Saturday, July 07, 2007

Japan, the Taliban, and Chertoff

Japan to Shoot Down Missiles Fired at USA
In a stunning reversal of nearly 60 years of Japanese policy, the Prime Minister of Japan (Shinzo Abe) has decided to abandon his country's anti-military stance and support the United States against missile attack. In light of the deteriorating situation in East Asia (North Korea missile and nuclear tests and the Chinese-Japanese row over gas fields in the Ryukyu Islands, PM Abe stated this week "If our ally, the United States, is seriously damaged by a ballistic missile, it will undoubtedly have a severe impact on our country's own defense." Abe told his advisers at the outset of a meeting early this week in Tokyo. Since the end of World War 2 and the American occupation of post-war Japan, that nation was forced to sign a constitution disavowing warfare, which actually dramatically helped Japan become the economic and techo-colossus it is today. Instead of diverting money into buying weaponry, Japan has relied on the USA to defend it for decades. However, it is becoming more and more clear to the leading governmental technocrats in Tokyo that the United States is needing more and more help around the world and the last two Japanese Prime Ministers preceeding Abe have openly discussed revoking the non-war clause in their constitution. Although many in Japan are pacifists, the North Korean missile launches several years ago directly over Honshu shocked many Japanese, and missile defense talks with US military officials were initiated immediately afterwards. Japan has a technically robust economy that could greatly help the US in developing missile defenses, especially in the area of laser weaponry. Japan currently has cutting-edge advances in robotics and electronics and also hosts American military bases in their country from the war 60 years ago. This new stance that Abe is taking is revolutionary for Japan and China and North Korea are sure to object.

Japan and the United States have been building up a shield against missile attacks since North Korea lobbed a long-range missile over Japan's main island and into the Pacific in 1998. On Thursday, Prime Minister Abe called for a "severe" international response to North Korea's launch of several short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) a day earlier. The members are widely seen as close to Abe who has also been seeking to revise the constitution itself as part of his drive to build an assertive nation proud of its history despite its militarist past. There were also suggestions that missiles targeted at Australia and other allies should also be intercepted, Abe was quoted as saying. Earlier this year Shinzo Abe, who has been vying for stronger military ties with the Pentagon since his election as premier in September 2006, used his Liberal Democratic Party's parliamentary majority to push for a national referendum on the broader use of the Japanese military. Japan's determination to boost its missile defenses was strengthened after Pyongyang conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in July 2006, and an underground nuclear test explosion three months later. By 2011, Japan plans to deploy a two-tier missile shield combining sea and land-based systems. The U.S. SM-3 interceptor missiles, to be deployed on five Aegis-class destroyers in the Japanese Navy, are designed to intercept incoming missiles in mid-trajectory, while the U.S. Patriot PAC-3 systems, deployed at four ground-to-air missile units, are set to shoot down missiles before they hit the ground.

I believe that America is finally finding out who its' friends really are: Japan, England, and Israel.

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Terrorist Cash Crunch Causes Change in Strategy

The Taliban announced a new strategy, which involves sending assassins and suicide bombers after government officials and foreign troops. There will be less emphasis on have large numbers of armed Taliban out and about (where they are spotted from the air, and attacked). This new tactic was opposed by the late Taliban senior combat commander, Mullah Dadullah, as it meant giving up trying to control parts of the country. To do that, you need large numbers of armed Taliban to go out and terrorize heavily armed villages and tribal leaders. Even though the Taliban pay their gunmen twice, or more, than soldiers or policemen, the high loss rate has made recruiting difficult. Al Qaeda, which is desperate for cash, is willing to help with Taliban suicide bombing operations. The suicide bombers usually work for free, so this cost cutting measure avoids a collapse of the Taliban finances. While the alliance with the drug gangs brings in lots of cash, much of it gets diverted to friends and family of Taliban leaders. This is, after all, still Afghanistan, and that's the way things work here. Family comes first.

The government in Afghanistan is beginning to realize that the Taliban and drug gangs have merged into a single organization in many parts of the country. As a result, the government is considering changing its policy, and asking foreign troops to go after drug targets, including poppy crops. One major reason for this is that Afghan troops and police are much easier to bribe. Once a police or army commander has taken a bribe, they often stay on the dark side. Despite that, so far this year, soldiers and police have destroyed over 60,000 acres of poppy crops, which is two-thirds more than all of last year. But there are nearly half a million acres of poppies growing in the country.

Secretary Chertoff Loses all Credibility
For the last several weeks I have been astonished by the Bush Administrations' stupid policy on immigration, which goes directly against what the vast majority of US citizens want. My support for Bush Jr. has sunk to new lows when his Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff said on national television last week that he believed "that vigilant citizens who report on immigration law breakers are like the Gestapo". Is that a joke? The full transcript of what the DHSsecretary has been doing and saying for the last several weeks is below and is a good read (thanks Michelle Malkin!):

Hi, I'm Michelle Malkin reporting for Bill O'Reilly tonight. Thanks for watching us. There have been many new developments today in the British terror plot. And we'll get to that in a moment. But first, Michael Chertoff and the Department of Homeland Insecurity -- that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." For the second time, DHS chief Michael Chertoff has declined "The Factor's" invitation to appear with me tonight to discuss immigration and national security. What is it, my breath? In all seriousness, Chertoff's shrinking credibility is no laughing matter. Actions have consequences. And Chertoff's embarrassing crusade for the failedshamnesty bill has greatly damaged his credibility at a critical time.

The American people have little faith in the government's ability to enforce our immigration laws and put national security first. We won't forget the vicious smear campaign that Chertoff waged against principal deponents of the Bush-Kennedy immigration disaster. We won't forget that while global jihad marched on, Secretary Chertoff was more worried about the availability of cheap lettuce pickers than about terrorist operatives slipping past our air, land, and sea borders. Now in the wake of last week's two attempted terrorist car bombings in London and Glasgow, Chertoff reassures us that he's got everything under control in the U.S. He downplayed reports of an imminent al Qaeda attack, while encouraging the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to authorities.

Chertoff aligned himself with open borders crusader Teddy Kennedy and others who believe that vigilant citizens who report on immigration law breakers are like the Gestapo. The White House and Chertoff aren't lifting a finger to release $4.4 billion in emergency border security funds that they wanted to use to bribe senators to vote for the failed amnesty bill. So how much credibility does Chertoff have on maintaining vigilance against terrorists during this season of heightened alert? Nada.And that's the "memo."

These statements and efforts by Chertoff have left the man without any credibility at all. How can anyone support a government official who is so completely out of touch with reality. President Bush should remove Chertoff immediately and replace him with someone who has a better understanding of what the American peoplewant and need. These guys are supposed to be responding to our citizens needs, not running roughshod over them.

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Those Crazy Russians!
Russia has dropped its threat to aim nuclear weapons at European cities “in an abrupt change of tactics after weeks of Cold War-style brinkmanship,” the Telegraph reports. While President Putin said on June 4th that Russia would find “new targets” in Europe in response to the deployment of U.S. missile defenses in eastern Europe, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the British newspaper: “We were not talking about retargeting missiles at European cities or other targets. What was meant was that if retargeting took place, it would only be the sites [in Poland and the Czech Republic] that would be targeted.” Likewise, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said that only the ABM installations in Poland and the Czech Republic would be targeted.

Florida Sheriff uses Clever Strategy to Locate Illegals
In Panama City Beach, FL, Sheriff Frank McKeithen developed an easy way to distinguish between illegal and legal workers at construction sites: illegals run from the police while legal workers keep working. McKeithen instructs his deputies to simply drive to construction sites that investigators believe hire illegals. The workers who do not have legal status will usually run when the deputies arrive, and in process of running from the site, will break laws such as speeding, loitering, or trespassing on private property. After the police arrest the illegals for other charges, they then report the potential illegal aliens to US immigration authorities. "It's not wrong for them to run, but it's not wrong for us to chase them either," said Sheriff Frank McKeithen.

Global Foreign Cash Reserves
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