30 September, 2006
25 September, 2006
23 September, 2006
Are the rest of them hiding in hotels? Are they even in the country?
"A confidential Pentagon assessment finds that an overwhelming majority of Iraq's Sunni Muslims support the insurgency that has been fighting against U.S. troops and the Iraqi government, ABC News has learned.
Officials won't say how the assessment was made but found that support for the insurgency has never been higher, with approximately 75 percent of the country's Sunni Muslims in agreement.
When the Pentagon started surveying Iraqi public opinion in 2003, Sunni support for the insurgents stood at approximately 14 percent."
There's a heuristic that when what you are doing is making things worse, it's a good time to try something else.
Hezbollah head praises 'victory'
The Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has hailed his group's "victory" over Israel, boasting that the group still has 20,000 rockets.
Sheikh Nasrallah had not appeared in public since the conflict
In his first public appearance since the recent conflict, he said Hezbollah would never be disarmed by force and called for a new Lebanese government.
Hundreds of thousands crowded into southern Beirut, heavily bombed during the conflict, to hear the speech.Israel said the speech showed a lack of respect to the international community.
A "lack of respect"? I'm sure that will have an impact.
Is Osama bin Laden Dead?
That's the story being leaked from the French DGSE, citing a report from the Saudis. Of course, President Chirac says the report is "in no way confirmed." But note he doesn't deny that the document cited is real, and instructs the defense minister to trace the leak. In other words, it's a real document which may or may not be reporting a real event.
If the Saudis believe it to be true, why not announce it? I can think of several reasons, including the desire to avoid any way UBLs death (by Typhoid, if true) could be spun into anything like martyrdom. Some information you hang on to until it can do the most damage.
(I wonder how long it will be until somebody claims Bush "knew" and kept the information to himself--to spring it as an "October surprise"? Very unlikely to be the case, but ideal for people who see conspiracies everywhere.)
For now, we wait for more evidence. Some people you don't declare dead until you see the body, and even then you should stand ready to revise your opinion.
UPDATE: Time now reports they have Saudi confirmation of the illness, but not of the death.
Supposedly the DGSE is waiting until someone finds UBLs body. That's sensible.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that Saudi officials have received multiple credible reports over the last several weeks that Bin Laden has been suffering from a water-borne illness. The source believes that there is a "high probability" that Bin Laden has already died from the disease, but stressed that Saudi officials have thus far received no concrete evidence of Bin Laden's death.
"This is not a rumor," says the source. "He is very ill. He got a water-related sickness and it could be terminal. There are a lot of serious facts about things that have actually happened. There is a lot to it. But we don't have any concrete information to say that he is dead."
Pure speculation: there was a recent report of a botched chance to hit a large number of Taliban leaders gathered at a gravesite. Is it possible a Predator drone witnessed the burial?