Link dumps — the I’m-watching-football-tonight way of blogging.
Dean Esmay: Helping Us Through A Crisis
Help this fine member of my blogroll out if you can.
Iraq takes control of armed forces
British and United States troops yesterday handed over control of Iraq’s armed forces to its own government – a move described by US officials as a crucial step, but which still leaves most of the country’s security under direct coalition control.
The US-led multinational forces in Iraq, commanded by General George Casey, have been giving orders to the new Iraqi armed forces via a joint chain of command. But now the chain of command flows directly from the Iraqi prime minister in his role as commander-in-chief.
The Iraqi army is made up of ten divisions, now numbering about 130,000 troops, and the Iraqis are expected to take over more divisions from the coalition in the coming months, although there is no exact timetable.
Maj-Gen William Caldwell, a US military spokesman, has indicated that the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, will make the final decision on how quickly his military assumes control over new divisions.
“They can move as rapidly … as they want. I know, conceptually, they’ve talked about perhaps two divisions a month,” he said.
Mr Maliki described the move as a great step forward. “The Iraqi army now, by the courage of its people and its sons in the Iraqi army, rebuilds itself again,” he said.
In a word, significant.
U.S. Air Force officer goes missing in Kyrgyz capital
A U.S. Air Force officer stationed at the air base near Bishkek disappeared while shopping in the Kyrgyz capital, the U.S. military said Wednesday.
Maj. Jill Metzger, of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, was separated from a group of servicemen while visiting a department store on Tuesday afternoon and has not been seen since, officials at the Manas air base said in a statement.
It said a group of 22 U.S. military investigators and logistics officers were searching for Metzger together with the U.S. Embassy and Kyrgyz security and law enforcement services.
Op-For‘s John has more on the story, including an interesting cultural aspect of the country that could play an ominous, though I feel highly unlikely, role.
Iraq Hawks: Getting “Outside the Narrative”
Now that we’ve established the worldview and analytical tendencies of the “dead-end Iraq War supporter,” also known as “me,” an honest reassessment of the war requires stepping outside of comfortable narratives while avoiding seductive replacements. Without diminishing the value of the struts that support my established point of view – distrust of the media, patience, a belief in the subtlety of deep trends that come to dominate large historical changes, etc – the challenge is to establish an emotionless, rational framework for analysis; a framework that goes deeper than both the BIG philosophy and the splintered, conflicting snippets of war’s progress.
Give it a read to see where he’s coming from and exactly where he hopes to reach. INDC Bill has just set himself to large task, and the road could be interesting to follow.
Three Indicted for Sending U.S. Secrets, Equipment to Yemen
Three naturalized U.S. citizens were indicted by a federal grand jury in California for allegedly acquiring secret U.S. defense information and stolen military equipment and conspiring to send them to Yemen.
The four-count indictment for conspiracy to possess and transmit defense information, attempted unlawful export of defense articles and related charges was handed up Aug. 31 and unsealed today, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said.
The men face five to 10 years in prison and fines of $250,000 to $1 million on each count.
“We will use all appropriate legal means at our disposal to detect, disrupt, and hold accountable those who seek to do us harm, whether they act within or outside our borders,” Scott said in a statement.
Ahmen Ahmed Ali, 56, of Bakersfield, California, allegedly received secret defense documents from a government undercover agent and transmitted them to Yemen by fax or courier between June 2005 and August 2006, according to the indictment.
He allegedly conspired with Mohamed Al-Rahimi, 62, of Bakersfield, to receive stolen government property, and with Ibrahim A. Omer, of Fort Worth, Texas, to ship military items such as body armor and chemical protective suits to Yemen.
Though the names might hint at something, as would the ties to Yemen, don’t think for a second that any particular religion will be mentioned in the story.
After 5 Years, OBL Releases New Video with 9-11 Killers
Maybe This Will Stop the 9-11 Conspiracy Theorists!…
How many time does OBL have to take credit for these murderous attacks on innocent Americans before people get it?
Gateway Pundit, though a fine blogger, obviously doesn’t understand conspiracy theorists. They only need a target; the route to that destination can be ever changing. Now it can be claimed that Osama was but a pawn. He was made better, stronger, faster by that evil and far-reaching New World Order comprised of Bush (either, any if one includes Jeb), Cheney, Halliburton, the famed military-industrial complex (the violent video game and car magnet industries included), and Pizza Hut. Hey, scoff if you will at that last one, but I’ll wager a lot of pizzas were ordered as America was generally glued to its TV sets in the days following 9/11. I don’t know, maybe it was Domino’s. Pizza Hut sucks too much to attain the level of evil required.
Chafee Delays Vote on Bolton Nomination
Sen. Lincoln Chafee has pulled the plug on a push by his fellow Republicans to confirm John Bolton as U.N. ambassador, saying he had more questions that needed to be answered.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was expected to vote along party lines during a committee meeting Thursday to approve Bolton. But the panel postponed the vote after Chafee, R-R.I., expressed doubt.
“Sen. Chafee said he still had questions that were not answered,” said the senator’s spokesman, Stephen Hourahan.
Boo! Hiss! C’mon, confirm the man already. Despite earlier concerns, Bolton has represented U.S. interests well so far at the worthlessness that is the United Nations and has not yet, as previously feared, threatened other diplomats for their lunch money or gone on a well-deserved wedgie-spree. The man’s restraint has been remarkable.
‘Goat-free roads made me speed’
A Swiss man caught speeding on a Canadian highway has blamed his actions on the absence of goats on the roads.
The man was caught driving at 161 km/h (100mph) in a 100 km/h (60mph) zone.
A traffic officer’s notes said the Swiss driver had said he was taking advantage “of the ability to go faster without risking hitting a goat”.
Canadian police spokesman Joel Doiron said he had never found a goat on the highways of eastern Ontario in his 20 years of service.
“Nobody’s ever used the lack of goats here as an excuse for speeding,” Mr Doiron told the AFP news agency.
“I’ve never been to Switzerland, but I guess there must be a lot of goats there,” he said.
Headline of the freakin’ day. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.