April 30, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 04/30/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Turkish crowds slam Islamist candidate - As many as 1 million people marched yesterday in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, demanding that the Islamist ruling party withdraw its choice of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to be the next president. (READ MORE)

U.S. force aims to secure Africa - The United States hopes by year's end to establish an Africa Command that will anchor military operations across a continent seen to be of increasing strategic importance and threatened by transnational terrorists. (READ MORE)

Edwards pitches Clinton-era taxes - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said yesterday raising taxes for higher-income families back to their levels under the Clinton administration is a floor, not a ceiling, and he would consider even higher tax increases. (READ MORE)

Maliki's Office Is Seen Behind Purge in Forces - A department of the Iraqi prime minister's office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias, according to U.S. military officials... (READ MORE)

Clinton's PowerPointer - It was fairly simple, Mark J. Penn said calmly to Vice President Al Gore, reporting the findings of an exhaustive survey he had conducted in the early stages of the 2000 presidential campaign. Voters liked Gore's policies. They just didn't like Gore. (READ MORE)

Report Faults China On Rights Failures - The 2008 Olympic Games have become a catalyst for more repression in China, not less, according to an Amnesty International report released today and aimed at pressuring the Beijing government a year before the start of the world's premier sporting event. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Acute Politics: Longest. Route. Ever. “My platoon now holds the Alpha Company (and probably the Task Force) record for the longest mission. We spent almost 40 hours outside yesterday and the day before. I'm not sure how much ground we covered, but I would estimate something close to 200 kilometers. We found lots of IEDs, blew up caches, got in a firefight, got blown up, stuck, tired, muddy and gross. More on that soon (with pictures!).” (READ MORE)

Omar: Artillery in Baghdad. “This ‘U.S. launches artillery barrage in Baghdad’ explains what those loud sounds we heard this morning were except that what we heard in northern Baghdad were the sounds of the shells being fired not exploding. It’s interesting how huge the difference between the two sounds is. I remember the sound of outgoing artillery from the days March 2003. At that time, Saddam’s Iraqi army deployed artillery units inside residential neighborhoods to ‘protect’ them from within civilian homes.” (READ MORE)

LTC Richard Phillips: Week 15--A Week to Forget “Some weeks should pass without comment. Too hard, too dark, too sad. Week 15 is one such week. I'm sure there will be others.” (READ MORE)

The Calm Before the Sand: Doubt “The time between mortar attacks used to be measured in days, even weeks. Now it's measured in hours. The days have been hot, and long. I've worked 12 to 14 hours a day, at least, for several weeks now. Only recently have I begun to enjoy some downtime, and had time to think about anything but cleaning my weapon or calling my wife.” (READ MORE)

Afghanistan JAG: Minefields in Afghanistan “According to statistics released by British de-mining agency the Halo Trust, Afghanistan is the most mined country in the world. They also estimate that over 500,000 mines still lie dormant in this country. Other agencies estimate that the number could be as high as ten million. An anti-personnel land mine is generally designed to maim an adult. The theory is that you tie up an army's resources when you wound a person instead of killing him.” (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: The View from the North "My colleague Patrick Lasswell and I interviewed on camera Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga Colonel Salahdin Ahmad Ameen in his office in Suleimaniya, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. Colonel Salahdin spoke to us about his experience as an anti-Baathist guerilla fighter during Saddam Hussein’s genocidal Anfal Campaign – when 200,000 people were killed and more than 5,000 villages were destroyed. In one fight he recounts for us, 300 Peshmerga beat an entire Iraqi brigade of slave soldiers in battle and suffered only one casualty." (READ MORE)

Michael Fumento: February Firefight at Mizan "Approximately 40 Taliban are detected during daylight about 10 kilometers northwest of FOB Mizan. A jet could be called in on their position, dropping bombs and firing missiles and almost certainly killing some of them. But some of them isn't good enough out here. When you get the chance to kill or capture some, you try to kill or capture every last one of them. No airstrike can promise that on a group of men spread out precisely to avoid heavy casualties from the air or artillery. You have to go in and get them. A task force is quickly put together. It comprises Army Special Forces, a unit of the 10th Mountain Division, and B Co. 1-4 Infantry." (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: Desires of the Human Heart, Part II "A short journey with an American army unit, at war Part 2 of 2 - With each new day, the 1-4 tightened up security in and around the Babel College.That’s Major Baer in the big college kitchen. He works hard, and likes to talk about his wife back home. Major Baer is proud to be married to her, that’s for sure. He just keeps on talking about her, and then goes back to work." (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Donald Lambro: No longer unbeatable “Hillary Clinton's negatives keep climbing, raising new questions about her electability and improving the prospects of her chief rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.” (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: Hagel on Iraq “Sen. Chuck Hagel returned from his fifth visit to Iraq to join Senate Democrats last Thursday as one of two Republicans voting to begin withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Michael Barone: Feeling Safe Isn't Safe “The murders two weeks ago at Virginia Tech naturally set off a cry in the usual quarters -- The New York Times, the London-based Economist -- for stricter gun-control laws.” (READ MORE)

La Shawn Barber: Homosexuals, Hate, and the Gospel “Last week, the House Committee on the Judiciary passed a bill that would expand the federal definition of so-called hate crime to add homosexuals and people confused about their gender to the list of protected classes.” (READ MORE)

Carol Platt Liebau: The demise of the lady “Perhaps there was one piece of good news that emerged from reports about Rosie O’Donnell’s crass and vulgar presentation at last Monday’s Matrix Awards luncheon:” (READ MORE)

Kevin McCullough: Why Feminist Mommies are like Pimps “Another story hit the headlines this week but did not get the graphic portrayal of the Baldwin case on cable, radio, and gossip pages on the internet. It was a small story about a split between actresses Lindsay Lohan and Keira Knightley.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Dutch Rub-Out “World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz faces an ‘ad hoc committee’ investigating his alleged ethics violations today, but it seems the committee has reached its conclusions even before he has a chance to defend himself. This fits the pattern of what is ever more clearly a Euro-railroad job.” (READ MORE)

John Fund: When Talk Isn't Cheap “Campaign finance laws are increasingly becoming a tool to suppress political speech, and the courts are finally waking up to the danger. Last week a unanimous Washington state Supreme Court struck down an outrageous interpretation of a law that had been used to classify the antitax comments of two Seattle talk-radio hosts as ‘campaign contributions’ subject to regulation--that is, suppression--by local prosecutors and officials who disagreed.” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: And Why the Sea is Boiling Hot, and Whether Pigs Have Wings “Just a small point to make in this story, which is mostly about a speech Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%) made to leftist activists in California. I pass lightly over her fabrications about President Bush -- she seems to believe that Bush's people put up that ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in order to claim (prematurely) that the entire Iraq War was finished -- to commence taking victory laps. She is belied by Bush's speech itself, the transcript of which is readily available: ‘In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.’” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Good News In Anbar “Just as the Democrats have raised the white flag on Iraq, the New York Times reports that the surge strategy has started paying off in Anbar. Shops have reopened, people have moved back, and everyone's challenging the insurgents except Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (via Memeorandum):” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Haditha Hoax “Lots of new information is coming out on the Haditha Marines, which I have written about extensively over the last year. First, one of the Marines has had his charges completely dropped due to some evidence, well...a ton of evidence, that has come out that may exonerate them all:” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Wrong argument “Sebastian Mallaby’s column in the Washington Post today demonizes opponents of illegal immigration by making it appear as though they oppose immigration itself. That is like saying one opposes driving if one opposes DUI.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Iraq Report: Major operation against AQI network, Sadr's silence “Today was yet another relatively quiet day inside Baghdad. There were no major, mass casualty bombings, the largest acts of violence was a roadside bomb which killed two. The U.S. Army launched an artillery barrage at targets in ‘a known Sunni stronghold’ but there is no further information on the targets or casualties.” (READ MORE)

Fjordman: The End of the American Dream? “In March 2005, US President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the establishment of the ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.’ This was meant to implement a common border-facilitation strategy to improve the ‘flow of people and cargo at our shared borders.’ As next steps were mentioned: ‘We will establish Ministerial-led working groups that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working groups will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals.’” (READ MORE)

Ian: (Video) Murtha suggests impeachment if President doesn’t “compromise” “Rep. John Murtha suggested the possibility of impeachment to “influence” the President to ‘compromise’ over funding for Iraq. Is it just me or does John Murtha sound like Vito Corleone? Does Murtha not know he is talking about impeaching the President of the United States because he is not compromising with the will of the far-left of Congress? That’s neither a high crime nor even a misdemeanor, which are the behaviors that are supposed to trigger impeachment.” (READ MORE)

Stefania Lapenna: Bassiji/Hezbollah militia's crackdown on 'immoral' women “Here are more photos of the crackdown on the women wearing ‘immoral dresses’. Notice that it's not only in Tehran, but all across Iran, too. The police, Bassiji/Hezbollah militia, are the very same 'people' who burn Israeli and US flags, pelt Western embassies, shout ‘Death to Israel, America’, call for the execution of hostages, etc. And are called ‘students’ by the ignorant MSM. By seeing this third series of photos, you may have realized who these ‘students’ really are.” (READ MORE)

Rantings of a Sandmonkey: Done “Today is going to be the day that I've been dreading for quite sometime now. Today is the day I walk away from this blog. Done. Finished. There are many reasons, each would take a post to list, and I just do not have the energy to list them. As anyone who has been reading this blog for the past month, I think it is apparent that things are not the same with me. There are reasons for that: One of the chief reasons is the fact that there has been too much heat around me lately. I no longer believe that my anonymity is kept, especially with State Secuirty agents lurking around my street and asking questions about me since that day.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: A Clarification or Two “Maybe I should get into the stock prediction business. As I fully expected, some on the right are in full throated howl over my suggestion that we alter our mission in Iraq. The predictable response of the slack jawed yawpers doesn’t necessarily depress me, although I am not insensate to the barbs . Their personal attacks (in lieu of answering my points with intelligent counters) reveals how truly bereft they are of any understanding of what it will take for the efforts of our troops in tamping down the violence to bear fruit. Also as I predicted, the left has attacked me for not advocating a complete withdrawal. There are also those who have ‘congratulated’ me for ‘finally’ seeing it there way.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: But It Had The Ring Of Truthiness! “Yesterday the editorial staff highlighted Michael Scheuer's excellent takedown of George Tenet's accusations that Condi Rice ignored his urgent warnings about al Qaeda: ‘Now a "frustrated" Tenet writes that he held an urgent meeting with Rice on July 10, 2001, to try to get "the full attention of the administration" and "finally get us on track."’ There's just one problem with this - Tenet's own testimony to the 9/11 commission:” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: And then what? “President Bush is planning on vetoing the Iraq funding bill, citing the presence of a deadline for withdrawal. So, just what would happen if the United States withdrew from Iraq? Initially, I think it would be fairly calm. There would be some attacks against our forces, as the various and sundry factions would each try to get the ‘final’ attack on us that gives them the bragging rights for ‘driving out the infidels.’ After that, though, there would be a brief calm period, as the factions work out their strategies. It would be the calm before the storm - or, as a certain French monarch said, ‘le deluge.’ ‘Bloodbath’ would be a bit of an understatement.” (READ MORE)

Atlas Shrugs: SANDMONKEY Speaks! To Atlas “I met with Sandmonkey (at an undisclosed location) and commiserated. He is as charming and clever as you might expect from the ‘writer of an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey.’ Fabulous. But his words of premonitory warning gave me great pause. He has scorn for the ‘new Democrats’ that sold out reformers and activists and destroyed fledging movements of democracy. Upon learning of his blog departure, I was heartbroken. Look, the blogosphere and the fighters for liberty and democracy lost a warrior when Sandmonkey backed away from the keyboard, signed off on his blog and wrote his last post here.” (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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