"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Another Pearl of Wisdom

Senator Kennedy Pulls a Bin Laden, Releases Tape to Undermine Iraqi Election
Rush Limbaugh Original Article

I am certain that Al-Jazeera got the tape. What I don't know is how many times Al-Jazeera has aired the tape. Yesterday a senator from the United States of America, ladies and gentlemen, pulled an Osama bin Laden: A last-minute attempt to manipulate a national election. Only this was worse than what Osama bin Laden did because this effort by this United States senator not only was an attempt to manipulate a national election, it was an attempt to sabotage the policy of his own country.

Iranians must realise they have to keep their promises

Rice says diplomacy can solve Iranian crisis
AFP in Turkish Press Original Article

New US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said diplomacy can resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis but verification is the key issue. In an interview with the French weekly Le Figaro magazine published on Saturday, Rice said it was important that the world united to make Iran understand that it cannot pursue its nuclear ambitions while being an active member of the international community.

This is not about an Iraqi ethnic vote, It's about a vote for Iraq.

U.S. commander predicts large Iraqi voter turnout
Michael Graczyk/AP on SFGate Original Article

The general who commands U.S. forces in Iraq said Friday that millions of Iraqis will vote this weekend in the face of likely bloodshed because they recognize their nation must not return to tyranny. "They are no fools," Gen. John Abizaid told a Houston audience. "They will bring their country together because they know they've got to move forward together."

You know your decision is bad when you blame others for it.

Spelling bee nixed because it 'leaves child behind'
WorldNetDaily.com Original Article

A school district in Rhode Island canceled its annual spelling bee this year because administrators decided the crowning of only one winner violates the main principle of the federal No Child Left Behind Act – that all children should succeed.

A window of opportunity, will it break or hold firm?

Israeli Army 'Reducing Operations' in W. Bank, Gaza
Jeffrey Heller/Reuters on Yahoo Original Article

Israel announced on Friday it was sharply reducing its military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in response to efforts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to end attacks on Israelis. The new rules of engagement, issued soon after Palestinian paramilitary police widened their control in the Gaza Strip, put limits on the assassinations of militants and followed a call by Abbas for Israel to agree to a cease-fire with gunmen.

Starting to thaw frozen relationships

First Taiwan Airliner in 55 Years Lands in Beijing
Reuters Original Article

The first airliner from Taiwan to land in Beijing in more than 55 years touched down in the Chinese capital on Saturday to fanfare as part of special charter flights between the arch-foes for the Chinese Lunar New Year. Passengers disembarked from the China Airlines flight in sub-zero weather and were greeted by applause from assembled guests and by a dragon dance ceremony on the tarmac.

"When I look at the ink on my finger--this is a mark of freedom"

Iraq Says Winning War on Rebels as Polls Near
Andrew Marshall /Reuters Original Article

Insurgents bent on wrecking Sunday's election in Iraq killed 10 Iraqis and five U.S. troops on Friday but the government said it had caught three al Qaeda lieutenants and insisted guerrillas were on the defensive. The government imposed extraordinary security restrictions to try to safeguard the polls. Land borders were closed and travel between provinces banned. An extended curfew was imposed in most cities from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

I'm 39, but today, I'm just born

Joyful Iraqi Exiles Vote in Landmark Election
Suleiman al-Khalidi /Reuters Original Article

Jubilant Iraqi exiles cast their ballots in a "vote for freedom" on Friday and urged their compatriots in Iraq to defy insurgents and do the same. In the United States, Iraqi expatriates defied frigid temperatures and long trips to the polls to enthusiastically cast their votes across the eastern United States. "I'm 39, but today, I'm just born," said Yaqoob Al-Awsa, a painter from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who was also celebrating his birthday. "This is the first day for me. I was almost crying."

Iraqi Democracy-That dream starts with the election

Voting fever takes hold of a people finally free to choose
Richard Beeston/Times (UK) Original Article

FOR decades, voting in Iraq meant taking part in a national exercise of state-enforced adulation, as 99 per cent of the electorate would dutifully turn out to tick the box beside the name Saddam Hussein. Yesterday the contrast could not have been starker, as the campaign for Sunday’s elections picked up pace and voters were presented with a dizzying selection of dozens of candidates and parties.

This guy is an idiot and a loser.

Murder Charges for Suspect in Train Crash
Robert Jablon/Associated Press Writer Original Article

The suicidal man who authorities say caused the chain-reaction train derailment that killed 11 people has been charged with multiple counts of murder and could face the death penalty, the district attorney said Thursday.

Implementing the ruling of God-Yeh Right

Zarqawi Group's Video Shows Killing of Allawi Aide
DUBAI (Reuters) Original Article

A militant videotape appeared on an Islamist Web site on Thursday, apparently showing the killing of a man described as the secretary of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. The tape, described as issued by a group led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, shows Salem Jaafar al-Kanani speaking to the camera before he is shot several times while lying on the ground.

On the road to peace. . . .

Palestinian Authority Issues Weapons Ban
Mohammed Daraghmeh/Associated Press Writer Original Article

The Palestinian leadership banned civilians from carrying weapons and indicated on Thursday it would appoint a new interior minister known for his hardline stance against militants, the latest in a series of steps to stop violence that have brought rare praise from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Not to make light of the violence, but seems like a typical day

Insurgents Step Up Violence Ahead of Vote
Sameer N. Yacoub/Associated Press Writer Original Article

Eleven Iraqis and one U.S. Marine were killed Thursday as insurgents clashed with U.S. troops and blew up a school slated to serve as a polling center — pre-election violence that followed the deadliest day for U.S. troops since the war's start. Another U.S. soldier died in an accident.

The title here does not fit the President's quotes. . . .Interesting.

Bush Urges Iraqis to Vote, Lowers Expectations
Steve Holland/Reuters Original Article

Bush said he anticipated a "grand moment in Iraqi history" when Iraqis vote this weekend.

"I urge all people to vote. I urge people to defy these terrorists," Bush said. "They (the terrorists) have no clear view of a better future. They're afraid of a free society."

"The fact that they're voting in itself is successful," Bush said.

"The notion somehow we're not making progress I just don't subscribe to. I mean, we're having elections," he said.

New emphasis on insurgencies and terrorism is planned

Pentagon prepares to rethink warfare focus
Bradley Graham/Washington Post Original Article

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has drafted terms for an ambitious reshaping of U.S. forces that would put less emphasis on waging conventional warfare and more on dealing with insurgencies, terrorist networks, failed states and other nontraditional threats, according to senior defense officials and others familiar with the confidential planning.

Still working towards a settlement of this issue.

Israel refuses to rule out attack on Iran
Anne Penketh/The Independent Original Article

Israel's Defence Minister refused to rule out a pre-empt-ive strike on Iran yesterday, claiming that Tehran was "close to a point of no return" on its suspected development of a nuclear weapon. At a meeting with journalists in London, Shaul Mofaz did little to dispel the sense of unease caused by comments last week by the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, who suggested Israel might "decide to act first" to end Iran's nuclear threat.

"It is my destiny to vote."

Saddam's former generals line up to vote
Rory McCarthy in Tikrit/The Guardian Original Article

Abdullah Hussein was once a loyal general in Saddam's army. He cast a Yes vote in a carefully staged referendum for the dictator just five months before the war and fought against the US and British invasion until the day the Iraqi regime fell on April 9 2003.

Fragile peace still holding despite violence

Israelis, Palestinians Progress in Talks
Steven Gutkin/Associated Press Writer Original Article

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators achieved significant progress Wednesday toward ending violence and resuming peace talks, completing a plan for deploying Palestinian forces in the southern Gaza Strip and aiming for a summit within two weeks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

3.2% annual growth over last six years would have yielded a surplus

Don't Blame Tax Cuts for Deficits, Watchdog Says
Susan Jones/CNSNews.com Morning Editor Original Article

President Bush and Congressional Republicans have "completely abandoned fiscal responsibility," a leading Democrat charged on Tuesday, after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that this year's deficit would hit $368 billion, excluding war costs.

"Analyzing the numbers, we've found that if the federal government had merely limited total spending growth over the past six years to 3.2 percent annually, CBO would today be projecting a small surplus for FY 2005, instead of a $368 billion deficit."

Oil for Food-Human Rights Panel; What else would you expect?

'Rights abuser' Cuba put on U.N. action panel
Nancy San Martin/The Miami Herald Original Article

Advocates scoffed at Cuba's inclusion on a U.N. action panel on human rights. The United Nations has condemned the island's rights record for five straight years. Human rights activists were outraged Tuesday over Cuba's appointment to an elite ''action panel'' that will influence the work of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which has consistently condemned the communist nation's miserable record.

This man understands freedom & democracy

Iraqi forces 'in charge by year's end'
News.com.au Original Article

IRAQ'S top military commander claimed that Iraqi security forces will be in charge of the country by end-2005, with US troops out of the cities and scaled back to possibly one or two bases nationwide.The comments by joint chief of staff General Babakir Zebari were the most explicit to date by a pro-American Iraqi official in terms of when Iraqi forces would be ready to protect their country and the US role could be reduced.

We have nothing to fear, but fear itself

John Podhoretz/New York Post Original Article

IN just four days, Iraqis will go to the polls to vote in an election that could prove to be a hinge moment in history. All indications are that some 80 percent of Iraq's electorate will go to the polls, a level of turnout that would put most of the world's established democracies in the shade.
For the sake of contrast, consider that turnout in this year's presidential election was 60 percent of all those eligible to vote — and that was the most substantial rate of participation in 36 years.

EU demands, Iran stumbles, US will ensure

EU demands Iran dismantle N program
News.com.au Original Article

FRANCE, Britain and Germany have told Iran they will not settle for anything less than an end to sensitive nuclear processes key to the production of atomic bombs, according to a confidential EU document. Iran has temporarily frozen its enrichment program, a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants or weapons, but insists that atomic fuel production is a sovereign right it will never abandon.

Terrorists vs. Democracy

Iraq's Historic Debate
Dr. Walid Phares /FrontPageMagazine.com Original Article

On the same day that terrorist mastermind Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi declared holy war on democracy, six principal Iraqi leaders appeared in their nation’s first televised electoral debate, broadcast live throughout Iraq by Alhurra Television. The contrast between naked jihadism – calling for the assassination of free choice and democracy (campaigning with ideas and words) – was never clearer. As the candidates took the stage, Zarqawi’s dark dispatch from the underworld, and all the hate and threats it carried, disappeared – if only for a moment – under the klieg lights of this first-of-its-kind forum.

Make no mistake, This is what we are fighting against

Kuwaiti 'slit daughter's throat'
BBC News Original Article

A Kuwaiti man has reportedly confessed to killing his 14-year-old daughter because he believed she was having sex. The daily said that after cutting Haifa's throat the first time, he swapped the knife for one with a sharper blade as she bled and screamed in front of her siblings.

And another reason they gave their lives-Modern day terrorists states were born on his watch

Group presses Carter on oil-for-food scam
WorldNetDaily.com Original Article

The group that first revealed links between former President Jimmy Carter and Samir Vincent, a key figure in the U.N.'s oil-for-food scandal, is calling on two Carter organizations to release to the public a list of all financial contributors from 1999 to 2003.

Kerry, Boxer, Kennedy, Byrd. . . .-Stupid is as stupid does

Senate Confirms Rice As Secretary of State
Barry Schweid/MyWay.com Original Article

Condoleezza Rice won easy confirmation Wednesday to be President Bush's new secretary of state, despite strong dissent from a small group of Democrats who said she shares blame for mistakes and war deaths in Iraq. The Senate voted 85 to 13 to confirm Rice, who succeeds Colin Powell as America's top diplomat and becomes the first black woman to hold the job.

And the reason why they had to give their life for this grand moment in Iraqi history

UN's Annan Questioned in Iraq Oil-For-Food Probe
Evelyn Leopold/Reuters Original Article

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was questioned twice last year by the commission investigating the Iraq oil-for-food scandal, a U.N. spokesman acknowledged on Tuesday. "He has met more than once for an extended period of time with Mr. Volcker and his investigators," U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said in answer to queries. The interviews took place last year.

They gave their life for this grand moment in Iraqi history

36 U.S. Troops Die in Iraq in Their Bloodiest Day
Matt Spetalnick/Reuters Original Article

Thirty-one U.S. troops were reported killed in a helicopter crash and five more died in insurgent attacks Wednesday in the deadliest day for American forces since they invaded Iraq 22 months ago.

Interesting piece on Iraqi elections

Starting the day with a sneer
Alice Miles/Times Online (UK) Original Article

THERE IS a shocking tendency, and I’m sorry to say that it seems to be led by the Today programme, to be more interested in the failure of elections in Iraq than in their success. The “story”, as the doomsayers apparently see it, is in the death threats and those intimidated out of voting and in the boycott by the Sunni minority which happily repressed the Shia majority for decades under Saddam Hussein.

Jesus on the cover of the "Rolling Stones"

Rolling Stone reverses position, accepts ad for new Bible
Associated Press Original Article

Rolling Stone magazine has reversed itself and agreed to accept an advertisement for a new translation of the Bible. After first rejecting the advertisement, Rolling Stone sent Zondervan a contract for a half-page ad in the rock magazine's Feb. 24 issue, said Doug Lockhart, executive vice president of marketing at the nation's largest Bible publisher.

A trial to watch; This should be interesting

Trauma case over Elian Gonzalez raid begins
AP Original Article

A trial opened Monday in a $3 million-plus lawsuit by 13 people who say they were injured or traumatized when federal agents seized a screaming Elian Gonzalez from his Miami relatives' home. The opening witness was neighbor Maria Riera, who testified that she clutched her chest and thought she was dying when an agent doused her with tear gas during the Easter weekend raid in 2000 to reunite the 6-year-old boy with his father in Cuba.

Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network, and now his mind

Turner Compares Fox's Popularity to Hitler
Jim Finkle/Broadcasting & Cable Original Article

Ted Turner called Fox a propaganda tool of the Bush administration and indirectly compared Fox News Channel's popularity to Adolf Hitler's popular election to run Germany before World War II. Turner made those fiery comments in his first address at the National Association for Television Programming Executives' conference since he was ousted from Time Warner Inc. five years ago.

50 percent decline in attacks in recent days, Interesting. . . .

Militants Show Video of U.S. Hostage; Judge Killed
Luke Baker/Reuters Original Article

Insurgents released a video on Tuesday showing a U.S. hostage pleading for his life, and militants assassinated a senior judge in Baghdad, intensifying a campaign of violence ahead of Sunday's watershed election. The video shows American contractor Roy Hallums, who was seized in Baghdad with five colleagues on Nov. 1, 2004, sitting cross-legged on the floor anxiously rubbing his hands as he appeals to the camera. It is not clear when the video was made.

Jerome Corsi says he'll move to Boston, enter politics

Swiftvet author wantsKerry's Senate seat
WorldNetDaily.com Original Article

Jerome Corsi, co-author of the Swiftboat veterans' book that challenged Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam record, plans to vie for the former presidential candidate's Senate seat in 2008. Corsi, who lives in New Jersey, told the Boston Herald he will establish residency in Boston this spring

Israeli/Palestinian Truce Still Holding

Officials: Israel Ends Targeted Killings
Mark Lavie, Associated Press Writer Original Article

Israel has stopped targeting Palestinian militants for death, according to Israeli security officials, fulfilling a key Palestinian demand for a truce to end four years of violence. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel has informed the Palestinians of their decision. It came after generals from the two sides met Tuesday to plan deployment of Palestinian police in central and southern Gaza, to prevent militants from attacking Israelis.

Absolutely Superb Analysis of Iraq

Results, Not Timetables, Matter in Iraq
Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz/WahingtonPost Original Article

The debate on Iraq is taking a new turn. The Iraqi elections scheduled for Jan. 30, only recently viewed as a culmination, are described as inaugurating a civil war. The timing and the voting arrangements have become controversial. All this is a way of foreshadowing a demand for an exit strategy, by which many critics mean some sort of explicit time limit on the U.S. effort.

Bet This is Not on the Mainstream Media News

Lawmaker's Son Charged in Tire-Slashing
Gretchen Ehlke/AP Original Article

The sons of a first-term congresswoman and Milwaukee's former acting mayor were among five Democratic activists charged Monday with slashing the tires of vans rented by Republicans to drive voters and monitors to the polls on Election Day.

Why Doesn't Anybody Want to Take The Necessary Action?

Iran on brink of making the Bomb, says Mossad
Reuters Original Article

The chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency said on Monday arch-foe Iran was on the brink of enriching uranium, a process key to building a nuclear bomb. "The assessment is that by the end of 2005 the Iranians will reach the point of no-return from the technological perspective of creating a uranium-enrichment capability," Mossad head Meir Dagan told parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee.

Why aren't more democrats backing these elections?

The Iraqi people will defy the Ba'athists and Islamofascists
William Shawcross/The Guardian Original Article

Just look at who is trying to stop Iraqis voting and by what methods. That alone shows how important this week's elections are to Iraq. The horrific war against the Iraqi people is being run by the same people who oppressed and tortured them for decades - Saddam's henchmen and gaolers. They are more than ably abetted by the Islamofascist jihadists led by Osama bin Laden's Heydrich in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Democracy, Islam, and Muslim World are Compatible

Peter Brookes/The New York Post Original Article

THERE are those out there — and you know who you are — more interested in seeing the Bush administration fail in Iraq than in seeing democracy succeed. Sorry, oracles of doom: You're about to be disappointed. A just-released poll by the National Endowment for Democracy's highly-respected International Republican Institute (IRI) suggests that Sunday's Iraqi elections will be much more successful than the nattering nabobs of negativity predict.

More Disruptions to Terrorists Networks

Guantanamo tip tied to arrests of 22 in Germany
Charlie Savage/Boston Globe Staff Original Article

Information obtained through the interrogation of a Guantanamo Bay detainee led to a spectacular series of counterterrorism raids in Germany this month, in which more than 700 police swept through mosques, homes, and businesses in six cities and arrested 22 suspected militant extremists, according to a senior Defense Department official.

Bomb Expert, Propaganda Expert, & Weapons Supplier Captured; This is Significant

al-Qaida Official Admits to U.N. Assault
Bassem Mroue/Associated Press Writer Original Article

BAGHDAD, Iraq - An al-Qaida lieutenant in custody in Iraq (news - web sites) has confessed to masterminding most of the car bombings in Baghdad, including the bloody 2003 assault on the U.N. headquarters in the capital, authorities said Monday.

Two other militants linked to al-Zarqawi's terror group also have been arrested. They included the chief of al-Zarqawi's propaganda operations and one of the group's weapons suppliers, the government statement said.

Yeh, Right-I Got Some Swamp Land to Sell Also

Sen. Boxer takes victim role after hearing for Rice
Audrey Hudson/The Washington Times Original Article

Sen. Barbara Boxer says she is the real victim of last week's confirmation hearing for Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, yet continued yesterday to question the national security adviser's honesty. "She turned and attacked me," the California Democrat told CNN's "Late Edition" in describing the confrontation during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Only Bad Could Come of This

US-European Differences Over China, Iran to Feature in Talks
Patrick Goodenough/CNSNews.com International Editor Original Article

Stark differences between the U.S. and its closest European ally over China and Iran will feature in talks Monday between British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and incoming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Straw is visiting Washington following a trip to China and Japan.

A Free Iraq-Coming January 30th

The Iraq Election and the Bogus Objections to It
Stephen Schwartz/TCS Original Article

As the days wind down to the Iraq election, scheduled for January 30, opponents of the Bush administration's project for democratization of the Islamic world, including Americans, Europeans, and Iraqis, continue to object to the timing of the vote. It has become common to hear calls for the balloting to be put off for weeks or months.

Zarqawi Denounces Shi'ites-Not Making Many Friends Is He. . . .

Zarqawi Aide Seized; Bomb Wounds 10 in Baghdad
By Luke Baker/Reuters Original Article

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq announced the capture of a senior aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Monday, hours after Zarqawi claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb near Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's office that wounded 10. The seizure of Abu Omar al-Kurdi, accused of masterminding some of the worst car bombings in Iraq, appeared to be a major breakthrough ahead of next Sunday's landmark election, which Zarqawi and his followers have vowed to disrupt.

Flexibility in Response is Essential in a War Against Diverse Enemies

Has Iraq Weakened Us?
Victor Davis Hanson/Commentary Original Article

Whatever the results of the elections scheduled for late January in Iraq, a new pessimism about that country, as well as about the larger war on terror, has taken hold in many circles in the United States. Serious observers, not to mention shriller commentators like Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, have concluded not only that the United States is stuck in a hopeless quagmire in Iraq, but that our unwise unilateral intervention there is having painful repercussions both for our position as an honest promoter of reform and for our diplomatic and military maneuverability elsewhere in the world.

Democracy, Demi-Idols, & Infidels

Al-Zarqawi Said to Declare 'Fierce War'
Bassem Mroue/Associated Press Writer Original Article

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A speaker purporting to be Iraq's most feared terror leader declared a "fierce war" on democracy and said in an audiotape posted Sunday on the Web that the Americans were using next weekend's Iraqi elections to install the Shiites in power. "We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology," said the speaker, who identified himself as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of the al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq. "Anyone who tries to help set up this system is part of it."

And We Wonder Why We Had to Go to War in Iraq

Second UN official 'linked to Saddam pay-off'
Charles Laurence & Philip Sherwell/The Telegraph Original Article

American prosecutors are investigating claims that a second senior United Nations official involved in the oil-for-food scheme may have been paid off by Saddam Hussein after an Iraqi-born American businessman struck a plea-bargain deal last week. The testimony of Samir Vincent, who pleaded guilty to acting as a covert agent for Baghdad, indicates that Saddam's manipulation of the scheme began at its inception in 1996.

Comprehensive Peace Between Syria & Israel

Syria tells Israel: 'We want peace'
By Aaron Klein/WorldNetDaily.com Original Article

Syria yesterday invited Israel to renew negotiations with Damascus to bring "comprehensive peace" to the area, but sources tell WorldNetDaily Jerusalem views the overture as an act of desperation while the U.S. works to isolate Syria. Foreign Minister Farouk Shara told CNN yesterday an opportunity for peace exists, and outlined a formula for Syrian recognition of Israel in exchange for a complete Israeli retreat, presumably from the Golan Heights, which Israel took after Syria launched attacks against the Jewish state during the 1967 Six Day War.

There Exist Hope. . . .

Palestinian Militants to Suspend Attacks
By Lara Sukhtian/Associated Press Writer Original Article

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Militant groups have agreed to suspend attacks as they near a formal truce deal with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and await Israel's response, a senior Palestinian official said Monday. The militants' promise came after Israeli leaders said Sunday that Israel is ready to hold its fire if calm prevails, moving the two sides closer to ending four years of bloody conflict.

The Separation of Church and State

Shiites in Iraq Say Government Will Be Secular
By Dexter Filkins/The New York Times Original Article

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 21 - With the Shiites on the brink of capturing power here for the first time, their political leaders say they have decided to put a secular face on the new Iraqi government they plan to form, relegating Islam to a supporting role. The senior leaders of the United Iraqi Alliance, the coalition of mostly Shiite groups that is poised to capture the most votes in the election next Sunday, have agreed that the Iraqi whom they nominate to be the country's next prime minister would be a lay person, not an Islamic cleric.

Another Democracy Born

Powell Offers U.S. Help to New Ukrainian Leader
By Saul Hudson/KIEV (Reuters) Original Article

Secretary of State Colin Powell, a prominent guest for President Viktor Yushchenko's inauguration on Sunday, said Washington would help Ukraine boost its economy and join the World Trade Organization. Yushchenko, keen to steer the former Soviet republic closer to the West while consolidating traditional links with Russia, will take the oath of office in ceremonies designed to be a mass celebration to mark a turning point in Ukraine's history.

Major Strategic Blunder?

Iran to U.S.: Don't even think about striking us
WorldNetDaily.com Original Article

Any attack on Iran by the U.S. military would be a strategic mistake, as officials in Tehran dismiss recent remarks by the Bush administration as psychological warfare. "We think the chance [of an American assault] is very low unless someone wants to make a major strategic blunder," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said at a weekly news conference.

Two Al Qaeda Terrorists Arrested in Mainz, Germany

Germany Arrests Two Suspected Iraq Bomb Plotters
By Diana Niedernhoefer/Reuters Original Article

KARLSRUHE, Germany (Reuters) - German police arrested two men Sunday suspected of plotting an al Qaeda suicide attack in Iraq. The federal prosecutor's office identified the men as Ibrahim Mohammed K., a 29-year-old Iraqi believed to be a high-ranking al Qaeda figure, and Yasser Abu S., a 31-year-old stateless Palestinian from Libya.

The Great Swami Passes

Famed TV Entertainer Johnny Carson Dead
By Steve Gorman/Reuters Original Article

Comedian Johnny Carson, the king of U.S. late-night television as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" for nearly 30 years -- and the last face millions of Americans saw before drifting off to sleep -- died on Sunday at age 79.

We Shall See How This Works . . . .

U.S. Plans New Tack After Iraq Elections
By Robin Wright and Josh White/Washington Post Staff Writers Original Article

The United States plans to revise its approach to the insurgency after Iraq's elections next week, beefing up the new Iraqi military by bringing back more troops and officers from Saddam Hussein's former army and moving Iraqis into the front lines after earlier false starts.

When You Think Big, Big Things Happen

How Did Freedom Become Controversial?
Rush Limbaugh Original Article

I know that there's a lot of criticism of the president's speech. It began last night. It has carried on into this morning and today, and I know that some of the criticism is even coming from Republicans. I'm not going to address the criticisms of each individual specifically, but, rather, I want to try to take the apparent broad themes of the criticism -- especially from the left.

Iraqis' Hopeful for Democracy

80 percent say they plan to vote
By David R. Sands/The Washington Times Original Article

A clear majority of Iraqis said they plan to vote in the Jan. 30 elections and remain hopeful about their country's future despite a murderous insurgency, according to a poll to be released today. The countrywide survey, conducted by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI), also found increased popular awareness of the election, closer identification with political parties and a growing level of trust in Iraqi institutions such as the interim government, the police and the election commission.

Washington established liberty in America, Lincoln extended liberty to the slaves, Bush means to spread liberty around the world.

Revolutionary president
By Michael Barone/US News & World Report Original Article

"By our efforts, we have lit a fire," said George W. Bush at the West Front of the Capitol, "a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corner of the world." The phrase comes from Dostoyevsky's The Possessed, a novel about a provincial town inspired by new revolutionary ideas.

By Whatever Route, Iran Must be Disarmed

The scariest prospect of all: Iran with the bomb
By Edward Luttwak/The Telegraph Original Article

President Bush, during his inauguration speech last week, promised that he would "spread freedom to the darkest corners of the world". There were some among his world-wide audience to whom that sounded like a threat: we will invade your country unless you change your government to one which we think supports freedom.