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January 29, 2006

Shiny things that caught my eye...

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Proteau from the 2-3 Armored Combat regiment greets an Iraqi child while on patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq, January 19, 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron D. Allmon II) (Released)

Just lookin'. Now, on to Europe!

Strasbourg, 25.01.2006 – The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) today strongly condemned the massive human rights violations committed by totalitarian communist regimes and expressed sympathy, understanding and recognition for the victims of these crimes.

Better late than never, I suppose.

The Russian reaction (From EURSOC)?

Fat chance. Russian newspapers reacted predictably, with former Soviet mouthpiece Pravda describing it as a "ridiculous attempt to condemn communism." It also expressed unease over the prospect of Russian officers being categorised as no different from members of the Nazi SS. Russian MPs on the assembly warned that Moscow was opposed to a condemnation.

Heh. If the shoe fits... um, lessee, killing millions from orders on high because they belong to a group (the kulaks, for example, much less just political opponents) that you blame for being in the way and blame for the problems of the past, present, and who will oppose your future... works for me. And heck, you managed to be pretty efficient at it... just starved 'em to death.

But wait - there's more! You should read how the western commies reacted - by visiting EURSOC.

On to the Middle East:

While I understand the Israeli response, there's a silver lining in this cloud:

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - The leader of Hamas suggested Saturday that the Islamic group could create a Palestinian army that would include its militant wing - responsible for scores of deadly attacks on Israelis - in the aftermath of its crushing victory in parliamentary elections.

Israeli officials condemned the plan, demanding that Hamas renounce violence. Palestinian security officers, including loyalists from the defeated Fatah Party, said they would never submit to Hamas control.

"Hamas has no power to meddle with the security forces," said Jibril Rajoub, a Palestinian strongman.

The Hamas chief, Khaled Mashaal, reiterated that Hamas would not recognize Israel and indicated attacks on Israeli civilians would continue as long as Israel continued to target Palestinian civilians. "As long as we are under occupation then resistance is our right," he said.

Now that Hamas will *be* the government - I say move their fighters into the Palestinian Security Forces. That makes them much more targetable. Just a thought.

US cuts troop strength in Iraq by 20%. Bush has nothing to do with it, the Democrats made him do it. Murtha Still Not Happy. (shakes head) Oh, sorry, I was tuned in to the NYT break room.

And finally - guess who's *still* doing Earthquake relief in Pakistan?

U.S. Army Capt. Nanette Gegontoca, 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, administers a vaccine to a Pakistani child at the Muslim Public School in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, on January 7, 2006.  The United States military is participating in Operation Lifeline, the Pakistani-led relief operation designed to aid victims of the devastating earthquake that struck the region October 8, 2005. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Barry Loo)