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Friday, February 29, 2008

Hizbullah Slams Deployment of US Warships off Lebanon Coast

Friday, February 29, 2008
DailyStar.com brings us this news article today and it starts off like this...
A US deployment of warships off the coast of Lebanon further sharpened tensions in the crisis-plagued country on Friday, as Hizbullah condemned the move and the Lebanese government said it did not ask for the ships to be sent. Hizbullah on Friday denounced Washington's dispatch of the USS Cole and two other vessels to waters off Lebanon as military interference... Hizbullah's condemnation came as pro-government newspapers in Beirut said the deployment was a clear signal to Syria, which is accused by the ruling coalition of blocking a presidential vote...
Read the rest HERE

* FT.com has this report...
Hizbollah Accuses US Of Intimidation Over Vessels Deployed In Eastern Mediterranean

* naharnet.com reports...

Saniora: No Foreign Warships in Lebanon's Territorial Waters
USS COLE photo from Navy.mil website

1- Israel’s Battle for Peace - Prewar Updates 2008

Israel’s Battle for Peace
Prewar Updates: Israel/Gaza Conflict
Friday, February 29, 2008

..
YNETNews.com has this report today about some tough rhetoric coming from Defense Minister Ehud Barak. It goes in part like this... Hamas is to blame for the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip and the organization "will bear the consequences," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during a visit to Ashkelon Friday, a day after a massive rocket barrage hit the southern city... "An Israeli response is required and forthcoming," he said, adding that "the government will make every effort to prevent additional rocket attacks on Ashkelon."...
Read this report in full
HERE

* BBC News website has this take today...
Matan Vilnai said Palestinians risked a "shoah", the Hebrew word for a big disaster - and for the Nazi Holocaust... Mr. Vilnai said Israel would use all its might to defend itself, after rockets hit the city of Ashkelon, 10km (six miles) from Gaza... Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said it was ready for a large-scale Israeli attack... Israeli air strikes have killed about 30 Palestinians in the past three days...
Read this article in full at link below...
Israel warns of invasion of Gaza

* IMEMC.org brings us their take on the news...
This Week In Palestine – week 9 2008

* IHT.com has this report...
Amid lull in Gaza violence, Palestinians protest, and Israel threatens invasion.
.
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Israeli Strike Levels Residential Apartment Block


News Video posted on LiveLeak by barnesy
.
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Gods speed to the Israeli people
in their battle for peace
in their homeland.
AubreyJ.........
Friday, February 29, 2008
**************
Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry

Japan Donates 600 Motorcycles to Iraqi Police

Japan Donates 600 Motorcycles
to Iraqi Police
Friday, February 29, 2008
Kenjori Monji, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq, along with Iraqi Minister of Interior Jawad al Bolani attended a hand over ceremony of 600 motorcycles to the Iraqi Police here Feb. 28.

The motorcycles were donated to Iraq from the government of Japan as a part of its effort to help in the reconstruction of Iraq.

“I am much encouraged to observe a drastic improvement in security in Iraq thanks to the effort of the Iraqi Security Forces, Coalition forces and many other people concerned,” said Monji.

Japan has been conducting humanitarian, reconstruction and rebuilding assistance to Iraq through their self defense force and by the aid of more than 5 billion U.S. dollars.

The contribution of these motorcycles allows the Iraqi Police to move more freely and quickly through the congested streets of Baghdad and other outlined cities.

“I expect further effort will be made by all Iraqis towards the national reconciliation under the improved security,” said Monji. “And Japan will continue to support Iraq and its people in rebuilding the great nation.”
From press release #080229-01 - Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq - Public Affairs Office, Phoenix Base

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Photo for the Day - February 28, 2008

* Photo for the Day * * Peace Out *
A young Iraqi boy holds up a peace sign to a passing American convoy near the Karama hospital in the Karkh District of Baghdad, February 27, 2008.
Photo by Sgt. James Hunter, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
******************************************
Getting there little buddy!
AubreyJ.........

New U.N. Sanctions Against Iran Expected Saturday

Thursday, February 28, 2008
Britain and France said Thursday they expect the Security Council to vote Saturday and approve new U.N. sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment...
Read the full report at
YAHOO News

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Israeli College Student Killed in Qassam Rocket Attack

Israeli College Student Killed in Qassam Rocket Attack
Hamas Fired Over 30 Rockets Today
Israel’s Battle for Peace
Pre War: Israel/Gaza Conflict
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 .

I’ll start this post off by saying, that in my opinion, these Qassam rocket attacks today, into Israel, will most likely be the final straw. Gloves will come off... for WAR Is Coming.
These attacks will soon stop.
AubreyJ.........

(Note: This post on top most of the day - Scroll for newer post below)
.
An Israeli College Student was killed on Wednesday after a Qassam rocket landed in a parking lot near the Sapir College campus in southern Israel. Medics alerted to the scene also treated two more Israelis for minor wounds... Over 30 Qassam rockets were fired by Palestinian groups from Gaza on Wednesday afternoon, hitting a factory in an industrial zone and striking in and around the town of Sderot and other Gaza vicinity...
Read this report in full at
YNETNews.com

* HAARETZ.com has this report on today’s attacks...
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday said that a war was being waged in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, and vowed that "no one in Hamas, not the low-level officials nor the highest echelon, will be immune against this war."...
Read the rest of this report at link below...

Olmert: No one in Hamas will be immune against war we wage

* KhaleejTimes.com weighs in with this report...
Ten Palestinians were killed in Israeli air strikes in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Wednesday, at least six of them Islamist militants, medical sources said...
Israeli air strikes kill 10 Palestinians

* SWISSInfo.ch brings us this report...
A rocket launched from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip killed a man in Israel on Wednesday, the first such fatality in nine months, after Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians, most of them militants, in the territory... The rocket attack, claimed by Hamas, seemed certain to increase public pressure on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to order tougher military action in the Gaza Strip, including a possible wide scale ground operation...
Israel and Hamas violence spikes on Gaza border
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College Student Killed After Kassam Rocket Barrage Sderot
The above raw News Video posted on Live Leak by barnesy
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* From the IDF website we find this news article today...
In room number 23 in the orthopedic wing of the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkalon, ten year old Yosi Himud lies in his hospital bed. Yosi was wounded by a Qassam rocket that fell near his house in Sderot on Monday. GOC of the Homefront Command was among the dozens of visitors and relatives who visited Yosi yesterday. Major General Yair Golan came to support the young boy through his painful healing process...
Read the rest at link below...
Standing in Solidarity with Sderot
Photo Credit : IDF Spokesperson
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UPDATES:
Thursday
, February 28, 2008

>>> Blomberg.com has this report out this Thursday morning and it goes in part like this... Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamic militant movement, Hamas, are locked in daily violence. Israel has so far responded to the Gaza rocket attacks with limited ground operations and air strikes and an economic blockade of the enclave... Following yesterday's death in Sderot, and the rockets that fell today on Ashkelon, a city of about 110,000 people that lies 17 kilometers (11 miles) from Gaza, calls for more extensive military operations increased. In the next few weeks, Israel's military will complete its preparations for a major ground offensive in Gaza, the daily Haaretz said, citing unidentified military officials...
Read this report in full
HERE

>>> YNETNews.com has this report... Two long-range Grad rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip Thursday evening hit the southern city of Ashkelon. One of the rockets landed near a school in the center of town. a 17-year-old girl suffered light shrapnel wounds in the latest attack and several other people suffered from anxiety... More than 30 Qassam and Grad rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel throughout the day...
Read the rest at link below...
Grad lands near Ashkelon school

>>> IHT.com reports... Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak talked of escalation in Gaza and considered the possibility of a large-scale ground operation there to stop rocket barrages, according to a participant in a security meeting Thursday... The participant, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed, quoted Barak as saying, "We need to prepare for an escalation. The major ground operation is real and tangible. We won't flinch and we are not afraid of it."...
Read the rest at link below...

Conservative Giant William F. Buckley Jr. Dies at 82

Conservative Giant
William F. Buckley Jr.
Dies at 82
.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I wanted to take a moment today to report on the death of one of our best, a conservative icon and giant... Mr. William F. Buckley Jr.

It’s been reported today, throughout the media, that he was found dead at his home this morning in Stamford, Conn. As of right now, 2:05pm CST, the cause of his death was unknown, but it has been reported that he had been ill with emphysema.


President Bush put out this statement a short time ago on Mr. Buckley’s death and it goes as follows...

America has lost one of its finest writers and thinkers. Bill Buckley was one of the great founders of the modern conservative movement. He brought conservative thought into the political mainstream, and helped lay the intellectual foundation for America's victory in the Cold War and for the conservative movement that continues to this day. He will be remembered for his principled thought and beautiful writing -- as well as his personal warmth, wit, and generous spirit. His legacy lives on in the ideas he championed and in the magazine he founded -- National Review.

Laura and I send our prayers to Chris Buckley, the Buckley family, and all who loved this good man.

President Bush
2/27/08


Mr. President... I’ll second everything you just stated above...

In Memory of
Mr. William F. Buckley Jr.
You will be truly missed
AubreyJ.........

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Photo of cover of Buckley’s Autobiography - Miles Gone By
No. 159-08 February 27, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Orlando A. Perez, 23, of Houston, died February 24th in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from small arms fire during dismounted operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.
For more information media may contact the U.S. Army, Europe, public affairs office at 011-49-6221-57-5816 or 011-49-6221-57-8934, or send an email to ocpa.pi@eur.army.mil.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MND-B Soldiers Capture Special Groups Leader

MND-B Soldiers Capture Special Groups Leader During Operation In Baghdad’s Sha’ab Neighborhood
Tuesday
, February 26, 2008


Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers captured a suspected Special Groups commander during an operation in Baghdad’s Sha’ab neighborhood Feb. 24.

The suspect is accused of being involved in multiple improvised explosive device attacks.

Paratroopers with 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, detained the suspect after receiving actionable intelligence on his activities. Several other suspected criminal members were captured with him.

The detainees were captured with components of explosively formed projectiles. The components were allegedly imported from neighboring countries.

“This suspected criminal is allegedly responsible for multiple IED attacks against Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces,” said Lt. Col. David Oclander, executive officer for 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. “He is suspected to be associated with the foreign-influenced Special Groups networks that continue to blatantly disobey the cease fire directives from al-Sayyid Maqtada Al-Sadr that have been in place since Aug. 29, 2007.

“Recent tips from locals show they want these criminals off their streets, and the support of the people continues to move toward the legitimate government of Iraq” Oclander said.

From press release #20080226-01 - Multi-National Corps-Iraq - Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory

Tuesday, March 4th Will Determine If Hillary Clinton Goes Forward or Not, Aide Says

FOXNews.com brings us this troubling news for Hillary and it starts off like this... When the dust settles after next Tuesday’s election battle in Texas and Ohio, Hillary Clinton will know “whether to go forward or not” in the quest for the White House, in the opinion of one of her top campaign strategists... Harold Ickes made the remark in an interview with political print journalists Monday as Clinton’s campaign faces the daunting task of reversing the trend of Democratic rival Barack Obama, who has now won 11 straight primary contests...
Read the rest of this report
HERE
Senate Biography Photo
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The way I see it... IF Hillary wins on March 4th... in both states... it's going to change everything. Talking about a ‘Comeback Kid’ ... She will surely be seen as one and one with a new life, for a few more weeks anyway.
AubreyJ.........

E-Mail Scam Includes Hit-Man Threat

ONLINE EXTORTION
E-Mail Scam Includes Hit-Man Threat! Above Image is an Excerpt of Extortion Note
Short note: The scam e-mail, which first appeared in December, threatens to kill recipients if they do not pay the sender. It's a scam. FBI officials recommend you don't reply.
Read this warning from the FBI
HERE

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 155-08 February 26, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Micheal E. Phillips, 19, of Ardmore, Okla., died February 24th in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
For more information media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at (270) 798-9966.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 154-08 February 26, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Kevin S. Mowl, 22, of Pittsford, N.Y., died February 25th at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., of wounds suffered in Baghdad, Iraq on Aug. 2, 2007, when the vehicle he was in encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis Wash.
For more information media may contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152, (253) 967-0147 or after hours at (253) 967-0015 and ask for the public affairs officer on call.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Syria’s Foreign Minister Says His Country Ready To Help U.S. In Iraq

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem
Says His Country Ready To Help U.S. In Iraq

Monday
, February 25, 2008

adnkronos.com website has this report today that I KNOW Obama would love. It goes in part like this... Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Muallem has offered help to U.S. troops in Iraq, in a private meeting with politicians from Baath parties in several Arab states... "Syria is ready to help the American forces to achieve an honorable withdrawal from Iraq," said al-Muallem, in a report by Arab daily al-Hayat... (HELL... You Think!!!)
Read this short report in full HERE

Just what Obama has in mind for us too... Foreign countries helping us in our defeat... an honorable defeat at that!!!
All in the name of CHANGE...

AubreyJ.........

Women, 2 Children Hurt During Rocket Attack Monday In Southern Town Of Sderot, Israel

B92.net has this report today and it starts off like this... Palestinian militants fired five rockets at southern Israel Monday, wounding a woman and two children in Sderot... A 10-year-old boy suffered a moderate wound to his shoulder when a Qassam struck an underground shelter in Sderot... He was rushed into surgery, said Lea Malul, a spokeswoman for Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. During the surgery, doctors informed the boy's family that they had successfully saved his arm... A mother and her one-year-old baby were lightly wounded in the attack, and were also taken to Barzilai Medical Center...
Read the story in full
HERE

Drudge Report: CLINTON STAFFERS CIRCULATE 'DRESSED' OBAMA

Drudge Report:
CLINTON STAFFERS CIRCULATE
'DRESSED' OBAMA
Obama campaign manager Fires Back

Monday
, February 25, 2008 Read Drudge’s report in full HERE
Circulated Photo

Iran: Vetting Exacts Heavy Toll On Reformist Candidates

Monday, February 25, 2008
rferl.org brings us this news article today and it starts off like this... Nearly one in three aspiring candidates has been excluded from Iran's parliamentary elections next month, including current and former officials and a grandson of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Many of the thousands of disqualified candidates are known to support political reforms, echoing past elections in which authorities have silenced dissenting voices long before any voters are allowed to mark their ballots...

Read article in full HERE

File photo by FARS

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 151-08 February 25, 2008
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Drew W. Weaver, 20, of St. Charles, Mo., died February 21st while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Media with questions about this Marine can contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at (760) 763-5397.

Taking a Moment to Honor Our Fallen Heroes

* Taking a Moment to Honor Our Fallen Heroes *
Some of our bravest gave their all these last few days...
Take a moment to read their names, (in the posts below/above this one,) and in your own way thank them for all they have done and were willing to do for you -- me and this great country of ours… May God bless each and every one of these fallen Heroes, their families, friends, loved ones and their comrades in arms who were at their side.
AubreyJ.........

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 150-08 February 25, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Keisha M. Morgan, 25, of Washington, D.C., died February 22nd in Baghdad, Iraq, of a non-combat related cause. She was assigned to the Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. The circumstances are under investigation.
For further information media may contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours (254) 291-2591.

Israel: Massive Security Forces Mobilized To Prevent Gazans From Bum Rushing Border

Israel:
Massive Security Forces Mobilized
To Prevent Gazans From
Bum Rushing Border
Monday, February 25, 2008
.
JPOST.com brings us this report today and it starts off like this... In preparation for a large-scaled Palestinian protest march planned for Gaza on Monday, security forces mobilized along the security fence Sunday night in an effort to head off a replay of last month's Rafah border-storming at the Erez or Kissufim crossings... An artillery battery was moved to the Gaza border for the first time in months, and rules of engagement were reviewed as troops prepared for the demonstration Hamas is calling a "human chain."...
Read the rest HERE

* IsraelNationalNews.com reports it this way...
The defense establishment in Israel is preparing for possible Hamas mass-marches towards Israel... Sources in the defense network say Hamas might try to turn its scheduled human-chain event on Monday night into a rush on the border fence between Gaza and Israel. The IDF is preparing for this eventuality, though it does not consider the chances of it happening as high...
Hamas Plans Mass-March

* YNETNews.com has the report...
“Israel will defend its territory and prevent an infiltration of its sovereign borders,” acting Prime Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday in a joint statement issued evening before Hamas-organized mass protest in the Gaza Strip...
Livni: Israel will defend its sovereign borders

* DEBKAfile...
Beefed-up Israeli military and security forces prepared to repulse thousands of Palestinians planning to crash the full length of the Gazan-Israeli border and its crossings at 10:00 a.m. IT Monday, Feb. 25...
Palestinians plan mass rush on Gazan-Israeli border Monday
.
Archive Photo by IDF Spokesperson
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Updates:
Monday,
February 25, 2008

* IsraelToday.co.il has this report out, this late morning, and it sums today’s Demonstration up fairly well...
Thousands of Israeli police and soldiers were deployed to the northern border of the Gaza Strip on Monday fearing a planned mass gathering of Palestinians would lead to an attempt to breach the security fence and enter southern Israel... In the end, however, a mere 5,000 out of an expected 40,000 Palestinians showed up...
Read the rest at link below...
Nightmare avoided at Gaza border

* UKPress.google.com reports today’s Demonstration this way...
Gaza border protest fizzles out
> Title says it all, I think!
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Note: I’ll update this post later today if needed
AubreyJ.........

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ralph Nader Mixes It Up With A New Bid For White House



Sunday, February 24, 2008
73 year old Ralph Nader said today that he will run for President as a third-party candidate. Now being Nader’s past runs for President have mostly pulled votes from the Democrat candidates... I’d have to say my man Senator John McCain more than welcomes this little bit of GOOD NEWS.
.
.
More to come on this story throughout the week I’m sure...
AubreyJ.........
Official Photo by VoteNader.org

Statement on Cuba's Transition

Statement on Cuba's Transition

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
Sunday
, February 24, 2008

At this significant moment in Cuba’s history, we reaffirm our belief that the Cuban people have an inalienable right to participate in an open and comprehensive dialogue about their country’s future, free of fear and repression, and to choose their leaders in democratic elections. We support their aspirations for a better life, and their desire to enjoy the fundamental rights and liberties expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Inter-American Democratic Charter. We support their efforts to obtain a voice in their national destiny, and their desire to gain access to the resources and opportunities necessary to become masters of their own lives, enhance the well-being of their families, and achieve their God-given potential.

We urge the Cuban government to begin a process of peaceful, democratic change by releasing all political prisoners, respecting human rights, and creating a clear pathway towards free and fair elections. We also urge the international community to work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions necessary for democracy, and to support Cuban civil society. The Cuban people, facing the legacy of five decades of tyranny, merit our solidarity and support as they seek to construct a brighter future.

2008/136
From a U.S. Department of State Press Release
DoS Official Portrait of Secretary Condoleezza Rice
*************************************
* KUTV.com has this story out today on the Castro brothers and Cuba and it starts off like this... Cuba's parliament named Raul Castro president on Sunday, ending nearly 50 years of rule by his brother Fidel but leaving the island's communist system unshaken... In a surprise move, officials bypassed younger candidates to name a 77-year-old revolutionary leader, Jose Ramon Machado, to Cuba's No. 2 spot , apparently assuring the old guard that no significant political changes will be made soon...
Read the full story at link below...
Raul Castro Succeeds Older Brother Fidel As Cuba's President

IAEA Report Confirms Iran Continuing Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons

The IAEA report reconfirms the State of Israel and the international community's concerns that Iran is continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's report published on February 22, 2008, reconfirms the State of Israel and the international community's concerns that Iran is continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The report also makes it clear that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium and carry out other activities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The report determines that Iran is conducting activities that are part of nuclear weaponization. This conclusion and others in the report strengthen in Israel's view the need to continue the comprehensive and thorough investigation of all of Iran's nuclear activities.

Since Iran is continuing to obstruct IAEA investigations and persists in flouting UN Security Council resolutions, Israel believes the international community must increase the pressure on Iran in order to ensure that it is prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons

From a Israel MFA Newsletter - Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Image from IAEA website

Saturday, February 23, 2008

President’s Radio Address

President Bush’s Saturday Radio Address
Saturday
, February 23, 2008

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This Thursday, Laura and I returned from an inspiring visit to Africa. In Benin and Tanzania, we met leaders who are fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria -- and people whose lives have been saved by the generosity of the American people. In Rwanda, we saw a nation overcoming the pain of genocide with courage and grace and hope. In Ghana, we met entrepreneurs who are exporting their products and building a more prosperous future. And in Liberia, we saw a nation that is recovering from civil war, led by the first democratically elected woman President on the continent. Laura and I returned to Washington impressed by the energy, optimism, and potential of the African people.

Members of Congress will soon be returning to Washington, as well, and they have urgent business to attend to. They left town on a 10-day recess without passing vital legislation giving our intelligence professionals the tools they need to quickly and effectively monitor foreign terrorist communications. Congress' failure to pass this legislation was irresponsible. It will leave our Nation increasingly vulnerable to attack. And Congress must fix this damage to our national security immediately.

The way ahead is clear. The Senate has already passed a good bill by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. This bill has strong bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, and would pass if given an up or down vote. But House leaders are blocking this legislation, and the reason can be summed up in three words: class action lawsuits.

The Senate bill would prevent plaintiffs' attorneys from suing companies believed to have helped defend America after the 9/11 attacks. More than 40 of these lawsuits have been filed, seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in damages from these companies. It is unfair and unjust to threaten these companies with financial ruin only because they are believed to have done the right thing and helped their country.

But the highest cost of all is to our national security. Without protection from lawsuits, private companies will be increasingly unwilling to take the risk of helping us with vital intelligence activities. After the Congress failed to act last week, one telecommunications company executive was asked by the Wall Street Journal how his company would respond to a request for help. He answered that because of the threat of lawsuits, quote, "I'm not doing it ...I'm not going to do something voluntarily." In other words, the House's refusal to act is undermining our ability to get cooperation from private companies. And that undermines our efforts to protect us from terrorist attack.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell recently explained that the vast majority of the communications infrastructure we rely on in the United States is owned and operated by the private sector. Because of the failure to provide liability protection, he says private companies who have "willingly helped us in the past, are now saying, 'You can't protect me. Why should I help you?'" Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, puts it this way: "The fact is, if we lose cooperation from these or other private companies, our national security will suffer."

When Congress reconvenes on Monday, Members of the House have a choice to make: They can empower the trial bar -- or they can empower the intelligence community. They can help class action trial lawyers sue for billions of dollars -- or they can help our intelligence officials protect millions of lives. They can put our national security in the hands of plaintiffs' lawyers -- or they can entrust it to the men and women of our government who work day and night to keep us safe. As they make their choice, Members of Congress must never forget: Somewhere in the world, at this very moment, terrorists are planning the next attack on America. And to protect America from such attacks, we must protect our telecommunications companies from abusive lawsuits.

Thank you for listening.

Audio
HERE (QuickTime Player Needed)
Transcript/Audio from The White House website
White House File Photo By Eric Draper
Rocket/Mortar Explosions
Rock Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq
Saturday, February 23, 2008
.
VOANews.com brings us this story this morning and it goes in part like this... A series of rockets or mortars has struck Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government headquarters... At least 10 blasts were heard inside the 10-square-kilometer complex Saturday, as authorities warned people to take cover. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage...
Read story in full
HERE
Map Courtesy of CENTCOM

Friday, February 22, 2008

Shi'ite Cleric Moqtada Al Sadr Extends Mahdi Army Ceasefire By Six Months

Iraq:
Shi'ite Cleric Moqtada Al Sadr
Extends Mahdi Army Ceasefire
By Six Months

Friday, February 22, 2008


UK.Reuters.com brings us this bit of good news today and it starts off like this... Powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr extended his Mahdi Army ceasefire by six months today, a decision that US officials said would help foster reconciliation among Iraq's divided communities... The renewal was welcomed by the Iraqi and U.S. governments, which both say the initial six-month truce has helped reduce attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops and the tit-for-tat sectarian violence that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war...
Read the story at link below...
Iraqi cleric Sadr extends militia ceasefire

* PBS.org has this report... Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced Friday that he has extended a cease-fire order to his Shiite militia in Iraq for another six months, allowing the country more time to recover from brutal sectarian violence...
Read the rest at link below...
In Iraq, Al-Sadr Extends Cease-fire Order to Militia

* WCAX.com has this report, (straight out of the Dems playbook I’d have to say,) that starts out like this... A New Hampshire congressman just back from Iraq says security in the country is better, but that could change quickly and in ways beyond U.S. control... Democrat Paul Hodes said Friday it's time for the Iraqis to step up and take control of their own destiny while the U.S. reduces its combat role in the country...
Read the rest at link below...
Hodes: Time for Iraqis to step up

epa file photo

Photo for the Day - February 22, 2008

* Photo for the Day *
Abur in the Diyala Province of Iraq on February 15, 2008.
Soldiers from the Army's 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment are conducting the medical exchange along with Iraqi army medical personnel.
DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Mulligan, U.S. Navy

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 145-08 February 22, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Capt. Nathan R. Raudenbush, 25, of Pennsylvania, died February 20th in Busayefi, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Stewart public affairs office at (912) 767-2479.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 144-08 February 22, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died February 20th in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Baghdad on February 19th. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Killed were:
Sgt. Conrad Alvarez, 22
, of Big Spring, Texas
Cpl. Albert Bitton, 20, of Chicago
Spc. Micheal B. Matlock, Jr., 21, of Glen Burnie, Md

For more information media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at (270) 798-9966.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 143-08 February 22, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Bryant W. Mackey, 30, of Eureka, Kan., died February 20th in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds suffered when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.
For more information media may contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours (254) 291-2591.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pentagon Says It’s Very Confident Missile Hit Satellite

Pentagon Says It’s Very Confident
Missile Hit Satellite
Fuel Tank Destroyed
Thursday,
February 21, 2008

About Photo: The USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile-3 at a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph over the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 20, 2008.

Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy
********************
Navy Missile Hits Decaying Satellite Over Pacific Ocean
News Release
February 20, 2008

A network of land-, air-, sea- and spaced-based sensors confirms that the U.S. military intercepted a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite which was in its final orbits before entering the earth's atmosphere, defense officials announced in a press release.
Video footage HERE

At approximately 10:26 p.m. EST today, a U.S. Navy AEGIS warship, the USS Lake Erie (CG-70), fired a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) hitting the satellite approximately 153 miles (133 nautical miles) over the Pacific Ocean as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph. USS Decatur (DDG-73) and USS Russell (DDG-59) were also part of the task force.

The objective was to rupture the fuel tank to dissipate the approximately 1,000 pounds (453 kg) of hydrazine, a hazardous fuel which could pose a danger to people on earth, before it entered into earth's atmosphere. Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours.

Due to the relatively low altitude of the satellite at the time of the engagement, debris will begin to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere immediately. Nearly all of the debris will burn up on reentry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris should re-enter within 40 days.

From A DoD/American Forces Press Service, News Article
***********************
Navy Missile Hits Spy Satellite on First Attempt


About Video: The Pentagon says a missile launched from a Navy ship struck a dying U.S. spy satellite passing over the Pacific Ocean
News Video posted on YouTube by AssociatedPress

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New York Times Goes After John McCain

New York Times Goes After
Senator John McCain

The original News Article by The New York Times is at the following link...
For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk

Naturally the MSM and those with the left leaning Blogs are going nuts with it!

My take on this news story is this... It’s nothing more than an attempt to destroy Senator John McCain, his family, his career and to try and make those who support him look bad too. Bottom Line... This Is TOTAL BS!!! This is BS that is nothing more than Gutter Politics at its worst...

I’ll end this post by saying I pray this story backfires, big time, on ALL the people who were responsible for putting it out there.


More to come on this I’m sure...
AubreyJ.........
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Photo for the Day - February 20, 2008

* Photo for the Day * A Soldier from Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA)peers through the glass as his team searches for weapons near the Bichigan area of the Salah ad Din province, February 15, 2008.
Read the story HERE
Photo by Spc. Rick Rzepka

John McCain says President Bush Should Veto Torture Bill

TalkingPointsMemo.com brings us this story and it starts off like this... Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain said President Bush should veto a measure that would bar the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects... McCain voted against the bill, which would restrict the CIA to using only the 19 interrogation techniques listed in the Army field manual... His vote was controversial because the manual prohibits waterboarding — a simulated drowning technique that McCain also opposes — yet McCain doesn't want the CIA bound by the manual and its prohibitions...
Read this report in full
HERE

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

McCain, Obama Win Wisconsin Primary

John McCain - Barack Obama
Winners of Wisconsin Primary

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Congratulations go out to you both!
Sadly though... It’s looking like the rest of the field has/is fading off into political history.

**********
Update:
In the Republican race,
Senator John McCain moved closer Tuesday evening to clinching his party's nomination with victories in both Wisconsin and Washington State.

In the Democratic race,
after Tuesday night, Senator Barack Obama's momentum is growing even stronger after his convincing victories in Wisconsin and Hawaii. That makes 10 straight wins against Senator Clinton for Obama... now leaving us with what should be a huge showdown in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday, March 4th.


Going to be a fun two weeks coming, folks!!!
AubreyJ.........

Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Announces He Is Stepping Down

Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Announced Tuesday That He Would No Longer Aspire To Nor Accept The Positions Of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
......
From the website of YAHOO NEWS... Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro stepped down on Tuesday 49 years after taking power in an armed revolution, closing the book on a Cold War career that made him an icon to leftists and a tyrant to his foes...
Read story in full at link below...
Fidel Castro steps down after 49-year rule
.
* AFP has this report... Cuban leader Fidel Castro announced Tuesday that he was stepping aside, ending nearly half a century of ironclad rule marked by his brash defiance of the United States... Castro, 81, cited his poor health in a letter published in the Communist Party newspaper declaring that he would give up the presidency when the National Assembly meets to pick a new head of state on Sunday...
Read the rest
HERE

********************************
(The following is the official letter by Fidel Castro to the peoples of Cuba)


Message from the Commander in Chief
.
Dear compatriots:
.
Last Friday, February 15, I promised you that in my next reflection I would deal with an issue of interest to many compatriots. Thus, this now is rather a message.
The moment has come to nominate and elect the State Council, its President, its Vice-Presidents and Secretary.

For many years I have occupied the honorable position of President. On February 15, 1976 the Socialist Constitution was approved with the free, direct and secret vote of over 95% of the people with the right to cast a vote. The first National Assembly was established on December 2nd that same year; this elected the State Council and its presidency. Before that, I had been a Prime Minister for almost 18 years. I always had the necessary prerogatives to carry forward the revolutionary work with the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.

There were those overseas who, aware of my critical health condition, thought that my provisional resignation, on July 31, 2006, to the position of President of the State Council, which I left to First Vice-President Raul Castro Ruz, was final. But Raul, who is also minister of the Armed Forces on account of his own personal merits, and the other comrades of the Party and State leadership were unwilling to consider me out of public life despite my unstable health condition.

It was an uncomfortable situation for me vis-à-vis an adversary which had done everything possible to get rid of me, and I felt reluctant to comply.

Later, in my necessary retreat, I was able to recover the full command of my mind as well as the possibility for much reading and meditation. I had enough physical strength to write for many hours, which I shared with the corresponding rehabilitation and recovery programs. Basic common sense indicated that such activity was within my reach. On the other hand, when referring to my health I was extremely careful to avoid raising expectations since I felt that an adverse ending would bring traumatic news to our people in the midst of the battle. Thus, my first duty was to prepare our people both politically and psychologically for my absence after so many years of struggle. I kept saying that my recovery "was not without risks."

My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath. That’s all I can offer.

To my dearest compatriots, who have recently honored me so much by electing me a member of the Parliament where so many agreements should be adopted of utmost importance to the destiny of our Revolution, I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief.

In short letters addressed to Randy Alonso, Director of the Round Table National TV Program, --letters which at my request were made public-- I discreetly introduced elements of this message I am writing today, when not even the addressee of such letters was aware of my intention. I trusted Randy, whom I knew very well from his days as a student of Journalism. In those days I met almost on a weekly basis with the main representatives of the University students from the provinces at the library of the large house in Kohly where they lived. Today, the entire country is an immense University.

Following are some paragraphs chosen from the letter addressed to Randy on December 17, 2007:

"I strongly believe that the answers to the current problems facing Cuban society, which has, as an average, a twelfth grade of education, almost a million university graduates, and a real possibility for all its citizens to become educated without their being in any way discriminated against, require more variables for each concrete problem than those contained in a chess game. We cannot ignore one single detail; this is not an easy path to take, if the intelligence of a human being in a revolutionary society is to prevail over instinct.

"My elemental duty is not to cling to positions, much less to stand in the way of younger persons, but rather to contribute my own experience and ideas whose modest value comes from the exceptional era that I had the privilege of living in.
"Like Niemeyer, I believe that one has to be consistent right up to the end."

Letter from January 8, 2008:

"…I am a firm supporter of the united vote (a principle that preserves the unknown merits), which allowed us to avoid the tendency to copy what came to us from countries of the former socialist bloc, including the portrait of the one candidate, as singular as his solidarity towards Cuba. I deeply respect that first attempt at building socialism, thanks to which we were able to continue along the path we had chosen."

And I reiterated in that letter that "…I never forget that ‘all of the world’s glory fits in a kernel of corn."

Therefore, it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer. This I say devoid of all drama.

Fortunately, our Revolution can still count on cadres from the old guard and others who were very young in the early stages of the process. Some were very young, almost children, when they joined the fight on the mountains and later they have given glory to the country with their heroic performance and their internationalist missions. They have the authority and the experience to guarantee the replacement. There is also the intermediate generation which learned together with us the basics of the complex and almost unattainable art of organizing and leading a revolution.

The path will always be difficult and require from everyone’s intelligent effort. I distrust the seemingly easy path of apologetics or its antithesis the self-flagellation. We should always be prepared for the worst variable. The principle of being as prudent in success as steady in adversity cannot be forgotten. The adversary to be defeated is extremely strong; however, we have been able to keep it at bay for half a century.

This is not my farewell to you. My only wish is to fight as a soldier in the battle of ideas. I shall continue to write under the heading of ‘Reflections by comrade Fidel.’ It will be just another weapon you can count on. Perhaps my voice will be heard. I shall be careful.

Thanks.
Fidel Castro Ruz
February 18, 2008
5:30 p.m.

*******************************
I found the above letter by Fidel Castro at The Web Site of the Government of the Republic of Cuba - Photo too
AubreyJ.........
***********************************
* How the announcement was made in Cuba
*
This BBC News Video posted on LiveLeak by bellava
****************************
* Bush Comments On Castro Resignation *

News Video posted on LiveLeak by barnesy
(Might need to turn volume up a bit – Audio not that good)

Angry White Man

In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Man
Written by Gary Hubbell
February 9, 2008
.
The following is from the Articles Section of the Aspen Times Weekly and it starts off like this... There is a great amount of interest in this year’s presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates — a woman and an African-American — while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party’s nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain... Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians...There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from...
Read the rest at
AspenTimes.com
Great read so make sure to click it out

Thanks go out to Rush Limbaugh for bringing this article to our attention