Archive for May, 2006

In a major policy shift, the United States said Wednesday it is prepared to join other nations in holding direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program if Iran first agrees to stop disputed nuclear activities that the West fears could lead to a bomb.

"To underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution and to enhance prospects for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will come to the table," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at the State Department.

Full Story here.

The key point of the statement (at least my impression of it) is that as soon as Iran can demonstrate that it is a responsible member of the international community it can be treated as one. As long as it continues to pursue Nuclear weapons, and as long as it is the Primary state sponsor of terrorism in the world today they will be treated as the pariah it is.

FullosseousFlap's has more here, Scott Fuller has more here, Citizen Journal Here, Captains Quarters Here, Right Truth here 

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Leftist President Evo Morales said Tuesday the U.S. government had organized groups to kill him and said he believed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's assertion that Washington was preparing to overthrow his administration.

"I've been informed recently how the U.S. had organized teams — groups to persecute Evo Morales, to kill Evo Morales. They haven't been able to and now we're organized, from unions to this political party and they can't stop us anymore," Morales said, without giving more details.

Full Story here

I don't know what Evo is smoking but chances are it isn't made by Marlboro. And why the hell is he speaking in the third person?

Paris Burning Again

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MONTFERMEIL, France – Youths torched a dozen cars and hurled stones at police in a second night of violence in the troubled Paris suburbs, raising memories of rioting that rocked the nation last year.

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My greatest disappointment in President Bush and the Republican leadership in both the House and Senate is the seemingly uncontrolled and irresponsible spending. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. is submitting a bill in the Senate co-sponsored by Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Tom Carper, D-Del., and John McCain, R-Ariz. which requires the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to establish a publicly available, searchable and downloadable database of all federal contracts and grants. Access to the federal spending database would be free and would include comprehensive information about federal contracts; block, formula and project grants; cooperative agreements; direct, guaranteed and insured loans; direct payments; insurance and indirect financial assistance. No information about credit-card transactions or minor purchases would be on the site.

The Coburn-Obama-Carper-McCain measure stipulates that within 30 days of awarding federal tax dollars, the government would have to post the name of the entity receiving the funds (excluding individuals receiving federal assistance), the amount of funds received by the entity in each of the past 10 years, detailed information about each of the transactions during the previous decade, the location of the entity, where the goods or services purchased with the federal dollars will be performed or purchased, and a unique identifier such as the Dun & Bradstreet number commonly used by the private sector.

On the Surface this seems like REAL landmark legislation (unlike the comprehensive Immigration Reform Act passed by the Senate last week). If the bill is as good as portrayed in the editorial it deserves a serious look. Here is the text of the bill. The Washington Examiner has an editorial on it here.  

Captains Quarters has more here.

Venezuela is buying helicopters, boats and military transport planes in defense deals worth about $2.7 billion, modernizing its military as tensions grow between leftist President Hugo Chavez and the United States.

Flush with oil profits but blocked from buying U.S. arms, Chavez is increasingly looking to countries like Russia and Spain as suppliers.

A cargo ship carrying 30,000 Russian-made Kalashnikov assault rifles is headed to Venezuela with the first shipment of an order totaling 100,000 guns to arrive by year's end. The military is looking to buy more submarines, and Chavez is planning an even bigger deal for Russian fighter jets.

Full story here Related stories Here, and Here.

While Chavez's military buildup is of no real threat to the US itself, it does pose a very real threat to Columbia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru and other Central and South American Nations. While I doubt that Chavez is planning or could pull off any successful conventional military operation outside his own country, he very easily could provide weapons and training to Leftist terrorist groups like FARC to destabilize his neighbors.

Off Topic has more Here

California Conservative has more here

Senate Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) accepted free ringside tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission to three professional boxing matches while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing.

Reid took the free seats for Las Vegas fights between 2003 and 2005 as he was pressing legislation to increase government oversight of the sport, including the creation of a federal boxing commission that Nevada's agency feared might usurp its authority.

He defended the gifts, saying that they would never influence his position on the bill and he was simply trying to learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry. "Anyone from Nevada would say I'm glad he is there taking care of the state's number one businesses," he said. "I love the fights anyways, so it wasn't like being punished," added the senator, a former boxer and boxing judge.

Senate ethics rules generally allow lawmakers to accept gifts from federal, state or local governments, but specifically warn against taking such gifts — particularly on multiple occasions — when they might be connected to efforts to influence official actions.

Full Story Here

Two other Senators were present at the events. John McCain who paid for his tickets, and John Ensign who recused himself in the pending legislation. Democrats have portrayed corruption as an exclusively Republican club.. Infact it is truely Bipartisan. Will Dems demand Reid resign his leadership position at least, since he is obviously part of the "Culture of Corruption"? Somehow I doubt it..

Captains Quarters has more here

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said Tuesday that Tehran is ready to restart negotiations with the European Union on its nuclear program, but he ruled out direct talks with the United States.

"I announce that Iran is ready to respond positively to the call" made by the Nonaligned Movement "for resuming the negotiations on Iran's nuclear issue without any preconditions," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters.

"Accordingly, I would announce our readiness to restart immediately the negotiations with the EU Three to resolve the issues," he said, referring to Britain, France and Germany.

Full Story here

On the surface this may seem to be a posative development, however Iran has not renounced its Uranium Enrichment program, nor have China or Russia changed their position on any potential UNSC Resolution. That being the case, renewed talks are little more than delaying tactics.

Politicians like John Murtha and many in the liberal press have been for days now condemning the Marine Corps for what happened at Haditha. Their condemnation comes from their review of one viewpoint of the evidence. The responsible thing to do would be to allow the military justice system run its course, conclude its investigation, and prosecute those responsile if the investigation deems that necessary. Murtha, a retired Marine Colonel, is fully aware of the Military Justice System, and his comments can only be construed as having one purpose. To score points for his political party at the expense of our military forces deployed in Iraq. By politicizing this he undermines our Mission in Iraq, and the troops we have sent to execute that mission. He is as much a disgrace to the Uniform he once proudly wore as Jessee MacBeth is.

Military investigators piecing together what happened in the Iraqi town of Haditha on Nov. 19 — when Marines allegedly killed two dozen civilians — have access to video shot by an unmanned drone aircraft that was circling overhead for at least part of that day, military defense lawyers familiar with the case said in interviews.

It is unclear whether the video obtained from that day's flight captured the violence, said the lawyers, who have consulted with Marines who were there. One lawyer said investigators have reviewed surveillance footage taken hours after the shootings, which showed the Marines returning to the town to remove the bodies of the Iraqis.

Yesterday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said charges will be issued against troops if the evidence merits it. For now, however, "it would be premature for me to judge" the outcome of the two U.S. military investigations, Pace said on CBS's "The Early Show." "We'll get to the bottom of the investigation and take the appropriate action."

Full Article Here

Security Watchtower has more Here

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, after skating to a second term with a landslide victory, will seek to extend his war against guerrilla fighters and press ahead with efforts to reduce taxes and lure fresh investment.

Uribe, 53, won 62 percent of the vote in yesterday's election, according to the electoral authority's Web site. Cars in Bogota honked and hundreds of people chanted `Uribe, Uribe!'' last night as he spoke from Hotel Tequendama and thanked the country for the chance to serve another four years.

Full Story here

72nd_PA_Cemetery_Ridge Cemetary Ridge at sunset Gettysburgh Pa.Mt. Solidad.jpg 

Mt Solidad Korean War memorial San Diego Ca.

IwoJima.gif Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima  MemPhoto3.gif USS Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor Hawaii

vietnam-memorial-soldiers-1a.jpg The Three Servicemen Statue The-Real-Heroes-(3).jpg Firemen Raising the Flag on Sept 11th

Never Forget

California Conservative has more here