Saturday, May 24, 2008

Again, We Are Winning in Iraq

The Battle for Iraq is being won according to US envoy Ryan Crocker. Shootings, IED and rocket attacks are at their lowest level since March 26, 2004. The final stronghold of al-Qaida in Mosul has been cleared of insurgents and AQ is the closest they've been to defeat. Even AQ believes they've been beaten.

The Independent on Sunday reports Crocker saying, "You are not going to hear me say that al-Qa'ida is defeated, but they've never been closer to defeat than they are now."

The figures are good news for President George Bush, who sent 30,000 extra troops to Iraq last year and has rejected calls by Democrats for 155,000 troops to be withdrawn as soon as possible, a position shared by the Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The two Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, have campaigned for troops to be brought home.
This is bad news for Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, Reid, and Liberals who have invested everything in the defeat of America.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

South American Union Signed into Existence

The Union of South American Nations, Unasur, was born Friday. The leaders of the 12 member nations signed a treaty creating continental economic, military, and governmental entity modeled on the European Union. The treaty establishes a South American parliament in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The signing nations must now ratify the treaty in their home governing bodeis.

Chile’s Michelle Bachelet was chosen as the first president of the Union of South American Nations which was formally founded on Friday in Brasilia when the leaders of its twelve country members signed the constitutional charter.

The Unasur rotating chair “is a great honor for Chile and recognition to the country’s and Ms Bachelet dedication to integration”, said Chilean Foreign Affairs minister Alejandro Foxley.

"Unasur will give us a louder voice in world affairs" and is a potent mechanism for integration, said Ms Bachelet on accepting the nomination. "The time for rhetoric integration is over, now we need concrete, practical decisions that our peoples value and can see every day. The first seal we are going to stamp to this new beginning is that of social affairs," promised the Chilean president.

"The fact President Bachelet was named is a reward for her enormous contribution in the last year and a half to pave the way for the signing of the Unasur charter," added Foxley.

"We want physical integration. It’s not possible that to fly from Santiago to Brasilia one must spend a whole day jumping from airport to airport. We must conclude the bi-oceanic corridors. President Bachelet reaffirmed presidents Lula da Silva and Morales commitment to finish by the end of 2009 the highway that will link the port of Santos on the Atlantic with Arica and Iquique on the north of Chile after crossing Bolivia."

Foxley downplayed tensions of the opening meeting saying that "when there’s a real integration determination and spirit, and I believe all presidents have that determination, through dialogue we can address possible differences."

Leaders present at the signing of the constitutional charter for Unasur included besides Chile’s Bachelet and Brazil’s Lula da Silva; Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; Alan Garcia from Peru; Alvaro Uribe from Colombia; Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, Rafael Correa, Ecuador; Evo Morales, Bolivia; Nicanor Duarte Frutos, Paraguay; Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo; Surinam, Ronald Venetiaan and vice-president Rodolfo Nin Novoa from Uruguay.
The treaty signed Friday was supposed to have been signed in March, but the military altercation between Venezuela and Colombia delayed unification. The tension still exists between the two nations threatening the success of union. In Bolivia, the landowners, entrepreneurs, and merchants held an autonomy referendum because President Evo Morales intends to take control of private companies and redistribute lands to the poor indigenous people. The referendum passed, but the national government and the rest of South America refused to recognize the results placing more strain on the future of the treaty.

With the rising support of Marxist theory and antagonisms between member states, the future of Unasur is probably dead on arrival. But the same was thought of the European Union 30 years ago. The region's economic condition makes this an ideal time for unification, but leaders like Chavez of Venezuela and Morales of Bolivia wanting to use the Unasur to offset the influence of the United States while Chile and Brazil prosper in their economic relationships with the US, and Colombia's increasing dependence on US arms in their war against the guerrillas, makes success very unlikely. Nonetheless, the Union joins the world as an economic bloc with a gross national product of almost $2 trillion, one of the world's largest untapped oil fields, and a functioning alternative fuel system. If Unasur can get their act together, they will be a power in world affairs.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Jupiter Succombs to Global Warming

Anthropogenic Global Warming is big, really big. It's so big it has reached to Jupiter, 588 million km (365 million miles) distant. Damn we're good. Or bad, depending on your politics.

NASA sent a photographer to take some pictures of the evil deed. Okay, it wasn't really a photographer. It was only a space robot with a Brownie camera, but the snaps are great.
For about 300 years Jupiter's banded atmosphere has shown a remarkable feature to telescopic viewers, a large swirling storm system known as The Great Red Spot. In 2006, another red storm system appeared, actually seen to form as smaller whitish oval-shaped storms merged and then developed the curious reddish hue.

Now, Jupiter has a third red spot, again produced from a smaller whitish storm. All three are seen in this image made from data recorded on May 9 and 10 with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The spots extend above the surrounding clouds and their red color may be due to deeper material dredged up by the storms and exposed to ultraviolet light, but the exact chemical process is still unknown.

For scale, the Great Red Spot has almost twice the diameter of planet Earth, making both new spots less than one Earth-diameter across. The newest red spot is on the far left (west), along the same band of clouds as the Great Red Spot and is drifting toward it. If the motion continues, the new spot will encounter the much larger storm system in August. Jupiter's recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator.
The National Geographic magazine also thinks the Red Spots are caused by Global Warming:
The advent of yet another red spot in Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere may support the idea that the planet is undergoing climate change.

Fluid-mechanics professor Philip Marcus of the University of California predicted in 2004 that rising temperatures would destabilize Jupiter's jet streams and give rise to more vortices.
Global Warming can be the only explanation for the temperature increase on Jupiter because mankind, and only mankind, is heating Earth, nothing else. That according the Al Gore and the Fried Earthers. To ascribe another cause to simultaneous heating of another planet in the solar system, like a hyperactive solar cycle, would obliterate the GW money maker Gore has invented. It would also mean the Goracle is a liar and that just can't be true, a politician would never lie to make a buck. Never.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mules Return to American Farms as Fuel Prices Rise

Mules. Slow, stubborn, dependable mules. Once a mainstay of American farms, they were replaced by gas and diesel guzzling farm machinery during the first half on the 20th Century. At long last, mules are making their move to reclaim their place in front of the plow.

High gas prices drive farmer to switch to mules
May 21, 2008

MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — High gas prices have driven a Warren County farmer and his sons to hitch a tractor rake to a pair of mules to gather hay from their fields. T.R. Raymond bought Dolly and Molly at the Dixon mule sale last year. Son Danny Raymond trained them and also modified the tractor rake so the mules could pull it.

T.R. Raymond says the mules are slower than a petroleum-powered tractor, but there are benefits.

"This fuel's so high, you can't afford it," he said. "We can feed these mules cheaper than we can buy fuel. That's the truth."

And Danny Raymond says he just likes using the mules around the farm.

"We've been using them quite a bit," he said.

Brother Robert Raymond added, "It's the way of the future."

One small misstep for man, one giant leap backward for mankind.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jihadist Study Proves Their Defeat

There has been a precipitous drop in the number of insurgent operations by various terror groups in Iraq including al-Qaida, writes a jihadi sympathizer who posts under the name Dir’a limen wehhed (‘A Shield for the Monotheist’.) His "Brief Study on the Consequences of the Division [Among] the [Jihadist] Groups on the Cause of Jihad in Iraq" was posted May 12 on a primary al-Qaeda media outlet website, Al-Ekhlaas.

Based on al-Qaeda's own numbers (see chart and graph), the author tallies a steep decline in mujahedeen operations in Iraq. Most prominent is the drop in al-Qaeda operations which showed a 94% operational ability free fall. A year ago, al-Qaeda accounted for 60% of all jihadist attacks in Iraq. The al-Qaeda franchisee, Islamic State of Iraq, is credited with 334 ops in November 2006 and 292 in May 2007 compared to 25 ops in Nov 2007 and 16 in May 2008. Read more at FrontPage Magazine, The Jihadists Admit Defeat in Iraq, Nibras Kazimi (Talisman Gate.)

In another AP story today, Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, interim commander of U.S. Central Command, said al-Qaeda in Iraq is the weakest in the five years since the US led invasion. "Our forces and the Iraqi forces have certainly disrupted al-Qaida, probably to a level that we haven't seen at any time in my experience." Dempsey reminded, "They can regenerate, and do from time to time."

Maj. Gen. John Mulholland, who oversees U.S. commando operations in the Middle East, said in another interview that al-Qaida has not been defeated yet, but is rapidly running out of places to hide with local Iraqi aid who are no longer buy into the extremist ideology. "I don't want to paint a picture — or to convey to you in any way — that al-Qaida in Iraq is being completely destroyed or rendered irrelevant, because that's not the case... They are still potentially a threat capable of death and destruction against the Iraqi people and our own forces there. But it is not something he can do easily any more."

For probably the first time in the war of civilizations, the forces of evil and the forces of good are in agreement. The dreams of al-Qaida re-establishing a caliphate in Iraq have been dashed. Osama bin Laden released a message for the 60th anniversary of the Israeli State. In that message, OBL seriously downgraded his caliphate aims to liberation of Palestine.

Coalition forces are not only militarily defeating the Islamofacists in Iraq, but are also neutralizing the appeal of the extremist's philosophy and exposing their gaols as unworkable. We are winning, they are losing, and we all know it (except the liberals.)

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Germans Let Taliban Escape, Refuse to Kill

"The Krauts are allowing the most dangerous people to get away and are in the process increasing the danger for the Afghans and for all foreign forces here." That's how a British officer at ISAF headquarters, Kabul, put it.

German Special Forces, KSK, are deployed in northern Afghanistan and are tasked with capturing the terrorist known as the "Baghlan Bomber." On Nov.6, 2007, the Taliban commander attacked a sugar factory in Baghlan Provence, killing 79 people - scores of children, many parliamentarians and other politicians who were celebrating the reopening of the factory. (Spiegel Online)

The German elite soldiers were able to uncover the Taliban commander's location. They spent weeks studying his behavior and habits: when he left his house and with whom, how many men he had around him and what weapons they carried, the color of his turban and what vehicles he drove.

At the end of March, they decided to act to seize the commander. Under the protection of darkness, the KSK, together with Afghan forces, advanced toward their target. Wearing black and equipped with night-vision goggles, the team came within just a few hundred meters of their target before they were discovered by Taliban forces.
The Baghlan Bomber escaped. International relief workers, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), 2,500 Germans, along with troopers from Hungary, Norway, and Sweden are all in greater danger because the Taliban commander has sworn vengeance for being targeted.

Had it been any other national Special Forces, the bad guy would be dead as are nearly one-third of his compatriots. About 150 Taliban commanders have been "neutralized" - dead or captured in capture-or-kill missions. Most of the missions are carried out by British or American SOF teams. Germany is unwilling to take part in these missions, even in their own control zones.

The Berlin government clings to the "principle of proportionality". Berlin has issued instructions to their uniformed contingent: "The use of lethal force is prohibited unless an attack is taking place or is imminent." The instruction effectively ties the hands of the German soldiers and any other group working with them.

Because of the German "no shoot" policy, the Taliban influence is increasing in all nine Provinces under German jurisdiction on the northern border. Taliban influence in other provinces is declining even on the southern border with Pakistan where the Taliban has taken refuge.

The policy, say the critics, is having the opposite effect than the stated goal of subdueing the Taliban insurgency. It is emboldening the enemy.
And the extremists appear to be confident of victory. Maulawi Bashir Haqqani, 40, the Taliban's military commander in Kunduz, told SPIEGEL: "The Germans are the most important enemy in the north. If they leave their base, they will find booby traps and bombs waiting for them on every road. They will have to carry many more bodies in coffins on their shoulders if they don't come to the realistic conclusion that their forces must withdraw from our country."
German forces are supposed to be participating in an operation with Afghanis and the Norwegian Quick Reaction Force to fight Taliban in Badghlis province where bad guys number some 150 hardliners and 500 irregular bad guys. However, because the operational area borders an Italian sector, the Germans have hesitated to deploy reconnaissance, logistics, and KSK forces the regional German commander had promised would be there on time. After a week of bloody fighting by the Afghans and Norwegians, the Germans finally showed up with permission from Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung.

That's not all. On July 1st, an armored infantry battalion from Augustdorf, Germany will relieve the Norwegian Quick Reaction Force on the front lines in northern Afghanistan.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Lay off my wife" Obama Warns

After making his wife a major part of his campaign, Barack Obama has warned the GOP and others to "lay off my wife."

A political ad in Tennessee rerunning Michelle Obama's remarks at a campaign rally, "for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country." ABC Good Morning America asked about the ad this morning and Barry jumped in saying

"The GOP, should I be the nominee, I think can say whatever they want to say about me, my track record. I've been in public life for 20 years. I expect them to pore through everything that I've said, every utterance, every statement. And to paint it in the most undesirable light possible. That's what they do."

"But I do want to say this to the GOP. If they think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful. Because that I find unacceptable," he said.

Obama praised his wife's patriotism and said that for Republicans "to try to distort or to play snippets of her remarks in ways that are unflattering to her I think is just low class ... and especially for people who purport to be promoters of family values, who claim that they are protectors of the values and ideals and the decency of the American people to start attacking my wife in a political campaign I think is detestable."

"But I also think these folks should lay off my wife."

Michelle and Barack Obama made her part of the campaign. That makes her a legitimate target for criticism just as any other campaign worker or advisor who may say something insane, inane, wrong, distorting, or just plain stupid.

Barry, if you don't want your wife to be the target of political attacks, get her out of campaign.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Democrats: McCain Overqualified for Presidency

In presidential campaigns past, it was thought beneficial that a presidential candidate have military experience. Even as late as 2004, a large part of the debate was the veracity of John Kerry's three Purple Hearts (he was in VietNam, you know) and the import of George Bush's Texas National Guard service.

(Photo: Father Admiral John Sidney McCain, Jr.; Grandfather Admiral John Sidney McCain, Sr.; Infant John Sidney McCain, III.)
In this 2008 presidential go-round, Barack Obama has no military experience. Hillary Clinton has no military experience (not counting the sniper incident and combat photo.) John McCain does have military and combat experience. But to the Democrats, John McCain has too much military experience.

Senator Tom Harkin has been chosen to lead the attack on McCain and transmogrify military experience from a desirable resume item to something suspect. Harkin is one of those phony heroes, says Mudville Gazette, who has claimed he flew F-4s and F-8s in combat and photo recon missions in VietNam. Barry Goldwater called him out on his record. Harkin had to admit he flew over Cuba, was never in VietNam, and has no combat experience. In fact, Harkin was stationed in Atsugi, Japan as a ferry pilot flying aircraft needing repair to the Philipines. And we should all thank him for that vital service. However, he himself has already cheapened his own service record by claiming something he was not entitled which makes him and his military record fair game.

From the Des Moinses Register:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain's family background as the son and grandson of admirals has given him a worldview shaped by the military, "and he has a hard time thinking beyond that," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., said Friday.

"I think he's trapped in that," Harkin said in a conference call with Iowa reporters. "Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous."

Harkin said that "it's one thing to have been drafted and served, but another thing when you come from generations of military people and that's just how you're steeped, how you've learned, how you've grown up."
McCain spokesman, Jeff Sadosky said, "This sort of attack shows just how out of touch Democratic leadership has become with the values that have made our country so great." Accordingly, he says this shows the Democrats are positioning their attack machine for the general election.

"Our country's all-volunteer military does not serve because of a 'distorted reality,' they serve because they understand they can play a role in keeping Iowa families safe," he said.

"At a point when John McCain is calling on Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves like so many have before, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's attack machine is gearing up to tear down someone who has served his nation throughout his life. Certainly not the 'new politics of hope' that we've heard so much about."
Tom Harkin was a poor choice for this assignment, if you're a Democrat, a fabulous choice if you are not. He may simply have been all they had and as Sam comments at Mudville Gazette, "When you aren't capable of shame you can do anything."

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.