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11051  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 13, 2007, 12:58:44 AM

Commentary: An Open Letter to Code Pink
By Richard Lund (10-02-07)


While the protest that you staged in front of my office on Wednesday, Sept. 26th, was an exercise of your constitutional rights, the messages that you left behind were insulting, untrue, and ultimately misdirected. Additionally, from the comments quoted in the Berkeley Daily Planet article, it is clear that you have no idea what it is that I do here. Given that I was unaware of your planned protest, I was unable to contest your claims in person, so I will therefore address them here.

First, a little bit about who I am: I am a Marine captain with over eight years of service as a commissioned officer. I flew transport helicopters for most of my time in the Marine Corps before requesting orders to come here. Currently, I am the officer selection officer for the northern Bay Area. My job is to recruit, interview, screen, and evaluate college students and college graduates that show an interest in becoming officers in the Marine Corps. Once they’ve committed to pursuing this program, I help them apply, and if selected, I help them prepare for the rigors of Officer Candidate School and for the challenges of life as a Marine officer. To be eligible for my programs, you have to be either a full-time college student or a college graduate. I don’t pull anyone out of school, and high school students are not eligible.

I moved my office to Berkeley in December of last year. Previously, it was located in an old federal building in Alameda. That building was due to be torn down and I had to find a new location. I choose our new site because of its proximity to UC Berkeley and to the BART station. Most of the candidates in my program either go to Cal or to one of the schools in San Francisco, the East Bay, or the North Bay. Logistically, the Shattuck Square location was the most convenient for them.

Next, you claim that I lie. I have never, and will never, lie to any individual that shows an interest in my programs. I am upfront with everything that is involved at every step of the way and I go out of my way to ensure that they know what to expect when they apply. I tell them that this is not an easy path. I tell them that leading Marines requires a great deal of self-sacrifice. I tell them that, should they succeed in their quest to become a Marine officer, they will almost certainly go to Iraq. In the future, if you plan to attack my integrity, please have the courtesy to explain to me specifically the instances in which you think that I lied.

Next, scrawled across the doorway to my office, you wrote, “Recruiters are Traitors.” Please explain this one. How exactly am I a traitor? Was I a traitor when I joined the Marine Corps all those years ago? Is every Marine, therefore, a traitor? Was I a traitor during my two stints in Iraq? Was I a traitor when I was delivering humanitarian aid to the victims of the tsunami in Sumatra? Or do you only consider me a traitor while I am on this job? The fact is, recruitment is and always has been a part of maintaining any military organization. In fact, recruitment is a necessity of any large organization. Large corporations have employees that recruit full-time. Even you, I’m sure, must expend some effort to recruit for Code Pink. So what, exactly, is it that makes me a traitor?

The fact is this: any independent nation must maintain a military (or be allied with those who do) to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. Regardless of what your opinions are of the current administration or the current conflict in Iraq, the U.S. military will be needed again in the future. If your counter-recruitment efforts are ultimately successful, who will defend us if we are directly attacked again as we were at Pearl Harbor? Who would respond if a future terrorist attack targets the Golden Gate Bridge, the BART system, or the UC Berkeley clock tower? And, to address the most hypocritical stance that your organization takes on its website, where would the peace keeping force come from that you advocate sending to Darfur?

Finally, I believe that your efforts in protesting my office are misdirected. I agree that your stated goals of peace and social justice are worthy ones. War is a terrible thing that should only be undertaken in the most dire, extreme, and necessary of circumstances. However, war is made by politicians. The conflict in Iraq was ordered by the president and authorized by Congress. They are the ones who have the power to change the policy in Iraq, not members of the military. We execute policy to the best of our ability and to the best of our human capacity. Protesting in front of my office may be an easy way to get your organization in the headlines of local papers, but it doesn’t further any of your stated goals.

To conclude, I don’t consider myself a “recruiter.” I am a Marine who happens to be on recruiting duty. As such, I conduct myself in accordance with our core values of honor, courage, and commitment. I will never sacrifice my honor by lying to anyone that walks into my office. I will never forsake the courage that it takes to restrain myself in the face of insulting and libelous labels like liar and traitor. And, most importantly, I will never waver from my commitment to helping individuals who desire to serve their country as officers in the Marine Corps.



Captain Richard Lund is the United States Marine Corps’ officer selection officer for the northern Bay Area.
11052  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 08, 2007, 08:15:25 PM
Ok, Rogt. Please explain how removing a nightmarish tyrant and trying to rebuild a shattened nation is "bullying".
11053  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 07, 2007, 07:16:51 PM
America is bullying al qaeda in Iraq?

America is bullying Iraqis in Iraq.  Iraqis who had nothing to do with AQ and surely hated Saddam.  But they see their friends and family members getting killed, and all of a sudden AQ sounds a lot more appealing to them.  What a great accomplishment of ours.


Wow. Do you know anything about the war in Iraq at all? You must not have read a lot of the stuff posted here.
11054  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 07, 2007, 05:42:48 PM
Woof Doug,

Here's how I see it.  Let's say a good friend of mine whom I've known my whole life is behaving like a bully and as a result, not very many people like him.  Then one day he starts a fight with somebody whose ass he's convinced he can kick no problem, but that guy turns out to be a lot tougher than he thought and now it looks like he's the one about to get his ass kicked.  I think bullying is wrong and I hate it, but every time the bully succeeds in shaking somebody down or beating them into submission, it only reinforces the idea (in his mind) that bullying is OK because it gets him what he wants.  He's my friend, so I won't intervene on his would-be victim's behalf, but if he won't (or can't) figure it out on his own that bullying is wrong, then it stands to reason that getting his ass kicked is the only way he'll get the message.  JMHO.

I really don't want to start another debate on abortion and/or gay marriage, since it's unlikely that you and I will agree.  I have no problem with somebody thinking that abortion is murder or that marriage is a special relationship between a man and woman, but I do have a problem with people justifying laws against X, Y, or Z simply because the Bible (or their interpretation of it) says they're wrong.

FWIW, I agree with the last paragraph of your post.  IMHO, the "civil union" (whether it's between two men, two women, or a man and woman) should be the only relationship recognized by the government.  If people want to designate "marriage" as a sacred institution exclusive to a man and woman, I have no problem with that as long it confers no additional legal rights that would be denied to same-sex couples.

Rog


America is bullying al qaeda in Iraq? Saddam and his sons were victims of American bullying? Are the al qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan victims of our bullying as well?
11055  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 06, 2007, 08:55:45 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2007/10/05/miller-beer-filters-out-photos-of-its-own-company-sponsored-public-indecency/

Too offensive for Miller.
11056  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: October 06, 2007, 08:23:20 PM
http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/375?OpenDocument

Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

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

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

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

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

**Please explain how al qaeda is covered by the treaty.**
11057  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: October 06, 2007, 07:07:44 PM
I think you're reading too much into it. What international law are you alleging is being violated?

The Geneva Conventions.

I know it may seem nit-picky to focus on this single word in Bush's statement, but I don't think it's a small matter here.  What exactly is meant by "international obligation"?  Is Bush willing to swear on a Bible that our interrogation methods are fully compliant with "international law"?  I doubt it.


What legal protections do al qaeda have under the Geneva Conventions?
11058  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 06, 2007, 02:53:50 PM
What good would come from us losing? How would this help this country and the world?
11059  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: October 06, 2007, 02:51:49 PM
I think you're reading too much into it. What international law are you alleging is being violated? Are you aware that we have Chinese national held in Gitmo that we won't return to the PRC because the Chinese Ministry for State Security WILL torture them?
11060  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 06, 2007, 02:48:39 PM
Is rooting for your country to lose a war patriotic?
11061  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 06, 2007, 12:59:27 PM
Woof Tom,

It's not exactly a secret that SF is a very liberal city and that a lot of it's residents are against the war, so I don't exactly buy all the shock and outrage from right-wingers.  I often feel like these incidents are almost deliberate setups to give them an excuse to bash SF as an America-hating, troop-hating city.  But that said, I don't see what the big deal would have been about letting the Marines film a commercial here.

You guys don't sound like you actually read the last sentence in the above.  Take that to mean that I do not agree with the decision to not let them shoot the commercial here.

No, I don't think this was a deliberate setup to make SF look bad.  My real point is that the right-wingers see SF as the embodiment of just about everything they consider wrong with America, and will jump at any chance to bash it as such.

IMO, if a lot of right-wingers consider themselves "patriotic" it's because they have a pretty (IMO) messed-up idea of what that word means.

Rog


Please explain patriotism to me.
11062  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: October 06, 2007, 12:58:04 PM
I doubt it.
11063  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 05, 2007, 01:45:09 AM
http://www.zombietime.com/folsom_sf_2007_part_1/

More pics of the "festival". CONTENT WARNING!!! NSFW!

Though I guess it's ok to take small children to see, right?
11064  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: October 04, 2007, 08:06:46 PM
We (The US) are not hated by much of the muslim world because of Israel, Israel is hated because it's a part of us (western civilization). Israel is hated because they dare to be free of islamic domination. They are hated because of their success. They are hated because of their strength. I'm about as non-jewish as you can get, and I support Israel because they are part of our shared civilization.
11065  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 04, 2007, 08:00:25 PM
Rogt,

Yeah, the key point is under the banner of "multiculturalism", it's ok for the left to take a child to a venue that has public sex acts as if it were just another expression of the bay area's "culture". It's like going to Chinatown for spring festival or Cinco de Mayo in a latin enclave, right?

It's seems the left's "tolerance" is endless, except of course for anything patriotic.

Yes, Rogt. Condeming taking children to see public sex acts is like just like the Taliban executing women for leaving home without a male relative escorting them.  rolleyes
11066  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 03, 2007, 01:09:38 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=i=team&id=5673526

Marines Denied Permission To Film Commercial
On The Streets Of San Francisco
 By Dan Noyes

SAN FRANCISCO, Sep. 24, 2007 (KGO) - New York said "yes," but we said "no." Why were the U.S. Marines denied permission to film a recruiting commercial on the streets of San Francisco?

San Francisco is, once again, the center of a controversy over how city leaders treat the U.S. military. This time, it involves an elite group of Marines who wanted to film a recruitment commercial in San Francisco on the anniversary of 9/11.

The tension has been building in the two weeks since the city turned away members of the Silent Drill Platoon, and it boiled over Monday afternoon at a meeting of the San Francisco Film Commission.

The U.S. Marine Silent Drill Platoon performed Monday morning in New York's Times Square. They filmed part of a recruitment commercial through the start of the morning rush hour -- something they could not do in San Francisco on the anniversary of 9/11.

"It's insulting, it's demeaning. This woman is going to insult these young heroes by just arbitrarily saying, 'no, you're not going to film any Marines on California Street," said Captain Greg Corrales of the SFPD Traffic Bureau.

Captain Greg Corrales commands the police traffic bureau that works with crews shooting commercials, TV shows and movies in the city. He's also a Marine veteran and his son is serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.

He says Film Commission Executive Director Stefanie Coyote would only allow the Marine's production crew to film on California Street if there were no Marines in the picture. They wound up filming the empty street and will have to superimpose the Marines later.

"Ms. Coyote's politics blinded her to her duty as the director of the Film Commission and as a responsible citizen," said Captain Corrales.

We asked Stefanie Coyote why they're not allowing the Marines to shoot on California Street. She wouldn't answer our questions.

At today's Film Commission meeting, she said she wouldn't let the Marines film because of rush hour.

"Traffic control was the issue," explained Stefanie Coyote.

However, the Marines would have just shut down one lane of California Street for a few minutes at a time, and Captain Corrales points out the Film Commission often approves shoots for rush hour.

"If they want to get the job done, they find a way to get it done," said Captain Corrales.

The city's treatment of the Marines is making many people angry, from local conservatives like Christine Hughes with the San Francisco Republican Party who told us, "it's an embarrassment. I'm a fourth generation San Franciscan and I don't even recognize my city right now."

To current and former Marines like Vince Rios, a Vietnam veteran.

"I'd like to say, 'does your mother know you're doing this? And if so, is she proud of you for that?'" said Vince Rios.

"The city of San Francisco made a statement saying, 'we don't like the war' by shutting down the troops. I don't think that was the right thing to do," explained Eric Snyder, a U.S. Marine.

"I wish to hell she would leave her politics at home and take care of the city business and the bridge business on an even keel basis," said Mike Paige, a Korea veteran.

The Marines also applied for permits to shoot on the Golden Gate Bridge that same morning, but were turned down because of similar traffic concerns.

The end result -- the crew didn't film the Marines in San Francisco at all. They had to go to the National Park Service for permission to shoot in Marin overlooking the bridge and at Kirby Cove.

"Golden Gate National Recreation Area is steeped in military tradition and we're honored to be a part of their continued military traditions so we're glad that we could accommodate the shoot," said Amy Brees with the National Park Service.

Captain Corrales and several other Marine veterans came to the Film Commission Monday afternoon. They see this as just the latest insult along with the city blocking the USS Iowa from docking here, banning the junior ROTC from high schools, and trying to ban the yearly Blue Angels air show.

"This -- a slap in the face of every veteran and every parent of men and women who are doing their duty -- is shameful," said Captain Corrales.

The Marines we spoke with also make the point that the city allows street demonstrations, anti-war protests and other events which snarl traffic, such as Critical Mass. They still don't understand why the Marines got turned away.
11067  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 02, 2007, 10:51:44 PM
Rogt,

People engage in a amazing variety of sexual behaviors. As long as it's consenting adults in the PRIVACY of their own homes, I don't care. Funny how this is OK but the Marines weren't allowed to film in SF.
11068  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left's family values on: October 02, 2007, 08:55:31 PM
Knowing about deviant sexual subcultures is required part of sexual assault and homicide investigation training. I doubt very much there was anything there i'm unaware of. I've worked male on male sexual assault cases and once dealt with a "transgendered" martial artist that had sexually assaulted multiple children prior to his arrest. The first HIV+ positive inmate I ever dealt with was a teenage male that had contracted it from one of his adult male "lovers". The young man identified himself as "out and proud". As this was before the current drug therapies, I doubt he's alive today.

Forgive me if I don't find this "lifestyle" something worthy of a street fair. The bay area doesn't have private venues where this sort of activity can take place?
11069  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The left's family values on: October 02, 2007, 06:53:25 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2007/10/01/miller-lite-approved-toddlers-at-the-folsom-street-fair/

Child friendly celebration.
11070  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: September 30, 2007, 12:21:45 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/28/why-fisa-needs-to-be-updated-or-scrapped/

FISA kills.
11071  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Help our troops/our cause: on: September 25, 2007, 12:49:54 PM
This is where "lawfare" is leading us.  rolleyes

I'm sure our "legal model advocates" here would require that any alleged insurgent our military might want to engage would be required to be served with a legal notice for a hearing to determine if the person is indeed a combatant and can be shot as such on the field of battle. This of course would require an independant judiciary, legal representation and translators to ensure due process.
11072  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 25, 2007, 12:16:55 PM
Woof GM,

Perhaps you can point to some specific parts of that report you consider absolutely fatal to whatever argument you think I'm making?

I only skimmed the report (I have a full-time job), and I did see one part where they state clearly "The Panel has not been able to conclude with absolute certainty whether the Killian documents were forgeries".  It goes on to say that Rather took them to be authentic based on the authenticity of a signature, and was responsible for ensuring their authenticity before reporting them as fact.  It's basic conclusion is that Rather is guilty of shoddy reporting because he was in a rush to report the story first.

Should be an interesting court proceeding.

Rog

The report doesn't give any "dead-bang" statements that the documents are forgeries because the originals can't be examined. All they have are the photocopies of documents that pefectly match up with Microsoft Word. The originals would put the final nail in the document's coffin. If Fox News ran a similar story right before the 2008 election with photocopies of alleged memos from Hillary Clinton ordering Vince Foster's murder and the "documents" had the same shady pedigree, I can only imagine the howls of outrage from the MSM and the left.

Of course, Fox News doesn't have a history of such journalistic scandals, unlike the NY Times, the New Republic and "See B.S."
11073  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 25, 2007, 04:47:57 AM
http://wwwimage.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/complete_report/CBS_Report.pdf

Read it and weep. evil
11074  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 24, 2007, 11:40:31 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=12615&only

Here is the cool graphic overlay of the two images. Amazing the TANG had word processors in 1973. Karl Rove must have a time machine! shocked
11075  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 24, 2007, 11:31:44 PM
I'm curious to see what actually comes out in court during this lawsuit.

First off, it should be acknowledged that while the supposedly forged documents show that Bush didn't even fulfill his service requirements, the evidence of Bush evading the draft by using family connections to get into the Texas Air National Guard was overwhelming even without them. 

**Supposedly forged? Please explain how the Texas Air National Guard was using Microsoft Word in 1973. This should be priceless.**

The attack on CBS sought to make those documents the central issue and thus avoid the substantive (and proven) claim that Bush used family connections to get out of the draft.

**Please post the non-fabricated documents that prove that assertion.**

Rather claims that the network-appointed "Independent Review Panel" investigating his reporting was extremely biased and in fact never even determined whether or not the forgery claim was true.  I assume his lawyers will demand that CBS produce their evidence that the documents were forgeries.  If it turns out that CBS fired a long-time veteran journalist solely on the word of some right-wing blogger claiming the documents were produced by Microsoft Word, CBS is basically screwed.

Rog


Here is the RIGHT-WING (cue scary music) Blogger's post. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=12526&only
Please debunk it for me.
11076  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: September 24, 2007, 02:09:55 PM
The core issue is that the American legal system is not structured to fight the global jihad. The Clinton administration tried to indict al qaeda into submission. I think 9/11 demonstrated how unsuccessful that strategy was. The criminal justice system and the military both have roles in fighting the war, but we have to fight the war by aggressive, intelligence driven strikes. Just as they use asymmetrical tactics against us, we must use asymmetrical tactics against them. The way to fight and win is by hunting them down, capturing and killing their networks. You don't do that by trying to appease the ACLU.

We could never teach the jihadists to love us, we can however teach them to fear us. They have no legal standing under the rules of law. We can catch them, interrogate them and kill them as needed. We should not hesitate to do so.
11077  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Troops in Action on: September 24, 2007, 11:33:18 AM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2007/09/marine_rpg_moss_070922w/

Do or die: Saving a soldier pierced by an RPG

For medics and a helicopter crew, there was only one choice
By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer

Posted : Monday Sep 24, 2007 7:43:02 EDT
Spc. Channing Moss should be dead by all accounts. And those who saved his life did so knowing they might have died with him.

March 16, 2006. Southeastern Afghanistan. A fierce ambush and bloody firefight. It was over in a flash and Moss was left on the verge of death.

He was impaled through the abdomen with a rocket-propelled grenade, and an aluminum rod with one tail fin protruded from the left side of his torso.

His fellow soldiers worried: Could he blow up and take them with him? For all anyone knew, the answer was yes.

Still, over the course of the next couple of hours, his buddies, a helicopter crew and a medical team would risk their own lives to save his.

“Moss is an African-American and he’s gone to white. He’s in total shock from the loss of blood. But at the time, I really didn’t think about it. I knew [the RPG] was there but I thought, if we didn’t do it, if we didn’t get him out of there, he was going to die,” said flight medic Sgt. John Collier, 29, then a specialist.

“It was an extremely unusual set of events. He should have died three times that day,” said Maj. John Oh, 759th Forward Surgical Team general surgeon.

The 36-year-old’s surgical skill and command of his own nerves would be put to the ultimate test as, wearing helmet and body armor, he would operate to extract the ordnance from Moss’s booby-trapped body. One wrong move risked the lives of the patient, his own and those of the other members of the medical team.

He said the payoff was worth the gamble.

“For a soldier to be struck by an RPG and be flown and have surgery and survive… it’s unheard of,” said Oh. “It was a pretty remarkable experience.”

Infantryman to ‘Rocket Man’
Three months after the attack, Moss attended the birth of his second daughter, Ariana.

He expects to be discharged from the Army on medical disability by October. In the meantime, the soft-spoken Georgia native attends formation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on weekday mornings and meets with his case worker to schedule whatever medical appointments remain, including at least one more abdominal surgery.

He and his wife, Lorena, live near the hospital with their daughters, baby Ariana and her 3-year-old sister, Yulianna.

Moss is missing about two-thirds of his intestines, part of his pelvic bone and needs more repair to his left hip. A member of the staff at Walter Reed calls him “Rocket Man.”

But the infantryman, who joined the Army to help give his family a better life, said he knows he’s alive because of his fellow soldiers.

“I don’t think there has been a day in the last year and a half that I haven’t thought about them, that I haven’t prayed for them. They saved my life,” said Moss, 24, whose slender 135-pound frame belies the hearty young man who went to war 55 pounds heavier.

“I knew it was love of country and brothers in arms. I hope God watches over them if they get deployed.”

Ambush from the ridgeline
The day Moss was struck down, his unit, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, had been in country barely a month.

The Alpha Company platoon set out from Forward Operating Base Tillman around 8 a.m. for a meeting with tribal leaders in the village of Srah Kandah in Paktika province near the Pakistan border.

It was the platoon’s first patrol in country.

Moss, then a private first class, was manning a Mark 19 machine gun in the turret of his up-armored Humvee, the last in a patrol of five U.S. vehicles and one pickup carrying about nine Afghans.

One Afghan would die in the ambush that wounded Moss, his squad leader and another Afghan soldier who lost a hand.

The ambush came after a quiet hour of patrol in remote terrain.

“All of a sudden, I hear this explosion. Then I hear this ‘ping, ping, ping’ hitting the humvee,” Moss recalled.

Attackers unleashed “a large volume of RPG fire and small-arms fire,” said the platoon leader, Capt. Billy Mariani, who was a first lieutenant then.

“the attack came from a ridgeline to our right,” Mariani, 27, said. The shooters, he estimated, were only about 700 meters from the Pakistan border.

Mariani’s machine gunner laid suppressing fire on the ridgeline while his mortar section shelled the fighters’ positions. A hail of bullets and RPGs ripped toward them from behind hills and crags to the right. All the vehicles took rounds; the Afghan pickup was destroyed.

Moss was turning his machine gun turret to return fire when the first of three RPG rounds to strike his vehicle exploded on the truck commander’s door.

The second and third rounds struck the front of the vehicle; one smashed through the windshield, slicing the truck commander across the face before burrowing into Moss as he sat in the gunner’s sling.

“I turned to the driver and yelled at him to get out of the kill zone,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Wynn, 31, the truck commander. “That’s when we got hit again.”

The RPG might have exploded and killed them all, he said, had it not lodged in Moss’s body.

‘Hold on, hold on’
The projectile bored into Moss’s left hip at a downward angle, tearing through his lower abdomen and pulling with it some of the fabric from his uniform and his black web belt. The tip of the device stopped just short of breaking through the skin on Moss’s upper right thigh.

Wynn, with the tip of his nose sheared off and his torn upper lip hanging loosely, radioed his lieutenant and told him through a bloody gurgle of words that Moss had a tail fin sticking out of his body.

Platoon medic Sgt. Jared Angell, Moss’s best friend, pulled his buddy behind the passenger seat and used every piece of gauze and bandage he had.

“Luckily, his belt was there because it kept the RPG from going all the way through,” said Angell, 24, who was a specialist at the time.

While Spc. Andrew Vernon took Moss’s place on the gunner’s sling and driver Spc. Matthew Savoie maneuvered the vehicle into a safe position, Angell wrapped the gauze around the RPG’s tail to stabilize the protruding device and control Moss’ bleeding.

With gunfire still within earshot and barely five months out of basic training, Moss lay bleeding on the dusty ground far from home, waiting for the crew of the 159th Medical Company that would save his life for the second time that day.

“I didn’t really know what was in me. I could just hear my sergeant saying, ‘Hold on, hold on,’” Moss recalled. “I didn’t think that bird was ever going to come.”

What Angell remembers from that wait on the landing zone was Moss’s pleas for help.

“The screaming, his screams,” Angell said, his voice trailing off.

“I tried to keep him calm and needed to stabilize him so [the RPG round] wouldn’t move any further. He was very combative — you can imagine how uncomfortable he was. I told him, ‘If you fight with me, I’ll fight with you,’” Angell said. “I knew that with the things I did, I was going to buy him enough time to get to surgery.”

Help from above
As the medical team lifted off in its Black Hawk helicopter from Forward Operating Base Salerno for the 10-minute flight to the battle scene, all they knew was that there were urgent casualties and that the area was hot.

“I told my crew to lock and load because we didn’t know what was going on,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jorge Correa, 33, then a chief warrant officer 2.

As the bird neared the evacuation site, the crew saw heavy smoke and a burning truck, and soldiers were “running back and forth.”

One pair of soldiers was getting ready to fire a mortar and stopped when they saw the helicopter, Correa said.

Correa and his co-pilot, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jeremy Smith, 30, a warrant officer 1 at the time, landed the Black Hawk on a roadway a few meters away from a chugging plume of purple smoke that marked the landing zone. On touchdown, Collier jumped out and sped toward the wounded.

“When Collier came back to the aircraft, he told me immediately” about the RPG, said Correa, who delivered the news of Moss’s condition to his crew and asked if they were comfortable with the mission.

“They said, ‘yeah, we gotta get this guy to the hospital.’ At the moment, everyone was focused on the mission,” Correa said. “I know we risked our lives to save Pfc. Moss, but there was no hesitation.”

Wounded and dangerous
Moss was on a litter on the helicopter’s floor; other wounded soldiers were positioned on the floor and in seats. Correa and Smith pushed the helicopter’s speed to its limits.

Correa had previously flown medical evacuation missions in Iraq with the 30th Medical Brigade. For Smith, a former Bradley vehicle mechanic who went warrant, it was his first combat zone mission as a helicopter pilot.

“I didn’t really think about it until a couple of days later,” he said. “It was like, ‘wow, we had live ordnance on the helicopter.’”

Staff Sgt. Christian Roberts, the crew chief and veteran of medical evacuation flights in Iraq, said concerns for personal safety took a back seat to saving Moss.

“At the time, we weren’t thinking, ‘This helicopter could blow up,’” said Roberts, 33. “We were thinking, ‘This young soldier’s going to die and we need to get him some help.’”

“I never saw anybody with live ordnance in them,” he said. “I’ve seen decapitations, amputations, gunshot wounds to the head … I never thought I’d be flying along with a patient who had something in him that could blow up in your face.”

‘Everybody get out!’
Moss was nearly dead as the Black Hawk landed at the battalion aid station at Orgun-E, about 20 miles from the site of the ambush.

Collier signaled wildly over the roar of the helicopter’s engines to alert the aid-station staff that this was no ordinary patient.

Oh recalled that it wasn’t apparent just how delicate the situation was until they began cutting away Moss’s combat uniform and unraveling all the gauze bandages.

When he saw the tail fin of the RPG round, he yelled, “everybody get out!”

“I had never even seen an RPG before, but I figured anything with a rod and fins on it had to be a rocket of some kind.”

Oh asked for volunteers to stay in the operating room and help him save Moss’s life. Several soldiers raised their hands.

Oh and his volunteers strapped on body armor and helmets. They called in a two-man team from the 759th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).

Protocol, as far as Oh knew, dictated that someone in Moss’s condition be placed in a sandbagged bunker and listed as “expectant,” which means he would be expected to die because nothing could be done for him.

But Oh believed something could be done for the wounded soldier before him.

He “was still talking to me,” Oh recalled. He choked back tears as he explained: “When he comes in like that, there’s no way you can give up at that point.”

After the EOD team arrived, Oh warned the volunteers one last time that the surgery could cost everyone their lives.

The operating room crew prepped Moss for surgery.

Nerves-of-steel surgery
Still conscious, Moss assumed the worst.

“I didn’t know they had put anesthesia in my IV. I was blacking out and I thought I was dying. I thought they were just going to leave me,” Moss said.

X-rays revealed that while the detonator was still attached to the device, the warhead and fuse, the parts that would have created the largest explosion, were not there.

Still, EOD technician Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Brown and his partner, Spc. Emmanual Christian, warned the medical team that the detonator was sensitive to electric current and could explode, causing its own brand of damage.

“Once I found out we didn’t have the warhead, I wasn’t worried about blowing up the aid station or about people getting fragged. But it would have taken the surgeons’ fingers off and ruined their careers,” said Brown.

As an EOD technician, he had worked in places like Bosnia salvaging cadavers in mass graves, some with live ordnance still in their bodies. But Moss presented “a very rare situation,” he said.

“I was like, ‘Holy s---’ — these are the kinds of stories you hear about from old wars,” he said. “Most human beings we deal with are dead already.”

The team decided the device would have to be removed by pulling it through in the direction it had traveled. Moss would be opened up so the extent of damage to his abdomen — and the path of the projectile — could be assessed.

The damage was extensive. Moss’s intestines had been shredded, his pelvic bone crushed and he had lost a lot of blood. However, no major organs had been disturbed.

The medical team members contemplated the options and decided that first they would have to eliminate the tail fin.

Brown began sawing off the tail fin, which protruded just above Moss’s left hip. Brown said he needed to remain calm and steady, but there were moments when the situation was frightening, when everyone in the room was “wide-eyed, staring at each other.”

Using his scalpel for the most delicate incision of his life, Oh took the next step and cut the skin on Moss’s right thigh where the tip of the device came to rest. Then, as if delivering a ticking baby time bomb, Brown gently and steadily eased the blood-covered metal tube from Moss’s body.

“OK, there’s the belt buckle. It’s coming. Keep feeding it — you feed it and I’ll hold it,” Brown told the surgeons who coaxed the cylinder from Moss’s open abdominal cavity as Brown, crouched down to the level of the gurney, slowly pulled it out toward his own chest.

Moss’s belt clung to the tube as the rocket fully and finally came free.

Brown cradled the ordnance and rushed outside and then into a sandbag bunker.

Inside, breathing sighs of relief, the medical team patched up what remained of Moss’s lower abdomen so he could be airlifted.

Moss had been saved by his fellow soldiers for the third time that day.

After disposing of the RPG round, the intensity of what he had just done left Brown weak.

“I sat down. I lost control of my legs for a minute and I just lost it. Just talking about it right now ...,” Brown said during an interview after returning to the U.S.

Oh, who is currently in Baghdad working with the 28th Combat Support Hospital, said the event changed his life. He credits the bravery, training and skill of his team members for getting them all through the ordeal. But he knows how quickly things could have gone south that day.

“In the end,” Oh said, “it’s better to be lucky than good.”
11078  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: September 24, 2007, 01:50:47 AM
Where does this alleged self-deception come from?
To a certain extent, it comes from naivete. It reflects our own belief system. If we don't lie, we don't expect others to lie. If we don't hide behind a religion, we don't expect others to do so. Radical Muslims have no compunction about hiding behind the banner of Islam, while crying racism any time they're criticized and conflating criticism of their groups with criticism of their religion. Politicians run for cover at that point. And the media goes along with it.

Jews are accused of crying anti-Semitism whenever Israel is criticized. Why is this any different?
While perhaps the use of the term anti-Semitism is sometimes excessive, at least there's a heterogeneity of opinions within the Jewish world and Israel. Such heterogeneity does not exist within the Muslim world. You either support Hamas or you're considered a heretic. Nobody is allowed to dispute the views of the Muslim Brotherhood. Jihad, then, becomes obligatory for everybody. As for the distinctions between anti-Semitism and "Islamophobia," there are several: According to the Justice Department's annual bias reports, there are at least 10 times more hate crimes committed against Jews than against Muslims. But the news coverage reflects the opposite percentage.

Secondly, Muslim groups in the West routinely fabricate or exaggerate "hate crimes" against Muslims; they even categorize the arrests of Islamic terrorists as hate crimes. Finally, the entire concept of "Islamophobia" was invented by radical Islamic groups in Britain in the 1990s as a means of discrediting legitimate fears of radical Islam.

If, as you claim, the vast majority of institutional Muslim organizations represent the radicals, is there such a thing today as "moderate Islam"?
There is a moderate Muslim tradition that exists. You can see it in the actions and behavior of some Muslim leaders in the US - like Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser - religious Muslims who have rejected terrorism and extremism. There are also secular Muslims - such as intellectual Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is one of the bravest women I have ever met. But since she's rejected Islam entirely, she has no religious standing.

And, as courageous as the above figures are, they don't have the following that CAIR [the Council on American Islamic Relations] does, because Saudi Arabia's not supporting them financially. There exists no Saudi "Peace Now" movement to back them. There's virtually nobody in the established Islamic hierarchy that will support any Muslim who denounces holy war. Of course, there are the ersatz moderates who assert that jihad does not mean holy war - that it only means striving. These are the propagandists who whitewash Islamic extremism.

Do all these Muslim leaders really support jihad, or are they afraid to come out against it for fear they will be targeted for assassination by radicals?
So far, there is no reformation going on within the Islamic world. The imams who espouse jihad and the killing of Jews and Christians are sincere in their belief. A relative handful of individual Muslim intellectuals and leaders have spoken out, but they have not garnered a major following. It's a fact of life that those willing to stick their necks out of the foxhole risk getting shot at.

You make a distinction between the "suits" in the FBI and organized Muslim institutions and the rank-and-file in the field. Extending that analogy to the American people as a whole, would you say that The New York Times and The Washington Post are perhaps not representative of the majority?
I definitely think the analogy can be extended, and that the American public gets it: They understand there is a problem with radical Islam.

The elite newspapers, with the exception of The Wall Street Journal, systematically censor the news in order to downplay the threat, or at worst, literally distort the facts to falsely portray radical Islamic groups in the United States as victims, which is exactly in line with the victimology propagated by these groups. If misreporting were a crime, a lot of reporters would be in jail.

How do you answer your many critics who accuse you of being paranoid and a conspiracy theorist?
That I wish my conjectures had not come true. In 1994, when I did the film Jihad in America, I was accused of being alarmist and histrionic. Yet, every Islamic radical in that film was subsequently indicted, convicted or deported. And if you look at a map of cells or groups operating in the US over the last 15 years, you will see that virtually every radical Islamic group has had a presence in the US, in more than 100 cities. I deal with information - hard, cold facts based on documents, recordings or impeccable law-enforcement sources. The reality I predicted in 1994 came to fruition in 2001. Had I investigated an easier group, let's say the Ku Klux Klan, I can assure you I would have been lauded all around, with no charges of being a conspiracy theorist. Its just that the KKK does not have a powerful PR machine with sympathetic members of the press.

In spite of all that, and in spite of the 9/11 attacks, why does one get the sense that people in the West are not as shaken by the phenomenon as they should be?
Because people only believe there's a threat when there's violence. If a group is only spreading its word, or only transferring money to suicide bombers in Israel, it isn't perceived as a threat.

Still, 9/11 did arouse awareness that terrorism is present. The point I have been stressing is that terrorism is the ultimate culmination of political Islam - political Islam being the indoctrination that Islam will reign supreme, and that Shari'a will be the law of the land.

How do you rate Israel's response to terrorism?
Israel responds in the same way most Westerners respond. If there's blood in the streets, they respond. If there's not, they don't. That's why Yasser Arafat was touted as a "man of peace," when all he was was a terrorist thug. His legacy will be the introduction of the greatest amount of arms and explosives into the most concentrated territory in the world on both sides of Israel's border. So now Israel has three Lebanons. This is not only Arafat's legacy, but that of the Israeli politicians and of former US president Bill Clinton, who brought them together, and whose advisers for seven long years deliberately averted themselves to the consistent and massive violations of the Oslo Accords by Arafat and his henchmen.

What about incumbent President George W. Bush - whose own legacy will include backing Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip, Egypt's control of the Philadelphi corridor and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's being supported as a moderate?
Indeed, Abbas is not capable of doing anything - not even tying his own shoelaces - let alone controlling any security force or representing anybody other than himself and his family. It's a charade that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is propping up. That Bush has bought into the malarkey is partly a function of Israeli leaders' blinding him to the cold reality.

Why would he allow himself to be blinded?
He was getting hit over the head by the press and politicians who kept saying that he wasn't "engaged" - a euphemism for putting pressure on Israel, propounded by the likes of [former US ambassador to Israel and current Brookings Institute fellow] Martin Indyk and [former Mideast envoy and current director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy] Dennis Ross. This euphemism has resurfaced as a result of Bush's being besieged on Iraq. Needing a foreign policy victory that Rice said she could deliver, Bush went along with it. And he basically lost control of his agencies.

I can't claim to know what goes on in his head, but I believe he truly knows some of these [Islamic] groups are bad. Still, he does contradictory things. For example, a couple of months ago, he spoke at the Islamic Center of Washington and announced that he was appointing an American representative to the Organization of the Islamic Conference - a group that has supported suicide bombings. Bush referred to them as moderates. He also spoke at a mosque that is funded by the Saudis and which has distributed virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Christian literature. All of this was orchestrated by State Department Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes.

Has Bush, perhaps, relinquished his earlier convictions - those that dominated his speeches in the immediate aftermath of 9/11?
He goes back and forth, one minute denouncing "Islamofascism," another saying that peaceful jihad has been hijacked by the those who "pervert" Islam. What crockery! Jihad is jihad.

Yet a distinction has been made between holy war and spiritual jihad - between the "lesser" jihad and the large.
What we're looking at right here [he points to the Dolphinarium below, the site of the June 1, 2001 suicide bombing that left 21 dead and more than 100 wounded] is the marker of where the "lesser jihad" was carried out against young Israelis at a discotheque. Though it's true that moderate Muslims may interpret jihad as a spiritual struggle, radical Islamic clerics who aren't trying to "spin" the West say openly that jihad means only one thing: fighting for the sake of imposing Islam. And it's both obscene and corrupt that certain media outlets talk about it as though it were no more than quitting smoking or cleaning up the environment. The 3,000 killed on 9/11, and the 1,500 Israelis killed during the second intifada, died because the perpetrators were carrying out jihad.

Where does Iran come into all of this, and how do you explain the Bush administration's talk of negotiating with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
Iran plays a vicious role in world affairs, though it is not the spiritual center of jihad; that still resides in Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, certain terrorist groups, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, could not exist without the training and funding they receive from Iran. The reason the US suddenly decided to invite Iran to negotiate was repeated pressure from the anti-Israel types - i.e. the Council on Foreign Relations, so-called Middle East "analysts" and the media - who kept saying that no harm can come of talking to the Iranians. Well, harm does come from talking. You wouldn't have sat down in 1933 with the Nazis. Yet that's exactly what's being done today. Iran is being given legitimacy by coming to the table. Which is exactly what Iran wants - not to reciprocate the gesture by any agreement on its part to lower the temperature, but to use the talks as a cover for continuing to carry out covert activities against the West.

What has to happen for the temperature to be lowered?
An Islamic reformation, and that's not in the cards in the short term. Absent that, a resolve to confront the sources of terrorism without wavering.

A reformation from within?
That's right. And it will be plenty bloody. Unfortunately, however, before that happens, Muslim nations like Iran will acquire weapons of mass destruction. They will acquire nuclear bombs, and when Ahmadinejad says Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth, he really means it. And if he had the weapons to carry that out, he'd use them.

Where US policy vis a vis Iran and radical Islamic terrorism is concerned, will it make any difference whether a Democrat or a Republican wins the next presidential election?
It might make a difference. In the debates so far, several of the Democratic candidates have been taking the military option off the table, whereas few Republicans have. For some Democrats, even openly acknowledging the term "radical Islam" is hard to stomach. This makes Osama bin Laden's recent statements [on the tape he released on the sixth anniversary of 9/11] particularly telling. He actually recommended that Americans read books by [left-wing author] Noam Chomsky, who cites examples of American imperialism, and [former CIA analyst] Michael Scheuer, who says that the US does not understand the Muslim predicament. Scheuer's reaction to this endorsement was pride, rather than shame. Of course, Scheuer's answer to bin Laden is for the US to drop support for Israel, which he contends will appease bin Laden and result in his backing off attacks on the US. Neville Chamberlain practiced this thinking a bit earlier - and everyone knows the tragic results.

That Scheuer was allowed to stay at the CIA while propagating this nonsense tells us a lot about why the US totally misread bin Laden.

The ultimate question is whether any president has the guts to do what is necessary. And what is necessary is military action to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities. This doesn't mean the massive carpet bombing of urban centers. It means the pinpointing and elimination of underground facilities, with the purpose of retarding the nuclear program. It's an issue of buying time. But then, Israel's whole existence has been one of buying time.

How did you get into the business of exposing jihadist activities?
I was an investigative journalist. After producing Jihad in America in 1994, I thought maybe I'd do another film on a different topic. But I'd collected so much material on radical Islamic groups - material nobody else had - that I kept getting contacted for information from certain members of the media and law-enforcement agencies. It was clearly a vacuum that needed to be filled. So I established the Investigative Project on Terrorism to carry out in-depth investigation of these groups, and go into areas that the FBI wouldn't be allowed to, either because of freedom-of-speech restrictions or because of political correctness. In any case, the FBI's mission is not to serve as a truth-detector. Its mission is to prevent or solve crime. So, if a mosque or other Islamic organization lies about its aims, it's not up to the FBI to correct that impression among the American public. That's the work of the media or an NGO. And mine is probably the only non-profit organization - funded only by American contributions, taking no money from the US government - that's taken on the radical Islamic states.

Is it true that you consider your life to be in danger, and that as a result you are always looking over your shoulder?
No. Well, the office has a false cover. And I had to move out of my co-op 12 years ago, because my address had been publicly identified. Let's just say that I know there's a lot of radical Islamic animosity toward me. Even in transcripts that were recently declassified by the Justice Department, Hamas claimed that I was behind all of the bad press it got in the 1990s. I wish I had been responsible, but I wasn't. Still, the impression that I had been could mobilize somebody to do something bad. So I do take precautions. Whenever I speak somewhere that is made public beforehand, I have to have some type of security. I don't let it affect my behavior in general, though. Nor do I have a bodyguard. Having one would be more cumbersome - and conspicuous - than not having one.

Have you received concrete threats?
In the past I have. But I don't take the threats I receive via voice- or e-mail seriously. Someone who's really interested in doing something harmful isn't going to telegraph it. I am determined not to let the Islamists carry out their campaigns of intimidation against me or anyone else.
11079  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: September 24, 2007, 01:49:51 AM
One on One with Steven Emerson: 'Jihad is jihad'

Ruthie Blum , THE JERUSALEM POST   Sep. 20, 2007

Investigative Project on Terrorism executive director Steven Emerson claims that radical Islam is alive and well in America - thanks to the tacit cooperation of government agencies which embrace the very groups they should be investigating.

Steven Emerson's delicate delivery belies the pungency - and punch - of his words. Whether this is the result of having heard it all and said it all in every possible forum is not clear. In fact, delving beneath the surface of radical Islamic activity, only to discover additional layers with each dig, could just as easily have the opposite effect on one's demeanor. Particularly when the information being uncovered is pooh-poohed in some fashion. Or when its disseminator is dismissed as alarmist at best, and anti-Muslim at worst.

But Emerson - an investigative journalist turned NGO director - doesn't appear to be perturbed on a personal level. It's the public response to what he claims is a pernicious network of terrorist cells within the United States, fronted as humanitarian organizations, that gets to him.

"The US government, the media and the intelligentsia are witting and unwitting enablers of radical Islam," says Emerson, a best-selling author, whose books include American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (2002) and Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US (2006), and creator of the prize-winning documentary film Jihad in America (1994).

Here earlier this month to speak at the seventh annual conference of the International Institute for Counterterrorism (ICT) in Herzliya, Emerson, who founded and heads the Washington DC-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, gave The Jerusalem Post an overview of the situation he believes will only really be solved when Islam undergoes a genuine reformation.

In an hour-long interview at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv on the eve of the conference, Emerson, 50, punctuated this sentiment by pointing to the Dolphinarium across the street - the site of the 2001 suicide bombing that left 21 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

"What we're looking at," he says, poker-face intact, "is the marker of where 'lesser jihad' was carried out against young Israelis at a discotheque."

What is the purpose of conferences on counterterrorism? Do they have any effect?
Conferences are ubiquitous - mainly good for networking and making contacts. In the intelligence community, the best way of developing information and getting new ideas is to meet people who do different things in the same area. And conferences also bring in revenue for the organizers.

What about meeting people with different views on terrorism and how to combat it? These conferences, both in Israel and abroad, seem to have such a wide range of ideological slants as to render them useless.
Oh yes. Take the Aspen Institute's annual terrorism symposia, for instance. There participants believe that Prozac and therapy should be dispensed to terrorists. It's so "Kumbaya" that one would gag if forced to attend. It all comes down to the Harvard University view of terrorism, according to which terrorists carry out aggression because they are "humiliated." It's the pseudo-psycho view that offers justification for the committing of violent acts, and ends up blaming the victim rather than the terrorist. This is ridiculous, of course. I feel humiliated when I get a ticket; but that doesn't mean I get to shoot a cop. The whole field became a gravy train in Washington for many people after 9/11, thanks to the hundreds of millions of dollars dispensed by the US government to think tanks and academic centers.

These centers are overwhelmingly anti-American and anti-Israeli, and thus full of pro-Islamist ideologues or just plain charlatans. My organization does not take a dime of government money, so we are free to call the shots as we see them.

How do you see General Wesley Clark, the keynote speaker at the ICT conference this year, for example?
Clark is not someone for whom I have much respect, since he's been championing the notion that we should be talking to Iran and Syria, effectively rewarding them for their terrorist activities. He has also spoken about being nicer to terrorists. In fact, in 2004, when he was running for president, he sent a tape of an address to a radical Muslim convention, greeting participants as though they were members of the Rotary Club. Now, this was a combined group of the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America, both of which have long been affiliated with radical Islamic groups, and whose previous conventions have been full of invectives for the US and Israel, replete with calls for jihad. Had Clark cared to do any due diligence, he would have discovered the extremist ideologies of these groups. But either he didn't bother to investigate, or he simply bought into the propaganda that these two groups were "moderate."

Even after I pointed out these groups' ulterior radical agenda in a debate I had with him on cable television about the appropriateness of his speaking before them, he continued to perpetrate the charade that all he was doing was engaging in "outreach" to innocent Muslim groups.

The new book and documentary film I'm working on - The Grand Deception - is about how the US government, the media and the intelligentsia are witting and unwitting enablers of radical Islam, by accepting front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood or for Hamas as credible and legitimate. This is particularly egregious at the highest levels of the government - such as the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and the FBI - who meet and greet groups they should be investigating, not embracing. This sends a terrible signal to genuine Muslim moderates and the Muslim rank-and-file, reinforcing their sense that it is the radical groups who are respected by the government.

There is a criminal trial presently under way in Texas of a suspected Hamas charity. The revelations that have emerged in the trial - probably the most striking findings since those that came out in the 1949 Alger Hiss trials - are that the Muslim Brotherhood had secretly set up shop in the US under the cover of "charitable" organizations, with the specific purpose of waging jihad from within and subverting the United States until it became a Muslim country. Yet, neither The New York Times nor The Washington Post published these findings.

This sounds reminiscent of the Cold War era, with witting and unwitting "fellow travelers" in the West furthering the communist agenda.

Then, too, there was a refusal to recognize that there were communists and communist fronts in the US, put up by the Soviets. This is the same type of structure, but much more extensive and less likely to fall down on its own.

Why is it less likely to "fall down on its own?"
Because it's ideologically and religiously based.

Communism was ideologically based, and for some it was even a kind of religion.
Yes, but it ultimately fell down because of its internal economic contradictions. Radical Islamic ideology transcends economics. That's why Hamas beat the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank-Gaza elections, and why Fatah got its ass kicked in the war in Gaza. Because, whereas the PA doesn't stand for anything other than corruption, Hamas adheres to a genuine ideology of destroying the West and the Jews. It's not going to be swayed by having villas on the sea.

You're saying that money is not its driving force, yet much of your research involves following the money trail. Isn't it relevant, then?
Money is relevant, but dollar-for-dollar, Islamist terrorist attacks are cheaper than any other type of terrorism.

Why?
Because it's not done for profit. Take the 9/11 attacks. At a cost of $500,000, they caused $500 billion worth of damage. That's a great rate of return. Even though the US Treasury has done a good job of seizing terrorist assets, al-Qaida is on the resurgence, and Saudi Arabia, despite the ritual slap on the wrist, continues to pump tens of millions a year into radical Islamic groups.

Speaking of which, how could those attacks have taken everybody by surprise?
There are several reasons, other than the obvious failure on the part of intelligence and law-enforcement services to connect the dots. The perpetrators of the attacks were regular visitors of known mosques; they were well taken care of; they were given logistical support, such as drivers' licenses. The FBI leadership's self-serving explanation was that these guys were working alone and therefore couldn't have been stopped. That's bullshit, and FBI agents have admitted to me that it is. The dirty secret of 9/11 is that there was logistical support from members of the Muslim community in the United States.

What could possibly be the motive of the FBI to ignore subversive activity in the first place, and fail to investigate it afterward?
I want to make a distinction between the FBI field agents and FBI headquarters. The headquarters are where the "suits" hang out, away from reality on the one hand, and subject to political winds on the other. The field agents, in contrast, know exactly what they're dealing with. But they are given instructions to go and "make nice" with the Muslim community in their districts.

Well, it's proper for the FBI to have good community relations with all ethnic groups. But the question is: Whom are you going to anoint as the representative of a given group, in this case the Muslim community? The FBI has allowed itself to be manipulated into anointing the Muslim Brotherhood as representatives of the Muslim community.

Why is the FBI not reaching out to the moderates?
The sad reality is that the vast majority of institutional organizations in the hierarchical Muslim spectrum represent the Muslim Brotherhood, the Wahhabis or the Salafists. It's a microcosm of the Muslim world. And we deceive ourselves into believing that the American Muslim community is somehow insulated from the "paranoia propaganda" that exists in the Muslim world as a whole - that which claims the Christians and the Jews are out to subjugate Islam.

11080  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 23, 2007, 12:27:41 PM
September 23, 2007, 0:00 a.m.

Tough Days for Freedom
The heart of the matter.

By Mark Steyn

Our theme for today comes from George W Bush: “Freedom is the desire of every human heart.”

When the president uses the phrase, he’s invariably applying it to various benighted parts of the Muslim world. There would seem to be quite a bit of evidence to suggest that freedom is not the principal desire of every human heart in, say, Gaza or Waziristan. But why start there? If you look in, say, Brussels or London or New Orleans, do you come away with the overwhelming impression that “freedom is the desire of every human heart”? A year ago, I wrote that “the story of the western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government ‘security,' large numbers of people vote to dump freedom — the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff.”

This week freedom took another hit. Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled her new health-care plan. Unlike her old health-care plan, which took longer to read than most cancers do to kill you, this one’s instant and painless — just a spoonful of government sugar to help the medicine go down. From now on, everyone in America will have to have health insurance.

Hooray!

And, if you don’t, it will be illegal for you to hold a job.

Er, hang on, where’s that in the constitution? It’s perfectly fine to employ legions of the undocumented from Mexico, but if you employ a fit 26-year-old American with no health insurance either you or he or both of you will be breaking the law?

That’s a major surrender of freedom from the citizen to the state. “So what?” say the caring crowd. “We’ve got to do something about those 40 million uninsured! Whoops, I mean 45 million uninsured. Maybe 50 by now.” This figure is always spoken of as if it’s a club you can join but never leave: The very first Uninsured-American was ol’ Bud who came back from the Spanish-American War and found he was uninsured and so was first on the list, and then Mabel put her back out doing the Black Bottom at a tea dance in 1926 and she became the second, and so on and so forth, until things really began to snowball under the Bush junta. And, by the time you read this, the number of uninsured may be up to 75 million.

Nobody really knows how many “uninsured” there are: Two different Census Bureau surveys conducted in the same year identify the number of uninsured as (a) 45 million or (b) 19 million. The (a) figure is the one you hear about, the (b) figure apparently entered the Witness Protection Program. Of those 45 million “uninsured Americans”, the Census Bureau itself says over nine million aren’t Americans at all, but foreign nationals. They have various health-care back-ups: If you’re an uninsured Canadian in Detroit and you get an expensive chronic disease, you can go over the border to Windsor, Ontario, and re-embrace the delights of socialized health care; if you’re an uninsured Uzbek, it might be more complicated. Of the remaining 36 million, a 2005 Actuarial Research analysis for the Department of Health and Human Services says that another nine million did, in fact, have health coverage through Medicare.

Where are we now? 27 million? So who are they? Bud and Mabel and a vast mountain of emaciated husks of twisted limbs and shriveled skin covered in boils and pustules? No, it’s a rotating population: People who had health insurance but changed jobs, people who are between jobs, young guys who feel they’re fit and healthy and at this stage of their lives would rather put a monthly health tab towards buying a home or starting a business or blowing it on booze ‘n’ chicks.

That last category is the one to watch: Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 account for 18 million of the army of the “uninsured.” Look, there’s a 22-year old and he doesn’t have health insurance! Oh, the horror and the shame! What an indictment of America!

Well, he doesn’t have life insurance, either, or homeowner’s insurance. He lives a life blessedly free of the tedious bet-hedging paperwork of middle-age. He’s 22 and he thinks he’s immortal — and any day now Hillary will propose garnisheeing his wages for her new affordable mandatory life-insurance plan.

So, out of 45 million uninsured Americans, nine million aren’t American, nine million are insured, 18 million are young and healthy. And the rest of these poor helpless waifs trapped in Uninsured Hell waiting for Hillary to rescue them are, in fact, wealthier than the general population. According to the Census Bureau’s August 2006 report on “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage,” 37 percent of those without health insurance — that’s 17 million people — come from households earning more than $50,000. Nineteen percent — 8.7 million people — of those downtrodden paupers crushed by the brutal inequities of capitalism come from households earning more than $75,000.

In other words, if they fall off the roof, they can write a check. Indeed, the so-called “explosion” of the uninsured has been driven almost entirely by wealthy households opting out of health insurance. In the decade after 1995 — i.e., since the last round of coercive health reform — the proportion of the uninsured earning less than 25,000 has fallen by 20% and the proportion earning more than 75 grand has increased by 155%. The story of the last decade is that the poor are getting sucked into the maw of “coverage” and the rich are fleeing it. And, given that the cost of health “insurance” bears increasingly little relationship to either the cost of treatment or the actuarial reality of you ever getting any particular illness, it’s entirely rational to say: “You know what? I’ll worry about that when it happens. In the meantime, I want to start a business and send my kid to school.” Freedom is the desire of my human heart even if my arteries get all clogged and hardened.

I was glad, at the end of Hillary Health Week, to see that my radio pal Laura Ingraham’s excellent new book Power To The People has shot into the New York Times Bestseller List at Number One. It takes a fraudulent leftist catchphrase (the only thing you can guarantee about a “people’s republic” is that the people are the least of it) and returns it to those who mean it - to those who believe in a nation of free citizens exercising individual liberty to make responsible choices.

Do you remember the so-called “government surplus” of a few years ago? Bill Clinton gave a speech in which he said, yes, sure, he could return the money to taxpayers but that we “might not spend it the right way”. The American political class has decided that they know better than you the “right way” to make health-care decisions. Oh, don’t worry, you’re still fully competent to make decisions on what car you drive and what movie you want to rent at Blockbusters. For the moment. But when it comes to the grown-up stuff best to leave that to Nurse Hillary.
11081  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: September 23, 2007, 11:24:04 AM
http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2512105.ece

From The Sunday Times
September 23, 2007

Snatched: Israeli commandos ‘nuclear’ raid
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv, Sarah Baxter, Washington, and Michael Sheridan



ISRAELI commandos from the elite Sayeret Matkal unit – almost certainly dressed in Syrian uniforms – made their way stealthily towards a secret military compound near Dayr az-Zawr in northern Syria. They were looking for proof that Syria and North Korea were collaborating on a nuclear programme.

Israel had been surveying the site for months, according to Washington and Israeli sources. President George W Bush was told during the summer that Israeli intelligence suggested North Korean personnel and nuclear-related material were at the Syrian site.

Israel was determined not to take any chances with its neighbour. Following the example set by its raid on an Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak 1981, it drew up plans to bomb the Syrian compound.

Related Links
Blast at secret missile site killed dozens
But Washington was not satisfied. It demanded clear evidence of nuclear-related activities before giving the operation its blessing. The task of the commandos was to provide it.

Today the site near Dayr az-Zawr lies in ruins after it was pounded by Israeli F15Is on September 6. Before the Israelis issued the order to strike, the commandos had secretly seized samples of nuclear material and taken them back into Israel for examination by scientists, the sources say. A laboratory confirmed that the unspecified material was North Korean in origin. America approved an attack.

News of the secret ground raid is the latest piece of the jigsaw to emerge about the mysterious Israeli airstrike. Israel has imposed a news blackout, but has not disguised its satisfaction with the mission. The incident also reveals the extent of the cooperation between America and Israel over nuclear-related security issues in the Middle East. The attack on what Israeli defence sources now call the “North Korean project” appears to be part of a wider, secret war against the nonconventional weapons ambitions of Syria and North Korea which, along with Iran, appears to have been forging a new “axis of evil”.

The operation was personally directed by Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, who is said to have been largely preoccupied with it since taking up his post on June 18.

It was the ideal mission for Barak, Israel’s most decorated soldier and legendary former commander of the Sayeret Matkal, which shares the motto “Who Dares Wins” with Britain’s SAS and specialises in intelligence-gathering deep behind enemy lines.

President Bush refused to comment on the air attack last week, but warned North Korea that “the exportation of information and/or materials” could jeopard-ise plans to give North Korea food aid, fuel and diplomatic recognition in exchange for ending its nuclear programmes.

Diplomats in North Korea and China said they believed a number of North Koreans were killed in the raid, noting that ballistic missile technicians and military scientists had been working for some time with the Syrians.

A senior Syrian official, Sayeed Elias Daoud, director of the Syrian Arab Ba’ath party, flew to North Korea via Beijing last Thursday, reinforcing the belief among foreign diplomats that the two nations are coordinating their response to the Israeli strike.

The growing assumption that North Korea suffered direct casualties in the raid appears to be based largely on the regime’s unusually strident propaganda on an issue far from home. But there were also indications of conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials and intelligence reports reaching Asian governments that supported the same conclusion, diplomats said.

Jane’s Defence Weekly reported last week that dozens of Iranian engineers and Syrians were killed in July attempting to load a chemical warhead containing mustard gas onto a Scud missile. The Scuds and warheads are of North Korean design and possibly manufacture, and there are recent reports that North Koreans were helping the Syrians to attach airburst chemical weapons to warheads.

Yesterday, while Israelis were observing Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, the military was on high alert after Syria promised to retaliate for the September 6 raid. An Israeli intelligence expert said: “Syria has retaliated in the past for much smaller humiliations, but they will choose the place, the time and the target.”

Critics of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, believe he has shown poor judgment since succeeding his father Hafez, Syria’s long-time dictator, in 2000. According to David Schenker, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he has provoked the enmity of almost all Syria’s neighbours and turned his country into a “client” of Iran.

Barak’s return to government after making a fortune in private business was critical to the Israeli operation. Military experts believe it could not have taken place under Amir Peretz, the defence minister who was forced from the post after last year’s ill-fated war in Lebanon. “Barak gave Olmert the confidence needed for such a dangerous operation,” said one insider.

The unusual silence about the airstrikes amazed Israelis, who are used to talkative politicians. But it did not surprise the defence community. “Most Israeli special operations remain unknown,” said a defence source.

When Menachem Begin, then Israeli prime minister, broke the news of the 1981 Osirak raid, he was accused of trying to help his Likud party’s prospects in forthcoming elections.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads Likud today, faced similar criticism last week when he ignored the news blackout, revealed that he had backed the decision to strike and said he had congratulated Olmert. “I was a partner from the start,” he claimed.

But details of the raid are still tantalisingly incomplete. Some analysts in America are perplexed by photographs of a fuel tank said to have been dropped from an Israeli jet on its return journey over Turkey. It appears to be relatively undamaged. Could it have been planted to sow confusion about the route taken by the Israeli F-15I pilots?

More importantly, questions remain about the precise nature of the material seized and about Syria’s intentions. Was Syria hiding North Korean nuclear equipment while Pyongyang prepared for six-party talks aimed at securing an end to its nuclear weapons programme in return for security guarantees and aid? Did Syria want to arm its own Scuds with a nuclear device?

Or could the material have been destined for Iran as John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, has suggested? And just how deep is Syrian and North Korean nuclear cooperation anyway?

China abruptly postponed a session of the nuclear disarmament talks last week because it feared America might confront the North Koreans over their weapons deals with Syria, according to sources close to the Chinese foreign ministry. Negotiations have been rescheduled for this Thursday in Beijing after assurances were given that all sides wished them to be “constructive”.

Christopher Hill, the US State Department negotiator, is said to have persuaded the White House that the talks offered a realistic chance to accomplish a peace treaty formally ending the 1950-1953 Korean war, in which more than 50,000 Americans died. A peace deal of that magnitude would be a coup for Bush – but only if the North Koreans genuinely abandon their nuclear programmes.

The outlines of a long-term arms relationship between the North Koreans and the Syrians are now being reexamined by intelligence experts in several capitals. Diplomats in Pyongyang have said they believe reports that about a dozen Syrian technicians were killed in a massive explosion and railway crash in North Korea on April 22, 2004.

Teams of military personnel wearing protective suits were seen removing debris from the section of the train in which the Syrians were travelling, according to a report quoting military sources that appeared in a Japanese newspaper. Their bodies were flown home by a Syrian military cargo plane that was spotted shortly after the explosion at Pyongyang airport.

In December last year, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Seyassah quoted European intelligence sources in Brussels as saying that Syria was engaged in an advanced nuclear programme in its northeastern province.

Most diplomats and experts dismiss the idea that Syria could master the technical and industrial knowhow to make its own nuclear devices. The vital question is whether North Korea could have transferred some of its estimated 55 kilos of weapons-grade plutonium to Syria. Six to eight kilos are enough for one rudimentary bomb.

“If it is proved that Kim Jong-il sold fissile material to Syria in breach of every red line the Americans have drawn for him, what does that mean?” asked one official. The results of tests on whatever the Israelis may have seized from the Syrian site could therefore be of enormous significance.

The Israeli army has so far declined to comment on the attack. However, several days afterwards, at a gathering marking the Jewish new year, the commander-in-chief of the Israeli military shook hands with and congratulated his generals. The scene was broadcast on Israeli television. After the fiasco in Lebanon last year, it was regarded as a sign that “we’re back in business, guys”.
11082  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: September 22, 2007, 07:33:30 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/22/good-news-north-korea-training-syrian-missile-engineers/

More on the Syrian-NorK alliance.
______________________________

N Korea trains Syrian missile engineers: report

Posted Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:32pm AEST

A report says North Korea has trained Syrian missile engineers and the Arab nation has bartered farm products and computers for missiles from the Stalinist state.

The two countries have recently strengthened missile cooperation, with Syrian engineers staying in Pyongyang to acquire technology, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

The barter system began in 1995 due to Syria's worsening financial woes.

Syria has shipped cotton, food and computers to North Korea in return for buying short-range missiles, the report said.

The United States has accused North Korea of being a leading global proliferator of weapons of mass destruction, but the cash-strapped country has refused to stop missile exports, a major source of hard currency earnings.

North Korea has sold about 100 missiles to Syria, Iran and other countries each year, Yonhap said.

In July last year the North test-fired seven missiles, including the Taepodong-2, which in theory could reach the US west coast. This year it tested a series of short-range missiles.

- AFP
11083  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: September 22, 2007, 07:11:39 PM
**File this under "G M not surprised".  cool **

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2512380.ece

From The Sunday Times
September 23, 2007
Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid
Uzi Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter

Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.

The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.

They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Israeli special forces had been gathering intelligence for several months in Syria, according to Israeli sources. They located the nuclear material at a compound near Dayr az-Zwar in the north.

Evidence that North Korean personnel were at the site is said to have been shared with President George W Bush over the summer. A senior American source said the administration sought proof of nuclear-related activities before giving the attack its blessing.

Diplomats in North Korea and China believe a number of North Koreans were killed in the strike, based on reports reaching Asian governments about conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials.

Syrian officials flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, last week, reinforcing the view that the two nations were coordinating their response.
11084  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 22, 2007, 04:07:00 PM
**The high cost of cheap labor.**

After deportation, shooter was caught, freed again
Judi Villa, Michael Kiefer, Carol Sowers and Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 20, 2007 12:00 AM

Erik Jovani Martinez should have been in prison and not jaywalking the day he gunned down Phoenix police Officer Nick Erfle.

But despite a lengthy criminal history and a deportation, Martinez remained free, even after he was arrested again in the Valley just two months after he had been forced to leave the country in 2006.

Scottsdale police say they didn't know Martinez, 22, was an illegal immigrant or that he had been deported when they arrested him in May 2006 for grabbing his girlfriend's arm twice during a quarrel.






Martinez was deported in March 2006 after a felony conviction for theft.

Had Scottsdale police known, Martinez should have been jailed and should have faced federal charges for returning to the country illegally. A conviction would have earned him up to 20 years in prison.

Instead, he posted $300 bail and was released.

On Wednesday, one day after Martinez gunned down Erfle on a central Phoenix street, the officer's death reignited the ongoing immigration debate.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called on Washington officials to "secure the border and secure it now" before another officer pays the ultimate price.

"This individual that took our officer's life is a perfect example, a poster child, of our failed Washington policy for securing our borders," Gordon said.

But others say Martinez shouldn't necessarily be a flashpoint in the acrimonious debate over where immigration policy and law enforcement should intersect.

Martinez was brought to the United States as an infant and lived his whole life here. Clearly, he also was a career criminal, racking up a dozen arrests before he turned 18 and continuing to have brushes with the law afterward.

Even law-enforcement officials said they were hesitant to say Erfle's murder could be blamed on immigration issues.

"It's a big, complex issue," said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been in the national forefront when it comes to pursuing undocumented immigrants.

Still, Arpaio admitted, "You can't catch 'em all. We have a lot of violence out there, whether you're legal or illegal."

A troubled youth

Martinez has an extensive juvenile record that includes assaults and auto thefts. He was a documented gang member who admitted in court papers that he drank and smoked marijuana and crack cocaine. His first arrest, in July 1999, came after his parents reported him as incorrigible.

Martinez spent most of his teens on probation. Arrests for truancy led to more serious things: underage drinking, several threats and assault and stealing a vehicle. Martinez was serving time in juvenile detention for auto theft when he turned 18 and had to be released, according to court records.

Just months later, he was in trouble again, arrested for auto theft. He served time in a Maricopa County jail, then violated his probation and eventually wound up in prison in January 2006. Two months later, Martinez was deported. Typically, illegal immigrants convicted of a felony must serve all or part of their sentence before being deported.

Sneaking back

Martinez apparently sneaked back across the border almost immediately. Scottsdale police arrested him on May 15, 2006, after an officer saw him quarreling with his girlfriend. Scottsdale police spokeswoman Shawn Sanders couldn't say whether officers had contacted immigration officials after the arrest. She would say only that information about Martinez's deportation was "not available to us at that time."

A spokesman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said he didn't believe Scottsdale police had contacted the agency, but he couldn't say that unequivocally.

A judge ordered Martinez into a domestic-violence counseling program, but he "didn't comply" and an arrest warrant was issued, Sanders said.

By the time Erfle was killed, Phoenix police were trying to find Martinez for hitting his girlfriend and threatening her with a shotgun in June 2006. Phoenix police obtained a warrant for his arrest in January and were trying to locate him.

The link between undocumented immigrants and crime is difficult to quantify. On Wednesday, about 18 percent of the 10,108 inmates in Maricopa County jails had immigration holds, sheriff's Capt. Paul Chagolla said. An estimated 10 percent of Arizona's population is Mexican nationals.

It's difficult to say whether that's a reflection of illegal immigrants committing a disproportionate amount of crimes or if it reflects Arpaio's crackdown on those who enter the United States illegally. The percentage of the jail population with immigration holds has doubled since Arpaio began his crackdown.

Still, crime certainly has morphed into a hot-button issue in the immigration debate.

Phoenix police were reluctant to address the issue before Erfle is laid to rest, but officials acknowledged that they could not draw a link between immigration policy and the officer's murder. "It's random," Lt. Benny Piña said. "I don't think there's a correlation there."

Before Erfle, the last Phoenix police officer killed by an undocumented immigrant was Marc Atkinson, who was ambushed and shot to death in 1999. Since then, five Phoenix police officers, including Erfle, have been shot to death in the line of duty.

"I think the officers are committed to doing their job regardless of whether the person's in the country illegally or not," Police Chief Jack Harris said.

Police Sgt. Andy Hill recalled that when Phoenix police Officer George Cortez Jr. was shot to death in July while answering a call about a bad check, the questions revolved around whether officers should travel alone or in pairs. Cortez did not have a partner.

"It's the job," Hill said. "It's you putting human beings in circumstances, and that human being is subject to all the dangers that are out there.

"We arrest people like that every single day who don't say they're going to kill a police officer."
11085  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 22, 2007, 03:29:47 PM
http://www.nixoncenter.org/publications/monographs/Leiken_Bearers_of_Global_Jihad.pdf

Good read on immigration policy and the global jihad.
11086  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bin Laden winning the hearts and minds of the western left on: September 22, 2007, 03:08:29 PM
DailyKos Endorses Osama   
By Andrew Walden
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, September 21, 2007

ABC News called it “rambling.” Republican presidential aspirant Mitt Romney dismissed it as “deluded.” But Osama bin Laden’s September 8 videotaped message was neither. It was instead a carefully constructed attempt to appeal to Western opponents of the “war on terror,” both on the Left and the isolationist Right.

On the Left, bin Laden’s message is already finding a receptive audience. On September 9, a “diarist” on Daily Kos using the handle FMArouet insisted that the terrorist chieftain should be taken seriously. According to FMArouet, “bin Laden is not a raving religious fanatic.” On the contrary, bin Laden actually had much in common with Daily Kos readers. “He is fundamentally a political revolutionary with a strong sense of suffered injustice,” the blogger explained, adding that these were feelings “shared by much of his audience.” Nor did FMArouet have any sympathy for the idea that bin Laden was a terrorist. Rather, the al-Qaeda leader saw the “conflict from a more global perspective.”

Michael Dickinson, an artist based in Turkey, also applauded bin Laden’s performance. Writing on the far-Left website Counterpunch.org, Dickinson declared himself impressed with bin Laden’s message. “After examining the transcribed text of Osama's address, I found much of what he said made sense to me.” Dickinson added that if others would only give bin Laden a chance, his “speech might make sense to you too.”

Dickinson was not optimistic on this count. He explained that it was “unlikely that many, if any, American TV channels or popular newspapers will present their listeners and readers with the most urgent part of Bin Laden's message. God forbid! It might make sense to them. It might make even them think.” Dickinson’s suspicions of censorship were particularly ironic, since he himself has been the victim of free-speech abuse -- not by the America media, but by Turkish authorities, who sentenced him to a stint in prison for the crime of drawing a cartoon of Turkey’s Islamist prime minister as a dog. Evidently, Dickinson has learned little from the experience.

To understand the antiwar Left’s enthusiastic response to bin Laden, it is useful to go back to the videotape. Although bin Laden has included statements designed to influence Western leftists in other videos, the September 8 statement goes much further. In it, bin Laden refers to “major corporations” ten times, to “capital” five times, and to social classes twice. Echoing Marx, he calls for the West to be “liberated” from the “shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.” In a line lifted almost directly from Noam Chomsky, bin Laden further states that “the capitalist system seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of ‘globalization’ in order to protect democracy.” For good measure, bin Laden even stops to flatter Chomsky by name, calling him “among the most capable of those from your own side….” As if all this weren’t enough to endear him to the average leftist, bin Laden even complains about global warming.

For years, the radical Left has been relegated to the political fringe. Now the most notorious man in the world is taking them seriously.

On the surface, bin Laden’s embrace of the anti-globalization movement would seem to have little to do with Islamic theology. But on closer inspection, bin Laden seems to be applying the Islamic doctrine of al-Taqiyah, which allows Muslims to do or say anything—even to pretend to be Marxists—so long as it advances the power of Islam. Bin Laden appears to have calculated that sounding like leftwing protestors is a small price to pay for recruiting them to al-Qaeda’s side.

To be sure, bin Laden’s useful idiots are not found on the Left alone. In his remarks, the al-Qaeda head also singled out for praise the ex-CIA analyst Michael Scheuer. A darling of the isolationist Right -- Scheuer is a frequent contributor to Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative -- Scheuer is the author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, a polemical assault on the “war on terror,” and Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, a primer on bin Laden’s life and ideology. Once the head of the CIA’s al-Qaeda desk, Scheuer now makes a living by peddling the theory that Islamist attacks are a logical response to US policy in the Middle East—in particular, to U.S. support for Israel. Small wonder that bin Laden finds much to admire in his work.

But why would bin Laden reach out to the kinds of people who would have no place in his dreamed-of global caliphate? An answer can be found in bin Laden’s pre-2002 letter to Taliban dictator Mullah Omar. “It is obvious that the media war in this century is one of the strongest methods [to accomplish al-Qaeda‘s goals],” bin Laden writes. “In fact, its ratio may reach 90 percent of the total preparation for the battles.” Bin Laden’s calculated appeals should thus be seen as his attempt to win the “media war” by shaping public opinion, starting with the most sympathetic audience: the antiwar and anti-globalization Left.

This is not the first time that some on the Left have taken bin Laden’s bait. In August of 2006, Counterpunch.org published an English translation of a Turkish newspaper’s interview with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Editor Alexander Cockburn explained at the time: “Of interest to us was the very radical timbre of Nasrallah’s language and his remarks about the struggle against imperialism.” As it turned out, the interview was ultimately acknowledged to be a fake by its original publisher, the Turkish Labor Party newspaper Evrensel. Nevertheless, the episode revealed that there were those on the Left willing to suspend all disbelief in the interest of solidarity with Islamic terrorists like Nasrallah. Now, just over a year later, Counterpunch, joined by at least one writer at Daily Kos, has found a friend in Osama bin Laden.

It’s doubtful that Laden’s message will hold any appeal for those outside of the margins of the Left and Right. But the warm reception that his remarks have already received from these quarters suggests that, at minimum, the “Unholy Alliance” is alive, well, and ready to make common cause at the highest levels with the man directly responsible for killing 3,000 innocent civilians.
11087  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: September 22, 2007, 02:14:08 PM
From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/431

Terror & Denial [by Hadayat at LAX]
by Daniel Pipes
New York Post
July 9, 2002

On the 4th of July, an Egyptian immigrant to the United States who believes in wild conspiracy theories about Jews, is known for his great "hate for Israel," and has possible ties to al Qaeda, armed himself to the teeth and assaulted the Israeli airline counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two.

It is obvious why Hesham Mohamed Ali Hadayet targeted Jews in a highly visible place on so prominent a date: to engage in terrorism against Israel.

But one important institution - the U.S. government - claims not to know Hadayet's goals. An FBI spokesman has said that "there's nothing to indicate terrorism." Another FBI official said of Hadayet: "It appears he went there with the intention of killing people. Why he did that we are still trying to determine." Possible causes named include a work dispute and a hate crime.

Sure, law enforcement should not jump to conclusions, but this head-in-the-clouds approach is ridiculous. It also fits a well-established pattern. Consider three cases of terrorism in the New York City area:

Rashid Baz, a Lebanese cab driver with a known hatred for all things Israeli and Jewish, armed himself to the teeth in March 1994 and drove around the city looking for a Jewish target. He found his victims - a van full of Hassidic boys - on the Brooklyn Bridge and fired a hail of bullets against them, killing one boy.
And how did the FBI classify this crime? As "road rage." Only because the murdered boy's mother relentlessly fought this false description did the bureau finally in 2000 re-classify the murder as "the crimes of a terrorist."

Ali Hasan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian gunman hailing from militant Islamic circles in Florida, took a gun to the top of the Empire State building in February 1997 and shot seven people there, killing one.
His suicide note accused the United States of using Israel as its "instrument" against the Palestinians, but city officials ignored this evidence and instead dismissed Abu Kamal as either "one deranged individual working on his own" (Police Commissioner Howard Safir) or a "man who had many, many enemies in his mind" (Mayor Rudolph Giuliani).

Gamil al-Batouti, an EgyptAir copilot, yelled "I put my faith in God's hands" as he crashed a plane leaving Kennedy airport in October 1999, killing 217. Under Egyptian pressure, the National Transportation Safety Board report shied away from once mentioning Batouti's possible terrorist motives.
And despite all the "world-has-changed" rhetoric following the horrors of last September, Western officialdom continues to pretend terrorism away.
Damir Igric, a Croat immigrant from the former Yugoslavia, used a boxcutter to slash the neck of a Greyhound bus driver in Tennessee last October, causing the bus to roll over, killing six passengers and himself. Although this bus-hijacking scenario echoed similar attacks by Palestinians on Israeli buses, the FBI immediately classified it "an isolated incident" and not an act of terrorism. The media attributed the violence to post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Hassan Jandoubi, an Islamist with possible connections to al Qaeda, had started working at the AZF fertilizer factory in suburban Toulouse, France, just days before a massive explosion took place there last Sept. 21. This, the worst catastrophe ever in a French chemical plant, killed Jandoubi and 29 others, injured 2,000, destroyed 600 dwellings, and damaged 10,000 buildings.
The autopsy revealed that Jandoubi was wearing two pairs of trousers and four pairs of underpants, which the coroner compared to what is worn by "Islamic militants going into battle or on suicide missions." Also, the chemical plant was processing ammonium nitrate, a stable chemical that requires a substantial infusion of energy to explode.

Ignoring these signs, the French authorities declared there was "no shred of evidence" of the explosion being a terrorist act and ruled it an accident. They even prosecuted two publications merely for calling Jandoubi a "radical Islamist," making them pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines to Jandoubi's heirs, a mosque and a Muslim organization for their "defamation" of Jandoubi.

Work dispute, hate crime, road rage, derangement, post-traumatic stress, industrial accident ... these expressions of denial obstruct effective counterterrorism. The time has come for governments to catch up with the rest of us and call terrorism by its rightful name.

_________
April 12, 2003 update: Good news: the FBI did "catch up with the rest of us" and did call terrorism by its rightful name. It took over nine months after the murders but it finally did:

July 4 Shooting at LAX Ruled Terrorism

By Paul Chavez

Los Angeles (AP) - An Egyptian immigrant who opened fire inside Los Angeles International Airport committed an act of terrorism, but he did it alone and was not tied to any terrorist organizations, federal officials have determined.

Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, 41, killed two people at the ticket counter of El Al, Israel's national airline, and wounded several others in the July Fourth attack before he was fatally shot by an airline security guard.

The Department of Justice had withheld characterizing the shooting while federal agents launched a worldwide probe. They determined it was terrorism related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, said Matthew McLaughlin, an FBI spokesman in Los Angeles.

"The investigation developed information that he openly supported the killings of civilians in order to advance the Palestinian cause," McLaughlin said.

The FBI findings, made several months ago, were recently approved by the Justice Department. McLaughlin said Friday that his office was told not to issue a news release but was given permission to confirm the finding if asked.

The investigation found that Hadayet had become increasingly militant in recent years. Just weeks before the shooting, he bought the weapons used in the attack, closed his bank accounts and sent his family overseas. At the time, Hadayet, who lived in Irvine, was $10,000 in debt, and his limousine businesses was struggling, authorities said.

Mar. 14, 2006 update: I today found a name for Hadayet's rampage - Sudden Jihad Syndrome. See the explanation at "Sudden Jihad Syndrome (in North Carolina)."

_________

From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/431
11088  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 22, 2007, 02:11:08 PM
**Ah, what suicidal act won't we do in the name of "diversity"?**

U.S. admits nearly 10,000 from "terrorism" states
Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:13pm EDT
By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 10,000 people from countries designated as sponsors of terrorism have entered the United States under an immigration diversity program with relatively few restrictions, a report released on Friday said.

The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office said the State Department's inspector general warned in 2003 that the Diversity Visa Program posed a significant risk to national security and recommended it be closed to people from countries on the U.S. list of state terrorism sponsors.

But four years later, the program remains open to people from those nations and little is known about what becomes of them once they enter the United States, the GAO said.

From 2000 to 2006, the program allowed 3,703 people from Sudan, 3,164 from Iran, 2,763 from Cuba and 162 from Syria to enter the United States and apply for permanent legal resident status, the report said. That totals 9,792 new immigrants.

"We found no documented evidence of ... immigrants from state sponsors of terrorism committing any terrorist acts," said the GAO, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress.

"However ... the Department of Homeland Security, terrorism experts and federal law enforcement officials familiar with immigration fraud believe that some individuals including terrorists and criminals could use fraudulent means to enter or remain in the United States."

The report quoted a U.S. security officer in Turkey as saying it would be possible for Iranian intelligence officers to pose as applicants and not be detected if their identities were not already known to U.S. intelligence.

The GAO said the State Department expressed disappointment with the report's findings and rejected recommendations that the department compile more comprehensive data on fraud activity and formulate a new strategy for combating

it.

The Department of Homeland Security did not comment on the report, the GAO said.

The Diversity Visa Program was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 and provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each year to people from countries with relatively low rates of immigration to the United States. People from 179 countries are eligible to participate this year.

The program has enabled more than half a million immigrants -- mainly from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia -- to gain permanent legal status in the United States.

But unlike most U.S. visa programs, the diversity program does not require applicants to have family members or employers in the United States to petition on their behalf.

Applicants from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism normally are granted non-immigrant visas under limited circumstances. But the GAO report said no parallel restrictions exist for diversity visas.
11089  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: September 22, 2007, 01:37:06 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=27156_Update-_Terrorist_Threat_at_Raleigh-Durham_Airport_(FBI-_Misperceived)&only

 undecided This is where we stand, 6 years after 9/11.
11090  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: September 22, 2007, 01:35:26 PM
In many ways, Egypt is the cultural center of gravity for the arab world. The majority of tv, movies and radio produced in arabic is created in Egypt. This is why despite the various dialects of arabic, Egyptian Arabic is understood everywhere. If the MB took power in Egypt, I fear a possible wave of MB based revolution through the region, creating the restored caliphate Osama has been calling for. I really don't want to see the pyramids and other monuments go the way of the Buddhas of Bamyan.
11091  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: September 22, 2007, 12:50:54 PM
The unfortunate truth is that a fair election in Egypt may well result in the Muslim Brotherhood gaining power. It's the old "One man, one vote, one time" scenario.
11092  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: September 22, 2007, 12:09:24 PM
I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the NorKs or the AQ Khan network hadn't seeded several countries with pre-fab nuke kits, including Syria and Iran.
11093  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: September 21, 2007, 12:08:13 AM
http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/terms/direct-evidence.html

Direct Evidence

One of the most important characteristics of evidence is its reliability . The two types of evidence used in court proceedings are direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. While one or the other can be valuable solely in the conviction of a criminal, the presence of both can solidify a case.
Circumstantial evidence is evidence that doesn't establish guilt in a straightforward sense, but it gives a rise to an inference of guilt. For example, a receipt for purchasing a gun is direct evidence that a certain person owned the gun but indirect that he used it in committing a crime. Circumstantial evidence is not only sufficient, but may also be more certain, satisfying and persuasive than direct evidence.
As its name suggests, direct evidence relates immediately to the allegation being tested. If the direct evidence is true, the allegation is established. Direct evidence, on the other hand, is evidence of a fact based on a witness's personal knowledge or observation of that fact. An example of direct evidence would be the surveillance video of a person robbing a convenience store, or a witness who saw a person stealing a car. A person's guilt of a charged crime may be proven by direct evidence alone, if that evidence satisfies a jury beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt regarding that crime.
The law draws no distinction between circumstantial evidence and direct evidence in terms of weight or importance. Direct evidence or circumstantial evidence may be enough to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, depending on the facts of the case as the jury finds them.
Direct evidence can have varying degrees of clout depending on the actual witness delivering the testimony. Direct evidence from a legitimate, trust-worthy source will have a stronger bearing on the jury than that of a shady character, even under oath. Bending the truth a little here and there can skew direct evidence and is common with defense testimony.
Whether direct evidence or circumstantial evidence is the basis for testimony, the jury must be able to determine what facts were proven, if any at all. Any facts, upon which an inference of guilt can be drawn, must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. After the facts have been determined, the jury can decide what inferences can be drawn from those facts. Direct evidence alleviates the majority of inferential thinking because it is based on the sole observation of the fact, and not on the basis that "this is probably what happened because of this."
11094  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: September 20, 2007, 11:45:55 PM
Mig,

You know that circumstantial evidence is admissible in standard criminal trials, right? As an example, the Lacy Peterson murder case was based primarily on circumstantial evidence.
11095  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Economic crisis? on: September 20, 2007, 08:04:28 PM
So, did whomever bought the put options know something? I guess we'll see by the close of the market tomorrow.
11096  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Economic crisis? on: September 20, 2007, 08:02:42 PM
Options/Futures
Dispelling the 'Bin Laden' Options Trades
By Steven Smith and Aaron L. Task
Staff Reporters
8/30/2007 3:23 PM EDT
URL: http://www.thestreet.com/newsanalysis/optionsfutures/10377063.html

Updated from 7:07 a.m.

As if the mortgage-market meltdown wasn't enough to spook investors, some market players expressed concerns about unusual options bets that some observers have dubbed "Bin Laden Trades."
The blogosphere and options trading desks have been rife with speculation about these trades, which are unusually large bets that the market will make a huge move in the next month. Some entity, or entities, has taken a large position on extremely deep in the money S&P 500 options, both puts and calls, that won't pay off unless the market undergoes an extremely large price move between now and the options' expiration on Sept. 21.
However, Dan Perper, a Partner at Peak 6, one of the largest option market makers and proprietary trading firms, has confirmed that the trades are part of a "box-spread trade."
"This was done as a package in which the box spread was used [as a] means of alternative financing at more attractive interest rates" explained Perper.
Simply put, two parties agree to trade the box at a price that essentially splits the difference between current rates.
For example, the rough numbers would be that given the September 700/1700 box must settle at a value of 1,000 -- it is currently trading around 997 -- that translates into a 5% interest rate.
For the seller it is a way to borrow money at a slight discount to the prevailing rate, and for the buyer, it is a way to lend money at a low rate of return, but it's better than nothing at a time when others are scared and have painted themselves into a box (ha ha) because they have run out available funds.
Currently there are about 63,000 700/1700 boxes open. Perper expects that once the September options expire, you will see similar boxes established in the December series. As to why the September 700 put has over 116,000 contracts open, Perper thinks a good portion of that was created from the prior rollover when April options expired.
The positions in question had option industry experts perplexed to come up with a rational explanation, which are far from the best or most efficient way to profit from what would be outlier events.
Those concerned about the worst-case scenario recalled that large put contracts were placed on airline stocks, notably American, a unit of AMR and United Airlines, in the weeks leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The first area of focus was that open interest September 700 S&P puts had such an unusually high number for such a low-probability trade. A put is a defensive bet that gives the holder the right to sell a security at a specified price, in this case more than 50% below the S&P 500's current level of 1463 as of Wednesday's close.
For comparison's sake, according to the Option Clearing Corp., the open interest in the July 700 strike some three weeks prior to expiration on July 20 was 790 calls and 7,300 puts, and the August 700 strike showed 1,250 calls and 14,800 puts prior to Aug. 17 expiration.
And the volume completely outstrips anything seen last September, when the S&P was around 1300, some 20% below current levels. In September 2006, the 700 strike had 600 calls and 7,500 puts, and no strike below 1000 had open interest surpassing 42,000 contracts, and that was the 900 puts.
The bulk of the September SPX trades in question have been put on since June 1. Similar bets have also been placed on the DJ Eurostoxx 50 index, which won't pay off unless the index tumbles nearly 25% to 2800, or below, by expiration on the third Friday of September.
The trades were noted in various online forums, where the worst case scenario is often the first conclusion: "Only an act of terrorism akin to 9-11 -- within the next four weeks -- could make these options valuable," writes one poster in the TickerForum chat room.
Others, such as the "Just Wondrin What Happened" blog, speculated that "China, reeling over losing $10 billion in bad loans to the sub-prime mortgage collapse presently taking place, is going to dump U.S. currency and tank all of Capitalism with a Communist financial revolution."
Furthermore, the TickerForum posters focused on the 65,000 contracts open on SPX 700 calls, ostensibly bullish bets that give the holder the right to buy the index at that level.
Given the fact that these calls are some 700 points in-the-money, and therefore have a delta of 1.0 -- meaning the options price moves dollar-for-dollar with the underlying index -- "the only advantage to owning them is it would be a more efficient and slightly less capital-intensive way to gain one-to-one exposure" to the S&P 500, Randy Frederick, director of derivatives at Charles Schwab, writes in an email exchange.
Frederick noted the Spyder Trust (SPY) and other index and exchange-traded products provide a much more liquid, efficient and higher-leveraged way to establish a bearish position quickly.
Plus, it's a lot easier to "hide" a big trade in the Spyders than the SPX options, which are only traded on the Chicago Board of Option Exchange and will be seen and facilitated by a tight-knit group of market makers.
Because there are about half the number of open contracts on S&P 700 calls vs. puts, it was also posited that these trades are part of a large strangle.
There is also open interest of 61,741 on the September 1700 puts. "Since this is only 11 contracts different from the 700 calls, it is possible that these two positions are making up a very large strangle, which could be either a breakout or neutral strategy depending upon whether or not it is a short strangle or a long strangle," writes Frederick. "If this is a short position, it may be anticipating the market will drop if the Fed does not cut rates as many expect" at its Sept. 18 policy meeting.
But such a strangle trade, with each leg being so deep in the money, would require a nearly 50% price move, up or down, to turn a profit.
Frederick said the position leaves him more confused than scared, although he wouldn't dismiss the frightening conclusion bloggers have come to. "It is also interesting that the anniversary of 9/11 occurs between now and the expiration of these options," he writes. "Perhaps there is speculation that another attack is in the works."
Brian Overby, director of education at TradeKing, a discount broker that caters to sophisticated option traders, suggested that this could be a box trade before Perper came forth.
Overby noted that the September 1700 strike has open interest of 73,745 calls and 61,741 put options. "This could be someone trying to create a box spread, which is a position composed of a long call and short put at one strike, and a short call and long put at a different strike. The position is largely immune to changes in the price of the underlying stock, and in most cases, is a simple interest rate trade."
So the upshot is there is an explanation for this very unusual configuration of open interest in the S&P 500 Index's September options, but it also shows jitters remain in this market.
Steven Smith writes regularly for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He was a seatholding member of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) from May 1989 to August 1995. During that six-year period, he traded multiple markets for his own personal account and acted as an executing broker for third-party accounts. He appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.
11097  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economic crisis over US dollar? on: September 20, 2007, 07:49:27 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintabl...19.xml&site=1&page=0

Fears of dollar collapse as Saudis take fright

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Last Updated: 8:39am BST 20/09/2007

Saudi Arabia has refused to cut interest rates in lockstep with the US Federal Reserve for the first time, signalling that the oil-rich Gulf kingdom is preparing to break the dollar currency peg in a move that risks setting off a stampede out of the dollar across the Middle East.

China threatens 'nuclear option' of dollar sales

Ben Bernanke has placed the dollar in a dangerous situation, say analysts

"This is a very dangerous situation for the dollar," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas.

"Saudi Arabia has $800bn (£400bn) in their future generation fund, and the entire region has $3,500bn under management. They face an inflationary threat and do not want to import an interest rate policy set for the recessionary conditions in the United States," he said.

The Saudi central bank said today that it would take "appropriate measures" to halt huge capital inflows into the country, but analysts say this policy is unsustainable and will inevitably lead to the collapse of the dollar peg.

As a close ally of the US, Riyadh has so far tried to stick to the peg, but the link is now destabilising its own economy.

The Fed's dramatic half point cut to 4.75pc yesterday has already caused a plunge in the world dollar index to a fifteen year low, touching with weakest level ever against the mighty euro at just under $1.40.

There is now a growing danger that global investors will start to shun the US bond markets. The latest US government data on foreign holdings released this week show a collapse in purchases of US bonds from $97bn to just $19bn in July, with outright net sales of US Treasuries.

The danger is that this could now accelerate as the yield gap between the United States and the rest of the world narrows rapidly, leaving America starved of foreign capital flows needed to cover its current account deficit - expected to reach $850bn this year, or 6.5pc of GDP.

Mr Redeker said foreign investors have been gradually pulling out of the long-term US debt markets, leaving the dollar dependent on short-term funding. Foreigners have funded 25pc to 30pc of America's credit and short-term paper markets over the last two years.

"They were willing to provide the money when rates were paying nicely, but why bear the risk in these dramatically changed circumstances? We think that a fall in dollar to $1.50 against the euro is not out of the question at all by the first quarter of 2008," he said.

"This is nothing like the situation in 1998 when the crisis was in Asia, but the US was booming. This time the US itself is the problem," he said.

Mr Redeker said the biggest danger for the dollar is that falling US rates will at some point trigger a reversal yen "carry trade", causing massive flows from the US back to Japan.

Jim Rogers, the commodity king and former partner of George Soros, said the Federal Reserve was playing with fire by cutting rates so aggressively at a time when the dollar was already under pressure.

The risk is that flight from US bonds could push up the long-term yields that form the base price of credit for most mortgages, the driving the property market into even deeper crisis.

"If Ben Bernanke starts running those printing presses even faster than he's already doing, we are going to have a serious recession. The dollar's going to collapse, the bond market's going to collapse. There's going to be a lot of problems," he said.

The Federal Reserve, however, clearly calculates the risk of a sudden downturn is now so great that the it outweighs dangers of a dollar slide.

Former Fed chief Alan Greenspan said this week that house prices may fall by "double digits" as the subprime crisis bites harder, prompting households to cut back sharply on spending.

For Saudi Arabia, the dollar peg has clearly become a liability. Inflation has risen to 4pc and the M3 broad money supply is surging at 22pc.

The pressures are even worse in other parts of the Gulf. The United Arab Emirates now faces inflation of 9.3pc, a 20-year high. In Qatar it has reached 13pc.

Kuwait became the first of the oil sheikhdoms to break its dollar peg in May, a move that has begun to rein in rampant money supply growth.
11098  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: September 20, 2007, 07:25:40 PM
S.C. mom scoops al-Qaida with its videos
By SAGAR MEGHANI, Associated Press Writer
16 minutes ago

Once her son is off to school, Laura Mansfield settles in at her dining room table with her laptop and begins trolling Arabic-language message boards and chat rooms popular with jihadists.

Fluent in Arabic, the self-employed terror analyst often hacks into the sites, translates the material, puts it together and sends her analysis via a subscription service to intelligence agencies, law enforcement and academics.

Occasionally she comes across a gem, such as when she found a recent Osama bin Laden video — before al-Qaida had announced it.

"I realized, oh my gosh, I'm sitting here, I'm a fat 50-year-old mom and I've managed to scoop al-Qaida," said Mansfield, who uses that name as a pseudonym because she receives death threats.

She sometimes spends 100 hours a week online, and she often finds items after word has begun spreading on the Arabic forums of an imminent release.

"It's really important to understand what the jihadists think and how they're planning on doing things," she said. "They're very vocal. They tell us what they're going to do and then they go out and do it."

Mansfield tips off her intelligence sources when she does find something new, part of an informal working relationship with the government.

"When I send them something, it's welcome," she said. "They thank me."

There have been times when an impending video release has kept her from a planned shopping trip with her daughter.

"It gets really challenging when you're trying to do that and cook spaghetti at the same time," she said.
11099  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: September 20, 2007, 05:53:25 PM
"I tell Pervez and his army: your betrayal of your nation and people has been exposed, and the people are no longer fooled by your showing off militarily by launching some missiles after every disaster and massacre you commit against the populace, as has occurred repeatedly in the border regions, or after the biggest massacre in Lal Masjid most recently. How is the nation benefited by these weapons and tests of yours? The same goes for the nuclear bomb itself. When the American foreign minister Powell came to you, you cowered, bowed and submitted to him like a lowly slave, and you permitted the American Crusader forces to use the air, soil and water of Pakistan, the country of Islam, to kill the people of Islam in Afghanistan, then in Waziristan. So woe to you and away with you."

"Against the peoples attacking lions"

"And against the enemy rabbits and ostriches?"

"And your going to Makkah and performing the Tawaaf (circling) of the Ka'aba won't benefit you when combined with Kufr and combating of Islam and its people. Were it to benefit anyone in combination with Kufr, it would have benefited Abu Lahab, the uncle of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him."

"Then someone might say that armed rebellion against Pervez will lead to the spilling of blood. But I say: were the order to fight the apostate ruler was from the people, like 'Amr and Zayd, then it would be permissible for minds and opinions to intervene and discuss what they should do or not do. However, as you know, the order to fight the apostate ruler is an order in the Shari'ah of Allah, and it is not permissible for the Muslim to make his opinion a rival to the order of Allah and order of His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah, the Most High, says, "And it is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, to exercise their own choice in the matter concerning them. And whoso disobeys Allah and His Messenger goes manifestly astray." (33:36) "

"So when the capability is there, it is obligatory to rebel against the apostate ruler, as is the case now. And the one who believes that the strength required to rebel has not yet been completed must complete it and take up arms against Pervez and his army without procrastination. Pervez and most of the Muslims' rulers jumped to power and usurped it and ruled us by other than what Allah sent down by force of arms, and the situation will not return to normal through elections, demonstrations and shouting. So beware of the polytheistic elections and futile actions, for iron is only dented by iron, and it is through fighting in Allah's path and exhorting of the believers that the might of the Kuffar is restrained. Allah, the Most High, said, "So fight in Allah's Cause - you are held responsible only for yourself - and rouse the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the might of the unbelievers. And Allah is strongest in might and strongest in punishment." (4:84)"

"Fighting in Allah's path is an act of worship, and it is based on sacrifice of selves. Muslim blood is spilled and poured out to protect the religion, which only reached us after his (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) cuspid tooth was broken, his head cut open and his noble face bloodied, and after the blood of the best of people, like Hamza, Mus'ab, Zaid and Ja'afar (with whom Allah was pleased), was poured out. This is the path, so follow it."

"The people have forgotten the path of victory"

"They think it comes easily"

"Or without blood running"

"Where is the Jihad of the Messenger of Allah? (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)"

"So to sum up: It is obligatory on the Muslims in Pakistan to carry out Jihad and fighting to remove Pervez, his government, his army and those who help him. And it is obligatory on them to pledge allegiance to an Amir of the Believers who observes the rule of Shari'ah rather than Pervez's polytheistic positive-law constitution. And the Muslims will not be successful in liberating themselves from slavery to Pervez and his polytheistic laws until they are successful in liberating themselves from many of the leaders and 'Ulama falsely affiliated with Islam who are in fact the first line of defense for Pervez and his government and army. You have seen with your own eyes the stances they took previously, when, rather than moving to break the siege placed on the Muslims of Afghanistan, they moved to break the siege placed on the bases and airports which Pervez gave to America and from which the planes were taking off to pound us in Tora Bora, Kabul, Kandahar, Paktia, Nangarhar and other places. And for your information, Pervez only dared to invade Lal Masjid and Jami'ah Hafsa after he was satisfied that most of the 'Ulama and leaders of the Jama'ats (groups) had renounced the Jihad which Allah the Most High legislated to enforce the truth and whose banner was tied by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and replaced it with polytheistic democratic solutions and with peaceful demonstrations and bogus threats to absorb the anger of the masses. Pervez had tested them before, when he broke the back of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, after which they came to him voluntarily and of their own accord to participate in the polytheistic parliament, as if nothing had happened."

"So O people of Islam in Pakistan: the truth is greater than everyone, and if truth is not greater than everyone and if we don't apply the Hudood (punishments) to both the nobleman and weak, that is the road to ruin, as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) informed, "Those before you were ruined because when the nobleman among them stole, they would let him go, but when the weak one among them stole, they would execute on him the Hadd (punishment). And by He in whose Hand is my soul, were Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, to steal, I would cut off her hand." (Agreed upon)"

"O youth of Islam in Pakistan: the Pen is writing what is for you and what is against you, and it won't benefit you to make excuses by saying that many of your 'Ulama and leaders have allied themselves to the infidel rulers and that the rest have failed to speak the truth and declare it out of fear of the ruling Taghuts, except those on whom Allah has had mercy, and these are either in prison or on the run. This huge disaster - i.e. the marching of the 'Ulama of vice in line with the apostate ruler and their currying favor with him and attacking of the sincere Mujahid 'Ulama - isn't peculiar to Pakistan, but rather, is a disaster covering the entire Islamic Ummah. And there is no power nor might except with Allah."

"So O people of Islam in Pakistan: every one of you will come alone to Allah, the Most High, and be held to account for his own actions, so discharge your duty. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said, "The smart one is he who subdues his self and works for what comes after death, and the feeble one is he who lets his self chase after its desires and [then] hopes from Allah." And be aware that if the Jihad becomes an individual obligation, as is the case today, there are only two ways with no third: either Jihad, which is the way of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and those who believed with him, or sitting, which is the way of the disobedient ones and Munafiqeen. So make your choice. Allah, the Most High, says, "They prefer to be with the womenfolk who remain behind at home, so their hearts are sealed so that they understand not. But the Messenger and those who believe with him strive [in the cause of Allah] with their wealth and their persons, and it is they who shall have good things, and it is they who shall prosper." (9:87-88)"

"And we in al-Qaida Organization call on Allah to witness that we will retaliate for the blood of Maulana Abd al-Rashid Ghazi and those with him against Musharraf and those who help him, and for all the pure and innocent blood, foremost of which is the blood of the champions of Islam in Waziristan - both North and South - among them the two noble leaders, Nek Muhammad and Abdullah Mahsud. May Allah have mercy on them all. The tribes of Waziristan have made a great stand in the face of international Kufr - America, its allies and its agents - and the major states have been unable to make the stands they have made. They have been made resolute in this stance by their Iman (faith) in Allah, the Most High, and their Tawakkul (reliance) on Him, and they have withstood huge sacrifices of souls and wealth. We ask Allah to compensate them well. And the Muslims shall not forget these magnificent stances, and the blood of the 'Ulama of Islam and leaders of the Muslims and their offspring will not be spilled in vain or neglected as long as there remains in us a pulsing vein or a blinking eye. We ask Allah to help us to fulfill that."

"O Allah, our Lord, accept those of our brothers and sisters who have been killed among the martyrs and heal the wounded; O Allah, make their graves spacious for them, and take care of their families and raise their grades in 'Illiyeen (Heaven); O Allah, Pervez, his ministers, his 'Ulama and his soldiers have been hostile to your friends in Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially in Waziristan, Swat, Bajaur and Lal Masjid: O Allah, break their backs, split them up and destroy their unity; O Allah, afflict them with the loss of their dear ones as they have afflicted us with the loss of our dear ones; O Allah, we seek refuge in You from their evilness and we place You at their throats; O Allah, make their plotting their destruction; O Allah, suffice for us against them with whatever You wish; O Allah, destroy them, for they cannot escape You; O Allah, count them, kill them, and leave not even one of them; O Allah, our Lord, give us in this world goodness and in the last goodness, and protect us from the torment of the Fire; O Allah, send prayers and peace on our Prophet Muhammad and on all his family and Companions."

By Jeffrey Imm on September 20, 2007 3:30 PM
11100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: September 20, 2007, 05:52:35 PM
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2007/09/print/obl_pakistan_transcript.php

Counterterrorism Blog

Bin Laden "Come to Jihad" Pakistan Message Transcript

By Jeffrey Imm

From Laura Mansfield - complete transcript of Osama Bin Laden September 20, 2007 message "Come to Jihad"


Image from Laura Mansfield

Complete message video link - from Laura Mansfield
CTB Analysis posting - September 20, 2007

"Come to Jihad: A Speech to the People of Pakistan
Shaykh Usama bin Ladin
(May Allah protect him)
September 2007/Ramadan 1428"

"All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His aid and forgiveness, and we seek refuge in Allah from the evil in ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides cannot be led astray, and he who is led astray cannot be guided. I bear witness that there is no God other than Allah alone, without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger."

"As for what comes after:"

"To my Muslim brothers in Pakistan:"

"Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.

"Allah, the Most High, says, 'O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be harsh against them. Their abode is Hell, and an evil destination it is.' (9:73) And the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, says, 'There is no one who abandons a Muslim in a place where his honor is violated and his sanctity is infringed upon except that Allah, the Most High, abandons him in a place in which he would like His aid. And there is no one who aids a Muslim in a place where his honor is violated and his sanctity is infringed upon except that Allah aids him in a place in which he would like His aid.' (Narrated by Ahmad)"

"Pervez's invasion of Lal Masjid in the City of Islam, Islamabad, is a sad event, like the crime of the Hindus in their invasion and destruction of the Babari Masjid. And this event has crucial and critical connotations, most important of which are:"

"First, this event demonstrated Musharraf's insistence on continuing his loyalty, submissiveness and aid to America against the Muslims, and this is one of the ten nullifiers of Islam, as the people of knowledge have determined, and makes armed rebellion against him and removing him obligatory. Allah, the Most High, says, 'O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guides not a people unjust.' (5:51) And His statement 'And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them' means that he is of them in Kufr (unbelief), as the people of Tafseer (explanation) have said. This ruling was the one given and confirmed by Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, may Allah have mercy on him, in his famous Fatwa following the raids on New York, and among the things which he said: 'If any ruler of an Islamic state provides aid to an infidel state in its aggression against the Islamic states, it is the legal obligation of the Muslims to remove him from power and consider him to be legally a traitor to Islam and Muslims.' People of Islam in Pakistan: Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, may Allah have mercy on him, discharged a great duty which was upon him, and declared the word of truth and didn't care about the anger of the creation. He endangered himself and his wealth and made clear the ruling of Allah regarding Pervez: that he is a traitor to Islam and Muslims and must be removed. This Fatwa enraged Pervez and enraged his masters in America, and it is my opinion that the murder of the Mufti - may Allah have mercy on him - was at their hands. And Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai died without having replaced the word of truth with falsehood, in contrast to what many of the 'Ulama of vice do. And the obligation on us remains, and we have been extremely late in carrying it out, six years having passed, so we should make up for lost time. May Allah forgive me as well as you."

"Second, the government's showing of Maulana Abd al-Aziz Ghazi in women's clothing in the media is clear evidence of the extent of the great hostility, hatred and contempt held by Pervez and his government towards Islam and its sincere 'Ulama, and that is greater Kufr which takes one out of Islam. Allah, the Most High, says, "And if you question them, they will most surely say, 'We were only talking idly and jesting.' Say, 'Was it Allah and His Signs and His Messenger which you were mocking?' Make no excuses. You have certainly disbelieved after believing. If We forgive a party from among you, a party We shall punish, for they are criminals." (9:65-66) And read, if you wish, the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer - may Allah have mercy on him - regarding this Ayat."

"Third, in such events, the people are tested and the friends of the Most Merciful are separated from the friends of Satan. The 'Ulama who are from the friends of the Most Merciful declare the truth, and if they are unable or are weak, they observe silence and don't help falsehood with their words or actions. As for the friends of Satan, they are led by Pakistani military intelligence to speak falsehood and help its people. Some of them deem it obligatory to unite with Pervez and his army, while others deem as Haraam martyrdom-seeking fedayee operations against the soldiers of the Taghut (idol-king), while still others assail the Mujahideen, slandering and defaming them. And this is the way of the Munafiqeen (Hypocrites). Allah, the Most High, says, "They are stingy [in helping] you. And when danger comes, you see them looking towards you, their eyes rolling like one fainting as death approaches. But when the fear has passed away, they assail you with sharp tongues, being stingy with good deeds. Those have never believed, so Allah has rendered their works null and void. And that is easy for Allah." (33:19)"

"So everyone who refrained from helping the Imam Maulana Abd al-Rashid Ghazi is from the sitters, whereas those who attacked him to help Pervez, claiming that Islam isn't established through fighting and calling fighting in the path of Allah "terrorism" - in the context of invective - and saying that the way is through peaceful demonstrations and democratic methods are from those who have gone astray and followed the path of the Munafiqeen."

"Nearly two decades ago, the soil of Pakistan saw and was watered by the blood of a great Imam of the Imams of Islam - i.e. the Mujahid champion Imam Abdullah Azzam, may Allah have mercy on him - and today, we have seen another great Imam, not at the level of Pakistan alone, but at the level of the entire Islamic Ummah: i.e. the Imam Maulana Abd al-Rashid Ghazi, may Allah have mercy on him. He, his brothers, his students and the female students of Jami'ah Hafsa demanded the application of the Shari'ah of Islam, as the reason for our creation is that we worship Allah the Most High through His religion, al-Islam, and they were killed because of this great objective. Allah, the Most High, says, "And I have not created jinn and men but that they may worship Me." (51:56) They sacrificed the great thing they owned: they sacrificed themselves for their religion. I ask Allah to accept them among the martyrs. They were killed treacherously and treasonously at the hands of the apostate infidel Pervez and his aides. The purpose of the army - or so they say - is to protect the Muslims against the Kuffaar, but now we see the armies becoming tools and weapons in the hands of the Kuffaar against the Muslims. Pervez threw away the cause of Kashmir and restrained those fighting to liberate it, in accordance with the wishes of the Hindus and Nazarenes. Then he opened his bases and airports to America for invading the Muslims in Afghanistan, and as you've seen before, the army attacked the people of Swat who also demanded the rule of Shari'ah, and attacked the people of Waziristan, in addition to betraying and extraditing hundreds of Arab Mujahideen from the grandsons of the Sahabah (Companions), with whom Allah was pleased, to the head of Kufr, America. So Pervez, his ministers, his soldiers and those who help him are all accomplices in the spilling the blood of those of the Muslims who have been killed. He who helps him knowingly and willingly is an infidel like him, and as for he who helps him knowingly and under compulsion, his compulsion isn't legally valid, as the soul of the one forced to kill isn't better than the soul of the one killed, and the Messenger of Allah - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him - said, "Were all the inhabitants of the heavens and earth to participate in the spilling of a believer's blood, Allah - the Great and Glorious - would throw them into the Fire." So I tell the soldiers who perform the Salaat (prayer) in the military organs: you must resign from your jobs and enter anew into Islam and disassociate yourself from Pervez and his Shirk (polytheism)."

"Some of the Munafiqeen among the 'Ulama of vice and others may say that Islam orders us to stay together and the people to unite with the army and government to stand in the face of the enemies and avoid Fitnah (strife). I say: the one who says this is creating lies about Allah. The government and army have become enemies of the Ummah, after becoming a weapon in the hands of the Kuffaar against the Muslims. And they refuse to rule by the religion of Islam in all of life's affairs, like politics, economy, social life and other matters. Allah has ordered these and their like to be fought, not to be united with and hung onto, as those hypocrites claim. Allah, the Most High, says, "And fight them until there is no Fitnah [polytheism], and religion is wholly for Allah." (8:39) So if some of the religion is for Allah and some of it is for other than Allah, fighting is obligatory to make the religion entirely for Allah, the Most High."

"By the grace of Allah, the Most High, we performed Jihad with the Afghan Mujahideen against the Russians, and the Afghan army was a weapon in their hands against us. They would pray and fast, but despite that, the senior 'Ulama of the Islamic world, including the 'Ulama of Pakistan, ruled that they are to be fought. And after the exit of the Russians, the 'Ulama of Pakistan also supported Taliban against the Northern Alliance, although they also pray and fast. So is there any difference between Pervez and his soldiers and Ahmad Shah Massoud, Rabbani and Sayyaf and their soldiers? There is no difference at all. All of them have pledged to the Crusaders to fight true Islam and its people, and those who say it is forbidden to fight Pervez and his soldiers and exclude him from the general ruling have an illness in their hearts: they prefer this life to the next. Allah, the Most High, says, "Are your unbelievers better than those or have you an immunity [from punishment] in the sacred books?" (54:43)"

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