Saturday, August 12, 2006

British Muslims Criticize Blair

NYT reported In their open letter on Saturday, 38 Islamic organizations, three of the four Muslim legislators from the House of Commons and three of the four Muslim members of the House of Lords accused Mr. Blair of adopting policies that exposed the nation to terrorist attack.

Does that mean that they are not going to do anything to discontinue the attacks, unless Blair adopts policies they approve of?
The argument is that by joining the United States war on terror, Britain has joined what some Muslims call a war on Islam, stirring anger across the Islamic world.

“It is our view that current British government policy risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the U.K. and abroad,” the letter said. Its signatories included the Muslim Council of Britain, which projects itself as the leading representative Muslim group, and peers such as Lord Patel of Blackburn.

“To combat terror the government has focused extensively on domestic legislation,” the letter said. “While some of this will have an impact, the government must not ignore the role of its foreign policy.”

It continued: “Attacking civilians is never justified. This message is a global one. We urge the prime minister to redouble his efforts to tackle terror and extremism and change our foreign policy
So they do seek to get Blair to change foreign policy to one they support.
to show the world that we value the lives of civilians wherever they live and whatever their religion.”

Betsy Newmark blogged In an effort to show how deeply they're worried about terrorist plots by British Muslims to kill thousands of airplane passengers, British Muslim leaders have written a public letter criticizing.....Tony Blair. Yup, those leaders seem to think that the fault for these terrorist plots lies in Tony Blair's policies in the Middle East. There is, apparently, no self-awareness of the poison growing within their own communities.


Send a Card to a Soldier

As Greta Perry indicated If you go to this website you can pick out a thank you card and the Xerox Corporation will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services. It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?

I just sent one. How about you?


What's An Islamic Fascist?

James Boyce asks on Huffington Post Can I Ask A Dumb Question?

Certainly. You are a Democrat, so most of your questions are probably dumb.
What's An Islamic Fascist?
Someone who has hijacked a religion just like they hijack planes, and both with the intention of attacking the West and eventually establishing world domination operating under Sharia law.
"The Islamo-fascists are fighting us on an asymmetrical, global battlefield that spans from Baghdad to Pakistan to Indonesia to the streets of London. To retreat from any battlefront where we are engaged with this enemy is foolish and reckless."--Wade Zirkle, Veterans For Freedom, a Republican-led 527, August 11, 2006.
Very true.
"The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation." President George Bush, August 11, 2006
Absolutely (and if CAIR does not like it they can stuff it where the sun does not shine.
"In World War II we fought Nazism and Japanese imperialism. Today, we are fighting against Islamic fascism," Senator Rick Santorum, Republican Senator, July 20, 2006

Islamic Fascism. I have never heard the phrase
And yet you quoted it three times.
and I evidently didn't get the memo from the RNC detailing its use (the DNC sends out memos on Together, America Can Do Better - the RNC plays a different game.) I envision millions of good Republicans out there nodding their heads in agreement - after all, can you imagine a world run by Islamic Fascists? Hitler dressed like Osama? Can you goosestep in those robes he wears? Frankly, we can hardly afford to find out. If we don't fight these here Islamic Fascists over there, well, you know the rest. But before we fight an phrase that doesn't exist or apparently make any sense, I decided to take a moment to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
Like perhaps a brain?
As my first grade teacher used to tell me, if you don't understand a sentence or a word, try breaking it down. First, Islam. Now, Islam is one of the world's oldest and most revered religions. One definition of Islam is a monotheistic religion characterized by the acceptance of the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God.
And unlike Christianity, which is spread by sharing the good news that Christ brought, Islam is spread by violent "holy War" (Jihad)
So we have one of the world's most popular religions
Widest spread, not necessarilly most popular, but since once one ebrases Islam, they kill you if you embrace another religion, people stick with it.
functioning as an adjective creating a new type of Fascism. There was German Fascism, Italian Fascism but I can't find any evidence of there ever being any form of Fascism based upon religion. Furthermore, I have deduced that the reason it is not Fascist Islam is that Islam is an older as a religion than Fascism is as as system of government so Islam goes first. I know it sounds stupid, but it's the best I can do, being a Democrat and all.
We understand. Actually the reason it is not Fascist Islam is that although there are 164 Jihad Verses in the Koran, the religion is not focused on Jihad, it is focused on submission to the will of God. It has been spread by violence, in fact that is the way Muhammad got it started, but there are many Muslims that do not embrace the use of violence.
Next word, Fascism. Fascism is defined as a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Put the two together and you have? Well, a system of government oppressively controlled through terror and censorship where the religion is Islam and there's a policy of belligerent nationalism. But Osama Bin Laden does not run a government,
But he was hosted by the Taliban who were a government oppressively controlled through terror and censorship where the religion is Islam
the terrorists in Iraq aren't a government,
But they would like to replace the Democratic government we helped establish
the 9/11 hijackers weren't fascists,
Were they not using terrorism to try to frighten us into letting them establish control in the Middle East?
so who are the Republicans saying is a threat here?
Because our eyes are not blinded with hatred of the Bush administration.
Sounds to me like we're not fighting terrorists anymore, because it sure sounds to me like we're about to fight Iran.
That may be the case, but they are the primary sponsors of terrorism.


McCain-Lieberman Presidential Ticket

Austin Bay Blog blogged A McCain-Lieberman presidential ticket would be the closest thing a national unity government the American system can produce. It would make an international political statement of enormous significance. The McCain-Lieberman statement: “We’re fighting, we’ll continue to fight, and we will finish it.”

McCain does not have a snowball's chance in hell of being nominated in the Republican party, but this National Unity ticket might well have a chance as an independent party. The Democratic party is about to self destruct, and a strong centrist ticket might well pull enough Dems agast at the leftward movement of their party, true independents, and Republicans upset at the free spending idiots they elected to actually form a true centrist party, that would govern by forming coalitions with the extremes left in the Democratic Party, and the extremes left in the Republican party.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Time to profile terrorists, not grandmas

Examiner editorialized [S]can the many news photos of the long lines of frustrated travelers Thursday, and it is impossible not to notice how few match the typical terrorist profile — natives of or descended from families that came from or still live in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or another Middle Eastern, Asian or African nation with a Muslim majority or significant Muslim minority.

We recognize that the vast majority of Muslims do not share the Jihadist obsessions with killing Americans, Brits and other Westerners. But there is one undeniable fact about the 1993 World Trace Center bombers, the Sept. 11 murderers, the Madrid bombers, the London subway bombers and the present liquid bomb plotters — all are clearly identifiable as being from Muslim nations. We’ve yet to see bombers who look even remotely like a gray-haired governess from Southampton, a harried middle-aged U.S. sales executive from Los Angeles or a haggard dad and mom with kids in tow returning home to Atlanta.

There is no room left for the blind politically correct procedures that ignore this reality — our enemy is nearly always a young to middle-aged man from a Muslim nation or culture, and it is madness not to focus mainly on those who most readily match the known profile. If preventing another Sept. 11 horror means delaying all travelers from such nations, well, then so be it.

If the police know that the bank robber escaped in a red Ford, they are not profiling red car owners or Ford owners to put out a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for such a car. Neither are we profiling Muslims when we observe that almost all of the problems have been committed by Young Muslim Males. Don't just focus on them, because they may convince a few Older Muslim Males or some Muslim Females to join in Jihad.
Maybe the resulting inconvenience and discomfort will help induce officials back home to get serious about helping the U.S. and Britain stop terrorists from succeeding in their deadly aims.

CQ blogged Two editorials in Washington newspapers show the difference between serious thinking and silly whining in the aftermath of the bombing plot discovery in Britain yesterday. While the Washington Examiner argues that some profiling should be considered along with the massive inconvenience to all travelers with the new security rules placed in effect yesterday, the Washington Post complains about first-class passengers paying for expedited service.
One interesting facet of terrorism recently has been the rise of the home-grown jihadi. In Canada's Toronto cell and in yesterday's bombing plot, the majority of the suspects had domestic nationality and citizenship. Terrorist organizations have plotted to grow these cells from within for two purposes. First, they want to stymie security procedures they assumed would target Arabs and Muslims, perhaps not realizing the allergic reaction some would have to even the hint of such restrictions. Second, they want to force Western governments to slowly reject Muslims, so that more of them can be radicalized into opposition with the West and recruited into the ranks of the terrorists. We haven't seen much to suggest they have succeeded in any measure on either goal.

However, the Examiner has a point about foreign nationals and heightened security. Currently, the TSA operates under a bizarre rule that restricts them from conducting random searches of more than two passengers on any flight with Arabic surnames. The screeners appear to go out of their way to ensure that a broad spectrum of people get attention for these routine spot-checks, infamously shaking down an octagenarian Medal of Honor winner in one incident. These efforts waste time and resources. We have seen enough of these plots to understand that the consistent profile is that of young Muslim men, and if the authorities would finally acknowledge this as reality and start providing tougher screening for those who meet the profile, the rest of us would complain much less about the security restrictions on everyone else.

Lorie Byrd blogged I agree with this Examiner editorial that it is time to be politically incorrect and start profiling. I believe it is a very useful tool and it doesn't make sense strip searching Jewish grandmas from Miami when looking to prevent terrorist attacks. What I have feared, though, and what certainly must have been considered by terrorists, is that they would be eventually be successful in recruiting those who do not fit the terrorist profile.

It is hard to imagine a young, female, non-Muslim American agreeing to commit suicide and murder thousands of innocent women and children. It is highly unlikely that the jihadists will be very successful recruiting that demographic. It is possible, however, that they will eventually be successful in recruiting some who do not fit the typical profile. It is also possible that someone not fitting the profile could be tricked into unknowingly taking a banned substance on board a plane.

Stephen Bainbridge blogged My concern is that if American Muslims start to experience "flying while Muslim," that will promote precisely the sort of alienation and rage we say in too many European Muslims.
The solution is for the American and European Muslims to help identify radical clerics and people they are convincing to do bad things, so that they can be caught before hand.
Both prudence and principle thus suggest a certain amount of caution before plunging ahead with profiling.

Gun Toting Liberal blogged Terrorists are pretty smart. Do not put it past them to get to “Grandma”. Do not put it past them to kidnap the grandkids and tell “Grandma” that those kids have two more days left to live if “Grandma” doesn’t smuggle a bomb onto a plane; they’ll be freed and unharmed if she does. I don’t know about your “Grandma”, but many “Grandmas” would do anything for their grandchildren, possibly even something so heinous if put into such a horrible position.
I suppose it is possible, but I have not heard of any Grandmas doing it so far, and there have been a LOT of Yound Muslim Males doing it.
And that should just about end any speculation as to whether or not racial profiling is an intelligent answer to helping combat terrorism. It’s just not going to be as simple as that.


U.S., France agree on Mideast resolution

Yahoo! News France and the United States reached a deal Friday on a final draft resolution that would authorize the deployment of 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers in south Lebanon to support a Lebanese force as it takes control of the region and Israel withdraws. The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, would ask the U.N. force to monitor a full cessation of hostilities and help Lebanese forces gain control over an area that has previously been under de facto authority of Hezbollah militias. It emphasizes the need for the "unconditional release" of two Israeli soldiers whose July 12 capture sparked the latest war, but does not make a direct demand for their freedom.

What is the difference? Would they be released to some other jailer?
Additionally, it calls on Israel and Lebanon to agree to a long-term solution under which Hezbollah would be disarmed.
That is nice. They already have that resolution. Will Lebanon do it this time?
The Security Council was expected to vote on the draft later Friday. About 2,000 U.N. troops and observers are now stationed in Lebanon. The draft would authorize an increase to a total of 15,000 troops.
The 2,000 did so much good, now we get 15,000 more. I would have preferred a NATO force, but not one controled by France (we don't have enough surrender flags for France to lead the force)
The text of the draft does not specify which chapter of the U.N. Charter the force would be authorized under. Instead, it says the force's mandate would include several elements: monitoring the cessation of hostilities, accompanying Lebanese troops as they deploy and as Israel withdraws, and ensuring humanitarian access.
They need something to say they must stand up to bullying by Hezbollah.
The U.N. force, known by its acronym UNIFIL, would help coordinate the deployment of Lebanese forces to the south, which has been under de facto control of Hezbollah militias for years. Israeli troops that have occupied the area in more than four weeks of fighting would then withdraw.

The new text was sent to the governments of Israel and Lebanon, but a French diplomat said the vote would go ahead whatever the response.
That makes sense. NOT!!!. If Israel and Lebanon don't agree, it does not have a snowball's chance of working. Even if they do, unless Lebanon grows some major gonads, Hezbollah is going to intimidate them, but at least they now know that Israel will hold Lebanon responsible for what it allows an armed militia on its land to do to its neighbors.
.... The latest draft appears to eliminate the prospect of a new, independent multinational force that would patrol a buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon.
Yes, don't use a force that might be able to do the job.
A senior U.S. official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. and France envision a 10-day time frame between the moment a halt to the hostilities is declared and when UNIFIL troops go into action in the south.
I hope Israel stays until that happens.


Middle Eastern Men Found With 1000 Cell Phones

WNEMThree Around 1:00am August 11th three men purchased cell phones from the Wal-Mart store on M-81 near the corner of M-24 in Caro. Wal-Mart places a limit on the number of cell phones that can be purchased at once, that number is three. The three men allegedly bought 80 by purchasing them three at time so that an alert wouldn't be triggered by the cash register. They also paid cash.

The cash register may not trigger an alert, buy why did it take 80 before the "alert" clerk noticed anything?
An alert clerk grew suspicious and called Tuscola County central dispatch. The Caro Police Department sent a unit and stopped the rented van on M-81 just east of Caro. The suspects were headed towards Bad Axe on M-81 where there is another Super Wal-Mart.
I hope they hold them for questioning a LONG time (measured in years)
The three men were described as being of Pakistani descent but live in Texas. Police say the three, ages 19, 22, and 23 appear to be naturalized citizens. One man was driving while the other two were in the back opening the phone packages with box cutters throwing the phones in one box, batteries in another and the packaging and phone charger in another container. The suspects had 1000 other cell phones in the van. There was also a bag of receipts showing that someone was in Wisconsin the day before.


Tip Followed '05 Attacks on London Transit

WaPo reported It all began with a tip: In the aftermath of the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings on London's transit system, British authorities received a call from a worried member of the Muslim community, reporting general suspicions about an acquaintance.

We need more such tips. Thank you. And thank God.
From that vague but vital piece of information, according to a senior European intelligence official, British authorities opened the investigation into what they said turned out to be a well-coordinated and long-planned plot to bomb multiple transatlantic flights heading toward the United States -- an assault designed to rival the scope and lethality of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings.

CQ blogged
One U.S. intelligence source, however, said some of the British suspects arrested had made calls to the United States.
This last bit of information sounds intriguing. The question of American ties did come up yesterday, but the parameters of the plot appeared to indicate against it. The plan obviously intended to destroy the airplanes rather than use them as guided missiles, such as was done on 9/11. The flights involved mostly American carriers and American destinations, but it seems more likely that the terrorists would have detonated their explosives over the Atlantic rather than inside American borders, in order to cover the evidence that would reveal their tactics.

The terrorists would not have needed assistance from America in order to accomplish this. In fact, extraneous communication into the US would have increased the chances of exposure, and would have been avoided under rational leadership -- which I admit is a stretch. For those reasons, the initial statement of DHS and the FBI made sense. If Craig Whitlock and Dafna Linzer's source is correct, however, it points to a wider scope for this plot.

If the terrorists needed to make several calls into the US, then that points to some coordination, either logistically or operationally. It's hard to see what kind of logistical support they would have needed from the US. They got their money from Karachi, and if they needed assistance with the technology of the explosives, one assumes their Pakistani connections would have supplied it. Operational coordination strongly suggests that the plot had an American phase that has not yet been explained.

People have forgotten, or perhaps never knew, that the 9/11 attacks had a second phase overseas that never launched. Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the case of Mohammed Afroze, who received a seven-year sentence for his plot to kill Indians on 9/11. He led a cell of terrorists who planned to board several international flights and attack the Indian Parliament, Rialto Towers in Melbourne, and the House of Commons and Tower Bridge in London. The plot only failed after Afroze and his fellow terrorists lost their nerve at Heathrow and fled.

Al-Qaeda has tried making a global statement before. Perhaps they were trying to do so again.

Yesterday's quick response to the threat from the British plot won rare praise for the Department of Homeland Security. Their quick implementation of new security restrictions showed efficiency and flexibility, and at the moment was assumed to support the British in their efforts to secure international travel. If the Post is correct, DHS may have had more motivation in its efforts than reciprocity with the British.

Blue Crab blogged I predict a carry-on luggage ban will be coming sooner or later.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

August 22 Does Iran have something in store?

Bernard Lewis wrote in OpinionJournal In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time--Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

ThreatsWatch wrote For more background on Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad and his apocalyptic religious views, please consider: PrincipalAnalysis: Understanding Ahmadinejad.

Brian Whitaker wrote in Guardian Better cancel those holidays. We now have a date for Armageddon, and it's a week on Tuesday - August 22.

I don't know about you, but I've got my theological bags packed, and am keeping watch, waiting for Christ's return, although as I understand it you do not know on what day your Lord will come.


Scott Ritter again shows he is an a$$

The Grave Consequences of Supporting War in Lebanon claims With Israel waging an all-out war against the forces of Hezbollah, and the death toll in terms of civilian casualties mounting on a daily basis, the question of a diplomatic resolution to the crisis takes on an urgency that is being felt around the world.

Exactly what sort of a diplomatic resolution do you suggest with an opponent whose objective is to see you completely destroyed? Should Israel agree that half of its citizens will die, if Hezbollah agrees to let the other half live????
.... The draft Security Council resolution co-sponsored between the United States and France is but a tragic farce, a smoke screen designed to unilaterally protect Israeli interests at the expense of all others that is so transparent no Arab nation takes it seriously (it has been rejected outright by Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah).
The thing they object to is waiting until another strong military force is in place to prevent Hezbollah from again taking over their fortifications, and rearming, so they can kill more Jews.
There are several reasons for this apparent lack of concern on the part of the primary belligerent (Israel) and its No. 1 underwriter (the United States). First and foremost is the fact that the ongoing violence being waged against Hezbollah is not, contrary to popular opinion, a knee-jerk reaction to the attack against Israel by Hezbollah that resulted in several dead Israeli soldiers and two taken prisoner. It is rather part and parcel of a long-planned strike designed not only to neutralize Hezbollah, but also its largest international supporters, namely Syria and Iran.
Admirable goals.
As such, Israel (and by extension, the United States) has certain predesignated goals and objectives that need to be reached, and no cease-fire will be willingly undertaken until they are. These include the military destruction of Hezbollah and its political isolation, along with its major supporter Iran.
And before Iran gets nuclear weapons, which they would use immediately, and while they might destroy Israel, Israel's retaliation would destroy Iran and probably several other Middle East countries. And then where will the world get it's petroleum fix.
  Read More
.... This does not mean that America's support of Israel's legitimate security concerns is bad policy; just the opposite. Supporting Israel's right to exist, and its right to defend itself against those who wish to do it harm, is the soundest possible policy a democracy such as America could embrace.
Just don't let them kill people that want to kill them.
But as a nation built on the belief that all humans are created equal, and that oppression of one party by another represents a tyranny that must be opposed, it is high time that the United States learn to differentiate between what constitutes legitimate Israeli security concerns, and what constitutes regional hegemony, tyranny and oppression.
Ritter is an idiot.
.... When evaluating the Israeli position on Hezbollah, we should never forget that it was Hezbollah, alone among the forces in the Arab world, that defeated Israel, compelling the Israeli Defense Force to withdraw from southern Lebanon in May 2000 after a disastrous 18-year occupation.
israel did not have claims on Lebanon land; it invaded because Lebanon was allowing the PLO to attack it from Southern Lebanon, just like Hezbollah is doing now.
Israel claims the moral high ground in this current round of conflict, citing the July 12 attack by Hezbollah on an Israeli Army patrol that left eight IDF soldiers dead and two captured. The disproportionality of response aside (Hezbollah fires hundreds of rockets into Israel, and gets thousands of artillery shells and aerial bombs in return; Israel's civilian casualties run in the scores, Lebanon's in the hundreds), Israel's claim as the aggrieved party simply does not withstand the test of history and fact.
What is this foolishness about "Proportionality". Was the US being "proportional" when after Al Qaeda killed 3,000 on September 11, 2001, it not only killed a lot of Al Qaeda, but removed the Taliban from control in Afganistan and created a Democracy?
.... Hezbollah is not an international organization, but one distinctly Lebanese.
Then why did it attack the Jewish center in Argentina in 1994.
Its function has been to liberate Lebanon from Israeli aggression. To call Hezbollah a terrorist organization is not only a misuse of terminology, but also symptomatic of the larger problem that plagues both Israel and the United States when it comes to dealing with the Middle East as a whole.
Should we call them a charitable organization that fires rockets into another country, to kill its citizens, and does so from residential areas, so that Lebanese citizens will be killed by retaliation attacks?
Israel and the United States have become trapped by the lexicon born of the so-called "Global War on Terror." These two nations have collectively painted in their mind's eye a world of distinct black and white, or good and evil.
Which is exactly what it is.
In doing so, the reality that is the Middle East goes unrecognized, and as such, no viable solution can be found. If Hezbollah were a genuine non-state terror group, one could make an argument that direct military confrontation designed to isolate and destroy that group was viable. But Hezbollah is not a non-state player, but rather a legitimate expression of the legitimate desires of a not-insignificant percentage of the people of Lebanon.
So when it kills Jews, it is representing the wishes of Lebanon? If so then Israel should stop attacking just Hezbollah sites but all of Lebanon.
Hezbollah is decidedly anti-Israel, as only a group born from the oppression of Israeli occupation of their homeland could be. This has led to fiery rhetoric on the part of Hezbollah and its supporters, which has been exploited by Israel and the United States to paint Hezbollah as an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hezbollah has stated that its goals are the removal of all Israeli forces from Lebanon,
They left in 2000
the Golan Heights and the return of Palestinian refugees to Palestine.
What do you define as Palestine? All of the land, or a two state solution? Israel was willing to consider giving back the Golan Heights if Syria wanted peace, and they offerred Arafat almost all of the 1967 land in exchange for peace, and he rejected the offer.
Hezbollah also continues to demand the release of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, some of whom have been imprisoned for nearly 20 years.
And who were imprisoned for killing Jews.
It was the prisoner issue that led to the most recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hezbollah. Following Israel's retreat from southern Lebanon in May 2000, hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners were still held by Israel, which refused to release them. In October 2000, Hezbollah fighters disguised as U.N. soldiers captured three Israeli soldiers, as well as an Israeli reserve officer who was in Beirut on private business. Hassan Nasrullah declared that Hezbollah would exchange the Israelis for the Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. In a deal brokered by the German government, Israel agreed to release 430 prisoners in exchange for the bodies of the three captured Israeli soldiers (they had been killed shortly after their capture) and the Israeli reservist.
So they got 430 prisoners, but not the three they wanted. Maybe if they had not killed the captured soldiers, Israel would have considered giving them what they wanted.
However, Hezbollah claims that Israel had agreed to release three specific prisoners -- Samir Kuntar (captured in a raid on an Israeli settlement in which four Israelis died, including a 4-year-old girl), Yahye Skaff (captured in 1978 after an attack on Israel by Fatah guerillas left 35 Israelis dead and over 100 wounded) and Nissim Mousa N'isr (an Israeli-Arab accused of spying on behalf of Hezbollah). Israeli Ariel Sharon apparently reneged on the deal at the last second, prompting Hassan Nasrullah to declare that Hezbollah retained the right to capture Israeli soldiers at any time in order to secure the release of these three prisoners. The July 12 attack by Hezbollah was nothing more than Nasrullah keeping his word.
And the Israeli response is their way of saying they reject Nasrullah's right to capture Israeli soldiers at any time he wants.
Contrary to popular opinion, Hezbollah is not an "international terrorist organization." It has not been linked to any acts of terror outside the borders of Lebanon (the current shelling of Israel notwithstanding, Hezbollah claims these are legitimate military actions in response to Israeli "aggression").
What about Argentina? And what about bombing the barracks and killing US Soldiers there to help keep the peace?
.... The Lebanese government itself recognizes the unique character of Hezbollah, rejecting any notion that it is an illegitimate militia, but rather a legitimate national resistance movement that will continue to exist until Israel stops meddling in Lebanese affairs.
And if the Lebanese government allows it to keep its arms, and attack Israel whenever it wants, then it becomes responsible for those attacks.
The United States and Israel continue to quote U.N. Security Council resolution 1559, which calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, as well as the disarming of Lebanese militias. However, resolution 1559 does not mention Hezbollah by name, and the Lebanese government itself refuses to categorize Hezbollah as an illegal militia, but rather as a legitimate defender of Lebanese interests.
Would the Lebanese government mind if its other political parties wanted their own militias, so that they could also "defend Lebanese interests"


Recipients of "Leaks" May Be Prosecuted, Court Rules

Secrecy News In a momentous expansion of the government's authority to regulate public disclosure of national security information, a federal court ruled that even private citizens who do not hold security clearances can be prosecuted for unauthorized receipt and disclosure of classified information.

Fantastic news. Prosecute the reporters, editors, and publisher of the New York Times


Explosive Gel Was to Be Concealed in Sports Drink

Richard Esposito reports on The Blotter The suspected terror plotters arrested in Britain had planned to conceal their liquid or gel explosives inside a modified sports beverage drink container and trigger the device with the flash from a disposable camera. ABC News has learned exclusively that the plotters planned to leave the top of the bottle sealed and filled with the original beverage but add a false bottom, filled with a liquid or gel explosive. The terrorists planned to dye the explosive mixture red to match the sports drink sealed in the top half of the container. This, they thought, would ensure that they would be able to pass through security -- even if they were asked to unseal and drink the beverage.

Now we know why just requiring them to drink the beverage was not enough of a test.
The flash in a disposable camera has enough electrical power, they apparently believed, to set off the homemade explosive. There are any number of homemade or modified commercial liquids that would have made effective explosives, with enough energy to damage or destroy a plane.


Bush seeks political gains from foiled plot

Yahoo! News US President George W. Bush seized on a foiled London airline bomb plot to hammer unnamed critics he accused of having all but forgotten the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Maybe he is just trying to remind everyone of the threat that IslamoTerrorists present. Bush is faced with Democrats who want to force us to withdraw our forces from Iraq, so that it will become a training ground for these barbarians, but they don't worry about that if it will get them back in power, even if it means they eventually become Dhimmis. And he is also trying to get the attention of the cowardly French who are so worried about the Muslims they have given French Citizenship to, that they are pressing for a totally stupid solution in Lebanon. And he is trying to get the attention of the British, where 81 % of their Muslims consider themselves Muslims first, while only 7% considerthemselves British first
Weighed down by the unpopular war in Iraq, Bush and his aides have tried to shift the national political debate from that conflict to the broader and more popular global war on terrorism ahead of November 7 congressional elections.


USA's Muslims under a cloud

USAToday Motaz Elshafi, 28, a software engineer, casually opened an internal e-mail at work last month. The message began, "Dear Terrorist." The note from a co-worker was sent to Muslims working at Cisco Systems in Research Triangle Park, N.C., a few days after train bombings in India that killed 207. The e-mail warned that such violent acts wouldn't intimidate people, but only make them stronger. "I was furious," says Elshafi, who is New Jersey-born and bred. "What did I have to do with this violence?"

You did nothing but that is the problem. These Islamoterrorists have hijacked your faith. If people hear you speaking out against those that have perverted Islam, they will better understand that not all Muslims back what these terrorists are doing. But if you sit quietly when they dominate the news, and then whine that people are considering you equally guilty, how are they to know you are innocent.
.... Though Muslims said they wanted more contact with Americans of other religions, it may be easier for Arab Christians to integrate, Amer speculates. "They share the mainstream religion. Muslims may have different kinds of names or dress differently and, especially since 9/11, they're ostracized more."
I would be happy to sit and discuss anything: religion, politics, the weather, etc with anyone that indicates that what these Islamoterrorists are doing is not supported by Islam.
.... Although the war creates special problems for Iraqi-Americans, they also share a key challenge with other Muslims: lack of trust from people living here. Many Americans clearly don't trust those of the Muslim faith. In fact, 54% said they couldn't vote for a Muslim for president in a June Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll. That compares with 21% who turned thumbs-down on an evangelical Christian and 15% who wouldn't cast their ballot for a Jew.
I would be more likely to support someone with an intense faith, whether it was Islam, Christianity, or Judiasm, than I would a Secular Humanist, but if was a Muslim, I would want to hear him denouncing these Islamic terrorists.
Amer believes the world has changed for U.S. Muslims since Sept. 11 but says: "I don't think Americans understand what's happened. Muslims have the same anxieties and anguish about terrorism as everyone else in the U.S. At the same time, they're being blamed for it. They're carrying a double burden."


Reuters' Image Problem

LA Weekly It’s been a good week for Los Angeles’ most controversial political Web site, Little Green Footballs, widely reviled by some because it takes global Islamist terrorism more seriously than, say, a Dick Cheney hunting accident.

Who in their right mind would not take global Islamist terrorism more seriously than Dick Cheney's hunting accident. Global internation terrorism has resulted in the deaths of many thousand innocents; no one died in Dick Cheney's hunting accident, and only one lawyer was even injured. And he did not blame Dick Cheney.
On August 5, Little Green Footballs (LGF) provided convincing visual evidence that a Reuters photograph of the aftermath of an Israeli bombing of Beirut was a poorly Photoshopped fake. The black clouds of smoke and duplicated buildings shown in the photograph were so obviously “cloned,” in Photoshop-speak, that it seemed surprising they could escape notice on one of the world’s most prestigious news desks. But escape it they did, and the image went ’round the world, one more victory in Hezbollah’s propaganda war against Israel and the U.S.

But then, it has long been the contention of LGF’s webmaster, 53-year-old Charles Johnson, who is the co-founder of Pajamas Media, that an awful lot of dodgy news items seem to slip past the news desks of Reuters, the Associated Press, and other major media organizations and newspapers. Two years ago, Johnson was the blogger responsible for exposing CBS anchorman Dan Rather’s use of forged memos about George W. Bush’s military service in an attempt to influence the 2004 presidential election. The memos were such obvious forgeries that Johnson was able to reveal them as such in a matter of minutes, posting the results online. But Dan Rather, the heir to Walter Cronkite and figurehead for CBS News, bought into them wholesale.


'Airlines terror plot' disrupted

BBC News A plot to blow up planes in flight from the UK to the US and commit "mass murder on an unimaginable scale" has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said

It is very good they identified this threat, and I notice the authorities are being very politically correct. The word "muslim" did not appear anywhere in this article.
.... According to BBC sources the "principal characters" suspected of being involved in the plot were British-born. There are also understood to be links to Pakistan.
This is the only reference to the source of the "principal characters" and it was at the bottom of the article.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lights came on in Georgia

With respects to Reba Mcentire who sang "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" last night the lights came on in Georgia and Johnson defeated McKinney. I just hope he is not foolish enough to run for senator in two years, like the last person that defeated McKinney.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Israel's Way Out

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen wrote in Los Angeles Times For the second time in the long history of the Middle East conflict, an enemy of Israel has effectively said: We do not care what you do. Hezbollah — in choosing not to return the two soldiers it seized on July 12, and in its bombardment of Israel — has declared that it does not care if its war-making leads Israel to attack Lebanon's cities, ruin that country's economy and kill its people.

They may not care, but does Lebanon? Surely Lebanon knows who the Hezbollah are, and where their rockets are. They could just call Israel and give them the necessary targeting information.
What matters most is inflicting damage on Israel, weakening its morale and goading it to a level of destruction that will incite the world's wrath. The Palestinians said as much with their second intifada and their suicide bombings. But this is different because Hezbollah's daily rainfall of rockets in Israel portends an intolerable military assault without end.

What can Israel do — what could any country do? — with such an enemy? Except for a desperate Saddam Hussein during the Persian Gulf War, other countries and armies that would have liked to destroy Israel did not target Israeli cities because they knew that Israel would intensely bomb Cairo, Amman or Damascus.
They should start now, with Hamas and Hezbollah sites in Damascus, while telling Syria that is all they are targeting, and that if Syria agrees not to rearm Hezbollah, that is all they will target.
Israel had deterrence. Had an enemy dared such an attack, Israel could have compelled it to stop by inflicting massive damage. With Hezbollah — and with Hamas as well — Israel's ability to deter attacks or to compel them to stop has been lost. The third strategic means of dealing with an enemy — making a genuine peace — has not been possible because Hezbollah and Hamas are expressly committed to Israel's destruction. They see any cessation of hostilities as an interlude before further attack.
Actually they see it as an opportunity to reload and rearm.
So Israel has adopted the fourth strategic possibility: to devastate its dangerous foe, which also would restore deterrence. Yet Israel has discovered that against combatants who look like civilians and whose rockets are hidden everywhere, it must fight longer and occupy and destroy much more of Lebanon than it may deem moral, wise or feasible. Even a future international force in southern Lebanon — the possibility of which is highly uncertain — may be incapable of thwarting Hezbollah and would still leave northern Israel in Hezbollah's rocket range.

What strategies remain? No. 5 is intolerable: living with ongoing, and probably increasing, rocket attacks into northern Israel and beyond. Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, promises that "there are many cities in the center [of Israel] which will be targeted in the phase of 'beyond Haifa.' "
If they can find him, they should target him, even if he is in Syria or Iran.
The sixth option is to compel Hezbollah's suppliers and patrons — Syria and Iran — to end the terror. Neither country wishes a war with militarily superior Israel (Syria's saber rattling notwithstanding). If every Hezbollah missile into Israel produced Israeli retaliation against Syria, and possibly Iran (including its nuclear production sites), Syria and Iran would be forced to make Hezbollah stop
Go for it, Israel. Stop wasting bombs on civilians in Lebanon, target military targets in Syria and Iran (especially nuclear facilities in Iran).
Obviously, this is a last-ditch option. It would escalate the conflict and increase international pressure on Israel to desist.
Oh gee, and the international support for Israel is so high now. NOT!!!
All of Israel's strategic choices are bad or ineffective or undesirable. And yet this last option would be the most likely to reestablish the deterrence critical to Israel's long-term survival — and to peace in the region — by demonstrating Israel's enduring power to compel an end of attacks. And it might prevent still more massive devastation of Lebanon.

Make no mistake: Israel is fighting for its life. It faces a historically new kind of fanatical foe, political Islam, which combines three characteristics: a political-religious ideology calling for its enemies' annihilation; indifference to, even the celebration of, its own people's death (because martyrs are rewarded with a place in heaven); and virtually unstoppable technology (missiles) and techniques (suicide bombing) of terror.

The political Islamists are emboldened by their newfound power. As Nasrallah has boasted, "When were 2 million Israelis forced to become displaced, or to stay in bomb shelters for more than 18 days?" And the danger will escalate a thousandfold if Iran, the epicenter of political Islam and Hezbollah's master, achieves its own invulnerability with nuclear weapons, so that it too can launch rocket and other attacks against its many targets. Iran's former president and current power broker, Hashemi Rafsanjani, spoke candidly in 2001: "The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything," he said, although it would harm the Islamic world. "It is not irrational," he went on, "to contemplate such an eventuality."
One nuclear bomb inside Israel would result in the disappearance of several Muslim capitals.
A nuclear Iran, sharing Hezbollah's and Hamas' enmity for Israel's very existence, is a foe with a million times the wealth and destructive might to found, fund and supply many more Hezbollahs against many more enemies, including the hated West.

Israel's political Islamic enemies are studying and rejoicing over the new geostrategic situation. These totalitarians' ultimate targets — all "infidels," especially here and in Europe — should study it as well, be sobered and realize that Israel, in fighting this war in its self-defense, to reestablish a geostrategic balance, and for its long-term survival, is ultimately fighting for them as well.


Monday, August 07, 2006

It's not God's party

BatesLine blogged The terrorist organization that has been in the news for its attacks on Israeli civilians and for using Lebanese civilians as human shields is called Hezbollah, sometimes spelled Hizballah, sometimes there's an apostrophe -- Hizb'allah. It's Arabic for "Party of God."

My friend Redsneakz has decided that Hizb'shaitan is a more accurate title. (You can decode that, can't you?) I agree and intend to follow his example.

Shaitan is is the equivalent in Islam of Satan in Christianity
Although, given their devotion of sacrificing their own children and the children of others in the name of their false god, Hezb'moloch would be appropriate, too.
Molochis associated with offering of children by fire as sacrifices


Anti-terror laws alienate Muslims

Guardian reported One of Britain's top police officers will today warn that anti-terrorism laws are discriminating against Muslims

All Muslims, or just the ones committing terrorism?
and law enforcement agencies are running a "real risk" of criminalising ethnic minorities.
If they are doing something against the law, then they are the ones criminalising themselves.
Tarique Ghaffur, assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan police, will also call for "an independent judicial review" of why some young British Muslims turn to extremism.
They have clerics teaching them that Jihad is a good thing.
He warns that more work is needed to stop the "flight, fright or separation" of British Muslim communities after the July 7 2005 bombings in London.
How about deporting any clerics preaching violence, and anyone committing violence.
Robert Spencer blogged Don't try to keep them from waging jihad, or they may...wage jihad.


Aarons Hacked Again

It was down for a long time after it was hacked, and I had stopped going by Aarons (there is just so much of singing Islamic chipmunks I could take, but I assume he must have gotten back up, and done something again to tick the Jihadies off, because he has been hacked again.