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Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Return of The Tunnel Rats

April 29th, 2011 - 1:04 pm

Space War describes an Israeli unit being trained for war in tunnels modeled after the Vietnam era labyrinth in Cu Chi. They will be needed if Gaza and Lebanon turn hot again.

Israel’s military is reported to have built a underground complex to train troops how to be Vietnam-style “tunnel rats” and go after Hezbollah in its elaborate bunker system across southern Lebanon should the shooting starts again.

The Hebrew-language Maariv daily reported this week that two of its reporters and a camera crew were allowed to inspect the “subterranean city” built in northern Israel “to train for an imminent war” against Hezbollah.

The newspaper quoted an unidentified “military commander” as saying the complex was fashioned on the labyrinth of tunnels constructed by the Viet Cong at Cu Chi, northeast of Saigon, during the Vietnam War.

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The Misrata Boulevardiers

April 29th, 2011 - 1:20 am

A walk through a section of Misrata captured by rebels from Khadaffy’s forces is in video after the “more”.  Things to note: armored vehicles hidden in warehouses to keep them hidden from aerial surveillance. Walls pockmarked with shrapnel.  Empty crates of ammunition. Wrecked vehicles. Desolate streets in every direction.  The odd corpse, once men, once Khadaffy soldiers, now still and silent heaps on a North African sidewalk. Note too the ubiquitous greeting: Allahu Akbar.

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Those Who the Gods Wish to Destroy

April 28th, 2011 - 7:11 pm

Chosun Ilbo reports that Jimmy Carter is urging the US to supply food to North Korea immediately, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of North Korea’s human rights.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Thursday urged the West not to interfere over human rights in North Korea and immediately resume food aid to the renegade nation. …

Asked if he mentioned human rights to North Korean officials, Carter said he believes there are some human rights concerns about the North Korean regime’s policies but that they cannot be changed by outsiders.

He said that one of the most important human rights is “to have food to eat and for South Korea and Americans, and others to deliberately withhold food aid for North Korean people… is indeed a human rights violation.” Critics in South Korea were stunned that Carter appeared to ignore the Kim Jong-il regime’s responsibility for egregious violation of human rights including the operation of concentration camps, public executions and torture but accused Seoul of violating North Korean rights.

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Born To Be Mild

April 28th, 2011 - 3:42 pm

Lee Smith tries to understand the administration’s reluctance to take on the Syrian regime, which can be seen machine-gunning protesters in this video. In the face of outrages committed daily, which it does not even bother to hide, “why is Obama protecting Assad?” he asks.  For exempted Assad is. Smith cites diplomatic sources suggesting the Opthamologist of Damascus will be specifically spared from the “targeted sanctions.” The better not to anger the president of Syria.

Smith believes the reluctance is because Obama needs Assad to carry out his long-cherished goal of signing a comprehensive peace agreement between the Arab states and Israel. That, like other initiatves, has met with nothing but failure. But the greater the failure, the greater Obama’s need for Assad. Assad holds the keys to the car Obama dreams of driving.

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The Birth Certificate

April 27th, 2011 - 12:43 pm

The Obama birth certificate is now in a secure place where it is viewable by only a single person: Alvin Onaka.

More than a month before Donald Trump began his media blitzkrieg over the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate, the document was quietly moved to a more secure location within a dual combination-key lock safe inside the state’s health department vault.

The certificate was moved there by Alvin Onaka, Hawaii’s State Registrar, in response to what had already become an increasing number of media requests by FoxNews.com and others, according to sources.

“It is my understanding that the book has been placed in a smaller locked container in the same secure safe,” Chiyome Fukino, who served as Hawaii’s health department director for eight years until last December, told FoxNews.com. “The safe is still in the department.”

Fukino and others claim the additional security measure reduces the number of people with access to the much-sought-after document from a handful to just one: Onaka himself.

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The Other Obama Conspiracy Theory

April 26th, 2011 - 2:02 pm

The “other” and perhaps best founded Obama conspiracy theory revolves not around the President’s birth certificate or his grades in school, themes recently taken up by Donald Trump, but over whether he was the true author of his best-selling  “Dreams from My Father”. Jack Cashill, author of Deconstructing Obama, is the primary proponent of the theory that it was ghost written by someone else. The book’s summary says:

“I’ve written two books,” Barack Obama told a crowd of teachers in July of 2008. “I actually wrote them myself.” The teachers exploded in laughter. They got the joke: lesser politicians were not bright enough to do the same. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama supporters pointed to the first of those two books, the 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, as proof of Obama’s superior intellect. Time magazine called Dreams “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.” The Obama campaign machine traded on the candidate’s literary reputation, encouraging volunteers to “get out the vote and keep talking to others about the genius of Barack Obama.”

There was just one small flaw, as writer and literary detective Jack Cashill discovered months before the November 2008 election: nothing in Obama’s history suggested he was capable of writing either Dreams or his 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope. In fact, as Cashill continued his research, he came to the shocking conclusion that the real craftsman behind Dreams was terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers.

“This was a charge,” David Remnick admits in his definitive Obama biography, The Bridge, “that if ever proved true, or believed to be true among enough voters, could have been the end of the candidacy.”

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The Janus Shield

April 26th, 2011 - 11:54 am

The National Journal says the administration is negotiating a legal framework with Russia that would allow it to exchange sensitive technical information with Moscow, including data on missile defense. “The United States is working to revive an agreement with Russia that would serve as the legal foundation for the two nations to exchange potentially sensitive information on a broad range of technologies, including missile defense systems”. The negotiations over what is now called the Defense Technology Cooperation Agreement, according to an unnamed Pentagon source, are slated to conclude “sooner, rather than later.”  The emphasis in quotes that follow are mine.

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The Syrian Timebomb

April 25th, 2011 - 6:08 pm

Following news reports that Syrian armor and infantry were firing wholesale in to Deraa, McClatchy Newspapers said that the Obama administration was considering a range of “targeted sanctions” against Damascus.  “The White House declined to elaborate, an indication that it was trying to coordinate a response with European allies and other nations, the course it followed with the onslaughts that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi unleashed against anti-government demonstrations.”

A “raw report” from a STRATFOR informant said that Bashar Assad may have given up on trying to contain the protests with promises of “reform” and may be preparing to unleash a Hama-style campaign, a reference to the attack his father unleashed on the city by that name in which between 20 and 40 thousand people were killed.

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The Seven Faces of Dr. Zawahiri

April 25th, 2011 - 1:09 pm

The Daily Beast describes how jailers in Afghanistan went into the political wing of their prison one day and found it empty.  “As the Taliban tell the tale, insurgents and their supporters had worked like ants for more than five months to dig the tunnel from inside a sympathizer’s house, secretly removing the earth bit by bit in pickups, tractor-pulled trailers and even donkey carts. The tunnel ran from the house, then under the main Kandahar-to-Hiart highway (sometimes called the “Bush highway” after the former president who had pushed for its widening and resurfacing) and finally into a central cell block of the prison’s political wing.”

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The Mandarins

April 25th, 2011 - 11:47 am

China will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy in five years.  According to IMF official forecasts whoever is elected President in 2012 “will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy.”

The IMF in its analysis looks beyond exchange rates to the true, real terms picture of the economies using “purchasing power parities.” That compares what people earn and spend in real terms in their domestic economies.

Under PPP, the Chinese economy will expand from $11.2 trillion this year to $19 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile the size of the U.S. economy will rise from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. That would take America’s share of the world output down to 17.7%, the lowest in modern times. China’s would reach 18%, and rising. Just 10 years ago, the U.S. economy was three times the size of China’s.

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