Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Petition to Indict Ahmadinejad

lgf: Petition to Indict Ahmadinejad is hosting a petition to indict Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for incitement to commit genocide, under the UN Genocide Convention: Stand Up To Ahmadinejad.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Terror Attack in Eilat - Three Dead

Israellycool is following the story from within Israel. As he notes, this is the first suicide bombing in Eilat.
Terror Attack in Eilat

A palestinian suicide bomber has murdered two people after blowing himself up in an Eilat bakery.
I guess the palestinians got bored of just killing each other.
Both Islamic Jihad and "moderate" Mahmoud's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have both scrambled to claim responsibility for this latest atrocity. There's no PR quite like maiming and killing Jews.
This marks the first ever suicide bombing in Eilat, and the first suicide bombing in Israel since last April.
Updates (Israel time):
1:17PM: It's now 3 dead.
2:03PM: A witness has described the scene:
"We were sitting and drinking coffee some five meters from the site....Suddenly we heard a large explosion and I immediately thought that it was a suicide bomber.

"When we went outside we saw that the place had been destroyed and there were body parts everywhere.."
And there is also this description from another witness:
"It was awful - there was smoke, pieces of flesh all over the place," he said.
He told Israel Radio that he saw "a man with a black coat and a bag. For Eilat, where it is hot, it is strange to see someone walking with a coat. I said to myself, 'Why is this idiot dressed that way?' Seconds later, I heard a huge blast. The building shook."
3:55PM: The bomber has been identified as 21-year-old Mohammed Faisal al-Saqsaq, who certainly lived up to his name by sucking in the slang sense of the word.
And it would seem that Saqsaq f*cked up (thank goodness).
Investigations into Monday morning's suicide bombing in Eilat, the first to strike Israel's southernmost city, indicated that the 21-year-old bomber (Muhammed Faisal al-Saksak, a resident of the Gaza Strip and member of the Fatah-affiliated Aksa Martyrs Brigades) may not have intended to detonate his explosives pack in a bakery, but planned to execute the attack in a more crowded area.
According to reports by security sources, at least two local residents had spotted Saksak, whose heavy coat and large bag aroused their suspicions, and called the police. Channel 2 reported that one of the people who alerted local police was the taxi driver who took Saksak into town.
Saksak, who appeared to have stopped at the bakery for coffee before reaching his final destination, blew himself up after he saw the police cars approaching.
3:57PM: You might want to keep this in mind if we demolish his family's house:
"We knew that he was going to carry out a martyrdom operation," Saqsaq's brother, Naeem, told reporters at the family home in the northern Gaza Strip. "His mother and father prayed for him to succeed."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Russia has been tracking Israeli troops for a decade.

Wow. Russia has been tracking IDF troops for at least a decade, and transferring that information to Hizbollah (and then on to others?)

Report: Russia tracking IDF movements

Russia maintains listening posts along the Syrian border with Israel which it uses to follow IDF movements in the Golan Heights, it was revealed Thursday night.

According to a report on Channel 2, the posts are manned by Russian military officers who pass on information to Hizbullah in Lebanon. Israel, The Jerusalem Post learned, has known about the posts for over a decade since they were established.

Calling a Spade a Spade

US Troops Authorized To Kill Iranian Operatives in Iraq

PJM in Barcelona

“The Bush administration has decided to escalate the response to Iranian infiltration in Iraq by ending a “catch and release” program and operating more aggressively against Iranian agents, especially Revolutionary Guard elements. The new rules of engagement include the use of lethal force, and the White House may even consider naming the Iranian Army a terrorist organization for its connections to Hamas and Hezbollah.” (Ed Morrissey @ Captain’s Quarters)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad: Israel, US will soon die

I will never forget a recent TV interview of Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu. Bibi said that he met once with a holocaust survivor and asked the survivor what was the one lesson he learned from the holocaust. The survivor replied, "When someone says he's going to kill you, believe him."

Believe him:
"Israel, US will soon die"

Israel and the United States will soon be destroyed, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday during a meeting with Syria's foreign minister, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)website said in a report. Iran's official FARS news agency also reported the comments.

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad… assured that the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel will soon come to the end of their lives," the Iranian president was quoted as saying.

"Sparking discord among Muslims, especially between the Shiites and Sunnis, is a plot hatched by the Zionists and the US for dominating regional nations and looting their resources," Ahmadinejad added, according to the report.

The Iranian president also directly tied events in Lebanon to a wider plan aimed at Israel's destruction. He called on "regional countries" to "support the Islamic resistance of the Lebanese people and strive to enhance solidarity and unity among the different Palestinian groups in a bid to pave the ground for the undermining of the Zionist regime whose demise is, of course, imminent."

Video of Iranian Nuclear Facilities

I'm sure the Mossad is all over this one. Hey, maybe they even shot the footage. (Actually, it is from an Iranian documentary). Thanks to Global Voices Online.

[embedded video removed, click here for the video]

Battery Revolution?

A super-quiet company in Texas, EEStor, has for a while now been rumored to have a revolutionary new energy storage technology. They've just come forward for the first time with a few more details, and if their technology works, they will literally flip the energy world on its head. The implications are huge - both for home electricity, for automobile transportation, and our overall dependence on oil. The claims are intense: 10 times the power of a lead-acid battery (like our car battery), at half the cost. That's a pretty tall order to fill. Because they've been quiet about the technology, I am inclined to believe that they have something, but what they have exactly, no one knows just yet.
Technology Review: Battery Breakthrough?

The company boldly claims that its system, a kind of battery-ultracapacitor hybrid based on barium-titanate powders, will dramatically outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market in terms of energy density, price, charge time, and safety. Pound for pound, it will also pack 10 times the punch of lead-acid batteries at half the cost and without the need for toxic materials or chemicals, according to the company.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Democrats' Silence on Jihad is Deadly

Via LGF:
Jacoby: Democrats' Silence on Jihad is Deadly

A great piece by Jeff Jacoby on the appalling silence of the Democrats in the war against militant Islam: Democrats’ silence on jihad is deadly. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

They’re going to get us all killed.

For McCain, a Republican presidential hopeful, the struggle against the Islamists is the paramount issue of the day. His campaign website, while spare, highlights a recent speech in which McCain called stopping radical Islam “our most important moral obligation.” He described the jihadists as “moral monsters but . . . also a disciplined, dedicated movement driven by an apocalyptic religious zeal, which celebrates martyrdom and murder.”

Sounding nearly as resolute is former governor Mitt Romney, whose campaign website puts “Defeating the Jihadists” first in its list of key campaign issues. “The jihadists are waging a global war against the United States and its allies,” Romney is quoted as saying, “with the ambition of replacing legitimate governments with a caliphate — a theocracy.” Speaking in Israel yesterday, Romney asserted that “a central purpose of NATO should be to defeat radical Islam,” through means both military and ideological.

The Democratic candidates, by contrast, are virtually silent on the subject.

Barack Obama launched his exploratory committee with an online video that mentioned the economy, healthcare, vanishing pensions, college costs, and the fractiousness of partisan politics. His only nod to national security was a passing reference to the war in Iraq, which he opposes. But 9/11 and its aftermath? The worldwide jihad? The global conflict between democratic freedom and Taliban-style repression? Not a word.

Hillary Clinton’s highly praised kickoff video likewise included nothing about the overriding threat of our time. Her website does contain a speech she gave at the Council on Foreign Relations last October, but it is filled with vague rhetoric about diplomacy and international conferences and how we must address the “troubled conditions terrorists seek out.” New Yorkers don’t need to be told “that we are in a war against terrorists who seek to do us harm,” Clinton says. But if she recognizes that the future of the civilized world depends on winning that war, she shows little sign of it.

What is true of Obama and Clinton is more or less true of Edwards, Richardson, and the others. The Democrats seem prepared to emulate John Kerry, who insisted in 2004 that “we have to get back to the place we were” before 9/11. Back, that is, to treating Islamist terrorism not as “the focus of our lives,” but merely as “a nuisance” that we need “to reduce” — like gambling, he said, or prostitution.

A Tangled Webb...The Democratic Response to the SOTU Address

Thanks to Gateway Pundit for responding to the Democratic response to the State of the Union Address.
Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) gave the democratic response to the SOTU Address tonight.

Here's a snapshot...

(The nine Arab countries include Saudi Arabia and Egypt)

Did you notice that democrats pushed to stay and to withdraw from Iraq in the same paragraph!
Here are a few choice lines from his blunt challenge:

The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable – and predicted – disarray that has followed.

...(We have) lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism(?)
Who do democrats think that we are fighting in Iraq, anyway?
Do they have any idea?

We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism(?) Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq’s cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.
Get that... the US should not withdraw(al) and the US should leave Iraq... Same paragraph.

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. “When comes the end?” asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.

...These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.
...A way to cut and run, no doubt.

Dan Riehl has another take on the democrat's disappointing rebuttal.

A Second Hand Conjecture nails it...

Webb said: "The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military."

The first part of that statement is true, but a significant part of that figure feels that way but doesn’t want us to end the fight in Iraq, but fight it more aggressively. The real issue I have though is with the second part. The implication is the troops favor his views, which is not what all the evidence I see shows. How would he know anyway? My evidence is anecdotal, but the soldiers I speak to, including relatives, do not support a withdrawal, though they have many, and often contradictory views about what needs to change.
More here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's called ice, and it gets a little slick.

A ubiquitous True Lies reference. (Thanks to Ace of Spades)

Madame Speaker! The President of the United States!

I'm watching the State of the Union right now, and as Bush hasn't started speaking, I have no opinion of the speech, yet. Boy, he looks old. He must be so stressed.

Pelosi can barely conceal her excitement about banging that gavel.

Bush gives kudos to Madame Speaker, then they all rise. So many ladies in the audience are wearing red dresses! Just like Laura.

Wow. Bush gave Nancy quite a intro, and she teared up.

Bush just dives in to the war. Congratulates the Democratic majority. He sounded resigned to that fact. Let's work together, blah, blah.

Economy's great. A ton of jobs, wages rising. Pelosi was a little late clapping to that.
1) balance the federal budget. No raising taxes (Bush Sr.?). withing 5 years... balanced. hmmm... sounds like a political move.
2) cut earmarks (huh?)
3) save social security by cutting medicare and medicaid.

Bush: Save the schools!! No child left behind does not mean don't give them help. Strengthen math and science. Congress, please reauthorize the law.

[oooooh] Affordable and available healthcare. [applause, duh.]
1) standard tax deduction for health insurance (oooh, Hilary looks icy) blah blah [numbers] blah blah. Tax code [blah blah] affordable healthcare.
2) Help the states which provide coverage
Expand health savings accounts [they suck], association health plans, decrease medical errors with technology, price transparency, medical liability reform. blah blah [when's Bush gonna get to the good stuff?]heh. Kerry looked jealous.

here we go...

Double the border patrol, increase technology. take pressure off the border with the temporoary worker program. [p.s. that doesn't work]. Go after the employers [amen]. "Melting pot blah blah, resolve illegal immigrant status without amnesty. [Did Pelosi almost fall asleep? She stood up while clapping so she wouldn't fall asleep]

Environment and foreign oil.
Regimes, Terrorists, can harm us with oil. Change electricity, wind solar and [yes!] NUCULAR. Goal: reduce gasoline usage by 20% in the next ten years. Conserve fuel economy on cars [the death of US car companies]. Double the capacity of the strategic petroleum reserve. Darn missed that. wait, I need a drink of water.

Federal courts judges overwhelmed... Prompt up or down vote for new judges (some jeers from the crowd).

Protect people from terrorism. 9/11 a glimpse of what they want to do with us [amen].

"To win the war on terror, we must take the fight to the enemy."

We stopped many terror attacks (listed many examples). Debt to brave public servants [amen]. war will not end while the bad guys are out there. They have a harsh and narrow ideology [nope, not narrow]. They want America to retreat. Shia extremists. IRAN FUNDING HEZBOLLAH. Wake up, Obama. And Hilary is sneering. We must protect the American people. Our security is in the balance (p.s. Bush hasn't said the word "Iraq", yet)

Lebanon Cedar revolution. Afghanistan freedom. Iraq elections (first time "Iraq" mentioned. the war mentioned many times). Hezbollah, with support from Syria and Iran, are trying to undermine Lebanon's gov't. Iraq: sectarian rage. Not the fight we entered in Iraq, but the one we are in. Our own security is at risk. We can still win this battle. ooooh. DEMS DIDNT GET UP! All the Rep. got up.

Justifying the "Surge". Our commitment is not open-ended. Baghdad must be secure. America must not fail in Iraq. 3rd time said Shia extremists supported by Iran. Also said Suni extremists backed by Al Qaeda. Protect the American people. Dude, Dems aren't getting up!

Support our troops. Now the Dems got up.

Increase the size of the Army and Marine corp by 92,000 over the next five years. Volunteer civilian reserve corp. Missions abroad, allow civilians to serve.

UN behind Iraq. UN imposed sanctions on Iran - worls will not allow Iran to acquire Nuclear weapons.

Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in security [sure, buddy, whatever. They don't want one].

Save the people of Darfur. [EVERYone got up for that.]

Fight HIV, especially in Africa. Also fund fight against malaria.

Dikembe Mutombo. Built a hospital in homeland. proud to call him a citizen of the USA. whoa, he's tall.

Baby Einstein company. $200 million business. enterprising America. social entrepreneur.

Wesley Autrey, "The subway hero", dude he rocks. [wesley mouthed you da man]

Tommy Reiman, was shot and stayed in the fight, got the silver star. Like all other servicemen, has earned the honor and respect of his fellow countrymen.

The state of our union is strong... and our cause is right.

God Bless America.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Stratfor 2007 Mideast Report

TigerHawk has generously shared some Mideast portions of the Stratfor 2007 annual report with his readers. He chastises us all to subscribe to Stratfor. You can sign up for their e-mail list for free, though, and get some very insightful analyses, but the really in-depth stuff comes with a price.
However, we made a critical error in reading Iran’s intentions at this point. The Iranians saw an opportunity to use their militant and political assets in Iraq to delay a political resolution through a major escalation in Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence. As a result, the United States was buried deeper in Iraq, and Iran was able to strengthen its negotiating position substantially. The Iranian strategy involved activating Hezbollah, which manifested in the summer war between Hezbollah and Israel that left Israel politically and militarily paralyzed. Contrary to our prediction that the general trend for the Middle East would be toward political accommodation, the region witnessed a number of flare-ups that were largely attributed to the Iranian calculus in consolidating its gains in Iraq.
To shatter these expectations and demonstrate that the United States is still very much in the game, U.S. President George W. Bush announced Jan. 10 a strategy to “surge” U.S. troops in Iraq. The increase will total 21,500 troops, with a peak of 17,500 in Baghdad and another 4,000 in Anbar province. Ultimately, this looks unlikely even to bring the total level of U.S. forces to their peak strength of 160,000 — the number of troops that were in Iraq in November and December 2005, in the buildup to the general elections Dec. 15. It is likely to be accompanied by a shift in tactics to focus more specifically on counterinsurgency operations.

The forces will certainly be useful — assisting with security inside Baghdad and leaving units that would otherwise be shifted to the capital available to confront issues in their respective areas of responsibility. However, in and of itself, this new deployment will be insufficient to turn the tide in Iraq. Operation Together Forward — the failed attempt after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death to use a small surge in troop levels in Baghdad to impose security there — is a case in point. Together Forward was essentially the U.S. military’s last, best effort to secure Baghdad with the existing force structure.

Baghdad remains the key. Without stability there, there can be no Iraqi state. But the proposed surge of 21,500 troops — without a new, concerted diplomatic effort — is unlikely to succeed in effecting a political resolution in Baghdad.

However, there is a key psychological element to this strategy. The United States will spend the coming months taking an aggressive stance against Iranian operations in Iraq, including additional raids on Iranian diplomatic offices and arrests of Iranian officials in the country who are suspected of orchestrating attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces. The U.S. military will be posturing to dispel the Iranian perception that the battleground will remain within Iraq’s borders. The United States could also step up covert efforts to ramp up the militant activities of Iran’s indigenous separatist groups, such as the Ahvazi Arabs in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan in western Iran. Coinciding with U.S. moves, Israel will accelerate its own psychological warfare campaign, using a variety of leaks and denials to heavily publicize Israeli military plans to strike Iranian nuclear sites. By upping the ante against Iran, the United States is placing a critical bet that the Iranians will reconsider their Iraq strategy and come to the negotiating table rather than risk a serious miscalculation.
Israel is likely to revisit its objective of crushing Hezbollah in the summer of 2007, and has already begun to justify a coming military escalation in Lebanon through public declarations that Hezbollah and/or Syria will be the one to instigate the conflict. Who ends up igniting the war is unimportant. The big question for this year will be whether Israel can develop the capability to root out Hezbollah forces in their strongholds in the Bekaa Valley. A good deal of restructuring will have to take place first, beginning with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s return to the political scene.

Israel could move indirectly to destabilize Hezbollah in Lebanon ahead of a military confrontation. Hezbollah is currently brimming with confidence, but it also must be careful to preserve its legitimacy. By provoking sectarian violence in Lebanon, Israel could pit Hezbollah fighters against fellow Lebanese, which would wear down Hezbollah’s military forces and tarnish its reputationas a nationalist movement, making the organization more vulnerable to an Israeli onslaught. The Israeli Mossad could also be engaged in attempts this year to eliminate elements of Hezbollah’s core leadership to further destabilize the party.

Though Syria will be busy building up weapons acquisitions from its defense partners in Moscow, the Syrian regime will be careful to avoid provoking a major military conflict with Israel. In elections slated for March, Syrian President Bashar al Assad will be re-elected by a wide margin, and no opposition forces will be strong enough to challenge the al Assad regime this year. Though Syria will keep the window open for talks with the United States, it will continue with its agenda to re-consolidate influence in Lebanon, which involves political intimidation — frequently in the form of assassinations. The Bush administration is unlikely to make any major overtures to Syria this coming year, knowing that Damascus falls well below Tehran in its ability to wield any real influence in Iraq. Syria will be emboldened through its alliance with Iran and could instigate a low-level insurgency in the Golan Heights through a shadowy group of militant actors on the regime’s payroll, but will play its cards carefully for fear of inviting Israeli airstrikes on its own soil.
On the Israeli-Palestinian front, Hamas and Fatah will continue to struggle over how to create a power-sharing agreement in the government. As long as Hamas can continue to be bankrolled by the Iranians and the Gulf Arab states, the party can avoid making any serious concessions to Fatah in reshuffling the Cabinet. Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas will not resort to calling for early elections unless he can be assured that Hamas would be marginalized in the polls — an unlikely prospect for the near future. The stalemate in the Palestinian territories will lead Hamas’ leadership to make gestures with heavy caveats toward recognizing Israel, though Israel will not take the bait. The Israeli government will work to ensure that Hamas and Fatah are prevented from coming together in an agreement; while Israel is sorting out its own issues at home, it will much prefer to have the Palestinians fighting each other than focusing their attention on attacking Israel. The impasse in the territories will prevent the Israelis and the Palestinians from engaging in any serious final-status negotiations this year.
More excerpts at Tigerhawk's blog.

Stranger Than Fiction

From Cox & Forkum.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

SNL tackles Islamophobia on 24

It's good to see that someone is addressing Islamophobia on Fox's docudrama 24.

(Hat tip: Hot Air)

Real Life Superheroes

***Update: Video added ***

Hang on!!

Wow, these guys are amazing! Even better than Jack Bauer (that's possible? I guess so!)

Four unnamed British Royal Marines went back into a hot LZ in Afghanistan to try to rescue a fellow marine, hanging on the outside of Apache helicopters. You can't make this stuff up. In fact, I'm thoroughly amazed that this hasn't made it in to any movie or TV show that I can recall.

There truly are real life superheroes.

Four Royal Marines flew into a battle zone clinging to the outside of helicopter gunships in a bid to rescue a fallen comrade, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

Unwilling to leave behind one of their number following a retreat, the commandos strapped themselves to the small stabiliser wings of two Apache helicopters and returned into the midst of a fierce gunfight with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.


Following an intense gun and mortar battle, the commandos were forced back. When they realised L/Cpl Ford was missing, four soldiers volunteered to return.

Three Apaches were available for the mission, but the 200mph helicopters have no room inside for passengers. The soldiers made the snap decision to travel on the outside of two of the armour-plated aircraft, with a third helicopter providing covering fire.

The men flew right back into the gun battle, landing both inside and outside the enemy fort in the search for L/Cpl Ford.

They eventually found and retrieved the body of the section leader who had been killed by enemy fire.

The unnamed soldiers won high praise for the rescue attempt and for managing to return L/Cpl Ford’s body to base.

I am very sure more than four Royal Marines would have gone if they had more than two Apaches to ride on.

Update: EU Referendum updates us on some practical details, namely, that the marines didn't hang on the wings of the Apache, but hung on on the little bumps just outside the cockpit. Personally, that is still just as cool.
It is there that you will find an unbelievably amateur graphic to illustrate Monday's action of the Royal Marines "clinging" to Apache helicopters in an attempt to rescue their colleague. The picture shows two cartoon-esque overlays of soldiers lying on the top of the Apache wings as the manner in which they were supposedly conveyed to their rescue drama. The trouble is that it is fiction - total, absolute fiction.

For sure, the fiction was actually originated by the MoD itself which, in its own press release claimed that "four troops were strapped to the small side 'wings' of two Apaches, two to each helicopter." Interestingly, the MoD held the account off its website until the media had been able to chew it over.

However, no sooner had the media conveyed the MoD's claim and we put it up on our site than we began to look at the practicalities of this claim. It took very little time indeed to find out how it was done, that this was a recognised procedure to allow what is known as "self extraction", the rescue of downed crews by an Apache in an emergency.

The procedures has been carried out before, in the heat of action, at least twice, in April 2002 in Afghanistan and again, in Iraq, November 2004, the latter report complete with a photograph of how it was done (above left).
Update: Sky News has obtained video footage of the daring rescue attempt. The video may be choppy as the site is understandably very popular. (Click the image to watch. Hat tip: Hot Air)

The Next Holocaust will be different.

Benny Morris writes powerfully about the second holocaust (excerpts below, emphasis mine).

The second holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran's acquisition of the Bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convene in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go-ahead.

The orders will go out and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel's half dozen air and (reported) nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel's anti-missile batteries and Home Front Command units.

With a country the size and shape of Israel (an elongated 20,000 square kilometers), probably four or five hits will suffice: No more Israel. A million or more Israelis in the greater Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem areas will die immediately. Millions will be seriously irradiated. Israel has about seven million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.

He [Ahmadinejad] is willing to gamble the future of Iran or even of the whole Muslim Middle East in exchange for Israel's destruction. No doubt he believes that Allah, somehow, will protect Iran from an Israeli nuclear response or an American counterstrike. Allah aside, he may well believe that his missiles will so pulverize the Jewish state, knock out its leadership and its land-based nuclear bases, and demoralize or confuse its nuclear-armed submarine commanders that it will be unable to respond. And, with his deep contempt for the weak-kneed West, he is unlikely to take seriously the threat of American nuclear retaliation.

Or he may well take into account a counterstrike and simply, irrationally (to our way of thinking), be willing to pay the price. As his mentor, Khomeini, put it in a speech in Qom in 1980: "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah... I say, let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant..."

For these worshipers at the cult of death, even the sacrifice of the homeland is acceptable if the outcome is the demise of Israel.

But even more to the point, the Iranian program presented an infinitely complex challenge for a country with limited conventional military resources. Taking their cue from the successful IAF destruction of Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, the Iranians duplicated and dispersed their facilities and buried them deep underground (and the Iranian targets are about twice as far from Israel as was Baghdad). Taking out the known Iranian facilities with conventional weapons would take an American-size air force working round-the-clock for more than a month.

At best, Israel's air force, commandos and navy could hope to hit only some of the components of the Iranian project. But, in the end, it would remain substantially intact - and the Iranians even more determined (if that were possible) to attain the Bomb as soon as possible. It would also, without doubt, immediately result in a world-embracing Islamist terrorist campaign against Israel (and possibly its Western allies) and, of course, near-universal vilification. Orchestrated by Ahmadinejad, all would clamor that the Iranian program had been geared to peaceful purposes. At best, an Israeli conventional strike could delay the Iranians by a year or two.
...leadership in Jerusalem would soon confront a doomsday scenario, either after launching their marginally effective conventional offensive or in its stead, of launching a preemptive nuclear strike against the Iranian nuclear program, some of whose components are in or near major cities. Would they have the stomach for this? Would their determination to save Israel extend to preemptively killing millions of Iranians and, in effect, destroying Iran?

This dilemma had long ago been accurately defined by a wise general: Israel's nuclear armory is unusable. It can only be used too early or too late. There will never be a "right" time. Use it "too early," meaning before Iran acquires similar weapons, and Israel will be cast in the role of international pariah, a target of universal Muslim assault, without a friend in the world; "too late" means after the Iranians have struck. What purpose would that serve?

So Israel's leaders will grit their teeth and hope that somehow things will turn out for the best. Perhaps, after acquiring the Bomb, the Iranians will behave "rationally"?

BUT THE Iranians are driven by a higher logic. And they will launch their rockets. And, as with the first Holocaust, the international community will do nothing. It will all be over, for Israel, in a few minutes - not like in the 1940s, when the world had five long years in which to wring its hands and do nothing. After the Shihabs fall, the world will send rescue ships and medical aid for the lightly charred. It will not nuke Iran. For what purpose and at what cost? An American nuclear response would lastingly alienate the whole Muslim world, deepening and universalizing the ongoing clash of civilizations. And, of course, it would not bring Israel back. (Would hanging a serial murderer bring back his victims?)

So what would be the point?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Simple Yet Effective Cure for Cancer?

L2si: Silver Bullet for Cancer?

We know that effective cancer treatments are coming -- nanobots singling out cancer cells and destroying them with tiny laser beams, gene therapies calibrated right down to the specific DNA sequence of the patient, etc. It's all very exciting. But then there's this:

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their “immortality”. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks.

DCA works by switching the mitochondria back on inside cancer cells. Deprived of oxygen, cancer cells survive by an alternative energy-supplying process called glycolysis. This bypasses the normal metabolic process governed by the mitochondria. Unfortunately, the mitochondrial process not only supplies a cell with energy, it determines the cell's lifespan. When a cell adopts this workaround fuel strategy that bypasses the mitochondria, it becomes an "immortal" cancer cell. By switching the mitochondria back on in such cells, DCA ensures that they die a natural, and very welcome, death.

Dr. Helen: The Delusion of the "Perfect" Mother

Dr. Helen: The Delusion of the "Perfect" Mother
I have never understood the machismo that women put themselves, or worse, others, through to try to live up to some non-reachable standard regarding mothering and childbirth--but have you noticed all the while, these same women are the ones complaining bitterly about how some men are too macho. What's the difference?

And for women who tend to suffer from depression or mood disorders, the delusion of the perfect mother is more devastating, because the dichotomy between what they are able to do as a mother and what they perceive they should be doing is usually greater than for those women not suffering from these disorders. Therefore, their wish to be the perfect mom is more likely to come crashing down around them and result in an exacerbation of their postpartum depression.

As a psychologist, I have seen many more children in treatment because their mother was depressed and stressed out then I have seen kids who missed out on breastfeeding until college. Adrienne finally discovers this by the end of the book: Her daughter now "watches TV. She eats red dye and French fries and nonorganic produce, but generally not at the same time. The holier-than-thou mommy patrol, who believe in breastfeeding until college and growing their own organic flax, would be appalled. Which is fine, really, because they aren't much fun to hang out with in the first place. I can be perfect and completely insane or good enough and sane enough." Sometimes good enough is....enough.

The Gore Effect

heh. The Instapundit knows why it's so cold in L.A. - Al Gore is coming to town.
I think that the real cause of this cold snap in the L.A./Hollywood area is that Al Gore has been shortlisted for an Oscar. Al just can't catch a break.

I'm not the first to note this phenomenon.

UPDATE: Hey, it's made the Urban Dictionary:

Gore Effect

The well documented phenomenon that leads to very low, unseasonal temperatures, driving rain, hail, snow or all of the above whenever Al Gore visits an area to discuss global "warming". Hence the "Gore Effect."

How does he do it?

Defense Tech: China Tests Satellite Killer?

Wow. Is this SciFi? Or is this a portent of future warfare? US (and Israel's) satellite capabilities are what gives us a huge advantage over our enemies. China is quietly building up their weaponry to take them out...
Defense Tech: China Tests Satellite Killer?

"U.S. intelligence agencies believe China performed a successful anti-satellite (asat) weapons test" last week, according to Aviation Week. In the trial, a ballistic missile, armed with a non-explosive warhead, "destroy[ed] an aging Chinese weather satellite target" over 500 miles above the Earth.

fy-1-1.jpgThe news comes just a few months after reports of China testing high-powered lasers to temporarily blind American orbiters. "If the test is verified it will signify a major new Chinese military capability," AvWeek says.

Update: HotAir has more.

Internal Regime Change in Iran?

God works in mysterious ways, and this might be His way of stopping the genocidal maniac becoming known as Hitler II. Iran's economy is taking a dive, making it difficult to try and kill Jews. But then again, North Korea and Lil'Kim are managing just fine creating weapons of doom while their populace starves to death.
Gateway Pundit: Iranian Politicians Threaten to Wipe Ahmadinejad From Map

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Digital Irony - Illigal Immigrant Edition

Via Silent Running:
Border Fence Firm Snared for Hiring Illegal Workers

The irony makes my brain explode.

Showing Up At The Airport Way Too Late While Muslim

Debbie Schlussel puts the smackdown on the 40 idiotic CAIR complainers who missed their flight because they showed up too late. What? They missed their flight because they were Muslim? Please get a life and quit whining, you babies. (That's my pathetic version of a smackdown.)

Showing Up @ the Airport Way Too Late While Muslim

By Debbie Schlussel

So, you're flying back to the United States from Germany. You are late for your flight . . . way too late.

Even though for international flights you are required to check in at least an hour before the scheduled take-off time and board the flight a half hour before the flight, you arrive for the flight 20 minutes before take-off. The airline does not allow you on board and, maybe even makes you pay to get on the next flight because it's overbooked. Since it's the last flight out, your tardiness also costs you the expense of a night at a hotel.

What do you do?

If you're like everyone else, you quietly chastise yourself for being late and kick yourself for the hassle and extra money your own lack of time-budgeting cost you. You knew the rules, and you blew it.

But if you're an American Muslim, you raise holy hell, scream and yell about bigotry, Islamophobia, "flying while Muslim," etc., etc., etc. ad nauseam. And nausea. And you threaten to boycott the airline. Rules? Who cares about the rules? Hijackers? Security needs? Why is that my concern? The people who did that hijacked my religion, and I'm entitled to a giant chip on my shoulder and tons of privileges and special treatment because of it.
Update: Debbie follows up and reports that Northwest Airlines wilted under the threat of a Muslim boycott and are offering cash to those poor, hapless Muslim pilgrims.

New D.I. Feature - Snap Preview

I've added a new funky script from Snap which lets you hover over a link and you get a preview of the page that is linked. It seems to be really useful, but may become annoying. What to do you think?

If it becomes annoying, you can turn it off. While a preview is up, click on "Options" at the upper right corner of the window, and you can disable it for yourself.

Bush Sends Jack Bauer to Iran Talks

YES!!! My only wonder is what took Bush so long to come up with the idea.

Bush Sends Jack Bauer to Iran Talks

(2007-01-15) — President George Bush, under pressure from the Iraq Study Group to open negotiations with Iran, today named a lead negotiator whom he said is already on the way to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Jack Bauer, a freelance intelligence contractor and former agent with the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU), has been dispatched to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s office for a “diplomatic listening session” aimed at determining the best way to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and shipment of arms to terrorists in Iraq.

“For some reason, people like to talk to Jack Bauer,” said Mr. Bush. “He’s a straight-shooter, good at establishing mutual understanding and I think he and President Ahmadinjad will come to a rapid agreement on terms favorable to global peace and security.”

Although Iranian government officials said no negotiations with the U.S. had been scheduled, Mr. Bush described the talks as a “unilateral diplomatic initiative that will be under way before they know it.”

New Video Company, "Joost" - from Skype

Pajamas Media has it right - "time will tell". But in theory, a company which bases its video servers on the peer-to-peer model will have a business advantage over the classic web server one (like YouTube).

Son of Skype:

PJM in Tel Aviv

The creators of Skype and Kazaa unveil online television service Joost, which bloggers are hailing as the iPhone of TV and a potential YouTube killer. Time will tell…

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Just a few quick thoughts on my favorite show, 24.

It started out very apologetic towards the Muslim=Terrorist thing, but then proceeded to pull no punches that, in fact some Muslims are terrorists. They included a real-world, yet politically charged suicide bomber screaming "Allahu Akbar!" before he blew himself up (don't worry, Jack kicked him out the back of the subway train just as he blew up.) Where have I heard that scream before? Oh, that's right, at Congressman Ellison's victory party.

The mushy parts in the show are ill-timed and cliche, replete with lover's quarrels amid national crises, immature men fighting over Cloe while tracking nuclear terrorists, and overdone, cliche hostage choices (who should be released, the wife, or the son?).

Curtis, who in previous seasons was Jack's faithful and no-nonsense sidekick, this season suddenly turned sensitive, mushy, and questioning orders. Please.

We had some great escape scenes (Jack going vampire on a terrorist), good terror attack recreations, and unnecessary shirt removals. Jack's acting (ok, Kieffer's) is great this season, including emotional crises and crying (yup, Jack Bauer has an emotional side).

The good practical side of the show, is that I hope it will show the many viewers how open and unsecured our American way of life is. Something needs to be done about that, but not the unrealistic corralling of all Muslims, which is what the show is leaning towards. The fact that that incarceration is an option in the show is a political statement in the favor of Muslims saying that this is where America can go if left unchecked. The problem is, America won't go there, much less as an initial response to a wave of domestic terror, as is being done in the show.

Lastly, the show sets off a nuclear bomb in L.A. (click here for a video clip), which is good for the show, because Jack was about to quit before that happened. The technical side of the suitcase nukes was incorrect (suitcase nukes are larger and require more ancillary equipment for detonation), but the concept is valid - terrorists can get a nuke into the US and detonate it.

Stay tuned...

Monday, January 15, 2007

World Net Daily Quotes Digital Irony

Digital Irony was swamped the beginning of this month before I made my anticipated return to the blogosphere (now that I graduated MBA program), by being quoted in a WND article on Congressman Ellison, written by Bob Unruh. It is very flattering to be quoted, and I thank you Bob.

One blogger was a little concerned over the situation:

"During the victory celebration for the nation's first Muslim congressman (not that there's anything wrong with that... in principle), Congressman Keith Ellison's supporters scream 'Allahu Akbar!', the same phrase that the 9/11 hijackers screamed, the same phrase suicide bombers scream, the same phrase head choppers scream before slicing off the heads of hapless and bound victims. May God protect this country," the blogger wrote.

Underwater Hotel

I'm a little skeptical on the engineering side of things. It sure looks awesome, but I think the water pressure, even at a relatively shallow 20m depth, will be impossible to overcome unless you pressurize the inside (like a submarine). The current design appears to be open to the atmosphere (the entrance is via tunnel), which means the pressure on the inside will be normal, while the pressure outside the walls will be tremendous.
Currently under construction in Dubai, Hydropolis is the world's first luxury underwater hotel. It will include three elements: the land station, where guests will be welcomed, the connecting tunnel, which will transport people by train to the main area of the hotel, and the 220 suites within the submarine leisure complex. It is one of the largest contemporary construction projects in the world, covering an area of 260 hectares, about the size of London's Hyde Park.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why Fight?

The Anchoress writes on the occasional need for war and the current fight with Islamofacism.

Their battlefield is literally EVERYWHERE. What do they want? They don’t want land - even giving them Israel would not appease them, because all of this is not about Israel. This is an enemy that says, “you love Pepsi, we love death. And we are happy to die as long as we are killing you, too.” It is an unconventional enemy, and unconventional war, and we have absolutely nothing to offer within a diplomatic solution. This is an enemy that will take your diplomatic solution and use it against you, because it is not fighting out of loyalty to a king who may be appeased…they’re fighting and using terrorism as a means of movement, to advance an idea the bottom line of which is “Die. Or, you know, convert. But mostly die.”

Europe won’t fight this enemy - can’t fight it and doesn’t wish to. She is already defeated demographically and I remember the quote from the Dutch fellow who said, “I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”

When Islamofascism rolls in to occupy Paris (it is very nearly there) it will not do so with tanks. It will do so with burquas for the women, swords for the gays and calls for prayer for everyone. What do you think France will do? What is it doing, already?

Who will fight, then? Just us…and the UK for a little while longer, and the Aussies. We have one last great hope to defeat this advancing ideology and that hope is to give the non-fascists a taste of liberty and democratic process, and an oppotunity to enter into the marketplace of goods and ideas.
I disagree with her last point in which the hope of a better life will sway the future terrorist. They have been given many opportunities for the hope of better and productive lives, and still the choose death.

VDH: War? What War?

Put on your thinking caps, boys and girls, Mr. Hanson points out the dangers of the new type of war in which we are currently embroiled (we are?).

So one reoccurring topic is the controversy over just how serious is the threat of radical Islam. I get a great deal of furious mail, suggesting that Bush & Co. for a variety of reasons (fill in the blanks: oil, Halliburton, etc.) have created a bogeyman out of a few ragtag terrorists, and dangerously and gratuitously set us on a path of war in the Middle East.

Such critics are emboldened by the luxuries of relative world peace. Remember, we enter into year six without an attack on the United States homeland comparable to September 11. That fact, taken together with the absence of a clearly-identified enemy nation state, has suggested to many that there is hardly a present threat comparable to dangers posed by Nazis, fascists, Japanese imperialists, or Soviet and Chinese communists of the past.

But how true is that really?

I. -Isms and –Ologies Are More Deadly

Global ideologies pose greater threats than particular bellicose states. Nazism, for example, was more dangerous than Prussian militarism because it much more easily appealed across national boundaries.

The same was true of communism versus, say, Japanese militarism that was predicated on unique thoughts about racial superiority rather than Pan-Asian communitarian solidarity. Bushido appealed to few non-Japanese.

Jihadism, however, resonates with Muslims in Pakistan, the Arab World, the Philippines, or Indonesia. Race, language, landscape, or nationality are not always predictable in our enemies, only a certain shared derangement guided by the idea that the West and its modernization have eclipsed Islam and are in some way responsible for radical Muslims’ current sense of inferiority and lost entitlement.

II. A Dirty Bomb Versus a Salvo or Air strike?

Second, the global wherewithal of any enemy is predicated as well on technology and conditions of the age. Just as the Kaiser was NOT the avatar of a global revolutionary ideology, he also lacked the technology to harm the continental United States. While it is true that al Qaedists don’t posses (yet) Soviet-style nuclear missiles; still, equipped with miniaturized weapons, stealthy terrorists can now hit almost anywhere. And there is no logical reason why in the next act of escalation, they will not evolve from planes and bombs to more deadly chemicals or germs—or a nuclear Iran or a Pakistan run by jihadists.

III. “We Didn’t Do It—They Did”

There is also a third force-multiplier that might explain why the pathetic cave-dwelling Dr. Zawahiri and his clowns could hurt the United States far more than Hitler or even the Soviets ever could. True, the absence, after the fall of the Taliban, of a state apparatus has hurt the terrorists, but their umbilical cords to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran offer them the nourishment of a parent state, but without national culpability. Thus it is hard for us to target patrons who by design deny culpability, and nullify classical deterrence between nation states.

That is, killer teams that poison the water supply of Los Angeles or blow themselves up in the Mall of America, defy an easy response. Do we hit the Saudis whose charities funded them? The Syrians who gave them the weapons? The Iranians who trained them? Or the Pakistanis who offered them space? All such governments would immediately “deplore” such attacks, offer their condolences, and claim they had no influence over their cheering crowds (in the manner Arafat gave blood after the West Bank street high-fived 9/11).

There's more, and as with all his articles, you should read it all.

The Psychology of Self Defense

Good short post by Helen Smith, a blogger who also is a forensic psychologist (remember the Profiler show?) She laments the knee-jerk 'say-nothing, do-nothing' advice of popular pundits.
Have you noticed that most of the tips you get in recent years for how to survive a violent crime involve an accompanying psychological maneuver of first trying to make you feel impotent? And instead of suggesting remedies to overcome this impotence, these survival tips usually just tell you to give the criminal what they want. But what they typically don't say is that you can get killed using that approach also.

Friday, January 12, 2007

How to Survive a Disaster

I haven't read this, but may read it in the future. How to Survive a Disaster, by David Shenk. At the bottom of the article, he has links to seven other of his articles discussing particular disaster survival. Lovely.

A Whiff of Corruption

The Intstapundit says it best: Jeez.


On Wednesday, the House voted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.

The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.

One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island's work force. StarKist's parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Apple's New iPhone

I think I'm in love.

Israel Developing Massive New Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

From Spacewar via AFP:
Israel is developing the world's largest unmanned aircraft which will be used for long-range operations and destroying ballistic missiles as they are being launched, a security official said Monday. The Eitan has been developed by the Israel Aircraft Industries and has a wing span of 35 metres (110 feet) -- similar to that of a Boeing 737 passenger plane -- the official told AFP.

Israel's Defense Exports Reached $4.4B in 2006

From Defense Industry Daily:

In a January 9, 2007 release, Israel's Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the country's 2006 Defence Export contracts broke all records, reaching over $4.4 billion in 2006 and making Israel one of the top-5 defense exporters in the world behind the USA, Russia, Britain & France.