Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 20, 2014, 11:45:01 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
81768 Posts in 2245 Topics by 1046 Members
Latest Member: MikeT
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 225 226 [227] 228 229 ... 239
11301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Geo Political matters on: August 29, 2007, 11:19:37 PM
IMHO, Russia has agreed to become China's Jr. partner.
11302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 29, 2007, 11:14:34 PM
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/05/05/hubbell/

Hubbell Explains Riady Money In Latest Tapes

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 5) -- In newly released tapes of his prison conversations, Clinton confidant Webster Hubbell describes something he has been silent on until now: how he came to work for the Riady family of Indonesia.

Hubbell, talking with his attorney, describes how he got $100,000 from the Lippo group, a multinational firm controlled by the Riadys, who were major supporters of President Bill Clinton.

A L S O :

Hear Hubbell's prison telephone calls
Hubbell suggested that John Huang, then a Lippo employee, helped set up and attend early meetings that led to the big-money retainer.


At the time, Hubbell said, Huang still worked for Lippo and had not started his job at the Commerce Department. Later, Huang went on to become a Democratic Party fund-raiser and now stands at the center of Justice Department and congressional investigations into allegations of illegal overseas contributions to the Democrats.

Hubbell also disclosed that James Riady, son of the Lippo patriarch, wanted him to go to Indonesia.

"And as James was encouraging me to come to Indonesia until John was working for Lippo. He was the contact person in trying to set that up and arrange it," Hubbell explained.

For months, prosecutors have been looking at consulting fees that Hubbell received, including the Riady money, wondering whether it served as "hush money" to buy Hubbell's silence on Whitewater-related matters.

Hubbell has declined to publicly talk about his clients and what work he did for them. But when he was indicted last week for tax fraud in connection with payments, a spokesman for Independent Counsel Ken Starr said Hubbell "performed little or no work for some of these payments."


In the latest tapes, Hubbell insists that no one bought his silence.

At one point, he tells his sister, "You know me, I have a hard time saying anything bad about the devil."

Hubbell, in another conversation, tells his wife, Suzy, "We know that's not true," as they discussed allegations that he was bought off with no-work legal fees.

The money came from "people who befriended me. I provided services to them," Hubbell says on the tapes.

In general, the latest batch of tapes paint a more favorable picture of Hubbell and the Clintons than the excerpts that Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) released last week. Democrats furiously attacked Burton then for what they called partisan alterations and omissions, while Burton claimed he was only trying to protect Hubbell's privacy.
11303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 29, 2007, 09:25:44 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

The Plot Thickens

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published an illuminating article which suggested that the Clinton/China fund-raising machine was back, and operating in high gear. Analyzing campaign contribution lists and other public records, Journal reporter Brody Mullins discovered that some of Mrs. Clinton's biggest contributors lived in a modest bungalow in Daly City, California, the home of a Chinese-American clan. Collectively, six members of the Paw family have given $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, and $45,000 to Hillary Clinton during the same period.

These donations are more remarkable since the Paws appear to be a middle-class family. The father makes $49,000 a year as a letter carrier; his wife is a homemaker. Their four adult children have jobs ranging from mutual fund executive, to school attendance officer. Yet, the Paws can not only meet their monthly bills in a high-cost-of-living area (San Francisco), they also donate sizable sums to the Democratic Party.

But, as Mr. Mullins reports, the Paws donations are attracting scrutiny for other reasons, too. The family apparently never made a political contribution until 2005, they rapidly moved to the upper echelons of Democratic donors. Additionally, contributions for the Paws seem to track with those of Norman Hsu, a Chinese-American businessman who is a major Clinton fund-raiser. Interesting, Mr. Hsu (who controls a half-dozen clothing manufacturing companies) once listed the Paws' modest home as his address.

While the Federal Election Commission considers a potential probe of the Paws' donations, the Los Angeles Times has discovered that Norman Hsu has a slightly checkered past. Turns out that the Democratic fund-raiser is also a wanted fugitive; he skipped out on a three-year prison sentence almost fifteen years ago, after entering a "no contest" plea on grand theft charges:

Hsu's legal troubles date back almost 20 years.Beginning in 1989, court records show, he began raising what added up to more than $1 million from investors, purportedly to buy latex gloves; investors were told Hsu had a contract to resell the gloves to a major American business.

In 1991, Hsu was charged with grand theft. Prosecutors said there were no latex gloves and no contract to sell them.Hsu pleaded no contest to one grand theft charge and agreed to accept up to three years in prison.

He disappeared after failing to show up for a sentencing hearing. Bench warrants were issued for his arrest but he was never found. Ronald Smetana, the prosecutor who handled the case for the state attorney general, described Hsu as a fugitive. "Do you know where he is?" Smetana asked.

Turns out that Hsu has been hiding in plain sight, hosting high-profile fund-raisers for Democratic candidates and raising thousands in campaign donations since 2004. According to the LA Times, Hsu and his associates have, over the years, raised money for some of the biggest names in the Democratic Party, including, Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Barack Obama of Illinois and Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware. Like Clinton, Obama and Biden are also seeking their party's presidential nomination.

With Hsu's criminal past now exposed, we're waiting to see if California authorities will finally arrest him and send him to prison. We're also wondering if any of the Democratic pols who took Hsu's money will return the contributions, given what we know about their donor's former crimes. And most importantly, we're watching the FEC, to see if they mount a serious investigation into the Hsu case. As a former FEC official told the WSJ, "there are red flags all over this one."

Likewise, we'd also like to know about any ties between Mr. Hsu, his associates, and the Chinese fund-raising machine that was instrumental in Bill Clinton's presidential victories of 1992 and 1996. That operation raised millions of dollars from individuals and organizations with ties to the Beijing government. It was later revealed that PRC intelligence agents actually met with Mr. Clinton in the White House, part of a massive influence-peddling campaign mounted by the Beijing government and its military.

While no links have been established between Mr. Hsu and the John Huang/Charley Trie operation of the mid-1990s, an inquiry into possible contacts and relationships is clearly in order. The last Democratic fund-raising scandal resulted in the compromise of sensitive missile technology (primarily through the Hughes-Loral deal), and John Huang's participation in secret CIA briefings, thanks to his post as a senior Commerce Department official. Huang later pleaded guilty to charges of making illegal contributions to the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1999. Deposed in a lawsuit by Judicial Watch, Huang "took the 5th" more than 2,000 times when asked if he had ties to Chinese intelligence. Readers will recall that Mr. Huang was a long-time employee of Indonesia's powerful Lippo Group, an organization with proven ties to Beijing's intelligence establishment.

Where does the trail of Norman Hsu and the Paw family lead? The American people have a right to know.
11304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 29, 2007, 12:43:23 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hsu29aug29,0,3184101,full.story?coll=la-home-center
From the Los Angeles Times
Democratic fundraiser is a fugitive in plain sight
California authorities have sought businessman Norman Hsu for 15 years. Since 2004, he has carved out a place of honor raising cash for such candidates as Hillary Rodham Clinton.
By Chuck Neubauer and Robin Fields
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

August 29, 2007

WASHINGTON — For the last 15 years, California authorities have been trying to figure out what happened to a businessman named Norman Hsu, who pleaded no contest to grand theft, agreed to serve up to three years in prison and then seemed to vanish.

"He is a fugitive," Ronald Smetana, who handled the case for the state attorney general, said in an interview. "Do you know where he is?"

Hsu, it seems, has been hiding in plain sight, at least for the last three years.

Since 2004, one Norman Hsu has been carving out a prominent place of honor among Democratic fundraisers. He has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into party coffers, much of it earmarked for presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

In addition to making his own contributions, Hsu has honed the practice of assembling packets of checks from contributors who bear little resemblance to the usual Democratic deep pockets: A self-described apparel executive with a variety of business interests, Hsu has focused on delivering hefty contributions from citizens who live modest lives and are neophytes in the world of campaign giving.

On Tuesday, E. Lawrence Barcella Jr. -- a Washington lawyer who represents the Democratic fundraiser -- confirmed that Hsu was the same man who was involved in the California case. Barcella said his client did not remember pleading to a criminal charge and facing the prospect of jail time. Hsu remembers the episode as part of a settlement with creditors when he also went through bankruptcy, Barcella said.

The bulk of the campaign dollars raised by major parties comes from the same sources: business groups, labor unions and other well-heeled interests with a long-term need to win friends in the political arena.

But the appetite for cash has grown so great that politicians are constantly pressured to find new sources of contributions. Hsu's case illustrates the sometimes-bizarre results of that tendency to push the envelope, often in ways the candidates know nothing about.

As a Democratic rainmaker, Hsu -- who graduated from UC Berkeley and the Wharton School of Business -- is credited with donating nearly $500,000 to national and local party candidates and their political committees in the last three years. He earned a place in the Clinton campaign's "HillRaiser" group by pledging to raise more than $100,000 for her presidential bid.

Records show that Hsu helped raise an additional $500,000 from other sources for Clinton and other Democrats.

"Norman Hsu is a longtime and generous supporter of the Democratic Party and its candidates, including Sen. Clinton," Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the campaign, said Tuesday.

"During Mr. Hsu's many years of active participation in the political process, there has been no question about his integrity or his commitment to playing by the rules, and we have absolutely no reason to call his contributions into question or to return them."

Wolfson did not immediately respond Tuesday night to questions about Hsu's legal problems.

Though he is a fugitive, Hsu has hardly kept a low profile. The website camerarts.com, which sells photographs taken at political events, features shots of Hsu at several fundraisers he hosted at Manhattan's elegant St. Regis hotel -- including a June 2005 luncheon for Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento).

Hsu lives in New York City. Efforts to contact him were unsuccessful. Barcella said Hsu chose to respond through his lawyer.

Records show that Hsu has emerged as one of the Democrats' most successful "bundlers," rounding up groups of contributors and packaging their checks together before delivering the funds to campaign officials. Individuals can give a total of $4,600 to a single candidate during an election cycle, $2,300 for the primaries and $2,300 for the general election.

One example of the kind of first-time donors Hsu has worked with is the Paw family of Daly City, Calif., which is headed by William Paw, a mail carrier, and his wife, Alice, who is listed as a homemaker.

The Paws -- seven adults, most of whom live together in a small house near San Francisco International Airport -- apparently had never donated to national candidates until 2004. Over a three-year period, they gave $213,000, including $55,000 to Clinton and $14,000 to candidates for state-level offices in New York.

The family includes a son, Winkle Paw, who Barcella said was in business with Hsu. Another son works for a Bay Area school board, while one daughter works for a hospital and another for a computer company.

"They have the financial wherewithal to make their own donations," Barcella said. "It didn't come from Norman."

He said that Hsu had known the Paws for a decade.

"Norman never reimbursed anyone for their contribution," Barcella said. It is a violation of federal law for one person to reimburse donors for campaign contributions.

Hsu's bundling of contributions from the Paws and others was first reported Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal.

Records show Hsu also solicited funds from three members of a New York family that helps run a plastics packaging plant in Pennsylvania. They have given more than $200,000 in the last three years.

Danny Lee, a manager at the packaging firm, has given $95,000 to federal Democratic campaigns -- $19,500 of which went to Clinton. Yu Fen Huang, who shares a New York house with Lee, has given $52,200 to Democrats, $8,800 to Clinton. Soe Lee has contributed $54,000 to Democrats, $8,800 to Clinton.

The Paws, the Lees and Huang did not return telephone calls seeking comment on their donations.

Over the years, Hsu and his associates have given to Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Barack Obama of Illinois and Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware. Obama and Biden, like Clinton, are seeking the presidential nomination.

Hsu's legal troubles date back almost 20 years.

Beginning in 1989, court records show, he began raising what added up to more than $1 million from investors, purportedly to buy latex gloves; investors were told Hsu had a contract to resell the gloves to a major American business.

In 1991, Hsu was charged with grand theft. Prosecutors said there were no latex gloves and no contract to sell them.

Hsu pleaded no contest to one grand theft charge and agreed to accept up to three years in prison. He disappeared, Smetana said, after failing to show up for a sentencing hearing. Bench warrants were issued for his arrest but he was never found, Smetana said.

chuck.neubauer@latimes.com

robin.fields@latimes.com

Times staff writer Dan Morain in Sacramento and researcher Janet Lundblad in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
11305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 28, 2007, 10:07:37 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/28/video-steyn-on-the-opus-non-controversy-and-creeping-sharia/

Mark Steyn is right, as usual.
11306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 28, 2007, 08:40:04 PM
From 4/9/2006

Saudi Arabia may join nuclear club

DOHA, Qatar, April 9 (UPI) -- Kuwaiti researcher Abdullah al-Nufaisi told a seminar in Doha, Qatar, that Saudi Arabia is preparing a nuclear program, the Middle East Newsline reported.

He said Saudi scientists were urging the government to launch a nuclear project, but had not yet received approval from the ruling family.

Riyadh denies any intention to establish a nuclear energy program, but Gulf sources told the Middle East Newsline Saudi officials have been discussing a nuclear research and development program -- and that the program would be aided by Pakistan and other Riyadh allies.

"Saudi Arabia will not watch as its neighbors develop nuclear weapons," a Gulf source said. "It's a matter of time until a Saudi nuclear program begins."
11307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 28, 2007, 08:32:30 PM
IMHO, the Saudis have been running a covert nuclear aquisition program, which is now probably in overdrive due to Iran's pending rise.
11308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 28, 2007, 07:03:20 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AI...13&template=printart

Article published Aug 27, 2007
California travesty

August 27, 2007


By Mark Cromer - Dr. Gene Rogers had a pretty good idea of what was coming when he saw his supervisor and a county security officer arrive at his office door. His supervisor was holding paperwork; the security guard was holding an empty box.

Dr. Gene Rogers knew what they had come to do, and why they were doing it. As the medical director for Sacramento County's Indigent Services program for the better part of the past decade, Dr. Rogers has waged a long fight against the central California county's practice of providing non-emergency medical care to illegal immigrants — a policy he says violates federal law and results in the poorest American citizens being denied the care they deserve.

That fight cost Dr. Rogers his job. In a two-sentence memo to Dr. Rogers, the county's Health and Human Services director, Lynn Frank, informed him that he was fired, but thanked him for his services. No reason for his termination was offered, but then he didn't really expect one. "Sacramento County knowingly violated state and federal laws, misappropriated taxpayer revenues and diverted funds designated for indigent citizens to pay for services delivered to illegal aliens," Dr. Rogers said. "And they did so even as they cut the budget."

Fired earlier this month, Dr. Rogers is the latest casualty on a frontline in the struggle over illegal immigration that's often overshadowed: the battle that has simmered throughout government agencies. Many government employees remain silent in the face of what's happening — fearful for their jobs and perhaps doubtful that they would make a difference. But Dr. Rogers, a Vietnam veteran, felt compelled to become a conscientious objector to the status quo.

The local cost of the medical treatment provided to illegal immigrants is small when contrasted to the billions of dollars the state and federal governments spend every year on the "undocumented," but the numbers have grown dramatically. According to county health officials, the hundreds of illegal immigrants who were being treated through the indigent program in the mid-1990s have now grown to thousands of people, with the annual cost to taxpayers swelling into the millions of dollars.

Ironically, when Dr. Rogers, 67, took the position of medical director for the indigent services program back in 1999, he arrived in the Central Valley with hardly a clue (let alone an opinion) about illegal immigration and its impact on social services. He had one goal: to provide the best care possible for those who need it most.

As the years went by, however, that egalitarian perspective began to be tinged with cynicism as he watched poor citizens get squeezed out of the system even as illegal immigrants gleefully manipulated it, all while bureaucrats facilitated the rampant violations of the very laws they were entrusted to enforce.

"I've seen cases and case histories of patients who essentially have come up from Mexico for the express purpose of being treated here, and then leaving to return home," Dr. Rogers said. "I've watched illegal immigrants brazenly demand free, non-emergency health care that was meant for our poorest citizens. I've heard them and their families complain. They feel entitled to it." Dr. Rogers filed a lawsuit in 2003 after county officials "stonewalled" him when he questioned why they were cutting budgets while still providing non-emergency medical treatment to people who have no legal right to be in the country.

The lawsuit is currently under appeal in federal court, but its impact was felt in the state capital, causing a nervous Latino Legislative Caucus in California last year to push through a bill by state Sen. Deborah Ortiz that explicitly allows counties to "opt" to provide non-emergency medical care to illegal immigrants. Sacramento County also responded, Dr. Rogers said, by seeking to alienate him from his prior relationships with county medical staff and by methodically preparing to fire him — with a little humiliation thrown in along the way. On one occasion, Dr. Rogers said, he was forced to sit through a staff meeting in which his supervisors asked case-management nurses one by one if they had any issues or problems with him. None said they did, but it was a humiliating experience.

"I am concerned that you continue to focus on patients' immigration status," Program Manager Nancy Gilberti said in a negative work review, "which is outside your and [the] program's purview." Mrs. Gilberti's remarks reflect a prevailing culture that has emerged in government: a culture that will not tolerate anyone who dares to draw a distinction between American citizens and illegal immigrants. It is a culture that now pervades police departments, public schools and universities, social services and health care.

But when someone like Dr. Rogers speaks up to question the impact on citizens of such allocation of funds for health services like those in Sacramento, the response is clear: Sit down and shut up — or else.

But considering that a young Dr. Rogers started his medical career trying to save the lives of horrifically wounded American soldiers in the jungles of Vietnam, Sacramento County's apparatchiks picked the wrong target this time. For Gene Rogers himself, his crusade is deeply rooted in those grim battlefields he found himself on more than 30 years ago. He watched young men fight and die, men who sacrificed all for the very distinction that citizenship brings to Americans.

It's a distinction that Sacramento County and so many others may choose to ignore, but for Dr. Rogers, that loyalty is a sacred trust he is determined to keep.

Mark Cromer is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization.

11309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 28, 2007, 06:55:07 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

Follow the Money (Clinton Campaign Edition)

The Wall Street Journal's Brody Mullins has a fascinating report in today's paper that suggests the Clinton campaign machine is--0nce again--raking in some serious cash from rather unusual sources.

Mr. Mullins investigative piece focuses on a "tiny, lime-green bungalow" in Daly City, California, which is home for the Paws, a Chinese-American family. According to campaign donation records, six members of the Paw family have donated $45,000 to Mrs. Clinton since 1995, and given a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates during the same period. That places the Paws among the Top 5 donors to the Clinton campaign, topping even the Maloof family of Las Vegas, which owns the Palms Casino and the Sacramento Kings basketball team, among other holdings.

More impressively, the Paws have apparently become major political donors without the wealth of the Maloof family, or the hedge fund and real estate tycoons who make up the rest of Mrs. Cllinton's Top 5. Public records reviewed by the Journal show that the Paws own a small gift shop. Additionally, William Paw, the family patriarch, works as a letter carrier, earning about $49,000 a year. His wife, Alice, is a homemaker. The couple's three grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company, to school attendance "liaison" and mutual fund executive.

And, if you don't find that sort of financial acumen intriguing, here's another angle that raises more suspicions:

The Paws' political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. Mr. Hsu is one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign. He has hosted or co-hosted some of her most prominent money-raising events.

People who answered the phone and the door at the Paws' residence declined requests for comment last week. In an email last night, one of the Paws' sons, Winkle, said he had sometimes been asked by Mr. Hsu to make contributions, and sometimes he himself had asked family members to donate. But he added: "I have been fortunate in my investments and all of my contributions have been my money."

That's fine and dandy, but it doesn't explain why Mr. Hsu (a multi-millionaire who lives in New York) once listed the Paw home as his address, according to other public records reviewed by the WSJ. However, the paper's reporting did raise the ire of Mr. Hsu, his attorney, and a spokesman for the Clinton campaign:

Mr. Hsu, in an email last night wrote: "I have NEVER asked a single favor from any politician or any charity group. If I am NOT asking favors, why do I have to cheat...I've asked friends and colleagues of mine to give money out of their own pockets and sometimes they have agreed."

Lawrence Barcella, a Washington attorney representing Mr. Hsu, said in a separate email: "You are barking up the wrong tree. There is no factual support for this story and if Mr. Hsu's name was Smith or Jones, I don't believe it would be a story." He didn't elaborate.

A Clinton campaign spokesman, Howard Wolfson, said in an email: "Norman Hsu is a longtime and generous supporter of the Democratic party and its candidates, including Senator Clinton. During Mr. Hsu's many years of active participation in the political process, there has been no question about his integrity or his commitment to playing by the rules, and we have absolutely no reason to call his contributions into question."

A former official with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) told the Journal that the unusual two-year pattern of donations "justifies a probe of possible violations of campaign-finance law, which forbid one person from reimbursing another to make contributions."

Officially, there are no records that Mr. Hsu reimbursed the Paws for their donations to the Democratic Party, and no indication that Mrs. Clinton ever met members of the family. As the Journal observes, in some cases the candidates are unaware of payments made on their behalf.

But there are compelling reasons for the FEC to take a look at these donations. Beyond the questions of how a middle-class family can make such large contributions--and why they follow the pattern of Mr. Hsu, there's the issue why the Paws suddenly became political activists. According to the Journal, the family never made a campaign contribution until the 2004 presidential election, when they began givign to John Kerry, and their donations correlated to those of Mr. Hsu.

Finally, the Journal doesn't raise another issue that bears scrutiny: is there any connection between this fund-raising activity and the infamous "PRC connection" highlighted in Year of the Rat, by Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II. Their book details the sordid relationship between the Clinton-Gore campaign and Chinese intelligence operatives, and others with ties to the People's Liberation Army. It was that relationship that brokered thousands of dollars in campaign contributions; meanwhile, senior administration officials--including President Clinton--played host to at least one PLA intelligence officer, along with Chinese arms merchants and others eager to gain political influence (and access to U.S. technology).

At this point, the only thing that the Paws have in common with those former Clinton donors is their ethnic Chinese background. But their sudden rise to prominence as donors to Mrs. Clinton--and other Democrats--certainly merits an FEC inquiry. It would also be helpful to know if the Paws (and Mr. Hsu) ever crossed paths with John Huang, Johnny Chung and other Chinese-Americans who raised money for the Clintons a decade ago. This has nothing to do with race; it has everything to do with how campaign money is raised, and whether any laws were broken.
11310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 28, 2007, 01:35:32 PM
http://www.zombietime.com/al-haramain_surveillance/

Doing the work the MSM won't do.
11311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 28, 2007, 01:13:24 PM
http://www.salon.com/comics/opus/2007/08/26/opus/

Suppressed by the MSM.
11312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 28, 2007, 01:37:48 AM
Christiane vs. Christians and Jews   
By Phyllis Chesler
FrontPageMagazine.com | 8/27/2007

Dhabah Almontaser, the nearly anointed principal of Brooklyn's madrassa and CNN's fully annointed Christiane Amanpour both agree that in Arabic, "Intifada" means a "shaking off." Amanpour gave an example of how to use the word by saying that "Palestinian (terrorists) were (merely) shaking off the Israeli Occupation;" Almontaser, when challenged about the infamous tee-shirts, said that "Intifada-NYC" referred to young Muslim girls "shaking off oppression."

In November of 2005, Fox's O'Reilly showed live footage of the French Intifada as it raged in Paris. According to WorldNetDaily, Saudi billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, (aka Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulAziz AlSaud), who owns 5-6% of the Fox News Channel, personally called Rupert Murdoch and asked him to change the offensive (but accurate) caption: "Muslim Riots" to the less offensive (and less accurate) "Civil Riots." Within thirty minutes, the Prince had his way.

To paraphrase New York Post columnist Cindy Adams: Only in America kids, only in America.

Our fine Saudi prince also owns shares in Times-Warner/AOL/CNN, which he first acquired in 2002. According to Forbes, the London Guardian, and other media outlets, in 2002 the Prince "claimed to own 1.4 billion in AOL stock...in 2003 he bought another 450 million of AOL stock." God knows what he owns now. (Yes, he's the very Prince whom Presidential hopeful Rudy Guiliani humiliated when he refused to accept his ten million dollar donation for humanitarian aid immediately following 9/11).

Has bin Talal's ownership influenced Amanpour's highly touted, highly slanted, and highly tedious three part series "God's Warriors?" I have no inside information here but I doubt that any overt bribes were involved.

Amanpour dresses in safari-like bush jackets but they are never grungy, and are in fact glamorous in color and fit. She is no Oriana Fallaci, no Susan Sontag, but is probably the best CNN has to offer in terms of Talking Heads who presumably think. To those unfamiliar with Amanpour's background, she lived in London (still does), attended schools in America, and her husband, James Rubin, is Jewish. He once worked for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--another Jew who did not know she was one.

After watching Amanpour's segment on the Jews, I was disheartened and outraged. How long will people have to suffer Big Lies on our screens and be forced to react defensively, only after the fact? How much Saudi money might really be involved in CNN's series? In addition to bin Talal, we do know that the Saudis have been buying up shares in the Western media, (UPI for example), influencing curriculum on campuses, and in some instances, buying certain journalists outright. (There is a scandal about this still under wraps in Europe right now. Stay tuned for an update).

Amanpour, whose father is a Muslim Iranian, her mother British, and who spent the first eleven years of her life in Teheran, set out to portray Jews as religiously driven terrorists, illegal land-grabbers, and fat-cat American lobbyists with dual loyalties. She interviewed former President Carter and John Mearsheimer (but not anyone of stature who can easily rebut what they say). Both men believe that Israel is an apartheid state and that the Zionist lobby controls American foreign policy. (See CAMERA'S excellent point by point refutation of Amanpour).

Amanpour makes sure to track down Israelis who have advised the government that "settling an occupied land" violates the Geneva convention and international law (such as Theodore Meron); the Jewish Israeli lawyers who defend Palestinians and who often successfully, challenge the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes. She has female settlers on camera who allegedly say that they believe Palestinians should be killed or expelled. She shows the security wall at its ugliest without context and she focuses on individual Palestinians who are indeed being seriously harmed by its creation. (No, she does not show the Jews being blown up, week after week, in a non-stop series of 9/11s that might explain the desperate need for such a tragic but strategic structure).

In my no doubt alarmist and paranoid view, she is trying to position American and world Jewish support for Israel as essentially equivalent to American and world Muslim support for Hamas and for other Muslim terorrist organizations who also engage in humanitarian aid and social service projects. Just as the leaders of the Holy Land foundation are being tried as supporters of terrorist organizations in America today, Amanpour's portrayal of Jewish support for an allegedly "illegal," "racist," or "apartheid" Jewish "settler state" with a "handful of Jewish terrorists" may now lead to simiilar attempts to shut down American-based fundraising for Israel and to dampen Congressional support for military foreign aid to Israel.

Perhaps Amanpour does not envision this at all but merely wishes to show that there is terrorism on both sides of the divide. But this is not true. While there is indeed a "handful" of "Jewish terrorists" or ideologue of Jewish reprisals, (Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein, Yigal Amir, and the Jewish Underground are named), such figures are just that--a handful, and their attempts at indiscriminate violence have either been prevented or immediately and seriously punished by the Israeli government.

Further, Amanpour fails to draw the right conclusions from what she does show on camera. In every instance, Israeli government officials, including former Shin Bet and IDF spokesmen are the ones who prevent Jewish terrorists from striking, who arrest and imprison them when they commit violence, who sentence them to between 7-15 years in jail or to life sentences. There are no posters all over Israel glorifying their violent deeds as there are on the West Bank for their shahids and shahidas and in the no-longer occupied Gaza strip. Israeli textbooks and television videos do not sing their praises in Israel as is the case among the Palestinians.

It gets worse. She views the Muslim claim to Al Aqsa and the Temple Mount, not as equal to but as superior to the ancient Jewish claim. She fails to draw a single conclusion from the fact that Muslims did not--and still do not--allow non-Muslims access to their holy Jewish or Christian religious sites although Jews guarantee that access to all religions.

So, there I was, licking my wounds when I turned on the TV to see Amanpour's second segment.

Amanpour has never met an Iranian or for that matter a Muslim whom she does not like; yes, even the terrorists and one fundamentalist imam in "the holy city of Quom" receives only a flirtatious wag of her finger when he rather cheerfully admits that women are not allowed to do certain things and are condemned to other things--but that's for their own good, to protect them. She is warm with him, much less warm with his so-called Israeli counterparts.

She opens her segment on Muslim Warriors with a charming, well-spoken, highly westernized young man, Ed Husain, who was deceived, or who rebelled and became associated with a terrorist group in his native London. Once he realized that they are killing innocent people, even children, he backed away. He has written a book about leaving Islamism.

Ed Husain does not represent most Muslims who at best, remain silent and who do not condemn Islamist imperialism, religious fundamentalism, or America- and Jew-hatred. There are a handful of Muslims who criticize Islam openly. Many are tortured, killed, forced into exile, impoverished, live in hiding, publish under psedonyms. Her interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali was very, very brief --no more than a minute altogether. On the contrary, she kept returning to former nun Karen Armstrong whose views on Jews, Israel, and Zionism are anti-Semitic with a vengeance. Armstrong also defended veiling and compared it her own habit as a nun. (Stay tuned for more to come about this).

As to women? Amanpour does not tell us any stories of honor killings or women who avoided being honor-murdered but instead focuses on a happy, modestly veiled Muslim-American woman who describes how her choice to "cover" is denigrated and held suspect in America.

Each and every portrait of a Muslin or of a Muslin terrorist's family presents soulful, thoughtful people, perhaps a bit "different" than you and I but still human, likeable, charming--maybe even made of better stuff than you and I in the west who crave material posessions, display female bodies, allow men and women to intermingle in sexually charged ways, drink alcohol, and refuse to live in a God-centered world.

Amanpour is worse than all the others (writers mainly) who have been blasting Judaism and Christianity but mainly in order to be able to also blast, but in a lesser way, Islam. The thesis is that we are all guilty, all to blame, that each religion is clannish, "different," its texts support violence, its extreme followers are but a handful, nothing for the world to worry about.

These are all false assumptions and outright lies.

THE CHRISTIAN CALIPHATE

In her three part series, Amanpour is far more combative and confrontational with both Jewish and Christian religious leaders than she is with Muslim leaders. She is warmer, softer, more "at home," with even the most extreme of Islamist leaders, perhaps even more respectful, than she is with their allegedly Jewish or Christian counterparts.

Amanpour completely fails to make the distinction between Islamists who teach hatred of infidels and women and who blow infidel and Muslim civilians up (as well as honor-murder their own women); Israelis who are under perpetual terrorist seige and who are trying to defend themselves against Islamist attacks; and conservative Christians who are trying to moblize votes, change laws, or win hearts and minds with words, not bombs (although she certainly has lots of footage of the bloody bombings at abortion clinics--bombings I personally abhor and mourn--as do many Christians).

Amanpour wants us to like Muslims--even the most extremist among them. They are human, prick them will they not bleed? But she does not want us to like Christians or Jews, especially those who are Zionists.

Amanpour does not seem to show the same respect towards conservative Christians who wish to dress modestly, remain chaste until marriage, and avoid a secular culture of rampant pornography and rape as she shows their far more extremist counterparts in the Islamist world or than she shows, at great length, one well-spoken Muslim-American woman who decides to "cover."

In one instance, Amanpour accuses Ron Luce, a Christian leader of teenagers, as being like the Taliban. He actually answers Amanpour in a rather charming, disarming way. She will not be moved. Amanpour herself takes no stand on what Luce says about an American secular and popular culture which allows virgin teenager America to be raped on the sidewalk as we pass by without stopping or caring.

Perhaps Amanpour can't forgive these "radical" Christians their support for Israel, their "Zionism." She presents Pastor John Hagee (together with the late Jerry Fallwell) as Doctor Strangeloves. Hagee, by the way, sees Iran as a threat to America and Israel. As he speaks of his Christian love of Zion, Amanpour cuts to a presumed Israeli air attack againt innocent civilians, replete with weeping, civilian Arab women.

Amanpour again returns to former President Jimmy Carter--this time to have him tell us that he had to break with evangelical Baptists over their sexist position on women in the church. Carter who believes that Israel is an "apartheid" state and whose library has been hugely funded by the Saudis is the new feminist in town.

Amanpour has a definite political agenda--no less so than the Christian conservatives whom she attacks for daring to conduct "stealth politics, under the radar" when they engage in Christian voter drives. Amanpour wants to put a Democrat in the White House. She wants someone there who will move against the so-called Israel Lobby and who will finally stop funding Israel. She wants our next Commander in Chief to engage in nicey-nice diplomacy with Iran. She wants Americans to stop fearing that every Muslim might be a terrorist and to start accepting a parallel Islamic/Islamist universe right here on our own soil.

Yes, our ethnically super-trendy, British-accented war correspondent really wants exactly this. And she wants us to see that such right-wing Christians are no different than Islamists, including Bin Laden, who want a world Caliphate. (We are all the same, all cultures are equal, remove the mote from your own eye before you judge anyone else, etc.)

To accomplish her goal, Amanpour presents Christian conservatives as truly scary, as mounting a Crusader-like Army against liberal secular America--but not necessarily a violent war against terrorist Islamism. Amanpour exploits America's hottest domestic issues (abortion and gay marriage) in order to accomplish her own foreign policy aims.

By the end of her third and final segment we are meant to fear and loathe the Christian conservative right far more than we are meant to fear or loathe Amanpour's Amadinejad whom --incredibly--she never accuses of funding Hezbollah's terrorist work abroad. What she mainly shows us in Iran are Shi'a Muslims at prayer, engaged in theatrical-religious rituals. We do not see them funding and masterminding Hezbollah as it takes down civilian (and Christian) Lebanon, lays seige to Israel, blows up the Jewish Community Center in Argentina. She shows us the child-martyrs (one estimate has 850,000 dying in the Iran-Iraq war) as themselves true believers as opposed to victims of sadistic adult handlers.

Her third segment is one long running advertisement for a Democratic candidate for the next Presidency. She is electioneering as hard as she accuses the Christians of doing.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
11313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 28, 2007, 12:45:24 AM
http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/08272007/news/columnists/how_marines_pulled_fallujah_ou.htm

HOW MARINES PULLED FALLUJAH OUT OF HELL
By RALPH PETERS


August 27, 2007 -- FALLUJAH, Iraq - Fallujah and the Marines have some history. In 2004, one savage battle ended when the Marines were pulled out for political reasons. Later that year, they had to finish the job.
And they did. They took down the terrorists' stronghold in a week of fury.

With a fundamentalist tradition, Fallujah seemed to fit al Qaeda perfectly. Robbed of their Saddam-era privileges and out for revenge, even secular locals had aligned with the terrorists. Despite the Marine victory, violence simmered on.

The extremists and insurgents believed they could wear America down. But between 2004 and 2007, two things happened: We wore them down - and al Qaeda wore them out.

With foreign fanatics butchering the innocent and enforcing prison-yard "Islamic laws" that far exceeded the Koran's demands, it belatedly dawned on the insurgents that, while we intended to leave eventually - on our own terms - al Qaeda meant to stay.

A wave of suicide bombings earlier this year, culminating in a massive attack on a funeral procession, made the population snap. The people of Fallujah may never love us, but they hate al Qaeda with the rage of a betrayed lover.

Since May, the change has been stunning. When the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines were last in Fallujah, in 2006, they took casualties from snipers and roadside bombs. The city was violent, bankrupt and partly in ruins.

Now the battalion's back. And welcome. Marines banter with the locals where, six months ago, it was risky to ride in an armored vehicle.

Paradoxically, the violence of the past set the only possible conditions for the sudden reconciliation. The Iraqis had to grasp that we meant business. Now the 1st Platoon of the battalion's Fox Company lives and works in the Hadari Precinct with the Iraqi police.

The new police are recruited from vetted locals, and the policy has paid huge dividends. The locals know who doesn't fit, and they've got an immediate interest in their neighborhood's safety. Most encouragingly, the reformed police are popular.

Fallujah still isn't a place to buy retirement property, but it was encouraging to sit down with 1st Platoon's commander, 2nd Lt. Nick DeLonga, and his Iraqi counterpart, 1st Lt. Mohammed.

DeLonga joined the Marines immediately after 9/11, because "I didn't want to just sit and vote while others were dying." Now he's the sheriff of a sprawling neighborhood in a war-torn city.

FIRST Lt. Mohammed's fa ther is a sheik, giving him a brand of authority - and insight - an outsider could never attain. DeLonga has the firepower (if ever needed) and the resources, while Mohammed has the pull. It works.

We went for a stroll in the streets. The Marines still wear full combat gear: Despite security measures, a sniper might still sneak into the city. But there was no threat from the locals in the market. The worst mood the Marines encountered was aloofness. More often, they were welcomed with a polite greeting.

People are relieved that their streets are safe again. And the kids are out in regiments, surrounding the Marines in hope of candy or just a bit of attention.

For the Iraqi police lieutenant, our patrol was a triumphal procession. DeLonga let Mohammed have center stage as citizens came out to complain about lagging utilities or, in one striking case, to protest that, as former residents of Baghdad, they had come to Fallujah to be safe, but were being charged exorbitant rents. A ward pol as well as a cop, Mohammed told his aides to write it all down.

Mohammed is effective, but he might jar anyone with unrealistic expectations. In our one-on-one meeting, he quoted Saddam: "You must be sharp as a sword with civilians - and as soft as perfume." But he's no hard-core Ba'athist: You have to remember that Saddam shaped every Iraqi's life for more than three decades.

Anyway, men such as Lt. Mohammed have figured out that nostalgia solves nothing. And thanks to al Qaeda's blood orgy, the old Middle Eastern dictum applies: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. In a sense, al Qaeda set us up for success.

BUT there's more to it. Much more. The Marines and the Iraqi police find they get along surprisingly well. The Americans realize that the Iraqis know the buttons to press to get things done, while the Iraqis learn from the Marines' professionalism.

I laughed to see Iraqi cops marveling at a Marine's, uh, interesting tattoos, while the Marines are still surprised that the environment has gone "nonkinetic" so fast.

And we're truly winning over some Iraqis. "Crash," is a Basra-born interpreter (a "terp") who, more than anything else in the world, wants to become a U.S. Marine. He lives and works with the Marines, studies their rituals, works out with them - and carries himself like a Marine. Crash also carries a weapon for self-defense - a right he earned after pulling wounded Marines to safety in combat.

"His" Marines are doing all they can to help him enlist.

Fallujah? Some districts have ugly stretches of ruins, while others are largely intact. The population has returned. And there's a construction boom. Meanwhile, the Marines have repaired generators, turned trash lots into parks and created hundreds of jobs. Suddenly, the city's movers and shakers want to work with the Marines.

Oh, and the mullah of the city's strictest mosque just sat down for the first time with Lt. DeLonga. They got along fine.

Had I been asked three years ago if we'd ever be welcome in Fallujah, I would've called it wrong. Not that the Iraqis want us to stay forever, but they'd rather cooperate than fight at this point. Given Fallujah's past, that's no small thing.

And the locals are out in front of us in the fight against al Qaeda. Which is a big thing.

I was in the city during one of the last phases of Operation Alljah, which has been bringing the rule of law back to the city's precincts, one by one. In the hours of darkness, Marine engineers swept in and blocked the roads in and out of one of the last un-purged districts with Jersey barriers. The police moved in to bust suspected terrorists and kick out hoodlums who don't have local roots.

In a "swarm," identification cards are provided to all, beginning with the local movers and shakers. Volunteers are vetted to join the police or armed neighborhood-watch groups. And revitalization programs go into gear.

Capt. Mason Harlow, the Fox Company commander, was wounded by shrapnel two years ago. In Fallujah. Now he's back, overseeing the Hadari District and two others. His Marines haven't been attacked for months. And his former enemies are doing his work for him.

Capt. Harlow didn't think he'd live to see the day.

Ralph Peters is reporting from Iraq. His new book is "Wars of Blood and Faith."



11314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 27, 2007, 09:01:20 PM
Who said anything about cutting and running?  I served with 10th mountain over seas in AssCrackistan after 9/11  and I saw the reason's on why we fight and what we are fighting about.

A couple of my good friends had to stand out in the open to guard Some Pipelines..We thought they were gas lines and then found out they were Oil..Hmm Go figure.

****Does this mean that we fought in Afghanistan for oil?****

Simple..There is nothing simple about sending your troops into a warzone on bad preperation and bad intell...Making up reasons to invade a country are not the ways to go about things and then coming back with the "Oh man..Our bad but since we are there" is not a vaild excuse.

Offering 20k to new recruits is they leave in a month to their new home in Iraq is also not a good way to treat our desperate youth..

****The average U.S. serviceman/woman is better educated than the average U.S. citizen. The "poor waifs" arguement doesn't hold water. The US military today is better trained, better educated and better equipped than any military in human history.****

Why we fight?  A 5 year old boy was put on fire?  While that is tragic and painfull..I don't feel that it is worth the lives of Anymore Americans. We have those problems going on here on our soil...MS 13 gangs running riot and other countless Gangs running riot and killing Americans BUT we should fight over seas to help a 5 year old boy? No..I just don't see it that way..Now this is just a Random example of problems on American soil..

****I've spent most all of my adult life in law enforcement. I'm quite aware of the issues with gangs, crime and social decay. That's irrelevant to the global war for survival we find ourselves in. Some sort of neo-isolationism isn't the answer to domestic issues.****

I never said cut and run but I think the way we handled things and still going about things is wrong and over...

Now to Vietnam...58,000 Americans Died there...I foget the wounded and The not counted number of VN vets who killed themselves though Drugs or Booze down the line..And for what , Another countries problem on how they were treating another countrymen and we still had Segregation, Whites Hated Black, Blacks Hated whites, Browns hated both...The cops were running riot and the KKK was still hanging people from trees..But yet 58,000 PLUS americans needed to give their life to another country when those lives could have been put to better use here..On our soil..

****Are you suggesting some sort of martial law as a remedy for the 60's urban unrest?****

All those Lives Wiped out..Potential  doctors, Scientist, Teachers, Husbands, Kids...All these lives that could have been used to make our Country better and not the Countries of a other nation...

****My dad served in 'Nam from '65 to '68, became a teacher afterwards. Despite the media hype, most veterans of all wars return to citizen life without becoming violent drunks.****

We are worried about Aids in Africa..What about Aids here..

****As HIV is usually spread by consensual sex or infected needles in the US, what policy do you suggest that hasn't already been implimented?****

We are worried about Starving ppl in god knows where, where we have straving ppl here..

****When was the last time an American starved to death? Outside of an abused child or neglected elder, i'm not aware of it happening in my lifetime. In fact the poorest Americans are far more likely to suffer health problems related to obesity rather than anything akin to starvation. Again, short of creating a national "diet police" i'm not sure what you'd suggest we do.****

We are worried about aid to Countries that are flooding when we couldnt even get water to our own ppl in New-O when it flooded..

****Funny enough, Wal-Mart and other scary corporations the left loves to demonize did a better job responding to Katrina than did the democrat mayor and the democrat governor, who have yet to take any responsibility for their inept and corrupt municipal and state governments.****

.And we allow Movie Stars and Rich Americans to Adopt Chinese babies and other Types of Babies and Kids when we have millions of Homeless, Orphan American Kids that could use homes....

****Please cite the source of you statistics for "Millions of homeless, orphan American kids".****

I belive some where in your post GM you talk about being Native American( I could be Wrong).

****I'm an enrolled member of a federally recognized Indian tribe.****


.I happen to also be Part Native American...America is worried about how Africans live in Slums and our sick...Have your ever been to the some of the reservations?

****I grew up right next to one, got my healthcare growing up at an Indian Health Service clinic. My first fulltime job in law enforcement was as a Tribal Police Officer.****

They look below 3rd world nations..Some look great and some look like crap. The Reservation by Ft. lewis is a GIANT ghetto...And one of  Reservations where my Grandmother took me in New Mexico is something out of Black Hawk down but it's important that we care about how other countries are run but getting aid and medical care to other peoples while Native Americans get cheap booze and smokes..Ya, I see the fair trade.

****Uncle Sam has dumped billions, if not trillions into tribal entities in recent times. Much like the "war on poverty" gov't aid did more harm than help. Again, the solution isn't more gov't aid to address the social problems on the various reservations.****

I think I went over board and ranted..Sorry..Something heat me up..

****You have the right to rant, just as I have the right to reply.****
11315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: August 27, 2007, 12:24:24 PM
http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2...01&template=printart

Article published Aug 27, 2007
U.S. sponsors Islamic convention

August 27, 2007


By Audrey Hudson - The Justice Department is co-sponsoring a convention held by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) — an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing federal terrorist funding case — a move that is raising concerns among the Justice's rank and file.

Justice lawyers have objected to the affiliation with ISNA, fearing it will undermine the case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in Dallas.

"There is outrage among lawyers that the Department of Justice is funding a group named as a co-conspirator in a terrorist financing case," said a Justice lawyer who spoke to The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity.

According to an e-mail from Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, acting deputy chief of the Voting Rights Division, the sponsorship will involve sending government lawyers to man a booth for the Labor Day weekend event in Illinois.

"This is an important outreach opportunity, and a chance to reach a community that is at once very much discriminated against, and very wary of the national government and its willingness to protect them," Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere said in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Times.

"It would be a great step forward to break through those barriers. And Chicago is lovely this time of year," Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere said.

ISNA is one of more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators in a case against the Holy Land Foundation, whose top officers are accused of raising money for Hamas.

Justice spokesman Erik Ablin said the agency participates in the annual convention to educate Muslims about their civil rights.

"The Civil Rights Division will have a table at the ISNA convention over Labor Day weekend to hand out literature and answer questions about the division's work. The ISNA convention attracts more than 30,000 American Muslims every year, and the division has had tables at the convention in previous years," Mr. Ablin said.

The Justice Department declined to say how much the sponsorship will cost.

"This is just staggering, it's outrageous," the lawyer said. "Lawyers from the Civil Rights Division traveling to Chicago on the federal dime. This will cost thousands of dollars."

A second lawyer responded to Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere's e-mail questioning the participation and said it "seems like an odd time for one part of DOJ to lend credence and visible support to ISNA at the same time DOJ prosecutors will be called on to defend their decision to name ISNA as a conspirator."

"Presumably the prosecutors have determined that they might need that testimony admitted; I hope we don't undermine their position," the second lawyer said. "Needless to say, [the Holy Land Foundation trial] is a very significant case."

Mohamed Elsanousi, director of communications and community outreach for ISNA, says the annual convention is open to anyone who provides services or information of value to convention participants.

"For many years, we have welcomed representatives from U.S. government agencies who wish to share information about their services and have the opportunity to reach out to the Muslim American community," Mr. Elsanousi said.

The convention features book signings, musical entertainment and seminars on family, community service and political activism.

But the first lawyer also pointed to a morning session on "the threat and reality of U.S.-sponsored torture" as contrary to the department's mission. The Justice Department was responsible for signing off on the legality and constitutionality of interrogation techniques.

"The extensive news coverage by the U.S. and international media sources makes it all too clear that the grim abuses in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and the sending of detainees to secret prisons around the world that are known to torture during interrogations, are not isolated incidents, but rather constitute policy of the U.S. government," the schedule of events said.

"This session will describe the nature of U.S.-sponsored torture, the effects of torture on its victims, the efforts of the U.S. religious community, and what you can do to help end U.S.-sponsored torture," the schedule said.
11316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 27, 2007, 01:07:46 AM
http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/189136.php

Reality check on why we fight.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2cd_1187778888
11317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 27, 2007, 12:57:35 AM
It's not so simple, Maxx,

Cutting and running gives both al qaeda and Iran a huge win, it also dooms those brave Iraqis that stood along side us and their families to horrific deaths. What lesson do you want to teach the world? Put enough bloody images on CNN and the left will undercut the American will to win. Just like in Vietnam, we'll abandon our allies to the tender mercies of our enemies. Is this good foreign policy? Is this the right thing to do?

If we throw our allies into the bloody jaws of the global jihad, do you really think it'll curl up and go to sleep? Forget we exist?
11318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politically (In)correct on: August 26, 2007, 07:27:43 PM
Cautious criticism
A Growing Number Of Activists Are Hesitant To Decry Female Genital Mutilation
 
Zosia Bielski
National Post

Saturday, August 25, 2007


CREDIT: Simon Maina, Agence France-Presse
Two Kenyan girls sit near a knife used for female genital mutilation in Nyamira, west of Nairobi. "There are good reasons within the society for the operation to continue, but these are cultural reasons. They are not scientific ones," says Janice Boddy, a University of Toronto professor.

CREDIT: Michael Kooren, Reuters
Somali author Ayaan Hirsi Ali has publicly criticized the act of female genital mutilation. The practice can cause lifelong urinary tract infections, sterility and death.
Academia's fixation on cultural sensitivity is changing the debate around female genital mutilation, with a growing number of professors and women's rights activists becoming hesitant to condemn the practice.

Where feminists rallied against the operation from the pages of Ms. magazine in the 1970s, today's critics are infinitely more cautious, with most suggesting that the Western world butt out until Muslim African communities are ready to reconsider what they are doing to their daughters.

The shift in attitudes about the practice-- which in the worst of cases involves the carving out of a woman's clitoris and inner labia and can cause lifelong urinary tract infections, sterility and even death -- comes at a time when high-profile victims of the operation such as writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali and model Waris Dirie, both Somalis, have launched very public campaigns against the practice.

The issue is so explosive, it has two names -- female genital mutilation, or FGM, to those most vociferously opposed to the practice; and female genital cutting, or FGC, to those in the less-condemning camp.

The latter includes the chair of anthropology at the University of Toronto, who has written a new book on the subject. Although not prepared to defend what she calls FGC, Janice Boddy defends women who undergo the operation and want the practice to continue in future generations.

"There are good reasons within the society for the operation to continue, but these are cultural reasons. They are not scientific ones," says Prof. Boddy, author of Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan.

Working through British and Sudanese archives, she looks at the history of FGC in that country, particularly European colonial interactions with the practice, from British nurses attempting to re-educate Sudanese midwives in the 1920s, to the country's outlawing of the practice in 1946 amid Western pressure.

"It isn't a happy situation by any means. I wouldn't want it to continue. But I think that up until this point, the West has not been particularly helpful in the way that it's gone about trying to assist in the eradication," Prof. Boddy says.

Prevalent in, though not exclusive to, Muslim societies, particularly in Sudan, Somalia, northern Kenya and parts of Ethiopia and Indonesia, female genital mutilation takes on its most severe form in infibulation, or pharaonic circumcision.

This can involve the removal of both the clitoris and inner labia with crude instruments such as razors. The entire vagina is then sewn up with thread, or fastened with thorns.

In this way, a woman's virginity -- considered especially important by Muslim men--can be proven before her father is paid the bride price.

The Sudanese, Prof. Boddy argues, are a fiercely guarded culture, one that sees the practice as a defence of their people against intruders, and, astonishingly, as protection against injury.

"The cultural context in which this practice takes place supports the idea of enclosing the body against harm," she writes in her book. The social body is closed against intrusion from the outside by marriages between relatives. People marry cousins ... The kinship system is quite closed. That image of the defensive society, the defensive social body, is carried over into this idea of defending the physical body.

"The idea of closing the womb, which is the most precious organ of the female body, is very highly supported by other kinds of practices."

Although not outlined in the Koran, FGM is so ingrained in cultural norms that it will not be easily eradicated, she says.

Rather, the West must support local counsellors (she names the international women's rights organization Rainbo as one) working on the ground with women to change their notions of marriageability.

The professor also says she would like to see "more science" in the arguments against FGM -- she takes issue with how often it causes shock and death. To a degree, she also aligns feminists who are ardently opposed to the operation with British imperialists.

Today, Prof. Boddy says, the battle cry is human rights. Back then, it was colonial notions of civilizing the other. It's a stance that pits her against many critics, including the World Health Organization, which called for the absolute abolition of the practice in the 1970s.

The human rights group Amnesty International considers FGM a form of violence against women, and the end result of discriminatory attitudes and beliefs. But even their representatives are careful when speaking of the operation.

"The motivation is not one of malice or desire to hurt but really to make sure that the daughter is taken care of," says Cheryl Hotchkiss, women's rights campaigner with Amnesty International Canada.

"But what needs to be examined from a human rights perspective is why is it that in order for a woman to live a good life does she have to undergo such an extreme experience?

"It's entirely conceivable that a woman may willingly subject herself to it, but our question is, did she willingly subject herself to it because there were so few options to it? That's a core issue."

Prof. Boddy's book has received criticism for leaving Sudanese men out of her discussion. In focusing on the way women perform, perpetuate and desire the practice (since it ensures marriageability), critics say she fails to address the ostracism and potential violence women may face unless they submit.

But these are Western discourses, Prof. Boddy says, arguing that in Sudan, it is women who have power in the domestic sphere.

"You can abhor the sin, but you can love the sinner," she concludes. "I don't want them to receive the blame from the West for doing what they think is in the best interests of their daughters because otherwise they won't be marriageable."

Ms. Hotchkiss says the key lies in changing those notions of desirability, likely through a combination of state law, grassroots efforts and intervention by the medical community.

"[These societies] see women's bodies used as the holders of tradition ? That's still because the society sees women's bodies as not their own. They see them as a tool.

"What Amnesty's desperately trying to get across, along with women's human rights activists the world over, is that women's bodies are their own and they need the right to say what is and what isn't going to happen to them."

zbielski@nationalpost.com
11319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Troops in Action on: August 26, 2007, 07:08:18 PM
newsday.com/news/local/longislandlife/ny-lfcov26,0,3632390.story

Newsday.com

My cousin Frankie

How a childhood hero killed in Vietnam was a lifelong inspiration

BY MARIO DE LUCIA


It was the summer of 1965. The ferry was making its run from the dock in Patchogue across the bay to Davis Park. Kids were splashing around at Corey Beach, the Sandspit and Canaan Lake. And Billy Joe Royal was singing "Down in the Boondocks." Patchogue High School graduates were out and about, enjoying the sun, the waves and the sounds of the Beach Boys, the Beatles and the Four Seasons.

Frank Clark Fisher was one of those kids from Patchogue High School, where he had been a goalie on the varsity soccer team. He lived with his dad and mom on Wilmarth Street. He worked as a lifeguard with Brookhaven Town, and this summer was the last summer before he shipped off to Parris Island and the Marines.

I grew up just up the hill from Frank. He was my cousin, and although I was blessed with two brothers and two sisters, Frank, who was 11 years older, was that big brother I didn't have. I looked for him each day as I played in my front yard or in the woods near my home. And when I'd see him walking with his buddies, I'd run over to him and he'd put his arm around me and let me walk with him. I loved Frankie; everyone did. I'd help him take care of his pigeons, and we'd take his dog,Tar, for walks in the woods. Frank always found the time for me. He'd tell me about his pending adventure in the Marine Corps, and I listened in awe as he told me how hard it would be. We come from a long line of soldiers, Marines and sailors in our family, and Frankie was about to join the ranks.

Frank shipped out in October 1965 and was a member of Platoon 1010 on Parris Island in South Carolina. I wrote to him several times during those couple of months, and Frank wrote back. He graduated from boot camp that December, went on to infantry school and came out as a rifleman. He was soon off to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he served for six months with the security forces.

It was the summer of 1966 when Frank sailed from California, across the Pacific to Southeast Asia. I remember watching the news each night on our black and white television set. "American servicemen killed in action in Vietnam" was the subject of many of these broadcasts. I watched as my mother and father talked about their concern for our boys serving over there. We had several from our neighborhood who were there and, of course, Frank. But Frankie was surely not going to be one of those casualties spoken about on the news. He had to come home. I was taking care of his pigeons while he was away. I was keeping my aunt Topsey company and hanging around in Frankie's room while her only child was fighting in the war.

During that year, I kept in touch with my cousin via letters, drawings I would send and pictures we'd send back and forth to one another. I spent a lot of time down the road at my aunt's house. She was one of those fun aunts who always had something special to give or was always making something special to eat.

Numbing news

It was a hot afternoon in August 1967, during the "Summer of Love." The Young Rascals were "Groovin'," Strawberry Alarm Clock sang of "Incense and Peppermints," while the Box Tops ranted about "The Letter." I entered the house, and another of my aunts was there. My mother was crying, and the smell of skunk cabbage on my muddy PF Flyers soon became less of a concern as I put my arm around my mother's neck and asked her what was wrong.

I recall her looking up at me as she sat in the kitchen chair. "Your cousin Frankie was killed in Vietnam." I just went numb. I didn't know how else to react.

I recall jumping the fence in the side yard and running into the woods across the street ... that same woods where I used to play while I was waiting for Frankie to walk by with his buddies and shout out to me to walk with them, me feeling like a big shot. And I cried and cried and cried.

Why? Why did my cousin have to die? But even then, I knew what being a Marine meant. I'd known that he could die, that he might die. I went on to serve in the U.S. Army and did so in honor of my cousin.

I also went on to become a New York City police officer and detective. I once asked my aunt what goals Frankie had set for himself, and she said to me, "He wanted to be much like you are today ... married, with children, and he wanted to be a policeman." I was happy to have accomplished those same goals and in doing so, sort of fulfill Frankie's goals as well.

I have five children and all of them know their cousin Frankie. They know him through my eyes and from the stories I tell and the pictures I show and the letters I read. My oldest son became a Marine after graduating from high school. He did so in honor of his cousin, Cpl. Frank C. Fisher. And when he went to infantry school after graduating from boot camp on Parris Island, I thought of my cousin. When my son served with the security forces at Guantanamo Bay, I thought of my cousin. And when my son shipped off to Iraq, I thought of my cousin ... and I prayed that he would look after my son, the same way he looked after me, when I was a kid: ever protective, ever vigilant, always faithful!

In the final letters Frankie and his mother exchanged, he asked for a Brownie camera and some film and told of his plans to try to save $1,000 by the time he came home. She wrote back about the family cat having kittens. "You've been gone such a long time," she wrote. "It seems like a lifetime. Write me if you get the chance. It's a little easier when there's a letter from you."

Frankie never got to use his Brownie to take the pictures he so much wanted to reflect on in future years. He never saw Rebel's kittens. Instead, he came home in a flag-draped casket amid the fragrance of cut flowers, a Marine Corps honor guard and many spilled tears from those of us who loved him so.

Seeking closure

To his mom, the time between letters seemed like a lifetime. If she only knew how ironic those words would become.

Since the time after Frankie's funeral, we never really spoke of the circumstances of his death. We knew what the telegram read but not much more than that. My aunt never really found closure in the loss of her son. For years, I would visit her, down the road from my home. The red and white banner with the gold star adorned her window. Frankie's high school graduation picture and Marine Corps picture hung proudly in her living room. His room remained the way he'd left it: comic books on his dresser, his varsity jacket on the back of the chair, all of his clothes folded neatly in his dresser or hanging in his closet.

I recall how one day she called and asked if I could come over. I walked past the pictures of Frank and glanced into his room, as I often did. I always picture him jumping out from behind his door and tackling me on the living room couch, giving me a "noogie" on the top of my head. This day, my aunt had a cardboard box for me, and as I looked at it, I saw Frankie's black lifeguard bathing suit and yellow lifeguard T-shirt. There were some things from high school there as well and some mementos from the Marine Corps.

My uncle and aunt have since passed away. The gold star banner hung in her house until she died, and I remember saying to myself, "That can finally come down now, as mother and son are reunited."

With the inception of home computers and the Web, I began to hunt around for some information about Frankie. I placed my e-mail address on various Marine Corps Web sites and Vietnam blogs, asking for anyone with information to contact me.

Friends of Frank

I became active with the alumni association of my high school in Patchogue, and over the years have been introduced to many of Frank's former classmates, teachers and friends. Many of them remember him fondly and all have a story about him that they long to tell. I think of those stories every time I visit that school and see the gray plaque and the eternal flame in the lobby with Frankie's name and the dozen or so names of other graduates of Patchogue High School who lost their lives in Vietnam.

After the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania, I finally retired from the New York City Police Department. My wife and I relocated our family to the mountains of east Tennessee several years ago. While unpacking, I took a break to check my e-mail. There was one unread message from an unknown person. After opening it, I stared at the stark message, which stated simply: "I was there when he was killed. E-mail me back for more info." It was signed "Sgt. Doyle Clark."

I sent an immediate reply to Clark with my telephone number attached. Then I sat by and waited for the phone to ring. My 10-year-old daughter answered the phone quickly, as most kids do. "Dad, it's Sgt. Clark," she said. The voice on the other end seemed frail, uncertain and somewhat uneasy.

"Hello, sir. This is Sgt. Clark. I've waited almost 38 years to talk about Frank ... "

With the respectful tone that one gets with time served in the military, and a distinct Oklahoma accent, Clark went on to tell me about the day my cousin Frankie was killed.

Frank and the other men from his unit, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, were assigned to a base camp on Go Noi Island, south of Da Nang, otherwise known as "the Island." Go Noi wasn't really an island -- it was a peninsula that, during the rainy season, would flood and give the appearance of an island. In addition to the Marine base, there was an ARVN (South Vietnamese Army) base camp there.

That morning, Aug. 27, there was a chaplain's service at the base. Some of the men attended before going on the patrol. Frankie was the squad leader on this particular patrol. There were a dozen or so men with him. Clark was a machine gunner who was along because of the shortage of machine gunners assigned to the unit. He was cross-training some of the riflemen with the machine gun.

As Frank led the patrol into the jungle and through several rice paddies, they came upon a wrecked house. They noticed several carambola trees in front of the house loaded with star fruit. Since it was just about noon, the patrol took a break, and the Marines sat and ate the fruit. The two Marines talked about their common interest in Japan as they sat in front of that house. After the men on the patrol ate several star fruit each, they resumed their duty. Frank led the patrol farther into the jungle toward the ARVN camp on what was called a "search and destroy" mission in the 1st Marines Operations Journal for that day.

At one point the path split, with one part leading around the camp and the other leading more directly toward it. Frank took the most direct path. As the unit approached the perimeter of its allies' base, Frank unknowingly wandered into an ARVN minefield. He tripped a mine commonly called a "Bouncing Betty," which is designed to pop up to crotch level and blow the legs out from under the enemy. Clark recalled being the fourth one in line in the patrol. He remembered seeing the explosion from the mine and the Marines going down as they were hit with the flying shrapnel. The only way he was able to describe why the three men in front of him and several behind him were hit, while he was left without a scratch, was that "God must have been with" him.

Freezing

Clark explained that he pulled back one or two of the wounded men and ordered the other men to stay put because of the minefield and the possibility of other unexploded mines. He could see Frank ahead and for almost 38 years, he said, he has been haunted by his cries: "Mama! Mama!"

With his left hand gone, and severe head wounds, Frank continued to call out to his mother. With the minefield still very much a threat, the Marines on the patrol were helpless and could do nothing more than call for assistance. Frank's cries lasted for five or 10 minutes before he died. Another soldier had also been killed, a kid from Baltimore, a lance corporal named Bill Mignini, and several of the Marines were wounded.

When the reactionary force arrived, it was led by a young 2nd lieutenant, just married, named Cliff Robertson, a California native just shy of his 23rd birthday. Clark recalled how Robertson's young bride would send care packages to the men of the squad. Despite warnings, Robertson and his men went into the minefield to assess the situation and evacuate the wounded.

There was a pause in Clark's telling of the account. Choked up and trying to hold back tears, he apologized and asked me to forgive him, explaining again that he hadn't spoken of this incident in almost 38 years.

After he composed himself, he said the lieutenant's advance into the minefield detonated several other mines. Robertson was killed along with two Marines from his force -- Cpl. Ray Fort, from Carlisle, Ariz., and Cpl. John Jensen, from Espanola, Wash.

Clark recalled that it was at this time that the hospital corpsman along on the original patrol, a young sailor named Doc Drake, began running to the wounded Marines, pulling them away from the minefield and rendering first aid. This caused several more mines to detonate, wounding Drake. Thinking out loud, Clark wondered if Doc Drake had ever received the medal he recommended for him.

Clark paused. After several seconds, I asked, "Is everything OK?" I was prepared to give the Marine as much time as he needed to tell his account.

Laughing 'allies'

"You know what was so ironic that day?" he asked. "While all of these mines were going off, and all of these Marines were being killed and wounded, I remember laying in the berm of a rice paddy and looking up at a nearby hill, watching as several ARVN soldiers rolled around pointing and laughing while our men tripped the mines. They were pointing and laughing! And they are who we were in Vietnam to help! It took everything I had to not kill those guys where they stood.

"I tried to think of ways to get in touch with Frank's family for years," Clark explained, almost apologetically. "I just couldn't get it out of my head how he kept calling out for his mama."

I was horrified at the way my cousin was killed. And to know that he survived long enough to experience the immense pain he must have felt was even more disturbing. But despite all of that, knowing that his mother was the last thing he thought of, and that his last words were the cries "Mama," was somewhat bittersweet because Frank and his mother were exceptionally close. My aunt loved her only child with an adoration and pride that was envied among anyone who knew them. And Frankie would do anything for his mother.

Clark ended our telephone conversation by thanking me for allowing him to get these memories out into the open. He seemed relieved, and I was thankful for the closure he was able to give to me. I promised to keep in touch with this man who last spoke with my cousin as they both sat under a tree and sucked on star fruit. I'll forever love and admire my big cousin, Frankie Fisher ... well, just because he was my big cousin and also because he was my best friend.

It's because of this man, Doyle Clark from Oklahoma, that I also will never forget the other men who lost their lives that day. Lance Cpl. William D. Mignini of Baltimore, 2nd Lt. Clifton B. Robertson of Los Angeles, Cpl. Raymond Fort of Arizona and Cpl. John A. Jensen of Washington State.

I'd like to thank Doc Drake, wherever he may be, the hospital corpsman who tried valiantly to save the lives of the wounded Marines that day. May he somehow know the gratitude that those like Clark and I feel toward him.

Today, 40 years after my cousin was killed in that far-off land, I sit back and reflect on his life. The Buckinghams, Tommy James and the Shondells and the Rolling Stones on my iPod take me back to that hot summer day, and I can hear the faint sounds of helicopter rotors as they seem to get closer and louder. There's the sporadic explosion of mortar fire in the distance and the sound of boots hitting the dirt. I hear the rack of a machine gun bolt and the crack and pop of small-arms fire.

No, I'm not imagining these things. I'm actually listening to them as I, myself, grab for my M-4 rifle and flak vest. You see, I'm currently serving as a civilian advisor in western Iraq with a team of Marines from the 3rd Marine Division from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. And just like I did while serving in Bosnia in the 1990s, I carry my cousin's photograph with me, as a reminder of who I am, and why I'm here.

Godspeed to all the brave men of Bravo 1/1 who fought in the name of liberty and freedom on that hot August day in 1967. And Godspeed to all of the American fighting men and women who serve our great country today! Semper Fi!
11320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: August 26, 2007, 01:06:08 PM
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2311110,prtpage-1.cms

Scores of Pak soldiers desert forces
26 Aug 2007, 0255 hrs IST,AGENCIES



ISLAMABAD: Scores of Pakistani soldiers have deserted the security forces deployed in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, mainly because they were not sure whether fighting against their 'own people' was morally right, media reports said on Saturday.

"I did not desert the force because I feared death, but I was not sure whether the fighting in tribal district Waziristan was Islamic or not," a soldier from paramilitary Frontier Corps told the Daily Times.

The man, who recently refused to serve in tribal areas, claimed the same question was haunting many other soldiers and the confusion was stopping them from "putting up a tough fight" against the Taliban and Al-Qaida elements in the area. Pro-Taliban militiamen pulled out of peace treaties with the government after troops stormed the Lal Masjid in the capital on July 10, and launched a series of raids on security forces.

He confirmed the desertions but insisted these should be ignored as "insignificant incidents�. "Small-scale desertion takes place in any force and in any country for one reason or another," Arshad told the newspaper.

However, six soldiers from only one suburb of Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province, have deserted the Frontier Corps. The force is the first line of defence of around 90,000 troops deployed along the country’s western border against militants launching attacks at international forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is setting in process a plan to withdraw its army from the restive tribal areas and replace them with paramilitary forces, a news report has said.

President Pervez Musharraf told a group of parliamentarians from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that army would be withdrawn from tribal areas after January 2008, the same newspaper reported.

"Paramilitary forces including Frontier Constabulary, Levies and Khasadars will take over the charge of tribal areas from the military, which would be withdrawn after January 2008,"sources quoted the Musharraf as saying.
11321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: August 25, 2007, 02:10:52 PM
http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/001184.html

Troof!
11322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 25, 2007, 01:45:59 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/25/is-this-the-forbidden-opus-cartoon/

More on the MSM's submission to the "religion of peace".
11323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: August 25, 2007, 12:35:09 PM
Ah, thanks France, that should turn out well.  rolleyes
11324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 25, 2007, 01:22:37 AM
Quote
Bet you dimes to dollars you can't find a member of the god squad who cares about the size of your toilet tank, but members of the nanny state left have legislated that choice away for you

But they do care about what my children study in school, what kind of lifestyle I lead, and who I can or can't marry. Again, while not a direct physical threat, one I consider just as disturbing.

****Ah, and the secular left doesn't use the public schools and universities as indoctrination mechanisms, right?  There's no one trying to impose an agenda on the schools, but the right, right?****
11325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 24, 2007, 11:56:02 PM
When Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said 9/11 happened because god stopped protecting America because of immorality the left mocked them. However Noam "Holocaust denier" Chomsky puts a hard leftist spin on the same concept and the secular leftists can't buy enough of his delusional scribblings.

 evil
11326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 24, 2007, 09:36:16 PM


August 24, 2007
Courage, Cowardice and the Wordsmiths

By Stephen Rittenberg, MD

"...there must be a wonderful soothing power in mere words.... I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace."
     - Under Western Eyes, Joseph Conrad

When I served as a Navy psychiatrist during the Vietnam War, one of my weekly duties was interviewing and assessing potential draftees who were seeking to avoid service by claiming mental illness. Many of these were recent Ivy League graduates, students of the humanities, who were active protesters of what they insisted was an immoral war. They thought of themselves as idealists.

Yet they were not principled conscientious objectors. Instead, they were glib, had read up on symptoms of psychosis, and could feign the manifest behavior of any disqualifying syndrome-including homosexuality. Their efforts to dissemble were usually rather obvious. They were predicated on the arrogant assumption that they were smarter than any military psychiatrist.

Once it was pointed out to them that if they avoided the draft, someone else, less educated and less favored by fortune would go in their place, they quickly revealed their true motivation: fear. I realized I was observing cowardice masquerading as idealism. These young men would do anything to avoid the risk of fighting and dying for their country.

I then would return to my hospital responsibilities, working with wounded vets. These were not glib wordsmiths. It took real effort to get them to talk about their experiences. They didn't think of their courage in battle as anything special. When they did talk about it, they often worried that they'd let down their comrades. The contrast with would-be draft evaders was striking. There was absolutely none of the self-preoccupation of the Ivy Leaguers. Instead these were men who had done deeds, fought battles, rescued other wounded platoon members, risked their lives. They readily acknowledged having been afraid, and many paid a high emotional price. They felt fear, but unlike our Ivy Leaguers, the force that propelled them was courage, not cowardice.

Over many years of clinical observation, I repeatedly confirmed the truth of Wordsworth's observation that "the child is father of the man". So who were these wordsmith cowards as children? In his great essay Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?, Robert Nozick pointed out that wordsmith intellectuals-writers, journalists, liberal arts professors, film makers, television pundits-had frequently been children who achieved success in school, based on their verbal skills. They were rewarded with elite status within the school system. As adults, however, they were not similarly rewarded. Capitalism rarely gives its greatest rewards to the verbally skilled. Nozick tried to sort out the puzzle, and concluded that it is our educational system, where, as he put it:

"...to the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher's smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class. Though not part of the official curricula, in the schools the intellectuals learned the lessons of their own greater value in comparison with the others, and of how this greater value entitled them to greater rewards. The wider market society, however, teaches a different lesson. The greatest rewards do not automatically go to the verbally brightest. Verbal skills are not most highly valued... Schooled in the lesson that they were most valuable, the most deserving of reward, the most entitled to reward, how could the intellectuals, by and large, fail to resent the capitalist society which deprived them of the just deserts to which their superiority "entitled" them? Is it surprising that what the schooled intellectuals felt for capitalist society was a deep and sullen animus that, although clothed with various publicly appropriate reasons, continued even when those particular reasons were shown to be inadequate?...The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated. "
As Eric Hoffer succinctly put it:
"Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words."
Nozick also observed that there is a childhood forerunner to capitalism -- the world of the playground. There, verbal intellect is far less important than action. On the playground aggression is as important as intellect. Being able to utilize aggression in the service of solving problems produces leaders not designated by authority figures, but by one's peers. Physical courage is valued highly. Cowards are mocked and shunned as "scaredy cats". Willingness to fight for oneself, without appealing to authority becomes a measure of status. It also provides real world lessons in human nature.
 
I recall trading blows to gain sufficient respect to be included in pick up schoolyard games. An Irish Catholic boy admired for his basketball skills joined my fight against the anti-Semites and insisted that anyone who could sink jump shots from 25 feet out could play on his team, even if he was a Jew. It took a few bloodied noses but the matter was finally settled. Gerry Paulson was our schoolyard Patton.

In that freewheeling world of the schoolyard, the good little girls and physically timid boys who craved teacher's praise were at a disadvantage. The schoolroom was their utopia, where physical aggression was banned and all problems had a verbal solution. Girls are usually more verbally adept in the early childhood years and gain surplus praise from teachers. In addition, such children, including boys who crave teacher's approval, receive moral approbation for being "good" while aggression is, "bad". Hence the future wordsmith intellectual grows up feeling smarter, morally superior, a caring idealist.

These self-flattering views carry over to adulthood, and shape the future wordsmith intellectuals' political views. If words can resolve all conflicts, then wordsmiths are exceedingly important. If conflicts within and between human beings can be "resolved" with words, then who better to play the role of savior than the wordsmith intellectual?

One of the central features of utopian politics, explaining their appeal to intellectuals, is the promise that conflict can be abolished and human nature fundamentally changed. Whether Communism, Nazism or Islamism, the aim is a unified, submissive, happy mankind led by an elite in possession of the truth, just like Miss Murphy when she taught 6th grade. Aggression will then vanish when egalitarian paradise prevails.

Since that happy day never arrives, scapegoats are needed to explain the failure of utopia whenever it is tried. Usually it's the Jews, but it can be other ‘infidels' as well. Thus the wordsmith intellectual can rationalize mass murder by a Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Ahmadinejad, vicariously discharging his own repressed violent aggression, while still holding fast to an idealized self image.

Nozick's explanation for wordsmith intellectuals' opposition to capitalism is an important first order explanation, but it doesn't go deeply enough into the psychology of intellectuals.

Capitalism embraces competition and competition requires utilization of aggression. Profound fear of aggression, and the concomitant dislike of action to solve problems, constitutes the underlying reason for the loathing of capitalism. The schoolroom is a model for intellectual utopia. Utopia is, above all, a conflict-free zone wherein no one is aggrieved. Whatever social problems exist can be talked out. Intellectuals and their verbal skills can show the way to harmony and peace. Having avoided aggression at an early age, these wordsmiths never learned Patton's lessons in courage. Cowardice is therefore the reaction that comes most readily in situations of danger.

As a psychoanalyst  I belong to a wordsmith profession, of course, and I have a close-up view of its practitioners. They are overwhelmingly left in their politics and tend to think words are the answer to all serious problems. Their faith in the power of words to resolve conflict is almost absolute. When psychoanalysis came to America it shed its European pessimism about human nature in adapting to New World optimism. Therapy changed its goals from Freud's limited aim of converting misery into ordinary human unhappiness. It decided, in the cant phrase that rules to this day, that mental "conflict can be resolved", i.e. done away with, and blissful happiness can then prevail. This became the task of individual psychotherapy-to resolve intrapsychic conflict, and then the aim was extended to include group social conflicts.

We are drowning in a therapeutic culture, saturated by a fantasy version of human nature in stark contradiction to the original psychoanalytic view, a view much closer to the stoics and St. Augustine than to Deepak Chopra. Unfortunately for the adherents of the therapeutic culture, conflict can never be ‘resolved', and they are doomed to disappointment. Never mind, there will be another self help guru next week.

The human mind, however, is in conflict as long as it is alive.

Conflict between wishes, fears, moral prohibitions, and demands of reality never go away. The ways of handling conflict can change, with very hard and prolonged work, but that is a far more modest and realistic goal than the utopian one of transforming human nature implicit in the notion that mental conflict can be resolved.

Changing entire societies is even more difficult. Contemporary psychotherapists, like other wordsmith intellectuals, endorse a Rousseau-ian ideal of human nature: innocent children are victimized by their parents, who are unwitting transmitters of capitalism's oppressive values to their offspring.

Many fine and noble efforts have been made to awaken the Western world to the mortal threat posed to its moral foundations and its very existence by militant Islam. The openly declared intentions of these enemies of Western civilization, accompanied by their daily deeds of mayhem, would seem to be enough to awaken us. Testimony by former adherents like the brave Walid Shoebat should sound an alarm that would wake the deepest sleeper.

Yet many in the Western world remain in a sound, politically correct, post-modern sleep. Why is this? When evidence is ignored, when savagery is blamed on provocation by its victims, when a Jew-hating death cult is described as a religion of peace, when media and governing elites see little difference between the firemen and the fire, there must be non-rational forces at play. Rational discussion doesn't always work because fear is great, terror has worked on many, and amongst the wordsmith elite, cowardice is the usual response.

Fear is, of course a universal response to danger. How a person handles fear varies widely, depending on early development. George Patton, in his famous D-Day speech said;
".. every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared."
Fortunately, wordsmith intellectuals are not the majority of Americans. If you took the New York Times, our Ivy League faculties and the Harry Reids and Nancy Pelosis as representative of the country, you would conclude we are a nation of castrati. Their screeching volubility notwithstanding, they are nevertheless the minority. I find it comforting, when the caterwauling of the left becomes deafening, to think of them as "the insects of the hour", in Edmund Burke's phrase. He wrote:
"Because half-a-dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that of course they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little shrivelled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour."
Rarely does one find a Churchill or a Patton, men of action who also are wordsmiths. It is unlikely that one will appear soon gain, so we will have to get through this war in defense of civilization by setting an example of courage and hoping that a few of the wordsmith intellectuals will be shamed into silence. After all, as Patton remarked:
"...Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American..."

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/08/courage_cowardice_and_the_word_1.html at August 24, 2007 - 10:09:38 PM EDT
11327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 24, 2007, 09:29:32 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=26799_Opus_Censored_by_MSM_Fear_of_RoP&only

Funny how dunking a crucifix in urine or smearing a picture of the virgin mary in elephant dung is applauded and covered by the MSM, but they get so timid about that one religion. Why is that?
11328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 24, 2007, 09:23:35 PM
SB,

The secular society you live in is a concept found in christian thought. "Render unto Ceasar..."

Something not found in islamic thought.

If Jerry Falwell doesn't approve of you, so what? It's OBL's disapproval, or more far reachingly, Sayeed Qutb's disapproval that is suffered in real flesh and blood terms.

Why is this?
11329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Freedom of religion... on: August 24, 2007, 08:07:07 PM
Private Papers
www.victorhanson.com

August 19, 2007
In Their Own Words
Newly translated writings of the al Qaeda leadership.
by Bruce Thornton
Private Papers

The Al Qaeda Reader, ed. Raymond Ibrahim, Introduction by Victor Davis Hanson, Doubleday.

Given that war, as both Sun Tzu and Mohammed preached, is deception, it behooves us to understand accurately the enemy’s motivations and not be fooled by his deceiving propaganda. Yet in the current war against Islamic jihad, the West has stubbornly refused to take seriously what the jihadists tell us, believing instead what Thucydides called the “pretexts” with which an enemy rationalizes his aggression. Osama bin Laden and his theorist Aymin al Zawahiri in particular have provided us with numerous texts outlining the Islamic foundations of their war against the West. A few of these pronouncements and manifestoes have long been available, but now thanks to Raymond Ibrahim’s The Al Qaeda Reader, writings previously unavailable in English can be studied and analyzed. Such study will provide powerful evidence that contrary to the deceptions of apologists and the naïve delusions of some Westerners, the bases of the jihadists’ actions lie squarely within Islamic tradition, not in the alleged Western crimes against Islam.

Fluent in Arabic and trained as a historian in the ancient Middle East, Ibrahim is currently a technician in the Library of Congress’ Near East Section, where he discovered al Qaeda documents that had not been translated into English. He has organized these writings into two sections: theology, writings intended for fellow Muslims that ground al Qaeda’s war against the West in the traditional Islamic doctrine of jihad; and propaganda, writings meant for Westerners that cast bin Laden’s war as a just response to the depredations of Western powers.

The documents in the first section make a sustained, coherent argument for offensive jihad based on the Koran, the Hadith (the traditions of the words and deeds of Mohammed), and the Ulema (past and present scholars of Islam). Indeed, as Ibrahim notes, “Zawahiri’s writings especially are grounded in Islam’s roots of jurisprudence; in fact, of the many thousands of words translated here from his three treatises, well more than half are direct quotations from the Koran the Sunna [words, habits, and practices] of Mohammed, and the consensus and conclusions of the Ulema.” This extensive grounding weakens the “highjacking” charge apologists use to explain Islamic jihad. On the contrary, al Qaeda’s arguments are unexceptionally traditional — which is why, of course, millions of Muslims accept them.

In these writings addressed to fellow Muslims, bin Laden and Zawahiri argue against the notion of “moderate” Islam; the compatibility of Sharia (laws governing Islamic society) with democracy; the idea of accommodation with the enemy; and the prohibition against killing women and children. In other words, they meticulously attack as distortions of Islam all the popular assertions about Islam’s nature promulgated by apologists, Westernized Muslims, and even many Christians. As bin Laden himself writes in “Moderate Islam Is a Prostration to the West” — a letter written to the Saudi theologians who in 2002 publicly advocated coexistence with the West — such moderation necessitates the adoption of Western values: “They [the Saudi theologians] first acknowledge their [Westerners’] values and ideologies in their entirety, while shying away from evoking the truth valued by the Religion [Islam] and its foundations.” Even the notion of “co-existence” is a Western idea contrary to Islam: “As if one of the foundations of our religion is how to coexist with infidels!” Quite the contrary: the traditions and foundations of Islam urge believers to “wage war against the infidels and the hypocrites, and be ruthless against them” (Koran 66:9), a verse Zawahiri quotes along with the commentary of al Qurtubi, 13th-century author of a 20-volume exegesis of the Koran: “There is but one theme — and that is zeal for the religion of Allah. He commands the waging of Jihad against the infidel by use of sword, sound sermons, and the summons to Allah.”

So too with other Western notions such as tolerance and “dialogue,” which bin Laden correctly asserts are “built on Western conceptions, which themselves rest upon the most loathsome, secular principles.” Indeed, bin Laden has a strong case, for he appeals for evidence to the life and practices of Mohammed and his companions — along with the Koran the Muslim’s guide to every aspect of life — and asks sarcastically, “What evidence is there for Muslims for this [dialogue and shared understanding]? What did the Prophet, the companions after him, and the righteous forebears do? Did they wage jihad against the infidels, attacking them all over the earth, in order to place them under the suzerainty of Islam in great humility and submission? Or did they send messages to discover ‘shared understandings’ between themselves and the infidels in order that they may reach an understanding whereby universal peace, security, and natural relations would spread — in such a satanic manner as this?”

History shows that bin Laden has the better understanding of Islam than do Western apologists; as Ibrahim summarizes the argument, “‘radical’ Islam is Islam — without exception.” In this same vein, Zawahiri argues in his “Loyalty and Enmity” that the only relationship one can have with the infidel is enmity. Zawahiri buttresses this argument with numerous quotations from Islamic theology, the most important coming from the Koran 60:4: “‘We disown you and the idols which you worship besides Allah. We renounce you: enmity and hate shall reign between us until you believe in Allah alone.’” On this authority comes the necessity to wage jihad against the infidel.

Perhaps the most important document in Ibrahim’s collection is Zawahiri’s “Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents.” For years, we have been told that terrorism is un-Islamic because Islam forbids suicide and the killing of non-combatants. Zawahiri, however, teases out from Islamic tradition a perfectly rational and coherent argument in support of terrorism and suicide bombings.

Zawahiri starts by repeating Islam’s acceptance of deception in war as justified, thus legitimizing suicide bombings, which are deceptive by nature. Next, he builds his argument on selected hadiths, which as Ibrahim notes requires some interpretive stretching. Zawahiri gets around this difficulty by resorting to analogy, “a legitimate tool of Islamic jurisprudence,” as Ibrahim reminds us. Zawahiri focuses on intention, why the Muslim kills himself, not who kills him: “Thus the deciding factor in all these situations is one and the same: the intention — is it to service Islam [martyrdom] or is it out of depression and [despair]?” As for killing women and children, Mohammed himself provides a precedent during the siege of Ta’if, where he used catapults. The Prophet’s response to the question of killing women and children, which of course catapult missiles would do perforce, was “They [women and children] are from among them [infidels].” Again, the ultimate intention is the key: referring to al Shafi’ and the Hanbalis, two schools of Islamic jurisprudence, Zawahiri argues that it is permissible “to bombard the idolators even if Muslims and those who are cautioned against killing are intermingled with them as long as there is a need or an obligation for Muslims to do so, or if not striking leads to a delay of the jihad.”

Zawahiri’s reasoning in defense of suicide bombing may be ultimately unconvincing to many Muslims, or unsustainable by more careful exegesis. But the mere fact that such a case can be made — something impossible to do in the Christian, or Hebraic, or Hindu, or Buddhist traditions — and that millions of faithful Muslims accept the case, speaks volumes about the “religion of peace.”

The next section of The Al Qaeda Reader comprises selections Ibrahim calls “propaganda,” arguments designed for Westerners that exploit all the self-loathing pathologies of Western intellectuals. Every distortion of history repeated in thousands of American college classrooms, every lurid lie peddled by the Chomsky-Moore cult is repeated by bin Laden, the only difference being a much more explicit indulgence in anti-Semitism. Thus in “Israel, Oil, and Iraq,” Bin Laden really doesn’t sound much different from your typical college professor off on a rant about the Halliburton-Cheney-Bush-neocon [read Jews] nexus. We hear about the “Jews — who direct you [Americans] through the lie of ‘democracy’ to support the Israelis and their machination and in complete antagonism to our religion,” which is basically the same argument American academics continually make about the “Israeli lobby.” Bush is castigated in Chomskyean terms for “concealing his own ambitions and the ambitions of the Zionist lobby in their desire for oil.” Western guilt is massaged by statements like, “He [Bush] is still following the policy of his ancestors who slew the American Indians in order to seize their land and wealth” — this coming from a devotee of the most ruthlessly imperial religion ever. And our old leftist bogey, the “military-industrial complex,” appears when bin Laden tells our troops, “You are spilling your blood to swell the bank accounts of the White House gang and their fellow arms dealers and the proprietors of great companies.”

These leftist bromides appear over and over in subsequent speeches and manifestoes, and testify to bin Laden’s shrewd recognition of the West’s Achilles heel: the appeasing proclivities of its elite intellectuals who, riddled with self-loathing guilt, are incapable of defending their way of life and its highest goods. So our Saudi millionaire businessman rants on about “providing business [contracts] for their [the Bush administration] private corporations,” the 2000 presidential election “stolen” by the Bush clan, the “contracts acquired by large and dubious corporations, such as Halliburton,” and the stupidity of our troops, who “convinced of injustices and lies of their government . . . fight only for the sake of capitalists, the lords of usury [code for Jews], and arms and oil dealers — such as that gang of criminals in the White House.” Even the failure to sign the Kyoto agreement, the dropping of a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, and the supposed flouting of international law — standard anti-American leftist charges — are trotted out by bin Laden, who mentions not one of these complaints when talking to fellow Muslims, for the simple reason that traditional Muslims care nothing for them. But guilt-ridden, self-loathing Westerners of the sort currently agitating for withdrawal from Iraq care very much.

The Al Qaeda Reader, simply by letting our enemies speak in their own voices, explodes the popular delusion that Western crimes and policies are responsible for the “distortion” of Islam that al Qaeda represents. As Ibrahim writes, “This volume of translations, taken as whole, prove once and for all that, despite the propaganda of Al Qaeda and its sympathizers, Radical Islam’s war with the West is not finite and limited to political grievances — real or imagined — but is existential, transcending time and space and deeply rooted in faith.” This means that the fight will be long and hard, that leaving Iraq or creating a Palestinian state will not buy peace, and that the side that accurately understands its enemy and has confidence in its own beliefs will ultimately triumph. Thanks to Raymond Ibrahim’s The Al Qaeda Reader, we have the means for achieving that understanding.
11330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 24, 2007, 07:07:37 PM
SB,

Given that there are roughly the same number of christians and muslims worldwide, please compare the body counts. If there are "dangerous fundies" in every religion, then there should be the roughly same amount of death and mayhem, right? So, in the last 6 months, year, 10 years, what's the christian body count vs. the muslim body count? Why the disparity?
11331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 24, 2007, 02:00:30 PM
A simple test for evaluating the impact of the fundamentalists of various religions: Body count. Compare and contrast those killed and wounded by the global jihad vs. the scary christians and jews. I don't know of any jews that have thrown acid into the face of people not keeping kosher and we haven't yet see a wave of fundie christian suicide bombing evolution classes, though i'm sure that's coming any day now.... wink
11332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 24, 2007, 01:26:43 PM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/017854.php#more

August 21, 2007

Fitzgerald: The point of CNN's religious fundamentalism series

Christiane Amanpour has at least one parent who was part of what one would have hoped to describe as the intelligent secular ancien regime. They were the people pushed out by Khomeini and his epigones, and therefore, one would have thought, comprehending the nature of Islam. Well, it turns out that not everyone who has fled Iran quite has that necessary understanding. Some like to pretend that Khomeini is a sport, when the real sport was the Shah and his father, in their de-emphasis on Islam, their emphasis on the pre-Islamic past of Iran, and their willingness to limit the power of the mullahs -- and, above all, to give the non-Muslims of Iran, the Christians, Jews, and Baha'is, reasonable security and even something akin to legal equality.

But Amanpour does not realize that. Nor, in her aggressive climb through the media ranks, has she stopped to study Islam. She has not stopped to find out what happened to the Zoroastrians or what happens to them in Iran today. She has not stopped to find out why, even in the 20th century, a Jew could be killed for going out in the rain (where a drop might ricochet off him and hit an innocent Muslim with this raindrop of najis-ness, thus contaminating him).

She might, that is, have begun with the history of Islam in Iran and considered the treatment of non-Muslims, and how Shah Abbas II overnight ordered the conversion of all the Jews and Armenians in an Iranian city (possibly Tabriz), and why the real, as opposed to the Iranian exile's dreamy fictional history of Iran, is full of such episodes. She might have gotten hold of E. J. Browne's work on Persian literature, and studied Hafiz and Sa'adi. She might have read Omar Khayyam, and come to realize just how un-Islamic he was. She might have read the Shahnameh of Firdowsi, and seen how his literary talent was put to work preventing the linguistic and cultural imperialism of the Arabs from successfully coming to damage and then overwhelm the Iranian culture. She might have done a special program on Islam as a vehicle of Arab cultural and linguistic imperialism, and used Iran as an example of one place where it did not succeed as it did elsewhere.

Oh, there are many things that raw-boned massive Christiane Amanpour might have done, if she had allowed herself the leisure to think, and be something more than one more media star, one more mere reporter incapable of making sense of what she reports on.

But she did none of it. She clawed and clawed to the top. She entered into a mariage blanc, a white marriage of grayish convenience, with James Rubin. She travels, she reports from here, she reports from there. She is like so many of them, with their fabulous salaries, their baseless self-assurance, their inability to convey anything difficult, anything that requires instructing us rather than feeding us visual and verbal pablum.

If you have seen the presentation of those "Christian fundamentalists" (read: Fanatics), then you will observe how carefully the cameramen have captured those flags, and taken shots of hands uplifted in prayer or hallelujahs to make sure the viewer gets the impression of a Nuremberg rally, with these "Christians" heil-hitlering all over the place. Very carefully done, very artfully and deliberately done. She, Christiane Amanpour, is of course determined to make this group of Christians look as bad as possible, and then to convince us that they represent a huge number of people, and to do the same, when their time comes, to those wild-eyed fanatical Jews, those "Biblical settlers" who think -- imagine that! -- that the Land of Israel, that gigantic land, practically the size of Connecticut or is it Massachusetts, was given in a Covenant to the Jews. What a terrible thing, what a thing so utterly comparable, is it not, to the view in Islam that the entire world belongs to Muslims, and that they must by right dominate everywhere?

Do you see a little something not quite symmetrical in her view, in her presentation, or that of her crew, so willing to play ball? Meanwhile, one wonders how she can stand herself. And why CNN so obviously insults us, in reducing the menace of Islam, the menace that only a fool could ignore, and the full scope of which, based on immutable texts, becomes clearer to the intelligent every day, to something like the non-existent menace from those wild-eyed Nurembergian Christians, with Amanpour as their recording Riefenstahl, or those crazy "West Bank" settlers, in their trailers, choosing to live among a million Arabs -- "Palestinians" -- who of course have every right to be there, because...well, isn't the Middle East the same thing as the Arab World, after all? Where do those pesky remnants of Jews, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Copts, Maronites, Mandeans, Yazidis, Armenians, and all the others come from? Why don't they go back where they came from? The "Arab World," the "Muslim Arab World" -- now that's more like it. That's just the ticket.

Because, you see, Every Group Has Its Crazies. And those crazies, you see, are exactly alike, in what they want, and how they act, and the size of the demands they make on the rest of us. But exactly.

That's the point of this series. You didn't think there was another point, did you?
11333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 24, 2007, 01:14:53 PM
If National People's Radio is covering it, then I know what the film's agenda is..... rolleyes
11334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science on: August 24, 2007, 03:24:44 AM
Drama of a Tough Marine   
By Ralph Peters
The New York Post | 8/24/2007

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq - A Marine appeared in the doorway of the battalion commander's office. "Sir, we've got an ident on a mortar team."
Marine Lt. Col. Nate Nastase stood up behind his desk. He'd been briefing me on his area of operations just east of Fallujah, where the sheiks recently flipped to our side and a fading, but still lethal, al Qaeda struggled to stay in the game.

Nastase moves with a purpose. He led the way through the smack-down heat to the operations center next door. Adrenaline laced the air. The ops staff of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, believed they had a fix on a target they'd been hunting, a terrorist hit-and-run mortar crew determined to announce that al Qaeda was still around.

But there was a problem. Ordinarily, Marine artillery would've shot counter-fire as soon as their radars picked up the incoming round. But there had been a line-of-fire issue. Fortunately, a well planned surveillance mission was in the air at just the right spot. The system didn't catch the round being fired, but quickly spotted a vehicle at the shooter's location.

It didn't seem like a coincidence. The area was a scrub waste, with no one else in evidence. There was no good reason for anybody to be there.

Lt. Col. Nastase would have to make the decision to green-light an airstrike.

Sounds clear-cut. But few things are straightforward in Iraq. Since no one saw a concealed mortar actually fire from the truck or beside it, it was impossible to be 100 percent certain.

What if it was a coincidence? The Marines had spent months building a crucial partnership with local tribes who had been our enemies for years. Now the local Sunni Arabs are on board in the fight against al Qaeda (and al Qaeda doesn't like it - earlier in the week, a mortar round killed a key sheik's daughter and one of his bodyguards).


Everyone in the room and the adjacent bay felt the same longing to pull the trigger, to take out that mortar crew. But Nastase would have to decide. And the vehicle was already on the move, headed toward another unit's sector, jumping a boundary - the military equivalent of a state line.

Nastase remained a study in self-control, reining in the emotions in the room simply by giving clear instructions and asking short, sharp questions. Appearing no older than a captain, Nastase looks like a combination of Tom Cruise and a Sicilian boxer.

A ground-attack aircraft was on station, but would soon need to refuel. What did the battalion commander want to do?

Suddenly, the target vehicle stopped in the middle of nowhere. Another vehicle, pointed in the opposite direction, pulled up beside it. Was the mortar crew switching rides, letting an unsuspecting driver take the hit if the Americans were on to them? Was evidence being transferred?

What if there was an innocent explanation for the vehicles' behavior? A misguided attack could alienate the locals again.

The vehicles broke apart, with the main suspect taking off toward the sister unit's sector. That meant checking to ensure that no friendlies were in the area and coordinating all fires - if the decision were made to shoot.

The vehicle pulled up beside a house. Just inside the other unit's boundary.

What if al Qaeda were setting the entire thing up to get us to attack a home where women and children were present? What if they were playing all of our technical advantages against us and springing a political trap? Contrary to the myths of the left, no Americans leaders want to harm the innocent. And the local repercussions of bad targeting could set back reconciliation efforts by months.

Still, everybody in that room wanted to shoot. Hitting back is the natural impulse for Marines or soldiers - get the enemy, any time you can. Nail that mortar team while we've got them.


Everything was in place for the attack.

The commander looked over the incoming data one last time. A decisive man, Nastase still had to be the one perfectly clear thinker in the room. Everyone else was doing his job, and doing it well. But unleashing the power of the U.S. military was up to one lieutenant colonel.

He chose not to shoot. If a surveillance system had actually spotted a mortar round coming out of the vehicle or from a position near it, the decision would have gone the other way. But there was just enough uncertainty to convince the battalion commander that protecting the vital, new alliance with the local sheiks was the priority.

Everyone must've been disappointed. But they didn't show it. They're Marines. They just carry on with the mission.

Nastase must've felt the letdown, too. But he was comfortable with his decision. And the mission wasn't a complete failure, not by any means: Two suspect vehicles had been ID'd and the Marines could be on the look-out for them. A house had been pinpointed as a potential terrorist safe haven or staging area - the adjacent unit could raid it, maybe grabbing key terrorists and making an intelligence score.

All of the work by the troops out in the outposts and on patrol and by the staff was paying off: The Marines had narrowed down the possibilities and had known approximately where to watch for the terrorists this time. Next time might well be their last time. That mortar team wasn't going to live long.

But the round had gone to the terrorists. Even though they shot wild - almost as if they'd really been nothing but bait.

Everyone yearns to do the satisfying thing. But a leader has to do the wise thing. The battalion commander hadn't held back from a lack of guts, but because he knew that, this time, restraint was a better fit for his mission.

But it was a hard decision to make.

Lt. Col. Nastase gave a few final orders and walked back out into the heat. Alone.
11335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: August 24, 2007, 12:59:29 AM
Tom,

Coulda, woulda, shoulda..... How will giving Al Qaeda and Iran both a big win by cutting and running help secure our country in this global war?
11336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 23, 2007, 08:07:44 PM
The MB has a global reach and HAMAS is just one of it's faces. Not that you'd know that by watching CNN..... rolleyes

Aside from that, it's just like the United Way with bomb vests. Good reporting there.
11337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 23, 2007, 07:57:54 PM
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2007/08/print/fearing_the_law_they_face.php

Counterterrorism Blog

Fearing the Law They Face

By The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)

Congressional plans to outlaw material support for designated terrorist groups and their leaders in 1996 caused a stir for leaders of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), evidence released Wednesday shows.

The foundation and five of its officials are on trial for violating that law, as they stand accused of providing material support to Hamas. In a telephone call intercepted by FBI agents under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, HLF founder Shukri Abu Baker discusses the legislation with HLF officer and fellow defendant Ghassan Elashi and an associate named Thomas Mohamed. “Up to this point,” Baker said, “the law differentiates between…for example the charitable and let’s say military wings of any organization…But after this passes, it will be the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re supporting charitable. It’s the same as long as that organization is named a terrorist organization.”

The defense insists it raised money solely to feed and care for needy Palestinian families and did not work in league with Hamas. The media, Baker said in the 1996 call, “is going out of its way to establish a link…between the Holy Land Foundation and, and, and other organizations. So this is not for nonsense. There is a purpose.” The media, in this case, is the Dallas Morning News and IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson. Morning News reporter Gayle Reaves had interviewed Baker two weeks earlier.

Other evidence released in the trial shows HLF repeatedly turned to Hamas members and affiliates for fundraisers. Its officials attended a secret 1993 meeting of Hamas members and sympathizers in Philadelphia to discuss ways to derail the new Oslo Peace Accords. And documents seized from HLF offices and other defendants show HLF and other U.S.-based Muslim groups were part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. Hamas is a Brotherhood offshoot.

But Baker and his HLF associates weren’t going to tell Reaves that. Baker briefed El-Mezain about Reaves’ questions in a call two days after her interview. They agreed that El-Mezain wouldn’t talk to Reaves:

“Tell her, ‘I called him and he is not scared of you,’” El-Mezain instructed, “‘but he has no time to see you.’”

Something else El-Mezain said in that call is revealing: “Tell her…I mean, regarding donations to Hamas at the time were not illegal. Also, in truth, they are an honor to the entire Palestinian people in the first place.”

Other testimony Wednesday from FBI Special Agent Robert Miranda focused on HLF’s efforts to protect its cover.

In July 2000 Baker hired a private investigator to check HLF office for bugs or other forms of surveillance. “The Basic RF Counter-Surveillance Sweep determined that certain aspects within the facility, and therefore the Foundation, have been under technical surveillance by unknown entities, for an undetermined period of time. At the time of the sweep, certain recommendations were made regarding these findings, as well as some general suggestions,” wrote Shihan Hale, president and CEO of the Executive Protection Group, Inc. in Dallas.

Hale offered a second title under his signature, that of Regional Director of Security for the Muslim American Society (MAS).

Evidence previously admitted in the trial shows MAS tasked as part of a “Confrontation Work Plan” in the agenda of a July 30, 1994 meeting of the Palestine Committee. “The activation of the role of MAS” is called upon “to educate the brothers in all work centers, mosques and organizations on the necessity of stopping any contacts with the Zionist organizations and the rejection of any future contacts…”

Court was dismissed early today and will resume Monday.

By The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) on August 23, 2007 10:15 AM
11338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 23, 2007, 07:53:03 PM
The Truth about the Muslim Brotherhood

By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 16, 2006


On October 28, 2005,[1] President George W. Bush denounced IslamoFascist movements that call for a “violent and political vision: the establishment, by terrorism, subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom.”

The Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun)[2] also known as the Ikhwan is a good example of what the President described and what he must protect us against.

The Muslim Brotherhood (“MB”) organization describes itself as a political and social revolutionary movement; it was founded in March 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna, who objected to Western influence and called for return to an original Islam.[3]



The Brotherhood is an expansive and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries, dedicated to creating a global Islamic order that would isolate women and punish nonbelievers. Its members and supporters founded al Qaeda, as well as one “of the largest college student groups in the United States.”[4]



The Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, Juan Zarate, stated recently, “the Muslim Brotherhood is a group that worries us not because it deals with philosophical or ideological ideas but because it defends the use of violence against civilians.”[5] In fact, The MB 1982 secret plan, (the Project) recently exposed, instructs all members locally and globally “To channel thought, education and action in order to establish an Islamic power [government] on the earth.” [6]



The Muslim Brotherhood has historically and continues to actively pursue the establishment of a Muslim regime that will serve as the basis to re-establish the Caliphate, not only by defending violence against civilians, The current leader of the international Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Mahdi Akef,[7] “recently issued a new strategy calling on all its member organizations to serve its global agenda of defeating the West. He called on individual members of the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide to not only join the “resistance” to the U.S. financially, but also through active participation.”[8] In the MB Project (1982), Point of Departure[9] instructs members,” To use diverse and varied surveillance systems, in several places, to gather information and adopt a single effective warning system serving the worldwide Islamic movement. In fact, surveillance, policy decisions and effective communications complement each other.”



In an interview to the London based Asharq Al-Awsat,[10] an international Arab newspaper on December 11, 2005, Akef stated that “the Muslim Brotherhood is a global movement whose members cooperate with each other throughout the world, based on the same religious worldview - the spread of Islam, until it rules the world.”



To that end, Akef said, “the Muslim Brotherhood… are an all-encompassing Islamic organization, calling to the adoption of the great religion that Allah gave in his mercy to humanity.” Meanwhile, according to its leader, the MB is busily cementing its ties: “We are in the global arena, and we preach for Allah according to the guidelines of the Muslim Brotherhood. All the members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the international arena operate according to the written charter that states that Jihad is the only way to achieve these goals[11]. “Ours is the largest organization in the world,” he said.



Akef emphasized, “A Muslim in the international arena, who believes in the charter of the Muslim Brotherhood is considered part of us and we are considered part of him[12].”



In earlier interviews, ‘Akef called the U.S. “a Satan that abuses the religion.” He said: “I expect America to collapse soon,” declaring, “I have complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America[13].” Although U.S. observers often view the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Hamas as less violent than al-Qaeda, the Brotherhood has long been actively supporting global jihadi efforts. “Prior to the U.S.-led attack on the Taliban regime, the Muslim Brotherhood actually had training camps in Afghanistan where it worked with Kashmiri militants and sought to expand its influence in Central Asian states, especially Tajikistan.”[14]



It is not surprising, therefore, that the Muslim Brotherhood reacted to Hamas’ January 2006 electoral victory as not merely as a local achievement, but “a victory of the Islamic nation in its entirety,[15]” and as an expression of the concept that “the path of Islam is the true solution.”



As the parent of all Sunni and many other Islamist terrorist groups, the MB, to deflect attention, uses its long-term strategy, known as “flexibility”[16] (muruna[17] in Arabic). This chameleon-like adaptation is tactical moderation with the ultimate objective of complete Islamization of society.[18] Indeed, the MB’s 1982 project calls on members “To reconcile international engagement with flexibility at a local level.”[19]



Today, when the West focuses on Islamist terrorism, the MB usually refrains from publicly advocating violence. The MB’s 1982 Project, calls on its members “To master the art of the possible on a temporary basis without abusing the basic [Islamic] principles… we should not look for confrontation with our adversaries, at the local or the global scale, which would be disproportionate and could lead to attacks against the dawa or its disciples.”[20]



As stated on its charter and its website, the MB seeks to install an Islamic totalitarian empire, a worldwide Caliphate, through stages designed to Islamize [21] targeted nations by whatever means available.



A principal danger of MB activities is that they are hidden behind “religious” ideology. Moreover, this ideology dictates concealment (Kitman).[22] In fact saying, “we should keep hush-hush on things that are still in preparation.” This ideology controls every aspect of life and seeks to impose that control on everyone.

In the end, the MB intends to overthrow all secular governments and impose Islamic law (Shari’a) worldwide, and it is diligently pursuing this goal. In July 2005, former Kuwaiti minister of education Dr. Ahmad Al-Rab'i,[23] wrote in the Arabic London daily, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "The beginnings of all of the religious terrorism that we are witnessing today were in the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology." Thus, on its website,[24] the MB advocates, “Establishing the Islamic government.”

“Building the Muslim state…Building the Khilafa…Mastering the world with Islam,”[25]; however, would necessarily deprive Americans of their First Amendment, rights.[26] The first clause in the Amendment states there shall be “no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The First Amendment also upholds an individuals’ right to religious freedom. But as determined by its doctrine, the MB would exploit that right—along with First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly—to actively seek the imposition of laws that would deny religious freedom to everyone else.



Moreover, the MB guiding principles celebrate its major [and continuing] role in the struggle to liberate Muslims lands. The ikhwan's bravery in the 1948 Palestine war has been recorded by all sides. The total number of volunteers from the ikhwan in 1948 numbered 10,000 from Egypt, Syria and other countries. In addition to participating in the battle to liberate Palestine, they served to raise the consciousness of Muslims all over the Islamic World and restore to them the spirit of struggle and dignity. The ikhwan have played a role in liberating Muslim lands from colonialist powers in almost every Muslim country. The ikhwan were active amongst Muslims in Central Asian Muslim republics since the '70s, and their involvement can be seen recently in such republics as Tajikistan. More recently they had a major role in the struggle for Afghanistan and Kashmir[27].



Clearly, the MB strives for Muslim supremacy, often violently.



The MB’s readiness to use violence was demonstrated in the U.S., in 1993 with the bombing the World trade Center in NYC. Exiled MB leader, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, in U.S. prison for plotting this attack, also planned to blow up bridges and tunnels in Manhattan.[28] Since then, the MB affiliated groups in the U.S., focused their activities and agenda to condition American minds and behavior to create an Islamic foundation from which violence can spring when the time is right.



And future violence is all but guaranteed: In 2004, MB leader Mohammad Mahdi Akef publicly promoted “Palestinian and Iraqi suicide bombers, called for the destruction of Israel and asserted that the United States has no proof that Al Qaeda was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.”[29]



Actively promoting its radical religious ideology, the MB may well meet the definition of a “terrorist organization,” under the Patriot Act, even though it has not been so designated by the U.S. government. The law stipulates “terrorist organizations to potentially include terrorist organizations not designated by the Secretary of State …A group that is engaged in terrorist activities might not be designated as a terrorist organization because, inter alia, the group’s activities escape the notice of U.S. officials responsible for designated organizations as terrorist; the group has shifting alliances; or designating the group as a terrorist organization would jeopardize ongoing U.S. criminal or military operations”. [30]



Terrorist organizations are legally defined as groups of two or more individuals that have “committed, incited, planned, prepared, gathered information or provided material support for terrorist activities.” However, terrorist activity can in some instances include even “indirect” actions such as group membership and advocacy. [31]



In addition, the REAL ID Act of 2005 significantly expanded the legal definition “terrorist organization” as it pertains to U.S. immigration law. “Terrorist organizations” now include any group that solicit funds or memberships for either terrorist organizations or activities, or otherwise provide them material support. The definition now covers groups with subgroups engaged in terrorist activities, too. [32]As we discuss below, the MB has many such subgroups and has spawned many offspring— thus the MB and all its offspring now seem to fit these legal criteria.

The definition of “engaged in terrorist activity” was also broadened under the Real ID Act, to include belonging to, associating with, soliciting or recruiting for, or giving material support to a terrorist organization or even a single member, including non-designated terrorist organizations. Furthermore, if they so claim, the burden is now on aliens to prove that they could not reasonably have known that their actions supported a terrorist group. [33]

The Caricatures Riots



The riots following the publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in the then obscure Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, [34] in September 2005, should have surprised no one. In fact, the seeds of Islamic attacks against Denmark, as a stepping-stone to the Islamist takeover of Europe, in line with the MB agenda, were planted long before the cartoons were published.



In April 15, 2005, five months before the cartoons ran, Palestinian preacher and leader of Hizb ut Tahrir (a radical group that works to establish the Caliphate), Sheikh Issam Amayra, from the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, called upon Muslims in Denmark to begin a holy war, according to his sermon translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, director of Orient research Group in Toronto, Canada.



Amayra’s sermon warned that: “…the three percent of the Muslims in Denmark constitute a threat to the future of the kingdom of Denmark. And that should not be a surprise. After all, the Muslims in Yathrib [the city of Medina, before Mohammed moved there from Mecca] constituted less than three percent of the population there. Yet they managed to change Yathrib into Medina. Thus, it should not be a surprise that our Danish brothers manage to bring Islam to all the homes of the Danes. Allah will grant them the victory in their country in order to raise the Caliphate in Denmark.”



Amayra continued, “Afterwards the citizens of the Caliphate (which will be raised in Denmark) will wage war on Oslo, and after they change that city’s name to Medina [for the Arabian holy city] they will fight their neighboring Scandinavian countries in order to join their lands to the territory of the Caliphate. In the next stage, they will wage a holy war and spread the message of Islam to the rest of Europe, until they reach the original city of Medina. Then they will join both cities under the banner of Islam.”



Clearly, the riots in Denmark and throughout the world were not spontaneous, but planned and organized well in advance[35] by Islamist organizations that support the MB, and with funding mostly from Saudi Arabia.[36]


The MB and its offspring organizations employ the Flexibility strategy in the U.S. and wherever they operate. This strategy calls for a minority group of Muslims to use all “legal” means to infiltrate majority-dominated, non-Muslim secular and religious institutions, starting with its universities. As a result, “Islamized” Muslim and non-Muslim university graduates enter the nation’s workforce, including its government and civil service sectors, where they are poised to subvert U.S. law enforcement agencies, intelligence communities, military branches, foreign services, and financial institutions.
11339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 23, 2007, 05:26:01 PM
Tom,

Do you understand the connection between HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood ?
11340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: August 23, 2007, 12:01:22 PM
Private Papers
www.victorhanson.com

August 19, 2007
In Their Own Words
Newly translated writings of the al Qaeda leadership.
by Bruce Thornton
Private Papers

The Al Qaeda Reader, ed. Raymond Ibrahim, Introduction by Victor Davis Hanson, Doubleday.

Given that war, as both Sun Tzu and Mohammed preached, is deception, it behooves us to understand accurately the enemy’s motivations and not be fooled by his deceiving propaganda. Yet in the current war against Islamic jihad, the West has stubbornly refused to take seriously what the jihadists tell us, believing instead what Thucydides called the “pretexts” with which an enemy rationalizes his aggression. Osama bin Laden and his theorist Aymin al Zawahiri in particular have provided us with numerous texts outlining the Islamic foundations of their war against the West. A few of these pronouncements and manifestoes have long been available, but now thanks to Raymond Ibrahim’s The Al Qaeda Reader, writings previously unavailable in English can be studied and analyzed. Such study will provide powerful evidence that contrary to the deceptions of apologists and the naïve delusions of some Westerners, the bases of the jihadists’ actions lie squarely within Islamic tradition, not in the alleged Western crimes against Islam.

Fluent in Arabic and trained as a historian in the ancient Middle East, Ibrahim is currently a technician in the Library of Congress’ Near East Section, where he discovered al Qaeda documents that had not been translated into English. He has organized these writings into two sections: theology, writings intended for fellow Muslims that ground al Qaeda’s war against the West in the traditional Islamic doctrine of jihad; and propaganda, writings meant for Westerners that cast bin Laden’s war as a just response to the depredations of Western powers.

The documents in the first section make a sustained, coherent argument for offensive jihad based on the Koran, the Hadith (the traditions of the words and deeds of Mohammed), and the Ulema (past and present scholars of Islam). Indeed, as Ibrahim notes, “Zawahiri’s writings especially are grounded in Islam’s roots of jurisprudence; in fact, of the many thousands of words translated here from his three treatises, well more than half are direct quotations from the Koran the Sunna [words, habits, and practices] of Mohammed, and the consensus and conclusions of the Ulema.” This extensive grounding weakens the “highjacking” charge apologists use to explain Islamic jihad. On the contrary, al Qaeda’s arguments are unexceptionally traditional — which is why, of course, millions of Muslims accept them.

In these writings addressed to fellow Muslims, bin Laden and Zawahiri argue against the notion of “moderate” Islam; the compatibility of Sharia (laws governing Islamic society) with democracy; the idea of accommodation with the enemy; and the prohibition against killing women and children. In other words, they meticulously attack as distortions of Islam all the popular assertions about Islam’s nature promulgated by apologists, Westernized Muslims, and even many Christians. As bin Laden himself writes in “Moderate Islam Is a Prostration to the West” — a letter written to the Saudi theologians who in 2002 publicly advocated coexistence with the West — such moderation necessitates the adoption of Western values: “They [the Saudi theologians] first acknowledge their [Westerners’] values and ideologies in their entirety, while shying away from evoking the truth valued by the Religion [Islam] and its foundations.” Even the notion of “co-existence” is a Western idea contrary to Islam: “As if one of the foundations of our religion is how to coexist with infidels!” Quite the contrary: the traditions and foundations of Islam urge believers to “wage war against the infidels and the hypocrites, and be ruthless against them” (Koran 66:9), a verse Zawahiri quotes along with the commentary of al Qurtubi, 13th-century author of a 20-volume exegesis of the Koran: “There is but one theme — and that is zeal for the religion of Allah. He commands the waging of Jihad against the infidel by use of sword, sound sermons, and the summons to Allah.”

So too with other Western notions such as tolerance and “dialogue,” which bin Laden correctly asserts are “built on Western conceptions, which themselves rest upon the most loathsome, secular principles.” Indeed, bin Laden has a strong case, for he appeals for evidence to the life and practices of Mohammed and his companions — along with the Koran the Muslim’s guide to every aspect of life — and asks sarcastically, “What evidence is there for Muslims for this [dialogue and shared understanding]? What did the Prophet, the companions after him, and the righteous forebears do? Did they wage jihad against the infidels, attacking them all over the earth, in order to place them under the suzerainty of Islam in great humility and submission? Or did they send messages to discover ‘shared understandings’ between themselves and the infidels in order that they may reach an understanding whereby universal peace, security, and natural relations would spread — in such a satanic manner as this?”

History shows that bin Laden has the better understanding of Islam than do Western apologists; as Ibrahim summarizes the argument, “‘radical’ Islam is Islam — without exception.” In this same vein, Zawahiri argues in his “Loyalty and Enmity” that the only relationship one can have with the infidel is enmity. Zawahiri buttresses this argument with numerous quotations from Islamic theology, the most important coming from the Koran 60:4: “‘We disown you and the idols which you worship besides Allah. We renounce you: enmity and hate shall reign between us until you believe in Allah alone.’” On this authority comes the necessity to wage jihad against the infidel.

Perhaps the most important document in Ibrahim’s collection is Zawahiri’s “Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents.” For years, we have been told that terrorism is un-Islamic because Islam forbids suicide and the killing of non-combatants. Zawahiri, however, teases out from Islamic tradition a perfectly rational and coherent argument in support of terrorism and suicide bombings.

Zawahiri starts by repeating Islam’s acceptance of deception in war as justified, thus legitimizing suicide bombings, which are deceptive by nature. Next, he builds his argument on selected hadiths, which as Ibrahim notes requires some interpretive stretching. Zawahiri gets around this difficulty by resorting to analogy, “a legitimate tool of Islamic jurisprudence,” as Ibrahim reminds us. Zawahiri focuses on intention, why the Muslim kills himself, not who kills him: “Thus the deciding factor in all these situations is one and the same: the intention — is it to service Islam [martyrdom] or is it out of depression and [despair]?” As for killing women and children, Mohammed himself provides a precedent during the siege of Ta’if, where he used catapults. The Prophet’s response to the question of killing women and children, which of course catapult missiles would do perforce, was “They [women and children] are from among them [infidels].” Again, the ultimate intention is the key: referring to al Shafi’ and the Hanbalis, two schools of Islamic jurisprudence, Zawahiri argues that it is permissible “to bombard the idolators even if Muslims and those who are cautioned against killing are intermingled with them as long as there is a need or an obligation for Muslims to do so, or if not striking leads to a delay of the jihad.”

Zawahiri’s reasoning in defense of suicide bombing may be ultimately unconvincing to many Muslims, or unsustainable by more careful exegesis. But the mere fact that such a case can be made — something impossible to do in the Christian, or Hebraic, or Hindu, or Buddhist traditions — and that millions of faithful Muslims accept the case, speaks volumes about the “religion of peace.”

The next section of The Al Qaeda Reader comprises selections Ibrahim calls “propaganda,” arguments designed for Westerners that exploit all the self-loathing pathologies of Western intellectuals. Every distortion of history repeated in thousands of American college classrooms, every lurid lie peddled by the Chomsky-Moore cult is repeated by bin Laden, the only difference being a much more explicit indulgence in anti-Semitism. Thus in “Israel, Oil, and Iraq,” Bin Laden really doesn’t sound much different from your typical college professor off on a rant about the Halliburton-Cheney-Bush-neocon [read Jews] nexus. We hear about the “Jews — who direct you [Americans] through the lie of ‘democracy’ to support the Israelis and their machination and in complete antagonism to our religion,” which is basically the same argument American academics continually make about the “Israeli lobby.” Bush is castigated in Chomskyean terms for “concealing his own ambitions and the ambitions of the Zionist lobby in their desire for oil.” Western guilt is massaged by statements like, “He [Bush] is still following the policy of his ancestors who slew the American Indians in order to seize their land and wealth” — this coming from a devotee of the most ruthlessly imperial religion ever. And our old leftist bogey, the “military-industrial complex,” appears when bin Laden tells our troops, “You are spilling your blood to swell the bank accounts of the White House gang and their fellow arms dealers and the proprietors of great companies.”

These leftist bromides appear over and over in subsequent speeches and manifestoes, and testify to bin Laden’s shrewd recognition of the West’s Achilles heel: the appeasing proclivities of its elite intellectuals who, riddled with self-loathing guilt, are incapable of defending their way of life and its highest goods. So our Saudi millionaire businessman rants on about “providing business [contracts] for their [the Bush administration] private corporations,” the 2000 presidential election “stolen” by the Bush clan, the “contracts acquired by large and dubious corporations, such as Halliburton,” and the stupidity of our troops, who “convinced of injustices and lies of their government . . . fight only for the sake of capitalists, the lords of usury [code for Jews], and arms and oil dealers — such as that gang of criminals in the White House.” Even the failure to sign the Kyoto agreement, the dropping of a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, and the supposed flouting of international law — standard anti-American leftist charges — are trotted out by bin Laden, who mentions not one of these complaints when talking to fellow Muslims, for the simple reason that traditional Muslims care nothing for them. But guilt-ridden, self-loathing Westerners of the sort currently agitating for withdrawal from Iraq care very much.

The Al Qaeda Reader, simply by letting our enemies speak in their own voices, explodes the popular delusion that Western crimes and policies are responsible for the “distortion” of Islam that al Qaeda represents. As Ibrahim writes, “This volume of translations, taken as whole, prove once and for all that, despite the propaganda of Al Qaeda and its sympathizers, Radical Islam’s war with the West is not finite and limited to political grievances — real or imagined — but is existential, transcending time and space and deeply rooted in faith.” This means that the fight will be long and hard, that leaving Iraq or creating a Palestinian state will not buy peace, and that the side that accurately understands its enemy and has confidence in its own beliefs will ultimately triumph. Thanks to Raymond Ibrahim’s The Al Qaeda Reader, we have the means for achieving that understanding.
11341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: August 23, 2007, 11:12:17 AM
I think Mexico should stop sending drugs and illegals over the border in protest!
11342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 22, 2007, 07:51:43 PM

Tuesday, March 28, 2006
From terrorism to trash collection

You would think that after more than 50 years of one of the most intimately chronicled conflicts in human history -- Israelis vs. Palestinians -- there would be nothing new to say, no surprises. You would be wrong.

Hamas, the radical Islamic movement that has launched suicide attacks in Israel, won the Palestinian elections in January, thereby creating two firsts:

1. The first time a regime has changed in the Arab world democratically through elections;

2. The first time an Islamist group has come to power through elections.

Hamas gained support among Palestinians through two decades of building an effective and affordable social welfare system in Gaza. It runs most of the kindergartens, funds health clinics, provides welfare checks to widows and orphans, and yes, even stages mass weddings to help unemployed young men get married.

During this year's election, Palestinians fed up with the rampant corruption and lawlessness of the late Yasser Arafat's government turned to the only alternative, Hamas.

So when people ask: "Why did the Palestinian people elect a terrorist group?" The answer is because they see them as a lifeline.

Each time I go to the Palestinian territory of Gaza, I am shocked by the reality on the ground. On a recent visit, I passed through a short tunnel from the First World in Israel and emerged into the Third World that is Gaza. The poverty there is among the worst in the world.

Hamas officials told me they did not expect to win the election as overwhelmingly as they did. They say their main priority now is to meet the demands of the people for a better life.

But that may be impossible, because Israel and the United States refuse to deal with Hamas and have already cut funding to the new Palestinian government.

Posted By Christiane Amanpour, CNN Correspondent: 11:03 AM ET

****Normally, you'd have to buy an infomercial to get spin this good, unless of course you're a terrorist group and it's a CNN "journalist".****
11343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 22, 2007, 06:06:37 PM
http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/03/from-terrorism-to-trash-collection_28.html

She's never found a terrorist she couldn't apologize for....Not so far anyway.
11344  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 22, 2007, 01:31:40 PM
Published on NewsBusters.org (http://newsbusters.org)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Offers Haiku Contest - But No Help - in FBI Terror Probe

By Bill Hobbs
Created 2007-08-21 20:18
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is refusing to run the photos of two men the FBI is seeking to question in connection with suspicious behavior aboard a Puget Sound ferry - behavior that could be a precursor to a terror plot, or could be nothing nefarious at all.

The Seattle PI reports the story here [1] and explains its rationalization for not publishing the photos here [2]. And - in a steller example of complete touchy-feely uselessness - the paper is holding a haiku-writing contest [3] for readers to write about how they feel about the FBI alert and the way the paper handled it.

From the report:

The FBI is asking the public for help in identifying two men who were seen behaving unusually aboard several Washington state ferries. About four weeks ago, the FBI fielded several reports from passengers and ferry workers about the men, who seemed "overly interested in the workings and layouts of the ferries," Special Agent Robbie Burroughs said Monday.

The FBI also publicized photos of the men, which were taken by a ferry employee, Burroughs said. The Seattle P-I is not publishing the photos because neither man is considered a suspect nor has either been charged with a crime.

From the excuse, er, rationalization, er, explanation by Seattle P-I Managing Editor David McCumber:

Ferry security is hugely important. So are civil liberties and privacy.

The P-I last year reported that according to a Justice Department inspector general's assessment, Puget Sound's ferries were the nation's No. 1 target for maritime terrorism.

This may well be a case of alert citizens spotting a very real threat. But running a photograph of two men who may as easily be tourists from Texas as terrorists from the Mideast with a story that makes them out to be persons of interest in a terrorism investigation seems problematic, to say the least.

Yeah. Of course it would be easier to find out which is the case if the FBI could find the guys. And it would be easier to find the guys if the Seattle P-I would publish the photos, so that Seattle-area residents would know what the men look like whom the FBI has asked the public to help them find. As it stands now, in the name of being politically correct, the Seattle P-I has decided to alarm the people of Seattle and leave them looking suspiciously at just about anyone who fits the general description of male and looking like they might be from the Middle East.

Besides, while McCumber raises the flag of "civil liberties and privacy," the men in the photo were photographed in public while on a public ferry.

There is no invasion of their privacy, nor of their civil liberties, by publishing the photos so that the authorities can locate and speak with the men.

Disagree with me on that? Consider this: If Managing Editor McCumber needed art to illustrate a story on the region's ferry system, he could and likely would dispatch a Seattle P-I photographer to one of the ferries, and publish a shot of random ferry passengers on the deck of the boat. The paper might not even bother to identify the people in the photo.

Newspapers publish crowd shots taken in public all the time without identifying the people in the photo or asking if they mind having their photo published - or knowing if they are or are not involved in some sort of criminal activity.

McCumber's excuse for not running the photos is ... beyond weak. It is a figleaf for political correctness run amok, political correctness that may compromise the security of the people of the Seattle area that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ostensibly exists to serve.

Politeness causes me to refrain from suggesting the editors of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer must be smoking something [4].

The good news: The P-I's decision to not run the photos is fueling widespread distribution of the photos in the blogosphere.

No word yet on how the Seattle Times is going to handle the FBI's request - the most recent story in the Seattle Times that seems relevant was this story [5] published August 3.

Here's more from the Jawa Report [6]. Also, the blogger at The View From Out Here, comments [7], "If we don’t know what they look like then how can we identify them? If you think they are just tourists, did you ever, on vacation, take pictures of a restricted area on a boat and tried to measure the size of the boat?"

No.

The P-I should put the security of its community ahead of the desire to not hurt some folks' [8] feelings.

Update: Michelle Malkin's excellent post [9] on the Seattle ferry story reminds us of the the Seattle Times' investigation in 2004 on reports on jihadi probing of the ferry system [10].

Update: A commenter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's website notes how out of touch with reality the editors of that paper are about the new media world in which they now operate.

It's amazing to me to think that, in this internet era, the [paper] is arrogant enough to think that they can 'hide' something from the public. By not publishing the pictures, they are making themselves less relevant - additionally, through the controversy, they are making the story bigger than it would be otherwise. This is a perfect example of why newspapers, and big media in general, is losing readers by the thousands.

Neither the Seattle Post-Intelligencer nor the rival Seattle Times is the gatekeeper of information in the greater Seattle area anymore, if they ever were. Neither are any of the local TV news stations. There are just so many news outlets and distributors now - cable networks, websites of out-of-town papers, and blogs - that no matter what the Seattle Post-Intelligencer did, the people of Seattle were going to see these photos.

Thus, their decision to not publish the photos does not in any way accomplish the goal that drove that decision, while simultaneously showing the people of Seattle that the paper will put political correctness ahead of the security of thousands of Seattle-area ferry commuters - and demonstrating its increasing irrelevance in the broad and varied new-media landscape.

A dumb and dangerous decision all around.

Source URL:
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/bill-hobbs/2007/08/21/seat...ssist-probe-possible
Links:
[1] http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/328396_ferries21.html
[2] http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/120406.asp
[3] http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/120414.asp
[4] http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/006721.php
[5] http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003819991_webferries03m.html
[6] http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/189114.php
[7] http://tvfoh.wordpress.com/2007/08/21/seattle-newspaper-puts-head-in-the-sand/
[8] http://www.cair-net.org/
[9] http://michellemalkin.com/2007/08/21/attention-john-doe...-you-seen-these-men/
[10] http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002058959_ferry10m.html
11345  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 22, 2007, 01:30:02 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2007/08/21/attention-john-doe...-you-seen-these-men/

The SPI protects possible terrorists.
11346  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: August 21, 2007, 09:25:07 PM
War and the Fallacies of Our Critics   
By Bernard Chapin
FrontPageMagazine.com | 8/21/2007

Most of us are best known by our first names or from some sort of professional prefix, but scholar and writer, Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, is often described by the simple acronym of “VDH.” His authoritative analysis of world events, foreign policy, classics, and military history has endeared him to many conservatives over the course of the last decade.

Dr. Hanson is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, and also a professor emeritus at California University, Fresno. His columns are nationally syndicated for Tribune Media Services. I first became aware of him in 2001 after coming across Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power. It was also in that year that he first began writing for National Review. All told, Dr. Hanson has written or edited 16 books since his career began. Most recently he published, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War. He also maintains a personal website that includes many of his works along with original insight from other writers. In 2002, he received the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism.

BC: Thanks so much for giving us some of your time, Dr. Hanson. First off, let me ask a general question. Do you think that, as a result of Iraq, the American people have a much more negative view of the military today than they have at any other point in history?

Victor Davis Hanson: Not at all. They realize that our military has fought both effectively and humanely in often impossible conditions. Most of the negative coverage—whether Newsweek's flushed Koran story, John Murtha's rush-to-judgment condemnation of the Marines accused of atrocities, or the New Republic's recent embarrassing fable about supposed American savagery-reveals bias of the left, not empirical research.

The military conducted a transparent investigation of Haditha, allows access to Guantanamo, rebuked those responsible for misleading statements about Pat Tillman, and punished those culpable for the roguery of Abu Ghraib. Can the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or the New Republic claim it makes fewer errors, or is as candid in redressing its mistakes? I fear only the ripples of a defeat in Iraq: quite unfairly the military would be blamed and Vietnam-like for a generation weakened by internal dissension, an external loss of prestige, and a new bellicosity from our enemies.

BC: With all the incessant criticism and umbrage caused by the invasion and our continued policing of Iraq, do you think it will be possible for America to fight and win any wars in the future? I mean, won’t we always lose the home front? Currently, it seems as if, among the mainstream media and the Democratic Party, no level of casualties is acceptable.

VDH: The richer, more leisured a society becomes of smaller and smaller families, the harder it is to deploy sons and daughters to the 7th ring of the Inferno like Iraq. And with world therapeutic news coverage, the postmodern dilemma is not only casualties (one can lose very few before open revolt at home ensues), but the morality of killing the enemy as well.

To many Americans, war is obsolete and can be legislated or condemned out of existence-as if an Ahmadinejad, Saddam, or Hugo Chavez cared much what the US, UN, or EU pontificates about.

In the present, we have used force in Grenada, Panama, the Gulf, the Balkans, and Afghanistan and Iraq on the principle of ending illiberal regimes before they threaten regional stability and cost us eventually far higher from neglect than intervention.

Under Bush this has been demonized as 'preemption' and 'unilateralism', even though, unlike Clinton against Serbia, he tried to involve the UN and got prior congressional approval. Like it or not, we will see less preemption, and more reaction, and the American people should be ready for the consequences, especially if we flee Iraq. Iran, North Korea, and Islamic terrorists, to say nothing of a Russia or China, operate on the principle of deterrence-their aggression checked only by a sober calculation of perceived costs versus benefits. Let us hope that American technology, a small cadre of 19th century brave souls in the military, and innate American know-how can save us from ourselves in the hours of war and peril to come.

BC: How do you think the current state of affairs will affect future Presidential decision-making in regards to military action? Perhaps I’m wrong, but how can any Commander in Chief function if the public begins referring to him as a “war criminal” after only a few bombing sorties?

VDH: He really can't. Almost all of al Qaeda's critiques of the US are recycled from Western leftists. Like rust, such Pavlovian hatred of a capitalist free West never sleeps, and the only way to counter it is with logic, reason-and victory. Should we win in Iraq—victory defined as something like Kurdistan—then even the most opportunistic critics will grow quiet. But seem weak and lose—and then even a John Murtha or Kerry can sound like Michael Moore or Sean Penn. We need more explanation of our aims and values in Iraq—and in postmodern war in general-less assertion if we are to counter the lies of the left, from "no blood for oil" to "Bush is a war criminal."

BC: What do you make of the political argument that only people in the military should speak of military affairs? Also, what of the practice of people like Michael Moore walking around wanting to know why Senators and Congressmen aren’t sending or signing-up their sons to fight in Iraq as if there is a personal basis for determining the course of national action?

VDH: And only oncologists can comment on cancer treatment or farmers the nation's food supply? As for the Chicken-hawk argument-first, there are no fronts in this war since 9/11; nearly as many were killed in Manhattan as during combat in Iraq. Second, this is a volunteer military where rights, responsibilities, and dangers are well understood. Third, each American according to his station contributes to the war effort-since out of a cohort of many millions of 18-25 year olds, only a few can serve in the front lines. In general, the military appreciates those who support its efforts more than those who either condemn it or think it is naively fooled by Halliburton profiteers.

BC: Over the years have you noticed, among the general public, a certain level of increased hostility towards the study of military history? If so, did such attitudes begin to form during the period of the Vietnam War?

VDH: Yes, then and during the 1980s, the rise of "theory" in our universities when there was a general withdrawal from empiricism, facts, dates, personages, etc, a movement that allowed the glib but uneducated to spin grand suppositions without the burden of proof or research. But there is a paradox—movies and books dealing with war and its histories are eagerly sought out by the public, while university press publications on the holy trinity of race, class, and gender go unread. And to repeat the cancer simile: do cancer doctors like cancer any more than military historians like war? Should we ignore studying tumors because, like war, they maim and kill?

BC: Another political question…this idea of American interests. In some quarters, it is only acceptable for the United States to take military action if it somehow does not advance our interests. Where does such an attitude come from? How did we reach the point wherein a nation is not expected to act in ways that further their interests?

VDH: "Interest" can be defined in a variety of ways, both material and spiritual. Bombing Milosevic was irrelevant to the security of the US, but important to the psyche of the American people that we did not allow a genocide to continue that we had the means to stop. Since the 1960s, we have promulgated the notion that the sins of mankind—slavery, racism, imperialism, colonialism—were uniquely the sins of the West, and the corollary that no other culture could be worse than our own. The result was this strange bifurcation on the left: liberal leaders and elites (more and more those affluent and exempt from the drudgery of 8-5 labor) still wished to live affluent lifestyles, enjoy the accoutrements of capitalism, and yet to damn the system in the abstract that produced such bounty as a sort of mechanism of alleviating guilt on the cheap.

Now we see the ultimate reification of that hypocrisy is someone like John Edwards whose house, hair, and speaking fees about poverty are in a quite different nation from the one he worries about. The left can quibble about what constitutes national interest, but that is a luxury of peace and affluence: even it, when gas for its Volvos is nonexistent, or its wood for its elegant floors forbidden, or the safety of its elite schools is threatened will consider that it has "interests" worth protecting.

BC: Is there a tendency among people on the left to view history as a means rather than an end? I ask you this because I have heard quite often, “why you would want to study that?” As if subjects devoid of political value are not worth examining. Could it be that, as a product of their own “political engagement,” leftists may believe that we only study those events which directly concern us?

VDH: Marxism lied to us that history is only the story of material interest, rather than the narrative often of the psyche, emotion, and only perceived self-interests. Nations really do go to war over principle, honor and pride. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I don't think there was oil in the Falklands. More generally, history has become in the university a medieval morality tale, in which we deconstruct the past to find those guilty of sins against gender, race, and class, and then use the standards of the present to condemn them postfacto on grounds of illiberality—as if someone illiterate five centuries ago without electricity, running water, a toilet, or antibiotics should have been as racially sensitive or tolerant of the "other" or as environmentally conscious as we are in Palo Alto or Madison.

In general we forgot that education is simply the ability to translate daily chaos into abstract wisdom of the ages—impossible without a data bank of names, dates, concepts, and a methodology of inductive inquiry; in turn both impossible without a liberal education of languages, literature, history, philosophy, and basic science.

BC: For what reason should non-policy makers study military history? What unique advantages does the discipline offer its students?

VDH: I wrote a long essay on this in the current City Journal [subscriber only, at the moment]. History started with Herodotus and Thucydides as the exclusive study of war, in which the crucible of human experience was best probed and understood. Like it or not, war cannot be legislated away; its best prevention is knowledge of why it starts, how it is conducted, and why and how it ends—and that is only learned by study of the past.

BC: Along the lines of the last question, what do you say to those who ask why you want to study “war?” Personally, I have always thought that in stressful conditions our true nature is most apparent.

VDH: War is a human phenomenon of the ages. Its manifestations—arrows, flintlocks, atomic bombs—change, but its essence is an unchanging human nature driven by fear, honor, and perceived self-interest, with emotions like envy, jealousy, and bullying its catalysts. I agree: as Thucydides put it, war strips off our thin veneer of civilization and reveals human nature in its most honest and disturbing raw essence. Studying war gives us an appreciation of that patina of culture, and why it is so critical to protect and preserve it lest we devolve into our innately natural selves.

Bernard Chapin is a writer and school psychologist living in Chicago. His first book, Napalm is the Scent of Justice, was a fictional account of a radical feminist United States; his latest book concerns the implosion of a school he worked at and loved: Escape from Gangsta Island: A School's Progressive Decline.
11347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: August 20, 2007, 09:42:10 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/20/tivo-alert-truther-waterloo-at-9-pm-et/

Weep Brian, weep.
11348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 20, 2007, 08:27:29 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/20/audio-ron-pauls-radio-buddy-melts-down-over-neocons/

9/11 trufer goodness! rolleyes










11349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 19, 2007, 05:47:43 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/19/debate-video-hillary-clinton-on-brushbacks/

Democrats and national weakness.
11350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 19, 2007, 05:43:04 PM
Mark Steyn: Speaking of sanctuary, where's ours?

MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist

At the funeral of Iofemi Hightower, her classmate Mecca Ali wore a T-shirt with the slogan: "Tell Me Why They Had To Die."

"They" are Miss Hightower, Dashon Harvey and Terrance Aeriel, three young citizens of Newark, New Jersey, lined up against a schoolyard wall, forced to kneel and then shot in the head.

Miss Ali poses an interesting question. No one can say why they "had" to die, but it ought to be possible to advance theories as to what factors make violent death in Newark a more-likely proposition than it should be. That's usually what happens when lurid cases make national headlines: When Matthew Shepard was beaten and hung on a fence in Wyoming, Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times that it was merely the latest stage in a "war" against homosexuals loosed by the forces of intolerance. Mr. Shepard's murder was dramatized in plays and movies and innumerable songs by Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc. The fact that this vile crucifixion was a grisly one-off and that American gays have never been less at risk from getting bashed did not deter pundits and politicians and lobby groups galore from arguing that this freak case demonstrated the need for special legislation.

By contrast, there's been a succession of prominent stories with one common feature that the very same pundits, politicians and lobby groups have a curious reluctance to go anywhere near. In a New York Times report headlined "Sorrow And Anger As Newark Buries Slain Youth," the limpidly tasteful Times prose prioritized "sorrow" over "anger," and offered only the following reference to the perpetrators: "The authorities have said robbery appeared to be the motive. Three suspects – two 15-year-olds and a 28-year-old construction worker from Peru – have been arrested."

So, this Peruvian guy was here on a green card? Or did he apply for a temporary construction-work visa from the U.S. Embassy in Lima?

Not exactly. Jose Carranza is an "undocumented" immigrant. His criminal career did not begin with the triple murder he's alleged to have committed, nor with the barroom assault from earlier this year, nor with the 31 counts of aggravated sexual assault relating to the rape of a 5-year-old child, for which Mr. Carranza had been released on bail. (His $50,000 bail on the assault charge and $150,000 bail on the child-rape charges have now been revoked.) No, Mr. Carranza's criminal career in the United States began when he decided to live in this country unlawfully.

Jose Carranza isn't exactly a member of an exclusive club. Violent crime committed by fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community is now a routine feature of American life. But who cares? In 2002, as the "Washington Sniper" piled up his body count, "experts" lined up to tell the media that he was most likely an "angry white male," a "macho hunter" or an "icy loner." When the icy loner turned out to be a black Muslim named Muhammad accompanied by an illegal immigrant from Jamaica, the only angry white males around were the lads in America's newsrooms who were noticeably reluctant to abandon their thesis: Early editions of the New York Times speculated that Muhammad and John Lee Malvo were being sought for "possible ties to 'skinhead militia' groups," which seemed a somewhat improbable alliance given the size of Mr. Muhammad's hair in the only available mug shot. As for his illegal sidekick, Malvo was detained and released by the INS in breach of their own procedures.

America has a high murder rate: Murdering people is definitely one of the jobs Americans can do. But that's what ties young Malvo to Jose Carranza: He's just another killer let loose in this country to kill Americans by the bureaucracy's boundless sensitivity toward the "undocumented." Will the Newark murders change anything? Will there be an Ioefemi Hightower Act of Congress like the Matthew Shepard Act passed by the House of Representatives? No. Three thousand people died Sept. 11, 2001, in an act of murder facilitated by the illegal-immigration support structures in this country, and, if that didn't rouse Americans to action, another trio of victims seems unlikely to tip the scales. As Michelle Malkin documented in her book "Invasion," four of the killers boarded the plane with photo ID obtained through the "undocumented worker" network at the 7-Eleven in Falls Church, Va. That's to say, officialdom's tolerance of the illegal immigration shadow-state enabled 9/11. And what did we do? Not only did we not shut it down, we enshrined the shadow-state's charade as part of the new tough post-slaughter security procedures.

Go take a flight from Newark Airport. The TSA guy will ask for your driver's license, glance at the name and picture, and hand it back to you. Feel safer? The terrorists could pass that test, and the morning of 9/11 they did: 19 foreign "visitors" had, between them, 63 valid U.S. driver's licenses. Did government agencies then make it harder to obtain lawful photo ID? No. Since 9/11, the likes of Maryland and New Mexico have joined those states that issue legal driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

Newark is the logical end point of these policies. It is a failed city: 60 percent of its children are being raised in households without fathers. Into that vacuum pour all kinds of alternative authority structures: Mr. Carranza is alleged to have committed his crime with various teenage members of MS-13, a gang with origins in El Salvador's civil war of the 1980s that now operates in some 30 U.S. states. In its toughest redoubts, immigrants don't assimilate with America, America assimilates to the immigrants, and a Fairfax, Va., teenager finds himself getting hacked at by machete wielders.

One could, I suppose, regard this as one of those unforeseen incremental consequences that happens in the darkest shadows of society. But that doesn't extend to Newark's official status as an illegal-immigrant "sanctuary city." Like Los Angeles, New York and untold others, Newark has formally erased the distinction between U.S. citizens and the armies of the undocumented. This is the active collusion by multiple cities and states in the subversion of U.S. sovereignty. In Newark, N.J., it means an illegal-immigrant child rapist is free to murder on a Saturday night. In Somerville, Mass., it means two deaf girls are raped by MS-13 members. And in Falls Church, Va., it means Saudi Wahhabists figuring out that, if the "sanctuary nation" (in Michelle Malkin's phrases) offers such rich pickings to imported killers and imported gangs, why not to jihadists?

"Tell Me Why They Had To Die"? Hard to answer. But tell me why, no matter how many Jose Carranzas it spawns, the nationwide undocumented-immigration protection program erected by this country's political class remains untouchable and ever-expanding.

©MARK STEYN
Pages: 1 ... 225 226 [227] 228 229 ... 239
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!