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October 24, 2007

WWIII Watch, Part III: Limited Incursion Edition

Here we go:


Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey bombed units of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq and sent troops across the border in pursuit of the militants, a lawmaker of Turkey's governing party said today.

Turkish military jets and artillery pounded rebel positions inside the Kurdish-controlled region intermittently, said the lawmaker, who attended a briefing on the hostilities by government spokesman Cemil Cicek late yesterday in Ankara.

The army sent troops across the border with Iraq to hunt down PKK militants after 12 Turkish soldiers were killed by the group on Oct. 21 in Turkey, the official said. They later returned to the Turkish side of the border, he added.

Turkey's parliament on Oct. 17 passed a resolution authorizing the government to send troops into northern Iraq to attack PKK bases there. The U.S. opposes such action on concern it would destabilize the calmest part of Iraq.

October 23, 2007

WWIII Watch, Part II

Once again, the Israelis attacked Lebanon with U.S. backing for lesser reasons than this, and the U.S. attacked Eye-Rack for even less.

BAGHDAD - Turkey’s foreign minister rejected any cease-fire by Kurdish rebels Tuesday as he met with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad to press them to crack down on the guerrillas. Turkish forces massed on the border and tensions rose over a threatened military incursion.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, himself a Kurd, said Iraq’s central government and authorities in its Kurdish autonomous region in the north would work together to deny the rebels freedom of movement, funds and representative offices. He said a high-level political and military delegation would travel soon to Turkey.

Iraqi officials have been saying that guerrillas with the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is known by its Kurdish acronym PKK, were based in inaccessible mountainous areas of northern Iraq.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said there are several ways to fight terrorism and Ankara would use them when appropriate. The buildup of troops along Turkey’s border with Iraq, meanwhile, continued with military helicopters airlifting commando units into the area overnight.

The mix of diplomatic and military activity followed Sunday’s rebel ambush near the Iraqi border that left 12 Turkish soldiers dead, 16 wounded and eight missing.

"We also don’t wish our historical and friendly ties with Iraq to be ruined because of a terrorist organization," Babacan said at a joint news conference after meeting with Zebari. "On the other hand, we are expecting support from international community and our neighbors in struggle against terrorism."

Babacan said rebel attacks this month alone left 42 people dead.

The Turkish government on Tuesday asked television and radio stations to curb broadcasts about Sunday’s ambush, saying they "have a negative impact on public order and people’s morale, spreading a flawed image of security forces," according to an official at the media watchdog. The official asked not to be named because she was not allowed to speak to the media.

Babacan, meanwhile, rejected any offer of a cease-fire by the PKK.

Cease-fires are "possible between states and regular forces," a stern-faced Babacan said. "The problem here is that we’re dealing with a terrorist organization."

The PKK has called on Turkey not to attack Iraq, claiming that a unilateral rebel cease-fire declared in June was still in place although it did not halt fighting.

"The position of the PKK is that we have agreed to a cease-fire but when we are attacked by the Turkish troops we will hit back," rebel spokesman Abdul-Rahman al-Chadarchi told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

He also confirmed that the rebels were holding eight Turkish soldiers captive and promised to treat them with respect, although he said it was "premature" to discuss conditions for their release.

"When they were attacking us, they were our enemies but now they are helpless captives whom we will take care of," al-Chadarchi said. "When the Turkish government asks for them, we can talk about conditions."

October 16, 2007

WWIII Watch

Hey, if the Bushies and Israelis can do it, why not Turkey?

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will defy international pressure on Wednesday and grant its troops permission to enter northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels based there, though it has played down expectations of any imminent attack.

Washington, Ankara's NATO ally, says it understands Turkey's desire to tackle rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), but fears a major incursion would wreck stability in the most peaceful part of Iraq and potentially in the wider region.

Turkey's stance has helped drive global oil prices to $88 a barrel, a new record, and has hit its lira currency as investors weigh the economic risks of any major military operation.

Parliamentary approval would create the legal basis for military action, essentially giving the army a free hand to act as and when it sees fit.

By law, Turkey's parliament must approve the deployment of Turkish troops abroad. Parliament is expected to approve the request from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's cabinet by a large majority following an open debate.

October 15, 2007

Hurrah, We've Defeated Five Percent Of The Insurgency

Turning corners. Light. End. Tunnels. So forth:

The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past.

. . .Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of the Joint Special Operations Command's operations in Iraq, is the chief promoter of a victory declaration and believes that AQI has been all but eliminated, the military intelligence official said. But Adm. William J. Fallon, the chief of U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, is urging restraint, the official said. The military intelligence official, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity about Iraq assessments and strategy.

Yes, according to the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (the same organization that got it right on weaponsofmassdestruction) the number of Al Quaeda fighters among the insurgency only amounts to only five percent of the total insurgents. And furthermore, what's going to happen with the Sunni insurgents that we armed when they no longer have a rival to fight against?

Morons.

October 14, 2007

Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

The Washington Post editorial today:

A congressional study and several news stories in September questioned reports by the U.S. military that casualties were down. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), challenging the testimony of Gen. David H. Petraeus, asserted that "civilian deaths have risen" during this year's surge of American forces.

A month later, there isn't much room for such debate, at least about the latest figures. In September, Iraqi civilian deaths were down 52 percent from August and 77 percent from September 2006, according to the Web site icasualties.org. The Iraqi Health Ministry and the Associated Press reported similar results. U.S. soldiers killed in action numbered 43 -- down 43 percent from August and 64 percent from May, which had the highest monthly figure so far this year. The American combat death total was the lowest since July 2006 and was one of the five lowest monthly counts since the insurgency in Iraq took off in April 2004.

During the first 12 days of October the death rates of Iraqis and Americans fell still further. So far during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which began Sept. 13 and ends this weekend, 36 U.S. soldiers have been reported as killed in hostile actions. That is remarkable given that the surge has deployed more American troops in more dangerous places and that in the past al-Qaeda has staged major offensives during Ramadan. Last year, at least 97 American troops died in combat during Ramadan. Al-Qaeda tried to step up attacks this year, U.S. commanders say -- so far, with stunningly little success.

. . .This doesn't necessarily mean the war is being won. U.S. military commanders have said that no reduction in violence will be sustainable unless Iraqis reach political solutions -- and there has been little progress on that front. Nevertheless, it's looking more and more as though those in and outside of Congress who last month were assailing Gen. Petraeus's credibility and insisting that there was no letup in Iraq's bloodshed were -- to put it simply -- wrong.

Eye-Rack yesterday:

Iraq bombs and shootings kill at least 32

BAGHDAD (AFP) - A wave of violence across Iraq, including the bombing of a minibus filled with Shiite worshippers and a suicide truck bomb attack on a police station, has killed 32 people, officials said Sunday.

Dozens of people were wounded in the attacks, which came as Muslims were celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival that ends the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the officials said.

Ten people, including three women and two children, were killed on Sunday when a car bomb exploded next to their minibus as they were heading towards a Shiite shrine in northern Baghdad, Iraqi military officials told AFP.

Women and children were also among 18 wounded by the blast in Aden square, which was then sealed off to vehicles by the security forces.

and. . .

Washington Post Correspondent Dies in Iraq By Joshua Partlow and Amit R. Paley Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, October 14, 2007; 2:54 PM

BAGHDAD, Oct. 14 -- A veteran Washington Post special correspondent was shot to death Sunday in southwest Baghdad while on assignment, the first reporter for the newspaper to be killed during the Iraq war.

Salih Saif Aldin, 32, was reporting on the violence that has plagued Baghdad's Sadiyah neighborhood Sunday afternoon when he was shot in the forehead. According to residents of the neighborhood and the Iraqi military officers at the scene, he was taking photographs on a street where several houses had been burned when he was killed. His wounds appeared to indicate he was shot at close range.

God, save us from our librul media.

October 12, 2007

Embiggening The Dialogue On SCHIP

Atrios is right. This offering by Republicans is funny, but not "ha-ha" funny.

U.S. Army Soldiers Surrendered To Blackwater Mercs

Another reason why I don't cry for the clowns that burned in Fallujah:

Oct. 15, 2007 issue - The colonel was furious. "Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers." He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad's Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company. Asked to address this and other allegations in this story, Blackwater spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, "This type of gossip has led to many soap operas in the press."

. . .Responsible for guarding top U.S. officials in Iraq, Blackwater operatives are often accused of playing by their own rules. Unlike nearly everyone else who enters the Green Zone, said an American soldier who guards a gate, Blackwater gunmen refuse to stop and clear their weapons of live ammunition once inside. One military contractor, who spoke anonymously for fear of retribution in his industry, recounted the story of a Blackwater operative who answered a Marine officer's order to put his pistol on safety when entering a base post office by saying, "This is my safety," and wiggling his trigger finger in the air. "Their attitude was, 'We're f---ing security; we don't have to answer to anybody'."

October 11, 2007

Why Are Negroes So Good At Basketball? Because They Steal, Shoot And Run

So there was a tragic school shooting that happened the other day, what do you do? Why, if you are FAUX Nooze sockpuppet John Gibson, inject race into it of course!

GIBSON: Now why would there be guns in schools?

[audio clip -- 50 Cent's "Fully Loaded Clip"]

GIBSON: Well, that's my working theory, but, you know -- and, of course, because the school is very heavily African-American, I did leap to a conclusion.

ANGY RICH: What was that, John?

GIBSON: Well, that the shooter might have been African-American. Turns out it's a white guy.

. . .GIBSON: Angry Rich, you know why I knew that this -- through our afternoon of mystery wondering about the kid that was the shooter, I knew this was not a classic hip-hop shooting.

ANGRY RICH: How's that John?

GIBSON: He killed himself. Hip-hoppers do not kill themselves. They walk away. Now, I didn't need to hear the kid was white with blond hair. Once he'd shot himself in the head, no hip-hopper.

ANGRY RICH: So it's not a classic hip-hop --

GIBSON: It's not even close. I mean it's whatever he is, and it's clear to me that this gun culture right now primarily promoted by hip-hop music --

[rap clip]

GIBSON: "I bought a brand new gun today. I'm gonna shoot you in the face." This culture has even reached the school campus. We're not in the Kip Kinkel era of school shootings anymore; it has changed. Yes, I know the shooter was white. I knew it as soon as he shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again. Triple-8, 788-9910. I know there's a few of you who want to call me racist. But when you do, remind -- let me remind you, African-Americans are dying in major cities because people won't face this problem. Gibson on Fox.

Hmm, and he wonders why folks are desensitized to violence upon black people. When white kids get shot up in schools, it's a national tragedy. When black kids die, it must be because of their hip-hopping jungle music rap.

October 5, 2007

Ann Coulter: Repeal The 19th Amendment

I'll bet she'll later say we took this out of context or it was only a joke:

Earlier this week, Ann Coulter told The New York Observer that she believes women shouldn’t have the right to vote:
If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.

It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and “We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms??

Why does this, this, woman (boy, that took some effort) have a media platform to begin with?