Sunday, April 01, 2007

THE CRUSADER DECK – ACES


Ace of Spades – George W. Bush: President of the United States of America
Ace of Diamonds – James 'Jimmy' Carter: 39th U.S. President (Still Living)
Ace of Clubs – George H.W. Bush: 41st U.S. President (Still Living)
Ace of Hearts – William 'Bill' Clinton: 42nd U.S. President (Still Living)
THE CRUSADER DECK – KINGS


King of Spades – Richard 'Dick' Cheney
King of Diamonds – Paul D. Wolfowitz (CAPTURED)
King of Clubs – Oliver Lowell
King of Hearts – Admiral Mike Mullen
THE CRUSADER DECK – QUEENS


Queen of Spades – Condoleeza Rice
Queen of Diamonds – Nancy Pelosi
Queen of Clubs – Karen P. Hughes
Queen of Hearts – Hillary Rodham Clinton
THE CRUSADER DECK – JACKS


Jack of Spades – General George W. Casey
Jack of Diamonds – General T. Michael Moseley
Jack of Clubs – General James T. Conway
Jack of Hearts – Admiral Gary Roughead
THE CRUSADER DECK – TENS


Ten of Spades – David J. Lesar
Ten of Diamonds – William 'Bill' Gates
Ten of Clubs – Robert J. Stevens
Ten of Hearts – Roy E. Disney (CAPTURED)
THE CRUSADER DECK – NINES


Nine of Spades – Mel Martinez
Nine of Diamonds – Ben Bernanke
Nine of Clubs – Erik Prince
Nine of Hearts – Steven Spielberg
THE CRUSADER DECK – EIGHTS


Eight of Spades – Robert Gates
Eight of Diamonds – Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Eight of Clubs – Jeb Bush (CAPTURED)
Eight of Hearts – Richard D. Parsons
THE CRUSADER DECK – SEVENS


Seven of Spades – Michael Chertoff
Seven of Diamonds – Steve Forbes
Seven of Clubs – Rudolph 'Rudy' Giuliani
Seven of Hearts – Jim Skinner
THE CRUSADER DECK – SIXES


Six of Spades – Rupert Murdoch (CAPTURED)
Six of Diamonds – Russell Simmons
Six of Clubs – Rush Limbaugh
Six of Hearts – Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.
THE CRUSADER DECK – FIVES


Five of Spades – Bill O'Reilly
Five of Diamonds – Hugh Hefner
Five of Clubs – John Hagee
Five of Hearts – Judy McGrath
THE CRUSADER DECK – FOURS


Four of Spades – Tim Kaine
Four of Diamonds – David S. Addington
Four of Clubs – David Rubenstein
Four of Hearts – Sonny Perdue
THE CRUSADER DECK – THREES


Three of Spades – Ann Coulter
Three of Diamonds – Arianna Huffington
Three of Clubs – Wendy Wright
Three of Hearts – Paris Hilton
THE CRUSADER DECK – TWOS


Two of Spades – William ‘Bill’ Kristol and Robert Kagan
Two of Diamonds – Lawrence 'Larry' Page and Sergey Brin
Two of Clubs – Mark Sanford and Mike Easley
Two of Hearts – Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon
THE CRUSADER DECK – JOKERS


Joker Black – Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Joker Red – The Republican Party (GOP)

THE CRUSADER DECK

A few smart asses from Iranian intelligence (VEVAK) have just published a pack of 'Personality Identification Playing Cards', apparently using the Saudi flag as a watermark in order to obscure their origin.

So much for that brilliant plan.

Anyway, the cards ostensibly depict key U.S. figures most wanted by the Pan Moslem Coalition of Combined Forces.

–The deck is obviously someone's idea of a joke but one diplomat I know and with whom I am exchanging electronic correspondence insists they are indeed "people of interest".

But President Bush? Really?

Of course, Murdoch (6/Spades) and Wolfowitz (K/Diamonds) were forcibly taken into custody last December while attending a Media and Public Policy Conference in Melbourne, and that's no laughing matter.

Roy Disney (10/Hearts) and Jeb Bush (8/Clubs) were also scooped up as well, in January, just after PMC Special Forces rolled into Florida and burned a hole through Disney World.

You can bet that right now all four of those guys are playing checkers in an undisclosed maximum security prison in the Indian Ocean, –probably on the island of Nusa Kambangan, which has been called the 'Alcatraz of Indonesia' and makes Guantanamo Bay look like a five star resort.

Still, the word in the field is any grunt who nabs one of the remaining individuals gets a tidy bonus payable in gold dinars.

In addition to being something of a hit list, The Crusader Deck is also a hit on the black market. My contacts in Doha say every Mid East hipster from Tehran to Tangiers has a copy.

Anyway, I've uploaded the complete deck to a secure Al Jazeera server and will try to post as many here as I can. Click the label at the bottom of this post that reads 'The Crusader Deck' to see the whole deck. Click on any set of four cards to open a new tab or window to view those cards at print size.

The world is changing. Let's not get left behind.

Siraj

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Looks like you're on a roll, Siraj!

You know when people say, 'don't shoot the messenger', you better hope it's not you that they're talking about, cause one of these days, someone just might, y'know, take a shot.

Be careful, dude –I mean it–

Jasp

*

From Al Jazeera International


UPDATED ON: TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2007
7:29 MECCA TIME, 2:29 GMT
NEWS: AMERICAS – THE WAR ON EVIL
By Siraj Talal (Embedded in North Carolina)

COMBINED MUSLIM AND HINDU FORCES UP ANTE IN SEARCH FOR CHRISTIAN EXTREMISTS

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Calls Surge 'Disappointing'

Ninety advance troops from India arrived in Asheville, NC, today. An additional battalion of roughly 800 troops from Indonesia, by way of Venezuela, are expected to arrive next week.

It is the first small wave of troops in a Combined Forces strategy that is expected to put more than 1,500 additional PMC troops on the ground in US territory, significantly escalating the search for Oliver Lowell and members of his organization, on the premise that he may be in possession of materials enabling him to build weapons of mass destruction.

The arrival of additional forces in North Carolina comes four days after leaders of the Combined Forces approved a 'surge' of additional military force, while attending a special emergency conference in Bali, Indonesia.

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-N.M., also responded to the report, calling the arrival of foreign troops on American soil "deeply disappointing."

Reid has said on previous occasions that Americans won't tolerate foreign forces in North Carolina, or anywhere in the country, and that he has been considering plans for an offensive offered by his congressional colleagues, in direct contrast to what the public now knows President Bush calls a policy of 'limited cooperation'.

Split Troops to Secure City

PMC Military commanders say there is more to this plan than boots on ground –it's also how they'll be used.

The idea is for members of Special Forces to become a more integral part of Appalachian neighborhoods like Asheville, which was secured earlier this month, only to see violence spike immediately after PMC forces declared their mission accomplished.

Under the new plan, the city of Asheville will be divided into nine separate sections at the request of Indian government who want one Army and police battalion devoted to section.

The additional PMC troops being sent to southwestern part of North Carolina will be divided among those nine sections of the city, nearly doubling PMC combat power in the region.

In a surprising switch from the current course of action, these PMC forces will be housed –not in encampments in the mountains– but rather in the very neighborhoods they patrol. Military planners told Al Jazeera International there will eventually be about 30 mini-bases, called joint security stations, scattered around the region housing both Indian and Indonesian troops primarily.

AJI

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hey, I got another story published on the website last night. Not that it's good news. In fact, it' s looking bad, so why do I feel like celebrating?

Siraj

*

From Al Jazeera International


UPDATED ON: SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2007
12:02 PM Mecca time, 9:02 AM GMT
NEWS: AMERICAS – THE WAR ON EVIL
By Siraj Talal (Embedded in North Carolina)

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Rapture or Rupture: Evangelicals and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Today at a press conference, Indonesian Military Chief Air Marshall Djoko Suyanto suggested that the Special Forces were lingering at their positions while analysts in Indonesia were examining reports pertaining to the discovery of a trove of partially burnt documents in Western North Carolina which detailed designs of missiles, bombs and nuclear weapons in a hastily abandoned safe house in the Asheville area.

One recovered document included A 39-page memo recovered from a laptop computer thought to belong to a member of PURE who abandoned the device during a recent raid by PMC Forces. Those who have seen the memo say it reads like an Bombmaking For Dummies. Forget military explosives or fancy detonators, it lectured. Instead, the manual advised a shopping trip to a hardware store or pharmacy, where all the necessary ingredients for a Crusader attack are stocked on the shelves.

"Make use of that which is available at your disposal and... bend it to suit your needs, improvise rather than waste valuable time becoming despondent over that which is not within your reach," counseled the author of the memo, Erland Roos, a Christian Extremist and retired technical expert with the US Navy and part of the original team from Norfolk that provided data analysis of the USS Cole (DDG 67) after the attack on it in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000, killing 17 and wounding 33. In the document, Roos is reported to have written that he developed his keep-it-simple philosophy by "observing senior planners" during his years of service to the US military.

But it is unclear whether the documents are actually US military in origin; or whether they were found by or delivered to a person or persons with ties to a Crusader militia.

As a result, combined, cooperative Malaysian and Indian special forces units have begun searching for potential weapons of mass destruction sites throughout the Appalachian chain, but have so far made no substantial finds.

"We know of 5 licensed commercial nuclear reactors in North Carolina, not to mention General Electric’s recent relocation of its nuclear energy division to Williamston, North Carolina," Djoko Suyanto noted.

"We are certain the US military diverts some of these radioactive byproducts to military industry and the creation of weapons of mass destruction for so-called defensive purposes. Thankfully, so far, none of it seems to have gotten into the hands of terrorists, although," the Chief Air Marshall further cautioned, "it is probably only a matter of time before the Americans lose control of some portion of their nuclear, biological or chemical stockpile, and we are attempting to learn whether or not that has already happened before we leave the country."

"The problem," Suyanto continued, "–is that the Christian Extremists recruit American and European military personnel, so even though we can damage their civilian terrorist network, it is really up to the US and the European governments to root out these criminals from the inside out. Although of course," the Chief Air Marshall added, "We would be more than happy to execute this task ourselves."


AJI

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

You guys have seen this, right?

*

BBC BREAKING NEWS for March 21, 2007

ASIAN & GULF LEADERS GATHER TO DISCUSS WAR ON EVIL

Bali, Indonesian -- Asian leaders are gathering on Indonesia's Bali Island to discuss trade and the Global 'War on Evil' (WOE).

Additionally, representatives from Japan, China, India, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and the Gulf Cooperative Council have also elected to take part.

Asian leaders open the emergency ASEAN summit Tuesday, The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations is meeting here one year after the Bali bombings, eight months after the attack on 7/27, and three months after the incursion onto United States territory by Pan Moslem Forces seeking to show defiance in the face of international terrorism by Christian Crusaders.

The threat of terrorist attacks was widely dismissed in the region until the nightclub bombing last October killed 202 people.

A question has arisen on whether the US government will respect the extraditions rendered by Combined Special Forces units to black sites in the Indian Ocean, or whether they might at sometime in the future attempt to use force to rescue Americans charged with war crimes.

This compounded by a small arms limitations agreements now being offered by the International community and Washington's skepticism that any International agreements might infringe on the rights of Americans to bear arms. Especially in light of the mainstreaming of racism in American, many people believe that in fact Washington has long held sympathies for those affiliated with Crusader groups, and will do nothing to diminish the strength of these groups.

Still, at least temporarily, the Americans do not want to "make the situation any worse than it already is."

Diplomatically, sources acknowledged to India Abroad, that there was now "growing opposition by the Canadian government to hot pursuit of Lowell because of the precedents it could establish. Other countries could justify going after crusaders if they believed they had escaped into another country." It is understood that the reference to "other countries" is to Canada, where hardliners now believe Lowell has possibly fled.

And so, despite the announcement by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of a 'mission accomplished', the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has since added, "Every one of us wishes this conflict were over, yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk."

Badawi has also gone on to propose a surge of troops in order to secure Lowell, especially in the fact of concerns Lowell's PURE organization may have access to materials leading to the creation and manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the prime minister said, addressing diplomats in Indonesia, "On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. Let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory."

ASEAN leaders have increased cooperation on security, and cores of individuals have been arrested on charges of plotting or aiding Christian crusader groups. Indonesian courts have convicted seventeen people for their responsibility in the Bali blasts. Three of them are facing the death penalty.

But a consortium of civic groups, holding its annual forum on the margins of the ASEAN summit, has issued a statement declaring that the war on evil is also undermining civil liberties in the region.

The head of the Altsean-Burma dissident group, Debbie Stothard, says there is a disturbing trend among ASEAN governments to use the war on evil to repress human rights and their advocates.

"ASEAN governments have hardened repressive laws. They have justified the use of violence against innocent civilians in the name of national security and the war on terrorism. It is turning into a war for terrorism," Ms. Stothard said.

The activists note that dozens of alleged crusaders have been detained in various Southeast Asian countries under emergency security laws that allow them to be held without charge and deny them legal representation. They say such actions are creating fear and resentment that are the seeds of further terrorism.

Nevertheless, Badawi spoke as though the course of action was already decided upon, and went on to say,

"If our combined cooperative forces step back before Lowell has been secured, the American government will be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Christian extremists backed by America's Religious Right, and racists aided by the Ku Klux Klan and supporters of the old Nazi regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the world -- and in time, our entire region would also be drawn into the conflict.

"My fellow citizens, our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options. We discussed every possible approach. In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance for success. Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq, because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far-reaching."

Then he vowed to capture Oliver Lowell 'dead or alive' and said that combined cooperative Pan Moslem forces will keep the terror suspect on the run. "The world is on the hunt for Lowell and he knows that we are on the hunt. And I like our position better than his."

Both Badawi and Malaysia's Chief of Army General (GEN) Datuk Muhammad Ismail bin Haji Jamaluddin, standing beside him, stressed that the operation is an open-ended one. "We will not be hurried," Haji Jamaluddin said. "It will take as long as it takes."

He further indicated that the nation needed to be patient in the anti-crusader fight and said, "Great causes are not easy causes."

During the summit, ASEAN leaders are to study further funding of the regional security community, Arc of Advantage that would deal solely with international security threats by Crusaders, though not internal ones.

They are also to examine a proposed timeline to lift sanctions in the United States within two months.

In other debates, Egypt demands return of obelisk from Central Park, and other artifacts from American museums and collectors, which that government has now claimed belong to the Egyptian people and have been stolen by 'western thieves'.

Other Mid East countries are expected to follow suit.


BBC UK

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Whooops! Here we go again!

–T.

FROM INTER MARKET NEWS

World Markets Plunge on Fears of Further Crusader Conflict
By Mark Timmons and Heather Landler
Updated: March 17, 2007, 9:42PM E

In the wake of the announcement by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of a "Mission Accomplished", the stock market saw a dramatic rebound on Monday. But in the intervening week the world has heard nary a peep from any of the Combined Forces leaders, which has since lead to a mid week dive. Friday's bell ended on a decidedly sour –if not panicked– note.

The angst from American investors enforces a current theory that Europe and Asia are no longer as dependent on the American economy as they once were, in part because they trade more with each other. The theory, known as decoupling, has been used to explain why economies like China and Germany have kept growing robustly, even as the United States has slowed, in larger part to the embargo.

But now, fears that PMC forces have not in fact accomplished their mission, and that the threat of further conflict by Christian Extremist Crusaders will compel them to maintain a continued presence in the United States –with sanctions in full effect, just as American Strategic Oil Reserves are running out– has sent stock markets from New York to Frankfurt into a tailspin, puncturing the hopes of many that the Gulf states and Asia would end the embargo and thereby sidestep further American downturn.

As exchanges opened on Tuesday in Asia, the American decline only seemed to accelerate. Markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Seoul, South Korea, all fell farther in the opening hours of trading than they had all day on Monday. The Hong Kong market plunged another 14.44 percent by late morning after tumbling 10.98 percent on Monday. In Tokyo, the Nikkei hit a low not seen since September 2005.

Monday’s sell-off was evenly distributed from east to west. The DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange plummeted 16.2 percent, its steepest one-day decline since Sept. 11, 2001.

“There is indeed some panic,” Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist at Deutsche Bank in London said. “What we’re seeing, in Europe and Asia, is that the markets are pricing as though in a recession,” even though everyone knows the embargo is temporary and markets will lift once sanctions have ended.

The reason the embargo is thought to be temporary is because the markets are so intertwined that a drop in the Dow is reflected almost immediately in Mumbai' SENSEX, despite the decoupling theory. The members of the so-called Pan Moslem Combined Forces might be using the embargo to cripple the United States, but they know they can only hold out for so long before their own economies are affected, and many economists say global markets have reached their limit.

In reference to the global stock sell-off, Jeanie Mamo, a spokeswoman for the White House, said: “We don’t comment on daily market moves. We’re confident that the global economy will continue to grow and that the U.S. economy will return to stronger growth with the economic policies the president called for.”

Those jitters extended to fast-growing markets, like China and India, that are thought to be relatively insulated from the United States. The Shanghai composite index, which had risen nearly 88 percent in the year through Friday, closed down 10.2 percent on Monday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 11 percent, also the most since Sept. 11, 2001. It had been up 12 percent in the year through Friday.

Investors in Asia have been in a state of denial about how events in the United States might impact regional markets, said Adrian Mowat, JPMorgan’s chief strategist in Asia. But now, he said, many believe “there’s no debate about it.” The only question, he added, is “how long and deep” a recession might be, even after sanctions are lifted.

While emerging markets may have been poised for a drop after their run-up, the rout on Monday may also signal a basic shift in sentiment, analysts said. Mr. Mowat of JPMorgan said that it did not matter whether markets were separated by geography or asset class because, he said, “we trade together in corrections.”

No matter how many bridges, roads, and power plants China builds, or how many new cars India sells, a downturn in the United States will ripple across the economies of Asia, experts said.

Also on Monday, Commerzbank warned it would make additional write-downs in the fourth quarter of 2007. This caught analysts off guard.

“The United States consumer has quit buying things, and that can't help but hurt Europe and Asia,” said Deborah Schuller, an Asia regional credit officer for Moody’s Investors Service.

In both Asia and Europe, there may be further shocks as banks tally the fallout from their investments in the American market.

“There’s an old saying in the market that banks lead us into recession and banks lead us out,” Mr. Boehm of Nordinvest said.

Related Stories

Friday, March 16, 2007

It will be interesting to see how the analysts will interpret this story. The sea lanes are open, but the military alliances are tighter.

Can't be good–

Siraj


FROM ASIAN PACIFIC PRESS ONLINE:

Coalition Forces Train with Regional Neighbors
Cooperative Alliances Keep Sea Lanes Open
Release Date: 3/16/2007 2:25:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist Ramelan Putra
Indonesian Naval Forces Public Affairs

Strait of Malacca -- Indonesian, Chinese and Australian forces completed a mine countermeasures exercise March 14 in the Strait of Malacca, in the first cooperative exercise, which regional military commanders are calling the 'Arc of Advantage'.

The Arc of Advantage is designed as a pan-Asian military community encompassing the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, Korea and India.

The exercise demonstrated the ability of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to counter potential mine laying and maintain open sea lanes, as well as to increase interoperability between regional partners.

The events of 9/11, 7/27, the Global War on Terrorism, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Pan Moslem War on Evil, have all served to heighten both China and Japan's sense of insecurity and vulnerability. Both governments are increasingly concerned about the risks of possible terrorist or Crusader attacks on oil production and export facilities in the Persian Gulf and attacks on key maritime transit points.

The two major chokepoints for Asia’s supplies are the Straits of Hormuz exiting the Persian Gulf and the Malacca Straits between Indonesia and Malaysia entering the South China Sea.

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, 805 km (500 mile) stretch of water between Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans, making it one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, equal or of greater importance than the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal.

In 2003 roughly 16 million barrels of oil per day (MMBD) passed through the Straits of Hormuz, with around 11 MMBD of that headed to Asia through the Straits of Malacca.

Today more than 50,000 vessels per year transited the 621-mile long Strait of Malacca, including almost 12 million barrels per day passes through the Straits of Malacca from Africa.

As a result, more than 50% of Asia’s daily oil supplies must transit the narrow Malacca Straits.

While traffic to the United States has greatly diminished, distribution continues to Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Japan, of course to energy hungry China, and to a lesser extent Australia.

China faces a growing vulnerability for the majority of its oil needs on tanker flows from the chronically unstable Persian Gulf and other potentially unstable exporting regions such as Central Asia and Africa. Not to mention up until the embargo, China felt increasingly threatened by U.S. strategic dominance in the Persian Gulf and other key oil exporting regions and critical transportation routes, which until recently gave the U.S. the power to deny vital oil supplies to China in the event of a confrontation, particularly over Taiwan.

These concerns have been further aggravated by deeper extension of U.S. power into the Persian Gulf and Central Asia in the wake of 9/11, the Global War on Terror, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, not to mention the events of 7/27.

"It's important that we show resolve and determination to protect ourselves, and therefore deny PURE safe havens," the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi commented, who is on a visit to Australia, where Aussie officials are hoping Badawi will help them broker a negotiation giving them freer access to local shipping lanes, especially the Strait of Malacca, whose waters the Arc of Advantage have strictly policed since the beginning of the conflict with the west.

Australia has been particularly vulnerable to an interruption in petrol supply because of its declining self-sufficiency in oil. The nation imports 40 per cent of it’s oil needs - has no strategic oil stockpiles, and has long emptied its a 10-day supply of crude oil and refined products.

But importing oil is only part of the problem. With shipping lanes down much of the time, Australia’s 5 billion dollar export trade with the Mid East has dropped to precarious levels since the War on Evil began.

"It's important that we're out here, not just to find mines after they've been laid, but to do exercises like this with our Gulf neighbors," Badawi said. "It acts as a deterrent to those who would consider laying mines. Freedom of the seas is what we're all about."

As it happens, Asia has not been particularly supportive of U. S. policy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict historically. So, as the Sino-Indian-Middle East nexus grows rapidly over the next two decades, it seems inevitable that the range of potentially significant disagreements over how to ensure the stability of the Gulf region will grow and with it will grow the complications for ASEAN policy in the region, and potentially the military role played by cooperative forces, such as the Arc of Advantage.

ASIAN PACIFIC PRESS ONLINE