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:: Saturday, October 19, 2002 ::

U.S. to Withdraw From Arms Accord With North Korea
NY Times has this story.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 — The Bush administration has decided to scrap the 1994 arms control accord with North Korea that has provided Western energy aid in return for the North's promise to freeze the development of nuclear weapons, senior administration officials said today.

North Korea admitted two weeks ago that it was pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program, and accused the United States of taking steps that forced Pyongyang to nullify the accord. The White House has since debated whether to end the accord, with some aides warning such a step could lead North Korea to even greater nuclear violations.


The immediate practical effect of the decision to scrap the agreement is the halting of the annual shipments of 500,000 tons of fuel oil from the United States to North Korea.

Even if the clandestine North Korean program effectively suspended the accord, the administration's decision to formally abandon it sends a clear message: it signifies an American effort to pose a stark choice for North Korea, between abandoning all of its nuclear weapons programs and facing near-total economic isolation.


The senior administration official interviewed about the White House's strategy said that North Korea must end the highly enriched uranium program "in a verifiable way," a major task in a country known for its skills at digging deep caves. The official added: "This time we must also address other problems — missile transfer, the conventional forces the North has, and the abominable way it treats its people." None of those issues were covered in the 1994 framework accord.

"You can't have re-entry into the international community of states and brandish a nuclear weapon," said the official.

North Korea must disarm, if it wants to receive help from the rest of the world. Any nation providing aid to North Korea prior to the verified dismantling of North Korea's nuclear arms programs should be barred from the US market. That would hurt either South Korea or China, the two nations whose cooperation is most vital to the isolation of North Korea.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:41:00 PM Link
USS Constellation to Deploy Early for Iraq
KFMB-TV (San Diego) has this story.
(10-16-2002) - The USS Constellation is set to leave San Diego earlier than planned to prepare for a possible war with Iraq. It's regular deployment was scheduled for early next year, but now it will leave port next month for the Persian Gulf.

Before the Constellation leaves for the Persian Gulf, it will spend about two weeks off the Southern California coast, participating in training exercises, which are scheduled to begin Thursday. The Constellation carries about 5,000 sailors and marines, and about 70 aircrafts.

Things are heating up. Planning a major military operation is a little like preparing dinner orders for a large party at a restaurant - you want all the dishes to be ready at the right time, and you want all the troops to be ready at the right time. If they stick to the published timetable, Constellation could be on station in the Persian Gulf region by Thanksgiving. We could see action by early December, if the rest of the pieces are in place.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:20:00 PM Link
Top Abu Sayyaf rebel 'arrested'
BBC News has this story.
Police in Manila have captured a man say is a senior member of the Muslim extremist group, Abu Sayyaf.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo joined her national police chief at a news conference to parade Mark Bolkerin Gumbahale and three other bombing suspects.


National Police Chief Hermogenes Ebdane said Mr Gumbahale would be charged with the kidnapping of 21 mostly foreign tourists and workers from Malaysia's Sipadan dive resort in 2000 and with the kidnapping of schoolteachers and students in Basilan island in 1999.

More good news! Maybe they can convince this asshole to sell out some of his buddies. Abu Sayyaf has historically been little more than a criminal gang, in it for the money. They don't have anywhere near the ideological conviction of a Hamas or Al-Qaeda. It should be possible to find something that will appeal to this bastard's sense of self-interest.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:53:00 PM Link
Saudi students in US to be fingerprinted
ArabNews has this story.
RIYADH, 20 October — Saudi students already residing in the United States have been informed by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia that they need to visit immigration centers in their state to be fingerprinted and interviewed, a source told Arab News yesterday.


They were also told that they needed to update officials on their current study programs and their expected graduation date, as well as other related information. The circular added that the deadline for visiting immigration centers is the end of October.

It's about time! The next step is to prohibit students from hostile countries from enrolling in courses of study with direct military application. Courses which should be prohibited include pilot training, microbiology, chemical engineering, and of course, any type of military training.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:41:00 PM Link
A New Front, but it's Still One War
The NY Times has this story.
WASHINGTON — HOW many battles can the United States take on at one time?

Even before North Korea's stunning admission last week that it had been cheating for years on its commitment to freeze its nuclear weapons program, that question was heard all over Washington.


Mr. Bush's team sees this moment in history as a rip in time, a chance to re-order the world on American terms. It said as much in the national security strategy published last month, which talked not only of pre-emptive strikes to prevent future attacks, but of a global campaign to "defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants." This strategy finds opportunity even in simultaneous crises.

Even a political opponent like Samuel R. Berger, the national security adviser to President Bill Clinton, agrees with at least part of the Bush logic. "The lesson you always learn in these jobs is that the world doesn't deal cards one at a time," he said. But the cards make up a hand that can be played.

Speaking of the twin crises in Iraq and North Korea, he said: "These could play off one another. If you get a strong Security Council resolution on Iraq, it conveys to North Korea that the international community will find a nuclear program unacceptable."

I've said it before nobody deals with chaos, and the weirdness that goes with it, better than the US. The Bush administration will deal with these problems. They will use the oportunities created by success on one front to create new opportunites on the others.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:25:00 PM Link
Bush Authorizes Training of Iraqi Opposition
The Washington Post has this story.
President Bush has authorized U.S. combat training for Iraqi opponents of Saddam Hussein, and the Pentagon has identified as many as 5,000 recruits for an initial training phase to begin next month, according to administration and military officials.

... Defense and State Department officials intend to brief Congress next week on plans to instruct the Iraqis in basic combat as well as specialized skills to serve as battlefield advisers, scouts and interpreters with U.S. ground troops in an invasion force.


The Pentagon began serious consideration of an opposition training plan early last month. But long-standing uncertainty about the abilities and cohesion of the often-bickering exile groups had limited discussions to an initial phase of only about 1,000 recruits and a far smaller amount of money.

Bush's new directive appears to have ended that uncertainty. "It's a big deal," said a senior administration official.

An occupation government is going to need a sizable number of Iraqis who can serve as interpreters, low-level bureaucrats, and law enforcement officers. Recruiting them now, so they can help during the invasion, as well, is an excellent idea.

Not all of the opposition groups are happy with the decision. They think it gives Iraqi National Congress head Ahmed Chalabi too much influence, but somebody has to run the program, and if the other factions had been more cooperative, they might have had more influence.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:19:00 AM Link

:: Friday, October 18, 2002 ::
Venezuela says no to Arab oil blockade
BBC News has this story.
Venezuela, the world's fifth biggest oil producer and major supplier to the US, will not support an Arab oil blockade in response to military action against Iraq.


"We cannot endorse any oil embargo, we cannot use oil as a political weapon and Opec should be fully aware of this," Mr Chavez said.

"Oil is a strategic resource so you cannot use it so people won't have heating, electricity, air transportation because then we will be damaging people, the economy and society as a whole," he said.

This is good news. Good for both Venezuela, and the rest of the civilized world. Saudi Arabia has also declined to participate in an oil embargo, so it looks as though oil prices will remain reasonably stable, even if we must depose Saddam.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:34:00 PM Link
McCain misses defense spending vote
azcentral.com has this story (link via DrudgeReport).
WASHINGTON - Arizona's Sen. John McCain, busy preparing this week to guest-host Saturday Night Live while conducting his nationwide book tour and making other TV appearances, did not show up for a vote on a $355 billion defense spending bill.


Though he did not vote on the defense bill, McCain, a member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, inserted a statement into the official Congressional Record criticizing the bill's "wasteful spending" on items added by members of Congress.


On Wednesday morning, McCain's schedule had him in New York on the Don Imus radio show. He then flew to Washington to attend a ceremony where President Bush signed the Iraqi war resolution into law. Bush began his remarks at that ceremony at 11:17 a.m.

Afterward, McCain showed up for the election-reform bill vote, listed on Senate records as taking place at 12:07 p.m.

But he then missed the vote on the defense bill at 2:32 p.m.

At some point in the afternoon, McCain returned to New York for Saturday Night Live rehearsals. By 9 p.m., he was appearing on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews.

It seems to me that Sen. McCain needs to sort out his priorities. If he wants to be a comedian, and be paid to be laughed at, he should leave the Senate, and pursue his career change full time. If he wants to be taken seriously as a Senator, and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he needs to get his butt into Washington, and stay there long enough to take care of business. I realize that his vote would not have affected the bill's passage, but if you are willing to go on the record criticizing a bill, you ought to go on the record voting against it, too.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:29:00 PM Link
Victor Davis Hanson on War & Appeasement
Victor Davis Hanson has this column on National Review Online (link via Little Green Footballs).
Like Demosthenes, Don Juan and Churchill — and President Bush today — struggled to make a complacent audience grasp the nature of a distant and still theoretical threat, one that could only grow through appeasement and would end with confrontation and defeat. Would most educated and sophisticated citizens prefer the utopian refrain, "Let the arms-reduction accords of the League of Nations work," and "Let the inspectors investigate the rumors of an oversize German battleship and unlawful aircraft construction" — or the simplistic "You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, and with all our might. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival!"
The villification that President Bush has received, particularly from European quarters, is the wages of truth-speaking in wartime. 9/11 has muted domestic criticism somewhat, and has made Americans realize that Muslims are not our friends, but there are too many in Europe who think the Muslims should be bought off. Some genuinely think they can be bought off, by dismantling Israel, or by other means. Some are merely cowards, who would surrender their freedom, their cultural heritage, and everything else, just to save their miserable lives. I leave them with this quote, from American patriot Samuel Adams.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands, which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:07:00 PM Link
:: Thursday, October 17, 2002 ::
US Senate approves defence increase
BBC News has this story.
The United States Senate has given final approval to the biggest increase of military spending in two decades.

The $355.1bn military spending bill - an increase of $37.5bn from last year - comes as the US prepares for war against Iraq.

The defence allowance will enable the US:

  • to buy more transport planes needed to move troops to any part of the world, as well as new fast-deploying tanks, fighter aircraft, and intelligence-gathering systems.
  • about $770m will be spent on satellite-guided precision weapons.
  • another $247m will go to buy Tomahawk cruise missiles.
  • the theatre missile defence programme will get $7.4bn.
  • $9bn goes to shipbuilding - $842 million more than Mr Bush sought - including $2.3bn for two AEGIS destroyers.
The bill also funds a 4.1% pay rise for all US military personnel.
If anybody thinks that the UN "compromise" is a significant reprieve for Saddam, this budget should be sufficient evidence to correct any misunderstandings. This is not a defensive budget. This is not a special-ops-heavy, anti-terror, budget. This is a power-projection, war-fighting, budget. This is a budget to permit conventional armed forces to go anywhere, kick ass, and take names. This is a budget whose emphasis on improved intelligence and precision-guided weapons will allow smaller, lighter, more easily deployed forces to defeat heavier forces, and track down and kill lighter ones.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:05:00 PM Link
US resolution sidesteps opposition to Iraq war
The Guardian Unlimited has this story.
The US bowed to almost unanimous international opposition yesterday and offered to soften its stance on UN weapons inspections by removing language specifically threatening Iraq with invasion.


If Baghdad failed to comply, the US would consult the UN security council again before going to war, but it would not necessarily seek a second resolution, as the French have demanded.


France was under pressure last night to agree to the compromise after Russia signalled it would accept the proposals put forward by the US secretary of state, Colin Powell. Until yesterday, Paris had insisted on a second security council resolution authorising the use of force.


Under the new US proposal, President Saddam would still have to make a declaration giving an inventory of his arsenal.

Western officials with knowledge of the security council discussions said that if that declaration fell far short of the US estimate of Iraq's stockpile of biological and chemical weapons, and its nuclear programme, the US could declare the Baghdad regime in "material breach" of its obligations and demand UN backing for an attack even before inspectors went to Iraq.

On the other hand, if the Iraqi leader admitted to a significant number of weapons of mass destruction, he would undermine his own credibility and strengthen Washington's hand in pushing for tough inspections.


The new US proposal received a significant boost yesterday with the apparent approval of the Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, who said he had discussed it with the US secretary of state, Colin Powell.

Damn, the Bushies are good! This "compromise", leaves Saddam caught in the mother of all catch-22s, and has isolated the French. The UN's private parts are now stuck in a meat grinder, and the switch is in Chirac's hands. He has the unenviable choice of selling out his pal, Saddam, or turning the UN's "sausage" into hamburger.

Saddam is not in much better shape. If he comes clean about the size of his arsenal, he'll have UN inspectors crawling in and out of his bodily orifices. If he tries to fudge his figures, he's a cheat. At that point, the US need only "consult" with the Security Council before attacking. Bush to the Security Council - "A massive air strike is 10 minutes out of Iraqi airspace, thought you'd want to know".

Schadenfreude is such a delicious feeling. The opportunity to enjoy it at the expense of two of the biggest assholes on the planet makes it even more so.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:46:00 PM Link

Iran may recognise the existence of Israel
khilafah.com has this story.
TEHRAN, 16 Oct. (IPS) In a dramatic U-turn that could have important implications for the whole of the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran indicated Wednesday that it might recognise the existence of the State of Israel.


Mr. Habibollah Asgaroladi, the leader of the powerful Islamic Coalition Society, Iran's oldest and most influential conservative party also opened a window, stating that talks with the United States were not "absolutely forbidden, neither is hostility towards the US a duty", he said, adding that Iran would negotiate with the US "if our national interests deem it necessary".

Isn't it amazing what a difference the prospect of a restless and disaffected population, plus the impending presence of 100,000 American troops on one's border can make. Even an Iranian mullah can read the writing on the wall, when it's this plain. If the American and British governments remain resolute in their determination to remove Saddam, we will have an opportunity to make tremendous strides toward a more open, tolerant, and peaceful Middle East.

No, the Iranian government has not suddenly had a change of heart where Israel and the United States are concerned, but that is the important thing about this statement. A government that despises the United States, and doesn't like Israel is suddenly interested in talking to us, and hinting at recognition of Israel. The Middle East is a region of the world where force is respected more that appeals to ethics or morality. Even the imminent threat of force to a hated neighbor has had a beneficial effect.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:23:00 PM Link

Strain shows on Saudi
BBC News has this story.
These are not easy times for Saudi Arabia. Being the world's biggest oil producer and exporter is small comfort when you are faced with a soaring population, falling per-capita income, and creeping unemployment. And that was before 11 September 2001.

Since the attacks on America last autumn, Saudi Arabia's ruling princes have had to come to terms with some uncomfortable facts.


The strain on US-Saudi ties has been enormous, especially as it is coupled with deep differences over how to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.


So how has Saudi Arabia changed since 11 September? In several ways. Its people have grown further apart from America and the West for a start. Saudis used to like going to the US for business and to Florida for their holidays, but not any more.


Secondly, the Saudi authorities have become much more co-operative in tracking down al-Qaeda.


Washington is not getting everything it wants - the Saudis still insist on doing all the interrogations themselves.


Even if this is the last we hear of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, the country looks set to go through another difficult period when preparations begin for a US-led war on Iraq.

The Saudis have sown the wind, and they are reaping the whirlwind. For years they have encouraged their Wahabi nutsos to vent their hatred at the West, in general, and the US, in particular. We could afford to ignore the problem, prior to 9/11, but soon, there must, and will, be a reckoning.

The alliance between the US and the Kingdom is dead, and the House of Saud poisoned it. America no longer views the Saudis as allies, but as enemies. Once Iraq is is in the American camp, their position will be utterly untenable. With Iraq's oil fields back in production, oil prices will drop, squeezing the Saudis economically, and 100,000 or more American troops on their border will squeeze them militarily.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:21:00 AM Link

30 pieces of silver
Steven Den Beste has this article.
With apologies to my Christian friends, think of it as the "30 pieces of silver" scenario. One of the serious problems with Donald's scenario is that the actual process of killing Saddam will be extremely difficult. Saddam trusts no one. Either someone would have to try to smuggle in a gun and kill him directly, and then hope that his bodyguard doesn't retaliate on the spot, or else it would be necessary to find a sufficient cadre of men to command and send in to defeat the bodyguard more or less as a military operation. That would be difficult because the kind of facility where Saddam is likely to be holed up will be specifically designed to easily defend against attack by light infantry. So even if members of the inner circle were willing to betray Saddam, they might not easily have the ability to kill him.

One of Saddam's personal defenses, as Donald points out, is that he'll try to be somewhere we don't suspect, and the possibility is that he's got a secret bunker, or ridiculous number of known ones. It occurred to me as I was reading that someone in his inner circle might proffer us a deal: he would tell us when Saddam had gone to ground, and tell us where Saddam was, and we'd hit the place with bunker busters and kill Saddam ourselves. In exchange, the traitor's own location would not be bombed, and after we'd won the traitor would be given amnesty, permitted to keep his Swiss bank account, and allowed to retire to wealthy and obscure exile.

Steven makes an interesting point. Saddam rules by fear, and that only works when your people are more afraid of you than they are of the enemy. That dynamic will soon change, as American forces tighten the noose. There will come a point when Saddam's key people know that this time, he's finished. When that happens, someone will drop a dime on him.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:28:00 AM Link
Report Decries Saudi Laxity
The Washington Post has this story.
The Bush administration's efforts to cut off funds for international terrorism are destined to fail until it confronts Saudi Arabia, whose leaders have tolerated some of its wealthy citizens raising millions of dollars a year for al Qaeda, according to a new report from an influential foreign policy organization.

The report from the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, scheduled for release today, contends that the administration must pressure the Saudis—as well as other governments—to crack down on terror financing, even at the risk of sparking a public backlash that could jeopardize the Saudi government.


The report was especially harsh on the Bush administration's relationship with Saudi Arabia. The administration "appears to have made a policy decision not to use the full power of U.S. influence and legal authorities to pressure or compel other governments to combat terrorist financing more effectively."


The report acknowledged that criticizing Saudi Arabia publicly and demanding a crackdown on Islamic banks, charities and wealthy sponsors of al Qaeda could create a backlash that would jeopardize the survival of the Saudi government.

The report is correct, that we will never shut down Al-Qaeda's funding while the Saudis are willing to support them. But, I think we will be in a much better position to lean on the Saudis, once we have Saddam in the (body) bag. President Bush's patience with the Saudis is not infinite, and once Saddam is removed from power, and 100,000, or more, first-rate troops are settled in Iraq, the Saudis will be caught between Iraq and a wet place.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:05:00 AM Link
:: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 ::
European anti-Americanism reflects a deeper malaise
Historian Paul Johnson has this column in the Wall Street Journal.
We have to remember that twice in the 20th century, Europe came close to committing suicide by wars that in retrospect seem senseless. These were followed by a Cold War that imprisoned much of Europe in a cage of fear. In this process, Europe, a collection of vigorous peoples who pushed forward the frontiers of civilization for a thousand years and created the modern world, learned to opt for a safety-first existence in which comforts and short-term security became the object of policy. They sought a cozy Utopia, with risk and pain eliminated.


France, Germany, Italy and Spain, the big four of Continental Europe, did exceptionally well in the third and much of the final quarter of the 20th century, while the global economy was expanding steadily. But we are now discovering that Europe cannot cope with recession. In its quest for comfort and assurance, it has forgotten that capitalism is Janus-faced--it brings astonishing growth and prosperity but at the cost of periodic and often violent adjustments when sufferings must be borne and profited from in order for the advance to be resumed. Risk, ruthlessness and fortitude are inescapable requirements of successful capitalism. There is no such thing as "Safety First" in a dynamic market.


Against this background of nervous depression and debility, can anyone wonder that Europe's response to Mr. Bush's war on terrorism has been spitefully critical? It is worth recalling that the dispirited democratic societies of the 1930s were similarly reluctant to take arms against the growing dictators of the period. They behaved like ostriches, and the mentality prevails today in countries emotionally drained by lack of economic dynamism.

But Europe must realize it has much to lose. The destruction of the French supertanker off Yemen shows that France has as much to fear from large-scale terrorist acts as the U.S., probably more. Germany is a peculiarly vulnerable target with its lax security procedures. The armed forces of both are in a lamentable state. And the viciousness with which Mr. Bush has been attacked reflects their powerlessness.

It is no accident that Britain, which is semi-detached from the EU and whose economy is aligned more with the American than the European model, has been prepared to take the war on terrorism seriously. We in Britain have comparatively high growth, low unemployment, attract high investment and enjoy economic dynamism. Our armed forces, though small, are well-equipped, experienced and confident.

All these things go together. America can fight and master terrorism alone, if need be, but the support of Britain is important, materially and psychologically. As for the Continental European, we can only hope that they have lost their self-respect as great nations only temporarily.

Britain is one of the few nations on earth whose support, or opposition, means a damn to Americans. We may be a blending of many cultures, but Britain, more than any other, is our mother. The men who founded the United States were Englishmen long before they ever dreamed of independence. Much of what we are, as Americans, we owe to British tutelage.

As a nation, America is an adult, able to manage its affairs on its own. But that does not prevent us from appreciating the vigor of a parent who is willing, and still able, to lend a hand with difficult tasks. It would grieve America, should Britain ever lose the will, or the ability, to take a hand in the affairs of the world.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:44:00 PM Link

Bush: Israel can respond to Iraq
BBC News has this story.
President George W Bush has said that he would expect Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to respond appropriately if Iraq launched a missile attack on his country.
"If Iraq attacks Israel tomorrow, I would assume the prime minister would respond ." - George W Bush
Mr Bush was speaking after a meeting with Mr Sharon at the White House, at which he had been expected to press for restraint from the Israeli leader.


Ahead of the talks, US officials were reported to have said that ground rules for Israeli behaviour and action if the US strikes Iraq were expected to be agreed.

Mr Sharon was expected to come under pressure to show restraint in dealing with the Palestinians and not retaliate if his country comes under Iraqi missile attack.

If we had any worthwhile Arab allies, it might be worth the effort to pressure Israel not to respond to an attack by Saddam. The Arab states are not going to give us any significant degree of cooperation, anyway, so why should we give a damn what they think about Israeli retaliation? If the Arab states want us to pressure Israel, they need to provide us with sufficient assistance and cooperation to make it a reasonably even trade-off.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:11:00 PM Link
Britain modifying battle tanks for desert warfare, senior officer says
nj.com has this story.
LONDON (AP) -- Britain plans to modify more than 200 of its tanks for desert warfare, a senior defense officials said Wednesday -- raising speculation Britain will follow the United States into war against Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Rob Fulton, a senior equipment specialist at the Ministry of Defense, said plans were being considered for the limited modification of two armored brigades, a total of 234 tanks.


Fulton told lawmakers that proposed modifications to the tanks would include "skirts" to keep out the desert dust and improved oil and air filters as well as some changes to the tanks' engines.

During exercises in Oman last year, the army's Challenger 2 tanks lasted just four hours before their air filters became clogged by the fine desert dust. Almost half the tanks had broken down by the end of the exercise.

Aside from the obvious implication that a couple of British armored brigades are preparing to join us in Iraq, this story illustrates one of the West's advantages in dealing with the Muslims.

When Westerners encounter a problem, we set about diagnosing the problem, and fixing it. Muslims, on the other hand, tend to blame their failures on their own impiety. They are operating by divine decree, therefore their policies can't be wrong. Since criticizing policy is tantamount to criticizing God, policy mistakes and misjudgements are not questioned, or corrected. They assume that Allah has withheld His blessing because of impiety on their part.

In other words, when confronted by a problem, Westerners think harder, and Muslims pray harder. The history of the last 300-500 years suggests that thinking works better.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:08:00 PM Link

:: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 ::
US hawks target Middle East
BBC News has this story
Some of the president's most senior advisors believe that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein is just the first stage in a long-term vision of change for the Middle East.


"There's not a single democracy in the 22 nations of the Arab League," a senior administration official recently observed. "Why should that be the case?"

Democracy would reduce the frustration of ordinary Arabs, reduce their appetite for radical Islam, improve relations with the United States and add a new element to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.


Once Saddam has gone, there would be less requirement for American troops in Saudi Arabia.

That would remove another major source of anti-Americanism, and undercut support for al-Qaeda.


This would reduce America's reliance on Saudi Arabia even further.

In fact, this administration has no qualms about upsetting the Saudis.

To the fury of the Saudi royal family, Saudi visitors to America are now routinely fingerprinted and searched.

This is exactly the sort of thing I've been talking about. The article barely touches on the benefits of removing Saddam, though. Removing Saddam and replacing his regime with a friendlier government would not merely allow us to remove our troops from Saudi Arabia. It would allow us to move them to where they could strike directly at our other enemies in the region. They would no longer be merely a defensive force, but would have the ability to take the fight to our enemies. Restoration of Iraq's oil fields to full production, would lower oil prices, which would deprive the Saudis of revenues that they currently spend to support terrorist groups.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:59:00 PM Link
Sharp rise in favour of war on Iraq
Guardian Unlimited has this story.
There has been a spectacular surge in support among British voters for military action against Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the terror attack in Bali, according to the latest Guardian/ICM poll.

The survey, which was carried out on Monday, shows that support for a military attack on Iraq has risen 10 points in the last week from 32% to 42% of voters.

The ICM poll also shows that more voters agree with Tony Blair that it is necessary to fight on two fronts against both al-Qaida and Iraq. Only one in three voters agree that the United States and Britain "took their eye off the ball" by concentrating on Iraq.

The bastards sought to drive a wedge of fear between the English-speaking Peoples. They failed. They do not understand the depth of our friendships, the strength of the historical and cultural ties that bind us together. Through two world wars, the English-speaking Peoples stood together, and ultimately triumphed over their foes.

We are more than a mere alliance. We are a family. Though grieve over our losses, we will emerge from this terrible tragedy with a renewed determination to bring the murderers to justice. They will pay for their crimes, and so will any who aided them.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:48:00 PM Link

Bolton says Iraq undergo "de-Nazification'
NJ.com has this story.
Alluding to what the United States and its allies did in Germany at the end of World War II, Bolton said he was prescribing a form of "de-Nazification" for post-war Iraq.

The targets besides Saddam, who other senior administration officials already have likened to Adolf Hitler, were Iraqis "who are fundamentally a part of Saddam's regime."

After World War II, the United States and its allies oversaw a major housecleaning of Germany's leadership. While Hitler disappeared and was presumed to have committed suicide, the allies prosecuted several of his top lieutenants as part of a process of converting a Nazi regime to a democratic one.

Absolutely! We need to remove, not just Saddam, but all of the Saddamites. Every last one, even if that means running the entire country with a military occupation government.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:36:00 PM Link
Kingdom won’t help US in Iraq war: Sultan
ArabNews has this story.
“Saudi Arabia will not provide any assistance in any strikes against Iraq,” Prince Sultan said in comments published in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.

“The Kingdom has a special status in the Arab and Muslim worlds, as it is home to the two holy mosques. It will not sacrifice this status for the sake of anyone,” the prince said.

After we settle accounts with Saddam, the House of Sods ought to move to the top of our list. They have supported our enemies both financially and diplomatically. They have done everything in their power to frustrate our efforts to destroy terrorist groups and their supporters. They have been useless, as allies.

Once Saddam is gone, there will be an opening for membership in the Axis of Evil. I hereby nominate Saudi Arabia for the position.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:35:00 AM Link

:: Monday, October 14, 2002 ::
U.S.-French Split on Iraq Deepens at the U.N
The NY Times has this story.
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 14 — The impasse between the United States and France over military action in Iraq has deepened in recent days after an effort to reach a compromise stalled, with the French insisting that the Americans must come back to the United Nations Security Council before they can use force, diplomats said today.
France must be made to understand that Saddam is finished, period. The French need to understand that if they are not with us, they stand to lose their entire investment in Iraq. We will have no sympathy for those who have refused us their blessing. Note that I said blessing. We do not require France's permission to depose Saddam. Nor do we require France's blessing. We would prefer to have the blessing of France, and the UN, but not enough to jeopardize the survival of our cities.

France would prefer that we risk our cities, instead of their investments in Iraq. France must understand that America cares more for the survival of New York City than we care for the profits of TotalFinaElf. We will not be deterred from removing Saddam, and the only way they can save their investments, is to cooperate with us. If the French continue to oppose us, they should be cut completely out of the post-Saddam picture.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:42:00 PM Link

An Australian View of Bali
Paul Wright, has this article on Australia's reaction to the Bali bombing.
Second Point: Australia is now irrevocably committed to the war on terrorism. It is as much our war as the USA’s, or anyone else’s. We have to accept the fact that there are people living close by who hate us and wish us dead, for the simple fact that we are not of their faith. There is nothing that secular, freedom-loving Australian can do, say or wish that will appease, pay off, divert, distract or in any way satisfy religious fanatics who are prepared to incinerate unidentified people to make a political point. Who will choose soft civilian targets over military options that are as readily presented, simply because it’s less risky to kill unarmed civilians. This is war to the death.
Muslims have got to be the dumbest fucks on the entire planet. Having spent the last 50 years trying to kill off 5 million Israeli Jews, with little or no success, they picked a fight with 250 million Americans. Not content with making the biggest strategic fuck-up in the history of mankind, they've just added 19 million Aussies to the list of their enemies. How do these dipshits even manage to feed themselves?

We didn't seek this war. We didn't start it. But, by God, we will finish it. The lunatic fringe of Islam commits mass murder, while the "silent majority" looks on with tacit approval. It is time that majority learned that silence equals consent. It is time that the Muslim world learned that their inaction has a cost, too. It is time we carried the war to the Muslims.

Iraq must not merely be defeated, it must be broken. We need to make an example of the most aggressive and powerful of the overtly anti-Western regimes. Saddam must be tried and punished for crimes against humanity. The Baathist elites in Iraq must be driven from power, and divested of their ill-gotten goods. A military government should be established, along the lines of what was done in Japan, after WWII.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:02:00 PM Link

Welcome, Lucianne.com Readers!
A Lucianne.com reader quoted Cato's motto, in this discussion thread, and a number of the participants decided to drop by. Make yourselves at home, look around, come back anytime.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 4:59:00 PM Link
Naif confirms Kingdom will fingerprint Americans
ArabNews has this story.
RIYADH, 14 October — Interior Minister Prince Naif yesterday confirmed that the government plans to start fingerprinting Americans entering the Kingdom in a reciprocal measure.

“Our dealings (with other countries) will be reciprocal. We’ll deal with every country in the same way as they deal with us,” the prince told reporters who asked him about the measures taken in response to US travel restrictions on Saudis.

First of all, I want to say that any American who travels to Saudi Arabia for pleasure is a fool, any American who goes there to work is trafficing with the enemy, and any American who goes there out of sympathy for the Arab cause (terrorism) is a traitor. Therefore, I'm happy to see Saudi Arabia's government place as many restrictions on American workers and visitors as it can.

The other thing I want to say about this article, is that if America dealt with Saudi Arabia the way Saudis have dealt with America, the Grand Mosque would be a hole in the ground. Do not boast, Prince Naif, of how Saudi Arabia will treat other countries as she is treated. For one day, America may treat you as you have treated us. You won't like it, when we do.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 4:07:00 PM Link

Iranian cleric denounces dog owners
BBC News has this story.
A conservative Iranian cleric has denounced the "moral depravity" of owning a dog, and called for the arrest of all dogs and their owners.

Dogs are considered unclean in Islamic law and the spread of dog ownership in Westernised secular circles in Iran is frowned upon by the religious establishment.

Owning a dog is "morally depraved", and blowing up "infidels" is not? Have you ever seen such a twisted perversion of a religion in your life? The association between man and dog has existed for thousands of years, to the benefit of both species. A religion that demands the severance of such a partnership, on the one hand, and celebrates the murder of innocents, on the other, is anti-life.

The one thing in the world that I have the least tolerance for, is intolerance. Muslims are the most intolerant people that I have ever seen, and I thank every god known to man, that I am not a Muslim.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:36:00 PM Link

:: Sunday, October 13, 2002 ::
Bangladesh court sentences writer
BBC News has this story.
The Bangladeshi feminist writer, Taslima Nasreen, has been given a one-year prison sentence on a charge of writing derogatory comments about Islam in several of her books.

This is the first sentence against the writer who was forced to flee the country in 1994 after receiving death threats from Muslim extremists.

Taslima Nasreen's criticism of traditional Islamic values and customs angered many hard line Islamic groups in Bangladesh.


The case was filed by a hard line Islamic leader, Mohammad Dabiruddin, who heads a local religious school.

Mr Dabiruddin accused Taslima Nasreen of writing offensive comments about Islam - and magistrate Shah Alam found her guilty of hurting the sentiments of the Muslims.


The Bangladeshi Government has already banned three of her books - "Shame", "My Childhood", and "Wild Wind".

The government said the books might hurt the people's religious sentiments.

Book-burning, woman-hating hypocrites, who whine about their feelings being hurt, while they slaughter "infidel" civilians, and hide behind their own women and children. I'm so sick of Muslims, that I wish we could amend the Constitution, to permit Muslim-Americans to be stripped of their citizenship, and deported. They come to this country, enjoy its freedoms, both political and economic, yet cheer, when Americans are slaughtered by their Muslim "brothers". Their loyalty is not to America, it is to their twisted perversion of a religion. They are the most hateful people America has seen, since the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan.

Never in the history of the world, has there been a country where it was as easy for a foreigner to become a citizen. All America asks of a would-be citizen, is that he work to support himself and his family, pay his taxes, tolerate his neighbors, and defend America against its enemies. Muslim-Americans have defaulted on that bargain, and the rest of us owe them nothing but contempt.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:19:00 PM Link

The Rottweiler Speaks
Misha has this to say about the Bali bombing, and President Bush's statement.
God Bless Australia and New Zealand.

(And, to put it very bluntly: You Islamofascist Pigfuckers went after our friends and I can personally guaranFUCKINGDAMNtee you that you're going to regret it. I can't WAIT to see the pictures of you assholes splattered all over the countryside! Shredded turbans and intestines draped over the branches of the trees... Make me SMILE, Fuckheads!)

I couldn't have put it better myself, Misha. We're going to hunt these bastards down, without remorse, and kill them, like the mad dogs they are. We're going to kill them, and we're going to kill anyone who stands in our way.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:33:00 PM Link
Suicide bomber thwarted in Tel Aviv
BBC News has this story.
Sharp-eyed security guards near the US embassy in Tel Aviv have foiled a suicide bomb attack after a cafe guard spotted a would-be bomber and chased him away.

The incident occurred at the Hatayelet cafe about 20 metres from the embassy on the city's beachfront at 2100 (1900 GMT).

Shlomit Herzberg, chief spokeswoman for Tel Aviv police said a security guard stopped the man as he tried to enter the cafe.

Three cheers for the security guard who spotted the bomber, and the embassy guards who helped catch him! It takes a pair of large ones, to chase a guy carrying a bomb. Vigilance and valor - a combination that's tough to beat.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:32:00 AM Link
Bombing at Resort in Indonesia Kills 150 and Hurts Scores More
The NY Times has this story.
A powerful car bomb detonated in front of a discothèque on the popular Indonesian resort island of Bali late last night, killing at least 150 people and wounding more than 200 others, Indonesian and Western officials said.

A hospital official in Bali said today that 75 percent of the dead were foreigners. It was one of the worst attacks on civilians in Southeast Asia in many years.


No group took responsibility for the attacks but suspicions immediately fell on a radical Islamic organization based in Indonesia, Jemaah Islamiyah. The group and its leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, have been linked to plots against Americans by an operative of Al Qaeda who was seized in Indonesia and turned over to the Central Intelligence Agency several months ago.

The Indonesian government has been reluctant to admit it has a terrorist problem. Perhaps they will take terrorism seriously, now. If they don't, they can kiss their tourism industry goodbye.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:13:00 AM Link

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