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11901  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).
11902  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. 
11903  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.
11904  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.**
11905  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:
11906  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.
11907  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.
11908  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.

11909  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.

11910  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."
11911  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.


11912  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.
11913  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.
11914  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?"
11915  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.
11916  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."

11917  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.
11918  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.
11919  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.
11920  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   
11921  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.

11922  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.

11923  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.
11924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 28, 2006, 12:42:15 AM
Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI
Ex-Silicon Valley resident plotted embassy attacks
- Lance Williams and Erin McCormick, Chronicle Staff Writers
Sunday, November 4, 2001

A former U.S. Army sergeant who trained Osama bin Laden's bodyguards and helped plan the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya was a U.S. government informant during much of his terrorist career, according to sources familiar with his case.

Ali Mohamed, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen and longtime Silicon Valley resident who pleaded guilty last year to terrorism charges, approached the Central Intelligence Agency more than 15 years ago and offered to inform on Middle Eastern terrorist groups, a U.S. government official said.

Later, according to the sources, Mohamed spent years as an FBI informant while concealing his own deep involvement in the al Qaeda terrorist band: training bin Laden's bodyguards and Islamic guerrillas in camps in Afghanistan and the Sudan; bringing Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is bin Laden's chief deputy, to the Bay Area on a covert fund-raising mission; and planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, in which more than 200 people died.

The story of Mohamed's dual roles as FBI informant and bin Laden terrorist - - and the freedom he had to operate unchecked in the United States -- illustrates the problems facing U.S. intelligence services as they attempt to penetrate the shadowy, close-knit world of al Qaeda, experts said.

Mohamed "clearly was a double agent," Larry C. Johnson, a former deputy director in the State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism and a onetime CIA employee, said in an interview.

Johnson said the CIA had found Mohamed unreliable and severed its relationship with him shortly after Mohamed approached the agency in 1984. Johnson faulted the FBI for later using Mohamed as an informant, saying the bureau should have recognized that the man was a high-ranking terrorist, deeply involved in plotting violence against the United States and its allies.

"It's possible that the FBI thought they had control of him and were trying to use him, but what's clear is that they did not have control," Johnson said. "The FBI assumed he was their source, but his loyalties lay elsewhere."

The affair was "a study in incompetence, in how not to run an agent," Johnson said.

FBI spokesman Joseph Valiquette declined to comment on Mohamed, as did a spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, whose office prosecuted the case of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

A law enforcement source familiar with the case said the FBI had followed appropriate procedures in attempting to obtain crucial information from Mohamed, whom he conceded was "double-dealing" and difficult.

"When you operate assets and informants, they're holding the cards," this source said. "They can choose to be 100 percent honest or 10 percent honest. You don't have much control over them.

"Maybe (the informant) gives you a great kernel of information, and then you can't find him for eight weeks. Is that a management problem? Hindsight is 20/20."

Mohamed, 49, is a former Egyptian Army major, fluent in Arabic and English, who after his arrest became known as bin Laden's "California connection." Last year, when he pleaded guilty in the embassy bombing case, he told a federal judge that he first was drawn to terrorism in 1981, when he joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a fundamentalist group implicated in that year's assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

For almost as long as he was a terrorist, Mohamed also was in contact with U.S. intelligence, according to court records and sources.

In 1984, he quit the Egyptian Army to work as a counterterrorism security expert for EgyptAir. After that, he offered to become a CIA informant, said the U.S. government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The agency tried him out, but because he told other possible terrorists or people possibly associated with terrorist groups that he was working for the CIA, clearly he was not suitable," the official said.

The CIA cut off contact with Mohamed and put his name on a "watch list" aimed at blocking his entrance to the United States, according to the official.

Nevertheless, Mohamed got a visa one year later. He ultimately became a U.S.

citizen after marrying a Santa Clara woman. In 1986, he joined the U.S. Army as an enlisted man. He was posted to Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the elite Special Forces.

There he worked as a supply sergeant for a Green Beret unit, then as an instructor on Middle Eastern affairs in the John F. Kennedy special warfare school.

Mohamed's behavior and his background were so unusual that his commanding officer, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, became convinced that he was both a "dangerous fanatic" and an operative of U.S. intelligence.

Anderson, now a businessman in North Carolina, said that on their first meeting in 1988, Mohamed told him, "Anwar Sadat was a traitor and he had to die."

Later that year, Anderson said, Mohamed announced that -- contrary to all Army regulations -- he intended to go on vacation to Afghanistan to join the Islamic guerrillas in their civil war against the Soviets. A month later, he returned, boasting that he had killed two Soviet soldiers and giving away as souvenirs what he claimed were their uniform belts.

Anderson said he wrote detailed reports aimed at getting Army intelligence to investigate Mohamed -- and have him court-martialed and deported -- but the reports were ignored.

"I think you or I would have a better chance of winning Powerball (a lottery), than an Egyptian major in the unit that assassinated Sadat would have getting a visa, getting to California . . . getting into the Army and getting assigned to a Special Forces unit," he said. "That just doesn't happen. "

It was equally unthinkable that an ordinary American GI would go unpunished after fighting in a foreign war, he said.

Anderson said all this convinced him that Mohamed was "sponsored" by a U.S. intelligence service. "I assumed the CIA," he said.

In 1989, Mohamed left the Army and returned to Santa Clara, where he worked as a security guard and at a home computer business.

Between then and his 1998 arrest, he said in court last year, Mohamed was deeply involved in bin Laden's al Qaeda. He spent months abroad, training bin Laden's fighters in camps in Afghanistan and Sudan. While in Africa, he scouted the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, target of the 1998 bombing. In this country,

he helped al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's top aide, enter the country with a fake passport and tour U.S. mosques, raising money later funneled to al Qaeda.

According to Steven Emerson, a terrorism expert and author who has written about the case, Mohamed by the early 1990s had also established himself as an FBI informant.

"He agreed to serve (the FBI) and provide information, but in fact he was working for the bad guys and insulating himself from scrutiny from other law enforcement agencies," Emerson said in an interview.

One particularly troubling aspect of the case, Emerson says, was that Mohamed's role as an FBI informant gave bin Laden important insights into U.S. efforts to penetrate al Qaeda.

The case shows "the sophistication of the bin Laden network, and how they were toying with us," he said.

Some information about the nature of Mohamed's contacts with the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies is contained in an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in New York at the time of his 1998 arrest. The document describes contacts between Mohamed and the FBI and Defense Department officials.

At times, Mohamed made alarming admissions about his links to the al Qaeda terrorists, seemingly without fear of being arrested. Mohamed willfully deceived the agents about his activities, according to the affidavit.

In 1993, the affidavit says, Mohamed was questioned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after a bin Laden aide was caught trying to enter the United States with Mohamed's driver's license and a false passport.

Mohamed acknowledged traveling to Vancouver to help the terrorist sneak into the United States and admitted working closely with bin Laden's group. Yet he was so unconcerned about being arrested that he told the Mounties he hoped the interview wouldn't hurt his chances of getting a job as an FBI interpreter.

(According to the affidavit, he had indeed applied for the FBI position but never got it.)

Later that year, Mohamed -- again seemingly without concern for consequences -- told the FBI that he had trained bin Laden followers in intelligence and anti-hijacking techniques in Afghanistan, the affidavit says.

In January 1995, Mohamed applied for a U.S. security clearance, in hopes of becoming a security guard with a Santa Clara defense contractor. His application failed to mention ever traveling to Pakistan or Afghanistan, trips he had told the FBI about earlier. In three interviews with Defense Department officials, who conducted a background check on him, he claimed he had never been a terrorist.

"I have never belonged to a terrorist organization, but I have been approached by organizations that could be called terrorist," he told the interviewers.

According to the affidavit, he told FBI agents in 1997 that he had trained bin Laden's bodyguards, saying he loved bin Laden and believed in him. Mohamed also said it was "obvious" that the United States was the enemy of Muslim people.

In August 1998, after the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed, he told the FBI that he knew who did it, but refused to provide the names.

Two weeks later, after lying to a U.S. grand jury investigating the embassy bombings, he was arrested. He pleaded guilty last year, but he has never been sentenced and is once again believed to be providing information to the government -- this time from a prison cell.

"There's a hell of a lot (U.S. officials) didn't know about Ali Mohamed," said Harvey Kushner, a terrorism expert and criminology professor at the University of Long Island. "He infiltrated our armed services and duped them."

Yet, Kushner said, such duplicitous interactions may be a necessary component of intelligence work.

"I hate to say it, but these relationships are something we should be involved in more of. That's the nasty (part) of covert operations. We're not dealing with people we can trust."

E-mail the reporters at and lmwilliams@sfchronicle. com.

Page A - 1

11925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 28, 2006, 12:36:56 AM
**Continued from above.**

What I didn?t know at the time was that, in late 1999 and early 2000, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the U.S. Army?s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) had authorized a data mining operation called Able Danger, in which vast amounts of classified and open-source intelligence on al Qaeda was being processed using powerful ?search bots? that surfed the Web around the clock. Within months, the Able Danger analysts had amassed 2.5 terabytes of data, equal to 12 percent of all the printed pages in the Library of Congress.
By early 2000, working out of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center -- the very center where Ronnie Bucca had served -- the Able Danger investigators had found key links to four of the 9/11 hijackers. They also found direct ties between bin Laden and the New York cell of Ramzi Yousef and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. This dovetailed with my findings that the two attacks on the World Trade Center were perpetrated by the same core group of al Qaeda operatives. The Abel Danger data miners later found a major al Qaeda presence in the port city of Aden, Yemen.
The active pursuit of that intelligence in the early fall of 2000 could have prevented the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in October, and tipped Bureau agents to the 9/11 plot more than a year before the attacks. For reasons as yet undetermined, though, the vast cache of data-mined intelligence was ordered destroyed in April 2000. Worse, when two decorated Able Danger operatives, an army lieutenant colonel and a navy captain, sought to share this scandal with the 911 Commission, they were effectively spurned.
The senior counsel on the 9/11 Commission staff who rejected the Able Danger intel, and kept it out of the final report, was Dietrich Snell?the same ex-prosecutor who had buried my evidence that the two attacks on the Twin Towers were directly funded and controlled by bin Laden and al Qaeda.

The 9/11 Commission Report, published in July 2004 and later nominated for a National Book Award, concluded that the original World Trade Center bombing cell was made up of a ?loosely based group of Sunni Islamists?; further, that the 9/11 plot had originated not with Ramzi Yousef in Manila in 1994, as I had demonstrated, but with Yousef?s uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who?according to Snell?s account?merely pitched the planes-as-missiles operation to Osama bin Laden in 1996. The evidence I?d obtained from the Philippines National Police demonstrated that the Yousef-KSM Manila cell was funded directly by bin Laden via his brother-in-law, but the Commission, with the backing of Snell and other ex-Feds, concluded that KSM wasn?t even a member of al Qaeda in 1996.
By mid-2004 I was getting closer to the truth. The 1996 FBI 302 memos I?d tried to share with the commission showed that the Bureau, and prosecutors from the Justice Department, had affirmatively covered up evidence of an active al Qaeda cell in New York City. The same intelligence revealed the existence of a bin Laden-sponsored plot to hijack U.S. airliners, designed to pressure the U.S. to free the blind Sheikh and Ramzi Yousef, who was locked up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Similar threat reporting would show up in Presidential Daily Briefings in 1998 and 2001?a fact that later made headlines?but my findings revealed that the FBI had buried identical intelligence years before.
Why would America?s most elite law enforcement and investigative agencies suppress such critical intel?
Their motive could be traced to a most surprising quarter: organized crime. As a phone book-sized file of documentary evidence from prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York reveals FBI investigators and federal prosecutors were desperate to avoid a scandal over an alleged corrupt relationship between R. Lindley DeVecchio, a senior supervisory special agent in the Bureau?s New York Office, (NYO) and a notorious hit man named Gregory Scarpa Sr., whose two-year war of succession in the Colombo crime family had left twelve people dead, including two innocent bystanders.
Through a bizarre turn of events, the Yousef evidence came from the killer?s son, Greg Scarpa Jr., a junior wiseguy who happened to inhabit a jail cell adjacent to Yousef?s at the MCC. But rather than risk losing a series of sixty Mafia cases in the Eastern District built on tainted evidence from Scarpa Sr., the Feds decided to bury the intel.
One of the lead prosecutors who disconnected those dots, I learned, was Patrick Fitzgerald, then the head of Organized Crime and Terrorism in New York?s Southern District. Considered the Justice Department?s leading authority on bin Laden, Fitzgerald would go on to become U.S. Attorney in Chicago, and special prosecutor in he ongoing investigation of media leaks regarding former CIA operative Valerie Plame, which ultimately cleared White House aide Karl Rove, while indicting Lewis ?Scooter? Libby, top aide to Vice President Cheney.

Much of this tangled tale was laid out in great detail in my second investigative book Cover Up, published in September of 2004. It documented an ends/means decision by senior FBI and Justice Department officials to suppress the DeVecchio scandal, preserve those mob cases, and brand the Yousef-Scarpa Jr. intelligence a ?hoax? and a ?scam.? Until the cover up, that intelligence?chronicled in dozens of FBI 302s and notes from Yousef?was considered so important to the Feds that they gave Scarpa Jr. a camera to photograph it and even set up a phony Mafia front company, the ?Roma Corporation,? allowing them to monitor Yousef?s outside calls.
By the fall of 1996, the Bureau?s internal affairs probe on DeVecchio was closed and Yousef was convicted along with Murad and a third conspirator. Dietrich Snell and Mike Garcia, the current U.S. Attorney for the SDNY, had won a decisive victory\and the Feds soon began to believe that they were winning the war against al Qaeda. But the burial of that evidence, which prevented other U.S. intelligence agencies from appreciating al Qaeda?s true breadth and depth, would have shocking repercussions.
As I looked back on the Justice Department?s counter-terrorism track record, I concluded that many of the dots left unconnected by the FBI and DOJ on the road to 9/11 appeared to have been the result of an intentional obscuring of the evidence.
Continuing to work sources and examine the reams of documentary evidence generated in the SDNY al Qaeda cases, I came to the conclusion that the FBI?s failure to prevent the African embassy bombings in 1998, the deadly assault on U.S.S. Cole in 2000, and the 9/11 attacks themselves, went beyond gross negligence. It seemed as if a number of FBI officials and federal prosecutors at the heart of the bin Laden hunt realized that they had been outgunned for years. So they had acted affirmatively to partition the intelligence.
I believe that their motive was to sanitize the record and thus prevent the public from understanding the full depth of the FBI/DOJ missteps in the years leading up to September 11. So ?walls? were intentionally built, and key intelligence was withheld from other agencies, including the CIA and DIA. In any other government enterprise, the consequences might have been more benign. but in the realm of national security that compartmentalization of intelligence proved fatal.
By the third anniversary of 9/11, the Scarpa-Yousef evidence had been published in Cover Up. Sixteen months later, DeVecchio would finally be arraigned on murder charges stemming, in part, from that investigation. But many unanswered questions remained. I wanted to know the names of the men and women in the shadows at Justice who had suppressed the evidence and hidden the truth behind al Qaeda all those years. I also wanted to learn why the Bush 43 Administration would act to obstruct an investigation into the destruction of the Able Danger intel, a scandal that took place during the Clinton years? It took me months of further digging before the depth of the government?s deception started to become clear.

In the years leading to the 9/11 attacks, no single agent of al Qaeda was more successful in compromising the U.S. intelligence community than a former Egyptian army captain turned CIA operative, Special Forces advisor, and FBI informant named Ali Mohamed. Spying first for the Central Intelligence Agency and later the FBI, Mohamed even succeeded in penetrating the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg?while simultaneously training the cell that blew up the World Trade Center in 1993. He went on to train Osama bin Laden?s personal bodyguard, and photographed the U.S. embassy in Kenya taking the surveillance pictures bin Laden himself used to target the suicide truck bomb that killed 224 and injured thousands there in 1998.
Mohamed accomplished all that fully nine years after the FBI first photographed the cell he trained using automatic weapons at a firing range on Long Island. He lived the quiet life of a Silicon Valley computer executive while slipping off to Afghanistan and the Sudan to train some of al Qaeda?s most lethal terrorists in bomb-making and assassination tradecraft. He was so trusted by bin Laden that Ali was given the job of moving the Saudi ?Emir? from Afghanistan to Khartoum in 1991?much of that time maintaining his status as an FBI informant who worked his Bureau control agent like a mole.
Mohamed twice played host to al Qaeda?s second-in-command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who traveled to the U.S. in the 1990s to raise money for the Jihad. He used his Army vacation to hunt down elite Soviet Spetsnaz commandos in Afghanistan, and later toyed with gullible special agents in New York and San Francisco while he learned the inner workings of the FBI?s al Qaeda playbook. In the annals of espionage, few men have moved in an out of the deep black world between the hunters and the hunted with as much audacity as Ali Mohamed?known to his al Qaeda brothers as Ali Amiriki, or ?Ali the American.? A deep-penetration al Qaeda sleeper, he succeeded as a triple agent, gaining access to the most sensitive intelligence in the U.S. counter-terrorism arsenal.
Next to Ramzi Yousef, the bomb maker who plotted both attacks on The Twin Towers, Mohamed remains the greatest enigma in the war on terror. Brazenly slipping past watch lists, he moved in and out of the U.S. with impunity for years, marrying an American woman, becoming a naturalized citizen, seeking top secret security clearance from a Silicon Valley defense contractor and working for the FBI while servicing the top echelons of al Qaeda.
The story of Ali Mohamed holds the key to the full truth about how bin Laden planned, financed, and executed the 9/11 attacks. He?s also a living witness to how the best and the brightest in the U.S. intelligence community were repeatedly outflanked for two decades, from the death of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981 through the attacks of September 11, 2001.
My conclusion in Cover Up was that the FBI had buried key al Qaeda intelligence to avoid a scandal over tainted Mafia evidence. But as unbelievable as that story seemed, the investigation took on even stranger twists and turns when Ali Mohamed came into focus. For example, almost from the moment the Bureau ?opened? him as an informant back in 1992, Ali?s main control agent on the West Coast became embroiled in a grisly triple murder case that distracted him from fully appreciating Mohamed?s lethal dedication to stealing America?s secrets for the jihad. Patrick Fitzgerald himself called Ali ?the most dangerous man I ever met,? and soon, as I began to fill in the blanks on him, I encountered evidence more astonishing than any fiction I had ever written.

For this phase of the investigation I decided to work the research the way cold case detectives work a homicide file, known in many squad rooms as ?the murder book.? To begin with, I reread more than twenty-five four-inch thick three-ring binders of research from my first two books. I then went back through the summaries I?d made of the forty thousand pages of trial testimony in the SDNY?s al Qaeda-related cases, including the first World Trade Center bombing trial in 1994; the Day of Terror trial of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others in 1995; the Bojinka trial of Ramzi Yousef and his Manila coconspirators in 1996; the second WTC trial?this one with Yousef as a defendant?in 1997; and the African embassy bombing trial, known formally as United States v. bin Laden, which began in February 2001, seven months before 9/11.
Then, as cold case detectives do, I read the ?book? out of order, examining whole files randomly in the hope that the exercise would provoke a new lead. I soon realized that there was still a major case still missing: the 1991 murder trial of El Sayyid Nosair, who had gunned down Rabbi Meier Kahane the night of November 5, 1990. Incredibly, despite a wealth of evidence pointing to an international terrorist conspiracy with al Qaeda at its core, that case had been tried as a ?lone gunman? shooting by the office of the New York County District Attorney. Examining that transcript, and the later coverage of the trial by The New York Times, led me to the discovery of a New Jersey check cashing store where Nosair had rented a mailbox in 1990. As unbelievable as it may seem, that precise location, doors away from the blind Sheikh?s New Jersey mosque, was where two of the 9/11 hijackers associated with AA #77 pilot Hani Hanjour, picked up their fake IDs in July 2001.
All the Bureau had to do was sit on that check cashing business and they would have been able
to penetrate the 9/11 plot.
The Nosair mailbox discovery was proof positive that in order to fully understand the 9/11 plot, any thorough investigation had to go back years before the time period covered by the 9/11 Commission. When I did that, and reread the ?murder book? on Yousef?s suicide-hijack plot, the eureka moment came when I realized that the key to the FBI failures?and to the subsequent cover-up of evidence that disconnected the dots?was Ali Mohamed. With further probing, I discovered that this man, known by fifteen aliases, was the enigma behind the destruction of the Able Danger intelligence as well.
Ali Mohamed could have been a one-man 9/11 Commission. He held the key to how the best and the brightest in the FBI and Department of Justice failed to stop bin Laden?s juggernaut. And yet the Feds had him buried, confined in witness protection somewhere near New York?the perfect al Qaeda spy who knew all the secrets. When I had finished reworking the ?murder book? on 9/11, I knew that if I could tell his story, I would get closer to the truth.

All investigative reporters stand on the shoulders of those who came before them, and the Ali Mohamed story is no exception. As I began to piece together the fragments of intelligence on his triple life, a series of seminal news pieces helped me form a grid. Among the first investigators to fully appreciate Mohamed?s deception was Steven Emerson, who examined him in American Jihad back in 2002. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Williams and Erin McCormick did an outstanding series on Ali and his Silicon Valley cohort Khalid Dahab. Joseph Neff and John Sullivan did a pair of excellent investigative stories for the Raleigh News & Observer on Ali?s years at Fort Bragg. Additional pieces that helped form my initial blueprint came from Associated Press writers Tom Hays and Sharon Theimer, Peter Waldman, Gerald F. Seib and Jerry Markon in the Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune reporters Andrew Martin and Michael J. Berens.
But by far the most comprehensive reporting on Mohamed was done by Benjamin Weiser, who covers the SDNY for the New York Times. His co-writer on several key pieces was Pulitzer Prize winner James Risen. To the degree I?ve been able to add to the body of knowledge on al Qaeda?s master spy, I remain indebted to all of them.

TRIPLE CROSS represents the most thorough examination to date of one of the most secret espionage failures in American history: the story of Ali Abdel Saoud Mohamed, aka Ali Abul Saoud Mustafa, aka Ali Aboualacoud, aka Abu Omar, aka Haydara, aka Ahmed Bahaa Adam, aka Abu Mohammed ali Amriki, aka Ali Nasser Mohamed Taymour, aka Abu Osama, aka Bakhbola, aka Bili Bili. Diamond merchant, Army sergeant, leather dealer, suburban husband, special ops assassin, security guard, computer specialist, CIA asset, FBI informant?and the man who literally wrote al Qaeda?s book on terror?Ali Mohamed wore many faces, perhaps none as secretive as the one he presented to his American wife, Linda, who talked to me for the first time.
Because Ali Mohamed supplies the puzzle pieces that complete the story of FBI negligence on the road to 9/11 I will briefly cover some of the ground examined in 1000 Years for Revenge and Cover Up. It?s now clear that Ramzi Yousef was Osama bin Laden?s chief operational point man, followed after his capture by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. But over the years Ali Mohamed emerged as al Qaeda?s chief intelligence officer, and the man bin Laden trusted with his life. In bin Laden?s ingenious but diabolical plan to attack America, the roles of these two men meshed perfectly. The bomb maker and the spy, two lethal components in al Qaeda?s thirteen-year war against the ?Crusaders.? Which terrorist was more important? That is for the reader to decide. But as Sun Tzu wrote in the 6th century B.C., ?all war is deception,? and Ali Mohamed was one of the most capable deceivers this nation has ever embraced.

11926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 28, 2006, 12:36:07 AM

al Qaeda?s master spy... TRIPLE CROSS is the third book in my investigative trilogy on the FBI and the road to Sept. 11th. Why spend five years on the probe? Because 9/11 has become a cold case...
...the untold story The biggest mass murder in U.S. history remains unsolved, and five years after the attacks that killed 2,973 Americans in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, few in official Washington or New York seem determined to ?clear? it. The only federal case associated directly with the attacks?that of Zacarias Moussaoui?ended in a plea bargain, and in the the penalty phase, one of the FBI?s own agents accused the Bureau of ?criminal negligence.?
Just a week before the fifth anniversary of 9/11 President Bush, pledged that he would seek authority to try terror suspects in ?military tribunals.? But many of those same ?high value? detainees ? including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 ?mastermind? ? have been held in secret CIA prisons and subjected to torture for years without giving up any substantive intelligence on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. Now any effort to try them in U.S. courts would take a significant change in constitutional due process guarantees ? an outcome that this strict constructionist Supreme Court is unlikely to approve. So the case stays cold as the war on terror heats up.
As recently as August 2006, al Qaeda resurrected a fiendish plan to smuggle liquid-based explosive bombs aboard a series of transatlantic flights?mimicking the notorious Bojinka plot designed in 1994 by Ramzi Yousef, the true 9/11 mastermind. Probative evidence derived from Yousef in 1996 was covered up on President Clinton?s watch when multiple opportunities to eliminate Osama bin Laden were squandered. Meanwhile, al Qaeda?s post 9/11 bombings in Bali, Madrid, Istanbul, London, Casablanca and Riyadh, along with its deadly involvement in the ongoing Iraqi insurgency, are stark testimony to the terror network?s lethal resilience.
With each new audio recording or video fatwa Bin Laden and his second in command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri seem to get bolder. Yet the Bush administration recently closed the bin Laden unit at CIA and astonishingly, to this day, the Saudi billionaire has never even been charged for the 9/11 attacks.
The final report of the 9/11 Commission, the last official body to investigate the 9/11 attacks, has proven vastly incomplete. Although the idea of a plot using planes-as-missiles had its genesis with Yousef in Manila during the fall of 1994, the Commission elected to focus its investigation from 1998 forward, leaving out major elements of the story. Their report reduced to a footnote, details of the three major war games being conducted on 9/11, including an exercise by the Northeast Air Defense Sector of NORAD that initially confused officials charged with protecting New York. Worse, it ignored a remarkable account cited earlier by the Commission?s own chairman, Thomas Kean, that F-16s from his home state of New Jersey were moments away from Lower Manhattan but never called by NORAD to interdict the Twin Towers attack.
Now, more than five years after ?Black Tuesday,? a number of crucial questions remain unanswered. Could the attacks have been prevented? If so, who in our government should be blamed for the failure? Most importantly, have our intelligence agencies undergone sufficient reform to prevent future assaults on America by al Qaeda?

Since 9/11 I have devoted virtually every working moment to an investigation designed to answer those questions. For me like most Americans that day started out uneventfully. On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was on the west coast. I got up early to write and turned on CNN.
Then, as I watched the South Tower go down, a cold dull pain formed at the base of my spine. My son Christopher?s high school, was located just a few blocks away from Ground Zero. After several agonizing hours fighting my way through jammed phone circuits, word came from a relative out-of-state that Chris was safe. After he was released with his classmates, he walked more than ninety blocks uptown to join his mother and sisters in safety.
But the next morning, I learned that Ronnie Bucca, a fire marshal I?d met years before, wasn?t so lucky. I had called the FDNY headquarters at Brooklyn?s Metrotech complex, hoping for word about another friend of mine, chief fire marshal Lou Garcia. As it turned out, Garcia had escaped, if narrowly: He had rushed to Ground Zero as soon as he saw smoke licking from the North Tower, and almost died when the South Tower collapsed. I had known Louie for years. In fact, he?d introduced me to Ronnie Bucca back in 1997.
One of the house marshals answered the phone when I called.
?Lou?s okay,? he said. ?But we lost Ronnie.?
?Ronnie Bucca?? I said in disbelief. Ronnie wasn?t just an arson investigator. He was a member of an Army Reserve intelligence unit with Top Secret clearance and he?d been predicting, for years, that terrorists would return to hit the Towers again.
?He?s still missing,? said the house marshal. ?Our guys are down at the pile right now searching.?
The loss of Ronnie Bucca turned out to be one of the cruelest ironies of all the bitter stories from September 11. I?d met Ronnie in September of 1997 when I?d attended a fund raiser for the FDNY?s burn fund at the Fire Museum in Soho. I?d just written First Degree Burn, a novel about a fictional New York City fire marshal and was signing some copies when Ronnie walked up to the table and handed me one.
He cocked his head, smiled and said, ?I?m expecting something really clever now. After all, you?re a writer.?
I hesitated for a moment, then inside on the cover page I wrote: ?This is fiction. You?re the real thing.?
I had no idea at the time what an understatement that was.

In the months that followed, I was astonished by the contours of Bucca?s story. He was a former Green Beret paratrooper who worked Rescue One, the oldest heavy rescue company in the world. In 1986 he had survived a four-story fall from a burning tenement on the Upper West Side, while trying to rescue a lieutenant trapped above the fire floor. Bucca emerged from the fall with a broken back, wrists, and legs. Back then he could have retired on a three-quarter, tax-free pension, the Holy Grail for members of service in New York City. But Ronnie vowed to go back, not just to the fire department but to Rescue One, the ?special forces? of the FDNY. And within a year he did just that? earning legendary status in a company of legendary men.
Henceforth, Ronnie was known to his ?brothers? in ladder and engine companies throughout the city as ?The Flying Firefighter.?
By 1992, tired of pulling bodies out of buildings where the fires were intentionally set,Ronnie Bucca had become a marshal with the FDNY?s Bureau of Fire Investigation. On the night of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, he promised one of his buddies from Rescue One who?d been injured in the blast that he?d find out who did it.
The Feds would later learn that the device had been planted beneath the Twin Towers by Ramzi Yousef, an engineer trained in Wales who grew up in Kuwait with an abiding hatred of Israel. In the early days after the bombing, however, Yousef remained a phantom, known only by the code name ?Rashed.? He fled New York for Pakistan the night of the blast and was the object of a worldwide manhunt, but the FBI seemed stymied. Bucca wanted in on the investigation, but the Bureau excluded FDNY arson investigators from the official probe.
So Ronnie Bucca, who was in an army reserve intelligence detachment, got himself assigned to the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (DIAC) at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington. There, as he began to examine the intel, he learned that the FBI actually had an informant inside the bombing cell months before the blast, but after a falling-out with a Bureau ASAC, he?d withdrawn. Yousef was then sent to New York by al Qaeda. His 1,500?pound, urea-nitrate-fuel oil bomb, driven to the Towers in a yellow Ryder truck, killed six and injured one thousand.
Working back-to-back tours so that he could go to the New York Public Library and educate himself on the history of Islamic terror, Bucca made a shocking discovery: an accountant who appeared to be an al Qaeda mole working inside the FDNY. The man, an Egyptian American and an intimate of the radical cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, had obtained the blueprints of the WTC from the FDNY back in 1992?a year before the Trade Center bombing. Ronnie even found videotape of the man on the arm of the Sheikh, who was the spiritual mufti behind Yousef?s cell. But the FBI?s New York Office ignored his evidence.
Now, days after the greatest mass murder in American history, I learned from Chief Garcia that one of the New York dead was this heroic fire marshal who had warned everybody it was coming.
One night in the late 1990s, while standing outside a bar on First Avenue Ronnie had actually pointed to the Towers and and referenced King Richard the Lionhearted. This was payback, he said. Osama bin Laden had been referring to the West collectively as the ?Crusaders.? The way Ronnie saw it, this modern terror war was just the latest round in a thousand-year grudge match.
He reminded his fellow firefighters?who wear the Maltese Cross on their uniforms?that the worldwide symbol of firefighting had derived from the Knights of Malta. They had organized the first fire brigades in the eleventh century as they stormed the battlements of Saladin and the other Islamic princes.
Outside the bar, looking down First Avenue at the Towers that night, Ronnie said, ?We took their castles and now they?re gonna come back and take ours.?
When word came that they?d found Ronnie?s remains, I thought back to what he?d said and began asking the same questions millions of Americans were then asking: How could his happen? How could the best and brightest in U.S. intelligence ignore year after year of warnings? How did they get caught so off guard? Or did they?

Now, after more than a decade writing fiction, I was back developing sources inside and outside of the Bureau, pouring over the 40,000-plus pages of trial transcripts from the al Qaeda cases in the Southern District of New York and cashing in markers from my days as a trial preparation assistant in the Manhattan D.A.?s office when I was at Fordham Law School. The hunt took me from Ground Zero to the teeming slums of Manila in search of al Qaeda turncoats who might talk. I was the first print reporter to do an extensive interview with Col. Rodolfo B. Mendoza, the chief interrogator of Ramzi Yousef?s partner Abdul Hakim Murad, a pilot trained in four U.S. flight schools. It was Murad who first revealed that Yousef and his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed had sent up to ten jihadis to aviation schools back then in the winter of 1995.
Out of that work came 1000 Years for Revenge. That book presented documentary evidence that Yousef, the original WTC bomber, was also the architect of 9/11. After Yousef?s conviction in 1997, responsibility for the plot had merely been shifted to his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, whom the Feds called KSM. I also proved, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the FBI could have stopped Yousef in 1992 before his first date with the Trade Center.
From Iraq, Dan Rather reported two stories on the book on consecutive nights for The CBS Evening News in September 2003. They can be viewed on the News Videos page of this site.

1000 Years answered many questions but there were significant questions that remained unanswered:

1) Why did the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department ignore probative evidence from Col. Mendoza and the Philippines National Police in 1995 that the Yousef-KSM cell had set in motion this planes-as-missiles plot?
2) Yousef had been brought to ground in Islamabad in 1995 via a tip to the Rewards for Justice program, He?d been arrested after a worldwide search in which his want poster was plastered on tens of thousands of matchbook covers air dropped throughout the Middle East. Yet the Justice Department and the Bureau had kept secret the identity of KSM?not even mentioning him in the press?until 1998, when the planes-as-missles plot was well underway. Again, why?

After reading 1000 Years for Revenge, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, suggested that I share my findings with his staff. As it turned out, however, the commission elected to take my ?testimony? in secret, in a windowless conference room at 26 Federal Plaza on March 15, 2004. In fact, the man who interviewed me, Dietrich Snell, was the former prosecutor of Ramzi Yousef, whose very office had failed to act on the evidence from the Philippines National Police that Yousef was tied to the planes operation.
As I saw it, Dietrich Snell should have been a witness before the 9/11 Commission, subpoenaed to testify under oath in open session. Instead he was hired as its senior counsel, and given the job of determining ?the origin of the plot??the most important question facing the 9/11 Commission. After all, f they couldn?t tell when the plot commenced, they couldn?t rightfully hold U.S. intelligence agencies responsible for not stopping it. But it soon became clear that the commissioners, and investigators like Snell, had little interest in assessing blame. Almost half of the commission?s staff was made up of alumni from the very agencies that failed to stop the attacks. In short, the foxes had been hired to guard the chicken coop.
In the end, Snell relegated the evidence I submitted from the Philippines National Police to a footnote in the 9/11 Commission?s final report. Worse, he flushed remarkable documentary evidence that al Qaeda may have been involved in the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. A cache of memos from the Bureau?s own files strongly suggested a bomb had been planted aboard the Paris-bound flight in order to secure a mistrial for Yousef in the first of two federal prosecutions. The forensic investigator who had shared the documents with me had also presented them to the Commission, but there wasn?t a word about that 1996 al Qaeda-related evidence from Ramzi Yousef in their final report.

11927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 28, 2006, 12:32:52 AM
**One of the USGs biggest pre-9/11 blunders that the FBI/US Army/CIA would rather the general public not know about is below.**

Ali Abdel Saoud Mohamed The Spy of Many Names

In the years leading to the 9/11 attacks, no single agent of al Qaeda was more successful in compromising the U.S. intelligence community than a former Egyptian army captain turned CIA operative, Special Forces advisor, and FBI informant named Ali Mohamed. Spying first for the Central Intelligence Agency and later the FBI, Mohamed even succeeded in penetrating the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg?while simultaneously training the cell that blew up the World Trade Center in 1993. He went on to train Osama bin Laden?s personal bodyguard, and photographed the U.S. embassy in Kenya taking the surveillance pictures bin Laden himself used to target the suicide truck bomb that killed 224 and injured thousands in 1998.
Mohamed accomplished all that fully nine years after the FBI first photographed the cell he trained using automatic weapons at a firing range on Long Island. He lived the quiet life of a Silicon Valley computer executive while slipping off to Afghanistan and the Sudan to train some of al Qaeda?s most lethal terrorists in bomb-making and assassination tradecraft. He was so trusted by bin Laden that Ali was given the job of moving the Saudi ?Emir? from Afghanistan to Khartoum in 1991 and then back to Jalalabad in 1996?much of that time maintaining his status as an FBI informant who worked his Bureau control agent like a mole.
Mohamed twice played host to al Qaeda?s second-in-command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who traveled to the U.S. in the 1990s to raise money for the Jihad. He used his Army vacation to hunt down elite Soviet Spetsnaz commandos in Afghanistan, and later toyed with gullible special agents in New York and San Francisco while he learned the inner workings of the FBI?s al Qaeda playbook.
In the annals of espionage, few men have moved in an out of the deep black world between the hunters and the hunted with as much audacity as Ali Mohamed?known to his al Qaeda brothers as Ali Amiriki, or ?Ali the American.? A deep-penetration al Qaeda sleeper, he succeeded as a triple agent, gaining access to the most sensitive intelligence in the U.S. counter-terrorism arsenal.
Next to Ramzi Yousef, the bomb maker who plotted both attacks on The Twin Towers, Mohamed remains the greatest enigma in the war on terror. Brazenly slipping past watch lists, he moved in and out of the U.S. with impunity for years, marrying an American woman, becoming a naturalized citizen, seeking top secret security clearance from a Silicon Valley defense contractor and working for the FBI while servicing the top echelons of al Qaeda.
The story of Ali Mohamed holds the key to the full truth about how bin Laden planned, financed, and executed the 9/11 attacks. He?s also a living witness to how the best and the brightest in the U.S. intelligence community were repeatedly outflanked for two decades, from the death of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981 through the attacks of September 11, 2001.
My conclusion in Cover Up was that the FBI had buried key al Qaeda intelligence to avoid a scandal over tainted Mafia evidence. But as unbelievable as that story seemed, the investigation took on even stranger twists and turns when Ali Mohamed came into focus. For example, almost from the moment the Bureau ?opened? him as an informant back in 1992, Ali?s main control agent on the West Coast became embroiled in a grisly triple murder case that distracted him from fully appreciating Mohamed?s lethal dedication to stealing America?s secrets for the jihad. Patrick Fitzgerald himself called Ali ?the most dangerous man I ever met,? and soon, as I began to fill in the blanks on him, I encountered evidence more astonishing than any fiction I had ever written. Continued in Chapter One of Triple Cross.

11928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World War for Wealth on: November 27, 2006, 12:59:34 PM
**I think this author is spot on.**

The Exceptionally Entrepreneurial Society
By Arnold Kling : 27 Nov 2006 
"The movement that built the first national democracy was not triggered by an uprising of the masses; nor was it led by intellectual theorists. It was led by entrepreneurial men of means...In fact, starting a business develops precisely the traits that make democracy work. It requires independence, much effort, and self-discipline--but also the ability to work with others and the recognition that you can only succeed by serving the needs of others."
-- Carl J. Schramm, The Entrepreneurial Imperative, p. 161

This is the first of three essays on the theme of the significance of entrepreneurship in America. This essay looks at "American exceptionalism" with respect to entrepreneurship. The next essay will look at entrepreneurship and income inequality. The final essay will look at education and entrepreneurship.

Carl Schramm's thesis is that entrepreneurialism is as important to American culture as it is to our economic vibrancy. By the same token, in order to live in a congenial world, it is as important for the U.S. to export entrepreneurialism as it is to export democracy.

Compared to the United States, other developed countries, particularly in Continental Europe, put up more regulatory impediments to entrepreneurs, particularly the important subset of entrepreneurs that I will define below as change agents. In underdeveloped countries, regulatory impediments are compounded by crime and corruption, creating an environment even less conducive to entrepreneurship.

Defining Terms

The term "entrepreneur" has at least two connotations. The term could describe someone who launches a new enterprise. Alternatively, an entrepreneur could be defined as someone whose income is at risk in a business.

My preference is to require that a person satisfy both connotations in order to be called an entrepreneur. That is, my definition of an entrepreneur is someone who both launches a new enterprise and bears considerable risk and accountability relative to its success. To my way of thinking, an innovator who develops a new product within the safe confines of a university, a government agency, or an existing corporation is an intrepreneur, not an entrepreneur. Someone who has a very high degree of risk and accountability but who did not launch the business is a hired executive, not an entrepreneur.

An important subset of entrepreneurs (and of intrapreneurs) might be termed change agents. A change agent's new enterprise defies conventional wisdom and habits in some important way. Famous entrepreneurs, from Thomas Edison to Steven Jobs, are change agents. Change agents encounter resistance from people who are unwilling or unable to see the benefits of innovation, which explains why personal charisma and salesmanship can be important to their success.

Most entrepreneurs are not change agents. More typically, entrepreneurs own individual franchises, small retail stores, and just about anything else that you would find in a typical strip mall. These businesses require dedication, risk tolerance, and hard work to operate, but they do not depend on or attract change agents to launch them.

Amar Bhide, in his classic treatise, uses the term "promising start-ups" to describe businesses started by change agents and the term "marginal businesses" to describe the more routine entrepreneurial efforts. This terminological exercise may seem tiresome, but otherwise one can slip into using the term "entrepreneur" in multiple ways, depending on context.

Continental Europe

Edmund Phelps is the 2006 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics. Shortly after his award was announced, Phelps published an essay on how capitalism in the United States differs from the system in Continental Europe. Phelps wrote,

There are two economic systems in the West. Several nations -- including the U.S., Canada and the U.K. -- have a private-ownership system marked by great openness to the implementation of new commercial ideas coming from entrepreneurs, and by a pluralism of views among the financiers who select the ideas to nurture by providing the capital and incentives necessary for their development. Although much innovation comes from established companies, as in pharmaceuticals, much comes from start-ups, particularly the most novel innovations...

The other system -- in Western Continental Europe -- though also based on private ownership, has been modified by the introduction of institutions aimed at protecting the interests of "stakeholders" and "social partners." The system's institutions include big employer confederations, big unions and monopolistic banks.

In Continental Europe, large banks control the bulk of investment. The United States has a more vibrant stock market, many more banks, venture capital firms, and other financial channels.

In Continental Europe, large established firms have access to funds from the large banks, but newer enterprises have a much more difficult time raising money. In the United States, the more competitive financial system gives more opportunity for entrepreneurs to raise start-up capital. As Barry Eichengreen put it,

Bank-based financial systems had been singularly effective at mobilizing resources for investment by existing enterprises using known technologies, but they were less conducive to growth in a period of heightened technological uncertainty.

-- (For more on Eichengreen's work, see Tyler Cowen.)

In Continental Europe, labor market regulations serve to keep small businesses small and to ossify the work forces at larger companies. In the United States, it is much easier for new businesses to expand and for old businesses to shed unnecessary workers.

European government policies sacrifice economic dynamism to other goals. For example, Joseph H. Golec and John A. Vernon recently wrote,

EU countries closely regulate pharmaceutical prices whereas the U.S. does not...In 1986, EU pharmaceutical R&D exceeded U.S. R&D by about 24 percent, but by 2004, EU R&D trailed U.S. R&D by about 15 percent. During these 19 years, U.S. R&D spending grew at a real annual compound rate of 8.8 percent, while EU R&D spending grew at a real 5.4 percent rate. Results show that EU consumers enjoyed much lower pharmaceutical price inflation, however, at a cost of 46 fewer new medicines introduced by EU firms and 1680 fewer EU research jobs.

Continental Europe is set up to preserve large public sectors, large banks, and large corporations. For individuals, the promise is stable jobs, a stable business environment, and collective sharing of the costs of unemployment, retirement, and health care. For the economy as a whole, however, the result is stagnation, inefficiency, and a burden on the working population to support the unproductive sector that is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

Over time, Europeans with entrepreneurial inclinations will be increasingly tempted to emigrate to the United States or other countries in the Anglosphere. Among the remaining Europeans, political support for welfare-state policies will solidify, even as the economic viability of those policies slips further.

Crime and Corruption

An entrepreneurial culture can emerge only in a setting where private property enjoys protection. When government fails to prevent crime, or when government corruption and expropriation serve the same functions as crime, the price for entrepreneurs is steep. A recent New York Times story summarized research done by a number of international agencies on the cost of crime in Latin America.

Years of rampant violent crime is not only robbing Latin America of significant private investment, but in some cases is stealing up to 8 percent from national economic growth, economists and World Bank officials say.

..."You have money spent on guarding stuff rather than making stuff," said Michael Hood, Latin America economist for Barclays Capital. "There's a large population standing around in blue blazers rather than engaged in more productive activities."

Much of the cost of government corruption is inflicted on start-up businesses. The World Bank and Canada's Fraser Institute have both documented the difficulties of doing business in many underdeveloped countries.

The Ethics of Growth, Once Again

Four years ago on TCS, I wrote that a nation's prosperity depends on three ethics: a work ethic, a public service ethic, and a learning ethic. The work ethic means that people believe that those who are willing to work deserve more rewards than those who are not. A public service ethic means that government officials are expected to protect private property, not to extort it. And a learning ethic means that people expect to learn, innovate, and adapt, rather than to resist change.

In the underdeveloped world, the work ethic and the public service ethic have not flourished. Instead, crime and corruption sap the economy, and entrepreneurship is particularly frustrated.

Continental Europe does not suffer such severe problems with the work ethic and the public service ethic. However, an important part of the learning ethic is taking advantage of the decentralized, trial-and-error process of entrepreneurial success and failure. The Continental European system attempts to replace the learning of decentralized markets with bureaucratic planning. Individual change agents have little access to capital and less opportunity to earn large individual rewards.

Ultimately, Europe's corporatist, bureaucratic model impedes learning and retards innovation. With its barriers to entrepreneurship, which are particularly discouraging to change agents, European economic growth has lagged behind during the last two decades of rapid technological change.

America's Natural Allies

If the United States is exceptional because of our entrepreneurial culture, then our natural allies may not be in Continental Europe, in spite of its democratic governments and high levels of economic development. China seems more dynamic than Europe, but I would argue that China's government-controlled financial system ultimately is not compatible with American-style entrepreneurship. Instead, we may have more in common with other nations of the Anglosphere, as well as such entrepreneurial outposts as India, Israel, and Singapore.

For the half century following World War II, the United States focused on democracy as the cornerstone of foreign policy. Democratic nations were our allies, and promoting democracy abroad was a top priority. However, it may be that American exceptionalism mostly reflects entrepreneurship. In that case, we have less in common with European social democracy than we thought previously. And, if our goal is to have more countries that look like America, then having them adopt a democratic political system may not be necessary and will certainly not be sufficient. Instead, our primary focus should be on fostering an entrepreneurial economic system. As Nobel Laureate Phelps put it,

I conclude that capitalism is justified -- normally by the expectable benefits to the lowest-paid workers but, failing that, by the injustice of depriving entrepreneurial types (as well as other creative people) of opportunities for their self-expression.

Arnold Kling is an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute. His most recent book is Crisis of Abundance: Re-thinking How We Pay for Health Care.
11929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 27, 2006, 09:08:24 AM
11930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 27, 2006, 08:32:45 AM
The same laws should apply to jihadist groups.

Well, that is in effect. Its either in this thread or 'Islam in Europe' where it is written that Germany already expelled several preachers.

What is German? Mohammad Atta spoke, read, dressed and acted German. What about people like him?

What about those people in the second generation who already have a German passport and identity, but are caught between their cultural heritage and a society which doesn't give them a chance for integration?

Germany hasn't expelled enough yet.

As far as Atta, on the surface he was "culturally compitent" but he found the path to jihad from a Hamburg mosque.

People caught between need to choose one or the other. Germany or the umma. Failure to choose IS a choice.
11931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: November 27, 2006, 07:37:50 AM
**No earth-shattering kaboom this year.**

Hurricane Predictions Off Track As Tranquil Season Wafts Away
By NEIL JOHNSON The Tampa Tribune

Published: Nov 27, 2006

It was not the hurricane season we expected, thank you.

With cataclysmic predictions that hurricanes would swarm from the tropics like termites, no one thought 2006 would be the most tranquil season in a decade.

Barring a last-second surprise from the tropics, the season will end Thursday with nine named storms, and only five of those hurricanes. This year is the first season since 1997 that only one storm nudged its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

Still, Florida was hit by two tropical storms, Alberto and Ernesto. But after the pummeling of the previous two years, the storms barely registered on the public's radar.

So what happened? Lots.

Storms were starved for fuel after ingesting masses of dry Saharan dust and air over the Atlantic Ocean. Scientists say the storm-snuffing dust was more abundant than usual this year.

In the season's peak, storms were curving right like errant field goals. High pressure that normally hunkers near Bermuda shifted far eastward, and five storms rode the clockwise winds away from Florida.

Finally, a rapidly growing El Nino, a warming of water over the tropical Pacific Ocean, shifted winds high in the atmosphere southward. The winds left developing storms disheveled and unable to become organized.

As they say about the stock market: Past results are no indication of future performance.

This year's uneventful season provides no assurance that next year will be as calm:

?The Atlantic remains in a 20- to 30-year cycle of high hurricane activity that started in 1995. Water temperatures are above normal.

?El Nino probably won't be around to decapitate storms.

?There's no promise that the Saharan dust will be as abundant.

9: The number of named storms this year

17: The number of named storms predicted May 31 by a team at Colorado State University led by Professor William Gray

45 mph: The wind speed when Tropical Storm Alberto hit the Florida Panhandle near Adams Beach on June 13, the strongest winds over Florida all season

56 percent: The average homeowner rate increase Citizens Property Insurance Corp. requested even after no hurricanes struck Florida

27 percent: The Citizens rate increase approved to start Jan. 1

$100 million: Estimated damage in the United States from Tropical Storm Ernesto

0: The number of storms that formed in October, the first time since 2002 that no storms formed that month. Also, no Category 4 or 5 storms formed this year for the first time since 1997.



Find this article at: 
11932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 27, 2006, 07:35:28 AM
Failure to assume a German (Or other nation that applies) identity and allegence. You may not be able to read a mind, but you can observe their actions. The immigrant should speak, read, dress and act German. Any mosque preaching anything that clashes with German values shouldn't be tolerated. Germany doesn't allow swastikas, Mein Kampf or neo-nazi gatherings. The same laws should apply to jihadist groups. You couldn't flaunt your decadent western ways in an islamic country, the same rules should apply to them in the west.
11933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 27, 2006, 06:03:52 AM
11934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 27, 2006, 06:03:16 AM
Why are there youngsters packing a buchload of guns and going into their high school on a rampage?

Hard to say. I guess its many components playing together;
  • lack of cultural identity
  • self hatred
  • feeling of exclusion (from society, friends, family)
  • suicical tendencies
  • depression

I'd say these convert jihadist are an exception and no rule.

What do you think?

I think there is a massive body of evidence to correlate violence to islam. Not every muslim, but as a rule the more religiously observant, the more likely to engage in jihad, or at least support it due to islam's core theology. Those that might have joined the Brownshirts 70 years ago or the Red Army Faction or Bader-Meinhof 30 years ago are converting to islam and becoming jihadis today. The commonality between the various groups is the endorsement, even sanctification of violence to meet their communal goals.
11935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 27, 2006, 05:38:49 AM
There is a difference between patriotism and malignant nationalism. I think the distinction is lost in europe's politics.You can love Germany without it becoming "Deutchland uber alles". You eject people who have outside loyalties, either to other nations or to the "umma". Applying to be an immigrant is like applying for a job. You are asking, not demanding. The weight is on the immigrant to prove they deserve citizenship.

Draw clear lines about what it means to be a German (Or other nation). If they can't or won't meet the standard, then they need to find another country. If Biergardens and women walking around without the hijab offend you, then look elsewhere for a place to live. I know that if I as an American was living in Germany and complained to Germans about how some aspects of Germany didn't jibe with my American cultural values you'd feel free to tell me off. Why should you then treat any other group any differently? Give non-intergrating immigrants the same venom usually only reserved for America. 
11936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 27, 2006, 01:20:26 AM
Well, that doesn't really contradict to what I'm saying...

Quoted from one of your articles:

The phenomenon is not confined to Europe.

Yes, but please explain to me how you take a european muslim convert (Or American, Canadian, Australian convert) and then get a jihadist. You don't have the "victim" status you claim is what is fueling the jihad with middle eastern, south asian, african ethnicities that face discrimination in europe.
11937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 26, 2006, 07:51:31 AM
**And the european converts to islam become suicide bombers because.....**

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 30, 2006, 04:01 PM
War on Terror

German Women Vowed to Mount Suicide Attacks in Iraq

By Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark

German authorities may have thwarted suicide bomb attacks in Iraq by German women. According to intelligence sources, three women were prevented from travelling to Iraq after one of them had announced she planned to blow herself up in Iraq.

Car bombs and suicide bombs remain a daily feature of life in Iraq. On Monday, some 39 people were killed in multiple bombings in the country.

SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that German intelligence agencies have prevented three German women from travelling to Iraq in recent weeks. The women, who have close contacts to the Islamist scene in Germany and at least one whom has converted to Islam, came to the attention of intelligence agencies after one of them had announced on an Internet site that she intended to blow herself and her child up in Iraq.

After the Web posting were spotted, Germany's domestic and foreign intelligence agencies mounted an intense search for the three women. One of them was located in Berlin, the other two are believed to come from southern Germany. The Berlin woman's child was taken away from her and she has been put in a psychiatric clinic. The two other women were also prevented from leaving Germany. One of them is also believed to have a child.

It's not clear yet how serious the women were about their claims and how far their plans for an attack had progressed. There has been no official confirmation. Well-informed sources say the women have had contacts with sympathizers of Ansar al Islam, a militant group linked to al-Qaida and suspected of smuggling suicide bombers from Germany to Iraq. The group is also suspected of raising money for the resistance to the US-led forces in Iraq.

There have been several such cases in the past and German security officials have long been worried that Islamic militants are increasingly recruiting young Muslims with German passports for suicide attacks.

It has become almost routine for foreign bombers to be used in Iraq. But the use of European citizens could be a new and dangerous trend. Last November a female Belgian convert blew herself up near Baghdad.


  Posted September 13, 2006 03:31 PM  Hide Post,20867,20408791-2703,00.html

Western-born Muslims seen as biggest threat
Richard Kerbaj, Herzliya, Israel
September 14, 2006

YOUNG Western-born Muslims recruited in universities, mosques and on the internet are increasingly being turned to jihad by terrorist networks, which train them in Islamic countries to support and conduct attacks on their homelands.
The return of brainwashed sleeper agents trained in counter-intelligence and covert fundraising, as well as the use of explosives, was the "biggest threat to humanity in modern times", said Boaz Ganor, founder of the Israeli-based Institute of Counter-Terrorism.

"They are looking for them in mosques ... in the youth centres ... on the web ... relying on social acquaintances and also family ties and universities," Dr Ganor told a conference hosted by the institute in the resort city of Herzliya yesterday.

He said terror organisations used psychological strategies to win the hearts of "specific" young Muslims through either indirect recruitment platforms such as the internet, and direct ones such as combing radical mosques and prayer halls.

Extremists looked for recruits who were not integrated into Western society and wanted to reinvent themselves.

"They are looking for people who are alienated from society, they're looking for people that have religious devotion, they're looking for those who believe that they are discriminated against," Dr Ganor said.

Converts to Islam with a proclivity for violence and fanaticism were also considered good recruits. "They are using this idea of divine command, saying 'we are just messengers and it is God that demands you to do this job ... we have to save Islam'.

"(But) when you spread a network like that, sometimes you get fissures that you don't expect to get because these alienated, frustrated youngsters are not just in the Muslim society, and therefore we see another phenomenon, which are converts."

Last month, The Australian revealed that dozens of violent criminals in Sydney were being brainwashed by hardliners and converting to radical Islam in jail, creating a serious national security time bomb.

Dr Ganor said of the recruits: "They are usually being trained in other countries - it could be Pakistan or another place - and then they are infiltrated again into the old society as an indoctrinated, trained sleeper that are just sitting and waiting for the order.

"Some of them are being used for fundraising missions, some of them are being used for collection of intelligence and for recruiting others. But we have to understand ... that some of them are being used for this mission of launching a terrorist attack on Western society."

Another expert on Islamic terrorism who spoke at the conference, Steven Emerson, told The Australian that terrorist organisations were increasingly shifting towards training their recruits on how to become better intelligence agents and expose the weaknesses of their enemies.

"It's in al-Qa'ida's manual to do better counter-intelligence, to do observation, surveillance, reconnaissance," he said. "That's critical to any good terrorist apparatus. You always have to have a reconnaissance man.

"Hezbollah excels in reconnaissance - sending back to Tehran videos that they have witnessed in terms of the vulnerabilities."

Dr Ganor said Muslim communities worldwide needed to take the initiative in exposing and thwarting the actions of radicals.


Al Qaeda exploits 'blue-eyed' Muslim converts
12 October 2005

PARIS/BERLIN: What prompts someone to convert to Islam and to sign up for global "holy war" in the name of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda?

Security agencies are asking that question with increasing urgency as they confront a growing catalogue of actual or attempted attacks in which Muslim converts are suspected of playing prominent roles.

Christian Ganczarski, a German suspected of involvement in a 2002 bombing in Tunisia, converted at 20 before embarking on a jihadist career in which, investigators believe, he became a close associate of bin Laden's.

Other high-profile militant converts include Jamaican-born Germaine Lindsay, one of four suicide bombers who killed 52 people in London in July, and Briton Andrew Rowe, jailed for 15 years last month for possessing terrorist materials.

Frenchman Lionel Dumont, a suspected Rowe associate and another convert, will go on trial in December accused of a series of attacks in the 1990s, including an attempt to bomb a Group of Seven summit in Lille.

"It's striking, the number of converts engaged in terrorist activities," said Michael Taarnby, a researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies who has studied the recruitment and radicalisation of Islamist militants.

Jean-Louis Bruguiere, France's top anti-terrorism judge, told the newspaper Le Figaro in an interview: "The converts are undeniably the toughest. Nowadays the conversions happen more quickly and the commitment is more radical."

The phenomenon is not confined to Europe.

John Walker Lindh, dubbed "the American Taliban", was convicted and jailed in 2002 for fighting alongside the Afghan militia, and US citizen Jose Padilla has been held for more than three years as a suspected enemy combatant in connection with an alleged "dirty bomb" plot.

In Australia, British-born Muslim convert Jack Roche was jailed for nine years in 2004 for conspiring to bomb the Israeli embassy in Canberra.

In interviews with Reuters, European experts said the vast majority of those who converted to Islam did so for legitimate personal reasons. Some convert in order to marry Muslims.

Many converts were drawn, the experts said, by the appeal of a universal faith that transcended national and ethnic barriers, offered a sense of belonging and brotherhood and provided a new identity, including the choice of a Muslim name.

However, a small fraction were extremists who saw in radical Islam a vehicle to challenge and overthrow the existing world order, said Olivier Roy, research director of the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

The advantage for militant groups and the problem for security agencies is that converts can often move more freely and attract less suspicion than people of obviously Middle Eastern appearance.

"If you are a youngster in the French suburbs, your mates are second-generation Muslim immigrants and you want to wage war against society, the system, where do you go?" said Roy.

"Thirty years ago, you joined the Maoists, the Trotskyists, the far left, the Baader group, Action Directe. Today, where do you go? Bin Laden." A German intelligence official cited cases where radical foreigners had acquired residents' status by marrying local women, complicating authorities' attempts to kick them out.

"It gives them more security in their legal status. If they're married to a German woman, it's very hard to expel them," he said.

Some of the best-known extremist converts whose cases have come to trial were drifters on the margins of society.

David Courtailler, a Frenchman convicted last year of abetting terrorists, was drawn into radical circles when he converted to Islam at a British mosque and was approached by a stranger there who gave him money and an air ticket to Pakistan.

Reid, Rowe and Ganczarski all had records as small-time thieves or drug dealers.

"They are people who feel devalued, despised and by becoming terrorists they suddenly become supermen, heroes," said Roy.

Once they converted, the experts said, such people often moved towards violence quickly, driven partly by a need to prove themselves. They might also be more easily manipulated by extremists because they lacked the cultural grounding to distinguish between true and distorted versions of Islam.

"Basically, you can tell them just about anything and they're willing to believe it," Taarnby said. "They're not asking the right questions. They're just accepting what they're being told at face value."

The advantage for militant groups ? and the problem for security agencies ? is that converts can often move more freely and attract less suspicion than people of obviously Middle Eastern appearance.

"Thanks to their physical appearance they can penetrate targets in Europe much more easily without being spotted," said Roland Jacquard, head of the International Terrorism Observatory in Paris.

In theory, white Europeans attending radical mosques would be easy for intelligence services to identify. "But when they are taken on by terrorist organisations, they are asked to ensure they don't draw attention to themselves in that way," Jacquard said.

Such individuals are insiders who understand perfectly the nature of the Western societies they are trying to subvert, Jacquard said. "They know the mentality, the lifestyle that the terrorist organisations want to strike." He said al Qaeda's recruitment of "blue-eyed" Europeans dated from the Bosnian war.

"Now, when you take Muslim converts whose mother and father are French, English, Spanish or Italian and who live in society normally, with society's habits, they are absolutely undetectable."

11938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 26, 2006, 04:19:43 AM
**On the whole, the western born/western educated jihadists tend to be from middle class, even upper class socioeconomic backgrounds. So we know they aren't "depraived because they are deprived".**

British Terror Trial Traces a Path to Militant Islam

In 2004, the British authorities received a tip from a suspicious employee of a storage warehouse outside London, above, that Nabeel Hussain, one of the defendants in the conspiracy trial, was storing a large amount of fertilizer there.

Published: November 26, 2006

LONDON, Nov. 25 ? More than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer suitable for making bombs was locked in a rented storage warehouse. A cookie tin of aluminum powder was hidden behind a garden shed. Young British Muslims underwent military training at guerrilla camps in remote parts of Pakistan. Suspects, surreptitiously taped by the police, talked about bombing targets in Britain.

At the storage site, the police found more than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer which could fuel a blast.

A search at a defendant?s home turned up a cookie tin of aluminum powder, another possible bomb ingredient.

Omar Khyam and Salahuddin Amin, defendants linked to an alleged bomb plot; Mohammed Junaid Babar, a prosecution witness; and Mohammed Momin Khawaja, awaiting trail in Canada in connection with same case.

Enter a computer technician in Canada experimenting with remote-controlled detonation devices and a collaborator-turned-informer from Queens testifying about secret meetings with operatives of Al Qaeda.

For eight months, the tale of the Operation Crevice Seven has been unfolding in a cramped, windowless courtroom in the Old Bailey in London.

On trial are seven men, ages 19 to 34, six of them with family roots in Pakistan. Arrested in 2004, they are charged with involvement in a criminal conspiracy to make explosives to commit murder, allegations that they all deny. Their target, the authorities say, was unclear ? a nightclub, perhaps, or a shopping mall, public utilities, a British airliner or even the House of Commons.

But investigators say the evidence reveals the workings of the kind of cell most feared by officials in Europe. Young Muslims, radicalized by local imams and trained at military camps in Pakistan with vague connections to Al Qaeda, plan an attack at home with help from outside terrorists.

The July 7, 2005, London transit bombings and the alleged London-based plot uncovered last August to blow up airliners also involved disaffected British youths of Pakistani descent, some of whom had traveled to Pakistan for family visits, study and perhaps training.

In a speech this month, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of the British security service known as MI5, disclosed that intelligence officers were watching 1,600 people ?who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas.?

She said they had identified nearly 30 plots that ?often have links back to Al Qaeda in Pakistan and through those links Al Qaeda gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here.? She said other countries ? Spain, France, Canada and Germany ? faced similar threats.

Dame Eliza?s comments echo concerns among intelligence officials throughout Europe that remnants of Al Qaeda?s network, disrupted after Sept. 11, were reconstituting in the tribal areas on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Crevice defendants deny they were a conspiratorial cell. Some admit to training in Pakistan but insist they had a goal other than attacking Britain, notwithstanding the fertilizer stored near London. They said they supported jihad in Afghanistan and the liberation of Kashmir, a disputed area between Pakistan and India.

One defendant, Salahuddin Amin, a 31-year-old part-time taxi driver from Luton, testified Tuesday that he started donating money to help Kashmir in 1999. Then he moved to Pakistan in 2001 and became a conduit directing assistance from Britain to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, he said.

But prosecutors charge that Mr. Amin, who knew some of the other Crevice defendants from Britain, became a link between them and militants in Pakistan. They said he and others attended a two-day course in Pakistan to learn to make fertilizer-based explosives. In videotaped confessions to the British police after his arrest in 2005, he admitted being ?mixed up with terrorists? and said he provided a formula for explosives to one of his co-defendants through an Internet chat room.

On the witness stand, Mr. Amin proclaimed his innocence, saying he confessed only after being jailed for 10 months in Pakistan, where he said he was beaten and threatened with a whirring electric drill. ?I would never take part in plots like that,? he testified.

Heeding the Call to Jihad

Omar Khyam, 24, considered by prosecutors to be the ringleader of the group, began his journey to extremism as a teenager in Crawley, just south of London.

Mr. Khyam, a standout cricket player, planned to study electrical engineering in college, but when he was 16 he began spending time with members of Al Muhajiroun, a radical group active in Crawley and dedicated to a global Islamic community under Shariah, the legal code based on the Koran. The group, led by Omar Bakri Mohammed, is now banned in Britain.

Two years later, instead of preparing for his high school exams, Mr. Khyam ran away, leaving a note saying he was off to join Islamic freedom fighters in Kashmir.

His uncle told a British newspaper that ran an article in 2000 about Mr. Khyam?s sudden departure that his nephew had been indoctrinated by Al Muhajiroun. Mr. Khyam?s family persuaded him to return home, but not before he had attended a training camp.

?They taught me everything I needed for guerrilla warfare in Kashmir, AK47s, pistols, RPGs, sniper rifles, climbing and crawling techniques, reconnaissance and light machine guns,? Mr. Khyam testified in the Crevice trial in September.

After enrolling in college in Britain, Mr. Khyam returned to Pakistan in 2001 for a friend?s wedding and crossed into Afghanistan to meet members of the Taliban movement before it was overthrown after 9/11. ?They were soft, kind and humble, but harsh with their enemies,? he recalled in court.

Meanwhile, in Luton, a town on the other side of London and another center of Al Muhajiroun recruitment, Mr. Amin also heeded the call to jihad.

His videotaped confessions to the police tell the story of his rejection of his Western way of life, his turn to prayer and the rules of Islam and his political radicalization.

It was in a Luton prayer center that he first met some of the men accused of being Crevice conspirators, including Mr. Khyam and a man accused of being a Qaeda operative, Abu Munthir, who was visiting from Pakistan.

Videos showing the slaughter of Muslims in Chechnya and Bosnia jolted Mr. Amin into sending money to ?freedom fighters? in Kashmir to buy arms and ammunition. The lectures of the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri at the Finsbury Park mosque in London shortly before 9/11 and the American-led invasion of Afghanistan helped persuade him that he should join the Afghan fight.

Two months after 9/11, Mr. Amin sold his house in Luton and went to Pakistan in search of training with militants, according to his confessions. The prosecution argues that over the next three years, Mr. Amin, Mr. Khyam and their associates entered a hidden world of terrorism with tentacles on three continents.

Secrecy was maintained by using aliases and coded language. Cellphone conversations were avoided. Rather than using e-mail messages, communications were passed through Internet chats or by electronic messages stored for others to pick up later with passwords. Computer hard drives and cellphone SIM cards were discarded and replaced often.

The prosecution?s guide through that world was a Pakistani-American named Mohammed Junaid Babar, who said he worked for the New York chapter of Al Muhajiroun.

Defense lawyers portray Mr. Babar as a fabricator and possibly an agent for the United States government. ?You are a liar, a deceitful, self-centered, arrogant fantasist,? Michel Massih, a lawyer for one of the defendants, told Mr. Babar during cross-examination last April.

Mr. Babar acknowledged having lied when first questioned by the F.B.I. He pleaded guilty in New York in June 2004 to providing material support for terrorists, and he said in court that he was testifying against the Crevice suspects to reduce his sentence.

Yet during 17 days on the witness stand, Mr. Babar, the star witness for the prosecution, told a riveting story.

A militant networker, Mr. Babar said he moved to Pakistan in November 2001 with money and instructions from Al Muhajiroun. A year later, on a fund-raising trip to London, Mr. Babar said, he first met members of what he called the ?Crawley lot,? including Mr. Khyam and Anthony Garcia, an Algerian-born aspiring fashion model who had changed his name and is now accused of purchasing the secreted fertilizer.

Mr. Babar said Mr. Khyam told him that he and other ?brothers? from Crawley were not just a local operation but reported to a man called Abdul Hadi, described by Mr. Khyam as the ?No. 3? in Al Qaeda.

In mid-2003, the prosecution said, the Crevice suspects began coming together in Pakistan where Mr. Babar?s home in Lahore was a haven for young, radical Britons of Pakistani descent.

Bomb-related equipment like detonators, fertilizer and aluminum powder that can be used to fuel an explosion, and beans to make the poison ricin were stored in a bedroom cupboard, he said. The backyard was used for small-scale experiments with explosives, including the detonation of a spice jar packed with chemicals.

Mr. Amin, meanwhile, was living close by. He said in his police confessions that he had been collecting money and materials for fighters in Afghanistan and passing them on to the man accused of being a Qaeda operative, Abu Munthir, who had once visited the Luton prayer center.

When Mr. Khyam arrived in Pakistan in 2003, hoping to train to fight in Afghanistan, he was told there were enough fighters there, according to Mr. Amin?s confessions. Instead, Abu Munthir sent word that if he was really serious, he should ?do something? in Britain, Mr. Amin told the police.

Later that year, Mr. Khyam, Mr. Amin and another man traveled to a safe house in Kohat, Pakistan, for two days of training in making explosives, including fertilizer bombs, Mr. Amin said. Mr. Khyam then organized a session in the mountains around Malakand near the Afghan border, allegedly to teach others what he had learned.

Mr. Khyam and a core group of three other Crevice suspects, including Mr. Babar, made their way there by posing as Western tourists looking to visit lakes and glaciers.

Mr. Babar said one of the men he brought along was a Canadian named Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a computer engineer, now 27, who is accused of being the detonator-maker in the plot.

Mr. Babar recalled in court that the first test with fertilizer-based explosives failed; the second was moderately successful.

?It created a U in the ground,? Mr. Babar testified. ?It went down, sideways and back up the other way.? The group videotaped the scene, he added, hoping to produce a ?a minimovie-type thing? with Koranic verses or songs, to inspire others.

If Mr. Babar is to be believed, Mr. Khyam became so determined to carry out an attack in Britain that during this time he also took a 10-day trip to seek more guidance from Qaeda operatives.

Mr. Babar said Mr. Khyam told him that the instructions from Abu Munthir were for ?multiple bombings,? either ?simultaneously or one after the other on the same day.?

Mr. Babar recalled Mr. Khyam saying that Britain was as responsible as the United States for what was happening in the Middle East and should be attacked. ?He said we need to hit certain spots like pubs, nightclubs and trains,? Mr. Babar said.

An Undercover Investigation

Precisely how and when the authorities learned of the group?s activities is unclear, but by early February 2004, they had begun one of Britain?s largest antiterrorist undercover investigations. Operation Crevice, aided by the United States, Canada and Pakistan, involved round-the-clock human surveillance, audio wiretaps in cars and homes and video surveillance.

On Feb. 20, investigators got an extraordinarily lucky break: a suspicious employee at a self-storage warehouse outside of London called the police to report that someone named Nabeel Hussain was storing a large amount of fertilizer.

The police inserted an undercover officer called Amanda as the receptionist and secretly replaced the fertilizer with a benign substance. A hidden camera was installed and filmed Mr. Khyam when he showed up to check the contents.

The police continued to watch and listen, and their 3,500 hours of surveillance tapes are at the core of the prosecution case. Some of the most chilling conversations played in court are between Mr. Khyam, whose Suzuki sport utility vehicle and apartment had been bugged, and Jawad Akbar, 23, a college student whose apartment had been bugged.

In a conversation recorded in February 2004, Mr. Akbar talked of an ?easy? target, like a nightclub, ?where you don?t need no experience and nothing and you could get a job.? In such a place, he said, ?no one can even turn round and say, ?Oh, they were innocent,? those slags dancing around,? using a slang term for loose women.

When Mr. Khyam asked what he would do if he got a job at a place like the Ministry of Sound, London?s largest nightclub, Mr. Akbar replied, ?Blow the whole thing up.?

In March, Mr. Khyam talked about a simultaneous attack of Britain?s gas, electricity and water systems.

?The electrics go off so it?s a blackout, and then the gas lot move in and bang,? he said. ?Then something goes wrong with the water, a simultaneous attack.?

In late March, when Mr. Khyam and his younger brother, Shujah Mahmood, 19, also a defendant, bought tickets to fly to Pakistan on April 6, the police feared that an attack in Britain was imminent.

On March 30, 700 police officers raided two dozen locations, shutting down what they suspected was a cell and arresting six of the defendants.

They found the cookie tin containing aluminum powder behind a shed at Mr. Khyam?s family home in Crawley. They also found a dozen CD-ROMs giving detailed plans of Britain?s electricity and gas systems that they charged had been stolen from the National Grid Transco utility company by an employee, Waheed Mahmood. At 34, Mr. Mahmood, a father of four, is the oldest Crevice defendant.

The police seized a list of British synagogues and computer video files containing parts of an explosives handbook and a military training manual. Investigators also found instructions for how to react if contacted by counterterrorism authorities.

Meanwhile, Mr. Khawaja, who had recently returned from visiting Crevice suspects in Britain, was arrested in Canada. Electrical equipment, described by British authorities as remote-control devices that could be connected to bomb detonators, as well as guns and ammunition, were found at his home. He is awaiting trial in Canada, the first suspect to be tried under Canada?s 2001 Antiterrorism Act.

The Prosecution?s Case

Prosecutors acknowledge that they have not been able to identify either a fixed target or a date for an attack, but they do not have to. To win convictions, they only have to prove that the seven defendants conspired to cause an explosion ?likely to endanger life? in Britain.

Mr. Khyam, Mr. Garcia and Mr. Hussain are also charged with possessing 600 kilograms, or about 1,320 pounds, of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and Mr. Khyam and Mr. Mahmood with possessing aluminum powder, in both cases with the intent to use the ingredients to commit an act of terrorism.

In considering the surveillance tapes, defense lawyers argue that their clients may have been doing a lot of talking about deadly chaos, but that it was nothing more than talk. Some of the schemes seemed like fantasy, like injecting poison into beer cans at soccer games. Others were more frightening, if true: Mr. Amin is accused of making inquiries about buying a radioactive ?dirty bomb? from the Russian mafia in Belgium.

As in other criminal cases in Britain, some of the evidence against the suspects is not permitted to be disclosed ? either to the jury or the public ? until the trials are over for fear that juries will be improperly swayed. Even the news media is under a strict order by the judge to avoid revealing certain information about the case.

The evidence presented shows that the radicalization of the defendants began years ago, raising questions about how well the British security services monitored militants in their midst before last year?s transit bombings. The authorities continue to investigate any links between the Crevice defendants and the 2005 bombers, one of whom, the government says, had visited a training camp in Pakistan before the attack.

Investigators closely watch traffic between Britain and Pakistan. But that is a significant challenge with nearly 400,000 visits by residents of Britain to Pakistan in 2004, of an average length of 41 days. And it is even more difficult to determine which, if any, of those visitors are militants following the dangerous route of traveling to Pakistan for indoctrination and training.

?Counterterrorism efforts haven?t been able to penetrate the process of radicalization and recruitment,? said Sajjan M. Gohel, director for international security at the London-based Asia-Pacific Foundation. ?For every individual captured or killed, there are at least five more coming down the assembly line.?

Ariane Bernard contributed reporting.

11939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 26, 2006, 03:55:35 AM

I think you make some excellent points. However, I have to dig a little deeper:

1) Much stricter immigration laws, rigorously enforced How? Big walls? More border control agents? Incentives to home countries to keep their emmigrants home? Deportation? Quotas? For all the recent talk on border security, we seem to not be making any progress.

**Because many of the republicans are in the pocket of big business and drag their feet on stemming the flow of low wage illegals and most of the democrats think that demanding that people obey the laws is some form of racist discrimination. Thus, for decades the borders haven't been secured. We've done amnesty several times saying "Ok, this this is the last time. We're serious. Really". The end result being that the flood of illegals has increased, waiting for the next amnesty. The borders need a fence. Not a "virtual fence". A secure barrier. Hammer those who employ illegals with civil and criminal penalties and the jobs will dry up. No money and many of the illegals will self-deport. Law enforcement, especially on the local level needs to be brought into enforcing immigration laws. We deal with illegals constantly. If we could arrest and put them into the federal system for deportation directly, it would make a huge impact.**

2) It's reasonable to not fund jihadist clerics who preach hatred in the mosques. I'm guessing a good portion of their money is not going through Bank of America or Credit Suisse. How about a thorough investigation into all mosques sources of funding? How about making mosque members accepted members of the community and not marginalizing them?

**Mostly in europe, the worst jihadists calling for the destruction of europe live off of the dole. Not only should they not be funded by the taxpayers, they should be booted out. Immigration is a privilege, not a right. As far as tracing outside funding of terrorist groups, it is one of the few success stories of the USG in the GWOT. Much has been done to dry up islamic charities that fund terror. Of course nation states like our good friends the Saudis fund terror globally and there is no easy way to end this right now. As far as not marginalizing muslims domestically, the problem is as Crafty pointed out, they marginalize themselves many times. Many of the allegedly "moderate" muslim imams that President Bush met with post-9/11 to intone the "Religion of Peace" mantra with have been arrested and connected to terrorist activities. CAIR, which likes to pretend to be a "civil rights group" is a documented front for jihadi terrorism. A Freedom House paper a few years back found that roughly 80% of US mosques had Saudi funded jihadist litature filled with what the left likes to call "hate speech" towards the west in general and of course the jews in paticular.**

3) If I was moving to Germany, i'd study the language, laws and culture in great detail to make sure i'd be able to function when I arrived.
So would I, but what of those who don't have the resources/time/wherewithall to learn English before their arrival?? What about cases of defection? Perhaps we should follow the example of New Zealand and only allow skilled migrants or individuals in highly specialized fields?

**For the most part, to legally enter the US requires that you meet high standards. I know US immigration laws quite well as my wife is a legal immigrant. She has an undergraduate degree. Fluent in english and speaks 4 other languages with a background in international business. She's been here for years and we are still waiting for a green card. As i'm her sponsor, i'm legally responsible for any potential costs she could impose on the taxpayers. Even if we were divorced, I must file with the USG my residence information every time I move until she is either naturalized or permanently leaves the US, because if she were to get any gov't assistance of any kind, Uncle Sam will then bill me for the costs, plus and other fees they might impose. US naturalization tests require english compitency and an understanding of US laws and culture. This is as it should be. What is frustrating is at the same time illegals flaunt the laws, use ERs for every medical need and impose costs on tax payers at every turn  while making a massive impact on the criminal justice system and them DEMAND citizenship. Again, if you want to immigrate, then EARN it.**

4) Intermarriage is a powerful intergenerational tool of integration. True, but unfortunately cultural custom often trumps all. In many countries and cultures (including some parts of our own), it is forbidden to marry outside of your religion, caste, race, etc. How do we break through these cultural barriers?

**If you don't want to leave your culture behind, then stay where you are. I don't care if female genital mutilation is accepted where you are from. We lock people up for that in America, that's our custom. You come to our country, you learn are ways. Want to live under sharia? Then stay home. We speak english here and we live under the constitution and the rule of law, not sharia. If that's not what you want, don't come here. Very simple.**

5) When in Rome, do as the Romans do Easier said than done. Some friends of mine returned recently from Seatlle,Washington. After a long two years of silence, their neighbors finally had a conversation with them before they moved. Why the long delay? The simple fact that they were from California. Now, imagine moving into suburban Iowa with your Pashtun bride and three kids. I'm gonna guess that doing as the Romans is going to take some work.

**It's the immigrant's job to blend in. I can say firsthand that my wife has been treated very well in her time in the US. Most Americans have a sort spot in their hearts for immigrants as most all of us are descended from immigrants. When people see immigrants trying, they are almost always willing to help them. This doesn't mean that the street signs need to be in Hmong or some Serbo-Croat dialect. Again, the burden is on the immigrant to become one of us, not the other way around. We aren't bringing people here at gunpoint.**

Viable integration into a society takes serious commitment from both sides. I think we need to re-evaluate our own track record on immigration/integration/cultural reform before we can start acting like we have the solutions to other countries ills.

**Our track record is outstanding. Compare what you find in the US to what happens most elsewhere in the world. Most white Americans are an amalgam of europeans that in their home countries were often deadly enemies. Just in my extended family, there are multiple skin colors in the family photos. My dad's side of the family mostly came from Germany, i'm a voting member of a federally recognized Indian tribe with some distant african ancestry (My tribe had lots of escaped slaves intermarry), one cousin is married to a Swedish citizen of Russian ancestry, another is married to an American of Japanese ethinicity and another cousin is hispanic. All this and i'm from the "pickup truck with a gun rack" part of the country. The people I know in east coast cities tend to be even more diverse.

A few years ago, my wife and I were walking through a urban area on the Marine Corps birthday. The streets were filled with Marines in their dress blues. The skin colors ranged from sub-saharan african to pale scandanavian tones. All were Marines, all were Americans.

I've trained with different law enforcement officers all over the US. As a group, I can tell you that the color blue transcends almost always. A black cop from urban New Jersey is as much my brother as a white state trooper from the midwest might be.

Does this mean everything is perfect in the US? No, but we've come a long way in a short time. We are the first universal nation and we've done much more good than evil. We still have work to do but isn't not productive to dwell on our mistakes while ignoring everything we've done right.**

11940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 25, 2006, 09:05:52 AM
Much stricter immigration laws, rigorously enforced. If one wishes to emigrate to the west, it should be because of a true desire to join that society, not just to enjoy the goodies while proclaiming how you hate the west and work to destroy it. The US doesn't allow legal immigrants welfare (illegal aliens are welcome to commit welfare fraud however). It's reasonable to not fund jihadist clerics who preach hatred in the mosques. If I was moving to Germany, i'd study the language, laws and culture in great detail to make sure i'd be able to function when I arrived. I wouldn't be upset if the street signs, and official documents weren't written in english and accuse you of discrimination because Germany isn't just like the place I left.

Intermarriage is a powerful intergenerational tool of integration. Remember, the Anglos and the Saxon were once warring tribes. If you move to the west from Pakistan, find a wife locally. Don't import a child bride to the west who is then hostage in a foreign land where she doesn't speak the language and doesn't know that domestic violence isn't legal in her new home. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, not the Pashtuns.

You can't have a workable nation made up of a "mosaic". It's all about the melting pot. The American experiment is imperfect, but we managed to do a lot with a vast mix of humanity and create what has been a cohesive nation out of it. You can have a nation of different "races"/ethnicities, but there has to be one common language and one loyalty to the nation.

The "West" has to move past the self destructiveness of "multiculturalism" and the constant self-flagellation of the less savory aspects of the west's collective sins. We (the collective western world) are not perfect, but do you see many people lining up to move from Berlin, or London, or Toronto to go to Somalia? Our good far outweighs our sins. The world's people vote with their feet when they can and we get the vote. We are in a long struggle for survival, we've got to remember what we are fighting for. Lots of people sacrificed so that we live the good lives we do, we honor their sacrifice be passing on to the next generations the best that we were given.

This is what leaps to mind thus far....

11941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 24, 2006, 03:44:45 PM
You are free to say what you wish about Jesus or Christianity or Jews and mostly you'll get a collective shrug from their adherents.

Sure, I want to see you doing that in the US bible belt.

**Actually I live in a pretty "bible-belt" region of the US. I'm not aware of anything like what happened to Theo Van Gogh happening to those who critique christianity.**

As we speak, pacifistic Buddhists are being slaughtered in Asia by muslims to the cry of "Allah Akbar!".

Where is that happening?

**Thailand. I'll be happy to post lots of articles in whatever thread Crafty would like.**

They communicate, train and support each other globally.

Sure they do. But not as connected as you may wish. The jihadists not only lead an asymetrical warfare, they're also very asymetrical structured. The jihad nowadays is something you can download from the internet. You can get your fatwah (hope you know what that is), your plans for bombs, your motivational speeches and your violence porn. In terms of military intelligence IMO it would be a grave error to think that there is a larger ultimate network. A splinter cell can be organized and structured without doing any training. Therefore considering the terrorists to be a broad network may make you blind for all the small scale developments. In order to contain a splinter cell in any country, you have to check the security situation specificially and not generally.

**It's a distributed network, not a formal structure. In amny ways it's even more dangerous because of that.**

The AQ idea has separated from Bin Laden. If you want to see it that way, Bin Laden has been quite successful in lighting the flame for his idea with the attacks on 9/11. Now it doesn't matter anymore if he's alive or not, his jihad is omnipresent - but not omnistructured.

A steady stream of jihadists with EU passports have been fighting in Iraq.

Well, that stream is coming most of all from Syria, Saudi-Arabia and Iran.

**Passing through, not originating from.**

When the children were murdered by the hundreds in Beslan, it wasn't just Chechens shooting belt-fed machine guns and detonating bombs, it was muslims from many different nations taking part in the "jihad".

Wrong. Yes, these terrorists were muslims, but they were all exclusively coming from the nearer surrounding of Beslan. Somehow I don't see the point in this argument.

**Actually there were multiple arabs involved in the attack, not just Chechen and other muslims from the region. I've been to training with John Giduck who investigated the attack right after it happened. I don't have the book with me at the moment or i'd cite exactly the breakdown of the Beslan terrorists.**

I feel like it's 1937 or 1938 and i'm pointing out some trends in Germany, Italy and Japan and i'm getting "peace in our time" in response.

Well, if you see it that way then IMO you're completely diminishing what happened in the time between 1933 - 1939.

**I don't think so. I see history repeating and again precious time is being wasted while the enemy is growing while the west sits in denial.**

"Ya know, the Nazis aren't what most Germans are like and those Japanese pilots have hijacked the peaceful Japanese culture."

Look, don't take me for being stupid.

** I don't take you for being stupid and it is not my intent to communicate that. No insult intended.**

11942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 24, 2006, 03:00:41 PM

The problem is that indeed there is global cooperation between various jihadist factions from various geographical and ethnically diverse groups. This isn't wild speculation or conspiracy mongering but well documented fact. One real accomplishment of Osama Bin Laden is to have facilitated the global networking of these groups, both Sunni and Shia to wage jihad using the west's technology for it's asymetrical warfare. Once upon a time, there were jihadist groups that fought each other as much, if not more than the US, Israel or other targets. Now we collectively face a rainbow coalition of jihadis, from every part of the globe waging jihad with a unified goal in mind. Atheists, Buddhist, Hindus, Animists, Christians and of course Jews are all suffering at the hands of those who act "In the name of Allah". Islam demonstrates a special inability to coexist with other religions and cultures.

QUOTE:"As I restrain from calling Jesus a "pathetic hippie freak who lacked the ganja"  to a christian or calling the toras a "bunch of rotten paper full of shitload" to a jew, i refrain from calling Mohammed a "genocidal rapist" to a muslim, unless of course I want to provoke a fight with each of them."

See, here is the problem. You are free to say what you wish about Jesus or Christianity or Jews and mostly you'll get a collective shrug from their adherents. Jews in paticular, especially these days live with constant implied and direct antisemetic slurs against them. Draw a cartoon of Mohammed and go into hiding. Make a movie about how Islam oppresses women and be shot and stabbed to death in the once placid Netherlands. You need not even do or say anything seen as "provocational" and still die at the hands of the jihadis. As we speak, pacifistic Buddhists are being slaughtered in Asia by muslims to the cry of "Allah Akbar!".

"If I'd put an american evangelist from kansas and a russian orthodox from siberia in one room, those two most probably wouldn't have very much in common, except that there are muslims, who consider them christians and therefore thinking, both want to defeat their culture. But that evangelist and the orthodox wouldn't even be able to communicate and if so, most probably not have to say very much to each other. Now if you take a muslim from algeria and one from pakistan, both would seem very much alike for us; dark-skinned, muslim and of course  equating the same threat. But these two have not very much to talk about with each other, as well. Now take a magreb from Paris, a turk from Berlin and a pakistani from London. Not very much in common except us considering them muslim."

Sadly you are so very wrong on this. The global jihad is networked. They communicate, train and support each other globally. The US has detainees from all over the globe captured in Afghanistan. A steady stream of jihadists with EU passports have been fighting in Iraq. When the children were murdered by the hundreds in Beslan, it wasn't just Chechens shooting belt-fed machine guns and detonating bombs, it was muslims from many different nations taking part in the "jihad". This is why a group of muslim students in Hamburg can end up creating a smoking hole in the Manhattan skyline and a few thousand less Americans one bright morning

"I get the impression that there is certain faction in the US that is not so much interested in hindering Europe from becoming Eurabia (or enhance Euro-US solidarity) but pursuing own domestic policy agendas and grateful pick up arguments thrown at their feet like this."

Funny, I feel like it's 1937 or 1938 and i'm pointing out some trends in Germany, Italy and Japan and i'm getting "peace in our time" in response. Actually, it may be even worse than that. It's after Pearl Harbor and we still have people saying "Ya know, the Nazis aren't what most Germans are like and those Japanese pilots have hijacked the peaceful Japanese culture."

11943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 24, 2006, 07:06:16 AM

It is my opinion that we are now living in a period of reactivated jihad and dhimmitude. Those of you who have laboured in South Sudan and Darfur and have seen the atrocities there will recognize these legal tactics of jihad described in my books or in any Muslim texts on jihad. What is happening in Iraq evokes the events in the 8th century described in Mesopotamia by the Christian Syriac cleric Pseudo-Dyonisos of Tell Mahre, quoted in my study on The Decline of Eastern Christianity which is available here in a German edition. These events are confirmed at that same period by Armenian chronicles and by Egyptian priests describing Muslim internal feuds and atrocities in Egypt against dhimmis, or by Jews in Palestine, and with the passing centuries the chronicle of the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioche (in Syria), Michael the Syrian, that covers a period till the end of the 12 century. We have countless accounts on the devastation by the Arabs and Turks in Anatolia, in the Balkans, and all along the European Mediterranean coasts and islands.

Today, as in the past, jihadist terror is waged not only against Israel, Judaism, but also against the West, that is Christianity. Beheading the enemies of Islam, like the prophet did when he set a sacred model by beheading the Jews who refused to convert ? was repeatedly done by jihadists during all the jihad conquests of Christian lands. Abducting infidels for ransom fills up countless historical accounts. Suppressing by terror all criticism by infidels of the Muslim religion or policy is mandated in the land of dhimmitude. Jihad and dhimmitude are the two forces that have eliminated the indigenous non-Muslim populations from their Islamized homeland. Jihad today is displayed in all its traditional manifestations: military and economic warfare, terror, abductions, corruption for the control of the Western media, the universities and public opinion.

Dhimmitude is applied now against non Muslims ? mainly Christians ? in most Muslim countries. Shari?a laws or laws inspired by shari?a discriminate against non-Muslims, mainly Christians, the Jews having fled or been expelled. Now it is the Christians ? in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and elsewhere ? who are leaving because in Islam anti-Jewish hate is always connected to anti-Christian hate and vice-versa as it grows from the same source. Hence, anti-Zionist European policies adopted in order to protect Europe and local Christians from Islamism is useless.

Why have we regressed to a situation all too common throughout history till the 19th century and in some countries, the 20th? It is my opinion that 1973 was the fatidic date when political decisions were made that would lead Europe along the path to dhimmitude. It was the period ? after the Kippur War ? when European independent states, threatened with PLO terrorism and an Arab oil boycott, accepted to submit and adapt their foreign policies to Arab and Palestinian political demands. This is when the European Palestinian appeasement policy began. Europe helped spread the new death cult: Palestinianism, which is the sacralisation and legitimisation of the jihad against Israel. For decades Europeans have been conditioned by Euro-Arab Palestinian propaganda and Israel?s demonisation. To achieve this end a whole culture of denial of historic jihad and dhimmitude has been conceived and propagated throughout Europe. The responsibility for terror and war was deliberately shifted from the jihad ideology to Israel?s right of existence. Palestinianism is just the modern continuation against the Jews of the jihad onslaught waged against Christianity for over a millennium.

By justifying the Palestinian jihad against Israel, Europe entered into a suicidal dynamic. The repudiation of Israel?s historical legitimacy and its replacement by a jihadist world order with its own Islamic conception of justice denies Europe?s own sovereignty and legitimacy. In the Islamic context, Palestinians incarnate jihadist ideology against infidels and Muslim replacement theology; whereas, in fact, Israel represents the liberation of the Jewish people from the yoke of dhimmitude. For decades the European Union has provided the Palestinians with the intellectual, cultural and media ammunitions against Israel. It was Arafat, the subsidised ?mignon? of Europe, who invented modern international terrorism ? including air piracy against Israel in 1968 ? and created a culture of hate and a policy of chaos since September 2000 that have now become global. Europe?s alliance with the Palestinians and the Arab world against Israel and America was based on its own denial of jihad ideology. Because of this denial Europe encourage a large-scale Muslim immigration for economic and strategic interests. This is why Europe is today deeply submerged by an anti-American and anti-Zionist culture.

For Christians, Israel is central in this context, because jihad is waged in the name of Islamic replacement theology, whereby Isa replaces Yeshua or Jesus, and the Koran replaces the Gospel. Christians are linked to the Jews by the Bible. If Christians want to break from this bond, they will have to forego the First Testament, including the Ten Commandments, the Prophets, and the Psalms and somehow, link the Gospel to the Palestinian Muslim Isa of the Koran. This is the challenge that Christians are facing now. And this is the spiritual meaning of Israel for Christians now: either Christians will resist or they will convert and Europe will become one more Islamized Christian territory. The jihad against Israel is also a war against the Christian world.

It is my opinion that Europe has become the new land of dhimmitude and I will explain why. I have described in Eurabia, my last book, the causes that have triggered the dhimmitude of Europe. I will not develop this theme now but I will explain why politically and intellectually we have become dhimmis.

We accept to have our life continuously disturbed and threatened by the global jihad. From the moment the European Community, instead of fighting terror, submitted to the Palestinian threats, it lost the control over its own security. European policy with the Palestinians is a total failure because it was deliberately based on false assumptions and the denial that the PLO?s war against Israel was a jihad. Europe gave an unconditional support for Arafat, and paid billions of euros without any control to the Palestinian Authority. The result of European?s unilateral solicitude for the Palestinians has resulted in the election of Hamas, a terrorist jihadist movement. Europeans behave like dhimmis who have to pay tribute money for their security and the development of Muslim economies without even being thanked. Massive Muslim immigration, linked with the 56 Muslim countries weighs heavily on European policy. We have seen it during the Danish Cartoons Affair. According to Islamic law, dhimmis cannot criticise the Prophet or say that Islamic law has a defect without risking death. Hence, the Islamic blasphemy laws ? even at the United Nations ? have been imposed on us, and particularly on the Western media. The Islamists control the foreign, domestic and security policy of Europe through terror, the ongoing intifadas in France and the policy of chaos in the suburbs, jihadist-martyrdom bombings in Spain and England and persistent threats everywhere. It is such threats that keep the level of anti-Americanism and the hate against Israel so high in Europe.

The European policy of symbiosis with the Arab-Muslim world which I have described in Eurabia has set up a vast Euro-Arab demographic, political, economic and cultural zone encompassing immigration and multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is a crucial dimension of the Euro-Arab strategic alliance. Since 1975 the texts of Euro-Arab meetings and of the EU require the establishment of cultural and political Muslim centres in European cities. The problem is that Muslims and Europeans have contradictory views on their common history. Europeans consider jihad a barbarous war causing huge massacres and enslavement, while for Muslims jihad represents a peaceful progression of Islam. Dhimmitude is a dehumanizing system, but for Muslims it is a generous tolerance offered to non-Muslims. In order to accommodate the Muslims and their integration in Europe, European leaders have promoted the Islamic view of history. Therefore, they have justified and lauded the tolerance of dhimmitude, as for instance the Andalusian myth. For this reason, Europeans ignore totally what is jihad and what is dhimmitude. While we are currently living a period of jihad, and while Europeans are already conditioned to dhimmitude, they do not realise it because the historical framework has been obfuscated.

Cultural jihad with its antisemitic, anti-American and anti-Western characteristics develops within the context of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism thus becomes the instrument for the subversion of Western thought, aimed at imposing Islamic historical and theological thinking such as the justification of Islamist terrorism ? based on the Muslim self-perception of victimhood. The erroneous affirmation that it was Islamic culture that has triggered European civilization in medieval period, is an attempt to prove Islam historical, cultural and demographical legitimacy in Europe, and consequently the implementation of shari?a principles today. It also affirms Islam cultural superiority over the West.

To conclude: There has been several interfaith dialogues but with poor results. Europe has paid billions to Muslim countries worldwide but the culture of jihad is flowering in spite of Europe?s appeasement policy. Palestinianism which is a replacement theology was the tool that led to Europe?s Islamisation and dhimmitude. By joining the Muslim jihad against Israel, the Christian West has obfuscated its own history, and now faced with a global jihad it is unable to assess correctly the situation and defend itself. Israel represents the liberation of man from dhimmitude, whereas Palestinianism represents jihad and dhimmitude ideology based on replacement theology. Europe, enslaved by Palestinianism, has chosen servitude instead of freedom. If we want peace to prevail, the Muslim world must abandon the jihadist ideology, it must recognise Jews and Christians as different and not see them as apostate Muslims. And this must start with Muslim recognition of the legitimacy of Israel, because jihad started against the Jews and it can only end with the rehabilitation of the Jews and Israel, which will bring the rehabilitation of all non-Muslims. We can achieve it if we speak the truth, if we teach in our schools and universities jihad and dhimmitude. Then, masses of peaceful Muslims, liberated from the jihadist ideology of hate, will join us to build together peace. But we cannot help them if, ourselves, we are doomed in dhimmitude.

Bat Ye?or, born in Egypt, is a pioneer researcher on ?dhimmitude? and ?Eurabia?. Her four major books translated from French into English are: The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam, (1985); The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, (1996), German edition: Der Niedergang des Orientalischen Christentums unter dem Islam, (2002); Islam and dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (2002), and Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, (2005). German translation in preparation.
11944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 24, 2006, 07:05:50 AM
**Here is a good primer on Bat Ye'or views.**

Bat Ye'or: Europe and the Ambiguities of Multiculturalism

Here is an address given by Bat Ye'or, the pioneering scholar of dhimmitude, at Paul Gerhardt Church in Munich, Germany, at Christian Solidarity International's 29th Annual Meeting, which was held from November 2 to November 4, 2006.

Ladies and Gentlemen
It is for me a great honour to be invited by CSI, an organization that has been so active on so many humanitarian fronts in order to denounce slavery, war crimes and genocide, and to alleviate human suffering. And I am thinking particularly of its struggle on behalf of human rights and dignity in Sudan since 1992, and CSI?s freeing over 80.000 Christian and other Sudanese slaves under the leadership of John Eibner and Gunnar Wielback.

The globalization of our world and the policies that have led to large-scale Muslim immigration, adopted by the European Community from 1973, has introduced into Europe conflictual situations and prejudices common in the Muslim world against non-Muslims that have been documented by Orientalists familiar with Islamic theology, law and history. But the politization of history initiated by Edward Said has obfuscated the root causes of Islam?s traditional hostility toward Jews and Christians from the seven century onward. Edward Said was a Christian raised in Egypt and educated in America; he taught English literature at Columbia University. A great admirer of Arafat and a member of the PLO?s top Committee, he endeavored to destroy the whole scientific accumulation of Orientalist knowledge of Islam and replace it with a culture of Western guilt and inferiority toward Muslims victims. The obliteration of the historical truth that he constantly pursued from 1978 ? starting with his book Orientalism ? as well as his hostility to Israel, has prevented an understanding and the resolution of problems that today assail Europe and challenge its own survival.

I will examine the relations between Islam and Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Judaism and Christianity and the tensions created by a Muslim immigration into a European Judeo-Christian civilization. I will speak of those issues in that order.

In the relationship between Islam and Christianity, we can examine both the theological and the political levels. The theological pillars of Islam are: the Koran which is Muhammad?s revelation; the Hadiths, a compilation of his acts and sayings which have a theological and normative value; and the early biographies written about him. According to these three sources, Islam sees itself as the primal and sole true religion. Islam is the pure religion of Adam and has preceded all others. The Koran uses biblical names like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus and others but they represent different people than those in the Bible ? and all are considered to have been Muslim prophets who preached Islam. Jesus is also a Muslim prophet called Isa, endowed with a different life; he brought a book: the Gospel, in which he preached Islam. We have, in fact, a Jesus named Isa, a Muslim prophet, and Yeshua, the Jewish Jesus, ?born in Bethlehem of Judea? (Matthew 2:1). According to several hadiths, Isa has a mission: at the end of time he will return to destroy Christianity and impose Islam as the sole religion over the whole world. These hadiths, often quoted in sermons, speak of him killing the pig, breaking the cross ? which means destroying Christianity ? and the hadiths continue: he will suppress the jizya or poll-tax and the booty will be boundless. The suppression of the jizya refers to the suppressions of all religion other than Islam. In the Islamic optic, what is Christianity? Christianity is a falsification of Islam and of the true message of Isa, which is the same as that revealed to Muhammad: Islam. It follows that a good Christian is a Muslim. True Christianity is therefore Islam.

And what about Muslim-Jewish relations? They are more complex but they follow the same pattern. When Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina, he found there large Jewish tribes well organized with their synagogues and scholars. On their festive days they assembled and studied the Bible. Pagan Arabs were jealous and complained that they were illiterate and ignorant and didn?t have a book like the Jews and the Christians. Hence, Muhammad proclaimed himself to be the prophet whom the Jews were awaiting, an Arab prophet sent with a revelation in Arabic given by Gabriel, which was the same as that revealed to the Jews and Christians. The discrepancies between the Koran and the Bible were noticed by the Jews. Muhammad answered by accusing the Jews of hiding the truth and by saying that their Bible was a later falsification of the Islamic revelation given to the Muslim prophets: Abraham, Jacobs, Moses, and all the others. The true Bible was the Koran. Since Jewish objections hampered his predication, Muhammad decided to get rid of the Jews of Medina. Some were expelled and their belongings confiscated and shared among Muhammad and his followers; others ? from 600 to 900 males, according to Muslim sources ? were beheaded and their wives and children enslaved. This is the origin of Islamic hatred and accusations against Jews. Muhammad?s various decisions against the Jews in Arabia also set the theological jihadic laws against Christians and other non-Muslims. Muslim law gives to Jews and Christians the same legal status. That means that, in Islam, Jews and Christians are treated identically as ?the People of the Book? (ahl al-khitab). Christians, whatever their efforts to dissociate themselves from Jews or from Israel, are put into the same category of the Jews by Islamic law.
In short: Jews and Christians are left with what? The true Bible is the Koran, the Holy Scriptures of Jews and Christians are just falsifications, and all the biblical figures are Muslim prophets who preached Islam. In practice, what are the consequences?

1) Biblical narrative in the Holy Land is Muslim history, and Jews and Christians had no history there as they came after Islam. Their history and their sacred scriptures are in the Koran. This motivates Muslim opposition to the legitimacy of the State of Israel. The Bible is considered a travesty of Muslim history.

2) Because Judaism and Christianity originate from one unique trunk, which is Islam, these two religions are unrelated. It is false to assert that Christianity unfolded from Judaism. This is why the Islamized Churches in the Muslim world have developed a kind of Marcionism, abandoning the Jewish Jesus in order to link Christianity to the Palestinian Arab Muslim Isa. This trend which originated in the Palestinian and Arab Churches (Sabeel Centre in Bethlehem) is growing in Europe, supported by the antisemitic/anti-Zionist wave created by Palestinianism.

Palestinianism is the new European salvific theology created to help the Arabs destroy Israel, but which in fact is eating away at the roots of Christianity. Palestinianism teaches that if justice is granted to the Palestinians, suddenly the global jihad and the persecution of Christians in Muslim lands will disappear. ?Justice for the Palestinians? in reality means the elimination of Israel. This elimination will bring peace to the world. Since 1973, this has become a joint Euro-Arab policy. The cultural and media war to delegitimize Israel accredits also the Muslim belief that Jews and, therefore, Christians have no historical roots in the Holy Land. Another consequence of Muslim replacement theology is that when we speak of Judeo-Christian values, we are in fact referring to Muslim values. And when we refer to biblical narratives and figures, or to their iconography, we offend Muslims because they do not fit in the koranic model.

Now let us see the political context. Since Muhammad was a prophet, a legislator and a war leader, legislation and politics are united in the service of the religious expansion and domination of Islam. The ultimate goal is to impose Islamic rule over the whole world. In this perspective, Muslim political doctrine divides the world into two eternal enemies: the land of Islam (dar al-Islam) and the land of war (dar al-harb) inhabited by the infidels which must ? in the end ? be conquered by Islam. Between them no peace is possible, but only temporary truces in case Muslims are too weak to conquer them. This is the doctrine of jihad which is a comprehensive legal system of war based on theology that regulates every aspect of Muslim behaviour toward non-Muslims. Jihad is a religious duty incumbent on Muslims, individually and collectively, and this is preached regularly by imams in sermons worlwide.

Jihad covers several fields: military actions, terrorism, abductions, ransoming, enslavement, and armistice conditions, the jihad by the pen ? that is to say, propaganda ? and the jihad of the hearts, which means corruption. Jihad has been waged for thirteen centuries against non-Muslims and huge geographical areas have been conquered and their population subdued, enslaved, deported or massacred. The non-Muslim population targeted by jihad is given a choice: conversion to Islam or the payment of a ransom to the Muslim authority and recognition of its sovereignty. If they refuse both they will face war. After a land has been conquered and its population accepts to submit and pay a tribute for its security this population becomes a dhimmi people. It is ?protected? by a pact of submission, called the dhimma. Protected from what? From the jihad onslaught. Non-Muslims dhimmis are protected only as long as they pay the tribute, which is a poll-tax, and submit to oppressive and discriminatory shari?a regulations.

Islamic law covers the rights and obligations of dhimmis in great details. This has been the subject of my research. I call dhimmitude the Islamic system of governing the non-Muslim peoples subjected by jihad. This system is linked to jihad and like jihad it is a theological, political and legal institution. Dhimmitude is, in fact, the peaceful continuation of jihad because it is dhimmitude that destroyed the massive non-Muslim majorities that were conquered.

11945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 24, 2006, 05:35:30 AM
**This author amplifies my point.**

Finding Out the Truth About Muhammad

by John Hawkins
Posted Nov 22, 2006

Yesterday, I interviewed Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch about his new book, ?The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion? (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company). What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation:

Now, Muhammad was around for quite a long time before he claimed to see visions and became a religious leader, wasn't he?

Muhammad was about 40 when he first claimed to have been visited by the angel Gabriel. According to the earliest Islamic traditions he did not actually start preaching immediately. He only told his wife and a few people who were very close to him for the first couple of years after that. But, then he got the command to begin to preach. It was at that point he began to develop a...following.

Now, I've heard that Muhammad borrowed heavily from the pagan religion many Arabs worshipped at the time, as well as Judaism and Christianity. Is that true?

Yes, there are clear signs in the Koran of influences from not only the Jewish and Christian scriptures, but also Jewish and Christian oral traditions and from the teachings in particular of Christian heretical groups, most notably the Gnostics, who denied the crucifixion of Christ and said that Judas had been made to look like Jesus and was crucified in his place. (That) notion appears in the Koran, in Chapter 4, where it says that they did not kill or crucify him, but it appeared so unto them. In Islamic tradition it is identified also here with Judas, that it is he who is on the cross, not Jesus.

Now, by today's standards, would Muhammad be considered a pedophile?

By today's standards, he probably would because you're talking about a man who did, according to the earliest Islamic traditions about the incident, consummate a marriage with a nine year old when he was in his early fifties.

Now, that being the case, however, it is also true that he is the supreme example for human behavior within Islam; he is imitated in this. That means that you have child marriage being very common all over the Islamic world where it is also not regarded as pedophilia today.

Now in his time, was it regarded as pedophilia or unusual for a man his age to marry a nine year old?

No. In his time, it was taken for granted. No one criticized him (for) it. No one felt like he was doing anything wrong by doing this. Only the fact that he is imitated makes it problematic.

Would it be fair to call Muhammad a warlord or bandit leader, similar to the sort of bad actors we have in Afghanistan today?

Well, certainly there are quite a few similarities and that's not an accident either because these are people who are pious Muslims and who believe that he gave them an example for human behavior -- and he did lead battles, he ordered his followers to fight on his behalf and to offer his enemies conversion, subjugation as 2nd class citizens, or war. So, there's considerable precedent within Muhammad's life, in his words and deeds, to support that kind of a life.

Along similar lines, would it be fair to say that Muhammad lied, pillaged, murdered, and condoned rape and the murder of infidels?

He said, "War is deceit." He ordered his followers to pillage and the Koran contains very detailed instructions, both in a chapter called the Spoils of War and elsewhere in the book, for dealing with the results of that plunder. ... Murder is certainly in the aspects of the invitation to infidels that I mentioned just now. He said to his followers that they should offer non-believers conversion or subjugation as inferiors under the rule of Islamic law or death. So obviously, murder is condoned in that context. Also, he ordered the assassinations of some of his enemies?including several poets who had made fun of him in their verses and rewarded the killers, including the killers of a ... pregnant woman and a man who was according to the Islamic traditions, over 100 years old.

Muhammad ... took for granted that his followers would be having sex with the women that they captured in these battles?the wives of the pagan warriors that they had killed and the wives of the Jewish tribes that they had killed. ... In the Koran actually, it says that a Muslim may marry up to four wives and have sex with the captives that his right hand possesses, which refers to slave girls captured in battle.

Now, images of Muhammad?we've got them on the Supreme Court, for example. There are plenty of them out there. When did that get to be such a big deal?

Well, it's really a big deal when a non-Muslim makes them. Images of Muhammad are rather common in Shiite Islam. Sunni Islam tends to reject that kind of image making. But really, the main offense in the Danish cartoon controversy and also an earlier controversy that CAIR tried to stir up about that (frieze) at the Supreme Court is that non-Muslims are transgressing the limits proscribed for them within Islamic law and are not to depict Muhammad or insult Allah or Muhammad in any way. So, you have a situation where these kinds of protests, the cartoon protests in particular, the murders of innocent people and riots worldwide, were ... an element of a larger effort to impose Islamic standards of behavior onto the non-Muslim world.

So, a big part of the issue was not necessarily the images, but that infidels had made them, right?


The Shiia and Sunni (branches of Islam) came about in a dispute over succession to Muhammad. Is that correct?

Yes, exactly.

Can you explain to people how that came about?

The prophet Muhammad died rather suddenly and he did not leave clear instructions as to his successors, as to who would succeed him as leaders of the community. The Party of Ali it was called or the Shi'at Ali believed that only a relative of Muhammad could legitimately take over his role as the leader of the Muslim community that he created. The other party believed that it was not necessary that somebody be a member of the Prophet's family, but only that the best man be chosen.

So Ali was not chosen, was passed over for the first three times in the choice for the succession to the leadership, and finally was chosen but was rather shortly thereafter murdered and his sons also were murdered. ... These became the cardinal incidents for Shiite Islam and are celebrated today, yearly, in extravagant displays of mourning of which you've seen pictures. ...

... People cutting themselves with swords ...

... Yes, people cutting their heads with swords in mourning for Hussein, the son of Ali. Really, there's not much difference between Sunni and Shiite practice of Islam although the Shiites do tend to be more spiritually minded?have more of a mystical tradition?and are certainly more emotional and extravagant in their piety and have a little bit more of an emphasis on, let's say, the cult of the Saint. But otherwise, certainly in terms of jihad warfare against infidels, there's not any significant difference between the Sunnis and Shiites.

One last question: Tell us a little bit about the 12th Imam that (Ahmadinejad) seems to be so enamored with.

The 12th Imam is, in Shiite Islam, the 12th successor of Muhammad. In Shiite Islam, the Imams, beginning with Ali, have some of Muhammad's prophetic powers and some of his luminous spirit, such that they are infallible in matters of faith and are to be regarded with this quasi-mystical devotion. However, the 12th Imam, the 12th successor to Muhammad, is supposed to have disappeared as a child, is said to be still alive, and will return at a moment of great persecution and hardship for the Muslims. There's great excitement in Shiite Islam today and it seems to be held by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran that these are the times when the persecution of the Muslims is coming to the breaking point that will hasten the return of the 12th Imam who will come back to destroy the enemies of Islam and institute the rule of Islamic law over the world.
11946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 24, 2006, 12:19:41 AM
I, in no way suggest running through the streets shooting muslims. I'd love to see a "reformed" islam that is compatible with the rest of humanity. For that to be would require a lot of islamic theology to be thrown out. I'm not sure much of the muslim world is willing to do it.
11947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: November 21, 2006, 04:17:41 PM
In your discussion of my points raised, you already make on predestination: That the takeover of muslims over Europe is scientifically proven process which evidently will take place. I don't think so.

***I don't think it's a done deal, but the trends don't look good.**

I think in general, europe is very much in denial, from the top down as to the changes taking place around them.

That is not true. Some countries in Europe like France and England, due to their colonialist past, have always had to answer the question of how to integrate their former "subjects" into their motherland society. Scandinavian countries f.e. had to deal with this question at a much later point. The first to raise the prediction that Europe will become 'Eurabia' have been Americans. That is in itself a very radical view upon the processes which are right now taking place and IMO not reflecting reality appropriately.

***Actually, Bat Ye'or is credited with coining the term "Eurabia". I suggest you read some of her writing on the subject. She is a Egyptian born British citizen who lives in Switzerland.***

A unwillingness to examine the crisis coupled with deeply ingrained "political correctness" prevents a basic discussion of the problem.

Not true. Political correctness is something that Americans have invented and certainly isn't deeply ingrained in Europe.

***Actually the term originates within marxism, if I recall correctly and not within the US. I'll look around and see if I can find some good examples of what I would consider european "political correctness" to cite.***

Statistics are empirical evidence.

They are empirical. But most somewhat reasonable statistician will tell you that there are exceptions to what statistics are capable of and what not. They first and foremost are not the 21st tarots cards to predict whats going to happen in the future - history has shown that most predictions drawn from statistics have not become true. Statistics do certainly reflect tendencies and thus are able to give a hint as how something will develop if it remains in the very same state at the point that statistic has been made. The larger the area and the more diversity of ways that data has been collected, the more inaccuraricies sneak into a statistic.


I guess we first of all have to agree that Europe is not a unified state like the USA. The EU and EFTA primarily are two economic structures. In the past years the EU has been joined by new countries which 15 years ago would have belong to enemy of the NATO. The new EU has a great diversity now, hard to make generalizations.

***Yes, but the EU as a structure is working to dissolve the european nation-state in any meaningful way, successfully for the most part, with some good but to my mind more harm to induvidual freedom.***

I'm not sure if the author intends to say that the UK and France have a better or worse problem with immigrants due to a colonial past. I'm assuming the author is aware of the ongoing problems ...

They are having a worse problem and yes, the author is aware of these problems. The french intifada you are talking about is first and foremost a social problem and no clash of cultures. These young people are all french - and most of them would like to be much more European than they're allowed to. France has done some grave errors with integration. Most probably not covered in American media are the attempts of the local muslim leaders to stop the violence.

***So when the "Youths" light a car (or person) afire and yell "Allah Akbar!" I shouldn't assume there is a connection to islamic identity?***

I wil not further delve into your picture of Islam as being a religion of a "genocidal rapist". I will not take the standpoint to argument for Islam, but I would like to suggest that you dig a bit deeper into history. There have been a lot of muslim rulers which by have been much more civilzed than most christians ever were. Being an Atheist myself, I still have large respect for the follower of any religion, wether it be Jews, Christians and Muslims. There're aspects about being a muslim we in the west could only wish for that some of their followers live and express more vividly.

***I would argue that I know the history quite well and my statements are well based in historical fact. Muhammad was in his 50's when he married Aisha, his third wife. She was 6, though he is supposed (according to islamic theologians) not to have consummated the marriage until she was 9 years old. The direct affect of this is girls of the same age being married to adult men all over the muslim world. When an observant muslim asks himself "What would Muhammad do?" the answer is usually something very bloody, as that was his response throughout most of his life. I'll put this article in here, as I think it clearly explain the point i'm trying to make much better than I could.***

Khaybar, Khaybar
By Robert Spencer | August 9, 2006

As Hizballah fires its Khaibar-1 rockets into Israel, Kuwaiti demonstrators recently chanted, ?Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahoud, jaish Muhammad sa yaoud? ? that is, ?Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.? (The Kuwait Times rendered this as ?Khaybar, Khaybar, O Zionists, The Army of Muhammad is coming,? but this is probably sanitized for Western consumption: it is unlikely that the protestors chanted ?Zionists? rather than ?Jews? ? the former doesn?t rhyme in Arabic as does the latter, and the chant with ?Jews? is rather common.) Meanwhile, last Thursday, the Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon?s leading Shi?ite cleric, praised Hizballah for waging a ?new battle of Khaibar.?

Reporting Fadlallah?s remarks, AP blandly noted that ?at Khaibar, the name of an oasis in what is now Saudi Arabia, Islam?s prophet Muhammad won a battle against Jews in the year 629.? Reality was somewhat different. As I explain in my forthcoming book, The Truth About Muhammad (coming October 9 from Regnery Publishing), Muhammad was not responding to any provocation when he led a Muslim force against the Khaybar oasis, which was inhabited by Jews ? many of whom he had previously exiled from Medina. One of the Muslims later remembered: ?When the apostle raided a people he waited until the morning. If he heard a call to prayer he held back; if he did not hear it he attacked. We came to Khaybar by night, and the apostle passed the night there; and when morning came he did not hear the call to prayer, so he rode and we rode with him?.We met the workers of Khaybar coming out in the morning with their spades and baskets. When they saw the apostle and the army they cried, ?Muhammad with his force,? and turned tail and fled. The apostle said, ?Allah Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we arrive in a people?s square it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.??[1]

The Muslim advance was inexorable. ?The apostle,? according to Muhammad?s earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, ?seized the property piece by piece and conquered the forts one by one as he came to them.?[2] Another biographer of Muhammad, Ibn Sa?d, reports that the battle was fierce: the ?polytheists?killed a large number of [Muhammad?s] Companions and he also put to death a very large number of them?.He killed ninety-three men of the Jews??[3] Muhammad and his men offered the fajr prayer, the Islamic dawn prayer, before it was light, and then entered Khaybar itself. The Muslims immediately set out to locate the inhabitants? wealth. A Jewish leader of Khaybar, Kinana bin al-Rabi, was brought before Muhammad; Kinana was supposed to have been entrusted with the treasure of on of the Jewish tribes of Arabia, the Banu Nadir. Kinana denied knowing where this treasure was, but Muhammad pressed him: ?Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?? Kinana said yes, that he did know that.

Some of the treasure was found. To find the rest, Muhammad gave orders concerning Kinana: ?Torture him until you extract what he has.? One of the Muslims built a fire on Kinana?s chest, but Kinana would not give up his secret. When he was at the point of death, one of the Muslims beheaded him.[4] Kinana?s wife was taken as a war prize; Muhammad claimed her for himself and hastily arranged a wedding ceremony that night. He halted the Muslims? caravan out of Khaybar later that night in order to consummate the marriage.[5]

Muhammad agreed to let the people of Khaybar to go into exile, allowing them to keep as much of their property as they could carry.[6] The Prophet of Islam, however, commanded them to leave behind all their gold and silver.[7] He had intended to expel all of them, but some, who were farmers, begged him to allow them to let them stay if they gave him half their yield annually.[8] Muhammad agreed: ?I will allow you to continue here, so long as we would desire.?[9] He warned them: ?If we wish to expel you we will expel you.?[10] They no longer had any rights that did not depend upon the good will and sufferance of Muhammad and the Muslims. And indeed, when the Muslims discovered some treasure that some of the Khaybar Jews had hidden, he ordered the women of the tribe enslaved and seized the perpetrators? land.[11] A hadith notes that ?the Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives.?[12]

During the caliphate of Umar (634-644), the Jews who remained at Khaybar were banished to Syria, and the rest of their land seized.[13]

Thus when modern-day jihadists invoke Khaybar, they are doing much more than just recalling the glory days of Islam and its prophet. They are recalling an aggressive, surprise raid by Muhammad which resulted in the final eradication of the once considerable Jewish presence in Arabia. To the jihadists, Khaybar means the destruction of the Jews and the seizure of their property by the Muslims.

That Khaybar is repeatedly invoked today as a historical model for Hizballah should be a matter of grave concern for Western analysts and policymakers. It should play a significant role in discussions of whether and how a ceasefire should be pursued, and how much of a Hizballah presence can be tolerated indefinitely in Lebanon. But because most Western analysts are still dogmatically committed to the proposition that Islam has nothing, or nothing important, to do with the present global unrest, they recuse themselves from considering such data.

The costs of this willful blindness will do nothing but continue to mount.


[1] Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq?s Sirat Rasul Allah, A. Guillaume, translator, Oxford University Press, 1955. P. 511.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibn Sa?d, Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, S. Moinul Haq and H K. Ghazanfar, translators, Kitab Bhavan, n.d. Vol. II, pp. 132-133.

[4] Ibn Ishaq, p. 515.

[5] Muhammed Ibn Ismaiel Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari: The Translation of the Meanings, translated by Muhammad M. Khan, Darussalam, 1997, vol. 1, book 8, no. 371.

[6] Ibn Sa?d, vol. II, p. 136.

[7] Ibn Sa?d, vol. II, p. 137.

[8] Bukhari, vol. 4, book 57, no. 3152.

[9] Imam Muslim, Sahih Muslim, translated by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, Kitab Bhavan, revised edition 2000. Book 10, no. 3761.

[10] Ibn Ishaq, p. 515.

[11] Ibn Sa?d, vol. II, p. 137.

[12] Bukhari, vol. 5, book 64, no. 4200.

[13] Ibn Sa?d, vol. II, p. 142.

***Ok, long but worth reading and it explains how the acts of Muhammad directly shapes the global jihad today.***

It won't be Europeans, as we know them now that we'll be confronting.

In my eyes this is a pretty paranoid view of the world. Do you know any Europeans in person?

***I've known quite a few. I spent most of my times overseas in asia, not europe. I do however read a lot of european media and think i'm fairly well aquainted with today's western europe. Most of my DNA came from europe, if that is worth anything.

Muslims are not one homogenic movement.


The muslims in Europe are very different from each other, each having their own agendas. I certainly admit that Europe is having a problem with uneducated, poor and badly integrated children of foreigners. Most of these foreigners are coming from a war torn country or a very archaic society. Their children are the second generation here. Unfortunately those well educated and with more financial means, are much better integrated than those from the working poor.

***I strongly suggest you look up another european author on the topic
I'll post here in the future on the Muslim Brotherhood. If you aren't aware of the group you may be surprized at the sophistication of their attempts to use both the "hard jihad" and the "soft jihad" together towards their goal of islamic world domination.***

There isn't the one muslim, as there isn't the one jew or the one christian. No devil with the turban swinging his sword, uniting secrectly to take over Europe. We have a very heterogenic mix of people. Some highly intelligent and some very desparate. But they're all together people like you and me.

***They are all people, some are like you and me. Others are very different. I wouldn't dream of walking into a crowded resturant wearing a bomb so I could blow the legs off of "infidels" and I doubt you would either. However, we are at war with those who would. You may not be interested in the global jihad, but the global jihad is interested in you.***

11948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: November 20, 2006, 02:58:06 AM

What Do We Do With the Remains?
November 19th, 2006

Press and politicians have decided Iraq?s fate. And so we ask them: What do we do with the remains?


Of Iraq?s 13 million aged 19 or less, how many will join Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups as America leaves? One percent is 130,000, half a percent 65,000.

What does your projection say?

Over 8,000 Iraqi soldiers and police have been killed since Saddam fell. How many more need die before all give up fighting for their country?

What then will those 300,000 US-trained fighters do?

Women now serve in the Iraqi parliament. Will they after America leaves?

Will Iraq have a parliament at all?

What do we do with the new $592 million US embassy? Will an American ambassador be welcome? If so, what will he do?

If Al Qaeda takes over Iraq, what will it teach in its schools?

What will Iraqi girls do?

Other scraps

The UN proved Iraq developed WMD and had the know-how rapidly to produce even more. How many of its scientists will Al Qaeda recruit ? willingly or not?

With America gone, will Iraqi Shias turn to Iran as their ally?

How will Israel react?

What then is the plan for dealing with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and others in the Middle East?

Since China?s signing oil contracts around the world, how soon after America goes will they ink Iraq?

How high will gas prices rise?

Will Turkey stay an ally if Iraqi Kurds declare independence and urge Turkish Kurds to rebel?

Will Iraqis turn to Russia for tanks, planes, ships, missiles, mines, rockets, and nuclear enrichment?

Or will it be to the Chinese?

What will Saudis say? 

How high will gas prices go?

More scraps

When do we cease spending billions on research to stop IEDs causing over half of American combat deaths? Since we?ll leave Afghanistan soon after abandoning Iraq, what good will anti-IED tactics do? 

When do we announce the new American policy that we refuse to go anywhere IEDs are used, especially if eventually they?re chemical, biological, or dirty nuclear?


The American commander in Iraq says Iraq can protect itself by next Fall or the following Spring. Who takes over their training when the US goes? How many Iraqis will sign up then? Who?ll be in command?

Will an Iraqi general control the country if the current Iraqi government falls?

Will he be a Musharraf or a Mubarak?

As American troops withdraw, what will remaining ones do?

How will they be protected?

If by air, where based?

Will American planes still be accepted on Iraqi soil?

If not there, where?

If elsewhere in the Middle East, will Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, or Saudi Arabia open its air space?

Which ports will still be open to US ships?

Other Angles

Some insist on additional US troops. Saddamists hid when they saw 140,000. Will they surface if they see more?

Will Syria and Iran offset American boosts?

Will Al Qaeda?


Bill Clinton had been in office

? 13 months before the World Trade Center was bombed,

? four years when Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States,

? six years when Al Qaeda destroyed American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,

? eight years when the U.S.S. Cole was attacked.

How much time did he need to protect the US?

Five years ago the Twin Towers fell. How much more time does New York need to rebuild?

Iraq has had its constitution for 13 months, its prime minister less than six.

Time?s up.

?We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves,? the incoming Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee noted.

Could he tell us what we do with the remains?

Michael J. O'Shea
11949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: November 20, 2006, 02:23:23 AM

What a Strange Way to Wage a War
By Josh Manchester : 16 Nov 2006 
I found myself seated at a meeting the other day next to a correspondent for an influential national news outlet. The discussion turned to Iraq. Having spent several years covering the Balkans in the 1990s, my counterpart voiced his concern that he sees in Iraq now many of the same actions - forced migration, for example - that proved to be the incipient signs of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Balkans then. Then he surprised me. He stated that his fear was that should the US leave precipitously, such atrocities would become headlines rather than speculation, and the world would have no one to blame but the United States.

Nevertheless, over the abyss we happily plunge, with sober heads nodding as Sen. Carl Levin appears on a Sunday morning talk show calling for a "phased redeployment" of US forces to begin in "four to six months."

Why not now? What does the distinguished gentleman from Michigan believe will be accomplished then that isn't already? If the entire enterprise is a miserable failure, why ask our military, whom Mr. Levin will no doubt be the first to vociferously support, to stay one day longer? What magical event will occur four months hence? An optimist might wonder whether Mr. Levin was attempting a clever bit of early April Fools' Day humor, but such levity coming from Levin seems unlikely.

Rather than concerning ourselves with April 1st, 2007, or January 1st, or July 10th, or August 4th, or Saint Swithins Day, there is but one day that should be foremost in our minds during these debates, and that is the 5th of October, 1938. On this day, Winston Churchill addressed the House of Commons, beginning "by saying the most unpopular and most unwelcome thing . . . that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat." Churchill was the wet blanket at the parliamentary party to celebrate Neville Chamberlain's efforts at the Munich Conference, where the Sudetenland had been ceded to Hitler. About Czechoslovakia, Churchill said, "All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, [she] recedes into the darkness."

And so it will be in Iraq. When comparing the two, it is hard to know which is more ignoble: in one case, Britain bargained away a portion of another sovereign state; in our own, we are ready to cede a sovereign state to (insert here: Iran, Al Qaeda, or pure chaos), after having bought such real estate with the blood of thousands of our young.

Some Senators, mindful of the disaster a withdrawal will prove to be, warn against a precipitous exit. Yet precipitous or not, it is an exit that they seek. Yes, this is truly the problem. Having suffered decades ago from an affliction known as the Vietnam Syndrome, we seem forever destined to have periodic relapses, punctuated by someone offering a cure for our national hangover with a remedy called the Powell Doctrine.

It's an interesting brew, this one: it contains a dash of the idea that we should only fight wars that we know in advance that we'll win, even though no such creature exists; a bit of the notion that at the same time, we'll do so with every possible ally; and most importantly, a bit of whimsy called an "exit strategy," which in every other part of the world, where the inhabitants don't move every two years as we do, means that sooner or later the Americans will bail.

What a strange way to wage a war. It's almost as though everyone were promised . . . that they'd never really be waging one at all! Contrast that concoction with Marine Lieutenant General James Mattis, who related over the summer his reply to an Iraqi who asked when we would leave the country. "I said I am never going to leave. I told him I had found a little piece of property down on the Euphrates River and I was going to have a retirement home built there. I did that because I wanted to disabuse him of any sense that he could wait me out."

Iraq is dangerous. Progress is measured in weeks and inches, not minutes and miles. It is weakly governed when governed at all. But to leave too early will be to compound these seemingly intractable attributes with the most deadly of sins: a failure of willpower. The world will know that when Iraq becomes the next Taliban-like state, or the next Rwanda, that it was only because the United States, the most able, powerful, and wealthy nation in the history of the world, gave up. If that disturbs you, imagine how much it delights our adversaries.

When the "phased redeployment" begins, and the cries of "peace in our time" are shouted from the ramparts, the only important difference between now and 1938 will be that the British at least had a Churchill to tell them, "Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting."

Josh Manchester is a TCSDaily contributing writer. His blog is The Adventures of Chester
11950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: November 20, 2006, 02:15:16 AM
**There is no military force capible of pushing the US out of Iraq. Putting ugly images on TV until the sheeple grow weary is their only viable strategy. Sadly, it seems to be working.**

The Human Calculus of National Security
By Philip R. O'Connor PH.D   
Following the Democratic mid-term triumph, California U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer told National Public Radio that the recent average daily loss of three military people in Iraq necessitated disengagement as soon as possible. Sen. Boxer has posed a fundamental question: What price in American lives are we prepared to pay for our national security policies?

There is a cold-blooded calculus at the heart of decisions that must be taken by the leaders we choose. No one likes to talk about it but it's the elephant in the room. Let's stipulate that every life is precious and every one of us cringes when we switch on the TV and hear casualty reports. Let's also stipulate, however, that we expect our elected leaders to make life and death decisions mindful of the interests of the broader society and of generations to come.

Any leader disposed toward treating these decisions in exclusively personal terms is unfit for leadership. But what happens if our leaders have no referent for the human calculus of preserving the nation's security? Suppose they have no idea or refuse to even consider the price they are willing for us to pay for our security. We recognize the inevitability of deaths in our police and fire services and among our utility and sanitation workers. As a society we know that, taken together, these four professions alone have an average daily duty-related death rate of about one per day. But we also appreciate the absolute importance of those jobs for our daily well being.

Let's look at the record on precisely the terms Senator Boxer suggests, the daily average rate of military fatalities. As in any analytical exercise, we must simplify as well as recognize that over the years our casualty reporting systems have become much more precise. We also need to realize that the lethality of warfare is not measured solely in those who perish but also in terms of the injuries suffered.

Over time, the ratio of wounded to dying has risen significantly, from about 1.7 to 1 in both World Wars, to 3 to 1 in Vietnam and about 7or 8 to 1 in the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also must put aside the average daily death rate in the military since the post-Cold War downsizing began of about between two and three per day from training and auto accidents, disease and so forth.

Let's look then only at military fatalities from all causes during our major wars and consider those wars as part of long term national security policy strategies. And we will not treat the losses suffered by our many and varied allies over the years, including those in the current conflict. Further, the Confederate dead of our Civil War must be included. Lincoln himself would have wanted it thus.

In the full sweep of U.S history, from the commencement of the Revolution on Lexington Green in April 1775, until the sunny morning of September 11, 2001, our average daily sacrifice has been between 14 and 15 military fatalities (1,217,000 fatalities/83,461 days = 14.6/day). Since 9/11, the average daily sacrifice has been 1.7 per day (3200/1900=1.68).

From the Revolutionary War until the American entry into World War I, the average daily rate was about 11 per day (578,000/52,231=11.07). From World War I through the break up of the Soviet Union, the rate was over 16 per day (636,000/38,811=16.39). Or in our long running confrontation with Soviet communism following World War II until the collapse of the Soviet empire, the rate was over between 6 and 7 per day (112,400/16,892=6.65).

As things stand, the conflict with Islamic radicalism involves the lowest average daily military fatality rate of any long run national security era. It may worsen, it may improve. If Congress had been asked on September 12, 2001, to endorse a national defense posture against Islamic radicalism that traded up to 2 military fatalities per day over the subsequent five years in return for no additional homeland attacks, the deposing of terror friendly regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ending of Libya's nuclear program, what would they have done? Would Congress accept that bargain today?

In making the national defense calculus our leaders cannot ignore parts of history they don't like and choose just the parts they want in order to pretend that national security can be achieved at little or no human cost over the long haul. We can no more remove Vietnam or Korea from the Cold War calculus than we can the Italian campaign or the re-taking of the Philippines from the World War II calculus. Those costly campaigns, seen by as some as inconclusive, misdirected or unwarranted, are part and parcel of ultimately winning strategies. Decisive engagements usually come only after many indecisive ones.

If we choose to resist Islamic radicalism and to help others, especially in the Islamic world, to resist and defeat it, and if we believe that freedom and democracy at home and abroad will certainly demand military force - then what daily military fatality rate are we willing to accept as a matter of policy?

Philip R. O'Connor is a writer in Chicago and holds a doctorate in political science from Northwestern University.
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