April 19, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 04/19/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Gunman sent surprise media taunt - The Virginia Tech student who killed 32 persons during a rampage on campus left behind a trail of bizarre behavior and disturbing evidence, including a video confession and pictures of himself wielding guns, which he mailed in between his two deadly attacks. (READ MORE)

Partial-birth abortion ban upheld - The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a federal law prohibiting partial-birth abortion, marking the first time a specific abortion procedure has been successfully outlawed. (READ MORE)

Bush, Democrats remain apart on war - Neither President Bush nor top Democrats, who met yesterday for an hour at the White House, budged in their 10-week-old standoff over a $100 billion emergency funding bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Turkey, Pakistan public oppose bigger Islam role - Turkey and Pakistan, two influential Muslim states, have seen massive public demonstrations in recent days in which huge crowds protested that Islam was playing too big a role in public affairs. (READ MORE)

Gunman Sent Video During Lull In Slaughter - Cho Seung Hui paused Monday morning during the shootings at Virginia Tech to stop at a post office and mail to NBC News in New York a disturbing package of pictures, writings and video before returning to the rampage. (READ MORE)

High Court Upholds Curb on Abortion - The Supreme Court broke new ground yesterday in upholding federal restrictions on abortion, with President Bush's two appointees joining a court majority that said Congress was exercising its license to "promote respect for life, including the life of the unborn." (READ MORE)

Bombers Defy Security Push, Killing at Least 158 in Baghdad - BAGHDAD, April 18 -- Bombs ripped through several mainly Shiite districts in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 158 people and wounding scores more, police said, in the worst wave of carnage since President Bush announced three months ago that he would deploy additional troops... (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Sgt Dub: 18 April 2007, here I am. “18 April 2007, here I am. Ok. we finished our video conference with our Oklahoma National Guard. They are focusing on us getting demobilized and back to Oklahoma. This is the difficult part of the deployment, maintaining our awareness and our missions while still serving here and preparing everything that is required to get us out of here. It's a juggling act for sure.” (READ MORE)

Patrick S Lasswell: With the Peshmerga in Kirkuk, Iraq “Embedding with the Peshmerga is different than going with the other Coalition forces. For one thing, there is the absolute absence of paperwork. Michael showed me some of the bureaucracy he has to struggle with to go to Baghdad. On the other hand, we had to provide our own car and driver. Since we had an ace driver who was also our translator and friend, this was fine with us. Going in a low visibility sedan instead of a Hummer with a turret and ATTACK ME written all over it also has a certain appeal.” (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: Where Kurdistan Meets the Red Zone “Just south of the Kurdish autonomous region in Iraq’s northernmost provinces lies the violence-stricken city of Kirkuk, the bleeding edge of Iraq’s ‘greater’ Kurdistan, and the upper-most limit of the asymmetric battleground known as the Red Zone. Kirkuk is claimed and counterclaimed by Iraq’s warring factions and is a lightning rod for foreign powers – namely Turkey -- that fear a violent ethnic unraveling of their own that could be triggered by any change in Kirkuk’s convulsive status quo.” (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Dedication... “‘Two wounded inbound. IED attack’ the Army coordinator says. We go to the OR, turn on the lights, start warming fluids, ensure the oxygen generator is turned on along with the anesthesia machine. After that we wait, always with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety. ‘Headlights coming down the alley’ yells one of the surgeons.” (READ MORE)

Badger 6: Badgers Forward “Being a Commander means that you are ‘responsible for everything your unit does or fails to do.’ That is a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are no excuses for something done wrong or something not done that should have been done. But there are a few perks as well. One of them is being allowed to set practices for the Company.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Jules Crittenden: Patriots Day “Capt. John Parker, Lexington Militia, alleged remarks at Lexington: ‘Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.’” (READ MORE)

Cliff May: After the Fall “Imagine that it's 2009 and a Democrat is in the White House. He (or she) determines that the U.S. mission in Iraq has failed irretrievably. What happens next? It is not too much of a stretch to say that Kenneth Pollack and Daniel Byman -- foreign policy analysts who served in the Clinton administration and strong candidates to serve in a future Democratic administration -- have proposed an answer in the form of an ‘analysis paper.’” (READ MORE)

Matt Towery: Inside the Numbers: Here Comes Trouble “Six years after South Carolina officials removed the Confederate battle flag from atop the state capitol dome in Columbia, debate over the compromise that lowered the flag has been revived by a famous football coach.” (READ MORE)

Suzanne Fields: When Reality is Murder “We search for meaning in tragedy, particularly in the sudden deaths of our young, and a tragedy like that at Virginia Tech emphasizes the poverty of language and image as we grasp at solace and hints of understanding. Investigators look into security issues, psychological clues and missed opportunities for prevention, but that's only with hindsight.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: A Trail of Slime “District Attorney Michael Nifong has apologized to the Duke University students he indicted for rape for ‘judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect.’ Contrary to the fashionable phrase, ‘mistakes were made,’ there is no reason to believe that any mistake was made by District Attorney Nifong in this case, or that he misjudged anything other than miscalculating what he could get away with.” (READ MORE)

Marvin Olasky: A presidential candidate's personal life is not private “In 1999 Gingrich said that voters ‘have the right to know everything about a presidential candidate, everything, because they're going to be in an Oval Office with nuclear weapons, and you have the right to know in advance 'Who is this person?' I agree. That means it's fine for reporters to ask about Gingrich and Giuliani's adultery, Romney's religion and the personal lives of Clinton, Obama, Edwards, McCain and others.” (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: Keeping their Earmarks “The Senate's Democratic leaders have a political problem with earmarks. Ever since the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ in Alaska captured the public's imagination last year, they have been on record against legislators stealthily slipping in their favorite spending projects. But most senators, from both parties, really want to keep earmarks.” (READ MORE)

Jerry Bowyer: Ismail Ax: The Shooter Was Another 'Son of Sacrifice' “The Virginia Tech shooter died with the name Ismail Ax written in red ink on his arm. The mainstream press doesn't seem to have a clue as to what this might mean. To quote Indiana Jones, ‘Didn't any of you guys go to Sunday School?’” (READ MORE)

WSJ Opinion Journal: Partial Reversal “Yesterday's abortion ruling was only a baby step. To hear the extremes of the abortion debate tell it, yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart is the beginning of the end of abortion rights in America. The Christian Coalition declared that ‘it is just a matter of time’ before Roe v. Wade ‘will also be struck down by the court,’ while Senator Hillary Clinton called it ‘a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman's right to choose.’” (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: The Numbing Down of America “Blacksburg seen from an emotional distance. The killing of 32 students and teachers across the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., is as awful in its particulars as virtually any of the stories of death on a large scale that have struck the national consciousness. And yet it seems somehow that the public's emotional response to this event has been more controlled than in times past.
This is in no way to suggest that the response was inappropriate, inadequate or lacking sympathy.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Hollywood Meets Reality at Guantanamo Bay “Recently on the CBS show ‘Criminal Minds’, an episode showed the FBI traveling to Gitmo to question a detainee.
Using ‘enlightened’ techniques judged far more humane than those employed by the US military, the FBI was quickly able to gain a confession and foil an anthrax attack on a mall in Northern Virginia There's just one problem with Hollywood's portrayal, says Kitma Rotunda, a former Army Judge Advocate General's Corps officer in Gitmo: prompted by human rights advocates, the military long ago outlawed such 'enlightened' tactics. You see, according to the international community, they, too are ‘torture’:” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Who's looking out for you? “I don't care much for Bill O'Reilly, but I have to give him credit: he's a bulldog on some issues where we need one, and he has a great ear for phrases. And one of his catchphrases, one he used for one of his books, is ‘who's looking out for you?’ It's an important question, one that we should very, very carefully consider -- especially in light of the Virginia Tech massacre.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The Real Problem With The Environment Is The Number Of Living Americans “Republicans don't like breathing dirty air and drinking polluted water any more than other people despite what you may hear from the left, so why doesn't the GOP get the credit that we deserve for taking care of the environment? Simple.” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Bury Manifesto With Cho “There is value in dwelling on this so-called manifesto of Cho's. But that value rests in analysis by mental health and security professionals tasked with protecting society from psychotic individuals who, in their madness, seek to do the innocent harm. NBC pretended to strike a blow against the continuing degradation of our culture when it recently fired talk radio host Don Imus. Airing the ramblings of a madman before professionals have had time to evaluate them, or those impacted the most have had any time to heal, is proof positive that NBC, like most media outlets, couldn't care less about degrading our culture.” (READ MORE)

Rhymes with Right: AP Seeks To Tie Cho, Bush Administration “How is the employment of the killer's sister relevant -- or newsworthy? The sister of the gunman responsible for the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history works as a contractor for a State Department office that oversees billions of dollars in American aid for Iraq. Sun-Kyung Cho is employed by the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, according to U.S. officials and a State Department staff directory that says she works from an annex near the department's headquarters in Washington.” (READ MORE)

McQ: They’re back: It’s "zero population growth" time again “After predicting catastrophe if we ever reached a population mark a couple of billion under what we now have on this planet, the anti-population growth agenda is again emerging and being argued as a major cause of Global WarmingTM. If you’ve been wondering how they were going to wiggle back into the game, here’s how it works - The pitch: ‘Human population growth is the paramount environmental issue, Ric Oberlink, a spokesman for Californians for Population Stabilization, told Cybercast News Service.’” (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff : Blood sport and its enablers “Ruth Marcus tries to find the common thread between Alberto Gonzales and Paul Wolfowitz. This seems to be the fad among Washington Post columnists. Yesterday, Eugene Robinson tried to link Gonzales and Wolfowitz (along with Karl Rove) and Richard Cohen produced a specious piece trying to equate Gonzales and Mike Nifong. The theory may be that piling on more non-scandals (or in Cohen's case a real scandal) will give the Gonzales affair the weight it currently lacks.” (READ MORE)

WLS: How Quickly Harry Forgets — His Own Vote “For high comedy, look no further than the esteemed Majority Leader in the United States Senate, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. Here was his recorded vote on S.3 — “A bill to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial birth abortion.” You can find Senator Reid’s vote of “Yea” listed three different ways. Skip ahead to the Supreme Court’s decision today affirming S.3 against a facial challange to its constitutionality. As reported by CNN:” (READ MORE)

Greyhawk: Transition the Mission! “Last year the Democrat's favorite retired generals had two goals: get rid of Don Rumsfeld, and get more troops into Iraq: This year they've been replaced by new favorites: ‘Flanked by two former Army retired generals Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) blasted President Bush for “clinging to a failed escalation strategy” in Iraq and failing our troops and our country.’” (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: Of Mice and Men “Mark Steyn has an excellent piece, A Culture of Passivity, in which he quotes Kathy Shaidle, ‘Remember: when we say we don't know what we'd do under the same circumstances, we make cowardice the default position.’ That's strange. The word ‘cowardice’ jumps up from that sentence and hits you in the face. The reason it does is that we are not to judge the actions of people under stress or duress. None of us wants to think of these young people and their teachers in terms of what they could have done to make the massacre less. It wouldn't be appropriate to say any one of them were ‘cowardly’ in the face of this mad man.” (READ MORE)

The Good Lt.: Can Eric Boehlert Read? (Mvmts. 1 & 2) “I.In the name of full disclosure, we first present the political contributions of Media Matters CEO David Brock: There. Isn't sunlight great? OK, then... II.The latest keyboard spasm of Media Matters hatchetman Eric Boehlert was the opening 'salvo' - a sweeping and disjointed indictment of "conservative bloggers." And he even ends it begging for a kick in the teeth: O'Neill's claims disputed? Yes.O'Neill discredited? Yes.Your move, Hinderaker.Peter Rabbit would be wise to stay out of Mr. Hinderaker's garden. Never pick a fight with a tiger. A tiger, or a lawyer who helped tear down Dan Rather.” (READ MORE)

Dean Barnett: Congressional Ignorance “I made a silent promise to myself to never again link to Tucker Carlson after he transformed himself from a respected journalist to a prancing ninny on “Dancing with the Stars” last year. But promises, especially silent promises, are made to be broken. You have to see this interview Tucker did with Democratic congressman Carolyn McCarthy.” (READ MORE)

Fjordman: The Migration Flood “In 1974, former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne warned Europe in a speech at the UN : ‘One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory. Soon we will take power in this country.’ ‘Those who criticize us now, will regret it. They will have to serve us. Prepare, for the hour is near.’ — Belgium-based imam in 1994.” (READ MORE)

Indian Chris: Virginia “Master Of None brings up, what I would consider, a very valid point about the recent killings a Virginia Tech. Some people see someone of a different race or nationality and brush off things that should be sending the lights flashing and the sirens blaring because they don’t want to “offend” anyone. They don’t want to be perceived as racist or intolerant.” (READ MORE)

Gribbit: Remember Their Reactions Come Nov 2008 “I say this in reference to the reactions of the potential nominees for both political parties in relation to the news today that the Supreme Court of the United States finally took a stand against that reprehensible practice known as partial birth abortion. In a 5-4 decision, the high court of the United States officially put an end to the practice upholding a 2003 law banning the practice. I guess Tiller the Baby Killer had better find a new specialty. If not, he needs prosecuted for the crimes he commits.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Al Qaeda on the Offensive “After a relative lull in major, mass casualty suicide attacks inside Baghdad, al Qaeda in Iraq has gone on a major offensive inside the capital city. Al Qaeda's latest suicide offensive began on April 13; the last major bombing inside Baghdad was in a Shia market on March 29.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Pot, kettle, NY Times “The New York Times’s editorial reaction to the Supreme Court on abortion was written as if the decision were not read. It seemed pedestrian. It is as if after 34 years of debate over a pathetic procedure, even the rabid supporters have tired of the subject. The headline was as in error as it was uninspired, ‘Denying the Right to Choose.’” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: You'll Never Walk Alone, Until We Kill You “Iranians have reacted with outrage to the latest decision of their Supreme Court, which threw out murder charges against members of an elite state militia because the victims were ‘morally corrupt’. Members of the Basiji Force, a group of vigilantes which basks in the favor of the mullahcracy, had the right to kill their victims for their moral terpitude ... including the heinous and dangerous act of an unmarried couple walking together in public:” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: Iran and the Taliban “Andy McCarthy at NRO tips us off to a NY Times article, reporting a recent seizure of an Iranian arms shipment to the Taliban in Afghanistan. In further commentary, McCarthy highlights a Thomas Joscelyn piece from a year ago that explored earlier evidence of Iranian cooperation with the Taliban: ‘Tom Joscelyn wrote this Weekly Standard piece a year ago about a high-ranking Taliban detainee at Gitmo who has acknowledged providing security for a meeting between Taliban leaders and Iranian officials in the weeks after 9/11, during which Iran pledged to help the Taliban in its war against the U.S.’” (READ MORE)

Cool, Calm & Collected: Resentful? “I was asked the other day (during my massage that was supposed to be relaxing, but all she did was talk and ask questions... quite annoying. But that's another story!) if I was resentful at the military for everything that has happened. To any of you who might have any question about that at all, my answer is absolutely not.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: An Answer to D'Souza's "Where is Atheism?" Question “Dinesh D’Souza asks an interesting question in his AOL Blog relating to the tragedy at Virginia Tech; ‘Where Is Atheism When Bad Things Happen?’ ‘Notice something interesting about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings? Atheists are nowhere to be found. Every time there is a public gathering there is talk of God and divine mercy and spiritual healing. Even secular people like the poet Nikki Giovanni use language that is heavily drenched with religious symbolism and meaning.’” (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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