Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

European Sunday Brunch - October 1

by Fran Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:50:55 AM EST

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Sir Isaac Newton


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EUROPE
by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:51:46 AM EST
Seattlepi: Man forced off plane by fellow passengers

MADRID, Spain -- A Spanish university professor with a long beard and dark complexion said Thursday he was briefly forced off an airliner during a layover on the Spanish island of Mallorca by passengers who feared he was an Islamic terrorist.

Pablo Gutierrez Vega said he was humiliated when three German passengers on an Air Berlin flight approached him during a layover in Palma de Mallorca on Aug. 30 en route from Seville, Spain, to Dortmund, Germany, and asked to search his carry-on luggage.

The men told him that other passengers were frightened by his appearance, said Gutierrez Vega, 35, a law professor at the University of Seville.

"They treated me like an Islamic terrorist because of my appearance," Gutierrez Vega said, according to an account posted Thursday on the Web site of the newspaper El Pais.

The airline confirmed the incident and called it regrettable.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:54:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pavlov, meet dog.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 04:25:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.  Someone said:
To a person with only a hammer, everything is a nail.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 01:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't worry, fashion trends come and go. Just you wait and see, fifteen years from now beards and dark complexions will be the new hula-hoop.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pablo Gutierrez Vega said he was humiliated when three German passengers on an Air Berlin flight approached him during a layover in Palma de Mallorca on Aug. 30 en route from Seville, Spain, to Dortmund, Germany, and asked to search his carry-on luggage.
Passengers asked to seach his carry-on luggage? And he didn't call airport security on them?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:11:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alternately he could have joked, to get them to relax. Along the lines of "only if you show me your underpants hehe" with a big grin.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:18:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pablo Gutierrez Vega is an associate professor of law. He has written on indigenous peoples and constitutional law.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:21:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's not really anything that can be said, is there?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm tempted to invite him to blog here, he's written on the EU constitution as well.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:38:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't you give in to your temptation?
by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent idea.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 09:31:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: EU-US airline data talks collapse
Talks between the United States and the European Union on sharing confidential airline passenger information have broken down, according to the EU.

But officials say there will be no disruption to transatlantic flights.

After 9/11, US authorities demanded that airlines should provide personal passenger data for all inbound flights.

But the subsequent US-EU agreement was ruled illegal by the highest European court in May of this year. Saturday was the deadline for a new deal.

A European Commission spokesman said that a legal black hole could be created by the lack of agreement.

"There is no agreement. There is a legal vacuum as of midnight tonight," EU Transport Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said on Saturday.  

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:55:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: NATO's Rapid Response Force Finally Ready for Action

After 4 years in the making, the NATO Response Force will be operational as promised in time for its October 1 launch. Germany is contributing the majority of the soldiers for the alliance's new rapid deployment force.

The United States, NATO's leading member, had pushed for a thorough rebuilding of the Alliance after the terror attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 and the deployment of international troops to Afghanistan. Washington set out to convince its fellow alliance members that NATO should be remodelled in order to face new challenges.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had developed the idea of using NATO as some sort of "tool kit" for the protection against global threats. In 2002, heads of states and governments decided to develop a quick response force, scheduled to be fully operational by October 1st of this year.                

The military dress rehearsal for the force took place this summer on the Capverdian Islands. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was quite satisfied with the test run. "I am convinced that we will be fully operational by October 1st, just as scheduled," he said at the time.

NRF's 26,000 soldiers are now ready for action. The troops -- lead by Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, General James Jones -- are to be able to react to crises within a lead time of 5 days.  

NATO member states will provide troops for the NRF on a rotational basis. The soldiers will stay in their home barracks until required for an emergency. They will be on duty for at least half a year, and 6 months prior to their deployment, will get trained on how to interact with other nations' armies.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:58:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And who gets to decide what they rapidly respond to ?

Let me guess ....the White House ?? So basically Europe is now signing its military up for supporting all american wars of choice, without hindrance or debate from Europe about the purpose of such actions.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:02:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is not interested in putting its "rapid response force" at the White House's disposal, so we just create a "NATO rapid response force".

It would be interesting to compare troop contributions to either by various countries...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:04:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: Russia suspends Georgia pullout

A senior Russian army commander says Moscow is suspending the withdrawal of its forces from Georgia, amid a spying row between the two countries.

Russian forces were to pull out of two bases in Georgia by 2008, but the commander said the security of troops could not be guaranteed as they left.
Four Russian officers detained in Georgia have been charged with spying.

Russia has denied the accusations, and is evacuating all its staff from the Russian embassy in Tbilisi.

Deteriorating relations

On Friday a court in Tbilisi charged the four officers and ordered their detention for two months pending investigations.

Russia has denounced the arrests, called for the release of the four officers and urged the United Nations Security Council to take action to restrain Georgia.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:59:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Betrayed: How we have failed our troops in Afghanistan

Military chiefs warned John Reid: 'Don't try to fight war on two fronts'
British soldiers six times more likely to die in Afghan conflict than in Iraq

 Britain's most senior military chiefs warned John Reid not to commit UK troops to "a war on two fronts" in Iraq and Afghanistan more than 18 months ago, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Despite clear advice that a "significant" withdrawal of troops from Iraq was needed before a new mission, Mr Reid went ahead with the Afghan deployment after coming under pressure from Tony Blair. The advice, prepared by military planners and endorsed by the Chiefs of the Defence Staff, was given to Mr Reid on his arrival as Secretary of State for Defence in May last year. Despite the warnings, he went ahead with the deployment in January.

Mr Reid was accused last night of having taken "a gamble" by the Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs as the political and military fall-out from the conflict continues to grow. The present Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne, has been forced to deny persistent reports that military chiefs are pressing for significant withdrawals from Iraq in order to shore up the Afghanistan operation.

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the war this Saturday, stark new evidence of the suffering being endured by British troops on the ground emerged in a series of leaked emails published in The Mail on Sunday. They amount to a harrowing account of terrified soldiers tormented by heat and sandflies engaged in brutal combat with Taliban fighters. One soldier wrote: "You see the Taliban cutting around on dirtbikes, their weapons in one hand, their kids in the other. They think we will not shoot them. There have been some terrible incidents. It is horrible to kill a kid, nothing could prepare you for it."

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:17:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

after coming under pressure from Tony Blair

Now why would TB do that?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 04:26:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they're stuck and they don't know what else to do except bleat about staying the course and accusing all their critics of wanting to cut and run.

How very republican of them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:04:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tehran Times: EU may ban altered foods, WTO says

GENEVA, Switzerland (UPI) -- The World Trade Organization said European countries were within their rights to ban genetically modified foods on health and environmental grounds.

The organization which sets rules for global trade and resolves disputes among member states left in place government rules without saying if genetically modified foods are dangerous.

Environmental groups said the report showed the WTO was not fit to judge disputes of this kind, The Financial Times reported. Adrian Bebb, a campaigner against genetically modified foods at Friends of the Earth Europe, called the dispute 'a pointless exercise.'

U.S. consumers readily buy genetically modified products, but European consumers are generally suspicious of what some call 'Frankenfoods,' the newspaper said.

U.S. and European Union officials said they would study the WTO report before deciding on any appeal. They have 60 days to do so.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tehran Times: Russia has opportunity to connect with Islamic world: Taskhiri

MOSCOW (IRNA) -- The Head of the World Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thoughts (WAPIST) Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri said on Saturday that today Russia is availed with a golden opportunity to approach the world of Islam, given that the two need each other.

Ayatollah Taskhiri, who is currently in the island of Rhodes in Eastern Greece to attend the international gathering on `Dialogue among Civilizations', made the remark while speaking to reporters.

"Today, the world Muslims hate the U.S. and some Western states and Russia can mediate to fill such a gap through establishment of rational ties between West and the world of Islam," he added.

Turning to Russia as a neighbor of the world of Islam and observer member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), he said that given its Muslim population of 20 million and favorable cooperation with Islamic states, Russia can attempt to get closer to Islam.

About the world's first female space tourist, the Iranian-born American citizen Anusheh Ansari, he said, "The success of any Iranian, particularly in scientific fields, makes us happy.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tehran Times: Iran seeks "strategic partnership" with Europe

BERLIN (IRNA) -- Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani does not rule out an industrial uranium enrichment, the Munich-based Focus news magazine reported Saturday. Asked by Focus whether Iran which has so far used only a few centrifuges to enrich uranium for research purposes, wants to enrich on an industrial scale, Larijani replied, "Ideally yes."

According to Focus, Larijani rejected again western calls for a suspension of uranium enrichment during his 10-hour meetings with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier near Berlin on Wednesday and Thursday.

Larijani and Solana said earlier progress had been made in their discussions over Iran's nuclear program and talks would resume next week.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've ressurrected my poll review in this diary

And I've found several polls on the Austrian election.  I really do think that a Red-Green coalition might result.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 04:10:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:52:12 AM EST
LaTimes: Gonzales Cautions Judges on Interfering
WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending President Bush's anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president's judgments in wartime.

He said the Constitution makes the president commander in chief and the Supreme Court has long recognized the president's pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. "The Constitution, by contrast, provides the courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during wartime," the attorney general told a conference on the judiciary at Georgetown University
"Judges must resist the temptation to supplement those tools based on their own personal views about the wisdom of the policies under review," Gonzales said.

And he said the independence of federal judges, who are appointed for life, "has never meant, and should never mean, that judges or their decisions should be immune" from public criticism.

"Respectfully, when courts issue decisions that overturn long-standing traditions or policies without proper support in text or precedent, they cannot -- and should not -- be shielded from criticism," Gonzales said. "A proper sense of judicial humility requires judges to keep in mind the institutional limitations of the judiciary and the duties expressly assigned by the Constitution to the more politically accountable branches."

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<head explodes>


the duties expressly assigned by the Constitution to the more politically accountable branches.

Translation: the 2004 election gave us the right to do whatever we damn like, Constitution be damned.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 04:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"... especially during wartime,..."

Hmmm, except that there was never a declaration of war, either for Afganistan nor Iraq (merely congressional resolutions authorizing the use of force).

One would hope that an attorney general would know (and care) about the difference...)

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 05:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush will choose to ignore all legal judgements and criticisms, because he is now king.

Still wondering/fearful about what'll happen in November.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:06:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
November will pass uneventfully while scattered leftists numbering a few percent have an oh, shit moment.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:14:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still not convinced you're right.

But if you are, I'm buying those chickens and that goat.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:01:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please, please,
take that back!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 01:31:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would only be the 4th time it happens...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 02:21:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Times: Afghanistan: Why NATO cannot win

The four-month-old Republic of Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea received its first foreign dignitary on Monday when US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld arrived at its capital, Podgorica. Unknowingly, the tiny country of rugged mountains and great beauty in the Balkans with a population of 630,000 was being catapulted into the cockpit of 21st-century geopolitics.

Rumsfeld's mission was to request the inexperienced leadership in Podgorica to dispatch a military contingent to form part of the coalition of the willing in the "war on terror". Rumsfeld promised that in return, the US would help train Montenegro's fledgling army to standards of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

However, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic could not make any commitments. Rumsfeld's proposal came at an awkward moment for the leadership in Podgorica, which had just scrapped the draft and was scaling down its 4,000-strong army to about 2,500.

This bizarre diplomatic exchange between the most awesome military power on Earth and the newest member of the "international community" brings home the paradoxes of the "war on terror" on the eve of its fifth anniversary. Three ministerial-level meetings of NATO have taken place within the space of the past month alone, specifically with the intent of ascertaining how troop strength in Afghanistan can be augmented.


by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:00:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Star: The story of C Company
PANJWAII DISTRICT, Afghanistan--One must turn back time several generations to find Canadian soldiers in the state that Charlie Company finds itself today. Not since the Korean War has a single Canadian combat unit been so cut to pieces so quickly.
....
The epic double-whammy -- a perfect Taliban ambush of unprecedented intensity, followed one day later by a devastating burst of "friendly fire" from a U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthog -- reduced Charlie to a status of "combat ineffective." They were the ones to fire the opening shots of Operation Medusa. But even as the massive Canada-led assault was gathering steam they were finished.

The soldiers left standing are not the same today as the ones who deployed to Afghanistan with nothing but good intentions barely seven weeks ago, as part of 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, based in Petawawa, Ont.
A few are emotional wrecks, too fragile still to speak of what transpired during that fateful Labour Day long weekend. Others bleed anger from their every pore.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:04:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My first post around here so I'm going for the jugular:the NATO engagement in Afghanistan - can't win, OK-agreed? War NOT longterm winnable for same reasons why Brit-Raj lost, Russia lost (and no Russia did not lose merely because of US funding of Taliban plus AQ, real reasons being G4 warfare fuelled by Afghanis' acute zenophobia re pink-skinned non-Muslim foreign invaders-whoever-they-may-be). Both US and non-US NATO are currently saying this is NATO's testing-ground but most European NATO-troop suppliers are ambiguously still hanging around but looking more and more vague about it all, scratching and/or catching butterflies... saying "hey we only signed up for reconstruction aid" and/or "sorry but we have far more urgent business elsewhere" (i.e. too busy peacekeeping MINUS NATO in Lebanon which is MED i.e. Southern European direct zone-of-interest). US has tried to cast NATO as its lighting-rod here as it's a sure thing the mission will mess up... question is, will the defeat/failure/mess finally bring NATO crashing down with it?  And if/when it does, good thing or bad thing? Opinions, anyone?      

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami
by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 09:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You could post this as a comment in one of Joerg in Berlin's diaries of Afghanistan, or post it as your own diary.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 02:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd vote for own diary. Maybe someone can explain some things about why NATO is good to me in the mean time.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 02:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Still waiting for Marek's diary on Atlanticism...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 02:35:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MoA: Secret CIA Prisons in Pakistan

A German daily reports the existance of at least three secret CIA prisons in Pakistan. A German doctor, says he has treated a child in one of those prisons for tuberculosis.

I have so far found no note on this report in the English speaking press, so here is my translation.

The prisons are to the outside under Pakistani control. They are heavily shielded from the public, but are co-led by the CIA. According to eye-witnesses there are up to 1,000 terror suspects in the camp near Miran Shah alone. A German doctor reported to our paper that he had treated an imprisoned twelfe year old child there for tuberculosis a few month ago. "The boy was already imprisoned for a year in this CIA's Pakistani Abu Ghraib - without indictment, legal counsel and without medical treatment," the doctor complained.

(Note on the paper that published this story: The Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ) is a north-western German regional paper covering several counties, national and international news with a circulation of 185,000 during weekdays and 450,000 on weekends. It is well known, often cited and held in high regard by other outlets for its non-regional coverage and interviews. The paper is hold privatly and political neutral. The best comparison to the US market is probably the former Knight Ridder, now McClatchy newspapers. In short - it is a serious paper that would not publish this without checking its sources.)

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:02:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German original here. It's very short - only 6 grafs - and MoA got the money graf. Dateline is 29 Sept.

The sources cited are vague: "research by this newspaper"; "eyewitnesses"; and the aforementioned doctor. The report places the camps "in the vicinity of the localities Kohat, Miran Shah and Wana in the western Pakistani region [sic] of North Wasiristan and Banu".

No other German outlet has picked it up either (of course, today it's all Schumi). And the Neue Osnabrücker is not the sort of newpaper from which one would normally expect foreign investigative journalism.

On the other hand, I think most of us will pretty much agree on the fundamental plausibility of such a claim.

I dunno.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 05:50:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WSJ: China's Spending For Research Outpaces the U.S.

An unprecedented surge in research and development spending is helping China catch up with the two longstanding leaders in the field, the U.S. and Japan, a new study found.

R&D spending in China has been growing at an annual rate of about 17%, and is far higher than the 4% to 5% annual growth rates reported for the U.S., Japan and the European Union over the past dozen years. China's massive investments in education are also bearing fruit. In 2002, its industrial-research work force was 42% the size of the equivalent U.S. work force, up from 16% in 1991.

China is increasingly making its mark with scientific discoveries and patents held by its scientists. In 2003 China became only the third country, after the U.S. and Russia, to put a person into orbit on its own.

Yesterday, Michael Griffin, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, returned to the U.S. after a visit to China -- the first time a NASA administrator has visited that country -- to explore and expand space-program cooperation.

"China's significant investment in R&D is predicated on the assumption that they want to be a player and competitor both economically and militarily," said Jules Duga, senior analyst at Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit trust in Columbus, Ohio, that runs labs for the government and industry.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:03:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to worry. The application of faith-based filters to distinguish between TRUE(tm) science and God-less abomination science will ensure eternal US pre-eminence.
by det on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:27:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gulf Times: President dubs alleged Pearl killer MI6 spy

LONDON: Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has disclosed that Omar Sheikh, who kidnapped and murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl and is now facing death penalty, was actually the British secret Agency MI6's agent and had executed certain missions on their behest before coming to Pakistan and visiting Afghanistan to meet Osama and Mullah Omar.

General Musharraf's book has also given a new twist to the whole drama of kidnapping and murder of American journalist as many believe here British national Omar Sheikh might use Musharraf's memoir to plea his innocence after, quite surprisingly, Musharraf tried to give a clean chit to Omar despite his role in kidnapping which is punishable with death in Pakistan.

It has been reported that General Musharraf has written in his book that while Omar Sheikh was at the London School of Economics (LSE), he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI6, which persuaded him to take an active part in demonstrations against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and even sent him to Kosovo to join the jihad.

At some point, he probably became a rogue or double agent.

The local media is discussing the possibility that Omar would use evidence from President Musharraf's memoirs to save himself from the hangman.

General Musharraf appeared to exonerate Omar Sheikh in his book In the Line of Fire.


by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:05:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
was actually the British secret Agency MI6's agent

Does anyone remember the claims that UK Intelligence agents were dressing up like locals and pretending to be insurgents in Iraq?

Just what is going on here?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Paging LondonYank...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:14:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:29:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WTF?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:44:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: White House in crisis over 'Iraq lies' claims  

Watergate journalist's new book exposes how Bush has kept the US public in the dark about the true costs of the 'war on terror'  

President George Bush was braced for one of the toughest fights of his political life yesterday as a fierce row broke out over whether he has been misleading the American public over the worsening violence in Iraq. The crisis also rippled across the Atlantic with claims that the administration hid crucial Iraq intelligence from its British allies.

Sparking the crisis was a series of leaks from a hard-hitting new book by the political journalist Bob Woodward, one of the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate scandal that engulfed the Nixon administration three decades ago.

The author's first television interview on the Iraq book is due to be shown this evening on the CBS show 60 Minutes, and is expected to ignite a huge row over the conduct of the war. The book lifts the lid on an administration in crisis, claiming that Bush and his top officials have deliberately covered up the seriousness of the violence in the war-torn country.

Woodward has so far been sympathetic to the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.

In the TV interview Woodward accuses Bush of keeping the real situation in Iraq secret from the American public and playing down the true level of violence. 'There's public [information] and there's private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know,' he says.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:20:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it may have been a few days early for both, but this and the Foley scandal can be though of as "mini October surprises."

As I said to someone last night, it's nice to see Satan working for the Democrats again.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:31:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Foley surprise was intended to take the heat of the NIE and suspension of habeas corpus. He a bone to throw the dogs off the scent.

But nobody checked the depth of invovlement of other repugs and it's blown up out of control. I genuinely think this was a miscaluclation on the part of the WH.

Typical. They can have a war of choice, impoverish the US, suspend the separation of church and state, end habeas corpus. But what will bring them down is a minor senator chasing the tail of a 16 year old boy.

Sex. Every time.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:12:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But we should be grateful for anything we can get at this point.

This will disgust the 30-35% of the base who don't do abstract thinking, and believe Habeas Corpus is something you can be arrested for in Tennessee.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:59:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and believe Habeas Corpus is something you can be arrested for in Tennessee.

Now that's funny!

TeHe.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins

by EricC on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 10:24:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think, to be fair, that evidence like this of a 54 year old politician chasing a 16 year old on the internet would be big news anywhere. It fits with "tabloid" definitions of news extremely well.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:08:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a fair asessment, and I think that you need an all-out assult by democratic politicians today.

"When did the Republican party leadership know about this and to what extent were they covering up these sick actions?"

This could easily be worth  a couple of point swing across the entire electorate before the november elections, (and on top of that there's a couple of other twists to be thrown at them closer to the election to keep it in the news and so discourage the GOP faithful from coming out to vote)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 09:59:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Foley surprise was intended to take the heat of the NIE and suspension of habeas corpus.

I disagree. Being a representative, Foley was automatically up for reelection this year. This scandal means one more safe republican seat in play in a tough election year. Plus, voters are a lot more likely to remember this than the gutting of habeus corpus.

My guess is that the script was for Foley to resign "for health reasons" after the election, leaving Gov. Bush free to appoint a replacement who's only politically bent.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:16:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS AND THAT
by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:52:40 AM EST
NYT: Leafy Green Sewage

FARMERS and food safety officials still have much to figure out about the recent spate of E. coli infections linked to raw spinach. So far, no particular stomachache has been traced to any particular farm irrigated by any particular river.

....
First, some basic facts about this usually harmless bacterium: E. coli is abundant in the digestive systems of healthy cattle and humans, and if your potato salad happened to be carrying the average E. coli, the acid in your gut is usually enough to kill it.

But the villain in this outbreak, E. coli O157:H7, is far scarier, at least for humans. Your stomach juices are not strong enough to kill this acid-loving bacterium, which is why it's more likely than other members of the E. coli family to produce abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and, in rare cases, fatal kidney failure.

Where does this particularly virulent strain come from? It's not found in the intestinal tracts of cattle raised on their natural diet of grass, hay and other fibrous forage. No, O157 thrives in a new -- that is, recent in the history of animal diets -- biological niche: the unnaturally acidic stomachs of beef and dairy cattle fed on grain, the typical ration on most industrial farms. It's the infected manure from these grain-fed cattle that contaminates the groundwater and spreads the bacteria to produce, like spinach, growing on neighboring farms.

In 2003, The Journal of Dairy Science noted that up to 80 percent of dairy cattle carry O157. (Fortunately, food safety measures prevent contaminated fecal matter from getting into most of our food most of the time.) Happily, the journal also provided a remedy based on a simple experiment. When cows were switched from a grain diet to hay for only five days, O157 declined 1,000-fold.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:09:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happily, the journal also provided a remedy based on a simple experiment. When cows were switched from a grain diet to hay for only five days, O157 declined 1,000-fold.

Unhappily, industrial agriculture is not organized to feed cattle with principally grass and hay, but silage and grain-based concentrates. Plans for the future? More maize (corn) and soy. So expect more pollution from unbalanced cow intestines.

We know what healthy farming is, but the money-spinners don't want to do it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:47:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are oats (avoine) any good for cattle?
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:16:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not generally fed to cattle or sheep. But they are to horse and donkeys, in limited amounts.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 at 02:37:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very limited amounts ... you should see the days when they're fed too many oats for the amount of work they're doing ... whooooo.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 at 03:37:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tehran Times: Sugar linked with mental problems in Norway study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Oslo teens who drank the most sugary soft drinks also had more mental health problems such as hyperactivity and distress, Norwegian researchers reported on Thursday.

Their study of more than 5,000 Norwegian 15- and 16-year-olds showed a clear and direct association between soft drink intake and hyperactivity, and a more complex link with other mental and behavioral disorders.

They surveyed the students, asking them how many fizzy soft drinks with sugar they had a day, and then questions from a standard questionnaire used to assess mental health.

The teens who reported skipping breakfast and lunch were among the heaviest soft drink consumers, Dr. Lars Lien and colleagues at the University of Oslo found.

"There was a strong association between soft drink consumption and mental health problems among Oslo 10th graders," they wrote in their report, published in the American Journal of Public Health. "This association remained significant after adjustment for social, behavioral and food-related disorders."

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:29:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SuGaR MaKeS PeOpLe JiTeRrY? Ya ThInK?!
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
G-o-o-d t-h-i-n-g t-h-a-t I r-a-r-e-l-y e-a-t a-n-y t-h-e-n, p-f-f-f-f-f-o-u-u-u-u-u.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:01:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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