September 21, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/21/2007

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)
Bill to Cut Funds For Troops Fails - The Senate overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have cut off funds for U.S. combat troops in Iraq, as Democrats said that staging repeated failed votes for a pullout is a worthwhile exercise. (READ MORE)

Senate Votes to Scold MoveOn For War Ad - The Senate yesterday overwhelmingly condemned the liberal anti-war group for its newspaper ad that last week accused the top U.S. general in Iraq of lying and misrepresenting the situation on the ground, a measure on which Democratic leaders had refused to allow a vote last week. (READ MORE)

Immigration Restrictions OK'd in France - The National Assembly approved tough new restrictions on immigration yesterday, completing a major step in President Nicolas Sarkozy's program to roll up a famously well-trodden welcome mat. (READ MORE)

Extended Time on Stump Not a Joy for Voters - The networks and the candidates may be all aglow about the presidential campaign, but not so for most Americans — Republicans in particular. Fatigued with the hubbub, the majority of likely voters — 56 percent — already are irritated. (READ MORE)

O'Malley Proposes Raising Sales Tax - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday proposed raising the state's sales tax by 1 cent and expanding it to include health clubs, tanning salons and property-management companies. (READ MORE)

Israel, U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site - Israel's decision to attack Syria on Sept. 6, bombing a suspected nuclear site set up in apparent collaboration with North Korea, came after Israel shared intelligence with President Bush this summer indicating that North Korean nuclear personnel were in Syria, U.S. government sources said. (READ MORE)

Rulings by Mukasey Are Called Conservative, Fair - Judge Michael B. Mukasey clearly believed that the defendant did not have a case. He dismissed her assertion that the New York City Police Department fired her because she had accused a more senior officer of rape, without allowing a jury to hear the case. (READ MORE)

MoveOn Unmoved By Furor Over Ad Targeting Petraeus - A few weeks before Army Gen. David H. Petraeus's much-anticipated testimony on Iraq, the leadership of, the Internet-based liberal group that has rallied its 3 million members around the country to oppose the war, decided on a change in strategy. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Wes Morgan: Thanks - I've been home for almost three weeks now, so this blog has outlived its usefulness -- my friends all know I'm safe and don't need constant updates. I had a phenomenal summer. Hundreds of people helped with that, and they all have my gratitude, but in particular I want to extend my thanks to these people and units: Gen. David Petraeus, for inviting me and for being so constantly helpful: (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Real Deal in Ramadi--Sgt Eddie Jeffers - I was saddened to hear of milblogger Sergeant Jeffers' passing. I was just with the 1-9 Infantry unit last week, but I did not, to my knowledge, meet the Sergeant. Jeffers has reason to be proud, Iraqis who had been terrorized in East Ramadi, today, are grateful that men like Sgt. Jeffers were dedicated to their job. Read Sergeant Eddie Jeffers own words and decide for yourself. (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: [W]e shall fight on, insh'allah, as Mulazam Manion would want, and would do - On a Sunday afternoon in late April, 1st Lt. Travis Manion spoke to his father via satellite phone from a dusty Iraqi Army barracks in downtown Fallujah. Manion and his fellow Marines with Military Transition Team (MiTT) 30 - advisors to the 3-2-1 Iraqi Army - had recently watched a DVD of the movie "300," and it made an impression. He told his dad that for the Spartans, there was "no greater honor" than to die fighting for one's country and its freedoms. He expressed frustration that many Americans didn't understand that's what he and his Marines were doing in Iraq. The satellite phone kept cutting out and, unusually, Travis kept calling his father back. He lingered on the phone. He spoke of the importance of honor, strength and courage. He expressed kinship with the Spartans. A week later, Travis Manion died a Spartan's death. (READ MORE)

Far From Perfect: The Enemy - I just returned from about three days (I lose track of time here) of continuous patrols and raids, so this post will be brief. However, I thought it important to share with the handful of readers I have, and maybe a few others what our enemy is really made of. I keep reading reports and seeing news broadcasts where the anti-war movement is describing the terrorists/insurgents as freedom fighters and patriots. They liken them to our own ancestors during the Revolution, fighting for their own country against an “oppressive occupying force” determined to shove their ideology down the throats of Iraq. Well, there is a big difference between the two. Let me describe a couple of the guys we rounded up lately. (READ MORE)

Jason's Iraq Vacation: Time keeps on tickin' - And then I was back in Taji, back to my daily routine, back to trying to figure out ways to convince the Iraqi's to work more efficiently, a little harder, and a little longer. There was a new wrinkle to this challenge when I returned from the IZ, though: Ramadan. Ramadan is the 9th month on the Islamic calendar and represents the month that the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. To observe this, Muslim's increase many of their religious activities and fast from sunrise to sunset. Ok - this is an abbreviated explanation of what Ramadan truly is, so if you are really interested in learning more I encourage you to read this (ps - I love wikipedia). So what does this mean to us? (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Kimberly A. Strassel: Schip of State - Congress will soon ship the White House a bill that throws huge amounts of new dollars at the government's health-insurance program for children. President Bush will veto it. What happens next will demonstrate whether the beleaguered Mr. Bush has any hope of getting his party to toe the fiscal line in upcoming spending battles, and by consequence whether Republicans have any hope of restoring their fiscal credibility with voters. (READ MORE)

Peggy Noonan: Now He Tells Us - There is the story about a puffed-up political figure, or maybe it was a movie star, who came out with a memoir and began the requisite tour. A reporter cornered him at a cocktail party: "Did you write this book yourself?"
"Write it?" the man said. "I didn't even read it." (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Hurricane Jeb - Florida Governor Charlie Crist didn't appreciate our coverage of his plan to socialize his state's disaster insurance market and put taxpayers on the hook for billions. Now his populist lunge has won him a more formidable foe in the Sunshine State: his predecessor as Governor, Jeb Bush. The highly popular Mr. Bush doesn't make a habit of violating Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment ("Thou Shalt Not Criticize Fellow Republicans"), but he's making an exception here. BestWeek, a trade publication of insurance rating firm A.M. Best, quotes Mr. Bush criticizing states that are crafting disaster insurance plans "that are as bad as the natural disasters themselves." Which states? (READ MORE)

Wolf Pangloss: Blue on Blue from the Military Lawyers in Afghanistan -Two special forces soldiers were on a classified mission to kill a dangerous bomb maker who had killed brothers in arms before and would kill again. They were in a village in the Afghan mountains. On the back of their minds, the knowledge that if they were captured they would be overwhelmed by barbaric Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters who would flout all the laws of civilized warfare to torture them cruelly and mutilate their bodies if they had the opportunity. (READ MORE)

Mike Gallagher: Jena 2007 - Why do so many people seem reluctant to condemn the act of hanging nooses from a so-called “white tree” in Jena, Louisiana? Is it because a race-baiter like Al Sharpton has joined with the thousands of protesters who have descended upon the tiny town? If so, they’re allowing the well-deserved tarnished reputation of “Reverend Al” to cloud their judgment. (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: Did Democrats Go Too Far Going After Petraeus? - Back in the days before the President’s poll numbers plummeted over Iraq, perhaps the Bush administration’s best strategy was the rope-a-dope. We saw it played over time and time again. Democrats would attack Bush; he would ignore them as if they were nothing more than gnats. Democrats would ratchet up their attacks, going farther and farther out on a limb with each successive one until – ‘thwap.’ (READ MORE)

Kathleen Parker: You can't say that. Ever - The latest smack-down of former Harvard President Lawrence Summers should extinguish any remaining doubt that political correctness is the new McCarthyism. Summers, you'll recall, was driven out of his university post in 2005 after he suggested at a conference that gender differences might account for an underrepresentation by women in science, math and engineering. Never mind that scientific evidence suggests as much. (READ MORE)

Oliver North: The World According to UNGA - In 1982, Robin Williams and Glenn Close starred in a quirky R-rated movie entitled "The World According to Garp." The offbeat comedy -- honest, that's what Tinseltown critics called it -- was loosely based on John Irving's dark novel with the same title. Those who missed the humor in the book and film now have a chance for some real belly laughs. Next week the Big Apple will host another gut buster -- "The World According to UNGA." If it were a flick, it would be a dark and depressing documentary combining the conspiratorial rantings of Oliver Stone, the eerie horror of Alfred Hitchcock and the antics of a Looney Tunes cartoon. (READ MORE)

Linda Chavez: Hillary's Plan Won't Make Us Healthier - Hillary Clinton has spent years trying to erase the memory of her failed attempt to bring socialized medicine to the United States, but this week the ghost of Hillary Care was lurking in the wings again as she unveiled her new plan to overhaul the nation's health system. Touted as an "American Health Choices Plan," Sen. Clinton's proposal is short on choice but full of government mandates, including a new directive that every American purchase health insurance. Like her Democratic rivals -- and even some Republicans running for president -- Clinton makes it sound as if we are facing a health care crisis, one that only government can solve. But what exactly is the problem? (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: Clinton Sides With in Senate Vote, Obama Ducks - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.) would not criticize on the campaign trail for an offensive advertisement the group produced to attack Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, but she sided with the anti-war lobby in a vote on Thursday. Motivated by the full-page advertisement published in the New York Times that accused Petraeus of betrayal, the Senate passed a resolution condemning “attacks of honor and integrity” on the general and other members of the Armed Forces. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Dan Rather explains it all to you - As promised, from last night’s Larry King. On this lawsuit may depend the future of independent journalism, he suggests, a neat trick for a guy who spent 44 years at the desk for the most famous corporate news outfit in America. It’s not that he passed off garbage documents as authentic — no one’s proved that they’re garbage, Mr. Independent falsely reminds us — it’s that his mindless corporate masters wanted to “appeal to the Bush White House,” in King’s words, by getting rid of him. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Barack’s billionaires - Forbes magazine compiled a list of the 400 richest Americans. 82 billionaires did not make the cut. Topping the list were Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Both men have made the maximum contributions to the Barack Obama campaign, with Buffett hedging his bet with a maximum contribution to Hillary. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Diyala Tribes Begin Their Own Awakening - Most of the major tribes in the Iraqi province of Diyala have signed agreements to support US and Iraqi forces against extremists, a development that has already resulted in a sharp improvement in intelligence flowing to security forces in the region. Just as in Anbar, the surge in the key province has resulted in a significant shift in allegiances. Unlike Anbar, however, it doesn't just involve Sunnis: (READ MORE)

McQ: Obamarama - Above the Fray (update) - According to Ben Smith at Politico, Obama didn't vote on the Cornyn resolution condemning the ad because he wanted to be seen to be above the fray. Or as Smith explains it: “The empty, symbolic fight over the MoveOn ad also appears to be testing something that was, from the beginning, a central question in the primary: Do Democrats want somebody who will be above partisan fighting (Obama), or do they want a partisan fighter (Clinton)?” Obama skipped the vote and, in the tradition of all politicians, issued a press release to explain why: (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: A State of Mind - The AP says Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been outlawed by al-Qaeda. “Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden called on Pakistanis to rebel against President Pervez Musharraf in a new recording released on Thursday, saying his military's siege of a militant mosque stronghold makes him an infidel.” Al-Qaeda certainly isn't shy about declaring wars, issuing sentences of death on dissident literary figures, crashing wide-body aircraft into buildings, threatening universal death to all who defy them. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Explaining Liberal Thinking In A Single Column - Liberals love to think of themselves as intellectual and nuanced, but liberalism is incredibly simplistic. It's nothing more than "childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues." Very seldom does any issue that doesn't involve pandering to their supporters boil down at its core level to more than feeling "nice" or "mean" to liberals. This makes liberals ill equipped to deal with complex issues. Since liberals tend to support or oppose policies based on how those policies make them feel about themselves, they do very little intellectual examination of whether the policies they advocate work or not. (READ MORE)

Mark Steyn: Thinking Globally - My little grade school in New Hampshire recently introduced an exciting new fun project for its pupils: It will be tracking its carbon footprint! Sorry, let me make that even more exclamatory: It will be tracking its carbon footprint!!!!!!! Do even impressionable seven year-olds still get excited about this racket? The easiest way to reduce the school district’s carbon footprint would be to return to the one-room schoolhouses my older neighbors attended and which are still standing around town, with their blackboards and even the desks mostly intact. (READ MORE)

The Tygrrr Express: The University of Socialism - I apologize in advance if this column bores many people to sleep. Although Tip O’Neill said that “all politics is local,” arguing about potholes is not as exciting as the War on Terror. However, to get to our destinations in life, those potholes occasionally develop accidental relevance. I received a letter in the mail the other day from the American Jewish University, formerly known as the University of Judaism. Although I graduated from the UJ in only four years, it took me about a decade to get my diploma, since they sent it around the country rather than around the block where I had my actual physical address. (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: Just Say No to the National Intelligence Academy - Hugh Hewitt has suggested that the United States Government establish a 'National Intelligence Academy'. I do not doubt that the idea will have a number of supporters, including some in Congress, because at first glance it seems to make sense. Unfortunately, I strongly doubt the practical efficacy of such an institution, for reasons I shall submit here. Let's start with why we have Intelligence services in the first place. The United States government admits to fifteen official agencies and offices whose primary role is Intelligence: (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Iranian Qods Force agent captured in northern Iraq - Camp Victory, Baghdad Province: The US and Iraqi Army continue to target Iran’s surrogates inside Iraq. Today, US forces captured an officer of Iran’s Qods Force during a raid in the northern Kurdish province of Sulimaniyah. US forces also conducted a series of raids against Mahdi Army and Special Groups cells inside Baghdad and Diwaniyah over the past 24 hours. The Qods Force officer was identified as an Iranian citizen. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: George Bush = New Saddam - Some wag at MacLeans maggie in Canada thought it would be funny to dress Bush up like Saddam. Presumeably will sell well in America-bashing, Bush-hating Canada. It’s the cover art on an astonishingly clueless effort to disparage the surge by a guy who apparently spent most of his time in Iraq with Saddam’s guys or with Sunni insurgents who were killing Americans … and seems to be disgusted that his insurgent pals are now with the Americans. (READ MORE)

Monkey Tennis Centre: Transnational governance made simple - The European Union has a foolproof way of expanding its power over its subjects. If the citizens of a particular country reject some EU initiative, whether by popular opinion or by a vote, the EU either makes the people vote again, and keep voting until they come up with the correct answer, or simply bypasses the people altogether by obtaining approval directly from the government concerned. And it looks like the EU is about to get its way again in The Netherlands. (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Grow Up, Or Grow A Spine? - Classic liberalism on several levels - Josh Marshall on Ahmadinejad's desired visit to Ground Zero. I should have went with or grow a set, given Marshall's asterisk - but he's wrong there, too, unless spine now connotes gender somehow. “Grow Up: Am I the only one embarrassed by the dingbat brouhaha over Iranian President Ahmadinejad's attempt to visit Ground Zero to lay a wreath? Given relations between our countries I could see denying him a visa, but as long as we're hosting the UN that's not an option.” So, Marshall can see denying him a Visa, but as the UN overrides a uniquely American identity in a liberal world view, our sovereign soil, hallowed or not, has no particular meaning. If he's here for the UN, heck, it's his country, too, I suppose. (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo: Does SOCOM have Spec Ops troop's backs? - The cases of CPT Dave Staffel and MSG Troy Anderson seem very strange and the circumstances that led to their being charged with murder even stranger. They are charged for the shooting of an Afghani male who had been identified and vetted by ODA 374 as a High Value Target and leader of a local terrorist cell. He was shot by MSG Anderson from approx. 100 yards on order from CPT Staffel. Both agreed they had positive identification (PID) of Nawab Buntangyar, and their Rules of Engagement (ROE) allowed them to use lethal force once they had PID of enemy forces or combatants. This standard was met and the hammer dropped. The problem is the hammer was then dropped on these two gentlemen for this action seemingly in accordance with ROE. That is where the strangeness comes in. (READ MORE)

Deebow: SF Snipers in trouble???? For What???? - No good decision has ever been made from a swivel chair.... It is amazing to come home and see the war from this hemisphere, because having been there rather recently, and having been in a gunfight or two; as well as operating with a few SF Soldiers from different groups during some raids and operations, I think I have a unique perspective on this situation. As with all operations, there are things that change from unit to unit and from rotation to rotation. Individual units might want to change the times that chow is served, how the Ammunition Supply Point is manned, when the fuel needs to be ordered etc. One thing that doesn't change much is the ROE, and the reason for that is every soldier needs to be on the same page in order properly execute their assigned mission. The evolution of the ROE, unfortunately, sometimes comes from lessons learned and paid for in blood. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: Choices (or, Do Two Half-Wits Make A**Hole?) - Life is all about choices. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore says, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." (page 333). William Kristol has written a piece that elegantly demonstrates the the truth of that statement; "Ahmadinejad Yes, ROTC NO": “So at the request of the Iranian government, Columbia University will host the president of a terrorist regime which is right now responsible for the deaths of American soldiers on the field of battle. Indeed, this distinguished guest, who is so honoring Columbia by his presence, will be introduced by no one less than the president of Columbia, Lee Bollinger.” (READ MORE)

Denizen Kat: My Code Pink Moment - In regards to the Armorer's post from yesterday... I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a code pink chic at my niece's school for family fun and nutrition Thursday night. I know she was Code Pink: Women for Peace because she had it printed on her butt and shirt. I am unaware of any rally here in town or other reason for it so I assume this lady thinks she had to inflict her ideology on the rest of the world among the little kinda garden kids and their parents. (READ MORE)

The Armorer: Just to make it clear... - Because from the comments, it's clear some people aren't reading closely, because I don't think the post is that badly written... I support the Gathering of Eagles, Protest Warrior, Move America Forward. I thought the Gathering of Eagles rally last week was a good, positive event. I thought the presence of the Eagles and Protest Warriors at the Archives and Navy Memorial respectively was good. And I said exactly that: (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Rather Delusional - Yesterday, I noted that Dan Rather is filing a lawsuit against CBS for not getting enough airtime following the Rathergate mess. Well, today brings a copy of the actual complaint, and it's a laugher. Actually, it is tragicomic since it shows just how delusional some people are about the whole incident and the lengths to which some people will go to grasp at straws. I'll let Beldar take it from here: (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: National POW/MIA Recognition Day Hosted By Pentagon - Today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. It’s a day to remember those who have served our Country, who have yet to make it back home, from whatever conflict they served in. It’s a day for us as a nation to come together and reaffirm our committment to ensuring that everything possible will be done to ensure that all American servicemembers who are listed as POW/MIA status are accounted for. Some of you may ask how you can become involved in this. You can attend a National POW?MIA Recognition Day ceremony in your community, as they’ll be held all over the country and around the world. (READ MORE)

Sachi: COIN-Op War - Now that General Petraeus' Counter Insurgency (COIN) plan is working, the obvious question is "why didn't we do this sooner?" Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes agreed with each other last week on the Beltway Boys that "we should have done this back in 2005." But I now believe we could not have done it then or anytime earlier than we did. (This may exonerate Gens. George Casey and John Abizaid.) This afternoon, I was listening to Hugh Hewitt read from Michael Totton's report from Ramadi. The report was extremely upbeat: After many years of abuse by al-Qaeda, the Sunni tribes are sick and tired of the horrible lives the terrorists forced upon them. When the Americans approached them early this year to join forces against AQI, they were more than ready... they were eager. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Democrats -- or Dhimmicrats? - For several days now, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX, 96%) has been pushing an amendment to condemn the ad that asked "General Petraeus -- or General Betray Us?" He also demanded the Senate support our troops and the man the Senate unanimously confirmed as their leader. The text was as follows: “To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.” But the Democrats were reluctant to vote for such an amendment; in fact, they ducked it the first time, a couple of days ago. Then today, in an effort to undercut support. (READ MORE)

Big Dog: As if Carter Would Know - Former President Jimmy Carter (what were we thinking) said that Iran does not pose a threat to Israel, at least not right now. Carter indicated that it would be suicide for Iran to launch missiles at Israel and that he believes they will not. If Iran were run by a sane person one might be in agreement but sine the nut job they have running that country is certifiable, there is no telling what he will do. The real issue is what qualifies Carter to make such a claim? (READ MORE)

Baldilocks: Open Contempt for the Military Goes Mainstream - Before I had to take care of some out-of-house business this morning (picking up my bifocals), I happened to catch this part of President Bush’s press conference. "I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democrat Party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad. And that leads me to come to this conclusion: that most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like -- or more afraid of irritating them than they are of irritating the United States military." (READ MORE)

Noah Shachtman: Red Tape Grounds Iraq's Robo-Planes - The Defense Department's unmanned air force has grown exponentially; there are now more than 3200 mil-drones in the fleet, up from about 200 in 2002. But after spending some time in Iraq, I'm starting to get the feeling that a lot of those robo-planes are sitting on the shelves, barely used. Here's why. The military's big unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are controlled by colonels and generals. The local commanders on the ground basically have no say where the things fly. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: A Journalistic Farce - Today is the two-month anniversary of Franklin Foer claiming that he and The New Republic would run an honest investigation into the claims made in a story written by Scott Thomas Beauchamp: “Several conservative blogs have raised questions about the Diarist ‘Shock Troops,’ written by a soldier in Iraq using the pseudonym Scott Thomas. Whenever anybody levels serious accusations against a piece published in our magazine, we take those charges seriously. Indeed, we're in the process of investigating them. I've spoken extensively with the author of the piece and have communicated with other soldiers who witnessed the events described in the diarist. Thus far, these conversations have done nothing to undermine--and much to corroborate--the author's descriptions. I will let you know more after we complete our investigation. --Franklin Foer” Editor Foer has also argued on July 26 that the article "was rigorously edited and fact-checked before it was published." Since that time, a few things have happened: (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: Marching While Thousands Die: This is the Current State of the Civil Rights Movement - It seems smiling Al found another story to milk today as thousands of chanting demonstrators filled the streets of little Jena Louisiana town in support of six black teenagers initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate. Ahhhh, wherever there is a race card to play, you can count on smiling Al Sharpton to be there to play it. I have long critiqued N.O.W. for caring more about killing babies and gay marriage then caring about actual abuses of women in the Muslim World, I find myself feeling similarly about the Civil Rights movement. Like N.O.W., it has devolved from its original mission and become so liberalized and politically correct it might have outlived its usefulness. Is there something to be mad at in Jena? Yes. However, the utter lack of outrage over the much more prevalent black on black crime and other major issues says volumes about the current state of the civil rights movement. (READ MORE)

Dymphna: Peas in a Pod: The UN and Mad Jad - You may remember former Governor Mitt Romney’s firm letter to the UN regarding their witless invitation to Iran’s disturbed leader - the nut case who swears he has a halo and is busy building a special road for the 12th Imam - offering to have him address the General Assembly: “If President Ahmadinejad sets foot in the United States, he should be handed an indictment under the Genocide Convention… The United States and the world must take a strong stand against the terrorist Iranian regime and the time for action is now.” Romney also thought that if the UN couldn’t understand something so elemental, then the U.S. should withdraw its support. However, the UN, being what it is and where it is, will have its way. Ahmadinejad will address the Assembly on Sunday. (READ MORE)

Gateway Pundit: Anbar Residents Promise to Wipe Out Al Qaeda By Year's End - The Sunnis in Anbar Province vow to exterminate Al Qaeda by year's end. "Anbar awakening committee vows to eradicate Alqaida before the end of the year" Sheik Ahmed Abu Reeshah, who became tribal chief and head of the Anbar awakening committee after the assassination of his brother Abdul Satar, promised that Alqaida will be eradicated before the end of the year. He reaffirmed that the committee will avenge the killing of his brother and take revenge on Alqida. This he said in an interview with Alarabiah Chanell on Tuesday the 18th. (READ MORE)

Ian Schwartz: Columbia: Ahmadinejad Appearance Not Canceled - Bloomberg corrects their report that Ahmadinejad was uninvited to speak at Columbia University:”Columbia University said it has not canceled a planned speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, contrary to a Bloomberg News report. The Sept. 24 event will go forward as scheduled, said Robert Hornsby, the director of media relations at Columbia University in New York.” (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Survivor’s guilt - Some day this will be over, one way or another. If we muddle through to something recognizable as a victory, it will not happen all at once, but over time. The turning point will only be recognizable in retrospect. Exhausted from our disputations we will be tempted first to argue over the cost, and then to heave a sigh of relief and move on to something else - single payer health care, maybe, or carbon offsets. When it has come to such a pass that anti-war protesters can in their passion stoop to defacing our sacred monuments, there may be no spirit left for triumphant parades and ticker tape. Those we sent forth in increasing numbers will return in increasing numbers until finally few are left and we will only rarely think on them. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Josh Marshall wants us all to "grow up" with regard to Iran - Coming as it does from one of the most thoughtful lefty bloggers, I found this very troublesome: "Am I the only one embarrassed by the dingbat brouhaha over Iranian President Ahmadinejad's attempt to visit Ground Zero to lay a wreath?...So what's the problem exactly? Presumably we can be frank enough to acknowledge that the real issue here is that while Ahmadinejad is not Arab to most of us he looks pretty Arab. And he is Muslim certainly -- and pretty up in arms about it at that." (READ MORE)

Winds of When Zombie "Journalists" Attack - Mary Mapes has seized on Dan Rather's Quixotic attack on CBS at a bloody shirt (enough metaphors yet?) to wave in defense of the truthiness of their journalism about President Bush. Go read the whole thing, but move the drinks away from the keyboard when you do. "It has been three years since we aired our much-maligned story on President Bush's National Guard service and reaped a whirlwind of right-wing outrage and talk radio retaliation. That part of the assault on our story was not unexpected. In September 2004, anyone who had the audacity to even ask impertinent questions about the president was certain to be figuratively kicked in the head by the usual suspects." Oh my Freaking God. Look, Mary, let me try and explain it to you. I'll make it simple, I don't have a lot of time. (READ MORE)

The Torch: A failure of planning and foresight: blame the politicians - The lifespan of a fleet of aircraft isn't unknown or unknowable. Oh, you don't necessarily know the exact hour a part will fail, but you know the probabilities to a fair degree of certainty. This many hours of flying time will produce this much wear, and if we fly them at this rate per year, then presto!, the magic lifespan number appears.It's not a secret, and contrary to my frivolous description above, it's not magic. It's math.That's why when I read stories like this, my eyebrows draw together, my mouth tightens, and a slow and angry burn grows in my gut: "Ottawa has halted a $1.6-billion upgrade that would extend the life of Canada's aging fleet of Aurora patrol aircraft, CBC News reports.The Defence Department has already spent more than half the budget of the planned 10-year overhaul – adding $1 billion worth of new equipment, such as navigation systems and flight data recorders, to the 18 planes." (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Counting Coup - Contrary to popular neo-mythology of the Native American Indian living in a blissful state of nature, in harmony with his fellow man and the environment, the Native American inhabitants of North America prior to the coming of the white man were essentially in a constant state of low level warfare with tribes who competed with them for territory and resources. A system was developed which allowed for a form of stylized warfare that minimized actual death and injury. This system worked as during those periods when the competition was most easily managed but broke down under stress. The system was know as Counting Coup and was a reasonable response to pressures for status for young men in an Honor-Shame culture. (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: A Watershed Moment in the 2008 Campaign - One quarter of the U.S. Senate does not support the man they unanimously approved only a few months ago. Why? Pure politics. One quarter of the U.S. Senate does not support the U.S. Armed Forces--anywhere, anytime, anybody, doing anything. Note carefully that the bill does not say anything at all about supporting or opposing the war in Iraq. That's key. Do you support the U.S. military? No. Well, at least that's as plain as it gets. As Dennis Prager likes to say: clarity is better than agreement. (READ MORE)

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