Star Wars Works

President Reagans’ dream of an America secure from Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) made another step towards becoming reality today in a successful test of mid-flight interception – something critics in the 80’s said couldn’t be done.

From AP:

An intercontinental ballistic missile interceptor blasted out of an underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base shortly after 1:15 p.m., and tracked a target missile that had lifted off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska, the Boeing Co. said in a statement.

The Missile Defense Agency said initial results show the interceptor’s rocket motor system and kill vehicle performed as planned. Boeing said the warhead was tracked, intercepted and destroyed.

Boeing is the prime contractor for what is formally known as the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system

If you were wondering why Dan Rather is doing hit-pieces on Boeing on the little watched HDNET, here’s another reason.

Emergence

ermergence.jpg What is it? Click on the thumbnail (522k)

In Memory of Nadia Anjuman

In Memory of Nadia Anjuman

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Escape (Gul-e Dudi)

Our hearts are tired of pain and poverty

Finally we became lost in the dust and darkness

We are going now and won’t return a second time

It is such a pleasure to escape from these absurdities

We were birds of the garden, in the world’s trap

We were caught without reason and are stuck in this filth

 Everyone hurts our short wings with arrows

Next time we won’t have to bear these tortures

We don’t seek to make any effort

Our hearts are tired of pain and poverty

2000

In the CNN special on Afghanistan titled “Behind the Veil”, one segment told the story of a woman poet who was beaten to death by her husband. [He states that she committed suicide, but in my opinion the man is both beast and liar.] You can now read Nadia’s poetry online here. H/T Afghanistanica.com

Al Tunisi Dead

Al Tunisi, one of the big fish still in Iraq is now dead, with this AQ in Iraq is in dire strait and pretty much leaderless for the moment. Below BG Joseph Anderson gives the run down of Al Tunisi’s import, and the lead up to his demolition. The video shows the airstrike, and General Anderson also details the others caught or killed in the operation.

A letter found with Al Tunisi basically stated that he was surrounded, alone, and desperate for help. Sounds like all remaining AQ personell in Iraq.

Pakistan Supreme Court Dismisses Challenges to Musharraf’s Bid

musharraf-pervez.jpgThe Pakistan Supreme court dismissed the challenges to President Pervez Musharraf running for president again while still in uniform, and yesterday he filed for the election coming October 6. When the ruling was read, opposition lawyers howled and chanted “Go Musharraf, Go!” the rallying cry for the oppostion parties and alliances in Pakistan.

Some opposition parties resigned in protest, however his bloc of votes is likely still large enough to gain him re-election. He has made the promise to remove his uniform and hand the military over to his hand-picked appointees post-election if he wins. Alternately, if the assembly fails to elect him he has said he will return to his position as head of the army.

Several opposition candidates have also filed a bid for president, including a retired lawyer from the Lawyer’s bloc who created large-scale protests across Pakistan that led to the eventual freeing of Chaudry Iftikhar, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Waiting in the wings behind this are the general elections, which are likely to create a new prime minister. Benazir Bhutto has also booked her return ticket, and should be returning October 18th.

Video of Burmese Demonstrations and Gunfire

Smuggled footage of the demonstrations in Burma against the Military Junta, SLORC.

… Sorry folks, the video got taken down.

Clinton Campaign Kills Negative GQ Article

The Clintons are masters at killing negative press, look how quickly reporting on bundler Norman Hsu was dropped, and how little follow-up has been done by the mainstream media. The trail’s still red hot, and the story is bizarrely interesting, but you aren’t going to read about it in the press.

In their latest squelching of information the Clintons killed a negative article on Hillary’s Campaign in GQ by threatening to withdraw cooperation for a separate article with Bill Clinton.  From the London Telegraph:

The powerful sway that Bill and Hillary Clinton hold over the American media has been illustrated by their successful attempt to “kill” a negative magazine story about Mrs Clinton’s presidential campaign.

According to the Politico newspaper, GQ magazine was planning to publish an article by writer Josh Green, who had previously angered the Clinton campaign by writing that the New York senator “offers no big ideas, no crusading causes” and had “plenty to talk about, but she doesn’t have much to say”.

The planned article included details of in-fighting within her tightly-controlled campaign and internal criticism of her campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle.

When Mr Green discussed the article with a senior Clinton press aide, the campaign moved swiftly.

Clinton advisers told GQ that if the Green article was published they would withdraw cooperation over a piece by George Saunders, a novelist and GQ writer, who travelled with Mr Clinton to Africa in July. Mr Saunders is seen as more favourably disposed to the Clinton camp.

Here’s an ABC story on how Hillary manipulates the media as if she were already in office. If I were a reporter on the campaign trail my lead would always be the other candidates until she starts talking.

It’s sad that editorial boards lack spines nowadays, why would you kill an article on a current Presidential Candidate for an ex-president who hasn’t been in office seven years? If they don’t gain some courage and make the story negative till she talks, then the big-time outlets have a year of getting scooped by regionals and blogs to look forward to.

Burma Junta Raids Temples, Beats and Arrests Monks

In a pre-dawn raid Burmese military Junta forces raided two temples, beating and arresting monks. From AP who reports of shots fired:

Facing its most serious challenge since taking power in 1988, the ruling junta is attempting to contain the uprising by tens of thousands of monks who have been at the heart of more than a week of huge demonstrations against economic hardships and the political repression of the military junta.

On Wednesday, in a chaotic day of huge demonstrations, shooting, teargas and running confrontations between protesters and the military, many people were reported injured and half a dozen were reported to have been killed, most of them by gunshots.

The Associated Press reported that more shots were fired today at one of several monasteries raided early in the day, Ngwe Kyar Yan, where one monk said a number of monks were beaten and at least 70 of its 150 monks were arrested.

A female lay disciple said a number of monks were arrested at a second monastery, Moe Guang, which was being guarded, like a number of other monasteries, by a contingent of armed security personnel.

Previous articles

MSNBC Reporting That We Missed Bin Laden at Tora Bora

MSNBC is reporting that the recent assault on Tora Bora was an attempt to get Osama Bin Laden, or Ayman Al Zawahiri, or HVT1 and HVT2 as the intel agencies label them. I reported on the assault here, while they did get a close aide to Bin Laden who was subsequently transported to Guantanamo, nothing else has yet come to light.

From MSNBC:

For three days and nights — between Aug. 14 and 16 — U.S. and Afghanistan forces pounded  the mountain caves in Tora Bora, the same caves where Osama Bin Laden had hidden out and then fled in late 2001 after U.S. forces drove al Qaeda out of Afghanistan cities. Ultimately, however, U.S. forces failed to find Bin Laden or his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, even though their attacks left dozens of al Qaeda and Taliban dead.

One of the officials interviewed by NBC News, a general officer, admitted Tuesday that it was “possible” Bin Laden was at Tora Bora, saying, in fact,  “I still don’t know if he was there.”

MSNBC uses the body of the report to slam the military, but I suspect there’s more to come from this. We acted, we caught someone, it wasn’t UBL. 

UPDATE: I just remembered Bill Roggio’s report on the Tora Bora fight back in August here, rumors that Al Haq was wounded.

Previous reports on the assault here and here.

Bin Laden’s Mentor Turns on Him

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“Are you happy to meet Allah with this heavy burden on your shoulders?” Al Oadah, a highly prolific scholar and media commentator, presses bin Laden. “It is a weighty burden indeed — at least hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if not millions [displaced and killed].”  

Osama Bin Laden’s mentor has turned on him, in essence saying that he is not fighting a holy war, or jihad, but instead is waging an unholy war against society (Hirabah,) in Dar Al Islam, the lands ruled by Islam. This editorial in Daily Times sums that up, as well as the change in Bin Laden evident in last tape.

In an open letter, one of his prominent Saudi mentors, preacher and scholar Salman Al Oadah, publicly reproaches bin Laden for causing widespread mayhem and killing. “How many innocent children, elderly people, and women were killed in the name of Al Qaeda?” asks Al Oadah on his website, Islamtoday.com, and in comments on an Arabic television station. “How many people were forced to flee their homes and how much blood was shed in the name of Al Qaeda?” The reaction of his former pupil is not known, but the angry denunciation by bin Laden’s supporters leaves no doubt that it hurts.

The significance of that can be appreciated only in the context of the position al Oadah holds in Islamic orthodoxy. He’s a heavyweight Salafi preacher with a large following in Saudi Arabia and abroad. In the 1990s the Saudi regime imprisoned Al Oadah, along with four leading clerics, for criticising the kingdom’s close relationship with the US, particularly the stationing of American troops there after the 1991 Gulf war. That decision — posting forces in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam — was the catalyst that drove bin Laden to attack the US. Throughout the 1990s bin Laden cited Al Oadah as a dissident voice and critic of the Saudi royal family and fellow Salafi traveler who shared his strict religious principles and worldview.

In one of the most honest assessments to date, the Cleric goes on to lay all the ills that have befallen Islamic countries post-9/11 squarely on Usama Bin Laden’s shoulders. It’s heartening that someone in the Islamic world who is certainly not friendly to the US sees the true unholy evil that Al Qaeda inspires.

It’s also clear that Bin Laden has strayed far from his roots and home, and now panders to the western press, pimping phrases suitable for a politician running for office in New York.