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11651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 23, 2007, 08:14:12 AM
11652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 05, 2007, 12:53:39 AM
11653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 04, 2007, 09:14:52 PM
11654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 04, 2007, 07:16:43 PM
If only Victor Hanson would run for president....
11655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 20, 2007, 04:16:09 PM
Cue the Darth Vader theme music.....

Hillary Clinton Launching Presidential Run
'I'm In,' Former First Lady Says, as She Seeks to Become the First Female President

Jan. 20, 2006 — - Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has announced that she is forming an exploratory committee for president, thereby launching a bid to become the first female chief executive of the United States.

"I'm in," she said on a Web site, "And I'm in to win.

"As a senator, I will spend two years doing everything in my power to limit the damage George W. Bush can do," Clinton's statement added. "But only a new president will be able to undo Bush's mistakes and restore our hope and optimism."

While the timing of the news was a closely guarded secret, the announcement itself is not all together surprising. The junior senator from New York has been considering a presidential run for months.

During a televised debate just before her re-election to the Senate last November, Clinton told voters they should not count on her completing a full six-year Senate term.

Many political watchers consider Clinton the Democrat to beat -- particularly given her prolific fundraising abilities. Associates of Clinton say she will be capable of raising tens of millions of dollars in the year to come.

Clinton enjoys a substantial early lead for the nomination. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll last month, she was supported by 39 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, well ahead of her nearest competitors -- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., with 17 percent support; former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., with 12 percent; and former Vice President Al Gore, 10 percent.

Clinton's support is particularly strong among Democratic women; 49 percent favor her for the nomination, compared with 29 percent of Democratic men.

But Clinton herself has also frequently acknowledged that there will be a "vigorous debate" prior to the next presidential election. And Clinton will be anxious to distinguish herself from the other leading candidates -- Obama and Edwards.

This past week, Clinton made a highly-publicized trip to Iraq, where she met with top U.S. commanders. During that trip, she told ABC News' Jonathan Karl the situation in Iraq is "heartbreaking."

"I don't know that the American people or the Congress at this point believe this mission can work," she told ABC News.

After returning to the United States, Clinton proposed legislation to cap the number of American troops serving in Iraq and to begin a redeployment of troops out of Baghdad, and eventually out of Iraq. She also supports putting conditions on the money being spent in Iraq.

Obama proposed similar legislation the following day. He often points to the fact that he never supported the war in the first place. Clinton did vote to authorize the use of force in 2002.

Prior to Clinton's proposal for legislation, Edwards leveled indirect criticism at Clinton for not taking bolder action to oppose the war. In a speech commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., he said: "If you're in Congress and you know that this war is going in the wrong direction, and you know that we should not escalate this war in Iraq, it is no longer okay to study your options and keep your own private counsel."

ABC News' political director Mark Halperin and the ABC News polling unit contributed to this report.

11656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 19, 2007, 09:05:08 AM

11657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 17, 2007, 08:16:09 PM

I'd never vote for McCain. War hero, but horribly unprincipled politician.
11658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 17, 2007, 10:50:04 AM
I agree that Obama isn't a good choice, that's why i've said he had the potential to be a "good looking Jimmy Carter". The last thing we need right now is a standard issue lib dem in office, however I see him taking Hillary out in the primary and the primary fight making them not be on the same ticket.

I think Rudy is way too liberal to win the repub voters over for the nomination. His takes on abortion and gun control are prpbably fatal to his aspirations. Mitt Romney seems to be viable, but his mormon faith won't get the pass from the MSM that Keith "allahu akbar" Ellison's belief sytem got.

Note: I predicted the republicans would keep congress, so rolleyes
11659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 17, 2007, 12:51:04 AM
It's so far off, it's hard to say how it'll all unfold, but I will say that Obama is the front runner for the nomination, if not the presidency.
11660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 16, 2007, 09:08:23 PM
Possible, but Obama is polling much better than the would-be dowager empress. The MSM is falling all over it's self to annoint him, and Obama could pull lots of undecideds while Hillary polarizes the voting public into love/hate.
11661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 16, 2007, 04:25:50 PM
I'll be curious what the Clinton machine does to Obama. He will be hard to beat, though I fear an Obama presidency would result in a good-looking Jimmy Carter.
11662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Geo Political matters on: January 16, 2007, 04:24:07 PM
Is this the Santorum of which you speak?

Sen. Santorum re:Liberals, "It is an entire culture that focus (sic) on immediate gratification and the pursuit of happiness and personal pleasure. And it is harming America."

The "pursuit of happiness" is one of the "unalienable rights" of people enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. Of course, I may have a different copy than the senator.

 rolleyes If you'll read the writings of the founding fathers and compare that with the decadent weakness that passes as modern leftist thought you might grasp what Santorum was talking about.**

RE: Evolution "“For one, biological evolution, the theory that all living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor, relies heavily on the sensitive philosophical belief that evolutionary change can give rise to new species, and can explain the origin of all living things.”

Last time I checked biological evolution was a bit more than a "philosophical belief"

**It's a theory. A theory I happen to agree with, but it is a theory as defined by the scientific method.**

RE: Boston's Priest/Child Sex Scandals" "While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."

Cuz it's "liberal" Boston's fault the boys were abused, not the priests, right?

**Anytime a crime is comitted, it's the fault of the criminal. The catholic church was criminal in it's cynical protection of pedophile priests. Having said that, i'm amazed how the post-modern/post-moral left is incapible of condeming anything, unless it's condeming the US, white males, political conservatives, christianity or western civilization.**

And I'm not even gonna touch his wonderful "man on dog" sex talk.

**I missed that talk. Was he "intolerant" of such things? I'm sure was very offensive to liberals and very un-pc. Just another lifestyle choice for the left coast, right?**

I think on take a pass on Santorumland

11663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: January 16, 2007, 04:03:02 PM

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
What the AP Didn't Tell You

The AP has published a long, investigative piece on flaws in the Defense Department's system for selling surplus hardware and components. According to the wire service, these flaws have resulted in the sale of forbidden equipment to middlemen representing nations like Iran and China. In some cases, U.S. customs inspectors intervened and blocked the shipments. But in one instance, banned items actually made their way to Iran, through a Pakistani middleman.

Obviously, the sale of sensitive military components to potential foes is a cause for concern. But there's a lot the AP doesn't report in its story, or simply buries inside the article. For example, those illegal items that wound up in Iran? Parts for a Chinook transport helicopter, built more than 30 years ago. Not exactly state-of-the-art technology. And, the illegal transfer won't tip the balance of power in the Middle East--it will just allow some aging choppers to fly a little bit longer, carry a few more troops, or transport more cargo.

The AP also expresses concern that Iran might obtain parts for its fleet of U.S.-built, F-14 Tomcat fighters. Our Navy recently retired the 70s-era fighter, meaning that thousands of Tomcat components are now up for resale by the government. According to AP reporter Sharon Theimer, F-14 components have almost been sold--twice--to Iranian middlemen, and Tehran's efforts to acquire those parts are expected to intensify.

But once again, the AP dodges the obvious question: what would Iran gain (in terms of military capabilities) from limited numbers of F-14 parts? Not very much. Recent estimates indicate that no more than 6-8 of Iran's 60 original Tomcats are still flyable, and many of those lack functioning radars and other sub-systems needed for combat. Refurbishing Iran's F-14s would probably take our entire stock of surplus Tomcat components, and even then, it's doubtful that Tehran could achieve a satisfactory mission-capability rate (say, 80% of their jets flyable on a daily basis). The effects of time have also eroded Iran's ability to fix their F-14s, particularly at the depot level, where more complex overhauls are conducted. Without skilled mechanics, parts are largely worthless.

The same holds true for flying skills, and there has been a similar erosion in the tactical proficiency of Iran's F-14 crews over the past decade. As the cadre of U.S.-taught pilots and RIOs retired (or were purged), they were replaced by less-skilled crewmen, trained in country. The ability of these crews to prosecute a successful intercept against a U.S. or Israeli adversary is marginal, at best.

And, as far as the actual technology, there's not much the Chinese or Iranians could glean from F-14 components that they don't already know. After the Iranian Revolution, there were reports of a Tomcat (and Phoenix long-range air-to-air missile) making its way to the former Soviet Union, where it became the foundation for the MiG-31 Foxhound, equipped with the Flashdance radar and the AA-9 AAM. If the Iranians were trying to steal AMRAAM parts (or the black boxes for a more advanced radar), I'd be more concerned.

Clearly, we need to tighten our export and resale procedures for military surplus. But is this the crisis the AP makes it out to be? Hardly.

And one more thing: could someone tell me if the Associated Press was similarly outraged when the Clinton Administration approved the sale of satellite and ballistic missile technology to China in the mid-1990s? That little deal, engineered by Hughes and Loral, helped the PRC gain MIRV technology for its ICBMs. Now that was a scandal. And, more importantly, the next generation of Chinese road-mobile ballistic missiles--which benefitted from that transfer--are a far greater threat to our national security that a few Chinooks and F-14s in Iran.

11664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: January 16, 2007, 03:58:09 PM
Let the testing begin! Lots of jihadis in custody for research purposes.
11665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 16, 2007, 03:56:59 PM
Cool. He might well ride a groundswell of angry Americans right into the white house.
11666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: January 06, 2007, 03:27:31 PM
Cool. The same thing just happened to me, and i'm not able to post much these days as well. grin
11667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Kwanzaa? on: December 28, 2006, 11:53:32 AM
Pretty much. Kwanzaa is totally manufactured and has nothing to do with anything african.
11668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 21, 2006, 04:16:03 PM

Mohammed overtakes George in list of most popular names
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:02am GMT 21/12/2006

Mohammed, and its most common alternative spelling Muhammad, are now more popular babies' names in England and Wales than George, reflecting the diverse ethnic mix of the population.

The Office for National Statistics said there were 2,833 baby boys called Mohammed in 2006.

The name is 22nd in the list of most popular boys' names, moving up a place from last year.

Spelled Muhammad, it is the 44th most popular name and enters the top 50 for the first time along with Noah, Oscar, Lucas and Rhys.

There were 2,833 babies called Mohammed born in 2006 and 1,422 called Muhammad. The total exceeds the number of Georges (3,386) or Josephs (3,755).

The list of popular babies' names for 2006 also shows that the cult of celebrity is changing the baptismal tide.

There were 38 babies called Cruz (after David Beckham's third child) this year, raising the name from 1,508th to 650th. There were 14 Peaches (after the daughter of Bob Geldof), raising that name from 4,509th to 1,561st.

Jack has been the top boys' name for 12 years but Olivia has risen three places from last year. Last year's top girl's name, Jessica, dropped to number three, There are just three new names in the top 50 girls' names list - Imogen, Sophia and Anna.

The ONS said some of the girls' names gaining the most popularity this year were Evie (21), Freya (23), Poppy (30) and Jasmine (31).

As usual, the boys' top 50 is more stable, but Harrison jumped six places to number 36. Alfie, Cameron and Henry all rose five places to numbers 16, 30 and 39 respectively.
11669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 19, 2006, 06:55:38 PM
Looking forward to the review.
11670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 16, 2006, 04:21:09 PM
**Hirsi Ali has had to flee from europe, to the US.**,0,2351518.story?coll=la-home-commentary

Why they deny the Holocaust
On top of nearly constant anti-Semitic propaganda, much of the Muslim world hasn't even heard of it.
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
AYAAN HIRSI ALI, a Somali immigrant who served in the parliament of the Netherlands until earlier this year, is the author of "Infidel," an autobiography to be published in February.

December 16, 2006

ONE DAY IN 1994, when I was living in Ede, a small town in Holland, I got a visit from my half-sister. She and I were both immigrants from Somalia and had both applied for asylum in Holland. I was granted it; she was denied. The fact that I got asylum gave me the opportunity to study. My half-sister couldn't.

In order for me to be admitted to the university I wanted to attend, I needed to pass three courses: a language course, a civics course and a history course. It was in the preparatory history course that I, for the first time, heard of the Holocaust. I was 24 years old at that time, and my half-sister was 21.

In those days, the daily news was filled with the Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. On the day that my half-sister visited me, my head was reeling from what happened to 6 million Jews in Germany, Holland, France and Eastern Europe.

I learned that innocent men, women and children were separated from each other. Stars pinned to their shoulders, transported by train to camps, they were gassed for no other reason than for being Jewish.

I saw pictures of masses of skeletons, even of kids. I heard horrifying accounts of some of the people who had survived the terror of Auschwitz and Sobibor. I told my half-sister all this and showed her the pictures in my history book. What she said was as awful as the information in my book.

With great conviction, my half-sister cried: "It's a lie! Jews have a way of blinding people. They were not killed, gassed or massacred. But I pray to Allah that one day all the Jews in the world will be destroyed."

She was not saying anything new. As a child growing up in Saudi Arabia, I remember my teachers, my mom and our neighbors telling us practically on a daily basis that Jews are evil, the sworn enemies of Muslims, and that their only goal was to destroy Islam. We were never informed about the Holocaust.

Later, as a teenager in Kenya, when Saudi and other Persian Gulf philanthropy reached us, I remember that the building of mosques and donations to hospitals and the poor went hand in hand with the cursing of Jews. Jews were said to be responsible for the deaths of babies and for epidemics such as AIDS, and they were believed to be the cause of wars. They were greedy and would do absolutely anything to kill us Muslims. If we ever wanted to know peace and stability, and if we didn't want to be wiped out, we would have to destroy the Jews. For those of us who were not in a position to take up arms against them, it was enough for us to cup our hands, raise our eyes heavenward and pray to Allah to destroy them.

Western leaders today who say they are shocked by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conference this week denying the Holocaust need to wake up to that reality. For the majority of Muslims in the world, the Holocaust is not a major historical event that they deny. We simply do not know it ever happened because we were never informed of it.

The total number of Jews in the world today is estimated to be about 15 million, certainly no more than 20 million. On the other hand, the world's Muslim population is estimated to be between 1.2 billion and 1.5 billion. And not only is this population rapidly growing, it is also very young.

What's striking about Ahmadinejad's conference is the (silent) acquiescence of mainstream Muslims. I cannot help but wonder: Why is there no counter-conference in Riyadh, Cairo, Lahore, Khartoum or Jakarta condemning Ahmadinejad? Why are the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference silent on this?

Could the answer be as simple as it is horrifying: For generations, the leaders of these so-called Muslim countries have been spoon-feeding their populations a constant diet of propaganda similar to the one that generations of Germans (and other Europeans) were fed — that Jews are vermin and should be dealt with as such? In Europe, the logical conclusion was the Holocaust. If Ahmadinejad has his way, he shall not want for compliant Muslims ready to act on his wish.

The world needs to be informed again and again about the Holocaust — not only in the interest of the Jews who survived and their offspring but in the interest of humanity.

11671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 16, 2006, 04:16:11 PM
**Very interesting, hadn't heard of Bassam Tibi before this article.**

Germans may regret ignoring ‘prophet' in their midst

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

BERLIN — Bassam Tibi is an unabashed alarmist. He is among Germany's foremost political scientists, and an expert on political Islam. And he says that even now — after 9/11, after Madrid, after 7/7, and all the rest of it — the European elites don't have a clue what they are up against.

“Europeans don't know what Islamism is,” he argues. “We are talking about a new totalitarianism. And Islamists are establishing themselves in Europe with great success.” They thrive, thanks to Europe's tolerance of the intolerable.

Dr. Tibi, a Muslim born in Syria, is persona non grata there.

He's not too popular in Germany either, where he has been accused of inciting Islamophobia. “It is most disturbing to see how writers who try to warn about the totalitarian character of Islamism are defamed as racists,” he says. “This wrong-headed political correctness prevents any honest discussion about the subject.”

This is not the message you will hear from any Muslim leader. The standard line is that extremism has been exaggerated, the media are to blame, and that the real problem is that Muslims have been unfairly targeted. But long before 9/11, Dr. Tibi began warning Europe had become dangerously vulnerable to radical Islamists. Today, many of these movements have their logistics, as well as their support systems, in Western Europe. In the name of multiculturalism, Muslims were encouraged to build parallel societies. Now, many have no intention of integrating into the mainstream.

It's true, he says, that the radicals are no more than a tiny minority — between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of the Muslim population, he guesses — but they are gaining ground. “They control most of the mosques and the welfare institutions, and they are the official speakers for Islam.” (Among the most revered is Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, now preaching from Qatar on Al Jazeera, who says Islam justifies suicide bombing.)

In spite of the new lip service being paid to integration, he says, Europe shows little interest in acting to promote it. Part of the problem is that there's no consensus on what it means to be European.

“Some people think there is no such thing as a common identity binding us together,” he says.

Dr. Tibi himself has argued for the importance of affirming just such an identity. He called it Leitkultur, or core culture, defined as the values of modernity — democracy, secularism, human rights, and civil society. The term was quickly adopted by Germany's conservative wing, and so the orthodox intelligentsia condemned it as quasi-racist. No surprise there. The mainstream intelligentsia of Europe also regards the United States as a far greater threat to world peace than radical Islamism.

There are now 20 million Muslims living in Europe, and the Islamic diaspora is expected to double and even triple in the coming decades. Will these Muslims become European citizens with a European identity? “Not if we allow the present situation to continue,” he says. “There's an inability to understand what is going on on the ground. The young men involved in the Paris riots know very little about Islam and they are not practising Muslims. But their world view is shaped by Islamism and their image of themselves is determined by Islamist-identity politics.”

Dr. Tibi is impatient with the endlessly repeated nostrum that Islam is “a religion of peace.” “When you study religion, you do not study texts, you study social facts. A Muslim boy is torching cars and he is thinking he is waging jihad. Religion has nothing to do with terrorism. But you can use it to legitimate terrorism. There is a conflict — it is social and economic, but it is articulated in religious language.” And the quest of converting the entire world to Islam, he insists, is an immutable fixture of the Muslim worldview.

I asked Dr. Tibi how many of Germany's 3.2 million Muslims share his progressive, secular views. “Maybe a few thousand,” he said.

There's a twist to this story, and it, too, is not a happy one. Dr. Tibi is getting out, moving to the U.S., where he has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Cornell — not only because his views are more respected there, but because, after 44 years, he still feels like an outsider here. “I love Germany,” he says. “I love the German language, and there are many decent Germans.

“But I believe Germany is an ethnically exclusive country. Bassam is not a German name. A Muslim is not a German. And there is no space for me in an ethnically exclusive country.”

Dr. Tibi is a prophet without honour in his own land. And that raises another uncomfortable question. If he can't become a German, then who can?
11672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Geo Political matters on: December 14, 2006, 02:12:09 PM
In a saner, more responsible America, Santorum would still be in office.
11673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 10, 2006, 07:26:38 AM
**I wish I had written this. It captures my viewpoint very well on this topic.**

The Jihad: We're All in This Together
By Don Feder | December 8, 2006

Don Feder delivered the following speech to the Americans for A Safe Israel National Conference (“America And Israel – The Present Danger”) held in New York City on December 3, 2006. – The Editors.

You have a problem. It’s a problem shared by Jews in Hebron, Serbs in Kosovo, Hindus in the Kashmir, Catholics in Lebanon, and Americans walking the streets of New York.

Consider the inter-connectedness of the following incidents, all of which took place in the past few months:

In Indonesia, three Christian schoolgirls were beheaded.
In Iraq, a Syrian Orthodox priest was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered.
In Somalia, a nun was shot to death as she left the hospital where she worked, tending the sick and dying.
In Lebanon, just days ago, a cabinet minister was assassinated.
In Britain, authorities uncovered a conspiracy in which native-born Brits plotted to blow up several trans-Atlantic flights, killing as many as 3,000.
In Afghanistan, suicide bombers are at work again.
In Iraq, they never stopped. Additionally, the week before last, a group of worshippers were abducted from a mosque, doused with gasoline and burned to death in what’s described as “sectarian violence.”
In France, a high school philosophy teacher is in hiding after very credible death threats following publication of a September 19th commentary in Le Figaro.
Some 139 people died in riots in Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan, and Afghanistan – following the publication of Danish cartoons.
Europe is experiencing the worst wave of anti-Semitic violence since Kristallnacht. The former director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum reports there an average of 12 assaults a day on Jews in Paris.
In Kosovo, 90 percent of Serbs gave been ethnically cleansed from the province since 1999. The rest live in a state of siege.
In Mumbai, India, a series of blasts killed almost 200.
In Gaza, terrorists recently celebrated the latest “ceasefire” by raining more rockets on southern Israel.
And the leader of more than a billion Catholics received death threats and demands that he convert after giving a speech in which he called for a balance of faith and reason, and quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor.

What do the foregoing have in common?

To quote columnist Mark Steyn, in his excellent book America Alone: The End of The World As We Know It, it begins with an “I” and ends with a “slam.”

I am not saying that all Muslims are terrorists. I am saying that almost all terrorists are Muslims – the mother of all no-brainers – and that Islam is a faith that is, shall we say, terrorism-friendly. I challenge you to name another faith in which your entry into Heaven is assured by killing those of another faith in a holy war.

I am not saying that Muslims are inherently bad people. Most Muslims are like most people everywhere. I am saying that there are elements in Islam that incline adherents to commit the crimes detailed a moment ago.

I am saying – and let me be clear about this – that a faith embraced by as many as 1.3 billion people worldwide contains within it the seeds of the evil we see all around us – seeds which require only the right conditions to germinate. It all goes back to the Koran.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the midst of a world war, one every bit as deadly as the Cold War, and with a potential for devastation to rival World War II. Actually, the Cold War is a bad analogy. For perhaps the 20 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, almost no one was willing to die for Communism. Today, ten of millions – perhaps hundreds of millions – around the world would gladly die, and kill, for Dar Islam.

But we make a fatal mistake if we think of Islam only in terms of suicide bombings, sniper attacks, death threats, forced conversions, female genital mutilation, honor killings, jihad-this and fatwah-that.

Every bit as important is what’s going on in maternity wards from Brussels to Bombay.

Of the 10 nations with the lowest birthrates, nine are in post-Christian Europe. And the ten countries with the highest fertility rates? That’s right – starts with an “I” and ends in a “slam.”

Fertility rates in the Muslim world look like this: Niger (7.46 children per woman), Mali (7.42), Somalia (6.76), Afghanistan (6.69), and Yemen (6.58). The Palestinian woman in Gaza who – at age 64 – just became the world’s oldest suicide bomber was the mother of nine and (at last count) the grandmother of 41.

Between 1970 and 2000, while the share of the world’s population represented by the industrialized nations declined from just under 30 percent to just over 20 percent, the share accounted for by the wonderful world of jihad rose from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Compared to the rest of the industrialized world, the United States is experiencing a veritable population explosion – with a birth rate of 2.11, just about replacement level. From there, it’s demographic winter as far as the eye can see: Canada (1.5), Germany (1.3), Russia and Italy (1.2) and not-so-sunny Spain (1.1). The latter three nations could cease to exist, as they are currently constituted, within the next 50 years.

According to a November 21st Washington Times story, by 2015, more than half the soldiers in the Russian Army will be Muslims. And you thought the Czar was bad! By 2020, over 20 percent of Russia’s population will be reading the Koran, religiously.

Within the lifetimes of some in this room, the UK, France Belgium, and the Netherlands could go Islamic green. For the present, Muslims comprise 10 percent of the French population. But of “Frenchmen” under 20, fully 30 percent share the faith of Osama bin Laden, Baby Assad, and Iran’s nut-cake leader.

You can talk all you want about population control being the happy result of higher standards of living, careers for women, sex education, contraception and access to abortion. In fact, it’s becoming the assisted suicide of the West. What it really comes boils to is this: Confident societies have babies. People with a sense of mission have children. Nations with a sense of destiny and faith in the future fill maternity wards, and nurseries and cradles.

Those that believe in God as a vague, philosophical concept (if He exists at all), don’t. Instead of the future, they put their trust in 401(k) plans, elaborate state welfare systems, and gated retirement communities.

There are still enough of those of us who care enough to act. But the hour grows proverbially late.

Everyone is so focused on their own thing that they miss the larger picture. Zionists rightly worry about Palestinian terrorism and fate of Israel should Judea, Samaria, and Gaza become Hamas-istan.

Serbs decry the destruction of ancient churches, monasteries, and shrines in Kosovo – not to mention the ethnic cleansing that followed NATO’s victory over Slobodan Milosevic – and worry about the province being permanently detached from Serbia.

Hindus anguish over the ongoing violence in Kashmir, supported by Pakistan, which has claimed more than 50,000 lives in the past 20 years, as well as terrorist acts in the rest of India.

Groups like Voice of the Martyrs meticulously document Christian persecution in the Muslim world. Lebanese Christians lament the demise of the last Christian country in the Middle East and Hezbollah creating a state-within-a-state. Coptic Christians complain about the treatment of their co-religionists in Egypt. And the beat goes on. But these are all part of a seamless chador. What happens in Kosovo affects the Kashmir. As Judea and Samaria go, ultimately, so go Lebanon and London.

In retrospect, it’s easy to see that a number of events in the 1930s were steps leading to the Second World War: Hitler’s rise to power, the remilitarization of the Rhineland, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, German and Italian intervention in the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese conquest of Manchuria, and so on. It’s always easier to see the interconnectedness of events and the significance of trends in retrospect – well after the fact. But at least after Pearl Harbor, most Americans understood that they were at war. It’s been five years since this generation’s Pearl Harbor, and most of us still don’t have a clue.

When word of Pearl Harbor reached London, Winston Churchill called Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The conversation ended with the British prime minister telling the American president: “Well, we are all in this together now.” As indeed they were; as they probably had been since the early 1930s, though almost no one was aware of it at the time.

Well, my friends, we truly are all in this together – Jews and Catholics, Lebanese Christians and Hindus, Orthodox Serbs, and Indonesian Christians. Until we begin to understand that, we have no hope of countering the global jihad. When Zionists start caring about the fate of Serbs in Kosovo, when Hindus support Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (designated the West Bank), when Serbs stand up for Indian Kashmir, then we will begin making progress.
11674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 08, 2006, 12:46:18 PM
There is a huge amount the US can learn from Israel.
11675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: December 08, 2006, 12:43:18 PM
A new documentary is coming out on this topic. "Ever Again".
11676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 08, 2006, 12:08:31 PM
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D. regularly predicts nuclear terrorism events, which luckily have yet to happen. I'm not overly impressed with what i've read of his thus far.
11677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: December 06, 2006, 04:07:49 PM
When New Orleans and the state of Louisiana dropped the ball, the the federal gov't got the blame. Now the feds have the legal authority to act. Could it be abused? Sure, anything gov't have the power to do can be abused/misused.
11678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 05, 2006, 04:04:38 AM
**This is a good idea, at least I think so.**

Migrants face new 'Britishness' test
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 7:02am GMT 05/12/2006

Tests in the English language and the British way of life will be compulsory from next year for foreigners wanting to settle here, the Government said yesterday.

It will bring long-term immigrants into line with people who seek UK citizenship, who already have to sit the tests.

Liam Byrne: migrants must recognise responsibilities
Last year 180,000 people were granted settlement to stay. Some go on to seek British nationality but others may choose to retain their own while staying permanently.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said: "It is essential that migrants wishing to live in the UK permanently recognise that there are responsibilities that go with this.

"Having a good grasp of English is essential in order for them to play a full role in society and properly integrate into our communities."

Applicants who already possess a good standard of English will take the existing Life in the UK exam.

Immigrants with poorer English can take a specially developed English for Speakers of Other Languages course with a simplified citizenship course.

Habib Rahman, chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said that subjecting applicants for indefinite leave to remain in the UK (ILR) to the same tests as those seeking British citizenship would send out "confusing messages".

"ILR does not confer the same set of rights and protections on applicants as UK citizenship," he said. "Persons with ILR are still subject to the immigration rules in a way that UK citizens are not.

"Also, this seems designed to place an extra hurdle in the path of people applying for ILR who have already fulfilled other criteria.

"It is evident that education providers cannot deal with existing demand for English language training. We question why the Government wants to generate more demand."

The Life in the UK test is aimed at those with a good grasp of English and their pass mark will be at least 75 per cent. Each applicant sits a 45-minute exam of 24 questions to show a basic knowledge of national culture.

Those less accomplished in English can attend a combined language and citizenship class instead. They will be expected to complete the course ''successfully" but do not have to pass the exam to gain citizenship.

The computer-based, multiple-choice examination are available at 90 test centres from today. Candidates who fail can retake the test as many times as they wish.

A Government handbook, Life in the UK, contains much of the information that will feature in the tests, including what to do if you spill someone's pint in a pub (offer to buy another).
11679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 05, 2006, 12:41:19 AM

You do have a "ground truth" advantage here. Without giving out any more information than you'd prefer, can you give us a general idea of your geographical area and kind of work? Obviously, some fields more than others may deal with certain issues that we're discussing. 
11680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 04, 2006, 07:55:39 AM
For what it's worth, i'd agree that the socialist economic death spiral the europeans have inflicted on themselves contributes to what is happening.
11681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 04, 2006, 05:20:20 AM
**A disturbing view of Russia's future as well.**
11682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 03, 2006, 05:01:28 AM
**Germany figures in this, so I thought i'd post it here.**

Published on The Brussels Journal (
The Rape of Europe
By Paul Belien
Created 2006-10-25 20:57

The German author Henryk M. Broder recently told the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (12 October) that young Europeans who love freedom, better emigrate. Europe as we know it will no longer exist 20 years from now. Whilst sitting on a terrace in Berlin, Broder pointed to the other customers and the passers-by and said melancholically: “We are watching the world of yesterday.”

Europe is turning Muslim. As Broder is sixty years old he is not going to emigrate himself. “I am too old,” he said. However, he urged young people to get out and “move to Australia or New Zealand. That is the only option they have if they want to avoid the plagues that will turn the old continent uninhabitable.”

Many Germans and Dutch, apparently, did not wait for Broder’s advice. The number of emigrants leaving the Netherlands and Germany has already surpassed the number of immigrants moving in. One does not have to be prophetic to predict, like Henryk Broder, that Europe is becoming Islamic. Just consider the demographics. The number of Muslims in contemporary Europe is estimated to be 50 million. It is expected to double in twenty years. By 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families. Today Mohammed is already the most popular name for new-born boys in Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and other major European cities.

Broder is convinced that the Europeans are not willing to oppose islamization. “The dominant ethos,” he told De Volkskrant, “is perfectly voiced by the stupid blonde woman author with whom I recently debated. She said that it is sometimes better to let yourself be raped than to risk serious injuries while resisting. She said it is sometimes better to avoid fighting than run the risk of death.”

In a recent op-ed piece in the Brussels newspaper De Standaard (23 October) the Dutch (gay and self-declared “humanist”) author Oscar Van den Boogaard refers to Broder’s interview. Van den Boogaard says that to him coping with the islamization of Europe is like “a process of mourning.” He is overwhelmed by a “feeling of sadness.” “I am not a warrior,” he says, “but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”

As Tom Bethell wrote in this month’s American Spectator: “Just at the most basic level of demography the secular-humanist option is not working.” But there is more to it than the fact that non-religious people tend not to have as many children as religious people, because many of them prefer to “enjoy” freedom rather than renounce it for the sake of children. Secularists, it seems to me, are also less keen on fighting. Since they do not believe in an afterlife, this life is the only thing they have to lose. Hence they will rather accept submission than fight. Like the German feminist Broder referred to, they prefer to be raped than to resist.

“If faith collapses, civilization goes with it,” says Bethell. That is the real cause of the closing of civilization in Europe. Islamization is simply the consequence. The very word Islam means “submission” and the secularists have submitted already. Many Europeans have already become Muslims, though they do not realize it or do not want to admit it.

Some of the people I meet in the U.S. are particularly worried about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. They are correct when they fear that anti-Semitism is also on the rise among non-immigrant Europeans. The latter hate people with a fighting spirit. Contemporary anti-Semitism in Europe (at least when coming from native Europeans) is related to anti-Americanism. People who are not prepared to resist and are eager to submit, hate others who do not want to submit and are prepared to fight. They hate them because they are afraid that the latter will endanger their lives as well. In their view everyone must submit.

This is why they have come to hate Israel and America so much, and the small band of European “islamophobes” who dare to talk about what they see happening around them. West Europeans have to choose between submission (islam) or death. I fear, like Broder, that they have chosen submission – just like in former days when they preferred to be red rather than dead.


Source URL:
11683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: December 03, 2006, 12:40:50 AM
I can't go into any great detail, but I once was part of a case where an American of arab descent spotted something suspicious and reported in to LE. I performed the initial investigation while my supervisor relayed the info to alphabet soup types in the DC area. I know that the various federal agencies did follow-ups and I was out of the loop after that. IMHO, some bad guys got spotted and hopefully something was prevented.
11684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: December 02, 2006, 01:14:21 AM
It depends on who is doing the interpreting, there are those who find theological justification in using drugs to fund the jihad.
11685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: December 02, 2006, 01:12:29 AM
**As usual, VDH is right on the money.**

Losing the Enlightenment
A civilization that has lost confidence in itself cannot confront the Islamists.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

 Our current crisis is not yet a catastrophe, but a real loss of confidence of the spirit. The hard-won effort of the Western Enlightenment of some 2,500 years that, along with Judeo-Christian benevolence, is the foundation of our material progress, common decency, and scientific excellence, is at risk in this new millennium.

But our newest foes of Reason are not the enraged Athenian democrats who tried and executed Socrates. And they are not the Christian zealots of the medieval church who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity. Nor are they Nazis who burned books and turned Western science against its own to murder millions en masse.

No, the culprits are now more often us. In the most affluent, and leisured age in the history of Western civilization--never more powerful in its military reach, never more prosperous in our material bounty--we have become complacent, and then scared of the most recent face of barbarism from the primordial extremists of the Middle East.

What would a beleaguered Socrates, a Galileo, a Descartes, or Locke believe, for example, of the moral paralysis in Europe? Was all their bold and courageous thinking--won at such a great personal cost--to allow their successors a cheap surrender to religious fanaticism and the megaphones of state-sponsored fascism?

Just imagine in our present year, 2006: plan an opera in today's Germany, and then shut it down. Again, this surrender was not done last month by the Nazis, the Communists, or kings, but by the producers themselves in simple fear of Islamic fanatics who objected to purported bad taste. Or write a novel deemed unflattering to the Prophet Mohammed. That is what did Salman Rushdie did, and for his daring, he faced years of solitude, ostracism, and death threats--and in the heart of Europe no less. Or compose a documentary film, as did the often obnoxious Theo Van Gogh, and you may well have your throat cut in "liberal" Holland. Or better yet, sketch a simple cartoon in postmodern Denmark of legendary easy tolerance, and then go into hiding to save yourself from the gruesome fate of a Van Gogh. Or quote an ancient treatise, as did Pope Benedict, and then learn that all of Christendom may come under assault, and even the magnificent stones of the Vatican may offer no refuge--although their costumed Swiss Guard would prove a better bulwark than the European police. Or write a book critical of Islam, and then go into hiding in fear of your life, as did French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker.

And we need not only speak of threats to free speech, but also the tangible rewards from a terrified West to the agents of such repression. Note the recent honorary degree given to former Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, whose regime has killed and silenced so many, and who himself is under investigation by the Argentine government for his role in sponsoring Hezbollah killers to murder dozens of Jewish innocents in Buenos Aires.

There are many lessons to be drawn from these examples, besides that they represent a good cross-section of European society in Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, and Italy. In almost every case, the lack of public support for the threatened artist or intellectual or author was purportedly based either on his supposed lack of sensitivity, or of artistic excellence.
Van Gogh, it was said, was obnoxious, his films sometimes puerile. The academic Pope was perhaps woefully ignorant of public relations in the politically correct age. Were not the cartoons in Denmark amateurish and unnecessary? Rushdie was an overrated novelist, whose chickens of trashing the West he sought refuge in finally came home to roost. The latest Hans Neuenfels's adaptation of Mozart's "Idomeneo" was apparently as silly as it was cheaply sensationalist. And perhaps Robert Redeker need not have questioned the morality of Islam and its Prophet.

But isn't that fact precisely the point? It is easy to defend artists when they produce works of genius that do not challenge popular sensibilities--Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" or Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws"--but not so when an artist offends with neither the taste of a Michelangelo nor the talent of a Dante. Yes, Pope Benedict is old and scholastic; he lacks both the charisma and tact of the late Pope John Paul II, who surely would not have turned for elucidation to the rigidity of Byzantine scholarship. But isn't that why we must come to the present Pope's defense--if for no reason other than because he has the courage to speak his convictions when others might not?

Note also the constant subtext in this new self-censorship of our supposedly liberal age: the fear of radical Islam and its gruesome methods of beheadings, suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, barbaric fatwas, riotous youth, petrodollar-acquired nuclear weapons, oil boycotts and price hikes, and fist-shaking mobs, as the seventh century is compressed into the twenty-first.

In contrast, almost daily in Europe, "brave" artists caricature Christians and Americans with impunity. And we know what explains the radical difference in attitudes to such freewheeling and "candid" expression--indeed, that hypocrisy of false bravado, of silence before fascists and slander before liberals is both the truth we are silent about, and the lie we promulgate.

There is, in fact, a long list of reasons, among them most surely the assurance that cruel critics of things Western rant without being killed. Such cowards puff out their chests when trashing an ill Oriana Fallaci or a comatose Ariel Sharon or beleaguered George W. Bush in the most demonic of tones, but they prove sunken and sullen when threatened by a thuggish Dr. Zawahiri or a grand mufti of some obscure mosque.

Second, almost every genre of artistic and intellectual expression has come under assault: music, satire, the novel, films, academic exegesis, and education. Somehow Europeans have ever so insidiously given up the promise of the Enlightenment that welcomed free thought of all kinds, the more provocative the better.

Yes, the present generation of Europeans really is heretical, made up of traitors of a sort. They themselves, not just their consensual governments, or the now-demonized American Patriot Act and Guantanamo detention center, or some invader across the Mediterranean, have endangered their centuries-won freedoms of expression--and out of worries over oil, or appearing as illiberal apostates of the new secular religion of multiculturalism, or another London or Madrid bombing. We can understand why outnumbered Venetians surrendered Cyprus to the Ottomans, and were summarily executed, or perhaps why the 16th-century French did not show up at Lepanto, but why this vacillation of present-day Europeans to defend the promise of the West, who are protected by statute and have not experienced war or hunger?

Third, examine why all these incidents took place in Europe, where more and more the state guarantees the good life even into dotage, where the here and now has become a finite world for soulless bodies, where armies devolve into topics of caricature, and children distract from sterile adults' ever-increasing appetites. So, it was logical that Europe most readily of Westerners would abandon the artist and give up the renegade in fear of religious extremists who brilliantly threatened not destruction, but interruption of the good life, or the mere charge of illiberality. Never was the Enlightenment sold out so cheaply.

We on this side of Atlantic also are showing different symptoms of this same Western malaise, but more likely through heated rhetoric than complacent indifference--given the events of September 11 that galvanized many, while disappointing liberals that past appeasement had created monsters rather than mere confused, if not dangerous rivals. The war on terror has turned out to be the torn scab that has exposed a deep wound beneath, of an endemic Western self-loathing--and near mania that our own superior education and material wealth have not eliminated altogether the need for force and coercion.
Consider some of the recent rabid outbursts by once sober, old-guard politicians of the Democratic Party. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller insists that the world would be better off if Saddam were still running Iraq. Congressman John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, rushed to announce that our Marines were guilty of killing Iraqis in "cold blood" before they were tried. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin has compared our interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis and mass murderers, while Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said our soldiers have "terrorized" Iraqi women and children. The same John Kerry warned young Americans to study or they would end up in the volunteer army in Iraq--even though today's soldiers have higher educational levels than does the general public. But furor as well as fear, not logic, drives us in West to seek blame among the humane among us rather than the savagery of our enemies.

Billionaire leftist philanthropists seem to be confused about the nature of American society and politics that gave them everything they so sumptuously enjoy. Ted Turner of CNN fame and fortune said he resented President Bush asking Americans, after 9/11, to take sides in our war against Islamic terrorists. George Soros claimed that President Bush had improved on Nazi propaganda methods. Dreaming of killing an elected president, not a mass-murdering Osama Bin Laden, is a new national pastime. That is the theme of both a recent docudrama film and an Alfred Knopf book.

What are the proximate causes here in America that send liberal criticism over the edge into pathological hysteria? Is it only that George Bush is a singular polarizing figure of Christian and Texan demeanor? Or is the current left-wing savagery also a legacy of the tribal 1960s, when out-of-power protestors felt that expressions of speaking bluntly, even crudely, were at least preferable to "artificial" cultural restraint?

Or does the anger stem from the fact, that until last week, the Democrats had not elected congressional majorities in 12 years, and they've occupied the White House in only eight of the last 26 years. The left's current unruliness seems a way of scapegoating others for a more elemental frustration--that without scandal or an unpopular war they cannot so easily gain a national majority based on European-based beliefs. More entitlements, higher taxes to pay for them, gay marriage, de facto quotas in affirmative action, open borders, abortion on demand, and radical secularism--these liberal issues, at least for the moment, still don't tend to resonate with most Americans and so must be masked by opponents' scandals or overshadowed by a controversial war.

Just as the Europeans are stunned that their heaven on earth has left them weak and afraid, so too millions of Americans on the Left are angry that their own promised moral utopia is not so welcomed by the supposedly less educated and bright among them. But still, what drives Westerners, here and in Europe, to demand that we must be perfect rather than merely good, and to lament that if we are not perfect we are then abjectly bad--and always to be so unable to define and then defend their civilization against its most elemental enemies?

There has of course always been a utopian strain in both Western thought from the time of Plato's "Republic" and the practice of state socialism. But the technological explosion of the last 20 years has made life so long and so good, that many now believe our mastery of nature must extend to human nature as well. A society that can call anywhere in the world on a cell phone, must just as easily end war, poverty, or unhappiness, as if these pathologies are strictly materially caused, not impoverishments of the soul, and thus can be materially treated.

Second, education must now be, like our machines, ever more ambitious, teaching us not merely facts of the past, science of the future, and the tools to question, and discover truth, but rather a particular, a right way of thinking, as money and learning are pledged to change human nature itself. In such a world, mere ignorance has replaced evil as our challenge, and thus the bad can at last be taught away rather than confronted and destroyed.

Third, there has always been a cynical strain as well, as one can read in Petronius's "Satyricon" or Voltaire's "Candide." But our loss of faith in ourselves is now more nihilistic than sarcastic or skeptical, once the restraints of family, religion, popular culture, and public shame disappear. Ever more insulated by our material things from danger, we lack all appreciation of the eternal thin veneer of civilization.

We especially ignore among us those who work each day to keep nature and the darker angels of our own nature at bay. This new obtuseness revolves around a certain mocking by elites of why we have what we have. Instead of appreciating that millions get up at 5 a.m., work at rote jobs, and live proverbial lives of quiet desperation, we tend to laugh at the schlock of Wal-Mart, not admire its amazing ability to bring the veneer of real material prosperity to the poor.

We can praise the architect for our necessary bridge, but demonize the franchise that sold fast and safe food to the harried workers who built it. We hear about a necessary hearing aid, but despise the art of the glossy advertisement that gives the information to purchase it. And we think the soldier funny in his desert camouflage and Kevlar, a loser who drew poorly in the American lottery and so ended up in Iraq--our most privileged never acknowledging that such men with guns are the only bulwark between us and the present day forces of the Dark Ages with their Kalashnikovs and suicide belts.

So we are on dangerous ground. History gives evidence of no civilization that survived long as purely secular and without a god, that put its trust in reason alone, and believed human nature was subject to radical improvement given enough capital and learning invested in the endeavor. The failure of our elites to amplify their traditions they received, and to believe them to be not merely different but far better than the alternatives, is also a symptom of crisis in all societies of the past, whether Demosthenes' Athens, late imperial Rome, 18th-century France, or Western Europe of the 1920s. Nothing is worse that an elite that demands egalitarianism for others but ensures privilege for itself. And rarely, we know, are civilization's suicides a result of the influence of too many of the poor rather than of the wealthy.

But can I end on an optimistic note in tonight's tribute to Winston Churchill, who endured more and was more alone than we of the present age? After the horror of September 11, we in our sleep were also given a jolt of sorts, presented with enemies from the Dark Ages, the Islamic fascists who were our near exact opposites, who hated the Western tradition, and, more importantly, were honest and without apology in conveying that hatred of our liberal tolerance and forbearance. They arose not from anything we did or any Western animosity that might have led to real grievances, but from self-acknowledged weakness, self-induced failure, and, of course, those perennial engines of war, age-old envy and lost honor--always amplified and instructed by dissident Western intellectuals whose unhappiness with their own culture proved a feast for the scavenging Al-Qaedists.
By past definitions of relative power, al-Qaeda and its epigones were weak and could not defeat the West militarily. But their genius was knowing of our own self-loathing, of our inability to determine their evil from our good, of our mistaken belief that Islamists were confused about, rather than intent to destroy, the West, and most of all, of our own terror that we might lose, if even for a brief moment, the enjoyment of our good life to defeat the terrorists. In learning what the Islamists are, many of us, and for the first time, are also learning what we are not. And in fighting these fascists, we are to learn whether our freedom can prove stronger than their suicide belts and improvised explosive devices.

So we have been given a reprieve of sorts with this war, to regroup; and, in our enemies, to see our own past failings and present challenges; and to rediscover our strengths and remember our origins. We can relearn that we are not fighting for George Bush or Wal-Mart alone, but also for the very notion of the Enlightenment--and, yes, in the Christian sense for the good souls of those among us who have forgotten all that as they censor cartoons and compare American soldiers to Nazis.

So let me quote Winston Churchill of old about the gift of our present ordeal:

"These are not dark days: these are great days--the greatest days our country has ever lived."

Never more true than today.

Mr. Hanson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, a distinguished fellow of Hillsdale College, and author most recently of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." This article is adapted form a speech he delivered at the Claremont Institute's annual dinner in honor Sir Winston Churchill.

11686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: December 01, 2006, 07:59:14 AM
**Another response to Ralph Peters.**

The Reality of Eurabia
By Aaron Hanscom | December 1, 2006

More than a few thinkers have posited that, should demographic trends hold, Europe is destined to become a cultural and political province of the Arab/Muslim world -- “Eurabia,” as the author Bat Ye’or has famously dubbed it. But Ralph Peters will have none of it. Eurabia, he seems to think, is just a myth perpetuated by Islamophobic Cassandras.

In a recent New York Post op-ed, the columnist does acknowledge the possibility of impending doom on the continent but with a twist. While there’s “no chance” Europe will be taken over by Muslims, Peters believes that “Europe’s Muslims are living on borrowed time.”  And why should those young Muslim Swedes who don the popular “2030—then we take over” T-shirts believe him?  Peters explains: “From the French expulsion of the Huguenots right down to the last century's massive ethnic cleansings, Europeans have never been shy about showing ‘foreigners and subversives’ the door.”

Not the least noteworthy of Peter’s errors is the assumption that modern Europeans are as ready to fight for the continuation of their way of life as the burgeoning Muslim populations in their midst are prepared to destroy it. Unwilling to admit the inconvenient truth that Europeans have grown lethargic due to cradle-to-grave state welfare and utopian pacifism, Peters is forced to seek out dates far back in history—such as 1492 when Spain ended 800 years of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula—to try and make his point that the inherent brutality of Europeans will ensure their survival.  A more sober analysis of the troubling situation in Europe comes from America Alone author Mark Steyn in a response to the Peters’ column:

As I’ve said innumerable times, the native European population is split three ways: some will leave, as the Dutch (and certain French) are already doing; some will shrug and go along with the Islamization of the continent, as the ever-accelerating number of conversions suggests; and so the ones left to embrace Fascism will be a minority of an aging population. It will be bloody and messy, as I write in America Alone, but it will not alter the final outcome. If you don’t breed, you can’t influence the future. And furthermore a disinclination to breed is a good sign you don’t care much about the future. That’s why the Spaniards, who fought a brutal bloody civil war for their country in the 1930s, folded instantly after those Madrid bombings. When you’ve demographically checked out of the future, why fight for it?

It’s worth taking a closer look at Spain to assess the validity of Peters’ Eurabia-as-myth thesis.  With the average Spanish woman having 1.32 children and the average Muslim unwilling to renounce the increasingly loud calls for the Islamic reconquest of Spain, the country’s future is in great jeopardy.  Indeed, the process of repossessing land that is viewed as illegitimately occupied is well underway.


In his book The Jihad in Spain: The obsession to reconquer Al-Ándalus, Spanish politician Gustavo de Arístegui describes the policy of the “foot in the threshold,” which is a clearly designed strategy to reconquer land that was once under the domain of Islam. Patience and determination are the prerequisites for success: Before the reconquest of the entire country can take place, it is first necessary to conquer neighborhoods, towns, cities, provinces and regions—in that order. 


Arístegui details how Muslims in Spain are buying land, houses and businesses in the cities most emblematic of Al-Ándalus.  Captured Al-Qaeda leader Mustafa Setmariam, who lived in Granada for two years, has verified Arístegui’s claim. He described in detail to the Spanish National Police the activities of the Moroccan radical organization Justice and Charity in the Spanish town of Tecla: “They have a plan of obtaining Spanish nationality, buying houses and goods and having children.  Many of them are married to Spaniards and all of it is done with the goal of conquering the town in any possible way.”


This goal is also evident in Albaicín, a prominent neighborhood in Granada.  Interviews with Muslims living in Albaicín reveal a group all but convinced that Spain will belong to them in the future.  In recent interviews conducted by the Spanish television station Telecinco, many Muslims stated that because they had been able to conquer Albaicín they would now be able to conquer Granada and then all of Al-Ándalus.  An Imam of a mosque in Albaicín who was profiled on a National Public Radio program last year predicted that all of historic Al-Ándalus would become Muslim again.  As he explained, “Islam is resurgent from within the land.” 


Meanwhile, less than 20 percent of Spaniards declare themselves to be practicing Roman Catholics; that’s down from 98 percent fifty years ago. So while mosques and  madrasahs are popping up across Spain, the Catholic Church is being forced to close monasteries and convents.  It doesn’t help matters that Spain’s Socialist government saw no problem in canceling the reintroduction of compulsory religious classes while later financing the publication of a textbook for Muslim first graders to learn about Islam.  Spain’s leading archbishop, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco, is understandably concerned about the future: “Some people wish to place us in the year 711," he has said. "It seems as if we are meant to wipe ourselves out of history."


Indeed, it is the self-destruction of European civilization that should most concern doubters like Ralph Peters. Instead, in his article he writes that he has “no difficulty imagining a scenario in which U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe’s Muslims.”  Were that ever to occur, however, the US would most likely be rescuing Muslims from the hands of other Muslims, intent on imposing their unforgiving brand of Islamic Shari’a law. A report issued last month claims that Islamic Sharia law is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain. In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, writes, “Sharia courts now operate in larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions.”


Far from being irrational, the “pop prophets” that Peters criticizes are using reasoned observation when they warn of the coming of Eurabia. In her book The Force of Reason, the late Oriana Fallaci, perhaps the bravest of the “prophets” Peters scorns, described Albaicín in the following way:

[The Brothers in Prophet Mohammed] moved to Granada where they settled in the historical quarter of Albaicin, and this is the point. Because despite the naïve anti-clericalism spit up during the Holy Week Procession, those Brothers in Prophet Mohammed were not naïve at all. In Granada they created a situation similar to the one which at the time was engulfing Beirut and which now is engulfing so many cities of France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, etcetera. Ergo, today the quarter of Albaicin is in every sense a State within a State. An Islamic feud, an apostatic domain, which lives with its own laws. Its own institutions, its own hospital, its own cemeteries. Its own abattoir, its own newspaper: La Hora del Islam. Its own publishers, its own libraries, its own schools. Schools that exclusively teach how to memorize the Koran. And its own shops, of course. Its own markets, its own banks. Even its own currency, given that in Albaicin all is bought and sold with the gold and silver coins struck on the model of the dirham in use at the time of Boabdil Lord of old Granada. (Money coined in Calle San Gregorio that for the usual reasons of «public order» the Spanish Ministry of Finance pretends to know nothing about).

Fallaci understood something that Peters seems unwilling to contemplate. "Eurabia" is not merely a possibility for the future. In some ways, indeed, it may already have arrived.

11687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: December 01, 2006, 01:44:30 AM
**I wish someone would explain to them that "jihad" is an internal struggle against sin.**

Disembowelled and murdered for teaching girls
Thursday November 30, 2006
By Kim Sengupta

GHAZNI - The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely.
But his life was over.
He was partly disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes. The remains were put on display as a warning to others against defying Taleban orders to stop educating girls.
Halim is one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taleban and United States and Afghan forces.
The day we arrived an Afghan policeman and eight insurgents died during an ambush in an outlying village. Rockets were found, primed to be fired into Ghazni city during a visit by the American ambassador a few days previously. But, as in the rest of Afghanistan, it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of this murderous conflict.
At the village of Qara Bagh, Halim's family is distraught and terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head. "They killed him like an animal. No, no. We do not kill animals like that. They took away a father and a husband, they had no pity. We are all very worried. Please go now, you see those men standing over there? They are watching. It is dangerous for you, and for us."
Fatima Mustaq, the director of education at Ghazni, has had repeated death threats, the notorious 'night letters'. Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from school, has made her a hate figure for Islamist zealots. "I think they killed him that way to frighten us, otherwise why make a man suffer so much? Mohammed Halim and his family were good friends of ours and we are very, very upset by what has happened. He came to me when the threats first began and asked what he should do. I told him to move somewhere safe. I think he was trying to arrange that when they came and took him."
The threats against Mushtaq also extend to her husband Sayyid Abdul and their eight children. "When the first letters arrived, I tried to hide them from my husband. But then he found the next few. He said we must stand together. We talked, and we decided that we must tell the children, so that they can be prepared. But it is not a good way for them to grow up."
During the Taleban's rule she and her sister ran secret schools for girls at their home. "They found out and raided us. We managed to persuade them that we were only teaching the Koran. But they spied and found out we were teaching algebra. So they came and beat us. Can you imagine, beating someone for teaching algebra."
11688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: December 01, 2006, 01:01:56 AM
**This covers a bit of it.**

December 6, 2002, 9:55 a.m.
A Wahhabism Problem
Misleading historical negationism.

By Andrew G. Bostom

n his recent writings on NRO (here and here) and elsewhere, and in his new book, The Two Faces of Islam, Stephen Schwartz appropriately draws the attention of policymakers and the public at large to the dangerous, unsavory interactions between the Saudi royal family, Wahhabi Islam, and international terrorism. Unfortunately, however, Mr. Schwartz identifies Wahhabism as the source of all Islamic terror and injustice. He does not mention that the twin institutionalized scourges of Islam at the crux of the violent, nearly 1,400-year relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims — i.e., jihad and dhimmitude — were already well-elaborated by the 8th century, 1,000 years before Wahhabism arose in the 18th century.

Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), perhaps the preeminent Islamic scholar in history, summarized five centuries of prior Muslim jurisprudence with regard to the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad:

In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.

In "The Laws of Islamic Governance," al-Mawardi (d. 1058), a renowned jurist of Baghdad, examined the regulations pertaining to the lands and infidel (i.e., non-Muslim) populations subjugated by jihad. This is the origin of the system of dhimmitude. The native infidel population had to recognize Islamic ownership of their land, submit to Islamic law, and accept payment of the poll tax (jizya). Some of the more salient features of dhimmitude include: the prohibition of arms for the vanquished non-Muslims (dhimmis), and of church bells; restrictions concerning the building and restoration of churches and synagogues; inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to taxes and penal law; the refusal of dhimmi testimony by Muslim courts; a requirement that Jews and Christians wear special clothes; and their overall humiliation and abasement. Furthermore, dhimmis, including those living under "enlightened" Turkish and Bosnian Muslim domain, suffered, at periods, from slavery (i.e., harem slavery for women, and the devshirme child levy for Balkan Christian males), abductions, deportations, and massacres. During the modern era, between 1894-96, the Ottoman Turks massacred over 200,000 (dhimmi) Christian Armenians, followed by the first formal genocide of the 20th century, in 1915, at which time they slaughtered an additional 600,000 to 800,000 Armenians. Contemporary accounts from European diplomats confirm that these brutal massacres were perpetrated in the context of a formal jihad against the Armenians who had attempted to throw off the yoke of dhimmitude by seeking equal rights and autonomy. For example, the Chief Dragoman (Turkish-speaking interpreter) of the British embassy reported regarding the 1894-96 massacres:

…[The perpetrators] are guided in their general action by the prescriptions of the Sheri [Sharia] Law. That law prescribes that if the "rayah" [dhimmi] Christian attempts, by having recourse to foreign powers, to overstep the limits of privileges allowed them by their Mussulman [Muslim] masters, and free themselves from their bondage, their lives and property are to be forfeited, and are at the mercy of the Mussulmans. To the Turkish mind the Armenians had tried to overstep those limits by appealing to foreign powers, especially England. They therefore considered it their religious duty and a righteous thing to destroy and seize the lives and properties of the Armenians…"

The scholar Bat Yeor confirms this reasoning, noting that the Armenian quest for reforms invalidated their "legal status," which involved a "contract" (i.e., with their Muslim Turkish rulers). This

…breach…restored to the umma [the Muslim community] its initial right to kill the subjugated minority [the dhimmis], [and] seize their property…

Schwartz extols the ecumenism and tolerance of Sufi Islam. Sufism was derivative from Hinduism, in addition to strains of mysticism borrowed from Judaism and Christianity. However, Sufi Islam as practiced in the Indian subcontinent was quite intolerant of Hinduism, as documented by the Indian scholar K. S. Lal (The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India [1992], p. 237):

The Muslim Mushaikh [Sufi spiritual leaders] were as keen on conversions as the Ulama, and contrary to general belief, in place of being kind to the Hindus as saints would, they too wished the Hindus to be accorded a second class citizenship if they were not converted. Only one instance, that of Shaikh Abdul Quddus Gangoh, need be cited because he belonged to the Chishtia Silsila considered to be the most tolerant of all Sufi groups. He wrote letters to the Sultan Sikandar Lodi, Babur, and Humayun to re-invigorate the Shariat [Sharia] and reduce the Hindus to payers of land tax and jizya. To Babur he wrote, "Extend utmost patronage and protection to theologians and mystics... that they should be maintained and subsidized by the state... No non-Muslim should be given any office or employment in the Diwan of Islam... Furthermore, in conformity with the principles of the Shariat they should be subjected to all types of indignities and humiliations. They should be made to pay the jizya...They should be disallowed from donning the dress of the Muslims and should be forced to keep their Kufr [infidelity] concealed and not to perform the ceremonies of their Kufr openly and freely… They should not be allowed to consider themselves the equal to the Muslims."

Sadly, both Schwartz's recent NRO contributions and his book reflect two persistent currents widespread among the Muslim intelligentsia: historical negationism and silent hypocrisy. To these two trends, Schwartz adds a third: misleading reductionism. If we would only neutralize "Wahhabism," he claims — presumably by some combination of military means, promoting the "true Islam," and perhaps having the world switch to a hydrogen-based fuel economy — all Islamic terror and injustice will disappear. But the reality is that, for nearly 1,400 years, across three continents, from Portugal to India, non-Muslims have experienced the horrors of the institutionalized jihad war ideology and its ugly corollary institution, dhimmitude. Post hoc, internal disputes among Muslim scholars, including Sufi scholars, about the theological "correctness" of "lesser" versus "greater" jihad are meaningless to the millions of non-Muslim victims of countless jihad wars: Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists. What is important is that after well over a millennium, Muslims finally acknowledge the suffering of these millions of victims of jihad wars, as well as the oppressive governance imposed on non-Muslims by the laws of dhimmitude. Thus far this brutal history has been completely denied, and even celebrated, as "enlightened" conquest and rule.

Moreover, it is critical to understand that there were never organized, mass progressive efforts within Islam comparable to the philo-Semitic movement by European Christendom that lead to the emancipation of European Jewry, or the European Judeo-Christian movement that led to the abolition of slavery. Indeed, it took European military (primarily naval) power to force Islamic governments, including the Ottoman Empire, to end slavery at the end of the 19th century. Beginning in the mid-19th century, treaties imposed by the European powers on the weakened Ottoman Empire also included provisions for the so-called Tanzimat reforms. These reforms were designed to end the discriminatory laws of dhimmitude for Christians and Jews living under Muslim Ottoman governance. European consuls endeavored to maintain compliance with at least two cardinal principles: respect for the life and property of non-Muslims, and the right for Christians and Jews to provide evidence in Islamic courts when a Muslim was a party. Unfortunately, the effort to end the belief in Muslim superiority over "infidels," and to establish equal rights, failed. Indeed, throughout the Ottoman Empire, particularly within the Balkans, emancipation of the dhimmi peoples provoked violent, bloody responses against any "infidels" daring to claim equality with local Muslims. Enforced abrogation of the laws of dhimmitude required the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire. This finally happened only after the Balkan Wars of independence, and in the European Mandate period after World War I.

Today, the Muslim intelligentsia focus almost exclusively on debatable "human-rights violations" in the disputed territories of Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, while ignoring the blatant and indisputable atrocities committed by Muslims against non-Muslims throughout the world. The most egregious examples include: the genocidal slaughter, starvation, and enslavement of south Sudanese Christians and animists by the Islamist Khartoum government forces; the mass murder of Indonesian Christians by Muslim jihadists, with minimal preventive intervention by the official Muslim Indonesian government; the imposition of sharia-sanctioned discrimination and punishments, including mutilation, against non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and northern Nigeria; the brutal murders of Copts during pogroms by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, as well as official Egyptian government-mandated social and political discrimination against the Copts; murderous terrorist attacks and the return of such heinous institutions as bonded labor, and punishment for "blasphemy," directed against Pakistani Christians by Pakistani Muslims.

There is a dire need for some courageous, meaningful movement within Islam that would completely renounce both dhimmitude and jihad against non-Muslims, openly acknowledging the horrific devastation they have wrought for nearly 1,400 years. Nothing short of an Islamic Reformation and Enlightenment may be required, to acknowledge non-Muslims as fully equal human beings, and not "infidels" or "dhimmis." It is absurd and disingenuous for Schwartz to pretend that Islam's problems are centered solely within Wahhabism.

— Andrew Bostom, M.D., an associate professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School, has spent the past 15 months researching the history of jihad and dhimmitude. He has written for NRO previously, coauthor of a piece with dhimmi historian Bat Yeor.


11689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 30, 2006, 11:07:52 AM

Muslims have been fighting over their theological divisions since the death of Muhammad. That doesn't mean they can't unite against the dhimmi and kufar under the banner of jihad. If I recall correctly Khomeni started out as a Sufi, which tends to be the hippy-dippy, new-agey version of islam. Having said that, there have been sufi jihads in history as well.
11690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 29, 2006, 06:19:46 PM

I don't have the faith in the Brits you have. I fear political correctness will be the death of them.
11691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 29, 2006, 10:57:11 AM
**Doing the work Americans won't do....**

45,000 terror-threat illegals released into U.S. population
Half from countries of 'special interest' let go between 2001, 2005, says report

Posted: November 29, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

? 2006

WASHINGTON ? Half of the 91,516 illegal aliens from terror-sponsoring countries and those of "special interest" apprehended at the border between 2001 and 2005 were released into the U.S. population, according to a report by the inspector general's office of the Department of Homeland Security.

The report, "Detention and Removal of Illegal Aliens," released earlier this year with little fanfare or attention, suggests about 85 percent of those aliens ? potentially the most dangerous ? would abscond and likely never be seen by authorities again.

Acknowledging the danger such aliens pose to the national security, the report cites a DHS official testifying that terrorist organizations "believe illegal entry into the U.S. is more advantageous than legal entry for operations reasons."

Budget shortfalls were the explanations for why some 45,008 potential terrorists were released by authorities over a period of nearly five years after Sept. 11, 2001. The budget crunches prompted immigration officials to place strict limits on detention bed space, recruitment, training, travel and expansion of enforcement programs, the report explained.

In addition to the release of these high-risk aliens, 27,947 known criminals were also released between 2001 and 2004 ? including 20, 967 "from countries where the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang members are know to be active."

Given that only one in four aliens attempting to enter the U.S. during this period was caught, that would suggest some 350,000 from high-risk nations entered the country through this five-year period. An additional 400,000 criminal aliens would also have made it into the country between 2001 and 2004, according to the report.

That's a total of 750,000 aliens who would be either known criminals before entering the country illegally or who originated from a terror-sponsoring nation or one in which terrorists are known to operate.

This news hits following WND's report yesterday that 12 Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens. That's 21,900 since Sept. 11, 2001.

But the carnage wrought by illegal alien murderers represents only a fraction of the pool of blood spilled by American citizens as a result of an open border and un-enforced immigration laws.

While King reports 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, he says 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers ? for another annual death toll of 4,745. That's 23,725 since Sept. 11, 2001.

While no one ? in or out of government ? tracks all U.S. accidents caused by illegal aliens, the statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests many of last year's 42,636 road deaths involved illegal aliens.

A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found 20 percent of fatal accidents involve at least one driver who lacks a valid license. In California, another study showed that those who have never held a valid license are about five times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than licensed drivers.

Statistically, that makes them an even greater danger on the road than drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked ? and nearly as dangerous as drunk drivers.

King also reports eight American children are victims of sexual abuse by illegal aliens every day ? a total of 2,920 annually.

Based on a one-year in-depth study, Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute of Atlanta estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each. She analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants.

As the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. increases, so does the number of American victims.

According to Edwin Rubenstien, president of ESR Research Economic Consultants, in Indianapolis in 1980, federal and state correctional facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens. But at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in all U.S. jails and prisons.

While the federal government doesn't track illegal alien murders, illegal alien rapes or illegal alien drunk driving deaths, it has studied illegal aliens incarcerated in U.S. prisons.

In April 2005, the Government Accountability Office released a report on a study of 55,322 illegal aliens incarcerated in federal, state, and local facilities during 2003. It found the following:

The 55,322 illegal aliens studied represented a total of 459,614 arrests ? some eight arrests per illegal alien;
Their arrests represented a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses ? some 13 offenses per illegal alien;
36 percent had been arrested at least five times before.
"While the vast majority of illegal aliens are decent people who work hard and are only trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, (something you or I would probably do if we were in their place), it is also a fact that a disproportionately high percentage of illegal aliens are criminals and sexual predators," states Peter Wagner, author of a new report called "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration." "That is part of the dark side of illegal immigration and when we allow the 'good' in we get the 'bad' along with them. The question is, how much 'bad' is acceptable and at what price?"
11692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 29, 2006, 10:49:17 AM
Well, I have my fingers crossed. Just keep in mind that much of the middle east was once very christian in it's makeup. Now it's the heart of the muslim world.
11693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 29, 2006, 10:32:53 AM
**I'd agree that integration is taking place. The question is, who is integrating who?**;jsessionid=Y3UZA1RZGTHK5QFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/11/29/nsharia29.xml

Sharia law is spreading as authority wanes
By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor
Last Updated: 2:03am GMT 29/11/2006

Islamic sharia law is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain, a report claims.

Sharia, derived from several sources including the Koran, is applied to varying degrees in predominantly Muslim countries but it has no binding status in Britain.

The Koran is one of the sources that Sharia derives from

However, the BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action produced evidence yesterday that it was being used by some Muslims as an alternative to English criminal law. Aydarus Yusuf, 29, a youth worker from Somalia, recalled a stabbing case that was decided by an unofficial Somali "court" sitting in Woolwich, south-east London.

Mr Yusuf said a group of Somali youths were arrested on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager. The victim's family told the police it would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail.

A hearing was convened and elders ordered the assailants to compensate their victim. "All their uncles and their fathers were there," said Mr Yusuf. "So they all put something towards that and apologised for the wrongdoing."

Although Scotland Yard had no information about that case yesterday, a spokesman said it was common for the police not to proceed with assault cases if the victims decided not to press charges.

advertisementHowever, the spokesman said cases of domestic violence, including rape, might go to trial regardless of the victim's wishes.

Mr Yusuf told the programme he felt more bound by the traditional law of his birth than by the laws of his adopted country. "Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law," he said. "It's not sharia, it's not religious ? it's just a cultural thing."

Sharia's great strength was the effectiveness of its penalties, he said. Those who appeared before religious courts would avoid re-offending so as not to bring shame on their families.

Some lawyers welcomed the advance of what has become known as "legal pluralism".

Dr Prakash Shah, a senior lecturer in law at Queen Mary University of London, said such tribunals "could be more effective than the formal legal system".

In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, says there is an "alternative parallel unofficial legal system" that operates in the Muslim community on a voluntary basis.

"Sharia courts now operate in most larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions," he says. These are based on sharia councils, set up in Britain to help Muslims solve family and personal problems.

Sharia councils may grant divorces under religious law to a woman whose husband refuses to complete a civil divorce by declaring his marriage over. There is evidence that these councils are evolving into courts of arbitration.

Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and principal of Hijaz College Islamic University, near Nuneaton, Warwicks, said this type of court had advantages for Muslims. "It operates on a low budget, it operates on very small timescales and the process and the laws of evidence are far more lenient and it's less awesome an environment than the English courts," he said.

Mr Siddiqi predicted that there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade.

"I was speaking to a police officer who said we no longer have the bobby on the beat who will give somebody a slap on the wrist.

"So I think there is a case to be made under which the elders sit together and reprimand people, trying to get them to change."

11694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: November 28, 2006, 03:18:04 PM
**He's a good analyst. I like what he has written of the topic of the global jihad.**

Jew, turned Muslim, offers knowledge of Al Qaeda
By Marc Perelman
International Herald Tribune

 Many college students go through a spiritual crisis but rarely does it turn out as it did for Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a Jew who converted to Islam and went to work in a small town in Oregon for a charity that has since been linked to Al Qaeda.

Gartenstein-Ross, 30, has now changed tacks again, converting to Christianity and using his background as a former Islamist insider to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation crack down on Islamist terror networks in the United States.

A rising star in the counterterrorism community, he testified before Congress in September about the dangers of radical Islamist indoctrination in U.S. prisons and the recruitment of potential terrorists among inmates. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut praised him as a key player in the government's efforts against the U.S. arm of the Haramain Islamic Foundation, a large Saudi charity, that was shut down in 2004 by the U.S. authorities after the U.S. Treasury Department designated it a terrorist-supporting entity with ties to Al Qaeda.

Gartenstein-Ross describes his unusual journey in "My Year Inside Radical Islam," a memoir of the nine months he spent with Al Haramain to be published in February.

While a growing number of former terrorist operatives and counterterrorism officials are publishing insider accounts of their shadowy battles, Ross offers a troubling testimony on the lure of radical Islam for Westerners. This is not merely an academic proposition, since Western converts like him pose a major challenge to law-enforcement officials in their fight radical Islamist networks.

"I thought it was significant to tell people how a reasonably intelligent Westerner would work for a radical Islamic charity," Gartenstein-Ross said in an interview, "and end up not being disgusted by it but actually feeling, 'Wow! There is something to these guys' ideas.'"

He said he had initially embraced a moderate version of Islam before being drawn to his job with radical Islamists in Ashland, Oregon, his hometown, seduced by the appeal of belonging to a close-knit community and the "ready answers" provided by his superiors.

Adopting Wahhabism, the Saudi rigorist interpretation of Islam, he stopped shaking hands with women, listening to music, wearing shorts, and playing computer games. He grew a full beard, endorsed the gay-bashing and conspiracy theories of his mentors, and found himself praying for the victory of mujahedeen, or Muslim holy warriors, around the world.

From that point, Gartenstein-Ross might well have followed the path taken by two other West Coast teenagers drawn to radical Islam: Adam Yahiye Gadahn, 28, who last month became the first American to be charged with treason in more than half a century for his role as a propagandist for Al Qaeda, and John Walker Lindh, now 25, who was sentenced in 2002 to 20 years in jail for fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"We all grew up in homes where answers were not given to us, and we were looking for a sense of direction that we initially found within Islam," said Gartenstein-Ross.

Raised by "New Age Jewish" parents in Ashland, a small southern Oregon town infused with hippie culture and boasting a well-regarded Shakespeare theater festival, Gartenstein-Ross went to college at Wake Forest University, a conservative campus in North Carolina. He felt out of a place there until he bonded with a Kenyan-born Muslim leftist activist who inspired him with his moderate religious beliefs. He converted to Islam in 1997 during a semester abroad in Venice after meeting local Muslims whose free-flowing manner appealed to him.

The following year, just before graduating in communications, he was on a family visit home when he was recruited by a Muslim activist named Pete Seda to work for a local Islamic not-for- profit organization that had just received significant funding from Al Haramain and went on to become its American head office.

Gartenstein-Ross started work for the office in December 1998, running day-to-day operations and overseeing special projects. In one, a prison outreach program, Al Haramain handed out Wahhabist-annotated Korans to prisoners and maintained a database with the names and whereabouts of inmates who received the foundation's material.

He was a true believer when he left Al Haramain amicably in the summer of 1999 to pursue a law degree at New York University. The change of setting and the lifting of the peer pressure helped him realize he had gone astray, he said. Resuming a relationship with a Christian girlfriend, who became his wife, helped prompt him to convert to Protestantism. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, then hastened his estrangement from leftist ideals.

After graduation in 2002, he clerked for Judge Harry Edwards at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and worked briefly as a lawyer before deciding to work as a counterterrorism consultant.

He is now advising police departments and writing academic papers about Islamist terrorism. He has also become a regular commentator on Islamic and security affairs in conservative U.S. media, notably the Weekly Standard.

When Gartenstein-Ross testified before the Senate committee on homeland security and governmental affairs on Sept. 19, Lieberman told the panel that Al Haramain had been closed "in large part due to Mr. Gartenstein-Ross's cooperation with the FBI."

However, a law-enforcement source familiar with the case countered that he had been merely a "piece" of the puzzle and "definitely not some kind of star witness."

Gartenstein-Ross declined to characterize his role but said that he had cooperated with law-enforcement officials in 2002, and then again after the charity was raided and its assets frozen in February 2004.

Al Haramain, which denies the allegations, was designated by Treasury as a terrorism-supporting organization in September 2004. Two of its officials - Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty, and Soliman Hamd al-Buthe of Saudi Arabia - were indicted in February 2005 for illegally funneling $150,000 to Islamic combatants in Chechnya. Both men are abroad and are challenging the charges in court.

Gartenstein-Ross insists that his latest conversion - religious and political - did not turn him into an enemy of Islam. One of his projects, he says, is to write a book about moderate Islam, the kind he initially embraced.
11695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 28, 2006, 02:57:07 PM

Monday November 27, 2006
What is Russia's Real Game (Again-With Viktor Bout)

What is Russia?s real role in the efforts to combat terrorism? While the Bush administration seems to cling to the notion that Russia is an ally, there are several developments that point in the opposite direction.

The first, of course, is the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, where the foul play of the Russian security apparatus, closely tied to Mr. Putin, is the prime suspect. The fact that the murder was committed in London and dismissed out of hand as unimportant by Mr. Putin show both a new boldness and the lack of any pretense of accountability by the Russians.

There is also the arming of Iran and help with the Iranian nuclear program, and the close intelligence ties to Hezbollah.

But there is another, barely noticed development in the United States that should be extremely worrisome. A small sporting goods store in rural Pennsylvania was just busted for selling telescopic rifle scopes, binoculars and optics, which need State Department export authorization, to a Russian company that did not have such a license.

As the my colleauge and co-author Stephen Braun write in the Los Angeles Times, the affidavit for carrying out the search states that the Russian company is ?Tactica Ltd., a Moscow firm that was described by investigators as ?a member of the ?Vympel Group,? which is a known identifier for an elite counter-terrorism unit that is controlled by the Russian Federal Security Service [formerly the KGB].??

So, we have Russian intelligence agents illegally buying restricted items in the United States. But it gets better.

A good chunk of the money for the purchases, according to federal officials, came from (hold on Bout fans) Rockman Ltd, a Bulgarian firm owned by Sergei Bout, who has often run Bout companies involved in weapons transactions. As one U.S official told the Times, ?Sergei and Viktor?s companies are all under the same umbrella.?

The rest of the money came from Haji Ibrahim, a Pakistani man wanted on federal charges of heroin trafficking. Nice bunch!

But the United States, despite the publicly-available affidavit, has said nothing about the case. It was unsealed just as Bush was preparing for his sit-down with Putin on his way to Southeast Asia.

Another factor: The Russian weapons used by Hezbollah in the July fighting with Israel were new and routed through Syria. Intelligence sources say Bout was spotted in Beirut during the fighting, shortly before the sophisticated armor-piercing Fagot and Kornet anti-tank missiles were discovered. Interesting coincidence. When the Israelis presented the Russians with overwhelming evidence of the armament, it was publicly dismissed, but a senior official in the Russian arms export enterprise was reportedly dismissed to placate the outside world.

Finally, there are Bout?s actions in the Horn of Africa where, again with official Russian support, his aircraft have been spotted delivering weapons to the Islamic Court militias in Somalia and arming the Islamist allies in Eritrea.

If Putin in our ally we sure don?t need any enemies.
11696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 28, 2006, 07:29:09 AM

The Veil Controversy
Islamism and liberalism face off.
by Olivier Guitta
12/04/2006, Volume 012, Issue 12

IN 1989, the first hijab incident in Europe took place in Creil, a suburb of Paris, when three high school girls tried to go to class wearing the Islamic headscarf. The students were expelled. Fifteen years later, with the hijab spreading fast among Muslims in France, the government formally banned the wearing of religious symbols in public schools. At the time, most European countries criticized French "intolerance" and deemed the issue a uniquely Gallic problem. But it wasn't. Today most European countries--and a number of Muslim countries--are debating what to do about this increasingly problematic sign of Islamization.

The British were among the most vocal critics of the French ban--back when they were still quite pleased with their own multicultural model. But on October 5, ex-foreign minister Jack Straw revealed that he regularly asked women who came to see him wearing face veils to take them off. Straw pointed out that veils are bad for community relations, and Prime Minister Blair added that the veil is a "mark of separation." This debate coincided with the decision of a British principal to fire an assistant teacher who refused to remove her full-face veil, or niqab, while teaching. Joining the fray was author Salman Rushdie, whose elegant contribution was the statement, "Veils suck." Tensions are rising, fueled by accusations of Islamophobia from some Muslim officials. There is fear that race riots could break out in some British suburbs.

Then there is Germany, where four states have barred public school teachers from wearing the hijab. Some brave female politicians born in Turkey spoke out on the issue in an October 15 interview with Bild am Sonntag. One of them, Ekin Deligoz, a Green party member of parliament, advised fellow Muslim women: "You live here, so take off the headscarf." She added that the headscarf is a symbol of female oppression. Because of her comments, Deligoz has received death threats and is now under police protection.

Finally, in Italy, where the niqab is banned, the controversy has reached new heights since the broadcast of a heated exchange on a television talk show. Right-wing member of parliament Daniela Santanche clashed with the imam of a mosque near Milan, Ali Abu Shwaima. Said Santanche: "The veil isn't a religious symbol and it isn't prescribed by the Koran." Retorted Shwaima: "The veil is an obligation required by God. Those who do not believe that are not Muslims. You're ignorant, you're false. You sow hatred, you're an infidel."

Coming from an imam, this rant carried almost the weight of a fatwa, or religious edict, in certain quarters, where it could be seen as a death sentence. Santanche has been given 24-hour police protection. She says she is speaking out because Muslim women forced to wear the veil have asked her to. She told the Sunday Times, "It's time to turn our backs on the politically correct. It's a question not of religion but of human rights."

And not only in Europe. Muslim countries are not immune to the controversy over the veil. In Egypt--where some 80 percent of women are now veiled, according to sociologist Mona Abaza--the dean of Helwan University has recently expelled female students for wearing the niqab. Interestingly, Soad Saleh, a former dean of the female faculty and Islamic law professor at the most prestigious Islamic university in the world, Cairo's Al-Azhar, confirmed that the niqab is not an obligation. Gamal al-Banna, brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, goes further: "Neither the Koran, nor the hadith require women to wear a headscarf."

But the country whose government is currently going after the hijab most vigorously is Tunisia. The wearing of the hijab has been spreading rapidly in Tunisian towns, prompting President Ben Ali recently to reactivate a 1981 decree banning the wearing of the hijab in government offices, schools, universities, and public places in general. His government views the hijab as one more sign of the unwelcome but growing influence of Islamists in Tunisian society. This past Ramadan, in a reversal of the standard pattern for Muslim religious police, Tunisian police were seen tearing headscarves off women in the streets.

The authorities consider the hijab unacceptable in a country that enshrined women's rights as long ago as 1956, with the banning of repudiation (male-initiated casual divorce), polygamy, forced marriage, and the granting of women's rights to vote and sue for divorce. Ben Ali sees women "as a solid defense against the regressive forces of fanaticism and extremism."

Interestingly, the Tunisian author and feminist Samia Labidi, president of A.I.M.E., an organization fighting the Islamists, recounts that she personally started wearing the veil before puberty, after Islamists told her the hijab would be a passport to a new life, to emancipation. After a few years, she realized she had been fooled and that the veil made her feel like she was "living in a prison." At first, she could not bring herself to stop wearing it because of the constant psychological pressure. But the 1981 ban on the hijab in public places forced her to remove it, and she did so for good.

Labidi's experience suggests that in both Tunisia and France the recent banning of the hijab has actually helped Muslim women who are subject to Islamist indoctrination.

For Islamists, the imperative to veil women justifies almost any means. Sometimes they try to buy off resistance. Some French Muslim families, for instance, are paid 500 euros (around $600) per quarter by extremist Muslim organizations just to have their daughters wear the hijab. This has also happened in the United States. Indeed, the famous and brave Syrian-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan recently told the Jerusalem Post that after she moved to the United States in 1991, Saudis offered her $1,500 a month to cover her head and attend a mosque.

But what Islamists use most is intimidation. A survey conducted in France in May 2003 found that 77 percent of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups. A series in the newspaper Lib?ration in 2003 documented how Muslim women and girls in France who refuse to wear the hijab are insulted, rejected, and often physically threatened by Muslim males. One of the teenage girls interviewed said, "Every day, bearded men come to me and advise me strongly on wearing the veil. It is a war. For now, there are no dead, but there are looks and words that do kill."

Muslim women who try to rebel are considered "whores" and treated as outcasts. Some of them want to move to areas "with no Muslims" to escape. However, that might not be a solution, as Islamists are at work all over France. The Communist newspaper L'Humanit? in 2003 interviewed two Catholic-born French women who said they had converted to Islam and started wearing the niqab after systematic indoctrination by the Muslim Brotherhood.

In light of this, wearing the hijab may or may not be a manifestation of the free exercise of religion. For any individual, it may reflect the very opposite--religious coercion. In fact, millions of women are forced to wear the veil for fear of physical retribution. And the fear is well founded. According to Cheryl Benard of RAND, every year hundreds of women in Pakistan and Afghanistan alone are killed, have acid thrown in their faces, or are otherwise maimed by male fanatics.

Given the Islamists' ferocious determination on this point, it is worth asking: Why exactly is covering the female so important to them? The obvious answer is that it is a means of social control. Not coincidentally, it is one of the only issues on which Sunni and Shia extremists agree. It's not by chance that use of the hijab really took off after Iran's Islamic regime came to power in 1979. Some Shiite militias in Iraq have actually started forcing women--Muslim or not--to wear the veil or face the consequences.

If this issue were not vital for Islamists, how can one explain their reaction when France banned the hijab in public schools? Al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri, "strongly condemned" President Chirac's decision and threatened actions against France. Likewise, Sheikh Fadlallah, founder and spiritual leader of Hezbollah, wrote to Chirac threatening "likely complications" for France. Mohammad Khatami, former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, called on the French government to "cancel this unjust law."

Commenting recently on the veil and the Islamists' strategy, Professor Iqbal Al-Gharbi, from the famous Islamic Zaytouna University in Tunis, explained: "The veil is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the veil, there is the regressive interpretation of the sharia [Koranic law]. There are the three essential inequalities which define this interpretation: inequality between man and woman, between Muslim and non-Muslim, between free man and slave."

"Islam is the solution" is the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood. Instead, the real solution to the veil problem in Europe and in modern countries elsewhere is the defeat of radical Islam, making possible the peaceful integration of normal Muslims into Western societies on Western terms.

Olivier Guitta is a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant in Washington.
11697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 28, 2006, 06:20:08 AM

November 27, 2006
Europe's Ineradicable Viciousness?
Steven M. Warshawsky

Yesterday in the New York Post, Ralph Peters wrote a strongly-worded piece  challenging the "pop prophets" who argue that, as a result of demographic and cultural forces, Europe is rapidly turning into a Muslim-dominated continent -- what Bat Ye'or has termed "Eurabia."  Presumably Peters is thinking of fellow commentator Mark Steyn, whose best-selling book, America Alone,  is based on this exact thesis.  (For my review of America Alone, see here).

Peters argues that reports of Europe's demise are greatly exaggerated, and that once Europeans "feel sufficiently threatened" by the increasing numbers of Muslims in their midst, they will "over-react with stunning ferocity."  According to Peters, there is an "ineradicable viciousness" at the core of European civilization, and he strongly suggests that a genocide of Europe's Muslim population is a likely eventuality.  To support his analysis, Peters points to Europe's historical mistreatment of Jews, the massacres committed by the Crusaders in 1099, the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492, and the growing popularity of Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front party in France.  Peters' argument is not remotely persuasive.

To begin with, societies obviously change over time.  For example, the United States no longer permits slavery or segregation.  No serious person would argue, based on these historical practices, that black Americans are in danger of experiencing similar treatment in the future.  Similarly, while European countries certainly have had a "vicious" past (even the Scandinavians have their Viking ancestors), Peters offers absolutely no reason to believe that either the governments or a majority of the people living in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, et al., retain such intolerant and warlike impulses.  On the contrary, as Steyn and others have extensively documented, the available evidence points in the opposite direction.  (See, e.g., the Madrid bombings that caused the Spanish electorate to vote out the conservative government that had supported the war on terror.)   

Significantly, Peters does not question the demographic trends that underlay the Eurabia thesis.  Steyn reports that Western women in Europe have an average of 1.4 children (well below the "replacement level" of 2.1 children per woman), whereas Muslim women have an average of 3.5 children.  This means that the Western population in Europe will shrink with each new generation, while the Muslim population explodes.  Already in France, for example, it is estimated that the numbers of Western and Muslim youths are roughly the same.  This means that the numbers of potential "warriors" available to each demographic group are at parity.  Hardly the situation that confronted European Jews before World War Two.

There are other problems with Peters' article, and I am sure it will spark many more rebuttals.  But his main argument that Europeans are "world-champion haters" who are poised to slaughter their Muslim neighbors is devoid of evidence, and ignores the very real problems posed by an increasingly Muslim Europe.

Steven M. Warshawsky   
11698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 28, 2006, 01:39:33 AM
**Links/article from the above article.**

Radioactive substance found in London
Two new sites probed; 3 people sent to clinic, but health risk said to be low
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:27 p.m. MT Nov 27, 2006

LONDON - Traces of radiation linked to the poisoning death of a former KGB agent turned up Monday at two more sites in London, and three people who showed symptoms of contamination were being tested for the deadly toxin. The government has ordered a formal inquest into the death.

Britain?s Home Secretary John Reid appealed for calm, saying the tests on the three people were only a precaution. High doses of polonium-210 ? a rare radioactive element usually manufactured in specialized nuclear facilities ? were found in the body of Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-spy turned Kremlin critic who died Thursday at a London hospital.

?The nature of this radiation is such that it does not travel over long distances, a few centimeters at most, and therefore there is no need for public alarm,? Reid said in a special address to the House of Commons.

Litvinenko, 43, died of heart failure Thursday after falling ill from what doctors said was polonium-210 poisoning. The substance is deadly if ingested or inhaled.

Six sites showed traces of radiation linked to the poisoning, including a bar in London?s Millennium Hotel, a branch of Itsu Sushi near Piccadilly Circus, Litvinenko?s house in North London and a section of the hospital where he was treated when he fell ill on Nov. 1. Two other sites ? an office block in London?s west end and an address in the posh neighborhood of Mayfair ? also showed traces of radiation, according to residents.

All the locations except Litvinenko?s home are in west London, separated by about a mile.

The sushi restaurant and part of the hospital have been closed for decontamination.

Low public health risk
Of hundreds of people who called a hot line over concerns they may be at risk, three exhibited symptoms that health officials thought should be examined, said Katherine Lewis, a spokeswoman for the Health Protection Agency. She refused to elaborate.

Derek Hill, an expert in radiological science at the University College London, said the public health risk was low.

Although an autopsy has not started yet because of concerns over radioactivity, an inquest into his death could begin as early as Thursday, according to Matt Cornish, a spokesman for Camden Council. The local government body oversees the North London Coroner?s Court. The opening is a legal formality, and such inquests are almost always adjourned immediately, sometimes for months.

Coroner?s inquests in Britain are meant to determine the cause of death but they sometimes cast blame.

British officials have avoided blaming Moscow for the Litvinenko?s death but emergency talks continued Monday and the issue threatened to overshadow negotiations over energy and Russia?s cooperation on Iran?s nuclear ambitions.

In the strongest comments leveled at Moscow since Litvinenko?s death, Cabinet minister Peter Hain on Sunday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of presiding over ?huge attacks on individual liberty and on democracy? and said that relations between London and Moscow were at a difficult stage.

Earlier 'murky murder'
Hain said Putin?s tenure had been clouded by incidents ?including an extremely murky murder of the senior Russian journalist? Anna Politkovskaya. Litvinenko had been investigating her murder.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement.

Reid, responding to opposition demands for an explanation of how the deadly polonium-210 came to be in Britain, said the radioactive element is strictly regulated and is used by about 130 sites in Britain. He did not elaborate.

?There has been no recent report of the loss or theft of a polonium-210 source in England or Wales,? Reid said.

Litvinenko told police he believed he was poisoned Nov. 1 while investigating the October slaying of Politkovskaya, another critic of Putin?s government. The ex-spy was moved to intensive care last week after his hair fell out, his throat became swollen and his immune and nervous systems suffered severe damage.

London?s Metropolitan Police said they were investigating it as a ?suspicious death? rather than murder. They have not ruled out the possibility that Litvinenko may have poisoned himself.

? 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Comment inserted by CD:  Note that GM has several posts this morning on this thread, beginning with Reply #2, not just this one.

11699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 28, 2006, 01:36:13 AM

Today's Reading Assignment

From A.J. Strata, on the seamy side of the Litvinenko file--the stuff you won't find in the MSM. Thanks to A.J.'s digging, we know that Mr. Litvinenko, the ex-KGB officer who was assassinated in London last week, had extensive ties to Chechen terrorists and a corrupt Russian oligarch with his own Chechen connection. In Vladimir Putin's world view, that was apparently sufficient reason to kill Litvinenko, with a lethal dose of polonium-210. Readers will note that the latest MSNBC article notes the presence of the oligarch and Chechen leaders in Britain (as reason for "strained relations between London and Moscow). But the MSNBC account fails to connect them to Mr. Litvinenko, who (in death) is becoming the poster boy for human rights and individual liberties.

Litvinenko's death is another reminder that things are rarely black-and-white in the spook world. Getting chummy with a corrupt oligarch and his Chechen friends made Litvinenko a threat to the Russians, his former KGB colleagues (now running the show in Moscow) certainly know how to deal with that sort of problem. Looks like the boys from Active Means Branch (Department T of the KGB's old First Chief Directorate) are still in business.

11700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 28, 2006, 01:15:11 AM
**Mark Steyn responds.**

November 26, 2006
They Report, You Decide (with update from Mark Steyn)

Most of our readers are aware of Mark Steyn's "Demography is Destiny" theme, which he has elaborated in much of his recent writing. Steyn thinks that low birth rates among Europeans, in particular, will inevitably lead to their replacement on the European continent by Muslims who are reproducing at a far faster rate. Steyn pursues the theme in today's article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Quartet of Ladies Shows Where We're Headed. He contrasts Fatma An-Najar, the 64-year-old Palestinian grandmother who became a suicide bomber, with Katharine Jefferts Schori, the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church:

An-Najar gave birth to her first child at the age of 12. She had eight others. She had 41 grandchildren. Keep that family tree in mind. By contrast, in Spain, a 64-year old woman will have maybe one grandchild. That's four grandparents, one grandchild: a family tree with no branches.
Meanwhile, what of the Episcopalians?

Bishop Kate gave an interview to the New York Times revealing what passes for orthodoxy in this most flexible of faiths. She was asked a simple enough question: "How many members of the Episcopal Church are there?"
"About 2.2 million," replied the presiding bishop. "It used to be larger percentage-wise, but Episcopalians tend to be better educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than other denominations."

This was a bit of a jaw-dropper even for a New York Times hackette, so, with vague memories of God saying something about going forth and multiplying floating around the back of her head, a bewildered Deborah Solomon said: "Episcopalians aren't interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?"

"No," agreed Bishop Kate. "It's probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion."

Is that a death wish, or what? As Steyn points out, "Here's the question for Bishop Kate: If Fatma An-Najar has 41 grandchildren and a responsible 'better educated' Episcopalian has one or two, into whose hands are we delivering 'the stewardship of the earth'? If your crowd isn't around in any numbers, how much influence can they have in shaping the future?"

Steyn's logic is persuasive to me, but Ralph Peters isn't buying it. He thinks that, far from taking over Europe, that continent's Muslims "will be lucky just to be deported:"

Have the Europeans become too soft for that sort of thing? Has narcotic socialism destroyed their ability to hate? Is their atheism a prelude to total surrender to faith-intoxicated Muslim jihadis?
The answer to all of the above questions is a booming "No!" The Europeans have enjoyed a comfy ride for the last 60 years - but the very fact that they don't want it to stop increases their rage and sense of being besieged by Muslim minorities they've long refused to assimilate (and which no longer want to assimilate).

Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe's Muslims are living on borrowed time. When a third of French voters have demonstrated their willingness to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front - a party that makes the Ku Klux Klan seem like Human Rights Watch - all predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal.

I have no difficulty imagining a scenario in which U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe's Muslims. After all, we were the only ones to do anything about the slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans.

It's true that the Europeans have historically been willing to act much more harshly that Americans when they have felt threatened. But I wouldn't start sending the Marines to Brest just yet.

To comment on this post, go here.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn comments:

I don?t know whether Mr Peters is referring to my book, because, as usual when this particular columnist comes out swinging, he prefers to confront unnamed generalized opponents: thus, he refers to ?a rash of pop pundits? predicting Europe will become Eurabia. Dismissing with airy condescension ?a rash? of anonymities means you avoid having to deal with specific arguments.

Had he read America Alone, for example, he would know that I do, indeed, foresee a revival of Fascism in Europe. He concludes: ?All predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal.? Which of us predicted anything about ?going gently?? As I write on page 105 of my book: ?It?s true that there are many European populations reluctant to go happily into the long Eurabian night.? What I point out, though, is that, even if you?re hot for a new Holocaust, demography tells. There are no Hitlers to hand. When Mr Peters cites the success of Jean Marie Le Pen?s National Front, he overlooks not only Le Pen?s recent overtures to Muslims but also the fact that M Le Pen is pushing 80. As a general rule, when 600 octogenarians are up against 200 teenagers, bet on the teens. In five or ten years? time, who precisely is going to organize mass deportations from French cities in which the native/Muslim youth-population ratio is already ? right now - 55/45?

As I?ve said innumerable times, the native European population is split three ways: some will leave, as the Dutch (and certain French) are already doing; some will shrug and go along with the Islamization of the continent, as the ever-accelerating number of conversions suggests; and so the ones left to embrace Fascism will be a minority of an aging population. It will be bloody and messy, as I write in America Alone, but it will not alter the final outcome. If you don?t breed, you can?t influence the future. And furthermore a disinclination to breed is a good sign you don?t care much about the future. That?s why the Spaniards, who fought a brutal bloody civil war for their country in the 1930s, folded instantly after those Madrid bombings. When you?ve demographically checked out of the future, why fight for it?

Ralph Peters is late to this debate. If he?s going to join the discussion, he might do better to tackle the facts. But that would require him to acknowledge real specifics rather than ?a rash of pop pundits?. You?ll notice that his column and mine differ not just in their approach to worldviews but in their approach to argument: mine cites four specific persons, their actions and assertions; his boldly batters anonymous generalizations. I know which I regard as more effective.

Thanks to Mark Steyn for this addition to the discussion.
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