Archive for January 22nd, 2004

Ambassador to Terror – Who Knew?

1

The
following story concerns Cofer Black (now there’s a name to conger with),
US Ambassador for Terrorism. Our question is, since when does the
United States have ambassadors to things as amorphous as "Terrorism"
or even
"anti-terrorism"?
The Dowbrigade’s dictionary says that Ambassador means " an official
envoy; especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited
to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of
his own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often
temporary diplomatic assignment".

We thought Ambassadors had to be named to countries, or, stretching
a point, to quasi countries like the Palestinians or the Vatican. How
old-fashioned of us, appearantly. Do we now have an Ambassador
to the Cosa Nostra (Embassy in Sicily)? Ambassador to Counter-Protectionism?
(Wouldn’t
have to leave Washington)? Ambassador for Global Warming? (Been slacking
off lately)?

We can see how being able to invent and appoint Ambassadorships
in this manner could really help an Administration looking to multiply
its foreign
allies.  Much easier than inventing new countries. In fact, the
Dowbrigade would like to take this opportunity to throw his hat in the
ring for the Ambassadorship to the South American Drug Cartels. We
could get tough with those rapscallions – we speak their language……

WASHINGTON (AP)-The al Qaeda terror network is
under "catastrophic
stress" but
still poses a threat, a U.S. official said in an interview broadcast
Thursday.

Cofer Black, the U.S. ambassador at large for counterterrorism, said
some two-thirds of the al Qaeda leadership have been detained or put
out of
action since the Sept. 11 attacks – a claim also made by President Bush
in Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Black told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that al Qaeda has been significantly
weakened.
"The al Qaeda of the 9-11 period is under catastrophic stress. They
are being hunted down, their days are numbered," he said in an interview
recorded in Washington.

Counterterrorism officials are concerned about a new generation of al Qaeda
sympathizers.

"The next group of concern would be … a generation younger. They’re
influenced by what they see on TV, they are influenced by misrepresentation
of the
facts," he said. "They seem to be long on radicalism and comparatively
short on training."

from the
AP

Signs of the Apocolypse – Exhibit B

ø

BUCHAREST,
Romania (Reuters) — A team of Romanian and U.S. doctors say they have
successfully removed a tumor weighing 175 pounds (80 kilograms) from
a woman patient in an operation lasting 10 hours.

Lucica Bunghez, 47, had been largely confined to bed because of the tumor,
which weighed almost double her body weight and covered her back, waist
and hips.

"She is very well, the lack of the tumor really suits her," Ion
Lascar, head of the plastic surgery department of Floreasca Hospital in
Bucharest,
told reporters on Wednesday.

from Reuters

Signs of the Apocolypse – Exhibit A

ø

MIAMI
(Reuters) – An international team of doctors hopes to operate in the
Dominican Republic next month to remove an undeveloped second head from
a baby girl born with one of the world’s rarest birth defects, caused
when a conjoined twin fails to develop in the womb.

The baby, Rebeca Martinez, was born in mid-December at a hospital in
Santo Domingo with the head of an undeveloped twin attached to the
top of her skull, facing upward.

The infant is otherwise healthy but her brain cannot develop normally
unless the undeveloped head is removed, said Dr. Santiago Hazim, medical
director at the CURE Center for Orthopedic Specialties,
where the surgery is set for Feb. 6 or 7.

from Reuters