My Weekly Thoughts
Random thoughts on God, life, work, family, country and the world. Meanwhile, take time to let a soldier know he's not forgotten. Visit Any Soldier to find out how.

11/26 Morning Report

The Lebanese cabinet has approved an international court to try suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Given the boycott by Hezbollah cabinet members, and the assassination of another, by law there is an insufficient attendance to vote on such measures. This leaves it questionable whether the trials can, or will, actually take place. But, here’s my question, given that the pro-Syrian members are boycotting and the anti-Syrian members are being assassinated, why doesn’t the media and EU governments give Syria and Iran more pressure?
(…oh, yeah…I forgot…it’s all because of Bush…and the Israelis…)

Speaking of Israel, the Israeli/Palestinian announcement of a cease-fire caught everyone off guard. Here is the BBC report. As upbeat as this report is, it’s obvious the BBC does not believe it will hold.

Officials have indicated in the past that they do not believe Mr Abbas has the power to enforce a ceasefire among Palestinian groups, he says.

Personally, I always hate it when they say “officials” without giving names. It’s kind of like “anonymous sources”…how do we know for sure? According to a later report Israel actually managed to get their troops withdrawn by the ceasefire start time.
(…it’s nice to be surprised sometimes…)

I found the goofiest article today in The NY Times. The headline reads “U.S. Finds Iraq Insurgency Has Funds to Sustain Itself”. So, can anyone tell me what is surprising about this announcement? Let me ask this differently. With the media, even some governments, and families paying extortion money for the release of hostages, is anyone really surprised, yet? According to the 7-page classified report:

As much as $36 million a year comes from ransoms paid for hundreds of kidnap victims, the report says. It estimates that unnamed foreign governments — previously identified by American officials as including France and Italy — paid $30 million in ransom last year.

In the name of love and compassion towards those held captive, we finance further bloodshed and violence. Given the trouble with tracking Mafia money, not to mention EU information privacy conflicts, I seriously doubt there has even been a dent in tracking or grabbing terrorist funds.
(…and we wonder what’s wrong with this picture…)

On the subject of money and government, here in the US, the Democrats have been calling for legislation to control earmarks. Their principle effort seems to be making disclosure requirements (i.e. ending anonymity). In another article, the NY Times reveals how Congress as a whole, and Democrats in particular, are balking at that idea. Unfortunately, the most revealing comment on Congress actually came from a Republican:

“Transparency would be enough if we had any shame, if you were embarrassed to get an earmark for the National Wild Turkey Federation,” said Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, referring to a $234,000 earmark in a recent agricultural bill. “But Republicans and Democrats have shown that is no longer any embarrassment.”

Since there is no more real embarrassment about the issue, and with Inouye being number two at getting “earmark” money, I doubt anything much will come out of this.
(…another case of election rhetoric about to be lost and forgotten in the DC-shuffle…)

Stepping back to things military and Middle East, Blackfive had a link to an awesome breakdown of the MSM and their reporting on Iraq violence. Curt put in a lot of time and research the MSM coverage of recent mosque burnings and immolations of citizens. You should also go visit Poterico’s Pontifications. He looks into the media reports of US air strikes killing 30+ civilians. I’ll give the punch line away: the MSM is getting their information from the enemy. Don’t believe me? Read them through for yourself.
(…and, be sure to follow their links and research trails…)

Lastly, on the subject of my article yesterday on Honor, another missing man has come home. The Ft. Worth Star Telegram reports that Charles H. Long, a casualty of the Korean War, was laid to rest where his headstone has stood as a memorial for over 50 years, in Durband, IL.

Meanwhile, I’ve been delinquent to comment on another loss. Any Soldier reported that on November 14, LCpl Mike Scholl died of wounds sustained in operations in Al-Anbar Province. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

So, once again, at our house, we remember the cry of the warriors:

“Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today.”
–The Kohima Epitaph–

LCpl. Scholl and Charles Long, we remember what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you gave others. May God give back to your family more than they have sacrificed and lost. For Charles Long, we add, “Welcome home, soldier. May you rest in peace.”

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.


One Response to “11/26 Morning Report”

  1. Hey Mark;

    Just a quick note to let you know that I highlighted you as my “Blog of The Week”.

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