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   PoliticsPolitics for Pros- moderated

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To: JDN who wrote (219895)9/16/2007 11:06:59 AM
From: ManyMoose
   of 786662
I'm afraid I don't know where I can get that particular Russell Print. I have several others that I've picked up over the years. Check out the art dealers whenever you get a chance.

I had difficulty finding a Russell print that would display on SI. Most of them seem to be protected and don't display, but I got that one from Wikipedia.

Here's an on line link where you can get some prints.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (219882)9/16/2007 11:10:42 AM
From: Geoff Altman
   of 786662
If such boats are equipped with good (and very expensive) passive (silent) sensors, they can be the most difficult subs to detect. This has caused all the major naval powers to increase research in ASW, and increase ASW training.

This is a good thing. I worked in ASWOCs (Antisubmarine Warfare Operations Center) over half my career from 83 on so I know that our equipment is comparable to the task but there were some cut backs in training after the end of the (First..<g>) Cold War. But not too much as far as we were concerned. The Admirals that were, decided the best course of action was to change the name ASWOC to TSU (Tactical Support Center) in order to reflect our true nature..<g>...and therefore keep the funding and expanding the mission some to boot.

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From: Glenn Petersen9/16/2007 11:19:17 AM
   of 786662
I have always liked Lindsey Graham. He strikes me as a no-nonsense, no bull-shit type of guy, a rarity in our current political climate. I would not be surprised to see him as the GOP VP nominee this year, and I am sure that he will run for the top spot sometime in the future.

Lindsey Graham's Realism

By David S. Broder
Sunday, September 16, 2007; B07

Now that the president has endorsed the Petraeus-Crocker plan for Iraq, it is worth noting one exchange from their Senate hearings.

Some senators, such as Barbara Boxer of California, were so self-absorbed they could not manage to ask a single question in their allotted time, even when they had Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker ready to provide answers.

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is not like that. An Air Force Reserve officer, Graham is an incisive questioner whose unexpected and provocative inquiries often produce revealing answers, whether the subject is Iraq, immigration or a Supreme Court nomination.

A Republican with a notable record of independence, Graham has been an outspoken advocate of the surge strategy -- claiming real success on the ground and urging its continuation.

But Graham's first question to Petraeus called on the general to "put on the table as honestly as we can what lies ahead for the American people and the U.S. military if we continue to stay in Iraq. . . . It's highly likely that a year from now we're going to have at least 100,000 troops in Iraq?"

"That is probably the case," Petraeus said. "Yes, sir."

Graham's follow-up was even more surprising. "How many people are we losing a month, on average, since the surge began, in terms of killed in action?"

"Killed in action is probably in the neighborhood of 60 to 90."

Graham then noted that "we're spending $9 billion a month to stay in Iraq. . . . So you're saying to the Congress that you know that at least 60 soldiers, airmen and Marines are likely to be killed every month from now to July, that we're going to spend $9 billion a month of American taxpayer dollars, and when it's all said and done, we'll still have 100,000 people there. You believe it's worth it in terms of our national security interests to pay that price?"

Petraeus said: "Sir, I wouldn't be here, and I wouldn't have made the recommendations that I have made, if I did not believe that."

After a few more questions, Graham turned to Crocker and confronted him with a surprising question: "What's the difference between a dysfunctional government and a failed state?"

Crocker replied: "In a parliamentary democratic system such as Iraq has, there is a mechanism for the removal of governments that people get tired of. Parliament can simply vote no confidence."

That sounded to me -- and to Graham -- like a hint that the United States would welcome a change from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki if new and more flexible leadership were to appear in Baghdad.

Graham wanted to underline that message. "Would you agree with me," he asked Crocker, "that Iraq is a dysfunctional government at this moment in time?"

"Certainly, it is a challenged government," Crocker replied.

"You've called it dysfunctional," Graham said. "The point I'm trying to make is, to anybody who's watched this, this government is in a dysfunctional state. The point I'm trying to make, there's a difference between still trying and not trying."

When I talked with Graham on Thursday, he said he had asked those questions because "I am sick and tired of people posing choices between the two extremes; I want reality-based policy. [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid is as bad as Rumsfeld was in rejecting reality. He said in April that the war is lost, and he refuses to accept anything else."

But Graham said that he thought Crocker was "making a pretty major statement that the clock is running out on the Maliki government -- and we can have an effect on it by what we do here."

"There are alternatives," he said -- Shiite political leaders who are willing, for example, to tour the Baghdad jails with Graham and be photographed with Sunnis who are protesting the imprisonment of so many of their coreligionists. "The good news," Graham said, "is that Kurds and Sunnis and Shiites are ready to play politics. Judges feel more secure because of the surge, and that is important, because all of them have experienced rough justice.

"What we do can affect the outcome. But if we don't see progress on two of the three big issues -- oil revenues, de-Baathification, provincial elections -- in the next 90 days, it may not happen. And Iraq could be a failed state."

Despite the president's words, that sounds realistic.

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To: Big Black Swan who wrote (219909)9/16/2007 11:49:22 AM
From: Geoff Altman
   of 786662
I continue to be amazed that it isn't being widely discussed.

CNN carried it but notice that the word nuclear is missing?

Syria complains to U.N. about Israeli airstrike
Story Highlights
NEW: Syria calls incursion a "breach of airspace" in letter to U.N.

Israeli airstrike last week may have targeted weapons stores, sources tell CNN

Operation may also have involved ground forces, U.S. and regional sources say

Israel Defense Forces has made no comment

(CNN) -- Syria accused Israel of a "flagrant violation" of its obligations when it carried out an airstrike inside the country last week, according to a copy of a letter released Tuesday.

Syria called the incursion a "breach of airspace of the Syrian Arab Republic" and said "it is not the first time Israel has violated" Syrian airspace, the letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon read.

It also accused the international community of ignoring Israeli actions.

Earlier, a U.N. spokeswoman said Syria had not requested a meeting of the Security Council.

Meanwhile, France -- the current president of the Security Council -- said it had received no letter from Syria.

Last week, Syria reported that its aircraft fired on Israeli "enemy aircraft" that flew into northern Syria early Thursday.

The airstrike may have targeted weapons that were destined for Hezbollah militants, according to sources in the region and in the United States. Watch a report on the airstrike »

The Israel Defense Forces had no comment on the report, and have refused to comment further on the new revelations.

But the sources told CNN the military operation, which happened Wednesday into Thursday, may have also involved Israeli ground forces who directed the airstrike, which "left a big hole in the desert" in Syria.

The strike may have targeted Hezbollah weapons coming into Syria or transiting through the country from Iran -- a pattern that, over the past three or four years, has occurred without any retaliation or other action taken against it -- the sources said.

The Israeli government is very happy with the success of the operation, the sources said.

Sources in the U.S. government and military confirmed to CNN's Barbara Starr that the airstrike did happen, and that they are happy to have Israel carry the message to both Syria and Iran that they can get in and out and strike when necessary.

Right now, diplomats in the region are trying to ensure the incident does not escalate.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, is serving as a conduit between Israeli and Syrian foreign ministers, urging both sides to allow cooler heads to prevail, Solana's office said.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem and other Syrian officials have been putting out their version of events. The Syrian government said Israeli bombs were dropped on its territory and fuel tanks from Israeli jets were dropped on the Turkish side of the border.

Al-Moualem was in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Monday protesting this action and trying to get Turkey to support its desire to take Israel to the Security Council for the airstrike.

Israel fought a war with Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon last year after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers, who are still being held.

CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth contributed to this report.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (219903)9/16/2007 1:14:02 PM
From: D. Long
   of 786662

Greenspan, 81, is understood to believe that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the security of oil supplies in the Middle East."

Of course he did, and of course that was one of the factors that militated for toppling Saddam. Only simpletons insist on believing there was just one factor that was the cause of the war. Many of us here debated it endlessly on FADG way back when.

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To: D. Long who wrote (219914)9/16/2007 1:17:45 PM
From: D. Long
   of 786662
BTW, I got my *passing* bar exam results yesterday. I started celebrating pretty early so I didn't get around to mentioning it to my online friends here on PfP. :)

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To: D. Long who wrote (219915)9/16/2007 1:18:48 PM
From: JDN
   of 786662
Just what we need, another attorney in this country. Congrats to you anyhow. jdn

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To: D. Long who wrote (219915)9/16/2007 1:35:31 PM
From: carranza2
   of 786662
Congratulations, I still remember the joy of finding out I had passed though it happened a long time ago.

What is in your future for now?

Any kind of judicial clerkship would be the best thing, IMO.

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To: Bearcatbob who wrote (219908)9/16/2007 1:41:55 PM
From: skinowski
   of 786662
Kerry is a complete idiot - it is a shame his dumb joke took him out of the campaign.

Tend to agree. Kerry has the mannerisms of a thoughtful, intelligent person. In his case, it takes a looong time to figure out that he is neither. But by then it is too late.

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To: Big Black Swan who wrote (219909)9/16/2007 2:22:02 PM
From: skinowski
   of 786662
This is probably related:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is keeping close watch on Syria and North Korea, the Pentagon chief said Sunday, amid suspicions the Koreans are possibly cooperating with Syria on a nuclear facility.

"I think it would be a real problem," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said when asked how the Bush administration would view such an effort.

A senior U.S. nuclear official said Friday that North Koreans were in Syria and that Syria may have had contacts with "secret suppliers" to obtain nuclear equipment.

Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, did not identify the suppliers, but said North Koreans were in Syria and that he could not exclude that the network run by the disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan may have been involved.

Gates was asked in a broadcast interview whether Syria was involved in a covert nuclear program with North Korea's assistance.

"I'm not going to get into things that may involve intelligence matters, but all I will say is we are watching the North Koreans very carefully. We watch the Syrians very carefully," Gates said.

He added, "If such an activity were taking place, it would be a matter of great concern because the president has put down a very strong marker with the North Koreans about further proliferation efforts. And obviously, any effort by the Syrians to pursue weapons of mass destruction would be a concern for us."

A state-run newspaper in Syria said in an editorial Sunday that "the magnitude of these false accusations might be a prelude to a new aggression against Syria." Al-Thawra said suggestion of such nuclear cooperation was "a flagrant lie."

North Korea's minister to the country's U.N. mission in New York, Kim Myong Gil, has dismissed the Syria allegation as "groundless," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted Kim as saying.

This week, negotiators from six nations plan to meet in Beijing to discuss ways to disable North Korea's nuclear reactor.

North Korea agreed in a February accord to scrap its nuclear programs in return for political concessions and aid. The North has shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facility and negotiators are now discussing the next phase of the agreement: disclosing and disabling all nuclear facilities, which the North recently agreed to do by the end of the year.

Gates spoke on "Fox News Sunday."

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