December 31, 2004
Beslan Donates To Tsunami Relief
The Courier-Mail reports that the North Ossetian town of Beslan in Russia, still mourning 344 murders - half of them children - by terrorists, has contributed $37,500 to the tsunami relief effort.
"Our council decided to transfer a million rubles to help those suffering from the disaster in Asia," said Maerbek Tuayev, who is in charge of municipal council efforts to raise funds for families of the victims of the September hostage taking.
"The residents of Beslan have not forgotten how the whole world mobilised for them. We will always mobilise for people suffering from disasters or terrorism around the world."
Memories of the massacre in Beslan are ugly. The residents' resilience and generosity warm the heart.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Are Terrorists Revolutionaries?
I'm not going to re-hash my views on this subject as I've already done so and explained the professor's comparison, however some interesting debate seems to be taking place. Shoot on over and take a gander.
Steven Taylor also joins into the fray of this debate with some excellent points.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
December 30, 2004
Professor Compares 9/11 Terro
There are very few articles written or words said that truly upset me. I may not like some of the references made by some prominent politicians and/or journalists, however I usually take them with a grain of salt. The below is not one of those.
History is made by people who seize the moments that circumstances offer and bend them to their purposes. When the conditions are adverse, they nurse their purposes, their dreams of freedom, dignity and power, so that when their moment arrives, they are ready to seize it, even at the cost of their lives.
On April 19, 1775, 700 British troops reached Concord, Massachusetts, to disarm the American colonists who were preparing to start an insurrection. When the British ordered them to disperse, the colonists fired back at the British soldiers. This “shot heard ‘round the world” heralded the start of an insurrection against Britain, the greatest Western power of its time. And when it ended, victorious, in 1783, the colonists had gained their objective. They had established a sovereign but slave-holding republic, the United States of America.
The colonists broke away because this was economically advantageous to their commercial and landed classes. As colonists, they were ruled by a parliament in which they were not represented, and which did not represent their interests. The colonies were not free to protect and develop their own commerce and industries. Their bid for independence was made all the more attractive because it was pressed under the banner of liberty. The colonial elites had imbibed well the lessons of the Enlightenment, and here in the new world, they had an opportunity to harness liberty in the service of their economic interests. Backed by the self interest of their landed and commercial elites, and inspired by revolutionary ideas, the colonists had a dream worth pursuing. They were prepared to die for this dream – and to kill. They did: and they won.
On September 11, 2001, nineteen Arab hijackers too demonstrated their willingness to die – and to kill – for their dream. They died so that their people might live, free and in dignity. The manner of their death – and the destruction it wreaked – is not merely a testament to the vulnerabilities that modern technology has created to clandestine attacks. After all, skyscrapers and airplanes have co-existed peacefully for many decades. The attacks of 9-11 were in many ways a work of daring and imagination too; if one can think objectively of such horrors. They were a cataclysmic summation of the history of Western depredations in the Middle East: the history of a unity dismembered, of societies manipulated by surrogates, of development derailed and disrupted, of a people dispossessed. The explosion of 9-11 was indeed a “shot heard ‘round the world.”
How dare writer M. Shahid Alam compare those who killed over 3,000 innocent civilians on another country's soil to those who fought back at soldiers. Even an imbecile could tell whether or not a target is legitimate or not. Civilians are not legitimate targets in a war while soldiers and officers are.
Not only is Alam's article historically inaccurate, I know big shock, it also tries to explain away the radical islamic ideology in ways that it should not be explained. Simply put, it's not true. The dream of the terrorists in Al Qaeda is to re-create Persia under an Islamic rule. They hate the fact the United States, a country which operates under a Democracy, is even in the same area. They see Democracy as evil because it puts the people at the same level as God in their view. Of course they don't recognize how an Islamic cleric running the country would be the same, but then again the terrorist mindset is far from reality.
One of my ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence, something I'm of course very proud of. An immigrant who is enjoying the freedoms our ancestors fought and died for now wants to compare those who have no regard for human life the same as those who fight for freedom.
Terrorists do not fight for freedom. They fight to suppress people. They literally try to scare people into doing nothing for themselves and hope they fall in line with their ideology. Terrorists actively recruit people to strap explosives to their belts and march into crowded market places to kill as many people who are just trying to make a living or buy food for their families.
Those who helped found this country rebelled against being taxed without recieving representation. They fought for the rights granted by God. They fought to create a utopian government as best man can put together. They fought to have equal right while respecting all walks of life.
No two groups can be further apart, however Alam isn't the only one not to understand this. There have been Americans who have called terrorists killing our soldiers and innocent Iraqis "freedom fighters" and Minutemen. The problem is that Alam is a professor at Northwestern University therefore he has interaction with today's youth. He can bring not only a completely wrong view of what radical islam is to those who will be the future of this country.
As a young American myself, I can only hope there are more people that see these types of things like I do. Forget politics, this isn't a political issue. This is a moral issue where Alam is teaching immoral acts are equivalent to a revolution against a government taking the people for granted.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Saudis Kill 10 al Qaeda Suspects
Saudi security forces killed 10 suspected al Qaeda militants during raids and shootouts in the past two days, including a gunman who is on the kingdom's most wanted list, the Interior Ministry said Thursday. A ministry statement read out on state television said three militants were killed on Tuesday while police shot dead seven on Wednesday after two suicide car bombs exploded in Riyadh. [continue]Good news in an otherwise dreary holiday season. The events of the past week have only made my vacation more depressing. What would really make me happy would be the Saudis ending their support of radical expansionist Islam around the world.
And as long as I'm spending a few minutes at the keyboard let me add this question just to mix things up a bit. Where is Osama bin Laden?
I've been saying off and on that Africa is the best bet. Bin Laden is a mystic who may be holed up in the place where his 'prophetic powers' first were revealed to the faithful: Somolia. Pure speculation, but there it is.
Another thought, though, has occured to me recently: Iraq. As much as bin Laden likes to think that Allah revealed the weakness of America in Somalia, his experiences in Afghanistan fighting the Soviets shaped his view of warfare. In his recent messages to the faithful he has used the protracted war in Afghanistan as the military model for defeating the US in Iraq. So, maybe bin Laden has decided to return to the center of action.
Just a thought.
PS: As i posted this I noticed the Interested Participant's news that a top al Qaeda figure in Iraq was captured. Maybe this New Year will be better than last?
Senior Zarqawi Aide Captured
The Iraqi government announced that Fadil Hussain Ahmed al-Kurdi, 26, a senior member of the Al Qaeda-linked network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was captured in a raid in Baghdad along with two other terrorists. Kurdi, AKA Ridha, is the brother of Umar Baziyani, a Zarqawi lieutenant captured last May.
"Ridha was responsible for facilitating communications between Al Qaeda and the Zarqawi terror networks as well as coordinating the movement of terrorists in and out of Iraq," a Government statement said.
"Both Ridha and Umar Baziyani remain in detention and are being question [sic] by Iraqi and coalition forces."
"Ibrahim Ahmad Abdel Majeed al-Reemy, a Yemeni national, was among the seven militants killed on Wednesday evening," the source said.
Reemy, who does not figure on the Saudi kingdom's most-wanted list, is a "big shot in Al-Qaeda and is believed to be the link between the organisation in Saudi Arabia and bin Laden himself," the source said.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Terrorists Attack U.S. Base in Mosul
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents tried to ram a truck with half a ton of explosives into a U.S. military post in the northern city of Mosul on Thursday then ambushed reinforcements in a huge gunbattle in which 25 rebels and one American soldier were killed. Warplanes fired missiles and strafed gunmen during the fight.
The assault on the outpost, which U.S. soldiers finally repulsed, appeared to be better coordinated than past attacks, with guerrillas apparently pulling out their strongest assaults in an effort to derail Jan. 30 elections, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Hastings said.
"The terrorists are growing more desperate in their attempts to derail the elections and they're trying to put it all on the line and give it all they can," Hastings said.
This base was the scene of the suicide bombings inside a mess hall tent. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet, all the signs point to the work of Ansar al-Sunnah based upon where the attack occured and how it was carried out.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
The Politics of Disaster
Greetings, Jawa Report Readers. I am Mike, otherwise known as The Maximum Leader from Nakedvillainy.com. The good Dr. Rusty invited me to guest blog during his vacation, and I am now going to take him up on his offer. First I would like to tip my hat to the other guest bloggers here who have really done a tremendous job in Rusty’s absence. (Humm… Perhaps doing a better job than Rusty himself? Do I smell a coup?)
I wanted to comment on the ongoing tsunami disaster. I, aside from the feelings of compassion for the victims and survivors of the Asian Tsunami that we all feel, have some other comments to make on this disaster.
And by the way, check out the Command Post for a comprehensive listing of charities to which you could donate.
Some of the science concerning what has happened is quite fascinating. The Earth's rotation itself may have been affected. And islands around the earthquake area may have actually moved. Some islands, rather than moving, appear to have been swallowed by the sea.
Scientists also are reporting that while there will be aftershocks, they do not anticipate more killer waves. One hopes this is a minor blessing.
And, outside the science of the tsunami there is, as always, the politics of disasters. Much hay has been made concerning the "stingy" comment from Jan Egeland of the United Nations. At the time the comment was made the US had contributed $15 million to disaster relief. At the time the comment was made, that $15 million represented the largest donation from a western nation to date. The US has now donated $35 million to relief. President Bush pledges more money and other aid.
I was stung by the "stingy" comment. As were many others. That comment showed a number of things. First off it showed the insularity of the world in which so many UN officals live. They don't understand anything outside their organization, and they only see the UN as an altruistic world-government-in-waiting that only needs more money from rich countries to solve the world's problems.
The second thing it showed was a stupendous ignorance of how the US appropriates money. In case you didn't know (and I don’t suspect the informed readers of The Jawa Report wouldn’t know this), the President or Secretary of State don't just take money out of the Treasury and spend it. It is appropriated by Congress. It can only be appropriated by Congress. Every year the Congress appropriates money for the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) for disaster relief. Money is also appropriated for other departments to be spend for disaster relief. It is this previously appropriated money that is being spent now. Additional funds will need to be voted on and approved by Congress. And in case commentators didn't know it, Congress is not in session right now. Our nations law-makers (and money appropriators) are on holiday and will not be back until around January 10. This limits the amount of money the United States has to allocate to relief at this point. Why isn't that little tidbit being reported?
Do not fear, we will donate more. We will be the leader in this effort. Just as we always are. In 2004 nearly a quarter of all money given in relief for natural disasters around the world came from the US. We are the largest donor in these situations. We may have been a little slow to act (and even that claim is debatable), but we are in it for the long haul.
And all this talk of relief by governments doesn't even begin to count the millions that will come from normal Americans donating their own money from their own pockets to help those people around the world they've never met, seen, or in some cases heard of before. We are the most generous people in the world, and we rarely get credit for it.
Now I mentioned that we may have been a little slow on the uptake. I believe that President Bush was too slow in making some sort of visible public statement of compassion. I do not feel that the President doesn't feel compassion for the suffering (as was implied by Matt Lauer on the Today Show this morning – Lauer and his guests speculated that the President didn’t care because he didn’t know anything about the region). The President and his staff probably wanted to wait and get more information before speaking publicly about what the US response would be. While that may be a smart move tactically, it was not a smart move from the perspective of image-building. The President should have made some brief remarks sooner and said that details of the US response would be forthcoming.
I do not doubt that the role of the US will be great in this relief effort. I only hope that the full role of the US will be appreciated when all is said and done. That is very unlikely, but I can still hope.
This was cross posted on Nakedvillainy.com
New Iraq Signs First Oil Contract
According to this Sydney Morning Herald report, the Iraqi Oil Ministry has awarded a contract, the first since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, to develop the Kormale Dome oil field in the northern province of Irbil. Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said the contract was a $136 million joint venture agreement among three companies, the Kar Company of Iraq, Turkey's Avrasya, and Britain-based Dynamic Processing Solutions. Kormale Dome is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of oil and 100 million cubic meters of gas per day.
To address the frequent terrorist attacks on pipelines and other facilities, spokesman Jihad said the Ministry would soon open bidding for contracts to provide security services. Naturally, these developments are good news and it's interesting that security is going to be contracted out. Rather than have the government provide security, the Ministry appears to prefer a rental guard force. The relative effectiveness of a private security force will surely be scrutinized.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
December 29, 2004
1. The S.M.Joshi memorial foundation's Arogya Sena is planning to send a team of medical experts and volunteers to Tamil Nadu and other affected places to assist in the relief operations. Those wishing to join the effort may contact Dr Abhijit Vaidya on Pune mobile no.98505 88008 (prefix 0 while dialling from outside Pune).
2. Rotary club of Pune Riverside is sending a team of Rorarians with relief material for Tamil Nadu, Andamans, Andhra and Kerala. The team is leaving Pune on 1st Jan.2005. Relief material like packaged food, vessels, biscuits and blankets can be handed over to them. For details contact, Rohit Jerajani on Pune Ph.26134686.
3. On behalf of Women's Collective based in Chennai, NGO Maitri is accepting the following: Rice (in sealed bags of 1 kg.), bed sheets and funds. A collection centre is being opened at Padale Palace, off Karve Road, Pune (Ph.25446511).
For any details regarding material to be sent to local Red Cross office at M.G.Road,Pune OR contributions to be made, please call me at Pune cell no.98220 04752 or write in at email@example.com. Vijaya
Bush Promises More Aid to Tsunami Victims
I have stayed quiet on the tsunami front for a variety of reasons, primarily because I'm too shocked it happened to be able to effectively write on this topic. I still won't cover it as far as the tragedy, but I will cover it from the area of terrorism and what it could mean for the GWOT.
Today, President Bush announced the U.S. is committed for long-term aid to the region. He also announced a coallition of nations dedicated to providing aid.
Bush said he phoned the leaders of stricken countries to solicit specific needs and assure them the initial aid package "is only the beginning of our help." He also laid the foundation for a long-term international recovery plan by forming the coalition with Japan, Australia and India and inviting other nations to join.
To me this is where things can get interesting and should effect the GWOT. I'll try my best to explain why, however like always my readers must draw the final conclusions.
Australia and Japan remain two of our strongest allies in almost every single undertaking we take. Both countries' governments and people should be applauded by every American based upon their continued support. Our relationship with India has soured slightly, however the two countries remain friends and Indians are one of this nation's fastest growing minorities.
The area effected by the tsunami is directly in the path of where many terrorists start bases and train jihadists. Indonesia is reported as being a nation with several Al Qaeda linked terrorist groups. While I wouldn't be sad if those were the people that died, that isn't the case. India has it's own jihadists as well. The massive support again will help our country's image that was damaged by the UN oil-for-food scandal as well as internal strife.
With the United States supplying as much aid as they are and forming a coallition with other nations to provide aid, we should get more support in the region that will help fester anti-Americanism. Al Qaeda terrorists recruit on the basis of fighting the evil Americans and Westerners. If the rest of the West can step up to the plate in terms of aid to the tsunami effected region, this will either completely take away or severely damage this recruiting tactic.
Of course I do not believe this is the reason why President Bush announced what he did, but it's a great side effect. This is not just a public relations mission, though it can be turned into a great pr opportunity if the United States government starts to realize the power of pr.
What often goes unreported when amount of aid is discussed is raw materials (food, water, wood, etc.). Individual donations also usually go unreported. This is part of the reason why the U.S. has a bad rap with giving aid, which is unfair once the above in included. We as a nation must continue to step up and show our generosity to those who were effected by a tragedy, no matter what country of origin they are.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Macktastic Comix - Part I
Concluded this weekend provided I'm still allowed to post.
Laser Directed at Airliner Cockpit
(Cleveland, Ohio) Using a sophisticated laser system, someone targeted the cockpit of an airplane on approach to Cleveland-Hopkins Airport. The flight originated Monday in Washington, D.C., and was traveling at 300MPH at 8,500 to 10,000 feet when the beam of green light invaded the cockpit. The laser is believed to have come from suburban Warrensville Heights. The FBI and the FAA are investigating. At present, it's unknown whether the incident was a prank or something more sinister.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Tip Leads to Explosion
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A powerful explosion in a house in west Baghdad killed at least 29 people and wounded 18, police said Wednesday. They described the blast as an ambush staged by insurgents.
Police were en route to a raid in Baghdad's Ghazaliya neighborhood late Tuesday after an anonymous call tipped them about a suspected militant hideout in the neighborhood, an official in Ghazaliya police station said.
As they were about to enter the house, an explosion erupted from inside, he added.
At least 29 people were killed, including 7 policemen, and 18 others were injured. Six houses collapsed in the blast and several people are believed to be still trapped underneath the rubble.
This is a good news, bad news incident. First the bad news. It's a shame this terrorist felt like killing 29 people and injuring 18 others while blowing up some homes. Now the good news. The Iraqi police found this man, who in turn detonated the explosive, through an anonymous tip.
Times Online is reporting Iraqi police are investigating whether or not they were led into a trap. According to the U.S. military, the house has around two tons of explosives in it, making it at the very least a bomb factory. At this time it is unknown if the blast was triggered in martyrdom or if it was a planned event.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Explosions in Riyadh
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A suicide attacker tried to drive his bomb-laden car into the Interior Ministry complex, and militants set off another bomb and exchanged fire with police late Wednesday in Riyadh, capital of a kingdom at war with Muslim extremists.
The first explosion at about 8:35 p.m. shattered windows and sent smoke and flames rising into the nighttime sky near the ministry in central Riyadh. Police officials said a suicide car bomber had tried to storm the ministry, but failed and instead exploded his car just outside.
A number of policemen were injured, a ministry official said, without elaborating. The ministry, which is in charge of Saudi security forces, is key to leading the crackdown that Saudi Arabia has led against Islamic militants this year.
Saudi Arabia killed three suspected terrorists just this past week. Couple the killings with the Bin Laden message targeting Saudi Arabia and there is reason to believe the attack today was some sort of paypack and/or carrying out Bin Laden's message.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Ramsey Clark to Defend Saddam
For a reference on how out of touch Clark is, left-leaning Salon calls he "A war criminals best friend." He's written many letters to the United Nations where he naturally bashes President Bush and the United States.
Here's a transcript of a speech he gave in Los Angeles in 1998 complaining of the sanctions against Iraq. Keep in mind, this is while the top five intelligence agencies in the world thought Iraq had WMDs.
Ramsey Clark's legacy as an anti-American wouldn't be complete without a call to impeach President Bush or his book concerning U.S. war crimes in the Persian Gulf. Of course this is the same Ramsey Clark who tried to defend Milosevic when even the UN considered Molosevic a war criminal.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Break Out the Rain Gear and the Tin Foil Hats
Paul at Wizbang has done an extraordinary job of compiling some of the latest moonbat conspiracy theories out there. Did you know that the earthquake that caused the tsunami that killed over 60,000 people was Bush's fault? It's also the fault of right-wing Republicans who are driving our three to four kids around in our SUV trying to buy gifts around Christmas time.
Oh and by the way, while people died from tsunamis, Bush has done nothing which is why someone wants to impeach Bush. My only question is what is Bush supposed to do? He has a cabinet and the cabinet members are the ones handling aid.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
San Francisco Voting to Ban Handguns
San Francisco supervisors want voters to approve a sweeping handgun ban that would prohibit almost everyone except law enforcement officers, security guards and military members from possessing firearms in the city.
The measure, which will appear on the municipal ballot next year, would bar residents from keeping guns in their homes or businesses, Bill Barnes, an aide to Supervisor Chris Daly, said Wednesday. It would also prohibit the sale, manufacturing and distribution of handguns and ammunition in San Francisco, as well as the transfer of gun licenses.
Barnes said the initiative is a response to San Francisco's skyrocketing homicide rate, as well as other social ills. There have been 86 murders in the city so far this year compared to 70 in all of 2003.
Now I ask you something. Of the 86 murders this year, how many were done by handguns? Of the handguns that attributed to the 86 murders, how many were legally purchased handguns? How many handguns murdered someone without a person pulling the trigger?
This law is not only against the Bill of Rights, but it doesn't make any sense. Guns used in homicides are overwhelmingly purchased on the black market. Very few guns used in homicides are legal guns, therefore what good is a law to band handguns going to do considering there are many more illegal guns used in acts of violence than the legal guns they will now ban?
After I read this story, I thanked God I live in a state where you can apply to carry a concealed handgun, not a city where only the crooks can carry them.
The only other city in the United States with a handgun ban is Washington DC, which banned them in 1976. Homicide did go up in Washington DC and DC still remains the city with the highest homicide rate in the U.S. despite a ban on handguns. Guess what is the weapon of choice for murderers in DC? Guns, not just handguns though.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
What a Ride
Some jackass decided it would be the fun thing to do and broke my back window out of my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Out of all of the windows someone could break, they break the one I look out of the most with tint (front windshield doesn't have tint). Naturally the cost of repair will be around $500, but thankfully I have full insurance and won't pay a dime other than the cost of gas to drive my happy ass up to the dealership.
This is the strange thing about it though. They didn't take anything! Not as if I had anything valuable in my car, but they could have taken something. I had an ice scrapper, Maglite, jumper cables, two truck tie-downs and three of my favorite hats in arms reach. Does the person who broke the window not like anything of mine? If they don't, then that's the ultimate put-down.
They risk getting caught and getting thrown in jail for vandalism (five other cars in my neighborhood last night alone), make me clean up tiny pieces of glass in which I cut my hands a few times, lose whatever object they threw at the car and they don't even bother to take anything to reward them of their quest? What kind of sick, young f&*@ does stuff like this?
Life is about risks and rewards. The person took the risk of getting caught and thrown into the city pound-me-in-the -___ prison, he should have at least taken a reward. My Chicago Cubs hat might look good on him. It's practically brand new.
So, anywho, blogging will be light today while I try to replace my back window and make sure they are connecting the defroster correctly, and the rear windshield wiper, and handle to open it, and the shocks to lift the window and the neon lighted sign that reads "Too Legit." It's a shame. Now I have to buy a new Texas Tech University sticker too. Maybe I'll get one of those silver car ornaments instead?
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
December 28, 2004
Anyone Game for Some Noodling?
Noodling anyone? I'll stick with a fly rod.
Zarqawi Takes Credit for Assassination Attempt
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The group of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility Tuesday for the assassination attempt against the leader of Iraq's largest Shiite Muslim party that killed and wounded dozens of people.
In a statement posted on an internet web site, al-Zarqawi's al-Qaida in Iraq said one of its members carried out the suicide attack near Abdel Aziz al-Hakim's office Monday that killed 15 people and wounded more than 50. Al-Hakim, who was not in the office but in his adjacent house, was not hurt.
The assassination attempt was thankfully a failure, which makes it a bit odd that Al Qaeda in Iraq is willing to take credit for a failed attempt. Zarqawi and his group has issued statements with failures before, however there have been numerous failed attempts of suicide bombings directed by Zarqawi they have not taken credit for.
In most communications from Tawhid wal Jihad (Al Qaeda in Iraq), credit is either taken for successful operations or denied from successful operations. The group is quick to take credit for the killing of several innocent Iraqis, which somehow makes them feel proud. While people did die in the assassination attempt, it did not kill the intended target.
While Al Qaeda in Iraq wants nothing more than Democracy to fail in Iraq, which is why they target Iraqi officials, they missed their ultimate goal. Was the suicide bomber too quick to pull the trigger like other terrorists?
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Damn You Glenn Reynolds!!!!
The Jawa Report got it's first Instalanche!! Maybe I should stay on vacation, like, forever? After begging Reynolds for a link for about 9 months I gave up on him. But he finally, of his own free will, links to this old post on Johnny Ramone. Why does this piss me off? Well, after I hit number 33 in the Ecosystem (granted the Ecosystem was screwed up at the time) I made it my goal to be the first Mortal Human to never get an Instalanche. Now Reynolds has to drop a link and take away my last ounce of dignity.
Reynoooolds!! (screamed out loud, eyes to heaven, think "Khaaaan!!")
Anyway, still on vacation. Limited access to the internet. Chad is doing excellent work banging away at the keys while I'm gone. Thanks for keeping us all informed man.
Interested Participant, Cranky Neocon, Flea, Buckethead have also been busy keping it real--Old School style. Thanks.
Don't know where BRD and Demosophist are. Maybe holed up in an Idaho bunker or something waiting for the Y2k thing to finally hit five years late.
Ok, back to visiting with relatives. How can one be both bored and extremely busy at the same time??
Tsunami Death Toll Exceeds 55,000
The extent of the disastrous undersea earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra is becoming clearer. Channel AsiaNews reports confirmed deaths at 27,174 in Indonesia, more than 17,640 in Sri Lanka, 8,523 in India, 4,000 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 1,439 in Thailand, 65 in Malaysia, 90 in Myanmar, 55 in The Maldives, 100 in Somalia, 10 in Tanzania, 2 in Bangladesh for a total greater than 55,000. Xinhua reports similar numbers.
Officials warn that the figures are expected to rise steeply.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Beheading Video Shown at Rock Concert
(Urayasu, Japan) For more than ten minutes, a rock band named Klack showed a video of the terrorist beheading of 24-year-old backpacker Shosei Koda at a concert Sunday. It's not clear how many people expressed outrage, however, the sponsoring Tokyo Broadcasting System angrily stated it had no foreknowledge of the stunt and voiced apologies to all who were offended.
If the members of the group Klack believes that a beheading video enhances their concerts, just how bad is their music. Obviously, they're shamelessly inconsiderate of the sensibilities of the public and the family and friends of Shosei Koda.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Sunnis Withdraw from Iraq Election
BAGHDAD, Dec. 27 -- The largest political party representing Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority announced Monday that it would drop out of the Jan. 30 election, dealing a fresh blow to the vote's credibility on the same day the top Shiite Muslim candidate survived a car bombing.
The withdrawal of the Iraqi Islamic Party, combined with the assassination attempton cleric Abdul Aziz Hakim, heightened concerns that the parliamentary election may produce a lopsided result, further alienating Sunni areas where the armed insurgency is growing.
I would imagine there was a very minor effect from the assassination attempt of a Shiite leader and an even bigger effect from Osama Bin laden's audio tape calling for a boycott of elections. While the Sunnis and Al Qaeda terrorists have different goals, they are in fact cooperating and have been for well over a year inside of Iraq.
The Sunnis primary goal is to stop Democracy from entering Iraq because they are a minority and they also had all the power under Saddam Hussein. Al Qaeda's primary goal is to reunite Persia under Islamic rule which Democracy in Iraq would crush this dream of Bin Laden's. Both groups are willing to cooperate in order to keep Democracy out of Iraq.
There are many Baathists among the Sunni ranks and Sunni terrorists are responsible for hundreds of Iraqi deaths and a few Coallition deaths as well. Sunnis were held up in Fallujah until the Coallition cleared the city and they are actively supporting the terrorist's war by every means available.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
NHSA: Teens Can't Handle SUVs
Washington, DC, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A U.S. traffic safety group says teenage drivers are often incapable of driving sport utility vehicles safely, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The National Highway Safety Administration said that 49 people aged 15 to 20 died in SUV and pickup truck accidents in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia last year.
The group says SUVs have a higher center of gravity and are harder to control in an emergency, which makes inexperienced drivers more likely than others to end up as statistics.
I can think of another large demographic that cannot control SUVs too. I'll let me readers infer as to which I mean.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
UN Criticizes U.S. For Stinginess
After the Bush administration pledged $15 million in immediate relief aid for tsunami victims and directed the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to send a 21-member disaster-relief team to the region, the Norwegian-born UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland said the U.S. is stingy and should raise taxes to give more.
Thanks for the suggestion, Mr. Egeland. In return I'd like to suggest you have your entire paycheck donated to relief efforts. It's also worth mentioning that if you're attempting to rekindle an American fondness for the UN, you are going at it all wrong. Let the American people decide what our taxes should be. The next time you want to weigh in on U.S. tax policy, with all due respect, put a sock in it.
[Update] From a commenter, those interested in relaying some pleasantries to Mr. Jan Egeland, his phone and fax numbers are displayed here.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
In Case You Were Wondering If The War On Terror Was Effective
Consider that on September 11, 2001 Osama bin Laden organized an assault on the United States that led to the deaths of 3,000 people and the destruction of an American symbol of prosperity.
On December 27, 2004, Osama urges a "boycott" of Iraqi elections.
Osama bin Laden endorsed Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and called for a boycott of next month's elections there.
Ouch. His pals on IndyMedia have been advocates of such hard-hitting calls to action for years now.
I predict that sometime in the next six months Osama will organize a protest where his loyal Mujhadeen will wear paper-mache heads of Tony Blair and George Bush. They will march, then in a symbolic gesture, drink Coors and induce vomiting to symbolically show their outrage at corporate excesses. Due to cultural misunderstandings, however, we will completely agree that Coors is piss-water. Sales of Sam Adams (Brewer-Patriot) will skyrocket.
(cross posted at Cranky Neocon)
December 27, 2004
Colorado Springs - Colorado drivers have less than a week before they will start getting fined for using the left lane of highways for anything but passing.
Starting Jan. 1, troopers will stop warning drivers and start issuing $35 tickets, plus a $6.20 surcharge and three points on their license.
A six-month-old law says the left lane is to be used only for passing on any of Colorado's multilane highways where the speed limit is 65 mph or faster. Lawmakers passed the bill, hoping to prevent traffic congestion and cut down on road rage.
"When I learned to drive, they told me, 'The left lane is for passing. The right lane is for driving,"' State Patrol Trooper Sara Shipley said recently.
As I consider Colorado my second state and hopeful future destination, I can't believe they are finally doing something about this. Never before have I seen more people who go under the speed limit park in the left lane of traffic on an interstate. The right lane is usually the faster of two lanes, however due to rush-hour traffic, the right lane gets clogged when people are trying to exit the highway.
I was in the Denver area for about a month over the Summer when this law became active. People were protesting the law while outsiders were laughing as to why this was even an issue. I can confirm this is an issue and it's about damn time Colorado officers will start enforcing it.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Terrorist Blows Himself Up Trying to Make a Bomb
An insurgent accidentally has killed himself and four members of his family in Iraq's southern city of Karbala.
Police say a bomb he was making exploded inside his house.
Unfortunately a woman was hurt in the blast, however I'm hardly saddened by the terrorist killing himself trying to make a bomb. In fact, I'm rather pleased. A terrorist killing himself, and only himself, should be awarded 72 virgins and the state of martyrdom.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
What he said
Just to second the Cranky Neocon. Though I am still on a vacation blogging schedule too so it's not like I am making a constructive contribution...
While The Jawa Is Away
Rusty's people called my people this afternoon. They were concerned that Chad's writing was giving this site too much respectability while the Ruster was on vacation.
"Can I my add own personal brand of bling-bling?" his PR man Jimmy Tusken asks me.
"Babe, the Cranky Neocon can do that," I reply.
So enjoy a few of my special touches around here. I'll be blogging until Rusty returns or he takes the keys away. Whichever comes first.
Bin Laden Releases Tape to Boycott Iraq Elections
CAIRO, Egypt - In an audiotape broadcast Monday by Al-Jazeera satellite television, a man purported to be Osama bin Laden endorsed Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and called for a boycott of next month's elections there.
The voice on the tape described al-Zarqawi as the "emir," or prince, of al-Qaida in Iraq and said Muslims there should "listen to him."
The man speaking on the tape also referred to an October statement in which al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, declared allegiance to bin Laden and changed his group's name to al-Qaida in Iraq. The speaker called that "a great step on the path of unifying all the mujahedeen in establishing the state of righteousness and ending the state of injustice."
The statements by Bin Laden show more and more his intentions on switching to a diplomat rather than a terrorist. While the key to the statement, as translated at least, is the following phrase:
a great step on the path of unifying all the mujahedeen in establishing the state of righteousness and ending the state of injustice
The state of righteousness is in fact an Islamic state, but more correctly termed as the return to the idea of Persia under Islamic rule. It would be a large area of the Middle East, actually all of it if it were true to historical standards, under one government. The government would be an Islamic rule, much like Iran is run under today.
While there have been many people who have tried to explain away Al Qaeda's long-term goals in the Middle East as nothing more than getting rid of infidels, the larger goal of Al Qaeda is in fact a reunification of the Middle East into one country. Of course that country would have to be under Islamic rule where women are stoned and beaten because they can be and where poverty will flourish because of the lack of a quality economic system in an Islamic government.
No Democracy in Iraq would make Bin Laden and his supporters happy. A Democracy puts too much power into the hands of the people. It also, in the eyes of Bin Laden, puts people on the same platform as Allah. Only an Islamic government would, somehow, make a difference between the people of a nation and Allah.
I still question why, using the above, the top leaders of a Islamic nation would not be equal with Allah, however 99.9 percent of Bin Laden's statements and actions have made no sense and contradict each other. Then again, that's the Religion of Peace for you run under the nutbags that too many seem to support.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Al Qaeda Plotting Attack in London
A secret intelligence report has revealed that security chiefs believe al-Qaeda may target New Year celebrations across Britain, The Telegraph has learned.
The document, which has been distributed to every military base in Britain warns that "crowded places or events" are under "a severe threat" of attack from terrorist bombers. The report, which is marked "restricted", is understood to have been compiled by military intelligence specialists, MI5 and Special Branch officers.
Under the heading "International Terrorism", the report warns that military personnel and establishments within the Government Security Zone in central London, which includes Horse Guards in Whitehall, and Buckingham and St James's Palaces, face a "substantial" threat of attack. It says military bases across the country are also facing a similar threat.
The report, which is part of a monthly security update for the armed forces, adds that the threat "comes from al-Qaeda and associated terrorist groups". It continues: "Targeting against US and UK interests both at home and abroad remains a priority for al-Qaeda. Their attacks - including the Madrid train bombings in March - have been against soft targets with the aim of creating as many casualties as possible."
The investigations by MI5 have disrupted Al Qaeda plots in England before. I only hope this investigation has done the same because they arrested 10 Al Qaeda suspects just last week. In September, the Leader of the Commons (Peter Hain) warned of an Al Qaeda plot to detonate a dirty bomb in Westminister. While these two may be entirely unrelated, it does give reason for pause.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Shia Leader Dodges Suicide Bomber
The head of Iraq’s leading Shia Muslim political party narrowed escaped assassination today when a suicide car bomber blew himself up outside his headquarters, killing 15 people and wounding dozens more.
The attempt on the life of Ayatollah Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) came just five weeks before the country’s first post-war elections, which were today plunged into fresh chaos as the main Sunni political party said it would boycott the polls.
Question of the day. If you launch a martyrdom operation and actually miss your target yet still kill 15 innocent bystandards, do you get 72 virgins or do you get laughed at by your terrorist friends?
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
December 26, 2004
Could a school find something more useful to spend their time debating then banning?
Hat tip: The Roth Report
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Two Al Qaeda Terrorists Arrested in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces captured two senior figures in al-Qaida's branch in Iraq, the U.S. military said Saturday, and one of Turkey's richest businessmen was reported kidnapped, appearing in a video along with a weeping employee saying they were being held hostage.
The U.S. Marines said Saturday they captured two men who led cells in Anbar province for Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaida in Iraq network. The province is a center for the insurgency and home to the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.
A Marines statement identified the men as Saleh Arugayan Kahlil and Bassim Mohammad Hazeem. Their cells kidnapped and executed 11 Iraqi National Guardsmen, carried out car bombings and other attacks in the Ramadi area and "smuggled foreign terrorists into the country," the Marines said.
"This group is responsible for intimidating, attacking and murdering innocent Iraqi civilians, Iraqi police and security forces, and business and political leaders throughout the Unbar province," the statement said.
Great news concerning the capture of two Al Qaeda members directly ties to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group 'Al Qaeda in Iraq' (Tawhid wal Jihad). My only concern is that the matter was publicized which could effect any interrogation tactics that should be used to find the leadership of the group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Iraqis and many non-Iraqis including the beheadings of Jack Hensley, Eugene Armstrong and Nicholas Berg among others.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Turkish Businessman Taken Hostage
ANKARA, Turkey - One of Turkey's richest businessmen said he has been kidnapped in Iraq, appearing in a video aired Saturday alongside one of his weeping employees and saying they were being treated well by their captors.
Kahraman Sadikoglu, president of the Istanbul-based Tuzla Shipyard, and ship captain Ahmet Yurtdas had not been heard from since they left the southern Iraqi city of Basra by land on Dec. 16, according to their families.
The footage did not say who was holding the two men or mention demands.
Several newspapers said a ransom demand of $25 million had been made, but Foreign Ministry officials and family members of the hostages refused to confirm the reports.
"Today is Dec. 23. We were captured four or five days ago," Sadikoglu said on the videotape, broadcast on Turkish television. "We're fine and they will check us out, what we're doing here, and will hopefully release us. God is Great."
Sadikoglu said he was working for the United Nations and the Iraqi government on a project clearing harbors of sunken ships. "We don't have any problems with the Iraqi government, we're creating jobs and food for the Iraqis," he said. "If that is a crime too, then we will accept the punishment."
Hopefully Sadikoglu will be freed and if the reports indicating a ransom has been called for, his release is more probable. He was however working to better lives of Iraqis and pursue Democracy inside of Iraq therefore he is a target as designated by the two main terrorist groups in Iraq.
With a growing hostage trade, though it has quieted down significantly since the U.S. and Iraqi forces cleared Fallujah, Sadikoglu may end up in the hands of terrorists who could care less about money and only care about making a statement by beheading anyone helping Iraqis.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Suicide Bomber Not Iraqi National Guard Soldier
The suicide bomber who attacked the mess hall in Mosul, Iraq was not a member of the Iraqi National Guard according to a top Iraqi General. Ansar al-Sunnah released a video of the attack which I've been unable to locate at present. Two of their sites have been taken down and the exact placement of the video is not known.
The bomber is believed to have recieved help from moles working inside the base, entering the main gate wearing an Iraqi National Guard uniform with the help of a guard. He was able to enter the base with a police identification under the premise of fixing air conditioning units.
General Babaker B. Shawkat Zebari also commented upon Syria's role in feeding the terrorism within Iraq.
Zebari said foreign fighters are still entering Iraq from Syria.
"I don't know if the (Syrian) government is closing its eyes or the terrorists are finding their ways to cross," he said.
Zibari said six Arabs using forged Iraqi identity cards and carrying explosives were detained near the Syrian border on Thursday.
His comments came a day after Najaf's police commander, Ghaleb al-Jazaeri, said they detained an Iraqi who confessed to receiving training in a camp in Syria under the supervision of a Syrian military officer. The detainee is suspected in a bombing in Najaf this month that killed 54 people.
Ansar al-Sunnah, the terrorist group claiming responsibility for the Mosul attack, allegedly consists primarily of Iraqis however there has been a growing amount of evidence pointing to many foreigners joining the ranks of the group. Syria of course has housed, indoctrinated, armed and equiped terrorists heading into Iraq for months now with the government of Syria either looking the other direction or fueling the fire.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
December 25, 2004
...and may the Force be With you!!
December 24, 2004
Saudi Reporter: U.S. Steals Iraqi's Organs
"Secret European military intelligence reports indicate the transformation of the American humanitarian mission in Iraq into a profitable trade in the American markets through the practice of American physicians extracting human organs from the dead and wounded, before they are put to death, for sale to medical centers in America. A secret team of American physicians follow the troops during their attacks on Iraqi armed men to ensure quick [medical] operations for extracting some organs and transferring them to private operations rooms before they are transferred to America for sale.
"The reports confirm the finding of tens of mutilated cadavers or cadavers missing parts. Some were found without a head. The American military command could not offer reasons to explain the bewilderment about the missing parts, suggesting that this may have been caused by the penetration of bullets to the [missing] parts. But these excuses cannot be medically accepted. The reports also confirmed that the burning of bodies was deliberate in order to conceal the crime of organ extraction. [The reports] further indicate that American medical teams have [made] active and suspicious moves in Iraq to recruit some Iraqis to guide them to dead and critically injured individuals to engage in the extraction of organs. These teams offer $40 for every usable kidney and $25 for an eye. The reports confirm the finding of mutilated bodies in Fallujah. The reports indicate that the cadavers are immunized inside special cars to prevent the spread of the plague until the bodies are buried by their relatives.
What nonsense. Has a head ever been able to or even wanted to be transplanted? This follows a report where a television show in Iran accused Israel of stealing Palestinian children's eyes (via Gamblog).
I fully understand the need for a nation to demonize the enemy and of course this is nothing new. It happens on both sides of a war. During the Cold War for instance similar theories were written to demonize the United States.
My only question is this. Can't those who are trying to demonize the United States be a bit more realistic than this?
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Terrorist Website Admits Own Deaths
CAIRO, Egypt - A posting on an Islamic Web site Friday made a rare admission of significant casualties among insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq, saying 24 guerrillas, most of them non-Iraqi Arabs, were killed in battles in Fallujah the day before.
The posting on a site known as a clearinghouse for militant Muslim statements said three hours of fighting in Fallujah on Thursday resulted in the "martyrdom" of 24 fighters from different Islamic factions, 19 of them from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The rest were said to be Iraqis.
This is a rare admission, however it is interesting to note the countries of origin of the terrorists killed. Certain "intellectuals" and politicians would like you to believe the fighters in Iraq are Iraqis while Iraq's own government acknowledges many are foreign born.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Rumsfeld Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld paid U.S. troops in Iraq a surprise Christmas Eve visit after weeks of controversy over his handling of the war and perceived lack of sensitivity to U.S. forces and their families.
Rumsfeld's helicopter tour of Iraq on Friday took him to some of the country's most volatile cities -- Mosul, scene of this week's suicide attack on a U.S. military mess hall; Tikrit, ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's hometown; and Falluja, where U.S. troops battled Iraqi insurgents last month.
His last stop was in Baghdad where he met Iraqi President Ghazi Yawar in the heavily fortified Green Zone before heading to a hospital to visit wounded troops.
In Mosul Rumsfeld visited staff and patients at the 67th Combat Surgical Hospital, which dealt with the casualties from the attack on Tuesday that killed 18 Americans, the deadliest such attack since the war in Iraq began in March 2003.
It is fair game to question whether or not Rumsfeld has done the best job for the country, but it is not fair to question this man's heart with the autopen "controversey." Clearly the only controversey of the autopen was that it had to do with a man some loathe.
President Bush also called members of our armed forces to wish them a Merry Christmas. I guess someone refered to as a warmongering chimp also has a heart.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Murky Tariq Aziz
About a week ago, MSNBC reported that former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz is "ready to name names" and implicate Saddam Hussein in murder. Also reported was that he appeared "frail in orange prison garb and plastic handcuffs."
Today, a report from Xinhua states that Aziz "is unwilling to testify against Saddam Hussein at a future war crimes trial." And, according to his lawyer, Badi Aref Izzat, Aziz is in "good heath [sic] and spirits."
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
December 23, 2004
Decorate the Pole; Festivus is Here
GATHER around the Festivus pole and listen to a tale about a real holiday made fictional and then real again, a tale that touches on philosophy, King Lear, the pool at the Chateau Marmont hotel, a paper bag with a clock inside and, oh yes, a television show about nothing.
The first surprise is that from Tampa Bay, Fla., to Washington, from Austin, Tex., to Oxford, Ohio, many real people are holding parties celebrating Festivus, a holiday most believe was invented on an episode of "Seinfeld" first broadcast the week before Christmas in 1997.
"More and more people are familiar with what Festivus is, and it's growing," said Jennifer Galdes, a Chicago restaurant publicist who organized her first Festivus party three years ago. "This year many more people, when they got the invite, responded with, `Will there be an airing of the grievances and feats of strength?' "
As a bit of a Seinfeld fan that many friends of mine might have noticed, this story is just too funny not to post upon. One of my all-time favorite episodes of Seinfeld is the one with Festivus (behind The Chicken Roaster). Thankfully my family does not celebrate Festivus, though it might be nice to simply have a pole instead of decorate a Christmas tree every year. Sure, you have to store a pole, but you don't have to worry about spacing out the Christmas lights just perfect with a bulb at the end of every single branch as my late grandfather was a stickler about.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Tawhid wal Jihad Denies Involvement in Weekend Car Bombings
"We, Al-Qaida in Iraq, declare that we are not responsible for the explosions and operations in Karbala and Najaf and we tell anyone who supports Americans and joins them in their atheism and criminality that we will continue our jihad against you by all means," it said in a statement posted on the Internet.
The denial came a day after the arrest in Karbala of six suspects, including a citizen of a former Soviet republic, on suspicion of involvement in the attacks. Police spokesman Rahman Meshaway said Thursday that the unidentified foreigner had admitted getting training from al-Qaida in a European country.
Funny how Tawhid wal Jihad (Al Qaeda in Iraq) denies this car bombing yet proudly boasts of similar car bombings throughout Iraq followed by threats to anyone they deem is cooperating with Democracy. Of course the group had to insert the same threat they have used for well over a year now.
The six suspects that were arrested yesterday indicates an argument I've made before regarding jihadists training and being indoctrinated in Europe. As many of my readers know, these European jihadists travel to Syria where they are outfitted for terrorist activity and sent into Iraq. It is a disturbing cylce of events that we seem not to be able to handle. Then again, a little help from some of our European "allies" certainly could help curb the growing radical Islamic front in Europe.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Kofi Calls Bush
As much criticism as I've leveled at both Kofi Annan and the United Nations, I feel I should present a story that is positive towards Annan because at times I've been too critical of the oil-for-food swindler.
WASHINGTON - President Bush took a condolence call Thursday from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who said he mourned the loss of more than 20 people in an apparent suicide attack at a U.S. military outpost in Mosul, Iraq.
This was a kind gesture by the man who runs the UN, though I can't help if his comments regarding supporting the Iraqi people later in the article are accurate. If Annan truly supports the people of Iraq, he would send more than 22 UN electoral officials to Iraq for next month's historic elections. Then again, Annan doesn't believe the elections will happen.
A kind gesture of goodwill between Annan and President Bush is nice to hear, but for those words to resonate with Americans Annan needs to back his wording with action.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Suicide Bomber Wearing Iraqi Soldier Uniform
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The suicide bomber believed to have carried out this week's devastating attack on a U.S. military dining tent, killing more than 20 people, was probably wearing an Iraqi military uniform, a U.S. general said Thursday.
For background information, click here and here.
Even though it has not been confirmed the suicide bomber was wearing an Iraqi military uniform, for the sake of argument let's assume it has been confirmed. Naturally the question remains is how did a terrorist get an Iraqi military uniform.
The suicide bomber, according to the Ansar al-Sunnah website, worked at the base since October therefore he would have had access to whatever uniforms were left behind. His exact position within in the base however is not known so he very well could have been an Iraqi soldier, though no reports indicate this is the case.
Ansar al-Sunnah has systematically attacked Iraqi soldiers in several terrorist attacks. I have not found any reports indicating any clothing was taken from soldiers before they were executed, however based upon terrorists snatching up identification and other personal items of their victims this can be a reasonable explanation.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Deserters In Canada
Listening to the elite media, one might get the impression that the number of people deserting the U.S. Armed Forces and going to Canada will soon exceed the number of conservatives in the country. As indicated by this report, that's not what's happening. In fact, based upon best available information, deserters arriving in Canada total no more than a few handfuls. Nonetheless, desertion to a foreign country has international political implications so the media clamps on the story like a lamprey. This is not to say that a stay-at-home deserter who wants headlines can't get them. The media will always oblige steaming piles of news.
The Canadian authorities are currently in the process of reviewing the applications for refugee status of a few deserters with a determination expected in the next few months. Those requesting to be classified as something other than criminals and cowards include Brandon Hughey, David Sanders, and Jeremy Hinzman. Deserter Daniel Felushko has dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship so he gets a pass.
Although there's no mass exodus of deserters, the exact number is unknown. According to a spokesman for the Immigration and Refugee Board, Serge Arsenault, privacy laws prevent release of that type of information. This seems odd. Whose privacy is being protected? The Canadian government?
All in all, the handfuls of deserters going to Canada seeking refugee status will have to prove that they have "a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion." It's sure that they have fears, but not of persecution. It's fear of incarceration for violating the contractual obligations they have with the United States of America. Interestingly, based on a recent report, the deserters may have been able to avoid the entire bureaucratic process by greasing a few palms. Apparently, permanent residency status has been marketed for a mere $4,000.
In closing, it's probably prudent for people to remember the names of the deserters so that, if they apply for employment, they are not hired into positions requiring trustworthiness and strength of character.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Syria Housing Saddam Loyalists
IRAQ has confronted Syria with evidence indicating that senior Syrian officials have been assisting the Iraqi insurgency, it emerged yesterday.
The evidence includes photographs of Syrian officials taken from Iraqi fighters captured during the offensive against Fallujah last month.
US Marines in Fallujah also found a hand-held global-positioning system receiver with waypoints originating in western Syria and the names of four Syrians in a list of 27 foreign fighters contained in a ledger.
Hassan Allawi, Iraq’s newly appointed Ambassador to Syria, told The Times in Damascus: “Prime Minister Iyad Allawi wrote a letter to the Syrians saying he had the pictures but was not going to release them despite being under pressure from the Americans to do so.”
Mr Allawi said the photographs were found in the possession of Moayed Ahmed Yasseen, also known as Abu Ahmed, leader of the Jaish Muhammad group composed of former Baathist intelligence personnel. One picture showed Mr Yasseen standing beside a senior Syrian official, he said. Mr Yasseen was arrested in Fallujah in mid-November.
There have been numerous reports indicating Syrian involvement in the insurgency inside of Iraq. Last week Syrian intelligence officials were captured in Najaf aiding the insurgency. The story indicating Syria's housing of Saddam loyalists inside of Syria has been documented before, however there are no pictures which would provide guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Radical Islamic mosques in Western Syria indoctrinate terrorists from all over the Middle East and Europe before they are sent into Iraq to fight the Coallition and Iraqi soldiers/citizens.
Syrian government officials fear Democracy inside of the Middle East and Iraq specifically because the idea alone has caused protests by the citizens of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iran already. Syria remains the one bordering country of Iraq where the people have not had a protest in favor of Democracy, though part of this could be the massive suppression by the Syrian government.
Syria has been, and still is, a thorn in the side of the United States, the Iraqi people and the entire civilized world through funding, supporting, indoctrinating and arming terrorists hell-bent on forming a radical Islamic state of Iraq. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there were 18 trucks seen by satellite crossing the border from Iraq to Syria which allegedly carried any remaining WMD stockpiles left in Iraq. Of course the content of those trucks is in question, however the Syrian support of the terrorist acts in Iraq cannot be questioned.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
December 22, 2004
Schuer on Al Qaeda Tapes
Michael Scheuer, an al-Qaeda analyst who recently retired from the CIA and once headed its bin Laden unit, tells TIME he believes that in their series of recent messages and tapes, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri have been subtly addressing criticism from some Muslim clerics that the Sept. 11 attacks violated Islamic edicts against surprise attacks. "The Prophet's guidance," says Scheuer, "was always, Before you attack someone, warn them very clearly and offer them a chance to convert to Islam." He contends that bin Laden, by making his warnings very explicit, has "done everything that's required" so that, in his mind, "the criticisms he got after 9/11 won't be valid this time around." Adds Scheuer: "I think what he's done is clearly set the stage for a large attack."
Scheuer says he was particularly alarmed by the video of al-Zawahiri, aired Nov. 29 on the Arabic TV network al-Jazeera, in which he offered a "final piece of advice for America ... You must choose between two ways of behaving toward Muslims: either you deal with them on the basis of respect and mutual interest or you treat them as easy prey." Scheuer says, "What bothered me is he said this is the 'final' time we're going to raise this. I had not seen them ever before say, This is the end of this discussion we're having with you." If al-Zawahiri intended his message to be a last warning to the U.S., bin Laden's latest could be seen as a corollary shift in focus toward the Muslim world.
When the pre-election Osama Bin Laden video was released, I noticed a change in the demeanor of Bin Laden. At the end of November, Ayman Al-Zawahri appeared on a video tape showing the same sort of transformation. Last Thursday (December 16, 2004) Bin Laden released an audio tape with the exact same type of demeanor he used in the video tape.
The demeanor of all three was one of a diplomat rather than a terrorist. In all three tapes, I noted how both Bin Laden and Al-Zawahri were changing tactics from terrorists to diplomats in an effort to gain support not only in the Middle East, but the media and the rest of the world as well. What I had not done is piece together their appeals to the world with the post-9/11 reaction from Islamic clerics criticizing the attack.
In hindsight though, I do distinctly remember several Islamic clerics and nations condemning the attack because there was no warning, but only a few that condemned the attack period. In fact, Bin Laden's "personal" cleric condemned the attack based upon no warning or reaching out towards America.
Schuer, the author of 'Anonymous,' does have some credibility issues however he still remains probably the most knowledgable person in the intelligence community when it comes to Bin Laden. Whether or not his analysis concerning a future attack is correct, only time will tell. According to Schuer on a 60 Minutes interview, Bin Laden has been given clearence to launch a nuclear attack on U.S. cities. The question remains though whether or not Al Qaeda has either the weaponry or the ability to do so.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
This is just sad. Yes, anti-Texan bigotry is everywhere and I have documented it before, but come on now.
NEW YORK - Yeehaw! MTV's "The Real World" is headed to Austin, Texas. "We've been thinking about Austin for a long time," co-creator and executive producer Jon Murray told The Associated Press Wednesday.
Well saddle my britches, slap my cow Betsy and call it a day. Austin is about as cowboy as San Francisco is to Conservative. Why must people continue to believe everyone in Texas is a cowboy and screams out yeehaw? I believe the last time I heard that came from someone (no names) from New Jersey. Or was that yeeeaaaghh?
Fearing a Texas-charged lawsuit, the Associated Press has changed the lead paragraph.
NEW YORK - Dude! MTV's "The Real World" is headed to Austin, Texas. "We've been thinking about Austin for a long time," co-creator and executive producer Jon Murray told The Associated Press Wednesday.
Notice the change from Yeehaw to Dude.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
We should all sue Wal-Mart. Why you ask? For one they sold an album with the 'F' word on it that enraged parents then they had the audacity of following the gun laws in Texas but are getting sued by the parents of a girl who committed suicide.
You know you want to sue Wal-Mart. Everyone's doing it and a lawsuit doesn't always have to make sense.
Violence Against Santa on the Rise
Attacks on Santa Claus are a stark reminder just how naughty some people can be. While random acts of violence occur all the time around the world, why would someone pick on Saint Nick?
A group of French teenagers have mugged Father Christmas, attempting to steal his sack of presents.
The man dressed as Santa Claus was handing out sweets in the southern town of Ales when things turned nasty.
One of the teenagers demanded extra sweets and, when the red-cloaked Santa refused, he and his friends started kicking and pummelling the man.
I wish I could report that was the only incident of violence against Santa, but Shamokin, Pennsylvania Santa was shot at with a pellet gun. I know what these people are getting in their stockings this Christmas.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
India Names 32 Terrorist Groups
New Delhi: The government has notified 32 prominent organisations/groups as terrorist organisations operating mainly in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Naxal-affected states, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
A number of terrorist groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir and North-East had their hideouts in neighbouring countries, Minister of State for Home Affairs Sri Prakash Jaiswal said in a written reply.
Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat-ul Mujahideen, Harkatul-Jejad-e-Islami, Jamiat-ul- Mujahideen, Jammua and Kashmir Islamic Front, Al-Badr, Tehrik-e-Mujahideen and Al Umar are prominent militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir.
The United Liberation Front of Assam, All Tripura Tiger Force, National Democratic Front Bodoland and the People's Liberation Army are operating in the North-East region and are reportedly receiving funds from foreign countries.
Kashmir is the region in between India and Pakistan in which both countries claim sovereignty over. It is a mountainous region where clashes between both terrorists and Indian soldiers and terrorists and Pakistani soldiers occur on an almost daily basis. This is also the region where some feel Osama Bin Laden may be hiding out.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Islamic Jihad Site Taken Down
The Islamic Jihad movement said Tuesday the United States had forced its Web site host to close down Jihad Web sites. A statement sent to UPI by the Jihad media office in Gaza said the Ukrainian host had been forced by the US Defense Department to shut them down "to keep the Palestinian voice silent."The statement said the Ukrainian host had sent apologies saying it had been pressured by the United States.
About damn time too! There are of course hundreds of terrorist websites still operating without any type of censure, spreading their propoganda while hailing the murder of innocents. Terrorists are perhaps more inclined to adapt to changing technology and their use of the internet to spread their radical Islamic ideology of "love" is sickening to those who oppose it.
Internet Haganah though reports the site was not taken down by the U.S. government, rather "'Al Haganah' type activity."
Perhaps the thing that has bugged me the most is the inability, or refusal more appropriately, of the United States to shut down these sites. Most terrorist websites are housed by U.S. hosting companies. There is the intelligence factor, and one would have to assume the CIA is actively pursuing the names and locations of those who both frequent and post on these sites, however the effect of a terrorist website on those that are easily swayed is the main reason why all of them need to be taken down.
There have been terrorist sites taken down permanently before, but when a small fraction is removed an even larger group opens up. Terrorists also hide their sites on the servers of unknowing participants.
In an effort to keep any willing participants who like to cause trouble with terrorists, specifically their sites, I will re-post a couple of email addresses of the Islamic Army of Iraq.
Editor's Note: I do not condone hacking or spamming of email addresses. I only present the facts and let the readers decide what to do. Please act responsibly.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
New Zeland Safe Haven for Terrorists
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Islamic extremists with links to international terror groups are believed to be using New Zealand as a safe haven, the nation's top spy agency has warned.
Security Intelligence Service Director Richard Woods said in his annual report to Parliament that "increased vigilance and effort" was needed to ensure the country was neither the victim nor source of international terrorism.
"From the service's own investigations we assess that there are individuals in, or from, New Zealand who support Islamic extremist causes," Woods wrote.
The developments "indicate attempts to use New Zealand as a safe haven from which activities of security concern elsewhere can be facilitated and/or the involvement of people from New Zealand in such activities."
There are people in every country around the world who support radical Islamic causes. Exactly what has been learned to indicate something special in New Zeland is not known.
There have been various rumors as to where the next Afghanistan will be. Some say Bangledesh is the next Afghanistan based upon a growing Muslim population and poverty. Sure, New Zeland will probably never be close to Afghanistan in terms of supporting terrorism, however the alarm given by New Zeland's intelligence official raises a few eyebrows as to why this type of statement was made unless there is a viable threat.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
December 21, 2004
Al-Manar TV Dubbed 'Terrorist' Station
From MediaGuardian.co.uk comes the report (Free reg.) that the Lebanese al-Manar satellite television channel and broadcast station has been placed on the list of terrorist organizations by the U.S. Produced by Hezbullah, the station regularly broadcasts anti-Israel and anti-Semitic programs filled with hate propaganda. As an example, the station recently accused Israel of spreading AIDS to Arab populations throughout Africa.
The French-based media group, Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders), has condemned the U.S. actions by stating that al-Manar doesn't broadcast terrorist propaganda all the time, sometimes they do news reporting. Understandably, the U.S. doesn't buy the 'part-time terrorist' argument and cut al-Manar's satellite feed to America and said that anyone with links to the station would be expelled from or refused a visa to enter the country.
My take is that it's about time. The terrorist organizations use the willful media as strategic weapons to incite hatred, recruit fanatics, and sway public opinion. Any prudent war planning would consider the terrorist media as targets. Al-Manar should be happy that it's only had the plug pulled.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Army of al Sunnah’s Communique
International Terror Consultant Evan F. Kohlmann of Global Terror Alert has released the communique given by the Ansar al-Sunnah Army claiming responsibility for the attack on the United States mess hall in Mosul. As I had questioned, as had Hyscience, the wording the Army of al-Sunnah regarding "martyrdom" raised a few eyebrows and questioned the initial reports.
Kohlmann too noticed this. The area in question of the communique reads as follows, translated by Evan F. Kohlmann:
Allah has aided the mujahideen who fight the enemies of Allah - the occupiers and the apostate - in causing a massacre among the crusade Americans. One of the mujahideen of the Ansar al-Sunnah Army carried out a martyrdom operation at 12 noon on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 at a restaurant belonging to the infidel occupation forces in the Al-Ghazlani camp in Mosul. Two medivac helicopters were seen carrying away the bodies of the dead and wounded. This heroic operation was videotaped and will be shown later, if Allah wills it.
Along with a mortar round, a suicide bomber had infiltrated the base. Now how could a terrorist walk into the base that is presumably well guarded? My guess, which is purely speculative at this moment, is that one of the Iraqi soldiers, translators, electoral officials, etc. were in disguise.
Terrorists have long grabbed up credentials of Iraqi officials with clearence into U.S. bases either through killing the officials and grabbing them or stealing them. Is it completely plausible that the suicide bomber gained access to the base in this type of fashion.
Dec. 22, 2004 — New evidence shows the bombing of a U.S. military mess tent in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday — which killed 22 people and wounded 70 others — was a suicide attack, ABC News has learned.
Investigators at the base have found remnants of a torso and a suicide vest that was probably a backpack, sources told ABC News, indicating that the attack was a suicide bombing.
This of course strengthens the validity to the above communique.
According to Fox News, information contained on Ansar al-Sunnah's website indicates a suicide bomber worked for the base for over two months. He was 24 years old and recently married. During his employment on the U.S. base, he collected intelligence and locations of specific targets.
Just as Craig said in the comments, we should realize what terrorists claim is not always accurate. This claim however has seemed to be proven accurate so right now I have no reason to doubt the suicide bomber was in fact a former employee on the base. There is no word though on what type of employment he held.
With the reports of a suicide bomber being confirmed by the U.S. military based upon the finding of several BBs or small pieces of shrapnel, it is newsworthy to show the link to a video of the development and testing of a suicide bomber bomb (video courtesy of Global Terror Alert). In the video you will see a bomber's belt being assembled as well as demonstrated against cardboard "people."
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Hi everybody... also guest blogging while Rusty is away. Here are some light sabers to play with for a start.
Osama: Behind the Music
Cranky Neocon visits Osama: Behind the Music in what is pure comedy.
Blair Visits Baghdad
Tony Blair made a surprise visit to British soldiers in Basra and then flew into Baghdad for a meeting with Ayad Allawi. Following Blair's meeting with Allawi, Iraqi election officials and British consulate workers, both Allwai and Blair held a press conference.
Q: Andrew Marr: Many thousands of people have died for this moment, including scores of British people, are you sure that this prize [word indistinct] was worth that price?
Tony Blair: When I meet the people working alongside the United Nations - Iraqis in fear of their life every day, because they are trying to bring freedom and democracy to their people - when I see their courage and their determination and know that they speak for the vast majority of people in Iraq who want that democracy and freedom, then I know that we are doing the right thing.
And whatever people felt about the original conflict, we the British aren't a nation of quitters. What's very obvious to me is that the Iraqi people here, they're not going to quit on this task either - they're going to see it through. And just imagine the difference that a stable and democratic Iraq would make - not just to people in Iraq but throughout the whole of the region and the world - now when I see that, yes, I believe we did the right thing.
And I will also say this to you, there are people dying in Iraq but the reason people are dying is because of the terrorism and the intimidation and the people who are deliberately killing anyone trying to make this country better.
Now what should our response be as an international community? Our response should be to stand alongside the democrats - the people who've got the courage to see this thing through - and help them see it through. I've got no doubt at all that that is the right thing for us to do.
Tony Blair is a gifted orator and a great leader. I disagree with many of his political stances, but he is 100 percent accurate in his views on what Democracy in Iraq could do for the Middle East and the entire world.
Blair is one of those people who looks at things in the long-term rather than the short-term. Those who oppose Democracy in Iraq also look long-term which is why someone like Blair needs to project this type of leadership and resolve in bringing ultimate freedom to the millions in Iraq.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Israelis Channel Holocaust in Gaza Withdrawl
JERUSALEM - Igniting a public uproar, some Jewish settlers said Tuesday they will soon start wearing orange stars on their shirts in a provocative campaign comparing the government's Gaza withdrawal plan to the Nazi Holocaust.
The announcement was the latest escalation in the settlers' drive to block the pullout. On Monday, settler leaders called for mass resistance against the withdrawal — even if it means going to jail.
Settler activists in Gaza said they would distribute the orange stars — reminiscent of the yellow stars that Jews living under Nazi rule were forced to wear — this weekend.
"I want to raise my voice to show that this is illegitimate, to shake the people of Israel to their core," Arieh Tzur, a resident of the Ganei Tal settlement, told Israel Army Radio. Tsur, the son of a Holocaust survivor, said survivors who live in the Gaza settlements support the effort.
Without getting into the politics of the situation of a Gaza withdrawl, is it right for Israelis to bring up the scars of the Holocaust in this instance? I hardly believe the systematic slaughtering of millions of Jews corresponds with pulling out of a region. The Holocaust does not just resonate with Jews, it resonates with everyone based on the horror of what happened.
This is where I'd like to open it up to the readers. Without going into specifics regarding what your own personal beliefs of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are, is it right for a group to "relive" the Holocaust in order to protest a withdrawl? Naturally you have to believe the Holocaust happened and not be shrouded in your own hatred for all things Zionist in order to intelligently comment.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Explosion Hits U.S. Mess Hall in Mosul
The Ansar al-Sunnah Army has issued a communique detailing the operation which has been translated. As was suspected, there was a suicide bomber prior to any type of mortar/rocket attack.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Rockets struck a mess tent at a military base in Mosul where hundreds of U.S. soldiers had just sat down to lunch Tuesday, and military officials said at least 20 people were killed and more than 60 were wounded. A radical Muslim group, the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, claimed responsibility.
The dead included U.S. military personnel, U.S. contractors, foreign national contractors and Iraqi army, said Brig. Gen. Carter Ham, commander of Task Force Olympia in Mosul.
Clearly horrible news, though the claim of responsibility by Ansar al-Sunnah Army (Army of al-Sunnah) is no shock. They operate in Northern Iraq, namely Mosul, and have been responsible for many of the recent terrorist attacks in Mosul.
Apparently the city of Mosul is divided by the Tigris River not just geographically, but ethnically as well. On the Eastern side of the Tigris, the Kurds live and U.S. soldiers can patrol with releative security. On the Western side of the Tigris is the side dominated by Arabs. The U.S. base in Mosul is on the Western side of the Tigris.
Almost every day terrorists do "drive-by" rocket attacks on the base and plant IEDs just outside the base. Of course most mortar rounds miss critical facilities within the base, however this one hit a crucial area.
Supposedly Ansar al-sunnah has written something relating to this on their site, but unfortunately I do not read Arabic. I know there is someone that reads Rusty's site that can translate this for the masses. If there is, please contact me and I'll forward the link to the site so we can get a translation.
A translation is wanted because according to various reports, the Army of al-Sunnah claims this was a "martyrdom" killing which could mean the base infiltrated or compromised from within. As we all know, martyrdom requires the person who actually followed through with the attack to die in the act of committing the attrocity.
Hyscience has a huge roundup of the news coverage of the attack along with putting the story in context.
U.S. military explosives experts are invesitigating the cause of the explosion which gives further credence to the rumors indicating the explosion may have been from within rather than from a rocket attack.
According to the BBC, Mosul has a history of providing military commanders for Saddam's army as well as intelligence officials.
According to Charles Glass, who reported for the London Review of Books from Mosul, there are signs the city's anti-American insurgency is being marshalled by shadowy figures from the former dictator's Baath party.
A reporter in the city told the BBC News website in November that several Syrians were among the fighters captured by US forces.
This is not surprising, though as I stated above Mosul is divided by the Tigris River from all accounts I've read; not just geographically but ethinically.
I have changed the title of this post because the more information that comes out leads me to believe this was not a mortar or rocket attack as first reported. Even the U.S. military calls the attack a "blast" and is investigating what occured.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
French Journalist Hostages Released
PARIS - Two French reporters held hostage for four months in Iraq were released Tuesday and handed over to French authorities.
"I have a profound joy in announcing to you that Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot have just been freed by the Islamic Army," Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told the Senate, which erupted with applause.
Chesnot's brother, Thierry, said the two men were in good health. "It's the best Christmas present we could get," he said of the release.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said the two men were expected in France on Wednesday. They were handed over to French authorities in the Iraqi capital, he said.
You might know the Islamic Army of Iraq through their latest propoganda video, releasing two hostages from Sri Lanka and Bangledesh, participating in a joint statement of terrorism, and beheading countless innocents. The story of the two French hostages would be riviting if they will ever detail their last four months. If you recall, around October Frech President Jaques Chirac publically scolded the U.S. for an assault that supposedly forced two cars carrying the journalists to Syria in an exchange.
Reuters reports the French hostages were not freed due to a ransom paid. I'm a bit skeptical about this however based upon other hostages being released because of a ransom. France also indicated they were paying a ransom for these two journalists over a month ago.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
U.S. To Post Military Officers To Taiwan
(Taipei, Taiwan) According to American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokeswoman Dana Smith, the United States will station active duty military officers to its de facto embassy in Taiwan for the first time since 1979 in a reversal of a long-standing policy. Historically, the AIT has employed retired military personnel to coordinate diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
The announcement of closer military cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan is expected to anger China which has vowed to invade the island if independence is declared. However, according to Jane's Defense Weekly, a protest from Beijing is not as worrisome to Washington as the "growing unease over China's military ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region."
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
December 20, 2004
I just realized that despite the fact that Dr. Shackleford, eminent professor of stuff and blogperson extraordinaire, invited me to guest blog on his, uh, blog - he has not actually blogrolled my blog, The Ministry of Minor Perfidy. This is insupportable, intolerable and generally generally speaking, ungood.
What blog blatantly stole its name from an obscure comment once made by Lileks? The Ministry of Minor Perfidy.
What blog is in the forefront of warning the world about the dangers of giant fighting space robots? The Ministry of Minor Perfidy.
I think I hit my quota for over the top blog self-promotion, even though Rusty said I could promote my blog until my eyes bled. (I'm paraphrasing, of course. And he did use the word trust several times in that paragraph. I wonder what he meant by that?)
Out of Touch with Reality
This type of post would normally just appear on my site, however since Rusty gave me the keys to the grail, I'll use them to discuss this issue with his readers.
Numerous times on my site I've argued where some in the Left are out of touch with reality. Naturally this has led to many "courteous" emails from those I've offended, however there have now been two stories in prominent magazines (Time and Newsweek) with Lefty blogger Wonkette and "Conservative" blogger Andrew Sullivan that demonstrate how some are out of touch with reality.
Newsweek interviewed blogger Wonkette who seems to be a rising star in the blogoshpere for reasons beyond me. According to her own words from her few television appearences, she sees herself as a satirist and not a blogger. Fair enough, but I have a few words of advice for Wonkette following this brief excerpt from the interview (via Michelle Malkin).
What did you think of the bloggers' role in the Dan Rather affair?
I think they did a disservice to the debate because they made the debate about the documents and not about the president of the United States. There was another half to that story that had to do with verifiable events of what Bush may have been up to.
I thought it was Dan Rather and the entire CBS news crew who did a disservice to the American people by showing fake documents and passing them off as legit? You see, to people like Wonkette any attack a Liberal organization makes on a Conservative is legitimate regardless of having any facts behind it.
I need not re-hash Rathergate as it's been glorified for much too long, however the overall impact Rathergate had on news and American's view on the news has been drastic. The issue Wonkette would rather steer the political debate on was an old, tired out issue that has been debunked numerous times in the past; much like finding an intelligent brain cell inside of Wonkette's rather large noggin.
For further commentary on Wonkette, visit The American Mind
The second instance of a "Lefty" blogger being out of touch with reality is Andrew Sullivan. Now Sullivan calls himself a Conservative and does have many Conservative views, however his repeated mentions of Gay Marriage and his consistent attacks on Conservatives on this issue has led him out of the closet of Liberalism.
Sullivan writes a piece in Time Magazine calling 2004 The Year of the Insurgents (via Wizbang). One could argue whether this type of recognition has any merit, however that is not the reason for this post. Why would any American name a year after those that are killing our young men in women who are more brave, more dedicated to our freedoms and more dedicated to the freedoms of all of God's creatures than any one of us?
Perhaps the most interesting part of Sullivan's article is his close:
Did anyone win? Well, the President did. But the insurgency against him — fanatically deadly in Iraq, peacefully feisty at home — merely took a deep breath. And fought on.
While I've made many links to a few of the Liberal's catchphrases and actions as to supporting terrorism, Sullivan does it all and even justifies it with this one statement. Doesn't Sullivan just seem to want the terrorists to win? If not, it sure appears so.
Guest Blogging for Rusty
While Rusty's on vacation, he's asked me to help guest blog on his site. I know, we all miss Rusty, but maybe I can try to fill his shoes even partially while he's gone.
Allow me to introduce myself. Some of Rusty's readers know me already as I am an occassional commenter here as well as Rusty posts many of the similar stories that I do on my blog. My name is Chad Evans and I was born, raised and live in Texas. Being Texan naturally leads me to fulfill a few of the thousands of stereotypes about Texans, though I promise you not all of them are true (I don't own cattle).
I am 26 years old, operate my own small advertising agency/media buying company, do not have a family, and very proud of my alumni status as a graduate of the fine Texas Tech University.
I do not pretend to be an expert on anything I write other than my critiques on the media. Now how can I pretend to be an expert on the media? Well, I'm not an expert first off, but I have been published directly over 10 times, indirectly numerous times, performed media relations for two different sports organizations, have a degree in public relations and have a genuine interest in all things media related.
My hope during the next week or two, depending on his internet status during his second destination, is that I can keep you entertained and possibly enlightened on a few topics. There will be no test-blogging or gratuitous porn from me, but Rusty has promised both when he returns.
In an effort to keep up with the Star Wars themed site, I will explain something I noticed just the other week as being odd in Star Wars. In the second Star Wars, Attack of the Clones, Baba Fet and his father (whatever his name is) appeared to be a great warrior. Baba Fet grows up and is in the last three episodes. In Return of the Jedi, Baba Fet dies rather easily and clumsily. He flies into the Jaba the Hut ship and falls into the pit. How come a great warrior dies so easily?
Ok, enough of that. I'm not the type that stands in line for days prior to the opening of a new Star Wars movie, not that there's anything wrong with that. I just show up the day of and eat the roll-call list. All forms of criticism and praise are wanted and I operate on an open-door policy. Of course I'd like more praise than criticism, but all I ever seem to get is death threats and people calling me an idiot for my views.
Have fun and I hope this post will help the readers get to know me. If you hate my views and/or my posts, Rusty should return within two weeks. Until then though, you're stuck with me and a couple of other guest bloggers.
Allawi Warns of Civil War
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's interim prime minister warned Monday that insurgents are trying to foment sectarian civil war as well as derail elections, while thousands of mourners turned out for funerals in the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala a day after car bombs killed 67 people.
Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said the mainly Sunni Muslim insurgents, blamed for Sunday's bloody attacks, want to "create ethnic and religious tensions, problems and conflicts ... to destroy the unity of this country."
"These attacks are designed to stop the political process from taking place in Iraq," Allawi told reporters. He added that his administration would not be deterred despite expecting more strikes before key Jan. 30 parliamentary elections — the first free vote in Iraq since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958.
There are different reasons for the escalation of violence inside of Iraq, but all are tied to the impending elections scheduled for January 30, 2005. In dealing with the subject matter the article is on, the Sunnis would rather have a civil war than a Democracy because they are a minority in Iraq. This is a drastic change from the Saddam days because Saddam is a Sunni and gave the Sunnis powers in his government.
Shiites in Iraq account to roughly 60-70 percent of Iraqis. Kurds stand around 15-25. Sunnis naturally fill in the bulk of the remaining percentages depending on which estimation you choose to go by. It is reasonable to assume that with Democracy Sunnis will lose the power they once held under Saddam.
What needs to happen in Iraq is the different tribal groups need to recognize nationalism over heritage. To coin a phrase from our president, it's going to be "hard work," but a good public relations campaign could help the nation's citizens pull for Iraq rather than their ethnic heritage. Then again, the public relations aspect of this entire conflict has been less than satisfactory.
There are also outside forces trying to derail Democracy from entering into the Middle East. Of course Democracy exists in Israel and Afghanistan, though having Democracy start in Iraq would be a boon for all freedom-lovers in the entire region. This is why the governments of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan to an extent and Iran are so dead-set against Democracy in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia opened up their first day of voter registration to little fan fair which is fitting because any elections in Saudi Arabia would be a sham. They do not allow women to register to vote and the elections are for minor roles in the Saudi government. Of course you have to start somewhere, but the inclusion of women would be a major step into spreading Democracy into Saudi Arabia. The failure to include women demonstrates the lack of a desire to insert Democracy into Saudia Arabia by the Royal Family.
Syria and Iran have sent money, weapons and even spies as we learned earlier today into Iraq in an effort to both support the insurgency and defeat the idea of Democracy. A Democratic Iraq would give hope to those that live in either regime which naturally threatens the leaders of all nations of their reign.
Later on in the above article, there is an interesting quote from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also accused America and Israel of being behind the bombings in Iraq. "I am sure that the hands of the U.S. and Israeli espionage networks are behind recent events," he told government officials, according to Iranian state television.
This type of statement is two-fold. First it tries to deflect blame away from Iran for supporting these type of attacks as well as sends out a preliminary denial an Iranian intelligence official was present in the area. Second it sends the same message that many in the Middle East have sent out before; Muslims are not capable of committing such attrocities.
The second aspect of the statement is nothing new. We have heard this throughout the years though thankfully there have been more and more statements rebutting this type of assumption. The thought still persists however and the government of Iran furthers the thought with a statement as assinine as this one.
The threat of civil war in Iraq was also one of the concerns of the CIA in a leaked report in the run-up to the U.S. elections. This was also a concern prior to the decision to invade Iraq. The threat still looms because there are a minority of people inside of Iraq who have lost their power and wish to obtain power in another form. Of course the funding and inciting of violence by neighboring countries does not help.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Residents Move Back into Fallujah
- Associated Press
FALLUJAH, Iraq - Fallujans are to begin trickling back this week, but a month after the battle for the city, devastation is everywhere. Burned out cars block streets, even homes that still stand are missing roofs or walls, dead dogs litter narrow alleys.
Destruction is not total. The only damage at a benzene storage facility on the edge of town is the deterioration from years of neglect. At the end of a long block of leveled homes, a children's clinic stands untouched.
"It really looks like a time warp: Somebody left for the day and was told not to come back because of the operation," said Lt. Cmdr. Larry Merola, a Navy Seabee reservist from Stoughton, Mass., who leads a team that checks buildings important to the city's life — pharmacies, offices, gas distribution points.
Even as the U.S. military pummeled parts of the city into rubble, engineers were laying plans for rebuilding. But much of that work remains, even as the first groups from the 250,000 people who fled are to start returning Thursday.
I suppose one month should be sufficient time to rebuild a city after a war? A house in America can't be built in a month much less infrastructure, houses, hospitals and schools.
The consistent bias of the Associated Press continues to amaze me for whatever reason. Yes, I should be used to it, but I cannot get over the way the AP gladly jumps all over the United States yet defends and even embeds their reporters with terrorists killing innocent Iraqis.
Arthur Chrenkoff writes his 17th Good News from Iraq post which details where the Coallition is in rebuilding Iraq. While the AP would rather focus on the negative, Chrenkoff continues to dig through the global media and find positive stories.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
Hero in Falluja
For some reason Rusty gave me the reigns to this ride while he's on vacation. In an effort to republish a story I originally published at In The Bullpen because of it's importance, I present to you the story of Sgt. Rafael Peralta. There are very few stories that move me, perhaps because of the often-boring written word, but this story is simply amazing.
On the morning of November 15, 2004, the men of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines awoke before sunrise and continued what they had been doing for seven days previously - cleansing the city of Fallujah of terrorists house by house.
At the fourth house they encountered that morning the Marines kicked in the door and "cleared" the front rooms, but then noticed a locked door off to the side that required inspection. Sgt. Rafael Peralta threw open the closed door, but behind it were three terrorists with AK-47s. Peralta was hit in the head and chest with multiple shots at close range.
Peralta's fellow Marines had to step over his body to continue the shootout with the terrorists. As the firefight raged on, a "yellow, foreign-made, oval-shaped grenade," as Lance Corporal Travis Kaemmerer described it, rolled into the room where they were all standing and came to a stop near Peralta's body.
But Sgt. Rafael Peralta wasn't dead - yet. This young immigrant of 25 years, who enlisted in the Marines when he received his green card, who volunteered for the front line duty in Fallujah, had one last act of heroism in him.
Sgt. Rafael Peralta was the polar opposite of Pablo Paredes, the Petty Officer who turned his back on his shipmates and mocked his commander in chief. Peralta was proud to serve his adopted country. In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items - a copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. Before he set out for Fallujah, he wrote to his 14-year old brother, "be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American."
Not only can Rafael's family be proud of him, but his fellow Marines are alive because of him. As Sgt. Rafael Peralta lay near death on the floor of a Fallujah terrorist hideout, he spotted the yellow grenade that had rolled next to his near-lifeless body. Once detonated, it would take out the rest of Peralta's squad. To save his fellow Marines, Peralta reached out, grabbed the grenade, and tucked it under his abdomen where it exploded.
"Most of the Marines in the house were in the immediate area of the grenade," Cpl. Kaemmerer said. "We will never forget the second chance at life that Sgt. Peralta gave us."
Unfortunately, unlike Pablo Paredes, Sgt. Rafael Peralta will get little media coverage. He is unlikely to have books written about him or movies made about his extraordinarily selfless sacrifice. But he is likely to receive the Medal of Honor. And that Medal of Honor is likely to be displayed next to the only items that hung on his bedroom wall - the Constitution, Bill of Rights and his Boot Camp graduation certificate.
The entire article questions why the media has focused more attention on the soldier who went AWOL rather than a soldier such as Sgt. Peralta who is a true hero. These are the types of actions I do not know how humans are capable of. Even though Peralta's family is assuredly mourning the death of Sgt. Peralta, they should hold their heads up high for raising a hero.
The MSM should be ashamed of itself for not publishing such a story. This is the type of story that inspires greatness and heroism in every single person, not just the soldier fighting a war most of the MSM is against. We should all give thanks for heroes like Sgt. Peralta.
Stop by the The Enduring Freedom KIA Fund and help support the families of our other heroes who have fallen. The Christmas season is a time for generosity. We should show our nation's loved ones how generous we as a nation are and how much we sincerely appreciate the sacrifices made by so few. Read the memorial to CSM James D. Blankenbecler for inspiration.
For another inspiring story in Iraq, you must read this on Little Green Footballs.
50 Suspects Arrested in Iraq; Syrian and Iranian Intelligence Among Arrested
NAJAF, Iraq - Thousands of mourners attended funerals Monday and Iraqi authorities detained 50 suspects in connection with an explosion in the Shiite holy city of Najaf that killed at least 54 people and wounded 142.
Najaf's police chief said that among them were people with links to the two neighboring countries.
"The police arrested some elements who confessed that they have links with the Syrian intelligence ... and a person who confessed he had links with Iranian intelligence since 1995," al-Jazaari said.
The suspects' ties to Syria and Iran should come to no surprise based upon both countries' efforts and goals in the region, however it is interesting to note Iraq has arrested government workers for both Syria and Iran. Last week Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalam called Iran Iraq's "number one enemy."
Iran has contributed greatly to the instability within Iraq in hopes of stopping the start of Democracy that could eventually cause the people of Iran to rise up against the Mullahs. Syria fears Democracy in Iraq for much of the same reason. In fact, the same could be said about Saudi Arabia, however intelligence agencts from only Syria and Iran have now been found in Iraq and are suspected of either participating in or organizing a bombing that killed and injured 176 innocent Iraqis.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
I have come here to kick ass and chew bubblegum
But I still have a little bubblegum left, so the ass kickings won't start right away. Maybe not 'til after Christmas. Dr. Shackleford was gracious enough to give me a spot as a guest blogger here at the esteemed Jawa report. This despite the fact that I am unemployed, yet still haven't found the time to post a single thing on my own blog in a week; and more to the point have no discernable talent whatsoever.
Rusty is a really nice guy. He won't get his ass kicked. I'll just quietly chew bubblegum in the corner when he's around.
Rusty has a habit of offering cogent analysis and insightful commentary on the events of the day. In keeping with the high standards of blog journalism he has established, I offer you this collection of links to weird things I've found on the web over the last week:
Do you like animals? I mean really like animals? Then go to this attractively designed, but yet ultimately horrifying webpage.
Ever feel the need to send a message to those annoying people like me who speak loudly on their cell phones? Well, look no further than right right here where, through the magic of the interweb, you now have printer-ready cards to hand out to the offending mobile phone user.
Over at my blog, The Ministry of Minor Perfidy, we've long been concerned about the looming threat from giant killer robots. (For example, here and here.) But this is going way, way too far. We do not need our new robot overlords taking over our excretory functions.
And, just so you know.
To wrap this little link fest up, a link to one of my own posts, which will lead you to hours of wasted time on a medieval siege weapon simulator. Not quite as fun as the Yeti-smacking-the-penguin game, but good nevertheless.
If you all behave very nicely, I might even comment on world affairs. My dad is a historian, and I can ask him things, and then tell you what he said. Just don't tell my dad I said that. I'd never live it down.
December 18, 2004
Hiatus, and a Tropical Merry Christmas!
Sorry I haven't been posting much, but have been trying to catch up on some backlogged work. I'm also going to the Caribbean for about three weeks for my family's first "Tropical Christmas," so probably won't be posting from there very much. Check back in January. In the mean time my blog co-conspirators Anticipatory Retaliation and The Jawa Report always have captivating things to say. After the first of the year I'll also be doing a periodic Iraq briefing on Winds of Change, which is typically a wealth of insight, inspiration and understanding.
December 17, 2004
December 16, 2004
Jawapalooza Coming to LA
Rusty Shackleford, yours truly, will be heading for Los Angeles this Saturday through whenever I feel like leaving. If any of you want to meet the man behind the legend, a couple of other bloggers and frequent commenters are going to hook up some time after Christmas for some eats. I'm thinking we should eat at one of the restaurants run by the Nation of Islam south of 50th? But if that doesn't work out we'll probably eat somewhere in the downtown area. E-mail me if you want to join us.
Guest bloggers: I'll try to e-mail you guys tomorrow and get things straightened out. Sorry, I put this off and now I'm wicked busy. I will have internet access in Cali, but not on the stupid cruise ship.
Italian Hostage Salvatore Santoro Murdered by Terrorists in Iraq
It appears that Salvatore Santoro was only captured very recently. Reports about the Italian man going missing and reports of his death came almost simultaneously. Zaman reports that Mr. Santoro was working for a British non-governmental organization. Xinhua reports that Mr. Santoro was 52 and from the Campania region near Naples. The Islamic Movement of Iraqi Mujahidin is new to me, but could simply be another translation of The Islamic Army in Iraq which operates in Ramadi, where Mr. Santoro was taken captive. Al Jazeera:
Expect the video to be posted soon. Unlike the Margaret Hassan murder video, which was deemed too gruesome to show even by al Jazeera's standards, this one has some propaganda value. Muslims have fewer qualms killing infidel men than they do infidel women.
An Italian captive identified as Salvatore Santoro has been killed by his captors in Iraq, Aljazeera television reported.
Aljazeera on Thursday broadcast pictures of Santoro's passport and showed him sitting bound and blindfolded in a ditch with a gun to his head. In separate footage, four masked and armed men were shown reading a statement.
Quoting a statement from the "Islamic Movement of Iraqi Mujahidin", Aljazeera said Santoro had been killed after the group had found evidence that he supported the Americans....
A group of people took the photographer to Ramadi, in western Iraq, "where they showed him the body of a man and a passport.
New bin Laden Tape Released
A new audio tape of Osama bin Laden has been posted at an Islamic bulletin board. The tape is over 70 minutes long, but several news agencies are already in the process of translating it. Here are some of the highlights, gathered from various press sources. Interestingly, the official english language newspaper of Saudi Arabia does not report the tape.
The main theme picked up by Al Jazeera is that regimes in the Middle East are corrupt. Why? Because they cooperate with the United States. Saudi Arabia is used as the example of an apostate regime. Terrorism is a direct result of that apostasy:
The responsibility for the current situation in Saudi Arabia rests with the regime," said the voice on the tape, broadcast on one of the principle Islamist Internet sites and subsequently on Aljazeera.Reuters seems to emphasize the grand conspiracy that bin Laden sees around the world. The corrupt governments of the Middle East are called "Zionists" and the war in Iraq an extension of Zionist Crusader armies:
In Saudi Arabia, it is the king and not Allah who commands sovereignty and complete obedience," the voice on the tape said. "I advised the government two decades ago to remedy the situation ... but it has not changed at all."
"We pray to Allah to welcome the souls of the mujahidin (Islamic fighters) who attacked the American consulate in Jeddah," he said, referring to the 6 December attack in the Saudi city in which four of the attackers, together with five non-American embassy staff members, were killed...
We are not talking about a corrupt, impious leader, but about the apostasy and collaboration of leaders with the infidels. Since there is no difference between [Paul] Bremer, the former governor in Baghdad, and [Iyad] Allawi, the current leader, in applying US policies in Iraq, there is no difference between Bremer and the rest of the region's leaders in applying US policies," bin Ladin said....
Addressing "Muslims in Saudi Arabia in particular and in other countries in general", bin Ladin said: "This is a message about the conflict between the leaders of Riyadh and people of the country and the way to solve it."
"The necessity of security and safety, the sanctity of Muslims' blood, the necessity of harmony and union and the dangers of conflicts and separation (division) have been discussed a great deal in Saudi Arabia," he said.
"They have claimed that the mujahidin are responsible for the continuing incidents in Saudi Arabia. But it is very clear that it is the government's responsibility as it has ignored all conditions required to ensure safety and prevent bloodshed."
Bin Ladin added: "If we want to correctly, practically and scientifically solve the conflict, we should know its reality, roots and directions. Part of this conflict is internal, but in other dimensions it is a conflict between international non-believers supported by the US-led apostates on the one side, and the Muslim nation and the mujahidin brigades on the other side."
The speaker on the tape blasted Saudi rulers as "corrupt Zionists" who were stooges of the United States and whose rule was "an extension of the crusader wars against Muslims"....Much of the American press, such as CNN and Fox News, emphasize the likelihood of the tape being authentic. Fox throws in a couple of pieces of information that are interesting. A common justification that jihadis use when murdering Muslim civillians is that they are not 'real Muslims' because no 'real Muslim' would have anything to do with the infidels. Those who collaborate with the US or apostate regimes in any way are thus infidels themselves:
"Some people say that yes it (reform) is possible because they started holding national dialogues and they started with municipal elections, but I say that this will not change anything," the speaker said. "The only way to reform is the toppling of the regime through armed struggle."....
While calling for change, the speaker scoffed at overtures such as promised municipal elections and a national dialogue Saudi rulers recently initiated to open public debate on democratization and other issues.Update: Northeast Intelligence Network has been reporting for several days that mass demonstrations were planned in Saudi Arabia for today. Could the timing of the bin Laden tape's release coincided with the demonstrations? Bin Laden seems to emphasize over and over that the people of Saudi Arabia opposed the regime.
"This hasn't changed anything ... the best they can do is that they will go into the elections game as happened before in Yemen and Jordan or Egypt and move in a vicious circle for dozens of years, this is regardless of the fact that it is prohibited to enter the infidel legislative councils," the speaker said.
Here is some news about the nation wide protests. Al Jazeera:
Hundreds of Saudi security forces kept an iron grip over central Riyadh on Thursday to thwart protest marches planned by an exiled dissident against the kingdom's absolute monarchy.
Riot police with helmets, batons and shields lined a main street in the Saudi capital while a helicopter hovered above the area where London-based opposition figure Saad al-Fagih had called for tens of thousands of people to assemble.
Saudi police arrested two men who fired a pistol in the air near a spot where anti-monarchists had planned an illegal demonstration Thursday, a security official said.More to come....
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said police in the Red Sea port of Jiddah chased down the men and arrested them. The two are likely linked to the exiled dissident who had called for the protests in Jiddah and Riyadh, the Saudi capital, the official said.
I'm surfing the blogosphere just as fast as I can to see if others have seen crucial bits of information that I have missed. As usual, Jeff Quinton keeps tabs on those blogging on the subject.
James Joyner simply notes that bin Laden has a point about the Saudi Regime. True, but we are in a difficult situation in the Middle East. As bin Laden notes, the people of Saudi Arabia are even more virulently anti-American than the regime. A democratic Saudi Arabi could be much worse than a totalitarian one. But the totalitarianism of the regime only reinforces anti-Americanism. Catch 22.
The MUSC Tiger notes that bin Laden praises terrorist acts in Saudi Arabia.
Chris Short asks if bin Laden is turning to the Middle East for targets? The answer seems to be yes. Possible good news that bin Laden is unable to bring the fight to us.
John at Crossroads of Arabia makes the excellent observation that bin Laden is opposed to democracy and views the municipal elections in Saudi Arabia as un-Islamic.
December 15, 2004
The Jawa Report: TTLB Higher Being
Wow, is the TTLB Ecosystem screwed up or what?
Rusty Shackleford says "Islam is a wicked, vicious faith."
Arrest me. Fascists.
Police have arrested the leader of the far-right British National Party after he was secretly filmed calling Islam "a wicked, vicious faith".
Wonder Woman vs. Mighty Isis
But isn't the real question Flea, "Who would be better for the Global War on Terror: The Mighty Isis or Wonder Woman?"
On the one hand......
But on the other hand....
As a patriot I just can't decide!
What is a Christian?
Ayatollah Khomeini: "Islam is not a Religion of Peace"
“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]…. Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”
Why was I taken hostage? Dark skin.
Turkish Hostage in Afghanistan Released
A Turkish engineer and two Afghans held hostage by Taliban allied terrorists since yesterday have been released unharmed today.
Abdulkareem al-Khaiwani Censored
He is not allowed a pen in a country of 60 million guns. Sentenced to one year at hard labour, he is in prison where he has been beaten, his jaw broken. His friends and colleagues may not speak with him. He is a newspaper editor...Read the whole thing.
Abdulkareem al-Khaiwani spends this night in a Yemeni prison because his inquiring pen is deemed a greater threat than the 60 million guns, when it is his pen that is among his nation’s greatest assets.
Iran Supporting Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq?
Iraq's defense minister on Wednesday accused neighboring Iran and Syria of supporting terrorists in his war-ravaged country.I noted the capture of the leader of the Jaish Mohammed group, Moayad Ahmed Yasseen, also known as Abu Ahmedon Nov. 15th here with a biographical sketch on him at this post.
Hazem Shaalan also accused Iran of backing the al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist group headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and said his country's opponents want "turbaned clerics to rule in Iraq."
Shaalan said Iraqi authorities obtained information about Iran's role in Iraqi's insurgency after last month's arrest of the leader of the Jaish Mohammed (Mohammed's Army) terrorist group during U.S.-led operations in Fallujah.
"When we arrested the commander of Jaish Mohammed we discovered that key to terrorism is in Iran, which this the number one enemy for Iraq," Shaalan told reporters in Baghdad.
It is unlikely that the strict Sunni followers of Zarqawi would like an Islamic Republic modeled after Iran. But they are actively cooperating with the Shia terrorist organization the Islamic Army in Iraq which patterns itself after the Iranian backed terrorists Hezboallah and Hamas. Zarqawi's ideal state would be pre-war Afghanistan, not Iran. However, the two groups do share the same goal of the Islamist state ruled by Sharia law. Further, both groups see a common enemy in the Great Satan of the US.
Iran, then, may be helping al Qaeda based on either the shared goal of the Islamic state or as simply a practical matter of shared interest in ousting the US from the region.
Taxi Driver Shoots Man in Bin Laden Mask
You can't make this stuff up!! AP:
A startled taxi driver shot and wounded a jokester wearing a plastic mask of the al-Qaida leader, police said Tuesday. Leonel Arias, 47, told police he was playing a practical joke by donning the Bin Laden mask, toting his pellet rifle and jumping out to scare drivers on a narrow street in his hometown, Carrizal de Alajuela, about 20 miles north of San Jose.About all those dead hookers in my basement....you didn't notice those Zarqawi masks on them? Hat Tip: James Joyner
Arias had startled several drivers that way on Monday afternoon. But when he jumped out in front of taxi driver Juan Pablo Sandoval, the motorist reached for a gun and shot him twice in the stomach. He was hospitalized in stable condition. "For me and I think for anybody else at a time like that one thinks the worst and so I fired my gun," Sandoval told Channel 7 television.
Police declined to detain Sandoval, saying he had believed he was acting in self-defense.
Bonfire of My Homophobia
This week's Bonfire of the Vanities is up at Feste's blog. The Bonfire is a showcase for the worst posts written by some of the worst bloggers out there. I, of course, am featured weekly. I recommend all new bloggers check it out and participate in next week's shin dig.
Second office party in a week. One more to go. I hate these things. The highlight of the afternoon will be those little tiny hot dogs in barbeque sauce. We have a copy machine. If we only had a few drunks things might get interesting. We don't. After the party I'm going to grade. Light blogging.
December 14, 2004
Murder and Warfare
Ok, I’ve been dodging writing, which is just no good at all, so time to pick up the keyboard once again and get to work, so to speak.
So, where to begin? Well, this bit about the Marine shooting that guy in Fallujah brings to mind a whole lot of things about the nature of warfare that, I think, get lost in the airy-fairy discussion of the mechanics of killing people and breaking things. Donald Sensing, in this post, points out the first, and by far, the most disturbing, class of error made in understanding warfare. The notion that war isn’t about killing people, but rather some sort of arcane (possibly obsolete) form of political expression, is not just stupid, but downright deadly. For it ignores not only what the point of warfare is, but completely obscures the very features of warfare that distinguish it from mass murder. In fact, this kind of mistaken thinking is entwined with barracks lawyering about just war theory and the Geneva Convention.
The second, fairly pervasive misunderstanding is that war is only about killing people. Oddly enough, these two errors are often spouted by the same people (although not at the same time). On one hand, when war is thought of in the abstract, these folks will tend to view it as some sort of clinical form of the application of pressure, but once the balloon goes up, then they quite often revert to the industrialized slaughter view of warfare, particularly when confronted by images of the very real cost of the butcher’s bill. I suspect that the core of this is due to the fact that the Second World War generated so much film footage, that for many people, they can make no fundamental distinction between armor battles involving panzers and T-34s at Kursk, and the drive to Baghdad. Or to look at it another way, two noted futurists, Alvin and Heidi Toffler assert that, essentially, the lethality of weapons systems has increased by an order of magnitude every decade since the end of the Second World War. Thus, current systems would be more than six orders of magnitude – or a million times – more lethal than their Second World War counterparts.
There are a huge numbers of other common misperceptions on the nature and qualities of soldiers themselves, the purposes and effectiveness of weapons, the costs of war, and reasonable expectations about the realities of the battlefield. All these and more are things that are sources of error that pollute discussion about current events in Iraq, and, more generally, the employment of force in conflicts. But this incident in Fallujah effectively highlights the dangers of the first two kinds of errors.
Ok, having looked at some common errors, let’s see if we can’t, in one single blog entry, explain war.
To start with, there are only two things that govern wars: capability and fear of retaliation. That said, what, exactly, is war?
You’ve probably heard the notion that warfare is a continuation of politics by other means. Ok, so, what is politics? What does Clausewitz’s aphorism mean? Does this make warfare some sort of high-tech, high-lethality way of delivering bribes? Is this logrolling with cluster bombs?
Well, as I’ve mentioned in earlier writings, there are a number of analogies between organizations and organisms (see the things listed under the "Mother of All Blathers" on the right-hand side). Without rehashing that material in detail, let’s just cut to the punch line and note that organizations exist to allow both cooperation and specialization, such that the organization becomes more effective than the sum of its components. The role of politics is very tightly tied to that of leadership – getting other people to do things. Now that we’ve a broad definition of what politics is, I have a confession to make. There’s no really good definition of what politics, much less war, is. But at least in establishing this kind of basic notion, we can at least drill down a couple of things about warfare. First off, the purpose of a military is more than just fighting wars, but rather a large portion of their mission is not fighting, but rather retaining a credible and viable option to fight. This is the difference between compellance and deterrence. In either case, a negative incentive is used to either get people to do something. In compellance, force is used to get someone to do something or to stop them from continuing to do something. With deterrence, the threat of force is used to essentially used to preserve the status quo in some respect. In both cases, the military/warfare option is unique in that when all else fails and the object of control refuses to bend themselves to your will, they will then be made unable to resist, often because they will have been killed.
To put it another way, a distinguishing feature of warfare is that it does provide an answer, a rather final one at that, to the question of “What happens if I don’t want to?” Generally, the answer is that I’ll kill you. Now the astute observer will note that this says nothing, absolutely nothing, about whether the person in question is armed, unarmed, combatant, civilian, wounded, or healthy. This is where a lot of the just war theory comes into play.
Now, first off, just war theory is an incredibly useful tool, provided one is not getting shot at – in other words, it truly is a luxury afforded to the bystander. To the guy on point, he is final master and arbiter of his fate, and his choices are his alone. That out of the way, let’s look at what characterizes a non-combatant. A noncombatant is not simply someone in an active theater of conflict who doesn’t fight, but more accurately someone who, implicitly has agreed to follow the dictates of the guys with the guns. Conversely, a combatant has instead, opted to use force to resist the dictates of the other guys with guns.
Now, you’ll note that there is a class of people who may not be armed or may not be using force but still haven’t agreed to follow the dictates of the armed folks. This is a deceptive category, largely because it really doesn’t exist in a combat theater. The problem is that there aren’t really such things as dangerous weapons – only dangerous people. Now, before anyone goes off the handle, would you shoot a man on a plane with a box cutter? It’s not a dangerous weapon, per se. But in the hands of dangerous people…
That’s about it kids. Uniformed, not uniformed, wounded or not, the binary decision of whether or not you’re a combatant or not, is simply whether or not you’ve finally thrown in the towel and agreed to do what the people with weapons tell you to do. Once you’ve gone from the willingness to use force to resist the dictates of some soldier, to the willingness to submit to the directions of the guys with the guns, then you’ve gone from combatant to noncombatant.
The hell about this, is that it really is a question of state of mind, rather than any direct physical manifestation. As such, the decision of who to shoot and when becomes, essentially, an ethical question. Now, at this point, as a general background reference, I would recommend checking out part of a series on ethics run by the Annenberg CPB project (Episodes 6 & 7 - click on the "VoD" icon to view the episodes) on ethics in combat and war.
Now, at this point, I have another confirmed proof of my ongoing onset of senility (“For a purely untrustworthy human organ, the memory is right in there with the penis”), I swear high and low that there’s an exchange that I remember seeing when the series was aired, but doesn’t appear in the streaming video (and I’ve gone over the footage many times in the process of researching this post).
At any rate, the bit that I remember (perhaps erroneously) was a hypothetical scenario – went approximately something like this:
Moderator: Ok, let’s say that while you’re going up this hill, you capture some prisoners.
Panelist: Are they disarmed?
M: Yes, these guys have thrown down their weapons and have come out with their hands up. What do you do?
P: Well, assuming that the situation is now under control, I take control of the prisoners and assign a soldier to take them back for processing.
M: What do you do if they refuse to cooperate?
P: Well, I shoot one.
M (shocked): You just shoot one? Just like that, you kill them?
P: Well, yeah.
M: What happens if they still continue to refuse to obey your orders?
P: Well, I shoot another one. One way or another, they’ll either do what I tell them to do, or they won’t be my problem.
This exchange hit on the very core issue on half of what warfare is. It is the exercise of any means necessary, up to and including lethal force, to exert your influence over another individual or group of individuals. That’s the first half.
The second half is the fine tissue that separates warfare from organized murder. And that’s the existence of an overarching political direction to the conflict. When war edges into the realm of killing simply for killing’s sake, and ceases to have a distinct political objective (save that of racking up a body count) – we then have something similar to what Clauswitz called “Absolute War”. Somewhere in this notion of Absolute War lies the significance of 9/11 and bin Laden’s most recent tape – but that’s a post for a different day.
But the important thing to note that in a condition of Absolute War, there is no such thing, from a target eligibility point of view, as a non-combatant – and I mean No Such Thing. If you envision paratroopers assaulting an orphanage with the express intention of taking no child prisoner, then you’re thinking along the right lines. Beslan approached, but did not quite meet this standard – for hostages are, by definition, non-combatants of a sort. So, the reason that the existence and identification of non-combatants is a pretty significant thing.
This is why the brouhaha over the fabled Marine in Fallujah is important, not just locally, but as a snapshot into the controlled disaster that is warfare. And this is where it ties back to into the two factors that regulate warfare: capability and retaliation.
Right now, both sides have the capability to do things like play possum or take schools full of children hostage. There’s a specific reason that the US doesn’t typically engage in such behaviors: given the capabilities of our systems, and our troops, and whatnot it frankly isn’t the most efficient way to pursue our political goals. Now, the muj, on the other hand don’t really have a lot of capability to take us head on – so what to do? Well, bad guys have been pursuing an asymmetric strategy so they don’t have to take us on in our strong suit. This includes things like playing possum, holing up in mosques, and so on.
Above the capability based reason for the insurgents to pursue such tactics, there’s also the fact that these guys really don’t have any sort of retaliation to fear, largely because such “terrorist” tactics really aren’t the most efficient use of our forces from both a practical and political point of view.
Now, the bad guys have been banking on their ability to do stuff like this without fear of retaliation, but this notion implies two things. First, that such tactics will continue to be useful. This is a fair speculation, given our performance in Somalia and the continuing effort of political factions to “Vietnamize” the war. Although it is important to note that the change in tone of bin Laden’s last proclamation suggests that the terrorists may feel that such an approach may not yield the hoped for results.
From another point of view, the tactical effectiveness of such tactics also seems to be diminishing. This goes back to one of the first lessons of warfare “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Or, to put it a little more bluntly, the shooting of the insurgent in Fallujah is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that we never have another shooting of a legitimately wounded, non-combatant insurgent. As long as playing possum continues to work (or is thought to work), then legitimately wounded non-combatants will continue to die because they represent a risk to American troops if taken into custody.
But, you may ask one of the most often asked questions about treatment of prisoners in this conflict – “Won’t this cause the insurgents to treat any captured soldiers more harshly?” To which I have three words that don’t even form a sentence, but certainly describe a frame of mind: Beslan, 9/11, beheadings.
Enemies Among Us: or Where is Rowdy Roddy Piper when you need him?
Enemies are all around us, we just cannot see them. Not all Muslims in America are our enemies, but a substantial minority are. Perhaps only a tiny subset supports terrorism as a means to an end, but it is the end which I fear more than the means. That end is the imposition of Islamic law. As long as American Muslims support Sharia, or Islamic Law, they are our enemies.
Earlier I posted on an event scheduled by the Metroplex Organization of Muslims in America in Irving, Texas celebrating the man who coined the phrase 'Great Satan' to describe the United States, the Ayattollah Komeini. I made fun of Khomeini in that post for being a child molester. He was. Like the Prophet Mohammed before him he married and had sex with a 9 year old girl. By definition that is a child molester.
But if Khomeini were only a child molester he would be much less dangerous than he remains to this day. Khomeini's legacy is one of oppression, death, and terror. 25 years ago Khomeini began an Islamist revolution that inspired the likes of Ossama bin Laden. The ideas of the Islamic revolution outlive Khomeini's personal crimes. The Islamist idea itself is a crime.
The Islamist ideal is one with no seperation of church and state. This goes far beyond the Christian Right's demand for recognition of religious life--such as prayer in school--but would extend to all aspects of society. The Christian Right, as far as I can tell, wants a value system that hearkens back to the 1950s. Islamists want a value system that hearkens back to the 1350s. The Christian Right wants to outlaw abortion, the Islamists want to outlaw fornication. The Christian Right wants to reassert the right to speak openly about God in public, the Islamists want to outlaw the conversion of Muslims to other religions. The Christian Right might look down upon you for having a kid out of wedlock, the Islamists want to put you in jail for it (or worse).
The values of Islamism are incompatible with the values of American liberalism.
When I hear that Shia Muslims in Texas are about to celebrate this man, I quiver at their stupidity. When I hear that Shia Muslims around the country will join in unity to celebrate the Islamic state, I tremble with fear. These people are the enemies of liberty. These people are the enemies of freedom. These people are the enemies of the United States.
Most American Muslims of Persian background came here fleeing Khomeini. They are secularists. They fled the chaos of the Iranian Revolution and have relatives who have lived through the nightmare that is the Islamic Republic. They are our friends, neighbors, and allies against the totalitarianism that is the ideal Islamic state.
But what of the Islamists? For years we have been hearing of the threat of Wahhabism. Wahhabism is an extreme sect of Sunni Islam. We've been keeping an eye on these guys for awhile. But what if the threat runs deeper than Wahhabis? What if the threat is found in other branches of Islam? What if the threat of Islamism is in moderate mosques? What if it is even in Shia mosques?
It is. The Irving Mosque is just an example of what many of us have known for some time--the tendency for Muslims of all stripes to be unified around the goal of imposed Sharia law and the uniting of Muslims in an Islamic state. What that state would look like is much disputed--some prefer a return to a Caliphate, others to an Islamic Republic such as in Iran. What Sharia would look like is much disputed--some prefer a Taliban like Sharia while others believe in the most liberal interpretation of Sharia possible. One that would, say, fine you for blasphemy rather than sentence you to death.
But Sharia, liberal or conservative, is still religious law and therefore un-American. A democracy set up along the lines of an Islamic Republic is still a religious state and is therefore un-American. There is such a thing as un-American. This is it.
Rowdy Roddy Piper Where are you when we need you?
Islamist and secularist look alike. They celebrate the same holidays and observe the same dietary restrictions. Islamists don't beat their wives more than secularists. They mow their lawns. They take out their garbage. They wave to you in the morning. They go to work. They have prosperous businesses. They pay their taxes. They are nice people. You cannot tell who they are by looking at them. Some are black, some are white, some are Middle Eastern, some are Asian. You will not know one when you meet one. Still, they are your enemy.
One of my favorite movies of all times is John Carpenter's They Live. In that movie 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper finds a pair of glasses. The glasses allow him to see the reality of the crumbling world around him. The truth was that aliens were in control. They looked just like the rest of us, but with the glasses you could see them. You could see the propaganda and lies behind what they were saying. You could see the enemy amongst us.
If we only had those glasses things would be so much easier. If we only had those glasses we could isolate the enemies within. If we only had those glasses we could keep an eye on the danger.
We have no glasses. Until we get some it will be up to Muslim Americans themselves to isolate not only those that support violent jihad, but also those that support the Islamist ideal. If they do not, the enemies will go unchecked.
Rowdy Roddy Piper Where are you when we need you?
Wizbang Stole from My Site!
UPDATE: This is a joke based on the lunacy of Dr. Hailey. This is only a joke.
I accuse the crew at Wizbang of copyright infringement.
To whom it may concern:
Kevin Aylward, Paul, and Jay Tea have stolen images from my site in violation of their own code of ethics as stated here:
Wizbang will process notices of alleged infringement which it receives and will take appropriate actions as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") and other applicable intellectual property laws. Pursuant to the DMCA, notifications of claimed copyright infringement should be sent to Wizbang's Designated Agent.*Meaning that Kevin should have known that it was illegal for his posters to seize my images and other files from my site and use them on his. Yet, until today, my images were posted all over his site. It is possible that he considers himself sufficiently an investigative reporter that he can do whatever he pleases with my documents. Possibly, he uses the argument that my files were not behind my firewall, and so they were in the public domain. But stealing files from the bed of a pickup is no different from stealing files from within the cab. I can’t accuse Kevin specifically of taking my files from my site (a person named Paul claims to have done it), but Kevin permitted Paul to post them on Wizbangblog.com. And he used them in articles of his own.
He even 'stole files from my site'!!
UPDATE: The previous post was just a joke and use of Dr. Hailey's copyrighted material subject to Fair Use rules.
I'm aware of the commenting problem and working to fix it. Drop me a line if you need me.
Weblog Awards and Defining 'Blogger'
I have one bone to pick. I am pretty pissed about NRO's Kerry Spot winning for Best New Blog. Geraghty runs a great internet site, but it's not a blog. A blogger, by definition, doesn't have a boss. He might get paid through advertisements or donations, but he doesn't fill out a W-2. Geraghty is a columnist, Bill Ardolino is a blogger.
Kudos to Kevin Aylward who did his best to vet the process. I guess I'm partially to blame for some of the undeserving nominees making the final cut--I had promised him I'd help with the awards and then sort of cheesed out. Sorry, finals take a lot out of a guy. I had to decide whether to help with the awards or keep blogging. I chose the latter.
In the future, though, let's make sure blog awards go to, you know, bloggers. Not everyone who has a website is a blogger. Not everyone who writes online is a blogger. Bloggers are a community of the unprofessional. We are the pajamahadin. We are media entrepreneurs. We are what democracy looks like. We are the voice of the people.
We need to come up with a better definition for 'blog' and 'blogger'.
Ok, end pontification.
It was enough for me to make the final cut for Best New Blog of 2004. Thanks for the many endorsements--I lost track of them a day or so after the voting began. Shout out to all of you who didn't vote for me as instructed. Some props, too, for the homies who gave me their own awards. For instance, I received an award for Best Blog By A College Professor Who Can't Spell While Live Blogging During A Final Exam (in your face Llama Butchers) and one for Blogger most likely to appear under the headline 'Man Kills 5, Shoots Self' (update: read that one wrong earlier---I'm much happier with this one!!). I gladly accept those awards and thank all the little people that made this great occasion possible.....
Victor Davis Hanson on Terrorism as Propaganda
John Hawkins has more of the best of VDH 2004. Here is a teaser.
"The improvised explosive device is a metaphor for our time. The killers cannot even make the artillery shells or the timers that detonate the bombs, but like parasites they use Western or Western-designed weaponry to harvest Westerners. They cannot blow up enough Abrams tanks or even Humvees to alter the battlefield landscape. But what they can accomplish is to maim or kill a few hundred Westerners in hopes that our own media will magnify the trauma and savagery of their attack — and do so often enough to make 300 million of us become exhausted with the entire "mess." The message of Arabic television is that the Iraqis are supposed to blame us, not their brethren who are killing them, for the carnage. Not our power, but our will, is the target."
Rockeffeller and Wyden to be Kicked Off Intelligence Committee??
If I'm reading between the lines correctly that is what's going on beyind the scenes now. A criminal investigation is also under way into the good Senators' offices over a leak about a secret spy satellite. (Hat tip: Ace)
Child Molester Ayatollah Khomeini Called 'Visionary'
Incredible. If Muslims in America support this sort of thing than we are in far more danger than even I, a self-proclaimed alarmist, could have imagined. This conference not only celebrates Ayattollah Khomeini but his vision of a world ruled by Sharia law. Notice that one of the keynote speakers will be a representative of C.A.I.R. This is frightening. (Hat tip: Charles Johnson)
Book by George Bush Banned in Egypt
It's true. Just a different George Bush. You want the truth? You can't handle the truth. Reuters:
The censors at al-Azhar, Cairo's center of Islamic learning, have recommended the government ban a 19th century biography of the Prophet Mohammad by a scholar portrayed in the Arabic media as an ancestor of President Bush.Hat tip: Robert Spencer
An al-Azhar official, who asked not to be named, said on Monday the ban applied to the original English version of The Life of Mohammad by the scholar George Bush, first published in 1830 and reissued in the United States in 2002.
He did not give a reason but press articles on an Arabic translation of the book have criticized its account of early Islamic history. They quote Bush as saying Muslims spread Islam by force and persecuted Christians, for example.
Temperature in Hell Falling: Democracy Coming to Iraq
I'm still skeptical about the outcome of all this--no, not Juan Cole tin-foil skeptical, just cautious in my optimism--- but it seems like a step in the right direction. 79 parties, including a top Sunni Muslim party, have registered to run candidates in the upcoming Iraqi elections.
Senior Zarqawi Aide Hassan Ibrahim Farhan Zaydi Killed
Getting warmer.....The details are sparse, but from the various press reports I pieced together it seems that Hassan Ibrahim Farhan Zaydi was involved in coordinating the Islamist efforts of Abu Mussab Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq with former Saddam loyalists and Baath party members who are pan-Arabists but secular. The announcement came in the middle of a press conference by Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi where he also announced that the trials of former regime members will begin next week. The Courier:
He added that an alleged senior figure among the foreign-inspired Islamists who are believed to be making common cause in an anti-American insurgency with secular former Saddam loyalists had also been caught.If, in fact, two of Zarqawi's men were captured alive this is very good news.
"In addition to the members of the former regime, there are terrorist elements that came from abroad," Mr Allawi said.
"A person called Hassan Ibrahim Farhan Zaydi was killed. He is one of Zarqawi's people. Two of his aides were detained.
"Of course he was killed in a confrontation. These were involved in major acts of destruction."
More Mass Graves Found in Kurdish Iraq
Laborers digging on a construction site in northern Iraq uncovered human skulls and bones on Tuesday, which interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said were part of a mass grave believed to contain some 500 bodies. Allawi told Iraq's National Council in Baghdad that the grave was found near the city of Sulaimaniya in the autonomous Kurdish region in the northeast of the country, where Saddam Hussein's forces carried out atrocities in the late 1980s. "Today a mass grave was discovered in the city of Sulaimaniya, with the initial number of 500 martyrs," he said.
Above: A sculpture of Nawzad Girashae a Kurdish artist in the room where he was tortured. The Red Security Building, Sulaimaniya. The rest of Maureen McLuckie's photo album of her trip to Kurdistan can be found here.
Hot Lesbo Star Wars Chick Pundit Dead
But her memory will live on.....
December 13, 2004
Proud to be a, er, Trojan
Pro-American President Elected in Romania
Left out of all the articles on the winner of the Romanian Presidential election, Traian Basescu, is the fact that he is supportive of the US Iraq policy. Even more telling is that both of the candidates in the election support our efforts in Iraq. New Europe pulls through again! Telegraph:
The pro-western mayor of Bucharest caused a serious upset in the Romanian presidential election yesterday, defeating the country's former communist prime minister.
Known as "The European", reform-minded Traian Basescu surged past Adrian Nastase as the votes from Sunday's poll were counted.
Retarded Girl Sentenced to Death in Iran
I'm sorry, did my use of the word retarded offend you? The retard was also a whore. Yes, a retarded whore. You think that's offensive? How about a religion that sentences retarded whores to death? Now that's offensive. Amnesty International:
A 19-year old girl, “Leyla M”, who has a mental age of eight, reportedly faces imminent execution for “morality-related” offences after being forced into prostitution by her mother as a child. According to a Tehran newspaper report of 28 November, she was sentenced to death by a court in the central Iranian city of Arak and the sentence has now been passed to the Supreme Court for confirmation.Hat tip: Robert Spencer
Leyla M was reportedly sentenced to death on charges of “acts contrary to chastity” by controlling a brothel, having intercourse with blood relatives and giving birth to an illegitimate child. She is to be flogged before she is executed. She had apparently “confessed” to the charges. Earlier reports stated that there would be an appeal, and the 28 November report indicates that this process is now at an end.
Social workers have reportedly tested her mental capacities repeatedly and each time have found Leyla to have a mental age of eight. However, she has apparently never been examined by the court-appointed doctors, and was sentenced to death solely on the basis of her explicit confessions, without consideration of her background or mental health.
Leyla was forced into prostitution by her mother when she was eight years old, according to the 28 November report, and was raped repeatedly thereafter. She gave birth to her first child when she was nine, and was sentenced to 100 lashes for prostitution at around the same time. At the age of 12, her family sold her to an Afghan man to become his “temporary wife”. His mother became her new pimp, “selling her body without her consent”
Paranthetically Digger ran a poll on "Should Prostitution Be Legalized?" last week. I'm guessing that even the %14.9 percent of right-wing hate-monger Christians who answered "No, It's Immoral" wouldn't favor the death penalty for purveyors of the world's oldest occupation. Just a hunch.
Zarqawi Planning Atack Bigger than 9/11
Iraq-based al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Mussab al- Zarkawi is planning a terror strike of greater magnitude than the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, according to a German newspaper report published on Monday.Hat tip: Robert Spencer
The daily Tagesspiegel in Berlin quotes a follower of al-Zarkawi as saying the Jordanian radical, who is believed to be behind many of the kidnappings and attacks in Iraq, had told him there would be "a really big event" soon.
According to the follower, named as Fathala F., al-Zarkawi had told him the attack would be bigger than the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Tagesspiegel said it interviewed Fathala F., who is being held by US forces in Iraq, during a six-hour meeting last Thursday.
Fathala F., a Kurdish member of the Iraqi terror group Ansar al- Sunna, said he had met al-Zarkawi in Falluja before US forces moved into the rebel stronghold last month.
The report said Fathala F. has been offered a special witness deal by US authorities in return for information. It said security authorities believe his account of the meeting with al- Zarkawi to be genuine.
Egyptian Clerics Issue Fatwas Against Ironing Pants (none against Rusty Shackleford)
One recent fatwa forbade the practice of yoga on the grounds that it is an ascetic Hindu practice.Rusty's favorite past time is yoga.
Another declared that Muslims should not use the internet because it makes them waste their time.I do nothing but waste time on the internet!
Most recently, a fatwa announced that ironing women's pants was forbidden as women are not allowed to wear pants in Islam.I iron my wife's pants......ok, you caught me on that one. I don't allow my wife to wear pants either. In fact, she prances around the house in nothing but a g-string and halter top. Except that by house I mean trailor. Next.
"Flooding people's minds with fatwas," is how veteran writer and columnist Salama Ahmad Salama described the current situation. "The problem in not with Islam... this phenomenon encourages people not to use their minds when dealing with the simplest issues," wrote Salama in the daily Al Ahram last month.The problem is not with Islam. Right.
Meet the New Hot Abercrombie Chick: Witty Sex Kitten
Someone with a blog named Witty Sex Kitten dropped a comment today. What better way to attract attention in the sea of unread blogs than to put the phrase sex kitten in your title? Oh, but make sure that if you do sex kitten schtick you pose as a girl. This is crucial.
Seriously, there's good Witty Sex Kitten Schtick and there's bad Witty Sex Kitten schtick. What's the difference??
Good Witty Sex Kitten avatar:
Bad Witty Sex Kitten avatar:
Next if you're going to do schtick like this make sure you post an online picture of yourself. Take a lesson from HAC Amanda Doerty--post a picture of a hot chick and pretend that it's you! Cause there is something trite and boring about another dude discussing the metaphysical assumptions behind affirmative action, but there's something intriguing and interesting about a hot young thang discussing the ontology of gay marriage.
Good Witty Sex Kitten fake pic:
Bad Witty Sex Kitten fake pic:
Last, make sure you know that there may be a big disconnect between the reasons you're blogging and the reasons your readers come back regularly. For instance, Amanda Doerty blogs because 'she' thinks 'she' has something important to say about politics and philosophy. However 'she' is well aware that 'her' consumers come to her blog to flirt with 'her', hence 'her' pic is on every page. Wonkette thinks she is witty, but her consumers read her stuff just waiting for the next anal sex reference. It's kind of like Howard Stern for the crowd living in their mother's basement. Moral of the story: make sure that either your fake pic is plastered on every page or you throw in plenty of reference to back door action. What you write is only tangential to the fantasy you project to your readers.
You know, I think I've learned something here today.......From this day, henceforth and forever, we shall be known as the Hot Lesbo Star Wars Report!! and I shall be known as Princess Brittney Spears. Here is my pic. I'm on the left. Toodles.
Soldiers Sent to Federal 'Pound Me in the Ass' Prison for Scrounging
Funny, in the movies the guys who are 'resourceful' in the procurement process never seem to get caught--or if they do they get a wink and nod for being the loveable scamp. In real life it gets you time. I heard the same story on NPR today. Pictured right-Tony Curtis plays a submarine supply officer forced to take 'creative license' in procuring needed supplies in Blake Edward's 1959 classic Operation Pettycoat.
I have a feeling there is a whole lot of stuff being left out of this story. It doesn't pass the smell test. From the very first sentence the story is set in the context of the 'armor problem' in Iraq, even though this story has nothing to do with lack of armor. Via James Joyner this CBS New York article:
At a time when some U.S. troops in Iraq are complaining they have to scrounge for equipment, six Ohio-based reservists were court-martialed for taking Army vehicles abandoned in Kuwait by other units so they could carry out their own unit's mission to Iraq...Both James Joyner and John Little seem to take the story at face value. My experience has been that if you talk to any convicted criminal they will always give you a story. It is completely possible that Brit's version of the story is true, but my insticts are always to give the benefit of the doubt to the prosecution after a verdict is handed down in a case. Plus given the context the story tries to suggest a pattern blaming the Pentagon for problems in Iraq and my eyes just start rolling. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
The reservists took two tractor-trailers and stripped parts from a five-ton truck that had been abandoned in Kuwait by other units that had already moved into Iraq, one of the reservists, Darrell Birt of Columbus, told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Birt, a former chief warrant officer, and the others were charged with theft, destruction of Army property and conspiracy to cover up their crimes. Birt said he and two others pleaded guilty and the other three were convicted. All received six-month sentences.
``Nobody ever reported these trucks stolen. The deal was, when you are moving, if it was going to take more than 30 minutes to fix it, you left it,'' said Birt, who was released in November. ``I'm a Christian man and I can't ignore what we did, but it was justified to get us in the fight and to sustain the fight.''
Finals Live Blogging
Ever wonder what a professor thinks during a final? Here's your chance to find out!! I will be live-blogging the final I will be giving at 10:30 a.m. (Central) right here. Good times all-around!! Other than that, blogging will be light.
Scroll past the pic for updates.
10:45 Just gave out finals. Since I'm heading out of town I decided to go with an all multiple choice exam. I know it's kind of a cop out, but there's just no way I can grade that many tests before my plane takes off. At least it's comprehensive.
10:50 What really surprises me about this class is how many students show up for the final who never--NEVER--come to class. What are they thinking? This is the first time I've taught this particular class. There's no Frat/Soror test bank they can cheat from. I just finished making the exam an hour ago. Sent to the photocopier half an hour ago. No way to cheat.
10:52 15 minutes into the test and one person done already???? Was it that easy??? It was 55 questions long!!!
10:55 Scantron test vs. essay. Multiple choice tests suck to write. Can I hear a shout-out about that y'all?!? Seriously, they suck. For each question you have to come up with four answers, and a good multiple choice exam So the major disadvantage to them is they require a lot of prep time. The advantage is that they take next to no time to grade.
Essays take almost no time to write but FOREVER to grade. The major pitfall in an essay test is that if you're pressed for time you stop actually reading the things and start scanning for key words.
10:58 Screams of exhaltation in the halls. Poked my head out. Not one of my students. Good. The screams seem to be from a student who just aced a final in another class. Why do they feel they need to share their joy with every one on the floor?
11:00 50% of students done now. I sense that I made a huge error in judgement on the difficulty level of this test. Way too easy. It was designed to be a one hour test.
11:02 I hate it when students wear hats on a test day. Way too easy to conceal answers on the inside of the cap's bill.
11:03 Here's a bonus point question for your amusement. This is an actual question. Can you guess the answer?
#54--How much does freedom cost?
11:05 Another bonus question
#51--Patty and Selma Bouviere worke at what government bureaucracy?
a) the Springfield lottery commission
b) the Springfield DMV
c) the Springfield Motor Speedway
d) the Springfiel Isotopes' front office
11:10 All students done. Are you freaking kidding me?? WAY TOO EASY. Man, I have really misunderestimated the difficulty of the test.
Two general reactions from students.
The Bullshitters. This group moaned when they heard that there would be no essay portion of the test. I usually include one or two essays for all my tests. This group knows how to BS so well that they always do especially well on essays. Their use of the English language is usually spot on and they usually write well. The two strongest reactions came from the two students preparing for law-school. Oddly enough, one of them is a cheerleader. You don't often find a cheerleader heading for law school. The other one is on the debate team. No shock there.
The Slackers. This group let out whoops of elation on hearing the news. The way they figure it, they've got a 1 in 4 chance of guessing the answer right. This includes most of our Criminal Justice majors and the odd person out of the Education department. Are CJ majors this bad at all schools?? The thing is that the CJ profs here seem pretty tough and both have rigorous academic training and publication records. But how come all the dull students seem to congegate toward that major??
Last note. One of my top students asked if it would be alright to not turn in a term paper. The paper alone is worth 20% of the grade. He says he just doesn't care about the grade in the class and he had too much other work to do. Of course I told him it was his grade and I would sleep fine at night with him getting a C. But I must admit that this bothers me some. He's the guy that set the curve--literally. On the one hand I know that other priorities must sometimes come before school, but on the other hand it shows that this class means little to him. That my lectures meant little to him. That I mean little too him.
So, if you ever sluff off doing a paper or taking a test do us all a favor--come up with a lame excuse. Our egos are tied to these things. We do take it personally. Look, no one I know got into this racquet for the money. We do it for a number of reasons, but at some level I think all of us enjoy seeing students learn. If you don't value what we're doing keep it to yourself. It may be less than honest, but at least you'll be making me feel better.
December 11, 2004
Damn, Bush Feels Good to be a Gangsta
Because I got to do something before the office party tonight! Seriously, tonight is the office Christmas shin-dig. In the spirit of Office Space, here is the fourth verse of Damn it feels good to be a gangsta by the Geto Boys:
And now, a word from the President!
Damn it feels good to be a gangsta
Gettin voted into the White House
Everything lookin good to the people of the world
But the Mafia family is my boss
So every now and then I owe a favor gettin' down
like lettin' a big drug shipment through
And send 'em to the poor community
So we can bust you know who
So voters of the world keep supportin' me
And I promise to take you very far
Other leaders better not upset me
Or I'll send a million troops to die at war
To all you Republicans, that helped me win
I sincerely like to thank you
Cuz now I got the world swingin' from my nuts
And damn it feels good to be a gangsta
New Ansar al Sunnah & Islamic Army in Iraq Videos Released
UPDATE: This is an archive page. For the latest information on terrorist communiques and videos, please go to the MAIN PAGE here.
The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah has released a video of a Turkish worker captured in NorthMosul. The video may be downloaded here or excerpts from the video here. The group has threatened to murder the Turk for his 'collaboration'. To the right is a still image taken from the video.
The Army of Ansar al Sunnah also released another new propaganda and recruiting video. Details here. Interestingly, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi'sal Qaeda in Iraq has been relegated to posting messages at Islamic bulletin boards since the US began it's Fallujah campaign. It would seem that the same sort of show of force is now needed in and around Mosul, the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah's main base of operation.
Al Qaeda Terrorist Caught at Border?
Tom Clancy, you are a prophet. Red Rabbit describes a terrorist organization cooperating with the drug lords to sneak operatives over our porous border with Mexico. The Brownsville Herald (HT: Robert Spencer):
Last week’s arrest of a Bangladeshi immigrant trying to illegally enter the country has federal authorities concerned over the vulnerability of the U.S.-Mexico border to infiltration by terrorists.Others: Chad Evans
Federal court records show Fakhrul Islam, age unknown, was arrested Dec. 4 with 13 other undocumented immigrants as they tried to pass through a wooded area east of Brownsville.
The records said a man later identified by Border Patrol agents as a member of the Mara Salvatruchas gang was traveling in the same group as Islam.
The Central American gang has alleged links to al-Qaida....
Islam was not charged with any other offenses and will remain in federal custody until he is deported and returned to Bangladesh, said Nancy Herrera, spokeswoman with the Houston office of the U.S. attorney’s Southern District of Texas.
Officials with the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, D.C., could not be reached for comment by press time Thursday.
Note to Terrorists: Blow up anything, but spare the brothels and the hashish houses!! For the love of all that is holy I beg of you!!!!!
Justice authorities arrested a Moroccan man last month after receiving a tip-off that Islamic extremists were allegedly planning an attack on the Red Light District in Amsterdam, it was reported on Friday.(Hat tip: Charles Johnson)
The pizza-delivery courier allegedly conducted reconnaissance of the capital's prostitution zone while riding through the area during work hours on his scooter. He was arrested on 5 November. Newspaper De Telegraaf described him as a "radical Moroccan pizza courier".
Madrid Bombing Terrorist Comments on Nick Berg Beheading Video
This Mathaba.Net article describes what it is like being a translator for various intelligence agencies. It also describes a surveillance operation of Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, now in custody for his role in the Madrid train bombing, watching the Nick Berg beheading video:
"That's the way, Allah is great, Allah is great, Allah is great…. Go to Hell, enemy of God, kill him … cut his head off," Ahmed growled amid sounds of the slaying. "If it was me, I'd have burned him to show him that this is what hell is like."
December 10, 2004
VH1 Reinforces My Homophobia
Back in high school I used to worry that gay people were all around me. Especially worrisome was the dreaded locker room change. No, I wasn't worried that some Senior would make fun of me--Rusty packs some serious heat--I was worried that the gays were checking out my junk. It turns out, they were!!
I was watching VH1's My Coolest Years: In the Closet episode when they started rapping about what it was like to be gay and in gym class. All of the guys agreed: On the one hand being gay sucked because gays were all scrawny and unathletic, but on the other hand being gay also ruled because they got to check out all the hot guys undressing in the locker room!
As one of the gay commentators noted (and I'm paraphrasing): I was the first one in the shower and the last one out!
And in the words of another (also paraphrasing): I didn't have to rent porn. I was surrounded by dick. Dick everywhere I looked!! (yes, he used the word dick)
One mentioned that after the locker room he would go home and flog the monkey!!
So, the moral of the story seems to be this: Teenage boys beware!! Gays are just like you--like they tell you in all your PC classes. But what are you like you freaking little horndogs? Oh, and girls, just remember this when you get that creepy feeling that some guy is totally checking your bits and pieces out: they really are. And the next time you think some guy is oogling you be comforted in the fact that you're not alone because occasionally we get oogled too!
One of my biggest dreams as a teenager was to re-enact that scene from Porky's. You know the one. Now to my horror I learn that all the gays got to do just that.
So as GLAD/ACT UP! tries to do away with the Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy remember this--do you want your fellow soldiers checking out your junk in the shower?
And as the ACLU pushes to integrate gay leaders into the Boy Scouts of America remember that there is a reason we call sex with a teenage minor statutory rape and that Boy Scouts are not children but adolecent boys (12-18). Would you trust a 25 year old man to take your 14 year old daughter camping for a week? Well you shouldn't you naive idiot.
So, thank you VH1 for making clear what all of us who don't buy the PC bullshit about homosexuality. Gays are just like the rest of the male species. Oh, except for the fact that they want to, you know, have sex with other guys.
Linked with Joyner. Now does that sound gay or what? Also, this post is a shoe in for next week's Bonfire.
PS: (Probably of no interest to most readers) Speaking of gay....Bill at INDC (who is still not gay despite all the rumors) must have a part time gig at the Village Voice because in true ACT UP! fashion he outs Steve and Rob. Jawa sources indicate that Rob has filed a sexual harassment suit against Steve and has quit his post as Gov. Steve's Sec. of Homeland Securtiy for Llama-land. Steve is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow where he confirms that, yes, he had an affair with Rob--but, no, it was consensual. Colossus blog has another version of the story.
Paranthetically, I never showered with Llama but there was this one dude who would make this weird orgle sound in the locker. Kind of creepy thinking back.
My Letter to Terrorists
Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta! In my ongoing effort to get a fatwa issued against me by Islamic terrorists, I have sent the following letter to the terrorist scum who run the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah and Islamic Army in Iraq websites. No response yet. I invite you to do the same. If any Arabic speaker would like to write a sample letter that we could copy and paste, it might help ensure that the e-mails are read.
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 15:25:53 -0800 (PST)
From: "Rusty Shackleford"
Subject: Allahu Akhbar: Donating to the Cause
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Praise Allah for your work against the oppressors in the Land Between the Two Rivers.
There is no God named Allah and Muhammed was a false prophet. Muhammed is burning in hell right now with the other child molesters. The only thing that keeps me from pissing on the Koran right now is that I use it's pages to wipe my ass after I take a shit.
I can't wait until the Marines find you and kill you. Then you will join Muhammed in hell.
Loves and Kisss,
Can I just add: Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!!
Sunni Party Back in Iraqi Elections
There were already signs that Sunni ranks were breaking: One group that had called for a delay, the Iraqi Islamic Party, quietly submitted a 275-candidate list Thursday. ...Another bit of bad news from the article was that the Shiite majority has submitted a unified list of candidates with both Islamist and secularist on the list. If an Islamist coalition succeeds in taking power in Iraq, than our invasion will be worst than in vain. An Islamist Iraq is more dangerous to the security of the United States than one under the socialist dictatorship of Saddam's Baath Party.
The announcement by the Iraqi Islamic Party to submit a list of candidates suggested Sunni Arabs have begun to see the vote as inevitable. Senior party official Ayad al-Samarrai said the move was meant to prove the party was serious about elections, but will need to evaluate the situation further before deciding whether to contest the vote.
"We're reserving our right" to participate in the elections, al-Samarrai said. "Toward the end, we will decide."
Child Molestation: It's not just for Catholics anymore!!
A Pakistani minister has revealed hundreds of cases of alleged child sex abuse at Islamic schools, or madrassas.Hmmm, I wonder if angry Catholic priests called up those investigating sex abuse and threatened them with death? Oh, wait, you're telling me that Catholics gave up killing people in the name of religion somewhere between the Dark Ages and the Enlightenment? Fascinating. (Hat tip: Bill Dauterieve)
There were 500 complaints this year of abuse allegedly committed by clerics, Aamer Liaquat Hussain, a minister in the religious affairs department, said.
That compares with 2,000 last year, but as yet there have been no successful prosecutions, Mr Hussain told the BBC.
The minister's revelations have sparked death threats and infuriated some religious political leaders.
Mr Hussain said he had received death threats from clerics, but that he had done his job and his conscience was clear.
UPDATE: Hyscience has a very interesting addendum on homosexual culture and pedophelia in the Muslim world.
Iraqi Bloggers Meet President Bush at White House
Mohammed and Omar of the Iraq the Model Blog just met with the President of the United States at the White House. How cool is that? From Sysop at American Faith who attended a Spirit of America event in DC last night and was able to meet Omar and Mohammed who were the key note speakers:
Now here’s the best part: today, without prior notice, Omar and Mohammed went to the Oval Office and met with President Bush! They said that the meeting lasted about a half hour, and the President was very interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of Iraqi citizens first hand. He wasn’t aware until then of the good things that Spirit Of America has been doing over there to help the Iraqi people and assist in their obtaining democracy. Omar joked that he got to meet POTUS and they didn’t even search his pockets beforehand.It looks like the Wall Street Journal noticed that the two Iraqi bloggers were in NYC and covered the story as well. Hat tip: Jane of Armies of Liberation
Poncho, Poncho, Ponchoman
In the army, there is a form of punishment called an RBI (Reinforcement By Indorsement) in which the soldier is required to write a 1,000 word essay to describe his errors in judgment and so on. In this case, I have been forwarded an RBI written by a gentleman who failed to bring all his proper equipment to a function. And it is well, well worth the read. It starts a little something like this...
"It is Extremely Important that I Bring my Equipment Every Day Because if I Don't the Drill Sergeant makes me write a stupid R.B.I., which I must write, because if I don't the Army will kick me out, instantly ruining my life because I will be unable to get a job, and I will wind up living in a cardboard box because sometimes society can be a cruel, cruel entity.
Therefore, I will always from now on bring my poncho to chow because as everyone knows, it often rains inside of the mess hall. I also do not like to live in a cardboard box."
From there, it just gets funnier, and includes such phrases as "... some stunning orchids, or perhaps maybe a Rhododendron."
December 09, 2004
The Anglo/American Pocket Breakout
Samuel Beer, one of our top echelon of political sociologists, talks about the "Whig Rebellion," but I'm not sure whether that term wasn't coined by him. When I use it with most Brits I get a blank stare. That could be a deficiency of their education system. Anyway he considers the American Revolution a continuation of this Whig Rebellion..., and the US as the ideological offspring of the "Scottish Enlightenment." No doubt the foundations of that enlightenment have to do with English history and tradition, even though it was frequently arrayed in opposition.
At one time I was rather taken with reading up on Oliver Protector, and that whole era of English history that dovetails into the Whig Rebellion, but found Antonia Fraser's book so tedious that I'd almost rather cut my throat than read it. Why didn't someone slap her? Anyway, what attracted me about that period was the juxtaposition of the concepts of Puritanism and Providence, and the fact that Protestantism became militantly revolutionary for a time. There was an interesting group of radicals around during that period called the Fifth Monarchists, who were the seventeenth century forerunners of the Phalange, except that they were Protestant rather than Papist. Unlike the rest of the Calvinists, they weren't content to wait until things got settled in Heaven. They wanted to perfect mankind NOW. Had they taken over Calvinism, it would have developed into a warrior cult.
Well, that's the essence of my theory. Cromwell's defeat changed the character of Calvinism, from a religion that was somewhat focused directly on God's Plan for this world, into one that saw the things of this world as merely a "sign" of what could be expected in the next. This shift from actual to potential, and from temporal to eternal, was profound, and it's essentially what makes the Calvinists different from the Islamists (apart from the obvious doctrinal differences between Christians and Muslims). It's why Osama's silly "crusades" talk misses the point, and why Islam has been so "backward." That military defeat is when Calvinism was "defanged." There is no small irony contained in the fact that ignoring this world tended to have the greatest impact on it, and a focus on the next world tended to order the things of this world to the greatest effect.
Which brings me to America, or the United States of America if you happen to see things from a continental perspective. According to a friend of mine (whose name happens to be Lavine) the culture of the United States of American is composed of three cultural elements: The dominant ones are the two twins: the Enlightenment and the Reformation. We are an essentially Lockean culture, in that individual sovereignty is more than merely one of many strains of thought or allegiance, but the primary allegiance. In addition, we're puritanical in the classic sense, borrowing some of our militancy from Oliver Protector... So when we go to war it's always against the Devil... and woe unto any President or statesman who is imprudent enough to allow the Devil to escape his just deserts. Bush II understands this principle, which is why he doesn't commune with his father, and why Al Qaeda is doomed (even though the Left says we're not paying sufficient attention to those rascals).
But, not to wander too far off topic, the third element of America's culture is recessive rather than dominant. It was manifested in the American version of the Counter-enlightenment, through people like Emerson, Thoreau and Margaret Fuller (i.e. Transcendentalism). And although Michael Moore and even Noam Chomsky derive part of their legitimacy from this genuine strain of Americanism, they don't do so sensibly. For if they did, they'd be far more cognizant of principle, and far less inclined to lie "for the cause." In fact, it was probably Thoreau himself who coined the phrase "a fish in the milk," which is an agrarian literary reference if there ever was one.
People like Pete Hamel, and few others in the genuine tradition of Emerson and Fuller, tend to see American "conservatism" as recessive, and therefore temporary... but he at least sees it as necessary (which it is). I guess what he doesn't quite grasp with both claws is the notion that we're not really "conservative," so much as anchored in Puritanism and Lockean liberalism (or whigism). For awhile, until the Civil War, we even had a political party called the Whigs... but they couldn't cope with the challenge of slavery. And that brings us very close to the main point of the ramble...
The Democrats of the 19th century were even worse than their cousins, the Whigs, having established the Copperhead movement in opposition to Lincoln. But unlike the Whigs they had no close ideological rival willing to lay down their wishful thinking in order to "get it right." So they weren't displaced as were the Whigs. They survived, but as I recall (and I could be slightly off so feel free to check) from the Civil War until the election of FDR there were only two Democrat Presidents (although one was elected twice), and they were also the minority in Congress for most of that period. So they paid a heavy price for being on the "wrong side of history," even though they didn't exit the stage with the Whigs.
Which brings me very close to the point. I think Totalitarianism is the challenge of the 20th and 21st centuries, as slavery was the challenge of the 19th. Like slavery it is a problem that has been with us from the very inception of civilization, and may even represent a kind of civilizational mitochondria. And the struggle against it will transform us, because we've been so intimate with it... and because its inherent evil and symbiotic character is now almost completely unmasked.
The struggle against totalitarianism has transformed the United States of America from a kind of backwater in the 1900s into a superpower after WWII, and finally into the sole superpower. Every branch of my family has been involved, and every one of them has sacrificed their sons and daughters The world is completely mistaken, however, to conclude that this is about "empire." It's far more elemental than that.
Although we've taken the lead it'll soon be the world's turn. As it has transformed us it will ultimately transform the world, and in the same direction. Though "the world" is far closer in character and temperament to the recessive element of American culture, it is bound far closer to us than it realizes When the mood shifts from detractor to partner, it will happen rather quickly... and will be largely and shockingly unexpected by the "powers that be." They think they've carved out quite a little haven behind the protective walls of pure anti-Americanism... not really having appreciated what America is, and what we're about.
I just heard Robert Kaplan speak at AEI recently, and he made observed that what surprised him the most about the Middle East in recent months is the fact that the US can conduct some genuinely brutal actions in Fallujah and other parts of the Sunni triangle, and there's really very little protest from the "Arab street." One would think that if the characterizations of America as the cause of all evil on the planet had as much legitimacy as some would have us think, the "common Arab" just wouldn't stand for a lot of what we've done. (They weren't even that riled by the Abu Ghraib mantra, in spite of all the hype.) So I suspect they're plumb fed up with their tyrants and autocrats, and aren't really all that keen to see a new crop ascend to power dressed in religious robes. They may have about had their fill of that.
About the oil. I guess we all need that, don't we? But who, besides America, protects the Straits of Malacca and protects the shipping lanes that supply a good share of the world's oil free from terrorist pirates? Those lanes are nowhere near the Middle East. We foot the bill for that protective function, and we pretty much do that alone, even though most of the peoples of far flung countries that tend to hate us are benefited. If you don't think this is a critical function perhaps we could stand down for a brief period... just long enough to see what happens. Maybe the UN will step into the breach? :-^
The truth is that if one looks at history counterfactually, the British Empire left the world a lot better off than where they found it... and also better off than where it would have been absent the Empire. Even now, long after the demise of that empire the strongest correlate of emerging democracy and the rule of law is whether a particular nation was ever a British colony. So, Iraq really looks better on that score than one might think, for although it was only a protectorate, that's close enough.
Or it would be close enough, in a mostly sane world. But what we have in the stead of that world are slaughterhouses whose closest ancestors are Dachau and the Gulag Archipelago. And to make matters worse, the heirs of the forebears of the recessive component of American culture are wont to refer to these manifestations of a three-thousand-year-old-evil as "freedom fighters," equivalent to the minutemen who would literally have wretched their precious stomach contents onto the soil of Valley Forge had they seen it.
We are not at the beginning of something, here... but at the beginning of the end. What emerges must be a kind of political institution that transcends ethnically established "nations" by as far as those nations transcended tribes. There is a moral imperative so compelling that the willingness to strap on a bomb in a futile attempt to subvert destiny will seem positively anemic and cowardly.
One day, 28 posts. Screw you guys I'm going home!!
Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun Charged With Desertion
A Marine who was reported abducted in Iraq and later turned up in his native Jordan was charged Thursday with desertion.I think I owe Spoons another apology.
Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun (search) was charged following a five-month investigation into his June disappearance from a U.S. military camp near Fallujah, Iraq, according a statement from the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (search).
Hassoun, of West Jordan, Utah (search), is accused of taking unauthorized leave from the unit where he served as an Arabic interpreter.
Hassoun also is charged with loss of government property and theft of a military firearm for allegedly leaving the Marine camp while still in possession of his 9 mm service pistol, as well as theft and wrongful appropriation of a government vehicle.
No date has been set for an Article 32 hearing, one of the first steps toward a possible court-martial in the military justice system, said Maj. Matt Morgan, the brigade spokesman.
Just kidding. I will never post about cats. Never. Neither would Cindy of Immortal Rants. She would however blog about boobs. In particular Bored Housewive's boobs. Me? In my mind you've seen one pair you've seen em all. Does that make me gay?
The Zen of Michael Moore
What does it look like when Michael Moore becomes 'one with his couch'? Answer here.
Plagiarism and Google
You know how I catch students plagiarizing? Google. Seriously. I just had a colleague e-mail me today how I was able to fail so many while he seemed to never catch it. Just enter a phrase from the paper and 9 times out of ten the number one hit on Google will be the source for the would be cheater.
Grand Mufti Condemns Consulate Attacks (sort of)
What the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia says to the Western Media (hat tipChad Evans):
Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority on Wednesday condemned as a sin the deadly shooting rampage at a U.S. consulate, and local newspapers reported one of the slain assailants was a former employee of the nation's religious police.Read it again. The Grand Mufti never outright denounces the attack for attacking the embassy. Instead he claims it is wrong a) because the Americans are guests b) killed innocent souls, e.g. not Americans (no Americans were killed) c) undermines Saudi Arabian security--the Grand Mufti's job security is dependent on the House of Saud.
Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz al-Sheik said in a statement that anyone who enters the kingdom with the permission of its leaders has a promise of security and should not be attacked.
"What happened on Monday regarding the storming of the U.S. consulate in Jiddah, using weapons and explosives, killing innocent souls, petrifying secure ones, and undermining security in the kingdom are all forbidden acts and grand sins," al-Sheik said.
The MSM is far too willing to take the Grand Mufti's words at face value. Over the years his alleged condemnations of terrorism are never straight forward. For instance, here is an analysis done by Charles over at LGF. Notice that while the MSM gives the Grand Mufti a pass on his condemnation of 9/11, if you actually read his words you realize that in the Grand Mufti's mind 9/11 was wrong because it killed Muslims. When the Grand Mufti recently told young Muslims not to go to Iraq to join 'the resistance' not because the Jihad was wrong per se, but because it was a waste (ie, practical grounds).
Australia to Train Iraqi Intelligence
Australia is considering giving training to Iraqi intelligence officers, Australia’s conservative government said on Monday.
Iraq’s National Security Adviser Qassim Da’ud made the training request during talks with Australia’s Defence Minister Robert Hill in Bahrain.
Hill, in Bahrain for the International Institute of Strategic Studies Gulf summit, said the Iraqi interim government appreciated Australia’s work in helping to train the Iraqi defence force and police, and now wanted help with intelligence officers.
Vote Team America: World Police!!!
Team America: World Police is up for 'Favorite Animated Movie' at the People's Choice Awards. Go Here to VOTE!!
Brian B. wants The Passion to win for Favorite Movie Drama which I guess I'll go along with since I haven't seen any of the other flicks. To be honest I haven't seen most of the movies or even heard of most of the TV Shows.
Iran Interfering in Iraq
A high level delegation is to visit Tehran later this week with documents detailing Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs.
The delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Burham Saleh, will provide the Iranians with proof that they were seriously violating Iraqi sovereignty.
The MSM has no clothes
Operation Pettycoat, McHale's Navy, and Humvee Armor
One of the running gags of WWII comedies is the lack of resources given to soldiers in times of war and the FUBAR nature of the requisition process. A classic example of this would be the 1959 Blake Edwards' film Operation Pettycoat. In that film Tony Curtis plays the charicature found in most WWII comedies: the scheming soldier who somehow manages to mix war-time profiteering with outmaneuvering the red-tape laden chain of command in getting critical supplies to his post. McHale's Navy would be the TV equivalent of this.
Well today the Commissar takes to task the MSM and left-blogosphere for forgetting that lack of resources in war is not something new. Something all of them would have realized had they been watching more WWII comedies.
Luckily, Michelle Malkin notes that the problem seems to be getting fixed. Now when are they gonna paint those Humvees pink?
Tron Comes to Life in Japan
CBS Recruiting Anti-War Bloggers
Several months ago CBS listed the top bloggers as Wonkette, Kos, and Andrew Sullivan. Let's just say this came as no surprise then. As Ace puts it, "It just so happens that [CBS] only want to quote liberals, talk to liberals, ask questions of liberals, and give press to liberals."
And if any one from CBS happens to come upon this site you should know that I'm anti-war. Very anti-war. Bush=Hitler, Cheney Halliburton, No Blood for Oil....
Is Islam Intrinsically Fascist?
“Islamic terrorism is based on Islam as revealed through the Qu’ran,” ....
Tefft, a founder of the CIA’s counter-terrorism center and now an advisor to the New York Police Department’s intelligence and counter-terrorism divisions, said that without Islam, the long-term strategy of Al Qaeda and its followers make little sense.
Linking Osama bin Laden to the attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, Tefft said: “To pretend that Islam has nothing to do with Sept. 11 is to willfully ignore the obvious and to forever misinterpret events.”
In a harsh indictment of Islam – the world’s fastest growing religion and the second-largest faith after Christianity – Tefft said that while there may be moderate Muslims, Islam itself is immoderate.
And, he added, “There is no difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism, which is a totalitarian construct.”
According to Tefft, the Qu’ran enjoins Muslims to believe that the whole world should be governed by the principles of Islam, an expansionist religion that has historically grown through conquest.
All infidels are to be converted, enslaved or killed, he said, drawing on the knowledge of Bernard Lewis, a Jewish historian who has written books about Islam and Islamic history.
Zarqawi Close to Getting Caught?
Close to getting caught aint gonna cut it. Either he's cuaght or killed or he's not. The only really interesting bit of information that you get out of this article is that Jordan has intelligence assets in Iraq and that they are cooperating with the US there. Via James Joyner this CNN piece:
Jordanian King Abdullah II said forces in Iraq are "getting close" to capturing terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. "He's slipped through the net once or twice where we got closer to him than he would have liked," Abdullah told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. "The Iraqis, Jordanians and coalition forces are working very hard to track him down -- and we're getting close." The king said he based his assessment on "hard intelligence."
Male Cadet sues Female Cadet for Battery
Don't ask don't tell run amock. Do we really need a guy who gets beat up by a girl in the Navy?
Santa, Chronic, and NAMBLA
Ok, I know I said I would stop...but this is serious ghetto: Santa Delivers Christmas Pot to Kids.
Ok, the gangsta schtick....
...is getting boring. I saw the new Snoop video this morning, so that is what got me on the kick. There's just something intrinsically funny about a middle-class suburbanite balding white guy getting into harcore gangsta rap. One of my favorite movies of all times is Office Space and there's nothing funnier than the contrast between the soundtrack and the subject matter. Haven't seen it? Go rent it now!
Harry Reid is My Homie
Tis the Season....
...to pop a cap in yo' punk ass! Damn, the holidays are hectic.
Ukrainian Crips Poison Blood
Yushenko was poisoned? A drive-by with a Kalish would be more OG.
Canada, you are my biyatch!!!
Shout Out to New Crip
Sortapundit's sorta-brother sorta has a new blog. Shout out to a new homie in the house.
Link Drop Thursday (Crip edition)
If it hasn't become apparent to everyone who is a regular here, my blogging spirits have been down as of late. First the drop in the ecosystem--plummet is a better word to use. Second, sitmeter is down. Third, I haven't had any time to read other blogs in almost a week.
So, in my ongoing effort to have more fun while engaging in what has become an obsession, I'm going to do some serious link dropping today? Why? Because I'm West Coast, biyatches, and the Crips hang their colors on the left side.
Link dropping is so Old School, for-nizzle.
December 08, 2004
Jawa Report Shizzolated, Biyatch
So this post becomes:
Now THIS Is What da Internet Was Made For!
(Practical Hint: If yo' ass want pop a bunch at one time, hold down da shift key 'n drag da mouse pointer n' shit. Alternatively, just check da "Manic Mode!" box n' shit. )
Add these e-mail addresses to as many spam lists as possible or the terrorists have already won.
Islamic Army in Iraq
Army of Ansar al-Sunnah
Removing Post on American Hostage in Iraq
For the past week I have been running tributes to the forgotten Americans being held hostage in Iraq. Some members of one of the hostages' immediate family have contacted me. They are afraid that overpublicizing their loved ones' plight could hurt his chances for release. Out of respect of the family I have taken down several posts. If you read the posts previously, I ask that you keep continuee to keep him in your prayers.
Now THIS Is What the Internet Was Made For!
(Practical Hint: If you want to pop a bunch at one time, hold down the shift key and drag the mouse pointer. Alternatively, just check the "Manic Mode!" box.) (hat tip: Ace of Spades and Pundit Guy)
December 07, 2004
Jawas Explained: A Guide to My Pet Jawa
Here is a classic from the archives. Enjoy.
Ok, so I've been doing some thinking....not a lot, just some. It seems we can now safely divide our enemies into two camps.
First, you got the jawas. See, these guys don't really like us but don't mind making a buck selling us an R2 unit or oil or whatever. It doesn't matter to them if your part of the Imperial powers that be or a member of the Empire hating Rebel Alliance, as far as they are concerned you are just another colonist that a buck can be made from.
You see, according to their custom they own Tatooine and everyone else should be subjected to them. It really makes no sense to them how we, an uncultured and unsophisticad lot, could control so much of the planet as it rightfully belongs to their ancient culture. They despise being a second rate power when they were the most advanced civillization for so long. They hate you but tolerate you.
The only thing they hate more than you are the "settlers" that ventured out into the desert. In public, they openly rail against these settlers and say they wouldn't mind the rest of the colonists if we would just withdraw our support for this small minority. This would placate some of them, for sure, but they would just find another excuse to resent us.
For the most part, the jawas can be dealt with. They live their semi-nomadic life and simply want to be left alone. But don't misunderstand them, while they wouldn't personally kill you, when a Tusken Raider takes the life of an Imperial Stormptrooper or even an innocent colonist, they secretly (and sometimes openly) celebrate.
Jawa political society varies from clan to clan, with some tribes even outwardly adopting many of the customs of the colonists they so despise. However, in all cases leaders rule with an iron fist.
Second, you got your Tusken Raiders. These guys are a lot like the jawas, but are bigger and meaner. Like the jawas, they too claim that Tattooine belongs to them. In fact, they are a sub-species of the jawas but they claim to be the only "true" followers of the ancient ways. The more radical among them have declared open season on the jawa leadership who they believe have lost their way. Even the most traditional of jawa clans are sellouts, in their view, since they openly trade with the colonists.
Unlike the jawas, they do not think that peaceful coexistence with the colonists is possible. The believe that both the Imperials and the Rebels are basically controlled by the small group of desert settlers. Both the Emperor himself and the President of the Rebel Council are really puppets for this small group that had the audacity to wander out of the cities and into the unfertile desert.
While they share with the jawas a contempt for all things human, they take their anger one step further: they beleive colonists should be killed until the day that Tusken society dominates Tattooine. In order to further that goal, they train their young to kill colonists at every opportunity. Tusken society should be respectfully feared but are not a long term threat to the Empire's grasp on this quadrant. While the Tuskens beleive their raids have severely weakend the Empire's grip on Tattooine, the truth is that the damage done by them is rarely significant. In recent years the Tusken's have taken to hijacking women, taking captives as slaves, and have occasionally hijacked an Imperial transport cruiser or two.
Unlike the jawas that can be tolerated, Tusken Raiders should be killed at every opportunity. Our restraint only emboldens them as it makes us look weak. Often they hide among the jawas. They know we are reluctant to shoot innocent jawas and they know that jawas rarely will turn them over to the Empire. In some places (for example here, and here) they have rested control from the jawa leadership and have imposed a harshly traditional way of life. In fact, many jawas now openly oppose Tusken rule and might be valuable allies of convenience.
My Hobby, Building Sandcrawlers
It seems I've been outted. The secret identity of Dr. Rusty Shackleford finally revealed!! TC Leather Penguin and Rob of Say Anything both found out my true identity. Apparently I'm 38, live in my mother's basement in Jersey and:
The plan was to build a 20-by-12-foot model of a Jawa Sandcrawler, a relatively obscure icon from the original "Star Wars" film, before the next installment of the saga "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" opens in May.
Iran Secretly Sentencing Al-Qaeda Members??
Iran confirmed that it has tried and sentenced fugitive members of Al-Qaeda detained on its soil, but maintained a tight secrecy over which members of Osama bin Laden's network were in the Islamic republicI guess when they're not too busy putting bloggers in jail they might squeeze in a few minutes to nail a bin Ladenite.
Nuking Mecca and MAD
Nearly two months ago I made the case for nuking Mecca as a rational deterrent to radical Islamists bent on using WMD against American civilians. It seems that David Atkins over at WND is either a Jawa Report reader or that no thought is original (thanks to Andre for the link).
Based on the Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine (MAD for short) which successfully deterred a Soviet first strike against the United States for 40+ years of the Cold War, Atkins urges the following policy stance:
In the event of a WMD attack by terrorists on the U.S. homeland or U.S. military facilities overseas, the U.S will immediately and without discussion use its immense nuclear weapons capabilities to destroy the 100 largest Islamic cities on earth, regardless of state, and destroy all of the military facilities of Islamic-dominated states. This will include all of the capitals and at least the 10 largest cities of all Islamic-dominated states and the "holy" cities of Mecca and Medina. In addition, North Korean cities and military installations will be destroyed.
His MAD logic is summarized this way:
Now suddenly everybody from Casablanca, Cairo, Damascus, Riyadh, Tehran, Islamabad, Pyongyang and Jakarta have skin in the game. The last thing they want would be a WMD attack on the U.S. It would mean certain destruction of their societies. They might even be motivated to actually and feverishly work against Islamic terrorism instead of the tepid lip service they currently give. Those "freedom fighters" currently being cheered in the streets would be transformed to deadly threats in the very societies that spawned them.I have numerous problems with the specifics of Atkins proposal--starting with the inhumanity of killing millions of innocent people because a handful of states support Islamic terrorists--but agree that MAD could be used to deter Islamic terrorism. It seems to me that a much more reasonable form of MAD would be to limit the target list to one city, Mecca. The terrorists really don't care if we nuke the capitals of Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Syria. As I argued earlier:
The beauty of this doctrine is that it encourages the 1.2 billion Muslims to actually prove that they are adherents to a "religion of peace," and it holds all Islamic states and North Korea accountable for their behavior. If you don't want your cities on the target list, you have to earn your way off the list.
...if incinerating Damascus were the only threat we could use to deter terrorists then certainly a MAD scheme would not work in this new Cold War we find ourselves in.
However, Mecca is not Damascus. It plays a central role in Muslim worship. Five times a day Muslims pray toward it. All Muslims who have the means are expected to make the Hajj--a pilgrimage to Mecca which revolves around the Kaaba stone. The Kaaba stone is really the reason Mecca is considered holy. Muslims believe the site was used for worship as far back as Adam and that the shrine around the stone was first placed there by Abraham (Ibrahim). There is a 12 mile zone around the stone that infidels are restricted from entering. It's that holy. No non-Muslims near it. In fact, without Mecca and the Kaaba stone, Islam would be very different.
Mecca, then, is quite unlike any other place in the world for Muslims. It is an entire city dedicated to Muslim worship. A place set apart. A holy place. It is an entire city that is thought to be the Temple of God.
Islamist terrorists also consider Mecca the holiest place in the world. It is central to their mode of worship. They face it when they pray. They too believe they must make the hajj. If we take them at their word, then the reason they commit terrorist acts is because they take their religious convictions so seriously. When they kill us, it is because they believe that this is what their God wants them to do.
So, ask yourself the question again: Can terrorists be deterred from using WMD against American targets?
Maybe they can. If Islamic extremists really love their religious institutions in the way that they claim they do, then pointing an ICBM at Mecca may not be the most irrational thing to do. They may not care if the rest of the world goes up in a nuclear mushroom cloud...but Mecca is not the rest of the world. Would they really risk blowing up New York City if they believed the consequences of such an action would be a 30 kiloton nuclear explosion over the Kaaba stone? After all, the nuclear destruction of Mecca would end Islamic forms of worship as they presently exist.
Don't Vote Rusty
In my ongoing effort to practice humility, I urge you not to vote for My Pet Jawa for Best New Blog of 2004. Am I the only one out there who thinks that I don't deserve such an honor? Wait--don't answer that!! What I meant was am I the only blogger who thinks that their own blog is less worthy of an award than other blogs in the same category in which they were nominated?
I see that since I un-endorsed myself that I've dropped from fourth place to like seventh place. I will not rest until I am in last place!! So vote, er, for any one but Jawa. Like Laurence Simon I realize that this blog is full of crap.
The Kurdish Victims of the Army of Ansar al Sunnah
I had seen this translation of the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah's Banner's of Truth propaganda and recruiting video. Heck, I've seen the video! But the Commissar reminded me of it again with this post. There is just something about using Ansar propaganda for a link drop that I can appreciate.
Anyway, if you haven't been following the latest on what Ansar al Sunnah is putting on their website see this earlier post. From the above Ansar al Sunnah propaganda video: Our tears that we shed now are tears for Iraq; while we watch the enemy preparing all the power they can muster to hit an innocent unarmed people that is powerless
Oh yeah? Who are the main victims of Ansar al Sunnah terrorism? The Kurdish people. Ask the Kurds who it is that is 'hitting the innocent unarmed people' of Iraq and they will point the finger at the terrorists who fight the Coalition. Via Hyscience I found Kurdo's blog on Kurdistan which I highly recommend. Ever wondered what Kurdistan looks like? Kurdo has posted a number of photos here for the world to see. He also has images of slaughtered Kurds in Mosul here.
There can be only one solution to the Army of Ansar al Sunnah in Mosul--return that city to the Kurds. I trust the PUK and KDP militias infinitely more than I do the Arab police forces of the city. Unlike other religous and ethnic groups in the country, the Kurds have a proven track record of fighting terrorists and showing them no mercy.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.....
....curse you NZ Bear!! I went from 33 to 83 in a matter of two weeks? Ouch.
I have always been taught that you either humble yourself or you will be humbled. I have been humbled.
To be honest, I never understood how I rocketed to the top so quickly. Last month, for a time, the TTLB Ecosystem was showing that 100+ new unique links to the Jawa were being added each day. I knew there was an error. Still, I enjoyed the lie while it lasted.
I now know what it is like to be Milli and/or Vanilli. Trust me, it sucks. Oh the fame is great. And there's the chicks, don't forget the chicks. Ok, so there's no chicks. But how about all the begs for link plugs? When your three slots away from Mortal Human status you get a ton of requests. It's almost like spam.
So, the Jawa Report returns to earth. Yes, we're still in the top 100 out of tens of thousands of active blogs, but it just doesn't feel the same.
And my dream of mounting Wonkette? Not gonna happen in this lifetime. At least, not as long as adolescent males find a redhead's allusions to anal sex titilating.
Question: Now that Rusty has been brought down to earth and is forced into keeping it real---should we go back to the My Pet Jawa name??? What about Jawa Pundit??? Any suggestions???
I just dropped my wife and three kids off at the airport. I'm bacheloring it until finals are over. I haven't decided yet whether this means more or less blogging. On the one hand I come home to an empty house so I have nothing better to do than blog. On the other hand I come home to an empty house so I can go to the movies, out to dinner, fishing, play basketball, or whatever.
It's quite a dilema.
Do The Math
December 06, 2004
Army of Ansar al-Sunnah Website Update
This is an archive page. For the latest news on The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah and other terrorist groups in Iraq please go to the MAIN PAGE HERE.
UPDATE 5/10: Army of Ansar al-Sunna website releases images of Japanese hostage Akihiko Saito. Images, story, and link to website.
The photos that apper here were all taken from the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah's website. CNN reports that al-Sunnah has been up to a lot lately. The photos that follow the article are propaganda by the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah showing that these men had relationship with the 'Zionist Crusader Forces'. Thus, the murder of a truck driver becomes an execution of a collaborator:
The attacks, focused in Baghdad and several cities to the north, appeared to be aimed at scaring off those who cooperate with the American military -- whether police, national guardsmen, or ordinary people just looking for a paycheck.
They also have targeted Kurdish militiamen and Shiite worshippers in a possible bid to foment sectarian and ethnic unrest....
Sunday's bloodshed began when gunmen opened fire at the bus as it dropped off Iraqis employed by coalition forces at a weapons dump in Tikrit, 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Baghdad, said Capt. Bill Coppernoll, spokesman for the Tikrit-based U.S. 1st Infantry Division. Coppernoll said 17 people died and 13 wounded in the attack.
Survivors said about seven guerrillas were involved, emptying their clips into the bus before fleeing. The bodies of the victims were brought to a morgue too small to hold them all; some were left in the street.
About an hour later, a suicide car bomber drove into an Iraqi National Guard checkpoint in Beiji, 75 miles (121 kilometers) to the north, detonating his explosives-packed vehicle, Coppernoll said. Gunmen then opened fire on the position. Three guardsmen, including a company commander, were killed and 18 wounded, Coppernoll said.
The extremist Ansar al-Sunnah Army, one of Iraq's most feared terror groups, claimed responsibility for the Tikrit attack. The statement, which appeared on the group's Web site, claimed 20 people were slain.
"We tell all those who work with the crusaders: 'This is your fate sooner or later. We're setting up ambushes for you. Repent ... to save your lives,"' said the statement, which couldn't be verified.
Here is another image from their fatwa page. As you can clearly see, while all Zionist collaboraters get the death warrant issued, none for Rusty Shackleford. What does a guy have to do to get a fatwa issued against him!!! Let me know if you want the URL (I got it from Internet Hagganah), but it changes fast becaue they use free servers. Doesn't using a free server sound awful, I dunno, Jewish? Hey, if you can think of a faster way to get a fatwa than calling these guys Jews let me in on the secret!!
I'm so disappointed not to be mentioned.....yet!
The following images are of two victims right before they are murdered by the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah.
PS-have you ever wanted to spam a terrorist? Now here is your opportunity!!
Couble PS-Rocco sent me this cool link from the American Enterprise Institute on the history of Ansar al-Sunnah. Check out the whole thing, but here is a teaser:
Ansar al-Sunna, which officially declared its existence in a September 20, 2003 Internet statement, evolved from the coalescence of Kurdish Ansar al-Islam operatives, foreign al-Qaeda terrorists, and newly mobilized Iraqi Sunnis. "A group of mujahidin . . . have gathered a number of scattered jihad factions and groups operating in the arena from north to south and formed a big army under one emir," its inaugural statement declares. The independent Kurdish newspaper Hawlati traced the formation of the group to a schism within Ansar al-Islam dating back to July 2002.
The intelligence services of the Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan disagree slightly as to the identity of the group's self-declared emir, Abu Abdullah al-Hassan bin Mahmoud. The Los Angeles Times, relying on KDP sources, reported Abu Abdullah to be a Jordanian with close ties to Osama bin Laden and an associate of Abdullah Shafi, an Ansar al-Islam leader who took control of that group following the arrest in Norway of Mullah Krekar. Hawlati, apparently relying on PUK sources, said that Abu Abdullah is the brother of Abdullah al-Shami, whom it identified as an Ansar al-Islam commander killed in battle with PUK peshmerga (which would suggest that he is Kurdish). According to Hawlati, Abu Abdullah's deputies, in order of rank, are Hemin Bani Shari and Umar Bazynai. Hawlati alleges that Bani Shari was once a KDP peshmerga. Subsequent claims of responsibility and statements indicate that in addition to its political leadership, Ansar al-Sunna maintains both military and information operation committees.
Ansar al-Islam adheres to a rigid Salafi ideology. Its founding declaration states that "jihad in Iraq has become an individual duty of every Muslim after the infidel enemy attacked the land of Islam" and that its members "deriv[e] their jihad program and orders from the instructions of the holy Koran and the Prophet [Muhammad]'s Sunna (tradition)." The goal of Ansar al-Sunna is to achieve in Iraq "the Muslims' hope of an Islamic country where Islam and its people are strong."
Ansar al-Sunna unequivocally presents itself as a pan-Islamic movement. Of seven Ansar al-Sunna suicide bombers who have given pre-operation interviews on video, the accents and appearance of six clearly suggest that they are non-Iraq Arabs; one is an Iraqi Kurd. This is not bombast its membership does appears to be increasingly pan-Islamic (or, at any rate, pan-Arab). In February 2004, Italian police arrested a Abdelkader Laagoub, a 38-year-old Moroccan, after they analyzed a computer in his possession and found that it had been used to author Ansar al-Sunna claims of responsibilities. Two months later, Swedish authorities arrested four suspected members of the group in Stockholm and Malmo, one of whom was a Lebanese-born Swede (the other three were Iraqi). These arrests contradict the initial US military assumption that Ansar al-Sunna was homegrown in Iraq. Unfortunately, the US military appears to de-emphasize the involvement of forces external to Iraq to mitigate criticism of porous border security.
According to Iraqi intelligence officers, captured Ansar al-Sunna militants have confessed to receiving assistance from Iranian and Syrian officials. PUK leader Jalal Talabani has also accused neighboring countries of providing haven and passage for Ansar al-Sunna terrorists.
Why Chomsky is Responsible for Terrorism
I have long argued that the Left shares the same worldview as Islamofascist terrorists. They both see the same root cause to every problem in the world. The enemy, America/Zionists, are at the root of all that is evil in the world. The only substantive difference between Noam Comsky and Usama bin Laden is the remedy prescribed; both identify the same problem. Chomsky, to his credit, wants to cure the cancer that is America. Bin Laden wishes to cut the cancer out before it further infects the world.
Here is a bit of reader love-mail, a little evidence that the Western Left nurtures the cause of the terrorism through intellectual support. There is a reason why terrorist websites quote Chomsky at length:
hav u ever thought WHY the so-called terrorists act the way they do...See, there are root causes to terrorism. What is the root cause?
because the so-called "developed" countries hav made their lives a misery n exploited them evry way they can.The root cause is Western Imperialism. In Usama bin Laden's last message he claimed the same thing. Muslims would not have to fight the infidels if the Zionist-Imperialists would all just go home and stop exploiting Muslim lands for their own profit.
they are only fightin bak n because evrythings out of the west's countrol, they cant take it.So, Islamic terrorism is a just reaction. It is a defensive war. The mujahadin are, indeed, freedom fighters. Further, whenever a terrorist blows up a Westerner it is the Westerner's fault for exploiting the terrorist's country. Terrorists are the victims, not the purps.
Its time for some1 intelligent to take cntrol of the situation and try n make the world a better place. I cant believ how thick the ppl who voted for bush again r. Their the 1s who'v been brainwashedNo, I'm afraid it was your college professors who have you brainwashed. Thinking that America is the caus of so much misery in the world inevitably leads you down the road to supporting the enemies of America. While it does not necessarily lead you to supporting terrorism as a means to an ends, it does lead you to the support of the ends.
(Shock) Dropping Paper 'Peace Birds' on Terrorists Fail to Bring Peace
You just can't make this shit up. Remember, imagine whirled peas. Malaysian Star:
A massive airdrop of paper birds to promote peace failed to halt violence in Thailand's restive south, with a spate of new attacks targeting soldiers and local officials erupting on Monday.
The bombings, shootings and arson attacks came hours after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said the airdrop Sunday of nearly 100 million Japanese-style origami cranes over the predominantly Muslim region had achieved an "enormous, positive psychological effect'' toward peace....
Encouraged by the government, Thais across the country -- Cabinet ministers, office workers, schoolchildren and even convicts-- folded more than 130 million birds to promote peace in the south. Approximately 30 million will be delivered by land.
While meant as a morale-boosting measure for victims of violence, Sunday's origami airdrop resembled a festive treasure hunt with prizes offered for some specially marked birds. People who collected large quantities could trade them in for items ranging from cartons of milk to bicycles.
Especially coveted was one bird folded and signed by Thaksin, which offered a scholarship if found by a child, or a job for an adult.
Thaksin said Sunday the paper bird airdrop showed residents of the three southern provinces that they are part of Thai society, and that their countrymen care for them.
Hours after Thaksin spoke, the owner of a tea shop in Pattani was slain by gunmen, grenades were thrown at the homes of two policemen in the same province, and arsonists set fire to a state school in Yala and a teacher's house in Narathiwat.
US Consulate Attacked in Saudi Arabia (UPDATED)
The US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was attacked today. No reports of American casualties. New York Times:
group of attackers stormed the American Consulate in the Saudi Arabian city of Jidda today, using explosives at the gates to breach the outer wall and enter the compound, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement. Three of the attackers were killed and two were wounded and detained when they battled with Saudi security forces, the ministry said.The Saudis have been doing a pretty good job of fighting terrorists since the second Khobar incident. They now understand that they are targets as well. Ironically (or something like irony) , they continue to be the number one funders of the religious extremism which will eventually lead to the downfall of the House of Saud.
Four Saudi guards were also killed and 18 members of the consulate's local staff were taken hostage, Reuters quoted security officials as saying.
UPDATE: Chad at In the Bullpen notes:
According to Monsoor Ijaz on Fox News, the terrorists who stormed the U.S. consulate office are connected to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Tawhid wal Jihad movement. According to Ijaz, there were rumors indicating similar targets in Algeria and Morocco which failed. The terrorists were hoping to gain access to the consulate and take American hostages.Preston at the Buffet has this:
Robert Spencer has a little more on the Saudi reaction, including this AP article which refers to the islamofascists as merely a "stray bunch". Is that because the attackers weren't government-approved islamofascists?Hat tip: James Joyner
December 05, 2004
The Iraq War as Present Value
Richard Posner, on the brand-spanking-new Becker-Posner blog, manages to say in a few succinct words what I've been attempting to say in a far less economical way for over a year. One implication of the exposte anti-war argument concerning Iraq is that the Administration knew the probability of Saddam having WMD was zero, but chose to invade anyway for some unambiguously self-serving reason. That's essentially what all the "Bush lied" talk was about. The other, less well articulated, implication is that there was no estimate made of the probability, because it didn't matter. We would have attacked whether the probability of a future WMD attack from Saddam was 1 or 0, or anything in between. The former implication, that we knew the probability was zero and acted as though it were closer to 1 really has little merit. Had we known with certainty that there was no threat, then there'd have been no debate at all about the evidence. If it had been faked, the fakery would have been undetectable, because the deception would have been coldly premeditated. There would have been no bungling attempt at a poorly constructed "yellow-cake" document from Niger.
But the second implication at least has some small degree of merit. The administration may well have decided that the real issue was not whether Saddam was about to attack the US, but whether in the fullness of time, a radicalizing Arab Middle East would have become an unacceptable threat. If an administration had concluded that this was a significant probability, then the only question left would be where to intervene.
Which Middle Eastern nation presented the ripest opportunity? With the objective of "interfering with" the gradual development of a totalitarian Middle East, not only potentially capable of attack, but also capable of withholding oil resources (though there's an inherent conflict between obtaining resources to build weapons and cutting off the inflow of petro-dollars) Iraq seems ideal. Not only did it have a recalcitrant leader with parochially flawed strategic judgment, but he was also a crazy murdering S.O.B. About as unlovable a character as they make.
And geographically, Iraq is at the center of things in the Middle East. From there we could not only launch "our vanguard" for liberal democracy, to counter the Salafist vanguard for militant Islamism, but if necessary we could have a launch point for operations against other Middle Eastern threats as they emerged.
By the numbers, from Posner:
Suppose there is a probability of .5 that the adversary will attack at some future time, when he has completed a military build up, that the attack will, if resisted with only the victim's current strength, inflict a cost on the victim of 100, so that the expected cost of the attack is 50 (100 x .5), but that the expected cost can be reduced to 20 if the victim incurs additional defense costs of 15. Suppose further that at an additional cost of only 5, the victim can by a preventive strike today eliminate all possibility of the future attack. Since 5 is less than 35 (the sum of injury and defensive costs if the future enemy attack is not prevented), the preventive war is cost-justified.
A historical example that illustrates this analysis is the Nazi reoccupation of the Rhineland area of Germany in 1936, an area that had been demilitarized by the Treaty of Versailles. Had France and Great Britain responded to this treaty violation by invading Germany, in all likelihood Hitler would have been overthrown and World War II averted. (It is unlikely that Japan would have attacked the United States and Great Britain in 1941 had it not thought that Germany would be victorious.) The benefits of preventive war would in that instance have greatly exceeded the costs.
In the case of the Iraq War the probability isn't really made concerning Saddam, because the larger probability concerns the Islamist movement, as a whole. Having watched the Middle East slowly radicalize over a period of 40-plus years, leading inexorably to the 9-11 attacks... whether Saddam were an imminent or a growing and gathering threat may simply not have mattered.
Consider this analogy: You have reason to believe, with a probability of 0.5, that there's a ticking time bomb in a room of a larger building held by a terrorist gang, and the bomb is capable of destroying the better part of a city that can't be evacuated. (You can't evacuate the world, yet. Nor could we even evacuate a single country.) Your decision is whether to forcefully enter the building, which could endanger some hostages. The fact that the room may also contain fully automatic weapons and other ordnance wielded by thugs is important to your plan of entry, but it matters little to your decision of whether or not to enter if your cost-benefit calculation dictates that you must attempt to defuse the bomb. (I know there are a few problems with this analogy, such as the possibility that the thugs might trigger the bomb themselves if you enter, but in this scenario we assume that for some reason they can't do that.)
I guess the question arises as to whether you consult the public, but lets suppose that the calculations about the bomb involve some specialized knowledge that can't be shared with the public. Not only that, but you don't happen to enjoy a great deal of favor with the public so that they cannot simply take your word for the validity of your prediction. Your assessment of the probability of the larger risk is 0.5, but even after being told of it theirs is more likely to be something like 0.05 or even 0.005.
So, instead of presenting the larger but less familiar threat you present the lesser, but more familiar one... and hope that you can make a good enough case to convince people that the action is necessary.
If one consults the history of the run up to the Iraq War, the Bush administration did attempt to make a case that was concerned with the introduction of liberal government to Iraq, at least as a kind of humanitarian mission coupled to a larger strategic security. This argument sufficiently impressed Paul Berman and Bernard Kouchner that they each wrote eloquent defenses of the pending action on those liberal grounds alone. Neither, however, were widely read. Nor did they generate much of a political groundswell. One must doubt that had the case been made to the public on these grounds it would have had much heft. The lack of interest may simply have been because the case seemed more humanitarian than pragmatic. Even though there is a profoundly pragmatic reason for humanitarian action one is liable to be skeptical of such "unrealistic" naiveté'.
At any rate, the decision calculus of the public is probably a different topic, and in that calculus the issue of Saddamite WMD was the top priority. However, it's important to recognize that a top priority doesn't mean it was the only priority that concerned Americans, though it had been virtually the only priority of either "Old Europe" or the UN itself.
I guess the only point left to make is that if you're convinced of the growing threat of Islamo/fascism as even greater than the short term threat posed by Saddam, then you're also likely to be convinced that there's a greater expected cost to Arab Middle Eastern populations for the "act later" scenario. (See Armed Liberal for that argument.) In terms of Posner's calculus, acting in Europe during 1936 would not merely have saved more allied, but also a great many more German lives. (Few would have been cynical enough to have predicted the deaths of six million Jews .)
December 04, 2004
The Fourth Commandment of Blogging
Remember the blog sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou blog, and do all thy blogging. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord of the Blogosphere. In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy blog-son, nor thy blog-daughter, thy blog-servant, nor thy blog-hos, nor thy cats (for lame-o cat-blogging), nor thy guest-blogger that is within thy URL. For in six days the Lord made the blogosphere and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Wherefore the Lord blessed the blog sabbath day, and hallowed it. (with apologies to Deity)
Turn the computer off. Make some human contact (with real live people). Visit your family. Call your mom. Do something productive. Give other people a day off by not buying anything. Give yourself the day off by not blogging. Remember, blogs were made for man and not man for blogs.
Ansar al-Sunnah Terrorist Arrested In Allawi Assassination Plot
This article claims that the four men arrested in Germany are suspected members of what they call Ansar al-Islam. This would be strange since that terrorist organization seems to have been destroyed during the initial invasion. It has since been supplanted by The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah, which is not directly led by Abu Mussab Zarqawi, but soes cooperate with his Al Qaeda linked terrorist organization. The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah has been responsible for the beheading murders of dozens of foreign civilians. That group operates in the areas bordering the Kurdish homeland of Northern Iraq and is responsible for murdering up to 90 Iraqis in Mosul over the past three weeks. Just today there are reports that al-Sunnah was involved in a plot to assassinate the governor of Iraq's Dohuk province. Since Ansar al-Sunnah may be composed of remnants of Ansar al-Islam and operates in the same general vicinity, it is easy to get the two groups mixed up.
Three Iraqi men were arrested Friday just hours before Allawi met German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The suspects are believed to belong to the Ansar-al-Islam terror group, which has attacked U.S. and allied forces in Iraq since last year's U.S.-led invasion.Others: Chad Evans (and here), James Joyner
U.S. authorities have linked the group to al-Qaida. German authorities have said Ansar al-Islam has about 100 supporters in the country.
Prosecutors did not release the three suspects' names. One of them, the suspected head of an Ansar-al-Islam cell in the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, has been under investigation by Stuttgart authorities since October 2003, Der Spiegel reported.
The Gathering Storm of Islamism in Europe
I would only add that if Europeans don't a) start having more children or b) begin severely restricting immigration an even larger danger looms: Europe will become part of the Islamic Umma. Islam will have succeeded where Hitler failed, to control the European continent and oppress all who oppose it's fascism. All this, plus an advanced industrial economy and nuclear weapons!!!
Kelsey And Hayley Byrne Tribute
December 03, 2004
Iraqi Police Officer Beheaded Near Green Zone
An Iraqi Police officer has been beheaded near the Green Zone in Baghdad. His name was Imad Jabouri. I found this buried in an article on the escalating violence in Iraq. It should be noted that violence seems to be turning away from US military targets, to Iraqi police. A trend we have been seeing for some time:
Police officials disclosed Thursday that Imad Jabouri, a lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi traffic police, was grabbed a day earlier from in front of his home in the Sabaa Bour neighborhood in northern Baghdad by several armed men as he left for work.
The men beheaded Jabouri, who directed traffic at a busy intersection in front of the Green Zone, and fled with his police badge and pistol, according to a police official who declined to be named for security reasons.
"Those men cut off his head, and this is the way they kill the people who they think are spies and agents," said the official, who said Jabouri's absence from work Wednesday prompted inquiries into his whereabouts.
"I'm afraid they will use this badge in their next operations."
Osama bin Laden Still has Farty Pants
Islam Taught Me How to Take a Shit (and blow up shit, how to hate Jews, oh and death to American troops--Allahu Akbar!)
LA Weekly article, via LGF, about a Southern Cal boy who becomes a Muslim:
"Islam is a way of life. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught us everything up to how to go to the bathroom. Even when you go to the bathroom, how to go in, how to go out, how to sit, how to wash, how to take a shower. [He taught us] how to eat, how to start your food, how to treat your wife, how to treat your children, how to wake up in the morning, how to put your slippers on, how to put clothes on, how to take clothes off, what to eat, what not to eat....
When I pressed him further on how he felt about listening to a Syrian imam implicitly call for the defeat of American troops in the middle of Manhattan, Randall answered, slightly frostily, that "In America we have this thing called the First Amendment."
And no doubt the sheik is well aware of it. Listening to him I had the sense that certain Muslims have studied liberal Western society the way a military general assesses an enemy position — probing for strengths and weaknesses, deciding where and how and at what cost penetration can be achieved.
On the subject of Islam and politics, Vincent seems to be in serious denial. The phrase "Islamic terrorism" is an oxymoron, he once told me, and from my conversation with his Torrance buddy Joshua, I gather Vincent’s Muslim friends had already given him their own version of Fahrenheit 9/11 — with Jews, rather than Saudis, as the principal actors — long before Michael Moore came up with his own. But should one expect anything else, given the world he moves in? Two weeks after 9/11, Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, then the imam of the mosque on 96th Street [ed note, the Mosque where he attends], abruptly moved back to Cairo, where he promptly told the Arab media that Muslim children were being poisoned by Jewish doctors in American hospitals, and that Zionists had masterminded the attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon.
In Vincent’s eyes, Islam can do no wrong because Islam is wonderful and his own discovery of it a "miracle."...
But if al-Yaqoubi [a visiting imam at his mosque] feels comfortable saying in front of 1,300 people in the heart of mainstream American Islam that American troops will be defeated wherever they go, then what might be said in Arabic in small, obscure mosques in Brooklyn, Queens and elsewhere with a translation murmured into a pale, friendly, naive American ear?
But perhaps there is no need to say anything. When I asked Vincent what he thought about al-Yaqoubi’s statement, he answered, with a touch of defiance, that he felt just fine about it. "I do wish the American troops would be defeated," he told me, adding, "I’m a Muslim first, and I just live in this country." (If he could find a bumper sticker that read "AGAINST THE TROOPS," he said, he’d put it on his cab.) And were he ever to find himself in the Middle East, let’s say Iraq, would he fight against American soldiers? "If there was a jihad," he replied evenly, "I don’t see how I could not join in."
Reader Love Mail (UPDATED)
UPDATE: Added another message from a follower of the Religion of Peace, just keep scrolling
How is my plan to get a death threat issued against me going? I'd give it about a B-. The following reader comment is offered for your amusement. It doesn't threaten me directly, but since I am an infidel and apparently all infidels should be beheaded.
In the meantime I will fight my hardest to get a fatwa issued against me!! Join the campaign, spread the word, and test the tolerance of the followers of the Religion of Peace. I will not sleep as long as I can walk around without a bodyguard. This is my pledge to you.
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
Email Address: JIHAD@xxxxxx
URL: http://ALLAH IS THE BEST
ALLAH HOUACKBAR. I LOVE YOU BIN LADEN AND SADDAM HUSSEIN.MY ALLAH
PROTECT YOU AND GIVE YOU LONG LIFE TO KILL THE ENNEMIES OF ISLAM. BUSH IS AN ASS. F**K YOU AMERICAN. GO TO HELL. BLOODY ASS F**K YOUR DIRTY ASS BUSH.WE MUST BEHEADED ALL KAFIR. I AM PROUD THAT I AM A MUSLIM AND SUNNIT AL JAMAAT.AMERICANS MUST SUFFER BCOZ THEY SATAN. ISLAM AL ACKBAR. YA ALLAH I LOVE YOU MY GOD.
IP Address: 188.8.131.52
Email Address: happy@xxxxx
I Think what the terrorist's is doing is right and tells all the american politics to stop invading land that has never done anything to fucking iraq, and for those who disagree with me can get beheaded as well.
Apparently Al Jazeera's a Jewish Plot
Didn't you just know this, in your heart of hearts? One of a strange family of new conspiracy theories, all on the basic theme that the actions and rhetoric of the Jihadists are a deliberate plot to turn the world against Islam. On the bright side it at least hints at some sensitivity to the unflattering image that has accumulated, but unfortunately the whole conspiracy-theory thing is also seen as a signature of Islam, which will eventually have to be incorporated into a new conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories about Islam... which will strike most westerners as a sort of ominously threatening episode of I Love Lucy. Which, of course, brings us right back to the Joos.
Arab TV: Jews Responsible for Fallujah Attack
It's always the J-O-Os. Oh and notice the support from the jihadis for our liberal media friends who want to move to the Great White North. Sermon broadcast on TV from Sudah, via MEMRI TV:
"Brothers, I got the following numbers from American sources: There are currently 1,000 Jewish soldiers in Fallujah. This is according to American sources. Among them are 37 rabbis. The rabbis raise the morale among the Jewish soldiers fighting in Fallujah. So America is fighting for Israel. It is not fighting for Iraq's oil, since it has been drilling it for some time.
"The Jews are fighting now. Even before we read the information about Jewish presence in Fallujah we thought that storming houses with boots from one house and moving from one house to another by explosions are actions we have already seen in Balata, Jenin, and Rafah. The Jews came to conduct urban warfare on behalf of America, and America is supporting them in exchange.
"What is America's interest in this mess? Many Americans, after their president won a second term, opened a small window toward Canada: The electronic escape window [sic] to Canada has become increasingly popular because they want to escape the land of freedom and democracy. If America wants to preserve the country it has established, it must listen to [Benjamin] Franklin's advice,  who warned them against the Jews. Now the Jews are leading them into these battles and this mess."
December 02, 2004
Jawa Endorsements for 2004 Weblog Awards
Let me just clarify one thing from the last post: I'm not going to vote for myself, and you shouldn't either.
I know I nominated me, but now that I see the competition I'm outclassed.
Or vote for Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (better site design and more dedicated), Jane from Armies of Liberation (actually gets published in the Arab media so more impact), or Preston at Six Meat Buffet (who's hot dog thingy is awesome-o).
Don't under any circumstances vote for NRO's Kerry Spot. I mean, is that really a blog? Jonah Goldberg is a talented writer and does important work, but he's not a blogger. Maybe if he'd throw me a link......
My vote goes to LGF. Charles Johnson was one of my original inspirations to start blogging.
A close runner up is Wizbang. What can I say, Kevin Aylward has been kind and has taught me the ropes on successful blogging.
Tricky. The easy answer is to go to the Command Post, but is it really a blog any longer? I mean, hasn't the Command Post progressed to become something more like a news outlet rather than a blog? It's excelllent, but at what point does a blog stop being a blog?
In my mind Qando gets the vote. Maybe I'm an ideologue but a blog that both supports the war and is generally libertarian (and drops Hayek like a hippie does acid) is da bomb for me. I'm just keepin it real, yo.
Man, this one seriously sucks because these guys all have the funny.
Jeff Goldstein has the sophisticated funny.
Jeff at BA has the subtle funny.
Iowahawk has the satire funny.
Frank J has the old school funny.
Oxymoron. I'm not voting. This is what the Gore voters call an undervote.
Oxymoron, but for different reasons than above. How can you have a best when they're all so great? I'm serious. I have something good to say about each and every one of them.
Indifferent. No clue.
Michelle Malkin, hands down. Her blog is a blog. Unlike other media outlets that are trying to get in on the blogwagon, Michelle gets it. Trackbacks and all.
What's a tech?
Llama Butchers would win hands down if they had any culture whatsoever.
Flea would win if that Eurotrash pop music garbage qualified as culture.
SondraK would win if g-strings counted as culture.
Of course since I have no culture, once owned every Depeche Mode album ever made, and have taken up g-string watching as a hobby I'm so conflicted!!
So, in the end it has to go to Butchers. Why? It's the money man. These guys paid me $100 bucks to endorse them! I'll take a lap dance from Sondra for an endorsement, but Flea would have to pay cash up front (and not in Snow Pesos, I'm talking American)!!
Skipping a few categories here......
Tough one. Seriously. I'm not sure.
John of Aarghh if gratuitous gun porn is the criteria.
John Little's Blogs of War if best news coverage of Iraq is the criteria.
Matthew Heidt's Froggy Ruminations if biting commentary is the criteria.
Or what about Sgt. Hook, who is you know, actually doing good in the world while I'm sitting here getting fat?
They all deserve to win.
Munuviana, of course. What other community gives you ACE, Jawa, and Llamas?
Muniviana is comprised of all the blogs with the mu.nu extension. Yes, this blog is proud to be a munuvian!!
Little Miss Attila cause that whole demure thing just kicks butt.
Some good ones, but my vote goes to Bill Whittle's Eject! Eject! Eject!
Victor Davis Hanson is the best essayist, but he's not really a blogger.
Steven Den Beste is up there, but he sort of gave the blogging thing up.
Also an oxymoron (except Flea).
Kate at Small Dead Animals gets my vote because I hear she doesn't speak French. Not a word.
Tim Worstall is British? Hold on....that changes things.
Ok, I like Tim Worstall. Tim Worstall is a Tory after the likes of Winston Churchill. Not like those Labour ninnie Dhimmis.
Simon's World rules. Not only is it the best roundup of what's happening on the World's largest continent, did I ever publicly thank Simon for pulling for me to become a Munuvian? No? Thank you Simon.
Ambient Irony. Definitely. Go visit Ambient Irony. Now. If you don't I think Pixy will cut me off. Or kill me. Or something...
Why is ISOU not in the best liberal blog category? That's what he is, and that's where he belongs!!
Politburo Diktat. Definitely. The Commissar taught me just about everything there is to know about blogging. He's a blogger insider among insiders.
I hope there are no sour grapes from Ace, but don't you have enough votes man? And just admit it Ace--back when it was you me and about ten other guys reading each others blog who helped us both out? The Commissar.
And Bill. Yeah, I'll admit, you're better than me (and not gay), but on who's site did other people inevitably find both our blogs back in the day? The Commissar.
Alas, Allah is no longer with us. The supreme being of the blogosphere. Man I miss Allah. Ace, you're in with the Supreme Being. Any way to get him back? How about if we made him a munuvian?
In the Bullpen cause when the fit hits the shan I always get the heads up from Chad.
Queen of All Evil. Cause if you don't vote for one Esmay I think you're required to vote for the other!!
Cranky Neocon rocks my world. And I mean that in a completely heterosexual way. He also has helped me out in countless ways.
On the other hand Sharp as a Marble rocks my world too. Hetero love as well.
I would cast my vote for Legal XXX if he just had more porn.
BRD's Anticipatory Retaliation. That Rusty Shackleford who has been posting over there is hot!!
Well there you have it. The Jawa guide to how you should vote in this year's all important election.
If you don't vote as instructed I'm sure a meeting with Lord Vader can be arranged.
You There! Vote! or Whatever!
Not only should you vote, you should vote early, often, and fraudulently, if possible. We here are going to save you some of the difficult steps of actually choosing who to vote for in a few, randomly selected, but terribly important categories:
Thank you for your participation in this fine democracy.
Gun-Shy In the Cut
I'm pretty much down on Hollywierd these days, although I think the new generation coming up is going to be considerably different from their predecessors. And I'd heard that the movie with Meg Ryan and Kevin Bacon called In the Cut was a little strange. If I weren't profoundly and clinically attracted to Meg Ryan I'd have switched the channel early on, but instead I just got drawn in by the unconventional image of her. (My mother doesn't understand why I like Meg. Mothers just don't understand these things, by definition.)
I was also pretty leery of director, Jane Campion, who for no better reason than assonance I identified with Joan Didion, who wrote me a very snarky letter back in 1981 and whose political ideas aren't inconsistent with those of Noam Chomsky. And the movie also impressed me as having what Gene Siskel (with whom I went to high school) would have called an "idiot plot." An idiot plot is a sequence of events whereby if any of the characters weren't idiots, the plot would never have evolved in the first place. Why did Meg's character never tell the police investigator that the reason she thought she recognized him in the bar that night was his ace-of-hearts tattoo? Why was the scene in the police station, where she was asked to look at photos, so unprofessional? What was she doing there? If she noticed the tattoo on the detective's wrist, why didn't she ever notice the same tattoo on the wrist of his partner? How did she get back to the apartment, a distance of at least 30 miles, on foot, with blood and trauma, without having been stopped by any authorities or even a good Samaritan alarmed by her bloody appearance on the highway? None of these elements of the plot make much sense, in the real world. Had either she, or the detective, or anyone else, ever used common sense the movie would have ended abruptly, which is Siskel's definition of an "idiot plot."
But they didn't use common sense, and the reason they didn't is, I think, essential to the message of the movie. They were "swept up" in passion, and were never really using common sense about anything. They were both dumb as posts to the everyday world, but fearless in the sense that they both knew they were virtually helpless and "ploddy ploddy forward" anyway. Every turn of events was uncomfortable, and ominous, if not simply terrifying. She and the detective drive upstate (or perhaps downstate to the "barrens") for no particular reason, and he steers off into a secluded wilderness perfect for a serial murder or (as she puts it) "burying bodies." But it's also pastoral, and comforting. She asks what might be in some garbage bags floating near the shore, and he fires away at them with his .357. She's terrified at the sound, and says she's "afraid of guns," which prompts him to suggest that she learn to shoot. He hands her the gun, but gives her no "paternal direction" about what to do with it. She fires a round one-handed, at the water, and then fires several two-handed rounds hitting the garbage bags. It's just a tool. Nothing more, and nothing less. No mystique.
(At this point I'm wondering what liberal pinko message Jane Campion is trying to send. Guns make innocuous situations threatening, perhaps? Where will she take this?)
But the tension dissipates, the characters head back to the travails of city life without even consummating their lust... and romantic tension builds, for reasons that aren't at all clear.)
I'm not going to reveal the end... because I think the movie is worth watching, but suffice to say that the message of the film is, indeed, fearlessness in the face of fear and confusion. It isn't logic, or coherence, or romance, or justice, or anything that will make you feel particularly comfortable. But it's genuine.
Please Issue a Fatwa Against Me
It has been far too long since I received a death threat from a member of the Religion of Peace. So in the spirit of free speech, a concept that is uniquely part of Western secularism, I offer the following. Have I reminded you all lately that the penalty for blasphemy in Islam is very explicit? Death.
There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is not a Prophet.
Geert Wilders is a marked man. Ever since the slaying of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on Nov. 2, the controversial anti-Islam politician has been living in fear for his life. He has had 20 to 30 death threats -- including one offering 72 virgins in paradise to any Muslim who beheads him....Like Pim Fortuyn, the openly gay former columnist who rocked Holland's cozy political establishment with his anti-immigration rhetoric before he was gunned down in May 2002, Wilders believes Islam is a "backward religion" that has not gone through the same reformation as Christianity or Judaism and makes no separation between divine and earthly powers. "The political culture of Islam is retarded, and we should keep it as far away from us as possible. It is not our culture and religion, so it should not become dominant in the Netherlands or Europe."Ooh, I like that last line.
Islam is retarded.
You offended yet? Just wait, I'm just warming up.
I'm burning a copy of the Koran right now. I put the fire out by pissing on it.
In October, a Pakistani man was sentenced to life imprisonment for burning a copy of the Koran under the same laws.Whew, good thing that the Pakis have moderated their stance on killing blasphemers.
Muhammed was a child molester. He also liked to take it up the ass.
Iqbal Ahmad, a member of the Ahmediya community, was found guilty of being disrespectful to the Prophet Muhammad in a mosque near Faisalabad....Q: If the Muhammed hadn't sought out all those infidels to murder and rape, would Allah have sent the infidels to Muhammed?
...a UK-based Iranian exile TV presenter whose inflammatory broadcasts insulting Islam have provoked religious hardliners in Iran to call openly for his murder...."The firing of a bullet into his damned and blasphemous head is an incontestable necessity, and how cherished is the emissary of that bullet," Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the hardline Kayhan daily, said in an editorial.Q. Why do Islamist schools alternate Sex Education classes with Drivers Ed.?
A. They only have one camel.
From Hamas' official website:
As a result of the fact that those Muslims who adhere to the ways of the Islamic Resistance Movement spread all over the world, rally support for it and its stands, strive towards enhancing its struggle, for the encouragement of its Jihad, and strive for its victory, the Movement is a universal one.....This is the status [of the land] in Islamic Sharia (law), and the same goes for all lands conquered by Muslims by force, during the times of (Islamic) conquests (eg, Israel, Spain, parts of Southeastern Europe, etc), and made thereby Waqf lands upon their conquest, for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection.Take my Muslim wife...please! Oh, and my sons, and my daughters. Hell, Allah, take them all.
"I am prepared to sacrifice my life. All I want is martyrdom. I'm willing for all my children to become martyrs. May my husband also become a martyr, and Allah willing, may I die as a martyr."What? No freaking fatwa yet? Not even a death threat or two?
Q: What did Muhammed's navy and camels have in common?
A: They're both full of Mujahadin seamen
Lawyer R. Moszkowicz has demanded on behalf of a group of Muslims a ban on the release of a continuation of the movie 'Submission' by parliamentary representative of the V.V.D. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the murdered moviemaker Theo van Gogh....One of Muhammed's 72 virgins laughs when he whips it out.
These Muslims also want the judge to forbid Hirsi Ali from giving her opinion on Islam in a hurtful, aggrieving or blasphemous way in the future.
"Who do you expect to please with that little thing?" she says.
Experts on regional militant groups say there is compelling circumstantial evidence that Bashir knows more about terrorism than he admits. They note that many of the men so far convicted of the (Bali and Marriott) bombings were graduates of the Islamic school he founded and ran.An Imam and Kofi Annan walk down the street and see a little boy. The Imam says "lets screw him" and Annan says "out of what?"
Yahoo news on ICRC claims of torture (torture defined by the ICRC as prostitutes taunting prisoners) at Gitmo:
on at least seven known instances, they are people who, upon release from Gitmo, have immediately returned to terrorism — including the kidnapping and beheading of a Chinese citizen on the Pakistan-Afghan border.Q-- What's the difference between a Christian blow-up doll and a Muslim blow-up doll?
A-- The Muslim one blows itself up.
James Mollen, 48, cheerfully spent 16 months improving Iraq’s beleaguered schools and linking some to the Internet. Nonetheless, a Zarqawi-tied assassin fatally shot Mollen in the head as he drove through Baghdad November 24.Q: What do you call a Muslim that shags sheep (Muhammed's other favorite past time)?
The Headquarters for Commemorating Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement (HCMGIM) recently let 300 applicants choose among preparing for suicide attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq, similar assaults in Israel, or assassination attempts on Salman Rushdie, the British author of The Satanic Verses against whom the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa.Let the hate mail begin!!
*I don't really hate Muslims. I apologize for the Muslim jokes above, they were insensitive, stupid, etc. But I do hate any social system that responds to the above offensive material by resorting to force or coersion. Inasmuch as most of the above would get me either killed or put in prison in the Islamic world----well, I can only say this says something about the underlying philosophy which would breed such intolerance. Tolerance is not about loving or accepting something, it is about allowing that which you disagree with to be done. If even moderate Sharia law would prohibit me saying any of the above, than it is an oppressive legal system.
December 01, 2004
Body of 'Western' Woman Found in Fallujah not Margaret Hassan
Dental records have proved that the body of a Western woman found in Iraq is not that of hostage Margaret Hassan but London still thinks she is probably dead, the Foreign Office says.As I noted on the day the body was found:
"We still believe she is probably dead," a Foreign Office spokesman said on Wednesday. "We are no further forward in our conclusions."...
U.S. marines found the mutilated body of a Western woman in Fallujah last month during an assault on rebels in the city but the Foreign Office said dental records had proved the body not to be that of Hassan.
Let me just add that this is not a slam-dunk identification. The Islamist terrorists who are behind this murder could just as easily have killed an Iraqi woman for dying her hair blonde.The terrorists in Fallujah had instituted a Talliban like code. I find it easy to believe they would murder any one who appeared to look too Western.
The Prime Minister of Australia had confided to the press that he had information which verified the body as that of Mrs. Hassan. He later retracted that statement.
Chad at In the Bullpen has some interesting speculation on this. Digger and Interested Participant (both of whom tipped me to the story) as well, although I wouldn't make too much of Hassan's husband believing she is alive. The fact that al Jazeera did not air the video speaks volumes as to it's authenticity. Margaret Hassan is dead.
Jawa Report Ripped Off (But who cares--America F**k Yeah!!)
The video can be seen here but is definitely not safe for work and has about half a second of porn spliced into it in true Tyler Durden fashion.
How did they rip me off? Notice the Tusken Raider metaphor spliced into the video? That.
I have a feeling Russ B. is old school Pet Jawa, maybe through mutual friend Cooper. Either that or warped minds just think alike when ripping off South Park metaphors. Besides, Dr. Leopold Stotch reminds me that I didn't call patent, and if I had tried to call it evil George Lucas would have sicked his minion lawyers on me. Of course, from the looks of the rest of his page Russ just doesn't get Team America: World Police. Not one bit.
In Your Face Andrew Sullivan!!
Did you know that The Jawa Report is bigger than Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish? It's true. At least according to Dan the Carnivorous Conservative's who argues that a better method for measuring blog success it by total daily hours of readership. While Dan should be made aware that the TTLB Ecosystem has been having a few issues as of late (NZ Bear is already on the case), and thus the initial numbers he's using may be off, I think the overall gist of his method is sound. And by 'sound' I mean highly inflates the importance of my blog while deflating the importance of my rivals!(Note from Minitru: all methodological problems in contradiction to objective goals of the Party should go unreported.)
His method is this:
take the average number of daily visits times the number of seconds per visit. That gives you total viewing time in seconds. Dividing that by 60 yields minutes and dividing by 60 again gives you hours.So using that method how does My Pet Jawa do? Look for yourself (all the numbers taken from Dan, except those in italics which I ran):
Drudge Retort 335.05
Protein Wisdom 169.39
Winds of Change 155.02
Captains Quarters 127.72
Belmont Club 113.63
The Jawa Report 112.63
NZ Bear's TTLB 89.29
Outside the Beltway 63.6
Andrew Sullivan 44.14
The Politburo Diktat 43.66 (watch out AS!!)
Flea 41.12 (in the Spirit of Male Objectification Week Flea is on AS's rear)
Laurence Simon 28.16
Llama Butchers 21.76 (ouch!!)
I have no problem with Goldstein beating me [even if it takes me, like, five minutes before I really get any of Jeff's posts], and I'm tickled pink to be right up there with fellow mu.nu domain buddy Ace (who, BTW, is doing nothing wrong according to this method), but what the hell is Wonkette doing beating any of us!! Where is the justice in that? How much time can a guy really spend on her site after doing a Google search for Jessica Cutler anal sex?
Of course, the consolation is that Andrew Sullivan, according to this metric, is hardly read at all. It's the small things, really, that make life worthwhile.
Alas, as I was parousing the old blogroll in search of victims for this post I found a number of blogs that:
a) don't use Site Meter (probably because it is notorious for being wrong and underestimating hits)
b) don't allow Site Meter to publish their data publicly (probably because they are ashamed of the number of hits they get) or
c) allow Site Meter to publish their data publicly (but should get a clue from group 'b' above and hide their info--I didn't include a lot of those on my regular read list because I didn't want the word to get out that some of you get, like, 50 hits a day--so don't be offended that I left you out)
Remembering the Forgotten American Hostages in Iraq
Roy Hallum, civillian contractor, taken hostage on Nov. 1st. Nothing in MSM about his capture or whereabouts. A friend of his left a comment today and reports that the correct spelling of his name was not 'Hallun' as had been reporter in the Filipino media, but is "Roy A. Hallums". The last 'Butch' heard from Roy he was in Amman Jordan working for the Saudi Arabian Trading and Construction Company (SATCO). In an e-mail sent to Butch last July, Roy mentioned he might be headed to Iraq soon. Any news about Roy would be welcomed by his friends and family. Neither the Pentagon nor SATCO has been forthcoming with information. Roy was kidnapped with several Iraqis, a Nepalese, and a Fillipino man all of whom have been released. The Phillipine government now confirms negotiating with the terrorists for Robert Tarongoy's freedom, something the Pentagon had warned would could be dangerous to the welfare of other hostages being held in Iraq..
Dean Sadek was working at the Baghdad airport as a civillian contractor when he was abducted from his home. It's not clear the exact date he was abducted, but al Jazeera showed a videotape released by the terrorist 1920 Brigades organization showing Sadek on Nov. 11th. More on Dean Sadek's biography can be found in this story. Dean Sadek's ex-sister-in-law left this comment saying Dean:
is a kind, giving individual who loves his two sons dearly. I'm hoping by he being of Lebanese descent that it would be in his favor. ...Why is he there? He is there to help the good people... If he loses his life he would be one more of the heroes to win freedom for others. I am totally devasted everyday not knowing what will happen to him besides his immediate family and children. My prayers are with him and the others daily fighting for freedom of others.Our prayers are with Dean Sadek and his family too.
Spc. Matt "Keith" Maupin, missing since April 9th when his convoy was attacked outside of Baghdad. Reportedly executed on video but the original video was never made publicly available and the al Jazeera footage shown was unclear. A recent interview with his family suggests Maupin may be alive--whereabouts unknown.
The Army has conducted an investigation into the ambush, but the report is classified. Pentagon officials refused to discuss its contents, directing questions to Halliburton. The company referred questions back to the Pentagon.It is unclear how many other American hostages are still being held or are missing in Iraq. The Pentagon has been tightlipped about non-military casualties leaving it to private companies to choose whether to release information to the public or not. Any information from readers would be appreciated by myself and their friends and families.
"We have done everything in our power to find information and found that we are hitting a brick wall," Bradley's family wrote in an e-mail to the Houston Chronicle.
"We are crushed."
Fallujah War-Crimes Slideshow
Last week we reported that the IMEF & MNC-I EFFECTS Exploitation Team had created a Power-Point slideshow documenting war crimes committed in Fallujah by the Jihadis there--a slideshow forwarded to me by John Donovan. Because of the size of the file I was unable to post most of the pictures here and viewing each slide at John Donovan's photo site has been slow. Digger, Chad, Baghdad Dweller, Beth, and others also put up some of the images, but not all. I must have sent the complete slideshow to 30 or more people who requested it and the offer still stands, just e-mail me.
Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has been kind enough to create an online slideshow here. The slideshow is automatic and kicks butt. If you haven't already seen the slides, please check them out. The slides document the attrocities and war crimes committed by our enemies, but they are safe for work. If you have already seen them, please help get the word out by forwarding the link to your friends. If you are a blogger please link to the page created by Charles here. This deserves front page coverage from the MSM. Let's put a little pajama power behind this!
Here is a sample image from the slideshow along with two vidcaps I took from a beheading video documenting the connection between the 'insurgents' and terrorists: