discarded lies: friday, february 23, 2018 4:02 pm zst
a twirl in life
daily archive: 12/16/2004
evariste in Discarded Lies:
WWII Carrier, USS Intrepid, To Be Repurposed As Floating Anti-Terror Command Post
The FBI turned the defunct WWII aircraft carrier USS Intrepid into a temporary command center after the 9/11 attacks; now it's going to be rehabilitated and retrofitted to fill that role in case of any future attacks.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Dedication Ceremonies UNRWA Style
The U.N. is building new homes in Jenin for Palestinian families whose houses were destroyed by the IDF. How nice of them. Of course they held a dedication ceremony to announce the good deed and all the beautiful people showed up.
Zubeidi, West Bank head of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent group linked to the ruling Fatah party, strode to the gate of the compound housing U.N. agency offices, passing signs on a fence showing the silhouette of a gun with a red line through it.

After a brief argument with a guard, he checked in his M-16 assault rifle with telescopic sight and walked in — a pistol clearly visible on his hip.

"Of course I don't condone it, but it's a fact of life," UNRWA head Peter Hansen told The Associated Press, referring to the violation of the no-arms rule. "Look around the camp. We can't stop it — we don't have guns."
Yeah, hmm...good point. Maybe Mr Hansen can start a UNRWA program specifically for terrorists. Something like "Hugs Not Guns" or "Give Me Your Gun Because I'm The U.N. and I Command You" or perhaps "Oh, look! Balloons!"
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A World of Promise
In my opinion, "freedom" is the most precious word in any language.
And right there is the basic remedy for the miseries of the Middle East. There has been plenty of debate about the humiliations of the Muslim world, and how to redress or contain the rage and hate this breeds. There have been endless disquisitions on the complicated politics, the complex cultural and religious divides, and the--how did Mr. Rybachuk put it?--the idiocy, romanticism and naiveté of the idea, put forward as policy by President Bush, that living under the rule of some of the world's most corrupt thugs are vast silent majorities who given any room to maneuver would prefer to create free societies.

The bottom line is simple, and universal. Freedom brings with it a degree of dignity that repression can never confer. No amount of handouts from the likes of the Saudi royals, or Libya's terrorist tycoon, Moammar Gadhafi, or United Nations-sanctioned rations under a Saddam Hussein, can make up for the self-respect that comes with the self-determination of free people.
Never Say Never

That's what needs to happen. Here's what's most likely to happen:
Instead of American-style elections with national campaigns, he envisions something more limited and more complex: a federal system with strong regional governments under an indirectly elected central government that would share power with the leader of a tribal hierarchy who would eventually inherit the authority now held by his father.

When the discussion turns to the status quo at home, though, Qaddafi begins to sound out of touch. "We don't have an opposition - there is no opposition," he said, asserting that there were "just five people" seriously opposed to the current government and that all of them were in the United States.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
NATO's Secret Armies
This is fascinating...was NATO involved in terrorism in Western Europe as part of the Cold War?

In Italy, on 3 August 1990, then-prime minister Giulio Andreotti confirmed the existence of a secret army code-named “Gladio? - the Latin word for “sword? - within the state. His testimony before the Senate subcommittee investigating terrorism in Italy sent shockwaves through the Italian parliament and the public, as speculation arose that the secret army had possibly manipulated Italian politics through acts of terrorism. Andreotti revealed that the secret Gladio army had been hidden within the Defense Ministry as a subsection of the military secret service, SISMI.
It gets worse...
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
The Wages Of Assad's Bad Faith Are Due
An interesting article in Ma'ariv explores why America is probably going to have to take military action against Syria...

Washington is reassessing its policy towards Syria, in light of increasing evidence that President Assad has no intention of keeping his promises to the US to stop cooperating with the Iraqi Sunni insurgency.

A senior intelligence source has confirmed that the administration is currently conducting discussions over Syria at senior levels. These discussions are not only limited to the policy itself, but include possible operational scenarios in the event it is decided to change US policy.
I will derive much satisfaction if the next thug we depose is Bashar Assad.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Weapons of Choice
Hamas complains about Islamic Jihad's satellite TV stations and big Web sites. I think the idea of using Web sites as weapons is brilliant. I can take on Thousand Sons in a heartbeat: "Lay down and die Thousand Sons, my Web site is bigger than yours!" Or I can take on my worst adversary, John B: "John, my Web site is big. How big is your Web site? Heh. Kneel and kiss my feet, Johnny!"

I like this, I can see the benefits.

In other related news, Hamas is concerned that Islamic Jihad may be controlling the media thereby giving The Juice a break for a month or two.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Bruce Schneier On Israeli Airport Interviews
I found this a very interesting look at the dynamics of counterterrorist human intelligence.

In both Secrets and Lies and Beyond Fear, I discuss a key difference between attackers and defenders: the ability to concentrate resources. The defender must defend against all possible attacks, while the attacker can concentrate his forces on one particular avenue of attack. This precept is fundamental to a lot of security, and can be seen very clearly in counterterrorism. A country is in the position of the interior; it must defend itself against all possible terrorist attacks: airplane terrorism, chemical bombs, threats at the ports, threats through the mails, lone lunatics with automatic weapons, assassinations, etc, etc, etc. The terrorist just needs to find one weak spot in the defenses, and exploit that. This concentration versus diffusion of resources is one reason why the defender's job is so much harder than the attackers.

This same principle guides security questioning at the Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. In this example, the attacker is the security screener and the defender is the terrorist. (It's important to remember that "attacker" and "defender" are not moral labels, but tactical ones. Sometimes the defenders are the good guys and the attackers are the bad guys. In this case, the bad guy is trying to defend his cover story against the good guy who is attacking it.)

Security is impressively tight at the airport, and includes a potentially lengthy interview by a trained security screener. The screener asks each passenger questions, trying to determine if he's a security risk. But instead of asking different questions -- where do you live, what do you do for a living, where were you born -- the screener asks questions that follow a storyline: "Where are you going? Who do you know there? How did you meet him? What were you doing there?" And so on.

See the ability to concentrate resources? The defender -- the terrorist trying to sneak aboard the airplane -- needs a cover story sufficiently broad to be able to respond to any line of questioning. So he might memorize the answers to several hundred questions. The attacker -- the security screener -- could ask questions scattershot, but instead concentrates his questioning along one particular line. The theory is that eventually the defender will reach the end of his memorized story, and that the attacker will then notice the subtle changes in the defender as he starts to make up answers.
Follow the link and read the comments, too.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
You Have Sacrificed Lebanon
Former Lebanese President Elyas Lihrawi argues with the leader of the organization that turned the Arab Switzerland into a sewer, Fatah...

The following are excerpts from an argument between Fatah Leader Farouq Al-Qaddumi and Former Lebanese President Elias Al-Hrawi:

Al-Hrawi: When Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat], may he rest in peace, mercy upon those who have passed away,was asked [in 1993]: "You think you can rule the West Bank and Gaza?" He answered: "Someone who could rule Lebanon for 15 years can rule Gaza and the West Bank."

When things happened between you and the Jordanian Kingdom, in Black September, where did you go? You came to Lebanon, which received you with open arms just as it took in the Palestinian refugees in 1948. But you came here in accordance with the Cairo Treaty. This treaty was nullified by the parliament, but you have kept your weapons to this day - even if only light arms - within the refugee camps. These, instead of refugee camps, have turned into independent mini-states. Anyone who commits a crime outside escapes to the camp, where he is protected by the various Palestinian organizations. I wish it were only Fatah. In the 'Ein Al-Hilweh camp, all the Palestinian gangs are present.

By Allah, tell me: How was Lebanon united? It was united when we were all united, but it was you who divided it. I couldn't believe the Israelis would be received with rice when they entered Lebanon, by people who only wanted to be free of the acts committed by the Palestinians in South Lebanon.

We want to be with the Palestinian people, and to sacrifice whatever is necessary for it. But you have sacrificed Lebanon before sacrificing yourselves.

Al-Qaddumi: We have been under siege for 40 years. Unfortunately, the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are under siege. There are 50 types of jobs forbidden to Palestinians. Lebanon is the only country to do this. At the same time you say: work - not for the Palestinian. Only weapons! Did the weapons harm you? I don't think so.

You have had and continue to have disputed in Lebanon. Our mistake was to intervene in these disputes, and I admit this was a mistake. But you are divided among you. I don't want to go on, because I have a lot to say about our experience with the Arab countries.
Kaddumi's bluster is rather weak.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Democracy and Islam
I had a vague idea where Mali was...(all right, I'm lying, I had no idea where Mali was. I thought it was an island. But I was probably thinking of Bali. Is Bali an island? And where is Bali? Oh, who cares, read this. It's one more example of Wahhabism vs. Islam.)
Mali is a successful, if unlikely, democracy. A nation racked by illiteracy and poverty, it also is one of the few places on Earth where Islam and democracy prosper peacefully. It has been that way since the country's first truly democratic elections in 1992. Huddleston's job is to see that it stays that way, mainly by helping moderate Muslims counter Islamic extremists who have turned Mali's far northern reaches into the front lines of the newest and least-known theater in the global war against terrorism and Islamic extremism.
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