That Didn’t Take Long

U.S. troops have been out of Iraq for what, less than a day now?

Iraq issues arrest warrant for vice president Hashemi

Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a senior security official said on Monday, after the government obtained confessions linking him to what the official described as terrorist activities.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Major General Adel Daham, told a news conference that confessions by suspects identified as Hashemi’s bodyguards linked the vice president to suspected killings and attacks.

See also:
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq in political turmoil hours after last US troops depart
Iraq: left to the wolves
Arrest warrant for Vice President Hashemi sparks political turmoil in Iraq
VP arrest warrant plunges Iraq into crisis
Iraq faces political crisis as the arrest warrant to Sunni VP al-Hashemi
Sunni, Shi’ite conflict grows in Iraq
Iraq Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi denies charge
Evading arrest, Iraqi VP denies hit squad claim
Iraq Vice-President denies he ran hit squad
Iraq’s Sunni vice President Tareq al-Hashemi warns sectarian divisions reopened
Iraq vice-president declares unity efforts ‘gone’
Iraq slaps travel ban on Sunni vice-president
Iraqi Sunni leaders denounce PM Maliki
U.S. “obviously concerned” about Iraqi Hashemi probe
Fugitive Iraq Sunni V.P. Tariq al-Hashimi Criticizes U.S.

It’s painfully clear what’s going on here. With the U.S. military now out of the way, the Shia led Iraqi government, backed by Iran, is wasting no time flexing its muscle and settling old scores against the Iraqi Sunni minority. Can you say looming civil war?

/and now we’ve pretty much given up our ability to effectively intervene militarily in Iraq, leaving Iran as the only regional military power capable of “riding to the rescue” of the Iraqi government, who just happen to be Iranian puppets anyway

Fifteen Tons Of Fun

Gee, I wonder what these might be for.

B-2 Bomber Gets Boeing’s New 30,000-Pound Bunker-Buster Bomb

The U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of a new 30,000-pound bomb from Boeing Co. (BA) that’s capable of penetrating deeply buried enemy targets.

The huge bunker buster, dubbed the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, is built to fit the B-2 stealth bomber. The Air Force Global Strike Command started receiving the bombs in September, Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller said in a short statement to Bloomberg News.

The deliveries “will meet requirements for the current operational need,” he said.

See also:
Air Force gets super bombs to attack Iran?
Weighing in at 30,000 pounds, a new bomb for US
Pentagon’s New Bunker Busters Not for Iran or ‘Any One Country’
Pentagon Receives Massive Bunker-Busting Bombs, Denies Targeting Iran
Pentagon denies bunker-busting bomb is intended for IranPentagon: Bunker buster not intended for Iran
New bunker-busting bomb not targeted at Iran : Pentagon
B-2 Bomber Gets Boeing’s New 30,000-Pound Bunker-Buster Bomb
US reveals its new bunker-buster bombs
US stealth bombers finally get nuke-nobbling super bomb
The Solution to the Iranian Threat – Bunker Busting Bomb

If the MOP isn’t intended for Iran, what could it possibly be intended for?

/*wink wink, nudge nudge*

Farewell To The King

Nooooooooooo, say it ain’t so!

Burger King Kills Off King Mascot Commercials

Burger King has decided that putting a creepy plastic mask on a robe-wearing human body isn’t good for business. After declining sales, the world’s second largest hamburger chain has decided to end its advertising campaign featuring the King mascot and instead focus its advertising on the food itself, beginning this week with commercials for its newest avocado and cheese-bearing product.

Since advertising firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky began working with Burger King in 2003, the King has been at the forefront of their campaigns. In the “Wake Up With the King” series meant to sell the chain’s new breakfast sandwiches, for example, unwitting customers wake up to find the silent mascot lurking outside of their windows or next to them in bed. We’re guessing that the narrator’s raspy voice also didn’t help “appeal to [the] broader audience” Burger King spokesman Miguel Piedra says the brand wants to attract.

See also:
Burger King Mascot to be Retired
Burger King mascot out, California Whopper in: Fast food company to focus more on menu items in ads
Anarchy in the BK: Burger King mascot dethroned
Burger King Dethrones Its Creepy ‘King’ Mascot
Burger King Mascot Gets the Boot From Fast Food Giant
Burger King retires its royal pitchman
Farewell To The King: California Whopper, Not Mascot, Will Star In BK Ad
Burger King Fires the “King”Burger King Retires Creepy, Mute Mascot
BK drops the king, adds guacamole
Creepy mascot, we hardly knew ye!
An Open Letter to the Deposed Burger King, From Fork in the Road

Okay, so The King was a little creepy, but the commercials were awesome, cult classics! At least he wasn’t boring like showing 30 seconds worth of retouched pictures of highly stylized food that looks absolutely nothing like the mangled, defective product you actually get in the store. Boo, the King will be missed.

/I mean, damn, first McDonalds wipes out Ronald McDonald and now Burger King kills off The King, what is the world of Big Burger coming to, how long will it be before Wendy’s takes Wendy out back and shoots her too?

So Much For The “Besieged” Gazans

For people claiming to be “besieged”, Hamas, through their sophisticated smuggling tunnels into Egypt, never seemed to run out of rockets to fire into Israel. And why is it that Israel is the only one who ever get blamed for “oppressing” the Gazan people? You’ll notice that this is an Egyptian border crossing that’s being opened after four years. Apparently, the Egyptians consider Hamas to be a serious security threat too.

Egypt opens Rafah crossing permanently

Gaza: A mixture of excitement and anxiety gripped travelers waiting to cross the Rafah crossing on Saturday.

Egypt ruled to permanently open the crossing starting on Saturday. In the first hour after the crossing was opened, 200 Gazans entered Egypt, officials said.

“We as Palestinians are truly thankful to the Egyptian government for opening the Rafah gate,” Dr. Ghazi Hamad, the Rafah border manager and spokesman, told Gulf News.

Under the new Egyptian regime, all coordination for travel goes through the Egyptian embassy.

“I am leaving to meet my relatives in Egypt, something that was very hard to do before,” Samah Ahmad, 26, told Gulf News. Mohammad Abd Al Aal said he was taking his wife and kids on a much needed vacation. “I never took a vacation before. The only times I have ever left Gaza was for medical reasons. I had to pay a lot of money to the Egyptian police and it was very humiliating,” he said.

Women would be able to leave Gaza without restrictions, while men between the ages of 18 and 40 would have to obtain visas for Egypt at the border.

See also:
Egypt opens Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip, reuniting Palestinians
Egypt opens Rafah border crossing, ending Gaza blockade
Gazans Rejoice as Egypt Opens Border Crossing
Egypt reopens border with Gaza
Egypt Opens Border With Gaza Despite Israel’s Concerns
Haniyeh to Gazans: Don’t endanger opened Rafah border
Hamas urges Palestinians not to jeopardize Egypt’s opening of Rafah crossing
Egypt eases travel restrictions on Gazans
Hezbollah salutes Egypt’s decision to open Rafah crossing

So, now that the “blockade” of Gaza is over, there’s no more need for any “freedom flotillas” because the whole point has been rendered moot, right? Guess again.

Freedom Flotilla-2 to start voyage to help Palestinian victims

/you see, because it’s not really about helping the poor “Palestinians”, it’s all about hating on Israel and the Jews, “from the river to the sea”

Where In The World Is Mohammed Omar?

Is Mullah Omar dead, alive, kidnapped by Western Intelligence, the ISI? No one seems to know, yet, or they’re not telling.

Afghanistan confirms of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s disappearance

Afghanistan’s intelligence services on Monday confirmed that the one-eyed Taliban leader Mullah Omar, with a US$10 million bounty on his head, had disappeared from his Quetta hideout in Pakistan.

“We can confirm about the disappearance of Omar five days ago from his Pakistani hideout,” said Mashal, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

However, the NDS spokesman did not confirm a previous claim of an Afghan intelligence source of Omar’s assasination by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Taliban, meanwhile, brushed off rumors of their leader’s death or disappearance.

See also:
Mullah Omar: Dead or alive?
Mullah Omar dead? Widespread sources skeptical
Afghanistan: Is Mullah Omar dead?
Mullah Omar killed?
Mullah Omar dead???
FO says it can’t confirm killing of Mulla Omar
Taliban spokesman denies leader has been killed
Leader still alive: Taliban
Chief missing, Taliban say he’s fine
Taliban denies reports of Mullah Omar’s death
Mullah Omar ‘disappears’ from Pak hideout: Afghan official
Intel agency claims Taliban chief has disappeared
Taliban chief has disappeared in Pakistan
Mullah Omar left Pakistani hideout: Afghan intelligence
KABUL: TALIBAN LEADER MULLAH OMAR NOT SEEN IN TWO DAYS
Mullah Omar mystery: Afghan official says ISI took him
Mullah Mohammad Omar: profile of the one-eyed Taliban leader
Mohammed Omar

Obviously, capturing Mohammed Omar alive and holding him in Western custody would be the ideal state of affairs here. Shot dead or blown to smithereens would be the second best outcome, although some concrete proof of death would be nice to have. And who’s going to believe the Taliban that he’s still alive and free without proof of life? In any case, every day Omar stays missing is a good day for civilized people everywhere. If Mullah Omar disappears into thin air and there’s no one around that knows where he is, is he still the Taliban leader?

/I wonder how long you have to be missing in Pakistan before you’re declared legally dead?

Splish Splash, Glory Takes A Bath

Apparently, Russia isn’t the only country that can pitch multi-million dollar satellites into the ocean.

NASA’s Glory satellite launch fails

A rocket, standing more than nine stories tall, blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base but failed to lift a NASA Earth-observation satellite into orbit and plummeted into the Pacific Ocean. The failed mission cost $424 million, the space agency said.

It is the second consecutive time that NASA has encountered the problem with the Taurus XL rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.

NASA scientists believe the launch on Friday failed because the satellite’s protective cover, which opens like a clamshell, did not separate as expected.

“Obviously, this is a terrific disappointment and we feel bad for letting NASA … down,” said Barron Beneski, an Orbital Sciences spokesman. “People have dedicated years of their lives into this.”

NASA’s Glory satellite was designed to help scientists understand how the sun and particles of matter in the atmosphere called aerosols affect the Earth’s climate. It was also built by Orbital in Virginia.

See also:
Pesky Nose-Cone Problem Downs NASA’s Glory Satellite
NASA’s Glory Satellite Crashes in Pacific; Agency Blames Nose Cone
NASA science satellite lost in $424 million launch failure
NASA’s ‘Glory’ research satellite plunges into the sea
Glory climate satellite fails: information & reactions$424 million satellite mission deemed a failure
NASA research satellite plunges into the sea
Climate-Tracker Satellite Crashes During Launch
New Satellite Crashes Into Ocean After Launch
NASA’s Glory mission fails to reach orbit (photos)
Kentucky satellite lost in rocket failure
Glory (satellite)
Glory Mission
Glory

Gee, you’d think NASA would have figured out what the problem was after the first time it happened. It’s more than embarrassing, not to mention incredibly expensive, to have the exact same failure occur twice in a row.

/oh well, I suppose it could have been worse, at least it wasn’t a human payload

Hezbollah Takes Lebanon

As previously foreshadowed, another domino falls from the West into the lap of the Islamic Caliphate.

Hezbollah moves to pick Lebanon’s leader

The Shiite armed movement Hezbollah cobbled together enough support Monday to appoint Lebanon’s next prime minister, effectively ending nearly six years of rule by Western-backed leaders and prompting the United States to warn it could cut off aid to this key Arab nation.

The apparent strength of Hezbollah marked an important political achievement for the group. It also signaled what appeared to be a significant shift for the country, away from alliances with the United States and Saudi Arabia, and toward Iran and Syria, which support Hezbollah.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States “would have great concerns about a government within which Hezbollah plays a leading role.”

See also:
Anger In Lebanon As Hezbollah Backs Sunni PM
‘Day of rage’ as Mikati set to win PM post
A victory for Hizbollah
A Day of Rage in Lebanon
Hariri and Mikati: Two personal histories collide
Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s new PM
Nasrallah calls on his rivals to give Mikati a chance
Lebanon: Security forces arrest top Hariri aides
Riots in Lebanon as Hezbollah secures leadership
Another Middle East debacle: Lebanon on the brink
Hezbollah’s Relentless Ascent To Power : A View From Jerusalem
Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon would affect U.S. ties
Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon will hit ties: Clinton
Clinton Wary of Hezbollah-Controlled Lebanon
Clinton warns Hezbollah-backed government may alter U.S. ties with Lebanon

So, um, is this going to be allowed to stand? I mean, one of the world’s most notorious and well armed terrorist organizations just took over an entire country that sits on Israel’s border. This is kind of a big deal in Realpolitik, don’t you think? It’s all well and good that Hillary is “concerned” about these rather ominous Middle East developments, but is the United States going to actually do anything about it?

/and not a peep out of Obama so far, an event of this magnitude, so completely adverse to our stated national interests, should at least warrant some kind of a public condemnation, no?