May 11, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 05/11/2007

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 Approves Revised War Bill - The House last night pushed through its second plan to fund the Iraq war and reshape war policy, approving legislation that would provide partial funding for the conflict but hold back most of the money until President Bush reports on the war's progress in July. (READ MORE)

Olson Picked to Lead U.S. Special Operations Command - President Bush today nominated Navy Vice Adm. Eric T. Olson to lead U.S. Special Operations Command, replacing Army Gen. Bryan "Doug" Brown, according to a Pentagon release. (READ MORE)

Gen. Petraeus Warns Against Using Torture - The top U.S. commander in Iraq admonished his troops regarding the results of an Army survey that found that many U.S military personnel there are willing to tolerate some torture of suspects and unwilling to report abuse by comrades. (READ MORE)

After 10 Years, Blair Bowing Out - Prime Minister Tony Blair, one of Britain's most influential and long-serving leaders in a century, announced Thursday that he will step down on June 27, leaving a legacy of economic and political achievement mixed with deep public anger over his partnership with President Bush... (READ MORE)

House OKs war funds until July - The House last night ignored a veto threat and passed a bill to ration war funds, hours after President Bush for the first time offered to negotiate Iraq benchmarks with the Democrat-led Congress. (READ MORE)

Fear or friendly faces? - Apart from searching for weapons caches and insurgents, U.S. soldiers are trying to send a message to Baghdad residents: They are there to secure their neighborhood. (READ MORE)

Syria jails activist for D.C. meetings - A Syrian human rights activist was sentenced to 12 years in prison yesterday for meeting with Bush administration officials at the White House during a 2005 visit to Washington. (READ MORE)

Hillary baffles black lawmakers - Black lawmakers say they are puzzled that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign hasn't used its political machine to solicit endorsements from key rank-and-file elected Democrats in early primary states. (READ MORE)

Gun laws carry on despite reversal - Significant gun laws dating back to the 1930s remain in the D.C. Code despite a recent federal court decision that overturned sections of the District's 30-year-old ban on handguns. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Desert Flier: Deja Vue, Monseiur “Sit down to dinner with Tim, D squared, and Eric. Chaplain is a few tables down and comes over with his radio: "Guess what guys? GSW to the chest 15 mikes out." Five minutes later "chaps" is leaving and says "Sorry guys, but the patient just rolled up." Eric is up and gone in a flash. This seems to be the recurring chow routine. Still missing at least a sip of coffee before we check out. Tim and I collect the leftover trays and make our way. Patient hits the trauma bay:” (READ MORE)

Jack Army: Spring Creatures “I tried hard to keep the swallows out of my bunker. They like to nest indoors and the Iraqis let them, believing it to be good luck. Well, I believe it to be dirty and loud. The birds chirp at all hours of the day and night right outside my door. Well, my attempts to remain swallow-free were in vain. Upon my return I found a nest right above my door. Fortunately, the constant grinding of my nearly dead A/C unit drowns out the birds but I do get a kick out of watching the momma swallow checking me out as I walk under her nest, just her beady little eyes poking over the edge to make sure I'm not gonna do anything to her and her baby (babies?).” (READ MORE)

Mohammed: A Baghdad plea: U.S. should stay and fight “I wasn't surprised when I saw Al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, appear on Al Jazeera to announce America's defeat last week, not long after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did. Zawahiri claims Al Qaeda has won, and Reid claims America has lost. But from here in Baghdad, I see only a war that's still raging - with no victory in sight for Al Qaeda or any other entity. In fact, I see Al Qaeda on the ropes, losing support among my fellow Iraqis.” (READ MORE)

SGT DUB: 11 May 2007 “It's Happy Dance Friday all over the world! Ok, maybe not everywhere, but today is going good for me so far. We worked last night from 9pm to 3am ‘remodeling’ the office for the new guys to make it more suitable for them. Typically this doesn't happen until the old crew leaves, but why wait, if they are wanting to take over now, who am I to interfere with that plan.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Iraq War Today: Reality Check “Sometimes, I hate being right. When the ‘Fort Dix Six’ plot first came to light, I knew what else was coming - the apologists. The excuses. The placing of blame on the person who exposed the plot. The placing of blame on the FBI. The finger-pointing - everywhere except at the people who planned to MURDER OUR TROOPS. I hoped I was wrong. I hoped we would wake from the collective intellectual coma we seem to be in. I really, really wanted to be wrong. But I wasn't.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Boos for Al-Hurrah “We've been watching the debate over Al-Hurra, the U.S.-funded Middle East TV channel that has lately developed a reputation as a friendly forum for terrorists and Islamic radicals. A bipartisan group of Congressmen has called for Al-Hurra's news director, former CNN producer Larry Register, to resign--and it's time he and his supervisors gave taxpayers some answers.” (READ MORE)

Peggy Noonan: Everything Old Is New Again “Who woke up Old Europe? France, Ireland and England this week showed us the future. They were the center of the new. It looked good. We can learn from them. First Ireland, which Tuesday formalized a peace that most who love that country would not have thought possible in our lifetimes. And it was barely noticed, as sometimes happens with good news. But the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland ratified a power-sharing agreement in which they will govern together and forswear violence. Everyone knew it was coming--the voters had backed it--yet the sight of it, the Ulstermen and Catholics standing together in the Stormont, and the words, took one's breath away.” (READ MORE)

Kimberley A. Strassel: Canadian Drugs, Eh? “Listen to Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe discuss importing drugs from Canada, and you'll hear endless happy talk about ‘more competitive prices,’ ‘substantial savings’ and how ‘crucial’ reimportation is to ‘the American consumer.’ What you won't hear Ms. Snowe mention much is the drug-import program of Portland, Maine. Interesting that, since Portland was one of those cities that gained notoriety a few years back for defying federal law and setting up a Canada import program that it promised would save its thousands of city employees and their dependents a bundle on drugs. Three years in, it has attracted all of 350 participants.” (READ MORE)

Naomi Schaefer Riley: Security Deposit “On a stormy night here a couple of weeks ago, a group of men and women gathered at the U.S. Military Academy to discuss the future of national security. Nothing unusual about that. The group included military brass, naturally, and a few scholars. But it also included--how to put this?--some rich people. No, this wasn't a top-secret meeting of Halliburton executives. It was a conference called ‘National Security Studies and Military History: How Philanthropists Can Make a Difference.’ The point of the evening, sponsored by the Philanthropy Roundtable, wasn't to learn how to profit from government largess, Halliburton-style, but the other way around: to discuss how the government--or at least the Pentagon and its mission--might be helped by the efforts of America's philanthropic citizens.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Five Things You Can't Say In America “The title of this column is taken from Larry Elder's superb book ‘Ten Things You Can't Say in America’ even though we don't cover much of the same ground. Hopefully, Larry won't mind because imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.” (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Whose and What Hearts and Minds? “The capture of the "Fort Dix Six" has inspired liberals to dust off and republish their ‘hearts and minds’ mantra, which might sound wonderful to some, but bears more sober consideration.” (READ MORE)

Linda Chavez: The Real Illegal Alien Threat “As details emerge from the plot to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, one thing is clear. The United States may have more of a homegrown terrorist problem than some people imagine.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: Armed with the Truth “If you care about Constitutional law, and everybody should, the big news is that it looks as if the Supreme Court is going to hear a Second Amendment case some time next year.” (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: At the 2007 Milblogger Conference “Increasingly the prospect of winning in Iraq is presented by the Democrats in Congress, and most of those reporting in the mainstream media, as a pipe dream. Ignore the defeatists. You might have to look a little harder to find them, but there are many who believe victory in Iraq can be achieved and that it will be in spite of the efforts of those in the U.S. Congress and the media - unless we surrender, that is.” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Military Spouse Appreciation Day… Honoring Those Who Silently Serve “Here, as on most milblogs, we strive to show our appreciation for the men and women serving in our Nation’s Armed Forces. Many of us tend to overlook however, those who are also making sacrifices for this Global War on Terror…. the military spouses and family members. In 1984 President Regan, recognized that military spouses are called upon to make many sacrifices, just as their soldier is. Because of that, he declared that the Friday before Mother’s Day, each year will be recognized as National Military Spouse Appreciation Day.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Last of the Global Commons “The foundation of American power, wrote Gary Posen in 2003, was far deeper than a mere preponderance in its current military or economic power. It lay in what he called the Command of the Commons -- made possible by ‘all the difficult and expensive things that the United States does to create the conditions that permit it to even consider one, two, or four campaigns’. The U.S. military currently possesses command of the global commons. Command of the commons is analogous to command of the sea, or in Paul Kennedy’s words, it is analogous to ‘naval mastery.’” (READ MORE)

Bear Creek Ledger: Yeah…..what he said “‘Junior officers now have a better grasp of what war means than Army generals do. Platoon leaders want to win. The generals want to make people happy. For two generations, we’ve trained military leaders to be statesmen in uniform, downplaying pugnacity and guts. We sent promising officers for Ivy League doctorates (thereby cutting off at least one of their . . . um . . . eggs), stressed political assignments, and inducted them into the Washington-insider cult of Salvation Through Negotiations.’” (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: The High Cost Of John Edwards “The Edwards campaign has the dubious distinction of being the first of the Democrat presidential hopefuls to announce just how expensive his proposals would be. The bill for his ideas would be very, very steep. The tax increases required to fund the programs, staggeringly high.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Day 94 And Not Much Has Changed “House Democrats passed another version of the Iraq war supplemental this evening, voting to supply funds for only 60 days of operations in the theater. The vote split along party lines, meaning that the Senate will have to find another formula if the funds are to get to the troops in time:” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Surrendercrats Threaten War Effort, Military Pay “Once again, Congressional Democrats show which side they support in the Iraq War, and it isn't ours:
The Democratic-controlled House voted Thursday night to pay for military operations in Iraq on an installment plan, defying President Bush's threat of a second straight veto in a fierce test of wills over the unpopular war. The 221-205 vote was largely along party lines and sent the measure to a cool reception in the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is seeking a compromise with the White House and Republicans.” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: Dix 6 Jihadi Plots “Bill Roggio passes along a link to the dopey reaction of the new owners of “Wonkette” to the arrests of the Dix 6 Jihadi plotters. Why is it that liberals and other democrats think any Jihadi we catch BEFORE they implement their plans are pretenders, incompetents, terror wannabees, or innocents swept up in rhetorical excesses? In contrast to what many of these same have said about 9/11 terrorists, describing them as ‘daring,’ ‘courageous,’ ‘determined,’ and ‘disciplined.’” (READ MORE)

Fortress of Solitude: Bush Derangement Syndrome “Have you noticed how almost every bad thing that has taken place in the last 4 or 5 years has been blamed on George Bush? Leftists have found ways to blame the Bush Administration for 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Global Warming, Gas Prices, the Enron scandal, Cory Lidle’s plane crash…the list goes on. One way or another, these events can all be traced back to that bumbling idiot, George W. Bush.” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: Iraq & The RINO's “How in the world is anyone surprised that the group that has fought us for years, and has wanted us out of Iraq for years, is now trying to do it politically? The Iraqi bill, drafted by a parliamentary bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was signed by 144 members of the 275-member house, according to Nassar al-Rubaie, the leader of the Sadrist bloc.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Casablanca: Rated X “It’s a good thing Jack Valenti died before he saw the industry he championed become overrun by prudes. Again. AP reported that the Motion Picture Association of America will consider smoking alongside sex and violence in rating movies.” (READ MORE)

Fjordman: A Communism for the 21st Century “I’ve received some criticism for trying to figure out the ideological and historical roots of Multiculturalism. Critics claim that it’s all about hate, about a desire to break down the Established Order at any cost. Many of the proponents don’t believe in the doctrine of Multiculturalism themselves, so we shouldn’t waste any time analyzing the logic behind it, because there is none. A desire to break down Western society is certainly there, but I do believe there are some ideas about the desired end result articulated as well.” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Baghdad report: Reporters’ errors heard ’round the world “It would be big news if it turned out that the US was working with one of its sworn enemies to fight another in Iraq. A reporter for the AP reported such a development earlier this week in Baghdad. Unfortunately for her, the story turned out to be wrong. She has corrected it, but the correction makes little or no difference because of the way the media works these days. Allow me to explain.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Good News Bad News “Stop me if you’ve heard news like this before … Rogue cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc continues to push for withdrawal schedule. Measure seen as not having a prayer. Why does that sound so familiar?” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: and Larry Brillliant: Good Works, False Assumptions “Based on Brilliant's lifetime accomplishments, which include key roles in helping to eradicate smallpox and polio, my assumption had been that Brilliant (and were not your ordinary run-of-the-mill self-aggrandizing liberal boomer retread do-gooders throwing money at unaccountable UN-style bureaucracies, lost causes and cynically corrupt dictators. To a large degree that seemed true... until Brilliant started his talk...” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Rangel Disses Iraqi Official On Troop Withdrawal “Bottom Line Up Front: In typical heartless fashion, Charlie Rangel blamed Iraq for its situation and attempted to discredit the Iraq National Security Advisor’s plea that America not abandon Iraq. Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie made a plea to the Congress and Senate earlier this week saying if America leaves now, an Iraq close to the finish line will ‘lose everything’.” (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: What Obama's slump tells us “Barack Obama is really scuffling, as baseball players used to say when they went into a tailspin. As John noted, he got the death count in the Kansas tornado wrong by 9,988 people. Now, Jim Geraghty reports that Obama botched his facts in a speech criticizing the U.S. auto industry for ‘investing in bigger and faster cars while foreign competitors invested in more fuel-efficient technology.’ Obama stated that ‘while our fuel standards haven't moved from 27.5 miles per gallon in two decades, both China and Japan have surpassed us, with Japanese cars now getting an average of 45 miles to the gallon.’ But Toyota, which should know, has responded that ‘No carmaker gets 45 m.p.g; ours is closer to 30 m.p.g.’” (READ MORE)

Greyhawk: The Undefeated “Though it includes attempts to paint the picture as something else, Greg Jaffe's Wall Street Journal article is an amazing account of the perserverence of US soldiers in Iraq. ‘In spring 2006 Tarmiyah, on the surface at least, was a much more peaceful place. U.S. and Iraqi troops surrounded the city with razor wire, set up the patrol base in the city, and began a $16 million campaign to rebuild the city's schools, clinics and sewer system. Soldiers often referred to the city, located 30 miles north of Baghdad, as the "petting zoo"…’” (READ MORE)

McQ: Fall in line or out of the tent with you Lanny “It should come as no surprise that Atrios had declared Lanny Davis, Democratic operative, ‘Wanker of the Day’ or that Jesus General is in full ‘open letter’ mode over what Davis said concerning the Alberto Gonzales kerfuffle. You see, just as Jonathan Chait pointed out last week, Netroot will barely tolerate dissent which comes from the left, but it will absolutely not tolerate dissent from within which comes from it’s right. By that I mean criticism which is to the right of their position. In this case that position is, ‘thou shalt not criticize the party ... ever.’ Unity is strength, etc.:” (READ MORE)

Rhymes With Right: Benchmarks OK, Timetables Not “That seems to be the new White House position on funding the Iraq War. Hours before the House approved a plan on Thursday to finance the Iraq war only through midsummer, President Bush offered his first public concession to try to resolve the impasse on war spending, acknowledging rising pressure from his own party and the public.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: Endgame “‘But if we are not willing to do what is necessary to win, then the only sane, moral course of action is to bring the troops home as fast as humanly possible. Such a humiliation should not result in a single additional death or injury to the men and women who have performed so bravely and selflessly in the face of blunder after blunder by their superiors.’ When I wrote those words in August of 2006, I hoped that the Bush Administration would react to the dire situation that had developed the previous six months in the country as a result of the bombing of the sacred Shia shrine in Samarra.” (READ MORE)

A_C: Nineteen.... “I have read this many times before and I have to be honest, I look at these young men and women and I feel so sad. I feel sad that young people are fighting wars, being injured, maimed and killed. I feel sad that they are losing their innocence, that they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders during years that should be filled with mischief and care free fun. These emotions are mingled with awe and respect for the sacrifices these brave men and women volunteer to make. I have some vague recollectons of being 19 (we can drink at 18 here remember).” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Ethical Failure and Opportunism At The World Bank “One of the more distressing tasks that falls to conservative bloggers is the defense of beleaguered administration officials accused of offenses running the gamut from public beastiality to jaywalking. The incoming Democratic Congress promised oversight. With the shifting of the political winds, the American people have gotten oversight with a vengeance; vengeance being the operative word. One cannot help but get the feeling there is an element of payback, especially when the party that promised to clean up the "culture of corruption" appears to be busily sweeping its own corruption under the rug with both hands.” (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: Strange Rumors about Governor Sebelius and those Iraq comments “I wrote the post below yesterday afternoon, but held it because this one just seemed too far fetched to be real, but as I say below, I thought the same about the Clinton intern rumor and it turned out to be true. Now that Hot Air and others are writing about it, I decided to post it. I say treat this one as an interesting but unsubstantiated story, but still think that whether or not anyone else directed her to do it, Governor Sebelius' comments about the National Guard were disgusting political opportunism (and just plain dishonest).” (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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