December 18, 2006

Web Reconnaissance for 12/18/2006

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Saudis report Shi'ite 'state' inside of Iraq “Iran has effectively created a Shi'ite ‘state within a state’ in neighboring Iraq, defying both Iraqi Sunnis and neighboring Sunni nations, according to a Saudi security report.” (READ MORE)

8 Virginia flocks break away “Eight Northern Virginia churches announced yesterday they will leave the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia after their congregations voted overwhelmingly to depart because of liberal trends in the 2.2-million-member Episcopal Church.” (READ MORE)

U.N. funds for Iraqi refugees decimated “A shortfall in donations is expected to shrink the U.N. refugee agency's budget for Iraq to less than $15 million, despite continuing sectarian violence that has displaced more than 3 million people.” (READ MORE)

Fatah, Hamas broker cease-fire “Rival Palestinian factions reported a cease-fire deal yesterday after militants fired on the entourage of Foreign Minister Mahmoud Al-Zahar of Hamas and mortar shells landed near the Gaza residence of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.” (READ MORE)

U.S. Sees Growing Threats In Somalia “Six months ago, the Bush administration launched a new policy in war-torn Somalia, putting the State Department in charge after secret CIA efforts failed to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from seizing power in Mogadishu. It hoped that diplomacy would draw the Islamists into partnership with more...” (READ MORE)

News From the Front:
Bill Roggio writes The ROC - On patrol with 3 Company, 3-2-1 Iraqi Army in southern Fallujah “FALLUJAH, IRAQ: The mission of the Police and Military Transition Teams here in Fallujah is to assist with the turnover of the city to the Iraqis. This is happening, slowly but surely. In southwestern Fallujah, 3 Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division (3-2-1) owns the battlespace of a majority of the Resafa neighborhood. Resafa was one of the last bastions of al-Qaeda during the 2004 assault on the city.” (READ MORE)

Greyhawk writes Iraqi forces ready to take over security responsibility in Nejaf province “Via email, the latest news from Haider Ajina: Greetings, The following is my translation of a headline and article, which appeared in Iraq's ‘Buratha News’ on December 14th. ‘Iraqi forces ready to take over security responsibility in Nejaf province’” (READ MORE)

Mohammed of Iraq the Model writes The political process enters a new phase. “Instead of a 'national rescue front' led by the opposition some influential politicians here are considering forming a new political front made up of members of the government ostensibly to override sectarian and ethnic divides, and it seems there's support from Washington to form this bloc. More about the shape and role should be clear when Tariq al-Hashimi returns from there as he represents one of the main candidate components of the proposed bloc (the Islamic party, the SCIRI and the two Kurdish parties) with reports about possible inclusion of the Iraqi bloc of Allawi, who already said he'd join the bloc if he gets invited to.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Jules Crittenden writes If You Stand Up to Them, They Will Cave “George Bush has not yet engaged. In fact, he gave some. Donald Rumsfeld and a rethink, to be specific. Now let the caving begin. Harry Reid says he's OK with a troop surge, as long as sending 30,000 more troops to Iraq is part of a comprehensive scheduled surrender plan.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber writes Newsweek reporter: 'Iraqis are more optimistic about the future than most Americans are' “Silvia Spring of Newsweek International reported Iraq's economy is growing strong, even booming in places. ‘How? Iraq is a crippled nation growing on the financial equivalent of steroids, with money pouring in from abroad. National oil revenues and foreign grants look set to total $41 billion this year, according to the IMF. With security improving in one key spot — the southern oilfields — that figure could go up.’”(READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped writes Change and Stasis “True creativity is a rare trait. The number of people who have discovered truly new insights into the nature of reality are so few as to be memorialized as giants. From the tiny number of people who discover such revolutionary and dramatic insights, a still small army of bright and talented people can then develop the ideas and make them meaningful and important to all of us. This is essentially how technological progress ends up benefiting all of us, as fundamental science makes the transition to technology.” (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson writes Israel Did it! When in doubt, shout about Israel. “These are strange times. Perennially beleaguered Israel, for instance, was hit all summer long with rockets from Lebanon and Gaza, as the world watched and kept score in an absurd new game of proportionality: Israel was to be blamed because its hundreds of air strikes against combatants were lethal, while Hezbollah was to be excused for shooting off thousands of rockets aimed at civilians because of its relative incompetence.” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru writes Tim Johnson, Illness, Humanity and Humility “I can't recall my first reaction on hearing the news of South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson's apparent stroke last week. What I felt quite vividly however, was a sense of revulsion at the speed with which a variety of pundits--on both the left and the right--began doing the political calculus. It began within minutes.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit writes Breaking: Capt. Jamil Hussein located? Update: E&P can barely contain its excitement! “Armed Liberal says he might have a positive ID — at the Yarmouk police station, no less, just like the AP said. Notably, he spells the first name “Jamail,” not “Jamil.” Could I have been right about a possible snafu with Arabic names? Could Patterico be right with his “third way” theory? Or could it be that the AP was right all along and we’re about to eat a huge shinola sandwich?” (READ MORE)

Hugh Hewitt writes Al Qaeda in Mogadishu “Al-Qaeda, long hovering in the shadows, has established itself as a presence in the Somali capital, say U.S. officials, who see a growing risk that Somalia will become a new haven for terrorists to launch attacks beyond its borders.” (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker of Power Line writes "Moderate Conservatives" Running Well In Iran “This Associated Press report on local elections currently going on in Iran is interesting, and should be read together with Scott's post below. I don't know a lot about Iran's political structure, nor am I clear on whether votes are counted honestly enough for election results to be meaningful. In any case, however, the reported results are of interest:” (READ MORE)

Homefront Six writing at SpouseBUZZ writes All I want for Christmas... “The question was posted over at the Castle...‘Whattaya Want for Christmas?’ So, I answered. I was in a somewhat melancholy mood and trying my best to avoid throwing myself a pity party. I would like a better answer to my daughter's comment that she misses her daddy besides ‘me too, baby. Me too.’ *sigh* A winning lottery ticket would be nice. I'm not greedy - 5 zeros would be acceptable. A fast forward button on life?” (READ MORE)

Michelle of Reformed Chicks Blabbing writes Bethlehem Under Islam “This is what Christianity looks like under Islam. ‘The town's Christian population has dwindled from more than 85 per cent in 1948 to 12 per cent of its 60,000 inhabitants in 2006.’” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express writes John Conyers Announces His Agenda (Here Come the Socialists) “I wanna know who died and made John Conyers the "king". Reading this article from Political Affairs, you would think that Conyers was elected President of the United States... ‘You are now being addressed by Chairman John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee,’ Conyers told an overflowing audience at the University of Detroit Mercy.” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl writes If Only The Democrats Meant It “Just an observation: One of the factors Dems cite for withdrawing troops from Iraq is the fear that the Iraqis will come to depend on America for police and military functions if we don't. I, and I imagine many others probably agree. Now let's apply the concept to entitlement and other domestic programs the Dems treat like sacred cows.” (READ MORE)

Andi of Andi’s World writes Matt Damon: Just Another Pretty Face “…Isn't Damon part of the crowd who likes to tell us to reach for the stars, live our dreams and pursue our ambitions? This, the same crowd who wants to impose mandatory military service on someone who didn't choose it? The smart set. The "do as I say" set. The set who, time and time again, prove they have the platform and ability to throw out ridiculous statements but have not the wits to think through how silly their statements really are. After all, their words are far more important than the words of those who actually chose military life.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins writes The 40 Most Obnoxious Quotes Of 2006 (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex writes Bless you “They say you know a man by his friends. If that’s true, then you also know a warrior by his countrymen: ‘We were informed at the gate that the remains of MSgt. Shawn Richardson would shortly be loaded on our flight for the trip to Miami. He was a 17 year veteran of the United States Air Force and had been killed in the service of our country. I went down onto the ramp and found the long box appropriately stationed off to the side in a luggage cart.. The curtains on the cart were pulled. It was my honor to spend a few moments in prayer with him.’” (READ MORE)

Jack Army writes The Great Pretender “You know, the chickenhawk meme is so worn out, but there are still those that just can't let it go. They truly believe in it. For those of you not familiar with what a "chickenhawk" is, I'll explain. If you support the war and are of military age but are not serving in the military, you are a chickenhawk. A hawk for supporting the war, a chicken for not participating in the war. Makes sense, huh?” (READ MORE)

Captain Ed writes How Foreign Aid Hurts Rather Than Helps “For long-term disasters like famines, one can usually find a political problem that keeps food and medicine from the people who need it, rather than a purely environmental issue. This has been true of African catastrophes like Ethiopa and Somalia, where the means for food production have fallen victim to dictatorships that use food as a weapon against their enemies. It turns out that the same dynamic can be found in shorter-term disasters -- like tsunamis, for instance. The massive aid sent to Aceh in the aftermath of the killer tidal waves of two years ago has not funded relief, but instead enabled a new shari'a police that have subjugated the women of Aceh:” (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo writing at Blackfive writes W chooses victory “We do want to win right? That is a question we don't have a clear answer to. I don't know what a poll would tell us, nor do I really care. We have a Commander in Chief rather than a War Council or War Plebiscite for a very good reason, war is by far the hardest thing we do as a country and we are weak.” (READ MORE)

Donald Sensing writes ‘Going Big’ in Iraq is last chance “If the president decides to "go big" in Iraq early next year, then the campaign will be as violent as the initial invasion, though limited in scope. The report of the mostly-dilettante Iraq Study Group, released Dec. 6, has all deservedly but dropped out of sight. Like a bowling ball thrown into a swimming pool, it made a big splash, sank like a brick and left few ripples.” (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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