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:: Saturday, October 12, 2002 ::

Rumsfeld Orders War Plans Redone for Faster Action
The NY Times has this story.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today that he had ordered the military's regional commanders to rewrite all of their war plans to capitalize on precision weapons, better intelligence and speedier deployment. That way, he said, the military could begin combat operations on less notice and with far fewer troops than thought possible — or even wise — before the Sept. 11 attacks.

The approach, driven by the defense secretary and his ranking military advisers, is already shaping the work of Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the United States Central Command, in his planning for a possible war against Iraq, senior Defense Department officials said.


Through a combination of pre-deployments, faster cargo ships and a larger fleet of transport aircraft, the military would be able to deliver "fewer troops but in a faster time that would allow you to have concentrated power that would have the same effect as waiting longer with what a bigger force might have," General Pace said.

In a new wave of such pre-deployments to the Iraqi front, Pentagon officials said on Friday that planning staffs from the headquarters of the Army's V Corps, based at Heidelberg, Germany, and from the First Marine Expeditionary Force, from Camp Pendleton, Calif., have been ordered to Kuwait.

V Corps has these units currently attached to it. Presumably, 13th Panzer Division would not go along, but that still leaves 1st Infantry Division, 1st Armored Division, and several brigade-strength specialty units.

First Marine Expeditionary Force has 1st Marine Division, a Marine Aircraft Wing, and support units.

With enough air support, three divisions, plus corps assets, are probably enough to do the job. I wouldn't be surprised if at least some elements of the 101st Air Assault Division find their way to Iraq, too.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:08:00 PM Link

Iraqis to attend British arms demo
The Guardian Observer has this story.
A British Minister will lead a major sales drive by UK weapons and military technology firms at an exhibition attended by high-ranking Iraqi military officials this week.

The news has sparked outrage among arms control campaigners and groups opposed to military action against Iraq. 'It is absurd that we are gearing up to fight a war against these people and simultaneously rubbing shoulders with them at an arms bazaar,' said Martin Hogbin of the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Let'em look. It'll be the last chance they have to get a good look at what's coming for them.

UPDATE: His Most Rottweilerian Majesty, Misha I, has a few choice comments on this story, too.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:05:00 PM Link

Why the Euros Support Saddam
Steven Den Beste has this take on Saddam's last-minute trade deals.
The entire article seems to assume that either Saddam wins, or the Iraqi expatriates do. It discounts the third possibility: that Iraq is run by an American military government for five to ten years before any new Iraqi government is established. In that case, all these European countries will be dealing not with junior bureaucrats left over from the previous regime, but with the staff of someone like General Franks (who may be that governor), who would clearly have not even the faintest interest in maintaining continuity with the policies and agreements established by Saddam.
I think that if France and Russia don't get with the program, they're out. And they should be out. If you go to the track and bet on the wrong horse, you lose your money. Betting on Saddam's survival now, is a sucker bet, and no one, who makes such a bet, should bitch when he loses his money.

I hope the US does set up, and keep, a military occupation government in Iraq long enough to clean out all of the Baathists. It would be foolish to leave any traces of the old regime intact. After WWII, we cleaned out the German and Japanese governments, and it turned out to be a good policy.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:35:00 PM Link

A World Without Borders
Sgt. Stryker has this article on why Borders is better than Barnes & Noble (link via Bargarz).
My biggest gripe is reserved for the customer assistance. At Borders, I could walk right up to a computer terminal, punch in my search requirements, and get all the information I wanted. If I didn't have anything specific in mind, I could just type in a general keyword and see what came up as I scrolled through the search results. I could be in, on the computer, getting my book and out of the store in 12-15 minutes.
Amen, Sarge.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:23:00 AM Link
Iran leadership representative issues call to kill three US ministers
ABC News has this story.
The three are Jerry Falwell, who has called the prophet Mohammed "a terrorist"; Pat Roberston, who claims Islam is a religion of violence seeking to "dominate and destroy"; and Franklin Graham, the son of televangelist Billy Graham, who says Islam is "a very evil and wicked religion".
So when do I get on the list? I called Mo a perv in this post, and I called Islam a religion of, and for, pedophiles in this post. Let me add, that if they didn't dish out punishments like this, the Ummah would all be camel-fuckers, too.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:41:00 AM Link
:: Friday, October 11, 2002 ::
The Flying Iron Fisk
Salon has this speech from the House debate on the Iraq resolution. Rep. Pete Stark (Dumbass, CA) shows why he should be named Starkers. This one's bad, folks, and once again, Cato must summon the power of the Iron Fisk Technique.

<bad martial arts movie dubbing>
Pete Stark! You have o-fend-ed United States. You have o-fend-ed President Bush. You have o-fend-ed Cato. (not to be confused with Kato). Now you feel Cato's Iron Fisk Technique.
</bad martial arts movie dubbing>

Oct. 10, 2002 | "Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution (authorizing military force against Iraq). I am deeply troubled that lives may be lost without a meaningful attempt to bring Iraq into compliance with U.N. resolutions through careful and cautious diplomacy.
We've been trying careful and cautious diplomacy for the last ten years. That's the reason we're in this trouble. No administration, Republican or Democrat has had the balls to call Gaddam Saddam to account, until now.
The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his advisors.
No, you'd rather trust Gaddam Saddam Hussein, a man who murders his political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors, used poison gas on his own people, and only needs a sufficient quantity of weapons-grade fissionables, to produce an atomic bomb.
Make no mistake, we are voting on a resolution that grants total authority to the president, who wants to invade a sovereign nation without any specific act of provocation. This would authorize the United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our history. It sets a precedent for our nation -- or any nation -- to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to international law or international consensus.
Iraq is not a soverign nation, Iraq is an outlaw nation. Iraq, under Gaddam Saddam, has violated practically every international law there is. It has invaded two of its neighbors, gassed its own people, violated the peace agreements signed after the Gulf War, violated at least 16 UN Security Council resolutions, and you talk about international law protecting Iraq? Bwahahahahaha!
Congress must not walk in lockstep behind a president who has been so callous to proceed without reservation, as if war was of no real consequence.
Proceding without reservation, to remove a threat to the security of the United States, is part of a president's job, you obstipated, oxygen-deprived, son of an incontinent camel.
You know, three years ago in December, Molly Ivins, an observer of Texas politics, wrote: "For an upper-class white boy, Bush comes on way too hard. At a guess, to make up for being an upper-class white boy."
That does it! I'm invoking Cato's Law. Nobody, but an absolute, unmitigated half-wit, would quote Molly Ivins for any purpose, other than to ridicule her.
"Somebody," she said, "should be worrying about how all this could affect his handling of future encounters with some Saddam Hussein." How prophetic, Ms. Ivins.
What somebody should be worrying about, is how a nano-brained fuckwit like you, got elected to Congress.
Let us not forget that our president -- our commander in chief -- has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. In fact, he admits that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height of that conflict in 1968 he didn't notice 'any heavy stuff going on.
If you weren't such an ignoramus, you might know that several of our best wartime presidents never served in the military. Abraham Lincoln comes immediately to mind. FDR never served in the military, either. Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, served in the Navy, and was a disaster, where military matters were concerned. Prior military service is no guarantee of good performance as a commander-in-chief.
So we have a president who thinks foreign territory is the opponent's dugout and Kashmir is a sweater.
And we have a Congressman who thinks that a murderer and a war criminal is more trustworthy than his own president.
What is most unconscionable is that there is not a shred of evidence to justify the certain loss of life. Do the generalized threats and half-truths of this administration give any one of us in Congress the confidence to tell a mother or father or family that the loss of their child or loved one was in the name of a just cause?
The reason that there is not more definite proof of Gaddam's Saddam's weapons programs, is that he has defied the Security Council resolutions and the peace agreements he signed, requiring inspections of his suspected weapons facilities. What would you accept as proof that he has an atomic bomb? A mushroom cloud over Manhattan?
Is the president's need for revenge for the threat once posed to his father enough to justify the death of any American?
Attempted assassination of a head of state is an act of war. WWI was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
I submit the answer to these questions is no.
Then submit your answer again, dickwad. You're gonna do it until you get it right.
Aside from the wisdom of going to war as Bush wants, I am troubled by who pays for his capricious adventure into world domination. The administration admits to a cost of around $200 billion!
And how many trillions of dollars would it cost to rebuild Manhattan? Never mind the loss of millions of lives. Never mind the loss of priceless works of art and national icons. Never mind the disruption of the nation's economy. I call $200 billion a bargain, compared to the cost of rebuilding New York City.
Now, wealthy individuals won't pay. They've got big tax cuts already. Corporations won't pay. They'll cook the books and move overseas and then send their contributions to the Republicans. Rich kids won't pay. Their daddies will get them deferments as Big George did for George W.
What deferments? We haven't had a draft since the 1970s. This is the problem with Democrats, they can't get their minds off the '60s, or their heads out of their asses.
Well then, who will pay?
The same people who will pay, if we have to rebuild New York City. Only they'll pay less, this way.
School kids will pay. There'll be no money to keep them from being left behind -- way behind. Seniors will pay. They'll pay big time as the Republicans privatize Social Security and rob the Trust Fund to pay for the capricious war. Medicare will be curtailed and drugs will be more unaffordable. And there won't be any money for a drug benefit because Bush will spend it all on the war.
There'll be a hell of a lot less money, for those things, if we let Gaddam Saddam blow up New York.
Working folks will pay through loss of job security and bargaining rights. Our grandchildren will pay through the degradation of our air and water quality. And the entire nation will pay as Bush continues to destroy civil rights, women's rights and religious freedom in a rush to phony patriotism and to courting the messianic Pharisees of the religious right.
If we do things your way, the working folks won't have jobs, because if you think the 9/11 attacks screwed up the economy, wait 'till you see what nuking New York does to the economy. If you think fighting Saddam will hurt water quality, think about what nuclear fallout will do to the water quality. And if you think that there is a civil right for foreigners to come to this country and commit mass murder, without being subjected to official scrutiny, you must have stuck your head so far up your ass, that it cut off the oxygen supply to your brain.
The questions before the members of this House and to all Americans are immense, but there are clear answers. America is not currently confronted by a genuine, proven, imminent threat from Iraq. The call for war is wrong.
Waiting for Gaddam Saddam to develop a nuclear arsenal, before we act against him, is utterly irresponsible. You should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting it. Oops, I forgot, you're a Dim-ocrat, and therefore incapable of feeling shame.
And what greatly saddens me at this point in our history is my fear that this entire spectacle has not been planned for the well-being of the world, but for the short-term political interest of our president.
I'm not suprised that a Dim-ocrat would say something like that. Dim-ocrats have proven time and time again, that they are incapable of acting in anything but their own short-term political interest.
"Now, I am also greatly disturbed that many Democratic leaders have also put political calculation ahead of the president's accountability to truth and reason by supporting this resolution. But, I conclude that the only answer is to vote no on the resolution before us."
Like I was saying, they know they'll get killed in the elections, if they don't go along with the president. Fortunately for the country, the president is right.

UPDATE: Richard Bennett is giving Starkers hell, too (link via Instapundit).
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:58:00 PM Link

TNT found in stricken Yemen tanker
BBC News has this story.
French investigators have found traces of TNT explosives on the Limburg oil tanker, providing the strongest evidence yet that Sunday's explosion was due to a terrorist attack.


Earlier on Friday, French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie announced that "parts of a small boat and traces of TNT were found inside the tanker."

The findings backed up an earlier discovery of fragments from a small marine vessel on the deck of the Limburg.

Even the Yemeni government is conceding that the explosion was the result of an attack. Perhaps this will convince the French government that the Arabs cannot be appeased, and that military action in the region is necessary.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:35:00 PM Link
The Real Reason Democrats Voted Yes
American RealPolitik has the answer with this Chip Bok cartoon.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:47:00 PM Link
Redrawing the Map of the Middle East
VodkaPundit has redrawn the map of the Middle East. Take a look, and see if you can guess what I'd change. I left the answer in the comments thread.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:08:00 PM Link
As If There Were Any Doubt
Andrea Harris, at Spleenville had this link to the Inner Feline Test. My result is below:
I'm a Lion!

For you, simplicity is the name of the game -
even your fur is uncomplicated. You're always looking for
an opportunity to relax, and you shy away from anything
that seems to be more than you can handle. Still, you can
really do whatever you want... After all, you're a lion!

:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:09:00 AM Link
Senate Approves Iraq Resolution
FOXNews has this story. The Senate voted Friday to authorize President Bush to use military force, if necessary, to disarm Iraq by 77-23 in a roll call vote.
On this vote, a "yes" vote was a vote to pass the resolution and a "no" vote was a vote to defeat it.

Voting "yes" were 29 Democrats and 48 Republicans.

Voting "no" were 21 Democrats, one Republican and one independent


Democrats No

Akaka, Hawaii; Bingaman, N.M.; Boxer, Calif; Byrd, W.Va.; Conrad, N.D.; Corzine, N.J.; Dayton, Minn.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis; Graham, Fla.; Inouye, Hawaii; Kennedy, Mass.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.; Reed, R.I.; Sarbanes, Md.; Stabenow, Mich.; Wellstone, Minn.; Wyden, Ore.


Republicans No

Chafee, R.I.;

Others No

Jeffords, Vt.

All other members voted yes. This vote, combined with the House vote, gives the president the stick he needs to beat the UN Security Council into line. Saddam, the writing is on the wall, and it reads, "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN."

UPDATE: Patio Pundit has a full, detailed breakdown of the vote.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:25:00 AM Link

:: Thursday, October 10, 2002 ::
Seven-way Fisking
MEMRI has this collection of Arab commentary on National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. These assholes are bad, folks. So bad, that Cato will summon the powers of his Iron Fisk Technique to destroy, not one dipshit, but seven at a time.

<bad martial arts movie dubbing>
Ramadan Abd Al-Qader, Hani Zaid, Dr. Muhammad Bassam Yusuf, Al-Dustour, Dalal al Bizri, Batir Muhammad Ali Wardam, and Al-Thawra! You have o-fend-ed United States. You have o-fend-ed Condoleezza Rice. You have o-fend-ed Cato. (not to be confused with Kato). Now you all feel Cato's Iron Fisk Technique.
</bad martial arts movie dubbing>

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, National Security Advisor to President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, stated that the United States wishes to bring democracy and freedom to the Arab world. In response, a number of Arab newspapers harshly criticized National Security Advisor Rice, often focusing on her African-American heritage. The following are excerpts from such articles:

Egyptian Perspectives

In the government-controlled newspaper The Egyptian Gazette, columnist Ramadan Abd Al-Qader wrote on October 10, 2002, that National Security Advisor Rice's article "smacks of such patronizing arrogance that it has entrenched belief among many Muslims that they are the target of a latter-day Crusade.

Crusade? Bwahahahaha! The term,"Crusade", implies a great effort, an undertaking that requires the mobilization of the entire population. Just where the fuck did you get the absurd idea that it would take a Crusade to kick your sorry, worthless asses from one end of the planet to the other?
Authorities at U.S. airports have recently taken security measures, which reportedly involve racial profiling. Media reports said that Muslim [passengers] would undergo extra checks, including finger-printing and giving accounts of relatives. If true, these steps must be the product of a twisted perception in the U.S. that Muslims are synonymous [with] terrorists.
Perception that Muslims are synonymous with terrorists? Where would we get a silly idea like that? Could it be that the 9/11 attacks, the USS Cole bombing, the Khobar Towers bombing, and practically every other major terrorist attack on US citizens or property in the last ten years have been carried out by Muslims? It hasn't been Swedish Lutherans, Indian Hindus, or Chinese Buddists that have been murdering Americans. It's been Arab Muslims, you dumbass.
The U.S. needs to do far more than launch broadcasts for a Muslim audience if it were really interested in repairing its image in this part of the world and showing that its anti-terror drive is geared against all terrorists, regardless of their religious background."
Don't worry, we're going to launch more than broadcasts at Muslims. We'll be launching some AGM-86C/D cruise missiles at Muslims, and some JDAMs and JSOWs, too. Be careful what you ask for.
In the Egyptian opposition weekly Al-Usbu', National Security Advisor Rice is the subject of a vicious attack by the columnist, Hani Zaid, who wrote under the title: "Condoleezza Rice—National Security Advisor in the rank of a little prostitute":(3) "Ms. Rice persists in treating the Arabs as the masters treated the slaves or the students who have not reached the age of maturity in one of the American schools...
I haven't heard of Condi taking a whip to any Arabs, even though some of you have been ve-ry baaad. If you don't like being treated like children, stop acting like children.
Rice talks about teaching us democracy and freedom. She ignores the racism which prevailed when she was a child in Alabama where she attended segregated schools for blacks because she was a black Negro from African origins. She passed her holidays in parks specifically designated for blacks, and she was not allowed to enter restaurants for white people only. When she was 9, she participated in the funerals of four of her Negro friends who were murdered in a racist attack at a Baptist church in Westminster. She has forgotten all of this.
I doubt very much that she's forgotten any of those things. It takes a pretty God-damnned thick crust for a Muslim to condemn Americans as bigoted church bombers when your Muslim brothers do things like this - or this.
What she remembers is the study of Zionism in the hands of Joseph Corwell,(4) the father of Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, in the faculty for political science at Stanford (sic) (5)... All there is for me to say to this lady and to her administration...[is] we do not need lessons from anybody."
You sure as Hell need something you ain't got, 'cause you're about to get something you don't want.
A Syrian Perspective

Writing for the Internet site "Akhbar Al-Sharq,"(6) which is the mouthpiece of the Syrian opposition, Dr. Muhammad Bassam Yusuf, a Syrian author living in exile, attacked American preparations for a military campaign in Iraq and referred to the African-American background of National Security Advisor Rice: "Perhaps the black Condoleezza Rice, the American security advisor, has forgotten her African origins and why she was in America and not in Africa, her original homeland. She has to be reminded that she is a descendant from African slaves and that the Americans enslaved millions of them and led them to America in chains from their homeland in Africa. [The Americans] killed millions of them as they killed millions of Indians, the true owners of the American land."

I don't think she's forgotton that her ancestors included slaves, and I don't think she's forgotton who enslaved them. A Muslim lecturing anyone of Black African descent on the evils of slavery is like Adolph Eichmann lecturing Jews on the evils of antisemitism.
Jordanian Perspectives

The Jordanian daily Al-Dustour(7) wrote that National Security Advisor Rice claims that "'the United States wants to be a liberating force, and dedicate itself to liberating the Islamic world, starting with Iraq, and to establish democracy and freedom.' She is ignoring more than one and a half billion Muslims who suffer from America's greed and oppression and from its cruel and visible war against Islam and Muslims."

If you think you've got a war with America now, you not only don't have a clue, you couldn't find a clue if someone stuck it up your constipated ass, with six inches left sticking out. To paraphrase John Paul Jones, we have not yet begun to fight.
"It is a war that has many features—cultural, ideological, political and economic. It [America] slaughtered Muslim children, women and men and stole their natural resources;
Stole their natural resources? If it were not for Western investment in the Arabs' oil fields, there would be no oil fields. We brought the Arabs wealth, we brought them improved medical care, we took them into our schools and let them study whatever they liked. And Arabs repaid us by nationalizing our oil companies' investments. They repaid us by murdering American soldiers sent to Arabia to protect them. They repaid us by destroying the World Trade Center in New York City.
its ships have occupied their territorial waters;
Our ships have respected the internationally-recognized territorial limit of 12 miles, but we have never accepted the claims by some regimes of 200-mile territorial limits. We have resisted such claims, regardless of who made them.
it has acted against them with racism and terror; it has frozen their money
We have asked banks to freeze the accounts of those who use charities as fronts for groups who murder the innocent. Murders must, and should, be stripped of the means to commit more murders.
and has provoked the Zionist crusaders to attack the religion of Islam and its morals and values, its holy Koran and its messenger [Prophet Muhammad].
Your precious prophet, Mohammed, was a pervert, who lusted after 5-year-old girls, and married 9-year-old ones. His followers murder their enemies' civilians, and hide behind their own.
[America] has pressured the regimes allied with her in the Muslim countries to prosecute the Islamic movements, the religious thinkers and the young Muslim men in the name of war on terrorism."
We have asked our "friends" in the Arab world to act against those who preach hatred and violence. We do not tolerate religious violence in our own country, why shouldn't we expect our "friends" to do likewise?
"Will America free the Muslim world [to act] in the manner in which its ally, the criminal and blood thirsty Ariel Sharon does... conducting all kinds of murderous acts in one of the purest and holiest lands of Islam...?"
We're not going to "free" you to commit more of the vicious murders you seem to delight in. We're going to stop you from slaughtering civilians. We may have failed to teach you that slaughtering civilians is immoral, and we may have failed to teach you that slaughtering civilians is counterproductive, but we may yet be able to teach you that slaughtering our civilians is suicidal.
"The Black Rice"

"Will the black Rice free our Muslim world by the same method that Americans have used against Muslim prisoners in the Giangi fort in Afghanistan?! Or the method [America] used in Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Algeria and other Muslim states where it has killed millions, expelled and tortured many and violated their fundamental human rights!!"

Girls in Afghanistan now go to school, and music is heard in the streets of Kabul. A new government has been elected, and it is working, with our help, to bring peace, stability, and prosperity to the people. Whatever methods we may have used, Afghanistan is freer now than it has been in the last 20 years.
"Will the black Condoleezza free our Islamic homeland with destructive calls for moral degradation through drugs, sex, AIDS and crime which have spread all across the great America?! Or through the destruction of peaceful homes, the uprooting of stones and trees and the destruction of agriculture as it has done in Muslim Afghanistan. Not a single mosque, mud house, village or city, not a clinic or institution, child, woman or old man, was saved from America's crimes?! Or by the erection of Buddha statues in every city and village in that large Muslim country?"
I don't think I've ever heard Condi Rice advocate taking drugs or getting AIDS, or committing crimes, for that matter. You must have her mixed up with Dr. Joycelyn Elders (I guess all Black people look alike, to you). If Muslim soldiers had not hidden behind the civilians they were supposed to be defending, practically all of the civilian casualties and property loss would have been avoided. It is not America's fault that Muslim soldiers are cowards who hide behind women and children because they don't have the balls to come out and fight.
"O Muslims, here is America invading you with its steel, its fire and its oppression. Its bloodthirsty individuals, the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice and Sharon, are carrying to you death, destruction, devastation, enslavement and evil which will start in Iraq after they have suppressed Afghanistan and Palestine, and will end, if we do not protect ourselves, in the last piece of land in our extended Muslim world which will be converted into a gigantic Guantanamo extending from one ocean to another."
By the time we get through with you, the "gigantic Guantanamo" won't extend from one ocean to another. There won't be enough of you left, for that. You Muslims came to America looking for a fight, and. by God, you're going to get one. You have pissed off the Great Satan, and you're about to catch Hell. You think it takes balls to fly an airliner into a building? The Japanese kamikaze pilots flew their planes into naval ships that could shoot back. We still kicked their asses, and we'll kick yours, too. Muslims are the most vile, gutless, and inept bastards that God ever put on the face of the Earth. They murder women and children, and hide behind women and children. And then they call us bloodthirsty.
"Will you Muslims be the great and free nation; the best nation ever created for humanity [a reference to a Koranic verse] or [let] the barbarian cowboys kidnap you? It is your opportunity to teach the arrogant rowdies the clear Islamic lesson through Jihad and the defense of faith, religion, holy places, the land, the honor and the homeland!"
From the Austrians' successful defense of Vienna, to the present, no Muslim army has won any significant battle on Western soil, and damnned few battles on their own. The last time a Muslim army won a significant battle against a Western Army (the Soviet Union was not a Western nation) was the Siege of Khartoum, over a hundred years ago. Since that time, the West has gotten stronger, and the Muslims have gotten weaker. But if you think you're tough enough, step out from behind your women and children.
"Have You Not Been Taught by Your Cowboy Masters"

"As for you, black Condoleezza Rice, swallow your tongue, remember your origins and stop talking about liberation and freedom. Have you not been taught by your cowboy masters that 'slaves' cannot liberate themselves, that they are not capable to capture the large Islamic world whose cultural roots are planted in the depths of history The slaves who are happy with their enslavement, O Condoleezza, will continue to be enslaved. They will never be free and will never free others."

This sort of bigoted horseshit is a major reason why none of the rest of the world can stand Muslims. Muslims have shown themselves time and time again to be the most vile, ignorant, and hateful people on the face of the Earth. The only good thing that can be said about Muslims is that they are as incompetent as they are hateful.
Writing a week later in the same newspaper, Batir Muhammad Ali Wardam(8) stated that no one could imagine that "the beautiful Condoleezza Rice, the Security Advisor to the administration of George Bush the son—may Allah not show us his grandson afterwards—wants to liberate the Islamic world...on the wings of American bombers."
Worry less about President Bush's grandchildren, and more about your own.
Columnist in the London Arabic Daily: "Ayatollah Condoleezza"

Dalal al Bizri, a columnist for the London-daily Al-Hayat, wrote under the title: "Ayotollah Condoleezza and the export of democracy."(9)

"The language applied recently by Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor, to Iraq, reminds one of the Mullahs who called for the export of the Islamic revolution to all corners of the world. The American democracy as revealed in the preaching of Condoleezza Rice raises the question of relativity..."

The difference is that the only liberty the Mullahs offered was the liberty to do whatever the hell the Mullahs ordered. By contrast, people in liberated Afghanistan do pretty much as they please, so long as they do not harm others.
"Democracy is an idea for the road to power which is today the most powerful for peoples and their cultures, and nothing else... It is the ideology of the greatest power on earth, and as we have learned from history it is the most enthusiastic country [seeking] to control the less strong and the less important of nations..."
How do you think we got to be the most powerful nation on earth, dickwad? Throughout history, armies of democracies have routinely devastated their tyrannical enemies. Free men fight more fiercely, for they have more to lose. Free societies are able to freely examine the causes of their defeats, and learn from them. Free societies are prosperous, and prosperous societies can afford large, well-trained, and well-equipped armies. Free societies are more creative, and develop new and better weapons and tactics.
An Iraqi government Daily: "The Cursed Rice"

Finally, an editorial titled "American Values and (Rice the Liberator)" in the mouthpiece of the Iraqi regime, Al-Thawra,(10) responded to National Security Advisor Rice's interview. "What does Rice know about the true Islamic religion that she can arrogate to herself the right to attack its principles and change its values and foundations! Does she believe that the Muslims, who carried the banner of religion and light to the nations of the world, will forsake their beliefs, their symbols and their history for the sake of the so-called American values or under American missiles and weapons of destruction?"

Americans don't give a half-cup of runny shit what Muslims believe. What pisses us off, is what they do. And what they do, is murder innocent people. What they do, is develop hellish weapons to allow them murder even more innocent people.
"About which values is Rice talking? Those before September 11, or after September 11? If she is referring to the previous date, would American crimes in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Yugoslavia, Palestine and Iraq enter these values?"
William T. Sherman, an American general, said that "war is Hell". That's an American value that we've taught the world for more than a century. Here's another American value for you: Life is tough - life is tougher, when you're stupid. Starting a war with America, which is what the Muslims did, on 9/11, is about as stupid as it gets.
The editorial concludes: "The cursed Rice and the members of her administration should think a thousand times before uttering their empty words and old clichés about values of democracy and liberation because their nations are more in need of these than any other nation on earth. The Muslims will not be tightfisted in teaching them those principles which characterize the great religion of Islam and its honorable history."
The only thing Muslims can teach Americans, is gratitude that we are not Muslims. No religion or political idology has Islam's long history of unmitigated stagnation. Islam's insistance that Muslims must do nothing but submit to the will of Allah has made it impossible for the Ummah to compete with the rest of the world.

UPDATE: Lynn Sislo (Poet and Peasant) has linked to this post. Welcome, Poet and Peasant readers. Make yourselves at home, kick the tires, leave a comment. And come back again, soon.

UPDATE: Bargarz has linked to this article. Welcome, Bargarz readers. Bargarz has an interesting post on chain bookstores in Australia, with a link to a Sgt. Stryker post on why Borders is better than Barnes & Noble.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 7:39:00 PM Link

House Resolution Authorizes Use of Force Against Iraq
The NY Times has this story (link via Instapundit).
The House on Thursday authorized war-making powers for President Bush, giving him the extra muscle he needs is his determination to free America and the world from what he says is the growing threat of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

The 296-133 vote was a solid endorsement of Bush's insistence that he will work with the United Nations if possible, or alone if necessary, to disarm Saddam of his weapons of mass destruction.

Halfway there. According to the story, the Senate was going to vote down a measure intended to delay its vote on the Iraq resolution. Soon, the president should have the club he needs to beat some sense into the UN.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:25:00 PM Link
The Only Thing to Fear Is Failure Itself
VodkaPundit has this article (link via Big S Blog).
Be afraid of George W. Bush if you must. But your real fear should be your neighbors, if Bush fails us in this Terror War. We’re just one more attack away from trading a lot of freedom for a little security – and getting the neither that we deserve.


Most civil libertarians fear what will happen to us if we attack Saddam. I fear what will happen if we don’t.

I'm sorry to say that I have to agree with Stephen. If we do not police the Middle East, we will end up with a police state at home. I recently wrote that responsibility is the price of greatness. Responsibility is also the price of freedom.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:10:00 AM Link
:: Wednesday, October 09, 2002 ::
The Price of Greatness Is Responsibility
I was trying to locate a Winston Churchill quote, the one that goes "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never give in", when I ran across a speech he gave at Harvard, in 1943.
Twice in my lifetime the long arm of destiny has reached across the oceans and involved the entire life and manhood of the United States in a deadly struggle.

There was no use in saying "We don't want it; we won’t have it; our forebears left Europe to avoid these quarrels; we have founded a new world which has no contact with the old. "There was no use in that. The long arm reaches out remorselessly, and every one's existence, environment, and outlook undergo a swift and irresistible change. What is the explanation, Mr. President, of these strange facts, and what are the deep laws to which they respond? I will offer you one explanation - there are others, but one will suffice.

The price of greatness is responsibility. If the people of the United States had continued in a mediocre station, struggling with the wilderness, absorbed in their own affairs, and a factor of no consequence in the movement of the world, they might have remained forgotten and undisturbed beyond their protecting oceans: but one cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilised world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes.

If this has been proved in the past, as it has been, it will become indisputable in the future. The people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility. Although we live in a period so tumultuous that little can be predicted, we may be quite sure that this process will be intensified with every forward step the United States make in wealth and in power. Not only are the responsibilities of this great Republic growing, but the world over which they range is itself contracting in relation to our powers of locomotion at a positively alarming rate.


We do not war primarily with races as such. Tyranny is our foe, whatever trappings or disguise it wears, whatever language it speaks, be it external or internal, we must forever be on our guard, ever mobilised, ever vigilant, always ready to spring at its throat. In all this, we march together. Not only do we march and strive shoulder to shoulder at this moment under the fire of the enemy on the fields of war or in the air, but also in those realms of thought which are consecrated to the rights and the dignity of man.

It never ceases to amaze me how marvelously the words of a gifted leader, spoken in times of crisis, retain their relevance, even decades after their author's death. There are those who say we must not act alone. They say that we must have the blessing of the UN before we act. They are wrong. They do not understand that the price of greatness is responsibility.

America has achieved a greatness unmatched in recorded history. Never in all of history has there been a nation so wealthy, so powerful, so loved, so hated, so feared, and so sought after. But with that power comes a price - responsibility. Responsibility to aid those who cannot defend themselves against tyranny. Responsibility to spread civilization's values - tolerance, equal justice under law, individual liberty. Responsibility to protect and defend the civilization we have built. These responsibilities are not ours by grant of the UN, they are ours by grant of nature and of God. These responsibilities are not ours by grant of the UN, and we cannot give them up to the UN.

America stands at a crossroads. We can gird ourselves, take the fight to the enemy and destroy his ability to threaten our lives and our loved ones. Or we can cower behind the flimsy shield of unenforced and unenforcable UN resolutions. One path leads to immediate pain, with the hope of victory. The other path is easier now, but leads inevitably to destruction.

The price of greatness is responsibility. Those who would enjoy the benefits of civilization must be willing to do their part to defend it. America will lead, in this struggle. We will stand alone, if we must. If tiny Britain could stand alone against Hitler's might, America can, by damn, stand alone against a mob of sorry-assed barbarians who murder their enemies' civilians and hide behind their own.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:23:00 PM Link

Speech Had Big Audience Despite Networks' Action
The NY Times has this story.
Still, people were interested enough to seek the speech out on cable in above-average numbers. The Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC were watched by average audiences of 4.5 million, 2.6 million and 1.2 million people, respectively, during the speech. Those networks had average audiences last month of 2 million, 765,000 and 452,000 people on Mondays between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Nearly 8.5 million people watched the speech on the Fox broadcast network.

The address handily beat its direct competition on the other broadcast networks. "The Drew Carey Show" was watched by 4.5 million people on ABC; "King of Queens" was watched by 11.7 million people on CBS; "Fear Factor" was watched by 12.2 million people on NBC.

The most charitable explanation for the broadcast networks' refusal to cover the president's speech is that they thought no one would be interested in watching. The less charitable explanation is that they wanted to keep Americans from hearing what President Bush had to say. Whichever motive was the true one, the networks screwed up, big time.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:49:00 PM Link
Tories back Blair on Iraq
BBC News has this story.
Tony Blair's stance on Iraq will be backed by the Tories while it remains in the national interest, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Michael Ancram has said.

He said the UK must act within international law under a time-limited United Nations resolution that left Saddam in "no doubt" about the consequences of failing to comply.

Allies as steadfast and dependable as the British have been are a treasure. Their strength may not be as great as it was in times past, but the strength they have can usually be found fighting on the side of right, not sitting on the sidelines, making cowards' excuses. When it comes to clarity of principle, and the courage to stand up for those principles, Britain has few peers, and no superiors.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:31:00 PM Link
Steven Den Beste on the Horrors of War
A couple of days ago, I wrote, in this article, that even those who survive a war see things no one would want to see. Steven Den Beste describes some of the horrors I was talking about.
I think of the least lucky of the survivors of the attack at Pearl Harbor. Some of the American ships capsized, and men inside them were trapped in air pockets. They could not be reached with the diving technology of the time, and cutting through the armored hull of the ship was impossible. They tapped on the side of the ship, and men outside tapped back. They talked by Morse Code, and so the names of a lot of those trapped that way are actually known. But the names have never been revealed by the government, to spare their families. All those trapped this way eventually died, in the dark, from thirst or hunger or when the air gave out, with no shred of hope, no chance of rescue, and only a faint metallic tapping on the outside of the hull to keep them company.

Anyone who thinks that war is in any way fun is a blithering idiot. War is among the most terrible, horrible, awful things humans can do. Some men are improved by it; some men come out of war feeling as if they'd done the right thing, satisfied and even proud. The crewmen in the PBY's in the Pacific could take the memory of men fished from the water home with them, and feel a deep and well deserved satisfaction.


We can either fight here, fight with unprepared civilians, fight in a time and place and manner that they choose, or we can fight there, fight with our soldiers who are trained and equipped for combat, and fight within a plan which minimizes the risk to our soldiers and their civilians (and even to their soldiers) as much as risk can ever be minimized in war.

I hate the horrors of war, but there's nothing we can do to prevent someone from suffering them now. Our only choice is who will do the suffering, and where, and when. But by deciding to control the flow of events instead of letting our enemy control them, we might well be able to make this war less horrible, overall, in the long run. By choosing to deliberately cause some horror, we have a significant chance of preventing much more horror which might have happened in another place and time, like here, to us.

We did not seek this war, it was thrust upon us. We can only try to win it as quickly and decisively as possible, with the minimum loss of innocent life. We can try to make sure that we create a lasting peace in the region, once the fighting ends. If we can, perhaps the deaths and suffering will not have been in vain. Perhaps the horrors of war will give way to something better.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:43:00 AM Link
:: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 ::
Mark Steyn Whacks the Anti-Yanks
Steyn takes a clue-by-four to the anti-American Left in this column in the National Post.
If you believe, like Nelson Mandela, that Bush is the problem not Saddam, then the above makes perfect sense. But I wonder if the rest of the anti-Yank set have thought it through. They may routinely say that "Bush frightens me," but they're posing; their lack of action makes plain that the Great Satan doesn't frighten them at all. They know America could project itself anywhere and blow up anything, but it doesn't. It could tell the UN to go screw itself, but it's not that impolite. Imagine any previous power of the last thousand years with America's unrivalled hegemony and unparalleled military superiority in a unipolar world with nothing to stand in its way but UN resolutions. Pick whoever you like: the Soviet Union, Imperial Japan, the Third Reich, Napoleon, the Vikings. That's really frightening.
That was just a small sample of Steyn's idiotarian bashing. Check out the rest of it. We'll wait.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:18:00 PM Link
Fisking Fisk
His Most Rotweillerian Majesty, Misha I, tears Robert Fisk (Fiskus Assholicus) a new one.
We must forget how President Bush junior promised to "stand by" Afghanistan before he began his bombings last year – and has left it now an economic shambles of drug barons, warlords, anarchy and fear.
That's one heck of a lot easier to forget, seeing as how it never happened. You might want to inform the 82nd AB that we've abandoned Afghanistan, we're sure they'll be quite pissed off when they hear that we left without them.
There's lot's more where that came from.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:15:00 PM Link
UK population to get smallpox jab in bio-terror defence
Annanova has this story .
The Government is preparing for a mass smallpox vaccination in the event of a bio-terrorist attack.


Under the plan, key health care workers in each area of the country would be vaccinated as a precautionary measure so they could respond to any outbreak.

If an outbreak did occur the population in that area would be offered vaccination. Only if there were numerous outbreaks would mass vaccination be considered.

Looks like the Brits are taking the threat of a smallpox attack more seriously, too. I think they ought to make it available, on a voluntary basis, to the entire population, but this is a step in the right direction.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 8:57:00 PM Link
Riyadh 'to fingerprint US visitors'
BBC News has this story.
US diplomats say Saudi Arabia is set to impose tit-for-tat immigration procedures on American citizens following the tightening of security checks on some visitors to the United States.


The American system, which came into force a week ago, requires visitors from countries deemed to pose a threat of anti-US terrorism - including Saudi Arabia - to register with the government and be photographed and fingerprinted.

If Saudi Arabia wants to make it more difficult to hire American workers, it's okay with me. I frankly don't think any American citizens should be working for our enemies, anyway.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 8:11:00 PM Link
For Kuwait. Baghdad still the enemy
The Boston Globe has this story.
Advice to President Bush?

''You have to finish the job that your father didn't finish,'' counsels a former Kuwaiti oil minister.

Forget the drums of war. In Kuwait, a country occupied by Iraq in 1990 and liberated by US forces in 1991, a full-blown orchestra is playing.


In fact, Kuwaiti officials appear more worried by the prospect of diplomatic solution, fearing that Hussein's survival will only embolden him and swell the ranks in a disenchanted Arab world that lauds his defiance. Some Kuwaitis even suggest that US threats of an attack and the visible military buildup in Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain are simply gunboat diplomacy that will again disappoint. They remember standoffs in 1994 and 1998, when US forces returned to the region, only to see Hussein emerge with what Kuwaitis considered a stronger hand.

It would appear that Kuwait knows something about Saddam that the rest of the Arab world does not. Perhaps it is because they are the only Arabs who have lived under Saddam's rule and are free to speak against him.

I do not think that President Bush is likely to back down from Saddam. In fact, he just added another demand that Saddam is almost certain to reject, the right to interview witnesses outside Iraq, and take their families with them, so they cannot be used as hostages.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 7:52:00 PM Link

Poll: Journalists Support Iraq Invasion, Bush
ScrappleFace has some new poll results.
Almost 92 percent of journalists said they would back an invasion in answer to the question, "If George W. Bush, armed with nothing but a scimitar, were to personally lead ground troops in an invasion of Iraq, would you support the attack?"
The poll also showed 98% support for President Bush's handling of the economy. Of course, the way the question was phrased might have influenced the results. Take a look, and see what you think.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:47:00 PM Link
:: Monday, October 07, 2002 ::
What the Germans Just Don't Get
Earlier today, I was trying to answer a reader's comment on this post. The reader who left the comment is a German, and a pretty decent sort, not the hateful kind that seems to infest the Schroeder government. He was trying to explain that Schroeder had "made unfriendly noises, but that Germany had not been hateful", and that Germany was afraid of getting involved in a war with unclear consequences, not anti-American. And it dawned on me, what I had been missing in trying to understand Europe's coolness toward American policy. There is an attitude that is particularly prevalent among the European Left, that America is eager to send its sons and daughters to kill and die in the Middle East. The kindly ones among this group attribute it to a blind lust for vengance, the crude ones attribute it to a blind lust for cheap oil. Horst Prillinger, an Austrian who runs a blog called The Aardvark Speaks, considers Steven Den Beste and myself to be Klingons. I may have convinced him that I'm just very angry at the Arabs/Muslims, but I think he's still convinced that Steven keeps a bowl of fresh qagh (gagh) on his desk.

We Americans are not exactly thrilled to send our young men and women in harm's way, either. It may come as a surprise to Germany, and the rest of Europe, but we love our children, too, and are not eager to see them come home in GI coffins. We understand that even those who survive the war without so much as a scratch, are likely to see things that no decent human being would want to see. America waited 50 years for the Soviet Union to realize that their system did not work, and join the free world. Even a confirmed warblogger like myself, who ends every post with the words "Riyadh delenda est", would have gladly waited fifty years, or a hundred, for the Arabs to recognize the value of our ways, and enjoy the fruits of liberty. They chose the path of violence, against Israel, and against us.

They murder Americans by the thousands, and they seek weapons that would allow them to murder us by the millions. We cannot permit that, so once again, America must march forth to defend Western Civilization from barbarism. It will stretch our resorces thinner than we would like, and thinner than we deserve, but we will defend our allies, even as we defend ourselves.

But, our allies need to understand that our resources are not infinite. Britain could not police the world forever, and without help, even America's strength must eventually fail. When that day comes, I do not know who will replace us. Perhaps the Russians or the Australians can one day bear the burden, but if a new guardian does not emerge, Western Civilization will fall, and mankind will enter another dark age.

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste has written an article describing some of the horrors of war, and linked to this article.

UPDATE: Horst Prillinger has conceeded that Steven doesn't keep a bowl of fresh qagh on his desk, but just has some in the fridge for special occaisions. I guess it's a start.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:55:00 PM Link

Inter-Palestinian clashes rock Gaza
BBC News has this story.
Gun battles left at least two people dead in Gaza City after about 20 armed militants posing as Palestinian policemen ambushed and killed a senior security official.

The killing of riot police chief Rajah Abu Lehiya took place on Monday morning as the Gaza Strip was in uproar following a major Israeli incursion into the Palestinian-controlled town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Colonel Abu Lehiya's life was known to have been under threat since his forces broke up a pro-Osama bin Laden rally in Gaza a year ago, killing at least two supporters of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The group has distanced itself from Monday's killing, which was claimed by a relative of one of the Hamas members killed at the rally.

I wonder if the Paleo-stinian Authority will do better at catching the murderer of one of their own than they do stopping violence directed at Israelis. I'm guessing they'll do a good deal better on this one.

The question is whether the PA will use this as an excuse to smack Hamas around. It's generally bad policy to let political rivals go around killing your senior people. There's no telling where they might stop. On the other hand, if Hamas didn't exist, the PA would have to invent them. Arafat needs a "radical" group, to make the PA look "moderate". My guess is that Arafat will get the guys who did this, but not go after the rest of Hamas.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:42:00 PM Link

German friendship
Steven Den Beste has some advice for Germany.
I neither want nor expect Germany troops to join us in Iraq. But I do want something from Schröder: I want him to shut up. I want him to say that Germany will neither participate nor impede the US, that Germany respects the US and accepts that the US must make a decision on this, and that if the US decides to attack that Germany will wish us luck and otherwise stay the hell out of the way, and accept that Germany may suffer from some of the peripheral effects of that decision, and to tolerate those effects as Germany's price for being a friend to America in time of crisis.


And if he still actually wants to be friends with us – really really good friends, as his rhetoric suggested once he'd won the election – then I'd like him to sit down and think objectively about just what good that friendship is for America, and what Germany actually has to offer us that we would think is worth what we give Germany as part of that alleged friendship.

I'd like someone to tell me that, because right now I don't see any use to it. What I see is a load of horseshit, and us getting taken advantage of by people who contemptuously assume we're too stupid to realize that we're being cheated.

Except for Britain, the only NATO members that have been worth the urine to piss on, have been the "new" NATO members, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, etc. Actually, the new NATO members have done pretty well. On the other hand, Germany's "help" has come with so many insults and lectures that it reminds me of Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, the Saudi prince that Rudy Guiliani told what to do with his $10 million check. And French help - what French help?

It's been reported that about a division worth of American tanks have left Germany, for Iraq. When those tanks are finished in Iraq, they should be redeployed anywhere other than Germany. There is no reason American tax dollars should be spent in a country as hateful as Germany has been. In fact, there's no reason why American consumers should spend their dollars on German products. Germany makes nothing that I can't do without, and I'm prepared to prove that, by experiment.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:13:00 PM Link

:: Sunday, October 06, 2002 ::
Rumors of War
MSNBC has this story.
Rumors of preparations for a coming gulf war fall mostly into one category: “impossible to disprove.” According to an Arab intelligence officer in the region, U.S. Special Forces teams are already inside Iraq, hunting Scud missiles and probing defenses. ...

A division’s worth of Abrams main battle tanks have disappeared from Europe and may have been the same ones spotted atop transport trucks in Kuwait last week. Any tanks they brought in recently, insist the Americans, were for routine exercises and would soon go back home.


Iraq’s neighbors, at least, are convinced not only that war is inevitable—but that it’s coming soon. Arab intelligence officials in two countries, who spoke on condition they not be identified further, both expected the Americans to attack Saddam as early as mid-November.

This is good news. The sooner we can take Saddam down, the better I'll like it.

It hasn't been easy to sift the truth out of all the conflicting stories coming out of Washington, but in wartime, that's a good thing. Democracies can rarely keep the truth completely secret, so the more conflicting stories in circulation, the better. If you can keep track of who knows which stories, you can sometimes identify leakers by the stories they leak. And the more rumors that are floating around, the more false leads the enemies' spies have to sift through. Churchill's dictum that in wartime, the truth "must be attended by a bodyguard of lies" is still true, and the Bush administration has played this gambit well.

UPDATE: I passed this story along to John, over at Big S Blog, and he took it, and added some info from Debka. He thinks it's going to happen either right after the elections, or right after Thanksgiving. I think the president will probably wait until Thanksgiving, to give our gallant allies a little more time to get a clue.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:13:00 PM Link

Yemen raid nets al-Qaeda suspects
BBC News has this story.
Yemeni security forces have arrested at least five suspected members of Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network north of the capital, Sana'a.

Two of the five were injured in a gunbattle which broke out after security forces surrounded a building in the al-Rawdah suburb.

The Yemeni forces were reportedly acting on a tip-off.

The authorities have recently been working to try to strengthen security in Yemen in coordination with the United States, which believes al-Qaeda members are hiding in there.

In view of the French tanker attack, I'd say it's certain that either Al-Qaeda, or some similar group is operating out of Yemen. It's probably larger than the Yemeni government realizes, or is willing to admit. And I suspect that the Bush administration's firm approach to dealing with the Taliban and Saddam has something to do with the willingness of the Yemeni government to cooperate with us in tracking down these militants.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:49:00 PM Link
Craft 'rammed' Yemen oil tanker
BBC News has this story.
The owners of a French oil tanker on fire off the coast of Yemen say they believe it was rammed by a smaller boat, before exploding into flames.

A junior officer on board the Limburg reported seeing a small craft "fast approaching" the tanker in the port of Ash Shihr, at Mukallah, 570 kilometres (353 miles) east of Aden, and believes the two vessels touched before an explosion occurred.

Yemeni officials say they do not consider the blast an act of sabotage.

But Captain Peter Raes, managing director of France Ship, told BBC News Online it would be "near impossible" for an accidental explosion to have taken place, and that explosives were likely to have been on board the vessel which crashed.

Now, I'm no particular fan of the French, whether as soldiers, politicians, or seamen, but the notion that their new, double-hulled tanker just "blew up", is nonsense. The Yemenis' response was silly enough to have come from a Monty Python script.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:35:00 PM Link
Why the U.S. will not be going it alone against Iraq
Matt Welsh has this column in the National Post (link via Instapundit)
But the focus on Iraq, and the buildup toward war there -- even if it were only a threat intended to bully Saddam into readmitting inspectors -- creates an urgency to twist arms and trade horses immediately, until all the relevant countries get on board. Which means delaying the inevitable reckoning with Saudi Arabia.

To cite the familiar statistic, Saudi Arabia outnumbered Iraq in the number of Sept. 11 hijackers by a score of 15 to 0. Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, and his Saudi-heavy sect, practises a virulent strain of Wahhabist Islam that originates in Mecca and is exported worldwide with billions in Saudi oil money. Saddam's bankrupt regime is secular and exports no discernible ideology. By any reasonable measure, the events of Sept. 11 were more closely linked to Saudi Arabia than to any other country except Afghanistan. Many of Bush's criticisms of the Taliban, the Palestinian Authority and Saddam are equally applicable to the House of Saud.

Few people dislike the Saudi regime more than I do, but taking care of Saddam first not only removes a threat of WMD attack against America and its allies, but puts us in a much stronger position when our reckoning with the House of Sods finally comes. With Iraqi bases to strike from, and a friendly government in Bagdhad, we will have the means to strike at any of our remaining Persian Gulf enemies, plus a third available option against Syria.

Restoring Iraq's oil fields to full production will undercut the Saudi's "oil weapon", and if Saudi Arabia were to turn off its oil taps, American troops based in Iraq would be well-positioned to turn those taps back on. Indeed, a post-Saddam oil embargo by the Saudis would probably be the catalyst for the long-due reckoning with the Saudis.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:46:00 AM Link

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