Is It A Draw?

Seriously, do we have any sort of endgame plan here?

Libyan Conflict Seen as Stalemate

Both the Libyan government and rebel leaders outwardly express confidence their side will prevail. But behind the scenes, concerns are rising that the eight week conflict may be at a stalemate.

Government forces continue to besiege the western rebel city of Misrata, and remain just outside Ajdabiya, a key eastern town that has changed hands numerous times.

. . .

Whatever their popular support, the rebels have been unable to make much headway on the battlefield. Their farthest drive was under the aerial protection of a mission led by the U.S., France and Britain. Those gains have been reversed during the time NATO has been in charge of the campaign.

See also:
Gadhafi military hurt, but prospect of stalemate looms, official says
Libya stalemate could thicken fog of war for NATO
EU concern at prolonged Libyan war
US Commander Sees Libya Stalemate
US General: Libya stalemate more likely now
New Battles in Libya, Strains in NATO Campaign
NATO urged to press harder in Libya as battles continue
Will Libya stalemate force US out of its back-seat role?
U.S. Faces a Libya Stalemate, What are its Options?
Libya stalemate appears to be emerging: U.S. general
With Libya a stalemate, removing Gaddafi the fastest way to end the fighting

These have to be just about the most bizarre rules of engagement for a war, oops, sorry, I mean kinetic military action, that I’ve ever seen. What is it, exactly, that we’re trying to accomplish in Libya? If we’re trying to get rid of Gaddafi, let’s back the “rebels” all the way and get it over with. This strange maintenance of an ongoing “status quo”, where attrition is killing human beings on both sides, on a daily basis, is totally perverse.

/not to mention that this ineffective, half ass “quasi-military intervention” is wasting a lot of U.S. taxpayer money, money we don’t even have to spend, and it’ll continue to do so for as long as this standoff farce continues

A Kinetic Military Action By Any Other Name

Oh look, they put lipstick on the Operation Odyssey Dawn Pig, like no one will notice.

NATO in Libya: ‘Unified Protector’ hides divisions

The codename for NATO’s operations in Libya, “Unified Protector”, hides internal divisions that the alliance battled hard to overcome before taking on the mission.

The 28-nation military organisation is finally fulfilling Washington’s wishes, replacing the United States at the helm of all operations in Libya and is expected to be fully up and running by Thursday.

But to get to this point, the alliance had to ease Turkish concerns about the scope of the bombing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and convince France that NATO should be in command of operations.

Germany was opposed to any military intervention from the outset, refusing to vote for the UN Security Council resolution that authorised “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians.

Despite the squabbles, NATO is enforcing an arms embargo and a no-fly zone, and it finally agreed on Sunday to take over the riskiest mission: preventing Gaddafi loyalists from massacring the population.

See also:
NATO Assumes Command of Libya Operations
Nato takes over air war
NATO Operation Unified Protector against Libya Making Use of Greek Bases in Crete, the Peloponnese
NATO assumes full command of Libya operations
NATO takes control of Libya air operations
LIBYA: NATO assumes ‘sole command’ of coalition air operations
NATO Launches Operation Unified Protector & No Fly Zone Blockade
NATO takes charge of Libyan effort
NATO Assumes Full Command of Operations in Libya
Operation Unified Protector Factsheet
Operation Unified Protector

Dressing it up with a new name and putting a NATO fig leaf on the United States’ intervention in the Libyan civil war doesn’t hide the fact that Obama totally owns this kinetic military action and, so far, it’s not going well at all. The “rebels” Obama has decided to back in this all Libyan conflict are infused with al Qaeda and they can’t fight worth [expletive deleted]. If it weren’t for a highly publicized display of inept confusion, we’d have nothing to show for our efforts to date.

/watch out for Obama’s Runnin’ Rebels, retreating soon to a city or town near you!

What’s Baby Doc Up To?

What was he thinking? Why did he come back to Haiti? He had to know this was going to happen.

Haiti’s Duvalier Charged With Corruption

Haitian police escorted former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier from a luxury hotel in Port-au-Prince Tuesday, two days after Duvalier’s surprise return to the country after nearly 25 years in exile.

Authorities in Haiti have charged former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier with corruption, theft and misappropriation of funds, two days after he made an unexpected return to his homeland after 25 years in exile in France.

Duvalier, who was not wearing handcuffs, waved to a crowd that had assembled outside the Hotel Karibe as police led him to a waiting car Tuesday.

See also:
Baby Doc Charged, but Duvalier Still Has Fans
‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier in limbo as Haiti closes in on frozen funds
Former Haiti Dictator Charged With Corruption
Jean-Claude Duvalier charged with theft over 15-year rule
Haiti – Duvalier : Complaints filed against “Baby Doc” for crimes against humanity
Return of the dictator
A nightmare returns to Haiti
Baby Doc charges come too late: lawyer
‘Baby Doc’ accused of torture and abuse
Four sue ‘Baby Doc’ for torture, detention
U.S. says Duvalier’s fate up to Haitian government
Aristide wants to return home
Lawyer: Haiti mum on Aristide passport request
Jean-Claude Duvalier

It’s almost inconceivable that Baby Doc Duvalier would return to Haiti, knowing he would face serious charges, without an intention on entering politics again and/or seizing power. It’s amazing that Haiti even let him back in the country. And now Jean-Bertrand Aristide wants to return to Haiti too? What, is there a deposed despot convention in Port-au-Prince or something?

/these developments don’t bode well for Haiti’s future and Haiti’s present is already an ongoing day to day disaster

Julian Gets A Red Notice

Of course, it’s a warrant for sex crimes in Sweden and has nothing to do with WikiLeaks. But hey, whatever gets him in custody. He’s going to have to try and stay in hiding from now on and his international travel globetrotting days are pretty much over.

Interpol Issues Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

Interpol has placed the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks on its most-wanted list after Sweden issued an arrest warrant against him as part of a drawn-out rape investigation.

The Lyon, France-based international police organization has issued a “red notice” for 39-year old Julian Assange — the equivalent of putting him on its most wanted list.

The issuance by Interpol was expected after a Swedish court in mid-November approved a motion to have Assange brought in for questioning. The notice, posted on Interpol’s site Tuesday, is likely to make international travel more difficult for him.

Assange, whose whereabouts are unknown, is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. He has denied the allegations, which stem from his encounters with two women during a visit to Sweden in August.

See also:
Wanted ASSANGE, Julian Paul
Interpol puts Assange on most-wanted list
Interpol issues ‘Red Notice’ for Wikileaks’ Assange
Interpol Issues ‘Red Notice’ for Arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange
Interpol Puts Out Wanted Notice for Wikileaks’ Assange
Interpol adds WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange to ‘Most Wanted’ list as new arrest warrant issued for him
Interpol Puts WikiLeaks Chief On Most-Wanted List
Interpol posts wanted notice for WikiLeaks founder
Assange put on most wanted list
Interpol

Well, at least someone’s trying to arrest Assange for something. Thank you Sweden. The Obama administration sure doesn’t seem like they’re too anxious to bring him to justice for what is obviously damaging espionage against the United States. If and when Assange is captured and extradited to Sweden on the sex charges, maybe by then Holder’s Justice department will have gotten its act together and maybe we can charge him with a crime, if it’s not too much bother, for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents, and then try and extradite him from Sweden. The important first step is to get him in custody somewhere and worry about the legal wrangling later.

/do not pass Go Julian, do not collect $200

The Religion Of Man Caused Disasters

Nothing says Religion of Peace like plotting mass casualty attacks to randomly kill innocent people. But don’t worry, there is no global war on terror. Islam is a nonviolent religion, hijacked by just a few Muslim extremists for nefarious purposes. Jihad is a personal inner struggle of spirituality. Just remember, if you’re traveling in Europe and hear one or more peaceful people start shouting Allahu Akbar, don’t forget to duck.

Terror warning puts U.S. travelers overseas on alert

Few U.S. travelers say they’re canceling trips to Europe because of a new terror alert. But some say they’ll be on their guard.

The travel alert from the State Department on Sunday warns of possible acts of terrorism by al-Qaeda and other organizations, particularly on public transportation and at tourist attractions.

On Monday, Japan and Sweden issued similar advisories. And Britain has warned that France and Germany are dealing with a “high threat of terrorism.”

See also:
U.S. Department of State Travel Alert — Europe
Terror Alert Issued For European Travelers
U.S. warns tourists abroad to be on high alert following terror threats
Euro Terror Alert
Travel terror alert is so vague it’s useless
Europe terror alert: Likely suspected groups
German group focus of European threat?
Europe terror alert fuelled by German militants
Hamburg City Under Terror Alert
Al Qaeda Plots Terror Attack on Hamburg City
Germany Plays Down Threat of Terror Attack
Drone strike kills Germans linked to terror alert
Eight German Militants Killed in Pakistan Drone Strike
‘German militants’ killed in US drone attack in Pakistan
Germany not ID’ing 5 militants killed in Pakistan
Anti-terrorist raids in France
France arrests 12 as concerns grow about ‘homegrown’ terrorism
French police arrest 11 Islamic terrorist suspects
Arrests in France have Europe on edge in wake of terror alert
France arrests ‘terror suspects’
France Holds 12 As Europe Faces Terror Alert

Can you just imagine what would happen if radical Christians started plotting and threatening to attack major cities in Muslim countries? Well, it’s never going to happen and besides, Muslims already carry out most of their deadly mass casualty attacks in their own countries and kill their fellow Muslims by the thousands.

/it’s a sad fact, not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslim

Let’s Play Guess The Religion

Hmmm, Police in France kill a fleeing criminal and then the local “youths” proceed to riot and rampage for several nights of carbeque, sound familiar? It should. But do these “youths” belong to a particular religion? Well, you sure couldn’t tell by reading almost all of the news coverage. Are the media afraid of reporting the truth about this particular religion?

Youths arrested in Grenoble on suspicion of shooting at police

A French regional security official has said four people have been detained on suspicion of firing on police during clashes between youths and officers in Grenoble. The official said seven were also detained for carrying illegal weapons. The suspects were taken into custody early yesterday. Clashes broke out on Friday night in the south-eastern French city after a local resident suspected in the armed robbery of a casino was killed while fleeing police. Rampaging youths torched cars and shot at police. Rioting continued on a lesser scale through Saturday night. No injuries were reported.

Can you guess the “youth’s” religion yet? No? Well, try these news reports.

See also:
France vows to restore order after rioting in Grenoble
France rioters arrested for shooting: police
French police struggle to restore order after two days of riots in Grenoble
World news roundup: In France, shooting by police sparks riot in south
Second night of violence in French city
Police killing sparks French riots
Four arrested after rioters shot at police in Grenoble
Rioters Shoot at Police, Wield Bats in Grenoble, Official Says
At least 50 cars torched in disturbance in southeast France
Second night of ethnic rioting in Grenoble
The French government has vowed to restore order after rioting in the eastern city of Grenoble over a shooting by police
French police arrest rioters for shooting

Give up, still can’t tell which religion these rampaging and rioting “youths” belong to? They say if you search long enough . . .

Riot Erupts in Grenoble, France

The French newspaper Le Monde says the youths started their rampage after hearing a Muslim imam give a ceremony for an alleged robber, who died Thursday night after being chased by police and exchanging gunfire.

France fears widespread rioting as youths rampage after police shoot robber

France was on riot alert yesterday after hundreds of Muslim youths went on the rampage in Grenoble.

Ah, yes, it all makes sense now, the religion of murder and mayhem strikes again. But you probably already guessed that, I know I did.

/quelle surprise!

The Incredible Ineptitude Of “Smart Diplomacy”

The Who Won’t Get Fooled Again, but the United States keeps getting fooled time after time after time. Once again, the Iranians have run diplomatic circles around the Obama Administration’s comical and ineffective “smart diplomacy”. If this was a little league softball game, they’d have to invoke the ten run rule.

Iran’s nuclear move may derail U.S. efforts on sanctions

An agreement by Iran to send much of its nuclear fuel abroad clouded prospects for U.S.-led plans to impose further economic sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear development program.

The proposal, brokered by leaders of Brazil and Turkey during an 18-hour session in Tehran and announced late Sunday, drew a reaction of cautious skepticism from the United States and its Western allies, who questioned whether it goes far enough to address longstanding concerns over the goal of the Iranian nuclear program. Iran says its effort is for civilian energy purposes only, but Western powers believe Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

U.S., French, German and Russian officials all raised questions about the announcement, noting that Iran would still keep more than a ton of its nuclear stockpile and would continue enriching uranium in its centrifuges. But Western leaders also called for further study of the plan, saying it should not be dismissed out of hand.

The agreement appeared to sap some of the momentum for a new round of United Nations Security Council sanctions, which looked to include restrictions on Iranian government financial transactions. Officials from Turkey and Brazil said the deal removed any need for further U.N. sanctions. The two countries currently sit on the 15-member Security Council, though neither has the power to veto a sanctions resolution.

It remains to be seen whether Tehran was merely trying to avert imminent sanctions or whether the pact could form the basis of a wider accord. In making the uranium transfer abroad, Iran would drop its previous insistence that any swaps should take place on Iranian soil.

U.S. officials face a choice of rejecting the deal and appearing intransigent, or accepting it, potentially allowing Iran to defuse mounting international pressures through an indefinite delay.

The plan calls for Iran to ship 2,640 pounds of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey under the supervision of both Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, in Vienna. In return, Iran would receive 265 pounds of uranium from France and Russia within a year for use in a small nuclear reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat the ill.

Talked Into A Trap

Nuclear Iran: President Obama’s “direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions” has, not surprisingly, led us down a blind alley. Now China and Russia are about to mug us with Turkey’s phony uranium deal.

The White House is learning that its “tough diplomacy” is a boomerang that may soon leave America nursing a very sore lump on its head.

The deal Iran triumphantly announced with Turkey and Brazil on Monday is exactly the kind of development that can give Moscow and Beijing the excuse not to agree to more sanctions. Which would mean that President Obama is left painted into a corner about what to do next to prevent a terrorist regime in the Middle East from getting nukes.

It was all smiles in Tehran as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan patted themselves on the back as peacemakers, and clasped hands with the world’s most powerful hater of Jews, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His shady re-election nearly a year ago sparked mass demonstrations and the killing of protesters by the Islamofascist regime.

In a regurgitation of last fall’s Geneva agreement that Iran ultimately backed out of, the new “fuel swap” deal would require Tehran to send some enriched uranium to Turkey. After a year, Iran would get some non-weapons-grade uranium back from Russia and France.

But Tehran says it will continue its own uranium enrichment activities, which means that when all is said and done nothing has changed.

As the Sarkozy government in France warns, the Turkey deal does “nothing to settle the problem posed by the Iranian nuclear program.” The new British government says it will continue to push for sanctions; an unimpressed Germany says what matters is Iran’s domestic enrichment.

Even the White House admits the deal resolves nothing. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ reaction was to point out that “the words and the deeds of the Iranian leadership rarely coincide.”

But China and Russia, which both have economic and geopolitical reasons to stay cozy with their trading partner, can use this deal to say in answer to President Obama’s charisma offensive designed to get them on board new sanctions: “Problem solved! Give Iran some slack.”

In the coming months, as Tehran continues to block inspection of nuclear facilities, and Moscow and Beijing refuse to approve new sanctions, what does the president do?

Reject what he was willing to accept last fall (because since then Iran has been busy enriching lots more uranium, and that makes it a different ballgame today)?

See also:
Iran’s Nuclear Coup
Iran nuclear fuel swap: how Turkey is complicating US aims
Nuclear swap deal helps prevent sanctions on Iran: Brazilian VP
Israel fears Iran nuclear deal will delay UN sanctions
Iran and Turkey reach unexpected accord on enriched uranium
Iran’s unanswered questions
West not convinced of Iran uranium deal
U.S., allies critical of new deal on Iran’s nuclear program
White House Keeps Sanctions on Table After Iran Announces Nuclear Fuel Deal
Lucy Says: C’mon, Kick The Football Charlie Brown

So, let’s recap, Iran gets to keep working on their nuclear weapons program, full speed ahead, without the threat of any meaningful sanctions and, at the same time, Iran makes the Obama administration out to be an international laughingstock.

/it’s a twofer

When Did Hell Freeze Over?

Well damn, here’s something you don’t see every day, American troops marching through Red Square.

U.S. Army Europe Soldiers marching into history in Moscow

Soldiers of U.S. Army Europe’s 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will march into history during Russia’s 65th Victory Day parade in Moscow, May 9.

USAREUR historians said the event marks the first time a serving, active-duty U.S. Army unit, carrying the American flag and representing the United States, will march in the parade.

The 75 Soldiers from Company C, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, based in Baumholder, Germany, will join military units from Russia, Great Britain, France, Poland and member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States in the historic march through Moscow’s Red Square. Company C took its place in the estimated 11,000-Soldier formation Tuesday night as part of the first dress rehearsal march.

A 45-piece band from U.S. Naval Forces Europe will also take part in Victory Day commemorative events.

The parade, which commemorates the 65th anniversary of the allies’ victory over the Axis powers during World War II, is being called the largest since 1945.

See also:
Surprising Guests in a Russian Parade: American Troops
Troops prep for parade
U.S. troops entering Red Square
US, Allied Troops to Join Russia’s WWII Parade
Foreign troops to join Russia’s Victory Day parade
Western troops march on Russia’s Red Square to mark end of WWII
Anger as NATO prepares to join Red Square parade
170th Infantry Brigade (United States)
170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

I guess if you live long enough you’ll eventually get to see everything.

/NATO troops parading through Red Square, how bizarre

Who Are These People And Where Are They Now?

Recognize anyone?

/AFP

Dubai police identify 11 suspects in Hamas official’s death

Dubai police Monday identified 11 people suspected in the killing of a top Hamas official last month and vowed “to hunt them down.”

At the same time, police offered a chilling scenario of how Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founding member of Hamas’ military wing who had survived at least three other previous attempts on his life, was killed in his hotel room January 19 just hours after arriving in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The 11 suspects identified Monday include one woman and 10 men. All of them hold valid European passports — one from France, three from Ireland, six from Britain, and one from Germany. None of the suspects has been arrested or charged in the killing.

According to police, the suspects arrived in Dubai the day before the killing. Five of them carried out the crime while the remaining six served as lookouts, police said.

Police identified a man from France as the logistical mastermind. Police allege the man stayed at a luxury hotel in Dubai, but also booked a room at the al Bustan Rotana hotel where al-Mabhouh was killed. The French suspect requested room 237 — directly across from where al-Mabhouh was staying in room 230, police say, but the suspect apparently never stayed there. Instead, police say the rest of the group used the room to plot the killing and the alleged mastermind left the country before it was carried out.

Footage on security cameras at Dubai International Airport show one of the suspects following al-Mabhouh after he landed, police said. Two others followed him once he arrived at the hotel, police said, taking the same elevator and ensuring al-Mabhouh was staying in room 230.

Police said they believe the suspects entered al-Mabhouh’s room about 8 p.m. after the hotel cleaning crew finished their rotation on the floor, using an electronic device to gain entry.

Al-Mabhouh entered his room at 8:25 p.m., hotel security cameras and an electronic readout of his room key show. Police say the killing took no more than 10 minutes before the suspects left the room and headed immediately to the airport where they boarded flights to various cities in Europe and Asia, police said.

Before leaving, police said, the group took great care to make sure the room looked orderly, removing anything that might indicate that al-Mabhouh resisted. The suspects also deliberately turned the safety lock on the room door from the inside in order to suggest the death was normal, police said.

Police did not provide details about the nature of the killing in its statement Monday, but authorities have told al-Mabhouh’s family that there were signs of five or six electric shocks on his legs, behind his ears, on his genitals and heart. Blood on a pillow led police to believe he was suffocated.

See also:
Dubai: Hamas man assassinated by 11 mercenaries
UAE: European team killed Mabhouh
Anatomy of an assassination
Hamas probing Dubai murder with help of Iran and Syria
Victim was tailed upon arrival
Dubai To Issue Arrest Warrants For 11 Suspects Over Hamas Leader’s Killing
11 European suspects behind Hamas official’s killing: Dubai police chief
Dubai accuses British passport holders of killing Hamas chief
Dubai claims Irish passports used in killing of Hamas chief
Video: Dubai police release footage of alleged Mabhouh killers
Medical Report Confirms Assassination by Strangulation- Al-Mabhouh’s Brother
Report: Mabhouh’s bodyguards couldn’t get plane tickets
Israel: Hamas commander killed in Dubai was key arms smuggler
Slain Hamas commander helped smuggle arms into Gaza, officials say
Slain Hamas Leader Tied to Arms Group
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Gee, I wonder if the Mossad had anything to do with this assassination? You know they’re going to be blamed for it anyway.

/in any case, good riddance to bad Hamas rubbish, don’t [expletive deleted] with Israel

So Much For Any Meaningful Sanctions, Now What?

Gee, maybe Obama shouldn’t keep pissing off Chana with his “smart diplomacy”.

At U.N., China insists it’s not ‘right’ time for sanctions on Iran

China’s envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday that his government is not ready to impose tough new sanctions on Iran for defying the world body’s demands that it suspend its uranium enrichment program.

“This is not the right time or right moment for sanctions, because the diplomatic efforts are still going on,” Zhang Yesui said at a news briefing at the start of China’s rotating monthly presidency of the U.N. Security Council.

The Chinese remarks underscore the challenges the United States faces in rallying international backing for its effort to punish Iran for nuclear violations. The Obama administration has been preparing a package of targeted sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian institutions it deems responsible for acquiring nuclear and ballistic-missile technology.

“It’s no secret that China and the United States look at the utility of sanctions differently,” said P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the State Department.

He said that U.S. officials would keep pressing other countries to impose “additional sanctions” on Iran’s ruling elite, but he added, “We want to do this in a way that can target specific entities within the Iranian government but not punish the Iranian people, who are clearly looking for a different relationship with their government.”

U.S. and European diplomats have acknowledged that China and Russia are likely to approve only the mildest of new sanctions. One Security Council envoy said the United States and its Western allies are planning to unveil a second round of their own sanctions against Iranian officials, including some responsible for the violent post-election crackdown on opposition movements.

Council diplomats say that China, which is expanding its commercial ties with Iran, has hardened its resistance to sanctions in recent months. Last month, it declined to attend a meeting on the nuclear crisis with the council’s four other veto-wielding powers — the United States, Russia, Britain and France — as well as Germany, citing a scheduling conflict, one of the diplomats said.

See also:
China: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
China Not Ready to Support Iran Sanctions
No Iran sanctions now, China says
As zero hour nears, differences emerge on sanctions
Time not right for new Iran sanctions: Chinese envoy
China dismisses Iran sanctions talk for now at UN
China dismisses more UN sanctions talk during its Security Council presidency in January
China Calls for More Iran Negotiations
Clinton: U.S. Not Closing the Door on Talks With Iran

So, Obama looks like a complete ass again because he foolishly set a December 31st deadline, which has now come and gone, for Iran to comply with demands to end its nuclear program or else. Well, as expected, Iran has not only ignored Obama’s deadline, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly and publicly mocked Obama’s “smart diplomacy”.

And then today, China summarily pulls the rug out from under Obama by telling him he can forget about his or else of sanctions.

/now what?

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