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9851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: January 24, 2009, 09:19:36 AM
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3830

Chabad Lubavitch headquarters threatened with attack by NY based radical Muslim group

January 22, 2009
MIM: The Chabad Lubavitch movement posted this information on their website.

Threats Made Against 770

Tuesday, there was a huge police presence following threats that were made against the community on a Muslim blog • This morning, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly made a phone call to Chanina Sperlin from the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC, to discuss threats against 770 • Last week, the Department of Homeland Security sponsored the installation of security systems in and around 770 • Report & Photos


Along with the expected stir Inauguration day caused across the nation on Tuesday morning, Crown Heights residents saw a tremendous visible police presence following threats that were made against the community on a Muslim blog. This morning, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly made a phone call to Chanina Sperlin, vice president of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council from the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC, to discuss threats against 770.

The Commissioner is looking into the situation," said Sperlin, "The Crown Heights community was considered a target in the past, and whether or not this is serious remains to be seen." Sperlin also received phone calls from members of the joint terrorism task force and FBI, who assured him that the community does not have to worry, the FBI and NYPD are working together to ensure a major security presence is located in and around Crown Heights.

The site, www.revolutionmuslim.com which featured the threat is run by Yousef Al-Khattab, a New York City cab driver who operates the extremist Islamic anti-American Web site that features violent images on a daily basis: From the Statue of Liberty, with an ax blade cutting through her side; to a video mocking the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl, entitled "Daniel Pearl I am Happy Your Dead "; or the latest speech from Sheikh Abdullah Faisal, an extremist Muslim cleric convicted in the UK and later deported for soliciting the murder of non-Muslims.

The latest - a cartoon-like image depicting 770 Eastern Parkway, Lubavitch World Headquarters, as a target in retaliation for Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Formerly known as Joseph Cohen, al-Khattab is an American-born Jew who converted to Islam after attending an Orthodox Rabbinical school, which he later described as a "racist cult."

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

A mobile command center was be stationed in front of 770, and many more cops are being sent to patrol the neighborhood streets.

Alert blogger notifies authorities

According to the TheCoolJew, a Lubavitcher blogger, he got an e-mail from Devorah who runs the blog ShiratDevorah. "She sent us a link to a post she found about a Muslim who wants to attack 770". The blogger took this very seriously and forwarded the E-mail to the proper authorities.

Security Systems Installed in 770

Unrelated to this specific threat, work to install security systems in and around 770, was commenced last week. The security systems, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security includes many high tech video cameras, and other systems which Chabad.info was told not to publish for obvious reasons.

In the first stage of the new initiative to revamp security at 770, consultants, including representatives of the F.B.I. as well as a group from the Israeli embassy surveyed the perimeter of 770, and produced a proposal for measures to be taken to further secure the building.

Four cameras have already been installed in different spots around the building.

http://chabad.info/index_old.php?url=article_en&id=13655

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

MIM: The Board of Directors of Revolution Muslim with a picture and phone number of Youssef Al-Khattab aka Joseph Cohen.

Shaikh Abdullah El-Faisal   Imam and Spiritual Advisor
2   Yousef Al-Khattab   Amir and Chief Executive Officer
3   Younus Abdullah Muhammad   Executive Officer for Media and Marketing
4   Sipa Salar   Executive Officer for Research and Development
http://www.revolutionmuslim.com/directors

718-312-8203



http://www.revolutionmuslim.com/yousef-al-khattab/22-josephcohenakayusufkhattabajewconvertedtoislam

MIM: The mission statement of Revolution Muslim.
Allah says in the Quran:

"Let there rise from amongst you group(s) who invite others to the khair(Islam), command the good, and forbid the evil, and they are the ones who are successful." [3:104]


Revolution Muslim is a message and movement grounded in the sayings, deeds, actions and understanding of Ahlus Sunnah wal jama'ah (The collective body of those Muslims that adhere to the ways of the Prophet (SAWS) and the first four generations of Muslims). Revolution Muslim's purpose is to invite people to proper Islam (Aqeedah (creed) + Shariah (path)) and command the good (justice and peace), while forbidding the falsehood (lies and deceptions) of society. Our mission is to one day see the Muslims united under one Khalifah and under the commands of Allah (SWT). We focus on educating Muslims and Non-Muslims alike about the actuality of the religion and thereby work to preserve traditional Islamic values for Muslims across the globe. We pray that we may witness the dismantlement of western, secular dominance across the world as we hold it to be pagan and idolatrous in the majority of its presumptions. We seek a resurrection of the just example set forth by centuries of Islamic rule throughout the ages and we hold it to be self evident for the objective soul and mind that Allah is One and that Muhammad ibn Abdullah is His Prophet and that the religion offers the solution to all of the world's ills and afflictions.




Allah says:

They wish to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will not agree except that He will perfect His light, even if the disbelievers hate it. It is He Who has sent His Noble Messenger with guidance and the true deen (way of life), in order that it may prevail over all other ways of life - even though the polytheists hate it. [9:32-33]


Our mission is to preserve actual Islamic culture by presenting it to the society and entering it into the hearts and minds of the people. Islam is a great religion of monotheism founded on the principles of increased knowledge, justice, charity and public service. Unfortunately, much of the rich history of the religion has been obscured. We hypothesize that the aforementioned reality is largely the result of changing cultural states, and a weakness never before witnessed in the ummah. Our activities include but are not limited to:



1) To call people to the Oneness of Allah (God), the Creator and the religion of Islam.

2) To support the dawa of our beloved Sheikh Abdullah Al-Faisal, recently released from prison and secure in Jamaica preaching the religion and serving as our spiritual guide


3) To educate Muslims and Non-Muslims alike about Islamic religious, social, political, economic, and cultural history and traditions in an effort to preserve cultural identity, religious affiliation, and neighborhood understanding.


4) To distribute physical, mental and spiritual charity to the poor and underprivileged people of New York City but especially to the immigrant Muslim population who may be largely unaware of the social service system of the city.


5) To produce a literary journal and other bodies of literature that explore and examine present Islamic issues.


6) To establish a community center where the aforementioned purposes may be better realized and lectures, conferences, presentations and other educational and religious gatherings may occur. http://www.revolutionmuslim.com/mission

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3830
9852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: January 24, 2009, 08:50:43 AM
http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticlePrinterFriendly&uStory_id=4c68e13b-fb18-4706-9e11-853eb2a8e2ea

Hillel, Jewish organizations heighten security measures

By: Christina Salter

Posted: 1/22/09

Recent threats made to Chicago-area synagogues have motivated several Evanston and Northwestern Jewish organizations to increase security measures.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, two synagogues and a Jewish school were vandalized on Jan. 10. The graffiti included hate messages directed at Israel for its invasion of the Gaza Strip.

A week before, bomb threats were made to several Chicago-area Jewish schools. And on Dec. 29, a man threw a Molotov cocktail at the outside wall of Temple Sholom of Chicago, 3480 N. Lake Shore Drive.

The string of events in the area, combined with the ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestine, sparked conversation over security practices at Jewish centers and synagogues in Evanston. The Fiedler Hillel Center, 629 Foster St., implemented new measures starting this week, said assistant director Cydney Topaz.

Hillel will now use a buzzer system at the front door, requiring any person entering the building to be buzzed in. In addition, any visitors will need to identify themselves while entering the building, Topaz said.

"We definitely wanted to be proactive," she said. "Our main goal is to ensure the safety of the students."

Hillel staff made the decision to up security after conversations with community partners, students and board members, Topaz said. Hillel also worked with University Police to make the changes, which will be permanent.

Student workers at Hillel were trained for the new security measures Sunday, and first implemented the procedure Monday, said Lindsey Traiman, a Hillel student staff member. The buzzer system hasn't bothered students at all, the Weinberg freshman said.

"It's definitely important to do, and in no way a hassle," Traiman said.

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, director of the Tannenbaum Chabad House, 2014 Orrington Ave., said that in light of the recent attacks in Israel and Gaza, and incidents in Chicago, he is thankful nothing has occurred in the immediate area. NU cultural and religious groups value a "high level of discourse," which has prevented any hostilities from arising on campus, he said.

The Chabad House already had "very good" security measures in place, including a buzzer system, Klein said. Klein is also the senior police chaplain with the Evanston Police Department, and said he has always been aware of necessary security measures year-round.

The only recent change concerning the Chabad House has been a heightened police presence, which has occurred at many Jewish facilities in Evanston, Klein said.

"The vigilance of the Evanston and NU police departments has helped keep security up in this area," he said.

Area synagogues have noticed the increased police presence, too.

The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, 303 Dodge Ave., has had a buzzer and security camera system in place for years, said Jill Persin, administrative assistant to the clergy. The synagogue is now putting in place additional security at events, she said.

"There's only so much you can do," Persin said. "We're just keeping our eyes certainly wider and we're just fortunate that the Evanston Police Department is in tune with it."

c-salter@northwestern.edu
9853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: January 24, 2009, 08:19:23 AM
I think things could get very ugly very quickly in China. All it will take is the right spark.
9854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama 'declared end' to war on terror: media on: January 23, 2009, 08:05:39 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090123/pl_afp/usattacksjusticepoliticsobamasign/print;_ylt=AuIoQulg7kEXYlvMD2S9_FCtOrgF

Obama 'declared end' to war on terror: media

Fri Jan 23, 6:58 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama "declared an end" to his predecessor's "war on terror" and began to heal the US reputation abroad when he ordered the Guantanamo Bay prison to close, US editorialists wrote Friday.
Obama's order to close the detention facility within a year, end coercive interrogations and shut secret overseas CIA prisons sent a strong signal to the world and presented a new post-September 11 era, wrote The Washington Post.
"President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects," the Post said.
"With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the 'war on terror,' as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the US government in battling its enemies will not be limitless," it said.
"In a broad swipe at the Bush administration's lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after September 11, 2001," the Post added.
"It was a swift and sudden end to an era that was slowly drawing to a close anyway, as public sentiment grew against perceived abuses of government power."
The Los Angeles Times pointed out the ambiguities that remain: it was still not clear what would be done about the 245 prisoners languishing in the jail, nor how their court cases would be resolved.
But the paper hailed Obama for having reversed Bush policies.
"President Obama has begun the rehabilitation of this country's reputation when it comes to the treatment of suspected terrorists," the Times wrote.
"Obama deserves credit for ending the worst of the Bush administration's excesses in the 'war on terror' ... But the orders contain ambiguities that demonstrate how hard it will be to unwind the tangle that President Bush created."
The Chicago Tribune mulled the possibility of holding the remaining Guantanamo terror suspects "as prisoners of war for the duration of the conflict or until they no longer pose a threat."
The fight against violent extremism remains fraught with difficulty, it noted.
"Assuring fairness and civilized conditions for the accused, while protecting the nation from bloodthirsty enemies, is harder in this war than in most," the Tribune wrote.
"But the new administration can do better than the last one did."
9855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 23, 2009, 07:58:00 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090123/pl_afp/usattacksjusticepoliticsobamasign/print;_ylt=AuIoQulg7kEXYlvMD2S9_FCtOrgF

Obama 'declared end' to war on terror: media

Fri Jan 23, 6:58 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama "declared an end" to his predecessor's "war on terror" and began to heal the US reputation abroad when he ordered the Guantanamo Bay prison to close, US editorialists wrote Friday.
Obama's order to close the detention facility within a year, end coercive interrogations and shut secret overseas CIA prisons sent a strong signal to the world and presented a new post-September 11 era, wrote The Washington Post.
"President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects," the Post said.
"With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the 'war on terror,' as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the US government in battling its enemies will not be limitless," it said.
"In a broad swipe at the Bush administration's lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after September 11, 2001," the Post added.
"It was a swift and sudden end to an era that was slowly drawing to a close anyway, as public sentiment grew against perceived abuses of government power."
The Los Angeles Times pointed out the ambiguities that remain: it was still not clear what would be done about the 245 prisoners languishing in the jail, nor how their court cases would be resolved.
But the paper hailed Obama for having reversed Bush policies.
"President Obama has begun the rehabilitation of this country's reputation when it comes to the treatment of suspected terrorists," the Times wrote.
"Obama deserves credit for ending the worst of the Bush administration's excesses in the 'war on terror' ... But the orders contain ambiguities that demonstrate how hard it will be to unwind the tangle that President Bush created."
The Chicago Tribune mulled the possibility of holding the remaining Guantanamo terror suspects "as prisoners of war for the duration of the conflict or until they no longer pose a threat."
The fight against violent extremism remains fraught with difficulty, it noted.
"Assuring fairness and civilized conditions for the accused, while protecting the nation from bloodthirsty enemies, is harder in this war than in most," the Tribune wrote.
"But the new administration can do better than the last one did."
9856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: January 23, 2009, 07:57:09 PM
The empty suit is busy surrendering to al qaeda, so why not put political hacks in place in the CIA and DHS? What could possibly go wrong?
9857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: January 23, 2009, 02:19:24 PM
Al qaeda has fatwas authorizing the killing of millions of Americans, half of those to be children. That's their legal system. When Obama's pandering to his base gets our innocents killed, will the left be outraged?
9858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 23, 2009, 08:51:19 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/23/freed-gitmo-terrorist-now-network-leader/

Freed Gitmo terrorist now network leader
posted at 9:05 am on January 23, 2009 by Ed Morrissey   


Yesterday, Barack Obama signed an order pledging to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay within in a year, but without offering a solution for the current detainees.  That little detail takes on a little more significance after today’s report in the New York Times about the career of a released Gitmo inmate.  After getting sprung from Gitmo, Said al-Shihri became a leader of the al-Qaeda network in Yemen:

The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.

The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.

His status was announced in an Internet statement by the militant group and was confirmed by an American counterterrorism official.

“They’re one and the same guy,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he was discussing an intelligence analysis. “He returned to Saudi Arabia in 2007, but his movements to Yemen remain unclear.”

The war on terror is no game.  These people intend to kill us in large numbers, and unless we take that seriously, they will succeed.  It’s not the same as using the exclusionary rule to return a burglar to the streets rather than offend tender sensibilities because someone filled out a warrant incorrectly.  Al-Qaeda is not the Gambino crime family, and a law-enforcement approach will not defeat them — as the entire decade of the 1990s proved.

How did Shirhi get released?  He told the Gitmo tribunals that he only traveled to Iran and Afghanistan to get carpets for his family’s store.  The Pentagon’s dossier on Abu Sayyaf showed that he trained at a terrorist camp outside of Kabul, went to Iran to bring extremists into Afghanistan, and wanted to assassinate a writer on which a mullah had placed a fatwa for his writings.  Shihri was fortunate that his review came at a time when the Bush administration was getting enormous pressure to reduce the number of inmates at Gitmo, and Shihri went into the Saudi rehab program.  A year later, Shihri disappeared — and now he’s running the AQ network in Yemen.

Half of the remaining detainees come from Yemen, and would have to be returned to Yemen.  The Yemenis have allowed terrorist suspects to break out of prison or have set them free on their own recognizance repeatedly.  The Yemen branch of AQ has grown, and the addition of more than a hundred Gitmo detainees will only assist in that process.
9859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Change! Obama disses heroes on: January 22, 2009, 08:39:48 PM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Obama Snubs Medal of Honor Recipients
Posted By Mr. Wolf On January 22, 2009 @ 10:46 am In . Column1 01, History, Media, Politics, US News | 42 Comments

Here it is less than 72 hours into a new administration and the blogs have already been burning up the internet over a major snub by our new president.

What is the slight that they’re feeling? What’s got them all bunched up? A party — one the new president failed to show up for.

Every four years during inauguration evening (the galas began in 1809), groups vie for a visit from the incoming president, his wife, and anyone from his ticket. For decades, the “official” and “unofficial” galas have hoped to get a short visit from the president. He would take a few turns on the dance floor, say a few words to those gathered, and move on to the next one. Typically, these galas and balls consist of groups of people that have a common theme or background — from youth groups (H.O.P.E. Inaugural Youth Ball) to the National Council on Women ball. Which ones the new president attends say much about his priorities (right or wrong) and which demographics he may hold in high esteem.

In this case, the American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, as well as other veteran’s groups, were sponsoring their gala that has coincided with the inaugural evening since Eisenhower took office in 1953. In total, nine presidents and 56 years have gone by, and each inaugural evening the new president arrived to thank the veterans and Medal of Honor recipients in attendance. As one of the “unofficial” balls, it meant quite a bit to have the president show up and make an appearance.

Except this time.

The president and first lady, for the first time in those ensuing 56 years, did not make an appearance at the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball. In attendance at the gala were 48 of the 99 living recipients of our nation’s highest honor. Of the 99 who are still with us, not even half are in any condition or possess the wherewithal to travel to such an event. And by the next inauguration, likely half of those won’t be with us.

Making this evening even more special was the fact that it is the 50th anniversary of the Medal of Honor Society, which has been working hard to reach out to people to educate them about its members.

The new president’s perceived “slights” against the military have made veterans and military members quite sensitive to how President Obama treats them. From calling for a pullout from Iraq during the campaign to forgoing a visit to injured GWOT vets in Germany, we have kept an eye on his every move and decision with regards to our nation’s finest. This “change” appears to have set the tone for the rest of his administration. To forgo a tradition of greeting the veterans who’ve received the highest honor in order to attend galas featuring Hollywood elites was just a bit too much to bear.

Even in his inaugural address to the nation, he mentioned the sacrifices of veterans of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, but failed to mention (or deliberately ignored) the veterans of our current sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. That gives more credence to the feeling that he just no longer cares about the sacrifices being made on behalf of our country and the service that so many Americans have made over the years.

In the blogsphere, reaction was swift and vocal. At the blog [1] This Ain’t Hell But You Can See It from Here, which was one of the first to post on this issue, writer “TSO” writes about his getting to meet and interview six of the Medal of Honor recipients at the gathering. He was there to meet the heroes and also to get a chance to see the president (given the former tradition of his attending). Jonn Lilyea, of the same blog, then calls attention to the fact that the president did not attend. The negative comments were swift in coming, with most of them being unprintable.

In a fair and just world this country would accept no excuse and no reason for this snub and he’d be held in scorn for this. But since he has no honor, nor do many/most of his supporters they’ll overlook this issue. (Shovelhead)

And that was just one of the nicer ones.

From commenters at [2] Ace of Spades:

The judgment question isn’t that he should’ve gone to this and didn’t; it’s that he could’ve gone to this and didn’t. (Firehorse)

Little Green Footballs had over one thousand comments on the issue. Suffice it to say, none were any prettier than those above.

The fact that all the other presidents, of both parties, were able to attend the ball and not be seen as choosing Hollywood and rappers over sacrifice and honor says volumes about our new president and the direction he is taking us.

Two days into his job as president and he’s already got a lot of ground to make up with those who truly count — the ones who’ve laid down their lives for their country.

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

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-snubs-medal-of-honor-recipients/

URLs in this post:
[1] This Ain’t Hell But You Can See It from Here: http://www.thisainthell.us/
[2] Ace of Spades: http://pajamasmedia.comwww.ace.mu.nu
9860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: January 22, 2009, 08:00:42 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1126556/Muslim-cleric-tells-Australians-Husbands-allowed-rape-beat-wives.html?ITO=1490

Muslim cleric tells Australians: 'Husbands should be allowed to rape and beat their wives'
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 1:16 PM on 22nd January 2009


A Muslim cleric has sparked outrage by telling his followers it is acceptable to rape and beat their wives.

Samir Abu Hamza, who runs an Islamic centre in Melbourne, ridiculed Australian laws banning forced sex within marriage.

Hamza told a male audience in Sydney: 'Amazing, how can a person rape his wife?'

He added that wives must immediately respond to their husbands' sexual demands.

The firebrand preacher also said a man was entitled to use 'limited force' as a last resort to punish a disobedient wife.


Hamza told a male audience in Sydney: 'Amazing, how can a person rape his wife?'


Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

He explained: 'After you have advised them for a long, long time, then you smack them, you beat them and - please brothers, calm down - the beating that the Muhammad showed is like the toothbrush that you use to brush your teeth.'

'You are not allowed to bruise them; you are not allowed to make them bleed,' he added in a video of the 2003 lecture in Sydney recently posted online.

'You don't go and grab a broomstick and say that is what Allah has said.'

In another online sermon, Hamza branded Australians 'boozers who are hooked on gambling and prostitution'.

The cleric urged followers to spread the word of Islam to save Australians.

'They think happiness can be achieved by being intoxicated, by going to the casino and blowing your money away, by going from one prostitute to the other,' he said.

'They don't know what life is all about, that's why they are on the booze, why they are binge drinking... why unfortunately suicide has skyrocketed, murder, anxiety and depression.'

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemned Hamza's comments about marriage, insisting that violence towards women was not permissible under any circumstances.

He said: 'Australia will not tolerate these sort of remarks. They don't belong in modern Australia, and he should stand up, repudiate them, and apologise.'

Joumanah El Matrah, the executive of the Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria state, said Hazma's comments were 'a grossly inappropriate representation of both the Quran and Muslim views on violence, both in wife beating and rape'.

'I don't like to use the word extremism, but certainly his views are outdated and a minority view that is insistent on seeing women as less human than men, she said.

Sherene Hassan, the vice president of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said research has found that some imams in Australia share Hamza's stance on domestic violence.

She said the council will hold a series of workshops aimed at changing those views.

Conflicts between mainstream Australia and its fast-growing Muslim minority, who number 400,000 in a population of 21 million, have gained a higher profile in recent years.

Australia's former mufti, Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, created a furor in 2006 which split the Islamic community with a lecture in Sydney in which he compared women who do not wear head scarves to 'uncovered meat' and said immodestly dressed women invite rape.

Mr Hamza, born in Lebanon, moved to Australia as a youth with his parents.

He has delivered contradictory lectures, at times telling his followers they should be grateful to live in Australia because it had a fair system of justice, welfare safety nets and the rights for individuals to express their views.

Tensions between Muslim and non-Muslim youths erupted into days of rioting at Sydney's Cronulla beach in late 2005.
9861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: January 22, 2009, 03:13:21 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/algeria/4294664/Al-Qaeda-cell-killed-by-Black-Death-was-developing-biological-weapons.html

Al-Qaeda cell killed by Black Death 'was developing biological weapons'
An al-Qaeda cell killed by the Black Death may have been developing biological weapons when it was infected, it has been reported.
 
Last Updated: 6:10PM GMT 20 Jan 2009
The group of 40 terrorists were reported to have been killed by the plague at a training camp in Algeria earlier this month.
It was initially believed that they could have caught the disease through fleas on rats attracted by poor living conditions in their forest hideout.
But there are now claims the cell was developing the disease as a weapon to use against western cities.
Experts said that the group was developing chemical and biological weapons.
Dr Igor Khrupinov, a biological weapons expert at Georgia University, told The Sun: "Al-Qaeda is known to experiment with biological weapons. And this group has direct communication with other cells around the world.
"Contagious diseases, like ebola and anthrax, occur in northern Africa. It makes sense that people are trying to use them against Western governments."
Dr Khrupinov, who was once a weapons adviser to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, added: "Instead of using bombs, people with infectious diseases could be walking through cities."
It was reported last year that up to 100 potential terrorists had attempted to become postgraduate students in Britain in an attempt to use laboratories.
Ian Kearns, from the Institute for Public Policy Research, told the newspaper: "The biological weapons threat is not going away. We're not ready for it."
9862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Bush Presidency on: January 22, 2009, 09:38:27 AM
Defender In Chief   
By Ion Mihai Pacepa
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 22, 2009

Now that President George W. Bush is out of office, America will start taking a more objective look at him. When the real history of our days is written, he will surely be considered one of America’s great leaders.

For one thing, George W. Bush is the only post-World War II president who won a major war. History will decide if it was wise or not for the U.S. to go to war against Iraq. But that war was not just President Bush’s war. It was America’s war, authorized by 296 House members and 76 U.S. senators, and the president’s duty was to win it. Americans are proud people who love their country and won every military conflict—until the wars against communist expansion. In 1776, 1782 and 1812, the Americans faced Great Britain, the most powerful empire in the world at that time, and they came out victorious every time. In 1846 Mexico attacked the United States and was soundly defeated. In 1898 the United States decimated the belligerent Spanish fleet and forced Spain to sue for peace. Toward the end of World War I, in which over 40 million Europeans were killed, the United States quickly put together an army of four million and became instrumental in defeating the German aggressor. During World War II, President Truman won an outstanding victory against the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis. Afterward, he and his fellow Americans rebuilt their vanquished enemies, and that made the United States the uncontested leader of the world.

Unfortunately, that was it. Two U.S. presidents were unable to win the war in Korea, and three others butchered the war in Vietnam. Consequently, some Americans began turning against their country’s own wars. By 1968, anti-Vietnam War protesters in the U.S. numbered almost seven million. They came to regard their government, not communism, as the enemy. That damaged the U.S. foreign policy consensus, poisoned domestic debate in the US, and built a credibility gap between the United States and the rest of the world that is today still wide and deep.

At the beginning of our war in Iraq, President Bush followed in the steps of his post-World War II predecessors, and also bungled the war. But he woke up and stood strong against the members of the U.S. Congress who could not remember that war was a matter of life and death and that it could not be approved today and disapproved tomorrow. The war in Iraq was not a popular war—no war has ever been. But now Iraq, on its way from tyranny to a sui generis democracy, is a model for that part of the world, and America is a victor again for the first time in over half a century.

History will also credit President Bush with demolishing the appeasement policy toward dictators practiced by his last two democratic predecessors. Tyrants loathe appeasers. On April 12, 1978, I was in the car with my former boss, communist dictator Ceausescu, driving away from the White House. He took a bottle of alcohol and splashed it all over his face, after having been affectionately kissed by President Carter in the Oval Office. “Peanut-head,” my former boss whispered disgustedly. I will also never forget the memorable day of July 1979, when President Carter affectionately kissed Leonid Brezhnev on both cheeks during their first encounter in Vienna. Or the days in 2000 when Yasser Arafat, an unrepentant terrorist who received his orders from the KGB—and from my Romanian DIE—got the red carpet treatment at the White House. But that was then. On December 14, 2003, the whole world clapped when U.S. soldiers pulled a scruffy looking, scared Saddam Hussein out of the rat hole he was hiding in. Muhammad Qaddafi, another bloody tyrant, got the message, and he immediately surrendered his nuclear and bacteriological weapons.

Restoring respect for the United States flag is another major achievement President Bush should be given credit for. After World War II the American flag became an international symbol of freedom and democracy, and the communist intelligence community, to which I belonged in my other life, used the unpopular Vietnam War to obliterate that belief. “Blue Star” was the code name of that operation, which enjoyed huge success among European leftists. Unfortunately, a few spoiled Americans, who could not even imagine what life under communist terror might be like, also started regarding the Stars and Stripes, not the hammer and sickle, as their enemy. An outbreak of American flag burning and other forms of flag desecration erupted around the world. Over 1,000 such cases were prosecuted in the U.S., igniting strong demands to adopt a constitutional amendment making the desecration of the U.S. flag a crime. But President Bush restored the respect for the U.S. flag the old-fashioned way: he and every member of his cabinet started wearing it on their lapel, and most of the country followed step.

Two days after September 11, 2001, my wife and I landed in Berlin. We were having lunch with friends at the enormous KaDeWe department store, and I wandered off to get some food for dinner. The manager came up to me and asked if I was an American, noticing the American flag on my lapel. “Champagne for everyone,” he ordered, when I told him I had just flown over from the U.S. “Without America and the Airlift, we would now be speaking Russian,” he explained. Now more and more people around the world once again see the American flag as the symbol of freedom and democracy.

Protecting America from international terrorism is another outstanding accomplishment of President Bush’s. Before he took office, the U.S. was repeatedly hit by terrorists. The devastating car bomb attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut (241 servicemen killed), the destruction of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (301 killed, over 5,000 injured), and the attack on the destroyer USS Cole (17 killed) are just some of those hits. A few months after President Bush was inaugurated, 2,998 people were killed in the infamous suicide attack on the World Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon. But, once again, that was it.

Only weeks after September 11, President Bush started a devastating war against al-Qaeda, and he was also instrumental in reorganizing our intelligence community to face this 21st century plague. No other terrorist attack on the U.S. has taken place since then, although other countries—Great Britain and Spain among them—had been hit hard. This is another achievement for which President Bush has yet to be given the credit he deserves.

The 2008 Democratic National Convention was entirely focused on denigrating President Bush. Even some Republicans have not been kind to him. President Bush did, indeed, leave a lot to be desired. No American president has ever been perfect. But defending the security of the United States and its prestige around the world is the first and foremost task of any president, and history will certify that President Bush accomplished it exceedingly well.

I paid with two death sentences—from Romania—for the privilege of becoming an American, and I have dedicated my new life to helping defend this unique country. In 1988, when I became a U.S. citizen, I closed the few words I spoke as a sign of my gratitude with the last paragraph of “The American Creed” by William Tyler Page, a descendent of Carter Braxton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and of the tenth U.S. President John Tyler, who for many years served as president general of the United States Flag Association: “It is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.” That is exactly what President Bush did.

Lt. Gen. Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the Soviet bloc. His newest book is Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination.
9863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 21, 2009, 09:52:33 PM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/WEnotrich1.wav

Who says Obama voters don't understand economics.....
9864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: January 21, 2009, 09:30:35 PM
http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2001b/pr271-01.html

MAYOR GIULIANI AND POLICE COMMISSIONER KERIK HONOR THE MEMBERS
OF THE NYPD INVOLVED IN BREEZY POINT JETTY RESCUE


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today joined Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik to honor members of the New York City Police Department responsible for the daring air lift rescue of three fishermen trapped on the Rockaway Point jetty in Breezy Point, Queens yesterday.

"Despite high waves, strong rip tides and windy conditions, these officers worked together to bring three men to safety," Mayor Giuliani said. "Thanks to the teamwork and resourcefulness of these members of the NYPD, a tragedy was averted. Yesterday's rescue mission demonstrates the bravery and commitment of our uniformed personnel to preserving the lives of all New Yorkers."

Police Commissioner Kerik said, "Due to the superb training of these officers, what could have been a tragedy was a text-book example of an Air-Sea Rescue. These officers demonstrated the best of the NYPD with their skill and professionalism. I am happy to join the Mayor and the rest of New York City in cheering these officers for their selfless acts of bravery during this extraordinary rescue."

Shortly after 4:30 PM yesterday, the crew of an FDNY launch spotted three men stranded on the Breezy Point jetty amid pounding waves, and made a report to the NYPD. Within minutes, an NYPD Aviation Air-Sea rescue team and NYPD harbor launch were dispatched to rescue the three men who had ventured out onto the 500-foot jetty to go fishing. Two police officers, Thomas Kelly and John Dalton, dove into the water from the helicopter with life vests to try to swim the three men to the safety of the harbor launch. Detective Alan Kane, using an inflatable boat, tried to assist the divers with a sea rescue. However, the high waves pounded Police Officer Kelly against the jetty rocks, injuring his left knee, and made a water rescue impossible. While Officer Kelly swam to the harbor launch, Officer Dalton led the three men onto the top of a 25-metal light tower at the end of the jetty. Sgt. Kelly Fitzpatrick dislocated his shoulder while helping Officer Kelly board the harbor launch in the heavy surf.

The NYPD Air Sea Rescue 12 helicopter, piloted by Detective James Lagarenne and co-piloted by Lt. Glenn Daley, was steadied in the high winds so that the crew could lower a sling harness to the tower. While Officer Dalton secured each man, one at a time into the harness, Officer Fernando Almeida guided the winch cable and Officer Patrick Corbett kept the harness from being swept away by the waves.

Once the three men were safely on board, the helicopter flew them to shore where they were treated by EMS personnel. The helicopter then returned to the light tower to pick up Officer Dalton.

Officer Kelly was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was treated for a bruised knee. Sergeant Fitzpatrick was also taken to Jamaica Hospital to be treated for a dislocated shoulder.

The Mayor presented certificates of recognition to Detective James Lagarenne, the helicopter pilot; Lt. Glenn Daley, the co-pilot; Police Officer Fernando Almeida, helicopter crew; Police Officer Patrick Corbett, helicopter crew; Police Officer John Dalton, diver; and Police Officer Thomas Kelly, diver. Sgt. Kelly Fitzpatrick and Detective Alan Kane were not present for the press conference, but also received certificates of recognition.


www.nyc.gov
9865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: January 21, 2009, 09:23:21 PM
https://nydailynews.com/archives/news/2006/07/31/2006-07-31_finest_s_fabulous_flyboys__n.html

FINEST'S FABULOUS FLYBOYS. NYPD HELICOPTER PILOTS' SKILL, COURAGE SAVES DROWNING WOMAN
BY PATRICE O'SHAUGHNESSY DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, July 31th 2006, 1:34AM

Hero of the Month spotlights those men and women, civil servants and civilians, who go beyond the call of duty to make New York a better place.

POLICE OFFICERS Devin Buonanno and Dennis DeRienzo were patrolling in a sleek Agusta A119 helicopter, checking the city's bridges and railyards - potential terror targets - when they got a call of a body floating in the Harlem River.
From 1,400 feet above the World Trade Center site, they zoomed up to the Bronx and lowered the aircraft to search the water.
Amid floating debris in the middle of the rain-swollen river, the face of a woman - alive, but seemingly fading fast - appeared. There was no time to wait for the special rescue chopper.
The cops used a combination of DeRienzo's steady hands and calm expertise at piloting and Buonanno's strong grip and derring-do as he perched on the helicopter's skid to save the woman and bring her safely to shore.
For the July 5 rescue, DeRienzo and Buonanno are the Daily News Heroes of the Month.
It was about 5 p.m., two hours into their shift, when they heard the call of a "floater." Police units on land had been told a woman had jumped in the river, but they couldn't see anyone in the water.
The two cops responded, Buonanno at the controls. They searched the water between the Alexander Hamilton and University Heights bridges but couldn't find anything - but a witness kept insisting to cops that someone was in there.
Then Buonanno spotted the face. He made a left turn and transferred the controls to DeRienzo, the unit's chief pilot and flight instructor. Buonanno grabbed a life vest for the victim.
DeRienzo, who flew helicopters in the Marine Corps, hovered close above the woman, who was later identified as Iris Jimenez, 61. She had entered the water on the Manhattan side and now was in the middle of the river.
"She was exhausted, trying to keep her head up," said Buonanno, 37. "She wasn't able to get her hands or arms above the water for me to grab her."
"We couldn't wait for the air/sea rescue [helicopter], which has scuba divers and all the equipment for water rescues....It wasn't called out right away because the report was for a floater, not a live victim," said DeRienzo, 35. "It would have turned into a recovery instead of a rescue if we waited."
"Dennis got me right down on the water. I was saying, 'Two feet to the right . . . come back a little more, get me right next to her.' And he brought the helicopter just inches above the water."
Buonanno got out on the skid.
"I was out of the helicopter, holding the door frame. We were fingertips to fingertips, but anytime we moved, she went under," Buonanno said. "I grabbed her by her hair and got her shoulder and grabbed her clothing. I brought her to me, and said, 'Okay, we got her.' "
DeRienzo hovered low; Buonanno was still on the skid holding the woman. DeRienzo tried to get to the riverbank on the Bronx side of the river, alongside Roberto Clemente State Park.
"But when I got them closer to shore, we were so low that trees and rocks were in the way of the main rotor blades, and it would take down the whole helicopter if a blade struck," DeRienzo said.
Buonanno added, "We were checking the tail rotor and whether boats were coming; it was very finessed flying."
Then he told his partner, "I'm gonna jump," and inflated the tactical vest he always wears.
"I had no idea how deep the water was. We were 30 feet offshore," said Buonanno. "It turned out to be about chest high. . . . I couldn't tell you how cold the water was. I just don't remember."
He swam with Jimenez to the shore. Cops from the 46th Precinct helped them up the slippery rocks and put the woman in an ambulance.
Jimenez, who police said was distraught and irrational, was taken to Lincoln Hospital.
"I hope she got the help she needed," said Buonanno, who has been with the NYPD since 2000, joining the aviation unit two years ago.
His son, Devin, 10, had two words for him about the rescue, which was captured on video.
"Dad, awesome!"
DeRienzo, a cop for 13 years, came to the unit on Sept. 10, 2001. The former Marine didn't think he would be applying all the military tactical flying and expertise in shoulder-fired weapons and rappelling as a cop in New York City. "But 9/11 changed that," DeRienzo said.
Their rescue of Jimenez - the first for each cop - illustrated their specialized skills.
They didn't have much time to think about their act of lifesaving until they were heading home hours later. They had resumed patrol after Buonanno changed into dry clothes, completing their 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift.
When it sunk in, "I was happy for him, he was happy for me," DeRienzo said.
"And we were both happy for her," Buonanno added.

poshaughnessy@nydailynews.com
9866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: January 21, 2009, 07:10:19 PM
Initially, the only seen presence of government at the site of the U.S. Airways emergency landing involved police helicopters interfering with rescue efforts by keeping the water around the plane churned up. These helicopters were of value to the state, of course, as a visual symbol of its superintending presence above a scene in which its practical role was nonexistent. Like a president or state governor flying over an area hit by a tornado or flooding, such an aerial presence reinforces the vertically-structured mindset upon which political authority depends. After rescue efforts were substantially completed – with no loss of life – New York and New Jersey police officials arrived (those whom the New Jersey governor incorrectly described as the "first responders").

**Dumbest thing i've read in a long, long time. Lew Rockwell is a scumbag and idiots like the author prove again and again why Libertarians are fringe loons worthy only of contempt.**
9867  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 21, 2009, 07:23:58 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/20/inaugural-benediction-pray-that-white-will-embrace-what-is-right/

Feel the post-racial healing!
9868  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 21, 2009, 07:21:13 AM
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOYw.awwsNSg&refer=worldwide#

U.S. Stocks Slide in Dow Average’s Worst Inauguration Day Drop


By Elizabeth Stanton


Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks sank, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst Inauguration Day decline, as speculation banks must raise more capital sent financial shares to an almost 14-year low.

State Street Corp., the largest money manager for institutions, tumbled 59 percent after unrealized bond losses almost doubled. Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. slumped more than 23 percent on an analyst’s prediction that they’ll need to take steps to shore up their balance sheets. The Dow’s 4 percent slide was the most on an Inauguration Day in the measure’s 112-year history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

“All the banks are going to have to recapitalize,” said Greg Woodard, portfolio strategist at Manning & Napier Advisors Inc., which manages $16 billion in Fairport, New York. “That’s not done. That’s in front of them, and we don’t want to try to get in front of that trade.”

The S&P 500 plunged 5.3 percent to 805.22. The S&P 500 Financials Index fell 17 percent to below its lowest closing level since March 1995 as concern European banks need more capital also weighed on the group. The Dow average slid 332.13 points to 7,949.09. Both the Dow and S&P 500 retreated to two- month lows.

The S&P 500 is off to its worst start to a year, shattering the biggest rally since World War II, as analysts cut earnings estimates by a record 83 percentage points and companies signal worse to come.

The S&P 500 is down 11 percent in the first 12 trading days of 2009, exceeding last year’s 9.2 percent drop, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1928. The decline helped erase more than two-thirds of a 24 percent rally since Nov. 20 as optimism that government spending would revive the economy evaporated.

‘Effectively Insolvent’

U.S. financial losses from the credit crisis may reach $3.6 trillion, according to New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, who predicted last year’s economic and stock-market meltdowns.

“If that’s true, it means the U.S. banking system is effectively insolvent because it starts with a capital of $1.4 trillion,” Roubini said at a conference in Dubai today. “This is a systemic banking crisis.”

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index retreated 2.1 percent today, led by banks and technology companies. It fell almost 2 percent yesterday after Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc forecast the biggest-ever loss by a U.K. company. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 2.1 percent today.

Obama Sworn In

Barack Obama became the 44th U.S. president today, inheriting the most severe economic crisis since Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in 76 years ago. The turmoil has dragged the world’s largest economies into recession, caused more than $1 trillion of losses at financial institutions and prompted a sell-off in global stock markets.

Treasuries fell for a second day on speculation Obama will sell record amounts of debt to battle the recession. The dollar strengthened for a second day against the euro.

State Street lost $21.46 to $14.89 for the biggest drop in the S&P 500 and the stock’s steepest tumble since at least 1984. Unrealized losses on fixed-income investments rose to $6.3 billion at Dec. 31 from $3.3 billion at Sept. 30, the company said. Unrealized losses on assets held in conduits increased to $3.6 billion from $2.2 billion.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s largest custodian of financial assets, fell 17 percent to $19, its lowest closing price since 1997.

Financials Tumble

Financial companies posted the biggest drop among the S&P 500’s 10 main industry groups as all 81 shares fell.

Wells Fargo, the largest bank on the U.S. West Coast, slid 24 percent to $14.23. Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc. analyst Paul Miller lowered his earnings estimates and price target, in addition to predicting a dividend cut.

Bank of America, the biggest U.S. lender by assets, fell the most in the Dow average, sliding 29 percent to $5.10. FBR’s Miller estimated Bank of America needs at least $80 billion of additional capital.

“You don’t want to be anywhere close to these common stocks because you don’t know how much new stock is going to be issued,” said Wayne Wilbanks, who oversees $1.1 billion as chief investment officer at Wilbanks Smith & Thomas in Norfolk, Virginia. “If one wants to invest in this space I would focus almost exclusively on the preferred shares,” he said, because that’s the same type of stock the government is purchasing.

The U.S. government has taken preferred equity stakes in at least 257 banks including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York and State Street since October under its Troubled Asset Relief Program aimed at stabilizing the banking system.

‘Aggregator’ Bank

Regions Financial Corp. fell 24 percent to an almost 24- year low of $4.60 after reporting a record fourth-quarter loss. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lost 21 percent to $18.09, the lowest since October 2002.

Obama’s advisers are considering options for dealing with troubled assets still clogging banks’ balance sheets, according to people familiar with the matter. Among alternatives: setting up a government-backed “bad” or “aggregator” bank to hold the securities, or leaving the assets on banks’ books and providing a government guarantee.

‘Atmosphere of Cynicism’

“The risk of investing in financials remains relatively high,” said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management in Richmond, Virginia. “There’s an atmosphere of cynicism and disbelief with regard to a lot of these turnaround stories.” RidgeWorth manages $70 billion.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. slid 9.4 percent to $37.25. Goldman Sachs advised selling the designer of the U.S. Olympics team’s official uniform as consumer spending shifts from “aspirational to desperational.”

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, sank 11 percent to $8.35. Aluminum declined for the seventh straight day in London on speculation that demand will weaken as the housing slump worsens.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Stanton in New York at estanton@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: January 20, 2009 16:47 EST
9869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: January 20, 2009, 09:35:02 AM
http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/milestone/

Tragic milestone.
9870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: January 19, 2009, 11:44:38 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/19/al-qaeda-bungles-arms-experiment/print/

Monday, January 19, 2009
Al Qaeda bungles arms experiment
Eli Lake

An al Qaeda affiliate in Algeria closed a base earlier this month after an experiment with unconventional weapons went awry, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Monday.
The official, who spoke on the condition he not be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said he could not confirm press reports that the accident killed at least 40 al Qaeda operatives, but he said the mishap led the militant group to shut down a base in the mountains of Tizi Ouzou province in eastern Algeria.
He said authorities in the first week of January intercepted an urgent communication between the leadership of al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda's leadership in the tribal region of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. The communication suggested that an area sealed to prevent leakage of a biological or chemical substance had been breached, according to the official.
"We don't know if this is biological or chemical," the official said.
The story was first reported by the British tabloid the Sun, which said the al Qaeda operatives died after being infected with a strain of bubonic plague, the disease that killed a third of Europe's population in the 14th century. But the intelligence official dismissed that claim.
AQIM, according to U.S. intelligence estimates, maintains about a dozen bases in Algeria, where the group has waged a terrorist campaign against government forces and civilians. In 2006, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on foreign contractors. In 2007, the group said it bombed U.N. headquarters in Algiers, an attack that killed 41 people.
Al Qaeda is believed by U.S. and Western experts to have been pursuing biological weapons since at least the late 1990s. A 2005 report on unconventional weapons drafted by a commission led by former Sen. Charles Robb, Virginia Democrat, and federal appeals court Judge Laurence Silberman concluded that al Qaeda's biological weapons program "was extensive, well organized and operated two years before the Sept. 11" terror attacks in the U.S.
Another report from the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation, released in December, warned that "terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon."
British authorities in January 2003 arrested seven men they accused of producing a poison from castor beans known as ricin. British officials said one of the suspects had visited an al Qaeda training camp. In the investigation into the case, British authorities found an undated al Qaeda manual on assassinations with a recipe for making the poison.
The late leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, was suspected of developing ricin in northern Iraq. Then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell referred to the poison in his presentation to the U.N. Security Council in February 2003 that sought to lay the groundwork for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Roger Cressey, a former senior counterterrorism official at the National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told The Washington Times that al Qaeda has had an interest in acquiring a poisons capability since the late 1990s.
"This is something that al Qaeda still aspires to do, and the infrastructure to develop it does not have to be that sophisticated," he said.
Mr. Cressey added that he also is concerned about al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb, which refers to the North African countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
"Al Qaeda in the Maghreb is probably the most operationally capable affiliate in the organization right now," he said.
9871  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Science vs. God on: January 19, 2009, 08:24:45 PM
For me, the more I know of science, the more I see the hand of god.
9872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Bush Presidency on: January 19, 2009, 07:10:03 PM
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3658858,00.html

Peres to Bush: If only what you did to Saddam was done to Hitler
Published:    01.19.09, 18:49 / Israel News

Outgoing US President George Bush telephoned President Shimon Peres bidding him farewell on the occasion of the end of Bush's term as president Tuesday.
 
Peres said to Bush, "If the world had acted against Hitler the way you acted against Saddam Hussein, the lives of millions would have been saved." The president added, "You made a historic contribution to the entire world and to the Jewish people in particular. We will treasure this forever and will never forget it." (Ronen Medzini)
9873  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: January 19, 2009, 07:41:10 AM
Suicide Bombings and Islam   
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, January 19, 2009

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Dr. Syed Kamran Mirza, the author of Roots of Islamic Terrorism and co-author of Beyond Jihad and Leaving Islam-Apostates Speak Out.

FP: Dr. Syed Kamran Mirza, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Mirza: Thank you Jamie.

FP: I would like to talk to you today about suicide bombing as a phenomenon in Islamic warfare. We are witnessing this horrifying pathology in Gaza today, as Hamas militants are carrying out different forms of suicide operations, using their children and women as human shields, etc.

Let me begin with this question: many apologists of Islamic suicide bombing point out that other cultures and groups employ suicide bombing and that, therefore, no one has a right to point a finger at Muslims or Islam in this regard. What would you say to that?

Mirza: Yes, Islamic apologists often argue that suicide bombings are not just committed by the Muslims, but by many other nations – among them Tamils, Jews and Japanese. According to these apologists, since these groups engaged in suicide bombings for the cause of freedom in their eyes, then it means that Muslims are doing the same. The implication here is that Muslims are committing suicide for a freedom struggle and their suicide bombings have nothing to do with Islam. But a serious question can be asked here: Are all those past suicide bombings the same as Islamic suicide bombings? Are their patterns the same? Let us examine the facts:

The so called Tamil Tigers, Jews or Japanese Kamikazes may have used a technique of suicide bombings very rarely in their desperate quest—but only, in their view, to defend or free their own motherland, and their suicide acts were absolutely limited to targeting soldiers and leaders; they never targeted innocent civilians.

Tamils, Jews, Kamikazes or the IRA never blasted bombs in other countries outside their own geographical boundary; they only primarily blasted bombs within their own border or on enemy troops. Rarely, an isolated single bomb went off in the vicinity of the border, such as in the Tamils’ killing of Razib Ghandi, for his support of the Sri Lankan Government. But they never came to America, Britain, Spain, Indonesia, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Saudi Arabia etc. to blast suicide bombs inside restaurants, buses, trains, metros, ocean beaches, tourist resorts etc. None of them engaged in suicide bombings throughout the whole world like Islamists vigorously do today. How many Tamils blasted suicide bombs in Europe or America? Was there any global jihadi phenomenon of suicide bombings by Tamil Tigers like there is the one waged by Islamists?

FP: Apologists for Islam also argue that the Qur’an prohibits suicide.

Mirza: It’s a lie to say that the Qur’an prohibits committing suicide. The Qur’an only prohibits taking one’s life for no holy purpose. The Qur’an condemns killing one-self only out of frustrations and for no good reason. But to die in the process of killing non-muslims/kaffirs for the cause of Islam is considered a good deed for believers, and Allah promises many rewards for it.

FP: Ok, so expand for us on the place of suicide bombings in Islam.

Mirza: There is one most important and appropriate quote that we must consider in beginning a discussion on this issue: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” (Blaise Pascal, 1670).

The Holy Qur’an and Sahih (pure) hadiths do encourage believers to commit suicide if necessary, in order to kill infidels/kaffirs, for the sake of Islam. The Qur’an repeatedly promises terrestrial handsome rewards for those who can kill kaffirs (enemy of Allah and His messenger) and dreadful punishing hellfire for those who refuse to kill kaffirs.

Muslims believe that their actual life starts after death and they have very little desire to prolong their life in this material world. The Qur’an also incites followers to sacrifice their lives in order to kill kaffirs in exchange of a much better and lucrative after life. In the Qur’anic verse 9:111, we find the incentive for jihadis to die in battle: the rewards of paradise, which involves sex with virgins. There are many other verses that promise rewards in paradise for death in jihad (i.e. 4:74, 4:95, 3:169). Such verses clearly order devout Muslims to kill and be killed. Allah is teaching Muslims to sacrifice their own lives, to commit suicide, in His cause in order to kill infidels (enemies of Allah).

The verse 9:111 says: “Allah has purchased of their faithful lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, kill and be killed.”

This verse very precisely justifies suicide bombing - the most lethal, terrifying, inhuman and successful weapon Islamic terrorists are using today to kill Allah's enemies. It is the perfect example (without any ambiguity) of the suicidal method Allah has prescribed for devout Muslims. In verse 9:111 Allah is clearly saying that He has purchased life and property of believers in exchange of lustful and unimaginable lucrative heavenly pleasures for those who will die (commit suicide) for the cause of killing kaffirs. And the Qur’an is loaded with many more verses ordering the ardent followers to carry out endless killing of infidels/unbelievers until only Muslims remain to inhibit this Earth owned by the Islamic Allah (i.e. 8:39, 9:29, 3:85, 9:39, 9:73, 8:65, 8:66, 4:78, 2:193, 2:216, 5:33, 4:89, 9:5, 9:28, 8:67, 8:17, 9:23, 3:28, 5:45, 47:4, 9:123, 2:191, 8:12).

FP: The hadiths preach the same thing, yes?

Mirza: Absolutely. Killing and dying for the cause of Allah (Jihad) was sanctioned widely in sahi hadiths, which often incite Islamic suicide terrorists. Almost one-third of the fourth of nine volumes of Bukhari, Islam's principal collector of Hadith, focused on jihad as physical war. In Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 44, for example, Abu Huraira narrated: “A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed." Then he added, "Can you, while the Muslim fighter is in the battle-field, enter your mosque to perform prayers without cease and fast and never break your fast?" The man said, "But who can do that?" Abu- Huraira added, "The Mujahid (i.e. Muslim fighter) is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse while it wanders bout (for grazing) tied in a long rope."

Many other hadiths stress the same themes: Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 53, Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 1:814, Sahi Bukhari 35, page-102. etc.

Now, does it take a rocket scientist to understand the source of the fanatical will of the September 11 terrorists? Does it ring a bell from where Islamic terrorists all over the world get their inspiration and hope? Will our Islamists still say, "Islam is a religion of peace," or that "Qur'an is full of kind and compassionate advises."?

Purely and solely—the real motivation behind suicide terrorism by Islamic terrorists is the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah (Prophetic traditions). Western politicians erroneously and ignorantly call it “radical Islam” or “evil or distorted ideology.” This is absolutely a wrong statement by the politically correct western politicians. That ideology is nothing but the ideology of pure Islam, which is the holy teaching of the Qur’an.

Palestinian problems, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan etc. are all rooted in the Islamic plea to wage Islamic Jihad. Poverty or frustrations are not the cause of terrorism, because poverty and frustrations also exist amongst millions of poor people from other religions. Will any poor Christian, Hindu or a Buddhist bother to commit suicide to kill innocent westerners? Absolutely not.

FP: And Islamic terrorists consistently refer to the teachings of their religious texts to sanction their violence.

Mirza: Absolutely. All Islamic terrorists arrested by police in Europe – like Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam, Netherlands -- readily cited the Qur’an as their teacher to commit their crimes. Bouyeri confessed his guilt and showed no remorse for his act of Islamic slaughter. During the court trial he stated to the victim’s mother: “I don’t feel your pain because I was driven by my religious conviction.” He also said, “If I were released and would have the chance to do it again…I would do exactly the same thing.” At another point he said to the victim’s mother, “I have to admit I don’t have sympathy for you. I can’t feel for you because I think you are a non-believer.”

In the train terrorism incident in Madrid, Spain, the Islamic terrorists were all longtime residents of Spain -- and North American and Syrian born. They admitted to police that they were inspired by the Qur’an and the doctrines of Islam to rise up against their adopted host country to kill 191 Spanish innocent citizen.

During 2005-2006, in Bangladesh experienced an epidemic of bomb blasts by Islamic terrorists (homegrown in Bangladeshi) which included scores of suicide bombings to kill judges in the various court premises. In this process of suicide bombing attempts, two terrorists were captured by the police. When asked by reporters why they were going to kill people by suicide, they answered: "We were doing it by the order of the Qur’anic instructions by Allah."

When Bangladesh terrorist leaders Maulana Shaikh Rahman and Bangla Bhai were captured by police, Maulana Shaikh Rahman explained their actions: "We did it to establish Allah's laws in Bangladesh and we were doing it according to the Quran." Showing one copy of the Qur’an in his hand, Maulana said: "If I am a terrorist, then the Qur’an is also a terrorist."

In America, the 20th hijacker of 9/11 terrorism, Zacaria Moussaoui, proudly declared in court: "I wish I could kill more Americans, because my religion Islam demands that I kill infidels." Moussaoui or any other Islamic terrorist never told anyone that they had been incited to engage in terrorism for the reasons of “poverty” or “political oppression.”

FP: Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda jihadis have also frequently cited many passages from the Qur’an to justify their acts of terrorism and suicide bombings.

Mirza: Yes indeed. In his famous 'fatwa' of declared war against Americans in 1998, bin Laden repeatedly used verses from the Qur’an, that I cited earlier, to incite his followers to kill Americans and infidels -- primarily by the act of suicide bombing.

All the 9/11 Islamic terrorists left their private notes (especially Muhammad Ata) citing Qur’anic killing verses and they all committed suicide to kill American infidels and kaffirs according to the Qur’anic verse 9:111. Not a single time have they have ever claimed or mentioned any other inciting agent for their killing spree. Israel has captured numerous would-be suicide bombers (who failed to detonate themselves) and they were all interviewed by western reporters in their Israeli prison cell. All of them told the reporters that they wanted to die by killing infidels because the Qur’an instructed them to do so – and they also wanted to achieve heavenly pleasures with 72 virgin houris.

FP: Dr. Syed Kamran Mirza, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Mirza: Thank you sir.

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles  Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.
9874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bomb found at Florence Chabad House on: January 19, 2009, 07:20:28 AM
Bomb found at Florence Chabad House
Jan. 18, 2009
jta , THE JERUSALEM POST
A rudimentary explosive device was found at the entrance of the Chabad House in Florence.

The device, described as being constructed from a small camping gas canister, was reportedly discovered during the day Saturday but not reported to police until Saturday night after Shabbat.

The Chabad House is located half a block from the city's main synagogue.

Media reports said a paper fuse apparently had been lit, but had burned out, and no damage occurred.

Florence Chief Rabbi Joseph Levy said the episode was "a very serious gesture that shows how one can pass from irresponsible words to actions such as this."

Tensions are high in Italy over Israel's operation in Gaza. Last week, red paint was thrown at the façade of the synagogue in Pisa. On Saturday, thousands of people, many of them Muslim, staged a pro-Palestinian march in Rome. Some of the placards showed swastikas superimposed on the Star of David.

About 300 people staged a counterdemonstration in Rome's historic Jewish ghetto neighborhood.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292896268&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
9875  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Study: Gun and grenade fight on: January 18, 2009, 09:22:54 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmMXk0bA8gk

The real one?   grin
9876  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 18, 2009, 04:04:10 PM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Gaza Children Sacrificed to a Malevolent God
Posted By Rand Simberg On January 18, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, . Positioning, Israel, Media, Politics, TV, World News | 47 Comments

Thousands of years ago, in the Middle East, cradle not just of civilization but of many gods, was a deity named Moloch. Today, he would be considered a pagan god by those of the one God of Abraham, with whom he long coexisted. But in that time, he prevailed for centuries. Like the God of Abraham, he was an angry god (though not clearly a jealous one). But the God of Abraham was more complex, and — at least later — merciful, and also loving.*

Moloch was a lot simpler. He was purely malevolent, and basically an extortionist — one that any modern gangster would recognize and admire.

His deal was basically this: “I am the bringer of the sun. Nice little city you have here. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it, like the crops dying because the sun didn’t show up. I can make sure that doesn’t happen. I don’t ask much — a temple with priests and ritual prostitutes, and an occasional sacrifice.”

His representative in the temple was an upright bull with horns and crown, gaping mouth, and outstretched arms. On sacrifice days, within him raged a fire.

The crowds would gather around and chant, and the drums would beat, and the ungodly din would drown out the screams of unknowing infant terror and keening mothers. Babies were brought up to the arms of Moloch, and through an ancient ingenious mechanism, raised up to his mouth to cruelly plummet them to the inferno below.

And to reinforce the tradition, the sun continued to shine.

But eventually, the God of Abraham became dominant in the Middle East, with three major religions worshiping him. Moloch was abandoned.

Fast forward to the early twenty-first century in the Middle East. There is a new child-sacrifice cult in the ancient land, albeit one that claims to be of the God of Abraham.

This time, the purpose of the sacrifice is not to keep the sun shining and the crops growing. This sacrifice is to placate the gods, or devils, in [1] the news media and to help the people achieve a much different and less laudable goal — the extinction of another people.

In 2009, in the “Gaza strip,” one of the ancient Philistine cities, an Islamic group called Hamas has the goal to, as part of its charter, [2] destroy all Jews in creation.

It lacks the military resources or competence to do so for now, but it satisfies itself with merely attempting, however ineffectually, to kill whatever Jews lie within the range of its unguided rockets. While few of them hit their marks (which, were they to satisfy their wont, would apparently be kindergartens and ice-cream parlors, or wherever young Jews would most likely be present in the highest density), they are of sufficient danger to continually disrupt the lives of those at whom they are aimed, if such a word can be applied to so crude a weapon.

But the crudity of the munitions is beside the point, isn’t it? What is important is the intent.

Hamas wants Jewish children to die. The Jews want their children to live. Beyond that, the Jews even want the children of Hamas to live. This is evidenced not just by the pains and risk to their own troops they take to carefully target those trying to kill them, and to minimize (though they cannot be eliminated, for reasons explained shortly) the number of Hamas children hurt, to the point of issuing warnings when they will be attacking their parents thus decreasing the probability of killing the actual enemy. It is also demonstrated by their willingness to take the wounded into their own hospitals for treatment when permissible.

But herein lies the real asymmetry between the two sides. Hamas doesn’t merely want to kill the Jewish children (though of course they do want to kill them, for no other reason than that they are Jews, in accordance with their diabolical charter). They are also willing and eager to sacrifice their own.

How?

In any way imaginable. They set up rocket-launching bases in schools, which will become targets for retaliation. They establish military quarters in family homes, where children can be counted on to be present. They even go so far as to [3] establish military headquarters in the basement of Gaza’s largest hospital, which will ensure that if they are attacked, not just children, but sick and injured children, as well as sick and injured adults and their caregivers, will be maimed or killed.

And they do not do this simply to protect themselves by using the young, sick, and otherwise helpless as human shields, though that would be bad enough and is a major war crime in and of itself. But apparently, it is a war crime that the media dare not say its name.

No, they do it in the hope that those young — down to the babies, sick and, helpless — will in fact be killed so that they can be paraded before their allies, witting or otherwise, in the western media, to aid them in their goal of at least temporarily ending the Jewish defensive onslaught upon them. This is all done in the hope that that their enemy will, once again, be politically defanged, and that once again, it will buy them time to rearm, with better weaponry, and take up again their ultimate genocidal cause.

That they are not merely cowards, hiding behind infants’ diapers, but rather actually desirous of the death of their own offspring is revealed by their own words of indoctrination, in which they [4] encourage their own children to become martyrs to their evil cause. As further evidence that death is the intent, news stories are offered by them to show the deaths, [5] even when they didn’t necessarily happen.

Moloch has returned to the Mideast, after millennia. Except this time, the maw of the bull is the eye of the camera lens, into which the slaughter of the innocents is fed to a complicit press to be passed on to a gullible world.

And this time, those sacrificing the children don’t want to drown out the noise of the terrified screams of those tossed to the fire. The screams, and (as always) the terror, are the whole point.

But at the rate things are going, perhaps the media’s sun, unlike Moloch’s, may start to dim. If so, and if this behavior continues, those of us less morally challenged will not fear the eclipse, but rather, will welcome it.

* Yes, no need to comment. I know about the sacrifice of Abraham. Please…

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

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/gaza-children-sacrificed-to-a-malevolent-god/

URLs in this post:
[1] the news media: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/why-israel-is-smart-keeping-the-media-out-of-gaza/
[2] destroy all Jews in creation: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../ronrosenbaum/2009/01/04/some-differences-between-hamas-and-the
-nazi-party-2/

[3] establish military headquarters in the basement of Gaza’s largest hospital: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/world/middleeast/11hamas.html?_r=1&hp
[4] encourage their own children: http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=15873
[5] even when they didn’t necessarily happen: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/01/022514.php
9877  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 18, 2009, 02:03:26 PM
Inshallah!  grin
9878  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Bush Presidency on: January 18, 2009, 09:58:50 AM

January 18, 2009
Bush Showed U.S. Is No Paper Tiger

By Debra Saunders
From the day President Bush took office, the long knives were out for him -- in ways they will not (and should not) be out for President-elect Barack Obama. The chattering class saw Dubya as a walking style crime in a cowboy suit. They hit Bush for everything -- for the way he mangled syntax, for the books he read and because he worked out too much.

Note that now that the buff Obama is taking office, stories gushing about Obama's daily workouts flood the channels. Oh, yes, and the same people who belittled Bush for sending troops to war even though he only served in the National Guard somehow do not seem to notice Obama's utter lack of military experience.

To trash Bush was to belong. There was little upside in supporting Bush, even if you had supported his agenda.

Most of the Democratic candidates for president in 2004 and 2008 voted for the Patriot Act -- and then campaigned against it. They voted for the resolution authorizing U.S. military force in Iraq -- then bolted from the war itself. Likewise with No Child Left Behind. Somehow Bush was the guy who looked bad as he withstood the heat while his caving critics preened.

When the Dems were pushing for a humiliating retreat from Iraq and opinion polls supported troop withdrawal, Bush instead pushed for a troop surge that has made all the difference. Vice President-elect Joe Biden -- who voted for the war before he was against it -- visited Iraq last week. While there, he promised the Iraqis that America would not withdraw troops in a way that undermines Iraqi security. Yet that was exactly what his party advocated a year ago.

Does Bush get any credit? No, just as he has received little credit for efforts that have prolonged millions of lives, thanks to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Forget considerable goodwill in India and Africa. His good deeds, you see, don't fit with the prescribed story line that, with Bush in charge, the rest of the world hates us.

Yes, the man also stumbled, and others paid for his mistakes more dearly than he has.

Under Bush's watch, Osama bin Laden evaded capture.

Worse, Bush's slowness in changing strategies in Iraq suggested a presidency in a fetal position when Bush should have been managing the store and demanding results.

Weapons of mass destruction? The CIA believed Saddam Hussein had them.

So did Hussein's lieutenants. I did, too. The conventional wisdom was wrong, but Bush can take comfort in the knowledge that without his efforts, Hussein almost certainly would have outlasted U.N. sanctions, armed himself to the hilt and wreaked unknown havoc in and beyond Iraq.

There is no comfort -- there is no upside -- to be had in the $810 billion Bush bailout. The Bush administration should have been on alert to contain the damage from the housing-price drop and mortgage foreclosures; instead, it allowed the credit crunch to reach a tipping point and roll over the U.S. economy. It was so avoidable. It was like the Katrina trailers all over again -- except this preventable and unnatural disaster left toxic trailers strewn across America.

There's an out-to-lunch sloppiness to the whole mess. It feels as if the barrage of criticism made the Bush engine seize up and stop running the business of the nation.

America's first MBA president turned out to be a poor administrator, more interested in ideas than making the machinery work. He was good at fighting -- and winning -- ideological battles in Congress, but he never demonstrated a commitment to making his own administration deliver as promised. In putting loyalty at a premium, he overlooked incompetence.

How will history judge Bush?

Osama bin Laden once told Time magazine that the U.S. withdrawal from Somalia after the murder of 18 U.S. troops on a humanitarian mission made him realize "more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat." Members of al-Qaida have told intelligence officials they never thought Washington would respond to the 9/11 attacks as ferociously as Bush responded. They expected a few bombs to be dropped, no boots on the ground, a swift withdrawal if casualties mounted -- the usual short-attention span foreign policy that warped Lebanon, the Persian Gulf War, Somalia, the African embassy bombings and the attack on the destroyer Cole.

Bush showed America's enemies a country that does not retreat in fear, does not bomb with impunity, and most important, does not desert civilians or foreign governments that trust us. If you think that doesn't matter, look at Libya, which disarmed its weapons program. And see how much easier Obama's presidency will be because Bush kept the faith.

Osama bin Laden may live, most likely quivering in a cave. And no one thinks America is a paper tiger anymore.

dsaunders@sfchronicle.com
Copyright 2009, Creators Syndicate Inc.

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/01/bush_showed_us_is_no_paper_tig.html at January 18, 2009 - 01:01:59 AM PST
9879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another moderate in power..... on: January 18, 2009, 08:45:02 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1120831/Muslim-civil-servant-suspended-killing-British-troops-justified-blog.html#

Muslim civil servant suspended over 'killing British troops is justified' blog

By Simon Walters and Jason Lewis
Last updated at 1:27 AM on 18th January 2009



Hardline: Azad Ali attacked Britain's call for a ceasefire in Gaza

A senior Muslim civil servant has launched an astonishing verbal onslaught against the Government over its response to Israel’s military strikes in Gaza – and has suggested that killing British troops in Iraq is justified.

Treasury official Azad Ali, president of the Civil Service Islamic Society, now faces the sack over the remarks.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell – who is the patron of the society – acted immediately after being alerted to the comments by The Mail on Sunday.

Shortly after this newspaper contacted the Cabinet Office, a senior official disclosed that Mr Ali had been suspended for the remarks made on his personal internet blog.

In it he:

Quotes an Islamic extremist who says it is his ‘obligation’ to kill British and American soldiers in Iraq;
Accuses the Government of failing to condemn the ‘Zionist terrorist state of Israel’; and
Attacks moderate British Muslims as ‘self-serving vultures, feeding on the dead flesh of the Palestinians’.
The Treasury lists Mr Ali’s title as ‘Business Partner’. He is understood to work as an IT administrator.

On the Civil Service Islamic Society’s official website, Mr Ali declares that it is bound by strict rules that say Whitehall special-interest groups must be ‘non-partisan and non-political’ and act with ‘honesty, impartiality and integrity’.

But there is no such restraint on his personal blog, which highlights his civil service role and provides a link to its Whitehall website.


Azad Ali's blog suggests that the killing of British troops is justified (file picture)
He takes a far more hardline approach, using the most provocative language, and appears to challenge the Whitehall code of practice that restricts mandarins’ political activities.

In one posting, ‘Defeating extremism by promoting balance’, he appears to condone the killing of British and US troops in Iraq.

He said there was ‘much truth’ in an interview with an Islamic militant who said: ‘If I saw an American or British man wearing a soldier’s uniform inside Iraq I would kill him because that is my obligation.


‘If I found the same soldier over the border in Jordan I wouldn’t touch him. In Iraq he is a fighter and an occupier, here he is not. This is my religion and I respect this as the main instruction in my religion for jihad.’

Last week Mr Ali wrote on the ‘Between the Lines’ site: ‘We are the Resistance. The Zionist terrorist state of Israel had only one aim, to destroy all semblance of resistance. We have yet to hear any condemnation from our government.’

He pours scorn on the British Government’s call for a ceasefire and mocks official representatives of moderate British ‘Muslims’ (his quotation marks) who support them.

He observes witheringly that he ‘can see the £ signs in their eyes!’ – an apparent suggestion that they believe their groups may get more public money as a result.

He lambasts Foreign Secretary David Miliband for condemning Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar for saying Jewish children are ‘legitimate targets’.

‘Blaming Hamas does not wash any more... you can stop peddling the Zionist lie about Mahmoud Zahar!’ Mr Ali writes.


Azad Ali is considered a high profile 'moderate' Muslim who is trustee of the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre, among many posts
And he derides Mr Miliband’s refusal in the Commons to disown Israel for ‘terrorist’ actions. ‘You’re going to love his response, “As I said in my statement, I do not think it is right to compare a democratic state with a terrorist organisation.” What!’

He added: ‘The [British] government is engaging with individuals who have no credibility in the community...a motley crew who are nothing but self-serving vultures, feeding on the dead flesh of the Palestinians.’

Mr Ali said people who blame the Palestinians or Hamas for the Gaza attacks ‘are like sick men or women who blame the woman who has been raped, saying she brought it upon herself’.

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, an adviser to Gordon Brown’s Security Minister Lord West, questioned how Mr Ali could continue as a civil servant.

‘I can’t see how this man can ever be viewed as objective again,’ said Mr Mercer. ‘It is extraordinary to me that a civil servant who is meant to be politically neutral should be making these sorts of comments about the Government.

‘It would seem that Mr Ali is not trying to conceal the fact that he is a civil servant, nor suggesting these statements are purely made in a personal capacity. I believe he has compromised himself seriously with these comments.’

The civil service code restricts political activities ‘which impinge wholly or mainly on party politics’ including ‘speaking in public on matters of national political controversy; expressing views on such matters in letters to the Press, or in books, articles or leaflets’.

Officials who want to engage in this kind of activity need permission from their Whitehall bosses.

Until his internet outburst, Mr Ali was regarded as a moderate Muslim who could help tackle Islamic fanaticism in Britain.

As a former chairman of the influential Muslim Safety Forum and the current head of its counter-terrorism work-team, he works with the Home Office, senior police officers and the Security Services trying to combat extremism.

Last night the Treasury said: ‘HM Treasury takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously and will investigate them thoroughly.’

Mr Ali, who is married with three children and lives in East London, declined to comment.

The proceeds of a recent Civil Service Islamic Society annual dinner were passed to Interpal, a Palestinian charity that is banned by the US government – although not in the United Kingdom – due to allegations of links to terrorism.

The dinner was attended by Labour MP Sadiq Khan and Peter Lewis, head of the Crown Prosecution Service.

As well as being a career civil servant, Mr Ali has been a community activist for more than 20 years.

He is also on the board of London CrimeStoppers and sits on the Metropolitan Police’s Strategic Stop & Search Committee and Police Use of Firearms Group.

Mr Ali is a member of the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s Community Advisory Group and the Home Office’s Trust and Confidence Community Panel.

There are few people with a higher profile within the ‘moderate’ Muslim community. He is a trustee of the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre. He chairs the Muslim Council of Britain’s membership committee and is a member of its central working committee.

He is also the vice-chairman of Canon Barnet School board of governors and chairman of the Saturday Islamic School board of governors.

He has a wide network of friends, making him an influential figure as the Government tries to ‘engage’ with radical Islamic groups to prevent them turning to terrorism.

Mr Ali’s friends on the Facebook website include former Guantanamo Bay inmate Moazzam Begg, Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain, and journalist and Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley.
9880  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: January 18, 2009, 07:22:37 AM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/2009/01/024447print.html

January 17, 2009

U.S. War College member insists Islam does not "promote kidnappings, beheadings and other unlicensed hostile actions"

After posting a report regarding the U.S. Army War College's failure to examine Islam's war doctrines, including a faculty member's (Sherifa Zuhur's) assertions that Hamas has been "villainized" by the media, I received several e-mails from concerned people questioning Ms. Zuhur's "credentials" -- some alluded to her sincerity and intentions, or lack thereof -- to teach at the War College. One e-mail sent the following, rather telling, response made by Zuhur, after being asked to, "Tell us about your recent monographs on Islamic Rulings on Warfare and on Saudi Arabia":

I wrote Islamic Rulings on Warfare with my co-author Youssef Aboul-Enein to counteract the idea that Islam promotes kidnappings, beheadings and other unlicensed hostile actions as a matter of course.
We explored the literature on jihad and other forms of fighting, their ethical and tactical aspects, how these appear in modernist, revisionist views and are manipulated by extremists. My monograph, Saudi Arabia: Islamic Threat, Political Reform, and the Global War on Terror, examines the factors leading up to calls for political reform in the Kingdom, and the campaign against al-Qa`ida fi Jazirat al-`Arabiyyah which has been operating there. I call into question the grand strategy of the global war on terror, but conclude that its recommendation of increasing freedom and political participation has value.

Interesting. One must wonder, however, about some of her blanket assertions: Islam does not "promote" kidnappings? What about the inconvenient fact that the founder of Islam, Muhammad, whose sunna, or "example," must be literally adhered, regularly kidnapped people -- particularly women? As Serge Trifkovic reminds us:

Having established himself as the ruler of Medina, Muhammad attacked the Jewish tribe of Banu-‘l-Mustaliq in December of A.D. 626. His followers slaughtered many Jewish tribesmen and looted thousands of their camels and sheep. They also kidnapped 500 of their women. The night after the battle Muhammad and his brigands staged an orgy of rape. As one of the brigands, Abu Sa’id Khudri, later remembered, a legal problem needed to be resolved first: In order to obtain ransom from the surviving Jews for the captive women, Muslims had pledged not to violate them:
We were lusting after women and chastity had become too hard for us, but we wanted to get the ransom money for our prisoners. So we wanted to use the Azl [coitus interruptus]. We asked the Prophet about it and he said: "You are not under any obligation not to do it like that [contained in Sahih Bukhari, second only to the Koran in authority]."

More to the point, Koran 4:3 legitimizes forceful concubinage -- that is, forcefully kidnapping women and making them sex-slaves -- slaves who are counted as animals at that.
As for beheadings, perhaps Zuhur is not familiar with Koranic verses 5:33, 8:12, and 47:4 -- all of which sanction beheading the infidel? Koran 47:4 simply states “Therefore, when ye meet the infidels, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives."

As for "other unlicensed hostile action," where does one begin? Here's one: Muhammad had assassins go to the home of a matron figure named Umm Qirfa, tie each of her legs to a different camel, and then drive the camels in separate directions until the old woman was split asunder (see Ibn Ishaq and al-Tabari). He also ordered the assassination of an old poet, and legitimized lying and deception to do so -- whence the famous Islamic maxim, "War is Deceit."

One therefore has no choice but to conclude that Ms Zuhur is being either disingenuous (taqiyya/kitman) or ignorant (sign of the times), or blindly utopian (typical academic) or all of the above -- either way, not fit to instruct post-9/11 America's forthcoming guardians. It's bad enough that this sort of fluff counts as "authoritative" around government types; but that it has also come to permeate one of the last bastions of American security, the U.S. Army War College -- just consider its name -- is beyond ominous.

Posted at January 17, 2009 8:08 PM
9881  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 17, 2009, 08:40:21 AM
So police are armed thugs?
9882  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 16, 2009, 05:13:30 PM
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=30271

Calling for Genocide In Your Neighborhood
by Robert Spencer
Posted 01/16/2009 ET
Updated 01/16/2009 ET

The mainstream media has taken little notice, but at rallies in America and Europe this week protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza, protesters have more than once declared how happy they would be if the Jews were simply wiped out once and for all.

Los Angeles: Muslim demonstrators in front of the Israeli Consulate chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” -- a vision that can only be realized by the total destruction of Israel. They waved the flag of the jihad terrorist group Hizballah. To cheers from other demonstrators, some shouted, “Long live Hitler! Put Jews in ovens! Jews are fossil fuel!”

Fort Lauderdale: Leftist and Muslim demonstrators chanted, “Nuke, nuke Israel!” One yelled: “Go back to the ovens! You need a big oven, that’s what you need!”

Toronto: A Muslim protester complained that “Hitler didn’t do a good job.” Another shouted at pro-Israel counter-demonstrators: “Jewish child, you’re gonna f****n die. Hamas is coming for you." Pro-jihad demonstrators berated and threatened those who came out to show support for Israel, saying: “I want the war to continue because I want Hizballah to wipe the state of terrorism [i.e., Israel] off the planet....You’re being wiped off the planet. That’s a promise.” Yet another Muslim demonstrator said of Jews, “You are the brothers of pigs!” -- recalling the Qur’an’s depiction of Jews who disobeyed Allah as being transformed into apes and pigs.

London: Muslim protesters, repeatedly shouting “Allahu akbar,” threw traffic cones and sticks at the police and taunted them, calling them cowards, swine and “kuffar” (unbelievers).

Copenhagen: Muslim demonstrators chanted, “Down, down Israel, down, down USA, down, down democracy, down, down Denmark.” One Muslim in the crowd ostentatiously made the Nazi salute. Another shouted, “We want to kill all the Jews, all the Jews should be slain, they have no right to exist!” The crowd repeatedly chanted, “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahoud, jaish Muhammad sawfa yaoud” -- that is, “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.” That chant is a reference to a celebrated incident in the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, when he massacred a town full of Jewish farmers. Muhammad led a Muslim force against the Khaybar oasis, which was inhabited by Jews -- many of whom he had previously exiled from Medina.

The Muslims also chanted “Hitler! Heil Hitler! Hitler! Hitler! Hitler!” Demonstrators shouted “We must just kill all those Jews, man! Then we'd be rid of them, man!,” “Death to Israel,” and “Kill the Jews.”

Amsterdam: While Dutch parliamentarian Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party and other Leftist useful idiots marched in a demonstration calling for an intifada against Israel, the crowd behind them chanted “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”

While not everyone at these rallies expressed genocidal sentiments, it is noteworthy that there is no record of anyone who said these things being rebuked by his fellow demonstrators -- or by the authorities in the various countries where these demonstrations took place. Have American and European authorities rushed to condemn such declarations, and called upon Muslim advocacy groups and leaders to act energetically against the rampant Jew-hatred in Muslim communities in Western countries?

Not exactly. An emblematic incident took place in Duisburg, Germany, when a pro-Israel couple put an Israeli flag in their apartment window, overlooking a 10,000-strong pro-jihad demonstration on the street below. During the demonstration, German police actually broke into the couple’s apartment to remove the flag, explaining that they did so in order to forestall the apartment being broken into by the demonstrators themselves. When a police officer removed the flag from the window, the mob below applauded, cheered, and shouted “Allahu akbar.”

That same shout has echoed through these rallies all over America and Europe in recent days -- the one that Muhammad Atta advised his fellow hijackers to use frequently, since hearing it, he said, struck terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.

Ugly demonstrations have been an unfortunate but recurring feature of public life in America for decades, but open calls for genocide are something new. If American and European officials don’t react quickly now, the next round of demonstrations by the friends and allies of the global Islamic jihad will only be worse.
9883  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bwahahahahahahahahaha! on: January 16, 2009, 03:29:32 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/16/shhh-obama-may-create-classified-loophole-for-enhanced-interrogations/

Shhh: Obama may create “classified loophole” for enhanced interrogations
posted at 4:12 pm on January 16, 2009 by Allahpundit   


The news here is that this isn’t news. Less than a week after the election, rumors were already swirling that he was going to retain the option “in certain cases” to use procedures not authorized by the Army Field Manual. Then the left got him to back down on appointing John Brennan, who’d defended some of Bush’s interrogation policies, as director of the CIA. I thought that signaled the end of heart-ache for Andrew Sullivan, but no: Not only might Brennan end up being placed in a supervisory role, evidently The One’s still flirting with a little presidential prerogative when it comes to especially “difficult” subjects.

For Obama, who repeatedly insisted during the 2008 presidential campaign and the transition period that “America doesn’t torture,” a classified loophole would allow him to back up his vow to end harsh interrogations while retaining a full range of presidential options in conducting the war against terrorism.

The proposed loophole, which could come in the form of a classified annex to the manual, would satisfy intelligence experts who fear that an outright ban of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques would limit the government in obtaining threat information that could save American lives. It would also preserve Obama’s flexibility to authorize any interrogation tactics he might deem necessary for national security.

However, such a move would frustrate Senate Democrats and human rights, retired military and religious groups that have pressed for a government-wide prohibition on methods they describe as torture…

“That would not be good,” said the Rev. Richard Killmer, executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. “We don’t need to be able to torture and we don’t need to engage in any interrogation techniques that are not humane. And unless we have absolute clarity that these interrogation techniques will not be used, they are not going to be able to say that.”


Indeed. How is Obama upholding his vow to end harsh interrogations if he’s not ending harsh interrogations? All he’s doing is scaling it down from the level of official policy to an ad hoc contingency, which makes it even more arbitrary and potentially abused. Exit question: The left won’t cut him a break on this the way they will on, say, TARP; absolutist opposition to harsh interrogation in whatever form, from barking dogs on up, is now as central to “progressive” identity as support for abortion is. How can he make them happy while still preserving the option he needs for emergencies? He’s not going to risk his reelection on being caught short-handed in a ticking-bomb scenario.
9884  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 16, 2009, 02:36:15 PM
**Feel-good story of the week!**

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/SendMail.aspx?print=print&type=0&item=129461

"Iranian Unit" Destroyed, Hamas was Suprised
Tevet 20, 5769, 16 January 09 11:27
by Ernie Singer

(IsraelNN.com) The so-called "Iranian Unit" of Hamas has been destroyed, according to Gaza sources cited Thursday by the Haaretz daily. The sources said most of the unit's 100 members were killed in fighting in the Zeytun neighborhood of Gaza City.

The terrorists had been trained in infantry tactics, the use of anti-tank missiles and the detonation of explosives, among other skills, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at Hizbullah camps in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley, as well as sites in Iran.

The IDF Southern Command has reportedly stepped up ground operations in Gaza, in anticipation of a ceasefire declaration in the near future. Senior officers said Thursday that there are probably no more than a few days until the end of the fighting.

According to the Arab sources, when that happens Iran will send money to assist Hamas in restoring its military capabilities, in addition to the more widely-publicized program of rebuilding destroyed homes.

Hamas: We Didn't Expect it
Two captured terrorists interviewed by Maariv/NRG say that Hamas was not expecting Israel's response to the escalation in missile attacks on Israeli targets that preceded Operation Cast Lead. One of them, a 52-year-old victim of a premature detonation who had already done time in an Israeli jail, said, "Hamas took a gamble. We thought, at worst Israel will come and do something from the air - something superficial. They'll come in and go out. We never thought that we would reach the point where fear will swallow the heart and the feet will want to flee. You [Israel] are fighting like you fought in '48. What got into you all of a sudden?"

The second terrorist, a 21-year-old, said Hamas brought order to Gaza, but also brought fear. He noted that it was dangerous in Gaza for non-Hamas members, citing an instance of his being beaten and another in which he saw a friend killed when he went to get gas. "Now they're all gone," he said. "There have been no Hamasniks in the streets since the start of the campaign."

www.IsraelNationalNews.com
© Copyright IsraelNationalNews.com
9885  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 15, 2009, 02:24:57 PM
**What could possibly go wrong?**

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-guantanamo15-2009jan15,0,4433520.story?track=rss

Let some Guantanamo Bay detainees live in U.S., advocates say

For countries to feel comfortable taking prisoners off American hands, the U.S. has to show it is OK by taking some itself, human rights advocates say. The Obama team is considering the move.
By Julian E. Barnes and Peter Nicholas
January 15, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- Human rights advocates are urging the incoming Obama administration to allow some detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to resettle as U.S. residents as part of any plan to close the controversial facility.

Taking such a step would go beyond plans outlined so far to close the prison and transfer detainees to other countries or to military prisons on the U.S. mainland. But allowing a small number -- perhaps only two or three -- to live freely in the U.S. could help persuade other countries to accept some of them as well.

"If we want European and other countries to feel comfortable taking at least some of the prisoners off American hands, the U.S. will have to show it is OK by taking some itself," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director of Human Rights Watch.

President-elect Barack Obama's transition team is considering the option, but a Democratic official said there has been no conclusion that the resettlement option is necessary to Obama's plans.

Under the plans, Obama would issue an executive order within a week of assuming the presidency to close Guantanamo in a year, according to Democratic officials speaking on condition of anonymity because he has not yet taken office. That would give the government time to persuade other countries to take some of the detainees who no longer are considered to be a serious threat. It also would give the administration time to prepare prosecutions for other detainees in U.S. courts or in court-martial proceedings.

The incoming administration has decided to abandon the military commission system devised under President Bush, which has produced three convictions in seven years. Brooke Anderson, a transition spokeswoman, said Obama would decide how to handle detainees after his administration was in place.

"President-elect Obama has repeatedly said that he believes that the legal framework at Guantanamo has failed to successfully and swiftly prosecute terrorists, and he shares the broad bipartisan belief that Guantanamo should be closed," she said.

With time to send many of the prisoners to other countries, the plan could avert a mass transfer of the 250 detainees to a U.S. military facility, most likely at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., or Charleston, S.C. It also could avoid the need for a new federal law that allows indefinite detention of prisoners without trial, something the incoming administration has ruled out for now.

Under the plans, only detainees who are to be prosecuted would be sent to U.S. prisons. As Justice Department lawyers prepare cases for trial, the State Department will work to transfer others to their home country or to other countries. Detainees cannot be returned to their home country if doing so would put them at risk of torture.

Many Guantanamo detainees have complained of torture during their captivity; Obama has said that tainted evidence cannot be used at trial.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Washington ordered the release of a 21-year-old former Saudi resident who has been in custody since he was 14, saying evidence against him was unreliable. U.S. officials might appeal the ruling.

The transfer process has proved difficult for the Bush administration. Although the State Department may have better results under Obama, it still will face difficulty placing prisoners once described by the U.S. as terrorist threats.

Elisa Massimino, the executive director of Human Rights First, said resettling a few detainees in the U.S would be a wise move for Obama.

"After seven years of being fed the line that everyone there is the worst of the worst, it would help enormously if the United States would set an example that would put the lie to that, by taking one or two of the people," she said.

Allowing former detainees to live freely in the U.S. probably would be controversial. But Massimino said public concern might ease if the Obama administration were to explain the background of those allowed into the U.S.



"There will be opposition, but the facts can overcome that," Massimino said.

julian.barnes@latimes.com

peter.nicholas@latimes.com
9886  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: January 15, 2009, 09:08:19 AM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/2009/01/024405print.html

January 15, 2009

Head of Muslim group with admitted Hamas ties to offer prayer at Obama inauguration


Mattson

Federal prosecutors last summer rejected claims that ISNA was unfairly named an unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terror funding case.

ISNA has admitted ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood is waging, in its own words, "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

And the head of ISNA is going to offer a prayer at Obama's inauguration.

"Muslim woman, rabbis to pray at inaugural service," by Rachel Zoll for AP, January 14 (thanks to all who sent this in):

...A prayer will be offered at the National Cathedral by Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. The Islamic Society, based in Indiana, is the nation's largest Muslim group....

Posted at January 15, 2009 9:03 AM
9887  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 15, 2009, 08:25:08 AM
He has the right to his opinion. I see it as failing to recognize the dynamic of the threat and structuring a proper response to the threat. We can't teach the hajis to love us, we can teach them fear.
9888  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 14, 2009, 10:40:58 PM
I'm not interested in trading the lives of innocents in order to treat the savages with kid gloves.
9889  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: January 14, 2009, 09:07:04 PM
http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_11444354

U.S. military report warns 'sudden collapse' of Mexico is possible

By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times
Posted: 01/13/2009 03:49:34 PM MST


Related story: 2,000 fresh troops sent to Juarez as violence continues

EL PASO - Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.
The command's "Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)" report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. "In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."
The U.S. Joint Forces Command, based in Norfolk, Va., is one of the Defense Departments combat commands that includes members of the different military service branches, active and reserves, as well as civilian and contract employees. One of its key roles is to help transform the U.S. military's capabilities.
In the foreword, Marine Gen. J.N. Mattis, the USJFC commander, said "Predictions about the future are always risky ... Regardless, if we do not try to forecast the future, there is no doubt that we will be caught off guard as we strive to protect this experiment in democracy that we call America."
The report is one in a series focusing on Mexico's internal security problems, mostly stemming from drug violence and drug corruption. In recent weeks, the Department of Homeland Security and former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey issued similar alerts about Mexico.
Despite such reports, El Pasoan Veronica Callaghan, a border business leader, said she keeps running into people in the region who "are in denial about what is happening in Mexico."
Last week, Mexican President Felipe Calderon instructed his embassy and consular officials to promote a positive image of Mexico.
The U.S. military report, which also analyzed economic situations in other countries, also noted that China has increased its influence in places where oil fields are present.

More stories on the violence in Mexico
Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at dvaldez@elpasotimes.com; 546-6140.
9890  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations on: January 14, 2009, 03:06:31 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/01/14/2009-01-14_unacceptable_censorship_the_united_natio.html

UN-acceptable censorship: The United Nations tries to outlaw criticism of Islam
By Floyd Abrams
Wednesday, January 14th 2009, 4:00 AM

Almost 500 years ago, on the wall of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, characterizing as "madness" the notion that papal pardons could absolve individuals for their sins. As viewed from Rome, Luther had maligned, even defamed, the church. Luther was eventually excommunicated. His conduct ultimately led to the creation of a Protestant Church in Germany and a Reformation throughout Europe.
It is difficult to believe that in the 21st century anyone would seriously propose that conduct such as Luther's should be deemed illegal. But a few weeks ago, the General Assembly of the United Nations took a giant step in that direction. It adopted - for the fourth straight year - a resolution prepared by the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference calling upon all UN nations to adopt legislation banning the "defamation" of religion. Spurred by the Danish cartoons of 2005, some of which portrayed the Prophet Muhammed in a manner deemed offensive by the OIC, the resolution was opposed by the United States, most European nations, Japan, India and a number of other nations.
Nonetheless, it has now been adopted.
From an American perspective, the resolution so plainly violates the First Amendment that it is not a close question. Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses," which offended many Muslims, is protected here. So are movies such as Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," which offended many Jews, and "The Last Temptation of Christ," which offended many Christians. In 1940, in a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court observed that "in the realm of religious faith," despite "the probability of excesses and abuses," the liberty to speak out freely must be rigorously protected.
While relevant, the American experience is hardly the most relevant one. Far more telling is the distressing experience of nations that supported the OIC resolution. There was the student in one Islamic nation who was sentenced to death in January 2008 for distributing supposedly blasphemous material regarding the role of women in Islamic society. There was the teacher in another Islamic nation who was sentenced to jail for "insulting religion" after naming a class teddy bear "Mohammad" at the request of a 7-year-old with the same name. And there was the tragic case of the 22-year-old Hindu who, as reported by the European Centre for Law and Justice, was beaten to death by three of his fellow workers at a factory for allegedly committing blasphemy (a crime punishable by death); the workers were arrested and charged not with murder but with failing to inform the police that blasphemy was underway.
From the very first OIC resolution to the current one there has never been any ambiguity about its purpose: to intimidate those who might criticize Islam. As phrased in the original OIC resolution introduced by Pakistan in 1999, Islam was "frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism." But it is a fact that however one may debate about whether "Islam" bears any responsibility for acts of terrorism ranging from the murderous 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington to the more recent massacre in Mumbai, terrible acts of violence have been committed in the name of Islam. It is also the case that repeated human rights violations, including female genital mutilation, also have occurred in the name of Islam.
It is one thing to urge that all Muslims should not be criticized because of these acts. But the notion that it may or should be made a crime even to "associate" Islam with crimes too often committed in its name is inconsistent with any notion that both freedom of speech and religion should be protected. What cannot be even negotiable is the freedom, the unfettered freedom, to publish challenging books, movies and - yes - the Danish cartoons.

Abrams is a partner in the law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and the honorary chair of the Coalition to Defend Free Speech, an organization that opposes limitations on "religious defamation."
9891  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations on: January 14, 2009, 02:53:50 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,366319,00.html

UNICEF Partners With Islamic Charity Linked to Terror Groups

Thursday , June 19, 2008

By Joseph Abrams


An Islamic charity with ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban is now collaborating with an unlikely new partner: UNICEF, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund.

UNICEF has signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a Saudi charity of massive scope that keeps branches in more than 20 countries and has over 100 offices worldwide.

According to UNICEF, it will be teaming with the charity’s domestic Saudi branch to “promote children’s rights, health, equality and education,” in the oil-rich kingdom — but the organization has been doing more than just charity work.

The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the IIRO’s branches in the Philippines and Indonesia as terrorist entities for funding and supporting terrorist groups that have killed hundreds in East Asia. The Philippine branch was founded by Usama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Muhammad Jamal Khalifah, and has long had ties to Al Qaeda.

The U.N. itself says that both the Indonesian and Philippine branches of IIRO are tied to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and has singled them out for an asset freeze, arms embargo and travel ban on members of the groups.

But that hasn’t stopped the U.N. from recognizing the Saudi office as a legitimate relief group, nor has it stopped UNICEF — or other U.N. agencies — from working with it in the past.

According to Chris de Bono, UNICEF’s chief of media, “UNICEF does not and will not engage with” the two East Asian branches. Its new partnership is with the main Saudi branch only, and UNICEF will coordinate relief primarily for children living within Saudi Arabia, de Bono said.

The U.S. government also noted the distinction between the head office and the international branches.

“We are monitoring the situation closely, but we also understand the difference between the IIRO main headquarters and its branches,” Carolyn Vadino, deputy spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the U.N., wrote in an e-mail to FOX News.

“It is the two branches in question that are designated and have ties to terrorists and at this time we have been assured that they are separate entities,” Vadino wrote.

But some critics are not convinced the distinction is so clear.

“We have to look a lot harder at whether or not an organization that’s headquartered in one country is really disconnected from operations which bear the same name in other countries and are referred to as branches,” said Anne Bayefsky, senior editor of Eye on the U.N., a watchdog group.

According to the Treasury Department, the head of the IIRO’s Eastern Province branch has been directly funding the two terror-tied branches — straight from his office in Saudi Arabia.

Abd Al Hamid Sulaiman Al-Mujil, who runs the Eastern Province branch, has been called the “million dollar man” for his support of Islamic militant groups, and the Treasury Department says he has provided donor funds directly to Al Qaeda.

According to UNICEF, there isn’t yet a financial relationship with the IIRO, but joint programs launched in the future could change that. That has some critics worried about a potential for money to make its way into the wrong hands.

“The risks involved in funding terror are sufficiently great that UNICEF officials and other U.N. officials who accredit this organization are called upon to assure themselves that there are no ties,” said Bayefsky.

The IIRO's Indonesia branch was discovered by FOX News to still be operating despite being on the U.N.’s own terror list. Questions to the Indonesian mission to the U.N. have gone unanswered.

And while UNICEF’s Gulf-area office vetted the Saudi charity’s domestic office in June, it would not confirm whether it had investigated the Eastern Province branch or its sources of financing.

Bayefsky told FOXNews.com that even such vetting might not be enough.

“One has to remind oneself over and over again that the United Nations has no definition of terrorism,” she said. “It’s very hard to investigate and object to links to terrorist groups when you don’t know what [terrorism] is."
9892  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 14, 2009, 02:15:30 PM
Were it up to me things would have been worse, and when he had no more to give he'd be fed to pigs.
9893  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The ongoing criminal enterprise known as the UN on: January 13, 2009, 08:51:30 AM
From the WSJ Opinion Archives
THE REAL WORLD
Business as Usual
Corruption and conflicts of interest at the U.N. by CLAUDIA ROSETT
Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:01 A.M. EDT

Few outside U.N. circles have heard of IHC Services, a private company that for years was one of hundreds of firms selling goods and services to the U.N. As a rule, the U.N. keeps secret most details of these deals. But scandals involving IHC have begun lifting the lid on how the U.N. handles taxpayers' money.

The IHC story suggests that the U.N.'s failures of governance are not confined to such special projects as the Oil for Food program. If anything, Oil for Food looks more and more like a large outcropping of U.N. business as usual. And as with Oil for Food, which ran from December 1996 until the fall of Saddam in 2003, the timeline of IHC business with the U.N. starts in December 1996. That was the month before Kofi Annan took over as secretary-general, and it is on his watch that the IHC-U.N. tale has unfolded.

Headquartered on the sixth floor of a modest midtown Manhattan high-rise, with additional offices in Milan, IHC was, until this June, one of many companies approved by the U.N. as a registered vendor to its procurement division--which handles U.N. contracting for everything from office supplies to rations for peacekeeping troops. IHC signed some deals directly with the U.N., and on others served as a go-between for third-party contractors--despite the U.N.'s officially stated preference for avoiding middlemen.





Since the U.N. handles its contracts with secrecy, the full extent of IHC's involvement in U.N. business is hard to know. But from documents seen by this writer, the amounts around 1999 involved millions of dollars; a few years later they involved scores of millions; and in the past year or two--counting IHC business partnerships--the totals reached hundreds of millions.
IHC's CEO Ezio Testa, has denied any wrong-doing. But IHC's history includes hiring the son of a U.N. official who later (and unrelated to the hiring) pled guilty to corruption in federal court. In addition, a star U.N. diplomat served as chairman of the IHC board of directors while also holding a post as personal representative of the U.N. secretary-general. On top of that, IHC appears to have had access to valuable inside information on U.N. contract bids, which in at least one documented case it shared with a company involved in the bid.

Last year, information was bubbling around in unofficial quarters that something was amiss in the U.N. procurement department. Together with Fox News executive editor George Russell, I began looking into it. A name that came to our attention was Alexander Yakovlev, a Russian staffer in the procurement department. Imagine our surprise when Mr. Yakovlev was depicted in a Feb. 3 interim report from Paul Volcker's Oil for Food probe as a defender of integrity in the U.N. procurement department, where he'd handled Oil for Food inspection contracts.

Mr. Russell and I continued our reporting, and in early May--about the time the U.N. now says its own investigation into Oil for Food began--we contacted the U.N. procurement department with questions. On June 20, our story ran on Fox News, alleging that Mr. Yakovlev, while handling at least one IHC contract, had obtained a job with IHC for his son Dmitry, and providing details of a secret offshore company and bank account set up by Mr. Yakovlev and his wife. Two days later, Alexander Yakovlev had resigned, and the U.N. had suspended IHC from its vendor list. On Aug. 8, Mr. Volcker released a report that, as a sidenote to his Oil for Food investigation, alleged that Mr. Yakovlev had taken $950,000 in bribes on $79 million worth of U.N. contracts. Mr. Yakovlev was arrested, and in a Manhattan federal court pled guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and money-laundering in relation to his U.N. procurement activities. That federal investigation has since gone on to indict the head of the U.N. budget oversight committee, Vladimir Kuznetsov, on allegations of money-laundering.





That was far from the end of the IHC trail. Last month, we obtained IHC corporate documents showing that one of the U.N.'s most prominent personalities, Giandomenico Picco--currently a special adviser to Mr. Annan--had served as a director of IHC in 1997 and then as chairman of the IHC board from 1998 until at least February 2000. Mr. Picco's initial career with the U.N. had spanned from 1973 to 1992, and at the time he joined IHC he was in private business, running a consulting firm, GDP Associates, in New York. But during his tenure as IHC chairman, he accepted an appointment from Kofi Annan in August 1999, to serve as a U.N. under-secretary and personal representative of the secretary-general for a globetrotting project called the Dialogue of Civilizations.
During the interval in which Mr. Picco was both an official U.N. representative for Mr. Annan and chairman of the IHC board--i.e., from August 1999 to February 2000--IHC signed one multimillion dollar deal to sell portable generators to the U.N. and brokered another to supply a hostel ship for peacekeeping troops in East Timor. Mr. Picco has said he resigned as IHC chairman before that, but IHC board minutes show him as chairing the company's annual meeting on Feb. 17, 2000.

It then came to light that IHC's CEO, Ezio Testa, had sent an email providing an inside tip on confidential U.N. bidding information to a corporate officer at another company, Cyprus-based Eurest Support Services (ESS). ESS was then bidding on the aforementioned contract--which it won--to supply $62 million worth of rations to U.N. peacekeepers. Altogether, ESS, which in 2004 announced a formal partnership with IHC, has in recent years won U.N. contracts that, with add-ons and options, total $351 million. ESS has now been suspended by the U.N., which is investigating the matter.

There's more. Corporate documents show that in June, just before the first wave of this scandal went public, IHC was quietly sold--in a move that raises questions about who really owned it. The buyer was a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, whose sole representative was listed in sale documents as Peter Harris--apparently an officer with ESS's parent company, the U.K.-based Compass Group, one of the world's largest catering companies. (Compass has announced it is suspending Mr. Harris and is investigating the matter.)





IHC's seller was even more intriguing. The sole shareholder was a Luxembourg-based company, Torno S.A.H. One of the two major shareholders in Torno, who voted by proxy in a Milan meeting on June 3 to approve the sale, was a Liechtenstein-based businessman, Engelbert Schreiber, Jr. A provider of financial and legal services, he, as recently as 2000, had professional dealings with Ahmed Idris Nasreddin, a naturalized Italian citizen and former honorary consul of Kuwait in Milan who in 2002 was listed on the U.N.'s roster of "individuals and entities belonging to or associated" with Al Qaeda.
What next might turn up in the IHC saga depends on a number of investigations. But in an era when many authorities are worried about the transit of millions across borders and the enforcement of good governance, it appears the U.N. has been serving as a bazaar in which corruption, conflicts of interest and shadowy financial networks have found ways to set up shop. Behind the maze, who was the real owner of IHC during its nine years of doing big business with the U.N.? The U.N. won't say, and quite possibly does not even know. Its policy, in fact, was not even to ask.

Ms. Rosett is a journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Her column appears here and in The Wall Street Journal Europe on alternate Wednesdays.
9894  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The ongoing criminal enterprise known as the UN on: January 13, 2009, 08:43:20 AM
UN forces – just a bunch of thugs?
 
By Mark Steyn
Last Updated: 11:48PM GMT 14 Feb 2005

It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog faeces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That's the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn't that they'll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighths of the way. Thus the Oil-for-Fraud scandal: in the end, Saddam Hussein had a much shrewder understanding of the way the UN works than Bush and Blair did.

And, of course, corrupt organisations rarely stop at just one kind. If you don't want to bulk up your pension by skimming the Oil-for-Food programme, don't worry, whatever your bag, the UN can find somewhere that suits - in West Africa, it's Sex-for-Food, with aid workers demanding sexual services from locals as young as four; in Cambodia, it's drug dealing; in Kenya, it's the refugee extortion racket; in the Balkans, sex slaves.

But you get the general picture: on a UN peace mission, everyone gets his piece. Didier Bourguet, a UN staffer in Congo and the Central African Republic, enjoyed the pleasures of 12-year-old girls, and as a result is now on trial in France. His lawyer has said he was part of a UN paedophile network that transcends national boundaries.

Now how about this? The Third Infantry Division are raping nine-year olds in Ramadi. Ready, set, go! That thundering sound outside your window isn't the new IKEA sale, but the great herd of BBC/CNN/Independent/Guardian/New York Times/Le Monde/Sydney Morning Herald/Irish Times/Cork Examiner reporters stampeding to the Sunni Triangle. Whoa, hold up, lads, it's only hypothetical.

But think about it: the merest glimpse of a freaky West Virginia tramp leading an Abu Ghraib inmate around with girlie knickers on his head was enough to prompt calls for Rumsfeld's resignation, and for Ted Kennedy to charge that Saddam's torture chambers were now open "under new management", and for Robert Fisk to be driven into the kind of orgasmic frenzy unseen since his column on how much he enjoyed being beaten up by an Afghan mob: "Just look at the way US army reservist Lynndie England holds the leash of the naked, bearded Iraqi," wrote Fisk. "No sadistic movie could outdo the damage of this image. In September 2001, the planes smashed into the buildings; today, Lynndie smashes to pieces our entire morality with just one tug on the leash."

Who's straining at the leash here? Down, boy. But, if Lynndie's smashed to pieces our entire morality with just one tug, Bush's Zionist neocons getting it on with Congolese kindergarteners would have the Independent calling for US expulsion from the UN - no, wait, from Planet Earth: slice it off from Maine to Hawaii and use one of those new Euro-Airbuses to drag it out round the back of Uranus.

But systemic UN child sex in at least 50 per cent of their missions? The transnational morality set can barely stifle their yawns. If you're going to rape prepubescent girls, make sure you're wearing a blue helmet.

And at least the Pentagon put a stop to Abu Ghraib. As a UN official in Congo told the Telegraph yesterday: "The crux of the problem is that if the UN gets bolshie with these governments then they stop providing the UN with troops and staff."

And the problem with that is?

In Congo, the UN has now forbidden all contact between its forces and the natives. The rest of the world should be so lucky.

I take it from his use of "bolshie" that the quoted UN wallah is British. If so, that's the system in a nutshell: when a British bigwig is with British forces, he'll enforce British standards; when a British official is holed up with an impeccably "multilateral" force of Uruguayans, Tunisians, etc, he's more circumspect. When in Rome, do as the Visigoths do.

The child sex racket is only the most extreme example of what's wrong with the UN approach to the world. Developed peoples value resilience: when disaster strikes, you bounce back. A hurricane flattens Florida, you patch things up and reopen. As the New Colonial Class, the UN doesn't look at it like that: when disaster strikes, it just proves you and your countrymen are children who need to be taken under the transnational wing.

The folks that have been under the UN wing the longest - indeed, the only ones with their own permanent UN agency and semi-centenarian "refugee camps" - are the most comprehensively wrecked people on the face of the earth: the Palestinians. UN territories like Kosovo are the global equivalent of inner-city council estates with the blue helmets as local enforcers for the absentee slum landlord. By contrast, a couple of years after imperialist warmonger Bush showed up, Afghanistan and Iraq have elections, presidents and prime ministers.

When the tsunami hit, hundreds of thousands of people died within minutes. The Australians and Americans arrived within hours. The UN was unable to get to Banda Aceh within weeks.

Instead, the humanitarian fat cats were back in New York and Geneva holding press conferences warning about post-tsunami health consequences - dysentery, cholera, BSE from water-logged cattle, etc - that, they assured us, would kill as many people as the original disaster. But it never happened, any more than did their predictions of disaster for Iraq ("The head of the World Food Programme has warned that Iraq could spiral into a massive humanitarian disaster") or Afghanistan ("The UN Children's Fund has estimated that as many as 100,000 Afghan children could die of cold, disease and hunger").

It's one thing to invent humanitarian disasters to disparage Bush's unilateralist warmongering, but a month ago the UN was reduced to inventing a humanitarian disaster in order to distract attention from the existing humanitarian disaster it wasn't doing anything about.

All this derives from a UN culture in which the free nations have met the thug states so much more than half way that they now largely share the dictators' view of their peoples - as either helpless children who need every decision made for them, or a bunch of dupes whose national wealth you can reroute to your Swiss bank account, or a never-ending source of fresh meat. Those British officials trying to rationalise Oil-for-Fraud or child sex rings give the game away: it's not just the underage Congolese girls who get corrupted by contact with the UN.
9895  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The United Nations on: January 13, 2009, 08:28:32 AM
The UN Bailout of Hamas   
By Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The United Nations has been working especially hard in recent days to bail out the Hamas terrorists from the prospect of a devastating defeat at the hands of Israel.

Hamas caused the present conflict by its unprovoked firing of hundreds of rockets deeper into Israel, targeting Israeli civilians for death and terrorizing its women and children. Hamas, not Israel, unilaterally decided against extending the six month ceasefire that had expired in mid-December 2008, which Hamas had been violating anyway. After clear warnings to stop the rocket fire which went unheeded by Hamas, Israel responded with military force in self-defense pursuant to Section 51 of the UN Charter.

Nevertheless, under pressure from the Arab bloc, the UN Security Council adopted a contemptible resolution on January 8, 2009, which calls for an “immediate” ceasefire, “leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza”. Hamas’s provocation for the Israeli military action is not mentioned even once. There is not a word stating that the rocket attacks on the Israeli civilian population must stop completely as a condition for such withdrawal of Israeli forces. Indeed, the resolution places no onus on Hamas at all for the present situation, much less imposing any obligations on the mini-terrorist state it is running in Gaza. Although Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and would never have tolerated a Hamas-led government if it had stayed instead, the UN resolution is based on the premise that Israel still effectively controls Gaza and thus is fully responsible for the welfare of the Palestinian civilian population living under Hamas rule. This is truly a heads-Hamas-wins, tails-Israel-loses setup.

Shamefully, the United States decided to abstain, rather than use its veto power to block this one-sided, anti-Israel Security Council resolution.

The resolution emphasizes “the need to ensure sustained and regular flow of goods and people through the Gaza crossings.” While calling on member states to “intensify efforts” to prevent “illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition”, nothing is said about destroying the remaining tunnels built by Hamas or removing the rocket parts and other arms from the terrorists’ hands that have already been smuggled into Gaza. There is no provision for an effective international monitoring force to stop any further smuggling.

The resolution “condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism”. Since Israel is singled out elsewhere in the resolution for its military presence in Gaza and the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are not mentioned at all, the spin artists accusing Israel of ‘crimes against humanity’ will have a field day. They will interpret the resolution as condemning only Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians and equating Israel’s acts of self-defense with ‘state terrorism’. No accountability for using Palestinian women and children as human shields – a deliberate tactic of Islamic terrorists – is laid at Hamas’s doorstep. Since Hamas is not mentioned even once in the resolution, the Islamic propagandists will surely argue that neither Hamas’s assaults on Israeli civilians, or Hamas’s deliberate use of civilians as human shields, were intended to be included within the definition of acts of terrorism. This fits into the Islamic fictional narrative that Hamas militants and other Islamic terrorists are not really terrorists at all – they are legitimate resistance fighters.

The resolution recognizes “the vital role played by UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] in providing humanitarian and economic assistance within Gaza.” It actually asks for additional contributions to UNRWA.

UNRWA runs the Palestinian refugee camps and UN schools in Gaza. Two schools reportedly came under fire during the present conflict by Israeli forces in response to mortar shells being fired from the schools’ vicinity by Hamas militants whom Palestinian residents were said to have observed in the area. Nevertheless, Israel has received all of the blame for the ensuing civilian casualties caused by Hamas’s deliberate use of Palestinian women and children as human shields.

UNRWA itself is not an innocent bystander. In the past UNRWA has allowed the Palestinian refugee camps that it was administering to be used as bases for small-arms factories, explosives laboratories, and arms caches. It has also allowed UN vehicles to be used to transport arms, explosives, and terrorists to their target locations. Terrorist organizations have been found to actively use UNRWA offices and schools to conduct their terrorist activities.

Indeed, in November 2007, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out against a rocket attack aimed at Israel that was launched from a school in the Gaza Strip run by the United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees. According to a UN News Centre report at the time, “Palestinian militants entered the school while it was empty and then fired rockets from the compound.”

History is repeating itself. Hamas has followed its customary modus operandi during this conflict, using UN schools as safe houses from which to launch some of its attacks, while UNRWA officials tacitly approved or looked the other way. The UN has responded in a Pavlovian fashion to Israel’s military retaliation, ignoring its own findings from a little over a year ago concerning the militants’ use of a UN school as a place from which to fire rockets. Instead, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay and other UN officials have rushed in to blame Israel for the civilian casualties at the UN schools and everywhere else in Gaza, allowing Hamas to reap a propaganda windfall from the images of dead and wounded Palestinian civilians whom it had put in harm’s way in the first place.

To be fair, Pillay did say in her statement to the ninth special session of the Human Rights Council (another in a string of Human Rights Council sessions devoted exclusively to condemning Israel) that harm to civilians caused by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel is “unacceptable”. She also said that “action on the part of Israel’s opponents that may deliberately put civilians at risk in the Gaza Strip is prohibited under international law” (emphasis added).

Although her use of the term “opponents” rather than something like “mortal enemies sworn to Israel’s destruction” sounds more like she is refereeing at a tennis match, Pillay is at least showing some signs of recognizing the reality that Israel has been facing. She is in a distinct minority at the UN in even being willing to go that far. Other UN officials, such as Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, are so blinded by their hatred of Israel that they have used the blood libel of comparing the Jewish state to the Nazis and to apartheid South Africa.

However, Pillay is wrong in claiming that “while indiscriminate rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel are unlawful, Israel’s responsibility to fulfill its international obligations is completely independent from the compliance of Hamas with its own obligations under international law”.

To the contrary, they are causally linked. Israel is acting in self-defense against Hamas’s relentless attacks on defenseless Israeli civilians. Moreover, Hamas – not Israel – has violated the Geneva Convention and the basic laws of war by deliberately targeting innocent civilians, impersonating civilians or police, hiding among the civilian population, and using mosques and schools as terrorist sanctuaries.

In short, Hamas alone bears responsibility for its civilian population as the governing authority in Gaza. Hamas is the aggressor against Israeli civilians and is using its rule of Gaza to treat its own civilians as human shields. Israel, on the other hand, has bent over backwards to minimize civilian casualties.

Israel has repeatedly sought genuine peace, but not at the expense of the safety of its own citizens. To Hamas, truces are just stalling tactics to use as lulls during which the terrorists build up their military capability. When asked if he could envision a 50-year hudna (cease-fire) with Israel, Hamas leader Nizar Rayyan (who was finally killed in a recent Israeli bombing attack) responded, "The only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle. We don't need 50 years to prepare ourselves for the final battle with Israel. Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God."

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the United Nations has become an enabler of Hamas’s campaign of deceit and of its crimes against humanity. The UN has turned into an instrument for legitimizing the enemies of peace and freedom.


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Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.
9896  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: January 13, 2009, 08:27:43 AM
Imagine a global entity that facilitates terrorism and gives aid and comfort to tyrants while attempting to undercut human freedom, all while engaging in graft and corruption. Sound like a Bond villain's group, hidden in an underground bunker? No, it's the "United Nations".
9897  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Time rooting for America's/Israel's enemies, as usual.... on: January 13, 2009, 08:09:16 AM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Is Time Rooting for Israel’s Defeat?

Posted By Stephen Green On January 12, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Column2 01, . Positioning, Israel, Media, Middle East, US News, World News | 3 Comments

Has Time magazine joined the ranks of Hamas and come out in favor of the destruction of Israel? Probably not, but what else is a reader to think after just the first couple paragraphs of [1] this Tim McGirk story from last week? You’d think McGirk’s story couldn’t get any worse than the headline — “Can Israel Survive Its Assault on Gaza? — but you’d be wrong. Read:

With each passing day, Israel’s war against Hamas grows riskier and more punishing, with the gains appearing to diminish compared to the spiraling costs — to Israel’s moral stature, to the lives of Palestinian civilians and to the world’s hopes that an ancient conflict can ever be resolved.

That’s pure, and unsubstantiated, conjecture. No sources, no facts, no figures. And in a news piece. You’d think things really couldn’t get worse from there, but you’d be wrong again. Read a little further down:

But after 60 years of struggle to defend their existence against foreign threats and enemies within, many Israelis may be wondering, Where does that end lie? The threat posed by Hamas is only the most immediate of the many interlocking challenges facing Israel, some of which cast dark shadows over the long-term viability of a democratic Jewish state.

Go back and read that again. That pounding you hear isn’t just a headache, it’s the drumbeat of surrender. McGirk has, somehow, turned a fairly limited incursion into Gaza — which Israel occupied in its entirety for almost 30 years — into a referendum on the very existence of the Jewish state.

Notice again that McGirk hasn’t quoted any actual Israelis, or anyone else for that matter. He’s simply asserted that “many” Jews “may be wondering” if there’s any “long-term viability.” McGirk is making stuff up and reporting it as news. And his editors at Time seem to be fine with that. But don’t be surprised — McGirk and Time have quite the history of making stuff up together.

McGirk was the “journalist” who “broke” the “story” of the “massacre” by U.S. Marines at Haditha, Iraq. In fact, he fought with his editors to get the word “massacre” in the lede of the story, calling it “[2] a battle I lost.” A good thing, too, because the story of the Haditha Massacre has been proven to be a fake.

But, as Clarice Feldman noted in an [3] American Thinker article asking if McGirk was “the new Mary Mapes,” McGirk is no stranger to the moral equivalence game. Reporting from a Taliban hideout weeks after the 9/11 attacks, McGirk wrote that he left, “thinking that maybe this evening wasn’t very different from the original Thanksgiving: people from two warring cultures sharing a meal together and realizing, briefly, that we’re not so different after all.” Surely, McGirk’s access to the Taliban is no mystery.

Unfortunately, McGirk isn’t Time’s only questionable hire.

[4] Tony Karon has been writing for Time since 1996, and serving as a senior editor since 2000. In a December 29, 2008, [5] article on the Gaza War, Karon proved himself almost as incapable of hiding his biases as McGirk. He can hardly go a paragraph without spouting Hamas propaganda:

But Hamas has good reason to expect that Israel’s military campaign will be limited, and it believes it can come out ahead in the strategic equation despite the heavy cost in blood that will be paid by its own leaders and militants, as well as by Palestinian civilians.

Ah, those brave Hamas leaders, willing to pay any price and bear any burden — to fire rockets from school yards and into civilian areas. The suffering of the Palestinian people is all too real — but left unsaid is how much of it is caused by the terrorists Palestinians themselves elected to lead them. Context is everything, and Karon does his best to skew it to one side.

Again, do not be surprised. If you [6] click over to Karon’s personal website, you’ll find he thinks that “The fact of Israel’s survival” is “a grim reality” for its Palestinian citizens. Does that mean that if Israel were to somehow just … go away … that life would become not-so-grim for the Palestinians? It seems that Karon has left the answer to that question as an exercise for the reader.

Tim McGirk is Time’s Jerusalem bureau chief, and Tony Karon is the senior editor for world coverage. They are not simple stringers, or even on-assignment reporters. They help shape, define, and determine Time’s coverage of the Middle East — and thus shape, define, and determine what millions of people the world over learn about a vital region.

Everyone has their biases — here at Pajamas Media, we wear ours proudly on our sleeves. If only the folks at Time were so forthcoming.


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

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

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/is-time-rooting-for-israels-defeat/

URLs in this post:
[1] this Tim McGirk story: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1870314,00.html
[2] a battle I lost.: http://sweetness-light.com/archive/times-mcgirk-wanted-to-call-haditha-a-massacre
[3] American Thinker article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/06/haditha_is_mcgirk_the_new_mary.html
[4] Tony Karon: http://www.time.com/time/columnist/karon/article/0,9565,494004,00.html
[5] article on the Gaza War: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1868864,00.html
[6] click over: http://tonykaron.com/2008/05/08/israel-is-alive-zionism-is-dead-what-now/

9898  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 12, 2009, 10:22:37 PM
**A good example of the crazy antisemitism that fills the islamic psyche.**


Special Dispatch - No. 494
April 11, 2003 No. 494
 
Author of Saudi Blood Libel and Professor at King Faysal University Lectures at Arab League Think Tank: 'U.S. War on Iraq Timed To Coincide With Jewish Holiday Purim'

On April 9, 2003, Dr. Umayma Jalahmabriefed the Arab League's "Center for Coordination and Follow-Up"and claimed that the U.S. war in Iraq was timed to coincide with the Jewish holiday Purim. Dr. Jalahma, a professor of Islamic Studies at Saudi Arabia's King Faysal University, made headlines last year when she claimed that Jews use human blood to make pastries for the Purim holiday. In an article published in the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh on March 12, 2002,Dr. Jalahma wrote about "the Jewish holiday of Purim… for this holiday, the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare the holiday pastries… that affords the Jewish vampires great delight as they carefully monitor every detail of the blood-shedding with pleasure... After this barbaric display, the Jews take the spilled blood, in the bottle set in the bottom [of the needle-studded barrel], and the Jewish cleric makes his coreligionists completely happy on their holiday when he serves them the pastries in which human blood is mixed."[1]

Following MEMRI's release of a translation of this article, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, criticized the Saudi government and press. Subsequently, Dr. Jalahma was prevented from writing for Al-Riyadh, but began writing for Al-Watan, another Saudi daily.

The "Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up" was established by the Arab League in 1999. Notable speakers at the Center include former vice president Al Gore, former secretary of state James Baker, Professor Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland, former president of Austria and former UN secretary-general Kurt Waldheim, President of the Arab-American Institute James Zogby, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, former assistant secretary of state for the Middle East Richard Murphy, President of the Middle East Institute Edward Walker, and Lyndon Larouche. Recent events at the Center include a lecture by French intellectual Theirry Meyssan, author of "The Appalling Fraud," in which he accused the U.S. military of involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks; the Saudi Gazette quoted Meyssan as stating at the event, "...[Those] who masterminded the operations and led them were American terrorists."[2]

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter also lectured at the Center and, according to the Zayed Center's summary of the event, which took place on February 8, 2003, Ritter "concluded his lecture, saying that what is happening now in the United Sates [i.e. the planning of the war in Iraq] is due to the fact that this country [the U.S.] is administered by extremists, after the elections of 2000, describing this as a kind of coup d'etat against the American values and principles."

The following is the summary provided by the Zayed Center of Dr. Jalahma'slecture:




'The American War on Iraq Started in March to Concur with Purim'

"[Dr. Jalahma] said that the American war on Iraq started in March to concur with Purim Feast, often celebrated in this month, which symbolizes the Jewish victory over Haman in Babylon [sic]."

'Imminent' Civil War in Israel
"[Dr. Jalahma] indicated that some Zionist parties which believe that the oriental Jews (Sephardim) must stay within the Palestinian borders because, [like] the Arabs, are inferior to the Western Jews (Ashkenazim), according to their claims. She expected an imminent civil war, now under the make, in the Israeli society due to denominational, sectarian, and ethnic splits."

'Zionist Ambitions to Establish a World State'

"[Dr. Jalahma] stated the invading forces have begun to distribute the spoils and booties in Iraq, disregarding the painful cries and woes of the Iraqi children. She considered the Israeli plan to rehabilitate the oil pipeline that once linked Haifa to Mosul, in the north of Iraq, as a sound evidence of the greedy ambitions of these countries (the Zionist Anglo-Saxon alliance) in Iraq and the other Arab countries. She also indicated that no one can curb the Zionist ambitions to establish a world state whose economic and political aspirations have no limits."

On the Zionist and American Media Campaigns vs. the Arab and Muslim World

"[Dr. Jalahma] added that Zionism and some Western circles have been active to defame the Arab and Muslim image, and to conceal truth and facts relating to the Arab and Muslim history. She called for condensed efforts to counter this campaign and to improve the Arab and Muslim image in the West."

On the 'Exploitation of the Jewish Woman… She is Still Denied Her Rights as a Human Being… She is Even Deprived of Her Children'"In another context, [Dr. Jalahma] said that the Jewish woman is politically and socially oppressed by the Jewish fundamentalists and secularists alike, mentioning that the Jewish woman lives in a miserable condition that requires the intervention of the international humanitarian organization to protect her.
The Jewish woman, she said, has been exploited and used for political purposes, and despite her noticeable contribution to the building of the Zionist society, she is still denied her rights as a human being. Injustice and oppression weigh heavily on her everywhere in society, particularly the Kibbutz, or the collective farms where she is even deprived of her children and extensively indoctrinated the Zionist principles."[3]



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

[1]See MEMRI past dispatches on this subject:
Special Dispatch Series - No. 357- March 21, 2002 - Editor of Saudi Government Daily Al-Riyadh: Statement on 'Purim' Blood Libel Articles.

Special Dispatch Series - No. 354- March 13, 2002 - Saudi Government Daily: Jews Use Teenagers' Blood for 'Purim' Pastries.

Press Release - No. 1- March 18, 2002, - Press Release on Article in Saudi Government Daily: Jews Use Teenagers' Blood for 'Purim' Pastries.

[2] MEMRI Special Dispatch - No. 383- May 23, 2002 Arab League Think Tank Hosts Event: U.S. Military behind September 11.

[3]http://www.zccf.org.ae/e_TitleDescription.asp?Tid=477, April 9, 2003.


 
9899  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 12, 2009, 09:54:44 PM
Published on Sunday, October 21, 2001 by the Washington Post 
Silence of 4 Terror Probe Suspects Poses Dilemma 
by Walter Pincus
 
FBI and Justice Department investigators are increasingly frustrated by the silence of jailed suspected associates of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, and some are beginning to that say that traditional civil liberties may have to be cast aside if they are to extract information about the Sept. 11 attacks and terrorist plans.
More than 150 people rounded up by law enforcement officials in the aftermath of the attacks remain in custody, but attention has focused on four suspects held in New York who the FBI believes are withholding valuable information.

FBI agents have offered the suspects the prospect of lighter sentences, money, jobs, and a new identity and life in the United States for them and their family members, but they have not succeeded in getting information from them, according to law enforcement sources.

"We're into this thing for 35 days and nobody is talking," a senior FBI official said, adding that "frustration has begun to appear."

Said one experienced FBI agent involved in the investigation: "We are known for humanitarian treatment, so basically we are stuck. . . . Usually there is some incentive, some angle to play, what you can do for them. But it could get to that spot where we could go to pressure . . . where we won't have a choice, and we are probably getting there."

Among the alternative strategies under discussion are using drugs or pressure tactics, such as those employed occasionally by Israeli interrogators, to extract information. Another idea is extraditing the suspects to allied countries where security services sometimes employ threats to family members or resort to torture.

Under U.S. law, interrogators in criminal cases can lie to suspects, but information obtained by physical pressure, inhumane treatment or torture cannot be used in a trial. In addition, the government interrogators who used such tactics could be sued by the victim or charged with battery by the government.

The four key suspects, held in New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center, are Zacarias Moussaoui, a French Moroccan detained in August initially in Minnesota after he sought lessons on how to fly commercial jetliners but not how to take off or land them; Mohammed Jaweed Azmath and Ayub Ali Khan, Indians traveling with false passports who were detained the day after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks with box cutters, hair dye and $5,000 in cash; and Nabil Almarabh, a former Boston cabdriver with alleged links to al Qaeda.

Questioning of "the two with the box cutters and others have left us wondering what's the next phase," the FBI official said.

One former senior FBI official with a background in counterterrorism said recently, "You can't torture, you can't give drugs now, and there is logic, reason and humanity to back that." But, he added, "you could reach a point where they allow us to apply drugs to a guy. . . . But I don't think this country would ever permit torture, or beatings."

He said there was a difference in employing a "truth serum," such as sodium pentothal, "to try to get critical information when facing disaster, and beating a guy till he is senseless."

"If there is another major attack on U.S. soil, the American public could let it happen," he said. "Drugs might taint a prosecution, but it might be worth it."

Even some people who are firm supporters of civil liberties understand the pressures that are developing.

David Cole, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center who obtained the release of Middle Eastern clients after they had been detained for years based on secret information, said that in the current crisis, "the use of force to extract information could happen" in cases where investigators believe suspects have information on an upcoming attack.

"If there is a ticking bomb, it is not an easy issue, it's tough," he said.

Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel during the Clinton administration, wrote recently that the Supreme Court distinguished terrorism cases from cases where lesser threats are involved. He noted that five justices in a recent deportation case recognized that the "genuine danger" represented by terrorism requires "heightened deference to the judgments of the political branches with respect to matters of national security."

Former attorney general Richard L. Thornburgh said, "We put emphasis on due process and sometimes it strangles us."

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, he said, "legally admissible evidence in court may not be the be-all and end-all." The country may compare the current search for information to brutal tactics in wartime used to gather intelligence overseas and even by U.S. troops from prisoners during military actions.

Extradition of Moussaoui to France or Morocco is a possibility, one law enforcement official said. The French security services were quick to leak to journalists in Paris that they had warned the CIA and FBI in early September, before the attacks, that Moussaoui was associated with al Qaeda and had pilot training.

The leak has irritated U.S. investigators in part because "it was so limited," one FBI official said. "Maybe we should give him [Moussaoui] to them," he said, noting that French security has a reputation for rough interrogations.

The threat of extradition to a country with harsh practices does not always work.

In 1997, Hani Abdel Rahim al-Sayegh, a Saudi citizen arrested in Canada and transferred to the United States under the promise that he would tell about the bombing of the Khobar Towers military barracks in Saudi Arabia, refused to cooperate in the investigation when he got here.

The FBI threatened to have al-Sayegh sent back to Saudi Arabia, where he could have faced beheading, thinking it would get him to talk. "He called their bluff and went back, was not executed and is in jail," a government official said.

Robert M. Blitzer, former chief of the FBI counterterrorism section, said offers of reduced sentences worked to get testimony in the cases of Ahmed Ressam, caught bringing explosives into the country for millennium attacks that never took place, and Ali Mohammed, the former U.S. Army Green Beret who pleaded guilty in the 1998 embassy bombings and provided valuable information about al Qaeda.

The two former al Qaeda members who testified publicly in the 1998 bombing trials were resettled with their families in the United States under the witness protection program and given either money or loans to restart their lives.

Torture "goes against every grain in my body," Blitzer said. "Chances are you are going to get the wrong person and risk damage or killing them." In the end, he said, there has to be another way.
 
9900  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 12, 2009, 08:55:51 PM
Not really. The propaganda use of "torture" by the US is a bogus point. Having tracked the arab/muslim media for years, everything is a source of outrage for them. They are quite happy to invent lurid conspiracies when they have nothing else to incite the masses with. The frequently told story by the arab media of US Army combat surgical hospitals hosting Israeli surgeons that harvest the eyes of Iraqi children for Israelis needing corneas, springs to mind.
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