Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dead Taliban, Sharia and Cease-fires

Good news from Afghanistan:
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U.S. Airstrike Kills Taliban Commander
KABUL, Afghanistan - A top Taliban military commander described as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar was killed in an airstrike this week close to the border with Pakistan, the U.S. military said Saturday. A purported Taliban spokesman denied the claim.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was killed Tuesday by a U.S. airstrike while traveling by vehicle in a deserted area in the southern province of Helmand, the U.S. military said. Two associates also were killed, it said.

Osmani, regarded as one of three top associates of Omar, is the highest-ranking Taliban leader that the coalition has claimed to have killed or captured since U.S. forces deployed in Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime in late 2001 for hosting bin Laden. (link)

Hopefully Omar will be next. Of course now that the Fwench have turned tail and ran, maybe we can get some real work done in this part of the world.

From WaPo comes a case for hope:

Saudi Lawyer Takes On Religious Court System

Rights Cases Used To Press for Change

Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, December 23, 2006; Page A01

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi human rights lawyer Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem said he had been waiting years for a case like this: A woman and her daughter, both accused of promiscuity, were followed by the morals police as they left a private residence on the outskirts of the capital.

The police, who enforce adherence to Saudi Arabia's strict religious laws, beat up the women's driver and drove off with them locked in the back of the car. When the car broke down half an hour later, the officers abandoned them in the stranded vehicle.

In his Riyadh office, human rights lawyer Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem, right, talks to a man whose mother and sister are suing the country's religious police. "If we win this case," he said, "it will prove that nobody is above the rule of law." (By Faiza Saleh Ambah -- The Washington Post)

The police assumed that the women had been visiting male friends. But the two had been at the home of female relatives. And unlike the thousands who had previously been intimidated into dropping their grievances, they insisted on taking their kidnappers to court. The case, which goes to trial next week, will give Lahem a chance to finally confront the powerful morals police, whom he considers the country's worst human rights offenders.

Lahem, a 35-year-old father of two, contends that the police oppress people in the name of religion and act as if the law doesn't apply to them. He wants to prove them wrong.

"If we win this case, it will have more of an impact than a dozen lectures or newspaper articles," he said. "It will send a powerful message to them, and to the public, who view men of the cloth as untouchable. It will prove that nobody is above the rule of law." (link)

Maybe this will be the beginning of the end of sharia.

Cease-fire, middle-east style:
Middle East
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Senior Palestinian Official Shot in Gaza

(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians run for cover as gunmen from Hamas take position during a gunbattle Fatah militants in the West Bank city of Nablus , Friday, Dec. 22, 2006.
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By IBRAHIM BARZAK, The Associated Press
Dec 23, 2006 7:22 AM (2 hrs 7 mins ago)
Current rank: # 520 of 16,810 articles
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Assailants fired on the car of a senior Palestinian security official Saturday, wounding him, a bodyguard and a girl in intensifying factional fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday he hopes to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the coming week, but said no date has been set. The meeting would be the first between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a year and a half. (link)
Makes you wonder what a war looks like? Seriously though, does anyone (Olmert and Abbas included) think that anything will come of a meeting between the two? As long as Hamas and Fatah are 'armed' branches of anything, peace will not exist. The palestinian-arabs will never achieve statehood if they cannot at least attempt to build a state. One common army for defense would be a fresh and much needed start. Disbanding terrorist groups and providing basic laws and services to the people that live in the territories would also help. But there number one (and only for Hamas) concern is the irradication of Israel. And Jimmah thinks they deserve to be able to do just that.
Reason amongst the dhimmikrauts

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 Recently played a few games on Caldera (warzone) and then... Lots of luck in this one, but satisfying