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29801  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Head Gear on: August 12, 2006, 08:15:54 AM
Woof Alain:

  May I suggest taking a look for existing threads dedicated to the matter of headgear?

TIA,
CD
29802  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lebanon on: August 12, 2006, 12:07:38 AM
Granted there is some subtlety to the resolution (thank you for providing it), but ultimately the IDF was ready to go change the facts on the ground.  The enemy will use acceptance of the resolution to inspire throughout the region (transcending Sunni-Shiite divide?) that they are the strong horse.  Iran will accelerate disruption in Iraq.  Russia will improve Iran's ground missile to air capabilities (contract already signed btw).  Maybe Pak's ISI sold out the UK air plot to distract attention from its new nuke production plant being built that will give it 25-50 nukes a year-- whether it did or did not the Paks are now following a new line after Bush's nuke deal with India-- and the Taliban is bubbling over the border.  What are implications of Pak becomer a nuclear actor again? And what a pefect moment for NK to play its tag team game with Iran.

To lose the opportunity to change the facts on the ground in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley would have removed Iran's counter threat to any Israeli action against it.  A price has already been paid in civilian deaths.  What is the logic of leaving them now on the field instead of having the military settling that must be had?
29803  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: August 11, 2006, 10:12:28 PM
Woof Rogt, Buzwardo, Captainccs and me:

Gentlemen, following up on some sidebar conversation with each of you, I'd like to issue a call that from here forward we elevate the level of debate to the level of discussion.

Yes?

The Adventure continues,
Crafty Dog

29804  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: August 11, 2006, 09:50:18 PM
'Mass-Murder' Foiled
August 11, 2006; Page A12

Americans went to work yesterday to news of another astonishing terror plot against U.S. airlines, only this time the response was grateful relief. British authorities had busted the "very sophisticated" plan "to commit mass murder" and arrested 20-plus British-Pakistani suspects. As we approach the fifth anniversary of 9/11 without another major attack on U.S. soil, now is the right moment to consider the policies that have protected us -- and those in public life who have fought those policies nearly every step of the way.

It's not as if the "Islamic fascists" -- to borrow President Bush's description yesterday -- haven't been trying to hit us. They took more than 50 lives last year in London with the "7/7" subway bombings. There was the catastrophic attack in Madrid the year before that left nearly 200 dead. But there have also been successes. Some have been publicized, such as a foiled plot to poison Britain's food supply with ricin. But undoubtedly many have not, because authorities don't want to compromise sources and methods, or because the would-be terrorists have been captured or killed before they could carry out their plans.

In this case the diabolical scheme was to smuggle innocent-looking liquid explosive components and detonators onto planes. They could then be assembled onboard and exploded, perhaps over cities for maximum horror. Multiply the passenger load of a 747 by, say, 10 airliners, and this attack could have killed more people than 9/11. We don't yet know how the plot was foiled, but surely part of the explanation was crack surveillance work by British authorities.

* * *
"This wasn't supposed to happen today," a U.S. official told the Washington Post of the arrests and terror alert. "It was supposed to happen several days from now. We hear the British lost track of one or two guys. They had to move." Meanwhile, British antiterrorism chief Peter Clarke said at a news conference that the plot was foiled because "a large number of people" had been under surveillance, with police monitoring "spending, travel and communications."

 
Let's emphasize that again: The plot was foiled because a large number of people were under surveillance concerning their spending, travel and communications. Which leads us to wonder if Scotland Yard would have succeeded if the ACLU or the New York Times had first learned the details of such surveillance programs.

And almost on political cue yesterday, Members of the Congressional Democratic leadership were using the occasion to suggest that the U.S. is actually more vulnerable today despite this antiterror success. Harry Reid, who's bidding to run the Senate as Majority Leader, saw it as one more opportunity to insist that "The Iraq war has diverted our focus and more than $300 billion in resources from the war on terrorism and has created a rallying cry for international terrorists."

Ted Kennedy chimed in that "it is clear that our misguided policies are making America more hated in the world and making the war on terrorism harder to win." Mr. Kennedy somehow overlooked that the foiled plan was nearly identical to the "Bojinka" plot led by Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to blow up airliners over the Pacific Ocean in 1995. Did the Clinton Administration's "misguided policies" invite that plot? And if the Iraq war is a diversion and provocation, just what policies would Senators Reid and Kennedy have us "focus" on?

Surveillance? Hmmm. Democrats and their media allies screamed bloody murder last year when it was leaked that the government was monitoring some communications outside the context of a law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA wasn't designed for, nor does it forbid, the timely exploitation of what are often anonymous phone numbers, and the calls monitored had at least one overseas connection. But Mr. Reid labelled such surveillance "illegal" and an "NSA domestic spying program." Other Democrats are still saying they will censure, or even impeach, Mr. Bush over the FISA program if they win control of Congress.

This year the attempt to paint Bush Administration policies as a clear and present danger to civil liberties continued when USA Today hyped a story on how some U.S. phone companies were keeping call logs. The obvious reason for such logs is that the government might need them to trace the communications of a captured terror suspect. And then there was the recent brouhaha when the New York Times decided news of a secret, successful and entirely legal program to monitor bank transfers between bad guys was somehow in the "public interest" to expose.

For that matter, we don't recall most advocates of a narrowly "focused" war on terror having many kind words for the Patriot Act, which broke down what in the 1990s was a crippling "wall" of separation between our own intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. Senator Reid was "focused" enough on this issue to brag, prematurely as it turned out, that he had "killed" its reauthorization.

And what about interrogating terror suspects when we capture them? It is elite conventional wisdom these days that techniques no worse than psychological pressure and stress positions constitute "torture." There is also continued angst about the detention of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, even as Senators and self-styled civil libertarians fight Bush Administration attempts to process them through military tribunals that won't compromise sources and methods.

In short, Democrats who claim to want "focus" on the war on terror have wanted it fought without the intelligence, interrogation and detention tools necessary to win it. And if they cite "cooperation" with our allies as some kind of magical answer, they should be reminded that the British and other European legal systems generally permit far more intrusive surveillance and detention policies than the Bush Administration has ever contemplated. Does anyone think that when the British interrogate those 20 or so suspects this week that they will recoil at harsh or stressful questioning?

Another issue that should be front and center again is ethnic profiling. We'd be shocked if such profiling wasn't a factor in the selection of surveillance targets that resulted in yesterday's arrests. Here in the U.S., the arrests should be a reminder of the dangers posed by a politically correct system of searching 80-year-old airplane passengers with the same vigor as screeners search young men of Muslim origin. There is no civil right to board an airplane without extra hassle, any more than drivers in high-risk demographics have a right to the same insurance rates as a soccer mom.

* * *
The real lesson of yesterday's antiterror success in Britain is that the threat remains potent, and that the U.S. government needs to be using every legal tool to defeat it. At home, that includes intelligence and surveillance and data-mining, and abroad it means all of those as well as an aggressive military plan to disrupt and kill terrorists where they live so they are constantly on defense rather than plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

As the time since 9/11 has passed, many of America's elites have begun to portray U.S. government policies as a greater threat than the terrorists themselves. George Soros and others have said this explicitly, and their political allies in Congress and the media have staged a relentless campaign against the very practices that saved innocent lives this week. We doubt that many Americans who will soon board an airplane agree.
29805  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lebanon on: August 11, 2006, 09:00:56 PM
Woof Rogt:

The violent element of the Christian Right is quite small and it seeks to target abortionists.? This is morally and legally quite wrong, but quite different from a world wide movement of at least 100 million that beats women into burkhas, prohibits them from learning to read or to drive a car, cuts off their clitorises, punishes them for being raped, gang rapes them as punishment (yes, this has happened in Pakistan) kills them to defend familiy honor, proudly beheads innocent civiliians and broadcasts the videos thereof, deliberately targets civilians, etc etc etc.

Again I invite you to respond to the hatred on display in those clips I posted above.

BTW, here's something from today's WSJ that shares my perspective:


==========

'Arc of Extremism'

By WILLIAM SHAWCROSS
August 11, 2006; Page A12

LONDON -- It took President Bush to tell the truth to Britain about the alleged massive plot to blow U.S.-bound airliners out of the sky. In his first comment on the apparently foiled attempt, he put it simply: "This was a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists."

He is right, but in the first news reports in Britain yesterday, the words "Islamic" or "Muslim" were hardly mentioned, let alone the dread word "fascist." Instead the common code-words on television were that the 24 men arrested were "British-born" and "of Pakistani origin." No mention of their Islamist ideology. Does the BBC think they might turn out to be from Pakistan's embattled Christian minority? I don't think so.

In Europe, the truth is so terrible that we are in denial. Perhaps it is understandable. We simply do not know how to deal with the fact that we really are threatened by a vast fifth column, that there are thousands of European-born people, in Britain, in France, in Holland, in Denmark -- everywhere -- who wish to destroy us. You see this denial in the coverage of Israel's war against Hezbollah. The deaths in Lebanon are utterly tragic. But if you watched only British television, particularly the BBC, you would be hard-pressed to understand that Israel has been forced into a war for its survival. Last weekend people marched in an anti-Israel march though London carrying banners proclaiming "We are all Hezbollah Now."

As the historian Victor Davis Hanson recently pointed out, there is a moral madness at work here. We refuse to admit there is a pattern to global terrorism. We are terrified of being called "Islamophobic." European papers are frightened to publish cartoons which some Muslims demand we censor, but are happy to portray the Israelis as latter-day Nazis. Not for nothing does Mr. Hanson say that we have forgotten the lessons of 1938.

In a live BBC interview recently I called Hezbollah "Islamofascists." The charming interviewer said nervously, "That's a very controversial description"; I replied that it was merely accurate. She brought the interview to a swift close. But it's not just Hezbollah, of course. The same ideology of hate inspires al Qaeda, the inspiration if not the controller of the British bombers.

In Britain we are actually quite lucky. We have a prime minister who, in my view, has committed many errors at home; but abroad Tony Blair has a clear vision, both moral and pragmatic, of the threat that we face. And for this he is mocked and abused as nothing more than George Bush's "poodle."

In a thoughtful recent speech in Los Angeles, Mr. Blair spoke of fighting an "arc of extremism." That is Islamic extremism, whether it is inspired al Qaeda or by Tehran, whether its footsoldiers are Sunni or Shiite, whether they were born in Britain or southern Lebanon or Iran or Saudi Arabia. As Mr. Blair said, the battle is over the values that are to govern the future of the worlds. "Are they those of tolerance, freedom, respect for difference and diversity or those of reaction, division, hatred?"

"This is war" said Mr. Blair. Alas, it is. Wherever they were born, the men who want to blow up airliners, who want to destroy Israel and, not coincidentally, who want to kill all hope of a decent society in Iraq -- are Islamofascists who are united in hatred of us. The sooner we in Europe understand that, and that they must be defeated, the safer everyone -- Christians, Jews, Muslims, nonbelievers -- will be.

Mr. Shawcross is author of "Allies: Why the West Had to Remove Saddam" (PublicAffairs Press, 2005).


=======================

All:

I just received a call upon returning from a family trip telling me that Olmert has caved in to a UN Resolution?!?!?!?

Whether this call is true or not, the following piece should shed a lot of light on what has been and will be happening:

-----


Analysis:?
By Jonathan Ariel? August 9, 2006
 
http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/9116.htm
?
Relations between the country's political and military leadership are at the lowest point in the country's history, on the verge of a crisis. In addition, there is a growing lack of confidence between Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, the first CoS to hail from the air force, and many of his general staff colleagues from the ground forces, who say he and his "blue clique" [blue being the color of the air force uniform-ed] do not fully appreciate the nature of ground warfare.

According to informed sources, there is an almost total breakdown in trust and confidence between the General Staff and the PM's office. They have described the situation as "even worse than the crises that followed Ben Gurion's decision to disband the Palmach, and Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan's cynical decision to place all the blame for the Yom Kippur fiasco on the IDF's shoulders.

Senior IDF officers have been saying that the PM bears sole responsibility for the current unfavorable military situation, with Hezbollah still holding out after almost a month of fighting.?
According to these officers, Olmert was presented with an assiduously prepared and detailed operational plan for the defeat and destruction of Hezbollah within 10-14 days, which the IDF has been formulating for the past 2-3 years.

This plan was supposed to have begun with a surprise air onslaught against the Hezbollah high command in Beirut, before they would have had time to relocate to their underground bunkers. This was to have been followed immediately by large scale airborne and seaborne landing operations, in order to get several divisions on the Litani River line, enabling them to outflank Hezbollah's "Maginot line" in southern Lebanon. This would have surprised Hezbollah, which would have had to come out of its fortifications and confront the IDF in the open, in order to avoid being isolated, hunted down and eventually starved into a humiliating submission.

This was exactly what the IDF senior command wanted, as Israeli military doctrine, based on the Wehrmacht's blitzkrieg doctrine, has traditionally been one of rapid mobile warfare, designed to surprise and outflank an enemy.

According to senior military sources, who have been extensively quoted in both the Hebrew media and online publications with close ties to the country's defense establishment, Olmert nixed the second half of the plan, and authorized only air strikes on southern Lebanon, not initially on Beirut.

Although the Premier has yet to admit his decision, let alone provide a satisfactory explanation, it seems that he hoped futilely for a limited war. A prominent wheeler-dealer attorney-negotiator prior to entering politics, he may have thought that he could succeed by the military option of filing a lawsuit as a negotiating ploy, very useful when you represent the rich and powerful, as he always had. Another motive may have been his desire to limit the economic damage by projecting a limited rather than total war to the international financial powers that be.

Whatever his reasons, the bottom line, according to these military sources, is that he castrated the campaign during the crucial first days. The decision to not bomb Beirut immediately enabled Nasrallah to escape, first to his bunker, subsequently to the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

The decision to cancel the landings on the Litani River and authorize a very limited call up of reserves forced the ground forces to fight under very adverse conditions. Instead of outflanking a heavily fortified area with overwhelming forcers, they had to attack from the direction most expected, with insufficient forces. The result, high casualties and modest achievements.

This is the background of yesterday's surprise effective dismissal of OC northern Command Maj. General Udi Adam. According to various media sources, Olmert was incensed at Adam's remarks that he had not been allowed to fight the war that had been planned. Adam allegedly made these remarks in response to criticism against his running of the war, and the results so far achieved.

Olmert's responsibility for inaction goes much further. The US administration had given Israel the green light to attack Syria. A senior military source has confirmed to Israel Insider that Israel did indeed receive a green light from Washington in this regard, but Olmert nixed it.

The scenario was that Syria, no military match for Israel, would face a rapid defeat, forcing it to run to Iran, with which it has a defense pact, to come to aid.

Iran, which would be significantly contained by the defeat of its sole ally in the region, would have found itself maneuvered between a rock and a hard place. If it chose to honor its commitment to Syria, it would face a war with Israel and the US, both with military capabilities far superior to Iran's. If Teheran opted to default on its commitment to Damascus, it would be construed by the entire region, including the restless Iranian population, as a conspicuous show of weakness by the regime. Fascist regimes such as that of the ayatollahs cannot easily afford to show that kind of weakness.

As previously mentioned, Iran's military capabilities are no match for Israel's. Bottom line, all Iran could do is to launch missiles at and hit Israel's cities, and try and carry out terror attacks. If there is one thing history has shown, it is that such methods do not win wars. Israel would undoubtedly suffer both civilian casualties and economic damage, but these would not be that much more than what we are already experiencing. We have already irreversibly lost an entire tourist season. Any Iranian and Syrian missile offensives would be relatively short, as they are further form Israel, and therefore would have to be carried out by longer range missiles. These, by their very nature are much bigger and more complex weapons than Katyushas. They cannot be hidden underground, and require longer launch preparations, increasing their vulnerability to air operations. In addition it is precisely for such kinds of missiles that the Arrow system was developed.

The end result would be some additional economic damage, and probably around 500 civilian casualties. It may sound cold blooded, but Israel can afford such casualties, which would be less than those sustained in previous wars (for the record, in 1948 Israel lost 6,000, 1% of the entire population, and in 1967 and 1973 we lost respectively 1,000 and 3,000 casualties).

The gains, however, would be significant. The Iranian nuclear threat, the most dangerous existential threat Israel has faced since 1948, would be eliminated. It would also change the momentum, which over the past two decades as been with the ayatollahs. This could also have a major impact on the PA, hastening the demise of the Islamist Hamas administration.

Instead, according to military sources, Israel finds itself getting bogged down by a manifestly inferior enemy, due to the limitations placed on the IDF by the political leadership. This has been construed by the enemy as a clear sign that Israel is in the hands of a leadership not up to the task, lacking the required experience, guts and willpower. In the Middle East this is an invitation to court disaster, as witness by Iran's and Syria's increased boldness in significantly upping the ante of their involvement in the war.

Some senior officers have been mentioning the C-word in private conversations. They have been saying that a coup d'etat might be the only way to prevent an outcome in Lebanon that could embolden the Arab world to join forces with Syria and Iran in an all out assault on Israel, given the fact that such a development would be spurred entirely by the Arab and Moslem world's perception of Israel's leadership as weak, craven and vacillating, and therefore ripe for intimidation.

Seeing the once invincible IDF being stalemated by Hezbollah's 3,000 troops is a sure way to radiate an aura of weakness that in the Middle East could precipitate attacks by sharks smelling blood.
 

 
29806  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Mexico on: August 11, 2006, 08:30:09 PM
Omar:


1)  Casi lo entendi, pero al final de cuentas no entendi nada smiley  ?Un resumen por favor?

2)  He aqui las palabras de AMLO en ingles como aparecieron en el NY Times:

CD
===============


Recounting Our Way to Democracy
               E-MailPrint Save
 
By ANDR?S MANUEL L?PEZ OBRADOR
Published: August 11, 2006
Mexico City

NOT since 1910, when another controversial election sparked a revolution, has Mexico been so fraught with political tension.

The largest demonstrations in our history are daily proof that millions of Mexicans want a full accounting of last month?s presidential election. My opponent, Felipe Calder?n, currently holds a razor-thin lead of 243,000 votes out of 41 million cast, but Mexicans are still waiting for a president to be declared.

Unfortunately, the electoral tribunal responsible for ratifying the election results thwarted the wishes of many Mexicans and refused to approve a nationwide recount. Instead, their narrow ruling last Saturday allows for ballot boxes in only about 9 percent of polling places to be opened and reviewed.

This is simply insufficient for a national election where the margin was less than one percentage point ? and where the tribunal itself acknowledged evidence of arithmetic mistakes and fraud, noting that there were errors at nearly 12,000 polling stations in 26 states.

It?s worth reviewing the history of this election. For months, voters were subjected to a campaign of fear. President Vicente Fox, who backed Mr. Calder?n, told Mexicans to change the rider, but not the horse ? a clear rebuke to the social policies to help the poor and disenfranchised that were at the heart of my campaign. Business groups spent millions of dollars in television and radio advertising that warned of an economic crisis were I to win.

It?s my contention that government programs were directed toward key states in the hope of garnering votes for Mr. Calder?n. The United Nations Development Program went so far as to warn that such actions could improperly influence voters. Where support for my coalition was strong, applicants for government assistance were reportedly required to surrender their voter registration cards, thereby leaving them disenfranchised.

And then came the election. Final pre-election polls showed my coalition in the lead or tied with Mr. Calder?n?s National Action Party. I believe that on election day there was direct manipulation of votes and tally sheets. Irregularities were apparent in tens of thousands of tally sheets. Without a crystal-clear recount, Mexico will have a president who lacks the moral authority to govern.

Public opinion backs this diagnosis. Polls show that at least a third of Mexican voters believe the election was fraudulent and nearly half support a full recount.

And yet the electoral tribunal has ordered an inexplicably restrictive recount. This defies comprehension, for if tally sheet alterations were widespread, the outcome could change with a handful of votes per station.

Our tribunals ? unlike those in the United States ? have been traditionally subordinated to political power. Mexico has a history of corrupt elections where the will of the people has been subverted by the wealthy and powerful. Grievances have now accumulated in the national consciousness, and this time we are not walking away from the problem. The citizens gathered with me in peaceful protest in the Z?calo, the capital?s grand central plaza, speak loudly and clearly: Enough is enough.

In the spirit of Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we seek to make our voices heard. We lack millions for advertising to make our case. We can only communicate our demand to count all the votes by peaceful protest.

After all, our aim is to strengthen, not damage, Mexico?s institutions, to force them to adopt greater transparency. Mexico?s credibility in the world will only increase if we clarify the results of this election.

We need the goodwill and support of those in the international community with a personal, philosophical or commercial interest in Mexico to encourage it to do the right thing and allow a full recount that will show, once and for all, that democracy is alive and well in this republic.

Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, the mayor of Mexico City from 2001 to 2005, was a candidate for president in 2006, representing a coalition led by his Party of the Democratic Revolution. This article was translated from the Spanish by Rogelio Ram?rez de la O.


29807  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Our Environment on: August 11, 2006, 06:46:58 PM
Woof All:

"Consider this a humble request for you to lighten up on the sarcasm a bit and engage in a mutually respectful discussion."

This strikes me as a good time for all concerned to metaphorically shake hands and start fresh with a mutual resolve to stick to the facts, logic, and good manners.

Crafty Dog
29808  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Our Environment on: August 10, 2006, 03:30:43 PM
FWIW, IMHO Man's cleverness enables him to create things with more consequences than may be immediately apparent.  Although the risk adverse and those always in search of something for govt to do often make reckless accusations which if believed may result in govt actions with perverse consequences, my doggy nose tells me that there are ways in which Man begins to seriously foul his nest.
29809  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: August 10, 2006, 12:21:47 AM
REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Unreported Valor
August 3, 2006; Page A6

The alleged Marine massacre at Haditha is back in the news this week. Anonymous Pentagon sources told AP that a probe supports the massacre narrative. But Marine Sargeant Frank Wuterich filed a defamation suit against Congressman John Murtha, who on May 17 described "cold blood" killings at Haditha.

Bing West, a former assistant defense secretary, reflected on Haditha in a recent piece about the war's course for the July issue of the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute:

"The Iraq war is being played out against a backdrop of bitter partisan politics in the United States. Of those on the front lines, 70% get out after four years of service, with no long-term benefits. All they want is praise for their valor and service. They want to be able to say. 'I served at Fallujah, Najaf, or Mosul' and be respected for their dedication.

"Their valor is absent from this war because it is not reported. In Fallujah for instance, 100 Marine squads engaged in 200 firefights in cement rooms, using rifles, pistols, grenades and knives. By any historical comparison, this was extraordinary. In Hue City in 1968, there was one fight inside a house. In the entire history of the SWAT teams in the United States, there have not been 200 fights with automatic weapons inside rooms. Yet the courage of our soldiers and Marines in battles in Fallujah, Najaf, etc. received little press notice. Now we face the test of whether the press will place the tragedy of Haditha in perspective, or whether Haditha will unfairly become a false symbol....

"What happens if the youth of America adopt the same fractious attitudes as their political leaders? Who then will serve? In the tone of our criticisms while we are at war, we as a nation should be very careful that we do not undercut our own martial resolve. If we as a nation lose heart, who will fight for us?"
29810  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: August 09, 2006, 09:46:41 PM
http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=131873

It was just are 3:30 Wednesday morning when a Minneapolis apartment dweller was forced to defend himself and his property with a sword.

Police say they got a call from residents of the 3100 block of Lyndale Avenue South that four people had forced their way into a residence.

According to police, once the burglars were inside, they got into a fight with one of the residents who grabbed his roommates sword and started slashing the intruders. His feisty attack send the invaders running, but not before he wounded several.

Shortly after Minneapolis police arrived, they were called by doctors at HCMC about the arrival of three people to the ER with severed fingers and lacerations.

One had minor injuries and was treated and arrested. The other two were more seriously injured and were treated at HCMC. They'll be transported to the Hennepin County Jail when they are released by the hospital.

The apartment resident was slightly injured in the attack.

Police continue investigating the incident.
29811  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 08, 2006, 11:32:10 PM
THE ABDICATION OF LEBANESE LEADERS.
State of Denial
by Michael B?h?
Only at TNR Online
Post date: 08.07.06

[ Editor's Note: This article was originally published by the Metula News Agency, for whom it was translated from the French by Llewellyn Brown, and is reprinted with permission. ]

Beirut , Lebanon

he politicians, journalists and intellectuals of Lebanon have, of late, been experiencing the shock of their lives. They knew full well that Hezbollah had created an independent state in our country, a state including all the ministers and parallel institutions, duplicating those of Lebanon. What they did not know--and are discovering with this war, and what has petrified them with surprise and terror--is the extent of this phagocytosis.

In fact, our country had become an extension of Iran, and our so-called political power also served as a political and military cover for the Islamists of Teheran. We suddenly discovered that Teheran had stocked more than 12,000 missiles, of all types and calibers, on our territory and that they had patiently, systematically, organized a suppletive force, with the help of the Syrians, that took over, day after day, all the rooms in the House of Lebanon. Just imagine it: We stock ground-to-ground missiles, Zilzals, on our territory and the firing of such devices, without our knowledge, has the power to spark a regional strategic conflict and, potentially, bring about the annihilation of Lebanon.

We knew that Iran, by means of Hezbollah, was building a veritable Maginot line in the south, but it was the pictures of Maroun el Ras and Bint Jbail that revealed to us the magnitude of these constructions. This amplitude made us understand several things at once: that we were no longer masters of our destiny; that we do not possess the most basic means necessary to reverse the course of this state of things; and that those who turned our country into an outpost of their Islamic doctrine's combat against Israel did not have the slightest intention of willingly giving up their hold over us.

The national salvation discussions that concerned the application of Resolution 1559, and which included most of the Lebanese political movements, were simply for show. Iran and Syria had not invested billions of dollars on militarizing Lebanon in order to wage their war, simply to give in to the desire of the Lebanese and the international community for them to pack up their hardware and set it up back home.

And then, the indecision, the cowardice, the division and the irresponsible behavior of our leaders are such that they had no effort to make to show their talent. No need to engage a wrestling match with the other political components of the Land of Cedars. The latter showed themselves--and continue to show themselves--to be inconsistent.

Of course, our army, reshaped over the years by the Syrian occupier so it could no longer fulfill its role as protector of the nation, did not have the capacity to tackle the militamen of the Hezbollah. Our army, whom it is more dangerous to call upon--because of the explosive equilibrium that constitutes each of its brigades--than to shut up behind locked doors in its barracks. A force that is still largely loyal to its former foreign masters, to the point of being uncontrollable; to the point of having collaborated with the Iranians to put our coastal radar stations at the disposal of their missiles, that almost sunk an Israeli boat off the shores of Beirut. As for the non-Hezbollah elements in the government, they knew nothing of the existence of land-to-sea missiles on our territory ... that caused the totally justified destruction of all our radar stations by the Hebrews' army. And even then we are getting off lightly in these goings-on.

It is easy now to whine and gripe, and to play the hypocritical role of victims. We know full well how to get others to pity us and to claim that we are never responsible for the horrors that regularly occur on our soil. Of course, that is nothing but rubbish! The Security Council's Resolution 1559--that demanded that our government deploy our army on our sovereign territory, along our international border with Israel and that it disarm all the militia on our land--was voted on September 2, 2004.

We had two years to implement this resolution and thus guarantee a peaceful future to our children, but we did absolutely nothing. Our greatest crime--which was not the only one!--was not that we did not succeed, but that we did not attempt or undertake anything. And that was the fault of none else than the pathetic Lebanese politicians.

Our government, from the very moment the Syrian occupier left, let ships and truckloads of arms pour into our country. Without even bothering to look at their cargo. They jeopardized all chances for the rebirth of our country by confusing the Cedar Revolution with the liberation of Beirut. In reality, we had just received the chance--a sort of unhoped-for moratorium--that allowed us to take the future into our own hands, nothing more.

To think that we were not even capable of agreeing to "hang" ?mile Lahoud--Al-Assad's puppet--on Martyrs' Square and that he is still president of what some insist on calling our republic. ... There is no need to look any further: We are what we are, that is to say, not much.

All those who assume public and communicational responsibilities in this country are responsible for this catastrophe. Except those of my colleagues, journalists, and editors, who are dead, assassinated by the Syrian thugs, because they were clearly less cowardly than those who survived. And Lahoud remained at Baadb?, the president's palace!

And when I speak of a catastrophe, I do not mean the action accomplished by Israel in response to the aggression against its civilians and its army, which was produced from our soil and that we did strictly nothing to avoid, and for which we are consequently responsible. Any avoiding of this responsibility--some people here do not have the minimal notions of international law necessary to understand!--means that Lebanon, as a state, does not exist.

he hypocrisy goes on: Even some editorialists of the respectable L'Orient Le Jour put Hezbollah's savagery and that of the Israelis on a par! Shame! Spinelessness! And who are we in this fable? Poor ad aeternum victims of the ambitions of others?

Politicians either support this insane idea or keep silent. Those we would expect to speak, to save our image, remain silent like the others. And I am precisely alluding to General Aoun, who could have made a move by proclaiming the truth. Even his enemy, Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader, has proved to be less ... vague.

Lebanon a victim? What a joke!

Before the Israeli attack, Lebanon no longer existed, it was no more than a hologram. In Beirut, innocent citizens like me were forbidden access to certain areas of their own capital. But our police, our army, and our judges were also excluded. That was the case, for example, of Hezbollah's and the Syrians' command zone in the Haret Hreik quarter (in red on the satellite map). A square measuring a kilometer wide, a capital within the capital, permanently guarded by a Horla army, possessing its own institutions, its schools, its cr?ches, its tribunals, its radio, its television and, above all ... its government. A "government" that, alone decided, in the place of the figureheads of the Lebanese government--in which Hezbollah also had its ministers!--to attack a neighboring state, with which we had no substantial or grounded quarrel, and to plunge the United States into a bloody conflict. And if attacking a sovereign nation on its territory, assassinating eight of its soldiers, kidnapping two others and, simultaneously, launching missiles on nine of its towns does not constitute a casus belli, the latter juridical principle will seriously need revising.

Thus almost all of these cowardly politicians, including numerous Shia leaders and religious personalities themselves, are blessing each bomb that falls from a Jewish F-16 turning the insult to our sovereignty that was Haret Hreik, right in the heart of Beirut, into a lunar landscape. Without the Israelis, how could we have received another chance--that we in no way deserve!--to rebuild our country?

Each Irano-Syrian fort that Jerusalem destroys, each Islamic fighter they eliminate, and Lebanon proportionally starts to live again! Once again, the soldiers of Israel are doing our work. Once again, like in 1982, we are watching--cowardly, lying low, despicable, and insulting them to boot--their heroic sacrifice that allows us to keep hoping. To not be swallowed up in the bowels of the earth. Because, of course, by dint of not giving a damn for southern Lebanon, of letting foreigners take hold of the privileges that belong to us, we no longer had the ability to recover our independence and sovereignty. If, at the end of this war, the Lebanese army retakes control over its territory and gets rid of the state within a state--that tried to suffocate the latter--it will only be thanks to the Tsahal [Israeli Defense Force], and that, all these faint-hearted politicians, from the crook Fuad Siniora, to Saad Hariri, the son of Lebanon's plunderer, and general Aoun, all know perfectly well.

As for the destruction caused by the Israelis ... that is another imposture: Look at the satellite map! I have situated, as best I could, but in their correct proportions, the parts of my capital that have been destroyed by Israel. They are Haret Hreik--in its totality--and the dwellings of Hezbollah's leaders, situated in the large Shia suburb of Dayaa (as they spell it) and that I have circled in blue.

In addition to these two zones, Tsahal has exploded a nine-storied building that housed Hezbollah's command, in Beirut's city center, above and slightly to the left (to the north west) of Haret Hreik on the map. It was Nasrallah's "perch" inside the city, whereby he asserted his presence and domination over us. A depot of Syrian arms in the port, two army radars that the Shiite officers had put at Hezbollah's disposal, and a truck suspected of transporting arms, in the Christian quarter of Ashrafieh.

Moreover the road and airport infrastructures were put out of working order : they served to provide Hezbollah with arms and munitions. Apart from that, Tsahal has neither hit nor deteriorated anything, and all those who speak of the "destruction of Beirut" are either liars, Iranians, anti-Semites or absent. Even the houses situated one alley's distance from the targets I mentioned have not been hit, they have not even suffered a scratch; on contemplating these results of this workyou understand the meaning of the concept "surgical strikes" and you can admire the dexterity of the Jewish pilots. Beirut, all the rest of Beirut, 95 percent of Beirut, lives and breathes better than a fortnight ago. All those who have not sided with terrorism know they have strictly nothing to fear from the Israeli planes, on the contrary! One example: Last night the restaurant where I went to eat was jammed full and I had to wait until 9:30 p.m. to get a table. Everyone was smiling, relaxed, but no one filmed them: a strange destruction of Beirut, is it not?

Of course, there are some 500,000 refugees from the south who are experiencing a veritable tragedy and who are not smiling. But Jean Tsadik, who has his eyes fixed on Kfar Kileh, and from whom I have learned to believe each word he says, assures me that practically all the houses of the aforesaid refugees are intact. So they will be able to come back as soon as Hezbollah is vanquished.

The defeat of the Shia fundamentalists of Iranian allegiance is imminent. The figures communicated by Nasrallah's minions and by the Lebanese Red Cross are deceiving: firstly, of the 400 dead declared by Lebanon, only 150 are real collateral civilian victims of the war, the others were militiamen without uniform serving Iran. The photographic report "Les Civils des bilans libanais" made by St?phane Juffa for the Metula News Agency constitutes, to this day, the unique tangible evidence of this gigantic morbid manipulation. Which makes this document eminently important.

Moreover, Hassan Nasrallah's organization has not lost 200 combatants, as Tsahal claims. This figure only concerns the combats taking place on the border and even then the Israelis underestimate it, for a reason that escapes me, by about a hundred militiamen eliminated. The real count of Hezbollah's casualties, that includes those dead in Beirut, the Bekaa Valley, Baalbek and their other camps, rocket and missile launchers and arms and munition depots amounts to 1,100 supplementary Hezbollah militiamen who have definitively ceased to terrorize and humiliate my country.

Like the overwhelming majority of Lebanese, I pray that no one puts an end to the Israeli attack before it finishes shattering the terrorists. I pray that the Hebrew soldiers will penetrate all the hidden recesses of southern Lebanon and will hunt out, in our stead, the vermin that has taken root there. Like the overwhelming majority of Lebanese, I have put the champagne ready in the refrigerator to celebrate the Israeli victory.

But contrary to them--and to paraphrase [French singer] Michel Sardou--I recognize that they are also fighting for our liberty, another battle "where you were not present"! And in the name of my people, I wish to express my infinite gratitude to the relatives of the Israeli victims--civilian and military--whose loved ones have fallen so that I can live standing upright in my identity. They should know that I weep with them.

As for the pathetic clique that thrives at the head of my country, it is time for them to understand that after this war, after our natural allies have rid us of those who are hindering us from rebuilding a nation, a cease-fire or an armistice will not suffice. To ensure the future of Lebanon, it is time to make peace with those we have no reason to go to war against. In fact, only peace will ensure peace. Someone must tell them because in this country we have not learnt what a truism is.

Michael B?h? is a writer for the Metula News Agency.
29812  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: August 08, 2006, 07:20:53 PM
WSJ: Scholar Warns Iran's Ahmadinejad May Have 'Cataclysmic Events' In Mind For August 22
Tue Aug 08 2006 10:22:35 ET

In a WALL STREET JOURNAL op-ed Tuesday, Princeton's Bernard Lewis writes: "There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers."

"In Islam as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time -- Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined."

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the US about nuclear development by Aug. 22," which this year corresponds "to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1).

"This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind."

Developing...

Drudge Report


 

http://cbs4.com/topstories/topstorie...220000914.html



Quote:
FBI Searching For 11 Egyptian Students

(AP) WASHINGTON Eleven Egyptian students who arrived in the United States last month are being sought by authorities after failing to turn up for an exchange program at Montana State University.

The Egyptian men were among a group of 17 students who arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York from Cairo on July 29 with valid visas, according to U.S. authorities and university officials.

The other six have arrived at the Bozeman, Mont., campus for a monthlong program on English language instruction and U.S. history and culture, university spokeswoman Cathy Conover said.

When the 11 didn't turn up by the end of the last week, the FBI issued a lookout to state and local law enforcement, said FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko.

"At this point all they have done is not show up for a scheduled academic program," Kolko said. "There is no threat associated with these men."

They are between 18 and 22 years old, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the search for the men is continuing.

U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement declined to make their names public.

The government probably will seek to send the students home once they are located because they have violated the terms of their visas, the official said.

The government tightened the student visa process after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when it learned that four of the hijackers entered the country on foreign student visas.

The school has tried repeatedly to contact the students, Conover said, including sending e-mails. When that failed, the school notified Homeland Security officials and registered the Egyptians as "no-shows" in the system developed after Sept. 11 to track foreign students, Conover said.

They were participating in an exchange program Montana State arranged with Mansoura University in Mansoura, Egypt.

"We hope this doesn't cast doubt on this program because we think it's important to have international students on our campus and in our community," Conover said.
29813  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Invitation to dialog to Muslims on: August 08, 2006, 07:18:03 PM
August 22

By BERNARD LEWIS
August 8, 2006; Page A10

During the Cold War, both sides possessed weapons of mass destruction, but neither side used them, deterred by what was known as MAD, mutual assured destruction. Similar constraints have no doubt prevented their use in the confrontation between India and Pakistan. In our own day a new such confrontation seems to be looming between a nuclear-armed Iran and its favorite enemies, named by the late Ayatollah Khomeini as the Great Satan and the Little Satan, i.e., the United States and Israel. Against the U.S. the bombs might be delivered by terrorists, a method having the advantage of bearing no return address. Against Israel, the target is small enough to attempt obliteration by direct bombardment.

It seems increasingly likely that the Iranians either have or very soon will have nuclear weapons at their disposal, thanks to their own researches (which began some 15 years ago), to some of their obliging neighbors, and to the ever-helpful rulers of North Korea. The language used by Iranian President Ahmadinejad would seem to indicate the reality and indeed the imminence of this threat.

Would the same constraints, the same fear of mutual assured destruction, restrain a nuclear-armed Iran from using such weapons against the U.S. or against Israel?

* * *
There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shape the perception and therefore the policies of Ahmadinejad and his disciples.


 
Muhammad's night flight on Buraq.
 
Even in the past it was clear that terrorists claiming to act in the name of Islam had no compunction in slaughtering large numbers of fellow Muslims. A notable example was the blowing up of the American embassies in East Africa in 1998, killing a few American diplomats and a much larger number of uninvolved local passersby, many of them Muslims. There were numerous other Muslim victims in the various terrorist attacks of the last 15 years.

The phrase "Allah will know his own" is usually used to explain such apparently callous unconcern; it means that while infidel, i.e., non-Muslim, victims will go to a well-deserved punishment in hell, Muslims will be sent straight to heaven. According to this view, the bombers are in fact doing their Muslim victims a favor by giving them a quick pass to heaven and its delights -- the rewards without the struggles of martyrdom. School textbooks tell young Iranians to be ready for a final global struggle against an evil enemy, named as the U.S., and to prepare themselves for the privileges of martyrdom.

A direct attack on the U.S., though possible, is less likely in the immediate future. Israel is a nearer and easier target, and Mr. Ahmadinejad has given indication of thinking along these lines. The Western observer would immediately think of two possible deterrents. The first is that an attack that wipes out Israel would almost certainly wipe out the Palestinians too. The second is that such an attack would evoke a devastating reprisal from Israel against Iran, since one may surely assume that the Israelis have made the necessary arrangements for a counterstrike even after a nuclear holocaust in Israel.

The first of these possible deterrents might well be of concern to the Palestinians -- but not apparently to their fanatical champions in the Iranian government. The second deterrent -- the threat of direct retaliation on Iran -- is, as noted, already weakened by the suicide or martyrdom complex that plagues parts of the Islamic world today, without parallel in other religions, or for that matter in the Islamic past. This complex has become even more important at the present day, because of this new apocalyptic vision.

In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time -- Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook, is revealing. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead -- hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement.

How then can one confront such an enemy, with such a view of life and death? Some immediate precautions are obviously possible and necessary. In the long term, it would seem that the best, perhaps the only hope is to appeal to those Muslims, Iranians, Arabs and others who do not share these apocalyptic perceptions and aspirations, and feel as much threatened, indeed even more threatened, than we are. There must be many such, probably even a majority in the lands of Islam. Now is the time for them to save their countries, their societies and their religion from the madness of MAD.

Mr. Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (Oxford University Press, 2004).
29814  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Real Fights on: August 08, 2006, 05:36:47 PM
Thanks for the follow up.
29815  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Next gathering... on: August 08, 2006, 10:36:20 AM
Woof Michael:

Thank you for the URL.

My philosophy is that when I put something out, people are entitled to have their opinions, whatever their reasons.

The Adventure continues,
CD
29816  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Next gathering... on: August 08, 2006, 02:17:55 AM
Woof Michael:

My email is Craftydog@dogbrothers.com  

Would you please email me the URL?

TIA,
Crafty Dog
29817  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 07, 2006, 09:55:23 PM
Returning to the subject of the thread now:

www.stratfor.com
ISRAEL, LEBANON: Hezbollah is nowhere near defeat, Israeli army Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser said. Kuperwasser said political considerations might have hampered stronger, more effective action against the Lebanese group. Kuperwasser also said complete elimination of Hezbollah rocket-launch sites would not happen soon.
29818  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Die Less Often: Interface of Gun, Knife and Emtpy Hand on: August 07, 2006, 07:34:28 PM
This is a rough draft of an interview by LEO Kevin Davis which may appear in a LEO oriented publication.  Thanks for his gracious permission to post here:
===========

 
LEO Interview:



1)    Most law enforcement officers are of the opinion that "the suspect
brought a knife to a gunfight". Why is this mindset dangerous?

 It is not a fight.  It is an ambush.  The initiation goes to the knifer
because he is the bad guy.  A knife never runs out of ammo.  A knife never goes
out of battery-- even  during a life and death struggle between two men.
Like the gun, the point of the knife can kill.  Unlike the gun, not only can
you not grab the edge, but the edge can kill you as well.  When a
knife is inserted, the amount of damage that can be done with
twisting, slashing  and other continuing motions is extraordinary.


2)    Most shootings take place within 6 feet and look little like
 standard firearms training.  With your experience in full-contact stick
 fighting, where do you think we're going wrong?

First I would like to make very clear that I don't think in terms of you guys "going wrong", I simply think I have something to offer.

Second, I'd like to make clear that I regard my experience with Real Contact
Stickfighting as only part of what I bring to the table.  In addition to
quality training under some of the finest martial ats teachers in the
world, I have been teaching prison guards, law enforcement, and elite military
 soldiers for years now.  I am a Level Three Combatives Instructor for the
US Army.  My point here is that by teaching these men and women I also have
 learned.  I always ask questions and ask for questions.  By engaging with
these real world questions, I continue to learn.

 That said, as asked your question is strictly about firearms training.
This is NOT an area of expertise for me-- quite the contrary.  Yet the logic of
 firearms is implicit in what I teach and I have set about rectifying this
 weak link in my chain.  This is why the "Die Less Often:  Intro to the
 Interface of Gun, Knife and Empty Hand" is a joint project with noted
combat firearms instructor and former LEO Gabe Suarez.  Conversely it is precisely
Gabe's experience with shootings occurring within 6 feet that brought him
to me.  Coming from complementary directions, we arrive at the same place--  
the interface of gun, knife and empty hand.

 In other words, my contribution is to the combatives element of the
 interface, including weapon protection and retention, weapon access,
and defense against weapons including disarms and weapon captures.

 The martial arts which form the core of my training (Kali-Silat and others)
 are precisely about contact weapons such as stick, knives, clubs, staffs,
 improvised weapons, etc.  They were developed not for young male ritual
 hierarchical combat but for life and death conflict-- conflict which
 involves ambush, uneven numbers in 360 degree situations, weapons.  The
 access issues of a gun during ECQ overlap considerably with the access
 issues of stick/ASP/baton/knife during ECQ-- likewise the retention issues.
 I think where my experience in the adrenal state using these skills in Real
 Contact Stickfighting (about 140 fights) and considerable experience in
 training others to do so as well is relevant.  Although I am but a
civilian,  I have had a moral place wherein to experience the adrenal application of
my training to a far greater than if I had to wait for "on the street"
experience. I certainly would have to be a person of very poor judgement and/or morality
 to have this amount of adrenal experience in a "normal" life!!!

Anyway, because of these things people seem to appreciate what I can
contribute.

 3)    How can police engage in realistic close quarters or extreme close
 quarters firearms training that incorporates empty hand?

 I am sure that you and your readers are familiar with simuntions training,
 scenario training, and so forth.  These are all very good!  What I would
 offer to the mix is what we call the Kali Fence and the Dog Catcher, weapon
 access once the fight has started and both the restraint methods and the
 extreme violence methods which I have been taught.

 The Kali Fence is a particular fence that in my opinion is ideal for
conducting interviews with dubious individuals, weapons retention, pre-emption,
interception of all the likely attack angles.  It is set up to work against larger and
stronger individuals as well.  There is a body of material for pre-empting and intercepting attacks that is ideal for solving/countering/avoiding common concealed gun and knife draws as well as empty hand attacks while positioning the officer for cuffing or drawing his sidearm or other tools.

The Dog Catcher is for when we are reacting to an attack; if we already are
in a Kali Fence, then so much the better.

In ECQ the reaction time is a split second.  As recognized by DT instructors
everywhere, there is considerable value in having a "non-diagnostic default
response" i.e. something that officers can automatically do when sudden
aggressive moves are made towards them without first having to discern
exactly the nature of the attack because simply there is not enough time.  As I
understand it, the idea is to survive the initial ambush strike and get into the
fight.  My understanding is that these default positions typically are about
protecting the head and neck.  My concern is that if the attack is with a
knife that the lung/heart are exposed to the very common hooking/stabbing motion,
the belly exposed to the slash, and the groin/femoral exposed to rising
hooking/stabbing motions.

The Dog Catcher does require diagnosis as to whether the attack comes from the right or left.  If the attack comes from the perp?s left side a different response is called for.  Because the Kali Fence?s hand position defines centerline the response on this side readily becomes quite instinctive.  The Dog Catcher is for attacks that come from the right?and some 90% of the population is right handed.  As we see in our stickfighting, in footage of prison attacks, in footage of riots and street attacks, the natural human tendency in the enraged state is what we call ?caveman? strikes?be they empty handed, with clubs or with knives.

This can be done crudely or in a cultivated manner?what we call the ?prison sewing machine? which is demonstrated in the promo clip for ?Die Less Often?  by my good friend and longtime federal prison guard Dogzilla.

My thinking on this point originated in a conversation I had several years ago with a former member of the Aryan Brotherhood who had killed people in prison.  

?What technique did you use??

He looked at me like I was an idiot.  I felt like an idiot.

?You don?t use any technique.  You steel yourself up; (his body began to steel up as memories were awakened) you pump him until he is dead; and then you bind your wounds.?

In the Dog Catcher I seek to offer something that can readily be done in the high adrenal state (and here I think my experience as a Dog Brothers stick fighter and as someone who has taken many people from all walks of life to the level where they can perform at this level of pressure helps me a lot) against someone who is steeled up and is coming to pump an officer until he/she is dead.

Apart from slight adjustments due to the angle of attack, the Dog Catcher is non-diagnostic in the sense that applies to both common empty hand and common knife attacks on the high, middle and rising hook lines.

Also very important is that it is designed to offer the officer the option of taking the perp down for disarming and cuffing OR breaking off at an angle to access the sidearm or other tools.  THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT.  For a civilian, this would be the moment to run away.


 4)    What has your "field testing" found about close quarters deadly
 force incidents that surprised you?

Given my Dog Brother background? vigorous testing is something I strongly believe in.  Something that surprised me very much was that there were times that the ?knifer? wound up on the good guy?s back- typically at about 04:30?as he applied the Dog Catcher.  I could have blamed poor execution of the technique, but really the only relevant thing is that it was happening.  That said, what surprised me even more was that, because of the relative position of hands and limbs, this turned out to be a Plan B position of considerable merit for the good guy.  Experimentation and research are indespensible!

If this is not answering your question as intended, I apologize?but as a civilian my philosophy is ?What you think of me is none of my business.?  In other words, I do not respond to insults and other such foolishness.  As such, so far I have been able to avoid deadly force incidents in my own life?apart from that one time that got me thrown into a Mexican prison for three days, but that was to save a girl from being dragged off to be raped by four guys.  But I digress , , ,

5)    In your opinion what is the state of modern police suspect control
 or defensive tactics training?

I do not regard myself as qualified to have an opinion!  My impression, based upon numerous informal conversations it that this is an area in tremendous flux.  Some departments seem to be rather fossilized, and others are very cutting edge.  I believe I have something to contribute and if the officers agree, then that is my great honor.


The Adventure continues,
Marc ?Crafty Dog? Denny
29819  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 07, 2006, 05:49:13 PM
Woof:

Concerning the point in the Wikipedia piece about fascism being a term for nationalism and therefor inappropriate here because it is a relgious movement:  

This seems to me to be an academic nitpick to me in that in general terms most people understand fascism to mean "Might makes right", but accepting the point for the moment, it remains irrelevant I think because Islam seeks to merge religion and state.

The question remains though Rogt, what term are we to use?  Even the most sanguine estimates have about 10% of the world's Muslims believing in this philosophy (and 2-3x more being sympathetic)  If there are 1 Billion Muslims world wide, this is a movement of 100 million people (and 2-3x as many sympathizers who presumably are willing to look the other way if not give aid and comfort) who believe in targeting civilian infidels as a suitable tactic with any means available including WMD.  It is an extremely grave problem.  For me I reify it by picturing Flight 93 being flown into the nuclear reactor in Three Mile Island PA.   These people declared war on us and the danger is real.  I'm sorry you think my name for them is too mean, but I'm curious:  What name would you give them?

Bringing these links over from a post of mine in the "Dialog with Muslims" thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmnpMXOpaM4&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM-XeaIn06g&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related&v=19mpJRq11Hg

(These were posted earlier in the thread and addressed specfically to you BTW, but without reply so far)

I make the point that these sure seems to me like the fascisms of the 1930s.  Do you have a different reaction to watching these?  WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD BE OFFENDED BY CALLING THIS FASCISM?

You are jewish, yet you doubt that they come for you?  I find this imcomprehensible.


CD
29820  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 07, 2006, 05:13:39 PM
Gentlemen:

It seems I need to yank the leash here.

As best as I can tell, a lot of people come to read these threads because the material posted and the comments made are found thoughtful, containing intel, observations and a level of analysis not commonly found.

Please post only what intelligent, thoughtful people seeking intelligent, thoughtful conversation will probably find worth their time.  That recent exchange, while common on other forums, does not measure up here.

Rogt, your final post, the one from wikipedia, although I disagree with it, would have been a far better first post for you on this subject.

Forward,
Crafty Dog
29821  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Invitation to dialog to Muslims on: August 07, 2006, 10:24:38 AM
From today's NY Times about Muslims in the US military:

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20060723_MARINES_FEATURE/blocker.html?th&emc=th

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/07/nyregion/07marines.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th

By ANDREA ELLIOTT
Published: August 7, 2006
Few people ever see Ismile Althaibani?s Purple Heart. He keeps the medal tucked away in a dresser. His Marine uniform is stored in a closet. His hair is no longer shaved to the scalp.

Faith and War
One Brooklyn Family
This is the first article in an occasional series looking at the experiences of Muslims in the United States military. Other articles will deal with the challenge of recruiting Arabic speakers and one woman?s efforts to enlist and serve.


It has been 20 months since he returned from Iraq after a roadside explosion shattered his left foot. He never expected a hero?s welcome, and it never came ? none of the balloons or hand-written signs that greeted another man from his unit who lived blocks away.

Mr. Althaibani, 23, was the last of five young marines to come home to an extended family of Yemeni immigrants in Brooklyn. Like the others, he grew accustomed to the uneasy stares and prying questions. He learned not to talk about his service in the company of Muslim neighbors and relatives.

?I try not to let people know I?m in the military,? said Mr. Althaibani, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps Reserve.

The passage home from Iraq has been difficult for many American troops. They have struggled to recover from the shocking intensity of the war. They have faced the country?s ambivalence about a conflict in which thousands of their fellow soldiers have been killed or maimed.

But for Muslim Americans like Mr. Althaibani, the experience has been especially fraught.

They were called upon to fight a Muslim enemy, alongside comrades who sometimes questioned their loyalty. They returned home to neighborhoods where the occupation is commonly dismissed as an imperialist crusade, and where Muslims who serve in Iraq are often disparaged as traitors.

Some 3,500 Muslims have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the United States armed forces, military figures show. Seven of them have been killed, and 212 have been awarded Combat Action Ribbons.

More than half these troops are African-American. But little else is known about Muslims in the military. There is no count of those who are immigrants or of Middle Eastern descent. There is no full measure of their honors or injuries, their struggle overseas and at home.

A piece of the story is found near Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, where two sets of brothers and a young cousin share a singular kinship. They grew up blocks apart, in the cradle of a large Muslim family. They joined the Marines, passing from one fraternity to another. Within the span of a year and a half, they had all gone to Iraq and come home.

Ismile?s cousin Ace Montaser sensed a new distance among the men at his mosque on State Street. He described it as ?the awkward eye.?

Ismile?s older brother Abe, a burly New York City police officer, learned to avoid political debates.

Their cousin Abdulbasset Montaser took a different approach. He answered questions about whether he served in Iraq with a feisty, ?Yeah, we?re going to Yemen next!? He has helped recruit for the Marines and boasts about his cousin?s medal to the neighbors.

?I want every Muslim in the military to be recognized,? said Mr. Montaser, a corporal. ?If not, people will feel they?re not doing their part.?

Their service bears some resemblance to that of Japanese and German immigrants who fought for the United States in World War II. But for Muslims of Arab descent, the call to serve in Iraq is complicated not only by ethnic ties, but by religion.

Islamic scholars have long debated the circumstances under which it is permissible for Muslims to fight one another. The arguments are intricate, centering on the question of what constitutes a just war.

In Brooklyn, those fine points are easily lost. Here, many immigrants say that killing Muslims is simply wrong, and they cite the Koran as proof. Their opposition to the war is rooted as much in religion, they say, as in Arab solidarity.

The same week that Abe Althaibani headed to Iraq with the 25th Marine Regiment, his wife joined thousands of antiwar protesters in Manhattan, shouting, ?No blood for oil!?

?It was my people,? said his wife, Esmihan Althaibani, a regal woman with luminous green eyes. ?I went because it was Arabs.?



===================








Few people ever see Ismile Althaibani?s Purple Heart. He keeps the medal tucked away in a dresser. His Marine uniform is stored in a closet. His hair is no longer shaved to the scalp.

 
This is the first article in an occasional series looking at the experiences of Muslims in the United States military. Other articles will deal with the challenge of recruiting Arabic speakers and one woman?s efforts to enlist and serve.

 
It has been 20 months since he returned from Iraq after a roadside explosion shattered his left foot. He never expected a hero?s welcome, and it never came ? none of the balloons or hand-written signs that greeted another man from his unit who lived blocks away.

Mr. Althaibani, 23, was the last of five young marines to come home to an extended family of Yemeni immigrants in Brooklyn. Like the others, he grew accustomed to the uneasy stares and prying questions. He learned not to talk about his service in the company of Muslim neighbors and relatives.

?I try not to let people know I?m in the military,? said Mr. Althaibani, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps Reserve.

The passage home from Iraq has been difficult for many American troops. They have struggled to recover from the shocking intensity of the war. They have faced the country?s ambivalence about a conflict in which thousands of their fellow soldiers have been killed or maimed.

But for Muslim Americans like Mr. Althaibani, the experience has been especially fraught.

They were called upon to fight a Muslim enemy, alongside comrades who sometimes questioned their loyalty. They returned home to neighborhoods where the occupation is commonly dismissed as an imperialist crusade, and where Muslims who serve in Iraq are often disparaged as traitors.

Some 3,500 Muslims have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the United States armed forces, military figures show. Seven of them have been killed, and 212 have been awarded Combat Action Ribbons.

More than half these troops are African-American. But little else is known about Muslims in the military. There is no count of those who are immigrants or of Middle Eastern descent. There is no full measure of their honors or injuries, their struggle overseas and at home.

A piece of the story is found near Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, where two sets of brothers and a young cousin share a singular kinship. They grew up blocks apart, in the cradle of a large Muslim family. They joined the Marines, passing from one fraternity to another. Within the span of a year and a half, they had all gone to Iraq and come home.

Ismile?s cousin Ace Montaser sensed a new distance among the men at his mosque on State Street. He described it as ?the awkward eye.?

Ismile?s older brother Abe, a burly New York City police officer, learned to avoid political debates.

Their cousin Abdulbasset Montaser took a different approach. He answered questions about whether he served in Iraq with a feisty, ?Yeah, we?re going to Yemen next!? He has helped recruit for the Marines and boasts about his cousin?s medal to the neighbors.

?I want every Muslim in the military to be recognized,? said Mr. Montaser, a corporal. ?If not, people will feel they?re not doing their part.?

Their service bears some resemblance to that of Japanese and German immigrants who fought for the United States in World War II. But for Muslims of Arab descent, the call to serve in Iraq is complicated not only by ethnic ties, but by religion.

Islamic scholars have long debated the circumstances under which it is permissible for Muslims to fight one another. The arguments are intricate, centering on the question of what constitutes a just war.

In Brooklyn, those fine points are easily lost. Here, many immigrants say that killing Muslims is simply wrong, and they cite the Koran as proof. Their opposition to the war is rooted as much in religion, they say, as in Arab solidarity.

The same week that Abe Althaibani headed to Iraq with the 25th Marine Regiment, his wife joined thousands of antiwar protesters in Manhattan, shouting, ?No blood for oil!?

?It was my people,? said his wife, Esmihan Althaibani, a regal woman with luminous green eyes. ?I went because it was Arabs.?



==========================



(Page 3 of 5)



?You see what?s going on over there,? said Esmihan Althaibani, 26. ?The casualties on both sides. Iraqis speaking for themselves, saying, ?We didn?t want to get invaded.? They would hold dead babies with their heads blown off.?

One afternoon in May, the television filled with the image of a blood-soaked sidewalk in Baghdad.

?Look, look,? said Sadah Althaibani, 65, a petite woman with a stubborn frown. ?They?re cleaning the blood off the ground.?

When Mrs. Althaibani talks about the war, she sounds like other American parents upset by their children?s service. She laments that her sons had to fight while President Bush ?was playing with his dog.? She has no doubt that the occupation was driven by a quest for oil.

But among Yemeni immigrants, Mrs. Althaibani found that she could not speak openly about her sons? deployment. Muslim Americans have been vehemently opposed to the war: Of roughly 1,800 surveyed by the pollster John Zogby in 2004, more than 80 percent were against it.

Mrs. Althaibani told people that her sons were working as translators, not as marines in combat. On her television, she had seen reports of Shiites fighting Sunnis, but she clung to the idea that Muslims should not kill each other.

?It?s a sin,? she said. ?Nobody kills other Muslims. They?re like brothers.?

After Combat, Questions

The question that shadows the Montasers and Althaibanis is whether they killed anyone. The same question haunts any soldier returning from combat. But for Muslims, the reckoning is different.

Abdulbasset Montaser, 23, a slim, soft-spoken man, said he fired his weapon only in self-defense, and never at targets he could distinctly see.

?I never had to kill anyone face to face,? he said.

He believed that battling with the insurgents was justified because they were not following the rules of Islam. What disturbed him were the civilians caught in the cross-fire.

?It?s not that I feel guilty going out there, but you?re fighting your own people in a way,? he said.

Of the five cousins, no one saw heavier combat than Ismile (pronounced ish-MY-el) Althaibani, who was stationed in Falluja in the fall of 2004, during the American offensive against the insurgents there. He worked in convoy security with the First Marine Division.

?If you?re out there ? no matter your culture, your religion ? and somebody shoots at you, what do you do?? Mr. Althaibani said. ?It?s either him or me. That?s how I come to terms with it.?

Still, he was troubled by his belief that Islam prohibits killing.

Over dinner at an Italian restaurant one evening last month, Mr. Althaibani sat hunched at the table, spinning his cellphone like a top.

Abdulbasset Montaser sat across from him. They were the only ones in their family to enlist after Sept. 11, when deployment to the Middle East was a clear possibility. They never expected the war that followed.

When asked if he was proud of his service in Iraq, Mr. Althaibani thought for a moment.

?It?s mixed feelings, right?? he said, looking at his cousin. Mr. Montaser nodded silently.

Mr. Althaibani was awarded a Combat Action Ribbon, in addition to the Purple Heart. He did not want to talk about whether he killed anyone, or about the violence he witnessed.

?You just try to forget,? he said.

A Marine Transformed

The oldest of the group, Abe Althaibani, came home with much of his former character intact. He had the same easy laugh. He still cleaned his plate at dinner.

But there were hints of change. He was more on edge, his mother noticed. He had acquired the habits of his comrades: he smoked Marlboro Reds and took to dipping tobacco.

What struck his wife was something less common among marines: Mr. Althaibani spoke Arabic with a new Iraqi accent.

He told his relatives little about his role in the war. When prodded, he would sometimes say that he served in ?civilian affairs.?

In fact, Mr. Althaibani had worked on secret missions around Iraq with two counterintelligence teams.



=========================



Page 4 of 5)



He had been trained as a rifleman. But soon after he arrived at his base in Nasiriya in April 2003, he became a full-time interpreter, going on raids, assisting with interrogations and working undercover to cultivate sources. To fit in, he grew a beard and wore a long, checked scarf popular among Iraqi men.

 
The irony of Mr. Althaibani?s evolution did not escape him: He assumed, by outward appearances, a more traditionally Arab identity with the Marines than he ever had growing up among Yemenis.

The greatest challenge of his service, he said, was ?the acting.?

?It?s like you gotta be somebody you?re not sometimes in order to get information,? he said. ?It?s basically like you?re a fake, you?re a fraud. But you have to think you?re doing this in order for good things to happen.?

Mr. Althaibani, 28, wanted only to unwind when he came home five months later. Other marines he knew had struggled to readjust to civilian life.

?It?s hard,? he said. ?You?re out there giving people orders, and you come here and the lady at the checkout is giving you attitude.?

He eventually became a police officer, taking a path that three other marines in his family plan to follow.

One sunny afternoon in June, Mr. Althaibani guided his black Nissan Maxima through the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn. Frank Sinatra?s ?Fly Me to the Moon? floated from the speakers. The playgrounds, schools and cafes of Mr. Althaibani?s youth passed in slow sequence.

As he drove, Mr. Althaibani began recounting the crowning achievement of his team in Iraq: the capture of a suspected Baath party official who was believed to have taken part in the deadly ambush of Pfc. Jessica Lynch?s convoy.

?I felt like I was doing something,? he said.

The Iraqi captive, Nagem Sadoon Hatab, was detained at Camp Whitehorse near Nasiriya in June 2003. During an interrogation, he would accept water only from Mr. Althaibani, the marine recalled.

Two days later, another marine dragged Mr. Hatab, who was covered in his own feces, by the neck outside his cell and left him lying naked in the heat, according to court testimony. He was found dead hours later. An autopsy showed that he had suffered a broken neck bone, broken ribs and blunt trauma to the legs.

A Marine Corps major and a sergeant were charged with assaulting Mr. Hatab. Both were acquitted of the charge, though the major was found guilty of dereliction of duty and maltreatment in the case and the sergeant was convicted of abusing unidentified Iraqi prisoners.

Mr. Althaibani testified at the sergeant?s trial. He spoke about the case later with a shrugging detachment, saying he had witnessed no abuse and believes that the prosecutors were intent on ?crucifying the Marines.?

Looking back on the war, he feels the greatest loyalty toward his fellow marines.

?I wanted to get out there, do what I had to do and get home,? he said. ?I had no choice. Even if there was a choice ? you?re going to train with these guys and leave them??

The Marine Corps is ?like a cult,? he said. ?You went together and you come home together.?

No Looking Back

It is difficult to picture Ace Montaser at war. He has a boy?s face, with flushed cheeks and aqua eyes that dance about.

When he rolls up his sleeve, the image hardens. Sprawled across his arm is a tattoo of the Grim Reaper. Below it, a ribbon of letters spells ?Brooklyn,? and across the top are the words, ?Trust no one.?

He got the tattoo when he came home from Iraq. It signaled his entry into another kind of battle, one between him and the traditions of his family.

From the time Mr. Montaser was 12, he remembers his mother telling him he would marry a girl from Yemen. He never liked the idea.

?They say you just build love,? he said.

A bride had also been chosen for his brother, Abdulbasset, and the family began talking of a dual wedding before the two men left for Iraq, with different units, in the spring of 2003.

While he was away, Mr. Montaser, 25, served mostly as a translator in Nasiriya, training the Iraqi police and rebuilding schools.

Iraq felt strangely familiar. He studied the streets, the cars, the way people dressed, and kept thinking of Yemen, where he had spent stretches of his youth.

In young Iraqis, he saw himself. He would look at them and wonder, had his father not moved to Brooklyn, would his life have been so different?

He was most haunted by the children, those who begged in the street and others who lay dead in a hospital he visited.

?I just saw how precious life was,? he said. ?To come back alive, I feel I have the right to do whatever I want to do.?

Soon after he returned that September, Mr. Montaser fell in love with a woman from the Bronx. She was Muslim, but did not cover her head. She was of Arab descent, but not Yemeni.

Their relationship was not the first rebellion staged by Mr. Montaser, who prefers the nickname Ace to his birth name, Abdulsamed.

His parents went ahead with the original wedding plan. Nine months later, they persuaded him to fly to Yemen, where they own a house in the capital, Sana.

The night before the wedding, he plotted his escape.



====================



Page 5 of 5)



He quietly packed his camouflage Marine bag. At midnight, he slipped out of the house. On a dresser, he left a note saying that he had gotten cold feet and was traveling south to the port city of Aden.

 

?That?s the good thing about being a marine,? he said. ?You plan. You?re made for these situations. That?s how I got out.?

He hailed a cab to the American Embassy, where a Marine staff sergeant ushered him inside. The next day, he flew back to New York.

?What he realized is the Marine Corps is his other family,? said Gunnery Sgt. Jamal Baadani, an Egyptian immigrant and a mentor of Mr. Montaser.

A week later, Mr. Montaser married his girlfriend, Nafeesah, at City Hall. They live in the Bronx with her parents.

Mr. Montaser is now studying to become a radio producer. For a long time, he did not speak to his parents. He is trying to mend the relationship, but has no interest in returning to Yemen.

?I don?t care what I left behind,? he said. ?There?s nothing for me there. Everything?s in America.?

A Quiet Return

Ismile Althaibani was the last to come home. He arrived at his parents? doorstep without warning on Thanksgiving day in 2004, leaning on a pair of crutches.

They answered the bell and embraced him. He knew there would be none of the balloons and signs that welcomed a Puerto Rican marine in the neighborhood.

?It?s just decorations,? Mr. Althaibani said.

Nine days earlier, on Nov. 17, Mr. Althaibani was in Falluja, riding in a predawn convoy to pick up detainees. He had said a prayer before the trip, reciting the Koran?s first verse. If he survived, he promised God, he would become a better Muslim.

Suddenly, a bomb planted by the insurgents exploded under his truck.

Shrapnel flew into his face and dug deep inside his left foot. Blood trickled from his ears. A friend dragged him from the wreckage, and soon he was on a helicopter to Baghdad.

Mr. Althaibani almost never tells the story of his injury. Few of his relatives know what happened. When he was awarded the Purple Heart at a ceremony at Floyd Bennett Field, in Brooklyn, he invited only his brother Abe and a couple of friends.

His mother does not know the name of his medal.

?You can?t say ?purple heart? in Arabic,? said Mr. Althaibani.

But word traveled. About six months after he returned, Mr. Althaibani was standing outside Yemen Cafe on Atlantic Avenue, sipping tea. A stranger walked up, shook his hand and asked him, in Arabic, if he had killed Iraqis.

None of the marines in Mr. Althaibani?s family welcomed the attention. But for Ismile, it was especially uncomfortable.

A lean man with brown, searching eyes, Mr. Althaibani is always standing off to the side. He is quiet by nature, but returned from Iraq even more withdrawn, his relatives observed. He smiled less, and smoked often.

One afternoon in May, he sank into a couch in his family?s living room. His father, who is a maintenance foreman at a building in Manhattan, sat across from him.

?Iraq is wrong ? 100 percent,? his father said, speaking in English to this reporter. ?Nobody support the war in Iraq.?

Ismile looked away. He had never asked his father what he thought of the war.

Weeks later, the young man stood in a park in Downtown Brooklyn, smoking a cigarette.

?He?s proud of me,? he said of his father. ?He don?t express himself a lot.?

His foot had finally healed. He had been attending a local mosque, and would soon begin training at the New York City Police Academy.

The physical traces of his time in Iraq were all but gone. His hair fell loosely over his forehead. A soft goatee shaded his face.

The only hint of his service hung from two silver chains that disappeared beneath his shirt. They held the aluminum tags of his military identity: name. Blood type. Social Security number.

Stamped across the bottom, in the same block letters, was the word ?Muslim.?
29822  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 07, 2006, 09:53:27 AM
Geopolitical Diary: A War Measured in Half-Miles
August 07, 2006 09 10  GMT



The war in Lebanon continues. Israel continued to send confusing signals during the weekend, with the Jerusalem Post reporting that the Israelis do not intend to go as far north as the Litani and the Syrians saying they would join the war if the Israelis bomb Syrian territory. The United States and France offered a cease-fire proposal that was rejected by the Lebanese and the Syrians, but not by Hezbollah, and the United Nations proceeded at its own stately and inefficient pace. The war appears to be moving forward at a pace as slow as molasses, as the saying goes.

This view is, in fact, deceptive. The war is going as quickly as it can under the circumstances. Hezbollah is clearly well armed, well motivated and, above all, well dug-in. The Israelis do not plan to take any more casualties than are needed. That means extremely slow going, as strong point after strong point is systematically attacked while the Israelis try to avoid tactical mistakes. That sort of careful, meticulous attack against competent forces takes a long time.

Hezbollah has the advantage of the defense. It also is configured that Hezbollah is, in any reasonable time frame, immune to Israel's favorite mobile tactics. It is not dependent on lines of supply or communication. This is also Hezbollah's disadvantage: It will not be re-supplied or reinforced, nor will it be able to move to the offensive. Israeli firepower and its concentration of force are too great for that. But it is clear that Hezbollah's bunkers are also its launch sites, or that the two are collocated. That means that the Israelis cannot simply ignore the bunkers. They must systematically and in detail destroy them, and do so with minimal exposure to Hezbollah fire.

That is a war that takes a long time. A great deal is happening, but all of it measured tactically and strategically in half-miles, not in dozens of miles. If the Israelis are going to eliminate the threat in southern Lebanon, it must be eliminated in very small steps, which is why the war appears to be at a standstill. But it is at a standstill only from the outside. Inside it is a slow, brutal meat-grinder, and it will take as long as it takes.

But in the end, even if the Israelis do go to the Litani, they will not have solved their strategic problem. As we have discussed, to the point that we are as bored with it as you, the rocket threat does not stop at the Litani. Nor does the existence of Hezbollah depend on south Lebanon alone. In fact, if Hezbollah units are defeated in south Lebanon after weeks of fighting and other units survive in the Bekaa Valley and around Beirut, Hezbollah will have won a singular victory -- having fought and, as a group, survived a battle with the Israelis.

Israel has the force to defeat Hezbollah if it is prepared to expend the time and casualties needed to do so. What the Israelis cannot do -- or more precisely, what Hezbollah has made impossible -- is the kind of rapid victory that it has always been able to claim before. Hezbollah has learned the lessons of the past and is not giving the Israelis the kind of centralized command structure and complex lines of supply needed for sudden victory.

Israel appears to be faced with the choice of a war that could last months or a political settlement with Hezbollah that brings in a peacekeeping force. It can be papered over as a U.N. cease-fire resolution or a U.S.-French proposal or a Confucian paradox. What it comes down to is indirect negotiations between Israel and Hezbollah, an agreement and a cease-fire, which means that Hezbollah retains its military capability.

We assume that what Israel wants to do is to reach a point where Hezbollah will agree to disarm or the Lebanese government agrees to disarm Hezbollah. We doubt that Hezbollah fighters will disarm of their own accord, and we doubt that the Lebanese government can disarm them when the Israelis cannot defeat them. Even if they disarmed, so long as they exist, they can re-arm. Therefore, in the end, it will be a negotiated settlement on terms to be determined.

Or the Israelis will pull a rabbit out of the hat and suddenly crush them. But we suspect that if the Israelis had any rabbits, they would have appeared before now. The Israelis may well choose to fight for as long as it takes and go as deep as needed to destroy Hezbollah. Given time and effort, we suspect Israel can do this. No one seems in a hurry to end the fighting, so this may be what is being considered. But it seems to come down to that or negotiating. And a cease-fire agreement that leaves Hezbollah in place will be a victory for Hezbollah.
29823  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 06, 2006, 07:53:13 PM
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/news_opinion_letters/2006/07/the_weapons_mus.html
Ben Caspit, an Israeli journalist wrote this proposed speech for Prime Minister Olmert:

July 31, 2006
Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.

We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.

Ladies and gentlemen, it?s time you understood: the Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centers in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you.

Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe. In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinjad proclaims.

And you - just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again. Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives. Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction - those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility.

Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all. You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not.

Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.

The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians there a chance to build a new reality for themselves. The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak?s peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children. I don?t remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya? What can you do - that?s the way we are. We don?t wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly.

We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy?s children - we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behavior of our enemies. Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more.

And Ariel Sharon?s withdrawal from Gaza. What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don?t recall you reacting with such alarm. And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on his way to Jerusalem - and from there to Paris and London.

An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees. And make no mistake - we won?t go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us.

So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don?t recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans - and the world remains silent. And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya. And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population - then you also kept silent. What is it about us, the Jews, the minority, the persecuted, that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don?t?

In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize. I will not capitulate. I will not whine. This is a battle for our freedom. For our humanity. For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders. It is also your battle. I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don?t, you may regret it later, when it?s too late.
29824  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Invitation to dialog to Muslims on: August 06, 2006, 06:47:20 PM
Woof All:

Bjung (a.k.a. Porn Star Dog-- because his last name is JungwiwattanattaPORN folks  cheesy )  thank you for that post.

Moving along, this sounds like dialog to me:

http://oasisofpeace.org/about_village.htm



This does not:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmnpMXOpaM4&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM-XeaIn06g&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related&v=19mpJRq11Hg

8/11/08 Edited to add that the thrid video has been removed for "violating terms of use".  Pre-emptive dhimmitude perhaps?


The Adventure continues,
CD
29825  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 06, 2006, 06:17:14 PM
Here's one to add to my previous post.  Together they paint quite a picture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM-XeaIn06g&NR
29826  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 06, 2006, 02:43:25 PM
Rogt:

Does this help?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmnpMXOpaM4&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaUftcRJ5wo

CD
29827  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 06, 2006, 12:34:53 PM
Pondering, Discussing, Traveling Amid and Defending the Inevitable War
BERNARD-HENRI L?VY
Published: August 6, 2006
Today's NY Times

When I arrived in Israel, it was the anniversary of the day the Spanish Civil War began. It was 70 years ago that the Spanish generals set off the war ? civil, ideological and international ? that the fascist governments of the time wanted. And I could not help thinking about this as I landed in Tel Aviv. Syria in the wings. . .Ahmadinejad?s Iran maneuvering. . .Hezbollah, which everyone knows is a little Iran, or a little tyrant, taking Lebanon and its people hostage.. . .And behind the scenes, a fascism with an Islamist face, a third fascism, which is to our generation what the other fascism, and then communist totalitarianism, were to our elders?. As soon as I arrived; yes, from the very first moment I visited with my old friends in Tel Aviv, whom I had not seen so tense or so anxious since 1967; from my first conversation with Denis Charbit, an ardent peace activist who did not, it seemed to me, doubt the legitimacy of this war of self-defense; from my first discussion with Tzipi Livni, the young and talented Israeli foreign minister, whom I found strangely disoriented in this new geopolitics, I sensed that something new, something unprecedented in the history of Israeli wars, was being enacted. It was as if Israelis were no longer in the framework of Israel and the Arabs alone. It was as if the international context, the game of hide-and-seek between visible and invisible players, the role of Iran and its Hezbollah ally, gave the whole crisis a flavor, a look, a perspective that were entirely new.

 

Before I went to the northern front, near the border with Lebanon, I traveled to Sderot ? the martyred city of Sderot ? to the south, on the border with Gaza. Yes, the martyred city. Because the images that reach us from Lebanon are so terrible, and because the suffering of Lebanese civilian victims is so unbearable to the conscience and the heart, it is hard to imagine, I know, that an Israeli city could also be a martyred city. And yet. . .these empty streets. . .these gutted houses, riddled by shrapnel. . .this mountain of exploded rockets piled up in the courtyard of the police headquarters, all of which fell in the last few weeks.. . . Even that day (it was July 18), a rain of new bombs fell on the center of town and forced the few people who wanted to take advantage of the summer breeze to scurry back down into their basements.. . .

And then, finally, piously pinned on a black-cloth-covered board in the office of Mayor Eli Moyal, these photos of young people, some of them children, who have died under fire from Palestinian artillery. One thing obviously doesn?t erase the other. And I?m not one to play the dirty little game of counting corpses. But why shouldn?t what is due to some also be due to others? How come we hear so little, at least in the European press, of those Jewish victims who have died since Israel pulled out of Gaza? I have spent my life fighting against the idea that there are good deaths and bad deaths, deserving victims and privileged bombs. I have always agitated for the Israeli state to leave the occupied territories and, in exchange, win security and peace. For me, then, there is a question here of integrity and fairness: devastation, death, life in bomb shelters, existences broken by the death of a child, these are also the lot of Israel.


Haifa. My favorite Israeli city. The big cosmopolitan city where Jews and Arabs have lived together ever since the country was founded. It, too, is now a dead city. It, too, is a ghost city. And here, too, from the tree-covered heights of Mount Carmel down to the sea, the wailing of sirens forces the rare cars to stop and the last passers-by to rush into the subway entrances. Here, too, it is clear that this is the worst nightmare in 40 years for Israelis.

Zivit Seri is a tiny woman, a mother, who speaks with clumsy, defenseless gestures as she guides me through the destroyed buildings of Bat Galim ? literally ?daughter of the waves,? the Haifa neighborhood that has suffered most from the shellings. The problem, she explains, is not just the people killed: Israel is used to that. It?s not even the fact that here the enemy is aiming not at military objectives but deliberately at civilian targets ? that, too, is no surprise. No, the problem, the real one, is that these incoming rockets make us see what will happen on the day ? not necessarily far off ? when the rockets are ones with new capabilities: first, they will become more accurate and be able to threaten, for example, the petrochemical facilities you see there, on the harbor, down below; second, they may come equipped with chemical weapons that can create a desolation compared with which Chernobyl and Sept. 11 together will seem like a mild prelude. For that, in fact, is the situation. As seen from Haifa, this is what is at stake in the operation in southern Lebanon. Israel did not go to war because its borders had been violated. It did not send its planes over southern Lebanon for the pleasure of punishing a country that permitted Hezbollah to construct its state-within-a-state. It reacted with such vigor because the Iranian President Ahmadinejad?s call for Israel to be wiped off the map and his drive for a nuclear weapon came simultaneously with the provocations of Hamas and Hezbollah. The conjunction, for the first time, of a clearly annihilating will with the weapons to go with it created a new situation. We should listen to the Israelis when they tell us they had no other choice anymore. We should listen to Zivit Seri tell us, in front of a crushed building whose concrete slabs are balancing on tips of twisted metal, that, for Israel, it was five minutes to midnight.

We should also listen to the bitterness of Sheik Muhammad Sharif Ouda, the leader in Haifa of the little Ahmadi community, a Muslim sect; his family has lived here for six generations, and he welcomes me into his home, in the hilly Kababir neighborhood, dressed in a Pakistani turban and shalwar kameez. Hezbollah?s crime, he says, was its decision to strike indiscriminately. It was to kill Jews and Arabs alike ? consider the massacre at Haifa?s train depot, where there were 8 dead and more than 20 wounded. And it was also to establish a climate of terror, of anxiety every instant, as in Sarajevo, where people used to speculate about the fact that all it took was a stroke of luck, a change of plans at the last minute, a meeting that went on longer than expected, or that was cut short, or that miraculously changed its venue, to escape being at the point of impact when a rocket landed. Creating such conditions is a crime.

Ouda insists, however, that there is another crime: Hezbollah has in effect relegated the Palestinian question to the background. As indifferent as the traditional Arab leaders may have been, in their innermost selves, to the fate of the inhabitants of Gaza and Nablus, at least they still pretended they cared. Whereas the Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, doesn?t even try to pretend. The suffering and rights of the Palestinians are no longer, in his own Islamo-fascist geopolitics, either a cause to fight for or even an alibi. You just have to read the very charter of his movement, or listen to his proclamations on Al Manar, the Hezbollah TV channel, to see that he has little concern with that relic from ancient eras that is Arab nationalism in general and Palestinian nationalism in particular. (Only the naked hatred remains.) Instead, he dreams of a reconciled Islamic community, a new umma, with Iran as the base, Syria the armed branch and Hezbollah the invading spear tip. He will employ the means of war without the usual practical goals of war. There remain the three neglected casualties of this new Iranian-style jihad: Israel, Lebanon and Palestine.

ore rockets. I have traveled from Haifa to Acre and then, along the Lebanese border, to a succession of villages and kibbutzes and other cooperatives that have lived, for 10 days by this point, under Hezbollah fire. There?s a veritable rain of fire today over these biblical landscapes of Upper Galilee, not to speak of a storm of steel. ?I?ve never really known what you should do in these cases,? Lt. Col. Olivier Rafovitch says to me, forcing himself to laugh, as we approach the border town of Avivim and as the noise of the explosions seems also to be coming closer. ?You tend to speed up, don?t you? You tend to think that the only thing to do is get away as fast as possible from this hell.But that?s stupid, really. For who can tell if it isn?t exactly by speeding up that you come right to where it?s. . .?? In response, we speed up all the same. We rumble through a deserted Druze village, then a big farming town and a completely open zone where a Katyusha rocket has just smashed up the highway.



Page 2 of 3)



The damage these rockets can do, when you see them up close, is insane. And insane, too, is the racket you hear when you?ve stopped talking and are just waiting for the sound they make to blend with the noise of the car?s engine. A rocket that falls in the distance leaves a dull thud; when it goes over your head, it creates a shrill, almost whining detonation; and when it bursts nearby, it shakes everything and leaves a long vibration, which is sustained like a bass note. Maybe we shouldn?t say ?rocket? anymore. In French, at least, the word seems to belittle the thing, and implies an entire biased vision of this war. In Franglais, for example, we call a yapping dog a rocket, roquet; the word conjures a little dog whose bark is worse than his bite and who nibbles at your ankles.. . .So why not say ?bomb?? Or ?missile?? Why not try, using the right word, to restore the barbaric, fanatical violence to this war that was desired by Hezbollah and by it alone? The politics of words. The geopolitics of metaphor. Semantics, in this region, is now more than ever a matter of morality.

 

The Israelis aren?t saints. Obviously they are capable in war of Machiavellian stratagems, operations, even denials. In this war, though, there is a sign that they did not want it and that it landed on them like an evil fate. And this sign is the Israeli government?s choice of Amir Peretz as defense minister: a former activist for Peace Now, long committed to the cause of sharing the land with the Palestinians, Peretz was head of the trade union Histadrut and was in principle much better prepared to organize strikes than to wage war. ?I didn?t sleep a wink all night,? he tells me, very pale, his eyes red, in the little office in Tel Aviv where he welcomes me, along with Daniel Ben-Simon, a writer for the Israeli paper Haaretz. This office is not at the ministry but at the headquarters of the Labor Party. ?I haven?t slept because I spent all night waiting for news of a unit of our boys who were caught in an ambush yesterday afternoon in Lebanese territory.? Then a young aide-de-camp who also looks like a union activist holds out to him a field telephone. Without a word, his eyes lowered, his big mustache trembling with ill-contained emotion, Peretz receives the news he has been dreading. He looks up at us and says: ?Don?t spread the news right away, please, since the families don?t know yet ? but three of them died, and we still haven?t heard about the fourth one. It?s terrible.. . .?

I have known many of Israel?s defense ministers over the past 40 years. From Moshe Dayan to Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon and others, I have seen heroes, demi-heroes, tacticians of genius and talent, skillful or poor or mediocre men succeed one another. What I have never seen before is a minister who was so ? I won?t say ?human? (the sanctification of the life of every soldier fallen in combat is a constant in the country?s history), or even ?civilian? (Shimon Peres, after all, didn?t really have a military past either), but one so apparently unprepared to command an army in wartime (wasn?t his first decision, unique in the annals of Israeli history, to cut the budget of his own ministry by 5 percent?). What I have never seen before is a defense minister answering so exactly to the famous saying by Malraux about those miraculous commanders who ?wage war without loving it? and who, for this very reason, always end up winning.

Amir Peretz, like Malraux?s commanders, will probably win. He?s facing a tougher enemy than expected; he will experience heavier casualties as well; there will be growing doubts, throughout the country, about the wisdom of his strategy; but he will probably win. And in any case, the point is here: the very fact that he was appointed to the post shows that Israel believed that after withdrawing from Lebanon and Gaza it was entering a new era when it would have to wage not war but peace.


I met another war leader, also a member of the Labor Party and a supporter, like Peretz, of a negotiated peace with the Palestinians. It was in the field that I met him, near the Lebanese border, in a place called Koah Junction, which means ?junction of the force? and is for the kabbalists one of the places where, when the day comes, the Messiah will become manifest and pass through. His name is Ephraim Sneh. In his youth he was a medical officer with the paratroopers, the commander of an elite army unit and then commander of the Southern Lebanon Military Zone from 1981 until 1983. And he has the air of a calm father, at once friendly and gruff, that reserve generals often have in Israel when they come back to the service ? which in the present circumstances takes the form of a kind of inspection mission for the defense committee of the Knesset. Why this meeting? Why here, in this landscape of dry stone, brought to a white heat by the sun, to which he has invited me but where I can?t see a living soul aside from ourselves? Does he want to show me something? Explain to me some detail of army strategy that would be visible to me only here? Will he take me to Avivim, less than a mile north of here, where a battle is taking place? Does he want to talk to me about politics? Will he, like Peretz, like Livni, like almost everyone in fact, tell me about Israel?s disappointment with France, which could have played a great role in the region by pushing for the refoundation of the Land of the Cedars and for the disarmament of Hezbollah, as demanded by United Nations Resolution 1559, but which prefers, alas, to confine itself to opening up humanitarian corridors?

Yes, he does tell me that. A little of it. In passing. But I quickly see that he had me come here to talk, first of all, about a matter that is not related, at least apparently, to the present war: nothing other than my book about the kidnapping, captivity and decapitation of Daniel Pearl.. . .A conversation about Danny Pearl at a stone?s throw from a battlefield.. . .An officer with a literary bent deciding that, with our two cars immobilized in the blazing scree, nothing is more urgent than discussing jihad, enlightenment Islam, the trouble with Huntington?s theory of the clash of civilizations, Karachi and its terrorist mosques.. . .I had never seen anything like this before ? for it to be conceivable, it took this expedition to the front lines of a war in which Israel and the world are entangled as never before.


At the same time.. . .It would seem that history has, sometimes, less imagination than we would like, and that old generals don?t have such bad reflexes after all. For the fact is that a few miles to the south, in the commune of Mitzpe Hila, near Maalot, I will not long after experience a deeply moving reminder of the Pearl affair. I visit the home of the parents of the soldier Gilad Shalit, whose capture by Hamas near the town of Kerem Shalom, along the border with Gaza, on June 25, was one of the things that brought about this war. I wonder about the irony of history, which has placed this young man, without any special distinctions, just an ordinary individual, at the origin of this enormous affair. We are sitting now in the sun on the lawn where Shalit played as a child and where you can hear, very close, a few hundred yards away maybe, Katyusha rockets falling, to which his parents seem to have stopped paying attention. We are sitting outside around a garden table, discussing the latest news brought by the U.N. envoy who visited the Shalits just before me, and I find myself thinking that if this war has to last ? if the Iranian factor will, as I have sensed since the instant I arrived, give it new scope and duration ? then this modest army corporal will be the new Franz Ferdinand of a Sarajevo that will bear the name Kerem Shalom.. . .

What is happening, then? Is it his mother Aviva?s expression when I ask her about what she knows of her son?s captivity? Or his father Noam?s look when he tries to explain to me, a faint gleam of hope in his eyes, that the young man has a French grandmother, Jacqueline, who was born in Marseille, and that he hopes my government ? that of France ?will link its efforts with Israel?s? Is it the debate, which I can guess is raging inside Noam, between the father who is prepared for any kind of bargaining to get his son back and the former army soldier who, out of principle, will not give in to blackmail by terrorists? Is it my visit to the corporal?s childhood bedroom? Is it the house itself, so similar, all of a sudden, to Danny Pearl?s house, in Encino, Calif.? Whatever the reason, I am overcome by a feeling of d?j? vu; over the faces of this man and this woman it seems to me as if the faces of Ruth and Judea Pearl, my friends, have been superimposed, the courageous mother and father of another young man, like this one, kidnapped by religious fanatics whose ideological program wasn?t very different, either, from that of Hamas.. .



Published: August 6, 2006
(Page 3 of 3)



Up north again, near the Lebanese border, I travel from Avivim to Manara, where the Israelis have set up, in a crater 200 yards in diameter, an artillery field where two enormous batteries mounted on caterpillar treads bombard the command post and rocket launchers and arsenals in Marun al-Ras on the other side of the border. Three things here strike me. First, the extreme youth of the artillerymen: they are 20 years old, maybe 18. I notice their stunned look at each discharge, as if every time were the first time; their childlike teasing when their comrade hasn?t had time to block his ears and the detonation deafens him; and then at the same time their serious, earnest side, the sobriety of people who know they?re participating in an immense drama that surpasses them ? and know, too, they may soon pay a steep price in blood and life. Second, I note the relaxed ? I was about to say unrestrained and even carefree ? aspect of the little troop. It reminds me of reading about the joyful scramble of those battalions of young republicans in Spain described, once again, by Malraux: an army that is more friendly than it is martial; more democratic than self-assured and dominating; an army that, here, in any case, in Manara, seems to me the exact opposite of those battalions of brutes or unprincipled pitiless terminators that are so often described in media portraits of Israel. And then, finally, I note a strange vehicle. It resembles the two self-propelled cannons, but it is stationed far behind them and doesn?t shoot: this is a mobile command post that you enter, as in a submarine, through a central turret and down a ladder; there are six men in it, seven on some days, and they are busy working with a battery of computers, radar screens and other transmission devices. Their role is to determine the parameters of the firing by collecting information that will be transmitted to the artillerymen. Here, at the root of Israeli firepower, is a veritable laboratory of war where soldier-scholars deploy their intelligence, noses glued to the screens, trying to integrate even the most imponderable facts about the terrain into their calculations. Their goal is to establish the distance to the target and how fast the target moves, as well as to consider the proximity of the civilians, whom they want to avoid at all cost.

 
Does it work? And are these soldier-scholars infallible? Of course not! There is no way, everybody knows, to wage a clean war. And the fact that Hezbollah long ago made the strategic choice to establish its fighters in the most populated areas and thus to transform Lebanese civilians into human shields obviously doesn?t help matters. The fact remains that at least an effort is being made to avoid civilian targets. Here at least, in Manara, that is the Israeli approach. And, as distressed as we may be by the suffering of the Lebanese civilian population, the terrible deaths of hundreds, you cannot conclude that the Israelis have the strategic intention or the will to harm civilians.


hen I met David Grossman, it was in an open-air restaurant in the Arab village of Abu Gosh, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, which seems like a garden of Eden after the hell of the last few days ? bright sunshine, the buzz of insects rather than airplanes or tanks, a casualness in the air, a light breeze.. . .We talk about his latest book, which is a retelling of the myth of Samson. We talk about his son, who was just called up for duty in a tank unit, and about whom he trembles with anxiety. We talk about a statistic he has just read, which worries him: almost a third of young Israelis have lost faith in Zionism and have found tricks to try to get themselves exempted from military service.

And then of course we discuss the war and the huge distress it seems to have plunged him into, along with other progressive intellectuals in the country.. . .For on one hand, he explains to me, there is the terrible extent of the destruction, women and children killed, the humanitarian catastrophe under way, the risk of civil war and of Lebanon burning ? and the government?s mistake of, at first, setting the bar so high (destroy Hezbollah, render its infrastructure and its army incapable of doing any more harm) that even a semi-victory, when it comes, risks having a whiff of defeat. But, on the other hand, there is Israel?s right, like any other state in the world, not to sit by in the face of such crazy, groundless, gratuitous aggression; there is the fact, he adds, that Lebanon plays host to Hezbollah and permits it to participate in its government: where could an Israeli counterattack have taken place but on Lebanese soil?. . .I observe David Grossman. I examine his handsome face, the face of the former enfant terrible of Israeli literature, who has aged too quickly and is devoured by melancholy. He is not just one of the greatest Israeli novelists today. He is also, along with Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua and a few others, one of the country?s moral consciences. And I think that his testimony, his firmness, his way of not yielding, despite everything, on the essential soundness of Israel?s cause, ought to convince even the most hesitant.


And then, finally, Shimon Peres. More than ever I did not want to end this journey without going, as I do each time, to visit Peres ? the country?s elder statesman. I met him in the company of Daniel Saada, an old friend and founding member of the French progressive organization SOS Racisme, who has now settled in Israel and become a diplomat as well as a friend of Peres. Shimon, as everyone here calls him, is now 82 years old. But he hasn?t lost any of his handsomeness. Or the look of a prince-priest of Zionism. He still has the same face, all forehead and mouth, that emphasizes the melodious authority of his voice. And I even have the impression, at times, that he has adopted a few of the mannerisms of his old rival Yitzhak Rabin: a slight bitterness in his smile, a gleam in his eyes, a way of carrying himself and, sometimes, of shading his words.. . .

?The whole problem,? he begins, ?is the failure of what one of your great writers called the strategy of the general staff. No one, today, controls anyone else. No one has the power to stop or overpower anyone else. So that we, Israel, have never had so many friends, but never in our history have they been so useless. Except.. . .?

He asks his daughter, who is present as we talk, to go to the neighboring office and find two letters, one from Mahmoud Abbas and one from Bill Clinton. ?Yes, except for the fact that you have them,? he then continues. ?The men of good will. My friends. The friends of enlightenment and peace. The ones who will never renounce peace because of terrorism, or nihilism, or defeatism. We have a plan, you know.Still the same plan for prosperity, for shared development, which will end up triumphing.Listen.. . .?

Shimon, a young man who is 82 years old, has had a dream. His invincible dream has lasted, in fact, for 30 years; the present impasse, far from discouraging him, seems mysteriously to stimulate him. So I listen to him. I listen to this Wise Man of Israel explain to me that his country must simultaneously ?win this war,? foil this ?quartet of evil? made up by Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah and clear the way for ?paths of speech and dialogue? that will, one day, lead the Middle East somewhere. And as I listen to him, and let myself be lulled by his oft-repeated, indefinite prophecies, I find that, today, for some reason, those prophecies have a new coefficient of obviousness and force. I, too, catch myself imagining the glory of a Jewish state that would dare, at the same time, almost in the same gesture and with the same movement, to deliver two things at once: to some, alas, war; to others, a real declaration of peace that would be recognized as such and accepted.


Bernard-Henri L?vy, a French philosopher and writer, is the author, most recently, of ?American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville.? This article was translated by Charlotte Mandell from the French.
29828  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: August 05, 2006, 10:09:02 PM
http://www.fullnet.net/devotionals/therock.html

http://www.navysealmuseum.com/
29829  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: August 05, 2006, 08:11:10 PM
By VIRGINIA WHEELER
and TOM NEWTON-DUNN,
Defence Editor

A BRITISH sniper waging war on the Taliban is so deadly he has earned a chilling nickname ? The Man Who Never Misses.

The unerring Army sharpshooter has killed 39 rebel fighters single-handedly.

His marksmanship is so lethal that rumours have spread like wildfire through insurgents? camps, causing panic and confusion.

The sniper ? who The Sun is not naming to prevent him becoming a target himself ? is a member of elite 3 Para.

Described by sources as ?the best shot in the Army? he is responsible for over five per cent of the 700 insurgents killed by Paras since British forces returned to Afghanistan.

He is based in the wild Helmand province, where our troops launched a massive assault on the Taliban this week.

A source said yesterday: ?This sniper is truly something else ? a silent assassin.

?In the deadly terrain of southern Afghanistan, where guerilla warfare rules, he has been invaluable. The rumours are sweeping enemy camps that he is the man who never misses.?

The sniper?s actual toll is probably higher than 39 but the Taliban?s tendency to reclaim bodies makes deaths difficult to confirm.

His lethal L96A1 rifle has a range of 1,000 yards and is fitted with electronic sights and laser range-finders.

He works with a partner called a spotter, who locates the target and helps judge wind speed and distance so the bullet travels accurately.

Each day the pair risk their lives away from fellow Paras, taking up covert positions and often lying hidden for as long as ten hours at a time. Once the shot has been fired they need nerves of steel to stay concealed while Taliban rebels wielding rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns desperately try to hunt them down.

The Ministry of Defence would not discuss the crackshot for security reasons.

But he is regarded as one of the most successful British snipers since World War Two.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the Army is creating an elite force of almost 700 snipers, with all 38 infantry battalions required to have an 18-man platoon of sharpshooters by 2008. It will be the first time formal sniper platoons will have existed since the end of the First World War in 1918.

The decision follows the success of British and US sniper teams who have killed dozens of terrorists on recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2003 Royal Marines sniper Corporal Matt Hughes killed an Iraqi gunman from 900 yards with a ?wonder shot? in which he aimed 56ft to the left and 35ft high to allow for wind.

The bullet?s trajectory was calculated by his spotter after he studied the movement of dust in the breeze. And Irish Guards Sergeant Eddie Waring lay on a roof for hours to take out three Iraqis who were laying mines in Basra.

FOUR Canadian NATO soldiers were killed and ten wounded in separate attacks in Afghanistan yesterday.
Three died when rocket-propelled grenades were fired on troops working with local forces to improve security near the city of Kandahar. The other was killed by a roadside bomb. At least 34 civilians were killed or wounded in the day of violence.
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006350757,00.html
29830  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 05, 2006, 08:34:20 AM
A War Crime at Qana?

By ORDE F. KITTRIE
August 5, 2006; Page A11

The Qana tragedy has intensified accusations that Israel's actions in Lebanon violate international law. Every death of an innocent person is extremely regrettable; but there is no evidence Israel has committed any war crimes. In contrast, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria have clearly violated international law in this conflict. Moreover, Israel's conduct compares favorably to how its most powerful accusers have behaved when their own interests have been threatened.

International law has three major prohibitions relevant to the Qana incident. One forbids deliberate attacks on civilians. Another prohibits hiding forces in civilian areas, thereby turning civilians into "human shields." A third prohibition, the proportionality restriction that Israel is accused of violating, involves a complicated and controversial balancing test.

Geneva Convention Protocol I contains one version of the proportionality test, the International Criminal Court Statute another; neither is universally accepted. As a result, the proportionality test is governed by "customary international law," an amalgam of non-universal treaty law, court decisions, and how influential nations actually behave. It does not hinge on the relative number of casualties, or the force used, however, but on the intent of the combatant. Under customary international law, proportionality prohibits attacks expected to cause incidental death or injury to civilians if this harm would, on balance, be excessive in relation to the overall legitimate military accomplishment anticipated.

At Qana, Israeli aircraft fired toward a building to stop Hezbollah from shooting rockets at its cities. The aircraft did not deliberately target civilians; but Hezbollah rockets are targeted at civilians, a clear war crime. U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland last week called on Hezbollah to stop its "cowardly blending" among women and children: "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this." If Hezbollah used Lebanese civilians in Qana as "human shields," then Hezbollah, not Israel, is legally responsible for their deaths.

If Israel was mistaken and Hezbollah was not firing from or hiding amongst these civilians, the legality of its action is assessed by the proportionality test. Because the test is vague, there have been few, if any, cases since World War II in which a soldier, commander or country has been convicted of violating it. In the absence of guidance from the courts, determining whether Israel's military has failed the proportionality test depends on an assessment of what civilian casualties it expected, what its overall military goals are, the context in which the country is operating, and how the international community has in practice balanced civilian risk against military goals.

Israel did not expect civilian casualties; it warned civilians to leave Qana, and Israel's official investigation has concluded its military attacked based on "information that the building was not inhabited by civilians and was being used as a hiding place for terrorists." The law of war recognizes that mistakes are inevitable, and does not criminalize soldiers who seek in good faith seek to avoid them.

Israel's overall military goal is to survive attacks by enemies determined to annihilate it. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has stated: "Israel . . . is an aggressive, illegal and illegitimate entity, which has no future. . . . Its destiny is manifested in our motto: 'Death to Israel.'" Thus Israel is attempting to prevent Hezbollah from using its 10,000 remaining rockets, and to implement the requirement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 that Hezbollah be disarmed.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah and Iran -- which provides this terrorist group with arms, direction and over $100 million a year -- are in continual violation of international law. Their calls for Israel's destruction violate the international genocide treaty's prohibition of "direct and public incitement to commit genocide." Iran's effort to develop a nuclear arsenal that could obliterate Israel, or deter its responses to future Hezbollah attacks, violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Iranian (and Syrian) support for Hezbollah violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, requiring states to "refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts." Hezbollah began the armed conflict with rocket attacks on Israeli towns and the abduction of Israeli soldiers: unprovoked acts of war violating an internationally recognized border.

Israel is acting in self-defense and avoided killing civilians, even giving advance notice by phone to the occupants of homes targeted for attack as Hezbollah hideouts. While Hezbollah deliberately maximizes harm to Israeli and Lebanese civilians, Israel puts its soldiers at risk to minimize Lebanese civilian casualties.

The track record of many of Israel's most powerful accusers -- including China, Russia and the European Union -- is not nearly as good at balancing civilian risk against military goals.

China killed hundreds of peaceful Tiananmen Square protestors in 1989. It has for five decades occupied Tibet, slaughtering tens of thousands; and it vows to invade Taiwan if it declares independence. Neither the Tiananmen protesters nor Tibet nor Taiwan has ever threatened to "wipe China off the map."

Russia has fought since 1994 to suppress Chechnya's independence movement. Out of a Chechen population of one million, as many as 200,000 have been killed as Russia has leveled the capital city of Grozny. Chechen rebels pose no threat to "wipe Russia off the map." All of the leading EU countries actively participated in NATO's 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999. The military goal was to stop Yugoslavia from oppressing its Kosovar minority. NATO bombs and missiles hit Yugoslav bridges, power plants and a television station, killing hundreds of civilians. Yugoslavia posed no threat to the existence of any of the EU countries that bombed it.

Compared with how China, Russia, and the EU have dealt with non-existential threats -- and despite the law-flouting behavior of Hezbollah, Iran and Syria -- Israel's responses to the threats to its existence have been remarkably restrained rather than disproportionately violent.

Mr. Kittrie is professor of international law at Arizona State University and served in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. State Department from 1993 to 2003
29831  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 05, 2006, 12:31:00 AM
Analysis

A week ago, Israeli foot patrols in Lebanon were spotted using llamas, an especially quiet beast of burden that can go several days without eating while carrying about as much weight as one Israeli soldier can carry. This, combined with an airstrike on a power station supplying an area of the southern Bekaa Valley, signals Israel is about to make a significant move.

At first glance, it appears like an odd role-reversal when Israeli reconnaissance units are leading pack animals into battle while Hezbollah fighters are wielding modern anti-tank weapons. But as U.S. special operations forces calling in airstrikes from horseback in Afghanistan showed, mountain and fourth-generation warfare present new challenges that must be met on the ground.

Sustained special operations deep inside enemy territory have always meant heavy loads of food and ammunition, now compounded by the need to haul modern communications and surveillance equipment. While raids based on intelligence can be inserted by helicopter, move to the target and pull out, pack animals indicate invaders plan an extended stay. This is generally indicative of long-range patrols and reconnaissance units setting up observation posts deep inside enemy territory. Even in the era of surveillance satellites, some of the best intelligence still comes from human observation. Israeli patrols fitting this description were spotted returning from Lebanon a week ago. We suspect many more are now well-positioned to observe much of the southern Bekaa Valley.

Elsewhere, on Aug. 4, the Israeli air force (IAF) knocked out a power station supplying the Kiraoun area at the southern end of the Bekaa. Every power plant in Lebanon has been available as a potential target for the IAF for more than three weeks now, yet Israel did not strike the Kiraoun station until now. In air campaigns, attacks on power infrastructure often signal impending ground assaults, since such attacks wreak havoc on command-and-control infrastructure -- but usually only temporarily, as those experiencing such attacks bring generators on line and make other adaptations. Thus, attacks on power-generating infrastructure are an excellent way to knock the enemy off-balance immediately before a major escalation.

Such a strike also forces generators into use. In order to run the most rudimentary command-and-control infrastructure (PCs, radios, satellite phones, etc.), Hezbollah will require power. No matter how briefly those generators are turned on, they create a detectable electromagnetic signature and thermal exhaust plume. And Hezbollah posts in the area now will be forced to burn through limited fuel supplies that cannot easily be replaced.

Of course, long-range patrols and an airstrike on a power station could mean many things. But we view these developments in the context of a massive IDF force waiting in northern Israel around Qiryat Shemona and Metulla, U.S. President George W. Bush's August vacation, an unprecedented raid and the importance of the Bekaa Valley itself. Israel is up to something significant in the Bekaa.
29832  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Cuba on: August 04, 2006, 10:12:58 PM
Cuba: Where's Raul?
Summary

Five days have passed since Cuban leader Fidel Castro handed power to his younger brother Raul. But Raul is nowhere to be seen, and rumors are flying about the fate of the Communist regime. Raul's mysterious absence could simply be a trial period to flush out dissidents and smooth out the succession.

Analysis

Revolutionary Cuban leader Fidel Castro shook the world when he announced July 30 that his younger brother, Raul Castro, who also is head of the Cuban armed forces, would run the island nation while Fidel underwent major surgery for intestinal bleeding. "Raul is firmly at the helm of the nation and the armed forces," Granma, the Communist Party newspaper in Cuba, reported Aug. 4; yet the 75-year-old brother has yet to give a public address to the nation.

The absence of the brothers has led to speculation that a military coup could be under way in Havana. While Raul, the muscle behind the Castro regime, has done an exemplary job of purging it of potential threats, there exist a number of dissidents who have been anxiously waiting for the Cuban dictator to pass away so they can obtain control of the country at long last. The Cuban military has mobilized, and communications between the island and the outside world have been shut down. Though the eerie silence in Cuba has led many observers to believe the Castro regime has been overthrown, the strong backing Raul receives from the Cuban army contradicts this theory.

This would not be the first time in history that an ailing leader has been propped up for an extensive period of time while a political transition takes place. Fidel is already dead or likely close to death -- gastrointestinal bleeding is no joke, especially for a nearly 80-year-old man whose diet for most of his life has consisted of Cohiba cigars and fine rum. While "El Comandante" approaches death, Raul's disappearance may be meant to create the illusion of a leadership vacuum as the Cuban regime waits to see if anyone moves to fill it. Only a limited number in the Cuban hierarchy are privy to the plans for succession, and when those in charge detect who is and isn't loyal to the post-Fidel regime, a major crackdown will ensue. The Cubans are particularly implacable against those who they suspect are traitors -- witness the 1989 trial and execution of legendary Cuban Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez. When the coast is clear, Raul may very well come out and address the nation to announce the death of his brother and take up the leadership mantle.

The United States, meanwhile, will quietly wish for a peaceful transition under Raul's command. The last thing Washington needs is for chaos to erupt in Cuba and spread to Miami during election season. A concern running through many minds in Washington is whether or not the U.S. government will be able to handle the repercussions of Cuban exiles making a run for Guantanamo Bay, where a number of al Qaeda detainees are locked up.

Raul may be camera shy, but pressure is building for him to make an appearance. Meanwhile, we will be keeping an eye on Fidel's revolutionary buddy, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who would be exhibiting unusual behavior if the Castro regime were truly dealing with an internal rebellion. So far, Chavez has been giving off an air of tranquility, which raises the question: When will Raul finish his dirty work and come out of hiding?
29833  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: August 04, 2006, 02:47:43 PM
Regarding my previous post:

My apologies for the preceding which turns out to have been internet flotsam containing inaccuracies (Not from the source attributed and freezing water in plastic is NOT a problem).

These sources are far more precise:

http://www.bms.jhmi.edu/JHI/English/Media/Find_an_Expert/FE_RolfHaldenJuly05.asp

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cookplastic.asp

Speaking for myself, I will continue to avoid nuking with plastic.

===========

Concerning drink temperature, I first ran across this idea during my extensive travels in the interior of Mexico on my motorcycle back in the 1970s.  When out in the country, upon entering a local type restaurant (where many people worked in the fields during the day and where air conditioning was unheard of) and asking for something to drink the responding query would be "Cold or room temperature?"  This applied to mineral water, beer (Mexican beer can be quite good btw) and soda.  So when I ran across the same thing in the essay on Manong LaCoste in Guro Inosanto's book "The Filipino Martial Arts" I found it particularly interesting.  Since then I always seek my water at room temperature or at the very least without ice.
29834  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: August 04, 2006, 09:56:14 AM
TOO NICE TO WIN?
ISRAEL'S DILEMMA
By JOHN PODHORETZ

July 25, 2006 -- WHAT if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point
where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a
level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed
pursuit of their own national interests?

What if the universalist idea of liberal democracy - the idea that all
people are created equal - has sunk in so deeply that we no longer assign
special value to the lives and interests of our own people as opposed to
those in other countries?

What if this triumph of universalism is demonstrated by the Left's
insistence that American and Israeli military actions marked by an
extraordinary concern for preventing civilian casualties are in fact
unacceptably brutal? And is also apparent in the Right's claim that a war
against a country has nothing to do with the people but only with that
country's leaders?

Can any war be won when this is the nature of the discussion in the
countries fighting the war? Can any war be won when one of the combatants
voluntarily limits itself in this manner?

Could World War II have been won by Britain and the United States if the two
countries did not have it in them to firebomb Dresden and nuke Hiroshima and
Nagasaki?

Didn't the willingness of their leaders to inflict mass casualties on
civilians indicate a cold-eyed singleness of purpose that helped break the
will and the back of their enemies? Didn't that singleness of purpose extend
down to the populations in those countries in those days, who would have and
did support almost any action at any time that would lead to the deaths of
Germans and Japanese?

What if the tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn't kill enough
Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us
they would go along with anything? Wasn't the survival of Sunni men between
the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause
of the sectarian violence now?

If you can't imagine George W. Bush issuing such an order, is there any
American leader you could imagine doing so?

And if America can't do it, can Israel? Could Israel - even hardy, strong,
universally conscripted Israel - possibly stomach the bloodshed that would
accompany the total destruction of Hezbollah?

If Lebanon's 300-plus civilian casualties are already rocking the world,
what if it would take 10,000 civilian casualties to finish off Hezbollah?
Could Israel inflict that kind of damage on Lebanon - not because of world
opinion, but because of its own modern sensibilities and its understanding
of the value of every human life?

Where do these questions lead us?

What if Israel's caution about casualties among its own soldiers and
Lebanese civilians has demonstrated to Hezbollah and Hamas that as long as
they can duck and cover when the missiles fly and the bombs fall, they can
survive and possibly even thrive?

What if Israel has every capability of achieving its aim, but cannot unleash
itself against a foe more dangerous, more unscrupulous, more unprincipled
and more barbaric than even the monstrous leaders of the Intifada it managed
to quell after years of suicide attacks?

And as for the United States, what if we have every tool at our disposal to
win a war - every weapons system we could want manned by the most superbly
trained military in history - except the ability to match or exceed our
antagonists in ruthlessness?

Is this the horrifying paradox of 21st century warfare? If Israel and the
United States cannot be defeated militarily in any conventional sense, have
our foes discovered a new way to win? Are they seeking victory through
demoralization alone - by daring us to match them in barbarity and knowing
we will fail?

Are we becoming unwitting participants in their victory and our defeat? Can
it be that the moral greatness of our civilization - its astonishing focus
on the value of the individual above all - is endangering the future of our
civilization as well?
29835  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: August 04, 2006, 09:10:22 AM
Woof All:

Just surfed through the back pages of the forum and was unable to find a health thread, so I start this one here.

The Adventure continues,
CD
================

Cancer News From Johns Hopkins
.

Cancer update -- Johns Hopkins -- Cancer News from Johns
 Hopkins:

1. No plastic containers in micro.

2. No water bottles in freezer.

3. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters.
 This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army
Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals causes cancer, especially breast cancer.
Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't
freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this  releases dioxins
from the plastic.

 Recently, Dr.. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager
 at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain  this health hazard.
He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us.

 He said that we should not be heating our food in the
microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods  that
contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics
releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells  of thebody.
 Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware,
Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only
without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups,
etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else.
 Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. He reminded us that
a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away
from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one  of the reasons.
 Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is justas dangerous when placed over! foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.
29836  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Bilateralism on: August 04, 2006, 09:04:24 AM
I recently saw that in Sonny Umpad's Balisong book that he too teaches the complementary hand the single weapon motions first for reasons that are quite similar.
29837  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 04, 2006, 08:19:29 AM
Many good points there, but FWIW Stratfor.com says that overthrowing the Syrian regime will result in a worse one.
29838  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Humor on: August 04, 2006, 08:12:32 AM
I have a Labrador retriever.
I was buying a large bag of Purina at Wal-Mart and was in line to check out.
 
A woman behind me asked if I had a dog?
 
On impulse, I told her that no, and that I was starting The Purina Diet again.
Although I probably shouldn't because I'd ended up in the hospital last time,
but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward
with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
 
I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet
and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets
and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry
and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again.
 
I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story,
particularly a tall guy who was behind her.
 
Horrified, she asked if ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.
 
I told her no; I'd been sitting in the street licking my balls and a car hit me.
 
I thought the guy behind her was going to have to have help as he laughingly staggered to the door.
29839  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: August 03, 2006, 07:49:27 PM
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...s_clone_r.html


Quote:
It was demonstrated today at the BlackHat conference.

Grunwald says it took him only two weeks to figure out how to clone the passport chip. Most of that time he spent reading the standards for e-passports that are posted on a website for the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations body that developed the standard. He tested the attack on a new European Union German passport, but the method would work on any country's e-passport, since all of them will be adhering to the same ICAO standard.

In a demonstration for Wired News, Grunwald placed his passport on top of an official passport-inspection RFID reader used for border control. He obtained the reader by ordering it from the maker -- Walluf, Germany-based ACG Identification Technologies -- but says someone could easily make their own for about $200 just by adding an antenna to a standard RFID reader.

He then launched a program that border patrol stations use to read the passports -- called Golden Reader Tool and made by secunet Security Networks -- and within four seconds, the data from the passport chip appeared on screen in the Golden Reader template.

Grunwald then prepared a sample blank passport page embedded with an RFID tag by placing it on the reader -- which can also act as a writer -- and burning in the ICAO layout, so that the basic structure of the chip matched that of an official passport.

As the final step, he used a program that he and a partner designed two years ago, called RFDump, to program the new chip with the copied information.

The result was a blank document that looks, to electronic passport readers, like the original passport.
29840  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Mexico on: August 03, 2006, 05:21:52 PM
Global Market Brief: Ripple Effects of Mexico's Contested Election
August 03, 2006 20 51  GMT



Supporters of Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is still contesting his failed bid in the July 2 Mexican presidential elections, surrounded the Mexican stock exchange in Mexico City for several hours Aug. 3, blocking workers from entering but having little effect on actual trading on the floor. The demonstrators, many of whom have been camped out along Zocalo Square and Reforma Boulevard during the week, have threatened to return again Aug. 4, and continue demonstrating and disrupting traffic in Mexico City until there is a total recount of the extremely close election.

As we noted in our June 29 Global Market Brief, the Mexican elections would have left congress divided no matter who won, which would then lead to difficulties in passing economic policies. The electoral margin between victor Felipe Calderon of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) and second-place finisher Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) was razor thin -- just 0.56 percent, or 244,000 votes. Lopez Obrador has strongly contested the election, declaring himself the victim of massive fraud, and has vowed to stir public protests until there is a total recount or he is declared president.

Lopez Obrador's supporters have thus far remained relatively peaceful in their actions, though they are causing traffic disruptions in the capital. The second-place finisher has other options available, however, if he cannot achieve his goals through sit-ins in Mexico City. Two short-term risks are foremost. First, Lopez Obrador has created "citizens' committees" within his support base. This allows for more localized and self-directed action by his supporters, which would give the movement opportunities to expand and alter its characteristics throughout Mexico (or at least in those areas where Lopez Obrador has the most support). But the devolution of authority to the local committees also creates a situation where local groups, independently or with tacit central support, shift from the current non-violent actions to a more aggressive approach. The buffer of the citizen committee structure then insulates Lopez Obrador from direct responsibility should violence break out.

The second possibility is that Lopez Obrador takes his protests to a more economically significant target -- Mexico's oil fields. In 1994, after losing in gubernatorial elections in Tabasco state to Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Roberto Madrazo (who coincidentally ran against Lopez Obrador and Calderon in the July presidential election), Lopez Obrador claimed fraud and launched a civil resistance movement in protest. He led caravans to Mexico City to protest, but more significantly he led supporters to block access to several oil rigs and other Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) facilities in Tabasco. The blockades lasted several months before Lopez Obrador finally relented.

Oil exports and related taxes account for some 40 percent of federal revenues in Mexico, and should Lopez Obrador shift tack and repeat his earlier course of action, there could be a more substantive impact on Mexico than traffic jams in Mexico City.

Such action would also resonate beyond Mexico. Even if the blockage of a few Mexican oil rigs would not substantively affect Mexico's overall oil output, it would certainly add to the psychological pressures on international oil prices. Oil is currently better than $75 a barrel, and while not at record highs, nor yet seriously affecting the U.S. economy, a crisis in the oil fields of the fifth-largest oil producer and ninth-largest exporter would add another premium on an already premium-heavy oil market.

But Mexico also faces a longer-term problem with its oil industry, one that was part of the election battle. Amid debates over Mexico's future economic policies, one of the trickiest is the question of energy. While Lopez Obrador's PRD remains strongly opposed to any change in the national nature of the oil industry, both PAN and PRI have presented options to open the oil sector slowly to private investments, potentially even foreign investment. Calderon has offered specific proposals to allow mixed partnerships in offshore oil and gas exploration and other ventures, for example.

Mexico's oil infrastructure, while not nearly as run down as Venezuela's, is in need of vitalization. While the Mexican economy has diversified during the past two decades, the government remains highly dependent upon oil exports for state revenues. As such, little of the money Pemex collects from exports is reinvested into Pemex. This practice weakens the company's ability to explore new oil fields, exploit existing resources or process and refine crude. There is a serious lack of investments, and it is showing in the declining proven reserves. Calderon has proposed opening up the system for complementary private investment while keeping Pemex under state control, but he will have a hard time convincing a divided congress to make the change. The new government's first priority will likely revolve around tax reform, leaving energy reform for later.

And given the divisions in the Mexican congress, the privatization of Mexico's oil industry -- even if on a limited scale -- will be a very contentious and difficult issue. With the PRD making a strong showing in the congressional elections, and PAN and PRI traditional competitors, Calderon is unlikely to try for a quick change in regulations surrounding private investment in Mexico's oil industry. And this delay will only continue the slow erosion of Mexico's position among oil producers.
29841  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Die Less Often: Interface of Gun, Knife and Emtpy Hand on: August 03, 2006, 08:41:17 AM
Masters and cover now at the Duplication House so we will begin shipping very soon.

In the meantime, here this from

http://www.westcoastcombatives.com/
------------

INTERFACE OF GUN/KNIFE/EMPTY HAND AKA Die Less Often Promo
Consistency Across Categories is a DogBrothers theme, and this new video from the duo of Marc Denny & Gabe Suarez is an excellent example of the hybrid approach current bleeding edge combatives instructors are taking with respect to personal threat management.

Here's the trailer, and yours truly can be seen in several of the mock skirmishes!

Idea: The ingrained initial threat response should be identical regardless of how the opponent(s) is armed. Furthermore, it should remain identical whether or not the responder is armed or not. ie. Neutralize the threat, create an opportunity, THEN escalate your response with a weapon.

I came to fully appreciate this as I tried an experiment: the threat was 6-7 feet away. He had blades. I moved to the side giving me an extra three feet. All seemed well as I reached for my trainer gun. Man w. blade was now 4 feet away. I was wearing workout pants. The gun slipped down my pants. The blade was now in my face, I was falling backwards no gun, no knife, no defense, No Hope. The next time around, I dealt with the threat rather than attempting to escalate force via weapon, and I fared much better. Tueller's law strikes again. If you are a LEO or function in some form of high risk physical security threat model, I HIGHLY recommend doing significant amounts ECQ hand to hand training.

One interesting point of note, the video mentions the most critical component of the seminar: dog-catcher concept/technique. However you will not see it within the promo-video. They have keep you in suspense (and get you to buy the video somehow).

The two days of training captured in this video were quite interesting, and a worthwhile experience. This techniques are especially useful IF you need a crash course in ECQ combat.

From my personal experience, there are NO arts and crafts in this seminar, just purely operational threat management techniques. From my viewing of the promo, I believe it is safe to say that the video captured the spirit of the class: Train Hard, Train Smart, and Die less Often.
posted by /dn at 7/02/2006 02:08:01 AM 0 comments
29842  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 03, 2006, 12:48:04 AM
nation / world news | middle east crisis
Israelis' goal isn't clear, says strategy expert
Ex-Pentagon official says Jewish state now "has only one ally, and that's the United States"
By Bob Deans
Cox News Service
DenverPost.com
 
Washington - Former Pentagon official Anthony Cordesman, who also has held NATO and State Department security posts, is an expert on military strategy for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. He discussed the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict Tuesday.

Q. It seems Israel's goal is to essentially cleanse southern Lebanon of Hezbollah. How do you do that militarily?

Cordesman: It isn't clear that's the goal at all. So far this is a very limited set of military actions. But without being able to target virtually every element of the Hezbollah, all you can do is use the best intelligence you have, try to find clusters of fighters, hope they don't disperse, or hide or bury or move their weapons, and do the best you can.

Q. How much do you think Hezbollah has been weakened in southern Lebanon by these attacks?

Cordesman: We have absolutely no idea. Hezbollah, obviously, denies it. Israel has made surprisingly moderate claims. If you look at the casualties they've claimed, they'd probably be less than a tenth of Hezbollah's strength. It's almost impossible at times to know how much damage has been done.

Q. What about the price that Israel is paying for this offensive?

Cordesman: There is obviously a human cost. It's an extraordinarily expensive operation. It's often using weapons that cost close to $100,000 to hit weapons that cost $2,000 or $3,000 - and that's if it's successful. It's lost some aircraft. We're talking about very quickly things in excess of $100 million. And that, compared to the cost of maintaining Hezbollah forces or reconstituting them, is a very high price indeed. The political cost is not new to Israel, but certainly most of Europe sees this as excessive and unnecessary. Anger in the Arab world and a good part of the Muslim world as well as much of the rest of the world had been significantly increased. Israel at this point has only one ally, and that's the United States.

Q. Is there any chance that the Israeli incursion would result in new sympathy, new support, new recruits for Hezbollah?

Cordesman: Over time there is a very good chance that it will. Hezbollah had a core strength of anywhere from 300 to 1,200 full-time fighters and 3,000 to 12,000 reservists. It doesn't take many volunteers to make significant differences.

The real problem here is never how many fighters there are, it's how many skilled people actually can carry out ambushes, can use bombs, can conduct specialized raids. This isn't a matter of body counts or boots on the ground. That's largely irrelevant.

Q. What about an international peacekeeping force?

Cordesman: Sending in a peacekeeping force is easy in one sense. But if it actually has to fight, take casualties and kill people, it's going to be perceived as the enemy, not the liberator, and Hezbollah can attack it as well as conduct raids and sabotage and bombings.
29843  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Invitation to dialog to Muslims on: August 02, 2006, 09:48:35 PM
Gentlemen:

Forgive me the intervention, but I'd like to steer this back to the subject of this thread: dialog with Muslims.

CD
29844  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Real Fights on: August 02, 2006, 05:49:25 PM
Woof Dog Greg:

Do tell please , , ,

CD
29845  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Mexico on: August 02, 2006, 04:05:34 PM
?Se va a mantener la paz/orden social?
29846  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: August 01, 2006, 06:31:33 PM
http://www.davidbellavia.com/about-david/

David Bellavia is a former Army Staff Sergeant who served in the First Infantry Division for six years. His leadership recommended David for the Medal of Honor, and he has been nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross. Both awards are still under review. He has received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Conspicuous Service Cross (New York State?s highest combat valor award), and he was recently inducted into the New York State Veteran?s Hall of Fame. His Task Force 2-2 Infantry fought on such battlefields as Al Muqdadiyah, An Najaf, Al Fallujah, Mosul, and Baqubah. He is 30 years old.


NARRATIVE NOMINATING SSG DAVID BELLAVIA FOR THE MEDAL OF HONOR(originally) DURING OPERATION PHANTOM FURY FALLUJAH, IRAQ

On the night of 10 November 2004 Third Platoon, A Company, Task Force 2-2 IN near OBJ Wolf in Fallujah, Iraq, was ordered to attack to destroy six to eight Anti Iraqi Forces (AIF). 1LT Edward Iwan, the A Company Executive Officer, had identified six to eight AIF who had entered a block of twelve buildings. These AIF had engaged A55 and tanks from Team Tank with automatic weapons and rocket fire. Having a 25 mm cannon malfunction, 1LT Edward Iwan cordoned off the area and called Third Platoon to enter and clear all buildings until the AIF were killed or captured.

The first nine buildings yielded many AK47s, Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers, rockets, assorted ammunition, and flak vests. When they came to the tenth home, SSG Colin Fitts, 1st Squad Leader, led his squad of soldiers into the house, with four soldiers from SSG Bellavias 2nd Squad. SGT Hugh Hall, 1st Squad, B Team Leader and SGT Warren Misa 1st Squad, A Team Leader, established a quick foothold in the interior of the house. When SGT Misa attempted to clear the second room he encountered heavy enemy fire. Two AIF were under a stairwell, well covered behind a three-foot barrier, engaging SGT Misa and SPC Lance Ohle as they attempted to move into the room. At that point, multiple bursts of automatic and semi-automatic gunfire were exchanged from extremely close quarters. As rounds impacted near the entry point of the house, nine Third Platoon soldiers became fixed inside the house. At that moment, fire erupted from a kitchen ground floor window onto the inner cordon in th e carport of the house. At one point, gun fire was being exchanged inside and outside of the house, as a total of three dismounted squads from Third Platoon were in contact.

SSG Bellavia quickly requested a M240B machine gun and a M249 SAW to suppress the AIF under the stairs in an effort to break contact and consolidate the platoon. Rounds from the insurgent side of the wall began impacting through the poorly made plaster. Multiple soldiers were bleeding from the face from flying debris. Two soldiers had glass and metal shards in their face, one soldier had been grazed on the side of his stomach underneath his vest and at least six others were bleeding from some cut or scrape from the point blank fire they were receiving. As two soldiers answered the request for support, it became apparent that the entrance to the building was extremely dangerous from ricocheting rounds.

Rather than place his soldier at risk, SSG Bellavia moved quickly to come to the aid of the squad. He exchanged weapon systems with a M249 SAW gunner and entered the fatal funnel of the room. The enemy was crouched behind the barrier and continued to fire at the doorway of the house where SSG Bellavia was positioned. With enemy rounds impacting around him, he fired the SAW at a cyclic rate of fire, forcing the enemy to take cover and allowing the squad to break contact and move into the street to consolidate. SSG Bellavias actions undoubtedly saved the lives of that squad.


As the platoon gathered outside to get accountability of personnel, two or more AIF engaged Third Platoon from the roof. Rounds ricocheted off the ground and SSG Fitts moved his squad to an adjacent building to over watch the AIF on the roofs. SSG Bellavia grabbed an M16 rifle and headed back to the outside of the house. SSG Bellavia called for a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to come up and suppress the outside of the building. The high walls of the enemy strong point made it difficult at close proximity to get well-aimed 25mm cannon fire into the actual building. AIF again engaged Third Platoon from windows.

After the BFV suppressed the house, SSG Bellavia decided to move back inside the house to determine the effects of the BFV fire and whether the AIF still occupied the bottom floor of the house. He placed two SAW gunners and SSG Scott Lawson into the courtyard as the inner cordon. Michael Ware, a TIME magazine journalist, entered the house with SSG Bellavia.

SSG Bellavia entered the house and told SSG Lawson to stay outside until he was needed in the second room. The only two people that went into the house at first were Michael Ware and SSG Bellavia. SSG Bellavia heard AIF whispering from the other side of the wall. Mr. Ware was told to run out if anything happened inside the second room. The journalist insisted on going into the second room. SSG Bellavia got in a low crouched fighting position and quickly pie wedged the first room and fired his M16A4. The enemy immediately fired back with a belt fed RPK machine gun. SSG Bellavia quickly turned away from the fire. The AIF had fire superiority and SSG Bellavia didnt have time to get off well-aimed shots.

As SSG Bellavia moved again to get eyes on the room and determine the enemy disposition, he identified one of the AIF loading an RPG launcher. Understanding how devastating this weapon could be to his platoon, he moved quickly to eliminate the threat. SSG Bellavia told Mr. Ware to remain in the first room. As debris and smoke filled the room the insurgent with the RPG was killed first near the stairwell. A second AIF with a PKC machine gun fired as he ran for the kitchen. SSG Bellavia shot and wounded him in the back of the shoulder. He was heard screaming from outside the building. At that point an AIF yelled from upstairs. SSG Bellavia quickly realized how many insurgents were in the house. Despite the odds he continued the assault.

SSG Lawson entered the room with SSG Bellavia. He was armed with only a 9mm pistol. SSG Lawson was across the room firing into the kitchen door, and SSG Bellavia was near the doorway of the master bedroom using the stairs as his cover. The wounded AIF was firing back, this time with an AK47. The insurgent was screaming loudly as he fired. SSG Lawson fired an entire magazine toward the kitchen, when a piece of debris lodged in his right shoulder. Thinking he was shot and with only one 9mm magazine remaining, SSG Bellavia told him to leave to get medical aid and to retrieve a shotgun with buckshot and other soldiers. SSG Lawson and Mr. Ware exited the house.

SSG Bellavia realized that his back was facing a room he had not cleared. In order to secure his position he entered the master bedroom of the house. SSG Bellavia heard movement in the room and fired into the dark corners to clear them by fire. There was a closet directly in front of him with six closed doors, and multiple areas of dead space. At that point an insurgent ran down the stairs and started firing into the room. SSG Bellavia moved behind a protruding corner of the wall to acquire cover. Over the loud noise of small arms fire from across the hall, he could hear screaming from upstairs and to his immediate left. Confused and trying to locate if another insurgent was in the corner of the room, SSG Bellavia began to scan the room with his PEQ-2A. Thinking the noise originated from the closet, SSG Bellavia took a few steps to his left and began to fire into each door from left to right. Before he could finish clearing the closet the wounded AIF from the kitchen ran t oward the bedroom door and began blindly shooting at him from outside. Finding his position of cover behind the elbow of the wall, SSG Bellavia fired back. As the enemy fire came closer, he moved his position into the far opposing corner of the room. The AIF exposed his shoulders as he fired into the bedroom and SSG Bellavia fired wounding and then killing him.

He then noticed a closet door was open and he witnessed tracer fire hit the side of the room. Unsure of where the fire originated, SSG Bellavia looked for a target. Suddenly the insurgent on the stairs began shooting at him again. As the wounded AIF turned and exposed his position in the doorway he was hit and fell near the stairs. He was moaning and slowly moved away from the door, mortally wounded. Simultaneously, a closet door opened and clothing flew everywhere, as an insurgent leapt out and fired wildly all over the room. In his rush out of the closet he tripped on something in the closet and the entire wardrobe fell down resting on the open doors. This actually was a benefit to SSG Bellavia as it provided more cover. When the AIF attempted to cross over the bed, he lost his balance on the mattress and was shot multiple times. The insurgent fell to the ground and with his back to the front door, fired an accurate burst directly into the closet and the wall near SSG Be llavia. SSG Bellavia crouched low to the ground, the insurgent was screaming loudly in broken English. Someone from upstairs was yelling back in Arabic. SSG Bellavia responded in Arabic in an attempt to intimidate the men into surrendering. The insurgent then picked himself up and ran out of the room and up the stairs. SSG Bellavia fired, missing the insurgent and then pursued him as he fled up the stairs. Blood was soaked all over the stairs causing SSG Bellavia to slip, nearly catching a burst of AK fire. The wounded AIF turned and shot an automatic burst from the first landing of the stairs but once again missed SSG Bellavia, who was now well behind cover.

Tracking the blood, SSG Bellavia followed the AIF into a room immediately to the left on the second story. He heard the AIF inside and tossed a fragmentary grenade into the room. The blast sent the screaming AIF onto the second story roof. The AIF began shooting his weapon in all directions, until it was empty of ammunition. Bellavia noticed the AIF was seriously wounded in the right side of his body from the blast of the grenade. The insurgent stumbled back into the room and began to dry fire his weapon. As SSG Bellavia scanned the inside of the room, it was quickly filling with thick smoke from burning foam mattresses ignited from the blast. Two AIF could be heard screaming at each other from a third story of the building. Not wanting the AIF to give away his position, SSG Bellavia quickly grabbed the wounded AIF in a choke hold to keep him quiet. SSG Bellavia met resistance as he attempted to quiet the screaming AIF. Bellavia was bit on the arm and struck in the face wi th the barrel of the wounded insurgents small AK47. A .45 caliber pistol shot off against the wall and SSG Bellavia, whose helmet was loosened when it was jarred by the barrel of the AK, began to thrash the AIF in attempts to pacify him. Exchanging blows in the struggle, SSG Bellavia fearing that the screaming insurgent was issuing instructions to his peers upstairs, opened his IBA vest and attempted to use his front sappy plate to forcibly subdue the insurgent into compliance. Hearing multiple foot steps over his position, Bellavia used his Gerber tactical blade and cut into the left side of the insurgent?s throat. Not wanting to discharge his weapon as to give away his position and in fear of the many propane tanks near the wall, SSG Bellavia bled the insurgent with applied pressure as he was spastically kicked and scratched in the melee. Two other insurgents, only feet away yelled to their comrade in Arabic, simultaneously firing their weapons. SSG Bellavia confirmed the insurgent was dead and exited the room as his eyes and the fresh scratches on his face were stinging from the smoke and heat of the growing fire.

SSG Bellavia moved to secure the two doors to his right. Suddenly an AIF dropped down from the third story roof, onto the second story roof. The AIF dropped his weapon as he fell to his knees. SSG Bellavia moved to the window and as the AIF went to grab his weapon SSG Bellavia shot in his direction multiple times, wounding him in the lower back. The AIF was prone and SSG Bellavia assumed he was dead. He moved to the door leading to the roof and found the insurgent straddling a large water tank at the edge of the roof. He shot the remainder of his ammunition into the insurgent?s legs and went back inside to grab a dead insurgent?s weapon. As he moved inside the house the insurgent fell off the roof and into the garden. Moments later, five members of Third Platoon entered and secured the downstairs of the house and yelled up to SSG Bellavia who was still on the second floor.

SSG Bellavia moved to link up with the rest of his platoon. However, before the search could begin for the fifth or sixth insurgent the platoon was ordered to move out of the area due to a close air support mission called in by an adjacent unit.

SSG Bellavia single handedly saved three squads of his Third Platoon that night, risking his own life by allowing them to break contact and reorganize. He then entered and cleared an insurgent strong point, killing four insurgents and mortally wounding another.
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29847  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Real Fights on: August 01, 2006, 05:27:30 PM
In case the article will not remain available for long at the URL cited, I post it here:
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Illegal, violent teen fight clubs face police crackdown
Updated 8/1/2006 10:48 AM ET E-mail | Save | Print | Reprints & Permissions | Subscribe to stories like this  
 
 
 Enlarge Handout photo
 
Two youths engage in a fight in a scene from Agg Townz Fights 2.
 

 
  PARENTS IN THE DARK
 
When the protagonist of author Chuck Palahniuk's cult 1996 novel Fight Club is asked by a client at a business meeting how he ended up with a black eye and a cheek swollen with stitches, he gives the all-purpose answer of kids everywhere: "I fell."

That fictional scene explains how many teens involved in real-life fight clubs are able to keep them under the radar ? even when they come home from school or show up in class with cuts, bruises and swollen knuckles.

"We know teenagers are quite good at not telling the truth when it's not in their interest," says Mac Bernd, superintendent of the Arlington Independent School District in Arlington, Texas, which is dealing with an outbreak of fight clubs among its 20,000 high school students at a half-dozen schools.

Kids suffering injuries from organized fighting often claim they got them in an accident, playing football or basketball, or some other way, Bernd says. If that doesn't work, they'll admit they got in a fight over a boy or a girl, without saying it was an organized, staged event. Unless the parents have a good reason to suspect illegal activity, they often give their kids the benefit of the doubt. "They say, 'OK, be careful next time, dear,' " Bernd says.

While some fight club organizers or participants will foolishly brag about their exploits on the Internet (which makes it easier for cops to catch them), they often go to great lengths to hide their activities from local authorities.

When Anchorage police got word in January that a fight club from Dimond High School was planning to meet, dozens of students drove to three different sites to throw cops off the scent. A 10th-grader and an 11th-grader eventually fought at an outdoor motocross track in freezing weather; one suffered a broken nose and concussion.

In Arlington, fight clubs often have met on dead-end streets or cul-de-sacs and in suburban neighborhoods where the organizers know virtually all of the adult residents are working during the day, says James Hawthorne, deputy police chief of Arlington's West District.
 
 
 
 
  TIPS FOR PARENTS
 
Fight clubs pit teens and pre-teens in illegal, dangerous staged bouts. Here's a checklist for parents to see if your teen is mixed up in a fight club, as a participant or spectator:
 Monitor cell phones and cameras: Police and school administrators say parents should check their kids' cell phone and computer histories. Look for photos and video of fights. Some teens will claim their parents are invading their privacy. But police say privacy ends where their safety begins ? especially when parents are paying the bills.

James Hawthorne, Deputy Police Chief of Arlington, Texas, which has witnessed an outbreak of teen fight clubs, challenged parents at one community meeting to view the content of their kids' cell phones, cameras and PDA's. Many were stunned at the violent images and foul language they found, he said.

"It's not just the 'bad' kids," says Hawthorne. "The good kids have it on their cell phones. The good kids show up to watch these fights. The good kids become unwitting victims."

 Check for online diary: Many teens and high-school students post their own online diaries on websites such as MySpace.com, Xanga.com and LiveJournal.com. Check what pictures and videos are in their online diaries and blogs and who their online friends are.

Oddly, while many teens are loathe to discuss their personal lives with their parents, they're willing to reveal almost anything in the public world of cyberspace, notes Mac Bernd, superintendent of the Arlington Independent School District. "It's this cyber-community we need to penetrate," he says

 Talk to kids about their lives: Ask teens who their friends are, where they hang out, what they do. Show up unannounced. Get to know their friends' parents and compare notes. Ask hard questions and don't settle for flip answers, advises Reverend Dwight McKissic of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington.

"Hold your kids accountable for their time," he said. "They'll be less likely to engage in (fighting) if they're headed to Yale, rather than jail."

Sources: USA TODAY research, Arlington Police Department.
 
 
 
 
  PROBLEM ACROSS THE NATION
 
The teen fight club ring targeted by police in Arlington, Texas, is among several cases of organized teen fighting discovered this year by authorities across the nation. Among the others:
Tacoma, Wash. ? In July, a 17-year-old student from Emerald Ridge High School pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon and attempted assault stemming from a videotaped beating of a fellow student, says Detective Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. The teen posted a video of the incident to MySpace.com, which led to his arrest. Staring into the camera, he racked a round into a pump shotgun and asked: "Any of you all want to play with me?"

The teen was expelled from school and sentenced to 50 days incarceration in a juvenile facility (which he's currently serving), 50 hours of community service and one year of probation. He also was banned from MySpace and forfeited all his weapons, Troyer says.

His accomplice, who filmed the beating with a night-vision lens, was expelled and faces fourth-degree assault charges. Another 25 students identified from the tape were suspended from school.

Lumberton Township, N.J. ? In February, police detained four middle-school students, age 12 to 15 years old, for alleged disorderly conduct. One student was accused of instigating a fight between two other kids and posting a video of the fight on MySpace.com, police chief Marc Sano says.

Anchorage ? In January, 17 students at Dimond High School were suspended for participating in, or watching, a videotaped fight. The group changed the location of the fight repeatedly to try to elude police.

However, Anchorage police got a copy of the tape and identified the participants. The two fighters, enrolled in the 10th and 11th grades, were suspended from school for nine days. The 15 spectators got three-day suspensions.

The staged fight was the third such incident during the last four years in the Anchorage School District, says executive director Mike Henry, who oversees 16 schools and more than 15,000 high school students.

Students promoted the fights through word-of-mouth, e-mails and text messages, Henry says. One time, they handed out fliers in school, he says.
 
 
 
 

By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY
ARLINGTON, Texas ? The video shows two bare-knuckle brawlers brutally punching each other until one slumps, beaten, to the ground. The fight doesn't end there: The victor straddles the chest of his fallen opponent, firing rights and lefts into his face.
This is not a scene from the Brad Pitt movie Fight Club. Instead, it involves real teenagers in an underground video called Agg Townz Fights 2. Their ring: the grassy schoolyard of Seguin High School here. They're engaged in a disturbing extreme sport that has popped up across the nation: teen fight clubs.

ON DEADLINE:Your thoughts?

This year, authorities in Texas, New Jersey, Washington state and Alaska have discovered more than a half-dozen teen fight rings operating for fun ? or profit. These illegal, violent, often bloody bouts pit boys and girls, some as young as 12, in hand-to-hand combat. Some ringleaders capture these staged fights with video or cellphone cameras, set them to rap music, then peddle homemade DVDs on the Internet. Other fight videos are posted on popular teen websites such as MySpace.com and YouTube.com.

Some bouts are more like bare-knuckle boxing matches, with the opponents shaking hands before and after they fight. Others are gang assaults out of ultra-violent films such as A Clockwork Orange, with packs of youths stomping helpless victims who clearly don't want to fight.

"When you watch the video, you're appalled by the savagery, the callousness, the lack of morality," says James Hawthorne, deputy police chief of Arlington's West District, who's leading a crackdown on fight clubs. "This is an indictment of us as a society. It's not a race issue or a class issue. It's a kids issue."

Many fight-club brawlers are suburban high school kids, not gang members or juvenile criminals. Chase Leavitt, son of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, was arrested for participating in a fight club at a Mormon church gym in Salt Lake City in December 2001, when his father was Utah's governor.

The younger Leavitt, then 18, pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and trespassing in September 2002 and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, says Sim Gill, the chief prosecutor of Salt Lake City who handled the case.

According to Gill, Chase Leavitt laced up boxing gloves and punched it out with a 17-year-old opponent at the church, which is in an affluent neighborhood. Organizers handed out fliers advertising the fight. About 100 students from Leavitt's East High School paid admission before cops raided the premises. As the teens fled, they dropped a video camera with footage of several bouts that night.

"This is not something that just happens in poor neighborhoods," Gill says. "This crosses all socioeconomic bounds. It's happening in middle-class and upper-middle-class environments."

Secretary Leavitt and Chase Leavitt declined to comment, referring calls to attorney Loren Weiss. He says Chase Leavitt was "prosecuted for who he was, not what he did."

Fight clubs tap into a dark, nihilistic "part of the American psyche fascinated by the spectacle of blood and violence," says Orin Starn, cultural anthropology professor at Duke University who teaches about sports in American society. "This does seem a phenomenon of the Mortal Kombat, violent video game generation. The fight club offers the chance to bring those fantasies of violence and danger to life ? and maybe have your 15 minutes of fame in an underground video."

Chuck Palahniuk, author of the cult 1996 novel Fight Club that was the basis for the 1999 movie, declined an interview request but said, "God bless these kids. I hope they're having a great time. I don't think they'd be doing it if they weren't having a great time."

Fights in public, in daylight

This middle-class community of 360,000 residents between Dallas and Fort Worth is the home of baseball's Texas Rangers and the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park and the site of the Dallas Cowboys' planned football stadium.

Sitting in his office on a hot Texas afternoon, Hawthorne shakes his head as he watches the two-hour Agg Townz 2 (slang for Arlington) video, featuring teens mostly from Arlington and the neighboring town of Mansfield punching, kicking and stomping each other.

Hawthorne points out that many fights on the tape take place in daylight on pleasant, tree-lined streets with brick homes and well-tended lawns. One fight turns into a mini-riot with dozens of teens rampaging through the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant. Another running brawl spills into a busy city street, where the fighters slam up against rolling cars.

In almost every fight, there are dozens of teens cheering on the pugilists or snapping pictures. Sometimes their schoolbooks are spread out on the lawns. In one scene, an adult holds the hands of a toddler who watches a fight as if it's another street game. In another, teens watch the tape as entertainment at a party like a music video.

During the most gruesome footage, one falling fighter strikes his head on a sidewalk and is knocked unconscious. While the defenseless teen's arms jerk spasmodically and his eyes stare upward, his opponent continues to belt him in the face. As the injured teen is dragged away, his head leaves a bloody smear on the curb.

Police here learned about fight clubs after Kevin Walker, 16, was jumped and kicked in the head outside his grandmother's house March 11, suffering a brain hemorrhage and other injuries. Arlington police arrested the producer of the Agg Townz series, Arlington resident Michael G. Jackson, 18, and five of his friends, ages 14-19.

Hawthorne says the group would pay teens a few bucks to fight, or attack other youths, then film the violence with video or cellphone cameras. Jackson edited the footage, set it to rap and sold two volumes through his own website for $15-$20 each. The footage of the Walker attack (seized by cops as evidence and never released) was part of a third volume Jackson was working on when he was arrested, Hawthorne says.

On Thursday, Jackson and three other adult defendants were indicted for aggravated assault on Walker and engaging in organized criminal activity, both felonies, says Jennifer Tourje, assistant district attorney for Tarrant County. They face possible penalties of two years' probation to 20 years in a state penitentiary if convicted of aggravated assault and five years' probation to 99 years in prison if convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity. Both charges also carry possible fines of $10,000, she adds.

Hawthorne has asked the IRS and the state comptroller's office to investigate whether Jackson paid taxes on his DVD sales. Several parents of injured teens are considering civil lawsuits against Jackson, Hawthorne adds.

In Arlington, fight-club participants can be arrested on several felony and misdemeanor charges, including aggravated assault, fighting in public, engaging in organized crime and criminal mischief. Texas law allows police to arrest active spectators as accomplices to fighting in public. As part of the crackdown that began May 10, cops have made 40 arrests, including Jackson and his friends, and issued about 200 citations involving fighting in public or watching arranged brawls, police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour says.

In an interview with USA TODAY, Jackson confirmed filming fights and selling DVDs of them. However, he denies instigating fights or paying teens to take part in them and says he has shut down his website. Jackson says he simply saw a financial opportunity to exploit fights that were happening anyway.

"I just used my business-savvy mind," says Jackson, who's seen break dancing and flashing a wad of cash in the videos. He says he never participated in the fights, and he won't say how much money he made or how many DVDs he sold.

His Dallas-based attorney, Ray Jackson (no relation), calls the organized crime charge "ludicrous" and predicts his filmmaking client will become another Spike Lee. The lawyer adds that although the Agg Townz series has become a "cult classic," his client has not made money from it. Most DVDs in circulation are bootlegs from which his client did not get a cut of the proceeds, Ray Jackson says.

"This was low-end equipment and high-end talent," the lawyer says. "That's why it sold."

Messaging fuels combatants

Teen fight clubs have staged bouts on school campuses and in backyards, city streets, public parks, parking lots and gas stations.

Mac Bernd, superintendent of the Arlington Independent School District, says ringleaders have orchestrated fights the same way they do parties: through word-of-mouth, phone calls and text messages. Text-messaging enables instigators to inflame a minor dispute between teens at breakfast into a full-scale brawl by lunch. "You have an electronic rumor mill that moves at the speed of light," he says. That's why Bernd, despite the objection of some parents, is outlawing all telecommunications devices for the 2006-07 school year ? including cellphones, pagers, beepers, PDAs, digital and video cameras, MP3 and CD players and video games. The ban covers 74 schools with 63,000 students, including a half-dozen high schools with 20,000 students.

"We've concluded schools are for teaching and learning," he says.

Race does not appear to play much of a factor in teen fight clubs' bouts. Rita Sibert, president of the Arlington chapter of the NAACP, says the clubs include "a mix of all children, all races."

Most of those in the Agg Townz video are African-American. However, just a week after Jackson's arrest, Arlington police booked a group of 11 white teens and one Hispanic youth for fighting in public, Hawthorne says. A fight video made in nearby Grand Prairie shows mostly white teens, city police Detective John Brimmer says.

Silence surrounds participants

The fictional fight club led by Pitt's character, Tyler Durden, in the 1999 movie was made up mostly of men in their twenties who made a sadistic and masochistic sport out of fighting one another.

Durden's main rule for his club became the movie's signature line and a slogan in popular culture: You do not talk about Fight Club.

Teen fight clubs in Arlington often and elsewhere follow that advice, and police and school authorities have been frustrated by the wall of silence that has surrounded the clubs. Not one of the hundreds of parents who viewed clips from Agg Townz 2 at several community and church meetings seemed to have a clue that fight clubs existed ? or that their kids were involved, Hawthorne says. Among local teens, he says, the clubs have been common knowledge.

"It was a revelation for the parents," notes the NAACP's Sibert.

Bernd and other school administrators say most teens, even the ones absorbing the bloodiest beatings, refuse to roll over on fight-club participants for fear of retaliation by ringleaders or gangs involved.

The teen beaten into bloody unconsciousness in the Arlington video has not come forward and is still unidentified, Hawthorne says. Grand Prairie police have made no arrests in their case because no one has filed a complaint, Brimmer says.

Citing such secrecy, Bernd says he suspects there are more fight clubs operating under the radar.

"It's almost like the kids have created a completely different world we don't have access to and don't understand."

Contributing: Bruce Rosenstein
29848  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: August 01, 2006, 12:30:00 PM
RAMADI, Iraq (AP) ? He was 5 when he first fired an M-16, his father holding him to brace against the recoil. At 17 he enlisted in the Marine Corps, spurred by the memory of Sept. 11.

Now, 21-year-old Galen Wilson has 20 confirmed kills in four months in Iraq ? and another 40 shots that probably killed insurgents. One afternoon the lance corporal downed a man hauling a grenade launcher 5? football fields away.

Wilson is the designated marksman in a company of Marines based in downtown Ramadi, watching over what Marines call the most dangerous neighborhood in the most dangerous city in the world.

Here, Sunni Arab insurgents are intent on toppling the local government protected by Marines.

Wilson, 5-foot-6 with a soft face, is married and has two children and speaks in a deep, steady monotone.

After two tours in Iraq, his commanders in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment call him a particularly mature Marine, always collected and given to an occasional wry grin.

His composure is regularly tested. Swaths of central and southern Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, are dominated by insurgents who regularly attack the provincial government headquarters that Marines protect.

During a large-scale attack on Easter Sunday, Wilson says, he spotted six gunmen on a rooftop about 400 yards away. In about 8 seconds he squeezed off five rounds ? hitting five gunmen in the head. The sixth man dived off a 3-story building just as Wilson got him in his sights, and counts as a probable death.

"You could tell he didn't know where it was coming from. He just wanted to get away," Wilson said. Later that day, he said, he killed another insurgent.

Wilson says his skill helps save American troops and Iraqi civilians. "It doesn't bother me. Obviously, me being a devout Catholic, it's a conflict of interest. Then again, God supported David when he killed Goliath," Wilson said. "I believe God supports what we do and I've never killed anyone who wasn't carrying a weapon."

He was raised in a desolate part of the Rocky Mountains outside Colorado Springs, "surrounded by national parks on three sides," he says. He regularly hunted before moving to Fort Lauderdale, as a teenager. His brother also serves in the military.

Guns have long been part of Wilson's life. His father was a sniper in the Navy SEALS. He remembers first firing a sniper rifle at age 6. By the time he enlisted he had already fired a .50-caliber machine gun.

"My father owned a weapons dealership, so I've been around exotic firearms all my life," said Wilson, who remembers practicing on pine cones and cans. "My dad would help me hold (an M-16), with the butt on his shoulder, and walk me through the steps of shooting."

Technically, Wilson is not a sniper ? he's an infantryman who also patrols through the span of destroyed buildings that make up downtown Ramadi. But as his unit's designated marksman, he has a sniper rifle. In the heat of day or after midnight, he spends hours on rooftop posts, peering out onto rows of abandoned houses from behind piles of sandbags and bulletproof glass cracked by gunfire.

Sometimes individual gunmen attack, other times dozens. Once Wilson shot an insurgent who was "turkey peeking" ? Marine slang for stealing glances at U.S. positions from behind a corner. Later, the distance was measured at 514 meters ? 557 yards.

"I didn't doubt myself, if I was going to hit him. Maybe if I would have I would have missed," Wilson said.

The key to accuracy is composure and experience, Wilson says. "The hardest part is looking, quickly adjusting the distance (on a scope), and then getting a steady position for a shot before he gets a shot off. For me, it's toning everything out in my head. It's like hearing classical music playing in my head."

Though Wilson firmly supports the war, he used to wonder how his actions would be received back home. "At first you definitely double-guess telling your wife, mom, and your friends that you've killed 20 people," Wilson said. "But over time you realize that if they support you ... maybe it'll make them feel that much safer at home." He acknowledges that brutal acts of war linger in the mind.

"Some people, before they're about to kill someone, they think that ? 'Hey, I'm about to kill someone.' That thought doesn't occur to me. It may sound cold, but they're just a target. Afterward, it's real. You think, 'Hey, I just killed someone,'" says Wilson.

Insurgents "have killed good Marines I've served with. That's how I sleep at night," he says. "Though I've killed over 20 people, how many lives would those 20 people have taken?"

Wilson plans to leave the Marines after his contract expires next year and is thinking of joining a SWAT Team in Florida ? possibly as a sniper.

 2006 The Associated Press.
29849  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Next gathering... on: July 31, 2006, 03:39:32 PM
Woof Island Dog:

Sunday before Thanksgiving.

BTW, congrats on another fine performance at the June Gathering.

The Adventure Continues,
CD
29850  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: July 31, 2006, 01:45:18 PM
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,19955774-5007220,00.html
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