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10651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: August 11, 2008, 02:04:24 PM
So why don't we:

a) Do an Osirak on their nuke capabilities, and

Their nukes are dispersed specifically to prevent India from being able to launch a successful first strike against Pakistan's nuclear assets. We have SpecOps assets pre-positioned to seize their nukes in the worse case scenario of Pakistan falling apart, but I'd tend to think this would be a "Hail-Mary" rather than something that would have a high potential for success.

b) burn all the opium fields in Afg

Burned opium fields grow back. It might raise the price of heroin a bit globally, but they'd be planting as soon as the last embers faded.

c) leave them to stew in their own mess?

One of the lessons of 9/11 is that failed states are incubators for nightmares that can transit the globe and kill us right here at home. Those big oceans that once sheltered us are meaningless in a technologically networked planet.
10652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: August 11, 2008, 12:42:53 PM
I think the problem with Pakistan is that it's such a mess, that if we push them too hard they could crumble and then we have a nuclear armed Al-qaedastan in it's place.
10653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 11, 2008, 12:33:22 PM
Crafty,

Russia has hardly been a friend in regards to Iran and has done more to impede progress than help. It's been nothing but a chess piece for them. Georgian troops have fought alongside ours, it's long past time we start acting with honor towards our friends rather than abandoning them when it's useful.
10654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 11, 2008, 11:33:30 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/opinion/11kristol.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

August 11, 2008
OP-ED COLUMNIST
Will Russia Get Away With It?

By WILLIAM KRISTOL
In August 1924, the small nation of Georgia, occupied by Soviet Russia since 1921, rose up against Soviet rule. On Sept. 16, 1924, The Times of London reported on an appeal by the president of the Georgian Republic to the League of Nations. While “sympathetic reference to his country’s efforts was made” in the Assembly, the Times said, “it is realized that the League is incapable of rendering material aid, and that the moral influence which may be a powerful force with civilized countries is unlikely to make any impression upon Soviet Russia.”

“Unlikely” was an understatement. Georgians did not enjoy freedom again until 1991.

Today, the Vladimir Putins and Hu Jintaos and Mahmoud Ahmadinejads of the world — to say nothing of their junior counterparts in places like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burma and North Korea — are no more likely than were Soviet leaders in 1924 to be swayed by “moral influence.” Dictators aren’t moved by the claims of justice unarmed; aggressors aren’t intimidated by diplomacy absent the credible threat of force; fanatics aren’t deterred by the disapproval of men of moderation or refinement.

The good news is that today we don’t face threats of the magnitude of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Each of those regimes combined ruthless internal control, a willingness to engage in external aggression, and fervent adherence to an extreme ideology. Today these elements don’t coexist in one place. Russia is aggressive, China despotic and Iran messianic — but none is as dangerous as the 20th-century totalitarian states.

The further good news is that 2008 has been, in one respect, an auspicious year for freedom and democracy. In Iraq, we and our Iraqi allies are on the verge of a strategic victory over the jihadists in what they have called the central front of their struggle. This joint victory has the potential to weaken the jihadist impulse throughout the Middle East.

On the other hand, the ability of Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas to get away with murder (literally), and above all the ability of Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions effectively unchecked, are setbacks for hopes of peace and progress.

And there is no evidence that China’s hosting of the Olympics has led to moderation of its authoritarianism. Meanwhile, Russia has sent troops and tanks across an international border, and now seems to be widening its war against Georgia more than its original — and in any case illegitimate — casus belli would justify.

Will the United States put real pressure on Russia to stop? In a news analysis on Sunday, the New York Times reporter Helene Cooper accurately captured what I gather is the prevailing view in our State Department: “While America considers Georgia its strongest ally in the bloc of former Soviet countries, Washington needs Russia too much on big issues like Iran to risk it all to defend Georgia.”

But Georgia, a nation of about 4.6 million, has had the third-largest military presence — about 2,000 troops — fighting along with U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq. For this reason alone, we owe Georgia a serious effort to defend its sovereignty. Surely we cannot simply stand by as an autocratic aggressor gobbles up part of — and perhaps destabilizes all of — a friendly democratic nation that we were sponsoring for NATO membership a few months ago.

For that matter, consider the implications of our turning away from Georgia for other aspiring pro-Western governments in the neighborhood, like Ukraine’s. Shouldn’t we therefore now insist that normal relations with Russia are impossible as long as the aggression continues, strongly reiterate our commitment to the territorial integrity of Georgia and Ukraine, and offer emergency military aid to Georgia?

Incidentally, has Russia really been helping much on Iran? It has gone along with — while delaying — three United Nations Security Council resolutions that have imposed mild sanctions on Iran. But it has also supplied material for Iran’s nuclear program, and is now selling Iran antiaircraft systems to protect military and nuclear installations.

It’s striking that dictatorial and aggressive and fanatical regimes — whatever their differences — seem happy to work together to weaken the influence of the United States and its democratic allies. So Russia helps Iran. Iran and North Korea help Syria. Russia and China block Security Council sanctions against Zimbabwe. China props up the regimes in Burma and North Korea.

The United States, of course, is not without resources and allies to deal with these problems and threats. But at times we seem oddly timid and uncertain.

When the “civilized world” expostulated with Russia about Georgia in 1924, the Soviet regime was still weak. In Germany, Hitler was in jail. Only 16 years later, Britain stood virtually alone against a Nazi-Soviet axis. Is it not true today, as it was in the 1920s and ’30s, that delay and irresolution on the part of the democracies simply invite future threats and graver dangers?
10655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 11, 2008, 10:19:20 AM
To provide context, I was pointing out how the so-called "peace movement" feigned concern for the Vietnamese when there was political  advantage, but once the democrats cut off funding to South Vietnam and the communists had free hand to torture and fill the ground with mass graves, then the American/international left gave a big collective yawn and moved onto other things.

This is somewhat akin to today, where JDN is sooooooo concerned about the jihadists in gitmo, but little girls getting their genitals mutilated before being sold off in "marriage" to adult males decades older, the oppression, and sometimes wholesale murder of religious minorities, or reformers from within islam don't seem to merit his concern. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, and Dr. Wafa Sultan are a few people who's voices JDN should listen to. Funny, the reformers for islam do exist, but usually only behind bullet resistant glass. Why is that? Why does 9/11 seem so distant to you, JDN? How many more 9/11s will it take for you to take it seriously?

Here is a clue about al qaeda's m.o., once they select a target they'll return until they are successful. Los Angeles has been targeted and they'll keep trying until they succeed.

What's the acceptable number of US civilian casualties for you, JDN? Give me a better alternative for protecting this country, or how you're going to get the global jihad movement to sit in a big circle, hold hands and sing "kumbayah" with everyone else.

If you'd actually bother to read what i've posted, you'd understand that there are islamic religious scholars that issued religious rulings such as this: "Basing his claims on the Islamic principle of retaliation, Abu Ghaith argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, to displace eight million Americans, and to cripple hundreds of thousands more. Moreover, Abu Ghaith asserts that Muslims are religiously entitled to use chemical and biological weapons in their war against the U.S."

Your solution is?
10656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 10, 2008, 12:08:30 PM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020472.php

Fitna. You'll see actual torture here.
10657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 10, 2008, 10:57:04 AM
http://www.fdnylodd.com/9-11-Never-Forget/Memorials/Blood-Of-Heroes.html

A little refresher for your memory, JDN. About 3000 people had their civil rights permanently violated in the span of about 2 hours.
10658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 10, 2008, 10:30:58 AM
GM, you said, "Again, define torture"...

GM; you seem to have a hard time with the word "torture"

Water boarding?  Would you like to try it???

**Yeah, I'm curious to see exactly how long I could stand it.**

We used to think (we prosecuted) water boarding was torture; now
when we do it, it's OK?  A near death experience, but it's not torture??? 

**It's not a near death experience, and it's done to every member of the US military that attends SERE school.**

Or according to an FBI report;

captives were chained hand and fist in a fetal position for 18+ hours a day
subjected to extreme temperatures close to freezing
gaged with duck tape
threatened with death and kept in small (think very very small) solitary confinement cells
forced feeding with a tube bigger than your finger without anesthesia
Men were forced to urinate on each other
electric shock until near death
sleep deprivation
and on and on and on and on......................and this is just what we know!

**Please post that FBI report, I'd like to read it myself. **

And I like the quote, "Gitomo is a holiday camp compared to Abu Garaib where prison guards raped children
and beat detainees to death"

**Really? Whom are you quoting? Please cite the source.**

Or that our military lawyers warned the Pentagon "that some of the methods used to interrogate and hold detainees
after 9/11 violated military, U.S. and International Law.

**Get 3 lawyers in a room and you'll get at least 4 opinions.**

Or, as I quote/mentioned above, our own Supreme Court said we are WRONG.

**The majority did, 4 dissented. I agree with the dissenters.**

Are you blind???  Do a Google search; you end up with almost 300,000 hits on GUANTANAMO + TORTURE

**This is proof of what, exactly? I googled Alien Abduction and got 2,150,000 hits. Using your logic, I guess this means alien abductions are real, right?**

Everyone KNOWS and admits we torture; the question is how much, how often, and is it justified.  It's not!

**Everyone? Wow, that's a big survey sample. Care to cite that source?**

I say it's just sad.  As for them going back and fighting us; wouldn't you if you were tortured and saw
everyone around you being tortured??? 

**Well, according to ABC news, a whopping total of THREE detainees were waterboarded, so I'm pretty sure your above statement isn't correct. If you have an alternate number, please post it.**

I too would join in the opposition.  America is suppose to be
the land of justice and fairness; what happened???  They  are not eligible for POW treatment??? What? 
They don't wear uniforms, line up in a straight line, and blow a bugle?  Neither did my forefathers in
the Revolutionary War or for that matter did the Jews in their fight for Israel. 

**So, If I understand you correctly, you are asserting that al qaeda is the moral equivalent of the American Revolution and the founders of Israel? Really?**

Nor did it happen in
Vietnam!  Now suddenly they are "enemy combatants".  And shipped off to torture chambers in far
off lands???  WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!

Yet you/America has no shame.  You quote Webster and justify not following the
Geneva Convention?  That's pretty silly.  Look in another dictionary. 
I think you are just kidding me; of course you know we
are committing torture but you just want to egg me on.  I hope you are kidding...

I suggest common sense.  Common decency.  Ask yourself, how you would want to be treated if you
were innocent???  And most of the people in Guantanamo will be found guilty of nothing! 

**Really? You know this how?**

It is
simply inhumane.  Remember; there is a presumption of innocence? 

You know, GM, I don't think you like Muslims - period.  But the same could be said about people who
don't like Asians, or Jews, or Blacks, or Mexicans......  All have been persecuted; and it's not right.

**Ah, so the war against the global jihad is just the persecution of muslims?**

james

ps GM; We've been fighting the Muslims since the 7th century??? 

**The global jihad started in earnest with the battle of Badr, you might want to look it up. No "we" weren't fighting there, but this was the first battle of the global jihad.**


Gosh, I bet if you ask most American since
our founding 500+ years ago

**America was founded 500+ years ago?Huh?**

no one gives a rat's $%^& about the Muslims.   Recently sure; as for Iraq we invaded them,
remember? 

**Wasn't there a little something that happened back in late 2001? Ya know, pre-Iraq? I think it was somewhere on the east coast....**

 We are the occupying army.  America should be more concerned about China or Russia; they could make
a serious difference one day. 

**As of today, how many US civilians have died at the hands of the Chinese or Russian military forces? Just give me a ballpark figure.**

 I asked my Dad (a former Naval Officer and War Veteran) if he is worried about the Muslims?
 He said, "Who?" And "why?"  "They are not a military threat to America's heartland!". 

**I'd disagree with your father's assessment.**

pps In a separate post, Crafty criticized the ACLU; I agree, they have their faults, but without them who would fight
for our Civil Rights?  Perhaps today you don't like them; they are not popular, but they will be there for you too and have
been in the past.  Today it's the Muslims (yes GM I know you don't like them) but tomorrow it could be another
minority.  Civil Rights, humane decency for ALL people is the foundation of our country.  Fighting for human rights
is never popular, but it's the moral thing to do.


10659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 10, 2008, 09:07:27 AM
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/11/exclusive-only-.html

ABC News: The Blotter
Exclusive: Only Three Have Been Waterboarded by CIA

November 02, 2007 1:25 PM

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

For all the debate over waterboarding, it has been used on only three al Qaeda figures, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials.

As ABC News first reported in September, waterboarding has not been used since 2003 and has been specifically prohibited since Gen. Michael Hayden took over as CIA director.

Officials told ABC News on Sept. 14 that the controversial interrogation technique, in which a suspect has water poured over his mouth and nose to stimulate a drowning reflex as shown in the above demonstration, had been banned by the CIA director at the recommendation of his deputy, Steve Kappes.

Hayden sought and received approval from the White House to remove waterboarding from the list of approved interrogation techniques first authorized by a presidential finding in 2002.

The officials say the decision was made sometime last year but has never been publicly disclosed by the CIA.

THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS

Blotter CIA Bans Waterboarding in Terror Interrogations
Blotter How the CIA Broke the 9/11 Attacks Mastermind
Blotter Investigator: 'High-Value Targets' Imprisoned by High-Level 'Cover-up'
Exclusive: Sources Tell ABC News Top Al Qaeda Figures Held in Secret CIA Prisons
CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described
Full Blotter Coverage CIA Secret Prisons
One U.S. intelligence official said, "It would be wrong to assume that the program of the past moved into the future unchanged."

A CIA spokesman said, as a matter of policy, he would decline to comment on interrogation techniques, "which have been and continue to be lawful," he said.

The practice of waterboarding has been branded as "torture" by human rights groups and a number of leading U.S. officials, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., because it amounted to a "mock execution."

It has been at the center of the debate that threatens to derail the confirmation of President George Bush's attorney general nominee, Michael Mukasey.

As a result of Hayden's decision, officials say, the most extreme technique left available to CIA interrogators would be what is termed "longtime standing," which includes exhaustion and sleep deprivation with prisoners forced to stand handcuffed, with their feet shackled to the floor.

The most effective use of waterboarding, according to current and former CIA officials, was in breaking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as KSM, who subsequently confessed to a number of ongoing plots against the United States.

A senior CIA official said KSM later admitted it was only because of the waterboarding that he talked.

Ultimately, KSM took responsibility for the 9/ll attacks and virtually all other al Qaeda terror strikes, including the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

"KSM lasted the longest under waterboarding, about a minute and a half, but once he broke, it never had to be used again," said a former CIA official familiar with KSM's case.

ABC News first reported on waterboarding in November 2005 as part of a George Polk Award-winning series of reports on the agency and its practices. In that report, CIA sources outlined for ABC News a list of harsh interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration in a "Presidential Finding," which authorized the use of the techniques on a narrow range of "high-value" targets.

The CIA sources described the list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. The Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Longtime Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Waterboarding (as demonstrated in the picture above): The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the waterboarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in.

Contacted after the completion of the ABC News investigation, CIA officials would neither confirm nor deny the accounts. They simply declined to comment.
10660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia on: August 10, 2008, 08:48:26 AM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

SATURDAY, AUGUST 09, 2008

Going for the Knockout

On the second day of its conflict with Georgia forces, Russia's military strategy is becoming increasingly clear. With an overwhelming advantage in firepower--and near-complete control of the air--Moscow is going for the knockout punch, attempting to drive Georgia forces from the breakaway region of South Ossetia, and (perhaps) other areas as well.

As the Wall Street Journal notes in today's lead editorial, the latest conflict in the Caucasus is a study in miscalculations. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, a close U.S. ally, has long pledged to retake South Ossetia and another separatist region, Abkhazia. The recent fighting apparently began when Mr. Saakashvilli sent his forces into Ossetia, attempting to reassert his control, once and for all.

But the Georgian leader apparently miscalculated. Within hours, Russian armored columns, backed by helicopters and aircraft, were rolling into the disputed areas, supporting "peacekeeping" forces that were already there. By some accounts, Moscow's forces have already reversed early territorial gains by Georgian forces; they have also conducted numerous bombing runs against airfields, port facilities and other strategic targets outside Ossetia and Abhazia, killing thousands of civilians.

By late Saturday, Georgian officials were requesting a cease fire--and help from the West. Readers will recall that Tbilisi has actively pursued NATO membership, and created one of the true, democratic regimes in the former Soviet bloc. Until a few days ago, more than 1,000 U.S. military advisers were in Georgia, providing training for the nation's armed forces. The two militaries have also worked closely in Iraq, where Georgia provides the third largest contingent of foreign security forces.

With those ties, Tiblisi is hoping that the U.S. and NATO offer more than "strong denunciations" of Russian military moves, and support for Georgia's territorial integrity. However, Washington and its European partners have no stomach for a possible conflict with Moscow--in Russia's vertiable backyard--so western efforts will be limited to diplomacy.

The Russians understand this, and that's one reason they're escalating military activity. Various media outlets report that Moscow's Black Sea Fleet is steaming south, preparing for amphibious operations along the Georgian coast. That would open a second front for the Tbilisi's out manned military, placing a further strain on defenders.

At this point, it's unclear what message the U.S. and NATO are sending to the Russians. As the WSJ observed earlier today, Russian Prime Minister Putin, who has discussed the crisis with President Bush in Beijing, needs to hear that imperialism in the Caucasus will have consequences for Moscow's relations with the west.

But no one seems ready to deliver that type of blunt warning to the Russia. Mr. Putin got a friendly hug from Mr. Bush before their meeting, and a few months ago, Germany vetoed plans to put Georgia and Ukraine on track for eventual NATO membership. That fact wasn't lost on Vladimir Putin, either.

Whatever his miscalculations, Mr. Saakashvilli represents the type of pro-western reformer that the U.S. has long sought in the eastern bloc. That's why the strike against Georgia (ultimately) represents an attack on democracy. If Russia presses its attack past the disputed regions--and continues its indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas--Washington and its allies will face a difficult choice.

No one wants a ground war in the Caucasus, but at what point will they draw a line against the Russians? And will they take a stand before (or after) the first T-90s roll toward Tbilisi?

Labels: Russia; Georgia; Caucasus conflict; U.S.; NATO

POSTED BY SPOOK86 AT 6:05 PM
10661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 09, 2008, 09:29:19 PM

Fatal blasts hit Chinese province

At least two people have been killed and several hurt after a series of blasts hit the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, state media has reported.

It said gunfire was also heard in the early hours in southern Kuqa county.

The attacks happened at offices belonging to the local government and security forces, a spokesman for the World Uighur Congress told the BBC.

Earlier this week, China said 16 policemen were killed in an attack by Islamist separatists in Xinjiang.

"There were several explosions in several places in Kuqa this morning," said a woman who was on duty at the Kuqa People's Hospital, quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

She said several people were in critical condition.

Olympics threat

World Uighur Congress spokesman Dilxat Raxit told the BBC that the Chinese government was responsible for the latest blasts because of what he called repressive policies in Xinjiang.

"In order to stop the East Turkestan situation getting worse, I urge the international community to exert pressure on China to immediately stop its systematic repressive government policies," he said.

Xinjiang is home to many Muslim Uighur people.

Kuqa county itself is almost exclusively populated by Uighurs.

Uighur separatists in Xinjiang have waged a low-level campaign against Chinese rule for decades.

The incident comes a day after the Olympic Games opened in Beijing, with a spectacular display of fireworks, music and dancing.

Human rights groups say Beijing is suppressing the rights of Uighurs.

Correspondents say China has spoken in the past of what it calls a terrorist threat from Muslim militants in Xinjiang, but it has provided little evidence to back up its claims.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7551954.stm

Published: 2008/08/10 01:49:03 GMT

10662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 09:23:45 PM
Notes

1.   http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/90sep/rage.htm
2.   Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', Al-Ta'asil li-Mashrou'iyah Ma Hasals Li-Amrica Min Tadmir, Nov. 2001, p. 19-22 ("The Eighth Foundation" chapter). See also Saif al-Din al-Ansari, Al-Harb Al-Mu'asirah, January 2002.
3.   http://www.saaid.net/fatwa/f23.htm
4.   http://www.palestine-info.info/arabic/palestoday/dailynews/2002/feb02/19_2/detail.htm#1
5.   For background on Qaradawi, see Reuven Paz, "Sheikh Dr. Yousef al-Qaradawi: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Policywatch, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, October 18, 2001.
6.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=2042
7.   Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', Al-Ta'asil, p. 72-73.
8.   http://66.34.76.88/SalmanAldah/NihayetTareekh1.htm
9.   Mamoun Fandy, Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Dissent (New York: Palgrave, 1999).
10.   http://www.alshaab.com/GIF/28-06-2002/Q.htm
11.   Salafi - A follower of the Prophet Muhammad's immediate successors, the pious ancestors (al-salaf al-salihin). Salafi movements have sought to restore Islam on the basis of its seventh-century teachings - that is, Islam as it was under the Prophet Muhammad and his immediate successors. Salafis usually belong to one of several groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabis.
12.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=67739
13.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=35806
14.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwaapplication/arabic/display.asp?hFatwaID=96437.
In this context, see also http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=31548;
http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=71076;
http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=48811;
http://www.qassam.org/hamas_fire.htm
15.   http://www.kataeb-ezzeldeen.com/Taqrer02_12_02.htm
16.   http://www.alshaab.com/GIF/03-05-2002/Palestine%204.htm 17.   Abu Ayman al-Hilali, "Risalah Al-Imam Wa-Malamih Al-Khuttah Al-Mustaqbalia," Al-Ansar, vol. 21, Nov. 20, 2002, pp. 17-22.
18.   Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Al-Dimouqratia Din. http://almaqdese.com/c?c=1.1 Ali al-Khudeir defined secularism as "shirk" (polytheism). Ali bin Khudeir al-Khudeir, Al-Qawa'id Al-'Arba' Al-lati Tufariq Bayna Al-Muslimin Wa-Din Al-'ilmiyeen, al-Quaim, Saudi Arabia. http://www.saaid.net/Warathah/khudier/kh3.zip. See also Abu al-Saed al-'amili, "Al-Dimoqratia: wsilah Li-'ihtiwa Al-Tayyar Al-'islami," Al-Ansar, Vol. 23, December 19, 2002, pp. 25-30.
19.   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan/message/780; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan/message/790.
20.   Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd, Risalah Fi 'istikhdam 'asliha Al-Dammar Al-Shamil Did Al-Kuffar, May 2003.
21.   Saif al-Din al-Ansari, Ghazwa 11 Sebtenber, September 2002, pp. 10-12.
22.   http://saaid.net/Warathah/hmood/h40.htm
23.   http://alarabnews.com/alshaab/GIF/26-10-2001/fatwa2.htm
24.   Saif al-Din al-Ansari, "Wa-Yimhaq Al-kafirin," Al-Ansar, vol. 15, Aug. 10, 2002, pp. 4-8.
25.   Saif al-Din al-Ansari, "Yi'adhibuhoum Allah Bi-'aydikum," Al-Ansar, vol. 16, Aug. 24, 2002, pp. 4-9.

*     *     *

Who's Who Among Radical Islamic Thinkers

- A Glossary

Hamed al-Ali - Kuwaiti scholar (in his 40s). Serves as lecturer and preacher. Graduated al-Madina University in Saudi Arabia. Published Islamic verdicts justifying suicide attacks committed by Palestinians against Israelis.

Saif al-Din al-Ansari (nom de guerre) - Senior al-Qaeda leader and ideologist. Expresses support for total extermination of infidels through jihad for the sake of Allah.

Salman bin Fahed al-'Auda - Prominent Saudi scholar. Born in Baser (Buraida, Saudi Arabia) in 1956. Serves as Islamic researcher, lecturer and preacher. Runs the Islamic website www.islamtoday.net. Arrested by Saudi security services in 1994 for his radical views and jailed until 1999. Al-'Auda considers jihad against the U.S. in Muslim countries as justified self-defense in reaction to American occupation. He attributes great importance to the daawa (spreading Islam by education and preaching).

Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd - Saudi scholar. Born in 1968 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). Graduated Al-Imam University in Riyadh. Served as lecturer in Islamic affairs. Jailed by Saudis 1994-1997. Al-Fahd published articles and religious edicts supporting the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and denouncing Muslims who cooperated with the U.S. In May 2003 he justified use of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. as a retaliatory measure. Along with Ali al-Khudeir and Ahmed al-Khaldi, he incited to commit attacks against Westerners and openly supported the Riyadh bombings. In May 2003 he was rearrested by the Saudi security services and charged with advocating violence in sermons in mosques and on the Internet. Under pressure by Saudi authorities, which began cracking down on militants believed responsible for a string of attacks in Saudi Arabia, al-Fahd renounced militancy and attacks against innocent people inside Saudi Arabia in an interview on Saudi TV (November 2003). He focused on the past tendency of clerics to widely use the doctrine of takfir, charging that Muslims have become infidels and should be treated accordingly.

Suliman Abu Ghaith - Born in the 1970s in Kuwait. Former religious studies teacher. Serves as al-Qaeda's spokesperson. He left Kuwait in 2000. Abu Ghaith was stripped of his citizenship after he called for retaliation against the U.S. during the war in Afghanistan. He is considered as one of Osama bin Laden's closest associates.

Abu Ayman al-Hilali (nom de guerre) - Senior al-Qaeda leader and ideologist. Supports uncompromising jihad against infidels and religiously justifies mass killings of Western civilians.

Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou' - Saudi scholar. Published religious edicts justifying jihad against the U.S. and al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. in September 2001. Considered a supporter of al-Qaeda's terrorist global network. Arrested in 2003 by Saudi security services.

Ali al-Khudeir - Saudi scholar. Born in 1954 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). Graduated Al-Imam University in Qusaim. Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi, one of his teachers (see below), had great influence on shaping his Islamic views. Al-Khudeir published articles and religious edicts supporting the Taliban regime in Afganistan including the destruction of the Hindu statues, as a part of jihad against the infidels. He religiously justified al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. in September 2001. Along with Nasser al-Fahd and Ahmed al-Khaldi, he incited to commit attacks against Westerners and openly supported the Riyadh bombings. He was arrested by the Saudi security services and charged with advocating violence in sermons in mosques and on the Internet. Under pressure from Saudi authorities, which began cracking down on militants believed responsible for a string of attacks in Saudi Arabia, in an interview on Saudi TV (November 2003), al-Khudeir reversed his religious edicts justifying attacks against innocent people including Westerners under regime protection inside Saudi Arabia and encouraging Saudi youth to join the jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like Nasser al-Fahd, he focused on limiting the application of takfir, which had largely internal implications.

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi - Palestinian scholar (born in Nablus), living in Jordan. Al-Maqdisi was involved in directing Islamist terrorist groups in Jordan under various names - Bay'at al-Imam, Jaysh Muhammad, Al-Islah wal-Tahaddi - along with the Islamic Movement for Change, which carried out the terrorist attack in Riyadh in November 1995 in which five American officials were killed. He was imprisoned between 1995 and 1999 and detained again in the recent wave of arrests of Islamists in Jordan.

Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid - Saudi scholar. Born in 1961. Graduated Saudi University in Dhahran. The late grand mufti, Abd al-Aziz al-Baz, was one of his teachers, who had great influence in shaping his views. Serves as Islamic researcher and preacher.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi - Prominent Islamic scholar and well-known preacher. Born in Egypt (1926), lives in Qatar. Known as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi heads the Sunni studies department at Qatar University. He was the first Sunni Muslim scholar to give religious legitimacy to the suicide operations of Hamas (1995), and to the participation of women in suicide attacks. Qaradawi has generally defended bin Laden as a representative and defender of oppressed Muslims against the "American and Zionist evilness," even though he condemned the attacks on American soil against innocent civilians.

Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi - Prominent and influential Saudi scholar. Born in 1927 in al-Shiqqa (Buraida, Saudi Arabia), died in 2001. Lost his eyesight in the age of 9 as a result of disease. Learned Islamic studies and law. Served as teacher of Islamic affairs. His students included a number of important Saudi religious leaders, including the current grand mufti. Al-Shuaibi published religious edicts supporting the Taliban regime in Afghanistan including the destruction of the Hindu statues, as part of jihad against the infidels. He religiously justified al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. in September 2001 and gave religious legitimacy to the suicide attacks against Israel carried out by Palestinians. In October 2001, bin Laden cited al-Shuaibi when he spoke of his justification for killing Jews and Christians.

Abd al-Rahman al-Sudays - Imam of the central mosque in Mecca. Well-known for his radical Islamic views and ardent preaching against the infidels.

Suliman bin Nasser al-Ulwan - Saudi scholar. Born in 1969 in Buraida. Serves as lecturer and preacher. Published religious edict justifying the Palestinian suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. In 2001 he stated that the attacks on the World Trade Center were an act of jihad.

Ahmad Yassin - Palestinian religious leader; born in 1937 in Ashkelon (today in southern Israel); worked as teacher, preacher, and community worker; completely paralyzed following an accident in his youth; founder of the Islamic Center in Gaza in 1973, which soon controlled all religious institutions; founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, and its military wing, Izz al-Dinn al-Qassam, which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis in terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, since the 1990s. An Israeli court convicted Yassin in 1989 of ordering Hamas members to kidnap and kill two Israeli soldiers. He was released from jail in 1997 to appease Jordan after Israel's failed attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Amman. Yassin opposed the previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and maintains that eliminating Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine is a religious duty.

*     *     *
Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi is a researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam and an advisor on Arab affairs in the Israeli Foreign Minister's office. His previous writings include "Understanding the Breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations," Jerusalem Viewpoints #486 (September 15, 2002) and "Who is Taking Credit for Attacks on the U.S. Army in Western Iraq? Al-Jama'a al-Salafiya al-Mujahida" Jerusalem Issue Brief #3-3 (August 5, 2003). The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the IDF or the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Jerusalem Letter and Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints are published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 13 Tel-Hai St., Jerusalem, Israel; Tel. 972-2-5619281, Fax. 972-2-5619112, Internet: jcpa@netvision.net.il. In U.S.A.: Center for Jewish Community Studies, 5800 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215 USA, Tel. (410) 664-5222; Fax. (410) 664-1228. © Copyright. All rights reserved. ISSN: 0792-7304.

The opinions expressed by the authors of Viewpoints do not necessarily reflect those of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
10663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 09:22:25 PM
Democracy: The Religion of the Infidels

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, leader of the Bayat al-Imam extremist group whose operatives were arrested in Jordan in 1995, takes a further step in his book Democracy is a Religion in denying the traditional protection given by Islam to Jews and Christians. They become "combatants" and infidels and lose their status of ahl al-dhimma not only because of their participation in elections, but as a result of their endorsement of democracy and its values. For al-Maqdisi, democracy is a prohibited innovation that contradicts Islamic values and embodies a new heretical religion. Its followers are "infidels" and "polytheists," even if they consider themselves as Jews or Christians by religion. Al-Maqdisi based his claim on the following arguments:

"Democracy gives legitimacy to the legislation of the masses or to the despotic regime. It is not [the expression of] the rule of Allah....Allah ordered his Prophet to execute the commands given to him and forbade him to follow the emotions of the nation, the masses, and the people."

"Democracy is the rule of the masses or the rule of paganism, which is conducted according to a constitution [written by humans] and not according Allah's laws....It [democracy] has become the mother of laws and is considered [by the masses] as a holy book. The religion of democracy has no relation to Quranic verses or the Prophet's way of life and it is not possible to legislate according to them unless they are compatible with the holy book [the constitution]."

"Democracy is an outcome of despicable secularism and its illegitimate daughter, since secularism is a heretical school striving to separate religion from state and government."

Al-Maqdisi concludes: "Democracy is a religion that is not Allah's religion....It is the rule of paganism...it is a religion which includes other gods in its belief...the people represented in the religion of democracy by its delegates in the parliament...who are actually standing idols and false gods placed in their chapels and their pagan fortresses, namely, their legislative councils. They and their followers rule according to the religion of democracy and the constitution's laws upon which the government is based, and according to the paragraphs of their legislation....Their master is their God, their big idols who approve or reject legislation. He is their emir, their king, or their president."18


Debating Islamic Retaliation: 4 Million or 10 Million American Deaths?

As noted, radical Islamic scholars rely in their rulings on the principle of retaliation while justifying indiscriminate mass murder of Christians. Suliman Abu Ghaith, a prominent al-Qaeda leader, in his famous series of public letters entitled Under the Shade of the Lances and directed at Muslim youth, listed the crimes of the U.S. against the Arab and Muslim world. He argued that the U.S. is responsible directly and indirectly, in its long-lasting war on Islam, for the death of four million Muslims, including 1.2 million Iraqis, 260,000 Palestinians (as a result of its support for Israel), 12,000 Afghans and Arab fighters, 13,000 Somalis, and millions more throughout the world. From his perspective, al-Qaeda's attacks in Washington and New York in September 2001 are not enough to balance the equation of killing. Basing his claims on the Islamic principle of retaliation, Abu Ghaith argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, to displace eight million Americans, and to cripple hundreds of thousands more. Moreover, Abu Ghaith asserts that Muslims are religiously entitled to use chemical and biological weapons in their war against the U.S.19

Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd, another prominent Saudi Salafi scholar, in an Islamic ruling published in May 2003, approved the use of weapons of mass destruction against America. He also based his indictment on the principle of retaliation, but argued that Muslims have the right to kill ten million Americans in response to the crimes of their government against the Muslim nation. Al-Fahd elaborated the circumstances under which it is religiously permitted to kill non-combatant Americans: During a military operation when it is hard to distinguish between soldiers and civilians and according to military needs or considerations. Ascribing great importance to the military considerations, he asserted that the military leaders who are responsible for the execution of jihad have the authority to make the decisions concerning what types of weapons to use against the infidels. If they decided to use weapons of mass destruction based on military need, it would be an obligation under Islamic law.20

Similarly, radical Muslim scholars have justified the killing of 2,750 civilians in al-Qaeda's September 2001 attacks. A senior al-Qaeda operative named Saif al-Din al-Ansari argued in his book The September 11th Attack that the killing of thousands of civilians in the suicide attacks did not go beyond the "special circumstances" in which Muslims are religiously permitted to kill infidel civilians. These attacks were justified because they were conducted according to the principle of retaliation as well as the Islamic religious principle that permits the killing of civilians when necessary in order to destroy the enemy's fortresses, when it is impossible to differentiate between military and civilians.21 Support for this position has also been expressed by Saudi Islamic scholars Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi and Ali al-Khudeir.

Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi referred to the September attacks in his Islamic ruling as follows: "Any decisions taken by the American infidel state, particularly those dealing with war and other critical decisions, are taken based upon public opinion surveys or representatives' voting in their infidel legislatures. These legislatures represent primarily the people's opinion....Therefore, any American citizen who voted for the war is considered a combatant or at least an accessory [to the war]."22

The Saudi Sheikh Ali al-Khudier wrote in another Islamic ruling: "We should not regret the deaths of civilians in the Twin Towers attack since the American is an infidel because of his connection to his government. He fights for it, supports it with money, opinions or advice, and this is the type of their political regime. Therefore, they deserved what they experienced, since their fighting, support, and opinions deserve punishment."23


Advocating Total Extermination of Islam's Enemies

Al-Qaeda has adopted a broader interpretation of the religious command concerning the killing of infidels. It is considered an absolute command that does not depend on political circumstances, the need or will to take revenge, or a wish to liberate Muslim lands from infidel rule. Saif al-Din al-Ansari, in an article in al-Qaeda's official periodical, presented the new, comprehensive concept of total extermination of Islam's enemies based on the Quranic verse: "And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings" (Al-Imran, 142). According to al-Ansari, this is the way Allah deals with infidels, who are doomed throughout history to total extermination through various types of death, as was the fate of the people of Noah, Hod, Saleh, Lot, Midian, and Pharaoh. Al-Ansari asserted that the extermination of infidels is a permanent Islamic law and unchangeable fate for infidels that is as relevant today as it was in past generations. According to al-Ansari, "Just as the law of extermination was applied to the infidel forces among the nations in previous days and no one could escape it, so it will be applied to the infidel forces in our day and no one will escape it. Namely, similar to the fate of the Thamoud and 'Ad peoples [two pagan Arab peoples which, according to Islamic tradition, were exterminated due to their rejection of the words of the Prophet], so the American state, the Jewish state, and all other infidel countries will certainly be destroyed."24

Al-Ansari further developed his concept of total extermination in a subsequent article. First, he firmly criticized the Islamic movements that raise the banner of daawa (Islamic preaching) and support the gradual spread of Islam through education, social organizations, and the economy as the preferred means to bring about the victory of Islam over other religions. He asserts that Allah has the power and might to subdue the infidels and to exterminate them by his will. However, He has not done so because of His wish to designate this task to Muslims.

Al-Ansari relies on the Quranic verse: "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace [meaning that Allah will kill the infidels], and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people" (Al-Tawba, 14). The key word in this verse is "by your hands," which indicates the great importance Allah attributes to the physical action of the infidels' extermination. This is even more substantial than the daawa in executing the command of jihad, since the daawa, as important as it might be, could not fulfill God's commandment for extermination.

Al-Ansari wrote: "Allah is capable of exterminating his enemies with no need for intermediaries or the help of anyone. His might is infinite...therefore, when He [Allah] designates the task of extermination of infidels to his believers, He does so as a hidden expression of His power...the infidels' extermination is part of Islamic law, which is operative until the Day of Judgment. Its principal element will be fulfilled only at the hands of the believers, meaning through jihad, which is also to be operative until the Day of Judgment.25

*     *     *

10664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 09:20:34 PM
Civilians in Infidel States Deserve to Die

Islamic law concerning the state of war between Islam and the West also requires Islamic scholars to deal with issues regarding the laws of war and the definition of "combatants" and "non-combatants." The innovation observed in Islamic religious rulings issued by radical Muslim scholars in recent years refers to a broadening of the definition of "combatants" who deserve death in jihad to all residents living in infidel states. The laws of war are considered to apply to all civilians and they are perceived in the same way as soldiers fighting on the battlefield. Such a position cancels the right of Jews and Christians to receive protection under Islam and from a religious perspective turns all Western civilians into "combatants." It relies on various religious arguments: Imitating the way of life and behavior of the Prophet Muhammad in his policy toward ahl al-dhimma, reacting on the basis of retaliation, and excluding Jews and Christians from the definition of monotheism and re-defining them as polytheists.

On June 28, 2002, 28 scholars from the Al-Azhar Institute in Egypt determined that killing large numbers of Israeli civilians in Palestinian suicide bombing attacks was the "noblest act of jihad." They justified killing Jews by arguing that Israel is a racist, military state that took Muslim land illegally by force. Muslims have, therefore, the right under Islamic law to rise up in jihad against the occupation in order to liberate their lands. The Al-Azhar scholars argued that in conducting jihad there is no need to make any distinction between soldiers and civilians. The correct distinction has to be made between peace-seekers (Muslims) and warmongers (Jews), and between the attackers (Jews) and the attacked (Muslims). Following this religious outlook, the Jews are robbers of Islamic land who contaminate the sacred sites of Islam and, therefore, they have been defined as "combatants, no matter what kind of clothes they wear."10

In April 2002, Sheikh Hamed al-Ali, a lecturer on Islamic culture in Kuwait and one of the leaders of the radical Salafi stream,11 clarified in a religious ruling the circumstances in which it is permitted to kill civilians in the cause of jihad without violating the Prophet Muhammad's command prohibiting the murder of women and children. These include:

Participation in war - For civilians "who knowingly take part in combat or advise and encourage others to do so, etc., the prohibition against killing them does not apply and it is permitted to kill them in war....It should be noted that an army involved in modern warfare also includes soldiers who are non-combatants, some of whom serve in combat support roles and without whom conducting a war would not be possible. For example there are those who operate computers which manage military activities; military personnel involved in strategic planning; reserve forces who supervise mobilization of soldiers and prepare them for battle, if only on an administrative level; intelligence personnel, etc. All are included in the fate of those who encourage war against Muslims, and it is permitted to intentionally kill them in battle." According to al-Ali, all citizens of Israel are to be considered combatants because of Israel's compulsory military service law, which includes women, in addition to the fact that its general population is party to government policy due to the taxes it pays and its participation in elections.

Collateral damage to civilians during attacks on military targets - "When Muslims are forced to launch an all-out attack on enemies or bomb them from a distance and this may cause the death of women, children, and other civilians, it is imperative to ensure that they are not killed intentionally. However, if they are killed during such attacks, killing them does not constitute a sin."12

In a similar vein, Sheikh Suliman bin Nasser al-Ulwan, a Saudi scholar, issued a ruling on May 18, 2001, which defined the suicide attacks against the "exploitive Jews" in "Palestine" and against the "aggressive Christians" in Chechnya as "acts of self-sacrifice according to the way of Allah," and are therefore legitimate means of warfare from a religious perspective." He is cited in a December 2001, al-Qaeda videotape when a visiting Saudi tells Osama bin Laden that he is bringing "a beautiful fatwa" from al-Ulwan.

Sheikh al-Ulwan argued that it is not prohibited to kill children as a consequence of suicide actions if the perpetrator of such an action had no premeditative intent to kill them. Nevertheless, al-Ulwan includes "all the Jews in Palestine" in his definition of "combatants," adding that, "If jihad fighters are not able to kill combatants [only] without [also] killing children [who are with them], there is no problem in such cases if they [the children] are killed." In this context, al-Ulwan provides religious legitimacy for blowing up buildings "on the Jews' heads" indiscriminately and permitting the murder of Jewish women, who serve in the military and take part in the "aggression" by the very fact of being part of the "plundering" of Muslim lands, and because of their "moral corruption."13 His impact has reached beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia. For example, al-Ulwan's writings have been found in schools belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Thus, one of the major al-Qaeda spiritual leaders has been influencing the development of religious and political thinking of the Palestinians as well.

A more decisive approach to ordering the indiscriminate killing of Jews is presented by the learned Saudi cleric Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid in a fatwa issued in April 2003: "The Jews distorted the religion of Allah...murdered the prophets and denied the existence of Allah; they are intriguers, frauds, and traitors...bringing corruption to Muslim communities...set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque...desecrated the Quran...committed massacres; so how is it possible for Muslims not to rejoice at murdering the infidel, thieving Jews? Moreover, Allah will satisfy his believers by destroying and exterminating them all. This is our right as Muslims as was promised by our Prophet....Allah will bring us to defeat and master them according to the Islamic tradition: Fight the Jews and defeat them until the rock says: 'O Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'"14

All those involved in fighting Muslims, both Christians and Jews, are regarded as "combatants" in Muslim eyes. However, a particularly negative status is reserved for Jews, who are regarded as the source of all evil not only in the context of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict but due to their "inherent characteristics" and the "danger they embody to mankind." In a statement issued in December 2002 to "enlighten young Muslims," the Hamas movement describes Jews in wholly anti-Semitic terms in a way that divests them of any vestige of humanity. Jews are described as a nation of "despicable lowlifes," "traitors," and "liars" who are "arrogant," "corrupt," and "cursed," who include other gods in their beliefs and distort the Holy Scriptures." The Jews are accused of attempting to murder the prophet Muhammad, of seditiously creating the religious conflict that resulted in the split between the Shia and the Sunni, of the murder of Ali (founder of the Shia), and of supporting the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate. The document ends with an appeal to Muslim youth warning that "the Jews control the centers of power in the world," "spread lechery and abomination," "are behind all current and past wars," and are responsible for "almost all corruption and perversion that occurs in the Muslim world."15

A similar description of the characteristics of the Jewish nation can be found in a sermon given by the imam of the central mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudays, in May 2002, describing the Jews as "infidels," "calf-worshippers," "prophet-murderers," who even "tried to kill the prophet Muhammad," "distorters of prophecies," the "scum of humanity," "corrupt," 'treacherous," and "conniving." He prayed to God saying: "I wish the enemies of Islam and Muslims, the Jews, the pagans and other corrupted people, will be humiliated....Allah, exercise your power against the Jews. Allah, destroy them with sharpened tools and take them out of Al-Aqsa Mosque."16

One of al-Qaeda's leaders, identified by his nickname, Abu Ayman al-Hilali, in an article published in the periodical Al-Ansar, defined the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, and Australia as "enemies," while praising the mass-murder attacks committed by al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S., Tunisia, Yemen, Bali, Moscow, and elsewhere. He justified killing Western civilians in these attacks for the following reasons:

The citizens in democratic Western countries become full participants in governmental decision-making by voting in elections and therefore they are no longer considered "non-combatants" as in past wars.

The citizens in Western countries are full participants in the war their governments are waging against Islam. Their designation by al-Qaeda as "targets" was a reaction to the aggressive policies of their governments. Al-Hilali asserted that even those in the West who oppose their governments' policies have no immunity from al-Qaeda's jihad since they are a small minority without real influence and cannot be distinguished during the commission of attacks.17

10665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 09:19:42 PM
http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp508.htm

Jerusalem Viewpoints

No. 508     6 Kislev 5764 / 1 December 2003

AL-QAEDA'S INTELLECTUAL LEGACY:
NEW RADICAL ISLAMIC THINKING
JUSTIFYING THE GENOCIDE OF INFIDELS

Jonathan D. Halevi


The Islamic victory over the USSR in Afghanistan, the creation of the al-Qaeda global network, and the spread of Islam in many Western countries are seen as signs of an Islamic awakening that from the radical Islamist perspective may lead to the restoration of Islam as the world's most dominant power.

In this emerging world order, Christians and Jews are no longer protected minorities under Islam. As a result, there is a dangerous trend among militant Islamist clerical authorities, especially from Saudi Arabia, justifying not only acts of terrorism against individuals, but also mass murder against whole groups of people regarded as infidels. Their call for the complete extermination of peoples means they have moved ideologically toward the justification of genocide.

Jihad against America is the realization of "the right of self-defense" in retaliation for the terrorist war waged by the United States against the nation of Islam. Based on the Islamic principle, one al-Qaeda leader argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, while a Saudi scholar argues for killing ten million.

The citizens in democratic Western countries become full participants in governmental decision-making by voting in elections and therefore they are no longer considered "non-combatants." Democracy is a prohibited innovation that contradicts Islamic values and embodies a new heretical religion.

An official al-Qaeda publication presents a new, comprehensive concept of total extermination of Islam's enemies. Al-Qaeda's Saudi clerics are also having a growing influence on other militant groups, from Hamas to Chechen groups to the mujahideen in western Iraq: their legal rulings appear on the websites of these organizations in Arabic.

There has only been a partial moderation of these trends as a byproduct of Saudi Arabia's internal struggle with al-Qaeda since May 12, 2003; some clerics have called for discontinuing the practice of takfir - branding Muslims as infidels worthy of destruction. But they have not altered their harsh doctrine against Christians and Jews.


Seeing the West as "God's Enemy"

Global terrorism sprouted and thrived in the strongholds of radical Islam. Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis, in "The Roots of Muslim Rage,"1 explains the rise of Islamic radicalism and the increasing hatred of the West as a response to Western superiority and to the undermining of Islam's authority by Western culture. The Islamic hatred is, according to Lewis, an outcome of the collision between the Western and Islamic civilizations and "an Islamic historical response to secularism and the Jewish-Christian heritage." Lewis' approach provides an essential interpretation of the roots of the current clash of civilizations, but it lacks a reference to the implications of the accumulating hatred for the West, which is viewed by many Muslims as "God's enemy."

The present-day radical Islamic outburst against Western civilization's hegemony emanates from a perception of achievement: the Islamic victory over the USSR in Afghanistan, the establishment of Taliban rule, the creation of the al-Qaeda global network, and the spread of Islam in many Western countries. These are seen as signs of an Islamic awakening that may lead in the twenty-first century to the restoration of the glory of Islam as the world's most dominant power.

In this context, the radical Islamic struggle against "God's enemies" has brought about a significant change in traditional Islamic attitudes toward the protected religions - Christianity and Judaism. During the golden age of Islam, in most cases Islamic regimes treated Christians and Jews with tolerance for being monotheists like themselves. They were considered ahl al-dhimma, non-Muslim monotheistic believers who had the privilege to be under the protection of Islamic rule, although some humiliating laws were imposed on them (payment of a head tax; synagogues and churches had to be built lower than mosques, etc.). The destiny of infidels and polytheists (those who attribute associates to God) under Islamic rule, however, was either conversion to Islam or execution.


The End of Protected Status for Christians and Jews

In recent years, radical Islamic scholars have renounced the privileges that Christians and Jews had enjoyed under Islamic rule and denied their status as ahl al-dhimma, accusing them of crimes against Islam and deviation of faith in God by attributing associates to God. This opened the way to justifying mass killing of Christians and Jews under the flag of jihad for the sake of Allah.

The roots of radical Islam's denial of protected status for Christians may be found in the long-standing, accumulated hatred of the U.S. and other Western countries as leaders of the Christian world. The U.S. is viewed as a global infidel force menacing Islam with its ideology, social and economic values, and hostile policy, seen in terms of a modern Crusader war against Islam. Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', a prominent radical Saudi scholar, lashed out at the U.S. in his book The Foundations of the Legality of the Destruction That Befell America, presenting a thesis that was publicly lauded by many Saudi scholars, headed by Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi and Ali al-Khudeir. Describing the U.S. as "the source of evil, moral corruption, oppression, despotism, and aggression," al-Jarbou' explained that the U.S. "spreads abomination and corruption in the world," "is the biggest source heretical movies," "has more sex channels and wine and cigarette companies than any other country," "wages war against Allah's religion...and strives to impose its heresy and values out of arrogance and a desire to dominate." "Even Satan does not behave like America does," he wrote.2

On May 6, 2002, fourteen Saudi scholars published a special announcement claiming that the escalation in tensions between Islam and the West stemmed from American and European foreign and economic policies reflected in their siding with Israel, supporting globalization, and waging war on global terrorism. They asserted that, "observing this conflict...between Islam and the Muslims who follow righteousness, on one side, and heresy and its forces, on the other side, will expose the identity of the enemy and its flag [ideology], which developed after the rise of what is called the new world order, the Madrid and Oslo conventions, other conventions held in America and Sharm Al-Sheik [Egypt], and the criminal war against Muslims called the war on terror. Thus, the genuine hatred and the nature of this conflict between the camp of Islam and the camp of ahl al-dhimma - the Jews and Christian Crusaders, and the hypocrites who follow them [Arab leaders] - becomes clear."3

The confrontation between Islam and the West is considered a zero-sum game, the outcome of which is to be the absolute and total victory of Islam in the twenty-first century. In his public message to the Muslim world on the occasion of the holiday of Eid al-Adha (February 19, 2002), Hamas leader Ahmad Yassin clearly justified the jihad against the U.S. in Muslim and Arab countries on the basis of Islamic law. Jihad against America is a positive commandment in every respect and is the realization of "the right of self-defense" against "the Crusaders' war" and the terrorist war waged by the United States against the nation of Islam in Afghanistan and against the Islamic jihad movements in the world. Yassin emphasized that jihad has a defined goal, which is to "bring Islam to a dominant global position and release it from the hegemony of America and its Zionist allies." He encouraged Muslims to perform jihad and to prepare for an extended battle against the U.S., promising that the current century, the twenty-first, is the "Islamic century, the century of liberation, victory, and the fulfillment of potential."4


The Future Conquest of Rome and All of Europe

Similarly, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Qatari-based spiritual authority for the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood, issued an Islamic ruling that, despite the pessimism among Muslims, Islam will definitely prevail and eventually become master of the entire world.5 One of the signs of Islamic victory will be the conquest of the Italian capital, Rome, by the Muslims. Occupying Europe and defeating Christianity will become possible, according to al- Qaradawi, with the spread of Islam inside Europe until it becomes strong enough to take over the whole continent. Al-Qaradawi asserts that "the signs of salvation are absolute, numerous, and as plain as day, indicating that the future belongs to Islam and that Allah's religion will defeat all other religions." He relies on ancient Islamic traditions quoting the Prophet Muhammad, who allegedly argued that the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) and then Romia (Rome) are considered signs of the victory of Islam. Al-Qaradawi wrote:

And Romia is the city we name Rome, the capital of Italy. The city of Herqel [Constantinople] was conquered in 1453 by the young Ottoman, aged 23, Muhammad Ibn Mourad, known by his nickname Muhammad the Conqueror. Nowadays, the conquest of the other city Romia [Rome] remains unfulfilled. Namely, Islam will return once more to Europe as a conqueror and as a victorious power after it was expelled twice from the continent....I assume that next time the conquest [of Europe] will not be achieved by the sword [i.e., war] but by preaching (daawa) and spreading the ideology [of Islam]....The conquest of Romia [Rome] and the expansion of Islam will reach all the areas where the sun shines and the moon appears [i.e., the entire world]....That will be the result of a planted seed and the beginning of the righteous Caliphate's return....[The Islamic Caliphate] deserves to lead the nation to the plains of victory.6

Al-Qaradawi's influence, it should be stressed, is widespread. His religious rulings not only appear on the websites of Muslim Brotherhood subsidiaries, like Hamas, but also on the websites of Saudi-inspired groups fighting the U.S. in western Iraq and on the websites of Chechen Islamists.


The State of Confrontation with the West

The state of confrontation with the West is considered by radical Muslim scholars not as something predestined from God, which Muslims have to endure until salvation, but as an opportunity to promote Islamic awareness and to release themselves from Western dominance and values. The first step to be taken from a religious perspective is to define the United States, the leader of the free world, as an "enemy" that is waging a "religious war" against Islam, and on this basis to issue Islamic rulings that the U.S. and its allies belong to dar al-harb (the realm of war). The command of jihad applies not only to Muslims on the confrontation lines in the Muslim and Arab worlds, but to all Muslims living in the areas of the enemy as well. Al-Jarbou' has ruled that the current state of relations between Islam and the West is to be expressed as one of total war against the infidels. America, according his viewpoint, is not a regime with which Islam can maintain normal relations until Islam becomes strong enough to launch a jihad against it. Nor is it a regime that deserves the tolerant and peaceful attitude from Islam accorded to Christians and Jews as protected minorities under Islamic rule (ahl al-dhimma). Criticizing other Muslim scholars who "neglected their duty" to define the state of relations with America as one of all-out war, al-Jarbou' unequivocally ruled that the definition of the U.S. as dar al-harb obliges all Muslims to prepare in practice for the war against the infidels.7

Another Saudi scholar, Salman bin Fahed al-'Auda, in his book The End of History, asserts that the solution to Islamic distress - that may bring about the fall of America and the Western world - "exists in one word which is Jihad" (emphasis in original). According to al-'Auda, the meaning of jihad is much broader than fighting with a sword (the Islamic symbol of jihad). Appealing to Muslims throughout the world, he wrote: "We should not simplify this issue and narrow its meaning to a restricted military battle in one of the Islamic regions or even to an all-out war against the West, which is possible and predicted and we assume is arriving [emphasis added]." He continues: "Life as a whole is a battlefield. The weapons are not only the rifle, the bullet, the airplane, the tank, and the cannon. Not at all! Thinking is a weapon, the economy is a weapon, money is a weapon, water is a weapon, planning is a weapon, unity is a weapon, and so there are many types of weapons."8 In The End of History, al-'Auda concluded that the West by itself was already in an advanced state of decay: "The West, and above all the United States, and Western culture, in general are undergoing a historical process that is deterministic. This process leads to its total collapse, sooner or later." His jihad was intended to accelerate that collapse. During the 1990s, he was regarded as the most influential preacher in Saudi Arabia.9


10666  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dealing with creeps... on: August 09, 2008, 08:48:12 PM
I'm pressed for time, i'll get into more detail later, but my key point is you need to take this guy seriously.

SB had good advice, but you need to start making a paper trail with your local law enforcement agency. If this guy is an employee of an agency, then you can file an IA complaint as well. Start ASAP. Don't wait for "something big". California has lead the way in the US for anti-stalking legislation and law enforcement training on the topic. Take advantage of that.
10667  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dealing with creeps... on: August 09, 2008, 08:35:08 PM
Ok, you haven't called the police why, exactly?  shocked
10668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 04:31:55 PM
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/network/alqaeda/manual.html

Guidelines for Beating and Killing Hostages: Religious scholars have permitted beating. They use a tradition explained in Imam Mosallem's manuscript, who quotes Thabit Ibn Ans that Allah's prophet - Allah bless and keep him - sought counsel when he was informed about Abou Soufian's arrival. Abou Bakr and Omar spoke, yet he [the prophet] did not listen. Saad Ibn Ibada said, "Do you want us, O Allah's prophet, who controls my life? If you order us to subdue the camel we would do it, or beat and follow them to Al-Ghimad lakes (5-day trip beyond Mecca), we would do it, too. "The prophet - Allah bless and keep him - called on the people, who then descended on Badr. They were met by Kureish camels carrying water. Among their takers was a young black [slave] man belonging to the Al-Hajjaj clan. They took him [as hostage]. The companions of the prophet - Allah bless and keep him - started asking him about Abou Sofian and his companions. He first said, "I know nothing about Abou Soufian but I know about Abou Jahl, Atba, Sheiba, and Omaya Ibn Khalaf. "But when they beat him he said, "O yes, I will tell you. This is the news of Abou Soufian..." Meanwhile, the prophet - Allah bless and keep him -, who was praying, started to depart saying, "Strike him if he tells you the truth and release him if he lies." Then he said, "That is the death of someone [the hostage]." He said that in the presence of his companions and while moving his hand on the ground.

In this tradition, we find permission to interrogate the hostage for the purpose of obtaining information. It is permitted to strike the nonbeliever who has no covenant until he reveals the news, information, and secrets of his people.

The religious scholars have also permitted the killing of a hostage if he insists on withholding information from Moslems. They permitted his killing so that he would not inform his people of what he learned about the Muslim condition, number, and secrets. In the Honein attack, after one of the spies learned about the Muslims kindness and weakness then fled, the prophet - Allah bless and keep him - permitted [shedding] his blood and said, "Find and kill him." Salma Ibn Al-Akwaa followed, caught, and killed him.

The scholars have also permitted the exchange of hostages for money, services, and expertise, as well as secrets of the enemy 's army, plans, and numbers. After the Badr attack, the prophet - Allah bless and keep him - showed favor to some hostages, like the poet Abou Izza, by exchanging most of them for money. The rest were released for providing services and expertise to the Muslims.

...


PRISONS AND DETENTION CENTERS

IF AN INDICTMENT IS ISSUED AND THE TRIAL BEGINS, THE BROTHER HAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING:

At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge.
Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison.
Make arrangements for the brother's defense with the attorney, whether he was retained by the brother 's family or court-appointed.
The brother has to do his best to know the names of the state security officers, who participated in his torture and mention their names to the judge. [These names may be obtained from brothers who had to deal with those officers in previous cases.]
Some brothers may tell and may be lured by the state security investigators to testify against the brothers [i.e. affirmation witness], either by not keeping them together in the same prison during the trials, or by letting them talk to the media. In this case, they have to be treated gently, and should be offered good advice, good treatment, and pray that God may guide them.
During the trial, the court has to be notified of any mistreatment of the brothers inside the prison.
It is possible to resort to a hunger strike, but it is a tactic that can either succeed or fail.
Take advantage of visits to communicate with brothers outside prison and exchange information that may be helpful to them in their work outside prison [according to what occurred during the investigations]. The importance of mastering the art of hiding messages is self evident here.
- When the brothers are transported from and to the prison [on their way to the court] they should shout Islamic slogans out loud from inside the prison cars to impress upon the people and their family the need to support Islam.
- Inside the prison, the brother should not accept any work that may belittle or demean him or his brothers, such as the cleaning of the prison bathrooms or hallways.
- The brothers should create an Islamic program for themselves inside the prison, as well as recreational and educational ones, etc.
- The brother in prison should be a role model in selflessness. Brothers should also pay attention to each others needs and should help each other and unite vis a vis the prison officers.
- The brothers must take advantage of their presence in prison for obeying and worshiping [God] and memorizing the Qora'an, etc. This is in addition to all guidelines and procedures that were contained in the lesson on interrogation and investigation. Lastly, each of us has to understand that we don't achieve victory against our enemies through these actions and security procedures. Rather, victory is achieved by obeying Almighty and Glorious God and because of their many sins. Every brother has to be careful so as not to commit sins and everyone of us has to do his best in obeying Almighty God, Who said in his Holy Book: "We will, without doubt. help Our messengers and those who believe (both) in this world's life and the one Day when the Witnesses will stand forth." May God guide us.

10669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 04:27:26 PM
http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=16270

Al Qaeda Manual Drives Detainee Behavior at Guantanamo Bay

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2005 – If you're a Muslim extremist captured while fighting your holy war against "infidels," avoid revealing information at all costs, don't give your real name and claim that you were mistreated or tortured during your detention.
This instruction comes straight from the pages of an official al Qaeda training manual, and officials at the detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they see clear evidence that detainees are well-versed in its contents.

Police in Manchester, England, discovered the manual, which has come to be known as the "Manchester document," in 2000 while searching computer files found in the home of a known al Qaeda member. The contents were introduced as evidence into the 2001 trial of terrorists who bombed the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.

The FBI translated the document into English, and it is posted on the Justice Department's Web site.

The 18-chapter manual provides a detailed window into al Qaeda's network and its procedures for waging jihad - from conducting surveillance operations to carrying out assassinations to working with forged documents.

The closing chapter teaches al Qaeda operatives how to operate in a prison or detention center. It directs detainees to "insist on proving that torture was inflicted" and to "complain of mistreatment while in prison."

Chapter 17 instructs them to "be careful not to give the enemy any vital information" during interrogations.

Another section of the manual directs commanders to teach their operatives what to say if they're captured, and to explain it "more than once to ensure that they have assimilated it." To reinforce the message, it tells commanders to have operatives "explain it back to the commander."

And at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, detainees take this instruction to heart. Many of the more than 500 detainees are "uncooperative" in providing intelligence, Army Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, told military analysts who traveled to the facility June 24 and reiterated today during a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee.

Some detainees have never uttered a single word during more than three years of interrogation. Others give false names or refuse to offer their real names.

This can prove challenging for interrogators at the facility, because many detainees "follow the al Qaeda SOP (standard operating procedures) to the T," according to Army Col. John Hadjis, chief of staff for Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

Officials say they see evidence of the al Qaeda-directed misinformation campaign in allegations of detainee abuse and mishandling of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld expressed frustration over this effort during a June 21 interview on the "Tony Snow Show."

"These detainees are trained to lie, they're trained to say they were tortured, and the minute we release them or the minute they get a lawyer, very frequently they'll go out and they will announce that they've been tortured," Rumsfeld said.

The media jumps on these claims, reporting them as "another example of torture," the secretary said, "when in fact, (terrorists have) been trained to do that, and their training manual says so."

During a February 2004 Pentagon news conference, a DoD official said new information provided by detainees during questioning is analyzed to determine its reliability.

"Unfortunately, many detainees are deceptive and prefer to conceal their identifies and their actions," said Paul Butler, principal deputy assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

Butler said the Manchester document includes "a large section which teaches al Qaeda operatives counterinterrogation techniques: how to lie, how to minimize your role."

The document, he said, has surfaced in various locations, including Afghanistan.

The manual's preface offers a chilling reminder of the mentality that drives al Qaeda disciples and the lengths they will go to for their cause.

"The confrontation that we are calling for ... does not know Socratic debates, ... Platonic ideals ... nor Aristotelian diplomacy," its opening pages read. "But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun."

10670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 04:24:29 PM
Pentagon: Ex-detainees returning to fight

Story Highlights
Pentagon: Man freed from Guantanamo was suicide bomber in Iraq last month
More than 10 ex-detainees have been killed or captured in fighting, officials say
More than 500 have been released from Guantanamo; about 270 still held
From Mike Mount
CNN Pentagon Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Kuwaiti man released from U.S. custody at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in 2005 blew himself up in a suicide attack in Iraq last month, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi was one of two Kuwaitis who took part in a suicide attack in Mosul on April 26, the officials said. Records show that an attack in Mosul that day targeted an Iraqi police patrol and left six people dead, including two police officers.

An announcement on a jihadist Web site earlier this month declared that al-Ajmi was one of the "heroes" who carried out the Mosul operation. A second man from Kuwait also took part in the suicide attack, the Web site said.

Pentagon officials who had been keeping track of al-Ajmi said they were aware he had left Kuwait for Syria, a launching ground for terrorists into Iraq.

A video posted on various jihadist Web sites shows a number of images of al-Ajmi, followed by text reading, "May God have mercy on you Abdullah al-Ajmi. I send you a warm greeting O you martyr, O you hero, O you, a man in a time where only few men are left."

U.S. military records of Guantanamo detainees indicate that a man with the same name and nationality was held at the Cuban prison.

Those records said al-Ajmi, 29, was picked up in Afghanistan as he tried to enter Pakistan after the 2001 U.S. invasion. He claimed to have fought for the Taliban, the records show, and said he fought in a number of battles against the Northern Alliance. Watch a firefight in Afghanistan »

Though he was never charged with any crime, al-Ajmi was held at Guantanamo through 2005. Military documents show he later claimed that his statements about fighting for the Taliban were made after he was threatened while in U.S. custody. He asserted that he was in Afghanistan to study the Quran.

Al-Ajmi was transferred to the custody of Kuwaiti authorities in November 2005, with four other Kuwaitis, and was released after a trial there, according to Pentagon officials.

Al-Ajmi is not the first former Guantanamo detainee to reportedly return to the battlefield after being released. Pentagon officials say there are more than 10 people once held by the U.S. at Guantanamo who have been killed or captured in fighting after being released from the detention facility.

"Our reports indicate that a number of former [Guantanamo Bay] detainees have taken part in anti-coalition militant activities after leaving U.S. detention. Some have subsequently been killed in combat," said Cmdr. Jeff Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.

Documents provided by the Pentagon show other former detainees returning to the battlefield, including Abdullah Mahsud, who was released from Guantanamo in 2004. He returned to Afghanistan, where he became a militant leader in the Mahsud tribe in southern Waziristan, the documents said.

"We have since discovered that he had been associated with the Taliban since his teen years and has been described as an al Qaeda-linked facilitator.

"In mid-October 2004, Mahsud directed the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers in Pakistan. During rescue operations by Pakistani forces, a kidnapper shot one of the hostages. Five of the kidnappers were killed. Mahsud was not among them," the documents provided by the Pentagon said.

"As these facts illustrate, there is an implied future risk to U.S. and allied interests with every detainee who is released or transferred from Guantanamo," Gordon said.

Reports of former detainees returning to the battlefield show they are dedicated to their cause and have been trained to be deceptive, the Pentagon officials said, but such factors will not prevent the release of other detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

Of the more than 500 detainees released from Guantanamo since the detention camp was opened in 2002, 38 have been stripped of their "enemy combatant" status and determined to pose no future threat to the United States. The remaining 462 were repatriated to home countries or resettled to third-party countries and still considered a threat, Pentagon records show.

Some countries have since released those detainees back into the public, according to various reports.

The United States is still holding about 65 detainees scheduled to be released to their home governments. But before that can happen, the United States has to get assurances the detainees will not be persecuted or harmed when they arrive home, Pentagon officials have said.

"We have no desire to be the world's jailer, which is why the 500 were allowed to depart," Gordon said.

There are about 270 detainees still held at the U.S. prison camp in Cuba.
All AboutGuantanamo Bay • War and Conflict • Iraq • Afghanistan

 

 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/05/07/gitmo.bomber
10671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 04:17:32 PM

Yemen Observer: http://www.yobserver.com
I’m born again, says freed Gitmo detainee
Posted in: Front Page
Written By: Nasser Arrabyee
Article Date: Oct 22, 2007 - 8:58:57 AM

Sadeq Mohammed Saeed returned home to Ibb after nearly 6 years.
“I’m still a stranger in this world, I’m a new born,” said the 23-year old Sadeq Mohammed Saeed when he arrived home after a long and torturous detainment in Guantanamo Bay detention center. Sadeq was one of four Yemeni men who were returned to their families on October 12, 2007, after spending about six years in the notorious detention camp.

Hours after arriving at his family home in Ibb city, Sadeq was in constant motion; moving about the house to welcome and hug the many visitors and relatives who came to greet him and show him respect. His visitors included ex-Guantanamo detainees, relatives of other detainees and young people who had been to Afghanistan for “Jihad”. Sadeq’s brothers made efforts to introduce him to those who he did not know or those who he no longer remembered.

As a journalist, Sadeq did not want to speak to me at first, but he eventually relented after encouragement from his brothers. With his long beard and smart Yemeni clothing, Sadeq spoke clearly and concisely, focusing on what he referred to as a “letter to the Americans and the world”. According to Sadeq since leaving their families he and his companions had been performing a holy duty, or Jihad, and he vowed that they would continue to do so for as long as they lived.

“I traveled to Pakistan and from there to Afghanistan where I joined one of the Taliban battle lines, May Allah support them to protect Islam, and then what happened, happened,” he said.  He did not speak about personal physical abuse in the detention center; instead he concentrated on the religious abuses, which he claims all detainees witnessed.

“The abuses were religious abuses, reviling God, the Prophet Mohammed and his companions and the believers. Some brothers were exposed to psychological and physical torture because they are Muslims. There were a lot of abuses and I don’t remember them but it is enough to say there were religious abuses and reviling Allah, his prophet and the believers,” he said. 

When asked what he plans to do now, he answered simply that he “does not know.”  “I can’t say anything right now. I’m still a stranger in this land, I’m a new-born, I can’t say I can do this or that,” said Sadeq who traveled to Afghanistan for Jihad before completing secondary school. However, one of Sadeq’s brothers, a former jihadist in Afghanistan and current Islamic activist, spoke on his brother behalf, clarifying his and his bother’s message to the “Americans and the world”. The brother, Rashad Mohammed Saeed (a.k.a. Abu al-Feda) said that all young people who went for “Jihad” in Afghanistan and elsewhere would continue to fight the “injustice” and they would achieve victory at the end like the prophet Joseph who was empowered and achieved victory after a series of sufferings.
 
“Let the Americans know that these [jihadists] are respected and highly welcomed in their nations and they are not killers or criminals,” Abu al-Feda addressed a crowd of people who came to celebrate the return of Sadeq. 

“I would say on behalf of my brother and all other brothers [detainees] that they have a message and the one who has a message has to fulfill it anywhere. The Prophet Joseph was put in prison and he was innocent, but he had a message,” said Abu al-Feda who is currently a mosque speaker in Ibb city. “Are many lords differing among themselves better, or Allah, the One supreme and irresistible,” he recited from Quran. 

“They will be preachers, teaching those who do not know, giving clothes to naked, feeding the hungry, defending the underdogs, returning rights to the owners, protecting all young and old, men and women, and would keep so until victory comes,”  he said in reference to the returning detainees . 

Abu al-Feda, who does not hesitate to announce his support for the Taliban, Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, advised the American people to revolt against the White House administration, which he said, “spends billions of dollars to destroy the Taliban and Al Qaeda while they are getting stronger and stronger.” 

“As the Taliban and Al Qaeda were the reason behind making an international alliance to topple the regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, the same two [Taliban and Al Qaeda] would be the main tool of disengagement from this alliance,” said Abu al-Feda who was a prominent politician with the Taliban before he returning to Yemen in 2000 where he was imprisoned for two years.  He was released on the condition that he does not participate in any armed activity. 

“The Taliban and Al Qaeda are not killers and bloodsuckers, they have a strategic project with long term goals,” he said. “But I’m also calling for dialogue and respect of rights and freedoms for all, and I’m against violence and coercion.” 

Saqed’s family said they are currently consulting with American lawyers and human rights activists to file a law suit against the American government to demand fair compensation for the damages inflicted on their son who lost one of his eyes because of inadequate treatment.   

Sadeq, who was detained in a hospital in Afghanistan after being injured in a battle after September 11th, said he did not know why the Americans arrested him and why they released him now. 

“The only reason I know for being detained is that I’m Muslim, and I do not know any other thing.  Now I do not know why they released me. This is at the hand of Allah.” He speculated.   

Sadeq said he has not forgotten to pray for the other inmates who are still languishing in Guantanamo. 

“I pray to Allah to make all my brothers in Guantanamo patient, they are always in our hearts, we will never forget them, they were arrested in the cause of Allah, and were looking for martyrdom and I pray to Allah to help them,” he said. 

According to official American and Yemeni documents about a third (94) of the 330 remaining detainees in Guantanamo are from Yemen. American authorities have released a further 13 Yemeni detainees. 

Three other detainees who were released on October 12th after three months in a Yemeni prison are: Fawaz Noman Hamoud Mahdi, Hani Abdu Mulah Shulan, and Ali Muhsen Saleh. 

The only detainee remaining in a Yemeni prison is Ali Ahmed Nasser al-Kazmi who was released by American authorities in September 2007. 

The Yemeni Minister of Human Rights, Dr. Huda Alban promised in an interview with Yemen Observer that he too would be released soon.   

“I contacted the security officials about al-Kazmi and they told me they would refer him to the prosecution soon for procedures. I will follow up the case until he is released,” said Dr. Alban whose office received an appeal from the family of al-Kazmi for the release of their son on Sunday.
10672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 09, 2008, 03:30:39 PM
What do I say?  Actually, yesterday morning after a great deal of time I had just about finished composing and was about to post an eloquent grin and thorough response to GM's request for further support (I usually write versus cut and paste) when I pushed the wrong button (I just bought a iMac) and it disappeared.   shocked

Not happy!  Had to go to work and again today, but I will try to give a brief summary of my position.

I suppose we could argue the legalities of the issue, but I am not an attorney.  Rather I tend to think/expect America to take the high road; I take pride that we are a moral country and try to do the right thing albeit not always "right". 

**Part of the right thing to do is to protect this nation against existential threats.**

While I usually don't care what other's think, there is a limit.  When Germany terms our treatment at Guantanamo as "torture", when England's Parliament says "it is a monstrous failure of our times" and it has been called the "gulag of our times" I begin to wonder.

**Did Germany as a nation say that, or was it a German politician? Was that from the British parliament or a member of parliament? Europeans love to sneer and condemn America, often while drinking a coke, eating a cheeseburger as they wait in line to see a Hollywood blockbuster. The only time their voices get louder is when they need us to rescue them. Give the Europeans the same moral status as you do a teenage kid that complains his dad is a fascist because he make him clean his room and mow the lawn.

Also, look up the statements from politicians that condemned the US to see if they've made any statement condemning North Korea, or China or Cuba. Amazing how the left seems not to be nearly as offended by real totalitarians that do real torture. Also vet them against the list of people implicated in the "oil for food scandal" the MSM declined to do much reporting on.**


The impartial International Red Cross has stated that, "Every person in enemy hands MUST have some status under international law; he is either a POW and as such covered by the 3rd Convention.... or a civilian covered by the 4th convention..."  There is NO intermediate status; NOBODY in enemy hands can fall outside the law."  Doesn't this simply make common sense???

**No, it doesn't. Law should be structured in such a manner as to reward lawful behavior and to punish unlawful behavior. Treating jihadists as if they were honorable enemy soldiers or run of the mill domestic criminals demeans both soldiers and ordinary domestic criminals as well as setting us up for failure. The enemy has studied us closely and anticipates using our cultural predilection for legal process as a weapon against us. I suggest you read some of their training manuals to see this for yourself.**

I am not defending these individuals.  If they are guilty of high crimes, string them up for all I care.  BUT, there should be presumption of innocence. 

**I think if you had any firsthand knowledge of the difficulties and expense of just putting one domestic criminal through the criminal justice system, you'd rethink your position. CSI: Fallujah isn't practical or realistic. Our troops operate under strict rules of engagement as it is, turning them in cops while operating under battlefield conditions is fantasy.**


They should be given fair treatment, not tortured. 

**Define "torture".**

 And frankly, if they are found innocent, let go in a reasonable amount of time - not when the war on terror is over. 

**Are you aware of those that we have released that have returned to the battlefield? Does returning captured enemies to fight again make any kind of sense?**

I think even you, GM, given your writings might not think this will happen in our lifetime.

**The war we are fighting originally started in the 7th century, the current portion started in 1979. So I indeed do not think we'll be seeing the end anytime soon.**

  Yet at this time over 400 individuals are being held, yet only two or three have been tried.  I am willing to bet that less than 5% of those being held will be brought to trial and convicted of a serious crime.  The other 95% are wrongly and illegally being held in my opinion.

**You opinion is based on what, exactly?**

"Enemy Combatant", "Freedom Fighter", "American Revolutionary War Fighter"; I don't legally know exactly what's the difference.  And one dictionary's answer is different than another. But if it walks like duck, quacks like a duck, probably it is a POW duck   grin

Even our U.S. Supreme Court said enough is enough in the recent Boumedience v. Bush case stating that Guantanamo captives were entitled to the protection of the U.S. Constitution and described the CSR Tribunals as "inadequate" (legalize for wrong) and invoked the Geneva Convention.

Back to my Duck, I mean if you have to fly prisoners halfway around the world to a little piece of land in Cuba that most people had never heard of, doesn't that force you to ask the question, "Why?"  What are you hiding? I mean if it's legit, simply build a prison in CA, right?  And if they committed a crime, I have confident that my fellow Californians will quickly find them guilty and sentence them appropriately. 

**Yeah, i'll be sure to ask OJ or Robert Blake how great California juries are.**

 It's more honest than our military which hides evidence, acts as interrogators, prosecutors and defense counsel, judge, and jury and finally executioner. 

**Really? What evidence has been hidden? Please cite your sources.**

This is not a fair trial; it is a travesty.

And torture, our treatment of these individuals is simply wrong.  And it's not the America I know and love.

**Again, define "torture". Who are you alleging was tortured, when and where?**

I am passionate for our individual rights; they must be protected and applied to all.  England has  said, "one cannot fight violations of international law by committing further violations of international law."  Because al Qaeda et al are often inhumane does that justify our losing our freedoms and becoming inhumane?  I hope not.

I don't need to be a lawyer to know it's simply wrong.  In my opinion they should be given fair and humane (Geneva Convention) treatment.  Further, if innocent, let go.  If guilty, do as you will.  But be fair and just about it.
10673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 09, 2008, 09:08:01 AM
In the late 90's, I thought with China would continue on it's path towards human rights as it's economy modernized. Instead it's become more totalitarian since Hu Juntao rose to power. Yes, China's power structure has demonstrated an incredible ruthlessness internally and externally since 1949 and can go "1989" anytime it feels threatened.
10674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 09, 2008, 04:44:43 AM
Tibet is isolated, and mostly is filled with non-violent buddhists. All the "Free Tibet" bumper stickers in the world mean nothing to the PLA, People's Armed Police and Ministry for State Security crushing dissent in Lhasa.
10675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 08, 2008, 08:04:03 PM
**China has to content with the same "virtual caliphate" that we do to address the jihad it faces from it's muslim population.**

http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/4868381.html

Strategically, the fact that the global jihad does not have one single master plan or one single mastermind in no way means that the enemy lacks clearly identifiable centers of gravity. At the risk of considerable simplification, the global jihad can be said to actually rest on five asymmetrical “pillars”: al-Saud, al-Azhar, al Qaeda, al-Jazeera — with the proverbial “fifth column” in the role of fifth pillar. In a nutshell: In the past thirty years, through clever manipulation of financial, educational, and informational levers, Saudi Arabia has used its soft power to alter the theo-political balance of power in the Muslim world and to turn itself into a virtual Caliphate, using Muslim IOs and NGOs as force multipliers. The concurrent transformation of the Cairo-based al-Azhar University during the same period is possibly the most overlooked element in the global jihad; more than just the oldest Muslim university, al-Azhar is the closest thing to an informal Supreme Court of the Muslim world, denying or granting legitimacy to a peace treaty with Israel (1965 and 1979 respectively) or calling for jihad against the American presence in Iraq (March 2003). In the past 30 years, the Saudi takeover of al-Azhar has so shifted the center of gravity of the Muslim political discourse that the rhetoric of al-Azhar today is indistinguishable from that of the Muslim Brotherhood, its former nemesis. Al Qaeda and Al-Jazeera, though more recent phenomena, have managed in less than two decades to become the recruiting, training, and advertising bases of the global jihad. Last but not least, the academic Fifth Column in the West, ever faithful to its historical role of “useful idiot” (Lenin), is increasingly providing both conceptual ammunition and academic immunity to crypto-jihadists, making Western campuses safe for intellectual terrorism.9
Taken together, these five pillars constitute something halfway between the “deep coalitions” theorized by contemporary Western strategists, and an informal command-and-control of global jihad. If only in a metaphorical sense, then, command-and-control warfare (C2W) offers the best template for a counter-jihad at the level of grand strategy. The identification of these five pillars as centers of gravity is meant to remind us that the destiny of 1.2 billion Muslims is today inordinately shaped by a few thousand Saudi princes, Egyptian clerics, and Gulf news editors, and that therefore the guiding principle of the war of ideas should be the principle of economy of force. Don’t say, for instance, “Islam needs its Martin Luther,” if only because his 95 theses ushered in a 150-year-long bloody insurgency within Christendom. Say instead, “The Saudi Caliphate needs to undertake its own Vatican II.”10
10676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 08, 2008, 11:52:00 AM
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20020123.html

WHAT IS AN "UNLAWFUL COMBATANT," AND WHY IT MATTERS:
The Status Of Detained Al Qaeda And Taliban Fighters
By MICHAEL C. DORF
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2002

According to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters currently being held captive at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are not prisoners of war, but "unlawful combatants." What's the difference?

The short answer is that a prisoner of war is entitled to the protections set forth in the 1949 Geneva Convention. In contrast, an unlawful combatant is a fighter who does not play by the accepted rules of war, and therefore does not qualify for the Convention's protections.

Buried within that short answer, however, are a host of complexities and troubling implications.

Are al Qaeda Fighters Prisoners of War?

First, what does it take to qualify as a prisoner of war? Article IV of the Geneva Convention states that members of irregular militias like al Qaeda qualify for prisoner-of-war status if their military organization satisfies four criteria.


The criteria are: "(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; [and] (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."

Al Qaeda does not satisfy these conditions. Perhaps Osama bin Laden could be considered "a person responsible for his subordinates," although the cell structure of al Qaeda belies the notion of a chain of command. But in any event, al Qaeda members openly flout the remaining three conditions.

Al Qaeda members deliberately attempt to blend into the civilian population - violating the requirement of having a "fixed distinctive sign" and "carrying arms openly." Moreover, they target civilians, which violates the "laws and customs of war."

Thus, al Qaeda members need not be treated as prisoners of war.

Are Taliban Fighters Prisoners of War?

The question whether detained Taliban members qualify as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention's test is more difficult - as one might instinctively think, given that the Taliban fighters resemble a traditional army to a greater extent than do the al Qaeda fighters, who come from a variety of different nations and principally attack civilians.

The Taliban was never recognized as the legitimate government of Afghanistan by the United Nations or the United States, and only a handful of countries ever established formal diplomatic relations with the Taliban. Nevertheless, despite its lack of formal recognition, the Taliban would still be entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention if it satisfied the four criteria listed above.

Did it? To begin, the Taliban has, or at least formerly had, a tighter command structure than al Qaeda, suggesting it might satisfy the first criterion of "being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates." However, Taliban members did not appear to satisfy the second and third criteria, for they did not wear uniforms that bore a "fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance," nor did they invariably "carry arms openly."

Should these facts disqualify them from prisoner-of-war status?

Until recently the Taliban was the actual (though not recognized) government of Afghanistan, and it was attacked as such by the United States, albeit in justifiable self-defense. If Taliban members did not wear distinctive uniforms before we attacked, one might think that they should not be faulted for failing to don such uniforms immediately once the shooting started.

But in the end, this argument is unpersuasive. The requirement of a distinctive sign is no mere technicality. Its object, like many of the laws of war, is to enable the enemy to distinguish combatants from civilians, and thus to minimize civilian casualties. Yet the Taliban made clear that it was not interested in complying with the letter or spirit of the law of war.

For example, when it still controlled Kabul, the Taliban hid military equipment among the civilian population. Furthermore, as the war unfolded, it became increasingly difficult to distinguish the Taliban from al Qaeda - which, as we have seen, clearly does not qualify to have its members treated as prisoners of war.

A Consequence of POW Status: No Tribunal Trials

Even if not technically prisoners of war, al Qaeda and Taliban captives still qualify for "humane treatment" under the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1988.

Moreover, one might wonder, what is the harm in affording the captives somewhat better treatment than they are entitled to under international law? After all, the Geneva Convention hardly requires that prisoners of war be housed in four-star hotels.

The Administration's objection to affording al Qaeda and Taliban captives prisoner-of-war status probably has less to do with the conditions in which the captives are held than with what the Administration plans to do with them in the long term.

Under President Bush's military order of November 13, al Qaeda members and those who harbored them can be tried by military tribunals. The Supreme Court approved the use of such tribunals for unlawful combatants in the 1942 case of Ex Parte Quirin.

Most of the public discussion of the President's order and the Quirin case has centered on the question of when a defendant can be subject to the jurisdiction of a military tribunal rather than a civilian court. But whatever the answer to that question, Quirin takes for granted that only unlawful combatants can be tried by the sort of irregular tribunals at issue in that case and contemplated by the President's order.

Lawful combatants - that is, prisoners of war - are entitled to substantive and procedural protections not contemplated by Bush's order. Accordingly, the question of whether al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are prisoners of war or unlawful combatants turns out to matter a great deal, at least potentially.

Does the Guantanamo Detention Moot the Issue?

To be sure, American courts might not have occasion to decide the question whether al Qaeda and Taliban captives are in fact unlawful combatants. That is because another Supreme Court decision - the 1950 ruling in Johnson v. Eisentrager - holds that enemy aliens who have not entered the United States are not entitled to access to our courts.

Accordingly, so long as the al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are held at Guantanamo Bay and thus not deemed to have entered the U.S., their only route of appeal would appear to be within the Executive Branch. Put more bluntly, they will have only the procedural recourse the Administration allows them.

However, the applicability of Eisentrager to the present circumstances is itself open to question, for two reasons. First, in that case, the Court relied on the existence of a formal declaration of war and the fact that the German petitioners were citizens of a hostile sovereign power.

In contrast, in the present conflict, whether Congress's joint resolution authorizing the use of force counts as a declaration of war, and whether al Qaeda is sufficiently state-like to count as a foreign sovereign, are open questions.

Second, while Eisentrager holds that the Constitution permits the government to deny enemy aliens outside the U.S. access to our courts, federal statutes can be construed to afford such enemy aliens greater court access than the Constitution alone requires. Under that construction, the President's military order would be invalid. (Note that the President's order also purports to eliminate judicial review even for aliens within the United States, a position clearly at odds with statutory and constitutional law, but one that is not directly relevant to the fate of the Guantanamo Bay captives.)

For these two reasons, Eisentrager's application to the present circumstances is uncertain. Accordingly, it is understandable that the Administration would be eager to classify those captives it plans to try by military commission as unlawful combatants.

If the captives are unlawful combatants, they fall within the rule of Quirin. And if so, it does not matter whether they also fall within the rule of Eisentrager: If they do not, they are entitled to habeas corpus review, but a court entertaining their habeas corpus petitions would be obliged to uphold their convictions under Quirin.

Another Consequence of POW Status: Repatriation

There is a further reason why the Administration is eager to deny prisoner-of-war status to the al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Article 118 of the Geneva Convention requires that prisoners of war be "repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities." Thus, if the captives are prisoners of war, they must eventually be returned to their home countries.

That prospect is troubling. At the end of a war between conventional foes, it is expected that repatriated fighters will resume their civilian lives. Individual veterans might continue to harbor ill will towards their former enemies, but for the most part, peace between nations tamps down such feelings.

But there is good reason to worry that Taliban and especially al Qaeda fighters will not so readily have a change of heart. Members of al Qaeda do not act out of patriotic duty to obey the commands of a military leader, but out of an ideology that instructs them to attack and kill American civilians as a means of entering the kingdom of heaven. It is doubtful that any formal cessation of hostilities would lead them to abandon what they regard as a jihad.

Moreover, unlike traditional soldiers, al Qaeda members do not need an army in order to act. As we have learned, they can act in small groups or even individually. For this reason, too, repatriation seems far more dangerous for an al Qaeda member than for a traditional soldier.

War Without End: Indefinite Detentions?

The truth is that whether we try them in civilian courts, courts martial, ad hoc military tribunals, or not at all, the al Qaeda and at least some of the Taliban captives may be too dangerous ever to be released. Assuming that many or most of them will not be subject to the death penalty, that commits the United States to detaining them indefinitely.

The Administration's response to this problem is to deem the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters unlawful combatants who are not entitled to anything better than indefinite detention.

As we have seen, the contention that these fighters are unlawful combatants is based upon a plausible reading of the Geneva Convention. Indeed, it would be difficult to come to any other conclusion when applying the Geneva Convention's four-part test to al Qaeda fighters.

Nevertheless, treating the al Qaeda and Taliban captives as prisoners of war, whether or not they are legally entitled to the status, would be less risky than it may at first appear. So long as al Qaeda and its deadly ideology exists, we cannot say that there has been, in the words of the Geneva Convention, a "cessation of active hostilities," entitling the captives to be released. In that respect, as in others, this is a different type of war indeed.

Michael C. Dorf is Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Columbia University.

10677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 08, 2008, 11:09:51 AM
China needs us to buy their consumer goods to keep the Chinese people employed for internal stability. If the jihadists pull off an attack or attacks during the Olympics, they will harm China's collective "face". The Politburo doesn't care about dead/wounded Chinese citizens, unless there were red princes/princesses among the casualties, but the loss of face would be a causus belli for them.

To successfully engage an element of the global jihad requires a global, systemic strategy, not just targeting hajis in Xinjiang. To do so would require some reshaped alliances.
10678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 08, 2008, 10:49:15 AM
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unlawful%20combatant

1 result for: unlawful combatant   Browse Nearby Entries
Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English - Cite This Source - Share This
Main Entry:     unlawful combatant
Part of Speech:     n
Definition:     an individual who violates the law by engaging in combat; an individual who is involved in but not authorized to take part in hostilities; also called illegal combatant, unprivileged combatant
Example:     An unlawful combatant is someone who commits belligerent acts, but does not qualify under the Geneva Convention as a prisoner of war.

Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.7)
Copyright © 2003-2008 Lexico Publishing Group, LLC

10679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 08, 2008, 10:15:17 AM




August 08, 2008, 0:00 a.m.

On Energy, Do Everything
Democrats are killing themselves trying to prevent Americans from using proven fuels.

By Charles Krauthammer

Let’s see: housing meltdown, credit crunch, oil shock not seen since the 1970s. The economy is slowing, unemployment growing and inflation increasing. It’s the sixth year of a highly unpopular war and the president’s approval rating is at 30 percent.

The Italian Communist party could win this election. The American Democratic party is trying its best to lose it.

Democrats have the advantage on just about every domestic issue from health care to education. However, Americans’ greatest concern is the economy, and their greatest economic concern is energy (by a significant margin: 37 percent to 21 percent for inflation). Yet Democrats have gratuitously forfeited the issue of increased drilling for domestic oil and gas. By an overwhelming margin of two to one, Americans want to lift the moratorium preventing drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, thus unlocking vast energy resources shut down for the last 27 years.

Democrats have been adamantly opposed. They say that we cannot drill our way out of the oil crisis. Of course not. But it is equally obvious that we cannot solar or wind or biomass our way out. Does this mean that because any one measure cannot solve a problem, it needs to be rejected?

Barack Obama remains opposed to new offshore drilling (although he now says he would accept a highly restricted version as part of a comprehensive package). Just last week, he claimed that if only Americans would inflate their tires properly and get regular tune-ups, “we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling.”

This is bizarre. By any reasonable calculation of annual tire-inflation and tune-up savings, the Outer Continental Shelf holds nearly a hundred times as much oil. As for oil shale, also under federal moratorium, after a thousand years of driving with Obama-inflated tires and Obama-tuned engines, we would still have saved only one-fifth the oil shale available in the United States.

But forget the math. Why is this issue either/or? Who’s against properly inflated tires? Let’s start a national campaign, Cuban-style, with giant venceremos posters lining the highways. (“Inflate your tires. Victory or death!”) Why must there be a choice between encouraging conservation and increasing supply? The logical answer is obvious: Do both.

Do everything. Wind and solar. A tire gauge in every mailbox. Hell, a team of oxen for every family (to pull their gasoline-drained SUVs). The consensus in the country, logically unassailable and politically unbeatable, is to do everything possible to both increase supply and reduce demand, because we have a problem that’s been killing our economy and threatening our national security. And no one measure is sufficient.


The green fuels the Democrats insist we should be investing in are as yet uneconomical, speculative technologies, still far more expensive than extracted oil and natural gas. We could be decades away. And our economy is teetering. Why would you not drill to provide a steady supply of proven fuels for the next few decades as we make the huge technological and economic transition to renewable energy?

Congressional Democrats demand instead a clampdown on “speculators.” The Democrats proposed this a month ago. In the meantime, “speculators” have driven the price down by $25 a barrel. Still want to stop them? In what universe do traders only bet on the price going up?

On Monday, Obama outlined a major plan with mandates and immense government investment in such things as electric cars and renewables. Fine, let’s throw a few tens of billions at this and see what sticks. But success will not just require huge amounts of money. It will require equally huge amounts of time and luck.

On the other hand, drilling requires no government program, no newly created bureaucracy, no pie-in-the-sky technologies that no one has yet invented. It requires only one thing, only one act. Lift the moratorium. Private industry will do the rest. And far from draining the treasury, it will replenish it with direct taxes, and with the indirect taxes from the thousands of non-subsidized new jobs created.

The problem for the Democrats is that the argument for “do everything” is not rocket science. It is common sense. Which is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, surveying the political rubble resulting from her insistence on not even permitting drilling to come to a floor vote, has quietly told her members that they can save their skins and vote for drilling when the pre-election Congress convenes next month. Pelosi says she wants to save the planet. Apparently saving her speakership comes first.

— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist.
10680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 08, 2008, 09:47:59 AM
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2008/08/print/china_discovers_al_qaeda_in_it.php

Counterterrorism Blog

China discovers al Qaeda in its backyard

By Walid Phares

In a video accusing China’s Communist Government of “mistreating Muslims” a Jihadi group threatened to attack the Summer Games in Beijin. A spokesman of the Turkistan Islamic Party accuses China of “forcing Muslims into atheism and destroying Islamic schools. The “Turkistan Islamic Party” is most likely based across the border in Pakistan, where sources affirm it received training from Al Qaeda.

Weeks ago the organization claimed responsibility for a bombings across the country. The latest video shows graphics of a burning Olympics logo and explosions. This week, attackers killed 16 police and wounded more than a dozen in the Xinjiang city of Kashgar using homemade bombs.

But according to AP reports few months ago, Chinese Police broke up a terror plot targeting the Beijing Olympics while a flight crew foiled attempt to crash a Chinese plane. Per Communist Party officials in the North Western province of Xinjiang, materials seized in a January 27 raid in the regional capital, Urumqi, suggested the plotters' planned "specifically to sabotage the staging of the Beijing Olympics." Earlier reports said police found guns, homemade bombs, training materials and "extremist religious ideological materials" during the January raid in Urumqi, in which two members of the gang were killed and 15 arrested. The immediate question becomes: Is China targeted by a Terror organization? And since the material found was characterized as “extremist religious ideological”, does that mean it is al Qaeda or one of its affiliate? The answer to these questions could change the face of geopolitics in Asia.

Interestingly the Associated Press runs to frame the Terrorists to a local ethnic conflict in one of China’s Western provinces. AP wrote: “Chinese forces have for years been battling a low-intensity separatist movement among Xinjiang's Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim people who are culturally and ethnically distinct from China's Han majority.” The news agency has tried to set the agenda of the debate by scoring three points for the “radicals.” They are separatists, they are representative of a local ethnicity and they are Muslim. In addition the description of the struggle is informative: Chinese forces versus a Uighur movement. In a way a parallel to Kosovo, Chechnya and Kashmir with two projected effects. As framed by AP, the struggle of these “Terrorists” is indeed legitimate even though the means are violent. But is it the case?

Evidently the Chinese Communists are repressive against all other minorities and political dissidents. But as in Russia and India’s Wahabi cases, one would investigate if these particular Terrorists in China are local patriotic elements with liberal outlook. Not really. As under the Russians in Chechnya it looks like the Communists in China are battling another form of totalitarianism to come: Jihadism.

Chinese officials said the group had been trained by and was following the orders of a radical group based in Pakistan and Afghanistan called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM. The group has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United Nations and the United States. East Turkestan is another name for Xinjiang. So the “movement” is indeed Terrorist-identified by the international community. But other than its violent means, is that group linked to al Qaeda? There is a double answer to this question. First the group is indeed Jihadi Wahabi-Salafi as its long term objective is to separate a particular province from China but only to establish an Emirate, a prelude to join the world Caliphate. Hence ideologically it is part of the world web of internationalist Jihadis, who identify with Bin Laden’s school of thought. Second in many instances, al Qaeda produced material showing Chinese Jihadists training in their camps. In the chat rooms, the Salafi commentators often cite the presence of “brothers” from the Xinjiang. And let’s remind ourselves that upon the fall of Tora Bora in 2001, Chinese officials asked US military to extradite Chinese nationals who we part of the Taliban and al Qaeda networks in Afghanistan. So the bottom line is that the Bin Laden cohorts included Jihadis recruited from inside China’s Western province. As in Chechnya a local ethnic separatist claim exists but the struggle was hijacked by the Jihadi terror forces.

Hence as China is discovering al Qaeda in its own backyard, this begs powerful questions:

1.   If these Jihadists will escalate their Terror against Chinese cities and installations -and the recent discoveries indicate this trend- will Beijing find itself in the same trench as Washington that is against al Qaeda and the Salafists?

2.   And if that becomes the case, will China continue to pursue a policy of support to other Jihadist forces, including the Islamist regime in Khartoum?

3.   If Communism and Jihadism clash again in the 21st century inside the Asian superpower, will its resources rich Western province becomes a new Afghanistan with Jihadists converging from central Asia and other parts f the world?

For now Chinese officials are downplaying the danger altogether and dismissing the threat: "Those in Xinjiang pursuing separatism and sabotage are an extremely small number,” said a pro Government Uighur leader. “They may be Uighurs, but they can't represent Uighurs. They are the scum of the Uighurs," regional communist official Bekri said. But that is what Russian officials always said about Chechnya and their Indian counterparts argued about Kashmir. Jihadism has demonstrated that its adherents can swiftly recruit and expand, especially if international Wahabis are generous and committed. Hence the answer to this critical new “Jihad” will come from as far as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia but also from the smaller principality of Qatar, where al Jazeera can transform a local separatist movement into an uprising in the name of the Umma.

***********

Dr Walid Phares is the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy. He is the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad

By Walid Phares on August 7, 2008 10:47 PM
10681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 08, 2008, 09:01:27 AM
JDN,

Rather than trying to deflect, why don't you address my questions? You waived the Geneva Conventions flag, now back up your assertions or admit you can't.
10682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 07, 2008, 11:21:15 PM
JDN,

You might want to actually read the Geneva conventions before you cite them. Until now, the US has never applied the US constitution to prisoners of war, even legitimate enemy soldiers in compliance with the laws of war.

The first attack on the WTC was in 1993. Clinton was across the river in New Jersey when it happened and couldn't be bothered to visit NYC to review the damage done. Al Qaeda metastasized into the global threat we face today under Clinton's two terms, the DOJ not indicting bin Laden until late 1998. Look at the strings of attacks during Clinton's terms in office, leading up to 9/11. I'm not sure how you think returning to that would result in anything but the same results.

Last time I checked, Bush wasn't running again, so you couldn't vote for him if you wanted to anyway.

Yes, thank God Bush is not running.  Frankly, he should be impeached, but it is more bother than it is worth. 

Ahhhh and as for the Geneva Convention; didn't America sign this??? Isn't America the land of "justice"?  Don't we demand that our enemies adhere to these high standards?  Don't we act indignant if they don't?  Aren't we supposedly "better than them?"

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/375-590007?OpenDocument

Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Article [Display Introduction] [Display Full text] [Display articles] [Display commentaries]
Part I : General provisions
ARTICLE 4
A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, incuding those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) that of carrying arms openly;

(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention:

(1) Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment.

(2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non-belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties.

C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present Convention.


**Please explain how al qaeda would be covered by the definitions listed above.**


The Geneva Convention; frankly, I am not sure you have read it and definitely Bush has not read it.  Interrogation techniques - pure torture, a travesty of justice.  So many provisions of the Geneva Convention have been broken it is hard to count.

**Please cite a few, using the source documents.**

Again, thank God our U.S. Supreme Court read it and has also read our constitution and  has therefore ruled Bush's definition of "Enemy Combatant" to be a bad joke.  Germany has termed our treatment of prisoners as "torture".  Guantanamo has been called the "gulag of our times.".  British Judges have called it, "a monstrous failure of justice."  Numerous Medical Journals have demanded that our treatment of prisoners stop; terming it "torture".   And on and on... When will we stop???  Soon, but only thanks to the world's indignation at our inhumane treatment.

Fairness???  The military acts as interrogators (often illegal), prosecutors, and defense counsel, judge, jury and executioner.  NONE of this guarantees a fair trial.  America - where has our justice and sense of right and wrong gone?  I bet less than 5% of those held at Guantanamo will even be finally charged with a crime, much less found guilty.  The other 95% are innocent by definition; they are just being tortured and held illegally for years and years away from their family and friends and they have done nothing wrong except be in the wrong place and the wrong time.   I find it all rather sad.

We have forgotten the difference between right and wrong.

**When and where in history has a war been fought that fits your vision of "fair and just"?**
10683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 07, 2008, 10:17:03 PM
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/A-US-Monitor-Says-Chinese-Islamic-Group-Posts-New-Video-Threatening-Beijing-Olympics/Article/200808115073304?lpos=World%2BNews_1&lid=ARTICLE_15073304_A%2BUS%2BMonitor%2BSays%2BChinese%2BIslamic%2BGroup%2BPosts%2BNew%2BVideo%2BThreatening%2BBeijing%2BOlympics

Olympic Terrorism Threat 

8:41pm UK, Thursday August 07, 2008
An Islamic group has threatened attacks against the Olympics in China and urged Muslims to stay away from events there.



The threat, attributed to the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), is contained in a new video which shows a burning Olympics logo and an explosion imposed over a venue to be used for the Beijing Games.
It claims the communist regime's alleged mistreatment of Muslims justifies holy war.
The TIP is an ethnic Uighur and Muslim organisation that is seeking to create an independent state in China's heavily Muslim Xinjiang province.
It is believed to be based across the border in Pakistan, where security experts say it has received training from al Qaeda.
Earlier this week, a bomb attack in the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang killed 16 policemen.
The August 1 video, called "Call to the Global Muslim Nation", was picked up by two US terrorism monitoring firms - the SITE Intelligence Group and IntelCenter.
The tape said: "Do not stay on the same bus, on the same train, on the same plane, in the same buildings, or any place the Chinese are."
A speaker appeared on the video holding an AK-47 assault rifle and wearing a black turban and face cover.
He spoke in front of a black banner carrying the words in Arabic: "There is no God other than Allah, Mohammad is the messenger of God".
The speaker called on Muslims to offer support financially, physically, spiritually and verbally.
"China ... rejects Islam and forces Muslims into atheism by capturing and killing Islamic teachers and destroying Islamic schools," he argued.
In July, Chinese authorities denied claims by the group that it was behind a series of bombings ahead of the Olympics.
The TIP had previously released a video threatening the Games and claimed responsibility for deadly bus blasts in Shanghai and in Kunming, capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan.
10684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: August 07, 2008, 09:44:45 PM
I've read a lot of feminist writers and am familiar with the various "sects" of feminist ideology and have debated more than a few in academic settings.
10685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: August 07, 2008, 09:38:56 PM
Pointing out biologically based differences between men and women isn't bashing. On average, girls are much more skilled at language. They tend to speak younger, have larger vocabularies and demonstrate a greater sophistication in sentence structure. Speech pathologies are suffered by males to a much greater degree than by females. If I recall correctly, it's something like a 9 to 1 or 10 to 1 ratio. It isn't male bashing to point that out.
10686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 07, 2008, 09:19:36 PM
JDN,

You might want to actually read the Geneva conventions before you cite them. Until now, the US has never applied the US constitution to prisoners of war, even legitimate enemy soldiers in compliance with the laws of war.

The first attack on the WTC was in 1993. Clinton was across the river in New Jersey when it happened and couldn't be bothered to visit NYC to review the damage done. Al Qaeda metastasized into the global threat we face today under Clinton's two terms, the DOJ not indicting bin Laden until late 1998. Look at the strings of attacks during Clinton's terms in office, leading up to 9/11. I'm not sure how you think returning to that would result in anything but the same results.

Last time I checked, Bush wasn't running again, so you couldn't vote for him if you wanted to anyway.
10687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: August 07, 2008, 07:28:37 PM
**Submission**

- Roger L. Simon - http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon -

Shades of the Danish Cartoons: Random House in disgrace
August 6, 2008 - by Roger L Simon

Although it has for some time been a division of German media giant Bertelsmann, Random House has been one of the distinguished names in American publishing since the halcyon days of Bennett Cerf. So it is particularly repugnant to see the company knuckling under to  essentially the same reactionary, anti-democratic, anti-free speech forces that repressed the Danish cartoons.  As we learned in the [1] Wall Street Journal today, the company has decided not to publish Sherry Jones’ historical novel “The Jewel of Medina” about Mohammed’s child bride Aisha.  The book was part of a $100,000 two-book contract with the [2] author.

Shame on Random House!  This act of abject cowardice and de facto censorship is one of the most disgraceful incidents I can think of in the history of American publishing.  As Asra Q. Nomani writes in the WSJ:  Random House feared the book would become a new “Satanic Verses,” the Salman Rushdie novel of 1988 that led to death threats, riots and the murder of the book’s Japanese translator, among other horrors. In an interview about Ms. Jones’s novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it “disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now.” He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received “from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.”

The “credible” source was one Denise Spellberg, a University of Texas academic who, on receipt of Jones’ galleys, started tattling like a six-year old to Muslims Spellberg felt would be angry with the work. Perry and his cronies simply caved in. That the publishers reference the “Satanic Verses” in their defence is yet more despicable. In the early 1990s, when I was president of West Coast Branch of PEN, we did everything in our power to defend Rushdie against the attempts to suppress his freedom of speech. Random House does nothing for its own authors. The natural conclusion of their behavior in this instance is that nothing critical of Islam could ever be written.

PEN and the Authors’ Guild should launch an investigation into this situation and if the allegations are true, should urge a boycott of Random House until it changes its policy.  If I were Jones, I would sue the publishing house for all they’re worth.

[Full disclosure:  I had three novels published by a division of Random House in the 1980s - Villard Books.  At that point, I was very satisfied with the publisher and could not imagine them rejecting a manuscript for the reasons they are now.  It’s a different world.]

UPDATE:  Some commenters have pointed out that Random House’s behavior is not strictly speaking censorship because the company is not an organ of the state.  They are correct.  But I submit that that a publishing house the size of Random House has a certain level of public trust.  And I would imagine they would agree.  One of the key measures of public trust in the United States is the protection of free speech.  Yes, as one commenter stated, this is cowardice but not censorship, but it is a form of cowardice with immense social ramifications about which we should all be concerned.

Article printed from Roger L. Simon: http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2008/08/06/shades-of-the-danish-cartoons-random-house-in-disgrace/

URLs in this post:
[1] Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121797979078815073.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
[2] author.: http://sherryjones.blogspot.com/
10688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: August 07, 2008, 06:13:20 PM
Confederate soldiers captured by Union forces were held without habeas corpus rights, despite being US citizens captured on US soil.

Was this right or wrong?

Do you think the Clinton administration's attempts to indict al qaeda into submission was a successful policy?
10689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 07, 2008, 09:45:14 AM
August 07, 2008
Hillary's Growing Shadow
By Victor Davis Hanson
Barack Obama and John McCain are running neck and neck.

Impossible?

It would seem so. Republican President Bush still has less than a 30 percent approval rating. Headlines blare that unemployment and inflation are up -- even if we aren't, technically, in a recession. Gas is around $4 a gallon. Housing prices have nosedived. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has been indicted -- another in a line of congressional Republicans caught in financial or sexual scandal.

 
Meanwhile, the GOP's presumptive candidate, John McCain, is 71 years old. The Republican base thinks he's lackluster and too liberal.

So, everyone is puzzled why the Democratic candidate isn't at least 10 points ahead. It seems the more Americans get used to Barack Obama, the less they want him as president -- and the more Democrats will soon regret not nominating Hillary Clinton.

First, Obama was billed as a post-racial healer. His half-African ancestry, exotic background and soothing rhetoric were supposed to have been novel and to have reassured the public he was no race-monger like Al Sharpton. On the other hand, his 20-year career in the cauldron of Chicago racial politics also guaranteed to his liberal base that he wasn't just a moderate Colin Powell, either.

Yet within weeks of the first primary, the outraged Clintons were accusing Obama of playing "the race card" -- and vice-versa. Blacks soon were voting heavily against Hillary Clinton. In turn, Hillary, the elite Ivy League progressive, turned into a blue-denim working gal -- and won nearly all the final big-state Democratic primaries on the strength of working-class whites.

Americans also learned to their regret how exactly a Hawaiian-born Barack Obama -- raised, in part, by his white grandparents and without African-American heritage -- had managed to win credibility in what would become his legislative district in Chicago. That discovery of racial chauvinism wasn't hard once his former associate, his pastor for over 20 years, the racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, spewed his venom.

Obama himself didn't help things as he taught the nation that his dutiful grandmother was at times a small-minded bigot -- no different from a "typical white person." And in an impromptu riff, Obama ridiculed small-town working-class Pennsylvanians' supposed racial insularity.

The primary season ended with a narrow Obama victory -- and a wounded, but supposedly wiser, Democratic candidate.

Not quite. Without evidence, he unwisely has claimed his opponents ("they") will play the race card against poor him. In contrast, on the hot-button issue of racial reparations, he recently played to cheering minority audiences by cryptically suggesting that the government must "not just . . . offer words, but offer deeds." He later clarified that he didn't mean cash grants, but his initial words were awfully vague.

Second, many are beginning to notice how a Saint Obama talks down to them. We American yokels can't speak French or Spanish. We eat too much. Our cars are too big, our houses either overheated or overcooled. And we don't even put enough air in our car tires. In contrast, a lean, hip Obama promises to still the rising seas and cool down the planet, assuring adoring Germans that he is a citizen of the world.

Third, Obama knows that all doctrinaire liberals must tack rightward in the general election. But due to his inexperience, he's doing it in far clumsier fashion than any triangulating candidate in memory. Do we know -- does Obama even know? -- what he really feels about drilling off our coasts, tapping the strategic petroleum reserve, NAFTA, faith-based initiatives, campaign financing, the FISA surveillance laws, town-hall debates with McCain, Iran, the surge, timetables for Iraq pullouts, gun control or capital punishment?

Fourth, Obama is proving as inept an extemporaneous speaker as he is gifted with the Teleprompter. Like most rookie senators, in news conferences and interviews, he stumbles and then makes serial gaffes -- from the insignificant, like getting the number of states wrong, to the downright worrisome, such as calling for a shadow civilian aid bureaucracy to be funded like the Pentagon (which would mean $500 billion per annum).

If the polls are right, a public tired of Republicans is beginning to think an increasingly bothersome Obama would be no better -- and maybe a lot worse. It is one thing to suggest to voters that they should shed their prejudices, eat less and be more cosmopolitan. But it is quite another when the sermonizer himself too easily evokes race, weekly changes his mind and often sounds like he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

In a tough year like this, Democrats could probably have defeated Republican John McCain with a flawed, but seasoned candidate like Hillary Clinton. But long-suffering liberals convinced their party to go with a messiah rather than a dependable nominee -- and thereby they probably will get neither.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.
10690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 07, 2008, 08:56:52 AM
**Obama needs a bigger bus....**  rolleyes

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/05/another-obama-advisor-under-the-bus-shady-muslim-outreach-director-stepsdown/

Another Obama advisor under the bus: Shady Muslim outreach director steps down
By Michelle Malkin  •  August 5, 2008 11:25 PM

Well, that was quick. A little over a week ago, the Obama campaign proudly touted the appointment of a new Muslim outreach director. Now, he’s out following questions about his ties to a radical Muslim imam and the Muslim brotherhood. Doesn’t anyone do background checks for The One after all this time?

From a July 31 Obama campaign website blog post:
All -
Assalamu-Aleikum. My name is Mazen Asbahi and I’ve been blessed and privileged to be serving the Obama for America Campaign as the National Coordinator for Muslim American Affairs. I’m also coordinating Arab American matters. I’m treating the two roles separately as these are two separate constituencies, though of course there is some overlap.
In order to get Senator Obama elected, the Campaign needs all of you to continue your support and if possible to take it to another level. It’s a race for every vote in the key battleground states, such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. We need Muslim Americans to get excited about the Campaign, and there’s a lot to get excited about!
Sure, there have been mis-steps. And of course there are added sensitivities with our faith given the “smear” campaign trying to paint the Senator as too exotic and too un-American to be President.
If you have not plugged into the Campaign, please do. The Campaign makes it very easy to do. Visit your local Obama offices and register voters, raise money, get the word out, and pull in your friends and family to also participate.
Please feel free to contact me with ideas, critiques and suggestions for improvements on our outreach strategies. (Please keep in mind that I’ve just signed on Smiley).
Peace,
Mazen Asbahi

No peace from the WSJ, which reports tonight:

The Muslim-outreach coordinator to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama has resigned amid questions about his involvement in an Islamic investment fund and various Islamic groups.
Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi, who was appointed volunteer national coordinator for Muslim American affairs by the Obama campaign on July 26, stepped down Monday after an Internet newsletter wrote about his brief stint on the fund’s board, which also included a fundamentalist imam.
“Mr. Asbahi has informed the campaign that he no longer wishes to serve in his volunteer position, and we are in the process of searching for a new national Arab American and Muslim American outreach coordinator,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
A corporate lawyer at the firm of Schiff Hardin LLP, Mr. Asbahi tendered his resignation after he and the Obama campaign received emailed inquiries about his background from The Wall Street Journal. He did not respond to the email or a message left at his law office; the campaign released a letter in which Mr. Asbahi said he did not want to be a distraction.

The imam is Jamal Said. Background on his jihad-friendly mosque here.
And more details the Obama vetters neglected to vet:

The eight-year-old connection between Mr. Asbahi and Mr. Said was raised last week by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, which is published by a Washington think tank and chronicles the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, a world-wide fundamentalist group based in Egypt. Other Web sites, some pro-Republican and others critical of fundamentalist Islam, also have reported on the background of Mr. Asbahi. He is a frequent speaker before several groups in the U.S. that scholars have associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Justice Department named Mr. Said an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. He has also been identified as a leading member of the group in news reports going back to 1993.

Mr. Said is the imam at the Bridgeview Mosque in Bridge-view, Ill., outside Chicago. He left the board of the Islamic fund in 2005, Securities and Exchange Commission filings state. A message left for Mr. Said at the mosque was not returned.
Allied Asset Advisors is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust. The trust, which is supported financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia. Allied executives did not respond to inquiries.

Countdown until CAIR screams Islamophobia and Obama minions scream racist?
3…2…1…
10691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 06, 2008, 08:06:32 PM
China and the Enduring Uighurs
August 6, 2008



By Rodger Baker

On Aug. 4, four days before the start of the Beijing Olympics, two ethnic Uighurs drove a stolen dump truck into a group of some 70 Chinese border police in the town of Kashi in Xinjiang, killing at least 16 of the officers. The attackers carried knives and home-made explosive devices and had also written manifestos in which they expressed their commitment to jihad in Xinjiang. The incident occurred just days after a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) claimed responsibility for a series of recent attacks and security incidents in China and warned of further attacks targeting the Olympics.

Chinese authorities linked the Aug. 4 attack to transnational jihadists, suggesting the involvement of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which Beijing has warned is the biggest terrorist threat to China and the Olympics. Despite the Chinese warnings and TIP claims and the intensified focus on the Uighurs because of the Aug. 4 attack, there is still much confusion over just who these Uighur or Turkistani militants are.



(Click map to enlarge)

The Uighurs, a predominately Muslim Turkic ethnic group largely centered in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, have their own culture, language and written script distinct from their Han Chinese counterparts. Uighur ethnic nationalists and Islamist separatists have risen several times to challenge Chinese control over Xinjiang, but the Uighur independence movement remains fractured and frequently at odds with itself. However, recent evolutions within the Islamist militant Uighur movement, including growing links with transnational jihadist groups in Central and Southwest Asia, may represent a renewed threat to security in China.

Origins in Xinjiang
Uighur nationalism traces its origins back to a broader Turkistan, stretching through much of modern day Xinjiang (so-called “East Turkistan”) and into Central Asia. East Turkistan was conquered by the Manchus in the mid-1700s and, after decades of struggle, the territory was annexed by China, which later renamed it Xinjiang, or “New Territories.” A modern nation-state calling itself East Turkistan arose in Xinjiang in the chaotic transition from imperial China to Communist China, lasting for two brief periods from 1933 to 1934 and from 1944 to 1949. Since that time, “East Turkistan” has been, more or less, an integral part of the People’s Republic of China.

The evolution of militant Uighur separatism — and particularly Islamist-based separatism — has been shaped over time by both domestic and foreign developments. In 1940, Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan (Islamic Party of Turkistan or Turkistan Islamic Movement ) emerged in Xinjiang, spearheading a series of unsuccessful uprisings from the 1940s through 1952, first against local warlords and later against the Communist Chinese.

In 1956, as the “Hundred Flowers” was blooming in China’s eastern cities, and intellectuals were (very briefly) allowed to air their complaints and suggestions for China’s political and social development, a new leadership emerged among the Uighur Islamist nationalists, changing the focus from “Turkistan” to the more specific “East Turkistan,” or Xinjiang. Following another failed uprising, the Islamist Uighur movement faded away for several decades, with only minor sparks flaring during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

In 1979, as Deng Xiaoping was launching China’s economic opening and reform, there was a coinciding period of Islamic and ethnic revival in Xinjiang, reflecting the relative openness of China at the time. During this time, one of the original founders of Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan, Abdul Hakeem, was released from prison and set up underground religious schools. Among his pupils in the 1980s was Hasan Mahsum, who would go on to found ETIM.

The 1980s were a chaotic period in Xinjiang, with ethnic and religious revivalism, a growing student movement, and public opposition to China’s nuclear testing at Lop Nor. Uighur student protests were more a reflection of the growing student activism in China as a whole (culminating in the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident) than a resurgence of Uighur separatism, but they coincided with a general movement in Xinjiang to promote literacy and to refocus on religious and ethnic heritage. Amid this revival, several Uighur separatist or Islamist militant movements emerged.

A critical moment occurred in April 1990, when an offshoot of the Uighur Islamist militant movement was discovered plotting an uprising in Xinjiang. The April 5 so-called “Baren Incident” (named for the city where militants and their supporters faced off against Chinese security forces) led Beijing to launch dragnet operations in the region, arresting known, suspected or potential troublemakers — a pattern that would be repeated through the “Strike Hard” campaigns of the 1990s. Many of the Uighurs caught up in these security campaigns, including Mahsum, began to share, refine and shape their ideology in prisons, taking on more radical tendencies and creating networks of relations that could be called upon later. From 1995 to 1997, the struggle in Xinjiang reached its peak, with increasingly frequent attacks by militants in Xinjiang and equally intensified security countermeasures by Beijing.

It was also at this time that China formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), enlisting Central Asian assistance in cracking down on Uighur militants, many of whom had fled China. In some ways this plan backfired, as it provided common cause between the Uighurs and Central Asian militants, and forced some Uighur Islamist militants further west, to Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they would link up with the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), among others.

Among those leaving China was Mahsum, who tried to rally support from the Uighur diaspora in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey but was rebuffed. Mahsum and a small group of followers headed to Central Asia and ultimately Afghanistan, where he established ETIM as a direct successor to his former teacher’s Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan. By 1998, Kabul-based ETIM began recruiting and training Uighur militants while expanding ties with the emerging jihadist movement in the region, dropping the “East” from its name to reflect these deepening ties. Until the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, ETIM focused on recruiting and training Uighur militants at a camp run by Mahsum and Abdul Haq, who is cited by TIP now as its spiritual leader.

With the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in October 2001, ETIM was routed and its remnants fled to Central Asia and Pakistan. In January 2002, Mahsum tried to distance ETIM from al Qaeda in an attempt to avoid having the Uighur movement come under U.S. guns. It did not work. In September 2002, the United States declared ETIM a terrorist organization at the behest of China. A year later, ETIM experienced what seemed to be its last gasps, with a joint U.S.-Pakistani operation in South Waziristan in October 2003 killing Hasan Mahsum.

A Movement Reborn?
Following Mahsum’s death, a leaderless ETIM continued to interact with the Taliban and various Central Asian militants, particularly Uzbeks, and slowly reformed into a more coherent core in the Pakistan/Afghanistan frontier. In 2005, there were stirrings of this new Uighur Islamist militant group, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), which established a robust presence on the Internet, posting histories of the Uighur/Turkistan people in western China and Central Asia and inspirational videos featuring Mahsum. In 2006, a new video surfaced calling for jihad in Xinjiang, and later that year there were reports that remnants of ETIM had begun re-forming and moving back into far western Xinjiang.

It was also around this time that Beijing began raising the specter of ETIM targeting the Olympics — a move seen at the time as primarily an excuse for stricter security controls. In early January 2007, Beijing raided a camp of suspected ETIM militants near the Xinjiang border with Tajikistan, and a year later raided another suspected camp in Urumchi, uncovering a plot to carry out attacks during the Olympics. This was followed in March by a reported attempt by Uighur militants to down a Chinese airliner with gasoline smuggled aboard in soda cans.

Publicly, the Uighur militant issue was quickly swept aside by the Tibetan uprising in March, leaving nearly unnoticed an anti-government protest in Hotan and a series of counterterrorism raids by Chinese security forces in late March and early April that reportedly found evidence of more specific plots to attack Beijing and Shanghai during the Olympics.

In the midst of this security campaign, TIP released a video, not disseminated widely until late June, in which spokesman Commander Seyfullah laid out a list of grievances against Beijing and cited Abdul Haq as calling on Uighur Islamist militants to begin strikes against China. The video also complained that the “U.S.-led Western countries listed the Turkistan Islamic Party as one of the international terrorist organizations,” an apparent reference to the United States’ 2002 listing of the ETIM on the terrorist exclusion list.

In addition to linking the TIP to the ETIM, the April video also revealed some elements of the movement’s evolution since the death of Mahsum. Rather than the typical rhetoric of groups closely linked to the Wahabi ideology of al Qaeda, TIP listed its grievances against Beijing in an almost lawyer-like fashion, following more closely the pattern of Hizb al-Tahrir (HT), a movement active in Central Asia advocating nonviolent struggle against corrupt regimes and promoting the return of Islamic rule. Although HT officially renounces violence as a tool of political change, it has provided an abundance of zealous and impatient idealists who are often recruited by more active militant organizations.

The blending of the HT ideologies with the underlying principles of Turkistan independence reflects the melding of the Uighur Islamist militancy with wider Central Asian Islamist movements. Fractures in HT, emerging in 2005 and expanding thereafter, may also have contributed to the evolution of TIP’s ideology; breakaway elements of HT argued that the nonviolent methods espoused by HT were no longer effective.

What appears to be emerging is a Turkistan Islamist movement with links in Central Asia, stretching back to Afghanistan and Pakistan, blending Taliban training, transnational jihadist experiential learning, HT frameworks and recruiting, and Central Asian ties for support and shelter. This is a very different entity than China has faced in the past. If the TIP follows the examples set by the global jihadist movement, it will become an entity with a small core leadership based far from its primary field of operations guiding (ideologically but not necessarily operationally) a number of small grassroots militant cells.

The network will be diffuse, with cells operating relatively independently with minimal knowledge or communication among them and focused on localized goals based on their training, skills and commitment. This would make the TIP less of a strategic threat, since it would be unable to rally large numbers of fighters in a single or sustained operation, but it would also be more difficult to fight, since Beijing would be unable to use information from raiding one cell to find another.

This appears to be exactly what we are seeing now. The central TIP core uses the Internet and videos as psychological tools to trigger a reaction from Beijing and inspire militants without exposing itself to detection or capture. On July 25, TIP released a video claiming responsibility for a series of attacks in China, including bus bombings in Kunming, a bus fire in Shanghai and a tractor bombing in Wenzhou. While these claims were almost certainly exaggerated, the Aug. 4 attack in Xinjiang suddenly refocused attention on the TIP and its earlier threats.

Further complicating things for Beijing are the transnational linkages ETIM forged and TIP has maintained. The Turkistan movement includes not only China’s Uighurs but also crosses into Uzbekistan, parts of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and spreads back through Central Asia all the way to Turkey. These linkages may have been the focus of quiet security warnings beginning around March that Afghan, Middle Eastern and Central Asian migrants and tourists were spotted carrying out surveillance of schools, hotels and government buildings in Beijing and Shanghai — possibly part of an attack cycle.

The alleged activities seem to fit a pattern within the international jihadist movement of paying more attention to China. Islamists have considered China something less imperialistic, and thus less threatening, than the United States and European powers, but this began changing with the launch of the SCO, and the trend has been accelerating with China’s expanded involvement in Africa and Central Asia and its continued support for Pakistan’s government. China’s rising profile among Islamists has coincided with the rebirth of the Uighur Islamist militant movement just as Beijing embarks on one of its most significant security events: the Summer Olympics.

Whatever name it may go by today — be it Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement or the Turkistan Islamic Party — the Uighur Islamist militant movement remains a security threat to Beijing. And in its current incarnation, drawing on internationalist resources and experiences and sporting a more diffuse structure, the Uighur militancy may well be getting a second wind.

Tell Stratfor What You Think

This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com
10692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: August 06, 2008, 09:54:52 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/06/obama-really-doesnt-like-a-debate/

Don't dare question his imperiousness.
10693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 06, 2008, 09:19:15 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/2505151/Beijing-Olympics-safe-despite-jihad-threat.html

Beijing Olympics 'safe' despite jihad threat
The Chinese government has promised that Islamic terrorists would not disrupt the Olympic games despite threats of a jihad in the western city of Kashgar.
 
By Malcolm Moore in Kashgar
Last Updated: 5:23PM BST 05 Aug 2008

With the games due to begin on Friday, authorities in Kashgar said the terrorists behind a bombing in the city on Monday were trying to "turn 2008 into a year of mourning for China".
Two men drove a lorry into a troop of policemen on a morning jog outside the Yijin hotel, killing 16 and injuring another 16, two critically.
"These men were trying to perform a jihad," said Shi Dagang, the Communist party secretary in Kashgar. "We found papers on one of the suspects saying that their religious beliefs are more important than their lives, the prosperity of their families and even the well-being of their mothers."
He said two Islamic groups, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the East Turkestan Liberation Organization, could have been behind the attack, since materials on the suspects matched items recovered from an ETIM training camp in January. The groups want an independent region for the Uighurs, the ethnic Muslims that makes up the bulk of the population in Kashgar.
"This was well-planned, at least one month in advance," Mr Shi said. "They knew when the policemen were doing their exercises." He also revealed that 18 foreign terrorists had been arrested so far this year.
During the attack on Monday, the men threw home-made grenades at the policemen before stabbing them with knives, he added.
"One of the men lost his arm in the explosion," he said. The other is already on trial. We recovered nine grenades, two long knives, two daggers and a gun."
The two men were named as Abdul Rahman, 28, and Kurbanyan Ahmet, 33, both from Kashgar. Mr Shi said one was a taxi driver, the other was a hawker.
He promised a "severe and continuous crackdown" against the terrorists, who had previously warned they would carry out one attack each month in the run-up to the games. Other incidents included unrest in two other cities in Xinjiang and an attempted bombing of a China Southern jet from Urumqi, the state capital, to Beijing.
Nevertheless, the organisers of the games sought to reassure the 10,000 athletes and hundreds of thousands of expected tourists that they should not worry about security. "We can guarantee a safe and peaceful Olympic Games," said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the organising committee.
Security across Xinjiang province has been stepped up, with 5,000 armed policemen in Urumqi patrolling buses. Three men were reportedly detained at Urumqi airport on Monday afternoon as they tried to board a flight for Beijing with traces of explosives on their hands.
Special wireless devices were used to check the ID cards of Chinese citizens to see if their data matched blacklisted suspects, according to Xinhua. In Kashgar, however, the police tried to play down the threat, leaving the city more or less operating as normal.
Meanwhile, two Japanese journalists were arrested and beaten while trying to report on the bombing on Monday night.
Masami Kawakita, a photographer with the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, said he was near the gates of the police compound when he was surrounded by soldiers. "They picked me up by the arms and legs and carried me into the courtyard. They kicked me in the ribs and arms and one stood on my head with his boot," he said.
Mr Kawakita, together with a reporter for Nippon Television, was detained for two hours without water or being allowed to make a telephone call before being released. The Japanese government said it planned to "protest strongly" to China over the alleged detention.
10694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 05, 2008, 07:06:15 PM
http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2008/08/04/gaza-anomalies-blow-pcps-circuits-result-the-sounds-of-silence/

Israel and the "palestinians" and p.c. myths.
10695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 05, 2008, 01:51:35 PM
THOUGHT POLICE
By RALPH PETERS

August 5, 2008 --
AFTER a lecture to the Marine Memorial Association last week, a reporter thrust a mike toward me and asked if I thought I should be tried for war crimes for my columns in The Post supporting our military.

The reporter - who avoided revealing what outlet he was with - thought he was being wonderfully clever, but what fascinated me about the silly encounter (it was in San Francisco, after all) was how unintentionally revealing it was about the shameless hypocrisy of the left.

Think about it: For expressing my views to readers like you on these pages, hardcore leftists believe I should be put on trial as a war criminal.

It tells you all you need to know about the extreme left's view of the First Amendment: Free speech is great, as long as it's their free speech (or extreme pornography). But dissenting views must be censored. The more effective the opponent, the more important it is to shut him down.

The extreme left loves to pretend it stands for freedom. It never has and never will. From the Reign of Terror in Paris onward, its core agenda has been the tyranny of egomaniacal intellectuals. The hard left hates an open debate - especially these days, when it's out of new ideas.

The left pretends that campuses should enjoy freedom of speech, yet activist students shout down, harass and even attack speakers whose views they dislike. That's brownshirt behavior, folks - as surely as show trials are Stalinist.

Hardcore leftists never welcome a freewheeling debate - they'd rather force their beliefs on the rest of us. It's an article of faith for the left that folks like you and me are too stupid to know what's good for us (we're so dumb, some of us even believe in God).

For many years, the left's tactic was to pretend to care about average citizens. In the last century, the motto was the "dictatorship of the proletariat" (still a dictatorship, of course). Then, when American workers showed no interest in the Sovietization of Michigan, outraged leftists retreated into the Dictatorship of the Intellectuals.

Now we have the would-be dictatorship of the pseudo-intellectuals.

The stunning hypocrisy of the march-in-step left was brought home to me again on Sunday while I waited in a green room for a C-Span spot.

The show preceding mine featured a young woman, Mahvish Rukhsana Khan, who's published a book about the poor, innocent, kitten-loving prisoners at Guantanamo. Her interview climaxed with the claim that Guantanamo is the equivalent of the Holocaust.

I guarantee you that no one from MoveOn or DailyKos questioned that outrageous comparison. (Nor did the patsy interviewer challenge it.)

The Holocaust's victims were 6 million innocents. The handful of prisoners at Guantanamo are accused terrorists. Guantanamo has no gas chambers; prisoners aren't forced into slave labor. They aren't tortured or starved or shot. And their trials are open to members of the press.

The truly outrageous aspect of such comparisons is that the American left, with its Stalin-redux willingness to rearrange history, neglects to mention that, outside of Japan, all of the 20th century's great totalitarian regimes had roots on the political left.

It wasn't just Lenin and Stalin whose propaganda machine prefigured MoveOn. Nazi is an acronym for "National Socialist." Read Mein Kampf. It isn't a tribute to free-market capitalism, folks. Mussolini was a populist. Mao was a leftist, as was Pol Pot. The last century's worst censors and book burners all emerged from leftist ideologies.

At the moment, the American left evokes our Communists in 1939, who contorted themselves to justify the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Stalin and Hitler. As this column recently pointed out, Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home! disappeared from the political scene the instant Obama called for sending those troops to Afghanistan and Pakistan, instead of back to Fort Hood.

For the hardcore left, the party line always trumps conscience. MoveOn isn't new - it's just Pravda with poor punctuation.

The more I think about that proposed war-crimes trial, the more excited I get. If we could just delay it until President Obama invades Pakistan, he and I could share the prisoners' docket together.

Of course, the charges he'd face would be far worse, given that Saddam Hussein was a genocidal dictator and Pakistan's a democracy. But the left is right: We can't let war crimes go unpunished.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World."
10696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / While Europe Slept on: August 05, 2008, 01:22:31 AM
http://www.amazon.com/While-Europe-Slept-Radical-Destroying/dp/0767920058/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217916421&sr=8-1

A must read! I'm sorry I put off reading it for so long.
10697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: August 04, 2008, 10:52:56 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/04/oops-democrat-on-vp-shortlist-underscores-obamas-inexperience/

Self-inflicted wounds are the best!  evil
10698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 04, 2008, 12:49:50 PM
Published on NewsBusters.org (http://newsbusters.org)
British Writer Claims MSM Silence on Edwards Scandal Reflects Newspaper Decline

By P.J. Gladnick
Created 2008-08-04 06:28
Perhaps it takes a foreigner looking from the outside in to give us a clear look at the overall meaning of the mainstream media silence on the alleged John Edwards scandal. In this case it is Guy Adams writing in his US Media Diary [1] in the UK Independent about "The 'scoop' the US papers ignored." (emphasis mine):

That old cliché about everything being bigger in America seems especially pertinent when attempting to describe the sheer scale of the crisis currently afflicting the US newspaper industry, which makes all Fleet Street's woes look like a summer picnic.

Last week, The Los Angeles Times decided to flog its historic downtown offices, on top of sacking 150 of its 870 journalists. So did The Chicago Tribune. Almost every title in the land is now shedding staff; a hundred New York Times hacks have been offered voluntary redundancy; Newsweek recently announced cuts. It's a bloodbath out there, as US media companies attempt to claw a pound of flesh from haemorrhaging readerships.

Consider, against this backdrop of falling circulation and a failing industry, the decision of every mainstream paper in America to ignore the juiciest political story of the month (and possibly the year): the discovery by National Enquirer hacks of John Edwards, in the corridors of a Beverly Hills hotel, where his alleged mistress and alleged love child were also staying, at half past two on the morning of Tuesday, 22 July.

Since Edwards was, until recently, hoping to be president and will almost certainly have a prominent role in any Barack Obama administration, his marital integrity is a matter of public interest. It could yet become an election issue. Yet neither the highfalutin NYT, nor the Tribune, nor even the LA Times, on whose patch the whole sordid business occurred, have yet stepped up to the plate to report it. Their old-fashioned reticence seems quaint, in this day of kiss'n'tell and chequebook journalism. But it's also depressing: one of the reasons America's newspapers are dying is their perceived pomposity. Readers say they are too timid to rock the boat; right-wingers complain (with some justification) that they conspire to suppress damaging stories about Democrats. The general public thinks they have simply become boring.

The Edwards story could be selling truckloads of newsprint. It is attracting enormous traffic online, and has been devoured by viewers of Fox, the only TV network to report it. In ignoring the affair, newspapers are sacrificing potential readers and repeating the mistakes of the 1990s, where they loftily decided against reporting Bill Clinton's many bedroom misdeeds, allowing internet sites to claim the Monica Lewinsky "scoop."

The editor of the LA Times, Tony Pierce, has higher concerns, though. He recently sent staff an edict. "There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair," it read. "Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumours or salacious speculations."

I can't pretend to know what Mr Pierce does with his 870 journalists. But if he'd asked just one of them to check out these "salacious rumours" regarding John Edwards the LA Times might have a few more readers, and fewer of the 870 staffers might have to be cut from its bloated payroll.

And in the MSM Wall of Silence category comes this report from a Kansas City Star TV writer, Aaron Barnhart, featured here [1] in NewsBusters last Friday. In contrast to his earlier claim that the MSM has finally begun to report on the John Edwards scandal, Barnhart has now backtracked [2] on his earlier position about the new "openness" of the media on this topic (emphasis mine):

Perhaps I spoke too soon about the whole "John Edwards story going mainstream" business. After a couple of reports by my colleagues elsewhere in the vast McClatchy chain appeared last week, there was bupkis out of the MSM. I mean, I got more traction trying to climb Airport Road in my 1961 Ranchero during an ice storm.

I think all the serious political reporters are just waiting for the National Enquirer to break more news. Then they'll pounce. It's a weird way to do journalism, for sure, but not that surprising. There's very little upside for news editors to be early on this story (no one is talking up Edwards as a VP right now), while the downside is considerable. The blogosphere, however, has gone wild over this story, and simply by deigning to talk about it, TV Barn — a blog, mind you, kept by a MSM entertainment critic — just had its biggest weekend in a decade of service.

Kudos to Mr. Barnhart for being man enough to admit his error and correcting it. Oh, and also thanks for the inadvertent shoutout by referencing this blog as "the adverserial" in the following description of the blogosphere reaction to his earlier piece:

Reaction to my piece has ranged from the adversarial [2] to the hotly adversarial [3] to off-the-charts, like this blogger [4] whose line-by-line analysis of my story would make any JFK/9-11/TWA 800 conspiracy theorist proud.

However, I do think Barnhart was a bit harsh in his latter description of the DBKP blog [5] as making a "conspiracy theorist proud." Any blog that describes [6] your humble correspondent in the following manner deserves praise, not scorn (emphasis proudly mine):

PJ Gladnick, of Newsbusters Writer Claims Edwards Scandal Story Has Finally ‘Trickled Out’ Into MSM [6], does a complete demolition of Barnhart’s other claims about why the MSM didn’t cover the story.

Of course, NewsBusters also took a pass on the story in December. But, NBs has been all over the story in its July reincarnation, chiefly through the efforts of Gladnick. Gladnick’s NewsBusters coverage has been a key element in holding the media’s feet to the fire over the last two weeks.

Blush!

Source URL:
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2008/08/04/british-writer-claims-msm-silence-edwards-scandal-reflects-newspaper-d
Links:
[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/comment/guy-adams-us-media-diary-the-scoop-the-us-papers-ignored-884086.html
[2] http://blogs.kansascity.com/tvbarn/2008/08/john-edwards-an.html
[3] http://themachoresponse.blogspot.com/2008/07/like-they-cared-about-mrs-spitzer-and.html
[4] http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2008/08/john-edwards-scandal-kc-writer-cites-veiled-threats-denials-as-likely/
[5] http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2008/08/john-edwards-scandal-kc-writer-cites-veiled-threats-denials-as-likely/
[6] http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2008/08/john-edwards-scandal-kc-writer-cites-veiled-threats-denials-as-likely/
10699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 04, 2008, 07:29:34 AM
b]**So, what was the attack a distraction for?**[/b]

Attackers Kill 16 Police at Chinese Border Post
16 dead as attackers ram truck into jogging police, toss explosives near Chinese border post

By CHARLES HUTZLER
The Associated Press

BEIJING

Two men rammed a truck into a clutch of jogging policemen and tossed explosives, killing 16 officers Monday, state media said, in an attack in a restive province of western China just days before the Beijing Olympics, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Though it happened on the far side of the country — near the Afghan-Pakistan border — the attack came as security forces were on alert for protests or any disruptions during the Games, which open Friday. It was among the deadliest and most brazen attacks in years in Xinjiang province, site of a sporadically violent rebellion by local Muslims against Chinese rule.

About 20 people upset at having been evicted from their homes staged a brief demonstration near Tiananmen Square, Beijing's heavily guarded political center. Uniformed police quickly surrounded the group until members of a neighborhood committee came and pulled the protesters away, scuffling with some.

In the Xinjiang attack, the two men drove a dump truck into the group of border patrol police officers as they passed the Yiquan Hotel during a routine 8 a.m. jog in the city of Kashgar, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

After the truck hit an electrical pole, the pair jumped out, ignited homemade explosives and "also hacked the policemen with knives," Xinhua said.

Fourteen died on the spot and two others en route to a hospital, and at least 16 officers were wounded, Xinhua said.

Police arrested the two attackers, one of whom was injured in the leg, the report said.

Authorities closed off streets, sealed the Nationalities Hospital, down the street from the explosion, and ordered people to stay inside, said a man answering phones at the hospital duty office.

Local government officials declined comment Monday. An officer in the district police department said an investigation was launched.

Kashgar, or Kashi in Chinese, is a tourist city that was once an oasis trading center on the Silk Road caravan routes and lies 80 miles from the border with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. Its mountainous, remote environs have allegedly provided cover for terrorist training camps, one of which Chinese police raided early last year.

Chinese security forces have been on edge for months, citing a number of foiled plots by Muslim separatists and a series of bombings around China in the run-up to the Olympics. Last week, a senior military commander said radical Muslims who are fighting for what they call an independent East Turkistan in Xinjiang posed the single greatest threat to the games.

A spokesman for Beijing's Olympic organizing committee said he did not have enough information to comment on the bombings. But he said security arrangements were being increased around the Olympic venues.

"We've made preparations for all possible threats," the spokesman, Sun Weide, told reporters. "We believe, with the support of the government, with the help of the international community, we have the confidence and the ability to host a safe and secure Olympic Games."

A Chinese counterterrorism expert, Li Wei of the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, said the attack was likely the work of local sympathizers, rather than trained terrorists who sneaked across the border into China.

Xinhua said that Xinjiang's police department earlier received intelligence reports about possible terrorist attacks between Aug. 1 and 8 by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement. The movement is the name of a group that China and the U.S. say is a terrorist organization, but Chinese authorities often use the label for a broad number of violent separatist groups.

In Xinjiang, a local Turkic Muslim people, the Uighurs (WEE'-gurs), have chafed under Chinese rule, fully imposed after the communists took power nearly 60 years ago. Occasionally violent attacks in the 1990s brought an intense response from Beijing, which has stationed crack paramilitary units in the area and clamped down on unregistered mosques and religious schools that officials said were inciting militant action.

Uighurs have complained that the suppression has aggravated tensions in Xinjiang, making Uighurs feel even more threatened by an influx of Chinese and driving some to flee to Pakistan and other areas where they then have readier access to extremist ideologies.

One militant group, the Turkistan Islamic Party, pledged in a video that surfaced on the Internet last month to "target the most critical points related to the Olympics." The group is believed to be based across the border in Pakistan, with some of its core members having received training from al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban, according to terrorism experts.

Terrorism analysts and Chinese authorities, however, have said that with more than 100,000 soldiers and police guarding Beijing and other Olympic co-host cities, terrorists were more likely to attack less-protected areas.

10700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 03, 2008, 06:53:50 PM
McEveety is one of several big names that will make it hard for the Hollywood establishment to ignore An American Carol. Jon Voight plays George Washington. Dennis Hopper makes an appearance as a judge who defends his courthouse by gunning down ACLU lawyers trying to take down the Ten Commandments. James Woods plays Michael Malone's agent. And Kelsey Grammer plays General George S. Patton, Malone's guide to American history and the mouthpiece of the film's writers.

I chatted with Grammer on the set at Warner Brothers studios. "I'm glad some of the bigger guys jumped in--Dennis Hopper, Jon Voight, James Woods."

Grammer has been out as a conservative for several years and has publicly mused about running for office. His name comes up periodically when California Republicans are brainstorming about candidates to take on Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein for their Senate seats. It's not hard to see why. He is passionate about the issues that matter most to conservatives and extraordinarily articulate.

"The accepted way to speak about America is in the voice that disrespects it. And the voice that's unacceptable is the one that loves America," he says, wearing the uniform of an Army general and sipping from a bottle of pomegranate juice. "How did we get here?"

Over the course of two hours, we are joined by several others working on the movie and talk about everything from taxes--"the rich in this country are being criminalized"--to Iraq. "Petraeus has to couch every bit of optimism in some convoluted formulation to avoid the promised rush of disrespect," Grammer says.

Eventually, the conversation turns from policy to punditry. Grammer, who is friends with Ann Coulter, says he quoted her once to some of the young people who work for him.

"'Ann Coulter,'" he says, recalling their horror and assuming their voice. "'She's the antichrist.' And I said: 'What the f-- do you know about the antichrist? You don't even believe in Christ.'"

Robert Davi, who plays the lead terrorist in the Zucker film, joins us as the discussion turns from policy to the cable pundit shows. Davi is one of those actors with an instantly recognizable face--he was the villain in the Bond film Licence to Kill--but whose name is unknown to most of the country.

"I can't stand Keith Olbermann," says Davi. "Jesus Christ, I want to slap that guy."

"I just sit there and watch these shows"--he picks up an imaginary remote from the table in front of him, points it at the imaginary television somewhere to the right of my head and begins clicking--"I watch them all. I cannot watch the murder shows anymore. Greta comes on and"--he changes the channel once more.

Our discussion continues over lunch and we are joined by Myrna Sokoloff, Kevin Farley, and Chriss Anglin, who plays JFK. Lunch lasts an hour, and we discuss marginal tax rates, the Democratic primary, whether John McCain will pick Condoleezza Rice as his running mate, the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and whether the talk of closing Guantánamo is serious or just campaign rhetoric.

Eventually, the conversation turns to the war and the opposition to it--the subject of their current project. "No one on the left wants to admit that radical Islamists want to kill Americans, the Jews--everyone in the West," Davi says. "I try to talk to my friends on the left and they just don't get it. Most of them have never even heard of Sayyid Qutb. How can you have an intellectual discussion about the war we're in without knowing who Sayyid Qutb is?" he asks, raising his voice so that actors from other tables glance over to see what's causing the commotion. JFK concentrates on his food.

Later that same day, I spoke to Lee Reynolds, who plays the New York police officer whose efforts to search the terrorists are thwarted by the ACLU. Reynolds, too, is a conservative--something David Zucker did not know when he cast Reynolds in the anti-Kerry ad he produced in 2004. Reynolds was active duty military for 12 years and shortly after 9/11 worked as the chief media officer for detainee operations at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

When he returned, he took a job as a production assistant on a film--he asked me not to name it--shot in several locations across the United States. Reynolds worked hard and, he says, won the confidence of the film's directors, who gave him more responsibility. But just as he was making a name for himself, word began to spread that he had been in the military and, far worse, that he supported the efforts of his uniformed colleagues in the war on terror.

"Once they found out I was a Republican, unfortunately for some people it was a problem," he recalls. Several people who had talked to him regularly throughout the shoot simply stopped. And a trip that he was to have taken to participate in an offsite shoot across the country was abruptly cancelled. Another person was sent in his place. Reynolds says that he had only two colleagues who treated him the same way they had before, including "an anti-Bush lesbian" who was disgusted by the dogmatism of the others on the film. Reynolds, now a reservist, is scheduled to leave for Iraq in early 2009. The more Zucker is known as a conservative, the more frequently he has encounters with others who consider themselves conservative.

On one of the days I was on set, McEveety had invited Vivendi Entertainment president Tom O'Malley to meet Zucker. Vivendi had just agreed to distribute the film and had promised wide release--news that had the cast and crew of An American Carol in particularly good spirits.

O'Malley and Zucker chatted about the fact that O'Malley is the nephew of Candid Camera's Tom O'Malley and that they are both from the Midwest, among other things. Zucker thanked him for picking up the movie, which will be one of the first for Vivendi's new distribution arm. O'Malley told Zucker that he was particularly interested in this film in part because he, too, leans right.

Such revelations are common occurrences at the periodic meetings of the secret society of Hollywood conservatives known as the "Friends of Abe." The group, with no official membership list and no formal mission, has been meeting under the leadership of Gary Sinise (CSI New York, Forrest Gump) for four years. Zucker had spent a year working on a film with Christopher McDonald without learning anything about his politics. Shortly after the film wrapped, he ran into McDonald, best known as Shooter McGavin from Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore, at one of these informal meetings.

"It's almost like people who are gay, show up at the baths and say, 'Oh, I didn't know you were gay!' " Zucker says.

From the beginning, Zucker knew what the political message of An American Carol would be. His problem was how to make it funny.

The war on terror, of course, does not lend itself to hilarity. But Zucker knows comedy and has spent nearly four decades making people laugh. With his friend Lewis Friedman, a comedy writer, Zucker went looking for the absurd in the political left and found an abundance of material.

Zucker and Friedman poked fun of the know-nothing culture of antiwar protests. During a rally at Columbia University, students chant: "Peace Now, We Don't Care How!" Some of their protest signs are ones you'd find at any antiwar rally. Some are not. "9/11 Was an Inside Job," "Kick Army Recruiters Off Campus!" "End Violence--War Is Not the Answer!" "End Disease--Medicine Is Not the Answer!" "It's Too Dark Outside, The Sun Is Not the Answer!" "Overpopulation--Gay Marriage Is the Answer!"

Other claims were so absurd they didn't require exaggeration. "We really didn't have to do a lot of stretching," says Zucker.

When he heard Rosie O'Donnell claim that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state," he knew he had several minutes of material.

In the film, a rotund comedian named Rosie O'Connell makes an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor to promote her documentary, The Truth About Radical Christians. O'Reilly shows a clip, which opens with a pair of priests walking through an airport--as seen from pre-hijacking surveillance video--before boarding the airplane. Once onboard, they storm the cockpit using crucifixes as their weapon of choice. Next the documentary looks at the growing phenomenon of nuns as suicide bombers, seeking 72 virgins in heaven. A dramatization shows two nuns, strapped with explosives, board a bus to the cries of the other passengers. "Oh, no! Not the Christians!" O'Connell's work ends with a warning about new threats and the particular menace of the "Episcopal suppository bomber."

Zucker is plainly not worried about offending anyone. David Alan Grier plays a slave in a scene designed to show Malone what might have happened if the United States had not fought the Civil War. As Patton explains to a dumbfounded Malone that the plantation they are visiting is his own, Grier thanks the documentarian for being such a humane owner. As they leave, another slave, played by Gary Coleman, finishes polishing a car and yells "Hey, Barack!" before tossing the sponge to someone off-camera.

It is one of just two references to the ongoing presidential campaign. (The other one, more cryptic, comes in a scene that's a throwback to the Iraq Study Group ad. Neville Chamberlain, after polishing Adolf Hitler's boots, signs the Munich Agreement, and declares: "We have hope now.") But Tom O'Malley, president of Vivendi, believes that the timing of the film's release--October 3--will give it special relevance to the current debates. And several of the film's leading figures have strong opinions about Barack Obama. "Obama is not qualified to be president, and it'll be a disaster," says Zucker, who then pauses as if he's said something he should have kept to himself. "Shouldn't I be allowed to say that?"

Zucker says that one of the major differences between the left and the right in America today is that leftists think of their political opponents as evil. "I don't think that Obama is an evil guy, I just think he's wrong. But I do think we face real evil in Ahmadinejad and the mullahs and all these crazy guys."

Does Obama understand that?

"I don't think so. I don't think so."

Zucker points to a National Journal study that found Obama to be the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. "John Kerry was, and Obama is. Fortunately, Kerry was a stiff. But Obama isn't a stiff and he's really adaptable. He's like a really clever virus who adapts. Obama's the farthest left of all of these guys. And that's why he associated with all of those crazies--terrorists, preachers of hate."

Jon Voight, who says he was "duped" as a young man into rallying against the Vietnam war, is also troubled both by Obama's associations and his willingness to end them so abruptly. "When I look at the other side, when I look at Barack Obama, I see expediency," he says, pointing to Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and assuming Obama's voice. "He's like family. I could never disown him. I didn't know him. I didn't hear those words in that church."

If those behind the film have similar views about Obama, many of them have opposing views about the long-term impact of a film like An American Carol on the movie industry.

"If this does well, it'll change everything," says Grammer.

"I think it would be pompous to say that," says Voight. "It's a movie. It's a satire. And it's a funny satire. I don't want to point to this thing, just because there are so few films from conservative sources, and make it a target. It's a movie. Let's not burden this little horse with additional weights."

David Zucker seems to be of two minds. When I ask him if he had an objective in making the film, he borrows a line from his friend and former partner, Jim Abrahams. "Avoid embarrassment."

He adds: "I don't have any desire to be taken seriously. Really, I really don't. But having said that, I really believe this stuff. Why can't I put it out there? And I'm scared to death of Obama. If I didn't do something about it I would feel--My kids would ask: 'What did you do in the war Daddy?'"

"I donated my career to stop this s--."

Stephen F. Hayes, a senior writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD, is the author of Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President (HarperCollins) .
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