May 16, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 05/16/2007

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 Taps Skeptic of Buildup as 'War Czar' - President Bush tapped Army Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute yesterday to serve as a new White House "war czar" overseeing the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, choosing a low-key soldier who privately expressed skepticism about sending more troops to Iraq during last winter's strategy review. (READ MORE)

Republicans Debate Their Conservative Bona Fides - The leading Republican presidential candidates parried accusations from their rivals that they have strayed too far from their party's conservative philosophies on abortion, taxes and immigration in a debate that featured some of the most direct exchanges... (READ MORE)

Terrorism Suspect Alleges 'Mental Torture' - A suspected terrorist who once lived in Maryland told a military tribunal that he was "mentally tortured" at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was driven to twice attempt suicide by chewing through his own arteries, according to a transcript of a hearing released yesterday... (READ MORE)

Missing, Slain GIs Identified As Search Continues in Iraq - The Pentagon on Tuesday released the names of seven soldiers from the Army's 10th Mountain Division who were captured or killed by insurgents in a sophisticated weekend ambush south of Baghdad. (READ MORE)

Bush picks 'war czar' to bridge gaps - President Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon's director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a newly created post several other top military men rejected. (READ MORE)

Female voters flex their muscle - American women have learned how to roar, and they did it in the November midterm elections. Young women, single women and "women of color" pulled more levers for Democrats than Republicans in pivotal Senate races. (READ MORE)

GOP's 2008 top tier goes on attack - Mitt Romney proposed doubling the size of Guantanamo Bay's detention center, John McCain defended his teamwork with Democrats in the Senate, and Rudolph W. Giuliani angrily demanded a retraction from a fellow presidential candidate… (READ MORE)

U.S. urges sanctions against Tehran - The United States yesterday called for tough international action against Iran after reports that international inspectors have concluded Tehran has made major technical strides in recent days toward processing nuclear fuel... (READ MORE)

Rev. Jerry Falwell dies, leader of evangelicals - The Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of the founders of the so-called religious right and a friend and ally of Republican presidents, died yesterday from a heart rhythm abnormality in his office on the campus of the Lynchburg University he founded. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Afghanistan JAG: Personal Investment “I will be heading home soon so I probably won't post again for some time. Thanks to all who have supported me through your encouraging words and prayers. A big thanks to everyone who donated to our humanitarian efforts. If you would like further information on our ongoing Afghanistan humanitarian efforts, please contact me directly. My email address is located under "My Profile" to the right. A whole new group of soldiers has arrived to take our place. Please don't forget about them or their families. Those soldiers will be here for at least twelve months, and with the recent extension, many will be gone for fifteen months” (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Doha's older sister, Gofran “‘She just can't stop smiling! I think she's even happier than her sister.’ Someone says as we play around and socialize with Gofran, Doha's older sister. She has the sweetest smile and I can sense her warm disposition as she looks down with a sheepish grin and plays with the fuzz off her new pink bunny. We just can't help ourselves when the children come in, and I ran to my ‘stash’ to bring her a few more toys.” (READ MORE)

Sgt Dub: 16 May 2007. “This was my first official short day. Yep, I went in at 0630 this morning and just finished for the day at 1600. That's only 9 1/2 hours. I even had three minutes for a burger at lunch. Now besides being inside a Humvee convoying on Jalalabad Highway while my vehicle was on fire, nothing else really happened. Did I catch your attention with that one?” (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: In Memorium: Sgt. Maj. Bradly D. Conner “Killed in action on May 9, 2007 ~ Operation Iraqi Freedom - Sgt. Maj. Bradly D. Conner was born on March 5, 1966 in Tacoma, Wash. He was a Special Forces company sergeant major assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, Wash. Conner died May 9, 2007 from wounds sustained while conducting a combat patrol outside of Al-Hillah, Iraq.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Bernard Lewis: Was Osama Right? “During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians, journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading inquiries: ‘What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it right?’” (READ MORE)

Holman W. Jenkins Jr.: Necessary Skunks - What do Rupert Murdoch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have in common? “Into a difficult family business situation comes a takeover offer at once humiliating and hard to pass up. That description applies to Rupert Murdoch's bid for Dow Jones. It also applies to the terms of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s spurned offer to renew his contract with a racing team now run by his stepmother. In both cases, sentiment and family tradition joust with hardheaded concern for the future.” (READ MORE)

WSJ: Review & Outlook: Benn and Wolfowitz “Imagine that: A high-level Western official in charge of fighting poverty is accused of a personal conflict of interest that undermines his integrity. One can only wonder what Paul Wolfowitz thinks of the Hilary Benn dust-up. Mr. Benn, Britain's minister for international development, has been among those fighting Mr. Wolfowitz's anticorruption drive at the World Bank.” (READ MORE) *reg req*

Jonathan Garthwaite: The Sunshine Debate “ and the Salem Radio Network are planning a nationally broadcast Republican presidential debate for this summer. In an exciting development this week, the Republican Party of Florida announced their support for the debate.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: It’s a Small World After All “Just when you think you’ve seen just about everything; in this case I’m talking about that video of the Palestinian children's show featuring a costumed Mickey Mouse character.” (READ MORE)

John Stossel: The Tax-Cut Myth “The federal government keeps growing, as I pointed out last week, but the Bush administration has cut tax rates a few times since 2001. How can that be? The answer is simple: deficit spending.” (READ MORE)

Walter E. Williams: Things to Think About “Last week, Japan pledged $100 million in grants to fight global climate change. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world's major leader in the struggle against climate change. The World Conservation Union has recently recognized the work of women from all over the world fighting against climate change. We might want to ask whether it's too late to worry about fighting climate change. Let's look at it.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Presumptions Of The Left “Radically different conclusions about a whole range of issues have been common for centuries.” (READ MORE)

Ben Shapiro: The Democrats' Big Lie “The Democratic Party, we are led to believe, is the party of live-and-let-live, you-do-your-thing-I'll-do-mine, let-a-thousand-flowers-bloom morality. Part and parcel of the Democratic commitment to tolerance, we are told, is their commitment to religious and political diversity.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Not All Undercover Journalists Are Equal “Here is a tale of two breeds of undercover journalists. One has been celebrated by the national media and journalism organizations. The other has been shunned. One has champions in Congress. The other is facing litigation.” (READ MORE)

Paul Weyrich: A Memorial to the Victims of Communism and My Tribute to Lee Edwards “As regular readers of this Commentary know, thanks to the late Dr. Robert Krieble, I had the great opportunity to train thousands of people all over the Soviet Union in how to participate in the political process. I did this before the fall of the Berlin Wall but while there still was a Soviet Union although after the fall of the Soviet Empire.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: Power of The President “Considering the times we live in, do we really want to continue to try to chip away at the traditional powers of the president?” (READ MORE)

John McCaslin: Silent Rap “Cliff Stoddard, counsel for the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, was intrigued to learn this week that top executives of the four major record companies are unwilling to crack down on explicit music lyrics, particularly by rap artists.” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Army’s Focus On Families “The Army has recognized the impact that frequent deployments have on families, especially when those deployments are to dangerous places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. You might be interested in knowing what the Army is doing to focus on family members. For starters, US Army Chief of Staff General George Casey is currently making a tour of bases in the US and speaking with families. Casey says this has given him even deeper insight into the burden that is being carried by family members. According to Casey, their needs have grown as soldiers are leaving for second and third or even more tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.” (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: Bush gets “The Full Nixon” treatment “Well, I was waiting for it, and here it is - the press’ unrelenting willingness to follow the template they used to destroy Nixon has led them back to the ‘he’s mentally ill’ fountain from which they so ardently quenched their thirsts all those years ago - and they’re daring to call the fountain ‘truth.’ First, we get an elementary course on ‘denial:’” (READ MORE)

Augean Stables: The MSM and Iraq: Dangerous Consequences to Inaccurate Coverage “Richard North has an important post up entitled: Who Will Give the True Picture? In it he ruminates on a wide range of issues concerning coverage of the Iraq war, both from the American and British perspectives. Among others, he cites an important article by an American Major in the US Army, Gerd Schroeder, who writes about the extensive and available news of positive developments in Iraq which the MSM, if they mention it, spin negatively. Concludes Schroeder:” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Wow, What a Difference! “In the last debate at the Reagan Library in Seedy Valley, California -- the one sponsored by MSNBC and run by Chris Matthews -- I was so bored, I practically had to go the Fred Flintstone route, resorting to toothpicks to prop my eyelids open. But during this debate tonight in South Carolina, sponsored by Fox News Channel and moderated by Brit Hume, Chris Matthews, and Wendell Goler, I was absolutely riveted. I especially loved the ‘unfolding scenario’ at the end; it fascinated me that John McCain railed against what he calls ‘torture’ -- but then said he would go ahead and use it in the situation they described! Talk about having your omlet and eating a few eggs too...” (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Prickly Subject...Interesting Debate “I would love to know what all of you thought about this OpEd... It laments the new Hate-crime bill that was passed by the House (Bush says he'll VETO it) and makes it a crime to preach that homosexuality is a sin. Does that mean that Christian, Catholic, Mormon and Muslim preachers/teachers could all be jailed for teaching the Bible (or respective book)?” (READ MORE)

Counterterrorism Blog: Left-wing Extremists and Salafi-Jihadists in Europe: Brothers in Arms? “In recent months, a confluence of several events fueled speculation among some German officials that left-wing extremism in Germany is on the rise and may even turn to violence reminiscent of the terrorism practiced by the Red Army Faction (RAF) in decades past. Although Germany’s Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Schäuble, today rejected rumors of a renewal of left-wing terrorism in Germany as baseless, one still wonders whether Europe may witness a reincarnation of left-wing terrorism in the near future. Is it possible that left-wing groups and Salafi-Jihadist networks in Europe may cooperate in the future?” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: An Accidental Interview “I had an interesting twenty-minute face-to-face conversation with a Spec Ops soldier named ‘K.C.’ last night. K.C. first jumped into Iraq on March 26, 2003 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in the largest combat air drop since WWII. He most recently served in a six-man Long Range Surveillance (LRS) unit. The LRS are direct descendents of the famed LRRP ‘A-teams’ of the Vietnam War era. He was careful not to mention assignments or duty locations, but based upon some of the things he stated in our conversation, I gather that he has served extensively in Iraq, and perhaps in Afghanistan as well. He is presently on leave.” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: Ron Paul Can Go To Hell! “Ron Paul is a complete and utter asswipe. The utter gall of this man to blame 9/11 on America. He sounds like any other Michael Moore, Howard Dean, and KosKiddie and should be completely and utterly ashamed of himself. On the other hand, Rudy went up a few points for calling him on it. Although he has sunk quite a few points to begin with. Check out Mike's thoughts on the debate below....good stuff.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: THAT was Reagan in New Hampshire “Going into Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, the talking heads on Brit Hume’s show agreed that one of the second-tier candidates could break out by taking on one of the Big Three, and that Mitt-McCain-Rudy had to not make a misstep. Well, of course, the opposite happened.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Report: Closing in on Al Qaeda in the Triangle “U.S. and Iraqi security forces, backed by the local tribes in Karbala and Anbar provinces, have poured into the region known as the Triangle of Death, where three U.S. soldiers were captured by al Qaeda in Iraq after a complex attack on a U.S patrol about 12 miles East of Mahmudiyah. The search appears to have been narrowed down to the region near where the attack took place last Saturday, and the U.S. military may have caught a break. Operations appear to be focused in the regions around Yusifiyah and Mahmudiyah, which largely consist of farmlands.” (READ MORE)

Dymphna: Our Looney Tunes Media and the Strange Things They Contort “Dear President Bush: Not to worry. So another lunatic left-wing therapist has decided that you’re looney tunes, and of course Newsweek swallows this malarkey and spits back out at us, but what does that prove beyond another manifestation of BDS? If their own fragile psyches insist on pinning this donkey tail on you, Mr. Bush, ’tis a fine day to be whacko, sire. Being a Methodist and all, you wouldn’t know it, but today, May 15th, is Saint Dymphna’s feast day. Being the patron saint of lunatics, she has had a full job on her hands in the United States these last six years as Bush Haters have repeatedly impaled themselves on their swords because they can’t get rid of you or that sidekick of yours, Cheney.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Newsweek: Does Bush’s belief in victory prove that he’s mental? “Weren’t we reminded again just this morning by one of the left’s leading lights how irresponsible it is to make diagnoses from afar? Two things to note: one, the obligatory nod at Bush’s alcoholism and, by extension, the left’s favorite remote diagnosis; and two, her acceptance as observable fact that the war is lost and therefore any desire to persevere indicates a mental disorder.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Assume the Position “As usual, unfortunately, the Bush administration comes up with a bright idea too late and too light. The three-star designated to oversee operations and give orders to the Pentagon and State Department must first be confirmed before, as ABC puts it, he can ‘assume the position’” (READ MORE)

Knee Deep in the Hooah!: Saying Good-bye “The day is here when I will say good-bye to my husband and our family life will change drastically for several months. He is a very active and present father and husband, so the void will be very acute for us. As much as I dread saying good-bye, I look forward even more so to saying hello to him again in he future. We will be here... holding down the fort, and waiting for his homecoming.” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: Noah, Floods, Global Warming and Nukes “Drudge is leading this morning with a story about a Greenpeace guerilla theatre stunt to build an ark on Mount Ararat to dramatize the threat from global warming [emphasis added]: Where to start? There are some obvious problems with the piece and then some fascinating ones that took research to uncover. Bear with me here. This one is richer than it may appear.” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: COL Harrison Laid to Rest “Bottom Line Up Front: COL James Harrison Jr was laid to rest at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery yesterday after being killed in Afghanistan. Yesterday I had the privilege of paying my respects to COL James Harrison, Jr., a soldier from Fort Leavenworth who was killed in Afghanistan last week. The memorial service was packed to overflowing, with mourners literally spilling out into the front steps outside of the military chapel. This was followed by a Mass and procession to the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery where COL Harrison was finally laid to rest.” (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Handwringing over Hickham “There used to be a story going around in Navy circles - probably apocryphal - that when the Air Force built a base, they built the housing facilities, commisary and golf course first. That way, if money ran short in future budgets - or worse yet, ran out - Congress would have to appropriate some more: Without an airfield, the whole project would have been a waste. I don’t really think that’s true. But it is instructive that we’d listen to it, nodding. Seemed possible.” (READ MORE)

ROFASix: The List of the Ethically Challenged “While every government employee loves to make the listing of ‘Whose-Who,’of government employees, there is one list no one wants to make. It is the one maintained by Pentagon lawyer Stephen Epstein. As the director of the Pentagon's Standards of Conduct Office, Epstein publishes and updates a listing of cases that reflect ethics violations. While some ethical sins are blatant, such as using your position to influence a contract or steer contracts to a relative, others are more subtle, such as the DEA agent who flashed her badge during a traffic stop (and ended up losing her's.) Some of those cited for military personnel are ‘head scratchers’ and others, like the one below sound pretty normal in a lot of units.” (READ MORE)

Winds of Change: "Supporting" the troops---or patronizing them? “The Democrats in Congress---and the few Republicans who agree with them---who've been pushing for a troop withdrawal continue to maintain that what they're proposing is not only in the best interests of the American people, but it's in the best interests of the troops themselves. That would appear to be a no-brainer: surely the best way to protect the troops is to put them out of harm's way, and that means their leaving Iraq and coming back home where they belong.” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: Obama and Clinton: Cut Off Funds for the Troops “I can't think of anything that undermines or disheartens our troops in harms way more than to hear two presidential candidates stand up and publicly declare that all funds that support the troops in Iraq should be cut off: ‘Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton separately declared their support Tuesday for a March 31, 2008, cutoff in funds for the Iraq war, two Democratic presidential front-runners abruptly shifting positions on a key issue.’” (READ MORE)

Donald Sensing: Must soldiers forgive their enemies? “Combat and the problem of forgiveness. For someone who professes to follow Jesus Christ, or at least follow his teachings, the subject of forgiveness is probably one of the most vexing. Jesus taught plainly that his followers are obligated to forgive, for example, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mt. 6:14-15).” (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.

No comments: