May 17, 2004

He's baaack!

May 17 - Paul's back! He's re-invigorated! He had a vacation! (and I didn't.) I better stop before I get really mad at him ...

He's got two eye-popping posts already:
Syrians and equipment involved in North Korea train wreck, which puts me in mind of the $10 million Saddam spent via Syrian intermediaries for SCUD missiles,

and something we should be hearing a lot more about in Roadside bomb in Iraq contained Sarin (but don't hold your breath - CNN is still leading with prisoner abuse stories.) Here is the DoD press release on the subject.

Paul makes reference to sending a dead crow to Hans Blix, which went right over my head ...

(Cut me some slack - I'm still waking up. There are downsides to working the graveyard shift, but one of them has got to be switching and being at work tomorrow at 6 a.m. I can't help wondering if I'd improve my chances by just staying awake all night - I could do that sort of thing a couple of decades ago ...)

May 18 - 13:40: Ozguru expresses his welcome back and then some!

Posted by Debbye at 02:56 PM | Comments (3)

April 24, 2004

Train blast in North Korea

Apr. 24 - Details are still scarce on the story but the real news is that North Korea has communicated anything about the explosions (N. Korea breaks silence on blast.)

Posted by Debbye at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2004

Nexus of Terrorism

Mar. 19 - I fell asleep on the couch shortly after No. 1 Son left last night. I wonder why? The real question: am I looking too closely, or are there signs that al Qaeda and other terrorists have started a major counter-offensive? Events in Syria and Iran indicate that the forces for freedom are also on the move.

Mar. 2 - Multiple attacks on Shiite commemoration of Ashura in Iraq.

Mar. 4 - Abdul Raouf Naseeb captured in Yemen.

Mar. 4 - Abdurahaman Khadr admits family closely connected to al Qaeda

Mar. 4 - Sunni and Shiite clerics march together in Iraq to protest terrorism.

Mar. 4 - Insurrection in Iran.

Mar. 4 - Abdurahman Khadr says he was a CIA agent in Bosnia.

Mar. 5 - Palestinian civil war begins?

Mar. 8 - Interim Iraq Constitution signed

Mar. 8 - Int'l Women's Day march in Iran attacked by security forces

Mar. 9 - North Korea issues rhetoric, withdraws from meaningful talks

Mar. 9 - Abu Abbas dies

Mar. 11 - Terrorist attack in Spain.

Mar. 12 - Millions of Spaniards demonstrate against terrorism

Mar. 13 - Uprisings in Iran

Mar. 14 - Elections in Spain, appeasers voted in.

Mar. 14 - Two terrorist attacks in Ashod, Israel, kills 10

Mar. 15 - Israel retaliates

Mar. 15 - New Spanish government announces they will withdraw from Iraq.

Mar. 15 - Polish government says Fine, we'll carry on without Spain

Mar. 15 - Uprisings in Syria, Iran.

Mar. 15 - Vandals in north Toronto target homes of Jewish citizens with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Mar. 16 - Abu Hazim al-Sha'ir (aka Kahlid Ali Hajj, "The Poet") killed in Saudi Arabia

Mar. 16 - Group with possible Chechen links threaten French over head-scarf ban

Mar. 17 - Mount Lebanon Hotel in Baghdad hit by car bomb

Mar. 17 - Renewal of violence in Kosovo.

**Mar. 17 - Spain goverment received communique dated Mar. 15 claiming to be from al Qaeda which declared a cease-fire with Spain.

Mar. 18 - Pakistan troops heavily engaged in battle in north, may have surrounded al Zawahiri.

Mar. 18 - Additional troops go into Kosovo in response to renewed violence.

Mar. 18 - British announce additional 650 (+-) British troops to be deployed to Kosovo which will be augmented by US and Italian forces.

**Mar. 18 - Second communique claming to be from al Qaeda threatens further attacks in retaliation for death of Khaled Ali Hajj (aka Abu Hazim al-Sha'ir, The Poet) in Saudia Arabia.

**Mar. 18 - Attempted assassination of Jose Murat, Governor of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Mar. 19 - President and Vice-President of Taiwan shot by would-be assassins and a FARC plot to assassinate the president of Columbia has been thwarted.

Mar. 19 - First of British troops land in Kosovo; an additional 600 German troops are also to be deployed.

Mar. 19 - French restaurant in Bahrain stormed by Islamists angered by alcohol served. Cars of restaurant patrons hit with Molotov cocktails.

**Mar. 19 - Car bomb in Basra kills 3 people, angry residents catch bomber and kill him:

A man who left the vehicle shortly before the blast was caught by passers-by and stabbed to death, said police Lt.-Col. Ali Kazem. Two others spotted getting out of the vehicle were caught by members of the public and later arrested.
Three Iraqi journalists killed, nine wounded in by drive-by shooting, three US soldiers killed by mortar fire.

Mar. 19 - Plans for the Pakistan-India cricket match remain firm. (I see a major political message in this sports event.)

I left some things out, including the letter purporting to be from al Qaeda declaring a cease-fire in Spain and today's bomb threat targeting DC schools.

Do you suppose the seeming simultaneity is what Sec. of State Colin Powell meant when he used the expression a nexus of terrorism to describe the link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein during his UN presentation last year?

These events may be linked on purpose or they may have inspired one another, but anyone who understands that we are at war might also believe that terrorists are being flushed out into the open.

Others will doubtless say that the events are a direct result of US intervention in Iraq, but there were so many events which preceeded that war that I don't think it an adequate explanation.

**late additions to list

Posted by Debbye at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)

March 09, 2004

North Korea

Mar. 9 - North Korea has put up more obstacles which may derail the upcoming multilateral talks. They are now linking the withdrawal of US troops to S. Korea to a settlement (totally overlooking the fact that when we began to withdraw troops earlier they accused of doing so in readiness for an attack on them) and stating that it is unrealistic for the US to expect them to disarm (which I happen to agree with although for different reasons.)

U.S. insistence that North Korea "completely, verifiably and irreversibly" begin dismantling its nuclear programs before receiving concessions was a key sticking point in last month's six-nation talks aimed at brokering a deal.
Indeed, as the last deal brokered went so well with both sides honouring the pact.
The talks bogged down over differences about what nuclear projects would be subject to being dismantled and how that would be verified. They ended without a major breakthrough.

North Korea blamed the outcome on an "unrealistic old assertion that the DPRK should scrap its nuclear program first," adding that a change in "U.S. attitude is a prerequisite to the settlement."

Thank you, Sen. Kerry, for giving N. Korea reason to dither and delay in hopes of a better attitude achieving a more lucrative settlement for them.

Nothing to see here, folks, at least until after November.

Posted by Debbye at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2004

North Korean horror

Feb. 4 - It's been hard to read the articles and blog posts on North Korea. Spin Killer has kept on top of it The horror is happening again ....

Posted by Debbye at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2003

Libya's WMD partners

Dec. 24 - I'm a little late posting this link, but wanted to note it: Libya's fatal blow to axis of evil:

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took the decision to renounce all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on Friday night, but while at first it was thought this only had implications for Libya it is now clear that his decision has scuppered a secret partnership between Libya, Iran and North Korea formed with the intention of developing an independent nuclear weapon.

New documents revealed yesterday show that the three were working on the nuclear weapons programme at a top-secret underground site near the Kufra Oasis of the Sahara in southeastern Libya. The team was made up of North Korean scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as some Iranian and Libyan nuclear scientists.

North Korea and Iran, originally dubbed by Bush as the axis of evil along with Iraq, avoided detection by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) inspectors by each member farming out vital sections of its projects to its fellow members.

Iran, which is now in the final stages of uranium enrichment for its program, is badly hit, having counted on fitting into place key parts of its WMD project made in Libya. North Korea may also be forced to scale back the production of nuclear devices as well as counting the loss of a lucrative source of income for its Scuds and nuclear technology.

If the claims in the report are true, this alliance raises a number of unsettling questions.

There are a couple of loose threads from past news reports. For example, a North Korean ship with 15 hidden Scud missiles aboard was intercepted by the Spanish Navy. Yemen claimed ownership of those Scuds, the ship was released, and the media dropped coverage, but I have to think that it raised several red flags in intelligence circles despite Yemen's promise not to purchase any more weapons from North Korea.

There is also this report on the $10 million Saddam paid to North Korea for missiles which were never delivered.

The biggest loose thread remains the failure to find WMD in Iraq, and although the debate has focused on whether they ever existed, the possibility remains that they were shipped out of Iraq (or, less frightening, are well-hidden and still there.)

The fact that Iraq was not included in this conspiracy could mean a lot or nothing, including the possibility that they were part of it but Khaddafi purposefully ommitted them (and that in turn could have been because British and US officials didn't want him to.)

Although it is exhilarating to live in interesting times, it is also frustrating because too many questions won't be answered for several years.

(Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: ESR has a post on a report that Al Qaeda was targeting Gaddafi (aka Khaddafi) as another strong incentive for him to try to better relations with the US and UK.

Posted by Debbye at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2003

Missile sales to Saddam by N. Korea

Dec. 1 - According to Toronto resident Imad Khadduri, Bomb experts lied to Saddam about their progress in constructing a nuclear bomb, but according to today's NY Times, Saddam was not interested in the progress of his scientists because he was more interested in purchasing Rodong missiles from North Korea:

For two years before the American invasion of Iraq, Mr. Hussein's sons, generals and front companies were engaged in lengthy negotiations with North Korea, according to computer files discovered by international inspectors and the accounts of Bush administration officials.

The officials now say they believe that those negotiations - mostly conducted in neighboring Syria, apparently with the knowledge of the Syrian government -were not merely to buy a few North Korean missiles.

Instead, the goal was to obtain a full production line to manufacture, under an Iraqi flag, the North Korean missile system, which would be capable of hitting American allies and bases around the region, according to the Bush administration officials.

As war with the United States approached, though, the Iraqi files show that Mr. Hussein discovered what American officials say they have known for nearly a decade now: that Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, is less than a fully reliable negotiating partner.

In return for a $10 million down payment, Mr. Hussein appears to have gotten nothing.

So where did he get the $10 million? And why are North Koreans starving to death when Dear Leader is making lucrative deals that he isn't even honouring?
The trail that investigators have uncovered, partly from reading computer hard drives found in Baghdad and partly from interviews with captured members of Mr. Hussein's inner circle, shows that a month before the American invasion, Iraqi officials traveled to Syria to demand that North Korea refund $1.9 million because it had failed to meet deadlines for delivering its first shipment of goods.

North Korea deflected the request, telling Mr. Hussein's representatives, in the words of one investigator, that "things were too hot" to begin delivering missile technology through Syria.


It also establishes that Syria was a major arms-trading bazaar for the Hussein government, in this case hiding an Iraqi effort to obtain missiles, they say. Investigators say Syria had probably offered its ports and territory as the surreptitious transit route for the North Korea-Iraq missile deal, although it remains unclear what demands the government in Damascus might have made in return. Further, according to United States government officials and international investigators, the Iraqi official who brokered the deal, Munir Awad, is now in Syria, apparently living under government protection.

If it served as a middleman in this deal, as the documents suggest, Syria was acting in violation of Security Council resolutions even as it served on the Council and voted with the United States on the most important resolution before the war.

Every time I think of US forces shutting down that illegal oil pipeline into Syria, I smile, but it isn't enough. Not by far.

Read the whole thing.

(Link via Instapundit.)

Posted by Debbye at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)