Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gore again?

Robert D. Novak wrote on Townhall Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's decision to withdraw from consideration for the 2008 presidential nomination has produced speculation at high levels of the Democratic Party that former Vice President Al Gore may run again.

Why would that stop him from running?
Warner was to challenge front-running Sen. Hillary Clinton from the right, while Gore is on her left. Nevertheless, Gore succeeds Warner as the most likely "non-Hillary" to battle her for the nomination.
I suspect Gore and Kerry will both run against her from the Left, but that with Mark Warner out of the race, if Republicans can nominate a centrist that should guarantee them the election.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Research councils halt Islamist research

Guardian reported Research councils today confirmed they have put on hold their involvement in a government-backed project that aimed to identify the growth of Islamist groups around the world. The decision by the Economics and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council followed accusations by academics that they would be putting the lives of British researchers at risk in Muslim countries.

If things are so bad that just researching them would put their lives at risk, I guess they have identified the problem. Now can they come up with the solution, that does not mean capitulation to the threat.
In a joint statement this afternoon, the two councils said "a section of our academic community" had raised concerns about the research, which they "have to take seriously". A spokeswoman said: "We are consulting further with the community, that has already been consulted with, to make sure that their concerns have been heard. "We hope that the study can be relaunched with a more open call."
What is meant by a "more open call". You know what the problem is. Come up with ways to protect yourself.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has funded the £1.3m project, called Combating terrorism by countering radicalisation. Academics were told to focus on countries that had been identified by MI5.Researchers were to "scope the growth in influence and membership of extremist Islamist groups in the past 20 years", according to a report in today's Times Higher Education Supplement. They were expected to "name key figures and key groups" and "understand the use of theological legitimisation for violence."


Iran warns of revenge over Israel

BBC News reported Iran's president has warned that Muslims around the world will take revenge on states who supported Israel against the Palestinians.

What is the matter, Mahmoud. If you dislike Israel so much, why don't you just attack them. Just because the last time several Arab countries attacked them, they pushed them back and took a lot of their territory, you need to remember those were Arab countries. You are Persian. Why don't you try it. The Israelis need some Persian Rugs.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again questioned the extent of the Holocaust, when German Nazis murdered six million Jews. Israel was founded on "claims about the Holocaust" for which the Palestinians were paying the price, he told a rally.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

McCain and suicide

Radio Iowa reported Arizona Senator and probable 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain jokingly says he would "commit suicide" if Democrats take control of the U.S. Senate in this November's election.

McCain already committed suicide, at lease as far as his presidential aspirations are concerned, when he went against conservatives on the torture and related legislation.
McCain is in Iowa today (Wednesday), campaigning with GOP Congressmen Steve King and Tom Latham as well as Republican congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti. McCain spoke at a mid-day news conference in Des Moines, where McCain was asked what his reaction would be to a Democratic take-over of the Senate.

"I think I'd just commit suicide," McCain said, as the Republicans standing beside him burst into laughter. "I don't want to face that eventuality because I don't think it's going to happen...I think it's going to be tough, but I think we'll do o.k." A few moments later McCain turned to Congressman Latham and joked that Latham would probably commit suicide first, as polls suggest control of the House is likely to swing to Democrats in this year's election.


How Qaeda Warned Its Operatives on Using Cell Phones

New York Sun reported When an aspiring Al Qaeda terrorist is buying a cell phone, it's best that he purchase the chip inside the device under a phony name or from a black market vendor that does not sell the accompanying documentation.

Why do we have to have untraceable cell phones. Other than for illegal purposes, what is the need? People may need to have cell phones that they must pay for as they use them, but that does not mean they need to be untraceable.
If he has any reason to believe his phone has been tapped, he should sell it immediately to a stranger.
Let the stranger get arrested.
This is the kind of advice contained in "Myth of Delusion," a 151-page manuscript making the rounds on password-protected jihadi Web sites. The book recently caught the attention of American intelligence analysts, who estimate that it was released sometime this summer.
Does anyone have an english copy of this document?
An English translation obtained by The New York Sun and whose authenticity was confirmed by a senior intelligence official gives an insight into what America's Islamist enemies believe they know about the CIA and the National Security Agency.

John Stephenson blogged There wasn’t any personal thanks attributed to the NY Times or ACLU, but we all know who leaked this information allowing our enemy the knowledge to adjust to our tactics. Many of us are still wondering why they haven’t been held accountable for these attrocious actions. Now we hear word straight from the enemy’s mouth that the disclosure of this classified information was most helpful. When the next attempt to attack us is not prevented because programs designed to do so were exposed, don’t forget those who provided the information that allowed the enemy to adjust.


Human species 'may split in two'

BBC News reported Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said. Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge. The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology. People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added. The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative

And vote Republican
and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.
Who will vote Democratic


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our failure to confront radical Islam

Denis MacShane wrote in Telegraph The 10,000 Muslims in my constituency of Rotherham can only benefit from removing the dead hand of ideological Islamism – allowing their faith to be respected and their children to flourish in a Britain that finally wakes up to what must be done. Despite the efforts of extremists to prevent any sort of rational debate about the place of Islam in Britain, it is at last happening.

That is very good news.
A fight-back is beginning to reclaim Britain from the grip of those who refuse to acknowledge the centrality of British values of tolerance, fair play and parliamentary democratic freedoms – notably those of free speech and respect for all religions, but supremacy for none.
21st century values, but not 8th century ones.
Voltaire noted this attribute of the English three centuries ago, when he wrote: "If there was just one religion in Britain there would be despotism. If two, there would be civil war. But as there are 30, they all live at peace with each other.".... Where Blunkett and previous ministers failed to act, it has taken a young, devoutly religious Christian politician, in the form of Ruth Kelly, who knows the difference between private faith and public politics, to come forward and to speak en clair to organisations and ideologues who believed that their world view would – and should – overcome British values and traditions.
Ruth Kelly should be encourages, because there certainly are those that want to take the entire world back to the 8th century.
... Late in 2003, I made a routine speech to my constituency. It followed the murder of British and Turkish men and women at our consulate in Istanbul by Islamist terrorists. At the same time, a young South Yorkshire Muslim had gone to Israel and killed himself in a suicide bombing attack.

The two events led me to make a speech in which I said: "It is time for the elected and community leaders of British Muslims to make a choice: it is the democratic, rule of law, if you like the British or Turkish or American or European way – based on political dialogue and non-violent protests – or it is the way of the terrorists against which the whole democratic world is now uniting." I thought my remarks were banal. After 7/7, everyone used them.... Islamist politics is now one of the most important issues for the future of democracy. Getting the right answers will define the world's future. All main parties, other than the odious BNP, rightly shun Islamophobia. British Muslims will be welcome at Eid parties in the Commons to celebrate the end of Ramadan. But we have to find answers to calls for censorship, to celebrations of jihadist terror, or a religiously ordained world view that denies equal rights for women or gays here and in Afghanistan.


Venezuela blames U.S.

International Herald Tribune reported Venezuelan diplomats blamed heavy-handed U.S. lobbying for their country's failure to muster enough votes to win a U.N. Security Council seat in ten rounds of voting Monday.

And I bet Guatemala may blame fierce Venezuelan lobbing for their failure to get the seat.
Venezuelan diplomat Roy Chaderton, an envoy who played a key role in lobbying on behalf of President Hugo Chavez's government, said the results were only a minor setback in a prolonged struggle against U.S. efforts to dominate international affairs. "Swimming against the current isn't easy. It can be tiring at first, but the more one swims, muscles get stronger,"
And if you try to swim too far, you may drown, no matter how strong your muscles are.
Chaderton told state television after U.S.-backed Guatemala topped Venezuela in the first four rounds of voting. "This battle will prepare us for another battle within the international community."


Nuclear Proliferation

Los Angeles Times reported The head of the U.N. nuclear agency warned Monday that as many as about 30 additional countries could soon have technology that would let them produce atomic weapons "in a very short time," joining the nine states known or suspected to have such arms.... Other countries considering nuclear programs in the near future are Egypt, Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Namibia, Moldova, Nigeria, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Yemen, U.N. officials say.

There are other countries that might go for it, but just consider some of these. What if several Islamic countries got the bomb. They might attack Israel, or they just might attack each other, and in either case, it would likely be the start of something that would end with the end of life on earth.


French will shoot at Israel, but not disarm Hezbollah

Haaretz reported Commanders of the French contingent of the United Nations force in Lebanon have warned that they might have to open fire if Israel Air Force warplanes continue their overflights in Lebanon, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

They won't disarm Hezbollah, because they know they will fight back, but they will shoot at Israeli planes. Do they realize the Israeli planes are armed, and might shoot back?
Peretz said that nevertheless, Israel would continue to patrol the skies over Lebanon as long as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 remained unfulfilled, adding that such operations were critical for the country's security, especially as the abducted IDF soldiers remain in Hezbollah custody and the transfer of arms continue.


Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

Jeff Stein wrote in NYT For the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”

The split occured immediately following the death of Mohammed, and related to who should be his successor. Shias feel that Imam Ali, cousin of the Prophet, husband of his daughter Fatima, father of Hassan and Hussein and the second person ever to embrace Islam. should have been the first caliph and that the caliphate should pass down only to direct descendants of Mohammed via Ali and Fatima. Sunnis gave their allegiance to Abu Bakr, who lead prayers in prophet's mosque in the last few days of prophet's life, as the first caliph because they felt his old age would be a wiser choice to the young Ali.
A “gotcha” question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basic rule of war, I don’t think it’s out of bounds. And as I quickly explain to my subjects, I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want?
They all want power. Iranian Shias want Tehran to be the center of the world caliphate; Iraqi Shias want Bagdad to be the center, The Muslim Brotherhood (Sunni) want it to be Egypt, the Wahabbis (Sunni) want it to be Mecca. Everyone wants power.
After all, wouldn’t British counterterrorism officials responsible for Northern Ireland know the difference between Catholics and Protestants?
They would, but the conflict is really about independence. Most of Ireland is Catholic, and the Protestants in Northern Ireland fear being a minority in a Catholic Ireland, and so want to remain a part of Britain, which is Protestant.
In a remotely similar but far more lethal vein, the 1,400-year Sunni-Shiite rivalry is playing out in the streets of Baghdad, raising the specter of a breakup of Iraq into antagonistic states, one backed by Shiite Iran and the other by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Navy 'too weak' for big role in Korea blockade

Telegraph reported Plans to impose a blockade of North Korea to prevent the regime acquiring nuclear weapons were thrown in disarray last night. China said it would oppose attempts to inspect suspect vessels and Royal Navy commanders said Britain was unable to make a significant military commitment to the proposed United Nations naval task force.

I don't know what the state of the UK Navy is (in the past Britain ruled the seas, but maybe that is no longer the case). I guarantee you the US Navy could do it, but I see now that China is favoring a coup to unseat Kim



Victor Davis Hanson wrote in Works and Days: Why do they hate us? Here it is from the horses’ mouths: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, East Timor, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, the Philippines, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Spain (Andalusia). Also listed as casus belli by the terrorists are our shady election campaign finances and practices, and, of course, failure to sign the Kyoto accords, along with environmental desecration.

And lest you think W. caused the fury, they also cite as causes of their grief the Queen of England, George Bush, Sr., and Bill Clinton.
And many other people, in many other countries.
I’ve been reading the new The Al-Qaeda Reader forthcoming from Doubleday, a collection of writings and rantings from Osama bin Laden and Dr. Zawhri, and translated by Raymond Ibrahim. These whines are what the historian Thucydides called prophases, or “pretexts”—or what we should consider simply as fill-in-the-blanks lists for the larger problems of lost honor. Lost honor? (In this regard, read a brilliant recent essay by Jonathan Rauch in the National Journal
Honor must be earned.
Yes, how sad, in their view, that despite all those Muslims, all that oil, all that religious purity, still remains this enormous, this overriding sense of failure and impotence: No nuclear weapons, no Arab-designed internet, no Muslim cell phones or I-pods, no Hamas designed “Apaches and F-16s”. And for the all the brag about the “Hezbollah drone” it still looked pretty pathetic compared to a Predator.
But they did develop our current number system. But that was a long time ago. Why have they been unable to do anything in the last several hundred years. There are many Islamic countries. Could it be that living under Sharia law inhibits development of anything new.
For us in the all-too-rational West, the response is simplistic: get all those furious Hamas militants who chew their Israeli cud for hours on end in the coffee houses of Gaza out at 5AM in the fields to rebuild green houses and begin re-exporting flowers and vegetables to Europe.
Make them work? They would rather kill Jews.
Mobilize all those Hezbollah Katyusha-carriers to start, India-style, learning English to do outsourcing, or, Chinese-style, to begin putting together Mattel Toys, or, Irish-style, recalling all the PhDs from the Muslim world now at Texas A&M or Florida State to return to Beirut to create an Arabic-speaking antithesis.
What makes you think they want to live in the Islamic world, after they have seen freedom.
After all, there is a reason that the Chinese talk of Adidas and Forbes these days rather than the old “running-dog capitalists”.

But, of course, that is quite impossible. It would require giving up, at least somewhat, the Jewish and American bogeymen, an end to memorizing the catchy Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky sound bites, and shedding of some of that “honor” by allowing your son to work where he wants, and your daughter to dress and marry as she likes, and your neighbor to put a cross around his neck if he pleases.

Yet there is one, one small thing we can do to in the West to help out those in the Middle East: quit blaming ourselves and fantasizing what we might do to be liked. Leaving Iraq won’t solve the problem—no more than did saving the Kuwaitis, the Bosnians, the Kosovars, the Afghans from the Russians, or the Somali Muslims from hunger. Giving the Egyptians $50 billion or the Jordanians and Palestinians billions as well didn’t do much either. Indeed, Hamas now considers widening their war by attacking Americans for withholding our largess. You see, we have no right not to give Islamists our millions just because they won’t promise not to destroy our ally Israel.But what would help is simply this: every time a victimized talking head from the Middle East started in on Israel, Bush, Blair, etc. someone could interrupt and politely said, “Sorry, that’s old. No mas. We are tired of the whining. Go get a life.” Tough love like that eventually would be worth more to the Arab World than this year’s $500 billion in Middle East’s excess petro-profits alone. As long as foreign money is thrown at the Middle East, and Palestinians are allowed to drone about “honor” and “pride” without objection, rather than how, on their own, to craft an economy, there will never be peace, or happiness—or “honor.”
Or progress


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Muhammad's example and teachings

Washington Times wrote Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch Parliamentarian and secular Muslim reformer,

You can learn a lot about the dangers posed by Islamic Jihadists by paying attention to what Ayaan Hirsi Ali, as well as Wafa Sultan write.
has courageously identified the taboo discussion which must take place to understand, and defuse, the scourge of modern jihad terrorism: "In their thinking about radical Muslim terrorism most politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and other commentators have avoided the core issue of the debate, which is Muhammad's example." This taboo is all the more puzzling, and dangerously delusional, given the public pronouncements of Muslim Brotherhood "spiritual" leader, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential contemporary Muslim thinkers. The immensely popular Qaradawi reaches an audience of tens of millions of Muslim sympathizers across the globe with his regular appearances on Al-Jazeera television. During a June 19, 2001 broadcast, Qaradawi delivered a sermon entitled, "The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model," proclaiming: " .... Allah has .... made the prophet Muhammad into an epitome for religious warriors [Mujahideen] since he ordered Muhammed to fight for religion . ... "
But did Allah really tell him that, or was it Satan, pretending to be Allah?
Consistent with the hadith (words and deeds of Muhammad recorded by pious followers), and earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammad, Qaradawi further acknowledged that Muhammad launched aggressive jihad campaigns, and also maintained that there is in fact a "jihad which you seek," i.e., invading other countries in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove, by force of arms, "obstacles" standing in the way of this coercive Islamization.
Here he admits what I have said many times, the Islamic Fascists wish to spread their religion through the use of force.
More ominously, Qaradawi has made specific unabashed appeals for Muslims to wage a "jihad re-conquest" of Europe,
They are doing a lot of that right not through immigration, but not assimilating and adopting the ways of the nation they are now living in.
recalling the millennial legacy of jihad wars waged by Arab, Berber, and Ottoman Muslim conquerors and colonizers. Disregarding murderous threats, and the prospect of social ostracism, the intrepid author Robert Spencer -- a serious independent scholar of Islam for the past two decades -- has taken up Hirsi Ali's challenge in his compelling new book, "The Truth About Muhammad."
I have this book, and will begin reading it as soon as I finsih Spencer's other book, The Myth of Islamic Tolerance. I know I learned a lot from a third Spencer book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)