Saturday, July 01, 2006

Moderate Islamists Found

Michael J. Totten wrote When I went to the Middle East for a six-month extended visit I wanted to see if I could find a genuinely moderate Islamist political party, one that not only practices democracy but also believes in it. There was a slight chance

very very slight

Hezbollah might fit that description. Lebanon’s Party of God has mellowed somewhat with age and participates in elections. But Hezbollah, unfortunately, is psychotic as ever. Hassan Nasrallah and his goon squad are instinctively belligerent and authoritarian even if Lebanon’s post-war democratic culture keeps them in check. Hezbollah is liberal and even pacifist compared with Hamas and Al Qaeda, but they nevertheless are a violent warmongering proxy militia for two despotic regimes in the Middle East.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is better. They aren’t armed,
Not that they would not like to be armed, but since they are the primary opposition to the authoritarian government in Egypt, the government does not let them be armed, for fear they would establish a coup.

they don’t even try to kill Israeli soldiers (let alone civilians), and they at least pretend to be opposed to terrorism. But they are only moderate compared with their violent fellow Islamists. Ideologically they don’t differ much.

The Kurdistan Islamic Union, though, does seem to be genuinely moderate. Its leaders appear to have more in common with conservative Christian Democrats in Europe than with any terrorist organization or Middle Eastern religious dictatorship.


When Do We Publish a Secret?

NYT wrote Since Sept. 11, 2001, newspaper editors have faced excruciating choices in covering the government's efforts to protect the country from terrorist agents. Each of us has, on a number of occasions, withheld information because we were convinced that publishing it could put lives at risk. On other occasions, each of us has decided to publish classified information over strong objections from our government.

We do it whenever we think it will hurt the Bush administration.
Wizbang blogged There is a lot I could respond to in the excerpt above and even more in the full editorial, but I will just address the following for now: "Our job, especially in times like these, is to bring our readers information that will enable them to judge how well their elected leaders are fighting on their behalf, and at what price." If it were true that the NYT had been doing their job, and bringing their readers unbiased, balanced and comprehensive information to enable them to make intelligent decisions, then I doubt there would have been as great an uproar (and questioning of their motivation) over the most recent disclosures of classified material. Instead, the NYT, and many other mainstream media outlets, have often treated the Bush administration as a greater threat to America than that posed by jihadist terrorists. If the history of the NYT's coverage of the war in Iraq and the War on Terror was not what it was and if their past coverage of this President had not been what it has been, their latest statement might be more believable.

Don Surber blogged I thought the choices were covering the War on Terrorism. This isn't the government running another Bureau of Indian Affairs (which by the way, after 202 years, are the Indians any better off?) but a fricking war. There's a word not used once by the authors in this piece. Not once. Small word. Accurate. Newspapers used to use small words a lot. Then editors started going to Harvard. Now they say "the government's efforts to protect the country from terrorist agents" instead. War. It's a war. It is OK to say that. War.

Blue Crab blogged That is the crux of it. These programs were not secret to protect the government from embarrassment, but the Times Two editors continue to couch their explanation in those terms. As Ann Althouse writes: Why should we trust you? (By the way, anyone else now getting the feeling that the two editors are beginning to get a bit nervous about the building backlash they have triggered? That's what I am starting to feel here.)

Just One Minute blogged The NY Times editors are unintentionally funny in their editorial defending their decision to break open the SWIFT program


Soldier held by Hamas

Israel News reported A statement released by the office of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas earlier Saturday said mediation efforts by Egypt and other countries to resolve the crisis over Shalit had yet to bear fruit mainly because it was unclear who in Hamas - the militants or the group's leadership abroad - was authorized to make decisions about Shalit's fate.

Israel has the right idea, just start killing Hamas leaders until one of them comes up with the soldier, or they run out of Hamas leaders in Gaza, and then start taking out the leadership abroad.


We know the NYT's priorities

At 8 am central, July 1, the top story on their website is G.I.'s Investigated in Slayings of 4 and Rape in Iraq. They have not been convicted; they have not even been charged; this is just the fourth investigation into suspected killings of unarmed Iraqis by American soldiers announced by the military in June.

Other stories, of less importance to the NYT are

To the New York Times, it is more important to discredit our soldiers who are just being investigated, than a historic election in the Congo, charges in a massacre in Mexico, Hamas's demands in the Middle East, and possible excommunication of scientists by the Vatican.


Friday, June 30, 2006

Islamophobia Is a Crime Against Humanity

Arab News reported The incitement to hatred of Islam should be considered a crime against humanity, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech before the Council of Europe in Strasbourg yesterday.

The "crime against humanity" is what the Islamoterrorists are doing in the name of Islam. Stop that, and I suspect you will see the hatred of Islam stop as well.
“Just as anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity,
anti-Semitism is target at the Semetic race, which includes both Jews AND Arabs.
so should Islamophobia be regarded,” Erdogan said. Erdogan warned against the growing phobia against Islam and foreigners in the world in which “we Muslims feel increasingly under siege
Stop flying airplanes into buildings, blowing up bombs in subways, busses, and elsewhere, and you will feel a lot less under siege.
.... “With a (Muslim) population of between 10 and 25 percent in Europe’s largest cities, it is important to follow a policy of social integration to ensure a peaceful coexistence,” Erdogan said. This was a “great challenge” that could, however, be overcome “with the joint efforts of the host countries and Muslim communities.”
Hint. if you want social integration, learn the language of your host country, learn and follow its customs, and don't demand to live under Sharia law.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Militants taunt Israel over kidnapped soldier

Yahoo! News

Palestinian militants involved in the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier taunted the Jewish state on Thursday by saying the conscript could be dead or alive.
These guys are not just crazy, they are absolutely insane.
Abu Mujahed, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), said in a statement that Israel should stop wasting time if it wanted to resolve the crisis over the abduction of Corporal Gilad Shalit.


A Much-Needed Shield for Reporters

Theodore B. Olson wrote in WaPo

Journalists reporting on high-profile legal or political controversies cannot function effectively without offering some measure of confidentiality to their sources. Their ability to do so yields substantial benefits to the public in the form of stories that might otherwise never be written about corruption, misfeasance and abuse of power. A person with information about wrongdoing is often vulnerable to retaliation if exposed as an informant.
This is a very bad time to bring this up, after the NYT just published another secret tool being used in the War against Terrorism
Reporters do not expect to be above the law
Baloney. They certainly do think that because of the 1st amendment they are above the law. The 1st ammendment says we can't shut the NYT down; it doe not protect the NYT's reporters from revealing who provided them secret information.
But they should be accorded some protection so that they can perform their public service in ensuring the free flow of information and exposing fraud, dishonesty and improper conduct without being exposed to an unanticipated jail sentence.... Congress is moving forward to regularize the rules for reporters, their sources, publishers, broadcasters and judges. The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon take up a bill entitled the Free Flow of Information Act of 2006, sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators and modeled in large part on the Justice Department guidelines. It does not provide an absolute privilege for confidential sources, but it does require, among other things, that a party seeking information from a journalist be able to demonstrate that the need for that information is real and that it is not available from other sources. Matters involving classified information and national security are treated differently.
Hopefully it provides long terms of imprisonment, and perhaps even the death penalty, for reporters, editors, and publishers who print secret information in a time of war.
The current controversy over publications relative to the administration's efforts to deter terrorists does not, therefore, provide any basis for delaying or rejecting this needed legislation.
It should be delayed until we know for certain how it treats printing secret information.


CAIR Says Targeting of Gaza Infrastructure a 'War Crime'

U.S. Newswire reported A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today said Israel's targeting of the Palestinian civilian infrastructure is a "war crime" that should be condemned by the Bush administration.

Kidnapping and killing a setler, and kidnapping one soldier and killing two others does not bother CAIR, but destroying a bridge, to prevent the kidnapped soldier from being moved, and blowing up a power plant is a War Crime???? CAIR is crazy.
Following a Palestinian attack on a military post, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the Gaza Strip's only power station, cutting electricity to most of Gaza. Israel also targeted three Gaza Strip bridges. Palestinian officials say the cut in power will impact water supplies and health services.
Maybe they should have thought about that before kidnapping and killing Israelis.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Obama: Democrats Must Court Evangelicals

WaPo Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

One good way to do that would be to stop supporting every secular plan they can think of, and opposing every faith based plan or even statement someone might make.
"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation.
I can't think of ANY mention of God in public that is a breach to the supposed wall of separation (which does not appear anywhere in the Constitution)
Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.


Bush's Use of Authority Riles Senator

NYT reported Senators on the Judiciary Committee accused President Bush of an "unprecedented" and "astonishing" power grab on Tuesday for making use of a device that gave him the authority to revise or ignore more than 750 laws enacted since he became president. By using what are known as signing statements

Which have been used by previous presidents.
, memorandums issued with legislation as he signs it, the president has reserved the right to not enforce any laws he thinks violate the Constitution or national security, or that impair foreign relations.
Courts consider Congressional Intent in addition to the text of a law; why should they not also have access to a statement of Presidential intent. There are many books on the law now; why is it wrong for the President to say he believe a law to be unconstitutional and that he will not enforce it.
A lawyer for the White House said that Mr. Bush was only doing his duty to uphold the Constitution. But Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, characterized the president's actions as a declaration that he "will do as he pleases," without regard to the laws passed by Congress. "There's a real issue here as to whether the president may, in effect, cherry-pick the provisions he likes and exclude the ones he doesn't like," Mr. Specter said at a hearing. "Wouldn't it be better, as a matter of comity," he said, "for the president to have come to the Congress and said, 'I'd like to have this in the bill; I'd like to have these exceptions in the bill,' so that we could have considered that?"
Probably. I certainly wish he had vetoed some spending bills.
.... Senators and two law professors before the panel said that if the president objected to a bill, he should use his power to veto it — something he has not done in his six years in office.... Ms. Boardman said the president had inserted 110 statements, which senators said applied to 750 statutes, compared with 30 by President Jimmy Carter.
And there was not a war on when Carter was President, so Congress was not trying to tell him how to fight it.
The number has increased, she said, but only marginally, and only because national security concerns have increased since the attacks of Sept. 11 and more laws have been passed. She acknowledged that the increase might be construed as "a lack of good communication" with Congress. But Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said the committee was making too much of the statements. "It is precedented," he said, "and it's not new."

Boston Globe reported The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Arlen Specter, said yesterday that he is ``seriously considering" filing legislation to give Congress legal standing to sue President Bush over his use of signing statements to reserve the right to bypass laws.
And if it passes, is he sure Bush will not veto it?


GOP bill targets NY Times

The Hill reported House Republican leaders are expected to introduce a resolution today condemning The New York Times for publishing a story last week that exposed government monitoring of banking records. The resolution is expected to condemn the leak and publication of classified documents, said one Republican aide with knowledge of the impending legislation.

It should also call for legislation enabling the reporters, editors, and publisher to face long prison time, and possibly even death, for publishing national secrets in a time of war.
The resolution comes as Republicans from the president on down condemn media organizations for reporting on the secret government program that tracked financial records overseas through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), an international banking cooperative.
I believe that we should call for a grand jury to question the reporters to reveal their sources, and proceed with criminal proceedings against the leakers. If the reporter refuses to reveal his source, put him in jail until he does.
Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), working independently from his leadership, began circulating a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) during a late series of votes yesterday asking his leaders to revoke the Times’s congressional press credentials. The Standing Committee decides which organizations and reporters can be accredited, according to the rules of both the House and Senate press galleries. Members of that committee are elected by accredited members of those galleries.
I believe the agency, congress, or the White House should be able to say who can come into their press rooms, rather than the press, but at a minimum they should be able to control where people sit, and who gets called on, and I suggest the guy from the NYT needs to sit on the back row, and not get called on for the next year.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The roots of Islamism

Times Online reported In the second extract from his book Celsius 7/7, Michael Gove claims Islamism is not a campaign to restore piety but a revolutionary attempt to re-make society.

Whoever thought it was a campaign to restore piety; it is a desire to dominate the world.
Western tourists were also the victims of a series of attacks in Egypt. Sixteen Greek citizens were killed in 1996, nine Germans and their Egyptian driver were killed in September 1997 and in November of that year 58 tourists and four Egyptians were massacred near Luxor. Since the beginning of the 90s Islamist fighters have also targeted, among other nations, Indonesia, Pakistan, Israel, Qatar, Spain, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Australia and Kenya. Tourists, businessmen and travellers of almost every nationality have been victims of Islamist atrocities. Attacks have been planned, and terrorist cells established, in Germany, Italy and France as well as the United Kingdom and most of the Arab world. Nations with colonial traditions, and those which have never played the imperial game, countries which are Christian, Muslim or multi-confessional, nations which supported the Iraq war and those which opposed it, all have been visited by the shadow if Islamist violence.
They hate everyone.
there is a ruthlessness in the selection of civilian targets re-inforced by a willingness to embrace suicide bombing, a belief that Western influence needs to be cleansed from Muslim lands and a desire to see a narrow and highly politicised form of Islam imposed across the Muslim world.

The global, and inter-connected, nature of the Islamist terror campaign can only be understood by grappling with the totalitarian ideology which drives jihadist warriors. While they proclaim themselves soldiers for Islam they are not representative of majority Muslim opinion. Far from it. Islamists are a self-conscious vanguard who look down on other Muslims and consider the majority of their co-religionists as sunk in barbarity or error.
And this is why they are just as eager to kill them as westerners.
Islamism is not Islam in arms, it is a political creed which perverts Islam, just as fascism degraded nationalism and Communism betrayed socialism. Its animating spirit is not the pious devotion of the believer who finds in contemplation, charity and prayer both fulfilment and inspiration. Islamism appeals to that part of the human soul which has always been capable of being drawn to revolution, violence and the exaltation of the self through membership of the elect.
In other words, rather than being focused on God, it is directed by Satan.
There are aspects to Islamism which lend it the same appeal which seduced young men into the Red Guards or the Waffen SS, but there are also specific aspects to the ideology which attune it to the discontents and yearnings of young men in our time.

Rather than thinking of Islamism as a variant of a great and ancient faith it is better to view it in the terms defined by the Italian historian of fascism, Emilio Gentile, who explained that totalitarianism is "an experiment in political domination undertaken by a revolutionary movement that aspires towards a monopoly of power. It seeks the subordination, integration and homogenisation of the governed on the basis of the politicisation of existence interpreted according to the myths and the values of a political religion. (It) aims to shape the individual and the masses through a revolution in order to regenerate the human being and create the new man. The ultimate goal is to create a new civilisation along expansionist lines beyond the nation state."
Actually it is a desire to tear down civilisation, not build a new one.
Islamists believe in the re-ordering of society to secure total submission to a narrow, puritan and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. They are conducting a civil war within the Islamic world designed to overthrow existing regimes, which they consider to be unforgiveably apostate, and replace them with a single and unified Muslim state, the restored Caliphate. Islamists believe that the sanctity and culture of Muslim lands are menaced and defiled by Western influences, from capitalism to feminism, which have to be eradicated.

That cleansing process must be accomplished by suicidal violence, because, in the words of Islamism's most influential thinker, Sayyid Qutb, "the death of those who are killed for the cause of God gives more impetus to the cause, which continues to thrive on their blood." The bloodshed should not stop at Islam's current borders. Not just because those nations which are unIslamic constitute dar-al Harb, the House of War, which constantly threatens the security of the Muslim world. But also because Islamists are driven by a divine mission to ensure the whole earth, in due course, learns to submit to Islamist rule.
As I said at the start, world domination is the objective.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Letter From Bill Keller

NYT reported The following is a letter Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, has sent to readers who have written to him about The Times's publication of information about the government's examination of international banking records

I don't always have time to answer my mail as fully as etiquette demands, but our story about the government's surveillance of international banking records has generated some questions and concerns that I take very seriously.

Particularly the statements that I should be tried for treason or espionage
As the editor responsible for the difficult decision to publish that story, I'd like to offer a personal response.
  Read a lot more

Some of the incoming mail quotes the angry words of conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits who say that drawing attention to the government's anti-terror measures is unpatriotic and dangerous. (I could ask, if that's the case, why they are drawing so much attention to the story themselves by yelling about it on the airwaves and the Internet.)
You published details about what was being done; they are just complaining about what you did. Would you prefer that they remained silent, and that some one just shot you so you could not do it again?
Some comes from readers who have considered the story in question and wonder whether publishing such material is wise. And some comes from readers who are grateful for the information and think it is valuable to have a public debate about the lengths to which our government has gone in combatting the threat of terror.

It's an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. Who are the editors of The New York Times (or the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and other publications that also ran the banking story) to disregard the wishes of the President and his appointees? And yet the people who invented this country saw an aggressive, independent press as a protective measure against the abuse of power in a democracy, and an essential ingredient for self-government. They rejected the idea that it is wise, or patriotic, to always take the President at his word, or to surrender to the government important decisions about what to publish.
No they wanted a full debate on what someone running for office thought should be done; not exposing government secrets in a time of war.
The power that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly. The responsibility of it weighs most heavily on us when an issue involves national security, and especially national security in times of war. I've only participated in a few such cases, but they are among the most agonizing decisions I've faced as an editor.

The press and the government generally start out from opposite corners in such cases. The government would like us to publish only the official line, and some of our elected leaders tend to view anything else as harmful to the national interest.
Like publishing details on how we are dealing with an asymetric enemy that wants to destroy more buildings, and kill more than 3,000 people.
For example, some members of the Administration have argued over the past three years that when our reporters describe sectarian violence and insurgency in Iraq, we risk demoralizing the nation and giving comfort to the enemy.
No, it is when you hype those things, and refulse to print the good things our military is doing.
Editors start from the premise that citizens can be entrusted with unpleasant and complicated news, and that the more they know the better they will be able to make their views known to their elected officials.
And since the NYT does not like the administration the voters elected, it is important to only tell them things that will turn them against the current government, and elect one that the NYT would prefer.
Our default position — our job — is to publish information if we are convinced it is fair and accurate, and our biggest failures have generally been when we failed to dig deep enough or to report fully enough.
Or when we falsified stories and refused to listen to people that told us they were falsified (Jason Blair)
After The Times played down its advance knowledge of the Bay of Pigs invasion, President Kennedy reportedly said he wished we had published what we knew and perhaps prevented a fiasco.
And if we had just printed more information about troop movements in World War II, we might all be saying Sig Heil, and not be troubled by these Muslim Terrorists - our own government would be terrorising the people.
Some of the reporting in The Times and elsewhere prior to the war in Iraq was criticized for not being skeptical enough of the Administration's claims about the Iraqi threat. The question we start with as journalists is not "why publish?" but "why would we withhold information of significance?" We have sometimes done so, holding stories or editing out details that could serve those hostile to the U.S. But we need a compelling reason to do so.
And just risking the lives of our soldiers, or stopping terrorist attacks on the US is not enough; they need to be reasons that would appeal to a liberal mind.
Forgive me, I know this is pretty elementary stuff — but it's the kind of elementary context that sometimes gets lost in the heat of strong disagreements.

Since September 11, 2001, our government has launched broad and secret anti-terror monitoring programs without seeking authorizing legislation and without fully briefing the Congress.
Congress that leaks like a sieve, and gives us so many good stories to print that will hurt this country.
Most Americans seem to support extraordinary measures in defense against this extraordinary threat, but some officials who have been involved in these programs have spoken to the Times about their discomfort over the legality of the government's actions and over the adequacy of oversight.
And we hate the current administration so much that we ignore what most Americans want, and cater to the officials that are mad that they are not in power, and who have asked us to hurt the administration as much as possible, even if it hurts the American people.
We believe The Times and others in the press have served the public interest by accurately reporting on these programs
So the terrorists will know what we are doing to stop them, and so that they can change their approach and hopefully be able to launch some more attacks on this country, which we at the NYT hope will totally discredit the Republicans, and so that we can get some liberals that we like elected. We just hope that the terrorists will be grateful enough of the aid we have provided them, that they will not blow up the New York Times building.
so that the public can have an informed view of them.

Hugh Hewitt blogged Mr. Keller Believes You Are Easily Confused - The NYT's Executive Editor Bill Keller refuses interviews but does provide a wholly unpersuasive reponse that is, at best, defensive posturing.....
Since September 11, 2001, our government has launched broad and secret anti-terror monitoring programs without seeking authorizing legislation and without fully briefing the Congress.
There is no charge --none-- that the program disclosed by the paper last week needed "legislation" to authorize it. And "fully briefed" is a wonderful characterization of what Mr. Keller cannnot possibly claim to know. This is why he avoids interviews. It would be too easy to ask: Who was briefed, Mr. Keller? How do you know that is the extent of the briefing? Did you ask any of the briefed members if they felt fully informed? Is there a problem with leaks on the Hill that obliges the government to adopt special approaches to classified information, approaches which have been in place for decades?.... The Congresses and the presidents of the past have passsed laws about what is classified and who can release it. They didn't include the editor of the New York Times in the group that can make national security decisions. Mr. Keller decided he would risk the national security of the United States and the lives of its citizens. He has done so before and will no doubt do so again.

CQ blogged Rather than discuss the non-secret fact that the government has infiltrated global financial systems to track terrorists -- a fact known by even the most detached American for the past four years -- but that the Times revealed the specific tactics used to track financial transactions. This would be akin to printing planned troop movements during a battle. It tips the enemy to our efforts against them, and allows them to take steps to avoid our reach.

PowerLine blogged The Times of course has no constitutional privelege to protect the identity of its sources. These sources could and should be prosecuted for violating the fundamental laws that govern their conduct. If the administration cannot summon the political will to prosecute the Times, the administration should at the least, in cases involving serious breaches of national security, abandon the policy of treating reporters as witnesses of last resort. It should promptly call Keller, Risen, Lichtblau et al. before a grand jury in which they are asked to identify their sources and given the Judith Miller treatment when they refuse.... Lincoln feared the "mobocratic spirt" at large across the country in the hands of ignorant men who took justice into their own hands and committed violent outrages. Today the same "mobocratic spirit" can be seen in the hands of the smug sophisticates at the Times and elsewhere who share this in common with the mobs of Lincoln's day: "the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice."

Don Suber blogged This story in and of itself had no news value. Congressional and judicial oversight were already there. What is the story is that the New York Times was willing to expose and possibly end a perfectly legal and apparently effective spy program. I still do not know why Keller did this.

Blue Crab blogged If anything it gets even more sanctimonious and self serving from there. This is elitist lecturing at it's worst. And it explains nothing. Not one bit of useful information as to why Billy and Pinch thought a good, useful, effective and legal program should be exposed and ruined. The so-called defense of "we don't see any harm" is complete balderdash. How do you see a negative, Mr. Kellor? How do you see that the programs you have destroyed no longer work? Maybe when Americans die as a result of your efforts? Will that help you see the damage you've done? Your explanation stinks, Mr. Kellor.

Mark blogged What a ridiculous, self-serving and hypocritical thing to say. The New York Times strokes itself as "the paper of record" and then blames others for the publicity which the Times itself has generated. And the sentence has not only set the tone for the remainder of his letter but is also the letter's summary. Doesn't one usually leave the summary for last? However, Keller did us a favor, I suppose, by stating the summary so early so that we might put down his missive immediately and go on to other things.

Ace blogged The press has broken the truce that has kept the peace since the Pentagon Papers case, putting us into a strange new world where jailing newspaper men is not only thinkable, but increasingly necessary if we are to avoid the mass murder of American citizens. This is the consequence of the Left's silly jihad against the press, claiming it "doesn't stand up to Bush enough." The media, being firmly on the left, takes such criticisms to heart, and now, to prove its mettle to the only Americans whose opinions (or lives) it values, it now acts as Al Qaeda's unofficial US-based intelligence agency. Jane's -- the big British defense tech publisher -- has been called the world's biggest private intelligence agency. No more. Now it's the NYT, and it's subcontracting itself out to Al Qaeda.

Riehl blogged And while it's a stretch, an email I received points out it is interesting to ponder what might happen if formal action against the New York Times were to take place, given that the paper is controlled by the family in a far from usual stock arrangement. Such an occurrence could lend added weight for the call to dissolve the Class B stock arrangement and give control of the paper to the common shareholders. For a good discussion of pertinent law, see this previous post by Andrew McCarthy at NRO on the heels of the recent Washington Post affair, when they too published classified information.

Squiggler blogged Not only does he put himself and the Times above the law, but above the President, and then claims that it is his duty to know what is best, despite many who tried in vain to convince him otherwise. Can you say God complex?

Glenn Reynolds blogged The founders gave freedom of the press to the people, they didn't give freedom to the press. Keller positions himself as some sort of Constitutional High Priest, when in fact the "freedom of the press" the Framers described was also called "freedom in the use of the press." It's the freedom to publish, a freedom that belongs to everyone in equal portions, not a special privilege for the media industry. (A bit more on this topic can be found here.)

And what may be the best responses were from Political Musings blogged The Times has chosen sides in the war. Sad to say it isn’t ours.

and Wizbang blogged I'll give you the Reader's Digest version:
Dear Reader:
1) We have no reason to believe the program was illegal in any way.
2) We have every reason to believe it was effective at catching terrorists.
3) We ran the story anyway, screw you.
Bill Keller


Democrats Cite Report On Troop Cuts in Iraq

WaPo reported Senate Democrats reacted angrily yesterday to a report that the U.S. commander in Iraq had privately presented a plan for significant troop reductions in the same week they came under attack by Republicans for trying to set a timetable for withdrawal.

The difference is that the General's plan is what he hopes to do if everything goes well, but like all military plans, it is subject to revision should events on the ground change. The Democrats wanted to establish a timetable so they could complain if events forced it not to be followed. The difference is the General wants to win the war; the Democrats want to be able to claim that it is unwinnable, and a failure on the part of the Bush Administration.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that the plan attributed to Gen. George W. Casey resembles the thinking of many Democrats who voted for a nonbinding resolution to begin a troop drawdown in December. That resolution was defeated Thursday on a largely party-line vote in the Senate.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

To allow Islamists to direct the post-7/7 debate was a disaster

Times Online reported The British State has come under severe criticism following the Forest Gate raid for its intelligence failures in the fight against terrorism. But the biggest failure of all in the battle against Islamist extremism has gone practically unnoticed. Tony Blair has acknowledged that the fight against Islamist terrorism cannot be restricted to a police action against isolated individuals or small groups. Last summer he spelt out that a much broader effort is required to tackle, at root, the ideology of Islamism that has bewitched so many minds.

I am happy he figured that out.
But in the struggle against extremism the British State has failed to tackle the underlying ideological currents that favour Islamism. Organisations such as the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), whose members have shown sympathy for extremist positions, are rarely challenged, and certainly not publicly by the Government or its agencies.
Sounds like our government's reluctance to confront CAIR or other such organiztions.
For moderate Muslims the picture is dispiriting. They see the most religiously conservative and politically provocative groupings enjoy the lion’s share of attention and they wonder how serious the British State is about countering extremism. How can they convince young men within their community that the path of moderation brings respect and a voice in the nation’s deliberations when the most influential voices are seen to belong to those with radical agendas?
Good point.
In Islamist circles a complementary message is absorbed. The British State does not have the courage to face down the advocates of political Islam. Islamists in Britain scent weakness.
And if they detect weakness, they will take advantage of it.
Just as Islamists abroad believe the West does not have the stamina to resist for long, so Islamists within the UK believe the momentum is with them. Islam’s Leninists have drawn the bayonet, probed, and found mush.


Life in an Islamist US

Jeff Jacoby wrote in The Boston Globe Life in an Islamist United States would be largely unfree and intolerant, if the experience of countries where radical Muslims have achieved power -- Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and Afghanistan -- is any guide. What would that mean in American terms? That's the question a remarkable new novel sets out to answer. ``Prayers for the Assassin," Robert Ferrigno's latest thriller, is set 35 years in the future, when the United States has been transformed into the Islamic Republic of America.

This should be required reading by all Democrats.
It is a country in which university professors can lose their jobs for being ``insufficiently Islamic," cellphone cameras are illegal, and men can only dream of ``loud music, cold beer, and coed beaches." There is still a Super Bowl, but the cheerleaders are all men. Mt. Rushmore still exists, but the presidential faces on it have been blown up.
Sounds like the Taliban in Afganistan - afraid of some large statues.
Ferrigno has said he spent two years researching Islam, and it shows in the level of detail with which the Islamic Republic has been conceived. In one scene, for example, a cabbie tunes his radio to a popular call-in show called ``What Should I Do, Imam?" As Ferrigno's heroine listens from the back seat, a caller asks whether there are any kinds of music that one can listen to without running afoul of Muslim law.

``Good question, my daughter," the imam answers. ``The Holy Qur'an is quite clear that music is forbidden. One of the messengers of Allah said, `There will be a nation who will make music their lot, and one day, while enjoying their music and alcohol, they will awake with their faces transformed into swine.' In fact, this messenger said he was sent to destroy all music instruments. . . . Instead of music, rather listen to the Holy Qur'an." Ferrigno invented the scene, but the severe Islamist reply has been taken almost verbatim from, the online advice site of the South African Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

In a Muslim America, Christians are second-class citizens,
barred from the best jobs and housing. Others, especially Jews and homosexuals, are not tolerated at all; many flee for their lives along a new underground railroad into Canada.
If the US has fallen, what makes him think Canada would remain free?
Life is especially hard for women, who may not leave their homes without written permission from a male relative, and even then risk being whipped by the Black Robes -- the Sharia-enforcing religious police -- if a lock of hair slips out from beneath their head scarves, or they neglect to keep their ankles covered. Repression is at the heart of fundamentalist Islam,
A recent poll found While the overwhelming majority of European Muslims said westerners were respectful of women, fewer than half British Muslims agreed.
and Ferrigno's portrayal of that repression in American terms is a vivid reminder of what is really at stake in the war against the jihadists.


Key insurgents vow to reject Iraq peace plan

Times Online reported Ira'sS main insurgent groups intend to reject a peace plan that Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, will present today in an attempt to halt the country’s spiral of violence. Maliki is expected to go before parliament with a 28- point plan for national reconciliation aimed at defusing the Sunni insurgency and sectarian conflict in which thousands of people have died. The prime minister is believed to be ready to offer the Iraqi insurgent groups inclusion in the political process and an amnesty for prisoners who renounce violence and give up their weapons. His package of measures is also reported to include the promise of a United Nations- approved timetable for withdrawing the coalition forces and action to curb Shi’ite death squads. Representatives of 11 Iraqi insurgent groups told The Sunday Times yesterday that they would reject the peace offer because they did not recognise the legitimacy of the government.

The only government the will recognize is one imposed by force. Maliki should select one of the 11 groups that will not accept the plan, and announce that it will be wiped out. He should announce that the other 10 groups will get another chance to accept the plan once he completely wipes out the one selected, but that if they want to be the next one selected for total destruction, they should continue their attacks while he is wiping out the selected group.

If he words it correctly, he might not even have to wipe out the first group. Once they have changed their shorts they just might decide the peace plan suddenly looks a lot better than the first thought.
A senior commander authorised to speak on behalf of other groups warned that they would continue to fight. “As long as there is an occupation and an illegitimate government, the resistance and insurgency will continue,” he said.

CQ blogged That puts an end to the entire notion of negotiated peace with the insurgents. If they will not recognize the elected government as legitimate, then they will recognize no arbiter for a truce. The position leaves the insurgents outside the political process and in the sights of both American and Iraqi security forces. At the rate that their intel has improved, these groups may soon regret their stance.

This will come as a victory for Talabani, Maliki, and the new Iraqi government. Fourteen million people voted to put this government in power, which gives it a legitimacy that the sorry band of Iraqi deadenders will never win by blowing up security forces and civilians. The government has faced pressure to offer some sort of national reconciliation to the native insurgents, especially from the Sunnis in the center of the country. When Maliki makes this plan public, he will have given the best offer possible while maintaining self-determination for the Iraqi people. Their rejection takes the pressure off of the national government to be the prime mover for that reconciliation, and it will undermine what sympathy still remains for the insurgents.


Can Daily Kos Control Dems?

Newsweek reported Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is sitting on his back porch in Berkeley, Calif., listening to the hummingbirds and explaining his plans to seize control of the Democratic Party.

I thought he was just going to destroy it. It is very funny that he thinks he can control it.
It is one week after YearlyKos, the Las Vegas conference of progressives that Moulitsas sponsored and promoted heavily on his popular liberal blog, Every major media outlet in the country had attended the conference, detailing the spectacle of Democratic bigwigs (including the party's Senate minority leader and four of its leading 2008 presidential aspirants) embracing Moulitsas as the guru of an activist movement they were eager to exploit.


Fantastic Graphics

Michelle Malkin published a fantastic collection of graphics that show what damage the New York Times is doing to our country's security, most of them based on posters that were distributed during World War II. Did the NYT work as hard to make us lose WWII as it is on WWIII?


U.S. General in Iraq Outlines Troop Cuts

NYT reported The top American commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects sharp reductions in the United States military presence there by the end of 2007, with the first cuts coming this September, American officials say. According to a classified briefing

Published by the traitors at the NYT, so now the terrorists know our military plans.
at the Pentagon this week by the commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the number of American combat brigades in Iraq is projected to decrease to 5 or 6 from the current level of 14 by December 2007.... General Casey's briefing has remained a closely held secret,
Military secrets published by the NYT in a time of war.
and it was described by American officials who agreed to discuss the details only on condition of anonymity.
And the NYT does not honor condition of anonymity.
Word of the plan comes after a week in which the American troop presence in Iraq was stridently debated in Congress, with Democratic initiatives to force troop withdrawals defeated in the Senate..... Now, after criticizing Democratic lawmakers for trying to legislate a timeline for withdrawing troops, skeptics say, the Bush administration seems to have its own private schedule, albeit one that can be adjusted as events unfold

Blue Crab blogged Well, the last line has been crossed. The New York Times is now publishing secret military troop displacement plans. The are actually broadcasting the plans General Casey has drawn up for how the military is planning to draw down troop levels. This was a classified briefing and someone gave all the details to the NYT to publish. That way the terrorists have advanced warning and can plan accordingly.