Morning Report: August 21, 2006

Life goes on. Still no word on whether August 22 will bring Armageddon, but it's business as usual meanwhile: Europe backs out of a military commitment, American forces continue their humanitarian work in Afghanistan, and terrorists are busted in Britain ... while age barriers fall for American recruits, and flying pigs are sighted over Michigan.

Europe balks at protecting Israel. Morning Report is shocked. Tammy Bruce: 'After all the huffing and puffing and instance on a cease-fire, Euro nations have decided everything's a bit too vague for them to commit troops for the international force that's supposed to guard the Lebanon-Israel border. This after all of them signed off in the first place regarding the conditions and expectations of the cease-fire and the peace-keeping force. But then again it's safe to say that they never intended on contributing to the force. They just noticed Israel was indeed winning and they needed a way to save Hez, which would save Iran, which would keep money rolling into the right EU pockets.' News report: 'The shaky U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Lebanon suffered another blow Sunday when the European countries that have been called upon to provide the backbone of a peacekeeping force delayed a decision on committing troops until the mission was more clearly defined. Their reservations postponed any action on the force at least until Wednesday, when the European Union will take up the issue.' (Tammy Bruce, LA Daily News)

Life begins at 41. From Grey Eagle: 'Margie Black had wanted to enter the military as a teenager, but having her first child at 19 put off her ambitions. So when she learned the Army raised its enlistment age, Black, now a 41-year-old grandmother from West Columbia, Texas, didn’t hesitate to join. The decision took “about 30 seconds,” she said. On Friday, Pvt. Black worked on her marksmanship skills here, while her 21-year-old daughter was at Army basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. “I’m taking it one day at a time,” Black said. “If I do that, I can handle it.” Older soldiers like her are showing up more often at Army training bases across the country since Congress gave the service approval earlier this year to raise its enlistee age limit, which had been 35, to just under 42 years. “We’re finding there’s a lot of people out there that wanted to join, and age was their only disqualifier,” said Leslie Ann Sully, a spokeswoman for the Army’s local recruiting battalion near Fort Jackson. “Lots of people (over 35) are fit and are living longer, and they figure they can do this,” Sully said.' (Grey Eagle)

Charges in British terror plot. The Jawa Report: '11 British Muslims have been charged with crimes related to a plot to blow up multiple airplanes bound for the U.S. 11 more remain in custody, charges may be forthcoming. Scroll to the end for the actual charges.' Details at the link. (Jawa)

Team aids nomadic Afghans. CENTCOM: 'PANJSHIR PROVINCE , Afghanistan (AFPN) -- Medics, interpreters and support troops from the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team set up a short-notice medical outreach recently for the nomadic Kuchi people during their spring migration through the Panjshir Valley . Known as a Medical Civic Action Program, or MEDCAP, the event provided treatment for Kuchi families as they move their sheep, goats, donkeys, camels and cattle to the high country for the summer. The Kuchi are Afghan Pashtun who migrate among the lowlands and highlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan each year. “We’ve seen the Kuchi families on the road the last week or so as they move their herds North and we wanted to meet them and learn from them,” said Lt. Col. Neal Kringel, Panjshir PRT commander. Fletcher Burton, Panjshir PRT director, and Colonel Kringel met with Abdul Qadeer, the Panjshir chief of traffic police, to discuss a coordinated meeting with the Kuchi. “We brought the impromptu meeting idea to Mr. Qadeer and he quickly agreed that we should do it,” said Mr. Burton. “In fact, he led us out right then to meet some of the Kuchi who happened to be in the area.”' (CENTCOM)

MWMF to change no-trans policy. One bastion of old-school feminism, the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, has changed its longstanding and increasingly controversial "womyn-born-womyn-only" policy and is now admitting transgender women to the event. (Hat tip: heyfoureyes.) Camp Trans reports:
HART, MICHIGAN - The Michigan Women's Music Festival began admitting openly trans (transgender/transsexual) women last week, bringing success to a longstanding struggle by trans activists both inside and outside the festival.

"Seeing trans women inside the festival for the first time brought me to tears," said Sue Ashman, who attends the festival every year. "It's restored my faith in women's communities."

Ashman said "I have friends who have already committed to bringing themselves and others for the first time next year."

Organizers of Camp Trans, the annual protest across the road from the festival, say that every year at least one trans woman at Camp Trans walks to the festival gate with a group of supporters, explains that she is trans, and tries to buy a ticket. In past years, the festival box office has produced a printed copy of the policy and refused.

"This time, the response was, 'cash or credit?'" said Jessica Snodgrass, a Camp Trans organizer and festival attendee who spent the week reaching out to supporters inside the fest. "They said the festival has no policy barring any woman from attending."

Full article at the link. Watch Dreams Into Lightning for a post on this. Congratulations to the CT activists, and kudos to the MWMF organizers for doing the right thing. (CampTrans, heyfoureyes)

Commentary. The Belmont Club asks: 'First, can the resistant parts of the West create a consciousness explicitly opposed Islamic fascism? And if so, can this identity of resistance wrest the Western agenda from liberalism?'

Western liberalism must rediscover the strength of a positive identity built on respect for the individual and a shared value system - and it must rediscover the will to defend that identity if it is to survive.