Morning Report: November 6, 2006

Hanging in there. A dictator is sentenced while soldiers urge determination; to the east, a regime tests weapons and sets its sights on new horizons.

Saddam to hang. Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging. Omar: 'I was overwhelmed with joy and relief as I watched the criminals being read their verdicts. For the first time in our region tyrants are being punished for their crimes through a court of law. Until this moment and while I’m typing these words I’m still receiving words of congratulations in emails, phone calls and text messages from friends inside and outside the country. These were our only means to share our happiness because of the curfew that limits our movement. This is the day for Saddam’s lovers to weep and I expect their shock and grieve to be huge. They had always thought their master was immortal so let them live in their disappointment while we live for our future. This is a day not only for Iraqis but a historic day for the whole region; today new basis for dealing between rulers and peoples are found. No one is above the law anymore.' Gateway Pundit has the details on how Ramsey Clark went so far above and beyond the call of idiocy that he got himself ejected and reprimanded by Iraqi officials. For information on atrocities under Saddam, please visit The Iraqi Holocaust. (PJM, Gateway Pundit)

Iraq troops: Pullout would be devastating. Washington Post:
With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.

"Take us out of that vacuum -- and it's on the edge now -- and boom, it would become a free-for-all," said Lt. Col. Mark Suich, who commands the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment just south of Baghdad. "It would be a raw contention for power. That would be the bloodiest piece of this war."

The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.

Read the full article at the link. (Washington Post)

Iran tests weapons. The Intelligence Summit citing AFP: 'Iran on Saturday announced it had successfully test-fired new armour-piercing weaponry and an anti-helicopter missile system on the third day of its latest war games. "The new generation of anti-helicopter and anti-armour weapons were successfully tested on day three of the manoeuvres," an announcer on state television said as pictures of the test-firing were broadcast. In the "Great Prophet II" war games, due to last 10 days, Iran has so far fired its Shahab-3 longer range missile for the first time in manoeuvres as well as new types of land-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles. The armour-piercing weapons tested Saturday include a rifle equipped with special sights that can identify an enemy seven kilometres (four miles) away and can penetrate a target wearing a bullet-resistant vest from a distance of three kilometres (one-and-a-half miles).' Debka:
Our sources reveal that scores of surface missiles – a record for any war games anywhere - were tested simultaneously at a desert testing site some two hours drive from Tehran Thursday, Nov. 2. Precisely planned, the testing went smoothly. Input has not yet come in about the accuracy of their targeting.

A senior American missile expert told DEBKAfile that the Iranians demonstrated up-to-date missile-launching technology which the West had not known them to possess. They also displayed unfamiliar warheads. But their most startling feat was the successful first test-fire of the long-range Shehab-3 with its cluster of tens of small bomblets, as DEBKAfile revealed Oct. 31. The entire range bore the imprint of new purchases from China.

This Shehab-3, whose 2,000-km range brings Israel, the Middle East and Europe within reach - may be more than a match for any anti-missile missile system in American, Israeli or European arsenals – depending critically on the point of its fragmentation. Some of its features are still an enigma in the West.

If the Shehab-3’s cluster separates close to target, the Israel-US Arrow has a chance to intercept it, but the Americans and Israelis have no defense against the multiple warhead if it separates at a distance.

Debka adds that the intended audience for this performance was probably Europe, which Tehran sees as more easily intimidated. (TIS, Debka)

Hezbollah plans for Lebanon: A new Iran. ThreatsWatch: 'The Iranian-supported terrorists ultimately seek to assert a Shi’a Islamist theocracy over Lebanon modeled after their Iranian masters. As they are permitted to rebuild their southern infrastructure - including tunnels, rockets and other arms - they are ever more prepared to threaten inwards as outwards. The Hizballah power play is not subtle, as they have threatened to ‘take to the streets’ of Lebanon if they do not get their way. But some in Lebanon remain firm, as Saad Hariri criticized Hizballah’s latest move and rejected it, proffered by a co-opted Christian leader Michel Auoun. Auoun, a surprising Hizballah ally, called for the entire government to be reshuffled in order to ‘broaden representation’ in Beirut. But while the Lebanese government has long under-represented the Shi’a, relying on old census numbers, to adjust now means an influx of Hizballah terrorist leadership among the Lebanese government, the end of the Lebanese Cedar Revolution and the beginning of the imposition of an Iranian-style Islamic ‘Republic.’' (ThreatsWatch)

Gay Patriot: Massachusetts gifts to GOP. Gay Patriot links Jules Crittenden at the Boston Herald:
Every two years, bluest blue Massachusetts sends in the clowns. We show America what could be and America generally sees it and acts accordingly: runs in the other direction.

From Kerry’s insulting jibes at our troops, to the efforts by Kennedy and others in our delegation to undermine a wartime presidency and give Euro-style socialism a foot-hold in the New World, Massachusetts gives America its bogeymen.

With the likely election of Deval Patrick as governor, we’ll give America a brave new Dukakis, not to mention an advance glance at an Obama administration. Watch and learn. It is perhaps the best 2008 gift we, Massachusetts, could give the GOP.

More Kennedy. More Kerry - no way he’s going quietly; his Web site now sports a Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial saying his dumb troops-dumb Bush joke was “right either way.”

Gay Patriot can think of one more name for that list. Read the rest at the link. (Gay Patriot)

Commentary. Wretchard at The Belmont Club says, 'When faced with an enemy determined to destroy you, and who if temporarily lacking the means persistently works on acquiring the resources to eventually do so, withdrawal is not an option. It is not an option because it merely shifts the battlefront closer to home ...'. And not to the defender's advantage.

Soon, Americans will elect a new set of leaders in Congress. Our future will be shaped by the kind of leaders we elect - and by the degree to which those leaders reflect the American people's will to win.