Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The promise of a prosperous future for Iraq took one step closer to becoming a reality when the Sarafiyah Bridge linking Baghdad’s Rusafa and Karkh districts was reopened May 27 after being rebuilt. The Sarafiyah Bridge, that crosses the Tigris River in the Iraqi capital, was destroyed by terrorists in an April 12, 2007, vehicle-bomb attack. [snip]
"We didn't have a direct role in this,” he said. “It was Iraqi-led, Iraqi-designed, and there were very few coalition members there."
“The terrorists tried to send a message: 'We would like to cut the communication lines between these two main groups in Iraq.' But luckily, they didn't manage to do that. And [the local people] sent the message back: 'Here we are, and we are together.'"
Iin May the fewest number U.S. servicemen were killed in Iraq in any month since the war began five years ago. You'd think such news was, well, newsworthy.
But not to NBC. Anchor Brian Williams on Monday led with worries that “because it's been underfunded [?] for decades, mass transit may not be ready for all the Americans leaving their cars behind,” and ran his short update, on the Medal of Honor going to Army Private First Class Ross McGinnis, without anything about the decline in troops killed.
Brig. General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the terror group the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is biding his time, afraid to stoke terror while President Bush is in his waning days in the Oval Office. Instead, says Washington Post columnist David Ignatius who interviewed him, he "prefers to run out the clock on the Bush Administration, hoping the next administration will be more favorable to Iran's interest."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who as Iran's supreme leader is commander in chief of the Iranian military, predicted last week that terrorists would acquire nuclear weapons and ''take away security from all the tyrants of the world.'' In his speech at the tomb of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei made it clear that he understood America to be the leader among ''the tyrants of the world.'' (Snip) While predicting that terrorists would obtain nuclear weapons, Khamenei claimed Iran was not interested in obtaining nuclear weapons itself...
[must we wait until after the nuke goes off?]
One of the prisms through which those of a certain age view the Middle East is the events of June 7, 1981, when a squadron of Israeli F-16 warplanes wheeled out of the afternoon skies over Baghdad and destroyed the atomic-bomb-making facility at Osirak. The event is widely remembered for Israel’s daring and skill, for removing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iraq from the world stage -
- and for the howls of diplomatic outrage that greeted the event, egged on by an editorial in the New York Times that derided Prime Minister Begin for making a “sneak attack” and called the raid “an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression... [snip]
For those who came up during this period, it has been extraordinarily satisfying to watch the adroitness with which President Bush has dealt with Israel’s decision to send a new generation of warplanes to destroy a new enemy reactor under construction, this time one that was being constructed with North Korean help in Syria...
The Marxist president of Venezuela has ytold the FARC guerillas in neighboring Colombia to give up their struggle to overthrow the US ally: (via BBC)
In his weekly television and radio programme on Sunday, Mr Chavez urged the Farc's new leader, Alfonso Cano, to "let all these people go".
"The guerrilla war is history," he said. "At this moment in Latin America, an armed guerrilla movement is out of place."
Only a few months ago Chavez was a funder and public defender of the FARC narco-terrorists. What changed?
The first thing that leaps to mind is the capture of a FARC laptop computer by Colombian forces, containing files that incriminated Chavez. (The BBC provides helpful background information toward the end of this article.)
The head of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department has officially admitted for the first time that there will be no global epidemic of the disease among the heterosexual population outside Africa.
Kevin de Cock said global prevention strategies to address AIDS as a risk to all populations, among the WHO and major AIDS organizations, may have been misdirected. It is now recognized that, with the exception of sub-Saharan African, it is confined to high-risk groups.
These groups include men who have sex with other men, drug users who inject with needles, and sex workers and their clients.
Some AIDS organizations, including the WHO, U.N. AIDS and the Global Fund have been blasted for inflating estimates of the number of people infected, taking much-needed funds from other diseases like malaria.
One result of the WHO’s admission may be that the vast sums of money spent on AIDS education for people who are not at risk may now be concentrated on high-risk groups.
[pay attention: the majority of pieces I've seen on this story spin it to be one of 'AIDS rates declining' and 'pandemic over' - and not that they were over reported in the first place, which is the case]
[FLASHBACK , 5/30/07:
United Nations' AIDS programme under fire
Two new books are forcing the United Nations' AIDS programme to defend itself against claims that politics have distorted its mission. That way, Chin says, the agency can claim credit when actual infection rates are lower than the projections. In one, Berkeley epidemiologist James Chin argues that the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has overestimated the potential size of the AIDS pandemic.
Last week Democrats tried to kill the economy in the name of solving a problem that doesn't exist. Republicans should hang this bill around their necks in every district where an incumbent voted for the woefully misnamed and deservedly DOA Climate Security Act, technically S.3036.
Asking Americans to pony up even more at the pump with already record gasoline prices creeping higher almost daily seems offensive enough. But compelling such burden under the guise of moral imperative to curb global warming at a time when the planet is actually cooling rings downright obscene. [snip]
It's no secret how much liberals covet European models for just about everything. Yet, Europe's even less intrusive attempts at cap-and-trade have failed miserably, wreaking havoc upon economies with no significant decrease in atmospheric carbon levels. Britain's efforts to legislate carbon limits have sparked trucker and taxi-driver strikes and protests and even threaten Labor's majority. In fact, climate legislation across the pond has failed so miserably that a new poll found "more than seven in 10 voters insist that they would not be willing to pay higher taxes in order to fund projects to combat climate change."
Yet, despite all the consumer misery endured, CO2 levels in Great Britain still increased by 3.39% between Kyoto ratification in 1997 and 2004. The United States, whose refusal to ratify allowed continued economic growth, managed a mere 6.57% increase. Compare that to other Kyoto signers like Japan (10.61%), Russia (15.61%) or Italy (15.53%). In fact, lib-beloved France, with all its Carbon pontification, barely beat the US (6.21%), despite deriving the majority of its electricity from carbon-neutral nuclear plants.
That's without even considering that there's no proof whatsoever that the actions of mankind can influence global temperatures even one degree Celsius in either direction. [snip]
S.3036 ostensibly gambled on non-existent technology to accomplish essentially nothing at inescapably catastrophic costs.
[it's their ticket to trillions of dollars - it will be back...]
From 1980 to 2006 America's annual energy usage increased from 78 to 100 quadrillion British thermal units, and the figure is estimated to grow to 118 quadrillion BTUs by 2030. If our regressive energy production policies continue when the next administration takes office, our economy and the personal lives of Americans will be severely affected [snip]
• Domestic oil production has declined, to 1.9 billion in 2007 from 3.1 billion barrels in 1980.One reason for the imports is that our public policy has forbidden offshore oil drilling:
• Meanwhile imports increased to 3.7 billion barrels from 1.9 billion.
• We are now importing about 60 percent of the oil we use.
• There is an estimated 85 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (an 18-year supply) contained within the Outer Continental Shelf and another 10 billion barrels of oil in Alaska.America remains the only nation in the world that has curtailed access to its own energy supplies. Meanwhile, China will soon begin drilling for oil off Cuba and in Venezuela.
• Together they could replace America's imported oil for about 25 years, but the first President Bush issued a directive forbidding access to a significant portion of the Outer Continental Shelf.
• President Clinton extended the restriction through 2012 and vetoed legislation that would have allowed drilling in Alaska.
The Council of Europe, a 47-country body, has recently launched a campaign to abolish physical punishment, says The Economist. Throughout the world, the movement to end corporal punishment is gaining ground:
• Some 23 countries (18 of them European) have banned corporal punishment completely.Regardless of the law, social changes are making parents in rich countries much more reluctant to use spanking, says the Economist.
• There are 106 countries -- including many places where it was common only a generation ago -- that have put a stop to corporal punishment in schools.
• In 1979, Sweden became the first country to outlaw all violence by adults on children.
[one world government? it will be modeled on these yahoos]
State Supreme Court: Spanking kids isn’t illegal
Spanking children isn’t illegal in Minnesota, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday in a 2005 case. The court’s decision affirmed the Court of Appeals ruling that Gerard and Caleb Fraser didn’t need protection from their parents.
Burglar makes the mistake of choosing 22-stone mastiff's home
Of all the gardens in all the world, the thief had the bad luck to break into the one where Cromwell was peacefully gnawing on his bone. The three-year-old English mastiff is a gentle pet. But his breed are also born guard dogs - and big ones at that. Only the thief and Cromwell know exactly what happened next. But it can't have been friendly, as the dog's owner heard a 'scream, a roar and a commotion' from the back garden...
[that's a 308 lb. pooch]