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11751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: March 14, 2007, 10:01:50 AM
Threatened by the Jihad   
By Steven Emerson
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 14, 2007

On January 26, 2007, I appeared on Fox News Channel’s Hannity and Colmes program to discuss a January 8, 2007 meeting between the Attorney General of the United States and various Muslim and Arab groups, some of which have a long history of supporting terrorist groups and extremist ideologies.  In response to a question from Alan Colmes about the importance of “good relations” between Attorney General Gonzales and the Muslim community, I stated, “ut when you say the ‘Muslim community’ – [the Attorney General] is anointing them representatives of the Muslim community, when in fact there are many others who support the war on terrorism, who don't tell their members not to cooperate with the FBI, who don't support Hamas and Hezbollah, unlike members of this group. So, in fact, I think it's wrong to confer legitimacy on those very organizations that inhibit cooperation with the FBI, that support Hamas or justify Hezbollah, and who are radical in terms of portraying the war on terrorism as a war against Islam.”
On February 16, 2007, MPAC’s lawyer sent me a letter demanding an apology for my allegedly “[f]alse statements about the Muslim Public Affairs Council on Hannity and Colmes.”  The letter demands that I “immediately issue a public apology and … cease and desist from making false statements about MPAC,” and that “MPAC is willing to pursue all available legal remedies” should I not comply with MPAC’s demands. 
 
And what are the allegedly “false statements” MPAC is claiming I made?  That “MPAC told its ‘members not to cooperate with the FBI,’” and that MPAC “are the ones radicalizing their community.”  Now let’s analyze those charges by looking at MPAC’s own words.
 
First, that MPAC has instructed American Muslims not to cooperate with the FBI:
 
MPAC and its lawyers claim this to be untrue.  But at a July 1, 2005 ISNA conference in Dallas, MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati did just that.  Al-Marayati, speaking of the FBI’s terrorism investigation in Lodi and the use of Muslim informants in that case, California, told the assembled crowd of Muslim-Americans, “[c]ounter-terrorism and counter-violence should be defined by us.  We should define how an effective counter-terrorism policy should be pursued in this country.  So, number one, we reject any effort, notion, suggestion that Muslims should start spying on one another.”   Right there, Al-Marayati is instructing Muslim Americans to not even attempt to observe any extremism or terrorist activity in their community, and even if they should observe something troubling, to not inform law enforcement authorities, that the duty owed to the Muslim community by the government is greater than to society at large.
 
And Al-Marayati continued, “Law enforcement is going to come to your mosque.  It already has as far as I can tell.  Everywhere I go, either somebody tells me that officials have met with them publicly or they tell me that they know who those folks are that are representing law enforcement.  So we know they have communicated one way or the other with the Muslim community.  The question is how do you deal with it in a healthy, open, transparent manner.  That is why we are saying have them come in community forums, in open-dialogues, so they come through the front door and you prevent them having to come from the back door.”
 
Here, Al-Marayati is instructing Muslim Americans not to cooperate with the FBI’s preferred methods of investigation, and that, as he stated earlier, it is the Muslim community, and its so-called leaders, that should define the terms of the FBI’s investigation.  That approach can hardly be described as full-fledged cooperation with law enforcement.  Far from it, in fact.  Al-Marayati used the Lodi case as an excuse to tell Muslim Americans not to deal with the FBI directly.  Demanding that the American Muslim community only work with FBI agents and other law enforcement in public forums clearly detracts from the ability of investigators to do their job, which is to protect American citizens from the threat of radical Islamist terrorists.  MPAC, and groups like it, are also clearly seeking to intrude into and ultimately to dominate the relationship between the law enforcement and the Muslim community, ensuring that the degree of allowable cooperation is regulated by these self-appointed leaders.
 
And why did Mr. Al-Marayati not urge his listeners in Dallas that they should extend full cooperation to the FBI and law enforcement community at every instance, rather than to demand a specific approach which is debilitating from an investigatory standpoint?  Or that law abiding American Muslims need some sort of self-appointed intermediary when working with the FBI?  And how can people feel comfortable providing information to law enforcement if they can only do so in an open forum?  I will leave that to the reader to decide.  But one thing is clear: MPAC is on the record telling American Muslims not to directly cooperate with the FBI, while at the same time advocating an impractical or impossible way for those who actually have information to relay it to law enforcement. 
 
Now let’s analyze the other alleged “false statement”: that MPAC serves to radicalize the American Muslim community:
 
This claim is even easier to demonstrate, as MPAC officials give speeches and quotes to the media that can only serve to alienate and radicalize Muslims who hear them.  The constant refrain: a conspiracy theory that the War on Terror is a contrivance of the U.S. government and is really a “War against Islam.”  Such a conspiracy dismissed legitimate efforts by law enforcement to fight terrorism and terrorist financing perpetrated on U.S. soil.  By virtue of the sheer number of times MPAC officials (and, for that matter, officials of other U.S.-based Islamist groups,) have made that claim, it is impossible to include them all here.  But here are several instances that easily serve to make the point:
·        Aslam Abdullah, MPAC Vice Chairman and Editor of the MPAC-linked magazine, the Minaret, in a 2002 online forum entitled, “The Truth behind America's War on Terrorism,” wrote, “[t]here are three specific lobbies that are turning the ongoing war on terrorism against Islam. The Christian Evangelicals who want to see Muslims converted, the political Zionists who want to see Muslim [sic] politically obliterated, and the Hindu Extremists who want to see Muslim [sic] humiliated…Mr. Bush and his administration have not been able to challenge these lobbies. Many members of these lobbies are in the administration and in FBI, law enforcement and even Congress.”[1] (emphasis added)

·        MPAC “hate crime prevention coordinator” in May 2004, speaking to the Inter Press Service article reported, “The war on terror is a war, really, on a community that is being connected to the (9/11) hijackers.”[2]

·        In a January 2002 article in the Minaret, stated that, “ince the Sept. 11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the U.S. government has pursued a policy where it has targeted Islamic, Arab and Palestinian organizations and individuals, in a manner that often lacks legal legitimacy.”[3]

·        And al-Marayati, in the Los Angeles Times in March 2003, blasted “the FBI’s policy of targeting people because of their race and religion.” He added, “That’s what they’ve been doing since the attacks, and we don’t know of any case that has resulted in the arrest, indictment or prosecution of a terrorist.”[4]

A recent study conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has concluded that the repeated use of “War on Islam” mantra is directly related to the radicalization of the “homegrown” jihadists.[5]

Al-Marayati also infamously told an L.A. radio station after 9/11, “f we’re going to look at suspects we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list,” engaging in the very kind of conspiracy theories heard in the most radical quarters around the globe.  Additionally, MPAC officials have defended Hezbollah, blasted the U.S. government for actions taken to stop the funding of Hamas by U.S. front organizations, and repeatedly defended convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami al-Arian, downplaying his jihadist exhortations and claiming that his prosecution was merely “political.”
 
As a well-known analyst of militant Islamist groups in the United States, I have been a target of a vicious smear campaign by organizations which are afraid of having the bright light of day shone on their words and deeds.  For example, in December 2004, MPAC, published a “policy” paper titled “Counterproductive Counterterrorism,” in which more than 20 of the 48 pages were  at their core a personal hit piece against me.  And after failing to de-legitimize me through character assassination, MPAC is now threatening to silence me using the court system.
 
Legal action has become a mainstay of radical Islamist organizations seeking to intimidate and silence their critics.   In September 2005, journalist Robert King, writing in the Indianapolis Star, outlined the strategy[6]:
 
Sayyid Syeed, the secretary general of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), a group generally less vocal than CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), earlier in the weekend said his organization is considering filing defamation lawsuits against some of its sharpest critics.
 
King goes on to write that one of the potential targets frequently cited by America’s Muslim leaders is yours truly.  And why is that?  Because I have spent more than a decade exposing radical Islamists in the United States, many of whom are functioning in leadership capacities in these very groups in question.  CAIR by the way, as King noted, has repeatedly taken to the courts, fortunately with very little success, to stifle criticism.  Thankfully, the First Amendment protections granted by the U.S. Constitution do not favor this latest tactic employed by the Islamist groups.
 
MPAC cannot stand to have its agenda exposed, especially when it comes in the form of having its own words, and the words of its officials, used against them.   In their minds, any such efforts need to be stifled.  MPAC’s smear tactics have not worked, and as such, their lawyers have now stated that “MPAC is willing to pursue all available legal remedies” to silence me.  MPAC’s bullying attempt to stifle free speech will not stand.  Such tactics should be vigorously opposed, and MPAC, like CAIR before it, must learn that legal threats will not work to stifle legitimate criticism, especially when the facts underlying the criticism are both well documented, and as is often the case, straight out of the horse’s mouth, so to speak. 
 
Notes:
 
[1] Aslam Abdullah, “The Truth Behind America’s War on Terrorism,” November 30, 2002, http://www.islamonline.net/livedialogue/english/Browse.asp?hGuestID=Og1n6h.
[2] Amantha Perera, “US Muslims Fear Second Term for Patriot Act,” Inter Press Service, May 7, 2004.
[3] “Relief Groups Shut Down,” The Minaret, January 2002.
[4] H.G. Reza, “FBI Has a Pledge and a Request for Muslims,” The Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2003.
[5] Stewart Bell, “Jihadization of youth a 'rapid process'; CSIS: Study Of Extremism,” National Post, January 26, 2007.  http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=25e76872-b309-47a7-841b-938bdd9ffd71
[6] Robert King, “Muslims aim to challenge critics in America; Convention seminar focuses on best ways for followers to respond when their faith is attacked,” Indianapolis Star, September 5, 2005, http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/RobertKing50905.htm

11752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 300 on: March 10, 2007, 12:55:21 AM
October 11, 2006
History and the Movie “300”
by Victor Davis Hanson
Private Papers

(Adapted from the introduction to the forthcoming book trailer published by Black Horse Comics, Inc. to accompany Director Zack Snyder’s new film “300”)

The phrase “300 Spartans” evokes not only the ancient battle of Thermopylae, but also the larger idea of fighting for freedom against all odds — a notion subsequently to be enshrined through some 2500 years of Western civilization.

Even today we remember the power of the Spartans’ defiance. “Come and take them,” they tell the Persian emissaries who demand their arms. “Then we will fight in the shade,” the Spartans boast when warned that the horde of Persian arrows will soon blot out the very sunlight. “Go tell the Spartans that here we lie obedient to their commands” the tombstone of their dead reads.

In 480, an enormous force of more than a quarter-million Persians under their King Xerxes invaded Greece, both to enslave the free city-states, and to avenge the Persian defeat a decade earlier at Marathon. The huge force of ships and soldiers proved unstoppable on its way west and southward until it reached the narrow pass at Thermopylae (“The Warm Gates”) in northern Greece. There a collection of 7,000 Greeks had blocked the way. They hoped to stop Xerxes’ horde outright — or at least allow enough time for their fellow countrymen to their rear to mobilize a sufficient defense of the homeland.

Among the many Greek contingents was a special elite force of 300 Spartans under their King Leonidas — a spearhead that offered the other Greeks at Thermopylae some promise that they could still bar the advance of the vastly superior invader. And that hope proved real for two days of hard fighting. The vastly outnumbered, but heavily-armed Greek infantrymen in their phalanx — taking advantage of the narrow terrain and their massed tactics — savagely beat back wave after wave of advancing Persian foot soldiers and cavalry.

But on the third day of battle, Leonidas’s Greeks were betrayed by a local shepherd Ephialtes, who showed the Persians an alternate route over the mountains that led to the rear of the Greek position. When he realized that he was nearly surrounded, Leonidas nevertheless made a critical decision to stay and fight, while ordering most of the other various allies to flee the encirclement to organize the growing Greek resistance to the south.

Meanwhile the King and his doomed 300 Spartans, together with other small groups of surrounded Thespians and Thebans, would indeed battle to buy the Greeks time. They ranged further out from the pass on this third and last day of battle — at first with spears and swords, finally with teeth and nails —killing scores more of Persians. The last few Spartan survivors were buried under a sea of Persian arrows. The body of Leonidas was found among the corpses, his head soon impaled on a stick as a macabre reminder of the wages of resistance to the Great King of Persia.

The Greeks took encouragement from the unprecedented sacrifice of a Spartan King and his royal guard on their behalf. And so a few weeks later at the sea battle of Salamis near Athens — and then again the next year at the great infantry collision on the plains of Plataea — the Greeks defeated, and eventually destroyed, the Persian invaders. The rallying cry of the victors was Thermopylae, the noble sacrifice of the final stand of the outnumbered Greeks, and especially the courage of the fallen Three Hundred Spartans under King Leonidas.

So almost immediately, contemporary Greeks saw Thermopylae as a critical moral and culture lesson. In universal terms, a small, free people had willingly outfought huge numbers of imperial subjects who advanced under the lash. More specifically, the Western idea that soldiers themselves decide where, how, and against whom they will fight was contrasted against the Eastern notion of despotism and monarchy — freedom proving the stronger idea as the more courageous fighting of the Greeks at Thermopylae, and their later victories at Salamis and Plataea attested.

Greek writers and poets such as Simonides and Herodotus were fascinated by the Greek sacrifice against Xerxes, and especially the heroism of Leonidas and his men. And subsequently throughout Western literature poets as diverse as Lord Byron and A.E. Houseman have likewise paid homage to the Spartan last stand — and this universal idea of Western soldiers willing to die as free men rather than to submit to tyranny. Steven Pressfield’s novel Gates of Fire and the earlier Hollywood movie The 300 Spartans both were based on the Greek defense of the pass at Thermopylae.

Recently, a variety of Hollywood films — from Troy to Alexander the Great — has treated a variety of themes from classical Greek literature and theater. But 300 is unique, a sui generis in both spirit and methodology. The script is not an attempt in typical Hollywood fashion to recreate the past as a costume drama. Instead it is based on Frank Miller’s (of Sin City fame) comic book graphics and captions. Miller’s illustrated novelette of the battle adapts themes loosely from the well-known story of the Greek defense, but with deference made to the tastes of contemporary popular culture.

So the film is indeed inspired by the comic book; and in some sense its muscular warriors, virtual reality sets, and computer-generated landscapes recall the look and feel of Robert Rodriquez’s screen version of Sin City. Yet the collaboration of Director Zack Snyder and screenwriters Kurt Johnstad and Michael Gordon is much more of a hybrid, since the script, dialogue, cinematography, and acting all recall scenes of the battle right from Herodotus’s account.

300, of course, makes plenty of allowance for popular tastes, changing and expanding the story to meet the protocols of the comic book genre. The film was not shot on location outdoors, but in a studio using the so-called “digital backlot” technique of sometimes placing the actors against blue screens. The resulting realism is not that of the sun-soaked cliffs above the blue Aegean — Thermopylae remains spectacularly beautiful today — but of the eerie etchings of the comic book.

The Spartans fight bare-chested without armor, in the “heroic nude” manner that ancient Greek vase-painters portrayed Greek hoplites, their muscles bulging as if they were contemporary comic book action heroes. Again, following the Miller comic, artistic license is made with the original story — the traitor Ephialtes is as deformed in body as he is in character; King Xerxes is not bearded and perched on a distant throne, but bald, huge, perhaps sexually ambiguous, and often right on the battlefield. The Persians bring with them exotic beasts like a rhinoceros and elephant, and the leader of the Immortals fights Leonidas in a duel (which the Greeks knew as monomachia). Shields are metal rather than wood with bronze veneers, and swords sometimes look futuristic rather than ancient.

Again, purists must remember that 300 seeks to bring a comic book, not Herodotus, to the screen. Yet, despite the need to adhere to the conventions of Frank Miller’s graphics and plot — every bit as formalized as the protocols of classical Athenian drama or Japanese Kabuki theater — the main story from our ancient Greek historians is still there: Leonidas, against domestic opposition, insists on sending an immediate advance party northward on a suicide mission to rouse the Greeks and allow them time to unite a defense. Once at Thermopylae, he adopts the defenses to the narrow pass between high cliffs and the sea far below. The Greeks fight both en masse in the phalanx and at times range beyond as solo warriors. They are finally betrayed by Ephialtes, forcing Leonidas to dismiss his allies — and leaving his own 300 to the fate of dying under a sea of arrows.

But most importantly, 300 preserves the spirit of the Thermopylae story. The Spartans, quoting lines known from Herodotus and themes from the lyric poets, profess unswerving loyalty to a free Greece. They will never kow-tow to the Persians, preferring to die on their feet than live on their knees.

If critics think that 300 reduces and simplifies the meaning of Thermopylae into freedom versus tyranny, they should reread carefully ancient accounts and then blame Herodotus, Plutarch, and Diodorus — who long ago boasted that Greek freedom was on trial against Persian autocracy, free men in superior fashion dying for their liberty, their enslaved enemies being whipped to enslave others.

11753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: March 09, 2007, 05:46:28 PM
Not being an FBI SA, I don't know the exact details, but the problem probably boiled down to the letters being obtained and used properly by the case agents in doing the investigation, but the documentation tracking the statistics for administrative reporting purposes isn't getting done in some cases.
11754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: March 09, 2007, 04:20:30 PM
Well, as someone that has been working for governmental entities most all my adult life, I think it's unlikely. Kafka has nothing on what i've lived through. rolleyes
11755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: March 09, 2007, 02:16:56 PM
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2007/03/print/national_security_lettersan_im.php

Counterterrorism Blog

National Security Letters...An Important Investigative Tool for the FBI

By Dennis Lormel

Periodically, media stories appear articulating a sense of concern about the increased use of National Security Letters (NSLs) by the FBI since 9/11. Civil libertarians and critics of the FBI use these reports as a platform to voice apprehension about the perceived abuse of authority and infringement on personal rights and freedoms.

The Inspector General (IG), U.S. Department of Justice, has issued a report delineating audit findings identifying significant deficiencies in NSL recordkeeping and reporting processes. This determination is quite troubling and inexcusable. Disclosure of this report has obviously garnered considerable and deserved media scrutiny. However, before there is a rush to judgment and a race for juicy media sound bites about infringements of privacy and civil liberties and calls for eliminating or diminishing the program, the pertinent facts must be assessed and placed in proper context.

As mentioned above, the reported discrepancies are inexcusable and unacceptable. Immediate steps must be taken to correct all deficiencies. The FBI has issued statements acknowledging the accuracy and fairness of the IG report. More importantly, the FBI has indicated they have taken steps and will further take action necessary to rectify reporting deficiencies. In his response, FBI Director Robert Mueller stated “We strive to exercise our authorities consistent with privacy protections and civil liberties that we are sworn to uphold. Anything less will not be tolerated. This statement is the central point in this situation. Having been a former executive in the FBI dealing with financial records and terrorist financing issues, privacy rights and civil liberties were critically important to me. On numerous occasions, I heard Director Mueller reinforce the FBI’s responsibility to protect the civil liberties of our citizenry.

The problems identified by the IG are problems of process in terms of recordkeeping and reporting, which are administrative. The process in terms of operation and use of the information has not been problematic. The IG found no deliberate or intentional misuse of authority, meaning there were no infringements on privacy rights or civil liberties. Even though recordkeeping and reporting was inadequate, actual use of information was appropriate.

By way of background, an NSL is a letter requesting information from a third party. It is like a grand jury subpoena and is often used in counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations. In the post 9/11 environment, NSLs have been an indispensable investigative tool. NSLs have contributed significantly to the FBI’s ability to carry out its national security responsibilities.

Before rushing to judgment and calling for the restriction or elimination of the NSL program, critics should remember that the problem is administrative, not operational. As such, civil liberties are not at risk. The only true risk is to national security if this issue escalates as a platform to diminish or eliminate an important investigative tool.

By Dennis Lormel on March 9, 2007 2:40 PM

11756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: March 08, 2007, 03:19:21 PM
Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Crafty,

It'll be done most likely by some sort of proxy group for "deniable plausibility" purposes. If nukes detonate in NYC, DC and the Long Beach port in cargo containers, do you use the CSI: Ground Zero option while the left plays the "It's all our fault" theme and the 9/11 "truthers" spin conspiracy theories and the dems discuss asking the UN for aid or do you act in a meaningful manner?

Innocents are going to die in large numbers on both sides in this war, just as they do in all wars. When we burned German and Japanese children and grandmothers to ash with conventional bombs, did the lack of fissile material really matter in any meaningful moral way?

We are not going to win this war in any way that will meet the approval of the UN, France or the ACLU. The global jihad will not be stopped with anything but overwhelming force that shatters their will to fight.
11757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: March 08, 2007, 01:55:55 PM
It should be made unofficially clear to our various enemy states with potential nuclear ability that if/when a nuke detonates CONUS Damascus, Tehran, Qum, P'yongyang, Mecca, Medina and large parts of Pakistan's tribal areas are going to become molten glass.

Just as we had to break Japan's will to fight, when the world's muslim population has to contemplate bowing 5 times a day towards America's newest nuclear test site it will raise theological questions that can't be answerd by islamic theology. Unless allah manages to swat down American ICBMs....
11758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 08, 2007, 12:49:47 PM
**Now THIS could be good.**


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...AR2007030702241.html

Former Iranian Defense Official Talks to Western Intelligence
By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 8, 2007; Page A16


A former Iranian deputy defense minister who once commanded the Revolutionary Guard has left his country and is cooperating with Western intelligence agencies, providing information on Hezbollah and Iran's ties to the organization, according to a senior U.S. official.

Ali Rez Asgari disappeared last month during a visit to Turkey. Iranian officials suggested yesterday that he may have been kidnapped by Israel or the United States. The U.S. official said Asgari is willingly cooperating. He did not divulge Asgari's whereabouts or specify who is questioning him, but made clear that the information Asgari is offering is fully available to U.S. intelligence.

Asgari served in the Iranian government until early 2005 under then-President Mohammad Khatami. Asgari's background suggests that he would have deep knowledge of Iran's national security infrastructure, conventional weapons arsenal and ties to Hezbollah in south Lebanon. Iranian officials said he was not involved in the country's nuclear program, and the senior U.S. official said Asgari is not being questioned about it. Former officers with Israel's Mossad spy agency said yesterday that Asgari had been instrumental in the founding of Hezbollah in the 1980s, around the time of the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

Iran's official news agency, IRNA, quoted the country's top police chief, Brig. Gen. Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam, as saying that Asgari was probably kidnapped by agents working for Western intelligence agencies. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Asgari was in the United States. Another U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, denied that report and suggested that Asgari's disappearance was voluntary and orchestrated by the Israelis. A spokesman for President Bush's National Security Council did not return a call for comment.

The Israeli government denied any connection to Asgari. "To my knowledge, Israel is not involved in any way in this disappearance," said Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry.

An Iranian official, who agreed to discuss Asgari on the condition of anonymity, said that Iranian intelligence is unsure of Asgari's whereabouts but that he may have been offered money, probably by Israel, to leave the country. The Iranian official said Asgari was thought to be in Europe. "He has been out of the loop for four or five years now," the official said.

Israeli and Turkish newspapers reported yesterday that Asgari disappeared in Istanbul shortly after he arrived there on Feb. 7. Iran sent a delegation to Turkey to investigate his disappearance and requested help from Interpol in locating him.

Former Mossad director Danny Yatom, who is now a member of Israel's parliament, said he believes Asgari defected to the West. "He is very high-caliber," Yatom said. "He held a very, very senior position for many long years in Lebanon. He was in effect commander of the Revolutionary Guards" there.

Ram Igra, a former Mossad officer, said Asgari spent much of the 1980s and 1990s overseeing Iran's efforts to support, finance, arm and train Hezbollah. The State Department lists the Shiite Lebanese group as a terrorist organization.

"He lived in Lebanon and, in effect, was the man who built, promoted and founded Hezbollah in those years," Igra told Israeli state radio. "If he has something to give the West, it is in this context of terrorism and Hezbollah's network in Lebanon."

The organization, led by Hasan Nasrallah, is believed to have been behind several attacks against U.S., Jewish and Israeli interests worldwide, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans, and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed more than 80 people.

Israel fought a bloody, month-long war with Hezbollah last summer in south Lebanon after the group seized two Israeli soldiers. The soldiers have not been returned and their fate is unknown. Other Israeli soldiers have vanished in Lebanon during decades of conflict along the countries' shared border, most notably an Israeli airman named Ron Arad. Yatom said it is possible Asgari "knows quite a lot about Ron Arad."

In a January briefing to Congress, then-Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte described Hezbollah as a growing threat to U.S. interests. "As a result of last summer's hostilities, Hezbollah's self-confidence and hostility toward the United States as a supporter of Israel could cause the group to increase its contingency planning against United States interests," Negroponte said.

U.S. intelligence officials said they had no evidence that Hezbollah was actively planning attacks but noted that the organization has the capacity to do so if it feels threatened.

Correspondents Scott Wilson in Jerusalem and Anthony Shadid in Beirut and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

11759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 08, 2007, 12:20:39 PM
The IAEA put Iran on double-secret probation.  rolleyes
11760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: March 08, 2007, 12:19:21 PM
Actually the nuclear option is the way to defeat the global jihad, but we won't act until after we've suffered a nuclear attack CONUS, and that's if we actually have a good president at that time.
11761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Professor Pino - enough is enough - I've had it. on: March 08, 2007, 09:04:13 AM
It's painful, but I find myself in agreement with SB Mig. grin
11762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WW3 on: March 06, 2007, 10:00:11 AM
The "Peacemakers"   
By Deborah T. Bucknam
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 6, 2007

On March 12, 1975, Democrat Rep. (now Senator and Presidential candidate) Chris Dodd from Connecticut stated on the floor of the U.S. House:

“The greatest gift our country can give the Cambodian people is not guns but peace. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now.”  The American Congress cut off all military aid to Cambodia and South Vietnam.

This is what happened one month and five days later as a result of Chris Dodd’s and other Democrats’ “gift of peace”:

On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla group led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They forced all city dwellers into the countryside and to labor camps. During their rule, it is estimated that 2 million Cambodians died by starvation, torture or execution. 2 million Cambodians represented approximately 30% of the Cambodian population during that time.

The so-called “peace” movement today is proposing a similar “gift of peace” to Iraq.

There is no serious dispute that withdrawal of the American military from Iraq will result in an increase in torture, beheadings, drive-by shootings, car bombs.  Indeed, the increase in American troop presence in Bagdad over the last few weeks has resulted in a 70% decrease in violence in Bagdad—that means far fewer deaths of innocent men, women and children.  Yet the “peace” movement ignores this decrease in violence, and in fact continues to advocate an immediate withdrawal of American troops.

So how does the “peace” movement define peace?  The “peace” movement defines peace as no overseas military operations by American troops.

That is not a definition of peace.  Peace is the absence of political violence.  Political violence is defined by the Center for Systemic Peace as the number of deaths resulting from wars, including government violence against citizens, civil wars and insurgencies, as well as wars between nations.  By that measure, we are in an era of almost unprecedented peace.  According to the Center for Systemic Peace which has tracked world wide political violence since 1946, political violence has decreased dramatically since the end of the Cold War in the late 1980’s.  And in this decade, the world wide number of deaths as a result of political violence is only one third what it was in the “peaceful” 1990’s.

So for those who like to connect the dots, American foreign policy, including military action against thugs like the Taliban,  Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein,  has resulted in this decade in a dramatic decrease in political deaths world wide.  A new global threat to peace from Islamic extremists, which had replaced the threat to peace posed by communist insurgencies in previous decades, has been dramatically reduced by an aggressive U.S. policy against this form of political violence.

And Iraq was not a “peaceful” nation before American troops liberated its people from the grip of Saddam Hussein and his criminal enterprise.  Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Iraqis were murdered by Hussein, many by the most brutal methods known to history.  Iraq, before American liberation, has been called a concentration camp above ground and a mass grave underneath.

The “peace” movement, by advocating withdrawal of American troops,  willfully disregards what is actually happening in Iraq.  They blame us, not the criminal gangs, ethnic cleansers, suicide bombers, and jihadists for the death and destruction in that country.  American troops are trying to quell the political violence in Iraq, and they will succeed if given enough time, money and support from the American people.  Quelling political violence in a country that was a concentration camp for five decades is not easy.  Withdrawing before the job is done will result in an increase in violence, as withdrawal from Southeast Asia in the 1970’s resulted in the death and destruction of millions. 

In conclusion, when peace is defined properly—the absence of political violence—the American military are the peacemakers.  And those who would leave Iraq and the Middle East to the barbarians are the genuine warmongers.
11763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyber Jihad on: March 06, 2007, 08:58:32 AM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=24709_Jihad.com&only
11764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WW3 on: March 06, 2007, 08:56:26 AM
Don't question the left's patriotism....

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006990.htm?print=1
11765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WW3 on: February 27, 2007, 08:54:45 PM
"As far as I can see, the "different approach" is to terrorize the Iraqi population into not supporting the insurgents, grant US forces virtual immunity from prosecution for any war crimes, and as best as possible keep any negative reporting on our actions in Iraq from making it into the news.  Does that more or less sum it up?  Let's the quit the pussy-footing around about this."

**Ah yes, the US military is evil. Glad to see we've gotten to the heart of the matter. It must be tough to be one of the few decent, ethical people to live in the malevolent US, Rogt.**

"I'm not sure how any meaningful discussion of withdrawing troops or ending the war is supposed to take place without the enemy somehow hearing about it.  It sounds like you're saying the discussion shouldn't take place, or that if it must take place then we have a patriotic duty to dismiss and ridicule anti-war views so the enemy doesn't get the idea that any of us take them seriously.  Please clarify if I'm misrepresenting your position."

**Giving aid and comfort to America's enemies was once taboo, thankfully the left now holds it to be a birthright.

As Ayman al-Zawahiri said "These traitors in Iraq and Afghanistan must face their inevitable fate, and face up to the inescapable facts. America - which was transformed from the “Great Satan” into the “Closest Ally” - is about to depart and abandon them, just as it abandoned their like in Vietnam."

Just like Vietnam, the "peace movement" can deliver those who aspired towards freedom into torture, oppression and mass graves. Hey, if it harms America, it's got to be for the greater global good, right?**




11766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WW3 on: February 26, 2007, 08:31:44 PM
Rogt,

What's the upside of handing Iran and Al Qaeda a victory? Perhaps there is something good about cutting and running I don't understand.
11767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: February 23, 2007, 08:17:43 AM
http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/cgi-bin/magazine.cgi/Yr%202006/December/Views/Eurabian_Nights.html?seemore=y

I assume this is the URL you were looking for....
11768  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
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Corbella_Licia/2.../18/3642930-sun.html
11769  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
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=24299_UC_Irvine-_MSU_Calls_for_Israel_to_Be_Wiped_Out&only
11770  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
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/02/02/video-imam-prays-to-stop-oppression-and-occupation-at-dnc-meeting/
11771  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....
11772  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

By KATE SNOW
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, hillaryclinton.com. "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.

11773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 19, 2007, 09:05:08 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/01/18/report-hillary-preparing-to-play-the-muslim-card-on-obama/

Wow
11774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 17, 2007, 08:16:09 PM
FWIW,

I'd never vote for McCain. War hero, but horribly unprincipled politician.
11775  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
11776  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.
11777  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.
11778  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.
11779  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

11780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: January 16, 2007, 04:03:02 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

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.

11781  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.
11782  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.
11783  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
11784  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.
11785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 21, 2006, 04:16:03 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/21/nnames21.xml

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.
 
11786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 19, 2006, 06:55:38 PM
Looking forward to the review.
11787  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.**

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ali16dec16,0,2351518.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.

11788  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.**

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061214.wwente14/TPStory/National/columnists

Germans may regret ignoring ‘prophet' in their midst
 
MARGARET WENTE

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?

mwente@globeandmail.com
11789  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.
11790  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
FrontPageMagazine.com | 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.
11791  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.
11792  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".  http://www.hollywood.com/movies/detail/id/3490832
11793  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.
11794  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.
11795  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.**

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/05/nuktest05.xml

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).
 
11796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: December 05, 2006, 12:41:19 AM
Quijote,

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. 
11797  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.
11798  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.**

http://hotair.com/archives/2006/12/03/the-coming-muslim-majority-in-russia/
11799  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 (http://www.brusselsjournal.com)
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:
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1609
11800  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.
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