Saturday, October 08, 2005

Al Gore : 'American Democracy in Trouble'

Keynote Speech - We Media Conference in New York, NY - October 5, 2005

10/07/05 "ICH" -- -- I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?

I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.

At first I thought the exhaustive, non-stop coverage of the O.J. trial was just an unfortunate excess that marked an unwelcome departure from the normal good sense and judgment of our television news media. But now we know that it was merely an early example of a new pattern of serial obsessions that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time.

Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? And does it feel right to have no ongoing discussion of whether or not this abhorrent, medieval behavior is being carried out in the name of the American people? If the gap between rich and poor is widening steadily and economic stress is mounting for low-income families, why do we seem increasingly apathetic and lethargic in our role as citizens?

On the eve of the nation's decision to invade Iraq, our longest serving senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, stood on the Senate floor asked: "Why is this chamber empty? Why are these halls silent?"

The decision that was then being considered by the Senate with virtually no meaningful debate turned out to be a fateful one. A few days ago, the former head of the National Security Agency, Retired Lt. General William Odom, said, "The invasion of Iraq, I believe, will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history

read the rest Here

What is absoluetly amazing to me is how Al Gore, along with 3/4 of the leadership in the Deomocratic party not only supported GWB, but had earlier, before he was president aknowledged, supported, and promoted the same "falsehoods" that they now try to condemn Bush for.

What is also amazing to me, is that Democrats have the gaul and elitist attitude to decry the falling of America, simply because they are no longer in power. That they would say this great nation is now in peril, simply becuse they other party is winning the elections. Walter Cronkite even went as far to say that he felt Americans were now to "uninformed" to vote responsibly now.

Al Gore thought the media, internet, talk radio, and other outlets were all good things, until concervatives took them by storm. Now they are threats to America?

What scares me the most, is how divided our society is becomming, under Republican rule, because the minority party is doing anything/everything to try and win back power... and the consequences be damned.

Take that to the bank H, that is why I have not been able to align myself with Dems for the last 4 years, reguardless of how much I agree with their social policies.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 08, 2005 4:07 pm  

I put it up as a Controversial read G , the fact that the guy is a democrat is obviously of no concern to me ,

though i apreciate it would be a factor the you and others your side of the pond

By Blogger _H_, at October 09, 2005 7:10 pm  

I know your motivations... you like stirring our pot, especially because your "left" party is power, and still you are left of them. lol

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 10, 2005 6:15 pm  

LOL G , after 3 election victories over here by the right , the left moved ground , the left party dropped most of there princibles and try to copy thatcherism (almost)

so there are millions of us that are to the left of the british left

infact the right wing are currently having an election for a new leader after losing 3 elections of their own ,

one of the 4 possible new leaders in my view is more left then then the left . so if he wins the left will be the right and the right will be the left

i hope your confused because i am !!

By Blogger _H_, at October 10, 2005 8:18 pm  

links to this post

Friday, October 07, 2005

"Shame Shame" shout democrats in scene reminiscent of House of Parliament

Republicans refused to close the voting for 40 minutes until enough votes had switched to pass the energy bill which will gut environmental standards in favor of building more oil refineries


Watch the Video Here


My Source : The Brad Blog

LOL, and Dems cry "Hurry, Rally the troops, they are trying to drop the rising gas prices!"

This is crap. We need the gas right now. If they are so concerned about the environment, they they should take half the money they dump at vote pandering to the poor, and put it into alternative fules research.

"Shame, Shame" indead. They should ashamed they fight any attempt at lowering the skyrocketing fule prices, but then will blame the Repubs this winter when people can't pay their heating bills.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 08, 2005 4:11 pm  

hehehe , and should the reps use their money used pandering to the rich to find new energy sources ?

or should we assume as I do that the reps dont care about the environment or anything apart from money and profits

You should do what we do over here , all the ederly (over 65) get a winter fuel cheque from the government , rough guess its about 200 dollars to help them pay the bills

ah , the wonders of centre left politics

:-)

By Blogger _H_, at October 09, 2005 7:16 pm  

yes H, that way they all stay nice and dependant on the cash cow... great.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 10, 2005 3:50 pm  

LOL they are retired G , what do you want them to do , get out of their wheelchairs and go get a job ?

or should they have percieved the crazy profits the oil companies make and saved whilst they were saving our ass in world war 2

By Blogger _H_, at October 10, 2005 8:20 pm  

links to this post

Iraq war now costing $6 billion a month

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is spending about $7 billion a month to wage the war on terror, and costs could total $570 billion by the end of 2010, assuming troops are gradually brought home, a congressional report estimates.

The paper by the Congressional Research Service underscores how the price tag has been gradually rising for the war in Iraq. A year ago, the Pentagon was calculating its average monthly costs in that conflict at below $5 billion — an amount the research service says has now grown close to $6 billion.

A separate study by the Congressional Budget Office found it will be difficult for the Pentagon to sustain current troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan without rotating troops into the war zone more frequently and using more National Guard brigades. And even those steps will not be adequate long-term solutions.The budget office study echoed earlier reports suggesting that if current combat demands continue, the Army will have serious problems keeping enough soldiers trained and ready.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the administration has allocated about $361 billion for military operations, reconstruction and other programs in Iraq and Afghanistan, including $50 billion for 2006 in legislation working its way through Congress. the Congressional Research Service report said. The service is one of Congress' investigative arms.CRS also identified gaps in the Pentagon's accounting of war costs, including up to $14 billion in funds that may have been transferred from peacetime accounts. It recommended that Congress require more detailed reporting from the Defense Department on how the money is spent.The CRS report said the latest average monthly cost for Iraq is $5.9 billion, or 19 percent higher than last year.

The average monthly cost for operations in Afghanistan is $1 billion, or 8 percent lower than last year, and the costs of securing U.S. military bases worldwide averages $170 million a month, which is 47 percent lower than last year.In projecting costs out through 2010, CRS said it assumed U.S. troops would remain in the region but drop gradually throughout the period. Some funding would be needed to continue training Iraqi and Afghan security forces and to replace lost equipment.

The research service said the Pentagon will have to either increase the size of the Army, shift people from other missions, or further increase the pace of the troop rotations.But even if the Pentagon can reverse recruitment shortfalls and begin meeting its goals, CBO said it will take a decade and about $140 billion to increase the Army by four or five divisions — or about 115,000 active duty soldiers and about 42,000 reserves.There are now 10 active duty Army divisions. The equivalent of about five Army divisions are serving in Iraq.The total force in Iraq, including Marines and Reserves, is about 149,000, according to the Pentagon. But CBO said a more accurate number is between 160,000 and 180,000, because troops in other locations are supporting the war.

I just found an article that said the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost $350 billion to date (that includes the $50 billion that he just requested).

That is over three years. That puts the average at about 9 billion a month.

However, in perspective, the Mayor of New Orleans, and Gov. Blanco (of LA) are asking for $250 Billion to recover from hurricane Katrina.

Perspecitve is everything on these numbers.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 08, 2005 4:17 pm  

Katrina was an act of god , and there is nothing we could do to stop that

the war in Iraq was a choice made by the president , thats why i think it is not comparable

By Blogger _H_, at October 09, 2005 7:17 pm  

the two actions are not, the money they cost are.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 10, 2005 3:51 pm  

links to this post

Guantanamo Bay hunger strike latest

A hunger strike by prisoners at the US Guantanamo Bay prison camp has entered a serious stage, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

But ICRC chief spokeswoman Antonella Notari declined to comment on Thursday's statement by a defence lawyer that the hunger strike involved 200 of 500 prisoners and that 21 were being force-fed.

The humanitarian agency, which last visited the US naval base in Cuba in late September, was in contact with the US authorities about the situation, Notari said on Friday.

"There is a hunger strike, the situation is serious, and we are following it with concern," Notari said.

"During our recent 10-day visit we were able to visit the infirmary, see the detainees and speak with them as well as the American authorities," she added.

The ICRC backs a 1975 Tokyo declaration by the World Medical Association stating that doctors should not participate in force-feeding, but keep prisoners informed of the sometimes irreversible consequences of their hunger strike, she added.

Amnesty International and human-rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, representing 40 detainees, said on Thursday that US authorities were keeping 21 alive by forcing food into their stomachs through tubes pushed up their noses.

The prisoners are shackled to their beds 24-hours a day to stop them removing the tubes, he said.

"This is the 56th day of the hunger strike," said Stafford Smith before making a comparison with the Irish republican campaign of 1981, when 10 prisoners starved themselves to death in protest at British policy in Northern Ireland.

The US opened the prison camp in January 2002. Many detainees were seized in Afghanistan. Only four have been charged and many have been held for more than three years. Some former prisoners says they were tortured while in Guantanamo.

Did Bush say that 'God spoke to him'

Watch this video to catch up with the latest on the Bush and God debate

From the BBC Here

UK troops detain Basra policemen

British forces have detained 12 people, including three police officers, in connection with a series of deadly attacks on UK forces in southern Iraq.

Brigadier John Lorimer said the raid, in Basra during the night, was aimed at stopping the surge in attacks by local militia on allied troops. "This terrorism must be stopped, we have a right to protect ourselves and innocent citizens," he said.

Brig Lorimer said in a statement: "Some of the individuals we have arrested are linked to militia groups in Basra. Some of the individuals are members of Basra Police Service. "

So current Iraqi law says that they can not arrest British servicemen but we can arrest Iraqi Policemen ?

I am not saying we were wrong to do so , but i am seeking clarification on who is running the country , I thought we were told it was the Iraqis so shouldnt the Iraqis have arrested there own police officers ?

ElBaradei wins Nobel peace prize

The 2005 Nobel peace prize has been awarded jointly to the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency and its director, Mohamed ElBaradei.

The citation says the IAEA's director is a "fearless advocate" of curbing nuclear arms and the importance of his agency's work "incalculable".

The nuclear watchdog's work to promote safe nuclear energy was also commended. Mr ElBaradei said the award recognised that the spread of nuclear weapons was the world's worst security threat.

"I'm extremely humbled and honoured," the Egyptian former diplomat said. "I think the prize recognises the number one danger we are facing today and that is the threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons."

He began a third term at the IAEA last month after the US withdrew its objections to his reappointment. Washington had complained that he was being "soft" on Iran.
'Policeman and salesman'

IAEA inspectors have had to deal with major crises in Iraq, North Korea and Iran in recent years.

This is Wonderful news and I can not think of anyone more deserving

Last Throws in Iraq for October 6th

Oct 6 (Reuters) - Following are security incidents reported in Iraq on Thursday, Oct. 6, as of 2130 GMT.

BAGHDAD - One civilian was killed and another eight wounded when a suicide car bomb targeted a U.S. patrol in al-Nidhal street in central Baghdad, a police source said.

BAGHDAD - At least 11 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself on a bus carrying police recruits near Iraq's oil ministry in Baghdad, police said. Another 11 people were reported wounded in the attack.

BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed when a patrol struck a roadside bomb in north Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement.

KIRKUK - Gunmen shot dead five oil ministry security guards and wounded another three as they were driving to the northern city of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad. Lieutenant Jawaad Abdullah said they were shot in the town of Uthaim, south of Kirkuk.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed Salem Ayoub Sillo, a local prison chief, and his driver in the northern Noor district of Mosul, a police source said.

FALLUJA - Police said a suicide car bomb detonated against a U.S. convoy in central Falluja, on Wednesday evening, destroying one U.S. Humvee. There were no immediate comments from the U.S. military on the incident.

JIBLA - Three people were killed and two wounded from the same family when gunmen attacked the house of Haithem al- Husseini, a leader in Dawa party, in Jibla, 100 km south of Baghdad. Police said that al-Husseini was not in his house during the attack and he escaped death for the second time.

UTHAIM - One driver is killed when a roadside bomb exploded near two oil tankers in Uthaim, 50 km north of Baquba.

RAMADI - One U.S. Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb south of Ramadi, 110 km (68 miles) west of Baghdad, a police source said. There were no immediate comments from the U.S. military on the incident.

HADITHA - The U.S. military said in a statement that it had killed "six Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists" and detained at least 110 suspects since Operation River Gate began on Oct. 4 in the western cities of Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana.

QAIM - U.S. forces in Operation Iron Fist, launched on Oct. 1 on the Syrian border, killed two insurgents with tank fire on Wednesday, the military said in a statement. Aircraft killed seven fighters when they destroyed buildings near Karabila on Wednesday, it added. Twenty guerrillas were killed in the bombing of a hotel in Qusayba overnight, it said.

Where are your reports of acts of Western State Terrorism by the United States and its allies?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2005 2:08 am  

Have you read all my reports Anonymous ?

I have already posted many times on all acts of terrorism and I make no distinctions

You will find Plenty of such reports if you search through my site

If you have any 'Credible' news links then feel free to send them to me and i will consider posting them .

What matters to me is the credibility of the report , not whether it was the US or UK or Al-Qaeda that commits them

if the facts are there , i will report them .

By Blogger _H_, at October 07, 2005 2:19 am  

I too would like to see some "body count" posts H, from the "Western Terrorists"....

But only to keep things in perspective, especially since the left is so hell bent on grading this war effort only on the body counts.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 07, 2005 2:44 pm  

dont you remember G , your government has said "WE dont do body counts" so therefore i can not get the numbers as quickly as i can for these .

The massacre at Fallujah has been quite accurate in the number of 6000 citizens , and many others i gave mentioned before

but like i said , first on this list is credibibilty

By Blogger _H_, at October 07, 2005 4:16 pm  

links to this post

Jaafari : Relations with Iran 'very friendly,strong and expanding'

TEHRAN, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Iraq's Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari on Thursday rejected accusations that Shi'ite Muslim Iran was interfering in Iraq's internal affairs.

Asked about accusations that Iran was interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq, Jaafari told Iranian state television: "Such accusations are baseless and we do not agree with them at all."

"Relations between Iran and Iraq are currently very friendly and strong and expanding. We are proud of the situation," he said. "Some people want to harm our existing friendly relations with Iran. But we will not let them do so. We are determined to expand our relations every day."

Ok , so what are the US and UK complaining about ?

we are only there to help the Iraqis , and the Iraqis think the accusations of Iran meddling in the country are "Baseless"

many of us thought they were all along . If only we could just get on with it and stop blaming all the failures on Iran or Syria or the one legged Zaqarwi !

You believe everything that comes out of their mouths... yet immediately look for the "catch" when the US and UK say something?

If I take a picture, and look at it in the mirror, things look backwards to me too.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 07, 2005 2:42 pm  

G , you confuse me ? your telling me that i should not trust the word of the Presdident of Iraq ? the people were there to help ?

you may have misread this ,

we keep saying Iran is playing with Iraq

Iraq themselves say this is bull shit

whats the problem ?

By Blogger _H_, at October 07, 2005 4:18 pm  

I think he is saying that to get support from the real leaders of Iran... the mullahs. I think that this is all politics and smoke and mirrors.

We both know that in the middle east, official policy and involement are only 1/4 of the picture. There are "independant" forces that do the actions the govn'ts cannot be responsible for. Like say, giving finicial and logistical support to a militant effort against US and UK forces in Iraq.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 08, 2005 4:19 pm  

you said "We both know that in the middle east, official policy and involement are only 1/4 of the picture. There are "independant" forces that do the actions the govn'ts cannot "

i think that applies as much in the US and UK as it does in the middle east G

By Blogger _H_, at October 09, 2005 7:19 pm  

links to this post

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Serious threat to New York Subway ?

The Mayor of New York is giving a press conference stating the New York subway may be the target of a terrorist attack in the next few days .

Information has been given from the FBI to the New York Mayor that an attack could take place.

The FBI has said the details of the attack are clasified .....

Homeland Security official Peter King announced the development, saying: "This is a significant threat."

so the basic fear is that explosives will be carried onto the subway in a babies pram (thats a new one)

And the information comes from a number of arrests made in IRAQ and the "claimed" attack was planned in that country .

still no link between Iraq and our safety Mr Blair ?

So is this a real threat ? or another one of the hundreds of odd and obscure threats we have all had to be carefull about such as they mass invasion of crop spraying terrorists or the long term attack of cutting all the wires on the Brooklin Bridge . You see thats the problem , I hate to be Cynical but there has been so many off the wall claims about the next US attack and so often the concern happens at a time of great Presidential need that you have to think twice when you hear it .

Of course you can't just dismiss a claim such as this and I would rather be correct and cynical then wrong and an attack actually happens . But it has come to something when you have to question everything the US government tells their people incase it is is simply false .

God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers

President George W. Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, a new BBC series reveals.

President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

I am speechless

Read for yourself Here

This is what a Minister from Palistine said. I found another source too. This was supposedly from 2003, in a conference when working out the details of the Roadmap to Peace.

Yet we are only hearing about it now?

Nice pic though... you got that thing from Al Jazeera right? I saw it too, just without the blue jedi stuff added.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 9:18 pm  

I got it from google Images , so it may have come from Al-jazeera

as for more details , on the link he says the story is embargoed ! until 10:30 tonight

so i assume the BBC will be using it as a news story after then

so i will refain judgement as to the context till after then i suppose

but , i hope we dont live in a world where the terrorists think 'god' is telling them to attack the US and the US is thinking 'god' is telling them to attack the terrorists

As you know G , I am not a religous man , and the above being true would worry me greatly

you are a religous man , and i can imagine your view of anyone who says 'god' is talking to them and telling them to do things

scary times

By Blogger _H_, at October 06, 2005 9:29 pm  

We all know how credible the middle eastern and islamic media is so it must have happened.

By Blogger buckblog, at October 07, 2005 11:57 am  

The site I found as another source was also mid-eastern...

This just seems like something that no staff handeler of any President would ever let happen.

I think this is some BS put out.

Still no real coverage of it yet.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 07, 2005 2:41 pm  

Buckblog , thanks for visiting , US media is the most biased of any democracy , there are many news agencies in the middle east with a far greater accuracy of factual reporting then the US Media

Your comment in itself , prooves your point wrong .

G: there has been A LOT of covarage , just not in the US

I have just watched an Australian jounalist rip the spokesman to pieces

he asked the spokesman if he was actually there at the meeting

of course he would not

I would much more expect denial from the WH then a lie from the report

the WH has motice to deny this , nobody else does

By Blogger _H_, at October 07, 2005 4:22 pm  

links to this post

"How do you stop Osama bin Laden?" : Video

Interesting interview With Robert Fisk

" You have to take away from them the ability to use injustice for their own aims and we will not do that and we must , because unless we do that we - and I mean you and me together - are not safe. "

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast 10/04/05

My source : ICH

Watch the Video Here

So if we can just stop doing injustice... then we will be ok?

Great, now, define injustice... not your injustice.. but Osama's injustice.....

uh-oh... that old "Logic" bug got in the way again.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 7:03 pm  

The man has interviewed osama 3 times , I am sure he knows exactly what injustice he means

I do to

you will never ever stop the hard core extremists G , nothing but a bullet will stop them

but they are a tiny tiny number , stop the injustice and you stop there number one recruitment method

you isolate them to the fringes by denying them the support of more moderate muslims

thats how you defeat terrorism G

it is text book stuff , ask the UK or Spain

By Blogger _H_, at October 06, 2005 7:10 pm  

links to this post

Israel bans use of human shields

Israel's supreme court has banned the use of Palestinian human shields in arrest raids, saying the practice violates international law. The court issued a temporary injunction against the practice in 2002 after a teenager was killed when troops made him negotiate with a wanted militant. Human rights groups who brought the case say the Israeli army has repeatedly violated the temporary ban. The army cannot use civilians for its purposes, Israel's chief justice said.

"You cannot exploit the civilian population for the army's military needs, and you cannot force them to collaborate with the army," Aharon Barak said.

Full story Here

This is a good step by Israel ....

Yes... because only the "freedom fighters" can do that. if you are part of a conventional military force, you must not!

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 7:04 pm  

Exactly , that is what seperates us from them

A good example of why we are better then them

this act by Israel will bring them more support

the line between the good guys and the bad guys should be very clear

often it is not , this is a good indicator of where we should be going

By Blogger _H_, at October 06, 2005 7:14 pm  

links to this post

US Forces launch new offensive (video)

Thousands of US and Iraqi soldiers are fighting an offensive against insurgents in the biggest operation of its kind this year.

This is the latest video to come out of the region ,linking video from the BBC and ABC television . See the recent reoport for yourself at the BBC

Next week on "Iraq War" the US will launch "A new offensive".....

At some point, they need to quit trying for the press release of "launching new offensive", and just fight the war.

I wish the Pentegon wasnt trying to be in the buisness of PR.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 1:03 pm  

very true , I think this whole event has been unfair on the forces.

Agree or disagree with the war (you know my view) the Military did the Job that was asked of them , they defeated saddam ,


What is being asked of the Military now is not what they are trained to do ,

Going house to house is at least a special forces operation and more common it would be a police operation

the military is to heavy handed and just keeps making mistakes , i do not blame them , it should not be their job

By Blogger _H_, at October 06, 2005 4:31 pm  

The President's speach today made me happy. I just hope that Bush now follows that up with action. I think the "war on Terror" has stalled out in Iraq. I would like to see Iraq settled soon enough that we can then move on, and lean on Saudi and Syria to start making some changes.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 5:47 pm  

links to this post

Video: Mosaic: World News Reports from Middle East TV For 10/04/05:

The nation's only uncensored compilation of daily television news reports from more than 15 countries in the Middle East. QuickTime Video

My source : ICH

Watch it here Here

25 Killed, 87 Hurt In Iraq Mosque Bomb Blast

HILLAH, Iraq -- A bomb exploded at the entrance of a Shiite Muslim mosque south of Baghdad as hundreds of worshippers gathered for prayers on the first day of Ramadan and for the funeral of a man killed in an earlier bombing. At least 25 people were killed and 87 wounded.
The explosion hit the Husseiniyat Ibn al-Nama mosque, ripping through strings of lightbulbs and green and red flags hung around the entrance to celebrate the start of the holy month. The mosque's facade was ravaged, shops nearby were detroyed and several cars were damaged.
Hundreds of men had gathered at the mosque, located in the center of Hillah, for prayers before returning home to eat the meal that ends the day's sunrise to sunset fast, when the blast went off at 6 p.m.

You sure the US didnt do this? I mean, the "freedom fighters" wouldnt do anything so bad would they?

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 1:04 pm  

LOL G , a wise man is never sure of anything

By Blogger _H_, at October 06, 2005 4:15 pm  

links to this post

Last throws in Iraq for october 5th

Oct 5 (Reuters) - Following are security incidents reported in Iraq on Tuesday, Oct. 5, as of 1200 GMT.

YUSUFIYA/RASHID - Two civilians were killed and three wounded during a battle between Iraqi forces and insurgents in Yusufiya and Rashid, just south of Baghdad, police said.

KIRKUK - A car bomb attack critically wounded six security guards for the North Oil Company, south of the northern city of Kirkuk, police said.

NAJAF - Five members of the same family were wounded, including a woman and child, when a bomb exploded near their house on Tuesday in Najaf, 100 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, the father of the family said.

The Spy in the Whitehouse

Oct. 5, 2005 — Both the FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage in the White House in modern history. Officials tell ABC News the alleged spy worked undetected at the White House for almost three years. Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, was a U.S. Marine most recently assigned to the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney.
"I don't know of a case where the vetting broke down before and resulted in a spy being in the White House," said Richard Clarke, a former White House advisor who is now an ABC News consultant.

Federal investigators say Aragoncillo, a naturalized citizen from the Philippines, used his top secret clearance to steal classified intelligence documents from White House computers.

Last year, after leaving the Marines, Aragoncillo was caught by the FBI while he worked for the Bureau at an intelligence center at Fort Monmouth, N.J. According to a criminal complaint, Aragoncillo was arrested last month and accused of downloading more than 100 classified documents from FBI computers.
"The information was transferred mostl
y by e-mails," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie at the time of Aragoncillo's arrest. Since that arrest, officials say Aragoncillo has started to cooperate. He has admitted to spying while working on the staff of Vice President Cheney's office.

Read the full ABC exclusive Here

H, there is a pentegon analyst going down too for leaking stuff to Irael. Good Times...

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 1:05 pm  

links to this post

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Comedy Central : Exposing The Lies : Video

How many Iraqi battalions are fully trained and equipped and capable of operating independently of U.S. forces?

Comedy Central 10/03/05

Very funny stuff

Watch the video Here

The Daily Show is still the only place on US television where one can get accurate news. *sigh*

By Blogger K. Ron Silkwood, at October 06, 2005 12:37 am  

the only truth we get is often satire :-)

By Blogger _H_, at October 06, 2005 5:40 am  

lol, I like the idea that a anyone conciders a comedy show, who soley depends on ratings and laughs, is a viable media outlet.

Silkwood... where do you think he gets the "news" he talks about?

Comedy Central doesnt have a staff of reporters.

You like the presentation the information is packaged in on that show, but the information is the same, just spun differently from different outlets.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 1:07 pm  

It is a viable media presentation form , they are using mainstream news reports of course

but most TV news companies depend on reuters and AP etc to find out the facts

Take the current "New offensive" going on in Iraq , There are wounded children (and dead ones) building up in hospitals in the area

does that come up as your TV headline ?

how news is presented is one of the problems people like me have ,

this scene highlights stupidity that would often be missed by the main news and that is healthy

political Satire is a very important part of the range of ways we find our News , aslong as we remember what it is

By Blogger _H_, at October 06, 2005 4:39 pm  

I dont disagree that you can use it as a media source, just that the statment it is the only place for accurate news is just scary.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 06, 2005 5:51 pm  

links to this post

Iraq U-turn on charter vote rules

Iraq's parliament has reversed its decision to change the rules governing a referendum next week on the country's new constitution.
The altered rules would have made it much harder for Sunni opponents of the draft constitution to reject it.

Parliament has now decided to revert to the original rules - as both the United Nations and Washington said it should.

UN legal advisors said that a referendum held under the new rules would not meet international standards.

Baghdad Professor : 'many Iraqis believe US are behind Zarqawi'

University of Baghdad Political Science Professor Jinan Ali says there is more to the Zarqawi threat than appears on the surface.

"The so-called war against Shiites began after Moqtada Al-Sadr announced his opposition to drafting the constitution," says Ali. ""Most of the Shiites targeted are Moqtada's followers intended to force them to cast a "Yes" vote in the coming referendum".

Many Iraqis are now wondering whether Zarqawi is a real figure or not.


"Zarqawi is a good pretext for striking any Iraqi city or town," Professor Ali explains. "If Zarqawi is defending the Sunnis and his followers are operating in the Sunni areas, why were Najaf and Sadr city (mostly Shiite areas) targeted by the Americans and Iraqi forces several times before?"

Many Iraqis believe the Americans and the government are behind the Zarqawi communiqué of targeting Shiites.

"Do you think that Zarqawi, if he is real, is ready to gain more enemies by such a communiqué?" asks Al-Ubaidi.

"The government and Americans are ready to do everything to get the so-called constitution approved. They are trying to exclude Sunnis from the political process in Iraq; they are forcing the Iraqi resistance toward more severe fights."

Read the full article Here

More Zarqawi confusion Here and yet more confusion Here

Four U.S. Soldiers, One Marine Killed In Iraq

BAGHDAD -- Violence in western Iraq has killed five U.S. troops: including four soldiers and a Marine.
The military says the Marine was killed by a roadside bomb Monday near the Syrian border. It's the first announced U.S. death in Operation Iron Fist, a major sweep that began over the weekend. Three soldiers assigned to the same unit as the Marine were killed by another roadside bomb while conducting combat operations in another town where a second major offensive started Tuesday. The military also said it's investigating the fatal shooting of a soldier Monday near Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

At least 1,941 U.S. military members have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003

UN condemns Iraq charter change

The United Nations has criticised changes to Iraq's electoral law that make it harder for Iraqis to reject the draft constitution.

The two-thirds majority needed in three provinces to defeat the constitution will now be counted from all registered - as opposed to actual - voters.

On Sunday Shia and Kurdish members of parliament pushed through the changes in the referendum rules on 15 October. Sunni Arabs reacted angrily to the amendments on Monday.


They believed many registered voters may not show up at the polls because of violence.

"We have expressed our position to the national assembly and to the leadership of the government," said Jose Aranaz, a legal adviser to the UN electoral team in Iraq, in an interview with Reuters news agency.

Mr Aranaz said parliament's decision was unacceptable and would not meet international standards

So what does all this mean , well it is simple , there was a very good chance of the constitutuion failing , and we couldn't have that could we ! . So the rules have been changed so that aslong as the turn out does not break all expectations and almost every living soul in Iraq (a diminishing number) votes then the constitution will pass

Of course it wont pass under the rules we were all told it would it need to go through , but no troops can come home and no good news stories can be told unless the constitution is accepted. So some not so bright spark decided to change the rules

The Sunni are at the table , they are trying to find a way forward , The rule change is a kick in the teeth to them.

Most people will know that more people turn to terrorism when they feel that they do not have a voice in the country. You take away the voice of the Sunni's and you can kiss goodbye to any peace in Iraq for many years

Is that what they want ?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Is Israel planning Iran strike?

Saudi paper: Sharon presented Bush with satellite photos, said Israel would not wait forever before attacking

Israel has proposed to the United States to strike Iran on several occasions this year, Saudi newspaper al-Watan reported Sunday morning.

According to the report, the latest proposal was raised during the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee’s visit to Washington several days ago, where Committee members apparently attempted to “market one agenda: Launching a war on Iran.”

The newspaper quoted Knesset Member Arieh Eldad saying that “nothing will restrain Iran aside from the use of force” and adding that Teheran’s nuclear project will not end “unless it is convinced it will be destroyed through military force.”

Meanwhile, Knesset Member Yosef Lapid reportedly said threats of sanctions and isolation have no effect on Iran. “We won’t accept the fact we need to live under the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb and therefore we feel we should warn our friends we don’t see any solution except for acting on our own,” Lapid said according to the Saudi report.

The newspaper says this was not the first time Israel demanded to strike Iran. President Bush rejected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s offer to use military force during the latter’s latest visit to Washington, the report said.

Sharon reportedly presented Bush with satellite photos of Iran’s nuclear facilities and asked to attack them. The president apparently “coldly” referred him to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who told the PM the U.S. chose to pursue the diplomatic channel, in conjunction with European states, to resolve the problem.

Earlier reports said Sharon informed Washington in a special letter that Iranian nuclear arms would threaten the safety of Israelis more than any other nation. The PM reportedly said Israel would consider postponing military action against Teheran out of consideration for the U.S., but added Israel would not “wait forever.”

According to al-Watan, Israel made it clear that it would only be able to wait until a certain date next year and would strike at Iran if no progress is made by that time.

Good.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2005 8:05 pm  

Well I am sure all those that under value human life will be delighted with your erm .... Anonymous support

By Blogger _H_, at October 04, 2005 8:32 pm  

Under value human life, or hold no value for a people/nation hellbent on confrontation on the most grande scale? There are about 5 or 6 states in the world, Iran is one of them, that are a serious threat to ALL the people of the world. They will need to be dealt with in one fashion or another. You can have your little sunday school sing song and chant I hate America and write little posts for peace all you please, but in the end Iran will be dealt with whether you like it or not. Deal with it. That solution is utterly absurd to you, which properly identifies why it is the correct one to pursue.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2005 8:51 pm  

well well Anonymous , it is a pleasure to have you back :-)

In your nice little world what exactly is the threat you claim Iran is capable of ?

Do please point me the United Nations resolutions that confirm this little fact you state ?


I have a problem with hypocrites , double standards are so disgusting dont you think

Now if we want to rid the world of nuclear weapons , then we should also be talking to Israel and Pakistan and India

If it is ok to bomb Irans Nuclear facilities then surely it is also ok for someone to bomb israel's nuclear facilities ?

I wouldnt want to think of you as some simple minded bigot so i assume you agree

As for your Psychoanalysis , i would advise you to go back to your day job ...

I have never been to sunday school

I have never written a post or comment about hating america , funny really , hmmm maybe its because the fact i hate the US is just a concept of your mind , it does not exist out here in reality but i am sure you can get some help with that if you ask for it

Again your mystic powers seem to fail you , I have not made any posts for peace , I report news events from around the world ,

If you read my words very carefully in my nearly 400 posts

I have not even suggested once that the troops should come home from Iraq or the Military action is always wrong or any other of the dribbles you assume exist in my mind

But the world is so much easier if you just take for granted that the person you are speaking to must feel all those lovely neurosis that you have placed on them

you said "That solution is utterly absurd to you"

Again Mein Fuhrer ooops sorry i mean Anonymous your mystic skills seem to have run dry

I have asked for evidence , and often

not from Israel , who dictates to others but will not even sign the NPT they accuse Iran of not complying with (double standards)

Not from the USA , who see WMD everywhere , North , South , East and West of reality

But from Mohammad ElBarade whose we have trusted with the job of inspections

To Identify the correct policy to move forward from here is hard but i would Imagine yours would be ...


Fix the facts around the policy

Bomb a few Muslims

Have a lovely banner made with , lets say the words "mission accomplished" on them , maybe we could put the banner on an aircraft carrier

Then watch over a thousand more Americans die for those facts you just fixed

Then (and this is my favourite) tell people like me that we (not yourself) hate America

By Blogger _H_, at October 04, 2005 9:27 pm  

Hehehe , desperate for a response Anonymous ? your checking the site every 2 mins , you must be excited

Dont they have better entertainment in Illinois , still , if it makes you happy :-)

By Blogger _H_, at October 04, 2005 9:34 pm  

H, I told you before that they would take care of this if Europe/US doesnt.

This could get very spooky, very soon.

The Israelies cannot afford to have someone like Iran get their hands on nuclear tipped warheads.

It comes down to religion. Islam does not believe that Jews have a right to exist, much less on, or anywhere near the sacred and holy lands of Jerusalem.

They believe they are a dirrect affront to Allah, and thus, will wage war on them to remove them from the face of the earth.

Israel cannot afford to wait and see if Iran will be sensible, because the consequences are too great if they wait and are wrong.

I dont think the US should being doing their dirty work for them, but if/when they stike Iran... watch for some other events to unfold:

Russian and China potentially take action (militarily) against Israel in retaliation. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and others do the same, in conjunction with Iran.

You can bet that Iran will retaliate in any manner possible, but either way, you are looking at a potential war starting here if they get to that point.

You seem to be positive that Iran means no harm... but you can afford to debate that where as Israel cannot... watch this one very closely.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 04, 2005 10:01 pm  

G

Your right , this could get spooky ,

You say Iran does not believe that israel has a right to exist , This as i have agreed before has been a policy of Iran's but i do not believe it is now

either way , Many in Israel think that the palastinians do not have a right to exist , Israel already has a nuclear weapon

So if i am to take your view , what you are saying is that the Palastinians can not afford not to think best of Israel and you would understand if they bombed Israel and eliminated Israels nuclear threat ?

what is the difference between the extreme right view in Israel that Palastinians do not have a right to there own country and to exist in peace

and the extreme right in Iran who believe that Israel does not have a right to exist

you end up falling in a trap , as you can not defend one agaisnt the other or you would just be viewed as a hypocrite

I worry that you seem to think that Iran would just use the bomb if they had it

I agree that if Israel took this action then we would be dealing with a major middle east conflict

that would spread so far that even more US and UK soldiers would die on the battle field

Nuclear weapons are a deterent , if Iran nuked israel , how do you think Britain and the US would respond ?

lets just say that it would be the last moment of the country Iran

many people assume that Iran will take actions that with a bit of thought are just silly

Iran is interested in itself , just like every other country G

you said "You seem to be positive that Iran means no harm... "

Let me clarify G

not so , I do not want iran to get the bomb , I do not think Iran it completely Innocent , I think iran needs to be watched very carefully indeed

however , Israel MUST sign the NPT and Israel should also agree to give up its weapons ,

maybe as part of project of openess that can be used to address the India/pakistan issue at the same time

You see pakistan was one of the greatest funding machines for Al-Qaeda and last week the US almost aproved of the Pakistani Nukes

Iran hates Al-Qaeda , the President speaks out often agaisnt the horror of Al-qeada terrorism and we condem him

so why do we send those that have funded terrorism brand new US jets and send those that condem terrorism nothing but hatred ?

seem odd to you ?


As i have discussed with you before G , I trust the IAEA , if they push (without prodding) for action then i support it

But Mossad and the US intelligence and the UK intelligence are like the boys that cried wolf

they told the world that saddam had this and saddam had that , and it was all bullshit

so this time i have learnt ,

the IAEA has no motive here G , and Israel is just trying to get you to play lap dog

and Bush just wants everyones mind of Iraq and Katrina

as bush said "fool me once ....."

I am watching very closely , I am sure whatever the choices the politicals make it will be the people of Israel and Iran and many others that will suffer not them


so all i say is stop listening to the US or Israel or Iran , and listen to the people with the REAL facts not the political rhetoric

trust the IAEA

all the rest are a bunch oflying motivated cretins

they suckered the world once with Iraq and look at the mess now

please dont let them sucker you again G

By Blogger _H_, at October 04, 2005 10:28 pm  

how do you get people to even look at your blogs??

mine is USMC : (

By Blogger crystal, at October 05, 2005 12:26 am  

Crystal

I Wont reply here as it is off topic , so I have replied on your own site

good luck with your blog

By Blogger _H_, at October 05, 2005 12:47 am  

There you go crying again about double standards and how a UN Resolution will save the day and hail to the chief ElBarade. And you think any of that dribble is convincing?

When Tehran is in flames, tell me about the double standard, and how the UN would have been a better alternative.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2005 2:00 pm  

It seems to me Anonymous that you just can't wait to watch a new war on Fox .

if you do not think the IAEA is convincing then your out of tune with your own government and international law

that makes you an extremist ,

bet you didnt know you had so much in common with the terrorists

but i am sure they will be pleased to have you as a friend

By Blogger _H_, at October 05, 2005 3:42 pm  

links to this post

Monday, October 03, 2005

AL-QAEDA POSTS RECRUITMENT ADS ON INTERNET

London, 3 Oct. (AKI) - The al-Qaeda terror network appears to have launched a recruitment drive, posting adverts on a website commonly used by Islamist groups, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reports.

The advert says there are a number of communications-related vacant positions, which would involve compiling written and audiovisual reports by militant groups operating in Iraq and gathering footage from satellite TV channels on extremist Islamic groups and their activities in Palestine, Iraq and Chechnya.

According to the 'Global Islamic Media Group' al-Qaeda affiliated website, the terror network is also looking for a video programmer and a researcher for news on Muslims around the world, as well as language specialists with an excellent oral and grammatical knowledge of Arabic and English.

The advert says the group's PR department will follow up applications and contact candidates through private email messages, and it advised applicants to turn to God for guidance and pray before submitting their application.

It did not specify the rank or salary of the posts, but did say: "Every Muslim should know that his life is not his own; it is the property of this violated nation for whom men have shed their blood. No other issue should take precedence over work for the Umma [Community of the faithful within Islam]; it is an obligation for every Muslim. "

However, evidence of complaints from other members of al-Qaeda suggest the pay and working conditions offered by the terror network are not particularly good, such as those in a letter written to the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, found by the US military in a raid on a hideout in the northern city of Mosul.

In it, an al-Qaeda soldier calling himself 'Abu Zayd' calls his work conditions "deplorable" and complains about bad pay, bad housing and the marginalisation of non-Iraqi fighters.The nature of the jobs advertised, coupled with the recent launch of a weekly al-Qaeda TV news bulletin, 'Voice of the Caliphate', suggest the network is stepping up its communications operation.

It's tough when you keep loosing good help to martyrdom....

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 10, 2005 7:09 pm  

links to this post

Monitors Find Significant Fraud in Afghan Elections

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 2 - Election officials and observers said Sunday that with 80 percent of the ballots counted in Afghanistan's national and provincial elections, they had found significant incidents of fraud.

Whole districts have come under suspicion for ballot box stuffing and proxy voting, said Peter Erben, the chief of the United Nations-assisted Joint Election Management Board. He said ballot boxes from 4 percent of the 26,000 polling places - about 1,000 stations - had been set aside for investigation on suspicion of fraud and other irregularities.

The European Union observer mission said the reports of fraud and possible voter intimidation in places were "worrying." In a statement, the mission said, "While these phenomena do not appear to be nationwide, they are a cause for concern."

Mr. Erben promised strong action and said that if there was a clear indication of fraud, the votes in question would be excluded from the general count. The Election Complaints Commission could also warn, fine and disqualify candidates if there was evidence of tampering, he said.
"We are taking irregularities very seriously," he said.

Insurgent groups accused of war crimes

BAGHDAD -- Insurgent groups in Iraq are committing war crimes by targeting civilians in mass killings, abductions, and beheadings, a human rights group said today.Human Rights Watch, which often has criticized alleged abuses by US forces in Iraq, turned its attention in its latest report to insurgent groups such as Al Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunnah that have claimed responsibility for attacks in mosques, markets, bus stations, and other civilian areas in Iraq.

The group also said the disregard for the lives of civilians in the mostly Muslim country was backfiring in terms of popular support for the insurgency elsewhere in the Arab world.

''People we have spoken with in the Middle East are increasingly repulsed by the behavior of insurgent groups in Iraq, even if they support a withdrawal of US troops," said Sara Leah Whitson, the region's Human Rights Watch director.

''There are no justifications for targeting civilians, in Iraq or anywhere else," Whitson said. ''Armed groups, as well as governments, must respect the laws of war."

In its report, Human Rights Watch listed 73 insurgent attacks between August 2003 and Sept. 17 this year in which at least 10 civilians were killed in each attack. The most deaths came Sept. 14-15, when a series of car bombs in Baghdad killed nearly 200.
The group dismissed the arguments that insurgent groups and their supporters often use to justify attacks on civilians -- including that their victims are legitimate targets because they support foreign forces in Iraq.

Those rationales ''have no basis in international law, which requires the protection of any civilian who is not actively participating in the hostilities."

Many on the right have said that HRW only criticise American actions , this show's them that groups like HRW are not anti American they are Pro Human rights , and they will condem who ever commits these crimes regardless of which side of the fence

HRW are correct to highlight these war crimes and they are were right to highlight the coalition war crimes earlier this year

All humans have rights , that is what makes us civilised and the Terrorists wrong , It is when the lines of humanity are crossed then the boundries between right and wrong become confused

Happy Rosh Hashanah

My very best wishes to the Jewish community Celebrating Rosh Hashanah.

As Tony Blair said this morning

"This festival does not simply mark the beginning of another New Year. It is a time, too, when Jewish communities in Britain and across the world reflect on their faith, re-affirm their commitment to its inspiring values and celebrate Judaism's rich history and tradition. The festival of Rosh Hashanah also gives every one of us a chance to reflect on the important contribution that the Jewish community has made over many years to Britain's success. This is something for us all to celebrate."

I hope this year that more steps can be made towards peace between Israel and the palastinians
and my thoughts are always with the families of both sides that have had to deal with the tragic
loss of loved ones . Lets hope that this time next year we can celebrate another step towards peace in the region

I know one or two people from Israel do read my site and that i can from time to time be critical of Israeli Policy , but the Jewish people have given so much to the world for us all to be thankfull for and whatever the rights and wrongs of the issues , the people of Israel deserve to live in peace safe from attack from anyone .

Peace to you all

How many Al-qeada lieutenants does it take to change an Insurgancy

Ever wondered just how many Al-qaeda lieutenants/deputies/aides/associates/second-in-commands/etc that we have captured or killed in Iraq .

I have , It seems to me it is almost a monthly event but i have never looked at this in detail

well now someone has

Interested ? ... see the full list over at Blogenlust

Good Heavens, a less discerning reader might think that the US is making up things.

By Blogger K. Ron Silkwood, at October 04, 2005 2:37 am  

Hehehe K.Ron , nooooo never , who would think such a thing

did you read the comments , some of them are side splitting

my favourites are

"You obviously don't understand the terrorist military. Lieutenant Top Aide Chief Associate is the rank everyone starts out with. Next rank up is General."

and

WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T NAME YOUR KIDS ABU!


clasic stuff , and very good research

By Blogger _H_, at October 04, 2005 2:59 am  

links to this post

U.S. generals : 'U.S. forces are fueling the insurgency'

WASHINGTON — The U.S. generals running the war in Iraq presented a new assessment of the military situation in public comments and sworn testimony this week: The 149,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq are increasingly part of the problem.

During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S. forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi armed forces and energizing terrorists across the Middle East

For all these reasons, they said, a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops was imperative.

American officials backtracked on their expectations of what the U.S. military can achieve in Iraq months ago. But this week's comments showed that commanders believe a large U.S. force in Iraq might in fact be creating problems as well as solutions.

"This has been hinted at before, but it's a big shift for them to be saying that publicly," said Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution in Washington. "It means they recognize that there is a cost to staying just as there is a benefit to staying. And this has not really been factored in as a central part of the strategy before."

The generals' comments reflect an evolving outlook that senior military officials and even Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld have articulated in recent months. The battle against Iraqi insurgents will not be won by the U.S. military, they have said, and the insurgency will persist long after U.S. troops have left.

My View , well its about time , maybe we are getting closer to looking at options that could actually work , I hope so


Source: LA Times

Golly, what made them finally notice the obvious?

By Blogger K. Ron Silkwood, at October 03, 2005 8:24 pm  

Hehehe , thats only half the job K.ron , we now have to convince the political masters that pull the strings

oh ..

a few more years to go then

thanks for visiting as always :-)

By Blogger _H_, at October 03, 2005 8:49 pm  

links to this post

We do not accept a bedouin on a camel !

(AF) Iraq's interior minister delivered a scathing attack on neighbouring Saudi Arabia, saying his country would not be lectured by "a bedouin on a camel" about human rights and democracy.

"We do not accept a bedouin on a camel teaching us about human rights and democracy. In Iraq, we are proud of our civilisation," Bayan Baqer Sulagh told a press conference in Amman after talks on boosting border security.

The Shiite minister said the oil-rich Sunni-ruled kingdom had several problems of its own to take care of. "Saudis should first allow women to drive, as is the case in Iraq," he said Sunday, adding that "four million Shiites live like second-class citizens in the Saudi kingdom."

He was responding to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal's accusations that Iran was seeking to spread its influence in Iraq and that sectarian divisions were threatening to break up the country.

Iraq's President Calls for PM to Step Down

KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's Kurdish president called on the country's Shiite prime minister to step down, the president's spokesman said Sunday, escalating a political split between the two factions that make up the government.

President Jalal Talabani has accused the Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance, which holds the majority in parliament, of monopolizing power in the government and refusing to move ahead on a key issue for Kurds, the resettlement of Kurds in the northern city of Kirkuk.

``The time has come for the United Iraqi Alliance and the Kurdistan coalition to study Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's stepping aside from his post,'' said Azad Jundiyani, a spokesman for Talabani. ``This is for the benefit of the political process'' .

Asked if the Kurds would withdraw from the government if the Shiite alliance does not back them in removing al-Jaafari, Jundiyani said, ``We will wait and see.'' Talabani has made indirect threats to withdraw from the coalition if Kurdish demands are not met.

The two blocs have been the bedrock of the temporary government. Its collapse would add a new layer of political instability and underline how struggles for power are undermining efforts to get Iraq's fractious communities to work together in a new political system.

EU reaches deal on Turkey talks

EU foreign ministers have reached a deal clearing the way for accession talks with Turkey to begin, EU officials have said.

Austria had demanded the EU keep open the option of "privileged partnership" for Turkey, as well as full membership.

Well done to the EU for sorting that out (well so far anyway) and for blocking what seemed like racism from Austria.

Having a Muslim majority state as part of Europe (even if it is 10 years from now) will be a positive step in helping the world defeat Muslim extremists , they border the middle east , they support moderate measures and they will be a sign to other muslim countries that a seat at the table awaits you

Of course on the other side , Turkey has lots of problems , Human rights , the Kurds , Israel , cyprus and many more , but they have shown a willingness to look at the issues and i am convinced the extra trade and status afforded by the EU will bring Turkey upto the standards expected.

Read more Here