Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, Saddam!

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein turns 69 today, his third birthday in prison for killing more people than anyone can count. The US military which guards him has unaccountably not made any plans for a party, nor a cake, nor a gift.

This is a vast difference from Saddam's birthday bashes of old, which were marked by lavish partying capped off by ostentatious military parades. This year, Saddam will celebrate by sharing some bread crusts with the cockroaches in his cell whom he will lead in a triumphal march. Later tonight he will conduct a purge against the bedbugs, whom he considers traitors.

With luck, Saddam will never turn 70.

Veiled Conceit

If I may be so bold to recommend another blog, you might try Veiled Conceit, which the author, Zach, calls "A glimpse into that haven of superficial, pretentious, pseudo-aristocratic vanity: The NY Times' Wedding & Celebration Announcements." If you're the kind of person who regularly reads this blog, just reading "NY Times" makes you bust out laughing. "Veiled Conceit" is funny the way the old National Lampoon of thirty years ago was funny, which is to say funny in the worst way. Funny with the big fat nasty F.

I recommend this latest entry covering the nuptials of Laurie and Austin of the Hamptons. Put down your beverage first.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Iran Prepares To Strike America

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with notorious Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mugniyeh last January during a state visit to Syria to make arrangements for terror attacks on America should it take out Iran's nuclear bombmaking sites, according to intelligence sources.

Mugniyeh is a particularly nasty piece of work whose bloody handwork has landed him a spot on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list. He bombed the US embassy in Beirut in 1983 with the loss of 63 lives, bombed the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 with the loss of 241 lives, among numerous bombings, skyjackings, and kidnappings. Next to Osama Bin Laden, Mugniyeh has killed the most Americans of any terrorist.

Former CIA official, Robert Baer, describes Mugniyeh as "the most dangerous terrorist we have ever faced. Mugniyeh is probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we have ever run across, including the KGB or anyone else."

Mugniyeh has also been meeting regularly with the Iranian Intelligence Minister, Ghkolamhossein Mohseni Ezhei. Ahmadinejad also met with the leaders of terrorist groups that Iran sponsors: Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas.

What this means is that terrorist attacks on Americans overseas and at home could follow close on the heels of an American strike on Iran a year from now.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Don't Let This Happen To You

Paul John Chappell, 31, of Sydney, Australia thought he had gotten lucky when a magazine editor invited him back to her apartment after meeting her that night. She invited him to her bed but begged off sex at the last minute because he was too drunk. So Chappell gets up to go to the bathroom and loses his way back, going instead into the bedroom of the editor's housemate, a 23 year old woman.

Chappell tried his luck again, thinking he was in bed with the editor. The housemate accepted his advances, thinking it was her boyfriend, who had come home with her. They had a wonderful night of romance, or would have if they were having sex with the persons they thought they were.

Then came that unhappy moment when the 23 year old housemate turned on the bedroom light to see her boyfriend passed out drunk on the living room couch and some strange drunken guy she'd never seen before in her bed with a big smile on his face. The romance ended at that point and the screaming hysteria began.

Chappell sobered up considerably when he was charged with rape, though Magistrate Margaret Quinn opined it "may well be a difficult case for the prosecution" to prove.

EU Discovers Root Cause of Islamic Terror

Those genius bureaucrats in the European Union have hit upon the solution for Islamic terror: curtailing free speech. Their plan is to develop a "non-emotive lexicon for discussing radicalisation." In the words of an EU bureaucrat, "The basic idea is to avoid the use of improper words that could cause frustration among Muslims and increase the risk of radicalisation."

The EU believes that labelling acts of Islamic terrorism as, well, "Islamic terrorism" is the source of, heh, Islamic terrorism. Their solution is to call it something else. "These words [Islamic terrorism] cannot sit side by side," explains Omar Faruk, Muslim lawyer and advisor to the British government. That phrase "just creates a culture where terrorism actually is identified with Islam. That causes me a lot of stress." Presumably it does not create as much stress as being beheaded in a Muslim snuff video.

The EU's answer is to eliminate the phrase "Islamic terrorism" and substitute the phrase "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam." That way Islam is not connected to terrorism the way the terrorists think it is. Any future train bombings, beheadings, skyjackings, and the like perpetrated by terrorists can be correctly portrayed so that the fact they were perpetrated by Muslims is just some kind of a coincidence, not a doctrine of jihad laid down in the Koran and preached by Mohammed with his dying breath.

It's almost like a bad Monty Python skit.

Candygram For The Insurgents

An empty house at the end of the road. No Iraqi men around. It just looked suspicious to the troops on patrol in Ibrahim Al Markhur in Iraq. Then a cell phone rang inside.

An interpreter with the guys from the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor picked it up. It was the insurgents who had just run away, calling back to warn anybody left behind, "‘Hey, coalition forces are here, go ahead and run away. Go and run into the palm groves all around here."

So the troops looked around the palm groves and found RPGs, hand grenades, a couple AK-47s and a brand new sniper’s rifle (see photo). I wonder where that came from.

The insurgents kept calling back, wondering what the Americans were doing. The interpreter played them, as if he were spying on the troops, setting them up. The insurgents told him they were coming back in ten minutes to attack the Americans. Seven insurgents walked into the American ambush.

“The first guy that came in the door just dropped like a rock. The other two guys behind him got hit pretty hard, too. The rest grabbed their wounded and just ran back off,” said Staff Sgt. Art Hoffman, 30, of Baltimore, Maryland.

Said Sgt. Nicholas Hake-Jordan, 23, of Springfield, Oregon, "I love this shit."

Greenpeace On Thin Ice

Greenpeace plans an expedition to the North Pole to test the thickness of the ice there, which they believe has been melting due to global warming. They believe that all of the Arctic ice could melt in the summer seasons a hundred years hence.

They are particularly concerned for the polar bears, who they believe are wasting away for the lack of ice floes from which to hunt. They are convinced that global warming is causing the extinction of the polar bear by melting all the polar ice. Thus, Greenpeace will launch its Arctic expedition, "Project Thin Ice 2006 -- Saving the Polar Bear," on May 1st from Canada.

Originally, the expedition was scheduled for last year, but was cancelled due to unusually heavy snow and ice.

Why We Are In Iraq

Aric Catron, 25, a National Guardsman now serving in Baghdad on his second tour in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, writes home:
"On one of those days in Iraq where I wasn't sure if I'd see my daughter again, I was working at a checkpoint near a small camp in the desert. ... The locals would gather around our checkpoints to try to sell us things, beg for food or water, or just hang around the soldiers.

On this particular day one of the locals had his little girl with him. She was shyly watching me from behind his legs. When I smiled and waved at her, she brazenly ran up to me with a big smile and held out her arms, expecting to be picked up. At first I was shocked at her sudden bravery, and it took me a second to reach down and pick her up. When I did, she immediately kissed me on my cheek and then nestled in as if she meant to stay a while.

I looked toward her father and he immediately began talking rapidly in Arabic and gesturing at me. Our translator quickly explained that he, the father, had been locked in a prison for most of the child's life. He had been sentenced to death for being a Shiite dissident traitor. The man went on to say that soldiers wearing the same patch on the shoulder as I was (the 101st Airborne Division) had freed him shortly after we began the liberation of Iraq. His daughter from then on believed that the famous Screaming Eagle patch of the 101st meant that we were angels sent to protect her family."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Read Deal On Iraq

The excellent Michael Yon, back in Afghanistan, posts on what's really happenning in Iraq, debunking myths along the way. He calls it a civil war, but one that's been in progress for decades before we arrived. He thinks the media have not reported well on Iraq. He thinks the truth about Iraq has been a casualty. He's anti-war but thinks the war is necessary and can be won. Says Yon:

"These people, whether we call them freedom fighters, insurgents, thugs, or terrorists, have a stated mission to attack anyone who is not like them, wherever they can. They are not bluffing. They cannot be appeased. They will not stop if and when we leave, if we leave without completing the mission. If we leave, all vestiges of progress will be lost and those Iraqis who risked their lives to work with us to gain that progress will no longer trust Americans. If we run, the enemy will follow us. They will kill us. They will not stop until we stop them. I might be anti-war, but I am much more anti-terrorist."

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Best Suicide Bombers

"...the "best" candidates to recruit for suicide operations are poor, uneducated young men with low self-esteem. These poor lads can be easily indoctrinated. Since they are uneducated, but not stupid, they can be quickly taught the necessary skills to enhance their chances of carrying out their attacks successfully."

That's the wisdom, via Israel, of Palestinian and Al Qaeda recruiters for suicide bombers. Low self esteem seems to be the key, as people with high self esteem tend to visualize futures that don't include self-demolition. For the dumbest son in each family, suicide bombing is a way to capture that elusive respect they crave and can't get from doing anything productive.

"Young Palestinian, and Iraqi Sunni men, know that their future is bleak without cash to get married and start some kind of business. Arabs tend to put family before self, so it's a reasonable choice for a son to do a suicide bomber thing, knowing that the family will get respect, and a large chunk of change, because of it. The likeliest volunteer for this kind of job is the son with the most meager prospects. Namely, the one that did poorly at school, and has a low opinion of himself. Being a suicide bomber is one way to finally get some respect. And once you volunteer, and then until the time you actually do the deed (which might be weeks or months in the future), you get to enjoy the respect."

No Time To Turn Tail And Run

Robert D. Kaplan, author of the excellent "Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground", confesses with a wince to being an early supporter of the war in Iraq but being dismayed at what he calls the incompetence of President Bush to control his senior team in the prosecution of the war. Kaplan is also dismayed that Iraq has not been secured, contrary to his expectations. Despite his misgivings, he doesn't think the US should pull out of Iraq:
"My most recent searing, first-hand impression of Iraq, from last December, is this one: one town and village after another getting back on its feet, with residents telling American troops not to leave."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What's On The Menu In Saudi Arabia?

Unrelated men and women can not dine together in Saudi restaurants or even be able to see each other. They must be separated by screens. There are no waitresses, only waiters, and they must not serve women directly. Or smile. Or use hair gel. No TV with music videos is allowed. And the restaurants must all shut down five times each day for prayers, thirty minutes each prayer session.

It's all enforced by the muttawa, the religious police, who make up the rules as they go and can arrest anyone on a whim.

Bon appetit.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Attacking Iran

Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, former assistant vice chief of staff of the United States Air Force, lays out a scenario for an air campaign to neutralize Iran's nuclear infrastructure which uses 1210 airframes to deliver smart bombs to 1500 aim points.

The air campaign would be led by 60 Stealth aircraft and 500 cruise missiles followed by 400 non-Stealth tactical aircraft. The attacking air fleet would be supported by 150 tankers and 100 UAVs.

The target set would include air defenses, of course, and the air force, navy, and missile forces fielding the Shahab-3 intermediate range missile. That would eliminate Iran's ability to project military force externally in retaliation. Iranian command and control would also be targeted. McInerney thinks it would take three or four days to service all the targets. Only conventional weapons would be used, no tactical nukes.

While the air campaign is in progress and the Iranian military crippled, a covert operation composed of Iranian exiles and dissidents could overthrow the Ahmadinejad regime. The Iranian people could well seize the opportunity to rid themselves of the hated mullahcracy and the resulting internal turmoil could disrupt plans to retaliate with terror.

It could work.

What's On Saudi TV?

Saudi Author Dr. Muhammad Al-'Arifi during an interview on a show produced by the Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments which aired on Al-Risala TV on April 6, 2006 explains the ways of those wacky Western infidels:
"...they have organizations for homosexuals, organizations for people who marry animals - she marries a dog, a donkey, and so on... The organizations exist, and strangely enough, they are official. They have websites, and they publish magazines with pictures."

Yes, the West is full of women who marry dogs and donkeys then publish their wedding photos on the Internet so their families can enjoy them. That's what the Saudi government broadcasts on its government-controlled TV and the bigoted Saudi audiences believe.

Genius Dr. Al-'Arifi goes on to explain most Danish women have no idea who the fathers of their babies might be:
"According to statistics from Denmark, 54% of the births in Denmark are illegitimate. In this case, the term "illegitimate" does not mean a girl getting pregnant by her boyfriend. It refers to a woman, who gives birth in a hospital, and when the doctor asks her under whose name to register the baby - who's the father - she says: "I don't know. It might be the doorman... No, no, it might be the company director... It might be the clerk, or the taxi driver... I don't know." They end up registering the child in her own name. That's an "illegitimate" birth. But when she says that the child is from her boyfriend, that's fine..."

Saudi Arabia is our partner in the war against terror. Feel reassured?

He Shoulda Stuck With The Cold Cuts

It all started when Mary McCann, 58, refused to heat up a sandwich for her live-in boyfriend, Walter Fordyce, 58, both of Uniontown, PA.

An argument ensued in which Walter threw Mary to the floor, stomped on her chest, beat her head against the floor, and threw a microwave oven on her. She died. Walter says that despite the stomping, head-banging, and microwave-throwing, he didn't mean to kill Mary, "It was an accident. I didn't do it on purpose."

When he realized Mary was dead, Walter popped a beer, and had himself a drink before he asked a neighbor to call 911.

The type of sandwich was not identified.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

One Chopper Short

They needed six choppers. They sent eight. Six arrived. One broke down after landing. That left them with five at the Desert One site to carry the commandoes to Tehran to assault the embassy and free the hostages held by the Iranians. Mark Bowden lays out the details in an interesting article, "The Desert One Debacle," in the April edition of the Atlantic magazine.

The dust did them in. First, it was the haboobs, vast dust storms through which the helicopters flew. Dust got into every bit of the choppers, their engines, and rotor assemblies. Second, it was the ankle deep dust, like talcum powder, on the landing site which blew everywhere when the choppers hovered above.

One chopper was hovering behind a C-130, enclosed in a bowl of dust. The pilot could only see the airman on the ground in front of him, who began walking backwards away from the dust blown in his face by the rotor blades. The pilot, attempting to hold his hover with few references, followed the airman, unaware he was moving. He walked them right into a collision with the C-130, which was carrying a large rubber bladder fuel of fuel.

Doc Treats Patients With Time Travel

James Burda, a chiropractor practicing in Athens, Ohio claims he can cure his patients ills by going back in time to treat the injury before it happenned. It's so simple, you wonder why nobody thought of this before.

Dr. Burda calls his approach "Bahlaqeem." Burda writes, "It is a made-up word and, to my knowledge, has no known meaning except for this intended purpose. It does, however, have a soothing vibrational influence and contains the very special number of nine letters." Burda's website explains that "Bahlaqeem is a long distance healing service (not a product) to help increase the quality of your life that can be performed in the privacy of your home or other personal space. There is no need to come to my office."

Burda explains that he discovered Bahlaqeem by accident about six years ago: "My foot hurt and, knowing anatomy, I went ahead and I told it to realign and my pain went away." Capitalizing on this new-found gift, Burda has been treating people long distance over the phone and Internet. The first session is free though visits after that are $60 each, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

The results have been astounding, as you might expect. Burda claims nine out of ten patients are satisfied with the time travel treatment. His website features glowing testimonials from his patients. In fact, this treatment not only cures humans, but pets as well. A testimonial from the Bahlaqeem website:

"I am a 10 year old Bassett Hound and I have been in a lot of pain in my neck area. I would even wake up during the night and yowl from the pain. My owner called Jim Burda and described the way I was moping around and walking with my head down. Over the phone he was able to work on me. He found the area in my vertebrae that was out of place and was able to manipulate it into place. I am feeling much better and I hold my head up high again. There hasn’t been a reason to yelp now for several weeks! Thank you." DaisyMae

Sadly, this revolutionary new treatment has been badly received by his peers, probably out of jealousy. The Ohio State Chiropractic Board claims he is insane, charging that he is "unable to practice chiropractic according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care due to mental illness, specifically, Delusional Disorder, Grandiose Type."

All I can say is that it is a sad day in America when promising new medical treatments like Bahlaqeem are stopped by simple slander from medical authorities who cling to science, afraid to boldly go where no scientist has been before.

London Tube Bombers Flew Solo

A post mortem of the July 7, 2005 suicide attacks in the London Tube will declare that the four perpetrators had no significant connection with Al Qaeda. The plot was launched independently by the four, led by Mohammed Siddique Khan. All four of the murderers met Pakistani radicals, but evidently received no logistical support from them, only ideological support. They built their bombs themselves based on research done on the Internet. There was no Al Qaeda bomb expert who built the bombs for them, as previously suspected. Apparently, the murderers were driven by a perception of anti-Muslim bias in British foreign policy and a promise of immortality by their contemptible religion if they slaughtered infidels.

So the good news is that Al Qaeda's reach is overstated. The bad news is that terrorists arise spontaneously from any Muslim population.

400 Muslim Maniacs Loose In England

MI5, Englands domestic security service, estimates that at least 400 Al Qaeda terrorists are on the loose in England, possibly as many as 600, with more on the fringes who could become terrorists at the drop of a hat. The hot spot for these murdering nutcases is Manchester, where several wannabe suicide bombers have been stopped at the airport, departing to fight the jihad in Iraq. British police chiefs believe that this terror campaign will continue for at least twenty years.

I think they are optimists.

Why Global Warming Is Bunk

Prof Bob Carter, a geologist doing paleoclimate research at James Cook University, Queensland, Australia, sums up climate change:

"The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming."

Professor Carter points out the embarassing fact for the global warming alarmist cult that the Earth stopped warming in 1998, contrary to their famous hockey-stick prediction that a global heat wave would melt the ice caps and wash us all away. The temperature graph has gone flat for the last eight years, contrary to the Chicken Little predictions of doom foisted on a gullible public by the liberal media.

In fact, the global temperature trend was erratic in the 20th century. The Earth's temperature rose from 1918 to 1940, then inexplicably fell from 1940 to 1965, kicking off the global cooling scare at the same time humans were doing all that industrialization the current crop of loonies claim heat the planet. The Earth's temperature heated back up from 1970 to 1998, which led the global cooling fruitcases to do an about face and claim global warming was now the threat. Now the temperature is plateaued, perhaps signalling another cooling spell.

If the production of greenhouse gases by humans drove the temperature of the planet, you would expect the temperature to track with increasing industrialization, but it doesn't. What does drive the Earth's temperature is the Sun and its cycles, particulary it's eleven year solar flare cycles. In fact, the Earth's temperature tracks the Sun cycles very closely, as scientists studying the Earth's temperature have found:
"Using ancient tree rings, they show that 17 out of 19 warm spells in the last 10,000 years coincided with peaks in solar activity."
However, it's doubtful that the global warmists will let science get in the way of their political program. After all, global warming is not about the facts, it's about promoting socialism by other means.

Redefining Terrorism Away

Professor Ron Geaves of the University of Chester in England is claiming that the London Tube bombings of last July 7, in which 52 innocent people were butchered and 700 wounded, was not terrorism at all but rather a form of extreme demonstration. In a speech before members of the Muslim community, Professor Geaves said, "I have included, rather controversially, the events in London as primarily an extreme form of demonstration and assess what these events actually mean in terms of their significance in the Muslim community."

Professor Geaves went on to complain about labelling the four suicide bombers as terrorists, "Terrorism is a political word which always seems to be used to demonise people." Perhaps rather than demonize mass-murdering terrorists and hurt the feelings of their constituencies, maybe we should just call them "robust protestors."

Later, Professor Geaves clarified the whole terrorist demonizing thing, "What I was trying to say was that the word terrorism, like the word evil, does not take us very far." Certainly, the Geavesian interpretation of blowing people into bloody chunks on the subway as extreme demonstration doesn't take us very far and stops well short of the truth. The adjective "Evil" seems particularly well suited to such terrorist acts and their authors.

However, Professor Geaves does illustrate the peculiar European and leftist approach to dealing with terrorism: Simply redefine it away so that it really isn't terrorism but something else, not an act of religious war but more a mundane political demonstration demanding tangible, normal, understandable things. If it's just a political demonstration, you can talk your way out of it. That's so much better than a religious jihad, where you are forced to fight. The last thing people like Professor Geaves want to do is fight.

Gitmo Not So Bad Says Belgian

"At the level of the detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons," said Alain Grignard during an inspection tour the first week of March of Guantanamo, where less than 500 prisoners from the US war on terror are held. Grignard is the deputy head of Brussels' federal police anti-terrorism unit and a professor of Islam at the University of Liege who served as an expert to lawmakers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on their visit to Guantanamo Bay.

Grignard noted that the Muslim prisoners were given halal food and prayer mats, saying, "I know no Belgian prison where each inmate receives its Muslim kit."

While Europeans castigate the treatment of prisoners at Gitmo, the Council of Europe, a European human rights organization, reports that European prisons are much worse. France has the worst prisons of any country in the world, save Moldava, where the French police act with a "sense of impunity."

Nukes To Iran

B-2 Dropping B61 NukeJournalist and occassional conspiracy theorist Seymour Hersh reports that the US is considering attacking Iran with nukes. More specifically, he claims that President Bush is demanding that the US military develop an option for taking out hardened bunkers in Iran's nuclear infrastructure with B61-11 tactical nuclear bombs.

I have some fleeting experience with the old B61 tac nuke, called "The Silver Bullet" because it looked like a shiny Mk-82 conventional 500 pound bomb and because it packed enough punch to take out any threat you faced. It was perfect for clearing out enemy airfields.

This new model appears to be a modification of the old bomb. After all, these things are hand-made and cost millions of bucks. You can't just toss them away. Recycle! It looks like the Air Force has modified 750 old model 7s into model 11s. There are about 300 nuclear development sites in Iran. Perhaps a fraction of those are hardened. That means that perhaps a few dozen B61s could be used to gut the Iranian nuke program with plenty left over to use in North Korea, should the need arise.

The -11 modification kept the guts of the bomb but has given it a stronger case and cut away the parachute that slowed it down so that the delivery aircraft could fly clear of the blast. This nuke is meant to smack the target with the maximum kinetic energy and burrow in to detonate beneath the surface. When the yield is set for 10 kilotons and the bomb detonates four feet below the surface, the shock wave can crush a bunker buried under a hundred yards of layered rock. That's bad news for bad guys hiding in their burrows like rats huddled around their nasty little nukes.

The Bush administration is strongly denying Hersh's accusation and Hersh is often half-baked and biased against America in his criticism and sloppy in his documentation. However, it would be crazy if the military was not developing a contingency plan for striking Iran. That's what the Pentagon does all year round: develop contingency plans for war, almost all of which gather dust and are never used. In such a contingency plan, certainly there is an option to use bunker-busting tac nukes. The decision to use them is political. I don't doubt that if we know where the Iranian nuke sites are located, we can take them out. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I think I'm hoping in vain.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Beware Of Jason

Victor Davis Hanson sums up the war against Islamic imperialism in "Has Ahmadinejad Miscalculated?":

"Ever since September 11, the subtext of this war could be summed up as something like, “Suburban Jason, with his iPod, godlessness, and earring, loves to live too much to die, while Ali, raised as the 11th son of an impoverished but devout street-sweeper in Damascus, loves death too much to live.” The Iranians, like bin Laden, promulgate this mythical antithesis, which, like all caricatures, has elements of truth in it. But what the Iranians, like the al Qaedists, do not fully fathom, is that Jason, upon concluding that he would lose not only his iPod and earring, but his entire family and suburb as well, is capable of conjuring up things far more frightening than anything in the 8th-century brain of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Unfortunately, the barbarity of the nightmares at Antietam, Verdun, Dresden, and Hiroshima prove that well enough."