Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Unintended Consequences Begin to Appear

Well, yahoo. It’s 1938 again, and we just elected a whole flock of Neville Chamberlains.
U.S. Election Results Embolden Syria, Hezbollah
The Democrats' midterm election victories last week and the subsequent resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent a message of American weakness to Syria that will likely result in "instability and chaos" in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East, Lebanon's Druze Leader Walid Jumblatt said in a WND interview today.

Jumblatt is head of Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party and is widely considered the most prominent anti-Syrian Lebanese politician.

[...] "The Syrians play this game where they have been waiting for the Americans to get weaker in Iraq," said Jumblatt. "Now with the Democrat's win paving the way for an American withdrawal and with Rumsfeld's resignation making a statement, the Syrians believe they have the upper hand in the region to retake Lebanon."

Iran plotting to groom bin Laden's successor
Iran is trying to form an unholy alliance with al-Qa'eda by grooming a new generation of leaders to take over from Osama bin Laden, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

Western intelligence officials say the Iranians are determined to take advantage of bin Laden's declining health to promote senior officials who are known to be friendly to Teheran.

[...] The Iranians want Saif al-Adel, a 46-year-old former colonel in Egypt's special forces, to be the organisation's number three.

Al-Adel was formerly bin Laden's head of security, and was named on the FBI's 22 most wanted list after September 11 for his alleged involvement in terror attacks against US targets in Somalia and Africa in the 1990s. He has been living in a Revolutionary Guard guest house in Teheran since fleeing from Afghanistan in late 2001.

Alarm over al-Qa'eda deepened yesterday with a Foreign Office warning that the group was determined to acquire the technology to carry out a nuclear attack on the West.

Iranian President: “Israel is Destined for Destruction”
"Israel is destined for destruction and it will disappear soon," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.

Speaking to government ministers in Teheran, Ahmadinejad said that the world's powers created "the Zionist regime" to increase their dominance in the region and that Israel "slaughters Palestinians on a daily basis."

Clinton Treas. Secretary Rubin: “Raise Taxes!”
That was fast. A mere two days after Democrats capture Congress claiming they wouldn't raise taxes, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin tells them they should do so anyway.

"You cannot solve the nation's fiscal problems without increased revenues," declared Mr. Rubin, the Democratic Party's leading economic spokesman, in a speech last Thursday. He also took a crack at economic forecasting by noting that "I think if you were to increase taxes right now, you would have probably about zero negative effect on the economy." The economics and politics here are worth parsing.

New House Majority Leader an Unindicted Co-conspirator?
Incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says she will fight for Rep. John Murtha, an unindicted co-conspirator in the FBI sting operation Abscam, as the next House majority leader.

U.S. Sen. Harrison Williams, D-N.J., and six House members agreed on camera in Abscam to take bribes from FBI agents posing as Arab sheikhs.

Though only 13 seconds of those tapes are available publicly showing Murtha conditionally declining a $50,000 bribe "at this point," in his words, a 1980 Washington Post report by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative columnist Jack Anderson revealed a shocking transcript of recordings never released to the public.

Anderson characterized the Pennsylvania Democrat's interaction with the FBI as "perhaps the saddest scene on the secret Abscam videotapes. ... He refused to take the money, but his reason was hardly noble."

"I want to deal with you guys awhile before I make any transactions at all, period," Murtha explained. "After we've done some business, well, then I might change my mind. ... I'm going to tell you this. If anybody can do it – I'm not B.S.-ing you fellows – I can get it done my way. There's no question about it."