Target Centermass

10/31/2004

Anti-Semiticism on Rise in Europe … or Not

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:13 am

From France:

Vandals scrawled swastikas and “SS” initials on 88 Jewish tombs in eastern France, an anti-Semitic attack that President Jacques Chirac on Saturday called “intolerable.”

The inscriptions were discovered Saturday in the Jewish cemetery in Brumath, 10 miles north of Strasbourg near the French-German border, authorities said.

Chirac condemned “this intolerable act with the greatest firmness,” his office said in a statement.

The French leader also asked that the government “take all the measures necessary without delay to find, arrest and bring to justice the authors of this odious act.”

The government says the number of anti-Semitic acts appears to have rebounded this year, with 166 counted in the first nine months of 2004, compared with 127 for all of last year. In 2002, the Interior Ministry counted 195 such acts.

Or not. From Germany:

Several thousand demonstrators forced a group of 300 neo-Nazis to abandon the planned route of their march through the eastern city of Potsdam on Saturday, police said.

Some of the about 4,000 demonstrators used burning trash cans as barricades or threw stones and other objects, forcing police to use water cannons to keep the two sides apart.

Four officers were injured, according to police.

The march in Potsdam was organized by Christian Worch, one of Germany’s most visible neo-Nazis.

In Leinefelde, another eastern city, members of the German People’s Union and the National Democratic Party — parties both known for their nationalist and anti-immigrant stance who have agreed to join forces in upcoming national elections — were met by about 150 protesters who held placards reading “Nazis, get out.” There were no serious incidents, police said.

My view: rising and having an increasing impact on relations with U.S. and Israel, votes in the piece-o-crap UN, and the war against the Islamist bastards.

10/30/2004

Moore to Have Cameras at Polling Places

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:37 pm

Even better than international election monitoring, we are now blessed with this.

Liberal filmmaker [sic — the words is actually spelled “hack”] Michael Moore plans to have hundreds of cameras outside polling places in Ohio and Florida on Election Day to watch for attempts to suppress voter turnout.

The director of the anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” announced Saturday that a total of 1,200 professional and nonprofessional cameramen, filmmakers and videographers will bring their cameras to polling places in the two presidential battleground states, especially in minority communities.

“I’m putting those who intend to suppress the vote on notice: Voter intimidation and suppression will not be tolerated,” Moore said in a statement.

Sorry your attack propaganda didn’t have the overwhelming impact you’d hoped. Now shut up and go away. How about a nice “documentary” about Tony Blair suppressing the truth about Nessie?

Oh yeah, the Aggies lost to crapalicious Baylor.

Ags Lose 35-34

Filed under: — Gunner @ 9:48 pm

… to freakin’ Baylor! Ain’t that just crapfreakingtastic!

Just an incredible choke job by a young team. On the road, you can’t make the mistakes the Ags did, giving up turnovers, a big return and a blocked punt. You can’t surrender three second-half leads. You can’t lose in the first overtime just four plays after scoring a go-ahead OT touchdown. Well, obviously you can, but it ain’t a recipe for success.

10/29/2004

Target Centermass Texas Chili

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:44 pm

I’ve got a treat for you.

My girlfriend’s family has a rather unique tradition — chili on Halloween. Her family has moved to Amarillo, so I’ll be cooking Sunday for the gf and then assisting her in handing out candy during movies (any movie recommendations would be appreciated). Anyway, I had to dig up my chili recipe tonight and, by some chance, I’ve noticed that elgato, one of my blog inspirations and a fellow Texan, today posted a recipe for fajitas. With all this, apparently I’m being guided to give y’all my recipe for chili.

First, I have to admit that this recipe is a) excellent and b) modified from the recipe found in the book Texas Cowboy Cooking, which I heartily recommend and have repeatedly given as a Christmas gift. Here goes:

Ingredients:
4 lbs chili-ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
4 tbs chili powder
1 tsp oregano
2 16-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2.5 cups water (beer can be substituted for some or all)
2 each of large green bell, red and yellow peppers, chopped
3-5 fresh jalapenos, chopped
2-3 tbs brown sugar
salt, black pepper, tabasco

Preparation:
Brown chili meat, onion and garlic.

Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, and water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1/2 hour. Skim off some fat (to taste and heart condition) as it cooks off the chili.

Add peppers and brown sugar and simmer for 1/2 hour.

Add salt, black pepper, tabasco to taste and simmer another 1/2 hour.

Serve alone, or with rice, bread or Fritos.

Dead Man Talking

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:00 pm

The big surprise news of the day is the release of an apparently new video of Osama bin Laden. The translated transcript is as follows:

You, the American people, I talk to you today about the best way to avoid another catastrophe and about war, its reasons and its consequences.

And in that regard, I say to you that security is an important pillar of human life, and that free people do not compromise their security.

Contrary to what [President George W.] Bush says and claims — that we hate freedom –let him tell us then, “Why did we not attack Sweden?” It is known that those who hate freedom don’t have souls with integrity, like the souls of those 19. May the mercy of God be upon them.

We fought with you because we are free, and we don’t put up with transgressions. We want to reclaim our nation. As you spoil our security, we will do so to you.

I wonder about you. Although we are ushering the fourth year after 9/11, Bush is still exercising confusion and misleading you and not telling you the true reason. Therefore, the motivations are still there for what happened to be repeated.

And I will talk to you about the reason for those events, and I will be honest with you about the moments the decision was made so that you can ponder. And I tell you, God only knows, that we never had the intentions to destroy the towers.

But after the injustice was so much and we saw transgressions and the coalition between Americans and the Israelis against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it occurred to my mind that we deal with the towers. And these special events that directly and personally affected me go back to 1982 and what happened when America gave permission for Israel to invade Lebanon. And assistance was given by the American sixth fleet.

During those crucial moments, my mind was thinking about many things that are hard to describe. But they produced a feeling to refuse and reject injustice, and I had determination to punish the transgressors.

And as I was looking at those towers that were destroyed in Lebanon, it occurred to me that we have to punish the transgressor with the same — and that we had to destroy the towers in America so that they taste what we tasted, and they stop killing our women and children.

We found no difficulties in dealing with the Bush administration, because of the similarities of that administration and the regimes in our countries, half of which are run by the military and half of which are run by monarchs. And our experience is vast with them.

And those two kinds are full of arrogance and taking money illegally.

The resemblance started when [former President George H.W.] Bush, the father, visited the area, when some of our own were impressed by America and were hoping that the visits would affect and influence our countries.

Then, what happened was that he was impressed by the monarchies and the military regimes, and he was jealous of them staying in power for tens of years, embezzling the public money without any accountability. And he moved the tyranny and suppression of freedom to his own country, and they called it the Patriot Act, under the disguise of fighting terrorism. And Bush, the father, found it good to install his children as governors and leaders.

We agreed with the leader of the group, Mohammed Atta, to perform all attacks within 20 minutes before [President George W.] Bush and his administration were aware of what was going on. And we never knew that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his people in the two towers to face those events by themselves when they were in the most urgent need of their leader.

He was more interested in listening to the child’s story about the goat rather than worry about what was happening to the towers. So, we had three times the time necessary to accomplish the events.

Your security is not in the hands of [Democratic presidential nominee John] Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Any nation that does not attack us will not be attacked.

There really is no point in going through this piece by piece. It is the twisted ramblings from the twisted mind of a terrorist. He tries to justify murderous, barbaric acts with erroneous history. His understanding of the elder President Bush and the passing of the Patriot Act is quite pathetic, and his claim of U.S. permission and assistance in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon flies in the face of facts.

In June 1982, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, drove to Beirut and encircled the PLO and Syrian forces in West Beirut. Israel cited the attempted assassination of the Israeli ambassador in London and a build-up of Palestinian armaments in South Lebanon as reason for its breech of the previous cease-fire.

On 6th June, the UN Security Council passed a unanimous U.N. Security Council Resolution which demanded Israel withdraw from Lebanon and observe the cease-fire on the border. On 4th August, the UN Security Council voted to censure Israel. The PLO and Syrian forces withdrew after a US-brokered agreement, monitored by the UN peacekeeping force.

A multinational force was deployed to oversee the withdrawal composed of 800 U.S., 800 French, and 400 Italian troops. The US Marine Corps went ashore in Beirut on 25th August 1982, four days after the French had arrived. The PLO withdrawal was completed with significant incident, and the marines returned to their ships on 10th September.

….

Following a massacre on 16-18th September of between 700-800 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut, President Reagan reacted in shock and formed a new MNF with France and Italy. The force returning for a limited time to establish Lebanese government over Beirut.

The elder brother of the Assassinated President-elect was elected president and inaugurated on 23rd September. The new MNF deployed on 29th September, the first marines arriving that day in Beirut. Along with securing the area against Syrian intervention, the Marines provided humanitarian relief to the Lebanese.

In February 1983, a small British contingent including RFA Reliant, helicopters and RAF transport deployed to join the MNF.

Throughout their stay, the MNF was attacked by rogue elements in Beirut, responding with force to defend themselves. The US Sixth Fleet was offshore, providing naval gunfire support where necessary both to the marines and eventually to the Lebanese armed forces. In mid-September the USS New Jersey was sent to the area, to bring its sixteen inch guns to bear.

Much of the rest of Osama’s speech sounds like it could’ve been written by the Michael Moore or the Kerry campaign (e.g. Bush misleading, the goat book crap). There is nothing here to be seriously considered. What is to be questioned, though, are bin Laden’s motivations in releasing the tape after so much time hidden. What does he hope to accomplish?

I’m not going to pretend that I can authoritatively understand a madman, so I can only speculate on the significance. My speculation boils down to two possibilities, both intertwined by desperation and the pending U.S. election.

First, bin Laden could be vying for his own October surprise, hoping that his filmed “Nanny nanny boo boo, Bush and Kerry don’t matter” can pull off the result that CBS and the New York Times have so far failed to do. I think Osama badly misjudged our reaction to 9/11, and I think he still misjudges the American people. It may not matter whether Bush or Kerry leads bin Laden’s ultimate demise, but there certainly is a difference in their view of facing the danger of the Islamist threat past bin Laden. Kerry wants bin Laden, then wants to declare victory and bring the troops home for the celebration. Bush wants to change the atmosphere that created bin Laden and allowed him to build such a supported terrorist movement. Bush realizes the war is more than one man. There truly is a difference to be decided in our election, and bin Laden knows it and wants to influence the choice.

The second possibility is more sinister, yet still based on the same desperate motives. That possibility, very real, is that the video is a signal meant to trigger some terrorist activity. It should be noted that this comes after terrorist chatter around the election has been decreasing. Is this only coincidental, or are the pieces already in place? If there is terrorist action, two things are certain. First, you can thank Spain’s precedent of cowering. Second, their is no way to accurately predict the effect on the election or the American people. I would expect a revival of the bloodthirst so many felt after 9/11, but I doubt there’s time for this to build to critical mass before the balloting. What is important in such a compressed timeframe is the immediate mindset of an attacked America and how that would drive the voters.

I Did My Part

Filed under: — Gunner @ 9:52 pm

Cast my vote today for Bush-Cheney. That’s one closer to victory.

Cheney Set to Campaign in Hawaii

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:57 am

Taking advantage of a newfound “battleground” state, the Republican campaign has decided to take a late try at Hawii.

Vice President Dick Cheney will campaign in Hawaii on Sunday, making a rare stop on historically Democratic turf where the presidential race is unexpectedly close, a spokeswoman announced Thursday.

“We are competitive in the state; this is a very close race,” Anne Womack said.

Working for a possible electoral boon? Giving the Veep an island vacation? No, the AP quickly finds another way to spin it.

The trip was announced hours after news broke that the FBI has begun investigating whether the Pentagon improperly awarded no-bid contracts to Halliburton Co., the oil services corporation formerly headed by Cheney.

That damned evil Halliburton is behind it. But, if Hawaii isn’t in play, explain this.

Hawaii, which has four electoral votes, backed Democrat Al Gore by nearly 20 percentage points in 2000 and only votes GOP in re-election landslides — for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and Richard Nixon in 1972. But polls show Bush within striking distance, which has forced the Democratic National Committee and Sen. John Kerry to spend money to advertise there.

Kerry also was sending his daughter, Alexandra, to the island paradise for a get-out-the-vote rally on Saturday.

As a lifelong journalism junkie with a degree in the field, I plan on soon putting together a post on my opinion of how pathetically, disgustingly biassed the professional portion of the field has been through the course of this election. Not that I’d be the first, as here’s a good starter (hat tip to lgf).

Household Survey Sees 100,000 Iraqi Deaths

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:21 am

Holy crap! The U.S. military is a bunch of killers.

A survey of deaths in Iraqi households estimates that as many as 100,000 more people may have died throughout the country in the 18 months since the U.S.-led invasion than would be expected based on the death rate before the war.

Worse than that, the U.S. military is bunch of baby-killers.

The survey indicated violence accounted for most of the extra deaths seen since the invasion, and airstrikes from coalition forces caused most of the violent deaths, the researchers wrote in the British-based journal.

“Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children,” they said.

Funny, I don’t remember being trained to be an evil bastard. Maybe we should look a little closer at this.

There is no official figure for the number of Iraqis killed since the conflict began, but some non-governmental estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000. As of Wednesday, 1,081 U.S. servicemen had been killed, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

The scientists who wrote the report concede that the data they based their projections on were of “limited precision,” because the quality of the information depends on the accuracy of the household interviews used for the study.

….

The report was released just days before the U.S. presidential election, and the lead researcher said he wanted it that way.

Oh, my bad. It’s just a political hit. Chalk me up as really freakin’ surprised.

By the way, these guys would’ve had a field day with our WWII air tactics in Europe. Hell, their fun might have led to our defeat. Sadly, these idiots are blind to the scope of the Islamist threat we face today and feel obligated to parade their admittedly-biased crap to all.

NATO Sets Training Goals for Iraqi Officers

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:02 am

Well, it ain’t West Point, but it’s still seems pretty ambitious.

The Iraqi military academy that NATO plans to set up outside Baghdad should be able to train about 1,000 officers a year, the alliance’s top commander in Europe said Thursday.

U.S. Gen. James L. Jones said the training mission would likely be smaller than the 3,000 instructors, guards and support troops that his planners have set as a ceiling for the mission in Iraq.

“Three thousand will be the maximum and it is going to be less than that, I think,” he told reporters at NATO’s military headquarters in southern Belgium. The number of actual instructors is expected to be around 350.

Jones declined to speculate when the academy would be up and running. Allied military experts presented a detailed operational plan for expanding the training to the 26 allied nations this week but officials said it would likely take at least a couple of weeks before it is approved.

The United States is pushing for the training center to be operational by the end of this year.

Jones said at least 16 of the 26 allies had “indicated willingness to contribute troops inside Iraq” for the training mission.

While the number of instructors may come in well under budget, savings better be allocated towards security, as this would seem a prime target for terrorists. However, an officer academy cannot be delayed from fear, as it is essential for the Iraqi people to continue their progress towards a professional, competent military supporting their pending democracy.

In a somewhat unrelated aside, how long into the resurrection of the Iraqi government and military expertise do we begin working on the martial aspect needed for eventual success, aviation and air power abilities?

10/28/2004

Signs Point to Imminent Showdown in Iraq

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:20 am

The Associated Press thinks a Coalition move on Fallujah is pending.

An uptick in airstrikes and other military moves point to an imminent showdown between U.S. forces and Sunni Muslim insurgents west of Baghdad — a decisive battle that could determine whether the campaign to bring democracy and stability to Iraq (news – web sites) can succeed.

American officials have not confirmed a major assault is near against the insurgent bastions of Fallujah and neighboring Ramadi. But Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has warned Fallujah leaders that force will be used if they do not hand over extremists, including terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

A similar escalation in U.S. military actions and Iraqi government warnings occurred before a major offensive in Najaf forced militiamen loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to give up that holy city in late August. And U.S. and Iraqi troops retook Samarra from insurgents early this month.

Now U.S. airstrikes on purported al-Zarqawi positions in three neighborhoods of eastern and northern Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, have increased. And residents reported this week that Marines appeared to be reinforcing forward positions near key areas of the city. Other military units are on the move, including 800 British soldiers headed north to the U.S.-controlled zone.

The goal of an attack would be to restore government control in time for national elections by the end of January. However, an all-out assault on the scale of April’s siege of Fallujah would carry enormous risk — both political and military — for the Americans and their Iraqi allies.

Does the AP article have the Grey Poupon of negativity? But of course.

A series of policy mistakes by the U.S. military and the Bush administration have transformed Fallujah from a shabby, dusty backwater known regionally for mosques and tasty kebabs into a symbol of Arab pride and defiance of the United States throughout the Islamic world.

A videotape obtained Tuesday by Associated Press Television News featured a warning by masked gunmen that if Fallujah is subjected to an all-out assault, they will strike “with weapons and military tactics” that the Americans and their allies “have not experienced before.”

Regardless of whether the threat was an empty boast, insurgents elsewhere in Iraq could be expected to step up attacks to try to relieve pressure on fighters in the Fallujah and Ramadi areas.

But the main problem an assault would pose for both the U.S. military and Allawi’s government is political, such as a widespread public backlash. A nationwide association of Sunni clerics also has threatened to urge a boycott of the January elections if U.S. forces storm Fallujah.

Look, as much as it could be desired that the U.S. cleared Fallujah in April, the interim Iraqi government took a stance and, to avoid robbing Allawi of needed legitimacy, we had to acquiesce. Now, for the sake of future legitimacy of the pending Iraqi elections, we may have to roll. Threats of unprecedented weapons and tactics by terrorists have to be considered but, if the Islamist bastards have the potential for such, an assault on Fallujah would only be an excuse for something they would certainly do unless prevented. Best to press the issue; a bluff can be called and a real threat could possibly be destroyed before developing fully. I’ve previously blogged my thoughts on the possible Sunni clerics’ election boycott.

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