Bureaucrats Kill 13 In California

Cedar Fire Water Drop Request Rejected

SAN DIEGO The first helicopter pilot to see the patch of flames that would become the catastrophic Cedar Fire (search) radioed for aerial water drops, but state firefighters rejected his request because it came minutes after such flights had been grounded for the night.

Within hours, the flames cascaded out of control and killed 13 residents between the mountains east of San Diego (search) and the city. It eventually became the largest wildfire (search) in California history.

In Ecuador, American Democrats Find A Religion They Can Support.

For Ecuador’s Party Of the Indigenous, Back to the Streets (washingtonpost.com)

The altar consists of the laughing head of Uncle Sam against a backdrop of skyscrapers, missiles and the Statue of Liberty. The Spanish initials for the International Monetary Fund run across his chest, and in the background pigs are flying across a blue sky. The attached kneeler, usually a worn leather cushion, is a panel of rusty spikes.

He Probably Didn’t Get Read His Rights Either.

Army Accuses Officer in Iraq Of Firing Pistol Near Prisoner (washingtonpost.com)

The Army has charged one of its battalion commanders in Iraq with abusing a prisoner during an interrogation by firing his pistol near him, the officer’s lawyer said yesterday.

Lt. Col. Allen West, who until recently commanded an artillery unit in the 4th Infantry Division, allegedly committed the act in August while trying to acquire information about an assassination plot against him in the town of Saba al Boor.

The Army would have much rather had LTC West just go ahead and allow himself to be killed.

It is better that a hundred Americans die that one Saddam supporter be frightened.

Dumb Grunts More Effective Than “Smart” Bureaucrats

Military Uses Hussein Hoard For Swift Aid (washingtonpost.com)

The speed and ease with which reconstruction money is being handed out by the military here contrasts sharply with the delays and controversy surrounding the handling of major reconstruction funds by the Pentagon and U.S. Agency for International Development.

The fact that the money comes from seized Iraqi assets, the Saddam Hussein regime’s overseas bank accounts and cash stockpiles found in palaces and the walls of government buildings in Iraq has provided a fortuitous loophole. Since the money was not appropriated by Congress, officials of the U.S.-led occupation government in Iraq believe that it does not have to be disbursed under the usual contracting regulations.

Once again, bureaucrats show themselves to be incapable of dealing with situations in real time.

But, Hey, I’m sure they have nicer offices.

The UN Once Again Proves Themselves Useless.

Red Cross And U.N. To Reduce Iraq Staffs (washingtonpost.com)

BAGHDAD, Oct. 29 — The United Nations and the Red Cross will scale back their presence in Iraq, officials said Wednesday, responding to the threat of new terrorist attacks after a suicide car bombing at Red Cross headquarters.

Look at this the next time someone complains that Iraq should be turned over to UN control. The first thing they do when threatened is to run away.

The UN takes over, Saddamites and jihadis set off a couple of bombs, the UN runs away and Saddam is back.

Gray Davis Stays Bought

Delay in Aerial Water Drops Is Criticized

SAN DIEGO – As fire continued to destroy large portions of San Diego County, the dispute between some local officials and the administration of Gov. Gray Davis intensified Tuesday over why aerial tankers and water-laden helicopters were not available in the first two days of the blaze.

County supervisors fumed that Davis was too slow in authorizing the use of state “air assets” to douse the fire and too timid in seeking federal assistance. Several had pleaded with the governor’s staff last weekend to redirect state resources to San Diego and demand help from the federal government and military.

A spokesman for Davis said the supervisors were distorting what he characterized as the governor’s long-standing support of fire prevention and fire suppression in Southern California.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), whose home was destroyed by fire Monday, said federal legislation that would smooth the way for the military to use its helicopters to fight fire on public and private land is being stymied by private companies that lease firefighting planes to state governments.

San Diego-based Navy helicopters, routinely used to fight fires on military property, were prepared to battle the Cedar fire on Sunday but remained grounded because state officials said the Navy pilots did not have appropriate training. The helicopters were flown to the Ramona airport, but pilots were denied permission to drop water as the fire began its march south and west.

Looks like Davis’ slavish submission to the State bureaucracy wins again.

Thank goodness for Public Employees Unions.

This Just In: Ba’athist’s Don’t Like The Americans

The perils of security in Iraq: Violence vs. claims of ‘success’

“We don’t have the strength to endure any more.”

It was Monday in this city’s wealthy al-Khudra district. The woman stood around the corner from where a car bomber had just missed the police station but incinerated 16 cars along with several shoppers.

Elegantly dressed under a modest black cloak, she cried out, “I put the responsibility on the Americans, because they came here. Iraqis are going crazy.”

Just imagine! People who were wealthy and powerful under Saddam, are not happy with the American invasion? Go figure.

Why doesn’t the oh, so objective reporter seek out someone whose relatives ended up in a mass grave or the local torture chamber for comments?

I guess that wouldn’t have the desired effect.