April 30, 2005

Blog Sabbath Caption Contest: Worship Me Edition

Caption this photo of the return of Qetzocoatl to Iran. Winners announced next week.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:44 PM | Comments |

Fight Club Homework Assignment

The Commissar turns the tables on the Guardian's efforts to affect the 2004 election. Your Fight Club homework assignment: Write a Brit and get him to vote. Or, at least write the Guardian UK and let them see how it feels.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:21 PM | Comments |

Google News: Equating Israel to Nazi Germany NOT Hate Speech

Un-be-freaking-lievable!!

FYI-I've e-mailed Google News at least a dozen times now without a single response asking them exactly what was said here that qualified as 'hate speech' that got us kicked off.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:08 PM | Comments |

Yes, Sgrena's car was speeding, but can satellite images really show that?

Ok, since The Jawa Report has been Sgrena debunking central since, well, since way before debunking Giuliana Sgrena became a popular sport, I'm all on board with the CBS report that vindicates what American soldiers have been saying all along--Sgrena's car was speeding.

But, I have this lingering feeling that the alleged satellite images that CBS claims proves the U.S. version of the story are bogus.

Why? Well, because in order to calculate speed the satellite would have needed to take two seperate still images of the car's route within seconds of each other. That's how you measure speed. Speed = Distance x Time. In order to measure distance you need a start and a finish point.

That, or you're telling me that the CIA is now using live-image streaming from their satellites. And if the latter is the case then that satellite just happened to be broadcasting images of a road on the outskirts of Baghdad? At the very moment when Sgrena's car is speeding toward a checkpoint?

I'm sorry, this is just way too far-fetched to believe. As noted here at least umpteen bajillion times, Giuliana Sgrena is a serial liar who's sole purpose in life is to discredit the United States and who will do anything or say anything to that end.

Here's the story:

A US satellite reportedly recorded a checkpoint shooting in Iraq last month, enabling investigators to reconstruct how fast a car carrying a top Italian intelligence official and a freed hostage was traveling when US troops opened fire.

CBS, citing Pentagon officials, said the satellite recording enabled investigators to reconstruct the event without having to rely on the eyewitness accounts....

It said the soldiers manning the checkpoint first spotted the Italian car when it was 137 yards (meters) away. By the time they opened fire and brought the car to a halt, it was 46 yards (meters) away. CBS said that happened in less than three seconds, which meant the car had to be going over 60 miles an hour.

CBS said Italian investigators refused to accept that the Americans were justified in shooting so quickly, arguing among other things that the checkpoint was not properly marked.

Again, I hate to be the one to point out the obvious that the satellite image claim seems dubious--especially since if such evidence would back up the claim I've been making since day one--but we all are very aware of just how sloppy CBS reporting really is.

Again, if someone has some better info on the capabilities of satellites, I'd love to hear from them. And by info, I don't mean 'I saw this JAG episode once where....'

I'm actually quite shocked that Captain Ed isn't questioning this story or the voice of moderation himself, Joe Gandalman. Look, I just don't want us all piling on to what very well may be a bogus story. Maybe CBS is being overzealous in disproving their bias in the same way they were overzealous in 'proving' that Bush was AWOL.

UPDATE: Charles 'Smack those bitches at CBS down' Johnson doesn't even question this report. Are all of us letting our wishful thinking get the best of us? The report could be true, I'd just like someone elses word besides CBS on this.

UPDATE II: Say Anything, Hyscience too.

UPDATE III: And Betsy's Page, Pirate King, Cracker Barrel Philosopher, Dangerous Dan, Vista on Current Events, The Knock Down Rule and others.

UPDATE IV 5/02: TRADERROB takes up the arguement here and does a good job rebutting me.

But here's something important, I think. I recieved an e-mail from USAF Intelligence Officer who has been on the job for 19 years, so I take it he knows what he's talking about. I'll leave his name out of the post since the e-mail he sent is from a .mil address and says 'Classified' in the signature. The crux of it is that I am right to be skeptical about the satellite claim, however, it may be that CBS simply inferred that the images were from a satellite and misreported that info.

He says, "The most obvious source of data on how fast a vehicle was moving would be a JSTARS using their Moving Target Indicator (MTI) radar. I don't know for a fact if they're still in the area but they were at the start of the war and I'd be willing to bet that they're still there. Piece of cake for them to record an entire mission and later analyze this type of thing."

He also sends a link to a site which explains how JSTARS and Global Hawk actually do give real time data. Pretty cool stuff. So, maybe we do have the goods on Sgrena and the data is their to prove it.

Related stories from The Jawa Report:
60 Minutes Interviews Lying Journalist Giuliana Sgrena (ironic)
Iraqis: Italians Not Cooperating in Sgrena InvestigationGiuliana Sgrena Admits Hostage HoaxNPR Misses Sgrena's Big LieWhy We Shot at Sgrena and Killed Nicola CalipariSgrena Finds Oswald's 'Magic Bullet'Giuliana Sgrena's Lies, Inconsistencies, and Treason
On the 100 MPH question.
Images of Sgrena's Car (Updated-now fortified with essential Sgrena lies!)
Sgrena's Fallujah vs. US Marines' FallujahGiuliana Sgrena's Blood Libel Against the USGiuliana Sgrena Admits to Helping Terrorists, Lies About Shooting (UPDATED)Sgrena Mia Culpa (Rusty apologizes for moonbat theory)
Italian Woman Taken Hostage in Iraq (Updated)
Italian Hostage: Hoax or the Fruits of anti-American Activism?
Italian Hostage Hoax: Terrorists to Release Giuliana Sgrena
Giuliana Sgrena Alive and Well
Italian Hostage Video Released (UPDATE)
Italians Lobby for Release of Hostage by Calling for End to Occupation
Iraqi Minister Claims Italian Hostage Release Imminent

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:54 PM | Comments |

Pfc. Lynndie England to Plead Guilty for Pointing at Tiny Penises

Serial 'torturer' Pfc. Lynndie England is set to plead guilty for her part in the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal which consisted of playing human pyramid with naked men and for pointing out the already well known fact that next to a giant American penis, no one can really compare.

USA Today via Blogs of War:

Pfc. Lynndie England, the Army reservist shown in some of the most notorious photos in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, will plead guilty to abusing Iraqi detainees in a case that sparked global outrage against the United States and its military.

England, 22, faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison as part of the plea deal, which still must be accepted by a military judge, her attorney, Rick Hernandez, said Friday. She had been facing up to 16 years.

The plea deal came four days before England was scheduled to go on trial in a military court in Fort Hood.

"This is in her best interests," Hernandez said.

England was one of seven members of the Maryland-based 372nd Military Police Company charged with humiliating and assaulting Iraqi detainees at the prison near Baghdad. She became a focal point of the scandal after photos of her surfaced, including one that showed her smiling and posing with nude prisoners stacked in a pyramid.

In another picture, she is smiling and pointing at a naked detainee's genitals while a cigarette dangles from the corner of her mouth.

England will plead guilty Monday to seven of the nine counts against her: two counts of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating prisoners and one count of dereliction of duty, Hernandez said. The other charges — committing indecent acts and failure to obey a lawful order — will be dropped, he said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:09 PM | Comments |

War Hero Won't Release War Hero Records

It's been 90 days since John Kerry promised to sign the forms necessary to have his military records released. I'm sure he's just being overly modest about his heroics.

Decision '08 has more.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:57 PM | Comments |

Ethnic Cleansing in Yemen

Jane of Armies of Liberation and I are engaged in a discussion on whether or not what is going on in Yemen is 'ethnic cleansing' by the Sunni majority against the Zaidi Shia minority or if it's just simply 'really bad repression' coupled with flare-ups of disgusting acts of violence. I'm in the latter camp.

Either way, things are not going that well for the Zaidis of Southern Yemen.

Jane has more. Jane is well on her way to getting her first death fatwa issued before I do.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:54 PM | Comments |

Smile when you call me 'blogger'

Call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner.

Matt Drudge objects to being called a blogger.

Ok, you're not a blogger. No, really, Drudge, YOU'RE NOT A FREAKING BLOGGER!

Whoever accused Drudge of being a blogger anyway? Seriously.

Me? I'm a blogger. And I really don't give a rat's ass if Drudge doesn't like it.

Trey Jackson has the video of Drudge's interview on C-SPAN. I actually watched it last night. Pretty good stuff, if you're interested in the alternative media.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:47 PM | Comments |

Algeria Nabs Mennonite Terrorists

Those crazy Mennonites are almost as bad as those suicide bombing Amish we keep hearing about.

Thanks to Reliapundit for e-mailing me this. BBC:

Algerian authorities say they have arrested the leader of an Islamic rebel group suspected of killing 14 civilians in an ambush earlier thismonth.

Boulenouar Oukil of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), the interior ministry said in a statement.

It said the security forces also seized a large arms cache in the operation.

Dozens of people have died in recent attacks by militants who oppose the policy of reconciliation of Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The interior ministry statement also said that another GIA member - Mohamed Chama - was also captured during the operation.

The civilians were ambushed by suspected militants on 7 April, when their cars were stopped at a fake roadblock near the town of Larba, about 30km (18 miles) south of the capital, Algiers.

The passengers were then forced out and shot dead. One driver escaped and alerted the security forces.

The attack happened soon after President Bouteflika had told Algerians that security had been "largely restored across the country".

The GIA and other militant groups waged a decade-long campaign of violence, following the annulment in 1992 of elections which Islamic groups were poised to win.

An estimated 150,00 people are thought to have been killed in the violence.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:43 PM | Comments |

AARP's New Definition of 'Senior Citizen'=24

I'm urging Chris Short to join on up. Think about the discounts! THE DISCOUNTS, MAN!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:31 PM | Comments |

April 29, 2005

Zarqawi Released New Audio Tape, Agrees with Ted Kennedy

What do Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Ted Kennedy have in common? They both think we're losing the war in Iraq. A new 18 minute audio has been released by the propaganda arm of al Qaeda in Iraq.

According to Zarqawi [SITE]:

... the American war in Iraq has been a failure and as a consequence, fear forced "the American enemy to open a dialogue with the mujahideen...." The message calls for Muslim brothers to refuse capitulation to this "deceit" and continue to carry out jihad against American forces, stating: "Attack from your bases with the help of God. Don’t let a convoy pass. Convert their nights to days."
And according to Ted Kennedy:
By any reasonable standard, our policy in Iraq is failing. We are steadily losing ground in the war.
What's interesting about these things is just how savvy Zarqawi and friends really are. They claim their jihad is against the Americans and that their goal is to get the U.S. out. This is something most Muslims would agree with since traditional Islam doesn't recognize the nation-state, but rather the umma, or Muslim community as a nation. It is generally agreed in traditional Islam that jihad is a religious duty to when foreigners attack the umma.

Of course, what Zarqawi shows by his actions is that his real goal is not simply get the U.S. out of Iraq. That's just phase I. Phase two is the setting up of a Taliban like state in Iraq. That is why most of his attacks are against Shia Muslims and Iraqi security forces.

Anyway, here's more from CNN:

"Dear brothers, be patient, it is only a matter of a few days and you will be the ultimate winners, either by way of martyrdom or victory," according to an 18-minute speech posted on two Islamic Web sites....

God has granted you the blessing of having two years of jihad and you have given generously. I ask you to observe God in your religion, jihad and the blood and dignity of your brothers and sisters," the speaker said.

Referring to the U.S.-led forces, the voice said, "now that two years have passed since the fall of Baghdad in the hands of the crusaders, they have gained nothing but disgrace and insults."

Much of the speech is filled with quotes from the Koran, but the speaker also addresses a message to President Bush, whom he calls "the dog of the Romans."

Actually he calls Bush 'the dog of the Byzantines', the Eastern Romans, who the Ottoman jihadis eventually conquered. The allusion should be clear to Muslims, but is somehow overlooked by CNN.
We vow to God you will never reach a decision and your military forces will never feel at peace until we reach our target and as long as we have blood in our veins and our hearts are still beating," the message said in a remark directed at Bush. "We are coming to you, God willing."

The speaker contended that the "enemy" is trying to establish a dialogue with the "mujahedeen," but he called this "the trick of satan."

"What made them announce that the door to dialogue with the resistance should be open? Your jihad and resilience."

He urged insurgents to shun weakness and complacency and to avoid being fooled by the news media. He reminded his listeners that the "enemy" violated "sisters" and "mothers" and performed acts to humiliate the people.

The speaker criticized the "voices of the scholars of the market" who only seem to condemn the mujahedeen. "Where are they to protect the dignity of the Muslim ladies?"......

To al-Zarqawi followers, the message said, "let your swords be full of the crusader's blood."

"And you martyrs, go ahead with the blessing of God, don't let any of their convoys go further," the message said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:40 PM | Comments |

Blog Sabbath Caption Contest Wieners

Did I say wieners? Damn that Frued and his slips!! Anyway, if it wasn't for Laura's constant nagging, I would have completely forgotten about this thing.

So many good entries, so little time. But seriously, judging them isn't half as fun as reading them.

Amicus Curiae: Inspired by the Iranian paratroopers, the suicide paratroopers in Iraq were a welcome development for US troops working on target practice.

Graeme: Praise Allah! With our state-of-the art parachute camouflage, the Great Satan will never see us coming!

No doubt inspired by Kit's earlier entry: In an effort to further discredit the American military, an Italian pro-terrorist group, led by journalist Sgrena, staged an attack on this mosque dressed as U.S. paratroopers. Unfortunately, their disguises didn't extend to their chutes.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:00 PM | Comments |

New Online al Qaeda Publication Urges Death to American, Reveals bin Laden Scott Baio, David Hasselhoff Fetish

The propaganda wing of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia has released the latest edition of their online magazine, Sawt al-Jihad. You can download the entire magazine here or here in .zip format (hat tip: vlad).

Aaron at Internet Haganah reveals that the al Qaeda publication is being distributed via sites in Japan and China. And Vlad tracks down distribution to....wait for it.....drumroll please.....Canada!

If you don't speak Arabic, it's not really worth your time downloading it. However, check out the cover page I'm making available below. I think the image just about says it all.


Click for larger image

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:14 PM | Comments |

Pop Quiz

Fill in the blank: As a matter of mainstream and historical doctrine, _____________ does not allow the testimony of women in rape cases and ____________ countries routinely put rape victims in jail.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:33 PM | Comments |

Spicoli Reacts to the Hassan Akbar Death Sentence

spicoli.jpg

Click pic for President Spicoli's reaction. Malkin remembers the victims. (Image stolen from Beaker)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:03 PM | Comments |

Bush = Hitler Online Museum

bushishitler.jpg

Where you gonna go for all your Bush=Hitler needs? The Gallery of "Bush = Hitler" Allusions is your one stop shopping mart!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:46 PM | Comments |

Larry Johnson and the Numbers Game (Updated)

by Demosophist

I had a brief debate with Larry Johnson on the Jawa Report last week, that was recently referenced by an article in Mother Jones Blog. I expanded on the issue briefly here. To summarize, my position has basically been that:

1. The inference that State is somehow avoiding empirical evidence related to its policies is not justified by what we know and what Larry has reported. It's more likely that they are just tired of confounding policy with a report whose only real value is in a fruitless advocacy conflict; and

2. That the increase in attacks, even if specified and counted correctly, is not a meaningful indicator of whether we are "making progress" in the War on Terror, though Larry insists the data demand some negative inference.

In addition, I also suggested:

3. That if the method used to identify a terrorist event were mis-specified, and that portion affected by the mis-specification was the one that increased during the period, or that more incidents are simply being reported (which is a commonplace issue with crime statistics) then we may not actually be looking at an increase. (It's unlikely that this has seriously distorted the numbers, but we haven't checked very carefully.)

But even if we concede that the numbers are largely correct and consistent with previous counts, there are numerous reasons why it may not be qualitatively a very good metric. In fact it appears to even include thwarted attacks, if they happen to kill or injure a small number of people. Should these thwarted attacks really be counted towards a lack of progress?

But regardless of whether we have a qualitatively good metric (and we almost certainly don't), we have probably mis-specified terrorist attacks relevant to the real status of the war, and that's the central issue.

If Armed Liberal is correct (and it appears he is) that 30% of the attacks were in Iraq, and Andrew Cochran is correct that almost half occurred in Kashmir (and that's not even in dispute), then what we have are two localized conflicts accounting for more than 75% of the attacks in 2004, both of which are being lost by the terrorists. (Pakistan and India are close to agreement over Kashmir.)

Just how does this translate into a "lack of progress?" Moreover, is Larry's conclusion that "... the news is not good for U.S. efforts to contain and reduce the threat of international terrorism" even relevant? I submit that the fact that he's a specialist may be clouding his perspective. The real issue is whether we're winning. Wouldn't that be the relevant "good news?" And what reason do we really have to doubt that we're winning?

Futhermore, consider that if we are indeed winning against a terrorist movement, that's just about the first time it has ever happened! Up until recently "asymmetric warfare" of the sort that targets civilians as a deliberate strategy, has been an enormously successful strategy. Thus, it's hardly surprising that a winning strategy may not look much like a walk in the park.

If we'd used the same sort of metric in WWII to gauge success or failure we'd have observed higher and higher losses with each passing year and a big jump at the Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima, which were when we actually began to close on the enemy. It was certainly "not good news" that we lost a lot of fine men on Iwo Jima, but what does that have to do with the crux of the matter? Would it have been better to leave the strategically important island in the hands of the Japanese?

Incidentally Princeton has a series of webcasts of its ongoing Colloquium on Public and International Affairs. If readers go to that link and scroll about halfway down the page there's a synopsis and several links to the video of a panel discussion entitled Measuring Success in Combating Terrorism. The speakers in that discussion include Larry Johnson, but they also include Raphael Perl from the Congressional Research Service and Peter Probst, a former CIA officer. It's an excellent panel, and well worth the time spent to view it.

My feeling is that if Larry Johnson had paid more attention to the other speakers on that panel, and especially Raphael Perl, we wouldn't be having this debate. Perl is especially eloquent about the fact that we don't currently have any metrics that can tell us not only whether, but the degree to which, we're winning. And we need them. To that extent I agree with Johnson, that the numbers are important. But I don't agree that these numbers tell us much.

One of the biggest deficiencies in our recording and analysis is that we have no measure of the "quality" of the attacks, nor do we even bother to sort them by scale. In fact, we often don't even distinguish between attacks that are carried out successfully and those that were pre-empted! But the greatest deficiency in our empirical analysis of the War Against Totalitarianism 3.0 is that in a war which is less about battles and casualties than intangible perceptions and attitudes, we don't bother to pay much attention to context.
Hence, we can look at an increase in the overall number of attacks and completely miss the salient fact that a vast majority of those incidents are taking place in locations where the terrorists are losing the war of ideas, and where the political situation is being resolved against their interests.

Update: Regarding the first part of Larry Johnson's Why the Numbers Matter. (I'll try to get to the rest when I have time.)

Q: What is the significance of the fact that in 1986 State was placed "in charge of coordinating the efforts of CIA, DOD, and FBI efforts [sic] to track and deal with terrorism," and the apparent inconsistency of Phil Zelikow's statement that it is the NCTC, rather than State, that was tasked with "analysis and integration of intelligence (data) on terrorism or counterterrorism" and would act as the "shared knowledge bank" on such data and analysis?

A: None. One is a managerial task while the other is a technical one.

Q: What is the significance of Phil Zelikow's apparent misstatement that State "traditionally compiled the data," when all it really did was the managerial function of coordination? The statement simply uses the word "compiled" instead of "published" in case you missed that.

A: It might be regarded as somewhat imprecise to substitute "compiled" for "published," but is it a strange or even erroneous conflation? In fact, one of the meanings in Webster's for "compile" is "to compose, out of materials from other documents." In fact that's the first meaning, and therefore the oldest! And isn't this essentially what they did? Only a specialist would tend to immediately conclude that the speaker was obfuscating the technical function of compiling raw data with that of publishing a finished report. Basically there's simply no case that Zelikow or Brennan misrepresented anything at all, so we don't even need to deal with the problem of asking whether a misrepresentation (that didn't happen) was intentional or inadvertent.

Additionally Larry contends that the move to compile and publish the data at the NCTC is "stovepiping" of the sort that the 9/11 report cautions against. If this is true then Zelikow and Brennan are simply lying about the statute-mandated technical function of the NCTC which is consistent with this "stove-piping." Is it plausible that they'd lie about that? Johnson doesn't even claim that they did. So what's the sense of his argument? Why is he even making it?

I'm not sure, but it seems that he's alarmed that the NCTC has usurped the task of "compiling the report" (in the publishing sense). What this has to do with stove-piping I don't know. Stove-piping is a process by which data, at a relatively raw level of development, is usurped or diverted to be interpreted by analysts at the executive level, presumably without the proper training. So what does this have to do with usurping the compilation of the report? Even if this was happening in some illegitimate sense, it's not stove-piping, because it's a matter of the technical people interpreting the data they're responsible for analyzing. They're doing what they're supposed to do.

And it may serve to point out that although one could use the compositional function of pulling together data to "back-coordinate" the sources of those data, which would be instrumental to the managerial function, it's but one way to skin that cat. Is NCTC usurping a managerial function that ought to be performed by state. (Note: Although this isn't stove-piping it would stlill be problematic.) Well, provided NCTC has the editors, writers, and technical advisors to make sense of the data they could not only do it, but in view of the increasing complexity of the mission, they'd probably do it better. As long as they aren't coordinating or formulating policy, they aren't doing anything untoward.

Q: What is the significance of the claim (fact?) that when the CIA shifted responsibility for counting terrorist incidents to the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) (an interagency body ostensibly part of State's coordinative mission, established in 1986), the organization had only three part-time personnel assigned to the task?

A: Well for one thing, if true, it would mean that until the staff was increased, the number of incidents may have been undercounted. In that case the numbers in 2003 would not be comparable to the numbers in 2004, so its not valid to discuss a "trend." (Note that this was one of my original objections to taking these data too seriously.) But leading us to that conclusion would also count as an incentive for Brennan to lie about the number and status of people assigned to that task. Johnson, however, assures us that Brennan is telling the truth: "This process [the collaborative data checking between the NCTC and State] broke down when the responsibility for doing this [counting terrorist incidents] was shifted from CTC and put under Mr. Brennan’s stewardship at the Terrorist Threat Integration Center in late 2003."

Are you dizzy yet? To regroup: the NCTC starts with responsibility for the technical function of counting the number of terrorist incidents, as part of its responsibility for the "analysis and integration of intelligence" function. This technical function was moved to the interagency organization, the TTIC, in 2003 and quickly fumbled. John Brennan, however, is the head of both the TTIC and the NCTC, so unless these were serial appointments (which is something I don't know) he's simultaneously the head of the organization that supposedly did a stellar job pre-2003 and the organization that fumbled the ball in 2003. The TTIC was supposedly under the purview of State according to its 1986 directive and is headed by the same person as the NCTC: John Brennan. At this point I seem to have dropped my compass, and am badly in need of a GPS fix. The TTIC seems to have both a technical and managerial/executive function, which may explain why it was a bit dysfunctional.

And unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) the Homeland Security Act has stepped in to blur these boundaries even further. Is it any wonder that the TTIC's responsibility has, again, been superceded by the NCTC (as the TTIC's website announces) where it resided prior to 2003, and where even Larry Johnson claims a good job was done?

Now it's true that Larry chides Brennan's management of the NCTC a bit for requiring 10 employees to keep track of 650 terrorist incidents in 2004, but the issue isn't so much whether they were overstaffed as whether the TTIC was understaffed in 2003. Larry has hold of the wrong end of that telescope. And the bottom line is that it's quite possible they were understaffed. At least, Brennan is accurately representing the staffing they had even though that fact tends to reflect badly on him. Anyway, Johnson observes that the magnitude of the number of terrorist incidents is comparable to counts produced by other sources, so they probably aren't wildly off the mark. If Brennan was attempting to give the impression that the 2003 count was low that's probably misleading, but that lets him off the hook for incompetence in running the TTIC understaffed. And the fact that the numbers are comparable doen't really rescue the metric itself from irrelevance. So the number increased. What does that mean? It means we haven't yet defeated the enemy. It doen't mean we aren't winning.

If you see something irregular either in the decision to move responsibility back to the NCTC or anything else, please tell me. As far as I can tell it all makes perfect sense. If there was an organizational or managerial error it was in moving responsibility for the technical function to the TTIC to begin with. But I imagine that was just one of those "coordinative experiments" that didn't work out.

We certainly need to see better performance from these guys, and we also need to see them build some more useful metrics for keeping track of the WoT and how we're fairing in that conflict. But I don't see anything that indicts this administration, or that suggests we aren't making progress in the WoT. Let's keep our focus, shall we?

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and Anticipatory Retaliation)

By Demosophist at 12:36 PM | Comments |

The Cedar Revolution is NOT Over Until AFTER the Elections

Michael Totten sends me this news that Lebanon will hold elections on time. He even goes so far as to say:

Chalk up another, final, victory for the Cedar Revolution.
Before claiming victory in Lebanon, I'd suggest dwelling on this quote attributed to Joseph Stalin:

Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
Those who count the votes decide everything.

Thanks for the babe photo man, but nevertheless it's not over until it's over. The fat lady has definitely not sung.

For instance, check out the Lebanon Star today:

Regarding the Christian opposition's chances of success in the upcoming polls, Abi Nasr said: "The Christian opposition in particular expects the same marginalization experienced in previous elections with the same exclusion, but this time under an international supervision."
So Jimmy Carter will declare the elections 'free and fair' and that will be that.

Totten does have some beautiful photos from Lebanon, though. Sorry, no babes.

UPDATE: He who will not be named has similar thoughts. Only, you know, more pithy.

UPDATE II: Not so fast Kevin, there may be more babe pics to come. I agree with Right Pundit's assessment and again with Willisms.

I would also warn that it is not wise to gauge the prospects for democracy in a country by measuring enthusiasm for democracy at, well, an encampment of pro-democracy advocates.

Lebanon was, at one time, the Paris of the Middle East. But those were the days when Christians were in the majority and still in the shadows of French colonialism. Today, Lebanon has a majority Muslim population. History shows that no Muslim nation has ever granted equal status to non-Muslim populations. Will Lebanon be the first? Let's hope.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:48 AM | Comments |

Osama bin Laden Dead? (Again)

Ok, it's DEBKA, so take it for what it's worth. As I reported yesterday, this has been sort of circulating on the jihadi message boards. The expectation was the Bush would make the announcement, but that didn't happen. Again, this is still speculation based on rumors started at Islamic message boards.

But as Ace said yesterday, "if the media is chattering about it behind closed doors, why shouldn't the public know what they're chattering about?"

DEBKA:

An announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death appears Friday in one of his close aides’ most credible Web sites. It has sparked a storm of controversy in al Qaeda circles, some of whom claim notice is false.

Signed by the Pen of Jihad Warriors, the site provides no information on circumstances of death, only asks:

Where are those who break out of borders? Where are the lamenters? Where are those who throw themselves from the tops of towers and skyscrapers? Where are the heart-rending cries?

Egyptian bin Laden adherent, Yasser Sari, calls notice a lie and promises new videotape soon in which leader announces end of al Qaeda truce in Europe. Other followers credit the announcement as “authentic and Islamic.”

Oh yeah, hat tip to Filthy Allah

UPDATE: In the 'don't count your chickens before they hatch category TRADERROB e-mails with this Sky News story:

An Islamist website has inadvertently triggered rumours that Osama bin Laden is dead.The article about the al Qaeda leader carried a headline suggesting the Saudi fugitive had died.It prompted flutters on the financial markets and triggered rumours on internet sites of bin Laden's demise.

However, closer reading of the article revealed that the author was simply suggesting the 9/11 architect could die at any time and Muslims should be prepared for his death.

Yasser al-Siri, an Egyptian dissident who ran the Islamic Observation Centre in Britain and who is considered close to al Qaeda, told the Al Sharq al Awsat newspaper that bin Laden is alive.

What's interesting is the Pakistanis go on to claim they would know if he was dead, and that they sort of know what region he's in. So why the hell don't you have 10 divisions out searching for him? Instead we hear of 'hundreds' searching for bin Laden in Waziristan. Some allies indeed.

On a related note, as long as we're speculating, I'm gonna say we're looking for Osama on the wrong continent. Try Africa.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:57 AM | Comments |

Zebra + Donkey = ZONKEY

Zonkey.jpgBarbados giving Tijuana a run for it's money? Young Bourbon Professional sends me this news about a new 'zonkey' show. Maybe they're just trying to save money. You know, so they don't have to paint those donkeys in TJ. Plus, notice the article doesn't ask the hard questions. You know, like, what does it taste like? AP:

It's male. But what is it? A zonkey? A deebra? That's the debate in Barbados since a zebra gave birth to a foal sired by a donkey.

Alex was born April 21, a milk-chocolate brown creature with the black stripes of a zebra on his ears and legs. His face looks more like a horse, with a distinctive black "V" patch on the forehead.

"It's really funny and a little bit freaky," said Natalie Harvey, a 29-year-old waitress. "I was stunned to hear about such a weird thing happening here."

While zebra hybrids are not uncommon, most Barbadians have never seen anything like Alex.

His mother, Allison, is one of two zebras brought to the Caribbean island from Botswana, in southern Africa, in the early 1990s. The other is George and both live at Highland, a six-acre ranch where goats, sheep, ducks and donkeys roam free.

George, however, suffered a long illness, and Allison became friendly with a donkey.

"We knew she was with foal but were not sure who the father was," said Philip Atwell, the head of Highland ranch.

The slippery slope of gay marriage begins. Anyway, I'm thinking of starting a new blog: Zonkey Butchers

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:44 AM | Comments |

April 28, 2005

The Damned of the West 4: Interview with Carrie Hallums Cooper (part 2)

roy_hallums_carrie_hallums_quote.jpgAmerican Roy Hallums was abducted from his temporary Baghdad home on November 1st, 2004. He was in Iraq as a civilian contractor working on rebuilding efforts. His mission had everything to do with helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country after decades of war, mismanagement, and terror under the Saddam Hussein regime.

I had the opportunity to have several e-mail conversations with both Susan Hallums and Carrie Hallums Cooper recently. They have graciously agreed to letting us interview them. What follows is part 4 in a series of interviews with the family of Roy Hallums. In part 1 and part 2 we interviewd Susan Hallums, Roy Hallums' ex-wife.

In part 3 we interview Roy's daughter, Carrie Hallums Cooper, asking her the same questions we asked her mother. This segment continues that conversation.

Carrrie runs the website Free Roy. Carrie is 29 and makes her home in California where she also works. Carrie has an MFT (Masters of Family Therapy) and is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology. Carrie also is engaged in fundraising to help defray costs associated with freeing her father.

You can donate to the Free Roy Foundation by clicking on the Pay Pal button below.


Or you can send a check or money order to

Free Roy Foundation
c/o Carrie Cooper
PO Box 947
Westminster, Ca. 92684

More information is on the Free Roy website. Roy and other heroes will be celebrated at the Inland Empire Memorial Day Heroes Festival in Riverside, CA on May 14th.

-----------------
[You can read part 1 of this interview here]

Rusty Shackleford: Roberto Tarongoy was taken hostage on the same day as Roy, and the Filipino government as recently as two weeks ago claimed that they knew Tarongoy was alive. However, the Philipines has a policy of negotiating with hostage-takers and even paying ransom for hostages release. What are your thoughts on that policy?

Carrie Hallums Cooper: First I’d like to say that I have a great respect for Ivy (Robert’s wife) and the Tarongoy family. If I were in Ivy’s shoes I would do whatever I could to free my husband. Cognitively though, I understand that if we (the U.S.) pay ransom for hostages this will only increase more hostage-taking, which is why the United States adheres to this policy. So, from that frame of mind, the Philippines policy of negotiating with hostage-takers may be encouraging more kidnappings, which for the Philippines as a whole is not beneficial.

However, unless you have been a family member of a hostage, you will never understand the lengths that you would go to in order to free your loved one. If I had to choose between policy and my father’s life, I would not hesitate to choose my father, and therefore pay a ransom (if I had the money). So, I do not fault the Philippines for listening to their hearts in hostage situations, even though it may encourage more hostage-taking.

I believe that the policy of not negotiating with terrorists was created for the majority (those family’s whose loved ones are not hostages), and most of the time it works out fine (as long as you stay in the majority). Right now I’m in the minority (a family member of a hostage), so I don’t feel like the policy works for me. I don’t want to put other people in danger by endorsing paying terrorists, which I do think is what happens when you pay ransoms (because it encourages more hostage taking); but at the same time, there has got to be a better policy than to just not deal with the terrorists.

To be honest with you I’m kind of torn about this issue right now. I’m not a policy maker, but I feel like someone could come up with a better solution than what we have in place right now (though I don’t know what it is), so that it’s a win-win situation for everyone. I’m sure the govt. would say that it is win-win now, but I don’t feel like sitting back and letting my Dad rot over in Iraq is win-win for either me or my Dad.

RS:Ever since we crossed paths I've been following your story and have read that Susan is in constant contact with the wife of Roberto Tarongoy. Would you like to tell us anything about that relationship?

Perhaps there is something you would like to say on behalf of the Tarongoy family?

CHC: No comment at this time.

RS: Have you had any contact with any of the other families of hostages being held in Iraq? Tim Bell,Bill Bradley, or Dean Sadek, or Mohammed Monaf? If not, is there anything you would like to say to them if you could?

I have not, but my Mom has. I would like to meet all of the people you mentioned and talk to them about their experiences, if they would be open to it. I am open to talking about what I am going through with anyone, even though it is very painful. I think it helps me stay sane.

I would like to tell the other families of the hostages that if they would ever like to talk, that I would enjoy meeting them. I would also like to tell them that if they would like to speak to me, if would keep our conversations confidential if they liked. I know I talk to the media frequently but I also respect peoples’ privacy.

RS: Have you heard anything from Roy's captors since they released a video of him in January?

CHC: Since the video time, my Dad’s company has not been able to make contact with the kidnappers. There has been no word about my Dad. He has been held for over 6 ½ months now. He was very sick in January, so I am hoping he is still alive.

RS: Do you know if the company Roy was working for is trying to secure his release?

CHC: Yes, my Dad’s company was trying to secure his release. I say was, because the kidnappers are no longer calling. I do not know at what point SATCo (my Dad’s company) got involved, but I do know that they were speaking to intermediaries, who in turn, spoke to the kidnappers.

RS: I noticed that the Rev. Jess Jackson has gotten involved, at least
to the extent that he has publicly asked for Roy's release on your families behalf. May I ask how this ordeal has affected you religious outlook? Has this affected your faith in any way?

CHC: The Reverend asked for my father’s release, yes. Beyond that he has not been involved further in my father’s release. This was disappointing for me, because I thought he would have more involvement.

How has this affected my religious outlook? Now that is the most difficult question yet. I’m still working things out with God. I don’t understand how he could let something like this happen to my Dad. I do pray that he will keep my father safe and help him get released somehow.
----

Thanks to Carrie Hallums Cooper and Susan Hallums for speaking to us about the plight of Roy Hallums and other American hostages being held in Iraq.

The Rev. Terry Anderson, who was held for years by terrorists in Lebanon, had this to say about the ordeal of being a forgotten hostage:

The truth is that hostages in Lebanon today have become the damned of the West. Without hope of being saved, imprisoned in silence and darkness, deprived of the sight of the world of the living, forgotten, they no longer represent anything. The most tragic thing is that this torment is administered as much from the outside by countries and people indifferent to their fate as on the inside by their captors.
Let us not be indifferent to the fates of hostages in Iraq as we were to the hostages in Lebanon.

Please help the Hallums family by donating to the Free Roy Foundation and by keeping Roy Hallums, Jeffrey Ake, Mohammed Monaff, Tim Bell, Bill Bradley, and Dean Sadek in your prayers.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:52 PM | Comments |

The Thread Where We All Gang Up on Greg

I'll start: Greg, you ignorant slut.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:20 PM | Comments |

'Sophisticated' and 'Continental' French Take Away Miss France's Title for Posing in Playboy

So let me get this straight, the French are taking away Miss France, Laetitia Bleger's, title for posing in Playboy? And she's not even nude! As Erik Svane says about this, "If this had happened in the United States, it's a sure bet that Europe's intellectuals and pundits would be besides themselves in bewailing, mocking, and shrieking about American puritanism and hypocrisy." Indeed.

Both Rob at Say Anything and Double Viking have the pics. Despite Rob's warnings about them, they are not really nude. A kind of see through top in one of the pics, but it's the kind of stuff you see in women's fashion magazines all the time.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:12 PM | Comments |

On the Filbuster, Checks and Balances and Senate Procedure

Dr. Steven Taylor has a good wrap-up on the Constitutional and historical implications of ending the filibuster on judicial nominations. I'm inclined to agree.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:30 PM | Comments |

The San Diego Mess

Carpe Bonum has the latest on the San Diego mess.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:26 PM | Comments |

Man Lies: Claims He is Hooded Figure in Famous Abu Ghraib Photo, Says He was Electrocuted

I somehow missed this over at LGF the other day, but Gaijin Biker e-mails me with the news that PBS is set to air an interview with Haj Ali Shallal Abbas, who alleges he is the man in the photo above. How do we know he's full of crap? Check out what he says:

"They made me stand on a box with my hands hooked to wires and shocked me with electricity," Ali recalls through an interpreter in his first in-depth American TV interview. "It felt like my eyeballs were coming out of their sockets. I fell, and they put me back up again for more."
Of course, even a cursory glance at the photo reveals the wires weren't hooked up to anything at all. The alleged 'torture' in the photo above is that prisoners are told that if they fall off the box, they will be electrocuted. Of course, they never are. And Gaijin Biker notes that the Taguba report never mentions electorcution as among the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Abuses happen at every major prison on the planet. Abu Ghraib was not exception. While such abuse is deplorable, it is routine. Let's not forget what kind of abuse happened at that same prison, as a matter of policy, before the U.S. occupation. For a comparison, see my post Torture vs. Torture [warning: graphic images].

Gaijin Biker also takes Haj Ali Shallal Abbas to task for changing his story over time. Check it out.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:20 PM | Comments |

Interview with "Forsake the Troops" Founder

The Dread Pundit Bluto has interviewed Michael Crook, the force behind the Forsake the Troops website. When this site first was put up I thought it was a sick joke. Apparently I was wrong.

Would it surprise any of you to know that the man who wrote this:

Two entertaining photos for your amusement..an injured US soldier being carried away like the candy-ass punk he is, and a dead US scumbag (aka member of the US military) who will now probably cost the taxpayers money for many years to come.
Is also a white supremist? From Bluto's interview:
I am a member of an organization that preserves the rights of White men and women. It does not, despite popular opinion, condone violence or hate crimes towards members of other races. Just as blacks have the NAACP, we have our organizations. I personally believe that we each have the right to live our lives, and each racial group has the right to promote and preserve their causes.
Right, you're no racist pig. Go read the rest.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:58 PM | Comments |

Darth Vader's Blog

Darth Vader says:

Have I mentioned before that I am surrounded by idiots? Let me cut to chase and just tell you up front: the rebels got away. All of them....

I mean, come on.

I've seen drills that were more challenging. And yet, they escape. I have worked among these men this past generation and I have always known them to be, with only a few notable exceptions, truly outstanding military professionals. A galaxy quails before them because they are efficient, effective and keen.

...You try to be an effective manager, you weed out the bad apples like the late Admiral Ozzel -- only to find that an insidious culture of incompetence has somehow transformed your deadly pan-galactic armada into a fleet of spaceballs.

Hat tip: C-3PO

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:43 PM | Comments |

Muslims Sue Denny's Over Discrimination

A group of seven Muslims is suing Denny's because a night manager refused to serve them saying, "We don't serve Bin Laden's here ... You're not welcome here anymore."

Ok, that much sounds like it's within the realm of the possible. After all, there are a lot of biggoted jerks in this country. But here is the part that raises the old suspicion meter.

"Two officers from the Miami-Dade and Homestead police departments eating at the Denny's asked the seven men to leave the restaurant, and said they would arrest them if they didn't, the lawsuit said."

Then there is the same event described like this, "But when one of the plaintiffs requested a police report of the incident, a female officer refused and pulled out her handcuffs.

She then ordered the men to ''Get out, get out!'' the men claim."

That just seems a little far-fetched. I mean, Sheriff Roscoe P. Coletrain wasn't even that big of a redneck.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:58 PM | Comments |

Bin Laden Dead?

Several e-mails have come in saying the Osam bin Laden is dead. No verification yet and this would not be the first time such rumors have circulated.

Developing.....

UPDATE: I'm officially calling this a false alarm. Not so fast.......

Ok, here is a link to the same rumor overheard by K.J. Lopez over at The Corner (hat tip to Reliapundit):

Was chatting with Jim Robbins. He keeps hearing this morning that the president might have some OBL news tonight? A new Islamist website is reporting that bin Laden is dead...and Musharraf has for the first time said publicly that OBL is in his country.
UPDATE II: Just to clarify, these are rumors, not facts.....I'm VERY skeptical.

UPDATE III: Well, it was fun while it lasted, right? And some of you were having too much fun with this.....

UPDATE IV April 29th: DEBKA now reporting bin Laden dead. New post here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:54 PM | Comments |

Religion of Tolerance: Americans Arrested in Moderate Islamic Country of Malaysia for Distributing Christian Pamphlets to Muslims

Religion of tolerance my ass. Islam is only tolerant as long as you think of tolerance in the 15th century conception of the term. I would really love to be wrong on this one, but name one Muslim country where a Christian may openly evangelize Muslims. Meanwhile, in the Islamophobic and intolerant West name one country that forbids Muslims from openly evangelizing Christians. Via Dhimmi Watch this AFP article:

Malaysian police arrested two Americans for allegedly distributing Christian religious pamphlets to Muslims, police said Wednesday.
The two men were detained on Monday and a local court had ordered them to be held for 14 days to assist in investigations, a police spokesman told AFP.

"We want to find out if they had breached any regulations in Malaysia," he said.

It is an offence in mainly-Muslim Malaysia to try to convert Muslims away from their faith.

Another police official named the two men as Ricky Ruperd, in his 30s, and Zachry Harris, in his 20s.

The official Bernama news agency said they were arrested for distributing pamphlets with religious content at Malaysia's new administrative capital Putrajaya, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of here.

Putrajaya police chief Mohamad Khalil Kadir Mohamad said the men were detained during routine checks by police and and were found to be without any travel documents.

A spokesman for the US embassy confirmed the detentions but would give no further details.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said earlier this month there was no ban on Bibles published in the Malay language but they must be stamped with the words "Not for Muslims"...

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:38 PM | Comments |

College Professor Interferes in Student's Sex Life

From my pal Professor Chaos. Speaking of books he assigns his class:

Another is Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, which on a basic level is a novel about a young man's quest for enlightenment in the face of a materialistic and consumerist world.....

Having read this, one of my students approached me today and she said that the book literally changed her life. How so? I asked. "Well," she said, "I finished the book and the next day broke up with my boyfriend. I realized that I was dating Gray [a character in the book]."

Way to go Chaos! Now, how about assigning The Jawa Report to ruin their mushy left-wing worldviews?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:01 PM | Comments |

Insurgents Funded by US, Run by Mossad, Tools of Zionists

A series of articles written by Hassan al-Haifi accuses the anti-American insurgency in Iraq of being financed and run by, who else, the American government. Because, you know, it's the American Military Industrial Complex that benefits the most from all this. Yemen Times:

No this is not a genuine struggle for freedom. One might find it easier to believe that this insurgency is working for the benefit of the occupier....

The most intriguing thing is that it does not even seem that the Americans are even looking for the people behind all the senseless killings Iraq. One wonders, if they are really interested in finding them or even if there isn’t a clandestine link between the occupation and their energetic and deadly presence in Iraq....

It is often proven that people who tend to follow an agenda based on vested interests, rather than real moral motives to justify their actions, will never look seriously at the negative consequences of their actions. This seems to be the case in Iraq. An invasion was undertaken for the vested interests of the American military-industrial complex, which is reportedly recording record earnings these days (even if at the expense of a huge budget deficit)....Iraqis can keep on dying forever as far as the Washington war lords are concerned, as long as the bottom line is in the black for the machine that thrives on war and bloodshed.

Via Jane at Armies of Liberation, your headquarters for all things Yemeni.

And here's some more from the same author, if you can stomach it. Notice the impeccable logic. Islam=Peaceful, Just; Insurgency is Not Peaceful, Just; therefore Insurgents Not Muslim:

...most Moslems are bound to question the genuine motives behind those “insurgents” in Iraq, who claim to be protectors of the faith, but in fact have violated religious dictates by their wanton disregard of Islamic teachings that place great value in the sanctity of the lives of innocent unarmed civilians and in the tolerance that Islam teaches of other faiths existing in the midst of Moslem domains....

These insurgents are neither guided by Islamic jurisdiction or ordinances and are more likely serving the interests of non-Moslem forces that have found so called Moslems to carry out their designs for distorting the image of Islam....

Who are they? What are they really doing there in the first place?...many Iraqis and most observers would agree that the occupiers could not be pleased more by anything than to have an ugly (non-Islamic) portrayal of the insurgency in Iraq, so as to give the occupation some degree of legitimacy, as part of the “war on terror”.

Most observers cannot help but assume that these insurgents are encouraged by the real forces that have been behind the push for the American invasion of Iraq. The facts are proving more and more that the Zionist lobby in the United States was very active in encouraging the Bush Administration to occupy Iraq. There is also strong evidence that the Israeli intelligence organ, the Mosad is working discreetly in Iraq to create the venue that will encourage any acts that will lend credence to the soundness of the American invasion of Iraq. The idea behind this is that all these acts of barbarity would cover up for the real motive behind the uncalled for invasion of Iraq, in terms of serving the Zionist agenda and providing a buffer that secures Israel from what Israelis fear is a potential “menace” in Iran.

Many observers (even Western observers) would not hesitate to suggest that there is logical reasoning to believe that there is a strong link between these mysterious fly-by-night operations, carried out by bogus gangs, that operate under Islamic names, and the energetic activities of the Mosad in Iraq. There are well over 100 Israeli companies operating in Iraq and most are owned or headed by “former” Israeli military or security officers....

So, how could the bombings of Christian churches be logically associated with Islamic teachings or viewed as sound acts of truly believing Moslems? May God cleanse the Moslem world from these dangerous elements of a fifth column that has been implanted among Moslems.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:39 AM | Comments |

Moonbats in Seattle: "Let's Ruin Newspaper Dispensers"

"Freeze the Media Day" is when people all around the country drop superglue and toothpicks into the money slots of slimy corperate media newspaper dispensers.....Indy Media Watch has more

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:17 AM | Comments |

Zarqawi Responsible for Closing of Iraq WMD Investigation

Why did Charles Duelfer's Iraq Survey Group end their investigations into Iraq's WMD program when they did? Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Chad at In The Bullpen sends me this Independent article:

The American who led the hunt for Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction has revealed that the investigation was cut short after he was targeted by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the militant leader in an attack that left two people dead. The head of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, has reported that his investigation into the possible transfer of WMD to Syria had been wound up because of the "declining security situation".

But, in an interview with The Independent, Mr Duelfer said that Zarqawi had claimed responsibility for the car-bomb attack on his convoy on 6 November 2004. "A car-bomb tried to get me and my follow car," Mr Duelfer said. "Two of my guards were killed and one was badly wounded. My hearing's not been right since."

Chad has the political angle on this thing too. Check it out.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:15 AM | Comments |

US Senator Calls James Dobson & Focus on the Family 'Antichrist'

James_Dobson.jpg

Decision '08 has more.

UPDATE: Opinipundit e-mails and tells me Salazar did 'takebacks'. What a freaking anti-Christ....

UPDATE II: I apologize for my remarks indicating that Salazar is the anti-Christ. See how that works.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:55 AM | Comments |

April 27, 2005

Sick Daughter Blogging

My 5 year old daughter is sick. No more posting for me today.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:39 PM | Comments |

Religion of Peace Roundup: White Trash Wednesday Edition

Man, I never knew the Religion of Peace and good old fashioned white trash had so much in common!

There's nothing a redneck loves more than a good bloody flick, right? So CAIR gives its seal of approval to the new movie Kingdom of Heaven. I was so looking forward to it too! Let me guess: when CAIR says the flick gives a 'balanced' view of the Crusades they really mean 'Christians look bad'. Count me out now.

Lamia Abed Khadouri al-Sagri, a member of Iraq's National Assembly,
was murdered by terrorists inside her house. These guys are just like the Klan on meth.

The deadline is up for the 3 Romanian and 1 American hostage being held in Iraq. Romania has asked that their captors extend the deadline. No jokes, just pray.

Like rich-white-trash diva Paris Hilton's Blackberry, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's computer got hacked. What was on it? Porn, of course.

The Ebb and Flow Institute has a great biography of Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who is being held in prison to guard him from members of the Religion of Peace who peacefully have threatened to peacefully cut his head off because he had the nads to speak out against them.

Highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia gets caught on tape urging young Muslims to go fight in Iraq, use General Lee to cross border.

High-school dropout? Learn a new skill from home: USDOJ publishes al Qaeda training manual. (Via Evil Glenn)

Islamic scholar Ali al-Timimi convicted of inciting al Qaeda support, Muslims seethe.

Pakistan will not give up nukes. Meanwhile, the Religion of Peace beats the crap out of an uppity young Pakistani Christian.

Man convicted in missile sting operation. I'm sure it was a setup.

"I punched Saddam in the mouth!"--Man, I envy that dude!

Groups in Turkey move to ban Schwarzenegger films because of his support for recognition of Armenian genocide. Gay porn still popular in Turkish mountains.

The Muslim school agenda vs. the Creationist school agenda. Food for thought.

Andrew Sullivan in full Freak-Out mode. And speaking of Andrew Sullivan: Gay rebels married in Philippines first openly gay-terrorist wedding ceremony.

MoveOn.org has some new TV spots. Let me give you a hint: there are no chicks in bikinis.

When 'people of the soil' protest Bush.

More oil refineries? Hell yes!

The Abe Fortas fillibuster in perspective.

When white-trash marries a promulent lawyer. Elizabeth Edwards' tinfoil brigades.

Jeff Quinton must not get a lot of trolls these days. Hey Jeff, come on over whenever you feel the need to go troll hunting!

Thomas Sowell on Black Rednecks.

And remember, for all your teacher-student sex-scandal updates check out Interested Participant!

Check out these other WTW participants:

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:34 PM | Comments |

Syria has WMD and connections to terrorists

Whether or not Iraqi WMDs were moved to Syria is the least of our worries. The Syrians produce their own WMD and they are not allies in the GWOT.

Does the ISG report really claim that there were no transfers of WMD from Iraq to Syria? No, it does not. What it does claim is that:

ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place.
As we reported here last year, if WMD were moved they might have been moved to the Al Safir facility. So, is the ISG really suggesting they have inspected that chemical weapons plant? No. In fact, in an addendum to the report:
ISG was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war
We've known for a long time that there is a strong connection between insurgents in Iraq and Syria. For instance, after the battle of Fallujah, a GPS unit was discovered in a terrorist safe-house with Syrian coordinates on it. Ansar al-Sunnah terrorists have confessed to recieving training from Syrian intelligence officers. Suspects in the Najaf bombing also confessed to having links to Syria. Photos have been found of insurgents with senior Syrian military officials. And Syrian fighters are routinely captured or killed in Iraq. Do a quick search for 'Syria' on my site and you'll see much, much more.

So what the ISG report tells us is simply, "we don't know". I am not claiming that Syria has Iraq's WMD nor am I claiming the Iraq actually had substantial amounts of WMD before the invasion. Just that 'we don't know', that is all.

But whether or not WMD were moved out of Iraq and into Syria is really the least of our worries. Why? Because Syria produces WMD and because at least some elements of the Syrian military and Baathist establishment are directly tied to the Iraqi insurgency.

For instance:

Since the 1970s Syria has pursued what is now one of the most advanced Arab state chemical weapons (CW) capabilities. It has a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin that can be delivered by aircraft or ballistic missiles, and has engaged in the research and development of more toxic and persistent nerve agents such as VX....

Syria has a combined total of several hundred Scud and SS-21 SRBMs, and is believed to have chemical warheads available for a portion of its Scud missile force. Syria has also developed a longer-range missile -- the Scud D -- with assistance from North Korea. Syria’s missiles are mobile and can reach much of Israel from positions near their peacetime garrisons and portions of Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey from launch sites well within the country. Damascus is pursuing both solid- and liquid-propellant missile programs and relies extensively on foreign assistance in these endeavors. North Korean and Iranian entities have been most prominent in aiding Syria’s recent ballistic missile development. Syrian regional concerns may lead Damascus to seek a longer range ballistic missile capability such as North Korea’s No Dong MRBM....

In addition, Syria is believed to be developing biological weapons.

So while the jury is still out on the Iraqi WMD question, let us not forget that the Syrian Baathists are in no way less dangerous. The point of the Iraqi WMD investigatioin is largely political: was the Iraq War justified? But that question is moot. The more pressing point is the extent to which present and future dangers are prepared for and met.

Captain Ed has more as does Jack Lewis.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:05 AM | Comments |

April 26, 2005

The Damned of the West 3: Interview with Carrie Hallums Cooper (part 1)

roy_hallums_susan_hallums_carrie_hallums_quote.jpg
UPDATE 9/07: ROY HALLUMS RESCUED IN IRAQ!!!! Details here. Or try the Main Page.
------------------------------------

American Roy Hallums was abducted from his temporary Baghdad home on November 1st, 2004. He was in Iraq as a civilian contractor working on rebuilding efforts. His mission had everything to do with helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country after decades of war, mismanagement, and terror under the Saddam Hussein regime.

I had the opportunity to have several e-mail conversations with both Susan Hallums and Carrie Hallums Cooper recently. They have graciously agreed to letting us interview them. What follows is part 3 in a series of interviews with the family of Roy Hallums. In part 1 and part 2 we interviewd Susan Hallums, Roy Hallums' ex-wife.

In this segment we interview Roy's daugther, Carrie Hallums Cooper, asking her the same questions we asked her mother. Carrie runs the website Free Roy. Carrie is 29 and makes her home in California where she also works. Carrie has an MFT (Masters of Family Therapy) and is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology. Carrie also is engaged in fundraising to help defray costs associated with freeing her father.

You can donate to the Free Roy Foundation by clicking on the Pay Pal button below.


Or you can send a check or money order to

Free Roy Foundation
c/o Carrie Cooper
PO Box 947
Westminster, Ca. 92684

More information is on the Free Roy website. Roy and other heroes will be celebrated at the Inland Empire Memorial Day Heroes Festival in Riverside, CA on May 14th.

freeroymagnet.jpg
-----------------------
Rusty Shackleford
: Can you tell our readers a little something about the kind of man Roy is?

Carrie Hallums Cooper: My Dad is the most giving person I have ever met. He did whatever he could to help his family and friends. Some other words that describe him are: thoughtful, kind, intelligent, quiet, athletic, funny, and fun. No one, besides my Mom, has ever treated me as well as my Dad has. My Dad, though far away, was always there for me. He called me all the time and sent me e-mails every day or so.

My Dad has many interests, both socially and intellectually. My Dad likes playing chess with me, going to art museums, walking on the beach or just being in nature (he likes being outdoors), riding his bike, going out to eat, reading, and he likes to listen to classic rock music (which my Mom always hated). He kept up to date on what was cool and hip, at least as much as he could being overseas.

My Dad’s dream for when he returned home from the middle east was to have a house by a lake, to own a boat, and to go fishing on the lake. He had recently purchased a home in Memphis near a lake and was excited to buy a small boat so that he could go fishing. I hope that he gets to do that some day.

My Dad was very wise and he always gave me good advice. He encouraged me to continue to do well in school, and for that matter he supported and encouraged me in everything I did. I carry every piece of advice, and all of his love and support, as well as, every memory that we made with me everywhere I go. I treasure it because it may be all that I have left of my father.

RS: Roy was taken hostage on Nov. 1st of last year. 29 days later The Jawa Report was the first media outlet in the U.S. to release Roy's name publicly. However, we learned of Roy's captivity because the Filipino government erroneously reported that Tarongoy had been captured along with an American named "Roy Halluns". The only reason we found out his correct name was that a coworker of Roy's who knew him when he was working in Jordan happened upon our site and corrected the error. I assume that you were aware of his situation before you came across The Jawa Report.

Another American hostage has recently been taken from the same neighborhood in Baghdad as Roy. His name is Mohammed Monaf. Again, the American media refused to name him and we at The Jawa Report have only been able to identify him because of a reader in Romania who keeps us updated (he was captured along with two prominent Romanian journalist).

I guess what I want to know is if it caused you distress to come upon Roy's name over the internet (and I apologize if it did), or if it was a relief that his story was finally out in the open?

CHC: I remember the instant that I saw my Dad’s name in print and on the internet. My mind began swimming and I had mixed emotions when I saw that his name had been released. I would have to say that yes, coming across my Dad’s name on the internet caused me distress initially, because prior to that point I believe there was some denial about it being my father being taken hostage.

Also, I had been told that if his name was released that potentially this would be a very bad thing for my father. So, knowing this, it was scary to see his name in print, and also going back to the denial factor, seeing his name in print made my Dad’s situation all the more real for me, and therefore all the more difficult for my family. In addition to this, I didn’t know what the consequences of both his name being publicized and the news coverage were going to be, and what that would mean for my father.

On the other hand, when I saw his name on the internet, there was this sense of relief that washed over me. I had been told to be silent about the issue for so long, and had not been able to express myself. I felt as though I was suffering in silence. So, it felt good now that others knew what I was going through and I would be supported emotionally (I hoped), because I needed it.

My heart goes out to Mohammed Monaf and his family and friends. I can relate to what his family is going through. It is one of the worst things in the world, not to know.

Most of us take time with our loved ones for granted. You never know when a conversation you just had with your loved one could be your last. Time has become a precious commodity to me since my father’s kidnapping. I have realized what little time we have with our loved ones on this earth, and how quickly and easily time with a loved one can be taken away. I don’t take time for granted any more, and for that matter people either. I hope I will get to spend more time with my Dad in the future, and I hope Mohammed, my father, and the rest of the hostages are being treated humanely and will be released soon.

RS: You both have gone on record noting the frustration you've had at trying to get information out of the State Department concerning what they know about Roy's fate. Has the State Department been more helpful since such major media outlets, such as CNN, have publicized your cause? What could they do to be more helpful?

No, I would have to say they have not provided more information or been more helpful, at least in my opinion. I’ve just received one phone call from the State Dept this year and it was to tell me that they are giving the Baghdad police incentives (like flashlights) to look for my Dad. No comment.

carrie_child_kissing_roy_hallums.jpgRS: After some hostages were taken in Iraq there were international outcries, mass protests, and national days of prayer. Would you like to see something similar in the U.S. to protest what is happening to Roy?

CHC:It seems as though a report will come out about a hostage taken in Iraq, we all take notice, some more than others (especially if you are the family of the hostage), and then, as quickly as the story was reported, it’s gone.

There is more coverage about the Michael Jackson Trial than I’ll ever want to see and other trivial matters (I’m not saying his trial is trivial- molestation is a serious matter), but other frivolous things in the news being covered, like Robert Blake singing at the top of his lungs because he didn’t want to be interviewed. Things like that make the evening news, but nothing about my father, for example, who has been held hostage now for over 6 ½ months. I find this to be an outrage.

I don’t know if many American citizens are desensitized to tragedy, since we see it in the news, TV, and movies, day after day, or if it’s just indifference. But the lack of news coverage about hostage incidents may play a role in the lack of more U.S. public outcry regarding hostages in Iraq.

This coupled with the fact that, I think that the government is outwardly apathetic regarding hostages. They excuse this by saying that they do this so they do not put the hostage in more jeopardy. This of course, may have some validity to it, but I believe that our country could do more as a whole for hostages.

I think we could definitely acknowledge their presence more (when their names have been released and when the family is okay with it, etc.), and do some of the things that you mentioned in your question.

I appreciate all of the support we have received and I don’t want to criticize those that have supported us, but I do feel there should be more public outcry on behalf of Americans on what is being done to Americans (being held hostage, tortured, beheaded, etc.). The lack of news coverage about hostages in Iraq frustrates and confuses me. At times it angers me. I feel that the issue tends to be swept under the rug..................

Part 2 of my interview with Carrie Hallums Cooper is here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:43 PM | Comments |

Superheroes to Visit Pentagon

Wait, you mean the Hall of Justice isn't just outside of D.C? Anyway, it's great to have superheroes supporting our troops. And by superhero I don't mean America's hero, John Kerry, slaying vampires in from his Swift Boat in South Vietnam.

UPDATE: Kerry the Vampire Slayer image. (Thanks Oyster!)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:09 PM | Comments |

Letter From the Klan to My University

Here is the letter:

Dear Joos and Students at ZOG University,

You had better get your cracker asses out of there before we come burn a cross.

Love,
Klu Klux Klan

PS- If you don't want us to come after Dr. Rusty Shackleford, known Zionist, you better force him to spend the rest of the afternoon fishing or there will be consequences.

PPS-You better send that one student with him. You know, the one that sits on the front row, with the skirt, or we will proceed to wreak havoc.

PPPS-Send beer with student or your university is toast.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:26 PM | Comments |

The Post in Which I Threaten Glenn Reynolds With Delinking

Ok, Glenn. I know I'm just lowly Rusty Shackleford. And I understand you get a bajillion e-mails a day. But it really pisses me off that you have linked exactly zero of the posts I've sent you. So, either link the upcoming important post (you all will know it when you see it later today) or you will be delinked. That is all.

Update: I'm not kidding!

Update II: Last chance Reynolds!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:02 PM | Comments |

Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz 'Bed Buddies' (orgle llamas)

Via the Imperial Minister of Women's Objectification, Ghost of a Flea, this Sun Article. Be sure to scroll past the article to see an image from Cameron Diaz's personal photojournal of her and Alba together and one more of Cameron Diaz orgling a llama.

STUNNING Sin City star Jessica Alba got to know Cameron Diaz very well during a recent trip to Honduras - because they had to share a bed.

The sexy pair went on the voyage as part of Cameron’s new MTV show Trippin'.

And while Jessica had never met Cameron before, they quickly become bed buddies.

Jessica told an American TV show: "We shared a room and bed most of the time, 'cause it's scary. I didn't know her before the trip. We were strangers.

"There weren't enough rooms. Everyone had to sort of bunk together. The boys all stayed in one room. She didn't snore."

Here are the promised images. Hey, I just said it was Jessica and Cameron together. I didn't say in bed. You pervs. Anyway, they are in bathing suits. Isn't that enough? I got the images from MTV here.

cameron_diaz_jessica_alba_swimming.jpg

And for all you llama orgling fans....And unlike other llama orgling fans, that's really a llama and that's really Cameron Diaz. No photoshop involved.

cameron_diaz_llama1.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:54 AM | Comments |

Failed Bush Foreign Policy Watch: Syria Announces Multi-Party Elections

UNILATERALISM A FAILURE. CREATING MORE TERRORISTS. BUSH=HITLER. yada yada yada......

The whole article is fascinating and gives a brief history of Baathism in Syria and how that country, like Hussein's Baathist Iraq, modelled their political system after the Soviet Union. Here are some key points about the expected move to multi-party elections and the parties that might be allowed to compete.

The article ends by claiming the move to multi-party elections are a response to a the 'Assistance to Support a Transition to Democracy in Syria Bill' which passed on March 8th. That Bill authorizes the President "to provide assistance and other support for individuals and independent non-governmental organizations to support transition to a freely elected, internationally recognized democratic government in Syria." The Baathists apparently believe that their decades of monopoly power and propaganda will be enough to keep them in power. We shall see.

Asia Times:

A new Ba'ath Party law is to be created in Syria, breaking the socialist parties' monopoly over politics in that country, in place (with the exception of the years 1961-63) since 1958. The move is a calculated gamble on the part of the government, and will also challenge a US bill against Syria calling for "Assistance to Support a Transition to Democracy in Syria"....

For various reasons, that did not happen in 2001, but today it is almost certain in Damascus that a new party law will be created, and announced at the upcoming Ba'ath Party Conference in June, breaking the socialist parties' monopoly over politics in Syria. President Bashar Assad was very clear about that when speaking to Spanish journalists in Syria in March. He said, "The coming period will be one of freedom for political parties" in Syria....

Under the new party law expected in June, parties not affiliated with the NPF will be permitted to operate as long as they are not Islamic, or encourage sub-national loyalties (eg Kurdish, Circassian, Armenian, etc). The first party expected to receive a license is the SSNP. It is also the party expected to obtain the widest popularity in Syria.

Founded in Beirut in 1932, originally as a secret society of five intellectuals, by the revolutionary philosopher Antune Saada, it grew into an official party and became immensely popular in Syria from the 1940s onward. A radical and secular party, it originally flourished among students at the American University of Beirut and spread to other intellectual centers in Lebanon and Syria, calling for the unification of Greater Syria (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Jordan), and challenging the ideas of modern Arab nationalism that became popular in the 1950s under Nasser of Egypt. Meaning, the SSNP was uninterested in North Africa (Egypt included) or the Arab Gulf region....

Other parties expected to emerge are the Coalition for Union and Democracy, a Nasserite organization, and the Arab Socialist Union of Jamal al-Atasi, a party that is Arab nationalist in outlook, pro-Nasser, relatively popular in Syria, which deviated from NPF ranks for ideological reasons in the 1970s.

If the arrested Damascus parliamentarian Riyad Sayf is released from jail (his prison term ends in 2007), he will strive to re-establish his Movement for Social Peace. An unofficial party, it was created and abrogated in 2000, lobbying for the creation of a multi-party system, a release of political prisoners, and an end to socialism in Syria. If no legal obstacle prevents him from getting a license (he might be stripped from his civil rights), then Sayf might succeed and his party would win during election time, because he is popular in Damascus.

A moderate Islamic party might be permitted to operate under the leadership of Dr Mohammad Habash, the regime-friendly Islamist deputy in the Syrian parliament, but no license will be given to the Muslim Brotherhood, which tried and failed to topple the Assad regime in 1982, inflicting a lot of blood in Syria....

Probably, in a healthy political environment, independents will strive to re-establish the National Party of Damascus, loyal in the 1950s to Syria's late president Shukri al-Quwatli, who died in 1967, and others will work for the People's Party of Aleppo, whose president and co-founder Nazim al-Qudsi died in 1998. Both parties were non-ideological, unlike the Ba'ath and communists, but rather mirrored the socio-political interests of their respective communities, and promised to represent them adequately in parliament during the 1940s and 1950s....

In 2000, Paris-based Syrian businessman Umran Adham tried to re-establish Quwatli's National Party, but the project was delayed "because the state was unenthusiastic". A legal team was put in charge of paperwork, and the National Party's 1946 constitution was updated to apply to modern Syria. Adham had explained that the party should be ready by late 2001 and able to take part in the parliamentary elections of 2002. He then spoke to the Beirut-based Daily Star and said the project had been delayed "for another three to four years". He added that he had "sent out signals" showing that the project was ready and awaiting approval, and received "an extremely passive response" from senior state officials, showing that no Ba'athist leaders wanted to resurrect the National Party in 2001.

Hat tip to Simon's World. Coming Anarchy has related thoughts and a bigger picture view. 1972 notes that Assad has been claiming that things are going to change in Syria since March. I would point out the coincidence that this was when the U.S. law was passed encouraging democracy in Syria.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:28 AM | Comments |

Soldiers Cleared, Sgrena Reacts, Italian Left Cries Murder on Senate Floor

The final report on the shooting of Giuliana Sgrena's car and the killing of Nicola Calipari has cleared U.S. soldiers of wrongdoing. There is little new here, as news of the report had been leaked out before. But liar and propagandist Giuliana Sgrena is not a happyy camper. But because Italians have bought her version of the story hook, line, and sinker, it looks like she may get her wish after all: the total withdrawal of U.S. troops. And the Italian Left is up in arms, with the Communists (Sgrena's party) actually using the Italian Senate floor to call Calipari's death a deliberate murder.

CNN:

A U.S. military investigation has cleared American troops of any wrongdoing in the shooting death last month of an Italian security agent in Baghdad, according to a senior Pentagon official.

The agent's death strained relations between the United States and Italy, two stalwart allies in the Iraq war.

The U.S. soldiers involved will face no disciplinary actions, the Pentagon official said Monday....

The investigators' report also said there appears to have been no attempted coordination on the part of the Italians to clear the U.S. checkpoint, the official said....

Italian media reported that while Italian officials participated in the U.S. investigation, it is unclear whether they would endorse the report. News reports in Italy also said officials there do not agree with the findings.

If the Italians don't endorse the report, its credibility would likely be hurt in Italy.

Italian magistrates are conducting their own unilateral investigation into the shootings and are being given access to the car that carried Calipari and Sgrena in hopes of determining how the soldiers fired on it.

Check out Sgrena's reaction. And yes, she should be charged with purgery. Times Online:
An Italian journalist rescued from hostage-takers in Iraq last month has reacted angrily to a US military investigation absolving American soldiers of responsibility for killing the man who rescued her...

In a front page editorial in her left-wing daily Il Manifesto, Sgrena called on Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, to respond what she called a "slap in the face for the Italian Government".

Sgrena, a veteran war correspondent who was held hostage for a month in Iraq, wrote: "After the apologies comes the slap in the face."

She said that the Americans had not listened to either her testimony or that of another Italian agent, even though, she said, both had given the same evidence without discussing what had happened.

"Obviously, our two testimonies given to the American commission were useless. Or will I be charged with perjury?" questioned the journalist.

"The greatest disappointment would be if our authorities were to accept this insult without reacting."...

The Americans have offered to release the report, but Italy is blocking its publication while the Government works out its response....

It comes a very bad time for Signor Berlusconi, just when he's reforming his Government after disastrous losses in regional election," Owen said.

"It will also increase pressure on him to withdraw Italian troops as soon as possible."

Meanwhile the Italian political left is using the report to their advantage. Of course the report is unacceptable to them. Nothing short of Bush=Hitler would satisfy the left-wing nutjobs of Europe. Reuters:
Italian opposition parties branded a report that cleared U.S. soldiers of blame for the killing of an Italian agent in Iraq an insult on Tuesday and urged the government to press for a fuller investigation....

Giuseppe Fioroni, a leader of the opposition centre-left Margherita party, urged the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to demand full cooperation from the U.S. authorities to determine who was responsible for Calipari's killing.

"A one-sided conclusion absolving anyone of blame that the Italian side does not accept is an insult to the truth and to the memory of Nicola Calipari apart from being a serious act of arrogance towards Italy," Fioroni said in a statement.

Gigi Malabarba, of the Communist Refoundation Party, alleged in a speech in the Italian Senate that the U.S. ambassador in Iraq at the time, John Negroponte, wanted Calipari killed for negotiating with hostage-takers. He admitted he had no proof.

Greens member of parliament Laura Cima called the findings "a big slap in the face for the Italian government" and said it should press for the truth "if it can find any pride at all".

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:47 AM | Comments |

April 25, 2005

Zarqawi Almost Captured (#27)

Yes, almost once again. What is it with this guy that he gets away every freaking time? Seriously, we get news like this almost every week.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:06 PM | Comments |

Ivy League Student: I Support the Iraqi Resistance 'Unconditionally'

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.--{U.S. Constution, Article. III, Sec. 3}
A Brown University student is speaking out about the war in Iraq. Guess which side she supports? Liz Sperber in Brown University's The College Hill Independent:
UNCONDITIONALLY-that's the way I support the Iraqi Resistance these days. While I do not offer political support to all groups involved in the anti-imperial struggle in Iraq, I work to support its collective purpose: forcing the troops out now. Forcing because the United States won't leave any other way.
Nice. Even though we say we want to leave, and last time I checked by 'we' I mean EVERY POLITICIAN IN THE US, somehow this self-described student of African-Studies knows what our real motivations are.

Check out the three publications she lumps together. At least she gets that part right:

In this vein, it is clear that those reports in the Anglo-American media that cite a decline in insurgent attacks are relying on coalition force press releases. These reports have been directly contradicted by recent articles in Al Jazeera, the Washington Post, and even the New York Times ...
BINGO!!
The first step towards adopting such a plan of action is understanding why supporting Iraqi resistance groups is the imperative flipside of our support for US troops-even if we don't know, understand, or agree with the politics of the resistance groups themselves.
Um, excuse me Liz, but there is a word for someone who adheres to the enemies of the United States or gives them aid and comfort: traitor.

Ok, I know I've been pretty fast and loose with that term in the past. But what else do you call an American citizen who wants our side to lose?

We are in a shooting war, dearest. Even though the reason you say you want to support them is so you don't have to go to war, so what? And if my grandfather had wished Hitler a speedy victory before he got drafted?

"You know," says my grandfather, "I may have a few political qualms with Hitler, but I must say that these days I pretty much support him UNCODITIONALLY. I mean, if that's what it takes to drive the Yankee Imperialists out of Europe, so be it."


Oh, and look to the right to see the cartoon that was published with the editorial. Click it for the full size version. Now click here for a comparison. Ms. Sperber's freedom fighters are none other than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq. That is a cartoon representation of the murderous group with Eugene Armstrong shortly before they cut off his head.

Ms. Sperber ought to take a gander at this post which shows her allies at work on Mr. Armstrong. Just keep scrolling down Ms. Sperber and then compare that to Abu Ghraib.

It just gets worse from here. This poor girl obviously has been paying attention in class, because she spouts off typical Chomskyian drivel. I'll skip to the treasonous portions:

Thus, while the ostensible savagery of targeting of civilians does help the US government label the freedom fighters of the present as terrorists, the simultaneous media censorship omnipresent throughout the war in Iraq blinds us to the equally if not more savage violence perpetrated by our state against the Iraqi civilians.
She then goes on to repeat the lies of Giuliana Sgrena [see the lies she propogates here for instance] and the blood libel she, other leftists, and the terrorist supporting Arab press (e.g, al Jazeera, al Arabiya) have repeated.
In Fallujah, for instance, where reporters were prohibited for several months beginning in November 2004,
Not true, as we reported here the AP had a photographer embedded with the terrorists in Fallujah. His name is Bilal Huessein.
65 percent of buildings were leveled to the ground and anywhere between 600 to 3,000 civilians were murdered, mostly by carpet-bombing, the increasingly favored technique employed in Iraq as manpower begins to dwindle. All of these conditions must be recognized when we consider our relation to the Iraqi resistance.
For a more thorough examination of left-wing lies about the Fallujah campaign, see this post.

She then goes on about Iraqi self-determination, nowhere indicating that all polls from Iraq indicate that the Iraqis themselves don't want the U.S. to pull out immediately. Pull out, yes, but not now. All polls in the U.S. also agree that we should leave--but not yet.

If you couple the lies that she believes coming out of the left-wing media, than her conclusions are inescapable. If the U.S. really is as bad as al Jazeera reports it to be, then isn't it one's moral obligation to fight the evil Zionist crusador forces?

Rather, if we support the Iraqis right to self-determination, it must be because we identify a common, equal humanity between us; because we recognize that US occupation of Iraqi land and the US-sanctioned torture, rape, murder, and theft are unjust. That, in addition to the plight of our soldiers, which many of them argue is worsening every day, is why we must demand troops out now. For no other reason. Accordingly, since the Iraqi resistance is the force working to regain Iraqi sovereignty, we support them-unconditionally.
That, Ms. Sperber, is treason.

The rest is just nonsense. Ms. Sperber would have us believe that Abu Ghraib was the worst of crimes while every day Geneva Convention violations by 'the resistance' (such as using children as combatents, intentionally murdering non-combatents, using the civilian population as human shields, not wearing uniforms, murdering colloborators, political assasinations, etc) are just minor incidents that are part and parcel to war.

Let me repeat these words: Ms. Sperber, you are a traitor.

Hat tip to John Little who innocently points out that you can contact Ms. Traitor at outnow@brown.edu.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:28 PM | Comments |

Star Wars TV Series / Another Indiana Jones Film in the Works

Last night the local Fox affiliate showed The Empire Strikes Back. Afterwards they ran a minute-long Episode III:Revenge of the Sith trailor. Now, don't laugh at this, but the very end of the trailor when they show Darth Vader, I swear I almost cried. I'm seriously.

Anyway, there are a few interesting things out there that are Star Wars related. Disclaimer: Extreme geek alert!

Via John Little this Detroit Free Press article:

Lucas said he is working to develop a live-action TV series based on Star Wars. The series likely wouldn't be produced for at least a year, and the main characters in the movies probably won't be the focus, he said.

The series would be set between the yet-to-be released "Revenge of the Sith" movie and the original "Star Wars" movie, the fourth episode in the sequence....

Once again, Lucas said he did not plan to produce another Star Wars trilogy after the latest movie comes out....

Lucas told fans he planned to develop another film in his second-most popular series of movies -- the "Indiana Jones" trilogy. He didn't give a time frame for when another "Indiana Jones" film might hit theaters, but "It's definitely in the works," Lucas said.

I don't think obsessed is the word I'd use to describe me. It was Lucas who took out the restraining order, not me. Vince aut Morire:
At one session, Lucas, relaxed and in jeans and a charcoal sweater, said people should take away what they can from the “Star Wars” movies, “but don’t let it take over your lives.”

He said the movies suggest “to get on with your lives, take that challenge, to leave your uncle’s moisture farm (as Luke Skywalker did), to go out in the world and change it to save the universe."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:53 PM | Comments |

Chat room manage-a-trois

The bad kind:

Bill from INDC Journal & Jeff from Protein Wisdom, asked me to come into a chat with both of them.
Since I guess I'm partially responsible for this online meeting, let me just be the first to say ewwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:23 PM | Comments |

Religion of Stupid Bumperstickers Roundup: Honk if you're a terrorist edition

jihadi_bumber_sticker.jpgU.S. patrol in Iraq spots car with anti-US slogans, finds grenades and a bloody machete in trunk, nabs terrorists. I bet it's guys like these that Zarqawi volunteers for suicide missions.

Oh, and happy ANZAC Day to our Aussia and NZ friends!

A number of people have e-mailed me about the Kill Jews for Peace Website. My initial reaction was that it had to be a spoof. Beth thinks otherwise. If it's not, then why the hell does Cao get a death fatwa issued but not me!!

I DEMAND A FATWA!!!

Why Lebanon Matters. I disagree that Lebanon is the key to resolving the Clash of Civilizations, but it is key in spreading democracy and further isolating Syria. Speaking of, Syria says that most of their troops are pulling out today. (Via Chad)

In Indonesia they give you 4.5 days in jail for every person you murder in the name of Jihad. On the other hand, if you're caught with some marijuana, you could just find yourself in jail for the rest of your life. Especially if you're a Westerner.

Saudis arrest 40 Christians for praying. Good thing they weren't trying to convert a Muslim, that could get your head chopped off!

Iran developing new bomb technologies.

Iraqis generally positive about prospects for future (via Ace).

Palestinians now starting blood-libel campaign against the U.S., says we grind the bones of Palestinian children and devour their eyes. Baseball, hot-dogs, apple-pie, and Pali-eyes!

AP stringer killed in Iraq, but it looks like the bad guys didi it this time (via LGF).

Is actor James Woods a CIA agent?


Domestic Dhimmis and Links of Interest

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal says 9/11 was our fault. She'll fit right in in Hollywood. (via Say Anything)

Good riddance! Please don't come back.

Donald Rumsfeld does Dolly Parton. I'm serious.

In support of John Bolton. I said John, not Michael.

More tolerance from the left.

Trey Jackson has audio of DNC Chair Howard Dean impersonating Rush Limbaugh snorting cocaine. Notice the media outrcry over this one yet?

Report: Conservative Southern Democrats Disappearing

Sexual predators could be in your town. Scary thought.

When hunger strikes go terribly wrong!

Phin thinks we should invade the Vatican now! It's funny because it's true.

Markos "Screw Them" Zúniga is chosen as Jackass of the Week over at Decision '08. Persnonaly I'd like to nominate him for Jackass of the Century.

The guys get shirts! Or, the single fashion review ever written that doesn't sound gay.

Leopold Stotch proves he has poor taste by declaring ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 'the most inspiring show on television today'. Dumbass!

One nation under dog.

Apocolypse Now--The Llama Butchers ask the important questions: Whatever happened to Kelly McGillis? Meanwhile, Kevin Aylward asks the even more important questions: Whatever happened to Cory Haim?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:08 PM | Comments |

Reuters Cameraman Detained in Mosul (Update: AP photographer shot, another detained)

Via Traderrob at OpiniPundit this interesting news that a Reuters camerman has been detained by authorities in Mosul. The man's name is Nabil Hussein and he was a stringer.

Reuters:

Iraqi police have detained a Reuters Television cameraman for more than 24 hours in the northern city of Mosul, with no details released of any charges, relatives and colleagues said on Sunday.

The father of cameraman Nabil Hussein, 30, has also been detained since he tried to visit his son a few hours after the arrest. Relatives said about 20 policemen raided the home of Nabil Hussein on Saturday morning and then beat him, his driver and a fellow journalist before detaining them.The driver and the second journalist were released later on Saturday.

Driver Ismail Ibrahim and Hussein's brother, Namir, who said he also witnessed the arrests, said police did not state a reason for their actions and no charges were mentioned.

"They put bags on our heads and beat us," Ibrahim said, adding the men had been taken to Mosul's police headquarters.

Police and Interior Ministry officials in the city said they knew nothing of the detentions: "When I asked about my brother they said they did not know about it," Namir Hussein said.

Interior Ministry officials in Baghdad said they would inquire about the case....

Hussein was arrested before an Associated Press cameraman was killed and an AP photographer wounded in a shooting incident in Mosul on Saturday. The exact circumstances were unclear but Saleh Ibrahim died after going to cover an explosion.

Hussein, who is also a producer, has worked as a stringer for the London-based international news agency since 2003.

UPDATE: And another one! An AP photographer was shot while another AP stringer was detained in the incident. However, the second photographer Mohammed Ibrahim was later released.

Mercury News:

Mohammed Ibrahim, a photographer working for The Associated Press, was released Sunday by the U.S. military, which had held him after a shooting in which a television cameraman working for The AP was killed.

Ibrahim was wounded when gunfire broke out after an explosion Saturday in the northern city of Mosul. Saleh Ibrahim, a television cameraman working for The Associated Press, was killed in the same incident. The two men were brothers-in-law.

Mohammed Ibrahim said U.S. forces escorted him and his brother, Wamidh, who contributes to European Pressphoto Agency, from the hospital hours after the shooting and released them after nearly 24 hours in detention.

A U.S. military official, who would not allow the use of his name, said the two men had been "caught up in the sweep after the situation."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:32 AM | Comments |

10 Arrested in Helicopter Downing

The arrest of four more suspects yesterday brings the number of suspects arrested over the downing of a Bulgarian helicopter and the subsequent murder of its pilot to 10. The most important aspect of this story is that all of the arrests were made because Iraqi civilians turned the suspects in. Terrorists need an environmnet of sympathy from which to operate. It seems that it is becoming harder and harder for the terrorists to operate with impunity in Iraq.

Thanks to the, literally, scores of people who e-mailed me about the story yesterday. Really, too many people to give the hat tip to right now. You can see images and a link to the video of the helicopter downing here.

Here is the original report of 6 men being caught followed by news that four more were nabbed. Boston Globe:

The suspects in the helicopter downing were caught after US soldiers from Task Force Baghdad were tipped off by an Iraqi civilian who told the Americans that he knew where insurgents had stashed a blue Kia pickup truck that was used in the attack and led them to the site, the military said in a statement.

Soldiers searched two nearby houses shortly after midnight yesterday, arresting three men and seizing bomb-making material in the first home. Three suspects were grabbed from the second residence, and all were being questioned, the military said.

ABC News:
The U.S. military said Sunday it has arrested four more suspects in Thursday's downing of a civilian helicopter north of Baghdad, bringing the number apprehended so far to 10. All 11 helicopter passengers and crew were killed, including one shot by insurgents....

The American military said Sunday it detained the additional suspects in the downing of the helicopter during the past 24 hours. Iraqi civilians helped U.S. forces locate the first six suspects captured Saturday, the military said.

The Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter was shot down about 12 miles north of Baghdad. The dead included six American bodyguards for U.S. diplomats, three Bulgarian crew members and two security guards from Fiji, officials said.

Two militant groups claimed responsibility for the attack and released video to back their claims. In one video, insurgents are seen capturing and shooting to death the lone survivor, identified as a Bulgarian pilot.

The aircraft was owned by Heli Air of Bulgaria and chartered by Toronto-based SkyLink Aviation Inc.

The six Americans were employed by Blackwater Security Consulting a subsidiary of security contractor Blackwater USA of Moyock, N.C., which had four employees slain and mutilated by insurgents in Fallujah a year ago.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:01 AM | Comments |

Armenians Mark Genocide Day 90 Years After Massacres Began

Yesterday marked the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide. While the Young Turk governmnet was much more secular than the Ottomans, the mass killings and deportations of Armenians could not have been accopmplished without the rhetoric of jihad.

Here are a few important points from The Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society. Much of this report relies heavily on Vahakn Dadrian's work on the subject.*

During the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid, the Ottoman Turks massacred over 200,000 Armenians between 1894-96. This was followed, under the Young Turk regime, by the Adana massacres of 25,000 Armenians in 1909, and the first formal genocide of the 20th century, when in 1915 alone, an additional 600,000 to 800,000 Armenians were slaughtered.21 The massacres of the 1890s had an "organic" connection to the Adana massacres of 1909, and more importantly, the events of 1915. As Vahakn Dadrian argues, they facilitated the genocidal acts of 1915 by providing the Young Turks with "a predictable impunity." The absence of adverse consequences for the Abdul Hamid massacres in the 1890s allowed the Young Turks to move forward without constraint.22

Contemporary accounts from European diplomats make clear that these brutal massacres were perpetrated in the context of a formal jihad against the Armenians who had attempted to throw off the yoke of dhimmitude by seeking equal rights and autonomy. For example, the Chief Dragoman (Turkish-speaking interpreter) of the British embassy reported regarding the 1894-96 massacres:

"…[The perpetrators] are guided in their general action by the prescriptions of the Sheri [Sharia] Law. That law prescribes that if the "rayah" [dhimmi] Christian attempts, by having recourse to foreign powers, to overstep the limits of privileges allowed them by their Mussulman [Muslim] masters, and free themselves from their bondage, their lives and property are to be forfeited, and are at the mercy of the Mussulmans. To the Turkish mind the Armenians had tried to overstep those limits by appealing to foreign powers, especially England. They therefore considered it their religious duty and a righteous thing to destroy and seize the lives and properties of the Armenians..."...

The genocide of the Armenians was a jihad. No rayas took part in it. Despite the disapproval of many Muslim Turks and Arabs, and their refusal to collaborate in the crime, these masssacres were perpetrated solely by Muslims and they alone profited from the booty: the victims' property, houses, and lands granted to the muhajirun, and the allocation to them of women and child slaves. The elimination of male children over the age of twelve was in accordance with the commandments of the jihad and conformed to the age fixed for the payment of the jizya. The four stages of the liquidation- deportation, enslavement, forced conversion, and massacre- reproduced the historic conditions of the jihad carried out in the dar-al-harb from the seventh century on. Chronicles from a variety of sources, by Muslim authors in particular, give detailed descriptions of the organized massacres or deportation of captives, whose sufferings in forced marches behind the armies paralleled the Armenian experience in the twentieth century...

Here is a report yesterday's anniversary from Radio Free Europe:

It was a somber occasion as Armenians from all over the world gathered in Yerevan to commemorate the 90th anniversary of what they call "Genocide Day."

On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian community leaders in Yerevan. It was the start two of years of mass expulsions and killings of Christian Armenians by Ottoman authorities.

Ceremonies in Yerevan today included the laying of a wreath at the "genocide memorial" by Armenian President Robert Kocharian. Memorial masses also were being celebrated at Yerevan's Saint Gregory cathedral, as well as in churches all over Armenia.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kinsmen perished as a result of orchestrated killings as the Ottoman Empire -- the predecessor of modern Turkey -- was crumbling.

Authorities in Ankara have consistently denied that version of events. Turkey says about 300,000 Armenians and thousands of Turks were killed as a result of "civil strife" when Armenians rose against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian troops.

In Yerevan yesterday night, more than 10,000 people marched with torches to demand that Turkey recognize the killings as genocide.

Armenians say they hope their mass demonstrations will increase the pressure on Turkey. There are some signs that the effort may be working.

Yesterday, the Conference of European Churches called on Turkey to recognize the genocide claim.

On 22 April, French President Jacques Chirac accompanied President Kocharian to a Paris monument for victims of the massacre.

And in Germany, members of parliament from across the political spectrum appealed to Turkey to accept the massacre of Armenians as part of its history, saying the move would help Ankara's EU aspirations.

*Dadrian V., “The Armenian Question and the Wartime Fate of the Armenians as Documented by the Officials of the Ottoman Empire’s World War I Allies: Germany and Austria-Hungary”, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, (2002), Vol. 32, Pp. 59-85.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:40 AM | Comments |

April 23, 2005

Weekend Open Thread

Have away!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:20 AM | Comments |

Blog Sabbath Caption Contest: Watch Out for that Mosque! edition

Caption this photo of an Iranian paratrooper unclear on the concept. Winners announced Monday.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:18 AM | Comments |

Al Jazeera Reporter on Trial for Terrorism

I had read several articles on the ongoing terror trials in Spain, but somehow the fact that one of the indicted terrorist is also a reporter for al Jazeera eluded me.

Gulf Times:

The defendants include Tayseer Alouni, a reporter for Arab TV channel Al Jazeera who interviewed bin Laden shortly after the attacks on New York and Washington.

Prosecutors accuse him of carrying money intended for Al Qaeda members during visits he made to Afghanistan for his journalistic work. Alouni says he is innocent.

Now check this out. He was under house arrest. House-freaking-arrest! Too harsh? Ok, lets let him out for good measure. Gulf Times:
Al Jazeera reporter Tayseer Alouni was temporarily released from house arrest on the first day of a high-profile terrorism trial here yesterday.

Alouni will testify before the court on May 11 to defend himself against charges of belonging to Al Qaeda.

He had been shifted from prison to house arrest on March 17 on medical reasons.

“I am innocent. Whatever the outcome of the trial, I will maintain that until death,” Alouni said.

“The judge’s case always refers to circumstantial evidence, evidence taken from telephone calls in Arabic which were badly translated and even more badly interpreted by the police.”

Yeah, and by 'kill the Zionist Crusador infidels' he really meant 'let's have ice-cream'.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:08 AM | Comments |

Scandinavian Socialist Utopia: Norwegians Have a 'Right' to Surf for Porn at Work

Leftists love to talk about the Scandinavian countries as if they were utopias on earth. I'm just beginning to see their point. Via QandO this story out of Norway:

Norway's Supreme Court supported decisions refusing Conoco Phillips the right to fire two workers who surfed the Internet for pornographic images on company time.

The two workers on the Ekofisk field lost their jobs after being caught peeping at porn on the job in the summer of 2002. The pair took their case to court and won at both the municipal and appeals level, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports...

The Supreme Court has ruled that the firings were not justified and have awarded the two NOK 250,000 (USD 40,000) each in compensation.

Look, all joking aside, you've got to draw the line between public and private behavior somewhere. The idea that an employee can't be fired for surfing for porn on company time is outrageous.

Now excuse me as I go do some 'research' at Whitehouse.com.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:30 AM | Comments |

Terrorist Threaten to Murder 3 Romanian and an American Hostage in new Video


The three Romanian victims are Marie Jeanne Ion, Sorin Dumitru Miscoci, and Edward Ovidiu Ohanesian. The American is Iraqi born Mohammed Monaf. The terrorists belong to a group calling itself the Muadh ibn Jabal Brigades.

There was no audio broadcast, but al Jazeera says that reporter Marie Jeanne Ion reads a statement saying they will be killed if Romanian troops are not pulled out of Iraq in four days.

Read on for the Giuliana Sgrena angle. Boston Globe:

Three kidnapped Romanian journalists and their Iraqi-American translator say in a video that they will be killed by their Iraqi captors if Romania does not withdraw its troops within four days, Al-Jazeera reported Friday.

In the video shown by the Arab satellite station, the Romanians two men and a woman sit cross-legged against a black background with their hands chained. A hand is seen on the right pointing a pistol at the hostages.

Reporter Marie Jeanne Ion, sitting between her two colleagues, is seen talking and gesturing with her hands to the camera. Prima TV cameraman Sorin Miscoci appears upset, possibly crying.

Al-Jazeera did not play the audio, but it quoted Ion as saying the Iraqi militants holding them had given the Romanian government four days from the date of the tape's broadcast to remove its 800 soldiers in Iraq. Otherwise, the captives will be killed, Al-Jazeera quoted her as saying....

The kidnappers identified themselves as the ''Muadh ibn Jabal Brigades,'' a previously unknown group. The name refers to a companion of Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

After the journalists were pictured, the video showed a man who appeared to be the translator, Iraqi-American Mohammed Monaf, sitting alone with his hands bound. He is also talking, but there is no sound. Gunmen stand on either side of him, pointing an automatic rifle and a pistol at his head....

What the AP omits from its story is that the terrorists have taken a chapter out of Giuliana Sgrena's playbook. The captive reporter pleas for the Romanian people to take to the streets and demand that their troops be removed from Iraq. Unlike Sgrena, though, who says it was her idea to make the video, the Romanian hostages talk to the camera with a gun pointed to their head. Further, it will should be noted that Sgrena's captors never threatened her life. Al Jazeera.com (unrelated to al Jazeera TV):
Speaking to the camera, Ion gave the news of the ultimatum and called on the Romanian government to accept the kidnappers' demands.

"The journalists appealed to the Romanian government to pull its troops from Iraq to ensure their release”, said the channel.

"Marie-Jeanne Ion, the female hostage, said that the kidnappers gave the Romanian government four days from the release of the video to withdraw its troops from Iraq or the journalists will be killed.

"She asked the Romanian people to organize protests in order to pressure the Romanian government in order to ensure that the kidnappers' demands are met," it added.

Another interesting note is that the American is shown seperate from the Romanians. A friend in Romania tells me that many in that country believe he may have been involved in the hostage crisis. I've reported on that here. I should note that both he and I are not convinced that the evidence that Monaf was somehow involved in the hostage-taking is really all that strong.

Others: Chad at In The Bullpen still thinks this might just be about money. Possibly.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:11 AM | Comments |

Moussaoui pleads guilty, but why are we treating him like a 'criminal'?

Finally, a conviction stemming from 9/11. Unfortunately we don't need convictions. One of the reasons suicidal terrorists are so vexing is that, well, they are suicidal. If death has no deterrent effect, why would a jail sentence?

Treating terrorism as an ordinary crime makes no sense to me. What should we do to Moussaoui? I've no idea. But sending the man to jail just doesn't sit right.

Death penalty? Maybe. But even that is a punishment for a crime. Again, it's the language of the criminal justice system. As long as we use that language we are trapped in the sort of thinking that led to 9/11.

What we need is a new vocabulary to describe what should be done to terrorists who are caught. What that language should be is not quite clear.

The Global War on Terror rhetoric is a little more satisfying. If this is war then Moussaoui is an illegal enemy combatent. Caught without a uniform behind enemy lines, engaged in the plotting of acts of sabatoge, Moussaui would be subject to execution. But still, there is something missing here that I can't quite get my finger on......

The outcome of treating Moussaoui as a criminal or as an illegal combatent might be the same in both cases. However, the language we use matters. If he is to be killed, let it be by firing squad or at the end of a hangman's noose. He is not a criminal, he's worse. Let's treat him as such.

I'm not 100% sure how to describe a terrorist plotter like Moussaui, but there is something essentially wrong with the dialogue below. The back and forth as if Moussaui was an ordinary criminal who's rights must be protected at all costs. The judge covers all his bases so that Moussaoui will have no grounds for appeal.

Troubling.

WaPo:

Moussaoui, looking nothing like his ubiquitous prison photo, took a seat, then walked to the podium to answer the judge's queries.

"You understand that all answers to this court's questions must be truthful?" U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema began, the first of many questions in one of the most extraordinary pleas in U.S. history. "It is understood," Moussaoui said in a thick French accent.

"You are aware that the first four counts essentially expose you to the possibility of a death sentence . . . ?" Brinkema asked.

"Yes, I read the document."

"Now, you do understand that you have the right to plead not guilty . . . ?" the judge asked.

"I do understand that," Moussaoui said, and on it went, questions as mundane as whether Moussaoui understood that he would be fined $600, and as grave as whether he was part of a terrorist conspiracy to attack the United States. At one point, Moussaoui said he planned to fly a 747 into the White House one day.

The dialogue between the two swung from cordial to combative to darkly humorous. Brinkema asked if Moussaoui understood that he was not giving up certain rights in the sentencing phase by pleading guilty. "That's what I'm saying," Moussaoui said. "That's what I'm saying, too," Brinkema said. Some people in the courtroom laughed.

At 3:50 p.m., Moussaoui began signing the documents that made formal his guilty plea. Peterson leaned in closer to see.

Then Brinkema began reading the six counts in the indictment, asking Moussaoui after each how he pleaded. "Guilty," he said over and over. "Guilty."

After making a byzantine argument about his case -- he cited Supreme Court cases, legal loopholes and mitigating factors -- Moussaoui was led from the courtroom. He raised one hand and shouted, "Lord! God curse America!"

The California Yankee has more, including some of the indictment itself.

UPDATE: I just had to include Will Collier's reaction that, "The needle is too good for him". Indeed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:29 AM | Comments |

April 22, 2005

Religion of Peace Roundup: (Oops!) Honey, I Killed an Infidel edition

honey_I_killed_an_infidel.jpgIt's the Religion of Peas Roundup!

Pakistani PM claims Islam is "religion of peace and moderation which abhors extremism". Doesn't consider Pakistani law which puts to death blasphemers, missionaries, or homosexuals extreme.

Moderate Muslim country of Malaysia sentencing people to jail for apostasy. See how moderate works in Islam? At least they weren't killed.

Zacharias Moussaoui tries to plea guilty on capital charges related to 9/11, lawyers claim he's insane in the membrane. Of course he's insane. He's a f*cking suicidal terrorist! Duh!! (via Slublog)

Spain begins trial of 9/11 telated terrorists. Each defendent could spend up to 40 years in jail for helping murder 3,000 people. Justice European style.

Shoe-bomber conspirator gets 13 years in prison. Ditto.

Pro-Syrian Lebanese PM promises May vote will not be rigged. [Insert laugh track here]

Catholic University bends over, hands KY to Mullahs, takes it like a good dhimmi.

Former Spanish President has new test for freedom in Islamic countries: When can I freely buy a beer in Tehran?

Scores of Shiite hostages still missing. You know, infidel, anyone who disagrees with my form of Islam.

Jane Galt on surgical warfare.

Domestic stuff and other linakge

VDH on lessons learned from Iraq: Do not look for logic and consistency in the Middle East where they are not to be found (Via Daily Pundit)

Take a Kennedy. Put him together with a Clinton. Indict him. What do you get? No. Media. Coverage.

Jane Fonda opens her big-mouth again in defense of traitors moving to Canada to escape service in Iraq.

Dean on the use of the word moderate.

Lileks gets Catholics better than many Catholics get Catholics (via Spoons).

A review of Microsoft's new blogging software.

Finally the Dread Pundit Bluto notices that we have a three-way going with Ann Coulter. Sorry man. I'm not into that kind of three-way!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:20 PM | Comments |

Open Thread

As per request, here is an open thread.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:52 AM | Comments |

Islamic Army in Iraq Video Shows Downed Helicopter, Survivor Murdered Over Kevin Sites Video (images--UPDATED III)

UPDATE 1/25/2006: A new video posted by a terrorist group in Iraq shows a downed Blackwater chopper in Baghdad. Click link or go to MAIN PAGE for more recent news and terror videos from Iraq.
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Update: Victims' identities begin to be revealed. Scroll down for updates.

The Islamic Army in Iraq has released a videotape in which they claim responsibility for the downing of a civilian helicopter in Iraq in which 11 were killed, including 6 Americans. The Jawa Report has obtained a copy of the video. The video may be downloaded here [see April 22nd]. Extremely graphic images from the video are posted below.

The video shows the downed helicopter, which is the first civilian aircraft shot down in Iraq. In the past, the Islamic Army in Iraq has claimed to shoot down aircraft, but these were always unmanned military drones.

Of the eleven on board, one man survived, but was severely wounded. The wounded man had apparently crawled away and was hiding in tall grass some distance from the crash. The helicopter can be seeen burning in the distant background. The man's accent reveals him to be an American, not a Bulgarian or Belgian as is being reported in the press. (Update) According to this AP story, the man is positively identified as the Bulgarian pilot Lyubomir Kostov. I stand corrected. Except for the rolling of his r's, his English was perfect and American accented. (thanks to Chad for tracking this down).

Unaware of who has found him, the American says to them, "give me a hand. Give me a hand. It's broken..."

The terrorists help him up and then ask him, "Weapons?" then order him to "Go! Go!" The man is able to walk. "Carry out God's verdict," they say. They then shoot him as he holds his hand up. He is murdered in cold blood as the terrorists yell "Allahu akhbar!" shooting him over and over.

The terrorists murder the man on the video. In a statement released with the video, the Islamic Army in Iraq says they killed the man in retaliation for the "cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them."

This is a reference to the video released by American journalist Kevin Sites showing a Marine killing a wounded Iraqi insurgent who was playing dead inside a mosque in Fallujah. The Marine was later cleared of all wrong doing. His unit had encountered this type of feigning before with tragic results.

When that video was released, The Jawa Report claimed that Sites' actions in releasing the video would directly lead to more deaths and destruction in Iraq/


Houston Chronicle:

Thursday's chartered flight was believed to be the first civilian aircraft shot down in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion two years ago. The dead included six American bodyguards for U.S. diplomats, three Bulgarian crew and two security guards from Fiji, officials said.

The helicopter went down about 12 miles north of Baghdad. Associated Press Television News footage showed burning wreckage from the craft and personal belongings scattered across a wide area.

U.S. officials could not confirm the cause of the crash. However, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry said the helicopter was struck by missile fire.

Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolai Svinarov said today the crash was a "terrorist attack," but it will not affect Bulgaria's military involvement in Iraq.

"Bulgaria should not waver under terrorist pressure," said Svinarov, whose country has a 460-member contingent in Iraq.

A group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq posted a video on the Internet Thursday purporting to show the shooting of a survivor.

The authenticity of the footage, posted on a Web forum often used by militant groups, could not be confirmed. A U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad said he had no knowledge that anyone on board survived the crash and was killed later.

"Heroes of the Islamic Army downed a transport aircraft belonging to the army of the infidels and killed its crew and those on board in the regions of al-Taji north of Baghdad," the group said in a written statement accompanying the video. "One of the crew members was captured and killed."

In the footage, which shows burning wreckage and two charred bodies, militants come across an injured man wearing a blue flightsuit lying in tall grass. His nationality was not immediately known.

"It's broken," he says in accented English, apparently referring to his leg, as militants — unseen except in brief glances — tell him to stand up. "Weapons? Weapons?" the gunmen ask him in Arabic and English as he stands uneasily.

The gunmen tell him, "Go!", and the survivor starts to hobble away, holding his hands up toward them. The gunmen then open fire, shouting "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!" with the bullets hitting his body. They fire more shots into his body on the ground.

The six Americans were employed by Blackwater Security Consulting, a subsidiary of North Carolina-based security contractor Blackwater USA, which had four employees slain and mutilated by insurgents in Fallujah a year ago — deaths that touched off a Marine assault on insurgents in the city.

The Islamic Army statement said it killed the survivor "in revenge for the Muslims who have been killed in cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them." It was apparently referring to the Nov. 13 shooting by an American soldier of a wounded Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque during a U.S. offensive in the city.

Developing.........

UPDATE 11:40:One victim identified as Jason Obert, of El Paso. News 4 Colorado:

A former El Paso County sheriff's deputy was among the six American contractors killed Thursday when insurgent missile fire downed a commercial helicopter outside of Baghdad, Iraq, a Colorado Springs television station reported.

Jason Obert left the sheriff's office in February to earn extra money working in Iraq for Blackwater Security Consulting, KKTV-TV reported. The company is a subsidiary of North Carolina-based Blackwater USA.

Obert is survived by a wife and two boys, the station reported.

Update II 1:55: Another victim identified. Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville KY. Danville Advocate Messenger:

Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville, has died in Iraq, his family confirmed today.

McGovern was involved in a helicopter crash, according to his stepfather, who said the family was notified Thursday night....

McGovern had been a sergeant in the National Guard with the 20th Special Forces Group in Louisville. He got out of the Guard in February, according to a spokesman there....

UPDATE III 2:35: Long-time collaborator of The Jawa Report and sometimes contributor Interested Participant hunts down a few more names.

Jim Atalifo and Timoci Lalaqila were the two Fijians killed, as reported in The Australian

The three Bulgarians are named as pilots Lyubomir Kostov and Georgi Naidenov and board-engineer Stoyan Anchev by the Bulgarian News Network.

Others covering the story: I would urge these sites NOT to link to Ogrish, which is a snuff site. An alternate video can be found at this anti-terrorism site. Ranting Profs, Michelle Malkin, Blogs of War, Hyscience, Speed of Thought, In the Bullpen, Blogger Beer, Bittersweet Me, The Tomo Report, Kill Righty, The Blue Site, Dangerous Dan, Caos Blog, Dread Pundit Bluto, Outside the Beltway, Rambling's Journal,

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW!!

I show these images because they reveal the true face of the 'insurgency we are fighting'. COLD. BLOODED. MURDERERS. AND. COWARDS.


These images are EXTREMELY GRAPHIC and ARE OFFENSIVE.

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WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW!! Last chance.......

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:28 AM | Comments |

April 21, 2005

Is Counterterrorism Really Dying? (Updated)

by Demosophist

OK, I'm still not sure whether I'm out to lunch on this issue of the counterterrorism report, or whether it's Larry Johnson who's missing the boat. It's certainly possible that each of us it outclassing the other on some aspect of the analysis. For the sake of argument, I'm willing to concede that the accounting method used to define a terrorist act hasn't changed at all from 2003 to 2004 and that continuity isn't the issue. I'm not 100% convinced of that, for one thing because Larry characterizes the whole debate as a "mere squabble over method," and as a methodologist, I know of no such thing. Issues of method, as I learned from Thelma Z. Lavine, go right to the heart of what we call "reality," and it just doesn't get any more momentous or important than that. But again, I'll concede the point that the method hasn't changed, and also that the State Department attempted to change it, failed, and then cancelled the Annual Report.

Well, first of all if the current definition of a terrorist act involves no attempt to suss out the issue of intent, or leaves it ambiguous, then it might well be appropriate to change the method... to make it a better reflection of the kind of act we're attempting to stop. And I realize it may be extraordinarily difficult to define intent, operationally. But again for the sake of argument let's assume the worst case, that the State Department didn't care about accuracy, and they just wanted to keep the numbers low so as not to appear to be "losing" the War on Terror.

That, in itself, leaves a lot of questions open. For one thing, why is that bad? It's certainly the case that however well-meaning or underhanded the attempt, it failed spectacularly. They haven't exactly kept things under wraps. For another, as Larry mentions on the Counterterrorism Blog, one has to remain cognizant of details embedded in the data to have any prayer of formulating coherent policy. I assume that we want the State Department to have a coherent counterterrorism policy, even if we don't want them leading the charge... so the criticism is well-taken, if the decision not to publish the report implies that the State Department would not, then, be made aware of these embedded truths in the data. (These usually take the form of cross-tabulations, or summary variables categorized by another variable, sometimes called "cross-sums" or "tab-sums.") If the only, or the best, way to disseminate this form of knowledge is through the kind of published report that the State Department has just curtailed, then indeed we're stepping from the twilight deliberately into the dark. It's a bad thing.

But there's more to determining whether this is true, than simply making the assumption that it is. Perhaps white papers, or periodic reports, or even having their own in-house analysts to continually process data, is the better way for the State Department to go? Perhaps a continuously monitored website, part of which is available to the public, of the sort that's represented on NationMaster, or on the OECD's Factbook. This is certainly a better tool than a predigested report, right?

Another issue concerns how one interprets the data. If the number of attacks is escalating, but the geographical area where they take place is shrinking, is it clear that we're losing, or winning? Certainly the level of violence escalated dramatically at the Battle of the Bulge, but it was the beginning of the end for the Third Reich. And I can't help but feel that if we'd had today's data dissemination and analysis technology during the Tet Offensive, with the ability to substitute our own rather than relying on MSM's flawed interpretation, we'd have drawn very different conclusions about the meaning of the event.

Finally, we are talking about the State Department here, not the Intelligence Services themselves. To what extent does this refusal to publish really reflect deep-seated policy? I'm in over my head here, because I just don't know that much about the internal culture of the State Department... but it would seem to me that Condi Rice is probably a great deal more empirical than her predecessor, so the conclusion that they're abandoning empirical analysis may be jumping the gun a bit. They may have simply decided that they didn't want the hassle of publishing this report. After a brief attempt to alter the method to better reflect the intent behind these acts of terrorism they may have decided that the political ramifications of publishing the report were getting in the way of making sound policy decisions. Believe me, it happens. Policy and advocacy are always in a tug of war, and people invested with the power to make decisions tend to look at advocacy as unnecessarily messy and distracting, because sometimes... it is.

Finally, who ought to "take the lead" on counterterrorism? As I said in the comments to my earlier post, the State Department's historical addiction to stability suggets it's not the ideal institution to adopt that role. Granted, the State Department needs a counterterrorism policy, but should that be derived independently of the Intelligence Services or the DOD? To what extent should they lead, or follow? I know I have my preferences, but it's not really my decision... and this may be one of those issues that isn't resolved for several administrations anyway. The decision will impact careers, income, and the distribution of power and responsibility within government, and I'm not wise enough to know what ought to happen. But I do think it'd probably be a mistake so simply assume that the status quo is best.

Update: Larry Johnson mentions Kashmir as a revealing example of why "details buried in the data" are critical to formulating coherent policy:

One of the uncomfortable answers buried in the data concerns the attacks in Kashmir. The groups responsible for these attacks--e.g., the Lashkar Tayibba, the Harakat ul-Ansar--have received funding and support from elements of Pakistan's intelligence service. In the past these groups were training in Afghanistan alongside Al Qaida. In other words one of our key allies in the war on terrorism has been a sponsor of terrorism.

Well, if it's actually the case that a large proportion of these attacks are being generated by an ally (and attacks in Kashmir account for almost half of the attacks counted in 2004) then we certainly ought to factor that into how we deal with the Pakistanis. But the fact that there's a kind of schizophrenia within Pakistani Intelligence isn't exactly new information, so I'm not sure what Johnson would propose, beyond turning Pakistan from an ally into an enemy. Depending on which one of its "personalities" wins the internal struggle, that may happen anyway... but the real foreign policy issue is whether we're prepared to push this ally into the realm of greater political and civil freedom, and historically the State Department hasn't been very supportive of such a policy.

On a related note, the Kashmir problem may be on the verge of a solution, anyway. If so, the biggest problem faced by Kashmir, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, may be how to handle the honeymoon tourist trade.

By Demosophist at 06:22 PM | Comments |

Religion of Peace Roundup: Viva Larry Summers Edition

glenn_reynolds_tshirt_larry_summers.jpg
Well at least somebody from Harvard is reading my work. Yeah, I know it's my blog and not my academic research, but I'll take what I can get. Some irreverent students at Harvard are hawking a Viva Larry Summers shirt. But don't worry, they assure me that no communist revolutionaries were harmed in the making of these T-Shirts. I don't know why they e-mailed me of all the bloggers out there. Especially since I noticed that Glenn Harlan Reynolds was recently seen out and about wearing one of their shirts.

It's the Religon of Peace and other tales of interest roundup. Since all trackbacks to me appear as a link to your site, just send a trackback to this post for some linky love.

Zarqawi attempts to assasinate Allawi. Zarqawi misses. Zarqawi lauds suicide bomber blowing himself up in order to kill the 'friends of Christians and Jews'. What's new?

Osama bin Laden to kiss and make up with the Europeans. Offers truce with Europe.

Missile downs civilian helicopter in Iraq, 11 dead--6 Americans. Kos readers react by celebrating death of Americans.

Traitor Hasan Akbar found guilty for murdering fellow soldiers just before the Iraq war. Like Muhammed Ali, Akbar decided it was against his religion to fight in Iraq. Unlike Ali, he decided to go ahead and kill some infidels as a means of protest.

U.S. forces ice 12 Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan. Way to go!

EU cancels meeting with Pakistani delegation because it included a Taliban sympathizer. Europe: not for us, not against us, just lukewarm.

Don't travel Iranian Air.

And speaking of our allies in the GWOT the Pakis: Pakistan decides NOT to send Army to Waziristan, you know, to find Osama bin Laden.

Phillipines to enter talks with MILF. (Note: MILF in this context is an Islamic seperatist group, not, well, you know, that other kind of MILF my readers are so familiar with.)

Islamic terrorists in Phillipines abduct 22 school children, kill police officer in stand off. Why is there no more press on this?

Battle raging in Mecca. Ultra extremist Islamists killed by only moderately extremist Islamists in Saudi Arabia.

NJ newspaper defines 'Jihad', plays dhimmi to the T.

Europe pitching a hissy fit because we want to protect our airspace from terrorists. Thanks, once again, Europe for being such great allies in the GWOT!

Bush hanging tough on Bolton nomination.

I [heart] my vagina. Yeah, and I'm kind of fond of it too.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:54 PM | Comments |

50-70 Bodies Found in Tigris

Last week we brought you the story that Sunni terrorists were threatening to kill 100+ Shiites from the Madaen area. We later reported that it was a hoax. Well, it's looking like less of a hoax today.

Dozens of bodies, some of them beheaded, were found washed up on the banks of the Tigris river. I've seen low estimates of 50 and high estimates of 70. Still up in the air is whether these bodies are those of the Madaen hostages, as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani claims. The US is denying any knowlege of the bodies, and reports indicate that many of the bodies were found before the Madaen hostage crisis was announced.

Interested Participant has more here, Chad at In The Bullpen's post on the subject is here, INFDL here, and Speed of Thought here.

At the very least, the confusing nature of this story reveals that Talibani is no different than other Arab leaders in his ability to spread what are essentially rumors as fact.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:17 PM | Comments |

Pamela Anderson's Blog

Pamela Anderson, star of the appropriately named television series Stacked, has her own blog. I wonder if this is purely a gimmick or only partially a gimmick? The former would mean her publicist writes the posts, the latter would mean her publicist forces Pam to write the posts.

Anyway, she's got all the bells and whistles that you'd expect in a blog, including posts with permalinks (check out this post with candid pics of Pam on the set).

One thing missing from the Friendster blog are trackbacks. Come on Pam, give us some linky-love! Maybe the Type Pad powered Friendster doesn't have that feature?

Notice Pamela Anderson's favorit books? You're telling me one of your favorite books is Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth? I'm having a little bit of a hard time swallowing that.

Of course, Friendster is pretty psyched about the blog. They are using Pam to promote their service. Well, can you really blame them?

Anyway, I signed up for a Friendster account just to check out the blogging software. It's basically the same as Type Pad (I know this from my cross-posts over at Demosophia and my part of the schtick that is It'sAPundit). Here's my review of of the Type Pad powered Friendster.

Hat tip: Simon

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:32 AM | Comments |

Well, Somebody's Weak Grasp of the Issue, Anyway (Rapidly Updated)

by Demosophist

Larry Johnson, the fellow who broke the original story that the State Department was tucking its tail between its legs and dropping stats on the number of terrorist attacks, because the number increased from 2003 to 2004, has posted an "update," on the Counterterrorism Blog that seems to counter the contention that the data method changed before the State Department cancelled the report. (He contends that they tried to change it themselves, while they contend that they tried to revert to the old method for the sake of continuity.) He seems to be saying that the only change is that the State Department has decided to ignore the data because it's disagreeable, but others have suggested that they've decided to ignore it because a new method used to compile the numbers loses continuity with the old statistics, and that therefore the apparent increase isn't real. And if you read what he says carefully, he doesn't quite make the assertion that their version isn't true. He just blusters about it alot. What's going on? Enquiring minds want, and need, to know?

Just to make myself perfectly clear, the fundamental issue is whether or not the State Department attempted to establish an entirely new accounting method at the NCTC, just to give the impression of a smaller the number of apparent attacks, OR they tried to reinstate an old accounting method for the sake of continuity.

Johnson seems to be saying the former, but provides no proof, and he acknowledges that there are "problems with the statistics." What problems? Problems caused by a new method that simply counts more events as "terrorist attacks?" To me that would justify the State Department keeping arm's length. He characterizes the move as "cowardice" but one might also call it justifiable prudence, depending on just how bad the "data problems" really are. It would be rather foolish to legitimate an increase in the enemy's activity in an official report, if that's not actually what's happening. I also get the impression that Johnson is arguing that there's a coverup, but from what I can tell the statistics are still available, through the National Counter-Terrorism Center. No one will be hiding them. So what is being suppressed, exactly?

The bottom line, I think, is that even though Johnson calls this an "update" it adds nothing new to the debate. He's just saying the same stuff he said before, in a different way, and neither providing any new information, nor even clarifying his earlier statement. Were the 2004 statistics based on a new data gathering method, or a new definition of a "terrorist attack," or not? How hard can it be to make that clear?

Update: Though it may not be apparent to everyone, and Johnson certainly hasn't made it very clear, there are two issues at stake in this sort of data problem: continuity and accuracy. The shift to a new method of accounting that tends to count more events as terrorist attacks may be entirely justified on accuracy grounds, but may make it very difficult to track trends. The conventional way to handle this, for any data instrument that improves method in order to improve accuracy, is to publish figures based on both methods for at least a few years, long enough to build up a trend line based on the new method. That way you don't sacrifice your ability to make sense of trends, for the sake of the admitted benefits of greater accuracy.

Update 2: has another Johnson "update" that's no more helpful that the others. Well, it's helpful, perhaps, in the sense that it demonstrates conclusively that Johnson may be a card or two short of a full deck. He post the following inexplicable statement:

This is not, as some might argue, a battle over turf. Although the National Counter Terrorism Center has received a legislative mandate to coordinate terrorist issues, managing policy within the bowels of State Department requires someone who is in the building and has the ear of the Secretary of State.

A State Department official commenting on the decision to not publish the statistics on international terrorism said they would let NCTC worry about the statistics and State would do the "policy". Really? How can you formulate a coherent policy if you don't know what the numbers are?

So, just why would the State Department be in the dark about the numbers, just because they no longer publish a glossy book that contains them? Has this guy never heard of the internet? Google? What's more, using compiled numbers is a lot easier if the data are in electronic form, so the utility of posting them inside a think binding just escapse me completely. Honestly, why are people this dumb getting publishing space? [That was uncalled for, wasn't it? -ed Well, now that you mention it, yeah.]

Update 3: I was unaware that Larry was in the neighborhood, so I'm willing to concede that perhaps it's I that's stupid. Maybe we can get to the bottom of this in the comments section. It wouldn't be the first time the thread got away from me.

By Demosophist at 10:30 AM | Comments |

Muslim Americans Sue over 'Racial Profiling' at Border

So, a group of Muslims travels to Canada to go see neo-nazi William Baker speak at a conference on Islam. They are detained by US border agents and questioned. Then they are let go. So, what exactly is the problem here. Sounds to me like someone at Border Patrol is finally doing their jobs!

WaPo:

American Muslims detained at the border as they returned from a religious conference in Toronto sued the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday alleging they were targets of ethnic and religious profiling.

The five Muslims, all U.S. citizens, say customs officials detained dozens of others from their conference in December, subjecting them to interrogations, fingerprinting and photographing. Four carried U.S.-issued passports; the other had a New York state driver's license, which is an acceptable form of identification at the Canadian border.

Boy, those border guys are real brutal. I mean, imagine border agents taking some time to subject members of the religion of peace to photographing and fingerprinting. Abu Ghraib! Torture!! Geneva Conbention!!!!
The plaintiffs traveled separately and arrived at the checkpoint throughout the afternoon and night. Travelers who told agents they had attended the conference titled "Reviving the Islamic Spirit" were held for questioning, and women wearing hijab were asked whether they had attended the conference, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Council for American-Islamic Relations.
Because nothing screams not an extremist more than wearing a hijab. And the nerve of law enforcement agents asking a woman if she had attended a conference. Outrageous!!!
Tabbaa, who wears hijab, said that at 2 a.m. Dec. 27 she arrived at the border checkpoint where agents asked her about the conference and instructed her to wait inside the customs building. Inside, she said, "I saw all the people from my Islamic community."

Tabbaa, a Syrian-born naturalized citizen, said agents refused to let her leave unless she submitted to fingerprinting. After several hours, she said, a female agent escorted her to a room to demonstrate the procedure.

"She just grabbed my hand and [began] fingerprinting it," Tabbaa said. "I was just forced to do it. She grabbed my hand."

She grabbed your hand? No!

BUSH=HITLER!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:26 AM | Comments |

Robot Camel Jockeys

robot_camel_jockey.jpgWha? Ha. Ha-ha! Bwaaahaaahaaa!!

Must. Hold. Back. The. Comments.

CNN:

With the reins in one hand and a whip in the other, the purple-jerseyed rider prodded a camel around the track.

But this jockey wasn't the usual underfed boy. The jockey was a robot.

Under the watchful eyes of his Swiss developer and Qatari owners, the robot -- dubbed Kamel -- rode a racing camel for 1.5 miles, reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour in a non-competitive trial run.

By 2007, rulers of this energy-rich emirate say all camel racers will be mechanical....

Spurring the robots' development has been vehement condemnation from human rights groups of the sport's regular jockeys. Activists say there are about 40,000 boy jockeys, some as young as 4, who are either bought from their parents or kidnapped from their home countries and taken to the Gulf to ride. The boys live in bleak conditions and are underfed before races to keep their weight down.

In Qatar, ruling sheiks have responded to calls for banning the use of boy jockeys by embracing robots as the best solution.

Sheik Abdullah bin Saud, the Qatari official in charge of the project, said the plan is to keep developing the robot until it is ready to take over.

"Improve the speed, the weight, the aerodynamics, to reach the ultimate goal of completely phasing out children used as jockeys," Sheik Abdullah said.

Hat tip to Bill Dauterieve's spam sushi roll.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:41 AM | Comments |

April 20, 2005

The Damned of the West (part 2): Interview With Susan Hallums (cont.)

roy_hallums_susan_hallums_quote.jpgUPDATE 9/07: ROY HALLUMS RESCUED IN IRAQ!!!! Details here. Or try the Main Page.
-------------------------------

UPDATE: Part 1 of this interview is here.
In part 3, we interview Roy's daughter Carrie here.

American Roy Hallums was abducted from his temporary Baghdad home on November 1st, 2004. He was in Iraq as a civilian contractor working on rebuilding efforts. His mission had everything to do with helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country after decades of war, mismanagement, and terror under the Saddam Hussein regime.

I had the opportunity to have several e-mail conversations with both Susan Hallums and Carrie Hallums Cooper recently. They have graciously agreed to letting us interview them. What follows is part 2 in a series of interviews with the family of Roy Hallums. Part 1 of that interview can be found here. This segment continues the interview with Susan Hallums.

Susan is Roy Hallums ex-wife and the mother of Roy's two daughters, Amanda and Carrie. Susan is in the process of selling the small house she inherited from her mother. The proceeds from the sale will go for a reward offer for information on Roy's wherabouts in Iraq. You can support Roy Hallums family by sending donations to:

Free Roy Foundation
c/o Carrie Cooper
PO Box 947
Westminster, Ca. 92684

More information is on the Free Roy website.

Rust Shackleford: Ever since we crossed paths I've been following your story and have read that you are in constant contact with the wife of Roberto Tarongoy [a Filipino who was taken hostage with Roy]. Would you like to tell us anything about that relationship? Perhaps there is something you would like to say on behalf of the Tarongoy family?

Susan Hallums: I can't comment on this one Rusty, that is their request.

RS: Have you had any contact with any of the other families of hostages being held in Iraq? Jeffrey Ake, Tim Bell, Bill Bradley, or Dean Sadek, or Mohammed Monaf? If not, is there anything you would like to say to them if you could?

SH: No I havent . I called Jeffrey Ake's company and told them to please call me if they would like to talk to me. That I have been in these terrible shoes for 6 months and if I could help in any way please call me. He has my prayers and hopes that he is released right away. His family also has my prayers and my heart goes out to them.

Also to the Bells, Bradleys, Sadeks & Monafs. My prayers and hopes go to all the hostages and the missing. Also the Maupins and Scott Speichers family.

Patti Hensley [the wife of American hostage Jack Hensley who was murdered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq] emailed me, my prayers and sympathy goes out to her also. Patti Hensley conveyed her hopes and prayers for Roy and my family. My heart is truly saddened about the senseless death of Jack. My sympathy and prayers go to Patti and their sweet daughter Sara. I know the pain in the voices of my daughters. There is nothing harder for child to go through than lose a parent. I pray for their strength and courage to move on. God bless them.

I know my sadness and realize what all these fine families feel. Please visit our website and remember the hostages in Iraq, I would gladly negotiate for all of them , I wish I could help. royhallums.4t.com

RS: Have you heard anything from Roy's captors since they released a video of him in January?

SH: No from what I understand is they still want a huge sum of money approximately $20mil. I have read that families have paid $50,000 to captors in previous Iraq hostage situations and they were released. From my point of view that is amount that no one could or would pay. It is so wrong to take a human life and ask for money. I frequently think I am having a bad dream that this is just not happening to my family.

RS: Do you know if the company Roy was working for is trying to secure his release?

SH: I believe they are negotiating but it doesn't obviously resolve anything, it has been 6 months ....he's still there.

RS: I noticed that the Rev. Jess Jackson has gotten involved, at least to the extent that he has publicly asked for Roy's release on your families behalf. May I ask how this ordeal has affected you religious outlook? Has this affected your faith in any way?

SH: Rev. Jackson made an appeal and asked religious leaders to help. It is just something else I was hoping that would help Roy. This hasn't changed my faith, I believe that God will see Roy and my family through this . I
believe in miracles and pray for this one .

I have had some wonderful support from caring people and friends. I thank everyone that gets involved to help Roy in his terrible plight. I know Roy thanks you too, from the bottom of his caring heart.

RS: Is there anything else you'd like to say?

SH: Yeah, just one more quote from the same Congressional report (see part 1). [speaking of French journalist and former hostage Jean Paul Kauffman writing on the 4th anniversary of Terry Anderson's captivity in Lebanon] :

Thomas_hamil_book_cover.jpgThe plight of the hostages in captivity requires our constant care and attention. We must do all we can to convey to Terry Anderson [still in captivity at the time] and the others that they have not been forgotten, that we are not indifferent, and that we will not stop fighting for their release until they are resting safely in their homes. Captivity is a day-to-day ordeal for them: it HAS to be for us as well.
That was very well put it was like it was pulled from my entire being and poignantly put into words. I feel the same now about our loved ones in IRAQ. I think of all of them constantly and pray for their safe return and not to be forgotten.

I also wanted to say I had a wonderful lunch with Tommy Hamel. He is a Hero that I respect. I love when he said in his book that there are some good people in Iraq and that we are there for a good reason. I admire his bravery and think he is a great American that was there to help in Iraq.

Next week: An interview with Carrie Hallums Cooper, the daughter of Roy Hallums.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:00 PM | Comments |

Berlusconi Resigns

It's not exactly what you think. This is a procedural resignation, he'll be back as PM right-away. Guardian:

Silvio Berlusconi, faced with mounting criticism over Italy's sluggish economy and its involvement in Iraq, resigned Wednesday as premier but vowed to quickly form a stronger new Cabinet to restore confidence in his leadership.

Resigning and then immediately shuffling the Cabinet is an old trick of Italy's complicated political system, and has been used by premiers to strengthen faltering coalitions.

Berlusconi, who had presided over Italy's longest-serving government since World War II, had so far resisted the move, sensing it would dent his image as a new-style politician. On Wednesday, he suggested he would have preferred not to resign.

Giuliana Sgrena responds to the announcement.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:56 PM | Comments |

Aussies Deploy 450 More Troops

Hooray for the Land Down Under! Defense Link (via Blogs of War):

Coalition forces in Iraq are welcoming the deployment of 450 more Australian military personnel. “These are great soldiers,” said a U.S. official in Baghdad, Iraq.
The new Australian contingent will bring the number of “Aussies” in country up to 1,370, officials at the Australian embassy here said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:48 PM | Comments |

Zarqawi's Al Qaeda in Iraq May Have Nuke

Collin sends me this Washington Times story, but the info in it is not new to The Jawa Report. Ever since Zarqawi's base of operations in Fallujah was discovered, reports have been trickling in that he might have WMD capability.

For awhile Zarqawi actually claimed to have WMD, but those claims seemed to have been more bluster than anything else. And Zarqawi did attempt to make chemical and biological weapons in Fallujah.

I seriously doubt this story, though. If Zarqawi actually had WMD capability, why has he not used it? The only thing that keeps me from dismissing such stories out of hand is the possibility that Zarqawi is trying to bring the war to the U.S. Something bin Laden has suggested to him.

The story claims that the device is in Afghanistan. A possibility, since Zarqawi was in that country prior to coming to Iraq. But again, it still seems unlikely.

I'm much more inclined to believe that Zarqawi or his people are spreading the rumor that they have a nuke. You know, it just makes him look that much more macho. What, you think cutting off a few infidels heads were going to keep the population from turning him in for this long?

UPDATE: Joyner agrees with my assessment. Chad at ITB has more. Heretical Ideas seems to disagree.

Washington Times:

Recurrent intelligence reports say al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi has obtained a nuclear device or is preparing a radiological explosive -- or dirty bomb -- for an attack, according to U.S. officials, who also say analysts are unable to gauge the reliability of the information's sources.

The classified reports have been distributed to U.S. intelligence agencies for several consecutive months and say Zarqawi, al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, has stored the nuclear device or dirty bomb in Afghanistan, said officials familiar with the intelligence.

One official said the intelligence is being questioned because analysts think al Qaeda would not hesitate to use a nuclear device if it had one.

However, the fact that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has reported the nuclear threat in several classified reports distributed since December indicates concern about it.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:33 PM | Comments |

Iranian Bloggers Need Help

Stefania, an Italian blogger over at Free Thoughts, e-mails me this urgent request from the pro-democracy Iranian group, the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran ( SMCCDI ). It looks like they need some money to keep up their website, Daneshjoo and Iran Students, up and running. Dig deep if you can.

Urgent Help Needed By Iranian Students' Movement

SMCCDI (Urgent Action Call)
April 18, 2005

Dear Iranian Compatriots, Dear World's Freedom Lovers,

We need desperately your valuable help in order to continue
to exist and respond to our duties and moral obligations.


In the last twenty-six years, whether in Iran or abroad,
all of our lives have been affected negatively by the
Islamic regime and its desire to destroy Iran and Iranians
alike. We have witnessed the inhumane ideas of this regime,
and we cease to be horrified at the lengths this barbaric
theocracy has reached in its ability to terrorize Iranians
as well as the international community. Most of us Iranians
have dealt with the reality that the international
community did nothing to stop the holocaust of our people
and our country at the hands of this tyrannical regime. We
know the freedom of Iran and the end of the regime of
terrorists in our country lies in our own hands.

In a surprising twist of fate, for the first time in
twenty-six years, the President of the United States
directly spoke to Iranians during his State of the Union
Address in February of 2005. For the first time, the leader
of the most powerful country in the world has proclaimed
support for Iranians committed to returning freedom and
democracy to Iran by ending the Islamic terrorist regime.
If pro-democracy endeavors are not supported during this
short window of opportunity, Iranians may never see freedom
in Iran again.

With this in mind, the Islamic regime has actively been
working in Iran and abroad to make sure freedom fighters do
not have the chance to use this window of opportunity.
After President Bush's proclamation of support for Iranian
freedom fighters, the Islamic regime has embarked on a
campaign to separate any unified forces of opposition who
seek freedom and democracy for Iran.


One such group, "Student Movement Coordination Committee
for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI), has always been on the
forefront of the opposition movement against the regime of
terror. This opposition group has been a key figure in
aiding the freedom fighters in Iran with the aim of
establishing a secular political structure elected by the
majority of Iranians and returning human rights to Iran.
By way of its web site, SMCCDI has been a major source of
political inspiration for many young Iranians striving for
modernism and democracy.

Our analysis or public statements called for some of the
successful demonstrations, protest actions or boycotts of
Islamic regime's events or sham elections which took place
in Iran and abroad, such as, in US, France, UK and Italy.
Hundreds of hours of satellite TV and radio programs based
on SMCCDI's materials or interviews amde with its members
have been one main source of enlightenment and action for
millions of young Iranians striving for freedom and
modernism.

From the defense of students and the support of Iranian
women, voicing up the legitimate aspirations of teachers
and workers to the very clear promotion of secularity,
SMCCDI has always been at the forefront!

Many of you do remember how we promoted this today
undeniable principles of "Secularity" and "Real Democracy"
at times that most were promoting sham "reforms from within
the frame of theocracy" or the masquerade named "Islamic
Democracy"!

Our group has also been an integral part of bringing
important and timely reports from inside Iran and has been
sited by reputable news sources such as The Washington
Times, The Los Angeles Times, The World Tribune, The New
York Sun, The Wall Street Journal, The National Review, The
Salon, The Insight Magazine, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette,
The Front Page Magazine and CNN in the US; The National
Post and The Ottawa Citizen in Canada; Le Figaro and Le
Parisian in France; Corrier Della Sera, Il Foglio, Il
Reformista and Opinione in Italy; Prima in Russia; The
Financial Times and The Herald in UK; Berliner Zeitung and
Jungle World in Germany; The Japan Today in Japan to
name a few.

SMCCDI also stood firmly against those Islamic
republic apologists and lobbyists who intended to
legitimize the Islamic republic by promoting ties between
the US and Mullahcracy. Nor their threats or nor a long and
legal procedure were not able to make us bent in front of
political Machiavellism and those building money or fame on
the blood of our countrymen and freedom fighters!

Those of you familiar with our work can back our claim!


Sadly, due to dwindling funds, SMCCDI's web site,
( http://www.daneshjoo.org also known as
http://www.iranstudents.org ), as well as its aid to
members and freedom fighters in Iran, has been diminished.
Presently, the web site has had to be brought down, as of
Friday April 15th, and the survival of this group depends
on your responsible donations.

The SMCCDI website gets 45,000 to 65,000 visits each day
with picks of 183,000 hits on key dates such as July 9th
(anniversary of Students' Uprising of 1999).
SMCCDI also sends its Reports, Statements and Urgent Calls
to Action via its well developed mailing lists
(peyk@daneshjoo.org or list@daneshjoo.org) with
several thousands of subscribers.

If SMCCDI does not have the financial support it
desperately needs, it will be the end of one of the most
powerful sources of opposition and information against the
Islamic terrorist regime. During this crucial time when the
window of opportunity has been opened by International
parameters, and with the world watching, Iran's future
depends on the work of such powerful opposition groups.

Now is the time for action!


Your financial support of any amount is desperately needed
for the continuance of SMCCDI's fight for freedom and
democracy. SMCCDI is a force used greatly by our beloved
students in Iran who have devoted their lives and put their
livelihoods at risk in order to end terror and dictatorship
in Iran.

Help us to exist and continue our mission!
Help us to help millions of colleagues and fellow
countrymen and countrywomen to voice up!

You can help online by the use of the well trusted
"Paypal" Internet solution known to many and used by some
very reputable non commercial entities or online stores.

1- Please to go to the secure Paypal website at:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=p/ema/index-outside

2- Open a free account that can be also useful for many
other purposes of your daily life.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_registration-run

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:15 PM | Comments |

Pope=Hitler

ratzinger_pope_hiter_666.jpg

Overheard all over the tin-foil side of the blogosphere.

More. And even more.

UPDATE: He doesn't like Kerry? He must be Hitler.

UPDATE II: Pope worse than Hitler, opposes condoms!

UPDATE III: Run and hide, Pope is anti-Christ!!

UPDATE IV: THE END IS NEAR!!!

UPDATE V: Let's bring this back to reality. The Pope is not the Anti-Christ. He's just a Nazi. So calm down the rhetoric.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:07 PM | Comments |

Can I please get my fatwa now?

Check out Jane's conversation (see the comments) with a Muslim who tries to put the shiny happy face of Islam on and convince her that Christians 'choose' to be second-class citizens in Muslim countries (dhimmis).

Nice try Mohideen Ibramsha.

Tell me what the penalty would be if I yelled in a crowded theater that "Muhammed (piss be upon him) was a child molester" in your utopian state ruled by sharia?

Yes, I'm trying to be offensive. That's kind of the whole point. Tell me I'm going to hell for saying that, fine. But put me in jail, fine me, forbid me, or kill me (as sharia prescribes) and then yes, you are a religous fascist.

End. Of. Discussion.

UPDATE: Blasphemer shot in Pakistan

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:34 PM | Comments |

A Socialist in the Senate?

Jim Jefford (I-VT) has announced his retirement from the world's most deliberative body. It looks like the only self-proclaimed socialist in the House, Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is going to run for his seat. Just what America needs, a guy in the Senate who thinks the Democratic party is too far to the right.

Scared Monkeys has more.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:20 PM | Comments |

Keith 'Matt' Maupin, MIA for a year

We've tried to keep up with Maupin's story, but Interested Participant has a good post on the missing soldier.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:15 AM | Comments |

Man Arrested for Spitting on Jane Fonda

Wait, did you say arrested? Shouldn't that read given a medal?

Filthy Allah e-mails this story Local6:

Police said they arrested a man for spitting on two-time Academy Award-winning actress Jana Fonda during a book-signing stop in Kansas City Tuesday night.
Notice how the paper sets the story up by making Fonda out to be a sympathetic character? This is what Chomsky's Propaganda Theory calls 'Framing' and 'Selection'. Factually the story, so far, is correct. Nevertheless it is biased.
At about 9 p.m., police said, a man who had been waiting in line for about 90 minutes, passed a book to Fonda and then spit a large amount of tobacco juice into her face.

They said the man then ran away and was taken into custody by off-duty officers, who were providing security for the event.

Fonda declined to prosecute the man.

How utterly magnanimous of Fonda. Of course, the city doesn't need Fonda's permission to prosecute the man. So he'll wind up in the pokey for a brief stint or pay a fine.

Ok, so in order to be fair, after the story is already framed, they throw this in the last paragraph:

In 1972, Fonda was photographed sitting in a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft tank. About her involvement in the Vietnam War, Fonda has apologized for her anti-aircraft tank photo. She has called it an incredible lapse in judgment.
A lapse in jugement? Right. As I've said a hundred times before, traitors rarely think their acts of treason are really that bad.

PS-As I've said, busy morning. More posts to follow later.

UPDATE: Malkin not amused.

UPDATE II: I'm with Bill Quick and Kim du Toit on this one.

Right Nation makes this important contribution:

Smith avrebbe meritato una medaglia
Indeed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:55 AM | Comments |

Busy Morning

Busy morning. How about some 'yo mama' jokes to fill the space? Ok, I'll start:

Yo mama so ugly, when she joined an ugly contest, they said "Sorry, no professionals."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:11 AM | Comments |

April 19, 2005

Check Out The New Jawa Trick

Cool new trick. Click Read More below.......

Pretty neat eh? Now that you're here why not check out The Guide to MW Culture's Eurotrash Tuesday.

Thanks to Professor Chaos of Outside the Beltway and Chaos Blog for holding my hand while I added this new trick.

Ok, now click Hide for another cool trick...

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:30 PM | Comments |

Since When is 2,000 Years of Tradition Radical?

Andrew Sullivan is an idiot. Period.

Jeff G sums up my thoughts exactly:

Now, I’m no Catholic—and I ain’t really religious—but I suspect the point of following a religion in the first place is to actually believe in the thing. And so were I gay, and you decided from your perspective as a Catholic that because I put my thingie into the Devil’s slot, I will burn in a lake of fire for eternity, that’s cool by me—just so long as you don’t drop a stone wall on me in order to hasten the process.
And while Andrew Sullivan calls 2000 years of tradition 'radicalism....

Saudis Give 14,200 Lashes for 'Gay Wedding' Party
John Aravosis and Michael Rogers ruin the lives of gay Republicans
Saudis behead two more gay men
10,000 Reward Offered for Proof Gannon Had Gay Sex Top Officials
The Prime Minister of Malaysia Gets Jail Time for Sodomy
Zanzabar Gives 25 years for gay sex

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:14 PM | Comments |

Network News is Dead

Well slap my ass and call me Charlie, Sam Donaldson proclaims network news is dead and he seems to think blogging is good for the news.

And speaking of blogging, John at Wuzzadem is trying out Microsoft's new blogging software. But I thought MSN Spaces was supposed to make all our lives better?

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Oh and if any one is to blame for the downfall of network news, it's Six Meat Buffet. Happy blogoversary!!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:22 PM | Comments |

Comment Posting / Trackback Problem Fixed

Mental note: when using MT do not accidentally ban ALL IPs. Apparently when I tried to delete Collin Baber's ban earlier today I inadvertantly pressed enter with a blank IP field. Thus, all trackbacks and comments were banned. Sorry for the inconvenience.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:31 PM | Comments |

The Damned of the West (part 1): Interview With Susan Hallums

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UPDATE 9/07: ROY HALLUMS RESCUED IN IRAQ!!!! Details here. Or try the Main Page.
-------------------------------------------
Update: Part 2 of the interview is here.
Part 3 is an interview with Roy Hallums' daughter is here.

American Roy Hallums was abducted from his temporary Baghdad home on November 1st, 2004. He was in Iraq as a civilian contractor working on rebuilding efforts. His mission had everything to do with helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country after decades of war, mismanagement, and terror under the Saddam Hussein regime.

Roy was taken hostage along with six other foreign nationals, including a Fillipino named Robert Tarongoy. The U.S. did not publish the fact that an American citizen had been taken hostage because of a policy of treating civilian abductions as purely private matters. The Jawa Report was the first publication to identify Roy Hallums as the hostage.

Since that time we have been in contact with members of the Hallums family who started leaving comments at our site. Roy's daughter, Carrie Hallums Cooper, and his ex-wife, Susan Hallums, have been leading the charge to keep Roy's plight in the media.

Unfortunately the mainstream media has tended to bury stories of American hostages in the back pages until something dramatic happens, such as the release of a hostage video. The sad fact is that the American hostages in Iraq are forgotten casualties of war. We find this situation unacceptable and pledge to do our part in keeping these victims in the headlines.

I had the opportunity to have several e-mail conversations with both Susan Hallums and Carrie Hallums Cooper recently. They have graciously agreed to letting us interview them. What follows is part 1 in a series of interviews with the family of Roy Hallums. This segment features an interview with Susan Hallums.

tom_hamill_susan_hallums.jpgSusan is Roy Hallums ex-wife and the mother of Roy's two daughters, Amanda and Carrie. Susan is in the process of selling the small house she inherited from her mother. The proceeds from the sale will go for a reward offer for information on Roy's wherabouts in Iraq. You can support Roy Hallums family by sending donations to:

Free Roy Foundation
c/o Carrie Cooper
PO Box 947
Westminster, Ca. 92684

More information is on the Free Roy website.

Rusty Shackleford: Can you tell our readers a little something about the kind of man Roy is?

Susan Hallums: Roy is the kind of person that is always well liked by most everyone that is fortunate enough to meet him. He is a very kind and caring man. He has always been a great father and grandfather to our daughters and granddaughter.

RS: Roy was taken hostage on Nov. 1st of last year. 29 days later The
Jawa Report was the first media outlet in the U.S. to release Roy's name publicly. However, we learned of Roy's captivity because the Filipino overnment erroneously reported that Tarongoy had been captured along with an American named "Roy Halluns". The only reason we found out his correct name was that a coworker of Roy's who knew him when he was working in Jordan happened upon our site and corrected the error. I assume that you were aware of his situation before you came across The Jawa Report.

In addition to Jeffrey Ake, another American hostage has recently been taken from the same neighborhood in Baghdad as Roy. His name is Mohammed Monaf. Again, the American media refuses to name him and we at The Jawa Report have only been able to identify him because of a reader in Romania who keeps us updated (he was captured along with two prominent Romanian journalist).

I guess what I want to know is if it caused you distress to come upon
Roy's name over the internet (and I apologize if it did), or if it was
a relief that his story was finally out in the open?

SH: I knew about his capture on Nov 1 . I was told not to discuss it with anyone other than immediate family. It was alarming to see it on Jawa but I also felt somewhat grateful and relieved.

I couldn't tell anyone and I felt it was possibly being covered up because it didn't look good for our administration [George W. Bush] to have hostages in the war. I thought it was a negative for the war. The lives being lost by the brave young men and women in our military and the enormous amount of money spent in Iraq. So keep quiet about
hostages.

Now 6 months has passed and still no information is given to us, his family. I think it's very wrong. I recently read about Terry Anderson and it was intriging for me. It was a Congressional Record that was written on the 4th anniverary of Terry Anderson's captivity:

The truth is that hostages in Lebanon today have become the damned of the West. Without hope of being saved, imprisoned in silence and darkness, deprived of the sight of the world of the living, forgotten, they no longer represent anything. The most tragic thing is that this torment is administered as much from the outside by countries and people indifferent to their fate as on the inside by their captors.

RS: You and Carrie have gone on record noting the frustration you've had at trying to get information out of the State Department concerning what
they know about Roy's fate. Has the State Department been more helpful since such major media outlets, such as CNN, have publicized your cause? What could they do to be more helpful.

SH: No , no agency has been helpful before or after media. It hasn't made any difference at all. They could put more effort and come up with a better plan than" we don't negotiate with terrorists". We need to do something if we don't negotiate. Roy is sitting there and I feel he is alive. Captivity is a day -to -day ordeal for him , it has to be for us as well! It is a heartwrenching ordeal and nightmare for our family. We pray for him constantly and cry as well.

roy_hallums_reward_poster_export.jpg

RS: After some hostages were taken in Iraq there were international
outcries, mass protests, and national days of prayer. Would you like
to see something similar in the U.S. to protest what is happening to
Roy?

SH: I was amazed by the huge outcries in Italy. Even though her story seemed to change, hundreds of people showed her compassion that they cared about her. I would find that wonderful and amazing if Americans showed mass support for the forgotten hostages. It would touch our hearts for sure and tell the world even though we don't negotiate we care about our fellow Americans that are living in horrible conditions our their outcome matters to us.


RS: Roberto Tarongoy was taken hostage on the same day as Roy, and the Filipino government as recently as two weeks ago claimed that they knew Tarongoy was alive. However, the Philipines has a policy of negotiating with hostage-takers and even paying ransom for hostages release. What are your thoughts on that policy?

SH: I think we need to come up with new ways to help the hostages. I
understand the no negotiate policy It doesn't feel right when it is your family member. I feel we need to offer rewards to the people that know about the hostages . I am told that the entire neighborhood knows when there is a hostage. So we made a reward flyer and are offering a reward. I hope and pray that it helps Roy.

Read part 2 of The Damned of the West: An interview with Susan Hallums here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:00 PM | Comments |

Afternoon Reads: Club Med Gaza Edition

Israelly Cool thinks Shimon Perez's notion of a Club Med style resort in Gaze is, er, interesting.

More claims of U.S. soldiers abusing poor innocent Iraqis debunked by the Dread Pundit Bluto.

Tim at Opinion Bug wonders what 'the true face of Islam' really is.

Collin Baber (yes, THE Collin Baber) sends me this Guardian article about the ordeal of British journalist Frank Gardner as he watched a colleague murdered in cold blood and then how he is shot 9 times by al Qaeda operatives. Here is the most disgusting thing from The Religion of Compassion:

They didn't help at all. To me this was extraordinary, they offered no reassurance, no glass of water, no blanket, no cushion, nothing. They were discussing the cartridge cases around. They were saying, 'Look, I think he's been shot, has he been shot, yes, he has, look at the bullet cases there,' as if I was just an exhibit in a museum. It was bizarre because I've had so much hospitality in the Middle East, so much kindness.

The Cedar Revolution has it's own blog. And that Joumanna Nasr is a total babe! .Thanks Totten

Bill Dauterieve wonders if maybe the Germans are suffering from post-genocidal depression disorder.

Jason at Texas Rainmaker on the use of the judicial filibuster and Richard Paez.

Confederate Yankee and I are discussing openning our own tax-exempt organization. Why not? If illegal aliens can have one why not bloggers?

Mark at Decision '08 has some pretty bad taste in music. But is it possible to love the art and hate the artist? Especially when the artist is a loud mouth left-wing supporting idiot.

Carpe Bonum thinks the WSJ has it all wrong on passports for day-trippers. I think he's probably right.

More on Steve and Virginia Pearcy, left-wing idiots.

Remember our linkage policy: you want a link, just e-mail!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:49 PM | Comments |

Ratzinger Chosen as Pope Benedict XVI

Robert Hayes of BNN e-mails to report that Cardinal Ratzinger has been named the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic church. Ratzinger has taken the name Benedict XVI. More at BNN.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:23 PM | Comments |

Moussaoui to Admit to 9/11 Role

Zacarias Moussaoui the so-called 20th hijacker is reported to be on the verge of pleading guilty to his role in the 9/11 attrocities. This is pretty big news. Personally, I'd like to see this go to trial because I want to hear the evidence the prosecuters have gathered. If there is no trial we might have to wait some time before Moussaoui's role in 9/11 is clarified.

Hat tip to California Yankee who has more.

WaPo:

Zacarias Moussaoui has notified the government that he intends to plead guilty to his alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and could enter the plea as early as this week if a judge finds him mentally competent, sources familiar with the case said yesterday.

Moussaoui's plan to plead guilty comes over his attorneys' objections and still has several obstacles -- including Moussaoui's own whim. The French citizen, the only person charged in the United States in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, tried to plead guilty in 2002, claiming an intimate knowledge of the plane hijackings. But he rescinded his plea a week later. His mental state has been an issue in the case ever since, and U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria is scheduled to meet with Moussaoui this week to determine if he has the mental capacity to enter a plea now, the sources said.

In recent letters to the government and to Brinkema, Moussaoui said he is willing to accept the possibility of a death sentence, which sources said could resolve a key point of contention: Prosecutors are unlikely to drop their insistence on capital punishment. If Brinkema accepts a plea, she would then probably set a death penalty trial, at which jurors would decide if Moussaoui should be executed.

Moussaoui's indictment has been hailed by the Bush administration as proof that the government could fight terror in criminal courtrooms, and his trial is seen as a possible airing of the evidence gathered relating to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. If Moussaoui were to plead guilty, much of that evidence might never be heard....

Moussaoui is charged with conspiring with al Qaeda in the Sept. 11 attacks. When he tried to plead guilty three years ago, he declared his allegiance to Osama bin Laden and said he had detailed knowledge of the Sept. 11 plot. But after Brinkema gave him a week to think about it, Moussaoui withdrew his plea and claimed that although he is an al Qaeda member, he had no advance knowledge of the hijackings.

Also in 2002, Moussaoui fired his attorneys and began representing himself. In his motions, Moussaoui insulted those lawyers, who were appointed standby counsel; taunted the Justice Department; and called Brinkema everything from a "death judge" to a would-be Nazi SS officer. Brinkema later restored Moussaoui's attorneys to the case, and they are now arguing that he is mentally incompetent to enter a plea, sources said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:36 AM | Comments |

The Collin Baber Banning Poll Results

collin_baber_poll.gif

As the regular readers and commenters know, there has been quite a big controversy over my decision to ban Collin Baber. The above poll clearly shows that a majority of Jawa Report readers want him to go.

Who am I to go against the wishes of the people? I'm Rusty Shackleford, biyatch, that's who I am!!

Collin is back in. Won't he just piss people off? Yes. That's the point. I like getting people pissed off. People like Collin have a useful purpose. They force us out of complacency and let us see another world view. A distorted worldview that blames America first and foremost for all the problems in the world, but a common one nonetheless. It is the predominant worldview amongst the European elite and all too common in our universities.

Let us rise to the challenge of defending America against her enemies, foreign and domestic.

A word of caution to Collin, Greg, Actus, Bob, etc (our regular leftist commenters) don't piss ME off.

Also, to every one else: be civil. No, I don't mean you need to hold your punches, but please no hitting below the belt. Ok, maybe civil is not the word I'm looking for. Politics is just war by other means. But lately there has been too much back and forth about so-and-so liking to suck so-and-so's something-or-other. If this keeps up we're going to start resorting to yo-momma insults.

Parenthetically, yo momma so stupid it took her 2 hours to watch 60 minutes.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:24 AM | Comments |

April 18, 2005

The Ann Coulter Beaver Shot

So Ann Coulter's Time magazine photo is all the controversy. So I FINALLY find the pic every one is talking about, but I have to scroll up to see it.

First, the feet:

ann_coulter_feet.jpg

Good Lord!! Do those belong to the Wicked Witch of the West or What? I'll grant that Coulter has big feet, but come-on! Either Coulter and Shaq where the same shoe size or these photos are seriously distorted.

Anyway, as I said, I'm scrolling up to see the photos. Next come the ankles and shins:

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ann_coulter_legs.jpg

Ahh, much better. You know, without the feet those legs are looking...hmm, what is the word, I'm looking for??...pretyy damn nice. Yeah, I know, still distorted, but I like long legs! Hot...hot...conservative long legs. Ok, am I being unethical with all this? I think not.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, right about this point I'm saying to myself--because I have only heard there was some sort of photo controversy but not what it's about--that if you just go a little north of shin territory you hit kneecap land and depending on the angle of the camera....Could it be? No way! Is the forbidden beaver shot next? Is this the next oops shot of the century? A Brittney Spears at the Oscars, only for right-wing geeks? Hey, Ann Coulter, what's on your iPod?

Here it is...............

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ann_coulter_beaver.jpg

Denied!! Freaking pervs. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves....

Anyway, I wouldn't have given it a second look had it actually been the money shot. A first look, yes...but not a second one. Hey, Rusty is a gentleman if nothing else!! And I find a demure chick more sexy than a slutty one any day.

Anyway, it just kinda goes downhill from there. The face shot is pretty bad. Coulter is a wee bit on the thin side anyway, but that photo is eerily scare-crowish!

ann_coulter_face.jpg

I agree with John Hawkins that Ann is still pretty hot.

But this is the real sultry shot. The shot that says, "Yeah I've made out with all the top conservative writers like Dinesh D'Souza. Jealous?" YES!

You think she's ready to move from dating print writers to, say, bloggers? Just asking. Jeez!

coulter_face.jpg

And that quote!! The quote just exudes sexuality. There's nothing sexier than a blonde pontificating on the merits of thermonuclear war!! I'm serious. This is not a joke.

Anyway, Plains Feeder runs the photo through some fancy thingy or another to come up with a much more flattering photo here.

Kevin Aylward has a real candid shot of Ann that's pretty flattering.

But before you decide to give me a ring, Ann, you should know I'm happily married to my wife of 12 years, Nancy. But you cold do me a little favor. How about teaching her some of those dirty-dirty words? You know like, "send in the national guard" (yeah baby) or "liberals are either traitors or idiots" (that's what I like to hear) or "it would be fun to nuke them" (that's right) or my favorite and the all time sexiest sentence ever to come from your lips, "We need to execute people like John Walker Lindh in order to physically intimidate liberals." (yowza!!)

Excuse me. I suddenly feel the urge to break out the candles, some exotic oils, and that copy of The Day After that just sets the mood just right.

If you came looking for the Ann Coulter beaver shot you should be ashamed of yourself. But aren't the quotes much much dirtier?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:42 PM | Comments |

Al Qaeda Using Beheading Images for Recruitment & Propaganda

zarqawi_propaganda_beheading.jpgEarlier we brought you the story of how al Qaeda in Iraq was planning to launch a new website, but before the website got off the ground it got hacked. Luckily, some enterprising hackers took the time to cache the website. While checking surfing through the al Qaeda site, I came across this image on their video upload page.

As you can see, the image is one of a bloody knife and a man holding up a severed head. These guys are now designing logos graphic art with a decapitation theme. Sick. Next we'll learn they've taken out a copyright for all things headless.

Do you need any more evidence of the death cult of terrorism or are you still suffering under the delusion that these people can be dealt with in a rational manner?

Also of note is the fact that it is an American based company based in Atlanta Georgia who was hosting the al Qaeda site.

UPDATE: Check out Interested Participants comments.

I'm no expert, but it seems that about the only other groups since the dawn of civilization who considered severed heads to be desirable trophies were primitive tribes in the tropics of South America, Africa, and some South Pacific Islands. The practice alone indicates a primitive mentality that honors only barbarism. This uncivilized worship of the severed head has arguably been best encapsulated and illustrated by the fiction of William Golding in Lord Of The Flies. In the novel, an isolated society ruled by thugs worships the severed head of a pig.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:34 PM | Comments |

Caption Contest Winners

Oh man, so many funny captions so little time! Seriously, they get better each week.

Martin: Warning: suicide bomber crossing

Right Wing Sparkle: "Injured in a car bomb? call 1-888-toughjihadlawyer!!!
We will get you the dinar you deserve!!!!"

Cal Tech Girl: Get your own MBNA Jihadi Visa card! Complete with Picture ID fraud protection. Choose between "Car Bomb" or "Dead Infidel" (not shown) background!

And special recognition goes to Steve the Llama Butcher for tracbacking his entry in, thus adding another link to The Jawa and upping my Ecosystem ratings!!: Z-man sez, "I just saved a bunch of money switching to GEICO--shouldn't you?"

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:34 PM | Comments |

Pastor Beheaded for Evangalizing Muslims

Muslims are very tolerant of Christians---as long as Christians keep their traps shut that is. Pop quiz: what is the penalty for trying to convert a Muslim under sharia law?

Christian Today:

A Baptist pastor and evangelist was found beheaded in Jalalpur, a village in the district of Khulna, south-western Bangladesh on 8th March and the murder was confirmed recently, according to AsiaNews.it.

The 35-year-old pastor from the Bangladesh Free Baptist Church, Dulal Sarkar, was believed to have been killed by Muslim extremists who had threatened his family because he discussed his faith with some Muslim villagers.

According to AsiaNews.it, Pastor Sarkar, who served as a guard and general caretaker for the local church, had attempted to evangelise Muslim villagers and brought them to his church to talk with the senior pastor.

The murder occurred on 8th March on his way home after he talked to some Muslim villagers. He was reported to have been attacked by group of armed men. Sources say that it was a group of ten local Muslim extremists who later "separated his head from his body", AsiaNews.it wrote.

Immediately after the murder, Pastor Sarkar’s wife filed a police report. Currently, seven out of the ten suspects are still free, according to AsiaNews.it. Local Christians believed that they are connected with the Jamaat-e-Islami political party and even tried to bribe the police to get the three detained members out of jail.

Pastor Sarkar’s wife has also now been threatened by the extremists and forced to move from house to house in an effort to protect herself and her children.

Hat tip: Robert Spencer

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:26 PM | Comments |

Zarqawi Website Hosted on U.S. Server, Gets Hacked

The propaganda arm of Abu Musab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq inadvertenly left the files for their yet to be started website open for hacking last weekend. The site is down now, but not before Evan Kohlmann grabbed this screenshot. I'll have some more on this later.

Interestingly enough, a quick WHOIS search reveals that al Qaeda is (or was) using Global Net Access, LLC, a company that is listed as located in Atlanta, Georgia.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:13 PM | Comments |

American Peace Activist Killed in Car Bomb Attack in Iraq

marla_ruzicka_peace_activist.jpg
It appears that Iraq's minutemen didn't really care that Marla Ruzicka was in Iraq trying to help civilians affected by the 'Evil Zionist Crusader forces occupation'. Note that she appears to have been killed on the same road that Giuliana Sgrena's car was shot by U.S. tropps. SF Gate:

Marla Ruzicka, 28, of Lakeport (Lake County), founder of CIVIC -- Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict -- died with her driver on the Baghdad Airport road Saturday when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy of security contractors that was passing next to her vehicle, according to her family and news reports quoting U.S. Embassy officials in Iraq.

The target of the attack apparently was not Ruzicka's vehicle, said her mother, who received the account from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

She was killed while traveling "to visit an Iraqi child injured by a bomb, part of her daily work of identifying and supporting innocent victims of this war," said CIVIC representative April Pedersen in a statement on the group's Web site.

Given the U.S. military's policy of not accounting for civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, Ruzicka's work played a key role in drawing attention to the human tragedy of the war and giving the world a well-researched accounting of the cost in innocent lives.

Ruzicka grew up in Lakeport and made New York City her base for her frequent trips to the war areas. She continued going into the increasingly violent Iraqi conflict areas even after most international aid organizations and relief agencies had bailed out.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, she worked 15-hour days going out to scenes of civilian carnage and painstakingly documenting the toll. She also struggled to obtain relief for the families of the victims.

How would Ruzicka's mother know that her daughter was not the target of the attack? Either she has contacts with the 'insurgents' (which I doubt) or she believed that people like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq wouldn't target a blonde American woman.

CIVIC has Marla's online journals here. Apparently Marla Ruzicka was more than just a peace activist. Her mission, it seems, was to document the victim's of U.S. aggression. No documentation of those killed by terrorists, like herself.

Here are some more thoughts on Marla Ruzicka.

UPDATE: Via LGF this WSJ piece from 2002:

"Flaws in U.S. Air War Left Hundreds of Civilians Dead," blares the lead headline of yesterday's New York Times. "The American air campaign in Afghanistan, based on a high-tech, out-of-harm's way strategy, has produced a pattern of mistakes that has killed hundreds of Afghan civilians," claims reporter Dexter Filkins.

But the BBC reports that the Afghan government rejects Filkins's account: "A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai told the BBC that fewer than 500 civilians were believed to have been killed in US air strikes--a low figure considering the size of the military campaign."

Whom to believe? This passage from the Times account gives ample reason to doubt Filkins's objectivity:

Field workers with Global Exchange, an American organization that has sent survey teams into Afghan villages, say they have compiled a list of 812 Afghan civilians who were killed by American airstrikes. They say they expect that number to grow as their survey teams reach more remote villages.

Marla Ruzicka, a Global Exchange field worker in Afghanistan, said the most common factor behind the civilian deaths has been an American reliance on incomplete information to decide on targets.

"Smart bombs are only as smart as people on the ground," Ms. Ruzicka said. "Before you bomb, you should be 100 percent certain of who you are bombing."

So what is this Global Exchange, which Filkins describes only as "an American organization"? A look at its Web site makes clear it's a far-left outfit that opposed any military intervention in Afghanistan. Blogger Michael Moynihan has more details on Marla Ruzicka, who turns out to be a fervent admirer of Fidel Castro. There's also a "report" on the 2000 election dispute from the World Socialist Web Site, which quotes her as suggesting Republicans are terrorists:

Marla Ruzicka, 23, an officially accredited observer from the Green Party, commented on the tactics of the Bush supporters. She described them as "really nasty. There was one guy with a bald head, like a skinhead. They surrounded me and called me a baby killer, because of my support for the right to abortion. When I pointed out Bush's presiding over the death penalty, they said: no, no, that's justice. They're scary. Maybe they're the ones who should be on the terrorist lists."

Ruzicka, of course, is entitled to her opinions--but surely her extremist political agenda is relevant to Filkins's readers in determining how much weight to give to her comments. Meanwhile, buried in the 16th paragraph of Filkins's story is an admission that the whole thing is trumped up: "Indeed, the extraordinary accuracy of American airstrikes since they began in October has produced few of the types of disasters that plagued past wars, when bombs aimed at one target hit something else instead." Oh well, never mind.

Here is a press release from CIVIC Worldwide, the peace group Marla Ruzicka worked for:

Dear Friends of Marla and CIVIC,
It is with deep sadness and regret that I am writing to inform you that Marla died on Saturday at the age of 28 in a suicide bomb attack. Faiz, CIVIC's Iraq Country Director, was also killed. It is tragically ironic that two beautiful people who devoted their lives to helping innocent victims of war have now become them.

The attack occurred on the Baghdad Airport road as she traveled to visit an Iraqi child injured by a bomb, part of her daily work of identifying and supporting innocent victims of this war.

Only a few hours before her death, Marla sent me this photo of Harah. She was 3 months old when she was thrown from a vehicle just before it was destroyed by a U.S. rocket attack. Her entire family was killed. Hers just one example of the hundreds of lives Marla and Faiz touched with their heroic work.

Their deaths are profound losses not only for their family and friends, but for the entire world. There are precious few who have the courage to stand up and demand justice for all the victims of conflict wherever they may be. This troubled world cannot afford to lose people like them.

Marla overflowed with passion and had an incredible sense of obligation to help those less fortunate. She worked tirelessly to push the US military on its responsibility to keep a proper accounting of the consequences of military action on civilians in Iraq.

While her incredible passion and courage never faded, she was often torn between concern for her personal safety and a fervent desire to be in the field. She recently moved to New York City and was eager to establish a base after spending so many years living out of her suitcase and on the couches of friends, including mine.

While she was serious about her work, Marla never forgot to have fun and was always the life of the party. She had an incredible knack for making friends everywhere she went. Human rights workers, journalists and many others have been bolstered by her spirit and drive.

It is crucial that Marla and Faiz be commemorated and that their work continue. We will continue to shine a spotlight on innocent victims of war and ensure that their crucial work is continued.

Thank you all for your support.


Chicago Sun Times:
A woman who led an effort to help those ravaged by violence in Iraq fell victim to the war herself when a car bomb killed her and two other people, officials said Sunday.

Marla Ruzicka, founder of Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, died Saturday in the blast. She had been in Iraq conducting door-to-door surveys trying to determine the number of civilian casualties.

Ruzicka, 28, of Lakeport, founded CIVIC in 2003 and was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in aid money from the federal government for distribution in Iraq.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said it was Ruzicka's idea to put a special fund in last year's multibillion-dollar foreign aid bill to help Iraqis. ''She was constantly calling us to say [lawmakers were] moving too slowly,'' he said.

MSNBC:

Marla played many roles. She was a do-gooder to war victims, social maven, matchmaker and caretaker to many by simply taking the time to ask us how we were doing. Every journalist, NGO worker or government official knew Marla.

She kept people's spirits up by organizing weekly parties and never seemed to run out of energy. She made the war zones bearable and was perhaps one of the most selfless and fearless women I have known.

I remember one of the last conversations we had last year when she admitted to me that she was tired. It was obvious to many of us that Marla was so busy taking care of others that she was seriously neglecting herself. She talked about taking some time off but felt guilty about abandoning the the Iraqis she was trying to help. That was the last time we spoke and she promised not to go back to Baghdad until the security improved.

Then this morning at 7 a.m. I got a call telling me she had died. The irony that she was killed trying to help victims of violence is so painful. I still don't want to believe she is gone and yet I already miss her.

Her twin brother Mark told me that she was known in her home town as an activist. On the day Marla graduated and walked across the stage to get her high school diploma someone shouted, "Marla, go out and save the world!"

San Francisco Chronicle:

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:50 AM | Comments |

100+ Shiites Taken Hostage in Iraq (UPDATED: Hoax???)

4/18/05 Update: Could this all be a hoax? Traderrob first alerted me to this NY Times story which questions the veracity of earlier reports: Sent to Rescue Shiite Hostages, Iraqi Troops Find None:

By this afternoon, Iraqi army officials were reporting that the crisis in Madaen, which had been narrated in a stream of breathless television reports and news agency stories, was nothing but a tissue of rumors and politically motivated accusations.

The hysteria over Madaen was one vivid illustration of the way Iraq's daily violence and sectarian tension, which are real enough, can be easily twisted into fantasy here. In a country where phones are unreliable and roads between cities often blocked, facts can give way to a fast-running engine of rumor. And most people have good reason to believe the worst.

Pro-terrorist and leftwing publications already calling the whole operation a U.S. plot. Al Jazeera.com (not to be confused with al Jazeera.net, which is the real Al Jazeera):
He added that he had contacted some people in Madain and that they confirmed there was a fierce attack on the town despite the absence of fighters.

"We can call this another Falluja," al-Kubaisi said. He noted that interior ministry announced on 14 April that Iraqi forces will attack the town.

"We have urged them to keep the situation calm, but they have insisted to storm this safe city with its Sunni and Shiites residents. Therefore, this operation comes to create a sectarian strife in the town," he added.

Al-Hureya area in al-Wihda neighborhood was raided 22 days ago although there were no rebels there, al-Kubaisi said. Five days later, all families were thrown out, he added.

"Therefore, the issue is a matter of pursuing resistance fighters in Baghdad," he said, adding that "This is a U.S. plan. Unfortunately, Iraqi National Guardsmen have been dragged into such operations."

By 'another Fallujah' this man is referring to widespread reports in the Arab press and left-wing media of U.S. massacres of civilians.

-----------------------------------------
Speed of Thought is all over this one. Check his site out for updates. The numbers seem to be in flux, some reporting as low as 60 hostages other reports saying 150. Here's a bit of info from The Guardian:

Husseini said about 100 masked militants drove through Madain, capturing Shiite youngsters and old men. He and government officials said between 35 to 100 people were taken hostage.

A resident reached by telephone said the militants had returned early Saturday, shouting through loudspeakers that all Shiites must leave or the hostages would be killed. Later, the resident said, the town appeared calm and there was no sign of insurgents. Other residents said no hostages had been taken. The conflicting accounts could not be reconciled.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:25 AM | Comments |

Morning Reading: Darth Tater Edition

darth_tater_small.jpgGot a link? Just send it to me. Because that's just the kind of guy I am:

Shiite hostage crisis bogus?

The Lebanese Cedar Revolution now has its own blog, and it's being published from the tent-city itself.

I keep getting e-mails about the returned soldier who was arrested for detaining some illegal immigrants in Arizona. Honestly, I haven't really formed an opinion about this yet. Here's Confederate Yankee's take.

See your state capital from space. Cool.

Howard Dean attempts to reach out to people of faith by spitting in their faces.

Guess which major newspaper this post takes on? One guess.

Dan obviously had some serious time on his hands this weekend.

darth_tater_big.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:24 AM | Comments |

April 16, 2005

Blog Sabbath Caption Contest: Zarqawi Edition

Caption this photo of a billboard in Iraq bearing the face of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Winners announced Monday with mucho fanfare.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:17 PM | Comments |

Which Side of the Blogosphere is Getting Paid?

AS A SUCCESSUL RIGHT-WING BLOGGER I DEMAND MY PAYCHECK!!!

Digby writes:

The right blogosphere operates largely as part of the greater Republican message machine. Many of its bloggers are already part of that infrastructure, working as journalists for conservative publications, writing books and lecturing. Independent bloggers on the right hail from all walks of life, but the leading voices are either part of the political machine itself, like Mike Krempasky of RedState, or closely connected to the conservative media and think tank infrastructure, like Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin and the PowerLine bloggers. The right blogosphere is a reflection of successful top-down Republican message control, and as such these bloggers are welcomed warmly into the fold....

By contrast, the left blogosphere is populated by “citizen bloggers,” who work in non-political occupations for a living and blog for reasons of personal interest. This sphere actually operates as a unique and potentially powerful political constituency rather than a part of the Democratic Party apparatus. Unlike their counterparts on the right, the lefty blogs have had to crash the party, but because they did it with energy, votes and money, they are making themselves a power in their own right.

Ha. Right.

The most succesful right-side blogger out there is Glenn Reynolds. And he's 'on message' somehow?

Charles Johnson chimes in:

This is the worst kind of disingenuous garbage, a complete inversion of reality. Markos Zuniga of Daily Kos is a paid political consultant for Howard Dean and other campaigns. Joshua Micah Marshall, Kevin Drum, and Matt Yglesias all get paychecks from liberal publications. Duncan Black (Atrios) works for George Soros.
Anyway Digby has more here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:06 PM | Comments |

Pat Tillman: Even a Bigger Hero

Pat Tillman could have gone back to the NFL. Instead, he stayed in the Army Rangers and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Hero to the end.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:42 PM | Comments |

Playboy for Jihadis

via Evil Glenn Reynolds (not to be confused with Dr. Glenn Reynolds)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:36 PM | Comments |

Cat Hunting

I don't hunt, but I might just start! Phin gives tips on how to hunt cat.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:32 PM | Comments |

NY Times: Are they just lazy?

Our good friend Keith Taylor is guest blogging for Dean Esmay, and he's on fire! He takes on the NY Times here. Granted, taking on the NY Times these days isn't the most difficult task, but scroll down to the three photos he posts. They're worth it.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:22 PM | Comments |

Mass Graves Uncovered in Iraq

Horrible. The rest of the article reveals even worse. It is to our everlasting shame that we didn't finish this war the first time around. NY Times:

Investigators have discovered several mass graves in southern Iraq that are believed to contain the bodies of people killed by Saddam Hussein's government, including one estimated to hold 5,000 bodies, Iraqi officials say.

The graves, discovered over the past three months, have not yet been dug up because of the risks posed by the continuing insurgency and the lack of qualified forensic workers, said Bakhtiar Amin, Iraq's interim human rights minister. But initial excavations have substantiated the accounts of witnesses to a number of massacres. If the estimated body counts prove correct, the new graves would be among the largest in the grim tally of mass killings that have gradually come to light since the fall of Mr. Hussein's government two years ago. At least 290 grave sites containing the remains of some 300,000 people have been found since the American invasion two years ago, Iraqi officials say.

Hat tip: Seeker.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:47 PM | Comments |

April 15, 2005

I Am a Digital McCarthyite! (Updated)

First it was the vast right wing conspiracy. Then it was digital brownshirts. Now it's the digital McCarthyites. Well, sign me up folks. I'm a digital McCarthyite. From Mary Mapes new book:

“Conservative bloggers are part of the story. They have vilified me, mounted a “wilding” attack against me…we were, it seemed the first victims of a new kind of digital McCarthyism, which uses the same techniques as the old McCarthyism–rumors, slurs, false charges and ugly attacks–but now employs the Internet, talk radio and cable TV echo chamber to ricochet information around the world
The Anchoress has more via Instapundit.

Thoughts Online notes that the connotative usage of 'wilding' refers to the 1989 Central Park Jogger incident. Thus, Mapes equates right-wing bloggers with a pack of rapists and paints herself a sexual assault victim. Classy.

Prepare for the swarm Ms. Mapes.

digital_mccarthyites.jpg

Any other volunteers for the Digital McCarthyites? Any one have a better logo they can think of?

UPDATE: Tom over at Scared Monkeys Digial McCarthyite designed this logo. Awesome! Feel free to download the image here.

digital_mccarthyites_logo.jpg

Goldfalcon comes up with his own McCarthy photoshop (it helps if you know something about old movies).

Other Digital McCarthyites (like a gang 'wilding' Ms. Mapes in an online Central Park): Charles Johnson, Bill Quick, Mean Mr. Mustard, Ace, Cream and Bastards, Scared Monkeys, INDCent Bill, Vince Aut Morire, Scared Monkeys, Beth at My VRWC, Dread Pundit Bluto, Musing Minds, NIF, The Right Nation, The Nose on Your Face, and a whole gang of others...

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:38 PM | Comments |

Good News Every One,

Collin Baber has been banned. Any appeals should be e-mailed to me directly.

UPDATE:Thanks to Phin. We got ourselves a poll. I'm moving this post to the top for now.


Should Collin Baber be banned
Yes
No
Free polls from Pollhost.com

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:19 PM | Comments |

Imperial Land Walker for Sale

Via Flea, this super-sweet Imperial Landwalker. Check out the video of it in action at this website. It actually works!

land_walker.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:13 PM | Comments |

INDCent Bill admits to what we've always known,

he's into Lllama orgling!

So I tried to listen to Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom and Bill Ardolino of INDC's radio show yesterday. They did this interview of another blogger who I'm sort of fond of, Ace of Ace of Spades Headquarters. The problem is that Right Talk Radio won't replay the interview!

Ace, Bill, and Jeff might think it was the frequent homoerotic jokes or maybe it was the occasional f-bomb dropped, but I have a different theory. Bill mentions the very forbidden kink of Llama orgling. Listen carefully. Near the beginning. It's there. Nuff said.

Anyway, thanks to the good folks over at The Daily Recycler you can now listen to the now banned stream here or here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:23 PM | Comments |

Pataki Hires Strippers For Fundraiser

Ok, so a belly dancer isn't technically a stripper. But Scott from Slant Point was wise enough to take his digital camera to Governor Pataki's South Street Seaport fundraiser last night. Check out the dishes below. Especially the one on the right. Who says Republicans don't know how to party? That Pataki can swing with the best of them, yah baby!!!

Scott has a couple of more pics here. Hey, Scott: MORE PICS!!!!

pataki_fundraiser_strippers_belly_dancer.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:27 PM | Comments |

Star Wars: Porn Version

Stephen Green muses on the news that Star Wars is set to get a PG-13 rating. But might I suggest that a nude and tattood Bai Ling also might play some role in that rating.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:17 PM | Comments |

Happy Birthday Dad (Buy a Gun)

Today is my father's birthday. Happy birthday dad!! You can help my dad celebrate by buying a gun. Today is Buy a Gun Day.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:58 PM | Comments |

Making Holy the Unholy

Dr. Zen doesn't quite get the Bonfire of the Vanities. It's the less than serious side of the blogosphere's chance to showcase not their best, but their worst post of the previous week.

My frequently crappy posts are a staple of the bonfire.

You may know Laurence Simon from his frequent comments (usually defending some stupid cat or another) and the occasional link from us, but his Is Full of Crap site steps up to the take on the fine tradition that is the Bonfire. I kiss the papal ring of Avignon!

UPDATE: Carpe Bonum has an interesting take too.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:34 PM | Comments |

Dolphin + Whale = Wholphin

That's right wholphin. From the Island of Doctor Moreau, you know Hawaii, this news that some corporate jackass with nothing better to do decided to force a whale and a dolphin to hump. Well, maybe force isn't the right word. I hear some dolphins like the big whale c*ck. They were just born that way!

I knew gay marriage would lead to this.

And for all you wholphin porn fans, here's a pic (scroll down). Apparently Dr. Moreau did this thing ten years ago too. Only they spelled it wolphin back in the day. You know, so as not to offend any one.

UPDATE: Llama Butchers find evidence of widespread dolphin/human breeding. Could Douglas Adams be right? Are aliens dolphins?

wholphin.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:06 AM | Comments |

Iran Pulls Troops out of Lebanon

Interesting article. But the more important question is will Iran stop funding armed militias and terrorists in Lebanon? WaPo:

Iran has pulled out the vast majority of its Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon after two decades as a major player among the country's Shiite population, most notably as the impetus for the creation of Hezbollah, according to U.S. and European officials.

At one point, Iran was estimated to have as many as 2,000 of its elite troops inside Lebanon. But today Tehran is reported to have from 12 to 50 military personnel in the country -- and probably on the lower end of that range, the officials said.

Hat tip Rev. Jim Sutter.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:48 AM | Comments |

I Was a Member of the Taliban Before I Wasn't

Guantanamo prisoner admits to fighting on Taliban front lines against U.S. Goes home to Kuwait. Now claims he was really in Afghanistan working for an Islamic charity. Right. Is Nasser al-Mutairi taking truth telling lessons from John Kerry?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:22 AM | Comments |

The Left Is Just Dying to Believe the Terrorists

The Dread Pundit Bluto e-mails with some information he received from a friend of his serving at the Camp Bucca prison, Iraq. Follow the post carefully.

a) Terrorists post propaganda messages to Islamist forums.
b) Terrorist sympathizers translate the messages into English.
c) Translations are posted by 'alternative media' as fact.
d) Leftists revel in the propaganda and spread them as fact.
e) Gullible Europeans and college students believe the worst about America and our efforts in Iraq.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:16 AM | Comments |

Monty Python Star Opens Mouth on Iraq, Makes Ass Out of Self

And now for something completely different.

I believe Terry Jones should consult The Holy Grail before believing the reports he cites: A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:08 AM | Comments |

Lebanon Needs Your Help

lebanon_beirut_protest.jpg

The Cedar Revolution is incomplete. Support Spirit of America's efforts at helping the Lebanese take their country back from Syria and Iran. Every dollar helps.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:01 AM | Comments |

Iranian Troops Arrested in Iraq

Not surprising. The caveat on this is that the source is the Iranian opposition. Iran Focus:

More than 30 armed agents dispatched from Iran were arrested in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, according to sources close to the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin.

Sources said that the 30 agents were mercenaries of the elite Qods (Jerusalem) Force branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Thanks to OpiniPundit for the e-mail. He has more here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:56 AM | Comments |

Karbala Car Bombing Mastermind Captured

It should surprise no one that the Karbala bombing, which killed over a hundred Shias, was an al Qaeda operation. Kuna:

A member of the Abu Musaab Al-Zarqawi group was apprehended by Iraqi security forces in the southern city of Karbala, police chief in the holy city Abbas Al-Husseini said.

Al-Husseini said in a press statement policemen in Karbala arrested Hamed Obeis, an Iraqi national who masterminded the killing of some foreigners and a number of policemen in southern Iraq.

Obeis, he added, was also behind a number of car bombs in and outside Karbala, which killed hundreds of Iraqis.

Thanks to the Astute Blogger for sending this to me.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:51 AM | Comments |

April 14, 2005

Al Qaeda Continues to Call Defeat Victory

A few days ago we brought you news that Abu Musab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq had led an 'attack' against a Marine base in Western Iraq.

The score? 3 wounded Marines, 10-15 dead al Qaeda bitches.

Since that time the international terrorist loving media has been trying to claim that a U.S. counter-offensive against the nearby city of al Qaim is a bloody mess. Some of them go so far as to claim that the U.S. [wait for it...I know this will shock you...big surprise ending] is massacring civilians. Right.

Anyway the brave al Qaeda fighters released an announcement of their [again....steady....wait for it....just one more second] victory.

You can see it here. Almost funny in that kind of Charles Mansoneseque kind of way......

One of the suicide bombers who attacked the Marines turns out to be a Saudi named Hadi bin Mubarak al-Qahtani who is said to have 'grown eager' to 'martyr himself'. I was thinking maybe he meant 'pleasure himself' but that kind of fell on deaf ears.

These guys also consider sending teenagers on a suicide bombing mission to blow up street vendors bravery. Right.

What was that line from the movie Patton? You know, the one about the point of war not being about dying for your country but letting the son-of-a-bitch you're fighting die for his?

With all this talk of bravery over suicide bombings and victory over failed attacks, the next thing we might expect coming out of Zarqawi's mouth is the claim that decapitating bound and gagged civilians is some sort of triumph.

Oh. Wait. Nevermind.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:54 PM | Comments |

Tales. Of. Interest.

Just like Instapundit, but all in one post!

Religion of Peace & Intl:

John at Crossroads of Arabia and I have been going back and forth via e-mail on whether or not Stephen Schwartz in The Two Faces of Islam is just mildly wrong or really really wrong. Where we really disagree is over the meaning of the word extremist. Check out his post which started it all.

-Tim at Opinin Bug sends me a link to this story. Did we send it to Syria too?? Dumbasses.

Ribbit. Ribbit. Ribbit. Indeed.

Domestic Stuff

Brain Terminal has an interesting post on academia. Heh.

Pope and Schiavo not real news. Confederate Yankee has more.

Germans blame neocons (read J-O-Os) for making Catholic priests look bad. I'm sure the fact that a few of them were pedophiles had nothing to do with it...

-Kill. Bush. Now. Oh, and buy some shit while you're at it.

-So, wait, an American gets indicted for the Oil for Food scandal and Kofi walks? Yeah, sounds about normal.

-Jack Lewis makes Glenn Reynolds his bitch. That makes two of us Jack.

-Jason Smith has more on the Fannie Mae scandal. You said fannie.

Bloggie Stuff

-I've said it once, I'll say it again: Damn you Quinton!!

-Paul at Wizbang is Dan's bitch. Yes I like the word bitch. You got a problem with that, bitch?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:15 PM | Comments |

Hot Hezbollah Babe Blogging

Ok, I can't imagine many babes in Hezbollah land, but you can't blame Michael Totten for trying. Check out the photos he took while on a recent trip through Hezbollah occupied Beirut. Pretty scary stuff, I know.

On a more pleasent note, Totten e-mailed to assure me that as soon as he gets home there will be plenty of hot protester babe photos! So just wait for it.......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:39 PM | Comments |

Test Liveblogging at 2 p.m. (central)

I will be liveblogging the test I am giving my Introduction to American Politics class. It's not like I have anything better to do then. Plus, some of you might find it interesting to learn what it's like to be on the other side of the test taking table.

Until then, no posts. I haven't even really had time to answer e-mail in the last couple of days. Sorry. I'll try to get to it soon.

Liveblogging is now over. But you can see what I wrote in the extended entry below. Since I'm sure so many people find this, er, fascinating....

210: Just passed out the test. Class actually starts at 210, not 200.

On a normal day there are maybe 10 students in thsi class. Today, there are 18. I swear, I've never even seen two of the students. I'm not joking. I went up and introduced myself. Apparently, they are either geniuses or utter morons. Geniuses if they pass this test. Morons for wasting the afternoon thinking if they think could show up to class only on test days and pass. I'm betting on the latter.

2:15 The eyes begin to wonder. Our three football players already beginning to fidget. Two of them aced the first test. I suspected they had a test bank going, so for test number 2 I went with about 50% brand new questions. Needless to say, the two who aced test #1 both failed. Hmmmmm, I wonder why?

A look of terror already begins to grip the students........

220: What is sad are the students who show up every class session, but still fail. I feel sorry for these kids. I had a student come in the office about 30 minutes before the test asking questions. She had no idea what some pretty basic vocabulary words meant. Sad. The high schools are not preparing these students. 70% of my class time is spent on high-school level stuff. Can you believe I have to waste valuable time telling students that Senators are elected for 6 year terms, HR 2, and Pres 4 years!! They really don't know.

225: Two kinds of students finish first. Student A doesn't know diddly squat and has better things to do on a nice afternoon. He gets out of here quick. Student B learned all this stuff in high-school civics. The tests are a formality for him. He's also out of here quick.

Looking around my class I will bet on Student B today. There are a couple of 100 watt bulbs in a class of 60 watters. Right there. On the front row. You. I bet you finish first. Any takers?

230: You should have taken the bet. It was a Student B type, only I picked the wrong one. It was a good student on the second row. D'oh!

231: The worst thing about teaching college is not the money, although I have a lot of complaints about that, the worst thing is that many students don't make any effort at learning new ideas. The typical student today sees the college degree as a means to an end. That end is a job. They do not see learning as an end to itself. So why keep teaching? There are a few. There are a few....

More students finishing........

235: Checking the comments I see no one cares. Alas.

Tell me, how does a student finish a 50 question test in 20 minutes? I was never that bright. Seriously. I was always last out of class. Always double check your tests. Don't outguess your initial impression for a question you have no idea about the answer, but do check to see if you marked the answers correctly. Trust me, it happens. Even when I fill out the scantron key (this is an intro class, give me a break!!) I make mistakes.

239: The floodgates open! So many students finishing now. Is it just me, or do the coeds seem to be wearing skimpier outfits today? If so, is it intentional or done on some subconscience level? Do they really think that would affect the outcome of their grades?

240: Note to students. Try to keep your eyes forward in a test. It just looks bad. Oh, and don't scratch and yawn a lot. If you must look anywhere but down, look up. Never side to side. I bet there is a lymerick in there somewhere.

245: Ok, so today I had about 5 students from this class who called in to tell me they were sick. That's original.

We're down to about 30% of the class. Except for football row in the back, all of these students show up on a regular basis. One of them is my advisee. My bet is these guys set the curve.

247: Checking Robin's comments I can totally sympathize. I had a student, who is sitting right in front of me right now, just get a copy of the syllabus yesterday. This is test #3. After this there's only the final.

250: 2 students left. One Student A, one Student B. It's not odd as much as it is indicative of how randomness truly works, but in the past 3 mintes a ton of students finish. All within 10 seconds of each other.

255: Ok, I see one of the lst two hammering away with the eraser. Come on Ms., don't blow it! I hope you didn't do what I've done in the past. You know, skip a question then have to go back and refill in all the bubbles.

Ah, she's finished. One to go.........

257: The last student seems to be going over her work with a fine toohed combe. I'm betting she has a little case of test anxiety. It's a pity. I've always been pretty good at test taking skills. Even for big tests, like the GRE, I did better on the actual test than on the practices.

The dirty little secret of the scantron type test is that they suck to make. Grading is pretty easy, but coming up with multiple choice questions is a bare. I figure 5-10 minutes per question.

There she is. Finished!! Alright. Ciao. Now to grade. Grading!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:21 AM | Comments |

Soldiers Cleared in Sgrena Shooting

Not that we predicted this or anything. Remember, we are Sgrena central. This was a joint report, meaning the Italians seem to be on board with the findings. We will update this post later as the official report is due out sometime today. MSNBC:

Now, NBC News has learned that a preliminary report from a joint U.S.-Italian investigation has cleared the American soldiers of any wrongdoing and provides new details into the shooting.

Intelligence agent Calipari had just negotiated Sgrena's release from Iraqi kidnappers on March 4 when the two and a driver headed for the Baghdad airport in a compact rental car.

It was dark when the Italians turned onto a ramp leading to the airport road where the U.S. military had set up a temporary checkpoint.

The investigation found the car was about 130 yards from the checkpoint when the soldiers flashed their lights as a warning to stop. But the car kept coming and, at 90 yards, warning shots were fired. At 65 yards, when the car failed to stop, the soldiers used lethal force — a machine gun burst that killed Calipari and wounded Sgrena and the driver.

Senior U.S. military officials say it took only about four seconds from the first warning to the fatal shots, but insist the soldiers acted properly under the current rules of engagement.

The investigation failed, however, to resolve one critical dispute: The Americans claim the car was racing toward the checkpoint at about 50 miles per hour, the Italians say it was traveling at a much slower speed.

In Italy, agent Calipari was given a state funeral, but the investigation found he himself may have committed a fatal error. He reportedly chose not to coordinate his movements with the U.S. military for fear it would jeopardize his efforts to free the Italian hostage.

Now you'll excuse me while I go celebrate. Hat tip Seeker.

Boughyah notices that WaPo, NYT, LA Times passing on the story. Is this true?

Others: Wizbang, Catscape, No-Oil-For-Pacifists, Powerline, Goldstein

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:43 AM | Comments |

Jihadi Troll on the Loose!

Reader Islamic Jihad is back. This is the guy who advocates killing all non-Muslim whites.

The more I read his crap the more I am convinced that The Babaganoosh is correct--this is some punk kid.

However, Canada has a large population of Muslim immigrants. And since Master Jihad decided to single out Sikhs of all people, it seems likely that he is the son of Indian or Pakistani immigrants.

Oh, and he has been banned. Allahu-akhbar!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:24 AM | Comments |

April 13, 2005

60 Minutes Interviews Lying Journalist Giuliana Sgrena (ironic)

60 Minutes will interview lying communist Italian journalist, Giuliana Sgrena. Do you think they'll do a better job than NPR's Sylvia Poggioli? Maybe:

Days before the Pentagon is expected to release the results of its investigation into what happened at the checkpoint, Sgrena tells Correspondent Scott Pelley that shortly after her release by insurgents, American soldiers in Baghdad opened fire on her car without any warning.
No warning? What kind of warning was she expecting at night speeding a long a road which has had more than its fair share of terrorist attacks?
contrary to claims by the U.S. Army, her car was not warned by hand signals, arm signals, flashing white lights or warning shots.
How exactly would she know if there were arm or hand signals sitting from the back seat of the car, on a dark night, as they rounded a corner? Further, Sgrena says in one (of the many contradictory) version of the story:
The Americans shone a flashlight at the car and then fired between 300 and 400 bullets at if from an armoured vehicle.
So the U.S. shone a light at the car before they started firing? You mean maybe they were trying to get you to slow down! And then started to fire at the vehicle 300-400 times.

Either the U.S. doesn't train it's soldiers well enough or they were firing warning shots!!! You lying scumbag.

You can see images of Sgrena's car here. You be the judge.

But what about Sgrena's later lie claim that the vehicle was fired on from behind? Wouldn't that explain why the photos show little damage to the car? All the damage is on the back side?

Remember, Sgrena claims she was fired on from an armoured vehicle, a 'tank' she called it in earlier interviews. If this is true, and who can tell what is truth and what is fiction coming out of that woman's mouth, that would mean the bullets probably came from a .30 caliber mounted gun.

Now look at the bullet hole in the front windshield. That is not an exit hole, it is an entrance hole. In the front. Unless maybe we're arming our soldiers with .22s?

Let's hope CBS calls Sgrena what she is: a propagandist and political opportunist whose lies constitute a blood libel against the U.S.

The online article is actually pretty promising and responds to much of Sgrena's lies. Pray that the TV version does as well.

Hat tip to Charles Johnson who is equally skeptical of CBS.

UPDATE: OpiniPundit gives his take on the interview. He was not impressed.

Related stories from The Jawa Report:
Iraqis: Italians Not Cooperating in Sgrena InvestigationGiuliana Sgrena Admits Hostage HoaxNPR Misses Sgrena's Big LieWhy We Shot at Sgrena and Killed Nicola CalipariSgrena Finds Oswald's 'Magic Bullet'Giuliana Sgrena's Lies, Inconsistencies, and Treason
Images of Sgrena's Car (Updated-now fortified with essential Sgrena lies!)
Sgrena's Fallujah vs. US Marines' FallujahGiuliana Sgrena's Blood Libel Against the USGiuliana Sgrena Admits to Helping Terrorists, Lies About Shooting (UPDATED)Sgrena Mia Culpa (Rusty apologizes for moonbat theory)
Italian Woman Taken Hostage in Iraq (Updated)
Italian Hostage: Hoax or the Fruits of anti-American Activism?
Italian Hostage Hoax: Terrorists to Release Giuliana Sgrena
Giuliana Sgrena Alive and Well
Italian Hostage Video Released (UPDATE)
Italians Lobby for Release of Hostage by Calling for End to Occupation
Iraqi Minister Claims Italian Hostage Release Imminent

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:41 PM | Comments |

Who Is Jean R. Cobbs? The Vegetative McCarthyism of the Left

By Demosophist

Virginia State University is an historically black institution located in central Virginia, just south of Richmond. It was originally established as part of the extensive land grant system of higher education that was set up across the country in the late 19th Century under the Morrill Act. To get right to the point, the university is currently administered in a manner that would probably make the Tweed administration look principled by comparison. Cronyism and nepotism are the rule rather than the exception. Many of the administrators have little academic or even managerial credibility, and the current President, a fellow named Eddie Moore, Jr., has been in charge since 1993. As an example of how the institution is run the VP/Provost, W. Eric Thomas, managed to wrangle an appointment for his live-in girlfriend as head of the nursing program, a person with no advanced degree in nursing.

Dr. Jean R. Cobbs is a renowned sociologist and venerable member of the faculty at Virginia State University, with over 30 years of experience. Her area of expertise is in Social Services, where she has taught and served as chair of a department that she created and for which she won accreditation. She has an Ed.D. from William & Mary, is on the State Board of Social Services, is a member of the advisory board of the Virginia Center on Aging, and is also chair the Human Subjects Committee. She has an exemplary record of teaching and scholarship. Her primary liability is that she's a conservative black woman.

Early in his administration President Eddie Moore, Jr. decided that a defining aspect of his mission was to rid the university of as many black conservative tenured professors as possible, so began a long and perverse history of persecution of Jean Cobbs. Initially she was removed as chairman of the department that she created and developed, replaced by someone without comparable credentials. During a period in which her husband was suffering from a lingering terminal illness she took a short leave to care for him, and subsequently received an "unsatisfactory" review, a manufactured opening that Eddie Moore was prepared to pounce upon in order to advance his mission. In spite of the fact that the institutional rules allowed her an appeal (which would have overturned a patently inaccurate and unfair review) no appeal was ever granted. Jean Cobbs was subsequently fired from the university, after a long period of harassment.

And it gets worse.

In a fit of vindictiveness that puts the whining about "new McCarthyism," by people like Bernardine Dohrn, or the treatment of plagiarizing ethnic and professional frauds like Ward Churchill, in "interesting perspective" Virginia State University informed the Virginia Retirement System that after 33 years of service Professor Cobbs ought to lose all her benefits. This, under a clause holding that employees fired for "moral turpitude" are subject to such a denial. According to a faculty member at VSU who supports Professor Cobbs, this sort of treatment is generally reserved for convicted felons. Specifically, she was fired, without appeal and without any specification, for "unprofessional conduct:" almost certainly a euphemism for supporting conservative candidates for public office and testifying against President Moore in federal court. The institution continues to refuse requests for specific reasons for her firing, essentially because there are none that would hold up to any scrutiny.

And it gets even worse!

The Provost, W. Eric Thomas, who is directly responsible for firing Jean Cobbs in December, 2004, has managed to ensconce his uncredentialed but no doubt winsome girlfriend in the position formerly held by Professor Cobbs!

The American Association of University Professors is reviewing the situation, and could impose sanctions on Virginia State. If it viewed the situations at VSU and CU from a neutral perspective there's no doubt that they'd be compelled to impose sanctions. If they did, it would no doubt improve conditions not only for Jean (especially her shattered self-esteem, not to mention her financial well-being) but also for many of the remaining conservative faculty at VSU, who feel themselves under siege. It would therefore not be inappropriate to write or email the AAUP regarding the circumstances at VSU, urging a thorough and impartial review. However, remember to couch such a letter in professional terms, since indiscriminate railing could conceivably do more harm than good.

Update: The National Association of Scholars has a press release on the Cobbs case here.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and Anticipatory Retaliation)

By Demosophist at 04:19 PM | Comments |

Nazis, the Holocaust, and Mormons

moses1.jpg Instead of apologizing for his absurd post earlier, Jay Tea digs the hole deeper. Where do I begin to respond?

First, what is offensive is not the Mormon practice of baptizing for the dead, but bringing the Holocaust into the debate. This is offensive for the same reason that calling people you don't like a Nazi is. The Nazis were so evil that to call someone a Nazi flippantly is to minimize the evil nature of the Hitler regime.

To single out Holocaust victims when objecting to the Mormon practice of proxy baptism for the deceased likewise. The Holocaust was a crime of singular and spectacular evil. By bringing the Holocaust into a theological debate over what seems to be an odd practice trivializes the evil that was done.

Further, to compare the practice with forced conversions is, well, just plain dumb. As far as I can tell the Mormons aren't actually converting anybody. Had Jay Tea bothered to read his own comments, he would have seen that Mormons do proxy baptism just in case the deceased becomes converted in the afterlife. They do not believe the proxy baptism is the mark of a conversion.

Of course, Jay Tea is right, this is an arrogant practice. But, er, so what? All religions teach that their religions are correct. And that means what exactly? It's the nature of philisophical debates.

But as much as it is arrogant it is equally selfless. That's the nature of proxy work. You do it for the benefit of others. Just think of Fonzi standing in for Richie Cunningham when he finally gets married but is off in the Air Force. See, the Fonz knows all.

As to Jay Tea's final point that the Mormons' renigged on an earlier promise to not baptize in behalf of Holocaust victims, Tom at INFDL notes:

The Mormon church as an institution does not have alot of control over who turns up on the database of names of deceased. It's mostly done privately by church members themselves. So how is the church itself supposed to completely stop it? Plus, is it just assumed that mormon church members are stealing the names of jews, with no relation to themselves? Right down the street from my folks' house there lives a jewish convert to the mormon church. Yup, him and his whole side of the family were jews who converted to the mormon faith. They're very devout, and like most devout mormons they will do their own geneology and perform this particular practice for them. So if ancestor rights are presumably owned by descendants, then the whole argument concerning "leave my ancestors alone" becomes much more complicated.
Let me also just take a moment to spank Sorta Pundit. Wait. Let me reword that. He likes to get spanked (he told me, I swear). Let me correct him.

They don't actually dig up your body, some dude just gets baptized on behalf of some dead guy. Again, they are not making you a post-mortum Mormon. They're just catching you. You know, just in case.

But what is really irritating is that a lot of people, like Sorta Pundit, take offense to Mormons telling dead people that they were wrong. I don't get it. Mormons are saying the same thing about the living. Yup, they think your atheism is wrong. Is that a surprise?

Why is it more offensive to say a dead person was wrong than the living?

The last time I checked the Catholics thought living Protestants were wrong, and vice-versa. Oh and Wesley had this slight disagreement with the faith of Calvinists, etc.

*****Exclusive*****Must Cite Jawa Report*****

Pope still Catholic. Archbishop of Canterburry still Anglican. Dalai Llama still Buddhist.

More breaking news as it happens......

Sobek and Aaron have the humorous take. And yes Aaron, very funny.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:04 PM | Comments |

Pop Quiz: Which Religion Escapes the Ire of Marxist States?

Wait, wait, I know this one. It's the Mennonites, right? Right.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:51 PM | Comments |

Hostage Video: American Jeffrey Ake urges US to Leave Iraq (UPDATED)

Jeffrey_ake_hostage_al_jazeera.jpg
A video of an American civilian contractor taken hostage in Baghdad on April 10th has been aired by Al Jazeera television. The victim's name is Jeffrey Ake.

Our earlier report on Jeffrey Ake is here. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad now confirms Mr. Ake's identity. As with Roy Hallums, the State Department did not confirm his identity until after a video tape was released.

Links to video will be posted here as soon as they are available.....

Al Jazeera reports:

The tape on Wednesday showed a man sitting behind a wooden desk as three men pointed their guns towards him.

He was holding what looked like a passport and a photo identification.

Al Jazeera did not release audio of the tape. The network has come under increasing fire for its airing of hostage videos produced as propaganda.

SMH reports:

The hostage, who was shown surrounded by gunmen, called on the US administration to "open a dialogue with the Iraqi resistance" and strive to save his life, Al-Jazeera said.

He also urged US forces to promptly pull out of Iraq.

The demand is standard for these types of videos. However, what is new is the demand for dialogue between the U.S. and insurgents.

Could this be a further sign of the weakening of the insurgency?

Since there was no money demand mentioned, it also is very unlikely that those responsible for this kidnapping are financial opportunists. However, part of the deleted audio may have made a ransom demand.

Further, this is not the M.O. of the usual terrorist suspects. While I cannot say for certain, the video does not appear to show the banners of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq, The Army of Ansar al-Sunna, or The Islamic Army of Iraq.

Hat tip to James Joyner who e-mailed me about this while I was in class. He's also all over this one.

Jeffrey_ake_equipment_expressed.jpg
UPDATE 12:09: More information on Jeffrey Ake. According to WISHTV, Ake is from Northern Indiana. He is the President of a Rolling Prairie, IN, based water company, Equipment Express.

According to a local news article dated November 19, 2003, and reprinted at Equipment Express' website:

Equipment Express is again helping with the rebuilding effort in Iraq.

A Western European country that company president Jeff Ake couldn't identify because of contractual reasons hired the Rolling Prairie company to construct an integrated system that will provide water bottles to be sold in Baghdad.

A second system for Iraq will be built in January.
Equipment Express began construction on the system Nov. 3, completed the work Tuesday and will ship it out today. It should arrive in Baghdad around Christmas.

"We're called Equipment Express because we are fast. It's exciting to be part of the rebuilding effort," Ake said.

From another article on their website:
Equipment Express constructed "An integrated system that provided water bottles to be sold in Baghdad ... they have also constructed a machine that fills edible oil into containers to be used by Iraqi residents," according to information on the company Web site.
And one more:
A fast growing Rolling Prairie company will be helping the humanitarian effort in Iraq.

A manufacturer Friday asked Equipment Express, 4744 E. Oak Knoll Rd., if it could construct as quickly as possible a machine that will fill edible oil into containers to be used for the millions of recently liberated Iraqi people....

Not everyone will drop what they're doing to manufacture the machine, but "there's a fair amount of effort being put into it. There will be some overtime."

Much of the Middle East needs the edible oil because it's used in so much of the people's cooking.

"It's extremely important to that culture, to cook almost anything. If they have grain, clean water and oil, they are able to feed themselves."

This isn't the first time Equipment Express handiwork has benefited the Middle East. Water treatment systems that include bottling, rinsing, filling and labeling capacities were built here and are being used in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Once again insurgents capture a man in Iraq attempting to improve the standard of living in that country....

UPDATE 12:45: It appears that Jeffrey Ake was also a nationally recognized export specialist. His name appears frequently as a convention speaker on the subject.

UPDATE 12:50: White House chimes in....KHNL

White House press secretary Scott McClellan describes the situation as very "sensitive," adding that the administration is in touch with the family of the missing contract worker.

But he says U-S policy calls for no negotiations with kidnappers.

What is it a video that is so powerful? Ake has been missing since Sunday, and we have been reporting it since Monday, yet no widespread media coverage.

Another American was just kidnapped in Iraq. His name is Mohammed Monaf. No video, no coverage. It's sad.

Or what about the other American hostages being held? Roy Hallums, Dean Sadek, Tim Bell, and Bill Bradley? Or of the missing Army Spc. Keith Maupin?

Developing........

Others: Mike King, Chad Evans, Secure Liberty, Rooftop Report

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:31 AM | Comments |

Muslims in NY: "next time we will get all of NYC"

This. Is. Outrageous. A woman retells her many run ins with an al Qaeda linked group which was given permits to protest by the Dhimmi government of New York City.

Global Politician:

I went over to the group, to inform them that I believed they were overstepping their permit, because of the sound system and because they were on both sides of the street. As I crossed to them, I observed their placards on the street (typical al-Muhajiroun stuff : US the real terrorist, oppose the war on terror, God hates the US because they have Homosexuals, restoration of the Caliphate, pictures of Abu Gharab, 9/11 pictures saying it was justified, etc..)...

They were telling me how wicked America and I was. A
member of the group was also telling me, "we will kill you", and "next time we will get all of NYC".

A man punched me in the face, knocking of my glasses. These were not just a group of individuals. These people (that started the demonstration) were men in their 20's who were radicalized, mostly from the Mid-East, who were controlled by one elder man. They had great discipline that you would not see in just a mob. They were also videotaping this whole incident, with the elder man shouting "film this, it will get us more recruits."

Any way the police came finally. After a few minutes finding out about the incident, they took me away alone. This even after I informed them that I was assaulted, a fact which was verified by a few witnesses. When I asked the officer why they did not bring the people who assaulted me in, I was told that "since 9/11 we have to bend over backwards for them."

Since that incident I have had other run-ins with them, been assaulted and threatened, but each time the police take me away.

The group calls itself the The Islamic Thinkers Society. They fly the Al-Muhajiroun, and use Al-Muhajiroun tracts.

Al-Muhajiroun is a group which advocates the control of society based on the rule of a Universal Caliphate, and ruled by Islamic law, the shiara. As a member said "we do not seek to coexist with other religions in America, we seek to dominate them". They want to see Islamic rule imposed worldwide. In their propaganda they portray Islam as an ideology, and an alternative to
Democracy. They advocate the advancement of their goal by violence and terrorism. One of their members were a part of the team that conducted the 9/11 attacks. They also advocate the self imposition of Shiara in neighborhoods where they are the majority....

I believe that the police the police definitely have the right to investigate this group. This group is analogous to the Nazi's or Japanese recruiting fighters in NYC during WWII. This group calls, through its literature, for the overthrow of the government in favor of a Islamic state. They are trying to spread their Islamic Fundamentalist propaganda, as well as recruit members. They use the cover of religious tolerance to spread their political message.

Recently Shahawar Matin Siraj, 21, a native of Pakistan who lives in Jackson Heights in Queens was accused of plotting to blow up a subway station in NYC, and he was part of the group that was involved with my July 11th incident. Mohammed Junaid Babar was arrested last summer for being a sleeper agent with Al-Qaeda, has links with the Al-Muhajiroun network in Queens. He has admitted his intention to attack America. I do not know if he has direct links with the Islamic Scholars, but I would not doubt it. They are still out there on the weekends, in search of new converts....

This woman should be given a medal. Hat Tip: Robert Spencer

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:55 AM | Comments |

Canadian Reader Love Mail: 'Kill All Infidel White People'

It's not so much irony as it is ironical when followers of the religion of peace a) blame Christianity for the rise of Hitler, then b) claim Jews are the root of all evil in the world then c) go on and on about racists, and then d) advocate killing all non-Muslim white people.

By the way, the man who only identifies himself as 'Islamic Jihad', is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and subscribes to Shaw Cable. So if you're in Calgary, you might just want to watch your back. I'd be on the lookout for a young man, probably of Pakistani or Indian origin.

You mutha fuckers should have stayed out of Iraq now we have to see innocent people get killed.You Stupid white mutha fuckers ,yah specialy Bush.

The root to this world problems are jews ,Christans and fucken idol
worshippers (Hindus,Sikhs and Buddaist). But the main problem in the
world is Christian nations there the ones who fucken influenced Hitler to
kill Jews even though the bastard was one himself,they also influenced
imperialism world wide for their greedy asse's.Many people were
slaughter when these so called fucken pilgrim Christians came to to North
America.

Also these Goddamn bastard were too racist to bring jews to Canada
or The U.S so yah lets give them Israel so they can fight people from
another religon for land because selfish Chritian nations did'nt accept
jews and they thought maybe people in Palestine would.Not to metion all
the sufferin Muslim brothers go through beacause of fucken Jews,Bosanains,Serbians and other white mutha fuckers.

Until white people convert to our religion or stop being racist I say kill them all.They have been Tyrants of this world for too long.They formed racist groups like the KKK,Skinhead and those pussy Nazi.Oh yah that bitch Hitler or any of those KKK son of a bitches never had the guts to step up to a Muslim nation beacause we would whop their asse's like we did a thousand years ago with those Christian Crusade bastards.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:17 AM | Comments |

April 12, 2005

Maybe Bin Laden Just Needs a Job?

Actual Reuters headline: Palestinian Gunmen Sign Peace Pledge for Jobs

Gunmen. You know. Members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:01 PM | Comments |

April 15th: Taxes Due, My Dad's Birthday, and BUY A GUN DAY!!

april_15_bag_day_anim.gif

Well look who the cat dragged in! Long time friend Aaron must have finally got himself a job! For awhile there he was acting like one of them liberals--you know, on the welfare--but now that Arnold is in office I guess they kicked his lazy butt out of the welfare line.

Anyway, April 15th means a lot of things to a lot of people. But to bloggers it holds a special meaning. IT'S BUY A GUN DAY!

Buy_a_gun.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:39 PM | Comments |

Three Terrorists Indicted, U.S. Financial Buildings Targetted

The three suspects are Dhiren Barot (aka, Esa al-Hindi ), Nadeem Tarmohamed, and Quaisar Shaffi.

UPDATE: Evan Kohlmann has more on Esa al-Hindi:

Eisa al-Hindi (a.k.a. Dhiran Barot) is the same extremist leader who wrote the infamous jihad text, The Army of Madinah in Kashmir. According to that book, Barot was born in the U.K. as a Hindu, but later converted to Islam and fought alongside Muslim militants in Kashmir. After graduating on and working as a combat trainer at a mujahideen terror camp in Afghanistan, al-Hindi moved to southern Thailand in 1998 and married a local woman there. In his book, Barot argues that the use by the mujahideen of "'stealthy' modern day war stratagems, which are commonly used by the western world to bring others to their knees... could be long overdue." Barot highlights several desirable "war strategems" in particular, including "Economical warfare", "Drug warfare", "Germ warfare", and "Chemical warfare."
Evan has a translation of parts of that book available for download here. Pretty scary stuff.

Guardian:

Three men have been indicted on charges they plotted to attack financial institutions in New York, New Jersey and Washington.

A four-count indictment unsealed Tuesday accuses Dhiran Barot, Nadeem Tarmohammed and Qaisar Shaffi of scouting the New York Stock Exchange and Citicorp Building in New York, the Prudential Building in Newark, N.J., and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the District of Columbia.

The three men, already in custody in England, were charged with three conspiracy counts and providing material support to terrorists.....

U.S. officials claim that Barot is a senior al-Qaida figure, known variously as Abu Eisa al-Hindi, Abu Musa al-Hindi and Issa al-Britani, who scouted prominent financial targets in the United States at the behest of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Prosecutors say the men conducted surveillance on the buildings between August 2000 and April 2001, including video surveillance in Manhattan around April 2001. U.S. officials have previously described detailed surveillance photos and documents, which they believe came from Barot, that were found on a computer that was seized in Pakistan last summer.

That information prompted the government, in August, to raise the risk of a terrorist attack to ``high'' for those specific financial institutions. The color-coded threat level for the rest of the nation remained at yellow, or elevated, the middle of a five-point scale.

Barot, 32, was charged there with possessing reconnaissance plans for the U.S. institutions and notebooks containing information on explosives, poisons, chemicals and related matters ``of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.''

Tarmohammed, 26, was charged there, along with Barot, with possessing plans of the Prudential building. Shaffi, 25, also was charged in Britain with possessing an extract from the ``Terrorist's Handbook'' on the preparation of chemicals, explosive recipes and other information.


Via Instapundit, who actually proves useful for once....MSNBC:
U.S. officials claim that Barot is a senior al-Qaida figure, known variously as Abu Eisa al-Hindi, Abu Musa al-Hindi and Issa al-Britani, who scouted the financial targets in the United States at the behest of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:09 PM | Comments |

Jeff Gannon Attacked in Iraq

Earlier I posted about a base in Western Iraq being attacked by al Qaeda. Thankfully, the attack was a rousing defeat.

But how did I let the obvious slip by? Thanks to Steve the Llama Butcher for pointing out the obvious:

Yesterday's raid was on Camp Gannon...
It's all beginning to make sense now......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:58 PM | Comments |

Star Wars Actress Bai Ling Bares all for Playboy

bai_ling.jpgNo, not Princess Leah (Carrie Fisher, D'oh!). No, not Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman, double-do'h!!) It's Bai Ling, who plays Senator Bana Breemu in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

According to nerd central theforce.net, Playboy magazine will show Bai Ling baring all in the June 2005 issue.

Interesting.

And what is Bail Ling's Senator Bana Breemu costume going to consist of in Episode III? According to Bai Ling, "I’m all naked with tattoos on my body. You have to find out why when you see the movie.

Interesting.

Anything else we should know about you Bai Ling?

"There’s a provocative, seductive girl inside me. She’s the one who should be banned. She’s crazy, free, open and sexy. She makes me have a good time and wear sexy outfits. Except in the house: I’m always naked when I’m inside.

Very Interesting.

What about Hot-Lesbo-Star-Wars-Chick-Pundit? Any thoughts?

Sex with another woman is something I wanted to experience, so I did. I was in the Jacuzzi once with this woman and felt a connection. It wasn’t about her gender; she was an attractive woman and I was stimulated. I appreciate the way a woman makes love.

Suddenly, I lost interest.

Obligatory Bai Ling photos follow of the (PG-13 sort, but maybe NSFW). Hat tip to Wine-aholic and with apologies to Kevin Nealon.

Click for larger image




OTB link.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:46 PM | Comments |

Question for Readers on Comment Banning

More and more of my comment threads are degenerating into name calling.

Don't make me come down out of the ivory tower and put my foot up your asses!

Anyway, I rarely ban any one from making comments. But should I?

On the one hand, I like to be challenged. When you start banning people you weed out a potential pool of those who will be the most critical, and therefore those that are most willing to point out a flaw in your arguements.

On the other hand, sometimes these disagreements piss people off. Then name calling begins. And then it gets pretty nasty. I'm afraid many of our long-time readers have stopped commenting because they see this degeneration in dialogue.

So, what do you think? Should I just start banning people? Should we lay out some ground rules and then only ban those who break them? Any suggestions?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:53 PM | Comments |

Local Residents Help Free Prisoners in Iraq

The Dread Pundit Bluto has the details. What can I say? Awesome. Even better news is that more and more reports seem to indicate Iraqis are helping fight the insurgency.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:41 PM | Comments |

Bonfire of the Vanities

Go check it out. I especially love Glenn Reynold's submission.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:36 PM | Comments |

There's True and there's Onion True

Six of one, or half a dozen of the other.

UPDATE: It looks like the original story isn't true. But, hey, it should be......

GOP & The City has the man on the street interviews. Trust me, those are true......

PS-I linked the story earlier, only no one seems to have noticed....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:48 PM | Comments |

Censorship In a State of War

The Confederate Yankee and I have been going back and forth over whether or not Kevin Sites is a 'traitor' or not. Mostly for his benefit I repost my earlier discussion on censorship in a time of war. This post was originally written after the Abu Ghraib pictures were released and after Nick Berg had been beheaded.

Some of you might be shocked to learn that Rusty Shackleford, Libertarian, actually advocates censorship. I do. But only in the context of war and only in the context of speech directly related to the war effort.

Read the rest. It's a little academic, but if you don't mind a lot of references to Locke and Hobbes, I hope you find it readable if not completely outrageous.

From Hobbes' Leviathan:

Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man. For war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other time is peace.
I think Hobbes has helped me frame what is going on in this country. Many do not understand that we are at war. Even if the actual battles are far away, the state of war exists. It is here. It is now.

The state of war is the medium in which all of our lives are lived. We are the fish, it is the water. All of our actions must be constructed with this in mind. We cannot escape the state of war by somehow denying we are in it. Can the fish suddenly sprout lungs and breathe simply because it does not recognize that his environment is water, not air?

That larger war, is all around us. The media does not understand this concept. They think there is a war 'over there' but not here. That somehow Iraq is separate from the larger war, which is all around us. This is why they believe it is ok to publish pictures of prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib, because the 'war' is over there. Here, there is peace. But as Hobbes rightly observes the "nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary."

It may seem like an unimportant and abstract distinction. What does it matter whether or not a 'state of war' exists everywhere or only in Iraq? But distinctions, even when they are only made by assumption, are absolutely critical to the way we think. The distinction between war and peace is very crucial, because moral actions depend on context. If the context is peace, then moral beings are compelled by conscience to behave in one way. If the context is war, then the same moral being must act in another way. The same is true of the press.

A free-press cannot be maintained in a state of war. Even from a Lockean perspective we cannot understand our liberties as anything but ordered. The inconveniences of living without order makes man:

willing to quit this condition which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers; and it is not without reason that he seeks out and is willing to join in society with others who are already united, or have a mind to unite for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name- property. (Second Treatise IX:123)
A close reading of Locke reveals that his love of property is a means to an end--property is necessary for the maintaining of life. Life is the first and foremeost right ordained by Nature.

Although I love the right to speak and cherish the liberty of the press, such liberty is meaningless without life. All of my rights and liberties are secondary to the need to protect my life. Governments are not founded to protect speech, rather, governments are instituted to protect life.

Free speech is an instrumental value--or it is a means to an end. We want freedom of speech and press because these things are necessary to a functioning democracy. However, a functioning democracy is secondary to some amount of order so that neighbors do not settle disputes on their own--a state of War according to Hobbes and an inconvenient state of Nature according to Locke.

When the secondary value of free speech conflicts with the primary value of protecting life, the secondary must be discarded. We ought not discard such things lightly, but sometimes they must be sacrificed. We do not let the body die to save the limb.

In a state of war, people die. In a state of peace, it is tacitly understood that you can say anything so long as your words are not a "clear and present danger" (See Schenck v. United States, 1919). Holmes' maxim seems to me a simple attempt at putting to words what we all kind of know deep down: only sticks and stones may break your bones, but words sometimes do hurt you.

You cannot say something that will incite someone to kill me. In a state of peace, people aren't normally incited to murder. In fact, yelling fire in a crowded theater rarely yields a riot. However, change the context and the result changes. In a state of war since some amount of anarchy is already present and there is an understanding that it is o.k. to kill, then the likelihood for words to lead to death is greatly multiplied.

Loose lips in times of peace are meaningless. In war, loose lips sink ships.

Did CBS's decision to air the photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib cause the brutal murder of Nick Berg? No. Of course not. Al Qaida rarely needs an excuse to commit an atrocity. Did such images contribute to his death? Probably not. He was a dead man walking from the moment he was captured.

However, such images do reinforce the preexisting notion in the Muslim world that the US is just another oppressive power. As such, these images mean that fence-sitters are more likely to join the opposition. Those not actually engaged in fighting will be less inclined to cooperate with us. Having a population less inclined to cooperate with us means terrorists will have an easier climate in which to operate. They will no longer have to fear their neighbor turning them in to Coalition forces. They can operate with near impunity. Chaos continues. People die. This all in one small field of one battle in the larger War on Terror.

For the larger war the images are even worse. They reinforce what the traitors Said and Chomsky have been saying for years: America is bad, mmm-kay. They ensure that hostility towards us will find increasing justification.

As moral beings, people tend to want to do good. I know, we all are sinful and all that, but that tells us little more than that men are selfish. Even the selfish man tries to find some justification for his actions. He is entitled to the money, everybody else does it, it's not as bad as some other worse thing, etc. The point is that we all need to feel that what we are doing is right.

Hence, the murderers and terrorists tell themselves stories that make their actions justifiable. The US is bad. So bad that they need to be stopped. So bad, that killing an American, even a civilian, is justified. So bad, that beheading him is the only way to let the Americans know that we mean business. America is a virus, and viruses need to be killed.

Our media's hyper-self-criticism is fodder for the fire. By making our minor flaws out to be something horrific, we give our enemies the moral justification they need to sleep at night after a day of mass-murder.

The images also remind us that propaganda works. The military had already begun investigating the abuses long before the images were available. But it was seeing the images, not the abuse that made so many furious. In a similar fashion, I had known that Nick Berg was beheaded and it pissed me off. But it was only when I saw the images that I went Mad Max.

Without the images the reality does not exist in the same way. When the media chose to run pictures of our abuse, they gave the enemy something else to throw in our faces. The great Satan is just as bad as Saddam Hussein---see, they are here to humiliate you---see, take up arms against the great Satan!!

More of our men are sure to die. There will be more Nick Bergs because of this.

Some of them would have died, with or without the images, but others' lives would have been spared. Some would have escaped, as did Thomas Hamil, because killing a hostage isn't always the priority. But if the US is a country of unreasonable barbarians, then there is no use in keeping hostages alive. Kill them all!

As long as we are in a state of war, the media must act in ways consistent with winning and bringing back a state of peace. If they cannot do it themselves, they must be forcibly censored.

Many of you may not know this, but during WWII the government had an actual censorship board. All broadcast and print media were censored for content that could hinder speedy victory. All pro-Japanese and pro-German publications were shut down. Leaders of the German-American Bund were rounded up and locked away.

All of the nation's propaganda might were aimed at winning the war. Pearl Harbor woke our population up, but a concerted effort at keeping our citizens ever aware of the war kept us awake. The event gave us the emotional will to begin the war, but it was propaganda that gave us the stomach to see it through to the end. The free-press gave way to the more immediate need of protecting lives.

For those of you who know my true identity, much of this may seem shocking. I am a civil libertarian, and if my state would allow it I would be a registered Libertarian. The main objection to regulating the press is the notion that somehow we will devolve into a state of fascism. In truth, it is the kind of 9/10 rhetoric I would have also used. But it is just rhetoric and nothing else.

Worse, it is a slippery slope argument that has no real basis in historical fact. As much as I love Nozick and Locke, epistemologically I must agree with Burke: societies and people do not spring forth from some imagined state of nature where rights exist, but are molded by culture and tradition.

The civil libertarian argument has much merit, but all arguements must be made in some context and with reference to actual social conditions. The context of the here and now is war; and the social condition of our nation is that of a people generally dedicated to limited government. We are a country and a people molded after Cincinnatus, not Caesar.

To think that content censorship would continue after we have defeated the threat of Islamofascism is to overlook WWI and WWII. In both cases we had direct censorship. In both cases the censorship eventually ended.

In sum, I call on Congress to recognize that the War on Terror must be handled as TOTAL WAR. All of the Nation's resources and will must be turned to that aim. From time to time events shock our conscience and reawaken us to the fact that our enemies want us dead. Between these times there must be a concerted effort by the entire nation to constantly remind us that war is a fact.

We do not fight war for its own sake, but to restore the state of peace. When we have won, then let us quibble about the merits of prancing prisoners around in underwear. Let us not focus on the mote in our own eye when the beam in our enemy's is strapped with TNT and he is eager to kill us.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:10 AM | Comments |

Jay Tea at Wizbang Makes an Ass Out of Himself

Worst. Tirade. Ever. Dumbass.

Seriously. I'm at a loss for words over how idiotic this is. Dean pretty much sums up my feelings here.

I don't usually comment on religious doctrine, but some of the stuff being said over at Wizbang lately is getting borderline insane.

I wonder if saying Mass for the dead is also deeply offensive to Jay Tea?

When the families of Holocaust survivors lodge a protest over the 'baptism for the dead' practice of Mormons, they are feeding the fires of anti-semitism. Protesting what is essentially a harmless practice, and one done out of good will, is the kind of thing that anti-semites love to point out.

It's one thing to bring up the Holocaust when defending Israel's right to exist, it's another thing altogether to bring it up when complaining about a doctrine that you oppose.

The fact that the Holocaust is mentioned at all reminds me of Tony Robert's character 'Rob' in Annie Hall.

I think Aaron's response here is the proper one from Jews. Eh, don't like it but no big deal.

Most Christian denominations believe that non-Christians will go to hell. So what? And that is deeply offensive because....??? I think most Christian denominations are wrong. Most of my neighbors are Southern Baptists and in no uncertain terms do they condemn me to hell. Many of them are deeply concerned about my soul--and they tell me.

I'm flattered. I'm glad I have neighbors with such concern. Much more worrisome is a society which produces religious faith that not only condemns non-believers to hell, but which is willing to help them on their way.

The only thing offensive in this story is the fact that the Mormon Church is caving to these ninnies. Grow some nads people! So freaking what if these people take offense where none is given. Deal with it.

Just remember that South Park claims only Mormons go to heaven. Who are we to argue with that?

UPDATE: Holocaust.

Jews have a perfectly legitimate reason for being sensitive, as Aaron points out in the comments.

But by invoking the Holocaust into this debate (as the delegation did when they took special umbrage at Holocaust victims being baptized by proxy) we cheapen the enormity and uniquely evil nature of that event.

UPDATE II: Amen to Bogus Gold:

"Die and then we'll convert you" has got to be the very least intrusive conversion practice in the history of religion. You don't have to participate. Your relatives don't have to be bothered. No one takes out an article in a newspaper announcing your post-mortem conversion, and thereby sullying your proudly Mormon-free reputation.

If the Mormon faith is true, they're doing these deceased folks the best good they could possibly do. If their faith is false, they're doing no harm and bothering no one but themselves. Unless you're just looking to be offended anyway.

Another UPDATE: Yeah, I like Jay Tea. But even the best of us say idiotic things every once and awhile.......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:23 AM | Comments |

Al Qaeda Attacks Marine Base in Iraq

This is the second large scale attack by terrorists in the past two weeks.

Over a week ago al Qaeda attacked Abu Ghraib prison and claimed success. However, as the video released by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group shows, the attack was an utter failure (imgages and link to video here).

Expect a video to be released in the next several days. Unless, of course, the cameraman was killed. We will post footage from the video as soon as it becomes available.

In other news, as reported here yesterday, an American contractor has been taken hostage in Iraq. Also, Playboy interviews Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Seattle Times:

Insurgents claiming to be linked to al-Qaida tried to overrun a U.S. Marine base on the Syrian border yesterday using gunmen, suicide car bombs and a firetruck loaded with explosives, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

U.S. officials described the assault as the second time in less than two weeks that foreign insurgents have employed new tactics of massing an organized military-style offensive rather than staging smaller-scale bombings and attacks.

Yesterday's raid was on Camp Gannon, a U.S. base at Husaybah, a few yards from the Syrian border near the Euphrates River. U.S. Cobra attack helicopters fired on the insurgents to repel simultaneous attacks by suicide bombers and armed fighters, officials said. A second car bomb exploded 15 minutes after the first assault, "at the same entrance, while the soldiers were busy rescuing the wounded," Iraqi army Capt. Saad Abdul Fattah said.

The U.S. military said three Marines were wounded and at least three bombers were killed. Witnesses and a hospital spokesman reported that 10 to 15 people were killed, including foreign and Iraqi insurgents.

Camp Gannon is an abandoned railway station that houses hundreds of Marines along a border long used by smugglers and other outlaws. Insurgents have operated openly in some towns along the border.

The suicide bombers, driving a firetruck, a pickup truck and one other vehicle, "attempted to breach the perimeter of Camp Gannon," the U.S. military said in a statement.

The bombs exploded prematurely, slightly damaging the camp defenses of concertina wire and barricades. A mosque and other surrounding buildings also sustained minor damage, the statement said.

Marines came under small-arms fire at the same time, the military said. A 25-year-old student who witnessed the attack said at least 40 Arab and Iraqi fighters took part in the assault.

Cobra attack helicopters fired on a vehicle carrying an unknown number of gunmen, destroying it, the military said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:45 AM | Comments |

Cat Hunting May be Legalized in Wisconsin

Cat-blogging bloggers beware: Wisconsin may legalize cat hunting.

My opinion? Here kitty-kitty-kitty.....

Two questions:

1) What does cat taste like?

2) What's the going rate for a cat pelt?

ABC News:

Cat lovers might be outraged by the idea of allowing hunters to stalk their furry friends, but some naturalists say pet owners ought to take the proposal as a wake-up call to be more responsible.

The issue of whether to make feral cats an unprotected species, meaning they could be hunted and killed, was put before the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, an independent organization created by the state 70 years ago to take public input on conservation issues, last night. Representatives from 72 counties listened to residents' concerns about the issue.

The proposal, which was raised five years ago and voted down by the congress, was revived after a 2004 University of Wisconsin study that found non-native feral cats were a threat to native animals such as lovebirds.

Estimates of the number of songbirds killed each year by feral cats in Wisconsin alone range from 8 million to 217 million, though the number is actually believed to be around 39 million, said Steven Oestreicher, the chairman of the congress.

"When you're talking about millions and millions of songbirds in state, you've got take a harder look at this," he said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:33 AM | Comments |

Rusty loves me, this I know, because his blog tells me so!

The Jawa link philosophy:

"For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." --Matt 7:8

-Liberal T-Shirt asks Tom Delay to committ suicide. Offensive and funny.

-John Kerry outs CIA agent. Dumbass. More.

-Carnival of the Revolutions is up. Awesome!

-Germans love David Hasselhoff, hate George Bush, and could go either way for Vladimir Putin.

-The great blogger billboard scam. Funny.

-John Kerry, asshat.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:25 AM | Comments |

April 11, 2005

Another South Park Republican Gets a Blog

My good friend Dr. Leopold Stotch has now moved the island of mu.nu. Welcome aboard Butters Chaos!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:13 PM | Comments |

Kevin Sites, Traitor, Gets Journalism Ethics Award

Kevin Sites has his ethics. He put his 'journalistic ethics' above patriotic duty by releasing a video of an American soldier killing an Iraqi who was playing dead.

The proper thing to do would have been to turn the video over to the military authorities for investigation. Had the military never done an investigation, then perhaps Sites should have let this one out of the bag.

This video served as a great propaganda tool for our enemies. Terrorists don't need a Joseph Goebbels as long as they have traitors like Kevin Sites.

From the ever partisan Editor and Publisher:

Kevin Sites, a freelance photojournalist for NBC, will be awarded the 2005 Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism on May 12 for his decision-making process after he witnessed and taped a U.S. Marine killing an unarmed Iraqi man in a mosque.

Sites decided to share the tape with the military, then he worked with NBC to create a "well-nuanced story that aired 48 hours after the incident," according to the Payne announcement. Since he was working as a pool photojournalist at the time, Sites shared the tape with the other news organizations in the pool.

Hat tip: Avenu B. Alum.

Update: I just noticed something. When Editor and Publisher quoted one of my posts in an article on the Pulitzer fiasco, they didn't drop a link. They simply name my blog and that's it. But for Sites blog they drop a link. Why is that?

As
I wrote several days after the origninal incident
:

The second way traitors rationalize their acts of treason is by saying they have an obligation to something higher than country. America is my country, they say, but world stability and peace are a higher duty. It's not so much that I sympathize with Soviet communism, it's that I know the Russians having the bomb will ensure it will never be used again....

Like most traitors, you did not pause to think of the long-term consequences of your actions. I'm sorry, as a journalist you should have known about how the Arab media would have covered this. You should have known that this footage would incite others to murder Americans. There is a reason Muslims around the world hate us, it is because they believe Americans are out to get them. They believe we are in Iraq to steal their oil. They believe American soldiers are just as bad as the terrorists we fight. Your video has just proved this to them....

...stories can be told from more than one angle. And since images are tools of propaganda, then let the images coming out of Iraq serve our purposes and not the purposes of our enemy.

Al Jazeera understands this. This is why the Sites video is shown over and over. This is why the images they show coming out of Iraq are of dead children, burning houses, and of American GIs dead on the streets. What does al Jazeera know about journalism that Kevins Sites does not? Al Jazeera knows that America is their enemy.

Kevin Sites believes that journalism precludes one from having enemies. I do not blame Sites personally for believing this. That is what they teach you at journalism school: journalistic ethics are higher than all other moral obligations....

I trust our military will do the right thing. Give them the tools, and they will win the war. But cameras are also tools of war. Cameras are can be just as deadly as guns. I would not trust a neutral observer to ride around with the Marines carrying a gun. Why would we let one carry around a camera then?

Related Entries: Zero Days Since Last Beheading Video, and why Kevin Sites is a traitor
Kevin Sites, You're Still a Traitor

UPDATE: Damn if Charles Johnson and I aren't on the exact same wavelength:

First, AP gets a Pulitzer Prize for anonymous photos of terrorists committing murder, taken under suspicious circumstances.

Then, Dan Rather and Mary Mapes get a Peabody Award for “breaking” the Abu Ghraib story (which had really been “broken” months previously by the US military).

And now, Kevin Sites, who nearly got an innocent Marine charged with murder (for doing the right thing in a war zone), will receive a Payne Award.For Ethics in Journalism...

What do these awards have in common? They’re all for pictures or stories that damaged the US and gave valuable propaganda to the enemy.

UPDATE: Confederate Yankee responds here. And, of course, he's right. There are higher ethics beyond allegiance to country. But 'journalistic ethics' is not one of them.

Further, he's also right that what Kevin Sites did does not constitute the legal definition of traitor. But I am not a lawyer, so I could care less.

As I've always and consistently maintained, freedom of speech should not exist in war zones. Yes, I believe in censorship. But only in times of war and only speech that is directly related to the war effort. In war we ask people to give up their lives. This is a sacrifice much greater than 'journalistic ethics'.

In WWII we had censorship. Why not now? I believe I will post on this later. Check the main page.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:43 PM | Comments |

American Kidnapped in Iraq

An another American has been kidnapped in Iraq. Developing....

UPDATE 4/13: The name of the man is Jeffrey Ake. A video has been aired by al Jazeera. More information about the video here.

The State Department has an official policy of not releasing the names of civilians captured in Iraq. As was the case of Roy Hallums and Mohammed Monaf, we will publish the name of this victim as soon as that information is available.

We pray for the safe return of all the hostages still held in Iraq.

Reuters:

An American contractor has been kidnapped near Baghdad, a U.S. embassyspokesman says, the latest foreigner abducted in the lawless Iraqi capital.

The contractor, who was working on a reconstruction project, was kidnapped in the greater Baghdad area,embassy spokesman Bob Callaghan said on Monday.

"No group has claimed responsibility. We have contacted the Iraqi authorities to try and find him," he said.

Hat tip: Speed of Thought

Others: In the Bullpen, Jeff Quinton, Robert Spencer, ....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:24 PM | Comments |

Abu Musab al Zarqawi Interviewed by Playboy

The May 2005 issue of Playboy Magazine will feature a candid interview with the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The issue is not on stands yet, but Playboy has a preview of the article here. (Safe for Work)

(Linked at OTB)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:02 PM | Comments |

Southeast Asia: The Next Big Front in the GWOT

Go check out Michelle Malkin. She's right, you know. Expect the next wave of terrorist to be Filipinos, Pakistanis, or Thais.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:39 PM | Comments |

Zarqawi Barely Slips Away, Again

Unfortunately, close only counts in horse-shoes and hand grenades. The recent beheading snuff film released by Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq does suggest that the man may be at the end of the line. Washington Times Insider (subscription):

Abu Musab Zarqawi, the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq, is on the run in an undeveloped western border region where he was nearly caught in recent weeks, a U.S. Marine commander says.

"He's going from brush pile to brush pile just like a wet rat," said Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, whose 1st Marine Expeditionary Force is back home at Camp Pendleton, Calif., after months of intense combat in Anbar province. "I believe he possibly slid back into the Anbar area, possibly the hinterlands."...

He can't use cell phones," Gen. Sattler said of the Jordanian-born terrorist, whose capture promises a $25 million reward. "He can't use any type of Internet. He doesn't know who he can trust."...

Gen. Sattler disclosed in the interview that his Marines and special operations troops came within a whisker of capturing the terror master "within the last six weeks" in western Iraq.

While guarded on details, Gen. Sattler said that only poor visibility in bad weather allowed Zarqawi to escape.

"The elements worked to his advantage," the three-star general said.

Hat tip: Charles Johnson

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:34 PM | Comments |

Nick Berg Beheading Photos Surface

I am at a loss for words. These are truly disgusting and the people who did this must be found and killed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:23 PM | Comments |

Saudis Give 14,200 Lashes for 'Gay Wedding' Party

While American liberals fret over whether those opposed to gay marriage are realy Nazis or if they're just really-really bad, the Saudis are busy delivering lashes to those who even appear to be heavy loafer deficient.

Jeff Gannon not available for comment.

Guardian:

Dozens of Saudi men caught dancing and "behaving like women" at a party have been sentenced to a total of 14,200 lashes, after a trial held behind closed doors and without defence lawyers. The men were also given jail sentences of up to two years.

They were arrested last month when the police in Jeddah raided a party which was described by a Saudi newspaper as a "gay wedding".

"Prosecuting and imprisoning people for homosexual conduct are flagrant human rights violations," Scott Long, of the US organisation Human Rights Watch said. "Subjecting the victims to floggings is torture, pure and simple."
HRW said it had established that 31 of the men received prison sentences of six months to one year, plus 200 lashes each. Four were jailed for two years with 2,000 lashes.

A further 70 men were released after the raid but summoned to a police station on April 3, where they were told they had been sentenced to one year's imprisonment.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:06 PM | Comments |

Soldiers Given Citations for Rescuing Egyptian Hostages in Iraq

We reported on the incident on February 8th, but no details on the raid were available until now. One U.S. soldier received a Bronze Star and eight received the Army Commendation Medal April 5 for rescuing two Egyptian hostages from terrorists in Baghdad Feb. 7. All were from the 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment.

Maj. Gen. Lloyd Austin III presided over the ceremony.

"They are rewarded for doing what they are supposed to do," Austin said. "In doing so, they saved lives. I'm grateful for the way you helped this division and the Army."

Four Egyptians working for the mobile cell phone company Iraqna were kidnapped Feb 6. Less than 24 hours later, soldiers from 2nd Battalion's B Battery saved two hostages and detained two terrorists after they pulled over a suspicious vehicle while on a routine patrol in their area of operations.

First Lt. David Lucas, a battery platoon leader noticed a vehicle sagging low to the ground. Believing it to be a possible vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, Lucas ordered his convoy to stop the vehicle.

I told my driver to cut them off so we can search them," said the Knoxville, Tenn., native.Before we even stopped, they stopped. Two guys jumped out and bolted in opposite directions."

The convoy gave chase to the terrorists. One managed to escape, while the other was detained with assistance from an Iraqi civilian.

"An Iraqi ran out and yelled at me in the turret and showed us where the road was,"said Spc. Jeremy Arneman, a gunner from Erie, Penn.

The terrorist ran around the corner and the soldiers dismounted and chased after him. Spc. Stephen A. Rivera, a convoy driver from Miami, Fla., was close enough to him and raised his rifle.

"He was in the middle of the road and I yelled, 'Stop!'" Rivera said. "He turned around and saw how close I was to him and stopped. I went up to him and he got on his knees."

While his soldiers pursued the terrorists, Lucas and the soldiers in his Humvee detained a terrorist who remained in the vehicle. Sergeant 1st Class Michael Carlan, a platoon leader from Dahlonega, Ga., had the detainee open all the doors and finally the trunk. Carlan approached the trunk expecting a VBIED, but instead found two people blindfolded and handcuffed.

The hostages, later revealed to be two of the four kidnapped Egyptian workers, were elated to be freed from their captors, said Staff Sgt. Joey Washington, a squad leader from Raleigh, N.C.

"One guy was so happy we found him, he came up and kissed my hands," he said.

"It's the best feeling in the world knowing we saved two guys' lives," Arneman said. "It makes the job worth doing." The hostages were eventually released to the Egyptian Embassy. The other two Egyptian workers were rescued later in the day, Lucas said.

Lucas received the Bronze Star for his part in the rescue. Carlan, Washington, Arneman and Rivera received the Army Commendation Medal for their contributions as well as Staff Sgt. Miguel Guzman El Paso, Texas; Pfc. Jose Atilano, Prosser, Wash.; Pfc. Billy Bailey, Brookland, Texas; and Pfc. Jose Santos, Cidra, Puerto Rico.

Source: Multinational Forces-Iraq, press release

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:41 AM | Comments |

Pakistani Embassy Worker Kidnapped in Iraq

A Pakistani diplomat has been taken hostage in Iraq. The victim's name is Malik Mohammad Javed. Apparently, Mr. Javed is being held ransom for money.

See what happens when you start paying ransom? The majority of hostages being held in Iraq now are being held for money rather than as pawns used for political demands. WaPo:

A kidnapped employee of the Pakistani embassy in Iraq is safe and is probably being held for ransom, a Pakistani government spokesman said on Monday.

Malik Mohammad Javed, a Pakistani assistant at the embassy who does not have diplomatic status, went missing in Baghdad on Saturday.

A man telephoned the Pakistani embassy in Baghdad on Sunday claiming to represent a group called Omar bin Khattab and said it was holding the man.

Jilani said Pakistan was in touch with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Islamic Party, which draws its support from Iraq's minority Sunnis, over the case.

"They have also offered, assured us, of their complete cooperation for the secure release of Malik Mohammad Javed," he said.

Jilani declined to say if the previously unknown group holding Malik had made any demands, or if Pakistan would consider paying for his release, but he said the motive appeared to be financial, not political.

I'm glad the Sunni groups have agreed to help secure Mr. Malik's release. I wonder if they are being equally helpful in securing the release of Roy Hallums or the other Americans being held hostage in Iraq?

Others: Chad at In the Bullpen

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:25 AM | Comments |

Zarqawi Turns Down Amnesty Offer

Apparently cutting off heads is much too fun to give up. The Peninsula (Qatar):

The Al-Qaeda-linked group of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said yesterday it was determinated to continue its jihad or holy war after Iraq's new president proposed an amnesty for insurgents, an Internet statement said.

"The agent of America, Jalal Talabani, announced a so-called amnesty for the mujahedeen, whom he called on to take part in political life," said the statement on an Islamist website whose authenticity could not be verified.

"We in the Organisation of Al-Qaeda in the Land of Two Rivers, we will never pardon you for your infidelity, spilling of the blood of Muslims and harming their honour," it said.

Update: Thanks to REMF who points me to this MSNBC piece. Apparently al Qaeda wouldn't be included in the amnesty anyway:
As for killings by Iraqi insurgents, Talabani said, "There are two kinds of killing: In battle or in action, this could be covered by the amnesty. Those who are involved in killing innocent people, detonation of car bombs, killing people in mosques and in churches, these would not be covered by the amnesty." ...

It is essential that we separate those who came from outside the country, like all those organizations affiliated with al Qaeda, from Iraqis," Talabani said. "We must seek to win over the Iraqis to the democratic process going on in the country and fight the criminal gangs" from outside the country.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:02 AM | Comments |

Weekend Update, with Rusty Shackleford

Had a long weekend. Spent all day Saturday in Memphis. My first time in TN. It was one of those travel-in/travel-out on the same day deals. Can any one in Memphis tell me what the deal is with the pyramid?

Anyway, that's why there was no blogging over the weekend. Here are some interesting links people sent me Friday evening - Monday early morning. Check them out:

65+ terrorists nabbed. Excellent.

NY Times reporting success in Iraq? Long overdue.

More on reporter detained in Iraq. and another one. He was detained because he posed an imperative threat to coalition forces. Now, about al Jazeera....

TSA stupidity.

More on Pulitzer Prize photos. They just don't make 'em like they used to.

Democratic memes. Funny and true.

Chick poses as Air Force Captain, defrauds university. That's a fact Jack!

Dude buys billboard looking to score hot chicks. D'oh!

Bush To Spotted Owls: Bring it On

College Prof. apologizes for Ward Churchill, gets fisked.

Marburg Virus: More Deadly Than Anticipated - Deaths Likely Double Reported Number Calling Dustin Hoffman!

The Jawa Report dropped from Google News for 'hate speech', BNN picked up. Congrats. Just don't say anything 'offensive' like, you know, we ought to win the war on terror.....

Wow, an entire blog devoted to the defense of Joe McCarthy!! Kewl.

The Schiavo Legacy. Paul asks, I give.

UPDATE: And here are some unsolicited stories I missed over the weekend.

Someone Forgot To Tell These Iraqis About The QUAGMIRE™!

Arab News continues to shock me. This time they publish an article by my friend Jane Novak, and as far as I can tell, it's not censored!!

Happy Blogoversary to Gordon the Cranky Neocon!

Fractures in Iraq Insugency?

Damn, I love SD County.

Humor: CBS to Give CIA tips on infiltrating enemy groups.

Happy Blogoversary Kevin Aylward!

Big Trouble in Little Washington, again.

Interesting, if not a little difficult to follow. Yoel Natan fisks the Palestinian prediction that Koran says U.S. to end.

Pet Peeves and some good advice for new bloggers.

The goods on Dr. Robert Pastor.

News about Canada that I like.

John Bolton's mustache is so, you know, gay....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:29 AM | Comments |

Bernardine Dohrn Is A Law Professor???

by Demosophist

Knock me over with a feather. I knew that Bernardine Dohrn had managed to escape long term imprisonment for her activities with the Weather Underground by cutting some sort of deal, but the fact that she's a law professor at Northwestern I find rather shocking. Anyway, Ms. Dohrn says that she doesn't support terrorism, which just means that she creatively defines her years with an overtly terrorist organization (not to mention her current sympathies) as some kind of warped public service:

The tone of Guy Benson's April 5 guest column, "Law Prof Owes Explanation," is the kind of poorly researched "new McCarthyism" so suddenly fashionable. The reporter says he is denied "both sides of the story," unable to get a "balanced assessment." He quotes my "assistant" and The New York Times quoting my "husband" and asks me to clarify his alleged comments. Since I speak publicly about the war in Iraq, racism, children's rights, international law and human rights, Benson and all NU students are welcome to be part of the regular give-and-take I enjoy with students, audiences and activists. To clarify, I have never endorsed terrorism, the use of violence to intimidate or coerce a civilian (or any other) population. I fought the illegal, immoral war against Vietnam and the organized terrorism of my government -- and I unequivocally oppose the terrorism of governments, individuals, and religious, political and irregular organizations. I believe we all have an obligation to speak up about what is being done in our name. -- Bernardine Dohrn, professor, School of Law (h/t LGF)

I just find it difficult to get my head around this, even though I used to folk dance with Alice Metzinger, before any of us knew she was really Katherine Anne Power. When did we cross the threshold where it became acceptable to hire an unrepentent terrorist to teach the new entrants to the legal profession, from which many of our legislators will be drawn? Does this culture have a death wish?

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and Anticipatory Retaliation)

By Demosophist at 12:04 AM | Comments |

April 08, 2005

Woman Alleges Herpes Infection From Vick's Rub

(Flowery Branch, Georgia) A geriatric health worker filed a civil suit against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for knowingly giving her genital herpes. Sonya Elliott, 26, who says she is a former girlfriend of Vick, alleges "negligence by Vick, unwanted physical contact, pain, suffering, and potential future medical complications." Vick has not commented on the lawsuit nor has he been seen riding a bicycle.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 07:28 PM | Comments |

Why I blog anonymously #234

Goldstein is just dead on right about how faculty are hired and retained. But it's worse than that.

The peer review process, for instance, is just that--it is review by peers, e.g., by other academics. And academics are human. As humans they have biases, and it is much easier to see the flaws in research that do not coincide with your own preconceived notions than it is to see the flaws in research of those that give further evidence that what you already believe is correct.

And the culture of academia is one in which conservatives are openly mocked and leftists (not even liberals, I'm talking true leftists of the most anti-American ilk) are embraced.

For instance, I had a lunch today with three colleagues to discuss a project we are collaborating on. As one of the professors and I joked about the need to reinstitute literacy tests for voters (inspired by some stupid comments by our students and the poor quality of their writing) the Social Work professor quipped without missing a beat or batting an eye, "Yeah, we don't want those illiterate Republicans to vote."

She then went on to pontificate how she hates to register any one to vote who even looks like a Republican. White, male, driving an SUV--you know, illiterate hate-mongers.

The key to surviving academia for some one other than a liberal or leftists is this: Berkenstocks. Oh, and hemp shirts. And and Amnesty International poster on the wall. It also helps to quote Chomsky. Lots and lots of Chomsky.

That way they just assume you're on their side.

And BTW, I've met Susan Estrich on several occasions. Not only is she not a good scholar, she's also not a scholar. Period. She's a law professor. With a big mouth. And an ego to match. You know, jsut in case you were wondering my opinion of her.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:55 PM | Comments |

Washington Times, Like Every One Else, Is Looking At the Wrong Pulitzer Prize Photo

The Washington Times does a half-ass job of questioning the Pulitzer Prize in this editorial. The article raises important questions, but like most of the blogosphere and those in conservative circles, they examine a single photo.

But there were 20 photos in the series. As we have been arguing from the beginning, what is troubling is the totality of the story those photos show. The story those photos tell is of an empowered insurgency, demoralized U.S. troops, and American brutality.

Several of the photos are disgusting, such as the one in question which shows the execution of Iraqi election officials and another which shows the residents of Fallujah celebrating the murder of American civilians as their charred bodies hang from a bridge, but it may be the case that these photos were taken by Iraqi photojournalists who were anonymously tipped off or who just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

We have also noted in the past that the photo in question is not nearly as damning as two others which clearly indicate something like 'embedding' with the isurgency is (or was) going on with AP stringers in Iraq.

Here are the two photos. One of insurgents in Fallujah with ties to Abu Musab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda network firing on U.S. Marines and another of al Sadr's Mahdi Army which was then fighting against U.S. troops.

Can there be any other explanation than that the AP stringers had a working relationship with armed anti-American forces?

Complete Bilal Hussein Archives Here

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:18 PM | Comments |

Muslims 'Stigmitized' by Anti-Terrorism Laws

That's just tragic. Cause, you know, we wouldn't want to make any one feel uncomfortable. Reuters:

British Muslims feel victimized by the "war on terrorism" and community relations have worsened since the Sept 11 2001 attacks on the United States, lawmakers said in a report on Wednesday. The report comes a day after Prime Minister Tony Blair called an election in which the parties will fight hard for Muslim votes. "Muslims in Britain are more likely than other groups to feel they are suffering as a result of the response to international terrorism," said a report by parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee.

Many of Britain's 1.8 million Muslims say they feel stigmatised by anti-terrorism laws and complain of a rise in the number of police security checks carried out on them as Britons fear an attack by radical Islamists.

In related news the Irish feel laws on drunk-driving really government plot to villify the sons of Eire, hippies say anti-hemp laws dampening relations with squares, and rednecks claim anti-cousin marrying ordinances in 7 states violate civil-rights of the Scotch-Irish.

Hat tip: Spencer

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:43 PM | Comments |

Terrorists Kill American Citizen in Cairo

Must be those radical Mennonites, once again. Kerela Next:

A US citizen has died from wounds sustained in Thursday's bomb blast in Cairo, the US in Egypt announced.

According to the BBC, a French woman and another person were killed in the blast from a bomb attack in the historic heart of Cairo.

French, American and Italian tourists were among 18 people wounded when the bomb was thrown into a crowded market in the Egyptian capital.

The attack, in a part of Cairo popular with tourists, is the first in the city for seven years.

There is no indication yet of who might have been behind the bombing.

No indication? Right. Might I go way out on a limb and name a few likely suspects??

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:37 PM | Comments |

Jawapalooza, D.C. Day 1: Muslims Rally Against Terrorism

I will be in Washington, D.C. with a group of students from May 14th-22nd. I should make it to the Capital just in time to join the last hour of The Free Muslims Against Terrorism rally. Any one who would like to join me there is welcome. (Hat tip: Dean Esmay)

Also a whole bunch of us will be getting together some time that week. E-mail me and let me know if you want to get together for some grub or whatever and what is the best time for you.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:29 PM | Comments |

CBS News Reporter Arrested for Working with Insurgents in Iraq, Shot

OpiniPundit is watching CNN and says a CBS cameraman has been arrested for allegedly working with insurgents. The man, apparently, looks like he has been shot....

Developing.....

Let me clarify my position. If the man was really was 'embedded' with insurgents then he deserves to be under arrest.

This is a war zone, not the floor of the 1976 Republican National Convention. There is no such thing as a neutral observer in a war-zone. If a reporter has any knowledge or contact with insurgent forces then it is both his moral and patriotic duty to turn any helpful information over to our troops.

UPDATE: Ok, this is not a new story. I reported on it several days ago here. Unless, of course, CBS employs an army of stringers with terrorist contacts. That wouldn't exactly shock me, though.......

UPDATE II: It looks like it just takes that long for the MSM to start reporting stuff like this. Same incident. What is new information is that the man has been arrested. Good.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:14 PM | Comments |

Elizabethan Curse Generator Goes After Wonkette!!!

Elizabethan Curse Generator here, via Bill's Comments.

Thou surly dog-hearted coxcomb!
Thou mangled iron-witted malkin!
Thou puny onion-eyed bum-bailey!
Thou waggish crook-pated wagtail!
Thou infectious sour-faced flirt-gill!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:06 PM | Comments |

Gay Outing: The New Black

*Hide the kleenex! Greg Beato, Wonkette's gay-bitch intern goes after Malkin. Trust me, no three ways for this guy!!

Two questions you might be wondering.

1) How do you know Mr. Beato is gay? COME ON! BEATO!! THE NAME SCREAMS HAND JOB.

2) How can a guy be Anna Marie Cox's bitch? Two words: STRAP ON!!!!!

UPDATE: ***Must Cite Jawa Report****

A very married Wonkette seen with a very single Ben Affleck.

Jawa readers dying to know if Ben asked for sex in an uncomfortable place? How big? Cut?

Developing.....

*Because Ace asked.....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:58 PM | Comments |

Hi, I'm the Anti-Reynolds

One of the reasons that I hate Glenn Reynolds so much is that he ignores me. Vanity? Absolutely. I understand he gets a bajillion e-mails a day asking for links, but he shouldn't ignore my e-mails.

So I have vowed never to ignore an e-mail or a bleg for a link. If you have a link you want put up, just e-mail me. Immediate traffic may not be so great as an Instalance but think Google and residual traffic. In that spirit, I present the following links:

Terrorist Bombers Get Probation for Targetting Jews in Germany. Hmmm, makes sense....

Hard Left strategery on stopping the war: Make Iraq look like Vietnam.

GM Spanks LA Times. Spanking costs extra.

Jane Fonda, still traitor.

The impeccable logic of Cousin Ollie.

Cookie Monster to Give up Sweets? That's kind of like pimps giving up hoes.

Yeah, I know. I'm like a one man Alliance.......

More entries from Rusty's stalkers. I don't have e-mail access right now. For some reason, gmail won't work at home. That's why I'm after the big blog money. Ultimately, I'd like to be able to afford a new laptop and DSL. Right now I'm pimping the blog on my 5 year old Sony VAIO and dial up. Oh, in rural Red State America 'dial-up' means an on again off again 28k connection. So help a brotha out and check out my advertisors!

Hector Vex is sticking to the man by giving away free music!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:25 PM | Comments |

In Court

This morning I received a call from Mr. Glenn Harlan Reynolds' lawyer claiming copyright infringement. Posting will be light.

Actually, I just have a lot of work.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:39 AM | Comments |

April 07, 2005

Glenn Reynolds Quits TCS!

Glenn Reynolds' farewell TCS piece. Scandalous!

UPDATE: Don't tell the Alliance.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:35 PM | Comments |

It's Not That We're Against the Troops, We Just Want them to Lose

CLICK LINK FOR MORE

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:08 PM | Comments |

New Video of al Qaeda Offensive Against Abu Ghraib (Images)

Abu Musab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq has released a new video of the two day assault on the Abu Ghraib prison. A short version of the video may be downloaded here. The entire video may be downloaded here (see April 6th). Images from the video are posted below.

What is so interesting about the video is it reveals just how ineffective the terrorist organization was at penetrating Abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraib is a sprawling complex, and the terrorist fire at it from a very far distance. It's a wonder that 2 of the 7 suicide bombers were able to get any where near the walls of the prison.

For instance, as far as I can tell, this is as close as the film maker ever got to the prison. You can see the lights of Abu Ghraib in the distance. (Click images to enlarge)

Throughout the video, the terrorists seem to be firing on the complex with AK-47 gunfire. But the shots are fired from what appear to be well over 1000 yards, making their effectiveness minimal at best. Only twice in the video do we see what appear to be explosions, possibly from mortar fire or from the suicide bombers. The image above shows the maximum effects of those explosions.

And this was supposed to be their Tet Offensive? Please!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:57 PM | Comments |

Pulitzer Judge (update: NOT) Embedded With North Vietnamese

Think this photo is bad?

baughman.jpg

I got my ass fact checked!!!

It turns out the photos in question were not taken by Baughman, instead, this is from a book reviewed by Baughman. So, where was the confusion? Google. I did a Google image search and the bulk of photos that came back for 'J. Ross Baughman' were these.

My apologies. One of the advantages this site has that we can try to repair the damage, right here, in the text of the original post. As opposed to, say, footnote on page A2.

But from that review we learn of Baughman's 'nuanced' vision of war and the media's role in it:

It is these pictures of Jane Fonda or Fidel Castro squired around by smiling NVA, or else the captured, wounded and dead ARVN or U.S. troops that will boil the blood of many American viewers. For them, it will still be too soon to see such pictures.

"The trick here is see beyond the propaganda of the pictures into a different culture," writes Pulitzer-Prize-winning photo critic Henry Allen in the foreword.

Right, let's look beyond acts of treason which demoralized our troops.
Given enough time and distance, old warriors can't help but want to know their enemies better. The anger and fear of battle mature into a clear-eyed, grudging respect, no matter which side happened to win that day long ago.
See how nuance works? You mature to respect your enemy.

What Baughman dismisses in this article is the role of media images in demoralizing troops and support for those troops back home.

He suggests, in his review, that the reason the Vietnamese won that war was that they were simply more prepared to persevere.

Indeed.

But why were Americans not willing to persevere? Why were Americans not willing to commit to total war against North Vietnam, as they had in WWII? Why were we not willing to fight the war to win?

Certainly, the images brought to the American public by the media played some part. In WWII the media played the role of cheerleader. Helping to keep morale up both at home and with the troops. From the time of Vietnam forward, however, the media played no such role.

The next time we go to war the American public must realize this simple fact: the American media does not really care if our side wins.

They do not necessarily wish us to lose, they do not necessarily want our soldiers to die, but they also could care less if we win. It seems to me that the greatest sacrifice one can ask of a fellow citizen is to die in war. If the state can legitimately ask a fellow citizen to do this, then certainly it can ask the media to refrain from publishing photos which might demoralize our troops.

Oh, it gets worse. Much worse. It turns out J. Ross Baughman, one of the judges of the Pulitzer also was embedded with the North Vietnamese. He wanted to show, you know, the 'other side of the war'. You know, the side that was busy killing Baughman's friends from back home.

baughman_vetnam.jpg
Photo above takes you to a few more images of the Vietnam war as seen through the eyes of an American working with the North Vietnamese in order to humanize their efforts of killing Americans toward their final goal of communist oppression.

On a related note, did you know that as a boy Ho Chi Minh is reported to have a pet dog and was a keen outdoorsman?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:53 PM | Comments |

Jawalanche

Here are some things I'm reading right now. It's like The Puppy Blender, only we do in one post what it takes him to do in 20!

-More. Dead. Terrorists.
-Tiny little spy planes. No word from Islamic Army in Iraq on tiny little RPG. (via Blogs of War)
-Jurors picked for trial of Islamist traitor in U.S. military. Texas justice, please.
-First the Pulitzers, and now the Peabodys. Not surprising.
-Art Buchwald. Idito.
-U.N. Corruption. Can you use those two words in the same sentence?
-Government sponsored Enron not getting headlines. *shocked*
-Bill Clinton for SC? *Chortle* Right. (via Jeff)
-Commissar is right on the Schiavo meme.
-Government acting like the mafia. Or, why Rusty is a domestic libertarian.
-Gun meet criminal. Nice.
-Sheriff gets tasered on live TV. Beavis moment.
-Another Terri Schiavo?
-La Shawn on MSNBC, while Joyner tells me he's been cancelled. I'm available!
-Jenna Bush bumping and grinding. Please send video!
-Star Wars nerds line up in front of wrong theatre. This explains why the light posting.......
-Domines to charge for delievery? Say it isn't so! (I was a driver for Dominos in college)
-Glenn Reynolds interviews John from Wuzzadem. (via Itsapundit)
-Censorship of the bad kind. Dumbass.
-Blogger smackdown! or troll smackdown. I just love a good fight.
-Support single mothers, visit a strip club. (via Beth)
-Welcome to the strange and growing superpower that is mu.nu.
-Hot. Young. Coeds. I've no idea what Stotch means.
-You live in a zoo....photos.
-Excuse me while I whip this out. Dumbasses.
-EU's "Little USSR", France. Heh.
-Ace is back. Long live Ace.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:00 PM | Comments |

Terrorists Plan May 9th Attack in Russia

Chad has the report. Let me just remind our readers that my position on Russia is clear. Despite the fact that Russia has endlessly meddled in the affairs of its proximate neighbors, they are our natural ally in the GWOT in the region.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:11 AM | Comments |

Mmmm, Pie

blackberry-pie.gifKnowing that David Horowitz had a pie thrown at him by the tolerant Left is one thing. But ask the important questions! What kind of pie was it? Mmmmm, boysenberry pie.............

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:52 AM | Comments |

Super Hot Protest Babes Watch (Give 'til it hurts)

I implored, no begged, Michael Totten to snap some super-hot-protester babe photos while raising money for democracy in Lebanon.

You know, you've got to have your priorities.

He tells me via e-mail that he's working on it. Keep. Fingers. Crossed.

In the meantime why not give 'til it hurts to The Spirit of America?

Expect any of the good photos to be posted at Totten's place.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:44 AM | Comments |

Illegal Alien Teenage Girls' Suicide Bomb Plot in NY City

Perhaps they've been watching too many Prince videos? Via the Blogfather Charles Johnson this story:

Two 16-year-old girls from New York City have been arrested on immigration charges after federal authorities said they planned to become suicide bombers, according to a published report.

The teenagers were arrested March 24 and were being held in a detention center in Leesport, Pa., The New York Times reported Thursday, citing a government document provided by a federal agent.

According to the document, the FBI found that the girls posed "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based upon evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers," the Times said.

I might just have to rethink my position on The Minuteman Project...

More...

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:10 AM | Comments |

Oh, THAT Biased Media

John_Kerry_Shotgun.jpg

Click photo above. Related. More. And again.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:15 AM | Comments |

April 06, 2005

Editor and Publisher Apologizes for Terrorist Embeds *shock*

Editor and Publisher ought to be renamed, Apologist and Collaborater. Hey, and next time you mention my blog why not drop a link for all that is sacred and holy! You'd think your site wasn't html enabled......

And, as if on cue, you organize your story in such a way as to 1) set up claims of bias in the Pulitzer, in this case we are not talking about partisan bias but anti-American bias--a serious accusation 2) then refute those claims. Nice job.

Does the entire Associated Press corp pay you to kiss their asses or does your tongue just naturally like the brown eye?

And if the Pulitzer really shows war 'as it is', which is a terribly stupid claim given the limitations of space in any publication which inevitably leads to certain photos being picked which tell certain parts of the story and leaving out other photos which tell other parts of the war story, then why were not images of American victories shown or that of Americans happily getting along with children in the street? Or is that part of the war 'as it is' not worthy of the lauds of fellow journalists?

Our objections are not about the war photojournalists and the brave work they do. It is with the hiring of stringers such as Bilal Hussein who is comfortable enough with Abu Musab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq or Sheik Abdullah al-Janabi's Mujahidin Shura Council of Fallujah that he can get up close and personal for some nice staged photos.

Our other objection is to the photos selected as worthy of the Pulitzer. Is the Associated Press an American organization or not? Cause, I was kind of under the impression that America was sort of in this little thing called a SHOOTING WAR!

Ernie Pyle is rolling over in his grave, right about now. I wonder if he ever got that up close and personal interview with the Waffen SS he always wanted to do? You know, to show their side of the story. Cause, you know, they had families too. And kids. And flower gardens. And kitties......

Please see these posts for clarification:
The Pulitzer and Terrorist Embeds
Pulitzer Prize Given to Terrorists

Thanks to TR at Exposing the Left for e-mailing me the article.

PS-Bunch, you're an idiot.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:29 PM | Comments |

Long Live Kurdistan!

There should be an independent Kurdish state. The blood, sweat, and tears of our Northern Iraqi allies have earned them this right. But if we cannot have a Kurdish state at this time, I guess the Presidency of Iraqi will do. For now.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:34 PM | Comments |

Lap Dances Not Protected by First Amendment

When lap dances are outlawed, only outlaws will do lap dances. Appeals court upholds ban on lap dances. Via Interested Particpant who has more. I blame Bush for this creeping fascism......

UPDATE: Related. Strippers arrested for not wearing pasties.

A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a January ruling that upheld La Habra's so-called "two-foot rule' banning lap dances. Strip-club owner Badi "Bill' Gammoh, who owns clubs in Anaheim, La Habra and Arcadia, challenged La Habra's 2003 ordinance that requires dancers to keep at least two feet away from customers.

Strippers also joined the suit, saying the law cost them lucrative earnings.

The suit claimed the ordinance was vague and illegally curtailed their freedom of expression.

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous opinion Jan. 27, said the ordinance did not improperly limit Gammoh or the dancers' protected freedoms.

The appellate court on Friday denied another hearing.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:37 PM | Comments |

Christian May Receive Death Penalty for Conversion

Yes, they kill you for leaving Islam. Many religions teach that apostates go to hell, but it is only in Islam that in modern times we find a willingness to send the unbeleiver there. In fact, all four major schools of Islamic jurisprudence still agree that the death penalty is acceptable in cases where the apostate refuses to come back to the true faith.

What is almost as troubling is that few moderate Muslims embrace liberal notions of religious freedom. At best, they renounce the death penalty in favor of other penalties--such as fines or jail.

Troubling article:

Christians in Iran have expressed great fears for the life of pastor Hamid Pourmand, a lay leader in a church and a convert from Islam, who will appear before an Islamic court next week to face charges of apostasy. If found guilty he is likely to face the death penalty.

Christian sources in Iran learned April 4 that pastor Pourmand is scheduled to appear before an Islamic court within the next 10 days. No specific date was given. Pastor Pourmand is a lay leader in the Assemblies of God church in Bandar-i Bushehr and converted to Christianity in 1980. At the time of his arrest he was a Colonel in the Iranian army.

According to Middle East Concern, Pourmand was arrested September 9, 2004, together with 85 other participants of the annual general conference of denomination. The other Christians were released within the next three days, but pastor Pourmand was charged with hiding his conversion from his superiors. According to Iranian law only Muslims can be officers in the army.

Pastor Pourmand was found guilty of this charge on February 16, 2005, even though he presented several papers in court which proved his superiors were aware he was a Christian. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment, discharge from the army, and loss of his entire income, pension and housing for his family. A few days later his wife and two children were forced to vacate their house.

Iranian Christian sources learned yesterday of the new charges of apostasy from Islam and proselytizing other Muslims. Apostasy is a capital offence in Iran.

In the last 16 years three Iranian church leaders have been charged with apostasy and found guilty. All three were sentenced to death. Pastor Hussein Soodman was hanged in 1989. Deacon Maher already had a noose around his neck when he signaled his willingness to recant and was released after signing a paper to that effect in 1992. Pastor Mehdi Dibaj was condemned to death in December 1993. He was released three weeks later after a strong international outcry, only to be found murdered six months later.

Hat tip Robert Spencer.

Related: Iran's 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Policy
Yes dhimmis, they KILL YOU for for blasphemy

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:09 PM | Comments |

Noam Chomsky Was Right, There is a Media Bias

When you sit right behind the 10 yard line, pretty much every play seems like it's on the other side of the field. Hence, when Noam Chomsky, who is far-left of even the farthest left Democrats (he calls himself an anarcho-syndicalist), says the Mainstream Media (MSM) is 'right-wing', he is really using the term to describe any one in favor of capitalism. To Noam Chomsky, Ted Kennedy is a raving right-wing lunatic. Ok, maybe not raving, but right-wing nonetheless.

It is therefore surprisig to most people that I am a big fan of Noam Chomsky & Edward S. Herman's General Propaganda Model as put forth their book Manufacturing Consent.

While Chomsky and Herman's theory was developed to show how corporations control the media for their own anti-democratic purposes, the same theory can also be used to explain all sorts of media biases. Cassandra (via Emperor Misha) has an interesting post on the subject, and does a great job in classifying media bias once it has hapened, but it lacks a theoretical causal underpinning.

When attempting to explain liberal media bias the Propaganda Model does not need any grand conspiracy as the causal mechanism. Instead, it relies on the every day mundane activities of the hiring and editorial process.

Further, the advent of blogging may eventually make this theory arcane. As media voices diversify, the number of actors responsible for making decisions increases. Bias becomes less a concern because the diversity of thes voices are all over the ideological spectrum.

Here are the main causal points of the Propaganda Model, in nutshell:

1) Selection of topics. Reporters, producers, and editors do not choose stories at random. Random selection of topics would, in theory, ensure some amount of fairness. But that's not how the real world works. Members of the media choose stories that interest them.

Since the major national news outlets, such as the NY Times, WaPo and the network television stations are staffed largely by Democrats, these outlets run stories of interest to their staff. The minor media outlets, such as local television and papers, take cues from the big boys of the media. That is, a great deal of the stories they think are 'important' are those that the media leaders think are important.

What the blogosphere brings to the table is a diversification of what is believed to be important. While many of us may take cues from bigger bloggers, the road works both ways. I can't tell you how many e-mails a day I get from other bloggers wanting me to link to one of their posts. You can be sure that Kos, Powerline, Instapundit, and Atrios aren't just posting randomly. They post what concerns them and many of these posts are inspired by what smaller blogs are talking about.

2) Distribution of concerns. Again, of the thousands of potential stories which might be covered, which ones are given space in a newspaper or time in a television program? A person must make that decision. Unless we think that editors, producers, and reporters are somehow immune from biases, then what becomes the 'big story' is what they think is a big story. But what is worthy news and what is not worthy news is completely subjective.

As shocking as it is to imagine, liberals and conservatives often have different concerns. Of course to Chomsky there is no difference between liberals and conservatives (they are all apologists for the powers of greedy capitalism), but for the rest of us, stuck somewhere mid-field, these differences are important.

The citizen journalist makes up his own mind about what is important and what is not. We are equally bias, but at least we do not pretend to some standard of neutrality.

3) Framing of issues. An overwhelming majority of MSM reports are factually correct. Rarely does the media get the facts wrong, and when they do they usually correct the error.

But facts without context are meaningless. How an issue is framed is often times much more important than the issue itself. And how we frame an issue is directly affected by our predispositions and worldview.

For instance, should a story on Social Security be framed as an issue of personal control over financial decisions, as an issue of macroecomic concerns about the debt, or as an issue of the general direction of social programs in the U.S.?

Issues must be framed through subjective criteria for this is exactly what makes us human. All animals can see facts, but only humans have the ability to make moral judgements about facts. To claim that the media somehow escape framing issues through their own moral constructs is to claim that they are no longer of the same species as the rest of us.

To make such a claim is to make them superhuman. The blogger makes no such claim.

4) Filtering of information. Again, which information goes in a story and which does not? This is a subjective call which will be affected by the decision makers own sense of what is important and what is not.

We in the blogosphere are no different. We filter information according to what we believe is important and what is not, what is wheat and what is chaff.

5) Emphasis and tone. Related to framing.

The Rachel Corrie case is illustrative. No one disputes the fact that Corrie was killed while protesting. But the tone and emphasis of the story is imporant in a number of different ways. Human rights activists killed by Israeli troops has one connotative meaning and is factually correct. Anti-American protester mistakingly runover by IDF tractor is also factually correct but carries a completely different sense.

Often times bloggers on one side of the ideological gap that divides the blogosphere cry that the other side has a post that is bias. The fact that all such accusations are completely correct makes such accusations meaningless. Of course they are biased. That is the nature of the business we are in.

What is different is not that we aren't biased, but that we admit that we are.

Well, most of us. Some of us are suffering under the illusion that we know reality as an epistemelogical fact. Those that differ from our characterization of reality are really liars or delusionals. But the biases of those that suffer from the affects of Marxism or Objectivism on the brain are easily seen by even the most immature reader.

No house of cards in the blogosphere waiting to fall. The blogospher is 52 pickup. A big mess.

6) Keeping debate within the bounds of acceptable premises. Chomsky and Herman emphasize here that reporters with what might be considered radical views are slowly weeded out. They may not be fired, but neither are they promoted. Their stories may also be heavily edited, seldom reach the front page or recieve much air time, and they may be given assignments of little interest for them. It is only journalists who play ball, so to speak, that find success in the media game.

It is this last point in which bloggers threaten the MSM the most. The diverse nature of the citizen journalist corps means that many more points of view are represented. It is much more difficult to weed out the more radical among us.

So does the Mainstream media have leftist bias? Nope. But that is largely because the left is far removed from the mainstream of American politics. Neither do they have a right-wing bias, unless you are like Chomsky and believe that all who support capitalism and its 'political superstructures' are right-wing.

What it does have is a liberal or Democratic partisan bias. This is easily explainable by Chomsky and Herman's Propaganda Model. In fact, the theory better explains a liberal bias than it does a conservative one because the majority of important figures in the MSM are Democrats.

The blogosphere, though, threatens the usefulness of Chomsky's theory as more and more citizens are able to affect editorial decision-making. While the media may become more explicitly partisan, it will entertain many more points of view as legitimate.

The only threat I see to this is the role of Google News. By weeding out news and opinion sites which they believe are unacceptable, they shape the content of what is read by millions of people each day. They represent a meta-filter for what is important and what is not important.

Then again, I might just be biased.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:52 AM | Comments |

The Pulitzer and Terrorist Embeds

Yesterday, a stringer for CBS News was shot by U.S. troops in Fallujah. Steve S. has the report here. So, why was the man shot at? Yahoo News:

The U.S. military said in a statement from Mosul released at the Pentagon that U.S. soldiers had been involved in an engagement with at least one suspected insurgent who was "waving an AK-47 (assault rifle) and inciting a crowd of civilians."

During the incident, "an individual that appeared to have a weapon who was standing near the insurgent was shot and injured. This individual turned out to be a reporter who was pointing a video camera," the military statement said.

Let's get a few facts straight. The individual shot at here may not have been embedded like AP photographers were. He may have just come across this scene after it began.

Maybe.

Paul at Wizbang makes the case and Rathergate note that it is quite possible that the AP stringer who shot this photo just happened upon the scene. Granted.

However, while most of the blogosphere is up in arms against that photo, the really troubling photo is this one.

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This photo has no other explanation than that of the AP photographer being privy to the highest ranks of the insurgency. The photo was taken in Fallujah, where the 'resistance' was led by two well known terrorist groups, al Qaeda in Iraq and The Army of Ansar al-Sunna, and their salafist sympathizers of the Fallujah Mujahidin Shura Council--the religious leaders of the city that instituted a Taliban-like rule when the U.S. withdrew from the city.

As we noted when that photo was first taken, these 'insurgents' are in clear violation of the Geneva Convention because they wear no identifiable uniform. The photo also appears to be staged. All the evidence seems to suggest that the AP photographer, Bilal Hussein, had access to terrorist forces and was 'embedded' with them in every sense of the word.

Here is one more photo taken by the AP and which helped them win the Pulitzer. This time, the reporter is clearly embedded with Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army at a time when they were fighting U.S. troops. Note, again, the absence of identifiable uniforms. The dove on the fighters shoulder is just the icing on the cake.

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While it may be argued that the murder witnessed by an AP photographer in Iraq was not staged for his benefit, clearly the above photos were. The Pulitzer Prize was, in fact, given to an organization that has information, ties, and serves the propaganda purposes of terrorists.

Aiding the enemy in a time of war is treason. The AP, an American non-profit organization, is guilty of that crime.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:58 AM | Comments |

April 05, 2005

Fascism, thy name is Oh Canada!

Here is a link to the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa's Visa services for Canadian citizens just in case you wish to escape before it is too late.

But I thought it was the other way around? Bush=Hitler, neocon cabal, Patriot act gulags, etc....?

Wrong. The name Michael J. Bryant should send more chills up your spine than John Ashcroft ever did. Captain Ed has the goods.

UPDATE: Either the Canadians have gotten to Ed or he's way over his bandwidth limit. His site is down. Here is the article in question.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:23 PM | Comments |

Jawapalooza Coming to Washington, D.C.

Your chance to meet the Rusty Shackleford will be soon if you live in and around our Washington, D.C. I will be there from May 14th to the 22nd. If you'd like to get together for a little shin-dig, some drinks, food, laughs, and maybe see the new Star Wars drop me a line at mypetjawa-at-gmail-dot-com.

Pimps and hoes, all invited!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:09 PM | Comments |

Pakistani Nuke Maker A.Q. Khan met Osama bin Laden

Holy freaking schneike! No, this doesn't mean bin Laden has the bomb. What it does mean is that state sponsors of terror, like Pakistan was (and to a lesser extent still is) have (or had) the motivation if not the means of passing on WMD to terrorist organizations.

Via Chad at In the Bullpen who has more analysis here. Sifi (Indian website):

Pakistani scientists Abdul Qadeer Khan and Sultan Bashiruddin Mehmood had held meetings with Osama bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda leaders, exchanged letters with militant organisations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and attended their gatherings and rallies, a media report said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:43 PM | Comments |

Scott Baio Thread

scott_baio.jpgThe people have spoken. We aims to please.

UPDATE: AS A CITIZEN JOURNALIST I DEMAND A SCOTT BAIO INTERVIEW!

Related.

Heh.

UPDATE II: What does Oliver Willis have that Scott Baio doesn't have. I mean, except for this? Or this. Or this. And then there's this. Oh and don't forget that.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:12 PM | Comments |

Google is the 'Beast', Al Gore the 'Antichrist'

The Unpopulist reports that Google has put his site up for sale.

My theory?

Rev 13:16 and he [Al Gore, the inventor of the internet and soon to be partner with Google] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: [url recognized by Google's search bot, I'm sure]

Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. [You think any online business would work without Google? How about an online provider of news and opinion without Google News? Think about it.]

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six. [Google=6 letters; Search=6 letters; Al Gore=6 letters......]

Q.E.D.

Related. And again.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:03 PM | Comments |

Taliban Kills 3 Truckers (Calling all Hackers!)

The Taliban is back online. Their site is here, and it's in English. Calling all hackers!

Today the Taliban announced they had killed three truckers near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Way to go Taliban! We see your taking on the big fish these days. What, no women or children to murder?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:35 PM | Comments |

Bloggers Helping Hot Protester Babes Forward Democracy in Lebanon

Michael J. Totten e-mails me that he is in Lebanon with Spirit of America founder Jim Hake. They are there to raise money for the pro-democracy/anti-Syrian occupation movement--ostensibly.

My own opinion is that Totten is just there to pick up on one of those hot protester babes. I mean, check out the Spirit of America page right now and tell me that wasn't Totten's underlying motive? Perv.

Anyway, perv or no, Totten and Hake have the right idea. This is an extrememly important cause if we want to see the Middle East come out of the political Dark Ages and join modernity. Give a little or give a lot. Every penny counts.

HERE IS THE DONATION PAGE

Totten will be blogging from Lebanon for the next couple of weeks. Would you do us all a favor Mike? How about some more hot protester babe pics!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:32 PM | Comments |

Iraqi Murdered in New Al Qaeda Beheading Video

iraqi_soldier_beheaded1.jpg
UPDATE: For the latest information on al Qaeda, Islamic Army in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna, and other terrorist videos please go to the MAIN PAGE HERE. This is an archive page.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al Qaeda in Iraq has posted a video at an Islamic bulletin board showing the gruesome beheading murder of an Iraqi security guard. The Jawa Report has obtained a copy of the video. Images from the video are posted below. The video may be downloaded via Vlad here (see April 5th, second video).

The name of the murdered victim is Jassim Mohammed Hussein Mahdi.

Photo Right: An image of the victim taken from the video.

Unlike previous beheadng murder snuff films, the terrorists actually edit together several scenes of Jassim Mohammed Hussein Mahdi. The lighting indicates that the victim was forced through several tapings. Mahdi sits on the floor and 'confesses' to the 'crime' of 'collaboration'. His captors then condemn him for the crime of apostasy. Under Islamic law the maximum punishment of apostasy is death. He is forced to answer these accusations and to implore other Iraqis not to fight with the 'Zionist Crusader Forces'.

Later Mahdi is taken outside and thrown on the ground by two masked terrorists. One of them then holds him down while the other slowly cuts his head off with a small knife. Death does not come quickly and Mahdi struggles against the human scum that murder him in the name of their religious convictions. The terrorist is forced to rest and is offered another, presumably sharper, knife.

The video is the first one in months in which the victim of Zarqawi's al Qaeda group ( formerly known as Tawhid and Jihad ) is beheaded. It may be a sign of the group's growing irrelevancy and weakness. The group is thought to have abandoned the once constant barage of beheading videos because they led to criticism from even the most radical salafist elements. The new video may show that the group no longer expects support from such Islamists and is turning once again to terror as a tactic for control.

AP:

video posted Tuesday on the Internet showed purported al-Qaida in Iraq militants beheading a man said to be an Iraqi security force member.

A statement shown on the video identified the Iraqi National Guard member as Jassim Mohammed Hussein Mahdi, who appeared to be in his early 20s, and the black banner of al-Qaida in Iraq, which is headed by wanted Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The video, posted on a militant Web site that carries most al-Qaida in Iraq statements, could not be immediately authenticated. It showed an unidentified interrogator talking to Mahdi said he had received orders from his superiors "to kill the mujahedeen anywhere and without hesitation."

Mahdi was shown squatting on the ground in an empty room while wearing full military gear and his hands tied behind his back. He said he was a member of the Iraqi National Guard's 4th Brigade, but did not say when or where he had been captured by militants.

Mahdi said he "regretted" working with the U.S.-allied Iraqi government and urged "all members of the police, National Guard and army to abandon this work, which is religiously prohibited."

"God's verdict against this renegade, who was tempted by dollars, has been carried out," said a statement shown on the video. "Let everyone who sold his religion and joined this unit know that he will have the same fate."

The video later showed Mahdi lying blindfolded on the ground before two masked men appeared. One held Mahdi's legs while the other severed his head with a knife with shouts of "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!" heard from the background.

Below: An image from the video before Mahdi is murdered.

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Warning: Graphic images below. Do not proceed if under 18. These images show the disgusting reality of the 'insurgency' which is fighting the U.S. in Iraq.

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WARNING: GRAPHIC AND DISGUSTING IMAGES FOLLOW. I SHOW THESE IMAGES TO SHOW THE FACE OF OUR ENEMIES. AS OUR ENEMIES SHOW THE IMAGES OF ABU GHRAIB, WHICH ARE MOSTLY CHILDISH PRANKS TO CHARACTERIZE THE U.S. OCCUPATION IN THE WORST POSSIBLE LIGHT, I CHOOSE TO SHOW OUR ENEMIES AS THEY TRULY ARE. BRUTAL MURDERERS AND RELIGIOUS FANATICS.
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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:36 AM | Comments |

More Terrorist Propaganda Videos

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq terorist organization released a video of the assault on Abu Ghraib prison. Evan Kohlmann has details here. What is not shown in the video or in the accompanying announcement are the 50 dead or wounded al Qaeda gunmen, nor an explanation as to only 2 of the 7 suicide bombers were able to explode themselves.

Chad at In the Bullpen has a very odd propaganda video produced by the Mujahidin Army in Iraq. The oddly edited video claims that Dale Stoffel, an American civilian contractor killed in Iraq last December, was really a CIA agent. The video then says Bush is trying to cover this fact up. Odd indeed.

He sent it to me yesterday wanting to know my thoughts. Honestly, this one is too bizarre for analysis. It is, however, worth a look just for the sheer entertainment value of seeing Bush photos next to prominent Jews.

This is the same group that produced another propaganda video in English aimed at pursuading the American people the justness of the terrorist cause. One terrorist expert has told me he is not even sure whether this group is even Iraqi. My own assessment of the Mujahidin Army in Iraq is that they are probably Baathist remnants given the nationalistic themes of their propaganda.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:19 AM | Comments |

Ironical: Israel to use Palestinian land for GARBAGE DUMP

Looking through today's fair and unbiased Google News links I noticed a group of articles about the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Which article gets the lead? Is it the article about one of the sides (I wonder which one?) planning civil-disobedience to protest? Or how about an article by a promulent J-O-O-ish publication on the unwise policy of continuing with settlements? Nope. At the time of this writing the lead goes to Turkey's Zaman online: Israel to Use Palestinian Land as a 'Garbage Dump':

According to the news reported by the pro-Israeli government newspaper Haaretz, the garbage, which is collected particularly from Tel Aviv and Saron Valley, will be dumped at the Abu Susha region in the north of the West Bank. The news highlighted that this unprecedented decision, except for the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, is against international law and would cause environmental pollution. Experts are also warning that the garbage would pollute Palestinian water source. The paper informed that Israeli bulldozers and trucks have been recently begun working to dig in order to create a place for the garbage. Israel's decision to turn Abu Susha into a "garbage dump" has been linked to financial issues, "it will be cheaper". It is said that to transfer a ton of garbage picked up from Tel Aviv to the dump in Israel would cost three or four times higher than the West Bank.
It's funny because it's true.

Reminder: Today is day 8 of Jawa-Googlegate.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:57 AM | Comments |

Pakistani Militants Murder Suspected American Agent

Via Blogs of War this Pakistan Daily Times article. Murdering suspected collaboraters, as we have oft noted, seems to be the national past time in a few promulent countries with large populations of a certain religion of peace....

Suspected Islamic militants opened fire on a man in a crowded bazaar in this tribal town on Monday, killing him before fleeing, an intelligence official said.

No one claimed responsibility for the shooting in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan. The official, on condition of anonymity, said that authorities found some evidence suggesting the man may have been killed on suspicion that he was spying for the United States on militants in the area.

And here is the shocker.
The 35-year-old local tribesman, identified as Fazal Rahman, was shot twice in the head by fire from an AK-47 rifle. No one was arrested and a probe into the shooting has been started, he said
Maybe they ought to set up a blue-ribbon commission to tackle the incredibly difficult question of who was behind this?

UPDATE: The small minority of extremists are at it again in Pakistan. This time they're pissed because a few women decided to run in public.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:44 AM | Comments |

My Thoughts on UNC's NCAA Basketball Win

D'oh!. Update: What is this base-a-ball you speak of?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:33 AM | Comments |

Bridging the Left-Right Blog Divide

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a study on the influence of blogs in the 2004 election. What was most interesting to me was that The Jawa Report was named 20th most influential conservative blog for that time period. The crux of the report, though, was that left and right leaning blogs rarely communicate with one another. For instance, this site had the distinction of not a single influential left-leaning blog linking to The Jawa Report. Probably because not a single influential left-leaning blog knows The Jawa Report exists!

Simon has a great essay on this divide between left and right and encourages some more civil intra-blogosphere debate. I agree.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:25 AM | Comments |

April 04, 2005

No Flag For You!

South Carolina refuses to lower flag to half mast for Pope. Dumbasses.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:22 PM | Comments |

Pulitzer Prize Given to Terrorists

The Pulitzer Prize has been "Awarded to the Associated Press Staff for its stunning series of photographs of bloody yearlong combat inside Iraqi cities."

What photographs won for Breaking News Photography?

The 20 photographs can be found here.

5 of the 20 photos were taken by journalists who were working with terrorist forces. 11 of the 20 photos would likely cause anti-American inflamation. Only two show Americans in a positive light. Three more show the victims of terrorism.

Included in the 5 photos are 1 photo taken by Bilal Hussein [more background on Bilal Hussein here and here] of terrorist forces firing at the U.S. in Fallujah. Another photo identified as taken by a 'stringer' shows terrorists murdering an Iraqi election worker. Both of these photos are by individuals who saw Geneva Convention crimes and did nothing to stop them. Both photos indicate also that the individuals who took them had prior knowledge to the crimes being committed.

Of the remaining 15 photos, 2 show prisoners receiving harsh treatment by U.S. forces [here and here]. One more shows a dead child identified as being killed by the U.S. Another photo, taken by Khalid Mohammed, shows the residents of Fallujah rejoicing as they hang the charred bodies of dead American civilians on a bridge. The famous photo that caused Kos to cry 'screw them.' The family of an alleged Abu Ghraib victim is also shown mourning. Displaced children from the Fallujah conflict are also shown, the exact story Giuliana Sgrena was working on when she was taken hostage.

Only these two photos are positive. One shows the humanity of soldiers on patrol. The other one shows soldiers praying for a fallen comrade. But even the last one might be interpreted as defeatist.

To their credit, at least three photos show the victims of terrorism. See, fair and balanced.

No photos show U.S. troops rebuilding Iraq. No photos show U.S. troops playing with kids in the street. No photos show the results of the first democratic election in Iraq. No photos show the thousands of freed prisoners from Saddam's tyrranical rule.

The Jawa Report must therefore decline it's Pulitzer Prize. I might consider taking the $10,000 reward as soon as the Pulitzer committee stops hating America.

Thanks to Avenue for the tip.

Update 4/06: I have a new post up about the controversy. The most important photos is not the ones currently stirring up such emotions in the blogosphere. Instead, two other photos clearly show that the AP has ties to terrorists and insurgents fighting the U.S.

Update: Vivi e-mails to remind us that the Associated Press is a non-profit organization. So here we have a group that has terrorist sympathizers on their payroll yet is tax exempt? There is something wrong with this picture. I wonder if the Finance Committe might look into that status?

UPDATE: A lot of other fine bloggers have important things to say on this topic. You can find them by checking out the fatwas issued below. Especially good, in my not-so-humble opinion, are Michelle Malkin's take and that of Riding Sun (via the blogfather Charles Johnson) who has a very similar take as my own.

If you're new to The Jawa Report why not surf around? Maybe, add us to your favorites list? And if you're a blogger please, for the love of all that is holy, add us to your blogroll!! If you don't, the terrorists have already won.

Blogroll mypetjawa!

Others: Joyner missing the real story here. Cranky and Mark cheer Jawa, will receive fatwa ASAP. Eric has some pics more fitting the Pulitzer. Itsalanche from Dr. Glenn Reynolds.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:25 PM | Comments |

France Junior (Belgium) Police Training Manual Compares Bush to Chimp

I don't understand the problem? Everyone knows Chimp Bush is a liar. Blood for oil. J-O-O neocon cabal. Blah, blah, blah. (via No Pasaran)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:51 PM | Comments |

Lauren Bush is Hot!

President Bush's niece, Lauren Bush, is just hot. That is all.

UPDATE: Or is it Noelle Bush? WE DEMAND ANSWERS!!!!!

UPDATE II: Despite the best efforts of Islamofascist terrorists, we can now confirm that the nipple in question does belongs to Lauren Bush.

UPDATE III: Because if we can't look at Lauren Bush's nipple, the terrorists have already won.

UPDATE IV: All your Bush girls are belongs to us! Keep. Your. Damn. Dirty. Hands. Off. My. Lauren!

UPDATE V: You can keep your filthy Paris Hilton games too, Drew.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:44 PM | Comments |

Jawa Report Still Dropped from Google News

It's been one week since Google News dropped The Jawa Report. Do you know where the children are?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:41 PM | Comments |

Which South Park Character is Rusty Shackleford?

Thanks for the tip to Beth at MYVRWC who has a gallery of other home made South Park characters.

Update: Yeah, I'm black. I can feel it.

Update II: Black is beautiful. Deal with it.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:37 PM | Comments |

Is Inventor of the Internet Censoring The Jawa Report?

I'm *shocked* that the inventor of the internet will be teaming up with fair and unbiased Google to start a new television network. Do you think they'll have any Jawa Report inspired documentaries?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:52 PM | Comments |

Captain's Quarters

I dare you: Captain's Quarters. Captain's Quarters. Captain's Quarters. Captain's Quarters. Captain's Quarters. Captain's Quarters. Captain's Quarters. Captain's Quarters.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:32 PM | Comments |

Registration Blogging

It's registration at Tatooine University. With all of my incredible Sith powers you'd think I'd be able to figure out a way to avoid students.

Me: You will register online.

Student: I will register online.

However it would seem that our students are not as weak-minded as their tests and term papers would indicate.

An alternative explanation for why so many students are lined up at my door is that the online registration system seems to be down. Stupid Bill Gates........

Blogging may be light.

UPDATE: Oh, so that's what that lock on the door is for!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:23 PM | Comments |

Saudi Troops Kill al Qaeda Gunmen

File under 'reaping what they have sown'. Reuters:

Saudi troops have killed eight gunmen and wounded another in a protracted siege in the northern town of Al-Ras, where fierce gunbattles raged for a second day with suspected militants, security sources said Monday.
A local hospital official said 51 security personnel had been treated by midday (0900 GMT) Monday in one of the longest and bloodiest battles in Saudi Arabia's two-year confrontation with al Qaeda supporters. Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier-General Mansour al-Turki said he could not verify casualty figures but confirmed the operation in Al-Ras, 180 miles northwest of Riyadh, was continuing more than 24 hours after it broke out.

Turki said the suspected militants, holed up in a complex in the town's Jawazat neighborhood, had hurled hand grenades at security forces.

The battle erupted early Sunday when security forces tried to raid a house where the suspects were staying. Witnesses said the house was secured by Monday morning but gunfire had erupted from a nearby building.

"They were asked to surrender, but those people are known not to listen," local governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz told state television Sunday, describing the gunmen as "terrorists."

Saudi Arabia has been battling supporters of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, who have targeted Westerners and security forces in the world's biggest oil exporter in a wave of violence since May 2003....

The town of Al-Ras is in the conservative Qassim province, the heartland of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi doctrine which some critics say has fueled intolerance and anti-Western violence.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:55 AM | Comments |

Bomb Attacks Rock Thailand

SE Asia Jihad Watch. Do you think that those pesky Mennonites are behind this? Xinhua:

Four soldiers were injured Monday in a blast in Thailand's Muslim-dominated South, less than 24 hours after three bomb rocked the region, sources to Xinhua said.

In Yala, one of the three southernmost border provinces in the kingdom, an explosion occurred at 1:30 p.m. Monday on a college campus where a football was held. Four soldiers were seriously injured in the blast.

The bomb, planted in the area where the military vehicles were parked, was triggered by remote control, said the source.

The foot match was organized by local authorities in a bid to develop good relations with Muslim residents in 75 villages of the province.

On Sunday night, three explosions went off in Hat Yai town of the southern Songkhla province, killing two people and injuring dozens.

Update: Counterterrorism Blog has more.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:52 AM | Comments |

Sunni with U.S. Ties Elected Speaker in Iraq

Hajim al-Hassani, a Sunni Muslim with deep ties to America and the Coalition, was elected speaker of Iraqi National Assembly over the weekend.

The 50 year old al-Hassani, earned a Ph. D. from the University of Connecticut in Agricultural and Resource Economics in 1990. He also lived in my hometown of Los Angeles for 12 years. After returning to Iraq following the U.S. led liberation he became the Minister of Industry and Minerals.

It is also interesting to note that al-Hassani was against the war, initially, and that he was part of a Sunni Islamist party. When that party called for a boycott of the election, however, he broke with party ranks.

San Francisco Chronicle:

The Iraqi National Assembly appointed a speaker and two deputy speakers on Sunday, taking the first step, though a largely symbolic one, in installing a new government.

In last-minute deal making on Saturday and Sunday morning, the leaders of the top political parties settled on Hajim al-Hassani, a prominent Sunni Arab and the minister of industry in the interim government, as speaker. They selected Hussain Shahristani, a nuclear physicist and leading Shiite Arab, and Aref Taifour, a Kurd, as the two deputies...

During the formal U.S. occupation and the start of the interim government, al-Hassani was a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a religious Sunni group. But last November, when that party called for withdrawal from the interim government over the government's support for the U.S. invasion of Fallujah, al- Hassani decided to leave the party and continue in his ministerial role.

To Western reporters, al-Hassani puts forth a secular appearance and underscores his time in the United States. But his former ties to the Iraqi Islamic Party indicate that he could support conservative Islamic policies for the new government.

In recent weeks, the main Shiite and Kurdish blocs, which together have more than two-thirds of the assembly seats, have said they want to ensure that prominent Sunni Arabs get significant roles in the new government. Al- Hassani's appointment was a nod in that direction. The Sunnis, who held the bulk of political power in Saddam Hussein's government, make up a fifth of the population and lead the insurgency.

"I think he's well accepted personally, and this acceptance will give him a broad base among the Sunnis, but this does not rule out that there will be opposition among some Sunnis," said Jawad al-Maliki, a deputy leader of the Dawa Islamic Party, a powerful Shiite group whose leader, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, is the top candidate for prime minister.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:42 AM | Comments |

Good Morning Blogosphere! (Updated)

Here's what I'm reading this morning:

More on American companies still helping terrorists. Related.

Pop quiz, cowboy. Al Jazeera runs positive story on Pope. What is reaction of salafists, wahabbis, and other radicals? One guess.

Giuliana Sgrena changing stories yet again. Not surprising.

Blame Bush. For everything. Seriously.

Frequent commenter and friend of The Jawa Report, See Dubya, is guest blogging over at Patterico's place. Cool.

Is Oliver Willis white? Yes.

Terri Schiavo poll rigged. You mean the question you ask may influence the answer given?

Congrats. It took me like 6 months to reach that mark...(grumble, grumble)

Tim's father has had a stroke. Please include him in your prayers.

Sources reveal that something big is going to happen in the blogosphere tomorrow. Ask yourself this question, though: Can bloggers help the spread of democracy? Details later.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:30 AM | Comments |

April 03, 2005

Double Blog Sabbath

Hey all. As you already know I've made a commitment not to blog one day a week. It's a chance to prove to myself that I'm not totally obsessed. It's also a chance for me to spend time with my family and devote some time to more spiritual things---you know, like watching The Simpsons & catching the new King of the Hill.

Anyway, my parents just left town so that's why there were no posts yesterday or today. See y'all tomorrow!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:45 PM | Comments |

April 01, 2005

Awesome TCS Piece

Check out Glenn's new TCS piece! Seriously, you'll want to read this. No, I order you to read it!!!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:08 PM | Comments |

Terrorist's Cellmates Speak: Zarqawi was my bitch

A new report in Stuff reviews what inmates at a Jordanian prison have to say about Abu Musab al Zarqawi. I think the proper jail lingo for a guy like Zarqawi who is reported to be a cryer is fish.

What I want to know is if Jordanian prisons are anything like Turkish prisons? Anyway, I've seen enough video of Zarqawi to know that he was somebody's bitch.

Long-time Jawa readers know that Zarqawi is public enemy number one. You'll have to excuse the editorializing below, but the man does like to cut off the heads of infidels.

"Abu Musab cried constantly. He was very emotional, almost like a child," said 35-year-old Yousef Rababaa as he recalled the young militant.
Hey bitch, you need a towel for that?
He dreamed of an Islamic utopia where people would relive the puritanical lifestyle of the faith's early founders.
Wait, so you're saying he cuts off people's f*cking heads because he's religious?
"Abu Musab would be as preoccupied with writing letter after letter to his old mother as spending long hours reciting the Koran," said Rababaa.

It was piety of an extreme nature that moulded Zarqawi's militancy, according to Islamists and experts who follow many of the young adherents of the Salafi brand of Islamist jihadis.

No shit?
Another cellmate, Khaled Abu Doma, 36, recalled the young Zarqawi's long days spent kneeling with another inmate on a mat in the prison courtyard ...
Ok, I had to cut that sentence off, because, well, you get it. Here is the full quote.
Another cellmate, Khaled Abu Doma, 36, recalled the young Zarqawi's long days spent kneeling with another inmate on a mat in the prison courtyard as he patiently helped him memorise verse after verse from the Koran.
Why is it that the biggest pieces of shit on earth are always described as pretty nice guys? Like, have you ever heard of a serial mass-murderer or terrorist who wasn't soft-spoken and loved kitties?
Zarqawi would also wash other prisoner's clothes and scrub and clean prison lavatories, chores which other prisoners usually shunned, Abu Doma said.
Heh, heh. See. I told you . BITCH.
"Those prison years were critical in shaping Zarqawi's leadership qualities among his circle of followers that prepared him for his future role in Afghanistan and later Iraq."
Ah, so that's what this is all about!!!! Zarqawi is just lashing out at a society that unjustly imprisoned him by, um, you know, CUTTING OFF PEOPLE'S F*CKING HEADS!!!

Anyway, just knowing that Zarqawi had to spend time in an Arab prison makes me smile a little. The day he dies, though, well I'm gonna party like it's 1999.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:45 PM | Comments |

Evil Glenn Reynold's New Website

Right here. And Basil, dude, you're genius man.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:57 PM | Comments |

Pope Dying

Drudge Report claims Pope is dead dying. Rest in Peace.

[A tip from Hyscience who tells me that earlier reports based on mistranslation. Word was 'dying', not 'died']

As I said yesterday, I'm not a Catholic, but Pope John Paul II helped bring down the evil empire that was the Soviet Union. For that I am sure he has a place in heaven. God speed.

Update: Now Drudge is hedging bets, says Vatican denying.....

Update II: M.H. King says EWTN (Catholic TV) confirming that Pope is dead.....

UPDATE III: Now other sources denying report. Political Teen has video of Vatican statement. Michelle Malkin says Fox retracting earlier report.

UPDATE IV 1:20 (Central): Google News already carrying several MSM obituaries for Pope. Brief biography of Pope John Paul II here.

UPDATE V: Italian Media

Corriere della Sera: "Pope Gets Worse"

UPDATE VI: Aylward e-mailed me early and said I was wrong. Not satisfied with giving me the 'in your face', he spanks Drudge.

Others: Blogger News Network describes how new Pope is chosen.

Sierra Faith, Three Bad Fingers, Wes Roth, Resurrection Song, Babalu Blog, Florida Cracker, Scared Monkeys, Digger, Hyscience, Kate and Stotch at OTB, Quinton, Goldstein, Trey Jackson, Ace, Willisms, Kevin Aylward, Polipundit, The American Mind, Hugh Hewitt, Charles Johnson, Say Anything, Is Full of Crap (liveblogging)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:38 PM | Comments |

Sunni Clerics Supporting Iraqi Police and Troops

Sometimes the good news coming out of Iraq is good, but we try to spin it with our optimistic enthusiasm in such a way as to over state the significance of the event. This news is very good--and that may be an understatement.

Those fighting us in Iraq are largely convinced that what they are doing is right in the sight of Allah. Religious motivations are essential to the 'resistance'.

When top Sunni clerics begin issuing fatwas calling on believers to join the Iraqi Army and police, you know something is going very very right. Middle East Online:

A statement signed by 64 Sunni clerics was released as the community, which largely boycotted national elections two months ago, watched the Shiite majority and Kurds grab the levers of power and dominate the military and police.

"Because the army and police are the safeguard of the nation, as it is the nation's army and not an army of some militias or any other party, a group of clerics and scholars have issued a fatwa (religious decree) to call on the people to join the army," the statement said....

"Keeping people and the country safe is a must which is not to be done but through faithful army and police elements," the clerics' statement said.

The statement said Sunnis should join the state's security apparatus "because without good elements in police and army, some other bad elements might find a way to infiltrate.

The statement included the signatures of such hardline Sunni luminaries as Sheikh Ahmed al-Samarrai, a member of the Sunni Muslim Waqf (endowment) and Sheikh Ahmed Hassan al-Taha, the preacher at Baghdad's radical Abu Hanifa mosque and the Samarra representative of the Committee of Muslim Scholars, which has back channels to the insurgency.

These are the same people that had labelled those working with the U.S. as 'collaboraters' and 'infidels', thus giving justification for insurgents to wage jihad.

For instance, Sheik Ahmed al-Sammarrai had previously defended the 'resistance' (Middle East Online):

We must distinguish between terror and resistance. People have an internationally recognised right to defend their country, but the rifle should not be pointed at the Iraqi brother who is trying to keep the peace.

The same applies for the security forces, they should not target someone they are sure is out to get the occupation.

One cannot read any of the statements coming out of al Qaeda in Iraq, The Islamic Army in Iraq, or Ansar al-Sunna without coming to the conclusion that a heart felt belief that what they are doing is right is at the core of these terrorist groups. While such groups probably will not be swayed by these clerics issuing this fatwa, countless other small insurgent groups not aligned with foreign or salafist elements will.

Today is a very good day. The Commissar even suggests that this may be the day the tide turned. He may be right.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:36 PM | Comments |

Former D.C. School Official Charged With Aiding al Qaeda

Since so many of the terrorist supporters in the U.S. seem to have immigrated from Jordan, I want to know if the vetting process for immigrants from that country has changed since 9/11?

CNN (via Robert Spencer):

A former top official for the District of Columbia's public schools is being held on charges of conspiring to raise money and recruit fighters for Muslim extremists.

Kifah Wael Jayyousi, arrested Sunday at an airport in Detroit, Michigan, was chief facilities director for public schools in Washington from 1999 to 2001. But in the years running up to that high-profile position, he supported "violent jihad" in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya and Somalia, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday.

Jayyousi's arrest is connected to the investigation of The Global Relief Foundation and what federal authorities allege was a network providing material support to terrorists, mostly through supposed charities.

Jayyousi, a U.S. citizen originally from Jordan, is accused of conspiring with Adham Amin Hassoun, who has been in U.S. custody since 2002. Also charged in the criminal complaint is Kassem Daher, described in an FBI affidavit as living in Lebanon....

The criminal complaint against Jayyousi, 43, was filed in Miami, Florida, in December, and cites an investigation that began in 1993. It alleges that Jayyousi and his two co-conspirators set up nonprofit charities through which they raised money and recruited fighters for jihadi groups affiliated with al Qaeda.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:56 AM | Comments |

Calling all Hot Women of the LORD!!!

speak_in_tongues.jpgBecause its Friday......(hat tip: Flea)

Date to Save:

Not only can we date cute guys (as only hot Christian girls could do), but hopefully we can lead them to God and help them get saved them from the burning fires of Hell. I've outlined a few tips to help you get a date off to the right start, step-by-step. Jesus saves through hooking up with cute heathen guys!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:45 AM | Comments |

Illinois Mascot Won't Be at Final Four

What many of my readers don't know is that I am over 1000% more native American than Ward Churchill. 1/16th is infinitely greater than zero, right? Anyway, as a true bona fide American Indian I demand that Chief Illiniwek show up at this weekend's game! Anything less than this would be an insult to my people.

"I’m an Indian. This explains why I love tobacco so much and hate the Federal Government so much"--Dale Gribble

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:22 AM | Comments |

The New Nazis of Higher Education

William Shirer noted that pre-war German universities were rife with Nazi supporters on the faculty. The very institution set up to be a refuge for protecting the great works of Western Civiilization were centers of activity for those that would actively destroy it. Today, I am afraid, the Academy is no better.

Charles Johnsom uncovers another anti-American professor. This one, though, makes Ward Churchill look mainstream. She actually has a whole page dedicated to linking the CIA & (*shock*) Mossad to 9-11!!

Decision '08 also uncovers some interesting things on Professor Christensen.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:55 AM | Comments |

Captured Zarqawi Aide an American

An American was captured late last year fighting for Abu Musab Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq, the group responsible for dozens of beheading murders of civilians. Coalition forces are now holding him as an 'enemy combatant'.

I have a better word for him: traitor.

I can think of no better candidate for extraordinary rendition. After every last ounce of information is gently extracted for him then I say we send him to Saudi Arabia. I hear they have a most fitting form of execution.

N.Y. Post:

U.S. forces in Iraq are holding an associate of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who holds joint American-Jordanian citizenship, defense officials said yesterday.
The man was snared in a raid by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq late in 2004, according to a Pentagon spokesman, who said weapons and bomb-making materials were in his residence.

The man was described as a personal associate of Zarqawi and an emissary to insurgent groups in several cities in Iraq.

The officials said that the man holds joint U.S.-Jordanian citizenship, but declined to provide his hometown or otherwise identify him.

After his capture, a panel of three U.S. officers determined that he was an enemy combatant and therefore not entitled to prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Convention, the spokesman said.

He is still being held as a security threat but has been visited by representatives of the International Committee on the Red Cross.

He is the first American known to be captured fighting for the insurgency in Iraq.

Let me note, though, that dozens of Europeans have been captured fighting for the terrorists. However, all of them have been Muslim immigrants or the children of immigrants.

Reuters:

He is being held at an internment facility in Iraq," said Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill, spokesman for detainee affairs. "He's being held along with other detainees."

Rudisill said he had no details on the man's age or where he was from in the United States. He said he was born in Jordan and received U.S. citizenship later, but it was not known when. He has been interrogated by U.S. forces.

"We do know from interrogation that he has strong ties to the al-Zarqawi network," Rudisill said.

Legal action against the detainee will be taken in coordination with the Iraqi government, he added, leaving open the possibility that he could be handed over to the U.S. Justice Department.

Rudisill said the fact an American had been held in connection with the insurgency was only emerging now because no one had asked about it previously.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:25 AM | Comments |

A New Muse Versus the Old Feminist Mystique

by Demosophist

Wretchard claims that the intellect behind I Could Scream (a muse by the name of Dymphna) is not he. But whoever she is she helps put the "Club" in "Belmont." Describing the new blog's mission as "a different vision" he observes, with typical eloquence:

The concerns of NOW in relation to those of Muslim women occupy the same relative position as the worries of the characters in Seinfeld to those in rural Bangladesh.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and Anticipatory Retaliation)

By Demosophist at 08:13 AM | Comments |

A Place Called "Wind"

by Demosophist

From Todd Zywicki

As I have said before, this bill is at bottom about rewarding personal responsibility.

Spoken like someone who has always expected a steady wind at his back, and spent both stormy and windless days deeply sheltered.

Apparently the entities making the loans while practicing deceptive strategies to snare the "imprudent" deserve to have the rules waived for their imprudent extension of credit because they've achieved the special status of lovable con men. Meet the archetype of the species: Ward Churchill.

Gary Becker, on the other hand, suggests a self-referencial alternative to tweaking the bankruptcy system, answering most of my objections to Zywicki's rather aloof and one-eyed arguments:

Another approach that helps provide insurance is to encourage "equity" loans when human capital is the main collateral available. By equity loans I mean a system where creditors share in both the higher and lower earnings of debtors. So when earnings of a debtor are higher, the amount he or she pays back is greater than when their earnings are lower. This system is quite common in financing agricultural loans in poorer countries, as demonstrated by the research on loans in developing nations by Robert Townsend and others.

Since these type of loans already exist in poor nations with limited bookkeeping techniques and primitive commercial credit markets, there is no reason why they could not become more common in the richer nations, whether the US, Europe, or Japan. Debtors might have to submit tax forms that verify their incomes, the same way that these are required in obtaining student aid, Medicaid, and some other assistance.

The law might have to be written to encourage such equity loans. They may not always be feasible, but they are a more attractive method of "social" insurance than the bankruptcy system. They avoid a lot of litigation over assets, garnishment, and the like. In addition, those debtors doing better than expected automatically back pay more (sic), while those doing badly automatically pay back less, possibly nothing until they do better. This to me seems to be a much better way than tinkering with bankruptcy laws in meeting the legitimate needs of both creditors and debtors in an uncertain econ