August 6, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 08/06/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing - The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Democrats Targeted In GOP Debate - The Republican candidates for president used a nationally televised morning debate to mock Democrats on foreign policy, taxes and health care while sparring with each other over abortion and the administration's anti-terrorism efforts. (READ MORE)

House Approves Pentagon Budget Minus the President's War Funding - The House early yesterday approved modest changes to President Bush's record Pentagon budget proposal, but Democrats signaled plans to resume a more contentious debate over the Iraq war after the August recess. (READ MORE)

Ron Paul's Earmarks - Texas Congressman Ron Paul -- libertarian gadfly and current Republican Presidential hopeful -- has made a name for himself as a critic of overspending. But it seems even he can't resist the political allure of earmarks. After reporters started asking questions, the Congressman disclosed his requests this year for about $400 million worth of federal ... (READ MORE)

The Myth of Deindustrialization - It's been a quarter-century since author John Naisbitt blithely described manufacturing as a "declining sport" that Americans could easily offshore to Asia. Since then obituaries for U.S. manufacturing, both mournful and enraged, have been written many times. The reports of death are premature. (READ MORE)

Israeli Leader Meets Abbas - Ehud Olmert today became the first Israeli prime minister to visit a Palestinian town since the outbreak of fighting seven years ago, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to talk about the creation of a Palestinian state. (READ MORE)

'Kossacks' Whip Up Democrat Enthusiasm - CHICAGO — Liberal activists and bloggers left town yesterday energized after three days of strategizing ways to strengthen the Democratic majority and to pressure leaders to shift policy to the left. (READ MORE)

Bush Signs Surveillance Expansion - President Bush yesterday signed into law an expansion of the government's power to eavesdrop on foreign terrorism suspects without the need for warrants. (READ MORE)

Chavez Consolidates Control Over Military - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has moved to tighten his control over his nation's armed forces, which he has equipped with the most powerful arsenal in the region, according to military officials and defense analysts. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
The Gunner's World: Are you Ready? “Are you ready? That’s the question I have asked myself over and over. From the moment I accepted to go on this deployment, to my first night in Kuwait when I could not sleep and spent the long night staring at the ceiling of the tent. To each day waking up here in Iraq… are you ready for what may come today?” (READ MORE)

Greyhawk: Going soft in Ramadi “Stars and Stripes: ‘The commander of a U.S. Marine Corps unit in Iraq wants to have his Marines begin patrolling without helmets and with less body armor. <...> Alexander said a change to a "soft posture" can now be considered because the security situation has improved significantly in recent months.’ How dare he make a political statement while in uniform!!!!! How secure is it? From sidebar at the same link:” (READ MORE)
W. Thomas Smith Jr.: Iraq is Not a Mess, Just Extremely Complex “AL QAIM — Early afternoon here as I watch two wicked-looking Harriers roar across the desert beyond me. Over the past couple days, I've seen Harrier jump jets and Cobra helicopters (flown by Marine pilots) as well as the two permanently stationed Black Hawk medevac helos (flown by the Army). Rarely do I see transports like C-130s out this way (in fact, I don't think I've seen any) unless they are picking up or delivering. After all, this is the proverbial last American outpost — counting battalion HQ, all the battle positions and combat outposts — in western Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: I Have Seen the Horror “Amid all this talk of timetables for the War in Iraq, blurred as they are by a strange lemming-like compulsion to declare the ‘surge’ strategy a failure almost before it actually began, one deadline looms larger with each passing day: It's time for a reckoning with the truth.” (READ MORE)

Eighty Deuce on the Loose in Iraq: Once you feel at home "... and you begin to feel that you are safe and things are normal, the war comes and slaps you across the face. I don't know how to describe how or why that is, but it holds true. The second you begin to think 'Hey this doesn't feel like a war' thats when it happens. Its like clockwork. Thats what happened to us the other day." (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: Bread and a Circus, Part II of II "The atmosphere in Baqubah was choked with fear and local authorities were mired in inertia. But the people were relieved and looking for signs that the changes made in the past two weeks were going to last. Restarting food deliveries, after they had been stopped by Baghdad for almost a year, would be a strong indicator that stability was at hand.After fueling the trucks in the convoy, we headed to Baghdad to get the food. The trucks took an exit down a route that we did not follow, because it had not been cleared of bombs. Sometimes bombs are so large they are buried under roads using earthmoving machines and sit for months waiting for someone just like us, taking a shortcut only to get launched to God." (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Burt Prelutsky: Confession of a Recovering Democrat “I grew up in a home in which Franklin Roosevelt was regarded as a saint. Is it any wonder that it took me so many years before I finally saw the light? As a rule, I don’t approve of people who lay their own shortcomings at the feet of their parents, but when I realize that for no other reason than the way I was raised that I actually voted for Jimmy Carter, it’s awfully tempting to blame my folks.” (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: FISA needs a makeover “One of the conclusions of the post-9/11 investigation into the terrorist attacks was that U.S. intelligence agencies had failed to connect the dots about the unfolding plot against us.” (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: Stealth Tax Increase “The 42 senators and 196 House members who have signed a no-tax-increase pledge received a stern warning last Wednesday from Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform (ATR): If you vote for Amendment 2548 to the Democratic-sponsored expansion of SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program), you will violate your solemn promise. However, Amendment 2548 is not the product of tax-and-spend liberals but of conservative lawmakers and policy experts.” (READ MORE)

Michael Barone: Perceptions of Iraq War Are Starting to Shift “It's not often that an opinion article shakes up Washington and changes the way a major issue is viewed. But that happened last week, when The New York Times printed an opinion article by Brookings Institution analysts Michael O'Hanlon and Ken Pollack on the progress of the surge strategy in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Amir Taheri: Domestic Terror in Iran “It is early dawn as seven young men are led to the gallows amid shouts of ‘Allah Akbar’ (Allah is the greatest) from a crowd of bearded men as a handful of women, all in hijab, ululate to a high pitch. A few minutes later, the seven are hanged as a mullah shouts: ‘Alhamd li-Allah’ (Praise be to Allah). The scene was Wednesday in Mashad, Iran's second most populous city, where a crackdown against ‘anti-Islam hooligans’ has been under way for weeks.” (READ MORE)

John Fund: Mad House “The House of Representatives almost turned into the Fight Club Thursday night, when Democrats ruled that a GOP motion had failed even though, when the gavel fell, the electronic score board showed it winning 215-213 along with the word FINAL. The presiding officer, Rep. Mike McNulty (D., N.Y.), actually spoke over the clerk who was trying to announce the result.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: DeKostructing A Myth In The Making “My colleagues Jim and Lorie have already had their take on the shouting-down of Sgt. David Aguina at the Yearly Kos Konvention, when he tried to speak to a panel on the military and progressive bloggers while in uniform. Their pieces are excellent, but I want to have my share of the fun, too. There have been a variety of explanations of just why moderator John Soltz cut off Sgt. Aguina so forcefully. In situations like this, I tend to pay the most attention to the first versions:” (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: The two faces of Kos “When a uniformed soldier was cut off at the ‘Yearly Kos’ convention of lefties, a few came forward - including the wacko Waco General Wes Clark - to defend it on the basis that military personnel are prohibited from participating in politics while in uniform. [Okay, I know some will suggest his remarks were more in defense of the mission, and not ‘political’ in any meaningful sense other than the paranoia of the far left. I do not disagree, mmmkay?, but the Kossack hypocrisy goes beyond this distinction].” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Pelosi repudiated “I have no idea if the upgrade of the FISA law is good or bad. I suspect good, since Congress gave the new law only 6 months to prove itself or die. But the bill does one thing: Its passage rebukes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Plurality Leader Harry Reid.” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: Towards "Truthiness" “The Editors of The New Republic issued a statement yesterday presenting their assessment of the results of their ‘re-reporting’ on Beauchamp’s accounts as contained in his ‘Shock Troops’ diary. Count on it to resolve nothing in this affair, other than that the TNR refuses to learn anything from their many forays into subjective ‘truthiness.’ Defenders of TNR will play the angry mob, raising each point of deflection and dissembling in the statement like pitchforks, intent on skewering MILBLOGS, The Weekly Standard, and the many military sources who called BS on Beauchamp.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Jackie Mason goes nuclear on the Democrats over Iraq “What’s odder, the fact that Jackie Mason is doing YouTube commentaries — this is number 40, apparently — or the fact that no one but no one seems to be watching them? This is red meat served tartare and in two weeks it’s only mustered 1,600 hits. We do more than that for a random Fox clip in 24 hours. Starts slow but bear with it. Big finish.” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: “Intifada NYC” “We’ve reported on ‘sharia chic’ before, but this story takes it to a new level. It looks like we have a full blown madrassah in New York City, and they have their own fire-em-up t-shirts on sale: ‘August 6, 2007 — Activists with ties to the principal of the city’s controversial new Arabic-themed school are hawking T- shirts that glorify Palestinian terror, The Post has learned.’” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Constitutional Reform Now! “Forward-thinking reform-minded Dems already have striven mightily to reconfigure the president’s executive powers as commander-in-chief, his ability to hire and fire U.S. attorneys, his ability to appoint ambassadors and judges. This hasn’t always worked out for Congress. Now Congress, having voted to allow our intelligence agencies to spy on our enemies, vows give authority back that it voted to take away from to judges it won’t let Bush appoint, and remove the attorney general as gatepost of civil liberties:” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: My Excellent Adventure at YearlyKos “Many thanks to Pajamas Media for sending me as a representative of the press to cover YearlyKos. Not only was my sojourn among the netroots instructive, but the trip supplied enough blog fodder to keep me writing for a week – if I so choose. Don’t worry. I have no intention of being that boring. However, allow me to share some of my pithy observations and razor sharp insights into what was going on both above and below the surface.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The Yearly Kos Convention Acts In A "Legitimately And Objectively Un-American" Fashion By Shutting Up A Pro-War Soldier “Last Friday, I wrote a column that slammed the Daily Kos, among other things, for being virulently anti-military and what do you know, a soldier in uniform was shouted down at the Daily Kos convention this week-end for pointing out that the surge is working (but, but, but....I thought that they supported the troops?).” (READ MORE)

Some Soldier's Mom: Home... to the Place Where They Belong “He was days shy of his 18th birthday and the country days shy of war when he joined the brotherhood. It wasn't a surprise to anyone. He had always wanted to be a soldier. Three months after high school graduation the recruiter came by and took him off to MEPS and a whole new life and a whole new home. He did well in basic training and absolutely loved Airborne training.” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Why The Military? “I often hear that from everyone around me, “Why the military?” When somebody finds out that I want to become a Servicemember in the armed forces, they often ask why would I want to do that. Quiet frankly, to be honest, I haven’t been able to answer that one. I just know that when I was eight years old, I thought about becoming a United States Navy Seal and that dream just stuck with me ever since.” (READ MORE)

John Donovan: Information operations. “How about we execute one right now? Remember the convoy ambush in Afghanistan that the MSM (and, in the end, command) had a hissy about - resulting in the deportation (hey, call it what it was) of the Marine unit. It matters not if the JTF commander truly thought the Marines had over-reacted or he was just bowing to the political realities at the time - the Taliban, with the able assistance of the Press and others, was able to effect the removal of that unit. From Our Correspondent in the 'Stan:” (READ MORE)

Bear Creek Ledger: A 4th of July never to be forgotten “A friend of the family of 1Lt Frank B. Walkup IV of Woodbury, TN sent this piece to Patriot Guard: ‘This I have known - I know the shape of a stranger’s lights coming up the driveway as I relax with friends. It has to be a stranger. He didn’t come all the way to the back of the house where we are on the patio. I know the ‘jump’ when the kids say “Dad! There are two Officers here to see you.” - and you start counting heads to make sure all of the kids are safely at home. Confusion.” (READ MORE)

War Historian: Running Out the Clock “The current New Republic has an article by Andrew J. Bacevich entitled “Army of One: The Overhyping of David Petraeus.” (Hat tip to Ethan Rafuse) It sounds like a swipe at Petraeus; it’s really about how the de facto U.S. strategy — propounded by Petraeus but accepted by all ‘but the doughty warriors at the American Enterprise Institute’ — has become one of ‘buying time for Iraqis to reconcile.’ But, he notes, the Washington clock is running out faster than the Iraqi clock. The pace of Iraqi reconciliation is running at about the same rate as that of my extended family, while the pace in Washington, governed chiefly by the 2008 election campaign but also by a sense that the Bush administration has blown it beyond redemption, is running a lot faster.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Alter: I Hate Democracy “It's almost impossible to keep one's jaw in place while reading Jonathan Alter under the best of circumstances, but his column today requires a bungee cord wrapped around one's head to avoid serious TMJ. Alter endorses ‘mischief’ by state officials attempting to make end-runs around the Electoral College as long as it reflects the ‘popular will’ -- but when Republicans actually offer a referendum to the people for ending the winner-take-all assignment of EC votes, Alter accuses the GOP of trying to steal the next election:” (READ MORE)

Animesh Roul: Al Qaeda Issues Warning to America (and others) with an American Accent ! “Another chilling video from Qaeda production house Al Sahab reportedly warned India, Israel, Russia and of course the United States. This one hour long terror docu-drama came within a week after Abu Yahya al-Libi’s call for overthrowing Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. This time the presenter is one American Qaeda member Adam Gaddhan (Azzam al Amriki). The video declared, besides targeting US at home and its diplomatic missions abroad, the outfit is planning to target Tel Aviv, Moscow and New Delhi. For the first time a video from Al Qaeda inventories reportedly accused India directly for killing thousands of Muslims in Kashmir and that to with US support.” (READ MORE)

Euphoric Reality: Buzz Patterson on The Front Line “Retired Air Force officer Buzz Patterson was my guest on the show last night. You may remember him as the man who carried the ‘nuclear football’ for President Clinton. He is also the author of several books, including Dereliction of Duty and his latest book entitled War Crimes: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy Our Military and Lose the War on Terror. Here’s a sample from last night’s show:” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: More Leftist Propaganda From Hollywood “Can't say I'm surprised that Matt Damon's new movie, The Bourne Ultimatum, is chock full of leftist fantasies of eeeevil Conservatives water-boarding the enemy and destroying all of mankind. Here is the liberal movie reviewer Anthony Kaufmann writing in glee at the liberal lovefest: (h/t Newsbusters) ‘A stinging rebuke against Cheney-esque black ops and torture tactics, Universal Pictures' The Bourne Ultimatum is more than just a heart-stopping international espionage thriller: It is Hollywood's most direct attack against the Bush Regime since George Clooney's one-two punch of Good Night and Good Luck and Syriana.’” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Terrorists, Refugees, and the U.S. Congress “It’s not enough that our southern border is a sieve. It’s not enough that any attempt to identify potential terrorists is decried as “racial profiling”. It’s not enough that the Democrats in Congress are falling all over themselves to declare defeat in Iraq. Now we’re about to alter our immigration laws to make it easier for Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq to make their home in the United States. We have decided to invite them in.” (READ MORE)

Fjordman: Going Gentle Into That Good Night “I usually don’t write about skin color, although I have done so sporadically in the past. However, the amount of hatred and racism against whites is now becoming so aggressive, palpable and indeed publicly accepted in much of the world that perhaps I should write another essay about it. Let me start briefly here. It is noticeable how aggressive many Leftists have become against whites, parallel to Muslim immigration. I think the Leftist logic goes something like this: We failed to achieve our Socialist society during the Cold War. The ‘white,’ Western culture blocked our goals.” (READ MORE)

The Gunslinger: The Fear Factor “In a response to a recent comment, I wrote that the Liberal position on gun control is based on fear. And that: ‘Fear is not a moral value.’ And as I wrote it, it occurred to me that so many Liberal positions are fear based that it might actually explain their apparently absurd opinions and self-destructive positions to a rational mind. Upon examination, many of the most perplexing positions taken by Liberal/Lefties are elegantly explained if understood to be a fear response.” (READ MORE)

Andi: How Not to Handle an Uncomfortable Situation "The blogosphere is buzzing over the recent treatment one of the moderators at the YearlyKos convention gave a uniformed soldier. The discussion seems to center around the impression that the moderator of a military panel, a man by the name of John Soltz, 'crushed dissent' or 'censored' a soldier who spoke in support of OIF. The other big question surrounding this incident is whether or not the soldier violated military regulations by wearing his uniform to what was, unquestionably, a political event. After I watched the video, what I saw was not necessarily a crushing of dissent or a Sergeant who was in uniform when he shouldn't have been. What I saw was a man who was all too eager to intimidate someone he disagreed with." (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Democrats tremble at the feet of the all-powerful Bush administration "The Congress yesterday passed legislation that essentially allows the National Security Agency to continue its program of unwarranted surveillance of electronic communications between people inside the United States and overseas, at least under certain circumstances. The editors of the Washington Post are outraged. They may be right on the substance -- I admit that I do not actually fear this legislation nearly as much as I imagine I should -- but the Post is, I think, disingenuous in the assignment of 'blame':" (READ MORE)

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