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

New York

News Round Up - 09 Sep 06

At Home. NASA will attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Atlantis today after weather and technical problems delayed previous attempts.

Afghanistan. NATO states that 320 Taliban have been killed so far in the week long Operation Medusa. These guys are dropping like flies. A suicide bomber killed 16 and wounded 39 in downtown Kabal Friday in the worst attack since the fall of the Taliban according to the headline.

Iraq. Two million pilgrims were in Karbala today for Shaabaniya, which celebrates the birth of a 9th century imam. Iraqi police and Army forces are providing security. As of now, eight people have been killed and 40 wounded. But these attacks were not in Karbala, but enroute to Karbala. This is significant since only Iraqi forces are providing security Karbala, and they have successfully prevented suicide attacks on the pilgrims. This fact will go a long way to increasing the legitimacy of the Iraqi government and security forces.

India. Mosque bomb blast kills 37 and wounds 50. India is not in a civil war, nor does America have troops in India. Just citing this for comparison to Iraq and Afghanistan.

United Nations. UN approves counter-terrorism strategy. Several Arab nations opposed this definition as it did not shield national liberational movements like the Palestinians. More details on this later, but any UN recognition of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah is a step in the right direction. What these groups do not understand is legitimate descent does not give a group a right to kill or shield themselves around innocent civilians. The full text of the resolution can be found here.

Lebanon. Israel lifted the sea blockade on Lebanon Friday. A combined task force of French, Italian and Greek warships began patrolling Lebanon's Mediterranean coast just after noon Friday, a mission it will carry out for about two months until a longer-term force of German vessels moves in. Syria meanwhile has approved the presence of EU personnel on the Lebanon-Syrian border and is requesting German assistance on his side of the border. Again, while Israel did not crush Hezbollah militarily, it is working the diplomatic channels brilliantly.

Iran. Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami on friday condemned the September 11 attacks against the United States as an atrocity and said suicide bombers did Islam an injustice and would not go to heaven. He also iterated that he believed the Holocaust was a fact and was a crime of Nazism. A couple of thoughts here. Khatami is not just the former president of Iran. He is the head of the Advisory Council in Iran, putting him over current president, Ahmadinejad. He is in the US for some specific purpose. Could that purpose be to show US leaders that Iran also has issues with Ahmadinejad? Or is he here strictly to muddy the waters? Either way, the US should use this rift in Iran to its benefit.

Gaza. Tens of thousands teachers, health workers and other government employees launched an open-ended strike last Saturday. While believed to be organized by Fatah to pressure Hamas to either step down or form a unity government, it must be noted that tens of thousands are marching/striking against Hamas. Remember, Hamas kidnapped Cpl Shalit to prevent further erosion of its support and an increase in support for Fatah. Israel's tough response combined with Abbas' and Olmert's diplomacy is severely endangering Hamas' future in the PA.

News Round Up - 08 Sep 06

Pakistan & Afghanistan. Musharraf, while visiting Afghanistan, stressed the importance of putting aside differences and focusing on jointly crushing the Taliban. Meanwhile, NATO on Friday will discuss the possibility of sending more troops into Afghanistan. Operation Medusa has now killed approximately 300 Taliban with a large group still cornered.

Iraq. Control of the Iraqi Army was formally handed to Iraq on Thursday. Iraq also executed 27 prisoners for murder and rape. A government is forming and beginning to control its security.

Lebanon. The air blockade has been lifted, but Israel vows to keep sea blockade in effect until international naval forces arrive to patrol the sea lanes. For all his failures in the war, Olmert is playing his diplomatic cards very well to ensure Hezbollah armanent reinforcement is as difficult as possible. Israel will have all forces out of Lebanon on 22 Sep 06. Meanwhile, Spain has pledged 1,100 troops to UNIFIL. Saudi Arabia announces it will pay all school fees for academic year 2006-07.

Britain. Blair to step down in May 07 due to internal wrangling in the Labour party.

Iran. Khatami states that talks with Iran could start if the US and EU would talk to Iran without preconditions. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday the current opposition to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program has been ’calculated’, expressing hope that the US will not repeat what it has been through in the past. He also noted that his country should not be denied a nuclear program. I only have one thing to say. Iran signed the NPT stating they would not seek nuclear weapons, yet their "nuclear energy" program is geared towards acquiring nuclear weapons, else they could seek differnt type of reactors and not pursue heavy water reactors to give them plutonium.

Al Qaeda. A recruitment video was released by Al Qaeda on Thursday.

News Round Up – 06 Sep 06

At home. A vast oil pool has been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico which could boost the nation’s reserves by 50%. A 50% increase in US reserves is a significant find. Another way to say this is that this field has the potential to reduce our dependency on foreign oil by 50%. ANWAR would reduce our dependency by another 5%. Today, the US import 55% of its oil. Between these two fields our dependency can decrease to 30%. Just imagine how we could reduce our dependency if drilling were allowed off the tip of Florida and the California coast.

Iran. Iran delays nuclear talks with EU – surprise. Economically linked Russia and China still believe sanctions would be counter-productive. Meanwhile, Ahmadinajad vows education crackdown to get rid of secular and liberal professors.

Lebanon. Nasrallah says he does not regret the kidnapping of two Israeli Soldiers that started the war. This guy is sounding more like John Kerry everyday. Annan is predicting the blockade to be lifted on Thursday. Meanwhile, an officer investigating the Hariri murder is wounded by a roadside bomb.

Palestine. Gazan police march through the streets protesting unpaid salaries and storm Parliament. Hamas states protests are an attempt to force it to form a national unity government. This place is sounding more like a democracy everyday.

Afghanistan. More than 50 Taliban have been killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday as Operation Medusa continues bringing the total since Saturday to over 250.

Iraq. Parliamentarian Tayseer al-Mashhadani, who was held hostage for two months, urged Iraqis to set aside their differences for the sake of their country. Iraqi, Coalition forces capture 30 insurgents, 38 suspected insurgents throughout the western Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Amid a steady counter-insurgency campaign in Baghdad, Fallujah and surrounding areas, combined U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to achieve major successes in locating and destroying enemy weapons caches hidden in those regions.

News Round Up - 05 Sep 06

Cpl Shalit. Palestinians, Israel reach deal on soldier. Abbas has stated that an agreement has been reached on the release of Cpl Shalit to Egypt as a deposit. After his release to Egypt, a number of Palestinian prisoners will be released. Remember why the current battle in Gaza started. Olmert and Abbas had already worked a prisoner release, but Hamas, wanting to discredit Abbas kidnapped Cpl Shalit. The fact that Abbas is making this statement means Israel has effectively margainalized Hamas.

Palestine. Vital Perspective is reporting that a national unity government is expected within 10 days. The plan headed by Abbas would retain him in charge of international relations, put an international peacekeeping force in Gaza, and demand a halt to terrorists acts against Israel. As stated before, Hamas has not gained what it expected in this kidnapping.

Somalia. Somalia's government has reached an agreement with the Islamic militia whereby the militia would be integrated into the national army. Somalia just goes from bad to worse.

Middle East. The Arab League is scheduled to hold a meeting Tuesday in Cairo to reinvigerate the Middle East peace initiative that has all but been stopped due to Palestinian and Hezbollah attacks. Israel is interested in outcome, but its expectations are limited.

Lebanon. Nasrallah stated that Hezbollah will not relinquish its rocket arsenal, but would only use them if attacked by Israel.

Sudan. Sudan has asked AU troops monitoring Darfur to leave by 30 Sep 06. This is the same time the AU mission would end. The UN voted to send 20,000 UN troops to monitor the Darfur region, but Sudan has rejected having UN troops in its country. The Darfur genocide continues.

Iran. EU governments will try a last ditch diplomatic effort to get Iran to comply with UNSCR 1696. The EU gives Iran two weeks to accept the resolution. Nobody can say that negotiations were not tried with Iran if and when they fail, but I am sure the Democrats will figure out a way after remaining silent thus far on the issue.

The Iraqi Insurgency is dead.

MNF-I website has a story titled, "Top al-Qaida terrorist nabbed as Baghdad security progress continues".

Read this story carefully because it denotes the death of the Iraqi Insurgency.

It is not because Al-Qaeda's in Iraq Number 2, thought to be mastermind behind bombing of a Samarra Mosque was arrested.

It is not because Dr. Rubaie stated, "Our troops have dealt fatal and painful blows to this organization."

It is because of what Col. Michael Shields, 172nd SBCT commander said. “We are starting to see people stand up to the militias.”

It is also because of what Brig. Gen. Emad Ismail Ali, Adhamiyah Police chief said. "The troops are gaining local citizens’ respect."

It is because of what Brig. Gen. Jabar Mujhed Msad, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division Commander said, “Our goal was to regain the trust of the people and to overcome terrorists.”

It is because of what T.E. Lawrence noted about an Insurgency.

According to T.E. Lawrence, two of the most important things an insurgency must have are an assailable base and passive support of the populace. The insurgents just lost both of these if you can trust the word of two Iraqi Brig. Gen.

The Iraqi troops are gaining the respect and trust of local citizens. They are doing this by defeating the insurgents wherever they are encountered. They are doing this by upholding the rule of law. They are doing this by holding the area after they clear and secure it. They are doing this by adopting American values taught to them by their sister military units and transition teams.

The only thing that will defeat the insurgency in Iraq is the same reason we do not have an insurgency in America - namely, Joe Smith down the street will tell on his neighbor if Joe Smith is making an IED. Iraqis have been afraid to give this intelligence to the Coalition, the Iraqi Police, and the Iraqi Security Forces in the past. However, that has now changed.

Make no mistake about it, Baghdad is the center of gravity in this war and the global war on terrorism. Citizens of Baghdad are gaining respect and trust for their police force and Army. This fact will spill out from Baghdad into other provinces.

Everybody, no matter who you are wants to be able to go to the park on the weekend and watch their children play or have some fun themselves. That is what life is all about. Operation Forward Together is providing that for Baghdadis. They now trust and respect their police force and Army. They will go to them for security. They are standing up to the militias.

The Iraqi Insurgency is dead.

Do you still think radical Islamists are peaceful.

The link below is a video named "Blaming the Jews". It takes about 38 minutes to watch but should leave you with no doubt that radical Islamists want nothing more than the death of all Jews and all Christians.

While the video focuses on Palestinians, much of the hate in this video is produced in other Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Iran. It is astonding that such a large group of children are being brainwashed with such hatred. It is also astonding that adults in this video believe the same nonsense that they are teaching their children despite facts to the contrary, namely the Holocaust and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

One wonders if the only way around such hatred is their death or ours?

Click here to view video.

Hat Tip to N.S. Rajaram at The American Thinker.

Obsession - Radical Islam's War Against the West

Obsession - Radical Islam's War Against the West, is scheduled to open to in selected cities on 11 Sep 06. This 60 minute documentary

"reveals an ‘insider's view' of the hatred the Radicals are teaching, their incitement of global jihad, and their goal of world domination. With the help of experts, including first-hand accounts from a former PLO terrorist, a Nazi youth commander, and the daughter of a martyred guerilla leader, the film shows, clearly, that the threat is real."

One of the four instruments of National Power is information. For those of us who are saying that we need to better use the media, this is one film that does a good job of pursuing that objective.

To see the trailer, click here.

News Round Up - 04 Sep 06

A great loss. Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin killed when a stingray barb pierced his heart while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. This great conservationalist will be missed.

Good news from Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq's Number Two captured dealing another blow to this terrorist organization. Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, was arrested a few days ago as he hid in a residential building southwest of Baqouba. Undoubtedly, vast intelligence was gained from this raid which will lead to further arrests.

Taliban continue to get pummeled in Afghanistan. Operation MEDUSA which begin Saturday morning is the Afghan Army's and NATO's push into an area southwest of Kandahar city to rid it of Taliban. As of Monday, over 200 Taliban have been killed and about 80 siezed. This brings the number of Taliban killed in 2006 to around 2000 since US and NATO forces have extending its reaches into the country.

Spontaneous rantings from Iran. Iran's Ahmadinejad in meeting with Kofi Annan refused to suspend nuclear enrichment prior to negotiations. During Annan's visit, Ahmadinejad stated Iran would host a conference to examine the exaggerations of the Holocost. However, Ahmadinejad stated he supported UNSR 1701. Meanwhile, Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, in a speach to American Muslims in Chicago stated that US is fueling terrorism.

Palestinians express newfound freedom. 80,000 Palestinians go on strike. The strike is aimed at Hamas and will further force Hamas to form a national unity government with Fatah. Meanwhile, Jamal Khudari, Minister of Communications and Technology, resigned stating, "It is our wish, and that of all Palestinians, to see a national-unity government." Other Hamas ministers are expected to resign soon in opposition to Hamas' failure to form a national unity government. It appears Hamas' attempt to boost its support by kidnapping Cpl Shalit is backfiring.

In Israel, Olmert stated that plans to unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank are on hold and in fact approved tenders to construct 690 new housing units in the West Bank.

Lebanon and UNIFIL. Qatar has pledged 200-300 members to work as part of UNIFIL becoming the first Muslim nation to commit troops to Lebanon. Pakistan is considering sending troops as part of the UNIFIL mission. Turkey has approved sending troops to Lebanon, but has not yet confirmed numbers. It seems more and more nations are getting involved in the war against terrorism.