Posts from March 12, 2004

From Moscow

From Moscow
: Here’s Mosnews, a new English-language site with news from Russia. [via Russpundit, of course]

Dinosaurs v. cockroaches

Dinosaurs v. cockroaches
: We are cockroaches, we bloggers. We can survive anywhere; we scurry; we sneak up on you.

Out at the media confab I almost attended, it appears from posts on their blog (including IRC backchat about dinosaurs, captured craftily by Susan Mernit), it appears it has an air of the stomping T-rex v. the scurrying roach. Says Leonard Witt:

The established journalists still are showing disdain at the bloggers. Jay Harris of USC challenged Markos Moulitsas Z


: In The Age story to which I link below, the writer calls a red herring a “furfy.” Confidential to Tim Blair: What’s a furfy, mate?

Who are the bastards?

Who are the bastards?
: These days, when even accidents happen we are tuned to wonder whether it was The Terrorists — which, in this country, of course, means Islamofascist terrorists. A jet blows apart over Queens… the East Coast is thrown in to a blackout… we wonder every time whether it was them again.

In Spain, they are forced today into a sick and sad guessing game: Pick your terrorists… who are the bastards?

CNN analyzes the data so far. As we all know, it was at first assumed to be the Basque ETA; then a van was found with detonators and a tape of Koranic verses:

That doesn’t make a direct link of course. But we also have a claim of responsibility from a group calling itself Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade.

This is a group that has made false claims before for other actions though, including for example, the U.S. power blackouts last summer that turned out to be caused by technical problems and not an act of terror.

What do we know is that if this was indeed ETA it would represent a dramatic shift from what we have seen from them in the past: In terms of tactics and targeting; in terms of the way it was carried out; the indiscriminate targeting of civilians with no warning and no claim of responsibility.

Terror organizations, as bizarre as this sounds, act within their own boundaries, to their own rules, and have their own justification for how they operate and who or what is an acceptable target.

Thursday’s attacks broke every one of the rules that ETA has operated by in the past. So if this was ETA, the attack marks a fundamental shift, a passing of one guard to another, according to some Spanish officials.

: And in The Age, Tony Parkinson warns that whether or not bin Laden is behind Madrid’s 3/11, he is a model for terrorists who must be hunted down and stopped:

For the Spanish, understandably, there will be anger and despair. For their fellow Europeans, it is a sickening reminder that nobody is immune. Indeed, it was British Prime Minister Tony Blair who warned only last week that “we are in mortal danger of mistaking the nature of the new world in which we live”. Now, one of his more resolute allies in the war on terror, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, leads a nation in mourning.

If any of this speculation is close to the truth, the imminent US-led “spring offensive” in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan becomes all the more critical. The struggle to disrupt and destroy al-Qaeda now takes on added urgency. What sort of future beckons if bin Laden and his ilk serve as the model inspiring terror movements worldwide?

The fact that the Madrid bombings occurred despite a top-level alert points to the limits to security in open societies when fanatics are hell-bent on the mass murder of civilians. It is a challenge to which conventional law enforcement is struggling to respond.

Consider the grim ironies: in Germany, another alleged member of al-Qaeda’s Hamburg cell has just walked free; in Jakarta, Abu Bakar Bashir is poised for early release; in Canberra, lawyers for David Hicks demand justice.

In Madrid, they will bury the dead.

: Iraqi blogger Alaa shouts:



: Ali, the Iraqi blogger, believes it was al Qaeda’s fault:

-The nature of the attacks leaves no doubt that whoever carried them wanted to cause as much as possible causalities among civilians, which seems to be a trade mark for AL QUEDA.

: Sam offers the sentiments of support from many of his fellow Iraqi bloggers:

Terror against innocent civilian is same anywhere and this should unite us irrespective of our ideas and religions as Muslims, Christians, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikhism, or any one else against the terror any where from any one.

For Spanish people there are friends for you in Iraq!

: Did anyone else notice yesterday that it took the BBC hours to even mention the possible al Qaeda connection? FoxNews and the AP were way ahead, from what I could see. Laziness? Agenda? They didn’t want to admit that the U.S. was in Baghdad and now they don’t want to admit that bin Laden is in Europe?

UPDATE: A commenter says that Reuters was the first to report the Islamic link. I’m hoping and assuming what I saw on the BBC was merely a dropped ball; just struck me as odd since they are usually quite quick on big news such as this.

: Sophia Sideshow says:

If al Qaeda is behind their only export–death–I wonder about any other targets, Bulgaria is an ally in this war, and certainly not as well-protected as the US (all the more courageous they).

I’m glad that the words coming out of Spain are not, “flee!” That would be so U.N.

The Daily Stern Extra

The Daily Stern Extra

: RADIO SILENCE: Howard Stern is not talking today.

He started his show with a brilliantly edited montage of words from the news and from Congress yesterday about free speech and stopping it. He mixed it with music of protest and freedom.

And we heard a message he left for his producer, Gary Dell’Abate, in the middle of the night saying that he was headed into the station to make a show in which he doesn’t talk.

Because, if the American Taliban has its way, soon he won’t talk.

It is a strong statement, well done.

: Stern did this for the first hour and a half of his show.

: POWELL’S A CHICKEN: Stern said that for his ABC interview show, ABC contacted FCC Censor Michael Powell to invite him to be on Howard’s first show. What better: Howard interviews Powell about broadcast standards.

Powell refused.


: MORE ALLIES: has a great list of links to news and more.

: THE SEVEN DIRTY PARTS OF SPEECH: The House of Representatives tells us what is dirty:

`(b) As used in this section, the term `profane’, used with respect to language, includes the words `s***’, `p***’, `f***’, `c***’, `a******’, and the phrases `c*** s*****’, `m***** f*****’, and `a** h***’, compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms).’.

Block that gerund! [via Lost Remote]

: Says Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post:

If lawmakers feel it necessary to write obscenities in order to fight obscenity, who am I to make fun of them? Why, that would be as ridiculous as making fun of someone who tries to fight obesity by eating a rhinoceros.

In short, I am trying to be completely fair here to Doug Ose and the 29 other harrumphing, schoolmarmish co-sponsors of this bill — which, sadly, reads like the graffiti on the stall in the men’s room of the American Association of Nose-Pickers and Sexual Deviants.

Otherwise known as Congress.