over hundreds of miles. In the spring of 1945, when Mr. Brown first came aboard, it was an 11,000 ton, 622-foot aircraft carrier headed for battle off the coast of Japan. ‘They have things on this ship we couldn't even contemplate,’ says Mr. Brown, 80. Yet the two San Jacs have more in common than just a namesake.” (READ MORE)

Andrew Roberts: 1688 and All That “When the English-speaking peoples consider the forces that have made them the global hegemonic political culture since the mid-19th century--representative institutions, the rule of law, religious toleration and property rights among them--they look back to Britain's ‘Glorious’ Revolution of 1688. What at first looks merely like a minor coup d'état that replaced the Catholic King James II with his Protestant Dutch nephew and son-in-law, King William III, was much more than that. It heralded nothing less than a complete realignment of worldview for the Anglosphere. It changed everything.” (READ MORE)

WSJ: Another Iranian Milestone “In 2005, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate predicted that Iran would be unable to produce sufficient quantities of weapons-grade uranium until ‘early to mid-next decade.’ Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran was operating 1,312 centrifuges -- up from 164 just last year -- and could be operating as many as 3,000 within a month. That's enough to produce one bomb's worth of uranium every year. So much for another CIA ‘slam dunk.’” (READ MORE)

Augean Stables: Israele Siamo Noi: Italy’s New Bestseller? “Ruthie Blum, whose laser vision has skewered more than one unsuspecting victim, interviews Fiamma Nirenstein, the fiery Italian journalist who went from 60s radicalism to proud Zionism in her life of passionate integrity. Fiamma’s new book — Israele Siamo Noi — represents what I hope will be the beginning of a turn-around in European perceptions… from the sick (in the Nietzschean sense) self-hatred and dhimmi appeasement of the current anti-American, anti-Zionist “left” to a healthy respect for all that Western culture has achieved in the way of civic culture, freedom and tolerance, and the courage to defend it against global Jihadis.” (READ MORE)

American Ranger: Memorial Day, 2007: We Must Never Forget “I remember the 18-year-old kid from Tennessee who let me use his transistor radio, the baby-faced private from North Carolina with the big grin, Staff Sergeant James, Sergeant Brezinski and Sergeant Dowjotas. There are others whose names, God forgive me, I cannot recall. All of their names are on the Vietnam wall because they gave their lives for their country.” (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: Stunning media spin on Chavez “The initial headlines are either unclear or they’re working at happy spin: ‘Chavez launches new Venezuela TV station.’ That sounds merry, doesn’t it - as though Hugo Chavez is happily launching a new enterprise and celebrating! The story is a bit different, though:” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: One Man, One Vote, One Time “There was a joke that once went the round of programmers which posed this challenge. ‘Write a procedure to determine whether power has been cut off to the CPU.’ Like many jokes, especially Polish ones, it relies upon the existence of an implicit contradiction. Look for the implicit contradiction pointed out in this observation from Samizdata, which is unfortunately in deadly earnest: ‘Venezuela is a case study of how democracy is no sure defence against tyranny and how it can actually be the means by which it comes about. I realise we already have the example of Germany in the 1930's, but unlike the NSDAP, the democratic majority for Chavez was far less ambiguous than the ones that incrementally brought Hitler to power.’” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Cindy Sheehan Says Bye-Bye “Cindy Sheehan is leaving the anti war activism gig that she has enjoyed for a few years since her son was killed in the war. Cindy is upset because she is being attacked by Democrats for taking them to task for their stance on the war. She has come to the realization that she was the darling of the Democrats while bashing the Republicans but as soon as she aimed her anger at them they would have no use for her. We have known this for a long time and many of us said that she would no longer be useful once the Democrats took control of Congress.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Cindy Sheehan Says Adios “Once the ‘darling’ of the Left, a woman to whom crowds flocked, Cindy Sheehan has discovered that she has worn out her welcome by attacking everyone. In a missive she sent to the Democratic caucuses in Congress, Sheehan has renounced her membership in the party, claiming to have been as abused by the Left as she was by the Right:” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: And THIS is Honoring the Soldiers on Memorial Day? “Some on the left are complaining that yesterday's Day by Day Cartoon wasn't really a Memorial Day salute but more of a media bash with old facts. Actually the fact that the good news from Iraq is still not being reported IS appropriate to bring up when talking about Memorial Day. After all, the soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq are dishonored everytime the media goes into ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ mode instead of balanced reporting. Then I find this report about how Iraq Veterans Against the War and their comrades at Code Pink and Veterans for Peace saluted the soldiers on this Memorial Day weekend.” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Piano Wire Time for Ward Churchill “The mills of the University of Colorado grind slowly, but they’re about to grind Ward Churchill exceedingly fine. The president of his own university has recommended firing the infamous ‘Native American activist’: ‘The president of the University of Colorado has recommended that a professor who likened some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi should be fired, according to the professor and the school.’” (READ MORE)

Gribbit: Congressional Dems Proving That They Cannot Govern “I’ve been saying since before the midterms that the Dems are incapable of governing. This is being proven by the mistake popularly known as the 110th Congress. Syndicated columnist Robert Novak hits the ball out of the park with his piece, ‘DO-NOTHING CONGRESS‘. He says…” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Marine Mom Disputes Richardson's Campaign Story “Bottom Line Up Front: Democratic Presidential candidate and Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson refuses to apologize to a Marine mom who says Richardson is using her son’s death to boost his campaign.” (READ MORE)

A.M. Mora y Leon: All Hell Breaks Loose In Caracas “Students went on strike all over Venezuela today, shutting down every major university in the name of free speech. El Universal reports that it's about eight big ones with all the kids marching onto OAS headquarters to urge the hemisphere's democracy-certifier to grow a spine. Miguel has a live report about what he saw in the streets, as well as photos. It sounds like turmoil and now troops have opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas to break up the protests.” (REAR MORE)

McQ: Someone You Should Know: CPL Robert J Mitchell Jr “When I prepare these stories for presentation on the ‘Someone You Should Know’ segment of WRKO's ‘Pundit Review’ radio show (Sunday nights 7-10), I have to practice them a number of times because, well, I have a tendency to get choked up. Just can't help it. What these young people do just has that effect. So I have to practice over and over and over again just to make it through without that long obvious pause while I collect myself.” (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Thinking 'Mission' in Iraq “Memorial Day was an appropriate time to check assumptions and revisit what we are asking our warriors to do in Iraq. Its funny how suggesting that can become a political 'hot potato.' But when I suggest that, it isn't really about supporting the war against terrorists, or whether war is an appropriate tool of foreign policy. I am personally all for aggressively seeking and killing those terrorists who threaten America and agree that war, no matter how ugly, is sometimes necessary given the evil that threatens us.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: How Not to Report "Some of the News That's Fit to Print" “The MSM are remarkable in the bias that they hide from themselves. If the New York Times were an honest newspaper, they would be clear about their biases and their news stories would be more believable for just that reason. Instead, through commission and more often, through omission, they tell stories that present their views while labeling them news. On the front page of the New York Times today is a typically slanted story which contains all the elements of the Times programmatic approach to the news.” (READ MORE)

GBear: Memorial Day Meaning “I am very privileged to have contact with some of the personnel, military and civilian, in-theatre. People I have universally come to admire and will, unfortunately for me, probably never meet! I was recently blessed with an email from one such person about his Memorial Day experience down range today. It was too good to keep to myself. Thought I'd share with you that this email was sent to me by a civilian working in support of the military. He has been in Iraq for two years and has volunteered to extend his stay through December in order to finish out the tour with the troops who are there with him now! Thanks to all who are willing to serve, civilian and military. Your sacrifices are monumental and mostly unknown!” (READ MORE)

Tarek Heggy: Between Tribalism and Statehood “The sociology of the Arabian peninsula tribes is the key to understanding the Arab character and mentality. In order to trace the historical features of that character and mentality, we must try to imagine the way of life in the inland wastes of the eastern regions of the peninsula over the last twenty centuries. But why the eastern not the western regions? We shall explain why after presenting a panoramic survey of the historical features of the character and mental make-up of the tribes inhabiting the eastern regions of the Arabian peninsula, specifically the tribes of the hinterland, not the coastal areas.” (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Propaganda we hope is true “On the brink of tomorrow's face-to-face negotiations with Iran, the United States stands accused of -- say it is so -- spying. ‘Iran summoned the Swiss ambassador Sunday to protest what it called recently uncovered U.S. espionage networks, state television reported, the day before the Islamic republic planned ambassador-level talks with the U.S. on Iraq.’” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: A Memorial Day Tale of Two Warriors; One Tour of Duty Ends, One Begins “Memorial Day, USA. Parades, speeches, shows of support for the troops, followed by backyard picnics, time with the family, perhaps even the beginning of vacations and summer leisure. Well, for some of us. On this Memorial Day the family of Deborah Johns is celebrating and thanking God for her son William's safe return from Iraq. He has just finished his third tour there as a Marine and received a well-deserved hero's welcome Saturday when he arrived in San Francisco. For my sister-in-law, my nieces, and our entire extended family, there is a different mood, as this Memorial Day marks the end of my brother-in-law David's first week in Iraq. His first tour as a U.S. Army pilot is just beginning as is the long year of waiting and worrying.” (READ MORE)

SnoopyTheGoon: Gullibility of fools? “A person’s power of self-persuasion is nothing short of miraculous. Watching the comedy unfolding in the Hay festival with the new darling of the British press, one Ghazi Hamad, I really do not know whether to laugh or to cry. The miraculous power that makes apparently intelligent people believe any outrageous lie and disregard the truth they are facing is really the best builder of mental walls. Read the report by Katharine Viner who is the features editor of the Guardian and, incidentally ‘the editor of the award-winning play My Name is Rachel Corrie’ (nothing wrong here, it is all about art after all). The report deals with a momentous event - appearance of the above mentioned Hamas’ luminary on stage at the Hay festival for an interview.” (READ MORE)

John Donovan: Heh. As usual, Bill Arkin gets it *almost* right. “...and thus proves the point. Bill sez: 'As I see it, beyond the social networking and communications functions, the Milblogs have set themselves up as an anti-news media squad. The conference included many discussions of the deficiencies of mainstream press coverage of Iraq. In fact, some people actually believe that, with the availability of worldwide news on the Web and the emergence of military blogs, the Pentagon press corps and even the mainstream news media is obsolete.'” (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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