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

New York

Nasar is known to have had a long association with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Madrid mastermind may plan UK attack
From Edward Owen and Daniel McGrory, Times Online (UK) Original Article

THE mastermind of the Madrid train bombings remains at large and security sources believe that he may be planning an attack in Britain during the general election. Documents found in a Madrid flat used by some of the bombers show how their leader, Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, ordered them to strike in the final days of the Spanish election campaign last March.

“It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq."

A taste of freedom
Times Online (UK) Original Article

Two years ago, on the eve of the US-led invasion of Iraq, this newspaper said that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein could be the trigger for the long overdue spread of democracy throughout the Middle East. The winds of change after the dictator’s demise could, we hoped, result in a series of “velvet revolutions”, gradually replacing undemocratic regimes with people power. And, for those who thought such an outcome was implausible, that was exactly what was said before the largely peaceful revolutions that swept aside eastern Europe’s communist regimes in the late 1980s.

Bush, "Stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty."

A sudden, powerful stirring
Fouad Ajami, US News Original Article

In retrospect, it was an appearance by President George W. Bush before the National Endowment for Democracy, in November 2003, that signaled the birth of a new "diplomacy of freedom" in the Arab world. The American military effort in Iraq was in its early stages then; the euphoria of the military campaign had ended, and a war of attrition had begun. Saddam Hussein was still on the loose, and there was no trace of those vaunted weapons of mass destruction that had taken us to war.

Israelis 0; Palestininians -3 +1; One raid after three attacks; Its not great, but its a start.

Palestinians Seize Weapons in New Crackdown
Haitham Tamimi, Reuters Original Article

Palestinian police seized bombs and other weapons in the West Bank for the first time in more than four years on Saturday, a senior Palestinian security official said. The official told Reuters that police raiding the West Bank town of Dura, south of Hebron, also arrested 16 suspects in the start of a new crackdown by the Palestinian Authority against lawlessness in its territories.

The Islamist scene in Germany is very well-connected, and not only in Germany

Militants Scour Europe for Iraq Fighters
DAVID RISING, Associated Press Original Article

Islamic terror groups are becoming increasingly active in Germany and coordinating with militants across Europe to recruit fighters to join the insurgency in Iraq, equipping them with fake passports, money and medical supplies, security officials say.

Assad stops short of US & French demands

Syria Plans Two-Stage Lebanese Pullback
BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Original Article

President Bashar Assad on Saturday announced a two-stage pullback of Syrian forces to the Lebanese border, but failed to address broad international demands that he completely withdraw Syria's 15,000 troops after nearly 30 years in the country.

"If there is no U.S. pressure, we believe that in the near future we will reach an agreement in our talks with the Europeans."

Iran Says to Make Atomic Fuel if Sent to UN Council
Paul Hughes, Reuters Original Article

Iran warned on Saturday it would return to making nuclear fuel and that the Middde East would get even more unstable if the Islamic Republic was sent to the U.N. Security Council over its atomic program.

Arab leaders and even Hezbollah are demanding that the Taif agreement be enforced immediately.

Lebanese groups uniting to end Syrian domination
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Knight Ridder Original Article

Lebanon has come a long way in the nearly three weeks since former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed near this city's trendy waterfront in a massive bomb blast that was widely blamed on pro-Syrian agents.

The US policy of emphasizing democratic change has given heart to forces of democracy there.

Bush Credits God, Not US, for Freedom Movement in Mideast
Barbara Ferguson, Arab News Original Article

President Bush says he is not taking credit for the freedom movement taking place in the Middle East. Nor is he giving the credit to the US. President Bush says he credits God, not his administration or America, for the spread of freedom there.

It is the same reason Saudi Arabia is not near the top of Bush's agenda. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Arab News Original Article

What with municipal elections here in the Kingdom, recent elections in Iraq, people power in Lebanon, the promise of constitutional change in Egypt and the Palestinian Parliament flexing its muscles, the state of democracy in the Middle East is very much the focus of international attention. The same cannot be said about Central Asia.

Syria's dictator is in retreat, but he's unlikely to go quietly.

Assad's War
MICHAEL YOUNG, WSJ Original Article

As tens of thousands of Lebanese gathered this week to demand a withdrawal of Syrian forces from their country, they chanted a refrain mocking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In Arabic "Assad" means lion, and in a play on words the protestors sang: "Assad in Lebanon, a rabbit on the Golan." The jingle was first used against Bashar's father, Hafiz al-Assad, who, as defense minister during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, lost Syria's Golan Heights to Israel. For the protestors, however, it summed up their view of Syria as a state bending to the powerful but beating up on the weak.

More importantly is the pride in ownership Iraqis are getting rebuilding their own infrastructure.

Construction projects outpace rebels' attacks
Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times Original Article

The Bush administration's new strategy of starting so many construction projects that insurgents cannot stop them all has begun to pay off. Construction payments, after lagging badly last summer, have reached nearly $6 billion in a total pot of about $21 billion, officials at the Pentagon said yesterday.

Fallujah-Beginning of the end. Hillah-The turning point. What event will be the end of Zarqawi's terrorist network?

Anger against Iraqi insurgents grows
SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Original Article

As more people lose loved ones to the relentless violence, Iraqis are becoming increasingly angry at insurgents, even staging public demonstrations condemning militants. While it is impossible to precisely gauge public opinion, it is clear many Iraqis have grown tired of two years of insecurity, and some are directing their wrath at those behind the bombings and attacks.

APA: Juveniles lack moral responsibility for their decisions, but are capable of deciding on getting an abortion.

The new age Supreme Court
David Limbaugh, Townhall Original Article

The Supreme Court's decision barring execution of murderers who commit their crime before age 18 as cruel and unusual punishment is not only fundamentally flawed, but also deeply troubling -- for more than just a few reasons. In its 5-4 decision on March 1, the Court decreed that "Juveniles are less mature than adults and, no matter how heinous their crimes, they are not among 'the worst offenders' who deserve to die."

Reform may be a gradual process, but it is now firmly on track.

Turning point in reform
Ibrahim Nafie, Al-Ahram Weekly Original Article

President Mubarak's decision to request parliament to amend Article 76 of the Constitution to allow for direct multi candidate elections marks a historic turning point in Egypt's political life. This decision has ushered in a new and dynamic phase in political reform and development that will mesh with progress being made in the economic and social spheres.

It's easy to be a journalist. It's hard to be a good journalist.

The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened to Journalism
Ralph Kinney Bennett, TCS Original Article

Bloggers are the best thing that has ever happened to journalism. They make a good reporter look better. They expose the phonies, the poseurs, the fast-writing conmen, with the speed of light. They give the journalist a greater access to more information and informational context than ever before.

Their ignorance, greed, and hate are burying the nation.

Chávez's Agrarian Revolution
Carlos A. Ball, TCS Original Article

If any doubts remained about President Hugo Chávez's plans for Venezuela's destiny, they have been erased by his decree to "rescue" unproductive lands and assign them to "groups of the population" and "organized communities" from rural areas. Private property is history, so Chávez is proceeding to strengthen the failed agrarian reforms of socialist Venezuelan governments from the 1960s, '70s and '80s, renaming them the "agrarian revolution."

Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia... and the Democrats?

Good Collateral Damage
Bryan Preston, TCS Original Article

No matter how careful you are, whenever you go to war you will inevitably injure or even kill someone other than your enemy. It's called collateral damage, and the United States goes far out of its way to minimize it as much as possible. Collateral damage can wreck our moral standing in the eyes of the world and undermine our cause, no matter how just. But, depending on your perspective, not all collateral damage is necessarily bad.

This technology/discovery will revolutionize the oil industry

Company eyes methane 'farming'
DUSTIN BLEIZEFFER, Casper Star-Tribune Original Article

Wyoming's lucrative coalbed methane industry might not have a shelf life at all. In fact, the "production" industry could very well transform into a "farming" industry. Some scientists believe the methane being produced from coal in the Powder River Basin isn't necessarily the ancient product of millions of years of microbial activity. The "methogenesis" process likely works much faster, according to Luca Technologies, a privately held company based in Denver.

Freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection

How 'amiable dunce' Reagan saved the world
David Kupelian, WorldNetDaily Original Article

Being a writer for the past quarter century, I am not usually at a loss for words.
But I'm having a hard time finding the words to convey just how magnificent a film "In the Face of Evil" really is.

Remote operating system fingerprinting is here.

Tracking PCs anywhere on the Net
Renai LeMay, CNET News Original Article

A University of California researcher says he has found a way to identify computer hardware remotely, a technique that could potentially unmask anonymous Web surfers by bypassing some common security techniques.

Geopolitical expert: Message to Zarqawi amounts to surrender

Has Osama given up?
WorldNetDaily Original Article

Osama bin Laden's recent message to colleague Abu Musab al-Zarqawi asking him to launch attacks on U.S. soil represents the surrender of the terror leader, says a leading geopolitical expert.

Re-inventing the computer at the molecular scale

The End of Transistors In Computers?
Pam Baker, Newsfactor.com Original Article

Hewlett Packard researchers created a computer-world frenzy with the recent announcement of a new invention designed to replace transistors on chips -- the fundamental building block of computers for the last half century. But is the buzz just bluff or the stuff of real scientific advancement?

Iraq, getting closer and closer to the bomb.

Images Show Iran Heavy-Water Plant Nearly Done-ISIS
Louis Charbonneau, Reuters Original Article

New satellite images show a heavy water plant in Iran, intended to supply a research reactor that could eventually produce plutonium for one atomic bomb a year, is nearly complete, a U.S. think-tank said on Friday.

Bush, "When the United States and France say withdraw, we mean complete withdrawal, no halfhearted measures."

Syria Expected to Pull Back Troops
SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Original Article

Trying to ease incessant Arab and international pressure and the risk of isolation, Syrian President Bashar Assad is moving to pull his troops in Lebanon back toward Syria's border. But the step, short of a full withdrawal, was bluntly rejected Friday by President Bush.

Something is wierd here. Car does not slow down after folks are waving at car to slow down and warning shots are fired?

U.S. Forces Wound Freed Hostage in Iraq
PATRICK QUINN, Associated Press Original Article

American troops fired on a car rushing Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena to freedom on Friday after a month in captivity, killing the Italian intelligence officer who helped negotiate her release and wounding the reporter in another friendly-fire tragedy at a U.S. checkpoint.

The only reason that Lebanon is not at peace with Israel is because they were occupied by the Syrians.

'Syria wants peace talks with Israel'
KEN SATLOFF AND AP, Jerusalem Post Original Article

An Arab diplomat involved in efforts to resolve the crisis in Lebanon said Thursday that the Syrians want a new arrangement including resuming peace talks with Israel as part of any troop withdrawal from Lebanon.

Try them in the International Court, the same court the UN is pressuring the US to allow to have jurisdiction of its soldiers.

New standards for UN troops?
Abraham McLaughlin and Michael J. Jordan, CSM Original Article

Faced with a double-barreled crisis over its inability to forge even a semblance of peace in the African jungles of Congo or prevent its soldiers from sexually abusing civilians there, the United Nations' biggest global peacekeeping operation is undergoing a dramatic makeover. The changes may set important precedents, experts say, for UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

The US couldn’t be certain of the outcome, but it could be sure that whatever happened would be better than the status quo.

What have the Americans ever done for us? Liberated 50 million people...
Gerard Baker, Times Online (UK) Original Article

ONE OF MY favourite cinematic moments is the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian when Reg, aka John Cleese, the leader of the People’s Front of Judea, is trying to whip up anti-Roman sentiment among his team of slightly hesitant commandos. “What have the Romans ever done for us?” he asks. “Well, there’s the aqueduct,” somebody says, thoughtfully. “The sanitation,” says another. “Public order,” offers a third.

Socialist Democracy vs. Capitalist Democracy; Capitalism will win every time.

Don't Blame Toyota for Europe's Jobless
Doron Levin, Bloomberg News Original Article

Toyota Motor Corp. is a cautious company, an automaker that knows how to protect against backlash from competitors, foreign politicians and others threatened by its success. Toyota, No. 2 in the world in terms of sales and closing fast on General Motors Corp., is on the march in Europe.

Bush put the tyrannies of the Middle East on notice that his policy towards the region would be driven by the pursuit of freedom.

Heroic herald of freedom
Michael Gove, Times Online (UK) Original Article

TO HAVE helped to bring about one revolution, liberating millions, must be considered heroic. To have helped to start a second, with the chance of freeing millions more, is beyond doubt historic.

Less than 6 months ago, the media accused Bush of eyeing Iraq prior to 9/11, now it is Bin Laden, not Bush that brought freedom to the Middle East.

Cedar revolution
Timothy Garton Ash, The Guardian Original Article

Has Osama bin Laden started a democratic revolution in the Middle East? One of very few universally valid laws of history is the law of unintended consequences. The effects of what men and women do are rarely those they intend, and sometimes they are the exact opposite. If that happens here, it would be hard to imagine a nicer illustration of the law.

Bush, "The negotiating strategy achieves the objective of pointing out where guilt needs to be..."

Bush Edges Toward Europe on Iran Nuclear Crisis
Steve Holland and Louis Charbonneau, Reuters Original Article

President Bush on Thursday edged toward backing Europe's offer of incentives to Iran to abandon nuclear weapons, but diplomats said Tehran was building a research reactor that could eventually produce enough plutonium for one bomb a year.

Claiming credit in retrospect for things you opposed at the time is a new high in chutzpah, or, if not that, in delusion.

Election Shock Treatment
Noemie Emery, The Weekly Standard Original Article

WITH THINGS LOOKING UP for a change, this has been a rough patch of time for the Democrats. They have been suffering from Election Shock Treatment; which means the success of the Iraqi elections has shocked them into the realization that they may have to seek treatment, because of the trauma induced by the growing suspicion that President Bush has been right all along

Russians still enjoy many freedoms, and that should be part of US considerations.

Russia, a Glass Half Full?
CSM Original Article

For the last 10 days, Russia's backsliding on its young democracy has been under intense scrutiny. The retrogression dominated the press conference between Presidents Bush and Putin in Slovakia last week, with Mr. Bush chiding his soul-mate "Vladimir" about the necessity for free media, rule of law, and vibrant political opposition.

Saudis reject request that upcoming Arab summit officially ask Syria to withdraw its forces, allowing Assad to save face. Good, now we are talking.

Arab Leaders Urge Syria to Leave Lebanon
SALAH NASRAWI, Associated Press Original Article

Arab leaders grew increasingly impatient at Syria's resistance to a quick, complete withdrawal of its troops from Lebanon, with Saudi leader Crown Prince Abdullah sharply telling Syria's president on Thursday to start getting out soon or face deeper isolation, according to a Saudi official.

One heck of feat. Congratulations!

Fossett Breaks Nonstop Solo Flight Record
JOHN MILBURN, Associated Press Original Article

First by balloon, now by plane, Steve Fossett is once again a 'round-the-world record holder. The millionaire adventurer on Thursday became the first person to fly around the world alone without stopping or refueling, touching down in central Kansas after a 67-hour, 23,000-mile journey that appeared endangered at times by a troubled fuel system.

Steyn, "Very big of you, pal."

The right side of history
Mark Steyn, The Spectator (UK) Original Article

The other day in the Guardian Martin Kettle wrote: ‘The war was a reckless, provocative, dangerous, lawless piece of unilateral arrogance. But it has nevertheless brought forth a desirable outcome which would not have been achieved at all, or so quickly, by the means that the critics advocated, right though they were in most respects.’

Bashir, "When we get angry, we must have our limits." Guess 202 murders is his limit.

Indonesia's Bashir Found Guilty in Bali Bomb Plot
Dean Yates and Achmad Sukarsono, Reuters Original Article

An Indonesian court sentenced fiery Muslim preacher Abu Bakar Bashir to two and a half years in jail on Thursday after finding him guilty of an "evil conspiracy" to commit the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings.

Israelis 0, Palestinians -3: Who's breaking the truce? Call in the UN to molest some Palestinian children, that will help!

Car Bomb Explodes Near Israeli Troops, Rattling Truce
Atef Sa'ad, Reuters Original Article

Palestinian militants blew up a car bomb near Israeli soldiers guarding Jewish worshippers at a flashpoint shrine in the West Bank on Thursday, dealing another blow to a frayed ceasefire.

I always find it facinating to look back as who was right and who was wrong to steer my future views.

New York Post Original Article

It's amazing: The New York Times editorial page yesterday had something positive to say about the present occupant of the White House. Not President Bush by name, of course. That would be going too far. But the paper of record acknowledged "truly astonishing" things are happening in the Middle East — noting dryly that "the Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances."

Bill reflects a bipartisan preference for beefing up military funds in a time of war.

House GOP to Propose Adding Defense Funds
ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Original Article

House Republicans will propose tacking about $1.8 billion in extra defense spending onto the $81.9 billion package President Bush wants for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to data obtained by The Associated Press.

Contrary to title, what really happened is 202 out of 251 Vermont communities did not vote to end the Iraqi war.

Vermont Votes No to War
John Nichols, The Nation Original Article

Congress may not be prepared to hold an honest debate on when and how the United States should exit the Iraq imbroglio, but the town meetings of rural Vermont are not so constrained. Declaring that "The War in Iraq is a Local Issue," citizens in communities across the state voted of Tuesday for resolutions urging President Bush and Congress to take steps to withdraw American troops from Iraq and calling on their state legislature to investigate the use and abuse of the Vermont National Guard in the conflcit.

As the Lebanese have shown, the people of the Middle East do want freedom - now.

The Cedar Rebellion
CSM Original Article

A popular uprising against Syria's occupation of Lebanon felled the pro-Syrian government in Beirut this week, less than a month after the killing of Lebanon's most popular politician.

"State sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and Syria are with the terrorists and therefore against all of us."

U.S. Official Says Iran, Syria 'Against All of Us'
Tabassum Zakaria, Reuters Original Article

The United States kept up the pressure on Iran and Syria on Wednesday as a senior White House security official urged the international community to demand that Tehran and Damascus stop supporting terrorism.

Again, look at the Constitution, not international law, and this decision should be easy.

High Court Debates Commandments Displays
HOPE YEN, Associated Press Original Article

With demonstrators shouting religious slogans outside, Supreme Court justices questioned, argued and fretted Wednesday over whether Ten Commandments displays on government property cross the line of separation between church and state.

Concerned Kurds block possible formation of strict Islamic government.

Talks on Iraqi Coalition Government Falter
RAWYA RAGEH, Associated Press Original Article

Talks aimed at forging a coalition government faltered Wednesday over Kurdish demands for more land and concerns that the dominant Shiite alliance seeks to establish an Islamic state, delaying the planned first meeting of Iraq's new parliament.

Risk, Yes. Worst than risk of keeping Syria in Lebanon, No.

Quick Syrian Pullout Has Substantial Risks
SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Original Article

A speedy Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon may fulfill the dreams of many Lebanese, but lifting the tight lid Syria has kept on its smaller neighbor carries risks: a security vacuum and possible return to sectarian disputes that bedeviled this country throughout its history.

Islamomaniacs never had any moral sway, except by media that call them "insurgents".

Murderous Losers
Ralph Kinney Bennett, TCS Original Article

The bombing in Hilla, which killed at least 120 Iraqis, most of them police recruits, presents interesting insights into the tactics of the Islamomaniacs and the challenges facing Iraq as it tries to take over its own security. The bombing occurred at 9:30 in the morning in a very crowded area. There was an open air market across the street from a health clinic where the police recruits were standing in line to take eye tests.

Contrary to author's faulty inference, it is precisely due to armed American intervention that democracy is breaking out all over in the Middle East.

Free at last through an Arab-Western joint venture
Rami G. Khouri, The Daily star Original Article

The brisk pace of domestic political change towards more freedom and democracy in several parts of the Arab world this week has already triggered a passionate argument about whether this is the result of the American-led invasion of Iraq or is more of a home-grown, indigenous Arab phenomenon. This fascinating and emotional debate is something of a sideshow and a wasteful diversion of energy. We would all be better off to argue less about who is responsible for the fresh democratic impulses in the Arab world, and instead work together more diligently to keep the process moving forward.

"It is democracy and freedom that bring true security in every land."

Bush's stirring cry for democracy
John Hughes, CSM Original Article

At a dinner a week or so ago, three Washington biggies - a former secretary of State, a prominent newspaper publisher, and a United States senator - were musing about President Bush's second-term agenda. "What," asked one, "is the political agenda behind Social Security reform?" What, in other words, is the gain from taking on this controversial project fraught with pitfalls? Replied one of the others, who had discussed the issue with the president: "There is no political agenda. He's doing this because he believes it's right."

Tactical rift within the insurgency is becoming predominant

2 Members of Tribunal in Hussein Case Are Assassinated
ROBERT F. WORTH, New York Times Original Article

A judge and a lawyer with the special tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein and former members of his government were shot and killed Tuesday by gunmen outside their home here, Iraqi officials said.

UN: Oil-for-food & child molestation. WIth friends like this, who needs enemies.

'Naming and shaming' urged in UN sex abuse cases
Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters Original Article

U.N. peacekeepers who sexually abuse the women and children they are supposed to protect should be punished and their home countries publicly identified, a U.S. lawmaker said on Tuesday.

Germany's cradle-to-grave socialism policy should be a warning for the USA

German jobless rate at new record
BBC Original Article

More than 5.2 million Germans were out of work in February, new figures show. The figure of 5.216 million people, or 12.6% of the working-age population, is the highest jobless rate in Europe's biggest economy since the 1930s.

The democratic revolutions continue

Flawed polls spread fever for further revolutions
Jeremy Page, Times (UK) Original Article

TWO Central Asian nations were in political limbo yesterday after flawed parliamentary elections fuelled opposition calls for Ukrainian-style revolution on the borders of China. Western observers denounced Sunday’s polls in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, although monitors from former Soviet states said that they were fair.

"The pressure of the international community is quite palpable on Syria."

U.S.: Terrorists in Syria Bombed Tel Aviv
JENNIFER LOVEN and ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Original Article

The Bush administration on Tuesday blamed terrorists based in Syria for last week's deadly suicide attack in Israel and called for an immediate end to Syrian military and political domination over neighboring Lebanon.

Iraqi protestors: "No to terrorism!", "No to Baathism and Wahhabism!"

Thousands Protest at Iraqi Bombing Site
QASIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Original Article

Thousands of mostly black-clad Iraqis protested Tuesday outside a medical clinic where a suicide car bomber killed 125 people a day earlier, braving the threat of another attack as they waved clenched fists, condemned foreign fighters and chanted "No to terrorism!"

Keeping the pressure up on Syria

Syria to Pull Troops Out of Lebanon in Months-Assad
Giles Elgood, Reuters Original Article

Syria expects to withdraw its troops from Lebanon in a few months, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published on Tuesday. "It (withdrawal) should be very soon and maybe in the next few months. Not after that. I can't give you a technical answer. The point is the next few months," he told Time magazine.

Justice Kennedy sited international opposition to death penalty. I thought Supreme Court only interpreted the US Constitution?

High Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths
HOPE YEN, Associated Press Original Article

A closely divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it's unconstitutional to execute juvenile killers, ending a practice in 19 states that has been roundly condemned by many of America's closest allies.

The last great thrust.

Suicide bomber kills 125 people in Iraq
Neil Macdonald and Awadh al-Taee, Financial Times Original Article

A bomb in a mainly Shia city south of Baghdad on Monday killed about 125 people and left another 130 injured, ranking as one of the deadliest single attacks since the toppling of former president Saddam Hussein in April 2003.

Prisoners captured in Iraq are not leftist protestors; they are terrorists thugs.

American Liberals Have Lost Touch With Reality
Steve Darnell, Arab News Original Article

Gen. George S. Patton once said, “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” Those on the left seem to be cynical about everything to do with the war on terrorism. I think if Patton were alive today he would say liberals lack the courage to fight the enemy and would slap a few of them around.

A vanquished cliché.

The Arab Street
Christopher Hitchens, Slate Original Article

The return of politics to Iraq has had many blissful secondary consequences, one of them apparently minor but nonetheless, I think, important. When was the last time you heard some glib pundit employing the phrase "The Arab Street"? I haven't actually done a Nexis search on this, but my strong impression is that the term has been, without any formal interment, laid to rest. And not a minute too soon, either.

Democratic revolutions are successful when a strong democracy is backing you.

Revolution May Be Under Way in Lebanon
BARRY SCHWEID, AP Original Article

Czechoslovakia had its Velvet Revolution, the former Soviet republic Georgia the Rose Revolution, and Ukraine an Orange Revolution. In Lebanon, at least according to a State Department official, a less-colorful but catchy "Cedar Revolution" may be under way.

The US can now say they have adopted all tactics to rid Iran of nuclear materials.

Bush Weighs Offers To Iran
Robin Wright, Washington Post Original Article

The Bush administration is close to a decision to join Europe in offering incentives to Iran -- possibly including eventual membership in the World Trade Organization -- in exchange for Tehran's formal agreement to surrender any plans to develop a nuclear weapon, according to senior U.S. officials.

Caught red handed, Iran gives up some secrets.

Pressed, Iran Admits It Discussed Acquiring Nuclear Technology
ELAINE SCIOLINO and DAVID E. SANGER , New York Times Original Article

As the International Atomic Energy Agency prepares to open a meeting today to review Tehran's nuclear program, Iranian officials have reluctantly turned over new evidence strongly suggesting that Iran discussed acquiring technologies central to making nuclear arms and hid that fact for 18 years, according to American and European officials.

An impressive list on the Freedom Scorecard

Afganistan - Free
Iraq -Free
Georgia - Free
Ukraine - Free
Palestine -Free Democratic elctions, but must fight internally to survive
Egypt - Dictator, Announces Federal Democratic elections
Pakistan - Dictator, but on the right side of the war on terror
Saudi Arabia - Dictator, Announces Regional Democratic Elections
Libya - Dictator, gave up WMD, does not want US troops on his soil
Syria - Dictator, weakened, giving up old friends to remain in power
Lebanon - Puppet Government, resigned today, seeking freedom
Venezuela - Dictator (unfortunately validated by ex-president), its people seeking freedom
Iran - Defiant, its people growing more and more bold
North Korea - Defiant, its people starving, severe internal strife
Soviet Union - Trying to go back to Communism

In January 2001, I would not have believed what I am seeing today. Several dictatorships are in retreat. This is exactly what dictatorships in the Middle East were afraid of when the US threatened military action in Afganistan & Iraq.

It is hard to argue the success which is being seen today by democracy, by freedom, by people. Just absolutely stunning!

"Syria Out!" and "Freedom, sovereignty, independence!" Powerful, absolutely powerful.

With shouts of "Syria out!," more than 25,000 flag-waving protesters massed outside Parliament on Monday in a dramatic display of defiance that swept out Lebanon's pro-Syrian government two weeks after the assassination of a former prime minister.

Syria, trying to limit international pressure, gives up Saddam's half brother. Now pull troops out of Lebanon!

Syria Hands Saddam's Half Brother to Iraq
TODD PITMAN, Associated Press Original Article

Iraqi officials said Sunday that Syria captured and handed over Saddam Hussein's half brother, a most-wanted leader in the Sunni-based insurgency, ending months of Syrian denials that it was harboring fugitives from the ousted Saddam regime. Iraq authorities said Damascus acted in a gesture of goodwill.

America has lost 361 million jobs, but during that same time, it also gained 380 million jobs

Outsourcing economically benefits the U.S.
John Stossel, The Union Leader Original Article

SHOW US the jobs!" chanted union workers at an AFL-CIO rally protesting outsourcing. They were angry that "their" jobs were going overseas. So let's go look for the jobs that have disappeared.

Palestinians finger Lebanese terror group in Tel Aviv bombing

Hezbollah paid up to $100,000 for attack
Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily Original Article

The suicide bombing here last night that killed four Israelis and wounded over 50 was funded and directed by Hezbollah forces, which may have paid up to $100,000 for the attack, security sources told WorldNetDaily.

As talks continue, Iran gets closer and closer to having a hot reactor

Russia to Deliver Nuclear Fuel to Iran
ALI AKBAR DAREINI, AP Original Article

Russia and Iran signed a deal Sunday that would deliver nuclear fuel to the Middle East country for the startup of its first reactor - a project the United States had for years pushed Moscow to drop, claiming Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

It will be interesting to see how the Palestinians will react to this suicide bombing.

Analysis / Israel is waiting for Abbas
Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz Original Article

In another period during the military confrontation with the Palestinians, Israel's retaliation to a suicide bombing of the kind that took place on Friday night in Tel Aviv would have been almost automatic. It would have been directed against the suicide bomber's operators, regardless of the Palestinian Authority. The IDF would also have destroyed his house, thinking this would deter other suicide bombers.

The media can't see that Iraq is close to secure

All but won
Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Original Article

Lt. Col. Jim Stockmoe, chief intelligence officer for the First Infantry Division, roared with laughter as he recalled the increasing missteps of the resistance in Iraq in an interview earlier this month with British journalist Toby Harnden, writing for The Spectator.

Christo's exhibit is straight out of corporate hell. Good to know, I thought it was just me.

Good Riddance, 'Gates'
Alan Bromley, WSJ Original Article

I went to experience "The Gates" in Central Park one recent morning. I was hoping for the best: a teasing treatment of wind and light that would inspire me and other strollers to new, and perhaps better, visages of the park, New York City and the human spirit. What I found was soul-deadening.

Venezuelans have news for this gullible, dictator-endorsing old fool: not this time.

Carter up to no good in Venezuela
A. M. Mora y Leon , The American Thinker Original Article

It defies belief. Ex-President Jimmy Carter, who crystallized a fraudulent recall referendum for Venezuela's dictator Hugo Chavez, now says his Carter Center will return to Caracas "to help consolidate peace and democracy." He also says he's got a final report on the Venezuelan recall referendum. (There've been some other final reports but somehow he's got to issue a final final final report) He's up to no good.

The old Europe is dying. The 21st century is being built elsewhere.

U.S. can sit back and watch Europe implode

A week ago, the conventional wisdom was that George W. Bush had seen the error of his unilateral cowboy ways and was setting off to Europe to mend fences with America's ''allies.'' I think not. Lester Pearson, the late Canadian prime minister, used to say that diplomacy is the art of letting the other fellow have your way.

Intel of the attack was given to the Palestinians, but they were unable to or did not prevent it.

Sharon Threatens to Freeze Peace Efforts
RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Original Article

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday that peace efforts with the Palestinians would be frozen if they do not crack down on militant groups in the wake of a weekend suicide bombing that killed four people outside a Tel Aviv nightclub.

"Sabawi is captured, he's a big catch."

Saddam Hussein's half-brother captured
Reuters Original Article

A half-brother and former adviser to Saddam Hussein has been captured in Iraq, according to sources in the interim government. Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti was number 36 on the U.S. military's list of the 55 most wanted people in Iraq. No other details were provided. An official announcement would be made soon, the sources said on Sunday.

Right! And I have some great swamp land in Florida to sell too.

Syria Rejects Israel Accusation on Tel Aviv Bombing
Reuters Original Article

Syria on Saturday denied any link to a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed four people which Israel's defense minister blamed the Arab state. A Syrian Foreign Ministry source said: "Syria has no relation to this operation or any other (operation) and that the (Damascus) office of that group (Islamic Jihad) had been closed."

Politically, a strike in Syria would have a great effect in Israel, Lebanon, Syria, & Iraq

Israel Says Will Strike Syria if Needed
JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Original Article

Israel's defense minister on Saturday blamed Syria and a Palestinian militant group based there for a suicide bombing that killed four Israelis outside a Tel Aviv nightclub and shattered an informal truce, prompting him to freeze plans to hand over security responsibilities in the West Bank. Syria denied the charges.