The death Cult of Hamas

 

People are trying to ensure free and open elections can take place.  And Hamas vows to kill them.  Yet Nancy Pelosi thinks we should just talk to these people.  Get real. 

The armed wing of Hamas has rejected calls by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, for the deployment of international troops in the Gaza Strip, vowing to attack them like other “occupation forces”.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement on Saturday: “We will only receive these forces with shells and rockets.”

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In talks on Friday with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, Abbas had called for deployment of international forces into Gaza where Hamas routed his forces on June 15.

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Early electionsAbbas had said that the deployment of foreign troops was necessary to provide security for early parliamentary and presidential elections that he plans to organise in the coming months.

Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas spokesman, said talks about elections at the present time will not solve the crisis facing Palestinians.        Hamad did however say that Hamas has no issues with holding elections if all Palestinian factions agree to it.

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A case for attacking Iran

Here is a nice piece from the Christian Science Monitor regarding Iran.  It has some great links to further information for those of you who like to keep abreast of these developments.
By Jesse Nunes | csmonitor.com

Statements by US and Israeli officials in recent days on the possibility of attacking Iran have been met with increased posturing on both sides, warnings of retaliation from Tehran, and worries by the head of the international nuclear watchdog of a “brewing confrontation.”

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I) of Connecticut suggested that the US should consider attacking Iran to keep them from training and supplying insurgents and foreign fighters in Iraq, as well as to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq…. And to me, that would include a strike into… over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

Senator Lieberman, a former Democrat who lost his party’s support before regaining his seat in Congress as an Independent, also said that if the US fails to take action against Iran, “they’ll take that as a sign of weakness on our part and we will pay for it in Iraq and throughout the region and ultimately right here at home.”

“We can tell them we want them to stop that, but if there’s any hope of the Iranians living according to the international rule of law and stopping, for instance, their nuclear weapons development, we can’t just talk to them…. If they don’t play by the rules, we’ve got to use our force, and to me that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what they’re doing.”

The Financial Times notes that Lieberman appears to be the first high-ranking US politician to openly suggest attacking Iran. A White House statement addressing Lieberman’s remarks said that the US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker gave Iran a “strong message” to play a constructive role in the region during meetings last month on Iraq, and that President Bush “has made it clear we want to do everything to protect our troops,” according to the Financial Times.

In an interview with the Center For American Progress, a progressive think tank, Senator Harry Reid (D) of Nevada said of Lieberman’s comments, “I know Joe means well, but I don’t agree with him.” Reid suggested the US should listen to the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and pursue diplomacy with Iraq, adding that “the invasion of [Iran] is only going to destabilize that part of the world more.”

Reuters writes that Lieberman’s comments are seen by analysts as an “escalation of official US rhetoric.”

“This takes it across the border,” said Ray Takeyh, an Iran expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“But it would not be a surgical limited strike. It could potentially escalate into a much more serious confrontation between the two countries, and if that’s the direction Lieberman wants to go, he has to be very honest about the potential pitfalls.”

Over the weekend, Israel officials indicated that a strike against Iran was an option being considered if diplomacy fails. The Associated Press reports that Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz said the US and Israel would review the effectiveness of sanctions against Iran at the end of the year, and that the two allies share a strategy on dealing with Tehran.

“The strategy shared by the U.S. and Israel has three elements,” Mofaz told Israel Radio. “One is a united international front against the Iranian nuclear program. Secondly, at this time, sanctions are the best way to act against the aspirations of Iran.”

He said the third element is “a very, very clear signal and a clear statement that all options are on the table.” Mofaz added: “I never said there is no military option, and the military option is included in all the options that are on the table, but at this time it’s right to use the path of sanctions, and to intensify them.”

Ynetnews reports that Iran filed a complaint to the UN Security Council of Mofaz’s remarks, as well as similar remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in which he said “it would take 10 days and 1,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles” to critically damage Iran’s nuclear program.

According to the Jerusalem Post, unnamed “senior American military officers” told the paper that they support military action against Iran to prevent the country from becoming a nuclear power, and that the US Navy and Air Force “would play the primary roles in any military action.”

A high-ranking American military officer told the Post that senior officers in the US armed forces had thrown their support behind Bush and believed that additional steps needed to be taken to stop Iran.

Predictions within the US military are that Bush will do what is needed to stop Teheran before he leaves office in 2009, including possibly launching a military strike against its nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, Iran has not let the increasingly hostile posturing by Israel and the US go unnoticed. Agence France-Presse reports that Gholam Ali Hadad Adel, a member of Iran’s parliament, told reporters during a visit to Kuwait on Sunday that Iran would attack US military bases in the Gulf if they were used to stage an attack on the country. Mr. Haddad Adel added that Iran’s neighbors in the Gulf had “learned many lessons from the US invasion of Iraq,” and that “officials in the region are not likely to link their fate with US mistakes” by allowing them to stage attacks in their countries. In a report on Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency, Haddad Adel, after returning to Iran, added that “it is unlikely that US will try its chance in the region for the third time after its defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

AFP also reports that Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, the interior and defense minister of Kuwait, a US ally, said his country would not allow the US to launch an attack on Iran from Kuwaiti territory..

The US journal Defense News reported that former Iranian defense minister Adm. Ali Shamkhani indicated that Iran would target any Gulf states that help US in such a way.

“Allegations by some Arab gulf states that the Iranian nuclear program poses an environmental threat to the area and that it would spark a nuclear arms race are aimed at helping the U.S. establish legitimacy for its anticipated aggression against Iran,” Shamkhani said.

U.S. military action threatens Iran’s existence, he said, “but most of those who speak about the war option are well aware that Iran has the capability to face this choice.”

However, in a report by the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA), Mr. Shamkhani said that he never gave an interview with Defense News, and that “the news is fake and unreal .”

Finally, Bloomberg reports that IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said on Monday that he is “increasingly disturbed by the current stalemate and the brewing confrontation” between Iran and the West over its nuclear program, adding the situation “urgently needs to be broken” and “must be diffused.”

Putin tries to make nicey-nice.

As much as I’d like Bush to tell ole Vlad to shove it where the sun don’t shine. Keeping Russia talking for now is the smart move. Well played, George. Your winner are few and far between lately, but I’ll give you this one.

ROSTOCK, Germany –

Vladimir Putin, bitterly opposed to a U.S. missile shield in Europe, presented

President Bush with a surprise counterproposal Thursday built around a Soviet-era radar system in Azerbaijan rather than new defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic. Bush said it was an interesting suggestion and promised to consider it.

Putin’s formula would force a major rethinking of U.S. plans for defending Europe against attack from hostile regimes such as Bottom Iran or North Korea. While outright acceptance of Putin’s idea appeared doubtful, the White House seemed eager to avoid further inflaming tensions by giving it short shrift.

The Russian president said he would abandon his threat to retarget missiles on Europe — if Bush accepted the Kremlin’s missile-defense proposal.

“This is a serious issue and we want to make sure that we all understand each other’s positions very clearly,” Bush said after an hour-long meeting with Putin. Speaking through a translator, Putin said he was “satisfied with the spirit of openness” from Bush.

‘Let’s talk’ with militant Muslims.

Certainly grown men who spout hatred and violence, then send their women and children to do the dirty work must be reasonable and sane people.  Wake Up and get your head out of the sand folks! When it becomes OK to strap bombs to your wives and daughters, we don’t really have a whole lot to talk about.  And don’t feed me any bull about how ‘she may have acted alone’.  This is militant Islam, women don’t go to the store alone.  So they certainly don’t decide to commit martyrdom, acquire the explosives to do so, then walk across town to the police station, ALONE! 

BAGHDAD – Alert guards gunned down a black-clad woman at a police recruiting station Tuesday, a would-be suicide bomber who then exploded before their eyes. But another bomber succeeded, detonating an explosives-laden car at a checkpoint in Ramadi and killing six policemen.

The U.S. commander here acknowledged sectarian violence was on the rise.

Meanwhile, the U.S. command insisted it would continue the search for two abducted U.S. soldiers despite the release of a video Monday by insurgents linked to al-Qaida claiming they had killed the two, along with a third missing soldier whose body was found previously.

Full Story.

More violence in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – A car bomb ripped through a wholesale food market in western Baghdad on Sunday, flattening cars and shops and killing at least 30 people in the deadliest of a wave of attacks across

Iraq that killed at least 50 people.  The attack came amid an 11-week-old crackdown by U.S.-led forces intended to bring stability to Baghdad.

As part of that crackdown, U.S. and Iraqi forces raided the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City early Sunday, uncovering a weapons cache, a torture room and killing at least eight insurgents in a gunbattle, the military said.

In other violence, three U.S. troops were killed in separate attacks, the military said Sunday.

Two Marines were killed Saturday in fighting in Anbar province, a Sunni insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, and a roadside bomb killed a soldier and wounded four others Friday in western Baghdad, the military said. The deaths raised to at least 3,365 members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The market blast Sunday erupted about noon in the mixed Sunni-Shiite Baiyaa neighborhood and devastated the area, reducing cars and trucks to their charred skeletons and ripping the roofs and exteriors off shops. In addition to the dead, dozens were injured.

Blood pooled in the dirt streets. Hospital officials said two pickup trucks filled with body parts were brought to the morgue.

“I was waiting near a shop to lift some boxes, when I saw the owner of the shop fall down,” said Satar Hussein, 22, a worker in the market. “I helped him inside the shop, but he was already dead. The next thing I felt was pain in my left shoulder and some people rushing me to the hospital.”

Ali Hamid, 25, the owner of a food store, said he was selling boxes of Pepsi when he was hit with shrapnel in his hand.

Bush Vetoes Troop Withdrawal Bill

Partisan politics at the expense of our troops really tend to piss me off.  Shame on all of you. 

Bush Vetoes Troop Withdrawal Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush vetoed legislation to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq Tuesday night in a historic showdown with Congress over whether the unpopular and costly war should end or escalate. In only the second veto of his presidency, Bush rejected legislation pushed by Democratic leaders that would require the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.

“This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops,” Bush said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House. He said the bill would “mandate a rigid and artificial deadline” for troop pullouts, and “it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing.”

Democrats accused Bush of ignoring American’s desire to stop the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,350 members of the military.

“The president wants a blank check,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., moments after Bush’s appearance. “The Congress is not going to give it to him.” She said Congress would work with him to find common ground but added that there was “great distance” between them on Iraq.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Bush has an obligation to explain his plan for responsibly ending the war.

“If the president thinks by vetoing this bill, he’ll stop us from working to change the direction of the war in Iraq, he is mistaken,” Reid said.

Lacking the votes to override the president, Democratic leaders quietly considered what might be included or kept out of their next version of the $124 billion spending bill. Bush will meet with congressional leaders—Democrats and Republicans alike—on Wednesday to discuss a new bill.

Bush said Democrats had made a political statement by passing anti-war legislation. “They’ve sent their message, and now it’s time to put politics behind us and support our troops with the funds,” the president said.

He said the need to act is urgent because without a war-funding bill, the armed forces will have to consider cutting back on buying or repairing equipment.

“Our troops and their families deserve better, and their elected leaders can do better,” Bush said.

“Whatever our differences, surely we can agree that our troops are worthy of this funding and that we have a responsibility to get it to them without further delay,” the president said.

7/7 ‘mastermind’ is seized in Iraq

Better late then never… 

7/7 ‘mastermind’ is seized in Iraq-News-World-Iraq-TimesOnline

The al-Qaeda leader who is thought to have devised the plan for the July 7 suicide bombings in London and an array of terrorist plots against Britain has been captured by the Americans.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a former major in Saddam Hussein’s army, was apprehended as he tried to enter Iraq from Iran and was transferred this week to the “high-value detainee programme” at Guantanamo Bay.

Abd al-Hadi was taken into CIA custody last year, it emerged from US intelligence sources yesterday, in a move which suggests that he was interrogated for months in a “ghost prison” before being transferred to the internment camp in Cuba.

Abd al-Hadi, 45, was regarded as one of al-Qaeda’s most experienced, most intelligent and most ruthless commanders. Senior counter-terrorism sources told The Times that he was the man who, in 2003, identified Britain as the key battleground for exporting al-Qaeda’s holy war to Europe.

function pictureGalleryPopup(pubUrl,articleId) { var newWin = window.open(pubUrl+’template/2.0-0/element/pictureGalleryPopup.jsp?id=’+articleId+’&&offset=0&&sectionName=WorldIraq’,’mywindow’,’menubar=0,resizable=0,width=615,height=655′); } Abd al-Hadi recognised the potential for turning young Muslim radicals from Britain who wanted to become mujahidin in Afghanistan or Iraq into terrorists who could carry out attacks in their home country. He realised that their knowledge of Britain, possession of British passports and natural command of English made them ideal recruits. After al-Qaeda restructured its operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas he sought out young Britons for instruction at training camps. In late 2004 Abd al-Hadi met Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, from Leeds, at a militant camp in Pakistan and, in the words of a senior investigator, “retasked them” to become suicide bombers.