Saturday, July 21, 2007

Is he really a changed man?

International Herald Tribune There was a time when Omar Bakri Mohammed embodied every stereotype of the jihadi extremist. From his perch in London, he threw around words like "kafir" - infidel - to describe Christians and Jews and openly praised the bombers of Sept. 11, 2001. But sitting recently in his new library overlooking Mount Lebanon in this northern city, with a bloody battle raging between the Lebanese Army and the Qaeda-inspired Fatah al Islam at a Palestinian refugee camp a few kilometers away, Bakri presented himself as a changed man. Whether the shift is as meaningful as he asserts is an open question.
Did he change because he was kicked out of peaceful Britain, and now is forced to live in a war zone?
He speaks of peace, decrying the unnecessary use of violence and emphasizing the sanctity of life. The death of innocents, he says, has to be curtailed.
I agree. Does he agree that Christians and even Jews may be innocent, or is only innocent Muslims whose death he wants to prevent?
.... He had co-founded the radical group Al Muhajiroun - disbanded in 2004 - which sought to restore and expand the Muslim caliphate, an empire whose "foreign policy is to conquer the whole world by jihad," he said.
Does anyone question the end object of the radical Islamists?
He also helped found the British branch of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a like-minded political party that seeks a more peaceful, political route to the caliphate,
A more peaceful route to a world wide government under Sharia law.
before falling out with the group for theological reasons, he said. Charismatic but never afraid of acrimony, Bakri embraced controversy.

In a newspaper interview in April 2004, he warned that "a very well-organized" London-based group, Al Qaeda Europe, was "on the verge of launching a big operation." He vowed that if Western governments did not change their policies, Muslims would give them "a 9/11, day after day after day." When the London bombings occurred, however, the whole formula changed. British authorities were no longer willing to tolerate his speech, and public outrage increased.
When he was just ranting about destroying other western governments the British were willing to tolerate him, but when they realized he meant them too, they woke up.
When he left London for Beirut two years ago, the British government banned him permanently. He had last stepped foot in Lebanon more than 30 years ago, when he escaped the civil war, he said. Now he is starting anew, insisting that it is against his beliefs to be in Britain if he cannot preach his brand of Islam.
Since he was banned permanently we will never know.
Nonetheless, his wife and children remain there, wards of its welfare state.
Certainly. You would not expect a Muslim man to take care of his family if some infidels would do it for him.


The Phony Debate

WaPo editorializes The Senate Democratic leadership spent the past week trying to prove that Congress is deeply divided over Iraq, with Democrats pressing and Republicans resisting a change of course. In fact that's far from the truth. A large majority of senators from both parties favor a shift in the U.S. mission that would involve substantially reducing the number of American forces over the next year or so and rededicating those remaining to training the Iraqi army, protecting Iraq's borders and fighting al-Qaeda.
I agree, particularly on the third goal. In fact if I was president I would state the same three goals, but in reverse order.
President Bush and his senior aides and generals also support this broad strategy, which was formulated by the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton commission. Mr. Bush recently said that "it's a position I'd like to see us in." .... The decision of Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) to deny rather than nourish a bipartisan agreement is, of course, irresponsible.
But it is what the Democratic Leadership is forced to do by the Netroots. Heaven help this country if they get the White House too.


Baring torture

McClatchy Washington Bureau writes Bush bars CIA from using torture, but details remain cloudy.
And should we tell the enemy exactly what we will do, so that they can train their people to combat it?
President Bush signed an executive order Friday barring the CIA from using torture, acts of violence and degrading treatment in the interrogation and detention of terrorism suspects, but human rights experts questioned its scope.
What do they want us to do to people that will blow themselves up just kill others, even innocent civilians. And how should we treat people that will cut little girl's heads off just for going to school. We certainly don't want to be mean to them.
.... While Bush's order broadly outlines what the CIA can and cannot do to prisoners, and sets standards for what the agency must provide in terms of food and shelter for detainees, it says nothing about specific controversial interrogation techniques.
For very good reasons. We don't want the enemy to know what to expect.
Some experts in human-rights law said Bush's order contains "loopholes" that would allow the CIA to continue using aggressive interrogation techniques that others would consider torture.
Some idiots would say withholding dessert is torture.
"Let's not forget that the administration's theory of executive authority is very broad. They reserve the right to interpret laws in ways no one agrees with in emergency situations," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit activist group.
What would John Sutton want us to do if we caught someone that was going to blow up his building, or do something to his children?
The Bush administration received heavy criticism globally over CIA interrogators using "water-boarding," which simulates drowning,
But which does no permanent harm to the person being water boarded. We even subkect our own military to water boarding when training them to resist spilling military secrets if captured by the enemy.
and for allowing the CIA to operate secret prisons in Europe.


Islamic Creationist

NYT reported In the United States, opposition to the teaching of evolution in public schools has largely been fueled by the religious right, particularly Protestant fundamentalism. Now another voice is entering the debate, in dramatic fashion. It is the voice of Adnan Oktar of Turkey, who, under the name Harun Yahya, has produced numerous books, videos and DVDs on science and faith, in particular what he calls the “deceit” inherent in the theory of evolution. One of his books, “Atlas of Creation,” is turning up, unsolicited, in mailboxes of scientists around the country and members of Congress, and at science museums in places like Queens and Bemidji, Minn.

The Carpetbagger Report blogged Not surprisingly, the book is ridiculous, at least as far as the science goes,
The Secular Humanists believe anything that opposes what their religion has hijacked science to claim must be ridiculous. I don't really care for what the Secular Humanists or the Muslims think either.
but the distribution of the text is what’s raising eyebrows.... An expensive, glossy, 800-page book isn’t cheap to produce or print, but it also costs quite a bit to send them to scientists, doctors, and journalists from coast to coast.
So Protestant fundamental ideas are attacked based on their content, while Muslim ideas are attacked because of the money spent to spread them. I wonder if he fears attacking the content would be likely to cost him his head.
.... Perhaps we should expect the fight over religion in science classes to get more complicated in the near future, with Christian and Muslim fundamentalists teaming up to undermine modern biology.
Maybe I am wrong, but I don't expect to see the two religions groups to team up against the Secular Humanists. The philosophical differences, between Christians, who want to see their faith spread by the love expressed by Jesus Christ, and the Muslims, who want to see their faith spread by force, as expressed by Muhammad, is too great for them to team up against the Secular Humanists, who want to see their faith spread by educational bureaucrats.


Emperor Bush???

Chris Weigant: pontificates on Huffington Post that the White House Declareed Bush Emperor because Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

The Constitution set up three co-equal branches of Government. The Legislative Branch, which is to pass laws, the Executive branch which administers the laws (including the Justice Department), and the Judicial Branch, which decides what the laws mean. If Congress does not believe that a presidential Executive Order is right, they should appeal to the Judicial Branch for a ruling. They should not be able to order Justice Branch lawyers to take the head of the Executive Branch to court in a political move to try to usurp Executive Branch authority.

Because the Democrats control Congress, and the Republicans control the White House, Chris wants the Legislative Branch to show that it can override whatever the White House does. I wonder whether if the situation was reversed, and if there was a Democrat in the White House, and if the Republicans controlled the Legislative branch, if he would be as eager to see the Legislative Branch try to rule the entire government.


President Cheney

NYT reports Vice President Dick Cheney will take over as president on Saturday — but only temporarily, White House officials say — while President Bush undergoes anesthesia during routine screening for colon cancer.

Gateway Pundit urges President Cheney... Use Your Presidential Powers & Pardon Scooter! and then he posts a poll where you can express your wishes: Should President Cheney Pardon Scooter Libby?

  • Yes- but only in his final minutes of office.
  • Yes- with great fanfare.
  • No- let him rot.
  • Yes- And, frogmarch Pelosi to prison for violating Logan Act.
  • Bomb Iran.

I am sure he is kidding, and it never will happen, but it is worth a good laugh.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hummer Owner Gets Angry Message

WaPo reported On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage. So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car." It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."
The idiot can't even spell.
.... Now, as Groves ponders what to do with the remains of his $38,000 SUV, he has been the target of a number of people who have driven by the crime scene in his upscale neighborhood and glared at him in smug satisfaction.
How do they know he has not bought carbon credit indulgences so he can be like Al "do what I say, not what I do" Gore
Gaius blogged Walt Kelley's famous line from Pogo comes to mind: We have met the enemy and he is us. The extreme rhetoric and continued ratcheting upward of demands for coercive action by the environmental extremists can only lead to this outcome in the end. Vigilantes are vigilantes, regardless of their cause. It is only a matter of time until someone gets killed* by some self-appointed "defender of the earth" for daring to "damage" the environment. And the extremists will continue to define downwards what constitutes "damage".

Kim Priestap blogged The environmental movement is nothing more than the new collective. You are required to go along with their dogma, and if you don't you will pay the price. The scientists who don't buy into the false hype of global warming have found this out as well.

Riehl World View blogged "Hummer Hate" Crime In DC


Ed Koch bails out

Ed Koch wrote on RealClearPolitics I'm bailing out. I will no longer defend the policy of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq to assist the Iraqi central government in the ongoing civil war. While our men and women in the military suffer casualties daily, the Iraqi government refuses to take the major political actions required to end the civil war.
I don't think any Muslim government is prepared to do anything they need to do to achieve peace.
... For well over a year, I have urged the administration to issue an ultimatum to our Muslim allies of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait, all Sunni nations and our NATO allies in Europe. Unless they joined us with boots on the ground and contributed to the ongoing cost of the war against Al Qaeda and the insurgency in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we would leave.
Our Nato allies in Europe are too chicken to do anything, but the Arab allies you mention face a major threat deom Iran if we leave.
... "But getting out has at least four advantages. First, no more Americans will be dying while refereeing a civil war.
We are not doing that.
Second, the fear of an all-out civil war, as we do prepare to leave, may be the last best hope for getting the Iraqis to reach an 11th-hour political agreement.
Good point.
Third, as the civil war in Iraq plays out, it could, painfully, force the realignment of communities on the ground that may create a more stable foundation upon which to build a federal settlement. Fourth, we will restore our deterrence with Iran. Tehran will no longer be able to bleed us through its proxies in Iraq, and we will be much freer to hit Iran - should we ever need to - once we're out.
We should take our troops to Afganistan. And the closest way is through Iran.
Moreover, Iran will by default inherit management of the mess in southern Iraq, which, in time, will be an enormous problem for Tehran.".... I adopt Friedman's reasons as mine and repeat that I would support our troops remaining in Iraq if our allies were to join us. But they have made it clear they will not.

I propose that we do what the British did when they withdrew their troops from the historic Palestine Mandate they had assumed in 1922. They simply notified the United Nations that they would be gone by May 15, 1948, and they were, leaving to the U.N. to decide what it would do. It voted to partition Palestine and create two states: one Jewish and one Arab. Palestinians and Arab nations rejected the U.N. solution and waged war against the new Jewish State of Israel. With the exception of Egypt and Jordan, they still continue in a state of war with Israel, 59 years later.
The UN at it's best. And if they did it todaym the UN would probably screw the Jews even more.
I believe we can be out of Iraq in a few months if we want to leave, departing by way of Turkey in the north and via Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in the south and west. We should leave to the Iraqi army the supplies and materials they will need to protect themselves and take all else with us, after first arming the Kurds. Common decency requires that we take with us those Iraqi civilians who helped us and would be in danger when we left.
Better vet them very very closely, or we will be bringing more trouble back here.
We should prepare for the battles that will take place on American soil by the Islamic forces of terror who are engaged in a war that will be waged by them against Western civilization for at least the next 30 years. They must be defeated for if, God forbid, they defeat us they will put us, the infidels, to the sword. They refer to Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and other Muslims they disagree with religiously as infidels.
That will not happen. Armegodon will happen, and the the 1.000 years of Christ's kingdom on earth.
Remember the words of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who earlier this year at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay confessed to killing journalist Danny Pearl on February 1, 2002: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the City of Karachi, Pakistan." He is the same Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that CNN referred to as "the suspected mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks." Remember, they have threatened to kill Pope Benedict XVI.

Remember also how we refused to take seriously the threats Adolf Hitler made in his book Mein Kampf. There were only 80 million Germans at the start of World War II. There are now one billion 400 million Muslims. There is still not yet a majority who subscribe to the Wahabist fundamentalist belief popular in Saudi Arabia that they have a duty to kill the infidel who will not convert or pay tribute. But there are tens of millions of Muslim fanatics, including English doctors, who believe that is their sacred duty. Wake up, America.


Distortion from the BBC

An article by the BBC had the headline Four men jailed over cartoon demo and started Four men have been jailed for their part in protests outside the Danish embassy in London, against cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad.

Both were distortions. As the article later revealed
Mizanur Rahman, 24, Umran Javed, 27, and Abdul Muhid, 24, were each jailed for six years for soliciting to murder after telling a crowd to bomb the UK. A fourth man, Abdul Saleem, 32, was jailed for four years for stirring up racial hatred at the protest in 2006. The men, from London and Birmingham, were convicted at the Old Bailey. Judge Brian Barker said their words had been designed to encourage murder and terrorism.
these poor, misunderstood fellows were not jailed for a cartoon demo or for protesting. They were jailed for urging people to blow other people up, and for something as simple as a few cartoons.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Death by stoning a 'wise measure'

AKI reported Iran's chief prosecutor Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabad has defended the death penalty by stoning describing it as a "wise measure".
That might depend on whether you were the stoner or the stonee.

John 8:7 says "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
"Death by stoning and all the measures contained in the Sharia (Islamic law) are wise measures' he said in speech delivered Monday in Zanjan, a town located some 200 kilometres west of the capital Tehran.
Even if they are inconsistent with 21st century values?
"We need to distinguish between the law of bloodmoney and the of executions carried out after the death sentence has been passed. The first is a right the Sharia recognizes to the victims, while the second is a law wanted by men", Najafabad said.

The issue of death by stoning has recently made headlines again in Iran after the practice was used to execute a man in Iran's Takestan region. The penalty was carried out on the order of a local judge acting against the advice of Iran's chief judicial authority official Seyyed Mahmoud Shahroudi.

"Ayatollah Shahroudi, is not against death by stoning, but sometimes he doesn't agree with how this measure is applied", the head of Iran's state appointed Human Rights Commission Mohammad Javad Larijani said.
What method does he want to see used in stoning? Does it have to do with the size of the stones, or what?
"No one can be against stoning by death because this form of punishment is contained in the Sharia," said Larijani, adding that he believed the practice did not run contrary to international human right accords signed by Iran.
Is that because they failed to mention stoning?


Iraqis Being Smuggled Across the Rio Grande

The Blotter reported The FBI is investigating an alleged human smuggling operation based in Chaparral, N.M., that agents say is bringing "Iraqis and other Middle Eastern" individuals across the Rio Grande from Mexico.
Does this give you a clue why we said "Close the Border First." Then we can work on a guest worker program to get people to pick lettuce.
An FBI intelligence report distributed by the Washington, D.C. Joint Terrorism Task Force, obtained by the Blotter on, says the illegal ring has been bringing Iraqis across the border illegally for more than a year.
And what have you been doing in the meantime to plug the hole?
Border Patrol officials in the area said they were unaware of the specifics of the FBI's report, and federal prosecutors in New Mexico told they had no current cases involving the illegal smuggling of Iraqis.
What about other Middle Eastern individuals.
The FBI report, issued last week, says the smuggling organization "used to smuggle Mexicans, but decided to smuggle Iraqi or other Middle Eastern individuals because it was more lucrative." Each individual would be charged a fee of $20,000 to $25,000, according to the report.
More than a lettuce picker can afford.
The people to be smuggled would "gather at a house on the Mexican side of the border" and then cross the Rio Grande into the U.S., the report says. "Unidentified individuals would then transport them to train stations in El Paso, Texas or Belen, New Mexico," according to the FBI document.


2008 Election

Yahoo! News The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back top-tier hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain or Mitt Romney, and no one candidate has emerged as the clear front-runner among Christian evangelicals. Such dissatisfaction underscores the volatility of the 2008 GOP nomination fight.
Or maybe we are just not concerned in 2007 about who will be elected in 2008 and take office in 2009,
In sharp contrast, the Democratic race remains static, with Hillary Rodham Clinton holding a sizable lead over Barack Obama. The New York senator, who is white, also outpaces her Illinois counterpart, who is black, among black and Hispanic Democrats, according to a combined sample of two months of polls.
So Obama should just drop out?
A half year before voting begins, the survey shows the White House race is far more wide open on the Republican side than on the Democratic. The uneven enthusiasm about the fields also is reflected in fundraising in which Democrats outraised Republicans $80 million to $50 million from April through June, continuing a trend from the year's first three months.
Republicans are saving their money until it really matters. Probably investing it so that it grows more money.
"Democrats are reasonably comfortable with the range of choices. The Democratic attitude is that three or four of these guys would be fine,"
But the top leader is not a guy, and it a girl with a lot of baggage. The only reason for wanting her back in the White House is she might bring back some of the stuff she stole when she left the first time.

Most of both fields are filled with senators and former senators, with a former mayor thrown in. They don't have a clue about what it takes to run the country. And the only former governors are very far behind the back in both races.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Progress in Iraq

This video from Dan Riehl is the kind of thing I would love to see on television -- a visual image of progress in Iraq. Yeah, that's right -- Progress. In. Iraq.

Hat tip to Lorie Byrd
I would love to see the MSM report this.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

An angry Dennis Kucinich

Yahoo! News reported An angry Dennis Kucinich
Is there any other kind?
lashed out at John Edwards on Friday, saying his Democratic rival showed "a consistent lack of integrity" by suggesting fewer candidates should participate in presidential forums and then trying to explain his remark to reporters.
Edwards is a trial lawyer. When did they ever show a consistent presence of integrity?
"This is a serious matter and I'm calling him on it," Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, said in a telephone interview Friday. "Whispering, trying to rig an election,
What election was he trying to rig, and for whom? He does not stand any better chance of being elected than you do.
then denying what's going on and making excuses. It all reflects a consistent lack of integrity."
But consistent for politicians and lawyers, and he is both.
James Joyner blogged And, while I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by Edwards and Clinton in their private exchange, they’re not covering themselves with glory in their disingenuous attempts to deny they meant it.


Kidnappers of BBC correspondent

Times Online reported THE mastermind behind the kidnapping of Alan Johnston, the BBC correspondent, is an experienced terrorist who fought with Al-Qaeda alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.... The kidnappers expressed bizarre resentment that Johnston, 45, had done nothing to thank them for their hospitality while they held him at gunpoint in a tiny cell. “We used to give him everything he wanted,” Abu Zobayer, an aide to Dagmoush, said.
You gave him everything he wanted? What about freedom? Did he ever ask you to let him go?
“We spent £70 on his food every week. The Matouk restaurant [one of the best eateries in Gaza] got rich because we had to feed him.”
If you had freed him you could have pocketed the money, like most of the Fatah and Hamas leaders.
Johnston has said that he fell ill from the food he was served. Zobayer commented: “It’s not our problem that we gave him everything and he only ate a little.”
If a little made him sick, a lot might have killed him.
Although they did not torture him physically, the kidnappers seemed to have no concept of the psychological torture they were inflicting on the BBC correspondent. “We had people with him all the time to try to help him to relax,” said Zobayer.
Were they armed? Having someone pointing a gun at you is not very relaxing.
“We gave him a radio so that he could listen to his own channel. I myself sat with him to try to make him feel comfortable and feel that he will be released.”
I suspect he would have rather been home sitting with his own family.
Betsy Newmark blogged How rude of him not to appreciate all that the kindnappers were doing for him.

Jeff Hall blogged I'm no expert, but I imagine that Muslims believe that lying is a sin,
Actually Muhammad said "war is deceit" - Bukhari 4:52:267
like murder and suicide,
Which Satan their Allah seems to condone.
so I guess Mr. Abu is telling the truth. Otherwise, one might suppose there was some other reason why they had someone with Alan Johnston all the time.
They did not want him to be lonely. Also maybe they were stealing food from his £70 a week trays from "one of the best eateries in Gaza"


Which Harry Potter character are you?

I scored as Harry Potter, I can be a little reckless and hot-headed at times, but a more brave and courageous friend would be hard to find.

Harry Potter


Albus Dumbledore


Severus Snape


Ron Weasley


Sirius Black


Remus Lupin


Draco Malfoy


Ginny Weasley


Hermione Granger


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
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