May 22, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 05/22/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Immigration Compromise Faces New Opposition - The Senate voted last night to move forward on an overhaul of immigration laws, but even proponents of the delicate compromise proposal conceded that the furor over the deal was surpassing their expectations and endangering the plan. (READ MORE)

Richardson's Bid Is Now Official - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson established another landmark in the 2008 campaign Monday, becoming the first Hispanic Democrat to seek the presidency of the United States. (READ MORE)

First Called to Duty, Then Citizenship - In a crowd of nearly 100 eager faces of newly sworn-in citizens on the grounds of Mount Vernon yesterday, three men in the front row stood out. Their black shoes shone to glossy perfection. Their backs were ramrod straight. One wore the crisp white uniform of the Navy. (READ MORE)

Lebanon Confronts A Fierce Adversary - Shelling Targets Well-Armed Force In Refugee Camp. A little-known Islamic militant group based in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon battled government troops Monday in some of the country's fiercest fighting since the civil war ended in 1990, surprising the Lebanese military with the scope of the group's weaponry and financing. (READ MORE)

Battle at Refugee Site Rages On in Lebanon - Battles engulfed a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon yesterday in the second day of fighting between the Lebanese army and al Qaeda-inspired militants that has killed at least 79 persons. (READ MORE)

Senate to Open Debate on Immigration Bill - The Senate voted yesterday to begin debate on an immigration-reform bill, turning aside objections from senators who said the legislation is being rushed and acting even as Senate offices were being flooded with calls and faxes urging the deal be blocked. (READ MORE)

Baghdad Bracing for U.S. Pullout - Iraq's military is drawing up plans on how to cope if U.S.-led forces leave the country quickly, the defense minister said yesterday. (READ MORE)

Lebanon, Syria Point Fingers in Recent Violence - Lebanon and Syria exchanged charges yesterday, with each blaming the other for an outbreak of fighting that has killed dozens of people in and around a Palestinian refugee camp near the northern city of Tripoli. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Michael Fumento: BEGGING TO GET SUCKERED AGAIN “Is it time to negotiate with the Taliban? Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf cut a deal with the Afghan extremists last fall, allowing them to flourish safely in his nation's Waziristan province. Then-Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist said in October that we must "assimilate" them into the Afghan government. Now, in apparent reaction to civilian deaths caused by the Taliban strategy of hiding among regular Afghanis, Afghanistan's upper house of legislature has voted for an immediate cease-fire and talks followed by withdrawal of NATO forces. But the futility of talks is obvious from Taliban beliefs and history.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Amanda Carpenter: Rushed Immigration Bill Will Cost Taxpayers Trillions “With only a ‘working draft’ on hand, the Democrat Leadership opened debate Monday on the new immigration bill - a bill no one has seen a final version of.” (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Amnesty by another name “I wish I could believe the president and those senators who claim their agreement on immigration legislation will ‘fix’ the problems of open borders and illegal aliens.” (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: The Immigration Debacle “The almost-stealth immigration bill light-speeding its way through Congress represents all that is wrong with politics and an elitist political class that is too far removed from its constituencies.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: The Amnesty Fraud “Nothing is more common than political ‘solutions’ to immediate problems which create much bigger problems down the road. The current immigration bill in the Senate is a classic example.” (READ MORE)

Kathryn Jean Lopez: The newly troubled immigration policy “Immigration should be an inspirational topic about ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ But in 2007, it's not: It's a contentious, unserious, dangerous topic.” (READ MORE)

Bill Murchison: There He Goes Again “Giving way to such a temptation would amount to putting Bush and Blair on the same level as Jimmy Carter. No way. When it comes to incompetence, Carter stands splendidly alone among modern presidents.” (READ MORE)

Sen. Fred Thompson: Tolerating Trafficking “I'm never particularly surprised when the United Nations seems to oppose human freedom rather than promote it. At least a third of its member nations aren't democratic themselves. Many that claim to be, are only barely so.” (READ MORE)

Rich Lowry: Michael Moore's Sicko Propoganda “Ordinary Cubans experience the wasteland of the real system. Even aspirin and Pepto-Bismol can be rare and there's a black market for them. According to a report in the Canadian newspaper the National Post: ‘Hospitals are falling apart, surgeons lack basic supplies and must reuse latex gloves. Patients must buy their sutures on the black market and provide bed sheets and food for extended hospital stays.’” (READ MORE)

Dinesh D'Souza: A Canadian philosopher worth reading “In winning the Templeton Prize for religion, philosopher Charles Taylor is not only $1.5 million richer, but he also joins an august company of scholars and world leaders, including physicist Freeman Dyson, author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, evangelist Billy Graham, and Mother Teresa.” (READ MORE)

WSJ: Jack the Stripper “It isn't every day that videos of the House floor get a link on YouTube, so give a nod to Pennsylvania powerhouse Jack Murtha, whose spending threats against fellow Members have earned the House Appropriations process some real airtime. During negotiations over an intelligence bill last week, Mr. Murtha took exception to two colleagues who challenged an earmark for his district, so he let them know who's their daddy.” (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: A Reporter's Fate “Dozens of hostages were released in Gaza over the weekend, in the wake of a truce called between the warring factions of Hamas and Fatah. The BBC's Alan Johnston, now in his 11th week of captivity, was not among them. I last saw Mr. Johnston in January 2005, the day before Mahmoud Abbas was elected to succeed Yasser Arafat as president of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Johnston was by then the only Western correspondent living and working full time in Gaza, although the Strip was still considered a safe destination for day-tripping foreign journalists.” (READ MORE)

Bob Kerrey: The Left's Iraq Muddle “At this year's graduation celebration at The New School in New York, Iranian lawyer, human-rights activist and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi delivered our commencement address. This brave woman, who has been imprisoned for her criticism of the Iranian government, had many good and wise things to say to our graduates, which earned their applause. But one applause line troubled me. Ms. Ebadi said: ‘Democracy cannot be imposed with military force.’” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Teaching Soldiers To “Think Like The Enemy” “The Red Team University course at Fort Leavenworth’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies is helping to produce Soldiers who won’t hesitate to find flaws in a Commander’s strategies, in order to prevent failed operations and save the lives of his or her fellow Soldiers.” (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: What two weeks may yield “So, the Senate has decided - wisely - to open the floor for two weeks of debate on the immigration bill. What may two weeks yield in our present age of screaming emotionalism, ranting and bullying which currently dominates our political discourse?” (READ MORE)

American Soldier: Rules of Engagement – VBIED “I shot a man once for driving his vehicle towards me in Iraq. He was off the road and at an accelerated pace. He was within 100 meters before I shot him and even then it would have been too late if he had set off his charge. The scenario played out in my head over and over after and even to this day I think about that day. I wondered if he was just a pawn trying to test our limit and how we would react to that situation.” (READ MORE)

Augean Stables: Fisking Baskin: Why People Think You are a Flake “Gershon Baskin, who has been working tirelessly for peace with the Palestinians, and in the post-2000 Middle East still seems to live in the hopes of Oslo, has written a defense of his position in response to the many nasty talkbacks he gets for his efforts at the Jerusalem Post. Fisking below. ‘Since February 2005, I have been writing this column in the Jerusalem Post every other week. The talkbacks to my articles which also appear on are consistently angry, aggressive, and opposed to almost everything I write. The responses to my repeated calls for taking steps toward peace with our neighbors have been complete rejection.’” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Triumph of the Will “The New York Sun says Sderot is over. A few hundred men with crude rockets have ended the viability of a town in Israel. Who can live there with rockets raining down? And there's no practical possibility that the IDF can stop the rockets. Not without clearing Gaza. And Israel has already withdrawn from Gaza. Going back must mean returning to stay. Israel may not have a guaranteed existence. But by some political alchemy, Gaza does.” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Mending and Amending “I've been increasingly ebullient today, in response to what I've heard on Hugh Hewitt's show: Out with the truculent vows never to vote for ‘amnesty;’ in with the determination to use this compromise as a starting point, then offer a series of amendments to make it better, more effective, and more palatable to conservatives! I think the bill is fairly good; I don't think it's perfect or anywhere near, and it's in desperate need of both mending and amending. Here are eight amendments I support -- plus one that I think is a poison pill.” (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Why Racial Profiling Won't Work... “…and Religious profiling will. ‘...Al-Qaida is aggressively recruiting black Americans for suicide operations against the homeland, say FBI analysts who have reviewed recent videotaped messages from the terror group's leaders. Federal and local law enforcement authorities should be aware that al-Qaida terrorists may not appear Arab,’ warns a recent Homeland Security intelligence report obtained by WND. ‘Non-Arab al-Qaida operatives could find it easier to avoid unwanted scrutiny since they may not fit typical profiles.’” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Are the Dems Blinking On Iraq War Funding? “Hmm... after all the bloviating about standing firm and not giving President Bush a blank check for the Iraq War, have the Dems blinked? AP is reporting the following... ‘In grudging concessions to President Bush, Democrats intend to draft an Iraq war-funding bill without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and shorn of billions of dollars in spending on domestic programs, officials said Monday.’” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrisey: Ron Paul Boomlet To Implode In 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... “I have watched with some amusement as centrist, liberal and uncategorizable blogs attempt to herald Ron Paul as a reasonable conservative, especially after his statement in the last debate that claimed that American foreign policy invited the 9/11 attacks. That blame-America, 18th-century isolationist thinking appeals to a large subset of the voting population, and for the past week we have been treated to an avalanche of paeans to Ron Paul in the blogosphere.” (READ MORE)

Walid Phares: Al Qaeda's New Front in Lebanon “Yesterday in northern Lebanon, a group named Fatah al Islam conducted several attacks against the Lebanese Army, killing (up to) 25 soldiers and losing (up to) 15 members in addition to civilian casualties. The fighting is still raging at this hour. This security development, which could be happening in many other spots in the troubled Middle East, from Iraq to Gaza, and from Somalia to Afghanistan, has however a special dimension. It signals in fact the opening of a new front in the War with al Qaeda’s Terror: Lebanon. Here are the reasons:” (READ MORE)

Bill Whittle: YOU ARE NOT ALONE (Part 1) “Folks, you are about to be hit with a BIG IDEA. It’s not entirely my big idea, but I’m willing to hang some tinsel on it and take credit for it. First, a brief set-up, and then (and I will make an announcement in BOLD CAPS) comes the Big Idea. Okay, the set-up: I’ve written a dozen or so major essays since I hung my shingle over this little corner of cyberspace, and received wonderful e-mails about all of them. But two – the last two – have generated a very specific response: more passionate; desperate, even.” (READ MORE)

Bill Whittle: YOU ARE NOT ALONE (Part 2) “After I got my first taste of this idea, I was immediately fired up by my total misunderstanding of the entire concept. I had thought that what was needed was to form this Remnant into a group, organize it, get some influence. Like the Netroots. See, a little knowledge …dangerous …etc. You cannot organize this quality. It exists subconsciously in people so varied and diffused that it is pointless to even try. Besides, so far all the Netroots have accomplished, through years of hard work advancing the Democratic agenda, is to remove one (D) beside the Senator from Connecticut and replace it with an (I).” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: News and Views on Iraq “John Ward Anderson, writing in The Washington Post this past Friday, trotted out some standard “Iraq is a violent mess” boilerplate, and for good measure threw in a gratuitous reference to a liberal British think tank assessment: that Iraq teeters on the brink as a ‘failed state.’ ‘More than 60 people were killed and dozens wounded in mortar strikes, drive-by shootings, roadside explosions, suicide bombings and other violent attacks in Iraq on Thursday, as a new study warned that the country was close to becoming a ‘failed state.’” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: John Edwards, poverty case “Officials at the University of California-Davis figured out how to funnel money to presidential wanna-be John Edwards: Pay him $55,000 to speak to 1,781 students. That’s 137.5 more haircuts for Edwards. His subject? Poverty.” (READ MORE)

Dj Elliott, CJ Radi and Bill Roggio: The Baghdad Security Operation Order of Battle: May 21, 2007 “It's been three months since the commencement of the Baghdad Security Plan on February 14, and the operation has been marked by both considerable progress and painful setbacks. While the violence in Baghdad has decreased to levels not seen since prior to the bombing of the Samarra mosque, al Qaeda and its allies have carried the fight into the surrounding provinces in an attempt to discredit the plan and destabilize the Iraqi government.” (READ MORE)

Fjordman: The Flaws of the Western Man “There are two different camps among those concerned with the problems of the modern West: Those who ascribe them to a powerful and influential minority who champion certain ideologies, and those who ascribe them to a lack of cultural confidence and structural, religious and metaphysical problems in the West in general. I personally see some evidence to support both these explanations.
An alliance of left-wingers and right-wingers, or transnational progressives and transnational capitalists as John Fonte would have said, is undermining the nation state.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: 200 Marines volunteer to extend tours to help mentor new recruits “Partly because they’re encouraged by the progress made in Anbar but mostly because the Corps needed them. Note: they get no bonus or favorable reassignment for doing this, as one might get from reenlisting. It’s pure, straight Semper Fi:” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Honoring a nation’s best: Bay State mourns soldier’s loss “It was about honoring one of the best America has to offer. The best of a generation. As 1st Lt. Andrew J. Bacevich was carried into his family’s church in a flag-draped coffin, eulogized and buried with military honors yesterday, it was about the inconsolable loss of a son that can only be managed by faith and the knowledge of a life lived to the fullest, a son who stepped up to serve in wartime. ‘I saw in Andy all the traits we desire in our next generation,’ said Col. Barrye Price, who delivered the eulogy at St. Timothy’s Church in Norwood yesterday.” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Carter Clarifies Claim 'Bush is Worst in History' “Bottom Line Up Front: Former President Jimmy Carter is soft pedaling his claim that Pres. Bush is the worst President in history saying his comments were misunderstood. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has a lot of nerve. He called Tony Blair ‘abominable, loyal, blind and apparently subservient’ to Bush and over the weekend said: ‘I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.’ Now Carter has backpedaled saying he was actually comparing Bush’s foreign policy to Richard Nixon’s, but that his comments were careless. They were misinterpreted. He says his words were careless.” (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Strange New Respect, Judicial Branch “In recent years, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra O'Connor has become the kind of Republican the press likes. There may still be some conservative principles lurking in her approach to legal and political issues, but whenever she speaks publicly, she seems to be on the other side. One of her favorite topics in recent years has been the need for the public (i.e., conservatives) to stop criticizing judicial decisions. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported fawningly on a broadcast interview in which O'Connor stressed the importance of stare decisis:” (READ MORE)

Stefania Lapenna: Islamic Police in Iran torturing youths in public “Please, see by yourself the state terrorism practised by the Islamic Republic regime against the Iranian people. See these youths being literally tortured in public by the Bassijis/Hezbollah ’security forces’. These youths are accused of being anti-regime activists, non-observing the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code or looking at the security forces 'in a certain manner'. This is the State Terrorism practed by the Terrorist regime founded by Khomeini with the complicity of the European and American Left, mainly Giscard Estaing and Jimmy Carter, America's worst former president.” (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: Nameless woman dies in Sderot rocket attack “The AP can’t find the woman’s name, even though the Israeli press can. Her name was Shirel Feldman, and she was 32 years old. Her car was hit by a ‘crude, homemade’ rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists. A man was hit by shrapnel. That would be sharp piece of metal and ball bearings, put in the rockets to create as much damage as possible. Seventeen rockets were fired at Sderot on Monday. The AP headline and lead, though, are all about Israel ‘escalating’ the ‘violence.’” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: "Peace in our time" “In the past six years or so, there have been many ups and downs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many ceasefires, many truces, many easings of tensions, many moments of hope -- all, in the end, transient. And over those six years, six thousand rockets have fallen on one Israeli city. Sderot. Six thousand rockets in six years.” (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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