Follow and help the hands-on effort of LGF readers as they actively bring relief to the ravaged parts of Louisiana (follow here also in the comments at this LGF post). Send them money, and send them all prayers.
Tags: flood aid, hurricane katrina
Welcome! My Blog focuses on security and political news, current events, and technology happenings.
Follow and help the hands-on effort of LGF readers as they actively bring relief to the ravaged parts of Louisiana (follow here also in the comments at this LGF post). Send them money, and send them all prayers.
In addition to the collection of places that the Instapundit is gathering, here is another one - from the United Jewish Communities. Please give all that you can. The UJC helped immensely during the Asian Tsunami.
The United Jewish Communities has established a humanitarian relief fund to aid members of the communities touched by Hurricane Katrina in Alabama , Mississippi, the Western Florida panhandle and other affected areas. To make a donation, Click here. To see the press release, click here.Update: Here is Michelle Malkin's post on the blogging community's help.
Paul at Wizbang posts some ideas on how to help the victims of the hurricane - blog some helpful and useful information for the survivors.
Go to Michelle Malkin for more. Her last three posts are chilling with news of civil order breaking down and anarchy running rampant. God help the innocent.
No update on the situation, this news is nine hours old. Looters probably want drugs. Times like these make you think about being in charge of your own security.
Children's Hospital under siege
Tuesday, 11:45 p.m.
Late Tuesday, Gov. Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher described a disturbing scene unfolding in uptown New Orleans, where looters were trying to break into Children's Hospital.
Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 kids inside the hospital. The director said the hospital is locked, but that the looters were trying to break in and had gathered outside the facility.
The director has sought help from the police, but, due to rising flood waters, police have not been able to respond.
Bottcher said Blanco has been told of the situation and has informed the National Guard. However, Bottcher said, the National Guard has also been unable to respond.
Watch local news live here.
KATRINA: DEATH TOLL RISES
Reuters is reporting that hundreds are feared dead in Biloxi, Miss. Cadaver dogs are being brought in to locate the corpses.
According to Allahpundit, CNN is reporting that officials in Biloxi are spraypainting roofs black if there are corpses inside and red if there are injured inside.
Meanwhile, conditions in New Orleans continue to worsen. "We're not even dealing with dead bodies," Mayor Ray Nagin said. "They're just pushing them on the side."
One of Brendan Loy's readers says the Mississippi coastline is "gone."
Looting in New Orleans is taking place in view of the police and National Guard troops, AP reports:Looters filled industrial-sized garbage cans with clothing and jewelry and floated them down the street on bits of plywood and insulation as National Guard lumbered by.
Mike Franklin stood on the trolley tracks and watched the spectacle unfold.
"To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society," he said.
A man walked down Canal Street with a pallet of food on his head. His wife, who refused to give her name, insisted they weren't stealing from the nearby Winn-Dixie supermarket. "It's about survival right now," she said as she held a plastic bag full of purloined items. "We got to feed our children. I've got eight grandchildren to feed...."
The looting was taking place in full view of passing National Guard trucks and police cruisers.
One man with an armload of clothes even asked a policeman, "can I borrow your car?"
Some in the crowd splashed into the waist-deep water like giddy children at the beach.
WWLTV: "With conditions in the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans rapidly deteriorating, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Tuesday that people now huddled in the Superdome and other rescue centers need to be evacuated."
Good. The infighting is bad, but we must stop the self-flagellation (not flatulation) and cut our losses (not the cheese). From Debka:
For the first time in Israel’s political history, a party in power begins a campaign to oust its own leader from the premiership. Monday, the Likud central committee was called into session for September 26 over Sharon’s objections to set a date for new primaries in a secret ballot.
His main challenger, Netanyahu listed his own policy as based on reliance on the IDF (for national security) and on no other foreign armies; extracting Palestinian quid pro quo for Israel’s concessions; and a popular referendum prior to territorial decision-making.
A former prime minister himself, Netanyahu listed his own policy as based on reliance on the IDF (for national security) and on no other foreign armies; extracting Palestinian quid pro quo for Israel’s concessions; and a popular referendum prior to territorial decision-making.
Another point from another Debka article:
Netanyahu’s belated challenge to Sharon’s leadership is less important per se than the dangerous prospect of its outcome being determined not by the Israeli voter but by Palestinian terror tacticians.
Had Abu Mazen followed up on the Israeli pull-back with determined action to disarm and disband Palestinian terrorist organizations and then moved forward to join Israel in peace negotiations, Sharon could taken the Netanyahu threat in his stride. But this is not happening. The fact of the matter is that the level of Palestinian terror is climbing day by day, and the first post-evacuation suicide attack has already taken place in Beersheba. Israeli troops are still in Gaza demolishing Israeli homes and dismantling their installations - and already they are targeted by the gunmen of the first outside Palestinian terror group to arrive from Lebanon, Ahmed Jibril’s PFLP-GC.
Palestinian violence will fuel Netanyahu’s chances of toppling Sharon – unless the Sharon government shows it can fight back. Evacuated Gaza, far from becoming Abu Mazen’s power base and a place to start the de-terrorization of people, is turning out to be a magnet for his most extreme opponents. PLO politburo chief Farouk Kadoumi threatens to come over as soon as the last Israeli soldier is gone. The Palestinian terrorist command bases in Damascus and Lebanon are packing their bags ready for the journey to Gaza. For the first time in 40 years, they see their chance of taking the war against Israel into its heartland and getting their terrorists inside the Jewish state.
In a most frightening interview with WWL TV, Mayor C. Ray Nagin gave the worse-case scenario of events that anyone could possibly imagine. In the beginning of the interview, he stated that New Orleans is devastated.
Of most importance is the breach of the levee between Jefferson and Orleans Parish.
“We probably have 80 percent of our city under water with some sections of our city the water is as deep as 20 feet”.
Both airports are underwater
The twin spans are destroyed.
The Yacht club is burned and destroyed.
Mayor Nagin also stated he was not sure of the structural soundness of the highrise. He stated that it is possible that the highrise bridge in east New Orleans could be unstable.
The Mayor also stated that all of Slidell (a city [over] which he has no jurisdiction) is under water. Nagin also stated that there was no clear path in and out of New Orleans, that I-10 is underwater.
Nagin stated that FEMA is coming into town tomorrow and that New Orleans will need to obtain major federal help to rebuild the city of New Orleans.
GULFPORT, Miss. - Rescuers in boats and helicopters searched for survivors of Hurricane Katrina and brought victims, wet and bedraggled, to shelters Tuesday as the extent of the damage across the Gulf Coast became ever clearer. The governor said the death toll in one Mississippi county alone could be as high as 80.
“The devastation down there is just enormous,” Gov. Haley Barbour said on NBC’s “Today” show, the morning after Katrina howled ashore with winds of 145 mph and engulfed thousands of homes in one of the most punishing storms on record in the United States.
Barbour said there were unconfirmed reports of up to 80 deaths in Harrison County — which includes devastated Gulfport and Biloxi — and the number was likely to rise. At least five other deaths across the Gulf Coast were blamed on Katrina.
“We know that there is a lot of the coast that we have not been able to get to,” the governor said. “I hate to say it, but it looks like it is a very bad disaster in terms of human life.”
The Washington Post has a list of places where you can donate to help victims..
Instapundit forwards us to a WaPo article which writes that New Orleans is still being flooded due to a broken levee. It's happenning slower than a storm surge, but the flood waters are still rising...
WDSU is reporting that Katrina is weakening and people are beginning to get rescued. Damage is extensive, but the consensus is that it could have been much worse.
The Monday Winds of War is up at Winds of Change.NET. As always, it is enlightening to see what else is going on elsewhere in the world. Here are some excerpts:
It's not even close to being over, but is the hurricane on its way down? WDSU blogs:
9:51 a.m.: Hurricane Katrina Downgraded
Hurricane Katrina has now been downgraded to a Category 3 storm, with top winds of 125 mph. The center of hurricane Katrina was located near latitude 30.2 north, longitude 89.6 west. This position is near the mouth of the Pearl River, about 35 miles east-northeast of New Orleans. -- National Hurricane Center
8:08 a.m.: Superdome Roof Damaged
Part of the roof at the New Orleans Superdome is gone. A 3-by-5-foot chunk is missing, and people are being ushered off the field of the stadium. Although the roof has been breached, those inside are remaining calm. A heavy mist is reported inside, and some are now wearing raincoats.
8:46 a.m.: Superdome Damage Considered Minor
The National Guard told reporters at a news conference in Baton Rouge, La., that the holes in the roof at the Superdome are only minor. A representative of the National Guard blamed the strong winds for ripping the fabric, but he said there were no structural problems with the roof, and evacuees in the affected areas were moved.
The hardest hurricane to ever hit New Orleans is expected to hit in hours. Follow via the open threads at LGF as well as the MSM sites around the net. My hopes and prayers are with the city.
Well, it's not plagerism if I attribute the source. Any guess as to the source? Yup, LGF:
Palestinians Want Airplanes
Here’s yet another sob story about the Palestinians’ need for an airport: Gaza’s ghost airport awaits better days.
Construction began on the airport after the 1993 Oslo accords were signed in a bid to restore Middle East peace.
The airport functioned primarily as a hub for Arafat when he took trips to other countries.
But when the Israelis destroyed the airport, “all our dreams were stopped cold. We had projected that by 2005 we’d have flights to Paris, Frankfurt and New York,” Gharib said.
Palestinians flying airplanes into New York. Hmm. Why does that not give me a warm, cozy feeling?
Thanks to LGF (again): The Racism of the Anti War Movement. At first blush, this article may seem like rightist extremism. It is not. It is logical, and terrestrial in its relevance.
Like most Texas reporters, I have made the pilgrimage to interview Cindy Sheehan and her anti war comrades parked in front of Crawford. One of the made-for-television signs held up behind Cindy during the news event I attended was particularly disturbing. “Iraq,” read the sign held aloft by two prosperous looking white women,“is Arabic for Vietnam.”
By holding this sign, I presume they would favor that the Iraq war end the same way the war in Vietnam ended. I also presume that this means they would not oppose the same fate for the people of Iraq that befell the people of Vietnam and Cambodia after the end of US involvement there, which was one of the more horrible in the sorry annals of twentieth century tyranny. But in 1975, we were told by the anti war crowd that, after all, they were only Asians, they probably couldn’t understand democracy anyway, and knew it wouldn’t work ‘for them.’ Its sad to see the same attitude repeated today, that its not worth the blood of white Americans like Casey Sheehan to win freedom and democracy for ‘those people,’ in this case, brown skinned Arab Muslims.
Even if you drink every last drop of the anti war Kool Aid, even if you are convinced that President Bush was ordered by the Chairman of Halliburton to start the Iraq war and that he intentionally lied to the American people about the existence of weapons of mass destruction, the simple fact is that today, there is demonstrably more freedom for the people of Iraq and for the people of Afghanistan, some 50 million brown skinned Muslims. Yes, there is dawdling over the drafting of an Iraqi constitution, but before April of 2003, metal shredders and rape rooms awaited any Iraqi who breathed the word ‘constitution.’ Yes, a brutal insurgency continues to threaten the Iraqi people, an insurgency which has killed some 25,000 Iraqi civilians since April of 2003. But Saddam Hussein, even by conservative estimates, butchered 1.5 million Iraqis during his 25 years in power (not counting the one million who died in the war he started with Iran). So Saddam and his goons killed an average of 60,000 people a year, while the insurgency has killed 25,000 in two and a half years. Despite the hand-wringing over the insurgency, the devil’s arithmetic would indicate that life for the average Iraq is actually safer today than it was under Saddam. But they’re brown skimmed Muslims, so not worthy of America’s notice, let alone America’s sacrifice.
President Bush is actually the greatest liberator of Muslims in history, considering that there weren’t 50 million people in the entire MIddle East when Saladin beat back the Crusader hordes. But to the anti war activists, providing freedom from slavery, democratic and economic opportunity to brown skinned people isn’t worth the sacrifice of white Americans. Good thing they weren’t around when Lincoln was drafting the Emancipation Proclamation.
Vicot Davis Hanson's latest article is up and talks about the radical fringes on both ends of the spectrum: The Paranoid Style.
Many LGF readers were very upset at Condoleezza Rice’s statement, reported by the New York Times after the Gaza pullout, that “It cannot be Gaza only.”
Well, it’s time to take another look at this issue—because, as Rick Richman details, after reading the actual transcript of the interview given by Dr. Rice, the New York Times fabricated this quote: Condoleezza Rice and The New York Times.
Palestinians: We Hate You, Now Give Us Jobs and Hospitals
We need a new word for this kind of shameless gall: Palestinians fear Gaza health crisis after Israeli pullout.
GAZA CITY (AFP) - Palestinian medical experts fear a looming health crisis after Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip unless patients are guaranteed access to life-saving treatment beyond the territory.
While Israel regards its departure from Gaza as signalling the end of its 38-year occupation, the Palestinians argue that Israel will remain an occupying power as long as it retains control of its borders and is thus still obliged to meet the health needs of the local population.
“I fear a worsening of the health situation after the withdrawal from Gaza as a result of the Israeli cordon,” said Dr Majdi Ashur, president of the Palestinian relief committees.
“Israel is refusing to recognise its obligations as a continuing occupation power by meeting basic health needs of the population and we do not foresee a resumption of proper freedom of movement in the short term,” he told AFP.
Now playing at the Laemmle Theater in downtown LA, a movie that deserves the support of LGF readers, about the suicide bombing of the nightclub Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv by two British Muslim terrorists (who were aided and abetted by the International Solidarity Movement): Blues By The Beach. (Hat tip: Brian.)
Fate brings filmmakers together in Israel in April 2003. They start filming a documentary about Mike’s Place‚ a vibrant beachfront live music blues bar in Tel Aviv. The aim – to show there is more to Israel than the seemingly endless terror. Their idea of filming people having a good time is thwarted when harsh reality hits them: a suicide bomber explodes at Mike’s Place‚ shattering lives and changing the course of their film...
Well, that's it. All the people are out (except for a two holdouts who climbed up a 100 ft. antenna and are still up there). The planned evacuation of the four northern Shomron settlements is over. God help us all.
Homesh evacuation completed
The Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in northern Samaria ended successfully Tuesday when security forces finished evacuating Homesh.
Homesh presented some of the toughest resistance to evacuation seen during the seven days of forced evacuations, but by six p.m. Tuesday soldiers and police had removed virtually all remaining protesters holed up in various locations in the northern Samaria settlement.
Only two anti-pullout activists still held their ground – on an antenna some 30 meters high. Due to the inherent danger of the situation, evacuating forces decided not to attempt to bring the two down by force. Attempts to coax them down were underway.
The main struggle of the day was with the youths who had barricaded themselves in the settlement's Har Shalom Yeshiva, but while security forces were occupied there, a large group of teenage girls took advantage of the "cover" of action to take over an abandoned home, hoping to create an additional focus of resistance to the evacuation.
Out of respect for the girls' modesty, female soldiers and officers initially took charge of evacuating them.
However, some of the girls fought so vigorously against removal that male soldiers were forced to carry them out of their stronghold.
Throughout Tuesday, police and IDF evacuation forces deployed in Homesh entered homes and buildings throughout the settlement, steadily pulling 1329 resisting residents and infiltrators out of 60 buildings.
The standoff between evacuation forces and the youths occupying the yeshiva came to an end shortly after 1:30 p.m. as troops began to pull the youths out. The boys and young men held on to one another on the floor of the yeshiva in an attempt to make their forced removal more difficult.
Via guest blogger Betsy Newmark at Michelle Malkin:
Ralph Peters reports on a story that hasn't got much press although if the news were the opposite, you know you'd be reading about it all over.But my nomination for the "Greatest Story Never Told" is a quieter one: Locked in a difficult war, the U.S. Army is exceeding its re-enlistment and first-time enlistment goals. Has anybody mentioned that to you?
Remember last spring, when the Army's recruitment efforts fell short for a few months? The media's glee would have made you confuse the New York Times and Air America.
When the Army attempted to explain that enlistments are cyclical and numbers dip at certain times of the year, the media ignored it. All that mattered was the wonderful news that the Army couldn't find enough soldiers. We were warned, in oh-so-solemn tones, that our military was headed for a train wreck.
Now, as the fiscal year nears an end, the Army's numbers look great. Especially in combat units and Iraq, soldiers are re-enlisting at record levels. And you don't hear a whisper about it from the "mainstream media."
It's amazing to me that all these people would reenlist in a time of war with daily reports of casualties. Or that we would be exceeding our goals for new enlistments. Perhaps this has something to do with it.
Evariste at the Winds of Change.NET has put up the latest Winds of War for all of your world news needs. Here are some highlights:
And just like that, all of the Jews are out of Gaza - chased out by murderers. An avid reader of this blog, Just Gil, has faith in Sharon being a smart man, and not purposefully leading his sheep over a cliff. I, too, believe that Sharon and all pullout proponents are well-intentioned...but mistaken.
Netzarim, the last Jewish community remaining in Gaza, was forcibly evacuated Monday by IDF troops.
The residents held a ceremony in which they marched around the community's perimeter holding Torah scrolls and the large menorah that had stood atop their synagogue. From Netzarim, the expellees will head to Kibbutz Sa'ad, where a ceremony honoring the community is to be held.
Afterwards, the community is headed en masse to the Western Wall for prayers.
After their expulsion, Netzarim residents will take up temporary residence at the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel. That region will not be their permanent abode, however, as the Disengagement Authority will reduce compensation to families choosing to live in Judea or Samaria. Netzarim residents have decided to establish a new town with the same name in the Negev.
The latest Carnival of Tomorrow is up. I haven't visited it, but the Instapundit says not to miss it, so you'd better not miss it.
Michael Yon's latest dispatch is up, and promises a more spectacular war report next time. His writing, as always, is great. Enjoy.
This category of posts ("Where in the world?") is used by bloggers who appear on TV, are being interviewed on radio, or are traveling to consult or speak. They usually post a link to watch or listen live, or for more information on their engagement or conference. I, on the other hand, am missing from my blog due to being swamped with work, and nothing exotic (yet, hehe). So I will post a link where you can get more information on what I am up to, but you can't listen/watch live (I'd have to kill you).
Blogger Gloria Salt writes on the two scenarios of the post-withdrawal Gaza. She writes very well and lays out on the table what could happen. After reading her post comes the self-realization as to which scenario is more probable.
The forced evacuation of the Kfar Darom synagouge began on Thursday afternoon as hundreds of riot police stromed the compound.
At least 1,000 pullout opponents barricaded themselves behind rolls of barbed wire in the synagogue and on the rooftop.
A police water cannon was seen spraying the rooftop.
Youth on the roof are using paint bombs and spray guns with motor oil inside and appear well prepared for the forced evacuation.
A crane was brought in to lift a shipping container filled with police forces onto the rooftop.
OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel went in the front door of the synagogue to try to talk the youth down but his efforts appeared to be in vain.
Earlier, protesters threw paintballs and eggs on the evacuating forces.
In a separate development, Kfar Darom was the scene of the first instance of refusal of orders since the disengagement operation began Monday.
A reserve border policeman who refused to participate in the evacuation of Kfar Darom was handed over to military police Thursday morning to face disciplinary measures.
Fellow policemen immediately converged upon him, took away his M-16 rifle, and whisked him from the scene.
The IDF Spokesman reiterated calls that any soldier who refuses to obey an order would be dealt with harshly.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz arrived in Kfar Darom shortly after noon on Thursday.
Some 200 residents and infiltrators were evacuated from the settlement by Thursday at 12:30 p.m., according to an Army Radio report.
After going to each house earlier to ask the residents to leave peacefully, security forces have begun going door-to-door to forcibly evict any who remain.
Evacuation teams continued to forcibly evict people holed up in Midreshet Kfar Darom, a seminar center on the outskirts of the settlement.
Channel 2 showed footage of soldiers escorting men, women, and children out of the building.
OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel told Army Radio earlier Thursday that Kfar Darom would be fully evacuated by evening.
Security forces swarmed the embattled settlement early Thursday morning in what officers said would be Israel's most challenging settlement evacuation.
IDF spokesman said two full brigades - roughly 5,000 soldiers and policemen - were operating in the settlement.
As opposed to every other evacuation, police were in riot gear, some of them wearing helmets and holding shields and batons.
There are over a thousand people in the Neve Dekalim shul [synagogue] and the police have started trying to drag them out. There has been no violence, only locking hands and legs to slow down the drag-out.
At 3:20 PM, the local police commander announced by megaphone, "Your stay here is illegal. In ten minutes, we will enter and remove you. Buses will take you to Merkaz Shapira and Jerusalem."
The large forces began to enter from two, possibly three, different sides some 15 minutes later. The intense prayers continued inside all the while. In the boys' synagogue - the Sephardic one - several of them linked arms and legs in a last attempt to make their eviction difficult.
The soldiers then pushed their way in and began trying to evict them. It proved very difficult, and the scene was filled with chants of "A Jew doesn't evict a Jew," and, "Refuse Orders!", as well as pushing, pulling, screaming and violence. After a half hour, only 15-20 people had been removed.
Among the settlement leaders on the scene are Yesha Council leader Bentzy Lieberman, Amanah settlement organization head Ze'ev Chever (Zambish), Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rabbi Avinoam Horowitz and many others.
Earlier, Lieberman said the youths would not leave on their own, but that they would definitely not employ violence against those who come to remove them.
There are a few holdouts in Gush Katif, but on the whole people are leaving - on their own two feet, or are being dragged away. Violence is minimal in the Gush. Below are some pictures. (main source: hashkafah.com)
Rather than being just a decrepit, ineffectual, wasteful, lying, thieving, hypocritical, and cowardly organization, it turns out that the U.N. is actively funding anti-Israel propaganda, and by its own admission has no idea how the palestinians spend the U.N. grant money. They have officially crossed the stupid line and entered into the destructive, 'OpFor' (opposition force) zone. (Hat tip: LGF)
The United Nations bankrolled the production of thousands of banners, bumper stickers, mugs, and T-shirts bearing the slogan "Today Gaza and Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem," which have been widely distributed to Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip, according to a U.N. official.
The U.N. support of the Palestinian Authority's propaganda operation in the midst of the Israeli evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip has provoked outrage from Israeli and Jewish leaders, who are blaming Turtle Bay for propagating an inflammatory message that they say encourages Palestinian Arab violence.
"The intifada worked. That's contextually what this message is saying," the director of U.N. affairs for the Washington-based Jewish organization B'nai Brith, Amy Goldstein, said.
The Arabic slogan, which refers to disputed territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has become ubiquitous in Gaza, where Israeli soldiers this week are evacuating 21 settlements. It's served as the central message of a Palestinian Arab effort to spin the withdrawal as a victory.
A special representative of the United Nations Development Program in the Gaza Strip, Timothy Rothermel, told Fox News that his office provided financial support for the production of materials that make up the Palestinian Authority's propaganda campaign, timed to coincide with the Gaza pullout. The Palestinian Authority's withdrawal committee developed and produced the posters and other items using U.N. money, Mr. Rothermel said.
In addition to the slogan "Today Gaza and Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem," many of the materials displayed the logo of the United Nations Development Program, which operates in 166 countries and spends about half a billion dollars a year.
Asked by a Fox News correspondent about one of the banners bearing the words implying an impending Palestinian Arab takeover of the disputed areas, Mr. Rothermel, said, "That particular poster was prepared by the disengagement office with financial support from the United Nations Development Program."
UNDP officials at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, however, denied that money from the program went directly to the propaganda campaign.
A UNDP spokesman, William Orme, said his office gave money to the Palestinian Withdrawal Committee to "help the Palestinian Authority communicate to the populace about the withdrawal and its economic and social impact."
The money was funneled to the committee through a subagency called Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People. U.N. officials were not told about the propaganda campaign or about the slogan, he said.
Balagan posts her latest sad update from Neve Dekalim.
I guess that by now we can already say that most families have been evacuated fromm the biggest settlement in Gaza. The tension we felt yesterday, when settlers and policemen really confronted in the streets disappeared. Today people's feelings just came out. No violence, but some shouting and many many tears. I admit I myself cried. I guess it's the result of four days under 40C, almost no sleep, no food and lots of pressure. Tons of pressure. Went to the south of the settlement, where hundreds sat down in the street and started singing and praying. For a moment, I just lost control. I am a human being, sorry. When I heard the so typical zionist songs like "Eli, Eli" from Rachel, my eyes flooded. Sat down, drank water, calmed down. Everything under control. Passed. Not that eassy to administrate our emotions here. Carried on my job. Talked to people. The hostile attitude's been broken and the sadness have found its place in the settlers' hearts.
People struggled when the policemen came to put them into the buses. Resistance. But a desperate one, not violent. The most amazing thing was the policemen and soldiers solidarity. They sat inside the settlers under the boiling sun held their hands, sang with them. People've been trying desperately to remember that altough they don't agree in what concerns disengagement and politics, they are still one people. The jewish people that can't be torn.
The Guardian (UK) has a rather moving (and 'balanced') piece on blogs blogging the withdrawal.
Kerem Atzmona resists evacuation
It took border policemen an hour and a half to remove all 16 Kerem Atzmona families from their homes on Wednesday afternoon, leaving some 200 infiltrators in the area yet to be evacuated.
Border policemen went door to door in the south Gaza settlement, in many cases dragging women and children out of their homes. The sobs of the evacuees could be heard above the scuffling of the border policemen.
In many cases, residents locked themselves indoors and policemen were forced to break them down. One woman became hysterical when a soldier picked up her two-year-old son, screaming "you betrayed me! Don't you dare touch my son!"
In the doorway to one of the homes sat two small children, aged five and seven, with their hands up in the air, crying and begging the border policemen not to enter their home.
Border policemen said that of the several communities they'd been at today, Kerem Atzmona was proving to be the most resistant and emotional.
A number of border policemen broke down in tears and had to request a respite from the action.
In Neveh Dekalim, the largest settlement in Gush Katif, some 300 families and 3,000 infiltrators were waiting for the evacuating forces in the synagogue Wednesday.
As of Wednesday at noon, 300 of 520 families remained in the settlement.
Evacuating forces were going into houses. Each squad carried maps of the internal layout of the houses they are entering, including information about the residents of each house.
After each neighborhood was cleared, police were blocking them off by standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a blockade. Activists were sitting in a circle in the middle of the settlement, singing prayers and engaging soldiers in conversation. Police were occasionally grabbing them one by one, putting them on a bus, and taking them out of the settlement.
Most residents were leaving quietly. In very few cases, people had to be forced on to the bus.
Blogger Balagan is live-blogging the withdrawal from Gush Katif (Neve Dekalim), if she can maintain an internet connection, that is.
Hold on to your hats, ladies, war reporter extraordinaire Michael Yon has uploaded his latest dispatch from Iraq - The Battle for Mosul: Reality Check. Enjoy!
I lied, there is no update. Nothing has changed. People are being slaughtered, displaced, tortured, and the U.N. and the U.S. are doing nothing to stop it. Lawhawk points us to a display of the horrors in Darfur put up by the US Holocaust Museum, "My Camera Was Not Nearly Enough", in which a former Marine was 'observing' the 'conflict' in Darfur and took some quite graphic and horrible pictures and told his story to the world. The results of his photo essay are encapsulated in his title - not nearly enough was done. The killing, raping and pillaging goes on unabated.
Monday's Winds of War is up at Winds of Change.NET. While containing concerning news...
there is some good news among the thorns - especially for those with foot odor problems!
The TSA might stop making you take your shoes off to go through the metal detector.
IDF ready to evacuate Ganim, Kadim
The IDF distributed eviction notices to settlers in the northern Samaria settlements of Ganim and Kadim on Monday morning.
Military sources noted that only a handful of families remained in the two communities, and according to assessments only one or two would still be there after Wednesday.
The IDF imposed a closure from Sunday midnight on Homesh and Sa-Nur, the two other settlements in the area slated for evacuation.
A closure order was imposed on Ganim and Kadim last week.
There have been reports of dozens of anti-pullout activists entering Homesh and Sa-Nur in the past few weeks, giving rise to assessments of strong opposition to evacuation of those communities.
The pullout in northern Samaria had been slated to begin after the disengagement from the Gaza Strip has been completed.
The IDF apparently feels that the official pullout from Ganim and Kadim can be completed simultaneously, while leaving Homesh and Sa-Nur until later.
Tzukerman told the crowd that he loved them and that he felt that the settlers of Morag were a part of this nation and always would be. "All of the officers are here and we are together on this day in a display of our love and affection to offer you help and assist you during this difficult time."
The crowd then broke out singing Hatikva and together with the soldiers sang the national anthem.
The grieving room was arranged like a doctor's office. The families and loved ones of 33 soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan were summoned to a large waiting area at Fort Bragg, N.C. For three hours, they were rotated through five private rooms, where they met with President George W. Bush, accompanied by two Secret Service men and a photographer. Because the walls were thin, the families awaiting their turn could hear the crying inside.
President Bush was wearing "a huge smile," but his eyes were red and he looked drained by the time he got to the last widow, Crystal Owen, a third-grade schoolteacher who had lost her husband in Iraq. "Tell me about Mike," he said immediately. "I don't want my husband's death to be in vain," she told him. The president apologized repeatedly for her husband's death. When Owen began to cry, Bush grabbed her hands. "Don't worry, don't worry," he said, though his choking voice suggested that he had worries of his own. The president and the widow hugged. "It felt like he could have been my dad," Owen recalled to NEWSWEEK. "It was like we were old friends. It almost makes me sad. In a way, I wish he weren't the president, just so I could talk to him all the time."
Sorry for the lack of posts, but it was the Jewish day of Tisha B'Av, a sad day of fasting and prayer. A bunch of bad things happened to us on that day historically, as well as presently. In any case, I had some thoughts to post yesterday, but couldn't eke out the words.
Dear Lord, What are we doing? Here are some pictures, then a news story...
Tens of thousands of Palestinians crowded into Gaza City's small fishing harbor Friday to celebrate the impending Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, waving flags and hearing promises from their leader, Mahmoud Abbas, that the West Bank and Jerusalem will be next.Now, please, tell me with a straight face that this thing is a good idea.
Meanwhile, in Gaza early Friday, about 1,000 armed and masked Hamas combatants staged a training exercise in which they practiced infiltrating and attacking Jewish settlements.
For the first time Hamas invited TV cameramen to film about 1,000 gunmen training ahead of the pullout. It wasn't clear whether this signaled an intent by the terrorist group to attack settlements during the impending pullout.
The release of the pictures of Hamas members rapelling from high-rise walls and jumping through hoops of fire was also seen as a challenge to the Palestinian Authority.
Under the theme "Setting Sail for Freedom," the rally to celebrate Israel's withdrawal was the PA's first mass celebration of Israeli withdrawal. Organized by the government, it appeared to part of an attempt by Abbas to seek credit for the pullout and defuse Hamas's claims that its attacks drove Israel out.
The celebrators chanted anti-Israel slogans, burned Israeli flags and fired off rounds of ammunition into the air.
Surrounded by security guards, Abbas spoke briefly to the crowd: "From here, from this place, our nation and our masses are walking toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Abbas said.
A spacecraft blasted off Friday into a golden early morning sky, beginning a mission to Mars to gather more data on the Red Planet than all combined previous missions.
The mullahs' moment in the sun".
There is a threefold irony in the fact that the West, and particular the Europeans, are now looking to Israel for assistance in defending against their homegrown jihadi networks. First, and perhaps it goes without saying, until suicide terror came to them, they were quick to condemn every single action – from the erection of roadblocks to administrative detentions to military sweeps of terror dens – that the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have taken to preempt and prevent suicide bombers. Now, when they themselves are suffering from the same fate, they are quick to ignore their previous criticism and come to Israel for help.
And to top it all off, none of them – from the Bush administration to the European leadership – has drawn the obvious conclusion that the terrorists who attack Israel in the name of jihad are no different from the ones who attack them in the name of jihad and that therefore one of the best ways for them to defend themselves is to support Israel and end their support for the Palestinian Authority, which is infused from top to bottom with the ideology of terror and jihad.
In what may have been a media stunt, 1,000 masked and armed Hamas terrorists trained Friday morning to infiltrate and attack Jewish communities, according to an Associated Press report.Hamas, now refusing to disarm after Israel’s pullout, outnumbers Palestinian security forces three to one in Gaza
Hamas leaders step up their challenge to Israel and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ effort to assert control over Gaza after Israel’s withdrawal next week. Friday, Aug. 12, the head of Hamas’ Qassam Brigades, Ahmed al-Ghandour, declared they would keep their guns to continue the fight against the Jewish state.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported earlier: Hamas gained the upper hand in recent clashes with Palestinian Authority security forces in the Gaza Strip, exhibiting numerical superiority (3:1) and, for the first time, the features of a guerrilla force.
PA rejects Sharon's 'three nos'
"The Zionist retreat from the Gaza Strip won't end the resistance," he said. "The resistance will continue until the expulsion of the occupation from all our lands, including the West Bank, Jerusalem and all of Palestine."Deal to sell Gush Katif hothouses to PA firm finalized
Following months of uncertainty as to the fate of hundreds of hothouses in Gush Katif, some 200 farmers from several Gaza Strip settlements on Friday signed a $14 million deal that would enable the transfer of hothouses into the hands of a Palestinian Authority company.
The deal - finalized just three days before the evacuation is to take place - was reached with the Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF), a private foundation dedicated to fostering Israeli-Palestinian economic ties, which raised the money through private donations.[why private funds? -ed]
Initially, the US government agency, USAID, had negotiated with Gaza farmers, and the two sides had been close to a US$15 million ( 12 million). However, the deal fell through because the Palestinian negotiators opposed the fact that the hothouses would be paid for with government funds.
Officials explained that such an arrangement could have been interpreted as a compensation payment to the settlers with implicit Palestinian blessing.