August 28, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 08/28/2007

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)
Russia Arrests 10 in Slaying of Outspoken Journalist - Russia's chief prosecutor announced Monday that 10 people involved in the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya had been arrested, alleging that those behind the murder of the well-known Kremlin critic included members of Russia's police and security services. (READ MORE)

Embattled Gonzales Resigns - Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, one of President Bush's closest confidants and a key architect of his controversial counterterrorism policies, announced yesterday that he is quitting after seven months of bitter confrontation with Congress over his honesty and his competence... (READ MORE)

After Tour of Duty in Iraq, Graham Backs 'Surge' - After serving two weeks of reserve duty in Iraq, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) yesterday called for continuation of the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq and warned that any decision to mandate a withdrawal this year would undercut critical gains made in recent months. (READ MORE)

House to Hold Hearings on Two New Reports on Iraq - The House will hold hearings next week on two key reports assessing political and military conditions in Iraq, jump-starting the debate over President Bush's strategy even before long-awaited testimony by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, due the following week. (READ MORE)

Taliban to Free Hostages - The Taliban agreed today to free 19 South Korean church volunteers held hostage since July after the government in Seoul agreed to end all missionary work and keep a promise to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. (READ MORE)

Border Patrol Chief Apologizes for Remarks - Sector chief Carlos X. Carrillo yesterday apologized for saying the agency's mission is stopping terrorists, not illegal aliens or drug smugglers, a stance that outraged congressional lawmakers. (READ MORE)

Democrats Insist Probes Will Continue - With political adviser Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales both out, Democrats lose two top targets in their investigation of the Bush administration, but a new attorney general nominee could hand them both a bigger stage and more leverage for pressing their case. (READ MORE)

Sarkozy Affirms Alliance to Israel - French President Nicolas Sarkozy used his first major foreign-policy speech to signal a shift from his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, casting himself as a "friend of Israel" and taking a tougher line on Russia and China. (READ MORE)

Kaine Opposes Expanding State Role on Aliens - Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine does not want to create a statewide partnership with federal immigration officials that would allow state agencies to identify illegal aliens and begin deportation procedures, despite calls from the state's attorney general and anti-illegal-immigration groups. (READ MORE)

Schumer Claims Scalp in Latest Bush Win - The resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has many of the familiar features of President Bush's high-profile second-term failures: the firm resistance, the partisan acrimony, the eventual surrender. And one hallmark of second-term executive train-wreck: the fingerprints of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. (READ MORE)

Obama Supported by Wilder - L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, who made history as the nation's first elected black governor, is preparing to campaign aggressively for Barack Obama, and predicted in an interview that the charismatic young candidate could shatter the Republican Party's virtual lock on the South. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Carter Andress: This Isn't Civil War – Baghdad. We are winning this war. I write those words from my desk in the Red Zone in downtown Baghdad as hundreds of Iraqis working with my company -- Shia and Sunni, Arab and Kurd -- execute security, construction and logistics missions throughout the capital and Sunni Triangle. We have been here now over three years. (READ MORE)

Those Wacky Iraqis: Is it safe to be a soldier? - Thanks to my buddy BIG LOU for sending me the following article. I read and went, "Na, can't be true. This has to be skewed info. I know enough about statistics to know you can colorize them to say anything you want." Then I popped the link and read the report. I am stunned. I knew the Army AKO Safety plan had paid dividends but I did not realize just how many personnel were killed in accidents during the Clinton years. (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: The Future of Iraq - “Al Qaeda terrifies locals,” said Major Mike Garcia from Canyon, Texas, before he put me in a convoy of Humvees with 18 American Military Police on their way to the small town of Mushadah just north of Baghdad. “The only people Iraqis may be more afraid of is their mothers. When we arrest or detain people and threaten to call up their mom, they completely freak out. Please, no, don’t tell my mother they say. Women are quiet outside the house, but they severely smack down their bad kids inside the house. When your Iraqi mother tells you to knock something off, you knock it off.” (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: The "General" Public - There should be no doubt, the so-called surge is working, but, in September, I am afraid General Petraeus will downplay the positive effect for fear of appearing too partisan. It is sad that in today's society and political environment it is unacceptable for a general to be…well, a general. Even worse is an ambivalent public afraid to root for their own team. (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: Thanks for your support -- I think - Alsumeria reports that soon after Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki requested an apology from France for comments made by the foreign minister to Newsweek calling for the replacement of Al Maliki, Bernard Kouchner, in an interview with French radio station RTL, issued what could be an apology. (READ MORE)

Far From Perfect: Eagle Cash blows - I managed to get my watch fixed. Can you believe that our PX actually had the right watch battery in stock? Such an obscure item, and it was actually on the shelves, unlike such things as USB Sticks or socks. Had to pay with my new fangled Eagle Cash card since finance won’t actually give you any cash anymore. The idea of the Eagle Cash card sounds good on paper. A secured card you load with funds from your bank account. You can use it like a debit card throughout Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc. (READ MORE)

Castle Argghhh!: News from our Man in the 'Stan. - The landlocked sailor's updates continue. “Another week down. I’m getting more comfortable here. I still miss things like the color green and the smell of cleanliness, but over all, its not bad here at all. I have more room than if I was on ship, better food than the front, and decent company. I’m friendly with a couple of kids at the bazaar, and a couple of them give me presents of little necklaces or bracelets if I come by. As a thank you to two of them I gave them each a soccer ball from my family to honor the presents they gave me. Now everybody wants a soccer ball.” (READ MORE)

Jeff Emanuel: A brief update from Baghdad - Baghdad, Iraq -- I've been on the front lines here in Iraq for the last month, spending about three weeks in Salman Pak (just south of Baghdad) with the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, from Ft. Benning, GA, and spending another several days near the Turkish/Syrian border with a Special Forces team. As one of the very few journalists (out of the hundreds who come here) who actually spends time out on the front lines, seeing with my own eyes the gunshots, the IEDs, the school openings, the public clinics, the Concerned Citizens meetings, etc., etc. -- rather than simply sitting in safety and reporting hearsay -- I have personally seen evidence that the 'Surge' is working militarily. (READ MORE)

Badger 6: It's Great to Be a Soldier - I graduated from One station Unit Training as an 11-Bravo Infantryman in July of 1991 at Fort Benning, Georgia. My memories of that time certainly have the benefit of rose-colored refraction, but mostly I remember the good things. When I write of "good things" I don't necessarily mean they were completely enjoyable, rather I mean the satisfaction from accomplishing something difficult or meeting a challenge gave me great pride in being able to do these things. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Michael Barone: Divest Iran - We have other weapons that are being deployed now -- not by the military, the federal government or officials in Washington, but by state government officials and legislatures in state capitals, who are working to divest their pension funds of stocks in companies that do business in Iran. (READ MORE)

Paul Greenberg: The Trouble With George: He Just Doesn't Get It - What's wrong with George W. Bush? Doesn't he know America has already been defeated in Iraq? Doesn't he read The New York Times? Doesn't he listen to NPR? (READ MORE)

Mike S. Adams: Of Mice and Mormons, Part II - In the master’s program referred to in part one of this series, all students are required to take a class in ‘sex therapy.’ A significant portion of this class focuses on ‘visual desensitization.’ That means the professors show a lot of videos and pictures of people having sex. Of course, students are ‘free’ to excuse themselves from class if the sex scenes make them uncomfortable. However, students know that if they were to do so, they would face repercussions later. (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Vanishing England - Perhaps there will not always be an England. An exodus unprecedented in modern times, coupled with a record influx of foreigners, is threatening to erode the character of the land of William Shakespeare and overpowering monarchs, a land that served as the cradle for much of American thought, law and culture. (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: No Trade-Offs? - A whole nation following the tragedy of a mine cave-in in Utah was struck by the further tragedy of another cave-in at the same mine, killing men who had gone underground to try to rescue the miners trapped there. (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: Liberals' Desire To Be Loved Is Their Achilles' Heel - I have spent a good part of my life trying to understand people I disagree with, whether on the right or the left, whether members of my own religion or of other religions or of no religion. (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Secularists Often Behave As They Claim Christians Do - Newsweek's Anna Quindlen recently wrote that a presidential victory for Rudy Giuliani "wouldn't be a good thing for this country, but his candidacy may wind up being a good thing for his party," which Quindlen obviously believes has been hijacked by the Christian right. (READ MORE)

Patrick J. Buchanan: Has Bush Boxed Himself In? - As Americans anguish over how to extricate this country from Iraq without a disaster greater than what we now have, and without our friends suffering the fate of our friends in Cambodia and Vietnam, they had best brace themselves. This escalator is going up. (READ MORE)

Rich Lowry: The Mob Wins - Alberto Gonzales became intimately familiar with what departing White House adviser Karl Rove calls "the mob" -- the howling mass of Democratic members of Congress, bloggers and media commentators who despise all things Bush. His tenure as attorney general, and now his departure, represent a triumph for the mob. (READ MORE)

Richard H. Collins: Hillary's Heavy Handed History - One of the great ironies of this year?s Democratic presidential primary is that the very accusations that the rabid Left hurls at President Bush apply equally to Hillary Clinton. This, in addition to her waffling on Iraq and her centrist posturing, is a key element of the distrust the base feels towards the former First Lady. (READ MORE)

John R. Thomson: Whose genocide will it be? - Throughout most of the Muslim world, in virtually all media and with hardly a whimper of demurral, the charge is leveled and endlessly reiterated: the United States, frequently with its hated accomplice Israel, is labeled the world's modern leader in genocide. (READ MORE)

Bob Okun: Will You Answer the Call? - Stop what you're doing and simply listen for a moment so you may hear a conversation that is going on across America. It is not about who will be the next president, but about why average citizens aren't more fully engaged in the war on terror. Why haven't we all been asked by our leaders to give more of ourselves as in previous wars? And most importantly, what can and should we all do about the national disconnect between citizen and soldier? (READ MORE)

Arch Puddington: Making All the Right Enemies - It is odd and perhaps unfortunate that Albert Shanker (1928-97) may be remembered principally as the man who in 1968, as head of the New York City teachers union, shut down the city's schools with a series of strikes. It was all in a good cause, to be sure, but the controversy of that episode, over the years, has stolen drama from much else of note in Shanker's long and admirable life. (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: A Denier's Confession - The recent discovery by a retired businessman and climate kibitzer named Stephen McIntyre that 1934--and not 1998 or 2006--was the hottest year on record in the U.S. could not have been better timed. August is the month when temperatures are high and the news cycle is slow, leading, inevitably, to profound meditations on global warming. Newsweek performed its journalistic duty two weeks ago with an exposé on what it calls the global warming "denial machine." I hereby perform mine with a denier's confession. (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: After AG Piñata - Democrats finally got their man yesterday, as Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation so he'd no longer be a political "distraction" as Attorney General. President Bush accepted with regret and rued that his longtime friend had been "dragged through the mud for political reasons." The decision was probably inevitable, but it should also teach the White House a lesson in the kind of qualities Mr. Bush will need in a successor. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Sen. Larry Craig's Restroom Restlessness - What was Sen. Larry Craig (R-my own private Idaho) thinking? Craig pleaded guilty to engaging in lewd behavior in a restroom. The part that bothers me is that he thought that his position as a United States Senator would somehow insulate him from criminal liability. That's most galling. I'd say that his career is done, and if he has the interests of the GOP at heart, he'd refuse not to run for reelection in 2008. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Their Voices Should Be Heard - Here in the United States, we’ve become inundated with the debate back and forth about our Military presence in Iraq. You have the anti-war, anti-everything military crowd screaming “Bring Them Home,” while those supporting the Troops try to reason that our Troops should be allowed to complete their mission. This debate just increases in intensity, as time ticks ever closer to General Petraeus’s report to Congress in September. One group of voices is being totally ignored in this seemingly endless debate… the voices of the Iraq people. (READ MORE)

Paul: Blaming the Victim in the Miss Teen USA Debacle - At the risk of taking something utterly mindless and irrelevant way too seriously, I felt the need to revisit the case of Miss Teen USA South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton who had what will probably go down in history as the most extreme blonde moment in history. In a way, she's a victim. Any fair look at her answer shows she got mired in liberal taking points. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: (Senatorial) Crimes And Misdemeanors - Amid all the furor surrounding Senator Larry Craig and his bathroom habits, another story of senatorial scandal -- one that is far, far more serious and deserving of attention -- is going incredibly unreported. There's a trial going on in New York City right now, featuring a Houston oilman who put a lot of energy into preventing the Iraq war in the days before the US invasion. Oscar S. Wyatt, Jr. is accused of opposing the war not for any valid means, but because he was bought and paid for by Saddam out of "Oil For Food" bribes. (Or, as I always liked calling it, "Quid Pro Crude.") (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: Kerry v. Swiftboat Vets: Final update - Despite John Kerry's claim that the "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth" had defamed him concerning his service in Vietnam, he has now allowed the last deadline for filing suit against the principals or their publisher pass without action, as William J. Dyer notes at BeldarBlog: “Sen. Kerry's home state of Massachusetts has a very unusual, extremely generous and pro-plaintiff three-year limitations period for defamation claims.” (READ MORE)

McQ: An odd way to treat your political allies - Howard Dean and the DNC have told Florida Democrats to change their primary date or suffer the consequences. In fairness, the Republican National Committee has done the same thing. The difference is degree. The Republicans told Florida Republicans that if they insist on having their primary on the 29th of January, they'll reduce the number of delegates Florida can send to the Republican Convention. Seem harsh? I mean, Florida is a critical state, no? And, in the nominating process, every state is important. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Doctor fired over hospitals’ illegal alien care policies - Dr. Gene Rogers spoke out against California’s policies of providing free health care to illegal aliens at the expense of poor Americans who are being squeezed out of the system. It cost him his job. In a two-sentence memo to Dr. Rogers, the county’s Health and Human Services director, Lynn Frank, informed him that he was fired, but thanked him for his services. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit : (Video) Dan Abrams scorches CNN, Amanpour for jihadist whitewash - Awesome, and all the more awesome considering he’s the managing editor of the most left-wing news outfit on cable. The only false note is when he piously intones about advocacy masquerading as journalism. Have a banana, Dan. I can’t believe I didn’t record this. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Laundering for Hillary? - The little green house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. in Daly City, Calif., (shown right) may spell big trouble for Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York as she pursues the presidency. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the 6 members of the Paw family that live inside the 1,280-square-foot house gave a total of $45,000 to Hillary’s 3 political campaigns. The Paws gave a total of $270,000 in recent years to the Democratic Party in recent years. (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Spinning The "Petraeus" Report - As that fervently hoped for moment of apocalyptic release from our long national nightmare heretofore known as September 15th rapidly approaches, the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth surrounding the so-called "Petraeus Report" continues to mount as various truth-to-powerers strive to outdo each other in displays of outraged hyperventilation. The folks at Think Progressyve have caught the BushReich red-handed, unleashing yet another nefarious plot to oppress the untold thousands of oppressed Americans yearning for the embargoed words of that imprisoned truth-teller (Gaia rest his spirit), Keith Olbermann: (READ MORE)

David Bernstein: More on Whether Affirmative Action in Law Schools Backfires on Prospective Black Lawyers - Gail Heriot has an excellent op-ed on the subject in the Wall Street Journal. As I've emphasized in previous writings and speeches, it's a real problem when the consistent focus of affirmative action in law schools is on how many black students are admitted, with little if any attention paid to how many of the admittees actually succeed in becoming lawyers. Interestingly, the ABA, which just last year was on the offensive in passing new guidelines requiring all law schools to engage in significant racial preferences, has now proposed new accreditation rules that threaten the viability of many lower-tier law schools, including several historically black law schools. (READ MORE)

The Tygrrr Express: Harry Reid–The Majority Loser of the Demagoguic Party - The jackals of the democratic party have officially become cannibals. Alberto Gonzales has been chewed up, and not one morsel was spit out. He has been devoured. Yet far from satiating the beats of the left, they are now hungier than ever. The smell of republican blood is in the air, and their only reason for living continues. Spending time on Alberto Gonzales can be done by others. All I know is another decent human being was destroyed because republicans want to feed their friends to the alligator, to quote the Gipper. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. George W. Bush: Surveilling a surveillance case - Zombie dropped by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to watch the oral argument in the case of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. George W. Bush. His post is a fascinating journey into the heart of radical politics, the bizarre alliance of activist left and Islamic radicalism, and mainstream media coverage of same. Perhaps more importantly, Zombie's work is so rich with links that it will serve as an important resource for any reporter who wants to do anything beyond writing down a left-wing lawyer's talking points. (READ MORE)

The Sundries Shack: A Week Later, the Lie’s Still Traveling - It’s been said, by Terry Pratchett and many others, that a lie can get all the way around the world before the truth ever gets its boots on. You can get a good look at that truism in action today, as the Washington Post serves us some week-old gruel polished up to make it look like Iraq and Afghanistan are hurting our police departments and making us less safe here at home. (READ MORE)

Nathan Bradfield: Valedictorian Sues School for Religious Liberty - Yesterday, Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against the Monument, CO, school district on behalf of a high school valedictorian. Erica Corder was forced to apologize to the school for sharing her faith during her graduation speech. “During her 30-second message Erica spoke about her faith in Jesus Christ. Afterwards, she was escorted to see the assistant principal, who said she would not receive her diploma because of the speech she had given. Principal Brewer later indicated that her comments were ‘immature.’” (READ MORE)

Kim Zigfeld: Khodorkovsky Whips Putin in Switzerland - Why is this man smiling? He's jailed Russian "oligarch" Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and he's happy because his brilliant, courageous legal team led by Robert Amsterdam has just won a major legal victory in a Swiss courtroom. As the Times of London reported: “Switzerland's highest court said that Russian legal proceedings against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed former chief executive of Yukos, were politically motivated and blocked the release to the Russian authorities of bank documents relating to the bankrupt oil company.” (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: MSNBC, CNBC Refuse to Run Pro-War Ads - We wrote here about the television commercials that Freedom's Watch has produced, featuring veterans and their families, that urge Congress and the public to continue supporting the Iraq war. The commercials are well done, and convey the simple message that the Iraq war is important and winnable, and that we should allow our troops to see the mission through. The ads are appearing in the context of a blizzard of anti-war ads by left-wing groups, intended to pressure Senators and Congressmen into pulling the plug on the Iraq effort. (READ MORE)

Justin Levine: How Google Helps To Fuel Libel Litigation Over Internet Web Postings - Jack Schafer has posted a thoughtful response to this column by New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt regarding the problems created by Internet search engines which can preserve unflattering news coverage about you (including matters that may be either true or untrue). One key observation by Schafer – “One of the flaws in Hoyt’s thinking is his belief that one’s reputation is a possession—like a car or a tennis racket—when one’s reputation actually resides in the minds of others. A person can have as many reputations as people who know him or know of him. Positing that the top link in a Google search of a name equals somebody’s reputation is silly, and Hoyt’s column only encourages that notion.” (READ MORE)

Neptuns Lex: Peters on Fallujah - Even a perpetual optimist would have been hard pressed to believe the changes in the western Iraqi province of Al Anbar over the last year. Ralph Peters is no perpetual optimist. But he’s impressed: “The Marines and the Iraqi police find they get along surprisingly well. The Americans realize that the Iraqis know the buttons to press to get things done, while the Iraqis learn from the Marines’ professionalism…Some districts have ugly stretches of ruins, while others are largely intact. The population has returned. And there’s a construction boom. Meanwhile, the Marines have repaired generators, turned trash lots into parks and created hundreds of jobs. Suddenly, the city’s movers and shakers want to work with the Marines.” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Media Ignores Major Iraqi Benchmark Accomplishment - Bottom Line Up Front: Passage of the Debaathification law in Iraq is a required benchmark by President Bush and the Congress. So why haven't we heard about it? Haven’t heard about the major benchmark met by the Iraqi government yesterday? Then you probably won’t hear about the major oil law being presented to Parliament, either. Just as it became evident that the surge is clearly working, liberals switched focus from the surge, which they previously promised would fail, to the difficulties of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki calling for his ouster. (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: Healthcare Fact vs. Fantasy - The two charts below speak volumes about what has been mostly an ungrounded philosophical jousting match about what kind of healthcare system provides the most advanced or broadest coverage or costs the least or is the fastest or most flexible or most 'just'. As in higher education, this kind of analysis stands out for its attempt to cut through a fog of discussion around inputs and processes and cut straight to results. (H/T: No Oil for Pacifists) (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Essential Corruption - Over the weekend, concerning the ongoing Islamization of the West, I posed the question “Cui bono?” That is, who stands to gain from what’s happening now? This question is especially perplexing when one considers the process of mass Muslim immigration, which effectively strives to replace the existing populations of low-birthrate Western countries with Third World immigrants. The losers in this deal are obvious — but who are the winners? Except for the Islamists themselves, the beneficiaries of Islamization stand well back in the murky shadows. (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: Terrorists resort to using children - Desperate tactics of Islamic excrement: “Child fighters, once a rare presence on Iraq’s battlefields, are playing a significant and growing role in kidnappings, killings and roadside bombings in the country, U.S. military officials say.” Islamic miscreants are being evicerated to the point of recruiting brainwashed children or coercing them by kidnapping and threatening their families. I’m surprised that the left-leaning Los Angeles Times actually reported this, but there’s been no comment from the likes of the ACLU, Amnesty International, the U.N. , or any of the multitude of anti-war fringe groups. (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: A Bit On The NSA Wiretapping Program - Its all Attorney General news today so I thought I would highlight something different with this excellent article written by Phillip Bobbitt, Columbia Law School professor and a former member of the Clinton Administration from 98-99, on the NSA Wiretapping hoopla: (h/t Patterico Pontifications) “Warrants, which originate in the criminal justice paradigm, provide a useful standard for surveillance designed to prove guilt, not to learn the identity of people who may be planning atrocities. A statutory fix that simply waived the warrant requirement when both parties to a conversation were foreign would scarcely address this problem.Technology is changing the nature of the threat, not merely the mechanics of collection." (READ MORE)

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross: On the ISNA Conference and the DOJ - As Jeffrey Imm points out, Audrey Hudson of the Washington Times has reported that "[t]he Justice Department is co-sponsoring a convention held by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) -- an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing federal terrorist funding case." Unfortunately, this article overstates the DOJ's involvement in the ISNA conference and offers objections to DOJ participation that seem inaccurate. Both the headline and opening paragraph of the article state that the Justice Department is co-sponsoring the 2007 ISNA convention, which begins on Aug. 31. I spoke with a senior DOJ official who informs me that this is inaccurate. The Justice Department will in fact have a booth at the convention, but is not a co-sponsor. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Betrayal: IVAW and the Haditha Marines - Part 3 in the Haditha Series - We’ve gotten used to the media taking potshots at the military. It has become a regular day to day occurrence. Reports from Iraq reveal that our soldiers are too busy doing their jobs to pay much attention to the blathering from the armchair generals in the media - thank goodness. But when the knife in your back is thrown by your “brothers”, it has got to hurt. John Murtha, the ex-Marine, threw the first knife but he was certainly not the last. The Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) wasted little time tossing the Haditha Marines under the Humvee. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Bad Reporting After Bad - We've been over--and debunked--this story before: “The U.S. military's soaring demand for small-arms ammunition, fueled by two wars abroad, has left domestic police agencies less able to quickly replenish their supplies, leading some to conserve rounds by cutting back on weapons training, police officials said. To varying degrees, officials in Montgomery, Loudoun and Anne Arundel counties said, they have begun rationing or making other adjustments to accommodate delivery schedules that have changed markedly since the military campaigns began in Iraq and Afghanistan.” As conclusively proved by interviewing three ammunition manufacturers last week, the military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have little or nothing to do with police ammunition shortages in the United States. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Graham Returns From Reserve Tour Supporting The Surge - Lindsey Graham has returned from his Air Force reserve posting in Iraq to support the continuation of the surge. The South Carolina Senator, who has not been supportive of past military strategies in Iraq, claims that the US has seized on a historic opportunity almost by accident, as al-Qaeda has discredited themselves and prompted Iraqi tribes to work together: “After serving two weeks of reserve duty in Iraq, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) yesterday called for continuation of the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq and warned that any decision to mandate a withdrawal this year would undercut critical gains made in recent months.” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: NYT: Analogies Are Meaningless (Unless They Favor the Left) - The New York Times adopts a particularly cynical, even arch position on analogies: They propound the case that only highly trained historians can make proper analogies of one war to another... and even then, only when those historians are reliably liberal (e.g., teaching classes at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government). The case is weak. Not once does the Times actually address specifics of the analogy that has them particularly vexed: President George W. Bush's recitation of what happened after our abandonment of Vietnam, as an object lesson of what would surely follow if we abandoned Iraq today. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Wheel's Still in Spin - The best way to read the Brookings Iraq trip report of Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack is not to see which political position it supports (i.e. whether is the Surge working or not) but simply to understand what it says. It plainly says that the question of whether American policy will be successful or not cannot yet be determined -- and then goes on to describe what seems to be working and what seems to be broken. "There is a great deal going well in Iraq but, unfortunately, also a great deal going badly." It is the best of times and the worst of times. How it will all end depends: on what factors exactly we will attempt to discover by a close reading. (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Taking Turkey’s Military to the Political Brink - Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan has decided to challenge Kemal Ataturk’s system. Turkey’s parliament just voted to elect Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as president. Erdogan and Gul are both members of the moderately-Islamist Welfare Party. Via Bloomberg: “Turkey’s military, which has ousted four governments since 1960, has clashed with Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the separation of mosque and state. The generals blocked Gul’s first run for president in April, forcing an early general election, when they warned that he might undermine the secular order established in Turkey eight decades ago after the Ottoman Empire collapsed.” (READ MORE)

Shrinkwrapped: On Moderate Muslims, Continued - Over the last few days, in response to my post A Recurrent Theme: On Moderate Muslims there has been another in a series of fairly intense and well thought out discussions concerning the existence or non-existence of Moderate Muslims. The tone has been civil throughout though those who suggest that Islam is irredeemably violent and immoderate sometimes come close to a nihilistic position. Ken Spiker, in particular, makes an eloquent case for the problems with Islam arising from the toxic combination of the most intolerant and radical explication of Islam and primitive child rearing techniques: (READ MORE)

Counterterrorism Blog: “Weapons, Weapons, our Brothers” - An enormous cache of internal communication and financial records were entered into evidence Monday at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) trial in Dallas. Most of the evidence, including a videotape, was seized from the offices of HLF, Infocom (defendant Ghassan Elashi’s computer company); and various unindicted co-conspirators. They also seem to comprise the heart of the government’s case that HLF money illegally went to charities controlled by Hamas. They were introduced via FBI agent Lara Burns, back on the stand and being questioned by prosecutor Nathan Garrett. (READ MORE)

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