Monday, July 03, 2006


  • Defenselink says the Air Force has commissioned a $450,000 data-mining project to search blogs for information that will be useful to fighting terror.
  • The BBC allowed MI5 to conduct background security checks on its personnel through much of the 1980s.
  • Felipe Calderon apparently won the Mexican election, but not convincingly.
  • Tony Blair is being criticized for trying to hold British terror suspects for 90 days without a trial.
  • Bill Roggio has a post describing the failure of the US strategy in Somalia. Ethiopia may be preemptively intervening to prevent a vacuum. France is worried. Bill has a map of terrorist training camps.
  • A Federal judge has prohibited the Navy from using a midfrequency sonar in exercises off Hawaii until it's effect on marine life can be ascertained.
  • Caroline Glick wonders whatever happened to the spirit of Yonatan Netanyahu. "'Tis but the living who are dumb".


Blogger TigerHawk said...

Re Mexico: as Al Gore, John Kerry, Jerry Ford and countless others have learned (or at least ought to have learned), close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

7/03/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

About four years ago Wretchard posted an essay pointing out the vulnerability to pirates and terrorists of commercial shipping in the seas and straights near the Horn of Africa. In fact, it has turned out that several attacks in that region have been recorded. Somalia has been in chaos for most of the last decade and longer, so it's not so surprising that privateers and terrorists would think of going after the traffic.

What is surprising is that the governments of nations affected by this vulnerability don't seem to have the will or presence of mind to anticipate and respond.

The tin-foil hat aspect of conspiracy theory has long steered me away from giving credence to claims that FDR knew the details of the coming attack on Pearl Harbor, or that Bush and company knew about the attack on the WTC. If they're that omniscient, I figure we're already completely in their power, and we should just knuckle under...

Here's my conspiracy theory: Because of the new terrorist threat to oil shipping the Insurance companies are going to raise rates by a BILLION per cent, and they'll own the entire solar system by August 01.

You read it here. Prepare to hock your dentures.

7/03/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

mr C4 states:

Bush will not be permitted to start a 3rd War in either Iran or Somalia. Or "surgically pre-empt" N Korea, for that matter. If an alliance of other countries takes the initiative - yes, it's possible. Or if America is hit with another truly major Muslim attack. If it is just Bush saying "trust me, I'm the Decider" - no way.

Mr Bush won't start it... and we will be hit by ANOTHER Muslim attack, it's just a matter of time

DanMyers said...
Olmert gives Abbas 500 women/children/low level bad guys for Shalit. We get Shalit back; Abbas gets some points (at the expense of Hamas), and we leave the God forsaken morass known as Gaza.

how about this... Israel sweeps in and arrests 3000 17 - 19 yr old palestinian boys on a weekly basis, and holds them in desert camps, no red cross/cresent access until all israeli captives are visited too.

Once israel captures 20,000 palestinians, then offer a trade...

Or... how about just cut off all israeli power to the gaza.....

7/04/2006 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Being Independence Day, wish it had rained a bit more, the forest is to dry to fire up the sparklers and rockets that glare red.

Whit mentioned, the other day, that he could not decipher Mr Patrick Buchanan's desires.

Well, Mr Buchanan has written a piece "An Independent Republic Still?" that lays out his perspective.

"... if the Founding Fathers were to come back to life and to be asked, "Whom does the America of 2006 resemble more, the republic you created or the empire from which you broke away?" is there any doubt how they would have to answer?

America today is more dependent on foreign fuel, foreign goods, foreign loans and foreign allies than she has ever been. Her worldwide commitments have never been greater, nor has her global and national debt.

Yet her leaders still seek to embed America every more deeply in global institutions from the WTO to the United Nations to the North American Union.

This is not the road on which the Founding Fathers set out, but it is a familiar road, one taken before by every empire in history.

Thoughts on Independence Day, 2006. ..."

Never would have thought that Wilsonian nation building efforts, even if strategicly viable, would be labeled "conservative".

Our attempts at "democratizing" Arabia are many things, but they cannot be described, historicly, as "conservative".
The efforts are not "paleo" or "neo" conservatism, just Radically Revolulutionary Internationalism.

Which may not be such a "bad thing"
despite Mr Buchanan's worries about the loss of US soveriegnty to the "New World Order" on Independence Day.

Or those efforts may just be the part of the long funeral procession for what the US once was, and will never be again.

7/04/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The rest of Mr B's story
here at real clear politics.
For those that care to read it.

7/04/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

What a typical story of the Middle East. It seems that it has always been this way in Palestine and Israel. Subterfuge, intrique, envy hatred, betrayal, despair. But the middle east is merely a microcosm.

Always has been, always will be.

except there has never been a country "Palestine"

7/04/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

While, this gentleman, Robert Tracinski, believes it is the US's historical duty to expand "freedom & liberty" to Iran. Based upon the Declaration of Independce.
Almost as if the Declaration is one of War with tyranny, everywhere. Perhaps it is, or should be.
Same history, different perspectives of the lessons held there.

also at RCP
"Independence Day's Lessons for the Conflict with Iran"

7/04/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

hydrogen bombs, as well.

Mr Calderon will have a larger "mandate" than Mr Fox.
The mandate is measured by votes in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, Calderon's PAN became the largest party in both houses, which Mr Fox did not enjoy.

Though PAN will not have a majority in either chamber, it's taking over as the largest bloc, from PRI, will have provide some advantages.

Mexico's 5% growth is not nearly enough to support itself without the US escape / safety valve.
How they double that growth rate, with all their internal disparities is the real question.
Mr Obrador's proposals stood no chance of obtaining that kind of economic expansion.
Will Mr Calderon be able to move more aggresively than Mr Fox, or at least accelerate the reforms?

7/04/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/04/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There is little doubt, in my mind at least, that the Declaration is the most radical political document of modern times.

Mr Washington had nothing to do with it. His signature, not upon it.

Mr Jefferson, the author, thought that limited Federal government was the best government, but by his own action, with little Congressional authority, he almost doubled the size of the Nation, in one deal, without a War.
Only "Steward's Folly" and the Gadsden Purchase come close as an expansionist moments, and both pale in comparison.

Now that there is little territorial espansion available, where & how else do we spread the Revolution?

Or should we even try, that is what the debate should be about, in Iraq.

Mr Bush does not define it that way, letting Mr Kerry and Murtha and the like carry the "liberal" advantage.
Mr Bush should speak in terms of Progress and Revolution, spin the whole process the "right" way.

I'd match Mr Jefferson against Mr Mohammedan, in the battle for "Hearts and Minds". The US Government just does not believe in it's own foundations, enough to build on them elsewhere.

Mr Jefferson spoke of the power of the individual, not the bloc. We have just institutionalized the inequities of the Iraqi culture, with the US approved structure of their "bloc" system of representative government.

I think Mr B's perspective of history is a tad off center, myself. He sees the same events and draws much different conclusions than I do.

7/04/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

whit said...
No Occupation, Palestine was never a country, only a land inhabited by:

"He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."Genesis 16:12

actually these jackasses come from the womb of hagar, that's egypt and they used to live in arabia.... they have no business in any place cept arabia...

7/04/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here is an article about the "real" founders of the US, as a nation.
The folk that wrote the school books and periodicals of the post Revolution era.

"... In the post-Revolutionary era, Americans were bombarded with material such men produced: biographies and pamphlets, almanacs and schoolbooks, broadsides, prints and images, works that circulated in the hundreds of thousands of copies, sometimes in the millions, published year after year, read aloud in schools and at homes and on patriotic occasions, carrying messages to audiences in the towns and distant hinterlands of the young nation.

Eventually, these texts would persuade a fractious, rebellious, polyglot people to unite in adulation of the nation's founding fathers and to celebrate its most important documents as nothing less than sacred scripture. ..."

In any case, if we want to win the "Hearts & Minds" of this, as well as the following generations of Iraqis, we should be inundating their country with the "storyline" of individual freedom & responsibilities that accompany liberty.

But we no longer belive that should promote or "celebrate its most important documents as nothing less than sacred scripture."

Even though the article was printed in the NYTimes, that is not enough to invalidate the premise.

Especially for those that believe the MSM is the source of most things bad, today.

Our ideology better serves mankind, but we do no longer, as a country, promote it or believe it. Even for ourselves.

7/04/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...


Congrat to the "Palestinians"

...Kassam rocket lands inside Ashkelon for first time
Despite ongoing IDF operations in the northern Gaza Strip, a Kassam rocket landed Tuesday evening in Ashkelon proper - the first time the city center has witnessed such an attack.....

Excellent Job Palestinians! I guess stepping up the rocket attacks on Israel will cause the Israelis to run away...

Or maybe, it will be the excuse Israel needs to kick the crap out of you....

7/04/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hello Belmonters, I hope I don't offend by wishing you all Happy Independence on this Fourth of July.

I know this is not the place to ask the question, but to all those who decry the costs of the GWoT, I must ask: What's the alternative? Didn't we try the 'treat it as a criminal matter and get the UN involved' approach in the 90's? Where'd that get us?

Didn't the Israelis try long and hard with the negotiations and withdrawals and eventually, in a final act of desperation, build a wall to keep the suiciders away?

As for Somalia, as others have said, it's a free fire zone and has been for years. Let the press go and document our crimes, if they dare. This whole idea that Somalia is a "failure of American policy" is absurd - it's the same as thinking we are God. And though God may notice every sparrow that falls, he sure as hell doesn't catch each one on the way down.

7/04/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Whit: re: Israel kicking the crap out of the Palestinians. One can only hope but don't get your hopes up too high.

Israel is showing restraint, something the palestinians just dont understand, they actually think they are winning and israel has thrown everything they have at them. It might just take more jewish blood to provoke an ass kicking, but the good news is that the "palestinians" are losing more and more support on a daily basis from the world.

It's only a matter of time that the legal government of Palestine / hamas shoots a rocket that causes some serious damage, the the LEGAL government of Palestine will get a REAL ass kicking. And no one in the world will give a crap...

if you havent noticed the LACK of KIA's caused by Israel's show invasion, there is a interesting point that Israel hits most targets at 1:43 AM when they are empty, up to now.... Olmert has been like the older guy holding BACK the head of a crazy child that will not calm down, the palestinians are blood lust thirsty, they want to kill or be killed, israel is holding them back from the point of no return...

whether Israel does this now or not, the palestinians want real war, and in the end, they will get it...

7/04/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Saw Dennis Ross on FNC the other day and he said that Hamas has to decide what it was: a movement, a political party, a country, and army, etc.

It occurred to me that we are seeing a whole lot of this. The Democratic Party in the U.S., the U.N., and all sorts of people are not just trying to figure out what they believe and what they want but even what they are - and even if they need to decide any of that or just follow a principle of standing in opposition to anything the "other side" wants.

In contrast, the Republican Party in the U.S. may not be be doing "Dress Right, Dress" in perfect order, but at least to seem to pretty much know what they are.

It is not the Haves versus the Have Nots any more - it is rather the "Know and Dos" versus the "Whazzat....huh's?"

As to the USAF data mining, in my time in that Service I noted a troubling tendancy to contaminate brillance - or even mere demonstrated competance - with a wide array of opinions in order to get "buy in" for as many people as possible. In one case the Air University used a simply thrilling open-sourced approach to defining a new space launch concept and ended up with an idea that was pure owl excrement - one that was desigend to look good and look right but which made no sense. I hope the data mining is really intended to identify and enhance good ideas and not ruin them.

7/04/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

RWE notes: It is not the Haves versus the Have Nots any more - it is rather the "Know and Dos" versus the "Whazzat....huh's?".

YOu mean the "Know the meaning of is" v. "is could mean anything" parties.

7/04/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Ted said: I only hope the Air Force data-mining project indexes The Belmont Club.

Makes me wonder what the USAF could find here. Surely they would already access the primary sources Belmonteers cite, like Aviation Week. While I love the patrons here, I don't imagine any of us are out-thinking the USAF in tactics or aircraft design (hope I'm not offending).

So, what could they learn here? They could perceive trends here, connections that suddenly become hot - because of the constellation of sources that happen to focus out of a specific event.

But it would only be good for one specific trend, and only during that trend as it happens, like a volcano warning of a couple of days maybe, for some specific event or powerful topic in the media. What good is that to the USAF?

The term "data-mining" is antique, that's why we use it. "Mining" suggests you are digging out seams, nuggets, out of an unmoving mountain. The new version is 'connecting the dots', in a moving ocean of data, and whatever maps it makes change as often as the weather, constantly.

Maybe it's just me, but "mining" is just so 3-D, when we live in the now, in 4-D. This "connect-the-dots" idea was all the rage back in the old days, just after 9/11.

7/04/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

In another “Short” item, the N Koreans appear to have finally fired their 2nd Taepodong missile. Apparently it failed at T+40 sec. It will be interesting to see if they claim this as another “space launch” as they did with the first one in 1998. Back then, they even claimed that the payload made orbit, but no one else ever saw it.

I suspect that they will claim it as a space launch. The fact that they launched it in such close proximity to STS-121 tends to confirm the idea. And I very much doubt that they give avoidance of "manned or manable objects" during laucnhes the kind of consideration we do.

The S. Koreans are planning their own space launch. They stipulated that their purchase of a couple of Delta launches back in the 90’s include both hardware manufactured by them and an instruction course on how to launch a Delta. They also have since come to the U.S. and purchased additional instruction on launches; in fact, I helped with it.

The North Korean “space “ launches are a rather transparent means of cover for missile development, and also are a way of one-upping the South in advance. If South Korea does launch a satellite one day, the North can claim they had done it years before.

Questions are: how are is North doing with the non-space launch aspects of building ICBMs: Re-entry vehicles (easy to do but hard to do and keep them light), fuses, and lightweight nukes. Also, will the South Koreans be content to build space launchers – if they do at all – or will they make them into missiles as well?

7/04/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

c4: Just as we are realizing that kneejerk support of Eretz Israel Zionism had a big downside,

interesting, no american administration ever supported "eretz israel"

Bush One was down right hostile to Israel

Bush Two supports a "Palestinian" state, no other american prez ever supported than before.

America only has kneejerk reaction to the Arabs wishing to murder every israeli man women and child.

From with holding loan guarantees (bush 1)
to selling the Saudi's AWAC

From Forgiving Egypt 11 BILLION in loans (on top of the dollar for dollar we give the israelis) to sit out of our way in Gulf War 1

To Spending more money on 1 year in iraq than all 50 yrs of aid to Israel COMBINED america is hardly "kneejerk"..

If it was why hasnt the Bush admin MOVED THE EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM?

Moving our embassy to JERUSALEM does NOT IN ANY way shape or form prohibit SOMEDAY an embassy in EAST JERUSALEM for those "palestinians" partners for so called peace...

Nope in fact, America in fact supported those NON-productive palestinians to the tune of hundreds of millions a year, not to mention arranging for greenhouses (that USED to PRODUCE 380 million a year)

American Administrations going back to 1956 have made the Israelis return land (the SINAI) for peace. And we all know how good that was, since in 1973 Egypt attacked and LOST it again, only to be returned (camp david) to Egypt, hardly KNEE JERK support of "eretz israel"

Then this: On June 19, 1967, the National Unity Government [of Israel] voted unanimously to return the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for peace agreements. The Golans would have to be demilitarized and special arrangement would be negotiated for the Straits of Tiran. The government also resolved to open negotiations with King Hussein of Jordan regarding the Eastern border.

but the famous Khartoum Arab Summit choose the famous 3 nos... "no peace, no recognition and no negotiation with Israel."

so c4, your idea about america or actually israeli wanting of "eretz israel" is at best specious, or at worst highly ignorant or bigoted

7/04/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Did the US Space Shuttle shoot down the NorK Taepodong?

7/04/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Tony said...
Did the US Space Shuttle shoot down the NorK Taepodong?

no the JOOOS did....

7/04/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Coach Mark said...

Data mining........
OOOO Sounds like another evil plot like that SWIFT program.

Back to seriousness, a similar program reportedly identified Atta, why not do it again?

7/04/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yeah, we'd have Mr Cheney in the saffle, through '12 or 'til his ticker quit.

Meanwhuile that leftist cabal rouser, Max Boot echoes my feelings in regards our tacticlt situation in Iraq.

"... Most of our resources aren't going to fight terrorists but to maintain a smattering of mini-Americas in the Middle East. As one Special Forces officer pungently put it to me: "The only function that thousands of people are performing out here is to turn food into [excrement]."

How to explain this seemingly counterproductive behavior? My theory is that any organization prefers to focus on what it does well. In the case of the Pentagon, that's logistics. Our ability to move supplies is unparalleled in military history. Fighting guerrillas, on the other hand, has never been a mission that has found much favor with the armed forces. So logistics trumps strategy. Which may help explain why we're not having greater success in Iraq and Afghanistan. ..."

But since he published in in the LA Times some of you will discount it., Ah well, the truth remains
"Our enemies aren't drinking lattes"

7/05/2006 06:28:00 AM  

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