October 3, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 10/03/2007

The Web Reconnaissance for today is going to be delayed as I will be away from a PC most of the day. Tune in later today to catch the must reads and of course come back tomorrow for more of the Thunder Run's Web Reconnaissance.


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

From the Front:
Far From Perfect: Iraqi IED Gauge – It’s been a few days since I last posted, but we have been really busy. Our re-deployment date is visible on the planning calendars now and the command has decided that we need to ramp up operations. Something about the bad guys knowing when we are due to leave, so they don’t want to let their guard down and give them a chance to get at us. I really don’t know if its a valid theory, but it sounds good in the Staff Planning Process anyway. All it means for us poor guys in the trucks is more of the same sleepless nights, multi-day operations, less showers, and more grumpiness all around. (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: Confidence is Key: The Evolution of the Fallujah Police Department, Part One - In January 2007, Fallujah Police Headquarters was a besieged target in the middle of the turbulent city, a walled refuge for hunted police officers. The Iraqi Police, or IPs, hid their faces, guarded the station, manned their version of a 9-1-1 dispatch, and were mortared and shot on a regular basis. They rarely ventured out except to return home or pick up an occasional IED, dead body or injured civilian. There was little police patrol presence on Fallujah’s streets, thus ceding insurgents the freedom of movement to stage attacks and intimidate the population. The IPs wouldn’t patrol and the Marines couldn’t compel them past their fear. And given the steady flow of grievously injured and slain cops, it was difficult to blame them. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Captured Iranian Qods Force officer a regional commander in Iraq - The September 20 capture of an Iranian Qods Force - Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander in the northern Kurdish province of Sulimaniyah created a stir inside both Iran and Iraq. The Iranians swiftly closed the northern border, claiming the man was an Iranian trade delegation representative named Agha Farhadi on a sanctioned business trip. Multinational forces Iraq later identified the Iranian as Mahmud Farhadi. Today, Major General Kevin Bergner, the spokesman for Multinational Forces Iraq, disclosed that Farhadi was in fact the commander of one of the three Iranian commands inside Iraq. (READ MORE)

The Landlocked Sailor: My uncensored Id ... - During every deployment, there comes a time when you find yourself less bound by the conventional rules of behavior. I guess I have to clarify that, it's not that you go out and start shooting up the town, it's more along the lines of not being afraid to speak your mind - even if the subject/conclusion isn't popular. I find myself careening headlong into this period of the deployment. I realized it today, during the weekly staff meeting. After listening to briefer after briefer talk endlessly about programs that seem to have no point, I threw out a side comment about how pointless some of our tasks are... (READ MORE)

On the Web:
WSJ Review & Outlook: Putin the Great - Vladimir Putin has announced that he will remain active in Russian politics, probably as prime minister, after his second presidential term expires next year. The sorry news in this is that it surprises no one. It has now been eight years since the world first learned of Mr. Putin, a KGB man vaulted almost overnight from municipal obscurity into the presidency by an ailing Boris Yeltsin. Mr. Putin made his political mark by initiating a second war against the breakaway province of Chechnya, using the pretext of a series of alleged terrorist bombings in Russia. (READ MORE)

Joshua Muravchik: Neoconservatism's Future - Have America's troubles in Iraq sounded the death knell of neoconservatism, the political ideology that is said to be behind our presence there? Over the past year, there has been no shortage of voices saying so, many with undisguised glee. Abroad, the Times of London heralded "the end of an ideological era in Washington," while the Toronto Globe and Mail reported with satisfaction that neoconservatism has been "decisively wiped out." Observers here at home have agreed. To the historian Douglas Brinkley, Democratic electoral victories in November 2006 spelled "the death of the neoconservative movement," while at National Review Online John Derbyshire wrote that "all the buzz is that neoconservatism is as dead as mutton." (READ MORE)

Bartle Bull: The Realignment of Iraq - The war in Iraq was always going to be won by the Iraqis, and so it has proven. But the Iraqis who have won it are on our side. It was in the spring of 2004--a month or so before I first arrived in Baghdad in a taxi to stay in a small hotel--that the Sunnis launched their disastrous insurgency. Its defeat is becoming ever more clear this autumn as new reports reach us of the patriotic stand of the Anbar tribes, the pacification and nascent prosperity of Fallujah and Ramadi, the isolation of al Qaeda, and the peace overtures of defeated Baathists. That first season of serious fighting also included the time of the original uprising by the poor Shiites of Iraq, led by Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army. (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: War and Peace With Cultural Anthropologists - The fight between Sudan's "Arab" Muslim north and the predominantly Christian or animist "African" south began centuries ago, but in 1983 the south Sudan civil war reignited when the Islamist government in Khartoum revoked a power-sharing agreement. Once the war started, fights erupted among neighboring tribes. Agents of the Islamist government often encouraged the chaos. (READ MORE)

Carrie Lukas: Do the Facts Matter When the Subject Is Rush Limbaugh? - A frustrating part of political discourse is the inability of both sides to agree on the facts. The effects of a new tax policy on the economy or the costs of a potential government program are often in dispute. But in the current dust-up about Rush Limbaugh’s so-called “phony soldier” comments, there cannot be a dispute about the facts. There is a transcript. (READ MORE)

Alan Sears: "Hate Crimes" Legislation: A License To Kill The First Amendment - Is Congress protecting the wrong victims, or pursuing the wrong enemy? Maybe both, with the so-called "hate crimes" bill passed this week by the U.S. Senate, under the vigorous urging of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy (D). On the surface, this new legislation purports to offer federal protection of those individuals most likely to be endangered by their fellow citizens. But the bill's prime movers have a severely limited view of what constitutes "hate," American style. (READ MORE)

Terence Jeffrey: The Next Step in the Surge - Antiwar sentiment ran high as bloody news arrived from the war zone day after day. The Democratic platform declared the war a "failure," demanding its end. It looked like a bad year for Republicans. A young Republican congressman, a veteran who had won fame on the battlefield, stumped across all-important Ohio. He did not like the incumbent Republican president. But there was no way he wanted a Democrat elected. (READ MORE)

Ben Shapiro: Rewriting The Constitution - "The failure of the nation to update the Constitution and the structure of government it originally bequeathed to us is at the root of our current political dysfunction," writes Dr. Larry Sabato, founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in his cogent and fascinating new book, "A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize Our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country." (READ MORE)

Walter E. Williams: Betrayal of the Civil Rights Struggle - Five police "mini-stations" will be located in Detroit public schools this year, primarily due to the merging of students from several high schools on the city's west side. According to a Sept. 1 Detroit Free Press article, armed police officers will patrol the hallways in an effort to stem violence. During the 2005-06 school year, officials issued 39,318 disciplinary referrals and filed 5,500 crime reports, and that's not including truancy and property damage. (READ MORE)

Hugh Hewitt: Hillary Clinton (D.-MoveOn.org) Is A Radical - Senator Clinton can be pleasant, is certainly intelligent and is absolutely the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and perhaps even the favorite right now to succeed George W. Bush in the Oval Office. But as the past three weeks have made abundantly clear, Hillary is no "liberal," or even a "progressive." She is a radical, and one far outside the mainstream of American politics. In the growing recognition of the true nature of her political ideology is the obvious strategy for whoever the GOP nominee is: Throw the light on what she believes and proposes and keep it there. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Murtha: Underhanded and Overlawyered - Via the center-left Politico, federal Judge Rosemary M. Collyer (appointed by George W. Bush in 2002) has ordered Rep. John "Mad Jack" Murtha (D-PA, 65%) to appear in court and be cross examined, in response to a subpoena by Marine Sgt. Frank Wuterich; Wuterich has sued Mad Jack for defamation for Murtha's accusation that the Marines in Haditha, al Anbar province, Iraq, committed "cold-blooded murder and war crimes." The Politico writer, John Bresnahan, carps about the judge's order and predicts it will be quashed. He argues that Murtha will be allowed to hide behind the "Speech or Debate" clause of the Constitution, forcing a dismissal of the lawsuit when the appellate court hears the case. Legally, he is probably right; but if this happens, the political fallout could be far worse than if Murtha just testified, apologized, and -- as if were -- moved on. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Darfur - Peacekeepers tell of terror in Darfur rebel attack, says the Scotsman. A force of 1,000 Darfuri rebels assaulted an African Union Peacekeeping base while the men were sitting down to dinner, killing 10 and looting the camp. In a prolonged attack that lasted until morning, utilizing support weapons and armored vehicles of their own, the "rebels" stole everything that wasn't embedded in concrete. “The 1,000 Darfuri rebels waited until sunset, the end of the Ramadan fast, to begin their assault. Some of the outgunned African peacekeepers, caught by surprise, fought back. Others fled into the scrublands. At the end of the attack, ten of them were dead.” (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: Victory in Iraq: 300 Tyrants - I am writing this piece as a follow up to "Winning in Iraq: Disconnecting From the Matrix". Mainly because, while I was making a point about media coverage and the difficulty in understanding what was really going on, I did not want anyone to be fooled or to fool myself about reality in Iraq. As I read the blogs of men and women who are there in uniform, those who are Iraqis and those who are reporters, I am reminded of that section of the Declaration of Independence and a phrase from "the Patriot" with Mel Gibson. In the scene, the Virginia House of Commons is discussing joining the revolution and the benefits. Gibson's character asked a salient question, "Why should I trade a single tyrant 3000 miles away for 300 tyrants a mile away?" (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Andy McCarthy: Run That One By Me Again - Quite frankly, the entire pseudo-controversy over Rush Limbaugh's remarks headlined the Theater of the Absurd for the past week, and apparently continues its meager run on the stage. Michelle Malkin sees the strategy for exactly what it is -- a payback for the beating that MoveOn took over calling General David Petraeus a traitor on the pages of the New York Times. Andy McCarthy practically has to pick his jaw up off the floor over the target selection of the Left: “There really was a news story, generated by the mainstream media of all people, about phony soldiers — poseurs who falsely claim to have put their lives on the line in our country’s armed forces, at least some of whom engage the pretense precisely to libel real heroes as terrorists and marauders.” (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo: The left shifts fire to Blackwater - The left and the Democrats have shifted fire, from the troops and their traitorous leadership to the trigger-happy cowboys of Blackwater. If you simply caught the tone of the breathless headlines you would assume they have been leaving a trail of bodies everywhere they go. And yet the very report that has gobsmacked so many says they have been in an average of 1.4 escalations of force per week that involved gunfire, and 80% were initiated by Blackwater. Since this number would include warning shots fired, this means that of more than 16,000 missions run by Blackwater they have had only 195 incidents of shooting and they have had a grand total of ZERO of their protectees killed. (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: Or Die By Suicide - When Abraham Lincoln have his 'Lyceum' address, he was speaking of the passing of his era's "greatest generation". Those men who had fought the revolution against England and had formed the United States. He saw the danger of losing that institutional memory that had bound the original colonies into an indivisible nation. Twenty years later, he saw that the loss of that memory was putting the nation's sections on a collision course. And now, with the passing of our "greatest generation", who fought fascism and totalitarianism, then willingly shouldered the burden of a long Cold War we have come full circle, yet again. The secessionists are holding a convention. (READ MORE)

Pam Meister: Senate Liberals 'Rush' to Judgment - For those of you who live under the proverbial rock, a veritable firestorm has erupted around a comment made on-air by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh last week. Media Matters thought they caught him in a “gotcha” moment when they claim he referred to any veteran against the war in Iraq as a “phony soldier.” The problem is, Media Matters isn’t telling the whole story. The comment they reference, when taken in proper context, refers to one “phony soldier” in particular: Jesse MacBeth... (READ MORE)

Michael Jacobson: Top Saudi Cleric Issues Warning - Earlier this week, Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Al-Asheikh – the most senior Wahhabi cleric in Saudi Arabia -- released a rather surprising religious edict. In this fatwa, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia instructed Saudis not to leave the Kingdom to participate in jihad – a statement directed primarily at those considering going to Iraq. Al-Asheikh said that he decided to speak up, “after it was clear that over several years Saudis have been leaving for jihad” and that “our youth…became tools carrying out heinous acts.” Perhaps even most significantly, Al-Asheikh also addressed potential donors, urging them to “be careful about where [their money is] spent so it does not damage young Muslims.” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: New Democrat Attempts to Lose the War in Iraq - Too craven to directly vote for the surrender in Iraq that they would like to hang around the neck of President Bush as a defeat, desperate House Democrats are seeking other ways to lose the war in Iraq. One technique they are trying is simply stalling the 2008 war budget. “Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlined an almost $190 billion request last week for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan over the coming year. But House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D., Wis.) said this morning that he had ‘absolutely no intention’ of reporting out a bill this year to fund ‘any such request that simply serves to continue the status quo.’” At the same time, the same Democrats behind this plan to cut funding to our soldiers are threatening to cripple us with taxes unless they get a commitment to withdraw. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: Sacrificing the Souls of the Children - Here's how a Hamas children's magazine glorifies jihad and martyrdom: "The 60th issue of Al-Fateh features a story about Sa'id Hassan Hutari from Qalqilya, who carried out the June 2001 suicide bombing at a disco near the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv, killing 21 people, mostly teens. The magazine presents Hutari's last message, in which he says: "I shall turn my body into pieces and bombs that will pursue the sons of Zion, blow them up, and burn the remains [of their bodies]." He then addresses his parents, telling them not to weep over his death, saying, 'There is nothing greater than to give one's soul for the sake of Allah on Palestinian soil. Mother, utter cries of joy; Father and brothers, hand out sweets. Your son is awaiting his betrothal to the Virgins of Paradise.' (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Theology, Repression, and Political Dictatorship: Part 2 - I wrote last week about the virtually universal political despotism that has accompanied Islamic societies wherever they appear, citing Paul Marshall’s editorial in The Washington Post and juxtaposing it with the furor raised by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks and his depictions of Mohammed as a Rondellhund. Any country with an Islamic majority tend to be repressive towards religious minorities, and reduces their numbers through discrimination, harassment, and violence. The Koran contains explicit guidelines about the treatment of infidels within the Ummah, and the best they can hope for is to be barely tolerated as despised inferiors. (READ MORE)

Gateway Pundit: Truth or Clark-equences - General Wesley Clark, an antiwar VoteVets.org backer and Hezbollah supporter, ought to get his facts straight before he starts spouting off on the nutty Huffington Post about banning Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio. Clark calls out to Congress: “It’s time to put real pressure on Rush Limbaugh. His show is broadcast on Armed Forces Radio, and this time we are going to go straight to the lifeblood of Rush’s show — Congress. Congress has the power to remove Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio, and it won’t be as easy for elected officials to ignore our call.” But, here is a sad reality for Wesley... Congress does not control Armed Forces Radio. American Forces Network (or AFN) is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS)... (READ MORE)

La Shawn Barber: Before the Supreme Court: Voter ID Case - The Supreme Court began its new term on October 1. One of the cases on the docket is an Indiana voter identification case. Earlier this year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (7th Circuit) upheld an Indiana state law that requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID before casting ballots in person in primary and general elections. Absentee voters and nursing home residents are exempt. With straight faces, I presume, the plaintiffs claim the photo ID requirement is an “undue burden on the right to vote.” Before the most recent law went into effect, Indiana voters had to sign a poll book, and a copy of their signature remained on file for comparison. (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: 'Taking Out' Drudge and Rush--A Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy? - OK, call me paranoid, but I'm starting to put some pieces together and they're not looking good for the future of right-leaning media (or free speech generally) as we roll into the 2008 election season. Spring, 2007: Democrats in Congress make a trial run at re-instating the 'Fairness' Doctrine, testing the political waters, invigorating their base, priming the media, flushing out the opposition, pruning and honing their arguments and preparing a strategy for the real assault to come later. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Court ruling may put executions on indefinite hold - This story touches on quite a few perennial themes: Crime and punishment, overlawyering, immigration. I suppose we’ll start with the first of those. Here’s the crime. “In 2001, Armand Paliotta was working at the K&G Men’s Superstore in southwest Arlington. Chi had worked at the store as an assistant tailor, but had been fired, former employees said. The young man stopped by the store twice on March 24, according to court documents. During his first visit, he chatted with some of the employees, stayed about 30 minutes, then left.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Better America, Better World - Harry Reid isn’t the only one who’s decided our soldiers are making a worthwhile sacrifice for freedom. Here’s Obama: “… they embody the spirit of those who fought to free the slaves and free a continent from a madman; who rebuilt Europe and sent Peace Corps volunteers around the globe; because they are fighting for a better America and a better world.” So how come Obama wants to pull them out? It’s a mystery. Let’s give it a read, and see if we can pluck out a clue. (READ MORE)

Monkey Tennis Centre: Blackwater is the NYT's new Abu Ghraib - The New York Times famously carried a front page story about Abu Ghraib virtually every day for a month back in 2004. While its obsession with Blackwater hasn’t quite reached those levels, it’s clear that as far as the Times is concerned, the private security company’s name has become the new byword for failure in Iraq. Following yesterday’s story on the report prepared for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Times today carries yet another new account of the shooting incident involving Blackwater contractors on September 16. The Times now claims the incident began when, for no apparent reason, a Blackwater guard shot the driver of a car in a line of traffic close to an intersection that had been blocked to allow a Blackwater convoy carrying US officials to pass. (READ MORE)

The Oxford Medievalist: More on the Phony "Phony Soldiers" Controversy - The phony "phony soldiers" controversy took a further turn toward the absurd yesterday, not so much because this silly little transparently contrived "scandal" continues to be the left's best hope at accusing Republicans of not supporting the troops; not so much because the Democratic leadership continues to waste time in Congress trying to make this their "MoveOn" moment; and not so much because the Democratic leadership is trying to use this incident to placate the nutroots and draw attention away from their dismal failure in orchestrating defeat in Iraq. All that above is, pathetic as it is, quite true. But, rather, it's most surprisingly absurd because the Democratic leadership failed to get even all the Democrats on board the Limbaugh smear. (READ MORE)

Cassy Fiano: Murtha threatens to withhold funds from the "Republican" war - In yet another (unsurprising) move to remind voters that Democrats don't want us to succeed in Iraq, Rep. John Murtha has decided that he wants to withhold funds from this "Republican" war. “Calling Iraq a ‘Republican’ war, an angry Rep. John Murtha today joined several top Democrats in threatening to withhold the nearly $200 billion in emergency military spending that President Bush has requested.” (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: The God Who Votes - Let me begin this article by saying straight out that no one, no one, has sanctioned what I am about to say. So before someone comes back later and claims this represents an organized effort to tie Religion to Politics, let me be clear that this article is my own, unimportant, overly wordy half-processed idea. Your mileage may differ, as the commercial disclaimers say. But to the point, I have found it fascinating and a bit dishonest, how many people whose policies they know are amoral at best, demand that God stay out of things, that His opinion cannot be considered in electing those leaders who will direct the nation's decisions on moral issues. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The HuffPo Post Of The Day: Insulting The Troops While Attacking Rush Limbaugh For Supposedly Attacking The Troops - This quote from Huffington Post columnist Stan Goff is so ironic that it's almost funny: “ … Democrat flaks jump on this like ducks on a June-bug, and in the process themselves reproduce the sick militarism of this culture that automatically valorizes anyone who wears a uniform. How dare you insult a soldier! Like its some sacred calling instead of an imperial employment program steeped in the culture of machismo and misogyny. (And you can gasp as theatrically as you want... I spent more than two decades wearing a uniform... that is exactly what it is.)” So Goff thinks that the military is an, "imperial employment program steeped in the culture of machismo and misogyny." (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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