World War IV Daily



No time for a post today, but a friend of mine sent me an interesting picture that I wanted to share....



Iraqi Civil War? >>> Bill Roggio looks at the fallout from the Golden Mosque bombing, and provides a number of links worth following. Mohammad provides some background and another look at the situation from Baghdad here.

UAE Ports Deal: Not Six, Not Eight, But Twenty-Three >>> For some reason, only six American ports are being reported as on the table. P&O Ports, a subsidiary of the P&O Group which has been bought by Dubai Ports World, operates over 100 ports in 19 countries. As far as American acquisitions go, the Northeast Intelligence Network lists 21 ports in question, but they do not include P&O's operations in Portsmouth and Newport News, both in Virginia. In addition, P&O runs another 17 ports in British Columbia, Canada. One of these--Vancouver--is major shipping hub. To view the geographical operations of P&O Ports, go here. (Macromedia Flash Player required) In the upper left, click on the tab 'Container Terminals' and then click on North America to see P&O's large-scale operations there. Next, click on the tab 'General Stevedoring' and once again on North America to see the smaller stevedoring operations.

Just Plain Cool >>> There are two stories here. First, the development of the Iraqi Air Force: As the article states, "the Mi-17 is the first weapon system that the Iraqi Air Force has acquired and funded without direct Coalition involvement." Secondly, the story of Major Sadun: His transition from a prisoner under Saddam for refusing to fire on Iraqi Kurds to learning English from a fellow inmate and becoming one of Iraq's premier helicopter pilots is simply remarkable.

Chart of the Day: Army Operational Unit Diagram >>> Click on stuff to make additional information appear from out of nowhere. (Note that several ranks on the right margin have been left out for simplification.) Thanks to Charlie at The Officers' Club for this one. As he says, "If nothing else, we are here to educate the public on how military works."

WTC Bombing: Thirteen Years And One Day Ago >>> It is a day that must be remembered, not only for the lives lost but the opportunities wasted.



I had posts planned for both today and tomorrow, but sadly I appeared to have gotten in over my head.

I have half-written my Saturday Featured Story--I'm tackling the Danish Cartoon Nonsense--but I lack the time to finish it in a way that is pleasing to me. (I have high standards.) Furthermore, I am unsure who to pick for my Idiot of the Week post tomorrow. It's not that I can't find any Idiots, but that there are too many to choose from. Any suggestions are welcome....

So it is with a heavy heart that I postpone both of these posts until next weekend. Hopefully none of you are die-hard WWIV Daily readers who try to catch every thing I post as soon as I write it. (If you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I would advise against relying on me to do anything in a timely manner. You'll just end up frustrated and bitterly unhappy with the human race as a whole. But who could blame you?) I hate starting something new and then stopping it a week later, but I've got other work to attend to, and I feel that this is what's best for the blog.

Or something like that.

>>> Jesse

P.S. My daily average of readers has more than doubled since last weekend. Thank you to everybody who stopped by for the first time and those you who linked here. It's this kind of support that makes me feel so crappy about not posting on time....



Attack On Saudi Oil Refinery >>> Note that this was the first attack on an actual oil-processing facility. All past attacks have been on the commercial offices of the oil companies themselves. Were it successful, this attack could have had massive implications, and as Charlie at The Officers' Club points out, it doesn't take a lot to upset the price of oil.

Golden Mosque Bombing: Fallout? >>> Iraq is still pretty much in lockdown, with curfews in effect and the threat of escalating ethnic violence just over the horizon. Things appear to have settled down, but if the Danish cartoons uproar and the UAE ports story are any indication, these kinds of things can go months before making their largest impact. Iraq isn't out of this shadow yet.

Bush and the Ports Deal >>> Gates of Vienna takes a look at why President Bush is so adamant that what seems to be a simple commercial transaction--at least on the surface--take place.

That Was Close! >>> In the spirit of the weekend, and just in case you were starting to feel safe out there, I present to you the Top 20 Nuclear Close Calls, or at least the ones that we know about....

State of Flux >>> This week, I've been introducing several new blogs that have thoroughly impressed me. One of these is State of Flux, written by Minh-Duc, an American soldier who recently served in Iraq. Minh-Duc grew up in Communist Vietnam, and offers a unique view of what life is like under a totalitarian regime. His post on moderate Muslims is especially noteworthy.



Cutting Through the Crap: The UAE Ports Deal >>> The more I learn about this deal, the more I'm comfortable with it. A couple days ago I made it clear that I don't care who runs the day-to-day operations of these eight--not six--ports as long as the US government is responsible for its security and has complete freedom of movement to do so. The CT Blog points out that the much of the present-day port security takes place overseas, and that security for American ports is managed by the Coast Guard (the ports themselves) and Customs and Border Protection (the cargo). This entire issue has been spun to make it seem like Dubai Ports World would be directly in charge of security, which is untrue. Were it to be the case, I would be staunchly against this proposal. I wouldn't even want a British company in charge of port security, much less the UAE. Any aspect of security in this country--whether it be international airports or border crossings--needs to be nationalized (read: run by the government). Also, Bush's insistence to make this deal happen--A veto threat? This guy hasn't vetoed anything!--is a little unnerving, and I assume it has to do with his connections to the Dubai firm in question. But such is the dirty business of politics, and to base one's decision about this deal on those issues--questionable though they are--would be incredibly narrow-minded. This is simply the way deals are made in Washington. Welcome to the suck.

Iraqi Civil War? >>> Bill Roggio digs deeper than the MSM and lays out the indicators of civil war in Iraq, and whether or not things have reached that point.

The Next Attacks On America >>> I don't often get a chance to adequately read through one of John Robb's posts at Global Guerrillas. His work is deeply abstract and very theoretical, and I often don't possess the time or patience to sit down and truly appreciate it. However, I managed to dive into one of this recent posts, and I wanted to pass it along. Settle down, maybe grab something to drink, and then read his post. You can't just skim this stuff; you'd be a moron for trying.

Rantings of a Sandmonkey >>> I've added Sandmonkey's blog to the Blogroll on the right. His posts always provide a particularly enlightening view of the Middle East--specifically the Islamic culture in his native Egypt. I've linked to some of his stuff recently, and I decided that a more formal introduction was due. I would like to direct your attention to his two most recent posts, here and here.



Counterinsurgency School >>> Yesterday I related the success of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and Col. H.R. McMaster in applying counterinsurgency tactics in Iraq. Unfortunately, not every US military unit and their respective officers are as competent as McMaster and the 3rd ACR at dealing with an issue as complicated as COIN. This is the attempt to change that.

Jamaat ul-Fuqra in Canada >>> CP has the details, as usual.

Golden Mosque Bombing >>> This is not your ordinary bombing in Iraq. The nature of the target makes it highly inflammatory, and the chances of Iraq's low-level civil war escalating into a real one have just gotten higher. By a lot. Omar at Iraq the Model relates the tension which is now gripping Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. Indeed, the whole place seems to have gone into lockdown; just reading his post gives you a sense of how close Iraq is to the edge of full-on civil war. Fortunately, both al-Sistani and al-Sadr have called for restraint from Iraqi Shiites, but this isn't over yet.

UAE Port Debacle >>> There has been a whole lot of shouting going back and forth about this deal--much of it is pretty senseless--but the CT Blog provides the most balanced and informative picture that I've seen so far. Sandmonkey also has a complete wrap-up of what everyone is saying. Oh yeah, and the deal actually affects eight ports, not just six.

PFC Janelle Zalkovsky >>> Murdoc gets a chance to interview an American woman serving in Iraq.

South Korean Kids Love the North >>> Well, there's no point trying to protect a nation that doesn't want our protection in the first place, so let's pull out the 2nd ID
and use them somewhere else where they're badly needed. If North Korea invades, we can send the South Koreans nice little note saying "We told you so", and then see if they want our help. Sounds fair to me.

Sidewinders For Submarines
>>> I'm kind of surprised that it's taken them this long to do this....



UAE Port Deal >>> The Dubai company's ties to the Bush administration are no surprise. That's how politics works. But regardless of whatever political machinations are behind it, this deal looks like bad news. I don't buy into the notion that because this is a Middle Eastern company and since there's lots of terrorism 'round those parts that it means our ports are going to be insecure. The UAE is not Syria or Iran. A few of the Persian Gulf states are actually quite Westernized, with stable and wealthy governments and none of the 'Death to America' stuff coming out of the rest of the region. In fact, the UAE will soon host one of the worlds first spaceports. (It will be built by a US company. How's that for irony?) But I still don't like this deal. Our ports are already a security nightmare, and they should adequately defended before they are bought and sold between companies. How about nationalizing the port security apparatus while leaving the shipping aspect to the private companies? I like Charlie Munn's take on the issue.

Intelligence Gets Even More Complicated >>> Government bureaucracy = yuck.

The 3rd ACR in Iraq >>> Those of you that are familiar with the 3rd ACR's CO, Colonel H.R. McMaster, will understand that he is definitely one of the major reasons for the success of the 3rd ACR. McMaster has a PhD in history and is an expert on the Vietnam War, which he wrote a book on. In addition to his strategic wisdom, he also has a history of tactical prowess on the battlefield. His effective use of the element of surprise in the Battle of 73 Easting--the decisive Gulf War tank battle which saw the outnumbered US 2nd ACR obliterate the Tawakalna Division of the Iraqi Republican Guard--played a large role in the success of one of the largest tank battles of the entire war.

Better Bunker Busters Part One and Part Two >>> Remember those huge drills in the Matrix Revolutions?



I was gone for most of the day, so I'll throw today's links in tomorrow's post.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Saturday's Featured Story on Jamaat ul-Fuqra, and Sunday's Idiot(s) of the Week.


IOTW - Jill Edwards and Ashley Miller

>>> You knew it was coming, but there was nothing you could do to stop it! Welcome to Idiot of the Week, where each Sunday--maybe--I pick an individual or perhaps a group of people who are so inextricably stupid that to ignore them or simply disparage them is woefully inadequate. Stronger measures must be taken; a full-on assault must be executed via the written word. Expect a whole lot of hurt feelings and a bucket full of fun at somebody else's expense. This isn't about impartial analysis or good-spirited criticism; it's about people getting what's coming to them. Remember, when you cross the line of idiocy you enter a free-fire zone. Lock and load, people! <<<


WHO: University of Washington Student Senators Jill Edwards and Ashley Miller

WHY: For ridiculous statements while discussing a proposed memorial for WWII war hero--and UW alumnus--
Colonel Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington, a Marine Corps pilot credited with shooting down 26 enemy aircraft. He was eventually shot down and spent 20 months in a Japanese POW camp. He received the Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor for his actions.

[Source document here.]

First things first: In the interest of full disclosure, I should make it known that I am a college student and a resident of Seattle, where the University of Washington is located. I do not, however, attend UW.

With that out of the way, I will leave most of the information to the article itself, and address what I consider to be the most egregious examples of childish ignorance and nescient stupidity on the part of the UW student. We'll start by analyzing the minutes of Student Senate's February 7th meeting. The resolution to construct a memorial to Col. Boyington is first discussed on the bottom of page four.

The sponsor of the legislation, Senator Andrew Everett (e-mail address:, outlines his proposal. He states that "he had read about Colonel Boyington and thought his achievements warranted recognition." After a bit of discussion, Senator Jill Edwards (pictured left; e-mail address: chimes in, questioning "whether it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people." Of course, her position as--I kid you not--Chair of the Honors Croquet League makes her immensely qualified to make such a statement. Think I'm making this up? Check it out. Nice scarf.

We'll let her off the hook for her question about the appropriateness of honoring a 'killer', as I suppose the complex ethical justifications for taking a life are beyond the comprehension of a college student. Isn't a shame that everything can't be as simple as croquet? (But seriously, killing people gets such bad press these days. What gives?)

However, her next comment is something completely different: According to the minutes of the Senate meetin
g, she said that "she didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce." Wow. Well Ms. Edwards, I personally know several Marines and I personally know several UW students, and if those students are any indication of their peers then all 40,000+ UW students couldn't eclipse the honor, bravery, discipline, moral integrity, and uprightness of character of a single Marine if you combined them all together. Maybe the problem with your university is that you AREN'T producing people like Pappy Boyington. Just because you saw Jarhead doesn't make you an authority on Marines. You sleep safely in your bed at night because of such people, and you're damned lucky that they don't possess the selfishness to just give up and leave you to the wolves, because they've got plenty of justification to do so.

Apparently, Ms. Edwards has written about her travails--isn't college just awful?--in the weekly Honors Croquet (*snicker*) Senate Report. Appropriately, she says that "I am thouroughy [sic] regretting opeining [sic] my mouth." Well, you're on to something, Ms. Edwards. For your sake, I strongly advise you against doing so again.

Back to the Senate meeting. Immediately after Ms. Edwards made a fool or herself, ASUW (Associated Students of the University Washington) Vice-President Ashley Miller (pictured right; e-mail address: presented the idea that "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men." Oh God....

The argument that Boyington was a 'rich white man' is as inaccurate as it is insulting. First of all, Boyington was part Sioux. And maybe Ms. Miller hasn't checked the US military pay scale recently, but nobody who serves in the armed forces ever 'takes it to the bank'. Such a hasty generalization--she was no doubt shooting from the hip in an attempt to grab the first negative connotation she could--is inexcusable. Ms. Miller is either a moron or she's too lazy to do a little research. My money's on both. Unlike Ms. Edwards simple disdain for members of the United States Marine Corps, Ms. Miller is simply a victim of her own ignorance. I'm done wasting my time on her.

Col. Boyington's final interview was published in Aviation History Magazine in May 2001. It offers a remarkable glimpse at his life's accomplishments and especially the man himself. One particular quote stands out to me, simply because I would expect the University of Washington to appreciate this kind of sentiment:

"The Japanese civilians who had been bombed out and were always around us showed us respect, not antipathy. Many of them went out of their way to help us at great risk to themselves, slipping us food. When I think about how the Japanese civilians treated us as POWs in their country, I can only feel very ashamed at how we treated our own Japanese Americans, taking their homes and businesses and placing them in camps."

The UW Student Senate rejected the proposal for a memorial.

In all seriousness, I would like to sincerely apologize to the spirit of Pappy Boyington and every other WWII veteran slighted by my peers across the canal at the University of Washington. Here's hoping that Union Bay suddenly floods to 15th and 45th.

(Hat Tip: Belmont Club)


SFS - Jamaat ul-Fuqra in America

>>> Welcome to the first edition of the Saturday Featured Story (SFS)! Every Saturday--if I can get my act together--I hope to provide an in-depth and comprehensive look at a given subject of my choosing. In conjunction with the Monday-Friday news format and my new Sunday feature, I hope to make WWIV Daily a more informative and more exciting place for all my readers (you people). Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by! <<<


The blog that you are currently reading began as a daily e-mail exchange with a close friend of mine who shared my interest in military and counterterrorism issues, as well as the occasional random
humor piece. After a week or so of sending interesting links back and forth, I realized that I might as well turn it into one of these new-fangled 'weblogs'. At the time, I already had a little bit of blogging experience under my belt: Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, I created a blog called 'The Idiot Spotlight'. I lit up a couple of especially-deserving people, but the blog was quickly overloaded by the sheer number of idiots in our native galaxy and I disbanded it after a week or so. (However, the ghost of The Idiot Spotlight lives on, and will be returning to haunt this very site starting tomorrow and continuing each Sunday after that.)

I first posted on October 1st, 2005. I spent the first week exploring other blogs, linking to many interesting stories, and generally becoming a smarter human being. I found The Belmont Club and I ate it up. Security Watchtower and Bill Roggio's The Fourth Rail--which has returned!--were quickly bookmarked. On October 10th, ten days after my first post, I stumbled across a blog called Gates of Vienna
--I don't quite remember how, but we'll chalk it up to fate--and discovered this post concerning what appeared to be a militant Islamic group operating right here in the United States known as Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Suddenly I was all over this story. Family, friends, and acquaintances were quickly informed as I made every effort to 'get the word out', something the new blog and all two of my readers--thanks Mom and Dad--became useful for. Before we move on, for those of you that are unfamiliar with Jamaat ul-Fuqra--and are too lazy to follow the links--here's some background:

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, whose report on Jamaat ul-Fuqra (JF) can be viewed here, JF is a terrorist organization based in Pakistan and North America. Founded in New York State 1980 by the Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, it's name is literally translated as 'community of the impoverished' and it's goal--as stated by Sheikh Gilani himself--is to 'purify' Islam through violence. Hiding behind a labyrinth of front organizations and charity organizations, JF leads a comfortable existence in some surprising places. According to the SATP:

"Although Gilani, the reclusive chief of Fuqra resides in Lahore, Pakistan, most JF cells are located in North America. Fuqra members have purchased isolated rural properties in North America to live as a community, practice their faith, and insulate themselves from Western culture. The group has set up and funded rural communes that the US authorities allege are linked to murder, bombings and other felonies throughout the US and Canada. Currently, there are half a dozen Fuqra residential compounds in rural hamlets across the US sheltering hundreds of cadres, some of who have reportedly trained in the use of weapons and explosives in Pakistan.

Muslims of the Americas, a tax-exempt group established in the US in 1980 by Gilani, operates communes of primarily black, American-born Muslims in many states in the US, including in Binghamton in New York, Badger in California, York in South California and Red House in Virginia. JF is reportedly linked through court documents to the Muslims of Americas. There is also a road in the name of Sheikh Gilani in the vicinity of Virginia. The cult houses between 100 and 200 people, many of them women and children in about 20 huge trailers."

It was the compound in Red House, Virginia that attracted the attention of Baron Bodissey and his digital camera. He knew what he was getting into:

[On Sheikh Gilani] "Sheikh Gilani, you may remember, is the cleric with whom Daniel Pearl had arranged an interview back in January of 2002. Unfortunately, Mr. Pearl was betrayed by his sources, and then abducted and beheaded. Sheikh Gilani was arrested later that month and languishes in Pakistani custody.

So this is the kind of people we are dealing with here. They launder money, smuggle firearms, plan and carry out assassinations and bombings, and conduct intense Islamist indoctrination, including inside American prisons."

Of course, The Baron documents his sources. His post cites information from the SATP report, a Defense Watch article, and an article from The Daily Excelsior of India. In the interest of time and space, I will refrain from reproducing that information here. However, the reader may kindly exercise the use of his/her mouse button on the blue underlined words. In short, Jamaat ul-Fuqra's history of violent activities in the United States is quite extensive.

The Baron was obviously nervous:

"So this is all I knew as I drove through Rustberg toward Red House on a gloomy Saturday afternoon."

Rather than steal his post, I now kindly direct you to Gates of Vienna. His excursion to Red House simply deserves to be read in its entirety.

Enter CP. Like me, he had stumbled across Gates of Vienna and was quite surprised at The Baron's findings. On October 14th, he revealed the fruits of his own research. These included a map and a listing of purported JF compounds as well as their activities. Suddenly the "half-dozen residential compounds in rural hamlets across the US" is a much larger issue.

Over the next several months, both Gates of Vienna and The Politics of CP continue their research. Baron receives some informative e-mails and reveals the dubious connections of Sheikh Gilani, and CP methodically details individual JF compounds in Colorado, California, South Carolina (since updated), New York, Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee. In fact, all of CP's reports have been compiled into one place for easy access. Take some time to read through these reports. Aside from a few radio appearances by The Baron in October and CP just yesterday, there has been very little public coverage of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, something that for the past four months has been increasingly irritating. I'm sure CP and The Baron would echo those sentiments.

However, I think it may be fair to say that the coverage of Jamaat ul-Fuqra has turned a corner. CP has teamed up with the Northeast Intelligence Network--which has an excellent history of investigation--and a formal investigative report has been released.

That report can be viewed here in PDF format.

I will let the report speak for itself, but a short summary is due: After presenting an excellent collection of background information on Jamaat ul-Fuqra and Sheikh Gilani, the report details a comprehensive field investigation of the JF Headquarters in New York known as 'Islamberg'. Investigators have secured photos of the site, and conducted additional covert observation of areas of the compound not visible from any publicly-accessible position. Among their findings are an apparently well-used firing range, a military style obstacle and rope course, and numerous armed sentries patrolling the grounds armed with rifles. Above all, the layout of the compound appears to have been designed to prevent public observation. The report also details a number of interviews with local residents who live near the compound. Most notable are these two quotes:

"We see children - small children run around over there when they should be in school. We hear bursts of gunfire all of the time, and we know that there is military like training going on there. Those people are armed and dangerous. We get nothing but menacing looks from the people who go in and out of the camp, and sometime they yell at us to mind our own business when we are just driving by. We don't even dare to slow down when we drive by. They own this mountain and they know it, and there is nothing we can do about it but move, and we can't even do that. Who wants to buy property next to that?" [Source: CP/NIN Report, page 13]


"These people need to be investigated. They are training for war, either for war here in this country or against our troops. Who in the hell is allowing this stuff to happen right here in our own backyard, and why?" [Source: CP/NIN Report, page 13]

Additional supporting information can be found in the appendix of the report.

By no means is the Jamaat ul-Fuqra story over. The CP/NIN effort states that it is an interim report, and that further investigations are pending. CP himself and Baron and Dymphna at Gates of Vienna continue to research and publish their findings. I myself am currently researching possible JF activities in my region of the country.

This story will always carry a special distinction for me, hav
ing been fortunate enough to follow this story from the day of its revelation by Baron Bodissey to the CP/NIN report and beyond. I am proud of my fellow bloggers who have made incredible strides in researching, compiling, narrating, and presenting any and all information they have uncovered. As an American, I am disturbed by the threats that organizations like Jamaat ul-Fuqra pose to our country, as well as the apparent impotence of the proper authorities to deal with the situation. However, if the past four months are any indication, I am confident that the American people will competently defend their homeland by raising awareness of this story and conducting private investigations in a thorough yet mature manner. Government knowledge of these investigations appears to be lacking, but progress is being made. (Both Gates of Vienna and CP were mentioned in a weekly NYPD counterterrorism briefing.) I am optimistic--something that usually doesn't come easily for me--that we will prevail.

But let me address the members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra themselves: Jamaat ul-Fuqra, Muslims of the Americas, or whatever you choose to call yourselves, we are watching you. We know where you are and we know what you are doing; we know what you believe and what you're hoping to do. If you're anywhere near competent, I expect that you've been following our reports and you're probably reading this right now. (Thanks for stopping by and upping my traffic, but don't let the door hit you on the way out.) Make no mistake, we will not allow our country to be attacked from within. You have managed to use and abuse the freedom and liberties inherent in American society to operate your illegal compounds, indoctrinate your followers with murderous ideology, and subvert the civil order of this nation by committing numerous murders, bombings, fraud, and other criminal acts. Yet we are not powerless against you. In accordance with the laws of our nation--the very laws which protect your rights to speak freely, assemble together, practice your ideology, and bear arms--we will expose your activities and bring you to justice. We know that you are patient and resourceful, but so are we.

Your days are numbered.


On The Road Again....

No time for a post today, as I will spend much of it traveling.

However, do stop by tomorrow for the first installment of the new Saturday Featured Story. I will be discussing Jamaat ul-Fuqra and the CP/NIN Report. World Net Daily has picked up the story; you can read their article here.

Also, CP will be on the radio today.

Looks like Jamaat ul-Fuqra is going to have a busy weekend in the spotlight. It's about time.



RPG Killer >>> Very, very cool. If anybody out there has video of this, shoot me an e-mail.

Nukes Suddenly Halal? >>> This should come as no surprise, considering the close alliance between Ahmadinejad and the Iranian mullahs. What makes this more complicated is the complex nature of Islamic Shari'a and the 'fiqh'--Islamic jurisprudence--which is basically the collection of fatwas--religious decrees--by the Muslim jurists, imams, and mullahs. In addition to the Qur'an and the hadith, this ever-changing 'consensus' of sorts is to be treated as law by Muslims. Think 'living Constitution' and you'll get the idea. (This is why the May 2003 fatwa which granted bin Laden and other terrorist leaders permission to use NBC weapons was so serious. It basically removed any moral or religious obstruction to the use of weapons of mass destruction by Islamic militants.) In addition, Iran is a predominately Shia country. So? Well in Shia Islam--which adheres to the Ja'fari school of jurisprudence--these fatwas are taken much more seriously. Also, for better or worse, Ja'fari fatwas are typically more flexible than their Sunni counterparts, as each Ja'fari jurist is able to inject their opinion into the ruling, thus adding a further degree of complexity to the fatwa.

More on Gitmo >>> Though feeling a little ill, Murdoc still coughs up--sorry, it was a pun that had to be made--an excellent look at the misrepresentation of the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. No wonder Murdoc doesn't feel so well...

The Side of Islam You Don't See >>> (*WARNING* Not safe for work. Or kids. Viewer uhhh.... 'discretion' is advised. You've been warned!) I found this over at Sandmonkey's place, and I'll just let it speak for itself. If you have time, read some of the comments as well.

The Dilbert Blog >>> This has nothing to do with anything that I normally discuss here, but I recently added The Dilbert Blog to my Humor/Satire blogroll, and today's post is exactly the kind of reason why. (Yes, this is the same Scott Adams who publishes the comic strip.) I have never really gotten into the Dilbert comic strip--sorry Scott--but the blog is absolutely hilarious. Also, if you were unfortunate enough to miss the short lived Dilbert TV show, you need to purchase the DVDs immediately. It set the standard for animated comedy even before Family Guy made it cool.



Lasers! (And Passenger Jets) >>> Also mentioned at the NIN. I'm a huge fan of lasers--which is why anything that I write concerning directed energy military hardware is usually accompanied by a heartfelt 'Lasers!' or two--but this is not what they should be used for. Chances are this is a bunch of kids--sounds like me a couple of years ago--who decided to point their new laser pens at passenger aircraft because they were caught pointing them at the cheerleaders at the last high school pep rally and if the principal sees one more red dot on a cheerleader--not counting pimples--he'll call mom and dad. However, it would be irresponsible to assume this is simply benign teenage terrorism. I hate to bring this up cause I know it'll be taken the wrong way, but the area where most of these incidents took place--Dearborn, Michigan--has one of the highest concentrations of American Muslims in the entire country. Now settle down; I'm not suggesting anything malicious here, but it's worth at least noting the apparent coincidence. That's all. Just as assuming innocence would be a mistake, so to would be assuming guilt. You can make up your own mind on this one, but if you read anything into it and get yourself offended, then it's your own damn fault.

Muslim Institute Dares Ahmadinejad To Visit Auschwitz >>> I thought this was pretty cool. Of course, Ahmadinejad wouldn't bother, but it was nice to hear someone--especially a fellow Muslim--call him on his rhetoric. Also, people tend to forget that the Jews weren't the only ones methodically exterminated during the Holocaust. Though the Jews certainly made up the majority, the millions of slaughtered Sinti (Gypsies), Roma, Russians, Slavs, Poles, physically and mentally handicapped, homosexuals, and various religious minorities deserve remembrance as well. (Hat tip: Big Pharoah)

UN Report on Guantanamo Bay >>> Murdoc nails it. Regardless of what you think of Gitmo, any report whose authors declined a visit to the site in question should not be taken seriously. Obviously, if getting to the truth of the matter was important, they'd have 'taken the tour', so to speak. While I agree that the legal quandaries surrounding Gitmo do warrant some criticism, most people have a very misguided view that Guantanamo is some modern-day concentration camp; the Treblinka of the Tropics. Falsified Newsweek stories don't do anybody any favors, either. While I'm sure Gitmo isn't very pleasant, I doubt it's overly uncomfortable either. Anybody that's ever read Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago would never hasten to make such rash comparisons. Remember that a number of people who have been released from this facility have returned to their former 'occupations'. (Note the Afghan teenager in that story who spent two years in Gitmo learning English, playing sports, and watching movies. He was later recaptured with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.) And I'm pretty sure everybody in Gitmo is eating better than they ever did in The 'Stan.

Israel SAM-Proofs Its Airliners >>> We need to do this yesterday! We'll do it eventually when we get one of our jetliners shot down, but until then we're just going to continue to sweep the threat under the rug. Grrrr....

Saluting the 3rd ACR >>> Just read the thing. It speaks for itself.

New Abu Ghraib Photos >>> Not what you expected, eh? The actual new photos are out there--should you desire to see them--but I won't be linking to them here. Like Michelle Malkin, I find it odd that American media outlets have no qualms about publishing these photos, but the Mohammed cartoons are off limits. (As an aside, I have yet to really address this whole Cartoon Nonsense. Hopefully it will die out--it won't--and I won't have to comment on it--I will--and we can all go back to whatever foolishness we were engaged in before all this happened.) The Mudville Gazette also posted an excellent Abu Ghraib quiz back in April, which is a must-see.



Sorry for the late posting, I had a lot of catching up to do. She's a lengthy one today....

Where are the WMD? >>> I know, even mentioning WMDs these days brings up the inevitable request to 'cease and desist your continued physical assaults on that deceased equine mammal', or some derivative thereof. However, seeing as we went to war over this issue, I think the horse deserves a few more kicks. Now, we know that Saddam possessed these weapons at some point--he used them during the Iran-Iraq War and at Halabja in 1988--and we know that he refused to cooperate with UN inspectors during the '90s concerning the whereabouts of these weapons. In short, the question we should be asking--because we aren't--is where did these weapons go? Were they all destroyed during Desert Storm and by subsequent UN inspections? Maybe, though no conclusive proof exists. Shipped off to Syria? Quite possibly. Maybe even by Russian Spetsnaz? That would certainly merit a cover-up. Did Saddam even have the weapons he thought he did? Now that would be ironic. Or are they still in Iraq? David Gaubatz thinks so. All of these theories are probable--the Russian Spetsnaz idea is a little far-fetched, but it certainly sounds exciting--and are mutually exclusive. So what gives? Why is nobody else asking this question? Could it be because the answer appears to be non-existent? If you read through the theories above, you'll fit into either of two categories: You're suddenly curious and wondering why this story has been written off so quickly, or you're hopelessly confused by the massive amount of conflicting information and you just don't care anymore. I wouldn't blame you.

The Arabic Gap >>> All I can say is that I hope that these kids taking Arabic in high school and college stick with it; and that we can make do until they graduate.

US Prepares Strike Against Iran >>> At this point, considering the failure of diplomatic measures to elicit a positive response from the Iranians, military action seems inevitable. Somewhat surprisingly, 57% of Americans would support such action. I have predicted in the past that Israel would launch a unilateral strike on Iran near the end of March, especially given the recent Hamas victory in Palestine, which could make Benjamin Netanyahu the resounding victor in Israel's March 28th elections. Netanyahu has already made it clear that he plans to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran. However, the prevailing wisdom now seems to be that such a strike would be best undertaken by the United States, and not simply for the political wisdom of keeping Jewish Israel out of a war with Muslim Iran. Such an attack would be extremely complicated, as this report from Security Watchtower illustrates. (I love how it puts the Sunday Telegraph's graphic to shame in terms of detail.) Though the US could probably pull off the attack, Israel certainly lacks the resources to do so, and their unique political situation effectively sidelines them. This burden falls upon the United States. Sadly, I feel that this is inevitable. I continue to believe that March-April 2006 will be--as an Israeli defense official described it--the 'point of no return'. Furthermore, it will certainly be costly, but I do think that this is an exaggeration.

Behind the Bomb Makers >>> An excellent article from Defense Technology International--in a cool online magazine format--with some very interesting background on the IED threat in Iraq. In related news, check out the IED Ray Gun. Woo hoo! Lasers!

Jamaat ul-Fuqra: The CP/NIN Report
>>> (Link is in PDF format.) For several months now--almost as long as I've been running this blog--I have covered numerous reports concerning Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a domestic Islamic terrorist organization. These reports stretched over the period of many months, spearheaded largely by Gates of Vienna and The Politics of CP. CP led the way with numerous investigations into individual JF compounds--which I linked to as they were posted--based almost exclusively on open-source information. Now CP has teamed up with the Northeast Intelligence Network in researching and releasing a comprehensive report concerning Jamaat ul-Fuqra. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the NIN, they run an extremely polished and almost unbelievably informative site. In fact, many of the stories they report on take place on such a local level that they are effectively ignored by the rest of the media and the blogosphere. Honestly, the first time I stopped by the NIN, I was skeptical of their reports, at least until I studied their supporting information. Now they are one of my daily reads and they occupy the highest realm of my recommendations. I will be posting a more in-depth analysis of the CP/NIN report this weekend, but until then you can read it here in PDF format. If you have no idea what Jamaat ul-Fuqra is, CP has assembled a digest of coverage spanning back to mid-October 2005 when this whole story was first uncovered. Start there.

Obligatory Dick Cheney Link >>> Sorry, I just had to mention this. Seriously though, whatever happened to gun safety?


I'm Back

Regular posting will resume tomorrow.

I've made up my mind about the changes I'd like to make to the blog and its formatting. (No, nothing big. I'm not going to start posting in Farsi or Mandarin Chinese--though I wish I could.) Here's what's going down:

Monday through Friday will consist of the usual daily news format--the 'Linkzookery', as Murdoc would call it.

Saturday will be a more traditional single-issue post on whatever I want, but probably somehow connected to the major news of that particular week.

Sunday will now host the 'Idiot of the Week'. Before I started this blog, I operated one for a couple weeks called 'The Idiot Spotlight'. For various reasons I discontinued it--not because of the lack of idiots, trust me--but it's spirit will live on here. Stop by this Sunday to see who the first one is.



I have two regrettable announcements to make, one of which is worse than the other. We'll do the really bad news first:

1. >>> The Seattle Seahawks lost the Super Bowl.


2. >>> I will have very little time for blogging this next week, due to mid-terms. The soonest I would be able to post--at least with any semblance of quality--would be on Friday, but I've decided I will resume posting again on Monday the 13th, and use the extra time to update the site and organize my information gathering system into something less chaotic. My previous pledge to have all posts up by noon Pacific Time has failed miserably, so I'm going to re-evaluate my methods. In the mean time, there is a whole lot going on in the world--which I will still be watching closely--and I plan to jump back into it as soon as possible. Until then, this blog has now reached the 100 post milestone. Take some time and read through some archived posts; when you write something almost everyday for 4 months, it's always interesting to go back and see which predictions turned out to be correct, and which ones were totally off.

>>> Jesse Clark



2006 State of the Union >>> If you missed it, the White House has a transcript and streaming video. Pretty decent speech, actually. CT blog breaks it down here.

IAEA: Iran Has Plans For A Bomb >>> Given this statement by the IAEA--and their report several months back in which they gave the shortest-yet estimate of how soon Iran could acquire nuclear weapons--it is odd that they have been the most cautious of all participants in the Iranian affair.

Fuqra Fugitives >>> CP continues his coverage of domestic terror organization Jamaat ul-Fuqra with a look at its connection with a number of wanted fugitives. He also expresses frustration at their removal from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations in 2000.

Lasers! >>> That's right! Lasers!

What's So Great About the .45? >>> This article doesn't mention it, but the .40 S&W cartridge is another spectacular round that offers increased performance (read: stopping power) over the 9mm, while producing less recoil than the .45 and carrying more ammunition.
For those reasons, the .40 is my preferred pistol round. However, the argument over pistol caliber is a never-ending one, and gun enthusiasts will disagree over this issue forever.