Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler Taliban, Vacation in Iraq and Get Arrested in Iran

Alexandros Petersen
Daniel Larson
Amotz Asa-El
Elliot Abrams

"When he's not arresting you, Sergeant Crowley is a really likable guy." - Henry Louis Gates

"Tomorrow morning will heretofore be known as Racial Harmony Hangover Day." - Jimmy Kimmel

The Pakistan Supreme Court today issued a verdict, as reported by the NY Times: "The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the emergency rule briefly imposed by former President Pervez Musharraf two years ago was illegal and unconstitutional.

In a widely anticipated verdict, a 14-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, declared null and void all acts taken by Mr. Musharraf during the emergency period, declared from Nov. 3 to Dec. 15, 2007."
Of course, they waited two years after Mr Musharraf had retired and said nothing about the original military coup that took place in 2002. Which illustrates the problem with making laws, that they are usually too little too late, but good for Pakistan for trying to avoid future dictators... Here in the US, all laws made should have a sunset clause of 20 years...

The latest US propaganda in Afghanistan is that the Taliban has killed more civilians than we have, which is a good tactic. It proves that the current strategies are working, even if July was high in casualties. In fact, the Pashtun Talibans are trying to copy out tactics and have created a manual of conduct that they hve given to their soldiers and leaked to the populace, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor: "US commanders in Afghanistan aren't the only ones worried that civilian deaths are costing them hearts and minds. The Taliban, which has planted bombs in schools and occasionally burned its opponents alive, has put out a new code of conduct for militants that appears to be an attempt to project a softer image to the Afghan people.

The little blue booklet, "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's Rules for Mujahideen," is sort of a Scouts codee for the Taliban. Approved by Mullah Omar, titular head of the Afghan Taliban. Mujahideen or "holy warriors" are urged not to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity and to always behave "properly" with civilians. Suicide-bombing should only be used on high-value targets, and avoiding civilian casualties is paramount, the booklet says.

"Every member of the Mujahideen must do their best to avoid civilian deaths, civilian injuries and damage to civilian property. Great care must be taken," the booklet urges Taliban fighters. "Suicide attacks should only be used on high and important targets. A brave son of Islam should not be used for lower and useless targets." Maybe they will also stop bombing schools and throwing acid on women's faces and beheading village elders who oppose them, a kinder, gentler Taliban...

The Denver Post reports that three American tourists were arrested yesterday for crossing the border from Iraq into Iran at a popular hiking spot that contains a waterfall: "Iran state TV confirmed Saturday that it has detained three Americans who crossed the border from northern Iraq, saying they failed to heed warnings from Iranian guards.
Kurdish officials from northern Iraq said the three—two men and a woman—were tourists who had mistakenly crossed into Iranian territory Friday while hiking in a mountainous area near the resort town of Ahmed Awaa.

"The Iranians said they have arrested them because they entered their land without legal permission," said Qubad Talabani, the Kurdish regional government's envoy to Washington.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Saturday that Washington had asked the Swiss, who represent U.S. interests in Tehran, "to confirm these reports with Iranian authorities and, if true, to seek consular access" to the detained Americans."

Wow.I wonder what travel package these guys purchased. Or is there an underground group of people who like to travel to dangerous places for the thrill? In fact, Kurdistan has been promoting itself as a tourist destination, with a commercial aired on CNN and several positive reviews on travel websites: "Remarked one Kurdistan official, “Historically (tourism) has been one of our strengths. For the adventure tourist there is rock climbing and river rafting. Great prophets are buried there. There are Roman ruins.” The deluxe package allows you to spend time in an Iranian jail...

CQ Politics has a story about Colorado's Jared Polis and his fundraising efforts over the year: "Colorado Rep. Jared Polis has a lot of fundraising clout for a guy with a mere seven months of House service.

The Jared Polis Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee the wealthy freshman congressman organized in May, donated $139,500 in late June to 31 Democratic campaign committees, according to a filing Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

The largest chunk of funds, $30,000, went to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of House Democrats that will be defending the party's 256-178 majority in the 2010 elections."
Dude, ever think of donating to small, worthy blogs written from Colorado?

late night jokes:

"They had the big beer summit earlier tonight at the White House. President Obama had a beer with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and the policeman who arrested him. The meeting got off to a rough start when a neighbor called the police to say Gates was breaking into the White House." --Conan O'Brien

"This is true, though. This is Obama's 12th appearance on the cover of Time magazine. And this beats President Bush's record of 11 appearances on the cover of Mad magazine." --Conan O'Brien

"The schedule for next year's Iowa caucuses has been announced. And Jewish voters are upset because the caucus is being held on Saturday, which means they can't attend. This could reduce the number of voters in the Iowa caucus by almost two." --Conan O'Brien

"Earlier this week -- this is weird, I just found out about this -- Shaquille O'Neal stopped by the White House unannounced to see President Obama, but a Secret Service agent turned him away. That really happened. The agent told Shaq to make an appointment and to someday make a free throw." --Conan O'Brien

"Interesting announcement just came out. Next month, a 95-year-old Crow Indian chief will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. When asked about it, the chief said, 'Great, that should pretty much make up for everything.'" --Conan O'Brien

"Sarah Palin announced she's leaving as governor of Alaska and everybody said 'Well, what is she going to do?' She wants to host a radio show, like a daily talk show. And of course, with that, she's going to have to tell people when she's winking." --David Letterman

"I wonder if somebody like Bush had invited Saddam Hussein over to the White House, if we could have just settled that whole thing without all the bloodshed and violence." --David Letterman

"President Obama held his first beer summit at the White House today. Obama wanted Bud Light, Crowley wanted Blue Moon, Gates wanted a Red Stripe, and Joe Biden wanted whatever fits in his beer helmet." --Jimmy Fallon

"The beer summit was good. But we all know that the best stuff goes down at the after summit." --Jimmy Fallon

"Obama wants to make this a regular thing. He's already invited Ahmadinejad over for Appletinis." --Jimmy Fallon

"Yesterday, Vice President, Joe Biden held a series of closed door meetings. Not because they were secret. He just couldn't figure out how to open the door." --Jimmy Fallon

"And I guess next week, Obama is going sit down with Jon and Kate to see if he can't patch that up too." --Jimmy Kimmel

Letterman's Top Ten Things Overheard At The White House Beer Summit

10. "Don't worry, Biden will clean up the empties"
9. "Guys stop me if I try to drunk dial Nancy Pelosi"
8. "Smoking, drinking. Suddenly our president is Artie Lange"
7. "Let's call Limbaugh and take this party to the next level"
6. "I feel dizzy and confused — just like Bush! Hi-yoo!"
5. "I don't want to freak anybody out, but I just saw Nixon walking down the hall"
4. "Tell Geithner to put his shirt on"
3. "Sen. Larry Craig asked if he could have his beer brought to the men's room"
2. "You guys wanna see where Clinton used to get freaky?"
1. "Excuse me while I take a presidential leak"

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