“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Sunday, December 31, 2006

12/31 Morning Report

Friday’s announcement that the Taleban said, "N0" to cross border talks likely came as no surprise to anyone.

”No Muslim will participate in something... created by the aggressors and puppets," he (fugitive Taleban leader Mullah Omar) said.
Holding the traditional line that no one outside of the Taleban—or other approved Islamists—shall decide what is right, Omar condemned the region to more violence and bloodshed.
(…what a New Year’s gift to the war torn region…and families…)

Of course, a discussion of the Taleban and al-Qaeda eventually leads to Iraq. I liked this post, and the links, on ”escalation”. Personally, I think the idea of massive US troop build-ups (aka Vietnamization) is the wrong way to go. The Iraqis must understand they have to step up to the plate. Beyond that, I think the Op-For gang is right on target with this assessment.
(…you should also check out this report from Michael Yon…)

The good news from the Middle East this morning? Claiming a change in the Israeli position, Hamas says they may free the hostage Israeli soldier. The bad news? The Israelis still have to give up 1,000 prisoners—mostly terrorists.
(…as much as I would love to see a missing man come home…that kind of blackmail isn’t worth paying…the long term price is worse than getting one man back…I’m just saying…)

Then, there was this announcement from the Prime Minister of Somalia:
he suspects in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa are sheltering in the stronghold of his country's militant Islamic movement.
"If we capture them alive we will hand them over to the United States," Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi told The Associated Press.
I have to ask: is any one surprised by the announcement of the terrorists’ where abouts? And that begs another question: does anyone really buy the claim by Islamist militants in Somalia that they are not tied to al-Qaeda? It is, after all, one of the early building bases for Osama bin Laden’s group.
(…but the world will let these terrorist supporters and destroyers of their own country have “delegates” at peace talks…giving them official recognition and status…God help us…PLEASE!!!...)

Meanwhile, in the Far East,
China has announced plans to upgrade its military, highlighting its dispute with Taiwan as one of several regional security threats.
And, again no surprises from the BBC, it’s all because of America’s support of Japan and Taiwan—as well as the situation with North Korea.
(…imagine…a repressive government not happy with one that supports it’s regional rivals…hhhmmm…who would have thunk it…)

Speaking of US politics, Reuters asked a tough question: Will the Democratic Congress actually deliver anything? The big nugget of truth was this:
"House Democrats have complained for the last 12 years that they have been shut out of the legislative process," said Paul Miller, a veteran Capitol Hill lobbyist. "I find it hard to believe that most Democrats are now going to let bygones be bygones. It may be payback time."
(…we’ll just have to see how much blood the Dems actually go after…personally, I suspect it will be a lot less than many over at Kos are screaming for…)

Finally, In yesterday’s news, I was remiss to give remembrance to a fallen soldier. The BBC announced:
The British soldier killed by a bomb in Iraq has been named as Sgt Graham Hesketh by the Ministry of Defence.
The 35-year-old soldier, from the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, was killed while taking part in a routine patrol in Basra City.
Regardless of the nationality, we at our house remember your cry—the cry of all fallen warriors:
"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today."
(--The Kohima Epitaph--)
We remember what you have given, Sgt. Hesketh. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your family more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.