JUNE 09/03: Welcome! Our goal is to give you one fast, power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from the War on Terror every Monday & Thursday that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused. Today's "Winds of War" is brought to you by Venomous Kate of Electric Venom.
Topics include: gun amnesty in Iraq amid ongoing resistance; radioactive contamination; U.S. Homeland Security's cybersecurity division; renewed attacks attempting to derail the Middle Eastern peace process; and foiled terror attacks in Russia.
- Colin Powell has taken the media to task for harping that WMDs have not been discovered yet in Iraq. Condoleeza Rice lambasts the press as revisionists who are willfully ignoring numerous reports concerning Saddam's chemical warfare programs, while Powell notes that if the mobile labs he'd discussed in his February 5 briefing at the U.N. were not chemical weapons labs, Iraq would have produced them for U.N. inspectors the very next day to prove their innocence. Meanwhile, former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay says that, although the evidence concerning the use of the labs for chemical weapon production is not "strong," such production was their most likely and most probable use.
- JK: See also Instapundit's WMD summary from multiple sources, as well as Howard Owens even-handed treatment of "10 Questions About Iraq's WMD"
- CENTCOM has declared a 2-week amnesty period for gun owners, but few Iraqis are turning in their weapons.
- U.S. Army patrols are still trying to clear out pockets of resistance throughout Iraq, but are coming under increasing fire from citizens whose resentment of the continued U.S. presence appears to be increasing.
- JK: Armed Liberal has his own theory about Saddam's WMD, one that may explain some of the puzzles we face. Was Saddam ripped off as he tried to rebuild his arsenal?
- Leaders of seven former Iraqi resistance groups have been told that they will not be assuming control over the new Iraqi government because they are too disorganized and fail to adequately represent the Iraqi populace.
- Desperate for fresh water following Baghdad's power-outages during the war, many Iraqis pressed looted metal barrels into service to transport drinking and bathing water only to learn, weeks later, that those barrels had been used to store radioactive material which is now causing them numerous contamination- related health problems in addition to the cholera and other diseases that Baghdad residents are struggling with as a result of the city's damaged infrastructure.
- Iran is providing food and health assistance to Iraqis by establishing clinics in an apparent effort to influence their support for an Iranian-backed regime in Iraq.
- The IAEA has undertaken inspections of Iraq's nuclear sites to discover the extent of the looting.
- Also in Baghdad, where Saddam's regime provided them with paid housing, thousands of Palestinians are being evicted for failure to pay rent.
- JK: Bet lots of Iraqis aren't paying much rent these days. The Palestinians were, however, vocal supporters of Saddam. Payback time... at least they weren't ethnically cleansed out of the country, vid. Kuwait 1991.
- Delays in returning Iraq's oil output to previous levels may lead OPEC to maintain current levels of output elsewhere.
- Which "cards" have we captured so far? The CENTCOM list. And the visual version of "Ba'ath Poker."
- The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops. American, British and Australian. Anyone out there with more information, incl. the Poles and Czechs? [updated April 1, 2003]
U.S.A. HOMELAND SECURITY BRIEFING
- The Homeland Security Department has launched a controversial new cybersecurity division.
- A coalition of the nations' mayors has requested additional federal funding for Homeland Security so they can bypass state funding systems.
- Meanwhile, HSD is coming under increasing fire for failing to adequately protect the nations' ports.
THE WIDER WAR
- JK: LGF has more on Iran and its nuclear weapons program.
- Israeli Prime Minister Sharon proclaimed that Israel must make concessions to the Palestinians to achieve peace, but vowed they would never be allowed a "right of return" into Israel proper.
- Several Palestinian groups have meanwhile pledged to continue their attacks on Israelis, apparently annoyed that their "resistance" has been labelled as terrorism. Mere hours after this proclamation, members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade launched an attack on an Israeli army post and killed four Israeli soldiers, while further violence erupted in Hebron.
- JK: Meanwhile, the PA "Prime Minister" categorically refuses to use force against Hamas or Hizbollah under any circumstances.
- A previously unknown group, al-Saiqa (the thunderbolt), has claimed responsibility for the bombings in Casablanca, but denies targeting civilians whose deaths it blames on a "government spy."
- France has arrested a German national, who converted to Islam, in connection with 9/11 bombings as well as a bombing at a Tunisian synagogue.
- Russian authorities claim to have foiled a terrorist plan to detonate truck bombs in St. Petersburg last week at a meeting attended by several world leaders, including President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
- Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is publicly aligning his country with the U.S. led war on terrorism, marking a dramatic change in that country's participation. He will begin by holding meetings with President Bush this week.
- We try to close on a lighter note if possible. So, here's a possible solution to terrorism: provide them with ShotCaller2000 phones and blast away.