November 30, 2006

Web Reconnaissance for 11/30/2006

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Joint Chiefs Oppose Iraq Pullout “All six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, amid an ongoing Pentagon review of strategy for Iraq, oppose pulling out U.S. troops now, and are also against a specific withdrawal timetable, a defense source said yesterday.” (READ MORE)

Turkey Lauds Pope's EU Support “Turkey praised Pope Benedict XVI yesterday for dropping his opposition to Turkish membership in the European Union.” (READ MORE)

Iraq Cancels Meeting after 'Ignorant' Memo “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki abruptly canceled the first round of face-to-face meetings with President Bush, after publication of a classified memo from the president's top security aide that says the Iraqi leader is either "ignorant," devious or incapable of governing right now.” (READ MORE)

Strong Protests for Visa Changes “President Bush's proposal to loosen U.S. visa rules for a select group of allies yesterday drew strong protests from security analysts and strong support from countries that hope to benefit from the liberalized rules.” (READ MORE)

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions Seen Similar to Holocaust “Iran's reported drive to make an atomic bomb has become an existential threat to Israel that some Israelis are likening to the Holocaust -- especially with the United States appearing to back away from confrontation with Tehran.” (READ MORE)

Israel's Offer “After five months of violence and political drift, there has been encouraging movement toward peace on the Israeli-Palestinian front this week. Much of it is because of Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert. Over the weekend Mr. Olmert agreed to a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip with Palestinian.” (READ MORE)

Study Group to Call for Pullback “The Iraq Study Group, which wrapped up eight months of deliberations yesterday, has reached a consensus and will call for a major withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, shifting the U.S. role from combat to support and advising, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.” (READ MORE)

More Muslims Gaining Political Ground “Although Md. Delegate-Elect Doesn't Trumpet Faith, His Win Signals New Surge.” (READ MORE)

Democrats Reject Key 9/11 Panel Suggestion “It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” (READ MORE)

News From the Front:
Jack Army writes Not Ready to Fly, Yet. “So, we are sitting around talking with the Iraqi Army Battalion leaders, minus the commander, and the conversation turns to politics, as it inevitably does. More specifically, Iraqi politics: who the insurgents really are, why Kurds and Arabs don't get along that well, Iran's motives in sending weapons and ammunition into Iraq, and other high-level concerns. It is impressive how aware these guys are about all the implications of each of these topics compared to each other and the influences of one to the other. I've said it before, these guys are not stupid, not by a far stretch. Anybody that thinks that the Iraqis are ready to be puppets or cannot think for themselves is seriously misguided.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio writes The Taliban Press “Taliban ban newspaper sales in North Waziristan; free press in Western Pakistan is in danger; North Waziristan Taliban Shura to meet on Friday. While many in the western press and various governments continue to debate the results of the Waziristan Accord, which turned North Waziristan over to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, Pakistani journalists, tribal leaders and local politicians describe the situation in the region as dire.” (READ MORE)

Commentary Fallujah Revisited “If you follow the news coming out of Iraq, you have seen too many headlines about the bloodshed in Baghdad in recent days. As American servicemen and women prepare to spend a fourth holiday season trying to help build a new Iraq, these headlines have led some people to conclude that our mission may be hopeless.” (READ MORE)

Marines Rescue Hostage, Uncover Caches “Marines assigned to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5 rescued one hostage and uncovered two partially buried caches today while conducting search-and-knock operations in Fuhaylat, Iraq. ‘By rescuing this gentleman and capturing the kidnappers, it shows the Iraqi people we do care for them, their safety and their future,’ said Lt. Col. William Seely, the 39-year-old battalion commander from Saigon, Vietnam. ‘I am extremely proud of those Marines. The Marines saved a life and reunited a family. It just doesn't get any better.’” (READ MORE)

SENIOR COALITION COMMANDER IN DIYALA PROVINCE SAYS BAQUBAH STILL FUNCTIONING “BAQUBAH, Iraq - The city of Baqubah is fully operational and not shut down, as reported by some media outlets, according to Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and senior coalition forces commander for the Diyala province.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Jules Crittenden writes OK, This Is The Deal “I get tired sometimes. It seems like there is nothing but devastation and death, it's all going to hell, for nothing. And I live in a peaceful place, I'm not even engaged in this thing, not like before. So this quiet, prosperous place must be an illusion, or I am. None of it makes sense. There is no answer. There is no way out.” (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas writing at writes If I were a terrorist “Taking a page from the unpublished O.J. Simpson book, if I were a terrorist, what would be my domestic strategy for bringing America to its knees?” (READ MORE)

Joel Mowbray writing at writes Ceasefire’s victims: Hamas’ Qassams keep firing “Within 48 hours of the enactment of the latest Middle East ceasefire, both Palestinian factions that signed on the dotted line violated the agreement by firing Qassam rockets into civilian areas, with the explicit goal of killing as many innocent Israelis as possible.” (READ MORE)

David Keene writing at writes Iraq is Dems’ tar-baby “An old Democratic friend of mine stopped by the Monocle last week and while there ran into a Democratic senator of long acquaintance. The Senator was, of course, quite pleased with the outcome of the election and is looking forward to the perks and responsibilities that go with being in the majority.” (READ MORE)

Austin Bay writing at writes Iraq's war of perception: 'Who is Jamil Hussein?' “In 1980, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke wrote a story titled ‘Jimmy's World,’ the startling tale of an 8-year-old "third-generation heroin addict" living in Washington, D.C.” (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico writes First Of Many? “How long does it take a politician to break a campaign promise? Evidently they don't even have to be sworn in to do it. Take the promise of implementing 'every recommendation of the 9/11 commission', heard ad nauseum by many of us who lived in close electoral districts. Well, that promise has already been promised to be broken.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit writes Breaking: Baker Commission to call for “gradual pullback” of U.S. troops “Just posted at the Times. The report won’t be delivered to Bush for another week but ‘people familiar with the panel’s deliberations’ say they’re going to recommend withdrawal ‘relatively soon’ but without a firm timetable.” (READ MORE)

Dean Barnett writing at Hugh Hewitt writes The Baker Commission - Looking Forward in Anger “From what we know so far, the Baker Commission is going to recommend that we cut troop levels in Iraq, attempt to make nicey-nice with our determined enemies in Iran and Syria, and demand Israeli concessions to serve as the deus ex machina to bring about peace in our time. In a word, oy vey! Coming from a commission headed by James Baker, the latter recommendation is especially jarring.” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap writing at Wizbang writes A Fallen Hero: Sgt. 1st Class James D. Priestap “My husband, Steve, and I received some very sad news Thanksgiving evening. Steve's cousin, Army Sgt.1st Class James Priestap, was shot and killed by a terrorist sniper while working at a checkpoint near Baghdad. He was wearing body armor, but he hit was in the shoulder, and the bullet went into his heart killing him instantly. Here's the AP story on his death:” (READ MORE)

Dafydd writes Attack Terrorist Funding - Unless That Means Attacking Terrorist Funding (Clinton Judges, Take 2) “A federal judge has struck down a critical element of "connecting the dots" to fight against terrorism: she says it's unconstitutional to freeze assets of terrorist groups -- because terrorist groups are designated by the president, rather than by a laborious, multi-year process involving Congress and the judiciary, clerks and aides, and the entire labor force of the Bureau of Procrastination...” (READ MORE)

Captain Ed writes A Strange Consensus On Iraq “The James Baker-led Iraq Study Group has found consensus around a set of policy goals, and in the best traditions of Washington DC, they have decided to leak it to the press a week prior to releasing it officially. A review of this consensus in the New York Times proves that when a group of politicians gather on any sticky policy issue, we can expect them to act like ... politicians:” (READ MORE)

Sgt Hook writes You Bet Your Life “Recognizing that I’m not as eloquent as the Drill, I nonetheless find myself compelled to respond to recent disparaging remarks regarding our men and women serving in uniform made by a certain elective representative. While I respect the congressman’s view on re-instituting the draft, as a career member of the profession of arms I sternly disagree with that view, however, I can’t help but to take issue with the following comment…‘If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.’” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl writes Why Fear The Left? “As I was saying over dinner with someone the other night, while I'm not crazy about the extreme far Right or the far Left, I fear the Left much more than I do the Right. Did you ever stop to think how most all of the dictators in this hemisphere are Leftists? And out Left has no problem with that? And for all their alleged pacifism, the Left will militarize in a heart beat for what it believes to be the correct cause. And many of the causes of the Left have little to do with what makes America great, or our Constitution.” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces correspondent Wordsmith writes Civil War!!! “It is sectarian violence. By any classical definition I can think of for the term ‘civil war,’ it does not fit what is going on in Iraq. But even if that rhetorical point were conceded over to the anti-war left- because that’s really the whole point of the label: to delegitimize the war, and reinforce the argument of ‘cut-and-run’- as Michael Medved says, ‘So what?’”(READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped writes Dreams of Peace and the HISH Alliance “It seems that everyone in Washington is waiting for the Baker Commission to deliver its report on the best way to abandon Iraq. Those who suggest that by withdrawing from Iraq (redeployment in the current euphemism) the Iraqis will somehow be forced to come to terms with the violence plaguing their nation and will find the requisite will and capacity to attain peace are basing their optimism on a wishful fantasy.” (READ MORE)

Red2Alpha writes PTSD Salad “…My first week at home in Grass Valley I went out one night to get some things from the store. I knew it was bad idea to be there the second I walked into the supermarket. Just that feeling you would get, unsteady in your stomach, hands cold, and knees weak, the buzzing in the back of your head before an IED went off and blew you up or the truck in front of you…”(READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity writes Dept. Of Homeland Security Report - RE: Illegal Immigration “I'll say it for the 9,354th time --being strongly against ILLEGAL immigration has NOTHING to do with a dislike for Hispanic people. As a matter of fact two of my very best friends are first generation Americans from Columbia... It has to do with dislike for lawlessness and a strong desire for National Security:” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club writes Our Stolen Future “Newt Gingrich argues that if the next terrorist mega-attack destroys an American city, the first casualty will be the First Amendment, followed possibly by the Internet. It's important to realize that Gingrich isn't arguing that restrictions on free speech are good. He is arguing that restrictions on free speech are inevitable if millions of people are killed in another terrorist attack. The problem is how to prevent both.” (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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