March 3, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 03/03/2008

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)
Palestinian President Suspends Peace Talks - RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 2 -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday suspended peace talks with Israel following a spasm of violence in the Gaza Strip that has left more than 100 Palestinians dead since Wednesday as Hamas has continued its campaign of rocket strikes. (READ MORE)

Democratic Candidates Trade Gibes Across Ohio - WESTERVILLE, Ohio, March 2 -- Sen. Barack Obama sharply questioned Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's claims of extensive foreign policy experience Sunday, pushing back against her argument that only she is prepared to handle national security as president as the two raced toward a pair of potentially... (READ MORE)

Iranian Leader, in Baghdad, Hails 'New Chapter' in Ties with Iraq - BAGHDAD, March 2 -- As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Iraq's leaders on Sunday, the first visit by a Middle Eastern head of state since the U.S.-led invasion, he engaged a country in which Iran's influence is deepening but also provoking growing criticism from Iraqis. (READ MORE)

Obama Top Choice in American University Survey - Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) emerged as the leading candidate among 128 young people surveyed online by American University last month. The junior senator from Illinois received 71 percent of the vote among those who had voted or were planning to vote in a Democratic primary, while Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y) received 12 percent of their primary votes (READ MORE)

South America on Brink of War - South America was on the brink of war yesterday as Venezuela and Ecuador amassed troops on the Colombian border in response to the killing of a Marxist rebel leader. (READ MORE)

Obama Banks on Unions' Support - Barack Obama hopes the unions still have enough juice left to help him grab come-from-behind victories over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton tomorrow in Ohio and Texas, where the SEIU is spending $1.4 million on his behalf. (READ MORE)

Army Manual Stresses Nation Building - The new Army Field Manual puts nation-building as a military task alongside combat operations, and top commanders warn that the war on terrorism will be lost if other government agencies don't do their fair share. (READ MORE)

Gaza Battles Intensify Conflict - Fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza spurred rioting in the West Bank yesterday, as leaders on both sides threatened to escalate hostilities amid continued exchanges of rocket fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip. (READ MORE)

Horse Patrols Return to Border Security - With smugglers of humans and drugs pushing deeper into remote and often rugged areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Border Patrol has rolled out an old weapon and an old friend: horse patrols. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Star Parker: How about some campaign talk about education? - A new study shows the central importance of education in getting ahead in our country today. In today's knowledge-driven economy, advanced education is essential. Plus, the economic returns on an advanced degree and the penalties for lack of it keep increasing. According to the study, "Education and Economic Mobility," by Brookings Institution scholar Ron Haskins, the inflation-adjusted median family income for adults ages 30-39 with a graduate degree was 80 percent higher in 2006 than in 1964. For those with a four-year college degree, almost 60 percent higher. But incomes for those with a high-school education or less have remained virtually unchanged over the same period. (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: For Conservatives, the Buckley Doesn't Stop Here - WASHINGTON -- William Buckley's pioneering influence in the creation of the modern American conservative movement has been well documented since his passing last week. But little if any attention has been given to the influence and impact he had upon a younger generation of foot soldiers in that movement in the 1950s and 1960s, when he burst upon the political scene with the publication of his indictment of liberal academics, "God And Man At Yale," and with the founding of National Review magazine. The movement he helped to create produced a large cadre of thinkers, writers, political strategists, activists and fundraisers that eventually came to dominate American politics over the past half century. (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: Obama's Former Friend - WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Sen. Barack Obama nears the Democratic presidential nomination, a corruption trial of his former fund-raiser Antoin (Tony) Rezko on charges of influence peddling begins in Chicago today (Monday). Sen. Hillary Clinton's operatives have tried frantically, but not effectively, to interest U.S. news media outside Chicago in Obama's possible connection with his home state's latest major scandal. Obama bought a mock Georgian mansion on Chicago's south side on June 15, 2005, the same day Rezko's wife bought a plot next door from the same seller. Obama then purchased from Rezko another parcel at above-market value. (READ MORE)

Dinesh D'Souza: Unforgettable William F. Buckley - William F. Buckley, Jr. is dead, and modern American conservatism has lost its chief intellectual spokesman and leader. Buckley is one of the main reasons that I became a conservative. It wasn't just the influence of God and Man at Yale, Buckley's first and seminal book that made the case that Yale had abandoned its conservative Christian roots. Buckley had the novel idea that private colleges don't belong to their administration and faculty; these are the employees. Rather, colleges belong to the students who pay the tuition and who are there to learn. They along belong to the alumni, the living body of graduates who represent what the institution has produced; alumni also largely fund their alma mater and thus maintain their ties even when they have left. (READ MORE)

Mark Hillman: If principles matter, so does McCain - It's not about John McCain. Nor is it not about Rush Limbaugh or Laura Ingraham or James Dobson, although their views harmonize more closely with my own and those of most conservatives than do McCain's. This election isn't about party or personalities, but about principles that will guide our country for the next four years or more. Will our nation trend in a direction that is generally conservative or one that reverses modest gains of the past 28 years and lurches toward cradle-to-grave paternalism? That's why, despite several disagreements, John McCain gets my support against whomever the Democrats nominate. (READ MORE)

Janice Shaw Crouse: The U.N.’s Solution to Teem Pregnancy - New York City — During the first week of the United Nations (U.N.) Commission on the Status of Women, the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) distributed a booklet, "Giving Girls Today & Tomorrow: Breaking the Cycle of Adolescent Pregnancy". The booklet begins by stating that adolescent girls hold the key to a world without poverty. Then the booklet asserts that the majority of adolescent girls who become pregnant are “married and pressured to have a child.” Others, they add, are pregnant from “abusive, forced or coerced sex.” That’s it — adolescent pregnancy is a matter of the girls being married and pressured to have a child or pregnant from forced sex. Adolescent mothers face a grim future, according to UNFPA: poverty, ill health, HIV risk, frequent pregnancies and a dismal future. (READ MORE)

Guy Benson: Journalists Anonymous - It's been a rough few weeks for mainstream American journalism. The self-appointed gold standard of print journalism and one of the nation's top journalism schools have each descended into scandal, and in both cases, anonymous quotations play a central role. Surely the editors of The New York Times and the Dean of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism are aware that publishing controversial information based on unnamed sources is a considerable risk. Both elected to throw caution to the wind, and now both are paying a price. A great deal of ink has been spilled debating the ethics of using of anonymous sources. Journalism school courses devote full classes to discussing the precarious practice. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Making Training More Realistic, Relevant & Accessible - It’s been said often that the war in Iraq, is unlike any war the US Military has ever been engaged in. Much of the fighting is in urban settings. The role of the military in the past has been focused on fighting the enemy. Today however, the military is increasingly taking on what is termed “soft-power” missions, which range from reconstruction to peacekeeping to humanitarian assistance. Training has been focused, as in the past, on building the individual and units’ capabilities but has not focused much on the environment they would be operating in. The Defense Department’s training transformation initiative is aiming to change the way the military trains, in order to increase the realism, relevance and the accessibility. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Groundhog day in Gaza - Aussie Dave describes Israeli operations in Gaza. "The terrorists are operating within civilian areas, many times with the actual assistance of these civilians, and more often than not with their tacit approval. Brace yourselves for the palestinian propaganda offensive." Someone I know in Israel thinks that Hamas has learned a great deal from Hezbollah's tactic of mixing in with the civilians during the Lebanon war in 2006, but that while Israel had to avoid cracking up Lebanon there was less reason to be careful Gaza. Therefore militarily Hamas cannot hide behind its human shields. However another person I talked to in Jerusalem is bracing for the next wave of outrage against Israel and suggests that "lawfare" thrives just as well in Israel as it does in the US. (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Wesley Clark: Hillary More Qualified than McCain on Military Matters - General Wesley Clark, a man who has had his nose up the Clinton’s rear ends (he must be hoping for the SECDEF job) has made a completely asinine statement with regard to John McCain and Hilary Clinton. According to Clark, Clinton is better qualified to be the Commander in Chief by virtue of her jet setting around the world while First Lady than is McCain who actually served for several decades. Now, according to Clark, the issue is having relevant experience to make the decisions at the top that have to be made. Clark believes that McCain had the wrong kind of military experience so he would not be good s the CINC. Hillary, on the other hand, would be wonderful because she has NO MILITARY EXPERIENCE. Instead, she gained her qualifications by visiting 80 countries while First Lady. (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: Oopsie - I was Misquoted - It turns out that that flap about an Obama advisor privately assuring a Canadian diplomat that the candidate's anti-NAFTA rhetoric was all for show is a little more complicated than first thought. When a Canadian television network first reported it, both the Obama campaign and the Canadian embassy denied - vehemently - that a meeting had occurred. Except the Associated Press has now obtained notes taken by a diplomat taken at the meeting. And the notes appear to back up the contention that the Obama staffer did assure the Canadians that Obama didn't really mean what he was saying to voters. (READ MORE)

The Captain's Journal: Center of Gravity versus Lines of Effort in COIN - The publication of Army Field Manual 3-0, Operations, gives us a chance to pause and ponder definitions, concepts, and going forward doctrine for the global war on terror, much or most of which is likely to be small wars, irregular engagements and counterinsurgency. But some background is in order before considering the new field manual. In 2002, Antulio J. Echevarria II authored an interesting analysis entitled Clausewitz’s Center of Gravity: Changing our Warfighting Doctrine - Again! There is probably no more copiously quoted military strategist than Clausewitz, and it pays to correctly understand what he said. To begin, Echevarria briefly traces what he sees as the glasses through which the branches within the U.S. military have “seen” Clausewitz. (READ MORE)

Jeffrey Breinholt: The Wacky World of Tariq Ramadan - Tariq Ramadan is an enigma. The grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna and the son of the late top Brotherhood leader in Europe, the Swiss academic is the probably the most celebrated Muslim public "intellectual" on the planet today. He is no longer welcome in France or Egypt, and his appointment to the faculty of Notre Dame is very much in doubt, based on the Department of Homeland Security's denial of his U.S. visa. The denial is premised on his financial support to Hamas, which Ramadan claims was - ha! - inadvertent. There is now the first book-length English biography of him, a translation of Caroline Fourest's Frere Tariq (in English, Brother Tariq). My review of it can be found on the website of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: AP Lawyers Down Snapped Shot - Snapped Shot a photojournalism criticism site run by Brian Ledbetter, has gone dark due to legal threats from the Associated Press for copyright infringement for reproducing their images in order to critique them: “It's Been Fun We have been informed that the Associated Press takes issue with our use of their images on this website, and until I'm able to resolve this matter with them amicably, I'm going to have to take the site offline. Please feel free to e-mail me if you know more about this kinda thing. I'm posting a copy of the AP's letter below, for full disclosure. (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Taking Aim At Obama? - Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post spent a good chunk of today's "Media Notes" column looking at the treatment of the press towards Barrack Obama, and found that for the most part he's been given a pass by them until recently. He also points out that many stories about Obama failed to gain traction the first time around, or got little coverage for weeks. While Obama's folks claim this just isn't true, the Center for Media and Public Affairs studied newscasts from ABC, NBC and CBS and found that 83% of the stories about Obama from December 16th-January 27th were "positive" stories, while only 53% about Hillary Clinton fell into that category. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: Pretty Darn Stupid - Charlote Allen asks, "We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?" Pretty darn dumb, apparently: “Here's Agence France-Presse reporting on a rally for Sen. Barack Obama at the University of Maryland on Feb. 11: ‘He did not flinch when women screamed as he was in mid-sentence, and even broke off once to answer a female's cry of “I love you, Obama!” with a reassuring “I love you back."’ Women screamed? What was this, the Beatles tour of 1964? And when they weren't screaming, the fair-sex Obama fans who dominated the rally of 16,000 were saying things like: ‘Every time I hear him speak, I become more hopeful.’ Huh? ‘Women “Falling for Obama,”’ the story's headline read. Elsewhere around the country, women were falling for the presidential candidate literally.” Alas, the old sexist stereotypes hold true. Women ARE more emotional. There's a reason why "hysteria" is a term associated with women. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Pork bluster - Congressmen use earmarks to take credit they do not deserve. Reading Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s list of earmarks (and kudos for posting it, senator) I am struck by how mundane the list is. $5 million for the American Red Cross. $24 million for a locks and dam project. $12 million for an interchange between an interstate and a federal highway. $4 million for a Chicago schools program. $1.5 million for Easter Seals … This is the ordinary spending by the federal government. Of course federal highway money is used to fix up interstates and federal highways. We can argue philosophically about whether the federal government should be involved in some of these projects – maybe all. (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Will the Hague Ban Geert Wilders’ Movie? - Based on this article from De Telegraaf, the Netherlands may be turning into the anti-Denmark. The Dutch government is now considering how it might assuage offended Muslim sensibilities by banning the movie that offends them before it is even shown. If they carry out their plan, the Dutch will have fully revealed their hand, and demonstrated that the country that was once a beacon of liberty and tolerance has descended into the darkness of tyranny, censorship, dhimmitude, and — yes — submission. Our thanks to our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan, who brought this article to our attention, translated it, and accompanies it with his own commentary: (READ MORE)

Gathering of Eagles: GoE on Long Island 3-1-08 - Today was a great day for Eagles on Long Island! Alerted by Tom DeLuca’s email, I sent out an action alert to all Long Island Eagles to try to make it to Patchogue to face off against the moonbats who have been persistently protesting in front of the Recruiting stations. Tom and Gary Vertichio have been facing these particular cretins unaided for a while now and there was no way I was going to let their request for assistance go unheard. Although we had snow and rain overnight, the weather cleared by 0900 leaving us a clear crisp day with blustery winds. John and I arrived on site about 10:30 and were greeted by Tom Deluca of the Smith-Weaver American Legion Post and Bill Fries of the Conservative Party of Suffolk County. Over the next hour and a half other Eagles, Veterans, Blue Star Moms and Patriots came to join us until we had thirty plus manning the plaza outside the station. (READ MORE)

Hamilton, Madison, and Jay: Is the honeymoon between the press and Obama over? Maybe ... - Many have lodged complaints that the press is giving Barack Obama a free ride. Commentators and pundits alike have simply gushed over the man. And even though there is "no there, there" in his empty rhetoric, the press still fawns over him. But Captain Ed says hold the phone for a second as he points to a New York Times article today that may be the signal that this honeymoon is over: “Tony Rezko was obviously in trouble. He was a defendant in at least a dozen lawsuits, federal investigators in Chicago were poking around, and his name was in newspaper articles about corruption and fraud.” (READ MORE)

Gribbit: Republicans Won’t Have to “Swift Boat” Obama, He’s Already Done It Himself - In the lead up to the General Election, it won’t be anything that Republicans or our presumptive candidate John McCain say that will turn the tide against Barack Hussein Obama, it will be his association with people like Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Aiham Alsammarae that will derail his Presidential aspirations. Combine these crooked associations with his lack of anything resembling experience to do the job and Obama is doomed to failure. John Batchelor has an excellent article outlining the Rezko-Alsammarae connections so there isn’t much I can do to expand on that, but what I can point out is the total lack of attention being paid to these associations by the liberal Main Stream Media. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Chickenhawk v2.0: Gloria Steinem, Wes Clark shrug at McCain’s military service - Hey, remember four years ago how we needed a vet at the top of the ticket since only people who’d seen the horrors of war could appreciate the human cost of sending men into battle? Late-breaking caveat: Having seen the horrors of war isn’t quite as valuable experience-wise as picking out White House china patterns. Would a man who endorsed Waffles in 2004 explicitly on the basis of his military service really dare try this double standard vis-a-vis, of all people, John McCain? Believe it: (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Obama’s NAFTA Dance: Goolsbee “misquoted” - The NAFTA Dance continues. After Canadian broadcaster CTV reported that Barack Obama’s campaign told Canadian diplomats that his opposition to NAFTA was just campaign demagoguery, the Obama campaign denied any contacts at all. CTV then named Austan Goolsbee as the senior advisor who contacted the Canadian consulate in Chicago, telling Georges Rioux that the protectionist rhetoric should not be taken seriously, and Obama and Goolsbee continued their denials. Now the Canadians themselves have taken the next step, releasing an internal report of the conversation, and Goolsbee now says he got misquoted: (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Marines Want to Re-enlist in the Combat Zone - Marines Commandant GEN James Conway toured Afghanistan and Iraq last week attending townhall meetings along the way to answer questions from Marines currently in the combat zone, fighting the war on terror, and the questions they wanted answered might surprise you. Marines didn’t want to know when they’d be going home, but how they could re-enlist in the battlefield because of paperwork snafus. One Marine wants to be a drill instructor despite the fact he’s been diagnosed with PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Great Hamas Victory - They only got half the crap pounded out of them. Ha’aretz: “The Israel Defense Forces pulled its ground troops out of the Gaza Strip early Monday, and Hamas seized the pullout to declare ‘victory’ in the intensive fighting that has killed more than 100 people in recent days. The pullback followed days of sequential fighting that drew an appeal from Washington to end violence and rescue peace talks with the Palestinians. ‘The enemy has been defeated,’ a Hamas spokesman said.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Taliban attack tribal meeting in Kohat - The Taliban have executed its third major suicide attack in Pakistan in the past week. The latest attack occurred today in the settled district of Kohat. More than 40 Pakistanis were killed and 40 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his vest during a tribal meeting in the town of Zargoan in Kohat. The tribal jirga, or meeting, was attended by over 1,500 members of five local tribes. The meeting “was convened to analysis the security situation in troubled Darra Adam Khel and suggest ways and means to flush out militants” from Kohat, the Associated Press of Pakistan, the government’s news organization reported. The suicide bomber struck as the tribal leaders were leaving the meeting in an attempt to take out the tribal leadership. “Most of the victims were local tribesmen and tribal elders,” APP reported. At least one tribal leader and the father of a Pakistani senator were killed. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: When is lynching rhetoric acceptable? - When is lynching rhetoric acceptable? Newsbusters recounts recent kerfuffles over noose references and finds that it’s only okay when it comes out of the mouth of a black Hillary Clinton demagogue. Witness Ohio Democrat Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones: “Well, you [k]now what, the camp, the Obama campaign is trying to put that noose on her neck. But the reality is that Senator Clinton does not wear, uh, NAFTA. NAFTA is something that occurred during the presidency of her husband. She was the first lady, but she has been very clear about NAFTA.” (READ MORE)

Neocon Express: If the world would have listened to the Democrats - We would have run from Iraq two years ago and Al Qaeda would be in full control of Iraq and all of its oil resources at this very moment, not to mention the genocide that would have occurred. Saddam Hussein would still be in power in Iraq to this day. In fact, forget Iraq, Saddam Hussein would still be in Kuwait since Democrats also opposed the first Gulf war in 91 to oust him from that country. I mean good lord! How many times to you get to be that dead wrong and still return to the voter with a straight face? Of course, the Soviet empire would likely still be around since most Democrats had come to oppose and even ridicule any effort to halt the spread of communism around the world. (READ MORE)

Billy Hollis: This creeps me out - This video is not from the Obama campaign. However, I’d bet you won’t see independent supporters of John McCain making a video that features swooning zombies chanting his name. Unless it’s a parody, I mean. Folks, we are electing a president, not a messiah. The people in this video apparently believe the world is run by magic and you can somehow create exactly the world you want just by commanding it into place. That’s scary. It’s the attitude of which authoritarian regimes are made. (READ MORE)

Peace Like A River: Political unrest in Armenia - Elections were held in Armenia on February 19. Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian was declared the winner, and the successor to political ally outgoing President Robert Kocharian. Immediately supporters of opposition leader former president Levon Ter-Petrosian erupted, saying the elections had been rigged to ensure Sarkisian would succeed Kocharian. However, there were several hundred election monitors there, and the election monitor OSCE said “Yesterday’s presidential election in Armenia was conducted mostly in line with the country’s international commitments, although further improvements are necessary to address remaining challenges.” (READ MORE)

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