Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan
on: July 21, 2007, 09:41:42 PM
Al Qaeda: Internal Power Struggle Looms
By Sami Yousafzai And Ron Moreau
July 30, 2007 issue - Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf's moment of triumph was brief. Even before his soldiers had overrun the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque—a complex in the heart of the normally sleepy capital of Islamabad that had been occupied by extremists—the retaliations began. Early last week Afghan Taliban and Pakistani tribal militants launched suicide attacks against several Pakistani military convoys. Another bomber walked into a police recruiting center, killing 29 in a single gory blast. The next day militants launched a classic guerrilla ambush using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades that killed 14 Pakistani soldiers traveling in a convoy. The attacks demonstrated a shocking degree of organization and speed—not to mention strategic cunning. After former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto publicly backed Musharraf's counter terror operation against the Red Mosque, yet another suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a group waiting to attend a rally of her Pakistan Peoples Party in Islamabad. At least 13 people died in that incident, bringing the week's toll to more than 150 killed in retaliatory attacks since the Red Mosque was raided.
Who was the shadowy general behind the wave of violence? Pakistani and Taliban officials interviewed recently by NEWSWEEK say it was none other than Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Qaeda No. 2 who has also been appearing in a recent flurry of audio- and videotapes. While Osama bin Laden has been keeping a low profile—he may be ill, U.S. intel officials say—Zawahiri has moved aggressively to take operational control of the group. In so doing, Zawahiri has provoked a potentially serious ideological split within Al Qaeda over whether he is growing too powerful, and has become obsessed with toppling Musharraf, according to two jihadists interviewed by NEWSWEEK last week.
After years in which Zawahiri seemed constantly on the run, his alleged orchestration of last week's attacks would be further evidence that Qaeda and Taliban forces are newly empowered and have consolidated control of a safe haven along the Pakistani border. A new National Intelligence Estimate out of Washington last week also concludes that Al Qaeda is resurgent in Pakistan—and more centrally organized than it has been at any time since 9/11. The NIE—a periodic intel assessment that is considered the most authoritative issued by the U.S. government—concluded Al Qaeda has "regenerated key elements" of its ability to attack the United States. These include a sanctuary in Pakistan's tribal regions of North Waziristan and Bajaur, and an intact hierarchy of top leadership and operational lieutenants.
The anti-Zawahiri faction in Al Qaeda fears his actions may be jeopardizing that safe haven, according to the two jihadists interviewed by NEWSWEEK. Both have proved reliable in the past: they are Omar Farooqi, the nom de guerre for a veteran Taliban fighter and chief liaison officer between insurgent forces in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, and Hemat Khan, a Taliban operative with links to Al Qaeda. They say Zawahiri's personal jihad has angered Al Qaeda's so-called Libyan faction, which intel officials believe may be led by the charismatic Abu Yahya al-Libi, who made a daring escape from an American high-security lockup at Baghram air base in 2005. The Libyan Islamists, along with bin Laden and other senior Qaeda leaders, would love to see Musharraf gone, too. But they fear that Zawahiri is inviting the Pakistani leader's wrath, prematurely opening up another battlefront before the jihadists have properly consolidated their position.
Pakistani intelligence officials believe Zawahiri was behind two attempts to kill Musharraf that failed in December 2003. Since then, Zawahiri has been on an almost personal crusade to assassinate or overthrow the Pakistani leader. In his latest video, which is among at least 10 audio and video spots he has released this year, and which was produced and put on a jihadist Web site in record time, Zawahiri condemned the Red Mosque raid and urged Pakistani Muslims to "revolt," or else "Musharraf will annihilate you." (The mosque apparently served as a safe house for foreign and jihadist militants moving between urban areas and the tribal agencies until Pakistani security forces stormed it on July 10, killing about 70 militants and students holed up inside.)
The Egyptian-born Zawahiri is nominal leader of the Egyptian faction, the Jamaat al-Jihad, which he united with Al Qaeda in the 1990s. It is larger and contains more senior people than the Libyan group. Both jihadist sources who spoke to NEWSWEEK say there is now what Khan calls "a clear divide" between the two factions. In part, the Libyans seem to be irked by Zawahiri's unchecked ego and self-righteousness. "The Libyans say he's too extremist," says Farooqi, and they resent Zawahiri for appearing to speak for bin Laden. "Libyans tell me that the sheik [bin Laden] has not appointed a successor and that only the U.S. government and the international media talk of Zawahiri as being the deputy," Farooqi says.
A senior U.S. official involved in counterterrorism policy, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was addressing sensitive matters, agrees that there are tensions between Al Qaeda's Egyptian and Libyan factions, as well as between Saudi and Central Asian elements. "These guys are not immune to nationalist tendencies," he says. John Arquilla, an intelligence expert at the Naval Postgraduate School who closely follows radical Islamist traffic, calls it "the battle for Al Qaeda's strategic soul. There is a profound strategic debate over whether to focus on overturning the government in Pakistan ... because that puts them in control of a nuclear capacity."
Bin Laden himself has not personally intervened to end the internal feud, according to the jihadist sources. For security reasons he rarely has face-to-face meetings with his deputies. "He doesn't want to get involved," says Khan. "He's already too busy with strategic planning and inspirational duties and with directing his own security." Instead, bin Laden has tried to resolve the dispute by dividing duties between the two factions and appointing a pair of mediators, these sources say.
The infighting also hasn't prevented Zawahiri and his Qaeda brethren, along with Afghan Taliban and militant Pakistani tribal leaders, from establishing a complex command, control, training and recruitment base largely in Waziristan, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials. U.S. officials say Al Qaeda has vastly improved its position there since Musharraf signed a controversial peace deal with North Waziristan's Pashtun tribal elders in September 2006, which gave pro-Taliban tribal militants full control of security in the area. Al Qaeda provides funding, training and ideological inspiration, while Afghan Taliban and Pakistani tribal leaders supply the manpower: both fighters and the growing ranks of suicide bombers. Scattered across the rugged and remote mountains are small training camps and command and communications posts set up in hundreds of mud-brick compounds.
Last week tribal officials, who have become increasingly radicalized, indicated the deal was off. The governor of Afghanistan's Khowst province, Arsala Jamal, told NEWSWEEK that Qaeda and Afghan and Pakistani militants have moved some of their top fighters and commanders from Waziristan into safe areas in Afghanistan in case Pakistani and U.S. forces launch retaliatory raids.
U.S. counterterrorism operatives have been reluctant to cross into Waziristan for fear of violating Pakistani sovereignty and upsetting Musharraf. The general—who has refused demands to relinquish his uniform since taking power in a coup—has faced dramatically rising opposition from both secular and Islamist Pakistanis. On Friday, Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled against Musharraf's summary suspension of the nation's top judge—a move that had triggered widespread demonstrations.
But Hank Crumpton, a longtime CIA senior official and former counterterrorism coordinator for the State Department, says U.S. reluctance must be overcome, because Musharraf can't deal with the problem alone. The Pakistani leader sent more than 100,000 troops to the tribal areas last year, but "they lacked the requisite counterinsurgency skills," Crumpton says. And if Musharraf doesn't confront the situation more squarely, he'll face a growing Taliban movement in Pakistan. "There is encroaching Talibanization now outside the tribal areas into Pakistan proper," says Crumpton, a judgment seconded by a confidential report from Pakistan's Interior Ministry, obtained by NEWSWEEK.
U.S. and Pakistani officials hope that Zawahiri overreaches in his zeal to kill Musharraf, and they get an intel break on his whereabouts. Crumpton says the United States needs to lead an effort with anti-Taliban local tribes, some of whom have been targeted by Al Qaeda. "If we are attacked here [in the United States], which we will be, it almost certainly will have originated from that territory. What will we do then?" One hopes that Ayman Al-Zawahiri—and his resurgent Al Qaeda—can be stopped before that happens.
With Michael Hirsh, Jeffrey Bartholet and Mark Hosenball in Washington and Zahid Hussain in Islamabad
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan
on: July 21, 2007, 06:41:09 PM
'Action in tribal areas can split Pak army'
21 Jul, 2007 l 0945 hrs ISTlPTI
NEW YORK: A strong action in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan by beleaguered Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf could lead to a spilt in the army, a media report said on Saturday.
Detailing a multitude of troubles that Musharraf faces at home, Time magazine quoting a former head of the powerful intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence said many foreign observers believe that his days are numbered as leader of Pakistan, raising the issue of who could possibly replace America's primary ally in the war against terror in this critical region.
The Pakistan President has come under strong criticism from the United States for his policy of non-engagement in the tribal areas which is now considered a complete failure.
Washington is demanding that Musharraf do more to rein in terrorists, extremists and religious fundamentalists. But in an interview with the magazine, Hamid Gul, former head of ISI, has warned that if Musharraf does take both gloves off in tribal areas, it would just increase the likelihood of a split in army.
"The officer cadres are liberal, secular, they come from the elite classes. But the rank and file of the army were never secular, they were always religious," Gul said.
"If there is a face-off between the army and people, the leadership may lose control of the army. The army does not feel happy. They are from the same streets, the same villages, the same bazaars of the lower and middle classes, and they want the same thing (Islamic law) for their country."
The increasing suicide attacks in Pakistan in the wake of storming of Lal Masjid by army in which a large number of militants were killed have brought some relief to Afghanistan.
Time reported that the spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan seems to have cooled the immediate sense of crisis in Afghanistan.
Word on the streets of Kabul is that the suicide bombers from Pakistan's tribal areas who until recently headed west into Afghanistan to train Afghan militants or carry out attacks themselves are now heading east into the cities of Pakistan, where they have new motives and better targets to attack, it added.
"Normally the Pakistanis come to Afghanistan, but now they are busier in Pakistan," Waheed Muzhda, an Afghan political analyst who worked for the foreign ministry during the Taliban regime, is quoted by Time as saying.
"The media is also focusing on Pakistan's violence. That is why everyone thinks the violence has been reduced here."
Talking about jubilations following reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Time has said the decision is a major blow for Musharraf who is facing increased resistance to his rule, new pressure from Washington to crackdown on militants and a wave of suicide bombings in the country.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants
on: July 21, 2007, 05:45:06 PM
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 20, 2007
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson, United States Air Force (Retired), the Vice-Chairman for Move America Forward and the author of two New York Times best sellers, Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America’s National Security and Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undercut Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our Security. His new book, just released, is War Crimes: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy the Military and Lose the War on Terror.
FP: Buzz Patterson, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Patterson: Hi Jamie. It’s great to be back with you. Thank you for the opportunity.
FP: And it's great to talk to you again.
So what inspired you to write this book?
Patterson: Virtually since September 12, 2001, as fires still smoldered at Ground Zero and the Pentagon, elements of the American Left mobilized against their country and created a de facto alliance with our Islamofascist enemies. I'd retired from the Air Force only 11 days prior to the attacks and I was increasingly shocked that so many of my fellow citizens could choose not to support our military and our commander-in-chief in an obvious time of war. There were Americans who wanted to see their own nation defeated. As a serviceman, I guess I was naive, but the reality that citizens I'd sworn to protect and defend for 20 years could hate their nation so intensely floored me.
Early on in America's involvement in Iraq I noticed a tremendous disconnect between what our media was reporting as "truth" and what I was hearing from my friends and peers actually doing the fighting there. This is the first "internet war" we've ever fought and our soldiers have access to all of the media that those of us stateside do, that is internet access, CNN, Fox, etc. In conversations and e-mails, the troops I spoke with routinely voiced concern and outrage over what they were seeing coming from home. Increasingly they told me that what they were experiencing on the ground in Iraq, the ground truth, was not what they were seeing portrayed on the media.
My initial thesis for War Crimes was that the American media were intentionally undermining the efforts of our president and our troops. I visited Iraq in 2005 to see for myself. After speaking to hundreds of soldiers I realized that the subversive opposition to the war was much bigger than just the media -- it was also Democrat politicians, academics at U.S. colleges and high schools, non-governmental "peace" organizations and the popular culture of Hollywood. War Crimes is an indictment of the Left by servicemen and women fighting a just and noble war.
FP: Can you tell us a bit more about your trip to Iraq? What were some of your observations and experiences? Did you see anything that you did not expect?
Patterson: I went over with a group from the pro-troop, pro-war on terror organization Move America Forward. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I served 20 years in the Air Force and was involved in combat operations as a pilot but my experiences were from above, from the sky. This was my first real insight into our ground forces, Army and Marines, how they operate in war time, what drives them, what their particular military culture is about. I was amazed at their high morale and dedication. It was a tremendous honor to be with them.
We went in July, which is the worst possible time to go to Iraq, and the conditions were oppressive. The temperatures hit about 125 degrees. The air was filled with a talcum powder-like sand that made it difficult to breathe. I fully expected to find some morale and motivation issues amongst our troops but I didn't. In fact, quite the opposite, the morale, professionalism and devotion to duty were off the charts high. I interviewed hundreds of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines yet found one who was disaffected and miserable. The rest I spoke with, and I'm talking all ranks here, general down to private, were sharp, motivated and acutely aware of why they were there.
One of the other themes that struck me was how passionate the troops were for their mission and how disgusted, quite frankly, they were with the American media and some politicians. For the most part they didn't hold back in their condemnation of the media, leftist politicians, anti-war organizations such as Code Pink, and the Hollywood pop culture. It was this passion and commitment that really spoke to me and motivated me to tell their story in War Crimes.
FP: Tell us your thoughts on the Left's de facto alliance with Islamofascism.
Patterson: The bottom line is the Left in this country only wins when America loses. Its a tried-and-true principle founded in the anti-war efforts of Vietnam and the 1960s. To bring down "the man" during Vietnam meant to oppose your country and side with the Communist enemies we faced in North Vietnam, the Soviet Union, North Korea, China and Cuba. The U.S. military never lost a battle throughout the Vietnam War but mainstream media, anti-American radicals and defeatist Democrats colluded to lose the war any way. The Left successfully parlayed the international humiliation and defeat of Vietnam in political capital in Washington, DC and, as a result, elected a radical House and Senate in 1974 and Jimmy Carter to the presidency in 1976.
An almost identical scenario is playing out today. Democrats, and their allies on the Left, have entered into an informal alliance with Islamofascism. They retook the House and Senate last year based on their anti-war, anti-Bush positions. Their hopes to regain the White House in 2008 hinge on turning Iraq and the greater global war against Islamofascism into defeat. They never offer a platform or strategy to address national security or the War on Terror, only a constant drum beat of negativity and defeatism.
Examine the rhetoric. Congressman John Murtha calls our Marines "cold blooded murderers." Senator Dick Durbin morally equates our troops serving at Guantanamo Bay with Hitler's Nazis, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge and Soviets in their gulags. Michael Moore releases his anti-American, anti-military screed Fahrenheit 9/11 and receives marketing assistance in Lebanon from Hezbollah (the terrorist organization that’s been killing Americans since 1983). Columbia University professor Nichole De Genova tells a gathering of 3000 students that "the only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military."
This sort of behavior and rhetoric is not only irresponsible, it’s subversive. It plays right into the Islamofascist game plan, it emboldens our enemy and it results in the war being prolonged and American deaths.
FP: What is the impulse that drives the Left to reach out in solidarity to radical Islam. The Left has always pretended to be the great knight in shining armor when it comes to gay rights, women’s rights, democratic rights and minority rights etc. But now the Left genuflects in the direction of a monstrous and barbaric anti-progressive force that represents the most gay-hating, women-hating, minority-hating and democracy-hating entity on earth. What’s your psychological diagnosis of this mindset?
Patterson: The Left is so blinded by their pathological hatred for their own nation that defeatism is their only recourse. They cannot credit the United States and its armed forces with success because, to them, America and especially the U.S. military are the real enemies. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. As such, they have declared war on their own nation and our military.
Plus, with their de facto alliance with Islamofascists, the Left believes that an anti-war movement will bring them political capital, as it did during Vietnam. By inflating Vietnam into the symbol of American imperialism, Leftists achieved their real goals—power in Washington, D.C. (where they could cripple the war machine) and control of the nation’s universities and editorial offices. Their strategizing for exactly that outcome with the war in Iraq and the greater global ideological war with Islamic extremism. They are placing their failed ideology and egocentric political desires above the nation's security and the service of our men and women in uniform. It’s disgusting.
The internal enemy we face from within is one we have to defeat to be successful in Iraq and elsewhere. It won't be easy. The Left’s campaign against America’s War on Terror is a well-coordinated, well-financed operation that involves individuals and institutions from all parts of our society. Leading Democratic politicians, major media outlets, academia, popular culture, and a host of deep-pocketed radical organizations combine to form a Fifth Column that undermines our military’s heroic efforts in this global campaign.
FP: What are the ingredients of the Left's Fifth Column? What is it comprised of?
Patterson: The Fifth Column today is comprised of academics, liberal politicians, big media, anti-war organizations and Hollywood. Notice that these are all institutions with a monopoly on communications and messages. Academics such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Ward Churchill are revered on college campuses for their imperialist America and anti-military views. They indoctrinate our young adults with their twisted ideology. Democrat politicians with partisan ego-centric agendas selfishly sacrifice the country's national security and the lives of our soldiers for their careers. Major media such as the big television networks, the New York Times and the Washington Post consistently misrepresent or distort the facts emanating from Iraq and leak highly-classified government programs. "Peace" organizations such as Code Pink and United for Peace and Justice, funded by big money from the Ford Foundation, George Soros, etc, publicly denounce the commander-in-chief and our troops as war criminals.
FP: How is this book unique and original?
Patterson: This is the only book that I'm aware of that frames a comprehensive argument against the Left but relies on the voices and observations of those actually doing the fighting -- the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. I conducted hundreds of interviews, many in Iraq, with our troops and their frustration with and enmity toward the Left is very revealing. They see quite clearly that they can't be beaten military. Their only prospect of losing comes from subversive elements in America and lack of resolve of elected representatives in Washington, DC.
For example, Army Sergeant Eddie Jeffers said that he sees "the enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives."
Air Force Major Eric Egland told me that "the troops number one frustration has been the media reporting. The way the pres mishandled Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay had a tremendous negative effect on us. It inflamed the Iraqis at a time when we were making great progress in Iraq."
Also referring to the media, Army First Sergeant Jeff Nuding said "You (the American press) are creating greater risk for me personally (and) you create added danger for my soldiers. You feed into enemy, yes enemy, propaganda efforts in yielding unlimited access to pre-staged voices with calculated intent...You diminish and demean our service...Never, never claim to support the soldiers, you don't, you never will in any meaningful way until you can see your prejudices for what they are." Nuding also said "We daily see the gross distortions. We can't recognize the caricature they (the media) scratch out, neither in our fellow soldiers, nor on the battleground. I know they claim to be objective but really they're nothing more than accomplices in the face of this evil."
FP: How do you see the future of this war? Will the Left force a premature withdrawal? What must we do to win? Can we? Is there any room for optimism?
Patterson: We have to win, there really is no alternative. We can win and we are winning in Iraq. General David Patraeus and men and women in uniform are doing tremendous things within the "surge." They will win if we let them.
Again, we need to focus on the institutions within our nation that are aggressively seeking to undermine the war effort. There is absolutely no way that Al Qaeda and the insurgents in Iraq can defeat our enemy. They have to rely on withering resolve and duplicitous politics on the part of Americans. Just as the North Vietnamese relied on western media, the anti-war movement and wobbly-kneed American politicians, so too are Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. It's incumbent upon us to ensure that doesn't happen, not just for the sake of the Iraqi people and their future, but for our national security and the security of the Middle East.
The Left is doing everything they can to force a premature withdrawal. That would be catastrophic. Secular violence on an incredible scale would immediately follow our withdrawal. Eventually, Iran and Al Qaeda would own Iraq and the world's second largest oil reserves. Iraq would be the launching pad for the exporting of terror world wide, and they would visit us again. Turkey, just to the north, would probably move to protect its southern borders. It would be extremely ugly and absolutely unnecessary. The fact that so many Democrats and big media types are either naive to the realities or choosing to ignore them for political expediency and/or their hatred for President George Bush is incredibly troubling.
Ultimately, we will prevail. America doesn't like to lose nor squander the sacrifices of our troops. Ultimately, patriotic Americans will prevent the Left from turning a just and noble cause into defeat. Hopefully, books like War Crimes will educate the American public to the threat that comes from within and re-energize the nation to demand victory, to insist on victory.
FP: Buzz Patterson, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
Patterson: Jamie, it’s been a real pleasure. Thank you so much for what you and the great folks at FrontPage Magazine do to get the truth out there.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors
on: July 21, 2007, 05:26:54 PM
****Right of return?****http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=24c7c36b-d5e2-40ed-8a82-1e8d386f1aa9
Cotler urges recognition of Jewish refugees
Former justice minister says UN failing to consider thousands of Jews driven from Arab lands after 1948
CanWest News Service
Friday, July 20, 2007
NEW YORK -- Former justice minister Irwin Cotler and other Canadian scholars presented the U.S. Congress on Thursday with its first testimony on Jews driven from Arab lands following Israel's creation in 1948.
"The time has come to rectify this historical injustice," Cotler told members of the congressional human rights caucus in Washington in a written statement.
The witnesses were among experts helping U.S. lawmakers decide on a pair of bills that would oblige the Bush administration to actively oppose the Arab-led practice in Middle East peace efforts to speak only of Palestinian refugees.
While key Arab voices continue to push for a "right of return" for descendants of some 600,000 Palestinians whose pre-1948 homes are now inside Israel, the general discourse for decades has all but ignored the tens of thousands of Jews, Christians and other minorities who were similarly turned into refugees.
Cotler charged that the United Nations bears "express responsibility for the distorted narrative." Arab countries have mustered majority backing from Muslim and developing states to pass 101 UN resolutions that refer only to Palestinian refugees.
Jews in Arab lands totalled almost 900,000 in 1948, but there are fewer than 8,000 in 10 Arab countries today, Cotler said. Arab countries counter that 3.7 million Palestinians remain in refugee camps in the region, whereas Jewish refugees moved on to new lives in Israel and elsewhere.
Cotler is considered a leading expert on the issue, having helped produce a 2003 study entitled Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights and Redress.
Co-authored by fellow Canadian Stan Urman, who also testified in Washington, the study spoke of new evidence that Arab states reacted to the creation of Israel by orchestrating the persecution of their Jewish citizens.
"Today, we cannot allow a second injustice, namely for the international community to recognize rights for [only] one victim population," said Urman, executive director of New York-based Justice for Jews from Arab Countries.
The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to vote before the end of the year on the bills that prompted the hearing.
The Senate bill urges President George W. Bush to ensure that the peace process acknowledges that the Arab-Israeli conflict has created "multiple refugee populations."
The House document would ensure that any peace agreement addresses the rights of all refugees, "including Jews, Christians, and other populations displaced from countries in the region."
The legislation is significant because the U.S., along with Russia, the UN and the European Union, is one of the four international powers seeking to restart the stalled Middle East peace process.
The congressional hearing unfolded as former British prime minister Tony Blair, in his new job as the special Middle East envoy for the four powers, met in Lisbon with representatives of the so-called Quartet.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants
on: July 21, 2007, 05:01:40 PM
The 9/11 Generation
Better than the Boomers.
by Dean Barnett
07/30/2007, Volume 012, Issue 43
In the 1960s, history called the Baby Boomers. They didn't answer the phone.
Confronted with a generation-defining conflict, the cold war, the Boomers--those, at any rate, who came to be emblematic of their generation--took the opposite path from their parents during World War II. Sadly, the excesses of Woodstock became the face of the Boomers' response to their moment of challenge. War protests where agitated youths derided American soldiers as baby-killers added no luster to their image.
Few of the leading lights of that generation joined the military. Most calculated how they could avoid military service, and their attitude rippled through the rest of the century. In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, military service didn't occur to most young people as an option, let alone a duty.
But now, once again, history is calling. Fortunately, the present generation appears more reminiscent of their grandparents than their parents.
I've spent much of the past two weeks speaking with young people (and a few not-so-young) who have made the decision to serve their country by volunteering for the military. Some of these men have Ivy League degrees; all of them are talented and intelligent individuals who--contrary to John Kerry's infamous "botched joke" ("Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq")--could have chosen to do anything with their lives. Having signed up, they have either gone to Iraq or look forward to doing so. Not surprisingly, the mainstream media have underreported their stories.
One of the excesses of the 1960s that present-day liberals have disowned and disavowed since 9/11 is the demonization of the American military. While every now and then an unrepentant liberal like Charlie Rangel will appear on cable news and casually accuse U.S. troops of engaging in baby-killing in Iraq, the liberal establishment generally knows better. They "support" the American military--at least in the abstract, until it does anything resembling fighting a war.
In search of a new narrative, 21st-century liberals have settled on the "soldiers are victims" meme. Democratic senators (and the occasional Republican senator who's facing a tough reelection campaign) routinely pronounce their concern for our "children" in Iraq. One of the reasons John Kerry's "botched joke" resonated so strongly was that it fit the liberals' narrative. The Democratic party would have you believe that our soldiers are children or, at best, adults with few options: In short, a callous and mendacious administration has victimized the young, the gullible, and the hopeless, and stuck them in Iraq.
But this narrative is not just insulting to our fighting men and women, it is also grossly inaccurate.
Kurt Schlichter is a lieutenant colonel in the California National Guard. A veteran of the first Gulf war, he's now stateside and commands the 1-18th Cavalry, 462-man RSTA (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition) squadron attached to the 40th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The last media representative he spoke with before I contacted him was a New York Times stringer who wanted Schlichter's help in tracking down guardsmen who were "having trouble because they got mobilized."
In describing his unit, Schlichter says, "Our mission is to operate far out in front of the main body of the brigade to find and keep in contact with the enemy, report on its activities, and call in air or artillery fire on it. We are very lightly armed--speed, stealth, and smarts are our best weapons--and our Cav scouts work out of humvees or on foot." Their squadron motto is "Swift and Deadly."
Colonel Schlichter talks about the soldiers he commands with unvarnished admiration. He has 20-year-olds serving under him who have earned combat badges. As to why these young men are willingly and eagerly putting themselves in harm's way, Schlichter flatly declares, "The direction comes from themselves. They like to be challenged."
One of the soldiers in Colonel Schlichter's 1-18th is 28-year-old Sergeant Joseph Moseley. The outline of Moseley's story matches the liberal narrative of the "soldier victim." A junior college student, he served four years in the Army and then four years in the National Guard. During his stint in the Guard, Moseley got mobilized. He went to Iraq, where he had a portion of his calf muscle torn away by an IED. He has since returned to the United States and is undergoing a rigorous rehab program, which he describes as "not always going smoothly." It's virtually impossible that Sergeant Moseley will recover fully from his injuries.
Yet when asked about his time in Iraq, Moseley speaks with evident pride. He says the fact that he took the brunt of the IED's blow means he did his job. None of the men serving under him was seriously injured. When asked how he would feel about being characterized as a victim, Sergeant Moseley bristles. "I'm not a victim," he says. "It's insulting. That's what we signed up for. I knew what I was doing."
Tom Cotton is another soldier who knew what he was doing. When 9/11 occurred, Cotton was in his third year at Harvard Law School. Like most Americans, he was "shocked, saddened, and angered." Like many on that day, he made a promise to serve his country.
And Cotton meant it. After fulfilling the commitments he had already made, including clerking for a federal judge and going to work for a large Washington law firm, Cotton enlisted in the Army. He jokes that doing so came with a healthy six-figure pay cut.
Cotton enlisted for one reason: He wanted to lead men into combat. His recruiter suggested that he use the talents he had spent seven years developing at Harvard and join the JAG Corps, the Armed Forces' law firm. Cotton rejected that idea. He instead began 15 months of training that culminated with his deployment to Iraq as a 2nd lieutenant platoon leader with the 101st Airborne in Baghdad.
The platoon he led was composed of men who had already been in Baghdad for five months. Cotton knew that a new platoon leader normally undergoes a period of testing from his men. Because his platoon was patrolling "outside the wire" every day, there was no time for Cotton and his men to have such a spell. He credits what turned out to be a smooth transition to his platoon's noncommissioned officers, saying, "The troops really belong to the NCOs." After six months, Cotton and his platoon redeployed stateside.
While in Iraq, Cotton's platoon was awarded two Purple Hearts, but suffered no killed in action. His larger unit, however, did suffer a KIA. When I asked Cotton for his feelings about that soldier's death, the pain in his voice was evident. After searching for words, he described it as "sad, frustrating, angry--very hard, very hard on the entire company."
He then added some thoughts. "As painful as it was, the death didn't hurt morale," he said. "That's something that would have surprised me before I joined the Army. Everyone in the Infantry has volunteered twice--once for the Army, once for the Infantry. These are all grown men who all made the decision to face the enemy on his turf. The least you can do is respect them and what they're doing."
Now serving in the Army in Virginia, still enjoying his six-figure pay cut, Tom Cotton says he is "infinitely happy" that he joined the Army and fought in Iraq. "If I hadn't done it," he says, "I would have regretted it the rest of my life."
Regardless of their backgrounds, the soldiers I spoke with had a similar matter-of-fact style. Not only did all of them bristle at the notion of being labeled victims, they bristled at the idea of being labeled heroes. To a man, they were doing what they saw as their duty. Their self-assessments lacked the sense of superiority that politicians of a certain age who once served in the military often display. The soldiers I spoke with also refused to make disparaging comparisons between themselves and their generational cohorts who have taken a different path.
But that doesn't mean the soldiers were unaware of the importance of their undertaking. About a month ago, I attended the commissioning of a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. The day before his commissioning, he had graduated from Harvard. He didn't come from a military family, and it wasn't financial hardship that drove him into the Armed Forces. Don't tell John Kerry, but he studied hard in college. After his commissioning, this freshly minted United States Marine returned to his Harvard dorm room to clean it out.
As he entered the dorm in his full dress uniform, some of his classmates gave him a spontaneous round of applause. A campus police officer took him aside to shake his hand. His father observed, "It was like something out of a movie."
A few weeks after his commissioning, the lieutenant sent me an email that read in part:
I remember when I was down at Quantico two summers ago for the first half of Officer Candidates School. The second to last day I was down there--"Family Day," incidentally--was the 7/7 bombings. The staff pulled us over and told us the news and then said that's basically why they're so hard on us down there: We're at war and will be for a long time, and the mothers of recruits at MCRD and at Parris Island right now are going to be depending on us one day to get their sons and daughters home alive.
When I was in England last week, I talked to an officer in the Royal Navy who had just received his Ph.D. He was saying he thought the larger war would last 20-30 years; I've always thought a generation--mine in particular. Our highest calling: To defend our way of life and Western Civilization; fight for the freedom of others; protect our friends, family, and country; and give hope to a people long without it.
It is surely a measure of how far we've come as a society from the dark days of the 1960s that things like military service and duty and sacrifice are now celebrated. Just because Washington and Hollywood haven't noticed this generational shift doesn't mean it hasn't occurred. It has, and it's seismic.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues
on: July 21, 2007, 08:33:41 AM
**Where is Canada's "fairness doctrine"?**http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=4737dd34-8de6-4f54-b376-3484f3b3a6f7&k=0
VisionTV defends airing 'jihad' lecture
By Stewart Bell
Thursday, July 19, 2007
TORONTO • VisionTV says it will monitor one of its shows more closely after it broadcast a lecture by an Islamic preacher who said scripture requires Muslims to either fight jihad or finance it.
The multi-faith channel, available in 7.8 million Canadian homes, said it took the precaution following a complaint about last Saturday's broadcast of a lecture by the Pakistani fundamentalist.
In the hour-long talk, Israr Ahmad said, "Jihad in the way of Allah, for the cause of Allah, can be pursued either with your financial resources or your bodily strength when you go to fight the enemy in the battlefield.
"So jihad, the highest form, is fighting in the cause of Allah."
Mr. Ahmad runs a seminary and bookstore in Lahore, Pakistan, and his writings foresee the "global domination of Islam," compare Jews to "parasites," describe the Holocaust as "divine punishment" and predict the "total extermination" of Jews.
His followers in Canada include terror suspect Qayyum Abdul Jamal, who was arrested last summer for his alleged role in a plot to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto.
According to Mr. Jamal's wife, Mr. Ahmad was her husband's teacher and mentor.
The television program left some wondering how the Pakistani preacher, who claims that Jews control the world through a secret conspiracy involving financial institutions, made it on to Canada's government-regulated airwaves.
"Israr Ahmad is widely known for his hateful words and vilification of Jews," said Canadian Jewish Congress spokesman Bernie Farber. "We are deeply concerned that Vision would give this individual the imprimatur of Vision's credibility. It was a mistake in judgment and ought to concern all of us."
VisionTV's code of ethics forbids the broadcast of programs that glorify or incite violence or "have the effect of provoking or abetting domestic or international religious or political conflicts."
The broadcaster acknowledged that the show, Dil Dil Pakistan, had talked about jihad and fighting but said it did not contravene the station's policies against incitement because the comments were made in a historical context. But it said the show would be monitored more closely.
"We have essentially a system of flagging shows when complaints are made, where we'll watch subsequent episodes even more carefully than we otherwise do, and take extra care and caution. So that's certainly the case here," said Mark Prasuhn, VisionTV's chief operating officer and vice-president of programming.
Toronto resident Mindy Alter, however, said the message came through loud and clear when she tuned in to the show, which aired from 3 to 4 p.m. on July 14.
"The part about the jihad, he said very specifically that it is incumbent upon Muslims to wage jihad against their enemies until Islam rules supreme over the world," Mrs. Alter said.
"I'm sorry, I don't think that belonged over the airwaves of Canadian TV.... You can put that in whatever context you like. To me that's preaching jihad."
Responded Mr. Prasuhn: "Definitely, the viewer is correct. [Mr. Ahmad] does make the point about, you either contribute financially or through your body, and he uses the word fight. But none of this, as far as I could see, is in any way correlated or referenced to the present day. It is strictly a historical context and reading of the Koran by a Koranic scholar."
Mr. Ahmad is not just a religious scholar. He heads a self-described "revolutionary" organization called Tanzeem-e Islami, which wants to turn Pakistan into a fundamentalist Islamic state.
In his book Lessons From History, he writes that the revival of Islam will begin in Pakistan, because it is the only country that "has the potential for standing up against the nefarious designs of the global power-brokers and to resist the rising tides of the Jewish/Zionist hegemony."
Islam will come to rule in four stages, he claims: the Ultimate World War in the Middle East, the appearance of the anti-Christ, the extermination of the Jews and the "domination of Islam, over the entire globe."
Canadian Muslim Congress founder Tarek Fatah said Mr. Ahmad "is allied to the ultra-conservative Islamists of Pakistan. His weekly TV rants are targeted primarily at fellow Muslims, urging them to segregate themselves from non-Muslims. He is also a promoter of the doctrine of jihad, as in armed warfare against non-Muslims."
Mr. Prasuhn said the show was screened before it was aired and that no problems were identified. He said he watched the show again after receiving a complaint on Monday and did not see a problem.
"He is saying that Muslims have a duty to propagate their faith," Mr. Prasuhn said.
"Then it goes a little further. It isn't directly connected to the word jihad, but in the same paragraph or whatever he then gets into talking about [how] this is accomplished - and again he's kind of referencing Koran and history - accomplished through jihad, which means these two things, financial contribution or fighting.
"So there's a line of thought there, but it's going a bit beyond what's actually there to say he's [saying] if you respect the Koran, you need to today engage in jihad and violence and fighting with non-Muslims. That's not said.
"At no point did I hear him say anything that would reference the present day or that would reference what a practitioner of Islam should do today. Now, that's an inference one might draw, I suppose, but I did not hear it in his words."firstname.lastname@example.org
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants
on: July 20, 2007, 08:03:24 PM
Woof GM, So then are you saying we are NOT winning the war on global Jihad?
Surley your not advocating for your last post of nuking Mecca?
What is the goal of the global war on Jihad anyway? In other words......How is it won?
I personally feel that we are by no means serious about this "war on terror" When 6 years after 9/11 we still are not going after the number one terrorist in the world with serious intent. (Bin Laden)
All that smoke we are blowing about....not taking going into Pakistan "off the table" Is pure BS, and anyone with half a brain knows Musharrif(sp) is playing us like a cheap guitar.
Hes been playing both sides for years.
In my opinon the whole things a farce........yet in the mean time weve some how managed to mess up Iraq and get a pretty good Jihad started there.......
In all honesty Sadaam Husein was messed up.......but there was a certain amount of stability in that country, after years and billions we can not say that today......
We've won tactical victories, killed a lot of low and mid level jihadis. I've seen documents captured in Afghanistan that lay out the al qaeda 100 year plan for establishing the global caliphate. What's our 10 year plan? As you'll note, out of the US citizens posting here, a number think there isn't a war worth fighting. So, do we give up on trying to establish a free muslim nation and put a strongman on our payroll instead? Obviously Pakistan, like the Saudis is our ally in name only. Still, going into Pakistan in force quite possibly could result in Mushy getting a state funeral and Pakistan formally becoming nuclear "Alqaedastan".
As far as nuking Mecca, i'm very serious. Mecca holds a special position in islamic theology. The world's muslims having to bow 5 times a day towards America's newest nuclear test site would have a crisis of faith that couldn't be answered. No Mecca, probably no 72 virgins for martyrs either. Much like MacArthur making the Japanese Emperor go on Japanese radio to tell Japan he was just a man and not a divine being did much to end internal resistance in Japan. We've beaten fanatics before, it required lots of killing and a few nuclear weapons.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues
on: July 20, 2007, 07:17:00 PM
Ok, I'am not sure I agree with the termonology.....but ok for sake of argument lets go with "reform"......How do you think weve done so far since 9/11? Would you say we are winning over the Islamic community world wide?
Are you saying that sending troops into countries like Iraq is a method of reform? Please expound on that and how thats supposed to work.
Lets look ar Iraq for example......We got rid of Sadaam H. Now we are dealing with the likes of Guys like Sadr......Who would you say is/was the bigger threat?
Obviously S.H. was Iraq's "president" but I feel Sadr is much more radical by was of "Islamic Jihad"
How far does this go? Ever time a hardline Islamist stands up we take him out?.......
I need to buy some weapons manufacturing stock!
Non-state actors need state sponsorship. They can work without it, but having state sponsors greatly increases their range and lethality. Saddam was a state sponsor of terrorism who well might have handed off WMD technology to al qaeda, as the Clinton administration feared. Again, with core islamic theology requiring muslims to engage in jhad until the world is conquered by islam gives us few choices but to either reform islam, shatter it or submit to it. None will be easy or quick, but i'll choose the first two of the three choices.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues
on: July 20, 2007, 04:29:26 PM
The global jihad is rooted in core elements of islamic theology, so as you point out it's an idea that transends individuals and nation-states. It's threat to our collective ideals and way of life are real so we can either choose to fight and win or lose and submit. I fear that short of nuking Mecca and killing off much or the world's muslim poplulation, nothing else will work, but trying to reform the islamic world via our interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq should be tried first before we use scortched earth methods.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants
on: July 20, 2007, 02:42:37 PM
DEMS DISTORT TERROR REPORT
Source for this article?
Sen. Barack Obama. Far too important to ever serve in the military himself, Obama thinks we should invade Pakistan.
Yeah, unlike those brave, selfless college Republicans who are happy to provide "support" (which as far as I can see amounts to harassing Muslim groups and getting Ann Coulter to come give speeches on their campuses) back here but strangely can't be bothered to join up themselves.
Want to cite some examples of "harrassment" of muslim groups by college republicans? Which political party is the party of choice of the majority of the military and law enforcement officers? Why is that?
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan
on: July 20, 2007, 02:27:25 AM
From the Los Angeles Times
Al Qaeda said to operate across Pakistan
By Josh Meyer
Times Staff Writer
8:10 PM PDT, July 19, 2007
WASHINGTON — Al Qaeda has strongholds throughout Pakistan, not just in the areas bordering Afghanistan that were emphasized in a terrorism assessment this week, according to U.S. intelligence officials and counter-terrorism experts who say Osama bin Laden's network is more deeply entrenched than described.
The National Intelligence Estimate on the Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland, which reflects the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, described Al Qaeda as having "regenerated key elements" and freely operating from bases in northwestern Pakistan. But several officials and outside experts interviewed since the document's release this week say the situation is more problematic.
These analysts said the Bush administration was blaming Al Qaeda's resurgence too narrowly on an agreement that the Pakistani government struck in September with tribal leaders in the country's northwest territories.
In recent years, U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism officials focused on South Asia say they have watched with growing concern as Al Qaeda has moved men, money and recruiting and training operations into Pakistani cities such as Quetta and Karachi as well as less populated areas.
Militant Islamists are still a minority in Pakistan — commanding allegiance of a little more than 10% of the population, judging by election results. But Al Qaeda has been able to widen its sway throughout the country by strengthening long-standing alliances with fundamentalist religious groups, charities, criminal gangs, elements of the government security forces and even some political officials, these officials said.
Bin Laden's network also has strengthened ties to groups fighting for control of Kashmir, most of which is held by India, a broadly popular cause throughout Pakistan that has the backing of the government and military.
"It is a much bigger problem than just saying it is a bunch of tribal Islamists in the fringe areas," said Bruce Riedel, a South Asia expert who served at the CIA, National Security Council and Pentagon and retired last year after 30 years of counter-terrorism and policy-making experience.
Riedel disagreed, in particular, with the administration's effort to blame Al Qaeda's resurgence primarily on the September peace agreement. Under the terms of that truce, Pakistan pulled its troops out of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in North Waziristan in exchange for promises by tribal leaders that militants affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban would not engage in violent activity, in Pakistan or across the border in Afghanistan.
The peace accord has been roundly criticized as having backfired, with Taliban attacks and suicide bombings in Afghanistan soaring, and Al Qaeda activity in the tribal areas growing noticeably, according to top U.S. military and intelligence officials.
The Pakistani government has limited authority in the largely autonomous tribal areas, and has had little success in attacking Al Qaeda there, but it also has refused to allow U.S. forces to go in.
Reidel and others who share his view said the intelligence estimate put too much emphasis on the September agreement. "By putting it all in the [tribal region] we are trying to downplay this, saying it is all a problem of one cease-fire agreement that was a bad idea, when in fact Al Qaeda has spread throughout Pakistan," said Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy.
One U.S. counter-terrorism official confirmed Riedel's assessment that Al Qaeda's influence extended far beyond the tribal areas, but said those areas had become more important to the group in recent years because of increased pressure by Pakistani authorities in urban centers.
"As pressure increased in the urban areas, you look for a more permissive environment, and the tribal areas are thought to have provided that. You tend to go to where your opponent isn't," the counter-terrorism official said in reference to Al Qaeda. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he was not allowed to discuss counter-terrorism operations on the record, especially regarding the sensitive but fragile U.S. alliance with Pakistan.
But, the official, said Al Qaeda's presence in the rest of Pakistan remains a problem. "Nobody is looking at one to the absolute exclusion of the other," the official said. "This is not a one-dimensional problem."
The signs of Al Qaeda's spread across Pakistan have been apparent for years. The 15 so-called muscle hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks trained at an Al Qaeda hide-out in the southern port city of Karachi, according to the 9/11 Commission report.
Husain Haqqani, a former advisor to several Pakistani prime ministers, said that before the Sept. 11 attacks, Al Qaeda had hide-outs and logistical bases throughout Pakistan from where it moved foreign fighters into and out of Afghanistan.
"Once their headquarters in Afghanistan was shattered, they turned to making their logistical bases in Pakistan into operational bases," said Haqqani, director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University and the author of "Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military."
"Look at the arrests of Al Qaeda in recent years," he said. "They have been all over the country. People there were providing them with guidance and help."
Top Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubeida was captured in Faisalabad in 2002 and reputed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who also had close ties to Karachi, was caught in 2003 in the city of Rawalpindi, headquarters of Pakistan's military. Mohammed's replacement, Abu Faraj Libbi, was arrested in 2005, in Mardan, about 75 miles northwest of Islamabad, the capital.
U.S. intelligence officials believe Al Qaeda's presence throughout Pakistan has enabled it to recruit and train operatives, raise significant sums of money, and to film and disseminate high-quality propaganda videos through its Al Sahab multimedia arm.
Al Qaeda's No. 2 and chief propagandist Ayman Zawahiri has released numerous tapes in recent months, each of them issued with increasing speed after a significant event. After Pakistani troops stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad, killing and captured Islamist militants, Zawahiri's professional-looking video was coursing through cyberspace in a matter of days.
"When you look at the quality of these propaganda tapes, they are not being produced in some primitive area but where you can get access to news media on a regular basis," Riedel said.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Wednesday in response to the U.S. intelligence paper, strongly protesting the conclusion that the government had allowed Al Qaeda a haven in the tribal areas.
"It does not help simply to make assertions about the presence or regeneration of Al Qaeda in bordering areas of Pakistan," the statement read. "What is needed is concrete and actionable information and intelligence sharing."
The Foreign Ministry statement added that Pakistan was determined not to allow Al Qaeda or any other terrorist entity to establish a base on its territory, but in an apparent reference to the U.S.. said no foreign security forces would be allowed to pursue militants in Pakistan.
Last week during testimony to Congress on global threats, Thomas Fingar, the deputy director of National Intelligence for analysis, cautioned against an overly aggressive effort to crush Al Qaeda in the tribal areas.
"Part of the dilemma ... here is the risk of taking actions in the less-well-governed areas of Pakistan, the federally administrated tribal areas ... that could lead to developments in all of Pakistan, that would increase the problem," Fingar told the House Armed Services Committee.
"There are an awful lot of potential recruits that are being engaged in the struggle in Kashmir that are held in check by the security forces in the rest of Pakistan. So it is not too great an exaggeration to say there is some risk of turning a problem in northwest Pakistan into the problem of all of Pakistan."email@example.com
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: July 13, 2007, 10:59:35 AM
4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist
group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their
perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.
In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of
Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on
particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al
Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
This indictment was issued in 1999, by the US Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York. Janet Reno's DOJ.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: July 13, 2007, 07:43:11 AM
Victor Davis Hanson
The New York Times Surrenders
A monument to defeatism on the editorial page
12 July 2007
On July 8, the New York Times ran an historic editorial entitled “The Road Home,” demanding an immediate American withdrawal from Iraq. It is rare that an editorial gets almost everything wrong, but “The Road Home” pulls it off. Consider, point by point, its confused—and immoral—defeatism.
1. “It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.”
Rarely in military history has an “orderly” withdrawal followed a theater-sized defeat and the flight of several divisions. Abruptly leaving Iraq would be a logistical and humanitarian catastrophe. And when scenes of carnage begin appearing on TV screens here about latte time, will the Times then call for “humanitarian” action?
2. “Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.”
We’ll get to the war’s “sufficient cause,” but first let’s address the other two charges that the Times levels here against President Bush. Both houses of Congress voted for 23 writs authorizing the war with Iraq—a post-9/11 confirmation of the official policy of regime change in Iraq that President Clinton originated. Supporters of the war included 70 percent of the American public in April 2003; the majority of NATO members; a coalition with more participants than the United Nations alliance had in the Korean War; and a host of politicians and pundits as diverse as Joe Biden, William F. Buckley, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, Francis Fukuyama, Kenneth Pollack, Harry Reid, Andrew Sullivan, Thomas Friedman, and George Will.
And there was a Pentagon postwar plan to stabilize the country, but it assumed a decisive defeat and elimination of enemy forces, not a three-week war in which the majority of Baathists and their terrorist allies fled into the shadows to await a more opportune time to reemerge, under quite different rules of engagement.
3. “While Mr. Bush scorns deadlines, he kept promising breakthroughs—after elections, after a constitution, after sending in thousands more troops. But those milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost.”
Of course there were breakthroughs: most notably, millions of Iraqis’ risking their lives to vote. An elected government remains in power, under a constitution far more liberal than any other in the Arab Middle East. In the region at large, Libya, following the war, gave up its advanced arsenal of weapons of mass destruction; Syria fled Lebanon; A.Q. Khan’s nuclear ring was shut down. And despite the efforts of Iran, Syria, and Sunni extremists in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, a plurality of Iraqis still prefer the chaotic and dangerous present to the sure methodical slaughter of their recent Saddamite past.
The Times wonders what Bush’s cause was. Easy to explain, if not easy to achieve: to help foster a constitutional government in the place of a genocidal regime that had engaged in a de facto war with the United States since 1991, and harbored or subsidized terrorists like Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, at least one plotter of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida affiliates in Kurdistan, and suicide bombers in Gaza and the West Bank. It was a bold attempt to break with the West’s previous practices, both liberal (appeasement of terrorists) and conservative (doing business with Saddam, selling arms to Iran, and overlooking the House of Saud’s funding of terrorists).
Is that cause in fact “lost”? The vast majority of 160,000 troops in harm’s way don’t think so—despite a home front where U.S. senators have publicly compared them with Nazis, Stalinists, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, and Saddam Hussein’s jailers, and where the media’s Iraqi narrative has focused obsessively on Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, and serial leaks of classified information, with little interest in the horrific nature of the Islamists in Iraq or the courageous efforts of many Iraqis to stop them.
4. “Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.”
The military is stretched, but hardly broken, despite having tens of thousands of troops stationed in Japan, Korea, the Balkans, Germany, and Italy, years—and decades—after we removed dictatorships by force and began efforts to establish democracies in those once-frightening places. As for whether Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror: al-Qaida bigwig Ayman al-Zawahiri, like George W. Bush, has said that Iraq is the primary front in his efforts to attack the United States and its interests—and he often despairs about the progress of jihad there. Our enemies, like al-Qaida, Iran, and Syria, as well as opportunistic neutrals like China and Russia, are watching closely to see whether America will betray its principles in Iraq.
5. “Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs.”
The Times should abandon the subjunctive mood. The catastrophes that it matter-of-factly suggests have ample precedents in Vietnam. Apparently, we should abandon millions of Iraqis to the jihadists (whether Wahhabis or Khomeinites), expect mass murders in the wake of our flight—“even genocide”—and then chalk up the slaughter to Bush’s folly. And if that seems crazy, consider what follows, an Orwellian account of the mechanics of our flight:
6. “The main road south to Kuwait is notoriously vulnerable to roadside bomb attacks. Soldiers, weapons and vehicles will need to be deployed to secure bases while airlift and sealift operations are organized. Withdrawal routes will have to be guarded. The exit must be everything the invasion was not: based on reality and backed by adequate resources.
“The United States should explore using Kurdish territory in the north of Iraq as a secure staging area. Being able to use bases and ports in Turkey would also make withdrawal faster and safer. Turkey has been an inconsistent ally in this war, but like other nations, it should realize that shouldering part of the burden of the aftermath is in its own interest.”
This insistence on planned defeat, following incessant criticism of potential victory, is lunatic. The Times’s frustration with Turkey and other “inconsistent” allies won’t end with our withdrawal and defeat. Like everyone in the region, the Turks want to ally with winners and distance themselves from losers—and care little about sermons from the likes of the Times editors. The ideas about Kurdish territory and Turkey are simply cover for the likely consequences of defeat: once we are gone and a federated Iraq is finished, Kurdistan’s democratic success is fair game for Turkey, which—with the assent of opportunistic allies—will move to end it by crushing our Kurdish friends.
7. “Despite President Bush’s repeated claims, Al Qaeda had no significant foothold in Iraq before the invasion, which gave it new base camps, new recruits and new prestige.
“This war diverted Pentagon resources from Afghanistan, where the military had a real chance to hunt down Al Qaeda’s leaders. It alienated essential allies in the war against terrorism. It drained the strength and readiness of American troops.”
The Times raises the old charge that if we weren’t in Iraq, neither would be al-Qaida—more of whose members we have killed in Iraq than anywhere else. In 1944, Japan had relatively few soldiers in Okinawa; when the Japanese learned that we planned to invade in 1945, they increased their forces there. Did the subsequent carnage—four times the number of U.S. dead as in Iraq, by the way, in one-sixteenth the time—prove our actions ill considered? Likewise, no Soviets were in Eastern Europe until we moved to attack and destroy Hitler, who had kept communists out. Did the resulting Iron Curtain mean that it was a mistake to deter German aggression?
And if the Times sees the war in Afghanistan as so important, why didn’t it support an all-out war against the Taliban and al-Qaida, as it apparently does now, when we were solely in Afghanistan?
8. “Iraq may fragment into separate Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite republics, and American troops are not going to stop that from happening. . . . To start, Washington must turn to the United Nations, which Mr. Bush spurned and ridiculed as a preface to war.”
But Bush did go to the United Nations, which, had it enforced its own resolutions, might have prevented the war. In fact, the Bush administration’s engagement with the UN contrasts sharply with President Clinton’s snub of that organization during the U.S.-led bombing of the Balkans—unleashed, unlike Iraq, without Congressional approval. The Times also neglects to mention that the UN was knee-deep in the mess of its cash cow Iraq, from its appeasement of the genocidal Hussein regime to its graft-ridden, $50 billion oil-for-food scandal, reaching the highest echelons of Kofi Annan’s UN administration.
9. “Washington also has to mend fences with allies. There are new governments in Britain, France and Germany that did not participate in the fight over starting this war and are eager to get beyond it. But that will still require a measure of humility and a commitment to multilateral action that this administration has never shown. And, however angry they were with President Bush for creating this mess, those nations should see that they cannot walk away from the consequences.”
New governments in France and Germany are more pro-American than those of the past that tried to thwart us in Iraq. The Times surely knows of the Chirac administration’s lucrative relationships with Saddam Hussein, and of the German contracts to supply sophisticated tools and expertise that enabled the Baathist nightmare. Tony Blair will enjoy a far more principled and reputable retirement than will Jacques Chirac or Gerhard Schroeder, who did their best to destroy the Atlantic Alliance for cheap partisan advantage at home and global benefit abroad.
Nations like France and Germany won’t “walk away” from Iraq, since they were never there in the first place. They never involve themselves in such dangerous situations—just look at the rules of engagement of French and German troops in Afghanistan. Their foreign policy centers instead on commerce, suitably dressed up with fashionable elite outrage against the United States.
10. “For this effort to have any remote chance, Mr. Bush must drop his resistance to talking with both Iran and Syria. Britain, France, Russia, China and other nations with influence have a responsibility to help. Civil war in Iraq is a threat to everyone, especially if it spills across Iraq’s borders.”
China and Russia, seeing only oil and petrodollars, will take no responsibility to help. Both will welcome a U.S. retreat. Yes, “civil war” will spill over the borders, but not until the U.S. precipitously withdraws. Iran and Syria—serial assassins of democrats from Lebanon to Iraq—are hoping for realization of the Times’s scenario, and would be willing to talk with us only to facilitate our flight, with the expectation that Iraq would become wide open for their ambitions. In their view, a U.S. that fails in Iraq surely cannot thwart an Iranian bomb, the Syrian reabsorption of Lebanese democracy, attacks on Israel, or increased funding and sanctuary for global terrorism.
11. “President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened—the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.”
But as the Times itself acknowledges, what has happened in the past only previews what is in store if we precipitously withdraw. And this will prove the case not only in Iraq, but elsewhere in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Taiwan, and Korea. Once the U.S. demonstrates that it cannot honor its commitments, those dependent upon it must make the necessary adjustments. Ironically, while the Times urges acceptance of defeat, Sunni tribesmen at last are coming forward to fight terrorists, and regional neighbors are gradually accepting the truth that their opportunistic assistance to jihadists is only threatening their own regimes.
We promised General Petraeus a hearing in September; it would be the height of folly to preempt that agreement by giving in to our summer of panic and despair. Critics called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, a change in command in Iraq and at Centcom, new strategies, and more troops. But now that we have a new secretary, a new command in Iraq and at Centcom, new strategies, and more troops, suddenly we have a renewed demand for withdrawal before the agreed-upon September accounting—suggesting that the only constant in such harping was the assumption that Iraq was either hopeless or not worth the effort.
The truth is that Iraq has upped the ante in the war against terrorists. Our enemies’ worst nightmare is a constitutional government in the heart of the ancient caliphate, surrounded by consensual rule in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey; ours is a new terror heaven, but with oil, a strategic location, and the zeal born of a humiliating defeat of the United States on a theater scale. The Islamists believe we can’t win; so does the New York Times. But it falls to the American people to decide the issue.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: July 13, 2007, 12:30:25 AM
The "Quit Iraq" Caucus
By Ralph Peters
New York Post | July 12, 2007
Even as our troops make serious progress against al-Qaeda-in-Iraq and other extremists, Congress - including Republican members - is sending the terrorists a message: "Don't lose heart, we'll save you!"
Iraq's a mess. Got it. The Bush administration has made so many mistakes I stopped counting a year ago. But we've finally got a general in Baghdad - Dave Petraeus - who's doing things right. Iraqi politicians are still disgracing themselves, but our troops are killing America's enemies - with the help of our former enemies.
Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq is suffering a humiliating defeat, as fellow Sunni Muslims turn against the fanatics and help them find the martyrdom they advertise.
Yet for purely political reasons - next year's elections - cowards on Capitol Hill are spurning the courage of our troops on the ground.
The frantic political gamesmanship in Congress would nauseate a ghoul. Pols desperate for any cover and concealment they can get have dragged the Iraq Study Group plan from the grave.
Masterminded by former Secretary of State Jim "Have Your Hugged Your Saudi Prince Today?" Baker, the report is a blueprint for a return to yesteryear's dictator-smooching policy (which helped create al Qaeda - thanks, Jimbo!).
That Baker report reminds me of cheap horror films where the zombies just keep coming back - except that zombies retain a measure of integrity.
But if Republicans are rushing to desert our troops and spit on the graves of heroes, the Democratic Party at least has been consistent - they've supported our enemies from the start, undercutting our troops and refusing to explain in detail what happens if we flee Iraq.
So I'll tell you what happens: massacres. And while I have nothing against Shia militiamen and Sunni insurgents killing each other 24/7, the overwhelming number of victims will be innocent women, children and the elderly.
Bosnia? That was just rough-necking at recess compared to what Islamist fanatics and ethnic beasts will do. Given that Senate Majority Misleader Harry Reid and Commissar of the House Nancy Pelosi won't tell us what they foresee after we quit, let me lay it out:
* After suffering a strategic defeat, al-Qaeda-in-Iraq comes back from the dead (those zombies again . . .) and gets to declare a strategic victory over the Great Satan.
* Iran establishes hegemony over Iraq's southern oil fields and menaces the other Persian Gulf producers. (Sorry, Comrade Gore, even that Toyota Prius needs some gasoline . . . )
* Our troops will have died in vain. Of course, that doesn't really matter to much of anyone in Washington, Democrat or Republican. So we'll just write off those young Americans stupid enough to join the military when they could've ducked out the way most members of Congress did.
* A slaughter of the innocents - so many dead, the bodies will never be counted.
But I hope somebody tries to count the dead after our Congress kills them. As for those on the left who sanctimoniously set out rows of shabby combat boots to "teach" the rest of us the cost of war, I fully expect them to put out displays of women's slippers and children's shoes to show the world how many innocents died when they "brought our troops home now." (Note to the demonstrators - better start bulk-ordering those slippers and booties now.)
I hate the long-mismanaged mess in Iraq. I wish there were a sensible, decent way to get out that wouldn't undercut our security and produce massive innocent casualties. But there isn't. Not now. And, like it or not, we have a moral responsibility as well as practical interests in refusing to surrender to the butchers in Iraq.
This has been the Bush-Cheney War. But it will only be fair to call the carnage after we run away the "Reid-Pelosi Massacres."
Ralph Peters' new book, "Wars of Blood and Faith," goes on sale next week
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security
on: July 13, 2007, 12:00:45 AM
Sheehan: Distinct Chance Of Staged Attack, Martial Law
Peace Mom warns of false flag terror as she prepares to take on sell-out Pelosi
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Cindy Sheehan, the famous Peace Mom who recently expressed her intention to run against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco, says there's a "distinct possibility" that America will be hit with another staged terror attack that will allow Bush to enact the martial law provisions he recently signed into law.
Sheehan spoke to The Alex Jones Show as she prepares to embark on a two week trek towards Washington to confront Pelosi.
Asked what she thought of numerous recent comments on behalf of politicians, military analysts and GOP kingpins that the Bush administration needs more terror to save a doomed foreign policy, along with recent legislation that establishes the framework for martial law in the event of an emergency, Sheehan was open to the plausibility that another false flag attack could be visited upon the American people.
"I definitely think that is a distinct possibility, that there will be some kind of attack whether it's manufactured or real....I think it's really possible that these people will do that - why would he [Bush] put in that presidential directive if he didn't need to use it - I think it's really really frightening," Sheehan told The Alex Jones Show.
"Does anybody think that [Bush's] recent presidential decision directive wasn't for declaring martial law and suspending elections - that's why they have to be stopped," added Sheehan.
Recently liberated from the straightjacket of partisan control, Sheehan attacked the Democrats for failing to achieve what they were voted in to do last November.
"The culture of corruption doesn't stop at the Republican party and people need to realize that Democrats are not our saviors," said Sheehan.
"Over 600 soldiers have died since the Democrats took over power and many thousands of Iraqis, the blood is on their hands, they have the power to stop it and support our troops, support the people of Iraq, save America from more threats from the Bush administration and get them out of power," added the anti-war activist.
Sheehan told Pelosi that if she didn't have impeachment on the table by July that she would run against her in San Francisco and the Peace Mom has now taken that course of action.
"I will run against you and I will give you a run for your money," challenged Sheehan.
Sheehan slammed Pelosi as a warmongering elitist who lives in a mansion on a hill and is completely out of touch with her electorate, as well as a major supporter of AIPAC, a group which has expressed its explicit support for an attack on Iran.
"You can't have allegiance to two countries when you're a lawmaker in one of those countries," said Sheehan, adding that many politicians put America's best interests second behind Israel.
Asked why the candidacy of Ron Paul has become so popular, Sheehan commented "People are hungry for change, people are hungry for people to tell the truth, no matter what, people are hungry for those who act out of their integrity."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: July 12, 2007, 08:40:12 AM
****This is what we need to be shutting down.****http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070711/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq&printer=1;_ylt=A0WTUeFOKZZG3zoAyg0UewgF
200 explosive belts seized in Iraq
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jul 11, 2:29 PM ET
Iraqi security forces seized 200 explosive belts along the Syrian border Wednesday, a police spokesman said, reinforcing Baghdad's claims that its western neighbor isn't doing enough to stop the flow of fighters and weapons to al-Qaida in Iraq.
The belts were found during a search of a truck that had crossed into Iraq from Syria at the Waleed border station, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.
"When the truck was searched, 200 explosives belts were found in it," the general said. He said the driver was detained but he would not give his name or nationality.
Iraqi and U.S. authorities have long complained that Syria is not doing enough to stem the flow of weapons, ammunition and foreign fighters into Iraq. Syria insists it is trying to stop the flow but that it is impossible to seal off the long desert border.
But U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner told reporters that 60 to 80 foreign fighters enter Iraq "in any given month" — 70 percent of them through Syria. He said up to 90 percent of the suicide attacks in Iraq were carried out by "foreign-born al-Qaida terrorists."
Bergner did not offer detailed evidence to support the claim.
However, he cited the July 1 suicide attack that collapsed part of a major bridge across the Euphrates River north of Ramadi. A second bomber was supposed to have attacked the bridge but backed out and was captured, Bergner said.
The surviving attacker told interrogators he had been recruited by al-Qaida in his home country, flown to Syria and smuggled across the border to Ramadi, where he stayed for about 10 days before the attack.
Bergner would not give the would-be attacker's nationality, but other military officials said he was a Saudi. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release the information.
Bergner said the U.S. command expected al-Qaida in Iraq fighters "to lash out and stage spectacular attacks to reassert themselves" after U.S. troops' gains in their stronghold of Baqouba, located northeast of Baghdad.
A number of private security analysts have questioned the U.S. military's emphasis on al-Qaida in Iraq, saying it is one of many Sunni and Shiite groups threatening Iraq's stability. Some have suggested that the emphasis on al-Qaida is to link the fight in Iraq to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. at a time when the American public is turning against the conflict.
But Bergner insisted al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies were the main focus because they were the "main accelerant in sectarian violence and the greatest source of these spectacular" suicide attacks "that are killing Iraqis in such large numbers."
U.S. officials maintain that violence in Anbar province, long the focal point of the Sunni insurgency, dropped by 50 percent after local Sunni tribes joined U.S. and Iraqi forces in fighting al-Qaida last year.
That has led to a series of reprisal attacks by al-Qaida, a Sunni terror group, against Sunnis in Anbar and elsewhere who have abandoned the insurgency.
On Wednesday, insurgents drove to a house in the Anbar town of Karmah, locked the occupants inside, and blew up the house, Iraqi police and U.S. military officials said. Eleven people were killed.
The house was owned by a member of the Provincial Security Forces organized to protect towns and villages against extremists, the U.S. military said.
Early Wednesday, U.S. and Iraqi forces drove out dozens of insurgents who had attacked and seized control of a remote village northeast of Baghdad. Residents of Sherween had telephoned Iraqi officials a day earlier pleading for help, saying armed villagers were trying to defend themselves against the attackers.
The U.S.-Iraqi forces killed 20 militants and captured 20 others in the battle overnight, the U.S. military said.
Lt. Col. Fred Johnson said the attackers had fled Baqouba, focus of the U.S. offensive north of the capital, and had attacked Sherween 35 miles to the northeast in an attempt to "raise the morale" of their fighters.
In the city of Samarra — a region 60 miles north of Baghdad that has seen frequent insurgent attacks — U.S. troops uncovered 12 bodies this week, according to Iraqi police and AP Television News footage of the bodies. The bodies were partially decomposed, and it was not known who killed them or when.
Also Wednesday, a U.S. soldier died of an unspecified "non-battle related cause," the U.S. military said without elaborating.
A German woman who was kidnapped in Iraq was freed after 155 days in captivity, but her son is still being held. Hannelore Krause, 62, told Al-Arabiya television that her adult son, Sinan, would be killed if German troops do not leave Afghanistan.
"They kidnapped me and my son and we are German citizens," she said, speaking in German with Arabic voice-over. "I call on the Germans to leave Afghanistan and that the Germany army withdraw from Afghanistan. If they don't respond to this demand, my son will be slaughtered."
The mother and son, who disappeared Feb. 6, were shown twice in videos released by an insurgent group calling itself "Arrows of Righteousness." The group threatened to kill the hostages if Germany did not begin withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan within 10 days.
An Anglican priest who may have received a cryptic warning of recent failed car bombings in London and Glasgow has fled Iraq after threats against his life, an associate said.
Canon Andrew White, a British national who ran Iraq's only Anglican church, left Tuesday and returned to Britain, the associate said on condition of anonymity, saying the British Foreign Office had asked that it be the only source of information on the case.
The associate refused to elaborate on the threats. But the British Broadcasting Corp. Web site said pamphlets dropped in Shiite areas of Baghdad branded the vicar as "no more than a spy."
White had been working to secure the release of five British hostages who were seized at the Iraqi Finance Ministry on May 29 by gunmen wearing police uniforms.
White told The Associated Press that while in Amman, Jordan, in April, he had met a man identified by religious leaders as an al-Qaida leader. The man told him "Those who cure you will kill you."
White said in retrospect that may have been a warning of last month's failed plot to blow up car bombs in London and Scotland. Nearly all the suspects worked in medical professions.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: July 12, 2007, 03:20:42 AM
Not a critique, just questions:
1. Stay in the fight.
Which fight? Against the terrorists? Against the insurgents? At this point can we tell the difference?
****Sure, in fact many Iraqis have turned against the foreign jihadists.****
It isn't over until we say it's over.
Does anyone actually see an Iraq that has the ability to fend for itself? At what point do we go from being attackers (anti-terrorist/insurgent) to defenders (backing up IDF only when absolutely necessary)? And when is the friggin' Iraqi government going to step up to the plate?
****I share your frustration. I don't have a good answer.****
2. Secure Kurdistan and the borders. No jihadis get in or out.
Is this realistic? We have problems securing our own border in peacetime. How do we protect the borders in a country ruled by chaos?
****We can secure our borders, we haven't chosen to do so. The Army and Marines can secure the border (Either ours or Iraq's).****
I guess I've just burned out from hearing rhetoric from politicians on both sides who are more interested in keeping their jobs than actually "getting the job done".
Sorry, I'm just frustrated by a perceived lack of progress...
****I think everyone feels the same, however our enemies understand that our culture is one of instant gratification while they plan on winning over the centuries.****
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran
on: July 07, 2007, 07:39:39 PM
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad silences his critics
By Colin Freeman in Teheran, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:03am BST 08/07/2007
Ali Nikoo Nesbati glances carefully at the couple who have just sat down at the table next to him. Aged in their 20s and dressed in fashionable Western clothes, they seem like the kind of people who'd be natural supporters of the pro-democracy movement that he leads. Yet their decision to sit right next to him, when the rest of the café in the secluded Teheran alley is empty, is enough to make him suspicious.
"They were probably just ordinary customers," he whispered, as he ushered The Sunday Telegraph back on to the streets to continue the interview elsewhere. "But you never know. We were sat in that café for 45 minutes, which is long enough for the intelligence services to find out where we are."
Silenced: Abdullah Momeni, a prominent critic of the regime
A paranoia about who might be listening is an occupational hazard for activists like Mr Nesbati, whose campaigns for reform of Iran's theocratic government have led to constant run-ins with the secret police since the late Nineties.
But that sense of paranoia is now greater than ever, as a long-feared crackdown by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country's puritanical leader, finally appears to be coming into force.
In what activists claim is a "cultural revolution" reminiscent of the Islamic Republic's turbulent birth in 1979, the regime has turned on its critics in all walks of life, harassing pro-democracy activists, shutting down dissident publications and dismissing independent-minded government officials and academics.
The onslaught has confounded early impressions that Mr Ahmadinejad, despite his religious zealotry, threats against Israel and defiance over Iran's nuclear programme, was not proving as aggressive as feared when it came to dealing with his internal opposition.
When members of Mr Nesbati's pro-democracy group staged a demonstration at Teheran's Amir Kabir University last December, in which they held photos of the president upside-down and denounced him as a "fascist", Mr Ahmadinejad surprised the world by requesting that they should not be arrested. He later cited his move as proof of the "absolute, total freedom" Iranians enjoyed.
The presidential pardon appears to have been short-lived. Eight of those protesters have since been jailed, the victims of what Mr Nesbati claims was a state-sponsored plot.
"Ahmadinejad said nobody would touch them, but the intelligence agencies smeared them by printing a blasphemous publication which they blamed on the students," he said. "We believe that was Ahmadinejad's revenge. We don't know if he ordered it himself, but we are convinced it was his supporters."
The students, one of whom has now spent more than two months in jail, are among 70 to have been arrested since Mr Ahmadinejad came to power; nearly half of these were seized in the last four months. More than 500 others have been suspended or expelled from university because of political activities, while about 130 student publications and 40 student organisations have been closed.
The accusations levelled against them typically include "endangering national security", spreading "rumours and lies" and "having relations with foreign intelligence agencies", all charges that Mr Nesbati has faced in his years as an activist, during which he has been arrested three times.
"They're not really charges as such, they just assume you are guilty and then ask why you did it," he said. "It's stressful the first time you're arrested but after that it's not so bad, although it depends what they do to you.
"Sometimes people get put in a room where they're made to stand facing a wall for 48 hours at a time. If you fall asleep, they hit you."
Campaigners say the crackdown began in March, when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Spiritual Leader and a man of similar hardline views to Mr Ahmadinejad, made a speech warning Iranians against the West's "psychological warfare". This was taken to be a reference to Washington's funding of opposition groups, pro-democracy movements and anti-regime satellite broadcasts.
The president, who is regarded by many as little more than a mouthpiece for Mr Khamenei, is thought to have taken this as a cue to move against any groups critical of the regime.
Women's rights groups and trade union leaders have reported being harassed, scholars have been put under pressure for refusing to sign anti-Israeli statements, and Iran's press has claimed to have received lists of banned topics, such as the effect of threatened United Nations sanctions. University professors have also been warned against attending conferences abroad, and several visiting Iranian-American academics remain in custody after being charged with espionage.
One Western diplomat in Iran said the situation was "uneasy". He said: "The crackdown has been more gradual than people expected, but over the last few months we have been getting a lot of stories of people being hassled."
Similar clampdowns took place under President Mohammad Khatami, Mr Ahmadinejad's reformist-minded predecessor, whose campaign to introduce a liberal regime was not always heeded by hardline elements in the security forces.
However, activists say that now there is no longer a voice in government to speak for them. "Back then people would get arrested, but then Khatami would use his influence to get them released," said Abdullah Momeni, the leader of Tahkim Vahdat, Iran's largest student organisation and a prominent critic of the regime. "Now those who are arrested are not even getting released."
The attacks on reformists come as they struggle to recover from the splits and apathy that led to them losing the 2005 elections to Mr Ahmadinejad. The movement is divided between more conservative elements, who prefer gradual change within the existing clerical system of government, and those who wish to replace the Islamic republic altogether with a Western-style, secular democracy.
Both sides have talked of forming an alliance to defeat Mr Ahmadinejad in the next presidential elections, but no mutually credible figure has emerged to head it.
The fact that many reformists were still at large to criticise the regime, meanwhile, was not grounds for optimism, said Mr Momeni. "Now the judiciary and parliament and president feel so powerful that they don't really see us as a threat any more. It shows that in a sense, we have lost our status and position in society."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran
on: July 07, 2007, 07:33:18 PM
Al-Qaeda linked to operations from Iran
By Stephen Fidler in London
Published: July 6 2007 22:04 | Last updated: July 6 2007 22:04
Evidence that Iranian territory is being used as a base by al-Qaeda to help in terrorist operations in Iraq and elsewhere is growing, say western officials.
It is not clear how much the al-Qaeda operation, described by one official as a money and communications hub, is being tolerated or encouraged by the Iranian government, they said.
The group’s operatives, who link the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan with their disciples in Iraq, the Levant and North Africa, move with relative freedom in the country, they said.
The officials said the creation of some kind of al-Qaeda hub in Iran appears to be separate from the group of seven senior al-Qaeda figures, including Saad bin Laden, son of the group’s figurehead, that Iran is said to have detained since 2002.
A senior US official said the information had produced different assessments. “The most conservative, cautious intelligence assessment is that [the Iranian authorities] are turning a blind eye. But there are a lot of doubts about that,” he said.
“They are benefiting from the mayhem that AQ is carrying out. They don’t have to deal with al-Qaeda to benefit.”
Yet while Tehran might be content with the pressure al-Qaeda is placing on the US occupation in Iraq, Iran, as a state based on Shia Islam surrounded by mainly Sunni countries, has long been wary of al-Qaeda’s fierce brand of Sunni Islam.
A former Iranian official said Iran feared al-Qaeda and did not want to distract it from Iraq, dismissing any idea that Iran was supplying it with weapons. “Our relationship with al-Qaeda, at an intelligence level, can be said to be successful as long as they are at a distance,” he said.
Analysts say several Sunni extremist groups, some presumed linked to al-Qaeda and from various ethnic groups including Kurds, are in Iran. US-led military action in Iraq has led some to seek refuge over the border.
In the past, Tehran has also been a target of al-Qaeda attacks. A militant Sunni group based in Pakistan and possibly linked to al-Qaeda was suspected of the 1994 bombing of the shrine of the seventh Shia Imam, Reza, in Mashhad, killing 26 people.
Iran has also shown growing concern over Jundullah, a radical Sunni group from the restive south-east area of Balucestan that has carried out violent attacks in recent years.
Three years ago, Pakistani officials said members of al-Qaeda had begun leaving Pakistan’s border region close to Afghanistan and heading for Iraq. Of the routes used, going overland via Iran was the easiest. That traffic might have increased as links between al-Qaeda and its Iraq offshoot intensify.
Additional reporting by Gareth Smyth in Tehran and Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People
on: July 07, 2007, 12:35:34 AM
Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms
, shall not be infringed.
****If the above is to be interpreted as a collective right of the state and not of the individual, then below is only a collective right as well.****
Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures
, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
****So this only matters when the federal gov't is searching a state gov't? ****
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7
on: July 03, 2007, 06:38:16 PM
During that same debate, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts also made a speech from the Senate floor, which included the following statements:
When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. I will vote yes because I believe it is the best way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. And the administration, I believe, is now committed to a recognition that war must be the last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we must act in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein.
Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies.
In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days — to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.
If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent — and I emphasize "imminent" — threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has recognized a similar need to distinguish how we approach this. He has said that he believes we should move in concert with allies, and he has promised his own party that he will not do so otherwise. The administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do. And it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed.
Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.
In voting to grant the President the authority, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses or may pose some kind of potential threat to the United States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for its self-defense under the standards of law. The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that test yet. I emphasize "yet." Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal and the very high probability that he might use these weapons one day if not disarmed. But it is not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing we have had suggests it is imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack.
The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions.
The definition of purpose circumscribes the authority given to the President to the use of force to disarm Iraq because only Iraq's weapons of mass destruction meet the two criteria laid out in this resolution.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia also delivered a floor speech on the Iraq resolution:
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources — something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.
When Saddam Hussein obtains nuclear capabilities, the constraints he feels will diminish dramatically, and the risk to America’s homeland, as well as to America’s allies, will increase even more dramatically. Our existing policies to contain or counter Saddam will become irrelevant.
Americans will return to a situation like that we faced in the Cold War, waking each morning knowing we are at risk from nuclear blackmail by a dictatorship that has declared itself to be our enemy. Only, back then, our communist foes were a rational and predictable bureaucracy; this time, our nuclear foe would be an unpredictable and often irrational individual, a dictator who has demonstrated that he is prepared to violate international law and initiate unprovoked attacks when he feels it serves his purposes to do so.
The global community — in the form of the United Nations — has declared repeatedly, through multiple resolutions, that the frightening prospect of a nuclear-armed Saddam cannot come to pass. But the U.N. has been unable to enforce those resolutions. We must eliminate that threat now, before it is too late.
But this isn’t just a future threat. Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East.
And he could make those weapons available to many terrorist groups which have contact with his government, and those groups could bring those weapons into the U.S. and unleash a devastating attack against our citizens. I fear that greatly.
We cannot know for certain that Saddam will use the weapons of mass destruction he currently possesses, or that he will use them against us. But we do know Saddam has the capability. Rebuilding that capability has been a higher priority for Saddam than the welfare of his own people — and he has ill-will toward America.
I am forced to conclude, on all the evidence, that Saddam poses a significant risk.
During the simultaneous debate on the Iraq resolution in the House of Representatives, Congressman Henry Waxman of California issued a statement on a possible war with Iraq:
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administration's policy towards Iraq, I don't think there can be any question about Saddam's conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts.
And now, time has run out. It has been four long years since the last UN weapons inspectors were effectively ejected from Iraq because of Saddam’s willful noncompliance with an effective inspection regime.
What Saddam has done in the interim is not known for certain - but there is every evidence, from the dossier prepared by the Prime Minister of Britain, to President Bush’s speech at the United Nations, that Saddam has rebuilt substantial chemical and biological weapons stocks, and that he is determined to obtain the means necessary to produce nuclear weapons. He has ballistic missiles, and more are on order. He traffics with other evil people in this world, intent on harming the United States, Israel, other nations in the Middle East, and our friends across the globe.
Senator Hillary Clinton of New York also spoke on the issue of the Iraq resolution:
In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.
It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.
Now this much is undisputed. The open questions are: what should we do about it? How, when, and with whom?
Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people and would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform.
This view has appeal to some, because it would assure disarmament; because it would right old wrongs after our abandonment of the Shiites and Kurds in 1991, and our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980's when he was using chemical weapons and terrorizing his people; and because it would give the Iraqi people a chance to build a future in freedom.
However, this course is fraught with danger. We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.
If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?
So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.
Making a speech at Georgetown University on 23 January 2003, during the build-up to the war with Iraq, Senator John Kerry said:
Second, without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. He miscalculated an eight-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America's response to that act of naked aggression. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending scuds into Israel and trying to assassinate an American President. He miscalculated his own military strength. He miscalculated the Arab world's response to his misconduct. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm.
So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War. Regrettably the current Administration failed to take the opportunity to bring this issue to the United Nations two years ago or immediately after September 11th, when we had such unity of spirit with our allies. When it finally did speak, it was with hasty war talk instead of a coherent call for Iraqi disarmament. And that made it possible for other Arab regimes to shift their focus to the perils of war for themselves rather than keeping the focus on the perils posed by Saddam's deadly arsenal. Indeed, for a time, the Administration's unilateralism, in effect, elevated Saddam in the eyes of his neighbors to a level he never would have achieved on his own, undermining America's standing with most of the coalition partners which had joined us in repelling the invasion of Kuwait a decade ago.
In U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, the United Nations has now affirmed that Saddam Hussein must disarm or face the most serious consequences. Let me make it clear that the burden is resoundingly on Saddam Hussein to live up to the ceasefire agreement he signed and make clear to the world how he disposed of weapons he previously admitted to possessing. But the burden is also clearly on the Bush Administration to do the hard work of building a broad coalition at the U.N. and the necessary work of educating America about the rationale for war. As I have said frequently and repeat here today, the United States should never go to war because it wants to, the United States should go to war because we have to. And we don't have to until we have exhausted the remedies available, built legitimacy and earned the consent of the American people, absent, of course, an imminent threat requiring urgent action.
Last updated: 2 October 2003
The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7
on: July 03, 2007, 06:37:35 PM
On 16 December 1998, Nancy Pelosi, a Congressional representative from California and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement concerning a U.S.-led military strike against Iraq:
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.
The responsibility of the United States in this conflict is to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to minimize the danger to our troops and to diminish the suffering of the Iraqi people. The citizens of Iraq have suffered the most for Saddam Hussein's activities; sadly, those same citizens now stand to suffer more. I have supported efforts to ease the humanitarian situation in Iraq and my thoughts and prayers are with the innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as with the families of U.S. troops participating in the current action.
I believe in negotiated solutions to international conflict. This is, unfortunately, not going to be the case in this situation where Saddam Hussein has been a repeat offender, ignoring the international community's requirement that he come clean with his weapons program. While I support the President, I hope and pray that this conflict can be resolved quickly and that the international community can find a lasting solution through diplomatic means.
(In this statement Rep. Pelosi was not urging that action be taken against Iraq in order to destroy its WMD technology; she was expressing support for attacks that had already begun with that purpose as their stated objective.)
On 10 November 1999, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed another open meeting, this one held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. Challenged to defend the Clinton administration's support of an economic and trade embargo against Iraq, Secretary Albright responded:
If you remember in 1991, Saddam Hussein invaded another country, he plagued it, he set fire to it, and he decided that he could control the region. Before that, he had gassed his own people.
Saddam Hussein had been acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We carried out, with the help of an alliance, a war in which we put Saddam Hussein back into his box. The United Nations voted on a set of resolutions which demanded Saddam Hussein live up to his obligations and get rid of weapons of mass destruction.
The United Nations Security Council imposed a set of sanctions on Saddam Hussein until he did that. It also established an organization that is set up to monitor whether Hussein had gotten rid of his weapons of mass destruction.
There has never been an embargo against food and medicine. It's just that Hussein has just not chosen to spend his money on that. Instead, he has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction, and palaces for his cronies.
In December 2001, nine members of Congress (a group which included both Democrats and Republicans) wrote a letter to President Bush urging him to step up support for the internal Iraqi opposition seeking to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Included in that letter was the following paragraph:
This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf war status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.
Unless the version reproduced on the Department of State's web site is in error, however, Senator Bob Graham of Florida was not one of the signatories to that letter.
On 19 September 2002, Senator Carl Levin — by then Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — addressed a committee hearing on U.S. policy on Iraq. His introductory remarks included the following:
The Armed Services Committee meets this afternoon to continue our hearings on U.S. policy toward Iraq. The purpose of these hearings is to give the Administration an opportunity to present its position on Iraq, and to allow this Committee to examine the Administration's proposal with Administration witnesses and experts outside of the government.
We welcome Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers to the Committee. Next week the Committee will hear from former senior military commanders on Monday and from former national security officials on Wednesday.
We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.
On 23 September 2002, former Vice-President Al Gore addressed the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on the subject of Iraq and the war on terrorism. Among the comments he offered there were the following:
Moreover, if we quickly succeed in a war against the weakened and depleted fourth rate military of Iraq and then quickly abandon that nation as President Bush has abandoned Afghanistan after quickly defeating a fifth rate military there, the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam. We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.
We have no evidence, however, that he has shared any of those weapons with terrorist groups. However, if Iraq came to resemble Afghanistan — with no central authority but instead local and regional warlords with porous borders and infiltrating members of Al Qaeda than these widely dispersed supplies of weapons of mass destruction might well come into the hands of terrorist groups.
If we end the war in Iraq the way we ended the war in Afghanistan, we could easily be worse off than we are today. When Secretary Rumsfield was asked recently about what our responsibility for restabilizing Iraq would be in an aftermath of an invasion, he said, "That's for the Iraqis to come together and decide."
[ . . .]
What is a potentially even more serious consequence of this push to begin a new war as quickly as possible is the damage it can do not just to America’s prospects to winning the war against terrorism but to America’s prospects for continuing the historic leadership we began providing to the world 57 years ago, right here in this city by the bay.
[ . . .]
Nevertheless, Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power. Moreover, no international law can prevent the United States from taking actions to protect its vital interests, when it is manifestly clear that there is a choice to be made between law and survival. I believe, however, that such a choice is not presented in the case of Iraq. Indeed, should we decide to proceed, that action can be justified within the framework of international law rather than outside it. In fact, though a new UN resolution may be helpful in building international consensus, the existing resolutions from 1991 are sufficient from a legal standpoint.
On 27 September 2002, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts delivered a speech to the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. An excerpt from that speech includes the following statements:
We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction. Our intelligence community is also deeply concerned about the acquisition of such weapons by Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria and other nations. But information from the intelligence community over the past six months does not point to Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States or a major proliferator of weapons of mass destruction.
In public hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, CIA Director George Tenet described Iraq as a threat but not as a proliferator, saying that Saddam Hussein — and I quote — "is determined to thwart U.N. sanctions, press ahead with weapons of mass destruction, and resurrect the military force he had before the Gulf War." That is unacceptable, but it is also possible that it could be stopped short of war.
In October 2002, as the U.S. Senate debated Joint Resolution 46 authorizing President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia delivered remarks regarding his belief that the "rush to war" was "ignoring the U.S. Constitution" and that Iraq did not pose an imminent threat to the United States. Among his remarks were the following statements:
The Senate is rushing to vote on whether to declare war on Iraq without pausing to ask why. Why is war being dealt with not as a last resort but as a first resort? Why is Congress being pressured to act now, as of today, 33 days before a general election when a third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives are in the final, highly politicized, weeks of election campaigns? As recently as Tuesday (Oct. 1), the President said he had not yet made up his mind about whether to go to war with Iraq. And yet Congress is being exhorted to give the President open-ended authority now, to exercise whenever he pleases, in the event that he decides to invade Iraq. Why is Congress elbowing past the President to authorize a military campaign that the President may or may not even decide to pursue? Aren't we getting ahead of ourselves?
The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability. It is now October of 2002. Four years have gone by in which neither this administration nor the previous one felt compelled to invade Iraq to protect against the imminent threat of weapons of mass destruction. Until today. Until 33 days until election day. Now we are being told that we must act immediately, before adjournment and before the elections. Why the rush?
Yes, we had September 11. But we must not make the mistake of looking at the resolution before us as just another offshoot of the war on terror. We know who was behind the September 11 attacks on the United States. We know it was Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network. We have dealt with al Qaeda and with the Taliban government that sheltered it — we have routed them from Afghanistan and we are continuing to pursue them in hiding.
So where does Iraq enter the equation? No one in the Administration has been able to produce any solid evidence linking Iraq to the September 11 attack. Iraq had biological and chemical weapons long before September 11. We knew it then, and we know it now. Iraq has been an enemy of the United States for more than a decade. If Saddam Hussein is such an imminent threat to the United States, why hasn't he attacked us already? The fact that Osama bin Laden attacked the United States does not, de facto, mean that Saddam Hussein is now in a lock and load position and is readying an attack on the United States. In truth, there is nothing in the deluge of Administration rhetoric over Iraq that is of such moment that it would preclude the Senate from setting its own timetable and taking the time for a thorough and informed discussion of this crucial issue.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7
on: July 03, 2007, 06:36:08 PM
Claim: Quotes reproduce statements made by Democratic leaders about Saddam Hussein's acquisition or possession of weapons of mass destruction.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.
"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998
"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.
"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.
"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.
"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.
"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,
"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.
NOW THE DEMOCRATS SAY PRESIDENT BUSH LIED, THAT THERE NEVER WERE ANY WMD'S AND HE TOOK US TO WAR FOR HIS OIL BUDDIES??? Right!!!
of the quotes listed above are substantially correct reproductions of statements made by various Democratic leaders regarding Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's acquisition or possession of weapons of mass destruction. However, some of the quotes are truncated, and context is provided for none of them — several of these quotes were offered in the course of statements that clearly indicated the speaker was decidedly against unilateral military intervention in Iraq by the U.S. Moreover, several of the quotes offered antedate the four nights of airstrikes unleashed against Iraq by U.S. and British forces during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998, after which Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and Gen. Henry H. Shelton (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) announced the action had been successful in "degrad[ing] Saddam Hussein's ability to deliver chemical, biological and nuclear weapons."
In the section below where we highlight these quotes, we've tried to provide sufficient surrounding material to make clear the context in which the quotes were offered as well as include links to the full text from which they were derived wherever possible.
In February 1998, politicians debated the Clinton administration's plans to launch air attacks against Iraq in an effort to coerce Saddam Hussein into cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors. As the Washington Post noted at the time:
Foreign leaders and diplomats may be urging restraint on the Clinton administration in the showdown with Iraq, but a growing chorus at home is calling for stronger measures than the air attacks currently being planned, with the objective of bringing down President Saddam Hussein.
Prominent members of the foreign policy establishment and some leading members of Congress say they are convinced that air attacks aimed at coercing the Iraqis into cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors would not succeed, and would result in too narrow a victory even if they did.
Instead, they argue, the United States should go beyond the objective of curtailing Iraqi weapons programs and adopt a far-reaching strategy aimed at replacing the Baghdad regime. Although they are far from consensus on what that strategy should be, a few openly advocate the possible use of U.S. ground forces, a much greater commitment than the options being pursued by the administration.
Many supporters of a more forceful strategy are conservative Republicans and longtime defense hard-liners, such as Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former Pentagon official Richard L. Armitage. But they also include former representative Stephen J. Solarz (N.Y.), a liberal Democrat who with former Pentagon official Richard Perle is circulating a letter in Congress and foreign policy circles seeking bipartisan support for a more ambitious policy.
In addition to a crushing bombing campaign or the possibility of ground troops, some advocates of tougher measures are suggesting seeking Iraq's expulsion from the United Nations, indicting Saddam Hussein as a war criminal, or blockading the port of Basra to halt illicit oil exports — an action that would infuriate Iran, which shares the Shatt al Arab waterway with Iraq.
Such moves, if made unilaterally, would almost certainly draw the ire of most of the United States's U.N. partners and frame the crisis even more starkly as a conflict between Washington and Baghdad. But public opinion polls may indicate support for such a route. A Los Angeles Times poll published on Monday showed that by 68 percent to 24 percent, Americans favor airstrikes provided they are designed to remove Saddam Hussein from power, not just force him to accept the commands of the U.N. Security Council.1
That same article also reported a statement made by President Clinton the previous day (4 February 1998):
Yesterday, Clinton reiterated that he would prefer a "diplomatic solution" to the standoff with Iraq but added, "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." Clinton met with Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, just back from a trip to Europe and several Arab countries to outline the U.S. position, and is to discuss Iraq with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who arrived in Washington yesterday.1
On 17 February 1998, President Clinton delivered a speech at the Pentagon. Excerpts from that speech include the following comments:
The UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions, a small force of Scud-type missiles, and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons.
Now, against that background, let us remember the past here. It is against that background that we have repeatedly and unambiguously made clear our preference for a diplomatic solution . . .
But to be a genuine solution, and not simply one that glosses over the remaining problem, a diplomatic solution must include or meet a clear, immutable, reasonable, simple standard.
Iraq must agree and soon, to free, full, unfettered access to these sites anywhere in the country. There can be no dilution or diminishment of the integrity of the inspection system that UNSCOM has put in place.
Now those terms are nothing more or less than the essence of what he agreed to at the end of the Gulf War. The Security Council, many times since, has reiterated this standard. If he accepts them, force will not be necessary. If he refuses or continues to evade his obligations through more tactics of delay and deception, he and he alone will be to blame for the consequences.
Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction.
And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he'll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who's really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too. . . .
If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program. We want to seriously reduce his capacity to threaten his neighbors.
I am quite confident, from the briefing I have just received from our military leaders, that we can achieve the objective and secure our vital strategic interests.2
On 18 February 1998, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appeared along with Defense Secretary William Cohen and White House National Security Adviser Sandy Berger at an internationally televised "town meeting" at Ohio State University. Protesters shouted from the stands throughout the meeting, and Secretary Albright attempted to quiet them by inviting some of them down to the floor to pose questions to her directly. As the Columbus Dispatch reported:
Few actually got the opportunity, but one — Jon Strange, a substitute teacher in Columbus — eventually took the microphone.
He repeatedly challenged Albright on whether Clinton policy is consistent or fair — attacking Saddam while acting favorably to American allies charged with atrocities against their own people, such as Indonesia and Turkey.
Albright said the United States had expressed its concerns in all of the occasions Strange mentioned. "What we ought to be thinking about is how to deal with Saddam Hussein," she added.
"You're not answering my question, Madam Albright!" Strange shouted, causing the secretary to momentarily back from the lectern.
At that point, Woodruff followed his question by asking why Iraq was branded an outlaw nation for manufacturing chemical and biological weapons that other nations also possess.
"It is a question of whether there is a proclivity to use them," Albright said. "Saddam Hussein is a repeat offender."
Many who attended yesterday's town meeting, while supportive of the nation's position on Iraq, said they are uncertain whether a military attack is the proper response.
Before the forum, Rob Aiken, a North Side resident and student at Ohio State, said he wanted to know what other options had been considered.
"I don't think killing a lot of folks will change a regime," he said.
Leandra Kennedy, a political science major from Philadelphia, said her biggest concern is that an attack has not received congressional approval.
"Saddam needs to comply," she said. "But I'm not sure about the way we're going about it, not taking into consideration how it will affect the international community in the long run."
Calling Saddam a bully who has terrorized his Middle East neighbors and tortured his own people, the officials said the administration's aim is to reduce his capacity to manufacture and deliver weapons of mass destruction.
"I am absolutely convinced that we could accomplish our mission," Berger said.
"The risks that the leader of a rogue state can use biological or chemical weapons on us or our allies is the greatest security risk we face," Albright said.3
During that same meeting National Security Adviser Sandy Berger also spoke about how to make Saddam Hussein comply with United Nations weapons inspectors:
Berger won strong applause when he insisted Washington is still hoping for a peaceful way to persuade Saddam to give United Nations inspectors free access to suspected weapons sites. But Berger re-used a warning delivered Tuesday by President Bill Clinton: "The only answer to aggression and outlaw behaviour is firmness. . . He (Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983."4
On 6 October 1998, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, addressed that committee at a hearing on the subject of worldwide threats facing the U.S. His comments on Iraq included mention of a letter to President Clinton which he and other senators were circulating:
As the Chairman has indicated, the situation in Iraq also poses a threat to international peace and security. Once again, Saddam Hussein has halted cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Without intrusive inspections, we will not be able to ensure that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs are destroyed in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. Without those inspections, the Iraqi people will continue to suffer as a result of international economic sanctions.
And that is why, along with Senators McCain, Lieberman, and Hutchison, I am circulating among our Senate colleagues a letter to President Clinton, urging him, in consultation with Congress, consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take effective actions, including if appropriate, the use of air strikes, to respond to the Iraqi threat.
(President Clinton did undertake the action urged in this statement a few months later by ordering the aforementioned Operation Desert Fox airstrikes.)
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7
on: July 03, 2007, 06:14:25 PM
I have limited time, so i'll respond in greater detail later, however here is a report issued from the US State Dept. in 1999 on terrorism (who was president then?)http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/1999report/sponsor.html#iraq
The designation of state sponsors of terrorism by the United States--and the imposition of sanctions--is a mechanism for isolating nations that use terrorism as a means of political expression. US policy is intended to compel state sponsors to renounce the use of terrorism, end support to terrorists, and bring terrorists to justice for past crimes.
The United States is committed to holding terrorists and those who harbor them accountable for past attacks, regardless of when the acts occurred. The United States has a long memory and will not simply expunge a terrorist's record because time has passed. The states that choose to harbor terrorists are similar to accomplices who provide shelter for criminals--and the United States will hold them accountable for their "guests'" actions. International terrorists should know before they contemplate a crime that they cannot hunker down afterward in a safehaven and be absolved of their crimes.The United States is committed firmly to removing countries from the state sponsor list once they have taken necessary steps to end their link to terrorism. In fact, the Department of State is engaged in ongoing discussions with state sponsors interested in being removed from the list.
Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea, Cuba, and Sudan remain the seven governments that the US Secretary of State has designated as state sponsors of international terrorism. Iran continued to support numerous terrorist groups-- including the Lebanese Hizballah, HAMAS, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)--in their efforts to undermine the Middle East peace process through terrorism. Although there were signs of political change in Iran in 1999, the actions of certain state institutions in support of terrorist groups made Iran the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iraq continued to provide safehaven and support to a variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups, as well as bases, weapons, and protection to the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist group that opposes the current Iranian regime. Syria continued to provide safehaven and support to several terrorist groups, some of which oppose the Middle East peace process. Libya had yet to fully comply with the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions related to the trial of those accused of downing Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. North Korea harbored several hijackers of a Japanese Airlines flight to North Korea in the 1970s and maintained links to Usama Bin Ladin and his network. Cuba continued providing safehaven to several terrorists and US fugitives and maintained ties to other state sponsors and Latin American insurgents. Finally, Sudan continued to serve as a meeting place, safehaven, and training hub for members of Bin Ladin's al-Qaida, Lebanese Hizballah, al-Jihad, al-Gama'at, PIJ, HAMAS, and the Abu Nidal organization (ANO).
State sponsorship has decreased over the past several decades. As it decreases, it becomes increasingly important for all countries to adopt a "zero tolerance" for terrorist activity within their borders. Terrorists will seek safehaven in those areas where they are able to avoid the rule of law and to travel, prepare, raise funds, and operate. In 1999 the United States actively researched and gathered intelligence on other states that will be considered for designation as state sponsors. If the United States deems a country to "repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism," it is required by law to add that nation to the list.
In 1999 the United States increasingly was concerned about reports of Pakistani support for terrorist groups and elements active in Kashmir, as well as Pakistani relations with the Taliban, which continued to harbor terrorists such as Usama Bin Ladin. In the Middle East, the United States was concerned that a variety of terrorist groups operated and trained inside Lebanon with relative impunity. Lebanon also was unresponsive to U.S. requests to bring to justice terrorists who attacked U.S. citizens and property in Lebanon in previous years.
Iraq continued to plan and sponsor international terrorism in 1999. Although Baghdad focused primarily on the antiregime opposition both at home and abroad, it continued to provide safehaven and support to various terrorist groups.
Press reports stated that, according to a defecting Iraqi intelligence agent, the Iraqi intelligence service had planned to bomb the offices of Radio Free Europe in Prague. Radio Free Europe offices include Radio Liberty, which began broadcasting news and information to Iraq in October 1998. The plot was foiled when it became public in early 1999.
The Iraqi opposition publicly stated its fears that the Baghdad regime was planning to assassinate those opposed to Saddam Hussein. A spokesman for the Iraqi National Accord in November said that the movement's security organs had obtained information about a plan to assassinate its secretary general, Dr. Iyad 'Allawi, and a member of the movement's political bureau, as well as another Iraqi opposition leader.
Iraq continued to provide safehaven to a variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups, including the Abu Nidal organization, the Arab Liberation Front (ALF), and the former head of the now-defunct 15 May Organization, Abu Ibrahim, who masterminded several bombings of U.S. aircraft.
Iraq provided bases, weapons, and protection to the MEK, an Iranian terrorist group that opposes the current Iranian regime. In 1999, MEK cadre based in Iraq assassinated or attempted to assassinate several high-ranking Iranian Government officials, including Brigadier General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, Deputy Chief of Iran's Joint Staff, who was killed in Tehran on 10 April."
"Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Terrorism
In 1999 the possibility of another terrorist weapons of mass destruction (WMD) event--a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN), or large explosive weapon--continued to increase.
Although most terrorists continued to favor proven and conventional tactics, such as bombing, shooting, and kidnapping, some terrorist groups were attempting to obtain CBRN capabilities. For example, Usama Bin Ladin spoke publicly about acquiring such a capability and likened his pursuit of those weapons to a religious duty.
Some terrorist groups have demonstrated CBRN use and are actively pursuing CBRN capabilities for several reasons:
Increased publicity highlighted the vulnerability of civilian targets to CBRN attacks. Such attacks could cause lasting disruption and generate significant psychological impact on a population and its infrastructure. As of yearend, the largest attack involving chemical weapons against civilians was Aum Shinrikyo's sarin nerve agent attack on the Tokyo subway system in March 1995.
Some groups, especially those motivated by distorted religious and cultural ideologies, had demonstrated a willingness to inflict greater numbers of indiscriminate casualties. Other less predictable but potentially dangerous groups also had emerged. Those groups may not adhere to traditional targeting constraints.
CBRN materials, information, and technology became more widely available, especially from the Internet and the former Soviet Union."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Thank allah for bad jihadi driving and poorly built bombs.....
on: July 03, 2007, 08:59:41 AM
I wonder if the lastest clowns,I mean Muslim fundis, still get to go to heaven and screw "virgins" even though their attacks failed and all they accomplished was burning up their vehicles and themselves.
Nope, no martyrdom, no 72 virgins. Allah doesn't reward paradise for effort, only results. This places a great deal of pressure on the western jihadis pre-attack preperations.