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9601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 11, 2009, 10:53:45 AM
China isn't just trying "cash for clunkers" vote buying like we are. They are positioning chess pieces on the global board. Our leadership is thinking "bread and circuses" to buy votes for 2010/2012. China is thinking generations ahead on their timeline.

Unlike us, the old don't have a vote in China. No need for the bastards in Beijing to appease them. China, above all will act to preserve stability, no matter the cost in lives.

BO and his ilk believe that their charisma and kumbayas will make the world a safe place. We will pay for this delusion in blood, possibly we will cease to exist as a result. Other countries most certainly will.

9602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 11, 2009, 10:41:53 AM
1. When the first American troops landed to engage the nazis in north africa after Pearl Harbor, no one screamed about it. (This is before the modern left, where rooting for your country to lose a war is standard behavior)

2. Saddam was a state sponsor of terror in violation of the cease-fire and Iraq was the ideal nation where an alternative to a totalitarian or jihadist nation could be built. This is a multigenerational war and creating a free Iraq would create an alternate vision for the muslim world rather than the standard of statism or jihad.

3. The intel under Clinton and most every other nation state's intel apparatus was that Saddam retained a WMD program and the ability to use it or hand it off to a non-state actor for use against us.

4. Karzai is corrupt, but Afghanistan doesn't have any prince charmings waiting in the wings. It's the proverbial sow's ear and the fact that it in no way resembles a silk purse doesn't mean that there were better options left untouched. In much of the world, the least evil version of a Tony Soprano is the best thing you'll find that has any chance of success.

5. Lot's of scrutiny of McCain here, funny that the guy he's run against seems to avoid all but the most book-licking adoration.

6. AQ and today's talibs aren't tight like they were in 2001 ? Would making peace with an Axis state have been ok in 1943?

7. Yeah, Iraq is a tragedy in the minds of Frank Rich and his ilk as it may well become a decent country, despite their best efforts.

9603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 11, 2009, 09:18:55 AM
1. Japan crashed because it tried massive "stimulus" spending rather than take a legitimate economic downturn as a natural part of the business cycle. God help any country that tries that.

2. Know what that 13/10 ratio means? A big army that will readily engage in attrition warfare without hesitation. I just hope it's pointed towards the 'stans rather than the pacific.

3. China could be managed if we had competent leadership. So much for that.....
9604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 10, 2009, 07:28:12 PM
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/fortune/0910/gallery.china_shopping_list.fortune/index.html

Interesting.
9605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 10, 2009, 03:41:40 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/10/the-peace-of-the-grave/

The Peace Of The Grave
posted at 11:50 am on October 10, 2009 by Doctor Zero

I’m not really surprised by the Nobel committee’s decision to grant the Peace Price to Barack Obama. I assumed they would give it to him at the earliest opportunity. I forgot the award had not been given for this year. It would have been slightly better for their credibility if the Nobel committee had waited until next year, but perhaps they didn’t want to take the chance that current events would make that impossible by the end of 2010. The kind of “peacemaking” favored by the Nobel committee is the kind that usually gets innocent people killed, and frequently ends in the kind of war that comes as an even bigger surprise than Obama’s award.
Obama had been in office for less than two weeks before the Nobel nominations were finalized, so his nomination was not based on anything he had done as President. The Nobel Price long ago became a joke, and an insult to the people who suffer under terror and tyranny around the world, but I don’t think the committee just threw Obama the award because he’s so wonderfully special, and not even because he won the election to succeed the only man who has truly deserved the award since 2001. Maybe Obama won the Nobel because of his courageous youthful defiance of murderous evil, when he was brutally tortured for months but refused to submit to totalitarian brutes? Oh, no, wait, that was the guy he defeated in the election.
The Associated Press says the Nobel committee “praised Obama’s creation of a new climate in international politics, and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage.” Of course, he hasn’t actually changed any of the hated Bush’s foreign policies, until this week, when he began talking about embracing the Taliban savages as partners in peace, who might just deserve to control a big chunk of Afghanistan after all. A while ago, I suggested you could ask the women of Afghanistan for a testimonial to Bush’s achievements in the realm of women’s rights, now that the upholstery has been removed from their faces. You’d better ask quickly. The new Nobel Peace Prize winner doesn’t seem all that disturbed by the thought of seeing them muffled again.
Obama was given the Nobel Prize, not because of anything he has done as President, but because of what the committee thinks he will do. His achievements are as non-existent now as they were on the day he was nominated. His agenda, however, is clear. He spelled it out in that insipid speech he gave to the United Nations a few weeks ago. Speaking as the leader of the indentured world, he made it clear that he plans to dim the lights on an America in decline, and humbly step aside as the post-American century begins. That’s why he won the Peace Prize. The Nobel committee has long seen the United States as the greatest threat to world peace, and the man who plans to bankrupt and disarm it has earned their admiration.
There are only two responses to tyranny: submission and resistance. Submission is easy. It can be negotiated. It is filled with nuance, and requires a large staff of diplomats and state functionaries to administer in style. Organizations like the United Nations make the first concessions to dictatorship by their very nature, as they allow thug states like Iran and Libya to take seats next to peaceful democracies. Obama’s dismal eulogy for America at the U.N. was followed by lunatic rants from the blood-splattered clowns who will be the new masters of the global future. Entertaining such creatures is easy, if you can just ignore the piles of faceless victims buried behind them. You may rest assured that the name Neda Agha-Soltan was not spoken during Obama’s Peace Prize deliberations, and it will not be spoken when the prize is placed into his hands.
Resistance is hard. It requires the courage to call evil by its name, and sacrifice universal adoration in the process. The Left likes to rail against intolerance. The defense of peace and freedom requires the absolute intolerance of evil. It requires leaders who don’t need a few days to decide whether to cancel the Fourth of July picnic invitations of a dictatorship that guns down peacefully protesting citizens. It relies upon a nation with the strength and resolve to project both humanitarian assistance and military power around the world.
Barack Obama’s America, mortgaged to the hilt and several trillion dollars beyond broke, with a stagnant economy trapped in government amber, will no longer be such a nation. The Nobel committee is pleased to reward him for that, because a muscular United States rocks a lot of boats. The “international community” has never forgiven George W. Bush for backing it into a corner over Iraq, and forcing the United Nations to enforce its own resolutions. “Resolution” is harmless and exciting when it’s a word spoken by important diplomats, and scribbled into strongly-worded letters. It’s scary when backed up by forceful leaders who take it seriously.
The cultural and political elite of Europe is delighted to give Obama an award for his bold work in turning America into the same kind of dilettante basket case they are. The people who sat helplessly and watched the slaughter in Bosnia may come to regret sacrificing their last shred of credibility to shore up a weak President, so he can finish the task of hobbling the only nation on Earth that can do a damned thing to prevent a slaughter. Europe thinks it can do business with the Islamic fascism creeping through its streets, but it will find any deals it makes with them have expiration dates, as surely as all of Barack Obama’s promises do. When they once again turn to America to save them, they had better hope we’ve had the wisdom to replace the confused and helpless man clutching his shiny Nobel Peace Prize with someone who can saddle up and ride to the rescue. Negotiation without principle is submission, and the only peace brought by submission is the peace of the grave.
9606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 10, 2009, 10:23:41 AM
October 8, 2009, 2:16 PM

The Real Trouble with Afghanistan and Obama
Underneath all this week's he-said/she-said over the war's future lies a self-inflicted wound: Our young president has lost sight of what matters in the military conflict that will define him, and lost sight of it to another Boomer-era vice president's guilty conscience.

By Thomas P.M. Barnett


Should I surge or should I go now? It's the question that has Washington — and, indeed, the world — abuzz over America's future in Afghanistan. First it was the military's convenient leak to Bob Woodward of the starkest assessment of the war to date (Failure!). Then, a week ago, it was General Stanley McChrystal's smacking down of the Joe Biden "fewer troops, more Al Qaeda hunting" plan (Short-sighted!). Then Bob Gates told him, in so many words, to shut up and listen to the Communicator in Chief (Eyebrow-raising!). On Tuesday, President Obama had the ears of thirty legislators, but it seemed to set the Afghan debate further off course than anywhere near consensus (Grumpy old men! And a liberal catfight!).

By this morning, with Kabul rocking and Obama stalling, the question many Americans were asking seemed perfectly natural: So how many troops are we gonna send, Mr. President? And therein lies Team Obama's Bushian dilemma: They've created such huge expectations of a definitive decision on the war that no matter which way the president turns, he will have backed himself into a strategic corner from which he cannot escape. All the leaks and sound bytes and "senior White House official" signal shifts have made some number more important than the most complex military conflict of our time. It's Truman-versus-MacArthur and Bush-versus-Fallon all over again, but the fallout could lead to trouble the likes of which we didn't even see in Iraq. Here's what Obama has been ignoring (Chain of command? China? Petraeus? A firm hand? Anyone?), and why it will all come back to haunt him sooner than he or Stan McChrystal would like to admit.


Truth or Consequences, Afghanistan: Potential Fallout Along the Chain of Command
I was at the Pentagon on Monday, just around the time Gates was giving his "candidly but privately" spiel, and every conversation I had kept coming back to the same concern: "How can we show positive impact in Afghanistan over the next couple of months?" Believe me — when your national-security establishment wraps itself around the axle like that, your narrow strategic mindset ain't no secret.

But if the administration doesn't go along with the recommendations of its handpicked commander (and there were signs this afternoon that it was leaning away from the McChrystal plan and back toward Biden's strategy), then it will have effectively repudiated McChrystal's command with a highly publicized vote of no confidence. By extension, the White House will have completed its marginalization of McChrystal's boss, General David Petraeus. Which, given that the Iraq surge hero and Central Command chief has been urged to run for president in 2012, may be politically hard to resist for Obama's politically savvy advisors. But, again, the political savvy is getting the best of Team Obama when it comes to Afghanistan — this is a war, not an election, with many more lives at stake than a few of the best and brightest, and they'd be stupid to muddle or confuse the two.

The more profound consequence of choosing the Biden option, however, would be to repudiate what is working in Afghanistan. The troops are already pissed off at the anti-McChrystal hyperbole, and limiting our footprint for more drones amounts to a public discounting of the American armed forces' tremendous effort in recent years to transform into an effective instrument of "small wars" counterinsurgency — especially the Army and Marines. Again, by extension, such a decision would tarnish Gates's legacy-in-the-making as bureaucratic godfather to this stunning institutional evolution. I mean, if this was a capacity our military lacked going into Afghanistan and Iraq, only to subsequently develop it under extreme duress, will it be the decision of the Obama administration to immediately shelve our hard-earned capability in a "war of necessity" just because Joe Biden said so?

Worse yet, the world will interpret any "half measures" (John McCain's fighting words) as a signal toward our inevitable withdrawal (watch for the phrase "exit strategy"). And once that happens, world leaders — friend or foe — will immediately start interpreting any statements by Obama that threaten to use force as, you know, threatening to pin-prick with fancy robotic bombers. Waffling, in other words, doesn't answer that Pentagon-wide concern.


The Obama Doctrine: A Product of Another Vietnam-Shadowed Veep
And yet Obama will almost certainly seek to split his Big Afghanistan Decision down the middle (Talk big but act small!). That won't work, and not just because the world's bad boys will think of the American military as a bunch of high-tech pansies — because it reeks of Obama speak for permanent downshifting in our long-term commitment to Afghanistan's future, which, by extension, makes everybody nervous about Pakistan's future.

And so, by shorting Afghanistan, the president may end up inadvertently declaring The Obama Doctrine: (1) yes, Iraq was a one-of-a-kind war, never to be repeated; and (2), in Clinton-era Colin Powell speak honed for the counterterrorism era, we go anywhere we want to kill anyone we want, but as far as the locals are concerned, they can simply fuck off.

In doing so, Obama will position himself internationally as both a full-blown wimp (Jimmy Carter much?) and a sanctimonious cynic (hellooooo, Bill Clinton!), confirming French president Nicolas Sarkozy's first impression that under that fabulous exterior lies a fabile young president.

What's so intriguing and tragic about Obama's indecisiveness here is that it's been triggered by yet another vice-presidential, Boomer-era "wise man" determined to right the wrongs of the Vietnam era. With George W. Bush, it was Jerry Ford's chief of staff Dick Cheney who was determined to restore the power of the imperial presidency, and with Barry, it's Joe Biden (his '72 Senate upset win in Delaware was fueled by his fierce opposition to the war), who, along with 'Nam vets John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, counsels our JFK-ish president to get out of this quagmire now — while he still can. Despite all of Obama's campaign rhetoric about bringing a post-Boomer perspective to the White House, on this crucial call he appears as captive to that mindset as his two predecessors were.

And yes, the perverse influence that links them all is Obama's kitchen-cabinet adviser Colin Powell (aka Two-Face), who never met a war he didn't want to decisively win but likewise never met a post-war situation he didn't want to assiduously avoid. If you want a poster-child for how Vietnam still screws up presidencies, then General Powell's your man. Just understand that, later on, he'll deny everything to Bob Woodward.

Esquire contributing editor Thomas P.M. Barnett is the author of Great Powers: America and the World After Bush.



Read more: http://www.esquire.com/the-side/war-room/obama-new-afghanistan-strategy-100809#ixzz0TXxu9gBO
9607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 10, 2009, 09:47:17 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/print.php?id=CNG.35512cbc2c2778646bd8bce1a73746c8.1e1&show_article=1

Chinese dissidents let down by Obama Nobel
Oct 9 11:18 PM US/Eastern

China's dissidents are voicing unease about President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, saying that the award could have been effective in promoting human rights in their country.
Some in China's democracy movement are outraged at what they see as a weak stance on rights by Obama, who the same week as Friday's announcement avoided a meeting with Tibet's exiled Dalai Lama that would have upset Beijing.

Chinese activists had been tipped as Nobel contenders on this year of anniversaries, when China marked 60 years of communist rule, 50 years since the Dalai Lama's flight and 20 years since the crushing of the Tiananmen Square democracy uprising.

Potential laureates included Hu Jia, locked up since December 2007 after exposing government abuses and the plight of China's AIDS sufferers, and Wei Jingsheng, a onetime electrician who spent 18 years in prison after brazenly challenging former leader Deng Xiaoping to bring democracy.

Huang Ciping, an engineer turned activist who is executive director of Wei's Washington-based foundation, said that China "has come to such a turning point that the prize might have helped."

"The Nobel Peace Prize committee has the full right to decide to give coal to those who suffer and struggle or to present flowers to the powerful," she said.

But she said of the decision: "It is both a pity for the Chinese people and a danger to world peace."

Rebiya Kadeer, the exiled leader of China's Uighur minority, congratulated Obama but called on him to use the added prestige to put pressure on "dictatorships like China."

"I am very happy that he got it. Now he has to do something with the award. It raises expectations on him to stand up for oppressed nations," she told AFP.

Some 200 people died in July in clashes between Uighurs and China's majority Han in the country's worst ethnic bloodletting in decades.

Harry Wu, who spent nearly two decades toiling as a political prisoner and now tries to publicize the "laogai" prison camp system, said the Norwegian Nobel committee's decision was premature.

"Maybe at this moment, Obama's actions on peace and human rights do not seem too bad, but so far I do not think it is enough to prove that he is qualified as the Peace Prize winner," Wu said.

Obama nearly said as much in his humble statement on the award, in which he said: "To be honest, I do not feel I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize."

But some exiled Chinese said the prize was not only premature but undeserved, pointing to the Obama administration's statements that human rights concerns will not hold back a growing relationship with China.

James B. Chen, a cancer researcher at the University of Arkansas, feared that the award could be seen as affirmation of focusing on economic ties with China or of Obama's decision to avoid the Dalai Lama.

"For nearly all of my friends, their first reaction was that they were very, very disappointed," Chen said. "They thought this is a major setback for human rights."

The White House has denied it snubbed the Dalai Lama, saying Obama will meet him after the president visits China next month.

The Dalai Lama is paying his first visit to Washington since 1991 that does not include a meeting with the president. But he said he had no hard feelings and sent a congratulatory letter to Obama.

The Tibetan monk, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 despite strong Chinese protests, told Obama that "the founding fathers of the United States have made this country the greatest democracy and a champion of freedom and liberty.

"It is, therefore, important for today's American leaders to adopt principled leadership based on these high ideals," he said.

"Such an approach will not only enhance the reputation of the United States, but also contribute tremendously to reducing tension in the world."
9608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 10, 2009, 09:35:23 AM
BBG is the man on this topic. Prepare for a dataflood.  grin
9609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 10, 2009, 09:05:31 AM
I'd agree with your parasite metaphor. China doesn't want us dead, just subservient to them.

Does internal instability scare the politburo? Yes, but that's why they have a police state that has made clear since 1989 that they will kill as many Chinese citizens as needed to retain control. There is no alternate government waiting in the wings, and given the rise of China in the new era of American weakness, Hong Kong, and especially Taiwan have much to fear.
9610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 09, 2009, 05:17:25 PM
What's this business I'm hearing about a NAMBLA pedophile being part of the BO team?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Obama-appointee-lauded-NAMBLA-figure-63115112.html

Obama appointee lauded NAMBLA figure
By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
10/01/09 12:40 PM EDT
Kevin Jennings, President Obama's Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug FreeSchools at the U.S. Department of Education, is in hot water this week for having failed to report that a 15-year-old sophomore student in his school had told him of having sex with an older man.

But failure to report what appeared to be a case of statuatory rape of a child may be the least of Jennings' worries. Lori Roman of Regular Folks United points to statements by Jennings a decade or more ago when he praised Harry Hay of the North American Association for Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which promotes the legalization of sexual abuse of young boys by older men.

Roman provides damning details and links here. She also notes that Jennings wrote the forward "to a book called Queering Elementary Education. And another fellow you may have heard of wrote one of the endorsements on the book jacket—Bill Ayers." Ayers, of course, is the Weather Underground bomber from the 1960s who is just an "acquaintance" of Obama.

Every presidential administration ends up with scandals inspired by controversial appointees, but typically those tend to revolve around financial improprieties, conflicts of interest, or some other form of white-collar misconduct. For Obama, the scandals seem to be develping in a pattern of disclosures revolving around radical left ideology that raises questions about their fitness for any job in government.

And that in turn raises the inevitable question: Is nobody minding the White House personnel store?

UPDATE: Who was Harry Hay?

Folks at Media Matters are agitated by the above post and others pointing out Jennings' praise of Harry Hay and the latter's link to NAMBLA. Hay was not an employee or official of NAMBLA, but was during his later years, according to his entry on Wikipedia, a frequent defender of the group, including this 1983 statement: "f the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world."

MM has a point - Jennings praise of Hay was not specifically in the context of the latter's support of NAMBLA. Readers will decide for themselves whether it is appropriate for an individual who publicly praised an advocate of pedophilia to be appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.   
9611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 09, 2009, 03:23:28 PM
http://spectator.org/blog/2009/10/09/just-how-surprised-and-deeply

Just How "Surprised and Deeply Humbled" Is Mr. Obama?
By Robert P. Kirchhoefer on 10.9.09 @ 1:30PM

According to the rules of the Nobel Prize nomination, a candidate receives an invitation for submission as a Nobel Peace candidate in September of the previous year, and must respond by the 1st of the subsequent February. That's right, in September of 2008, when nobody had even voted for the current President, Mr. Obama was under the illusion that he was qualified for a Nobel Peace Prize based on a few years as a community organizer, a little time in the Illinois legislature, an incomplete term in the United States' Senate, and a couple of books about his favorite topic -- himself.

By the February 1, 2009 deadline for submissions, before Mr. Obama had even stepped into office, he was no more surprised or humbled then than he is on this ignoble day.

This display is truly the antithesis of humility.

Now we know why he's been waiting so long to determine how to protect our troops in Afghanistan. Or is it too audacious to suggest such a thought?
9612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood on: October 09, 2009, 09:25:51 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6274387/Obama-adviser-says-Sharia-Law-is-misunderstood.html

Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood

President Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed, has provoked controversy by appearing on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Sharia Law.
 
By Andrew Gilligan and Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 8:00PM BST 08 Oct 2009

Miss Mogahed, appointed to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of Sharia was "oversimplified" and the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice".

The White House adviser made the remarks on a London-based TV discussion programme hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.

The group believes in the non-violent destruction of Western democracy and the creation of an Islamic state under Sharia Law across the world.

Miss Mogahed appeared alongside Hizb ut Tahrir's national women's officer, Nazreen Nawaz.

During the 45-minute discussion, on the Islam Channel programme Muslimah Dilemma earlier this week, the two members of the group made repeated attacks on secular "man-made law" and the West's "lethal cocktail of liberty and capitalism".

They called for Sharia Law to be "the source of legislation" and said that women should not be "permitted to hold a position of leadership in government".

Miss Mogahed made no challenge to these demands and said that "promiscuity" and the "breakdown of traditional values" were what Muslims admired least about the West.

She said: "I think the reason so many women support Sharia is because they have a very different understanding of sharia than the common perception in Western media.

"The majority of women around the world associate gender justice, or justice for women, with sharia compliance.

"The portrayal of Sharia has been oversimplified in many cases."

Sharia in its broadest sense is a religious code for living, which decrees such matters as fasting and dressing modestly. However, it has also been interpreted as requiring the separation of men and women.

It also includes the controversial "Hadd offences", crimes with specific penalties set by the Koran and the sayings of the prophet Mohammed. These include death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality and the removal of a hand for theft.

Miss Mogahed admitted that even many Muslims associated Sharia with "maximum criminal punishments" and "laws that... to many people seem unequal to women," but added: "Part of the reason that there is this perception of Sharia is because Sharia is not well understood and Islam as a faith is not well understood."

The video of the broadcast has now been prominently posted on the front page of Hizb ut Tahrir's website.

Miss Mogahed, who was born in Egypt and moved to America at the age of five, is the first veiled Muslim woman to serve in the White House. Her appointment was seen as a sign of the Obama administration's determination to reach out to the Muslim world.

She is also the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a project which aims to scientifically sample public opinion in the Muslim world.

During this week's broadcast, she described her White House role as "to convey... to the President and other public officials what it is Muslims want."

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said Miss Mogahed was “downplaying” Sharia Law.

“There is a reason sharia has got a bad name and it is how it has been exercised. Regrettably in the US there have been acts of injustice perpetrated against women that are driven by the Sharia-type mindset that women are objects not human beings,” she said.

She cited the example of Muzzammil Hassan, a Buffalo man who ran a cable channel aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes and was charged earlier this year with beheading his wife after she filed for divorce.

“Americans understand by example, it’s not as if we are an ignorant mass of people. Just as we don’t broad brush all Muslims, so should Dalia not downplay the serious nature of sharia law.”
9613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 09, 2009, 08:42:52 AM
I disagree Doug. China has us by the short and curlies. They couldn't build a military that could defeat ours for the amount of money they used to buy our debt. Now, they are using their financial leverage to bend us to their will. Unrestricted warfare, financial edition.

"The acme of skill is to defeat an enemy without fighting".

"He who understands himself and his opponent need not fear the outcome of a thousand battles"

Sun Tzu
9614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 08, 2009, 09:21:51 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/08/obama-wh-bought-coin-without-understanding-the-cost-wapo/

Obama WH bought COIN without understanding the cost: WaPo

posted at 9:30 am on October 8, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If nothing up to this point convinced people of the amateurish and bungling nature of Barack Obama and his administration, this Washington Post story makes the case all by itself.  For two years, Obama campaigned on changing the strategy in Afghanistan to a more effective counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy, claiming that the Bush administration had dropped the ball in the Af-Pak theater in large part by not committing the resources needed for an effective battle plan (an assessment shared by John McCain).  On taking office, Obama quickly increased troop levels in Afghanistan and appointed COIN strategist Gen. Stanley McChrystal to lead the mission.
However, the Post reports that Obama and his team never understood the implications of his demand for the new strategy.  McChrystal’s assessment of the needs for his COIN plan sent them into “sticker shock,” according to one Post source in the White House (emphasis mine):


In early March, after weeks of debate across a conference table in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the participants in President Obama’s strategic review of the war in Afghanistan figured that the most contentious part of their discussions was behind them. Everyone, save Vice President Biden’s national security adviser, agreed that the United States needed to mount a comprehensive counterinsurgency mission to defeat the Taliban.
That conclusion, which was later endorsed by the president and members of his national security team, would become the first in a set of recommendations contained in an administration white paper outlining what Obama called “a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Preventing al-Qaeda’s return to Afghanistan, the document stated, would require “executing and resourcing an integrated civilian-military counterinsurgency strategy.” …
To some civilians who participated in the strategic review, that conclusion was much less clear. Some took it as inevitable that more troops would be needed, but others thought the thrust of the new approach was to send over scores more diplomats and reconstruction experts. They figured a counterinsurgency mission could be accomplished with the forces already in the country, plus the 17,000 new troops Obama had authorized in February.
“It was easy to say, ‘Hey, I support COIN,’ because nobody had done the assessment of what it would really take, and nobody had thought through whether we want to do what it takes,” said one senior civilian administration official who participated in the review, using the shorthand for counterinsurgency.
The failure to reach a shared understanding of the resources required to execute the strategy has complicated the White House’s response to the grim assessment of the war by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, forcing the president to decide, in effect, what his administration really meant when it endorsed a counterinsurgency plan. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s follow-up request for more forces, which presents a range of options but makes clear that the best chance of achieving the administration’s goals requires an additional 40,000 U.S. troops on top of the 68,000 who are already there, has given senior members of Obama’s national security team “a case of sticker shock,” the administration official said.


After two years of campaigning on this new strategy and eight months of ordering it as Commander in Chief, Barack Obama now has to make up his mind what he meant?  It was the single most important issue on the war during the general campaign, thanks to the sharp improvement in Iraq that Obama predicted would never happen.  He had hundreds of military officers and foreign-policy experts advising him on this issue — and none of them apparently ever taught the young candidate what COIN actually entailed.
This is a damning indictment of the President and his lack of preparation for the job, but it goes farther than that.  Obama has essentially been “on the job” since the transition, which started eleven months ago.  Considering the priority of any policy that puts American men and women in battle, Obama should have worked to understand the implications of his COIN solution from Day 1 in the transition, if not Day 1 of his term in office.  He appointed McChrystal for this specific purpose in the spring without bothering to understand the concepts and the resources required for COIN.
In other words, Obama has half-assed it, and has gotten caught.
Update: Michael Yon links to an intriguing report from Anthony Lloyd from Afghanistan.  Don’t forget to hit Michael’s tip jar.  We’re going to need him on the ground more than ever.
9615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China: Al-Qaeda urges holy war to defend Muslims on: October 07, 2009, 06:24:35 PM
http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=3.0.3849585514

China: Al-Qaeda urges holy war to defend Muslims


Rome, 7 October (AKI) - A leading Al-Qaeda militant on Wednesday called on Muslims worldwide to defend Uighurs in China's restive northwestern region of Xinjiang. He told Uighurs to prepare for a holy war or Jihad and urged a "vast media campaign" to raise awareness of their fate at the hands of "oppressive" China.

In the video posted to jihadist websites, Abu Yahya al-Libi appeared to launch a frontal assault against China.

"This massacre is not being carried out by criminal Crusaders or evil Jews who have committed crimes against our nation," al-Libi stated.

"Today, a new massacre is being carried out by Buddhist nationalists and communists against the Muslim population in eastern Turkestan," said al-Libi.

Islamists call Xinjiang East Turkestan. Uighurs are Muslims native to Xinjiang province, and have cultural ties to Turkic peoples in Central Asia.

"There is no way to remove injustice and oppression without a true return to their (Uighurs) religion and ... serious preparation for Jihad in the path of God the Almighty and to carry weapons in the face of those (Chinese) invaders," he said.

"It is a duty for Muslims today to stand by their wounded and oppressed brothers in East Turkestan ... and support them with all they can," al-Libi added.

Al-Libi claims terrible crimes are being perpetrated in Xinjiang "which nobody can see," urging a media campaign to give these crimes the same visibility as those "carried out by westerners against Muslims."

He also accused China of using "satanic ways" to oppress Muslims in the province and replace them with other ethnicities while "looting their wealth and undermining their culture and religion."

"Tens of thousand of people have been silently killed to prevent a revolt. The communist Chinese government has tried to eliminate all links between eastern Turkestan and the Islamic nation by sending colonisers to constantly reduce the number of Muslims," he stated.

Another tactic China is using to exterminate Muslims is calling the province Xinjiang instead of eastern Turkestan, just as Palestine's name as been changed to Israel, al-Libi argued.

He described China's presence in Xinjiang as an "occupation" and claimed the colonisation of the province has made the Muslim population a minority.

"The Chinese have closed all the Islamic schools, forbidding the study of the Muslim religion. They have arrested and killed all the Muslim leaders," he said.

Xinjiang is also the province where China is carrying out the largest number of nuclear experiments, al-Libi alleged.

"Thousands of people have died from the radiation emitted by the many nuclear missiles that have been launched and the experiments carried out in the area," al-Libi concluded.

Uighurs make up 8 million people out of Xinjiang's population of 20 million. It covers one-sixth of the country and is relatively sparsely populated.

A total of 197 people were killed over several days of unrest in Xinjiang in July and rioting in the capital Urumqi. Most of those who died were from the Han Chinese majority.

9616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 07, 2009, 09:18:28 AM
China may well find it's self fighting against the global jihad anyway. Unlike the US they will use torture and scorched earth tactics and unlike the US the "world" won't utter a peep in protest.
9617  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: October 07, 2009, 09:04:28 AM
http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2009/10/07/news/local/doc4acc29cd2ab14476835105.txt

Suspected bomber arrested without incident


CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/CHRIS McLEAN -- Pueblo County sheriff’s investigators look over the Pueblo West home of police officer Nathan Pruce on Tuesday. A propane tank attached to Pruce’s garage spewed gas into the home.


Nathan Pruce


Robert Howard Bruce

Search ends for sex-assault suspect who faced trial Tuesday with officer Nathan Pruce as key witness.By PABLO CARLOS MORA, JEFF TUCKER and JUAN ESPINOSA
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
A man sought in connection with an attempt to blow up a police officer’s Pueblo West home was arrested Tuesday evening at the North Side Kmart.

Officers arrested Robert Howard Bruce, 47, about 6 p.m. without any resistance, while checking the area, according to Laurie Kilpatrick, a spokeswoman with the Pueblo Sheriff’s Department. No other details were released.

Bruce was the subject of an intensive manhunt Tuesday afternoon after he reportedly attempted to blow up the home of Pueblo officer Nathan Pruce.

Bruce failed to show up for the trial Tuesday at which Pruce was to testify.

While leaving his Los Charros Drive home at 9:22 a.m. Tuesday morning, Pruce noticed a propane tank in his driveway with a line running into a garage wall, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor said. “An improvised explosive device was found attached to officer Pruce’s home,” Taylor said. “The Metro Bomb Squad found very high readings of some kind of explosive in the house.”

Pruce left his home and nearby Cedar Ridge Elementary School was locked down as a precaution, Taylor said.

“The bomb squad opened doors and windows to vent the substance from the house. After the house was cleared by the bomb squad, the fire department checked the home and found it safe,” Taylor said.

Cedar Ridge Elementary was released from lockdown at noon.

Bruce was arrested by officer Pruce in the early morning on July 17, 2007, after neighbors reported a prowler in the Belmont neighborhood.

Bruce was charged with unlawful sexual contact-peeping Tom and second-degree trespassing, both misdemeanors.

Pruce arrested Bruce after he led police on a foot chase and a brief car chase through Belmont.

According to Bruce's arrest affidavit, Pruce found a metal pipe used for smoking drugs and a small amount of marijuana on him, and admitted to looking in the victim's window.

The report indicated the victim said she went to a room next to her bedroom after she heard a noise, peeked outside the window and saw Bruce walking around her backyard.

Police also found a chair placed outside the window.

pmora@chieftain.com


jtucker@chieftain.com



juane@chieftain.com

9618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 06, 2009, 09:25:23 AM
Any buyer's remorse yet, Obama voters?
9619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bye free speech, hello sharia on: October 06, 2009, 09:24:24 AM
http://weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=17043&R=1637E18C1A

You Can't Say That
At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.
by Anne Bayefsky
10/05/2009 12:00:00 AM



The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. The newly-minted American policy was rolled out at the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended in Geneva on Friday. American diplomats were there for the first time as full Council members and intent on making friends.

President Obama chose to join the Council despite the fact that the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power and human rights abusers are among its lead actors, including China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Islamic states quickly interpreted the president's penchant for "engagement" as meaning fundamental rights were now up for grabs. Few would have predicted, however, that the shift would begin with America's most treasured freedom.

For more than a decade, a UN resolution on the freedom of expression was shepherded through the Council, and the now defunct Commission on Human Rights which it replaced, by Canada. Over the years, Canada tried mightily to garner consensus on certain minimum standards, but the "reformed" Council changed the distribution of seats on the UN's lead human rights body. In 2008, against the backdrop of the publication of images of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, Cuba and various Islamic countries destroyed the consensus and rammed through an amendment which introduced a limit on any speech they claimed was an "abuse . . . [that] constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination."

The Obama administration decided that a revamped freedom of expression resolution, extracted from Canadian hands, would be an ideal emblem for its new engagement policy. So it cosponsored a resolution on the subject with none other than Egypt--a country characterized by an absence of freedom of expression.

Privately, other Western governments were taken aback and watched the weeks of negotiations with dismay as it became clear that American negotiators wanted consensus at all costs. In introducing the resolution on Thursday, October 1--adopted by consensus the following day--the ranking U.S. diplomat, Chargé d'Affaires Douglas Griffiths, crowed:


"The United States is very pleased to present this joint project with Egypt. This initiative is a manifestation of the Obama administration's commitment to multilateral engagement throughout the United Nations and of our genuine desire to seek and build cooperation based upon mutual interest and mutual respect in pursuit of our shared common principles of tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."


His Egyptian counterpart, Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased--for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that "freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused," insisting on limits consistent with the "true nature of this right" and demanding that the "the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner."

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

Pakistan's Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made it clear that they understand the resolution and its protection against religious stereotyping as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion. The idea of protecting the human rights "of religions" instead of individuals is a favorite of those countries that do not protect free speech and which use religion--as defined by government--to curtail it.

Even the normally feeble European Union tried to salvage the American capitulation by expressing the hope that the resolution might be read a different way. Speaking on behalf of the EU following the resolution's adoption, French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattéi declared that "human rights law does not, and should not, protect religions or belief systems, hence the language on stereotyping only applies to stereotyping of individuals . . . and not of ideologies, religions or abstract values. The EU rejects the concept of defamation of religions." The EU also distanced itself from the American compromise on the media, declaring that "the notion of a moral and social responsibility of the media" goes "well beyond" existing international law and "the EU cannot subscribe to this concept in such general terms."

In 1992 when the United States ratified the main international law treaty which addresses freedom of expression, the government carefully attached reservations to ensure that the treaty could not "restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

The Obama administration's debut at the Human Rights Council laid bare its very different priorities. Threatening freedom of expression is a price for engagement with the Islamic world that it is evidently prepared to pay.

Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a professor at Touro College, and the editor of EYEontheUN.org.
 
9620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 06, 2009, 09:21:53 AM
But, but Obama wore a kippah at AIPAC.....

 rolleyes
9621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: October 06, 2009, 12:14:02 AM
Dictionary: kow·tow   (kou-tou', kou'tou')
 

1.To kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, as formerly done in China.
2.To show servile deference. See synonims at fawn1.
n.
1.The act of kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground.
2.An obsequious act.
[From Chinese (Mandarin) kòu tóu, a kowtow : kòu, to knock + tóu, head.]
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6262938/Barack-Obama-cancels-meeting-with-Dalai-Lama-to-keep-China-happy.html


Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to keep China happy'
President Barack Obama has refused to meet the Dalai Lama in Washington this week in a move to curry favour with the Chinese.
 
By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 6:20PM BST 05 Oct 2009

 
President Barack Obama has delayed a meeting with the Dalai Lama Photo: REUTERS The decision came after China stepped up a campaign urging nations to shun the Tibetan spiritual leader.

It means Mr Obama will become the first president not to welcome the Nobel peace prize winner to the White House since the Dalai Lama began visiting Washington in 1991.

The fog of war The Buddhist monk arrived in Washington on Monday for a week of meetings with Congressional leaders, celebrity supporters and interest groups, but the president will not see him until after he has made his first visit to China next month.

Samdhong Rinpoche, the Tibetan prime minister-in-exile, has accused the United States and other Western nations of "appeasement" toward China as its economic weight grows.

"Today, economic interests are much greater than other interests," he said.

Mr Obama's decision dismayed human rights and Tibetan support groups, who said he had made an unnecessary concession to the Chinese, who regard the Dalai Lama as a "splittist", despite his calls for autonomy rather than independence for Tibet. The Chinese invaded in 1950, forcing the young leader to flee.

Sophie Richardson, Asia advocate for Human Rights Watch, said: "Presidents always meets the Dalai Lama and what happens? Absolutely nothing.

"This idea that if you are nice to the Chinese Communist Party up front you can cash in later is just wrong. If you lower the bar on human rights they will just move it lower and lower."

Over several months of discussions the Tibetans resisted entreaties to delay the meeting, arguing that a refusal would make smaller countries more vulnerable to pressure from China not to meet the Dalai Lama.

But they were told by US officials they wanted to work with China on critical issues, including nuclear weapons proliferation in North Korea and Iran, according to The Washington Post. Mr Obama then sent a delegation to the Dalai Lama's home in exile in India last month that confirmed the meeting would be deferred.

Mr Obama has changed his position on Tibet since his election campaign.

In April 2008, he was joined by Hillary Clinton, then his rival for the Democratic nomination and now his Secretary of State, in calling on George W Bush to boycott the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony in protest at the bloody repression of a popular uprising in Tibet.

"If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security, and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the President should boycott the opening ceremonies," they said.

Mrs Clinton has been at the forefront of a new approach, called "strategic reassurance", which seeks a more amicable partnership with the emerging power.

On her first trip to China in February she said public pressure on China over human rights was ill-advised as she "knew what the Chinese were going to say".

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, the Washington-based special envoy to the Dalai Lama, issued a brief statement, saying: "We came to this arrangement because we believe that it is in our long-term interests."

A White House official said the administration and the Tibetans had "agreed the timing would be best after the visit".

"Both sides attach importance to a strong US-China relationship," the official said. "There are benefits in that to our goals for Tibet, as we have been working to resume discussions between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama’s representatives.”

The Tibetan leader's ten meetings with US presidents have played an important role in maintaining his international profile, even though they have never been filmed or followed by a press conference.

The exception was 2007, when George W Bush conferred the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress's highest civilian award, on the Dalai Lama in front of the cameras.

Frank Wolf, a Republican congressman and outspoken critic of China's human rights record, said: "What would a Buddhist monk or Buddhist nun in Drapchi prison think when he heard that President Obama, the president of the United States, is not going to meet with the Dalai Lama?

"It's against the law to even have a picture of the Dalai Lama. I can almost hear the words of the Chinese guards saying to them that nobody cares about you in the United States."

Ms Richardson said treating human rights as separate from other issues guaranteed failure "across the board".

"If there is no explicit agreement to stop locking up environmental activists and whistle blowers then any environmental agreement will be weakened.

"If the press in China is muzzled it won't investigate industrial safety and you will have more toxic toys coming to the United States," she said.
9622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 10:26:35 PM
We are watching the end of Israel and America as we knew it.
9623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The demise of the dollar on: October 05, 2009, 10:18:57 PM
Exclusive report by Robert Fisk


The demise of the dollar

In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading

By Robert Fisk

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/the-demise-of-the-dollar-1798175.html

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Rex

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars.




In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.


Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.

Related articles
•Sean O'Grady: China will overtake America, the only question is when
•Leading article: The end of the dollar spells the rise of a new order
The Americans, who are aware the meetings have taken place – although they have not discovered the details – are sure to fight this international cabal which will include hitherto loyal allies Japan and the Gulf Arabs. Against the background to these currency meetings, Sun Bigan, China's former special envoy to the Middle East, has warned there is a risk of deepening divisions between China and the US over influence and oil in the Middle East. "Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable," he told the Asia and Africa Review. "We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security."

This sounds like a dangerous prediction of a future economic war between the US and China over Middle East oil – yet again turning the region's conflicts into a battle for great power supremacy. China uses more oil incrementally than the US because its growth is less energy efficient. The transitional currency in the move away from dollars, according to Chinese banking sources, may well be gold. An indication of the huge amounts involved can be gained from the wealth of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar who together hold an estimated $2.1 trillion in dollar reserves.

The decline of American economic power linked to the current global recession was implicitly acknowledged by the World Bank president Robert Zoellick. "One of the legacies of this crisis may be a recognition of changed economic power relations," he said in Istanbul ahead of meetings this week of the IMF and World Bank. But it is China's extraordinary new financial power – along with past anger among oil-producing and oil-consuming nations at America's power to interfere in the international financial system – which has prompted the latest discussions involving the Gulf states.

Brazil has shown interest in collaborating in non-dollar oil payments, along with India. Indeed, China appears to be the most enthusiastic of all the financial powers involved, not least because of its enormous trade with the Middle East.

China imports 60 per cent of its oil, much of it from the Middle East and Russia. The Chinese have oil production concessions in Iraq – blocked by the US until this year – and since 2008 have held an $8bn agreement with Iran to develop refining capacity and gas resources. China has oil deals in Sudan (where it has substituted for US interests) and has been negotiating for oil concessions with Libya, where all such contracts are joint ventures.

Furthermore, Chinese exports to the region now account for no fewer than 10 per cent of the imports of every country in the Middle East, including a huge range of products from cars to weapon systems, food, clothes, even dolls. In a clear sign of China's growing financial muscle, the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, yesterday pleaded with Beijing to let the yuan appreciate against a sliding dollar and, by extension, loosen China's reliance on US monetary policy, to help rebalance the world economy and ease upward pressure on the euro.

Ever since the Bretton Woods agreements – the accords after the Second World War which bequeathed the architecture for the modern international financial system – America's trading partners have been left to cope with the impact of Washington's control and, in more recent years, the hegemony of the dollar as the dominant global reserve currency.

The Chinese believe, for example, that the Americans persuaded Britain to stay out of the euro in order to prevent an earlier move away from the dollar. But Chinese banking sources say their discussions have gone too far to be blocked now. "The Russians will eventually bring in the rouble to the basket of currencies," a prominent Hong Kong broker told The Independent. "The Brits are stuck in the middle and will come into the euro. They have no choice because they won't be able to use the US dollar."

Chinese financial sources believe President Barack Obama is too busy fixing the US economy to concentrate on the extraordinary implications of the transition from the dollar in nine years' time. The current deadline for the currency transition is 2018.

The US discussed the trend briefly at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh; the Chinese Central Bank governor and other officials have been worrying aloud about the dollar for years. Their problem is that much of their national wealth is tied up in dollar assets.

"These plans will change the face of international financial transactions," one Chinese banker said. "America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate."

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars. Bankers remember, of course, what happened to the last Middle East oil producer to sell its oil in euros rather than dollars. A few months after Saddam Hussein trumpeted his decision, the Americans and British invaded Iraq.
9624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 02, 2009, 11:24:01 AM
The first klingon.

9625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chicago graft loses the Olympics! on: October 02, 2009, 10:50:39 AM
Barry-O's corruptocrats lose!

I bet the plane ride back with Lt. Worf will be very, very long. Maybe the empty-suit can start trying to be the president now?
9626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: September 29, 2009, 09:25:00 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2009/09/todays-reading-assignment_26.html

Saturday, September 26, 2009
Today's Reading Assignment

...courtesy of Ralph Peters, in the New York Post. In his latest column, Colonel Peters (essentially) asks the same questions we posed yesterday: how long did President Obama know about that Iranian nuclear nuclear facility before he publicly acknowledged its existence? And why keep it a secret, particularly if you're trying to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear program?

The answer, according to Peters, can be found in the President's lack of military experience; his unswerving faith in diplomacy and humiliation over a situation that is spinning out of control:

Obama didn't want you to know how much progress Iran had made. It's an embarrassment.

And it raises the pressure on the White House to act -- something this president's squirming to avoid. But the Iranians have now realized we know, so they tipped it themselves.

Obama had no choice but to come clean.

Yesterday, he interrupted the G-20 summit to go public -- before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did. Flanked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's dead man walking, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, our president offered more uselessly vague rhetoric in response to proof of a major "covert Iranian enrichment facility" and its implications.

So what happens next? Peters predicts a coming apocalypse, caused (in part) by Mr. Obama's refusal to act. We've said the same thing, predicting that the commander-in-chief will face a foreign policy reckoning in the coming months, a catastrophic event that will make last year's market crash seem tame by comparison. Here's how Ralph Peters sees events playing out:

Obama will try more talks. We may see half-hearted sanctions -- which will be violated right and left. Russia, which profits hugely from dirty trade with Iran, can slip goods across the Caspian Sea or through Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

And maritime sanctions are meaningless, unless our president is willing to order our Navy to fire on Chinese-flagged or Venezuelan-flagged merchant vessels.

Think that's going to happen?

How will it end? With desperate Israeli attacks that do only part of the job, followed by Iranian counterstrikes on Persian Gulf oil facilities, the closure of the Straits of Hormuz and oil above $400 a barrel.

Only the United States can stop Iran's nuclear program before it's too late. And this president won't.
9627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 29, 2009, 04:48:44 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/28/eveningnews/main5347847.shtml

You think the TSA is invasive now....
9628  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: September 29, 2009, 10:29:51 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/20/germans-of-course-iran-kept-working-on-nuclear-weapons/

Germans: Of course Iran kept working on nuclear weapons
posted at 1:36 pm on July 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When the American intelligence community reversed itself in 2007 and announced that Iran had quit working on nuclear weapons in 2003, jaws dropped around the world.  George Bush’s political opponents at home and enemies around the world used it to buffalo the administration into reducing its effort to corner Tehran, but European intelligence agencies did not fall for the political kneecapping performed on Bush.  At the time, British intel rejected that conclusion, and now the Wall Street Journal reports that the Germans have thoroughly debunked it:

The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, has amassed evidence of a sophisticated Iranian nuclear weapons program that continued beyond 2003. This usually classified information comes courtesy of Germany’s highest state-security court. In a 30-page legal opinion on March 26 and a May 27 press release in a case about possible illegal trading with Iran, a special national security panel of the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe cites from a May 2008 BND report, saying the agency “showed comprehensively” that “development work on nuclear weapons can be observed in Iran even after 2003.”
According to the judges, the BND supplemented its findings on August 28, 2008, showing “the development of a new missile launcher and the similarities between Iran’s acquisition efforts and those of countries with already known nuclear weapons programs, such as Pakistan and North Korea.”
It’s important to point out that this was no ordinary agency report, the kind that often consists just of open source material, hearsay and speculation. Rather, the BND submitted an “office testimony,” which consists of factual statements about the Iranian program that can be proved in a court of law. This is why, in their March 26 opinion, the judges wrote that “a preliminary assessment of the available evidence suggests that at the time of the crime [April to November 2007] nuclear weapons were being developed in Iran.” In their May press release, the judges come out even more clear, stating unequivocally that “Iran in 2007 worked on the development of nuclear weapons.”

This rises far above the level of evidence provided in the 2007 NIE.  The court had to determine whether evidence presented by the German government could convict a defendant in an espionage trial, and the case rested in large part on whether the Iranians had continued to develop nuclear weapons.  A lower-court ruling had tossed out the indictment, ruling that the US NIE showed that Iran had not done work on its nuclear-weapons programs during the time that the defendant had allegedly traded illegally and conducted espionage on behalf of their program.  In response, the BND showed the court their evidence of continued work on the weapons program — which the court ruled sufficient to use at trial.
As the authors note, this decision calls into question yet again how the US intelligence service could have concluded otherwise.  Did they not coordinate with the Germans, who have much better access to Iran than either the US or even the British?  The BND says they shared these findings with the Americans prior to the publication of the NIE, but that they were ignored.  Why?
It’s really not difficult to conclude that the higher echelons of American intelligence had gone to war with the Bush administration early in his presidency.  The 2007 NIE was their coup de grace, making Bush impotent and giving them control over American foreign policy.  It also let vital time slip past while Iran continued to develop nuclear weapons, although in the event, Europe simply rejected the NIE as faulty and proceeded along the same path that Bush had demanded.  The NIE gave Russia and China political cover to block the West’s attempts to rein in the Iranians, although that would have happened anyway with other rationalizations.
Democrats are demanding a reckoning with the CIA over a program that never proceeded past the spitball stage.  Republicans ought to demand a reckoning, too — over the NIE and the wool that got pulled over the eyes of Congress.
9629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 10:02:01 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/20/germans-of-course-iran-kept-working-on-nuclear-weapons/

Germans: Of course Iran kept working on nuclear weapons
posted at 1:36 pm on July 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When the American intelligence community reversed itself in 2007 and announced that Iran had quit working on nuclear weapons in 2003, jaws dropped around the world.  George Bush’s political opponents at home and enemies around the world used it to buffalo the administration into reducing its effort to corner Tehran, but European intelligence agencies did not fall for the political kneecapping performed on Bush.  At the time, British intel rejected that conclusion, and now the Wall Street Journal reports that the Germans have thoroughly debunked it:

The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, has amassed evidence of a sophisticated Iranian nuclear weapons program that continued beyond 2003. This usually classified information comes courtesy of Germany’s highest state-security court. In a 30-page legal opinion on March 26 and a May 27 press release in a case about possible illegal trading with Iran, a special national security panel of the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe cites from a May 2008 BND report, saying the agency “showed comprehensively” that “development work on nuclear weapons can be observed in Iran even after 2003.”
According to the judges, the BND supplemented its findings on August 28, 2008, showing “the development of a new missile launcher and the similarities between Iran’s acquisition efforts and those of countries with already known nuclear weapons programs, such as Pakistan and North Korea.”
It’s important to point out that this was no ordinary agency report, the kind that often consists just of open source material, hearsay and speculation. Rather, the BND submitted an “office testimony,” which consists of factual statements about the Iranian program that can be proved in a court of law. This is why, in their March 26 opinion, the judges wrote that “a preliminary assessment of the available evidence suggests that at the time of the crime [April to November 2007] nuclear weapons were being developed in Iran.” In their May press release, the judges come out even more clear, stating unequivocally that “Iran in 2007 worked on the development of nuclear weapons.”

This rises far above the level of evidence provided in the 2007 NIE.  The court had to determine whether evidence presented by the German government could convict a defendant in an espionage trial, and the case rested in large part on whether the Iranians had continued to develop nuclear weapons.  A lower-court ruling had tossed out the indictment, ruling that the US NIE showed that Iran had not done work on its nuclear-weapons programs during the time that the defendant had allegedly traded illegally and conducted espionage on behalf of their program.  In response, the BND showed the court their evidence of continued work on the weapons program — which the court ruled sufficient to use at trial.
As the authors note, this decision calls into question yet again how the US intelligence service could have concluded otherwise.  Did they not coordinate with the Germans, who have much better access to Iran than either the US or even the British?  The BND says they shared these findings with the Americans prior to the publication of the NIE, but that they were ignored.  Why?
It’s really not difficult to conclude that the higher echelons of American intelligence had gone to war with the Bush administration early in his presidency.  The 2007 NIE was their coup de grace, making Bush impotent and giving them control over American foreign policy.  It also let vital time slip past while Iran continued to develop nuclear weapons, although in the event, Europe simply rejected the NIE as faulty and proceeded along the same path that Bush had demanded.  The NIE gave Russia and China political cover to block the West’s attempts to rein in the Iranians, although that would have happened anyway with other rationalizations.
Democrats are demanding a reckoning with the CIA over a program that never proceeded past the spitball stage.  Republicans ought to demand a reckoning, too — over the NIE and the wool that got pulled over the eyes of Congress.
9630  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 28, 2009, 08:46:07 PM
Counterterrorism Blog
Spread of Jihadi "operations" inside America: a quantitative warning
By Walid Phares
It is unprecedented in American counter terrorism annals: in one day the nation was dealing with three separate Jihadist plots to blow up civilian and other targets inside the Homeland. Although the cases were addressed at different time periods by the FBI and other agencies, nevertheless, the thickening web of Terror attempts breached the crossing line of US national security. This week, authorities revealed three conspiracies by American Jihadists: Michael C. Finton, (other name: Talib Islam) a 29-year-old man who wished to follow the steps of American-born Taliban John Walker Lindh, was arrested after trying to detonate what he thought was a bomb inside a van outside a federal courthouse in Springfield, Ill. Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year old Jordanian national was arrested after placing what he believed was a bomb at a downtown Dallas skyscraper. But perhaps the most troubling case is of Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi who set up shop in suburban Denver, scouting the Web and visiting beauty supply stores in a hunt for chemicals needed to build bombs for Al Qaeda. Sources called the alleged plot one of the most significant terror threats to the U.S. since 9-11. Add to the list the North Carolina Jihad cell, led by Saifullah Boyd, which was planning on attacking civilian and military targets across the country.

The immediate question raised by an increasingly worried public is about the connection between all these terror cases: are they all connected? While law enforcement and certainly judicial authorities proceed in a bottom up reasoning, that is to build the case for a global connection between all what is happening with the help of legal evidence, analysts in the field of counter terrorism and conflict are already realizing the meaning of what is happening inside America.

The Zai case suspects

In my book Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America (2005-2006) I clearly projected that Jihadists, individuals and cells will be mushrooming and expanding inside the United States within few years from then and that they will precisely do what they are trying to do now. I have also projected how large they will become, with time. It was a simple deduction: if the Government doesn’t counter this ideological growth, Jihadists will keep coming. And in fact they kept coming, spreading crossing the barriers of ethnicities, races, nationalities and geographical frontiers. The Jihadists committed to harm the US, and based inside our borders, are now by the hundreds. When I suggested this fact on CNN in 2006, and reiterated it on Oprah’s show so that the public realizes what is to come, I raised a few eyes brows. Now unfortunately, we are meeting the cells of Jihadism in our cities and little towns, and sadly the expectation is that we will see more, and we may unfortunately not be able to stop them all from reaching their goals.

The North Carolina cell, the New York subway plot, the Dallas attempt, the Illinois case, added to the previous cases of the shooting of a soldier in Arkansas, the precedent New York cells, Georgia’s young Jihadists, all the way back to the infamous Virginia paintball network, if anything gives us the genome of what is morphing inside the country -- a vast body of dispersed cells with at least one binding force -- the Jihadi ideology. The question thus is to find out who is propagating the doctrines of Jihadism: who is funding it; who is protecting the indoctrination operation which leads naturally to the rise of homegrown or foreign linked, lone wolves or packs of Jihadists, Terrorists. That is the real question: where is the factory?

What should the US Government do? Well, it must first of all come to the front of the threat and lead the nation against it. This is not a matter of only local police or law enforcement efforts. President Obama and Congressional leaders from both parties must give this spreading plague a top priority: for if one of these groups is successful, our national economy will crumble again, or at least will be wounded even more severely, let alone the human consequences of terror. Americans are watching with great concerns, these terror plots being revealed. They expect their elected officials to address these fears before the worse happens.

**********
Dr Walid Phares is the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad and the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Dr Phares is an advisor to the US House Caucus on Counter Terrorism

----------------

Talib Islam, aka Finton, planning in Illinois



Hussam Smadi operating in Dallas


Najibullah Zazi targeting New York

----------------------------
Watch a short interview on Canada's CTV: "American and Canadian Jihadists are connected through ideology and more." http://watch.ctv.ca/news/latest/canadian-ties/#clip217436

Listen to a short radio interview on Washington Dateline http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/feeds.radioamerica.org/rd-bin/rdfeed.mp3?DWP&cast_id=13073

By Walid Phares on September 26, 2009 4:27 PM
9631  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: September 28, 2009, 06:43:17 PM
Israel will burn, Afghanistan will fail as Obama fiddles.

He's busy trying to get the Olympics for Chicago.
9632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 27, 2009, 01:55:47 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/27/video-the-implications-of-the-body-bomb/

Keep in mind that AQ will work to refine this.
9633  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 27, 2009, 08:56:36 AM
Fears over 'internal' terror bomb
By Frank Gardner
BBC security correspondent
Security and intelligence experts are deeply worried by a new development in suicide bombing, the BBC has learned.

It has emerged that an al-Qaeda bomber who died last month while trying to blow up a Saudi prince in Jeddah had hidden the explosives inside his body.

Only the attacker died, but it is feared that the new development could be copied by others.

Experts say it could have implications for airport security, rendering traditional metal detectors "useless".

Last month's bombing left people wondering how one of the most wanted al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia could get so close to the prince in charge of counter-terrorism that he was able to blow himself up in the same room.

Western forensic investigators think they have the answer, and it is worrying them profoundly.

The explosives, they believe, were detonated by mobile phone.

Peter Neuman of Kings College London says the case will be studied intensively, and that there are "tremendous implications for airport security with the potential of making it even more complicated to get on to your plane".

"If it really is true that the metal detectors couldn't detect this person's hidden explosive device, that would mean that the metal detectors as they currently exist in airports are pretty much useless," he said.

The bomber was a Saudi al-Qaeda fugitive who said he wanted to give himself up to the prince in person.

The prince took him at his word and gave him safe passage to his palace.

But there, once he got next to his target, the bomb inside him was detonated.

Miraculously the prince survived with minor injuries, but footage emerging this week shows a sizeable crater in the concrete floor and the bomber's body blown in half.

It is believed the force of the blast went downwards which is why only the bomber died.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8276016.stm

Published: 2009/09/26 01:23:46 GMT
9634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: September 27, 2009, 08:51:56 AM
I doubt many here that would want the power of the state used to interfere in the intimate affairs of consenting adults, just that we would avoid having the homosexual political agenda forced on us by the power of the state as well.
9635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: September 24, 2009, 09:42:17 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/24/school-indoctrination-video-retrieved/

If you don't want to have your kids indoctrinated like this, you must be raaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaaacist!
9636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: September 24, 2009, 09:37:38 PM
Where are all the left wing screamers? Remember "Boooooosh is shredding the constitution!!!!!"

Now all quiet.
9637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 24, 2009, 08:47:33 PM
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/092409dnmetbombarrest.1b177db8b.html


http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN2447383520090924


http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE58N6YT20090924
9638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud (ACORN et al), corruption etc. on: September 23, 2009, 07:56:02 PM
I can't wait until the discovery from the suit surfaces! Glad to see these dummies want to keep the story active.
9639  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 23, 2009, 11:13:50 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=8642956

Officials Worry NY Terror Plot 'Still Alive' as Case Broadens
Surveillance Teams "Stretched Thin" with More Than 24 Possible Suspects
By RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS
Sept. 22, 2009—


Law enforcement officials say the alleged terror plot against New York City may be "still alive" despite the arrest of its alleged ringleader, 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi of Denver, Colorado.

"I have never been so worried," said one senior law enforcement official with more than a dozen years of experience in counter-terrorism investigations.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE NEW YORK TERROR PLOT AND OTHER TERRORISM STORIES.

In Washington, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to law enforcement authorities urging vigilance at so-called "soft targets" including sports stadiums and luxury hotels.

ABCNews.com reported Monday that Zazi's computer contained information relating to New York area baseball and football stadiums and a video of Grand Central Terminal in New York.

Earlier, the FBI and Homeland Security had warned police about possible attacks on mass transit targets but said there was no evidence of any specific target or timing.

Law enforcement authorities tell ABCNews.com that more than 24 men in New York have been under watch at various times since Zazi's trip to the city on September 11.

One official said local and federal surveillance teams are "stretched thin" as authorities seek to track a group of young men allegedly recruited by Zazi following his return from an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan in January.

Click here to watch Zazi denying al Qaeda ties to television cameras.

Officials said some of the initial subjects had "washed out" but that others had emerged as "possible players."



Click here to watch Zazi returning home after a day of questioning.

Officials told ABCNews.com that Zazi had organized three distinct teams of four men each and that the investigation had led to more than ten others.

"This investigation is going forward aggressively," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday. "We are doing everything we can to protect the city."

Authorities cautioned there is always the possibility of the case "fizzling out," but for a tenth consecutive day, agents were attempting to find a garage or storage shed where they believe Zazi and others may have stored chemicals and bomb components.


Zazi is the Alleged Ringleader
Since a series of raids in New York and Denver, authorities say Zazi's alleged role as organizer and recruiter has come into sharper focus.

Zazi, who had lived in New York since he and his family arrived from Afghanistan in 1999, traveled to Peshawar, Pakistan in Aug. 2008.

According to an FBI affidavit filed in connection with his arrest, Zazi spent four and half months in Pakistan and received weapons and explosives training at an al Qaeda camp located near Peshawar.

Authorities tell ABCNews.com that several other men from the U.S. traveled with Zazi to Pakistan.

Upon his return to the U.S. on Jan. 15, Zazi moved to Denver and went to work at an airport shuttle van service.

Law enforcement authorities say he has been under FBI surveillance since then and that he traveled to New York at least one time before his September trip.

Authorities believe the earlier trip or trips to New York were designed to organize others he allegedly recruited for his network.
9640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: September 23, 2009, 10:59:20 AM
So when are you punching out, Crafty? AZ or NV?
9641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Fate of Rifqa Bary on: September 22, 2009, 12:37:17 PM
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=33638

The Fate of Rifqa Bary
by John Guandolo
Posted 09/22/2009 ET




Fathima Rifqa Bary may not be a household name to most Americans, but she may soon be the international symbol of society’s willful blindness to the dangers of Islamic radicalism already present.

Bary, a seventeen year-old high school student who previously lived in the Columbus, Ohio area, is of Sri Lankan decent and was raised in a Muslim home with her family in Ohio.  Over the last few years, Rifqa, as she is known among friends, was introduced to and chose to secretly convert to Christianity. 

During this summer, she saw growing threats to her safety developing within her family and within the local Muslim community of Columbus, and she fled Ohio to Florida, taking refuge with a pastor and his wife.  Rifqa Bary is a minor who continues to reside in Florida following the ruling of a Florida judge until further investigations can be conducted. 

This case has become a significant matter for both Ohio and Florida officials who are required to uphold the law and promote justice within the legal systems of the respective states.  In doing so, all parties involved are required to take an unconstrained look at the facts of the matter in order to make objective and lawful decisions about the fate of this young American girl. 

The facts are these:  (1) Rifqa Bary left Islam and converted to Christianity; (2) Ms. Bary has provided statements to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)  that her parents and others have threatened her life because she left Islam; (3) Ms. Bary claims there are requirements in Islamic Law calling for her killing as an apostate; (4) a due diligence search reveals authoritative English translations of Islamic Law are available to investigators seeking to review  it; (5) a review of Islamic Law reveals there are requirements and rules as to how apostates from Islam are to be dealt with (for instance, see The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, "Umdat al-Salik" also known as "Reliance of the Traveller" -- publicly available in English); and (6) Rifqa Bary’s parents appear to adhere to Islamic Law -- which is considered the “law of the land” in Islamic communities.   

An objective and fact-based analysis of this information logically and necessarily will lead to the conclusion that further investigation into this matter is required.  However, no such reviews or investigations have been conducted to date into the facts of the matter as described above.  Since these facts are ascertainable and knowable, the question must be asked: “Why do law enforcement entities and prosecutors in Florida not understand this?”

Have they, and we as a society, lost the ability to take an unconstrained look at objective facts and make decisions based on these facts?

Rifqa Bary’s parents directly told FDLE officials investigating the threat allegations there are no provisions in Islamic Law for “honor killings” for apostasy.  This statement seems to have been taken at face value without a due diligence effort to discover the knowable facts about this matter. 

The issues of “honor killings” and apostates -- those who leave Islam -- are discussed in detail within Islamic Law, and are two different subjects that should not be confused.  While it appears the phrase “honor killing” has been most prevalent in media and web reports on this matter, Rifqa Bary’s issue revolves around her decision to leave Islam, which has now been publicly declared -- making her an apostate under Islamic Law, which prescribes the penalty of death.  “Honor killings” -- a different Islamic concept -- applies to the public misbehavior of women.  So Bary’s family is correct: there are no “honor killings” of apostates: their death penalty is separately imposed and automatically so.

Further complicating this matter is the fact that the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Columbus (Ohio) and the Staff Attorney for CAIR were present during the interview of Mr. Bary by FDLE Investigators.  This raises serious questions since the FDLE report was silent on the fact that CAIR is a known Muslim Brotherhood entity and an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history - the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, which proved HLF is a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States.  The Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) creed is  "Allah is our goal; the Messenger is our guide: the Koran is our constitution; Jihad is our means; and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our highest inspiration," and their stated objective in America is a "Civilization-Jihad" to destroy the United States from within in order to implement Islamic Law here.

All of these material facts are relevant for two critical reasons.  First, they should be made known to all officials involved in this case as a matter of course. Secondly, it raises the question as to why law enforcement officials would allow the CAIR officials into the interview at all, in light of the fact they represent an organization objectively known to be hostile towards to the United States and unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history.  A review of the Muslim Brotherhood writings and approved Islamic legal texts also reveals the MB has strong positions on how apostates from Islam should be dealt with, and the requirements of Islam in these matters. 

Apostasy is specifically addressed in Peace and the Limits of War, written by Louay Safi, the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of North America's (ISNA) Leadership Development Council.  ISNA is a known Muslim Brotherhood entity and is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history - HLF.  Safi is also the former Executive Director of IIIT (Malaysia) and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists -- both known Muslim Brotherhood entities.   The book was published by IIIT and was approved by the Secretary General  of ISNA.  In it, Mr. Safi notes that individual apostates cannot be killed for a "quiet desertion of personal Islamic duties," but can be put to death as "just punishment" when the apostate deserts Islam publicly (p. 31).

As a matter of professional responsibility, anyone investigating this matter must seek out and understand these facts, and must remain open-minded in conducting an unconstrained analysis of these facts.  That is the professional responsibility of all men and women who are charged with the duties within the ranks of law enforcement, as well as those charged with prosecuting violations of U.S. and state law.  We take an oath to the Constitution which binds us to these duties, and we must be faithful to this oath.  Truth must prevail.

Mr. Guandolo is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former active duty Infantry/Reconnaissance Officer in the United States Marine Corps, and a former Special Agent of the FBI in Washington, D.C. for over 12 years. He currently advises the government on a variety of issues.
9642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FBI: Active terror cell aimed at “real deal” NYC attack on: September 21, 2009, 03:10:39 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/21/fbi-active-terror-cell-aimed-at-real-deal-nyc-attack/

FBI: Active terror cell aimed at “real deal” NYC attack

posted at 1:36 pm on September 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Two new reports from ABC and the Washington Post underscore the “real deal” nature of the al-Qaeda terror cell uncovered this month in a flurry of arrests and search warrants.  Sources within the investigation now claim that Najibullah Zazi left his fingerprints all over evidence that points to a terrorist attack, which may account for his reported flirtation with a plea bargain.  Others tell ABC that they haven’t yet identified all the plotters:
Investigators said they found notes describing how to make bombs in the handwriting of an airport shuttle driver arrested as part of a terrorism investigation, and they also discovered his fingerprints on materials — batteries and a scale — that could be used to make explosives.
The emerging details show that Najibullah Zazi, who has admitted receiving weapons training from al-Qaeda, played a direct role in an alleged terror plot, authorities said in court documents released Sunday. …
The FBI said it found images of nine pages of handwritten notes on a laptop containing formulas and instructions for making a bomb, detonators and a fuse.
Zazi told the FBI that he must h ave unintentionally downloaded the notes as part of a religious book he downloaded in August. Zazi said he “immediately deleted the religious book within days of downloading it after realizing that its contents discussed jihad.” However, an arrest affidavit says the handwriting on the notes appeared to be Zazi’s. The affidavit doesn’t mention that they were part of a book, but that they were e-mailed as an attachment between accounts believed owned by Zazi in December, including an account that originated in Pakistan.
“It appeared to be consistent with the handwriting as it appeared in the document,” an FBI agent wrote of comparisons of Zazi’s handwriting with the notes.
In addition, agents found Zazi’s fingerprints on a scale and double-A batteries seized during a raid at a home in the New York City borough of Queens on Sept. 14.
Zazi’s legal team denies that it discussed a plea bargain last week, but they may not have a lot of choice.  If the FBI sources are correct about this evidence, it will be very difficult for Zazi to argue to a jury of New Yorkers that plans for bombs from his e-mail as well as equipment for making them just wound up with his fingerprints by mistake.  Zazi isn’t OJ Simpson, and this won’t be a Los Angeles celebrity trial.
ABC offers this less optimistic update:
After overnight arrests this weekend in the alleged New York terror plot, FBI agents believe an active terror cell directed by al Qaeda was preparing an attack on New York City, and authorities say they have yet to identify everyone involved.
Officials say they do not have specifics on the potential targets of the alleged plot, and with so much still unknown, security in New York has been heightened.
A familiar face has joined the defense team for one of the arrested suspects:
Also arrested this weekend was Ahmed Afzali, who was apprehended in his Queens, NY home and charged with making false statements to federal agents. He is alleged to have falsely told authorities that he didn’t tell the Zazis he had been asked by officials about them.
Afzali’s attorney Ron Kuby told ABC News that his client, a respected imam at a Queens, NY mosque who had worked as a source for law enforcement in the past, was doing what authorities asked him to do.
“It was the government that went to him and said we need to know the whereabouts of Najibullah Zazi,” Kuby said. He said that Afzali then reached out to others to find Zazi, located and spoke to him, and then “duly reported this to the FBI.”
“Now the FBI claims he didn’t report everything, or he stated some details of the conversation wrong, so they arrest him,” Kuby said. ” So this is his reward for being a good member of the community.”
Kuby was a protege of William Kunstler, who made his reputation by defending radicals in the 1960s and 1970s.  It doesn’t surprise me to see Kuby on the defense in this case.  At the very least, the defendants will not be able to claim that they didn’t get adequate representation.
9643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / September Auto Sales Go Clunk on: September 21, 2009, 01:31:43 PM
http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZDYwYjIwMDMwMjFmY2YzMWVjOTdlYTI4OGI0YjhiNjA=

Friday, September 18, 2009



September Auto Sales Go Clunk   [Henry Payne]

When Congress gave away $3 billion for buyers to trade in their “clunkers” and buy new cars in August, lawmakers thrilled as buyers swamped showrooms to take advantage of the big discounts. “Cash for clunkers has captured the public’s attention . . . (it) has the possibility to truly jumpstart our economy,” said Rep. Candice Miller (R., Mich.). Other, more sober analysts, warned that the clunkers program was only stealing from future sales.

September sales are in, and sobriety can take a bow.

Edmunds.com reports that “September’s light-vehicle sales rate will fall to 8.8 million units . . . the lowest rate in nearly 28 years, tying the worst demand on record. After the cash-for-clunkers program boosted August sales to their first year-over-year increase since October 2007, demand has plunged. In at least the last 33 years, the U.S. seasonally adjusted annual rate has only dropped as low as 8.8 million units once — in December 1981 — with records stretching back to January 1976.”

“Many people regard February as the darkest month of the recession, but even then (sales were) higher, at 9.1 million units,” adds Edmunds.com statistician Zhenwei Zhou.

But sobriety comes hard for Washington. Now NHTSA says that, despite burdening manufacturers with $60 billion in new costs, its new 35.5 mpg fuel mandate will stimulate the economy by boosting auto sales by 65,480 vehicles through 2016 because Washington “expects stronger consumer demand for fuel-efficient models.” Sure.
9644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Jungian Psychology on: September 20, 2009, 09:00:29 AM
So what's your take on all of this, Crafty?
9645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: September 20, 2009, 08:38:23 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/18/AR2009091803046_pf.html

Shattered Confidence In Europe

By Ronald D. Asmus
Saturday, September 19, 2009



President Obama's decision to shelve the Bush administration's missile defense plans has created a crisis of confidence in Washington's relations with Central and Eastern Europe. The defense architecture the administration proposes may make more strategic sense in addressing the immediate Iranian threat. Nevertheless, it runs the risk of shattering the morale and standing of transatlantic leaders in the region who now feel politically undermined and exposed. The roots of this crisis lie less in missile defense than in policy failures over the past decade. Understanding and rectifying those errors is key to getting back on track with our allies.

Our first mistake was being overly optimistic about what would happen when these countries joined NATO and the European Union. We basically checked the box "mission accomplished." We assumed that Russia would finally accept that Central and Eastern Europe were gone from its sphere of influence and stop trying to interfere in their regional politics. But geopolitical competition didn't stop. Moscow simply tried to pressure and interfere in new ways, using energy and other weapons. It seeks to marginalize these countries in NATO and the European Union by going above their heads. It still wants to create a zone of special Russian interest, influence and lesser security.

The second mistake was poor handling of our commitment to defend Central and Eastern Europe counties under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. Given the low-threat environment, we decided NATO did not need to station troops in those countries' territory and pledged instead to create a reinforcement capability that could be used in times of crisis. I sat at the table in the mid-1990s as Washington promised Polish leaders that NATO would have a corps-size reinforcement capability to provide for their security.

But that NATO corps-size reinforcement capability never materialized. There are not even official defense plans for these countries. The power of Article 5 was always the fact that these commitments were backed up by planning, exercises and boots on the ground. Yet a lack of leadership and divisions within NATO prevented the alliance from fulfilling such pledges.

The alliance has also decayed in its role as the key crisis manager in Europe. Central and Eastern Europeans have watched as one ally after another has prevented NATO from acting over the past decade. NATO was AWOL during the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. When Georgian leaders quietly approached the alliance several months before hostilities, NATO demurred. When war broke out, the secretary general interrupted his vacation for one day to hold a meeting and issue a statement. NATO's supreme allied commander did not even do that much. The NATO Military Committee met only after the war was over. Hardly an inspiring performance.

Given this record, we should not be surprised that Central and Eastern Europeans doubt what NATO would do to help them in a pinch. While they are loath to say it publicly, their leaders have told me that they are no longer certain NATO is capable of coming to their rescue if there were a crisis involving Russia. They no longer believe that the political solidarity exists or that NATO's creaky machinery would take the needed steps.

Had we handled these issues differently, our debate about missile defense would be quite different. The Poles and Czechs bought into the Bush administration's plans for missile defense not because of Iranian missiles but because they were losing confidence in NATO. Atlanticist leaders were seeking additional security through an American military presence on their soil. That is why missile defense assumed a political significance in the region that transcended the merits of the actual program. And that is why abandoning the program has created a crisis of confidence.

We must take real steps toward solving this problem by providing strategic reassurance to Central and Eastern Europe through the front door of NATO and not the back door of missile defense. President Obama has already decided to push for defense plans for these countries. But a top-secret NATO defense plan in some safe in Brussels will not mollify Central and Eastern European anxieties. Their primary worry is not the prospect of an imminent Russian military attack but political intimidation or blackmail or a regional crisis that spins out of control. It is above all their lack of belief in our solidarity in the alliance.

That is why we need a broader package of political, economic and military measures that will reinforce that solidarity and provide reassurance. We also need to fix NATO so that it can again function as a crisis manager, as it did in the Balkans in the 1990s. Nothing prevents us from taking these steps. They do not contradict any of our commitments to Russia. They require only political imagination, will and a modest investment of resources. If we get that right, then the Obama administration's decision on missile defense can be a catalyst that helps us get this relationship back on track. If we don't, the crisis of confidence in the region will only deepen.

The writer, a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration, is executive director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Center at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. The views expressed here are his own.
9646  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 19, 2009, 10:36:23 PM
CCP,

Obama just sold out our allies in eastern europe. Things don't look good for Israel either, just as I predicted last year.
9647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 19, 2009, 10:30:10 PM
http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/09/brezinski_calls_for_obama_to_s.asp

Brezinski Calls for Obama to Shoot Down Israeli Jets; "A Liberty in Reverse"

In a little noticed interview with the Daily Beast (presumably little noticed because serious people don't read the Daily Beast), Zbigniew Brzezinski suggests that Barack Obama do more than just refuse to support an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites -- the American president must give the order to shoot down Israeli aircraft as they cross Iraqi airspace:


DB: How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in America’s worst interest?

Brzezinski: We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?

DB: What if they fly over anyway?

Brzezinski: Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse.


Contrary to Brezinski's half-hearted disclaimer that no one wishes for such an outcome, there are plenty on the left who would delight in a pitched battle between the United States and Israel. Democrats in Congress routinely support resolutions affirming Israel's right to take whatever steps it deems necessary to assure its own national defense. And Obama has at least paid lip service to the concept. But hostility to Israel among the rank and file is very real on the left -- and among "realists."

So conjure the image -- the Obama administration sending U.S. aircraft up to protect Iran's airspace and it's nuclear installations from an attack by a democracy that is one of America's closest allies. Unfortunately, this may not be so hard to imagine in Israel, where the number of people who believe Obama is pro-Israel is at just 4 percent -- and falling. And given Obama's (literally) submissive posture to the Saudis, his indulgence of the Iranians, and his simultaneously hard-line approach to Israel, it seems even some of Obama's supporters can savor the possibility of a "reverse Liberty."

Posted by Michael Goldfarb on September 19, 2009 03:38 PM
9648  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 19, 2009, 03:48:46 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=8618732

Terror Suspect's Computer Said to Show Sports Stadiums, Fashion Sites
Officials Report Denver Man Sent Texts Suggesting Attack Coming; 'Wedding Cake' Is Ready
By RICHARD ESPOSITO, BRIAN ROSS and CLAYTON SANDELL
Sept. 19, 2009—


A computer belonging to alleged al Qaeda suspect Najibullah Zazi showed he had researched baseball and football stadiums and sites used in the recent Fashion Week event in New York City, law enforcement officials tell ABCNews.com.

Zazi, 24, had been scheduled to spend a fourth day today being questioned by the FBI but his lawyer, Arthur Folsom, canceled the session.

"He has taken the day to consult with his client," said Wendy Aiello, a spokeswoman for the lawyer.

Zazi is not in custody, she said.

While officials say they do not know the targets of the alleged plot, the contents of Zazi's computer are considered a valuable insight into what he might have been planning.

After first denying any ties to al Qaeda, Zazi has now admitted certain ties developed during trips to Pakistan, law enforcement officials told ABCNews.com.

The officials said text messages sent by Zazi suggest the plot was nearing the attack phase. One message said the "wedding cake is ready," which authorities say may have been code to indicate the attack was ready. Al Qaeda operatives have frequently used references to weddings to disguise planned terror attacks.

Zazi's lawyer, Arthur Folsom, said his client was cooperating fully with the FBI during his long interrogation sessions. Folsom told ABCNews.com "no deal has been offered," but authorities say Zazi is preparing a "proffer" of information he would be prepared to testify about as part of a plea negotiation.

Zazi's computer was copied, or "mirrored," by FBI agents last weekend without Zazi's knowledge. His lawyer said the agents probably made the copy after towing away Zazi's car on an purported parking violation. The computer was in the car, and Zazi told his lawyer he discovered it had been tampered with when he retrieved the car at a police lot.

Authorities who have been briefed on elements of the alleged plot said it was a "varsity level" plan similar in scope to the 2005 attacks on London's subways and busses.

A recipe for homemade explosives found on Zazi's computer would have produced a bomb of the same size and type used in London, authorities said.

The suicide bombers in London used backpacks and plastic containers to carry the explosive mixtures.

Raids in New York led to the discovery of 14 new backpacks.

FBI agents in New York, Denver and other U.S. locations are "working around the clock" on the investigation, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The New York Daily News reported Saturday that seven New York men with ties to Zazi had unsuccessfully attempted to rent a large rental truck on Sept. 10, the day before Zazi arrived from Denver.

This story has been updated with information from Najibullah Zazi's lawyer.
9649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights on: September 19, 2009, 09:58:28 AM
I'd hope that the buying and selling of human beings pretty much invalidates any claim of states' rights.
9650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 18, 2009, 10:36:03 AM
Obama will support Israel just like he supports our other allies.....
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