Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 20, 2014, 03:48:32 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
79153 Posts in 2226 Topics by 1037 Members
Latest Member: DCoutinho
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 492 493 [494] 495 496 ... 593
24651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Turkey on: October 23, 2007, 09:16:46 AM


WSJ

A Kurdish Lesson
Terrorist groups often have nine lives.

BY BRET STEPHENS
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

A debate among U.S. military brass over whether to declare victory over al Qaeda in Iraq coincides with threats by Turkey to strike terrorist camps in northern Iraq belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. Note the irony: The PKK, which in recent days has killed scores of Turkish soldiers, was itself declared dead as a terrorist group in 1999.

There are excellent reasons to avoid pronouncements concerning AQI's defeat. One is to deny the group the chance to offer testaments in blood to its own resilience. A second is to avoid another political embarrassment of the "Mission Accomplished" kind. But the main reason is that the experience of terrorist organizations world-wide shows that even in defeat they are rarely truly finished. Like Douglas MacArthur's old soldiers, terrorist groups never die. At best they just fade away.

Some examples: In its heyday in the 1980s, Peru's Maoist Shining Path was every bit as brutal as al Qaeda. The 1992 capture of its charismatic leader, former philosophy professor Abimael Guzmán, was supposed to have dealt a fatal blow to the group's capacity to operate, as was the capture seven years later of his successor, Óscar Ramírez. Yet as recently as last year, the Peruvian government was forced to declare a state of emergency in the Huánuco region to deal with terrorist activities by the group.

Or take the Taliban. In April 2005, American Gen. David Barno told reporters he believed that, with the exception of a few bitter-enders, the Taliban would be a memory within two years. The opposite happened. In 2006, the rate of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan soared, and the Bush administration was forced to deploy 6,000 additional troops to recover territory lost to the Taliban and turn back their anticipated spring offensive.





What about the PKK? Late in 1998 Turkey massed troops on its border with Syria, with the declared intention of expelling the PKK and its leader Abdullah Öcalan from Damascus if the Syrians didn't do so themselves. (A banner headline in the Turkish paper Hurriyet declared "We're going to say 'shalom' to the Israelis on the Golan Heights.") The late Syrian strongman Hafez Assad got the message, and sent Öcalan packing. He was eventually captured by Turkish intelligence in Nairobi, and sentenced to death by a Turkish court (commuted to a life sentence when Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2002). Öcalan has since apologized to the Turkish people for the 37,000 deaths he caused in the 1980s and '90s and called for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue. The PKK itself declared a ceasefire.
That should have been the end of it. As Turkish analyst Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy observes, Öcalan was a cult-of-personality figure in an organization that, unlike the cellular structure of al Qaeda, was run along strictly hierarchical lines.

For the next few years the Turkish government made real, if limited, strides in accommodating peaceful ethnic Kurdish cultural demands in education and broadcasting. What remained of the PKK--5,000 or so fighters--mainly retreated to northern Iraq, where their bases were attacked by Turkish forces no fewer than 24 times.

So might things have remained had the U.S. invasion of Iraq not rearranged the strategic chessboard. The Turks did not help themselves by failing to support the war, which caused strains with Washington and prevented them from carrying out further cross-border raids. That, in turn, created an opening for Iran, which until then had been the PKK's sole remaining state sponsor. Concerned about its isolation in the region, and sensing an opportunity to make common cause with the moderately Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tehran abruptly switched sides, going so far as to shell PKK positions in northern Iraq. Not surprisingly, the Turks began to take a more favorable view of Iran.

The U.S. role is scarcely more creditable. The Ankara government has been pressing the Bush administration to hit PKK bases for at least four years. The administration has responded with a combination of empty promises of future action and excuses that U.S. forces are already overstretched in Iraq. For the Turks, who contribute more than 1,000 troops to NATO's mission in Afghanistan, U.S. nonfeasance is a mystery, if not an outright conspiracy. "How is it that Turkey fights America's terrorists, but America does not fight Turkey's terrorists?" is how Mr. Cagaptay sums up the prevailing mood.





Yet the real mystery isn't U.S. behavior, which was mainly dictated by a desire not to rock the boat in what was (at least until this month), the only relatively stable region of Iraq. It is the forbearance shown to the PKK by Massoud Barzani, Kurdistan's president, who has otherwise sought to cultivate better relations with Ankara and Kurdish moderates in Turkey, and who would have much to lose if an invading Turkish army turned his province into a free-fire zone. One theory is that Mr. Barzani wants to use the PKK as a diplomatic card, to be exchanged for Turkish concessions in some future negotiation. But all that depends on his ability to rein in the PKK at the last minute and avert a Turkish invasion. Yesterday's kidnapping (or killing) of another eight Turkish troops puts that in doubt.
Meanwhile, the PKK has fully reconstituted itself as an effective fighting force under the leadership of Murat Karayilan, who was canny enough to see Congress's Armenian genocide resolution as an opportunity to take scissors to the already frayed U.S.-Turkish relationship. The resolution was turned back at the 11th hour, but it remains to be seen whether it has already done its damage.

All the more reason, then, for the U.S. to pre-empt the Turks by taking the decisive action against the PKK it has promised for too long. But the story of the PKK's resurgence should also remind us of the dangers of premature declarations of victory against terrorist groups, especially when such declarations foster the illusion that you can finally come home. Against this kind of enemy, there are no final victories, and no true homecomings, and no real alternatives other than to keep on fighting.

Mr. Stephens is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. His column appears in the Journal Tuesdays.

24652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 23, 2007, 09:01:56 AM
GM makes my point on the doggie drama, a subject with which I am done.  Last word yours Rog  smiley
24653  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: My Century Ride on: October 23, 2007, 08:45:21 AM
I am impressed.
24654  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering! Fighters thread on: October 23, 2007, 08:44:34 AM
You may have a different impression when dealing with some of the Euros who have been researching and playing with it for a while  smiley
24655  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Road Rage cop kills on: October 23, 2007, 08:42:39 AM
'NY Times

A New York City police officer turned himself in to colleagues on the street yesterday and said he might have shot and killed another driver in a predawn road-rage encounter in Upper Manhattan on Sunday, the authorities said.

Jayson Tirado with his daughter, Jaylene, now 4.

The officer, Sean Sawyer, 34, approached a police radio car around 1 a.m. near Central Park, said he had chest pains and requested an ambulance. He then told the sergeant and an officer in the radio car that he believed he had been involved in a shooting while he was off-duty in East Harlem about 19 hours earlier in which a man was killed, the authorities said.

The road-rage shooting was similar to many such confrontations: The mundane discourtesy of jockeying for position while trying to exit off a busy highway led to an angry exchange of words from car window to car window. It was after 5 a.m., and the victim and his two passengers had been drinking, the police said.

But this argument, which started on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, did not end with shouts. Instead, it appears that the two drivers took turns chasing each other for several blocks after they exited in East Harlem, the police said.

One of the passengers in the victim’s car told investigators that the driver who died, Jayson Tirado, 25, raised his hand, pointed a finger at the officer and said something about “Mr. Ruger,” apparently referring to a make of semiautomatic handgun.

At that point, the officer is believed to have opened fire with his 9-millimeter mini-Glock handgun, the police said.

Up to three shots were fired, the police said. Mr. Tirado was hit once as the cars idled at 117th Street and First Avenue, but he managed to continue driving for about three blocks. He then stopped at 120th Street, and paramedics took him to Harlem Hospital Center, where he died.

Mr. Tirado’s two passengers, Jason Batista, 21, and Anthony Mencia, 23, said in interviews yesterday evening that the other driver did not identify himself as an officer before opening fire.

Officer Sawyer worked undercover, the authorities said. He joined the Police Department in 2004 and had been working in the narcotics division in Queens.

He was held yesterday at the 25th Precinct station house in Harlem before being released about 8 p.m. Earlier in the day, a prosecutor visited the station house, and officials were trying to determine whether to charge Officer Sawyer with a crime and whether he had acted in self defense, according to the authorities.

The officer was suspended from duty without pay and stripped of his gun and badge, said Stephen C. Worth, a lawyer for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. He could face charges related to the shooting itself, and he may face departmental discipline, possibly for leaving the scene, officials said.

Though the officer was not arrested, the case could go before a grand jury. But a spokesman for Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, declined to comment about whether the case would be presented to one.

After the shooting, Officer Sawyer went home. Then he saw the news later on Sunday and learned that someone had been shot and killed, said a person with direct knowledge of the officer’s account. The officer started “reaching out to people and ultimately turns himself in,” the person said.

Mr. Tirado was described as a physically slight man who was focused on raising his 4-year-old daughter, earning money by fixing up cars and doing other odd jobs. The news that he was shot by a police officer who fled the scene drew expressions of surprise and anger from friends and relatives.

Mr. Tirado’s mother, Irene, 54, stood in the doorway of her seventh-floor apartment in the Jacob Riis Houses, a public housing complex in the East Village, and said that her son was shot and left to die.

“Now, I find out it was a police officer,” she said, clutching photos of Mr. Tirado as she cried.

The confrontation unfolded on the southbound Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. About 5 a.m. on Sunday, a 27-year-old motorcyclist hit a light pole and was killed as he tried to switch lanes at 117th Street, the police said. All southbound traffic was then diverted from the drive.

Among those forced to exit were Mr. Tirado, driving a Honda Civic, and Officer Sawyer, in a yellow Nissan Xterra. They yelled at each other as they maneuvered at the 116th Street exit; Mr. Tirado was not letting the Nissan sport utility vehicle exit, the police said. “That is where this dispute starts,” one law enforcement official said.

===========
Officer Sawyer, who had finished his shift at 7 p.m. on Saturday and was not due back to work until today, was alone in the Xterra, the police said. Mr. Tirado had two passengers in the Civic, the police said.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that Mr. Tirado and his passengers “had been drinking.” In fact, he said, “there was one who stated that he was in such a state that he did not remember any of the events that happened.”
Officer Sawyer followed Mr. Tirado west on 116th Street, where more words were exchanged, one investigator said. The officer, at one point, apparently sped ahead of Mr. Tirado, who might have chased him down again, the investigator said.

Both vehicles eventually turned right onto northbound First Avenue. There, Mr. Tirado cut in front of the officer’s Nissan and hit his brakes. The officer swerved slightly to the right, and both cars came to a stop at about 117th Street, the police said.

The police said that one of Mr. Tirado’s passengers, in an interview, said that Mr. Tirado turned as if reaching behind his seat and made the Ruger remark. He then aimed his fingers in the shape of a gun, the police said. No gun was found, one investigator said.

Officials said that Mr. Tirado’s precise words about the Ruger were unclear. One official said that Mr. Tirado said, “I have a new Ruger for you,” before reaching back and raising his arm with his index finger and thumb in the shape of a gun.

It was unclear yesterday if the officer had been drinking or where he had been between the end of his shift on Saturday night and the shooting on Sunday.

Mr. Batista, one of the men in Mr. Tirado’s car, said that as Mr. Tirado exited the F.D.R. Drive, the Nissan tried to pull in front of them, but that Mr. Tirado did not let that happen. Then, at Pleasant Avenue, the Nissan’s driver pulled up to the driver’s side of the Honda, threatened the men and sped away.

He said the Nissan approached the Honda again at First Avenue and 117th Street and fired three shots through the back passenger side window of the Honda. The shots missed Mr. Batista, who was in the back seat, but hit Mr. Tirado. Mr. Mencia, the other passenger, was asleep in the front seat, Mr. Batista said.

“A minute,” Mr. Batista said. “In a minute all that happened, from getting off the exit to having my man shot in my hands.”

Nearly 19 hours later, at about 1 a.m. yesterday, Officer Sawyer walked up to two police officers from a housing unit who were near his home — a sergeant and a police officer in a car at Central Park West and 102nd Street — and said he was feeling some chest pains and wanted an ambulance, the police said.

The man identified himself as a police officer and he said he believed he had been involved in a shooting in which someone was killed, the authorities said. He gave the sergeant his mini-Glock. Officer Sawyer said he was giving them a gun used in the shooting, saying, “This is the gun,” said a law enforcement official. An ambulance arrived and took the officer to the hospital.

Late yesterday, four detectives removed a cardboard box from the officer’s apartment building.

Officer Sawyer was described by the person with knowledge of his account as married and the father of two sons. That person said he believed that Officer Sawyer had not been involved in an on-duty shooting. He is a born-again Christian, said a relative, who spoke outside the officer’s home in Upper Manhattan.

“He didn’t seem like he was a violent type; I’m shocked,” said Sonia Liberato, a neighbor who said that Officer Sawyer had lived in the area for several years. “He’s really good with the kids,” Ms. Liberato said.
24656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 20, 2007, 08:48:36 AM
Vocabulary of War
By David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | 10/19/2007

The Left is up in arms over the effort to hold an Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on American college campuses. The goal of the Week is to alert Americans to the threat from Islamo-Fascism and to focus attention on the violent oppression of Muslim women under theocracies in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan and other Islamic states. It has been attacked as “Islamophobic” and “racist” by the Muslim Students Association, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and FoxNews Channel’s Alan Colmes. Is this not puzzling? Why would the left – which claims to be anti-fascist, anti-sexist and progressive -- oppose Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week rather than support it? Why isn’t the left outraged by the genital mutilation of women in countries such as Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, or the sanctioning of wife-beating under Islamic law in Pakistan and other Islamic states? Across America, Women’s Studies programs will teach students about the oppression of women in Peoria and Ann Arbor but not in Teheran or Riyadh. Why not?
Why isn’t the left appalled by the jihad – the holy war that has been declared against the West, and by the sanctifying of murderers as holy “martyrs” when Muslim terrorists kill innocent Americans, Christians and Jews? Perhaps it is because the left is engaged in its own jihad or holy war – and against the same targets: the Great Satan, America, and the little one in the Middle East.
As the left’s response shows, it is not only indifferent to the issues of Islamic terror and oppression, which the campus protest hopes to discuss, it is ready to declare war on anyone who wants to raise them.
We are all familiar with the way the left wages its political wars. If someone happens to disagree with its position on racial issues –if one believes, for example, that government enforced racial preferences are misguided or immoral –the left will denounce that person as a “racist.” In our culture, this is the moral equivalent of a bullet in the head. If the president of Harvard cites scientific data that women have different aptitudes for mathematics (lower) and verbal subjects (higher) than men, the left will denounce him as a “sexist,” another cultural bullet in the head. If a person believes that children should not be instructed about sex in public schools at the kindergarten level, the left will denounce her as a “homophobe” – one more mortal blow.
And, so, if students attempt to discuss the holy war that Muslim fascists have declared against the West, the left can be expected to denounce them as Islamophobes, and bigots too. To make the point, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will send threatening letters to 100 university presidents across the country urging them to deny a platform to students who are practicing “hate speech.” And liberal TV anchors will defend the witch-hunt.
Here is an excerpt from an exchange that took place between FoxNews Channel anchor Alan Colmes and myself, over my efforts to organize Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week:
Alan Colmes: “The words, the phrase ‘Islamo-fascism’ is hate speech. It equates an entire religion with fascism. That’s what people object to. It conflates the two, and it’s wrong.” In other words, students can’t even hold a discussion about “Islamo-Fascism” because the idea itself is hateful, is forbidden.
This argument clearly doesn’t make sense. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is explicitly designed to raise public awareness about the oppression of Muslim women by Islamic radicals who abuse them. How can that be equating all Muslims with oppressors? The term “Islamo-Fascism” was itself coined by moderate Muslims in Algeria who were being slaughtered in the tens of thousands by Islamic radicals bent on jihad. How does using a term invented by Muslims to describe their oppressors equate all Muslims with the fascists?
Does the term “Italian Fascism” equate all Italians with fascism? Or does it just identify those Italians who were followers of Mussolini? Is the term “Italian Fascism” hate speech? What about the term “white racism?” By Colmes’ logic, such a term equates an entire race– including Alan Colmes – with racism, and is therefore hate speech.
Obviously, the attacks on Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week by liberals such as Colmes and radicals such as the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Muslim Students Association are based on reasoning that is absurd. Their only logic is emotional, and the character of that emotion is hatred -- hatred for those who want to raise awareness of the threats we face from radical Islam. This hatred has only one purpose, which is to put a metaphorical bullet in the head of those who oppose the jihad. The purpose is to silence them.
David Horowitz is the author of numerous books including an autobiography, Radical Son, which has been described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.” It chronicles his odyssey from radical activism in the ‘60s to his current position as the head of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and who one journalist has called "the left's most articulate nemesis." His book, The Art of Political War was described by White House political strategist Karl Rove as “The perfect guide to winning on the political battlefield.” Left Illusions is an anthology of 40 years of his writings. His latest books are The Professors, which documents the debasement of the academic curriculum by tenured leftists, The Shadow Party, which describes the radical left's control of the Democratic Party's electoral machine and Indoctrination U., which is an in-depth look at how indoctrination has taken the place of education in today's college classrooms.
__________________
“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” - Winston Churchill
24657  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering! Fighters thread on: October 20, 2007, 08:28:26 AM
At the Swiss Gathering shield & stick has been done.  A goodly number of Euros play with WMA so this was very interesting to see.  I think there is a thread in this forum about WMA.
24658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why we fight on: October 20, 2007, 08:23:57 AM

Tony Blair: Iran extremism like rise of 1930s fascism


Helen Nugent
Islamist extremism is similar to “rising fascism in the 1920s and 1930s”, Tony Blair said last night in his first major speech since leaving office.

At a prestigious charity dinner in New York, the former Prime Minister said that public figures who blamed the rise of fundamentalism on the policies of the West were "mistaken".

He told the audience, which included New York governor Eliot Spitzer and mayor Michael Bloomberg, that Iran was the biggest exporter of the ideology, and that the Islamic republic was prepared to "back and finance terror" to support it.

“Out there in the Middle East, we’ve seen... the ideology driving this extremism and terror is not exhausted. On the contrary it believes it can and will exhaust us first," he said.

Related Links
Blair stamps on briefings against successor
'Demon eyes’ guru joins Blair project
“Analogies with the past are never properly accurate, and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading but, in pure chronology, I sometimes wonder if we’re not in the 1920s or 1930s again.

“This ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilising countries whose people wish to live in peace.”

He added: “There is a tendency even now, even in some of our own circles, to believe that they are as they are because we have provoked them and if we left them alone they would leave us alone.

“I fear this is mistaken. They have no intention of leaving us alone.

“They have made their choice and leave us with only one to make - to be forced into retreat or to exhibit even greater determination and belief in standing up for our values than they do in standing up for their’s.”

Mr Blair, who represents the Quartet of the US, Europe, Russia and the United Nations on the Middle East, was speaking at the 62nd annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Mr Blair went on: “I said straight after the attack of September 2001 that this was not an attack on America but on all of us. That Britain’s duty was to be shoulder to shoulder with you in confronting it. I meant it then and I mean it now.”

He added: “America and Europe should not be divided, we should stand up together.

“The values we share are as vital and true and, above all, needed today as they have been at any time in the last 100 years.”

Mr Blair received three standing ovations during the evening.

Earlier, the former Prime Minister said: “Out of this region the Middle East has been exported a deadly ideology based on a perversion of the proper faith of Islam but nonetheless articulated with demonic skill playing on the fears and grievances of Muslims everywhere.

“It did not originate from the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians, of course, far from it. But this dispute is used to great effect as a means of dividing people, sowing seeds of hatred and sectarianism.

“The impact of this global ideology is now no longer felt simply in the terrorism that afflicts Lebanon or Iran or Palestine. It is there also now in Pakistan, Afghanistan, in India, of course in Europe, in Madrid and London, and in the series of failed attempts to create terror across our continent.

“And here in New York you felt it in the thousands who died and who still mourn their lost ones.”

On several occasions the dinner chairman said he would have liked to see Mr Blair run for US president in 2008.

Referring to the Middle East, Mr Blair said: “The challenge is global, therefore our response must be global.

“Either the argument will be as our enemies want it framed as Islam versus the west. Or it will be as we want it framed as moderates of whatever faith, colour or race against extremism however it manifests itself.”

The dinner, which raises millions of pounds for hospitals, nursing homes and charitable agencies, is held in honour of Al Smith, the former governor of New York who was the first Catholic to be nominated by a major political party to run for US president.

Although unsuccessful, many historians believe the presidential bid paved the way for the candidacy of President John F Kennedy.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...SS&attr=797084
24659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 20, 2007, 08:23:00 AM
"But I assume you agree that with a cop present, refusal to surrender the dog was not an option."

My question is why a policeman would be there at all?  ED broke her contract with the Agency, but why does this give the agency the right, without a court ruling on the merits, to take a dog from someone who was not party to the contract?  Why would the court compel specific performance as vs. pay damages? etc etc etc. 

Anyone, for me this is all much ado about nothing.  Perhaps it is ED's rather maternal instincts coming out of the closet? cheesy

Back to the subject matter of this thread:

Reid letter sells for $2.1 million on eBay
Limbaugh chastises senator for attempting to 'horn in' on charity effort
Posted: October 19, 2007
2:20 p.m. Eastern


© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A final eBay bid of $2.11 million secured a letter from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that demanded an apology from radio talk host Rush Limbaugh over his "phony soldiers" comment.
On his show today, Limbaugh announced the winning bidder was Betty Casey, a noted philanthropist and trustee of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation in Gaithersburg, Md.
It was the largest bid ever in an eBay charity auction, breaking the $800,000 mark paid for a Harley Davidson motorcycle bearing the signature of "Tonight" show host Jay Leno.
"The Eugene B. Casey Foundation believes freedom of speech is a basic right of every citizen of this country," the foundation said in a statement on the auction. "Their purchase of the smear letter was to demonstrate their belief in this right, and to support Rush Limbaugh, his views, and his continued education of us."
Meanwhile, Limbaugh chastised Reid for taking credit for the money raised by the letter during comments to colleagues today on the Senate floor posted by Breitbart.tv.
Reid is trying to "horn in" on the effort, said Limbaugh, who pointed out the Nevada Democrat has not apologized for accusing him of smearing troops who opposed the Iraq war.
"Now he has the audacity to climb aboard this, praising the effort, saying he never knew it would get this kind of money," Limbaugh said.
Directing his comments to Reid, Limbaugh said, "It wasn't your letter that raised this money. It was your abuse of power that is responsible for raising this money."
If it were any other letter by Reid, he said, "people wouldn't pay a dime for it."
"This one represents an abuse of power by a U.S. senator, who after besmirching me by name on the Senate floor, gets a hold of my syndicate partner, asking him to confer with me about something he thought improper," said Limbaugh.
'That is why your letter is historic," he continued. It's "a full fledged, undeniable, 100 percent abuse of power."
(Story continues below)
Limbaugh announced last week he would sell the original letter addressed to the head of Clear Channel Communications in order to benefit the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity offering financial assistance to the children of Marines and federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
The No. 1-rated talk host said he wouldmatch the winning bid, and he challenged each of the 41 Democratic senators who signed the letter to match it as well.
Limbaugh said the winning bidder, Casey, has been a listener of his program since its inception.
"We cannot thank her enough for her support of this," Limbaugh said. "I am honored and proud and happy to be matching her $2,100,100."
Reid claimed Limbaugh's use of the phrase "phony soldiers" was an attack on all U.S. troops who oppose the war in Iraq. However, a transcript from Limbaugh's Sept. 26 show suggests the "phony soldiers" remark specifically addressed the case of Jesse MacBeth, an anti-war activist who claimed to have witnessed atrocities as a Purple Heart recipient in the Army Rangers. MacBeth never served in Iraq and was expelled from the military after 44 days in uniform.
The message on the letter's eBay listing said: "This historic document may well represent the first time in the history of America that this large a group of U.S. senators attempted to demonize a private citizen by lying about his views. As such, it is a priceless memento of the folly of Harry Reid and his 40 senatorial co-signers. BID NOW!"
Limbaugh, noting he serves on the board of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, said he would bear all costs of the auction: "Every dollar of your winning bid will go to this charity, which has to date distributed over $29 million."
Clear Channel Chief Executive Officer Mark P. Mays responded to Reid's letter with a defense of Limbaugh's right to express his opinions openly on the airwaves.
Many elected officials, mostly Democrats, expressed their displeasure with talk radio following the defeat of what President Bush called his "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" legislation – a plan characterized by many talkers as "amnesty." There were a number of calls for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine – which has also been called the "Hush Rush" bill.
As WND reported, another Democratic leader, Rep. Henry Waxman of California, angrily denied a report claiming he's investigating Limbaugh and other conservative radio talk-show hosts, but the magazine which made the allegation is not issuing any retraction.
As WND reported, one radio station in Oregon decided to "hush Rush" for a day and replace Limbaugh's talk program with music after receiving some requests from local listeners.

24660  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Islamismo radical y España on: October 19, 2007, 07:37:34 AM
http://www.gentiuno.com/articulo.asp?articulo=1865


Terrorismo

Publicado el 21.11.2004 12:08
Por Sebastián Vivar Rodríguez

 
 

Caminaba por la Rambla del Raval (Barcelona) y lo vi claro:
 
"La verdad no se casa con nadie" (refrán español)

Nosotros asesinamos a 6 millones de judíos, para acabar importando 20 millones de musulmanes por lo común integristas.
 
¿Qué no es posible generalizar? Bien, en vista de como nos han ido las cosas yo creo que sí se puede generalizar. ¿Qué si hay excepciones? De acuerdo… pero son excepciones.
 
 
 
Para el resto, es decir, en general debe decirse que en Auschwitz quemamos la cultura, la inteligencia y la capacidad de crear riqueza ; quemamos al pueblo del mundo, el que se autoproclama el elegido de Dios. Porque es el pueblo que ha proporcionado a la Humanidad las mayores mentes, capaces de cambiar el rumbo de la historia, (Cristo , Marx , Einstein , Freud), y grandes momentos de progreso y bienestar.
 
Y es preciso decir también que el resultado de relajar fronteras y del relativismo cultural y de valores bajo el absurdo pretexto de la tolerancia han sido estos 20 millones de musulmanes, a menudo analfabetos y fanáticos que Europa ha dejado entrar y que en el mejor de los supuestos están, como decía, en esta Rambla del  Raval, expresión máxima del tercer mundo y del gueto, y que en el peor de los casos preparan atentados como el de Manhattan o el de Madrid , en los pisos de protección oficial que les proporcionamos día a día.
   
 


Hemos cambiado a la cultura, por el fanatismo la capacidad de crear riqueza, por la voluntad de destruirla . A la inteligencia, por la superstición.
 
Hemos cambiado el instinto de superación de los judíos,- que ni en las peores condiciones imaginables no se han cansado -nunca- de querer un mundo mejor en paz, por la pulsión suicida de Leganés. Los diamantes como riqueza portátil para la próxima vez que deban huir, por las piedras palestinas contra cualquier intento de paz.
 
 Hemos cambiado el orgullo de sobrevivir, por la obsesión fanática por morir , y de paso matarnos a nosotros y a nuestros hijos. ¡Que error que hemos cometido!
 
Sebastián Vivar Rodríguez
 
24661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: October 19, 2007, 07:35:38 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,303417,00.html

Gun Safety
A student at Hamline University in Minnesota has been suspended and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation for advocating the carrying of legal concealed weapons on campus.
TownHall.com reports Troy Scheffler made the case in an e-mail to a school official that licensed gun owners could stop or prevent the kind of violence that struck Virginia Tech earlier this year. He pointed out that research has indicated the possibility of armed resistance discourages potential criminals. And he noted that many Virginia Tech students have said the massacre there would not have happened if the school had not banned concealed weapons.
But even though the school has a policy that guarantees students will be free to discuss all questions of interest and express their opinions openly, the dean of students says Scheffler's e-mail was deemed to be threatening. Scheffler was placed on interim suspension, which will only be lifted after he agrees to a psychological evaluation.
24662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Our Founding Fathers: on: October 19, 2007, 07:32:52 AM

"They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not
of men."

-- John Adams (Novanglus  No. 7, 6 March 1775)

Reference: Papers of John Adams, Taylor, ed., vol. 2 (314)
24663  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crafty Dog seminars in October: on: October 19, 2007, 12:06:48 AM
Dino tells me we will pick you up before/after getting me at the airport.  Tres cool.  cool
24664  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering! Fighters thread on: October 19, 2007, 12:05:21 AM
I leave in the AM for Manassas VA.  I may not have online access while there.  If not, I will answer this early next week.
24665  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: October 19, 2007, 12:02:44 AM
Busy, busy, busy.  After four days in Mexico City last weekend, I leave in the AM for three days in Manassas VA.
24666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: October 19, 2007, 12:02:08 AM
Busy, busy, busy.  After four days in Mexico City last weekend, I leave in the AM for three days in Manassas VA.
24667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 19, 2007, 12:00:00 AM
Why would a cop accompany the agency to enforce a civil contract?!?  Does this make any sense Rog?
24668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia on: October 18, 2007, 11:54:21 PM
To make them operational reqjuires Moscow's agreement though , , WTF?
24669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 18, 2007, 11:44:23 PM
Feds Recommend Closing Saudi School in Va.

October 18, 2007 - 12:43am

By MATTHEW BARAKAT
Associated Press Writer


McLEAN, Va. (AP) - A private Islamic school supported by the Saudi government should be shut down until the U.S. government can ensure the school is not fostering radical Islam, a federal panel recommends.
In a report released Thursday, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom broadly criticized what it calls a lack of religious freedom in Saudi society and promotion of religious extremism at Saudi schools.
Particular criticism is leveled at the Islamic Saudi Academy, a private school serving nearly 1,000 students in grades K-12 at two campuses in northern Virginia's Fairfax County.

The commission's report says the academy hews closely to the curriculum used at Saudi schools, which they criticize for promoting hatred of and intolerance against Jews, Christians and Shiite Muslims.

"Significant concerns remain about whether what is being taught at the ISA promotes religious intolerance and may adversely affect the interests of the United States," the report states.

The commission, a creation of Congress, has no power to implement policy on its own. Instead, it makes recommendations to other agencies.
The commission does not offer specific criticism of the academy's teachings beyond its concerns that it too closely mimics a typical Saudi education.

The report recommends that the State Department prevail on the Saudi government to shut the school down until the school's textbooks can be reviewed and procedures are put in place to ensure the school's independence form the Saudi Embassy.

Messages left Wednesday with the State Department and the Saudi Embassy were not immediately returned.

Several advocacy groups in recent years have cited examples of inflammatory statements in religious textbooks in Saudi Arabia, including claims that a ninth-grade textbook reads that the hour of judgment will not come "until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them."
Saudi officials said they have worked in recent years to reform the textbooks and the curriculum, but critics say progress has been insufficient.

The school's director-general, Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, said Wednesday that he had not seen the report. But he said the academy has adjusted its curriculum in recent years and removed some of the inflammatory language that had been included in the Saudi text. The school's curriculum may now serve as a model for the Saudi government to use in continuing its reform of Saudi schools, he said.

"There is nothing in our curriculum against any religion," Al-Shabnan said.
He also said he is willing to show the school's curriculum and textbooks to anybody who wants to see them, and he expressed disappointment that the commission did not request materials directly from the school.
"We have an open policy," he said.

He also pointed out that many of the school's teachers are Christian and Jewish.

The commission based its findings in part on a the work of a delegation that traveled to Saudi Arabia this year. The commission asked embassy officials to review the textbooks used in Saudi schools generally and at the Islamic Saudi Academy specifically but did not receive a response.
Commission spokeswoman Judith Ingram said the commission did not request to speak to academy officials because that went beyond the commission's mandate.

The report also criticizes the school's administrative structure, saying it is little more than an offshoot of the Saudi Embassy, with the Saudi ambassador to the United States serving as chairman of the school's board of directors. The structure "raises serious concerns about whether it is in violation of a U.S. law restricting the activities of foreign embassies."
After the Sept. 11 attacks, critics questioned the nature of the religious education at the Saudi academy. The school again found itself in the spotlight in 2005, when a former class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was charged with joining al-Qaida while attending college in Saudi Arabia and plotting to assassinate President Bush.
Abu Ali was convicted in federal court and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He is appealing his conviction.

(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
__________________
24670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: October 18, 2007, 08:45:41 AM
The New Ways We Fight Cancer
By SAMUEL WAXMAN and RICHARD GAMBINO
October 18, 2007; Page A17
WSJ

This week, the National Cancer Institute, in conjunction with other organizations that track cancers, reported that the death rate from cancer declined from 2002-2004 by an average of 2.1% per year. This is an improvement over the 1.1% annual declines from 1993-2002 and is very good news indeed. Each 1% decline represents 5,000 people living rather than dying, and, of course, this figure is compounded each year.

While some part of the declining death rate from cancer is the consequence of screening, much is the result of greatly improved treatments. And we believe that the successes achieved to date are only the modest beginning of a revolution in the research into and treatment of cancer.

During the last half of the 20th century, almost all treatments of cancers involved forms of chemotherapy in which cancerous and normal tissues were bombarded with nonselective cytoxic drugs. These drugs killed all cells, healthy as well as malignant. Worse, they did not kill all cancer cells, so the cancer progressed -- leading to the pessimism dominant in people's minds today, a reflection of years of articles and opinion pieces in the popular press expressing the view that "the war on cancer" has been waged incorrectly, if not lost.

Now, however, new therapeutic modes are in play, based on better understandings of cancers and great advances in technologies. Scientists are at last on the right track and making progress along three fronts. First, many cancers will be turned into chronic illnesses, each treated with far less toxic drugs with far fewer and less severe side effects, so that a patient can live a normal life span with a near normal quality of life. (A loose analogy would be to diabetics.) These treatments are probably closer to being realized than most people would guess.

Second, the prevention of entire types of cancers will occur through vaccinations, an approach already in clinical use. Third, cancers already growing in individuals will be eradicated. Here is just a partial list of the new approaches:

• Vaccines. Today, a newly developed vaccine is being administered to females, ages 11-26, that prevents cervical cancer (and anal cancer). The vaccine targets a certain virus, human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the cause of most cervical cancers. (Cervical cancer kills 4,000 women annually in the U.S., and 500,000 world-wide.) It is thought that infection with viruses or bacteria play a role in the development of other cancers, e.g., lymphoma and stomach cancer, and research is focused on vaccines and antibiotics to prevent these, and to eradicate those cancers already in existence in individuals.
 

Another area of vaccine research is Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, which causes most liver cancer in the Western world, and Hepatitis B virus (HBV), which causes liver cancer in Asia. (It should be noted that only in a very small percentage of people who have the infections do the viruses cause liver cancer.) Researchers are looking into the possible implications for humans of laboratory results which show that mammary (breast) cancer can be caused in mice by introduction of a virus, a virus which is normally passed from one mouse to another.

In the past, success in stimulating the human immune system to attack cancer cells has been elusive. But three novel research projects are underway, aimed at highly lethal metastatic melanoma. The first approach involves T cells (a group of white blood cells that play a critical role in immunity) which have a particular receptor on their surface known as "TCR" that activates the immune system. The process extracts T cells from a patient's blood sample and, in a laboratory, activates their TCR to turn the T cells into killers of the patient's melanoma cells, and not healthy cells, when reinjected into the patient.

The second approach involves genetic modification of a patient's white blood cells in a laboratory. The cells then produce a protein that enables the modified white cells to be detected and counted in tumors anywhere and everywhere in the patient's body using a noninvasive PET scan, a sophisticated X-ray technology.

In the third method, certain T cells which are derived from blood-forming stem cells are genetically manipulated to target and attack melanoma cells. These killer cells replicate in the body in response to the presence of melanoma tumors and attack the cancerous cells -- and because stem cells are long-lived, a large supply of the cancer-killing cells develop in the patient's body for as long as they are needed, i.e., as long as there are melanoma cells there.

- Epigenetics. Cancers are caused by mutations in DNA and abnormal control of genetic expressions. Epigenetic therapy involves correcting and reversing abnormal cancer-causing gene expressions through the use of drugs designed to target specific proteins involved in gene control.

In 1989, a drug removing the abnormal protein causing acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) was first successfully used. Since then, the cure rate for APL has gone to 90% and 50,000 lives have been saved world-wide. In the past three years the FDA has approved three epigenetic drugs that can change the behavior of malignant genes by acting on the proteins that control them. They act on cutaneous lymphoma, acute leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome (a common form of blood cancer).

The most difficult-to-treat cancers involve many mutations involving many gene "switches" that turn on or off the flow of information passed from one gene to another. In our high-speed information age, we are moving to the point where we can keep up with them, and thus "edit" and control them in specific, selective ways.

• Targeted therapies. The use of personalized malignant gene-expression profiles has advanced from research to therapy in patients, e.g., in breast cancer. Research is advancing in targeting specific mutations in some lymphomas, lung cancer and leukemia.
 

Progress is also well underway in learning to control abnormal genes which signal normal genes to aid in the nurturing of cancers or in metastases of cancers. For example, doctors now have drugs that are able to curtail the production of new blood vessels which cancer cells need and cause to be produced, thus depriving the cancers of nourishment, thereby killing them. Drugs have been designed to block abnormal signals from an individual patient's cancer, and are in use or development.

Biomarkers to detect ongoing cancers are another fruitful area of research. An example of a biomarker now being used clinically is an overabundance of a protein (called HER-2 neu) which is associated with many breast cancers. Such personalized molecular profiles lead to the use of specific, highly selective treatments with minimal toxicity.

• Cancer "stem cells." Intensive, continuing research has identified a type of cancer cells, found in small numbers, that are more capable of producing cancers and are more difficult to eradicate than ordinary cancer cells. In the last five years, knowledge has greatly advanced regarding how these types of cancer stem cells operate at the genetic level. Work is also well underway in the specific targeting, through the rapid expansion of computer data bases, of the genetic signatures of stem cells of different cancers, to inhibit or cancel their ability to communicate information that causes cancer growth, dormancy and metastasis.
 

This is but a very incomplete account of new and increasingly productive research in understanding and defeating cancers. In all, there is a 21st-century cancer treatment revolution unfolding. Defeating cancers involves incremental, time-consuming processes along many avenues -- and we are advancing on all of them.

The danger is that misconceived pessimism might result in a loss of popular moral support for the revolutionary new approaches to cancer research and treatment. This in turn could lead to diminishing private and governmental funds for research.

At the very least, pessimism about taming and ultimately eliminating cancers turns the minds of millions from what should be justified hope to needless despair.

Dr. Waxman, an oncologist, is professor of medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center and scientific director of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Mr. Gambino, who has a Ph. D. in philosophy, is professor emeritus at Queens College (CUNY).
24671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: October 18, 2007, 08:40:07 AM
By KIMBERLY DURNAN and STEVE THOMPSON / The Dallas Morning News
Dennis Baker's home security system includes three cameras that feed video to 42-inch screens in his living room and bedroom. But it was his pet parrot, he says, that alerted him to a burglar he shot and killed early Tuesday.
Also Online

Video: Homeowner Dennis Baker, accompanied by his parrots, talks about shooting the intruder

"Hello, hello," the parrot said, waking Mr. Baker from what he says was a deep sleep.

The 59-year-old locksmith keeps several pet birds in his northwest Dallas home, including a Mexican Red-headed parrot named Salvador. The bird says "hello" whenever he sees someone. When someone passed by a window about 2 a.m., Salvador squawked the greeting.

"It woke me up," Mr. Baker said. "I guess you could call him a stool pigeon."

Police say it appears that Mr. Baker was within his rights to shoot the burglar, but as is routine in such cases, they will turn the facts to a grand jury for review.

Mr. Baker killed 46-year-old John Woodson, whose criminal record includes charges of burglary, theft and possession of a controlled substance.

Tuesday's burglary, police say, was the fourth on Mr. Baker's property within a month. Investigators say preliminary information indicates Mr. Woodson may have been responsible for some or all of them.

Mr. Baker puts the number at five.

"I got hit five times this month. I have tools in my garage, my house and my van," Mr. Baker said. "They were coming here like they owned the place. I hate what happened, but somebody has to do what's necessary."

Mr. Baker runs a locksmith shop at the home in the 3600 block of Cortez Drive. A large safe sits on the porch. The door of the detached garage is off its hinges. He plans to fix the doors soon but has to replace some of the wood first.

Mr. Baker said he installed a video surveillance system after burglars targeted his home repeatedly. Thieves have taken $20,000 worth of locksmith equipment, saws and lawn gear, he said.

After the parrot woke him, Mr. Baker said, he got up and walked to the garage.
North of Love Field

"He was in the very back of the garage," Mr. Baker said of Mr. Woodson. "There were no lights on. The only thing I could do was see a silhouette, and as you saw in the video, he had his hands in his pockets when he came through here. I had no idea what he had."

The security video shows a man – presumably Mr. Woodson – with his hands in his pant pockets, casually walking around the perimeter of the garage and then inside.

Neither police nor Mr. Baker would give a detailed account of the confrontation that followed, and the cameras don't capture it. But police said Mr. Woodson didn't try to flee and that Mr. Baker shot him in his midsection.

The case is one of several in recent weeks in which a home or business owner has shot an intruder.

A West Dallas business owner fatally shot a suspected burglar on Sunday, the second time in three weeks that he has killed a prowler, police say.

Last week, the owner of Joe's Cleaners in Far East Dallas shot a man who tried to rob him at gunpoint.

Last month, a Mesquite business owner shot and wounded a suspected burglar after finding him with bolt cutters and copper cable taken from the building.

Musician Carter Albrecht was shot to death Sept. 3 after he tried to kick in a neighbor's back door during a drunken rage. The neighbor reportedly thought Mr. Albrecht was a burglar and fired a pistol high through the door as a warning, but struck 6-foot-4 Mr. Albrecht in the head.

Earlier this year, Texas lawmakers approved the Castle Law, which removes any obligation for a crime victim to retreat before responding with deadly force when faced with an intruder in his or her home, vehicle or business.

Despite the new law and the recent series of intruder shootings, Dallas police homicide Sgt. Larry Lewis said he would not describe them as a growing trend.

"We get them over the year from time to time," Sgt. Lewis said.

When police officers arrived at his home after the shooting, Mr. Baker said, Salvador began greeting them with his signature "hello."

"Sometimes he says 'hi,' but you can't get him to speak on cue," Mr. Baker said. "He has a mind of his own."

Mr. Baker said police officers are doing their jobs, but are overworked and understaffed. Dallas police recorded more than 14,400 residential burglaries last year.

"I will protect my property and my life," Mr. Baker said. "The fifth time is enough. It's not something you want to do, but you have to do."

kdurnan@dallasnews.com; stevethompson@dallasnews.com
24672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Our Founding Fathers: on: October 18, 2007, 08:15:37 AM
"If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and
foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it
better calculated to promote the general happiness than any
other form?"

-- John Adams (Thoughts on Government, 1776)

Reference: The Works of John Adams, Charles Adams, ed., 194.
24673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East War on: October 18, 2007, 08:14:39 AM
Geopolitical Diary: Emerging Turkish-Syrian Relations

The Turkish parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a government motion seeking a one-year authorization for multiple incursions into northern Iraq to root out Kurdish rebels. Earlier in the day, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who is on a three-day trip to Turkey, backed Ankara's plan to conduct cross-border military operations in Iraq. At a press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, al Assad said, "Without a doubt, we support the decisions taken by the Turkish government against terrorism and we accept them as a legitimate right of Turkey."

At a time when Turkey is faced with opposition to its plans to send forces into Iraq from almost every quarter of the international community, Syria is the one state actor that has openly come out in support of Turkish plans. The only similar statement came from Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi -- the country's highest-ranking Sunni official -- who was in the Turkish capital the same day as al Assad. Al-Hashimi said it would be legal for Ankara to take whatever steps are necessary to preserve its national security should the Iraqi government fail to contain the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants.

Iraq, however, is not a polity in the traditional sense and al-Hashimi's comments reflect his partisan preferences rather than official Baghdad policy. Therefore the Syrian stance is unique and raises the question: Why is Damascus coming out so strongly in support of Ankara on this matter? A superficial explanation would be that the Syrians and the Turks share a common threat from Kurdish separatists in their respective countries. But that does not explain the larger context of the emerging Turkish-Syrian relationship, especially given that the two sides have had their share of bilateral problems (to put it mildly) over the PKK issue. In 1998, the Syrians expelled PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan, to whom they had been providing safe haven until the Turks threatened military action.

Bilateral relations between the two have come a long way since those days. In fact, in the last few years, there has been an unprecedented warming between the two countries. Al Assad's current visit to Turkey is his second in three years. In 2004, he became the first Syrian head of state to visit Turkey. In July 2007, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's chief foreign policy adviser, Ahmet Davutoglu, traveled to Damascus to encourage the al Assad government to play a constructive role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Al Assad's latest trip to Ankara comes on the heels of Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's visit to Damascus last week, during which the Syrians were assured that Ankara would not facilitate any Israeli military action against Syria.

The Syrians were pleased to hear this in light of the Sept. 6 Israeli airstrike against a weapons facility near Syria's border with Turkey. Syria clearly needs good relations with Turkey because of its increasingly tense dealings with Israel, as well as with the United States. Just days ago, the Syrian president acknowledged that Ankara is acting as a mediator between Syria and Israel. Syria's situation is such that it can meaningfully deal with the Israelis only through Turkey.

Because of their ties to the Iranians, the Syrians have cut themselves off from the Arab states, especially those that have relations with Israel. Relations with Iran have also brought Syria closer to conflict with Israel. The Syrians need to offset the perception that they are a regional spoiler, and getting closer to the Turks could allow them to do so. Syria is taking note of the shift in Turkish behavior toward the United States, which works to its advantage. With Turkey adopting an anti-American stance, Damascus hopes to be able to leverage its budding ties to Ankara as a means of ending its isolation.

But Turkey does not attach the same degree of importance to its relations with Syria. The Turkish calculus is in fact very different. The Middle East is Turkey's main sphere of influence, and Syria is its immediate southern neighbor. It is therefore in Ankara's interest to see stability in Damascus, and playing the role of mediator between the Syrians and the Israelis helps it achieve this objective.

But this is not of immediate importance to the Turks. The single-most important item on Turkey's regional foreign policy agenda is the situation in Iraq and the ability of the PKK to use Iraqi Kurdish-controlled areas to pose a security threat to Turkey. Ankara will soon initiate military operations in northern Iraq, for which it has secured Syria's support. But beyond diplomatic support and possibly some level of tactical assistance on the ground, Syria has little to offer Turkey on the issue of Iraq or any other matter.

In short, the Syrians need the Turks more than the Turks need the Syrians. Turkey is also not about to help Syria at the cost of its relations with Israel. Syrian-Iranian relations are a major cause of concern for the Arabs, and the Turks very much value the influence they enjoy in Arab capitals. The downturn in U.S.-Turkish relations is also a temporary phenomenon, whereas the strain in Washington's ties with Damascus is much more chronic. For all these reasons, the warming of relations between Turkey and Syria is not likely to lead to a real strategic partnership between the two neighbors.

Stratfor
24674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: October 18, 2007, 08:12:35 AM
WSJ

Gen. Sanchez's Scream
He indicted everyone involved in Iraq, including the media and Congress.

BY DANIEL HENNINGER
Thursday, October 18, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Over the past weekend there were front-page accounts everywhere of Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez's description of the war in Iraq as a "nightmare." The New York Times led its story this way:

"In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in Iraq, the former top commander of American forces there called the Bush administration's handling of the war 'incompetent' and said the result was 'a nightmare with no end in sight.' " Gen. Sanchez said this last Friday to a gathering of reporters and editors in Washington who cover military affairs. It was a dramatic denunciation from the man who led U.S. forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

On Monday my colleague John Fund wrote an item for the Journal editorial page's daily email newsletter, Political Diary, noting that most of the news reports of the speech had failed to note that Gen. Sanchez had also severely criticized the press's performance in Iraq. "For some of you," Gen. Sanchez said to the reporters, "the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own preconceived notions, biases and agendas."

By now I was curious to see what Gen. Sanchez actually did say. The full text is an indictment all right, of everyone connected to this war--the president, the press, Congress, the bureaucracy and maybe the country itself.





Gen. Sanchez was running the U.S. war effort in Iraq when the Abu Ghraib scandal blew up, though an investigation absolved him.
It's possible to dismiss some of what he says as over the top or to cavil with the particulars. One cannot really know how extensively Gen. Sanchez's views are shared across the officer corps. But there is a discomfiting, Cassandra-like quality to this speech. It is a scream of rage.

Whatever happens in Iraq, this country at some point will have to think seriously (if possible) about the war's effects on its politics and its institutions. Gen. Sanchez's scream is as good a place as any to start.

With elided excerpts, I'll summarize what he said. Body armor recommended.

• The media. "It seems that as long as you get a front-page story there is little or no regard for the 'collateral damage' you will cause. Personal reputations have no value and you report with total impunity and are rarely held accountable for unethical conduct. . . . You assume that you are correct and on the moral high ground."

"The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry." "Tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats." And: "The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war."

• The Bush administration. "When a nation goes to war it must bring to bear all elements of power in order to win. . . . [This] administration has failed to employ and synchronize its political, economic and military power . . . and they have definitely not communicated that reality to the American people."

• Congress and politics. "Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the Republican and Democratic parties struggled for power in Washington. . . . National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from devising effective, executable, supportable solutions. These partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield. The unmistakable message was that political power had greater priority than our national security objectives."

• The bureaucracies. Gen. Sanchez argues that "unity of effort" was hampered by the absence of any coordinated authority over the war effort of the bureaucracies: "The Administration, Congress and the entire interagency, especially the Department of State, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure."

"Clearly," he says, "mistakes have been made by the American military in its application of power. But even its greatest failures in this war can be linked to America's lack of commitment, priority and moral courage in this war effort. . . . America has not been fully committed to win this war."

He says leaving Iraq is not an option, and he has no doubt about the threat: "As a nation we must recognize that the enemy we face is committed to destroying our way of life."

In sum, what Gen. Sanchez is describing here is a nation that is at risk and is in a state of disunity. Does disunity matter? He is saying that in war, it does.

In politics, a degree of disunity is normal. But in our time, partisan disunity has become the norm. The purpose of politics now is to thwart, to stop.

We may have underestimated how corrosive our disunity has been on the troops in Iraq, and how deeply it has damaged us.





Those of us in politics--politicians, reporters, bureaucrats--are largely inured to all this, and we seem to have assumed that the system shares our infinite capacity for antipathy and tumult. But is this occupational toughness natural to politics, or is it cynicism? I don't think the soldiers or the American people see the difference.
Arguably it is the proper role of politics to intervene, to question. But during Vietnam and again now, we haven't been able to avoid simultaneously putting troops on the battlefield while fighting bitterly amongst ourselves at home for the length of the war.

The U.S. officer corps is aware of this. While no one is talking about a stab in the back, they may conclude that the home front and its institutions are unable to, or will not, protect their back.

One may ask: Will we ever want to do this again? Are we able to undertake military missions that prove difficult? Or is the projection of U.S. military power into the world an idea that now irreparably divides the American people? Before November 2008, we had better have some answers, from our presidential candidates and from ourselves.


Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His column appears Thursdays in the Journal and on OpinionJournal.com.
24675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 18, 2007, 08:11:37 AM
1133 GMT -- IRAQ -- The Iraqi government plans to award $1.1 billion in contracts to Iranian and Chinese companies to build two power plants in the country, The New York Times reported Oct. 18, citing Iraqi Electricity Minister Karim Wahid. He said the Iranian project would be built in Baghdad's Sadr City area and the Chinese project would be built in Wasit. Iran also has agreed to provide cheap electricity from its own grid to southern Iraq, and to build a large power plant essentially free of charge in an area between the two southern Shiite holy cities of Karbala and An Najaf, the Times reported.

Stratfor
24676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia on: October 18, 2007, 08:10:14 AM
To me this reads like we just caved in big time, and then got sodomized by Putin in his statements while in Iran:
=================

1149 GMT -- RUSSIA, UNITED STATES -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Russian President Vladimir Putin during their recent meeting that the United States would be willing to delay operationalizing a missile defense system in Europe until Washington and Moscow have jointly validated that Iranian ballistic missiles posed a threat, the Financial Times reported Oct. 17, citing a Pentagon spokesman.

stratfor
24677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: October 18, 2007, 07:57:22 AM
Police face Mexican military, smugglers
Armed standoff along U.S. border
By Sara A. Carter and Kenneth Todd Ruiz, Staff Writers

Mexican soldiers and civilian smugglers had an armed standoff with nearly 30 U.S. law enforcement officials on the Rio Grande in Texas Monday afternoon, according to Texas police and the FBI.

Mexican military Humvees were towing what appeared to be thousands of pounds of marijuana across the border into the United States, said Chief Deputy Mike Doyal, of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department.

Mexican Army troops had several mounted machine guns on the ground more than 200 yards inside the U.S. border -- near Neely's Crossing, about 50 miles east of El Paso -- when Border Patrol agents called for backup. Hudspeth County deputies and Texas Highway patrol officers arrived shortly afterward, Doyal said.

"It's been so bred into everyone not to start an international incident with Mexico that it's been going on for years," Doyal said. "When you're up against mounted machine guns, what can you do? Who wants to pull the trigger first? Certainly not us."

An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the incident happened at 2:15 p.m. Pacific Time.

"Bad guys in three vehicles ended up on the border," said Andrea Simmons, a spokeswoman with the FBI's El Paso office. "People with Humvees, who appeared to be with the Mexican Army, were involved with the three vehicles in getting them back across."

Simmons said the FBI was not involved and referred inquiries to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  ICE did not return calls seeking comment.

Doyal said deputies captured one vehicle in the incident, a Cadillac Escalade reportedly stolen from El Paso, and found 1,477 pounds of marijuana inside. The Mexican soldiers set fire to one of the Humvees stuck in the river, he said.

Doyal's deputies faced a similar incident on Nov. 17, when agents from the Fort Hancock border patrol station in Texas called the sheriff's department for backup after confronting more than six fully armed men dressed in Mexican military uniforms. The men -- who were carrying machine guns and driving military vehicles -- were trying to bring more than three tons of marijuana across the Rio Grande, Doyal said.

Doyal said such incidents are common at Neely's Crossing, which is near Fort Hancock, Texas, and across from the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

"It happens quite often here," he said.

Deputies and border patrol agents are not equipped for combat, he added.

"Our government has to do something," he said. "It's not the immigrants coming over for jobs we're worried about. It's the smugglers, Mexican military and the national threat to our borders that we're worried about."

Citing a Jan. 15 story in the Daily Bulletin, Reps. David Dreier, R-Glendora, and Duncan Hunter, R-San Diego, last week asked the House Judiciary Committee, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, the House Homeland Security Committee and the House International Relations Committee to investigate the incursions. The story focused on a Department of Homeland Security document reporting 216 incursions by Mexican soldiers during the past 10 years and a map with the seal of the president's Office of National Drug Control Policy, both of which were given to the newspaper.

Requests by Dreier, chairman of the House Rules Committee, and Hunter were made in jointly signed letters. 

On Wednesday, Chertoff played down the reports of border incursions by the Mexican military. He suggested many of the incursions could have been mistakes, blaming bad navigation by military personnel or attributing the incursions to criminals dressed in military garb.

Mexican officials last week denied any incursions made by their military.

But border agents interviewed over the past year have discussed confrontations those they believe to be Mexican military personnel.

"We're sitting ducks," said a border agent speaking on condition of anonymity. "The government has our hands tied."

- Sara A. Carter can be reached by e-mail at sara.carter@dailybulletin.com or by phone at (909) 483-8552.

- Kenneth Todd Ruiz can be reached by e-mail at todd.ruiz@dailybulletin.com or by phone at (909) 483-8555.

http://www.dailybulletin.com/search/ci_3430815
24678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Parenting Issues on: October 18, 2007, 07:49:02 AM
Liberal Fascism continues , , ,
=========================

Birth Control Allowed at Maine Middle School

By JOEL ELLIOTT
Published: October 18, 2007
PORTLAND, Me., Oct. 17 — The Portland school board on Wednesday approved a measure allowing middle-school students to gain access to prescription birth control medications without notifying parents.

The proposal, from the Portland Division of Public Health, calls for the independently operated health care center at King Middle School to provide a variety of services to students, including immunizations and physical checkups in addition to birth-control medications and counseling for sexually transmitted diseases, said Lisa Belanger, an administrator for Portland’s student health centers.

All but two members of the 12-person committee voted to approve the plan.

The school principal, Mike McCarthy, said about 5 of the school’s 500 students had identified themselves as being sexually active.

Health care professionals at the clinic advised the committee that the proposal was necessary in order for the clinic to serve students who were engaging in risky behavior.

The conference room at the Wednesday night meeting was packed with parents, students and television cameras as school board committee members discussed the issue and heard testimony from experts and residents.

“It has been shown, over and over again, that this does not increase sexual activity,” said Pat Patterson, the medical director of School-Based Health Centers.

Reaction was mixed.

“This is really a violation of parents’ rights,” Peter Doyle, a Portland resident, told the committee. “If there were a constitutional challenge, you guys would be at risk of a lawsuit.”

Others argued for approval.

“Not every child is getting the guidance needed to keep them safe,” said Richard Veilleux, who said his child attends King Middle School. “This is about giving kids who are sexually active the tools that they need.”

According to the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care, about 30 percent of the 1,700 school-based health centers in the United States provide birth control to students, Dr. Patterson said.

NY Times
24679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 18, 2007, 07:47:05 AM
I'm not really following this Rog.  Are you saying that there should be a FD here so that the agency gets to respond to EG on her show?

Also, I'm not getting why the hairdresser and family gave up the dog.  Some third part comes to my door wanting my children's dog has got a serious problem.  What kind of parent coughs up their children's dog?  If the agency wants the dog, let them sue.

24680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / SEAL receives CMH on: October 17, 2007, 07:02:31 PM
First Navy MoH since Vietnam to go to SEAL

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Oct 15, 2007 18:03:21 EDT
   
SAN DIEGO — Two years after his death in a harrowing firefight on a mountaintop in Afghanistan, Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a SEAL from Patchogue, N.Y., will receive the nation’s highest combat honor, Navy officials said.

A Navy spokeswoman confirmed Oct. 11 the decision by President Bush approving the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor, the first for the Navy for the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Murphy, 29, was leading a four-man reconnaissance and surveillance team during Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan’s rugged Hindu Kush mountains June 28, 2005, when the team was spotted by Taliban fighters. During the intense battle that followed, Murphy and two of his men — Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz and Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson — were killed. A fourth man, then-Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell, was seriously wounded and knocked unconscious, but managed to escape. Luttrell was rescued days later.

Murphy was killed while phoning in for reinforcements. The tragedy continued when enemy fighters shot down one of the transport helicopters carrying the rescue force, killing eight more SEALs and eight Special Forces operators. The 11 SEALs killed marked the largest single-day loss of life for the tight-knit community.

Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Murphy’s parents, Daniel and Maureen, and his brother, John, on Oct. 22 at a 2:30 p.m. ceremony in the White House.

“We’re thrilled with the president’s announcement, and more importantly that there’s now a public recognition of what Mike’s family and friends have known about him from the very beginning,” Daniel Murphy said Oct. 11 by telephone from New York.

In addition to the Oval Office ceremony, the fallen SEAL will be honored at two other Washington events: the inclusion of his name on a wall at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes at 11 a.m. Oct. 23, and the presentation of the Medal of Honor flag at the Navy Memorial at 6 p.m. Oct. 23. Additional ceremonies are planned next month at Calverton National Cemetery in eastern Long Island, where Murphy is buried, and on his birthday next year at the Patchogue post office that bears his name, his family said.

When he deployed overseas, Murphy carried a patch from New York Fire Department’s Engine Company 53 and Ladder Company 43, in Manhattan’s El Barrio neighborhood, “as a symbol of why he was there and what he was doing,” Daniel Murphy said.

“Michael felt that he was doing something important ... to root out, capture and kill those who were responsible for 9/11,” he added. “Michael understood the importance of his work.”

In mourning their son, the Murphy family has also celebrated his life. “What a man he grew up to be,” said Maureen Murphy, who called him “an American hero.”

To the Murphy family, the announcement of the Medal of Honor isn’t just a personal recognition. “It’s more than just about Michael,” his father said. “It’s about Michael and his team. Michael, first and foremost, was a team player.”

“Eleven SEALs who fought, died and sacrificed for one another,” he added. “There’s no higher calling.”

Life and death on Murphy’s ridge
The team was taking heavy fire in the close-quarters battle as Taliban fighters continued to close in, firing weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. At one point, Murphy took his mobile phone and “walked to open ground. He walked until he was more or less in the center, gunfire all around him, and he sat on a small rock and began punching in the numbers to HQ,” according to Luttrell, the surviving SEAL, who wrote a book called “Lone Survivor.”

“I could hear him talking,” Luttrell wrote. “My men are taking heavy fire ... we’re getting picked apart. My guys are dying out here ... we need help.

“And right then Mikey took a bullet straight in the back. I saw the blood spurt from his chest. He slumped forward, dropping his phone and his rifle. But then he braced himself, grabbed them both, sat upright again, and once more put the phone to his ear.”

Then, Luttrell heard Murphy say, “Roger that, sir. Thank you.” The lieutenant continued to train fire on the enemy fighters.

“Only I knew what Mikey had done. He’d understood we had only one realistic chance, and that was to call in help,” Luttrell wrote. “Knowing the risk, understanding the danger, in the full knowledge the phone call could cost him his life, Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy, son of Maureen, fiancé of the beautiful Heather, walked out into the firestorm.

“His objective was clear: to make one last valiant attempt to save his two teammates.”

Not long after the call, Murphy was shot again, screaming for Luttrell to help him, but Luttrell, also hit and wounded, couldn’t reach him. “There was nothing I could do except die with him,” he wrote.

Murphy’s actions didn’t surprise those who knew him.

That, despite his wounds, he made that call “and at the end of the call to say, ‘Thank you,’ and hang up, and continue the fight ... really exemplifies the type of person that he was,” said Sean, a lieutenant commander who was the naval special warfare task unit leader with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, a Pearl Harbor, Hawaii-based unit. Naval Special Warfare Command asked to withhold his full name.

“Murph,” as others called him, was “a warrior and [was devoted] to his men,” Sean said. The Medal of Honor “draws attention to the true heroism and selfless sacrifice of all the guys that day,” he added. “It’s a testament to all 19 who gave their lives that day.”

A well-kept secret
In the two years since, the events on that Afghan mountain have stirred much speculation on how the team members would be recognized. “They knew what they were dying for, they believed in what they were doing and they gave their last full measure,” then-Rear Adm. Joe Maguire said during a June 28, 2006, ceremony dedicating a memorial tree and plaque outside Naval Special Warfare Command headquarters in Coronado, Calif.

The other three SEALs in Murphy’s team have received the Navy Cross.

On Aug. 27, the Murphy family received a call from the White House chief of military affairs telling them that President Bush approved the award. “They asked us if we could please keep the information confidential” until the Navy’s announcement, Daniel Murphy said.

Talk about pressure. “Obviously, you want to get on top of a building and scream out,” he said.

But the Murphys agreed, and they kept it secret.

“You wanted to tell everybody, but you really couldn’t,” said Maureen Murphy.

“I was thrilled, and I was like, oh my God. It’s like a rollercoaster ride,” she said. “You are so happy that the nation recognizes what you already know about your son — handsome and the brave actions and everything — then there’s the other part. ... I wish he could walk up there and receive that. It’s bittersweet.”

Family and colleagues describe Murphy as a likeable leader, witty, sincere, caring, honest humble, selfless. He didn’t live for the spotlight, they say, and he’d probably prefer to deflect the attention over his combat actions.

“He was a great little boy. He was a very wonderful teenager. He always rolled up his sleeves to help people,” his mother said. “In every picture we have,” she noted, “he was always in the background.”

SEALs honor their own
This will mark the first time a Navy person has received the Medal of Honor in 35 years, and the fourth time a SEAL has received the award. It also marks the third awarding of the Medal of Honor for combat heroism in Iraq or Afghanistan — the other two were awarded posthumously to Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith and Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham.

Top Navy SEALs paid tribute to the president’s decision.

“I am grateful Lt. Murphy will receive the Medal of Honor in recognition and tribute for his heroism and sacrifices,” Adm. Eric Olson, who commands U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., said in a statement. “His selfless actions exemplify the characteristics and values of special operations forces.”

Murphy “was a valued teammate, professional warrior and fearless leader. We are humbled by his courageous and selfless actions, and this award is a testament to the man he was,” said Rear Adm. Joe Kernan, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, in a statement. “Mike believed deeply in his country, and he honorably lived the ethos that he shared with his fellow SEALs.

“The Medal of Honor will ensure that his sacrifice — for freedom, for his teammates and for his fellow Americans — will never be forgotten,” Kernan added. “He will inspire our Naval Special Warfare community for years to come.”

Sean, the task unit leader, recalled that Murphy “is one of those few leaders who was truly able to command the respect of his men, while at the same time knowing them at a personal level. They trusted him, and they felt confident in his abilities.

“It just exemplified the type of people that we have in the community. The events of that day were extraordinary,” he said.

Murphy’s actions that day — “exposing himself the way he did, way into a lengthy gunfight and already severely wounded” — didn’t surprise the officer.

Murphy, he added, “would just say he was doing his job.”

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/10/navy_seal_moh_071011w/
24681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: October 17, 2007, 06:57:45 PM
Second post of the day

* * *
FRESH JERSEY
Mike Kelly's journal about events and people in the Garden State.

Visit the blog

One of Cruise's deputies was even more specific.

"There are people in your county who are affiliated with known al-Qaida members overseas," said Jack Jupin, the FBI agent who heads the counterterror squad for Bergen County.

Cruise, who supervised FBI investigations of terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole before taking over the Newark task force, cautioned that his agents have no information about an imminent attack here. But he said several al-Qaida sympathizers would try if given the chance.

"There are many people who are like-minded who want to commit acts of terrorism and have just not taken that extra step," said Cruise, who keeps a "wanted" poster of Bin Laden on his office wall.

Sometimes, he said, counterterror agents "disrupt" these North Jersey residents with al-Qaida ties.

Cruise declined to describe any case in detail. But in general, such disruption methods ranged from outright deportations to quiet visits by FBI agents in which suspected terrorists are told their activities are being monitored.

"There are many disruptions that occur that the public does not know about," Cruise said.

Taliban aren't here

For the past six years, FBI officials have routinely declined to discuss counterterror measures in northern New Jersey. But last week, the FBI granted The Record limited access to the offices of its Joint Terrorism Task Force, in a gleaming glass building in Newark overlooking the Passaic River.

This unusual glimpse into the inner workings of North Jersey's primary counterterrorism force revealed the following:

Task force investigators have discovered that every major terrorist group in the world, including Hamas and Hezbollah, has at least one North Jersey contact. The lone exception is Afghanistan's ultra-fundamentalist sect, the Taliban.
The task force is currently conducting more than 400 counterterror investigations. These range from probes into Bin Laden's network to neo-Nazis to environmental terrorists.
Each month, a task force "response" squad receives as many as a dozen new tips about possible nuclear, biological or chemical terrorism in New Jersey. These range from citizen concerns about a mysterious powder to the report that three ships were sailing to New Jersey with radiological material on board. Squad members were even dispatched to Emerson last month after school administrators received a threat to blow up schools.
Undercover agents attend all professional football games at Giants Stadium. Agents also plan to monitor the upcoming Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park Racetrack.
Task force agents routinely travel overseas. One is currently in Iraq; another is in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, helping to question suspected al-Qaida captives at the U.S. naval base there. Newark-based agents also played a role in the investigation of the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and provided information to assist the interrogation of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
Task force agents say they are united by one common fear -- that they may overlook information that could stop a potential terrorist attack. Indeed, almost every office seems to contain some reminder of the 9/11 attacks.

'Daily reminder'

In weighing his own fear of an attack, Cruise noted that northern New Jersey has a wide range of tempting and vulnerable targets, from tunnels and bridges to sports venues, shopping malls and chemical plants.

"My greatest fear in New Jersey is that somebody or some group will slip through our grasp," he said.

Scott Nawrocki, the FBI agent who directs the task force's special response squad, keeps a photograph of the World Trade Center on the wall by his desk. On the opposite wall is a poster with a mushroom cloud from a nuclear bomb. "The first things I see are a daily reminder of why I'm here," Nawrocki said.

But he added that it's dangerous for his counterterror agents to fall into the trap of assuming that future terrorists will try to duplicate the 9/11 attacks.

"We use our imagination when we conduct assessments," Nawrocki said.

William Sweeney Jr., whose squad monitors potential terrorists in Hudson County, said some tips for local investigations can originate in the unlikeliest places.

In one case, Sweeney described how U.S. soldiers confiscated a laptop computer when they captured a suspected al-Qaida operative in Iraq. When the laptop's files were examined, investigators discovered several New Jersey phone numbers.

"Why was a person in New Jersey in the address book of a bad guy picked up in Iraq?" Sweeney asked. "We have to check it out."

He declined to describe the result. But the process, described by Sweeney, is not uncommon for the task force.

As a result, task force agents are in daily contact with officials at the CIA and other American intelligence agencies who monitor phone and Internet traffic from North Jersey to known operatives for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

"I talk to them 10 times a day," Jupin said of the CIA.

Listening in

Cruise holds several top-secret intelligence briefings each week with fellow agents as well as police from such small towns as Old Tappan and Ho-Ho-Kus.

Amid the wash of tips and ongoing cases, though, Cruise said the task force has to make difficult calculations -- especially when monitoring phone or Internet contacts.

"If it's somebody who is simply communicating with somebody who is known to be an al-Qaida operative, that in itself is not illegal," Cruise said. "It's what they intend to do."

To better understand some of his enemies, Cruise even listens to Arabic language CDs during his commute. But he tries to keep himself and his agents from becoming too confident.

"We have better security measures in place and we have better intelligence," he said. "But we are still vulnerable."

E-mail: kellym@northjersey.com
24682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Unorganized Militia on: October 17, 2007, 06:37:14 PM
I wasn't quite sure where to put this one, this thread seems like the closest fit:

12/10/07 - News section

Prisoner 'throws boiling oil' over terrorist leader who plotted to murder thousands with dirty bombs

A prisoner has been accused of throwing boiling oil over an al Qaida terrorist who planned to murder thousands with dirty bombs.

The 22-year-old inmate is accused of scarring for life Dhiren Barot, who was jailed for life for leading a British-based terrorist cell that plotted bombings across the world.  Barot's lawyer claimed he had the boiling oil thrown over him during the attack in the high security Frankland Prison in County Durham. The unnamed prisoner faces charges of wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm following the incident on July 6.  He will appear in court later this month.

After the alleged attack, which left Barot, 35, with excruciating burns, a news blackout was imposed to protect medical staff from possible attack while he was treated at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

A Durham Police spokesman said today in a statement: "A prison inmate from Sunderland has been charged with an assault at Durham's top security Frankland Jail this year. The victim, a 35-year-old Category A prisoner, suffered burns to his body and face in the alleged attack on July 6.  He was treated for several days at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary before being readmitted to the prison. Police inquiries have been taking place since then and this morning detectives from Durham charged a 22-year-old from Sunderland with wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He is due to appear before magistrates at Peterlee on October 23."

Barot was sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 30 years, for planning to plant radioactive, chemical or toxic gas bombs and pack limousines with nails and explosives in the UK and America.  The al Qaida mastermind had been moved to Frankland from Belmarsh jail, south east London, after fears for his safety. Barot was arrested in August 2004 and accused of conspiracy to murder.  He admitted planning to bomb several targets including the New York Stock Exchange, the International Monetary Fund HQ, and the World Bank.
Barot, who recruited other bomb plotters, was sentenced to life in prison last November. It was recommended he serve 40 years but that was cut to 30 years on appeal in May.

Barot was born in India then moved to Kenya with his family. They came to England in 1973 and his banker father had to work in a factory to support them. Hindu Barot converted to Islam aged 20. He later travelled to Pakistan for al Qaida training and funding.

Find this story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/new...7347&in_page_id=1770
24683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 17, 2007, 05:18:32 PM
Almost a Massachusetts Miracle

It was a special House election in a state that hasn't sent a single Republican to Congress in a decade, held at a time when support for Republicans from President Bush on down is sagging badly. Yet Republican Jim Ogonowski almost pulled off an upset in the Lowell-based 5th District of Massachusetts last night. Democrat Niki Tsongas, widow of the late U.S. Senator, won only 51% of the vote despite outspending Mr. Ogonowski by five-to-one. How could this happen?

For one thing, turnout in the special election was spotty. Though Ms. Tsongas pledged to work to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by March 2008, Democratic pollster Brad Bannon predicted that the district's liberals were "in a surly mood because of their party's inability to bring a conclusion to the war." It appeared that many of these voters stayed home.

In addition, Mr. Ogonowski, who retired from the Air Force in June after a 28-year career, was also able to effectively make the case that U.S. troops must stay in Iraq. He reminded voters that his own brother had been a pilot on the American Airlines plane flown into the World Trade Center on 9/11. Mr. Ogonowski initially had qualms about the Iraq war but now says the U.S. intervention should continue until stability is achieved there.

The GOP underdog wound up winning 45% of the vote, polling significantly better than President Bush's 41% showing in the district in 2004. While not a winner, Mr. Ogonowski says his populist approach could point the way to recovery for the GOP in the 2008 elections. He told me during a New York fundraising swing last month that he campaigned vigorously against his own party's failings by advocating limits on pork-barrel spending and calling for greater transparency in government. His approach provides lessons for other scrappy Republican challengers next year.

Democrats can be pleased they dodged a bullet with Ms Tsongas' narrow victory, but it could prove a warning that voters are in such a sour mood that they are willing to punish both parties -- a possible portent of what the 2008 election may bring.

-- John Fund
Political Journal WSJ
24684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: October 17, 2007, 05:16:48 PM
Second post of the day:

As early as today, we'll find out whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really believes she can win a veto showdown with the president over a national security issue.

Ms. Pelosi is nudging legislation towards a floor vote to reauthorize the terrorist surveillance program for another two years. Mr. Bush has already said he will veto the bill for two reasons: It would severely hamper his ability to combat terrorism and does nothing to protect American phone companies from billion-dollar lawsuits for complying with government efforts to listen in on foreign phone calls involving suspected terrorists.

The ultra-liberal group MoveOn.org believes this is a fight Ms. Pelosi should make. On Monday, the organization blasted an email to 3.3 million supporters urging her into the fray. Trial lawyers, a big Democratic constituency that stands to benefit handsomely from such lawsuits, have been letting others carry the fight so far. Ms. Pelosi didn't mince words in a press conference last week in referring to Verizon, AT&T and other target companies: "These are not individual citizens without resources, these are major telecom companies with a phalanx of lawyers who understand the Constitution and the law. And if they have exposure, the courtroom is the place to go."

But Democrats would be wise to remember that they've lost elections and, ultimately, control of one house of Congress over the appearance of caring more about the party's bankrollers than national security. In 2002, Georgia Sen. Max Cleland lost his seat when Republican Saxby Chambliss ran a hard charging campaign that made an issue of Mr. Cleland's willingness to carry water for labor unions in establishing the Department of Homeland Security. Thanks partly to Mr. Cleland's loss, the GOP won back control of the Senate.

According to the New York Post, after al Qaeda operatives launched a sneak attack on American forces in Iraq last May, killing several GIs and capturing three others, a U.S. search-and-rescue team was halted from monitoring cell phone calls between enemy operatives because those calls were routed through American servers. For more than nine critical hours lawyers debated how to proceed. When confronted with incidents like that, voters might see the Democratic desire to let trial lawyers fatten their wallets at the expense of U.S. phone companies in a new light.

-- Brendan Miniter
24685  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Mala Leche on: October 17, 2007, 05:14:52 PM
Cubans Say 'Show Us the Moneda'

Cuba's acting leader Raul Castro has been accused of being paranoid, but he does have few things to worry about. Take the hot new release by one of Cuba's most popular bands, Moneda Dura. The song is called Mala Leche, which in Cuban slang means "evil intentions." Does it denounce Fidel or embrace the Miami exile community or capitalism? Nothing of the sort. It merely recites, in upbeat rap, a litany of problems that are driving everyday Cubans to despair: long bus lines, blackouts, uncollected garbage everywhere. "The role of the artist is to be aware of the situation he is living in," songwriter Nassiry Lugo told an MSNBC reporter.

That apparently is not how the Castro regime sees things. It has banned Mala Leche, without bothering to explain why. But as Mr. Lugo knows, anyone in Cuba can be thrown in the slammer for "dangerousness," a subjective judgment by the regime about what a person might be thinking. Mr. Lugo is willing to flirt with "dangerousness." He told his American interviewer: "If an idea is not dangerous, it doesn't deserve to be an idea."

Cuba already has the highest suicide rate in the hemisphere and the whole island, as the Castro regime drags itself on and on, seems to be nearing the end of its psychic rope. As one Havana commentator told MSNBC, perhaps the reason the government banned the song is that it is too "fatalistic."

And too popular. Word has it that Mala Leche is being downloaded to the Cuban underground and spreading like wildfire. What the government may still not understand is that the song is a symptom and not a cause of Cuban

political journal WSJ
24686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: October 17, 2007, 04:26:57 PM
See No Proliferation
Reality can't interfere with "diplomacy."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

The silence from the Bush Administration over Israel's recent bombing of a site in Syria gets louder by the day. U.S. officials continue to look the other way, even as reports multiply that Israel and U.S. intelligence analysts believe the site was a partly constructed nuclear reactor modeled after a North Korean design.

The weekend was full of reports about these intelligence judgments, first in the U.S. media then picked up by the Israeli press. Israel's former chief of military intelligence, Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, called them "logical." That's the term of art people use to confirm things in Israel when they want to get around the military censors.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Israel and offered her own non-confirmation confirmation. "We're very concerned about any evidence of, any indication of, proliferation," she said, according to the New York Times. "And we're handling those in appropriate diplomatic channels." Just what you need when your enemies are caught proliferating nuclear expertise--a little more diplomacy. The world is lucky Israel preferred to act against the threat, in what seems to have been a smaller version of its 1981 attack against Iraq's Osirak reactor.

Ms. Rice went on to say that "The issues of proliferation do not affect the Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts we are making," adding that "This is the time to be extremely careful." In other words, even if North Korea is spreading nuclear weapons, she doesn't want to say so in public because it might offend a country--Syria--that is refusing even to take part in the regional Palestinian-Israeli peace conference next month. That's certainly being "careful."





Or perhaps she fears offending North Korea, which the Bush Administration has agreed to trust for finally pledging to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and disavowing proliferation. In return for that promise, the U.S. is shipping fuel oil to Pyongyang and is taking steps to remove North Korea from its list of terror states. It would certainly be inconvenient, not to say politically embarrassing, if North Korea were found to be helping Syria get a bomb amid all of this diplomacy.
All the more so given that only last year, after North Korea exploded a nuclear device, President Bush explicitly warned North Korea against such proliferation. "America's position is clear," he said at the time. "The transfer of nuclear weapons or material will be considered a grave threat to the United States." More than once, Mr. Bush added that, "We will hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences."

Even granting some leeway in defining the words "fully accountable," they cannot mean winking at the spread of nuclear know-how to a U.S. enemy in the most dangerous corner of the world. With its continuing silence about what happened in Syria, the Bush Administration is undermining its own security credibility. More important, the see-no-evil pose is showing North Korea that it can cheat even on an agreement whose ink is barely dry--and without "consequences."

WSJ
24687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Attacks that didn on: October 17, 2007, 04:12:52 PM
Summer 2007: The Attack that Never Occurred
By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

The summer of 2007 was marked by threats and warnings of an imminent terrorist attack against the United States. In addition to the well-publicized warnings from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and a National Intelligence Estimate that al Qaeda was gaining strength, a former Israeli counterterrorism official warned that al Qaeda was planning a simultaneous attack against five to seven American cities. Another warning of an impending dirty bomb attack prompted the New York Police Department to set up vehicle checkpoints near the financial district in Lower Manhattan. In addition to these public warnings, U.S. government counterterrorism sources also told us privately that they were seriously concerned about the possibility of an attack.

All these warnings were followed by the Sept. 7 release of a video message from Osama bin Laden, who had not been seen on video since October 2004 or heard on audio tape since July 2006. Some were convinced that his reappearance -- and his veiled threat -- was the sign of a looming attack against the United States, or perhaps a signal for an attack to commence.

In spite of all these warnings and bin Laden's reappearance -- not the mention the relative ease with which an attack can be conducted -- no attack occurred this summer. Although our assessment is that the al Qaeda core has been damaged to the point that it no longer poses a strategic threat to the U.S. homeland, tactical attacks against soft targets remain simple to conduct and certainly are within the reach of jihadist operatives -- regardless of whether they are linked to the al Qaeda core.

We believe there are several reasons no attack occurred this summer -- or since 9/11 for that matter.

No Conscious Decision

Before we discuss these factors, we must note that the lack of an attack against the U.S. homeland since 9/11 has not been the result of a calculated decision by bin Laden and the core al Qaeda leadership. Far too many plots have been disrupted for that to be the case. Many of those foiled and failed attacks, such as the 2006 foiled plot to destroy airliners flying from London to the United States, the Library Tower Plot, Richard Reid's failed attempt to take down American Airlines flight 63 in December 2001 and Jose Padilla's activities -- bear connection to the core al Qaeda leadership.

So, if the core al Qaeda has desired, and even attempted, to strike the United States, why has it failed? Perhaps the greatest single factor is attitude -- among law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the public at large, the Muslim community and even the jihadists themselves.

Law Enforcement and Intelligence

Prior to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the FBI denied the existence of an international terrorism threat to the U.S. homeland, a stance reflected in the bureau's "Terrorism in the United States" publications in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Even after the radical Zionist Rabbi Meir Kahane was killed by a jihadist with connections to the Brooklyn Jihad Office and "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdul-Rahman, the FBI and Department of Justice denied the act was terrorism and left the investigation and the prosecution of the gunman, ElSayyid Nosair, to New York police and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. (Though they were greatly aided on the federal level by the Diplomatic Security Service, which ran investigative leads for them in Egypt and elsewhere.)

It was only after Nosair's associates detonated a large truck bomb in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in 1993 that the existence of a threat to the United States was recognized. Yet, even after that bombing and the disruption of other plots -- the July 1997 plot to bomb the New York subway system and the December 1999 Millennium Bomb Plot -- the apathy toward counterterrorism programs remained. This was most evident in the low levels of funding and manpower devoted to counterterrorism programs prior to 9/11. As noted in the 9/11 Commission Report, counterterrorism programs simply were not a priority.

Even the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing made no real difference. Some changes were made, such as physical security enhancements at federal buildings, but they were merely window dressing. The real problems, underlying structural problems in the U.S. government's counterterrorism efforts -- resources, priorities and intelligence-sharing -- were not addressed in a meaningful way.

Prior to 9/11, experts (including the two of us) lecturing to law enforcement and intelligence groups about the al Qaeda/transnational terrorist threat to the United States were met with indifference. Of course, following 9/11 some of those same groups paid careful attention to what the experts had to say. Transnational terrorism had become real to them. The 9/11 attacks sparked a sea change in attitudes within law enforcement and intelligence circles. Counterterrorism -- aggressively collecting intelligence pertaining to terrorism and pursuing terrorist leads -- is now a priority.

Citizen Awareness

Before the 1993 World Trade Center bombing the American public also was largely unconcerned about international terrorism. Even after that bombing, the public remained largely apathetic about the terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland. This was partly the result of the media's coverage of the 1993 bombing, which seemed to focus on the hapless, bumbling Mohamed Salameh and not the cunning and dangerous Abdel Basit (who is more widely known by his alias, Ramzi Yousef). Furthermore, the follow-on plot to that attack, the 1993 New York bomb plot -- for which Abdul-Rahman and some of his followers were accused of planning strikes against the Lincoln Tunnel and other New York City landmarks -- was thwarted. This led many to believe that the government had a handle on terrorism and that the United States was protected from such attacks. The second plot was thwarted before it could be executed, and most Americans never saw the gigantic crater (nearly 100 feet across) that the February 1993 truck bomb created through several floors of Building One's reinforced concrete parking garage. Instead, they saw only a bit of smoke billowing from the damaged building. The 1993 cases lacked the stunning visual displays of the 9/11 attacks.

The events of 9/11 also created a 180-degree change in how people think about terrorism and how they perceive and respond to suspicious activity. "If you see something, say something" has become a popular mantra, especially in New York and other large cities. Part of this stems from the changed attitudes of law enforcement officials, who not only have issued appeals in the press but also have made community outreach visits to nearly every flight school, truck driving school, chemical supply company, fertilizer dealer and storage rental company in the United States. Through media reports of terrorist plots and attacks, the public also has become much more aware of the precursor chemicals for improvised explosive mixtures and applies far more scrutiny to anyone attempting to procure them in bulk.

U.S. citizens also are far more aware of the importance of preoperational surveillance and -- fair or not -- it is now very difficult for a person wearing traditional Muslim dress to take a photograph of anything without being reported to the authorities by a concerned citizen.

This change in attitude is particularly significant in the Muslim community itself. Contrary to the hopes of bin Laden -- and the fears of the U.S. government -- the theology of jihadism has not taken root in the United States. Certainly there are individuals who have come to embrace this ideology, as the arrests of some grassroots activists demonstrate, but such people are very much the exception. In spite of some problems, the law enforcement community has forged some strong links to the Muslim community, and in several cases Muslims have even reported potential jihadists to law enforcement.

Even in places where jihadism has more successfully infiltrated the Muslim community, such as Europe, North Africa and Saudi Arabia, the jihadists still consider it preferable to wage the "real" jihad against "crusader troops" in places such as Iraq, rather than to attack soft civilian targets in the West or elsewhere. As unpopular as it is to say, in many ways Iraq has served as a sort of jihadist magnet, drawing young men from around the world to "martyr" themselves. Pragmatically, every young jihadist who travels from Europe or the Middle East to die in Baghdad or Ar Ramadi is one less who could attack Boston, London, Brussels or Rome.

Attitude is Everything

In late 1992 and early 1993, amateur planning was all that was required to conduct a successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In addition to the almost comical mistakes made by Salameh, serious gaffes also were made by Ahmed Ajaj and Basit as they prepared for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. However, because of the prevailing apathetic attitude among law enforcement officials and the public in general, those mistakes were not fatal to the operation.

Given the changes in attitude since 9/11, however, no operation conducted as poorly as the 1993 bombing would succeed today. Before the bombing, the FBI investigated the cell that carried it out, made the determination that the men were harmless fanatics and closed the investigation. That would not happen today, as even slightly goofy, wannabe terrorists such as the Miami Seven are vigorously investigated and prosecuted when possible.

When Ajaj and Basit flew into JFK Airport in September 1992, authorities pretty much ignored the fact that Ajaj was found transporting a large quantity of jihadist material, including bombmaking manuals and videos. Instead, he was sentenced to six months in jail for committing passport fraud -- a mere slap on the wrist -- and was then to be deported. Had authorities taken the time to carefully review the materials in Ajaj's briefcase, they would have found two boarding passes and two passports with exit stamps from Pakistan. Because of that oversight, no one noticed that Ajaj was traveling with a companion. Even when his co-conspirators called Ajaj in jail seeking his help in formulating their improvised explosive mixtures and recovering the bombmaking manuals, the calls were not traced. It was not until after the bombing that Ajaj's involvement was discovered, and he was convicted and sentenced.

These kinds of oversights would not occur now. Furthermore, the attitude of the public today makes it far more difficult for a conspirator like Niday Ayyad to order chemicals used to construct a bomb, or for the conspirators to receive and store such chemicals in a rented storage space without being reported to the authorities.

Another change in attitude has been on the legal front. Prior to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, there were no "terrorism" statutes concerning the use of weapons of mass destruction or acts of terrorism transcending national borders. Instead, prosecutors in terrorism cases struggled to apply existing laws. The defendants in the 1993 New York bomb plot case were not charged with conspiring to build bombs or commit acts of international terrorism. Rather, they were convicted on "seditious conspiracy" charges. Similarly, Salameh was convicted of violating the Special Agricultural Worker program and with damaging U.S. Secret Service cars stored in the basement of the World Trade Center building.

The U.S. security environment has indeed improved dramatically since 1993, largely as a result of the sweeping changes in attitude, though also to some extent due to the magnet effect of the war in Iraq. Success can engender complacency, however, and the lack of attacks could allow attitudes -- and thus counterterrorism resources -- to swing back toward the other end of the spectrum.

stratfor
24688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Superbug on: October 17, 2007, 12:37:11 PM
Antibiotic-resistant bacterium that causes severe infections has migrated from hospitals and now kills more Americans than AIDS.
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 17, 2007
The number of severe infections by a "superbug," known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, isat least twice as high as researchers previously believed, and the bacterium now kills more Americans than AIDS, researchers reported today.

The antibiotic-resistant infections, commonly called MRSA, were once confined to a few hospitals, but a new study by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2005 they made an estimated 94,000 Americans seriously ill and killed almost 19,000, compared with 17,000 who died of AIDS.

"Certainly, MRSA now has to be viewed as a very important target for prevention and control," said Dr. David A. Talan, an infectious diseases specialist at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar who was not involved in the study.

The infections have been a growing concern, particularly over the last decade, as they have spread outside hospitals, popping up in prisons, athletic fields and locker rooms.

The study reported that nearly 14% of new antibiotic-resistant staph infections are not linked to hospitals or other medical facilities, indicating that the disease has become ingrained in parts of the wider community.

The finding, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., is the latest evidence of a widespread pattern of increasing drug resistance among a variety of infectious agents, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, antibiotic-resistant Clostridium difficile and other once-innocuous organisms.

Some hospitals, gyms and other public facilities have begun to implement more stringent infection controls to prevent the spread of the bacterium, such as more thorough scrubbing of equipment, using hotter water for laundry, banning towel sharing and increasing the use of disinfectants.

The bacterium also remains susceptible to some powerful and expensive antibiotics, such as vancomycin. But experts fear that the ability of the bacterium to mutate will outpace the ability of scientists to create new drugs.

The spread of resistant organisms is "astounding," Dr. Elizabeth A. Bancroft, an epidemiologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, wrote in an editorial accompanying the report.

Bancroft said the reported incidence of resistant staph infections is just "the tip of the iceberg" because the CDC researchers studied only blood-borne infections that find their way into internal organisms.

Several studies have found that such infections represent only 6% to 9% of all MRSA infections, which can also thrive on the skin in a more innocuous form, waiting for the opportunity to enter the body.

"It appears that the total burden of MRSA is much greater than what was estimated in this study," she said.

Most forms of the staph bacterium are easily killed with common antibiotics, such as amoxicillin. But beginning in 1968, researchers began to see variants that required treatment with stronger antibiotics.

Experts attribute the emergence of the superbugs to indiscriminate use of antibiotics, the failure of patients to complete their antibiotic regimens and the use of antibiotics in animal feed. In each case, incomplete eradication of the bacteria leads to mutations that have increased resistance to the drugs.

Confined to the surface of the skin, the bacteria do minimal damage. But in hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers, they can hitch a ride inside the body on needles and other invasive devices, spreading through the bloodstream and causing severe illness.

In the same fashion, they can be spread by tattooing and drug use in prisons and by cuts and abrasions on the athletic field. In 2003, four members of the USC football team were hospitalized and three more infected by MRSA.

Doctors have been aware of the growing staph problem, but there were no hard data to document it.

The new results were obtained by Dr. R. Monina Klevens of the CDC and her colleagues as part of the agency's ongoing Active Bacterial Core surveillance program, which monitors infections in nine regions of the U.S., including San Francisco, Baltimore, Atlanta and Denver. All infections were laboratory confirmed.

The group observed 8,987 cases of blood-borne MRSA infections in the survey area, which was extrapolated to come up with a nationwide estimate of 94,360 cases. There were 1,598 deaths in the area, corresponding to 18,650 deaths nationwide.

Only 26.6% of the cases were infections that occurred in hospitals. An additional 58.4% were infections that occurred in the community but were linked to hospitalization or medical procedures. Infections unrelated to medical procedures accounted for 13.7% of cases.

Infection rates were highest among those older than 65, and African Americans were twice as likely as whites to suffer an infection. In both groups, Klevens said, the higher rates were most likely due to a higher incidence of chronic diseases, which both weaken patients and send them more often to the hospital, where they come in contact with the bacterium.

For infants younger than 1, the rate was four times as high in blacks as in whites.

Healthcare advocates argue that hospitals need to improve hygiene. Some studies, for example, show that hospital workers wash their hands only about half as often as guidelines recommend.

Other critics say hospitals should screen all newly admitted patients for MRSAs and isolate those found to be positive. Hospitals, however, say such isolated patients are likely to receive less care because of the inconvenience associated with entering their rooms.

Despite the best efforts of scientists, the rapid evolution of bacteria gives them a major advantage, as illustrated by another report in the journal detailing the appearance of an ear infection resistant to all antibiotics approved for use in children.

Dr. Michael E. Pichichero and Dr. Janet R. Casey of the University of Rochester reported on nine ear infections caused by a multi-drug resistant strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae that succumbed only to a powerful antibiotic known as Levaquin, whose label carries a warning against using it in children.

The first four children were successfully treated by inserting tubes in their ears, which allowed the infections to resolve naturally. The last five were given a ground-up Levaquin pill, which ended the infection with no adverse effects.

Physicians agreed that Levaquin should be used in children only as a last resort, and only if the bacterium in question has been grown in culture and shown to be susceptible.

thomas.maugh@latimes.com
24689  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Dog Brothers Tribe on: October 17, 2007, 11:51:44 AM
Woof All:

The most recent Dog Brothers Gathering in Switzerland was a great success with tremendous DB spirit displayed-- see Lonely Dog's report nearby.  Naturally, the DB tribe continues to grow.  cool

"Higher Consciousness through Harder Contact" (c)
Crafty Dog
Guiding Force of the Dog Brothers
=======================

Ivan "Kuma Dog" Reboli
Marlon "C-Red Dog" Höss-Böttger
Stefan "C-Cro Dog" Konstanjevec
Marcus "C-? Dog" Schillinger


"Dog" Christian Eckert
"Dog" Daniel Budar
"Dog" Jiri Söderblom
"Dog" Oskar Bernal
"Dog" Lars Christie
"Dog" Riccardo Bassani
"Dog" Roberto Cereda
"Dog" Michele Gemini
"Cat" Lynn Brown

24690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia on: October 17, 2007, 11:41:08 AM
And a fifth post-- also important!

ISRAEL, RUSSIA: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will travel to Russia on Oct. 18 for surprise talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and will return to Israel the same day, Olmert's office said. The discussions reportedly will focus on the Palestinian peace process and Iran's nuclear program and regional ambitions.

RUSSIA, IRAN: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is serious about finishing Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, IranMania reported. Putin said there are some minor issues that need to be resolved before the plant's completion and asserted that delays have been because of technical and legal issues and are not politically motivated. Putin said Russia and Iran have signed an agreement that the nuclear fuel from Bushehr must be returned to Russia, an issue "on top of the agenda in meeting between experts from the two sides."

stratfor.com
24691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Russia warns on: October 17, 2007, 11:39:07 AM
Fourth post of the morning.  In my opinion, all of them are quite important.
===========================

Geopolitical Diary: Russia Warns Against U.S. Military Action in Iran

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday finally arrived in Tehran for meetings with Iranian leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He also met with leaders from Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Putin's meetings with Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his visit to Iran the center of discussion rather than the Caspian summit that was taking place. Leaks of assassination threats had already called attention to the visit. In order to thwart such threats and showcase his bravery, Putin arrived late from Germany and his time of arrival was not announced; this helped bring global attention to the meeting.

What came out of the meeting was not surprising but it was very important. Putin made it known that Russia would oppose any U.S. military action against Iran. More significant, he reached an agreement with the leaders of Caspian states that none of them would permit their soil to be used by the United States for such an attack. Putin was quoted as saying, "We should not even think of using force in this region. We need to agree that using the territory of one Caspian Sea [state] in the event of aggression against another is impossible."

The immediate target of the comments was Azerbaijan, where there has been discussion of U.S. use of airfields in the event of war against Iran. Putin made it clear -- and there did not seem to be much dissent -- that general cooperation by former Soviet Union nations with the United States in a war against Iran would place them on a collision course with Russia. This was not Russia's position in Afghanistan or Iraq. Moscow is taking a different tack on Iran.

Two themes have now merged. Until this point, the Russians have used U.S. preoccupation with Iraq to increase their influence in the former Soviet Union. Now Putin has upped the ante, making it clear that Russia can dictate the parameters of acceptable behavior to at least the countries around the Caspian and, by logical extension, in the former Soviet Union. It is certainly important that Putin does not want a U.S. attack against Iran. It is extremely important that Putin is now openly limiting the freedom of action of former Soviet republics. He is making Iran a test case.

Putin has a range of levers to use against these countries, the most important being the fact that their ministries, police and military forces are deeply penetrated by the Russian FSB, the successor to the KGB. Put differently, as Soviet states, these countries' regimes were intimately tied to the KGB. Following independence, that relationship did not atrophy. Apart from economic and military options, the Russians know what is happening in these countries, and can influence their affairs with relative ease. In Tehran Putin read the riot act to Azerbaijan, and we expect that it heard it.

The Russians did not give Tehran everything it wanted. No apparent breakthrough was reached on the question of Russian support for construction of an Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr. Putin refused to give guarantees on resumption of fuel deliveries, but did agree to discuss it with the Iranians during a planned visit by Ahmadinejad to Moscow. But Putin did give two important things: he said Russia would oppose military intervention and that it would work to prevent any Caspian state from participating in such intervention.

This of course leaves the question of what Russia might do. Its ability to protect Iran is negligible. However, during the Cold War the Soviets practiced linkage. During the Cuban missile crisis, the United States expected Russia to do nothing in Cuba, but to act against Berlin in response to an invasion. Russia will not do anything directly to help Iran. But Moscow is interested in countries in the former Soviet Union, where Russia wants to redefine its status and the United States has few military options. Georgia in the Caucasus and the Baltic countries are of interest to the United States and very vulnerable to Russian response.

Putin did two things at the meeting. First, he opposed a U.S. attack against Iran. He then implicitly claimed primacy within the former Soviet Union, imposing solidarity among Caspian states. It is the second thing that is the most striking. In doing this, Putin implicitly broadened the range of responses possible if the United States does attack Iran.
24692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia on: October 17, 2007, 11:36:12 AM
Third post of the morning:

The Russia Problem
By Peter Zeihan

For the past several days, high-level Russian and American policymakers, including U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Russian President Vladimir Putin's right-hand man, Sergei Ivanov, have been meeting in Moscow to discuss the grand scope of U.S.-Russian relations. These talks would be of critical importance to both countries under any circumstances, as they center on the network of treaties that have governed Europe since the closing days of the Cold War.

Against the backdrop of the Iraq war, however, they have taken on far greater significance. Both Russia and the United States are attempting to rewire the security paradigms of key regions, with Washington taking aim at the Middle East and Russia more concerned about its former imperial territory. The two countries' visions are mutually incompatible, and American preoccupation with Iraq is allowing Moscow to overturn the geopolitics of its backyard.

The Iraqi Preoccupation

After years of organizational chaos, the United States has simplified its plan for Iraq: Prevent Iran from becoming a regional hegemon. Once-lofty thoughts of forging a democracy in general or supporting a particular government were abandoned in Washington well before the congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus. Reconstruction is on the back burner and even oil is now an afterthought at best. The entirety of American policy has been stripped down to a single thought: Iran.

That thought is now broadly held throughout not only the Bush administration but also the American intelligence and defense communities. It is not an unreasonable position. An American exodus from Iraq would allow Iran to leverage its allies in Iraq's Shiite South to eventually gain control of most of Iraq. Iran's influence also extends to significant Shiite communities on the Persian Gulf's western oil-rich shore. Without U.S. forces blocking the Iranians, the military incompetence of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar could be perceived by the Iranians as an invitation to conquer that shore. That would land roughly 20 million barrels per day of global oil output -- about one-quarter of the global total -- under Tehran's control. Rhetoric aside, an outcome such as this would push any U.S. president into a broad regional war to prevent a hostile power from shutting off the global economic pulse.

So the United States, for better or worse, is in Iraq for the long haul. This requires some strategy for dealing with the other power with the most influence in the country, Iran. This, in turn, leaves the United States with two options: It can simply attempt to run Iraq as a protectorate forever, a singularly unappealing option, or it can attempt to strike a deal with Iran on the issue of Iraq -- and find some way to share influence.

Since the release of the Petraeus report in September, seeking terms with Iran has become the Bush administration's unofficial goal, but the White House does not want substantive negotiations until the stage is appropriately set. This requires that Washington build a diplomatic cordon around Iran -- intensifying Tehran's sense of isolation -- and steadily ratchet up the financial pressure. Increasing bellicose rhetoric from European capitals and the lengthening list of major banks that are refusing to deal with Iran are the nuts and bolts of this strategy.

Not surprisingly, Iran views all this from a starkly different angle. Persia has historically been faced with a threat of invasion from its western border -- with the most recent threat manifesting in a devastating 1980-1988 war that resulted in a million deaths. The primary goal of Persia's foreign policy stretching back a millennium has been far simpler than anything the United States has cooked up: Destroy Mesopotamia. In 2003, the United States was courteous enough to handle that for Iran.

Now, Iran's goals have expanded and it seeks to leverage the destruction of its only meaningful regional foe to become a regional hegemon. This requires leveraging its Iraqi assets to bleed the Americans to the point that they leave. But Iran is not immune to pressure. Tehran realizes that it might have overplayed its hand internationally, and it certainly recognizes that U.S. efforts to put it in a noose are bearing some fruit. What Iran needs is its own sponsor -- and that brings to the Middle East a power that has not been present there for quite some time: Russia.

Option One: Parity

The Russian geography is problematic. It lacks oceans to give Russia strategic distance from its foes and it boasts no geographic barriers separating it from Europe, the Middle East or East Asia. Russian history is a chronicle of Russia's steps to establish buffers -- and of those buffers being overwhelmed. The end of the Cold War marked the transition from Russia's largest-ever buffer to its smallest in centuries. Put simply, Russia is terrified of being overwhelmed -- militarily, economically, politically and culturally -- and its policies are geared toward re-establishing as large a buffer as possible.

As such, Russia needs to do one of two things. The first is to re-establish parity. As long as the United States thinks of Russia as an inferior power, American power will continue to erode Russian security. Maintain parity and that erosion will at least be reduced. Putin does not see this parity coming from a conflict, however. While Russia is far stronger now -- and still rising -- than it was following the 1998 ruble crash, Putin knows full well that the Soviet Union fell in part to an arms race. Attaining parity via the resources of a much weaker Russia simply is not an option.

So parity would need to come via the pen, not the sword. A series of three treaties ended the Cold War and created a status of legal parity between the United States and Russia. The first, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), restricts how much conventional defense equipment each state in NATO and the former Warsaw Pact, and their successors, can deploy. The second, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), places a ceiling on the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles that the United States and Russia can possess. The third, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), eliminates entirely land-based short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles with ranges of 300 to 3,400 miles, as well as all ground-launched cruise missiles from NATO and Russian arsenals.

The constellation of forces these treaties allow do not provide what Russia now perceives its security needs to be. The CFE was all fine and dandy in the world in which it was first negotiated, but since then every Warsaw Pact state -- once on the Russian side of the balance sheet -- has joined NATO. The "parity" that was hardwired into the European system in 1990 is now lopsided against the Russians.

START I is by far the Russians' favorite treaty, since it clearly treats the Americans and Russians as bona fide equals. But in the Russian mind, it has a fateful flaw: It expires in 2009, and there is about zero support in the United States for renewing it. The thinking in Washington is that treaties were a conflict management tool of the 20th century, and as American power -- constrained by Iraq as it is -- continues to expand globally, there is no reason to enter into a treaty that limits American options. This philosophical change is reflected on both sides of the American political aisle: Neither the Bush nor Clinton administrations have negotiated a new full disarmament treaty.

Finally, the INF is the worst of all worlds for Russia. Intermediate-range missiles are far cheaper than intercontinental ones. If it does come down to an arms race, Russia will be forced to turn to such systems if it is not to be left far behind an American buildup.

Russia needs all three treaties to be revamped. It wants the CFE altered to reflect an expanded NATO. It wants START I extended (and preferably deepened) to limit long-term American options. It wants the INF explicitly linked to the other two treaties so that Russian options can expand in a pinch -- or simply discarded in favor of a more robust START I.

The problem with the first option is that it assumes the Americans are somewhat sympathetic to Russian concerns. They are not.

Recall that the dominant concern in the post-Cold War Kremlin is that the United States will nibble along the Russian periphery until Moscow itself falls. The fear is as deeply held as it is accurate. Only three states have ever threatened the United States: The first, the United Kingdom, was lashed into U.S. global defense policy; the second, Mexico, was conquered outright; and the third was defeated in the Cold War. The addition of the Warsaw Pact and the Baltic states to NATO, the basing of operations in Central Asia and, most important, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine have made it clear to Moscow that the United States plays for keeps.

The Americans see it as in their best interest to slowly grind Russia into dust. Those among our readers who can identify with "duck and cover" can probably relate to the logic of that stance. So, for option one to work, Russia needs to have leverage elsewhere. That elsewhere is in Iran.

Via the U.N. Security Council, Russian cooperation can ensure Iran's diplomatic isolation. Russia's past cooperation on Iran's Bushehr nuclear power facility holds the possibility of a Kremlin condemnation of Iran's nuclear ambitions. A denial of Russian weapons transfers to Iran would hugely empower ongoing U.S. efforts to militarily curtail Iranian ambitions. Put simply, Russia has the ability to throw Iran under the American bus -- but it will not do it for free. In exchange, it wants those treaties amended in its favor, and it wants American deference on security questions in the former Soviet Union.

The Moscow talks of the past week were about addressing all of Russian concerns about the European security structure, both within and beyond the context of the treaties, with the offer of cooperation on Iran as the trade-off. After days of talks, the Americans refused to budge on any meaningful point.

Option Two: Imposition

Russia has no horse in the Iraq war. Moscow had feared that its inability to leverage France and Germany to block the war in the first place would allow the United States to springboard to other geopolitical victories. Instead, the Russians are quite pleased to see the American nose bloodied. They also are happy to see Iran engrossed in events to its west. When Iran and Russia strengthen -- as both are currently -- they inevitably begin to clash as their growing spheres of influence overlap in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In many ways, Russia is now enjoying the best of all worlds: Its Cold War archrival is deeply occupied in a conflict with one of Moscow's own regional competitors.

In the long run, however, the Russians have little doubt that the Americans will eventually prevail. Iran lacks the ability to project meaningful power beyond the Persian Gulf, while the Russians know from personal experience how good the Americans are at using political, economic, military and alliance policy to grind down opponents. The only question in the Russian mind pertains to time frame.

If the United States is not willing to rejigger the European-Russian security framework, then Moscow intends to take advantage of a distracted United States to impose a new reality upon NATO. The United States has dedicated all of its military ground strength to Iraq, leaving no wiggle room should a crisis erupt anywhere else in the world. Should Russia create a crisis, there is nothing the United States can do to stop it.

So crisis-making is about to become Russia's newest growth industry. The Kremlin has a very long list of possibilities, which includes:


Destabilizing the government of Ukraine: The Sept. 30 elections threaten to result in the re-creation of the Orange Revolution that so terrifies Moscow. With the United States largely out of the picture, the Russians will spare no effort to ensure that Ukraine remains as dysfunctional as possible.

Azerbaijan is emerging as a critical energy transit state for Central Asian petroleum, as well as an energy producer in its own right. But those exports are wholly dependent upon Moscow's willingness not to cause problems for Baku.

The extremely anti-Russian policies of the former Soviet state of Georgia continue to be a thorn in Russia's side. Russia has the ability to force a territorial breakup or to outright overturn the Georgian government using anything from a hit squad to an armored division.

EU states obviously have mixed feelings about Russia's newfound aggression and confidence, but the three Baltic states in league with Poland have successfully hijacked EU foreign policy with regard to Russia, effectively turning a broadly cooperative relationship hostile. A small military crisis with the Balts would not only do much to consolidate popular support for the Kremlin but also would demonstrate U.S. impotence in riding to the aid of American allies.

Such actions not only would push Russian influence back to the former borders of the Soviet Union but also could overturn the belief within the U.S. alliance structure that the Americans are reliable -- that they will rush to their allies' aid at any time and any place. That belief ultimately was the heart of the U.S. containment strategy during the Cold War. Damage that belief and the global security picture changes dramatically. Barring a Russian-American deal on treaties, inflicting that damage is once again a full-fledged goal of the Kremlin. The only question is whether the American preoccupation in Iraq will last long enough for the Russians to do what they think they need to do.

Luckily for the Russians, they can impact the time frame of American preoccupation with Iraq. Just as the Russians have the ability to throw the Iranians under the bus, they also have the ability to empower the Iranians to stand firm.

On Oct. 16, Putin became the first Russian leader since Leonid Brezhnev to visit Iran, and in negotiations with the Iranian leadership he laid out just how his country could help. Formally, the summit was a meeting of the five leaders of the Caspian Sea states, but in reality the meeting was a Russian-Iranian effort to demonstrate to the Americans that Iran does not stand alone.

A good part of the summit involved clearly identifying differences with American policy. The right of states to nuclear energy was affirmed, the existence of energy infrastructure that undermines U.S. geopolitical goals was supported and a joint statement pledged the five states to refuse to allow "third parties" from using their territory to attack "the Caspian Five." The last is a clear bullying of Azerbaijan to maintain distance from American security plans.

But the real meat is in bilateral talks between Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the two sides are sussing out how Russia's ample military experience can be applied to Iran's U.S. problem. Some of the many, many possibilities include:


Kilo-class submarines: The Iranians already have two and the acoustics in the Persian Gulf are notoriously bad for tracking submarines. Any U.S. military effort against Iran would necessitate carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf.

Russia fields the Bal-E, a ground-launched Russian version of the Harpoon anti-ship missile. Such batteries could threaten any U.S. surface ship in the Gulf. A cheaper option could simply involve the installation of Russian coastal artillery systems.

Russia and India have developed the BrahMos anti-ship cruise missile, which has the uniquely deadly feature of being able to be launched from land, ship, submarine or air. While primarily designed to target surface vessels, it also can act as a more traditional -- and versatile -- cruise missile and target land targets.

Flanker fighters are a Russian design (Su-27/Su-30) that compares very favorably to frontline U.S. fighter jets. Much to the U.S. Defense Department's chagrin, Indian pilots in Flankers have knocked down some U.S. pilots in training scenarios.

The S-300 anti-aircraft system is still among the best in the world, and despite eviscerated budgets, the Russians have managed to operationalize several upgrades since the end of the Cold War. It boasts both a far longer range and far more accuracy than the Tor-M1 and Pantsyr systems on which Iran currently depends.

Such options only scratch the surface of what the Russians have on order, and the above only discusses items of use in a direct Iranian-U.S. military conflict. Russia also could provide Iran with an endless supply of less flashy equipment to contribute to intensifying Iranian efforts to destabilize Iraq itself.

For now, the specifics of Russian transfers to Iran are tightly held, but they will not be for long. Russia has as much of an interest in getting free advertising for its weapons systems as Iran has in demonstrating just how high a price it will charge the United States for any attack.

But there is one additional reason this will not be a stealth relationship.

The Kremlin wants Washington to be fully aware of every detail of how Russian sales are making the U.S. Army's job harder, so that the Americans have all the information they need to make appropriate decisions as regards Russia's role. Moscow is not doing this because it is vindictive; this is simply how the Russians do business, and they are open to a new deal.

Russia has neither love for the Iranians nor a preference as to whether Moscow reforges its empire or has that empire handed back. So should the United States change its mind and seek an accommodation, Putin stands perfect ready to betray the Iranians' confidence.

For a price.
stratfor
24693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 17, 2007, 11:21:33 AM
Geopolitical Diary: The Iranian Goal of Sunni-Shiite Relations in Iraq

Ammar al-Hakim, the son of the leader of Iraq's most powerful and pro-Iranian Shiite party, visited the Sunni province of Anbar on Oct. 14. Al-Hakim, who is being groomed to succeed Abdel Aziz al-Hakim as head of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), met with Ahmed Abu Risha, who leads the anti-jihadist Sunni tribal force, the Anbar Salvation Council.

In an Eid prayer sermon Oct. 13, the younger al-Hakim called for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and rejected the possibility of permanent foreign (read U.S.) military bases, stressing the need for the creation of autonomous regions there. These comments and the visit to the Sunni heartland occurred a few days after the ailing senior al-Hakim returned from a long stay in Iran.

The SIIC and its Iranian patrons are the architects of the call for the creation of the self-governing Shiite region in southern Iraq, which they have been pushing for several years. What is new, however, is the rejection of bases, which fits with Iranian plans to fill the vacuum created by a withdrawal of U.S. forces. It should be noted that this call is not coming from the maverick Muqtada al-Sadr, but from the Shiite establishment and the party that also happens to be the main working partner of the United States.

Even more significant is the visit to Sunni central Iraq and the meeting with a Sunni group that is aligned with the United States in the fight against al Qaeda and its jihadist allies. The Iranians and their Iraqi Shiite proxies abhor U.S. dealings with the Sunni forces independent of Baghdad and have long demanded that Washington try stabilizing Iraq as part of a broad comprehensive arrangement with Tehran.

But from the U.S. viewpoint, its relationship with certain elements among Iraq's Sunni community is beneficial. First, it allows Washington to undercut the Sunni insurgency, especially its jihadist component. Second and more important, a relationship with the Sunnis could help the United States counter Iranian influence in Iraq.

The Iranians realize this but thus far have lacked the means to counteract U.S. moves, largely because they lack a liaison within the Sunni community with which they could establish a working relationship. Al-Hakim's meeting with the Sunni tribal chieftain indicates that Iran might have finally found a way to get around the problem.

Abu Risha's council and the Shia both view the jihadists as their enemy, which could become a good starting point for a future relationship. The Sunni tribal force also is competing with fellow Sunni political, religious and insurgent groups, which further works to the advantage of the Iranians since it could allow Tehran to divide the Sunni community in order to contain the Baathists, whom the Shia and Iranians view as the real threat among the Sunnis. However, a successful Sunni-Shiite relationship would be hard for Iran to achieve for numerous reasons -- the ethnic and sectarian divide in Iraq being one of the biggest obstacles to overcome.

Forging ties with certain Sunnis certainly has its long-term advantages for the Shia regarding their ability to maintain their domination in Baghdad. But more immediate is the Iranian need to counter U.S. moves to undercut its influence in Iraq. Sunnis closely aligned with the United States and open to working with pro-Iranian Shia could go a long way in helping the Persian ayatollahs achieve this objective.

stratfor
24694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Turkey on: October 17, 2007, 11:20:17 AM
Turkey: Re-evaluating the U.S. Alliance
Summary

A pending resolution before the U.S. Congress that calls the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide has brought to light a growing strain in U.S.-Turkish relations. This latest episode seriously threatens to complicate U.S. military logistics into Iraq should Turkey carry out threats to limit U.S. access to the air base in the southeastern Turkish city of Incirlik. The Armenian genocide issue, as well as U.S. protests over Turkish incursions into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels, strike at the core of Turkish geopolitics, and will push Ankara into re-evaluating its long-standing alliance with the United States.

Analysis

New U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen called up his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, on Oct. 15 to discuss the repercussions to U.S.-Turkish relations from the proposed Armenian bill before the U.S. Congress. The bill labels the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide. The big fear in the Pentagon is that if the resolution passes, Turkey will follow through with threats to further limit use of Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Turkey for support of operations in Iraq.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the current strain between Washington and Ankara with a Turkish idiom, saying recently, "Where the rope is worn thin, may it break off." Such big threats coming out of Ankara over a symbolic resolution on an event that occurred almost a century ago might seem odd at first glance. But they become clearer once it is understood that the Armenian issue, as well as Turkey's military push into northern Iraq against Kurdish rebels, are issues that cut to the heart of Turkish geopolitics -- and thus carry significant implications for the future of U.S.-Turkish relations.

Prior to World War I, Turkey was a model multiethnic and multireligious empire that commanded the Mediterranean and Black Sea trade routes. The Ottoman Empire was the geopolitical pivot between Europe, Russia and Persia, allowing it to develop into a global economic and military power. The outcome of World War I, however, drastically altered the geopolitical landscape of the region as the West infected the empire with ethnic nationalism that broke the bonds of Ottoman control. Turkey then faced a choice: Try (and fail) to continue as a multiethnic empire as its minorities broke away, or jump on the bandwagon and consolidate its own emerging nationalism. It chose the latter. The geography of Turkey is not amenable to clearly defined borders, however, which meant the birth of the modern Turkish republic defined by nationality inevitably would entail ugly episodes such as the 1915 Armenian mass killings and repeated killing of Kurds in order to solidify a self-sufficient Turkish state.




This takes us back to a pivotal point in Turkish history: the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, which sealed the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. At that time, the victorious European powers drew up a treaty to dismember the Ottoman Empire by ceding territory to Greece (including the key northern shore of the Dardanelles), giving Armenia more territory than it could manage and creating the conditions for an independent Kurdish state. The West, in essence, had abolished Turkish sovereignty.

These were, of course, unacceptable terms to the Turks, who then spent the next three years regaining their territory from the Greeks, Armenians and Kurds and reversing the terms of the treaty to ensure the survival of the Turkish nation-state as opposed to the multiethnic Ottoman Empire. But the damage had still been done. To this day, Turkey is locked into a sort of Sevres syndrome, under which any Western interference in Turkey's ethnic minority issues must be confronted as long as Turkey defines itself by its nationality. So, if Turkey feels the need to set up a solid buffer zone along its border with northern Iraq to contain the Kurds and swoop in with troops when it sees fit, there is little the United States can do to stop it.

The same argument was taking place in Turkey following the 1991 Gulf War, when the Iraqi Kurds were granted autonomy. Soon enough, Turkey in 1995 sent 35,000 troops into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels and squash Iraqi Kurdish aspirations for independence. The same episode is repeating itself today, as Iraqi Kurdistan has made strides in attracting foreign investment and extending its autonomy since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Turkey opposed the invasion by refusing U.S. access to Turkish military bases, and now is threatening to set up roadblocks along the U.S. military's logistics chain into Iraq and upset Washington's relations with the Kurds.

And this probably is just the beginning. Since the end of the Cold War, Turkey's neighborhood -- and its relationship with Washington -- has drastically changed. Attempts to become a Central Asian or European power have failed, and the Turks are looking in different directions for opportunities. The Iraq war has proven that U.S. and Turkish security concerns are no longer in lockstep, leading Turkey to re-evaluate its alliance with the United States.

From the Turks' viewpoint, the United States can no longer be viewed as a stabilizing force, as it has been since World War II. Moreover, Turkey no longer is a weak economic force and is not as reliant on the United States for its security. Turkey's rapid economic growth and its strong military tradition are creating the conditions for Ankara to pull itself out of its post-World War I insularity and extend itself in the region once again. As a result, Turkey's foreign policy no longer needs to tie itself to the United States, and Ankara can afford to make bold moves concerning issues -- whether those issues relate to the Kurds, Armenians or Greeks -- without losing too much sleep over any follow-on damage to its relationship with the United States. If the United States is going to act as the destabilizing force in the region through creating a major upheaval in Iraq, Turkey must at the very least attempt to take control of the situations within its old sphere of influence.

But this does not mean Turkey can make a clean break from the United States either, at least not any time in the near future. Turkey's growth is still fragile and needs more time to become consolidated. Turkey also faces resistance in every direction that it pushes, from Greece in the Balkans, Iran, Iraq and Syria in the Middle East and Russia in the Caucasus. Turkey's current position puts it into a geopolitical context where Iran is rising to Turkey's southeast and a resurgent Russia is bearing down on the Caucasus and even hinting at returning its naval fleet to the Mediterranean. In the near term, a major power is needed in Iraq to keep the Iranians at bay, and the Turks would prefer that the Americans do the heavy lifting on this since Iraq already is in disarray. Meanwhile, Turkey will move forward with its grand strategy of keeping Iraqi Kurdistan in check.

stratfor
24695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Geo Political matters on: October 17, 2007, 11:09:10 AM
Iran: Keeping an Eye on Washington and Moscow
Summary

Talks between U.S. and Russian officials have entered a critical round and have given Iran -- which figures heavily in the negotiations -- something to be concerned about.

Analysis

Stratfor on Oct. 11 highlighted the details of the agenda for upcoming high-level talks between the United States and Russia, along with how Iran will figure heavily in these negotiations. The degree to which either side is willing to make concessions is unclear, but the Washington-Moscow talks have entered a critical round.

Therefore, Iran cannot be oblivious to what is transpiring between the Kremlin and the White House. It could be that nothing substantive will come from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates' visit to Russia, in which case the Iranians do not have much to worry about. There are, however, indications from within the clerical regime that it is concerned (to put it mildly) that Russia could sell it out to the United States for the right price.

Hassan Rohani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative on the Supreme National Security Council, scathingly criticized his country's nuclear policy Oct. 11, saying that the sanctions it has prompted are badly hurting the Iranian economy. Rohani, who also is a senior member of top Iranian clerical body the Assembly of Experts, was quoted by Iranian daily Etemad Melli as saying, "At the moment, we are under threats in the international domain more than ever. … The country's diplomacy is successful when it does not let the enemy unite other countries against our national interests."

Rohani's comments clearly underscore the grave concerns within the Iranian establishment's highest echelons about the growing possibility of Iran's isolation. Tehran was, for a long time, able to maintain a wedge between the United States and the European Union. With the emergence of new European governments in Germany and France, Iran depended more on Russia and China to block U.S.-sponsored resolutions in the U.N. Security Council calling for tougher action against Iran.

If Iran is about to lose Russian support as well, Tehran could be completely vulnerable; China is unlikely to stand up for the Iranians on its own. Additionally, Moscow could make a commitment to Washington not to sell weapons to Iran or complete the Bushehr nuclear power plant -- a move that would force the Iranians to reshape their policy. An isolated Iran is just what the United States needs in order to force a settlement on Iraq more or less on its own terms.

Iran's position in Iraq is not superb, either; the Iranians are having a hard time keeping the Shia together and recently brokered a truce between their main proxy, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, and the al-Sadrite movement. Tehran also knows that U.S. forces will not be withdrawn any time soon, and thus there will be no vacuum for the Iranians to fill. Given these circumstances, waiting out the United States in order to consolidate its influence in Iraq is becoming a more untenable option for Tehran.

Thus, a U.S.-Russian agreement -- or lack thereof -- will determine the future course of U.S.-Iranian dealings on Iraq.

stratfor
24696  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Oil infrastructure bombings on: October 17, 2007, 11:04:49 AM
Mexico: Examining Oil Infrastructure Bombings
Since July, several facilities belonging to Mexican state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) have been attacked. A report of a blast Oct. 11 along a Pemex pipeline in Michoacan state immediately gave rise to fears of another attack against Mexico's energy infrastructure, though the company said Oct. 12 that there was no explosion, only a natural gas leak.

The attacks against Pemex facilities are only adding to Mexico's unstable security situation (which currently includes a war against drug cartels). Four groups in Mexico would benefit from either the security or political fallout from attacks against Mexican energy infrastructure: the Gulf drug cartel, oil industry union agitators, political opposition to Mexican President Felipe Calderon's government and the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) leftist rebel group, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks that have occurred since July, saying the bombings are part of an effort to force the release of jailed members.

One theory that U.S. counternarcotics sources have floated is that the Gulf drug cartel is facilitating EPR's bombing campaign, since many of the attacks have occurred in the cartel's territory. This alleged link would explain how EPR operated in the cartel's territory without fear of reprisal, since the Gulf cartel is believed capable of extending its influence over most criminal activities in its territories. The cartel's motive for supporting the bombings would be to shift government security forces toward protecting Mexico's strategic infrastructure and away from counternarcotics operations. However, Mexican investigators believe this is the least likely scenario and have yet to find evidence pointing to the cartel as the instigator.




Some Mexican investigators believe the bombings are the work of saboteurs from petroleum industry labor unions who are unhappy with the Pemex administration, according to a former Mexican law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation. Due to links between labor unions and leftist organizations, overlap between EPR and the unions could have led to the attacks.

The bombings also might have been the work of agitators from the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). Privately, the PRD theory is popular among Mexican officials. PRD's presidential candidate in 2006, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, hotly contested the election, which was marred by allegations of voter fraud and other misconduct. As the only viable leftist party in Mexico, PRD attracts diverse elements from the leftist political spectrum, ranging from the middle-left to radicals.

Of course, the bombings could be attributable solely to EPR, but since the attacks are of a larger scope than -- and would represent a departure from -- EPR's usual tactics, the group likely had input from outside influences while planning and carrying out the bombings.

If the perpetrators are not EPR members, they are almost certainly collaborating with EPR in some way. Regardless of who is actually behind the attacks, having EPR take credit for them serves the agendas of all possible parties: The Gulf cartel does not care who gets credit for the attacks, as long as security forces are diverted from chasing down its drug smugglers; the union agitators and PRD get their desired effects -- either hurting Pemex or making Calderon's government appear incapable of providing security -- without having to be directly associated with the violent acts; and EPR gets credit for the most significant attacks ever attributed to it.

The violence caused by the cartel wars is providing a backdrop for the pipeline attackers to blend into. If there were no cartel wars, Mexican security forces would have an easier time tracking down the perpetrators.

So far, the attacks have been confined to the infrastructure for Mexican domestic consumption, not the export lines carrying oil to the United States. However, if export lines are targeted, the pipeline attacks could easily throw another wrench into Mexico's economy.

stratfor
24697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The on: October 17, 2007, 11:01:33 AM
Second post of the morning

Geopolitical Diary: The Price of Russian Cooperation

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to travel to Moscow on Friday for three days of talks with Russian First Deputy Prime Minster Sergei Ivanov on the minor topic of the future of the post-Cold War treaty structure. We say "minor" because all the talk of conventional forces placement and nuclear weapons limitations is but the tip of the iceberg. The two and their respective negotiating teams will in fact be hashing out the deepest Eurasian security realignments since the end of the Cold War in 1989.

Formally, three independently large topics are on the agenda. The first is the status of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), which governs the size and disposition of non-nuclear nuclear hardware in the NATO and former Warsaw Pact states and their successors. The second is the future of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), which caps the number of long-range nuclear weapons the United States and Russia can field. The final is what will or will not be done about rising U.S. interest in building an anti-ballistic missile system, which would have much of its hardware in Central Europe.

All of these issues are obviously of critical interest to both Moscow and Washington, but in reality they are not what the crux of the discussions will be. The United States has decided to dedicate all of its spare military resources to Iraq, largely stripping it of its ability to ride to the assistance of any of its allies. The Russians -- having been the target of U.S. political, economic and military pressure for the better part of the past two generations -- have obviously noticed this. (They can breathe, for a change.) This is a situation that they greatly wish to take advantage of.

Russia certainly can make the U.S. experience in Iraq even more unpleasant. Both Syria and Iran would dearly love to enjoy full access to Russia's top defense hardware, and the political cover of the Russian U.N. Security Council veto is not something to be scoffed at.

But Russia's interests in the long run are not in the Middle East -- they are in the former Soviet Union. Russian interests involve amendments to the CFE to prevent that treaty from being used as a basis for the expansion of U.S. military deployments in Eurasia. Those interests require an extended START treaty that locks the United States out of launching another nuclear arms race in which Moscow cannot afford to compete. Those interests include undoing any U.S. missile defense program in which Russia is not inseparably involved.

Simply put, the price of Russian cooperation in the Middle East is the United States granting Russia much of what it needs in the former Soviet space to reformulate the foundations of the Soviet Union. That might sound like a very tall order -- and it is -- but it is no less dramatic than what the United States is attempting to do in Iraq: fundamentally alter the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. If Washington is to fundamentally rewire one part of the world to serve its interests, it might just have to let Moscow rewire another part of the world.

Situation Reports


1131 GMT -- RUSSIA -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that unless the treaty becomes global, it will be hard for Moscow to remain in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, media reported Oct. 12. Putin cited neighboring countries' development of missiles banned by the treaty as a factor in Russia's viewing the treaty's restrictions as difficult.

strafor
24698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia on: October 17, 2007, 10:59:59 AM
Russia: How Iran Figures in Talks with the West
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Oct. 11 that not only is a nuclear-armed Iran not in Russia's interest, but it would pose a greater threat to Russian national security than to European or U.S. security. This is not just meant to serve as fodder in Moscow's upcoming negotiations with the West; it also happens to be true.

The Russian government is engaging the United States in a series of high-level summits this week and this coming weekend involving officials from the countries' respective Foreign and Defense ministries. Among the many personalities involved are U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. The nature of these talks is as broad as it is central to the states' grand strategies for dealing with the size and disposition of both countries' military forces, as regulated by the Conventional Forces in Europe and the Strategic Arms Reduction treaties. Considering the Americans' preoccupation with Iraq and the rising prominence of anti-missile defenses in Russian-American talks, the status of the Iranian military and of its nuclear program are sure to play a central role.

Putin's public statement that Russia is concerned about a potential Iranian nuclear weapon is an excellent way to steer the talks in a direction favorable to Moscow's interests.

Putin knows full well that a nuclear-armed Iran would greatly complicate everything the United States is attempting to accomplish in the Middle East, and it is always useful to remind the Americans that the Russians are in the position to either grant or deny the Iranians that capability on the eve of grand strategic talks. After all, it is Russia that is building a nuclear power plant for the Iranians at Bushehr.

But this is not all just posturing before a major round of talks.

Putin is perfectly capable of looking at a map. Russia -- not the United States or Europe -- is Iran's neighbor, and the demonstrated 900-mile range of Iran's Shahab-3 missile brings a great many of Russia's industrial and population centers into potential striking distance. Should the Iranian missile actually reach the 1,500 miles that Tehran claims, it could even hit Moscow. Of the Western states, only those in the eastern Balkans are potentially at risk (and only if the 1,500-mile figure proves true). It is not so much that Russia believes an Iranian attack is imminent -- this would be suicidal for Iran, to say the least -- but rather that the shifts in the balance of power that a nuclear-armed Iran would cause would be far more detrimental to Moscow than to Washington.

There are very good reasons why the Russians have been dragging their feet at Bushehr, a project that was supposed to become operational nearly a decade ago. Putin is perfectly happy to take Iran's money, but if he can get a better deal from Washington on the broader dispensation of U.S. forces in the Eurasian theater, he is perfectly willing to throw Tehran under the American bus. Beep beep.

strafor
24699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: October 17, 2007, 10:59:44 AM
See No Proliferation
Reality can't interfere with "diplomacy."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

The silence from the Bush Administration over Israel's recent bombing of a site in Syria gets louder by the day. U.S. officials continue to look the other way, even as reports multiply that Israel and U.S. intelligence analysts believe the site was a partly constructed nuclear reactor modeled after a North Korean design.

The weekend was full of reports about these intelligence judgments, first in the U.S. media then picked up by the Israeli press. Israel's former chief of military intelligence, Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, called them "logical." That's the term of art people use to confirm things in Israel when they want to get around the military censors.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Israel and offered her own non-confirmation confirmation. "We're very concerned about any evidence of, any indication of, proliferation," she said, according to the New York Times. "And we're handling those in appropriate diplomatic channels." Just what you need when your enemies are caught proliferating nuclear expertise--a little more diplomacy. The world is lucky Israel preferred to act against the threat, in what seems to have been a smaller version of its 1981 attack against Iraq's Osirak reactor.

Ms. Rice went on to say that "The issues of proliferation do not affect the Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts we are making," adding that "This is the time to be extremely careful." In other words, even if North Korea is spreading nuclear weapons, she doesn't want to say so in public because it might offend a country--Syria--that is refusing even to take part in the regional Palestinian-Israeli peace conference next month. That's certainly being "careful."





Or perhaps she fears offending North Korea, which the Bush Administration has agreed to trust for finally pledging to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and disavowing proliferation. In return for that promise, the U.S. is shipping fuel oil to Pyongyang and is taking steps to remove North Korea from its list of terror states. It would certainly be inconvenient, not to say politically embarrassing, if North Korea were found to be helping Syria get a bomb amid all of this diplomacy.
All the more so given that only last year, after North Korea exploded a nuclear device, President Bush explicitly warned North Korea against such proliferation. "America's position is clear," he said at the time. "The transfer of nuclear weapons or material will be considered a grave threat to the United States." More than once, Mr. Bush added that, "We will hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences."

Even granting some leeway in defining the words "fully accountable," they cannot mean winking at the spread of nuclear know-how to a U.S. enemy in the most dangerous corner of the world. With its continuing silence about what happened in Syria, the Bush Administration is undermining its own security credibility. More important, the see-no-evil pose is showing North Korea that it can cheat even on an agreement whose ink is barely dry--and without "consequences."

WSJ
==========
stratfor

SYRIA, IRAN: Iran has reportedly helped Syria domestically manufacture modified copies of the Chinese DF-11 and DF-15 short-range ballistic missiles, a source in the region said. Both are capable of striking almost all of Israel. Other transfers could include additional shorter-range Russian FROG-7s and the Misagh-1, an Iranian copy of the Chinese copy of the U.S. FIM-92 Stinger missile.
24700  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Mexico on: October 17, 2007, 10:49:00 AM
Mexico Security Memo: Oct. 8, 2007
October 08, 2007 18 34  GMT



Hits and Misses

An effort to increase security in Veracruz state got off to a rough start this past week. A day after the state's governor announced the upcoming arrival of 200 federal police as part of "Operation Safe Veracruz," cartel hit men staged a very public killing of a municipal police officer in Veracruz city. The gunmen opened up on the officer's patrol car, firing at least 25 shots in broad daylight just down the street from an army infantry installation. The timing of the attack suggests it was intended to warn federal forces not to interfere with narcotics operations during their deployment, a strategy that has worked well in the past. Several weeks ago, a large security operation in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state -- initiated by a public attack against police -- ended with little to show for it, suggesting that the Veracruz operation will not result in any important arrests or seizures.

Finalized Aid Plan

The Mexican government announced this past week that negotiations over a much-anticipated counternarcotics aid plan with the United States have concluded. Washington reportedly has promised up to $1 billion over two years as part of the program, which also calls for greater information-sharing, technical assistance and legal cooperation. These efforts have actually been under way for some time, which means the aid program is essentially a way to formalize the relationship between the two countries. In any case, the aid money certainly will amount to a significant increase in the U.S. commitment and could well improve Mexico's counternarcotics capabilities. But this assistance plan will not solve all the problems faced by the two countries in trying to counter the drug trade. Both Mexico and the United States have deep-rooted issues that will not be remedied by funding increases. Nevertheless, information released this week by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy suggests that the two countries have already made important progress in some areas, especially in curbing the flow of drugs into the United States. An increase in the street price of cocaine and methamphetamine in all regions of the United States is the most convincing evidence that tighter border security and Mexican counternarcotics efforts are having a positive impact. It remains to be seen if these achievements can be sustained, especially since any long-term disruptions in cartel operations are likely to be met with greater violence.







Oct. 1

Police in Jesus del Monte, Michoacan state, discovered the body of a man whose head had been nearly severed.


The charred body of an unidentified individual was found inside a burning car along a federal highway just outside Acapulco, Guerrero state.


Oct. 2

The bodies of two men were discovered in Mocorito, Sinaloa state, bound with their hands behind their backs.


A man in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, was shot dead by gunmen. He had arrived from Phoenix several hours before his death.


A former police officer in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, was shot to death by gunmen who entered the house where he was sleeping. Two others were wounded in the attack.


Oct. 3

The body of an unidentified individual was found wrapped in a blanket in a park in Mexico City. The body was bound at the hands and feet; police did not release information about the cause of death.


A man in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, was shot dead by several gunmen as he left his house.


The body of a man with several gunshot wounds was found in Tijuana, Baja California state. The body had been partially burned.


Oct. 4

A police officer in Veracruz, Veracruz state, died when gunmen fired more than 25 shots through the windshield of his patrol car.


Two security chiefs at a federal prison were shot and killed by gunmen as they were driving in Mexico City.


One police officer died and three were wounded during a gunbattle in Miacatlan, Morelos state. At least three of the gunmen also died.


Oct. 5

Authorities in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes state, reported finding the body of a suspected drug dealer along a busy avenue. He had been suffocated and was bound at the hands and feet.


A firefight between inmates and guards inside a prison in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, left one inmate dead and five wounded. Army troops eventually stormed the prison.


A police commander in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, died after he was repeatedly run over by several vehicles in front of a crowd. Witnesses said the drivers of the vehicles were armed and prevented bystanders from assisting the police officer.


The Mexican army seized more than 11 tons of cocaine from a tractor-trailer near the Gulf Coast city of Tampico, Tamaulipas state. At least seven suspects were detained during the seizure, which was the largest ever in Mexico.


Oct. 6

Gunmen in Juchitan, Oaxaca state, attacked a police station with gunfire and grenades, killing at least one officer.


Oct. 7

At least 11 people were detained following a firefight at a military checkpoint on a highway near Jaumave, Tamaulipas state.
Pages: 1 ... 492 493 [494] 495 496 ... 593
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!