Saturday, November 18, 2006


Iran Threat Grows, Russia Has No Plans Against U.S.,

Highlights of this Report

1. China's embassy robbed
2. Police killings in Thailand
3. Muslim insurgency continues in Asia
4. Animal rights terrorists
5. Musharraf concerned about country's future
6. Gulf states say Islamic countries unfairly targeted
7. China strengthens ties with Iran
8. Putin says SCO designed to settle borders
9. Somalis fought alongside Hezbollah
10.UN says Tehran and Damascus destabilizing Somalia
11. US: Sorry Tony, no talks with Iran
12. Iran's Al Qaeda
13. Are we witnessing 1938?
14. Burmese genocide
15. Aussies step up once again
16. Paper: U.S. in danger of collapse
17. $1.1 billion for Pakistan
18. Russia's Anti-Europe natural gas cartel
19. Indonesian terrorists train Philippine bombers
20. NORTHCOM cat fighting
21. More Guard brigades prepare to go back
22. Air National Guard officer slammed
23. Lunatic Fringe: and Socialist Workers
24. Cockfighting Colonel
25. Rape now a crime in Pakistan

Here's what's happening...

The Chinese embassy in Venezuela has been robbed. Eight unmasked and armed gunman broke into the economic and commercial affairs office under the Chinese embassy and “liberated” $14,000 US dollars. The incident is under investigation.

The military-backed government in Thailand is investigating whether the previous prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, used police to conduct extra-judicial killings of more than 2,500 people between 2003 and 2004.

Meanwhile, the junta is promising to lift marshal law within days, even though a Muslim insurgency in the south continues to claim lives.

The U.S. House and Senate have passed a bill that targets radical environmentalists who engage in bombings and other terrorist activities.

Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, is concerned that radical Islam and terrorism may tear his country apart.

Several Persian Gulf states have issued a joint statement that Islamic countries are being unfairly targeted for supporting terrorism. The group has also nominated Osama Bin Ladin, and Mahmoud Amadinejad for the Nobel Peace Prize. Well, not really, but it’s just as absurd.

China is strengthening ties with Iran under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Russia’s Vladimir Putin insists that SCO is not what many seem to think it is – an alliance that will eventually counter U.S. influence in the region, as well as form the basis of an Asian counter-weight to NATO. According to Asia Times, Putin recently told Russian academics:

While interacting with a select gathering of "Russia hands" from Western academia, media and think tanks recently, President Vladimir Putin ventured onto the topic of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in terms, as he put it, that would be a "revelation ... something probably I have never said to anyone before".

Putin, known for his reticence and choice of words, revealed that the Kremlin did not "plan" for the SCO's present standing, but had only set its sights on the organization's potential to resolve the "utilitarian question of settling borders" between China and its post-Soviet neighbors. SCO includes China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

He continued, "After all, to be honest, I know that somewhere within the depths of various governments and intelligence services there are people thinking that Russians and Chinese are up to something here, that they have got some kind of secret mechanism and are planning something."

Putin summed up explaining SCO's raison d'etre. "It's simply that after the collapse of the bipolar world, there was a real need for the emergence of centers of influence and power. This is simply an objective reality."

The New York Times is reporting that more than 700 Islamic fighters from Somalia joined Hezbollah in its war against Israel this summer. Frankly, this does not come as a great surprise.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the United Nations is accusing Iran and Syria of continuing to destabilize Somalia. Not that it wasn’t a hellhole before.

The United States doesn’t appear to have any great love for Tony Blair’s idea of asking Iran and Syria to help stabilize Iraq.

The Iranians have responded by trying to form an alliance with Al Qaeda.

Are we looking at another 1938?

Burma continues its offensive against ethnic Karen in the country’s north. The junta there has been accused of using crude chemical weapons to wipe out entire villages. International aid workers have treated Karen refugees for burns and other injuries consistent with mustard gas. According to one report:

Border sources say that fighting in Karen State happens on a daily basis. According to the Karen National Union, Burmese troops from battalion 35 of Light Infantry Division 66 on November 7 destroyed property of ethnic Karen villagers in Taungoo District, Pegu Division valued at more than 2.2 million kyat (nearly US $1,667).

Troops from the same battalion three days earlier killed two villagers—Saw Kyor, 45, and Pa Ree Say, 19—while also destroying rice stores and farms in the area.

Australia continues to quietly provide military assistance to countries throughout the South Pacific. Sometimes this irritates local leaders who are outmatched by the Aussies’.

The United States does not have a better ally than Australia. Some people may say that Great Britain and Israel should rank higher, but the fact is that Prime Minister John Howard has never wavered in his support for the United States, and continues to say that “now is not the time for an 80% friendship.” God bless them.

Asia Times has an analysis on how the “U.S. colossus currently faces a very real danger.” According to the story’s author, W. Joseph Stroupe:

Even a "giant" has a pair of tendons which, if sliced, could bring the giant crashing helplessly to the ground. If a knife is held against those very tendons in a credible and intractable threat, then the giant can be constrained, or even mastered and obliged to perform the will of players of comparatively much lesser stature.

Does the analogy really fit mounting East-West rivalry and the efforts to end US global dominance? To answer that question we need to examine the principles of asymmetric challenge more closely and see if real-world, modern-day examples of its success exist….

What are the key issues and problems rapidly coming to a head?
The Iran crisis and prospects for a US attack on Iranian facilities and assets.

The North Korea crisis and the growing prospects for a war resulting from stringent US-led embargo and interdiction at sea.
Continued NATO/European Union expansion eastward and the creation of an anti-ballistic missile shield on Russia's doorstep.
The issue of international energy security and whether the current US-backed energy market order will continue to be dominant.

The People’s Daily in China – a surprisingly good news source – is reporting that the United States gave Pakistan $1.1 billion in anti-terror support last year.

Analysts at NATO believe that Russia may be trying to create a natural gas cartel stretching from Central Asia to Algeria. Some suggest that Putin will then use the cartel as a political weapon against Europe.

Jamaah Islamiah (JI), a vicious terrorist group based largely in Indonesia, is recruiting Islamic fighters associated with the Abu Sayyaf to carry out attacks against targets in the Philippines. JI’s stated goal is to create an Islamic superstate across Southeast Asia. The group is believed to have been responsible for the Bali bombings.

NORTHCOM continues to face bureaucratic inertia and cat fighting as it tries to develop a coherent national emergency response plan. Apparently, it all comes down to “who is in charge.” One would think that five years after 9/11 we would have figured this one out by now.

More U.S. Army National Guard Units are expected to return to Iraq in the very near future. North Carolina’s 30th Brigade Combat Team is expected to get the call first. Arkansas’s 39th BCT is expected to follow.

An Air National Guard officer has run afoul of his fellow airmen in Minnesota. According to WCCO:

The National Guard says it won't approve a high honor for a retiring Minnesota Air National Guard general who was the subject of an Air Force probe that found several instances of misconduct.

The investigation of Brigadier General Terry Heggemeier was cited by a group of retired senior military officers who supported an effort to prevent him from receiving a Legion of Merit award, the highest noncombat honor.

Among other things, the investigation said Heggemeier wrongfully accessed e-mail and personal folders of members of the 133rd Airlift Wing in Minneapolis, made unauthorized flights, and flew as a crew member without maintaining his required qualifications and without supervision. He also received unauthorized flight pay.

Lunatic Fringe

A look at radical websites and propaganda from terrorists and their supporters. – The standard “Bush is a murderer” garbage along with an interesting banner that shows photographs of the “Amirs of Caucasian Mujahideen”. This site appears to be hosted in Great Britain.

The Socialist Worker Online – This organization, evidently based in Chicago, insists that Donald Rumsfeld is a war criminal.
And FinallyTwo items…

The United States Army may have its problems, but since the Bush Administration came into office, there have been a lot fewer incidents of military officers being forced to resign over violations of politically correct sensibilities. The Filipino military may not have caught on to this trend.

Apparently, Colonel Felipe Tabas, a brigade commander in the armed forces of the Philippines, was fired and placed in custody for a gross violation of military protocol. What did he do? He bet on a cockfight in Davao City. To be fair, he was not only betting, he was knee deep in the cockpit helping to run the match. According to oone investigating officer, Colonel Tabas “fell short of expectations.”

No word as to whether his chicken won.

Pakistan is working its way out of the stone ages. The country’s lower house of parliament has voted to put the crime of rape under the civil penal code, thus removing it from review under Islamic law. President Musharraf was proud of the vote. On national television he told the people:

"The time has come for the moderate elements in Pakistan to come forward and show their real force to these extremists and tell the extremists they will have no more say in Pakistan."
What did the old law say? It made a rape victim liable to prosecution for adultery if she could not produce four male witnesses to the assault.

And the Islamists say that the West is barbaric?

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