July 18, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 07/18/2007

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)
Intelligence Puts Rationale For War on Shakier Ground - The White House faced fresh political peril yesterday in the form of a new intelligence assessment that raised sharp questions about the success of its counterterrorism strategy and judgment in making Iraq the focus of that effort. (READ MORE)

Senators Pull All-Nighter For Debate On Iraq War - Democrats rolled out cots and ordered pizzas as they settled in for a marathon Senate debate on Iraq last night that featured numerous speeches but little chance of getting any closer to resolving the stalemate over how to end the war. (READ MORE)

Al-Qaeda's Gains Keep U.S. at Risk, Report Says - Al-Qaeda has reestablished its central organization, training infrastructure and lines of global communication over the past two years, putting the United States in a "heightened threat environment" despite expanded worldwide counterterrorism efforts, according to a new intelligence estimate. (READ MORE)
Al Qaeda 'Evolving' Against U.S. - Al Qaeda terrorists are rebuilding their capabilities and continuing to plan mass-casualty attacks inside the United States, according to an intelligence assessment made public yesterday. (READ MORE)

U.S. Calls for Force in Tribal Pakistan - The United States yesterday called on Pakistan to use military force against Islamic fighters in the tribal areas along its border with Afghanistan and offered to fund Pakistani military training and equipment to get the job done. (READ MORE)

Bush Visa Plan Draws Copycat Response - Americans traveling to Europe may soon be required to go online at least 48 hours before they leave and obtain electronic entry visas, EU officials said. (READ MORE)

CAIR Blames White House For Boosting 'Islamophobia'- A Muslim civil rights group yesterday blamed the Bush administration for promoting "Islamophobia" and said the "war on terror" won't stop terrorists. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Jack Army: Why Do Iraqis Want OUR Water? “Has anyone ever noticed that we (the Coalition Forces) give away a lot of water? Look at the picture on Pam's Iraq War Today blog. The boy seems to pause and smile while he toodles off with a case of water. Note anything special about the water? Is it crystal-clear, mountain-spring, calorie-free, wrinkle-reducing, age-reversing water with magical properties that attract unicorns and leprechauns? Nope, it's just water. Clean, purified and bottled by Uncle Sam, not Uncle Ahmed. But, here's the kicker, there's lots of water here! I see it all time. Yeah, yeah, it's a desert, it's the "sandbox" and all that, but there's water here.” (READ MORE)

Badger 6: What Can You Do to Help? “I receive emails everyday with people posing that question. They want to send me or my Company something to make our lives easier. People want to show their support. The cigars, coffee, and my two Al Anbar Law College hats are great, and I am personally very moved by the lengths many of you have gone to in order to demonstrate your support for the Mission. So thank you. In lieu of this direct support though I would ask you to consider the following other worthy causes:” (READ MORE)

Eighty Deuce on the Loose in Iraq: How many times can you ALMOST get hit??? “Alright well yesterday was my first day back out on patrol after almost a week off straight. The way our schedule works is we rotate guys in the squads off on patrol days, and I happen to have my day off work come at the right time to get 5 off! It was great not doing anything, but it came to bite me in the ass. For this day out was extremely exhausting. Add to it that the air was extremely dusty pretty much all day and it created a overcast, yet still hot and exhausting, dreary day.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Amanda Carpenter: Senate Examines Convicted Border Agents “Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee criticized the heavy sentence two former Border Patrol agents received for non-fatally shooting an illegal alien who smuggled drugs across the border.” (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Iraqi Withdrawal: Seven Scenarios “What happens if the United States and coalition forces withdraw rapidly from Iraq? The U.S. and the Iraqi governments have their own scenarios. Iran, al-Qaida, Syria and Turkey have also analyzed potential outcomes.” (READ MORE)

John Stossel: Michael and Me “Michael Moore loves government. OK, he doesn't love a government headed by George W. Bush, but he believes that once the Democrats are in charge, government will do a better job providing health care.” (READ MORE)

Paul Weyrich: Should He Stay or Should He Go? “Perhaps it is time to say something about U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA). It seems that not only was he a client of the so-called D.C. Madam but that he frequented a brothel in Louisiana. We are not certain of the latter because Senator Vitter has been unavailable since he admitted that he had committed a grave sin.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: After Iraq: Part II “Historians in the future will undoubtedly find many and varied lessons from the war in Iraq. But we in the present do not have the luxury of waiting for all the evidence to be in before we start to understand what has gone wrong and what has gone right in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Ben Shapiro: Democrats' Iraq Policy: The Ultimate Hypocrisy “By pushing an all-night Senate session purportedly designed to debate the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, Democrats hoped to show their sincerity and moral indignation.” (READ MORE)

Kathleen Parker: Pornifying Politics “The confluence of the worst of modern American trends -- national narcissism, the sexualization of all things animate and otherwise, and the devaluing of currencies from literature to public discourse -- has reached a perfect storm of idiocy in the form of MTV-style political videos.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: DeportThemNow.com “My fellow Americans, we have a problem. We spend billions of dollars on homeland security, but our government can't even track and deport convicted criminal aliens.” (READ MORE)

Terence Jeffrey: D.C.'s Assault on the Second Amendment “A useful illustration of how American freedom could fade away can be seen in a contrast between the city government of Newton, Mass., in 1775, and the city government of Washington, D.C, in 2007.” (READ MORE)

Jonah Goldberg: Partisan Amnesia and Imperial Presidents “At a candidate forum for trial lawyers in Chicago on Sunday, Hillary Clinton proclaimed that the Bush administration is ‘the most radical presidency we have ever had.’” (READ MORE)

Brent Bozell III: Michael Moore vs. CNN “Let's be blunt: Michael Moore is one ungrateful leftist hack. CNN had showered him with three hours and 10 minutes of face time (repeats included) on ‘Larry King Live’ and ‘The Situation Room,’ helping him sell his latest socialist film, ‘Sicko.’” (READ MORE)

Horace Cooper: Waiting on the World to Change “The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is proving itself once again to be a powerhouse among the circuits. And based on some of the cases that it will decide this year it might actually edge out the D.C. Circuit as the most influential circuit court in the nation.” (READ MORE)

War Historian: War Aims “Timothy Burke at Easily Distracted offers a characteristically thoughtful take on the issue of U.S. war aims in Iraq: ‘If the answer to the question, “What is the declared aim of the United States in Iraq?” is, “The establishment of a stable liberal democracy”, that’s not a sufficient answer. Because it doesn’t say how important that aim is, about what kinds of predictive standards we could use to judge whether it was being achieved, and whether or when we might judge that it had failed to be achieved. This isn’t a war aim like “the unconditional surrender of the military and government of an enemy” or “taking and holding a particular territory or resource”. The achievement of those aims speaks for itself. This objective is different.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Dems want to surrender what the troops are winning “While Senate Plurality Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, indulged himself with what he called a ‘stunt’ this morning, American soldiers were winning the war he voted for — the very one he wants to surrender. 2 AP reports show the Surge is working:” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Our crap politics: Senate sleepover fizzles “So after all the pants-wetting over a promised blowhard blowout all-nighter, Reid let them go home. Most of them, anyway: ‘Although Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) initially warned that votes on legislation to withdraw combat troops could occur at any time during the night, he agreed shortly after midnight to delay even procedural votes until 5 a.m. and to put off until 11 a.m. a vote on legislation to bring home most troops by May.’” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Careful What You Wish For “WaPo: ‘Will the all-night session change any votes? I hope so,” said Reid.’ NYT: GOP senators who had been distancing themselves from Bush now distancing themselves from Dems: ‘You wonder if they are more interested in politics than dealing with the substance of this,” said Senator George V. Voinovich, Republican of Ohio.’” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: An Open Letter To Peggy Noonan “Dear Ms. Noonan: Last Friday, oddly enough on Friday the 13th, you wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that filled me with dismay. It wasn't that your sentiments came as any particular surprise to me. For months now it has been increasingly obvious that you have come to despise the President of the United States. That is a harsh word, but I don't believe it's the wrong one.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: High treason “Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby and Alexander ‘Sandy’ Berger. Bizarre political doppelgangers, both lawyers and former high-ranking government officials. Both caught violating basic, fundamental laws that anyone who knew either of them would say they were far, far too smart to break. Both granted extraordinary leniency for their offenses. Both have their defenders and detractors, largely drawn on partisan lines. Both have become symbols of the ‘corruption’ of their parties to their detractors.” (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: Launch of Media Mythbusters Wiki “In 2006, the Associated Press ran a story about six Sunnis who were doused with kerosene and burned alive while nearby Iraqi soldiers watched and did nothing. The source for the story was identified as Captain Jamil Hussein of the Iraqi police force. The story received wide coverage and was even cited by NBC news as the tipping point that led them to begin referring to the war in Iraq as a civil war.” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: Hold Firm Opinions “In honor of the efforts of Vets for Freedom to rally OIF and OEF veterans on Capitol Hill today, here’s a summary of some of the best “hold firm” commentary from the past couple of days. First, comes the admonition to keep on surgin', from the redoubtable Bill Kristol, writing at the Weekly Standard:” (READ MORE)

Steven Emerson: HLF’s P.R. Blitz: “Islamophobia” and Apple Pie “Yesterday, jury selection began in the largest terrorism financing case in U.S. history, against alleged Hamas-front group, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Yesterday also witnessed the launch of the defense’s public strategy, a dual-track approach consisting of self-appointed Muslim leaders (in this instance, many are implicated in the case themselves, as the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator), and some in the media, claiming the prosecution is “Islamophobic,” while family members of the defendants wrap themselves in the American flag.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Democratic Hypocrisy 101 “Brian Ross over at The Blotter has a piece up about the declassified NIE report and how some intelligence analysts feel about the findings. Who did he use as his sources? None other than old Pinocchio himself, Richard Clarke, and of source some ‘unnamed intelligence analysts.’ Intelligence analysts and the former White House counterterror official describe as ‘pure pablum’ the unclassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate released today on terror threats to the United States.” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Errata “Wait a minute... This can't be right, can it? ‘...Senate Republicans pushed through a nonbinding resolution stating that "precipitous withdrawal" from Iraq would "create a safe haven for Islamic radicals, including Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, who are determined to attack the United States and (U.S.) allies." The vote was 94-3.’ Last I checked, there are right around 100 Senators, total.” (READ MORE)

d Morrissey: Republicans Call Reid's Bluff “Harry Reid kept the Senate in business all night long as a way to publicize the fact that Republicans won't allow cloture on an amendment for retreating from Iraq. For some reason, Reid apparently thought that this would somehow break the will of the Republicans in a manner that had escaped the Democratic effort to complain about the same cloture rules they used repeatedly to block legislation and presidential appointments when Reid was Minority Leader instead of Majority Leader. In the end, not only didn't Reid move the Republicans, he took most of the night off himself:” (READ MORE)

Blue Star Chronicles: Two Muslim Women are Arrested After Stand-Off With Police in Dallas “Two Muslim women have been arrested in Dallas after a 6-hour stand off with Arlington Police. The police sent in a robot to check out for potential explosive devices and the women shot the robot with paintball guns. This situation started as a domestic dispute. It turned out that the women had been under investigation by the feds for suspicion of terrorist activities.” (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo @ Blackfive: Harry Reid- I'm surrendering as fast as I can “I often wonder what goes on in the heads of people like the awful Harry Reid, as he does everything within his power to try to defeat our military. I can't find a way to credit his good will any more. He is either certifiable or he prefers an Al Qaeda win to a US one. I realize that some of the Democrats are still claiming that our withdrawal will clear the way for peace, 'cuz the Iraqis really love each other, they just hated occupation. Riigghhtt. No, most of the left has gone all the way to calling Iraq a loss, and gee Zawahiri noticed and used that to try and rally his troops. Ya' see Z and the dying in bunches jihadis know something the defeateds here don't. They are taking a severe ass-whippin'.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Empire of the Mind “Analysts Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo do a book-length analysis of the media efforts of Sunni insurgents and conclude they fill an actual demand in the Arab world for certain messages, of which "anti-Shi'ite hate speech is an increasingly prominent part" -- and that leaves their narrative open to certain vulnerabilities. Entitled "The War of Ideas and Messages" the downloadable PDF, the authors key findings are: ‘Sunni insurgents in Iraq and their supporters worldwide are exploiting the Internet to pursue a massive and far-reaching media campaign. Insurgent media are forming perceptions of the war in Iraq among the best-educated and most influential segment of the Arab population.’” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Portrait Of Valor: SSG Matthew Schilling “When I hear about our Troops and the calmness and professionalism that they display in the worse situation, it always amazes me and makes me so very proud of the young men and women we have serving in our Armed Forces. This Soldier is yet another fine example of the best that our Nation has to offer, proudly serving our Country and bravely risking their own lives in the face of extreme danger, to ensure that their comrades come home safely.” (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: The Critical Nexus “Pakistan is a critical nexus in the fight against the Islamists and al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and its backers in Pakistan, the Taliban, have used a truce with the Pakistani government to regroup and rearm in Warizistan and along the Afghan-Pakistani border. For all the headlines about how the US strategy against al Qaeda has failed, the real issue is that foreign countries continue to provide sanctuary for al Qaeda - safe havens from which they can operate.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Islamic State of Iraq – an al Qaeda front “U.S. Special Operations Forces scored a major victory against al Qaeda in Iraq’s senior leadership and gained valuable insight on the al Qaeda creation known as the Islamic State of Iraq. On July 4, Coalition forces captured Khalid Abdul Fatah Da’ud Mahmud Al Mashadani, a senior al Qaeda in Iraq and Islamic State of Iraq leader and close associate of Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda’s commander. Mashadani, also known as Abu Shahed, was captured in Mosul and is thought by the U.S. military to be the most senior Iraqi-born leader in al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). During Mashadani’s interrogation, the U.S. confirmed the Islamic State of Iraq is an al Qaeda front and that its leader does not really exist.” (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: The Current Iraq Debate: Do You Want To Win “Well, the Democrats are at it again. Not even waiting for September and already pronouncing our activities a failure. This is what the military calls a ‘shaping movement’. There is nothing gained here but position for September. They are working to control the story line so that people will, hopefully, buy their story and pressure their Republican counterparts to jump on board for their next ‘let's withdraw’ attack on the Battle in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Patterico: Beldar Reviews “Supreme Conflict” “Beldar has a positive review of Jan Crawford Greenburg’s book Supreme Conflict. It’s interesting to put Beldar’s review and mine side by side. We were antagonists in the Harriet Miers debate, and both felt strongly about it. Beldar still carries the psychic wounds from that debate, whereas I consider it a proud moment for this blog, and I’m very pleased with the result. But both Beldar and I were struck by similar passages in the book, such that we both noted them in our respective reviews. Both of us noted Greenburg’s citation of Harriet Miers’s ironic statement: ‘I think the blogs will be really important.’” (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: What is CAIR? “CAIR is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). It holds itself out as a civil rights group. Yesterday it held a panel discussion on ‘Islamophobia’ at the National Press Conference. At the event, CAIR chairman Parvez Ahmed denounced the Bush administration as a fount of "Islamophobia." Audrey Hudson and Sara Carter report on Ahmed's comments in today's Washington Times. By apearing on the panel with Ahmed, in my view, David Keene unfortunately dignified CAIR by treating it as the civil rights organization it pretends to be (even if he only appeared to express his disagreement with the theme of the event).” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The "Field of Dreams" Peace Conference “Psychoanalysis is a treatment that focuses on intraspsychic conflict. Manifest behavior is the result of a complex interplay of conflicting desires and inhibitions. In much the same way, we can conceptualize the behavior of populations and states in terms of their internal conflicts. There is nowhere in the world where such internal conflict is more acute and complex than the Middle East. It is worth teasing out some of the threads of conflicted desire and inhibition in light of the President's announcement of an upcoming Peace conference to include Israel, Fatah, and various neighbors in the region.” (READ MORE)

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