Archive for January, 2007
29 Jan 2007

New Evidence Against Iran To Be Released

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New York Sun:

New evidence of Iran’s role in Iraq will be made in Baghdad by the chief spokesman for the multinational forces in Iraq, Major General William Caldwell. The Directorate of National Intelligence worked over the weekend to clear new intelligence and information that sources inside the intelligence community said would implicate Iran in deliberately sending particularly lethal improvised explosives to terrorists to kill coalition soldiers.

The intelligence community is currently debating whether to make the new evidence, which it plans to declassify, available on the Internet.

The plan to present the evidence will coincide with a presentation this week by Ambassador Khalilzad to the press detailing the charges against Iranian operatives affiliated with the country’s Quds Force arrested in the last six weeks in three raids.

29 Jan 2007

Dressage

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Andreas Helgstrand of Denmark riding the Danish Warmblood mare Blue Hors Matiné turned in a spectacular performance in Freestyle Dressage at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (WEG) at Aachen.

6:30 video

Marvellous as it was, this performance received a score of 81.5, good for only the Silver Medal.

The Gold was won by Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands riding the Hanoverian gelding Keltec Salinero with a total score of 86.1.

Nancy Jaffer reports.

6:38 video

Hat tip to Marcye Britt.

29 Jan 2007

One Inch Punch

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Documentary on the One Inch Punch popularized by Bruce Lee , featuring martial arts film clips, demonstrations, and discussion by Jeet Kune Do and Wing Chun instructors.

7:16 video

28 Jan 2007

The New Strategy in Iraq

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Killing the enemy.

It’s about time somebody thought of trying it.

28 Jan 2007

Are We Holding Hassan Abbasi?

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Gateway Pundit links an AP report which quotes the US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad confirming earlier reports of the capture of a Revolutionary Guards “Director of Operations.

Earlier reports stated that the figure captured was Revolutionary Guards Chief Strategist Hassan Abbasi.

video of Hassa Abbasi

The U.S. ambassador said Wednesday that one of the Iranians detained by U.S. forces in Iraq during two raids over the past month was the director of operations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds faction, the organization responsible for funding and arming Iraqi militants.

Zalmay Khalilzad said the recent raids were part of a “new strategy” to “go after their networks that are active here.”

The United States is building up its troops in the region, beyond the additional 21,500 on their way to Iraq for a new security crackdown, in what U.S. officials say is a message to Iran. Khalilzad sought to reinforce Washington’s message that Tehran should keep its hands off Iraq, where it has enormous influence with the majority Shiite population.

Iran is ruled by a Shiite theocracy, which has confounded U.S. foreign policy for more than a quarter-century since the U.S.-allied shah was driven from power in the Islamic revolution.

At least eight Iranians have been detained in Iraq recently, including two diplomats in a Dec. 21 roundup of a group of 10 suspects. The diplomats were interrogated and released to Iranian officials eight days later.

Six others were captured Jan. 11 at an Iranian liaison office in the northern city of Irbil. One was released and five are still believed in U.S. custody.

“Some of those we’ve arrested are Quds Force operatives. One of them was director of operations for the Quds Force” who was in the country without the knowledge of Iraqi security officials, he said…

Khalilzad said Iranian agents were working with “a variety of groups, and there are groups that they fund and control, in my judgment, directly.”

The ambassador said U.S. officials soon would outline in detail the activities of the arrested Iranians, as demanded by Tehran’s ambassador in Baghdad.

Earlier report

But the New York Times reported on January 13th that this individual had been released.

A senior military official said last week that one of the Iranians seized in Baghdad late last month was the No. 3 Quds official. He said American forces uncovered maps of neighborhoods in Baghdad in which Sunnis could be evicted, and evidence of involvement in the war during the summer in Lebanon.

That Iranian official was ordered released, by Ms. Rice among others, after Iran claimed he had diplomatic status.

Earlier post

Hat tip to AJStrata.

28 Jan 2007

Iranians Did Karbala Raid?

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Bill Roggio thinks the Karbala raid leading the kidnapping-murder of five US soldiers may very possibly have an Iranian operation performed in retaliation for recent US raids on Iranian embassies in Baghdad and Irbil.

This raid required specific intelligence, in depth training for the agents to pass as American troops, resources to provide for weapons, vehicles, uniforms, identification, radios and other items needed to successfully carry out the mission. Hezbollah’s Imad Mugniyah executed a similar attack against Israeli forces on the Lebanese border, which initiated the Hezbollah-Israeli war during the summer of 2006…

Mahawil (where abandoned vehicles & the victim’s bodies were found) is in Babil province, about 27 miles directly west of Karbala. While it is impossible to prove, the attackers may have been making a bee-line towards the Iranian border.

The Karbala raid makes sense in light of the U.S. raids on the Iranian diplomatic missions in Baghdad and Irbil, where Iranian Qods Force agents were captured, along with documentation that divulged Iran’s involvement with and support of Shia death squads, the Sunni insurgent, and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunnah. Five Iranians from the Irbil raid are still in U.S. custody, and captured U.S. soldiers would provide for excellent bargaining chips

IF it is confirmed that Iran’s Qods Force was responsible, the news that the United States has authorized the death or captured of Iranian agents inside Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan and Lebanon makes all the more sense.

Perhaps they were trying to carry the US soldies over the border to Iran, and abandoned the vehicles and killed their prisoners because their pursuers got too close, and they considered it too risky to try to reach the border.

28 Jan 2007

Seemingly Innocuous?

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Some classic television journalism hoplophobia.

These public-spirited reporters are supposedly alerting the police to “seemingly innocuous” objects modified into firearms… like, for instance, a knife.

CBS 2 managed to get hold of one (through the DEA) , though their local police haven’t seen any, and there is no evidence that any crime has actually yet been committed with one of these. But there may possibly be a new and different concealed weapon out there somewhere, panic!

CBS2 video

28 Jan 2007

Coercive Pacifism

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Ruth Wisse, in the Wall Street Journal, comments on the contemptible exclusion of ROTC programs at the most elite American universities.

Recent surveys confirm that university faculties have been tilting steadily leftward, but I think it is wrong to assume they have been tilting toward “liberalism” as is commonly assumed. Liberalism worthy of the name emphasizes freedom of the individual, democracy and the rule of law. Liberalism is prepared to fight for those freedoms through constitutional participatory government, and to protect those freedoms, in battle if necessary. What we see on the American campus is not liberalism, but a gutted and gutless “gliberalism,” that leaves to others the responsibility for governance, and arrogates to itself the right to criticize. It accepts money from the public purse without assuming reciprocal duties for the public good. Instead of debating public policy in the public arena, faculty says, “I quit,” but then continues to draw benefits from the system it will not protect.

27 Jan 2007

Hurray! We’re Capitulating!

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Henryk M. Broder has some choice comments on the contemporary European response to militant Islam, particularly in the case of the Danish cartoon crisis in which Europrean embassies were burned by Islamic mobs.

In 1972, more than three decades ago, Danish lawyer and part-time politician Mogens Glistrup had an idea that brought him instant fame. To save taxes, he proposed that the Danish army be disbanded and an answering machine be set up in the defense ministry that would play the following message: “We capitulate!” Not only would it save money, Glistrup argued, but it would also save lives in an emergency. On the strength of this “program,” Glistrup’s Progress Party managed to become the second-most powerful political party in the Danish parliament in the 1973 elections.

Glistrup had the right idea, but he was a number of years premature. Now would be the right time to set up his answering machine.

Read the whole thing.

26 Jan 2007

Multiculturalism in Europe

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Pascal Bruckner has harsh words for the multiculturalism of elites.

After Heidegger, a whole run of thinkers from Gadamer to Derrida have contested the claims of the Enlightenment to embody a new age of self-conscious history. On the contrary, they say, all the evils of our epoch were spawned by this philosophical and literary episode: capitalism, colonialism, totalitarianism. For them, criticism of prejudices is nothing but a prejudice itself, proving that humanity is incapable of self-reflection. For them, the chimeras of certain men of letters who were keen to make a clean slate of God and revelation, were responsible for plunging Europe into darkness. In an abominable dialectic, the dawn of reason gave birth to nothing but monsters (Horkheimer, Adorno)…

The Enlightenment belongs to the entire human race, not just to a few privileged individuals in Europe or North America who have taken it upon themselves to kick it to bits like spoiled brats, to prevent others from having a go…

It is astonishing that 62 years after the fall of the Third Reich and 16 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an important segment Europe’s intelligentsia is engaged in slandering the friends of democracy. They maintain it is best to cede and retreat, and pay mere lip-service to the ideals of the Enlightenment. Yet we are a long way off the dramatic circumstances of the 1930s, when the best minds threw themselves into the arms of Berlin or Moscow in the name of race, class or the Revolution. Today the threat is more diffuse and fragmented. There is nothing that resembles the formidable peril of the Third Reich. Even the government of Mullahs in Tehran is a paper tiger that could be brought to its knees with a minimum dose of rigour. Nevertheless the preachers of panic abound. Kant defined the Enlightenment with the motto: Sapere aude – dare to know. A culture of courage is perhaps what is most lacking among today’s directors of conscience. They are the symptoms of a fatigued, self-doubting Europe, one that is only too ready to acquiesce at the slightest alarm. Yet their good-willed rhetorical molasses covers a different tune: that of capitulation!

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Karen Myers.

26 Jan 2007

The National Republican Senatorial Committee Pledge

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Hugh Hewitt and NZ Bear have created a pledge promising that signatories will not support any Republican senator who votes against the troop increase in Iraq.

If the United States Senate passes a resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged, and if the Senate does so after the testimony of General Petraeus on January 23 that such a resolution will be an encouragement to the enemy, I will not contribute to any Republican senator who voted for the resolution. Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution.

Do please sign it. I have.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

25 Jan 2007

Chinglish Humor

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Daniel Feng had an alarming experience.

A short two months after getting my Chinese driver’s license, I was about to lose it again. I drove the Jetta into a garage with this insane Chinglish (Chinese-English) sign warning me about crafty slipperies: “TO TAKE NOTICE OF SAFE. THE SLIPPERY ARE VERY CRAFTY.” As I remarked, I nearly dented the car (and the sign), having nearly spontaneously combusted in the worst laughing fit ever.

And he has been on a crusade since to memorialize, and rebuke, public signs in Beijing featuring unsatisfactory English translations of Chinese idioms.

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