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COMMON SENSE: All Quiet on the Southern Front?

WASHINGTON . According to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, everything is hunky-dory on America’s southern border. In her public appearances and speeches, Napolitano consistently claims that things along our side of the U.S.–Mexico border are “safer than ever” and that “spillover violence” is simply “a widespread misperception.”

TERRORISM SITREP

UNITED STATES KORAN BURNING egged on by dimwit fundamentalist pastor triggered violent demonstrations in Afghanistan that killed 12, seven UN workers. Reason for burning the Koran after not doing so when he threatened last fall? Because Muslim leader had promised that mosque being built near Ground Zero would not go forward and he went back on his word.

SOUTH KOREA JOINT OPERATIONS continue between U.S. and South Korean troops to flex muscle to loose cannon North Korea.

BULLETIN BOARD

CORRECTION
In the Command Guidance for the June issue, we misspelled Mike Vanderboegh’s name.

IRRESPONSIBLE SATIRE?
A website recently posted an “article” claiming that United States Customs and Border Patrol had replaced issue firearms with a “Non-Lethal Alien Immigrant Marker.” This post, later described by the editors of the site as a “satire,” touched off afirestorm.

With the serious issues of whether forcing CBP agents to use non-lethal weapons led to the death of at least one agent, such satire is not helpful in dealing with this debate.

GUIDED 120MM TO THE FRONT!

COMMAND GUIDANCE

The most fatuous proposal (thus far) for ending the war in Libya has come from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Cal. We should get a warrant for Libyan dictator Muammar Ghadafy from the International Criminal Court, and “go in and arrest him,” Ms. Feinstein told Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC.

MIDNIGHT VIGIL

Lynn Kartchner and I first met when he became my XO of my Basic Training Company at Fort Lenoard Wood, Missouri, back in 1970. I had just come back from Nam and he was on his way there where he commanded Company A, 864th Engineer Battalion as a First Lieutenant. He is also a civil engineer and competitive shooter. Kartchner, a fine gunsmith, now ramrods a gunstore in Douglas, AZ where he is well acquainted with the situation on the border. RKB

US Senator Urges Burma to Free Political Prisoners

U.S. Senator John McCain, ending a three-day visit to Burma, called on the government to free its more than 2,000 political prisoners and quickly implement democratic reforms.

McCain told a news conference Friday that it was clear from his meetings with top officials that Burma wants closer relations with the United States. However, he said an improvement would depend on concrete actions from Burma.

The senator told reporters that one test of Burma's commitment to reform will be its ability to ensure the safety and human rights of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Split Tribal Allegiances Deepen Yemen's Crisis

As battles in Yemen raged Thursday, the deadly fighting in the streets of the capital between forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and members his own tribe highlights some deeply personal faultlines in the crisis.

One of President Saleh's most steadfast allies in a nation of notoriously loose allegiances was the late Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar. Before they were political allies, they were friends and as al-Ahmar grew up to head the Hashid tribal federation, Yemen's most powerful, the partnership only strengthened.

Burkina Faso Regime Under Strain, Analysts Say

Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore is facing what appears to be the stiffest resistance ever to his nearly quarter-century rule of the West African nation. Analysts are seeing connections between Burkina's unrest and the revolutions sweeping the Arab world.

Hundreds of military rank-and-file, just 200 miles from this nation's capital, fired shots in the air Tuesday night, in the latest act of defiance against Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore.

Honduras Readmitted to OAS

The Organization of American States has voted to readmit Honduras following an almost two-year suspension that followed the ouster of the country's then-president, Manuel Zelaya, in a June 2009 coup.

The Washington-based organization Wednesday lifted the suspension after a 32-1 vote in which only Ecuador opposed the move. The vote follows an agreement last month that allowed Mr. Zelaya to return to Honduras.

Philippines Seeks Answers About Latest South China Sea Incident

The Philippine government says it has conveyed "serious concerns" to the Chinese embassy about reports that Chinese ships unloaded building materials and put up military posts on reefs claimed by Manila in the South China Sea. Officials say they are still trying to confirm if the ships were from China.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is asking the top ranking official at the Chinese Embassy in Manila whether Chinese boats were in the area around Amy Douglas Bank.

Mladic in The Hague for War Crimes Trial

Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic is in prison in The Hague, Netherlands, where he will stand trial before the International War Crimes Tribunal.

Serbian authorities put Mladic on a plane Tuesday after judges turned down his appeal against extradition. Another court ruled earlier that Mladic is healthy enough to face a trial, rejecting his lawyer's argument that he is too sick.

Before leaving Serbia, police escorted him to a Belgrade cemetery so he could visit the grave of his daughter Ana, who committed suicide in 1994.

Khartoum Rejects UN Force After South’s Independence

Sudan’s U.N. ambassador told the U.N. Secretary-General and the Security Council Tuesday that his government does not want to see an extension of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in his country after the south declares independence on July 9. The north’s confirmation comes amid an escalation in fighting between the two sides in the disputed Abyei region.

Louisiana Guard completes Haiti mission

Canadian, Colombian and American military medical, dental and veterinary personnel completed the first of four medical training exercises in Petite Desdunes, a small village several miles from the city of L’Estere in the Artibonite Department.

Army Capt. David Bourgeois, a Louisiana Guard member and the Task Force Bon Voizen medical exercise coordinator, said the joint forces clinicians evaluated and treated 7,412 medical patients, 642 dental patients, 1,123 optometry patients and 748 animals during the 10-day mission that ended May 18.

Italy Feels Alone in African Immigrant Crisis

There is no end in sight to the constant flow of desperate people making the crossing from North Africa to Italy. The latest fishing vessel to be rescued by Italian officials was carrying more than 900 immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

The Italian Finance Police and Coast Guard boats rescued more than 900 Africans on a fishing vessel during the night off the southern coast of Sicily. The passengers, many of whom were women and children from Libya and sub-Saharan Africa, had left the Libyan coastline three days earlier.

Report Questions Official Haiti Quake Death Toll

A draft report commissioned by the U.S. government says far fewer people died or were left homeless following Haiti's January 2010 earthquake than had been previously reported.

News agencies, which obtained a copy of the document, say it estimates that the death toll was between 46,000 and 85,000 people, far below the Haitian government's figure of more than a quarter million people. The report also questions official United Nations figures that around 680,000 people remain homeless. There has been no comment from the government of new Haitian President Michel Martelly.