Wednesday, 05 September 2007


Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I posted an article about Denmark foiling a terrorist plot (please scroll back and read it).  I also ridiculed the human oil slick, john edwards, and several of his fellow Democratic presidential aspirants for dismissing the global war on terror as nothing more than a "bumper sticker slogan".

Here, today, is another potential attack by global terrorism that appears to have been uncovered and prevented.  This time it is in Germany and would have been launched against USA military targets there.  Thank you Ed Morrissey of for describing it so well that I used your analysis rather than the news accounts..

Germans Stop Terrorist Plot Against Ramstein

German security forces arrested three terrorists this morning in an apparent plot to attack an American military base. The cell had acquired a large amount of bomb-making materials and had trained in Pakistan to carry out their mission:

Three suspected Islamic militants were arrested for allegedly plotting "imminent" and "massive" attacks on the Ramstein Air Base, a major U.S. and NATO military hub, and Frankfurt's busy international airport, German authorities said Wednesday.

German federal prosecutor Monika Harms said the three two of whom were German converts to Islam had trained at terror camps in Pakistan and procured some 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide for making explosives. And a top legislator said the group could have struck "in a few days," noting a "sensitive period" that includes the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. ...

The three suspects two Germans, aged 22 and 28, and a 29-year-old Turk first came to the attention of authorities because they had been observing a U.S. military facility at the end of 2006, officials said. All three had undergone training at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, and had formed a German cell of the group.

The Islamic Jihad Union was described as a Sunni Muslim group based in Central Asia that was an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an extremist group with origins in that country.

The German authorities said that the three had enough material to make more explosives than the previous bombings in London and Madrid. They intended to strike at an American target due to their "profound hatred of U.S. citizens," according to the press conference. They had stopped working in regular jobs and had begun using all of their time for reconnaissance and plotting.

This follows the Danish action to quash a terror plot in Copenhagen yesterday. These events are probably unconnected in the pragmatic sense, but symbolically may be another story. With the anniversary of 9/11 coming next week, terrorist cells would aim for a spectacular attack even without central coordination. It's also possible that they are connected to al-Qaeda in a more direct fashion, and since these men got captured alive in both instances, we may get good intel on whatever connections they have.

We can expect more of these stories over the next few days. The Germans referred to the 9/11 anniversary season as the "sensitive period". Intelligence agencies around the world must be feeling the pressure to nullify terrorist attempts to send the West a reminder of their depravity this month. So far, they appear to be up to the task..

Over the past several months, since the human oil slick made that stupid comment that put partisanship over national security, I have posted a dozen or more instances of terrorists around the world either being stopped before their attack, or successful in launching one (as in the UK, for example). 

A neutral media would, by now, have done stories - a lot of them - on how real and how pervasive the global war on terror is.  And they would have sought out people like edwards, kucinich, and some of the more visible people who support their "bumper sticker slogan" view, to get a statement of some kind about it.

But, then again, that would have required a neutral media.  Does that explain why you haven't seen this covered?  You tell me.


Ken Berwitz

Katie is very positive about the surge.

No, not HER surge.  CBS Evening News' ratings are still in the dumpster just like they were before.  It would be very surprising if this changes in the near future.

Instead, Katie is very positive about the troop surge in Iraq.  If anything that's even more surprising.

Read her from-Iraq report below.  The bold print is mine:.

Couric: 'Real Progress' In Iraq

Evening News Anchor Says Police Finally Making Inroads

(CBS) BAGHDAD, Iraq One week before Gen. David Petraeus is expected to give his report on U.S. progress in Iraq, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric says she has already seen dramatic improvements in the country.

"We hear so much about things going bad, but real progress has been made there in terms of security and stability," Couric said Tuesday. "I mean, obviously, infrastructure problems abound, but Sunnis and U.S. forces are working together. They banded together because they had a common enemy: al Qaeda."

Couric traveled to the city of Fallujah in Anbar province, which U.S. forces entered in April 2003 and again in November 2004. That is the same city where, in house-to-house fighting, American forces uncovered nearly two-dozen torture chambers.

"We found numerous houses, also, where people were just chained to a wall for extended periods of time," U.S. military intelligence officer Major Jim West said back on Nov. 22, 2004.

"The face of Satan was here in Fallujah, and I'm absolutely convinced that that was true," said Marine Lt. Col. Gareth Brandl.

It is also the city where four American military contractors were set on fire, mutilated and hanged from a bridge by insurgents.

Now Fallujah is "considered a real role model of something working right in Iraq," Couric said.

Many more Iraqis have joined the Iraqi Security Forces in the overwhelmingly Sunni Anbar province. Despite mutual distrust, stemming from the power shift after Saddam Hussein's Baathist government fell, Sunnis and Shiites are working together in the ISF to fight al Qaeda in Iraq.

While Hussein was in power, Sunnis were in positions of authority over the Shiites, and now are fearful that the majority of Shiites will seek revenge. Iraqi Shiites fear a return of Sunni power in Iraq.

However, Sunnis in Anbar continue to join the ISF.

"The spike in police has really been significant," Couric said. "The incidents in Iraq have gone down dramatically."

Security and stability have improved in Iraq, but basic services remain in disrepair.

"I think everyone I talk to agrees that restoring basic services is really an imperative step in bringing stability and some kind of sense of society to Iraq," Couric said.

On the Today show, Couric was a model of naysaying on the Iraq war.  She was clearly against our invasion and could barely find anything good to say about anything we did there for years afterwards - which certainly put her in the company of Matt Lauer and Today's regular Democratic contributors, Tim Russert and Chris Mouthews.

But now that she has gone there and seen what our troops are accomplishing, first-hand, suddenly she is singing a different tune.

Omigod.  Someone at CBS had something positive to say about our troops and our war effort.  Will Democrats now add CBS to the FOX network and refuse to debate there too?


Ken Berwitz

The title says it all.  Here's the story, courtesy of The Jerusalem Post:.

Ahmadinejad to meet Palestinian leaders

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to meet with Palestinian faction leaders in Teheran on Thursday, in an attempt to resolve the crisis between Fatah and Hamas, the United Arab Emirates paper Al-Khaleej reported on Wednesday.

Participants in the meeting will include Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Nayef Hawatmeh, and the leader of the Syrian- backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, Ahmed Jibril.

In addition, senior Fatah leader-in-exile Farouk Kadoumi, an adversary of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, will join the meeting, the report said.

According to Iran's Mehr news agency, Kadoumi met with Ahmadinejad on Tuesday. The Iranian leader praised the Palestinian organization for staying true to the path of "armed struggle," the report said.

"The Palestinian problem is still a gaping wound for the entire Islamic world and nations of the region," Ahmadinejad said. "The only way to treat it is through the resistance of the Palestinian nation, along with faith, unity and an unwavering stance."

The Iranian President added that nobody was capable of defeating the Arabs of Palestine, and promised that the world's superpowers were headed for destruction.

In January 2006, Ahmadinejad held meetings in Damascus with many of the same Palestinian leaders. In those talks, the Iranian president reaffirmed his country's support for the "Palestinian people's struggle," PFLP representative Maher Taher said in a statement afterwards. .

Iran is a terrorist state.  The "Palestinian Territories" (who designated this land to be theirs, anyway?) is a terrorist entity.  hamas is a terrorist group.  fatah is either a terrorist group or, at the very least, has abided and supported terrorism for as long as it has been in existence.

So the head of terrorist Iran is going to meet with "leaders" (who picked them?) of the terrorist palestinian entity to mediate between two terrorist factions within that entity.

That, folks, is what Israel is supposed to engage in a peace partnership with.

If this were anywhere else in the world and the expected "peace partner" were any country other than Israel, this would be the joke of the century.

But this is the middle east and Israel is the country these demands are being made of.  Therefore, it is not only taken seriously, but it is fully expected that Israel will do what is necessary (which means ending itself as a nation, by the way).

Most Arab and Muslim countries would be enthusiastically, deliriously joyous if  Israel were vaporized.  This we know.

But what about the others?  What about Europe? What about the LAMBs*** in the USA?  I often wonder what they think Israel's demise would accomplish.

Would the world be safer?  More secure?  More peaceful?  Would Arabs stop fighting with other Arabs?  Would Muslims stop fighting with other Muslims?  Would western civilization be less at risk?  

The answer to these questions, in order, is no, no, no, no, no and no.

Maybe they just hate Jews.


***Members of the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade


Ken Berwitz

From we have this:.

Hillary: Privatization Is 'Not the Answer To Anything.'


WASHINGTON Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton promised retirees that if elected president she will not cut Social Security benefits, raise the retirement age or privatize the taxpayer-funded system.

"This is the most successful domestic program in the history of the United States," Clinton said to applause from seniors gathered in Washington to push their policy agenda. "When I'm president, privatization is off the table because it's not the answer to anything."

Well, let's see, when raising the retirement age, cutting benefits, and private accounts are taken off the table, what's left? You're pretty much left with the option of bringing more money in, a move more commonly known as tax increases.

Privatization is "not the answer to anything." Well, we know where we stand with her - government ever bigger, ever more controlling, ever more powerful, ever more expensive. .

In answer to the readers who think to themselves "How come he has to scrounge this out of National Review?  Why does he lean on those rightwing conservative sites for information?  Why isn't he using mainstream media?", I say this:

Where ELSE will I get this kind of information? 

Remember, the commentary is based on a verbatim quote from Hillary Clinton.  The analysis is basic and obvious.

If mainstream media are not reporting Hillary's comments about social security but National Review is, what we have is a case of National Review providing facts and insight that mainstream media are withholding from you.

Or, put another way, mainstream media is running interference for Hillary Clinton.  Again.

That plain enough?


Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of congressional quarterly, is the difference between Democrats and Republicans regarding the war in Iraq. 

My title tells you the two positions.  The article tells you which party is on which side:.

By John M. Donnelly, CQ Staff

Returning from the monthlong August recess, Democrats and Republicans competed Tuesday to shape the Iraq debate to their advantage as they braced for another collision over President Bushs war strategy.

As a raft of reports on the progress of the war began to arrive on Capitol Hill, Republicans promoted the credentials of Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, who will testify next week on the progress of Bushs troop surge strategy. Some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., obliquely questioned Petraeus independence from the White House, saying he would be merely presenting Bushs assessments.

A day after Bush visited troops in Iraq and touted military progress there, Democrats also seized on a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that said security progress is uneven and most political goals that Bush set for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have not been met.

Democrats huddled Tuesday to discuss their legislative options, but which ones they will exercise remained unclear.

John B. Larson, D-Conn., vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, referred to several bills as arrows in the Democratic quiver. Our goal is to be ready to release whatever is needed, he said.

Data Dump

The testimony on Iraq began Tuesday, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard from David M. Walker, head of the GAO, on Iraqs progress toward meeting political, military and economic goals. Later in the week, retired Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, who has led a congressionally directed study of Iraqi security forces, will report his findings.

During the week of Sept. 10, the drama will heighten as Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the top U.S. civilian official in Iraq, testify on the situation. Then, by Sept. 15, the White House will send Congress a report summarizing the wars outlook.

Pelosi, in a brief interview, referred to the testimony by the general and the ambassador as the Petraeus-Crocker presentation of the Bush report.

Likewise, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., questioned the utility of having the officer in charge of U.S. military operations in Iraq assess their efficacy.

He is the architect of the policy he will be defending, Webb said.

Republicans, on the other hand, touted Petraeus integrity and wisdom.

Gen. Petraeus brings great credibility to this type of warfare, and his look is a fresh look, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said.

Blunt added that he didnt think there would be undue Bush administration interference with the report.

I dont expect the Petraeus report will have a White House slant, Blunt said. The president has laid down the law on that.

A Poor GAO Report Card

Democrats pointed to the GAO report as evidence that military progress in Iraq has been less than advertised.

The report found that the Iraqi government has met three out of the 18 benchmarks laid out in the fiscal 2007 supplemental war funding bill (PL 110-28), with four other benchmarks partially met. The Iraqi government met only one of the eight legislative benchmarks: protecting the rights of political parties. No legislation has been enacted on controlling militias, sharing oil revenue or holding provincial elections, the report stated.

Overall, key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend the $10 billion in reconstruction funds it has allocated, Walker testified.

Significantly, the report found that it was unclear whether sectarian violence in Iraq has decreased. The average number of attacks, though down slightly in recent months, still has nearly doubled since January 2006, the GAO found.

Todays GAO report confirms that the Presidents Iraq strategy is simply not working, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement.

Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sought to minimize the report.

Pass-or-fail grades on a set of benchmarks are not necessarily predictive of success or failure, he said.

Legislation Later This Month

Neither chamber is expected to vote on Iraq legislation until later this month, but Democrats in both chambers quickly got to work Tuesday on their options.

The House was considering several measures, Larson said.

The chamber could revisit a bill (HR 2956) it passed in July. Sponsored by Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, it would mandate a withdrawal of U.S. troops by April 1, 2008. Another measure (HR 3087) under consideration, by John Tanner, D-Tenn., would require the administration to report to Congress on troop withdrawal plans. A third (HR 3134), by Maxine Waters, D-Calif., would prohibit funding for the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces on the grounds that they are too beholden to sectarian groups to be effective.

Were definitely going to hold them accountable, Pelosi said.

Pelosi met with Reid in his office late Tuesday to confer about the legislative options for Iraq and then met with House Democratic leaders to discuss them.

The Senate, meanwhile, is also likely to wait at least until Sept. 17 before revisiting any Iraq legislation. Several Democratic senators are writing or revising disparate pieces of legislation that would mandate a start to a withdrawal from Iraq but not a date for completing it. .

Politically speaking, it is eminently obvious that Republicans benefit if we are succeeding in Iraq and Democrats benefit if we are failing.

Which do YOU want to have happen?  And which party will work towards the goal that you want?

That's something to think about, long and hard, before the 2008 election.

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