Posts belonging to Category international



Pirates of the Gulf of Aden: Indian navy does what the U.S. and the Brits can’t — or won’t — do.

It’s bad when the Indians with their second-rate navy (their ship in this case was an updated version of the Russians’ Krivak III class frigate) can do what the United States Navy and the Royal Navy can’t do (Times Online):

An Indian navy warship has sunk a Somali pirate “mother ship” in the Gulf of Aden, the world’s most treacherous waterway, after the renegades threatened to attack the frigate.

[…]

INS Tabar, an Indian frigate dispatched last month to the area to protect the country’s merchant fleet, sighted the pirate vessel late on Tuesday. Indian officers said they spotted pirates moving on the deck with rocket propelled grenade launchers and automatic weapons.

“On repeated calls, the vessel’s threatening response was that she would blow up the naval warship,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

“INS Tabar retaliated in self defence and opened fire on the mother vessel.

“As a result of the firing by INS Tabar, fire broke out on the vessel and explosions were heard, possibly due to exploding ammunition that was stored on the vessel.”

“From what we see in photographs the pirate vessel is completely destroyed,” a senior officer said. Two speedboats were seen fleeing the sinking ship.

This whole war in Georgia thing sounds a lot like a certain video game…

Specifically Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, which was released in 2002.

Here’s a portion of the plot summary from Wikipedia:

Ghost Recon puts the player in charge of a fictitious squad of U.S. Special Forces operators from Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (5th SFG) stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Except for the “1st Battalion, 5th SFG” designation, this unit is entirely fictional. They are sometimes referred to as “The Ghosts”. Their role is not unlike other real world Special Operations Forces, in that their operations are kept highly classified.

[…]

Ghost Recon begins in April 16, 2008, with civil unrest in Russia. Ultra-nationalists have seized power in Moscow, with plans to rebuild the Iron Curtain. Their first step is clandestine support of rebel factions in Georgia and the Baltic States. This is where the Ghosts come in: to silence the rebellion. Armed with some of the most advanced weaponry in the world, the soldiers of the Ghost Recon force are covertly inserted into Eastern Europe and given specific missions to curtail the rebel actions and overthrow their benefactors.

The game’s storyline stems from political turmoil that came to light a few years earlier, in which the Ultra-nationalist regime came to power and placed its leader, Dmitri Arbatov, as Russia’s president. By 2007, the threat posed by the Arbatov Administration became clear. Russia forms an alliance called the Russian Democratic Union (RDU), which is made up of the previously conquered countries of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Together, they launch a campaign to revive the long-dissolved Soviet Union by taking back all of the former Soviet republics.

During the first few missions of the game, the Ghosts battle South Ossetian rebel forces from the north of Georgia, who are harassing the legitimate government and its allies. The Ghosts fight in the forests, on farms, and in villages while assisting their NATO allies in fighting the enemy. The Russian government complains to the United Nations that the Americans have interfered in their affairs, and eventually they send in their army to aid the rebels. The U.S. cannot hope to stop the Russian Army from invading Georgia, so the Ghosts slow down the invading forces so that their allies can evacuate. Eventually, the Ghosts are all that’s left of the U.S. forces in Georgia, and they evacuate by SH-60 Seahawk helicopter on the rooftop of the American Embassy in T’bilisi, just barely avoiding the Russian forces. The Georgian government flees to Geneva and sets up a government-in-exile. With the fall of T’bilisi, Georgia surrenders and is forcefully incorporated into the RDU.

We can’t deport the criminals, but we can deport thousands back to a country controlled by a communist regime.

AP:

Washington has started deportation proceedings against thousands of Vietnamese living illegally in the United States under a pact between the two countries, a top U.S. immigration official said Tuesday.

Julie Myers, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, eased the fears of some Vietnamese groups about the plan, saying those who have lived in the U.S. for more than 13 years would not be deported.

The repatriation pact applies to Vietnamese who entered the U.S. illegally after the former foes normalized relations in 1995. Some critics had expressed concern the agreement could include others who entered the U.S. in the 70s and 80s.

[…]

More than 1.5 million Vietnamese – the largest population outside Vietnam – live in the U.S. Many fled their native country in boats after the Vietnam War ended in 1975 and northern communist forces took control of the former South Vietnam, which the U.S. had backed.

Classy, ICE, Classy.

Wait a second, how can ICE say they’re going to be deporting people from a certain ethnic group without it being considered racial profiling?

WUSA 9 News is a joke…

A few minutes ago (around 9:30) they made the comment that the “Chinese government is angry that the Dalai Lama is stirring up trouble” or something to that affect.

Yeah, nothing like stirring up trouble when the ChiComs have their police men dressing up as Tibetan monks and starting riots.

I’m sure “King George III was angry that Thomas Jefferson was stirring up trouble” too. Ditto for Samual Adams (and I’m not talking about the beer there folks).

I’m sure “Lord Willingdon was angry that Gandhi was stirring up trouble” as well.

Uh-oh, I better be careful…

China blogger beaten to death by 50 government officials…

(H/t: Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge)

U.S. Announces Major al-Qaida Arrest

From the AP via Breitbart.com: U.S. Announces Major al-Qaida Arrest:

The U.S. command announced on Wednesday the arrest of an al-Qaida leader it said served as the link between the organization’s command in Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s inner circle, enabling it to wield considerable influence over the Iraqi group.

[…]

Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was the highest- ranking Iraqi in the al-Qaida in Iraq leadership when he was captured July 4 in Mosul, U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner said.

Bergner told reporters that al-Mashhadani carried messages from bin Laden, and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, to the Egyptian-born head of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri.

“There is a clear connection between al-Qaida in Iraq and al-Qaida senior leadership outside Iraq,” Bergner said.

Really, al-Qaida in Iraq linked to al-Qaida, who would have thunk it?

Hat tip: Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge

Slavery is Freedom?

From The Guardian:

“Big Brother” plans to automatically hand the police details of the daily journeys of millions of motorists tracked by road pricing cameras across the country were inadvertently disclosed by the Home Office last night.

Leaked Whitehall background papers reveal that Home Office and transport ministers have clashed over plans for legislation this autumn enabling the police to get automatic “real-time” access to the bulk data from the traffic cameras now going into operation. The Home Office says the police need the data from the cameras, which can read and store every passing numberplate, “for all crime fighting purposes”.

But transport ministers warn of concerns about privacy and “the potential for adverse publicity relating to plans for local road pricing” also due to be unveiled this autumn. There are already nearly 2,000 automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in place and they are due to double as road pricing schemes are expanded across the country.

[…]

The leaked Home Office note emerged yesterday as it was announced that the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, had waived Data Protection Act safeguards to allow the bulk transfer of data from London’s congestion charge and traffic cameras to the Metropolitan police for the specific purpose of tracking potential terrorists in and around the capital. Transport for London was very reluctant to hand over the data without the home secretary issuing a special certificate exempting it from legal action from motorists worried about breach of their privacy.

[…]

“Civil rights groups and privacy campaigners may condemn this as further evidence of an encroaching ‘big brother’ approach to policing and security, particularly in light of the recent e-petition on roads pricing,” says a Home Office note on its ‘handling strategy’ for the issue in reference to the runaway success of a petition on the Downing Street website against road charging. “Conversely, there may be surprise that the data collected by the congestion charge cameras is not already used for national security purposes and may lead to criticism that the matter is yet to be resolved.”

[…]

The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Nick Clegg, said the “unintended act of open government” had revealed the disingenuous attitude of ministers towards public fears about a creeping surveillance state: “No wonder Douglas Alexander was keen to tone down these proposals, since he must know that public resistance to a road charging scheme will go through the roof if it is based on technology which poses a threat to personal privacy. Bit by bit, vast computer databases are being made inter-operable and yet the government seems to running scared of a full and public debate.”

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, said: “It is one thing to ask the public for special measures to fight the grave threat of terrorism, but when that becomes a Trojan horse for mass snooping for more petty matters it only leads to a loss of trust in government.”

Nope, nothing Orwellian about that…

Hat tip: Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge

We need to know how it is America’s fault…

From BBC News: Megaflood ‘made Island Britain’:

Britain became separated from mainland Europe after a catastrophic flood some time before 200,000 years ago, a sonar study of the English Channel confirms.

The images reveal deep scars on the Channel bed that must have been cut by a sudden, massive discharge of water.

Scientists tell the journal Nature that the torrent probably came from a giant lake in what is now the North Sea.

Some event – perhaps an earthquake – caused the lake’s rim to breach at the Dover Strait, they believe.

Dr Sanjeev Gupta, from Imperial College London, and colleagues say the discharge would have been one of the most significant megafloods in recent Earth history, and provides an explanation for Britain’s island status.

“This event, or series of events, that caused [the breach] changed the course of Britain’s history,” Dr Gupta told BBC News.

“If this hadn’t happened, Britain would always have been a peninsula of Europe. There would have been no need for a Channel Tunnel and you could always have walked across from France into Britain, as early humans did prior to this event.”

I blame global cooling, or maybe global warming.


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