Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Short Takes - Joshua's Army News update, 2/20/07

Short takes is Freedom Fighter's way of cramming a lot into a small space..kind of like the young gentleman above. Here's a brief rundown of some of today's items of interest:

There was a horrendous train bombing on a Pakistan-bound train on Sunday night that killed 68 people, mostly Muslims who were homeward bound. The vast Indian railway system, which operates 9,000 trains carrying 15 million passengers every day is a major terrorist target.

The bombing utilized suitcase bombs and gasoline, and the passengers were incinerated when the bombs went off. Both India and Pakistan condemned this horrible act of violence, and pledged to continue peace talks. Khurshid Kasuri, Pakistan’s foreign minister and Pranab Mukherjee, his Indian counterpart, said the two countries needed to “show determination” by carrying peace talks further.

No one claimed `credit' for the bombing and it's still being investigated by both Indian and Pakistani security. Since most of the victims were Pakistani Muslims, Tasneem Aslam, spokesperson for the Pakistani foreign minister, said it did not “make sense” to blame Islamic terrorist groups. India is also withholding any accusations against islamic terrorists atthis point.

Islamic terrorists have targeted Muslims using the re-opened transport links between India and Pakistan in the recent past.

Hey, not because of sanctions or because of any moral considerations...simply because of the money.

Apparently, Iran has missed several payments worth a total of over $70 million for the construction of Iran's first nuclear power station at Bushehr - so the Russians have slowed work on the plant.

The Iranians insist that they're not behind. Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said on Monday that Iran was up to date with its payments, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The Russians see it differently.

'In February no payments were received. In January we received just $5.1 million of the $25 million due,' said Rosatom spokesman Sergei Novikov.

Not only that, but the Russians while recognizing their `moral obligation' to complete the plant are trying to hold the Mullahs up for more money if they want it completed!

'Despite the insufficient financing, Russia recognizes her obligations on building the Bushehr nuclear plant including the delivery of nuclear fuel,' Novikov said. 'But the under-financing influences the agreed timetable and the launch of the reactor and, as we had agreed nuclear fuel would be supplied six months before the launch, the under-funding also will influence the date for the delivery of (nuclear) fuel,' he added.

Russia's contract with Iran to build the plant in 1995 was based on an earlier project begun in the 1970s by German firm Siemens.The price tag of about $1 billion, agreed on in 1998, is a lot less than what similar plants and reactors are going for today.

'At the present time the building of one 1000 megawatt nuclear reactor of the same type costs 2 to 3 billion euros,' an unnamed source in Russia's nuclear industry said.

An Iranian delegation is supposed to head to Moscow soon for a sitdown to talk with Atomstroiexport, the Russian state company who's building Bushehr. 'The general financial deficit for the building of the atomic station demands urgent discussion and concrete decisions in the very near future,' Vladimir Pavlov, the head of the company's Bushehr work, said in a statement.

I sense a little `renegotiation' is in store for the Mullahs. Damn those tricky, deceitful, wily Westerners...

Speaking of Iran, the Mullahs appear to be hanging tough on their nukes program. Tommorow (February 21) is the UN Security Council deadline for Iran to comply with the UN resolution to suspend uranium enrichment or face further sanctions.

We'll have another report from Inspector Clouseau IAEA head Mohammed El Baradi in which he will once again reveal that he's not really sure about anything, and doesn't mind if Iran has nukes, but has to say something to look remotely credible. The Beeb story linked here is typical for them in that it appears horrified at the idea of actually using force to eliminate the threat of Iran having nukes!

The Beeb also ran a story yesterday that claimed to reveal US 'Iran attack plans' , to be triggered by `any confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon - which it denies' or `a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq could also trigger a bombing campaign if it were traced directly back to Tehran.'

Carnival in Germany is an old Catholic tradition, and is noted for the bawdy humor reflected in the carnival floats.

Some of Germany's Muslims are a little upset over this one..two identical cartoon-style figures labeled `mullahs', each wearing a homicide bomber's belt and carrying a dagger and a pistol. The sign on the first one said 'the cliche,' the second was labeled 'the reality.'

"This hasn't got anything to do with humour," said Aiman A Mazyek, general secretary of the National Council of Muslims in Germany. "The message it gives me is: 'We love our prejudices, we'll stand up for them, even if they are flagrantly untrue."

Even he had to temporize a little bit, however..."as a born-and-bred Rhinelander, I wouldn't get too upset about it," said Mazyek. "I'm sure most of the revelers don't want to spread anti-Islam cynicism."

Oh, no....of course not...

Retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell was sworn in today as the second director of national intelligence, replacing John Negroponte, who's up for deputy Secretary of State.

Both Bush and McConnell in their speeches made a point of the need to recruit first and second generation operatives with knowledge of Arabic and Farsi and urged `diversity' as part of their new direction. Not bad, considering that 9/11 happened five years ago.

While this seems to make common sense, I'll bet my dollar to your dime that what they're really talking about is more Arabs and Muslims, rather than simply recruiting people with a knowledge of Arabic and Farsi like Jews and Christians. (Half of the Arabs living in America are Christians)

There was a bit of a hoo-hah about two years ago, as I remember when the FBI declined to accept Israeli-Americans who were Farsi and Arabic speakers as translators...


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