July 11, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 07/11/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
In GOP, Growing Friction On Iraq - Facing crumbling support for the war among their own members, Senate Republican leaders yesterday sought to block bipartisan efforts to force a change in the American military mission in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Top Aides Leave McCain Camp - In the mid-1990s, years before Sen. John McCain officially launched his first bid to become president, it was John Weaver who convinced the senator that he had all the ingredients to win the GOP nomination and the Oval Office. (READ MORE)

FBI Plans Initiative To Profile Terrorists - The Federal Bureau of Investigations is developing a computer-profiling system that would enable investigators to target possible terror suspects, according to a Justice Department report submitted to Congress yesterday. (READ MORE)

Bombs, Bandits Hinder Aid to Somalia - Rising insecurity in Somalia is hampering delivery of humanitarian aid to people who need it most, an adviser to the Oxfam relief agency said Tuesday. (READ MORE)

Senate Eyes Iraq Pullout Once Again - Senate Democrats yesterday called for withdrawing most U.S. troops from Iraq by April 30 — less than two months after a similar measure was soundly defeated — as the White House dispatched its top war advisers to Capitol Hill to embolden Republican allies. (READ MORE)

U.S. Targets Iranian Aid to Militants on All Sides - U.S. Special Forces are intensifying their efforts to root out Iranian agents who are said to be working in Iraq to further destabilize the fractured nation, a leading U.S. analyst and a top Iraqi diplomat said. (READ MORE)

Pakistan Raid Kills Militants, Leader - Scores of militants died with their grizzled and defiant leader yesterday as elite special forces overran a mosque in central Islamabad that had become a haven for Islamic extremists. (READ MORE)

Prince William To Check Immigration Status - Prince William County officials voted unanimously last night to move forward with one of the toughest immigration policies in the country. (READ MORE)

Libertarian Party Ranks up 18% in '07 - Polls show that fewer Americans are calling themselves Republicans or Democrats and the number of Americans unaffiliated with either party has reached an all-time high — good news for Libertarians, say officials of the nation's third-largest party. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
The Ice Blog: Redeployment “The big day has finally come! I sent most of my squad back home! The US Army calls this ‘redeployment.’ Going from home to a war zone is called ‘deployment,’ and going the other way is ‘redeployment.’ I’m not sure why that is, but anyway, my soldiers all went home. I’m going to stay for another couple of days to finish handing things over to the unit that’s replacing us. Our first order of business in redeployment was to pack up all of our equipment:” (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: You are only as Old as you feel! “First of all I have a lot of thanks to give for all the support everyone has been giving the guys! Operation Grattitude has been wonderful and I want to acknowledge all of those hardworkers and volunteers at Encino for their efforts and support. In addition to Soldiers Angels and all the random well wishers that warm our hearts and remind us of the greater cause! Its been a week or so since my last, I hope some of you are still reading but it has been hard for me to break away and get the needed time to do this. Infact I had to escape the post completely so that I could get it done elsewhere.” (READ MORE)

Ranger Sid: Thanks.. “Thank you all for all your support.... I assure you all that things are ok....I came into this deployment knowing exactly what might happen....Believe it or not this wasn't my first trip over the pond....I've seen it happen to others....and as much as it sucks its kind of funny to be a cliche'. It's like being a blooper...You usually have done some real good things before becoming a blooper....So things are positive....” (READ MORE)

LTC Rich Phillips: Week 24—NSTR “NSTR--Nothing Significant To Report. It's a term we use on reports when there is nothing else to say. It always reminds me of the movie ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. If you've never seen the movie I'll just sum up by saying that in a war, even when nothing is happening, there is always a lot going on. This last week was quiet. But I guess my standard of quiet has changed over time. When I think about the week I try to remember all the patients that have come through the hospital:” (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: Al-Qaeda on the Run: Feasting on the Moveable Beast “The last major mission I did while in Baqubah in early 2005 was into Buhriz. That mission had begun with our artillery firing some 155mm shots into a palm grove on the banks of the Diyala River. The enemy in Buhriz, consisting partly of the 1920s Revolution Brigades, was tough and proficient at killing our people.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
David Limbaugh: Muddle-headed Politicians and the Terrorist Threat “Have you seen the latest reports and photographs of Al Qaeda's brutality and savagery in Iraq? In view of these, how can any reasonable person still maintain our own policies and actions are making them do it?” (READ MORE)

Walter E. Williams: Illegal Immigration “President Bush and his pro-amnesty allies both in and out of Congress suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of the American people. Like any other public controversy, there are vested interests served on both sides of the amnesty issue, but I'd like to raise some ordinary non-rocket-science questions to the pro-amnesty crowd, many of whom are my libertarian friends.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: When Peaceniks Attack, Journalists Snooze “A young Air Force airman is fighting for his life in Camden, N.J. He was shot on Independence Day by a crazed gunman who reportedly had a beef with the military.” (READ MORE)

Paul Greenberg: Rare Sighting: Reason in the Law “Reports of the death of common sense in American law may have been premature. It seems to be making a comeback.” (READ MORE)

John Stossel: Freedom and Benevolence Go Together “I interviewed Michael Moore recently for an upcoming ‘20/20’ special on health care. It's refreshing to interview a leftist who proudly admits he's a leftist.” (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: When Cheap Products Kill: Emerging Global Trade Regulations “China's global customers are learning cheap products can be quite expensive --and deadly.” (READ MORE)

Jonah Goldberg: Live Earth: Dead on Arrival “‘If you want to save the planet, I want you to start jumping up and down. Come on, m------------!’ Madonna railed from the stage at London's Live Earth concert Saturday. ‘If you want to save the planet, let me see you jump!’” (READ MORE)

Terence Jeffrey: A Fish Is Just a Fish “The judge sided with the environmentalists, arguing that the human race is endangering the steelhead species of salmon by breeding too many of them.” (READ MORE)

Kathleen Parker: Terrorism's Silver Lining “Where there's a terrorist, there's a business opportunity. If you're new to that concept, no worries. There's still plenty of money to be made in the homeland security industry.” (READ MORE)

Mike Gallagher: A Democrat's hypocrisy comes home to roost “One wouldn’t think that the state of Texas would have much trouble supporting gun owners who should be allowed to defend their family or themselves in their own homes, cars or places of business.” (READ MORE)

Kevin McCullough: Democrats: Pandering to Perverts 101 “I'm completely convinced that the head of the Human Rights Campaign and very important cultural icons like Melissa Etheridge can carve up as equally challenging questions as could Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, and Wendell Goler - right.” (READ MORE)

Matt Kibbe: Fear and Loathing at Live Earth “This past weekend Gore played host to what Rolling Stone predicted would be ‘the biggest concert in history,’ the multi-city Live Earth. In massive venues across the globe, fans saw top acts spanning the musical spectrum, from the newly reunited Police, to Madonna to Snoop Dogg. One inconvenient truth is that Live Earth was a bit of a flop from a PR perspective.” (READ MORE)

WSJ: McCain's Misfortunes “Yesterday's shakeup of John McCain's top campaign staff is giving the media who once loved him a chance to bury his Presidential campaign. But it's also possible the shakeup will give his candidacy another chance to connect with the priorities of GOP primary voters. In the mainstream media telling, the decline of Mr. McCain's campaign is a modern Greek tragedy: He rose as a brave reformer who defied GOP orthodoxy, then fell as he gave up the iconoclast's mantle to court conservatives and defend the Iraq war. This is the history of a Republican campaign as told by journalists…” (READ MORE) *REG REQ*

Kimberly Kagan: Moving Forward in Iraq “In Washington perception is often mistaken for reality. And as Congress prepares for a fresh debate on Iraq, the perception many members have is that the new strategy has already failed. This isn't an accurate reflection of what is happening on the ground, as I saw during my visit to Iraq in May. Reports from the field show that remarkable progress is being made. Violence in Baghdad and Anbar Province is down dramatically, grassroots political movements have begun in the Sunni Arab community, and American and Iraqi forces are clearing al Qaeda fighters and Shiite militias out of long-established bases around the country.” (READ MORE)

Peter J. Wallison: What We Pre-Empted “Given the problems and U.S. casualties in Iraq, polls show a large majority of the American people believe the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Yet if we imagine what the world would look like today if Saddam Hussein had not been deposed, it seems clear that almost no outcome in Iraq would be as adverse to the interests of the United States as today's world with Saddam still in power. It is important to recall that Saddam had thrown the U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq in 1998, and allowed them to return in 2002 only because of the credible threat of a U.S. attack.” (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: The Coming Fight “Expect to see a big fight over Iraq come to a head soon. With Democrats trying their best to get the troops pulled before the public can hear about the progress that is being made and wobbly (that is the nicest word I can think of) Republicans ready to surrender rather than endure low poll numbers, the stage is set for a showdown between those determined to complete the mission and those who want to surrender to defeat.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Clapping and wishing to fight terrorism “Today's Boston Globe has a column by one of their in-house twits, the impermeable-to-clues H. D. S. Greenway. In it, Mr. Greenway discusses how Islamist terrorists are moving up in social and economic strata -- it isn't just the poor and oppressed that are turning to terrorism. But this is the Boston Globe, remember.” (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: Haditha investigator says drop murder charges “A Marine investigator finds the murder charges against Lance Cpl. Sharrat unjustified by evidence, the Associated Press is reporting: ‘An investigating officer has recommended dismissing murder charges against a U.S. Marine accused in the slayings of three Iraqi men in a squad action that killed 24 civilians in the town of Haditha, according to a report.’” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Hate To Crow … “But I’d like to point out that not only was I right and the AP and NYT wrong about Bush caving to Congress on Iraq, but AP sucks. Haven’t checked NYT yet, will get around to that. I can only assume NYT sucks, too, as that it what it has tended to do on this matter. Re AP suckage:” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Ex-jihadi Ed Husain: I’m not surprised the Glasgow bombers were doctors “Worth reading although it didn’t convince me. Husain is the other recovering fundamentalist in the news lately along with Hassan Butt, about whom I’ve written a bunch. He was hooked up with Hizb ut-Tahrir, the ‘nonviolent’ international Islamist group that Tony Blair wanted banned in Britain.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Dear Mary Jo “I read your very public letter today and I was deeply saddened by it, though not for the reasons one might expect. You see I have a son too. Like your young man, my son straps on a gun every morning, and body armor. Like the young man you raised, my son made a decision to use his strength, though he is not a large man, to protect the weak against those who prey upon them. He did this because his father and I taught him there is a difference between right and wrong. We taught him that people of good will must always stand up for what they believe in, even when this becomes difficult. Even when the cost is great.” (READ MORE)

USS Neverdock: UK - Rushdie honour enrages Al-Qa'eda ”Now remember, according to the Islamists and their left wing supporters, there's no such thing as Islamic terrorism and the bombings in the UK are a result of the war in Iraq. The PM has even directed his people to stop using the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism’. How does all that square with this statement by al Qaeda's number two man? ‘Is Britain longing for al-Qa'eda's bombings? We, and the whole world has seen what Britain has done ... their intention to honour Salman Rushdie who insulted and slandered Islam.’” (READ MORE)

The Tygrrrr Express: Unless your name is General David Petraeus, your opinion on the war is irrelevant “Unless your name is General David Petraeus, your opinion on the war is irrelevant. Period. Exclamation Point. Done. Several weeks ago, a surge was approved. The reason why a surge was approved is because congress was too gutless to vote for a full scale escalation. Some people have said either go balls out or go home. Going home is not an option. We did not go balls out. Yet what we did, was hire the very best and brightest, to lead our troops.” (READ MORE)

Some Soldiers Mom: Welcome to The Club, Mary-Jo “I read over at my friend Andi's World about a Marine's mom who wrote an OpEd piece about her son's upcoming deployment to Iraq. Ms. Cooney gives us a small glimpse of her son's younger days and then provides the obligatory bashing of President Bush and the ‘this war would never have happened if it was your child’ meme. (Sigh). So as a mother who has actually sent a child to war, I'd like to answer this mother. Dear Mary-Jo:” (READ MORE)

Right Truth: Why??? “J.R. Dieckmann at Family Security Matters, wants to know whatever happened to the ‘can do’ attitude of the United States of America. An excellent question. ‘I'm tired of hearing “we can't.” We can’t secure the borders. We can't deport 12 1/2 million illegal aliens. We can’t even find them. We can't deny them free health care and social services. We can't even count them. If we could, we would find more like 20 million. We can't offend Islam. For that matter, we can't offend anyone.’” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Only In New Orleans ... You Can't Make This Stuff Up “So, I'm researching because this site is talking about Senator Vitter and a Wendy Cortez, which matches the first name given by the Canal Street Madam here. And the charges are supported by a Vitter enemy who also happens to be a Republican: Vincent Bruno. As you can read below, or read here, the Louisiana Weekly that broke the charges ... went back to investigate after running with it and calls the results mixed. And who is Vincent Bruno? Vincent Bruno was David Duke's ‘spiritual advisor’. George Bush didn't blow up the levee during Katrina, folks. Something tells me God has had New Orleans in his sights for quite some time.” (READ MORE)

Pejman Yousefzadeh: History?!?!?! That's So BORING!!! “Kevin Drum seems not to like it when I get exercised over a particular bloggable issue so let me address him that I basically sat in my chair and had a good bellylaugh over this. Apparently--and this is the latest pronouncement from the Reality-Based Community--we are not supposed to study things that happened 74 years ago, or perhaps longer. We're certainly not supposed to pay attention when it is revealed that an icon of the Democratic party (a) violated free market principles by assigning to himself the power to decide what the price of gold was on a particular day; and (b) did so by using the quack ‘science’ of numerology to guide him.” (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: John McCain Holds Firm “About half the time Senator McCain drives me nuts, and I love him the other half of the time. Mention ‘McCain-Feingold’, and I roll my eyes. Mention his desire for what is effectively amnesty for illegal aliens, and I grit my teeth. But he is great on other issues. If miraculously elected president he would hold the line on spending. He'd be much better at fighting the jihadists than President Bush. Love him or hate him, McCain is a man of principle. That time last year he slapped down Senator Barak Obama was simply precious.” (READ MORE)

McQ: Utopian fantasies and patriotism “Dale Franks touched on this in his post last week entitled ‘But Don’t Question their Patriotism...’. Out there among us are the ‘utopians’ who aren’t able to acknowledge the good they see for all the bad they imagine. They are so disappointed that their internal fantasy about their country isn’t reality that they are forever ashamed about who they are and where they live. They usually exacerbate the condition with shallow analysis and the development of a one-sided narrative filled with loaded words such as ‘genocide’ and phrases such as ‘ethnocentric gods’ which fit their biases.” (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: The Ellison hustle “Yesterday in ‘The truth about Keith Ellison’ I noted Ellison's comments earlier this week to a meeting of Twin Cities atheists. Among Ellison's deep thoughts was this one comparing 9/11 to the burning of the Reichstag as reported by the Star Tribune: ‘It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I'm not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box -- dismiss you.’ What's going on here? Although Ellison claims to have converted to Islam as an undergraduate, he appears to have arrived in Minnesota as an acolyte of the Nation of Islam.” (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: Is there a third way in Iraq? “At the end of last year, I was not enthusiastic about the proposed troop surge in Baghdad. In my view, it would be all but impossible to reduce the level of violence in the capital to a level that would cause the surge to be viewed here at home as a success. And without the perception of success, I feared that support for the war would erode to the point where we would end up withdrawing ignominiously from Iraq. Therefore, I suggested that the U.S. pull back from Baghdad and focus on al Anbar province, then an al Qaeda stronghold, and on strategic attacks on al Qaeda elsewhere. The hope was that, by defining success down a notch and at the same time lowering our casualites, we could make our effort in Iraq politically sustainable and thus avoid suffering a self-induced defeat.” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Moore Flips Out on CNN Over SICKO Critique “Bottom Line Up Front: Michael Moore doesn’t tolerate scrutiny and fact checking for his fictionomentaries. Michael Moore flipped out on CNN’s The Situation Room on Monday in an interview following a scathing Dr. Sanjay Gupta report critical of Moore’s new ‘documentary’ SICKO. Apparently Moore doesn’t take criticism well. First Moore said Dr. Gupta’s report was ‘so biased’ and ‘crap’, followed by a tongue lashing from the ample bodied leftist. We know Michael Moore’s productions are neither ‘so biased’ nor ‘crap,’ don’t we? Moore proceeded to lecture CNN to ‘tell the truth,’ wondering what pharmaceutical company would be advertising during the break.” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: What Do Global Warming Zealots and King George III Have in Common? “An overly broad definition of treason. Here's RFK, Jr. at one of the Live Earth concerts: ‘This [global warming skepticism] is treason. And we need to start treating them [skeptics] as traitors.’ Hmm... and here I was all this time thinking it was about science. Oh well. Me bad. If the definition of traitor has come to mean expressing contrary opinions about a matter of conjecture at the far boundary of scientific exploration, I'll spare them the need for a second witness: I confess. Happily. Shoot me.” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Trapped into Losing Our Freedom “An entity known as the “Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures” functions as the Grand Board of Architects for Eurabia. In its own words: ‘The Foundation is the first common institution jointly established and financed by all 35 members of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This far reaching partnership between the European Union and their partners in the southern Mediterranean region was launched at the Barcelona Conference in 1995. The declaration adopted at Barcelona strongly promotes regional cooperation in the economic, social and cultural fields.’” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Red Mosque leader Abdul Rasheed Ghazi killed during assault “The assault by Pakistani forces on the radical Islamist mosque known as the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, has resulted in the death of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, the mosque's leader. Ghazi was shot and killed in the basement of the Jamia Hafsa, a madrassa adjacent to the mosque, along with upwards of 100 ‘militants.’ Last evening, it was reported Ghazi was captured. Ghazi had sworn he would not be taken alive, but would die as a martyr.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: See No Evil “Michael Yon responded to an email I had sent asking for more verification on the story of a boy who had been baked by al-Qaeda and served to his family. In the reply, Mr. Yon pointed out that he's published such additional material as he can find and verify in his latest post, which I urge you to read. For the moment, Michael Yon goes on to simply lay out his sources of not only about the story of the boy but that of the mass graves, of which he has photographic evidence plus video interviews from named sources, which you can view on his site. This is in some contrast to some regular journalists who are fond of using unnamed sources. Yon lays out his evidence and contrasts it to the media dismissals:” (READ MORE)

John Donovan: Surge and fight it out, or withdraw. There is no middle any more. “Looking about the shell-pocked landscape of politics and the war of late... I am struck by a lack of perspective beyond the next political event horizon, which I suppose is inevitable in our political system - for which I have no suggested improvement, just noting Churchill's dicta: ‘It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.’” (READ MORE)

JD Johannes: Thursday May 24th: Greenwald vs. Reality "In late May of this year I guess I was having trouble keeping up with events in Iraq's Al Anbar province. At least Glenn Greenwald would say I was having trouble keeping up on events in Al Anbar province. The source of my difficulty keeping up on events in Al Anbar province? The fact that I was in Al Anbar province." (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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More on developments on the ground in Iraq from Pros and Cons

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