Friday, March 24, 2006

Abdul Rahman Update

This is certainly good news for Abdul Rahman:

An Afghan Christian facing possible execution for converting from Islam was likely to be released from jail "soon," a senior government official said following huge Western pressure over the case.

"He is likely to be released soon," the official said, adding there would be a top-level meeting on the matter Saturday.

There was a rally in D.C. today calling for the relese fo Rahman, with a very impressive turnout.

Details about the rally (including pictures) and Rahman's case here and here.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

In Need of Coverage

Here's a story you won't here about from the MSM:

When policemen, soldiers and officials in Kirkuk who were injured in insurgent attacks arrived in the emergency room of the hospital, they hoped their chances of surviving had gone up as doctors tended their wounds.

In fact, many of the wounded were almost certain to die because one of the doctors at the Republic Hospital was a member of an insurgent cell. Pretending to treat the injured men, he killed 43 of them by secretly administering lethal injections, a police inquiry has revealed.

"He was called Dr Louay and when the terrorists had failed to kill a policeman or a soldier he would finish them off," Colonel Yadgar Shukir Abdullah Jaff, a senior Kirkuk police chief, told The Independent. "He gave them a high dosage of a medicine which increased their bleeding so they died from loss of blood."

Dr Louay carried out his murder campaign over an eight to nine-month period, say police. He appeared to be a hard working assistant doctor who selflessly made himself available for work in any part of the hospital, which is the largest in Kirkuk.

He was particularly willing to assist in the emergency room. With 272 soldiers, policemen and civilians killed and 1,220 injured in insurgent attacks in Kirkuk in 2005, the doctors were rushed off their feet and glad of any help they could get. Nobody noticed how many patients were dying soon after being tended by their enthusiastic young colleague.

Dr Louay was finally arrested only after the leader of the cell to which he belonged, named Malla Yassin, was captured and confessed. "I was really shocked that a doctor and an educated men should do such a thing," said Col Jaff.

Even in the off-hand chance that some MSM outlet picks up on the story, it will probably be reported in a censored fashion. Nobody's a really a terrorist according to the MSM.

If they aren't willing to label as a terrorist the man who said he drove his SUV into a crowd of innocent people at UNC because he was "seeking retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world," they certainly won't allow themselves to call a doctor who murders wounded patriots a terrorist either.

Bias? What Bias?

There's certainly no bias over at ABC:
A top producer at ABC NEWS declared "Bush makes me sick" in an email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

John Green, currently executive producer of the weekend edition of GOOD MORNING AMERICA, unloaded on the president in an ABC company email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

"If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke," Green complained.

The blunt comments by Green, along with other emails obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT, further reveal the inner workings of the nation's news outlets.

This is certainly another blow to the illusion of impartiality that the MSM claims to maintain. Additional comments here.

Saving Abdul Rahman

Mary Katherine Ham has the latest with a good link roundup, including discussion of the case and what implications it has for future U.S./Afghan relations.

For background to this story, start here and here. It is a very troubling case, and has even caughtPresident Bush's attention.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Latest Science Regarding The Avian Flu

Researchers continue to learn more about the virus that has the potential to wipe out large portions of the the world population:
The Wisconsin team investigated why the virus could not spread easily between humans despite the fact that it could replicate efficiently in human lungs.

Flu viruses infecting humans and birds are known to home in on slightly different versions of the same molecule, found on the surface of cells which line the respiratory tract.

The latest study found the version of the molecule targeted by human viruses was more prevalent on cells higher up in the airway.

The molecule targeted by bird viruses, on the other hand, tended to be found on cells deep within the lungs, in structures called alveoli.

Thus the bird flu virus tended to be buried so deep in the lungs that was unlikely to be spread by coughing or sneezing.

If the virus was to acquire the ability to infect cells higher up in the airway, it could take a crucial step towards causing a human pandemic, researchers believe.

The article goes on to explain why so many who have died thus far of bird flu were children, and what this fact means for our future abilities to handle the arrival of the H5N1 virus. Be sure to read the whole thing.

Another Filibuster?

Senator Harry Reid is gearing up to block the immigration reform bill Senate Republicans have been working on:

As the Senate prepares to tackle the most sweeping immigration reforms in years, a top Democrat vowed Wednesday to do everything in his power, including filibuster, to thwart Majority Leader Bill Frist's proposed overhaul.

Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would "use every procedural means at my disposal" to prevent Frist from bypassing the Judiciary Committee. Frist, R-Tenn., has made clear the Senate will take up his proposal next week if the 18-member committee fails to complete a broader bill.

"If Leader Frist brings a bill to the floor that does not have the approval of the Judiciary Committee, it will not get out of the Senate," Reid told reporters at the San Ysidro border crossing, a few steps from Tijuana, Mexico...

Reid said the overhaul must include heightened border enforcement, a "guest worker" program and a "path to citizenship" for the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally. He called legislation by Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R- Ariz., a "good place to start."

When will the senator from Nevada realize that his abusive stalling tactics do not sit well with the American people?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Iran/Al-Qaeda Connection

This becomes yet another reason why a nuclear Iran would be a very, very, bad thing:
WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials, already focused on Iran's potential for building nuclear weapons, are struggling to solve a more immediate mystery: the murky relationship between the new Tehran leadership and the contingent of Al Qaeda leaders residing in the country.

Some officials, citing evidence from highly classified satellite feeds and electronic eavesdropping, believe the Iranian regime is playing host to much of Al Qaeda's remaining brain trust and allowing the senior operatives freedom to communicate and help plan the terrorist network's operations.

And they suggest that recently elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be forging an alliance with Al Qaeda operatives as a way to expand Iran's influence or, at a minimum, that he is looking the other way as Al Qaeda leaders in his country collaborate with their counterparts elsewhere.

"Iran is becoming more and more radicalized and more willing to turn a blind eye to the Al Qaeda presence there," a U.S. counter-terrorism official said.

This is the sort of thing you had hoped wouldn't surface, but now that it has, the Iranian threat to stability in the region and to the rest of the world becomes just that much more serious.

President Ahmadinejad is an unstable man with ambitions for power and world recognition. He has also made a point of proving himself to be both determined and extremely radical --the worst of combinations. After denying the holocaust and calling for the destruction of Israel, Ahmadinejad has made his agenda claer, and a connection with al-Qaeda only adds to the seriousness of the situation.

Given his track record, I am confident that this connection is a very real problem, despite the thrust of the latter half of the article that asserts otherwise. The Bullwinkle Blog explains.

If anything, this only underscores the seriousness that must be brought to handling the situation with Iran. The last thing the United States could want is a president who hates our country funding and providing terrorists with nuclear weapons to use against us.

Bush Takes On The White House Press Corps

President Bush held an hour-long press conference today to take on skeptics of domestic policies and to defend his plan for Iraq, and he came out swinging.

In his second press conference of this kind this year, President Bush was nails. He was clear, concise, and most of all, committed. While the press corps did their best to knock the president off his game and trap him into saying something damaging, President Bush remained rock-solid.

Consider, for example, the president's exchange with Helen Thomas, the epitome of the MSM fever swap lefties:

BUSH: Helen, after that brilliant performance at the Gridiron, I am...
QUESTION: You're going to be sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Well, then, let me take it back.

QUESTION: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President -- your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime.

Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, your Cabinet officers, former Cabinet officers, intelligence people and so forth -- but what's your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil, the quest for oil. It hasn't been Israel or anything else. What was it?

BUSH: I think your premise, in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- that I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect.

QUESTION: And...

BUSH: Hold on for a second, please. Excuse me. Excuse me.

No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true.

BUSH: My attitude about the defense of this country changed in September the 11th. When we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people.

Our foreign policy changed on that day. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life.

And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people, that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy, and that's why I went into Iraq.

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: Hold on for a second. Excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for Al Qaida.

BUSH: That's where Al Qaida trained and that's where...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BUSH: Helen, excuse me.

That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for Al Qaida. That's where they trained, that's where they plotted, that's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council. That's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed.

And the world said, "Disarm, disclose or face serious consequences." And therefore, we worked with the world. We worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world.

And when he chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did. And the world is safer for it.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Secretary Rumsfeld...

BUSH: You're welcome.

I didn't really regret it. I kind of semi-regretted it.

This exchange exemplifies the president's steadfast dedication to winning the Global War on Terror. It has become increasingly clear with President Bush that he is a man of strong character, and he is deeply committed to his message.

He will not back down, he will not give in, he will stick it out and finish the job that he started. And that is why he is our commander in chief.

UPDATE:

Video of the press conference here, courtesty of Expose The Left.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reason #523 Not To Trust The U.N.'s Judgement

Courtesy of CNN:
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — The European Union will sign a deal Monday with the United Nations granting euro64 million (US$78 million) in urgent aid for Palestinians, but much more in future funding is under threat after the formation of a government by Hamas, a group the Europeans consider a terrorist group.

The EU foreign ministers will debate the impact of a Hamas government, as will the 25 EU leaders at a Brussels summit later in the week.

On Sunday, a European diplomat said the EU will work with Hamas, but added, “Those putting together the new government must know that how they decide their government program will have repercussions.”

“We’ll look at what (Hamas) adopts as its program, what it says about key issues” such as recognizing Israel and Middle East peace, said the official, who asked not to be named given the sensitive nature of the EU-Palestinian relations.

And we're supposed to trust this reliable body to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons? Forgive me if I'm skeptical.

The U.N.'s only reliable characteristic is its history of caving in whenever things get rough. The U.N. will issue their politically correct statements of "getting tough" or "properly investigating" Hamas, much like it will with Iran, and then it will eventually give in.

The U.N. will continue to offer stern words without action, and just as it shied away from Iraq, the U.N. is not going to be strong enough with either Hamas or Iran.

The Likeliness Of The Avian Flu Hitting The U.S.

Via Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton said on Monday said that it was "increasingly likely" that bird flu would be detected in the United States as early as this year.

Speaking to reporters, Norton and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns unveiled a plan to increase monitoring of migratory birds that are likely to bring the bird flu virus to U.S. shores.

Norton said bird flu would likely first be detected in the Pacific islands in Alaska, where testing for the disease will be a priority.

Norton stressed that detecting the disease in birds in the United States would not signal the start of a human pandemic.

As I've said many times before, local governments' preparedeness is the name of the game.