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FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 27, 2008


By Michelle Malkin

They vowed to kick the Marines out of Berkeley.

But they’re the ones cutting and running.

I mentioned the Code Pink retreat from the Berkeley Marine recruiting center last month. Now, they’re holding a moving sale to evacuate their Solano Ave. office:


Including their sorry, pink-clad backsides.

We must close our CodePINK office, 1248 Solano Ave., Albany. Come to our EVERYTHING MUST GO Moving Sale from noon until 7:00pm Tuesday Oct 28th thru Thursday Oct 30th!

All the office furniture, display cabinets, tschotkes, and all the wonderful outdoor furniture and fixings as well - not to mention CodePINK memorabilia and merchandise - will be on sale!

Come get your treasure and help us close this part of our chapter.

Na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye…

(hat tip - zombie)  Sunday, October 26, 2008




The US military incursion into Syria was aimed at the senior leader of al Qaeda's extensive network that funnels foreign fighters, weapons, and cash from Syria into Iraq, a senior intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

US special operations hunter-killer teams entered Syria in an attempt to capture Abu Ghadiya, a senior al Qaeda leader who has been in charge of the Syrian network since 2005. US intelligence analysts identified Ghadiya as the leader of the Syrian network, The Washington Post reported in July. Ghadiya was identified as a “major target” by the US military in February 2008.

The raid to capture Ghadiya occurred in the town of Sukkariya near Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, just five miles from the Iraqi border. Four US helicopters crossed the border and two of the helicopters landed to drop off special operations forces, who then proceeded to clear structures.

Nine people were reported killed and 14 were wounded. Syrian officials claimed innocent construction workers and women and children were killed in the raid.

US officials contacted by The Long War Journal would not comment if Ghadiya was killed or captured during the raid.

The US military has officially refused to confirm or deny the raid took place. But several senior intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject told The Long War Journal that the raid was indeed carried out inside Syria.

The raid is the first of its kind against Syria. The US has been striking regularly at Taliban and al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan’s tribal areas since the beginning of September.

Ghadiya, whose real name is Badran Turki Hishan al Mazidih, is an Iraqi from the northern city of Mosul. Ghadiya succeeded Suleiman Khalid Darwish, a Syrian national and lieutenant of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq who was killed by US forces in June 2006. US forces killed Darwish in a raid in Al Qaim in June 2005.

Serving Syria notice

The cross-border raid took place just three days after Major General John Kelly, the commander of Multinational Force - West, said Syria is "problematic." Kelly said the Syrian the government refused to secure the border and al Qaeda operatives are openly working inside Syria.

"The Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi intelligence forces feel that al Qaeda operatives and others operate, live pretty openly on the Syrian side," Kelly said. "And periodically we know that they try to come across."

Kelly said that while al Qaeda has been diminished in the al Qaeda region, it still remains a threat to Iraqi and US forces. A May 11 raid in Al Qaim by al Qaeda teams resulted in the death of 11 Iraqi policemen.

The Iraqi border police, with the help of the US military, are "redoubling" efforts to stand up the Iraqi border guards. The military is also rebuilding a berm along the Syrian border in an effort to stop infiltration into Iraq from Syria. "We're doing much more work along the Syrian border than we've done in the past," Kelly said.

The Syrian Network

Syria has long been a haven for al Qaeda as well as Baathists who fled the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Terrorists and insurgents took advantage of the long, desolate, and unsecured border, which stretches more than 460 miles along Iraq's western provinces of Anbar, Ninewa, and Dohuk.

At the height of the Iraqi insurgency, an estimated 100 to 150 foreign fighters poured into Iraq from Syria each month. Operations in Anbar and Ninewa have pushed that number down to 20 infiltrators a month, according to the US military.

Wanted insurgent leaders, such as Mishan al Jabouri, openly live in Syria. Jabouri, a former member of the Iraqi parliament, fled to Syria after being charged with corruption for embezzling government funds and for supporting al Qaeda. From Syria Jabouri ran Al Zawraa, a satellite television statement that aired al Qaeda and Islamic Army of Iraq propaganda videos showing attacks against US and Iraqi forces.

Al Qaeda established a network of operatives inside Syria to move foreign fighters, weapons, and cash to support its terror activities inside Iraq. An al Qaeda manual detailed ways to infiltrate Iraq via Syria. The manual, titled The New Road to Mesopotamia, was written by a jihadi named Al Muhajir Al Islami, and discovered in the summer of 2005.

The Iraqi-Syrian border was broken down into four sectors: the Habur crossing near Zakhu in the north; the Tal Kujik and Sinjar border crossings west of Mosul; the Al Qaim entry point in western Anbar; and the southern crossing at Al Tanf west of Rutbah near the Jordanian border. Islami claimed the Al Tanf and Habur crossing points were too dangerous to use, and Al Qaim was the preferred route into Iraq.

The US military learned a great deal about al Qaeda's network inside Syria after a key operative was killed in September of 2007. US forces killed Muthanna, the regional commander of al Qaeda's network in the Sinjar region.

During the operation, US forces found numerous documents and electronic files that detailed "the larger al-Qaeda effort to organize, coordinate, and transport foreign terrorists into Iraq and other places," Major General Kevin Bergner, the former spokesman for Multinational Forces Iraq, said in October 2007.

Bergner said several of the documents found with Muthanna included a list of 500 al Qaeda fighters from "a range of foreign countries that included Libya, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Oman, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom."

Other documents found in Muthanna's possession included a "pledge of a martyr," which is signed by foreign fighters inside Syria, and an expense report. The pledge said the suicide bomber must provide a photograph and surrender their passport. It also stated the recruit must enroll in a "security course" in Syria. The expense report was tallied in US dollars, Syrian lira, and Iraqi dinars, and included items such as clothing, food, fuel, mobile phone cards, weapons, salaries, "sheep purchased," furniture, spare parts for vehicles, and other items.

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point later conducted a detailed study of the "Sinjar Records," which was published in July 2008. The study showed that al Qaeda had an extensive network in Syria and the Syrian government has allowed their activities to continue.

"The Syrian government has willingly ignored, and possibly abetted, foreign fighters headed to Iraq," the study concluded. "Concerned about possible military action against the Syrian regime, it opted to support insurgents and terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq."

Al Qaeda established multiple networks of "Syrian Coordinators" that "work primarily with fighters from specific countries, and likely with specific Coordinators in fighters’ home countries," according to the study. The Syrian city of Dayr al Zawr serves as a vital logistical hub and a transit point for al Qaeda recruits and operatives heading to Iraq.

A vast majority of the fighters entering Iraq from Sinjar served as suicide bombers. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point estimated that 75 percent conducted suicide attacks inside Iraq.  Monday, October 27, 2008




By Charles Johnson

Via El Marco, this is what was going on at Obama’s festival today in Denver, Colorado.


By Charles Johnson

According to Chris Matthews and his guests today, Sarah Palin is not qualified to be vice president—but in 2012 she’ll be a serious candidate for President.

Truth is, these kinds of pundits have no more grasp of current events (and no more authority to opine about them) than your average blog reader. Correction: they have less grasp of current events than your average blog reader.


By Charles Johnson

It’s been linked elsewhere, but if you haven’t seen it yet this video is a real hoot, as Joe Biden is asked some very tough questions by WFTV reporter Barbara West—and proceeds to get angry and condescending:

The Obama campaign has now cut off WFTV from any further interviews:

“There’s nothing wrong with tough questions, but reporters have the very important job of sharing the truth with the public — not misleading the American people with false information. Senator Biden handled the interview well; however, the anchor was completely unprofessional. Senator Biden’s wife is not running for elected office, and there are many other stations in the Orlando television market that would gladly conduct a respectful and factual interview with her.”

“This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election.”

UPDATE: Biden claimed that the Obama campaign did not pay “one cent” to ACORN.

That’s true. They paid at least $832,598 to ACORN. And 29 cents. Obama paid ACORN for voter registration.

The Ohio primary was March 4. According to FEC records, the Obama campaign paid Citizens Services Inc. $832,598.29, from Feb. 25 to May 17.

A Trib analysis of campaign finance reports showed Obama paid CSI for services that stood out as unusual. For example, CSI received payments of $63,000 and $75,000 for advance work. Excluding the large payments to CSI, the average amount the Obama campaign spent with other organizations was $558.82 per check on more than 1,200 entries classified as advance work.

Citizens Services Inc. is headquartered at the same address as ACORN’s national headquarters in New Orleans. Citizens Services was established in December 2004 to “assist persons and organizations who advance the interests of low- and moderate-income people,” according to paperwork filed in Louisiana. In a 2006 ACORN publication, Citizen Services Inc. is described as “ACORN’s campaign services entity.”

(Hat tip: jaunte.)  Sunday, October 26, 2008




By Paul Mirengoff

If Barack Obama is elected president next week, he will likely appoint Dennis Ross to a high level foreign policy-making position. That move will be treated by the MSM as a sign that Obama is a "moderate" on foreign policy and a friend of Israel. Indeed, the fact that the MSM will report it this way is a key reason why Ross, in all likelihood, is in line for an important spot.

There's considerable irony here because no figure in American history has caused more harm to Israel than Dennis Ross. For something like ten years, Ross dedicated himself, and U.S. foreign policy, to the proposition that Arafat was a true potential "peace partner" for Israel. This was always an implausible proposition, and only a fool could have believed it for a decade. Unfortunately, as Noah Pollak says, the result of Ross' foolishness was "a four-year Palestinian terror onslaught."

That Ross hasn't learned anything is clear from this interview with Haaretz. It turns out that he is now prepared to apply his failed vision to Iran:

Obama wants to use our willingness to talk as a means to get others to actually apply more pressure on the Iranians, as a way to ensure the talks' success, but also because the talks themselves send a signal [to] those who fear [that] applying more pressure means you're descending toward a slippery slope of confrontation.

Ross does not defend his assumption that talking to the Iranians will "get others to apply more pressure" on them, much less that it will thereby "ensure the talks' success." Only a fool and a narcissist could believe that the extent to which other nations apply pressure on Iran is driven by whether we are talking to the Iranians, rather than by their own national interests, and in particular their economic interests.

Naturally, Ross plans to re-inflict his notion of a "peace process" on Israel as well:

When you don't engage, you leave the way open for your adversaries to actually gain more. The Bush administration wanted to disengage for its first six years in office. [By doing so] they actually strengthened Hamas' hand, because Hamas' argument is [that] there is no possibility for peace. The least you want to do is show that there could be an alternative answer.

What the Bush administration actually did was give Israel the breathing space it needed to end the terrorism that Ross' "engagement" helped unleash. If, in the process, Hamas gained in influence on the West Bank and in Gaza as compared to Arafat's successors, this should be viewed with indifference.

In any case, Ross offers no evidence that Hamas' gains were due to the absence of his vision of a peace process, as opposed to, say, Palestinian frustration that their ability to kill Israelis was diminished. In fact, he offers no evidence that the Palestinians desire peace with Israel. As Pollak observes, polling data indicate that most Palestinians don't want a two state solution.

Pollak also suggests that Ross has it backwards when he argues that the absence of a peace process vindicates Palestinian "radicals." It may actually be the peace that vindicates radicals by providing them with "a fragile initiative to destroy at a time of their choosing, humiliating Palestinian moderates and embarrassing the United States." Pollak concludes that peace processes are "a growth opportunity for terrorists."

They are certainly a growth opportunity for Dennis Ross.  Sunday, October 26, 2008




By Richard Fernandez

There have been some attempts to radically change the way government does business. One current proposal is truly extraordinary. GovTrack has this entry for H.R. 808, “A bill to establish a Department of Peace and Nonviolence,” sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D-OH]. The bill was introduced February, 2007. It aims to establish a new Department of Peace and Nonviolence with the following offices:

Office of Peace Education and Training.
Office of Domestic Peace Activities.
Office of International Peace Activities.
Office of Technology for Peace.
Office of Arms Control and Disarmament.
Office of Peaceful Coexistence and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution.
Office of Human Rights and Economic Rights.
Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Peace and Nonviolence.

According to the bill’s text, a representative of the Department of Peace and Nonviolence will sit on the National Security Council, recommend policy to the Attorney General and advise the Secretary of Defense and State on all matters concerning national security. One of the justifications for the bill is the following:

We are in a new millennium, and the time has come to review age-old challenges with new thinking wherein we can conceive of peace as not simply being the absence of violence, but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of the human awareness, of respect, trust, and integrity; wherein we all may tap the infinite capabilities of humanity to transform consciousness and conditions which impel or compel violence at a personal, group, or national level toward developing a new understanding of, and a commitment to, compassion and love, in order to create a 'shining city on a hill’, the light of which is the light of nations.

I suppose the bill has no realistic chance of being approved either today or in the near future. But the bill’s 70 sponsors are making some kind of statement.  The bill has outside support from a group called The Peace Alliance which is a 501(c)4 organization.

According to Wikipedia, some of the possible concerns of the Department will be “to develop policies to address violence against animals” and “develop new approaches for dealing with the implements of violence, including gun-related violence and the overwhelming presence of handguns”.  From some points of view, the establishment of the Department isn’t a fringe idea but a return to America’s best traditions.

The idea for the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace and Non-violence can be traced back to debates by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. An essay on the establishment of a peace organization was written in 1792 by Dr. Benjamin Rush, a physician, educator, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. His proposal called for the establishment of a “Peace Office” which was to be on equal footing with the “War Office”. It saw an urgent need for the establishment of “an office for promoting and preserving perpetual peace in our country” in order to maintain the greater welfare of “these United States.” But it also called for free schools for youth “carefully instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and in the doctrines of a religion of some kind”, distributing free Bibles at public expense, and putting a sign over the door of the War Department proclaiming “An office for butchering the human species”.

Interesting concept.  Saturday, October 25, 2008




By Ed Morrissey

How did so much information about Joe Wurzelbacher’s taxes and licensing get out to the public so quickly?  Officials in Ohio want to know the answer.  They apparently suspect that state and local government systems got exploited in order to attack Joe the Plumber:

State and local officials are investigating if state and law-enforcement computer systems were illegally accessed when they were tapped for personal information about “Joe the Plumber.”

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher became part of the national political lexicon Oct. 15 when Republican presidential candidate John McCain mentioned him frequently during his final debate with Democrat Barack Obama. …

Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher’s driver’s license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate.

Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver’s license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.

The accounts used to access the information at the BMV and tax records all came from government agencies.  This information is only supposed to be accessed for legitimate investigations, not just for curiosity, and certainly not for political purposes.  Who in these government offices would have wanted to investigate Wurzelbacher, and for what legitimate reason — within hours of a presidential debate in which he played a significant part?

Answer: no legitimate reason exists.  This explains why so much dirt got thrown at Wurzelbacher so quickly.  At least one person, and almost certainly more than one person, decided to rifle through government records to discredit Wurzelbacher. That explains how they knew about his brief association years ago with the Natural Law Party; someone must have gone through the voter-registration records.

Thanks to the Tanning Bed Media, the effort to smear Wurzelbacher worked.  No one questioned how this information got out, or who might have been behind its publication.  The media, which still hasn’t bothered to report on Barack Obama’s association with the quasi-socialist New Party in Chicago, happily printed all the dirt they could find on Wurzelbacher instead.

Thirty-five years ago, a group of Plumbers did the same kind of thing in a presidential election, and it changed American politics forever.  This smells of the same kind of Nixonian tactics.




By Scott Johnson

In 2004 Mary Mapes was the celebrated CBS News producer responsible for stories that had won her the recognition of her peers. In September that year she produced Dan Rather's 60 Minutes II report on President Bush's military service that was exposed as fraudulent the following day.

CBS commissioned an internal investigation (the Thornburgh-Boccardi report) demonstrating in detail the fraudulence of Mapes's 60 Minute II story. The report also noted Mapes's serious misrepresentations in her testimony to the Thornburg-Boccardi panel. CBS fired Mapes for her role in the story the day the Thornburgh-Boccardi report was released. She now blogs at what James Taranto calls the Puffington Host.

Even though she produced a report that falsely defamed President Bush and others with the intent of influencing the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, Mary Mapes fancies herself the victim of the events related to her story. In her imagination she is the victim of a vast right-wing conspiracy. Among the conspirators, of course, are Power Line (and Karl Rove). Mapes refers to the conspirators as making up a deadly monster.

In her 2005 memoir Truth and Duty -- one of the worst books I have ever read cover to cover -- Mapes surveys the chain of events leading to CBS's repudiation of her story 60 Minutes II story. She proclaims that rabid right-wing blogs had joined forces with FOX News, talk radio, and "magazines like the Weekly Standard" to form "a well coordinated attack machine out there in the media world, a monster that waits in the woods for an opening and then overpowers its victim." Mapes is of course the victim of the monster.

Mapes's book reveals her seething hatred of Bush and conservatives. It thus opens a window into the frame of mind that resulted in the fraudulent 60 Minutes II story. It is the sole service performed by this very bad book. She describes Karl Rove as Bush's "über-adviser," for example, and bizarrely credits him with masterminding "the Republican attack against the [60 Minutes II] story."

Given her claims of the story's veracity, she absolves Rove of fabricating and planting the documents that led to the story's exposure -- "not that I believe Rove isn't capable of that kind of dirty trick."

Surveying the political scene in 2008, Mary Mapes now celebrates the death of the monster that bedeviled her in 2004:

Nothing makes me happier than seeing once swaggering players like Powerline, Free Republic and Little Green Footballs forced onto the sidelines, left to limply watch this campaign pass by like a parade in which they play no meaningful part.

They just don't matter anymore.

Our moment in the spotlight in 2004 came courtesy of Mary Mapes. The small role we played derived solely from the fraudulence of the story she sought to peddle. Thanks to her, we now write for a readership substantially larger than the one we had in 2004. And even though our readership was much smaller in 2004 than it is today, it was sufficient to help us play our small role exposing Mapes's fraud.

Having lost her perch at CBS News and disgraced herself, Mapes now refers to her 60 Minutes II story (in her Puffington Host bio) as "controversial." She imagines that we have been "forced onto the sidelines," although we are right where we always were. From her perch at CBS News Mapes has set up shop at the Puffington Host. As to the death of "the monster" and being "forced onto the sidelines," Mapes is in the grips of a serious case of projection.

Via Little Green FootballsSunday, October 26, 2008




By Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel


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