Israel Ground Operations Begin

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israeli troops enter Gaza Strip

Israeli ground troops have entered the Gaza Strip, Israeli military officials have confirmed, a week after the offensive against Hamas began.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the intention was to take control of areas from which Palestinian militants have been firing rockets into Israel.

Witnesses say armoured vehicles crossed into northern Gaza at four separate points, supported by helicopters.

In my opinion, not called for if you look at the proportionality of the conflict and the casualties.

Not only that, but a family member is supposed to be flying to Israel with an educational group TOMORROW.


Meanwhile, the Israeli Consulate has a Twitter account and is responding to queries about this action. Not surprisingly, ALL the links they show to stories, statements and editiorials about the ground action are supportive of their point of view that this is a necessary defensive action, and not an over-agressive offensive action. Disingenuous is the best you could say of the “official” reaction as reported by the consulate. They pick and choose reactions from, say, the office of the Czech EU presidency and the governor of New Jersey, and ignore negative reactions entirely.

Phone lines in Illinois and elsewhere will be burning up tonight. There are protest rallies in Tel Aviv, there’s going to be a lot going on, this will be Topic One in a lot of families of young people here.

UPDATE: My young relative is going, his parents are supportive, and that is that.

Zimbabwe: Wanted In Order To Inflict

In Zimbabwe Raid, Hundreds in Opposition Party Detained – New York Times
He said the people detained were wanted on suspicion of “assault, grievous bodily harm, and arson.” They had been taken by bus to a police station less than a mile from the opposition headquarters, he said.

No, that’s “wanted in order to commit assault, grievous bodily harm, and arson” upon them or their property in the comfort and privacy of the back yard of the local hoosegow.

Drop a Dime: Countdown To Reality

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
The United States got itself in to a strange situation with Musharraf, in which the structure of its aid to the Pakistan government essentially incented the government not to find Bin Laden because if they found him they had reason to fear that the US would end this flow of more than $10 billion that it was providing directly to the army. The democratic government came to power arguing to Washington that constitutional democracy was a better counterterrorism strategy than reliance on an authoritarian military leader. So, I think they understand, if they can deliver Osama, theyre not going to be punished for it, rather theyre going to be rewarded. So, for the first time, you have somebody in the Pakistani government who has motivation to find him. And at the same time, the population in which hes hiding has turned more hostile to him, so the possibility of someone dropping a dime on him is much greater now than it was a couple of years ago.

Here’s a thought: As One Utah’s Richard Warnick notes, it’s the election silly season. Rather than endlessly dissecting Barack Obama’s terrible bowling scores and Hilary’s bravery under Bosnian sniper fire, it might be nice if the Democrats collectively figure out a position on Bin Laden to signal the new democratic government of Pakistan that it might be nice if they captured OBL.

When? Just after Reality-Based Lifeforms’ Liberation Day would be good, but I think the world would understand it wasn’t really Bush’s Mission Accomplished if Bin Laden is delivered before Election Day.

By the way… I hadn’t realized that “Bush Countdown Clocks” had become such a robust little subset of national industry. Maybe Bernanke wouldn’t be so fast to use the “R” word (as noted by WWDTM in this morning’s show) if he knew how big the market for anti-Bush tchotchkes was.

The Politics of Fear: Only 13 times? Isn’t it more?

Keith Olbermann makes it 13 times that the Bush administration used a suspiciously timed terror alert or arrest announcement to either negate unfavorable news, or neutralize positive news about political opponents.  Only thirteen times? But it’s linked at One Utah:

One Utah » Blog Archive » The Nexus of Politics and Terror (and Lying)

US gov wants data on Europe air passengers – Boing Boing

US gov wants data on Europe air passengers – Boing Boing

The US government is pressuring 27 European Union nations to agree on new transatlantic air travel security measures which include armed guards on all flights from Europe to America operated by US airlines.

Wait, why weren’t we doing this in the period immediately following 9/11, when we became a nation of bug-eyed fraidy cats willing to hand over the Bill of Rights to the nice strong people in charge if only they would keep us safe from Osama the Boogie Man? I admit that on September 15, approximately when the national “ground hold” was lifted and planes started landing again, I might have thought there was a nugget of precautionary sense in this.

I do think I know why we’re doing this now: got to ramp up that Fear Factor in advance of the fall elections, and also to shore up the machismo of President Empty Flight Suit.

Danish Terrorists: US State.Gov Site

There was news today about 8 terrorists, alleged Al Qaeda members, being captured in Denmark.

At the time I looked at the website to see if there was a travel advisory, there was a link on the front page to where travelers could find out more information about travel to Denmark. The travel advisory page itself hasn’t been updated since August 9.

It was accompanied by this photo. Clearly, the State Department hasn’t gottenaround to updating their site yet, at least as of 135pm Central Daylight time today.


UPDATE:Viking terror rampages on, at least on the State Departement’s main page. The scariest part is when they bang their shields on the railings, bellowing war chants and demanding beer, ale, mead or wenches. And then they run out of breath and take a smoke break.