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11201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Balkans on: February 24, 2008, 02:26:12 PM
February 24, 2008
Yippy Ti Yi Yo, Europe!
Neuroticism abroad.
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

In the last few days, we’ve been reminded yet again that Europe’s radical secularism, atheism, socialism, multiculturalism, childlessness, and aging population make a fascinating but unstable mix — a lovely, fragile orchid in a thinly protected greenhouse.

Kosovo has just declared its independence from Serbia, and what follows could be nightmarish. An oil-rich, bellicose, and rearming Russia doesn’t much like the new breakaway state. But France, Germany, and most of the European Union — other than its Orthodox members and those in close proximity to Vladimir Putin — encouraged it. To paraphrase Joseph Stalin, “How many divisions does the E.U. have?”

Recently Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking on German soil, told cheering Turkish workers and Germans of Turkish ancestry that assimilation is "a crime against humanity" — in between demands that the European Union admit his increasingly Islamicized Turkey to full membership. The American press passed over Erdogan’s broadside, but it was a revolutionary, nationalist appeal to German residents of Turkish backgrounds, over the head of, and contrary to, the German government itself — eerily like, mutatis mutandis, Hitler’s appeal in the late 1930s to the supposedly oppressed Germans of Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile Norway is about to request 100,000 Turkish guest workers for its cash-rich but labor-poor economy. The French, however, are sighing ‘been there, done that,’ as police sweep public housing projects in the Paris suburbs looking for Muslim immigrants implicated in past riots.

The British press claims that Muslim immigrants committed over 17,000 acts of “honor” violence in Britain last year. Perhaps in response, the Archbishop of Canterbury conceded that imposition of a parallel system of sharia law in the United Kingdom might be “unavoidable.” Iran just warned Denmark to silence its newspapers, which once again are republishing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

Meanwhile, many European NATO troops in Afghanistan rarely venture into combat zones, even as U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pleads in vain for Europe to send over a few more thousand from its nearly two-million-man standing army. A recent Pew poll revealed that in many European countries only about 30-40 percent of those surveyed have a positive opinion of the United States.

How do all these diverse narratives and agendas add up? The vaunted European multicultural, multilateral, utopian and pacifist worldview is now on its own and thus will get hammered as never before in the unrelenting forge of history. Very soon there will be no more George W. Bush to dump on, hide behind, and blame for the widening cracks in the Atlantic alliance. Instead Europeans may well have to call on the old pro, Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, to lead them in negotiating sessions with jihadists, Iran, and Russia.

Consider Kosovo again. Europe is invested, quite rightly I think, in promoting its independence. But it is a Muslim country in a post-9/11 landscape, with a history of drawing not only Albanian but also Middle Eastern jihadists to its defense. Russia and Serbia together have the military wherewithal to invade it tomorrow — Serbia by land, Russia by air — and end its breakaway experiment — to the relief of some Eastern European and Orthodox European states, and to the humiliation of the E.U. What stops them is not a few NATO peacekeepers but the commitment of the United States to use its vast resources to further the European agenda of stopping Serbian ethnic cleansing and aggression.

Yet consider our dilemma. Why would we intervene abroad in a third war when our allies have lectured us ad nauseam about the amorality of military intercession, have shown little interest in fighting jihadism in Afghanistan or Iraq, and have made clear that they want very little to do with the United States? And after 9/11, why would the United States rush to the aid of a Muslim country in a war whose earlier incarnation, under Bill Clinton, was never authorized by the U.S. Congress or the U.N.?

In short, I doubt the United States will “surge” anything in the Balkans. We will be quite happy to see a postmodern European solution to an essentially European problem. No doubt Sen. Harry Reid or Speaker Nancy Pelosi will remind the public that President Bill Clinton never got a formal congressional treaty authorization to deploy and station American troops in the former Yugoslavia.

The more labor that a secular, increasingly sterile European populace imports, the more social problems will accrue from unassimilated Muslim immigrants who like the economy and freedom of the West but are reluctant to relax any of their own religious and cultural views to participate fully in the postmodern society of their hosts. The resulting “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” is not a static situation, but one that will be resolved either in multicultural/appeasement fashion (grant de facto sharia law at home and seek friendly realignment with Middle Eastern dictatorships abroad) or with tough assimilationist and immigration policies, coupled with increasingly explicit distrust of expansionary Islam.

Europe is short on energy and depends on illiberal Russia and the Middle East for its fuel. Both these regions are sick and tired of Europe’s empty lectures about human rights and feel only disdain for its absence of military might to back up its sermonizing. But Europe is also anti-American, and now in a world of Ahmadinejihads, Putins, Chinese communist apparatchiks, and thuggish Latin American strongmen, it has more or less alienated the only reliable and capable resource it might have drawn on — the goodwill of the United States.

Europe is in a classic paradox. Emotionally and culturally, Europeans are invested in a leftist such as Obama who reflects their soft socialist values and fuzzy multilateralism. But given their inherent military weakness and rough neighborhood, they have grown to count on an antithetical America — religious, conservative, militarily strong — that is not afraid to use force to fulfill its obligations to preserve the shared Western globalized system from its constant multifarious challenges. I’m not sure they privately want a President Obama calling Sarkozy or Merkel and announcing, “I think we should co-chair a worldwide Islamic conference to hear out Iran’s grievances.” Much better it would be for the U.S. to ensure that Iran doesn’t get the bomb — at which point the French elite would trash America in Le Monde for being unilateral, cowboyish, and preemptive.

Our response to this Euro-neuroticism?

We are weary and tired of it. As our ancestors out West used to sing, “Yippy ti yi yo, get along little dogies, It's all your misfortune and none of my own…”
11202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Balkans on: February 24, 2008, 09:05:27 AM
http://centerforsecuritypolicy.com/

Kosovo's stark warning
CSP Security Forum | Feb 22, 2008

by Caroline Glick

 
Kosovo's independence may cause more problems than it solves.
Kosovo's US-backed declaration of independence is deeply troubling. By setting a precedent of legitimizing the secession of disaffected minorities, it weakens the long-term viability of multi-ethnic states. In so doing, it destabilizes the already stressed state-based international system.

States as diverse as Canada, Morocco, Spain, Georgia, Russia and China currently suffer problems with politicized minorities. They are deeply concerned by the Kosovo precedent. Even the US has latent sovereignty issues with its increasingly politicized Hispanic minority along its border with Mexico. It may one day experience a domestic backlash from its support for Kosovar independence from Serbia.

Setting aside the global implications, it is hard to see how Kosovo constitutes a viable state. Its 40 percent unemployment is a function of the absence of proper economic and governing infrastructures.

In November, a European Commission report detailed the Kosovo Liberation Army's failure to build functioning governing apparatuses. The report noted that "due to a lack of clear political will to fight corruption, and to insufficient legislative and implementing measures, corruption is still widespread... Civil servants are still vulnerable to political interference, corrupt practices and nepotism." Moreover, "Kosovo's public administration remains weak and inefficient."

The report continued, "The composition of the government anti-corruption council does not sufficiently guarantee its impartiality," and "little progress can be reported in the area of organized crime and combating of trafficking in human beings."

Additionally, the prosecution of Albanian war criminals is "hampered by the unwillingness of the local population to testify" against them. This is in part due to the fact that "there is still no specific legislation on witness protection in place."

The fledgling failed-state of Kosovo is a great boon for the global jihad. It is true that Kosovar Muslims by and large do not subscribe to radical Islam. But it is also true that they have allowed their territory to be used as bases for al-Qaida operations; that members of the ruling Kosovo Liberation Army have direct links to al-Qaida; and that the Islamic world as a whole perceived Kosovo's fight for independence from Serbia as a jihad for Islamic domination of the disputed province.

According to a 2002 Wall Street Journal report, al-Qaida began operating actively in Kosovo, and in the rest of the Balkans, in 1992. Osama bin Laden visited Albania in 1996 and 1997. He received a Bosnian passport from the Bosnian Embassy in Austria in 1993. Acting on bin Laden's orders, in 1994 his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri set up training bases throughout the Balkans including one in Mitrovica, Kosovo. The Taliban and al-Qaida set up drug trafficking operations in Kosovo to finance their operations in Afghanistan and beyond.

In 2006, John Gizzi reported in Human Events that the German intelligence service BND had confirmed that the 2005 terrorist bombings in Britain and the 2004 bombings in Spain were organized in Kosovo. Furthermore, "The man at the center of the provision of the explosives in both instances was an Albanian, operating mostly out of Kosovo... who is the second ranking leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, Niam Behzloulzi."

Then, too, at its 1998 meeting in Pakistan, the Organization of the Islamic Conference declared that the Albanian separatists in Kosovo were fighting a jihad. The OIC called on the Muslim world to help "this fight for freedom on the occupied Muslim territories."

Supporters of Kosovo claim that as victims of "genocide," Kosovar Muslims deserve independence. But if the Muslims in Kosovo have been targeted for annihilation by the Serbs, then how is it that they have increased from 48% of the population in 1948 to 92% today? Indeed, Muslims comprised only 78% of the population in 1991, the year before Yugoslavia broke apart.

In recent years particularly, it is Kosovo's Serbian Christians, not its Albanian Muslims, who are targeted for ethnic cleansing. Since 1999, two-thirds of Kosovo's Serbs - some 250,000 people - have fled the area.

The emergence of a potentially destabilizing state in Kosovo is clearly an instance of political interests trumping law. Under international law, Kosovo has no right to be considered a sovereign state. Even UN Security Council Resolution 1244 from 1999, which the KLA claims provides the legal basis for Kosovar sovereignty, explicitly recognizes Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo.

For Israel, Kosovo's US-backed declaration of independence should be a source of alarm great enough to require a rethinking of foreign policy. Unfortunately, rather than understand and implement the lessons of Kosovo, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is working actively to ensure that they are reenacted in the international community's treatment of Israel and the Palestinians. Today, Israel is enabling the Palestinians to set the political and legal conditions for the establishment of an internationally recognized state of Palestine that will be at war with Israel.

By accepting the "Road Map Plan to a Two-State Solution" in 2004, Israel empowered the US, the EU, Russia and the UN, who comprise the international Quartet, to serve as judges of Palestinian and Israeli actions toward one another. In November 2007, at the Annapolis conference, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government explicitly empowered the US to "monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the road map."

That these moves have made Israel dependent on the kindness of strangers was made clear this week when Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni instructed Israel's ambassadors to launch a campaign to convince the international community that Israel and the Palestinians are making great strides in their negotiations toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. Livni's move was precipitated by growing European and US dissatisfaction with the pace of those negotiations and by reports from the meeting of Quartet members in Berlin on February 11. There all members voiced anger at the slow pace of negotiations and opposition to Israel's military actions in Gaza, which are aimed at protecting the western Negev from rocket and mortar attacks.

The US representative at the Quartet's meeting, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, reportedly told his colleagues, "First, we must not allow the suicide bombing in Dimona and the shooting on Sderot to affect the negotiations."

Welch reportedly added, "It is also important to us that neither the Palestinians in Gaza nor the Israelis in Sderot are hurt. Also, we must continue to strengthen Mahmoud Abbas and Salaam Fayad."

Moreover, Ran Koriel, Israel's ambassador to the EU, reportedly warned Livni that the Russians are pushing for the re-establishment of a Fatah-Hamas government. Several EU states, including France, are reconsidering their refusal to recognize Hamas.

If Israel had not empowered the Quartet generally and the US specifically to determine whether the PA and Israel are behaving properly, a European or Russian decision to recognize Hamas would have little impact. But given their role as arbiters, Quartet members can take punitive action against Israel if it fails to comply with their wishes. The Quartet can replace international law in determining who can assert sovereignty over Gaza, Judea and Samaria and how Israel can exercise its own sovereignty. And so, Livni is reduced to begging them not to recognize Hamas.

Once the US decided in 1999 to commit its own forces to NATO's bombing of Serbia and subsequent occupation of Kosovo, the jig was up for Serbian sovereignty over the area. The fact is, NATO forces in Kosovo were deployed for the express purpose of blocking Serbia from exercising its sovereignty over Kosovo, not to prevent violence between the Kosovars and the Serbs or among the Muslims and Christians in Kosovo. That is, NATO deployed in Kosovo to enable it to gain independence.

And if US or NATO forces are deployed to Gaza or Judea and Samaria, they will not be there to protect Israelis from Palestinian terror or to prevent the areas from acting as global terror bases. They will be there to establish a Palestinian state.

Failing to understand the meaning of Kosovo, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government refuses to understand this point. Indeed, the government is actively lobbying NATO to deploy forces in Gaza. Just as it wrongly hoped that UNIFIL forces in south Lebanon would fight Hizbullah for it, so today, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government insists that NATO forces in Gaza will fight Hamas for it.

If applying the lessons of UNIFIL to Gaza is too abstract for the Olmert-Livni-Barak government, Israel has experience with EU monitors in Gaza itself to learn from. Wrongly assuming that the Europeans shared Israel's interest in preventing terrorists and weapons from entering Gaza, Israel requested that EU monitors set up shop at the Rafah terminal linking Gaza to Egypt after Israel withdrew from the border in 2005. Yet whenever confronted by Fatah and Hamas terrorists, rather than fight the EU monitors flee to Israel for protection. And its monitors' experience with Palestinian terrorists taking over the border has never caused the EU to question its support for Palestinian statehood.

Then, too, since the US, EU, UN and Russia all consider Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to be one territorial unit, it is not surprising that Israel's request for NATO forces in Gaza has been greeted by a US plan to deploy NATO forces in Judea and Samaria. If NATO forces in Gaza would do nothing to secure the border with Egypt or to fight terrorists and would scuttle Israeli operations in the area, NATO forces in Judea and Samaria would not simply prevent Israel from protecting its citizens who live there. They would also prevent Israel from taking action to prevent the Palestinians from attacking central Israel and asserting control over the border with Jordan. And yet, as The Jerusalem Post reported this week, Israel is conducting talks with the US regarding just such a NATO deployment.

What the Serbs made NATO fight its way in to achieve, Israel is offering NATO on a silver platter.

Not surprisingly, Abbas's adviser and PA propaganda chief Yasser Abd Rabbo reacted to Kosovo's declaration of independence by recommending that the Palestinians follow the example. Abd Rabbo said, "Kosovo is not better than us. We deserve independence even before Kosovo, and we ask for the backing of the United States and the European Union for our independence."

For its part, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government has responded to Kosovo's declaration of independence with customary confusion. But the lessons of Kosovo are clear. Not only should Israel join Russia, Canada, China, Spain, Romania and many others in refusing to recognize Kosovo. It should also state that as a consequence of Kosovo's independence, Israel rejects the deployment of any international forces to Gaza or Judea and Samaria, and refuses to cede its legal right to sovereignty in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem to international arbitration.
11203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 24, 2008, 08:54:26 AM
In 2002, when the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe hit a twelve-year high, French Jewish leader Roger Cukierman observed a peculiar phenomenon on the European street -a loose fusing of extreme Left, Right, and Muslim political forces-what Cukierman terms the "brown-green-red alliance."[24] The three disparate constituencies have incompatible ideologies, but all three have a shared hatred for the pluralized world order, globalized market economies, U.S. preponderance, and the state of Israel. Cukierman has observed these forces forming an alliance of convenience in the post-9/11 world with potentially dangerous results.

The same pattern is also emerging in the United States with groups of the extreme Left forging bonds with specific Muslim organizations, and here again we find the MSA figures prominently. Given the MSA's propensity for radical politics in a campus environment, it is no surprise that it has become arguably the Muslim organization most enmeshed with American leftists. Consider the following:

·       Perhaps as a reward for its total opposition to every U.S. policy since the September 2001 attacks, the MSA has been given a seat on the steering committee for International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). ANSWER is an organization dedicated to defending rogue states and fighting "U.S. imperialism," and has been distinguished by its ability to organize the largest peace demonstrations in North America. ANSWER was formed by International Action Center, a communist organization that supports Stalinist regimes worldwide, including North Korea and Hussein's Iraq. [25]

·       In its aggressive protest activities against recent Middle East wars, the MSA has developed strong working ties with numerous activist groups of the extreme Left. Among them: Free Palestine Alliance, Nicaragua Network, Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Mexico Solidarity Network, Korea Truth Commission, Young Communist League, Young Peoples' Socialist League, and Black Radical Congress.

As these examples suggest, the MSA boasts institutional ties with a host of radical issue-specific activist groups, all of them vehemently opposed to U.S. policy, and many of them openly anti-American.

The Center for Security Policy's Alex Alexiev argues, "The majority of Muslim Student Associations at U.S. colleges are dominated by Islamist and anti-American agendas, as are most of the numerous Islamic centers and schools financed by the Saudis. Intolerance and outright rejection of American values and democratic ideals are often taught also in the growing number of Deobandi schools that are frequently subsidized by the Saudis."[26]

The following examples illustrate both the degree and pervasiveness of hate-America vitriol that characterize the MSA:

·       Taliban propaganda is featured on the website of the University of Southern California MSA chapter.[27]

·       One featured article in Al-Talib (a magazine developed by the UCLA chapter of the MSA and not affiliated with the Taliban of Afghanistan) entitled, "The Spirit of Jihad," praised Osama bin Laden as a "prominent Muslim activist." The article goes on to say, "When we hear someone refer to the great mujahideen Osama bin Laden as a 'terrorist,' we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter; someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah's cause and speak out against oppressors." [28]

·       Another Al-Talib article entitled "Americanization" states, "A dangerous weapon has once again been unfurled by the U.S. military in this War on Terrorism ... This weapon comes in the form of cultural warfare ... In this new War on Terrorism, the colossal brunt of this production machine is now squarely targeted at the Muslim population." [29]

·       At an Al-Talib event to offer support for Imam Jamil al-Amin, convicted of killing a policeman, guest speaker Imam Abdul-Alim Musa said, "When you fight [the U.S.] you are fighting someone that is superior in criminality and Nazism ... the American criminalizer is the most skillful oppressor the world has ever known ...They beat the British at everything, isn't that right? They are a better colonizer, a better murderer, a better killer, a better liar, a better thief, a better infiltrator than old British." [30]

This anti-Americanism blends together almost seamlessly with a virulent discourse against the Jews and Israel. Consider the following:

·       At the 2001 MSA West conference, hosted by UCLA, cleric Imam Muhammad al-Asi stated, "Israel is as racist as apartheid could ever be ... you can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew."[31]

·       The MSA continues to celebrate violence against Israel on its websites. At the MSA Northwest site, for example, images of Hamas suicide squads and child soldiers are proudly displayed above jihadist poetry, whose verse (erratically capitalized) celebrates violence: "...two soldiers spotted me in their sight ... i had to blast 4 shots hitting each one in the face and waist. a trace of blood drips from my arm as i make my away thru streets with an injured zionist as a hostage ... seen a group of israeli soldiers run out and began pulling the trigger when sounds of rounds began playing a deadly melody. Each gun dropped two ..." [32]

·       In 2002, the MSA at the University of Michigan helped host the Second National Student Conference for Palestine Solidarity Movement. At that conference, one of the guest speakers was ex-University of Florida professor Sami al-Arian, who is now awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.

Self-Defeating

Ironically, although one of the founding missions of the MSA is to increase favorable awareness of Muslim life among non-Muslims, the effect of the MSA's activities is the opposite: they confirm the worst suspicions of American society at large. The MSA's refusal to identify jihadists and jihadist sympathizers within its ranks, its indiscriminate opposition to U.S. policies following the September 11 attacks, its vitriolic anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, and its solidarity with "Leftover Left" radical activist organizations, together reinforce an image that the MSA, and by extension, Muslim college students, are a divisive, angry, and potentially violent group on our campuses. By monopolizing the Muslim student voice in America with "radical chic" to create a "single Muslim bloc," an opportunity to forge a healthy discourse on the diverse attitudes of Muslim students is lost to the confrontational language of radical dissent and resistance.

Universities that host student organizations have an obligation to enforce basic standards of conduct, standards that the MSA has clearly breached. At the very least, MSA's most egregious behavior must face censure from those responsible for monitoring student conduct. University administrators must unchain themselves from cultural relativism and the ideology of "validation" and deal squarely with such misdeeds.

More importantly, however, the problem of the Muslim Students' Association illustrates the great question that confronts the West today: how does it cultivate liberalism in Muslim communities living at home and abroad? Just as the U.S. policy of détente with the Arab world collapsed after September 11, to be replaced by a "forward strategy of democracy," it may be time to adopt a "forward strategy" within U.S. borders, focused on promoting moderate voices in mosques and campuses. To improve campus life for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, universities should work with moderate students to inaugurate a new Muslim students' organization, one that eschews the radical politics of the "old world" in favor of authenticity, diversity, and integration. A new Muslim student organization would return to the primary mission of religiously-based campus groups-to celebrate and share in the fellowship of faith.

*

Notes:

[1] "The Constitution of the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/about/constitution.html.
[2] WorldNetDaily, Mar. 18, 2003, at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31571.
[3] Frontpage Magazine, Apr. 4, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=7098.
[4] Sakeena Mirza and Ameena Qazi, "Robbing the Poor," al-Talib, vol. 12, no. 3, at http://www.al-talib.com/articles/v12_i3_a04.htm.
[5] "A Little Taste of History," Muslim Students' Association of U.S. and Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/about/history.html.
[6] Alex Alexiev, "The Missing Link in the War on Terror: Confronting Saudi Subversion," Center for Security Policy, at http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=alexiev.
[7] FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 23, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7395.
[8] "List of Organizations that Donate Islamic Books and Da'wah Materials," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-natl.org/resources/Donation_Books.html.
[9] "Senators Request Tax Information on Muslim Charities for Probe," Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, Jan. 14, 2003, at http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2004&m=January&x=20040114155543zemogb0.8868524&t=usinfo/wf-latest.html. For details, see http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/164.
[10] Hamid Algar, "Wahhabism: A Critical Essay," in Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Adair T. Lummis, eds., Islamic Values in the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 124.
[11] Ibid..
[12] Stephen Schwartz, "Terrorism: Growing Wahhabi Influence in the United States," testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, June 26, 2003, at http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/congress/2003_h/030626-schwartz.htm.
[13] MSA Starter's Guide: A Guide on How to Run a Successful MSA, 1st ed. (Washington, D.C.: Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Mar. 1996), at http://www.msa-natl.org/publications/startersguide.html.
[14] "Religious Accommodations Task Force," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/taskforces/religious.html.
[15] Shabana Mir, "Gender-based Exclusionism at a Muslim Student Association, Part I," The American Muslim, July/Aug. 2003, at http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/2003jul_comments.php?id=347_0_21_0_C.
[16] "Rally against the Patriot Act," University of Pennsylvania Muslim Students' Association, at http://www.upenn-msa.org/subcommittees/pmj/patriotact.html.
[17] "MSA National Demands an Immediate End to the Inhumane U.N. Sanctions," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., Apr. 6, 2001, at http://www.msa-national.org/media/pressreleases/040601.html.
[18] "Muslim Students Condemn U.S. Attack on Iraq," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., Dec. 17, 1998 at http://www.msa-national.org/media/pressreleases/121798.html.
[19] MSA Starter's Guide, at http://www.msa-natl.org/publications/startersguide.html.
[20] Oubai Mohammad Shahbandar, "Open Letter from an Arab-American Student," FrontPage Magazine, June 2, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=8143.
[21] "MSA National Political Action Task Force, America: Post 9/11," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/media/actionalerts/political.pdf.
[22] The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2003.
[23] Oubai Shahbandar, "U.S. Muslims as Patriots," The Arizona Republic, Oct. 11, 2003.
[24] Quoted by Mark Strauss, "Anti-Globalism's Jewish Problem," Foreign Policy, Nov./Dec. 2003.
[25] "National Conference against War, Colonial Occupation and Imperialism, May 17-18, New York City," ANSWER, at http://www.internationalanswer.org/news/update/041203m17conf.html.
[26] Alexiev, "This Missing Link on the War on Terror," at http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=alexiev.
[27] Syed Rahmatullah Hashimi, "Taliban in Afghanistan," University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Mar. 10, 2001, at http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/Taliban/talebanlec.html.
[28] Al-Talib, July 1999, quoted in FrontPageMagazine.com, Apr. 23, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=7113. Al-Talib is listed as an official MSA Project by the UCLA chapter of MSA, at http://www.msa-ucla.com/projects.htm.
[29] Ghaith Mahmood, "Americanization: Solutions for a Small Planet?" al-Talib, vol. 12, no. 3, at http://www.al-talib.com/articles/v12_i3_a05.htm.
[30] Erick Stakelbeck, "Islamic Radicals on Campus," FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 23, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7395.
[31]"UCLA Sponsors of Terrorism," FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 4, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7098.
[32] Atlantiz Miztery, "Palestine in War," South Seattle Community College Muslim Students' Association, at http://sscc.msanw.org/forum.htm.
11204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 24, 2008, 08:53:02 AM
**Let's see what the New Duranty Times didn't find newsworthy about the Muslim Student Association....**
Islamism's Campus Club

By Jonathan Dowd-Gailey
Middle East Quarterly | 6/2/2004

The northern Virginia-based Muslim Students' Association (MSA) might easily be taken for a benign student religious group. It promotes itself as a benevolent, non-political entity devoted to the simple virtue of celebrating Islam and providing college students a healthy venue to develop their faith and engage in philanthropy. Along these lines, its constitution declares the MSA's mission as serving "the best interest of Islam and Muslims in the United States and Canada so as to enable them to practice Islam as a complete way of life."[1]

Today, over 150 MSA chapters exist on American college campuses (divided into five regional chapters), easily establishing this organization as the most extensive Muslim student organization in North America. A Washington, D.C.-based national office assists in the establishment of constituent chapters and oversees fundraising and conferences while steering a plethora of special committees and "Political Action Task Forces."

Yet consider some of these recent activities of the MSA:

·       At a meeting in Queensborough Community College in New York in March 2003, a guest speaker named Faheed declared, "We reject the U.N., reject America, reject all law and order. Don't lobby Congress or protest because we don't recognize Congress. The only relationship you should have with America is to topple it ... Eventually there will be a Muslim in the White House dictating the laws of Shariah."[2]

·       During an October 2000 anti-Israeli protest, former MSA president Ahmed Shama at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) stood before the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, shouting "Victory to Islam! Death to the Jews!" MSA West president Sohail Shakr declared at the same rally, "the biggest impediment to peace [in the Middle East] has been the existence of the Zionist entity in the middle of the Muslim world."[3]

·       Prior to September 11, 2001, the MSA formally assisted three Islamic charities in fundraising: the Holy Land Foundation, Global Relief, and Benevolence Foundation. After that date, all three were accused by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of having serious links to terrorism and were ordered closed. The MSA issued a formal statement of protest: "How three of the nation's largest Muslim charities could be made inoperable at the peak of the giving season of Ramadan seemed unbelievable."[4]

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is overwhelming evidence that the MSA, far from being a benign student society, is an overtly political organization seeking to create a single Muslim voice on U.S. campuses-a voice espousing Wahhabism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism, agitating aggressively against U.S. Middle East policy, and expressing solidarity with militant Islamist ideologies, sometimes with criminal results.

A Saudi Creation

On its website, the MSA describes its emergence as spontaneous and disavows any link to foreign governments.[5] In fact, the creation of the MSA resulted from Saudi-backed efforts to found Islamic bodies internationally in the 1960s. Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy states, "The Saudis over the years set up a number of large front organizations, such as the World Muslim League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the Al Haramain Foundation, and a great number of Islamic "charities." While invariably claiming that they were private, all of these groups were tightly controlled and financed by the Saudi government and the Wahhabi clergy."[6]

In the United States, two leading Saudi-backed organizations were the MSA and the Islamic Society of North America (the MSA's adult counterpart), both of which received major funding, direction, and influence from Riyadh.

Personnel, money, and institutional linkages bound these organizations together from their inception, and all roads led eventually to Riyadh. Ahmad Totonji, an MSA co-founder, later served as vice-president for the notorious Saudi SAAR Foundation (a network of charities named after Saudi benefactor Sulayman 'Abd al-'Aziz ar-Rajhi), which closed down in 2001 after federal agents discovered links to terrorist groups.[7] Another MSA co-founder, Ahmad Sakr, served on a number of Saudi-affiliated organizations, such as the World Council of Mosques. The MSA is very much a result of Saudi "petro-Islam" diplomacy.

Current estimates suggest that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spends $4 billion annually on international aid, with two-thirds of that sum devoted to strictly Islamic development. Much of this largesse has ended up at Islamist organizations like MSA. Funded through private donations or through foundations and charities (only some of which the MSA officially reports),[8] MSA offers its Saudi benefactors a powerful tool. However, until the MSA's tax records are made public (on January 14, 2004, the Senate Finance Committee publicized a list of Islamic organizations whose financial records are sought, including the MSA),[9] the exact extent of foreign funding for the organization cannot be known.

But even without the tax records, there is plenty of evidence for the MSA's strident advocacy of the Saudi-style Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. In "Wahhabism: A Critical Essay," Hamid Algar of the University of California-Berkeley writes, "Some Muslim student organizations have functioned at times as Saudi-supported channels for the propagation of Wahhabism abroad, especially in the United States ... Particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, no criticism of Saudi Arabia would be tolerated at the annual conventions of the MSA. The organization has, in fact, consistently advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaati Islam."[10]

The MSA has played a major role in spreading Wahhabism. "Its numerous local chapters," Algar explains, "would make available at every Friday prayer large stacks of the [Mecca-based] World Muslim League's publications, in both English and Arabic. Although the MSA progressively diversified its connections with Arab states, official approval of Wahhabism remained strong."[11]

Stephen Schwartz goes further, stating in his June 2003 testimony to the U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, "Shia and other non-Wahhabi Muslim community leaders estimate that 80 percent of American mosques out of a total ranging between an official estimate of 1,200 and an unofficial figure of 4-6,000 are under Wahhabi control ... Wahhabi control over mosques means control of property, buildings, appointment of imams, training of imams, content of preaching including faxing of Friday sermons from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and of literature distributed in mosques and mosque bookstores, notices on bulletin boards, and organizational and charitable solicitation ... The main organizations that have carried out this campaign are the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which originated in the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)."[12]

The MSA reflects a prime characteristic of militant Islamic groups: a refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of secular society and personal spirituality. The MSA's Starters Guide contains an open call to Islamicize campus politics: "It should be the long-term goal of every MSA to Islamicize the politics of their respective university ... the politicization of the MSA means to make the MSA more of a force on internal campus politics. The MSA needs to be a more "In-your-face" association."[13]

All of this, the guide explains, results from the MSA's duty "to bring morality back into the campus" and to convince students to practice Islam "as a complete way of life."

In the process, the MSA preaches a creed of "special treatment" and "self-segregation" that sounds reminiscent of, and may actually borrow from, Afro-centric campus politics of the 1990s. Demanding that universities be more "Muslim-friendly," the MSA's newly established National Religious Accommodations Task Force (RATF) directs local MSA chapters to insist that universities provide separate housing and meals for Muslims only.[14]

The politics of segregation practiced by the MSA have included blanket marginalization of its own female members. Shabana Mir, writing for the American Muslim, summarizes the plight of Muslim women on campus: "It is particularly important to know what is happening with Muslim women pursuing higher education. Many Muslim women in MSAs are working toward the justice and the equality that Islam ordains for humankind. A survey of sisters' participation in MSAs conducted in 1994 shows that women's activism in MSAs is at an abysmally low level due in large part to "brother domination." A related problem is "there is a common attitude that strict segregation should exist between the genders and that sisters should not appear in public!" On an MSA mailing list, a popular article gives a long list of conditions that women must fulfill to gain access to the mosque. These include obtaining permission from her male guardian, wearing hijab [veil], not wearing "fancy clothes" or perfume, not mixing with men, leaving immediately after the prayer, and so on!" [15]

Political Monopoly

Just as the MSA promotes a single theology, it similarly projects a monolithic political voice, one openly antagonistic to Muslim American diversity and in complete opposition to existing U.S. foreign policy. Although Muslim students in the United States exhibit the full range of political views found in America today, the MSA invariably adopts lopsided adversarial positions, as in these three cases:

Patriot Act: The MSA categorically opposes this legislation, describing it as "infamous." Chapters across the country have agitated against it, as well as against virtually every other security initiative since 9/11. At an MSA rally at the University of Pennsylvania, the co-chair of Muslims for Justice declared, "the Patriot Act is sending us in a backwards spiral, where the destination is chaos."[16]

Afghanistan: The MSA opposed the military intervention against the Taliban regime, instead calling for a "police investigation." MSA National further advised that the entire matter would be best addressed at the International Criminal Tribunal. MSA chapters organized rallies demanding a ceasefire and held "Solidarity Fasts" to honor Afghans who, the MSA charged, would face massive starvation as a result of the war.

Iraq: Even before the crisis of 2003, the MSA opposed every U.S. policy towards Iraq over the last twelve years. It strongly opposed the United Nations (U.N.)-authorized sanctions, claiming that the sanctions were "nothing short of a systematic genocide being carried out against civilian people."[17] The MSA condemned former president Clinton's 1998 strike against Iraq following Saddam Hussein's ouster of U.N. weapons inspectors, declaring that its "brothers and sisters in Iraq are once again being terrorized by the self-appointed champions of democracy."[18]

MSA National consistently pledges support for the war on terror and claims to merely "represent" student views. But it maintains control of the political agenda, leaving the chapters simply to mobilize support. Its chapters pointedly ignored the New York Shi'ites who held vigils for their Iraqi brethren and the Michigan Kurds who rallied for Hussein's ouster. The MSA's decision to mobilize against the Bush administration took place without public debate and with no attempt at representing diverse views within the MSA. This approach is in keeping with the MSA's goal, as its official literature states, that the student body "be convinced that there is such a thing as a Muslim-bloc."[19]

Muslim students who refuse to submit to the MSA's position often find themselves harassed by their MSA peers. Oubai Shahbandar, an Arizona State University (ASU) student, expressed support for the Iraqi invasion and suffered condemnation from MSA members. Shahbandar states, "When I, a proud American of Arab descent and Muslim faith, took a stand on behalf of the liberation of my oppressed Iraqi brethren, the ASU Muslim Students' Association personally attacked me for not being a real Muslim and announced to the ASU student body in editorials in the student paper that I, Oubai Mohammad Shahbandar, was a hater of Arabs and Muslims."

Shahbandar also explains what the MSA preaches on his campus: "We are told America's foreign policy is based on racist neo-imperialism; we are taught that national security is a foul epithet to be reviled; we are told the Jews and Israel are to blame for the hatred against us."[20]

Playing the Victim

The MSA's adoption of the politics of victimization is reminiscent of wider campus trends of the 1990s. In the days immediately after the 9/11 attacks, the MSA stated, "In light of the Bush administration's casting blame for the attack on Osama Bin Laden, MSA National recognizes that Muslim students on college campuses will be subject to backlash."

Ominously, an "awareness" document describes post 9/11 Homeland Security policies in the same terms as do extremist Muslims abroad-that is, as an assault explicitly against Islam. America: Post 9/11, an MSA document, states, "Soon after [9/11], the attacks against our religion began at the hands of the media and the political establishment."[21]

Not surprisingly, the MSA has expressed resistance, outrage, and cynicism with virtually every high-profile arrest of Muslim Americans charged with conspiring with terrorists. When former University of South Florida (USF) professor Sami al-Arian was arrested for directing U.S. operations for the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Florida campus MSA chapter held a press conference and stated: "We come before you today on behalf of the Muslim Student Association at USF as well as the National Muslim Student Association of the U.S. and Canada to express our shock, deep concern, and plea for justice regarding the recent arrests of two USF professors, Dr. Sami al-Arian and Sameeh Hammoudeh ... we are concerned that the USF professors were arrested for their political views."

The problem is that the MSA has been unable or unwilling to recognize that some Muslims, including its members, have crossed the line between political advocacy and material support for jihadist activities. In fact, MSA members and activities have repeatedly surfaced in police investigations. Some of these arrests received national media coverage, including the following:

·       In February 2003, former head of the MSA chapter at the University of Idaho, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, was arrested with an indictment that he raised over $300,000 for the Islamic Assembly of North America, a group under federal investigation for funding terrorist groups. FBI agents believed Hussayen was communicating with two radical clerics, nicknamed the "awakening sheikhs," known for inspiring young Muslims to pursue the path of jihad and credited as major ideological mentors to Osama bin Laden.[22]

·       In April 2003, the home of Arizona State University MSA president Hassan Alrafea was raided by the FBI, whose agents confiscated his computer and unspecified documents.[23]


11205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenoma on: February 23, 2008, 09:26:27 AM
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/02/20/michelle-obamas-america-and-mine/?print=1

Michelle Obama’s America–and mine
By Michelle Malkin  •  February 20, 2008 08:04 AM

Barack Obama–the guy who effectively mocked the Clintons for not saying what they mean–is now trying to spin his wife’s comments by explaining that she, uh, didn’t really mean what she said.
I give you your morning snort-starter:
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama sought Tuesday to clarify his wife’s statement that she is proud of the U.S. “for the first time in my adult life.” He said her newfound pride is about the political system and was not meant to disparage her country…”Statements like this are made and people try to take it out of context and make a great big deal out of it, and that isn’t at all what she meant,” Obama said. “What she meant was, this is the first time that she’s been proud of the politics of America,” he said. “Because she’s pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she’s not alone. But she has seen large numbers of people get involved in the process, and she’s encouraged.”
Jim Hoft has the vid of Michelle Obama repeating the line twice. She meant what she said.
***
My column this week gives you two Michelles, two Americas. John Edwards was right after all!
Michelle Obama’s America—and mine
Michelle Malkin
Copyright Creators Syndicate 2008
Like Michelle Obama, I am a “woman of color.” Like Michelle Obama, I am a working mother of two young children. Like Michelle Obama, I am a member of the 13th Generation of Americans born since the founding of our great nation.
Unlike Michelle Obama, I can’t keep track of the number of times I’ve been proud—really proud—of my country since I was born and privileged to live in it.
At a speech in Milwaukee this week on behalf of her husband’s Democrat presidential campaign, Mrs. Obama remarked that “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
Mrs. Obama’s statement was met with warm applause from other Barack supporters who have apparently also been devoid of pride in their country for their adult lifetimes. Or maybe it was just a Pavlovian response to the word “change.” What a sad, empty, narcissistic, ungrateful, unthinking lot.
I’m just seven years younger than Mrs. Obama. We’ve grown up and lived in the same era. And yet, her self-absorbed attitude is completely foreign to me. What planet is she living on? Since when was now the only time the American people have ever been “hungry for change?” Michelle, ma belle, Barack is not the center of the universe. Newsflash: The Obamas did not invent “change” any more than Hillary invented “leadership” or John McCain invented “straight talk.”
We were both adults when the Berlin Wall fell, Michelle. That was earth-shattering change.
We’ve lived through two decades’ worth of peaceful, if contentious election cycles under the rule of law that have brought about “change” and upheaval both good and bad.
We were adults through several launches of the Space Shuttle, in case you were snoozing. [Ed. note: Speaking of which, welcome back, Atlantis!] And as adults, we’ve witnessed and benefited from dizzyingly rapid advances in technology, communications, science, and medicine pioneered by American entrepreneurs who yearned and succeeded to change the world. You want “change?” Go ask the patients whose lives have been improved and extended by American pharmaceutical companies who have flourished under the best economic system in the world.
If the fall of communism, American ingenuity, and a robust constitutional republic don’t do it for you, hon, then how about American heroism and sacrifice?
How about every Memorial Day? Every Veteran’s Day? Every Independence Day? Every Medal of Honor ceremony? Has she never attended a welcome home ceremony for the troops?
For me, there’s the thrill of the Blue Angels roaring over cloudless skies. And the somber awe felt amid the hallowed waters that surround the sunken U.S.S. Arizona at the Pearl Harbor memorial.
Every naturalization ceremony I’ve attended, where hundreds of new Americans have raised their hands to swear an oath of allegiance to this land of liberty, has been a moment of pride for me. So have the awesome displays of American compassion at home and around the world. When millions of Americans rallied to help the victims of the 2005 tsunami in southern Asia—including members of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group that sped from Hong Kong to assist survivors—my heart filled with pride. It did again when the citizens of Houston opened their arms to Hurricane Katrina victims and folks across the country rushed to their churches, Salvation Army, and Red Cross offices to volunteer.
How about American resilience? Does that not make you proud? Only a heart of stone could be unmoved by the strength, valor and determination displayed in New York and Washington and Shanksville, Pa., on September 11, 2001.
I believe it was Michael Kinsley who quipped that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. In this case, it’s what happens when an elite Democrat politician’s wife says what a significant portion of the party’s base really believes to be the truth: That America is more a source of shame than pride.
Michelle Obama has achieved enormous professional success, political influence, and personal acclaim in America. Ivy League-educated, she’s been lauded by Essence magazine as one of the 25 World’s Most Inspiring Women; by Vanity Fair as one of the “10 World’s Best Dressed People; and named one of “The Harvard 100″ top influencers. She has had an amazingly blessed life. But you wouldn’t know it from her campaign rhetoric and her griping over her and her husband’s student loans.
For years, we’ve heard liberals get offended at any challenge to their patriotism. And so they are again aggrieved and rising to explain away Mrs. Obama’s remarks.
Like Lady MacBeth*, Lady Michelle and her defenders protest too much.
***
Update: Yes, my English teachers are going to kill me. The Shakespeare reference is to Hamlet, not MacBeth!
11206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenoma on: February 22, 2008, 10:21:22 PM


http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=42FC5818-3048-5C12-005E33B3C0F4E64B

Michelle Obama thesis was on racial divide
By: Jeffrey Ressner
February 22, 2008 08:07 PM EST

Michelle Obama's senior year thesis at Princeton University, obtained from the campaign by Politico, shows a document written by a young woman grappling with a society in which a black Princeton alumnus might only be allowed to remain "on the periphery." Read the full thesis here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

"My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before," the future Mrs. Obama wrote in her thesis introduction. "I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second."

The thesis, titled "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community" and written under her maiden name, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, in 1985, has been the subject of much conjecture on the blogosphere and elsewhere in recent weeks, as it has been "temporarily withdrawn" from Princeton's library until after this year's presidential election in November. Some of the material has been written about previously, however, including a story last year in the Newark Star Ledger.

Obama writes that the path she chose by attending Princeton would likely lead to her "further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant."

During a presidential contest in which the term "transparency" has been frequently bandied about, candidates have buried a number of potentially revealing documents and papers. In Hillary Rodham Clinton's case, there's been a clamoring for tax records, White House memos and other material the candidate's team has chosen to keep from release. The 96-page Princeton thesis, restricted from release by the school's Mudd Library, has also been the subject of recent scrutiny.

Earlier this week, commentator Jonah Goldberg remarked on National Review Online, "A reader in the know informs me that Michelle Obama's thesis ... is unavailable until Nov. 5, 2008, at the Princeton library. I wonder why."

"Why a restricted thesis?" asked blogger-pastor Louis Lapides on his site Thinking Outside the Blog. "Is the concern based on what's in the thesis? Will Michelle Obama appear to be too black for white America or not black enough for black America?"

Attempts to retrieve the document through Princeton proved unsuccessful, with school librarians having been pestered so much for access to the thesis that they have resorted to reading from a script when callers inquire about it. Media officers at the prestigious university were similarly unhelpful, claiming it is "not unusual" for a thesis to be restricted and refusing to discuss "the academic work of alumni."

The Obama campaign, however, quickly responded to a request for the thesis by Politico. The thesis offers several fascinating insights into the mind of Michelle Obama, who has been a passionate advocate of her husband's presidential aspirations and who has made several controvesial statements, including this week's remark, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." That comment has fueled debate on countless blogs, radio talk shows and cable news for days on end, causing her to explain the statement in greater detail.

The 1985 thesis provides a trove of Michelle Obama's thoughts as a young woman, with many of the paper's statements describing the student's world as seen through a race-based prism.

"In defining the concept of identification or the ability to identify with the black community," the Princeton student wrote, "I based my definition on the premise that there is a distinctive black culture very different from white culture." Other thesis statements specifically pointed to what was seen by the future Mrs. Obama as racially insensitive practices in a university system populated with mostly Caucasian educators and students: "Predominately white universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the white students comprising the bulk of their enrollments."

To illustrate the latter statement, she pointed out that Princeton (at the time) had only five black tenured professors on its faculty, and its "Afro-American studies" program "is one of the smallest and most understaffed departments in the university." In addition, she said only one major university-recognized group on campus was "designed specifically for the intellectual and social interests of blacks and other third world students." (Her findings also stressed that Princeton was "infamous for being racially the most conservative of the Ivy League universities.")

Perhaps one of the most germane subjects approached in the thesis is a section in which she conveyed views about political relations between black and white communities. She quotes the work of sociologists James Conyers and Walter Wallace, who discussed "integration of black official(s) into various aspects of politics" and notes "problems which face these black officials who must persuade the white community that they are above issues of race and that they are representing all people and not just black people," as opposed to creating "two separate social structures."

To research her thesis, the future Mrs. Obama sent an 18-question survey to a sampling of 400 black Princeton graduates, requesting the respondents define the amount of time and "comfort" level spent interacting with blacks and whites before they attended the school, as well as during and after their University years. Other questions dealt with their individual religious beliefs, living arrangements, careers, role models, economic status, and thoughts about lower class blacks. In addition, those surveyed were asked to choose whether they were more in line with a "separationist and/or pluralist" viewpoint or an "integrationist and/or assimilationist" ideology.

Just under 90 alums responded to the questionnaires (for a response rate of approximately 22 percent) and the conclusions were not what she expected. "I hoped that these findings would help me conclude that despite the high degree of identification with whites as a result of the educational and occupational path that black Princeton alumni follow, the alumni would still maintain a certain level of identification with the black community. However, these findings do not support this possibility."
11207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenoma on: February 22, 2008, 05:37:25 PM

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/22/abc-interviews-obamas-army-source-for-last-nights-ammo-shortage-claim/
11208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: February 20, 2008, 10:56:16 AM
Wrong Call on Telecoms   
By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
The Washington Times | Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We interrupt this congressional recess to bring you an announcement: While the House of Representatives is vacationing this week, terrorists are probably communicating about plots to kill Americans without fear that their plans will be intercepted by U.S. intelligence.

If one or more of those mortal plots are, as a result, succeed, we won"t need an independent commission to assign blame. The buck will stop squarely at the desk of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who refused to allow a vote on permanent renewal of the Protect America Act (PAA).

That legislation provides, in effect, authority for the commander in chief to monitor our adversaries" battlefield communications — something successive presidents have routinely done since the Founding of the republic. Unfortunately, in the current, ongoing War for the Free World, the battlefield is global and the enemy"s signals are conveyed by a bewildering array of media not anticipated back in 1978 when Congress first imposed significant, but relatively modest restrictions on how and when American signals intercepts could take place.

To be clear, I believe such authority is inherent in the president"s powers under our Constitution. Unfortunately, a federal court found otherwise last year. This led first to a mad scramble to enact the Protect America Act in Fall 2007 and then, as that temporary, six-month legislation was ready to expire last weekend, to a continuing test of wills between the Democratic House leadership and President Bush. Incredibly, the House left town without scheduling a vote to reenact the PAA on a permanent basis.

Prominent among the stated justifications for this dereliction of duty by the House of Representatives is that the Senate version of the PAA re-enactment — passed recently with broad bipartisan support — included a provision anathema to the lower chamber"s Democratic leadership: It offered immunity from litigation for private telecommunications companies whose help in collecting signals intelligence was indispensable in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Sadly, this dereliction is not an isolated incident. In 2007, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — an organization identified by the Justice Department as a Muslim Brotherhood front organization and an un-indicted co-conspirator in a terrorism financing case — threatened to sue several individuals identified to date only as "John Does." These Americans responded, as did the telecoms, to a request for help by their government. They reported worrisome and provocative behavior on the part of a group of "Flying Imams" prior to a flight from Minneapolis to Arizona in 2006.

Congress and the public reacted vociferously when word got out concerning CAIR"s threats to those who fulfilled the oft-stated request by law-enforcement agencies across America to the effect that, "If you see something, say something." Within days, it became clear that substantial majorities in both the House and Senate favored relief for the John Does.

Then as now, though, Nancy Pelosi and other, like-minded House leaders used their positions to try to prevent enactment of the needed legislation. In the case of the John Does, however, the outcry to protect the country and those who heed official appeals for help toward that end became simply irresistible. At the instigation Republican Reps. Peter King of New York and Pete Hoekstra of Michigan and Sens. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Independent Democrat, and Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, the obstructionists were forced to allow a vote that overwhelmingly repudiated the naysayers.

Mrs. Pelosi has evidently learned nothing in the intervening months about either the national security implications or the politics of obstructionism in the service of trial lawyers and at the expense of the common defense. All other things being equal, it seems likely she will be rolled again when Congress reconvenes in another week.

After all, as the director of national intelligence, Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, observed on the "Fox Sunday Morning" program last weekend: "We cannot do this mission without help and support from the private sector. ... f you think about the private sector global communications, many people think the government operates that. Ninety-eight percent of it is owned and operated by the private sector." Therefore, cooperation of the telecoms with U.S. intelligence is not simply nice to have; it is essential.

The problem is that, even if Mrs. Pelosi is forced to relent relatively soon, our intelligence agencies" "situational awareness" of terrorist activities may suffer lasting harm. As Andrew McCarthy, one of the prosecutors in the trials regarding the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, put it in a recent blog posting at National Review Online:

"Every day we don't fix this problem, the problem — the investigative leads you don't get, the connections you don't make, the things you don't learn but which you should know — metastasizes. Intelligence is dynamic: You can't stop collecting for a day, a week, a month or more and then figure you are picking up right where you left off. What you have lost tends to stay lost."

America can ill afford in time of war for the House Speaker to play games with legislation designed to ensure that patriots — be they individual John Does, telecommunications companies or other corporations — are not penalized for doing their civic duty. We can only pray that, by the time she gets around to doing hers, our enemies have not advanced undetected the plots that will put still more of us at risk.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the founder, president, and CEO of The Center for Security Policy. During the Reagan administration, Gaffney was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, and a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John Tower (R-Texas). He is a columnist for The Washington Times, Jewish World Review, and Townhall.com and has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, and Newsday.
11209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 20, 2008, 09:42:41 AM

Just a stray observation.  I find it remarkable how Lady Evita remains smiling, happy, confident, etc. as everything appears to be going down in flames.


Behind closed doors? I think not.....
11210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 19, 2008, 11:16:12 AM
Oh god, please let the Clintons steal the nomination!!!! How great would that be? Democrat civil war!
11211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenoma on: February 18, 2008, 10:25:23 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/18/michelle-obama-hasnt-been-proud-of-america-in-at-least-26-years/

I guess this explains BHO's refusal to wear a flag pin.
11212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenoma on: February 18, 2008, 04:30:45 PM
Crafty,

No one wants reality to intrude on feel good sloganeering....
11213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenoma on: February 17, 2008, 12:06:43 PM
He's for hope, and change! What more do you need to know?  rolleyes
11214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: February 16, 2008, 01:29:09 PM
**When the next 9/11 comes, thank a democrat.**

February 15, 2008, 5:30 p.m.

When the Clock Strikes Midnight, We Will Be Significantly Less Safe
The Democrats’ FISA talking points are nonsense.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

According to top Democrats, the expiration of the Protect America Act (PAA) when the clock strikes midnight Sunday is no big deal. Our ability to monitor foreign threats to national security, they assure us, will be completely unaffected.

This is about as dumb a talking point as one can imagine. And it is just as demonstrably false.

Think for a moment about Tuesday’s crucial Senate bill overhauling our intelligence law that Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to allow the House to consider before recessing Friday — for a vacation. (Democrats evidently had no time for national security, having exhausted themselves on such cosmic matters as a baseball pitcher’s alleged steroid use and unenforceable, unconstitutional contempt citations in a stale investigation into something that wasn’t a crime and that no one but MoveOn.org cares about any longer).

In a Senate controlled by the Democrats, the bill passed by an overwhelming 2-to-1 margin. To attract such numbers, the Bush administration (as I detailed yesterday) gave ground on critically important issues of executive power and expansion of the FISA court’s role.

Democrats surely did not want to give President Bush this legislative victory, and President Bush certainly did not want to cave on these issues. But both sides compromised precisely because they understood that failing to do so, failing to preserve current surveillance authority, would endanger the United States.

Now, maybe they did it because they didn’t want to be blamed if something catastrophic happened; I prefer to think it was because they felt it their obligation to prevent something catastrophic from happening. But either way, the certainty that a failure to act would mean an exorbitant increase in the odds of catastrophe clearly weighed on both sides.

That is why so many Senate Democrats went along. That is why Democrats in both houses agreed to the PAA in the first place. That is why 34 House Democrats defied their leadership on Wednesday, voting against another temporary extension of the PAA in an effort to force a vote on the Senate bill — which, had Pelosi allowed it to come to the floor, would have become law by a healthy bipartisan margin.

If the expiration of the PAA made no difference, as top Democrats are speciously claiming now, there is not the remotest chance any of those things would have happened.

So how can they make such an argument? Here is the sleight of hand.

The PAA permitted, without court authorization for up to one year, surveillance of foreign targets outside the U.S. who were communicating with other foreigners outside the U.S. The PAA was passed in August 2007 with a six-month sunset provision (which expires at midnight). But the end of the PAA does not mean the immediate end of all surveillance authorized by the PAA.

Let’s say we started surveillance on Pakistani Suspected Terrorist A on December 1, 2007. The PAA provides that even if the PAA sunsets, any surveillance authorized under it may continue for the full year from the start date of the surveillance. Thus, to the extent Democrats are saying the PAA’s expiration would not affect the monitoring of Pakistani Suspected Terrorist A, they are correct — that surveillance may continue through November 30, 2008.

But here’s the problem: What if, tomorrow, for the first time, Pakistani Suspected Terrorist B comes on our radar screen — to say nothing Pakistani Suspected Terrorists C though ZZZ? Let’s say, as is entirely possible (if not likely), that B & Co. are not necessarily affiliated with al-Qaeda or any currently known terrorist group. Starting tomorrow, there will be no PAA authority to begin monitoring those suspected terrorists.

To that rather obvious point, leading Democrats counter, “Wait just a second — you can still go to the FISA court.”

Right.

Can you see what’s happening here? The whole reason Congress enacted the PAA in the first place is because FISA was never meant to apply to foreigners outside the U.S. communicating with other foreigners outside the U.S. We are not supposed to need court authorization for that. We are not supposed to have to write affidavits, approved by the attorney general and others, demonstrating probable cause that such people are agents of foreign powers — as well as demonstrating that other alternative investigative techniques would not yield the same intelligence.

Those are protections afforded by the FISA statute. Foreigners outside the U.S. are supposed to be outside the protection of the FISA statute, just as they are outside the protection of the Constitution. Saying the government can go to the FISA court is no answer: Government is not supposed to have to go to the FISA court. These people are not supposed to have FISA rights. They are not supposed to have Fourth Amendment rights.

We are talking about thousands upon thousands of communications, totally outside the U.S. (in the sense that no person inside our country is a participant) which the intelligence community used to be able to intercept and sift through without any burdensome judicial procedures whatsoever. That is how FISA was written, and that is how FISA was understood for almost 30 years. Then last year, a secret FISA-court ruling attempted to bring all those communications under FISA-court control — apparently on the theory that, because some digital bits of these conversations may zoom through U.S. hubs in global telecommunications networks, somehow a conversation between a guy in Pakistan and a guy in Afghanistan should now be considered a U.S. wire communication.

But FISA was not intended to protect Pakistanis and Afghans. It was intended to protect people inside the U.S. from being subjected to national-security surveillance absent probable cause that they were acting as foreign agents.

Requiring FISA compliance for foreign-to-foreign communications does not protect anyone inside the U.S. It protects non-Americans, some of whom will be terrorists and none of whom is entitled to any protection under American law. It makes it impossible for the intelligence community to monitor all the foreign-to-foreign communications that we used to monitor because we will never be able to show, for every target, probable cause that he is an agent of a foreign power — as FISA requires. The PAA did not call for that; it simply required a certification that we were monitoring people believed to be outside the United States.

The claim that the expiration of the PAA will not open a huge gap in surveillance coverage is laughable. Right now, we are permitted to collect foreign-to-foreign communications absent probable cause that the target is an agent of a foreign power. As of 12:00 A.M., we will no longer be permitted to do that. It is absurd to suggest that this huge drop-off in collection will have no impact on our security.

The July 2007 National Intelligence Estimate stated:
globalization trends and recent technological advances will continue to enable even small numbers of alienated people to find and connect with one another, justify and intensify their anger, and mobilize resources to attack — all without requiring a centralized terrorist organization, training camp, or leader.

Translation: There are ever larger numbers of potentially hostile operatives who are galvanized by jihadist ideology without necessarily being connected to a known terrorist organization. Casting a broad surveillance net to collect intelligence overseas is how we detect and thwart any threat they may pose. It’s how we protect Americans in the homeland and on the battlefield.

As of midnight, that net is gone.

— Andrew C. McCarthy, an NRO contributing editor, directs the Center for Law & Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NWU3NmEwNzhmYjVkZDdlNzVmZDhhODVmMmViZTRlODM=
11215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: February 13, 2008, 08:00:27 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/13/they-did-what-to-the-gitmo-detainees/

Oh, when will the torture end?Huh  rolleyes
11216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 13, 2008, 05:48:09 PM
It appears those three are unaware of the long alliance between islam and nazism. Red on red.
11217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 13, 2008, 03:47:10 PM
Above is one of my main reasons for liking Israel.
11218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: February 13, 2008, 03:41:57 PM
**Another reason to buy an Izzy a beer!**

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/13/score-imad-mughniyeh-killed-by-car-bomb/
 grin  grin  grin  grin  grin



11219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: February 05, 2008, 07:10:07 PM
We'll ignore Bolton's advice, until after it's too late....
11220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Berkeley to Marine Corps: You're Not Welcome on: February 04, 2008, 08:58:33 AM
Why I HATE the left, exhibit A:

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/02/01/code-pink-if-it-werent-for-people-like-the-people-in-berkeley-standing-up-for-what-they-believe-wed-be-living-under-hitler/
11221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 04, 2008, 08:51:36 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/02/video-the-disturbingly-cool-yes-we-can-video/

I sense a viral video that may well prove to be a historic tipping point.
11222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 03, 2008, 04:20:33 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2008

Leading for Patriotism or Lust?

John McCain scored the most memorable soundbite in the recent GOP debate, repeatedly telling rival Mitt Romney that "led for patriotism, not profit." The Arizona Senator was referring to his tour as executive officer (and later, commander) of a Navy Replacement Air Group in Jacksonville, Florida during the late 1970s, contrasting that experience with Mitt Romney's career in the business world.

There is a slight irony in McCain citing that assignment as proof of his leadership abilities. While he was, by most accounts, an effective commander, the Jacksonville assignment also marked a dark chapter in McCain's personal life, a period marked by serial philandering and the end of his first marriage.

Those events are described--delicately--in Robert Timberg's The Nightingale's Song, a best-selling chronicle of the U.S. Naval Academy, as viewed through the lives (and military service) of five graduates: McCain; Virginia Senator Jim Webb; former National Security Advisers Robert McFarlane and John Poindexter, and Iran-Contra figure-turned-media personality Oliver North.

Of the five, Timberg provides the most flattering potraits of Webb and McCain; Poindexter and McFarlane receive less laudatory treatment and the author can barely contain his contempt for Ollie North. While acknowledging the personal--and professional--problems of his subjects during their military careers, Timberg offers a (slightly) charitable explanation for the poor personal conduct that plagued McCain's assignment as group commander.

There was a dark side to the Jacksonville tour. The storybook marriage that had survived separation, pain and prison began to fray. Off-duty, usually on routine, cross-country flights to Yuma and El Centro, John began carousing and running around with women. To make matters worse, some of the women to whom he was linked by rumor were his subordinates. In some ways, the rumors were an extension of the John McCain stories that had swirled in his way since Academy days--some true, some with an element of truth, some patently absurd. Asked about them, he admitted to a series of dalliances during this period, but flatly denied any with females, officer or enlisted, under his command.

Though officially frowned upon, romantic relationships between officers of different grades are not uncommon and for the most part, free of a superior-subordinate element. Many have led to marriage. But fraternization between officers and enlisted members is considered over the line, not because of caste discrimination, but because the color of authority is too vivid, almost impossible to soften.

At the time, the rumors were so widespread that, true or not, they became part of the McCain persona, impossible not to take note of. What is true is that a number of POWs, in those first few years after their release, often acted erratically, their lives pockmarked by by drastic mood swings and uncharacteristic behavior before achieving a more mellow equilibrium.

More troubling, sad beyond words, was the failure of the marriage. If there was one couple that deserved to make it, it was John and Carol McCain. They endured nearly six years of unspeakable trauma with courage and grace. In the end, it was not enough. They won the war, but lost the peace.

To his credit, McCain has admitted his indiscretions during this period. And, Carol McCain has refused to publicly criticize her former husband, or discuss the end of their marriage in detail. She told Robert Timberg that "I attribute it more to John turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again than I do anything else." So, chalk it up as another middle-aged man suffering a mid-life crisis.

But we'd say the Jacksonville tour raises questions about McCain's judgment and leadership, issues that have never been fully explained. True, John McCain wasn't the first fighter jock to lose a marriage due to extra-curricular activities. It's also true that he had a reputation as a wild man, dating back to his time at the Academy and early tours as an attack pilot.

Still, the John McCain who led a naval training group wasn't the same junior aviator of the early 1960s. As the unit commander, McCain was supposed to set the example, both on and off-duty. Military regulations on adultery, fraternization and improper relationships don't differentiate between those that begin in the workplace, or in the Officers' Club. And, as one of the Navy's best-known officers (thanks to his heroism as a POW), you could argue that McCain had a special responsiblity to uphold standards.

If Timberg's description is correct--and McCain has never disputed it--then the Senator was potentially guilty of multiple violations of military law as a senior officer. Yet, there is no account of Captain McCain being investigated on accusations of adultery and fraternization, despite those "widespread rumors" that became a part of the McCain persona. Did he get a pass because of his POW status or family ties, as the son and grandson of Navy admirals? That's another question that has never been answered.

Obviously, no one is demanding that McCain be court-martialed for events that happened 30 years ago. But his misconduct in Jacksonville is relevant to McCain's subsequent political campaign. Those extra-marital "dalliances" reflect faulty judgment and poor choices, traits that have been evident in the Senator's subsequent legislative record. Anyone remember the Keating 5? McCain-Feingold? McCain-Leiberman? McCain-Kennedy? Voting against the Bush tax cuts on more than one occasion? Blocking conservative judicial nominees as part of the "Gang of Fourteen?"

That's why the Senator's repeated references to his Jacksonville tour struck us as a bit puzzling. If command of that group represented John McCain at his best (as a leader), then it highlighted some of his worst personal qualities as well. That's the "rest" of the Jacksonville story, which should provide some campaign grist for the Democratic attack mill.

We also wonder if McCain's reputation in Jacksonville is one reason that the area rejected him overwhelmingly in last week's Florida primary. Of the state's four major military regions, Jacksonville (the third-largest Navy town in the United States) was the only one that McCain lost, and by double-digit margins.

***

ADDENDUM: We disagree with Timberg's explanation that McCain's conduct was "typical" of erratic behavior among former POWs in the late 1970s. During the early stages of our military service, we had the opportunity to meet--and know--several men who had been held in the Hanoi Hilton. While most suffered re-adjustment problems (to varying degrees), all the POWs we knew remained faithful to their wives.
11223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 03, 2008, 09:19:52 AM
http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/new-mayor-rudy-1971979-republican-war

Saturday, February 2, 2008
Mark Steyn: It's a shame one of them has to win

MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist


President McCain? Or Queen Hillary? Henry Kissinger said about the Iran/Iraq war in the '80s that it's a shame they both can't lose. Conservatives have a slightly different problem: It's a shame that neither of them will lose – that, regardless of who takes the oath come next January, the harmonious McCain-Clinton consensus policies on illegal immigration and Big Government solutions to global warming will prevail. Where's Neither-of-the-Above when you need him?
Alas, the only Neither-of-the-Above in the offing is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose candidacy would shake things up only insofar as we'd all suddenly be demanding: OK, where's None-of-the-Above when you need him? Mayor Bloomberg is a former Democrat, former Republican, and current Independent, if by "Independent" you mean "Man who agrees with the conventional wisdom on illegal immigration, global warming, health care and everything else."
Democracies get the political leaders they deserve, and that's particularly true in the United States, where the primary system allows rank-and-file citizens to choose not merely which party to vote for (as in Britain, Canada and Europe) but also which individuals will be the candidates of those parties. True, it helps to be wealthy – up to a point. But it wasn't enough for John Edwards, the curiously unconvincing "angry populist" muttering darkly that "they" would never stop him telling the truth about 9-year-old girls shivering without a winter coat because daddy had been laid off at the mill. "They" didn't need to stop him. The champion of America's mythical Coatless Girl laid himself off last week. High on a hill, the Lonely Coatherd suddenly realized he was yodeling to himself.
Yet Sen. Edwards can't even claim the consolation prize of Most Inept Candidate of 2008. The Rudy Giuliani campaign went from national front-runner to total collapse so spectacularly that they'll be teaching it in Candidate School as a cautionary tale for decades to come. As each state's date with destiny loomed, Giuliani retreated, declining to compete in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina. "America's Mayor" turned out to be Hizzoner of a phantom jurisdiction – a national front-runner but a single-digit asterisk in any state where any actual voters were actually voting.
Giuliani's fate unnerves me because, unlike the Coatless One, Rudy had the support of a lot of my columnar confreres: John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary; Andy McCarthy and Lisa Schiffren at National Review; and David Frum, author of the new book "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again." Yet he backed a candidate who took off and barely cleared the runway before nose-diving into the sod.
Rudy's views on abortion were always going to be a deal-breaker for a key segment of the Republican base. And his views on gun control were likewise beyond the pale for another big faction. That didn't leave much except his cleanup of New York (whose problems were blessedly alien to Iowa and New Hampshire) and, more recently, his "war on terror" credentials, which boils down to his marvelous performance on 9/11, barreling through the dust-choked streets of Lower Manhattan and showing leadership amidst the chaos – plus a splendid coda a couple of weeks later when he told some unsavory Saudi prince to take his gazillion-dollar donation and shove it. Every malign check from the House of Saud ought to meet the same fate: perhaps we could have a constitutional amendment to that effect.
As for his performance on Sept. 11, well, yes, he was good, and he was effective on a day when so many agencies of government, at least at the federal level, had failed spectacularly – FAA, INS, FBI, CIA, all the fancy-pants money-no-object acronyms, none of whose mediocrities paid any political price for their failures.
In 2000, Rudy had been in full public meltdown. His wife learned she was heading for divorcee status from a mayoral news conference. But, unlike so many officials on 9/11, in his rendezvous with history, Rudy Giuliani rose to the occasion. You would hope that would not be so exceptional, but apparently it is.
In contrast to the moral clarity Rudy showed in returning the Saudi check, the repugnant mayor of London, after the 2005 Tube bombings, artfully attempted to draw a distinction between Muslim terrorists blowing up his own public transit (which he didn't approve of) and Muslim terrorists blowing up Israeli public transit (which he was inclined to be sympathetic to).
In contrast with Giuliani's take-charge attitude, the boob presiding over New Orleans, Ray Nagin, raged as wildly as Katrina: "To those who would criticize, where the hell were you?" roared Mayor Culpa, pointing the finger in all directions. "Where the hell were you?" We were in a town you're not the mayor of, happily.
If Rudy's performance was "exceptional," that's less a reflection on him than on the general standards of officialdom. It seems odd to me that so many experts would expect the "America's Mayor" pitch to outpunch abortion and guns with the Republican base: 9/11 will be seven years old by Election Day 2008. A lot of voters have moved on, including a lot of Republican voters. And many of those Republican voters who still regard the forces unleashed that day as an ongoing threat want something different from the Orange Alert remove-your-shoes security-state approach. If this is a "long war," as the administration took to calling it, "America's Mayor" seemed in large part to embody an early phase that has already receded into history.
Another colleague of mine, Michael Ledeen, suggests that the rise of McCain through New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida indicates that for many voters "the war" is still the issue, because, after all, what else has the senator got going for him? Surely, it's not his global-warming hysteria or illegal-immigration amnesty or demonization of capitalism. It's because he's Mister Surge.
Well, maybe.
The senator is an eloquent defender of the U.S. armed forces. A President McCain will not permit a military defeat in Iraq. But it's not clear to me he has much of a strategic vision for the ideological struggle, for the real long-term battlefield in the mosques and madrassahs of Pakistan and Indonesia and Western Europe. McCain's lead is no evidence of popular commitment to "the long war," and, absent any surprising developments, this will not be a war election.
The Clintons are nothing if not lucky, and Hillary must occasionally be enjoying a luxury-length cackle at the thought of being pitted against a 71-year-old "maverick" whose record seems designed to antagonize just enough of the base into staying home on Election Day. In the 2000 campaign season, running in a desultory fashion for the New York Senate seat, Rudy Giuliani waged a brief half-hearted campaign just long enough to leave the Republican Party with no one to run against Hillary except a candidate who wasn't up to the job.
Has he managed to do the same this time round?
11224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: February 03, 2008, 08:54:13 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=511963&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&expand=true#StartComments

Asian PCs 'blocking crackdown on honour killings'
By MILES GOSLETT and DANIEL BOFFEY - More by this author »
Last updated at 13:56pm on 3rd February 2008
 Comments (15)

Some Asians in the police and in Government jobs have been accused of blocking the crackdown against so-called honour killings.
It is alleged they are not only failing to help desperate women trying to flee abuse and arranged marriages but are actively encouraging punishment for those they believe are breaking traditional taboos.

Terrified victims who seek official help are even being tracked down by a network of Asian men working in Government departments and social services, according to a study written by the think-tank Social Cohesion.

One woman was found by her family after she signed on at a Jobcentre where a member of the Asian community was working.

Scroll down for more


The study follows the horrific case of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod whose body was found in a suitcase after she was raped and strangled with a bootlace by hitmen hired by her family

The report also claims some Asian police officers actually return women to their abusive families or refuse to act against men enforcing 'traditional' roles.

Meanwhile, non-Asian officials and police officers are scared of acting against families who abuse their relatives for fear of being branded as racist, the report says.

The study follows the horrific case of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, from Mitcham, South London, whose body was found in a suitcase after she was raped and strangled with a bootlace by hitmen hired by her family.

She was killed for falling in love with a man the family disapproved of – despite unsuccessfully asking police for help five times.

In one plea she recorded a video message that helped convict her father and uncle of her murder.

Controversially, the report accuses one of the Government's closest advisers on Muslim matters, the Muslim Council of Britain, of hampering attempts to criminalise forced marriage.

It said: "The MCB has sought to block legislation aimed at ending honour-based violence. Almost all women's groups interviewed for this report say that the MCB has done little or nothing to end honour-based violence...

"In many northern towns...South Asian women are often afraid to seek help because they know that Asians working in local government believe that women who break traditional taboos deserve to be punished."

Report contributor Nazir Afzal, of the Crown Prosecution Service, added: "Domestic violence is not an issue the Muslim Council of Britain wants to know about."

David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth who is on the Home Affairs Select committee investigating forced marriages and domestic violence, said: "Thousands of girls are being taken to Pakistan every year for marriage, although it is best described as abduction and rape."

James Brandon, one of the report's authors, said: "It is estimated that ten women a year in Britain die through honour killings and honour violence. The Government must change the way it approaches this problem."

The MCB said: "Our position has always been clear: so-called honour killings are murder. They are severe criminal offences which we condemn."
11225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: February 02, 2008, 09:57:39 PM
**"America Alone" continues to be proven accurate. It's wonderful how well "multiculti" is working out. Keep in mind that under sharia law, no non-muslim is ever justified in self-defense and any muslim has the right to rob, rape, enslave and murder any non-muslim.**


SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 1, 2008, 10:32 AM
URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,532423,00.html

'WE'RE SITTING ON A POWDER KEG'
Immigrants Protest Death of Moroccan Teenager in Cologne

By Barbara Schmid and Andreas Ulrich
Following the violent death of a Moroccan teenager in Cologne, hundreds of immigrants have taken to the streets in nightly demonstrations to protest what they see as evidence of their second-class status in Germany. Police warn the city could be ready to explode.


Ikhlas Abbis
Members of the immigrant community have been protesting the death of a teenager in Cologne.

The owner of an electronics shop on Cologne's Kalker Hauptstrasse had rolled down the shutters on the windows in case there was unrest. Now they have photos of a 17-year-old Moroccan boy taped to them. The teenager, whose name was Salih, was killed in front of the shop two weeks ago.
The sidewalk is a sea of candles as hundreds of people chant: "Salih! Salih! We want justice!" They feel that Salih was one of them -- a youth from an immigrant family.

For the police, the case is clear cut. According to their version of events, Salih allegedly wanted to mug a 20-year-old German man, who tried to defend himself. But he panicked and pulled out a pocketknife that he plunged into Salih's heart with an unlucky stab. Prosecutors said it was a clear case of self-defense, and there are witnesses. But none of that matters any longer.

Every night last week, up to 300 protestors gathered at the spot where Salih died to demand "justice" instead of letting his killer walk free. They are protesting against "racism in Germany" -- but since it appears clear that this case involves self-defense, it's obviously about more than just the unfortunate Salih. It's more about how immigrants and their children feel they are currently being treated in Germany.

FROM THE MAGAZINE

Find out how you can reprint this DER SPIEGEL article in your publication.
The incident has struck a chord with those who feel disenfranchised from German society -- those without a proper education or vocational training, those without a future. The frustration is palpable. "We're sitting on a powder keg," warns former police commissioner Winrich Granitzka, who is also head of the Christian Democratic group in Cologne's city council. "There's the danger we could see a situation like in the suburbs of Paris."
Cologne certainly isn't Paris and the district of Kalk can't be compared with the high-rise suburban ghettoes surrounding the French capital. But Kalk, which used to be home to a chemical plant, is certainly depressing. The only bright spot is the large and colorful new shopping center, which stands out from its gray surroundings.

Immigrants and people with at least one non-German parent make up 54.7 percent of Kalk's population. The amount of young people between 15 and 18 living there is above average; education levels, on the other hand, are below average. Some 90 percent of people without a job in the area count as long-term unemployed.

"It seems to me as if they only send losers here," says Kemal Düzardic, a 22-year-old friend of the dead teenager. He and the others gather near the photos and candles even in the cold and the rain. One question weighs heavily on their minds. What if a German had died and the killer had been one of them?

A mere eight hours after the incident happened, the police announced it had been a case of self-defense and no charges would be pressed. The statement was "somewhat unfortunately formulated," admits Cologne police officer Catherine Maus in hindsight.

The "unfortunate" wording came at a particularly unfortunate time. "We have too many criminal foreigners," Roland Koch, the conservative governor of the state of Hesse, said in late December. In his re-election campaign, which many observers considered xenophobic, Koch made clear he thought immigrants should assimilate and shouldn't expect Germans to accommodate their cultural practices.

Of course, many of the Kalk youths who were born and raised within sight of Cologne's towering cathedral and speak the local German dialect don't consider themselves "foreigners." But Koch's populist attacks still resonated throughout the immigrant community.

"Stop this Racist," was the headline in the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, accompanied by a caricature of the Christian Democrat politician with an extra-long nose. The Social Democrats, the left-wing Left party, the Greens and even a few Christian Democrats distanced themselves from Koch. Only the mass circulation newspaper Bild took his side and delighted in featuring new stories about "foreign" repeat offenders with long criminal records on an almost daily basis.

But the people with immigrant backgrounds in Kalk read Bild too. "What's with this crap?" says one irritated young man. "We grew up here, we aren't criminals. So why are we treated differently than other Germans?"

'We Feel like Second-Class Citizens'

For more than 40 years, the German mainstream tried to assert that Germany wasn't a "country of immigration." That attitude has had repercussions. Around 72 percent of Germany's 1.7 million Turks -- the largest group of foreigners living in the country -- don't have proper vocational qualifications. Some 40 percent of young people from immigrant families neither study nor pursue a traineeship after they leave school. They do odd jobs or hang around -- and they make up a disproportionate amount of violent offenders.

"The city of Cologne does a lot for integration," says police director Michael Temme, who has been keeping a careful eye on how his officers have been policing the demonstrations. But he admits there are "hot spots" in the city, including in Kalk. And so every evening he finds himself wondering if this will be the night when a spark finally ignites the powder keg, if this will be the night when shop windows get shattered and cars go up in flames.

"We feel like second-class citizens," says a middle-aged Moroccan man. "It will never stop, maybe it will even get worse," adds a young man. A group of intimidating-looking youths chant: "Salih, Salih!" They want a different kind of justice. It sounds more like a call for revenge.

"Something needs to happen to shake up Germany," says Social Democratic parliamentarian Lale Akgün, quoting a phrase made famous by former President Roman Herzog. "We need, at long last, social policies that are based on acceptance, and we need a fundamental reform of both education and social policy," she says. Germans need foreigners and foreigners need Germans, she says.

FROM THE MAGAZINE

Find out how you can reprint this DER SPIEGEL article in your publication.
It's an opinion shared by demographers and labor market experts. If people aren't given the opportunity to get vocational skills and qualifications, there will be "mass unemployment with a simultaneous dearth of skilled labor," according to the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).
A study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has calculated that a lack of integration of immigrants in Germany has already cost the country €16 billion. Many immigrants are unemployed, earn less and pay smaller amounts of tax and social security contributions.

The protesters in Cologne's Kalk district know this and that's what makes the situation so explosive. There's a feeling of not getting a fair chance and of being disenfranchised.

Around a fifth of foreign children see themselves as being "strongly discriminated against" or "individually disadvantaged," according to a survey by the Germany Youth Institute (DJI) in Munich. More than half feel they are neither respected nor treated equally. "Those are strong opinions that they have formed based on their own experiences," says DJI researcher Jan Skrobanek.

"We're not welcome here," says 14-year-old Fatima from Kalk. She ostentatiously pulls down her headscarf to cover her face as she stands in front of Salih's photo. "After elementary school we all get shoved into the Hauptschule," she says, referring to the lowest level of Germany's three-tier high school system. "None of us go to Realschule (apprenticeship-track high school), only Germans go there," she says. Her three older siblings couldn't find a traineeship after finishing high school. Fatima doesn't believe her luck will be any better.

Experts agree that youth crime in Germany isn't an ethnic problem, but rather a social one. Immigrant children from middle-class families and those that do well in school generally aren't troublemakers. Those that manage to find an apprenticeship or a job have a "significantly smaller feeling of being disadvantaged," according to youth researcher Skrobanek.

"We have to do everything we can to lower the high proportion of 40 percent of young immigrants without vocational qualifications," Maria Böhmer, the German government's commissioner for integration affairs, announced recently.

The federal government wants to spend €350 million over the next three years to work toward that goal. An employer will receive a subsidy of at least €4,000 if they give an apprenticeship to an applicant that has already unsuccessfully applied for one. It's a beginning.

"But immigrants have to do their part as well," insists Social Democrat Lale Akgün. "They have to give up their attitude of rejection and join society."

In a survey carried out by the Center for Turkish Studies in Essen, one-third of immigrant parents admitted that they would have problems with a German son-in-law. Hence, not much can be expected from the older generation -- which makes the future prospects of the children that much worse.

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"Many children experience an inconsistency in the way that they are raised which they find very challenging," says Haci-Halil Uslucan from the University of Magdeburg. At home they might be raised in a patriarchal fashion that puts an emphasis on obedience, while at school they are taught self-responsibility, individual choice and equality. "This disconnect is extremely difficult to deal with," says Uslucan.
Anyone interested in establishing equal opportunities and preventing young immigrants from drifting into criminality has to start promoting language development and education as early as kindergarten, says economist and criminologist Horst Entorf.

Salih, the dead teen from Kalk, had never had any run-ins with the police. "He wanted to get his high school diploma," says his 23-year-old brother Abdallah, who is studying electronics. Abdallah was part of the street protests last week. But the more radical protesters made him uneasy.

A few days ago, the Moroccan consul general visited Abdallah and his parents. He explained to them that the police investigation had been carried out conscientiously. But Abdallah still wonders whether a foreigner would have been released so quickly.

11226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 01, 2008, 12:15:15 PM
Someone who isn't McCain could hammer Hillary for statements like that in the general election.
11227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 07:53:40 PM
When it comes to Iran's nuclear program, it's probably already too late. If it's not, by jan. 2009 it certainly will be. If we are going to move against Iran, President Bush will have to be the trigger puller.

As far as the war against the global jihad, it'll still be there in 2012. We may have a few more 9/11's under our belt by then, but let the dems shut down Gitmo and defang us globally. Much of the casualties CONUS will be in those densely populated blue states. We'll see how reality shapes future politics.
11228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ecological Economics on: January 31, 2008, 03:59:26 PM
Dead link. It sounds like the usual marxist tripe hidden under a swath of green.
11229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 03:55:13 PM
Nominating McAmnesty removes the most powerful wedge issue we have. Illegal immigration. Lose that and indeed we've lost.
11230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 09:35:01 AM
I think this is a "rebuilding year". Let the dems wins the white house and really FCUK things up. We can then get a good candidate in 2012.
11231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 09:10:42 AM
Crafty,

I could be wrong, but I think running a "democrat-lite" candidate is the path to ruin.
11232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 30, 2008, 10:07:56 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/28/mccains-campaign-boasts-another-open-borders-zealot/

This is my biggest issue with McAmnesty.
=================

McCain’s campaign boasts another open borders zealotposted at 10:22 am on January 28, 2008 by Bryan
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly His name is Jerry Perenchio, and he’s a national finance co-chair of the McCain campaign. You can find him listed on McCain’s website. Perenchio has a long history of thwarting the people’s will when it comes to border security.
Jerry Perenchio is the man who poured millions of dollars into fighting the California movement to teach schoolchildren English. Does John McCain share Perenchio’s zealous opposition to pro-English immersion initiatives? If he doesn’t, why does he have the nation’s leading opponent of pro-English immersion initiatives serving in the prestigious position of national campaign finance co-chair?
Perenchio aggressively bankrolled opposition to Prop. 227, which dismantled “bilingual education”–the oxymoronic program that holds foreign-language-speaking students hostage and forces them to maintain their native tongues instead of transitioning to English as quickly as possible–in 1998. He donated millions directly to the opponents and also donated millions of dollars in anti-227 “public service announcements” on Univision railing that “The dreams of millions of Hispanic families are being destroyed.” Despite Perenchio’s massive campaign to prop up language segregationism, the pro-English Prop. 227 won in a landslide.
It’s bad enough that McCain has Juan Hernandez as his Hispanic Outreach Director. McCain claims that Hernandez is on the campaign because he agrees with McCain’s policies. But it’s something else entirely to find that McCain is backed by Perenchio. Perenchio isn’t just an open borders advocate; he’s also a global warming crusader and major contributor to Planned Parenthood. Michelle has all the details. McCain is looking more and more like a creature of the radical side of a couple of issues that put him at odds with the vast majority of the GOP base and, in the case of border security, with the general public as well. Personnel is policy, and the personnel on McCain’s campaign offer a strong hint about which policies he would take with him if he’s elected president.
11233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 30, 2008, 09:31:35 AM
It looks like Silky Pony is going back to hair care and ambulance chasing full time.  evil
11234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 30, 2008, 09:21:51 AM
McCain is an American hero. Having said that, I weep for the republican party and this nation if he's our nominee.

The only thing that makes me smile right now is Dr. Crazy's 3% in Florida.
11235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 27, 2008, 10:54:18 PM
I wish we could transplant Newt's brain into Mitt's body.....
11236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 27, 2008, 06:31:13 PM
I'm thinking Obama will be our next president.
11237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 25, 2008, 10:06:11 AM
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=24650

Newt: A GOP Dark Horse?
by Michael Reagan (more by this author)
Posted 01/25/2008 ET


Fred Thompson's gone. Duncan Hunter's gone. All these people are gone. Huckabee could become Huckabeen -- gone by next Tuesday. So could Rudy after next's Tuesday's Florida primary.
 
All of a sudden you've got this Republican primary coming down to McCain, Romney and Ron Paul. With all this uncertainty, just where can a conservative go? All of a sudden radio talk show hosts, who reflect the opinions of grass-roots conservative voters, are all over the lot hammering on Rudy, hammering on Romney, hammering on McCain and hammering on Paul.
 
Listening to them you get an idea who they want or don't want. They don't like McCain. Most probably they support either Huckabee or Romney. Although they think Rudy is gone, he could come back if he wins in Florida next Tuesday.
 
If Huckabee is finished, I think they go to Romney, who is somewhat more conservative than the rest. At any rate, conservatives could be faced with backing either McCain, or Romney, or Huckabee or even Rudy.
 
Or they could end up backing none of them.
 
Who, then, could conservatives end up backing? Well, who recently has come out with a new book? Who's doing all the shows talking about his new book? Who is advocating common-sense solutions to the most pressing problems America faces?
 
Newt Gingrich, that's who. He was out of the race for a long time, he toyed with the idea of running until Fred Thompson entered the race, and then he more or less pulled back.
 
Why Newt? Ask yourself why Ronald Reagan won. He won because he was able to excite a group of people in America that the liberal wing of the Republican party has never excited -- the grass roots.
 
Newt Gingrich is the last Republican to have done that -- to reach out to the grass roots, to all those conservative Republicans and Reagan Democrats. Remember, it was Newt who engineered the miraculous Republican take-over of Congress in 1994 -- something that was deemed impossible two years after Bill Clinton won the White House.
 
I wouldn't be surprised if he was out there quietly working the phones and hoping for a wide-open convention where the delegates -- not the primaries that selected many of them -- decide for themselves who they want to carry the GOP banner in the presidential election in November.
 
If Newt throws his hat in the ring he knows that in the blink of an eye he will have the grass roots behind him. 
 
Look at what happened Saturday in South Carolina. McCain won with 33 percent of the vote, which means 67 percent of the voters said we don't want McCain; only 30 percent said yes to Huckabee, which means that 70 percent said no to him. About 15 percent went for Thompson, a mere 14 percent went for Romney and 2 percent went for Giuliani.
 
So basically the voters said a resounding “No” to all of the above.
 
So who can electrify the base and get them to come out from their bunkers and ignite a groundswell? On the record, the only person capable of doing that is Newt Gingrich.
 
Covering all the issues that concern the grass roots: Romney represents the Reagan economic approach; McCain, the national security issues; Giuliani represents the hard-line-on-crime position; and Huckabee covers the religious position. Everybody has a piece.
 
Newt Gingrich covers all of those issues, and in the eyes of the grass roots, he covers them brilliantly. Just as his Contract with America dealt with many of the issues that concerned the grass roots and won Congress for the GOP, his agenda goes right to the heart of our current problems. He's offering concrete solutions to all the concrete problems and that's what the grass roots crave.
 
As a result, if the nomination gets thrown open in a brokered convention, the person who comes out of the struggle the winner will most likely be Newt Gingrich.
 
If I'm right I'll back him to the hilt. If I'm wrong I'll follow my dad's lead and support the nominee no matter who he is.

11238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 24, 2008, 08:42:59 AM
 evil HA-HA!  evil

Suicide bomber falls down stairs ...
Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Khost, Afghanistan
January 24, 2008 12:39pm

A WOULD-be suicide bomber fell down a flight of stairs and blew himself up as he headed out for an attack in Afghanistan, police say.

It was the second such incident in two days, with another man killing himself and three others on Tuesday when his bomb-filled waistcoat exploded as he was putting it on in the southern town of Lashkar Gah.

Yesterday's blast was in a busy market area of the eastern town of Khost, a deputy provincial police chief said.

The would-be attacker tripped as he was leaving a building apparently to target an opening ceremony for a mosque that was expected to be attended by Afghan and international military officials, said Sakhi Mir.

"Coming down the stairs, he fell down and exploded. Two civilian women and a man were wounded,'' Mir said.

Suicide attacks are regular feature of an insurgency led by the extremist Taliban movement that was in government between 1996 and 2001. The most deadly was in November 2007 and killed nearly 80 people, most of them school students.
11239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 21, 2008, 09:34:04 AM
If the dems win the white house and end the war against the global jihad, my only hope is that the blue states bear the brunt of the CONUS attacks. I'm sure in the aftermath, it'll all be Bush's fault somehow. Maybe after they have to sweep up body parts in the bay area, they'll find a new support for the military and law enforcement. No, probably not....
11240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 21, 2008, 08:55:25 AM
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:wIq9wSEwbeEJ:www.ronpaulforum.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D302154+ron+paul+forum+jewish+defector&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=safari

The Ronulans don't like the scrutiny. Busted by google!
11241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 21, 2008, 08:44:42 AM
Looks like the Ronulans have the cause of the world's problems figured out, although many have been saying this for years.....  evil

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=28664_Todays_Moment_of_Paulmania#comments
11242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 11, 2008, 03:01:01 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/11/reason-ron-paul-defended-his-newsletters-for-years/

More on Dr. Crazy's newsletters of yore......
11243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 11, 2008, 02:57:26 PM
RP leads military donations?!?  Superficial data says yes , , ,

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/10/ron_paul_leads_military_donations_race/
===========



http://www.americanconservativedaily.com/2007/07/unspinning-the-latest-ron-paul-spin/

Unspinning the Latest Ron Paul Spin
Posted By: J.J. Jackson* on July 18, 2007
Filed Under Eyes on 2008

Apparently the Ron Paul supporters who are camping out this site just think that I am going to take their word for everything and parrot their talking points when they put a few emails in my mail box. The latest? A bold claim that Ron Paul got more donations than any other candidate from current and former members of the military.
You know, and this is just a word of advice ok, I don’t know where you get these talking points from but maybe you should keep them to your selves. You would probably do your selves a better service by just keeping me off your mailing lists. Because all you do by sending me these poorly contrived messages is compel me to double check what you say and unspin it if not true and post it for everyone to see.So I went to the Federal Trade Commission’s website and looked at 2nd quarter donations (http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2007/Q2/) and am here to bring everyone the truth. Which I am sure will bring even more condemnations from Paul supporters as my posts on him always seem to do.
The truth is that Ron Paul only outpaced all Republican candidates in donations by donors that declared themselves as either current or former members of the military. Notice I say “declared”. This is important since one is not required to “declare” their profession when giving to candidates.So, did Ron Paul out pace all other candidates in donations from members of our military? That’s impossible to say because so many of the donations for candidates did not declare a profession.
Ron Paul did certainly get a couple thousand dollars from members and former members of the military the data shows that. But let’s look at the facts. For other candidates, contributions from “undeclared” professions are in the millions. Romney and Giuliani, for example, had $2.7 million from such sources. McCain had $2.2 million from “undeclared” professions. Am I being asked to assume that none of these people ever served in the military?
So can Paul supporters say that Ron Paul got more support from military members than any other candidate? They are trying. For example, like this quote from a Paul supporter who simply calls himself “rEVOLution”:
You and your neo-con buddies are in for it in 2008. The military is squarely behind Ron Paul and he walloped all the other fake conservatives that you support in fund raising from members of the military! Report that!

or maybe this one from “Constitutionalist”:
Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul! That’s all you are going to hear in 2008! Because now that it is a FACT that more members of the military support him than any other candidate it is going to grow into a national movement that will knock you neo-cons out of power! HA! Hopefully you’ll get over your hatred of Ron Paul and report this great news!

I think you see what I mean. The spin cycle is in overdrive.  However, the only “fact” that can be concluded from this data is that Ron Paul received more donations (total dollars that is) from members of the military that actually declared their profession as such when they donated. Nothing else is able to be concluded nor even implied.  And let’s be clear, these were not the only two emails.  There were enough of them that obviously someone is spreading disinformation and I want to head it off before it becomes gospel.
Make no mistake, when the Paul spin machine turns I will work it over just like I have for all the other candidates regardless of party. I don’t know where you guys are getting these talking points from, but either you misread them or the person feeding them to you is incorrect.  And you do a diservice to your candidate by doing these things.  Because instead of focusing on the good things about Paul, when stuff like this circulates the internet people only focus on the goofiness of his supporters.
Related Posts
Some Ron Paul Supporters Still Desperate To Claim Military Support
http://www.militaryforpaul.com/ claims that the VFW has endorsed Ron Paul (see post here http://www....
Ron Paul in 4th Place
Ron Paul Would be More Popular If He Was Pro-Iraq War
*Content posted by a user may not be completely written by that user. Content from another source is cited in either block quotes or quotes with a link to the original material when necessary. Content from other sites is posted for commentary and news purposes under fair use.
11244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 09, 2008, 10:32:08 PM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/251539.php

I think Ron Paul is regretting the media attention he is now getting....
11245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 06, 2008, 08:46:55 PM
Most in this country are living in a 9/10 mindset. Until the next time....
11246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 06, 2008, 05:22:19 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_presidential_debates,_2008

Linked in the article.
11247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 06, 2008, 09:25:27 AM
**The only person that knows less about geopolitics and history than the average Ron Paul supporter, is.....Ron Paul.**

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/11/mccain-paul-dif.html

McCain, Paul Differ on Iraq

November 28, 2007 8:52 PM

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf and Ed O'Keefe Report: Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., played with populist fire during the Republican debate Wednesday night.

Segueing from an unrelated topic, John McCain, who has staked his political career on his support for the surge in Iraq and fight against global Islamic terrorism, turned to Paul, who was standing to his left and addressed him directly.

Watch the video HERE.

"Congressman Paul, I've heard him now in many debates talk about brining our troops home and about the war in Iraq and how its failed and I want to tell you that that kind of isolationism, sir, is what caused World War II. We allowed . . ."

McCain was obscured here by jeers and boos and cheers all at once from the crowed auditorium.  Poor CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper had no chance against the audience.

But the Arizona Senator continued, "We allowed Hitler to come to power with that kind of attitude of isolationism and (Ron Paul is looking right at McCain and shaking his head 'No')

McCain: "And I want to tell you something sir, I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops and their message to you is, the message of these brave men and women serving over there is, 'Let us win. Let us win.'

Cheers mixed with jeers and boos and applause rose up all over again.

In a 30 second response, Paul, who recently raised $4 million exclusively from online contributors, calmly asked McCain, "The real question you have to ask is why do I get the most money from active duty officers, military personnel?"

"So what John is saying is just totally distorted. He doesn't understand the difference between nonintervention and isolationism. I'm not an isolationist. I want to trade with people, talk with people, travel. But I don't want to send our troops overseas using force telling them how to live. We would object to it here and they're going to object to us over there."

It was not the first time the two men tangled.

Earlier, talking about fiscal responsibility, McCain, who has been outspoken against pork barrel spending, lamented Republicans who got into politics to change Washington, but "we went to Washington and Washington changed us."

Several questions later, Paul, absolutist in his views and almost in alone in Washington in his opposition to just about every spending bill said to McCain, "Washington didn't change me."

At a later point in the debate, McCain and Paul sparred again.

Recalling Iraq once again, McCain asserted, "We never lost a battle in Vietnam, it was American public opinion that caused us to lose that conflict."

McCain then said that the difference between Iraq and Vietnam is al-Qaeda's determination to attack the United States.

"They want to follow us home, they want Iraq to be a base for al-Qaeda," McCain insisted.

Dr. Paul engaged McCain once again, saying that whether or not the U.S. "never lost a battle" in Vietnam is "irrelevant."

"(Al-Qaeda) want to come here ... because of our military base in Saudi Arabia," Paul retorted.

"They come here because we're occupying their country just as we would object if they occupied our country," he added.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., took McCain's side in the Paul-McCain clash.

"I wish we lived in a world that Ron is describing . . . unfortunately, Ron, I don't believe that is the case," Tancredo said.
11248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 06, 2008, 08:46:47 AM
The 9/10 Caucuses   
By FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 04, 2008

Last night, Iowa caucus-goers had the opportunity to vote for a wide variety of candidates who possessed foreign policy sagacity, an aggressive plan to fight sponsors of terrorism, and the competence and breadth of experience to lead the nation during the War on Terror – and the plurality of neither party chose to do so. Instead, they selected affable and charismatic figures who appeal to portions of the party’s base but who lack credibility on national security – an unsettling reality in a post-9/11 world.

The Democrats

The Democratic Party made its selection as the result of a self-conscious process. The party, now a wholly owned subsidiary of MoveOn.org, does not wish to fight the war; it wishes to end it, as its fruitless Congressional leadership has demonstrated in its every budget measure. The party rewards those who downplay homeland security to the benefit of "social justice," especially if doing so allows them to indulge in identity politics.

Barack Obama allowed them to do both more powerfully than Hillary Clinton.

Although not as beloved by the netroots as John Edwards, he has demonstrated a thorough naivete about foreign policy. In recent months, he’s expressed a willingness to unilaterally bomb the allied nation of Pakistan and to hold direct negotiations with rogue states like Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela.

He has boasted he was consistently against the war in Iraq, and he was; he thought the war was a conspiracy. On October 2, 2002, while still an Illinois state senator (Is anyone who was a state senator six years ago qualified to be a wartime president?), Obama told an antiwar rally he did not oppose all war:

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I’m opposed to. A dumb war.

Today, he’s running to become commander-in-chief of the forces fighting that "dumb war," a description certain to erode morale. While always careful to note the troops’ courage and valor, he also talks down their grand accomplishments at defeating al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. On his website currently, Obama writes during the present surge, "our troops have helped reduce violence in some areas of Iraq, but even those reductions do not get us below the unsustainable levels of violence of mid-2006." This is both disspiriting and false. The New York Times reported late last month that "violent attacks in the country had fallen by 60 percent since June." Rather than the surge, which has driven al-Qaeda out of Anbar Province, Obama would have removed all U.S. troops by this March. The Obama Plan offers "at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries." But thanks to the Bush surge, in October alone, 110,000 refugees returned to the newly pacified Iraq.

Nor has our present military success taught him anything. He now pledges to "have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months." Who will take America’s place in newly destabilized Baghdad? Phantom troops and bearded mullahs. Four years after John Kerry made a similarly dishonest pledge, Obama parrots that he "will rally NATO members to contribute troops to collective security operations." But there is less European will to contribute to Iraq (or Afghanistan) now than in 2004 (and there was none then). Barack also announces "the most aggressive diplomatic effort in recent American history " – reaching out to all, "including Iran and Syria."

John Edwards’ second-place finish is more indicative of the party’s bent. Edwards, too, is a candidate dangerously underqualified, a one-term senator with "no international experience, no military experience" and who would need "on-the-job training in the White House on national security issues." At least, that’s how John Kerry described him. He is also a charter member of the Hate America Left. Outpacing Barack and Hillary, John Edwards believes we need to "reestablish ourselves after Iraq as a force for good in the world again. "His well-oiled machine nudged out the anointed candidate of the party elite.

Hillary Clinton also vied for the left-wing vote, pandering to the far-Left "Take Back America" conference and breaking her campaign promises, in the process hammering out a hopelessly contradictory and convoluted position on Iraq. Touting her "experience" in foreign affairs – a phrase that inspires titters when referring to the Clintons – she omits how she urged her husband to withdraw from Somalia in 1993, emboldening Osama bin Laden and leading America down the "Path to 9/11." However, in all her kowtowing to her party’s extremists, she has been careful to preserve wiggle-room to run back the center. She has refused to completely back down, instead crafting a policy that leaves all sides wondering which, if any, of her stated positions is the authentic one.

Under the present circumstances, though, this is a sign of strength. Hillary has been around power enough to know that, as president, she may need the authority and freedom of action her opponents vow to jettison. Ironically, this makes her moderately more responsible, and more conservative, than Obama or Edwards – and explains why she finished behind both.

The GOP

Among Republicans, too, a segment of the party faithful selected a candidate on the basis of personality and identity politics. Mike Huckabee is an amiable evangelical. Evangelicals made up 60 percent of caucus voters, and Huckabee won 46 percent of their vote while engaging in a tremendous get-out-the-vote effort. Huckabee won this position with his glib sense of humor and on account of his opponents’ social liberalism, uncertainty, or apparent apathy. But being a nice man – and demonstrating a general understanding of the threat of Islamic fascism – does not make him qualified on foreign policy. Next to Ron Paul, he is the least qualified candidate to poll any support.

This fact was not lost on his staff. A "senior aide"confessed last Friday that Huckabee had "no foreign policy credentials." Michael Dale Huckabee proved this in his witless Foreign Affairs article, in which he denounced President Bush’s "arrogant bunker mentality" and pined for other countries to like us again. Although it won’t be toppled by terrorists, the United States is:

more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.

The war in Afghanistan-Pakistan, too, fits the high school student analogy. "Ultimately it is this popularity contest," he writes. Perhaps that explains why he offered America’s "apologies" for Benazir Bhutto’s assassination – a small misstatement perhaps, or perhaps an attempt for the big man on campus to be "modest about its abilities."

The nation is not ready for four years of locker room foreign policy when jihad is on the march.

Huckabee believes Bush has been far too demanding. "Instead of asking if someone is for us, instead of demanding that every ally be at the level of Great Britain, I will ask if we should be for them, if they can be useful in any way, however limited, however temporary."But that was exactly the plea President Bush made when he uttered that phrase. Huckabee demonstrates exactly how he is willing to go slumming for support, noting in his Iraq policy, "I support a regional summit so that Iraq's neighbors become militarily and financially committed to stabilizing Iraq." Iraq’s "neighbors" include Iran and Syria.

His feckless goodwill extends to Western Hemisphere dictators, as well. In 2002, the then-Arkansas governor signed a letter asking President Bush to lift the embargo against Castro’s Cuba. After receiving Cuban-American support in Florida, presidential candidate Huckabee reversed himself. What changed? Huckabee’s reply betrayed an impolitic sense of opportunism: "Well, what changed was I’m running for president." (See the video.) Elsewhere he added, "Rather than being seen as some huge change, I would call it rather the simple reality that I’m running for president of the United States, not for re-election as governor of Arkansas." He excused himself on the grounds, "I really wasn’t that aware of a lot of the issues that exist between Cuba and the United States." If true, that betrays a grave ignorance of both foreign policy and the American history of his childhood. (Had he never heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis? For that matter, had he never heard of Elian Gonzalez?) "Being in Arkansas," he claimed, did not place him in close "proximity to Cuba." (More video.)

Mike Huckabee is glib. He is likeable. And he would be out of his depth as leader of the free world.

His domestic record is not an exceptional improvement. Huckabee pardoned more criminals during his time in Little Rock than his previous three predecessors – including Bill Clinton – and more than all six of his neighboring states combined, although they have a population nearly 20 times larger than Arkansas. Democrats would relish a matchup that allows them to appear tougher-on-crime than Republicans for once.

He would also take the Republicans’ hottest wedge issue – immigration – off the table. (So, too, would McCain, and perhaps Giuliani.) Although he now proposes a version of Mark Krikorian’s excellent immigration plan, as Arkansas governor Huckabee fought to give illegal aliens state-funded scholarships and fibbed about allowing state troopers to enforce immigration policy. William Gheen, the president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, has described Huckabee’s strategy on immigration: "He knows he's wrong on immigration; he can't win if he’s wrong on immigration — therefore, lie." Feminists would love to run against a man who stated, "a wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." And leftists in general would be happy to be represented by someone who favors voting rights for Washington, D.C.; caps on greenhouse gas emissions; and has a history of increasing taxation and social spending.

Then, too, there are the darker aspects of Huckabee’s down-home, "sit-a-spell" personality, aspects that prove he and the last president born in Arkansas have more in common than a hometown. Clinton surrogate Bob Kerrey drops Barack Obama’s middle name as an alleged compliment; Huckabee "innocently" asks a New York Times reporter, "Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"– a move as thuggish as it was bigoted. Hillary’s campaign strategist Mark Penn can say, "the issue related to cocaine use is not something that the campaign was in any way raising"; Huckabee can hold a press conference to announce he will not air a negative ad – assuring it is broadcast on every major network and earning it more visibility than his meager campaign could ever afford.

Huckabee also has notoriously thin skin – no pun intended – recently on display in his "shelved" attack ad. Opening the ad, he spat, "I’m Mike Huckabee, and I approve this message, because Iowans have a right to know the truth about Mitt Romney's dishonest attacks on me and even an American hero, John McCain." (Huckabee campaign chairman, and political powerhouse, Ed Rollins’ testiness with Chris Wallace last night also failed to win friends and influence voters.)

As likely as not, the Huck-a-boom is leading to a Huck-a-bust. The Manchester Union-Leader notes a "AP/Pew poll showed that only 18 percent of the GOP-leaning voters in New Hampshire consider themselves ‘evangelical’" – less than one-third the number of evangelicals voting last night. Among non-evangelicals, Romney won more than twice as many votes. Perhaps this explains why, for the moment, Huckabee is barely running ahead of Ron Paul in the Granite State. That may change, or Huckabee may suffer the fate of Pat Robertson in 1988 and Alan Keyes in 2000: winning a bloc vote in Iowa and losing a real vote in New Hampshire.

But if Republicans vote based on the most pressing issues facing their country, Huckabee’s support will almost certainly diminsh.
11249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 05, 2008, 06:39:39 PM
Frank Gaffney would be a great advisor for Huckleberry.....

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/12/28/huck-claims-john-bolton-as-a-foreign-policy-adviser-thats-news-to-john-bolton/
11250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: January 05, 2008, 04:00:54 PM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/2008/01/019465print.html

January 5, 2008

"The termination of Stephen Coughlin on the Joint Staff is an act of intellectual cowardice"

LTC Joseph C. Myers, Army Advisor to the Air Command and Staff College, speaks out about the firing of Stephen Coughlin:

MAJ (USAR) Stephen Coughlin is to my knowledge the only Islamic Law scholar on the Joint Staff...
He is a lawyer by training and a reserve Military Intelligence Officer. His first interface with Islamic Law began in Pakistan where he was investigating and prosecuting an intellectual property rights case about 10 years ago. Reviewing Pakistani property rights law, he kept seeing footnoted references to the Quran and sharia law...

I have long argued and wondered why our military from senior leaders down to tactical level are so unread and unstudied on Islam, jihad in Islam, even the topic of terrorism. I have often contrasted this unconscionable wartime state of affairs, with the due diligence the US military showed since I was a cadet at West Point 30 years ago, where we lived, ate, slept and drank Soviet warfighting doctrine...it was the threat we oriented on and we developed our own doctrine around -- "AirLand Battle" in the early 1980's.

Can anyone show me where the equivalent of the Soviet threat doctrine series for the global war on terror is published?

It has not been done.

Yet today we are in the process of prosecuting war, that from doctrinal perspective, we fundamentally do not understand. Over two years I have had 90 of the Army's top majors come through ACSC, across all branches including MI and special operations forces, and only one had read a book with the title Understanding Terror Networks, that by Marc Sageman...

Just before Christmas I presented a lecture on Understanding Terrorist and Insurgent Support Systems to an interagency audience at the Joint Special Operations University, that included Joint Staff and Joint Command officers, DIA and other IC reps, DHS and law enforcement... there, two people had read Sageman's work...two out of the special ops community. The third individual was Sageman himself.

More importantly we have not studied Islamic Law and few have seen or heard of even the English translation of it that has been in print for years, none had at JSOU or had read a work titled Understanding Jihad, War and Peace in the Law of Islam or even The Quranic Concept of War...I can go on but let me be frank.

This failure of intellectual preparation is a leadership failure, and it is as the 9-11 Commission warned, a failure of vision.

We have spent much intellectual capitol revamping and analyzing our own doctrine as it relates to counterinsurgency...it's time we do our homework on the threat.

Coughlin has briefed senior Marine Corps leaders and staff and has presented his thesis in various military educational venues...by all accounts the veil of ignorance is lifted for all but only a few who are afraid to face what Islamic Law, doctrinal Islam, says and means with respect to jihad and how it plays out across the Islamic world from al Qaida, to the Saudi government, to Pakistan to the Muslim Brotherhood...

What Coughlin did was provide the epiphany in his over 300-page Joint Military Intelligence College thesis titled, "To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad" that is meticulously documented and powerfully argued.

In short, he argues we have in fact intellectually pre-empted our military decision making process and intelligence preparation of the battlefield process, the critical step 3-"evaluate the threat." Strategically we have failed to do that by substituting policy for military analysis, for substituting cliché for competent decision processes.

We began on September 12, 2001 with "Islam is a religion of peace," which soothed ideological sentiments of many but has failed us strategically, short-stopped the objective, sytstemic evaluation of the threat doctrine.

"Islam is a religion of peace" is fine for public policy statements, but is not and cannot be the point of departure for competent military or intelligence analysis...it is in fact a logical flaw under any professional research methodology...you have stated the conclusion before you have done the analysis.

If one has studied the implication of the Holy Land Foundation trial discovery documents as I have, as a former DIA senior military analyst, and understanding as even Bill Gertz has written in his book Enemies about the dismal record of our counter-intelligence one has to wonder and question the extent we are in fact penetrated in government and academia by foreign agents of influence, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamists and those who truly in essence do not share our social compact.

The termination of Stephen Coughlin on the Joint Staff is an act of intellectual cowardice.

We can only hope he can be positioned in his next venue to continue to educate our military for the fight we are in -- if we don't understand the war and the enemy we are engaged against we remain vulnerable and we cannot win.

No victory in the war on terror.
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