Wednesday, April 23, 2008
“In places like Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines and Latin America, Army reservists are bringing their warrior skills and their civilian trades to the fight,” Petraeus said.
“As everyone here knows,” Petraeus told the citizen-soldiers, “that combination is particularly effective in the exceedingly complex environments we face today -- environments that require our troopers to be not just warriors but also diplomats, builders, trainers, advisors, intelligence gatherers, service providers, economic developers and mediators.”
“Citizen-soldiers perform these diverse roles expertly, and in so doing, they demonstrate the critical role members of the Army Reserve play in safeguarding freedom at home and defending it abroad,” the general added.
“Our U.S. troops in Iraq have sacrificed so much for our country's freedom so it was a wonderful feeling for me to have the opportunity to be able to give back to them,” said Marisa Pike, one of the seventh-graders who participated. “It's great to be part of a school that encourages students to serve others in their need.”
[In addition, the foundation has focused efforts on providing financial support for the families of wounded and disabled soldiers in Cincinnati and across the country - please visit >
There he was, this generation's equivalent of George Marshall, the brilliant proconsul testifying before Congress to underline the improbable but now indisputable victory over al Qaida. In military history, the turn-around David Petraeus has commanded in Iraq rivals MacArthur's surprise landing at Inchon... [snip]
An earlier and more attentive generation might have idolized Petraeus. This one barely grasps his victory and has no idea who he is. The Pew Research Center reports that 55 percent of the public cannot even recognize his name — roughly the same percentage as those who wish the war would just fade away... [snip]
Petraeus may eventually take his place in history as neither a Marshall nor a MacArthur but instead as an Eisenhower. However that may turn out, it was embarrassing this week to see just how profoundly the military institution outclasses and outperforms its political masters...
BASRA 'RISING' WAS TEHRAN'S OP
That's how analysts in Tehran describe events last month in Basra. Iran's state-run media have de facto confirmed that this was no spontaneous "uprising." Rather, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to seize control of Iraq's second-largest city using local Shiite militias as a Trojan horse. [snip]
The Iranian plan - developed by Revolutionary Guard's Quds (Jerusalem) unit, which is in charge of "exporting the Islamic Revolution" - aimed at a quick victory. To achieve that, Tehran spent vast sums persuading local Iraqi security personnel to switch sides or to remain neutral. [snip]
Initially, Quds commanders appeared to have won their bet. Their Special Groups and Mahdi Army allies easily seized control of key areas of Basra when more than 500 Iraqi security personnel abandoned their positions and disappeared into the woodwork. Soon, however, the tide turned. Maliki proved that he had the courage to use the new Iraqi Security Force, even if that meant confronting Iran...[snip]
The Iran-backed side lost more than 600 men, with more than 1,000 injured. The ISF lost 88 dead and 122 wounded.
Some analysts suggest this was the first war between new Iraq and the Islamic Republic. If so, the Iraqis won.
“Yet this was just the first round. The struggle for Iraq isn't over.”
— Amir Taheri, New York Post
"Use silenced guns to kill coalition forces at Iraqi security checkpoints, smuggle weapons in gradual shipments to reduce the risk of detection, and poison Iraq’s water supply with nitric acid to spread disease and death."
Such tactics were fleshed out in a terrorist letter intended for Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the foreign-born leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. But the document never reached Masri. Instead, coalition forces lifted it from the body of a terrorist they killed last month during an operation 30 miles northwest of Baghdad.
In addition to outlining extremist combat methods, Safyan advocated waging economic and psychological warfare, and his roadmap for success hinged on “continuous conflict” between Iraq’s Shiite government, Sunni members of “Awakening Movements” and Kurdish nationalists.
[like Tet, expect a terror surge as we lead up to the election - also like Tet, it could be the terrorists swan song: they're paying more dearly for every attack with each passing day, to win we need only stand firm in our commitment to do so]
Muslim Groups Take Issue With McCain's Vocabulary
A coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain stop using the word "Islamic" to describe terrorists. The Washington Times reports Islamic Society of North America's secretary general wants McCain to use something he calls "more acceptable to the Muslim community." (Snip)
[McCain spokeman:] "The reality is, the hateful ideology which underpins bin Ladenism is properly described as radical Islamic extremism. Senator McCain refers to it that way because that is what it is."
Yesterday, Muneer Fareed, head of the Islamic Society of North America, called for John McCain to cease using the terms Muslim or Islamic in describing–Mohammedan?–terrorism. Here’s Fareed, as quoted in the Washington Times:
"You want to call them terrorist criminals, fine. But adding the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islamic’ certainly doesn’t help our cause as Americans . . . It paints an entire community of believers, 1.2 billion in total, in a very negative way."In fact, it does no such thing. The modifiers “Islamic” and “Muslim” are critical in helping to identify the methodology, motivation, and personnel working against us. What does paint the moderate Muslim community “in a very negative way” is Fareed’s evident refusal to face up to a blunt fact: people calling themselves Muslims have waged a war against people they’ve labeled infidels...
Over the past five years the scaremongering of the climate alarmists has led the governments of Europe to commit themselves to a drastic reduction in carbon emissions, regardless of the economic cost of doing so, says Lord Nigel Lawson former British Chancellor of the Exchequer.
In fact, given that warming produces benefits as well as costs, it is far from clear that for the people of the world as a whole, the currently projected warming, even if it were to occur, would cause any net harm at all. By contrast, slowing down world economic growth, by shifting to much more expensive non-carbon sources of energy, would be massively costly and by extension do great harm - especially to the world's poor.
That is one good reason why the sought-after global agreement to cut back drastically on carbon dioxide emissions, embracing China, India and the other major developing countries, is not going to happen.
But a very real danger remains: Europe's intention to start a global trade war by imposing trade barriers against countries that don't accept a mandatory cut in their emissions, as President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and others are already urging...
At a time when some are crying that carbon emissions must be rapidly reduced to hold down global warming, Italy’s major electricity producer, Enel, is converting its massive power plant here from oil to coal, what we're told is the dirtiest fuel on earth.
Over the next five years, Italy will increase its reliance on coal to 33 percent from 14 percent. Power generated by Enel from coal will rise to 50 percent.
And Italy is not alone in its return to coal. Driven by rising demand, record high oil and natural gas prices, concerns over energy security and an aversion to nuclear energy, European countries are slated to build about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years...
[How very interesting. Of course the US, as the "Saudi Arabia of coal", Has naturally all but put the resource off limits for any expanded role as an energy source - to the contrary, congress is busy drafting additional punitive legislation against its use. Are you ready to mine yet?]
Increasing demand for liquid biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel, the conversion of agricultural land for their production and increased use of natural resources could be detrimental to women in rural areas, a new United Nations study warns.
The study, released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), calls on the member States to adopt measures to ensure that women have the same opportunities as men to benefit from the increased production of biofuels.
"Unless policies are adopted in developing countries to strengthen the participation of small farmers, especially women in biofuel production by increasing their access to land, capital and technology, gender inequalities are likely to become more marked"...
[ Note that they're defining 'harm' to women not as their losing something, but in not gaining additional benefit in equal measure to men. The world is beginning to starve, and these idiots are lecturing on gender-farming-inequality. What could be more foolish? A: biofuels are causing the starvation. UNsalvageable.]
Angry driver waves gun, shoots self, faces charges
TEMPE — A man accidentally shot himself in the stomach after waving his gun in anger at a fellow driver in Tempe, and police say he will face charges. Tempe police spokesman Brandon Banks said Monday that David Lopez, 33, is expected to survive and could face charges including disorderly conduct, reckless display of a firearm and felony flight from police in the Friday night incident.