Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clinton, McCain, Obama joint statement on Darfur

Over here but reprinted below via Harry's Place.
As we campaign for President of the United States over the next several months, we expect there to be significant focus on the many differences between us. After all, elections are about choices in a free society. We have had a spirited contest so far and fully expect a robust debate about issues foreign and domestic right up to Election Day.

As we engage in this process, we are fully aware that friend and foe around the globe are watching and sometimes reacting based on their own analysis of the latest developments in the campaign.

It is with this awareness that we are taking the uncommon step of issuing a joint statement about an issue.

After more than five years of genocide, the Sudanese government and its proxies continue to commit atrocities against civilians in Darfur. This is unacceptable to the American people and to the world community.

We deplore all violence against the people of Darfur. There can be no doubt that the Sudanese government is chiefly responsible for the violence and is able to end it. We condemn the Sudanese government’s consistent efforts to undermine peace and security, including its repeated attacks against its own people and the multiple barriers it has put up to the swift and effective deployment of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force. We further condemn the Sudanese government’s refusal to adhere to the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the conflict in southern Sudan.

Today, we wish to make clear to the Sudanese government that on this moral issue of tremendous importance, there is no divide between us. We stand united and demand that the genocide and violence in Darfur be brought to an end and that the CPA be fully implemented. Even as we campaign for the presidency, we will use our standing as Senators to press for the steps needed to ensure that the United States honors, in practice and in deed, its commitment to the cause of peace and protection of Darfur’s innocent citizenry. We will continue to keep a close watch on events in Sudan and speak out for its marginalized peoples. It would be a huge mistake for the Khartoum regime to think that it will benefit by running out the clock on the Bush Administration. If peace and security for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, we pledge that the next Administration will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Aaidh al-Qarni: Sectarianism is Destroying the Islamic Nation

Aaidh al-Qarni, author of Don't Be Sad, writes Sectarianism is Destroying the Islamic Nation in Asharq Al-Awsat today.
We have become preoccupied with our own selves and we are fighting one another. Production, invention, creativity, and manufacture have been disrupted in our lives. Others have sent their scientists to explore outer space and the wonders of this universe. They are inventing, exploring, analyzing, and reaching conclusions. Some have reached Mercury, Mars, and other planets; some have probed oceans' depths; and others have examined the deeper soil depths. Their factories are operating and their lives are a constant work in progress. In the meantime, many of us are either planning or working toward inflicting harm on their Muslim brothers, in light of the absence of the knowledgeable and the well advised. As a result, the caravan is being led by inexperienced young men with ill dreams, who would issue the fatwas of destruction and killing as if they were issuing a fatwa on obligatory charity in Ramadan, using a tooth-cleanser, and other minor issues.

Is it not time for the rational from each sect to make things right, stand as one to rectify the nation's situation, take the initiative, and save the people and the country from the inflaming sedition and the sweeping deluge?
If only the rational from each sect could expand the caravan to include all human kind.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Evelyn Pringle on Obama's Iraq connections

Just excellent stuff on Obama's connections to Alsammarae and corruption in Iraq reconstruction. Thankyou Evelyn and B Merry over at Rezko Watch.

Also part two on operations board games. The Illinois Combine's* long arm reaching out for Obama.

* Kass turned to former Illinois U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald for wisdom:

"What do you call that Illinois political class that's not committed to any party, they simply want to make money off the taxpayers?" Fitzgerald said. "You know what to call them."


"The Illinois Combine," Fitzgerald said. "The bipartisan Illinois political combine. And all these guys being mentioned, they're part of it."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ban on sex for soldiers in Afghanistan is lifted ... sort of

From Stars and Stripes...
General Order No. 1 outlines a number of prohibited activities and standards of conduct for U.S. troops and civilians working for the military in Afghanistan. Previously, under the regulation, sexual relations and "intimate behavior" between men and women not married to each other were a strict no-no. The regulation also barred members of the opposite sex from going into each other’s living quarters unless they were married to each other.

But the latest version of General Order No. 1 for Afghanistan, which Schloesser signed April 19, eases those restrictions.

The new regulation warns that sex in a combat zone "can have an adverse impact on unit cohesion, morale, good order and discipline."

But sexual relations and physical intimacy between men and women not married to each other are no longer banned outright. They’re only "highly discouraged," and that’s as long as they’re "not otherwise prohibited" by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to the new order.
One problem of having so few Americans serve, is few Americans understand the UCMJ and how regulated your life is in the military. Note this applies to contractors too...

I didn't have a problem with it either. My combat-stress refresher, offered when things started getting hot in the IZ, was what you do in Baghdad comes home with you from Baghdad; so don't sleep with your battle buddy to relieve stress. It will just make your life more complicated.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sistani to Hayder Al-Khoi: Politics is no good, politics killed your father and it is going to kill you

Hayder Al-Khoei writes Sistani Becomes Militant after the flurry of Fatwas.
Sistani constantly dodges in and out of politics (somewhat reluctantly) because he feels forced to act in the best interest of Iraq (e.g calls for elections). Sistani absolutely loathes politics, in London, when he asked me what I plan on studying I said "Politics", he shock his head in dismay and said "Politics is no good, politics killed your father and it is going to kill you".
...but read the whole link.

Previous post: Gateway Pundit: Busted!!... Iraqi Press Denies AP Report On Ayatollah Sistani

Update: Is Sistani Promoting Attacks on Coalition Forces? by Bill Roggio and ditto on this: With special thanks to IraqSlogger's Eason Jordan for making the full article viewable to non-subscribers.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Day Trip to Sadr City

A great post by Bill working as an embed in Sadr City.

He must have been headed into Iraq the same day I was leaving because he has a photo of the welcome desk for the 4th World Islamic Economic Summit at the Kuwait aiport.

The white shirts really struck me after all the sandstorms getting from Baghdad to Kuwait.

I didn't take a pic but ended up just taking one of the ad for Nathan's Hot Dogs not too far from where these folks had their desk set up.

Also, must read Bill Roggio: Sadrist bloc buckles, agrees to let Iraqi Army in Sadr City

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Women’s rights as stated in the Koran: Maryam Namazie v Benazir Bhutto

AAFAQ pits Namazie v Bhutto on Islam and Women's rights. Namazie threw this rock,
These 'Islamic feminist' interpretations are an insult to our intellect and cannot be taken seriously. These are mere justifications for people who want to legitimize their beliefs and religion or reactionary states and movements with a vested interest in maintaining Islamic rules and laws. They apologize because even they don't want to associate with the outrages committed by Islam throughout the world. Nothing can hide the fact that Islam, like other religions, is anti-woman and antithetical to women's rights and autonomy.
I don't think that's going to sell. It's going to take practical work like this in the middle east.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stuck at BIAP in a sand storm

Troops walking to chow hall at Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). We were stuck there for two days waiting out a sand storm. A Danish officer snoozing. His colleague suggested I label the photo "a homeless person at BIAP".

The Fighting Catfish - Operation Iraqi Freedom:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death...

Decorated T-wall at exit from Union III, International Zone, Baghdad.

Murals: Saddam's Palace

Scuds launched towards Jerusalem. Saddam would sit in front of this mural and receive guests. It's now used by the Special IG for Iraq Reconstruction.