Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting Syrias, Dumping Prisoners in Iraq, Mexican Drug and Oil Cartels

Kathleen Parker
Ria Misra
Nick Horne

"Just don’t ask me to sing, that’s all I ask." - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, after being introduced as a "rock star."
"This is why politics is more interesting on the weekend." - Donna Brazile

General Stanley McChrystal gave an interview to al Jazeera this weekend, and General David Petraeus gave an interview to the Arabian news network of al Arabia, and gave them some interesting information that hasn't been printed yet in the Western press: "The general stated that the U.S. is providing security support to Yemen within the framework of military cooperation provided by Washington to its allies in the region. He emphasized that the U.S. ships found in Yemen waters are not only there for monitoring but for also for hindering the flow of arms to Houthi rebels.

Petraeus added that he has asked Syria to exert greater effort to prevent terrorist infiltrators from passing through its territory into Iraq. He revealed that the recent drop in the number of infiltrators from 110 to less than 10 per month was due to al-Qaeda movement restrictions and not because of Syrian efforts.

Petraeus also revealed that officials from the Iraq's former regime are currently n Syria, including Izzat al-Douri, Saddam Hussein's former vice president. The officials, he said, are living in Syria with complete freedom and some even own satellite channels. The general emphasized that this has created tension between Iraq and Syria. He said Iraqis hope that Damascus will limit the activities of Saddam Hussein's remaining supporters who are now calling for a change in Iraq's new regime."

Syria is considered to be an ally of Iran, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has been trying to get into the country to inspect certain sites for nuclear proliferation. It tried right after it went into Iran for inspections, but so far Syria has been stone-walling. Syria has been under suspicion ever since Israel bombed a suspected nuclear plant two years ago, and inspectors were able to get in afterwards, and found traces of uranium. Syria's response has been: "Uranium? Gosh, must have been left over from the munitions the Israelis used to bomb our totally non-nuclear related buildings, the Syrians replied. After the IAEA smacked down that claim and demanded further access, the Syrian government was all, hey, you can’t go there, those are closed military sites!

Inspectors also found suspect uranium particles in samples taken at Syria’s Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus. Earlier this month, Syria tried to explain that away, saying they might have come from indigenous uranium yellowcake or a (d’oh!) previously undeclared supply of uranyl nitrate. That, too, failed to convince the watchdog agency."

Because Israel was successful two years ago eliminating what it considered a nuclear threat with Syria, it forms the basis of Israel's threat to do the same to Iran. It will only happen with the implicit consent of the US and other countries like Saudi Arabia... Iran has finally agreed somewhat to sending out its uranium in trade for enriched fuel for electricity. But it wants to only send out 1/3 of its supply, gradually trading more over the next few years. Maybe it has other, more pressing problems on its mind...

"The Americans send those they want dead to extremist camps,"

Since September, the US military has been dumping thousands of Iraqis they had been holding in detention camps back out on the streets. The Iraqi government said that some who had been released were behind the latest horrible bombing, and is one reason a pissed President Malicki made Robert Gates wait to see him. But there are also claims that the camps served as al Qaeda training centers, because of slack observation and probably because the guards only spoke English. One former detainee claimed: "Adel Jasim Mohammed, a former detainee of Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr, said that US officials did nothing to stop radicals from indoctrinating young detainees at the camp.

"Extremists had freedom to educate the young detainees. I saw them giving courses using classroom boards on how to use explosives, weapons and how to become suicide bombers," Mohammed said."For the Americans we felt it was normal. They did not stop them [the radicals]." Adel, who was held for four years without charge at Camp Bucca, said that extremists were allowed to speak freely to fellow inmates."

The US military response was, of course, denial: "The US military denies that moderates were radicalised in the camp, which has held thousands of Iraqis since it was opened in 2003 and shut down in September. "When we came up with a model of detainee housing in which we separated individuals by tens – and they had no other access to anybody else – they became tremendously frustrated," said General David Quantock, the deputy commanding general of detainee operations for the Multi-National Force in Iraq. 

US military statistics say that four percent of the 100,000 people held in different prisons over the years returned to violence." Boy, I'd love to know how they tracked those 100,000 people, it might give new meaning to the phrase "Big Brother." So, to you, our Iraqi brethren, think of these new incidents of bombing aimed at your government, as gifts we give to you - new citizens out just in time to vote in the next election in March. Good luck, I think you'll need it...

i'd like to fill it with regular and some crystal meth, please...

It looks like the Mexican government is losing the war against the drug cartels. Not only has a fraction of US aid that was pledged given to the them, but for the past two years the cartels have been bleeding the government dry, this time by stealing oil: "Drug traffickers employing high-tech drills, miles of rubber hose and a fleet of stolen tanker trucks have siphoned more than $1 billion worth of oil from Mexico's pipelines over the past two years, in a vast and audacious conspiracy that is bleeding the national treasury, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials and the state-run oil company.

Using sophisticated smuggling networks, the traffickers have transported a portion of the pilfered petroleum across the border to sell to U.S. companies, some of which knew that it was stolen, according to court documents and interviews with American officials involved in an expanding investigation of oil services firms in Texas.

It's estimated that the drug wars have cost the lives of over 16,000 people in the last three years, and it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair the oil pipelines and defend them from future incursions. The cartels make billions more from smuggling drugs, and it doesn't happen by sending small amounts across the borders in cars and knapsacks. They send large cargo ships containing tons at a time, as well as constantly burrowing tunnels under the border. Hmmm, maybe the Palestinian tunnel smugglers have obtained the low-tech engineering of their tunnels from the Mexican cartels?

So, it looks like President Obama may have to tackle more than an immigration problem this next year; he may have to deal with a failed country and we might have to take over the place. Since we have established medical marijuana as a positive influence, I'm sure that the Mexican cartels will be opening up their own soon, at a city near you, might even be able to pick up an ounce when you fill up your next tank of gas... at least in Texas.

late night political jokes:

"Not such a great day for the health care reform. The so-called public option died on the Senate floor today. It could have survived, but apparently it had a pre-existing condition." –Craig Ferguson

"It's a great day for President Barack Obama. He accepted a Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. I don't want to say this Obama love is out of control, but his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize just won a Pulitzer Prize, and his overall performance has just won an Oscar." –Craig Ferguson

"There was a lot of controversy for President Obama in Norway, because apparently, he snubbed the Norwegian royal family. He snubbed them by canceling lunch with them. And I'm like, well don't be silly, Norwegian royal family. Even if the president doesn't invite you, just show up and crash the party. That's how we do it in America.'" –Craig Ferguson

"The peace prize was handed out in Oslo, Norway, but Oslo's been in news this week because of that big swirly thing in the sky over Oslo. Wait! Wait! Strange starlike object over Oslo, right before Obama arrives, a gift of a gold medal given by a group of wise men. Nah. No. Even MSNBC are going, 'Nah, you took it too far.'" –Craig Ferguson

"Anyway, some people say that the light was a UFO coming to welcome Obama, which is of course ridiculous. Because if it was really a UFO, they would take Joe Biden back to his home planet. 'Come on, Joe, you've bothered these people long enough. Let's go and embarrass the people of Pluto."' –Craig Ferguson

"It sure is cold. So cold that Osama bin Laden was seen hiding in the border region between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale." –David Letterman

"Big day for President Obama. He accepted his Nobel Prize today and then got right back to the business of running two wars." –David Letterman

"Big day for President Obama. During his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Norway, Obama stated, 'Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.' Obama got those words from his new speechwriter, Ken Hallmark." –Jimmy Fallon

"The chairman of the Nobel committee remarked that Obama's leadership is a 'call to action,' not to be confused with Bill Clinton's leadership, which was a call to get action." –Jimmy Fallon

"The elementary school in Indonesia where President Obama went as a child, they just unveiled a statue of him as a 10-year-old. It's very realistic. In fact, today Biden spent, like, 20 minutes talking to it." –Jimmy Fallon

"The sculptor said that he worked on it for, like, two months, but after he finished the ears, the rest took, like, five minutes." –Jimmy Fallon

"Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed today we are expected to lose $30 billion from our investment in the auto industry, to which Bernie Madoff goes, 'Hey, I could have done better than that.'" –Jay Leno

"You know, a lot of people don't understand why President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Well, you know something? Look around you. Our factories, peaceful. I went to the mall this week, peaceful. They had an open house near my house, not one person came in. It's a peaceful economy here." –Jay Leno

"Well, according to Time magazine, even though college degrees costs more today, they're worth less in the job market, which is hard to believe, isn't it? There's a job market?" –Jay Leno

"Senate Democrats proposed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will provide funding for government agencies, foreign aid, and local construction projects. And also, since it's so close to Christmas, a pony!" –Conan O'Brien

"According to a new poll that just came out, 44 percent of Americans wish President Bush were back in office. However it's only 20 percent if you exclude comedy writers." –Conan O'Brien

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