Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 19, 2014, 03:48:32 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
83719 Posts in 2261 Topics by 1067 Members
Latest Member: Shinobi Dog
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 607 608 [609] 610 611 ... 635
30401  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Humor on: March 02, 2006, 04:17:10 PM
I walked into a public toilet where I found two cubicles, one of which was already occupied. So I entered the vacant one, as you do, and dropped my trousers and sat down.


A voice from the next cubicle said "Hello mate, how are you doing?" I thought it a bit strange, but not wanting to be rude replied, "Yeah, not too bad, Thanks".


After a pause I heard the voice again: "So, what are you up to mate?" Again, I answered somewhat reluctantly it must be said. Unsure what to say now, I replied "Umm, just having a quick poo.... how about yourself?"


I then heard the voice for the third time...."Sorry mate, I'll have to call you back... I've got some d*ckhead in the next cubicle answering everything I say!"
30402  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: March 02, 2006, 01:16:57 AM

This is pretty special.
30403  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: March 01, 2006, 10:26:17 PM

Its OK here, but best would be the Homeland Security thread.

Anyway, here's this:

Iran: The Regime's Strategic Moderation

Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami criticized his successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his remarks regarding the Holocaust, while a centrist daily said Ahmadinejad's statements toward Israel only have added to Iran's problems. That Khatami and a newspaper were allowed to criticize Ahmadinejad publicly means Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei probably approved out of a desire to tame the ultraconservatives. These moderating statements will prove helpful to Tehran in the negotiations over the nuclear crisis, and come at a time when Iran is at crossroads both internationally and domestically.


Without naming him, former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami criticized his successor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on March 1 by contradicting the latter's claims denying the Holocaust. In remarks published in the Iranian press, Khatami referred to the Holocaust as a "historical reality." The moderate cleric also said, "We should speak out if even a single Jew is killed. Don't forget that one of the crimes of Hitler, Nazism and German national socialism was the massacre of innocent people, among them many Jews."

The same day, the well-known centrist newspaper Shargh also criticized the president for his anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli comments. The paper wrote, "The Holocaust has, as wished for by the president, become a topic of our foreign policy." The publication then posed the question: "Don't we have enough with the nuclear question, human rights, free elections and political in-fighting, so do we need to add another problem?" Shargh added that Tehran should focus its energies on the creation of a Palestinian state rather than on Israel's destruction.

Neither criticism could have been published without prior approval from the highest echelons of power. Khatami's remarks and Shargh's commentary against the maverick Iranian president likely were sanctioned by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They serve two purposes, one at the international level and the other at the domestic level.

On the foreign policy front, these remarks are part of the regime's efforts to project alternating images of the Islamic republic to extract concessions in back-channel talks with Washington on Iraq. These moderating comments also allow Khamenei to strike a balance between the two main factions within the conservative clerical establishment, the ultraconservatives and the pragmatic conservatives.

By allowing different voices to air their opinions at different times, or at least by giving that impression, Khamenei and his top associates are able to manipulate the international situation depending on Tehran's needs. When it wants to gain U.S. attention, Tehran has Ahmadinejad make provocative comments against Israel to increase tensions. And when Tehran needs to contain a crisis, it has figures like Khatami contradict the president. By giving the sense of having radicals like the current president and moderates like the former president, Iran can portray itself as unpredictable, and therefore dangerous, not unlike North Korea. This creates the impression that if negotiations proceed just a little longer, something could be resolved. In other words, the presence of voices of reason inside Iran makes the Islamic republic seem like a less desirable target to attack. Hence, the West and Iran have remained locked in an almost perpetual state of negotiations.

Tehran has successfully employed this technique on the foreign policy front because the various factions of the Iranian regime, despite differences in their preferred approaches, maintain a consensus on the state's core objectives. The drawback of this approach, however, is that it allows each faction to seek an advantage on the domestic front over its competitors.

Such a tussle has an unsettling effect on the movers and shakers' position in the political system given their ties to the various factions. Furthermore, Khamenei has long sided with the pragmatists within the regime. With the resurgence of the ultraconservatives after Ahmadinejad's election, this balancing act has become more cumbersome.

What has Khamenei and the Iranian power brokers worried are the upcoming elections to the Assembly of Experts, scheduled for late summer or early fall. One of many organs of Iran's complex political system, the Assembly of Experts has the authority to appoint and remove the supreme leader. The ideologues behind Ahmadinejad -- such as those around his key ideological mentor, Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi Misbah Yazdi -- are trying to gain entry into the assembly to extend their leverage beyond the regime's elected figurehead, Ahmadinejad, to Iran's unelected apex position.

By allowing criticism of Ahmadinejad by a leading voice of the rival faction, Khamenei is trying to contain the ultraconservatives' advance. Ironically, it was Khamenei who came out a year ago to Ahmadinejad's rescue, calling for patience with the new president, which allowed Ahmadinejad the time and space to better run his administration.

The situation in Iran is far more nuanced than the prevailing discourse on Iranian politics, which simplifies Iran's domestic situation as a tussle between reformists and hard-liners. This misperception increases the regime's freedom to navigate on the international scene.
30404  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: March 01, 2006, 08:33:24 AM
Tehran, Iran, Feb. 28 ? A senior Iranian cleric has approved attacks on foreign embassies in Tehran over the publication of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in European dailies, a website belonging to the office of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reported.

?Muslims must take the most ferocious stance against insults to Islamic sanctities?, the senior cleric told Ayatollah Dorri Najaf-Abadi, the country?s Chief State Prosecutor, according to the Persian-language website Khedmat.

?If setting fire to embassies of countries that insult the Prophet aims to show that these countries no longer have any place in Islamic countries then this act is permissible?, the senior ayatollah was quoted as saying.

?Anyone who dies in this path [of protests against the insults] is a martyr?, he said.

Khedmat did not name the senior Shiite religious leader, but Najaf-Abadi met and held talks separately with five senior ayatollahs in Qom on February 20. The ayatollahs, Moussavi Ardebili, Makarem Shirazi, Fazel Lankarani, Safi Golpayegani and Nouri Hamedani, unanimously condemned the cartoons depicting Islam?s Prophet Mohammad and described it as a ?Zionist and Western conspiracy against Islam?.

?The support shown for the [cartoons] by the European Union and some European governments showed that this was not just an issue of journalism. But Muslims? reaction was beyond expectation and it showed that Muslims have woken up and this is a great asset?, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi told the prosecutor, according to the government-owned ISNA news agency.
30405  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Knife vs. Gun on: March 01, 2006, 06:47:47 AM
Folks, I had a wonderful gun lesson with Michael while I was in Tulsa recently.  He's really good with a gun!

BTW Michael, with that shift in the grip you showed me, Glock 26s now make sense.  Thank you.

PS:  I just posted on the humor thread-- were any of those you?  cheesy
30406  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Humor on: March 01, 2006, 06:42:09 AM
The following 15 Police comments were taken off of actual cop car videos
around the country.

15. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch
     out after you wear them awhile."

14. "Take your hands off the car and I'll make your birth certificate a
     worthless document."

13. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

12. "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? In case you didn't
     know, that is the average speed of a 9mm bullet."

11. "So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can
     write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"

10. "Yes, Sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think
     it will help. Oh, did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?"

9. "Warning! You want a warning? OK, I'm warning you not to do that
    again or I'll give you another ticket."

8. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are
    drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

7. "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go
    to ride on rides, eat cotton candy, and step in monkey doo."

6. "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster."

5. "In God we trust, all others we run through the computer."

4. "Just how big were those two beers?"

3. "No sir we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now
    we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want."

2. "I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a good personal friend of
    yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail."


1. "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets?
    You're right, we don't...  Sign here.
30407  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Mexico on: March 01, 2006, 06:14:21 AM
Mexican heroes, not Chavez or Lula, inspire leftist By Alistair Bell
Mon Feb 27, 2:43 PM ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The man favored to win Mexico's presidential election is often compared to the new breed of Latin American left-wing leaders but he prefers to delve deep into Mexican history to find his role models.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist front-runner for the July election, denies he is a populist in the mold of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and he rejects similarities to Bolivia's new leader, Evo Morales, or Brazil's more moderate president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Instead, Lopez Obrador is a keen admirer of Benito Juarez, a poor Zapotec Indian who became Mexico's first indigenous president and a modernizer in the mid-19th century.

At campaign rallies, amateur history buff Lopez Obrador lauds Mexico's independence heroes in the fight against Spain, and famous revolutionaries like Emiliano Zapata and Francisco "Pancho" Villa.

But he reserves most praise for the liberal Juarez, offering a glimpse into the kind of president he might try to be if he wins the July 2 vote.

"We are inspired by Benito Juarez's sobriety, austerity and the firmness of his republican principles," Lopez Obrador told a rally of up to 100,000 people in Mexico City on Sunday.

Lopez Obrador, the capital's former mayor, has topped opinion polls for the last three years, although his lead has faded a bit since campaigning began in January.

Wall Street investors and Washington policy-makers are anxious to know where he fits into Latin America's recent swing to the left. They worry Lopez Obrador will wreck Mexico's financial stability by spending heavily to create jobs, and that he might also take a firm anti-U.S. stance.

Lopez Obrador says he would take Juarez, who expanded civil rights and curbed Roman Catholic Church powers, as an example.

Juarez, a steel-willed man whose face adorns Mexico's 20-peso note, is a national icon for defeating French invaders, drawing up a federalist constitution and bringing a country torn by political and religious chaos under the rule of law.


Lopez Obrador sees in himself a similar willingness to shake up Mexico, blighted by drug gang violence, mass emigration to the United States and grinding poverty, said left-wing historian Lorenzo Meyer.

"What is it that Andres Manuel sees in Juarez? He sees a political leader with a task that is almost impossible," said Meyer.

Lopez Obrador's reluctance to identify himself with other modern leftists might be an effort not to antagonize next-door neighbor the United States, Mexico's key trading partner.

"In their own ways, Lula, Chavez and Kirchner have conflicts with the United States," said Meyer. "Anything Lopez Obrador might say on foreign policy could turn into a problem for him."

But aides say Lopez Obrador, a widower and former Indian rights activist, is driven by a need to leave his own mark on history, in his case by raising millions of Mexicans out of poverty and fighting corruption.

"It is not just about putting the presidential sash on and sitting in the presidential seat," Lopez Obrador said on Sunday. "It's about a real renovation, a true purification of public life."

Lopez Obrador will make history of his own if he wins the election. No candidate from a left-wing party has ever become president in Mexico.

Lopez Obrador called former President Lazaro Cardenas the best Mexican president of last century on Sunday. Cardenas is remembered for nationalizing the oil industry in 1938 and the reference underlined Lopez Obrador's commitment to keep private investment away from state oil monopoly Pemex.

Lopez Obrador speaks little about foreign policy and other regional leaders, which is no loss for some Mexicans.

"We don't know much about them," said florist Estela Ramos, a Lopez Obrador backer. "We have enough problems in Mexico."
30408  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Humor on: February 28, 2006, 11:41:34 PM
Kitty UFC
30409  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Albuquerque stick fighting on: February 28, 2006, 03:49:05 PM
Amen to that!

Kalani, please give me a call at your earliest convenience. TIA
30410  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Venezuela Pol?tica on: February 28, 2006, 10:56:23 AM
Muy interesante DS, gracias por compartirlo.
30411  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: February 27, 2006, 11:56:39 PM
Jihadi Turns Bulldog
The Taliban's former spokesman is now a Yale student. Anyone see a problem with that?

Monday, February 27, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday's New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa. This is taking the obsession that U.S. universities have with promoting diversity a bit too far.

Something is very wrong at our elite universities. Last week Larry Summers resigned as president of Harvard when it became clear he would lose a no-confidence vote held by politically correct faculty members furious at his efforts to allow ROTC on campus, his opposition to a drive to have Harvard divest itself of corporate investments in Israel, and his efforts to make professors work harder. Now Yale is giving a first-class education to an erstwhile high official in one of the most evil regimes of the latter half of the 20th century--the government that harbored the terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001.

"In some ways," Mr. Rahmatullah told the New York Times. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale." One of the courses he has taken is called Terrorism-Past, Present and Future.

Many foreign readers of the Times will no doubt snicker at the revelation that naive Yale administrators scrambled to admit Mr. Rahmatullah. The Times reported that Yale "had another foreigner of Rahmatullah's caliber apply for special-student status." Richard Shaw, Yale's dean of undergraduate admissions, told the Times that "we lost him to Harvard," and "I didn't want that to happen again."

In the spring of 2001, I was one of several writers at The Wall Street Journal who interviewed Mr. Rahmatullah at our offices across the street from the World Trade Center. His official title was second foreign secretary; his mission was to explain the regime's decision to rid the country of two 1,000-year-old towering statues of Buddha carved out of rock 90 miles from the Afghan capital, Kabul. The archeological treasures were considered the greatest remaining examples of third- and fifth-century Greco-Indian art in the world. But Taliban leader Mullah Omar had ordered all statues in the country destroyed, calling them idols of infidels and repugnant to Islam.
Even Muslim nations like Pakistan denounced the move. Mr. Rahmatullah, who at the time claimed to be 24 but now says he was lying about his age and was actually two years younger, cut a curious figure in our office. He wore a traditional Afghan turban and white baggy pants and sported a full beard. His English, while sometimes elliptical, was smooth and colloquial. He made himself very clear when he said the West had no business worrying about the statues, because it had cut off trade and foreign aid to the Taliban. "When the world destroys the future of our children with economic sanctions, they have no right to worry about our past," he told us, according to my notes from the meeting.

He smiled as he informed us that the statues had been blown up with explosive charges only after people living nearby had been removed. He had no comment on reports that Mullah Omar had ordered 100 cows be sacrificed as atonement for the Taliban government's failure to destroy the Buddhas earlier.

As for Osama bin Laden, Mr. Rahmatullah called the Saudi fugitive a "guest" of his government and said it hadn't been proved that bin Laden was linked to any terrorist acts, despite his indictment in the U.S. for planning the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He said that if the embassy bombings were terrorist acts, then so was the Clinton administration's firing cruise missiles into his country in an attempt to kill bin Laden. "You killed 19 innocent people," he told us.

After the meeting I walked him out. I vividly recall our stopping at a window as he stared up at the World Trade Center. We stood there for a minute chatting, but I don't recall what he said. He then left. I next thought about him a few months later, on Sept. 11, as I stood outside our office building covered in dust and debris staring at the remains of the towers that had just collapsed. I occasionally wondered what had happened to Mr. Rahmatullah. I assumed he either had died in the collapse of the Taliban regime, had been jailed, or was living quietly in the new, democratic Afghanistan.

From newspaper clips I knew that his visit to the Journal's offices was part of a PR tour. He visited other newspapers and spoke at universities, and the State Department had granted him a meeting with midlevel officials. None of the meetings went particularly well. At the University of Southern California, Mr. Rahmatullah expressed irritation with a question about statues that at that point hadn't yet been blown up. "You know, really, I am asked so much about these statues that I have a headache now," he moaned. "If I go back to Afghanistan, I will blow them."

Carina Chocano, a writer for who attended several of his speeches in the U.S., noted the hostility of many of his audiences. "A lesser publicist might have melted down," she wrote. "But the cool, unruffled and media-smart Hashemi instead spun his story into a contemporary parable of ironic iconoclasm," peppering his lectures with "statue jokes."

But sometimes his humor really backfired. At a speech for the Atlantic Council, Mr. Rahmatullah was confronted by a woman in the audience who lifted the burkha she was wearing and chastised him for the Taliban's infamous treatment of women. "You have imprisoned the women--it's a horror, let me tell you," she cried. Mr. Rahmatullah responded with a sneer: "I'm really sorry to your husband. He might have a very difficult time with you."

A videotape of his cutting remark became part of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," and infuriated the likes of Mavis Leno, wife of "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno. Mrs. Leno helped found the Feminist Majority's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan and devoted countless hours to focusing public attention on the plight of Afghanistan's women and girls. "I will never, ever abandon these women," she often said before the Taliban's overthrow. Here's hoping she has saved some of her outrage for Yale's decision to welcome Mr. Rahmatullah with open arms.

In his interview with the New York Times, Mr. Rahmatullah, said that if he had to do it all over, he would have been less "antagonistic" in his remarks during his U.S. road tour. "I regret the way I spoke sometimes. Now I would try to be softer. A little bit." Just a little?

Today, when he is asked if Afghanistan would be better off if the Taliban were still in charge, Mr. Rahmatullah, has a mixed answer: "Economically, no. In terms of security, yes. In terms of general happiness, no. In the long-term interests of the country? I don't think so. I think the radicals were taking over and doing crazy stuff. I regret when people think of the Taliban and then think of me--that feeling people have after they know I was affiliated with them is painful to me." Note that the government official who represented the Taliban abroad now claims to have been only "affiliated" with them.

Even though he evinces only semiregret for his actions in service to the Taliban, there is evidence that he has become quite a charmer. After the fall of the Taliban, he resumed a friendship he had developed with Mike Hoover, a CBS News cameraman who, according to a 2001 Associated Press story, had visited Afghanistan three times as a guest of the Taliban. Mr. Hoover inspired Mr. Rahmatullah to think about going to the U.S. to finish his studies. "I thought he could do a lot as a student/teacher," said Mr. Hoover. He persuaded Bob Schuster, an attorney friend of his from Wyoming who had gone to Yale, to help out. As the Times reported, "Schuster called the provost's office to ask how an ex-Taliban envoy with a fourth-grade education and a high-school equivalency degree might go about applying to one of the world's top universities."

Intrigued by Mr. Rahmatullah, Dean Shaw arranged for his admission into a nondegree program for special students. He apparently has done well, so far pulling down a 3.33 grade-point average.

There is something to be said for the instinct to reach out to one's former enemies. America's postwar reconciliation with the Japanese and Germans has paid great dividends. But there are limits.
During a trip to Germany I once ran into a relative of Hans Fritsche, the top deputy to Josef Goebbels, whom the Guardian, a British newspaper, once described as "the Nazi Propaganda Minister's leading radio spokesman [whose] commentaries were among the main items of German home and foreign broadcasting." After the war he was tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg, but because he had only given hate-filled speeches, he was acquitted of all charges in 1946. In the early 1950s, he applied for a visa to visit the U.S. and explain his regret at having served an evil regime. He was turned down, to the everlasting regret of the relative with whom I spoke. She noted that Albert Speer, Hitler's former architect, was also turned down for a U.S. visa even after he had completed a 20-year prison sentence and had written a best-selling book detailing Hitler's madness.

I don't believe Mr. Rahmatullah had direct knowledge of the 9/11 plot, and I don't think he has ever killed anyone. I can appreciate that he is trying to rebuild his life. But he willingly and cheerfully served an evil regime in a manner that would have made Goebbels proud. That he was 22 at the time is little of an excuse. There are many poor, bright students--American and foreign alike--who would jump at the opportunity to attend Yale. Why should Mr. Rahmatullah go to the line ahead of all of them? That's a question Yale alumni should ask when their alma mater comes looking for contributions.

President Bush, who already has a well-known disdain for Yale elitism from his student days there, may also have some questions. In the wake of his being blindsided by his own administration over the Dubai port deal, he should be interested in finding out exactly who at the State Department approved Mr. Rahmatullah's application for a student visa.
30412  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: February 27, 2006, 07:01:03 PM
U.S. Representative Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) recently introduced H.R. 4547-a national Right-to-Carry (RTC) reciprocity bill that would honor state carry licensees nationwide.  The bill would allow any person with a valid carry permit or license issued by a state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state if they meet certain criteria.  The bill would not create a federal licensing system; it would simply require the states to recognize each other's carry permits, just as they recognize drivers' licenses.
For more information on the bill, please visit
Please be sure to contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and urge him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 4547!
30413  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / New on DVD! on: February 27, 2006, 05:38:00 PM
Bruno and I spoke last week.  He has graciously offered to help transcribe the first series into several languages which we do not have covered already.

DBMA Cycle Drills featuring Guro Lonely Dog is due to arrive Thursday!
30414  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: February 25, 2006, 09:10:51 AM Jax firm to produce flexible armor for GIs, marines

Associated Press

February 24, 2006, 10:15 AM EST

BALTIMORE -- A Florida firm has been chosen to produce flexible body armor and other products based on technology developed at the University of Delaware and the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Fabric used in the armor is treated with a solution that stiffens when force is applied, but remains fluid otherwise.

The first products, which will initially focus on protection for law enforcement and corrections officers, are expected to be introduced later this year by Armor Holdings, Inc., a Jacksonville company best known for providing armored Humvees for the military. Body armor vests, helmets, gloves and extremity protection are among the products planned, the company announced Friday.

Body armor fabric treated with the fluid, for example, can resist an ice pick that would normally penetrate the fabric. Tests have also shown the treated fabric is better able to spread the force of an impact over a wider area, said Dr. Tony Russell, chief technology officer for Armor Holdings.

When force is applied, the fluid, which contains nano-sized particles, acts ``more like a solid. It locks the fibers in place and makes them more resistant to penetration,'' Russell said.

``If you take a normal ballistic fabric that's pretty good at stopping bullets and you hit it with an ice pick, the fibers will move out of the way. So what you normally have to do is put more layers to stop that ice pick,'' reducing flexibility that can inhibit motion.

The new technology allows the vest to stop penetration with fewer layers. The treated fabric, meanwhile, has virtually the same look, feel, texture, weight and flexibility, Russell said.

``You may get a little residue on your fingers but it doesn't feel wet to the touch,'' Russell said.

The company hopes the technology will eventually lead to lighter, more comfortable body armor that will cover more of the body.

The technology takes advantage of a property known as shear-thickening, in which fluids become solid when a force is applied. A common example is a paste of corn starch and water. A spoon rested on the surface will slowly sick to the bottom, but if force is suddenly applied the paste can't move to the sides quickly enough.

The technology Armor Holdings will use was developed by the University of Delaware's Center for Composite Materials and the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

University of Delaware professor Norman Wagner said the technology has the potential for new products that will ``provide better protection to those who need it.''

In addition to body armor, potential applications include vehicle armor, bomb blankets, industrial environments and transportation _ ``anywhere you want to protect people against sharp flying objects,'' Wagner said.

On the Net:

Armor Holdings Inc.:

Weapons and Material Research Directorate:

University of Delaware Shear Thickening Fluid site: Copyright ? 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
30415  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Knife vs. Gun on: February 24, 2006, 10:24:32 PM
I think the point of the Tueller drill was to see what a typical officer needed to gun solve a knife attack without HTH skills.  Yes?
30416  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: February 23, 2006, 05:36:13 PM
30417  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Resources and Helpful Links on: February 23, 2006, 04:59:08 PM
Get to a human, not more prompts!
30418  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Knife DVD? on: February 23, 2006, 04:58:07 PM
We have already shot some footage for an upcoming DVD on the Empty Hand vs. Knife.

The working title is "The Interface of Gun, Knife and Empty Hand" and will be a joint venture with highly regarded combatives pistol instructor Gabe Suarez.

I probably will be teaching "The Kali Fence" and DBMA's principal anti-knife structure "The Dog Catcher".  Gabe will show the Dog Catcher as a transition to getting a concealed carry pistol into play.

The Adventure continues,
Crafty Dog
30419  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Knife vs. Gun on: February 23, 2006, 09:31:12 AM
Oh that piece.  I had seen that before, but watching it now, I still didn't see a spider guard , , ,
30420  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: February 23, 2006, 09:22:58 AM
Opinion - David Aaronovitch  
The Times February 21, 2006

'Whoever insults the one true Church deserves to be killed.' (News report)
David Aaronovitch
?EUROPE MUST LEARN to live in and with the world, not to dominate it, nor to assume it is superior or more virtuous. Any continent that has inflicted such brutality on the world over a period of 200 years has not too much to be proud of, and much to be modest and humble about.? Martin Jacques, The Guardian, on the cartoons row.
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe . . .


From a Reuters report, Rome, some time around now

The Vatican has protested in ?the strongest possible terms? against the publication in paperback of Dan Brown?s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code. Cardinal Loopi, of the Office of the Defence of the Faith, condemned the book for defaming Catholicism and, in its suggestion that Jesus Christ was married, of heresy. ?We demand that the book be destroyed and that the author be punished,? said Loopi, ?otherwise we cannot be held responsible for how Catholics throughout the world may react.?

Excerpt from a speech by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor

Merkel: ?The affront to the honour of the one true Church is in fact an affront to the worship of God, and to the seeking of truth and justice, and an affront to all the prophets of God. Obviously, all those who harm the honour of the one true Church . . .?

Crowd: ?Death to Dan Brown.

Death to Dan Brown.

Death to Dan Brown.

Death to Dan Brown.?

From the Paris correspondent of al-Jazeera

A Lyons priest today offered half a million euros and a top-of-the-line Toyota as a reward to anyone who killed Dan Brown or any executive of the Da Vinci Code publishers, Jonathan Cape. Speaking to a 1,000-strong crowd gathered after Mass outside the church of St Marie-la-Vierge, Fr Jules Monbiot announced that the offer was ?a unanimous decision by all bishops that whoever insults the one true Church deserves to be killed, and whoever will take this insulting man to his end will get this prize?.

News stories in al-Ahram (Cairo)

Bookseller shot dead in Poland, by teenager shouting: ?For God, and the Pope!?

Ten killed in Lisbon Dan Brown riots, when police opened fire on mob ransacking the Canadian Embassy. ?We thought he was Canadian,? says riot leader.

Violence in northwest London as Jews go on rampage against Holocaust denial in Muslim countries. Kebab restaurants and curry houses ablaze from the Finchley Road to Edgware.

Iranian and Syrian embassies and consulates attacked in 20 cities worldwide. Iranian Embassy destroyed in Canberra. Australian Government describes violence as ?regrettable, but understandable?.

Speech by Angela Merkel, about the convening of an international conference in Berlin to ?investigate? Islam

?We propose the following to the Muslims: if you are not lying, allow a group of neutral, honest researchers to come to Mecca, and to talk to people, examine documents and let people know the findings of their research about the Muhammad myth. You have even prevented your own scholars from researching this issue. They are allowed to study anything except for the Muhammad myth. Are these not medieval methods??

Reuters report from Berlin

?German Chancellor Angela Merkel today caused alarm in diplomatic circles when she called for the Netherlands to be ?wiped from the face of the earth?.? She went on, ?The establishment of the Dutch regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Catholic world.?

Summary of an article in French government newspaper, Le Monde

The Netherlands may have created the avian flu virus in order to damage the economies of Europe, and cleverly planted it first in the Far East to divert attention away from the real plan.

Angela Merkel on German attempts to produce a nuclear weapon

?Those who oppose us should be grateful that our people has acted nobly towards you so far, and has been patient. We want to remain patient. Don?t make us lose our patience. The peoples have awakened. The world of Christendom has awakened. Do not make us reconsider our policies.?

Reuters reports from Munich

Fr Rudiger Schlitz, the assistant to the head of the Catholic Church in Germany, has said that it is doctrinally permissible for nuclear weapons to be used. ?When the entire world is armed with nuclear weapons, it is permissible to use these weapons as a counter-measure. According to church law, only the goal is important . . .?

Al-Jazeera News. Mark Seddon reporting . . .

These are the pictures of Our Lady?s Church in Shoreham, following the explosion in which 31 parishioners died, along with the suicide bomber, who is believed to belong to the majority Anglican community. This is the fourth such bomb attack on a Catholic church in the last two years.

Statement from Human Rights Watch . . .

Calling on the Italian authorities to order an immediate, independent investigation into the violent suppression of an apparently peaceful demonstration by Seventh Day Adventists in Naples on February 13, 2005. Hundreds of demonstrators, including women and children, were injured when police and armed militia from the Catholic Enforcement League broke up the protest, apparently using excessive force, and as many as 1,200 protesters are believed to have been arrested. A year later 200 of those detained are still being held without trial.

Report from al Quds-al-Arabi

Finland. Mr X, a local celebrity and Muslim, was exhumed after his funeral and given a Christian burial, despite his widow?s objection that he had not been to Church since he was a child, and had converted to Islam at the age of 15. A church court had considered the case following a complaint from a local Lutheran preacher, and ruled that Mr X should be treated as a Christian.

Excerpts from Amnesty International Report for 2006

In Newcastle, England, a special court sentenced a Gateshead woman to be burnt to death for witchcraft. Betty Spencer, 53, was immolated in front of a crowd that had gathered in the Newcastle United football stadium. It was the sixth such execution since the year 2000.

In Idaho a teacher was killed and three of his pupils badly injured when militia members of the ?Party of Christ?, who object to girls being educated on the same premises as boys, fired into a packed schoolroom.

And finally, the good news . . .

From hiding, somewhere in Pakistan, Dan Brown apologises to the Judaeo-Christian world for the publication of The Da Vinci Code, promises to donate the proceeds from all his books to any charity nominated for the purpose by Opus Dei and undertakes to become a monk in a silent order at a monastery atop a high mountain in the Apennines.
30421  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Venezuela Pol?tica on: February 23, 2006, 12:32:45 AM

The United States and the 'Problem' of Venezuela
February 22, 2006 20 55  GMT

By George Friedman

Venezuela has become an ongoing problem for the Bush administration, but no one seems able to define quite what the issue is. President Hugo Chavez is carrying out the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela and feuding with the United States. He has close ties with Cuba and has influenced many Latin American countries. The issue that needs to be analyzed, however, is whether any of this matters -- and if it does, why it is significant.

Chavez came to power in 1999 through a democratic election. He unseated a constellation of parties that had dominated Venezuela for years. Chavez, an army officer, had led a failed coup attempt in 1992 and spent time in prison for that. He sought the presidency without any clear ideology other than hostility to the existing regime. There was a vague belief at the time of his election that Chavez would be simply another passing event in Latin America. Put a little more bluntly, there was an assumption that Chavez rapidly would be corrupted by the opportunities opened to him as president, and that he would proceed to enrich himself while allowing business to go on as usual.

The business of Venezuela, however, is oil. Not only is the country a major exporter, but the state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), also owns the American refiner and retailer Citgo Petroleum Corp. Venezuela has tried to diversify its economy many times, but oil has remained its mainstay. In other words, the Venezuelan state is indistinguishable from the Venezuelan oil industry. Chavez, therefore, has faced two core issues: The first was how income from the oil would be used, and the second was the degree to which foreign oil companies could be allowed to influence that industry.

Chavez was able to win the presidency because he promised the Venezuelan masses a bigger cut of the oil revenues than they had seen before. More precisely, he promised a series of social benefits, which could be financed only through the diversion of oil revenues. From Chavez's point of view, the problem was that the Venezuelan upper class and the foreign oil companies were pocketing the oil money that could be used to pay for the social services upon which his government rested and his political future depended. From his fairly simple populist position, then, he proceeded to move against the technical apparatus of PDVSA and against the foreign oil companies, most of which opposed him and threatened to undermine his plans.

But there was yet a further dilemma. In order to support his political base, Chavez had to have oil revenues. In order to generate oil revenues, he had to have investment into the oil sector. But diverting revenues and building up the oil sector were competing goals. Given the political climate, foreign oil companies were not inclined to make major investments in Venezuela, and PDVSA -- minus its technical experts -- was not capable of maintaining operations and existing output levels. There was, then, a terrific problem embedded in Chavez's political strategy. In the long term, something would have to give.

Two things saved him from his dilemma. The first was a short-lived coup by his opposition in April 2002. This coup was truly something to behold. Having captured Chavez and sent him to an island, the coupsters fell into squabbling with each other over who would hold what office and sort of forgot about Chavez. Chavez flew back to Caracas, went to the Miraflores presidential palace, and took over, less than 48 hours after it all began. The coupsters headed out of town.

The coup gave Chavez a new, credible platform: anti-Americanism. He was never pro-American, but the brief coup allowed him to claim that the United States was trying to topple him. It would be a huge surprise to us if it turned out that the CIA was utterly unaware of the coup plans, but we would also be moderately surprised if the CIA planned events as Chavez charged. Even on its worst day, the CIA couldn't be that incompetent. But Chavez's claim was not implausible. It certainly was believed by his followers, and it expanded his support base to include Venezuelan patriots who disliked American interference in their affairs. What the coup did was flesh out Chavez's ideology a bit. He was for the poor and against the United States.

Chavez got lucky in a second way: rising oil prices. The appetite of his government for cash was enormous. Someone once referred to Citgo as "Chavez's ATM." With Venezuela's oil production declining, Chavez's government likely would have collapsed under social pressure if world oil prices had remained low. But oil prices didn't remain low -- they soared. Venezuela still had substantial economic problems and its oil industry was suffering from lack of expertise, investment and exploration, but at $60 a barrel, Chavez had room for maneuver.

All of this led him into an alliance with Cuba. When you're anti-U.S. in Latin America, Havana welcomes you with open arms. Cuba needed Venezuela as well: After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cubans were cut off from subsidized oil supplies, and their ability to pay world prices wasn't there. Chavez could afford to provide Castro with oil to sustain the Cuban economy. It could be argued that without Chavez, the Castro regime might have collapsed once faced with soaring oil prices.

In return for this support, Chavez benefited from Cuba's greatest asset: a highly professional security and intelligence apparatus. Arguing, not irrationally, that the United States was not yet through with Venezuela, Chavez used Cuban expertise to build a security system designed to protect his regime. His government -- though not nearly as repressive as Cuba's is at the popular level -- nevertheless came under the protection not only of Cuban professionals, but of cadres of Venezuelan personnel trained by the Cubans. The relationship with the Cubans certainly predated the coup in Caracas, but it kicked into high gear afterwards. Both sides benefited.

Chavez's rise to power also intersected with another process under way in Latin America: the anti-globalization movement. From about 1990 onward, Latin America was dominated by an ideology that argued that free-market reforms, including uncontrolled foreign investment and trade, would in the long run lift the region out of its chronic misery. The long run turned out to be too long, however, because the pain caused in the short run began forcing advocates of liberalization out of office. In Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia, economic problems created political reversals.

The old Latin American "left," which had been deeply Marxist and always anti-American, had gone quiet during the 1990s. It recently has surged back into action -- no longer in its dogmatic Marxist style, but in a more populist mode. Its key tenets now are state-managed economies and, of course, anti-Americanism. For the leftists, Chavez was a hero. The more he baited the United States, the more of a hero he became. And the more heroic he was in Latin America, the more popular in Venezuela. He spoke of the Bolivarian revolution, and he started to look like Simon Bolivar to some people.

In reality, Chavez's ability to challenge the United States is severely limited. The occasional threat to cut off oil exports to the United States is fairly meaningless, in spite of conversations with the Chinese and others about creating alternative markets. The United States is the nearest major market for Venezuela. The Venezuelans could absorb the transportation costs involved in selling to China or Europe, but the producers currently supplying those countries then could be expected to shift their own exports to fill the void in the United States. Under any circumstances, Venezuela could not survive very long without exporting oil. Symbolizing the entire reality is the fact that Chavez's government still controls Citgo and isn't selling it, and the U.S. government isn't trying to slam controls onto Citgo.

Washington ultimately doesn't care what Chavez does so long as he continues to ship oil to the United States. From the American point of view, Chavez -- like Castro -- is simply a nuisance, not a serious threat. Latin American countries in general are of interest to Washington, in a strategic sense, only when they are being used by a major outside power that threatens the United States or its interests. The entire Monroe Doctrine was built around that principle.

There was a fear at one point that Nazi U-boats would have access to Cuba. And when Castro took power in Cuba, it mattered, because it gave the Soviets a base of operations there. What happened in Nicaragua or Chile mattered to the United States because it might create opportunities the Soviets could exploit. Nazis in Argentina prior to 1945 mattered to the United States; Nazis in Argentina after 1945 did not. Cuba before 1991 mattered; after 1991, it did not. And apart from oil, Venezuela does not matter now to the United States.

The Bush administration unleashes periodic growls at the Venezuelans as a matter of course, and Washington would be quite pleased to see Chavez out of office. Should al Qaeda operatives be found in Venezuela, of course, then the United States would take an obsessive interest there. But apart from the occasional Arab -- and some phantoms generated by opposition groups, knowing that that is the only way to get the United States into the game -- there are no signs that Islamist terrorists would be able to use Venezuela in a significant way. Chavez would be crazy to take that risk -- and Castro, who depends on Chavez's cheap oil, is not about to let Chavez take crazy risks, even if he were so inclined.

From the American point of view, an intervention that would overthrow Chavez would achieve nothing, even if it could be carried out. Chavez is shipping oil; therefore, the United States has no major outstanding issues. A coup in Venezuela, even if not engineered by the United States, would still be blamed on the United States. It would increase anti-American sentiment in Latin America, which in itself would not be all that significant. But it also would increase hostility toward the United States in Europe, where the Allende coup is still recalled bitterly by the left. The United States has enough problems with the Europeans without Venezuela adding to them.

Taken in isolation, Venezuela can't really hurt the United States. If all of South America were swept by a Bolivarian revolution, it wouldn't hurt the United States. Absent a significant global power to challenge the United States, Latin America and its ideology are of interest to Latin Americans but not to Washington. The only real threat that Venezuela poses to the United States would be if its oil production becomes so degraded that the United States has to seek out new suppliers and world prices rise. That would matter to Washington, and indeed it may eventually occur -- Venezuelan output has dropped about 1 million bpd below pre-Chavez highs -- but it would matter a thousand times more to Venezuela.

This explains the strange standoff between Venezuela and the United States, and Washington's basic indifference to events in Latin America. Venezuela is locked into its oil relationship with the United States. Latin America poses no threat on its own. The chief geopolitical challenge to the United States -- radical Islam -- intersects Latin America only marginally. Certainly, there are radical Islamists in Latin America; Hezbollah in particular has assets there. But for them to mount an attack against the United States from Latin America would be no more efficient than mounting it from Europe. The risk is a concern, not an obsession.

For the United States, its border with Mexico matters. For the Venezuelans, high oil prices that subsidize their social programs and buy regional allies matter. Both want Venezuelan oil to keep pumping. Aside from the one issue that they agree on, the United States can live and is living with Chavez, and Chavez not only lives well with the United States but needs it -- both as a source of cash, through Citgo, and as a whipping boy.

Sometimes, there really isn't a problem.
30422  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Knife vs. Gun on: February 23, 2006, 12:23:38 AM

Some very cogent points.  Hope you will continue to participate.


Would you give the specific URL please?   I just surfed the site but could not find what you reference.

Porn Star:

Good to hear from you!  Come post on the Ass'n forum and let us knwo what you are up to!

Crafty Dog
30423  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: February 22, 2006, 10:17:52 AM

Another declassified Al Qaeda document: The failed jihad in Syria
Filed under:
? site admin @ 9:25 am
Al Qaeda assesses its mistakes. (And please see this recent post for background on other Al Qaeda documents.)

Consider ?Lessons learned from the armed jihad ordeal in Syria.?

This is a long analysis (45 pages in pdf) of the Muslim Brotherhood?s war against Syria?s Assad regime, and focuses on the early 1980s.

Al Qaeda wants to learn from:

?the jihad ordeal in the past period, we should point out ?as we see it from our own perspective? important and essential points that form the basis of our analysis, the methodology we used and the objectives we seek:

On Page 6:

?Obviously the most essential element of any revolutionary organization is putting forward a series of goals and slogans that attract the masses, and presenting itself as a revolutionary pioneering organization with crystal clear objectives. The true mujahideen failed to put forward their ideology, slogans and objectives via a well crafted media campaign. The majority of people were not aware of what was going on and those who followed the news knew that some Moslems youths are fighting the regime and plan on establishing ?Moslem rule?, they did not explain to the people the nature and form of this ?Moslem rule?, they did not explain why people should join in the fight and why they should die for that cause. The mujahideen failed to define their identity, their intentions and motivations; such an explanation was and still is the main pillar for attracting the masses and mobilizing the base members on an intellectual and ideological level to partake in this dangerous work (i.e. Jihad).

Media, revolt, ?pioneering organization.? Al Qaeda paid attention to the Soviet Union?s Cold War methods for seeding and encouraging anti-Western rebels. (The document often focuses on the methods and operations of ?Attalieaa? -The Vanguards- in the anti-Assad revolt.)

On page 10? a lack of OPSEC (operatonal security) and ?strike back? capability hindered the Syrian movement:

The hosting regimes infiltrated our organizations, monitored all our activities, restricted and chocked us, and in some cases arrested or killed our members and representatives. It is true the battle was in Syria; nevertheless we needed to have military deterrence capabilities on the outside; to help us fend off an enemy able to trace and monitor our movements in our new homes.
Many Arab and Moslem regimes ganged up on us by aiding and abetting the enemy, it is enough to mention that while we were suffering from death, destruction and a daunting war; Arab oil money was flowing to the ?Alawite? Hafez Assad to pay for the bullets killing our Moslem youth, and for building prisons to incarcerate and torture our brethren. Most of the Arab Moslem gulf countries considered Hafez Assad and his regime as apostate blasphemers yet for political interests and for the purpose of maintaining balance of power; they flooded his ?Alawite occupying? regime with billions of dollars. In short the lack of military operations on the outside prevented us from deterring the enemy and his friends and supporters.

On page 11 ? the failure of Muslim organizations to instill genuine ?hard militancy.? This puts the Cartoon Wars in a new light. Al Qaeda has had ten to fifteen years to ?harden? these organizations.

Inability to transform civilian Islamic missionary groups into military organizations capable of resistance and self defense:
This could be the most valuable lesson relating to the Islamic missionary groups in the Arab & Moslem countries. The battle may have erupted unexpectedly; however a large sector of the Moslems (Especially the leaders) knew that it was inevitable, those leaders did not prepare nor plan. Those missionary groups brought their peaceful missionary style and methods to the fight, the sheik failed miserably when he wore the general?s hat. It is astonishing to see and hear leaders of Moslem organizations preaching jihad and claiming that dieing for ?Allah? is their ultimate wish, yet they fail for tens of years to instruct religiously and train militarily for that fight, they could not produce documents for emergency (e.g. passports), or save money for tough times. They were unable to mobilize effectively and in a hurry, those organizations were ineffective and eventually collapsed.

But to Al Qaeda?s strategists, Syria proved to them that some form of Islamist revolution would work.

Events proved that mobilizing armed Moslem masses in the cause of an Islamic jihad revolution is possible; provided that the leaders prove their ability to fight oppression and set a good example in daring and sacrifice. The 18 months of military jihad -with all its shortcomings- brought hundreds of thousands of Moslems to the streets chanting: down with oppression, down with the regime, long live jihad, give us arms to fight with honor, the city of Hamah experience proved that thousands of Moslems answered the call and fought side by side with our mujahideen. Events proved how giving our people are, leaders sprouted from within and produced magnificent military cadres both in leadership and discipline.

BUsh and Rumsfeld weren?t the first to apply the term ?long war? to this struggle. Al Qaeda used it. On page 19:

The struggle for the sake and path of ?Allah? is not called:?Jihad? for nothing, the term ?Jihad? literally means: ?exerting a tiring effort to set up?. The enemy is strong and powerful, we are weak and poor, the war duration is going to be long and the best way to fight it is in a revolutionary jihad way for the sake of ?Allah?. The preparations better be deliberate, comprehensive, and properly planed, taking into account past experiences and lessons.

Centralization of planning but a ?high degree? of field autonomy isn?t an accident.

Page 20:

Decentralization in the management of the military operations:
To yield high dividends; the military high command managing this type of battles must have centralized planning and strategy, they could heat up an area or cool another to affect the flow of the war, they should be able to maintain harmony among the forces and ranks, distribute and move weaponry, supplies, personnel to different locations according to need. From this perspective centralization is essential; on the other hand the nature of this type of war requires that the regional and field commanders be awarded a high level of autonomy in planning and managing their own affairs. The experiences of gang warfare around the world ?whether ancient or contemporary? has proven that this style is necessary and very effectiveness.

The war is also expensive. From page 21:

Experiences teach us that a mujahid revolutionary movement that utilizes a gang warfare will be very expensive, costing millions per day ranging from weaponry, armaments and munitions, supporting the mujahideen, providing them with shelter and aiding their families, providing documentation, and paying for the battle expenses. Now we understand why the holy Koran and the speeches of the prophet tied the physical jihad to financial jihad. Money plays an influential role in this war; it can not be planed for, nor initiated prior to finding a solution to this conundrum. Our experiences as well as the experiences of other nations where gang warfare took place teach us that for the revolutionary leadership to be in control of its decisions, capabilities and destiny, and for this war to succeed it should be self sufficient and financed from within. However the primary source of financing for this war should be obtained through raiding resources of the enemy (Its budget, weapons, resources and money), otherwise the leadership of the jihad movement will be subject to the control, demands and interests of the financers.

Al Qaeda antiticpated a US-led ?financial squeeze.? How successful it?s been in maintaining ?internal funding? is another issue. However, Iraqis told me in 2004 that their police suspected much of the kidnapping of Iraqi citizens was done by criminal organizations hired by either ?former regime elements? (Saddam) or Al Qaeda, with the purpose of generating funds to feed their respective operations.

The section on communication is a must read. An excerpt:

These days communication is the nerve of all modern armies in the world, and revolutionary gang warfare organizations are no exception, it may not be as vital to them as it is to conventional armies but it is still very important nevertheless. Communications could be the weak link and expose the mujahideen to the enemy. In our Syrian experience communications at all levels were carried out via courier, or through pre arranged meetings, wireless communication was not utilized till later in the battle, coordination with the leaderships and supporters out side Syria was conducted via courier too, Towards the end of the war the ?Moslem Brotherhood? resorted to airing coded messages to the inside on their radio station in Iraq.

Pages 28 and 29 discuss intelligence gathering and organizational structure. ?Pyramid? and ?thread? organizational structures are both analyzed. An excerpt:

Some times a combination of both structures (the pyramid hierarchy and the thread connection) yields great results because it provides the leadership with the ability to maneuver, this of course depends on the situation. Many European gang organizations were able through experience to develop very accurate and durable methods that helped it withstand the onslaught of very advanced and powerful security organizations; (e.g. the red brigades of Italy, Badder Meinhoff of Germany and the Spanish separatist organization ETA). Our experience taught us that security and strength of an organization could be contradictory to its growth or ease of management.

The pyramid: ?The most popular form of secretive organizations is the pyramid hierarchy structure, where information and command goes up or down effectively and in a speedy manner??

The thread (incorrect spellings are from the translated text): ?A leadership member ?Tip of the thread? is connected to a series of clusters, those clusters are not connected to each other and are usually composed of one or two individuals, this burdens the ?tip of the thread? with a lot of responsibilities and requires dedicated effort on his part. If a member is arrested he does not cause a major threat to the entire organization because he does not know much. This system though secure, is week, because if the ?tip of the tread? is captured, all the clusters are compromised??

On page 34 we hear an echo of von Clausewitz:

The Jihad revolutionary war just like any other war is political at heart; it is politically and ideologically motivated, the military activity is merely the tool or means to achieve that objective. (Without military activity the revolution will loose its impact and have no chance of success). The military operations could be extremely successful yet if that capital is not expended in accordance with a clear political vision and strategy, and a well crafted public relations campaign we will only gain titles for our martyrs and tears for their blood. We have to stress (and make sure we do not forget) that the battle is political at the core; the political effort should receive the same attention and be treated as importantly as the military effort is.

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

[?] olitics, Middle East/Terrorism at 9:18 am by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Courtesy of Austin Bay: Al Qaeda assesses its mistakes. (And please see this recent post for background on other Al Qaeda d [?]

Pingback by ? Another declassified Al Qaeda document: The failed jihad in Syria ? 2/20/2006 @ 11:17 am

William Kristol (Weekly Standard) was interviewed on Fox News this AM stating that the administration had given up on the concept of releaseing this material to the public or making a big show of doing so. According to Kristol people in the White House thought it was a lost cause and no use trying to bring this information to light. If Kristol is right, it shows some serious problems in the thinking in the White House. Either that, or they are going to sit on it till right before the 06 election to play a big ?I told you so? game and drop the national secutiry card in an attempt to influence the election. I don?t know but my sense is that is is not the later.

Comment by Bill Gross ? 2/20/2006 @ 11:34 am

Very good read.
Al Qaeda clearly knows that the media battle is as important as the military battle.
They speak to two audiences, potential Islamic recruits and people in the West whose will to resist can be broken.
The media and politicos in the West are serving to aid and abet Al Qaeda in this media battle.

Comment by Rob ? 2/20/2006 @ 12:21 pm

[?] by a relatively unorganized group of radical imams, with Al Qaeda merely an anomaly. Now Austin Bay brings us another perspective on Al Qaeda, and it?s disturbing. It suggests th [?]

Pingback by sifted truth ? Blog Archive ? The Two Faces of Jihad ? 2/20/2006 @ 6:26 pm

There is quite a bit of hard ball politics going on in the USA and especially around the ?beltway?. The conduit to release this real information is blocked because the main stream media is infested with liberals who would either spike this news or discredit it. If it were released to Fox news or the Washington Times, it would not be taken seriously either. Lose-lose. We are in a war, and many in our country either don?t know it or don?t believe it, or are on the other side.

Comment by Chief RZ ? 2/20/2006 @ 6:39 pm

One major shortcoming in the way Americans wage war is that they can?t seem to see military operations as linked to, or an extension of, political actions. Clausewitz?s wisdom seems so often to have been wasted on both the American body politic, and its institutional military. Obviously, as we?ve learned to our sorrow, the Vietnamese understood this. It seems the Islamic jihadists do also. How many ?hits? are we going to take before the lesson is learned?

Comment by Steve ? 2/20/2006 @ 7:14 pm

Isn?t it interesting that MSM has no interest in these documents. Do you doubt their reaction would be completely opposite if these documents were composed by the Bush administration and dealing with an analysis of pre-war intelligence?

Comment by Jason ? 2/20/2006 @ 8:54 pm

History lesson

Austin Bay has the breakdown of some newly released documents seized in Afghanistan and Iraq. What I think we will all find out soon is that the bad guys (al-qaeda, Saddam, etc.) are meticulous record keepers, just like the nazi?s in WWII. Reams and r?

Trackback by GZ Expat, Part II ? 2/20/2006 @ 9:43 pm

As Rep. Pete Hoekstra, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, noted: There are still 35,000 unreviewed and untranslated boxes of documents and tapes. Along with the Feb. 2nd report on concerning former Iraqi General Georges Sada who said that Saddam moved WMD into Syria in retrofitted commerical jets in 2002, the Iraq-Syria connection vis a vis WMD may well become major news this year. See my full review of this at

Comment by Phil Mella ? 2/20/2006 @ 10:53 pm

Thank you for printing these. This information underscores the value of the strategy of releasing these documents to the blogs and letting the blogs translate and distribute the information. The best disinfectant is the light of the sun. Let?s expose these terrorists.

Comment by JoeS ? 2/21/2006 @ 7:39 am

Please keep the pressure on the political powers that be?when they gets their spine and groove back and hammer at what the Al Queda operatives say and then DO, the MSM will have to start treating it as an valid insight for all to learn about and to ponder and to gather their wits in supporting this clash of freedom with Islamic fanatics who play the game of facism just as well as Hitler and his minions ever did. And all the time, we must continue to point out that the vast majority of moderate Muslims?and they are legion?need our support so they can become braver and braver in denouncing these thugs who have hijacked their religion and the true teachings of their Prophet.

Comment by marlowe anderson ? 2/21/2006 @ 12:13 pm

This is great; thanks, Austin.
When will Bush focus more efforts on translation, and especially machine aided OCR and machine initial Arabic > English? It?s ridiculous that they don?t have more programs working on this problem for a technical fix ? as well as increasing the AI tech capabilities.

Farming it out to bloggers, and the internet, is also not a bad idea.

Comment by Tom Grey - Liberty Dad ? 2/21/2006 @ 12:45 pm

Not Surprising in the Least

Michelle Malkin?s blog directed me to the Counterterrorism Blog?s follow-up of a story from the Buckeye State. I must say I don?t find this the least bit surprising given the press that?s been coming from northwest Ohio for awhile as

Trackback by Most Certainly Not ? 2/21/2006 @ 12:56 pm

Stunning - not. The revolutionaries have been working on their doctrine for a number of years. Their detailed analysis of their weaknesses and operational needs should be a reinforcing wake-up call that we are ill equipped for this radical, assymetric conflict. Boots on the ground can establish safe zones to disarm and undermine popular support for these groups, but the recent arrests in Ohio indicate that adherents are potentially everywhere.

Comment by Citizen Deux ? 2/21/2006 @ 2:15 pm

The Muslim Brotherhood had a radio station in Iraq? Gosh, I thought Saddam was opposed to the religious jihadi?s. That?s the CIA?s deep, expensively researched insight, isn?t it? Makes me wonder just how much other cooperation might have been going on?

Comment by Patrick ? 2/21/2006 @ 3:49 pm

How very fascinating that the history of political struggle reveals that the more things change-the more they stay the same. These operational notes could have come out of the playbook for every ?revolutionary? struggle enacted in the 20th century. Just replace ?Allah? with the ?Party?, ?jihad? with ?struggle? and we are in the middle of your basic communist guerilla war with a few high tech updates for the times we live in. The only question left is how do we turn the 5th column of the msm into a weapon for our side.

Comment by dgree3 ? 2/21/2006 @ 7:01 pm
30424  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: February 22, 2006, 05:25:59 AM
I recommend in the highest terms

George Friedman: The Secret War.

GF is the founder/head of    If you have the money, subscribing to Strat is HIGHLY recommended.  You can get a one week trial subscription free at the site.

And now, here's this:  


Do we have a smoking gun here?

From   The author was a part of the ISG in Iraq and gives his perspective to some documents published that were purported to be "the real thing".  These documents detail AQ and SH. He personally has seen the original of one document and can verify that at the least, the published one is for real.  
Am I preaching to just the choir again?
 Saddam and al-Qaeda
February 20th, 2006

The proof has been right in front of you the entire time. Documents available on the internet, which pass the smell test and are probably genuine, show the link between Saddam and al Qaeda.

On October 11th, 2004 an online news service called CNSnews published 42 documents that they claimed came from the Iraq Survey Group. The documents supposedly came from an ISG official who claimed they were captured in Iraq. CNSnews provided this information along with testimony from experts who authenticated the documents to the best of their ability. The story can be found here.  

I have no connection to CNSnews. I did not release these documents to anybody while working with ISG or at any other time. But I will now add my name to the list of those who authenticate the documents. I know there is a good chance that these documents are real for three reasons.

The first reason is that I saw thousands of these documents while with ISG, and these look right.

But more than that, I saw the original of one of these documents at the Combined Media Processing Center in Qatar. I can therefore validate one document as having been captured in Iraq ? which increases the likelihood that they are all real.

The third reason is that I witnessed an investigation into who released these documents conducted at the CPMC by ISG. If these document were not authentic, why would an investigation have been conducted into who released them?

So what do the documents tell us?

I recommend that you review them, as they contain such interesting nuggets as a program by the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) to hunt down and kill Americans throughout the Middle East and Africa.

But how does this connect Saddam to al-Qaeda?

Look at document 14.  

Here is the condensed version. The document is from the IIS and details plans to meet with an official from the ?Egyptian Al-Jehad? via a Sudanese official named Ali Othman Taha. He is called the Vice Chairman of the Islamic Front in Sudan in the memo.

I looked up Ali Othman Taha on wikipedia and it says that he is the Vice President of Sudan.

Who or what is the Egyptian al-Jehad (jihad)?

This from  


Jihad Group

Islamic Jihad

Egyptian Islamic Jihad

New Jihad Group

Vanguards of Conquest

Talaa? al-Fateh


Egyptian Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s. Merged with Bin Ladin?s al-Qaida organization in June 2001, but may retain some capability to conduct independent operations. Continues to suffer setbacks worldwide, especially after 11 September attacks. Primary goals are to overthrow the Egyptian Government and replace it with an Islamic state and attack US and Israeli interests in Egypt and abroad.

Okay now we know the Egyptian al Jihad is also known as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a name you may have heard in connection to its leader:

Al-Sharif passed the Jihad leadership to Ayman al-Zawahri amid dissent within the movement in the mid 1980?s. The al-Zawahri faction subsequently formed an alliance with Al-Qaeda leading over time to the effective merger of the two groups operations inside Afghanistan.

Although al-Zawahri is frequently refered to as a ?lieutenant? or ?second in command? of Al Qaeda this description is misleading as it implies a hierarchical relationship. The modern Al Qaeda organization is the combination of Bin Laden?s financial resources with al-Zawahri?s ideological and operational leadership.  ? wikipedia

That?s right, Ayman al-Zawahri, one of the talking heads of al-Qaeda who treated us to a new video not so long ago. The Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization combined with Osama Bin Ladin?s supporters to form al-Qaeda.

The EIJ is neck deep in al-Qaeda. And this documents shows an EIJ official to be escorted to Baghdad to meet with Saddam Hussein in 1993.

The Institute for Counterterrorism says this about the EIJ:

Since 1993 the group has not conducted an attack inside Egypt. However there have been repeated threats to retaliate against the United States, for its incarceration of Sheikh Umar Abd al-Rahman and, more recently, for the arrests of its members in Albania, Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom.

In 1993, Sheikh Umar Abd al-Rahman directed the bombing of the world trade center. He is now imprisoned in the U.S.

Now look at document 28.

This document is a continuation of document 27 and in general talks about overturning the Egyptian government and ?providing technical support? presumably to the EIJ in efforts against the Egyptian government and American non-military interests.

So let ?s put this in context. Here?s what the documents tell us:

On February 26th, 1993 the first world trade center was attacked by al-Qaeda and the EIJ (really two organizations that cooperated in 1993 and eventually merged).

A month later an official from EIJ was meeting with Saddam in Baghdad.

We have a document showing Saddam authorizing the IIS to ?provide technical support? to the EIJ, and by extension, al-Qaeda.

And then al-Qaeda and the EIJ attacked the U.S. on September 11th, 2001 led by an Egyptian Jihadist, Mohammed Atta.

Now you have proof Saddam provided support to the EIJ and by extension al-Qaeda, both of which attacked us on 9/11.

Ray Robison is a Sr. Military Operations Research Analyst with a defense contractor at the Aviation and Missile, Research, Development, Engineering Command in Huntsville, Alabama. His background includes over ten years of military service as an officer and enlisted soldier including the Gulf War and Kosovo operations. Most recently he worked as a contractor for DIA with the Iraqi Survey Group. He holds a B.S. degree in Biology, Pre-med from the University of Tampa and is a graduate of the Combined Arms and Services Staff School.
30425  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: February 22, 2006, 04:39:57 AM
All praise Prof. Alan Dershowitz
By Tony Blankley
February 22, 2006

Next week a vastly important book will be published: "Preemption, A Knife That Cuts Both Ways" by Alan Dershowitz. Yes, that Alan Dershowitz: the very liberal civil libertarian, anti-capital punishment Harvard Law School professor. And but for my lack of his legal scholarship, there is nary a sentence in the book that I ? a very conservative editor of The Washington Times and former press secretary to Newt Gingrich ? couldn't have written.
    The premise of his book is that in this age of terror, there is a potential need for such devices as profiling, preventive detention, anticipatory mass inoculation, prior restraint of dangerous speech, targeted extrajudicial executions of terrorists and preemptive military action, including full-scale preventive war.
    In his own words, from his introduction: "The shift from responding to past events to preventing future harms is part of one of the most significant but unnoticed trends in the world today. It challenges our traditional reliance on a model of human behavior that presupposes a rational person capable of being deterred by the threat of punishment. The classic theory of deterrence postulates a calculating evildoer who can evaluate the cost-benefits of proposed actions and will act ? and forbear from acting ? on the basis of these calculations. It also presupposes society's ability (and willingness) to withstand the blows we seek to deter and to use the visible punishment of those blows as threats capable of deterring future harms. These assumptions are now being widely questioned as the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of suicide terrorists becomes more realistic and as our ability to deter such harms by classic rational cost-benefit threats and promises becomes less realistic."
    Yet, such policies conflict with traditional concepts of civil liberties, human rights, criminal justice, national security, foreign policy and international law. He shrewdly observes that historically, nations ? including democracies ? have resorted to such deviations from law and custom out of necessity, but that it has all been ad hoc, secret or deceptive.
    Mr. Dershowitz argues that now, rather, we need to begin to develop an honest jurisprudence of prevention to legally regulate such mechanisms. It is better, he argues, to democratically decide now, before the next disaster, this new jurisprudence ? the rules by which we will take these necessary actions.
    To see the difference between traditional Anglo-American criminal jurisprudence and his proposed jurisprudence of prevention, he raises the great maxim of criminal law: better that 10 guilty go free, than one innocent be wrongly convicted. That principle led our law to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt before conviction in criminal trials. Most of us agree with that standard.
    But then Mr. Dershowitz updates the maxim thusly: "Is it better for ten possibly preventable terrorist attacks to occur than for one possibly innocent suspect to be preventively detained?" I would hunch that most people would not be willing to accept ten September 11 attacks (30,000 dead) in order to protect one innocent suspect from being locked up and questioned for a while.
    Is it possible to go beyond such gut instincts and ad hoc decision making during a crises, and begin to develop a thoughtful set of standards for conduct in this dangerous new world? I don't know.
    As Mr. Dershowitz observes, a jurisprudence develops slowly in response to generations, centuries of adjudicated events. But to the extent we recognize the need for it and start thinking systematically, to that extent we won't be completely held hostage to the whim and discretion of a few men at moments of extreme stress.
    At the minimum, an early effort at a jurisprudence of prevention would at least help in defining events. Consider the long and fruitless recent debate about the imminence of the danger from Saddam Hussein's Iraq, or the current debate on Iran's possible nuclear weapons. Under traditional international law standards they are both classic non-imminent threat situations: "early stage acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by a state presumed to be hostile."
    But as Mr. Dershowitz points out, while the threat itself is not imminent, "the opportunity to prevent the threat will soon pass." Once they have the weapons it is too late.
    Or, a low price in innocent casualties might soon pass. For instance, in 1981 when Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear site at Osirak, if it had waited much longer the site would have been "radioactively hot" and massive innocent civilian casualties would have been incurred from radioactive releases. It is simply not enough anymore to say a country violates the norm by acting in its ultimate, but not imminent, self-defense. We need new standards for a new age.
    The new realities of unacceptable risk require new ? and lower ? standards of certainty before defensive action is permitted.
    As we develop a jurisprudence of prevention, we increase the chance of justice and rationality being a bigger part of such crisis decisions that our presidents will be facing for the foreseeable future.
    Mr. Dershowitz's sound, practical scholarship is commendable. But what I find heartening is the political fact that a prominent scholar of the left has finally entered into a constructive conversation about how to manage our inevitably dangerous WMD/terrorist-infested future.
    If such as Mr. Dershowitz and I can find common ground, there should be space there for a multitude. And from that common ground can grow a common plan for a common victory.
30426  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: February 22, 2006, 04:10:47 AM
Fatwas and Rewards: An Inflection Point in the Cartoon Controversy
February 22, 2006 00 21  GMT

By Fred Burton

Two minor Shariah courts in India's Uttar Pradesh state have issued fatwas calling for the death of a Danish cartoonist who drew caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The fatwas, issued Feb. 21, came three days after a religious scholar in Peshawar, Pakistan, offered a reward -- 500,000 rupees, or about $8,300, of his own money, and 1 million rupees, or about $16,600, fronted by two of his followers, plus a new car -- for anyone who kills one of the cartoonists associated with the controversy.

Taken together, these two incidents mark a significant juncture in the global uproar over the Mohammed cartoons -- one that represents an uptick in security risks to Westerners around the globe. Given the nature of the two fatwas and the terms of the reward, the risks are particularly pertinent to European media professionals who would be closely associated with the cartoons or the newspapers that printed them; but the threat, for a variety of reasons, extends beyond this circle.

Let's begin by noting that neither the fatwas themselves, nor the promise of rewards by a Pakistani religious scholar, is the central issue. A fatwa is nothing more than an opinion or decree handed down by a Muslim leader or group on a matter of Islamic law. It is not binding, even in countries ruled by Shariah law, but it can be motivational. It also can be quite controversial within the Muslim community -- as has been the case with the fatwas issued in India. The true power of a fatwa lies in the credentials and reputation of the person who issues it, and the edict's consistency with Islamic principles. These factors will be taken into consideration by anyone struggling with the ethical issue of whether to abide by a fatwa.

In Uttar Pradesh, which has a large population of Muslims, the fatwas were issued by minor entities, while the most prominent institutions there have gone on record to make it clear they do not endorse the measures. That doesn't mean, however, that there are not those likely to act on them: Technically speaking, Osama bin Laden -- who is not a religious leader -- had no standing to issue his fatwa declaring war against the West in 1998, but followers and sympathizers certainly took his words very seriously and acted accordingly.

One of the more interesting aspects of the fatwas in this case has to do with the fact that they only now are being issued. As has been previously noted, there already has been one interesting time lapse in the case of the cartoons: They originally were published in late September 2005, but public fury in the Islamic world didn't break out in earnest until early February -- after a group of Muslim leaders traveled from Denmark to the Middle East, by their own admission, purposely to "stir up attitudes" in response to the cartoons, and after several European newspapers had republished the images.

It is intriguing, therefore, that the Indian fatwas and the Pakistani reward offer are appearing only now -- after weeks of violent outbursts, several of them fatal, in flashpoints around the world. These statements, then, are not the knee-jerk reactions of deeply offended Muslim leaders to what is construed as blasphemy; they are being issued for other reasons. Certainly, the religious leaders very likely are offended by the images, but they waited for public sentiment to reach critical mass before publicly calling for action against Danish cartoonists. This is the logic of politics: The leaders who issued the fatwas refrained from doing so until they were sure they had a built-in level of support and that their statements would be taken seriously, lest they perhaps lose credibility with their core audience, the local congregations.

In general, extreme fatwas such as those calling for the targeted killing of a "blasphemer" are most likely to resonate among hard-line conservative or radical Muslims, but they can strike a chord with larger swaths of the mainstream as well. In cases where the blasphemy was considered extreme -- or a fatwa politically expedient -- such edicts in the past have led to some unexpected results, and those in some unlikely corners of the world. Some examples from history may illuminate the security risks now at issue.

Perhaps the best-known example of a deadly fatwa, at least in the West, is that issued by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against author Salman Rushdie in 1989, in response to the publication of "The Satanic Verses." Rushdie, of course, was placed under the protection of the Special Branch in London and went into hiding under an assumed identity. In this case, extreme measures were taken to protect the life of a British citizen because the fatwa was issued by the Supreme Leader of Iran, and it was believed that the Iranians and other Muslim faithful from around the globe would go to great lengths to carry out his bidding.

What is, perhaps, less widely known is the violence carried out against ancillary players associated with "The Satanic Verses." Men who translated the book into Italian and Japanese were both attacked in July 1991; one of the translators, Ettore Capriolo, survived being beaten and stabbed, but the other, professor Hitoshi Igarashi, was killed. Two years later, in 1993, the man responsible for having the book published in Norway was shot outside his home in Oslo, but survived.

In all three cases, the victims apparently were chosen because they were easier to get to than the primary target, Rushdie, and the attacks still fulfilled the requirements of the fatwa in some form. In fact, targeting guidance in some fatwas can be subject to broad interpretation, or used as justification for seemingly unrelated acts of violence. Consider the March 1989 killings of Abdullah al-Ahdal, a Muslim spiritual leader in Belgium, who was gunned down in Brussels, along with an associate, by a Lebanese group called Soldiers of Truth. Investigators believed al-Ahdal may have been murdered because he had criticized Khomeini over the fatwa.

In a related example, 38 Saudi clerics endorsed the Khomeini fatwa in February 1989 when they issued their own against Rashad Khalifa, an Egyptian author who had immigrated to the United States in 1959. Khalifa's controversial writings, including a biography of the Prophet Mohammed, are widely believed to have inspired Rushdie's "Satanic Verses." In January 1990, Khalifa was murdered in Tucson, Arizona -- allegedly by al-Fuqra, a Pakistan-based extremist group that has been linked by U.S. counterterrorism officials to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and al Qaeda. One of the group's members, Mahmoud Abouhalima, was convicted for his role in the WTC bombing, and is believed to have been involved in Khalifa's murder as well.

More recently, there have been controversies and perceived offenses to Islam in the mass media that led to killings, even when there were no fatwas or rewards in question. The case of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh certainly stands out: He was brutally murdered in Amsterdam in November 2004 by a Moroccan immigrant. Van Gogh had received death threats related to a film released earlier that year, "Submission," that dealt with violence toward women in Muslim society and projected Quranic verses in controversial ways on the screen. The confessed killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, said he murdered Van Gogh in order to fulfill his duties as a Muslim.

In all of these cases, violence associated with perceived offenses to Islam was carried out in the West or -- as in the case of the Japanese translator, who was killed in Tokyo -- other locations far removed from traditional flashpoints in the Muslim world. Thus far, the bulk of the violence in the cartoon controversy has occurred with public demonstrations in Muslim countries, but the fatwas and offers of rewards might mark a shift in that dynamic.

Again, the point here is not about the overwhelming influence of any of the religious authorities involved; certainly none of them has the stature of a Khomeini. For that matter, fatwas in general may be losing their effectiveness with Muslims as they are employed by low-ranking clerics on occasionally mundane issues. The point is that the cartoon controversy now has reached a threshold that public demonstrations against state symbols like embassies no longer may suffice to vent the frustrations of some radical elements within Islam. Where there exists any predilection to seek out Westerners as targets for violence, the fact that fatwas have been issued or rewards offered could make the difference between contemplation and follow-through.

We are not necessarily predicting an open season on Danish cartoonists, editorial page editors or European journalists in general; but it should be understood that, as the ancillary attacks in the Rushdie case and others have shown, there is a potential for violence to be channeled in unexpected ways. Where perceptions of blasphemy and other affronts warranting death are concerned, fatwas often are carried out with extreme brutality -- and those targeted have not always been directly associated with the initial offense.

Moreover, fatwas can be executed anywhere in the world, and they do not expire (though they can be rescinded or amended) until their requirements are satisfied. Considering the chord that the Mohammed cartoons touched and the depth of the emotions still playing out in the Islamic world, that satisfaction may be a long time coming.
30427  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Knife vs. Baseball Bat on: February 22, 2006, 03:46:20 AM
I think Dog Milt's analysis to be pretty good-- unless bat man is applying the material from our Staff DVD  rolleyes  wink  cheesy
30428  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: February 21, 2006, 06:43:41 AM
States review eminent domain
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

More than 30 state legislatures are considering limits on the power of local governments to condemn private property and transfer it to real estate developers to spur economic growth.
Lawmakers are responding to a Supreme Court ruling in June that permitted eminent domain powers to be used in New London, Conn., to confiscate waterfront homes to build an office complex and condominiums. The 5-4 ruling prompted property rights advocates to take their case to state legislatures.

Five states enacted small changes last year, but most legislatures were not in session after the court ruling.

"This is the crucial year for the eminent domain issue," says Larry Morandi, who tracks eminent domain legislation for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bills to restrict eminent domain have moved forward in Georgia, Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky and several other states, but none has become law yet. In New Mexico, the state Senate and House both approved limits, but the bill died when the legislature adjourned before giving final approval.

Eminent domain is the power of government to take private property for "public use" if the owner is fairly compensated. It has been used to build roads, schools and utility lines. Cities also have used it to transfer property from unwilling sellers to developers who want to build shopping malls, offices or other projects. Baltimore's Inner Harbor and New York's Times Square were revamped by eminent domain.

   Legislatures' strategies  
Explicit bans. Some bills would ban the use of eminent domain for economic development. Others would do so indirectly by stating when it can be used and leaving commercial development off the list.

Narrower rules. Many states are considering making it harder for cities to declare a neighborhood "blighted" just for economic development.

Economic penalties. New York and Indiana are among states considering making eminent domain more expensive. The government would have to pay 25% or 50% above market value when it confiscates a property for commercial development.  
After the Supreme Court decision, legislatures in Alabama, Texas, Delaware, Michigan and Ohio took modest steps to restrict eminent domain. Michigan approved a constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in November. Ohio approved a one-year moratorium on eminent domain for economic development. Congress also is considering restrictions. (Related story: Ohio town tests eminent domain)

"There's been an explosion of outrage by people across the country and across the political spectrum about what can be done under eminent domain," says Scott Bullock of the Institute of Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm.

Last month, Charlotte-based BB&T, the nation's ninth-largest bank, announced it would not lend money to developers who used eminent domain to acquire property. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., a quasi-public agency headed by the governor, announced last month that it would no longer use eminent domain for economic development.

Donald Borut, executive director of the National League of Cities, says state legislatures should not rush to act because careful study would show that abuses are rare. "We all feel sympathetic for someone who is losing a home," he says. "But we also have to consider the faces of people of all income levels who benefit from the job creation these projects bring."
30429  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: February 20, 2006, 12:08:33 AM
Geopolitical Diary: Hamas Pushes the Envelope
February 20, 2006 03 03  GMT

The Israeli Cabinet voted Sunday to freeze the transfer of $50 million in monthly tax revenues to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) beginning in March, and urged the international community to halt all but humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who recommended freezing the tax transfers, said the new Hamas-led government would soon become "a terrorist authority."

The amount in question accounts for about half of the PNA's total revenues, and its loss would immediately impact the stability of the Palestinian territories. Among Palestinians who are employed, fully one-third work for the PNA, and half of those are in the security forces.

The loss of the tax revenues would be a serious issue, even assuming that all other sources of funding are secure. They are not. Western states -- most directly Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States -- have been threatening to cut off funds as well. Hamas has responded to these threats with bravado, saying the money could simply be replaced with funds from Arab sources. But that may be easier said than done. For one thing, Arab states have a tendency to renege on financial commitments to the Palestinians. And for another, it's difficult to imagine Israel -- or any state -- allowing a hostile entity supported by foreign funds to exist in territory it claims, provided it has a choice in such a matter. And as the dominant economic and military power in the region, Israel does have a choice.

At issue, of course, is the question of Israeli security. The Western states (and Israel of course) want Hamas to formally renounce its charter vow to burn Israel from the earth, pledge itself to the Oslo peace process and give up violence. Hamas made it clear on Feb. 18 that it would retain its weapons, that violence is still an option and that it remains committed to its organizational charter -- although in what passes for compromise on the issue, Hamas did note that it could consider a cease-fire if Israel withdrew to its 1967 borders.

The ball is firmly in Hamas' court. Its actions toward Israel will determine whether there is a PNA for it to take control of.

In some ways, Hamas has exhibited a dramatic level of foresight in its ability to successfully rein in nearly all suicide bombings -- despite Israel's continued attacks against non-Hamas Palestinian militants. But in others -- its defiant Feb. 18 statement, for example -- it has portrayed itself as stubbornly obtuse.

Hamas walks a fine line: It is a populist movement with a militant arm. Should it move into the peacemaking "mainstream," it will have alienated its core supporters and fallen into the trap that Yasser Arafat's Fatah did. Should it (literally) keep to its guns, it will quickly discover that while public opinion in the region may favor the Palestinians, it is Israel that has the funds, might and will to decide whether the Palestinians have a government of their own or not.

While there is little doubt that Israel and Hamas are having quiet dealings behind the scenes, Hamas' margin for error is dangerously thin. Without the approval of the Israeli government, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip might have no access to the outside world whatsoever; a total blockade is well within Israeli capabilities.

And time is also against the Palestinian movement. Israel is currently in a heated election campaign that is putting Hamas' actions under intense scrutiny. If Hamas cannot reach some kind of agreement for a modus operandi with the caretaker Israeli administration before elections, it risks having a "solution" imposed by the soon-to-be-new Israeli government. After all, that is precisely what Ariel Sharon had planned before health issues removed him from politics.

Intifadas, suicide bombings and rocket attacks may be cards that Hamas can play, but they are extremely weak cards in comparison to border sealings, occupation, financial cutoffs and the Israeli Defense Forces. If Hamas wants to capitalize on its political gains of the past decade and have a say in how the territories are run, it will need to start playing ball -- and soon.
30430  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Can someone please help with gloves on: February 19, 2006, 10:34:52 AM
Ultra-lights like the lineman gloves are definitely cutting edge.
30431  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: February 19, 2006, 10:33:02 AM
Wright's "Moral Animal" and "Non-Zero Sum; the logic of human destiny" are both profound books in the field of evolutionary pyschology and hold honored places on my bookshelf.  I recommend either or both highly.

That said, this piece for me is rather wooly-headed.

"Even many Americans who condemn the cartoon's publication accept the premise that the now-famous Danish newspaper editor set out to demonstrate: in the West we don't generally let interest groups intimidate us into what he called "self-censorship."

"What nonsense. Editors at mainstream American media outlets delete lots of words, sentences and images to avoid offending interest groups, especially ethnic and religious ones. It's hard to cite examples since, by definition, they don't appear. But use your imagination."

True enough--and fatuous.   Campaigns of letters to the editor do no equate to mobs killing people who had nothing to do with the deed and burning down embassies, etc.   Where are the mobs of Jews in NYC going on a rampage killing Arabs and burning their shops because of any of the ongoing flood of vicious  anti-semitic cartoons in the mid-east?

"Apparently refraining from obvious offense to religious sensibilities won't be enough. Still, the offense in question is a crystalline symbol of the overall challenge, because so many of the grievances coalesce in a sense that Muslims aren't respected by the affluent, powerful West (just as rioting American blacks felt they weren't respected by affluent, powerful whites). A cartoon that disrespects Islam by ridiculing Muhammad is both trigger and extremely high-octane fuel. , , ,What isn't a big difference is the Muslim demand for self-censorship by major media outlets. That kind of self-censorship is not just an American tradition, but a tradition that has helped make America one of the most harmonious multiethnic and multireligious societies in the history of the world."

You want respect you give respect.  Islamic fascism is a fact.  These are the people who dynamited the Buddist statues in Afghanistan that had stood for centuries.  These are the people who issue death sentences for books (Rushdie and sundry others).   These are the people who state (e.g. Saudi, Syrian, etc state controlled media) as fact that Jews drain blood from Arabs to complete religious ceremonies.  

And now they are in a snit about some cartoons in Denmark and Wright conflates this to agreement that major media outlets need to be more careful than they already are?

Oy vey.
30432  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / got my ass kicked 2day...... on: February 19, 2006, 10:15:47 AM
And so it was taken.  Your attitude to the experience seems right on for growth.
30433  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Mexico on: February 17, 2006, 07:24:43 PM
Mexico: As Violence Spreads, the Threat to Corporations Rises
February 15, 2006 18 02  GMT

Gunmen killed two police chiefs in northeastern Mexico within hours of one another Feb. 14; one in a wealthy suburb of Monterrey about 150 miles south of the Texas border and the other in the smaller city of Sabinas Hidalgo some 80 miles south of the border. Although still under investigation, the two killings indicate that violence at the hands of organized crime is spreading south from increasingly lawless Nuevo Laredo. Moreover, it seems just a matter of time before the drug lords move into the realm of corporate extortion -- if they have not already.

The first shooting took place in Sabinas Hidalgo after gunmen abducted Police Chief Javier Garcia as he arrived at city hall. Shortly after the abduction, police found Garcia's body on the side of a highway outside the city. Garcia, whose hands were handcuffed behind his back, had been shot in the back of the head. The second attack occurred four hours later in normally peaceful San Pedro Garza Garcia, the Monterrey suburb that is home to most of the city's rich and powerful, and many of the Americans and other foreigners who work in northern Mexico's industrial giant. In that attack, gunmen overtook Police Chief Hector Ayala's vehicle as it traveled in the city, and shot Ayala dead. Although it is unclear whether the two killings are directly linked, they appear to be the work of the drug cartels that operate in the region.

On the same day, heavily armed men entered the emergency room of a hospital in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, and gunned down a patient receiving treatment for a gunshot wound, bringing to 31 the number of people killed in the Mexican border town since the year began. In 2005, at least 181 people died violently in Nuevo Laredo, including 20 or more active and former police officers.

Monterrey, the capital of neighboring Nuevo Leon state and a pillar of the Mexican economy, is connected to the U.S. border by Highway 85 at Nuevo Laredo. On the U.S. side of the border, Highway 85 becomes Interstate 35, running from Laredo through San Antonio, Dallas and on through the central United States. Because of this, the Highway 85 corridor has long been a route for shipping goods -- and for smuggling drugs into the United States.

Monterrey has established itself as a major center for transnational corporate activity. High-tech companies such as Nextel and distribution-intensive companies such as Wal-Mart and the Texas-based supermarket chain HEB all have a presence in the city. Additionally, Mexican transnationals, including Bimbo, Jugomex and Mexican brewing giant Cervecer?a Cuauht?moc Moctezuma have centers of operations in Monterrey. Its geographic location makes it a major transportation hub in the supply chain from Mexican manufacturers to U.S. consumers.

U.S.-based businesses have long conducted operations in some of Mexico's most crime-ridden areas, and have found a way to come to terms with the security risks and the government and police corruption. The spreading violence -- especially to Monterrey -- could indicate increasing moxie on the part of the gangs, however. If they have not yet done so, the gangs could move beyond the realm of drug smuggling and into the world of corporate extortion. In many countries, shaking down corporate executives for protection money is a common practice, and there is little reason to believe such activity could not reach into Mexico. Moreover, in some cases -- Russia, for example -- these shakedowns can come from the host government as well.

It often is hard to tell the extent of underworld extortion of corporations, as more often than not the transnational corporation will opt to deal with the matter privately, rather than report it to the host government or the U.S. Embassy. Reporting a threat to U.S. officials in the country would have little effect, as the most they can do is report these threats back to the host government.

It remains to be seen whether criminal extortion of transnational corporations in Monterrey will become a significant problem. These latest killings do show that gang violence is moving beyond the border cities and into industrial zones. Mexican President Vicente Fox has gone on record as saying that gang violence and activity in the region will continue for the foreseeable future. The transition from drug smuggling to corporate extortion is inevitable, if not already present.
30434  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: February 17, 2006, 11:48:04 AM
I believe you will enjoy this review, if not the book (in question) itself?





Pictures Worth a Thousand Lives
A review of The Other War: Israelis, Palestinians and the Struggle for Media Supremacy by Stephanie Gutmann
Stephanie Gutmann is a talented American journalist who has covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a variety of publications. The Other War is a carefully researched, on-the-ground account of the media skirmishes that take place each day and collectively determine how that conflict is portrayed to the world. Her book, detailed and convincing, is written with a wry wit that makes it a pleasure to read, despite the gravity of her subject.

The first half of The Other War is a series of vivid reconstructions of the major incidents in the Second Intifada, which the late Yasser Arafat launched in fall 2000. Parallel to the "actual ground war in which people died," she writes, "there was a war of competing narratives played out in the mass media." Her argument is that this war of narratives is often the more consequential of the two. Of course, propaganda wars in concert with real wars have been in fashion since Moses said some things about the Amalekites, and on the same territory no less. But after 35 centuries, something changed. "[T]he first Gulf War happened and television producers discovered world conflict as a riveting form of 'reality programming.'" Technology was the enabling factor: "Satellites, digital cameras and the internet made transmission of text and visual content nearly instantaneous." Today's media war is driven by the same ancient impulses, but now, like the technology on which it relies, it is instant and infinite.

Gutmann believes that Israel has been steadily defeated on the media front, and with deadly consequences. In March 2002, for instance, Israeli army planners were preparing a full-scale assault against West Bank terrorist networks. But they recalled the public-relations pummeling the country had endured during the previous two years, in which the United Nations, Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, and others routinely condemned Israel for "excessive force." And so, instead of lightning air strikes, Operation Defensive Shield relied on door-to-door raids, resulting in the deaths of 23 Israeli soldiers. Military superiority over its enemies is no advantage if Israel is continually dissuaded from using it.

In the media war, Israel has three disadvantages. The first is an open society, which allows reporters (and filmmakers and activists and human-rights observers) the freedom to roam, record, and interview in first-world comfort. This has saddled Israel with what may be the world's highest per capita concentration of reporters. Jerusalem is host to 350 permanent foreign news bureaus, as many as New York, London, or Moscow; the volume of reportage on Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank is 75 times greater than on any other area of comparable population. This obsessive attention necessarily distorts, by casting the Israel-Palestinian war in a theatric, world-historical light.

In the last decade, around 4,500 Israeli and Palestinian lives have been lost to the fighting. The Russo-Chechen war has killed 50,000 (11 times as many), the Darfur crisis has killed 180,000 (40 times as many), and the Congolese civil war has killed 3.5 million (778 times as many). But very few Americans can call to mind images of the ghastly violence in Chechnya, Sudan, or Congo?or even identify the warring parties?because these are places so dangerous that the New York Times simply cannot responsibly send a reporter there, much less a bureau.

* * *

If freedom is disadvantageous, this goes double when you happen to abut a shameless, propagandizing Arab dictatorship. According to Gutmann, the Palestinian Authority under Arafat used "the combat theatre (the West Bank, Gaza, and inside Israel) as a kind of soundstage." Those famous scenes of Palestinian boys with rocks confronting soldiers, for example, are usually choreographed. Palestinian youths, exhorted by parents, teachers, and their televisions to pelt Israeli soldiers, are so conscious of the media presence themselves that they often don't start in with the stones until photographers arrive. Israeli soldiers are actually forewarned of clashes when film crews suddenly materialize. (Coalition forces have experienced the same phenomenon in Iraq.)

How do these reporters or photographers, on a quest for dramatic stories and footage, know where the "spontaneous" violence is to "erupt"? One or another foot soldier in their "small army of Palestinian fixers" is tipped off by the attackers. The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Press (which together supply 80% of news images to the world media) require the assistance of natives who speak the local language, know who's who, and can get things done. These hired locals, in turn, make decisions about where to drive and what to translate (or leave un-translated).

The Palestinian regime isn't brutal in the way of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, but its operatives are trained in the same school of media manipulation. On September 12, 2001, as the Middle East awoke to the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., Palestinians in several cities took to the streets. The celebration in Nablus, estimated at 3,000 people, was filmed by an A.P. photographer who forwarded the footage to his bureau in Jerusalem. Before it hit the wire, the photographer called his bureau again, this time sitting in the Nablus governor's office with guns to his head. The reporter lived, but the truth did not. The A.P. was told by the Palestinian Authority that it "could not guarantee their safety" in the future unless the A.P. learned to be "more careful."

Regime propaganda is pervasive. TV spots feature inspirational poetry like "how beautiful is the scent of the land, which is fed from the waterfall of blood, springing from an angry body." In April 2002, an Israeli drone flying above a funeral procession in the city of Jenin caught on tape a Palestinian corpse falling off his bier, reproving his handlers, then hopping back on. It happened again in the midst of a crowd, sending bystanders fleeing in terror. It was part of an effort to inflate both the body count and the number of photo-ops.

Israel's third disadvantage is media convention itself. Gutmann reminds us that all news is constructed: "Behind every picture there is a long story and a regiment of people who brought that particular picture, of all possible pictures, to you." And construction is rarely better than its architects: "producers sitting in carpeted, climate-controlled studios in New York and London are making war their subject?. [A]nd journalists, dumped on the ground with little prior knowledge, are forced to condense and 'package' terribly complex and crucial events." The general leftism in the news media gives reporters and producers many ways of introducing their bias into the simplified narrative: "David and Goliath, Poor versus Rich, the Third World versus Western Colonialism, Man versus Machine, even you-in-third-grade versus those-guys-who-always-beat-you-up after school." With Israel and the Palestinians, the overall result is "Large Mechanized Brutes versus Small Vulnerable Brown People."

* * *

The second half of The Other War is a series of introductions to the cast of characters in this Middle East media drama, among them na?ve and flamboyant journalists, venturesome photographers, spin doctors, soldiers and terrorists, and Gutmann's personal "fixer," renamed for his protection. Her interview with the Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh, probably the most famous Palestinian journalist, is particularly trenchant, not least because unlike any other Palestinian working within reach of the Palestinian regime, Toameh seems uniquely able to say whatever he pleases. (Gutmann says he is protected from on high by Israelis.)

Two of Gutmann's "case studies" from the beginning of the Second Intifada illustrate the character of this media war and the obstacles that Israel faces: the shooting death of a young Palestinian, and the lynching of two Israelis. According to CBS News's Richard Roth, these two episodes became "defining symbols of the conflict for those on each side."

On September 30, 2000, film footage became available to the world showing a Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, who, cradled in his father's arms, is shot by Israeli soldiers. Or so it seemed. Subsequent analysis, based especially on firing angles and ballistics examinations, called the story into doubt. Israel, in fact, was probably not responsible for the shooting. But by the time the Israeli army released the findings about its unlikely guilt, the Piet?-like image had zipped around the world, eventually appearing on a Belgian postage stamp, inspiring renamed streets and squares across the Arab world, and co-starring in the propaganda film extolling the execution of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

On October 12, 2000, less than two weeks after the al-Dura incident, two Israeli reservists took a wrong turn while driving home and were arrested by Palestinian police, taken to the local station, and lynched by a mob. One photographer happened onto the scene:

Within moments [the crowd was] in front of me and, to my horror, I saw that it was a body, a man they were dragging by the feet. The lower part of his body was on fire and the upper part had been shot at, and the head beaten so badly that it was a pulp, like red jelly?. My God, I thought, they've killed this guy. He was dead, he must have been dead, but they were still beating him, madly, kicking his head. They were like animals.

The crowd tore the photographer's camera from him and smashed it. But a colleague managed to capture the infamous image of one of the murderers holding up his bloody hands for a cheering crowd.

The two scenes provided visual scripture from which reporters sermonized about symmetry, suffering on both sides, and cycles of violence. But Gutmann discerns the tragedy, for Israel, precisely in the asymmetry:

The images were frequently paired?by the news media. But it was a forced symmetry, created by the media for its convenience and because it was more soothing and less complicated to represent the situations as the same. Consider just the two pieces of videotape by themselves, which was all anyone had to work with at this time: In 'Ramallah' we actually see perpetrators at work?men hoisting a body to a window ledge, then shoving it off the ledge to a crowd below, whom we then see all too clearly stomping and stabbing it. In 'al-Dura,' however, we see a boy collapsing, apparently shot. That is all. In one story, most of the who, what, where and why is answered. But in 'al-Dura,' virtually everything, except that two people were shot at in front of a wall, is essentially a mystery.

Less of a mystery is that the "al-Dura" cameraman became a minor celebrity, treated to interviews at European media conferences. The "Ramallah" cameraman, on the other hand, remains unknown, while death threats forced his bureau chief to flee the region.

* * *

Towards the end of her book, Gutmann details some of Israel's long-overdue?and successful?efforts to reverse the tide in the media war. Because her observations throughout are so scrupulous and clear-eyed, her belief that things are taking a turn for the better is encouraging, even if it remains a little hard to believe.

As Gutmann says, nearly every evil of the last three centuries?racism, apartheid, militarism, colonialism, fascism, ethnic cleansing, genocide?is routinely invoked against Israel. These are not so much criticisms of policy, mind you, but of Israel's existence, for it is understood that regimes dedicated to such evil deserve to be eliminated, not reformed. Are such criticisms confined to the political fringes? If they were, Gutmann wouldn't be able to cite a 2004 poll in which 68% of Germans agreed that Israel now conducts a "war of extermination" against Palestinians. There are ten times as many Palestinians today as in 1920, I might point out to the Germans, but fewer Jews.

At the close of The Other War, Gutmann writes: "Looking at the virulent, vituperative tone of European coverage, and particularly at how openly jeering it grows when Israel tries to defend itself in the media war, it is hard to imagine that any Israeli public relations staff with any amount of resources at its disposal could have an impact on Europe." She's right; there must be something more to it, and she alludes, briefly, to anti-Semitism. Earlier in the book, she mentions the hard Left's fixation with Israel and the brutality of Arab propaganda. But each receives only glancing notice. The logical next step?accounting for the forces behind and beyond the media?is outside the scope of her important book, but nevertheless essential to the whole truth about "the other war."
30435  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / got my ass kicked 2day...... on: February 17, 2006, 09:02:20 AM
"if a person can teach me one thing, they are of value to me"

This reminds me of "Everyone is here for a reason.  In the case of X, its to teach patience."
30436  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politically (In)correct on: February 16, 2006, 06:08:44 PM
Students reject honor to 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' hero
Member of Marines not 'sort of person UW wanted to produce'

Posted: February 14, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

? 2006

Lt. Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington during World War II (Photo: National Archives)
The University of Washington's student senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of "Black Sheep Squadron" fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.

Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government's meeting last week, said she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."

Ashley Miller, another senator, argued "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

Senate member Karl Smith amended the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington "was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform," for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Smith, according to the minutes, said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

The senate's decision was reported first by Seattle radio talk-host Kirby Wilbur of KVI, whose listeners were "absolutely incensed," according to producer Matt Haver.

Brent Ludeman, president of the university's College Republicans, told WND in an e-mail the decision "reflects poorly on the university."

"Pappy Boyington went beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country ? he simply deserves better," Ludeman said. "Just last year, the university erected a memorial to diversity. Why can't we do the same for Pappy Boyington and others who have defended our country?"

The resolution points out Boyington, a student at the UW from 1930-34, served as a combat pilot in the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group ? the "Flying Tigers of China" ? and later as a Marine Corps combat pilot in charge of Marine Fighting Squadron 214, "The Black Sheep Squadron."

Along with the Navy Cross, Boyington was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his heroism. He was shot down and spent 20 months in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

The resolution says, "Be it resolved ? [t]hat we consider Col. Gregory Boyington, United States Marine Corps, to be a prime example of the excellence that this university represents and strives to impart upon its students, and, That we desire for a memorial for Col. Boyington be commenced by the University of Washington by 11 January 2008, the twentieth anniversary of his death, which will be publicly displayed, so that all who come here in future years will know that the University of Washington produced one of this country's bravest men, and that we as a community hold this fact in the highest esteem."

Commenting on the decision, a blogger who says he met Boyington on numerous occasions at a museum and air show over the years noted the famous flyer "was no rich boy," having grown up in a struggling family in which he was forced to work hard to make it through school. The blogger, who hosts the website Paradosis, also pointed out Boyington was part Sioux.

Boyington was open about his marital problems and alcohol abuse, saying notably, "Just name a hero and I'll prove he's a bum."

The blogger wondered, "have our Washington youth revised history so much as this? To compare Boyington ? or for that matter any of our WW2 vets ? to murderers? What are these kids being taught today? They don't deserve those 20 months Pappy spent being tortured and beaten in a Japanese prison camp ... they don't deserve any of what our grandfathers and grandmothers sacrificed to free Europe and the Pacific."

Boyington wrote a book in 1958 that reached the best-seller list, "Baa Baa, Black Sheep." In 1976, he sold rights to Universal, which aired a TV series for two seasons of the same name.

Boyington, who died Jan. 11, 1988, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
30437  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Help our troops/our cause: on: February 16, 2006, 06:06:14 PM
30438  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: February 15, 2006, 11:47:53 PM
A friend sends me the following:

Marc, to go along with your post, from the   Wonder how this will be reported in either of the Times/Slimes papers?  
 A second Iraqi former commander confirms WMDs

Slowly, very slowly, we are beginning to discover what happened to the WMDs of Saddam. The left and the antique media have made it an article of faith that there never were any WMDs, and that ?Bush lied.? So deep is their investment in a political position premised on this conclusion that they will pay no attention to contrary evidence.

Via Peter Glover?s website Wires from the bunker, we learn of an interview between Ali Ibrahim al-Tikriti, a southern regional commander for Saddam Hussein?s Fedayeen militia in the late 1980s and a personal friend of the dictator and Ryan Mauro of

Only two weeks ago, General Sada, formerly Sadaam?s no 2 Air Force Commander, told the New York Sun that Sadaam?s WMD was moved to Syria just six weeks before the US-led invasion. Now Ali Ibrahim confirms this and explains the underlying strategy of Saddam:

I know Saddam?s weapons are in Syria due to certain military deals that were made going as far back as the late 1980?s that dealt with the event that either capitols were threatened with being overrun by an enemy nation. Not to mention I have discussed this in-depth with various contacts of mine who have confirmed what I already knew. At this point Saddam knew that the United States were eventually going to come for his weapons and the United States wasn?t going to just let this go like they did in the original Gulf War. He knew that he had lied for this many years and wanted to maintain legitimacy with the pan Arab nationalists. He also has wanted since he took power to embarrass the West and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. After Saddam denied he had such weapons why would he use them or leave them readily available to be found? That would only legitimize President Bush, who he has a personal grudge against. What we are witnessing now is many who opposed the war to begin with are rallying around Saddam saying we overthrew a sovereign leader based on a lie about WMD. This is exactly what Saddam wanted and predicted.  

Moreover, Ali Ibrahim debunks other shibboleths of the left, including the allegation of no ties between al Qaeda terror and Saddam:

As far as Al-Qaeda is concerned this support was limited for a long time, mainly due to the fact that Al-Qaeda had the hopes of creating an Islamic empire while Saddam wanted a secular Arab nationalist empire. They only really came to terms in the mid-90?s due to the fact that both knew they shared the same short term enemy. Once they came to terms on this Saddam provided Al-Qaeda with intelligence support and whatever money or munitions they could provide. Saddam has had very long standing contacts in the black market as well as with Moscow and would provide whatever munitions he could through these contacts.

He also addresses the claim that the US bears responsibility for bringing Saddam to power and for armning him with WMDs:

This is absolutely ludicrous. I was in the Ba?athist Revolution who received support from the Soviet Union because of the socialist ideology behind it. The Soviet Union openly supported and backed the Ba?athist revolution in Iraq at the time and I am sure you can find news articles about it in European press agencies and others at the time. I was there helping with the revolution and worked on two occasions with Soviet KGB officials to help train us, much like the United States did with the Taliban during the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan. The United States never directly gave us any WMDs but rather ingredients. They were not mixed and these ?ingredients? could have been easily used for commercial use but were rather used to build low life chemical weapons.

The tape recordings of Saddam discussing WMDs are said by Ryan Mauro of to be a ?smoking cannon.? If all of this information proves out, the left in the US and UK are going to face an awful reckoning. As usual, it will take some time for the new information to travel from the blogosphere to the alternative media, and finally into the antique media.

Thomas Lifson  2 15 06

UPDATE: Reader David Bell writes:

In debunking the myth that the U.S. funded, armed and equipped Saddam and therefore is somehow responsible for him, Gen. Sada, unfortunately, perpetuates another. Namely, that the U.S. ?trained? the Taliban. He says the Soviets trained the Iraqis ?much like the U.S. did with the Taliban during the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan.? The U.S. had a role in equipping and training some anti-SovietAfghan forces in northern Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, but these people later become the Northern Alliance that fought against the Taliban, which was a largely Arab-led movement. The U.S. never trained or in any other wat supported the Taliban or forces that later turned into the Taliban. This is just as big a myth of the Left as the story that the U.S. trained and equipped Saddam.

I can?t indpendently confirm this, but it sounds consistent with my vague memories.
30439  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The Dog Brothers Tribe on: February 14, 2006, 11:20:05 AM
Woof All:

This thread is for matters concerning the Dog Brothers tribe.

Crafty Dog
Guiding Force

Let the howl go forth:

Chris Schultz is now "Dog Chris".

Marc Scott is now "Dog Marc"

The Adventure continues,
Crafty Dog
30440  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / ACI on: February 14, 2006, 11:07:10 AM
Guau a todos:

En DBMA (Dog Brothers Martial Arts) una categoria importante es lo de "Short Impact Weapons", lo cual aqui voy a traducir como ACI (Armas Cortas de Impacto), -- pero sin alguien puede sugerir otra manera de traducir SIW, pues adelante. Smiley

La categoria ACI es para defensa personal y se trata de una variedad tremenda de armas que pueden ser a proposito, por ejemplo un "kubotan" o un cuchillo todavia cerrado (an unopened folding knife) o improvisado, por ejemplo un desarmador.  

Cabe mencionar que hoy en dia desafortunadamente en muchas juridiciones las leyes prohiben andar con armas eficazes.  Un buen conocimiento del uso eficaz de las ACI nos permite cumplir con las leyes y a la vez tener algo para ayudarnos en momentos de peligro.

Cuando se hable de situciones tipicas del uso de los ACI, hay que tener en cuenta lo siguiente:

1)  Tipicamente, el exito de define como el mantenimiento de larga distancia, lo cual se puede llamar nuestra "burbuja".  Si el adversario/criminal nos acerca, lo picamos para que se vaya.  Hay que tener en cuenta tambien que muchos asaltos criminales se tratan de mas que un criminal.

2)  Por definicion de las ACI, no tenemos tanto alcance como otras armas de impacto.  Por lo cual, el objectivo del mantenimiento de distancia; pero necestimos aceptar la posibilidad de una lucha libre tambien.  En dicho caso, necesitamos mantener la libre expresion de nuestra ACI para resolver la situacion en nuestro favor.

3) Muchas veces, nuestro ACI no tendra tanto potencia en su golpe como una arma mas larga.

Por lo cual, se puede ver facilmente que la integracion del los golpes del ACI y de los movimientos de pie (footwork) toman un papel de tremendo importancia.  Igualmente importante son la habilidad de prevenir que el malo pueda agarrar a nosotros o a nuestro brazo que tiene la ACI y la habilidad de luchar efectivamente cuando la pelea vaya a lucha libre. (grappling range)

En DBMA tenemos materia disenado segun esta criteria.

La Aventura continua,
Guro Crafty

PD:  Agradezco qualquiera ayuda gramatica!
30441  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Craftydog Seminar in Tulsa OK on: February 14, 2006, 07:52:55 AM
Woof Mike:

"........despite the bit of tooth I spit out last night after the Kali fence shot at the range during the holster discussion"

WTF?!?  Call me at 310-543-7521.

Thank you for the outstanding gun lesson.  Those were the best groups I've ever shot.

The Adventure continues!
Crafty Dog
30442  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Training for Stick Fighting--Beginner on: February 14, 2006, 07:17:05 AM

May I suggest that the whole first series would be a good idea for solo training?  Although tapes 5 and 6 are not solo, the price of the series is so reasonable that there would be no point in buying only 1-4.

Crafty Dog
30443  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Craftydog Seminar in Tulsa OK on: February 12, 2006, 07:50:15 PM
Woof All:

The seminar was 2/3 LEOs -- which was a lot of fun.  LEOs have great stories.   cheesy  wink   Emphasis was on Kali Tudo and SIWs with a dash of Los Triques.

Guro Crafty
30444  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: February 10, 2006, 11:37:08 AM
Respect?  Good idea!

I've seen more and worse, but these are what come to hand right now , , ,
30445  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: February 09, 2006, 02:01:29 PM
Walid Phares

                                           -  PART TWO -

Brussels, the European Parliament, London, the House of Commons.

This piece was authored in conjunction with the presentation of my new book at the European institutions. link

?Cartoon Jihad? was the title of a piece by American leading cartoonist Daryl Cagle posted on January 10, in which he warned about the explosion to come link . The term was coined since around the world, especially in a series of investigations by German daily Der Spiegel. The term itself is a reverse of the campaign mobilized by the critics of the cartoons. While Islamic groups and governments have escalated their protests, many of which in violent forms, and accused the ?caricaturists-perpetrators? of waging a cultural war against Islam, artists and their supporters responded by disseminating the initial drawings and drawing more. The latter claimed a political war is being waged by the Islamists against cultural democracy and Jihadi terror is being staged against media. On al Jazeera, commentators and guests are now accusing the whole West of launching an all out ?crusade? against everything Islamic, while in return, Jihad-critics are accusing the ideological movement worldwide of being behind all urban intifadas against the West not just the Denmark cartoon violence. In the Italian press and across the continent, dots are being connected between the Hijab uprising in France, the Van Goh assassination in Holland, the French so-called youth intifada, the Australian beach clashes, and other ?moves? within the West. By the day fault lines are emerging between the two camps and unspoken sentences are piling up. Historians may well realize few years from now, that the Denmark?s drawings were only the straw that broke the camel?s back between the two ideological worlds: Pluralist Democracy and Islamic Fundamentalism.

But as Europe and the World are witnessing the widening of the Cartoon Jihad and its mutation into multiple levels of diplomatic, political, intellectual, militants and terror actions and activities, the investigation of the core issue is still in progress: What did the Danish cartoonists really breach? Where is the red line within Islam and under whose responsibility the protest fall? What is the real aim of the ?protesters? and are they one group or more? Is the West responding right and is it really unified in this matter? Multiple questions I will attempt to address, as I continue to interact with European legislators, experts, think tanks in Vienna, Brussels, London and Paris. The bottom line now is the bigger picture not those little drawings. The consensus cannot be clearer with regards the grand principles: Freedom of speech cannot be reversed by any ideology that doesn?t believe in the latter?s value. And at the same time, hurting the core feelings of any religion, including Islam, is acceptable by coexistence standards. But the question is this: Is it really about the drawings themselves or between the drawers of cartoons and the drawers of fatwa? Let?s examine this..

The theological question

According to Sharia, Islam?s holy laws, neither Allah nor his Messenger Prophet Mohammed can be drawn by Muslims (al Rassm). It is part of the anti-idolatry (ibadat al asnaam) restriction by Islam. A strict application of this requirement means that no picturing (and therefore photos or computer simulation) is permissible. From this injunction three issues had to be addressed: One, modern inventions: If Muslim hands from the seventh century were forbidden from drawing the divine and its envoy directly, can computers from the 21 century simulate the drawings? Theologians ruled against it, and the doors are still closed. Two, are there sanctions against Muslims who engage in drawings of Allah or Mohammed? Apparently, it depends on the discretion of the clerics. As for any other matter of religion, and in the absence of a Caliphate, the highest authority of the Islamic state, scholars (al Ulama?a) will rule and fatwa is their instrument. So according to one and two, it is strictly forbidden to Muslims to draw images of Allah and all Prophets, not only Mohammed. And it is upon the Sheikhs to decide on the sanctions.

The third question is of direct interest to the Euro-Islamic crisis. Do the above rulings apply to non-Muslims? Any answer could make or break international relations as we know it. And this has been the least known matter to both Western and Muslim publics. Both ignored the two ends of the equation. To all Westerners, it is natural that Muslim laws should not apply to them, inside their own countries. To most Muslims, the matter is foggy. While mainstream Muslim governments and moderate scholars assert that they abide by international law first and by Sharia second, Islamist leaders declare otherwise: To Sunni Salafists and Shiia Khumeinists the world is divided in two: dar el Islam where the Islamic state rules and dar el Harb, where the Caliphate is off the public sphere. Hence, the Islamic fundamentalists knows well that Sharia law cannot be implemented in dar el Harb, including in Denmark, France, Britain or Germany, to name a few. So, arguably, if non-Muslims ?living in a non-Muslim country draw or sculpt a figure from Islam?s forbidden list, without any offensive character will there be a ground for Islamic authorities to counter act and sanction? The matter is not easy or simple.

For in principle, if non-Muslims breach the Sharia inside dar al Islam, they fall under Islamic law and sanctions: Copts of Egypt, Christians in Syria, Hindus in Afghanistan, ChaldoAssyrians in Iraq, Nubians in Sudan etc. But if non-Muslims do not follow the restrictions inside the dar al Harb world, there is no Islamic authority to strike the ?offense? down. Hence, it would fall under the spectrum of the relationship with that infidel power. It becomes wholly political: The authorities representing the Muslim Umma (nation) will have to take the matter under their auspices. Would the Ottoman Empire intervene with European monarchies to eliminate drawings of sculptures produced by their own citizens? And would today?s Arab League and Organization of Muslim states do the same with world democracies? Again, while theologically forbidden, and because they are not being perpetrated in the sphere of a Muslim state, these breaches and their resolution can only be addressed politically: Which means that offenses made to Islam in the West cannot be under Islamic law but Muslims within the West, and under the legal system of that particular country can and naturally should seize the authorities of their host country. There is no legal international body in Islam today that can seize a higher level than international and national law to deal with Islamic matters. Moderate Muslims understand that.

But two other matters arise: The obligation of Western Muslims and the role of Islamic Fundamentalists in this regard.

Muslims in the West

Muslims living in the West or the non-Muslim world, immigrants and converts alike are challenged by the theoretical choice of legal affiliation. The realist and mainstream practice, the one accepted by most Muslim Governments in public has been to encourage their subjects to accept the set of rules existing in the non-Muslim countries based on reciprocity in international relations. But the Islamic Fundamentalists of all schools have been putting pressures on Muslims in ?infidel lands? to confront a difficult choice. In many sessions of the al Jazeera show al Sharia wal Hayat (Islamic Code and Life) in 2002-2005, Sheikh Yussuf al Qaradawi clearly stated that ?Muslims living outside Islamic lands, must either return to their homelands when their journey, job, or mission is accomplished or strive to remain as citizens and spread religion.? The leader of the World Ulema?s Union hence put Muslims living in the West and in Europe under tremendous pressures. A permanent status of ?diminished Islamic life? is forbidden according to his views. ?Muslims in the West and in other areas must strife to spread religion and insert it in the national legal, political and economic space.? He, and others adds that these communities have a ?special mission,? that is Iqamatu el dine, the establishment of religion. ?It is not a choice that they have, it is a home work.? Hence the exiled, expatriate and convert communities hear one dominant voice constantly, although they live as mainstream citizens worldwide. That ?dominant? voice, carried by preaches, airwaves, online and in print is also expressed by a rising wave of organizations which hurdle the crowd into campaigns to ?insure better representation of culture and religion in the Western system.? At first glance, the ?activism? required by these ?vigorous and dominant militants? would be natural, especially in multicultural societies. But that is not the objective of the radicals.

Islamic Fundamentalists

The various currents of Islamists, Salafists, Wahabis, Khumeinists and others, converge into one wave when it comes to mobilize Muslims in the West in general and in Europe in particular: Find and identify areas of ?claims? and transform them into ?struggle.? Absent the Islamists? ?activation of these ?cases? the natural interaction between civil society and Muslim communities would gradually absorb and solve these matters. But the Islamists deliberately chose these particular issues and transform them into crisis. In other words, they live off these ?burning issues.? Because of them they mutate into the leadership of the communities, becomes the negotiators on their behalf with Governments, and end up the ?Partners? of the public powers in these countries. This strategy is simple to understand:  The Islamists (and the Jihadists in their midst) pushes the community into a clash with a segment of the society or with the Government. Widen the clash nationwide, and worldwide, drag in the Muslim Governments and present themselves (the Islamists) as the providers of the solution. The final objectives are easy to guess:

1. Push the level of the social and political ?isolation? of the community at a high as possible. Hence prepare it for a next stage in the ?struggle.?
2. And at the same time, push away the moderate element of the community and further control its leadership.
3. Establish an intimidation-based consulting with Governments, allowing them to influence future policies, both domestic and foreign.

One would wonder at first reading, if the ?spontaneous reactions? towards ?sensitive core issues? are really ?organized.? In fact, the popular emotions in each one of these issues are real. But the manipulation of the timing, the agenda and the final outcome are simply political and held firmly in the hands of the Islamists.


In the United States, two cases are to be noted. One was raised by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) two years ago when the lobby group called for action to remove the representative face of Prophet Mohammed from the entrance to the US Supreme Court. The Muslim Prophet, along with a dozen other world inspirers of legislations was honored in sculpture by American standard. The CAIR claim wasn?t about the fact that the expression was ?offensive? (as in the Denmark cartoon case) but that the principle is not accepted. The US courts rejected the claim at the time. A year later Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette of the Tallahassee Democrat was pressure by CAIR for drawing a cartoon with the caption ?What Would Muhammad drive?? Unlike the US Supreme Court matter, the picture (evidently causing stress among pious Muslims) had to do with a popular culture in America (and now in Europe) that is struggling with its understanding of the relationship between Terrorism and Islamic ideologies that preach it. The outcome of this mental struggle manifest itself in cartoons, but the roots of the intellectual crisis resides in the confusion created by the Islamic Fundamentalists. Here is why:

The core of the problem

Western public opinion doesn?t know Islam well neither as a religion nor as politics. And what makes the issue more complicated is the fact that in Islam religion and state are one: deen wal dawla wahid. Hence, it is up to either Western instructors or Muslim representatives to shape up the Western perception of the Islamic phenomenon. For instance, Christians in the Middle East or living under Islamic regimes in Africa and Asia have a better understanding of it, (sometimes with a high price) and hence rarely engage in ?theological offenses.? They know what are the various limits both those that are purely religious and those limits that can be created then breached by the Jihadists. (See interview in Belgian Der Standaard link) So the core of the problem is in two folds: Western academic elite has done a bad job in educating its public about the threat of Jihadism, and the Muslim public was left with little choices other than the Islamists and Jihadists to represent them and lead in these issues. When Denmark Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen stated lately that ?extremists were obstructing the stabilization of the crisis, US Secretary of State declared recently that ?Syria and Iran are inflaming the sentiments? and Lebanon?s Muslim Prime Minister accused the Syrian regime ?and indirectly Hezbollah- of ?using the issue to aggress Lebanon via violent demonstrations,? the equation clarified itself:

There is no cultural intention in the West to harm the feelings of Muslims. But there is confusion among Western public about who the Jihadists are. On the other hand, there is a general perception among the Muslim public that the West is on a path of war against Islam, a perception fed by the Jihadists.  


? The Western public was deprived from real knowledge about Islam?s religion on the one hand, opening the windows for drawings and possibly more scratching of Muslim sensibilities. But on the other hand this public was denied the information about the nature of the Jihadist movement and its various tactics. So, while aiming subconsciously at protesting against the Jihadists because of their terror, the liberal artists hit the nerve of pious Muslims, opening the path for the Islamists to wage their campaign.
? The Muslim masses, or their majority, were kept under the pressures of Madrassas, the web sites, the Islamist networks and subject to al Jazeera and al Manar point of view for years. When the Denmark cartoon crisis exploded, the radicals were in the street steering the protests into violence.
? Western Governments took time before uniting against the ongoing Jihadi violence. Each Executive branch wished to ?get political mileage? for its own relations with the Arab Muslim world, before it realizes by the day that the ?offensive? Cartoons are becoming an all out offensive by the radicals.
? Arab and Muslim Governments divided in two groups: Those who were led by the demonstrations to ?stick with the mood on the street,? while realizing that this ?radical-inspired? mood will soon get back at them. And those other regimes, such as Syria and Iran, who fueled the anti-Danish protest attempting to mutate it into an all out anti-Western Jihad.  

Meanwhile, and one more time, the Islamists and Jihadists are adventuring themselves into another clash of civilization of great disservice to the Muslim world. While the crisis of the cartoons could have been addressed and solved within the Danish borders via dialogue and within the legal system, the radicals took it beyond the sovereignty of that small secular, liberal and humanist nation. Had the moderate community leaders kept the issue Danish, they would have most probably won growing sympathy among Danes. But the ?networks? took the matter to the wider Arab and Muslim world. In response, the Euro Cartoonists took the matter to the continental level. The Jihadists hijacked the Muslim claim to different continents. In return, many around the world identified with the Danes. Tehran and Damascus hoped the ?opportunity? will deflect international consensus from their entanglement with Terror and nuclear threat. (From interviews on BBC on February 7 and 9, 2006 link)

But at the end of the day, the radicals are not growing in numbers in the Muslim world as some believe, but they are growing their designs. The moderates and democrats are paying the price. They are witnessing how the wider world is watching the scenes of burning and destruction and reading carefully the signs carried by extremists from London to Jakarta. It is going to take a significant effort to inform the Western public about what they know less, so that their understanding of Islam becomes more complex. And it is going to take a greater effort to educate the Muslim public as to the objectives of those who claim representing them in war and peace, and especially in the defense of their religion.

The Denmark cartoon crisis has generated violence both material and physical, but it may well contribute to an acceleration of outreach between the forces of change on both sides.


Dr Walid Phares is a senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington on a European tour at the invitation of European legislators and Think Tanks. He is the author of Future Jihad.
30446  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: February 09, 2006, 11:56:47 AM
30447  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: February 07, 2006, 04:19:24 PM
Posted Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at 4:31 PM ET


Cartoon Debate
The case for mocking religion
By Christopher Hitchens

As well as being a small masterpiece of inarticulacy and self-abnegation, the statement from the State Department about this week's international Muslim pogrom against the free press was also accidentally accurate.


"Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images, as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief."


Thus the hapless Sean McCormack, reading painfully slowly from what was reported as a prepared government statement. How appalling for the country of the First Amendment to be represented by such an administration. What does he mean "unacceptable"? That it should be forbidden? And how abysmal that a "spokesman" cannot distinguish between criticism of a belief system and slander against a people. However, the illiterate McCormack is right in unintentionally comparing racist libels to religious faith. Many people have pointed out that the Arab and Muslim press is replete with anti-Jewish caricature, often of the most lurid and hateful kind. In one way the comparison is hopelessly inexact. These foul items mostly appear in countries where the state decides what is published or broadcast. However, when Muslims republish the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or perpetuate the story of Jewish blood-sacrifice at Passover, they are recycling the fantasies of the Russian Orthodox Christian secret police (in the first instance) and of centuries of Roman Catholic and Lutheran propaganda (in the second). And, when an Israeli politician refers to Palestinians as snakes or pigs or monkeys, it is near to a certainty that he will be a rabbi (most usually Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the leader of the disgraceful Shas party) and will cite Talmudic authority for his racism. For most of human history, religion and bigotry have been two sides of the same coin, and it still shows.


Therefore there is a strong case for saying that the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, and those who have reprinted its efforts out of solidarity, are affirming the right to criticize not merely Islam but religion in general. And the Bush administration has no business at all expressing an opinion on that. If it is to say anything, it is constitutionally obliged to uphold the right and no more. You can be sure that the relevant European newspapers have also printed their share of cartoons making fun of nuns and popes and messianic Israeli settlers, and taunting child-raping priests. There was a time when this would not have been possible. But those taboos have been broken.


Which is what taboos are for. Islam makes very large claims for itself. In its art, there is a prejudice against representing the human form at all. The prohibition on picturing the prophet?who was only another male mammal?is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent. This current uneasy coexistence is only an interlude, he seems to say. For the moment, all I can do is claim to possess absolute truth and demand absolute immunity from criticism. But in the future, you will do what I say and you will do it on pain of death.


I refuse to be spoken to in that tone of voice, which as it happens I chance to find "offensive." ( By the way, hasn't the word "offensive" become really offensive lately?) The innate human revulsion against desecration is much older than any monotheism: Its most powerful expression is in the Antigone of Sophocles. It belongs to civilization. I am not asking for the right to slaughter a pig in a synagogue or mosque or to relieve myself on a "holy" book. But I will not be told I can't eat pork, and I will not respect those who burn books on a regular basis. I, too, have strong convictions and beliefs and value the Enlightenment above any priesthood or any sacred fetish-object. It is revolting to me to breathe the same air as wafts from the exhalations of the madrasahs, or the reeking fumes of the suicide-murderers, or the sermons of Billy Graham and Joseph Ratzinger. But these same principles of mine also prevent me from wreaking random violence on the nearest church, or kidnapping a Muslim at random and holding him hostage, or violating diplomatic immunity by attacking the embassy or the envoys of even the most despotic Islamic state, or making a moronic spectacle of myself threatening blood and fire to faraway individuals who may have hurt my feelings. The babyish rumor-fueled tantrums that erupt all the time, especially in the Islamic world, show yet again that faith belongs to the spoiled and selfish childhood of our species.


As it happens, the cartoons themselves are not very brilliant, or very mordant, either. But if Muslims do not want their alleged prophet identified with barbaric acts or adolescent fantasies, they should say publicly that random murder for virgins is not in their religion. And here one runs up against a curious reluctance. ? In fact, Sunni Muslim leaders can't even seem to condemn the blowing-up of Shiite mosques and funeral processions, which even I would describe as sacrilege. Of course there are many millions of Muslims who do worry about this, and another reason for condemning the idiots at Foggy Bottom is their assumption, dangerous in many ways, that the first lynch mob on the scene is actually the genuine voice of the people. There's an insult to Islam, if you like.


The question of "offensiveness" is easy to decide. First: Suppose that we all agreed to comport ourselves in order to avoid offending the believers? How could we ever be sure that we had taken enough precautions? On Saturday, I appeared on CNN, which was so terrified of reprisal that it "pixilated" the very cartoons that its viewers needed to see. And this ignoble fear in Atlanta, Ga., arose because of an illustration in a small Scandinavian newspaper of which nobody had ever heard before! Is it not clear, then, that those who are determined to be "offended" will discover a provocation somewhere? We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt.


Second (and important enough to be insisted upon): Can the discussion be carried on without the threat of violence, or the automatic resort to it? When Salman Rushdie published The Satanic Verses in 1988, he did so in the hope of forwarding a discussion that was already opening in the Muslim world, between extreme Quranic literalists and those who hoped that the text could be interpreted. We know what his own reward was, and we sometimes forget that the fatwa was directed not just against him but against "all those involved in its publication," which led to the murder of the book's Japanese translator and the near-deaths of another translator and one publisher. I went on Crossfire at one point, to debate some spokesman for outraged faith, and said that we on our side would happily debate the propriety of using holy writ for literary and artistic purposes. But that we would not exchange a word until the person on the other side of the podium had put away his gun. (The menacing Muslim bigmouth on the other side refused to forswear state-sponsored suborning of assassination, and was of course backed up by the Catholic bigot Pat Buchanan.) The same point holds for international relations: There can be no negotiation under duress or under the threat of blackmail and assassination. And civil society means that free expression trumps the emotions of anyone to whom free expression might be inconvenient. It is depressing to have to restate these obvious precepts, and it is positively outrageous that the administration should have discarded them at the very first sign of a fight.



Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. His most recent collection of essays is titled Love, Poverty, and War.
30448  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Humor on: February 04, 2006, 11:09:09 PM
Yes.  wink
30449  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Humor on: February 04, 2006, 06:30:45 PM
An elderly couple was attending church services, about halfway
through she leans over and says, " I just had a silent fart what do you
think I should do?"

He replies "Put a new battery in your hearing aid."
30450  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Handreading Resource on: February 04, 2006, 06:27:11 PM
Ah yes, the simian crease.  I remember I was dating a girl semi-seriously who was a simian crease.  Eric read her as having no heart line, whereas I read her as having the heart and head lines in the same place.  

 I just cc'd him on this thread-- maybe he will come to play , , ,
Pages: 1 ... 607 608 [609] 610 611 ... 635
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!