April 26, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 04/26/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
House OKs war funding with pullout - The Democrat-led House last night narrowly passed a $124 billion war-funding bill with a timetable to pull out troops from Iraq, voting hours after top U.S. military commanders made a personal appeal to congressional leaders not to meddle in war strategy. (READ MORE)

Dow soars past 13,000 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged nearly 136 points yesterday to close above 13,000 for the first time as investors dismissed concerns about rising energy prices and a slowing economy to focus instead on the strong performance of multinational corporations... (READ MORE)

Red Crescent chief calls on U.S. to push for aid - With more than 850,000 people displaced and on the move within its borders, Iraq is in the midst of a major refugee crisis and the United States has an obligation to help resolve it, the head of the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization said yesterday. (READ MORE)

House Passes Iraq Pullout Timetable - The House last night brushed aside weeks of angry White House rhetoric and veto threats to narrowly approve a $124 billion war spending bill that requires troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin by Oct. 1, with a goal of ending U.S. combat operations there by next March. (READ MORE)

Baghdad's Fissures and Mistrust Keep Political Goals Out of Reach - U.S. military commanders say a key goal of the ongoing security offensive is to buy time for Iraq's leaders to reach political benchmarks that can unite its fractured coalition government and persuade insurgents to stop fighting. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Michael Yon: Desires of the Human Heart, Part One “Gunshots ring out at three in the morning as I write these first sentences. Gunshots, providing muse and meter for this dispatch home to America. Gunshots, three of them. The war is close. All of the more than one-hundred photos in this dispatch were taken in proximity to the three main structures visible in this photo. In the left background, smokestacks bellow columns of soot into the air. In the middle is the Church, amazingly unscathed in the middle of a war zone, and slightly to the right of that, in the background, is a minaret the enemy has used as a fighting position.” (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: VBIEDs at the Gate “We rolled back to Ramadi early Sunday afternoon, after a long rotation out to Falluja. I took my personal gear and my 240B machine gun into the barracks, and stopped in to say hello to my medic buddy. I was headed back out to the 5-ton dump truck that we use to transport gear for another load of rucksacks and bags when the air split with a loud craaack-BOOM, and the ground shook underfoot. Everyone flinched towards the ground, and someone dryly cracked ‘That didn't sound like outgoing.’” (READ MORE)

Duke in Iraq: Duke asks "Why?" “Caring for the wounded and sick children of war I have many opportunities to see the families who are devastated by how their child has been drawn into this conflict of men. In war there are times when children are innocently harmed when a bomb or a bullet goes astray or when children are being housed with terrorists. Unfortunately, what is becoming more common here is the purposeful targeting of areas that are known to have children present e.g., markets and streets near schools. It is hard to understand the mind of the person who would purposely target the innocent.” (READ MORE)

MasterGunner: And The Army Goes Rolling Along… "Well, the talk about the “Great Surge Of 2007” has died down a little, and now the big news is the extensions of Active-Duty military tours in from twelve to fifteen months. Believe me, being on the ground, with a 9mm strapped to my hip, and dust on my boots, I have heard all manner of crying and whining. But I have also seen guys shrug, smile, and drive on with the mission. Why?" (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Joe Katzman: In Praise of Senator Biden: Survivable Rides for the Troops “Senator Biden [D-DE] took some deserved heat the other day for saying something really stupid, not exactly an uncommon occurrence for a politician. What is uncommon is an effort by a politician that actually makes a difference on the ground, and fulfills a moral calling. Which Senator Biden has also done recently... and so I'd like to cover that road less traveled, instead.” (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: Blacksburg's Silver Lining “In the wake of an event such as Virginia Tech, our system moves heaven and earth to figure out what went wrong and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. This of course is what we did after September 11 and after the botched response to Hurricane Katrina.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: Rewriting History a Classroom at a Time “By now, we're used to people like Iranian President Ahmadinejad denying that the holocaust ever happened, even while he and his regime promise not only the destruction of Israel but the elimination of Jews internationally.”(READ MORE)

Mitt Romney: The Fundamental Flaws in the McCain-Feingold Law “Washington's back-scratching political class apparently sees it differently. A few years ago, they locked arms around a measure sponsored by Senators John McCain, a Republican, and Russ Feingold, a Democrat, imposing unprecedented restrictions on the political activities of everyday Americans. (READ MORE)

Christopher Hitchens: Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates “When I first began to plan my short biography of Thomas Jefferson, I found it difficult to research the chapter concerning the so-called Barbary Wars: an event or series of events that had seemingly receded over the lost horizon of American history.” (READ MORE)

Cliff May: Hacks or Flacks? “Journalists are often accused of bias. Rarely do journalists level that charge against themselves. But the 35,000 members of Britain’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have done exactly that. Call them prejudiced, call them unprofessional. You can’t say they aren’t candid.” (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: American resilience fuels global prosperity “The world is in the midst of an economic boom that is raising living standards, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for billions of people. That's not the story or picture we see on the nightly news shows, where the world is torn by civil war, terrorism, death, destruction and unending poverty.” (READ MORE)

Ann Coulter: Nuts in the crosshairs “For cranky right-wingers who think politicians don't listen to them, this week I give you elected Democrats running like scared schoolgirls from the media's demand that they enact new gun control laws in response to the Virginia Tech shooting.” (READ MORE)

Rich Galen: Investing in Failure “Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) has declared ‘this war is lost’ and has made a great deal of pretending to have decided when and under what circumstances US troops will effect their retreat from Iraq.” (READ MORE)

William F. Buckley: Superstitions of Democracy “The rapture in 1960 over the independence of Nigeria seems incredible, and was always that, but three words -- anti-colonialism, independence and democracy -- were all that was thought to be needed to justify the jubilation. Nigeria had thrust away its colonial ties and would lead the way to the democratization of Africa.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Dark Continents “Great and regional power politics have arrived in the dusty, but strategically important Horn of Africa. The Agonist, recently returned from Ethiopia, believes the recent attack on a Chinese oilfield shows that Beijing, voracious for fuel, must now pay for its growing role in Africa. The Washington Post apparently agrees. ‘It must now decide how much to get involved in other countries' internal security issues.’ Ethiopia is in a similar position regionally, having incurred the wrath of its neighbor Eritrea among others. Somalia has blamed Eritrea for sponsoring the oilfield raid, and the Strategy Page explains that in the civil war in Somalia, Eritrea and the Islamic rebels support one faction and Ethiopia supports the other. And the nations, once on opposite sides, soon begin to search for ways to attack each other.” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: The Mything Link “So the Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a snit, have subpoenaed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: They demand she some and testify about pre-Iraq war intelligence -- and about one element in particular: ‘Republicans accused Democrats of a "fishing expedition." But Democrats said they want Rice to explain what she knew about administration's warnings, later proven false, that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger for nuclear arms.’ Ah, we come around once more, in the fullness of time, to arguing over President Bush's famous ‘sixteen words’ from his 2003 State of the Union address:” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: House Disregards Petraeus, Votes For Withdrawal “The House rejected the message from General David Petraeus, the man the Senate sent just three months ago to command the American forces in Iraq, and voted for a supplemental spending bill that will require the start of an American withdrawal by October 1. It passed on the barest of majorities and has no hope of surviving a veto, but the Democrats insist that they will play this game of chicken all the way to its conclusion:” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Sometimes, He Makes Me Laugh “Dana Milbank, that is, not his target, Dennis Kucinich: ‘“I do not stand alone,” Dennis Kucinich said as he stood, alone, in front of a cluster of microphones yesterday evening. The Ohio congressman, a Democratic presidential candidate, was holding a news conference outside the Capitol to announce that he had just filed articles of impeachment against Vice President Cheney. But subsequent questioning quickly revealed that Kucinich had not yet persuaded any of his 434 colleagues to be a cosponsor, that he had not even discussed the matter with House Democratic leaders, and that he had not raised the subject with the Judiciary Committee.’” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Aborting the press “In reading Dr. Howard Dean’s ignorant statement calling for an end to having press coverage of the political campaigns, I was struck by what a childish, self-absorbed little man the former governor of Vermont truly is. But first, the report from the Associated Press: ‘Dean: Bar Media and Candidates Will TalkThe head of the Democratic Party said Wednesday that the best way to get presidential candidates to talk frankly about issues is to lock out the media.’” (READ MORE)

Bill Whittle: Under Old Management “Something profound happened after I posted SEEING THE UNSEEN, Part 2. The tone of the messages I received from all of you was very different than those I got back in the glory days of 2003, when I was knocking out a major essay every two weeks. No, these all had a very strong common theme, and it has moved me very greatly. Almost all had the same core message: ‘I thought I was all alone. I thought I was the last sane person on the Earth. I didn’t think anyone else could see how bad things have gotten. Thank you.’” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Al Qaeda in Iraq's Diyala Campaign “Terror group is striking hard at military targets prior to the onset of the Diyala Campaign - As Iraqi and Coalition forces build their forces to strike al Qaeda in their base in Diyala, the terror group is hitting hard at existing combat outposts in the violence-racked province. Over the past several days, al Qaeda in Iraq has conducted several suicide strikes at U.S. and Iraqi combat outposts, police stations and Army checkpoints throughout the province.” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: A Democratic Muslim “Naser Khader is an honest-to-Allah moderate Muslim, an outspoken critic of radical Islam, and a member of the Danish parliament. He has taken great risks by forming the Democratic Muslims (Demokratiske Muslimer), a political organization dedicated to the integration of Denmark’s Muslims with the country’s democratic political institutions. The controversy over the suppressed PBS documentary has brought Naser Khader to the attention of policymakers here in the United States, since he is one of the Muslims featured in the film. He also happens to be visiting the USA this week, as reported in this article in Sunday’s Jyllands-Posten [my translation]:” (READ MORE)

Gribbit: Hunter- Reid’s Gotta Go “I’m convinced that Fred Thompson will announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Presidency soon, but in the event that he doesn’t, Duncan Hunter’s stock shot up with his statement calling for Senator Reid’s resignation.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: The People Have Spoken! “After 100-and-I-don’t-care-how-many days of pointless posturing, the House passes a meaningless surrender bill 218-208. The mandate, the will of the American people and their enthusiasm for surrender, failure and genocide in Iraq, etc., expressed here turns out to be a margin of 10 votes, or about 2.3 percent of those voting. The 110th Congress has been intensely interested in symbolism, as it seems to be incapable of acting in a substantive manner.” (READ MORE)

The Lasso of Truth: Whither Conservatism “It’s been stewing for some time now -- my resentment over what I like to call the Liberal-not-so-lite tone of this so-called Conservative government and the not-so-conservatives who support their wishy-washy, I-wanna-get-elected agenda. I’m not the only one, but you’ll have to forgive me if sometimes, I start to wonder. With very few exceptions, I have heard little more than resounding silence from those among us who were so vocal, when it was the Liberals slathering our hard earned tax dollars on every small-minded, big-budgeted piece of nanny-state garbage. Where are those voices of protest now?” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Carbon offsets: A “green gold rush” “Big news from the Financial Times: Al Gore’s centerpiece strategy for letting the rich live rich while buying a soothed conscience is nothing but a scam. ‘Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.’” (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: The Tillman “fraud,” and all that “My second job in a line squadron as a young lieutenant was to serve as the squadron Personnel Officer. Hard, administratively technical and thoroughly thankless, it was not the kind of job that hard charging strike fighter pilots lusted after. But while I was still too junior for one of the more prestigious ‘finishing’ jobs in Ops, I had sufficiently proven myself in my ‘starter’ job as the Aircraft Division Officer that the squadron leadership felt that they could trust me in one of the few junior officer billets that could actually get a commanding officer fired: The PersO job came with the ‘Personnel Reliability Program’ as a collateral duty, and any CO who allowed that program to get porked away could be assured that no band would be playing at his change of command.” (READ MORE)

Patterico: Memo to 2008 Democrat Presidential Candidates: How We Fight Terrorism Is a Legitimate Issue, So Quit Whining and Deal with It “Democrats have “rebuked” Rudy Giuliani for these remarks on terrorism on the Sean Hannity show: ‘Here is the thing that the Democrats do not get and all these attacks and the things Harry Reid is doing and the Presidential candidates indicate. They do not seem to get the fact that there are people, terrorists in this world, really dangerous people that want to come here and kill us. That in fact they did come here and kill us twice and they got away with it because we were on defense because we weren’t alert enough to the dangers and the risks. … They want to take us back to not being as alert which to me will just extend this war much, much longer.’” (READ MORE)

Stefania Lapenna: Islamic repression in the streets of Iran (Updated) “A female Bassiji is rebuking a brave Iranian woman who removed her headscarf on a street of Tehran. This picture should prove to you that Iranian women are as much liberal and modern as the women in any Western nation. Wait until the Mullahs' regime falls, you will be seeing amazing scenes on the streets of Iranian cities. If it's true the saying according to which a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one is. And keep in mind that she's not the only woman who tries to defy the Islamists by taking out the veil.” (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: Tehran calling “Eli Lake and Richard Miniter have both interviewed Osman Ali Mustapha, a former Kurdish police officer who was recruited as a spy for the Iranians. Lake notes the issuance of Iranian green cards to terrorists in Iraq. Miniter observes that Mustafa’s story ‘reveals the human side of the insurgency.’ As for the terrorist green card, Miniter reports: ‘Higher-ranking terrorist leaders are given laminated cards that make them untouchable by all Iranian officials, aside from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Mustafa was told that these cards were issued on the personal orders of Ali Khamane’i, Iran’s ruler.’” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Democrats Will Fight ... For Surrender “A slight majority of Congressional Democrats have shown that they do have some fight in them, unfortunately only when it comes to seeing how quickly they can pull off a behind the lines surrender while our troops continue to fight our enemies in Iraq. They have sealed their fate and any notion that they support our troops must come off the table now.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: The Trouble with Harry III “If I were George Bush right about now, I’d wrap my arms around Harry Reid and give him a great big kiss on the cheek. And I might even consider sending Speaker Pelosi a dozen roses, thanking her for playing her part to perfection in this Democratic Party defeatist extravaganza. For in truth, the Democrats are handing the President the one thing he desperately needed in order to maintain the surge, veto the Iraq supplemental with its timetables and withdrawal stipulations, and unite the Republicans as they haven’t been since.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Self-Serving Liberal Propaganda About The Media Coverage In The Run Up To The War In Iraq “Bill Moyers is doing a special to promote a line of self-serving, liberal propaganda that has been kicking around for a couple of years: that the mainstream media wasn't tough enough in the run up to the war in Iraq. Here's Tom Shales with some of the ‘highlights’ from this claptrap: (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Any way the wind blows... “One of the defining moments of the 2004 presidential campaign was John Kerry's explanation that we wasn't a waffler, wasn't a flip-flopper, wasn't indecisive. The killer quote, to many was his infamous ‘I actually did vote for the $87 billion -- before I voted against it’ explanation of his two seemingly conflicting votes on funding for the Iraq war. It seems that attitude is contagious, and has infected House Majority Leader Harry Reid.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Who Are We Fighting in Iraq? "By The Democratic leadership in Congress has determined we have lost the war in Iraq and imagine that they can leverage the American people's legendary impatience and relative ignorance to electoral victory in 2008. They may well prove to be correct in their assessment of the domestic political stakes involved in the ongoing turmoil in Iraq, but their positions on the war remain incoherent and evidence of serious ignorance of the nature, strategic thinking, and psychology of the enemy. Amir Taheri points this out today in Iraq: Who's Winning, Harry?" (READ MORE)

Knee Deep in the Hooah!: Why? Well, why not? "I have been mulling over the various responses we have heard from our friends, family, loved ones and strangers about the news that Bryan has decided to change his career path and join the military. We have had the gamut of responses ranging from 'What in the world are you thinking?' to 'Why would you leave XYZ Company for the military?' Well there are a whole host of reasons, and I am thinking of turning the tables on folks. From now on when people ask 'Why in the world did your husband join the military?' I am going to say 'Why in the world would he not join?' I may go a step further and say 'Why haven't you joined?'" (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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