1) Caucasus ceasefire holds despite war of words - The ceasefire in the Caucasus conflict appeared to be holding today as Russia reported the pullback of Georgian troops from South Ossetia and denied Georgian claims that it was deploying more troops on Georgian territory outside the disputed province.
In particular, Moscow denied Georgian claims that 50 of its tanks were in Gori, the Georgian city near the Ossential border. The city had been abandoned by its authorities who had fled, said General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy head of the Russian General Staff. "We cannot find anyone. How they were evacuated and what happened there is a mystery to us," he said.
Russia continued to vent its anger on what it called Georgian aggression and atrocities as European foreign ministers gave the Union's blessing to a ceasefire accord that was brokered in Moscow yesterday by Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President and current EU chairman.
2) Western Aid Workers Ambushed, Killed Near Kabul - Afghan officials say gunmen have killed three foreign aid workers - all women - during an ambush in eastern Logar province.
3) Lebanon Bomb Kills at Least 10 People - A bomb hidden in a briefcase exploded on a bus in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli during morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 30 others, the Lebanese Army said.
Lebanon has suffered a wave of bombings in recent years, including the 2005 killing of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri, which led to political upheaval in the country. However, the attack Wednesday was the first large-scale bombing in months.
4) Death toll hits 20 in Kashmir protests - Violent protests continued across Kashmir Wednesday, as the death toll from the past two days of demonstrations rose to 20, a senior police official said.
5) Philippines 'Liberates' 15 Villagers From Muslim Rebels - Philippine security forces on Wednesday announced they have "liberated" 15 villages forcibly occupied by Muslim rebels since July after three days of heavy fighting in southern Philippines.
Philippine Defense Chief Gilberto Teodoro, Jr., said the rebels retreated on Sunday after heavy air and ground assaults. More than 80,000 people displaced by the conflict in North Cotabato, have returned home.
Teodoro's statement was confirmed by Major-General Armando Cunanan, commander of the Armed Forces Eastern Command. He confirmed that the estimated 800 Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerillas that occupied the villages have fled.
6) Pakistan bomb hits military truck; at least 14 dead - At least 14 people were killed Tuesday in the roadside bombing of a Pakistani military truck, an attack authorities blamed on Islamic militants.
The powerful blast occurred just outside Peshawar, the nearest large city to a tribal area along the border with Afghanistan that has been raked by fighting for nearly a week.
7) Al-Qaida linked group takes sides in recent coup - A terror group linked to al-Qaida called for holy war in Mauritania following a coup last week that overthrew its democratically elected government.
"You Muslims prepare for war and raise the banner of jihad. Let us shed our blood, let our limbs be dismembered until we regain the wise caliphate rule," said the statement posted Tuesday on an Islamic web site.
The statement was signed by Abu Musab Abdulwadood, the leader of Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, a cell that has been blamed for a string of attacks in Mauritania including last year's murder of four French tourists.
8) Three Security Officials Killed in W. China - Three security officials were killed at a roadside checkpoint in western China's Xinjiang region Tuesday when at least one assailant jumped off a passing vehicle and stabbed them to death, state media reported. It was the third deadly incident in nine days, coinciding with the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.
We were supposed to be bringing peace to the Muslim world. We were going to give them a spoonful of democracy and hold their noses and ram it down their throats until they swallowed it whole, then pat them on the head and say "Good boys! Now go out and play..." only they spit the medicine out and decided to go out and play.
Which makes sense. Our president plays with his tin soldiers, and expects everyone else to busy themselves with their day-to-day lives, even his own people.
What the Bush regime and their cabal do not seem to grasp is that freedom comes with a price: blood.
Dumbya has tried to run bloodless coups across the Arabic and Muslim world, but these are not stupid people. These are nations with histories and cultures and yes, they've been thru this before, as recently as the 20th Century when the patrician states of Europe divvied up the Middle East along economic and not population lines.
And now the djinn is out of the bottle. Now the festering violence that had simmered but remained in control, bottled up by the rational thoughts of men and women, has flared up and is spreading across the nations of Asia and even Europe like a fire that cannot be contained by mortals.
And Bush and his cronies laugh, leaving a world far worse off than they inherited. We were at peace. We spent eight years of the Clinton Administration at peace and in prosperity, with surpluses of goodwill and good money.
Now our dollar, so closely tied to those interests that we have antagonized, has fallen through the floor. When Bush took office, the euro purchased about 80 cents American. Now, the dollar purchases about one-third of the euro. Now our dollar, tied to the price of oil, works against us, not for us, as consumers pay more and more for gasoline and heating oil, precisely because our President has bungled the first and only mandate of his office: to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.
That's not *some* states, Mr. Bush, but ALL states, and that means you had a fiduciary duty to this country to prevent harm. And that means not only interior to our borders but to protect us from harm outside them as well: aid workers shouldn't be killed in Afghanistan because of miserable decisions on your part that will benefit you long after you have shuffled off these (and I use the term loosely, because you clearly believe in lip service) "responsibilities".
Indeed, it is likely that whomever handles your personal wealth has already instituted a "win-win" for you. If this were a fair and decent world, you would be made to pay restitution out of your pocket to the thousands of families of American soldiers who have died fighting your war, sir.
Your war. Not ours. You scratch your head and wonder why the nation nearly to a man disagrees with you on this point? It is because we had no say. Indeed, we were told that dissent in a time of terror alerts was unpatriotic, as if patriotism stops outside our borders.
Well, we see a far greater terror within and it sits in a chair in an Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and fortunately, it will be extricated, by hook or by crook, on 20 January, 2009.
Mark that date carefully, Mr. Bush, the day you are exiled from public life, the day when even the neo-cons of the Cato Institute will refuse your calls.
And you will watch in solitude as President Obama and those who succeed him, for indeed, you have started something that will outlast even this next generation of Presidents, successfully prosecute the global conflict that history will deem you have started single-handedly, simply because they have to. It is at that time the true mettle of your faux patriotism will be found wanting and a new paradigm of love of country will emerge.
Americans will love them, not you. You will be reviled in ways that few Presidents can even have nightmares about. You will sit in seclusion, riding out the war on your thousand acres in Paraguay, believing you are safe, not even cowboying up long enough to sit through what you started at Ground Zero, America (possibly more than just a catchy phrase developed by your marketeers, an actual nuclear bombsite).
You will not be afforded the reconstruction that even the most hated President of our time, Richard Nixon, was afforded, because Americans of all stripes will see you for what you are: a shameless, godless buffoon of disproportionate idiocy, a man who took a peaceful, prosperous country and tore it apart like a little boy with an Erector set, leaving twisted metal and the burned out engines of American lives lying on the floor.
But who could parrot talking points with the best of them.
That, sir, is your legacy. Enjoy it.