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War Blog By: FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, October 29, 2008


POWER OF MEDIA

By Lisa Benson


Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

www.townhall.com/funnies  


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SARKOZY: OBAMA AN EMPTY SUIT ON FOREIGN POLICY

By Ed Morrissey

According to Ha’aretz, the Israeli government has information that Nicolas Sarkozy has derided Barack Obama as an empty suit on foreign policy.  The French president, who has worked hard to bring his country closer to the center-right policies of strength especially on Iran and Israel, considers Obama “utterly immature” in this arena:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama’s positions on Iran, according to reports that have reached Israel’s government.

Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate’s stance on Iran as “utterly immature” and comprised of “formulations empty of all content.”

Obama visited Paris in July, and the Iranian issue was at the heart of his meeting with Sarkozy. At a joint press conference afterward, Obama urged Iran to accept the West’s proposal on its nuclear program, saying that Iran was creating a serious situation that endangered both Israel and the West.  According to the reports reaching Israel, Sarkozy told Obama at that meeting that if the new American president elected in November changed his country’s policy toward Iran, that would be “very problematic.”

Can anyone blame him?  Europe does not want direct presidential-level negotiations with Iran — they want the mullahcracy isolated.  They need American strength behind that position in order to wring concessions from the ruling Guardian Council.  With the price of oil plummeting over the past two months, the economic sanctions on Iran finally have a chance to bite the mullahs hard.  Obama’s stated policy would undo everything just at the moment that it has a chance of producing real change.

In fact, Sarkozy believes that Obama would wind up being more unilateral than George Bush in his foreign policy.  When a French politician uses the word “arrogant” as an accusation, that means something.  Apparently, their brief meeting during the Obama World Tour did not set Sarkozy’s mind at ease.  He saw something that makes him extremely uneasy with Obama in charge of American diplomacy.

Formulations empty of all content.  Sounds familiar, no?  It has the ring of Hope and Change. Tuesday, October 28, 2008

http://hotair.com


*

ILLEGAL 'JOE THE PLUMBER' SEARCHES

By Charles Johnson

As we reported Friday, shortly after the third presidential debate Ohio government computers were used to look up personal information on “Joe the Plumber.”

Today, one of the people involved in checking the state child support system to try to dig up some dirt has been outed: Inspector general investigating access to Joe the Plumber’s personal information.

Ohio’s inspector general is investigating why a state agency director approved checking the state child-support computer system for information on “Joe the Plumber.”
Helen Jones-Kelly, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed today that she OK’d the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher following the Oct. 15 presidential debate.

She said there were no political reasons for the check on the sudden presidential campaign fixture though the Support Enforcement Tracking System.

Amid questions from the media and others about “Joe the Plumber,” Jones-Kelley said she approved a check to determine if he was current on any ordered child-support payments. Such information was not and cannot be publicly shared, she said. It is unclear if Wurzelbacher is involved in a child-support case. Reports state that he lives alone with a 13-year-old son.

“Our practice is when someone is thrust quickly into the public spotlight, we often take a look” at them, Jones-Kelley said, citing a case where a lottery winner was found to owe past-due child support. “Our practice is to basically look at what is coming our way.”

And if you believe that, maybe I can convince you the moon landings were faked.

Because Helen Jones-Kelly also happens to be a maximum $2300 contributor to the Barack Obama campaign. (Hat tip: Ace.)

This is a little glimpse into a very dark future, in which the power of the government is used against private citizens who dare to criticize the anointed One.

And more news on this front, via Michelle Malkin; a Toledo police clerk is being charged with performing an illegal search of Joe’s records: Clerk charged with unlawful search of Joe the Plumber.

Toledo Police have confirmed that a TPD records clerk is accused of performing an illegal search of information related to ‘Joe the Plumber.’

Julie McConnell, has been charged with Gross Misconduct for allegedly making an improper inquiry into a state database in search of information pertaining to Samuel Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16.

Yesterday, the mayor of Toledo admitted that the request to search police records for dirt on Joe the Plumber came from the media.

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner admitted yesterday that a member of the media made the request of the Toledo Police Department for Joe ‘the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher’s records, NewsTalk 1370 WSPD is reporting. The comments were made in response to questions during an unrelated press conference.

Finkbeiner did not say which news outlet, nor which reporter, made the request. He also did not identify the individual who ran the report.  Tuesday, October 28, 2008

http://littlegreenfootballs.com

*

THE DISARMING DEMOCRATS

By Ed Morrissey

The Wall Street Journal warns of one clear consequence in electing a Democratic President to match with a Congress controlled by fellow Democrats — disarmament. The WSJ looks at the inconsistencies of both Obama and Joe Biden on defense plans, and warns that the US could be looking at a drastic reduction in military readiness during a time of war:

When it comes to defense, there are two Barack Obamas in this race. There is the candidate who insists, as he did last year in an article in Foreign Affairs, that “a strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace”; pledges to increase the size of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines while providing them with “first-rate equipment, armor, incentives and training”; and seems to be as gung-ho for a surge in Afghanistan as he was opposed to the one in Iraq.

And then there is the candidate who early this year recorded an ad for Caucus for Priorities, a far-left outfit that wants to cut 15% of the Pentagon’s budget in favor of “education, healthcare, job training, alternative energy development, world hunger [and] deficit reduction.”

“Thanks so much for the Caucus for Priorities for the great work you’ve been doing,” says Mr. Obama in the ad, before promising to “cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending . . . slow our development of future combat systems . . . not develop new nuclear weapons.”

Joe Biden also cut an ad for the group that was even more emphatic: “I’ll tell you what we cannot afford . . . a trillion-dollar commitment to ‘Star Wars,’ new nuclear weapons, a thousand-ship Navy, the F-22 Raptor.”

None of this should surprise anyone, especially after recalling this Obama spot from early in the primaries:

We neglected our military in the 1990s when we didn’t have a war to fight, or at least one we acknowledged. That neglect handicapped us in fighting the war on terror, which is still ongoing. Now Obama and the Democrats want to replay the disarmament and neglect of the 1990s in the middle of a war. How exactly will that help make America more secure?

TOO GOOD TO CHECK: SYRIA GREENLIT U.S. RAID ON AL QAEDA CAPO?

By Allahpundit

Coordinating with the Zionist crusader against the glorious mujahedeen? Bashar, you cad.

Ronen Bergman, author of The Secret War with Iran, makes the claim in the Yediot Ahronoth newspaper, based on briefings with two senior American officials, one of whom he says until recently “held a very high ranking in the Pentagon”…

The Syrians were unwilling to be seen publicly bowing to US pressure to tackle the group, he says, but in the end gave the Americans the green light to do so themselves.

He claims the Syrian government told the Americans: “If you want to do this, do it. We are going to give you a corridor and carte blanche. We will not harm your troops.”

Mr Bergman maintains Syrian intelligence has been co-operating secretly with its US counterpart for some time in its war with al Qaeda.

How curious, Bergman goes on to note, that a raid in broad daylight would attract no resistance from Syrian anti-aircraft installations. Not sure I buy it — it seems just as likely that it’s opportunistic spin designed to drive a wedge between Assad and the jihadis he hosts — but I likes it. And it’s at least facially plausible that the regime would prefer to let the U.S. do its dirty work for it and play the victim rather than take on the fundies itself and end up in some sort of protracted, sporadic counterinsurgency of the sort Pakistan’s bogged down in.

More from the AP on the why-here-why-now aspect:

Scores of people are involved in the smuggling networks, officials say. But Iraqi police held special disdain for Abu Ghadiyah, a native of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul believed to be in his early 30s.

Last May, Abu Ghadiyah led a dozen gunmen across the border and attacked an Iraqi police station in Qaim, killing 12 policemen, Iraqi police Lt. Col. Falah al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Syrian border guards prevented an Iraqi patrol from pursuing the gunmen back into Syria, the police officer said.

Sunday’s raid was launched because of intelligence that Abu Ghadiyah was planning another attack inside Iraq, a senior U.S. official told The Associated Press, also speaking anonymously because the information is classified…

Syria has been unable to keep up the pressure, in part because its government needs support from local tribes and revenue from the bribes the smugglers pay to local officials, according to the Combating Terrorism Center study.

Here’s the perfunctory condemnation by the Iraqi government, duly qualified by its demand for Syria to act against terrorists using the country as a staging ground for attacks on Iraq. Exit question: If Syria cooperated in the raid, why was state media allowed to inflame the situation by reporting on the U.S. incursion? Granted, it exculpates the government by casting it as a victim of American aggression, but it also complicates future cooperation. The next time this happens, Syrians will expect/demand a reprisal. If it doesn’t come, Assad looks either weak or complicit, not something someone in his position can afford to be.  Tuesday, October 28, 2008

http://hotair.com


*

SNORT OF THE DAY

By Michelle Malkin

The Speaker of the House assures us that total Democrat control = diversity!

“Elect us, hold us accountable, and make a judgment and then go from there. But I do tell you that if the Democrats win and have substantial majorities, Congress of the United States will be more bipartisan,” said Pelosi.

(link)

Flashback: Nancy Pelosi’s “bipartisanship.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

www.michellemalkin.com

*

POLITICO: YES, WE'RE BIASED. SO WHAT?

By Charles Johnson

Politico reporters Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris examine the claim that the media are overwhelmingly biased against the McCain campaign, conclude that it’s true, and then sum up their response in two words: “So what?”

Why McCain is getting hosed in the press.

OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico.

And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctually skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues.

So what?

You see, political journalists are a special breed of human being.

Responsible editors would be foolish not to ask themselves the bias question, especially in the closing days of an election.

But, having asked it, our sincere answer is that of the factors driving coverage of this election — and making it less enjoyable for McCain to read his daily clip file than for Obama — ideological favoritism ranks virtually nil.

The main reason is that for most journalists, professional obligations trump personal preferences. Most political reporters (investigative journalists tend to have a different psychological makeup) are temperamentally inclined to see multiple sides of a story, and being detached from their own opinions comes relatively easy.

So there you have it. Stop complaining about bias, and accept the opinions of your betters, America.  Tuesday, October 28, 2008

http://littlegreenfootballs.com


*

WARDROBEGATE

By Henry Payne


Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

www.townhall.com/funnies  


*

PERSISTENCE OF EVIL

By Richard Fernandez

Possibly the only thing the British SOE did that was worth a damn during World War 2 was assassinate Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich was bright, athletic, musically trained son of a composer who also turned out to have an aptitude for cruelty, blackmail and secret policework. When his family was bankrupted by the economic collapse of Germany following its defeat in the Great War, Heydrich did what several ambitious, ruthless and brainy men of period did. He attached himself to a rising star: the Nazi movement. Soon he was in his element. He helped crush the SA.  By 1939 the 35-year old Heydrich commanded the “SD, the Gestapo, and the Criminal Police” and was widely expected to succeed Hitler himself. At the apex of the Third Reich’s fortunes, with its armies at the gates of Moscow Heydrich was made Hitler’s proconsul in occupied Czechkoslovakia. He now had his own country to play with.

The rest of the story is dramatic, moving and familiar. Czech President in exile Edvard Benes was determined to prove his country a worthy ally at a time when London was overrun by Czech politicians bent on enlarging their purses. Therefore he ordered his military chiefs to plan a dramatic operation. The assassination of various Czech Quislings was considered and rejected. The only action that would suit Benes’ purpose was the assassination of Heydrich himself. Two volunteers were found from the single Czech brigade in England. They were trained by the British SOE and dropped — about seventy miles off target — into Czechkoslovaka without a hope of success.  But the Anthropoids, or so they were code-named, made their way to Prague, where they cobbled together a support network from elements of the Czech resistance. Posing as workers cycling to work, they studied Heydrich’s route from his SS guarded mansion to his office. At a tight bend, where Heyrich’s Mercedes would have to slow, the Anthropoids planned to attack.

When Heydrich’s staff car turned the corner, one of the men, Jozef Gabcík, stepped up to the open car to open fire with a Sten. It jammed. The Germans stopped the car and lit out in pursuit, providing the second man, Jan Kubiš, with chance to follow up with an anti-tank grenade. The explosion wounded Heydrich, who died in great pain from blood poisoning some days later.  Now bravery retired from the stage and cruelty’s turn to hold forth.  Hitler ordered the Gestapo “to wade in blood”; to find the man who killed Heydrich and teach the Czechs a lesson they would never forget. The Nazis began a policy of selective terrorism: that is, they began shooting people until somebody turned on the Anthropoids. They enlisted suspense, publishing the names of those they shot each day. The bulletin boards were thronged by crowds looking to see if someone they knew had been killed. Two weeks after the attack on Heydrich the entire village of Lidice was destroyed. All the men were shot; the women deported to concentration camps; and all the children given over to adoption.

Eventually some suspects were found and the Nazis easily demonstrated what no one who has ever operated a safe house in the underground doubts. They followed the line of safe houses and interrogated each in turn until they eventually found the hideout of the Anthropoids. Torture works. That’s why the resistance people had cyanide capsules.

Curda betrayed several safe houses provided by the Jindra group, including that of the Moravec family in Zizkov. At 5 a.m. on June 17, the Moravec apartment was raided. The family was made to stand in the corridor while the Gestapo searched their apartment. Mrs. Moravec was allowed to go to the toilet, and killed herself with a cyanide capsule. Mr. Moravec, oblivious to his family’s involvement with the resistance, was taken to the Pecek Palác together with his son Ata. Here, Ata was tortured throughout the day. Finally, he was stupefied with brandy and shown his mother’s severed head in a fish tank. Ata Moravec told the Gestapo all he knew. SS troops laid siege to the church, but despite the best efforts of over 700 Nazi soldiers, they were unable to take the paratroopers alive; three, including Heydrich’s assassin Kubiš, were killed in the prayer loft (Kubiš was said to have survived the battle, but died shortly afterward from his injuries) after a two hour gun battle. The other four, including Gabcík, committed suicide in the crypt after fending off SS attacks, attempts to smoke them out, and fire trucks being brought in to try to flood the crypt. The Germans (SS and Police) also had casualites; SS casualties being 14 killed and 21 wounded.  Bishop Gorazd, in an attempt to minimize the reprisals among his flock, took the blame for the actions in the Church on himself, even writing letters to the Nazi authorities. On June 27, 1942, he was arrested and tortured. On September 4, 1942, he, the Church priests, and senior lay leaders were executed by firing squad.

Every year flowers are still laid at the site of the last stand of the Czech parachutists, a shrine to valor, faith and martyrdom. In 1964 the Czechs produced a movie commemorating the action. There are two YouTube videos from that movie depicting the last stand of the Anthropoids in choir loft and crypt.  As they say, if there’s a Valhalla the Anthropoids will sit above the rest. But these memorials obscure the fact that the Nazis operationally got the better of the exchange. One academic wrote:

the Gestapo eliminated their entire network. It seems that because of the fear of reprisals, most of the Czech public was also against the SOE agents. … The post-Heydrich reprisals greatly weakened the Czech resistance movement.

In other words, it would have been better if Benes had just left things alone. Just two weeks after the magnificent last stand of the Anthropoids at the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, a huge rally in support of the Third Reich was held in Wenceslas Square, as this video shows. The Nazis gloated that “terror has produced the desired results”. It did, even politically. Benes himself was taken to task after the war for launching the operation on Heydrich without considering the consequences on the Czechs. In the end, as Camus observed, it is always innocence and not guilt that is called on to justify itself. Guilt doesn’t give a damn.

Even today it is common to hear that there was never a bad peace or a good war. Better Red than Dead. The West’s aversion to fighting, even against evil, stems from the certainty that resistance will bring punishment. And that punishment will be visited, as at Lidice, on the innocent and the children. It is the inescapability of reprisal that makes the public willing to take a chance on “getting along” rather than endure the inevitable response even to justified resistance. Caroline Glick, for example, describes how the Arab population of Jerusalem is gradually retaking it from Israel. Their methods are no secret. Intimidation. It simply works.

Livni made clear that partitioning the city - that is, giving the Palestinians sovereignty over the Temple Mount and the Arab neighborhoods - is so central to her preferred foreign policy that she could not budge on the issue despite her obvious desire to take up residence in the Prime Minister’s Office. … If the Left can convince a sufficient number of voters that a united Jerusalem is a drain on the country’s resources or that it is impossible to enforce Israeli law among an increasingly lawless and irredentist Arab population, then it will have a fighting chance of winning the elections. …

Jerusalem’s ranking today as the poorest city in the country redounds to the fact that that the majority of its residents are Arab and haredi. These two sectors by and large do not work and do not pay municipal taxes. As a consequence, the municipal tax burden falls on the plurality of Jerusalemites who work and pay taxes - mainly religious Zionists and non-observant Jews. Due to the unfair tax burden, recent years have seen a steady stream of the city’s productive residents migrating to surrounding communities where the tax burden is more evenly distributed and municipal services are consequently better.

Beyond the chronic problem of under-collection of taxes, Jerusalem suffers from problems of lawlessness among its Arab residents not unlike the problems that affect all cities with mixed Jewish and Arab populations. This Arab lawlessness is facilitated on a national level by the government’s refusal to order the police and the State Attorney’s Office to enforce and apply the law equally to Arab citizens.

Jerusalem also suffers from unique problems with lawlessness and underdevelopment. These problems have been created by successive governments that have silently encouraged the partition of the city by both enabling the PA to field militiamen in the city’s Arab neighborhoods and discouraging and indeed prohibiting Jewish building in areas the government foresees being transferred to Palestinian sovereignty. These manufactured problems have retarded development and expansion plans. They have also artificially raised housing prices for the city’s Jewish residents.

No one wants to get in the playpen with bad guys. Almost anything but that. We remember the Anthropoids today only because the Soviet Army and the Western Allies of the time were willing to generate more violence against the Third Reich than it could generate against them. If Hitler had won the war, Benes would have been the goat. Well, give it time and he will be the goat still. Dennis Kucinich’s proposed new  Department of Peace and Nonviolence will convince us all that resistance, if not futile, opens all of us up to reprisal. That’s called the Cycle of Violence.  Tuesday, October 28, 2008

http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez


*

IRAQI FORCES DETAIN 180 "SUSPECTS" DURING BASRAH RAIDS

Iraqi security forces conducted a massive sweep throughout Basrah province Tuesday. Iraqi Army and police units detained 180 "suspects," including a Pakistani national, and found several large weapons caches, during the operations.

Forty-four suspected insurgents were detained, including a Pakistani man, while entering Iraq "illegally through Safwan border road, 60 km west [of] Basrah," the Basrah media office told Voices of Iraq. Operations outside of Basrah netted additional 136 isuspects.

The Pakistani man was likely an al Qaeda operative. Safwan is in southeastern Basrah, right on the border with Kuwait. While most al Qaeda operatives pass through Syria or Iran, the transit through Kuwait, while uncommon, does occur.

Al Qaeda has an active support network in Kuwait. Some of the senior most al Qaeda leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks; Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an al Qaeda spokesman; Omar Farouq, a senior al Qaeda operative; Ramzi Yousef, a planner behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The affiliation of the rest of the captured men was not given, but are likely members of the Mahdi Army. The Iraqi military is often circumspect about the detention of Mahdi Army fighters.

The Mahdi Army has been active in Basrah until Iraqi forces launched an operation in March to clear the city and wider province from the Iranian-backed militia. More than 3,000 Mahdi Army leaders and operatives are said to have fled to Iran to regroup, and are believed to be infiltrating back into Iraq.

Targeting Qods Force inside Iraq

Prior to today's sweep in Basrah, Iraqi security forces captured an "Iranian infiltrator" in province's Shatt al Arab region, Voices of Iraq reported. While not stated, the Iranian is a member of the Ramazan Corps, the command created by Qods Force, the elite special operations branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Qods Force has established the Ramazan Corps to direct operations inside Iraq, and has been working to undermine Iraq's security and political environment.

Iraqi forces have now captured nine Iranian agents and killed one since Oct. 18. One Iranian was killed and another was captured during a clash with Iraqi forces in Al Kut in Wasit province on Oct. 24. Iraqi police captured three armed Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps officers in Al Kut on Oct. 20. Border guards captured four more Iranian agents in Mandali in Diyala province.

Prior to this week, only a handful of Iranian operatives, along with a Lebanese Hezbollah leader, have been reported captured inside Iraq. The US military believes Iran is ramping up operations inside Iraq after losing ground during the Iraqi offensive during the spring and summer of 2008.  Tuesday, October 28, 2008

www.longwarjournal.org




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