April 9, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 04/09/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
President Renewing Efforts on Immigration “President Bush will relaunch his push for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws today in Arizona, with a fresh speech on the border and a new congressional leadership that is friendlier to his views, but with the same dynamics that scuttled his last attempt:” (READ MORE)

Democrats' Cause Is Tempered by Political Realities “During the 12 years that Republicans ran the House, their leaders didn't pay much attention to affordable-housing activists. Despite soaring rents and complaints of a deepening affordability crisis, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) told his conference that he didn't want to see housing bills on the floor.” (READ MORE)

Sadr Blames 'Evil' U.S. for Violence “Calling the United States the ‘great evil,’ radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Sunday accused U.S. forces of dividing Iraq by stoking violence. He also urged his Mahdi Army militiamen and Iraqi security forces to stop fighting each other in Diwaniyah, a southern city where where clashes erupted late last week.” (READ MORE)

4 Years After Hussein's Fall, Regret in Iraq “In a garage filled with classic motorcycles, Khadim al-Jubouri stared at the four-year-old magazines he usually keeps tucked inside a wooden desk. All of them contained photographs of a lone, burly man wearing a black tank top and swinging a sledgehammer into the base of a tall, bronze statue of Saddam Hussein. The man was Jubouri.” (READ MORE)

Al-Sadr leads anti-U.S. push “Radical cleric Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr, ending weeks of tacit cooperation with American forces, called for renewed efforts to drive U.S. forces out of Iraq on the eve of a major anti-American rally in Najaf today.” (READ MORE)

Senate Democrats say they won't halt funding for troops “Two leading Senate Democrats said their party will not cut off funding for U.S. troops in Iraq, distancing themselves from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, who now says he supports doing so.” (READ MORE)

Barry fights to stay out of prison “An attorney for D.C. Council member Marion Barry is urging a federal judge to uphold a recent ruling that has kept his client and former mayor out of prison.” (READ MORE)

GOP stem-cell bill threatens liberal rival “The White House's endorsement last week of a Republican-crafted stem-cell research bill that its authors say doesn't promote the destruction of embryos could doom a more liberal version for the second consecutive year.” (READ MORE)

Iraqis Protest U.S. Occupation of Iraq “Thousands of Iraqis marched to the city of Najaf today at the urging of militant Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr.” (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Badger6: America's Broken Down Army? “Mrs. Badger 6 sent me this link from Time Magazine. It is entitled America's Broken Down Army and while it has many good points to it, it also demonstrates what is wrong with the reporting about this war. I could answer the article point for point, but I could write a book and will address only one issue.” (READ MORE)

Omar: Baghdad is Quiet, Mosul is Trying to Impose Law. “It seems that in Iraq days just refuse to pass silently and they insist on having their own incidents. Today and yesterday are no exception and several significant incidents happened, or still happening, in the fourth corners of the country. Except for Baghdad which remained quiet today. In the west, particularly in Anbar, the Anbar Awakening Council announced the capture of what appears to be an intelligence treasure. This is what sheik Hameed al-Hayis, a member of the Council told al-Sabah yesterday:” (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: "I Demand Secularism." “‘I demand secularism,’ Iyad Jamaleddin told The Washington Post in Iraq the other day. As is the case with many Iraqis, Jamaleddin would much prefer secular rule to the current clerical domination of Iraqi politics. What makes Jamaleddin's views noteworthy, however, is that he is a Shiite cleric. He prefers secularism, he explains, ‘not because I'm against religion, but because I want to safeguard religion.’” (READ MORE)

The Calm Before the Sand: War and Faith “War and faith, it seems to me, must always have had a close relationship. Ironic, since many mainline forms of religion would consider war antithetical to their charters. That being said, for those close to death, there are few more effective salves for the spirit than faith. Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or Pagan--the true diversity of our military is reflected in our expressions of faith.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Michael Barone: The Road to Damascus “The woman second in line for the presidency (after Vice President Dick Cheney) seemed to believe she was on a Henry Kissinger-like shuttle diplomacy mission from Jerusalem to Damascus.” (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: Worse than Apartheid? “Jimmy Carter raised hackles by titling his book about the Palestinian question ‘Peace Not Apartheid.’ But Palestinians allege this is worse than the former South African racial separation.” (READ MORE)

La Shawn Barber: Seattle’s Guilt-Tripping Battles “Thanks to Seattle Public Schools’ race-obsessed, guilt-tripping, finger-pointing bureaucrats, it can’t seem to stay out of the news.” (READ MORE)

Brad Stone: A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs “High-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Yet more proof of "figures don't lie, but liars can figure" “Well, the Boston Globe is at it again. They're pushing their anti-war agenda once more, this time trotting out the notion of ‘if more people had to suffer for the war, they'd smarten up and agree with us’ schtick. This time they're using tax policy as their club, much like those who call for the return of the draft. According to the Globe, Americans making more than $300,000 a year are paying the lowest tax rates in 50 years. This is abominable to them, as there should be more ‘shared sacrifice’ and they want Congress to raise taxes.” (READ MORE)

Nathan Bradfield: Special Rights Bill for Gays Can Define Church Operations “For all the whining homosexuals heap on us about not desiring morality ‘forced’ upon them in this country, it’s not enough for them to have the freedom to commit sodomy in private. They are seeking to do the very thing they demand opponents not do: legislate morality in their favor. What they are forgetting is that 1.) all legislation is morality of some kind, 2.) their’s is not currently in place, and 3.) if they don’t like it, there are legal ways to change it. Though this has become the typical route liberals seem to take, it is not correct.” (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Taliban Set Conditions for American Surrender in Afghanistan “Buoyed by actions of the US Congress, Taliban commander Mullah Dadallah recently set down his conditions for US surrender in Afghanistan in an interview broadcast by Al-Jazeera TV. ‘The Americans sent us invitations to negotiate. By Allah, it would not be manly of us to respond to those messages, while they are occupying our country, and while our women and men are detained in Cuba and Baghram, and while fire rages throughout our country.’” (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: The Iranian Hostage Crisis: Khumeinist Victory “It is a very good thing that the 15 British sailors and Royal Marines are safe and back home. Whatever one thinks of the circumstances of their surrender and their behavior while in captivity, good people can only be happy that they have been returned back home without physical injury. Further, I am pleased to have been incorrect in my prediction that they would spend a long time in captivity.” (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: A word from Sergreant Brooks “A reader has forwarded us a message from Marine Sergeant Baker Brooks, who is about to be deployed to Iraq and wants to make his feelings known: 'To My Family & Friends, As some of you know my Marine Corps Reserve unit will soon be re-activated to fight in Iraq. I won't give details as to our timeline, destinations, or missions as they will change daily and operational security is paramount. Regardless, I will be leaving soon. And the question that I have been asked the most is "How do you feel about going back to Iraq?" Well... I've told them how I feel and now, if you could spare a minute, I would like to tell you how I feel.'” (READ MORE)

McQ: Finally - Al Sadr orders Mahdi Army to attack US troops, most likely from the safety of Iran “Muqtada al Sadr may be a firebrand, but I doubt very much he has much in the way of physical courage. Assumed to be safe in Iran, al Sadr has ordered what is left of his Mahdi Army to attack US forces: 'The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraqi forces to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate their attacks on American troops rather than Iraqis, according to a statement issued Sunday.'” (READ MORE)

Ray Robinson: America's Broken-Down Media “According to Mark Thompson, writer for Time magazine, America's army is broken. While it can not be argued that the military can possibly maintain the same state of readiness in war time as it does in peace time, broken has a certain specific ring to it: incapable, demoralized and poorly trained.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: The Diwaniyah Battle “Sadr calls for Iraqi security forces to end the fighting in Diwaniyah as the Iraqi military and U.S. forces pursue the Mahdi Army - Operation Black Eagle, the security operation against Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army in the central Shia city of Diwaniyah, has entered its fourth day. The last news from the city indicates 39 fighters have been captured and ‘several’ killed.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Bias at the BBC--and Britain gone soft again “The London Telegraph reports that the bitter old BBC won't air a drama about Britain's youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero ‘because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.’ The subject of the drama was Private Johnson Beharry. Here's the full citation of his heroism from the British Ministry of Defence:” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Glass, Half-Empty “NYT is forced to acknowledge progress in the surge. Grudgingly. Meanwhile, al-Sadr breaks cover. Well, he orders his people to. As far as we now, Moqtada’s lying low in Iran. ‘Sheik Salah al-Ubaidi, a close aide to Sadr, said from Najaf … ‘There is a 65 percent possibility that Moqtada Sadr will come to the demonstration.’” (READ MORE)

Hugh Hewitt: A Baghdad Update From Lt. Col. Mark “Excerpts of an e-mail from my pal, Lt. Col Mark, in Baghdad: ‘The war is going better. Don't let the news media convince you that we are losing. The new strategy will take a while to be successful. There are some favorable signs now but they are still superficial.’” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: That Pesky Iran Thing Again--Borders, Boundaries and Values “There is work and there is blogging and the latter has eclipsed the former of late. I started this post last Tuesday. My apologies to regular readers. My lack of posts is not for lack of thoughts on the world scene and most of them center on Iran, the legacy of empire, and the bounds of constitutional powers. (Yes, the three are related.) There are so many angles. Here are a few I've been thinking about:” (READ MORE)

Gribbit: Levin Promises War Funding - But Why? “Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, says that he will block legislation aimed at cutting off funding for the Iraq war. My question is: What is his motivation? The answer can be very simple or it can be very selfish. Either way, I don’t think that it is because he wants to see the United States accomplish our goals in that country. The answer if simple can be to protect the Democrat majority.” (READ MORE)

Ian: (Video) Lieberman says Pelosi’s trip to Syria was “bad for America” “Sen. Lieberman condemned Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria, calling it “bad for the United States of America” and ‘good for the Syrians.’ Lieberman went on to talk about Syria’s support of terrorism throughout the Middle East, including Iraq. Liebs doesn’t seem to agree with Pelosi’s notion that ‘the road to peace goes through Damascus.’” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: GWOT Not “More on the war against terrorists [not to be called the Global War on Terror]. The controversy revolves around a Department of Defense (DoD) department, specially tasked, run by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith. Feith and his department developed intelligence assessments separate from and at times divergent from Intelligence Community (IC) consensus opinions, and the independent assessments of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other IC component Agencies.” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Two Variables: Patience and Impatience “Kepiblanc responded thoughtfully in the comments to Michiel Mans’ post about the impending European Civil War. His essay is worth reproducing here in its entirety. He was replying to to Zerosumgame, who asked, ‘Who wins?’: ‘Well, we do — of course. A religion, an ideology, a culture or an empire have three strategic options: to win by the word, the sword or the womb.’” (READ MORE)

Captain Ed: Reid Vs Levin On Troop Funding “Carl Levin and Harry Reid seem to be on different pages in the battle over funding and withdrawal timetables for the war in Iraq. Just a couple of days after Harry Reid threatened to defund the war effort if Bush did not accept mandatory time triggers for troop withdrawals, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee insisted that the Democrats would not follow the Majority Leader's lead on funding:” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: What's Next, Reid and bin Laden? “From the murderous dictators of terrorist-sponsoring regimes to Islamist leaders themselves: ‘A top U.S. Democratic congressman met a leader of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's most powerful rival, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, U.S. officials and the Islamist group said Saturday.’” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Sadr Three Years On “This month is the third anniversary of the 2004 Madhi Army uprising. Is Sadr now winning or losing? Captain Ed notes that Moqtada al-Sadr now openly admits he is losing steam. ‘In a missive to his forces ... Sadr told his minions to focus their attacks on American forces where possible in order to keep from losing all political standing in Iraq’. A few days ago, AP reported that two Iraqi cabinet ministers belonging to Moqtada al-Sadr's party have supported a proposal to turn Kirkuk over to Kurdish control causing Sadr to call for the suspension of the ministers. They switched sides on him.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: AP Hopes for More Iran Compromises and that Unicorms are Real “I had to read this ‘analysis’ by AP’s Sally Buzzbee twice before I decided it was not a belated April Fool’s joke. In a word, outrageous: ‘Iran’s abrupt release of 15 British sailors and marines is raising hopes the country might compromise on other disputes, most notably its nuclear program.’” (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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