Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Friday, April 29, 2011

I have to disagree...she is all too typical.

Ok, here we go again....another example of why the pronouncements of  left wing groups need to be assumed to be worthless dribble unless proven true beyond any doubt. And another typical example of someone who is a waste of life.

The American Spectator : Two Fries Shy of a Happy Meal

By Ralph R. Reiland 

...Well, it is Monet Parham-Lee, not Margie Moore, who is suing McDonald's in California for putting toys in Happy Meals.

Parham-Lee's lawsuit accuses McDonald's of unethically and unfairly using toys to lure little children into their restaurants, not unlike how a striped bass is enticed with a shiny lure.

"The Happy Meal has been a huge hit for McDonald's -- making the company one of the world's largest toy distributors -- and spawning me-too offerings at most other fast-food chains," reported Dan Levine at Reuters. "One recent and very successful Happy Meal promotion was a tie-in with the popular DreamWorks film 'Shrek Forever After.' The meals included toy watches fashioned after the movie's characters Shrek, Donkey, Gingy and Puss in Boots."

Parham-Lee is represented by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition-advocacy group that seems more perpetually aggrieved than scientific. They're the ones who warned that movie theater popcorn was the Godzilla of toxic snacks.

When she's not suing, Parham-Lee is paid by the taxpayers as an employee of the California Department of Public Health, working as a regional program manager at the federally funded, pro-vegetable Champions for Change, a project of the Network for a Healthy California. Being billions in the red, can't California eliminate such programs and let people pick their own lunch items?

Prior to her current task of pushing zucchini and championing change, Parham-Lee worked with various taxpayer-funded nutrition groups and the Greater Sacramento Urban League. Don't any of these people ever actually produce anything concrete, like a shirt or a gyro, or work for a capitalist enterprise?
No they live in the non-profit world...where you ave the time to contempt how you are a victim of a free society and it!s wealth but this situation can be fixed by an infusion of money...but it's not about the money of course.
Parham-Lee filed her lawsuit because of the allegedly nerve-racking requests for Happy Meals from her 6-year-old daughter, Maya. ...

..."I don't think it's OK to entice children with Happy Meals with the promise of a toy," Parham-Lee told reporters, posing as a victim.

She said she tries to hold visits to McDonald's to once a month, but the toys of Puss, Gingy, etc., were offered weekly.

"Needless to say, my answer was no," explained Parham-Lee, regarding her daughter's requests for visits to McDonald's more often than monthly. "And, as usual, pouting ensued and a little disagreement between us. This doesn't stop with one request. It's truly a litany of requests."

And so, God knows, no American should have to put up with the litany of a 6-year-old whining for Happy Meals! Call 1-800-SueTheRich.

"What kids see as a fun toy, I now realize is a sophisticated, high-tech marketing scheme that's designed to put McDonald's between me and my daughters," charged Parham-Lee. "For the sake of other parents and their children, I want McDonald's to stop interfering with my family." So for "the sake of other parents," make it a class action case, overflowing with victimized parents from sea to sea.

Parham-Lee's attorney, Stephen Gardner, seeking to cash in while making the Parham-Lee household, as they say, "whole," contends that Parham-Lee should not be "forced to force her daughters to ignore the onslaught of McDonald's marketing messages."

The 6-year-olds I know fall on the floor if their ice cream has the wrongly colored sprinkles and jimmies. The potential lawsuits are endless.
OK this waste of a human life who spawned children (it's an insult to adults to call her a parent) is trying to cash in because of a typical challenge that comes with raising kids is of course not her fault...and a group of leftists with a website and a fax machine are backing her up.  But this is California, the State of Brown....she'll win money, go back to her taxpayer provided employment where she will lecture people to not do what she's done and stealing oxygen and all the time not producing a damned thing.

How did America ever sink this low!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And So it Goes in Shreveport: Homeowners Association Demands Removal of Sign of Support for Marine (UPDATED)

Homeowners Associations sometimes are useful organizations.....and then there are normal times.

My personal experiences with the HOA, or as I like to refer to them The Garbage Gestapo has not been too plesant. The can send me one certified letter after another on some mold on my house but a foreclosed house two doors down with (no exaggeration) two feet high grass is no real problem.

Now we have another group of busy boddies harassing the family of a Marine in Shreveport. Good news if after the word of this crap spread on talk radio the parents had two lawyers offer to represent them pro bono....and the HOA seems to be calming down now. Gee doesn't sunlight make rats run.

And So it Goes in Shreveport: Homeowners Association Demands Removal of Sign of Support for Marine (UPDATED)

Thanks Pat for broadcasting this!

Who the hell does this Jarhead think he is!?

April 26, Raleigh News and Observer – (International) Marine pleads guilty to taking gifts. A major in the U.S. Marine Corps will spend a year in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to receiving illegal payments and gifts from companies doing business with the Marines in Iraq. The man also faces a year of supervised release once his prison term is over. He was sentenced in federal court April 25. In 2005, the man was deployed to Camp Fallujah in Iraq, where he acted as a liaison between contractors and the Marines, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. That year, he sought and received three Rolex watches and $35,000 from a company that provided gym equipment, and received another Rolex watch from another company interested in contracts involving vehicles, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He shipped the money in a trunk to his home in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and carried the watches with him.

With a record like that he could be a Senator.

Security Weekly: The Kaspersky Kidnapping - Lessons Learned April 28. 2011

By Scott Stewart

On April 24, officers from the anti-kidnapping unit of Moscow’s Criminal Investigation Department and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) rescued 20-year-old Ivan Kaspersky from a dacha in Sergiev Posad, a small town about 40 miles northeast of Moscow. Kaspersky, the son of Russian computer software services billionaire Eugene Kaspersky (founder of Kaspersky Lab), was kidnapped on April 19 as he was walking to work from his Moscow apartment. A fourth-year computer student at Moscow State University, Kaspersky was working as an intern at a software company located near Moscow’s Strogino metro station.

Following the abduction, Kaspersky was reportedly forced to call his father and relay his captors’ demands for a ransom of 3 million euros ($4.4 million). After receiving the ransom call, the elder Kaspersky turned to Russian law enforcement for assistance. On April 21, news of the abduction hit the Russian and international press, placing pressure on the kidnappers and potentially placing Kaspersky’s life in jeopardy. In order to defuse the situation, disinformation was leaked to the press that a ransom had been paid, that Kaspersky had been released unharmed and that the family did not want the authorities involved. Kaspersky’s father also contacted the kidnappers and agreed to pay the ransom. Responding to the ruse, four of the five members of the kidnapping gang left the dacha where Kaspersky was being held to retrieve the ransom and were intercepted by Russian authorities as they left. The authorities then stormed the dacha, arrested the remaining captor and released Kaspersky. The five kidnappers remain in custody and are awaiting trial.

According to Russia’s RT television network, Russian officials indicated that the kidnapping was orchestrated by an older couple who were in debt and sought to use the ransom to get out of their financial difficulties. The couple reportedly enlisted their 30-year-old son and two of his friends to act as muscle for the plot. Fortunately for Kaspersky, the group that abducted him was quite unprofessional and the place where he was being held was identified by the cell phone used to contact Kaspersky’s father. Reports conflict as to whether the cell phone’s location was tracked by the FSB, the police anti-kidnapping unit or someone else working for Kaspersky’s father, but in any case, in the end the group’s inexperience and naivete allowed for Kaspersky’s story to have a happy ending.

However, the story also demonstrates that even amateurs can successfully locate and abduct the son of a billionaire, and some very important lessons can be drawn from this case.

The Abduction

According to the Russian news service RIA Novosti, Kaspersky’s abductors had been stalking him and his girlfriend for several months prior to the kidnapping. This pre-operational surveillance permitted the kidnappers to determine Kaspersky’s behavioral patterns and learn that he did not have any sort of security detail protecting him. Media reports also indicate that the kidnappers were apparently able to obtain all the information they required to begin their physical surveillance of the victim from information Kaspersky himself had posted on Vkontakte.ru, a Russian social networking site. According to RT, Kaspersky’s Vkontakte profile contained information such as his true name, his photo, where he was attending school, what he was studying, who he was dating, where we was working for his internship and even the addresses of the last two apartments where he lived.

Armed with this cornucopia of information, it would be very easy for the criminals to establish physical surveillance of Kaspersky in order to gather the additional behavioral information they needed to complete their plan for the abduction. Kaspersky also appears to have not been practicing the level of situational awareness required to detect the surveillance being conducted against him — even though it was being conducted by amateurish criminals who were undoubtedly clumsy in their surveillance tradecraft. This lack of awareness allowed the kidnappers to freely follow him and plot his abduction without fear of detection. Kaspersky made himself an easy target in a dangerous place for high net worth individuals and their families. While kidnapping for ransom is fairly rare in the United States, Russian law enforcement sources report that some 300 people are kidnapped for ransom every year in Russia.


In terms of being an easy target, Kaspersky was not alone. It is not uncommon for the children of high net worth families to want to break free of their family’s protective cocoon and “live like a regular person.” This means going to school, working, dating and living without being insulated from the world by the security measures in place around their parents and their childhood homes. This tendency was exemplified by the well-publicized example of George W. Bush’s twin daughters “ditching” their Secret Service security details so they could go out and party with their friends when they were in college.

Having personally worked as a member of an executive protection detail responsible for the security of a high net worth family, I have seen firsthand how cumbersome and limiting an executive protection detail can be — especially a traditional, overt-security detail. A low-key, “bubble-type” detail, which focuses on surveillance detection and protective intelligence, provides some space and freedom, but it, too, can be quite limiting and intrusive — especially for a young person who wants some freedom to live spontaneously. Because of the very nature of protective security, there will inevitably be a degree of tension between personal security and personal freedom.

However, when reacting to this tension, those protected must remember that there are very real dangers in the world — dangers that must be guarded against. Unfortunately, many people who reject security measures tend to live in a state of denial regarding the potential threats facing them, and that denial can land them in trouble. We have seen this mindset most strongly displayed in high net worth individuals who have recently acquired their wealth and have not yet been victimized by criminals. A prime example of this was U.S billionaire Eddie Lampert, who at the time of his abduction in 2003 did not believe there was any threat to his personal security. His first encounter with criminals was a traumatic kidnapping at gunpoint. But this mindset can also appear in younger members of well-established families of means who have not personally been victimized by criminals.

It is important to realize, however, that the choice between security and freedom does not have to be an either/or equation. There are measures that can be taken to protect high net worth individuals and children without employing a full protective security detail. These same measures can also be applied by people of more modest means living in places such as Mexico or Venezuela, where the kidnapping threat is pervasive and extends to almost every strata of society, from middle-class professionals and business owners to farmers.

In this type of environment, the threat also applies to mid-level corporate employees who serve tours as expatriate executives in foreign cities. Some of the cities they are posted in are among the most crime-ridden in the world, including such places as Mexico City, Caracas, Sao Paulo and Moscow. When placed in the middle of an impoverished society, even a mid-level executive or diplomat is, by comparison, incredibly rich. As a result, employees who would spend their lives under the radar of professional criminals back home in the United States, Canada or Europe can become prime targets for kidnapping, home invasion, burglary and carjacking in their overseas posts.

The Basics

Before anything else can be done to address the criminal threat, like any other issue, the fact that there is indeed a threat must first be recognized and acknowledged. As long as a potential target is in a state of denial, very little can be done to protect him or her.

Once the threat is recognized, the next step in devising a personal protection system is creating a realistic baseline assessment of the threat — and exposure to that threat. This assessment should start with some general research on crime and statistics for the area where the person lives, works or goes to school, and the travel corridors between these places. The potential for natural disasters, civil unrest — and in some cases the possibility of terrorism or even war — should also be considered. Based on this general crime-environment assessment, it might be determined that the kidnapping risk in a city such as Mexico City or Moscow will dictate that a child who has a desire to attend university without a protective security detail might be better off doing so in a safer environment abroad.

Building on these generalities, then, the next step should be to determine the specific threats and vulnerabilities by performing some basic analyses and diagnostics. In some cases, these will have to be performed by professionals, but they can also be undertaken by the individuals themselves if they lack the means to hire professional help. These analyses should include:

In-depth cyberstalking report. Most of the people for whom we have conducted such reports have been shocked to see how much private information analysts are able to dig up on the Internet. This information is available for free (or for a few dollars) to anyone, including criminals, who might be targeting people for kidnapping, extortion or other crimes. The problem of personal information being available on the Internet is magnified when potential targets gratuitously post personal information online, as in the Kaspersky case. Even in cases where personal information is available only to online “friends,” it is quite easy for savvy Internet users to use a false social networking account with an attractive photo to social engineer their way into a circle of friends using common pretexting tactics. Therefore, potential targets need to be extremely careful what they post online, and they also must be aware of what information about them is publicly available on the Internet and how that information may make them vulnerable to being targeted. If it is determined that the information available makes them too vulnerable, changes may have to be made.
Baseline surveillance diagnostics. Surveillance diagnostics is a blend of surveillance-detection techniques that are designed to determine if an individual is under systematic criminal surveillance. This can be conducted by the potential targets themselves, if they receive the necessary training, or by a specialized professional surveillance-detection team. As the name suggests, this diagnostic level helps establish a baseline from which to plan future security and surveillance-detection operations.
Route analysis. This type of analysis examines the regular travel routes of a potential target in order to identify locations such as choke points that can be used by criminals for surveillance or to conduct an attack. Route analysis can be performed by the same team that conducts surveillance diagnostics, or even by a potential target if the person will thoughtfully examine his or her daily travel routes. Such an analysis allows the potential target to be cognizant of such locations and of the need to increase situational awareness for signs of surveillance or a potential attack as he or she passes through them — especially during a highly predictable move like the morning home-to-work commute.
Physical security surveys. Such surveys are performed for the home, workplace or school of the potential target. While individuals can effectively conduct such surveys using common sense, a professional assessment can be useful and will often be performed for free by alarm companies. Obviously, any security upgrades required at a workplace or school will require coordination with the security managers for these locations.
Response capability assessment. This is a realistic assessment of the capabilities and responsiveness of the local police and security forces as well as fire and medical first-responders. In some places, security personnel themselves may be involved in criminal activity, or prove to be generally unresponsive or incompetent. Knowing their true capabilities is necessary to create a realistic security plan.
There are some very good private training facilities that can provide individuals with training in things like attack recognition/avoidance, surveillance detection and route analysis as well hands-on skills like tactical driving.

Guns Alone Are Not the Answer

Even if a potential target is being afforded a protection detail, it must be remembered that guards with guns are not in and of themselves a guarantee of security. If a group is brazen enough to undertake a kidnapping, they will in many cases and many places not hesitate to use deadly force in the commission of their crime. If they are given free rein to conduct pre-operational surveillance, they will be able to make plans to overcome any security measures in place, including the neutralizing of armed security personnel.

After recognizing that a threat indeed exists, the next key concept that potential targets need to internalize is that criminals are vulnerable to detection as they plan their crimes, and that ordinary people can develop the skills required to detect criminal activity and take measures to avoid being victimized. The fact is, most criminals practice terrible surveillance tradecraft. They are permitted to succeed in spite of their lack of skill because, for the most part, people simply do not practice good situational awareness.

The good news for potential targets is that being aware of one’s surroundings and identifying potential threats and dangerous situations is more a mindset or attitude than a hard skill. Because of this, situational awareness is not something that can be practiced only by highly trained government agents or specialized surveillance detection teams — it is something that can be practiced by anyone with the will and the discipline to do so. In the Kaspersky case, it is very likely that had the young man been practicing good situational awareness, he would have been able to note the criminals conducting surveillance on him and to take appropriate action to avoid being kidnapped.

Armed guards, armored vehicles and other forms of physical security are all valuable protective tools, but they can all be defeated by kidnappers who are allowed to form a plan and execute it at the time and place of their choosing. Clearly, a way is needed to deny kidnappers the advantage of striking when and where they choose or, even better, to stop a kidnapping before it can be launched. This is where the intelligence tools outlined above come into play. They permit the potential target, and any security officers working to protect them, to play on the action side of the action/reaction equation rather than passively waiting for something to happen.

The Kaspersky Kidnapping - Lessons Learned is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Suspect on the run...black and white leather coat!

Have you seen this suspect!

Man Dressed as Cow Steals 26 Gallons of Milk

Milk does a body good. Stealing, however, probably doesn't.
By Carissa DiMargo

Got milk?

How about 26 gallons of it? One man did, at least for a little while. And that man was dressed in a cow costume.

In the category of You Can't Make This Stuff Up If You Tried, the 18-year-old crawled into a Stafford, Va., Walmart on all fours, reported PotomacLocal.com.

After standing, he loaded about $92 worth of milk into a shopping cart and simply rolled the cart out of the without paying, police have confirmed to NBC Washington.

He then attempted to give the milk away outside the store, and tried to flee the scene by skipping away, police said.

Jonathan Payton, 18, of North Stafford, Va., was given a summons and released at the scene.

Political Correctness marches on...Kung Fu Fighting is not allowed....

First the song Money for Nothing is banned by the Canadians...now this...

This has got to be one of the most ridiculous stories in recent memory. A man has been arrested in the Isle of Wright for singing “Kung Fu Fighting”. The reason? A Chinese man and his mother happened to walk by at the time and were offended. From the Telegraph:

Simon Ledger says he fears she will end up with a criminal record for performing the 1974 disco classic at a seafront bar on the Isle of Wight on Sunday after two people walking past apparently took offence.

The 34-year-old, from the island, regularly features Carl Douglas’s 1974 number one hit in his set when he performs at the Driftwood Beach Bar in Sandown.

But after striking up the melody in front of customers at the weekend he noticed a man of Chinese origin walking past with his mother, making gestures at him and taking a picture on his mobile phone.

He said that he later received a telephone call from police – while he was dining in a Chinese restaurant – asking him to meet officers about the incident.

He was then arrested and questioned before being bailed.

Hampshire Police said that it had been following up a complaint of racially aggravated harassment.
“We were performing Kung Fu Fighting, as we do during all our sets,” Mr Ledger, 34, told The Sun.

“People of all races were loving it, Chinese people have never been offended before.”

A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating an allegation of racially-aggravated harassment. A man from Shanklin was arrested.”
OK...I'm offended by a lot...but filing charges against an idiot for playing "Cop Killer" would probably not go far. And this crap of "racially aggravated harassment"...damned, Orwell is laughing himself silly.

What's going on in the World Today 110427






Russia: Sineva SLBM Successfully Tested April 27, 2011

Russia successfully test-fired the RSM-54 Sineva submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with the missile hitting the designated target in time when launched from the Delta-IV class Yekaterinburg submarine, according to a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, RIA Novosti reported April 27.




Iraq: Over 16,000 U.S. Personnel To Remain After 2011 Deadline April 26, 2011

The Iraqi government will arrange a special status to allow more than 15,000 U.S. servicemen to remain in Iraq after the 2011 withdrawal with most of the forces assigned to protect U.S. embassy staff, foreign diplomatic corps and international companies in the country, Xinhua reported April 26, citing al-Mashriq newspaper’s well-informed sources. U.S. embassy spokesman David Ranz said U.S. forces will be conventional to the U.S. embassy mission with diplomatic corps, staff, guards and others comprising over 16,000 members, Al Sumaria reported. Ranz said increases in Iraqi staff will occur as well, adding security, cultural and trade considerations require Washington to maintain enough staff after the military leaves.

Iraq: Mortar Shells Hit Airport As PM Departs April 26, 2011

Six mortar rounds hit the Baghdad International Airport the afternoon of April 26 as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was departing for South Korea, a police source said, Alsumaria reported. The mortar shells struck around the airport runway, and the extent of the damage is not yet known, the source said. Smoke was rising in the sky and sirens could be heard, the source added.


Palestinian Territories: Details Of Gaza-Bound Aid Flotilla April 26, 2011

Pro-Palestinian activists said a planned Gaza-bound aid flotilla will be twice as big as the flotilla that was raided last year by Israeli forces, AP reported April 26. Huseyin Oruc, a spokesman for an Islamic aid group in Turkey, said a group of 22 nongovernmental organizations will send 15 ships and 1,500 people as part of the flotilla. Organizers said they hoped to depart for Gaza on May 31, the anniversary of the Israeli flotilla raid, but noted that they could leave later.

Israel: Energy Independence Must Be Priority - Officials April 27, 2011

Israel must prepare for a economic future without Egyptian natural gas supplies, Israeli National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau said, Army Radio reported April 27. Former Mossad official Danny Yatom said sabotage like the recent pipeline bombing might become a trend Israel needs to manage, adding one solution might be accelerating natural gas supply development from the offshore natural gas fields, Tamar and Leviathan, to reduce Israel’s reliance on Egyptian natural gas. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said regional instability will probably continue for the foreseeable future and Israel must achieve energy self-sufficiency.

Afghanistan: No. 2 Insurgent Target Killed - ISAF April 26, 2011

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the death of its No. 2 overall targeted insurgent, al Qaeda senior leader Abu Hafs al-Najdi (also known as Abdul Ghani), who was killed April 13 in an airstrike in Afghanistan’s Dangam district, Kunar Province, an ISAF Joint Command statement reported April 26. A Saudi national who traveled frequently between Afghanistan and Pakistan, al-Najidi directed al Qaeda operations in Kunar province including recruitment, militant training and deployment, weapons and equipment procurement, financial organization and operational planning of attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
Afghanistan: 65 Prisoners Recaptured In Kandahar April 26, 2011

Afghan and foreign forces have recaptured 65 prisoners out of the 488 who escaped the Kandahar central jail April 25, according to the office of Kandahar province’s governor, Afghan Islamic Press reported April 26. The prisoners were transferred to the anti-militant directorate for investigation.


Raw Intelligence Report: A View from Syria | STRATFOR


Mexico: Army Transfers Soldiers To Guatemalan Border April 27, 2011

The Mexican army transferred an unspecified number of soldiers to the Mexico-Guatemala border, Prensa Libre reported April 27. Mexican Seventh Military Region Commander Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos said troop strength was increased across the entire border and military authorities are in talks with the Chiapas state government to see if more troops could be deployed there permanently.

Mexico: Roadblocks Set Up In Monterrey April 27, 2011

Unidentified men set up two roadblocks near the municipal palace in Monterrey following a reported firefight April 27, Milenio reported. Authorities responded after the men used buses and a taxi to set up the roadblocks.


Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A new Earth Day tradition..

A bit late I grant you but still good. Last Friday the idiots in the country celebrated Earth Day....an approved religious holiday that the ACLU seems to find ok....and one of it's founders murdered his own girlfriend but as a good environmentalist he composted the body.

So I'll do my part and commemorate this facade. Every year after I send in my taxes I purge the yearly files from five years ago (I retain them that long for tax audit purposes) and normally shred them at work. But in honor of Earth Day, I burned them.

To be repeated on April 22nd, 2012

Unions not supporting Democrats.....

Forgive me if I take that with a grain of salt....
Firefighters' union money goes local
By: Jeanne Cummings April 26, 2011

As newly elected Republican state legislatures aggressively push a slew of anti-union measures, the International Association of Fire Fighters is freezing its federal political spending and shifting all resources toward its beleaguered state and local colleagues.

“With the survival of our union and the ability to preserve and protect the rights, wages, and benefits our members deserve in jeopardy in the states, we have re-evaluated how to get the best results from our political dollars,” IAFF President HaJrold A. Schaitberger said Tuesday in an email blast to members that was obtained by POLITICO.

The firefighters’ decision could have real consequences.

The union spent nearly $15 million in the 2010 midterms on behalf of federal candidates, both Democrats and Republicans. Its political action committee is ranked among the top 10 largest and the union was a major donor to some of the independent groups that waged an 11th hour effort to protect Democrats from attacks from business-backed groups.

The PAC donated more than $4 million in the 2010 midterms and a few checks were issued earlier this year.

“But until we see our friends in Congress be as committed to standing and fighting with us with the same level of intensity and ferocity as our enemies are trying to kill us, I’m turning the spigot off,” Schaitberger said in an interview.

Finally, federal candidates – including President Barack Obama — will have to hit the campaign trail without the coveted visual image of local firefighter supporters clad in the union’s iconic black and gold T-shirts.

It was an image that became a mainstay of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s 2004 primary bid after virtually all of the other major labor unions flocked to the upstart and unsuccessful campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

The move by the union is just the latest – and most dramatic – adjustment labor leaders are scrambling to make after Republicans across the nation in January tried to quickly push through new laws that would weaken the movement and its political influence.

In Wisconsin and Ohio, new laws would undermine the collective bargaining rights of most or all public employees. In Missouri, bills have been introduced to loosen wage and child labor laws. In Indiana, lawmakers sought to essentially ban public employee unions by becoming a right-to-work state. In Alabama, lawmakers have eliminated automatic union dues deductions from workers’ paychecks.

The Service Employees International Union, one of the largest in the country, recently announced that it is broadening its political operation to attempt to build a nationwide pro-labor grassroots constituency that includes union members and non-union supporters.

In an interview with POLITICO, however, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said the union would not reduce its role in federal races. SEIU reported spending $85 million in the 2008 presidential and was one of Obama’s most prominent backers.

Josh Goldstein, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, said its executive committee is in discussions about how to adjust to the new, more hostile terrain.

While no specifics have been agreed on yet, Goldstein said the consensus is that the labor umbrella organization’s 2012 political operation will be a “far broader and deeper program then ever before.” Among the strategic shifts on the table are engaging in more local and state races and expanding member-on-member communications to a year-round operation.

Like the firefighters, Goldstein said the AFL-CIO’s vast treasury will be allocated “less on the political party structure and more on our structure.”

To be sure, there will be residual benefits to federal candidates from labor’s intensified efforts, and the national firefighters union’s decision won’t preclude local chapters from engaging in federal races either through donations or voter turnout operations.

Union members vote disproportionately for Democrats. So, while a
candidate or party committee may not receive a direct donation, they are likely to benefit from an uptick in political participation by labor supporters motivated by local or state issues.

In Ohio, union members are collecting signatures to hold a referendum that would overturn a new law that undercuts the collective bargaining rights of firefighters, police and all other public employees. In Wisconsin, Democrats are collecting signatures to recall members of the state legislature who voted to back an anti-organizing law that is being challenged in court.

Those are the fights that Schaitberger and his executive board decided in a conference call last Wednesday pose a more serious and immediate threat to the well-being of their union and that’s why they are moving their money to fight them.

“It’s time to send a clear message to all politicians at every level that the support of this IAFF is not automatic. It must be earned,” he said in the memo to members.

“Our support comes with consequences for those who are working to kill this union and we will hold accountable those supposed friends who don’t stand up for us,” he added.

According to Schaitberger, the money that would have been donated to federal candidates will now be used to underwrite the recall and referendum efforts and a legal fight against the new Alabama anti-deduction law, which has become a model for a similar bill in Florida. “We’ll spend as much on the Ohio referendum as we would in a presidential election,” he said.

The change in strategy also is driven by the environment in Washington. Any labor legislation on Capitol Hill – whether harmful or helpful – doesn’t have much chance of passing given that Republicans control the House and Democrats are running the Senate. In addition, labor leaders broadly have expressed disappointment at the compromises on taxes and trade embraced by the Obama Administration and Congress.

The final straw, however, was the failure of federal labor allies to speak out against the actions in their home states.

“They have enormous influence in each of their states. They may not literally be able to vote on a measure in a statehouse, but they certainly could be standing up and putting pressure on those in the statehouses,” he said. “Where is the outrage? Where are our friends?”

Forgive me if I don't take the union chiefs at their word.  They may not pay as much but they will buy the Democrats.  And they may not have the cash but they have manpower.  Plus the loss of automatic deductions is death for them.   They know the members can easily withhold money if the union leadership goes nuts...the leadership of the unions is often leftist but the membership is more conservative

Great poster....

Hopefully less than 2 years to go.....

The Washington Governor doesn't show herself well here.....

A couple of weeks ago the state of Washington banned profiling of motorcyclists by police officers. Seems like the Governor was not well served by her staff....

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday she's not changing any security procedures after discovering that a biker who shot and killed a Portland, Ore., police officer decades ago showed up at a recent bill signing.

Robert Christopher was convicted of killing officer David Crowther during a drug raid in 1979, but he was released from prison after less than two years due to police misconduct in his case. He was among a group of bikers who stood near Gregoire on April 13 as she signed a bill prohibiting law enforcement from profiling motorcyclists for sporting club colors or logos.

She said she's aware of grumblings from some law enforcement officials about Christopher's presence, but said bill signings are open to the public and that's how it should be. Attendees do not have to pass through metal detectors.

"Those folks who showed up last week, I didn't know them; I'd never met them before; I didn't know anything about their backgrounds. They came in here just like anybody else would," she said. "I don't screen people; it's a free process here for people to come in and observe if they choose."

Christopher shot Crowther on Dec. 12, 1979, when the plainclothes patrol officer entered the Outsiders motorcycle clubhouse on a drug raid. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but served less than two years after an internal police investigation revealed that officers lied to obtain a search warrant used in the raid and brought drugs with them to plant at the club...

Yes Governor, I can understand why the cops were pissed off. If you signed a bill on child molestation and at the signing there was a child rapist present, don't you think the people might be a little upset? Next time just at the very least act like you are embarrassed and say "It won't happen again....". Might help smooth some ruffled feathers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The country's most famous cop killer gets another chance....

Not good news....he's been on death row for almost 30 years....he'll die of old age first....
Abu-Jamal gets chance to escape death row

By Nathan Gorenstein

Mumia Abu-Jamal was awarded a new sentencing hearing today by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but Philadelphia's district attorney said he would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the 32-page decision issued by the court, it accepted defense arguments that the jury instructions at Abu Jamal's original 1982 trial, in which he was sentenced to death, were unclear.

The decision does not give Abu-Jamal a new trial on the murder charge; his conviction for killing police officer Daniel Faulkber remains in effect.

But Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams issued a statement that "granting this new sentencing hearing is contrary to clearly established precedent of the United States Supreme Court."

Abu-Jamal remains on death row at the state prison in Waynesburg in southwest Pennsylvania for the 1981 murder of Faulkner. His legal team argued that confusing legal instructions to the jury encouraged execution rather than a life sentence.

Williams said he made his decision after talking with Maureen Falkner, whom he described as "devastated" by the Third Circuit decision. She still wants the death penalty, he said...

...Jurors do not have to unanimously agree on which mitigating circumstance to consider, but Abu-Jamal's attorneys say the written instructions in 1982 did not make that clear.

Judith Ritter, the Widner Law professor who argued the case, noted that Pennsylvania courts have abandoned the "the confusing and misleading instructions and verdict slip that were relied on in Mr. Abu-Jamal's trial."

"Courts now use clear and unambiguous language to advise sentencing juries about their ability to consider evidence that favors a life verdict. Mr. Abu-Jamal is entitled to no less constitutional protection," she said.

The Third Circuit court agreed with Abu-Jamal in 2008, but Philadelphia prosecutors appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which tossed the case back for reconsideration.

In the new decision, the court appeared to uphold its 2008 conclusion.

Talk about an abuse of justice. This officer's family has suffered for three decades and this waste is a cause celeb for the redial left in this country. Hopefully the Supreme Court will slap down the 3rd Circuit.

UPDATE: Found this interesting web site on the Daniel Faulkner murder....

Geopolitical Weekly: Iraq, Iran and the Next Move

By George Friedman

The United States told the Iraqi government last week that if it wants U.S. troops to remain in Iraq beyond the deadline of Dec. 31, 2011, as stipulated by the current Status of Forces Agreement between Washington and Baghdad, it would have to inform the United States quickly. Unless a new agreement is reached soon, the United States will be unable to remain. The implication in the U.S. position is that a complex planning process must be initiated to leave troops there and delays will not allow that process to take place.

What is actually going on is that the United States is urging the Iraqi government to change its mind on U.S. withdrawal, and it would like Iraq to change its mind right now in order to influence some of the events taking place in the Persian Gulf. The Shiite uprising in Bahrain and the Saudi intervention, along with events in Yemen, have created an extremely unstable situation in the region, and the United States is afraid that completing the withdrawal would increase the instability.

The Iranian Rise

The American concern, of course, has to do with Iran. The United States has been unable to block Iranian influence in Iraq’s post-Baathist government. Indeed, the degree to which the Iraqi government is a coherent entity is questionable, and its military and security forces have limited logistical and planning ability and are not capable of territorial defense. The issue is not the intent of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who himself is enigmatic. The problem is that the coalition that governs Iraq is fragmented and still not yet finalized, dominated by Iranian proxies such Muqtada al-Sadr — and it only intermittently controls the operations of the ministries under it, or the military and security forces.

As such, Iraq is vulnerable to the influence of any substantial power, and the most important substantial power following the withdrawal of the United States will be Iran. There has been much discussion of the historic tension between Iraqi Shia and Iranian Shia, all of which is true. But Iran has been systematically building its influence in Iraq among all factions using money, blackmail and ideology delivered by a sophisticated intelligence service. More important, as the United States withdraws, Iraqis, regardless of their feelings toward Iran (those Iraqis who haven’t always felt this way), are clearly sensing that resisting Iran is dangerous and accommodation with Iran is the only solution. They see Iran as the rising power in the region, and that perception is neither unreasonable nor something to which the United States or Saudi Arabia has an easy counter.

The Iraqi government’s response to the American offer has been predictable. While some quietly want the United States to remain, the general response has ranged from dismissal to threats if the United States did not leave. Given that the United States has reportedly offered to leave as many as 20,000 troops in a country that 170,000 American troops could not impose order on, the Iraqi perception is that this is merely a symbolic presence and that endorsing it would get Iraq into trouble with Iran, which has far more than 20,000 troops and ever-present intelligence services. It is not clear that the Iraqis were ever prepared to allow U.S. troops to remain, but 20,000 is enough to enrage Iran and not enough to deal with the consequences.

The American assumption in deciding to leave Iraq — and this goes back to George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama — was that over the course of four years, the United States would be able to leave because it would have created a coherent government and military. The United States underestimated the degree to which fragmentation in Iraq would prevent that outcome and the degree to which Iranian influence would undermine the effort. The United States made a pledge to the American public and a treaty with the Iraqi government to withdraw forces, but the conditions that were expected to develop simply did not.

Not coincidentally, the withdrawal of American forces has coincided with tremendous instability in the region, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula. All around the periphery of Saudi Arabia an arc of instability has emerged. It is not that the Iranians engineered it, but they have certainly taken advantage of it. As a result, Saudi Arabia is in a position where it has had to commit forces in Bahrain, is standing by in Yemen, and is even concerned about internal instability given the rise of both reform-minded and Shiite elements at a time of unprecedented transition given the geriatric state of the country’s top four leaders. Iran has certainly done whatever it could to exacerbate this instability, which fits neatly into the Iraqi situation.

As the United States leaves Iraq, Iran expects to increase its influence there. Iran normally acts cautiously even while engaged in extreme rhetoric. Therefore, it is unlikely to send conventional forces into Iraq. Indeed, it might not be necessary to do so in order to gain a dominant political position. Nor is it inconceivable that the Iranians could decide to act more aggressively. With the United States gone, the risks decline.

Saudi Arabia’s Problem

The country that could possibly counter Iran in Iraq is Saudi Arabia, which has been known to funnel money to Sunni groups there. Its military is no match for Iran’s in a battle for Iraq, and its influence there has been less than Iran’s among most groups. More important, as the Saudis face the crisis on their periphery they are diverted and preoccupied by events to the east and south. The unrest in the region, therefore, increases the sense of isolation of some Iraqis and increases their vulnerability to Iran. Thus, given that Iraq is Iran’s primary national security concern, the events in the Persian Gulf work to Iran’s advantage.

The United States previously had an Iraq question. That question is being answered, and not to the American advantage. Instead, what is emerging is a Saudi Arabian question. Saudi Arabia currently is clearly able to handle unrest within its borders. It has also been able to suppress the Shia in Bahrain — for now, at least. However, its ability to manage its southern periphery with Yemen is being tested, given that the regime in Sanaa was already weakened by multiple insurgencies and is now being forced from office after more than 30 years in power. If the combined pressure of internal unrest, turmoil throughout the region and Iranian manipulation continues, the stress on the Saudis could become substantial.

The basic problem the Saudis face is that they don’t know the limits of their ability (which is not much beyond their financial muscle) to manage the situation. If they miscalculate and overextend, they could find themselves in an untenable position. Therefore, the Saudis must be conservative. They cannot afford miscalculation. From the Saudi point of view, the critical element is a clear sign of long-term American commitment to the regime. American support for the Saudis in Bahrain has been limited, and the United States has not been aggressively trying to manage the situation in Yemen, given its limited ability to shape an outcome there. Coupled with the American position on Iraq, which is that it will remain only if asked — and then only with limited forces — the Saudis are clearly not getting the signals they want from the United States. In fact, what further worsens the Saudi position is that they cannot overtly align with the United States for their security needs. Nevertheless, they also have no other option. Exploiting this Saudi dilemma is a key part of the Iranian strategy.

The smaller countries of the Arabian Peninsula, grouped with Saudi Arabia in the Gulf Cooperation Council, have played the role of mediator in Yemen, but ultimately they lack the force needed by a credible mediator — a potential military option to concentrate the minds of the negotiating parties. For that, they need the United States.

It is in this context that the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, will be visiting Washington on April 26. The UAE is one of the few countries on the Arabian Peninsula that has not experienced significant unrest. As such, it has emerged as one of the politically powerful entities in the region. We obviously cannot know what the UAE is going to ask the United States for, but we would be surprised if it wasn’t for a definitive sign that the United States was prepared to challenge the Iranian rise in the region.

The Saudis will be watching the American response very carefully. Their national strategy has been to uncomfortably rely on the United States. If the United States is seen as unreliable, the Saudis have only two options. One is to hold their position and hope for the best. The other is to reach out and see if some accommodation can be made with Iran. The tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia — religious, cultural, economic and political — are profound. But in the end, the Iranians want to be the dominant power in the Persian Gulf, defining economic, political and military patterns.

On April 18, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s adviser for military affairs, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, warned Saudi Arabia that it, too, could be invaded on the same pretext that the kingdom sent forces into Bahrain to suppress a largely Shiite rising there. Then, on April 23, the commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaafari, remarked that Iran’s military might was stronger than that of Saudi Arabia and reminded the United States that its forces in the region were within range of Tehran’s weapons. Again, the Iranians are not about to make any aggressive moves, and such statements are intended to shape perception and force the Saudis to capitulate on the negotiating table.

The Saudis want regime survival above all else. Deciding between facing Iran alone or reaching an unpleasant accommodation, the Saudis have little choice. We would guess that one of the reasons the UAE is reaching out to Obama is to try to convince him of the dire consequences of inaction and to move the United States into a more active role.

A Strategy of Neglect

The Obama administration appears to have adopted an increasingly obvious foreign policy. Rather than simply attempt to control events around the world, the administration appears to have selected a policy of careful neglect. This is not, in itself, a bad strategy. Neglect means that allies and regional powers directly affected by the problem will take responsibility for the problem. Most problems resolve themselves without the need of American intervention. If they don’t, the United States can consider its posture later. Given that the world has become accustomed to the United States as first responder, other countries have simply waited for the American response. We have seen this in Libya, where the United States has tried to play a marginal role. Conceptually, this is not unsound.

The problem is that this will work only when regional powers have the weight to deal with the problem and where the outcome is not crucial to American interests. Again, Libya is an almost perfect example of this. However, the Persian Gulf is an area of enormous interest to the United States because of oil. Absent the United States, the regional forces will not be able to contain Iran. Therefore, applying this strategy to the Persian Gulf creates a situation of extreme risk for the United States.

Re-engagement in Iraq on a level that would deter Iran is not a likely option, not only because of the Iraqi position but also because the United States lacks the force needed to create a substantial deterrence that would not be attacked and worn down by guerrillas. Intruding in the Arabian Peninsula itself is dangerous for a number reasons, ranging from the military challenge to the hostility an American presence could generate. A pure naval and air solution lacks the ability to threaten Iran’s center of gravity, its large ground force.

Therefore, the United States is in a difficult position. It cannot simply decline engagement nor does it have the ability to engage at this moment — and it is this moment that matters. Nor does it have allies outside the region with the resources and appetite for involvement. That leaves the United States with the Saudi option — negotiate with Iran, a subject I’ve written on before. This is not an easy course, nor a recommended one, but when all other options are gone, you go with what you have.

The pressure from Iran is becoming palpable. All of the Arab countries feel it, and whatever their feelings about the Persians, the realities of power are what they are. The UAE has been sent to ask the United States for a solution. It is not clear the United States has one. When we ask why the price of oil is surging, the idea of geopolitical risk does come to mind. It is not a foolish speculation.

What's going on in the World Today 110425



Iran: Second Computer Virus Discovered April 25, 2011

An Iranian scientist discovered a second virus, Staress, in Iran’s computer system and the virus is currently being studied at a laboratory, Iran’s Passive Defense Organization chief Gholam Reza Jalalisaid, Mehr News Agency reported April 25. Jalali said Staress can operate in sync with the system, making it difficult to destroy in early stages as it mimics government files. He added Iranian experts are examining various features of the virus before it will to be able to effectively eliminate it.

Iraq: Thousands Protest In Mosul Over Potential U.S. Troop Extension April 24, 2011

Thousands of Iraqis rallied in the northern city of Mosul on April 24, the largest protest against an extended U.S. military presence in the country yet, Reuters reported. Around 5,000 people, including provincial council members and tribal leaders, rallied in the main square of the city. Protesters were trying to pressure the government against considering any proposal for an extended U.S. troop presence, according to Sheikh Barzan al-Badrani, chief of the Badrani tribe in Mosul. The protesters also demanded the release of detained prisoners and government reform; they regret that they voted for corrupt officials, al-Badrani said. The United States is scheduled to withdraw all of its troops by the end of the year.


Afghanistan: More Than 400 Escape From Kandahar Prison sApril 25, 2011

An estimated 476 inmates escaped from the main prison in the Afghan city of Kandahar at around 11:00 p.m. April 24 by digging a tunnel out of the facility, Afghan prison supervisor Ghulam Dastagir Mayar said, adding most of escapees are Taliban insurgents, AP reported April 25. Afghan police and government officials confirmed the jailbreak as well as Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi who said 100 Taliban commanders and many other militant fighters escaped.


Syria: Security Forces Open Fire In Daraa April 25, 2011

Syrian security forces and armored vehicles entered the southern Syrian town of Daraa April 25 and opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing five, according to a Daraa resident named Mohsen, Al Jazeera reported. Mohsen said private homes have become hospitals with Al Arabiya television also reporting multiple deaths within the town.


Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gotta love a dog

A dog and a cop...you know he will let you know what he thinks....
You can almost hear him say these words;

"You want me to do what?"
You Can kiss my ass, "I'm not smellin' those!"

Thanks to Joe N for the picture

Officer Down

Police Officer Daryl Hall
St. Louis Missouri Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, April 24, 2011
Age: 34
Tour of Duty: 5 years
Badge Number: 544

Police Officer Daryl Hall was shot and killed when he confronted two gunmen outside of a nightclub at approximately 2:45 am.

Officer Hall was at the nightclub when he heard gunshots outside. When he went outside to investigate he encountered at least one gunman. Shots were exchanged between Officer Hall and the gunman in which Officer Hall was struck three times. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.

One of the gunmen was also killed during the shootings and the second gunman remains at large.

Officer Hall had served with the St. Louis Police Department for five years and was assigned to the Housing Authority Unit.

Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Clifton Taylor
Johnson County Texas Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Saturday, April 23, 2011
Age: 31
Tour of Duty: 3 years

Deputy Clifton Taylor was shot and killed after he and other deputies responded to a domestic disturbance near Venus shortly after 4 pm.

Upon arriving at the scene the deputies began searching for the male subject. Deputy Taylor was shot as he opened the door to a shed located near the property. The other deputies returned fire and killed the suspect.

Deputy Taylor was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Deputy Taylor had served with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office for three years. He is survived by his fiancee.

Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

Officer Down

Police Officer Chris Kilcullen
Eugene Oregon Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, April 22, 2011
Tour of Duty: 12 years

Officer Chris Kilcullen was shot and killed during a vehicle pursuit of a female suspect.

He had attempted to stop the woman for a traffic violation on I-105 but the woman fled. Officer Kilcullen, who was on his department motorcycle, pursued the suspect into Springfield where the vehicle exited at 52nd Street.

The vehicle swerved around several cars that were stopped at a red light and Officer Kilcullen pulled up alongside it and lowered his kickstand. As he indicated for the woman to pull over she fired a weapon at him, fatally wounding him.

The woman continued to flee and was pursued by Springfield police officers to a rural area where she finally stopped. She remained in her car for several hours until finally being taken into custody.

Officer Kilcullen had served with the Eugene Police Department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and two children

Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

In honor of Earth Day, another great post from Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Happy Easter....a great group of pics from Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's going on in the World Today 110423


U.S. Naval Update Map: April 20, 2011 | STRATFOR

Instability in the Eurozone | STRATFOR

Turkey's Ruling Party Navigates the Kurdish Issue | STRATFOR

A Flare-Up of Fighting on the Thailand-Cambodia Border | STRATFOR


Russia: New Soyuz Carrier Rocket Launched By 2012 April 21, 2011

Russia will be ready to launch a lighter version of the Soyuz carrier rocket by late 2011 or early 2012, Russian space forces commander Oleg Ostapenko said April 21, RIA Novosti reported. The device is ready for assembly at a Progress plant in Samara, Volga region, Ostapenko added.

Russia: 12,000 Military Equipment Security Violations In 2010 - Report April 21, 2011

The Russian armed forces had 12,000 violations of military equipment safety requirements in 2010, according to an April 21 report from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, Xinhua reported. The violations included poorly protected stored weapons, government buildings, logistics hubs and residential compounds, including unsecure storage of cruise missiles in the Pacific Fleet. Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika will present the report to the upper house of the Russian Parliament on April 27.


Iraq: 1 Killed, 44 Injured As Police Disperse Anti-U.S. Protest April 22, 2011

At least one protester was killed and 44 injured when Iraqi security forces fired live ammunition to disperse hundreds of protesters gathered on April 22 in Mosul to demonstrate against the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, DPA reported, citing medical sources. The injured including 13 tribal leaders, one source said.

Pakistan: U.S. Will Provide 85 Mini-UAVs April 21, 2011

The United States will give Pakistan 85 small “Raven” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a U.S. military official said April 21, Reuters reported. The official declined to state the cost or model of the aircraft.

Pakistan: NATO Supplies Halted April 23, 2011

Pakistan suspended delivery of NATO supplies to troops in Afghanistan as demonstrators began a supply route sit-in April 23 to protest U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle attacks, AFP reported. NATO trucking service will halt for three days and NATO vehicles were ordered to park in other cities on the route, the Peshawar administration stated. Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan gathered on the Peshawar ring road to block the NATO supply route. Organizers expect more than 20,000 protesters.

The Continuing Challenge of Mideast Peace | STRATFOR

Protests Spread in Syria | STRATFOR

Turkey's Ruling Party Navigates the Kurdish Issue | STRATFOR

Pakistan: U.S. Will Provide 85 Mini-UAVs April 21, 2011

The United States will give Pakistan 85 small “Raven” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a U.S. military official said April 21, Reuters reported. The official declined to state the cost or model of the aircraft.

Turkey, China: Companies Agree To Sell Aircraft In Middle East April 21, 2011

Turkey’s Mermerler Holding and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) have agreed to sell aircraft, including helicopters, in Iran, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, Anatolia reported April 21. The two companies had been in negotiations for such an agreement for three years, Mermerler Holding Executive Board Chairman Yuksel Mermer said. The agreement will allow Turkey to sell aircraft parts made in Turkey to COMAC, Mermer said, adding that COMAC executives will visit Turkey the first week of May.

Syria's Trajectory in the Wake of Unrest | STRATFOR

Mexican Drug War 2011 Update | STRATFOR

Special Report: Nigeria's Elections | STRATFOR

Special Report: Militancy in the Niger Delta, Part 1 | STRATFOR

Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com

A depressing story....

Many a time I've heard of an officer dying within a year of retirement...not exactly a 30 year veteran but this still sucks....

Sabre was a particularly special K-9 within the department, chosen often to interact with local children and to partake in demonstrations

By PoliceOne Staff

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, NJ — A New Jersey K-9 has been laid to rest just five days after retiring.

Sabre, who joined the Galloway Township’s police force in 2005, died of cancer Thursday after a long battle.

Sabre was a particularly special K-9 within the department, chosen often to interact with local children and to partake in demonstrations.

The Galloway Township Police Department released the following statement in regard to the beloved K-9’s passing:

It is with great sorrow and regret that The Galloway Township Police Department announces the passing of K-9 Sabre. K-9 Sabre passed peacefully today at the age of 7 1/2 after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.

K-9 Sabre began his career with The Galloway Township Police Department in 2005 after being personally selected by his partner, K-9 Officer Kevin Welsh. K-9 Sabre was the most popular member of Galloway's K-9 Unit having participated in numerous K-9 demonstrations throughout the township.

K-9 Sabre is well known by all the children in Galloway especially those who graduated from Pomona Elementry School where K-9 Officer Welsh served as the C.O.P.S. 5 Officer...

....Along with Sabre's outstanding police work he also shined in the United States Police Canine Association Police Dog 1 Trials; most recently placing in the top 3 in the criminal apprehension phase of the competition in 2010....

RIP Sabre....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Oh Mommie can I have one please please please

New toy....enough said!

TASER International Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., introduced the TASER X2™ handheld electronic control device (ECD) today as a compact, cost-effective alternative to the X26™.

The TASER X2 features a second shot for instant-miss recovery, dual lasers for improved accuracy, an enhanced power magazine enabling more than 500 firings, and a warning arc to help keep conflicts from escalating.

Additional features of the X2 include semi-automatic back-up shot capability for multiple targets, improved weather resistance, self-diagnosis features, and Trilogy Logs to record if the probes made human contact.

The TASER X2 is 31 percent smaller in size than the TASER X3 with its three-shot capability, according to the company.

The TASER X2, which will retail for less than $1,000, will be available for shipping by July 1.


A few months ago I posted on the possible release of a cop killer In New York.  Got some good news.....

Convicted cop-killer, Michael Alston, loses third bid for parole; shot off-duty NYPD sergeant in '91

Friday, April 01, 2011

A cop-killer with two manslaughter convictions was denied parole this week, nearly 20 years after he gunned down an off-duty NYPD sergeant during a robbery.

Michael Alston, 54, was turned down for the third time on his conviction for the Dec. 28, 1991, murder of Keith Levine, said Carole Weaver, spokeswoman for the Parole Board.

"There was no celebration," said the slain cop's father, former DEA agent Michael Levine. "It is what it is."....

...Keith Levine was off-duty when he spotted a robbery in progress at an ATM around 2 a.m. on W. 57th St. Alston shot the young officer twice, leaving him to die.
I for one have to say I'm impressed...after killing three men this waste of human life has not been paroled by New York!  In all seriousness let's thank God he's not out and keep the Levine family in our thoughts and prayers. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Success and failue

I've been in a running debate on Right on the Left Coast with an Obamaite...needless to say I'm not impressed by B Hussein Obama and this man is. One of the things I've pointed out is success in any endeavor is often marred by failures. Put another way anyone who is the best at what he does (Lombardi and Byrant at football coaching, Montana and Bradshaw at QB, Patton and MacArthur leading men in battle) has failures in their records. If someone is not making mistakes he's probably not doing anything. Some examples on the subject from great men in history:

"There is no failure except in no longer trying. "
~ Elbert Hubbard

"All my successes have been built on my failures."
~ Benjamin Disraeli

"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
~ Sir Winston Churchill

Looks like a good article on the subject.

Obama: Mistakes? Can't think of any. | Byron York | Beltway Confidential | Washington Examiner

Seven years ago, in April 2004, President George W. Bush held a formal news conference in which he was asked, "What would your biggest mistake be…and what lessons have you learned from it?" Bush's hemming and hawing answer -- in several minutes of flailing about, he never managed to come up with a single mistake to cite -- was widely criticized in the days that followed.

On Wednesday, President Obama held a town hall at the headquarters of Facebook in Palo Alto, California, during which he was asked, "If you had to do anything differently during your first four years, what would it be?". Obama, it turns out, is no better at analyzing his own missteps than Bush.

The president began his response haltingly, pointing out that he has actually been in office just two and a half years, and "I'm sure I'll make more mistakes in the next year and a half. But what mistakes has he already made? "There are all sorts of day-to-day issues where I say to myself, oh, I didn't say that right, or I didn't explain this clearly enough," Obama said, "or maybe if I had sequenced this plan first as opposed to that one, maybe it would have gotten done quicker."

But the president mentioned no actual mistakes. Next, he brought up the health care battle, not to admit error but to praise the work of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in pushing the national health care bill through Congress. The fight got pretty complicated, Obama said, "and I've asked myself sometimes is there a way that we could have gotten it done more quickly and in a way that the American people wouldn’t have been so frustrated by it? Was that possibly a mistake? Obama quickly excused himself. "I’m not sure I could have because there’s a reason why it hadn’t gotten done in a hundred years," the president explained. "It's hard to fix a system as big as health care and as complicated as our health care system." After a good bit of talking, Obama still had not mentioned any mistake or anything he would do differently....

Now I can count one or two mistakes George W Bush did in his eight years in office and I voted for him, supported him and gave him money. Such as not finding his veto pen for almost seven years, trying to get an amnesty bill through Congress right before the 06 mid-terms, not grooming an heir apparent for the 08 election, spending too damned much money. For some reason B Hussein Obama can't...but this fact won't be brought up on the news like it was with George W Bush.

If you're not making mistakes your probably not doing much...but Obama's ego is blinding him to that fact.

Oh, back to Right on the Left Coast...I keep asking this Obamaite to name me one thing BO has done wrong in his moderate and independent mind...he won't answer me.

All I can say is this really sucks

Last month I posted on a vacation the family and some friends took at Possum Creek State Park about 70 miles west of Fort Worth. The fires over the last week have taken their toll....

Trees on a hill side
Firefighter Greg Simmons who fell in the lines..RIP Bro....
Damned...I hope the good Lord sees these people through....

POSSUM KINGDOM LAKE, Texas (AP) — A Texas sheriff says a once-picturesque lakeside community will take years to recover since it's been ravaged by a massive wildfire.

Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer says he doesn't know when residents will be allowed to return to the Possum Kingdom Lake area. That's where a fire started a week ago and has since destroyed about 160 of the community's 3,000 homes.

Firefighters made more progress Thursday in containing the blaze that's blackened nearly 150 square miles in three North Texas counties.

The blaze is one of several burning in the state, including two massive wildfires in West Texas.

In Possum Kingdom Lake, about 70 miles west of Fort Worth, some homes are now heaps of ashes while others were untouched by flames. Some fields are blackened.

Security Weekly: Islamist Militancy in a Pre- and Post-Saleh Yemen

By Reva Bhalla

Nearly three months have passed since the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, first saw mass demonstrations against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, but an exit from the current stalemate is still nowhere in sight. Saleh retains enough support to continue dictating the terms of his eventual political departure to an emboldened yet frustrated opposition. At the same time, the writ of his authority beyond the capital is dwindling, which is increasing the level of chaos and allowing various rebel groups to collect arms, recruit fighters and operate under dangerously few constraints.

The prospect of Saleh’s political struggle providing a boon to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is understandably producing anxiety in Washington, where U.S. officials have spent the past few months trying to envision what a post-Saleh Yemen would mean for U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the Arabian Peninsula.

While fending off opponents at home, Saleh and his followers have been relying on the “me or chaos” tactic abroad to hang onto power. Loyalists argue that the dismantling of the Saleh regime would fundamentally derail years of U.S. investment designed to elicit meaningful Yemeni cooperation against AQAP or, worse, result in a civil war that will provide AQAP with freedom to hone its skills. Emboldened by the recent unrest, a jihadist group called the Abyan-Aden Islamic Army launched a major raid on a weapons depot in Jaar in late March, leading a number of media outlets to speculate that the toppling of the Saleh regime would play directly into the hands of Yemen’s jihadists.

Meanwhile, the opposition has countered that the Yemeni jihadist threat is a perception engineered by Saleh to convince the West of the dangers of abandoning support for his regime. Opposition figures argue that Saleh’s policies are what led to the rise of AQAP in the first place and that the fall of his regime would provide the United States with a clean slate to address its counterterrorism concerns with new, non-Saleh-affiliated political allies. The reality is likely somewhere in between.

The Birth of Yemen’s Modern Jihadist Movement

The pervasiveness of radical Islamists in Yemen’s military and security apparatus is no secret, and it contributes to the staying power of al Qaeda and its offspring in the Arabian Peninsula. The root of the issue dates back to the Soviet-Afghan war, when Osama bin Laden, whose family hails from the Hadramawt region of the eastern Yemeni hinterland, commanded a small group of Arab volunteers under the leadership of Abdullah Azzam in the Islamist insurgency against the Soviets through the 1980s. Yemenis formed one of the largest contingents within bin Laden’s Arab volunteer force in Afghanistan, which meant that by 1989, a sizable number of battle-hardened Yemenis returned home looking for a new purpose.

They did not have to wait long. Leading the jihadist pack returning from Afghanistan was Tariq al Fadhli of the once-powerful al Fadhli tribe based in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan. Joining al Fadhli was Sheikh Abdul Majid al Zindani, the spiritual father of Yemen’s Salafi movement and one of the leaders of the conservative Islah party (now leading the political opposition against Saleh). The al Fadhli tribe had lost its lands to the Marxists of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), which had ruled South Yemen with Soviet backing throughout the 1980s while North Yemen was ruled with Saudi backing. Al Fadhli, an opportunist who tends to downplay his previous interactions with bin Laden, returned to his homeland in 1989 (supposedly with funding from bin Laden) with a mission backed by North Yemen and Saudi Arabia to rid the south of Marxists. He and his group set up camp in the mountains of Saada province on the Saudi border and also established a training facility in Abyan province in South Yemen. Joining al Fadhli’s group were a few thousand Arabs from Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan who had fought in Afghanistan and faced arrest or worse if they tried to return home.

When North and South Yemen unified in 1990 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yemen’s tribal Salafists, still trying to find their footing, were largely pushed aside as the southern Marxists became part of the new Republic of Yemen, albeit as subjugated partners to the north. Many within the Islamist militant movement shifted their focus to foreign targets — with an eye on the United States — and rapidly made their mark in December 1992, when two hotels were bombed in the southern city of Aden, where U.S. soldiers taking part in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia were lodged (though no Americans were killed in the attack). A rocket attack against the U.S. Embassy in January 1993 was also attempted and failed. Though he denied involvement in the hotel attacks, al Fadhli and many of his jihadist compatriots were thrown in jail on charges of orchestrating the hotel bombings as well as the assassination of one of the YSP’s political leaders.

But as tensions intensified between the north and the south in the early 1990s, so did the utility of Yemen’s Islamist militants. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh brokered a deal in 1993 with al Fadhli in which the militant leader was released from jail and freed of all charges in exchange for his assistance in defeating the southern socialists, who were now waging a civil war against the north. Saleh’s plan worked. The southern socialists were defeated and stripped of much of their land and fortunes, while the jihadists who made Saleh’s victory possible enjoyed the spoils of war. Al Fadhli, in particular, ended up becoming a member of Saleh’s political inner circle. In tribal custom, he also had his sister marry Brig. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a member of the president’s Sanhan tribe in the influential Hashid confederation and now commander of Yemen’s northwestern military division and 1st Armored Brigade. (Mohsen, known for his heavily Islamist leanings, has been leading the political standoff against Saleh ever since his high-profile defection from the regime March 24.)

The Old Guard Rises and Falls

Saleh’s co-opting of Yemen’s Islamist militants had profound implications for the country’s terrorism profile. Islamists of varying ideological intensities were rewarded with positions throughout the Yemeni security and intelligence apparatus, with a heavy concentration in the Political Security Organization (PSO), a state security and intelligence agency. The PSO exists separately from the Ministry of Interior and is supposed to answer directly to the president, but it has long operated autonomously and is believed to have been behind a number of large-scale jailbreaks, political assassinations and militant operations in the country. While the leadership of the PSO under Ghaleb al Ghamesh has maintained its loyalty to Saleh, the loyalty of the organization as a whole to the president is highly questionable.

Many within the military-intelligence-security apparatus who fought in the 1994 civil war to defeat South Yemen and formed a base of support around Saleh’s presidency made up what is now considered the “old guard” in Yemen. Interspersed within the old guard were the mujahideen fighters returning from Afghanistan. Leading the old guard within the military has been none other than Mohsen, who, after years of standing by Saleh’s side, has emerged in the past month as the president’s most formidable challenger. Mohsen, whose uncle was married to Saleh’s mother in her second marriage, was a stalwart ally of Saleh throughout the 1990s. He played an instrumental role in protecting Saleh from coup attempts early on in his political reign and led the North Yemen army to victory against the south in the 1994 civil war. Mohsen was duly rewarded with ample military funding and control over Saada, al-Hudaydah, Hajja, Amran and Mahwit, surpassing the influence of the governors in these provinces.

While the 1990s were the golden years for Mohsen, the 21st century brought with it an array of challenges for the Islamist sympathizers in the old guard. Following the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, Saleh came under enormous pressure from the United States to crack down on al Qaeda operatives and their protectors in Yemen, both within and beyond the bounds of the state. Fearful of the political backlash that would result from U.S. unilateral military action in Yemen and tempted by large amounts of counterterrorism aid being channeled from Washington, Saleh began devising a strategy to gradually marginalize the increasingly problematic old guard.

These were not the only factors driving Saleh’s decision, however. Saleh knew he had to prepare a succession plan, and he preferred to see the next generation of Saleh men at the helm. Anticipating the challenge he would face from powerful figures like Mohsen and his allies, Saleh shrewdly created new and distinct security agencies for selected family members to run under the tutelage of the United States with the those agencies run by formidable members of the old guard. Thus the “new guard” was born.

The Rise of Saleh’s Second-Generation New Guard

Over the course of the past decade, Saleh has made a series of appointments to mark the ascendancy of the new guard. Most important, his son and preferred successor, Ahmed Ali Saleh, became head of the elite Republican Guard (roughly 30,000-plus men) and Special Operations Forces. Ahmad replaced Saleh’s half-brother, Ali Saleh al-Ahmar, as chief of the Republican Guard, but Saleh made sure to appease Ali by making him Yemen’s defense attache in Washington, followed by appointing him to the highly influential post of chief of staff of the supreme commander of the Armed Forces and supervisor to the Republican Guard.

The president also appointed his nephews — the sons of his brother Muhammad Abdullah Saleh (now deceased) — to key positions. Yahya became chief of staff of the Central Security Forces and Counter-Terrorism Unit (roughly 50,000 plus); Tariq was made commander of the Special Guard, which effectively falls under the authority of Ahmed’s Republican Guard; and Ammar became principal duty director of the National Security Bureau (NSB). Moreover, nearly all of Saleh’s sons, cousins and nephews are evenly distributed throughout the Republican Guard.

Each of these agencies received a substantial amount of money as U.S. financial aid to Yemen increased from $5 million in 2006 to $155 million in 2010. This was expected to rise to $1 billion or more over the next several years, but Washington froze the first installment in February when the protests broke out. Ahmed’s Republican Guard and Special Operations Forces worked closely with U.S. military trainers in trying to develop an elite fighting force along the lines of Jordan’s U.S.-trained Fursan al Haq (Knights of Justice). The creation of the mostly U.S.-financed NSB in 2002 to collect domestic intelligence was also part of a broader attempt by Saleh to reform all security agencies to counter the heavy jihadist penetration of the PSO.

Meanwhile, Mohsen watched nervously as his power base flattened under the weight of the second-generation Saleh men. One by one, Mohsen’s close old-guard allies were replaced: In 2007, Saleh sacked Gen. Al Thaneen, commander of the Republican Guard in Taiz. In 2008, Brig. Gen. Mujahid Gushaim replaced Ali Sayani, the head of military intelligence (Ali Sayani’s brother, Abdulmalik, Yemen’s former defense minister, was one of the first generals to declare support for the revolt against Saleh). The same year, Gen. Al Thahiri al Shadadi was replaced by Brig Gen. Mohammed al Magdashi as commander of the Central Division; Saleh then appointed his personal bodyguard, Brig. Gen. Aziz Mulfi, as chief of staff of the 27th mechanized brigade in Hadramawt. Finally, in early 2011, Saleh sacked Brig. Gen. Abdullah Al Gadhi, commander of Al Anad Base that lies on the axis of Aden in the south and commander of the 201st mechanized brigade. As commander of the northwestern division, Mohsen had been kept busy by an al-Houthi rebellion that ignited in 2004, and he became a convenient scapegoat for Saleh when the al-Houthis rose up again in 2009 and began seizing territory, leading to a rare Saudi military intervention in Yemen’s northern Saada province.

Using the distraction and intensity of the al-Houthi rebellion to weaken Mohsen and his forces, Saleh attempted to move the headquarters of Mohsen’s 1st Armored Brigade from Sanaa to Amran just north of the capital and ordered the transfer of heavy equipment from Mohsen’s forces to the Republican Guard. While Saleh’s son and nephews were on the receiving end of millions of dollars of U.S. financial aid to fight AQAP, Mohsen and his allies were left on the sidelines as the old-guard institutions were branded as untrustworthy and thus unworthy of U.S. financing. Mohsen also claims Saleh tried to have him killed at least six times. One such episode, revealed in a WikiLeaks cable dated February 2010, describes how the Saleh government allegedly provided Saudi military commanders with the coordinates of Mohsen’s headquarters when Saudi forces were launching airstrikes on the al-Houthis. The Saudis aborted the strike when they sensed something was wrong with the information they were receiving from
the Yemeni government.

Toward the end of 2010, with the old guard sufficiently weakened, Saleh was feeling relatively confident that he would be able to see through his plans to abolish presidential term limits and pave the way for his son to take power. What Saleh didn’t anticipate was the viral effect of the North African uprisings and the opportunity they would present to Mohsen and his allies to take revenge and, more important, make a comeback.

(click here to enlarge image)
An Old Guard Revival?

Mohsen, 66 years old, is a patient and calculating man. When thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of Sanaa in late March to protest against the regime, his 1st Armored Brigade, based just a short distance from the University of Sanaa entrance where the protesters were concentrated, deliberately stood back while the CSF and Republican Guard took the heat for increasingly violent crackdowns. In many ways, Mohsen attempted to emulate Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi in having his forces stand between the CSF and the protesters, acting as a protector of the pro-democracy demonstrators in hopes of making his way to the presidential palace with the people’s backing. Mohsen continues to carry a high level of respect among the Islamist-leaning old guard and, just as critically, maintains a strong relationship with the Saudi royals.

Following his March 24 defection, a number of high-profile military, political and tribal defections followed. Standing in league with Mohsen is the politically ambitious Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar, one of the 10 sons of the late Abdullah bin Hussein al-Ahmar, who ruled the Hashid confederation as the most powerful tribal chieftain in the country and was also a prominent leader of the Islah political party. (Saleh’s Sanhaan tribe is part of the Hashid confederation as well.) Hamid is a wealthy businessman and vocal leader of the Islah party, which dominates the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), an opposition coalition. The sheikh who, like Mohsen, has a close relationship with the Saudi royals, has ambitions to replace Saleh and has been responsible for a wave of defections from within the ruling General People’s Congress, nearly all of which can be traced back to his family tree. In an illustration of Hamid’s strategic alliance with Mohsen, Hamid holds the position of lieutenant colonel in the 1st Armored Brigade. This is a purely honorary position but provides Hamid with a military permit to expand his contingent of body guards, the numbers of which of recently swelled to at least 100.

Together, Mohsen and Sheikh Hamid have a great deal of influence in Yemen to challenge Saleh, but still not enough to drive him out of office by force. Mohsen’s forces have been gradually trying to encroach on Sanaa from their base in the northern outskirts of the capital, but forces loyal to Saleh in Sanaa continue to outman and outgun the rebel forces.

Hence the current stalemate. Yemen does not have the luxury of a clean, geographic split between pro-regime and anti-regime forces, as is the case in Libya. In its infinite complexity, the country is divided along tribal, family, military and business lines, so its political future is difficult to chart. A single family, army unit, village or tribe will have members pledging loyalty to either Saleh or the revolution, providing the president with just enough staying power to deflect opposition demands and drag out the political crisis.

Washington’s Yemen Problem

The question of whether Saleh stays or goes is not the main topic of current debate. Nearly every party to the conflict, including the various opposition groups, Saudi Arabia, the United States and even Saleh himself, understand that the Yemeni president’s 33-year political reign will end soon. The real sticking point has to do with those family members surrounding Saleh and whether they, too, will be brought down with the president in a true regime change.

This is where the United States finds itself in a particularly uncomfortable spot. Yemen’s opposition, a hodgepodge movement including everything from northern Islamists to southern socialists, are mostly only united by a collective aim to dismantle the Saleh regime, including the second-generation Saleh new guard that has come to dominate the country’s security-military-intelligence apparatus with heavy U.S.-backing.

The system is far from perfect, and counterterrorism efforts in Yemen continue to frustrate U.S. authorities. However, Saleh’s security reforms over the past several years and the tutelage the U.S. military has been able to provide to these select agencies have been viewed as a significant sign of progress by the United States, and that progress could now be coming under threat.

Mohsen and his allies are looking to reclaim their lost influence and absorb the new-guard entities in an entirely new security set-up. For example, the opposition is demanding that the Republican Guard and Special Forces be absorbed into the army, which would operate under a general loyal to Mohsen (Mohsen himself claims he would step down as part of a deal in which Saleh also resigns, but he would be expected to assume a kingmaker status), that the CSF and CTU paramilitary agencies be stripped of their autonomy and operationally come under the Ministry of Interior and that the newly created NSB come under the PSO. Such changes would be tantamount to unraveling the past decade of U.S. counterterrorism investment in Yemen that was designed explicitly to raise a new generation of security officials who could hold their own against the Islamist-leaning old guard. This is not to say that Mohsen and his allies would completely obstruct U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Many within the old guard, eager for U.S. financial aid and opposed to U.S. unilateral military action in Yemen, are likely to veer toward pragmatism in dealing with Washington. That said, Mohsen’s reputation for protecting jihadists operating in Yemen and his poor standing with Washington would add much distrust to an already complicated U.S.-Yemeni relationship.

Given its counterterrorism concerns and the large amount of U.S. financial aid flowing into Yemen in recent years, Washington undoubtedly has a stake in Yemen’s political transition, but it is unclear how much influence it will be able to exert in trying to shape a post-Saleh government. The United States lacks the tribal relationships, historical presence and trust to deal effectively with a resurgent old guard seeking vengeance amid growing chaos.

The real heavyweight in Yemen is Saudi Arabia. The Saudi royals have long viewed their southern neighbor as a constant source of instability in the kingdom. Whether the threat to the monarchy emanating from Yemen drew its roots from Nasserism, Marxism or radical Islamism, Riyadh deliberated worked to keep the Yemeni state weak while buying loyalties across the Yemeni tribal landscape. Saudi Arabia shares the U.S. concern over Yemeni instability providing a boon to AQAP. The Saudi royals, who are reviled by a large segment of Saudi-born jihadists in AQAP operating from Yemen, are a logical target for AQAP attacks that carry sufficient strategic weight to shake the oil markets and the royal regime, especially given the current climate of unrest in the region. Moreover, Saudi Arabia does not want to deal with a dramatic increase in the already regular spillover of refugees, smugglers and illegal workers from Yemen should civil war ensue.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia and the United States may not entirely see eye to eye in how to manage the jihadist threat in Yemen. The Saudis have maintained close linkages with a number of influential Islamist members within the old guard, including Mohsen and jihadists like al Fadhli, who broke off his alliance with Saleh in 2009 to lead the Southern Movement against the regime. The Saudis are also more prone to rely on their jihadist allies from time to time in trying to snuff out more immediate threats to Saudi interests.

For example, Saudi Arabia’s current concern regarding Yemen centers not on the future of Yemen’s counterterrorism capabilities but on the al-Houthi rebels in the north, who have wasted little time in exploiting Sanaa’s distractions to expand their territorial claims in Saada province. The al-Houthis belong to the Zaydi sect, considered an offshoot of Shiite Islam and heretical by Wahhabi standards. Riyadh fears Houthi unrest in Yemen’s north could stir unrest in Saudi Arabia’s southern provinces of Najran and Jizan, which are home to the Ismailis, also an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Ismaili unrest in the south could then embolden Shia in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province, who have already been engaged in demonstrations, albeit small ones, against the Saudi monarchy with heavy Iranian encouragement. Deputy AQAP leader Saad Ali al Shihri’s declaration of war against the al-Houthi rebels on Jan. 28 may have surprised many, but it also seemed to play to the Saudi agenda in channeling jihadist efforts toward the al-Houthi threat.

The United States has a Yemen problem that it cannot avoid, but it also has very few tools with which to manage or solve it. For now, the stalemate provides Washington with the time to sort out alternatives to the second-generation Saleh relatives, but that time also comes at a cost. The longer this political crisis drags on, the more Saleh will narrow his focus to holding onto Sanaa, while leaving the rest of the country for the al-Houthis, the southern socialists and the jihadists to fight over. The United States can take some comfort in the fact that AQAP’s poor track record of innovative yet failed attacks has kept the group in the terrorist minor leagues. With enough time, resources and sympathizers in the government and security apparatus, however, AQAP could find itself in a more comfortable spot in a post-Saleh scenario, likely to the detriment of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the Arabian Peninsula.

Islamist Militancy in a Pre- and Post-Saleh Yemen is republished with permission of STRATFOR.