November 19, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 11/19/2007

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)
Oklahoma's Most Wanted - A veteran political activist is facing 10 years in prison and a hefty fine for attempting to petition government for redress of grievances. The latest news from Pakistan? No, this is happening in Oklahoma. (READ MORE)

A Murder Conviction Torn Apart by a Bullet - Former Baltimore police sergeant James A. Kulbicki stared silently from the defense table as the prosecutor held up his off-duty .38-caliber revolver and assured jurors that science proved the gun had been used to kill Kulbicki's mistress. (READ MORE)

Mideast Conference Nears, With Few Plans - A few days after Thanksgiving, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plan to open a meeting in Annapolis to launch the first round of substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks during Bush's presidency. (READ MORE)

U.S. Cites Drop In Attacks Since Buildup in Iraq; Bombs Kill 20 - BAGHDAD, Nov. 18 -- U.S. officials on Sunday declared a 55 percent drop in attacks since the launch of an offensive nine months ago, while bombs across Iraq killed at least 20 people, highlighting the country's continuing security threats. (READ MORE)

An Engineer Does the Math So Troops in Iraq Can Find Bombs - Joshua R. Fairley is stationed in Vicksburg, Miss. -- and helping fight the war in Iraq. Fairley, an electrical engineer at the Army's Engineer Research and Development Center, developed a method for improving the detection of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, improving the accuracy of sensor systems by 75 percent. (READ MORE)

OPEC eyes dollar's dip - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that OPEC's members have expressed interest in converting their cash reserves into a currency other than the depreciating U.S. dollar, which he called a "worthless piece of paper." (READ MORE)

Israel setting tone for talks - Israeli leaders have taken to using a new phrase loaded with hidden meaning ahead of a proposed conference this month in Annapolis — "two states for two peoples." (READ MORE)

Agents' pardon urged of Bush - Top conservatives have joined ranking House leaders in their bid to pressure the president to pardon two Border Patrol agents imprisoned for the nonfatal shooting of a Mexican drug smuggler in El Paso, Texas, in 2005. (READ MORE)

Bhutto has penchant for contradiction - Headstrong and head-scarved, Benazir Bhutto has spent a lifetime embracing contradictions while playing a central role in the turbulent life of her country. (READ MORE)

Unlikely allies unite for Paul's quixotic '08 bid - They say they are the disaffected in politics, and this year they are finding a political home with Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas who is shaking up the Republican presidential contest with phenomenal fundraising and the potential to convert that into enough votes to be a spoiler come January. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
A Battlefield Tourist: A Tour of Arab Jabour - By taking the time to visit places, like Iraq, I always seem to meet interesting folks after the fact. There’s a number of reasons why people write to me. Usually, though, it’s because of a connection. Sometimes that connection is a dead soldier, and when it is, it really makes me think. Recently, a man named Ed Kirkpatrick, dropped me a note. His son, Scott, was killed in Arab Jabour back in August. He decided to write to me because he has unanswered questions about his son’s death. Since I was the first civilian he’d encountered that had been to the area, he thought, just perhaps, I could help him. (READ MORE)

From an Anthropological Perspective: AAA Executive Board Decision (Long Post)* - A little more than two weeks ago the AAA Executive Board decided to make a formal statement not supporting the Human Terrain System. I’ve read some of the blog and forum traffic on the matter and decided to respond since I’m here in Iraq as the field anthropologist for a Human Terrain Team. *The views expressed here are my own and not necessarily representative of Cultural Operational Research-Human Terrain System or the US Army and are based on my personal experience. The first part of the AAA statement that troubles me is: (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: Time to Step Up - WaPo's lead editorial today says everyone is missing the opporturnity to move Iraq forward, which makes much more sense than Thomas (Fiasco) Ricks's recent front-page story in the same paper about how it's just the Iraqis who are missing the boat. Today's opinion piece says that neither Iraq nor Washington is doing its part. The Iraqis need to work on reconciliation until they get somewhere; in the U.S., the Democrats should stop acting like the surge didn't work. (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: Ameriyah Update - Michael Yon has a policy to publish anything written by an American BN commander in Iraq or Afghanistan on this website. The following is submitted from Lt. Col. Dale Kuehl, the U.S. Battalion Commander who works directly with Abu Abed of Ameriyah in response to the 10 NOV07 Guardian article written by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. "Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s recent article on Abu Abed of Ameriyah does not paint an accurate picture of him nor of Ameriyah." (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: Fallujah is Lovely This Time of Year - Really, the weather in Fallujah is lovely in November. Internet access, not so much. I am still alive, breathing, and vertical, though, and should have something for you to read shortly. Those of you who like to comment, consider this an open thread. Be nice and obey the moderator. (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: Thats my Story and I'm Sticking to it! - What is life without a little love and fun. I have been so overwhelmed lately with all the blessings in my life. A new baby...ya ya I will post some pics, a kick butt wife that can apparently handle anything. I think we should have her handle some major world crisis for awhile. I have also had several old friends look me up lately and the timing could not have been better. Again the life we lead does come with sacrifice and loss and I am sorrowful to report that a former Tommahawk Cpt Tiffner made the ultimate sacrifice this past week. (READ MORE)

This War and Me: Forgotten War - Part 1 - With the recent passing of Veteran's Day, I thought it important to write about something that disappointed me in talks of celebrating our veterans. I was as guilty as many others and it was my grandmother that pointed out my negligence. As I preached to remember our veterans I spoke of World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm and todays war. My grandmother wrote and reminded me of the 'Forgotten War' - The Korean War - my grandfather's war. My grandma said, “I think the Korean War is the forgotten War. I am sure though that whichever war anyone went through was the worst, and at that time it was.” (READ MORE)

Yellowhammering Afghanistan: Delivering on a promise - We told the refugees we would be back with some help. A few days ago, we delivered on that promise. There are 76 Hazara families who were forced to flee their village after the Taliban destroyed it. A couple of the men in the village did some construction work for the U.S.-lead Coalition at a nearby FOB, which apparently was the reason for the attack. The refugees came to Ghazni and lived in tents for a while in another Hazara village. All have found homes to live in, either with existing families or ones they found on their own. (READ MORE)

Fightin' 6th Marine's: As stability returns, Marines move out of neighborhood - Marines with third platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, have dismantled and de-militarized the patrol base that has been their home for months. The purpose of patrol bases such as these is to bring Marines as far into a troubled community as possible. This enables them to work closely with the Iraqi Security Forces and residents to improve the area and put an end to violence. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
John Fund: Mi Casa, Sue Casa - It's been less than a week since New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Eliot Spitzer had to climb down from their support of driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has moved to kill an amendment that would protect employers from federal lawsuits for requiring their workers to speak English. Among the employers targeted by such lawsuits: the Salvation Army. (READ MORE)

Michael Barone: Looking at Iraq in Macro-time - When my father returned from service as an Army doctor in Korea in 1953, he brought back slides of the photos he'd shot, showing a war-torn country of incredible poverty. We would have laughed if you had told us that Americans would one day buy Korean cars. But 50-some years later, South Korea has the 13th-largest economy in the world, and you see Hyundais and Kias everywhere in America. Looking at things in micro-timeframes is not always a reliable guide to the macro-timeframe future. (READ MORE)

Suzanne Fields: The Politics of Irrational Ideology - Hitler kissed babies and romped playfully with children at their birthday parties. He married his mistress to make her an honest woman just before the two took poison together to avoid capture by the Russians. For an ever so brief moment, the devil wore a human face. Now we hear that Saddam Hussein cried like a baby when his FBI interrogator, whom he thought was a friend, bid him farewell. (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: Democratic Iran Dilemma - WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barack Obama, desperate to cut down front-running Sen. Hillary Clinton, did not take advantage of one opening in Thursday night's Las Vegas Democratic presidential debate. Obama pulled his punches on Clinton's September vote for a resolution that he earlier said can be used to go to war against Iran. His reticence may be traced to his co-sponsorship of a similar hawkish amendment back in March. (READ MORE)

Douglas MacKinnon: Cowardly Gutter Politics - For those who still don’t understand why so many Americans have become disgusted with the politics of today, they need look no further than the vile smear campaign that was orchestrated against former Governor Mitt Romney last week. Residents of Iowa and New Hampshire received calls that purported to be part of a poll, when in reality, they were a carefully planned assault against Romney and his Mormon faith. Upon learning of the calls, the former Governor said, “I think the attempts to attack me on the basis of my faith are un-American.” (READ MORE)

Mike S. Adams: Devolving Standards of Decency - Recently, a young woman came by my office to discuss my opposition to abortion. Two of her friends had already had abortions though she had not. She was motivated to visit me by a discussion in her Women’s Studies class – one that broached the controversial topic of abortion and rape. The feminist teaching the class was one affiliated with our Women’s Resource Center – an office that seeks to win the abortion debate by ensuring that it never actually takes place. (READ MORE)

Dinesh D'Souza: The atheists who came in from the cold - Imagine if one of the world's leading Christians--say C.S. Lewis a generation ago, or Billy Graham now--were to reject his religious beliefs and become a atheist. It would be big news! The New York Times would be all over it, for sure, and the question would be why a man who has devoted his life to God would now turn against Him? In sum, the focus would be on what were the reasons for the conversion and on what's so bad about Christianity. (READ MORE)

Wolf Pangloss: Nazis Against Christianity - More evidence, not based on Wikipedia or recent scholarly disinformation but from contemporaneous sources, that Nazism was not conservative, not Christian, not anti-Atheist: This should not even be in question, given the Nazis’ widespread demonization of Jews, Freemasons, and Christians. But it is, due to decades of leftist (Nazi and Communist) smears of Christianity having been accepted and propagated by pro-Communist and anti-Christian media. "Christianity is perfect anti-Nazism and the Nazis knew it. Members of the Hitler Youth were forbidden to join church organizations and membership in the Hitler Youth was more or less compulsory." (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: "The Universe Is Change" - One of the big problems I have with the debate about global warming -- and, indeed, much of the environmental movement -- is that it seems to be based on a fundamentally flawed precept: that there is a "natural" state of the earth, of nature, where all is in equilibrium. History and science tells us that just ain't so. Earth's history is a history of change and evolution and adaptation -- often violent. The Earth was born of fire and dust and chaos, took millions of years to cool down and solidify. (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: Enfield GOP Victory Complete - Perhaps - Can you say sore loser? Sure you can. The municipal election recount is complete in Enfield, after being delayed until the very last minute by local Democrats. The result is the same as it was on Election Day, including the two Democrats who fought over a Board of Education seat. But now there are whispers that the Dems may sue to overturn the will of the voters. The process was flawed, they say. Really? Well, pardon my uncertainties but just who has been in charge of the process in Enfield for more than a decade? Oh, right, the Democrats! (READ MORE)

Ilya Somin: A Danger of Using Foreign Law to Interpret US Law - The use of foreign law to interpret the US Constitution is a complex subject that too often gets caught up in sound bites. Although at this point, the Supreme Court's use of foreign law in this way has been extremely limited, I have several concerns about proposals to increase that reliance. In this post, I'll just briefly mention one that hasn't gotten enough attention: the Court's lack of relevant expertise. For a Supreme Court made up of generalists, even keeping up with all the US law that the Court has to deal with is a full-time job, one that the justices often fail at. But at least a justice addressing an issue of American law that he is unfamiliar with has the advantage of dealing with a body of law embedded in a broader legal system that he has at least some understanding of. (READ MORE)

Nick Grace: Ansar Al Mujahideen Targets the Maldives - A previously unknown group called “the Media Section of Ansar Al Mujahideen” posted a teaser video today on a well-known Internet forum associated with al-Qaeda that promotes an upcoming full-feature package called “Your Brothers in Maldives are Calling You!” The teaser lasts 1 minute and 49 seconds and features clips recorded inside a Wahhabi mosque during the October 6, 2007, standoff between approximately 90 masked militants armed with swords and iron rods and 100 government soldiers on Himandhoo island. The tiny island, which belongs to Alif Alif atoll, lies 50 miles to the west of Male’, measures only 750m across and has a population of 583 residents. It is known as a hotbed of Wahhabi activity and, according to multiple intelligence sources, was a major transit point for South and Southeast Asian militants traveling by boat to fight in Somalia in the Fall and Winter of 2006. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: What do George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have in common? - What do George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have in common? Why, their political opponents think they are nuts: “Iran's moderates are intensifying criticism of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, landing their first blows in a bitter political fight ahead of elections next year. The moderate heavyweights Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [only in Iran and in the minds of AFP are these extremists ‘moderates’ - ed.] have been unusually explicit in their criticism of Ahmadinejad's economic policies and his analysis of the threat posed by the United States....” (READ MORE)

Tuesday Update: Starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel of deployment - I got the email I have been waiting fourteen months for......the email that gives me an end date to this deployment! WHEW HOO!!!! Husband should be home (give or take a couple of days) by the 19th of December! I can't even begin to describe how exciting it feels. I have a million things I need to do before then. Should I wash all of his clothes? They have just been sitting there for the past year. He will most likely need new ones...when he came home on R&R in March, he had lost quite a bit of weight. (READ MORE)

A_C: A Time To Stand - Thousands of years ago a young man chose to die a painful death to atone for the sins of many. It was an honorable death, albeit one which occured in the most dishonorable of circumstances. A betrayal, an unecessary uprising that amounted to little more than a witch hunt, a slanted court that allowed this man to be prosecuted by an angry mob and a conclusion that would have led many to openly breathe a sigh of relief. The man who would be the King of Kings was gone, and no longer a threat to those who would rule, perhaps not through the most legitimate of avenues. (READ MORE)

Some Soldier's Mom: PTSD: On Coming Home, Road Maps, Navigators and Bridge Builders - There is some interesting conversation happening around blogs regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder … especially by Grim at Blackfive, Kat at Argghhhand thenUncle Jimbo at Blackfive. Kat started out the discussion by cautioning against throwing out the baby with the bathwater by those who might be too quick to disprove or diminish the statistics and conclusions being spun and wrung on suicide and PTSD… and Grim and Jim brought their own personal perspectives to the discussion about PTSD. I am more familiar with the effects of combat-induced PTSD on young menthan I could ever have imagined I would be and far more than I ever wanted to be. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Political Correctness and Mob Rule - I have referred to Political Correctness as a thought disorder since it forces one to believe in things that are manifestly untrue. The old commissars of the Soviet Union would be quite comfortable with the ways in which PC damages recognition of reality and enervate a subject population who quickly learn that there are some things that one can not think, let alone speak aloud. Any doubts that free speech suffers when PC obtains should consider the recent travails of Larry Summers, who had the temerity to suggest that the relative dearth of female scientists might be related to intrinsic factors and lost his job because of it. (READ MORE)

Right Truth: Dhimmitude - Earlier this month, the LAPD planned to have its counterterrorism bureau identify Muslim enclaves to determine which might be likely to become isolated and susceptible to "violent, ideologically based extremism." Those plans were called "racial and religious profiling" by Muslim groups and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, who criticized the plan. “There was a clear message from the Muslim community that they were not comfortable with it. So we listened," said Mary Grady, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. She couldn't immediately say when the plan might resume.” (READ MORE)

Dan Reihl: Pickens Responds To Kerry - Next move is John Kerry's: "In order to disprove the accuracy of the Swift Boat ads, I will ultimately need you to provide the following: 1) The journal you maintained during your service in Vietnam. 2) Your military record, specifically your service records for the years 1971-1978, and copies of all movies and tapes made during your service. When you have done so, if you can then prove anything in the ads was materially untrue, I will gladly award $1 million. (READ MORE)

Rhymes with Right: Allow Employers To Require English - The American people support a policy of letting employers require English in the workplace. So did an overwhelming majority of legislators in both houses of Congress. So what is the delay in enacting the provision given this support? “It's been less than a week since New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Eliot Spitzer had to climb down from their support of driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has moved to kill an amendment that would protect employers from federal lawsuits for requiring their workers to speak English.” (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: Moving Forward in Iraq - Here is a survey of some recent articles on the situation in Iraq that I think are useful to understanding the situation over there: First up is one by Kimberly Kagan, appropriately titled "How They Did It". It's a long article, but here's the money quote: "‘As we assess the security gains made over the past four months, I attribute the progress to three prominent dynamics,’ General Odierno explained. ‘First, the surge allowed us to eliminate extremist safe havens and sanctuaries, [and] just as importantly to maintain our gains. Second, the ongoing quantitative and qualitative improvement of the Iraqi security forces are translating to ever-increasing tactical successes.’” (READ MORE)

RedState: Romney's Chief Strategist Behind Un-American Calls? - NRO's Mark Hemingway reports this morning on the rumor that close associates of Mitt Romney are actually behind the recent anti-Mormon phone calls, in an effort to inspire positive coverage of their candidate. The web of connections Hemingway cites certainly supports the idea that a friends or associates of Romney, trying to help a candidate they support, did something incredibly stupid and highly unethical. Target Point President Alex Gage, the consultant named in the piece, just happens to be serving as Romney's Chief Strategist - and it appears he is closely connected to the firm placing the phone calls that Mitt Romney calls "Un-American." (READ MORE)

Pejman Yousefzadeh: This Isn't Hard - Markos Moulitsas's first issuance for Newsweek reads like the DNC press release it is likely meant to be. And there is at least one glaring mistake in it: “In his first Inaugural Address, Ronald Reagan remarked that ‘government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.’ While the quip has provided Republicans with a cheap slogan for two decades, the philosophy behind it is beginning to box them in. If they govern effectively, they invalidate their own antigovernment ideology. And when you elect people who believe that government won't work, you shouldn't be surprised when government stops working.” (READ MORE)

McQ: Blind Faith: Size matters - I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Houston and Corpus Christi where I had an extremely interesting couple of days learning a little bit about the oil industry. I and a few other bloggers were able to hear from a large player in the oil industry - Chevron. And we were there, specifically, to see their deep water production facility, "Blind Faith" before it is deployed to the Gulf of Mexico. Incidentally, for you that are wondering, the name of the platform came from a code name assigned to the two leases that Chevron was bidding on at the time. The theme for the code words the company used was rock and roll bands. The idea is to have everyone in the company refer to the particular lease by the code name rather than the government assigned name, such as Mississippi Canyon blocks 695 and 697. (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: On approaching Muslims … UPDATED - Azure has an interesting piece on parallels and differences between traditional anti-Jewish and modern anti-Islamic feelings in Europe reading, in part: “The temptation to draw parallels between past and present is unquestionably strong–but is it justified? There are certainly some notable points of similarity between prewar European anti-Semitism and the enmity directed toward the Muslim immigrants living in Europe now. However, there is a quintessential difference between the two: The fear of a Jewish conspiracy against European civilization had no basis in fact, whereas fear of the expansionist ambitions openly expressed by senior figures in the Muslim-Arab world, and shared by some ordinary Muslims, is not groundless.” (READ MORE)

Pirate's Cove: Beer Monday: Gray Lady Says Surge Is Working - The start of the work. Time to get busy, shift a few paradigms, revolutionize outside the box. How ’bout a beer? And, woah! do the liberal readers of the New York Times need a beer. On the front page (Internet and print edition), there is a story that basically says the Surge is working: “BAGHDAD, Nov. 18 — The American military said Sunday that the weekly number of attacks in Iraq had fallen to the lowest level since just before the February 2006 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, an event commonly used as a benchmark for the country’s worst spasm of bloodletting after the American invasion nearly five years ago.” (READ MORE)

Political Vindication: CNN Debate Totally Scripted: Clinton’s Team The Winner - With every passing day we are hearing more news leak that the latest debate on CNN was as pathetic as the last one - if fact, they just keep getting worse. Will they blame it on FOX? At one time a regular Joe like myself might have thought that competition would create a race more fair to the viewer - but it hasn’t. It appears that CNN and the rest of the drolling pack have interpreted the introduction of FOX News as an excuse to unabashedly showcase their Bush Derangement Syndrome to everyone. (READ MORE)

One Hand Clapping: The looming apocalypse … again - For some reason, I watched the NBC Nightly News tonight. Lester Holt was the weekend anchorman. About the second story was a breathlessly urgent story about how time has simply run out to stop global warming. If the world does not act now - right this very minute! - to reverse the greenhouse effect, then it will be too late. The linked report is not a transcript of the broadcast report, which, as of now, is still viewable online at under the title, “strong warming warning.” It’s javascript, so there’s no link to it. Specifically, the broadcast segment says that “catastrophic” consequences will begin within 13 years unless by 2012 the world reduces CO2 emissions to five percent below 1990’s level. (READ MORE)

News of the World: Osama ! Time Out ! Go To Your Room ! - I’ve heard it all when it comes to asinine remarks and flat out stupid statements. But once again, just when you thought you’ve heard it all. I’ve had this post on hold for a few days, debating if I should put it out there or not for fear of looking more goofy than I have been at some times. I run into the guy who is the subject of this blog on a daily basis and have decided at this point so far that what you’re about to read is going to be some the most incredible moonbat shit you have ever heard. You’re about to hear some of the best advice you’ll get from what I think is the poster child of the year for the loony left. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Iranian-backed kidnappers demand release of Special Groups commander - The kidnapping of five British contractors — four security guards and a financial consultant — has long been suspected of being an Iranian-backed job. A recent report in the Times Online confirmed an Iranian extremist group has demanded the release of Qais Qazali, the leader of the Iranian-backed Qazali network, in exchange for the five Britons. "Senior Iraqi government sources say their captors have promised they will not be harmed but any rescue attempt would endanger them," the Times Online reported. "They claimed the hostages will remain prisoners 'for as long as it takes' to secure the release of Qais Qazali, a former chief spokesman for the Shi’ite Mahdi Army." (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Harry Reid Blames Poll for Low Approval Rating - When asked on CNN’s American Morning if Harry Reid could explain why Nevada voters put his favorability at 32%, 2 percentage points below President Bush’s, the Democratic senator from Nevada replied, "Certainly! The poll is worthless!" “ROBERTS: Senator, looking back in May, your favorability rating here in your home state of Nevada was 46%. Recently the numbers have taken a little bit of a down turn. President Bush now has a higher favorability rating by two points than you do. Can you explain that? REID: Yes, I can very explain it very easily. The poll taken by the ‘Las Vegas Review Journal’ newspaper is worthless.” (READ MORE)

Knee Deep in the Hooah!: Home, Sweet Home! - Well it has been a simply glorious day here at Hooah! Central. I am still missing a pair of boots, but those boots are on American soil, so I at least know I have them both on the same continent! It's a very nice feeling, to say the least. I have had a great day with my son. I have just enjoyed being able to look across the table and see him sitting there. Every time he walks into the room it's like I am seeing him for the first time again. (READ MORE)

Rep. John Campbell: Ferry to Nowhere - I am sure many of you have heard of the “Bridge to Nowhere”, but I bet you haven’t heard of the “Ferry to Nowhere”. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) managed to slip an earmark into the 2008 Defense spending bill for what he cleverly called an “expeditionary craft”. Despite the fact that the U.S. Navy has repeatedly said there is no reason to build this craft, the earmark would direct your tax dollars to the U.S. Navy for the purpose of building this boat. Guess where this “expeditionary craft” will be used? Its sole destination is a remote area of Alaska and its only duty will be that of a ferry service. Not surprisingly, several family members, and current/former staff own land at the ferry’s destination. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Euro-Giving - FYI Screed updated with Euro-reaction:The most American holiday of the year is coming up. Thanksgiving. A touching event unlike any other I know of, just a meal and simple thankfulness for the good things in life. Wrapped up in the oppressive lie that is American history, of course. I was just discussing some of our quaint customs in an email exchange with my Dutch pal Michael van der Galien. He’s in an American Studies program in Rotterdam or Amsterdam or some other dam place,* so I suggested he get a bunch of his clog-wearing dike-plugging buddies to stage a real American Thanksgiving. (READ MORE)

JACK ARMY: Disgraceful - I usually try to refrain from posting about politics and in particular about elected officials. You know, the whole, "hand that feeds" thing... but in this case, I cannot restrain myself. This case is the one of Presidential Candidate and Representative for Ohio Dennis Kucinich and his antics at Fort Benning today... Via “Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich joined thousands of protesters in a demonstration Sunday against a U.S. Army school that opponents accuse of fostering human rights abuses in Latin America. Kucinich used the occasion to emphasize his opposition to the Bush administration for leading the U.S. into war in Iraq and now threatening to attack Iran. ‘We reject war as an instrument of foreign policy,’ the Ohio congressman told the crowd, estimated by local police to number about 10,000.” (READ MORE)

Melanie Morgan: UPDATE! Cambridge Bureaucrats Respond - Executive Director of the Cambridge Elections Commission Marsha Weinerman, who sicced the cops on a Boy Scouts troop trying to collect goodies for our service men and women in Iraq--calling their efforts a POLITICAL STATEMENT-- is feeling the heat from patriotic Americans. Your e-mails and phone calls shut-down both their server and voice mail in Cambridge, Ma. on Friday. (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Rappin’ With the Jihad - A scandal is brewing in Germany, although there’s not much about it to be found in the English-language media. News stories concerning the incident have appeared — for example, this one in The Daily Telegraph — but they only give a bare-bones description of the event. It’s an official press-release version, describing a feel-good Multicultural occasion when the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bernard Kouchner, his French counterpart, did a little off-key musical number in a recording studio with a Turkish-German pop singer. Nice moment. “We are the World”. Music will bring us together. Etc., etc. What these MSM stories won’t tell you is the background of the pop singer these two political bozos joined up with for their Terpsichorean moment. Muhabbet — he seems to have only a single name, like Cher, Sting, or Madonna — is not your average Turkish-German rap singer: he has this nasty little habit of promoting violent jihad in his songs. (READ MORE)

Fishwrap: Massive irony alert - About three weeks ago, Ron Rosenbaum of Pajamas Media reported that "a well-connected media person" told him that "everyone" in the political press corps knew that the Los Angeles Times was "sitting on a story, all wrapped up and ready to go about what is a potentially devastating sexual scandal involving a leading presidential candidate." The LA Times denied it, but the bizarre nature of the rumor — Rosenbaum charged that "the elite media knew about it and was keeping silent about it" — left a lot of people scratching their heads. Several bloggers, including Mickey Kaus, guessed the candidate must be a Democrat; if it was a Republican, the bloggers agreed, the "elite media" wouldn't hesitate to run with the story. But which Democrat? Well, if it was a "leading" candidate, that boiled it down to either New York Sen. Hillary Rodham, Clinton, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards or Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Now comes the latest from Robert Novak: (READ MORE)

Huntress: Men Without Honour - I've written about Jeremy Dinzman twice. He volunteered to join the US Army, & he benefited financially from this decision. But when he found out he actually HAD to go off to war, the coward fled the US, deserted his unit, and came seeking asylum in Canada. The Supreme Court refused today to hear appeals from Jeremy Hinzman and another deserter, Brandon Hughey, who sought refugee status on the grounds of their opposition to the war in Iraq. As is usual in such decisions, the high court gave no reasons for its ruling. (READ MORE)

Michael Jacobson: How To Handle Terrorist Suspects: No Easy Answers - On October 22, a U.S. government case against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and five of its officials -- accused of financing Hamas -- ended in a mistrial when jurors deadlocked on nearly all of the 197 counts. A week later, Spanish judges acquitted a number of defendants charged with involvement in the 2004 Madrid train attacks. These are only the latest examples of the difficulties Western countries have faced in prosecuting terrorist suspects since September 11. Efforts to handle terrorism suspects outside of the criminal justice system have also encountered significant obstacles, making clear that there are no easy answers for how to treat suspected terrorists. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: More of the Murtha - Haditha - NCIS Mystery - I'm still researching and digging my way through stacks of papers. I have to stop myself from going off on a tangent while researching as Murtha's hands are so dirty with pork and corruption that it boggles my mind how he still sits in Congress. There is another Murtha - NCIS connection that I've not seen reported anywhere else. Gabrielle Carruth works as the executive assistant to John Murtha. She is a member of Murtha's personal staff, the appropriations associate staff and Murtha's policy director. Prior to joining up with Murtha Inc, Carruth spent 17 years in the Navy as a special Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent, examining sexual assaults and white-collar crime. Carruth's husband is also an NCIS agent. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Bringing Out the Dead - Recent stories of a mass grave turning up in the Doura district of Baghdad very well may be "fake but accurate," according to sources in Iraq, including Michael Yon. The bodies, found inside unfinished homes, appear to be at roughly seven months deceased—some little more than bones—and sources state that it appears that the bodies were only recently dumped there. I'm seeking more information through the PAO system, but in the meantime, I'm unsure just what the dumping of these bodies means. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: The Lagging Indicator - When a newspaper really misses the point, they usually do so on the front page. The Washington Post does that today in an intriguing but incomplete analysis of the sudden reinvigoration of the Bush administration. While Peter Baker notes that the White House seems to have started a winning streak at home and abroad, he wonders whether it will ever move the needle on Bush's approval ratings, without asking the next question: “The war in Iraq seems to have taken a turn for the better and the opposition at home has failed in all efforts to impose its own strategy. North Korea is dismantling its nuclear program. The budget deficit is falling. A new attorney general has been confirmed despite objections from the left.” (READ MORE)

The Captain's Journal: British Versus the Americans: The War Over Strategy - Attacks perpetrated against the British in and near Basra are way down, as are attacks perpetrated against the Marines in Anbar. There is currently a debate at the highest levels of military leadership as to why this has occurred and how these seemingly contradictory metrics are related to strategy. The British have de-escalated, while the U.S. has escalated - or so the problem is posed. But before we engage this debate, some background information is necessary to set the stage for the discussion as it applies to Afghanistan where the British are struggling. Far from a merely academic fancy for military strategists and historians, the answers to this dilemma not only develops the narrative for history, but this narrative also trains future military leadership. (READ MORE)

Ace of Spades: California Fires: The Blame Game Begins - California firefighters did an excellent job combating the wildfires in October. They had the help of the National Guard, the Navy, and the Marines to contain and extinguish 21 fires in difficult terrain and extreme weather conditions. Now that the fires are out (the last was put out November 9th), some folks just can't help but start assigning blame. Here's the story. I'll tell you what it says, and then tell you the important things it left out. Some lawmakers and military officials have claimed that California "did not effectively marshal all its available air resources" to end the fires. Two charges are made, the first explicit, the second implied. First, the AP believes that high winds did not ground aircraft during the first two days of the fires. Instead, they imply that California officials blamed high winds so as to cover up their own unpreparedness. (READ MORE)

Patrick S Lasswell: Wasting Military Excellence - An Open Letter to Congress - I am proud to be a serving Navy Reservist in Portland, Oregon, part of the best unit of its kind in the Navy. To meet the current and projected needs of the Navy, our unit is being realigned into a different format, and the stretch goes so far that we are being disbanded. This is a tragedy and a waste in itself because our unit has fostered a culture of excellence and accomplishment that will be almost impossible to carry forward once we are broken up. Some members of the unit have served with it continuously nearly twenty years, a testament to morale unimaginable with active duty units. (READ MORE)

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'Heat wave' gun may be used in Iraq from Right Truth

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