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11001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 23, 2008, 09:04:30 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/23/vets-for-freedom-obama-will-go-to-iran-but-not-iraq/

Obama's priorities.
11002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: May 22, 2008, 10:30:58 PM
More than anything, my biggest objection to so-called "gay marriage" is that it's been rejected by the voting public and must be forced upon them by judicial fiat.
11003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 20, 2008, 03:57:00 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/20/on-budgeting-and-asymmetrical-threats/

More on Barry-O's cluelessness.....
11004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 19, 2008, 08:40:31 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/19/iran-not-a-serious-threat/

Iran not a “serious threat”?
POSTED AT 9:15 AM ON MAY 19, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


Barack Obama gave an interesting description of Iran and the threat it poses to the United States and our national interests at an appearance in Oregon last night. “They don’t pose a serious threat to us in the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us,” Obama told a cheering audience, explaining why he doesn’t think we need to worry about “tiny” countries like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. Obama also displays a weird sense of history when he suggests that the Berlin Wall fell because we engaged Mikhail Gorbachev:


Wow. Where to begin with this silliness?

Let’s start with the Soviet Union. We talked with the Soviet Union because they also had nuclear weapons. Obama seems to forget that the entire point of our Iran policy is to prevent being put in the position of having to cut deals with a terrorist-supporting, radical Islamist non-rational state. When the enemy already has the capability of destroying you several times over, negotiations are needed to keep one side from initiating a war. Only an idiot would think that the negotiations intended on disarming the Soviets, or they us. The same dynamic applies to our engagement with Mao Zedong and Red China; Mao was smart enough to hold himself out as a potential partner in a power balance against the Soviets.

The Soviet Union collapsed economically; they did not just decide to capitulate. The Berlin Wall did not fall as a result of negotiations, but because the regime propping it up ceased to exist. Why did the Soviet Union collapse? Because Ronald Reagan won an economic war with Moscow, forcing it to spend more and more and falling further and further behind. The Strategic Defense Initiative provided the coup de grace to the Soviets, who knew they could never match us in missile defense, and tried negotiating an end to the economic war instead, with disastrous results.

That would be the same SDI that Democrats staunchly opposed, sneeringly called “Star Wars” and proclaiming it a threat to peaceful coexistence. They wanted a decades-long series of summits instead of the end of communism, which sounds strikingly familiar in Obama’s speech. Reagan had to fight the Democrats to beat the Soviets, not through presidential-level diplomacy but through economic isolation and military strength.

Listen to Obama talk about the “common interests” supposedly shared between the US and the Iranian mullahcracy. What interests would those be? The destruction of Israel, the denial of the Holocaust, the financial and military support of Hamas and Hezbollah, or the killing of American soldiers in Iraq? And please point out the presidential-level, unconditional contacts that brought down the Berlin Wall. Our “common interests” didn’t exist between the East German and American governments; they existed between the people of East Germany and America in the promise of real freedom. When the Soviet power structure imploded, it was the people of East Germany who tore down the wall, not Mikhail Gorbachev, who watched it happen impotently.

Furthermore, the danger in Iranian nuclear weapons has nothing to do with the capacity of its Shahab-3 ballistic missiles. Iran’s sponsorship of terrorist organizations will allow them to partner with any small group of lunatics who want to smuggle a nuclear weapon into any Western city — London, Rome, Washington DC, Los Angeles, take your pick. That’s the problem with nuclear proliferation; it doesn’t take a large army to threaten annihilation any longer, which is why we work so hard to keep those weapons out of the hands of non-rational actors like Iran. The Soviets may have been evil, but they were rational, and we could count on their desire to survive to rely on the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction. The Iranians believe that a worldwide conflagration will have Allah deliver the world to Islam, so a nuclear exchange may fall within their policy, and that’s assuming we could establish their culpability for a sneak nuclear attack to the extent where a President Obama would order a nuclear reprisal.

This speech reveals Obama to have no grasp of history, no grasp of strategic implications of a nuclear Iran, and no clue how to secure the nation and handle foreign policy.
11005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 17, 2008, 09:44:14 PM
http://www.city-journal.org/printable.php?id=2574

Steven Malanga
Illegal in More Ways than One
Identity theft in America goes hand and hand with illegal immigration.
Spring 2008


As everyone knows, America is experiencing an epidemic of identity theft. In the last five years alone, complaints to the Federal Trade Commission from U.S. residents who have had their identity stolen have skyrocketed 60 percent, to 258,427 in 2007—one-third of all consumer fraud complaints that the commission receives. What’s less well understood, however, is how illegal immigration is helping to fuel this rash of crime. Seeking access to jobs, credit, and driver’s licenses, many undocumented aliens are using the personal data of real Americans on forged documents. The immigrants’ identity theft has become so pervasive that the need to combat it is “a disturbing front in the war against illegal immigration,” according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The FTC’s latest statistics help show why. The top five states in terms of reported identity theft in 2007 all have large immigrant populations—the border states of Arizona, California, and Texas, as well as Florida and Nevada. People who pilfer legitimate identities in these states are much more likely than in other parts of the country to use them to gain employment unlawfully—the most common reason that illegal aliens steal personal information. In Arizona, for instance, 36 percent of all identity theft is for employment purposes, compared with only 5 percent in Maine, a state with far fewer illegal aliens. “To many law enforcement leaders in Arizona, this suggests that Arizona’s identity-theft epidemic is directly linked to the problem of illegal immigration,” says a recent report by Identity Theft 911, an Arizona company that helps businesses and individuals protect themselves.

Government investigations have only begun to uncover the extent of the crime wave. When ICE agents raided six Swift meat-processing plants in December 2006, they found widespread evidence of fraud involving the use of real people’s identities; the feds eventually charged 148 illegal aliens in the case with crimes related to identity theft. In the first year and a half after Arizona created a special unit to deal with identity theft, investigators said that they were able to purchase more than 1,000 phony documents that made use of real people’s identities. A so-called three-pack—a Social Security card, a driver’s license, and a permanent-resident card—costs on average just $160 in the state.

Government statistics probably grossly underestimate the size of the problem. Many local police departments don’t track identity theft accurately, and the FTC only reports complaints that it receives. By combining data on complaints with FTC consumer surveys—which show that far more people have had their identity stolen than report it—Identity Theft 911 estimates that in Arizona alone, some 1.57 million people, or a quarter of the state’s population, have been victims over the last six years. About one-fifth are children—whose Social Security numbers are especially valuable targets, since the kids usually aren’t employed, making discovery of the fraud less likely. “We just don’t know how they’re getting all this information on minors,” says Maryann McKessy, bureau chief for fraud and identity-theft enforcement in the Maricopa County attorney general’s office.

One disturbing theory: health-care employees with access to children’s files are working for organized gangs that trade in illegal documents and are willing to pay richly for the data. “We have a major problem with workers in medical offices stealing patients’ identities, selling them and making a direct profit,” Sergeant James Bracke of the Phoenix Police Department told authors of the Arizona report. The gangs can afford these bribes because identity theft has become such a big business. In Phoenix, “coyotes,” the smugglers who lead illegal immigrants over our borders, have created a network of phony-document producers and safe houses where undocumented workers can wait until they get their fraudulent papers.

Americans who have their identity stolen by these gangs are in for major headaches. Among the complaints filed with the FTC is that of a Texas man arrested for a crime committed by an illegal alien who had filched his identity. In another case, highlighted by Nevada senator John Ensign in last year’s immigration-reform debate in Congress, the Internal Revenue Service hit a woman with a $1 million back-tax bill, even though she was a stay-at-home mom. An investigation later found that 218 illegal aliens were using her Social Security number. A Los Angeles police detective—who, ironically, worked in the department’s fraud bureau—was unable to buy a home because of bills piled up by an illegal immigrant who stole his Social Security number to gain employment at a processing plant. Then the IRS served the cop with a bill for $40,000 in back taxes; when he protested, the agency threatened to send his case to collection. Other legal residents have had their unemployment claims or workers’ compensation cases rejected after government records showed that someone with their Social Security number was working.

Despite all this, efforts to crack down on identity theft have proved controversial. Ensign offered an amendment to last year’s immigration-reform bill that would have barred illegals from Social Security benefits if they obtained work using stolen identities, but the amendment went down to defeat after critics complained that it was unfair to refuse benefit payments to those who had contributed to the Social Security system, even if they did so under a false identity. Ultimately, the immigration bill itself was defeated, in part because of controversy over its provisions to offer amnesty to illegal aliens, including those who might have stolen identities.

Frustrated by what some see as a tepid federal response, local officials in the hardest-hit areas have stepped up antitheft efforts. In Arizona, a new law makes it a felony to use the identity of another person to obtain a job. Local law enforcement agencies, like the Maricopa County attorney general’s office and the Phoenix Police Department, have expanded their fraud units. Even private businesses have gotten into the fight. Last year, the Arizona offices of A. G. Edwards, the national brokerage firm, held “community shred-a-thons” to give people a chance to destroy outdated financial records and other documents that might provide information to identity-theft gangs.

But many local law enforcement agencies still don’t treat the theft as a serious crime. Until they do, Americans who have had their identity stolen will pay the price in time, stress, and expensive legal bills.

Steven Malanga is senior editor of City Journal and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is the author of The New New Left, a collection of his City Journal essays.
11006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: May 17, 2008, 07:00:12 PM
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/003764print.html

Debbie Schlussel: The Company He Keeps: Obama Hangs With Hezbollah's Iranian Agent Imam

By Debbie Schlussel

Barack Obama claims he's against HAMAS and Hezbollah and is offended by President Bush's speech in Israel about Obama's ethos of "appeasement." So why is he meeting with one of Hezbollah's most important imams and agents in America, Imam Hassan Qazwini? And why is this open anti-Semite and supporter of Israel's annihilation getting to discuss "the Arab-Israeli conflict" in a private one-on-one meeting with Obama? What was said? I think we can do the math.

I've written about Qazwini and his mosque for almost a decade. He is tight with the Government of Iran, and he is an agent of the Iranian government, spreading its propaganda. He was sent to the U.S. by Iran to help radicalize his mosque, the Islamic Center of America, which--at the time--was becoming moderate with women not covering their hair and mixing with men. All that has changed, under Qazwini.


Extremist Imam Hassan Qazwini w/ Obama
AND w/ Hezbollah Spiritual Leader Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah
Qazwini is very open about his support for Palestinian homicide bombings, HAMAS, and Hezbollah. And he's a good friend of Hezbollah spiritual leader, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah--the man who issued the fatwa to Hezbollah terrorists to murder over 300 U.S. Marines and U.S. Embassy civilians in cold blood. Qazwini's mosque has held rallies and celebrations in support of Hezbollah, and many of Hezbollah's biggest money-launderers and agents in America are his congregants.

When I went undercover to his mosque in 1998, he and others welcomed Nation of Islam chief racist Louis Farrakhan as "our dear brother" and "a freedom fighter." Qazwini applauded Farrakhan's anti-Semitic statements saying that Jews were the "forces of Satan" and that there needed to be a "jihad" on the American people.

Above is a photo of Qazwini hanging out with Hezbollah's Fadlallah--who is on the State Department Terrorist List--in South Lebanon, where he went to visit him and pay tribute. Juxtapose that with the photo of Qazwini and Barack Obama. It says a lot about the company Obama keeps . . . and why he shouldn't be President:

A Muslim leader from Dearborn met privately with Sen. Barack Obama during his Wednesday visit to Michigan.
Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America, said in an email that he met with Obama at Macomb Community College. A mosque spokesman, Eide Alawan, confirmed that the meeting took place. During the meeting, the two discussed the Presidential election, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Iraq war, according to Qazwini.

At the end of the meeting, Qazwini said he gave Obama a copy of new book, "American Crescent," and invited Obama to visit his center.

The meeting with Obama came about after Qazwini had asked David Bonior, the former U.S. Rep. from Michigan, if he could meet with Obama during his visit. Qazwini was not selected to be part of a group of 20 people who met with Obama, but Qazwini later got a private meeting with Obama, Alawan said.

"They gave him an opportunity for a one-on-one," Alawan said. . . .

Born in Iraq into a long line of Shi'ite clerics, Qazwini and his family left for Iran to escape persecution under the regime of Saddam Hussein. He later moved to the U.S. and become head of the Dearborn mosque, one of the largest Shi'ite Muslim centers in the U.S.

Um, Saddam wasn't off the mark regarding Qazwini and his family. They were agents of Iran who were trying to overthrow him on behalf of the Khomeini'ists. And the fundamentalist Islamic form of government Qazwini espouses is far worse Saddam Hussein's killing fields (though it's far less secular than Saddam was). The only other difference is that in his view those bloody fields should be dominated by victorious Shi'ites, not Saddam's Sunnis.

Well, Obama has the support of HAMAS . . . and now, Hezbollah. And we should send him to the White House because . . .?


Posted by Debbie on May 16, 2008 12:18 PM to Debbie Schlussel
11007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 17, 2008, 05:30:05 PM
Israel: A bit over 7 million

Egypt: 80,335,036, per the CIA world factbook

Lebanon: 3,925,502

Syria: 18.6 million per the US State Dept.

Iran: 65,875,223

Saudi Arabia: 28,161,417

Iraq: 27,499,638

Though outnumbered, thus far Israel hasn't been outgunned....
11008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 17, 2008, 04:53:55 PM
That is an intresting relation between Nazi's and Jihadis....Seems to make sense...not sure they could live well together....but anyway, it is understood.
Is the hatred for America related to our freedom or our alliance with Israel...or both?

**Both. Just as Israel is a target for the jihadis because they exist on what was muslim conquered land, the jihadis speak the same way about Spain eventually being returned to "Dar al-islam" from "Dar al-harb" as part of the return of the Caliphate that will eventually span the world.**

Quote
however the Shia side of the global jihad is surging forward with little to stop them at this time.

Expound please? I'am thinking Sadr and Iran/Iraq....but see little threat to the U.S. with the exception of our being on their playing field in Iraq.......which was not their playing field until we made it that way.

**Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power, if not already one and has been waging a war against us since 1979. Until 9/11, hezbollah (A wholly owned subsidiary of Iran's Revolutionary Guard) had killed more Americans than any other group. Hezbollah has demonstrated a global reach. This capacity, with nukes really does threaten the future of the United States.**

Are they intrested in Terrorism on a global scale?

**Yes. They have been ever since the Iranian revolution. Only Israel has really stepped up and bled them. Sadly, despite all the losses they've inflicted on us, we've never held them accountable. Our weakness emboldens them.**
11009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 17, 2008, 04:04:17 PM
Both are militaristic totalitarians with a deep seated hatred of jews and freedom.

Patience is an asset the jihadis have that we don't, however AQ has been needing a followup to 9/11 for years now to prove their relevance. We've rolled up every big plot and forced them to cower in Pakistan's caves, however the Shia side of the global jihad is surging forward with little to stop them at this time.
11010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 17, 2008, 03:33:48 PM
Here are two top notch books on the topic of homeland security:

http://www.amazon.com/Terrorist-Watch-Inside-Desperate-Attack/dp/0307382133

http://www.amazon.com/Crush-Cell-Terrorism-Terrorizing-Ourselves/dp/0307382176/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211056343&sr=1-1
11011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: May 17, 2008, 02:34:49 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/17/barack-obama-neocon/

Barack "Neocon" Obama
11012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 17, 2008, 01:34:26 PM
Woof GM, I agree with you on this and find this really hard to prevent.
I personally would like to see more reasources being spent at home than abroad....but anyway....

Would you include Timothy Mcvie(sp) the Oklahoma city fed bldg. bomber in this group of possible terrorists?
                                                           TG

Terrorists motivated by left/right radicalism are threats, though not at the same level as the global jihad, which presents a long term existential threat to the US/Western world. Regarding McVeigh, there are those that claim a McVeigh-al-qaeda link. There is a historical alliance between the nazis and jihadis that still thrives today.
11013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 17, 2008, 01:14:13 PM
Tom,

A huge amount of resources is being spent here, but the biggest factor in AQ not being able to top 9/11 in the last 7 years has been our offensives against AQ's global infastructure. Taking out training camps, interdicting their flow of money and killing their members does a lot to impair their ability to wage an offensive.
11014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 17, 2008, 01:06:06 PM
"Peoplehood" Based on a Big Lie   
By Eli E. Hertz
MythsandFacts.com | Friday, May 16, 2008

The Palestinians claim that they are an ancient and indigenous people fails to stand up to historical scrutiny. Most Palestinian Arabs were newcomers to British Mandate Palestine. Until the 1967 Six-Day War made it expedient for Arabs to create a Palestinian peoplehood, local Arabs simply considered themselves part of the ‘great Arab nation’ or ‘southern Syrians.’

“Repeat a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it.”
Nazi propaganda master Joseph Goebbels

“All [that Palestinians] can agree on as a community is what they
want to destroy, not what they want to build.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

There is no age-old Palestinian people. Most so-called Palestinians are relative newcomers to the Land of Israel

Like a mantra, Arabs repeatedly claim that the Palestinians are a native people. The concept of a ‘Stateless Palestinian people’ is not based on fact. It is a fabrication.

Palestinian Arabs cast themselves as a native people in “Palestine” – like the Aborigines in Australia or Native Americans in America. They portray the Jews as European imperialists and colonizers. This is simply untrue.

Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a God-forsaken backwash that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey.

The land’s fragile ecology had been laid waste in the wake of the Arabs’ 7th-century conquest. In 1799, the population was at it lowest and estimated to be no more than 250,000 to 300,000 inhabitants in all the land.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Arab population west of the Jordan River (today, Israel and the West Bank) was about half a million inhabitants and east of the Jordan River perhaps 200,000.

The collapse of the agricultural system with the influx of nomadic tribes after the Arab conquest that created malarial swamps and denuded the ancient terrace system eroding the soil, was coupled by a tyrannous regime, a crippling tax system and absentee landowners that further decimated the population. Much of the indigenous population had long since migrated or disappeared. Very few Jews or Arabs lived in the region before the arrival of the first Zionists in the 1880s and most of those that did lived in abject poverty.

Most Arabs living west of the Jordan River in Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza are newcomers who came from surrounding Arab lands after the turn of the 20th century because they were attracted to the relative economic prosperity brought about by the Zionist Movement and the British in the 1920s and 1930s.

This is substantiated by eyewitness reports of a deserted country – including 18th-century reports from the British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, French author and historian Count Constantine Volney (Travels through Syria and Egypt, 1798); the mid-19th-century writings of Alphonse de Lamartine (Recollections of the East, 1835); Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867); and reports from the British Consul in Jerusalem (1857) that were sent back to London.

The Ottoman Turks’ census (1882) recorded only 141,000 Muslims in the Land of Israel. The real number is probably closer to 350,000 to 425,000, since many hid to avoid taxes. The British census in 1922 reported 650,000 Muslims.

Aerial photographs taken by German aviators during World War I show an underdeveloped country composed mainly of primitive hamlets. Ashdod, for instance, was a cluster of mud dwellings, Haifa a fishing village. In 1934 alone, 30,000 Syrian Arabs from the Hauran moved across the northern frontier into Mandate Palestine, attracted by work in and around the newly built British port and the construction of other infrastructure projects. They even dubbed Haifa Um el-Amal (‘the city of work’).

The fallacy of Arab claims that most Palestinians were indigenous to Palestine – not newcomers - is also bolstered by a 1909 vintage photograph of Nablus, today an Arab city on the West Bank with over 121,000 residents. Based on the number of buildings in the photo taken from the base of Mount Gerizim, the population in 1909 – Muslim Arabs and Jewish Samaritans – could not have been greater than 2,000 residents.

Family names of many Palestinians attest to their non-Palestinian origins. Just as Jews bear names like Berliner, Warsaw and Toledano, modern phone books in the Territories are filled with families named Elmisri (Egyptian), Chalabi (Syrian), Mugrabi (North Africa). Even George Habash – the arch-terrorist and head of Black September – bears a name with origins in Abyssinia or Ethiopia, Habash in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Palestinian nationality is an entity defined by its opposition to Zionism, and not its national aspirations.

What unites Palestinians has been their opposition to Jewish nationalism and the desire to stamp it out, not aspirations for their own state. Local patriotic feelings are generated only when a non-Islamic entity takes charge – such as Israel did after the 1967 Six-Day War. It dissipates under Arab rule, no matter how distant or despotic.

A Palestinian identity did not exist until an opposing force created it – primarily anti-Zionism. Opposition to a non-Muslim nationalism on what local Arabs, and the entire Arab world, view as their own turf, was the only expression of ‘Palestinian peoplehood.’

The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a charismatic religious leader and radical anti-Zionist was the moving force behind opposition to Jewish immigration in the 1920s and 1930s. The two-pronged approach of the “Diplomacy of Rejection” (of Zionism) and the violence the Mufti incited occurred at the same time Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq became countries in the post-Ottoman reshuffling of territories established by the British and the French under the League of Nation’s mandate system.

The tiny educated class among the Arabs of Palestine was more politically aware than the rest of Arab society, with the inklings of a separate national identity. However, for decades, the primary frame of reference for most local Arabs was the clan or tribe, religion and sect, and village of origin. If Arabs in Palestine defined themselves politically, it was as “southern Syrians.” Under Ottoman rule, Syria referred to a region much larger than the Syrian Arab Republic of today, with borders established by France and England in 1920.

In his book Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition, Daniel Pipes explains:

“Syria was a region that stretched from the borders of Anatolia to those of Egypt, from the edge of Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea. In terms of today’s states, the Syria of old comprised Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, plus the Gaza Strip and Alexandria.”

Syrian maps in the 21st century still co-opt most of Greater Syria, including Israel.

The Grand Mufti Al-Husseini’s aspirations slowly shifted from pan-Arabism – the dream of uniting all Arabs into one polity, whereby Arabs in Palestine would unite with their brethren in Syria - to winning a separate Palestinian entity, with himself at the helm. Al-Husseini was the moving force behind the 1929 riots against the Jews and the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt against two non-Muslim entities in Palestine – the British and the Jews. He gathered a large following by playing on fears that the Jews had come to dispossess, or at least dominate the Arabs. 

Much like Yasser Arafat, the Grand Mufti’s ingrained all-or-nothing extremism, fanaticism and even an inability to cooperate with his own compatriots made him totally ineffective. He led the Palestinian Arabs nowhere.

The ‘Palestinian’ cause became a key rallying point for Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East, according to Oxford historian Avi Shlaim. The countries the British and French created in 1918-1922 were based largely on meridians on the map, as is evident in the borders that delineate the Arab states today. Because these states lack ethnic logic or a sense of community, their opposition to the national aspirations of the Jews has come to fuel that fires Arab nationalism as the ‘glue’ of national identity. (see details on the ramifications of British and French policy, which plague the Middle East to this day in the chapter “The European Union.”)

From the 1920s, rejection of Jewish nationalism, attempts to prevent the establishment of a Jewish homeland by violence, and rejection of any form of Jewish political power, including any plans to share stewardship with Arabs, crystallized into the expression of Palestinianism. No other positive definition of an Arab-Palestinian people has surfaced. This point is admirably illustrated in the following historic incident:

“In 1926, Lord Plumer was appointed as the second High Commissioner of Palestine. The Arabs within the Mandate were infuriated when Plumer stood up for the Zionists’ national anthem Hatikva during ceremonies held in his honor when Plumer first visited Tel Aviv. When a delegation of Palestinian Arabs protested Plumer’s ‘Zionist bias,’ the High Commissioner asked the Arabs if he remained seated when their national anthem was played, ‘wouldn’t you regard my behavior as most unmannerly?’ Met by silence, Plumer asked: ‘By the way, have you got a national anthem?’ When the delegation replied with chagrin that they did not, he snapped back, “I think you had better get one as soon as possible.”

But it took the Palestinians more than 60 years to heed Plumer’s advice, adopting Anthem of the Intifada two decades after Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 – at the beginning of the 1987 Intifada.

Under the Mandate, local Arabs also refused to establish an ‘Arab Agency’ to develop the Arab sector, parallel to the Jewish Agency that directed development of the Jewish sector (see the Chapter “Rejectionism”).

In fact, the so-called patriotism of indigenous Muslims has flourished only when non-Muslim entities (the Crusaders, the British, the Jews) have taken charge of the Holy Land. When political control returns to Muslim hands, the ardent patriotism of the Arabs of Palestine magically wanes, no matter how distant or how despotic the government. One Turkish pasha who ruled Acco (Acre) between 1775 and 1804 was labeled Al Jazzar, The Butcher, by locals.

Why hasn’t Arab representative government ever been established in Palestine, either in 1948 or during the next 19 years of Arab rule? Because other Arabs co-opted the Palestinian cause as a rallying point that would advance the concept that the territory was up for grabs. “The Arab invasion of Palestine was not a means for achieving an independent Palestine, but rather the result of a lack of consensus on the part of the Arab states regarding such independence,” summed up one historian. Adherents to a separate Palestinian identity were a mute minority on the West Bank and Gaza during the 19 years of Jordanian and Egyptian rule - until Israel took control from the Jordanians and the Egyptians in 1967. Suddenly a separate Palestinian peoplehood appeared and claimed it deserved nationhood - and 21 other Arab states went along with it.

Palestinianism in and of itself lacks any substance of its own. Arab society on the West Bank and Gaza suffers from deep social cleavages created by a host of rivalries based on divergent geographic, historical, geographical, sociological and familial allegiances. What glues Palestinians together is a carefully nurtured hatred of Israel and the rejection of Jewish nationhood.
11015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 17, 2008, 01:00:51 PM
Enabling Hezbollah   
By Ralph Peters
New York Post | Friday, May 16, 2008

AS Hezbollah's terror army dismantles Lebanon, the world whistles "Ain't That a Shame."
With its heavily funded proxies marching through an Arab democracy's ruins, Iran has arrived on the Mediterranean, outflanking Israel.

Syria's surrogates punish Beirut. Lebanon's crippled government cringes at the whims of Hassan Nasrullah, Hezbollah's strongman. Terror rules.

And not one civilized country lifts a finger.

This doesn't mean that war will be avoided at the "negligible" cost of Lebanese lives and freedom. It just means that the inevitable showdown with Hezbollah will be a bloodier mess when it finally comes.

When will we face reality? Hezbollah can't be appeased. Hezbollah can't be integrated into a democratic government and domesticated. And Hezbollah, whose cadres believe that death is a promotion, can't be deterred by wagging fingers and flyovers.

Hezbollah, our mortal enemy, must be destroyed. But we - Israel, the United States, Europe - lack the will. And will is one thing Hezbollah and its backers in Iran and Syria don't lack: They'll kill anyone and destroy anything to win.

We won't. We still think we can talk our way out of a hit job. Not only are we reluctant to kill those bent on killing us - we don't even want to offend them.

Hezbollah's shocking defeat of Israel in 2006 (when will Western leaders learn that you can't measure out war in teaspoons?) highlighted the key military question of our time: How can humane, law-abiding states defeat merciless postnational organizations that obey only the "laws" of bloodthirsty gods?

The answer, as Iraq and Afghanistan should have taught us, is that you have to gut the organization and kill the hardcore cadres. (Exactly how many al Qaeda members have we converted to secular humanism?).

Entranced by the military vogue of the season, we don't even get our terminology right. Defeating Hezbollah has nothing to do with counterinsurgency warfare - the situation's gone far beyond that. We're facing a new form of "non-state state" built around a fanatical killing machine that rejects all of our constraints.

No one is going to win Hezbollah's hearts and minds. Its fighters and their families have already shifted into full-speed fanaticism, and there's no reverse gear. Hezbollah has to be destroyed.

But we're not going to do it. And Israel's not going to do it. We both lack the vision, the guts, the strength of will. Hezbollah has all three. In spades.

As for Europe stepping in, it's got just enough UN peacekeepers in Lebanon to serve as hostages, but not enough to set up a convincing roadblock. (All the United Nations has done has been to direct traffic for Hezbollah arms smugglers.)

And Europeans won't fight to protect Jews. Even now, Europeans, high and low, wish they could find an excuse to pile on against Israel. The continent's shamelessly anti-Israeli media is doing all it can to give its audiences that excuse - witness the pro-Hezbollah propaganda reported as ground truth in 2006 - but Europe's still a bit too embarrassed by its recent past to actively aid in Israel's destruction.

Meanwhile, Israel's bumbling Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government remain focused on the chaos in Gaza generated by Hamas - another Iranian tool - while trying to ignore the existential threat metastasizing on its northern border. The "world community" wrings its hands about Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but does nothing - as Iran methodically sets the stage to launch volleys of medium-range missiles into Israel when the hour of reckoning comes.

The extremists running Iran today would destroy Israel. No matter the cost. And Hezbollah's happy to help.

Until that day comes, Tehran and Damascus are convinced that no one will stand up for Lebanon. They're savvier strategically than we are.

Before Israel squandered its credibility in the 2006 war, it briefly looked as though its Sunni Arab neighbors might rouse themselves to action to help thwart Tehran's ambitions. Those hopes have dissolved. Meanwhile, Jordan's rulers seem blithely unaware that they're next: Once Lebanon is under Hezbollah's thumb, Iran and Syria's next step will be to destabilize Jordan, surrounding Israel with active enemies.

Is there a good solution? No. Is there any solution? Yes. Backed by US air and naval power, Israel must strike remorselessly, destroying Hezbollah without compromise and ignoring the global save-the-terrorists outcry.

It's not going to happen. We lack the strength of will to do this right.

Israel or even the United States may feel compelled to intervene at some point. But we'll do too little too late and stop too soon.

Hezbollah would sacrifice women and children by the thousands to win. We rely on that fatal narcotic, diplomacy, as Lebanon shatters and our enemies pick up the pieces.

We're not Hezbollah's enemies. We're its enablers.
11016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: May 17, 2008, 12:55:54 PM
Top Ten Skeletons in the Left's Closet   
By Daniel J. Flynn
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 16, 2008

When the Left writes its own history, the past gets rewritten to suit the needs of the present. This is why I wrote A Conservative History of the American Left, to conserve not only fascinating figures now forgotten but to retrieve from the memory hole all that the Left has tossed down it. What is the history of the American Left that leftists want you to forget?

10. Ayatollah Khomeini, Leftist Hero

Reflexive anti-Americanism initially moved the Left to embrace the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Mother Jones, for instance, in 1979 predicted that “if Khomeini or his followers take power” then “democratic reforms, freedom for political prisoners, an end to the astronomical waste of huge arms purchases, and a constitutional government” would follow. The Nation, Michel Foucault, and other pillars of the Left similarly projected their ideals upon Khomeini and company.

9. Manson Family Values

“I fell in love with Charlie Manson the first time I saw his cherub face and sparkling eyes on TV,” hippie guru Jerry Rubin professed. “His words and courage inspired us.” Weatherman hoisted “Charles Manson Power” banners, adopted a spread-fingered greeting to symbolize the fork with which the Manson murderers impaled a victim’s stomach, and even boasted a cell nicknamed “The Fork.” Weatherman matriarch Bernardine Dohrn infamously proclaimed: “Dig it: first they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach. Wild!”

8. Gay Activists Sue to Block AIDS Test

Today, homosexual activists blame Ronald Reagan and the clergy for the spread of AIDS. But in the mid-1980s, the National Gay Task Force and the Lambda Legal Defense, citing civil-liberties concerns, actually sued the federal government to stop the AIDS test. Thankfully, they lost and scores of lives have been saved as a result.

7. Murder Chic

The easiest way to become a hero on the Left is to kill another human being. John Brown, the Molly Maguires, the Haymarket Square Bombers, Joe Hill, Huey Newton, and Mumia Abu-Jamal—murderers all—have been venerated by the Left in song and on screen. The people they murdered are not even an afterthought.

6. Jonestown Kool-Aid

Before orchestrating the murder/suicides 900+ people in Guyana, Jim Jones was the darling of the San Francisco Left. Huey Newton, Angela Davis, and Willie Brown embraced a man who killed more blacks than the KKK. Democrats Rosalynn Carter, Walter Mondale, and Gerry Brown made campaign visits to the Peoples Temple’s “comrade leader.” The mayor of San Francisco even rewarded Jones for his activism by appointing him chairman of the city’s housing commission. “The temple was as much a left-wing political crusade as a church,” The Nation reported in 1978. Unfortunately, as the years progressed, more Americans gulped down the Left’s Kool-Aid that Jones was of the religious Right and not an atheist leftist. 

5. Concentration Camps, American Style

A year before Hitler came to power in Germany, Margaret Sanger called for a vast system of concentration camps for the United States. The Planned Parenthood founder demanded “a stern and rigid policy of segregation or sterilization” for “dysgenic” Americans who “would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.” The 1932 speech concluded that “fifteen or twenty millions of our population would then be organized into soldiers of defense—defending the unborn against their own disabilities.”

4. Heaven on Earth

American intellectuals looked upon the hell on earth that was post-revolutionary Russia and saw a heaven on earth. The New Republic credited the Russian Revolution with providing “the most democratic franchise yet devised in our world,” while The Nation found that “the franchise is more democratic in Russia than in England or in the United States.” Lincoln Steffens marveled after a visit to the Soviet Union, “The revolution in Russia is to establish the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.”

3. Eugenics

Even before the progressive era when most states instituted eugenics laws, the American Left had agitated for state controls over procreation. John Humphrey Noyes’ Bible Communists lamented that freedom of marital choice “leaves mating to be determined by a general scramble, without attempt at scientific direction” and devised the first eugenic experiment in the U.S.—“stirpiculture”—that produced dozens of children and prevented hundreds more. In Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy dreamed of “race purification” to “preserve and transmit the better types of the race, and let the inferior types drop out.” Other proponents included Margaret Sanger, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, who famously decreed in Buck v. Bell, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” State governments ultimately sterilized upwards of 60,000.

2. Assassinating Presidents

Three of the four presidential assassins have been left-wing radicals. Bible Communist Charles Guiteau murdered President Garfield, anarcho-communist Leon Czolgosz murdered President McKinley, and Soviet Communist Lee Harvey Oswald murdered John F. Kennedy. Rather than own that history, the Left has invented conspiracy theories that absolve leftists from responsibility.

1. Nazi-Soviet Pact

The Left switched from pacifists to warmongers overnight once the Nazi attack upon the Communists dissolved the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Communist Party USA chief Earl Browder, who had dubbed WWII “the second imperialist war” during the pact, so thoroughly switched course when the Nazis attacked the Communists that he embraced conscription (after his opposition to it led to jail in WWI), endorsed a ‘no-strike’ pledge for labor unions (after encouraging strikes to impede the war effort), and kicked out Japanese Americans from the CP (after ostensibly championing civil rights). The Hollywood Anti-Nazi League ceased operations during the pact. The Communists’ New Masses panned the anti-Nazi Watch on the Rhine when it appeared as a play during the pact only to praise it when it appeared as a movie when Hitler and Stalin were again enemies.

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas and A Conservative History of the American Left. He is also the editor of www.flynnfiles.com.
11017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 17, 2008, 12:54:08 PM
Counterfeit passports are an issue, though what i'm talking about is citizens of the west waging jihad against their own nations. The 7/7 London bombers, or Rodney Hampton-el, a US born and raised black muslim that was part of the original NYC/NJ al qaeda cell that first bombed the WTC as examples.
11018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: May 17, 2008, 12:09:11 PM
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/president-obama-words-2044703-bush-talking#

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Mark Steyn: Obama an appeaser? How dare you
By MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist

"That's enough. That – that's a show of disrespect to me."
That was Barack Obama, a couple of weeks back, explaining why he was casting the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into outer darkness. It's one thing to wallow in "adolescent grandiosity" (as Scott Johnson of the Powerline Web site called it) when it's a family dispute between you and your pastor of 20 years. It's quite another to do so when it's the 60th anniversary celebrations of one of America's closest allies.
President Bush was in Israel the other day and gave a speech to the Knesset. Its perspective was summed up by his closing anecdote – a departing British officer in May 1948 handing the iron bar to the Zion Gate to a trembling rabbi and telling him it was the first time in 18 centuries that a key to the gates of the Jerusalem was in the hands of a Jew. In other words, it was a big-picture speech, referencing the Holocaust, the pogroms, Masada – and the challenges that lie ahead. Sen. Obama was not mentioned in the text. No Democrat was mentioned, save for President Truman, in the context of his recognition of the new state of Israel when it was a mere 11 minutes old.
Nonetheless, Barack Obama decided that the president's speech was really about him, and he didn't care for it. He didn't put it quite as bluntly as he did with the Rev. Wright, but the message was the same: "That's enough. That's a show of disrespect to me." And, taking their cue from the soon-to-be nominee's weirdly petty narcissism, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Joe Biden and Co. piled on to deplore Bush's outrageous, unacceptable, unpresidential, outrageously unacceptable and unacceptably unpresidential behavior.
Honestly. What a bunch of self-absorbed ninnies. Here's what the president said:
"Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
It says something for Democrat touchiness that the minute a guy makes a generalized observation about folks who appease terrorists and dictators the Dems assume: Hey, they're talking about me. Actually, he wasn't – or, to be more precise, he wasn't talking onlyabout you.
Yes, there are plenty of Democrats who are in favor of negotiating with our enemies, and a few Republicans, too – President Bush's pal James Baker, whose Iraq Study Group was full of proposals to barter with Iran and Syria and everybody else. But that general line is also taken by at least three of Tony Blair's former Cabinet ministers and his senior policy adviser, and by the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party and by a whole bunch of bigshot Europeans. It's not a Democrat election policy, it's an entire worldview. Even Barack Obama can't be so vain as to think his fly-me-to-[insert name of enemy here]concept is an original idea.
Increasingly, the Western world has attitudes rather than policies. It's one thing to talk as a means to an end. But these days, for most midlevel powers, talks arethe end, talks without end. Because that's what civilized nations like doing – chit-chatting, shooting the breeze, having tea and crumpets, talking talking talking. Uncivilized nations like torturing dissidents, killing civilians, bombing villages, doing doing doing. It's easier to get the doers to pass themselves off as talkers then to get the talkers to rouse themselves to do anything.
And, as the Iranians understand, talks provide a splendid cover for getting on with anything you want to do. If, say, you want to get on with your nuclear program relatively undisturbed, the easiest way to do it is to enter years of endless talks with the Europeans over said nuclear program. That's why that Hamas honcho endorsed Obama: They know he's their best shot at getting a European foreign minister installed as president of the United States.
Mo Mowlam was Britain's Northern Ireland secretary and oversaw the process by which the IRA's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness became ministers of a Crown they decline to recognize. By 2004, she was calling for Osama bin Laden to be invited to "the negotiating table," having concluded he was no different from Adams: Stern fellow, lots of blood on his hands, but no sense getting on your high horse about all that; let's find out what he wants and give him part of it.
In his 2002 letter to the United States, bin Laden has a lot of grievances, from America's refusal to implement Sharia law to Jew-controlled usury to the lack of punishment for "President Clinton's immoral acts." Like Barack Obama's pastor, bin Laden shares the view that AIDS is a "Satanic American invention." Obviously, there are items on the agenda that the free world can never concede on – "President Clinton's immoral acts" – but who's to say most of the rest isn't worth chewing over?
This will be the fault line in the post-Bush war debate over the next few years. Are the political ambitions of the broader jihad totalitarian, genocidal, millenarian – in a word, nuts? Or are they negotiable? President Bush knows where he stands. Just before the words that Barack Obama took umbrage at, he said:
"There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously."
Here are some words of Hussein Massawi, the former leader of Hezbollah:
"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."
Are his actions consistent with those words? Amazingly so. So, too, are those of Hezbollah's patrons in Tehran.
President Reagan talked with the Soviets while pushing ahead with the deployment of Cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe. He spoke softly – after getting himself a bigger stick. Sen. Obama is proposing to reward a man who pledges to wipe Israel off the map with a presidential photo-op to which he will bring not even a twig. No wonder he's so twitchy about it.

11019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 17, 2008, 02:00:31 AM
    - Obama said "If there is an Arab American family [in the US] being
rounded up without benefit of an attorney, those are my civil liberties!"

**I'd like to know when and where any American citizens of arab ancestry were "rounded up" and not given legal representation. Sounds like typical CAIR propaganda.**  rolleyes
11020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: May 16, 2008, 10:10:10 PM
IMHO, the next major terror attack CONUS will be, at least in part from jihadis holding US/UK/EU passports.
11021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: May 16, 2008, 07:43:40 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/16/video-new-rnc-ad-hammers-obama-on-second-amendment/

Bittergate!
11022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: May 10, 2008, 10:14:20 PM
Until the left starts seeing their own friends and families die at the hands of these savages, they'll continue to wage their war to undercut the war against the global jihad. Of course, after suffering terrorism firsthand, i'm sure they'll try to sue the USG, and law enforcement for failing to protect them.  rolleyes
11023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 10, 2008, 10:06:53 PM




May 10, 2008, 8:30 a.m.

Be Careful What You Wish For
Israel’s doom would be bad news for Europe.

By Mark Steyn

Almost everywhere I went last week — TV, radio, speeches — I was asked about the 60th anniversary of the Israeli state. I don’t recall being asked about Israel quite so much on its 50th anniversary, which as a general rule is a much bigger deal than the 60th. But these days friends and enemies alike smell weakness at the heart of the Zionist Entity. Assuming President Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic fancies don’t come to pass, Israel will surely make it to its 70th birthday. But a lot of folks don’t fancy its prospects for its 80th and beyond. See the Atlantic Monthly cover story: “Is Israel Finished?” Also the cover story in Canada’s leading news magazine, Maclean’s, which dispenses with the question mark: “Why Israel Can’t Survive.”

Why? By most measures, the Jewish state is a great success story. The modern Middle East is the misbegotten progeny of the British and French colonial map-makers of 1922. All the nation states in that neck of the woods date back a mere 60 or 70 years — Iraq to the Thirties, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel to the Forties. The only difference is that Israel has made a go of it. Would I rather there were more countries like Israel, or more like Syria? I don’t find that a hard question to answer. Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East (Iraq may yet prove a second) and its Arab citizens enjoy more rights than they would living under any of the kleptocrat kings and psychotic dictators who otherwise infest the region. On a tiny strip of land narrower at its narrowest point than many American townships, Israel has built a modern economy with a GDP per capita just shy of $30,000 — and within striking distance of the European Union average. If you object that that’s because it’s uniquely blessed by Uncle Sam, well, for the past 30 years the second largest recipient of U.S. aid has been Egypt: Their GDP per capita is $5,000, and America has nothing to show for its investment other than one-time pilot Mohammed Atta coming at you through the office window.

Jewish success against the odds is nothing new. “Aaron Lazarus the Jew,” wrote Anthony Hope in his all but unknown prequel to The Prisoner Of Zenda, “had made a great business of it, and had spent his savings in buying up the better part of the street; but” — and for Jews there’s always a ‘but’
— “since Jews then might hold no property…”

Ah, right. Like the Jewish merchants in old Europe who were tolerated as leaseholders but could never be full property owners, the Israelis are regarded as operating a uniquely conditional sovereignty. Jimmy Carter, just returned from his squalid suck-up junket to Hamas, is merely the latest Western sophisticate to pronounce triumphantly that he has secured the usual (off-the-record, highly qualified, never to be translated into Arabic, and instantly denied) commitment from the Jews’ enemies acknowledging Israel’s “right to exist.” Well, whoop-de-doo. Would you enter negotiations on such a basis?

Since Israel marked its half-century, the “right to exist” is now routinely denied not just in Gaza and Ramallah and the region’s presidential palaces but on every European and Canadian college campus. During the Lebanese incursion of 2006, Matthew Parris wrote in the Times of London: “The past 40 years have been a catastrophe, gradual and incremental, for world Jewry. Seldom in history have the name and reputation of a human grouping lost so vast a store of support and sympathy so fast. My opinion - held not passionately but with little personal doubt — is that there is no point in arguing about whether the state of Israel should have been established where and when it was” — which lets you know how he would argue it if minded to. Richard Cohen in The Washington Post was more straightforward: “Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.” Cohen and Parris, two famously moderate voices in the leading newspapers of two of the least anti-Israeli capital cities in the West, have nevertheless internalized the same logic as Ahmadinejad: Israel should not be where it is. Whether it’s a “stain of shame” or just a “mistake” is the merest detail.

Aaron Lazarus and every other “European Jew” of his time would have had a mirthless chuckle over Cohen’s designation. The Jews lived in Europe for centuries, but without ever being accepted as “European”: To enjoy their belated acceptance as Europeans, they had to move to the Middle East. Reviled on the Continent as sinister rootless cosmopolitans with no conventional national allegiance, they built a conventional nation state, and now they’re reviled for that, too. The “oldest hatred” didn’t get that way without an ability to adapt.

The Western intellectuals who promote “Israeli Apartheid Week” at this time each year are laying the groundwork for the next stage of Zionist delegitimization. The talk of a “two-state solution” will fade. In the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, Jews are barely a majority. Gaza has one of the highest birth rates on the planet: The median age is 15.8 years. Its population is not just literally exploding, at Israeli checkpoints, but also doing so in the less incendiary but demographically decisive sense.

Arabs will soon be demanding one democratic state — Jews and Muslims — from Jordan to the sea. And even those who understand that this will mean the death of Israel will find themselves so confounded by the multicultural pieties of their own lands they’ll be unable to argue against it. Contemporary Europeans are not exactly known for their moral courage: The reports one hears of schools quietly dropping the Holocaust from their classrooms because it offends their growing numbers of Muslim students suggest that even the pretense of “evenhandedness” in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” will be long gone a decade hence.

The joke, of course, is that Israel, despite its demographic challenge, still enjoys a birth rate twice that of the European average. All the reasons for Israel’s doom apply to Europe with bells on. And, unlike much of the rest of the west, Israel has the advantage of living on the front line of the existential challenge. “I have a premonition that will not leave me,” wrote Eric Hoffer, America’s great longshoreman philosopher, after the ’67 war. “As it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us.”

Indeed. So happy 60th birthday. And here’s to many more.

© 2008 Mark Steyn

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MGM4M2M5YWRhYWY4YzgwYjdkYWI2NTViMmM5MTc2MTM=
11024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 04, 2008, 11:04:54 PM
October 25, 2005, 8:27 a.m.
Moore Hypocrites Than True Believers?
Exposing the Do As I Say (Not As I Do) Left.

Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez

The mother of Princeton bioethics professor Peter Singer is lucky that her son is an hypocrite. Her son is a leading proponent of excising the undesirable — the imperfect via abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. The disabled would fall under there, also, sometimes, the elderly.

Peter Singer's mother has Alzheimer's.

Peter Schweizer reports in his new book Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy that "far from embracing his own moral ethic, Singer hired a group of health care workers to look after her."

Good for him, he can't even buy his own poison. (When your ideas are destructive, at least a little hypocrisy saves a life here and there, despite the widespread damage you may be doing.)

Singer isn't the only hypocrite on the Left. Hoover Institution fellow Schweizer exposes a handful of popular Lefty hypocrites in his new book. He recently talked to National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez about his latest book and the Left's deficiencies.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Michael Moore makes money off oil and war? Why would he bother lying about owning stock? Is Peter Schweizer the only person who bothered checking?

PETER SCHWEIZER:Michael Moore is constantly trying to prove his and the Left's moral superiority, so he says things about himself that are patently not true. He's pathological about it. How else to explain that he's loudly proclaimed no less than three times that he doesn't invest in the stock market because it's morally wrong while quietly picking up shares in a whole host of companies. A portfolio that includes Halliburton, Boeing, and HMOs doesn't fit the bill so he lies about it. I think he assumed that no one would poke around and investigate. When it comes to the MSM he was correct in making that assumption. He never responded to my questions. I'm dying to know how he explains away this one.

LOPEZ: Where did you get the idea for Do As I Say...? Did you just know the line of inquiry would be productive or did something fall into your lap?

SCHWEIZER: I got tired of having discussions and arguments with people on the Left who operate on the assumption that they possess the moral high ground. They're not greedy, they're the only ones who truly care about the poor, minorities, you name it. Knowing quite a few people on the Left I knew that wasn't true. So I started poking around — looking at tax returns, IRS filings, court documents, etc. Frankly, it's amazing how easy it was to find examples of lefties being completely hypocritical.

LOPEZ: Given the hypocrisy you expose on this front, please tell me Nancy Pelosi at least isn't a Wal-Mart basher.

SCHWEIZER: Nancy Pelosi bashes everyone who doesn't allow unions to call the shots. Everyone that is except herself. It's takes an amazing amount of gall to accept the Cesar Chavez Award from the United Farmworkers Unions while using non-UFW workers on your Napa Valley Vineyard. It takes the same to praise the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union and take massive sums of money from them all the while keeping them out of your Hotel and chain of restaurants. But again, I think Pelosi correctly assumes that no one in the media will challenge her on this.

LOPEZ: I'm all for having a little legitimate fun with liberals. But doesn't revealing Barbra Streisand's water bill feel a little like going through her garbage? Actually: Did you have to go through her or anyone else's garbage? Where did you get this stuff?

SCHWEIZER: I didn't go through Bab's trash. All the info in the book was obtained legally and ethically. Streisand's annual water bill of $22,000 to keep her lawn green is relevant because she made it relevant: She's constantly lecturing ordinary Americans about the need to cut back on our consumerist culture. Maybe if she turns off the taps she'll have some legitimate grounds for making the claims she does. As Kermit the Frog said, it's not easy being green.

LOPEZ: Um and the Clinton's underwear? Though the Clinton's claiming $4 per pair of used underwear among their charitable contributions does seem like it is begging for a New York Post cover.

I suppose there was not blue dresses. Something like that would make a lot more on ebay.

SCHWEIZER: Ah, yes, the Clintons, who profess to pay the maximum amount on their taxes every year because it's the right thing to do. The Clintons are simply amazing in their ability to lecture Americans about their need to pay more taxes while at the same time finding lucrative tax shelters and taking outrageous tax deductions. Again, the media gives them a free pass.

LOPEZ: What else about the Clintons do you want to hand over to RNC op research before 2008?

SCHWEIZER: I think their record of greed, jilting poor people out of their money, and their avarice are a sight to behold. Let people see how they have made their money over the last couple of decades and it speaks for itself.

LOPEZ: Tell me the great hypocrisy of that greatest of all public intellectuals according to one recent depressing survey: Noam Chomsky.

SCHWEIZER: Noam Chomsky thinks he's the Moses of this age and even those on the Left who don't agree with him on everything accept his moral authority. But Chomsky is a socialist who practices capitalism, and an anti-militarist who has made millions off of Pentagon contracts. Wonder what his followers would think of that? Then there is his constant lecturing about "tax gimmicks" and "tax shelters" that "the rich" use to avoid paying their "fair share." He must have forgotten about that when he set up his tax shelter.

LOPEZ: And he wasn't a lot of fun when you got in touch with him, was he?

SCHWEIZER: I give credit to Chomsky for responding to my questions. His excuses were something to behold. No wonder he teaches linguistics. It's amazing how he twists his words. By the way, he said it was okay to criticize other rich people for setting up trusts and setting one up himself. After all, he explained, he's been fighting for poor people his whole life.

LOPEZ: Did anyone ever take Al Franken seriously anyway? Why shouldn't anyone?

SCHWEIZER: I'm not sure that most people take Franken seriously, but the media most assuredly does. He professes to be more than a comedian. He claims to be a political analyst and apparently wants to be a U.S. senator. (His former writing partner says he really wants to be president. Yikes!) His vicious attacks against conservatives as racists are not meant to be funny. He really does think that we're bigots. So questions about his absolutely abysmal record when it comes to hiring minorities should be exposed. (For those who want a hint, less than one percent of his employees have been black. That's a worse record than Bob Jones University, which Franken claims is "racist.")

LOPEZ: So he lies you say? At heart, he's a comedian. Does it really matter?

SCHWEIZER: Yes it does matter. Among the liberal/Left base, they see Franken as some sort of prophet who speaks the truth. And again, the media gives him a free pass. I caught him on The Late Show with David Letterman last Friday. They chuckled a bit and Franken went on to explain his twisted and distorted view of the world. He wasn't challenged on anything he said.

LOPEZ: About Franken, he wanted to fight our Rich Lowry. You nervous now that your book is out?

SCHWEIZER: I tried to get Franken to answer my questions. I wanted him to explain some of the outrageous comments he made a few years ago about disliking homosexuals and the fact that he was glad one had been killed. (Imagine if a conservative had said that?) And I wanted to ask him why he considered conservatives and Republicans racist because they hired so few blacks when he had such a horrible record himself. Alas, he never responded.

About the Lowry-Franken fight: Rich is too classy to take him up on it but I wish he had. He could have taken him easy.

LOPEZ: Any Lefties you checked into who came out with flying non-hypocritical colors worth lauding for at least practicing what they preach?

SCHWEIZER: I really thought that Ralph Nader would be that man. He lives a monk-like existence and tends to shun the material things in life. But then I discovered that he fired some of his employees for trying to form a union and I realized he wouldn't fit the bill. I'm still looking....

LOPEZ: Another say-something-nice question: Is there anyone on the Left you admire? Or are you a hater?

SCHWEIZER: I don't admire the ideas of the Left but there are some individuals that I think demonstrated integrity and honesty. Senator Paul Wellstone — say what you will about him, but he seemed to at least try to live a life somewhat consistent with his principles.

LOPEZ: Were you depressed or invigorated by the big wigs of the Left's hypocrisy?

SCHWEIZER: Invigorated. It's another reminder that the ideas the left want to impose on the rest of us are so fundamentally bad that they don't even try to live by them. At the end of the day, when all the fun is done, I hope people view this as a book about ideas and the failure of liberal/Left ideas. They don't work for the leading lights of the Left. How could they possibly work for our country?

LOPEZ: One overarching kinda question: We all have our moments of hypocrisy. That we don't practice what we preach doesn't make what we preach any less valid. People are human, etc. Is there something about your book that is somewhat fundamentally unfair?

SCHWEIZER: Yes, we are all hypocrites and I talk about that in the book. But liberal hypocrisy and conservative hypocrisy are quite different on two accounts. First, you hear about conservative hypocrisy all the time. A pro-family congressman caught in an extramarital affair, a minister caught in the same. This stuff is exposed by the media all the time. The leaders of the liberal-Left get a complete pass on their hypocrisy. Second, and this is even more important, the consequences of liberal hypocrisy are different than for the conservative variety. When conservatives abandon their principles and become hypocrites, they end up hurting themselves and their families. Conservative principles are like guard rails on a winding road. They are irritating but fundamentally good for you. Liberal hypocrisy is the opposite. When the liberal-left abandon their principles and become hypocrites, they actually improve their lives. Their kids end up in better schools, they have more money, and their families are more content. Their ideas are truly that bad.

LOPEZ: Is there something about the book that sums something up philosophically about the Left?

SCHWEIZER: After researching the book I really truly believe that the leading lights of the Left — Moore, Franken, Clinton, Pelosi, Kennedy, etc. — really honestly don't believe what they are selling us. Their own experiences teach them that their ideas don't work.

LOPEZ: So I can't stand Michael Moore anyway. I really don't need any more anger aimed in his direction. Ditto with some others who get chapters in your book. Why should I read your book anyway? How might a Michael Moore fan get something out of Do As I Say...?

SCHWEIZER: All I would ask a Michael Moore fan do is look at the facts. Moore professes to hate capitalism ("the last evil empire" he's called it) but practices it in spades. Moore condemns people for their racism and claims to support and practice affirmative action, but has a lousy record of hiring minorities. He outsources post-production film work to Canada so he can pay non-union wages. I could go on and on. I would ask his fans: is this really a sincere person?

LOPEZ: You always seem to have projects going on. What's next for you?

SCHWEIZER: Right now I'm working to promote the book. I have some ideas for future projects but nothing set in stone. I wrote a novel with Cap Weinberger that came out a couple of months ago called Chain of Command. Cap is a class act and I enjoyed writing fiction. Maybe another novel at some point. We'll see.

LOPEZ: What's the funniest story you learned while compiling the book?

SCHWEIZER: It has to be one about Michael Moore. In his books Michael Moore goes on and on about the fact that Americans are racist because they live in white neighborhoods. It's an example of latent segregationist attitudes in his mind. When I checked the demographics on Michael Moore's residence I burst out laughing. Michael Moore lives in a town of 2,500 in Michigan. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is not a single black person in the entire town.

LOPEZ: Do you like any Streisand songs?

I've lately been partial to "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." It makes me think of the president's relationship with conservatives of late. (Don't judge me for my weirdness.)

SCHWEIZER: Yes, that song does seem fitting these days. Streisand has a pretty voice but I don't really listen to her. Not because of politics, but I like something with a strong beat.

LOPEZ: One more before we go: Can't you just be happy for Gloria Steinem, man?

SCHWEIZER: I am happy for Gloria Steinem. She finally found her man. My question is why couldn't she just be happy for other women who got married? A classic example of Do As I Say, Not As I Do.


   
   
 


    
http://www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/schweizer200510250827.asp
11025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 04, 2008, 09:59:36 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-orourke4-2008may04,0,6913702.story
From the Los Angeles Times
Fairness, idealism and other atrocities
Commencement advice you're unlikely to hear elsewhere.
By P.J. O'Rourke

May 4, 2008

Well, here you are at your college graduation. And I know what you're thinking: "Gimme the sheepskin and get me outta here!" But not so fast. First you have to listen to a commencement speech.

Don't moan. I'm not going to "pass the wisdom of one generation down to the next." I'm a member of the 1960s generation. We didn't have any wisdom.

We were the moron generation. We were the generation that believed we could stop the Vietnam War by growing our hair long and dressing like circus clowns. We believed drugs would change everything -- which they did, for John Belushi. We believed in free love. Yes, the love was free, but we paid a high price for the sex.

My generation spoiled everything for you. It has always been the special prerogative of young people to look and act weird and shock grown-ups. But my generation exhausted the Earth's resources of the weird. Weird clothes -- we wore them. Weird beards -- we grew them. Weird words and phrases -- we said them. So, when it came your turn to be original and look and act weird, all you had left was to tattoo your faces and pierce your tongues. Ouch. That must have hurt. I apologize.

So now, it's my job to give you advice. But I'm thinking: You're finishing 16 years of education, and you've heard all the conventional good advice you can stand. So, let me offer some relief:

1. Go out and make a bunch of money!

Here we are living in the world's most prosperous country, surrounded by all the comforts, conveniences and security that money can provide. Yet no American political, intellectual or cultural leader ever says to young people, "Go out and make a bunch of money." Instead, they tell you that money can't buy happiness. Maybe, but money can rent it.

There's nothing the matter with honest moneymaking. Wealth is not a pizza, where if I have too many slices you have to eat the Domino's box. In a free society, with the rule of law and property rights, no one loses when someone else gets rich.

2. Don't be an idealist!

Don't chain yourself to a redwood tree. Instead, be a corporate lawyer and make $500,000 a year. No matter how much you cheat the IRS, you'll still end up paying $100,000 in property, sales and excise taxes. That's $100,000 to schools, sewers, roads, firefighters and police. You'll be doing good for society. Does chaining yourself to a redwood tree do society $100,000 worth of good?

Idealists are also bullies. The idealist says, "I care more about the redwood trees than you do. I care so much I can't eat. I can't sleep. It broke up my marriage. And because I care more than you do, I'm a better person. And because I'm the better person, I have the right to boss you around."

Get a pair of bolt cutters and liberate that tree.

Who does more for the redwoods and society anyway -- the guy chained to a tree or the guy who founds the "Green Travel Redwood Tree-Hug Tour Company" and makes a million by turning redwoods into a tourist destination, a valuable resource that people will pay just to go look at?

So make your contribution by getting rich. Don't be an idealist.

3. Get politically uninvolved!

All politics stink. Even democracy stinks. Imagine if our clothes were selected by the majority of shoppers, which would be teenage girls. I'd be standing here with my bellybutton exposed. Imagine deciding the dinner menu by family secret ballot. I've got three kids and three dogs in my family. We'd be eating Froot Loops and rotten meat.

But let me make a distinction between politics and politicians. Some people are under the misapprehension that all politicians stink. Impeach George W. Bush, and everything will be fine. Nab Ted Kennedy on a DUI, and the nation's problems will be solved.

But the problem isn't politicians -- it's politics. Politics won't allow for the truth. And we can't blame the politicians for that. Imagine what even a little truth would sound like on today's campaign trail:

"No, I can't fix public education. The problem isn't the teachers unions or a lack of funding for salaries, vouchers or more computer equipment The problem is your kids!"

4. Forget about fairness!

We all get confused about the contradictory messages that life and politics send.

Life sends the message, "I'd better not be poor. I'd better get rich. I'd better make more money than other people." Meanwhile, politics sends us the message, "Some people make more money than others. Some are rich while others are poor. We'd better close that 'income disparity gap.' It's not fair!"

Well, I am here to advocate for unfairness. I've got a 10-year-old at home. She's always saying, "That's not fair." When she says this, I say, "Honey, you're cute. That's not fair. Your family is pretty well off. That's not fair. You were born in America. That's not fair. Darling, you had better pray to God that things don't start getting fair for you." What we need is more income, even if it means a bigger income disparity gap.

5. Be a religious extremist!

So, avoid politics if you can. But if you absolutely cannot resist, read the Bible for political advice -- even if you're a Buddhist, atheist or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those people who believes that God is involved in politics. On the contrary. Observe politics in this country. Observe politics around the world. Observe politics through history. Does it look like God's involved?

The Bible is very clear about one thing: Using politics to create fairness is a sin. Observe the Tenth Commandment. The first nine commandments concern theological principles and social law: Thou shalt not make graven images, steal, kill, et cetera. Fair enough. But then there's the tenth: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's."

Here are God's basic rules about how we should live, a brief list of sacred obligations and solemn moral precepts. And, right at the end of it we read, "Don't envy your buddy because he has an ox or a donkey." Why did that make the top 10? Why would God, with just 10 things to tell Moses, include jealousy about livestock?

Well, think about how important this commandment is to a community, to a nation, to a democracy. If you want a mule, if you want a pot roast, if you want a cleaning lady, don't whine about what the people across the street have. Get rich and get your own.

Now, one last thing:

6. Don't listen to your elders!

After all, if the old person standing up here actually knew anything worth telling, he'd be charging you for it.

P.J. O'Rourke, a correspondent for the Weekly Standard and the Atlantic, is the author, most recently, of "On The Wealth of Nations." A longer version of this article appears in Change magazine, which reports on trends and issues in higher education.
11026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: May 04, 2008, 09:21:21 AM
al-Ijma and Quranic Warfare

That is why Brigadier S K Malik's Quranic Concept of War described jihad in terms of "grand strategy" and "total war" because it applies every element of force and suasion, every stratagem, every inducement and every coercion to submit the world to Islam. The "philosophy of war ... is an integral part of the total Quranic ideology" Malik stated. Note too, Malik was no Wahhabi or Salafist, he was a Pakistani general in 1979.

Importantly, Khadduri before is not merely waxing historical platitudes because he follows by saying:

"Jurists who came afterward, up unto the very decline of Muslim power, merely introduced refinements and elaborations of these basic principals.  No essential difference among the leading jurist is to be found on this fundamental duty [of jihad], whether in orthodox or heterodox doctrine."(p.58 and 16 )


Do these wordsmiths understand the implication of what Khadduri is describing?

It means the jurists agree.

It means ulemic consensus.

It means al-ijma and that means that this legal obligation of jihad is "unquestionable truth" it cannot be ignored, abrogated, or contravened and for a Muslim to willingly deny the truth of jihad or of the religion "thereby becomes an unbeliever (kafir) and is executed for his unbelief. (Umdat al-Salik p. 109)

It means this applies today, now, tomorrow.

Do not doubt the jihadists of al-Qaida, and the al Qaida “movement” and the Muslim Brotherhood “movement” and Hizb ut-Tahrir, Lakshar e-Taiba, Jamaat-e-Islami,
 and Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Salah Sultan and Abdurahman Alamoudi,  Sami al-Arian,  Esam Omeish and Niwad Awad and all the rest of the affiliated Ikhwan front groups in America and mujtahid of the “global Islamic movement” fully understand this. Do not doubt that any schooled Muslim does not understand these tenets of jihad as well whether they adhere to them or not.

The Homeland Security policy stated:
U.S. officials may be "unintentionally portraying terrorists, who lack moral and religious legitimacy, as brave fighters, legitimate soldiers or spokesmen for ordinary Muslims," says a Homeland Security report.

This cannot be documented as fact.

Can the drafter and the approval authority of that Homeland Security report cite where the terrorists "lack moral and religious legitimacy?" Can they cite their incontrovertible sourcing? If so I want to see it; I have searched for it.

The closest I can come would be the Spanish fatwa, whose import in the rest of the Islamic world was questioned, while most readers would not understand the legal nuance of "innocence" in Islamic law. The fiqh council of North America, itself tainted as a Muslim Brotherhood entity, also issued its own fatwa that was in fact challenged as non-specific and fraudulent,

Can the memo-writers point to any universal ulemic denunciations against al-Qaida or denouncement from the major Islamic centers or key muftis across the Middle East?

Shmuel Bar noted its absence in his "Jihadist Ideology in Light of Current Fatwas":

"[This] is a one-sided battle; the radicals are on the offensive, whereas counter-attacks of moderates are few and far between. Fatwas commanding terror can only be countered by a clear opposing consensus (ijma') of mainstream ‘ulama. Such a consensus does not exist. This is due, inter alia, to the deference that mainstream ‘ulama feel towards the radicals as the quintessential believers, and the sense that they are competing with the radicals over the same constituency. Such deference is strengthened in Islam by orthodox Islam's aversion to declarations of heresy (takfir) and the fear of igniting internal conflict (fitnah). It is in the home field of this presumed silent majority that the main battle is taking place, and as long as it does not enter the fray, the battle cannot be won."

It is the silence that is the consent and legitimacy.

No Jihad means No War of Ideas

From the NCTC guidelines:

"We suggest you avoid the term 'al-Qaida movement,' which implies a degree of political legitimacy (e.g., 'labor movement,' 'civil rights movement,' 'women's movement:'. . .). There is no legitimacy to al-Qaida's activities."

This is ahistorical.

First the roots of al-Qaida lie in the in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the international "global Islamic movement." See the Holy Land Foundation documents at the NEFA Foundation and even Dr. Marc Sageman's first book, Understanding Terrorist Networks. The al-Qaida ideology and jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood constitute a movement, and it is moving right past the competency of the drafters of this claptrap.

Secondly, the recommendation begs the question by claiming "there is no legitimacy to al-Qaida's activities." Who says so? Produce the quantitative demographic analysis and ulemic rulings to substantiate that claim.

But maybe this is how we win the war of ideas; declare there is no ideological movement and it all goes away sort of like calling "gangs" a "crew".

So, considering last year's anniversary 9-11 Senate hearing on global threats, one can imagine this year's carrying on the same thinking:

Senator Lieberman- "What is your strategy for the war of ideas?"   FBI Director Mueller- "Sir, there is no war of ideas."

Lieberman- "No? What do you mean?"  Mueller- "I'm not sure how to express it; because we can't use the words therefore I have no ideas."

Again the NCTC:

"Do not use 'ummah' to mean 'the Muslim world.' It is not a sociological term, rather, it is a theological construct not used in everyday life."

Wrong.

"[We] should recall that Islam is not merely a set of religious ideas and practices but also a political community (the umma)," Dr. Majid Khadduri reminds us. "The umma, composed of all those who profess the Islamic faith, is the immediate point of reference for every believer."  It seems our "experts" disagree about the concept of umma in everyday Muslim life.

From the NCTC Memo:

"Don't Take the Bait: When Osama bin Ladin or others try to draw the USG into a debate, we should offer only minimal, if any, response to their messages. When we respond loudly, we raise their prestige in the Muslim world."

Osama bin Ladin is not debating us. If he is debating anyone it is his fellow Muslims over the mandate of jihad and the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity.

And another:

"In Arabic, jihad means "striving in the path of God" and is used in many contexts beyond warfare. Calling our enemies jihadis and their movement a global jihad unintentionally legitimizes their actions."

That is a non-sequitur; it presumes a cause and effect based on our word choices in the West.  Again, al-Qaida is legitimate or illegitimate based on what the Muslim ulema say about al-Qaida not us; but more importantly, in any language and in Islamic law jihad means "warfare to establish the faith."

And this:

"Avoid the term 'caliphate,' which has positive connotations for Muslims, to describe the goal of al-Qaida and associated groups. The best description of what they really want to create is a 'global totalitarian state.'"

You say "caliphate" I say a "global totalitarian state." Maybe the crafters of nuance don't realize how loaded their rejoinder is.

Finally this analysis from Jeffrey Imm  Writing in the Counter Terrorism Blog, he notes the 9-11 Commission Report on the topic of jihad:

"The 9/11 Commission Report uses the term "jihad" in referencing the enemy 79 times and specifically defines "jihad" as a "holy war" executed by Osama Bin Laden and his compatriots (Section 2.3, Paragraph #302 on page 55), as well as defining "mujahideen" as "holy warriors" (Paragraph #302, same page). The 9/11 Commission Report refers to such "mujahideen" 22 times.

The 9/11 Commission Report refers to the term "jihadist" 31 times, including the references to the "worldwide jihadist community" (Section 5.1, Paragraph #691 on page 148), to "Islamist Jihadists" (Section 5.3, Paragraph #741 on page 158), to "Islamist and jihadist movements" (Section 6.3, Paragraph #887 on page 191), and multiple references to an NSC memo on "Jihadist Networks".

Most importantly, the 9/11 Commission Report provides the definition of "Islamist terrorism" as being based on the ideology of "Islamism" (Notes, Part 12, Note 3: "Islamism", page 562)."

In light of the NCTC and State Department GWOT lexicon guidelines one must surmise that the 9-11 Commission Report should now be withdrawn from public consumption and all must stop referencing it.

I submit the people advocating this line of argument are either unstudied as to what they are saying, or if the sourcing for these lines of argument can be traced to their original roots, then I would wager those roots are in the strategic disinformation of the "global Islamic movement."

One must also question if those recommending and making these decisions have a doctrinal understanding of any of the original lexicon, much less intellectual preparation to change it to something else.  Has anyone considered that maybe our perceptions are being shaped by the jihadists as much as we think we are shaping foreign perceptions?

Caution reminds us that to the extent we outsource our knowledge base we outsource our decisions. To the extent we do this with our knowledge of Islam and Islamic jihad we do so at risk.

This lexicon change represents systemic organizational failure: a professional failure and the failure to know is a failure of leadership.

As Dr. Bernard Lewis asked last week, "where does ignorance end and falsehood begin."

Joseph C. Myers writes and speaks on terrorism and homeland security issues and is completing his PhD in public policy.  He recently presented a paper for the Association of scholars for the Study of Middle East and Africa.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/05/strategic_collapse_in_the_war.html at May 04, 2008 - 10:11:27 AM EDT
11027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: May 04, 2008, 09:19:54 AM
May 04, 2008
Strategic Collapse in the War on Terror

By Joseph Myers
Words matter, and in the global war on terror we are losing the battle of words, in a self-inflicted defeat. The consequences could not be more profound.

Recent government policy memoranda, circulating through the national counter-terrorism and diplomatic community, establishes a new "speech code" for the lexicon in the war on terror, as reported by the Associated Press and now available in the public domain .

These new "speech codes" recommended that analysts and policy makers avoid the terms jihad or jihadist or mujhadid or "al-Qaida movement" and replace them with "extremists" and by extension other non-specific terms.

The use of these "new words" and rejection of the "old words" is ostensibly designed to avoid legitimating al-Qaida and its followers while mollifying the sensitivities of the larger Muslim community.

This culmination of previous trends does not surprise me at all.

This is more than simply dancing on the pinhead of cultural sensitivity-words have meaning, ideas have consequences.

This policy is a strategic collapse.

It does nothing to improve our strategic comprehension of the threat or improve our foreign strategic communications; in fact it reinforces existing conceptual problems and risks confusing our messaging with our own actual knowledge of the jihadist threat.

It is a failure of commission, a collapse of competency and reason. It is a collapse of precision and possibly the most profound setback in the war on terror since 9-11, when the global jihad brought itself to our attention.  

Clausewitz noted that in war the moral factors are perhaps the most important, and we have just demonstrated we neither have the moral clarity or moral fortitude to comprehend the nature of the war we are in.  Dr. Antulio Echevarria of the Army's Strategic Studies Institute stated once that the "US military does not have a doctrine for war as much as it has a doctrine for operations and battles" and we have just demonstrated we don't have the comprehension of this war as much as we can comprehend its operations and battles.

The AP report highlights a level of ignorance and hubris by the functionaries speaking to this topic so grave that is raises my concern about the actual extent that our government is in fact co-opted by our enemies.

War is a complex endeavor, there are no silver-bullet weapons, theories, words or phrases that will disarm our enemies or shape the cultural attitudes of the jihadists or other fellow Muslims.  Only how the Islamic world doctrinally perceives and receives the claims of legitimacy of al-Qaida and the rest of the global Islamic movement will determine that outcome -- not any mincing of words by the West.

But it is important that we use the right words so that the West and the American people can understand the nature of our global challenge in this war as much as anyone else.

No Global Threat Model

Over the last several years, there have been numerous examples of incredible malfeasance and lack of due diligence in homeland security, prediction and investigations evidenced by the reporting of, for example, Patrick Poole in his Hometown Jihad series.  

Also the schizophrenic activities of our government in dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood in America that has declared itself engaged in "civilizational jihadist process"  to destroy our way of life and replace it with an Islamic model, and repeated examples of one arm of the government attempting to prosecute elements of the Brotherhood while the other half  vets their actions and cultural sensitivity programs against the same organizations. Or recall the DHS booth placed next to the Islamic revolutionary organization of Hizb ut-Tahrir at another Islamic conference.

National security strategy is policy and policy implies a theory -- a theory for action.  To date we have no concrete theory of action because we have no fully articulated global threat model. We are seven years into a global war with armed combat and many dead and wounded, and yet still lack a common analytic paradigm to describe and model the enemy.  It is a stunning failure to propel the country to war without a fully elaborated threat model that clarifies and specifies the enemy and makes clear our true objectives.

The lack of a threat model and a theory for action explains our schizophrenia, our failures and homeland security shortcomings.

Understanding the enemy -- "the threat," his threat doctrine and the authoritative statements, sources and philosophy undergirding that doctrine is a primary duty. That is the first step in developing a threat model. It is the vital step in the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
process, to template enemy doctrine by laying it over the terrain: the physical, human and cultural terrain to understand its manifestations in reality. These are the first relevant questions to be answered for US national security analysis.

Our enemy says he is fighting jihad warfare to extend the Islamic faith; the basis of that claim rests on his exegesis of Quranic and Islamic Law injunctions.  Irrespective of whether we or other Muslims accept or deny the legitimacy of his claim, if that is his stated doctrine, then that is the doctrine we must study and comprehend. That is the doctrine that will provide the indicators and warnings of future threats, that is the basis of our threat model.

That fact that other Muslims do not engage in violent jihad bears no relevance to our problem set or the analysis of those who do; it is a distraction and ancillary information that does not contribute to the threat model or understanding the enemy.

The fact is we have already so nuanced this war that we have failed to complete those required analyses. Our national security strategies and plans are so nuanced now as to be useless in terms of understanding the threat, defining it, clarifying it, modeling it.  Read them, see if you can distill the enemy and orient on a clear objective. Even in our own strategic planning documents we admit to ourselves that we don't agree on the threat.

This completely contrasts with our well-developed threat model in the Cold War, beginning with NSC-68 and the containment policy, national security courses that taught Soviet ideology and world-view, the Soviet threat doctrine series published by DIA, and then wargaming against it at our military schools.. We understood them intellectually, philosophically, doctrinally from the very top down to the tactical bottom.

Seven years into this war we cannot say the same for the global jihad and have failed the same analytic and policy rigor. That is a serious error of omission.

Submission to Multiculturalism

Dr. Bernard Lewis, speaking recently at a luncheon and conference in Washington DC, noted that the two greatest shortcomings to understanding the Middle East are the "orthodoxy" of "political correctness and multiculturalism" and the reality that in the face of those driving ideologies, too many sworn to defend have proven themselves wilting lilies.

This new "no jihad policy" is the greatest of example.

Let's dissect the government message to show not only its folly, but factual errors that point to a lack of strategic comprehension and due diligence amounting to the level of an ethical failing.

An MSNBC article discussing this policy said this on the meaning of Jihad:

"For example, while Americans may understand "jihad" to mean "holy war," it is in fact a broader Islamic concept of the struggle to do good, says the guidance prepared for diplomats and other officials tasked with explaining the war on terror to the public."

That is wrong; it is in error. It is incompetently derived information.

Recall Patton famous exclamation:  "Rommel I read your damn book".

This is the book our counter-terrorism communicators need to read. This is what sacred Islamic Law says on jihad:


"o9.0 - Jihad. Jihad means to wage war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. [italic emphasis in original]"... The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus (def: b7) is such Koranic verses as: (1) "Fighting is prescribed for you" (Koran 2:216); (2) "Slay them wherever you find them" (Koran 4:89); (3) "Fight the idolators utterly" (Koran 9:36); ... I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no  god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for rights of Islam over them. (Umdat al-Salik p.599)"

Irrespective of the polemics, this is the only definition of jihad in Islamic law, this is the only controlling and binding definition of jihad for any Muslim.

So are we now to deduce from the media reporting that the US government, expects for example, those in military service to accept that waging "war against non-Muslims ...to establish the religion" is a "struggle to do good."  Does our government consider jihad a "good" thing.  Am I to accept that jihad is good for America?

Is this how far we have come with multiculturalism?

The Islamic Law of Nations

Al-Shaybani's Siyar, known as The Islamic Law of Nations, was drafted in the 9th century.  It is described by Rudolf Peters as the first major Muslim work "devoted exclusively to Islamic law dealing with relations with non-Muslims." It is a body of law that Dr. Majid Khadduri noted,

"Muslims declared to be binding upon themselves, regardless of whether non-Muslims accept it."

Khadduri adds for context:

"The Islamic Law of Nations, however, is not a system separate from Islamic law. It is merely an extension of the sacred law."

And with respect to jihad, after discussing that the world is divided into two camps the dar-al Islam [house of submission] and the dar al-harb [the house of war] Khadduri elaborates the Siyar:

"The territory of war was the object, not the subject of the Islamic legal system and it was the duty of Muslim rulers to bring it under Islamic sovereignty whenever the strength was theirs to do so."  The state of war existing between the dar al Islam and the dar al harb, however, does not necessarily means that actual hostilities must occur. The instrument which would transform the dar al-harb into the dar al Islam was the jihad. The jihad was not merely a duty to be fulfilled by each individual; it was also above all a political obligation imposed collectively on the subject of the states so as to achieve Islam's ultimate aim-the universalization of the faith and the establishment of God's sovereignty over the world. Thus the jihad was an individual duty, especially in the defense of Islam, as well as the collective duty on the community as a whole, and failure to fulfill it would constitute a gross error.


 The jihad, in the broad sense of the term, did not necessarily call for violence or fighting, even though a state of war existed between Islamic and non-Islamic territories since Islam might achieve its ultimate goal by peaceful as well as by violent means. This participation might be fulfilled by the heart, the tongue or the hands, as well as by the sword. The jihad was accordingly a form of religious propaganda carried out by spiritual as well as by material means. (pp. 12-16)


Peace does not supersede the state of war, for the jihad is a legal duty prescribed by the law; peace means the grant of security or protection to the non-Muslims for certain specified purposes...Muslim authorities concluded peace treaties with the enemy only when it was to the advantage of Islam." (p. 54)

Additionally,

"It was Shafi'i  [founder of the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence]  who first formulated the doctrine that the jihad had for its intent the waging of war on unbelievers for their disbelief and not merely when they entered into conflict with Islam's. The jihad was thereby transformed into a collective duty enjoined on Muslim to fight the unbelievers "wherever you may find them."(p. 58)

So does the United States government also now considers [fighting] the unbelievers "wherever you may find them"(Quran 9.5) to be more "broadly" a "struggle to do good"?

"In Islamic legal theory, the jihad was a permanent obligation upon the believers to carried out by continuous process of warfare, psychological and political, if not strictly military. (p.16)

It is interesting to consider the "continuous process" of "psychological warfare": what better way to prosecute a war against your adversary than convincing those with whom you are at war with that you are not at war with them; to convince them not to use the language and the logic of the war.

No America they are not "jihadist" you face but "extremists".... miscreants, "evil-doers," murderers, "cultists," just really bad people.

Do the speech code writers understand the concept of "masking terrain" in war?

Finally Khadduri makes two additional points:

"If a Muslim entered the dar al-harb... he was under obligation to respect [and] observe its laws...but if conflicts arose between his own law and that of the territory, no doubt existed where his choice would lie."(p.14)
"The jihad is the Islamic bellum justum and [is] the very basis of Islam's relations with other nations." (p. xi)

If you appreciate the above concepts then you understand their strategic ramifications and our challenge with respect to the "extremists."

11028  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law on: April 29, 2008, 10:43:26 PM
Medicmatt,

You were a cop in Delaware for 4 years? Exactly what "trigger-happy" shooting did you see firsthand? I work in a different part of the US as a cop, and i'm not aware of the wild west atmosphere in Delaware.
11029  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law on: April 27, 2008, 05:41:50 PM
Mas Ayoob did a lot to improve the legal aspects of firearms training for both civilians and law enforcement. He moved the dialog away from "Shoot the bad guy, then put a steak knife in his hand" to a realistic understanding of the legal/ethical/moral dynamic of deadly force for many gun owners in this country. He is a prolific writer and nationally recognized police trainer. His books are a must read for those interested in self defense.
11030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Sean Bell Verdict and Al Sharpton’s Culture of Grievance on: April 27, 2008, 05:07:52 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/09/national/printable3153497.shtml

Feds: 49% Of Murder Victims Are Black Men
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2007
(AP) Nearly half of the nation's murder victims in 2005 were black, and the number of black men who were slain is on the rise.

A majority of the black murder victims were relatively young — between 17 and 29, the Justice Department said in a study released Thursday.

The department's Bureau of Justice Statistics report offers a snapshot of racial disparities among violent crime victims. Black people represented an estimated 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2005, the latest data available, but were the victims of 49 percent of all murders and 15 percent of rapes, assaults and other nonfatal violent crimes nationwide.

Most of the black murder victims — 93 percent — were killed by other black people, the study found. About 85 percent of white victims were slain by other white people.

National Urban League President Marc Morial, a former mayor of New Orleans, said the data reflect a trend that cannot be reversed by law enforcement alone. It will require changes in public education and a revival of federal summer jobs programs for economically disadvantaged young people, he said.

"The mixture of illegal drugs, easy access to handguns and young men who feel locked out of economic opportunity is what these statistics reflect," Morial said.

An estimated 16,400 people were murdered in the United States in 2005, down from a peak of 21,400 a decade ago. Similarly, the number of black people slain dropped over the last 10 years, from 10,400 in 1995 to almost 8,000 in 2005.

But the murder rate among black men rose slightly between 2004 and 2005, continuing several years of dips and increases.

Two years ago, 6,783 black men were murdered, up from 6,342 in 2004, the study shows. The murder rate among white men also rose, but less dramatically: 5,850 were slain in 2005, compared with 5,769 the year before.

Murders of women, white and black, remained relatively unchanged between the two years.

Additionally, more than half of black murder victims — 51 percent — were in their late teens and twenties. Comparatively, just over a third — 37 percent — of white people murdered were between 17 and 29, the study shows.

The study did not take a detailed look at violent crime victims who are Hispanic or Latino, or other races. However, it concluded that violent crime victims were more often black than any other race except American Indians.

Among the study's other findings:

Never-married black people were more likely than all other blacks to be victims of violence.

Poorer black people were at a greater risk of violence than households with higher annual incomes.

Black people living in cities were more likely to be violent crime victims than people living in suburban or rural areas.
11031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Sean Bell Verdict and Al Sharpton’s Culture of Grievance on: April 27, 2008, 04:57:23 PM
http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_2_sndgs01.html

Time for the Truth About Black Crime Rates
Heather Mac Donald

The lessons of the Sean Bell case

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has the chance to transform not just New York, but all American cities, by breaking the taboo on talking about the connection between race and crime. Doing so would take courage that no politician has yet mustered. But after the manslaughter and assault indictments of three New York police officers for fatally shooting Sean Bell last November, Bloomberg has an opening: acknowledge that police officers may react too precipitously to perceived threats in charged urban settings, in exchange for a wide-open discussion about the sky-high black crime rates that encourage that reaction. Crime, not police racism, drives negative police-community relations in black neighborhoods. And until the crime rate comes down, tragedies like the Sean Bell shooting may reoccur.

After the Bell shooting, which occurred outside a Queens strip joint, critics of the NYPD followed the usual script: increasingly ugly charges of police bigotry (despite the fact that several of the officers involved were black); deployment of the threat-of-black-riots weapon; calls for convictions of the officers on the most severe murder charges; and the transformation of the highly aberrant Bell shooting into the very symbol of the NYPD. To his discredit, Mayor Bloomberg joined the rush to prejudge the officers. The day after the shooting, he declared: “It sounds to me like excessive force was used.” Even more irresponsibly, he deemed the incident “inexplicable,” thus fueling the belief that the officers could not possibly have perceived a deadly threat and all but guaranteeing that any acquittal of them would be viewed as proof that the criminal-justice system was antiblack.

Carefully omitted from the swirl of media coverage and the denunciations of the NYPD was any discussion of black crime rates. The New York Times did its usual best to shroud the issue. A March article, for instance, devoted itself to charges that the police were preying on the black community. After noting that more than half the people whom cops stop and frisk are black, Times reporter Diane Cardwell added: “City officials maintained that those stopped and searched roughly parallel the race of people mentioned in reports from crime victims.” No, actually, there is no “rough parallel” between the proportion of stops and the proportion of alleged assailants: blacks aren’t stopped enough, considering the rate at which they commit crimes. Though blacks, 24 percent of New York City’s population, committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in the city last year, according to victims and witnesses, they were only 55 percent of all stop-and-frisks. Of course, the Times didn’t give the actual crime figures. Even a spate of vicious assaults on police officers in the week before the indictments didn’t change the predominant story line that officers were trigger-happy racists.

But the context of the Bell shooting suggests a different picture. The undercover officers and detectives involved had been deployed to Club Kahlua in Jamaica, Queens, because of the club’s history of lawlessness. Club patrons and neighbors had made dozens of calls to the NYPD, reporting guns, drug sales, and prostitution, and the police had recently made eight arrests there.

The night of November 24, undercover officer Gescard Isnora, who fired the first shots at Bell, had observed a man put a stripper’s hand on his belt to reassure her that he had a gun and would protect her from an aggressive customer. Outside the club, Isnora (who is African-American) and his colleagues witnessed a heated exchange between Bell’s entourage and an apparent pimp over the services of a prostitute, during which the pimp kept his hand inside his jacket, as if holding a gun. After the hooker refused to have sex with more than two of the group’s eight members, Bell—presumably referring to the pimp—said, “Let’s fuck him up,” and Bell’s companion, Joseph Guzman, said, “Yo, get my gun, get my gun.” Isnora reported these exchanges over his cell phone to his colleagues in the area.

Feeling the danger level mounting, Isnora retrieved his gun from his unmarked car. When he returned to the scene, Bell and his two companions had gotten into their car, ready to drive away. Isnora thought that a drive-by shooting of the pimp could be imminent, and so moved to question the car’s occupants. He held out his badge (by his account), identified himself as a police officer, and told the car to stop. Instead, Bell drove forward and hit Isnora and a police minivan, backed up, and then slammed into the minivan again, nearly hitting Isnora a second time.

Isnora, who was standing on the passenger side of Bell’s car, claims that he saw Guzman reach for his waistband. Believing that he faced a deadly threat, Isnora opened fire. The four other undercovers and detectives at the scene also started shooting, killing Bell and wounding Guzman and Bell’s other companion in the car, Trent Benefield. No gun turned up in Bell’s car. (Benefield alleges that Isnora began shooting before the car started moving, which is absurd. The barrage of 50 bullets was so fast that no witness at the scene remembers hearing more than eight rounds fired off. Bell was undoubtedly killed as soon as the shooting started, and so wouldn’t have been able to move the car forward and back and forward again, as he did. None of the officers had ever used their guns before, moreover, despite making hundreds of arrests, including for gun possession. These were not trigger-happy cops.)

Without question, the results of this episode are horrific. And the tactics stank—Isnora should never have left himself as exposed as he was. But was the officers’ perception of a deadly threat so unreasonable as to make their shooting a criminal homicide? If a judge or jury finds that they did not reasonably believe that they faced an imminent use of deadly force, then, according to the woefully inappropriate criminal code, their actions fall within the literal definition of manslaughter. (Showing what appears to be arbitrariness, the grand jury indicted two of the officers for manslaughter and assault—even though one of them, Isnora, did not even hit Bell—and a third for reckless endangerment, but didn’t indict the remaining two officers, even though all had fired their guns.)

Isnora and his colleagues knew the following, when they saw a car racing toward them whose occupants they believed could have guns: shootings at after-hours joints like Club Kahlua are by no means uncommon. Just the previous month, a patron had been fatally gunned down outside another Queens club, the third lethal shooting there in three years. This March, a club customer in Brooklyn tried to blast an off-duty cop’s head off after the two had unintentionally bumped into each other on a crowded dance floor.

Isnora and his colleagues did not know the following, but it’s a further indication of the reality of crime in New York: Bell, Benefield, and Guzman had all been arrested for gun possession in the past, according to the New York Times. Further, Guzman had a long prison record, including a sentence for an armed robbery during which he shot at his victim. And Bell and his entourage were dealing drugs, an activity highly correlated with violence.

These specific facts about the Bell shooting are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of data points that reveal a hard truth: any given violent crime in New York is 13 times more likely to have a black than a white perpetrator. While most black residents are law-abiding and desperately deserve police protection, the incidence of criminal activity among young black males is off the charts. “A black kid between the ages of 18 and 24 is the scariest thing to cops,” says a police attorney, “because they know how crazy it can get.” And this is true whatever the officer’s race.

The “public doesn’t get how frightened cops are,” says a former NYPD commanding officer. “Cops are reluctant to articulate everything that goes into a shooting incident,” says another former officer, retired assistant chief Jim McShane. “They’re afraid to say: ‘Are you kidding me? I was terrified. The guy was drinking; I told him to stop; I was afraid that someone was going to get shot.’ ” When an officer thinks that he is under deadly threat, he knows that any hesitation could cost him his life. NYPD officer Steven McDonald was staring down the barrel of a small gun in Central Park in the summer of 1986, held by a 15-year-old whom he had stopped to question about a stolen bicycle. Rather than immediately responding with deadly force, he paused—and was shot twice in the head and once in the arm, paralyzing him from the neck down.

Because of these realities, it’s possible that officers are quicker to perceive—and react to—a deadly threat when dealing with young black men than they would be with other demographic groups. (Even so, fatal shootings by the NYPD are extremely rare; fatal shootings of unarmed civilians, even rarer.) And it’s undeniably true that the much greater incidence of crime in black neighborhoods means that the police activity there will be higher, leading to a greater risk of the use of force.

The NYPD’s goal at this point—understandably and rightly—is to do everything it can to prevent the death of another Sean Bell. The department’s recently announced tactical review is more than justified. But the police can only go so far in ensuring that tragic errors, when they inevitably happen, do not happen to black males. Mayor Bloomberg has already pandered enough to antipolice activists. He should now cash in his political chips and speak the truth: the black crime rate is the most important determinant of how the police interact with the black community. Unless black leaders—real or media-created—muster the will to address the crime epidemic among black youth (most of it inflicted on other blacks), the ongoing carnage will almost inevitably include an infinitesimal number of accidental police shootings of unarmed men. Criminal activity among young African-Americans is the poison of cities and of race relations; if Bloomberg can force a conversation about it, he could help reclaim urban America.
11032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Sean Bell Verdict and Al Sharpton’s Culture of Grievance on: April 27, 2008, 04:56:02 PM
Black people are murdered everyday in this country by......black people. Where is the outrage? Where are the protests?
11033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Sean Bell Verdict and Al Sharpton’s Culture of Grievance on: April 27, 2008, 02:02:09 PM
http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/04262008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/justice_served_108171.htm

JUSTICE SERVED
By HEATHER MAC DONALD




April 26, 2008 -- JUSTICE has been served in the Sean Bell case.
However horrific Bell's slaying by police gunfire, Judge Arthur Cooperman yesterday resisted pressure to make the verdict an alleged test of civil rights - a test which, according to the city's race agitators, had only one proper and predetermined outcome - and instead decided the case on the facts before him.

The New York Police Department has already begun scouring its training to try to drive down even further the chance that such a blood-curdling tragedy is repeated. Now it falls on Mayor Bloomberg to explain to the city how rare such tragedies are and to lay out the case that the NYPD is the greatest protector of civil rights in New York - given that the No. 1 civil right is freedom from fear and violence.

THE prosecution's case began falling apart almost from the start. As Judge Cooperman noted, its witnesses contradicted their own prior statements and made claims on the stand that ballistics evidence clearly disproved.

In addition, many of the prosecutions' witnesses corroborated the officers' narrative of that night's events:

* They confirmed that there'd been a tense exchange outside the Club Kalua (a crime-ridden strip joint in Queens) between an apparently armed man and Sean Bell and his companions (who had been celebrating Bell's wedding the next day with a bachelor party at the club).

* Several acknowledged that Bell and his friends had referred to getting a gun.

* Some prosecution witnesses also verified what forensics evidence unambiguously demonstrated: that Sean Bell's car had sped twice into Detective Gerald Isnora and an unmarked police van as Detective Isnora was trying to signal the car to stop.

Isnora had witnessed the threats about guns outside the club and believed that the Bell party was about to pursue the man they had just argued with for a drive-by shooting. When he and his colleagues opened fire on the Bell car, after it had twice hit them, they believed that Bell's passenger Joseph Guzman was reaching for a weapon and was going to shoot them.

TO support its case for a manslaughter verdict, the prosecution needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers did not reasonably believe that they were facing the imminent use of deadly force, that they did not reasonably believe that their own use of deadly fire was necessary to defend themselves.

In other words, the prosecution needed to come up with an alternative explanation for why the officers shot at the car. To that end, Assistant District Attorney Charles Testagrossa preposterously suggested that Isnora opened fire out of "rage" that the car had disobeyed his police commands to stop (a theory that contradicted another prosecution argument - namely, that Isnora had failed to identify himself as an officer) and that detective Michael Oliver hoped to win a combat valor medal.

Nothing in the record supported such allegations.

As Isnora testified to the grand jury: "In my time as an undercover, . . . I had never fired my weapon before. I never had any intention in my career . . . of even thinking of doing that. [But] I felt I had no choice [that night]."

Judge Cooperman rightly concluded that the prosecution failed to prove that the officers did not reasonably believe they were facing a deadly threat.

MOST importantly, the judge has maintained a meaningful barrier between good-faith police action that proves in retrospect to be even horribly and tragically mistaken, and criminal conduct. To convict these defendants would have required an intolerable degree of second-guessing of police decisions taken under circumstances that few civilians have ever had to face.

Tragically, innocent civilian as well as police lives hang in the balance of an officer's split-second decision to use deadly force - but the urgency that Isnora felt that night is hardly fanciful.

Seven months after the Sean Bell shooting, New York Officer Russel Timoshenko was fatally gunned down by the occupant of a car that he had just pulled over in Brooklyn - the 17th NYPD officer to be killed by criminals since 1999. Had Isnora waited a moment longer and had Guzman in fact been reaching for a weapon, he could have met with Timoshenko's fate.

Yes, the Sean Bell shooting was a sickening tactical disaster - but that doesn't make it a crime.

Police mistakes that night included flawed supervision -a proper game plan was apparently lacking. And the tactics undertaken - especially letting Isnora come out of undercover status to make a stop - were needlessly risky.

The NYPD's urgent review of its supervisory and tactical training is well-justified and will be aided by the rigorous firearms-discharge-review-board analysis of the shooting.

The officers themselves have escaped criminal liability, but they could face departmental discipline. Their supervisors should be even more closely scrutinized.

But while the departmental investigation runs its course, Mayor Bloomberg must set the record straight about the NYPD's role in the city.

ANTI-COP agitators and politicians are fond of claiming that the police are a threat to black lives. In fact, no single private or public agency has saved more minority lives than the NYPD.

Had murders stayed at their early 1990s levels, before the NYPD got smart about policing, 13,000-plus more New Yorkers - the overwhelming majority of them black and Hispanic - would be dead today.

In fact, even as the NYPD brought down homicide a remarkable 70 percent, it was driving down its own use of force. In 1973, there were 1.82 fatal police shootings per 1,000 New York officers; in 2006, there were .36 such shootings per 1,000 officers. And the vast majority of those police shootings are against criminals who are threatening the officer with force.

The department is one of the more restrained big-city police outfits in the country. Its fatal shooting rate is a tenth those of the Phoenix and Philadelphia departments, for example. While every mistaken shooting of an unarmed innocent civilian is an unmitigated disaster, the number of such NYPD shootings over the last two decades can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

ABOVE all else, remember this: The risk posed to New Yorkers by the police is negligible compared to the risk posed by criminals - and NYPD New York officers work their hearts out every day to try to protect law-abiding residents from crime.

If Al Sharpton and Charles Barron really cared as much about law-abiding minorities as they say they do, they would join the police in that mission -they'd stigmatize criminals, not the cops. They'd protest outside the jail cells of rapists and robbers who terrorize the elderly and frail; they'd call on crime witnesses to cooperate with investigators.

The sad fact is, had Sean Bell been killed by a fellow club-goer, Al Sharpton and Charles Barron wouldn't have taken the slightest interest in him. The world knows about him only because he was killed by police officers.

Need proof? A week after Bell's death, another groom-to-be was fatally gunned down by some robbers in Brooklyn who had just pistol-whipped three other victims.

His name was Earl Williams - and no one ever protested his death. But New York's police force worked to find his killer - and continue today to risk their own lives to safeguard ours.

Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal and author of "Are Cops Racist?"
11034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Sean Bell Verdict and Al Sharpton’s Culture of Grievance on: April 27, 2008, 11:50:37 AM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

The Sean Bell Verdict and Al Sharpton’s Culture of Grievance
April 27, 2008 - by Jack Dunphy

-->
To anyone who knew the facts of the case and understood the law, Friday’s acquittal of the three New York Police Department detectives charged in the November 2006 shooting death of Sean Bell was entirely predictable.

Just as predictable has been the reaction from Al Sharpton, who owes his notoriety - and, one presumes, his income - to the culture of grievance from which he sprang and which he so tirelessly strives to perpetuate. On Saturday, Sharpton presided over a rally at his Harlem headquarters and exhorted his followers to “close down” the city of New York. “This city,” he said, “is going to deal with the blood of Sean Bell.”

And so it may, but perhaps not in the way Mr. Sharpton would wish.

Regardless of a given criminal trial’s underlying social and political issues - and seldom has there been a trial more heavily freighted with such issues than this one - the burden of proof remains unchanged: the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty that the defendant is guilty of the crimes alleged against him. All extraneous questions on crime, the police, race, and their respective places in the great social equation have no rightful place in a criminal courtroom.

But these questions do at times creep silently into the courtroom, more particularly into the jury room of a high-profile trial, where some might wish to see cosmic justice produced therefrom. Some jurors have been known to oblige that wish, engaging in jury nullification in the case of some clearly guilty defendants or, even more disturbing, convicting some clearly innocent ones. The three police detectives on trial in the Sean Bell shooting, Gescard Isnora, Marc Cooper, and Michael Oliver, knew this very well when they asked that their case be heard by a judge rather than a jury, placing their fate in the hands of Queens Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman.

Reasonable doubt was to be found everywhere in the case, beginning with the Queens grand jury’s initial indictment handed down in March 2007. Much has been made of the fifty shots fired by the police during the confrontation, twenty of which struck the car Bell was driving, killing him and wounding his two passengers. But of the five officers who fired, only three were indicted and put on trial, suggesting that even the grand jury believed that in the confusion of the encounter on that early morning there was at least some level of justification for the other two to fire their weapons. And if those two had reason to fire, however tragically mistaken it turned out to be, how is it that the defendants’ conduct rose to the level that made it criminal? It didn’t, as Justice Cooperman ruled on Friday.

The prosecution’s efforts were undone by several factors, which Justice Cooperman specified in his verdict. “The court has found,” he said, “that the people’s ability to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt was affected by a combination of the following factors: the prosecution witnesses’ prior inconsistent statements, inconsistencies in testimony among prosecution witnesses, the renunciation of prior statements, criminal convictions, the interest of some witnesses in the outcome of the case, the demeanor on the witness stand of other witnesses and the motive witnesses may have had to lie and the effect it had on the truthfulness of a witness’s testimony. These factors played a significant part in the people’s ability to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and had the effect of eviscerating the credibility of those prosecution witnesses. And, at times, the testimony just didn’t make sense.”

The defendants, Justice Cooperman concluded, reasonably, albeit mistakenly, believed that an armed confrontation was about to take place between Sean Bell and his companions and another group of men that had just left a strip club. “The court has found that the incident lasted just seconds,” Cooperman said. “The officers responded to perceived criminal conduct; the unfortunate consequences of their conduct were tragic.”

Here in Los Angeles there is a term used around the courthouse to describe incidents like the Sean Bell shooting: “awful but lawful.”

Fortunately for some Los Angeles Police Department officers, L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is unburdened by ambition for higher office, has shown a willingness to stand up to the kind of pressure Al Sharpton and others exerted on prosecutors in Queens after the Sean Bell shooting. When, for example, “community activists” demanded that an LAPD officer be prosecuted in the 2005 shooting death of 13-year-old Devin Brown at the end of an early morning car chase, Cooley’s office declined to do so, thoroughly explaining the decision in a lengthy [1] document posted on the agency’s website.

Surely the prosecutors in the Sean Bell case knew the weaknesses of their case, weaknesses that they might easily have detailed for the public had they chosen not to take the case to a grand jury. But the peculiar politics of New York demanded otherwise, and three police detectives were forced to endure a trial that the prosecutors knew - or should have known - they could not win.

And now Mr. Sharpton and his acolytes are threatening to shut down New York City, hoping to portray the NYPD as the biggest threat facing the residents in Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem, and the other less fashionable neighborhoods that lie north of 96th Street or beyond the East River. In those neighborhoods, Mr. Sharpton would have you believe, the only guns and drugs to be found are those that have been planted on innocent people by corrupt, racist police officers.

Sharpton’s antics, blithely acquiesced to by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and the entire New York City political structure, will only inhibit police efforts to improve the quality of life in those neighborhoods most affected by crime. When the next murder victim falls in Queens, Brooklyn, or Harlem, will Al Sharpton be too busy to notice?

Twenty people have been murdered so far this year in the [2] NYPD’s Queens South Patrol Bureau, where the Sean Bell shooting occurred, up from twelve at the same time in 2007. When Mr. Sharpton has finished shutting down the city this week, perhaps he might summon up a similar level of outrage at the fate of even one of those twenty people.

“Jack Dunphy” is the pseudonym of an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not reflect those of the LAPD management.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-sean-bell-verdict-and-al-sharptons-culture-of-grievance/

URLs in this post:
[1] document: http://da.co.la.ca.us/pdf/garciaois.pdf?zoom_highlight=devin+brown
[2] NYPD’s: http://home2.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/home/home.shtml
11035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: April 25, 2008, 11:16:10 AM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/29729_Michelle_Obamas_Name_Removed_from_Terrorist_Fundraisers_Web_Page_-_Update-_Terror_Fundraisers_Page_Disappears!

Change!
11036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interesting Stratfor.com Read on: April 21, 2008, 10:44:57 PM
Good find, CCP. Gertz has great sourcing inside the pentagon.
11037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: April 20, 2008, 12:32:20 PM
**Best argument for McCain yet**

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/006dgrlw.asp

24 Hours on the 'Big Stick'
What you can learn about America on the deck of the USS 'Theodore Roosevelt.'
by P.J. O'Rourke
04/28/2008, Volume 013, Issue 31

Landing on an aircraft carrier is...To begin with, you travel out to the carrier on a powerful, compact, and chunky aircraft--a weight-lifter version of a regional airline turboprop. This is a C-2 Greyhound, named after the wrong dog. C-2 Flying Pit Bull is more like it. In fact what everyone calls the C-2 is the "COD." This is an acronym for "Curling the hair Of Dumb reporters," although they tell you it stands for "Carrier Onboard Delivery."

There is only one window in the freight/passenger compartment, and you're nowhere near it. Your seat faces aft. Cabin lighting and noise insulation are absent. The heater is from the parts bin at the Plymouth factory in 1950. You sit reversed in cold, dark cacophony while the airplane maneuvers for what euphemistically is called a "landing." The nearest land is 150 miles away. And the plane doesn't land; its tailhook snags a cable on the carrier deck. The effect is of being strapped to an armchair and dropped backwards off a balcony onto a patio. There is a fleeting moment of unconsciousness. This is a good thing, as is being far from the window, because what happens next is that the COD reels the hooked cable out the entire length of the carrier deck until a big, fat nothing is between you and a plunge in the ocean, should the hook, cable, or pilot's judgment snap. Then, miraculously, you're still alive.

Landing on an aircraft carrier was the most fun I'd ever had with my trousers on. And the 24 hours that I spent aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt--the "Big Stick"--were an equally unalloyed pleasure. I love big, moving machinery. And machinery doesn't get any bigger, or more moving, than a U.S.-flagged nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that's longer than the Empire State Building is tall and possesses four acres of flight deck. This four acres, if it were a nation, would have the fifth or sixth largest airforce in the world--86 fixed wing aircraft plus helicopters.

The Theodore Roosevelt and its accompanying cruisers, destroyers, and submarines can blow up most of the military of most of the countries on earth. God has given America a special mission. Russia can barely blow up Chechnya. China can blow up Tibet, maybe, and possibly Taiwan. And the EU can't blow up Liechtenstein. But the USA can blow up .??.??. gosh, where to start?

But I didn't visit the Theodore Roosevelt just to gush patriotically--although some patriotic gushing is called for in America at the moment. And while I'm at it let me heap praise upon the people who arranged and guided my Big Stick tour. I was invited on the "embark" thanks to the kindness of the Honorable William J. (Jim) Haynes II, former Department of Defense general counsel. The trip was arranged by Colonel Kelly Wheaton, senior military assistant to acting Department of Defense general counsel Daniel Dell'Orto, and by Lt. Commander Philip Rosi, public affairs officer of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group.

I traveled with the Honorable Mr. Dell'Orto and a group of ten Distinguished Visitors (minus me). Onboard we met people more distinguished yet, including Captain C.L. Wheeler, commanding officer of the Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Frank C. Pandolfe, commander of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, and Command Master Chief Petty Officer Chris Engles, who--as anyone with experience in or of the Navy knows (my dad was a chief petty officer)--actually runs everything.

I could go on about the TR and its crew at epic length. And one day, if they'll invite me back, I'll do so. But, being a reporter, I wasn't there to report on things. I was there to get a journalistic hook--a tailhook, as it were--for a preconceived idea. I wanted to say something about Senator John McCain. And as soon as our distinguished visitor group donned "float coats" and ear protection and went to the flight deck and saw F-18s take off and land, I had something to say.

Carrier launches are astonishing events. The plane is moved to within what seems like a bowling alley's length of the bow. A blast shield larger than any government building driveway Khomeini-flipper rises behind the fighter jet, and the jet's twin engines are cranked to maximum thrust. A slot-car slot runs down the middle of the bowling alley. The powered-up jet is held at the end of its slot by a steel shear pin smaller than a V-8 can. When the shear pin shears the jet is unleashed and so is a steam catapult that hurls the plane down the slot, from 0 to 130 miles per hour in two seconds. And--if all goes well--the airplane is airborne. This is not a pilot taking off. This is a pilot as cat's eye marble pinched between boundless thumb and infinite forefinger of Heaven's own Wham-O slingshot.

Carrier landings are more astonishing. We were in heavy seas. Spray was coming over the bow onto the flight deck, 60 feet above the waterline. As the ship was pitching, 18 tons of F-18 with a wingspan of 40-odd feet approached at the speed of celebrity sex rumor. Four acres of flight deck has never looked so small. Had it been lawn you'd swear you could do it in 15 minutes with a push mower.

Four arresting cables are stretched across the stern, each thick as a pepperoni. The cables are held slightly above the runway by metal hoops. The pilot can't really see these cables and isn't really looking at that runway, which is rising at him like a slap in the face or falling away like the slope of a playground slide when you're four. The pilot has his eye on the "meatball," a device, portside midship, with a glowing dot that does--or doesn't--line up between two lighted dashes. This indicates that the pilot is . . . no, isn't . . . yes, is . . . isn't . . . is . . . on course to land. Meanwhile there are sailors in charge of the landing hunched at a control panel portside aft. They are on the radio telling the pilot what he's doing or better had do or hadn't better. They are also waving colored paddles at him meaning this or that. (I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about here.) Plus there are other pilots on the radio along with an officer in the control tower. The pilot is very well trained because at this point his head doesn't explode.

The pilot drops his tailhook. This is not an impressive-looking piece of equipment--no smirks about the 1991 Tailhook Association brouhaha, please. The hook doesn't appear sturdy enough to yank Al Franken offstage when Al is smirking about the presidential candidate who belonged to the Tailhook Association. The hook is supposed to--and somehow usually does--strike the deck between the second and third arresting cables. The cable then does not jerk the F-18 back to the stern the way it would in a cartoon. Although watching these events is so unreal that you expect cartoon logic to apply.

Now imagine all concerned doing all of the above with their eyes closed. That is a night operation. We went back on deck to see--wrong verb--to feel and hear the night flights. The only things we could see were the flaming twin suns of the F-18 afterburners at the end of the catapult slot.

Some say John McCain's character was formed in a North Vietnamese prison. I say those people should take a gander at what John chose to do--voluntarily. Being a carrier pilot requires aptitude, intelligence, skill, knowledge, discernment, and courage of a kind rarely found anywhere but in a poem of Homer's or a half gallon of Dewar's. I look from John McCain to what the opposition has to offer. There's Ms. Smarty-Pantsuit, the Bosnia-Under-Sniper-Fire poster gal, former prominent Washington hostess, and now the JV senator from the state that brought you Eliot Spitzer and Bear Stearns. And there's the happy-talk boy wonder, the plaster Balthazar in the Cook County political crèche, whose policy pronouncements sound like a walk through Greenwich Village in 1968: "Change, man? Got any spare change? Change?"

Some people say John McCain isn't conservative enough. But there's more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo. Conservatism is also a matter of honor, duty, valor, patriotism, self-discipline, responsibility, good order, respect for our national institutions, reverence for the traditions of civilization, and adherence to the political honesty upon which all principles of democracy are based. Given what screw-ups we humans are in these respects, conservatism is also a matter of sense of humor. Heard any good quips lately from Hillary or Barack?

A one-day visit to an aircraft carrier is a lifelong lesson in conservatism. The ship is immense, going seven decks down from the flight deck and ten levels up in the tower. But it's full, with some 5,500 people aboard. Living space is as cramped as steerage on the way to Ellis Island. Even the pilots live in three-bunk cabins as small and windowless as hall closets. A warship is a sort of giant Sherman tank upon the water. Once below deck you're sealed inside. There are no cheery portholes to wave from.

McCain could hardly escape understanding the limits of something huge but hermetic, like a government is, and packed with a madding crowd. It requires organization, needs hierarchies, demands meritocracy, insists upon delegation of authority. An intricate, time-tested system replete with checks and balances is not a plaything to be moved around in a doll house of ideology. It is not a toy bunny serving imaginary sweets at a make-believe political tea party. The captain commands, but his whims do not. He answers to the nation.

And yet an aircraft carrier is more an example of what people can do than what government can't. Scores of people are all over the flight deck during takeoffs and landings. They wear color-coded T-shirts--yellow for flight-directing, purple for fueling, blue for chocking and tying-down, red for weapon-loading, brown for I-know-not-what, and so on. These people can't hear each other. They use hand signals. And, come night ops, they can't do that. Really, they communicate by "training telepathy." They have absorbed their responsibilities to the point that each knows exactly where to be and when and doing what.

These are supremely dangerous jobs. And most of the flight deck crew members are only 19 or 20. Indeed the whole ship is run by youngsters. The average age, officers and all, is about 24. "These are the same kids," a chief petty officer said, "who, back on land, have their hats bumped to one side and their pants around their knees, hanging out on corners. And here they're in charge of $35 million airplanes."

The crew is in more danger than the pilots. If an arresting cable breaks--and they do--half a dozen young men and women could be sliced in half. When a plane crashes, a weapon malfunctions, or a fire breaks out, there's no ejection seat for the flight deck crew. While we were on the Theodore Roosevelt a memorial service was held for a crew member who had been swept overboard. Would there have been an admiral and a captain of an aircraft carrier and hundreds of the bravest Americans at a memorial service for you when you were 20?

Supposedly the "youth vote" is all for Obama. But it's John McCain who actually has put his life in the hands of adolescents on a carrier deck. Supposedly the "women's vote" is . . . well, let's not go too far with this. I can speak to John's honor, duty, valor, patriotism, etc., but I'm not sure how well his self-discipline would have fared if he'd been on an aircraft carrier with more than 500 beautiful women sailors the way I was. At least John likes women, which is more than we can say about Hillary's attitude toward, for instance, the women in Bill's life, who at this point may constitute nearly the majority of the "women's vote."

These would have been interesting subjects to discuss with the Theodore Roosevelt shipmates, but time was up.

Back on the COD you're buckled in and told to brace as if for a crash. Whereupon there is a crash. The catapult sends you squashed against your flight harness. And just when you think that everything inside your body is going to blow out your nose and navel, it's over. You're in steady, level flight.

A strange flight it is--from the hard and fast reality of a floating island to the fantasy world of American solid ground. In this never-never land a couple of tinhorn Second City shysters--who, put together, don't have the life experience of the lowest ranking gob-with-a-swab cleaning a head on the Big Stick--presume to run for president of the United States. They're not just running against the hero John McCain, they're running against heroism itself and against almost everything about America that ought to be conserved.

P.J. O'Rourke is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
11038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: April 19, 2008, 05:50:06 PM
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/obama-america-guns-2021119-gun-world#

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Mark Steyn: Guns and God? Hell, yes
Obama attacks two of the things that elevate the U.S. above places like Europe

MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist


Our lesson today comes from the songwriter Frank Loesser:
"Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition."
Or as Barack Obama and his San Francisco pals would put it: God and guns. Loesser got the phrase from Howell Forgy, a naval chaplain at Pearl Harbor, who walked the decks of the USS New Orleans under Japanese bombardment, exhorting his comrades. When the line came to Loesser's ears, he turned it into a big hit song of the Second World War:
"Praise the Lord and swing into position
Can't afford to sit around a-wishin'…" – which some folks sang as "Can't afford to be a politician." Indeed. Sen. Obama's remarks about poor dumb, bitter rural losers "clinging to" guns and God certainly testify to the instinctive snobbery of a big segment of the political class. But we shouldn't let it go by merely deploring coastal condescension toward the knuckledraggers. No, what Michelle Malkin calls Crackerquiddick (quite rightly – it's more than just another dreary "-gate") is not just snobbish nor even merely wrongheaded. It's an attack on two of the critical advantages the United States holds over most of the rest of the Western world. In the other G7 developed nations, nobody clings to God 'n' guns. The guns got taken away, and the Europeans gave up on churchgoing once they embraced Big Government as the new religion.
How's that working out? Compared with America, France and Germany have been more or less economically stagnant for the past quarter-century, living permanently with unemployment rates significantly higher than in the United States.
Has it made them any less "bitter," as Obama characterizes those Pennsylvanian crackers? No. In my book "America Alone," just out in paperback and available in all good bookstores – you'll find it in Borders propping up the wonky rear leg of the display table for the smash new CD "Michelle Obama And The San Francisco Macchiato Chorus Sing "I Pinned My Pink Slip To The Gun Rack Of My Pick-Up,' 'My Dog Done Died, My Wife Jus' Left Me, And Michael Dukakis Is Strangely Reluctant To Run Again,' Plus 'I Swung By The Economic Development Zone Business Park But The Only Two Occupied Rental Units Were Both Evangelical Churches' And Other Embittered Appalachian Favorites."
Where was I? Oh, yes. In my book "America Alone," I note a global survey on optimism: 61 percent of Americans were optimistic about the future, 29 percent of the French, 15 percent of Germans. Take it from a foreigner: In my experience, Americans are the least "bitter" people in the developed world. Secular, gun-free big-government Europe doesn't seem to have done anything for people's happiness. Consider by way of example the words of Keith Reade. He's not an Obama speechwriter, he's a writer for the London Daily Mirror. And the day after the 2004 presidential election he expressed his frustration in an alarmingly Obamaesque way:
"Were I a Kerry voter, though, I'd feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', nonpassport ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest d*** in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong.'"
Well, that's certainly why I supported Bush, but I'm not sure it entirely accounts for the other 62,039,073 incontinent rednecks. Reade, though, does usefully enumerate some of the distinctive features that separate America from the rest of the West. "Self-righteous"? If you want a public culture that reeks of indestructible faith in its own righteousness, try Europe – especially when they're talking about America: If you disagree with Eutopian wisdom, you must be an idiot.
Obama and far too many Democrats have bought into this delusion, most thoroughly distilled in Thomas Frank's book "What's The Matter With Kansas?", whose argument is that heartland voters are too dumb (i.e., "moronic muppets") to vote for their own best interests.
Europeans did "vote for their own best interests" – i.e., cradle-to-grave welfare, 35-hour workweeks, six weeks of paid vacation, etc. – and as a result they now face a perfect storm of unsustainable entitlements, economic stagnation and declining human capital that's left them so demographically beholden to unassimilable levels of immigration that they're being remorselessly Islamized with every passing day. We should thank God (forgive the expression) that America's loser gun nuts don't share the same sophisticated rational calculation of "their best interests" as do Thomas Frank, Obama, too many Democrats and the European political establishment.
As for "gun-totin'," large numbers of Americans tote guns because they're assertive, self-reliant citizens, not docile subjects of a permanent governing class. The Second Amendment is philosophically consistent with the First Amendment, for which I've become more grateful since the Canadian Islamic Congress decided to sue me for "hate speech" up north. Both amendments embody the American view that liberty is not the gift of the state, and its defense cannot be outsourced exclusively to the government.
I think a healthy society needs both God and guns: It benefits from a belief in some kind of higher purpose to life on Earth, and it requires a self-reliant citizenry. If you lack either of those twin props, you wind up with today's Europe – a present-tense Eutopia mired in fatalism.
A while back, I was struck by the words of Oscar van den Boogaard, a Dutch gay humanist (which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool). Reflecting on the Continent's accelerating Islamification, he concluded that the jig was up for the Europe he loved, but what could he do? "I am not a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."
Sorry, it doesn't work like that. If you don't understand that there are times when you'll have to fight for it, you won't enjoy it for long. That's what a lot of Reade's laundry list – "gun-totin'," "military-lovin'" – boils down to. As for "gay-loathin'," it's Oscar van den Boogaard's famously tolerant Amsterdam where gay-bashing is resurgent: The editor of the American gay paper the Washington Blade got beaten up in the streets on his last visit to the Netherlands.
God and guns. Maybe one day a viable society will find a magic cure-all that can do without both, but Big Government isn't it. And even complacent liberal Democrats ought to be able to look across the ocean and see that. But, then, Obama did give the speech in San Francisco, a city demographically declining at a rate that qualifies it for EU membership. When it comes to parochial simpletons, you don't need to go to Kansas.
11039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: April 18, 2008, 09:12:54 AM
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/04/18/moveons-definition-of-hurting-the-country/

MoveOn’s definition of “hurting the country”
By Michelle Malkin  •  April 18, 2008 08:02 AM

Yes, it’s true. The left-wing anti-patriots at MoveOn.org, who didn’t think twice about handing jihadists potent ammunition the day before the sixth anniversary of 9/11 with their despicable attack on Gen. Petraeus, are now worried about actions that “hurt the country.”
Dangerous, perilous, damaging, harmful actions…like having a Democrat debate moderated by journalists who aren’t complete and total sycophants.
Heaven forfend!
Sound the alarm!
Issue the Important Action Alerts ASAP!

The Soros water-carriers say they will run an ad against ABC–Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulous photoshopped as Hitler and Eva Braun? Nah, too subtle–if they gather 100,000 signatures.
And, of course, MoveOn blames Karl Rove:
Moderators George Stephanopolous and Charlie Gibson spent the first 50 minutes obsessed with distractions that only political insiders care about–gaffes, polling numbers, the stale Rev. Wright story, and the old-news Bosnia story. And, channelling Karl Rove, they directed a video question to Barack Obama asking if he loves the American flag or not. Seriously.
Enough is enough. The public needs the media to stop hurting the national dialogue in this important election year. Can you sign the petition to ABC and other media outlets and pass it on to friends who are also fed up?
A compiled petition with your individual comment will be presented to ABC and other media.
What’s your over/under on ABC and other media caving in to the MoveOn/nutroots ultimatum?
***
On an even more hysterical side note, one nutroots blogger has now dubbed the ABC News debate the “‘Michelle Malkin/Steve Doocy’ driven non-policy based debate.”
The country will not be safe until the Schoolmarm/Snoozefest regime of Democrat debates is restored.
MoveOn to the rescue!
11040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: April 18, 2008, 08:28:56 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/04/18/obamas-strange-defense-of-william-ayers/

Obama’s strange defense of William Ayers
POSTED AT 8:34 AM ON APRIL 18, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


Barack Obama has decided to push back against criticisms of his association with former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, but the arguments he offers sound less than convincing. Rather than chalk it up to political naivete and issue a non-apology apology, Obama has decided to argue that he can’t be expected to consider the actions of people that took place in his childhood, and that Ayers only was bad for a few days. No, really, this is his entire opening argument:

REALITY: OBAMA WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD WHEN THE WEATHERMEN WERE ACTIVE

Obama Turned Eight In September 1969, The Days Of Rage Occurred In October 1969. Barack Obama was born on September 4, 1961. He turned eight on September 4, 1969. The Days of Rage, in which William Ayers participated, occurred in October 1969. [Obama Birth Certificate, UPI, 10/21/81]

William Ayers Participated In The “Days Of Rage” In 1969. The AP reported, “In the autumn of 1969, the Weatherman, led by Bernardine Dohrn and Mark Rudd, converged on Chicago and planned a series of demonstrations to dramatize their beliefs. The riots, which came to be known as the “Days of Rage,” caused thousands of dollars in damage in the downtown and Near North Side areas and resulted in injuries to several policemen. Rudd and Ms. Dohrn were named in federal riot indictments with ten others — William Ayers, Kathy Boudin, John Jacobs, Jeff Jones, Michael Spiegel, Howard Machtinger, Terry Robins, Lawrence Weiss, Linda Sue Evans and Judy Clark. Another prominent activist, Cathy Wilkerson, was arrested on state charges of mob action and resisting a police officer. Some surrendered years ago. Two — Ms. Dohrn and Ayers, son of the former chairman of Commonweath Edison Co. — surfaced Wednesday. Charges against Ayers had been dropped in 1978 but Ms. Dohrn still faces charges of aggravated battery and jumping bail.” [AP, 12/3/80]

Well, at least he got his age right, unlike his association with events in Selma in his speech from March 2007. In that speech, Obama didn’t mind deriving authenticity with a march that occurred when he was less than four years old and with people he had never met, let alone with whom he partnered on foundation boards.

The age issue is a transparent dodge. When terrorists killed Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, I was nine years old. Would that give me a pass if I chose to associate myself on a board with Mahmoud Abbas, the reported mastermind of the Black September operation? Of course not. Obama wasn’t eight years old when he sought Ayers out for his support and later worked with him at the Woods foundation.

Ayers doesn’t help matters with his own dodge, claiming he wasn’t a terrorist at all. Ben Smith explains:

He contests the notion — central to the objection to him, as opposed to other people who were bad actors 35 years ago — that he he has “no regrets” about bombings– but he doesn’t exactly contradict his 2001 line that “I don’t regret setting bombs.”

I’m sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in Viet Nam, and I say “no, I don’t regret anything I did to try to stop the slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government.” Sometimes I add, “I don’t think I did enough.” This is then elided: he has no regrets for setting bombs and thinks there should be more bombings …

Terrorism—according to both official U.S. policy and the U.N.—is the use or threat of random violence to intimidate, frighten, or coerce a population toward some political end…. I’ve never advocated terrorism, never participated in it, never defended it.

Ayers tries to argue that terrorism is defined by its randomness, but that’s absurd. Ayers committed acts of violence intending on forcing the kind of political change he couldn’t get through the democratic process. That’s not only terrorism but an assault on self-government. The fact that he still can’t acknowledge that shows the unrepentant nature of William Ayers very clearly.

Obama’s inability to grasp this has him grasping at straws instead. He winds up being an apologist for Ayers, most laughably in this passage:

REALITY: AYERS COMMENTS WERE PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 11; THE INTERVIEW OCCURRED PRIOR TO PUBLICATION

On September 11, 2001, A Story About William Ayers’ Memoir Was Published In The New York Times; The Interview Occurred Prior To Publication. “‘I don’t regret setting bombs,’ Bill Ayers said. ‘I feel we didn’t do enough.’ Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago.” [New York Times, 9/11/01]

I think almost everyone sophisticated enough to hold a newspaper right-side-up understands that an interview gets conducted before publication. No one claims that Ayers said this at the moment the towers fell. The point is that after a decade of terrorist attacks against American interests, Ayers still hadn’t reconsidered his own terrorism after 30 years, and the publication of that fact on 9/11 had its own twisted sense of irony.

The bigger question is why Obama spends so much energy defending Ayers. If he wasn’t that important to Obama, why offer this page on the campaign website to rehabilitate Ayers?
11041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: April 17, 2008, 03:04:31 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/04/16/dem-debate-obamas-waterloo/

Dem Debate: Obama’s Waterloo
POSTED AT 10:30 PM ON APRIL 16, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   

The last Democratic debate has finally concluded, and perhaps the last chances of ending the primaries early. Thanks to a surprisingly tenacious set of questions for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton from ABC moderaters Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous, Barack Obama got exposed over and over again as an empty suit, while Hillary cleaned his clock. However, the big winner didn’t even take the stage tonight.

The first 45 minutes of the scheduled 90-minute debate (which went 15 minutes over) wound up focusing on the series of gaffes and stumbles from both candidates. Hillary more or less defused the Tuzla Dash by admitting she essentially lied about it, trying at one point to use the “sleep deprivation” defense. Obama, however, never did figure out the First Rule of Holes. Once again, he described religion as a refuge people use when government doesn’t work — a fatal misreading of religious faith in America. He not only came up with bad answers, he looked lost and tentative throughout the entire period.

Hillary didn’t let him off the hook, either, not when it came to Crackerquiddick or on the Wright Stuff. Noting that “you choose your pastor, not your family,” Hillary once again pounded Obama for not doing anything about Wright when he had the chance. She also jumped at the chance to note that former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers was more than just a “neighbor”, as Obama described him. Hillary pointed out that Obama and Ayers worked on a foundation together for years, even after 9/11, even after Ayers said publicly that he didn’t regret his terrorism.

And what was Obama’s response? He compared Ayers to Senator Tom Coburn, who opposes abortion. Of course, Coburn hasn’t bombed abortion clinics, but Obama can’t tell the difference between a Senator and a terrorist. That won’t help him in Middle America either, and Coburn may have a few words for Obama after this night.

By the time Gibson got around to the issues, Obama looked lost and upset. It got worse when Gibson asked about capital-gains tax rates, which Obama has pledged to raise. When Gibson repeatedly pointed out that decreasing the rates actually increased the revenues, Obama simply couldn’t come up with an answer, stammering while trying to change the subject. On guns, both Hillary and Obama stumbled through tortured explanations of how they support a Constitutional right for individuals to own guns while backing gun bans like the one in DC.

The winner of this debate? John McCain. Both Democrats came out of this diminished, but Obama got destroyed in this exchange. If superdelegates had begun to reconsider their support of Obama after Crackerquiddick, they’re speed-dialing Hillary after watching Gibson dismember Obama on national TV tonight.

And kudos to ABC News for taking on both candidates fearlessly. John McCain has to feel grateful not to be included. Don’t forget that you can read through our live blog at any time.
11042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: April 17, 2008, 02:52:11 PM
If anything, the Chinese Ministry of State Security (China's version of the KGB) is more interested in economic espionage than getting political-military secrets, although that line is increasingly blurred, as technical knowledge IS political-military-economic strength in the 21st century.

As I understand it, the approach made both on Chinese nationals and Americans and Canadians of Chinese ancestry in high tech fields is to play on the ethnic loyalty and the Chinese Mainland's poverty to get small bits of sensitive information without formally recruiting their assets, unlike how the KGB recruited agents during the cold war.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Published in The Asian Pacific Post August 8, 2003
 
3,500 Chinese spy companies identified in Canada and U.S.
By Asian Pacific News Service
 
The man looks and acts like any other Korean corner store owner - a hardworking newcomer to Canada.
 
You cannot tell by his simple appearance that he owns the building the store is in and that he has just bought a million dollar mansion in the posh Beaconsville area of Montreal.
 
You also cannot tell that he is one of North Korea's foremost spies in Eastern Canada who actually owns a large computer business in Mapo, South Korea, that employs hundreds of people.
 
In the highrise glass towers of Vancouver - Tricell (Canada) Inc. and Top Glory Enterprises Ltd., both incorporated in the late '80s work for the Communist government of China.
 
Among their jobs was to help facilitate the covert entry of secret police into Vancouver by hoodwinking the Canadian government. The agents were hunting for high profile fugitive businessman, Lai Changxing, who himself was recruited by the Chinese military to spy on Taiwan.
 
The visitor visas from the bogus business delegation was endorsed by Chinas Ministry of Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) - one of the most powerful ministries in the Chinese government, responsible for such vital areas as negotiating China's entry into the World Trade Organization.
 
From the windows of both these firms, which constantly invite "Chinese business delegations" to Canada, company officials can see the arrival and departure of ships belonging to the maritime behemoth - COSCO.
 
The shipping line is intimately linked to the China International Trust and Investment Corp., a key fundraiser for the Chinese government and a technology-acquiring source for Chinas military.
 
Its vessels have been caught carrying thousands of weapons into California and Chinese missile-technology and biological-warfare components into North Korea, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran, according to U.S. intelligence reports.
 
Insisting there is no evidence to show COSCO is involved in any illegal activity - the Vancouver Port Authority has a "gateway to North America" deal with the shipping giant.
 
When Canada's Nortel Telecommunications based in Brampton, Ontario wanted to do business in China, they hired Katrina Leung's company - Merry Glory Ltd.
 
Little did they know that 49-year-old corporate matchmaker would be in the limelight several years later accused of having have slept her way into the good graces of two FBI agents while stealing secrets for the Chinese government.
 
Leung, who was paid $1. 2 million in 1995 and 1996 for negotiating the Nortel-China deal, has strong connections to Canada's Chinese business associations.
 
Around the same time, the modern day Matahari was greasing the way for Nortel, the Canadian spy agency - CSIS - was conducting an investigation in the offices of Ontario Hydro regarding the theft of information in the nuclear technology field by "an individual of Chinese origin".
 
According to a secret intelligence report obtained by The Asian Pacific Post, the individual sent unauthorized faxes, some containing hours worth of data, to a telephone number in the offices of the State Science and Technology Commission of China.
 
The report said that there were two other cases where Canadian companies have alleged that their employees had been selling industrial secrets to China.
 
Like other ambitious young men who based their businesses in Hong Kong, James Ting was a citizen of the world, an entrepreneur who constructed a universe of interrelated companies and finances from Toronto to Tokyo to New York.
 
Ting was a darling of the Chinese-Canadian trade lobby. Even the Prime Minister's Office website lists Ting's Semi-Tech, once ranked as the nations 10th largest employer, as a member of Team Canada's business deals with China.
 
On the flip side, spy watchers were warning Ottawa without much success, that Ting was China's frontman to acquire high and medium technology and engage in economic and industrial espionage.
 
Among the companies Semi-Tech showed as part of its organization were several Chinese state-owned companies, related to military and intelligence activities obviously using what seemed to be a Canadian consumer based company as cover.
 
Two months ago, after avoiding a global manhunt while hiding in China, Ting surrendered to Hong Kong authorities where he is accused of serious financial crimes.
 
The mega-dealmaker, who stripped down companies in the west and to take their technology back to the east, left a trail of nearly $2 billion in debts and thousands without jobs.
 
The cases listed are but a small illustration of what the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said this week was the greatest espionage threat to North America in the next 10 years to 15 years.
 
FBI Director Robert Mueller told the United States Congress that China has more than 3,000 "front" companies in America whose real purpose is to direct espionage efforts. Some of the thousands of Chinese visitors, students and business people who go to the United States each year also have a government intelligence task to perform, authorities say.
 
"Left unchecked, such a situation could greatly undermine U.S. national security and U.S. military and economic advantage," Mueller told Congress.
 
"They figured out that what they want is throughout the United States, not just embassies, not just consulates," David Szady, FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, said in a published interview. "Its a major effort."
 
To meet this challenge, the FBI has transferred 167 agents into counterintelligence and set up an anti-espionage operation for the first time in all 56 field offices. Each is putting together a comprehensive survey of the potential espionage targets in their domain to give the FBI its first broad national picture.
 
Preventive efforts include FBI meetings with corporate executives, university officials and others to gauge vulnerabilities. It also means undercover work at conferences that draw foreign scientists and development of intelligence "assets" who describe for an FBI agent what the foreign government wants.
 
The FBI has made fighting espionage the No. 2 priority behind stopping terrorism, with the same philosophy of tracking and stopping spies rather than waiting to prosecute them.
 
Training has been strengthened, the career track resurrected and a cadre of intelligence analysts is being built.
 
In Canada, intelligence reports indicate the number of Chinese front companies to be between 300 and 500.
 
But unlike the Americans, China experts say the political climate in Ottawa is not conducive to cracking down on this significant threat.
 
"Virtually all the recent prime ministers and Paul Martin who is likely to be the next have strong connections to China on the personal, business and political fronts," said an intelligence analyst specialising in East Asian affairs.
 
"They find it difficult to understand this threat some just deny it," he said.
 
For former Canadian foreign service officer Brian McAdam, this week's FBI warning reads like a passage out of a report he worked on for the Canadian spy agency.
 
McAdam worked on "Project Sidewinder" which was conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and aided by the RCMP between 1994 and 1996.
 
The conclusions were never publicly released, until leaked to the media amidst allegations that "political influence nixed the project."
 
That study mirrors this week's FBI assertions that China posed the most significant threat to Canada.
 
Sidewinder, analysts state, did not present theories but indicators of a multifaceted threat to national security. The report was generally ignored by the politicians. It was ahead of its time.
 
Among those whose connections were investigated were Macao casino king Stanley Ho, who has extensive interests in Canada, and Li Ka-shing, one of the world's wealthiest men, known in Vancouver for his purchase of the Expo lands and companies linked to tycoons like Robert Kuok, Cheng Yu Tung and Henry Fok.
 
Sidewinder among other things said many of the companies identified by the analysts have contributed "several tens of thousands of dollars to the two traditional political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives."
 
A major financial and brokerage house gave the Liberal party C$20,432.94 in 1994, a large petroleum company owned by a Beijing-friendly tycoon gave more than C$100,000 to the same two parties and political donations were also made by a triad-run Chinese film studio.
 
At the time of the study, analysts said at least 200 Canadian companies are under the direct or indirect control of China.
 
The central point of the Chinese strategy is first to buy a Canadian company to obtain a "local identity".
 
Then, using this acquisition, the Chinese-Canadian company invests heavily under the Canadian banner.
 
But control lies in Hong Kong or Beijing and the financial benefits or fruits of research, often paid for by Ottawa or the provinces, are likely to make their way to Asia.
 
One China-controlled multinational with assets of more than US$23 billion, had spent more than $500 million buying companies in the forest sector in B.C., petrochemical firms in Alberta and real estate in central Canada.
 
It said that Triad or Chinese mafia members are behind an international seafood processing company that has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Mississauga. The company is believed to be a front for importing heroin. In addition, company managers have maintained regular contacts with Chinese army officials and paid for visits of Chinese delegations.
 
Sidewinder warned that the Chinese government was taking advantage of growing business ties between China and Canada to provide cover for intelligence services.
 
One example cited said a company owned by a Chinese-Canadian national sponsored what was ostensibly a Chinese business delegation to Canada. In reality, the delegation was comprised of Ministry of State Security officials travelling to Canada to conduct an intelligence operation.
 
Another similar delegation comprised officers from a sensitive sector of the People's Liberation Army, who were attempting to make arrangements to purchase secure communications technology for military purposes.
 
The Canadian spy agency which was at loggerheads with the RCMP over certain characterizations in the report said the Sidewinder study done by McAdam and others was revised and certain documents destroyed because they were based on unprovable conspiracy theories.
 
The spy agency later issued a watered-down version of the Sidewinder study to a select government group.
 
The Security Intelligence Review Committee, the civilian watchdog of Canada's spy agency, has once again been asked to review the handling of Sidewinder by CSIS.
 
"What is critical here is to compare the FBI study with Sidewinder. What is being released to Congress is what we warned the Canadian government about in the mid-nineties," McAdam told The Asian Pacific Post.
 
"The stuff about influence in universities, etc., was in Sidewinder... They did not want to listen to us then... maybe they will listen now."
 
Meanwhile, a report out of Ottawa this week said that Prime Minister Jean Chretien is planning a trip to China as part of an international farewell tour.
 
"Taxpayers are footing the bill on a trip that is going to do Canadians very little good. Do you think there's one beef farmer in Canada, whether it's Ontario or Western Canada that wants him to go to China - unless he's trying to sell them beef. Why can't he go sit down with the leader in Japan? That is the most important issue right now," said Canadian Alliance House leader John Reynolds, referring to the ongoing crisis caused by the mad-cow disease.
 
Reynolds said if Chretien wants to wrap up his time in office conducting an international farewell tour to "say goodbye to his friends," thats fine, but he should ask Paul Martin, his anticipated successor, to fill in for him while he is away.
 
Chretien is to attend the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting in Bangkok Oct. 17-21 as well as the annual Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria in December.
 
But sources say he is seriously considering tacking on a trip to China and another one to India after his APEC meeting in Thailand.
 
The prime minister's office said Chretien may go to Shanghai at the recent request of the Chinese president to attend the opening of two Candu reactors.
 
The reactors, which employ 450 Canadians, were sold to China by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd after Ottawa changed legislation to provide Beijing with over $1.9 billion in loans.
 
The office also confirmed that Chretien is also considering an invitation to meet with the Canada-China Business Council (CCBC) in Beijing.
11043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: April 17, 2008, 09:21:36 AM
As I understand it, the PRC's biggest recruiting tool is playing on ethnic pride/loyalty in the Chinese communities.
11044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: April 14, 2008, 09:00:12 AM
http://www.slate.com/id/2188487/?from=rss#foursins

What's the Matter With Obama?
THE FOUR SINS OF "CLING."
By Mickey Kaus
Updated Monday, April 14, 2008, at 5:19 AM ET

Nein, bitter: There would seem to be four distinct, major problems with Obama's "cling" gaffe.
1) It lumps together things Obama wants us to think he thinks are good (religion) with things he undoubtedly thinks are bad (racism, anti-immigrant sentiment). I suppose it's logically possible to say 'these Pennsylvania voters are so bitter and frustrated that they cling to both good things and bad things,." but the implication is that these are all things he thinks are unfortunate and need explaining (because, his context suggests, they prevent voters from doing the right thing and voting for ... him). Yesterday at the CNN "Compassion Forum" Obama said he wasn't disparaging religion because he meant people "cling" to it in a good way! Would that be the same way they "cling" to "antipathy to people who aren't like them"--the very next phrase Obama uttered? Is racism one of those "traditions that are passed on from generation to generation" that "sustains us"? Obama's unfortunate parallelism makes it hard for him to extricate him from the charge that he was dissing rural Pennsylvanians' excess religiosity.
2.) Even if Obama wasn't equating anything on his list with anything else, he did openly accuse Pennsylvanians of being racists ("antipathy to people who aren't like them").
3) He's contradicted his own positions--at least on trade and (says Instapundit) guns.. Isn't Obama the one trying to tar Hillary as a supporter of NAFTA? Is that just 'boob bait.'
4.) Yes, he's condescending. It's not just that in explaining everyone to everyone Obama winds up patronizing everyone. He doesn't patronize everyone equally. Specifically, he regards the views of these Pennsylvanians as epiphenomena--byproducts of economic stagnation--in a way he doesn't regard, say, his own views as epiphenomena.** Once the Pennsylvanians get some jobs back, they'll change and become as enlightened as Obama the San Franciscans to whom he was talking. That's the clear logic of his argument. Superiority of this sort--not crediting the authenticity and standing of your subject's views--is a violation of social equality, which is a more important value for Americans than money equality. Liiberals tend to lose elections when they forget that.
Please note that Obama's characterization of Pennsylvanians as "bitter" doesn't even make the top four. (See Instapundit: "Bitter is the least of it" Patrick Hynes: "it's not about the bitter.") At this point, the MSM and Hillary are only doing Obama a favor by focusing on the "bitter" dispute. ... Anyway, maybe he meant "bitter" in a good way!
P.S.: Andrew Sullivan and John Rosenberg both say that Obama's "cling" argument comes from Thomas Frank's economistic "What's the Matter with Kansas?"--which seems semi-tragic to me. The great achievement of Republicanism over the past decade, I'm convinced, was getting average Americans to think that it was the Democrats who were the snobs. The person who convinced me of this (in a highly persuasive lecture) was Thomas Frank. Now Frank's theories--if you follow Rosenberg--are on the verge of convincing millions of average Americans that the Republicans were right, at least about the likely Dem nominee. ...
See also this 2004 interview, in which Obama appears totally aware of the condescension problem--though I don't think he avoids it there either. His now-familiar go-to idea--that men spend time hunting and women go to church because of deindustrialization, as opposed to because they like to hunt and believe in their religion--seems inherently condescending (see below).
_____

**--You might argue that this was the same 'it-will-go-away' attitude Obama had toward the anger of parishioners of Rev. Wrights's church--which would reinforce the "he condescends to everyone" theory of Obama. But the parallel isn't there. Obama describes ongoing black anger about racism as an artifact of racism--it's an epiphenomenon only in the sense that it will eventually disappear when its legitimate cause disappears. Obama describes white anger--indeed white anger, white racism, white religiosity, white NRA membership and white opposition to comprehensive immigration reform--as an artifact of something unrelated, namely the loss of good industrial jobs. It''s fundamentally inauthentic, Obama suggests, because (unlike black anger) it isn't caused by what those who express it say it is caused by.
And Obama never describes his own views as the products of anything except an accurate perception of reality. Come to think of it, has he ever expressed any doubt about--let alone apologized for--his views? He certainly didn't apologize in his "race" speech. He presents himself as near ominscient, the Archimedian point from which everyone else's beliefs and behavior can be assessed and explained, and to which almost everyone's beliefs will revert after the revolution. ... sorry, I mean after President Obama has restored hope! ... 10:59 P.M. link
___________________________
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Watch that Myth: Hillary Clinton had apparently stopped losing ground in PA polls before Obama's "cling" fling in Frisco. It's a bit unfair to say that 'Obama had been gaining ground until ...," though I think I've heard that nascent myth being spread at least three times today. ... P.S.: Obama's lead on Rasmussen (11 points a week ago) has gone and disappeared. Note that the slide began pre-gaffe. ... 7:29 P.M.
___________________________
Strike 2.5--They're bitter, left-behind, and have their little traditions: Don't think this digs Obama out of his hole. Might even dig it a bit deeper. ... 9:23 A.M.
____________________________
Friday, April 11, 2008
Ann Coulter is reading Obama's autobiography and comes up with a not-implausible interpretation of the famous Racist Grandma incident:
As recounted in Obama's autobiography, the only evidence that his grandmother feared black men comes from Obama's good-for-nothing, chronically unemployed white grandfather, who accuses Grandma of racism as his third excuse not to get dressed and drive her to work.
10:17 P.M.
___________________________
Cling Along with Barack: The always-suspect Michael Lind nevertheless sends around a useful commentary on Obama's gruesomely off-key condscension toward downscale Rustbelt voters:
According to Obama, working class (white) people "cling to guns" because they are bitter at losing their manufacturing jobs.
Excuse me? Hunting is part of working-class American culture. Does Obama really think that working-class whites in Pennsylvania were gun control liberals until their industries were downsized, whereas they all rushed to join the NRA ...
I used to think working class voters had conservative values because they were bitter about their economic circumstances--welfare and immigrants were "scapegoats," part of the false consciousness that would disappear when everyone was guaranteed a good job at good wages. Then I left college. ...
P.S.: Because Obama's comments are clearly a Category II Kinsley Gaffe--in which the candidate accidentally says what he really thinks--it will be hard for Obama to explain away. [He could say he was tired and it was late at night?--ed But he was similarly condescending in his big, heartfelt, well-prepared "race speech" when he explained white anger over welfare and affirmative action as a displacement of the bitterness that comes when whites
are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition ...
Obama's new restatement confirms the Marxist Deskwork interpretation of the race speech, removing any honest doubt as to his actual attitude.
Rather than trying to spin his way out, wouldn't it be better for Obama to forthrightly admit his identity? Let's have a national dialogue about egghead condescension!]
P.P.S.: Note that guns are not the only thing Obama says "white working class" people "cling" to for economic reasons:
t's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. [E.A.]
Hmm. Isn't Obama the one who has been clinging to religion lately? Does he cling to his religion for authentic reasons while those poor Pennsylvania slobs cling to it as a way to "explain their frustrations"? ... They worship an awesome God in the blue states because they're bitter about stagnant wages! I think that's what he said in his 2004 convention address ... 4:41 P.M. link
11045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: April 14, 2008, 08:57:57 AM
Some very good ones in there GM.

Too bad the MSM is too busy bowing and scraping before him to ask any of those questions.....  rolleyes
11046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: April 13, 2008, 02:32:41 PM
http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2008/04/forget_it_its_c.html

"Unrestricted Warfare"?
11047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: April 13, 2008, 08:39:23 AM
China is less of an immediate threat. Iran may well do things in the short term that scar the flow of history.
11048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: April 13, 2008, 08:36:51 AM
Crafty,

Every point you raise is true, still China and India will be shaping the next century.
11049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: April 12, 2008, 05:15:46 PM
11/04/08 - World news section

Why China is the REAL master of the universe
By ANTHONY BROWNE

Cecil Rhodes, the businessman-imperialist of Africa, the creator of Rhodesia, suffered no flicker of doubt about who were the masters.

"To be born an Englishman," he mused, "Is to win first prize in the lottery of life."

It wasn't idle boasting. In the jingoistic triumphalism of the late 19th century, when waving the Union Jack was a simple pleasure, people sang: "Rule Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves" without any irony. It was a statement of fact.

A quarter of mankind lived under the British flag in the largest empire the world had ever known.

And many of those parts that weren't under Britain's rule - such as the U.S. - had been created by Britain.

British missionaries had opened up the Dark Continent almost unchallenged.

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The British Army found it easier to invade troublesome nations - or most of them - than it does nowadays.

Britain was the workshop of the world, dominating science, manufacturing and trade.

To many Victorians, unquestioning of the ideology that underpinned much imperialism, British supremacy was a simple matter of racial supremacy - Europeans, and the English in particular, were fated to be the masters.

The truth is that we are masters of the world no more.

The global power shift from the West to the East is no longer just a matter of debate confined to learned journals and newspaper columns - it is a reality that is beginning to have a huge impact on our daily lives.

What would those Victorian masters of old have made of the fact that Chinese security men were on the streets of London this week, ordering our own police about and fighting running battles with British protesters while bewildered athletes carried the Olympic torch on its relay through the capital?

It was a brazen display of how confident China has become of its new place in the world, just as the British Government's failure to take a firm stand on Chinese abuses of human rights shows how craven we have become.

The dire warnings from the International Monetary Fund this week that the West now faces the largest financial shock since the Great Depression, while the Asian economies are still powering ahead, simply underlines our vulnerability in this new world order.

The desperately weakened American dollar appears to be on the verge of losing its global dominance, in the same way as sterling lost it a lifetime ago.

The credit crunch has brought home to all of us in Britain how over-reliant our country has become on financial services. Meanwhile, the loss of our manufacturing industries to Asia continues unabated.

Last month, an Indian company, Tata, bought up what was once the cream of British manufacturing - Jaguar and Land Rover.

A couple of years ago, Nanjing Automotive, a Chinese company, snapped up MG Rover.

Just as the 19th century was the British century, and the 20th century was the American century, the 21st century is the Asian century.

But the handover of global power from the UK to the U.S. was trivial compared to what is happening now.

The U.S. was Britain's offspring, based on the same values and the same language.

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It, too, was an Anglo-Saxon country, and passing the baton across the Atlantic ensured the continuation of the Anglo-Saxon world order, based on democracy, free trade and a belief in human rights, upheld through international institutions that both powers supported.

But the world order we have grown used to - and comfortable with - over the last century is coming to an end.

Napoleon III compared China to a sleeping giant and warned: "When China awakes, she will shake the world."

After a long hibernation, China, and her 1.3 billion people - twice the population of the U.S. and EU combined - is awaking almost overnight.

And not just China. The world's second most populous country, India, is industrialising at a historically unprecedented pace.

Their economies are growing on a long-term basis about four times the speed of the UK's and that of the United States. Goldman Sachs, the bank, recently predicted that by 2050, China and India would have overtaken the U.S. to be the world's first and second biggest economies.

We have long heard about the benefits this brings, in terms of plentiful cheap goods from toys to TVs, and huge opportunities for Western companies to sell their wares in these booming markets.

But there are also downsides, which are becoming more apparent. Unskilled workers in the West have become unsettled by the threat to their jobs as production moves East.

The most vulnerable Western workers have found their wages stagnate as they struggle to compete in an increasingly global market place.

And competition for raw materials is pitting East against West.

The economic explosion of China, and to a lesser extent India, has given them an almost overpowering hunger for raw materials with which to build their factories, homes and cars.

Wherever you turn, the rise of Asia is making its impact felt on our existence.

Every time you complain about the price of petrol being over £1 a litre, it is to the Far East you have to look to find the culprits.

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There are even reports that manholes in Britain have been disappearing to feed the monstrous appetite for scrap steel in the other side of the world.

China is spending 35 times as much on crude oil as it did eight years ago, and 23 times as much on copper.

As it builds gleaming skyscrapers on its fields, China alone consumes half the world's cement and a third of its steel.

What is happening is so extraordinary that economists have had to invent a new word for it - this is not an economic cycle, but a supercycle, a shift in the world economy of historic proportions.

When demand increases and supply stands still, prices shoot up. Iron, wheat and oil are all at record prices, despite slackening demand in the faltering Western economies.

The cost of living in Britain is now rising faster than wages, making the British on average poorer year on year.

Asia's expansion means that its influence is starting to be felt more directly around the world.

Asian countries are not just buying up foreign raw materials, but as their companies try to become global leaders, they are buying up Western companies.

It is not just Land Rover, Jaguar and MG Rover. The Malaysian company Proton owns Lotus. Indian company Tata owns Corus, once British Steel, as well as Tetley Tea.

The hunger for raw materials is also making China lose its shyness and venture out into the world. Like Germany and Russia, China has traditionally been a land empire, focusing its expansionist energies on countries it had borders with, and it eschewed the world-conquering exploits of Europe's sea-faring maritime nations.

Europeans have, for half a millennium, been unchallenged as the global colonisers, but last month the respected Economist magazine dubbed the Chinese "The New Colonists".

While the Congo in central Africa was once over-run by Belgians, it is now the Chinese that can be found wondering around its mining belts.

In Lubumbashi, the capital of the Congo's copper-rich region Katanga, the Economist reported "a sudden Chinese invasion".

Troubled Angola recently shunned Western financial aid because of the amount of Chinese money pouring into it, in return for commodities.

From Kazakhstan to Indonesia to Latin America, Chinese firms are gobbling up oil, gas, coal and metals.

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Canadian authorities were recently alarmed to find the Chinese interested in exploring the Arctic Ocean, in a bid to get a share of the minerals beneath the thawing icecap.

In eastern Siberia, Russians worry that China is by default taking over their empty land.

The West has long seen Africa as its backyard, but Western diplomats now worry that not just Africa, but South America, too, is being lost to China.

And Western governments are concerned that the rules of the game are changing. Most worryingly, as China's brutal suppression of the once independent Tibet shows, this is not a superpower that respects Western standards on human rights.

From Darfur to Myanmar, China is cuddling up to murderous dictators.

At home, it holds mass executions of criminals with bullets in the back of the head while transplant surgeons stand by to harvest their still pulsating organs.

Yet Western governments have been in such awe of China's looming power that their response has not been to challenge its abuses, but to try to silence their own protesters at home.

From the UN to the IMF to the World Bank, the international institutions that attempt to govern the planet were made in the image of the victors of World War II. Now power is shifting from West to East, the whole liberal democratic world order will face its first serious challenge in decades.

Many fear that things could get ugly.

There is only one thing worse than an unchallenged superpower - it is a superpower with a victim mentality, which feels the world owes it a favour.

And the bitter truth is that, after centuries of humiliation in foreign affairs, there is a nationalist mood in China that the country's time has come again, that it can again claim its rightful place as the world's most powerful country.

Its comparative weakness over the last few centuries is, in fact, but a blip in the last 2,000 years, during which China was the world's most economically and culturally advanced nation.

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It is an accident of history that Europeans took advantage of their window of opportunity in the last half of the second millennium to take over the world.

The cause was a combination of factors such as the development of maritime technology in Europe, the competition between European countries that drove them to look outwards and find new ways to increase prosperity, and the fact China remained firmly locked in its agrarian, introspective past.

Now things have changed, and already the shift in the world economy is starting to have dramatic effects on migration patterns.

The emigration of poor people from China and India to the West is slowing down, as their citizens see more hope in their own rapidly advancing nations.

Instead, their expanding middle classes are paying large fees for their children to enjoy a Western university education, before returning home.

There are now 60,000 Chinese students in Britain, more than from any other country.

Westerners have become accustomed to being the only tourists in the world's tourist hotspots, but the Chinese and Indians want to enjoy the fruits of their labour by expanding their horizons, too.

Chinese tourists are likely to replace American tourists as popular irritants in Britain, and replace the Germans as competitors for the ski lifts.

As the opportunities flow from West to East, so too do the people.

India is luring the global Indian diaspora back, with laws that would be judged racist in Britain, offering visas to anyone living in the West with Indian blood in their veins.

Even some non-Indian Westerners are heading East for opportunities greater than they find at home.

The West's cultural supremacy is likely to be as challenged as its economic supremacy.

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As their economic confidence grows, Asians are discovering pride in their own cultures and are less inclined to mimic Western ones.

There is an infectious confidence in Bollywood, and the price of Chinese antiques is rocketing as the newly rich Chinese decide they want a slice of their history. Western culture, like the dollar, will soon find its heyday behind it.

But Western attitudes will change as well, with a likely shift to the political Right. White liberal guilt, the driving force behind political correctness, will subside as Westerners feel threatened by the global order changing, and their supremacy slipping away.

Anti-Americanism will disappear as Europeans realise how much better it was to have a world super power that was a democracy (however flawed) not a dictatorship.

There is even speculation that the intense economic pressure on countries such as Britain will cause them to trim down their bloated welfare state, simply because it will no longer be affordable at present levels.

Western attitudes of superiority to China and the rest of the East will also subside, as Westerners realise they are no longer the masters of the world.

The U.S. company Orient Express complained when Tata tried to buy it, that any association with the Indian company would damage the Orient Express's premium brand.

Responding, R K Krishna Kumar, a senior Tata executive, thundered that "Indian companies ... will take their rightful place in the international arena.

"Enterprises and individuals must recognise and adapt to these fundamental economic changes. We believe that those with a fossilised frame of mind risk being marginalised."

In a world in which we are no longer masters, it is a warning that we ignore at our peril.


Find this story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=559133&in_page_id=1811
11050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: April 12, 2008, 04:42:02 PM
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JohnHawkins/2008/04/11/20_questions_for_barack_obama

20 Questions for Barack Obama
By John Hawkins
Friday, April 11, 2008

So far, because the mainstream media is smitten with him, Barack Obama has been able to get by running a campaign based on hope, change, unity, love, and rainbows made of cuddly kittens.

However, before we get around to coronating Barack as our new President/Cult of Unity Leader, there are a few questions he should have to answer before America starts drinking his Kool-Aid.

Granted, many members of our esteemed press seem to consider it crass to expect Obama to actually answer questions about unimportant things like his agenda, his character, and what he actually wants to do when he becomes the leader of the free world. That's why he would probably get away with doing what slick politicians like him always do when they're asked tough questions: lie, misdirect, and dodge.

But still, wouldn't it be great if there were some members of the mainstream media that at least had enough integrity to ask him the tough questions in the first place? Ok, you can stop laughing now. Let me put it another way: if there are any Hillary Clinton fans in the press who'd like to help derail Obama so that your preferred liberal candidate can win, start putting questions like these to him:

* You've made unifying the American public and putting our political divisions behind us one of the central themes of your campaign. Yet, National Journal ranked you as the single most liberal senator in 2007. So, which liberal beliefs of yours are you willing to give up for unity's sake?

* Along the same lines, John McCain has been behind numerous pieces of prominent bi-partisan legislation. So, if voters are looking for a candidate who can unify the country, wouldn't he be a better choice than you?

* If you didn't agree with Jeremiah Wright's racist and anti-American views, why did you take your own children to his church and expose them to what he had to say?

* If I may steal a question from Peter Weher, "With which elements, if any, of black liberation theology — as represented by Reverend Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ — do you strongly disagree? Do you think any of the core tenets of black liberation theology are racist?"

* Could black voters trust a white candidate to fairly represent their interests even if he attended an anti-black church and was close friends with a prominent white minister who was famously hostile to black Americans?

* John Conyers has said that he intends to "move legislation that could lead the federal government to apologize for slavery and pay reparations" if you become President. Would you support that legislation?

* Given our budget deficit, how can you justify giving away 845 billion dollars of our tax money to other nations over the next 13 years via your Global Poverty Act?

* In 2004, you said that you opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, which is designed to keep gay marriage from being imposed on the country by judicial fiat. Do you think the American people and their representatives should have a right to decide whether or not they want gay marriage in their states? If the answer is "yes," how can you possibly square that with your opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act?

* Given that you're pro-partial birth abortion, would you support overturning the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003?

* You claim to support the 2nd Amendment, but why should people believe you when, in 1996, you supported "banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?"

* Many people believe your plan for Iraq would be viewed as a huge victory for Al-Qaeda in much of the world, would lead to the collapse of democracy in that country, would boost Iran's standing in the region, and would lead to genocide on a massive scale. Do you believe that those things won't happen or do you believe that those are prices we should be willing to pay to leave Iraq?

* You've often spoken about what the positive effects of pulling out of Iraq will be, but what do you think the negative consequences of your choice to lose the war in Iraq will be?

* Given that we're fighting a war on terror, why do you think it's appropriate for you to continue to personally associate with terrorists like William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn who bombed buildings on American soil, attempted to murder Army officers, and even today, publicly say that they have no regrets about their actions?

* Can you give a more convincing explanation for why you no longer wear a flag pin and why you famously chose not to hold your hand over your heart for our National Anthem?

* Your campaign has suggested that you should receive half the delegates from the state of Michigan even though your name wasn't even on the ballot. Given that your supporters helped thwart a re-vote, isn't that extraordinarily hypocritical, arrogant, and undemocratic of you?

* Given your past history of using cocaine, which is extremely addictive, would you be willing to regularly take drug tests during the campaign and when you're in the White House to insure Americans that you're not still using?

* You claimed that you "never saw or approved" an "Illinois voter group's detailed questionnaire" that had you taking some embarrassingly liberal stands "on gun control, the death penalty and abortion." You chalked up those answers on the questionnaire to an overzealous aide. Yet, it turned out that you were blatantly lying and were actually interviewed for the questionnaire and even sent in your own handwritten notes. So, if you're willing to tell such a bald-faced lie to cover up your liberal positions, why should the American people believe you now when you claim, on issue after issue, to have flip flopped to a more moderate position than you held just a few years back?

* You personally, along with your campaign, have continuously and consistently lied and claimed that John McCain wants to fight a war in Iraq for the next 100 years. However, what he actually said -- and has repeated many times is, "Maybe (we'll be in Iraq for) 100 (years)...We've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea for 50 years, that'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed." Why have you continued to knowingly lie about this issue and why should voters trust what you say if you're going to deliberately try to mislead them in this fashion?

* After engaging in a crooked land deal with Tony Rezko, a man who donated $10,000 from (an) alleged kickback scheme to your campaign, how can voters trust you to act in an ethical fashion in the White House?

* According to an April 23, 2007 article from the Chicago Sun-Times called "Barack Obama and his slumlord patron, "Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko's low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems -- including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers." Do you have any regrets about teaming up with a slumlord to further your own political career on the backs of the very poor people you claimed to be helping?



John Hawkins is a professional blogger who runs Conservative Grapevine and Right Wing News.
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