April 3, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 04/03/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Reid Backs Iraq War-Funds Cutoff “Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid yesterday endorsed the Senate's toughest antiwar bill yet, a bid to cut off funding within a year, sending a clear signal to President Bush that the Iraq debate will continue in Congress regardless of whether he carries through on his veto threats.” (READ MORE)

Former D.C. Taxi Driver Pleads Guilty in Terrorism Case “A former D.C. cabdriver pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to aid a group on the U.S. terrorism list by attending one of its training camps in Pakistan, Justice Department officials said.” (READ MORE)

Iran, Britain Tone Down Rhetoric “Iranian officials said Monday that all 15 British sailors and marines arrested March 23 have admitted to illegally entering Iranian waters, but the officials said they would not broadcast any further ‘confessions’ on Iranian television due to positive ‘changes’” (READ MORE)

House GOP unites on war “House Republicans yesterday pledged to sustain a veto of the Democrats' war bill in a letter signed by 154 lawmakers -- eight more than needed -- the latest show of solidarity with President Bush.” (READ MORE)

Court hands 'greens' 2 big wins “The Supreme Court handed environmentalists two victories yesterday, ruling that the EPA has the power to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions and reviving a bid to reduce pollution at coal-fired power plants.” (READ MORE)

Christians seek visas to flee from Lebanon “Christians are fleeing from Lebanon to escape the rise of radical Islam and growing fears that the trend will result in a Sunni-Shi'ite civil war, with minority Christians trapped in the middle.” (READ MORE)

Obama hurries to build an army “Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, is rapidly building a presidential campaign organization using students, the Internet, grass-roots organizers and the support from up-and-coming young politicians.” (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Omar: Creating old ‘enemies’ for new wars. “Since the seizure of the British sailors and marines took place in Iraqi waters, making it an act of aggression against our allies in our territory, we’ve been following the crisis trying to predict out how this standoff’s going to unfold. Understanding the motives and goals of Iranian government is useful in predicting the way the crisis will end. Some pundits are comparing the situation with the US embassy crisis in Tehran back in 1979. I don’t find this comparison valid. The abduction of the sailors has more in common with the Bazoft case in Iraq in 1990.” (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: RUBS #3 “I had occasion to read through the comments on the last few RUBS dispatches and I noticed, with appreciation, all the notes from families of soldiers in the 1-4 Cav, who were glad to see something, finally, about their sons, husbands and dads and the critical mission they are undertaking in Baghdad. Many lamented on how rare this kind of news is, and wanted me to know how valuable it is for them.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Tawfik Hamid: The Trouble With Islam “Not many years ago the brilliant Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, published a short history of the Islamic world's decline, entitled ‘What Went Wrong?’ Astonishingly, there was, among many Western ‘progressives,’ a vocal dislike for the title. It is a false premise, these critics protested. They ignored Mr. Lewis's implicit statement that things have been, or could be, right.” (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: Hips Don't Lie “In 1992, a 13-year-old provincial Javanese girl shook her hips to the tune of the 1980s Western chart-topper ‘The Final Countdown.’ Onlookers noticed. The rest, as they say, is history--and a potentially violent culture war in the world's most populous Muslim state. Today, that girl, known here by her stage name Inul Daratista, is Indonesia's version of pop sensation Shakira, particularly when it comes to her astonishing dance routines.” (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: On "Outing" Gay Conservatives “The reason given by same-sex marriage activists for ‘outing’ conservative gays is that these people are ‘hypocrites’ who therefore deserve to have their sexual orientation revealed to the world.” (READ MORE)

Bill Murchison: They Always Blame America First “Who wants to lay some cash on the legal prospects of the six Muslim imams ousted from a U.S. Airways flight to Phoenix last November after their behavior -- e.g., chanting in Arabic -- scared passengers who thought another 9/11 might be in the offing?” (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Britain: Now and Then “Belfast, Northern Ireland - Twenty-five years ago, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher forcefully and decisively ordered British troops to the Falkland Islands to liberate them from an invading Argentine force. It was a military and political triumph widely supported by the public, leading to conservative victories at the polls for another 15 years.” (READ MORE)

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Human rights versus Sharia law “In a case in which a Muslim, Moroccan-born 26-year-old mother of two was petitioning for an expedited divorce from a man who had beaten her and threatened her life, Judge Christa Datz-Winter denied the woman's request, a woman who already had a restraining order on her husband after police were called last May because he attacked her. The reason for the injudicious divorce denial? The Koran, the judge said, instructs that ‘men are in charge of women.’” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Playing With Fire “Congressman Tom Lantos, who is a member of the delegation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading to Syria, put the mission clearly when he said: ‘We have an alternative Democratic foreign policy.’” (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Disappearing Elephant Could Squash Dems “The way I see it, politically speaking, Democrats better hope we don't withdraw our troops from Iraq before the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.” (READ MORE)

Phyllis Schlafly: Open letter to President Bush “I am glad to see that you fired some U.S. attorneys. But you missed one: U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who prosecuted border guards Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean instead of a professional drug smuggler, and who prosecuted Texas Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez instead of a professional people-smuggler.” (READ MORE)

John Noonan: Public relations, Tehran style “Past experiences, such as the first Iranian hostage crisis, the Chinese spy-plane incident, and the North Korean attack on the USS Pueblo, have taught the Iranians that we will not go to war over a few captives, but will instead negotiate for their release.” (READ MORE)

Rich Lowry: Fighting for subsidies “Spinach might not seem to have anything to do with military operations. But there it is, in an emergency supplemental bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: $25 million for California spinach growers, whose vigorous, martiallike spinach-growing had heretofore not been seen as part of the war effort.” (READ MORE)

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.: Assault of the 'Transies' “If the ominous nature of this wider struggle to the death - and the potentially grave implications for our society should we fail to wage it successfully - are being lost on too many Americans, practically none of them is paying attention to yet another, in some ways even more insidious, threat to our country: the assault on our sovereignty by the ‘transnational progressives.’” (READ MORE)

Jennifer Roback Morse: Is Feminism Finished? “I hesitate to proclaim the death of feminism, since it seems to be alive in the public square. Men are still being persecuted on trumped up rape charges. Fathers are still being kept out of their children's lives. The abortion lobby is still whining about crisis pregnancy centers. But judging from my recent debate at the University of Virginia, I'd have to say there ain't much intellectual life left in the old feminist corpse.” (READ MORE)

Dinesh D'Souza: Islam, a Religion of Violence? “Confronted with fanatical Muslims who seem bent on corroborating the worst accusations against their religion, we in the West seem justified in upholding Samuel Huntington's famous thesis of a ‘clash of civilizations.’ From the Danish cartoon controversy to the reaction to the Pope's Regensburg address, we seem to be witnessing a virtually unbridgeable abyss between Western principles and Islamic principles.” (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Beyond Iraq “The threat from radical Islamic terrorists will not vanish when President Bush leaves office, or if funds for the Iraq war are cut off in 2008. A frequent charge is that we are bringing terrorists to Iraq. That is true in the sense that war always brings the enemy out to the battlefield. But it's also false, since it ignores why killers like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (the late al Qaeda chief in Iraq), Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas (Palestinian terrorists of the 1980s), and Abdul Rahman Yasin (involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) were already in Saddam's Iraq when we arrived.” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Global reach, global power “When I joined the USAF, I spent the next six weeks letting TIs get my mind right for military service. They would march us around a big asphalt square, singing morbid chants about getting limbs blown off, losing loved ones, and spending the rest of our lives bedridden with grievous war injuries. It was chipper and cheery stuff, but it did the work of driving home the nature of the thing we’d all volunteered for. It was a good way to get the doubters to find their own way out of the military before their weakness might get people killed.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: ABC News: Iran has secretly tripled its enrichment capacity “Reuters put out a story earlier today in which they quoted Russia’s leading nuclear physicist laughing over the predictions about when Iran will have the bomb. He must already know, or else it’s a hell of a coincidence. The timeframe here — a bomb by 2009 — isn’t the news here. A British think tank said that was theoretically possible earlier this year. The newsflash is that they’re on track right now to actually do it.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: All right, we'll call it a draw. “I think it's safe to say that Israel -- and the world -- is far better off with Ehud Olmert as that nation's prime minister, and not me. Much of the world is all abuzz about the latest resurgence of a certain ‘peace plan’ being pushed by Saudi Arabia. It proclaims itself as the ‘answer’ to the intractable differences between Israel and the Palestinians, and much of the Arab world is lining up behind it. There's only two little flies in the ointment, though;” (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: The Iranian Plan “It's fun but foolish to stereotype one's enemies. It leaves you open to missing a critical perspective, or worse it can lead you into bad mistakes. While it is comforting to believe that the men running Iran have blundered into a minefield of bad options, in actual fact they have a strong hand in some ways, and we would be well advised to consider their intentions on different levels.” (READ MORE)

Captain Ed: Reid Wants To Play Chicken A Little Longer “Barack Obama assured America that the Democrats would fund the troops in Iraq if the White House vetoed the current supplemental two days ago. Speaking with the AP in Iowa, he said that the Democrats would not ‘play chicken’ with the troops and would drop the mandatory timetables in the next supplemental. Apparently Obama forgot to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about this strategy, because he announced that a veto would bring a defunding bill to the floor:” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: The Feinstein Chronicles: Old media/new media catfight “Still waiting for Dianne Feinstein's hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, to cover her reported resignation from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. Basic questions to be asked and answered: Did she or didn't she? And if she did, was it because of the reported ethical cloud over her head or not? Last week, I shared a reader's e-mail exchange with the paper's reader representative promising independent investigative reporting from San Fran's paper of record.” (READ MORE)

Andi: This Stage Too Shall Pass “Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine whose husband is deployed to Iraq. I saw both she and her husband just before he deployed. We first met at Ft. Hood 13 years ago, and though we've only seen each other twice in the past ten years, we've kept in touch and remain the best of friends. I said to my friend, ‘I can't believe how long it's already been since he deployed,’ thinking that it really had been, in military time, that is. She said, ‘well, it's only been three and a half months.’ I said, ‘yeah, but that's a long time.’ She couldn't decide if it was or wasn't. I decided it was, but this deployment wasn't really mine to measure. I've already measured my two deployments.” (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: British Rules of Engagement Will Probably Not Change, But SOP Will “There is quite a bit of chattering about whether there will be a change to the British Rules of Engagement over the recent seizure of British Sailors and Marines by the Iranians. I don't think so. What I think will happen is a big change in operating procedure, which is different than Rules of Engagement.” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Time Out On US Causing Hostage Crisis “Drudge links a breaking Independent story suggesting that a ‘botched’ raid by the US in Irbil is behind the reasoning for Iran to have taken 15 British sailors and marines hostage. But that story may not add up. See second link below. ‘In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.’” (READ MORE)

Euphoric Reality: British ‘Confessions’ “Does anyone else have a problem with the ridiculous dog and pony show the British hostages have become? There are two things about this whole fiasco that don’t sit well with me: 1. That the British military just allowed their vessel to be captured by the Iranians in the first place. No evasion, no defense, no fight, no resistance. 2. That none of the 15 British sailors and marines seem to be having any troubles with babbling whatever the Iranians want.” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Left Skipping Down The Defeatist Path “Recall when Harry Reid said this last November: ‘We're not going to do anything to limit funding or cut off funds,’ says Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Four months later: ‘Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday he will try to cut off funding for the Iraq war if President Bush rejects Congress' proposal to set a deadline for ending combat.’” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Talibanistan expands in the NWFP “Districts of Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Swat are Taliban country - As Pakistan's civil war continues, the Northwest Frontier Province slips further into the darkness of a Taliban ruled state. During a recent meeting between senior government political and security officials on March 6, the officials recognized the deterioration of the government's writ not only in the tribal areas, but in the settled districts of the province.” (READ MORE)

Dr. Rusty Shackleford: Terror Supporting Georgia Professor: Students Speak Out “I'm out for most of the week, but wanted to pass on this e-mail I got in regards to Dr. Hassan A. El-Najjar, who teaches at Dalton State College: ‘I live in Dalton, GA and went to DSC from 1997-1999. Although I never had a class taught by Prof. El-Najjar I did take an international relations debate class. One day El-Najjar was a guest to argue the pro-Palestinian side against a Jewish professor who argued the Israeli side. Everything was fairly civil for a few minutes but finally El-Najjar lost it and went off on a rant about how no one in Washington cared about the Palestinian people and how Israel was responsible for most of what is wrong in the world, etc.’” (READ MORE)

McQ: Updating the Feinstein resignation “Last week I mentioned that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had resigned from her chair on the Senate Subcommittee on Military Construction Appropriations. The reason - inquiries from the left: ‘The decision came less than two months after Metro Newspapers, a group of alternative weekly papers in northern California, detailed the number of defense contracts awarded to Perini Corp. and URS Corp., both of which her husband, Richard C. Blum, has ownership, according to the newspapers.’” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: The Newsman More Terrorists Trust “Turns out, contrary to Drudge, CNN’s Michael Ware didn’t heckle McCain. He made his snide remarks later, when McCain wasn’t around. There’s nothing to indicate Ware attempted ‘to harass and try to disconcert with questions, challenges, or gibes (Merriam-Webster).’ So the heckling charge is retracted. Iraq, like the United States, is (now) a free country. I’d be out of business and so would a lot of other people if we couldn’t mock our pols. Michael Ware has long made it clear where he stands, and I appreciate that.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: We Were Slaves “Tonight Jews all over the world will sit down to the Seder with family and friends and tell the story of Passover, a story handed down from generation to generation. For the religious, it is the story of G-d's deliverance of the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt. For the more secular Jew, it is the story of the struggle of the Jewish people for freedom and our perseverance in the face of those who, ‘in every generation,’ rise up to destroy the Jewish people. For the religious and secular alike, the story of Passover is a celebration of freedom, physical, political, and national, as well as spiritual, personal and religious.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Public sides with Bush ”Roll Call reported this morning that Republicans say a new poll backs their side in the Iraq War budget.’The new polling data, conducted March 25-27 for the Republican National Committee by Public Opinion Strategies, also found that 64 percent of voters oppose Democrats’ decision to include billions in unrelated domestic spending in the recent Iraq War supplemental.’” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Universal Moral Equivalence “Everyone knows what Moral Equivalence is. We get a big dose of it every day from the newspapers, from the TV, from the teachers in our public schools, and from our government officials. Moral Equivalence is the worldview tells us that there’s no real distinction between good and bad, between God and the Devil. It says that there’s no difference between Us and Them.” (READ MORE)

Robert Mayer: Chavez Goes Mullah On Easter Celebrations “Hugo's really done it now. He's relegated all of Venezuela to the status of college freshmen. Until the end of Easter, alcohol sales will be limited in public services such as restaurants to between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. while sales altogether are explicitly banned throughout the holy weekend. You heard me right. No spring break for Venezuelans. The reason for the ban is because alcohol drinking infuriates Chavez.” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: Honest to a Fault “I listened to recent commentary over at National Public Radio (NPR), in which one of the ‘anchors’ was discussing with a correspondent the replacement of 8 Federal Prosecutors by the Bush Administration. As all of mainstream media is doing with this story, the NPR apparatchiks were conflating politics with policy. I know they share the same Latin root, and many observers view them as one and the same, but they differ.” (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: The Third Islamic Invasion of Europe “Islam scholar Bernard Lewis gave the Irving Kristol lecture at the American Enterprise Institute March 7 (via Melaine Phillips). Among other things, Lewis talked about ‘a return among Muslims to what they perceive as the cosmic struggle for world domination between the two main faiths--Christianity and Islam.’ He points out that among religions, Christianity and Islam claim to be universal, unlike Hinduism or Judaism. In other words, Christianity and Islam want to spread the word to all people.” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Conduct Between UK and US Soldiers Compared “Bottom Line Up Front: The fifteen British sailors captured in Iraqi waters by Iran are disgracing themselves and their country. Compared to the conduct of U.S. soldiers, the Brits are failing at their mission. It’s been about a week and a half since the 15 British troops were abducted from Iraqi waters by Iran and I can’t help being disturbed by the conduct of the British sailors. One could chalk it up to intimidation, but there’s something odd and unsettling about the way these captured troops are sucking up to Iran and disrespecting their country.” (READ MORE)

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