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9601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Picture WW3: Who, when, where, why on: February 12, 2009, 10:42:56 PM
- Chesler Chronicles - http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler -

President Obama Believes He Can Charm the Barbarians.
Posted By Phyllis Chesler On February 11, 2009 @ 12:14 pm In Uncategorized | 61 Comments

Western liberals — and in the past I have been a very good one — still refuse to describe any culture other than their own as “barbaric” lest they be maligned as “racists.” Now, America’s first (half) African-American president, whose first order of business was to reach out to the Muslim world on Al-Arabiya, has said he will actively negotiate with the Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, and Saudis.

I wish him well. But I also fear for him and hope he reads what I have to say.

He must understand that he will be dealing with barbarians. Like all good liberals, he may not understand what that means. But what word other than “barbaric” describes the systematic incitement to violence that takes place in mosques and on television and which has led to mob rampages and episodes of “wilding” against Muslim girls and women who are group-groped, gang raped, kidnapped into sexual slavery, set on fire, buried alive, blinded by acid for daring to go to school, work as a newscaster, a hairdresser, or for a foreign company, refuse to wear a shroud, or choose to marry someone of their own choice. Few Muslim clerics and even fewer fabled Muslim “moderates” have loudly and perilously condemned such behavior towards their sisters–or towards Christians, Jews, and other infidels who routinely fall prey to such mobs.

President Obama is in favor of women’s rights as is his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. How in God’s name do they think they can persuade barbarians who behave in such ways to change their behaviors? If I were Obama and Clinton, I’d hold these diplomatic meetings with lots of American security guards and in neutral countries.

What word other than “barbaric” can even begin to characterize the 2002 kidnapping and video-ed beheading of Jewish-American [1] Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, in Pakistan and the 2006 three week-long torture of French citizen, [2] Ilan Halimi, in Paris by African Muslims, ostensibly for ransom money? Many North African Muslim neighbors dropped in to watch or even to take a hand in Halimi’s torture and murder.

The presumably civilized and non-”barbaric” western media was reluctant to describe either Pearl’s or Halimi’s murder-torture as an act of Muslim “racism.” How can it be “racist” when both the perpetrator and the victim are Semites? Or Africans?

The western liberal media is not so much reluctant as it is terrified to further offend the rampaging Muslims whose religion is, presumably, one of peace. But not telling the truth, keeping one’s head deep in the sand, does not abolish the barbarism. It only makes it more difficult for us to name it and to defend ourselves against it. For example, despite all the liberal media cautiousness,  in 2009, a Polish engineer, [3] Piotr Stanczak, was kidnapped, then beheaded on video in Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

And, the “barbarism” is hardly confined to Muslim countries. In Scotland there is an alarming pattern of Muslim or “Asian” murderous attacks upon young white boys. In the infamous 2004 case of 15 year-old Kriss Donald:

“The court had heard that Kriss was jumped on as he walked down a street near his home with a friend. As he was bundled into a car, he screamed: “Why me? I’m only 15.” His mutilated body was found the next day on a walkway in the east end of the city. The slightly built boy had been beaten, held down and stabbed 13 times, then set on fire while he was still alive. Bleeding to death and burning, he tried to crawl towards the river Clyde but died in a ditch. A passerby who found his body the following day thought he had stumbled across the carcass of a dead animal.”

The British media was–and still is–reluctant to describe the killers as “Muslims;” they prefer the more neutral “Asians.” More serious is the fact that just yesterday, the heroic Muslim MK, Mohammed Sarwar, (Britain’s first Muslim in Parliament), announced his retirement from Parliament due to the many death threats he has received. Sarwar was instrumental in negotiating the return of Donald’s three Muslim-Asian killers from Pakistan.

Once again, squeamishness has not won the day. Just this month, a second Muslim racist attack upon white boys took place on Kriss Donald’s street. Mercifully, [4] this time only bones were broken.

Let me be clear. “Barbarism” is not only a mob or youth-gang phenomena. It defines the very nature of Muslim religious law.

For example, on February 11, 2009, a [5] Saudi judge ordered that a young woman who was gang raped and impregnated be imprisoned for one year. He also ordered that she be given 100 lashes after she gives birth, (which is often a death sentence), because she talked with and followed a man who was not her relative and who turned out to have planned the attack.

What can President Obama do? Refuse to talk, talk anyway, dare to craft an economic deal that is pegged to the abolition of [6] Sharia law?

And according to the [7] British Telegraph, early in 2009, a Pakistani Muslim cleric blinded a young boy with acid because he spurned the cleric’s sexual advances.

Is America imperfect? Absolutely. Is murder committed on our shores? Do people abuse their power in such a way that others suffer and die? Absolutely. But we do not lynch people in the streets, our clerics do not provoke such acts and when injustice is called to our attention, sometimes–sometimes–the rule of law prevails. In the Muslim Bad Lands, there is no rule of law, or rather, the law itself demands “cruel and usual punishment” as my good friend Nonie Darwish has said in her latest book which bears this exact title.

Folks: Beginning with President Obama, and including the American and western media, we had better start connecting the dots. We are not only facing “barbarians,” but, as I wrote [8] yesterday, we are facing barbarians who brilliantly and viciously employ non-conventional, asymmetrical, non-proportionate, and terrorist means of warfare–which unbelievably, our own media finds….thrilling, romantic.

Article printed from Chesler Chronicles: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/02/11/president-obama-believes-he-can-charm-the-barbarians/

URLs in this post:
[1] Wall Street Journal : http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/pearl-022102.htm
[2] Ilan Halimi: http://www.nysun.com/foreign/tale-of-torture-and-murder-horrifies-the-whole/27948/
[3] Piotr Stanczak: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/02/10/europe/EU-Poland-Hostage-Killed.php
[4] this time : http://theopinionator.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/02/another-muslim-race-hate-attack-on-kriss-donald-
street-1.html

[5] Saudi judge: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1141267/Saudi-judge-sentences-pregnant-gang-rape-v
ictim-100-lashes-committing-adultery.html#

[6] Sharia law: http://www.religioustolerance.org/islsharia.htm
[7] British Telegraph: http://vladtepesblog.com/?p=5185
[8] yesterday: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/02/10/conventional-versus-non-conventional-warfare-and-w
hy-israel-did-not-lose-in-gaza/
9602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 12, 2009, 10:06:25 PM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Of ‘Bad’ and ‘Good’ Anti-Semites
Posted By Malte Lehming On February 12, 2009 @ 9:55 am In . Column2 01, Europe, Middle East, Politics, Religion, World News | 20 Comments

Muslims are somewhat backwards; they suffered so much under western colonialism; their anger at Israel is comprehensible; one should not weigh their every word.

Such racist assumptions must be implicit in the justifiably raging debate on the rehabilitation of Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson. For there is an obvious question: Why is the moral-historical bar being set very high for the Pope and the Catholic Church, whereas in the case of thousands of imams and Islamic scholars it is consciously set extremely low? Why should a Catholic clergyman not be permitted to show contempt for the dead of Auschwitz when the “Holocaust lie” and the “fable of the gas chambers” are commonplace tropes in so many Friday prayers throughout the Muslim and Arab world?

It is not hard to find the answer. Muslims are in fact not taken entirely seriously in the West. The anti-Semitism of Muslims is regarded as a kind of folklore, for which on account of cultural backwardness mitigating circumstances should apply. It is an ideological import from Europe grafted onto the teachings of Mohammed, something artificial and not organic. As a consequence, even in Germany anti-Semitic slogans of the most grotesque sort could be shouted at anti-Israeli demonstrations during the Gaza war — slogans like “Jews out!” and “All Jews must die!” If native Germans had shouted the same slogans, the DA’s office would have started an investigation long ago.

But anyone who employs such double standards is either ignorant or a racist. There is extensive research on anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world. One knows, for instance, the shameful story of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who was received by Hitler in 1941 and supervised the Muslim-SS divisions from Berlin. And various speeches by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad come to mind. (For instance, [1] his speech of February 11, 2006: “[A]s far as several aggressive European governments are concerned…, it is permissible to harm the honor of the divine prophets, but it is a crime to ask questions about the myth of the Holocaust. … On the basis of this myth, the pillaging Zionist regime has managed, for 60 years, to extort all Western governments. … They are lying when they claim they have freedom. They are hostages in the hands of the Zionists.”)

But many others talk like Ahmadinejad, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Another friend of the Nazis, the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, had the Protocols of the Elders of Zion reprinted and distributed. At about the same time, the Jordanian Jerusalem Times published an open letter to Adolf Eichmann, who was on trial in Israel. The letter declared that Eichmann had “conferred a real blessing on humanity” and urged him to “find solace in the fact that this trial will one day culminate in the liquidation of the remaining six million. …”

All of this is well-known and documented. But what member of the Middle East quartet is bothered nowadays by [2] the dissertation that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and co-founder of Fatah, completed in Moscow in 1982 ? Its title: “The Secret Ties between the Nazis and the Zionist Movement Leadership.” The claim that the Holocaust is simply used by Israel as a pretext remains one of the most important themes of contemporary Islamic anti-Semitism. This is why even dealing with the Holocaust is regarded as betrayal of the Palestinian cause. What German tourist has not received a grateful pat on the back in Cairo, Amman, or Damascus on account of the Nazis’ genocidal “Jewish policy”?

Bishop Richard Williamson should not be honored with a high office in the Catholic Church. He should be placed in quarantine — as should Hamas, whose charter makes the Jews responsible for World War II. If dialogue is not possible with Williamson, then it is certainly not possible with Hamas. Whoever complains about Williamson, but wants “somehow to include” Hamas, is lying to themselves and to the public.

The above commentary first appeared in German [3] here on the website of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel. The English translation is by John Rosenthal.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/of-bad-and-good-anti-semites/

URLs in this post:
[1] his speech of February 11, 2006: http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=subjects&Area=antisemitism&ID=SP109106
[2] the dissertation that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and co-founder of Fatah, completed in Moscow in 1982: http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=ia&ID=IA9502
[3] here: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/meinung/kommentare/auf-den-punkt/Papst-Benedikt-Antisemitismus;art15890,2
722329
9603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2009, 09:45:36 PM
Moving GM's post on BO not believing the NIE report either over to the Iran thread.

Folks:

I'd like to repeat that now that he is President, I'd like to see this thread become less important-- and for threads for posts to be determined more about the subject matter e.g. if it is about BO and Iran, then maybe it belongs in the Iran thread and not this one.  Otherwise this thread becomes one giant cluster of incoherent crankiness.

TIA,
Marc
9604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2009, 07:46:34 PM
GM's post about Chinagate leading to 911 moved to the Homeland Security thread.
9605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2009, 05:46:23 PM
Since 9/11.

Although as a quick reminder, the first attack on the WTC happened in 1993, the start of Clinton's first term. AQ metastasized under his watch with multiple attacks on us while he tried to use standard law enforcement methods to engage them. Remember the USS Cole and African embassy bombings? Remember the strikes on AQ camps only during Monica-gate? If I recall correctly, most if not all 9/11 operational assets arrived in the US in 1998 to begin training for 9/11.

Keep in mind that Bush had the hanging chad legal fights and the dems impeding his cabinet appointments so that he had only about 1/3 of his nat'l security cabinet picks in place on 9/11.
9606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2009, 01:26:19 PM
Keep this phrase handy, Obots: "At least Bush kept us safe".
9607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2009, 01:21:37 PM


This is a lost 4 years, President Empty-suit is going to get innocents killed and we'll be paying for decades, if not longer for the mistake of electing him.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/12/obamas-outrageous-oversight/

EDITORIAL: Obama's outrageous oversight

Thursday, February 12, 2009


President Obama clearly didn't do his homework before ordering the suspension of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects. We have learned that even his own legal counsel admitted that Mr. Obama erred in discussing details about terrorism with families of victims last week, and that the administration was ignorant of a key point that terrorists exploit to their advantage. In his rush to fulfill a campaign promise to his more fervid anti-war supporters, the president's legal oversights risk the disclosure of some highly classified information to terrorists.

Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that was flown into the Pentagon on 9/11, was present at last Friday's White House meeting of families of terrorism victims. Her impression was that President Obama was saying the right words in general, but when it came to specifics he was uncertain, uninformed, and sometimes just plain mistaken. Ms. Burlingame is an attorney who has followed closely the legal aspects of the terrorism cases, and her detailed, probing questions were met with stammers, stares, and statements that betrayed an understanding of the law that was, she said, "flat out wrong."

Case in point: the president's knowledge of the role of the Classified Information Procedures Act or CIPA. This law governs the way in which classified information is used in trials. The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to confront their accusers and the evidence against them, but the government has an important interest in cases such as these in keeping sources and methods secret. Under CIPA rules, in cases where classified information is used, the government has the option of sharing the information with the defendant, or not using it.

The Bush administration sought to avoid this potential national security threat by resorting to other procedures in which 6th Amendment issues did not arise. But President Obama believes that the model for terrorism cases is the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Of course a number of those plotters escaped justice (some were found later hiding in Saddam's Iraq, but that's another story). More important, because of the openness of that process, al Qaeda learned a great deal about how to do a much better job next time - and even the classified information from that trial was in Osama bin Laden's hands within weeks.

The terrorists have learned a great deal about conducting legal guerrilla war, using rules like CIPA to their advantage. Notice that more and more terrorists are dismissing their appointed lawyers and representing themselves. This gives them direct access to the classified documents that will be used in evidence against them. In this way they can learn about U.S. intelligence sources and methods - how they were targeted, what information was collected, and who may have been the traitors in their midst. Even if the names of sources are omitted, for example someone who was present at a key planning meeting, the terrorist defendant will know enough about the circumstances to be able to narrow it down. After all, the terrorist is familiar with every aspect of the events; he knows much more about them than the intelligence community.

The alternative to handing over the secrets is for the government to not use the evidence in question. That creates the incongruous situation in which the defense wants to maximize the amount of evidence that implicates them, and the prosecution wants to minimize it. (Our legal system was not designed to accommodate defendants who welcome being put to death.) According to Ms. Burlingame, Obama's answer to this conundrum was "there is no reason we have to give [the terrorists] everything." Evidently the former editor of the Harvard Law Review seems to think that one of his powers as president is personally to pick and choose which constitutional rights apply to terror defendants and which do not. That's the very thing they were criticizing President Bush for.

White House Counsel Greg Craig, often seen whispering in the president's ear during question periods, admitted later to Ms. Burlingame that the chief executive was getting the facts of the law wrong during the discussion with the families. Craig asked her if CIPA covers a case in which terrorists defend themselves, noting that "this is something we hadn't contemplated." If nothing else, this admission of ignorance is more evidence that the decision to rush ahead with closing Guantanamo and shutting down the military tribunals was ill-conceived, poorly planned, and may ultimately be injurious to our national security. The president may talk a good game about "swift, certain justice," but it is becoming clear that justice will not be swift, is highly uncertain, and in the end may not even be just.
9608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: February 12, 2009, 08:45:09 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/12/mexican-drug-cartels-make-phoenix-2-in-world-for-kidnappings/

Just commiting the horrific crimes Americans aren't willing to do....
9609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Neo-Nazi "Dirty Bomb" on: February 12, 2009, 08:36:36 AM
http://www.bangornews.com/detail/99263.html

Report: 'Dirty bomb' parts found in slain man's home

Agency says radioactive materials recovered in home of man allegedly slain by his wife


BDN FILE PHOTO
Maine State Police Detective Bryant Jacques (left) takes empty boxes into the Cummings home on Dec. 10, 2008, during the investigation into the killing of James Cummings the day before.


BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT
This photo (above) taken Tuesday shows the home at 346 High St. in Belfast where 29-year-old homicide victim James Cummings reportedly had bomb-making materials in the basement. Buy Photo

By Walter Griffin
BDN Staff
BELFAST, Maine — James G. Cummings, who police say was shot to death by his wife two months ago, allegedly had a cache of radioactive materials in his home suitable for building a “dirty bomb.”
According to an FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center posted online by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts leaked documents, an investigation into the case revealed that radioactive materials were removed from Cummings’ home after his shooting death on Dec. 9.

The report posted on the WikiLeaks Web site states that “On 9 December 2008, radiological dispersal device components and literature, and radioactive materials, were discovered at the Maine residence of an identified deceased [person] James Cummings.”

The section referring to Cummings can be read here.

It says that four 1-gallon containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium, lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium, boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon were found in the home.

Also found was literature on how to build “dirty bombs” and information about cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60, radioactive materials. The FBI report also stated there was evidence linking James Cummings to white supremacist groups. This would seem to confirm observations by local tradesmen who worked at the Cummings home that he was an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler and had a collection of Nazi memorabilia around the house, including a prominently displayed flag with swastika. Cummings claimed to have pieces of Hitler’s personal silverware and place settings, painter Mike Robbins said a few days after the shooting.



An application for membership in the National Socialist Movement filled out by Cummings also was found in the residence, according to the report. Cummings’ wife, Amber B. Cummings, 31, told investigators that her husband spoke of “dirty bombs,” according to the report, and mixed chemicals in her kitchen sink. She allegedly told police that Cummings subjected her to years of mental, physical and sexual abuse. She also said that Cummings was “very upset” when Barack Obama was elected president.

A “dirty bomb” is a type of “radiological dispersal device” that combines a conventional explosive such as dynamite with radioactive material, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Web site. “Most RDDs would not release enough radiation to kill people or cause severe illness,” the NRC says, adding that “a dirty bomb is in no way similar to a nuclear weapon” because its effects occur in a very limited area compared to a nuclear explosion.

The report noted that “uranium, thorium, cesium-137, stontium-90 and cobalt-60 are radioactive isotopes and 35 percent hydrogen peroxide is a necessary precursor for the manufacture of peroxide-based explosives. Lithium metal, thermite and aluminum are materials used to sensitize and amplify the effects of explosives.”

The report stated that the uranium component was bought online from a U.S. company that was identified in the investigation, but not in the report.

John Donnelley, an agent at the FBI’s Boston office, declined Tuesday to comment on the report. Donnelley said some FBI reports are provided to law enforcement agencies and sometimes get released to media outlets.

“I wouldn’t be prepared to speak on that,” Donnelley said. “I have no comment.”

The Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center is an intelligence gathering office affiliated with Washington, D.C., law enforcement. Telephone and e-mail messages left with the center Tuesday were not returned.

State police have identified Amber Cummings as the person who shot James Cummings. The couple’s 9-year-old daughter was present the morning of the shooting in what police have described as a domestic violence homicide.

Amber Cummings, who is staying in the Belfast area, has not been charged in the case, although the Waldo County grand jury currently meeting in Belfast could take up the matter during its session this week. While state police have acknowledged that the 29-year-old Cummings was killed by a gunshot, the results of the autopsy have been impounded, as have the search warrants executed at Cummings’ High Street home following the shooting. Authorities spent days searching the home, according to neighbors.

Lt. Gary Wright, who heads up the Maine State Police Criminal Investigation Division team working the case, declined to comment on any aspects of the case when contacted Tuesday.

“We’re not going to comment on anything,” Wright said Tuesday evening. “It’s an open homicide investigation and we’re not going to comment. That’s our standard policy.”

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, also had no comment on the report. “This is an active, open homicide investigation,” he said Tuesday evening, “and as a result, it’s inappropriate to get into confirming or denying aspects of that.”

Maine Deputy Attorney General William Stokes also declined to comment on the report Tuesday.

David Farmer, spokesman for Gov. John Baldacci, said Tuesday that it was inappropriate for the governor to comment on an open investigation. When asked about the copy of the field report sent to him by the Bangor Daily News, he said, “At this point, I have been unable to confirm the authenticity of the documents you sent to us.”

A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ staff said there was no one able to comment on the report Tuesday night.

Telephone messages left with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were not returned Tuesday evening. Robbins, who worked on the house for a month last summer, described Cummings as an angry person who was verbally abusive to his wife. He said Cummings apparently was independently wealthy and did not work. Robbins said Cummings talked incessantly about his love of guns and his fascination for Hitler. He said Cummings repeatedly berated his wife about home-schooling their daughter. He said Cummings had a controlling personality and wanted to know his wife and child’s every move.

Cummings grew up in California and lived in Texas before moving to Maine in August 2007. Although Robbins said Cummings told him he made his money in Texas real estate, it appears that the actual source of his wealth was a trust fund established by his father, a prominent landowner in the Northern California city of Fort Bragg. An Internet search of the James B. Cummings Trust indicated that it has an annual income of $10 million.

The FBI field intelligence report was apparently first reported on by unattributable.com, an online magazine which covers and blogs on current events.

BDN writer Dawn Gagnon in Bangor contributed to this report.
9610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 11, 2009, 07:54:50 PM
Remember when the Empty-suit said this:

"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."
9611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Empty-suit is clueless.... on: February 11, 2009, 05:18:55 PM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Obama Hopelessly Adrift on Foreign Policy
Posted By Kim Zigfeld On February 10, 2009 @ 12:37 am In . Column2 01, . Positioning, Europe, Homeland Security, Russia, US News, World News | 36 Comments

A truly frightening exchange occurred between Barack Obama and Helen Thomas at Obama’s first press conference on Monday. Here is the [1] transcript excerpt:

All right. Helen? This is my inaugural moment here.

(LAUGHTER)

I’m really excited.

QUESTION: Mr. President, do you think that Pakistan and — are maintaining the safe havens in Afghanistan for these so-called terrorists? And, also, do you know of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?

OBAMA: Well, I think that Pakistan — there is no doubt that, in the FATA region of Pakistan, in the mountainous regions along the border of Afghanistan, that there are safe havens where terrorists are operating. And one of the goals of Ambassador Holbrooke, as he is traveling throughout the region, is to deliver a message to Pakistan that they are endangered as much as we are by the continuation of those operations and that we’ve got to work in a regional fashion to root out those safe havens. It’s not acceptable for Pakistan or for us to have folks who, with impunity, will kill innocent men, women and children. And, you know, I — I believe that the new government of Pakistan and — and Mr. Zardari cares deeply about getting control of the situation. We want to be effective partners with them on that issue.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: Well, Mr. Holbrooke is there, and that’s exactly why he’s being sent there, because I think that we have to make sure that Pakistan is a stalwart ally with us in battling this terrorist threat. With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don’t want to speculate. What I know is this: that if we see a nuclear arms race in a region as volatile as the Middle East, everybody will be in danger. And one of my goals is to prevent nuclear proliferation generally. I think that it’s important for the United States, in concert with Russia, to lead the way on this. And, you know, I’ve mentioned this in conversations with the Russian president, Mr. Medvedev, to let him know that it is important for us to restart the — the conversations about how we can start reducing our nuclear arsenals in an effective way so that …

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: … so that we then have the standing to go to other countries and start stitching back together the nonproliferation treaties that, frankly, have been weakened over the last several years. OK.

QUESTION: Why do you have to speculate on who has …

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: All right.

Sam Stein, Huffington Post. Where’s Sam? Here. Go ahead.

This may well be one of the most horrifying excerpts from a press-conference transcript in U.S. presidential history. It’s hard to know where to begin in documenting the carnage.

First, in the middle of one of the great economic crises the country has experienced, at his very first press conference, and just before being asked about Islamic terrorism and nuclear weapons, Obama is joking like a schoolboy.

Second, Obama states: “It’s not acceptable for Pakistan or for us to have folks who, with impunity, will kill innocent men, women and children.” For us? Perhaps by this bizarre statement Obama meant not only Pakistan but any country assisting terrorists must be opposed by U.S. policy, but it came out sounding as if the U.S. was somehow itself fostering terrorism.

Third, Obama states: “With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don’t want to speculate. What I know is this: that if we see a nuclear arms race in a region as volatile as the Middle East, everybody will be in danger.” Isn’t a nuclear arms race already underway in the Middle East? Isn’t it Obama’s job to know which countries there have such weapons, without speculating?

And then finally, inevitably, Obama jumps the rails. He states: “And one of my goals is to prevent nuclear proliferation generally. I think that it’s important for the United States, in concert with Russia, to lead the way on this. And, you know, I’ve mentioned this in conversations with the Russian president, Mr. Medvedev, to let him know that it is important for us to restart the — the conversations about how we can start reducing our nuclear arsenals in an effective way so that we then have the standing to go to other countries and start stitching back together the nonproliferation treaties that, frankly, have been weakened over the last several years.”

So Obama has announced that the U.S. can’t stop nuclear proliferation unless the U.S. itself abandons nuclear weapons, even as Obama has failed to make any strong statement in support of a missile defense shield for Europe. Essentially, then, he’s suggesting that the moral power of unilateral disarmament is the best and indeed only way to stop proliferation in the Middle East.

And that’s not the worst of it. This was the only reference to Russia that occurred in the entire press conference, and Obama injected it on his own (shame on the White House press corps for not asking him a single question about Putin’s neo-Soviet nightmare). The U.S. stands now at a major crossroads in world history. With the Russian economy facing a steep and dire recession (its stock market down 80%, its foreign reserves down 50%, and its currency down 30%), the U.S. has a massive amount of leverage to compel Russia to make democratic changes or face an arms race similar to the one provoked by Ronald Reagan which drove the USSR into the ash can of history. We’ve just seen yet another addition to the horrifying litany of political murder during the Putin years with the killing of human rights attorney [2] Stanislav Markelov and firebrand reporter Anastasia Baburova, and yet not only did Obama not announce new pressure on the Kremlin, he spoke about Dmitri Medvedev as if he were not only the legitimate ruler of the country but a trustworthy partner on the nuclear problem.

Not a word from Obama about the Markelov killing, or about Russia’s equally terrifying litany [3] of race murder, or about the fact that Medvedev’s “election” was shamelessly rigged after all serious opposition had been purged from the ballot, or about the fact that Medvedev support an extension of the presidential term widely viewed as a platform for the return of Russia’s real ruler, Vladimir Putin, to permanent formal power. Not a syllable about how Medvedev has begun abolishing the right to trial by jury, not a peep about Russia’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism, both directly and through Syria and Iran. Nothing about the fact that Russia just booted the U.S. out of a key [4] military base in Kyrgzystan, signed a [5] cooperation pact with Cuba, [6] bribed Belarus into forming an anti-U.S. air defense program and [7] started building military bases in the territory it seized from Georgia in Abkhazia.

Instead, Obama appears to let Russia off the hook, conveniently releasing the pressure of the nuclear arms race at exactly the moment the Kremlin needs him to do so. How can Russia possibly take this statement as anything other than an open invitation to escalate its crackdown on democracy and its efforts to dominate its neighbors?

Putin’s government is becoming increasingly unhinged as the pressure of economic failure and open public protests increases. It is [8] spying on opposition political groups in the same way that got Richard Nixon driven from office. Putin delivered an unsettling, [9] crazy-sounding speech at the Davos economic forum, and then made an even more delusional attack on Dell CEO Michael Dell. And when the Fitch ratings agency downgraded Russia’s debt rating because of its massive economic setbacks, Putin’s [10] only response was to call for the creation of Russian ratings agencies that would give Russia higher scores! In this light, how can we see Obama’s comment about Medvedev as being any different from George Bush’s infamous claim to have looked in Vladimir Putin’s eyes, glimpsed his soul, and found him trustworthy?

And then, for a cherry on top of this rancid sundae, Obama takes a question from, of all places, the Huffington Post, without giving a similar opportunity to any conservative blogger. So much for bipartisanship! CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Bloomberg, Reuters, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and, of course, we can’t forget the Huffington Post in the roll call of mainstream journalism! One has to wonder, of course, if George Bush would have been allowed to get away with taking questions from Michelle Malkin.

What’s perhaps the most amazing (and ironic) of all, however, is that the Huffington Post is actually doing a better job of calling Putin’s Russia on the carpet than Obama himself. It has recently given blog space to both dissident opposition leader [11] Oleg Kozlovsky and leading Kremlin critic [12] Robert Coalson. Even the rhetoric of the [13] United Nations of late has been more convincingly pro-democracy than that of the Obama administration, and so has that of various European leaders.

Obama, meanwhile, is behaving in exactly the way one would expect a leader with no foreign policy experience or credentials to behave. In other words, he’s hopelessly and depressingly adrift.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-hopelessly-adrift-on-foreign-policy/

URLs in this post:
[1] transcript: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/president/39344092.html?elr=KArks8c7PaP3E77K_3c::D3aDhU
ec7PaP3E77K_0c::D3aDhUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

[2] Stanislav Markelov: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/surprise-political-murders-continue-in-russia/
[3] of race murder: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/russian-hate-crimes-on-the-rise/
[4] military base: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/world/europe/06russia.html?_r=1&ref=world
[5] cooperation pact: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us/0_0_s_0_0_t&usg=AFQjCNGoB4xFUImiS9VW5XR4UES9IzVL
gA&cid=1297918530&ei=XWODSbiLBI32Mbq80skC&url=http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-01-30-
voa31.cfm

[6] bribed Belarus: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1016/42/374405.htm
[7] started building: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us/0_0_s_6_0_t&usg=AFQjCNFivvlmhB507YdAMIAZjkEuGStB
6A&cid=1297465783&ei=XWODSbiLBI32Mbq80skC&url=http://uk.reuters.com/article/gc07/idUKLQ3
6012320090129

[8] spying on opposition political groups: http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/editorial-mr-putins-kitchen/
[9] crazy-sounding speech: http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/special-extra-russia-is-ruled-by-a-psychopath/
[10] only response: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jj73UJWw-IDUL1HU5WqDhvPBfqcA
[11] Oleg Kozlovsky: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oleg-kozlovsky
[12] Robert Coalson: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-coalson
[13] United Nations: http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/editorial-just-say-nobama-2/
9612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 11, 2009, 10:52:04 AM
Sure. I'm not fan of "If ACORN doesn't get millions of taxpayers' dollars, you'll be eating your babies for breakfast!" currently being touted, but it's apples and oranges compared with 9/11/01 and stopping the next one.
9613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 11, 2009, 10:25:25 AM
Every time I read something by a libertarian on the PATRIOT act, I'm reminded why they are the flat earthers of national security and justly a fringe party.
9614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Lawfare" in full bloom on: February 10, 2009, 12:39:16 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-detainees10-2009feb10,0,6334034.story?track=rss
From the Los Angeles Times

Miranda rule may hamper detainee trials
None of the men held at Guantanamo were advised of their rights against self-incrimination. That and other issues may cause problems for President Obama's goal of trying them in a civil legal system.
By Julian E. Barnes and David G. Savage

February 10, 2009

Reporting from Washington — Accused in a 2002 grenade blast that wounded two U.S. soldiers near an Afghan market, Mohammed Jawad was sent as a youth to Guantanamo Bay. Now, under orders by President Obama, he could one day be among detainees whose fate is finally decided by a U.S. court.

But in a potential problem, Pentagon officials note that most of the evidence against Jawad comes from his own admissions. And neither he nor any other detainee at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was ever told about their rights against self-incrimination under U.S. law.

The Miranda warning, a fixture of American jurisprudence and staple of television cop shows, may also be one of a series of constructional hurdles standing between Obama's order to close the island prison and court trials on the mainland.

A procession of similar challenges -- secret evidence, information from foreign spy services and coerced statements -- also could spell trouble for prosecutors.

All of these problems illustrate the larger difficulty that lies ahead as the nation moves from the "law of war" orientation used by the Bush administration in dealing with detainees to the civilian legal approach preferred by Obama.

Obama last month announced sweeping changes, ordered humane treatment and invited in the international Red Cross. But the changeover will not be easy or quick, underscoring the complexity of undoing the Bush administration's policies.

John D. Hutson, a former chief judge advocate general of the Navy who advised the Obama transition team, said the new administration simply has not decided on rules to detain and try terrorism suspects -- those at Guantanamo now, or those captured in the future.

"It's still up in the air," Hutson said, "to the consternation of some of the human rights groups."

The administration has launched a review of the individual detainee cases, aimed at determining who can be prosecuted in federal courts.

"Miranda is an issue -- it is a potential issue in prosecution," said a senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the review is ongoing. "The purpose of the review is to see how much of an issue and to see in what cases it is possible to proceed."

The administration is also reviewing whether the controversial military commission system instituted by President George W. Bush should be retained in some form for detainees who cannot be tried because of Miranda or other legal hurdles.

"The executive order purposely did not eliminate or do away with military commissions, and that is because there is an understanding that option needs to remain open to see what the review turns up," the senior Obama administration official said. "Some revised type of military commission might possibly be necessary, but that is very much an open question."

Under the Bush administration's wartime approach, prisoners were captured and interrogated for intelligence purposes, then held as a preventive measure. No Obama official has suggested that prisoners should have been read their rights on a battlefield.

But once the decision was made to put them on trial, the legal picture changed. Some legal experts said they should have been re-interviewed and warned that their statements would be used against them. Others said that for many, the history of their captivity makes trial in civilian court improbable.

"If you want to prosecute them, I have to think Miranda would apply. Miranda always applies in criminal prosecution," said a former Bush administration official, who spoke about pending cases on condition of anonymity. "Miranda hasn't applied to most things that happened in war before because there is no prosecution involved."

However, federal courts may find that Miranda does not apply to interrogations conducted for the purpose of intelligence gathering, said Gabor Rona, the international legal director for Human Rights First. Instead, judges may decide whether to accept confessions based on whether the statements were coerced.

"The idea that the failure to give Miranda warnings is a great impediment to using federal courts is a simplistic falsehood," Rona said.

The prosecution of Jawad, now 24, has been hampered in other ways. Before Jawad's military commission case was halted last month, a military judge had barred prosecutors from using Jawad's confession to Afghan authorities as trial evidence, saying it was obtained through torture.

Jawad is not among the so-called high-value detainees at Guantanamo, whom U.S. officials charge had significant roles in Al Qaeda or in planning the Sept. 11 attacks. But those cases could also present problems involving coerced evidence, classified information and constitutional rights because of the collision between civil and wartime measures for dealing with detainees.

Lawyers and judges amid the controversy have noted that neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has grounded U.S. policy in one arena or the other, leaving uncertain which set of rules applies.

A federal judge in Washington hearing habeas corpus claims from Guantanamo prisoners expressed frustration on the issue.

"I don't understand how the Supreme Court made the decision it made and left that question open," U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said during an October hearing.

Meanwhile, civil liberties groups, while applauding Obama's intention of overhauling the government's approach to terrorism, are concerned that he also has held some Bush-era policies as options.

As an example, Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's National Security Project, called Obama's plan to close Guantanamo "a promising start" but said it leaves open the option of preventive detention.

"That should be retired," Jaffer said. "The right way to deal with people suspected of committing terrorism crimes is to prosecute them in ordinary federal courts."

julian.barnes@latimes.com

david.savage@latimes.com
9615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: February 09, 2009, 10:15:45 PM
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2009/02/print/will_nsc_reorg_deal_realistica.php

Counterterrorism Blog

Will NSC Reorg Deal Realistically With Terrorist Threats?

By Michael Cutler

I am certain that I am not the only person who wished that our world was not plagued by the threat of terrorism. I am also not alone in my wish that our nation's economy and the economy of many other countries have been shaken to the core or that international criminals and terrorists are on the move around the globe, plying their trades wherever they can, seeking weaknesses and exploiting those weaknesses. The problem is that those critically important challenges confront our nation and most other nations on the face of this planet. Therefore it is imperative that our nation's leaders put political differences aside and stop pandering to the various special interest groups and business interests and make our nation's security the unequivocal number one priority!

This news article was forwarded to me by one of the many folks I have been in touch with ever since I decided to attempt to provide my insights concerning immigration in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It appeared in a British-based newspaper, the Telegraph, and addresses two of the many areas of concern I have been hammering away at; the Visa Waiver Program and the lack of resources devoted to enforcing the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

This second article appeared in yesterday's edition of the Washington Post and was entitled, "Obama's NSC Will Get New Power." If the whole point is to seek out and then devise strategies to protect our nation, then our nation's leaders must incorporate the issues of border security and the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws into their national security strategies.

Let's start out considering the Visa Waiver Program that the Bush administration, in its final weeks, expanded from 27 participating countries to 34 countries. The travel and hospitality interests hired Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security to be their "talking head" to hawk their program called, "Discover America." As I have pointed out on many occasions, Mr. Ridge and his deep-pocketed friends in the travel and hospitality industries appear to have forgotten that al-Qaeda and other terrorist and criminal organizations have already discovered America! Remember that citizens of Great Britain are eligible to seek to enter the United States without first applying for a visa.

Here is a review of the benefits to be gained by requiring visas of all foreign visitors seeking to enter the United States:

1. The visas requirement subjects aliens who seek to enter the United States to tighter scrutiny including those alien airline passengers on airliners that are destined to the United States. Richard Reid, the so-called "Shoe Bomber" was able to board an airliner destined to the United States, although he had no intentions of entering the United States. His apparent goal was to blow up the airliner and its many passengers somewhere over the depths of the Atlantic Ocean by detonating explosives he had concealed in his shoes. Because he is a subject of Great Britain, a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, Reid did not need to obtain a visa before he boarded that airliner.

2. The CBP inspectors are supposed to make a decision in one minute or less as to the admissibility of an alien seeking to enter the United States. The visa requirement helps them to do a more effective job. Their's is a tough job I can certainly attest to, I began my career at the former INS as an immigration inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and worked there for 4 years before I became a special agent.

3. The application for a nonimmigrant visa contains roughly 40 questions that could provide invaluable information to law enforcement officials should that alien become the target of a criminal or terrorist investigation. The information could provide intelligence as well as investigative leads

4. If an alien applicant lies on the application for a visa that lie is called "visa fraud." The maximum penalty for visa fraud starts out at 10 years in jail for those who commit this crime simply in order to come to the United States, ostensibly to seek unlawful employment or other such purpose. The penalty increases to 15 years in jail for those aliens who obtain a visa to commit a felony. For aliens who engage in visa fraud to traffic in narcotics or commit another narcotics-related crime, the maximum jail sentence that can be imposes rises to 20 years. Finally, when an alien can be proven to have engaged in visa fraud in furtherance of terrorism, the maximum penalty climbs to 25 years in prison. It is important to note that while it may be difficult to prove that an individual is a terrorist, it is usually relatively simple to prove that an alien has committed visa fraud.

5. The charge of visa fraud can also be extremely helpful to law enforcement authorities who want to take a bad guy off the street without tipping their hand to the other members of a criminal conspiracy or terrorism conspiracy that the individual arrested was being arrested for his involvement in terrorism or a criminal organization.

6. Even when an application for a visa is denied, the application can be maintained to track those who attempt to secure a visa for the United States.

These benefits do not apply when aliens are admitted under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program.

On May 11, 2006 I was called to testify before a Congressional hearing conducted by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives on the topic, "VISA OVERSTAYS: CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?"

As you read about the resources being poured into the development of informants in Great Britain within the Pakistani community I want you to consider another issue of extreme importance. The cultivation of informants is, arguably, one of the most important endeavors of intelligence services and law enforcement agencies. It is certainly extremely important to make use of sophisticated surveillance techniques to keep track of potential terrorists and their plots to attack our nation and our allies, but it is important to understand that the use of informants, especially in conjunction with those high-tech surveillance methods is vital for the successes upon which the security of our nation and the lives of our citizens depend.

It is not enough to know the name, for example, of a bad guy who may be involved in a terrorist or criminal plot, it is absolutely vital to be able to put a face with the name. That is where informants often come in to play.

Additionally, terrorists and criminals are not stupid. They know that if phones may be tapped or electronic communications may be intercepted, that they may have to resort to low-tech tactics such as using rented mail drops or courier services to communicate. Again, informants who can infiltrate an organization or a community, may well make the difference between a bunch of terrorists being caught before they have the opportunity to strike, or a devastating attack that kills many people.

As a former INS special agent, I was intimately involved in "flipping" or cultivating informants. As you may know, I spent nearly one half of my career working with other law enforcement agencies on investigations involving narcotics trafficking. I also worked with fellow law enforcement officers of the FBI and other agencies in several investigations involving terror suspects. One of my primary areas of responsibility was to use the statutory authority I had as an INS agent to help to recruit informants. The INS statutes provide large sticks and juicy carrots when you are dealing with aliens who are involved in criminal activities in the United States.

The challenge our country faces is that while much has been made about the security of our nation's borders, a critical issue, to be sure, almost no attention has been paid to the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

Most people seem to think that the interior enforcement of the immigration laws begin and end with the investigation of unscrupulous employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Certainly this is an important area of concern, but there are precious few resources allocated to going after aliens who commit immigration fraud in order to secure lawful status in the United States, including obtaining United States citizenship by committing fraud on their applications.

To make the importance of this aspect of immigration law enforcement simple to understand, you must think of fraud as a lie placed on an application by an alien or a person who files an application for that alien to provide him (her) with a benefit that would not be possible if the truth was known.

Informants constitute a vital tool to combat immigration fraud, narcotics trafficking, terrorism and all sorts of other violations of law. In order to help to make this effort as effective as possible, given the high-stakes nature of these efforts, especially when you consider the potential for devastating terrorist attacks, our nation needs to have many more special agents at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) who can enforce the immigration laws and, in the process, develop informants to act as the "eyes and ears" of our law enforcement and intelligence officers.

On May 18,2004, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee who, at that time, was the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims, requested that I testify at a hearing that was convened to explore the topic: "PUSHING THE BORDER OUT ON ALIEN SMUGGLING: NEW TOOLS AND INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVES"

All too many of our nation's leaders are, at the least, naive in considering the role that immigration can and must play to address these critically important national security threats that confront our nation, each and every day.

Several days ago, former Vice President Dick Cheney assailed the current administration and went on about the threat that terrorism poses. Meanwhile, the administration in which he was the number two man, ignored the threat posed by our utter lack of security on our borders. A responsible homeowner would lock his doors and windows, especially if he was concerned about burglars breaking in. The Bush administration did not only failed to lock the back door, but essentially took that door off of its hinges!

The previous administration created the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) that merged Customs and Immigration and then split the former INS into three separate and distinct agencies: CBP (Customs and Border Protection), ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). This unwieldy arrangement, in my judgement, hobbled efforts to effectively enforce the immigration laws. This is why I came to refer to the DHS as being the Department of Homeland Surrender!

The process by which visa applications are processed obviously need to be understood from a national security perspective. Immigration law enforcement needs to also be conducted with an understanding that not only must our borders be secured against the entry of illegal aliens, among whom may well be criminals and terrorists, but that the entire immigration bureaucracy must be mindful of the potential for so-called "sleeper agents" seeking to enter our country and acquire lawful resident status and even United States citizenship that can then enable spies and terrorists to get sensitive jobs in industry and within the government, itself, to spy on our nation and gain access to critical infrastructure.

What also needs to be considered is that critical infrastructure can include many industries that have the potential to harm or kill large numbers of our citizens.

Food processing plants can be as significant, for example, as power generating plants. Schools, hotels, malls and hospitals are as important as national landmarks.

In our interconnected society, their are many pressure points that need to be protected. The presence of perhaps as 20 million illegal aliens whose identities, backgrounds, affiliations and intentions are unknown and unknowable represents a huge threat to our safety and the survival of our nation.

Any massive amnesty program will only make matters worse because any such program has the real potential of providing criminals and terrorists with official immigration status even though their true names are unknown.

During the campaign, President Obama promised us, "Change we can believe in."

I would love to see an end to the Visa Waiver Program. I would love to see the President, for once and for all, make it clear that illegal aliens will not be rewarded with lawful status after they violated our nation's laws and our nation's borders.

Let us remember that each and every year, the United States furnishes more aliens with lawful immigrant (resident alien) status than do all of the other countries of the world combined (more than one million)!

Remember, the difference between and immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

By Michael Cutler on February 9, 2009 1:22 PM
9616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 09, 2009, 06:41:05 PM

This thread has become quite a catch-all thread and I'd like to suggest that it become more of a repository of snide commentary  cheesy and that efforts at serious discussion take place on specific issue oriented threads. 

For example, I just posted a WSJ piece on His Glibness's apparent preparations to appease Russia by sacrificing missile defense of Europe from Iran in the Big Picture WW3 thread.

Like it or not, His Glibness is the president and we need to articulate what we want FOR America, what we think America should do.

This is a lost 4 years, President Empty-suit is going to get innocents killed and we'll be paying for decades, if not longer for the mistake of electing him.
9617  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia on: February 09, 2009, 01:49:14 PM
 


Islam group urges forest fire jihad

Josh Gordon
September 7, 2008 - 12:00AM


AUSTRALIA has been singled out as a target for "forest jihad" by a group of Islamic extremists urging Muslims to deliberately light bushfires as a weapon of terror.

US intelligence channels earlier this year identified a website calling on Muslims in Australia, the US, Europe and Russia to "start forest fires", claiming "scholars have justified chopping down and burning the infidels' forests when they do the same to our lands".

The website, posted by a group called the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network, argues in Arabic that lighting fires is an effective form of terrorism justified in Islamic law under the "eye for an eye" doctrine.

The posting — which instructs jihadis to remember "forest jihad" in summer months — says fires cause economic damage and pollution, tie up security agencies and can take months to extinguish so that "this terror will haunt them for an extended period of time".

"Imagine if, after all the losses caused by such an event, a jihadist organisation were to claim responsibility for the forest fires," the website says. "You can hardly begin to imagine the level of fear that would take hold of people in the United States, in Europe, in Russia and in Australia."

With the nation heading into another hot, dry summer, Australian intelligence agencies are treating the possibility that bushfires could be used as a weapon of terrorism as a serious concern.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the Federal Government remained "vigilant against such threats", warning that anyone caught lighting a fire as a weapon of terror would feel the wrath of anti-terror laws.

"Any information that suggests a threat to Australia's interests is investigated by relevant agencies as appropriate," Mr McClelland said.

Adam Dolnik, director of research at the University of Wollongong's Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, said that bushfires (unlike suicide bombing) were generally not considered a glorious type of attack by jihadis, in keeping with a recent decline in the sophistication of terrorist operations.

"With attacks like bushfires, yes, it would be easy. It would be very damaging and we do see a decreasing sophistication as a part of terrorist attacks," Dr Dolnik said.

"In recent years, there have been quite a few attacks averted and it has become more and more difficult for groups to do something effective."

Dr Dolnik said he had observed an increase in traffic on jihadi websites calling for a simplification of terrorist attacks because the more complex operations had been failing. But starting bushfires was still often regarded as less effective than other operations because governments could easily deny terrorism as the cause.

The internet posting by the little-known group claimed the idea of forest fires had been attributed to imprisoned Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-Suri. It said Al-Suri had urged terrorists to use sulphuric acid and petrol to start forest fires.

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/national/islam-group-urges-forest-fire-jihad-20080906-4b53.html
9618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 09, 2009, 12:38:28 PM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

From ‘Hope and Change’ to ‘Fear and Loathing’
Posted By Rick Moran On February 9, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, . Positioning, Money, Politics, US News | 87 Comments

There is something surreal about the debate surrounding the stimulus bill which now appears headed for passage in the Senate. On the one hand, you have conservative Republican lawmakers railing against the bill’s pork-laden provisions with all the earnestness and fervor of the born-again, fiscally responsible politicians they have suddenly become. It’s as if we are getting lectures in morality from a pimp who, after seeing the light and embracing Christ as his savior, now feels compelled to preach against the evils of prostitution. You are happy for the transformation but leery about how long it will last.

Whether GOP legislators are now beating the tambourine for fiscal responsibility out of conviction is a matter open for debate, although being trounced at the polls may be reason enough for them to suddenly rediscover their conservative roots.

And what of the Democrats and their equally sudden metamorphosis from earmark crazy gigolos, bedding down any lobbyist who winks in their direction, to warriors for safeguarding the taxpayers’ money? Admittedly, the Democrats have a much harder sell given the blatant and sometimes comical fraud they are trying to perpetrate on a public scared out of its gourd by a president whose hyperbole and predictions of [1] “catastrophe” if the bill is not passed immediately is matched only by his cynical refutation of any semblance of the “bi-partisanship” he so blithely promised to bring to Washington during the campaign. No one doubts the economy is bad and getting worse. But when the president of the United States stands up and asks us to give in to our fears, to blindly obey his call to pass a bill with tens of billions of dollars in spending that even the bill’s proponents say is wasteful, one has to ask what happened to the party who once told us: “All we have to fear is fear itself.”

[2] Rep. David Obey (D-WI):

How money is spent should be far from the biggest concern about the stimulus package, its chief author, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) said Friday.

“So what?” Obey asked in response to a question on NPR’s “Morning Edition” about the perceived lack of direction from Congress as to how money in the stimulus should be spent. “This is an emergency. We’ve got to simply find a way to get this done as fast as possible and as well as possible, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Thus speaketh the voice of fiscal responsibility.

And thus speaketh a president who, for all his rhetorical gifts, can’t seem to muster the words that would give the American people the one thing desperately needed at this point in American history — hope.

That’s right. The candidate of “Hope and Change” has decided to be a president who espouses “Fear and Loathing.” Fear of financial Armageddon unless we do as we are told and blindly give in to his $900 billion panic panacea for the economy and loathing of the opposition — an opposition Obama unfairly portrays as opposing him out of spite and because a popular talk radio host is telling them what to do.

It is a far cry from the way Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan handled economic crises that in some ways were more dire than what Barack Obama is facing today.  Both men came to office at a time when the American spirit was limping and lost. Both men were confronted with unprecedented economic problems (double digit inflation and interest rates in 1981 were an impossibility according to the books).

And yet, both men eschewed fear mongering and sought to lift the people out of themselves in order to bring back hope and allow the natural optimism of the American people to come to the fore. Arguments rage to this day whether FDR’s massive spending helped or hurt the economy. And Reagan’s tax cuts began a spiral of deficits that, save for a brief period in the 1990s, fostered a climate of “let the kids pay for it” on Capitol Hill.

But few can argue that FDR and the Gipper didn’t succeed in changing the dynamics of the crisis they were facing by inspiring the people to believe in themselves again and that better times were ahead.

Obama does not want Americans to believe in themselves. He wants them to [3] believe in him:

If we don’t move swiftly to put this plan in motion, our economic crisis could become a national catastrophe. Millions of Americans will lose their jobs, their homes, and their health care. Millions more will have to put their dreams on hold.

The truth should be dawning on all of us just about now that Democrats, Republicans, economists, Wall Street wizards, and even the high priests of monetary policy at the Federal Reserve have no idea how bad things are going to get or whether anything Congress does can improve the situation — much less stave off disaster. And that means that the only thing we have to hang our hats on is the credibility and trustworthiness of the president of the United States.

Instead of instilling confidence, Obama is selling fear. Instead of raising us up, he is crushing us with his rank appeal to partisanship. Instead of statesmanship, we get gimmicks like his stimulus bill that the [4] Congressional Budget Office tells us will harm the economy in the long run.

It is amazing and frightening to think that less than three weeks into his presidency, Barack Obama is at risk of losing his credibility as a leader by threatening disaster unless his will be done. He may very well get what he wants when Congress passes this monstrosity despite it monumental flaws.

But at what cost? And is Obama capable of being the kind of leader who can inspire hope rather than generate fear?

So far, he has failed in that regard.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/from-hope-and-change-to-fear-and-loathing/

URLs in this post:
[1] “catastrophe”: http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090205/pl_mcclatchy/3161647
[2] Rep. David Obey (D-WI):: http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/02/06/obey-on-stimulus-waste-so-what/
[3] believe in him:: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/07/obama-national-catastrophe-if-bill-fails/
[4] Congressional Budget Office: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/04/cbo-obama-stimulus-harmful-over-long-haul/
9619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: February 09, 2009, 11:42:37 AM
20.3 million dollar stimulus for HAMAS.
9620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 08, 2009, 08:42:30 PM
http://patterico.com/2009/02/07/feeling-unstimulated-watch-this/

A quick refresher from Milton Friedman on some eternal truths.
9621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 08, 2009, 08:40:04 PM
What always happens with republican resistance?  rolleyes
9622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: February 07, 2009, 09:39:42 PM
The europeans are masters of "feed the crocodile, hoping it'll eat you last".  rolleyes
9623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 07, 2009, 09:32:05 PM
Ok, copy.
9624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 09:31:07 PM
I think you can respect and admire Yon while reasonably disagreeing with him. He has ground truth advantage, but sometimes one's perspective on the ground misses the larger picture. Then again, it's not like i'm working at a think tank or manning a desk in Langley.
9625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 07:37:44 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-boot7-2009feb07,0,4669288.story

Opinion
Deja vu in Kabul
Naysayers call Afghanistan a hopeless quagmire. Isn't that what they said about Iraq?
By Max Boot
February 7, 2009

For years, opponents of the Iraq war claimed it was an unwinnable waste of resources that wasn't worth fighting anyway. The real war against terrorists, they argued, should be waged in Afghanistan. But now that Iraq has made heartening progress and we are finally sending more troops to Afghanistan, the critics are applying to Afghanistan the same arguments they once used in favor of partial or total withdrawal from Iraq.

Afghanistan, we are told, is a hopeless quagmire. A Newsweek cover story screams "Obama's Vietnam." Andrew J. Bacevich of Boston University writes, "Afghanistan will be a sinkhole, consuming resources neither the U.S. military nor the U.S. government can afford to waste."


Skeptics, including many in uniform, contend that we need to downsize our goals in Afghanistan. Establishing a functioning democracy, they say, is too ambitious in an underdeveloped Muslim country with little sense of nationhood. According to the Associated Press, a Joint Chiefs of Staff report advises "squeezing Taliban and Al Qaeda sanctuaries inside neighboring Pakistan while deemphasizing longer-term goals for bolstering democracy."

But don't worry, the naysayers assert, we can still achieve our core objectives in Afghanistan. George Friedman, of the private intelligence firm Stratfor, opines in the New York Times that Afghanistan requires "intelligence, and special operations forces and air power that can take advantage of that intelligence. Fighting terrorists requires identifying and destroying small, dispersed targets. We would need far fewer forces for such a mission than the number that are now deployed."

It is striking the extent to which the arguments now being made about Afghanistan were previously made -- and discredited -- in the case of Iraq. The only thing we haven't heard yet is a proposal to dismember Afghanistan into mini-states. But with Joe Biden in the White House, we can expect that brainstorm to pop up soon.

Is it quixotic to try to build democracy in Afghanistan? The same thing was said of Iraq. It is true that holding elections wasn't a magic elixir there. But once the security situation started to improve, Iraq's political process began to function and competing factions started to solve problems with handshakes rather than bombs.

The latest provincial elections delivered a strong showing for centrist, secular candidates -- a far cry from the sort of extremists (Hamas, for example) that are thought to be favored in Middle Eastern voting. In the long run, democracy in Iraq is likely to strengthen stability. That's just as well, because installing a "Saddam Lite" strongman was never a serious option. Most Iraqis would not have put up with it.

Nor would Afghans stand for a strongman "solution." In a 2007 poll conducted by the Asia Foundation, 85% agreed that "democracy may have its problems, but it is better than any other form of government." In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, there is no practical alternative to supporting the democratic process if we want to create a government with legitimacy, the sine qua non for defeating any insurgency.

What about the argument that we don't need more troops in Afghanistan? Can't a handful of special operations forces prevent a takeover by extremists? We tried that in Iraq. From 2003 to 2006, U.S. troops withdrew to large bases while the Joint Special Operations Command carried out strikes on targets such as Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Zarqawi. That turned into a game of whack-a-mole. As top-level terrorists were going down, new ones were popping up and the war was being lost.

The war effort was turned around by an increase in U.S. and Iraqi troop numbers and by the decision to push U.S. troops into outposts in population centers. Ordinary Iraqis could rat out terrorists, secure in the knowledge that they would be protected from retaliation. Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, only counterinsurgents who live among the people can acquire the knowledge to identify insurgents.

The Bush administration lost sight of that basic truth because leaders from Donald Rumsfeld on down feared that increasing troop numbers would stoke resentment of foreign occupation. Similar concerns are expressed today about Afghanistan by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. He recently told Congress: "My worry is that the Afghans come to see us as part of the problem, rather than ... the solution. And then we are lost."

But in Iraq, the "surge" was welcomed by a populace concerned above all by pervasive insecurity. The same thing is likely to happen in Afghanistan as U.S. troop numbers rise. In both nations, nothing feeds anti-Americanism more than concerns that U.S. troops aren't doing enough to impose law and order.

This is not meant to minimize the difficulties in Afghanistan or exaggerate the similarities with Iraq. Afghanistan is a larger and poorer country with more difficult terrain and fewer resources of its own. It also has more porous borders with a much larger problem of terrorist infiltration. And it is a much more difficult place to keep a large military force supplied. But we should not exaggerate the difficulties either. According to the Brookings Institution, civilian casualties in Afghanistan last year (1,445) were a fraction of the casualties in Iraq at the height of the fighting. Fom July 2006 to September 2007, at least 2,000 Iraqis were dying each month.

Keep in mind that until fairly recently, the conventional wisdom was that we had already won in Afghanistan and could never win in Iraq. Now we hear the reverse, but the new zeitgeist is no sounder than the old. We can win in Afghanistan, as we are now winning in Iraq.

The key is for policymakers to ignore the naysayers. They will get louder over time, because, just as in Iraq, a surge in the number of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan will inevitably bring about a short-term spike in casualties. But if President Obama doesn't lose his nerve, the odds are that a classic counterinsurgency strategy, supported by adequate troop levels, can turn around another failing war effort.

Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing editor to Opinion. He is the author, most recently, of "War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today."
9626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 07:19:11 PM
I reject the Stratfor "Iran as a rational actor we can work with" paradigm. They've been at war with us since 1979, it's well past time we return the favor.
9627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 08:56:39 AM
Rather than a direct military confronttation with Iran, President Empty-suit should open up domestic drilling and push the Sunni gulf states to ramp up production to crater oil prices. In addition, he can fund train and equip dissident resistant groups. These pressures can potentially end the mullah's rule, or at the minimum cripple the Iranian state.
9628  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Secrecy vs. Knowledge wants to be free on: February 07, 2009, 08:43:26 AM
To quote Phil Messina "A warrior must hear the assassin's call, but never answer it".
9629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 06, 2009, 09:54:26 PM
I'm guessing you found that Indian piece I sent you persuasive?  cheesy

 grin

If I understand correctly this approach is willing to accept/embrace a collapse of the Pak state.   

**Embrace? Hell, make it happen.**

In such an event, what happens to Pak's nukes? 

**First thing we do is seize them.We do have assets in place to do just that.**

In such an event, what about Baluchistan and the other Whackostan's?  Do they become yet more areas for the AQ types to train and launch attacks?  Or in the current situation are there already a surplus of areas from which they can do that so it doesn't matter?

**#2**

Also, I gather Iran's Shia nuts are not enthused about the Sunni nuts in Afg-Pak.  Its why they helped us in 2001-2002 and were surprised to be branded part of the axis of evil.  Is there some use we can make of this?

**Exploiting the sunni-shia split is always something to be used.**


9630  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 09:45:16 PM
Quote
If "giving" everyone a government job is so great, then why not "give" everyone a free house and a million dollars as well?

Funny, I've actually considered that before. I certainly wouldn't complain... wink

And I love the past tense of HUSS post. Two weeks in and the administration is already part of the past, due to a bill that hasn't been passed.

You can't see any problem with this?
9631  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 03:55:06 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/06/peter-schiff-the-stimulus-will-bring-about-economic-armageddon/

Obama-geddon!
9632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 03:36:16 PM
If "giving" everyone a government job is so great, then why not "give" everyone a free house and a million dollars as well? Now that would be a stimulus!
9633  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Secrecy vs. Knowledge wants to be free on: February 06, 2009, 10:52:19 AM
Does this mean DBMA videos want to be uploaded to Limewire?  evil

"With great power, comes great responsibility". Cheesy comic book sentiment? I say no. You may not be able to prevent bad guys from learning dangerous knowledge, but you can make damn sure they don't learn it from you.
9634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: February 06, 2009, 08:45:35 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/06/president-obama-infanticide-happens/comment-page-1/#comments

Moral blindness, thy name is Obama.
9635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 06, 2009, 08:35:04 AM
OK, so what do we do now in Afg/Afg-Pak?

Use the Indians to break the ISI's spine.
9636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 05, 2009, 11:05:44 PM
GLOBAL JIHAD
U.S. Jewish targets listed on Muslim website
'Give them the Islamic message,' demands New York-based extremist
Posted: February 05, 2009
5:03 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily



JERUSALEM – A U.S. jihadi website has issued a series of videos targeting the New York headquarters of Chabad, a Jewish outreach movement, just two months after the group was rocked by a deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.

The videos also ask viewers to "give the Islamic message" to Yeshiva University, a Manhattan-based Jewish college, as well as "Jewish Federation buildings all over the U.S." in response to the institutions' purported funding for Israel amid its recent offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic threats already resulted in a New York Police Department investigation and a beefed-up police presence outside the Chabad headquarters, WND has learned.

"When an atrocity is done like what was done in Gaza, indiscriminately killing women and children, we know who the source is," stated Yousef Al-Khattab, the CEO of RevolutionMuslim.com in a video address posted on the website.

"These are definitely the sources," Khattab stated, citing Chabad and the other Jewish institutions.

"We think it's imperative to hold these people responsible, speak in front of their homes, give them the Islamic message. Leave them the message of Islam. That's not a threat, that's what it is," Khattab said in the video.

While Khattab, who spoke to WND today, claimed his website is not issuing threats against Jewish groups, a second video posted on the site contains what can easily be interpreted as lightly veiled threats of violence against Chabad.

The video features a slideshow of images of wounded Palestinians and then repeatedly switches to pictures of Chabad's main headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It then presents a picture of a blood-stained Jewish prayer book taken from inside a Jerusalem seminary following a deadly shooting massacre there last March that killed eight Jews.

The video ends with the sound of gunshots.

Asked whether the video montage was implying Chabad's headquarters should be targeted by Islamic violence, Khattab told WND, "It is what it is."

Khattab said he did not have the authority to issue a directive to carry out specific attacks.

Further petitioned to explain the intended meaning of the blood-soaked prayer book interspersed with images of Chabad's headquarters, Khattab replied, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

He told WND he supports Hamas' suicide bombings against Israelis, including attacks targeting cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.

"There is no such thing as Israeli civilian," he said. "I pray to Allah for the complete destruction of Israel."

In a video on his website, Khattab states he normally advises others to "just ignore [the Jews]. That's not racist. We don't like to deal with them ... but when there is a terrorist war of destruction, killing of kids ... [Israeli] genocide, then we have to take to the forefront."

Security bolstered at Chabad headquarters

Motti Seligson, a spokesman for Chabad, told WND although not all threats are serious, his organization is "work[ing] closely with law enforcement to ensure that all threats are handled properly, as safety is of paramount concern."

Immediately following RevolutionMuslim's first posting about Chabad two weeks ago, the NYPD stationed a large police presence, including NYPD vans, outside the Jewish group's headquarters.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelley called Chanina Sperlin, vice president of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, to assure him the police were looking into the situation and were taking any threats seriously.

Khattab said he was questioned by NYPD investigators.

Expert: Take threats seriously

One Chabad official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was not particularly concerned about the alleged threats.

But U.S. terrorism expert Steve Emerson said videos like those posted on RevolutionMuslim.com should be taken seriously.

"Any site that advocates violence or provides incitement to violence has to be taken seriously," he told WND.

'We appreciate support of American progressives'

Realizing his statement may attract the attention of U.S. law enforcement agencies, Khattab delivered a direct message to the NYPD, CIA and FBI: "You can put me in jail for the rest of my life. As long as I got that information out there for people, I did something. I didn't sit on my behind."

Khattab also lashed out against any website that may pick up on his statement.

"It just attracts Drudge, the JAWA report, Atlas Shrugs (blog), and Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch blog) and just other whining little queers and stuff like that."

But he celebrated what he said is his website's non-Muslim following of "progressive Americans, socialists, anarchists, communists ... people who can really contribute, they give us dialogue and send us nice e-mails."

Khattab, a 39-year-old New York taxi driver who converted to Islam from Judaism, said he launched RevolutionMuslim.com with the mission of "preserving Islamic culture," "calling people to the oneness of God" and asking them to "support the beloved Sheik Abdullah Faisal, who's preaching the religion of Islam and serving as a spiritual guide.

He told WND his site's main goal is to establish worldwide Islamic dominance. He runs the site from his home in Queens, N.Y., and even advertises his personal phone number.

Faisal, the website's spiritual adviser, was convicted in the UK in 2003 for urging his followers to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners. In videotaped recordings, Faisal was taped delivering sermons calling on Muslims to use chemical weapons to "exterminate unbelievers" and "cut the throat of the Kaffars (nonbelievers) with (a) machete."

FoxNews.com previously reported Faisal's sermons may have influenced "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who attended mosques where Faisal preached.

Khattab's website is no stranger to controversy. In the past it featured a video praising al-Qaida's beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl under the banner "Daniel Pearl I am Happy Your Dead Smiley," and a puppet show making light of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.
9637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: February 05, 2009, 10:54:54 PM
**Choice! No excess in the pursuit of "womens' health" can be criticized, right?**

02/05/09 02:15 PM
Fla. doctor investigated in badly botched abortion

By CHRISTINE ARMARIO
Associated Press Writer
Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips.

"I don't care what your politics are, what your morals are, this should not be happening in our community," said Tom Pennekamp, a Miami attorney representing Williams in her lawsuit against Renelique (ren-uh-LEEK') and the clinic owners.

The state Board of Medicine is to hear Renelique's case in Tampa on Friday and determine whether to strip his license. The state attorney's homicide division is investigating, though no charges have been filed. Terry Chavez, a spokeswoman with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, said this week that prosecutors were nearing a decision.

Renelique's attorney, Joseph Harrison, called the allegations at best "misguided and incomplete" in an e-mail to The Associated Press. He didn't provide details.

The case has riled the anti-abortion community, which contends the clinic's actions constitute murder.

"The baby was just treated as a piece of garbage," said Tom Brejcha, president of The Thomas More Society, a law firm that is also representing Williams. "People all over the country are just aghast."

Even those who support abortion rights are concerned about the allegations.

"It really disturbed me," said Joanne Sterner, president of the Broward County chapter of the National Organization for Women, after reviewing the administrative complaint against Renelique. "I know that there are clinics out there like this. And I hope that we can keep (women) from going to these types of clinics."

According to state records, Renelique received his medical training at the State University of Haiti. In 1991, he completed a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Interfaith Medical Center in New York.

New York records show that Renelique has made at least five medical malpractice payments in the past decade, the circumstances of which were not detailed in the filings.

Several attempts to reach Renelique were unsuccessful. Some of his office numbers were disconnected, no home number could be found and he did not return messages left with his attorney.

Williams struggled with the decision to have an abortion, Pennekamp said. She declined an interview request made through him.

She concluded she didn't have the resources or maturity to raise a child, he said, and went to the Miramar Women's Center on July 17, 2006. Sonograms indicated she was 23 weeks pregnant, according to the Department of Health. She met Renelique at a second clinic two days later.

Renelique gave Williams laminaria, a drug that dilates the cervix, and prescribed three other medications, according to the administrative complaint filed by the Health Department. She was told to go to yet another clinic, A Gyn Diagnostic Center in Hialeah, where the procedure would be performed the next day, on July 20, 2006.

Williams arrived in the morning and was given more medication.

The Department of Health account continues as follows: Just before noon she began to feel ill. The clinic contacted Renelique. Two hours later, he still hadn't shown up. Williams went into labor and delivered the baby.

"She came face to face with a human being," Pennekamp said. "And that changed everything."

The complaint says one of the clinic owners, Belkis Gonzalez came in and cut the umbilical cord with scissors, then placed the baby in a plastic bag, and the bag in a trash can.

Williams' lawsuit offers a cruder account: She says Gonzalez knocked the baby off the recliner chair where she had given birth, onto the floor. The baby's umbilical cord was not clamped, allowing her to bleed out. Gonzalez scooped the baby, placenta and afterbirth into a red plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

No working telephone number could be found for Gonzalez, and an attorney who has represented the clinic in the past did not return a message.

At 23 weeks, an otherwise healthy fetus would have a slim but legitimate chance of survival. Quadruplets born at 23 weeks last year at The Nebraska Medical Center survived.

An autopsy determined Williams' baby - she named her Shanice - had filled her lungs with air, meaning she had been born alive, according to the Department of Health. The cause of death was listed as extreme prematurity.

The Department of Health believes Renelique committed malpractice by failing to ensure that licensed personnel would be present when Williams was there, among other missteps.

The department wants the Board of Medicine, a separate agency, to permanently revoke Renelique's license, among other penalties. His license is currently restricted, permitting him to only perform abortions when another licensed physician is present and can review his medical records.

Should prosecutors file murder charges, they'd have to prove the baby was born alive, said Robert Batey, a professor of criminal law at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. The defense might contend that the child would have died anyway, but most courts would not allow that argument, he said.

"Hastening the death of an individual who is terminally ill is still considered causing the death of that individual," Batey said. "And I think a court would rule similarly in this type of case."


 

 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.buffalonews.com/260/story/570428.html
9638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 05, 2009, 10:31:40 PM
Until/unless Pakistan's malevolent interference in Afghanistan is ended, there is no hope for progress.

Fundamentally, there are massive issues facing Afghanistan, including it being a mishmash of tribes, languages and islamic theology as well as caught in the tug of war between global powers.

There are no quick and easy answers for it's problems and in the best possible case, it won't be a Jeffersonian nation in decades.

My suggested strategy that applies here and the rest of the world in fighting the global jihad consists of several principles:

1. This is a war of generations. We need to forget the short term American mindset of 24 hr. media cycles and fiscal years and 2-4 year elections. Our enemies plan in decades and centuries. We need to do the same.

Note: I have seen al qaeda documents captured in Afghanistan that shows their 100 year plan to re-establish the global caliphate and crush the western world. I doubt that the pentagon has a similar plan plotting the survival of the west.

2. The Marines have a slogan "No better friend, no worse enemy,". This needs to be hammered into the US State Department as their ethos. Post WWII, they've tended to push US foreign policy into the reverse. Transforming less than optimal allies into better countries takes time. Abandoning allies to revolutionary movements only makes things worse for the people in the country and often the world as well. As bad as the Shah might have been, Iran is not better off now by Carter allowing him to fall from power.

3. This is a global struggle. There is no Iraq war, no Afghan war, no Gaza war. They are different theatres of the same war, just as Normandy and Iwo Jima were small segments of a global war. I see no one from either political party that seems to grasp this reality, or at least willing to say such things publically. This needs to be recognized by the public. Our current president's pandering and groveling only earns contempt from our enemies and shows them to be a "strong horse".
9639  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: February 05, 2009, 08:49:04 AM
Does a 5 inch knife have more "stopping power" than a 4.5 inch knife?
9640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 05, 2009, 08:40:36 AM
Stupid should hurt. I doubt very much that it's possible to make a viable case against Phelps if the bong photo is all they have.
9641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brave Sir Robin-Obama on: February 04, 2009, 09:27:49 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/04/obama-retreats-on-trade-war/

Run away-run away!
9642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:32:39 PM
Per Wikipedia:

Prior to joining ABC News, he was a senior political adviser to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and later became Clinton's communications director.
9643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Corruption, this week with George Stephanopoulos on: February 04, 2009, 05:38:07 PM
http://www.mrc.org/press/2009/press20090204.asp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 04, 2009   CONTACT: COLLEEN O’BOYLE or TIM SCHEIDERER AT 703.683.5004
Bozell to ABC President: You Must Publicly Address Stephanopoulos' Apparent Conflict of Interest
Open Letter Demands Public Resolution to Daily Strategy Calls

   
 

Alexandria, VA – Media Research Center (MRC) President L. Brent Bozell, III has written a letter to ABC News President David Westin calling on him to publicly address and resolve what appears to be a clear violation of journalistic ethics by ABC’s Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos. Last week a Politico story broke the news that Stephanopoulos has participated in daily phone strategy sessions with now White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel throughout his tenure at ABC.

Mr. Bozell on Thursday issued a statement demanding an explanation, and calling for Stephanopoulos to recuse himself from reporting on an Obama Administration whose plans and messaging he spends every morning helping to craft. Stephanopoulos has remained silent.

Bozell has now brought the matter directly to Westin, calling on him to either provide evidence that the Politico story is false, or admit and resolve what clearly would be a major violation of journalistic ethics.

To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x. 122) at (703) 683-5004.
9644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: February 04, 2009, 04:21:12 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_saudi_guantanamo_wanted/print;_ylt=Aqam7ISLSp4n4wroVv2b2d8UewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTB1MjgxN2UzBHBvcwMxNARzZWMDdG9vbHMtdG9wBHNsawNwcmludA--

11 former Gitmo inmates on Saudi wanted list

By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 27 mins ago

CAIRO – Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that 11 men released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay are now on the kingdom's most-wanted list despite having attended its touted extremist rehabilitation program.
President Barack Obama has signed an executive order closing the detention center at the naval base in Cuba, leaving countries scrambling over what to do with released detainees.
Saudi Arabia and terror experts defended the program for terror suspects, saying it is largely effective. The Pentagon has said it's unlikely to change its policy on prisoner transfers to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and home to 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, has pursued an aggressive campaign against militants but also sought to rehabilitate those it believes can abandon their violent extremist beliefs and reintegrate into society.
These rehab programs — and the kingdom's assurances that they are effective — have been a major reason why most of the Saudis have been released from Guantanamo. Only 13 of the 133 Saudis detained there remain, said Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman, Gen. Mansour al-Turki.
"Besides the 11 people (on the wanted list) who came from Guantanamo, there are still 106 people who have gone through this rehabilitation program and are doing OK," al-Turki told the Associated Press by phone. Three others committed suicide in Guantanamo.
The 11 were on a list of 83 Saudis and two Yemenis wanted for their connections to al-Qaida issued Monday by the Saudi government. The government knows where the rest of the 106 former detainees are.
Among the 11 were two Saudis who have emerged as the new leaders of Yemen's branch of al-Qaida. The two appeared in a militant video last month calling for attacks against Arab governments and Western interests.
"Imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for, and were imprisoned for," Said Ali al-Shihri said during the video. Al-Shihri was jailed for six years in Guantanamo after his capture in Pakistan, and said he resurfaced as the branch's leader after completing the Saudi rehab program.
The Saudi rehab program placed former Guantanamo detainees in secure compounds with facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Imams gave them lessons on moderate Islam, and they met with psychologists and sociologists.
Georgetown University terror expert Bruce Hoffman stressed that the vast majority of those going through the program have not rejoined extremist groups.
"I think it would be a mistake to view the program as a failure. Instead of looking at the 11, concentrate on the (others) who have not gone back to terror. ... I think the success has been remarkable," he said.
The Pentagon also has said it is unlikely to stop prisoner transfers to Saudi Arabia. After the video of al-Shihri was released on extremist Web sites in January, Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon said the U.S. sees the Saudi rehab program as admirable.
"The best you can do is work with partner nations in the international community to ensure that they take the steps to mitigate the threat ex-detainees pose," Gordon said.
But Obama's Jan. 21 decision to close Guantanamo within a year has unleashed a debate in the U.S. about what to do with the remaining 245 inmates, some of whom are considered very dangerous. On Wednesday, the European Parliament said EU countries should help the administration accept Guantanamo inmates.
Obama's announcement came about a week after the Pentagon issued a report saying that increasing numbers of those released have rejoined militant organizations and carried out attacks. Figures from December indicated that 61 of the former detainees have rejoined militant movements, up from 37 in March, it said, without detailing the nationalities of the 61.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has cautioned against closing Guantanamo, claiming the remaining inmates are "hard-core."
"If you release the hard-core al-Qaida terrorists that are held at Guantanamo, I think they go back into the business of trying to kill more Americans and mount further mass-casualty attacks," he told the online political magazine Politico in an interview published Wednesday. "If you turn 'em loose and they go kill more Americans, who's responsible for that?"
But al-Turki, the Saudi spokesman, stands by his country's rehab efforts, which hundreds of Saudis have passed through. He said the families of the 11 on the most-wanted list were the ones who alerted the government that the former Guantanamo detainees had disappeared.
"The program is meant to show society and the community and the families of these people that we are doing everything possible as a government to give these people all the chances they need," he said.
Khaled al-Maeena, the editor of the English-language Saudi daily newspaper Arab News, said community involvement is the strength of the Saudi program.
"There is no use putting them in jail and creating more hatred. Once you put them in society they are under, in essence, your watch. You know what they do," he said.'
9645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 04, 2009, 04:04:42 PM
Unrestricted Warfare.
9646  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Long Gun for self-protection on: February 04, 2009, 04:00:17 PM
I like ghost rings too. I like side saddles and don't find them to make the shotgun more difficult to use. I think lights are a must have. Yes, using a shotgun for hostage rescue scenarios is....far from optimal, but the training exercise is useful.

Understanding the patterning of your shotgun/ammo is something every defensive shotgunner should know.

9647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 03:53:00 PM
Quote
THC is fat soluble and can be detected weeks after a single use in the user's system

Depends on the user and depends on the system.

**Ok, do you know of someone who totally metabolizes THC in the same way most people can metabolize alcohol?**


I just don't buy the all-encompassing, reefer madness, rabid, stupid stoners stereotype that has been perpetuated for so many years.

**Reefer madness. No. Stupid stoner. You think there is nothing to the stereotype?**


And I think it gets people bent when someone like Phelps who has performed at an extremely high level (no pun intended) turns out to be a pot smoker.

**Yeah, because there is never any news about high level athletes using drugs.......  rolleyes
9648  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thank god we have smart people running things now! on: February 04, 2009, 10:28:08 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/04/pelosi-500-million-jobs-lost-every-month/comment-page-1/#comments

Wow, the economy is worse than I thought!
9649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:39:37 AM
Quote
Would you want a Dr that smokes weed to perform it? Airline pilot ? Any other person in a position of responsibility?

How would you know if they were or were not marijuana users? And please don't respond with "drug testing" because we all know how well that works... rolleyes

I'm going to guess many pot smokers are like many drinkers. They find a time and place for it. Many people who drink alcohol do it responsibly, why would that be different for marijuana users? Bad drunk exist, so do bad pot smokers. I would no more make a blanket statement about enjoyers of alcohol than enjoyers of marijuana.

To each his own...



** A key difference is the nature of alcohol vs. the nature of THC. Alcohol is water soluble and quicky metabolized. I don't want a surgeon that is working on a major hangover from the night before, but a surgeon that had two or three glasses with dinner the night before is fine. THC is fat soluble and can be detected weeks after a single use in the user's system, raising legitimate concerns about a longer term degree of impairment related to it's use.

You might be surprised at the things I detect in people that aren't obvious to the average person.**
9650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:33:05 AM
I think i've proven that I absolutely cannot be enlightened....  ; )
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