Morning Report: November 23, 2005

Iraq: Gunmen kill Sunni tribal leader. CNN: 'Gunmen dressed as Iraqi troops stormed the home of a senior Sunni leader Wednesday, killing him, his three sons and a son-in-law, Iraqi police said. Neighbors told authorities that at least 10 vehicles that appeared to belong to the Iraqi army stopped outside the western Baghdad house of Kadhim Sarheed Ali al-Dulami, a sheik of the Sunni al-Dulami tribe, before gunmen went inside the home and shot the men. The killings took place about 4 a.m. local time in the Hurriya neighborhood.' Debka: 'A sheikh of the Iraqi Sunni al-Duleimi tribe was shot dead with his three sons and son-in-law at his home in W. Baghdad Wednesday. Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms arrived in 10 Iraqi army vehicles, stormed the sheikh’s home in the Hurriyah district and killed them in their beds.' (CNN, Debka)

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf declared winner in Liberian elections. AP via Yahoo news: 'Officials on Wednesday declared Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf the winner of Liberia's first postwar balloting, making her Africa's first elected female president. Supporters cheered as Johnson-Sirleaf's motorcade toured the battle-shattered capital, Monrovia, a once-tidy city whose government-supplied electricity, water and sewage systems failed during years of strife that killed tens of thousands. "I'm excited but I am also humbled by the awesome challenges that we will be facing," Johnson-Sirleaf, 67, told U.N. radio. "I am thankful to the Liberian people." The final, certified results showed Johnson-Sirleaf besting her rival, soccer superstar George Weah, in the Nov. 8 runoff, winning 59.4 percent to his 40.6 percent, National Elections Commission Chairwoman Frances Johnson-Morris said. International observers have said the elections were largely free and fair, with only a few small irregularities.' (AP via Yahoo)

PJM: Bomb al-Jazeera? A recent claim in a British tabloid that President Bush wanted to bomb the al-Jazeera TV station during the Iraq war, on the grounds that it was aiding the terrorists in Iraq. Pajamas Media has more, and a roundup of commentary. (PJM)

Lebanon: At peace or at war? Michael Totten isn't sure, but he's got a new post up, with photos. Michael reports on the latest developments: 'Even though Lebanon and Israel are technically at war, Lebanese soldiers and Israeli soldiers have never once fired at each other across the border. But that’s not enough to keep the border a calm one. Hezbollah, not the army, controls Lebanon’s side. On Monday the border erupted in violence yet again. Hezbollah fighters stormed into Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and engaged the Israeli army in battle. They also fired mortars and rockets at Israel’s Abbassiyeh post. Israel retaliated with air strikes against the villages of Shebaa and Kfar Shouba, the Al-Mari Valley, and at Hezbollah positions outside Khiam and southeast of the coastal city of Tyre. More than 250 explosions were reported.' Go to the link for the full report - and those photos. (Michael J. Totten)

Blackfive on Cairo conference. Uncle Jimbo gives some perspective on media coverage of the Cairo conference: '... Our opposition have already seized on the presence of the word timetable in the statement as vindication of their many ill-founded suggestions to bail out. This completely and willfully ignores the next clause which conditions it on training troops and increasing overall security, sounds familiar eh? I think Rummy and W already operate on a timetable based on the ability of the Iraqis to beat the insurgents down. Matter of fact the troop training and deployment is going swimmingly and more Iraqis patrol their countryside every day.' RTWT. (Blackfive)

Amarji: "Brilliant a**holes." Syrian heretic Amarji writes: 'In order to open a much-needed channel of communication with the American people and get the point of view of the Syrian regime across to them, some brilliant assholes in the regime’s pay-roll thought that brining in "former US Senator" and ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke to Syria to lambaste the Bush Administration and its Zionist agenda and declare his sympathy with the Syrian people and their ruling regime would make an excellent coup! ...' (See also this entry.) (Amarji)