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2008 February 21 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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About That Successful Surge

Update: Suddenly the US thinks Muqtada al Sadr is the greatest, most wonderful individual in Iraq, and he has extended the cease fire for six months. The agitprop people are even using his formal title “Sayyid”, rather than “radical cleric”.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Iraq’s Sadr may not extend truce

BAGHDAD — Aides to Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr cast doubt Wednesday on his commitment to extending a six-month cease-fire that expires this month, saying U.S. and Iraqi forces had not necessarily earned Sadr’s continued cooperation.

The comments raised the specter of a return to sectarian violence and an upsurge in attacks on U.S. forces at an especially delicate time in the war. The United States is in the process of drawing down the additional 28,500 soldiers it deployed last year and has banked on a continuation of Sadr’s cease-fire to help keep the peace as American troops depart.

But Sadr loyalists have said their foes are taking advantage of the cease-fire to try to crush the movement politically and militarily.

Sadr has been tied up with his graduate studies, but they won’t matter if his forces are defeated. His group has been attacked by the Badr forces, the Iraqi government forces, and US forces, but have been restrained in response. If his representatives announce at Friday prayers that the cease fire will not be extended, all hell is very likely to break out. The US is about to find out that Sadr’s truce was a considerable part of the “success” of the surge, and things will get very dicey in Iraq, especially in Baghdad.

February 21, 2008   2 Comments

Making Friends Around the World

The BBC reports that there is no lack of stupidity in the Balkans: US embassy in Belgrade attacked

Several hundred protesters have attacked the US and other embassies in Serbia’s capital in anger at Western support for Kosovo’s independence.

Protesters broke into the US compound in Belgrade and briefly set part of the embassy alight. Firemen later found an unidentified charred body inside.

Other embassies, including the UK’s, were also targeted. The UN Security Council condemned the attacks.

The violence followed a peaceful rally by at least 150,000 people in the city.

Most Serbs regard Kosovo as their religious and cultural heartland.

Well, if Serbs were so fond of Kosovo, why didn’t they live there? If it was so important, why did they leave when they had a chance? They don’t really want it; they just don’t want anyone else to have it. This is a truly nasty minority among Serbs, and the nation won’t regain its equilibrium until the rest of the Serbian people tell them to get over it.

February 21, 2008   Comments Off on Making Friends Around the World

What’s Hebrew for “Fred Phelps”?

The BBC tells us in: Israeli MP blames quakes on gays

An Israeli MP has blamed parliament’s tolerance of gays for earthquakes that have rocked the Holy Land recently.

Shlomo Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas Party, said the tremors had been caused by lawmaking that gave “legitimacy to sodomy”.

Israel decriminalised homosexuality in 1988 and has since passed several laws recognising gay rights.

Two earthquakes shook the region last week and a further four struck in November and December.

Excuse me, but if Israel has earthquakes for not discriminating against gays, why does Iran have earthquakes? One would certainly think that the policy would be consistent around the world, or at least throughout the Middle East.

February 21, 2008   Comments Off on What’s Hebrew for “Fred Phelps”?

Someone Want To Explain This:

Via Sinfonian at Blast Off!, Charlie Crist, the Republican governor of Florida, seems to be proposing a better health care plan than leading unDemocratic¹ Party Presidential candidates. He even acknowledges problems with dental care.

I know the unDemocrats are the party of change, because they have been nickel and diming me for years without doing anything about anything.

1. You can’t disenfranchise people and call yourself democratic.

February 21, 2008   11 Comments

They Just Lie

The entire missile shot that took place last night was a agitprop stunt. We have done exactly the same thing in the past for a hell of a lot less money: from the CNN report on the shot

In 1989, a U.S. fighter jet destroyed an American satellite by firing a modified air-to-air missile into space from an altitude of 80,000 feet. That move adds to evidence the U.S. acted Wednesday strictly to guard against the prospect of a potential disaster, Cartwright said.

The ancient Phoenix air-to-air missile/F-14 system achieves a “hard” lock-on at 75 miles. We have newer and better missiles on newer and better aircraft. This was not a difficult shot, because there weren’t any active defensive systems on the satellite and the flight path was well known.

This mission was set up so that every service was involved, and that is exactly how the Iran hostage mission got screwed up – too many “cooks”. The whole thing was anti-missile system propaganda, to justify spending tens of millions of dollars more than necessary on a straight-forward air defense mission.

February 21, 2008   4 Comments