The biggest exaggeration is not the chest of cartoon props. It's the fact that John and I are pictured working in the same room together, which by my count has happened on maybe six cartoons out of a thousand plus. That's a lot of phone conversations, which probably explains why "carrot of cooperation" makes us laugh.
From FOX News: Senate Approves Symbolic Rebuke of Iran
The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a measure sending another rebuke to Tehran, this one aimed at sending a message to the Islamic regime to end military tactics targeting U.S. forces in Iraq.
The vote came one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told international leaders gathered at the U.N. General Assembly that Iran only seeks a peaceful nuclear program, and said that the conversation on the Iranian nuclear program "is now closed."
The Senate, showing it was not convinced by Ahmadinejad's proclamations, approved the nonbinding measure on a 76-22 vote. It was sponsored by Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.
The measure — an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill under consideration in the Senate — is in response to growing concerns over Iranian support for insurgent activity in Iraq. Military officials say Iranian weapons have been discovered in insurgent hands, and U.S. officials have captured agents with alleged Iranian ties.
The amendment calls on the State Department to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as "a foreign terrorist organization." The designation would allowed for more economic sanctions to be set against the country.
The measure's opponents, which include Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said the language is too open-ended, and could be construed as Senate authorization to use force against Iran.
One portion of the amendment reads: "It is the Sense of the Senate ... that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies."
"This proposal ... is Dick Cheney's fondest pipe dream. It's not a prescription for success. At best, it's a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy. At worst, it could be read as a back-door method of ... gaining congressional validation for action without one hearing or without serious debate," Webb said Tuesday.
At the urging of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, Lieberman and Kyl took steps Tuesday to remove the most controversial parts of their measure.
Lieberman said Webb was off-base on his interpretation of his proposal.
"Our colleague (Webb) has given the darkest possible interpretation ... There is no intention of declaring war," Lieberman said.
Click here to see an updated list of a few recent reasons for declaring war on Iran.
This cartoon was originally posted on June 13, 2006, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.
The latest entry in the Department of Defense Heroes series: Minnesota Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg (click here for the full list).
Outnumbered by almost two to one, an ambush closing in like a vice, more than a thousand rounds raining down for 50 minutes – the chances of success, much less survival, might seem impossible. But for Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg of the Minnesota Army National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division, the day he and his men faced those odds was also the day they managed to repel a large coordinated attack – without suffering a single casualty. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight,” he later said in an interview, “but it’s the size of the fight in the dog. That day, we had a lot of fight in us.” For his gallantry in battle, Malmberg became the first Minnesota Guardsman in his division – known as the “Red Bulls” – to receive the Silver Star since World War II.
The story received local coverage, but nationally it's stories like these that still get the headlines: U.S. soldier faces court-martial in Iraq.
A U.S. soldier pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of killing Iraqis and then trying to cover it up by planting weapons on their bodies.
Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval, of Laredo, Texas, has been charged with premeditated murder, wrongfully placing weapons with the remains of the Iraqis and obstructing justice. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
It's Ahmadinejad Week here at Cox & Forkum; he keeps giving us material that we can't resist. Little Green Footballs has been vigilantly following the reaction from the left, particularly in posts at Daily Kos. Below are some of the LGF posts on the topic:
No wonder those that are beating the war drums against Iran didn’t want Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak any place American might hear him. Thanks to Columbia University and CPAN he was heard by many. He sounds entirely to reasonable. Hearing his own word doesn’t help the cause of demonizing him as a madman and the most recent Hitler. This is someone we definitely should be talking to. so in the interest of promoting peace and knowledge, I present these short excerpts from his talk at Columbia University today.
I know I’m a Jewish lesbian and he'd probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon...
Video: Columbia Students Applaud Ahmadinejad's Reply to Bollinger
Video: Columbia Students Applaud and Cheer Ahmadinejad
Daily Kos: 45% Want Ahmadinejad As US President Dropped to 32% at the time of this posting
Here's the transcript of the speech with "applause" notations.
UPDATE I: More from LGF: Seattle PI: Ahmadinejad, Hot or Not?.
UPDATE II: From Hot Air: Audio: Jewish lesbian dKos diarist tells John Gibson her Ahmadinejad crush is satire.
Columbia University President Lee Bollinger excoriated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday, going through a long list of documented actions and remarks by the firebrand Iranian leader and his government.
"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," Bollinger said to applause from many of the 600 people in the room for a speech from the Iranian leader. ...
Asked about widely documented government abuse of women and homosexuals in his country, Ahmadinejad said, "We don't have homosexuals" in Iran. "I don't know who told you we had it," he said.
Ahmadinejad can't admit the obvious, that Iran has homosexuals, because that would be admitting a failure of the regime to enforce Islamic law. He outed himself ... as an Islamic totalitarian. Not that we didn't know that already, but it's something he typically tries to hide.
Hot Air has the video.
From Gay Republic News: Interview with Iranian Gay Couple.
Q: What is the problem of an Iranian homosexual?
Kaveh: The first is that we cannot discuss any of our problems. We have a problem with the government due to our sexual orientation; the Islamic government does not accept us and we are condemned to hanging and stoning. In comparison the rest of the problems are minor.
From Wikinews: Execution of two gay teens in Iran spurs controversy.
Also, Bollinger's opening criticisms of Ahmadinejad were welcome but should leave us wondering why the university would invite a "petty, cruel dictator" in the first place.
UPDATE I: Mere Rhetoric has graphic photos of how the Islamic regime treats homosexuals.
UPDATE II: Little Green Footballs has posted a Canadian documentary about homosexuals in Iran: Out in Iran.
UPDATE III -- Sept. 25: From FOX News: Iran Does Far Worse Than Ignore Gays, Critics Say.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s seemingly ridiculous claim that "we don’t have homosexuals, like in your country" masks the cruel reality that his government does far worse than ignore gays, human rights groups charge.
"There are criminal laws on the books in Iran that allows for people to be killed for being homosexual," said Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Just how many gays may have been killed — some say the figure is more than 400 — is impossible to determine. But Ahmadinejad’s flip follow-up answer to the question posed to him Monday at Columbia University — "We do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you that we have" — suggests he won’t take the issue seriously.
Human rights groups have long railed against the Iranian government’s persecution of gays, which Ettelbrick calls "a campaign by the government to draw attention to the risks of people expressing their sexuality." Some believe that repression has only worsened since Ahmadinejad became president.
"When I first heard his comments yesterday, I laughed," said Arsham Parsi, founder of the Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization.
"But after I thought about it, I realized this is really a very strong statement. By denying we exist, he does not even acknowledge that we have human rights."
UPDATE IV: Our friend and Iranian activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi was featured on Glenn Beck to discuss women's rights and homosexuality in Iran. Gateway Pundit has the video.
You can also see video of her interview with Michelle Malkin at the Columbia protests.
The dean, John Coatsworth, heads the same institution that will serve as Columbia's host for President Ahmadinejad. The decision of Columbia to honor the Iranian anti-Semite and terror master with a speaking platform has drawn outrage among political leaders in the city, including the speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn.Hot Air has the video.
"If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States," Mr. Coatsworth said in an interview with Fox News that was linked last evening by the Drudge Report. "If he were willing to engage in debate and a discussion to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him."
Columbia University has invited a representative of the world’s most antisemitic regime to speak on its campus. This week’s news? Try 1933.From FOX News: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Arrives in NYC for Controversial Visit.
Seventy years before this week’s invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Columbia rolled out the red carpet for a senior official of Adolf Hitler’s regime, according to research by Prof. Stephen Norwood of the University of Oklahoma, who is completing a book on the academic community’s response to Hitler in the 1930s ...
According to Israel’s ambassador, inviting Ahmadinejad to speak is the equivalent of “inviting Hitler to [speak] in the 1930s,” because “appeasing fanatics and granting them legitimacy leads to genocide and war.” Will some future Columbia president one day look back at the invitation to Ahmadinejad and say the same thing?
Irian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a low-key entrance into New York City on Sunday evening amid extremely tight security as he faces a firestorm of controversy surrounding his visit to address the U.N. General Assembly and speak to students and teachers during a forum at Columbia University.UPDATE: Little Green Footballs has a listed of protests planned for Ahmadinejad's visit.
Ahmadinejad said the American people have been denied "correct information," and his visit will give them a chance to hear a different voice, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"The United States is a big and important country with a population of 300 million. Due to certain issues, the American people in the past years have been denied correct and clear information about global developments and are eager to hear different opinions," Ahmadinejad was quoted by IRNA as saying.
Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust "a myth," encouraged the destruction of Israel and supported terrorists in Iraq, will address the United Nations General Assembly and a Columbia University forum but will not be allowed to tour Ground Zero.
From Bloomberg: Greenspan Says Preemptive Strike on Iran Is `Difficult Choice'.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the threat posed by Iran may force the U.S. to consider a preemptive strike, and conceded that the Iraq war, which he advocated, has made the Middle East "less stable.''
Iran has rejected calls to cease efforts to enrich uranium, which the U.S. and its European allies claim is a step toward developing nuclear weapons. President George W. Bush has said he would prefer a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran, though he has refused to rule out a military response.
"It's a very difficult choice,'' Greenspan, 81, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's "Political Capital With Al Hunt'' to be broadcast this weekend. "This issue of when do you strike -- preemptive strike'' arose during the Cold War "because if you didn't act, your country was destroyed.''
Expanding on his memoir, "The Age of Turbulence,'' published this week, Greenspan suggested the 2003 invasion of Iraq was justified, even though the country didn't possess weapons of mass destruction, as he initially believed.
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein "had access to huge amounts of cash,'' which could have allowed him to "buy nuclear devices or weapons,'' Greenspan said. "I could see him irresistibly moving -- in a sense irrationally -- to try to take over the oil fields of the Middle East by one device or another.''
To see more of John's caricatures, see his new blog John Cox Art.
From Reuters: Iran's Ahmadinejad denied Trade Center visit.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been denied a request to visit the World Trade Center site of the September 11 attacks, New York police said on Wednesday.
Ahmadinejad, who regularly accuses the United States of arrogance in his speeches, had asked to visit the site while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this month.
"The site is closed to visitors because of construction there," police spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement. "Requests for the Iranian president to visit the immediate area would also be opposed by the NYPD on security grounds."
Police said they were unsure why Ahmadinejad wanted to visit.
The mere notion of Ahmadinejad visiting drew fire from White House hopefuls on both sides of the political divide. Washington has long accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism.
"It is unacceptable for Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who refuses to renounce and end his own country's support of terrorism, to visit the site of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in our nation's history," Democratic U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton said in a statement.
Former Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani also opposed any such visit.
"This is a man who has made threats against America and Israel, is harboring Bin Laden's son and other al Qaeda leaders, is shipping arms to Iraqi insurgents and is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons," he said.
"Assisting Ahmadinejad in touring Ground Zero -- hallowed ground for all Americans -- is outrageous."
From Michelle Malkin: Time to organize an Ahmadinejad welcoming party?
Here's the contact information for the Iran's U.N. mission. Let them know what you think of Ahmadinejad visiting Ground Zero. This information comes from Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, who writes:
I urge every one of you to exercise your first amendment right and share with the Mullahs and their puppet president, your opinion of them. We need to let these people know that the world does not operate according to their fascist whims.
The cartoon is based on the famous, Pulitzer Prize winning photograph by William C. Beall.
UPDATE: From FOX News: Ahmadinejad Still Wants to Visit Ground Zero, But Doubts It Will Happen.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he still wants to visit Ground Zero next week during his visit to New York City, and he's "amazed" that Americans view his request to visit the site as insulting, according to an interview conducted with CBS News' "60 Minutes."
Asked if he intends to press his request to visit the World Trade Center site, Ahmadinejad tells the news magazine, "Well, it was included in my program. If we have the time and the conditions are conducive, I will try to do that."
He adds, however, that "local officials need to make the necessary coordinations."
"If they can't do that, I won't insist," he says.
This cartoon was originally posted on January 12, 2005, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.
Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather has filed a $70 million lawsuit Wednesday against the CBS network, its parent company Viacom Inc., and three of his former bosses, claiming he was made a "scapegoat" for a discredited story about President Bush's military service.
Rather, 75, accused CBS and its executives of making him a "scapegoat" in an attempt to "pacify the White House," according to CBS Radio.
Rather's complaint stems from "CBS' intentional mishandling" of the aftermath of a discredited story about President George W. Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, the suit charges.
The newsman also said he was denied airtime on "60 Minutes" and forced out of his job, CBS Radio reported. ...
Rather, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the story, stepped down as "CBS Evening News" anchor in March 2005.
He narrated the September 2004 report, which claimed that President Bush skirted some of his duties during his National Guard service and that a commander felt pressured to sugarcoat Bush's record. He maintains the story was true.
But an independent CBS review determined the story was neither fair nor accurate. CBS fired three news executives and a producer for airing it.
UPDATE -- Sept. 20: From Little Green Footballs: Rather's Lawyer: 'Nobody's Proved the Documents Were Forgeries'.
President Hugo Chavez threatened on Monday to take over any private schools refusing to submit to the oversight of his socialist government, a move some Venezuelans fear will impose leftist ideology in the classroom.
All Venezuelan schools, both public and private, must submit to state inspectors enforcing the new educational system. Those that refuse will be closed and nationalized, Chavez said.
A new curriculum will be phased in during this school year, and new textbooks are being developed to help educate "the new citizen," added Chavez's brother and education minister Adan Chavez in their televised ceremony on the first day of classes.
Just what the curriculum will include and how it will be applied to all Venezuelan schools and universities remains unclear.
But one college-level syllabus obtained by The Associated Press shows some premedical students already have a recommended reading list including Karl Marx's "Das Kapital" and Fidel Castro's speeches, alongside traditional subjects like biology and chemistry.
The syllabus also includes quotations from Chavez and urges students to learn about slain revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Colombian rebel chief Manuel Marulanda, whose leftist guerrillas are considered a terrorist group by Colombia, the U.S. and European Union. ...
"We must train socially minded people to help the community, and that's why the revolution's socialist program is being implemented," said Zulay Campos, a member of a Bolivarian State Academic Commission that evaluates compliance with academic guidelines.
"If they attack us because we're indoctrinating, well yes, we're doing it, because those capitalist ideas that our young people have — and that have done so much damage to our people — must be eliminated," Campos said.
Now some critics worry that primary and secondary schoolchildren will be indoctrinated as well.
To see John's pencil sketch of this cartoon, click here.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday offered a sweeping health care reform plan to ensure coverage for all Americans with federal assistance to help defray the cost.
Thirteen years after her first effort was abandoned — but saying she still bore the scars from that failure, Clinton described her new plan as necessary to address the crisis of some 47 million uninsured.
"I believe everyone — every man, woman and child — should have quality, affordable health care in America," the New York senator told an audience in Iowa. She vowed to accomplish the goal in her first term.
Her original plan was an unprecedented initiative for a first lady. This time, she is offering a $110 billion a year program as a candidate for the presidency, in the leadoff state that is her toughest battleground. The health care plan came late in her primary campaign, after several rivals had already described their visions.
"Perhaps more than anybody else I know just how hard this fight will be," Clinton said.
Dismissing the inevitable Republican criticism, Clinton admonished the crowd. "I know my Republican opponents will try to equate health care for all Americans with government-run health care. Don't let them fool us again. This is not government-run."
Clinton says she has learned from the 1990s experience, which almost derailed Bill Clinton's presidency and helped put Republicans in control of Congress for years to come. Aides say she has jettisoned the complexity and uncertainty of the last effort in favor of a plan that stresses simplicity, cost control and consumer choice.
The centerpiece of Clinton's "American Health Choices Plan" is the so-called "individual mandate," requiring everyone to have health insurance ...
Republican skeptics say it would be too invasive and would restrict personal freedom and choice. Liberal Democrats have expressed concern that such a mandate would be too financially burdensome for lower-income individuals and families ...
[B]usinesses ... would be required to offer insurance to employees, or contribute to a government-run pool that would help pay for those not covered. Clinton would also offer a tax subsidy to small businesses to help them afford the cost of providing coverage to their workers.
For individuals and families who are not covered by employers or whose employer-based coverage is inadequate, Clinton would offer expanded versions of two existing government programs: Medicare, and the health insurance plan currently offered to federal employees.
From Fresno Bee: Norman Hsu's legal woes likely to follow Clinton.
Norman Hsu was politician's dream who became a nightmare. He knew people, hosted fundraisers, solicited donations. And he was an unabashed fan of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Now in disgrace, his role as one of Clinton's top money bundlers will dog him and her presidential campaign while law enforcement authorities investigate his business and political dealings.
Eager to sever her links to Hsu, the Clinton campaign this week returned $850,000 in contributions linked to his fundraising activities. But Hsu's troubles aren't over and the spotlight on his political connections won't recede easily.
Hsu is the latest poster boy for rogue fundraising, a man whose political shoulder rubbing reinvented him and then did him in. For Clinton, Hsu threatens to be an unwelcome reminder of the fundraising scandals that pursued her husband and the Democratic Party in the 1990s.
Joseph Birkenstock, a former chief counsel for the Democratic National Committee, said it would be unfair to link her presidential campaign to 12-year-old instances of money laundering and Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers for major Democratic donors.
"But given her last name," he said, "the bar is somewhat higher for her politically than it would be for others."
To see more of John's caricatures, see his new blog John Cox Art.
A fatal attack launched two days ago against the sprawling headquarters base of the American military in Iraq was carried out with a 240 mm rocket -- a type of weapon provided to Shiite extremists by Iran, a U.S. general said Thursday.
One person was killed and 11 were wounded during the "indirect fire" attack Tuesday against Camp Victory, which includes the headquarters of Multinational Forces-Iraq. ...
Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner said the rocket was launched from a populated area in the Rasheed district of west Baghdad, which he said was infiltrated by the Mahdi Army militia of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Bergner said Shiite groups "have received" such weapons "from Iranian sources in the past" and "used them against coalition forces." A 240 mm rocket was fired against a U.S. base south of the capital in mid-August.
"The Iranian... rocket is the only 240-milimeter rocket found or fired in Iraq to date, and Jaish al-Mahdi is the only group known to fire that rocket," Bergner said, referring to the Mahdi Army by its Arabic name.
Meanwhile, also from FOX News: U.S. Officials Begin Crafting Iran Bombing Plan.
A recent decision by German officials to withhold support for any new sanctions against Iran has pushed a broad spectrum of officials in Washington to develop potential scenarios for a military attack on the Islamic regime, FOX News confirmed Tuesday.
Germany — a pivotal player among three European nations to rein in Iran's nuclear program over the last two-and-a-half years through a mixture of diplomacy and sanctions supported by the United States — notified its allies last week that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel refuses to support the imposition of any further sanctions against Iran that could be imposed by the U.N. Security Council. ...
[A]ccording to a well-placed Bush administration source, "everyone in town" is now participating in a broad discussion about the costs and benefits of military action against Iran, with the likely timeframe for any such course of action being over the next eight to 10 months, after the presidential primaries have probably been decided, but well before the November 2008 elections.
The discussions are now focused on two basic options: less invasive scenarios under which the U.S. might blockade Iranian imports of gasoline or exports of oil, actions generally thought to exact too high a cost on the Iranian people but not enough on the regime in Tehran; and full-scale aerial bombardment. ...
Most relevant parties have concluded such a comprehensive attack plan would require at least a week of sustained bombing runs, and would at best set the Iranian nuclear program back a number of years — but not destroy it forever. Other considerations include the likelihood of Iranian reprisals against Tel Aviv and other Israeli population centers; and the effects on American troops in Iraq. There, officials have concluded that the Iranians are unlikely to do much more damage than they already have been able to inflict through their supply of explosives and training of insurgents in Iraq.
The Bush administration "has just about had it with Iran," said one foreign diplomat.
"Just about had it"? Apparently they need even more Iranian-inflicted casualties.
Other reasons for confronting Iran militarily (from just the last couple of years):
Iranian General: U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan Are Within Iran's Firing Range (FOX News, September 24, 2007)
U.S. says Iran sending missiles to Iraq (AP, September 23, 2007)
Iranian Officer Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling Roadside Bombs Into Iraq (FOX News, September 20, 2007)
U.S. General: Iranian Missile Used in Attack on U.S. Base in Iraq (FOX News, September 12, 2007)
U.S Troops Tracking Iranian Forces Aiding Shiite Militias in Iraq (FOX News, August 19, 2007)
Iran's Revolutionary Guards: We Will 'Punch' U.S. (FOX News, August 19, 2007)
Captured Video Shows Iraqi Insurgents Firing Sophisticated Iranian-Made Rockets at U.S. Positions (FOX News, August 8, 2007)
U.S. says Iran-supplied bomb is killing more troops in Iraq (New York Times, August 6, 2007)
U.S.: Iranian Training Responsible for 'Significant Improvement' in Iraqi Insurgents Aim With Mortars (FOX News, July 26, 2007)
U.S.: Smugglers nabbed in Iraq may have links to Iran (CNN, July 22, 2007)
Chinese missiles smuggled through Iran into Iraq: US (AFP, July 22, 2007)
Americans held in Iran on alleged security offenses shown on state TV (CNN, July 18, 2007)
Iran Is Found To Be a Lair of Al Qaeda (New York Sun, July 17, 2007)
Iraqi official says 200 explosive belts captured in truck crossing from Syria [an Iranian ally] (Ynet News, July 11, 2007)
US takes China to task over Iraq and Afghan arms [flowing via Iran] (Financial Times, July 9, 2007)
Officials: Captured Hezbollah agent helped plan deadly Karbala raid (CNN, July 1, 2007)
Iran supplied missile that hit UK helicopter (The Sunday Times, June 24, 2007)
Gates: Taliban getting weapons from Iran (The Boston Globe, June 13, 2007)
Iran arming Taliban, U.S. claims (CNN, June 13, 2007)
US troops attacked by Iranian military last year (The Jerusalem Post, March 25, 2007)
Iran's influence grows in Iraq, region (Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2007)
Iraqi extremists trained in Iran: US intelligence (AFP, February 28, 2007)
Military: more evidence of Iran-made explosives (Seattle Times, February 27, 2007)
U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran (AP via FOX News, February 26, 2007)
Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran (The Telegraph, February 13, 2007)
Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack (CNN, January 31, 2007)
Donkeys harboring weapons stopped at Iran-Iraq border (Army Times, November 2, 2006)
Barbero: Iran training Shiite insurgents (AP via Army Times, August 24, 2006)
Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shiites (The Washington Times, June 23, 2006)
Rumsfeld accuses Iran of troublemaking in Iraq (AP via Army Times, March 7, 2006)
EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? (ABC News, March 6, 2006)
Rumsfeld: Iraq bombs 'clearly from Iran' (CNN, August 10, 2005)
This cartoon was originally posted on July 20, 2005, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our latest book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.
From NRO: Denial, England: Have we learned nothing? by Melanie Phillips. (via Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi)
When I published my book Londonistan last year, I believed Britain was deeply in denial over the threat of radical Islamism. Today — six years after 9/11; two years after the 7/7 London suicide bombings; one year after the discovery of the al Qaeda transatlantic-airline plot; two months after the car-bomb attacks on a London nightclub and Glasgow airport — even with an apparently neverending procession of trials of British Islamist terrorists and with MI5 stating that it is monitoring no fewer than 200 U.K. Islamist terror groupings, 2,000 individual terrorists, and 30 known active major terrorist plots, Britain is still failing to acknowledge the true nature and scale of what it is facing and what needs to be done to counter it. ...
The biggest danger to the West is this climate of defeatism, appeasement, and cultural collapse now on display for the Islamists to see. This is the single biggest impetus to Islamist terrorism. We all have to grasp that terrorism is not the biggest threat we face. The biggest threat is the ideology that drives it. It’s not enough to fight terror, vital though that is. The principal battleground is the world of ideas, the battle for hearts and minds. The Islamists see this very clearly. They understand that psychological warfare — the fomenting of paranoia, resentment, hysteria, and demoralization — is their most effective weapon. If they can hijack the human mind to the cause of hatred and lies, they have an army; and if they can bamboozle and demoralize their victims, they will win.
Phillips says, "The liberal West, which worships at the shrine of reason, does not understand that ideas can kill." I disagree; it's the West's rejection of reason that has blinded it to threats by Islamic totalitarians, not an embrace of reason.
The Multi-Kultur-Haus, an Islamic center on the Bavarian side in Neu-Ulm, was the center of the movement that became known in German intelligence circles as the Ulm Scene. Intelligence officials say they know of at least four men who frequented the center, one of them a convert, who traveled to Chechnya. Only one returned; the rest were killed fighting for the jihadist cause against the Russians.
From FOX News: Crocker: Withdrawal Plan Could Spark Iraqi 'Street Fight'.
Announcing a plan for rapid troop withdrawals in Iraq would signal Iraqis to start "building the walls, stocking ammunition and getting ready for a big nasty street fight" rather than working toward reconciliation, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Tuesday.
Amb. Ryan Crocker told senators that he recognizes times are tough in Iraq, and lawmakers want to draw down the number of U.S. forces in Iraq from its current peak of 168,000, but any rapid redeployment could topple the shaky progress that has been made as a result of the recent surge.
"An Iraq that falls into chaos or civil war will mean massive human suffering — well beyond what has already occurred within Iraq's borders," Crocker said
Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, the head of Multinational Forces In Iraq, were testifying for a second day on Capitol Hill on military and political progress in Iraq. They faced lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are under pressure to bring troops home.
Petraeus said the total number of troops to be withdrawn by next summer will return troop levels to its pre-surge numbers of 130,000. Sending home one Marine expeditionary unit, two Marine battalions and five Army brigades would allow the remaining forces to continue operational and strategic considerations, including fighting off Al Qaeda in Iraq and Iranian "militia extremists."
In the excellent book Never Forget: An Oral History of September 11, 2001, authors Mitchell Fink and Lois Mathias collected stories from eyewitnesses. Here's an excerpt from what David Kravette, a Cantor Fitzgerald broker, told the authors about his experience at the World Trade Center:
On the morning of September 11, I was on floor 105, tower 1. I had an 8 a.m. meeting set up with a client. He was bringing by some tech people to do some due diligence on our technology company called E-Speed. I get to work usually around seven, seven-fifteen. At eight, the client called to tell me they were running late. And I said fine. But I reminded him to bring photo ID downstairs. Ever since the last terrorist attack in '93, the building requires photo ID downstairs. He's been there before, so he knew the drill. He said, "Fine. No problem."
At 8:40, I get a phone call from the security desk downstairs, asking me if I'm expecting visitors. I said yes. "Well, they're here," they said. "But one of them forgot their ID."
I'm 105 flights up. The commute to get downstairs takes about five minutes, especially around that time. So I'm annoyed, obviously, because I have to go down now to sign these people in after I just told them to bring ID. I look at this desk assistant across from me, thinking maybe she'll help out and go down, but she's on the phone. She's also about eight months pregnant. She's a few weeks from maternity leave and she's on the phone talking to a friend and she's on a website looking at bassinets and cribs. A very nice girl expecting her first child. So how lazy am I? I decide to go myself. ...
... I take these two elevator rides down. I take the elevator from 105 to 78, change, and take the express down to the ground. I got down to the lobby. Our elevator banks actually face the visitors' gallery. And I started walking over to the visitors' gallery, I'd say it's about thirty yards, and they're standing there waiting for me. And I remember yelling, "Which one of you knuckleheads forgot your ID?"
And as I say this, you hear this really loud screeching sound. I turn around and it's kind of coming from the elevators. So I run away from it, like ten steps, and look back. And the elevators are free-falling. Then, from the middle elevator bank, not the one I came down on, but from the middle one, a huge fireball explodes in the lobby. This huge fireball is coming right toward me. People got incinerated. And I remember just looking at this thing, not feeling scared, but just sad because I knew I was going to die. But as quickly as it came toward me, it actually sucked back in on itself, and it was gone. It left a lot of smoke and everything was blown out, all the glass and revolving doors leading into the shopping area. All I felt was a big wave of heat come over me, like when you put your face too close to a fireplace. My customer and my general counsel and I just ran out. The three of us ran over the overpass to where the Financial Center is. We went down to where the marina is, where the yachts are. And that's when we found out what happened, that a plane had hit the building.
I looked up and saw this big gaping hole. I said, "What's that falling out of the window?"
My general counsel looks at me like I'm nuts. And he says, "That's people jumping out." ...
Cantor Fitzgerald had four floors in the North Tower -- 101, 103, 104, and 105. Nobody got out on those floors. Everyone who was upstairs perished. There were a lot of phone calls to wives and husbands at around nine o'clock saying good-bye, as though they knew they were going to die.
UPDATE -- Sept. 11: From Tim Sumner: FDNY operating in the South Tower on 9/11.
From FOX News: White House Adviser Calls Bin Laden 'Virtually Impotent'.
Al Qaeda terror network leader Usama bin Laden is a "man on the run" who has demonstrated in his latest videotape release that he is "virtually impotent" and capable of nothing more than threats, the White House's chief homeland security adviser said Sunday.
Frances Townsend told "FOX News Sunday" that the tape out Friday from bin Laden was made recently, possibly in the last several months. While the intelligence community is still evaluating the tape to determine the terror leader's health, possible whereabouts and other details, it does not appear to be a trigger for an attack.
"There's nothing overtly obvious in the tape that would suggest this is a trigger for an attack," she said.
"We know that Al Qaeda is still determined to attack, and we take it seriously. But this tape appears to be nothing more than threats. It's propaganda on their part," Townsend added.
The tape was the first time that the fugitive Al Qaeda leader has appeared in a new video since 2004. In the recording, he tells Americans they should convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to end. He makes no overt threats and does not directly call for attacks.
"This is about the best he can do," Townsend said. "This is a man on a run, from a cave, who's virtually impotent other than these tapes."
Speaking two days before the six-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack that killed about 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the homeland security adviser acknowledged that the latest National Intelligence Estimate shows the terror group has gained some capability and operational leadership.
The network is believed to be regrouping in the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, but according to Townsend, is also actively trying to establish sleeper cells in the United States. She refused to talk about ongoing investigations, and said the No. 1 priority for the FBI and U.S. intelligence is to keep Al Qaeda cells out of the U.S.
To see more of John's caricatures, see his new blog John Cox Art.
UPDATE -- Sept. 11: From FOX News: New Usama Bin Laden Video Shows 9/11 Hijacker's Last Testament.
Usama bin Laden urged sympathizers to join the "caravan" of martyrs as he praised one of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers in a new video that emerged Tuesday to mark the sixth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Al Qaeda traditionally issues a video every year on the anniversary, with the last testament of one of the 19 hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. This year's video showed hijacker Waleed al-Shehri addressing the camera and warning the U.S.: "We shall come at you from your front and back, your right and left."
From Reuters: Childhood TV viewing can cause teenage problems.
Watching television more than two hours a day early in life can lead to attention problems later in adolescence, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The roughly 40 percent increase in attention problems among heavy TV viewers was observed in both boys and girls, and was independent of whether a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was made prior to adolescence.
The link was established by a long-term study of the habits and behaviors of more than 1,000 children born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between April 1972 and March 1973.
The children aged 5 to 11 watched an average of 2.05 hours of weekday television. From age 13 to 15, time spent in front of the tube rose to an average of 3.1 hours a day.
"Those who watched more than two hours, and particularly those who watched more than three hours, of television per day during childhood had above-average symptoms of attention problems in adolescence," Carl Landhuis of the University of Otago in Dunedin wrote in his report, published in the journal Pediatrics.
Young children who watched a lot of television were more likely to continue the habit as they got older, but even if they did not the damage was done, the report said.
"This suggests that the effects of childhood viewing on attention may be long lasting," Landhuis wrote.
From FOX News: Pentagon Source Says China Hacked Defense Department Computers.
The Chinese government hacked a noncritical Defense Department computer system in June, a Pentagon source told FOX News on Tuesday.
Pentagon investigators could not definitively link the cyber attack to the Chinese military, the source said, but the technology was sophisticated enough that it indicated to Pentagon officials — as well as those in charge of computer security — that it came from within the Chinese government.
The source's information directly contradicts Chinese claims earlier Tuesday, in which officials called the allegations "groundless." The Chinese government, officials said, opposes cyber crime.
"It's a safe assumption that the technology was resident in the state," the source told FOX. It was a "complicated attack."
"These hacking attacks go on everyday but this was a more complicated attack with more sophisticated technology that broke through the current firewalls," the Pentagon source said. "It's a constant game of cat and mouse. This was a wake-up call for us."
The source added that the area hacked was not a very important one. It was a section of the office of the Defense secretary that deals with policy and administrative matters comprised of all unclassified e-mail accounts. The source added that the area is not significant to any operational security. ...
It was the second time in two weeks that China was accused of hacking into a foreign government's computers. On the eve of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Beijing last week, the weekly Der Spiegel said computers at the Chancellery and three ministries had been infected with so-called Trojans, or spy programs. ...
The Pentagon warned earlier this year that China's army is emphasizing hacking as an offensive weapon. It cited Chinese military exercises in 2005 that included hacking "primarily in first strikes against enemy networks."
From AP: Bush to praise and challenge Hu Jintao.
President Bush plans to deliver a mixed message of encouragement and concern when he meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao, the leader of one of the world's fastest-growing economies and one of its most formidable military powers. ...
China has denied reports that its military hacked into a computer system in the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates in June. Bush largely sidestepped the question, but said, "We understand that we're vulnerable in some systems." The Financial Times, citing unidentified officials, said China was behind the attack that forced the Pentagon to temporarily take down the network. China has called the allegations "groundless."
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.
"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."
He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem." Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.
Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.
"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.
The former North Carolina senator said all presidential candidates talking about health care "ought to be asked one question: Does your plan cover every single American?"
"Because if it doesn't they should be made to explain what child, what woman, what man in America is not worthy of health care," he said. "Because in my view, everybody is worth health care."
Edwards said his plan would cost up to $120 billion a year, a cost he proposes covering by ending President Bush's tax cuts to people who make more than $200,000 per year.
While Edwards is pushing for government-funded, mandatory checkups, here's a 2003 New York Times article that questions their necessity even in a private system: Annual Physical Checkup May Be an Empty Ritual
[I]n a series of reports that began in 1989 and is still continuing, an expert committee sponsored by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, found little support for many of the tests commonly included in a typical physical exam for symptomless people.
On the topic of universal health care, from the Ayn Rand Institute: No Right to "Free" Health Care by Onkar Ghate.
Health insurance costs so much today because the government, on the premise that there exists a "right" to health care at someone else's expense, has promised Americans a free lunch. When a person can consume medical services without needing to consider how to pay for them--Medicare, Medicaid, or the individual's employer will foot the bill--demand skyrockets. The $2,000 elective liver test he or she would have forgone in favor of a better place to live suddenly becomes a necessity when its cost seems to add up to $0.
You might recognize Edwards' pose and line from this poster, which we decided to parody.
From CNN: Amid sex scandal, Sen. Craig resigns.
Sen. Larry Craig said Saturday he will resign, succumbing to rapidly intensifying pressure from within his own Republican Party.
"The people of Idaho deserve a senator who can devote 100 percent of his time and effort to the critical issues of our state and of our nation," said Craig, speaking under a clear blue sky at 10:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. ET) outside the historic Boise Depot in Idaho's capital city.
"Therefore it is with sadness and deep regret that I announce that it is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30th."
His announcement was greeted by scattered applause. A woman called out, "We love you, Larry!" Craig's wife, Suzanne, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and other supporters stood behind Craig as he spoke. Watch the crowd react »
Craig had been under intense pressure to quit since news surfaced this week that he was arrested in June in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by a plainclothes police officer.
Police were investigating reports of sexual activity in the restroom.
To see more of John's caricatures, see his new blog John Cox Art.
UPDATE -- Sept. 4 From FOX News: Idaho Sen. Larry Craig Reconsiders Decision to Resign.