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10651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 27, 2008, 08:54:27 AM
"In the video released this week and dated July 23, TIP leader Commander Seyfullah warned China of more explosions to come.
"Our aim is to target the most critical points related to the Olympics. We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely using the tactics that have never been employed," he continued"

**Rather than a nuke, this makes me think of radiological dispersal devices (dirty bombs). Bioweapons seem much less likely, despite having been specifically mentioned by "Commander Seyfullah".

Question: Are the bombings in India part of an "Asian campaign" by al qaeda, having their losses in Iraq now entering global consciousness?**
10652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 27, 2008, 08:46:24 AM
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gs7lUkxBUCG_S2sfv-rSUJibzLtg

Chinese separatists' Olympics threat 'credible': US analyst
1 day ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A Chinese Muslim separatist group's threats to launch attacks during the Beijing Olympics are credible, a US expert said Saturday, after the group claimed credit for several recent bus bombings in China.
Although Chinese officials earlier Saturday denied that the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) was behind the bus bombings in Shanghai, IntelCenter director Ben Venzke pointed to a TIP video showing how to make a truck bomb as evidence that the group has the capacity for serious attacks.
"At this point in time we believe that, based on the TIP's demonstrated ability to conduct bombings and the apparent opportunity TIP believes the Olympic Games presents in terms of targeting and striking a blow to China, that the threat is credible and should be taken seriously," Venzke said.
Venzke, whose company monitors extremist threats around the world for private clients, on Friday released a transcript of TIP's latest video claiming credit for a pair of bus blasts that killed two people Monday in Yunnan province, and a bus explosion in Shanghai in May that killed three.
Chinese officials quickly rejected the claim, denying that TIP, an ethnic Uighur group which seeks to break off part of China's heavily Muslim Xinjiang province into an independent East Turkestan homeland, had caused the explosions.
"We have noticed media reports about the claims, but so far no evidence has been found to indicate the explosions were connected with terrorists and their attacks, or with the Beijing Olympics," a Yunnan public security official was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.
"The (May 5) blast was indeed deliberate but had nothing to do with terrorist attacks," Cheng Jiulong, deputy head of Shanghai police, told Xinhua.
But Venzke says the threat is likely real.
"Questions remain as to exactly what the TIP capabilities are in the eight cities they have threatened and whether the group has the ability to conduct a sustained campaign during the Games or one or two large-scale attacks."
According to global intelligence analysts Stratfor, TIP is another name for the ethnic Uighur Islamic Party of East Turkestan (ETIM), a group labelled a terrorist organization by both the United States and China.
In the video released this week and dated July 23, TIP leader Commander Seyfullah warned China of more explosions to come.
"Our aim is to target the most critical points related to the Olympics. We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely using the tactics that have never been employed," he continued
.
"While Seyfullah's claims appear greater than reality, they cannot be entirely dismissed, nor can the potential for further transportation infrastructure attacks against China," Stratfor said in an analysis on its website.
TIP's video says the group is willing to use biological weapons in an attack, and Venzke said that specific threat cannot be discounted. But, he added, TIP so far lacks a "demonstrated capability" to use biological weapons.
IntelCenter said it had a video made by TIP showing how to wire a truck with a bomb and another showing a suicide bomber preparing for an attack.
Venzke also noted that senior Al-Qaeda figure Ayman al-Zawahiri has made reference several times to the Uighurs' fight for an East Turkestan homeland
"While not yet on the level of attention focused on places like Somalia, Sudan, Algeria and other major theaters, al-Zawahiri's references do firmly place the jihadi efforts in East Turkistan in the mix of important jihadi fronts," Venzke said.
10653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 05:10:17 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/china/article4406836.ece

From The Sunday Times
July 27, 2008
Islamist bombers target Olympics
Michael Sheridan Far East Correspondent

A MILITANT Islamic group has threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics with suicide bombers and biological weapons and has claimed responsibility for a string of fatal bombings and explosions in China over recent weeks.

In a video released by IntelCenter, a terrorism monitoring group, a bearded man identified as “Commander Seyfullah” is seen reading a declaration of jihad against the Olympics and warns athletes and spectators, “especially Muslims”, to stay away.

It was issued by a group calling itself the Turkestan Islamic party. The group may be allied with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – designated a terrorist organisation by the US, China and several other countries – which seeks independence for the Muslim Uighur people of China’s far west province of Xinjiang, which Uighur separatists call East Turkestan.

“Commander Seyfullah” said the group was responsible for three bombs last week on buses in the city of Kunming, which killed two people, and for two bus bombings on May 21 in Shanghai, which killed three.

The group said it also bombed a plastics factory in southern China and claimed involvement in an attack on police in the city of Wenzhou using explosives on a tractor, both on July 17.

Some of these incidents had been attributed to criminals, local grievances or accidents.

IntelCenter said that in an earlier five-page communiqué the group had promised to unleash suicide bombers against the Olympics and told Muslims that the use of biological weapons would be religiously justified.

The Chinese authorities have mobilised more than 100,000 troops and police to guard the Olympics and have imposed draconian security restrictions in every city where events will take place.
10654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 04:33:12 PM
Plausible I suppose, but in that it has not been done here in the US or Europe, do you think the Chinese Muslim Fascists have the ability to go nuke?  My sense of things is that they are at a lower level.

**Under most circumstances, I'd tend to agree. Bill Gertz disclosing NEST's presence strikes me as a huge story that seems to have slid under the radar and alters my assessment. Gertz has great sourcing from the nat'l security structure and I don't recall him ever being substantially wrong on a story like this. NEST couldn't be there without the approval from the highest levels of the USG and I can't see Washington willing to take this risk without very good reason. I very much doubt that ETIM has it's own nuclear capability. Still, western China borders the loose nuke center of the universe.**

My sense of things is that playing up the Isalmo-fascist issue becomes  a way for China to neutralize the usual US complaints and bleatings when they are their usual oppressive totalitarian selves.

**True, China seized on "terrorism" as a cover for business as usual right after 9/11. The fact that China is openly discussing terror threats to the Olympics to the degree it is strikes me as significant. Admitting there is a serious threat harms China's "face" at a time when the whole world is watching. The whole motivation for hosting the Olympics is to present the "new China" and promote it's strength and modernity. Having to admit to a serious threat to internal security at this time makes the power structure in Beijing very unhappy. Again, something not done lightly.

One other aspect to keep in mind. AQ has a history of grafting it's global jihad onto muslim struggles that were originally non-religious, ethno-nationalistic in origin. I'd cite the "Alqaeda-ization" of the Chechen independence movement in the 90's. I'm willing to bet this is a factor in what is occurring with the ETIM today. Keep in mind that the terrorists that hit Beslan were majority Chechen, but included arabs recruited for the jihad operation.** 
10655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 09:40:48 AM
The incident with the Qantas jet has me wondering about Ramzi Yousef's "Oplan Bojinka". Connected? I'll be waiting to see if this was metal fatigue or an IED.
10656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 09:30:03 AM
Very gracious.  Forward!  GM?

GM:

You make very good points, but as best as I can tell still do not reach my central doubt about your hypothesis-- can Islamic Fascism really become a big enough threat to internal Chinese control to the piont wherein it will suit Chinese govt purposes to cease and desist the activities you so well describe in order to ally with the US against Islamic Fascism?  Just what is it that we can offer them?

**If China and the US are working together to the degree that we have NEST there, and the first letter being "Nuclear" in the NEST acronym, then there is most likely good intel that has both governments very worried. Modern China has been described as "An ocean of gasoline just waiting for a spark". A nuclear detonation would certainly provide more than enough.

Imagine for a moment there was a nuclear weapon detonated in China. Even if not one victim was American, the impact would shake us and the rest of the world to a degree never seen before. Think of all the ships leaving Chinese ports daily with cargo containers headed for ports like Long Beach, CA. Keep in mind al qaeda's stealth navy and their M.O. of using cargo containers for human smuggling. Anyone think global trade wouldn't rapidly grind to a halt? Rather than 9/11 shutting down the airlines, this would crash the global trade infrastructure. China would very rapidly fracture and now we have to wonder which PLA neo-warlord has China's nukes under control. Does this spur N. Korea into a paniced invasion of the south or does the NorK state crumble, resulting in an epic humanitarian crisis along with China's chaos? What other problem cascade from this?

I know this much, our current housing/banking crisis would pale in comparison to the economic crisis that would stem from such a scenario.**


I'm thinking the solution will include (in no particular order)

a)  strengthening the dollar; higher interest rates, lower corporate tax rate
b)  price stability, reducing govt meddling in the economy
c) allow the market to do its work in responding to higher energy prices
d) eliminating/reducing taxes on alternative forms of energy
f)  drilling for oil
g) I know some like nuclear, but ever since the "experts" here in CA tried building a reactor on an earth quake fault I have a hard time trusting them
h) cultural sedition  grin

**If you've seen the Christmas sales in Shanghai in December as Santa Claus stands on the sidewalk in front of McDonald's and Starbucks as Nike wearing teens clad in NBA team shirts walk by as they listen to Mandarin hip-hop on I-pods, well then we're doing well in that area.**



10657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 08:03:16 PM
Into Africa   
By Roger Kaplan
The Weekly Standard | Friday, July 25, 2008

Close on the heels of the latest sham election in Zimbabwe, the International Criminal Court announced last week that it is seeking the arrest of the president of Sudan on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. As Africa notches up more failures on the long road out of colonialism, a new pseudo-colonial power--China--is busily engaged in getting exactly what it wants out of the continent. The implications for the kind of political and economic evolution likely to unfold in Africa are significant.

Until about 20 years ago, China's interest in Africa consisted mainly of encouraging Marxist revolutionary factions. Lately, however, that interest has taken a decidedly economic turn. China is in the market for most of Africa's products and is selling its own there as well. Once a major oil exporter, China became a net importer of oil in 1993 and is now dependent on imports for half its oil and natural gas. To meet this need, it has diversified its sources, in particular making deals with most of Africa's oil-producing states.

Just in the past three years, Beijing has signed energy deals with Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, and Sudan. Its investment in Sudan's pipeline and refinery infrastructure, valued at between $3 billion and $5 billion, is mind-boggling in such a poor country, but it is not unusual for the energy industry. China bought a stake in a Nigerian offshore field two years ago for $2.5 billion and promised to invest the same amount in further exploration and development.

China has huge investments in Algeria, with whose government it is also cooperating on the development of nuclear energy, and Angola, which this spring overtook Nigeria as the continent's largest producer of oil.

Chinese investment in Africa took off exponentially in the early 1990s. So did China-Africa trade. According to the Nigerian economist Adama Gaye, trade between China and Africa reached the $10 billion mark in 2000 and is likely to reach $55 billion this year. If it reaches $100 billion in 2010, as Gaye thinks likely, it will surpass both American and French trade with Africa. The continent's other major trading partners are India (growing) and Britain (not growing).

Significantly, Nigeria's then-president Olusegun Obasanjo, once a U.S. favorite, said last year that this would be the Chinese century, and he encouraged Africans to stay with the leader. There is no question China's mix of authoritarianism and rapid economic development is tempting to states whose political and economic institutions are fragile and whose relations with the liberal West tend to be ambivalent.

Not that the United States has been absent from African affairs. On the contrary, the Bush administration has supported huge increases in African exports to the United States (through the tariff-ending Africa Growth Opportunity Act) and U.S. investments in Africa (through the State Department's Overseas Private Investment Corporation), as well as debt relief initiatives, development aid in agriculture, and programs to combat disease and keep children in school. The Bush administration has encouraged African development more seriously than any of its predecessors, and it has insisted that prosperity is more likely to endure if accompanied by the spread of the institutions that sustain free societies, rather than the authoritarian model China promotes.

Which will be the ascendant influence? Chinese consumer goods are becoming ubiquitous in Africa, as elsewhere. "Made in China" clothes, personal and commercial vehicles, and electronics are widely available, and Chinese fast-food is even catching on. High level trade and investment delegations on multi-country tours are almost banal, while the annual "China-Africa Forums" are becoming more important in terms of deal-making than the Francophonie summits that France sponsors. Chinese assistance includes the deployment of thousands of doctors to fight tropical and infectious diseases.

The Chinese contribute hospitals, schools, and roads--they are building the trans-Maghreb highway across Algeria, for example, on which travelers ride in Chinese-assembled buses. Although as recently as a few years back Peugeot was the dominant car in West Africa by far, Japan's Toyota and Korea's Hyundai, both assembled in China, and China's own Chery Automobile will soon overtake it.

Prestige follows power. "Confucian Centers" are promoting Chinese language study in 16 countries, while "Confucian Institutes" in partnership with local universities have been established for advanced study of language and management in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and South Africa. Scholarships are offered for university study in China. Chinese radio broadcasts in several languages compete with the popular programs of the Voice of America, the BBC, and RFI.

China's military role on the continent has grown in importance. Equipment and advisers have been sent to Congo (Kinshasa) and Angola, and there were reports in 2003 that firms fronting for the People's Liberation Army were smuggling weapons to Sierra Leone and Liberia during those small West African countries' catastrophic diamond wars, into which Ivory Coast, beset by its own north-south sectional and tribal problems, was drawn.

China's diplomatic support for the regime in Khartoum is well known as a result of Western efforts to broker peace among the many contending Sudanese clans and tribes. Lately Beijing, concerned to avoid criticism of its embrace of brutal regimes in the run-up to the Olympic Games, has pressured Sudan to cooperate with the deployment of a U.N.-African Union force to protect people in the war-torn Darfur province from tribal militias, some of which Khartoum has armed and supported.

It is worth keeping in mind, however, that civil wars have raged in Sudan practically without interruption since independence in 1956, and China, building its influence in the country, made no effort to stop them. Beijing's official position has been that the "situation in Sudan is an internal affair," as one Chinese foreign minister said. Although wars between the Arab north and the black south officially ended in 2005, the government of Omar al-Bashir is showing little inclination to respect the share-the-oil part of the U.S.-brokered peace agreement. Khartoum has spent some of its revenue from oil on Chinese arms, reinforced by Chinese military personnel.

Meanwhile, the violence in Darfur, which began with the revolt of Muslim tribes in the western province and led to brutal counterinsurgency campaigns, recently blew back into Khartoum. One of the many Darfuri armed groups sent a motorized column into Sudan's capital, where it was decimated--quite possibly with direct Chinese help. J. Peter Pham, a professor at James Madison University and a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies who reported last year on the Chinese military association with Sudan, notes that when you provide a regime with $100 million worth of supersonic fighter jets, you must really intend for that regime to survive.

Darfur crisis watchers and activists are well aware that the people they are trying to protect in that disaster zone (a quarter of a million killed, two million displaced) are attacked from the air as well as on the ground. Meanwhile, a congressionally mandated report dated October 2006 had already put at anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 the number of Chinese soldiers in Sudan, lightly disguised as petroleum engineers and construction workers.

Sudan's complexities, however, are unlikely to becloud China's keen sense of its own interests. In the Horn of Africa, for example, Pham points out China has sold a billion dollars' worth of arms to both sides in one of the continent's many underreported conflicts, the one between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Beijing bet heavily on Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, but if or when the southerners go back to the hills to fight for their independence (and their oil), it may well be with arms supplied by China. Until then, Bashir's indictment by the International Criminal Court can only strengthen the Chinese hand to the degree it increases the president's diplomatic isolation.

Arms, too--specifically a shipment of three million AK-47 rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars--are at the center of the latest episode in the long and warm relationship between China and Zimbabwe. The shipment, on the An Yue Jiang last April, was by no means unusual, but dockworkers in Durban, South Africa, refused to unload it for the overland part of its journey.

The good relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe have been strained by the crazy rule of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, which has wrecked a once-flourishing economy, murdered opposition activists, shut down a vigorous independent press, and now is forcing tens of thousands of refugees across the border into Botswana and South Africa, leading to deadly riots. Under these conditions, sending arms right in the middle of a presidential election that the ruling clique was determined to brazen out (Mugabe openly stated he would not allow the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to come to power) strained even the old-comrade ties that have made South African president Thabo Mbeki reluctant to criticize Mugabe.

It is of course quite possible that the days of strongmen like Mugabe are numbered anyway. In the meantime, however, the An Yue Jiang's cargo reportedly arrived safe and sound in Harare, having transited through Mozambique. Will Chinese president Hu Jintao give some stern advice to Mugabe, as he did in June to the Sudanese vice president?

During violence in Kenya last winter sparked by flawed elections, China's People's Daily (the organ of the ruling party) editorialized that "Western-style democracy is not suited for Africa." However, passing through Washington last month, Kenya's prime minister, Raila Odinga, sharply criticized Mugabe and called free elections imperative in Zimbabwe.

If an American presidential candidate did the same--if, without injecting himself into Zimbabwe's or Sudan's or any other country's internal politics, Barack Obama or John McCain made it clear the United States dislikes the kinds of political regimes China promotes and enables--Africans would surely take note. Indeed, in a campaign year unlike any previous one, Americans themselves might notice.

Roger Kaplan is a writer in Washington.
10658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 07:49:48 PM
http://www.tnr.com/story_print.html?id=06d65840-0997-482e-a84d-b09b61a7b0e5   
 
No Country for Young Men
China's testosterone problem.

Mara Hvistendahl,  The New Republic  Published: Wednesday, July 09, 2008



Mike Fiala/AP
At Tiananmen Square for National Day.
Over the last decade, they cropped up in cities throughout China, tucked into raucous markets or along forgotten side streets, their interiors smelling of musty canvas and crammed with bounty for aspiring young soldiers: illicit weapons shops with names like ARMY GOODS STORE and GUNCOOL. For a few thousand yuan--a few hundred dollars--assault rifle-like air guns await in dirty back rooms, along with fatigues, bulletproof vests, kneepads, long underwear, camouflage t-shirts, rucksacks, bandoliers, helmets, helmet sleeves, walkie-talkies, and two-liter CamelBaks. Once outfitted, China's militiamen organize into clubs--Guangzhou Fight Men, Shanghai Band of Brothers, Tianjin Seals--and storm remote lots or abandoned warehouses, shooting at each other with pellets, to stage what they call "war games." The term belies the seriousness participants assign the activity: The more established clubs have dedicated battlegrounds whose surrounding trees are nailed with DANGER signs.

In gun-happy America, this hobby might not rise above the level of eccentricity; but, in China, where most weapons are illegal, it requires a special degree of passion. Beijing periodically cracks down, and clubs sometimes disappear overnight. In a round-up last year, Beijing cops seized 3,400 guns and knives used in war games. Still, the government can't seem to quash the urge among Chinese twentysomethings to unleash a few rounds. The headline on a recent Shanghai Weekly article explains the games' appeal in unusually apt Chinglish: URBAN BATTLE: A VERY MAN ACTIVITY.

The macho violence spurting forth through outlets like war games is a growing trend in Chinese society--and China's one-child policy, in effect since 1979, is partly responsible. The country's three decades of iron-fisted population planning coincided with a binge in sex-selective abortions (Chinese traditionally favor sons, who carry on the family line) and a rise, even as the country developed, in female infant mortality. After almost 30 years of the policy, China now has the largest gender imbalance in the world, with 37 million more men than women and almost 20 percent more newborn boys than girls nationwide.

By the time these newborns reach puberty, war games may seem like a quaint relic. In the 2020s, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher Zheng Zhenzhen, estimates in a People's Daily interview that 10 percent of Chinese men will be unable to find wives, which could have a huge impact on Chinese society. Historian David Courtwright suggests in Violent Land that sexually segregated societies in the United States--frontier towns flush with unmarried men, immigrant ghettos in early twentieth-century cities, mining camps--are behind our propensity toward violence. The immigrants and westward migrants who shaped early America, Courtwright says, were largely young single men, who are-- today as well as then--disproportionately responsible for drug abuse, looting, vandalism, and violent crime. A long-term study of Vietnam veterans in 1998 may explain exactly why: The subjects' testosterone levels, which are linked to aggression and violence, dropped when they married and increased when they divorced. Eternally single men, by extension, maintain high levels of testosterone--a recipe for violent civil unrest.

The one-child policy was instituted in an attempt to hamper the wild growth of the Chinese population. But, in the process of plugging one hole, the government may have left another open. The coming boom in restless young men promises to overhaul Chinese society in some potentially scary ways.

 

Lianyungang, a booming port city in a Jiangsu province economic belt, is ground zero for some of these changes. According to the China Family Planning Association, it's the city in China with the most extreme gender ratio for children under four--163 boys for every 100 girls. One sunny Saturday morning at verdant Cangwu Park, I count six boys and three girls bouncing on the inflatable castle. Near the ice-cream stand are a dozen sticky-faced kids, seven boys and five girls, feeding pigeons. The children running after kites adorned with Olympics mascots and China's Shenzhou VII spaceship: three and two. The drivers of the cheerful little tanks circling an electric track: three and one.

These numbers work fine on the playground, but, for China's many match- making services, they may prove troublesome. At the Good Luck Marriage Introduction Agency, in a town a few hours' drive west from Liangyungang, two whiteboards mounted on the wall advertise the age, height, and income of available singles. On the day I visit, founder Tao Hui, a fortysomething woman with a bouffant, is watching soap operas in her sweatpants. She hasn't felt the shortage yet, she says. On the whiteboards, a few dozen nameless men line up nicely to a few dozen nameless women. For now, many in the early wave of surplus men are marrying younger women.

"We'll see real problems in eight or ten years," Tao predicts. Her 17-year- old son, she assures me, has good prospects. But she already turns away a lot of single males from outlying villages with no money or education. "If they're ugly and can't find work, there's nothing I can do. No one wants them."

Preliminary returns from the first generation of population-controlled kids suggest how all those unwanted men might fill up their time. Over the past decade, as the boys hit adolescence, the country's youth crime rate more than doubled. In December, Chinese Society of Juvenile Delinquency Research Deputy Secretary General Liu Guiming told a Beijing seminar that today's teens were committing crimes "without specific motives, often without forethought."

The Chinese government--which, policy-making blunders aside, hardly wants a population of hopeless, volatile men under its rule--has been vainly trying to undo the damage. At a symposium on the policy last August, family-planning commission head Zhang Weiqing said the gender ratio harbors a "hidden threat to social stability." In February, officials publicly debated the timeline for phasing out stringent population planning targets, citing the gender ratio along with a rapidly aging population. "In the past, everyone thought we didn't have a problem," says Gu Baochang, a demographer at Renmin University in Beijing. "Now they're starting to pay attention."

In the meantime, the government is adopting a softer tone in its propaganda. The red characters painted on village walls throughout the countryside have evolved from the 1980s slogan YOU BEAT IT OUT! YOU CAN MAKE IT FALL OUT! YOU CAN ABORT IT! BUT YOU CANNOT GIVE BIRTH TO IT! Now they read: IMPLEMENT FAMILY PLANNING FOR THE GOOD OF ALL CITIZENS. And, recently, the government added BOYS AND GIRLS ARE BOTH TREASURES. In 2003, it unveiled the Care For Girls program, which gives stipends to parents of girls in some provinces.

But, as Chinese couples make more money, fertility is naturally declining-- meaning that today's bachelors will form an even larger proportion of China's future population than officials expect. Wang Feng, a sociologist at the University of California-Irvine who's part of a group of scholars advocating phasing out the one-child policy, says the outlook is grim: "Each successive birth cohort is going to be smaller. When younger cohorts get smaller, you have fewer females. It's a double whammy."

 

Online, many Chinese are worried--about the safety of their daughters, the marriage prospects of their sons. Others--presumably the boys themselves--meet the problem with ominous boasts. As one predicted last year on the portal Tianya: "Our national ability to pick up chicks will reach heights unparalleled in human history."

And still others are coming up with more practical outlets to exploit China's new cadre of unstable young bachelors. Two years ago in Nanjing, Jiangsu's capital, businessman Wu Gang opened the Rising Sun Anger Release Bar in a cheap hotel near the bank of the Yangtze River. The bar featured staples of Chinese entertainment like big-screen karaoke and plates of sunflower seeds but also a central catwalk where, for 100 yuan ($15) per minute, customers paid to assault the waiters, single young migrants from poorer cities to the north. If a customer preferred, his victim would dress in drag. Men "are under too much pressure," Wu explained to me one day, as the waiters high-kicked Pepsi bottles in the storeroom. "They need a way to release it."

Mara Hvistendahl is a writer based in Shanghai.
10659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 07:41:16 PM
1.  I supect our military plans for victory too.

**Sure, but the US wishes to preserve the post WWII pax americana that has allowed for the economic growth and freedom that has developed in many asian nations. China's envisioned pax sinica would not be nearly so benign.**

2/3.  Agreed.  Note that we too sold to the pre-Taliban to bleed the Russians.  The Chinese govt can be more ruthless in these things because it is a totalitarian state.
4/5.  Again, because it is a totalitarian state, it can be more ruthless.  Does it really need to fear the Chinese Muslims to the point of giving up the joy and "benefit" of helping world-wide Islamic Fascism bleed us? 

**The threat from jihadist 5th generation warfare combined with WMD technology holds the potential for the destruction of the nation-state as a viable entity.**

FWIW I see the Chinese as having some very weak links in their chain:
1) its' banking system is a tremendous house of cards,
2) due to the one child policy, its demographics are quite unusual.  The few will be supporting the many.

**It is specifically due to the demographic instability resulting from the one child policy that almost absolutely ensures that China will deliberately engage in a war or wars as a means to correct the gender imbalance. If this is the case, I'd rather have them pointed towards the 'stans rather than India or us.**

3) it has turned itself into a toxic dump with utterly unsustainable environmental policies
4) apparently there are tremendous social pressures

**Both 3 and 4 tend to support my conclusion stated above.**


10660  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Cooties in Training on: July 25, 2008, 07:24:19 PM
Funny enough, Cal POST didn't have a site or publication I could find on Bloodborne pathogens, but Cal OSHA has this:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/adultfilmindustry.html  evil

There are actual links to useful information that would apply to a martial arts school.

Another useful site:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/iipp.html


10661  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Cooties in Training on: July 25, 2008, 05:18:41 PM
In a training environment, the adoption of infection control/blood borne pathogen protocols as used at a law enforcement training academy. I'd cut and paste their policy and procedures related to the training environment and injuries that occur while training, including exposure to blood.

I bet California POST has a nice program drawn up with your tax dollars worth looking at.
10662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: July 25, 2008, 05:08:12 PM
Quote
Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago.

I find that statement ridiculous. A few generations ago, many houses had no running water, electricity, or access to basic services. It's comparing apples to oranges.

The thing that irks me about the article is that it somehow equates material possessions with quality of life. The tone is one of "Get over it "poor" people. You own stuff, so be happy."

Owning a bunch of crap doesn't mean that your neighborhood isn't gang and drug infested or violent, lacks quality social services, and is a just plain horrible place to live. Detroit, Compton, New Orleans' 9th Ward, the Appalachians, all horrible places where people own stuff and their lives suck. Please... rolleyes


Isn't it better to be "poor" in American than to be poor throughout most of the world? If we examine the gang and drug infested areas in urban America, what policy solution do you advocate that hasn't as of yet been attempted?
10663  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Cooties in Training on: July 25, 2008, 02:35:32 PM
http://www.laweekly.com/news/news/the-scourge-of-skid-row/14810/

MRSA and the joys of modern law enforcement.  shocked
10664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: July 25, 2008, 02:17:43 PM
http://www.heritage.org/Research/welfare/bg2064.cfm

August 27, 2007
How Poor Are America's Poor? Examining the "Plague" of Poverty in America
by Robert E. Rector
Backgrounder #2064

Poverty is an important and emotional issue. Last year, the Census Bureau released its annual report on poverty in the United States declaring that there were 37 million poor persons living in this country in 2005, roughly the same number as in the preceding years.[4] According to the Census report, 12.6 percent of Amer icans were poor in 2005; this number has varied from 11.3 percent to 15.1 percent of the population over the past 20 years.[5]

To understand poverty in America, it is important to look behind these numbers—to look at the actual living conditions of the individuals the government deems to be poor. For most Americans, the word "poverty" suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. But only a small number of the 37 million per sons classified as "poor" by the Census Bureau fit that description. While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity. Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago. Today, the expenditures per person of the lowest-income one-fifth (or quintile) of house holds equal those of the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation.[6]

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various gov ernment reports:

Forty-three percent of all poor households actu ally own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

Only 6 percent of poor households are over crowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.

Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.

Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.

Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consump tion of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernour ished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.
10665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: July 25, 2008, 02:03:08 PM
I'd be curious to see how the numbers are skewed by illegal immigration, especially in the area of health insurance, income and mortality. I'd think the California stats would be especially impacted by illegal immigration.
10666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 01:59:03 PM
1. China's PLA and intelligence apparatus consider themselves at war with the US using the "unrestricted warfare" doctrine as first articulated by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. The PLA is building a military capable of defeating the US in a global confrontation.
http://www.terrorism.com/documents/TRC-Analysis/unrestricted.pdf
http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/si/2008/Jul/rickardJul08.asp
http://www.heritage.org/Research/MissileDefense/BG1303.cfm

2. China aligns it'self with many jihadist entities and thug nation-states, including it's support of the Sudanese gov't genocide in Dafur, and the brutal Myanmar/Burmese junta. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/7493934.stm
http://www.washtimes.com/news/2003/jun/26/20030626-084600-7160r/

3. Chinese arms are equipping the Taliban in Afghanistan. http://www.washtimes.com/news/2007/jun/05/20070605-121517-7394r/
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080522/nation.htm#1

4.  Were China to suffer a serious terrorist attack or attacks at the Olympics (mind you, I am in no position to prevent or mitigate any attacks) it may well result in a strategic realignment of China into an alliance with the US, especially given the unprecedented degree of cooperation between the US and China in securing the Olympics, thus potentially avoiding a future military conflict that otherwise may well develop in the future.

5. China's split with the jihadist terror entities and nation-states would impair their operational abilities, thus improving US national security.
10667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 09:32:09 AM
As i've said in another venue years ago, I strongly suspect China has had multiple jihadist terror attacks which it had covered up. I think the degree of international scrutiny and legitimate worries about terror attacks during the olympics has forced China to take a different approach now. In my opinion, they would not openly discuss the matter if they were confident they could keep it from view.

Is the Chinese state media going to approach the story with any degree of journalistic impartiality? No. The fact it's being discussed at all means it is a serious issue, no matter how it's spun. We can take that much away.
10668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 09:02:21 AM
Shanghai police swoops thwart stadium terrorist plot
www.chinaview.cn  2008-07-25 08:25:16        
Special report: 2008 Olympic Games

    BEIJING, July 25 -- Shanghai police have halted a group of terrorists who planned to attack a football venue in the Olympic co-host city.

    "We obtained information that international terrorist organizations were likely to launch an attack against an Olympics venue in the city during the Games," said Cheng Jiulong, Shanghai Public Security Bureau deputy director and head of the Shanghai security office for the Games.

    Cheng said police staged raids and nabbed the terrorists. He would not provide further details such as when the terrorists were found, how many suspects were detained and their origins.

    "According to information we have obtained, the Olympics venue, athletes' apartments and routes leading to the venue are considered safe," he said. "However, the threat of terrorism remains as some international terrorist organizations have threatened to launch attacks against the city.''

    To prepare for the Olympic soccer events, police have left no stone unturned in the crackdown on security.

    Shanghai Stadium has been closed for security checks since July 20, with both police and armed police conducting round-the-clock patrols.

    Safety checks at key locations, such as Shanghai Stadium and the Xujiahui commercial center, would be intense, Cheng said.

    He also said police would use special methods to prevent congestion at the entrances to Shanghai Stadium, which is expected to receive about 52,000 spectators for each match.

    "Spectators with bags will be guided to special safety check points,'' he said. "This will improve the flow of people entering the stadium.''

    Security personnel will work around the clock at the hotels where athletes will stay.

    "Every team will be provided with a security liaison officer who will accompany the team while they are in the city and respond to their safety demands at any time,'' Cheng said.

    In addition, railway police have stepped up security checks by requiring passengers to open drink bottles and take a sip - a surefire way to detect any dangerous liquids.

    The beefed-up measures have already helped to stop some people from carrying flammable liquids, such as oil paint, on trains, according to the railway police authority. Passengers carrying dangerous goods on board will face criminal charges.

    On Wednesday, city police announced rewards ranging from 10,000 yuan (US$1,464) to 500,000 yuan for information relating to serious crime.

    (Source: Shanghai Daily)
10669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libertarian themes on: July 24, 2008, 09:02:31 PM
http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB121694247343482821.html

What Bush and Batman Have in Common
By ANDREW KLAVAN
July 25, 2008

A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . .

Oh, wait a minute. That's not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like . . . a "W."


Warner Bros. Pictures
There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror -- films like "In The Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Redacted" -- which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.

Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?

The moment filmmakers take on the problem of Islamic terrorism in realistic films, suddenly those values vanish. The good guys become indistinguishable from the bad guys, and we end up denigrating the very heroes who defend us. Why should this be?

The answers to these questions seem to me to be embedded in the story of "The Dark Knight" itself: Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.

Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.

Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless.

The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them -- when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.

When heroes arise who take on those difficult duties themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. As Gary Oldman's Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, "He has to run away -- because we have to chase him."

That's real moral complexity. And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised -- then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.

Perhaps that's when Hollywood conservatives will be able to take off their masks and speak plainly in the light of day.

Mr. Klavan has won two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. His new novel, "Empire of Lies" (An Otto Penzler Book, Harcourt), is about an ordinary man confronting the war on terror.
10670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 24, 2008, 07:32:57 PM
http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USPEK3763220080724

China says breaks up international terrorist cell
Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:23am EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - Shanghai police have broken up an international terrorist group that had planned to attack an Olympic football preliminary match in the city, state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday.

"We have staged raids and cracked a group of terrorists," Xinhua quoted Cheng Jiulong, Shanghai Public Security Bureau deputy director and head of the Shanghai security office for the Olympics, as saying.

However, Cheng did not say when the terrorists were first discovered, how many suspects were detained or where they came from, said Xinhua.

"We have obtained information that international terrorist organizations would likely launch an attack against an Olympic venue in the city during the Games," Cheng said.

The report comes after state media said earlier in the day that Chinese paramilitary police swore to prevent terrorist attacks or "political incidents" from disrupting the Beijing Olympics in a show of force at the Games' main stadium.

"International terrorist forces are itching to strike with terror attacks against the Beijing Games, and hostile domestic forces' disruption and sabotage activities against the Games are steadily unfolding," the People's Armed Police News reported.

Chinese officials have said their main Games security worries focused on separatist militants seeking an independent Uighur homeland in the country's far west Xinjiang region and campaigners for an independent Tibet.

Human rights critics say China has grossly exaggerated the security threats from Uighurs and Tibetans to justify harsh control in those regions.

Shanghai police have been put on a "crisis" footing as part of a campaign to ensure public safety during Olympic football matches in the city next month, said Xinhua.

Shanghai will host 12 Olympic football matches during the Games and the stadium has been closed for security checks since July 20, with armed police conducting round-the-clock patrols, said the news agency.

Firefighters, engineers and medical staff would be deployed to the stadium to prevent bomb blasts and nuclear and biochemical attacks, it said.

(Reporting by Kirby Chien; Editing by David Fogarty)
10671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Survialist issues: Hunkering down at home on: July 24, 2008, 07:28:34 PM
Crafty,

Depending on circumstances, running your generator might attract attention you don't want under those worst case scenarios.
10672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 24, 2008, 07:19:33 PM
quote author=JDN link=topic=1650.msg19534#msg19534 date=1216938636]
I guess I am speechless; you actually try to justify your joy, elation and hope that 10's of thousands of innocent Chinese
("masses of brown people") will die in a mass casualty attack.  An end is never justified by such horrific means.  I presume your Asian wife isn't Chinese?  No family attending the Olympics?

**Are you this dense or just desperate to try to score some sort of ad hominem attack. Go back and really read the thread and try to see if you can grasp the concepts.**

10673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: July 24, 2008, 01:31:54 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/24/mccain-closing-the-gap/

Not inevitable.
10674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 24, 2008, 09:15:47 AM
**Training the next generation of Israel's "partners in peace".**


news
Pictured: The TV rabbit preaching hatred and telling  young Muslims to 'kill and eat Jews'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:38 PM on 23rd July 2008

An Islamic TV station using a Bugs Bunny lookalike to preach hatred to children has been slammed by religious leaders in the UK who fear it could brainwash vulnerable British children.

Assud the rabbit, who vows to 'kill and eat Jews' and glorifies the maiming of 'infidels' appears on Palestinian children's show, Tomorrow's Pioneers.

The rabbit is a number of characters who is punished by viewer's vote when he breaches Sharia law.

In one episode, Assud admits stealing money and is seen begging for mercy after young viewers and parents phone in demanding his hands are cut off as punishment.


Assud the rabbit is threatened with punishment for stealing on Palestinian children's show Tomorrow's Pioneers

At that point the 11-year-old presenter intervenes - and rules that the bunny should only have his ears severed because he has repented.

The rabbit is played by an actor in fancy dress and is one of the main characters on the show broadcast in Gaza by the al-Aqsa channel - known as Hamas TV.

Religious leaders across the UK have today spoken out against the controversial show which can be viewed via satellite.

The programme is also easily viewed on internet sites such as YouTube, sparking fears that British children could be subjected to the radical Islamic message.

The Association of Muslim Schools, which represents the UK's 143 Muslim schools, said it was opposed to any shows that incite violence.

Spokesman Dr Mohamed Mukadam said: 'It goes without saying that any programme which promotes the killing or injuring of human beings is wrong.


Assud encourages children to 'eat and kill Jews' and preaches hatred

'Regardless of religion, shows that incite or inspire others to inflict violence of any kind should be condemned.

'Such shows are against the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, and we would urge people of all ages not to watch them.' 

Set up as a regional station prior to the Palestinian elections in January 2006, al-Aqsa TV now airs on a satellite slot.

It broadcasts what many call a mixture of news of Islamic propaganda, but has picked up a substantial following across the Arabic-speaking world.

Tomorrow's Pioneers was first aired in April 2007, and features young host Saraa Barhoum and her co-host, a large costumed animal.

The show originally featured a Mickey Mouse-style character called Farfur who urged children to fight against the Jewish community and form a world Islamic state.

Farfur was later replaced by a bumble bee called Nahoul, who told viewers to 'follow the path of Islam, of martyrdom and of the Mujahideen'.

He was 'martyred' earlier this year and replaced by Assud, who tells children in his first episode: 'I, Assud, will get rid of the jews, Allah willing, and I will eat them up.' 


UK religious leaders fear young British children could be subjected to the rabbit's hate teachings

In a discussion with 11-year-old host Saraa Barhoum, the young viewers are referred to as 'soldiers'.   

Assud asks Saraa: 'We are all martyrdom-seekers, are we not?'.

To which she replies: 'Yes, we are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our homeland.'

The phone-in show accepts calls from children as young as nine on topics about life in Palestine.

During one show broadcast in February, Assud vows to kill and eat all Danish people over the cartoon images of the Prophet Muhammad which appeared in a newspaper.

He also pledges to assassinate the illustrator and Saraa also agrees that she would martyr herself for the cause of Palestine.

Saraa, who has seven brothers and sisters, was invited to host the show after entering a singing competition.

But speaking last year, she defended the programme - and insisted it was not responsible for spreading extremism.

She said: 'We are not terrorists. We do not support terrorism. We are normal people, but we are defending our homeland.

'The Israelis hit next door to my house with a shell. I was wounded on my feet and my little brother Youssef was wounded in the legs.

'We, as Muslims, are against suicide bombers. We are against the death of civilians on all sides. We are only the enemy of those who took our land and kill us every day.'

The show is regularly translated and posted online by The Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent media monitoring group based in the United States.

Al-Aqsa was today was unavailable for comment.

Find this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1037512/Pictured-The-TV-rabbit-preaching-hatred-telling-young-Muslims-kill-eat-Jews.html
10675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 24, 2008, 09:01:31 AM
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2008/07/print/winning_the_war_with_islamic_f.php

Counterterrorism Blog

Winning the War with Islamic Fanaticism

By Andrew Cochran

I am pleased to post the views of Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker, Chairman of "Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East," on this topic, and to associate myself with and assent to his views in this post.
-------------
American-Israeli analyst and news commentator Micah D. Halpern wrote an interesting column last week for his blog—The Micah Report—entitled “The Qualitative Edge” , in which he suggested that Israeli deterrence of enemies has been accomplished through maintaining superior military power: better equipment, better training, better intelligence and greater motivation than its enemies. Halpern states that this doctrine has worked for the past 60 years against Israel’s adversaries, but notes that now Israel is confronted by enemies that are motivated by fervent religious ideology that includes a willingness to die for the cause, putting Israel’s superior military power at bay. In effect, Halpern is asking: how does a military power confront the true-believing enemy that is not only willing to die, but actively seeks death as a way of psychologically defeating the superior power it faces? Halpern suggests that Israel and the West need to find a new model to confront this “new” type of enemy.

With due respect to Dr. Halpern whose article essentially is correct otherwise, a new model is not needed. However, what is needed is the resolve to fight relentlessly against those that use terrorism—especially against innocent non-combatants—as a method of gaining an advantage in the psychological aspect of war. Although the daily missile and rocket attacks from Gaza have been terrorizing Sderot and its environs, as well as Ashkelon with the Grad missile attacks, Israel’s retaliatory attacks on the Hamas leadership were having a pronounced effect on that terrorist organization. The same can be said about Hizballah. Whereas the rank and file may be willing to become shahadin (self-sacrificing homicidal murderers), Hassan Nasrallah and his fellow leaders of Hizballah have been very careful to seek protection when the bullets fly and the bombs fall. In a similar manner, much of the Iranian leadership has displayed no desire to become martyrs for a greater Shiite caliphate—their life is too sweet to be sacrificed—besides, they always send proxies in their stead.

The answer to terrorism—whether it is perpetuated by Palestinian Sunni Islamic fundamentalists, Lebanese Iranian-inspired Shiite fundamentalists, or the fanatic Iranian ayatollahs themselves—is to fight it vigorously, just like we fought the Japanese kamikaze pilots at the end of World War II. The allies didn’t flinch when attacked by the kamikazes—we didn’t call for, or agree to, a truce at that point. We fought with one goal in mind: total defeat of the enemy. Whereas we don’t wish to harm the civilian populations of our adversaries, we should be seeking an overwhelming defeat of those who not only wish, but also actively seek, our destruction. We are in a war, and we need to remember that fact at all times. Truces called by the other side are meant for their advantage; we should not give in to the temptation for a cease-fire when we have our enemies on the ropes. The time for magnanimity is when the enemy has been utterly crushed, and not before.

We need to understand the mentality of our fanatic fundamentalist enemies. Life is totally black or white for them—there are no shades of grey. Surviving a battle with the superior forces of their enemy is seen as a victory by them—proof that we in the West are too soft to defeat them ultimately. Hizballah thus views the 2006 Lebanon War as a victory since the superior military might of Israel was incapable of crushing the Iranians’ Lebanese proxy. So too, Hamas looks at the current cease-fire as a proof that Israel cannot destroy the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood. For that matter, every time that we agree to talk to the Iranians in Iraq, they see it as proof that they are capable of eventually driving us out of the region. And it goes without saying that every time the West offers the Islamic Republic of Iran a bigger incentive to stop its nuclear program, the more adamant Khameneí and his spokesman Ahmadinejad become in their insistence that Iran will never back down ultimately from its “national rights”.

If Israel and the West are to succeed in defeating Islamic fundamentalism, which seeks to return the world to an era long before the Enlightenment—to an era of misogyny and wars of religion—we must realize that our fundamentalist enemies mean to defeat us and subjugate us or put us to the sword. They are fighting as if the future status of heaven and earth are hanging in the balance; it is high time that we learn to take this battle seriously. The fate of Western civilization, indeed of this planet, will be determined by our response to the threats we face today emanating from the Middle East. If we fail to deal with the threat today, by tomorrow the battle will be at our doorstep. .

Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of "Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East," a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching government officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East as an antidote to the venom of such fundamentalism.

By Andrew Cochran on July 23, 2008 10:30 AM
10676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 24, 2008, 08:46:37 AM
I'm still hoping that the talks with Iran are being done for political cover before President Bush orders a strike on Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

The realist in me says that neither the US or Israel will do anything until it's too late.
10677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 23, 2008, 09:00:35 PM
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/print/021066.php

JULY 23, 2008
THE FINE LINE BETWEEN PANDERING AND LYING

Barack Obama held a press conference in Sderot, Israel today. I wouldn't have blamed him if he had stuck to a reasonable degree of pandering, but check out this question and answer from the press conference:

QUESTION: Senator Obama, you said in AIPAC convention that the (INAUDIBLE) Jerusalem could continue to be the capital city. Then you changed it and clarified later on in the -- (INAUDIBLE) wonder.
How could you be sure if your other statesmen, that you are going to be committed to the security and safety of Israel and you're not going to change it even when you're the President of the United States?

OBAMA: First of all, I didn't change my statement.

I continued to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. And I have said that before and I will say it again. And I also have said that it is important that we don't simply slice the city in half. But I've also said that that's a final status issue. That's an issue that has to be dealt with with the parties involved, the Palestinians and the Israelis. And it's not the job of the United States to dictate the form in which that will take, but rather to support the efforts that are being made right now to resolve these very difficult issues that have a long history.


Let's pause here. Characteristically, Obama claims that he "didn't change [his] statement." But this is a fantasy. At the AIPAC convention, Obama made the ringing declaration that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." "Must." Within 24 hours, however, his advisers scurried to take back Obama's commitment to an undivided Jerusalem, saying that he meant only that Jerusalem shouldn't "be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967," and that, in fact, Obama was open to Jerusalem also being the capital of the Palestinian state.

In Sderot today, Obama didn't say anything about Jerusalem being the Palestinian capital, but he essentially repeated, not his original call for a Jerusalem that "must" be "undivided," but his mushier fall-back position. In doing so, he not only failed to acknowledge, but specifically denied, that this was a change from his AIPAC call for a Jerusalem that "must remain undivided."

Obama continued:

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.

But Obama is not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Obama just made that up so he could count the committee's action as one of "my deeds."

If committed by a Republican, this would be a gaffe of historic proportions. Even a Senator as inattentive to his duties as Obama certainly knows what committees he serves on. For him to fabricate the claim, out of whole cloth, that the Senate Banking Committee is "[his] committee," strikes me as another sign of Obama's megalomania. That, plus more evidence that he is totally at sea without a teleprompter.
10678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 23, 2008, 08:21:46 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/23/obama-a-nuclear-iran-would-be-a-game-changing-situation/

So, what's his position?
10679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 23, 2008, 08:11:25 PM
At the current time, western civilization isn't on the trajectory towards victory against the global jihad. If China were to suffer any serious attack during the olympics, it need not be a WMD attack to be serious, then the effect would be to bring China into a direct confrontation with the global jihad.

This would result in a loss of the use of China's banks for money laundering, the loss of access to China's military hardware and direct action from China's intelligence and military.

Long term, it may well result in the development of a true alliance between China and the west.
10680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 23, 2008, 03:12:08 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/23/video-al-jazeera-throws-birthday-party-for-freed-hezbollah-child-killer/

Partyin' like it's 799!
10681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 23, 2008, 02:36:28 PM
Knowing that you now have a much improved chance of not being conquered is different than being happy innocents died.
10682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 23, 2008, 09:34:52 AM
What Crafty said....

I'd say more but work was long and I gotta sleep.
10683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 23, 2008, 09:32:22 AM
It's difficult to gauge the degree of threat China faces given the opaque nature of the PRC's gov't. Still, all the steps China is taking strikes me as being fueled by real concern rather than opportunistic moves to tighten it's control of dissidents within it's borders.

If the jihadis are successful in completing a mass casualty attack on the olympics, then I will feel as Churchill was to have felt, hearing about America's entry into WWII.
10684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 23, 2008, 09:25:29 AM
http://68.178.224.54/udayavani/showstory.asp?news=0&contentid=554897&lang=1

Beijing transport on high alert as terror threat looms large

Beijing, July 23: In view of the "unsurpassed" terror threat to the Beijing Olympics to kick off next month, security of air, rail and long-distance bus transport have been put on high alert in the city.

China Civil Aviation Administration has announced that no plane would be allowed to take off or land at the Beijing International Airport from 7 pm to midnight on the opening day of the Olympic ceremony on August 8.

Domestic and foreign airlines had been notified about the move and flights would be rescheduled to minimize inconvenience to passengers, an Administration spokesman said.

Taking the security to a higher level, armed policemen with dogs began patrolling round the clock at the capitals four railway stations, including the yet-to-be-opened one in the southern district.

China says terror is the biggest threat to the Beijing Olympics and it is even "unsurpassed" in the Olympic history. A raft of measures is already in force but they were being reinforced in recent weeks.

At the Beijing West Railway Station, a major terminal, passengers were asked to taste liquids they were carrying or were being inspected with a special detector handset to
identify their contents.

"The detector will show if the liquid is alcohol or gasoline," a police officer in charge of the security check was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Security checks are carried out at the entrance to the subway station with every piece of baggage X-rayed and banned substances like banana oil and paint taken out.
10685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 22, 2008, 09:08:23 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-daily16feb16,1,4976271,full.story

"Don't forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans have a responsibility to the oppressed. Assisting a formerly oppressed population in converting their torn society into a plural, democratic one is dangerous and difficult business, especially when being attacked and sabotaged from literally every direction."
10686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 22, 2008, 08:48:57 PM
Who Really Cares?

By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | 1/2/2007

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Arthur C. Brooks, Professor of Public Administration and Director of the Nonprofit Studies Program at Syracuse University 's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In 2007, he will be a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks earned his PhD in Public Policy Analysis from the Rand Graduate School in 1998, and also holds an MA and BA in economics. He is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His latest book is Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.



FP: Arthur C. Brooks, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Brooks: Thanks very much. It's a pleasure to be with you.

FP: What inspired you to write this book?

Brooks: For years I did research on the economics of charity and philanthropy, looking at important -- but fairly dry -- topics like tax deductibility. The trouble was, I always felt I was missing the real story about why people give. When I discussed giving with donors, they never talked about their taxes; they talked about their values. I saw that I needed to investigate giving as a cultural issue, and that's what this book does. It asks who is really giving in America , and why. As a result of what I found, my views on charity have changed a lot.

FP: So how do myths about charity in America differ from reality?

Brooks: The biggest myth about charity today stems from the stereotype that conservatives are less compassionate than liberals. Here in Syracuse , New York , the most popular campaign sign before the 2004 presidential election proclaimed, "Bush Must Go! Human Need, not Corporate Greed." Now, keep in mind that New York was not a state in play in the election (Bush lost the state by more than a million votes), so this was nothing more than a moral statement about Bush and his supposedly-selfish supporters.

Conservatives are less supportive than liberals of government income redistribution, which is typically how progressives define economic compassion. (Conservatives, we should note, often argue that redistribution is not compassionate when it leads to dependency by recipients, but that's another story.) But another -- perhaps more obvious -- measure of compassion is private, voluntary sacrifice: charity. And conservatives tend to give more, not less, than liberals and moderates. For example, one major survey from the year 2000 showed that the average conservative-headed household in America gave 30% more money to charity than the average liberal household, despite earning, on average, 6% less in income.
This said, the evidence shows that the charity gap between conservatives and liberals is not a function of politics per se -- being a conservative by itself doesn't make somebody virtuous -- it is the values and culture typically associated with a conservative worldview: especially religion and attitudes about the government's role in our lives.
 
FP: I have always noticed that leftists like to talk a lot about the importance of the redistribution of wealth but that they themselves have a big problem redistributing their own wealth. Can you talk a bit about the pathology that lurks between the discrepancy between leftists' social criticism and the ingredients of their private lives?
 
Brooks:  The data do in fact show that people who think the government should redistribute income and wealth give a lot less, privately, than do people who not believe this. For example, in 1996, people who said the government should not take greater measures than at present to reduce income inequality gave, on average, four times as much money to charity each year as those who believed the government should equalize incomes more.

I think this charity gap comes down to a difference in how the two groups see the rights and responsibilities of individuals. Conservatives believe that everything starts with individual behavior; liberals often view large groups as the only effective vehicle for meaningful social progress. Sometimes, this translates into a neglect for private voluntary action on the left, and a focus instead on laws and regulations which apply to huge groups.

There is an old joke, that a socialist is a man who loves humanity in groups of one million and above. That's unfairly harsh, of course -- there are lots and lots of charitable liberals out there. But it's pretty amusing nonetheless.
 
FP: Absolutely, the Left depersonalizes real people and individuals. It pretends it loves humanity as a whole, but when it comes to really caring for and loving the individual up close, leftists are, in my own personal experience, frighteningly callous and indifferent.
 
So, in other words, Conservatives believe more in the value of personal generosity, correct? Because they believe in big government and little (or no) individual responsibility, leftists are more prone to seeing human suffering and getting upset that something isn’t being done by someone else (i.e. the government) about it, rather than doing something themselves as individuals about it.
 
And, let’s be honest, socialism is based on theft anyway. The people who believe in stealing from others who have earned wealth to give it to those who haven’t aren’t really going to be the kind of people who are symbols of personal generosity.
 
Just provoking a bit of discussion here to get some more wisdom from you. What do you say?
 
Brooks: I think many conservatives simply find it easier than liberals to give privately because they have more opportunities to give in their daily lives, and have had the importance of charity wired into them throughout their lives. I'm talking about religion, of course: Conservatives are much likelier to practice a religion than liberals are, and this gap is widening, not narrowing. (Presently, there are about three times more religious conservatives in America than there are religious liberals.) Houses of worship are great for stimulating both the supply and demand for charity -- and not just religious charity; secular charity as well. Religious folks -- irrespective of the actual religion, incidentally -- give far more time and money than secularists to all kinds of charities, including to totally secular causes like the United Way or the PTA. The data on this point are just stunning.

And as we have discussed, it is also true that conservatives generally have a more individualistic worldview than most liberals do, which is good for stimulating private service to others. (Incidentally, I'm working on a new book right now on happiness. It appears that this individualistic worldview is quite important for life satisfaction, and part of the reason conservatives tend to be happier than liberals.)

None of this is destiny, of course. Many liberals -- especially religious liberals -- take individual responsibility very seriously and give as much as religious conservatives do. In addition, there are plenty of conservatives who, despite the giving culture, are not generous. In fact, the least charitable group in America today is made up of secular conservatives, although this fact doesn't hurt the overall conservative giving stats much because this group is relatively small. But in general, the biggest giving challenge is on the political left today, in my view -- particularly as the left continues to secularize and advocate government income redistribution. This is something progressive leaders need to take very seriously if they wish to avoid a widening (and unnecessary) political charity gap.

FP: Why does it matter whether Americans give to charity or not?
   
Brooks: One of the most exciting areas of research in economics and psychology looks at the benefits of giving to givers themselves, as well as their communities and our nation as a whole. There is strong evidence -- detailed in my book -- that these benefits are just enormous. In a nutshell, giving makes us richer, happier, and healthier than we would be if we didn't give. Givers are more effective in their jobs after they give; they are happier and feel more in control; they are better citizens; they even suffer less from physical and psychological ailments. In point of fact, voluntary charity is a major source of American strength and vitality. Giving is not just about the time and money charities get -- it is also crucially about what we all get because we and our neighbors are givers.

This has big implications. For example, we displace privately-funded charities with government programs at our peril. Not that there is no role for government spending on certain activities, but private giving has no substitute, and we need to protect and nurture it. Ralph Nader once said, "A society that has a more justice is a society that needs less charity." This stems from the common misconception that charity is just about cash, so the government might as well just raise taxes and pay for everything.
 
FP: Is it worth it in academia to write a book that is "subversive"?

Brooks: I've been told that this book is a bit subversive indeed. But I think it's part of my job, especially as a full professor with tenure, to question assumptions and follow the evidence where I believe it leads. When academics don't question our assumptions, we are doing society a tremendous disservice. We are a privileged, protected class of professional thinkers. This system can be abused, as we all know, but it can also be used for good, when we try and uncover hard truths in the data, and carry knowledge forward.

Of course, there is a prevailing political and social ideology in academia that we all know about, and doing research that goes against the established dogma can sometimes be a little disconcerting. It doesn't necessarily provoke a lot of high-fives around the office. But honest inquiry and academic freedom are not about being part of the academic amen corner.
 
FP: I can tell you that when I was doing my doctorate in academia I was quite open about being a Conservative and the fact that Ronald Reagan was my favorite president.
 
You can just imagine the reception I received.
 
I was, to put it mildly, shunned, ostracized and made into a non-person by many in the academic establishment. Not that I cared in the least, because those aren’t the friends I seek anyway. But that was the reality.
 
In my own experience, leftists make friends according to how people fit into the structure of their ideas, not according to what they like about people themselves. Look at the long list of ex-leftists who were abandoned by their communities after they changed their politics.
 
What is your experience? Do you think you might lose some friends over this? Might you be hurt in some other way in academia?
 
Brooks: The book is brand new, so the full effect remains to be seen. Wish me luck! The Wall Street Journal called it a "tidy time-bomb of a book," which I loved, but which made me think I had best run away before it blows up.

Seriously, though, I have no doubt I'll be harangued here and there. I've already had the experience of showing up to give a scholarly talk at a university, and finding a few folks looking for a fight before I even open my mouth because I'm supposedly a right-winger. But that sort of thing is simply a cost of doing business if I want to do work that has an impact on the national conversation.

I'm lucky to be stationed at a university where the leadership is supportive of my work. Also, I sit in a school of public policy, which tends to be a less ideologically-rigid environment than many other parts of academia. In fact, most of today's top policy schools are making noises about taking all reasonable worldviews more seriously -- even those of conservatives and religious people. We haven't achieved anything like "balance" yet, but I think it is probably getting less scary for grad students and junior faculty to do policy-oriented research that doesn't support a particular political or social agenda. Academic entrepreneurs and sincere scholars on both the left and right need to push this progress along, and to help it spread around the academy.

FP: What do you hope this book will achieve?

Brooks: I really hope this book will do two things. First, I hope people will read it, examine their own giving, and give more as a result -- for everyone's good, including their own. Second, I hope researchers will see this book as a conversation-starter and undertake new work on charity. This book is not the last word on these issues by any means; there is a lot more research to be done. Some of that might come to different conclusions than mine, and that's fine. We need more thinking about charity from all perspectives.
 
FP: Arthur Brooks, thank you for joining us.

Brooks: It's been a pleasure. Happy New Year to you and FrontPage's readers.
10687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 22, 2008, 08:31:14 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-06-25-charitable_N.htm

Americans give record $295B to charity



NEW YORK (AP) — Americans gave nearly $300 billion to charitable causes last year, setting a record and besting the 2005 total that had been boosted by a surge in aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the Asian tsunami.
Donors contributed an estimated $295.02 billion in 2006, a 1% increase when adjusted for inflation, up from $283.05 billion in 2005. Excluding donations for disaster relief, the total rose 3.2%, inflation-adjusted, according to an annual report released Monday by the Giving USA Foundation at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy.

Giving historically tracks the health of the overall economy, with the rise amounting to about one-third the rise in the stock market, according to Giving USA. Last year was right on target, with a 3.2% rise as stocks rose more than 10% on an inflation-adjusted basis.

"What people find especially interesting about this, and it's true year after year, that such a high percentage comes from individual donors," Giving USA Chairman Richard Jolly said.

Individuals gave a combined 75.6% of the total. With bequests, that rises to 83.4%.

The biggest chunk of the donations, $96.82 billion or 32.8%, went to religious organizations. The second largest slice, $40.98 billion or 13.9%, went to education, including gifts to colleges, universities and libraries.

About 65% of households with incomes less than $100,000 give to charity, the report showed.

"It tells you something about American culture that is unlike any other country," said Claire Gaudiani, a professor at NYU's Heyman Center for Philanthropy and author of The Greater Good: How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism. Gaudiani said the willingness of Americans to give cuts across income levels, and their investments go to developing ideas, inventions and people to the benefit of the overall economy.

Gaudiani said Americans give twice as much as the next most charitable country, according to a November 2006 comparison done by the Charities Aid Foundation. In philanthropic giving as a percentage of gross domestic product, the U.S. ranked first at 1.7%. No. 2 Britain gave 0.73%, while France, with a 0.14% rate, trailed such countries as South Africa, Singapore, Turkey and Germany.

Mega-gifts, which Giving USA considers to be donations of $1 billion or more, tend to get the most attention, and that was true last year especially.

Investment superstar Warren Buffett announced in June 2006 that he would give $30 billion over 20 years to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Of that total, $1.9 billion was given in 2006, which helped push the year's total higher.

Gaudiani said that gift reflects a growing focus on using donated money efficiently and effectively.

"I think it's also a strategic commitment to upward mobility exported to other countries, in the form of improved health and stronger civil societies," she said.

The Gates Foundation has focused on reducing hunger and fighting disease in developing countries as well as improving education in the U.S. Without Buffett's pledge, it had an endowment of $29.2 billion as of the end of 2005.

Meanwhile, companies and their foundations gave less in 2006, dropping 10.5% to $12.72 billion. Jolly said corporate giving fell because companies had been so generous in response to the natural disasters and because profits overall were less strong in 2006 over the year before.

The Giving USA report counts money given to foundations as well as grants the foundations make to non-profits and other groups, since foundations typically give out only income earned without spending the original donations.
10688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: July 22, 2008, 07:28:59 PM
There is no policy decision that won't result in ugly spinoff consequences. The legalization of drugs will create a loss of life and impact the social fabric of the US, still not to the degree that a drug money-fueled global jihad will. Not a happy choice, but one that needs to be examined.
10689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 22, 2008, 07:20:54 PM
As we appropriately leave it to the people/gov't of Iraq to decide their fate, I think one should remember that so too was the Vietnam War left to the people.  The American people voted overwhelmingly to get out of Vietnam. 

**After having been throughly mislead by the MSM and the "peace" movement, i'd cite the misreporting of the Tet offensive as a perfect example, the public opinion was affected by the psyops. It's the same steady drumbeat of doom that was tried to undercut this war. Do you really think the public would have supported cutting off aid to South Vietnam if they knew the horrors that would follow?**

It was democracy in action.  Of course we have a right to speak and to disagree with policy - that's what people do in a democracy.

As for the Khmer Rouge reference, I am a bit confused.  The Khmer Rouge were in Cambodia, not Vietnam.  They never killed Vietnamese and no "power vacuum" was left in Cambodia since we had no power in Cambodia.  No doubt the Khmer Rouge were terrible; but note it was the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (the same army we fought) in 1979 who attacked and destroyed the Khmer Rouge; let's be fair; it was the Vietnamese were the saviors of Cambodia, not the U.S.

**After the democrats cut off funding and support to Lon Nol's forces in Cambodia and South Vietnam the communists began the mass murders that were warned about.**


10690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 22, 2008, 12:56:15 PM
**A bit of historical perspective on how the dems are the best friends are enemies could ever ask for.**

Al-Qaeda's No. 2 Applauds Democrat War Bill
By Amanda B. Carpenter (more by this author)
Human Events
Posted 05/08/2007 ET
Updated 05/08/2007 ET

Over the weekend, the second-highest ranking member of al Qaeda called Democrat-led initiatives to end the war symbols of American defeat in Iraq.

In a 67-minute interview released on May 5, known terrorist Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri said legislation to tie war funding with a timetable for withdrawal, “reflects American failure and frustration.”

Last week, President Bush vetoed a bill delivered to him from the Democrat Congress that did this. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D.-Calif.) House has since failed to overturn his veto and now negotiations to proceed appear to be in a stalemate.

Zawahiri lamented that “this bill will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American forces which we have caught in this historic trap” but said it proved jihad “is moving from the stage of defeat of the Crusader invaders and their traitorous underlings to the stage of consolidating Mujahid Islamic Emirate.”

Zawahiri said the withdrawal legislation helped to “raise the banner of Jihad as it makes its way through a rugged path of sacrifice.”

A senior government official said it was “stunning” that Zawahiri was watching Congress so closely.

The video was likely encouraged by comments from Democrat leadership. In an April 19 press conference Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) told media, “This war is lost.”

Two days later, in a statement issued from the Islamic State of Iraq, al Qaeda used Reid’s declaration as evidence of their success. “In the past few days it became clear to every watcher and observer the magnitude of damage that hits the American administration and the defeated declarations of its leaders about the situation in the field in Iraq,” it said. “A serious statement came from ‘Harry Reid’ the Democrat majority leader in the Congress who said: "'the war is in Iraq is hopeless and that the situation in Iraq is similar to Vietnam War.'”

The Vietnam War was ended with the 1973 Foreign Assistance Act that cut funding for operations in the region. The end effect of the Foreign Assistance Act was best captured in a photograph taken by Hubert Van Es that showed hundreds of Vietnamese civilians queuing up for the last American helicopter out of Saigon. Soon, without American troops or any resources to protect the Vietnamese, the Communists took over South Vietnam and millions were killed by the Khmer Rouge communist regime in the power vacuum left by American withdrawal.

Similar actions could be taken by al Qaeda forces, who have failed to hold territory in Iraq and Afghanistan or disrupt American-led political processes there, should U.S. troops withdraw from the region.

Throughout the 2004 presidential election, Democrat candidate Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) was also quoted by name in communications from Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri.


Miss Carpenter is congressional correspondent & assistant editor for HUMAN EVENTS. She is the author of "The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's Dossier on Hillary Rodham Clinton," published by Regnery (a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).
10691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 22, 2008, 11:41:50 AM
http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/is-the-media-trying-to-elect-obama.html?printable=true&currentPage=all

POLITICS AND POWER
The 2008 Election
Is the Media Trying to Elect Obama?
by Dee Dee Myers
July 21, 2008, 5:15 PM

Tomorrow, CBS’s Katie Couric will interview Barack Obama from Jordan. On Wednesday, ABC’s Charlie Gibson will chat with him from Israel. And on Thursday, NBC’s Brian Williams will do the honors from Germany. Call it the presidential campaign equivalent of Shooting the Moon.
And to think, a few short months ago the Washington establishment was buzzing about the press’s pending dilemma: With Obama and John McCain looking like the all-but-certain nominees of their respective parties, how would the media choose between its new crush, Obama, and its long-time paramour, McCain? The Illinois senator has been a media darling since he burst onto the scene at the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2004, and during the Democratic primary season, he bested Hillary Clinton in both quantity of coverage (he got more) and tenor (his was way more positive). But McCain has gotten so much favorable media attention over the years that he often joked that the press was his political base. In a head-to-head competition, who would win?
So far, the answer is clear: Obama is The One. In the first quarter of the general election, he has simply gotten more and better coverage than McCain. For those who need more evidence than the enormous press entourage that is treating Obama’s current trip not like the campaign swing of a presidential candidate, but like the international debut of the New American President, there are several new studies which help quantify the disparity.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism, which evaluates more than 300 newspaper, magazine, and television stories each week, found that from June 9 (after Obama had wrapped up the Democratic nomination) until July 13, Obama was more prominently covered every single week. During one particular week, July 7–13, McCain was a significant presence in 48 percent of the stories—but Obama met that mark in 77 percent of the pieces. Similarly, the Tyndall Report, a media monitoring group, found that Obama received substantially more media attention.
I can only imagine what the gap must be like this week, as Obama continues to meet with world leaders and adoring crowds, while the mere presence of media’s biggest and brightest stars stamps each and every event as important!
Given all that, it’s not surprising that voters, particularly those of the Republican persuasion, think the media is more or less in Obama’s pocket. A recent survey by Rasmussen found that 49 percent of the likely voters they talked to believed that reporters would favor Obama in their coverage, while just 14 percent said the same about McCain. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans thought the press would try and help Obama win, while only 21 percent of Democrats thought journalists were in bed with McCain. Complaints about bias are only exacerbated when the New York Times (the bête noire of the right) rejects an opinion piece written by McCain comparing his position on Iraq to Obama’s—just days after the Times ran a similar piece by Obama.
Suspicions of pro-Obama bias began in the primaries. A Pew survey in late May and early June found that 37 percent of Americans believed that Obama received preferential coverage; only eight percent said the same about his principal opponent, Hillary Clinton.
There are lot of “explanations” for the lopsided coverage: Obama is new and what’s new is “news.” As the first African-American to run a serious race, let alone win a major party’s nomination, Obama is running an historic campaign. Obama has created a “movement,” and Americans are simply more interested in him than in his opponents. Obama is running a smarter campaign, and he knows how to court media attention. It’s also true that intense media coverage is a double- edged sword: the attention is great when things are going well, but it can doom a candidate if and when things start to go badly. And so far, Obama has had way more good days than bad days. Each of those rationales is largely true—and somewhat less than satisfying.
At the end of the day, this will be a long campaign, and what’s true in July may not be true in November. But what seems indisputably true—to quote another dazzling young Democrat who received disproportionately favorable media attention, John Kennedy—is this: “Life is unfair.”
10692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 22, 2008, 11:37:03 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/22/new-mccain-ad-the-medias-got-a-crush-on-obama/

Crush on Obama.
10693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 22, 2008, 11:31:06 AM
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=a6a9bbad-4eb6-4f77-b092-b96362aad330   
 
Dear Barack Obama
A letter from an anxious Israeli to the presidential candidate on the eve of his visit to Jerusalem.

Yossi Klein Halevi,  The New Republic  Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008



Barack Obama
Dear Senator Obama,

Welcome to Israel. When you arrive here on July 22, you will encounter a people intrigued by your candidacy and, given the current crisis of Israeli leadership, envious of your capacity to inspire. Issues that have worried some Americans about your background have scarcely been noted here. The whispering campaign labeling you a Muslim wasn't taken seriously by mainstream Israelis. Nor are we fazed by your middle name: Half of Israel's Jewish population has origins in Muslim cultures. Despite black-Jewish tensions in America, your color evokes little concern here; Israel rescued tens of thousands of African Jews and turned  their arrival into a national celebration. Even Rev. Wright didn't cause much of a stir, maybe because we're used to being embarrassed by our own religious leaders.

Still, as much as Israelis want to embrace you, there is anxiety here about your candidacy. Not that we doubt your friendship: Your description of Israeli security as "sacrosanct," and your passionate endorsement of Israel's cause at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, were greeted with banner headlines in the Israeli press. Instead, Israelis worry that, as president, you might act too hastily in trying to solve the Palestinian problem, and not hastily enough in trying to solve the Iranian problem.

 

On the surface, the Israel you will encounter is thriving. The beaches and cafes are crowded, the shekel is one of the world's strongest currencies, our high-tech companies are dominating NASDAQ, our wineries are winning international medals, and we even export goat cheese to France.

But beneath the exuberance lies a desperate nation. The curse of Jewish history--the inability to take mere existence for granted--has returned to a country whose founding was intended to resolve that uncertainty. Even the most optimistic Israelis sense a dread we have felt only rarely--like in the weeks before the Six Day War, when Egyptian President Gammal Abdul Nasser shut down the Straits of Tiran, moved his army toward our border, and promised the imminent destruction of Israel. At the time, Lyndon Johnson, one of the best friends Israel ever had in the White House, was too preoccupied with an unpopular war to offer real assistance.

We feel our security unraveling. Terror enclaves have emerged on two of our borders, undoing a decades-long Israeli policy to deny terrorist bases easy reach to our population centers. The cease-fire with Hamas is widely seen here as a defeat--an admission that Israel couldn't defend its communities on the Gaza border from eight years of shelling, and an opportunity for Hamas to consolidate its rule and smuggle in upgraded missiles for the inevitable next round of fighting. The unthinkable has already happened: missiles on Haifa and Ashkelon, exploding buses in Jerusalem, hundreds of thousands of Israelis transformed into temporary refugees. During the first Gulf War in 1991, when Tel Aviv was hit with Scud missiles, residents fled to the Galilee. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, when the Galilee was hit with Katyushas, residents fled to Tel Aviv. In the next war, there will be nowhere to flee: The entire country is now within missile range of Iran and its terrorist proxies.

 

Above all else, we dread a nuclear Iran. With few exceptions, the consensus within the political and security establishment is that Israel cannot live with an Iranian bomb. In the U.S., a debate has begun over whether the Iranian regime is rational or apocalyptic. In truth no one knows whether the regime, or elements within it, would be mad enough to risk nuclear war. But precisely because no one knows, Israel will not place itself in a position to find out. As we contemplate the possibility of an Israeli military strike, we worry about the extent of support from you at what could be the most critical moment in our history. When Israelis discuss the timing of a possible attack, they often ask: If Obama wins the election, should we hit Iran before January?

True, you told AIPAC that "we should take no option, including military action, off the table." But that was the one moment in your speech that failed to convince. Last December you appeared to endorse the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which broadly hinted that Iran may not be seeking a nuclear bomb after all--a claim that may have soothed Americans worried about Dick Cheney launching another preemptive war, but appalled not only Israeli intelligence but also French and British intelligence (and that has since been at least partially retracted). In the Iowa debate, you responded to a question about the NIE by stating that "it's absolutely clear that this administration and President Bush continues to not let facts get in the way of his ideology...They should stop the saber-rattling, should have never started it, and they need now to aggressively move on the diplomatic front."

From where Israelis sit, it's clear that Iran temporarily suspended its weaponizations program--which is, in fact, the least important part of its effort to attain nuclear power--for the same reason that Muamar Qadaffi abandoned his nuclear program: fear of America after the Iraq invasion. A senior European Union official told me last year how grateful he was to America and Israel for raising the military threat against Iran. "You make our job easier," he said, referring to European-Iranian negotiations.

I am convinced that you regard a nuclear Iran as an intolerable threat, as you put it to AIPAC, and that, under your administration, negotiations with Iran would be coupled with a vigorous campaign of sanctions. And you've made the convincing argument that you could summon international goodwill far better than the current administration. No nation would be more relieved by an effective sanctions campaign than Israel. We know what the consequences are likely to be of an attack on Iran--retalitory missiles on Tel Aviv, terrorism against Jewish communities abroad, rising anti-semitism blaming the Jews for an increase in oil prices.

We worry, though, that the sanctions will be inadequate and that the Iranians will exploit American dialogue as cover to complete their nuclearization. Unless stopped, Iran's nuclear program will reach the point of no return within the early phases of the next administration. We need to hear that under no circumstances would an Obama administration allow the Iranian regime to go nuclear--that if sanctions and diplomacy fail, the U.S. will either attack or else support us if we do.

 

The rise of Hamas has only confirmed what Israelis have sensed since the violent collapse of the peace process in September 2000: that the Palestinian national movement is dysfunctional. The bitter joke here is that we're well within reach of a two-state solution--a Hamas state in Gaza and a Fatah state in the West Bank.

In your speech to AIPAC, you intuited an understanding of the Israeli psyche--hopes for peace, along with wariness. But our wariness isn't only a response to terrorism. More profoundly, we fear being deceived again by wishful thinking, by our desperation for peace, as we allowed ourselves to be during the years of the Oslo process. At that time, many Israelis began a painful, necessary process of self-reckoning, asking ourselves the crucial question of how Palestinians experienced this conflict, in effect borrowing Palestinian eyes. Many of us forced ourselves to confront the tragedy of a shattered people, one part dispersed, another part occupied, yet another uneasy citizens in a Jewish state.

Most of all, we allowed ourselves the vulnerability of hope. We lowered our guard and empowered Yasser Arafat, convincing ourselves that he had become a partner for peace. The subsequent betrayal wasn't Arafat's alone: Even now Fatah continues to convey to Palestinians the message that Israel is illegitimate and destined to disappear. Many Israelis have become so wary of being taken for fools again--which this generation of Jews had vowed would never happen to us--that talk of hope seems like unbearable naivete.

Most Israelis want a solution to the Palestinian problem as keenly as does the international community, and understand, no less than our critics abroad, that the occupation is a long-term disaster for Israel. The Israeli irony is that we have shifted from dreading the creation of a Palestinian state to dreading its failure. Fulfilling the classical Zionist hopes for a democratic Israel with a Jewish majority, at home in the Middle East and an equal member of the international community, ultimately depend on resolving the Palestinian tragedy. The Jewish return home will not be complete until we find our place in the Middle East.

But empowering the Palestinians requires renewing the trust of the Israeli public toward them. And that, in turn, requires some sign from Palestinian leaders that Israel's legitimacy is at least being debated within Palestinian society rather than systematically denigrated. Repeating a commitment to "peace" is meaningless: Peace, after all, can include a Middle East without a Jewish state.

For many years, Israelis denied the right of the Palestinians to define themselves as a nation, considering Palestinian nationalism an invention by the Arab world to undermine Israel. We experienced our conceptual breakthrough in the 1990s. Now it's the Palestinians' turn. Admittedly, Israelis, as the powerful protagonists, could more readily develop a nuanced understanding of the conflict. Psychologically, though, we too are the underdog: Israel may be Goliath to the Palestinian David, but we are David to the Arab world's (and Iran's) Goliath. We cannot empower the Palestinians while fearing our consequent diminishment.
You can be a crucial voice in encouraging the transformation of Palestinian consciousness. Perhaps parts of Palestinian society and of the broader Arab world would be able to hear from you what it cannot hear from us: that the Jews aren't colonialist invaders or crusaders but an indigenous people living in its land. Perhaps you can help the Middle East reconcile itself to our existence, and in so doing, help us complete our return home.

As you go through the requisite visits to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and the President's House, the Israeli public will be hoping to hear, beyond affirmations of your commitment to Israeli security, that America under President Obama will understand what maintaining that security involves. We hope that you will insist on a peace based on acceptance of the permanent legitimacy of a Jewish state, and on a Middle East free of the apocalyptic terror of a nuclear Iran. We, too, need the hope that you have promised America.

Yossi Klein Halevi is a contributing editor of The New Republic and a senior fellow at the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies of the Shalem Center in Jerualem. He is author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for Hope with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.
10694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 22, 2008, 10:54:18 AM
Then again, this does give some political cover for a military strike as "we've now bent over backwards" to get them to comply, with no success.
10695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: July 22, 2008, 10:51:02 AM
We've chosen to pursue our anti-drug agenda, thus ensuring AQ and the Talibs have a sufficient money supply to continue their jihad in the Stans and globally.
10696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 21, 2008, 09:57:31 PM
As posted on another board, the right mindset needed:


I was asked in a couple of PM's to write up some examples of "spontaneous jihad".

Spontaneous jihad is when a lone muslim gets the idea to go and an act of murder as party of an isolated terrorism.

Case #1

In the first incident I was driving an unmarked jeep from Jerusalem to the north of Israel to teach a week long in service training for snipers. In Israel we have different colored license plates for our vehicles. Yellow and black plates for Israeli citizens both Arab and Jews, blue or green for Palestinians, red plates for police vehicles, Black with white letters for IDF and white with black letters for diplomatic vehicles. The jeep I was driving had yellow and black plates on it and inside the jeep I had green plates and also red plates that I could put on the Jeep if I saw the need. The jeep had a siren and pa system and a kojack blue light, along with two sets of radios law enforcement and IDF radios.

I left Jerusalem heading north through Ramallah in Samaria AKA northern part of the so called west bank. As I had a bunch of equipment related to the teaching of the course, I didn't want to be bothered by taking either my sniping rifle or my M16 rifle, so I was armed with a mini Uzi and a Glock 21 pistol which happened to be the first one that entered Israel.

Since I was going to be in for a long drive I was wearing the Glock in an IWB holster carried cross draw and was wearing the mini Uzi with the stock folded and the sling around my neck carried muzzle down between my legs. The Uzi had two mags in it and I carried four more if I remember correctly more in my left cargo pocket of my pants.

The weather was warm and while I drove I was drinking water to keep hydrated and about 30-45 minutes north of Ramallah I felt the need for a pit stop so I pulled the jeep over and walked away from the jeep which was parked along side the two lane country road. I walked away from the jeep into the brush as a means of concealment so if the jeep attracted unwanted attention I was away from it and hidden so I could then take the correct action if need be.

As I got ready to do my business I moved the Uzi from around my neck hanging down like a neck tie would, so I moved the weapon to my left shoulder, The reason being if it should happen to slide of my should it would not effect my aim, which could have resulted in wet pants.

I had just started when a Hamas looking Arab approached me from the right side asking me if I needed help. I replied that I was fine and he should freeze or suffer bad things to come. He kept walking towards me starting in on the usual BS we are family, we are cousins let me help you.

I told him that just because my forefather Avraham slept with some arab whore did not in my mind make us family and we all should learn that having sex with arab whores is not the thing to do.

My response was not what he thought he would get as it was far outside the norms of the middle east, which by the look on his face caused his thought process to short circuit which gave me time to finish and get myself together as it were. He then started to walk towards me again.

I told him he was either a terrorist looking for a victim or he was a fag but the end result would be the same that I would kill him where he stood. I then pivoted so he could see I was armed, which made him freeze.

He then got this grin on his face and said Yahud, Jew if every Jew was like you their would never be a Palestinian state but most Jews were week and they would get their state in the end and then he walked off.

He was latter found by the IDF and had a large knife.

Case #2

I was going to meet a friend from Sweden in the old city of Jerusalem for lunch and then to take him around the old city. I was dressed in civilian cloths i.e jeans t shirt and sandals and kippah on my head. I was armed with a micro Uzi and a Hi Power that I carried cocked and locked but under my t shirt.

I had just entered the old city via the Yaffo gate and was walking across the open area that is just inside the gate before you get to the maze that is the old city.

I was walking toward the east for those of you that have been in the old city and to the north was 3 or 4 members of the "blue" police civilian police and to my right was a group of 8-10 arab males aged 18-25.

One of the arabs walked away from the group and approached me asking if he could see the micro uzi, I told him he was insane and to get away from me. He again started with the family crap as he started to walk with me. I told him to get the hell away from me.

The arab the lunged at me grabbing for the Uzi, I gave him an elbow strike to the side of the head and grabbed him with my left arm wrapping him up and talking him down with me to the street while I drew the Hi Power from under my shirt.

I stuck the pistol into his face and thumbed the safety off, he was stunned by the blow to the head and before I could blow his head off out of my periphery vision I saw people running towards me. Thinking I was about to gt swarmed by his friends I raised the pistol towards the people running at me.

The people running towards me happened to be the police, I ordered them to grab the group of arab males and to get a pair of cuffs so we could cuff up the asshole I was sitting on.

The whole time I had in my right hand a cocked and unlocked Hi power which was loaded with hollowpoint ammo, at a time 99% of Israeli government and civilians were still using ball ammo.

We cuffed up the now bleeding arab and then I knew that virtue was the better part of valor so I removed the mag from my Hi Power and removed the round from the chamber and since I carried the `13 round mags down one round I just topped off the mag.

The cops were amazed at how fast I had been able to draw and chamber a round since at the time most of the people carried condition 3. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I carried with one up the tube and cocked and locked.

From the group of arabs we learned that when he saw me and the micro uzi he wanted to try to take it since with such a weapon he could murder a lot of Jews.


The thing that both incidents have in common is spontaneous jihad, since both attacks were unplanned and were done at the spur of the moment. The question is how can we identify those hadji's that might be leaning to spontaneous jihad, we can't.

So how do we defend against it?

By never letting your guard down and being ready to be as un PC as you can be if their is a verbal dialog leading up to their desired attack.

I have noticed that by being very crude about the family connection and other things tends to short circuit their thought process, it is the mental version of getting of the X.

Yoni

10697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 21, 2008, 09:34:53 PM
Rachel,

You are free to be angry at me. My intent was not to anger you, just to emphasize what's at stake and how stupid trading terrorists for corpses is. Showing weakness to the savages just encourages them, and the clock is ticking to the time when they'll have nuclear weapons.

Both America and Israel face the same enemy. This enemy has no rules. This enemy loves to target children. This enemy will destroy both nations if given the chance. They cannot be negotiated with, cannot be reasoned with. You can't teach them to love. There is no choice but to teach them to fear. The "old school Israelis" understood this. Somehow this seems to have been lost to many Israelis and Americans today.
10698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: July 21, 2008, 07:43:09 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/21/medal-of-honor-recipient-and-fellow-pow-endorses-mccain/

I wonder if Barry-O will be getting any MOH winner's endorsement.....

10699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: July 21, 2008, 05:28:46 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/21/video-mother-weeps-over-family-murdered-by-illegal-alien-gang-member/

Border security IS homeland security.
10700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: July 21, 2008, 05:21:22 PM
http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=14665033

McCain to Israeli TV: Sanctions might stop Iran, but US will not allow 2nd Holocaust

The Associated Press
Monday, July 21, 2008

JERUSALEM: American presidential candidate John McCain told an Israeli TV station that stiffer sanctions might stop Iran's threats against Israel. In an interview broadcast Monday, the Republican candidate said that in any event, the U.S. would not allow Iran to try to destroy Israel.

McCain's interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV aired just before Democratic candidate Barack Obama is due to arrive in Israel.

Asked about Israel feeling the need to attack Iran, McCain replied, "I would hope that would never happen, I would hope that Israel would not feel that threatened, " saying the U.S. and Europe could impose "significant, very painful sanctions on Iran which I think could modify their behavior."

He added, "But I have to look you in the eye and tell you that the United States of America can never allow a second Holocaust."

Israel considers Iran a strategic threat, discounting reports that Iran has dropped efforts to build nuclear weapons. Iran is developing long-range rockets and has called often for Israel's destruction.

Asked about possible military actions against Iran, McCain said, "I think we have a lot of options to explored before we seriously explore the military option, and I don't think we have exercised those enough.

McCain said he favors low-level contacts with Iranian officials, but not a meeting of presidents without preconditions. He said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would take advantage of such a meeting and its media coverage to call for the destruction of Israel.
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