Kidnapped Sailor Update

 As we’ve now gone beyond the three day turnaround of the previous incident, expect things to steeply and continuously escalate over the kidnapped British sailors, who were on a routine ship inspection in rubber dinghys called “RIBs” when they were captured by Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen in gunboats. This happened four days ago on Friday, shortly after several saber-rattling speeches by Iranian military leaders that kicked off the Iranian Naval war games Thursday.

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Eason Jordan’s IraqSlogger Prints then Retracts Agitprop

Thanks to a timely article at Fourth Rail and actual fact checking (Imagine reporters who do that!) it was revealed that IraqSlogger reported US Casualties and a battle at Rutbah that did not occur. They posted a retraction pretty quickly after the reveal.

Finish this sentence:

The only place imaginary casualties come from is from our ______.

Wazir Update; Bajaur Accords signed

While Musharaaf and Pakistan are going through a political storm over the arrest of the Chief Justice of their high court, other things are still happening in the hinterlands of Pakistan. While the WAPO reports the Chief Justice arrest as “Musharaaf’s worst crisis to date”, it’s a storm I think he will weather from reading many Pak online forums. (The 1/3 or so that does not support him is worried enough about who would replace him not to get overwrought over the CJ, that might change as the case plays out however.) 

The Bajaur peace treaty has been signed, the Frontier Post reports on it here.

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Dueling Howards

Howard Beale:

 howard-beale.jpg

“I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m not going to Take IT ANYMORE!”

Howard Dean:

 howard-dean.jpg

“rrraAAAAAWWWWWKKKK!?”

Next installment: Howard Beale vs. the Goracle

More Thoughts at Outside the Beltway

USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109)

uss-jason-dunham-ddg-109.jpg

Special release from the U.S. Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Department of Navy announced March 23 that the Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), honoring the late Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, the first Marine awarded the Medal of Honor for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Donald C. Winter, made the announcement in Dunham’s hometown of Scio, N.Y.

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Kidnapped British Sailor update

The Scotsman outlines some of the behind-the-scenes action as the British government tries to gain the release of the sailors:

 After a day of shadow-boxing with a notoriously slippery regime, Tony Blair is set to up the ante: the plight of the Shatt al-Arab 15 is officially a crisis and he will need the Cobra team to handle it.
The clutch of VIPs will gather in an operations room several floors below Downing Street as early as this afternoon to plot an escape from a military spat that now threatens to become an international incident.

The decision came just 24 hours after the crew of HMS Cornwall had been caught in the confusion of direct confrontation with Iranian vessels in the searing heat of the Gulf.

As the crew members were surrounded in their two rubber dinghies, the Cornwall’s commander, Commodore Nick Lambert, frantically radioed back to his own top brass for instructions.

The response to the inquiry, which had been immediately patched through to Ministry of Defence headquarters in Whitehall, was to hold fire.

UPDATE: Please stop by Gateway Pundit for latest analysis on the location of the sailors 

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Spring

redbuds.jpg  The redbuds are back 

.

springflowr.jpgSoon, ah, soon the shy birds
Will be at their fluting,
And the morning planet
Rise above the garden; 
For there is a measure
Set to all things mortal. — Sappho

Waziristan Update

“This is a jihad dictated by outsiders, by al-Qaeda. It is not a holy war. They just want power and money.” — Malik Haji Awar Khan, 55, head of the 2,000-strong Mutakhel Wazir tribe of North Waziristan

In Waziristan the Peace Jirga has failed, and the fighting will continue. This is not necessarily a bad thing. What most analysts fail to come to grips with is that there are varying stripes and factions within the Taliban and they have differing goals — they are not monolithically aligned behind one leader now and have not been since early last summer.
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International Polar Year

antarctica_radarsat.jpgThe IPY is underway, a two-year study of the Earth’s, the Moon’s, and Mar’s polar regions. This is pretty exciting stuff, and I am sure that large quantities of data on the warming of the planet will come out of it.
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Waziristan Peace Jirga Breakdown

Dawn reports that the peace demands of the local tribal leaders have been turned down by the Uzbeks, and this means the fighting will continue after 130 AQAM have already been killed. It’s either that or they better move fast out of the region. ISAF should be watching across the border in Afghanistan, they are likely headed that way if they retreat.
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