Tuesday, October 17, 2006
October 17th, 2006
A statement issued by the North Korean Central News Agency may seem ominous but considering that technically the Korean war never ended and there is only a armistice agreement along the border DMZ one truly wonders what it means.
One also remembers the famous speech at the canal of another leadership when Gen. Manuel Noriega declared war on the USA and world and threatened the Panama canal.
In a week he was in jail in US prison clothes.
But North Korea is afterall if anything a armed camp. Considering 80 per cent of North Korean resources have been built up to prepare for just such a thing- there is no way one can compare the two.
If past US military victories versus built up armies - Iraq for example, which in two wars had on paper five million men under arms and yet most fled.
While any war in Korea might be dangerous - I wonder if prosperous global economic leader - China itself might get fed up and just squash the mess in North Korea and install a more open minded leadership there. It would give the PLA something to do - and test its capabilities. It could even see a US-China allaince vs. North Korea. Amazing how history changes events context when it moves on.
 ” … “deal merciless blows” if the nation’s sovereignty is violated, the North’s central government said Tuesday in its first response to the U.N. measures. The North wants “peace but is not afraid of war,” the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. …” Wire agency reports
D eclaring war though is serrious statement to be made by a now nuclear armed state - and could just provide the very basis for action others might need to intervene. Japan and South Korea alone backed by China could effectively deal with problems the Nokors could raise if supported by the USA on a tactical level.
Entry Filed under: news, News and politics, USA, News Of China, china, asia, war on terror, Views, war, Democrats, immigration, Filipino, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, Global Warming, border security, OFW, filipino-american, World War 3
Monday, October 16, 2006
Been a little more active on my wordpress site... here's a few from there. MIM
Authorities in the capital are edgy over reports that some form of new attacks might be targeting the capital anew - this time - linked to Islamic militant groups with ties to the abu sayyaf and al qeada terror network. Last time the problems were with Military renegades and group named after a popular cigar bar.
Charges have been filed versus Indonesian JI members police believe responsible for attacks on several targets in central Mindanao areas.
Meanwhile; On Luzon high on the military and police radar is focused to a group called the RSM or Rajah Suleiman Movement.
In the past this particular group - has carried out a few attacks in capitol - one of worst ever JI-ASG bombings came into being though logistical support given to ASG-JI operatives who carried out the Super 14 bombing that killed over 100.
Another being a bus bombing along Edsa on a bus on Valentines day February 14th and several other foiled attempts where devices were discovered beforehand. I met and interviewed the bombers last year while they were in ISAFP custody in Camp Aguinaldo.
Mind you not all Balik Islam groups are involved in activities of these groups - a large number of those in the balik groups - are often in the Military or Police service - most end up highly deocrated and pious good standing members of the community.
The RSM is also tied to the HKT group and a small circle of extremists who work out of the capitol area too.
 …”Philippines hunts militants planning to bomb Manila
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - … Security officials said the Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement has close ties with Abu Sayyaf, the most violent Muslim guerrilla group in the southern Philippines … ” 
2 terrorists headed for Manila to stage attacks: military (4:30 pm …
Sun.Star, Philippines - MANILA — Military intelligence agents are tracking down two bombers trained by the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the Abu Sayyaf who are reportedly planning to …
Philippines hunts militants planning to bomb Manila
Reuters.uk, UK -… Security officials said the Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement has close ties with Abu Sayyaf, the most violent Muslim guerrilla group in the southern Philippines
Meanwhile : This develops as part of the major exercises take place for Balance Piston and the new round Balikatan training drills involving thousands of US troops and Philippine Military personnel scattered across the country from WESCOM on Palawan to North of Manila in Fort Magsaysay to areas in and around the Southern Philippines.
 … US-RP troops start war drills
INQ7.net, Philippines - … held an opening ceremony for the exercises, which will include live-fire drills and air, ground and naval maneuvers in the northern and southwestern Philippines 
The Governator seems to be performing well in media and elsewhere and if all things go as the Polls predict- Arnold will be back for a second term in California.
The very influentail LA times has in an editorial endorsed Arnie for re-election - something a little unexpected. But the LA times is afterall Hollywoods paper!
Arnold has also been adept at showing the way to others in the republican party by sticking to his own court and issues and making people see him as what he is - the Governor of California- a man trying to give service back to the people he became a part of as a young mussle builder on a beach who did good - went on to Hollywood - and lets face it lives the California dream.
 “…The state of California under Phil
San Mateo County Times -DEMOCRAT PHIL ANGELIDES says his California would be kinder to its working families, more generous to its students and more welcoming to its immigrants, all while keeping its books in the black.
LA Times endorses Arnie for second term Peninsula On-line
Voters offered ‘three’ governor candidates Ventura County Star …” 
On the othr hnd Phil Angelides (who?) is trying to bring things back to terra firma and blance the book be good to families and make the students happy. All good things - but -this is the land of Hollywood - and - in a state where dreams are made or broken - the democrats cast the wrong man to fight a ‘Action Hero’.
Arnold is California - in many ways - the place people come to make things happen and live out the dreams and make the grade and become well… Hollywood. Phil may be a nice man, have better management skills, and more of the good government image but he is not MTV, CNN, ESPN, E! material sorry Phil - you were cast as a pansy - a poser perhaps - maybe if the governator screws up big time between now and election day you might get a break.
But like surfers know - when you are on wave and its cruising toward the beach and a rip tide can be seen pulling you in another direction - you go with the current and let it take you home to the bade on the blanket blanket Dude - sorry - but this wave seems to headed to mussle beach.
There is a geek factor for Phil- the sap factor too - the poor guy seems to have been setup to be a credible fight in forgone conclusion. So barring no major problems ahead.
Arnold and the Star set may still be in Sacramento for some time to come. Like I said- he’ll be back for another term. In a time of despair and depression many people are oging through with war, immigration problems, job issues, and a general lack of inspiring leadership - people will take any hero they can get.
Even a one from tinsle town. Who hasn’t done all that bad really…
Political correctness it would seem has run amuck in a UK school it would seem at first glance.
While its not known exactly what else transpired between a school girl and teacher and what may have been said - I am assuming based on the news story only of a local news website in Lancashire, England.
The language report claims because she could not speak was Urdu. and wanted to change classroom groups she was arrested or so reports the website: “http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk”
But - could only one side of the story have been told? The young woman of 14 was detained under this law:
 …”Section 5 (1) states that a person is guilty of an offence if he:
“Uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or displays any writing, sign or visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby…” 
While the news item is only a report it does seem a little extreme to not allow someone to be excused from a group they did not feel comfortable with.
if an investigation is called this is a most interesting issue at time of increasing Immigration related concerns in the UK.
 …” A SCHOOLGIRL was arrested for allegedly making racist remarks to Asian pupils because some of them did not speak English. Codie Stott’s family, who live in Grosvenor Drive, Walkden, said she was kept in custody in a police cell for three and a half hours. The 14-year-old was reported by teachers at Harrop Fold High School, in Worsley, after she refused to study with her Asian classmates. …” 
I doubt has it become a crime to speak only English in the UK schools? And express a desire to do so? Oh well - this one worth watching.
Well, it was expected to be others areas where the Democrats would have gains in the lead up to congressional elections.
But- for the first time, the Democrats have an edge on the issue of terrorism and yes- unbelievable as it seems to a party leadership filled with scandals of the not so recent past - the Dems have Morality on their side too!
Amazing, Political perception is seen often from events that occur and how the events are reported and presented. Hence the Foley Follies - took away much of the credible high ground the administraition party had - by not acting swiftly enough.
It looks like tough times ahead for the White House too, Bouyed new strength in poll numbers; some circles of Democratic power are already looking closely at races and among the things being brought forth are issues like accountability and a possibility of raising numbers of votes towards things like impeachment and indictments in a Democratic majority house. At issue - irony - lies told on the war path to war in Iraq.
A fast paced action plan is reportedly, also in place, to seek accountability for mistakes down the line and attempt to grasp back more congressional control of actions in Iraq and elsewhere to full oversight and consultation with congress. But first the democrats would have to win. In such a situation facing it the republican party - now is facing more than just miderms for congress but an issue of it’s ability to still represent a constituent base that by recent events seems to feel increasinlgy betrayed.
After nearly six years and a almost no end in sight to a growing conflict - perhaps it is time indeed for a change at helm of the ship of congress - at least - and perhaps- even the entire ship of state.
Which at least in Political terms, seems to keep running aground. Clearly i the least, new minds are needed to seek a clear relevant end to this conflict that is diverting so much of American resources and attention from many other non-security issues like immigration and trade related issues.
As horrible as the threat of terrorism and the danger of new attacks -are- has by giving it so much focus, has the USA given rise to a bigger foe than just this extremist criminal murderers who hijacked a religion in a lust for power they have in the middle east?
Some analysts see that while one organization has indeed been cut off- the orignal al qaeda - the new spin-off’s and copycats across the globe seem emboldened to emulate and create a larger more dangerous foe for the future. I.E. Iraqi and foreign fighters in that conflict- the Opium financed and backed Taliban - creating a narco-funded fundamentalist group. These are long term issues though - perhaps just one opinion.
Yet a issue not discussed - as all sides rush to find politcal issues to hang on or make voters see themselves as best for the country at is now somewhat divided on issues to a point where politcal actors are plaing on a dangerous stage using issues they may indeed not have better answers to than anyone currently in place, really.
It is far fetched to see Impeachment talks going ay further than talk - I heard this while I was Nevada - that control of both houses of congress was high on the democratic agenda and impeachments and graft issues surrounding reconstruction expenses - were planned to be raised by - if indeed the numbers stay as they are - a Democratic majority house and US senate.
So as even the benchmarks that were strong areas of support for the Bush administration security and morality - fall to the other party in the USA one wonders what next comes if poll numbers hold through,
Ironically - a major influence on the US elections and preservation or removal of the Bush administrations republican allies in congress to stay in power lies in two groups - Iraqi insurgents and with Al Qaeda.
If some form of normalcy returns to Iraq in the next few months and some stability is restored - then the Democrats might have a tougher time with war and violence less of an issue. With Al Qaeda - if attacks take place on the USA - or major attacks happen around the world then - the Democrats position would be ironically strengthened. As failure to prevent such activities would be blamed on the Bush republicans in part.
Al Qaeda knows all too well how to use terror to influence elections carrying out attacks in Madrid days before Spanish parliamentary votes. influencing voters towards a more pacifist movement in place.
If Al Q attacks - and scores a major blow - the position of the democrats would be strengthened even if the battle cry they had when in power was get Osama - but a democratic majority - instead - focused more on economic issues and other concerns.
It is hard to call this early what the impact would be on if terrorism were to wave its ugly head and become an issue.
On the Morality side of things - so long as - Jay Leno’s advice is heeded - and they lock up the Kennedy’s till election day - the democrats seem destined to sweep control of congress back to their fold.
Lastly - politics or political parties are meaningless to who wins or ends this current war or conflict it is driven by issues far from the US political spectrum. But indeed; one might see a more divided Washington than it even is today. Which to some at least is good - for when Political hawks and doves are at each other on issues usually a better government is seen in DC. Because as designed by the framers of the U.S. constitution, each branch watches the other closer and is less lenient of mistakes?
But putting things into perspective; it doesn’t matter who is in congress and or the white house really - those against America will try and attack it regardless of political color and no terror attack or rogue state actions vs. the USA has ever come because of domestic political concerns.
The US Marines’ have landed, ” Aircraft and personnel from three U.S. Marine Corps squadrons arrived at Clark Air Base starting Oct. 11 and 12, for bilateral exercises Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) FY 2007.” the Press release says from the U.S. Marine Corps:. .
“The flying squadrons from Marine Corps Air Stations Futemna and Iwakuni, Japan came with a variety of aircraft. There are KC-130 Hercules aircraft with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR 152), F/A-18C Super Hornet jets with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 (VMFA 122), and CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM 262).” Most are up at Clark Airbase in Pampanga for the excercises which do allow the AFP a chance to get skills upgrade training on much new equiptment available.
The press release goes on to say - ” The aircraft are attached to 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and will be used in joint training with the Philippine Air Force.” adding further that,
” The Philippine and U.S. pilots will be flying their respective aircraft, in close air support missions for ground forces during the exercises, according to Major James Travor, the assistant operations officer for VMFA-122..”
Major Tayloe r says, “Our goal is to increase our capability to conduct combined operations with elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force and to improve professional bilateral relations between Marines and the Philippine Air Force,” adding Maj. Travor.
to much needed skiills matchup between, “Pilots with VMGR-152 will be using KC-130 Hercules to support the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and, to perform fixed wing aircraft and helicopter refueling operations, and to perform low level tactical insertion drops for U.S. Marines and members of the AFP.”
While none of this is going on in any combat environment - the mission does have benifits to the PAF as much of the inflows costs and training operations fuel expences are covered by the US governemt thus - training missions often left to class room of computer simulation can now be at least for the course of the excercise done in real flying conditions - which per PAF sources of late has been limitd because of high fuel costs in the last few months, - ” in support of the bilateral exercises.”
The Marine Corps press release goes on say - ” According to Maj. Ken Asbridge the operations officer for VMGR-152. - “There’s a lot we can do here in the Philippines, taking advantage of the unique training environment and it’s terrain will help us increase our overall combat capabilities,” Asbridge said.
The aircraft and crews of HMM-262’s main mission will be to support the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab’s advanced warfighting experiment, Sea Viking 2006. Subject matter expert classes will also be held for members of the Philippine Air Force, and they will get to work on various aircrafts along with Marine maintenance crews.”We’re giving them the opportunity to see the way we do business,” said Capt. Thomas Savage the weapons and tactics instructor for HMM-262.
While Political and rights issues still take the mainstream of philippine media’s reporting much is often under-reported about a high level of investments flowing into the country. Just looking purely at ecconomic numbers, investment inflows, and the over all picture of growth in the country as far the business sectors rapid growth in many new and some old key areas - to many things seem to be going well for the Philippines.
It’s not so much a political thing - it’s more a global economic demand issue - thus there is a need - also to keep up with attempts to keep the new inflows in investment and encourage those who seek to locate here to feel secure in the in the choices they make to get business moving. But other issues outside those figures do raise some concern over issues as well as implimentation of reforms - which international groups call on government to keep up with.IMF urges Philippines to stay course on reforms
…’ Philippine Information Agency, Philippines - WASHINGTON (13 October) — The International Monetary Fund on Thursday urged the Philippines to stay its course on economic reforms…’