May 3, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 05/03/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Bush's veto stands after House vote - The Democrat-led House yesterday failed to override President Bush's veto of an emergency war-funding bill with a troop-withdrawal timetable for Iraq, after House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Congress should quickly pass a new version... (READ MORE)

Rice set to meet Syrian official - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expects to have a "substantive" meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem today or tomorrow, reversing a more than two-year-old policy not to talk with Damascus at a high level, U.S. officials said yesterday. (READ MORE)

Beijing's plan to keep skies rain-free for Olympics - China's plan to keep the skies sunny and clear during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing shows how far weather modification has come, climatologists say. (READ MORE)

Democrats Back Down On Iraq Timetable - President Bush and congressional leaders began negotiating a second war funding bill yesterday, with Democrats offering the first major concession: an agreement to drop their demand for a timeline to bring troops home from Iraq. (READ MORE)

Obama Reaches Out With Tough Love - Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is delivering pointed critiques of the African American community as he campaigns for its votes, lamenting that many of his generation are "disenfranchising" themselves because they don't vote, taking rappers to task for their language, and decrying "anti-intellectualism"... (READ MORE)

Karzai Says Civilian Toll Is No Longer Acceptable - Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared Wednesday that his government can "no longer accept" civilian casualties caused by U.S.-led operations, shortly before news spread that as many as 51 civilians may have died during clashes this week in far western Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Rice Presses Maliki on Eve Of Conference on Iraq Aid - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki here Wednesday that he needs to work harder to convince Iraq's Arab neighbors of his commitment to heal sectarian divides and ensure more participation by minority Sunnis, as she redoubles... (READ MORE)

From the Front:
The Online Chaplin: Bunker Theology 101 “This is not a my typical night at Scania, but it happens. Brush my teeth, watch an episode of Star Trek Voyager, play a game solitaire on my computer, do the Army Times crossword puzzle, listen to the rockets fly overhead and the first impact somewhere in the dark, and then run like crazy for my bunker all the while praying that the next round isn’t the one.” (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: Hadji Houses “We pulled into the open space between the two houses we were to occupy for the night at about 2000. The house set aside for us and our Marine security detail was single-story cinderbrick of perhaps 1500 square feet, with a walled flat roof. The Marine company that had been moving dismounted alongside our patrol made their sleeping arrangements in the second house- a split-level two story building, also with a walled roof.” (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: “This week in Washington is the annual "milblogger" conference. As coincidence, the Army has recently published a 79 page regulation directed at Army milbloggers stating mandatory registration of all blogs by Army personnel and personal email scrutiny. Blogs have become a powerful tool for the ranks and continue to attract a lot of attention from leadership both in Washington and in the field.” (READ MORE)

Tully Mars: Heading Home? “This trip has allowed me to see that our job over here is important, regardless of what many in our country will tell you we are doing it right and we are making a difference. There are a few thousand less bad guys on the face of the earth because of our efforts, but we are far from finished. Until the people here are free to govern themselves and are free from terrorist scumbags who do things that even Hitler would probably find disturbing, our job will not be complete, we owe them that much at least.” (READ MORE)

Omar: Al-Baghdadi Killed? "Early afternoon today news came in that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, chief of the so called Islamic State in Iraq has been killed in Ghazaliya district in western Baghdad.Uncertainty about the identity of the killed senior terrorist was soon in place, while the Iraqi interior ministry insists it was al-Baghdadi, US officials think otherwise, they confirmed that a senior al-Qaeda operative name Muharib Abdul Latif al-Jubouri was killed though." (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Hugh Hewitt: ‘The Enemy Has Successfully Denied The Western Media Access To The Battlefields’ “The MSM isn’t going to stop misreporting the war. The anti-war left isn?t going to stop proclaiming that all is lost. And the enemy isn’t going to silence their propaganda mills out of a sense of fair play towards our soldiers.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: The myth of Cuban health care “You might have read the stories about filmmaker Michael Moore taking ailing workers from Ground Zero in Manhattan to Cuba for free medical treatments. According to reports, he filmed the trip for a new movie that bashes America for not having government-provided health care.” (READ MORE)

Alan Reynolds: The Fear Industry “George Tenet made patently ridiculous claims about WMD in Iraq, while serving as CIA director, and was eventually fired. Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz made patently ridiculous claims about WMD in Iraq and was promoted to president of the World Bank.” (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: A riddle wrapped in an enigma “If a strong majority of Americans are opposed to the Iraq war, which no one disputes, then why are the voters evenly divided between the Republican and Democratic presidential front-runners?” (READ MORE)

Ross Mackenzie: The President vs. the jihadists' shameless, useful fools “With President Bush's veto of the Democrats' measure to tie funding of U.S. troops in Iraq to stipulated dates for their withdrawal, the Democrats continue outdoing themselves in the realm of shamelessness.” (READ MORE)

John Boehner: We Need a Clean Troop Funding Bill, and We Need It Now “House Republicans will have no trouble sustaining the President's veto of a Democratic bill that shamefully ties critical troop funding to a series of arbitrary conditions and timelines, not to mention billions in unrelated spending.” (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Exploiting Al-Qaida's Weaknesses “Fearing an American and Iraqi strategic victory (creating a democracy defending itself against terrorists), Zarqawi saw only one strategic option: exploit Iraq's Shia-Sunni religious divide by slaughtering Iraqi Shia civilians.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: World Bank Rolls “Renaissance Pope Adrian VI once said of the Roman Curia that its sins ‘were so widespread that those afflicted by the vice did not even notice the stench anymore.’ It's a line that could also describe the World Bank staff and its outrage over the ‘scandalous’ raise Paul Wolfowitz awarded his girlfriend Shaha Riza when he became president. If it's transparency over salaries that bank employees want, by all means let's have it. Specifically, let's make public the names, salaries and benefits of every bank employee who makes more than Ms. Riza.” (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: After Imus “Don Imus, Bernard McGuirk, Trent Lott, Larry Summers, the Duke lacrosse team, Jimmy the Greek, the kid who yelled ‘water buffalo’ at Penn, Howard Cosell, Jon Stewart, Chief Illiniwek, Jackie Mason and ‘South Park’ all have in common only one thing: They have not been Politically Correct. Some were brought down by it, and some have made a living from it.” (READ MORE)

John Fund: The Shadow Candidates “Tonight 10 Republicans go on stage to trade sound bites in a debate at the Reagan Library in Los Angeles. But a lot of media oxygen is being used up by the ‘noncandidate candidates’--those who might want to be president, but haven't yet officially jumped into the race. In every election some conventional wisdom is swept aside.” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Rapid Withdrawal From Iraq Would Spell Disaster “We’ve been debating this topic here at A Soldier’s Mind for sometime now. Today CNN published a report stating that according to experts, rapidly withdrawing US Troops from Iraq could likely trigger catastrophe. The experts they cited weren’t just people in the military, but some of their own analysts as well. This article was quite a surprise to me, as most generally, we don’t see this kind of information in the mainstream media. We’ve all been saying this all along, especially those of our readers here who have served or are serving in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Laughing Wolf @ Blackfive: Milblogging, Revamping, and a New Approach “The explosion yesterday of what the Army is trying to do to communications and information has forced public discussion on what a number of bloggers and others have been talking about in private for a while. In point of fact, there are several people who have been working on a modest proposal for trying to make some substantive changes to the information front. The white paper being drafted is still quite rough, but some quick thoughts to share this day are the following:” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Groping For Agreement “Democrats and Republicans began the process of reaching a compromise on funding the military operations in Iraq yesterday, with Democrats apparently making the first big concession. The Washington Post reports that the demand for withdrawal timelines will be dropped -- and in return, the Republicans will back benchmarks tied to non-military aid for Iraq:” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Silencing the Milbloggers “Over the weekend, milblogger Jim ("Uncle Jimbo") Hanson was asked on CNN: The military's response, written by an Army Major, borders on incompetence. I certainly understand the military's concerns about operational security, but this order takes us precisely in the wrong direction.” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: The End of MILBLOGS? “Noah Shachtman, blogger and panelist for the upcoming MILBLOGGER Conference, does an excellent job reporting on some really bad news for MILBLOGGERS, over at Wired. The bad news? The Army has seen fit to rewrite Army Regulation (AR) 530-1 Operations Security (OPSEC), upgrade it’s classification to For Official Use Only (FOUO), tie OPSEC to information excluded from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) access, and “put into law” draconian restrictions on all forms of electronic communications, including web logs (blogs), email, instant messaging (IM), and potentially even personal letters and other non-electronic communications.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Incompetence rewarded “Hope Yen of the AP reported that top VA bureaucrats received top bonuses of up to $33,000 — despite sending Congress a budget request that was $1 billion short of what was needed. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said he’s investigating how this happened. Get Nicholson a mirror:” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Iraq Report: Al Masri and the Anbar Tribes; 4th Brigade in Iraq “The status of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al Masri remains uncertain. The Anbar Salvation Council, the grouping of tribes and former insurgent groups united in opposition to al Qaeda, is maintaining it had good intelligence on al Masri's death after it conducted a raid outside the provincial boundaries of Anbar. The fighting was said to be fierce after an expeditionary force of the Anbar Salvation Council engaged al Qaeda in the town of al Nibayi, near Taji, in Salahadin province.” (READ MORE)

Dymphna: Free Speech, R.I.P. “The Finns aren’t the only ones having trouble with a chill wind blowing across their free speech rights — we’re about to face a big battle against the enemies of the First Amendment here in the USA, beginning tomorrow. Mikko Ellilä is a Finnish blogger who has been summoned by the police for a hearing next week, all because of the content of his blog posts. Scroll down to our earlier posts for more information about his plight, or see posts one, two, three, and four on the topic. Can’t happen here, you say? It very well may happen tomorrow, May 3rd.” (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: Of Narrow-Minded Critics & Broad-Minded Friends “For the past week or and haven’t had as much time to focus on the blog as I would like. My greatest contact with the blog has been via the ‘Moderation Queue’ where our server holds e-mails which it ‘thinks’ may be spam. When I read some of the flagged comments, what strikes me (yet again) is the narrow-minded vitriol, the hate, of some of our critics. How they take time to read the blog of people who they have decided are self-hating hypocrites (or worse) and level insults against us or otherwise spew mean-spirited venom. Rarely do they seem to recognize our arguments, even those put forward in the post to which they attach their comments.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: An unauthorized e-mail request from a soldier “In response to my post this morning about Wired's story on the Army's milblogger crackdown, I received an unauthorized e-mail request from one of our troops: ‘Who will stand up for the rights of soldiers? Fight for us. We fight for you. -Anonymous soldier sending an unauthorized email’” (READ MORE)

McQ: That didn’t take long (Update) “And I actually mean that in a good way: ‘President Bush and congressional leaders began negotiating a second war funding bill yesterday, with Democrats offering the first major concession: an agreement to drop their demand for a timeline to bring troops home from Iraq. Democrats backed off after the House failed, on a vote of 222 to 203, to override the president’s veto of a $124 billion measure that would have required U.S. forces to begin withdrawing as early as July.’” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Murtha Caught Lying About Gen. Petraeus “In what some might find to be a disgusting video at Hot Air, Jack ABSCAM Murtha claims that the head of Multinational Forces in Iraq, General David Patraeus is a political hack who talked to the media while in DC, but never addressed law makers. Oh really? Maybe he should ask the many Democrats, and over 200 law makers, including Dems Hoyer, Levin, and Clyburn, who apparently managed to attend the briefing. I cannot believe Johnstown, PA continues to send this fool back to Congress.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: Dems to Voters: "We Were Only Kidding." “I am known as something of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to humor. For instance, I love Monty Python but hate Benny Hill. Eddie Murphy does nothing for me while Bernie Mac puts me in stitches. George Carlin sends me into hysterics but Rosie O’Donnell makes me want to puke.This must be the reason I didn’t get the joke the Democrats were playing on the American people with the Iraq War Supplemental appropriations bill. Knowing full well that the President was going to veto the measure because of the artificial timetable for withdrawal that they were able to bribe, threaten, and coerce enough of their caucus to support, the Democrats nevertheless delayed vital funding for our military just so they could turn around after Bush’s veto and yell “Gotchya!” at the voters:” (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Silence of the Warrior “Wired Magazine published, "Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death" today. It tells of the beginning of the end of milblogs and the ability of warriors to tell their story. I suppose it was inevitable. Blogging and e-mail is something outside the control of the command, and 'trusting downward' has always been something more rhetorical that fact in the military. It is all because of the newly updated AR 530-1, titled Operations Security (OPSEC).” (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: Global Warfare - Part 1 “It's a human conceit to talk about things beyond our scope. Sometimes it is necessary; parents need to give clear instruction to their children, even where they themselves might be unsure. At other times, however, it's the desire to be in control, matched with the arrogance that we do not need to trust experts and the experienced. This is why so many idiots make a home repair problem worse, why so many people bungle financial decisions, and explains 90% of Congress' votes in its history. This is not so bad when the stakes are commonplace and the mistake can be repaired, but in warfare the cost can be very high.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: Barack Obama Should Embrace Rush's "Magic Negro" “Let me start out by saying up front that I listen to Rush Limbaugh, and I never listened to Air America. I used to enjoy Al Franken when he made his living as a comedian, but I never considered him to be a serious politician or even commentator, so when he decided to take up the left-wing point of view I moved on.I listen to Rush for a number of good reasons, and I also use some of his lectures as the basis for civics instruction in the home schooling I provide for my daughter. All that being said, I was more than a little interested in the attempts to create a furor over Rush's parody of the Peter, Paul and Mary song from the 60s, Puff The Magic Dragon, which in the world of Rush became Barack The Magic Negro to the same tune.” (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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