“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”

Thursday, May 24, 2007

05/24 Morning Report

Well, what do you know! Bin Laden and Iraq were connected after all. Can I be not surprised? I have always found it a bit hard to believe that al-Qaeda could get so well entrenched so quickly without having some kind of network in place. And, I will grant it could be done using appropriate exploitation of local discontent. But, the level of organization that existed when it announced it’s “official” presence far exceeded that, in my opinion.
(…before you ask…no I can’t prove that…it’s just what I believe…)

On the subject of the war in Iraq, what were insurgents doing with large sums of Iranian cash? Given the availability of money in just about any currency, why would terrorists want Iranian money? I only have two questions, really. How much influence and power is being bought with it? And by who? I know there will lots of accusations about terrorists using it to buy Iranian arms. And, I am quite sure some of that is going on. There is already a good bit of evidence that Iranian weapons and technology are being used by the terrorists and insurgents. But, personally, I think Iran would be more interested in getting foreign currencies for the exchange rates, and the influence that could generate on foreign governments. But, again, that’s my opinion.

So, I guess it should come as no surprise that Iran is continuing to UN nuclear requirements. Two telling statements about where things stand were:

"There are no obstacles to lawful and legal IAEA inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities," said Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of Iran's atomic energy organisation.
In March, the UN Security Council imposed a second round of sanctions on Iran for failing to suspend uranium enrichment, prompting Tehran to limit its co-operation.
My summation of Iranian actions would be something like, ”we are cooperating as long as you don’t interfere and let us do what we want.” It comes on the heels of this announcement on Tuesday:
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that Iran has solved its technical problems and is now capable of making fuel suitable for nuclear reactors…The findings come after a short-notice inspection by the agency at Iran's main nuclear facility at Natanz on Sunday.
Of course, the UN being the UN is doing nothing but talk. In this case, that’s probably a good thing. At this point in time, I doubt enough soldiers could be brought together in a coalition strong enough to take on AND defeat Iran. Unfortunately, it also means it will be that much harder to accomplish when (…yes…I said when, not if…) the fight actually happens.

And, when the whole thing blows up, should we be surprised to find Muslims in America turning to some sort of violence in the defense of their faith? Well, it depends on what the definition of defending their faith is, at the bottom line. And, it will depend on who you talk to. NPR had a good discussion of the Pew Research survey that’s causing so much concern. And, the Daily Banter had a good discussion of what could be some statistical flaws in the research.
(…personally, I think there will be a lot of it going on…just like it is in Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Gaza, and points European…I think America will se it as well…)

Meanwhile, catching up, the follwing two reports of sad news come from Any Soldier:
Spc. Kyle A. Little, age 20, of West Boylston, MA, died May 8 in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an IED detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

Lance Cpl. Jeffrey D. Walker, age 21, of Macon, Ga., died May 14 while conducting combat operations in al-Anbar province, iraq. He was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, NC.
At our house we remember your cry—the cry of all warriors:
"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today."
--The Kohima Epitaph--
We remember what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your families more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.