“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baghdad twin suicide bombing horror

Twin car bombings kill 90 in central Baghdad
By Ammar Karim (AFP) – 3 hours ago

BAGHDAD — Twin suicide car bombs blamed on Al-Qaeda blasted the justice ministry and a provincial office in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 90 people and sparking turmoil in the embattled Iraqi capital.

Around 600 people were wounded in the near-simultaneous attacks at around 10:30 am (0730 GMT), which left streets littered with charred bodies and torn-off limbs.

The blasts, which the government said had Al-Qaeda's "signature", destroyed dozens of cars and shattered water pipes, spewing dirty water into the bloodied streets.

Authorities closed off roads leading to the bomb sites as fire trucks and ambulances struggled through thick traffic to reach the blazing buildings.

One of the attacks occurred at a busy intersection near the justice and municipalities ministries while the other was opposite the nearby Baghdad provincial government offices in Salhiyeh neighbourhood.

At least 90 people were killed and almost 600 injured, according to a tally of tolls from four hospitals in central Baghdad -- Al-Karama, Ibn Nafis, Medical City and Yarmuk.

Shortly after the attacks, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited the site of the Salhiyeh bombing, where he spoke to officials and security officers but made no statement.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement the attacks could be targeting upcoming parliamentary elections in January, and added that they have "the fingerprints of Al-Qaeda and its allies."

Haidar Assem, an employee of the ministry of municipalities, said he awoke to find himself in Al-Karama hospital, his head bandaged and his shirt covered in blood.

"I was busy working when there was a massive explosion," said the 30-year-old engineer. "My colleagues fell down all around me, the office became completely dark and then I found myself in the hospital."

Thick smoke billowed over the stricken area and fires could be seen from two buildings whose windows had been shattered by the force of the blasts.

Rescue workers in Salhiyeh had to cover dead bodies in blankets before picking them up because they were too hot to touch, an AFP correspondent said.

Firemen meanwhile were using their trucks' ladders to reach the upper floors of the ministries, fearing that many dead and wounded could be trapped.

Several helicopters were flying over the area and dozens of humvees were lining the streets around the bomb sites.

The explosions were a grim reminder of deadly truck bombings which shook the ministries of foreign affairs and finance on August 19, in which around 100 people were killed.

Baghdad blamed those attacks on supporters of the Baath party of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, whom it claims were given safe haven in neighbouring Syria.

The incident saw a dramatic deterioration of ties between the neighbouring countries, with Maliki throwing fuel on the fire by alleging that 90 percent of foreign militants who infiltrate Iraq do so via Syria.

Talks between officials of the two countries brokered by Turkey have failed to defuse tensions, with Iraqi officials accusing their Syrian counterparts of "lack of seriousness."

Sunday's twin bombings came as Iraqi political leaders were to meet to try to end a deadlock over a stalled election law amid growing concerns that the country's January 16 election will have to be delayed.

The meeting was scheduled to take place at 3:30 pm (1230 GMT). There was no immediate information as to whether the meeting would go ahead as planned.

Lieutenant General Ali Ghaidan Majeed, commander of Iraqi ground forces, cautioned in an interview with AFP on Saturday that the coming months could see an upswing in violence ahead of the January polls.

He said security would likely only stabilise by the middle of next year after a transfer of power to a new government.

"I am concerned that between now ... and July 2010, basically throughout the election and after with the transfer from the old government to the new government, maybe you will see terrorist activities increase," he said.

Attacks have dropped dramatically compared to a year ago -- violent deaths in September were the lowest since May -- but remain high by international standards.

However insurgents are still able to mount high-profile attacks, especially in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, which kill dozens.


  1. The elections might have to be delayed, you say? How convenient.

    Reminds me of Guilliani. Politicians just can't resist.

  2. Never miss the opportunities that a crisis allows, rufus. A cardinal rule for ploiticos, regardless of the country.

  3. I think this is the work of al-Qaeda.

  4. I hope we allow this uptick in bombings to remain an "Iraqi" problem. I imagine that's pretty much a "slam-dunk," though.

  5. Personally, I don't care if the Iraqis EVER have another election.

  6. From ruf's link:
    "And it is also a good bet that 100% of those scientists surveyed were funded by the government only after they submitted research proposals which implicitly or explicitly stated they believed in anthropogenic global warming to begin with. If you submit a research proposal to look for alternative explanations for global warming (say, natural climate cycles), it is virtually guaranteed you will not get funded. Is it any wonder that scientists who are required to accept the current scientific orthodoxy in order to receive continued funding, then later agree with that orthodoxy when surveyed? Well, duh.
    That encapsulates the problem. A profession of faith is required before one can join the church.

  7. Ordered from the mountains of Afpakistan, or just a local variant, whit?

    Were they dues paying members or just "wanna be" aQ?

    Do they still have a "command structure", this aQ? Or is it just a network of like minded folks?

    Do they still have "training bases", if so, where?

    If, at the max, 150,000 US troops could did not dig aQ out of Iraq, where it had no roots prior to our arrival, how can a third that many US soldiers destroy the Taliban movement in Afpakistan, root and branch?

    Gives lie to the McCrystal "Plan".
    Especially if the "success" in Iraq leaves US with this current reality.

  8. If the government is tasked with funding science, then you will get science that pleases the governors.

    Not science that debunks their pet political theories.

    What more would you expect of government funded programs?

    More importantly, why would you expect it?

  9. International Green Cross: Mikhail Gorbachev organization based in Geneva:

    "The mission of Green Cross International is to help ensure a just, sustainable and secure future for all by fostering a value shift and cultivating a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility in humanity's relationship with nature."

    Sounds like a noble mission, no?
    Yes, until you realize the kind of mischief the group can accomplish under such an altruistic guise. The problem is mans' compulsive need for control.

  10. Okay, let me rephrase that, I think the bombings were carried by jihadis bent on preventing a democracy from taking root in Iraq. I admit, this is just my initial gut reaction. The bombing could have been carried out by a rival tribes or political party or a religious sect.

  11. Man, this decade reminds me so much of the "Seventies."

  12. The Carter Years.

  13. The bombing could have been ordered by an ambitious subordinate who wants to take out his boss.

    I do not present myself as an authority on terrorism here or even when I'm more than thirty miles away from home. I simply offer my 'hunch' as just another barfly.

  14. We should all try to remember the lessons of the Reichstag fire, from Germania's past.

    As well as the Roman Legions lost, there.

  15. Okay, how about this:

    We know that the bombings were carried out by the "evil doers."

  16. Whit, the more complex the subject the more I respect "hunches," and the more I distrust "Scholarly" dissertations.

    I, especially, distrust "scholarly" dissertations when they're "cross-cultural" (ie: a White American dissertating on ME Muslim Fundamentalism/Jihadism.)

  17. A hunch is just a high intelligence assigning a "probability;" and what more can you do with a subject so complex BUT assign a probability?

  18. 1st time saying this...

    Time to leave...

    Time to allow the shits and the suns to murder one another...

    It's the only way..

    Let the islamic love begin....

  19. What official, in Germania, would have cast suspicions upon the newly elected Chancellor of Germany, for the Reichstag fire?

    In public, to the media?

    Why they'd blame the politically incorrect Labor Unions and Communists, as they did in historical reality.

    Same holds true in Iraq, today.

  20. I gotta admit, Rat, it's the first thing I thought of. But, I rejected it on the grounds of, "Huh?" :)

    I'm assuming that the current government is pretty much a "Lock" to hold their seats, and maybe even gain a few. Plus, I doubt their competence to even keep it a secret for a day.

    Occams Razor. It's just easier to take it at face value. Same old bunch doing the same old thing. That IS how they make their living, after all.

  21. The Muslim world, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, Indonesia and Afghanistan are learning a very hard lesson:

    The civilized world is at war with a cult of irrationality aided and spread by the instant gratification and notoriety provided by $30 cell phones and $.50 an hour internet wifi.

  22. And the Muslim world is at war with itself. Sunni v. Shia seems to be heating up everywhere.

    Some people think the tension between Riyadh and Tehran is greater than the tension between the west and Tehran.

  23. Check out Spengler's assessment of the Charley Foxtrot that covers southwest Asia to the middle east.

  24. i got to the part where Spengler speculates about Russian collusion with Israel on an Iranian attack and I decided to shine my boots.

  25. My "hunch" is that Spengler is full of it. But, he does seem to have the "Messiah" down pat.

  26. Everyday's negative news from Iraq only magnifies the idiocy of Bush/Bremmer/Whoever, deciding to arbitrarily abort the plan to keep the Iraqi Army on the payroll, instead having Bremmer oversee an occupation/insurgency.

  27. The plan General Garner was tasked with would have worked as planned, imo.
    Instead, we have this.
    Bet Trish's beloved State Dept was involved.
    ...and Saint Powell.

  28. I still say there's some guy, some where, deep in the bowels of the Pentagon, or Quantico, or Langley, or the SD that argued, successfully, for funding, and supporting "The Awakening."

    This Man/Woman (if he/she exists) is the Only person in our government that understands how to win in the ME.

    Of course, if this person does exist he/she has probably already been fired for "gross competence." Shit like that could make our other fools look like what they are. Fools.

  29. Us recognizing the Iraqi Army as the agency to oversee the Awakening was Rummy's Genius.

    ...would have taken place BEFORE the country was destroyed by the insurgency that Viceroy Bremmmer oversaw.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Blogger desert rat said...

    "If the government is tasked with funding science, then you will get science that pleases the governors."

    In short - NO!

    Peer reviewed science is much more resilient then your statement asserts. Sure, as the Bush administration did, systematic purging of dissenting scientists will yield more favorable results but simply getting money from a particular source does not necessarily invalidate the scientific study.

  32. "Sure, as the Bush administration did, systematic purging of dissenting scientists..."

    Please cite some credible sources...

  33. Are you denying that the global warming alarmists have usurped the science?

  34. On this science stuff, it all depends. If for instance, I pay some taxes to help fund a program to clean up Lake Washington, ok by me. Up to a point of course. It might even do some good. There must be thousands, thousands and thousands, of such examples, going back in our history. I wouldn't really trust a industry science any more than a government one. They all got to be paid. Trouble with the global warming fiansco is it's so huge. What happens in Lake Washington isn't going to change anyones life much, might help the fish.
    Global warming? Watch out for your electric bill.

    There, I've said next to nothing.

  35. The U of W scientist that had me buying into global warming said they couldn't get their hearing with the Bush ad. Now we hear others say they can't get their hearing from the usurper.

    Then I read the science is so complex we need another few hundred years of data to even begin to get a grip. So it's all a gigantic waste of money till we track the data, and get good data, in this view. Which makes the most sense to me.

  36. What if all the peers who are reviewing the work are out of a lifetime's work if they come to the conclusion there is no problem?

    On the other hand in a more minor matter the peers came to the conclusion there would be no problem if the wolves were reintroduced. Which was so obvious b.s. even I could figure it out.

    There's a tendency to butter one's own frying pan, on all sides.

    I think Maxine Waters ought to decide all these things anyway, just leave it all up to her, especially the oil industry.

  37. One guy drew up an interesting chart showing how all the folks in the same group are collaborating on, and "peer reviewing" each other's articles.

    "Peer Review" has turned into pretty much a joke when it comes to AGW, I'm afraid.

  38. When all is said, and said, however, one thing is clear: 1998 was the warmest year in this cycle. That's 11 years, ago. 2008 was just about the coldest.

  39. Temperatures since 1979

    The Satellites were launched in 1979.

  40. hee hee, finding credible sources for many here is one heck of a tall order:

    "Stanford University scientist Richard N. Zare writes, "We must be willing to speak out against the threat of making science just a matter of opinion." That is exactly what investigative journalist Seth Shulman does in Undermining Science, Suppression and Distortion in the Bush Administration (University of California Press, $24.95). Backed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Shulman looks closely at President Bush's cavalier treatment of scientific data during the last six years. From placing unqualified non-scientists in supervising positions to altering ... "


    peer review often addresses methodology as opposed to conclusion. There is method to science and it has proven quite useful. wiki has an interesting article on peer review. A small portion of it:


    In the case of proposed publications, an editor sends advance copies of an author's work or ideas to researchers or scholars who are experts in the field (known as "referees" or "reviewers"), nowadays normally by e-mail or through a web-based manuscript processing system. Usually, there are two or three referees for a given article.

    These referees each return an evaluation of the work to the editor, noting weaknesses or problems along with suggestions for improvement. Typically, most of the referees' comments are eventually seen by the author; scientific journals observe this convention universally. The editor, usually familiar with the field of the manuscript (although typically not in as much depth as the referees, who are specialists), then evaluates the referees' comments, her or his own opinion of the manuscript, and the context of the scope of the journal or level of the book and readership, before passing a decision back to the author(s), usually with the referees' comments.

    Referees' evaluations usually include an explicit recommendation of what to do with the manuscript or proposal, often chosen from options provided by the journal or funding agency. Most recommendations are along the lines of the following:

    * to unconditionally accept the manuscript or proposal,
    * to accept it in the event that its authors improve it in certain ways,
    * to reject it, but encourage revision and invite resubmission,
    * to reject it outright.

    During this process, the role of the referees is advisory, and the editor is typically under no formal obligation to accept the opinions of the referees. Furthermore, in scientific publication, the referees do not act as a group, do not communicate with each other, and typically are not aware of each other's identities or evaluations. There is usually no requirement that the referees achieve consensus. Thus the group dynamics are substantially different from that of a jury."


  41. Thanks, now we all know what a referee is, what a peer player is, etc.

    Now we need to know if the game is rigged.

  42. "If the government is tasked with funding science, then you will get science that pleases the governors." [Rat]

    In short - NO! [Ash]

    While the question is not as simple as yes or NO!, I guess I would generally have to agree with Rat on this one. The Bush administration is merely the latest (although not the most egregious) example to use in proof of Rat’s assertion.

  43. When the American people discover that they have been played for dupes by the Bernie Madoff school of science, the liberals will have to really worry about the 2nd amendment. It is the biggest political ponzi scheme ever based on falsified data.

    From an article, but this thread is supposed to be about suicide bombing.

    Just thought it was a funny quote.

    The Bernie Madoff school of science. :)

  44. It's just another goofy religion that has managed to obtain a great deal of "state" sponsorship.

    The only problem with this religion is that it is, to some extent, "falsifiable."

    In other words, as atmospheric CO2 (the only "real" warming agent according to this religion) continues to rise, and the PDO continues to work on it, and cause temps to slowly decline, the followers are starting to drift away.

    This El Nino is looking to be a pretty meager one, so we're probably only one Strong La Nina away from a rush for the exits.

    The Watermelons are praying they'll get to pass the collection plate before it happens.

    Their problem (that I'm not sure they've thought through) is that if they do manage to get the collection plate passed it's going to be full of, not cash, but checks that won't be "collectible" for a couple of years.

    Thus, it's very likely their best outcome will be a bunch of "stopped" checks.

  45. I wonder if we started a fund to pay the families of the suicide bombers and threw a nice dinner in their honor how the world would react?

    let remember this is an iraqi tradition...

    (CBS) Saddam Hussein has distributed $260,000 to 26 families of Palestinians killed in 29 months of fighting with Israel, including a $10,000 check to the family of a Hamas suicide bomber.

    In a packed banquet hall on Wednesday, the families came one-by-one to receive their $10,000 checks. A large banner said: "The Arab Baath Party Welcomes the Families of the Martyrs for the Distribution of Blessings of Saddam Hussein."

    That's a small fortune in poverty-stricken Gaza, reports CBS News Correspondent Robert Berger, and the donations have made him a hero on the Palestinian street. Israel accuses Saddam of financing Palestinian terror.

    The money — handed out by the Arab Liberation Front, which is affiliated with Saddam's Baath Party — was distributed as the United States tried to get U.N. Security Council support to use military force to disarm Iraq and oust Saddam, who the United States says supports terrorism.

    Among the families receiving checks from Saddam's charity were those whose children and relatives were killed in Islamic Jihad and Hamas attacks. Both groups are on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations. Other families had relatives killed during Israeli raids on Palestinian towns and refugee camps.

    Iraq gives $10,000 to the families of those killed within 30 days of death. In total, Saddam has given more than $35 million to West Bank and Gaza Strip families of Palestinians killed during the fighting, said Ibrahim Zanen, spokesman for the Arab Liberation Front in Gaza. Initially, families of suicide bombers received $25,000 from Saddam, but now everyone receives an equal $10,000.

    "President Saddam considers the Palestinian people as part of his Arab nation. Both of us, the Iraqis and the Palestinians, are in the same trench facing an ugly aggression," Zanen said. "The President considers this small gift to the families as just a symbol of support for those who have reached the highest degree of martyrdom."

  46. The suicide bombers, cretins more than likely, were enabled by some one to kill a few dozen civilians, indiscriminately. Perhaps the area was one that was primarily Shia or Sunni, but even that may be coincidental to motives of the terrorist infrastructure.

    The only real matter of concern, was it foreign sponsored or totally indigenous?

    As to peer review, the peers are a self-fulfilling group, especially in the "Green Sciences" of computer modeling climatic change.

    Remember, if you will, that that was the basis of the hysteria, the computer models forecasting disaster. Reality has not followed the models, to date. As rufus's link exemplifies as to the actual rather than modeled climate conditions.

    Now that the original models are checkable to true data sets, their performance has been found to be marginal at best. The CO2 climate models are being iced by the light of sun spot reality.

  47. And that funding of terrorists was one of the reasons I supported the war to remove Saddam.

    It was proof that he was a State Sponsor of Terror. But Team Neocon choose to bury that bit of Saddam's profile and focus on the nonexistent nuclear threat. Knowing how Americans are both fearful and ignorant of nuclear weaponry.

    As well as how little the rank and file American cares about Isreal and Palestine and their disputes and how disconnected the "War on Terror" was from the issues concerning Palestinians.

  48. "As well as how little the rank and file American cares about Isreal and Palestine and their disputes and how disconnected the "War on Terror" was from the issues concerning Palestinians."

    That's where I think you're out of touch, Rat. The people of America get it. They've seen the carnage, lies and deceit of the PLO, the PLA and Hamas. If you can't see the link to terror, you've been blinded by your bias.

  49. I think not, whit. But it you who is blinded by biases.

    The Mitchell Report is the US Standard for judging the issues, Mr Michell being the Special Representative of the President.

    The President winning in an Electoral College blow out.

    There stands the majority of America.
    They are standing shoulder to shoulder with about 70% of the Jewish population of the United States.

  50. It seems to have been forgotten that Saddam was using the corrupt UN "Oil for Food" scam to circumvent the Gulf War sanctions.

    For those who think the Bush Administration fabricated the Iraqi nuclear threat: Remember this?

  51. No, I'm not the blind one, here. And no, the majority of America did not vote for Obama because of the poor Palestinians. They voted for Obama because with smooth talk and deceit, he sold them on hope and change. He hid his true nature and sold them on a pipe dream. The Palestinian terrorists had precious little to do with the election.

  52. It is the terrorist that have continued to link the Isreal/Palestine issue to the "War on Terror" while it is the US that does not.

    It is the US that continues to fund the West Bank Palis. Funding comes from the House, which is the most representative of the Government.

    There stands middle America.
    The Rank and File.

    Solidly Democrat and solidly ambivalent to the issue of Isreal and Palestine. Based upon performance.

  53. But it was the Bush Administration that armed the West Bank Palis. Guns and bullets, rather than economic stimulants. Ms Rice and Mr Powell leading that charge, solid Republican officials of multiple administrations, both.

    There stands the Leadership of the Republicans.
    Some of their base is dissatisfied, but they are a distinct minority of the people, today.

  54. So, when a Palestinian suicide bomber kills 40 or 50 people in an Israeli restaurant or on a bus, the American people don't see it as terrorism? The Democrat party has been co-opted by the hard left which has taken advantage of a polarized nation. Swing voters made the difference in this election and many of them already regret what they did.

    If we accept that we are a sharply divided nation (About 50-50 conservative/liberal) the question is how many would like to see the Palestinian terrorists rewarded for their despicable actions. I would guess a minority of the citizenry if not the Congress.

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. Swing voters did not decide the House. They may have decided the Presidency, but not the solid majority in the House that the Democrats enjoy.

    That they have enjoyed for a while now.

    I dispute that there is a 50/50 split, as to "Conservative" and "Liberal" or even Democrat and Republican.

    The solid majorities in the House AND the Senate stand in testament.

    And no, the MAJORITY see more than an equivalency between the Isreali attacks upon civilians in Gaza as compared to an occasional criminal attack in Isreal.

    Bombings are criminal, not military activities. While they may be terrorism, it is not part and parcel of war, but of civil crime.
    Those are the standardse in Iraq, as they are in Afghanistan and as bombings are considered here in the United States.

    The CRIMINAL proceedings against the "Shoe Bomber", the redeemed Libyan, let alone the Gitmo detainees stand in evidence of that.

    The "War on Terror" is, was and always will be those activities focused on the perps of that border raid on 9-11-01.

    Not against all the violence or injustice in the Islamic whirled, especially where it borders infidels.

  57. The Isreali killed between 800 and 1,200 Arab civilians, in Gaza.

    If that is not more than equivalent to a suicide bomber, if that is not State sponsored terror, then what is?

  58. Oh yeah, and the Lancet said that the US killed how many hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq?

  59. I guess you and Reverend Wright have some ideologies in common. You should talk to him about Dresden and Nagasaki. Sounds like the two of you would get along fine.

  60. The Isreali killed between 800 and 1,200 Arab civilians, in Gaza.

    If that is not more than equivalent to a suicide bomber, if that is not State sponsored terror, then what is?

    I think most Americans (that is US citizens like in the song not in sense you proposed of Venezuelan, Bolivian, Inca, etc.)would think it was self defense.

  61. It is not Lancelot, whit, and guilt by association will not fly.
    Lancelot is a straw man to the current realities.

    It is the UN, where past US Presidents and Secs of State went to when looking for foreign policy legitimacy, that came to those conclusions.

    The funding of the UN comes from the US, 25% and more. As with science, even more so, you get the result that you pay for.
    The US has a long history of supporting the refugee system in the Levant. Again, paid for by US through multiple UN missions, for decades.

    The Supremes in their infamous Hamdan v Rumsfeld decision made it clear just where the US stands. Each of these conflicts are local affairs, unconnected. The Congress and both of the Presidents since all concurred.

  62. Were the civilians who died in Gaza innocent or were they complicit in the terror? Even if not individually, then collectively as a nation or a people. The people in Gaza elected Hamas, a terrorist organization whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel. As the elected representatives of the people of Gaza, Hamas engaged in "criminal activities" against Israel. The Israelis retaliated with a Police action and people died.

    Do our actions have consequences? Ask the Japanese or the Germans or the Palestinians.

  63. I do not. No one I know but those commenting here, do.

    Not a one.
    In redneck AZ.

    They do not see self defense when the Isreali were the aggressor, not defending themselves.

    Just as most folk I know saw the charade in the US use of "preemption", as a pretext for invading Iraq.

    An already decided action in search of a justification.

    Mostly Marine vets, cowboys and the like are the ones I talk politics with.
    Most don't give a hoot about the Levant or the players, there.

  64. Very, very few tie the Palestinis to the greater Islamic conflict.
    The evangelical cowboys will talk about that.
    About the beginning and the end of the interested.

    Success of US propaganda and spin, perhaps, but the reality of it, here.

  65. I do recall how, when Osama and aQ claimed Isreal as one of their causes, there were many posting at the BC on the impossibility of the reality of that connection.

    I forget the exact arguments made, but they had time lines and memes galore.
    Seemed reasonable then, does now, too.

  66. Going on the offensive is not the same as being the aggressor and does not mean that one is not defending itself.

    By that logic, a nation could never cross a border to engage an enemy.

  67. As "Occupation" has oft stated Gaza is not a State. Which makes it and the people there nothing more than a ward of Isreal.

    The Isreali control the water and the power, entrance and egress.

    All but for those contraband tunnels, which funds Hamas.

    Collective punishment against the civilian population is a war crime, as defined by the Geneva Accords, which unlike the NPT, the Isreali did sign.

  68. Yasir Arafat was thrown out of Jordan where he was making noise about overthrowing the King. When Yasir was in full terrorist tilt, the conflict was secular. Yasir and his gang were just opportunistic thugs. Later, the Hamas Islamists got in on the action, and the whole thing became a component of the global Jihadist effort.

  69. Who said that the Israelis engaged in "collective punishment"? The UN Human Rights (except for Jews)Commission? The Goldstone Report?

  70. "Swing voters did not decide the House. They may have decided the Presidency, but not the solid majority in the House that the Democrats enjoy...

    The solid majorities in the House AND the Senate stand in testament..."

    I disagree. Major shifts rarely occur in house or senate make-up because of the job protection Congress has given itself through gerrymandering. That being said, when those shifts do occur it is precisely because of a change in the mood of independants.

    I would say that there is about 30% of the electorate that will vote for the GOP regardless. There is also maybe 30-35 % that will likely always vote Democratic. These are the Kool-aid drinkers of the right and left. But there are also about 35-40% that are independent and are motivated to vote for the candidate whose position they feel most alligns with whatever is most important to them at election time.

    We saw it in the last election. Blacks were expected to vote for Obama as were those 30-35% of the electorate that usually vote Democrat. However, it was the independents that pushed him over the top.

    I saw it here. Joe Knollingberg was my Rep for about 20 years in a strongly Republican county. He voted for every Bush proposal and he ended up getting dumped (I voted against him) in favor of a Democratic first timer.

    If you can believe the pundits, there will likely be a major shift next year. All the polls I've seen indicate it is the independents that are turning away from Obama.

  71. If the Mexican Federales deploy against the cartels in Mexico and civilians die, is that collective punishment?

  72. I do not. No one I know but those commenting here, do.

    Not a one.
    In redneck AZ.

    The fact that many people on this blog (from many parts of the country) disagree with you on this subject should be an indication that your moral equivalency arguments aren't universally accepted.

    Just as most folk I know saw the charade in the US use of "preemption", as a pretext for invading Iraq.

    A straw man. I view the Iraq war as an ill-advised, poorly planned, pitifully executed war of choice. Regardless it has nothing to do with Isreal's incursion into Gaza.

    They do not see self defense when the Isreali were the aggressor, not defending themselves.

    If you want to use examples, why not use some that have relevance? For instance, was it legitimate for the US to go into Afganistan after 9/11?

    Mostly Marine vets, cowboys and the like are the ones I talk politics with.
    Most don't give a hoot about the Levant or the players, there.

    You seem to be the exception. Again, I can't identify with your moral equivalency arguments. This is probably because I can't identify with the people you are defending.

  73. You can argue that the majority is wrong, but not on where the majority is.
    That is easily observable, by current and past performance.

  74. Qassam rockets!

    Made in your garage.

    If no garage, then in back alley.

  75. desert rat said...
    As "Occupation" has oft stated Gaza is not a State. Which makes it and the people there nothing more than a ward of Isreal.

    The Isreali control the water and the power, entrance and egress.

    All but for those contraband tunnels, which funds Hamas.

    Israel only controls electricity and water to gaza that never existed there before...

    as for egress, gaza is historically connected to egypt, the world's largest arab nation

    gaza is not a ward of israel, rather israel sadly actually refuses to allow the people of gaza to starve inspite of the arab world's best intention...

    gaza's natural resources cannot sustain the arab population that lives there, it is not the job of israel to provide welfare for them

    however in rat's alice in wonderland mind, israel has no right to self defense or nationhood, but they are required to feed, water and provide power to the very terrorist democracy that seeks it's genocide...

    rat's point of view is a blend of the answer coalition/aryan nation/rev wright....

    nothing israel can do is correct...

    in fact, rat cannot even SPELL israel...

    he hates the concept so much it pains him to see the word ISRAEL.....

    what a nitwit...

  76. Qassam ready. Which way is the Isreali?

  77. AMMAN, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Jordan Sunday urged Israeli forces and radical Jewish groups to stop breaking into Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Jordan News Agency Petra reported.

    Jordan's Minister of Media Affairs and Communications Nabil Sharif said Jordan demanded the Israeli forces to immediately halt the "serious violations," which undermine all opportunities to attain peace and stability in the region and threaten the safety and security of civilians and the holy sites.

    On early Sunday, Israeli police and Arab protestors clashed at the holy compound in Jerusalem, highlighting an already inflammable atmosphere around the site sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

    The Jordanian minister said "the provocative Israeli violations near Al-Aqsa Mosque constitute a stark violation of international charters and norms, and increase tension and violence in the region."

    Jordan was the second Arab country to ink a peace treaty with Israel in 1994 after Egypt.

    Meanwhile, Jordan's Lower House National Democratic bloc, called on the government Sunday to demonstrate a stronger position against what it described as the "serious Israeli violations."

  78. You can argue that the majority is wrong, but not on where the majority is.

    I was arguing neither. I was arguing against the following statement:

    "Swing voters did not decide the House. They may have decided the Presidency, but not the solid majority in the House that the Democrats enjoy.

    I say this is wrong. It was the swing voters that gave the Dems the majority in 2006 just as they gave the GOP the majority earlier this decade.

    Also, if you watch the polls you'll note that it is the independants that appear to be in transition right now.

  79. from the report on Drudge Report--

    Sunday's disturbances were rooted in calls from Muslim leaders for their followers to protect the Islamic sites from what they said were Israeli plots to damage them or let Jews pray in the compound. There was no evidence to support either claim.

    Palestinians are also angry about stalled peace talks and ongoing Israeli construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, areas they want for a future state.

    Stoking tensions, a group of hardline settlers and rabbis met in Jerusalem on Sunday evening calling on Jews to pray at the site. Most rabbis, however, say the place is so holy that Jews should not even set foot there. Police allow only Muslims to worship in the compound and say that practice will be enforced.

    Israel has controlled the site since 1967, but has left day-to-day administration in the hands of a Muslim clerical body, the Waqf. Israelis and tourists are allowed to visit at certain times.

    Israel's national police chief, David Cohen, accused a small group of Muslim extremists of trying to foment violence.

    "The police will act with a strong hand against anyone who disrupts order on the Temple Mount and against those incite to riot," Cohen said.

    Time for Coast 2 Coast--

    Strategic Visions
    George Knapp is joined by strategic visionary Jim Channon, who'll discuss his ideas of how to build Global Social Intelligence. He'll also outline 12 breakthroughs of the next decade that will guide our planet toward a brighter future.

  80. You can certainly disagree, quirk.

    The test will come in New York

    The National Republican Congressional Committee remains committed to embattled GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava in the upstate New York House special election, even as many of the party's top names throw their support to Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman.

    Two party officials tell POLITICO that the NRCC will continue to air TV ads propping up Scozzafava in the days leading up to the Nov. 3 contest and plans to keep up a near relentless barrage of press releases slamming Hoffman.

    Scozzafava, a state assemblywoman who supports gay marriage, abortion rights and has a close relationship with leading labor officials in her region, has been the target of sustained criticism from conservatives who claim she is too liberal for them to support her candidacy.

    Hoffman, an accounting executive, is attracting an ever-growing group of conservative backers, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) have also endorsed the third-party candidate.

    Public and private polls have shown Hoffman gaining on Scozzafava but both trail the Democratic nominee, attorney Bill Owens.

    If Owens wins, the Conservatives lose, flat out.

  81. You can certainly disagree, quirk.

    The test will come in New York

    Your logic eludes me. I don't see that the New York election is any kind of test. The real test will come in the 2010 general election.

    What you have running in New York is two liberals (one a Dem and one a Republican) and a conservative independant. The last poll I saw showed the Dem at around 35%, the GOP candidate at around 30%, and the independent at about 25%. If anything your example proves the importance of the independents. The GOP picked Scozzafoza because she was a popular state legislator not for her philosophy. If the independent conservative, Hoffman, hadn't entered the race, Scozzafoza would probably be ahead.

  82. And whether or not the GOP makes a comeback, or not, does not change the history of US support for the Palestinians, or that it will continue.

    They not being considered adversaries in the "War on Terror", by either major party in US politics

  83. The two issues the "War on Terror" and its' opponents and the GOP come back, while both are interesting, are not really related.

    The test in New York is whether the "Conservatives" can outshow the GOP, in the Northeastern US.

    And the liberal Dems, all at once.

    If they cannot beat the GOP and dent the Dems then the best the "Conservatives" can do, create a Regional Party.

    Strong in the old Confederacy and losing the battle in the Mountain West. With California and the Pacific Coast, long gone.

    Idaho, bob is represented by a Democrat, the new Senator from Montana a Democrat. New Mex and Colorado, both Democrats of long standing in their States, the Udalls, elected to the Senate.

  84. If they cannot beat the GOP and dent the Dems then the best the "Conservatives" can do, create a Regional Party.

    I think you are missing the point. You are trying to couch this in terms of conservative/ liberal, GOP/Dem, etc.

    The majority in this country is typically center/right. It's not "liberal" or "conservative". If you are assuming that the Dems have a guaranteed majority for the forseeable future based on the 2006and 2008 elections you are diluding yourself in the same way the GOP did themselves when they controlled Congress and the White House.

    The "conservatives" aren't forming some third party. If they gain ascendancy again it will unfortunately be through the GOP. Just like the GOP before them, the Dems will hold onto power up until the time they piss off enough swing voters.

    In my opinion, that is the direction they are moving in right now.

  85. WiO: in rat's alice in wonderland mind, israel has no right to self defense or nationhood, but they are required to feed, water and provide power to the very terrorist democracy that seeks it's genocide...

    "Mr. Rearden," said Francisco, his voice solemnly calm, "if you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders-what would you tell him to do?"

    "I . . . don't know. What . . . could he do? What would you tell him?"

    "To shrug."