May 31, 2005

Patriots at the NY Times Blow CIA Cover

You really need to read this. As I have been saying all along, journalists put their code of journalistic ethics above love of country. I recently heard an interview with Kevin Sites on NPR in which he discussed how he knew releasing the video of a Marine killing an unarmed and wounded insurgent would lead to more American deaths but that his journalistic code of ethics forced him to do so. No value or principle could ever trump journalistic ethics.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:36 PM | Comments |

Bioterrorism at US/Canada Border?

I saw this over at NEIN and then found a local NY paper had covered the story. While most of us worry about the next wave of terrorism coming from our unprotected Southern border it would be good to pause and remember that the majority of the 9/11 terrorists made their way from Canada, not Mexico.

By no means is it certain that this is an act of bioterrorism, but it is alarming none-the-less.

Tonawanda News:

A day after a suspected hazardous materials incident shutdown the Rainbow Bridge for almost five hours, Customs and Border Protection agents still don’t know exactly what happened.

What they do know is, during an investigation into three men trying to smuggle $180,000 in counterfeit cash into the country, a half-dozen agents suddenly became ill with flu-like symptoms and almost three dozen travelers ended up spending more time than they could have imagined trying to cross the border.

Customs officials said Monday that three Pennsylvania men, identified as Tommy Nguyen, Than Nguyen and Cuong Hong, were stopped Sunday afternoon as they attempted enter the country by crossing the bridge. All three are U.S. citizens.

During a secondary inspection of their vehicle, Customs agents found a plastic bag in the area of the rear seat. Inside the bag were 20 bundles of counterfeit $100 bills.

The three men were placed under arrest, but as the agents began examining the money, they began to experience irritation in their eyes and throats. The three arrested men and then other people in the immediate vicinity of the counterfeit cash also began to get the flu-like symptoms.

“At that time, a decision was made to by Customs and Border Protection to declare the area a possible hazardous materials incident scene,” Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Officer Kevin Corsaro said.

The bridge was closed and cleared, along with a section of the southbound Robert Moses Parkway from Findlay Drive to the bridge.

That was followed by a swarm of federal, state and local law enforcement and emergency services agencies arriving on the scene. They included the Niagara Falls Police and Fire Departments, the Niagara County HAZ-MAT Team, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station Fire Department, the Niagara County Department of Emergency Services, the Erie County SMART Team, a group of specially trained doctors, Rural Metro Medical Services, the Niagara and Erie County Health departments, the New York State Police, the New York State Park Police, the U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, as well as agents from the FBI and the Secret Service.

Thirty-four travelers on the bridge and a half-dozen Customs and Border Protection agents initially were isolated after their exposure. Twenty-one people, including the Customs agents, were quarantined and decontaminated.

The civilians were all released from the bridge after being examined by medical personnel. The agents were taken by ambulance to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where officials said they complained of symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and dizziness.

A blood screen of all the agents failed to identify the cause for their symptoms. Medical officials said the blood screens were “negative.”

“Our examination indicated no evidence of exposure to any toxins or biological agents,” medical center spokesman Patrick Bradley said.

However, NEIN reports that:
Another witness reported seeing a puff of brownish-white smoke, “similar to a small smoke bomb,” “go off” near the vehicle that was being inspected, or somewhere near the underside of the pavilion. The origin of this smoke remains unknown at this time.

At that point, at least to customs agents began coughing and at least one stooped to the ground. “I thought someone set off tear gas or a smoke bomb,” stated the witness who asked not to be identified. “Someone yelled for an ambulance, and a few other agents in the area began coughing and having trouble breathing, some walking with their hands over their mouths and noses,” stated the witness.

This seems to indicate that the source of the smoke wasn't the money, as the news report indicates, but from a secondary source.

Again, this may be nothing but it also should remind us just how vulnerable those that guard our borders are to terrorist attack.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:20 PM | Comments |

Al Qaeda Handbook: "Claim the Americans are torturing you."

Well, this certainly explains a lot. Chad Evans is all over this one and you definitely need to read his take, but I just have to put this up. Washington Times:

An al Qaeda handbook preaches to operatives to level charges of torture once captured, a training regime that administration officials say explains some of the charges of abuse at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp....

In a raid on an al Qaeda cell in Manchester, British authorities seized al Qaeda's most extensive manual for how to wage war.

A directive lists one mission as "spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy."

If captured, the manual states, "At the beginning of the trial ... the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security before the judge. Complain of mistreatment while in prison."

The handbook instructs commanders to make sure operatives, or "brothers," understand what to say if captured.

"Prior to executing an operation, the commander should instruct his soldiers on what to say if they are captured," the document says. "He should explain that more than once in order to ensure that they have assimilated it. They should, in turn, explain it back to the commander."

Very interesting indeed. This goes along way in explaining a lot of allegations. Especially from the likes of al Qaeda linked terror suspect Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who you will recall accused the US of torturing him.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:55 PM | Comments |

Al Qaeda Lawyer: "My client was set up."

He must have been set up. There is no way in the world that a Muslim, a doctor, a family man, or a jazz musician could ever be a terrorist sympathizer.


A lawyer for a jazz bassist from the Bronx who was charged in a terror case today claimed his client and a co-defendant arrested in Florida had been ensnared in a trap set by government investigators.

"It's a sting operation," Anthony Ricco, a lawyer for Tarik Shah, 42, told reporters after Shah appeared before a federal magistrate in Manhattan and was ordered held without bail.

Wow, this guy better get a new lawyer fast-like. Yes, Anthony, this was a sting operation. I think the word your looking for was entrapment. A sting operation is when the good guys set up the bad guys so that they're caught doing something bad. Entrapment is when the good guys put another good guy into the position that they have no choice but to do something bad. The former is a legitimate police tactic, the latter is not.

Ricco noted that the investigation had been going on for two years. "It makes me wonder if somebody was a threat to our national security, why did it take two years?" Ricco said.
Good question. Why didn't the Feds do something years ago about this scumbag?
Handcuffed during the proceeding, he at one point turned and smiled at his wife, Zakkiyyah, and a group of about a dozen other supporters in the courtroom.
He smiled!! He must be innocent!!! Oh, and who were these supporters?
Among his supporters were other musicians who said they had often played with Shah.
Sounds innocent enough, but then:
Outside of court in Florida, spokesman Dan McBride of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton defended Sabir as a man who frequently traveled between the United States and Saudi Arabia to earn enough money to support his wife and their two sons.
Why is it the only time any one from a Mosque shows up it is to defend a terrorist?

And what kind of man is The Islamic Center of Boca Raton defending here?

An 18-page complaint unsealed Monday repeatedly described Shah's zest to train "brothers" for urban warfare. It alleged both men pledged their allegiance to al-Qaida during a May 20 meeting in the Bronx.

Shah went with an informant to a windowless Long Island warehouse to see if the location would be adequate as a training site, unaware FBI agents were secretly videotaping the visit, the papers said.

Shah went with an informant to a windowless Long Island warehouse to see if the location would be adequate as a training site, unaware FBI agents were secretly videotaping the visit, the papers said.

Hard to argue with a videotape.
He discussed a desire to open a machine shop to make weapons so fellow enthusiasts would not have to rely on anyone else to get guns, the complaint said.

"Shah indicated that his 'greatest cover has been' his career as a 'professional' jazz musician," wrote Brian Murphy, the FBI agent who prepared the complaint.

At one point, the informant told Shah he was going to take him to Plattsburgh, N.Y., to introduce him to an undercover FBI agent posing as a recruiter from the Middle East.

Murphy said Shah was eager to introduce Sabir -- a "very, very, very close friend" he had known for more than 20 years -- to the recruiter.

Shah also discussed a desire to start a martial arts school only for Muslims and said he hoped to be trained in chemicals, explosives, firearms, AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, the complaint said. The defendant allegedly discussed martyrdom with the informant, saying he and Sabir had been persecuted for many years.

Once again we face a Muslim community that constantly complains about profiling and swears they are loyal Americans, yet when faced with one of their own conspiring against the US and its interests the only response is to defend the suspected terrorists.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:43 PM | Comments |

Jewish Neo-Nazis?

Ok, I'm not even going to begin to try to analyze this although I have a feeling Michael Moore will see this as more evidence of Mossad involvement in 9/11. This does kinda remind me of that Chappelle skit about the black Klansman. Bill Dauterive e-mails this Drudge news flash:

Israeli police have discovered a ring of about 20 local neo-Nazis, young emigrants from the former Soviet Union, but are uncertain how to proceed against them as Israel has no specific laws against supporting Nazi beliefs, the Israeli daily Maariv reported Tuesday.

The paper said police stumbled across the group after detectives who recently arrested a 20-year-old soldier suspected of drug use found a swastika tattooed on his arm and a large cache of neo-Nazi material downloaded from the Internet.

Interrogation of the young man, from the West Bank settlement of Ariel, put police on the trail of others, who West Bank police investigator Haim Fadlon told Maariv are suspected of taking part in anti-Semitic Internet chat rooms and performing secret ceremonies with swastika banners and other neo-Nazi regalia.

"We cannot disclose details of the inquiry, but it's chilling," Fadlon was quoted as saying. "It appears these are people living in this country who are talking among themselves about extermination of the Jews." Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust of World War II, and hundreds of thousands of survivors made their homes in Israel after the war.Ok, I found this old story from the J-POST on the Israeli soldier mentioned in the above story:

The military police are questioning a 20-year-old soldier who revealed his affiliations to neo-Nazi groups to police. The soldier, who immigrated to Israel from Russia four years ago, has a swastika tattooed on his left shoulder.

On Wednesday night, Judea and Samaria police arrested the soldier, who was caught with a substance suspected of being heroine. While being questioned by police, he revealed strong sentiments of hatred against Israel and support of neo-Nazism.

Police searching his home found drugs, and also confiscated his computer, which had on it numerous links to a variety of neo-Nazi groups.

While searching his apartment, the soldier's mother also admitted to supporting neo-Nazi groups, and was detained by police for questioning.

Ok, and this Arutz Sheva article indicates that he wasn't a Jew. But what about the other neo-Nazis?
A non-Jewish IDF soldier who immigrated to Israel from Russia was arrested Wednesday and found to belong to a neo-Nazi organization.

During the subsequent police investigation, suspicions arose that the two may have immigrated to Israel using counterfeit documents. However, due to the complex nature of Israel's Law of Return, it is possible that they arrived legitimately. The law, modeled in response to the Nazi Nuremberg Laws, gives anyone with even one Jewish grandparent the right to receive automatic Israeli citizenship.

The Interior Ministry said it was checking into the matter and will consider revoking the citizenship of the two if they indeed used fraudulent documents, but warned that such action is complicated from a legal perspective.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:17 PM | Comments |

Greg Has Been Banned

Greg's anti-semetic conspiracy theories have just gone too far. For instance:

When this report is taken with others that I have (I have a mountain of stuff) it appears that the "terrorists' were being shepherded by the Israelis and the FBI.
The Left wing in American begins to sounds more and more like the Klan every day.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:08 PM | Comments |

Washingtonienne: The Novel (no pics?)

It turns out that Jessica Cutler's book The Washingtonienne, is going to hit the shelves tomorrow. Her editor offered me a free copy but I passed. Even I have some standards.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:03 PM | Comments |

Deep Throat

The other day at Jawapalooza in D.C. this chick comes over to the table and starts talking to us.

After a few minutes she asks what we're doing there and so I say, "I'm deep throat." For some odd reason she found the Watergate reference offensive. I don't get it.

Deep Throat revealed:

A former FBI official claims he was “Deep Throat,” the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon’s Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, his family said Tuesday.

W. Mark Felt, 91, was second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s. His identity was revealed Tuesday by Vanity Fair magazine, and family members said they believe his account is true.

Yeah, I don't find the news that interesting either.

Back in college my Vietnam era professors would spend countless hours debating who Deep Throat really was.

Which was really stupid because everybody knew Linda Lovelace was Deep Throat. I mean, talk about debating the number angels on the head of a pin.......

More Deep Throat than $2 skid row movie theatre:

Dan Riehl with the 'real' news.......

Patterico notices a resemblence......

The Political Teen has a video up of Deep Throat's grandson's statement, although I'm wondering what he is doing watching this filth.... He also tells me that WAPO will probably confirm the story tonight at 5 PM Eastern. Yaaaaaaawn......

Jeff Goldstein has a pretty good roundup here and an even better post on Deep Throat here.

James Joyner who was the object of that young lass' desire at Jawapalooza. He also links the Vanity Fair PDF here.

Rob Porter pretends like he doesn't know who Linda Lovelace is. His Friday posts seem to indicate otherwise.

Citizen Smash wonders why Bernstein won't confirm source. Isn't it obvious? He's married now.

Joe Gandalman has the pic to go along with the story! Seriously, is Joe the only other blogger who finds this more amusing than anything else?

Amen brotha! "Unfortunately, the story is of no interest to anyone under the age of 45"

Right Wing Nuthouse has a pretty good commentary on the thing and even mentions 'swallow'. Ha!

Heh, this guy gets it.

Others: Mark in Mexico, Wizbang, Scared Monkeys

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:28 PM | Comments |

Now that it's summer, I can finally listen live

Ace and Karol will be interviewing Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs today at 4PM Eastern on Hoist the Black Flag Radio. As you know, Charles Johnson originally got me blogging way back when. Listen to it here. The show will be replayed all day long if you miss it. Just tell the boss you're listening to Pacifica radio or something.

UPDATE: Right now I'm eating lunch and listening to David Horowitz fill in for Dennis Prager. Great show. You can listen here.

UPDATE II: Remember that trip to D.C. I took? That was my only summer school gig. Which really rules because it means that I hammered out an extra class in just over a week and I got to go hang out in D.C. Jeff Quinton, though, is not so happy summer is upon us. Never take a difficult class in the summer. Trust me.

UPDATE III: I'd turn it on right away. Like now. You might be pleasently surprised.......

UPDATE IV: After a bleg for callers the producer drops me. Yeah, Ace invited me to call in but I guess his producer didn't know any better. Doesn't he know I'm Rusty Shackleford bitch!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:44 PM | Comments |

I'm Muslim, Bitch! Islam to Blame for Chappelle Show Demise

dave_chappelle_as_rick_james_bitch.jpgHold on. Just give me a second to breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. I need to sit down. This has to be some kind of sick joke.


Chappelle struggling to make his faith, comedy work. Comedian trying to reconcile Muslim beliefs with irreverent show.
Ok, as an avid Dave Chappelle fan, I've got to say that this one totally is throwing me for a loop. The star of the drug comedy Half Baked and the man who single-handedly made the word bitch acceptable in every day usage doesn't drink alcohol and won't eat pork?

Something is not right in this story.

Aha! It is all making sense now. Check out this part of the story:

He was having problems throughout the writing," Farley added. "It dealt with some very difficult sexual and political and racial material ... He himself has sort of changed inside as he has become a practicing Muslim and so with all those issues and the fact that he wants to make sure the show projects him and his comedy in the right light."
So he either recently converted to Islam or he was already a Muslim but not practicing until recently.

So, add to my list of grievences against Islam the demise of the Dave Chappelle show.

Does the Religion of Peace have to destroy everything that I love!!!

Hat tip Bill Dauterieve.

Question to readers: If Chappelle returns to the show as a practicing Muslim, what sort of comedy bits would he run?

The Jawa Report presents: The top ten skits from the new, improved, and now Halal Dave Chappelle Show.

10) Tyrone Biggums (aka, crackhead) "I need crack so I can get death!"


8) Slow motion distorts reality skit:
Non-slow motion cam: Dave walks into bar. Sees friends across floor. Waves. Walks over. Sits down.

Slow motion reality distorting cam: Dave walks into bar. Sees friends across floor. Waves. Walks over. Blows self and bar up.

7) Negrodomus: "I see the great judgement. First, we will hunt down the Jews and kill them. Then, and only then, will the Hidden Prophet reveal the location of the Chronic fields of Paradise."

6) Dave getting picked for jury duty:
Lawyer: "Is Michael Jackson guilty?"
Dave: "Yes. He's a Jehovah's Witness."
Lawyers: "How about OJ Simpson?"
Dave: "That adultress bitch was just being punished under sharia...."
Lawyer: "Kobe Bryant?"
Dave: "A nigga can have more than one wife..."
Lawyer: "Abu Musab al Zarqawi?"
Dave: "Hell no!"

5) With Wayne Brady:
WB: "Let's kill us some motha-f**kin queers."
Dave: "Ok."

4) President Muslim Bush: "He tried to kill my father, man. I don't play that shit."
Muslim Vice President: "Say word he tried to kill your father, son."

3) Reporter: "Allah?"
Lil John: "YES!"
Reporter: "Jews?"
Lil John: "WHAT?"
Reporter: "Jews?"
Lil John: "WHAT?"
Reporter: "J-O-O-S?"
Lil John: "Hell no"

2) Prince: "Do you and your fellas want to play me and the Revolution in a game of basketball?"
Charlie Murphy (narrating): "I'm tellin y'all, those guys could ball."
Prince: "That's game, bitches."
Charlie Murhphy (narrating): "Afterwards, he served us pancakes."
Prince: "American ignorance and prejudice is forcing young Muslims to become radicalized and join terrorist organizations."

1) "Hey, you virgin bitches come over here and get temporarily married to Charlie Murphy. I'm Ayatollah Khomeini, bitch!"

*Linked to Joyner's daily linkfest since no one else besides Tim and me seems to think this post is as brilliant as I know it is.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:00 PM | Comments |

Colonel is an honorary title

Pop quiz, cowboy. A Sunni terrorist blows up a Shia mosque. How do you respond? Burn down the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken! Duh.

Come on, that was easy. Because nothing says let's protest terrorism better than destroying the Colonel's secret recipe which makes you crave some original recipe fortnightly.....

The Australian:

Six employees of a KFC restaurant were killed yesterday after the building was torched by a mob angry over a deadly suicide attack at a Shi'ite mosque in Karachi.

Four of the victims at the restaurant were burned to death, while the two others froze after taking refuge in a refrigeration unit.

The restaurant was targeted after three militants, a policeman and a worshipper were killed in a shootout and a suicide bombing during evening prayers at the Madinat-ul-Ilm mosque in Gulshan, a busy neighbourhood in Pakistan's violence-prone largest city.

Man, the Religion of Irony never ceases to amaze.

Hat tip: Bill Dauterieve, Shamalama, and Tim at Opinion Bug who have more.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:47 AM | Comments |

Will Rusty Shackleford be the last infidel without a fatwa?

More and more I begin to think that the very fabric of the Universe is held together by a perverse sense of humor. Here I am constantly going out of my way to mock all that Muslims deem holy, make the most offensive and broad sweeping categorizations, and intentionally say things that would make even NJOW I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY blush, and besides the occasional death threat I get no response.

In contrast Jane Novak of Armies of Liberation never makes such broad and inflammatory statements about Islam, goes out of her way not to offend, and refrains from Koran in toilet type humor gets called by the Yemen Times a "docile pupil of a monkey monk.”

There is no justice in the universe!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:00 AM | Comments |

May 30, 2005

Happy Memorial Day Troops

Wishing our Imperial Troops all the best on this Memorial Day! This one's on me.......

Stolen from Professor Chaos who tells me he stole the pic from Madfish Willie.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:10 PM | Comments |

Former American 'Hostage' Indicted for Plotting Romanian Hostage Taking

Our Romanian affairs reporter, Adi, informs us that former hostage in Iraq and American citizen, Mohammed Monaf, has been indicted in Romania for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to abduct three Romanian journalists in Iraq. The three Romanian victims were Marie Jeanne Ion, Sorin Dumitru Miscoci, and Edward Ovidiu Ohanesian.

The Jawa Report, with the help of Romanian reader Adi, has been reporting from the beginning that speculation abounded that Muhammed Monaf was involved in the kidnapping.

As we reported here on March 31st:

It seems that one of the hostages, Marie-Jeanne Ion, is the daughter of an important PSD member (the former government party). Thus, releasing her may be a top priority for the government. It also may explain why she was targetted.

What really seems to be raising suspicions, though, is that the entire expedition to Iraq was arranged by and planned by Omar Hayssam, who is described as a wealthy Arab immigrant to Romania. Hayssam is also being investigated for unrelated criminal activities. Hayssam is also business partners with Ion's father.

It was Hayssam that sent American Muhammed Monaf to accompany the journalists to Iraq. Mr. Hayssam also received the only known phone call demanding ransom and is said to be going to Iraq to act as an intermediary to obtain the hostages release.

As we cautioned then, though, such conspiracy theories abound in former Eastern block and developing countries. We therefore urged caution in blaming someone who was a hostage victim as being involved in the crime. However, the issuing of the indictment for Monaf seals what were already deep suspicions that the naturalized American was somehow involved.

Adi e-mailed me about this several days ago. I postponed doing a post on this until it hit the MSM in the US. As of today, this is getting little to no US press coverage. Why is that? An American citizen is taken hostage in Iraq, released, and then is found to have been part of the plot to take journalists hostage? Outrageous!!

Swiss Info:

Romania on Friday charged the translator for three Romanian journalists who were held in Iraq for 55 days, and an Arab businessman, of orchestrating the kidnapping.

Prosecutors said the reporters' guide, Mohamad Munaf, who was seized with the journalists on March 28, and Romanian-Syrian businessman Omar Hayssam were charged with "initiating, funding and coordinating the March 28 kidnapping."

The general prosecutor's office said the kidnapping was part of an elaborate plot aimed at turning Hayssam into a hero in Romania in the hope that it would help him escape potential punishment for previous charges of organized crime and economic-financial wrongdoings.

"The abduction and threats by the Iraq group were aimed at triggering a strong psychological impact on the (Romanian) population, to depict Hayssam as a liberator of the journalists," it said in a statement.

"Warrant arrests for 30 days were issued," it said.

Prima TV reporter Marie Jeanne Ion, 32, cameraman Sorin Miscoci, 30, and reporter for Romania Libera daily Ovidiu Ohanesian, 37 were kidnapped along with Munaf while on a short trip to Baghdad. They were shown in tapes aired by Al Jazeera.

The three returned home on Monday but Munaf remained in Iraq under U.S. custody for investigations. The U.S. embassy in Bucharest said he had information indicating "an imminent threat" to the coalition forces in Iraq....

Hayssam, who lives in Romania, had told local media immediately after the kidnapping that he received a telephone call from the insurgents asking for $4 million in exchange for their freedom.

Authorities, suspecting foul play, immediately arrested Hayssam for questioning.

Romanian prosecutors said nine people captured in Baghdad in April in connection with the case, supplied the information leading to the charges brought against the two Arab businessmen.

Here is a better telling of the plot from this Czech publication:

The day after the hostages returned to their families, Bucharest officials issued arrest warrants for Omar Hayssam and Mohammad Munaf. They could face between 10 and 15 years in prison for their role in the abduction if convicted. Munaf is still in U.S. custody; Hayssam has been in jail since April, charged with various financial felonies.

The Antena 1 TV station reported that Munaf’s brother and two brothers-in-law had been arrested in Baghdad together with one of Hayssam’s brothers, all in connection with the journalists’ case. Mohammed Shamil, the President of the Iraqi-Romanian Friendship League, told the daily Jurnalul National that 88 people had been arrested in this case in Iraq, of whom 42 remained in custody.

According to the Romanian General Prosecutor’s Office, Omar Hayssam’s bizarre plot was to unblock his bank accounts – frozen as part of an unrelated financial investigation – pay a fictitious ransom, and become, when the hostages were released, a “national hero.” The investigators said he was hoping all his previous crimes would then be forgiven. But they also discovered that Hayssam had been financing several Sunni terrorist organizations, though they did not specify which organizations.

An anonymous Arab businessman based in Romania was quoted by the daily Averea as saying, “Munaf got involved in the kidnapping at Hayssam’s order… Munaf is Hayssam’s servant more than his partner.”

Hayssam has rejected all the accusations. He said Munaf organized the trip in order to impress the Iraqi authorities, since he was planning to bid for a public tender for the procurement of 25,000 tons of sugar. “I only put him in touch with the journalists. I didn’t pay for the trip, and I didn’t plan the abduction,” Hayssam told investigating magistrates.

Munaf’s wife, Georget, told Romanian media her husband wanted to go to Iraq to do business and to see his relatives there.

The first rumors regarding Hayssam’s and Munaf’s involvement in the affair started circulating immediately after the kidnapping. Omar Hayssam, a prominent Syrian-Romanian businessman whose $100 million in assets puts him on the list of the 300 wealthiest Romanians, compiled by the magazine Capital, claimed on 30 March that the kidnappers had called him to demand a ransom of $4 million.

The media soon discovered the close relationship between Marie-Jeanne Ion’s father, Social-Democratic Senator Vasile Ion, and the two businessmen. Hayssam said he and the politician were “friends,” but Ion, a former governor of Buzau county, denied this, saying he knew Hayssam as he knew many of those doing business in his county....[More on the political ramifications of the plot in Romania]

And Reporters Without Borders issued the following:
Reporters Without Borders said it was "outraged" by revelations from the Bucharest prosecutor's office that the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists in Iraq may have been orchestrated by their Iraqi guide and a businessman.

"We have confidence that the Romanian justice system will do its utmost to shed light on this disturbing case. They must punish all those implicated in what appears to be a put up job, in line with their wrongdoing".

One of the hostages recounted his ordeal recently to the AP:
Giving his first interview Sunday since their release, [Edward Ovidiu] Ohanesian - an award-winning investigative journalist - recalled that the four were traveling by car in Baghdad just five days into their trip when another vehicle blocked their path.

"Several armed men came out and they told us to get out. They threw me and Miscoci in the trunk. Marie Jeanne was in the back seat, and she kept screaming 'Romania - friends,'" he said.

"I tried to escape. I opened the trunk twice, but the car was driving very fast and behind it was one of their cars. If I got out, they would have run me over."

They were taken to "a regular house" with empty rooms with mattresses, and fed well, although Ohanesian was barely able to eat. After four days, they were moved to place where conditions were harsher.

Ohanesian, calm in tapes made by the kidnappers, said during his captivity he tried to think about "music, poetry and what I was going to do when I came out. I tried to keep optimistic."

Blindfolded and ordered not to speak, they were punished if they broke the rules - shackled with handcuffs or denied meals.

"We spent 51 days underground, crowded in a small cellar, a weak light bulb, and blindfolded. There was no air, I was sweating abundantly, worse than a sauna," he said.

Calculating the date by meals - tea for breakfast, a cake for lunch - plus rare excursions outside, the three managed to celebrate Orthodox Easter on May 1. "One night in the cellar, we told each other 'Christ has risen!' in whispers but we avoided making the sign of the cross."

Ohanesian said they feared for their lives during a few critical moments. At one point, the captors dressed Miscoci in an orange jumpsuit, a color used by Iraq groups in the past for hostages before executions.

"I thought they were going to kill us one by one - that was the scariest moment," he said.

But there were touching moments as well. When the four were freed, the guards gave them goodbye gifts - a pen, a half-used bottle of perfume - and bought them new clothes.

He credited the guards with being civil.

Ohanesian, 37, said his greatest joy after being released "was when I could see the clear sky and the sun. For so many days I couldn't see even a ray of sun." He shuddered as he recalled the cellar measuring about 13 feet by 7 feet, and about 5 1/2 feet high.

Ohanesian had traveled to Iraq on a trip financed by Monaf to interview former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and to write about the problems of ordinary Iraqis.

He said he met Monaf, a businessman who is married to a Romanian, twice before their departure for Iraq.

On Friday, Monaf was charged in absentia with helping to orchestrate the kidnapping. He was being held in Iraq by U.S. authorities.

Ohanesian said he finds it hard to believe Monaf was involved in the kidnapping. "I think he was a collateral victim," he said. "Monaf was held with us the entire time."

The Gardian newspaper on Saturday cited sources from the president's task force as saying Monaf's plan to kidnap the journalists had gone wrong, and that he became a hostage when the Romanians were seized by Islamic fundamentalists.

The journalist said he had a personal mission to investigate his ordeal, and that he has some hunches to what really happened. "I need to check them out," he said.

But before that, he said he would enjoy his newfound freedom - by going to the mountains "to look at the sky, to be alone, and to do my own personal debriefing."

Well, it looks like Sworn Enemy had it right....

Related stories from The Jawa Report:

Romanian Journalists Taken Hostage in Iraq, Plea for Help (UPDATED)
American Kidnapped in Iraq (UPDATED)
3 Romanians and One American Shown on Hostage VideoAmerican Hostage in IraqQuestions Raised Over Romanian Hostage CrisisAmerican and Romanian Journalists Released in Iraq

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:37 PM | Comments |

Italian Hostage Clementina Cantoni Video

UPDATE 6/09: Clementina Cantoni has been freed!!! Click here for 6/09 update announcing the CARE International aid worker's release.

Clementina Cantoni was abducted from her car in Kabul on May 16th. The 32 year old Cantoni works for CARE International, the same organization that executed hostage Margaret Hassan worked for. Unlike Hassan, though, Cantoni was working in a country who's occupation and invasion was approved by the UN. So much for the international cooperation theory of terrorism......

Photo right: A still image from the Clementina Cantoni hostage video.

On the streets of Kabul today, hundreds of Afghan women took to the streets to protest Cantoni's plight. CARE International has helped countless women receive food aid in that nation's capital.


A video of a kidnapped Italian aid worker was broadcast yesterday on Afghan television, showing her wrapped in a brown blanket and flanked by two men aiming rifles at her head -- a tactic reminiscent of Iraqi abductions....

In the video, Clementina Cantoni, 32, a CARE International worker, responded to prompts from a man not shown on the video, identifying herself and naming her father, mother and an uncle.

The tape, broadcast by independent Tolo TV, then zoomed in on her face. She had a blue scarf on her head, spoke quietly and looked nervous.

It was not clear when the recording was made. But near the end, the man speaking off-camera asked Cantoni the date.

"Today is May 28, Sunday," she said. The date referred to Saturday and the discrepancy was not explained.

Cantoni was abducted May 16, dragged from a car by four armed men on the way to her Kabul home. She has been in Afghanistan since 2002 and was working on a project to help Afghan widows and their families.

Italy's foreign ministry confirmed the woman on the video was Cantoni.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:07 PM | Comments |

Religion of Peace Update: Remember the Alamo Edition

Got a link to a Religion of Peace inspired story? Just send it my way or leave a trackback.

Right: Those 'moderate' Shias misunderstanding their own religion once again by preparing an adultress to be stoned to death by first burying her. More on Iran at this Front Page article. (Hat tip: Ron)

Religion of 'beheadings are not Islamic' watch: Baptist minister beheaded in 'moderate' Muslim country. (Hat tip: Robert Spencer)

Zarqawi, like Elvis, is everywhere. Zaraqi hiding out in village north of Baghdad? No, Zarqawi still alive and in Iran. Knock on wood. (Hat tip: Andrew Cochran)

Tiny minority of extremists riot against cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys.

Hot infidels get 20 years for Mary-J smuggling while terrorist masterminds get 3 for murdering hundreds in this 'Moderate' Islamic state.

Troops deployed to protect Christians from misunderstanderers of the Religion of Peace.

That's 'Lebanese' election, not lesbian...

Sunnis decide to kill Zarqawi minions. Zarqawi is doomed, DOOMED, DOOMED!

Two 'Mennonites' indicted in al Qaeda conspiracy. (Hat tip: Robert Spencer)

The Bush Doctrine explained to Leftists.

Bride gang-raped in retaliation for her brother's infidelity. Do you think this hapened in Texas? (hat tip: Capitalist Infidel)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:47 PM | Comments |

Karnival of the Koran Krapping (UPDATED: Happy Memorial Day Infidels!!)

UPDATE: Keep those pics coming!! I will not stop until we get a collective fatwa issued against us.

Ok, so my original post and new website didn't get me a fatwa, any death threats, a riot, or even a single major diplomatic incident. *sigh* At least it generated a lot of other bloggers to post their own pictures of Quran desecration! That's gotta count for something, baby!!

Keep those photos coming. If the entire blogosphere pooling its resources can't start an international incident, what can?

Below are several great images. Click on each one to take you to the blogger's original post.

Here is the image that started it all.....

Here is our first video entry from Dan Riehl!! Click image below for video.

Here's a new one I got on 6/09



This one was so inspiring that I almost gave it its own post. I call it "Damn if feels good to be an infidel!"


Can it get any more blasphemous? You bet it can.












By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:43 AM | Comments |

Happy Memorial Day

I humbly salute all the brave men and women who have served and are currently serving in our armed forces. No amount of thanks can be enough for the sacrifices you have made to keep us free.

By at 05:50 AM | Comments |

May 29, 2005

Deadly Complacency

By Demosophist

In a recent column on the CEOs who have been "missing in action," Tom Friedman certainly points to one dimension of of our national risk assessment that could, all by itself, render us as helpless as an upwronged turtle. But although our CEOs are failing in their leadership roles the problems are, unfortunately, far deeper. There is, for instance, a significant minority of Americans who believe that its their mission to convince the rest of us that we really don't face a problem at all. The take of people like James Fallows, and Andrew Bacevich is that we're vastly over-mobilized in the current war. Indeed, their argument is that we're not actually at war at all, and the sooner we come to that realization the better. It's certainly true that, as Friedman observes, our CEOs aren't acting as though we're at war. But from the perspective of Fallows and Bacevich such leaders are the repository of realism and good common sense, because we aren't. Far from seeing this as our last real chance to exit a highway headed to catastrophe, by taking up the challenge of helping install greater degrees of freedom in the "repressive neighborhood" that's the nursery for terrorist cults, they're convinced that we aren't sufficiently nice to those tyrannical regimes. We should respect the oppressed by respecting their oppressors. In other words they respect the sovereignty of a nation even if it systematically tramples the sovereignty of every individual within its impious borders. People have accused George Bush of being naively Wilsonian, but he at least hasn't bought the notion that living under tyranny is a matter of national "self-determination." Would we use that principle to support a regime that decided to nuke itself, just to drag the rest of us along? Fallows and Bacevich hold that there's no problem as long as the curtains on those internal national dramas stay drawn. Is that so!

Meanwhile we have an administrative establishment who, although doing generally the right thing, not only refuses to mobilize the talent that America has at its disposal, but systematically rejects a pervasive desire by a huge and increasing number of Americans who want nothing more than to become participants in the effort. One recent book characterizes this is the "war of the one-percenters," because the price is being paid by only one-percent of the population. But another equally valid characterization might be that it's "the war of the rejected twenty-percenters" who are willing and ready to stand in the breech, but who are being told in no uncertain terms to find their "pause" buttons. "You're not needed. Go home. Take a nap."

To make matters worse, the left isn't slinking away in defeat. Instead they've decided to move their basis points of argument from unlikely to preposterous, no doubt on the theory that foolishness can be irresistibly fascinating to some people. Congressmen like Conyers and McDermott held ersatz-congressional quasi-hearings this week promoting the claim by some to have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that we do not have a left-biased media. If anything, they argue, it's right-biased. One discussant even went so far as to say that every single study arguing for a left-bias had been utterly disproved... so resoundingly in fact that no one would even deign to meet or debate him any longer, apparently out of a paralyzing fear of being intellectually humiliated by his superior proof and argument, rather than simply because they didn't want to be photographed in the company of a left-wing nut.

What I see seems ominous and disturbing. It's a trend of unspeakable complacency. Not only are our enemies, including our domestic masochists, up to all the mischief they can conjure... but our friends and supporters are being ignored or dissed, asked to hibernate while our leadership has decided that it needs no support or help beyond that which can be controlled on a very short leash, thank you very much. The last thing they're interested in is harnessing under-employed American ingenuity to do anything much. If the enemy were to attack us now with a nuclear or bio-chem "city-killer" they might run the significant risk of waking us up. So their best strategy is probably to actually lay low for the time being and wait until we've convinced ourselves that we, rather than they, are the problem....

Few seem to even think it odd that the Islamic Street can sit calmly while Sunni Salafists not only destroy Qur'ans, but the mosques that house them and the believers who read them... yet manage to erupt in murderous rage at the largely false accusation that we've mishandled a book or two. Does anyone really think it prudent or fruitful to appeal to the reason of this "public?" Or do we need to conceive an entirely different model of public diplomacy that isn't so... surreal? (One that even goes so far as to involve the public?) If the enemy manages to exercise a little patience right now, waiting quietly a few years to let this magic complicity with their cause slowly sink in, gestating within the most powerful civilization that has ever existed, a devastating attack on the US might one day have the effect they seek: to humiliate, demoralize and defeat us. But if so, we'll clearly need to do most of the work ourselves.

Unfortunately, we seem more than equal to the task.

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

By Demosophist at 11:54 AM | Comments |

May 28, 2005

Army of Ansar al-Sunnah Website: Japanese Hostage Akihiko Saito Dead

The al Qaeda linked Army of Ansar al-Sunnah website has announced the death of Japanese hostage Akihiko Saito. The group claimed in their earlier website to have attacked his convoy on May 9th killing all civilians except Saito [earlier post here along with pics and screenshot of now defunct website]. They also had previously claimed that Saito was injured. The video may be download here. Graphic images below.

Today's announcement was also accompanied by a nearly four minute propaganda video. Unlike other Ansar al-Sunnah propaganda videos in the past, this one did not show Saito being killed. Rather, it shows a number of photographs and documents taken from Saito when he was captured, and then cuts to graphic images of an already dead victim.

According to the SITE institute:

The group claimed that Mr. Saito fired at its members with his automatic weapon, so “the Brother had no choice but to shoot him with multiple bullets.” According to the message, Mr. Saito was not immediately killed. As American forces surrounded the area, the group claimed they were forced to retreat. Upon their return to the area, the message said, they had found that Mr. Saito had died of his wounds.
Akihiko Saito, then, was never held hostage by the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah as they originally claimed. Rather, he was shot dead in the terrorist ambush during the initial phase of a US led operation in Western Iraq, near the Syrian border.

Ansar al-Sunnah had previously released video of that ambush which can be found here. The fact that several weeks passed between Saito's death and the release of this video today may indicate that the group is under heavy pressure from US forces. The group is also linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who is rumored to be dead.

Thanks to Chad Evans of In the Bullpen for alerting me. He has more commentary here. Digger also has images here.

Vlad has mirrored the Ansar al-Sunnah website here since the terrorists make it a habit of using short-lived free webhosting services.

James Joyner has the MSM reaction and blogger round up.


Below: A screenshot of the latest iteration of the Ansar al-Sunnah banner. Click for larger image.

Below: Announcement of Akihiko Saito's death on Ansar al-Sunnah Website. Click for larger image.



Below: Images released by the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah of Akihiko Saito.


Below: An image from the video.


By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:32 PM | Comments |

Heidi Fleiss - Looking for Brothel License

(Las Vegas, Nevada) The infamous Hollywood Madam, Heidi Fleiss, who was put out of business and prosecuted in California, now has plans of opening a brothel in Nevada where prostitution is legal.


She has a long way to go before her brothel becomes a reality. Fleiss has spent months looking at other bordellos and properties in Nevada, from Reno to Pahrump and in between. Because of her criminal record, she will need to latch on with an existing licensee for a period. She's talked to several but hasn't reached a deal.

[ ... ]

In order to stand out from other brothels, and from the all-but-legal hooker rackets in Las Vegas, Fleiss has a grand design in mind -- a replica of the White House. She'll even call it the White House, but isn't trying to make a political statement, just a marketing one.

"It will work. They have the Eiffel Tower there, the Pyramids. So it's time for the White House. You build the White House and it will work. You want something the way it should be. Natural, beautiful, and that's what it is. It's just sex."

Apparently, Fleiss is planning on giving whole new meanings to the terms Oval Office, West Wing, and 'going to the bunker.' She says she'll go on a worldwide recruiting tour, looking for fresh faces who are willing to be prostitutes. Her target market will be elite customers willing to pony up a $5,000 entry fee.

Five grand for a fresh face! I'm going to guess that customers will be wanting more than face for that amount. Nonetheless, she claims to have backers prepared to invest millions in her White House.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 11:08 AM | Comments |

Some people will be offended no matter what you do

According to the AP, another group of veterans has managed to become offended. This time over the unveiling of a statue. It seems that in Ft. Edward, NY, a statue of Maj. Robert Rogers is being unveiled this Memorial Day weekend. For those of you not "in the know", Maj. Rogers wrote a field manual that became the basis for modern Army Ranger fighting tactics. So why would this statue offend anyone? Well, it's not the statue so much as the timing.

But some veterans believe unveiling the monument on Memorial Day is insensitive because Rogers was loyal to England during the Revolutionary War.

"I think it's a travesty that we would think about honoring a person, especially someone who fought against us, on that day," said Bob Bearor, who served in the Army's 101st Airborne Division in the 1960s. "It's a sacred day. ... Let's honor our dead who died for our country."

OK, being a vet myself, I'm as sensitive to veterans' causes as anyone. But come on, let's get real here. No one is trying to offend anyone by unveiling this statue on Memorial Day. The thought process is easy to see. Maj. Rogers was a military man, and Memorial Day is the day to honor the military. If you're getting offended because of this, you're looking too hard for something to offend you. Seriously. Lighten up a bit.

With the number of stories like this appearing, I really have to wonder if media editors don't send their reporters out looking for them.

Cross posted at Consevative Friends

By at 07:48 AM | Comments |

Smartland, and itinerant blogging

I saw a link to this long essay by Orson Scott Card--quite possibly one of the best anti-idiotarian Mormon sci-fi authors out there--at Way Off Bass a while back. Since then it's shown up all over the place and I finally broke down and read it. Why didn't I just listen to Cam when he first posted it? It's a great tying-it-all-together piece, and probably one you're going to e-mail to your family and friends.

Since Rusty's back from DC I will be blogging less here in Jawatown, but I will be showing up over at Patterico's Pontifications in the coming week or two while he studies for some kind of big test. I'll still pop up here now and then throughout the summer. I'm just like some sort of blog hobo, wandering around and posting on other people's blogs. Anyway, thanks for reading, commenting, and linking and I'll talk at you again real soon.

--See Dubya

By See-Dubya at 01:34 AM | Comments |

May 27, 2005

Further Thoughts on Bolton's Nomination

By Demosophist

Larry Johnson has a new post up that puts a lash or two across the back of John Bolton. The value of Larry's contribution is that he knows some of the principles who Bolton is supposed to have retaliated against for their intelligence assessments. There's no substitute for being close to the action. But there are two things, besides the reasoning of Larry's co-blogger, Andrew Cochran that prevent me from being excessively concerned about the "chilling" of the intelligence community's professional objectivity. Or, to be more precise, I'm probably concerned about a different aspect of the problem. Those things are:

1. Although proximity to the action can increase understanding of the situation, the personal and institutional loyalties involved can also distort perceptions; and

2. Professional and objective or not, the core methodology developed by the Intelligence services during the Cold War simply did not work, and clearly does not work for the present period in history, for a host of reasons.

The first issue is sort of self explanatory. I'm not sure I recall the details of the situation, but my understanding was that any retaliation by Bolton was less about the opinions of the NIO for Latin America than about the fact that the official attempted to circumvent Bolton by presenting his case outside the appropriate chain of command.

Second, there's a great deal of hue and cry about how Feith, Rumsfeld, et al either attempted to "cook the analysis" by stovepiping information and exerting pressure on analysts. I'd be inclined to give this objection more credence if it showed any inkling of comprehension about the paradigm shift that has taken place in the nature of the intelligence task. My understanding is that US Intelligence operates mostly according to an Alpha decision method, essentially analogous to the assumption of innocence. (See Rusty's excellent primer on Type I and Type II Errors or my post on the Alpha and Beta of Threat. Essentially the Alpha or Type I process involves building or accumulating evidence until you achieve a threshold that compels you to reject the "null hypothesis" that no threat exists. What the Bush administration realized in the wake of 9/11 was that we had insufficient intelligence resources to adopt such a method, and rather than revamp all the procedures, they started their own ad hoc analysis groups.

Now, there are lots of problems with doing that, not the least of which is that if you start from an assumption of guilt or threat you need to devote considerable resources toward building evidence that could seriously test that assumption. Stovepiping CIA intelligence that's being acquired for the very different purpose of rejecting an assumption of innocence, or nonthreat, can simply be disastrous. At the very least it leads to some big mistakes. In essence it's appropriate to be concerned that people in some of these ad hoc analysis groups might be rejecting what they don't want to hear, because leaking such evidence to the press can seriously undermine the executive decision-making prerogatives. And to be frank, there is little evidence that these ad hoc groups followed Beta methodology to the letter. The reason they did not, has to do with the political process itself.

The political process too, still looks at things from an Alpha or Type I perspective. Leaking information that, for instance, casts into doubt the conclusion that Iran is close to having a nuclear weapon would probably reassure the domestic and international public long before it crossed a rigorously defined threshold sufficient to formally reject the assumption of threat. In a Beta or Type II atmosphere secrecy about the information acquired is far more critical than in an Alpha or Type I atmosphere. The public can, and ought to be, informed about the process... but they need not and should not know about the information being accumulated in an effort to reject the assumption of threat. As the Ellsberg "Pentagon Papers" incident revealed, the public would almost certainly misinterpret and misunderstand it. Alpha methodology comes naturally to us because we prefer to assume innocence and we don't like being threatened. But this "natural" proclivity is completely inappropriate in some situations. If you're skirting the edge of a cliff it's not appropriate to try out your latest tumbling techniques. And yes, we are skirting the edge of a cliff.

John Bolton is the type of personality who acts as though the threat is real, and he needs to be reassured "ten ways from Sunday" that his assumption is incorrect. That's not a problem, in my book. In fact, it's right on target.

By Demosophist at 03:28 PM | Comments |

Zarqawi Dead [UPDATED 5/27 DING DONG THE BITCH IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!]

UPDATE 5/27: This deserves some cowbell, with apologies to Ace....

Via LGF this from Hammorabi blogging from Iraq:

The Jordanian thug Fadhel Nazal Al-Khalayla (Zarqawi) 38 years has died.

He received treatment from Arab doctors who were not very experts and lacking intensive care equipments which he needed for his puncture in the right lung. His wounds infection gets resistance to the antibiotics. He had what is called septicemia which is according to doctors an infection of the blood resulted from infected wound. Zarqawi's systems started to fail including his kidney and liver.

He died and now in the hands of the Keepers of the Hell in its worst level.

Hammorabi notes that he received word through oral communication.

And now a Saudi publication publishes this (hat tip: Gateway Pundit):

The family of injured Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's pointman in Iraq - is already preparing his obituary, the Saudi daily al-Watan said on Friday, quoting sources close to the family. Al-Zarqawi's close relatives, all of whom live in the Jordanian city of Zarqa, are reported to be in state of high tension over the conflicting reports circulating over his state of health, and are only waiting for officials to confirm his death before releasing the death notice.Jordanian security forces have surrounded the Ramzi quarter of Zarqa where al-Zarqawi's family lives, al-Watan said. Relatives have confirmed that al-Zarqawi's wife and four children fled to Iraq in secret six months ago.
Another update: Zarqawi minions denying he is dead. The problem is that is exactly what we'd expect them to say had he died.....developing.....


Al-Qaeda in Iraq said its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the country's most wanted man, was 'in good health', in a statement posted Friday on the Internet whose authenticity could not be confirmed.

'Our leader is in good health. He is directing the jihadist operations and has been following the details right up to the time that this statement was drafted,' the statement said.

Begin original post from 5/26:

Will Collier:

I'm hearing quite a bit of chatter through the USAF contractor grapevine that Zarqawi is dead.
What does someone do with a rumor like that when we've heard the same thing a million times before? But this time, though, there are some other circumstances which may mean the rumor is true.

First, Zarqawi is shot. Then, he is said to have fled Iraq for medical care. Last, the al Qaeda thugs in Iraq announce a replacement, Abu Hafs al-Kurani. All this begins to add up in the direction that Zarqawi is either dead already or critically wounded.

Or at least, that's how my wishful thinking goes.

My normal sources, so far, are silent on the rumor. Developing......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:28 PM | Comments |

George Galloway's Lies, the Oil For Food Scandal, and the Ideology of the Left

Well, that would be the headline if there was justice in this world. Unfortunately, there isn't. Friend of The Jawa Report Clinton W. Taylor has this article in The American Spectator:

On May 17, the Right Honorable George Galloway, MP, gave a blustery and animated performance in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Pundits conceded he ran rhetorical circles around the plodding, staid Senators who couldn't quite catch him out on his relationship to the Oil-for-Food Scandal. But the Senate tortoises may yet have the last laugh. Mr. Galloway seems to have told a big, fat whopper under oath, and a tech-savvy blogger has dug up some proof.

During the hearing (which, though not released by the Senate, has been transcribed here), Senator Norm Coleman pressed Mr. Galloway about his links to Saddam crony, Oil-for-Food beneficiary, and super-rich businessman Fawaz Zureikat, who was a major donor to Mr. Galloway's Mariam Appeal charity. Did Galloway know Zureikat was trading oil for Saddam? Mr. Galloway responded that:

Not only did I know that, but I told everyone about it. I emblazoned it in our literature, on our Web site, precisely so that people like you could not later credibly question my bona fides in that regard. So I did better than that. I never asked him if he was trading in oil. I knew he was a big trader with Iraq, and I told everybody about it.
On his website? Well, the Mariam Appeal site ( is long gone, the domain name snapped up by Internet squatters, so we'll just have to take Mr. Galloway's word for it, right?

Not quite. There's this nifty thing called the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (here), which takes "snapshots" of websites over time. It works a little like Google's vast searchable cache, sending out an automated "webcrawler" that remembers the HTML code of the sites it encounters. Brand-new blogger George Gooding at used it to find the snapshots of the old Mariam Appeal site and verify whether Zureikat's identity was, in fact, emblazoned thereon. [READ THE REST]

One guess on whether or not Gallaway was lying or not? Trust me, you'll want to read the rest of the article here.

As for George Gooding, he's keeping on top of this. Check his site for updates.

Both Gooding and Taylor make an excellent point: that Galloway was lying. But let me point out the obvious problem in the logic which many of their readers may conclude from their posts--which seems to be the same logic the rest of the right is using in impeaching the character of Galloway and his ilk who benefited from the Hussein regime's kickbacks. If I follow the Right's logic, it goes something like this:

1) Saddam Hussein used lucrative oil contracts to transfer money to various Western officials and UN bureaucrats.
2) The intent of the Baathist dictator's regime was to influence these Western politicians and UN bureaucrats.
3) These Western politicians used their influence to oppose the UN sanctions on Iraq and the later US led war because of these kickbacks.

The problem with this logic is that it attributes the causal factors all wrong. That is, the normal right-wing theory seems to be that Western politicians, such as Galloway, supported ending the UN sanctions because of the kickbacks. It is the standard if you want to know why something happens then follow the money explanation of politics.

While such a hypothesis may sometimes be true, it cannot always be true, otherwise it leaves the realm of theory and becomes a non-falsifiable truism.

Look, people like George Galloway don't need their votes bought by the likes of Saddam Hussein. If you think he supported Husseing because of the money you just don't get it. With or without Hussein's money he would have opposed the UN sanctions and the later US led invasion. It's not the money, it's the ideology.

The ideology of the left divides the world into two groups: the powerful and the weak. It is the forgotten legacy of Marx that he rejected notions of good and evil in favor of a morality of power.

The left is unable to make any other moral distinction. Therefore Iraq is good because it is weak and the US/UK are bad because they are strong. Further, any position taken by any powerful country is seen as bad when such position pits weak countries against the strong.

The left around the world hates America because of her strength. America is bad, mmmmkay, because it is strong.

It is the same reason Galloway and his ilk support the Palestinians over Israel, Hugo Chavez over the democratic opposition, and lavish Fidel Castro with loving adoration.

Castro, Chavez, and Saddam Hussein don't need to buy Galloway's support. Galloway and the rest of the left have already pledged it.

The UN oil-for-food scandal does not represent graft with the intention of buying Western influence. The UN oil-for-food scandal represents money given as a reward to the already faithful.

Support did not follow the money. The money was a reward for support.

In our rush to judgement let us not forget that while blood is thicker than money, to the true ideologue, hate for America is thicker than anything else.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:49 PM | Comments |

Scary beyond all reason? Yeah, that would be it.

Hey end-of-the-world alarmists, I have just the story to make the pamphlets about the end of the world come raining down. (I mean that affectionately.) Michael Chertoff, the new Director of Homeland Security, is pushing Britain to use the same ID technology as the US is planning to implement in their national ID cards (see here for my previous post on that). This would allow British and US screeners to access each others' databases to check for terrorists (always the surface goal, right?). In other words, not only will the state AND the Feds have access to our private information, but now our friends across the pond will too.

From The Independent:

The United States wants Britain's proposed identity cards to have the same microchip and technology as the ones used on American documents.

The aim of getting the same microchip is to ensure compatability in screening terrorist suspects. But it will also mean that information contained in the British cards can be accessed across the Atlantic.

Michael Chertoff, the newly appointed US Secretary for Homeland Security, has already had talks with the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, and the Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, to discuss the matter. [...] Mr Chertoff also proposed that British citizens wishing to visit the US should consider entering a "Trusted Traveller" scheme. Under this, they would forward their details to the US embassy to be vetted. If successful, they would receive a document allowing "fast- tracking" through the US immigration system.

Oh, great. So, that means that terrorists will be able to do the same things they did before. All they need to do is recruit new members who have no official record of involvement with their organization.

Should be easy enough. How about these guys? They should be perfect for the job, seeing as they've pledged themselves to jihad. I'm sure waiting a year or two to become British subjects before they blow themselves and as many innocent people as possible to kingdom come wouldn't be viewed as a problem at all.

A pilot scheme will start within a few months between the US and the Netherlands, allowing Dutch visitors to use a Trusted Traveller card to enter the US without being subjected to further questioning or screening.

Britain is one of 27 countries whose citizens do not need visas to enter the US if they intend to stay less than 90 days. The American government has said it wants [those] 27 to issue new passports by 26 October this year containing a computer chip and a digital photograph.

Mr Chertoff said compatability and the checking system was intended purely to track down "terrorists and criminals" and the main aim was to provide a "fair and reasonable system".

Oh sure, that's the aim. But does this achieve those goals? That is the real question. That and whether or not the system works:

There have also been problems over the effectiveness of the biometric technology which is supposed to safeguard the security of the cards. There were also verification problems with 30 per cent of those whose fingerprint was taken during an enrolment trial of 10,000 volunteers.

In case you're curious, like I am, you can find the list of countries whose citizens are allowed to enter the US without a visa here.

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. Tonight is our choir concert, which I am directing. It's been a lot of work and stress to prepare for this concert. I'm hoping things will calm down next week. I sure am ready for a break.

Cross-posted at Suzanne's Blog

By at 12:39 PM | Comments |

Banned in the UK: Abu Hamza al-Masri Quotes from Terror Tracker

terror_tracker_book_image.jpgNeil Doyle is the author of Terror Tracker and runs his own website here. I've been aware of Neil's work for some time. Much of what he publishes on his website mirrors my own anti-terrorism posts.

A new and updated paperback version of Terror Tracker is soon to be available in both the U.S. and U.K. In the U.S. you can order it at Amazon here. One important aspect of the book is that it reveals statements from a former imam at London's Finsburry Park Mosque, the radical hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri. Abu Hamza was arrested one year ago today in London on charges that he conspired to build a terrorist network in Oregon. He is currently rotting--literally, his body is covered in sores because he refuses to shower--in a Belmarsh prison.

However, UK readers may not know much of Abu Hamza's statements. UK newspapers are barred from reporting this at the moment, as the case is subject to censorship pending extradition hearings. So, no mention of Terror Tracker in the UK because enquiring Britons may just want to read what Abu Hamza has been thinking all these many years. The book is also a tad embarrassing for the police, as their key evidence was out in print before they even charged the guy, yet the public is not allowed to know this.

Free speech indeed.

In the spirit of free speech and wishing the British people to know what kind of filth has been living amongst them and taking advantage of their good will these past decades, all the while plotting the destruction of their liberty and democratic institutions, The Jawa Report presents quotes from Neil Doyle's Terror Tracker. Warning: If you're a UK blogger do not reprint as that might get you thrown in jail. Or, you know, reprint them, in an act of civil disobedience.

According to Abu Hamza, Jewish people were subhuman and no further up the evolutionary scale than monkeys. It was Allah's will that they should be exterminated. He even seemed to suggest that Adolf Hitler had been sent to earth by Allah to carry out the task. 'Not only did they become monkeys, but Allah put a law on Earth that wherever always Allah will send in people to humiliate them, to kill them, and to punish them. And Hitler is not far from us,' said Hamza....

"All the Israelis are fighters. They all fight. That's why anybody over 15
he is a warrior and he should be killed!"

More quotes later....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:36 AM | Comments |

Terrorist Bastards Shoot Down U.S. Helicopter

Sad day in Iraq. Usually these guys do little damage to our aircraft. The location being in Western Iraq, expect an al Qaeda propaganda video within the next 24 hours. Xinhua:

Two US soldiers were killed when their helicopter was shot down north of Baghdad, according to the US military here Friday.

Two helicopters were under attack by small arms fire at 22:50(1850 GMT) while supporting coalition forces near Baquba, 56 km northeast of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.

One of two OH-58 Kiowa crashed by the fire, killing two US soldiers, while the second landed safely at a nearby base after sustaining damage, the statement added.

The US forces rushed to the scene and secured the site, said the statement, adding the incident was under investigation.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:02 AM | Comments |

All Dogs Get 72 Bitches in Paradise

You know the bad guys are in bad shape when the run out of 'volunteers' for suicide bombing missions. Where is PETA when they're really needed?

Terrorists tie bomb belt to dog in Iraq:

Insurgents in Iraq attached explosives to a dog and tried to blow up a military convoy near the northern oil centre of Kirkuk.

The canine bomb went off but the only casualty was the unfortunate animal, said police. The militants wrapped an explosive belt around the dog and detonated it as the convoy passed through Dakuk, 25 miles south of Kirkuk, said the town's police chief, Col Mohammed Barzaji.

"The dog was torn apart by the explosion which caused neither injury among the soldiers nor any damage."

Others: James Joyner
Chad Evans
T. Longren

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

Judge: Public has right to see abuse photos

Judge Alvin Hellerstein, Clinton appointee 1998.

A federal judge has told the government it will have to release additional pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, civil rights lawyers said.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein, finding the public has a right to see the pictures, told the government Thursday he will sign an order requiring it to release them to the American Civil Liberties Union, the lawyers said.

The judge made the decision after he and government attorneys privately viewed a sampling of nine pictures resulting from an Army probe into abuse and torture at the prison. The pictures were given to the Army by a military policeman assigned there.

Any wonder why we fight over judgeships like there's no tommorrow?


By at 08:40 AM | Comments |

May 26, 2005

Festival of the Fatwas

So many great blogs, so little time. If you have a post you need plugged, just send a trackback here. We'll see if there are any takers and whether or not to make this a regular feature. (Translation: for the love of all that is holy send a trackback!!)

Update: Of course this might work better if trackbacks were working......*sigh*
Update II: Ok, all seems normal again.

In the meantime:

Cheers to Martini Pundit on his one year blogoversary.

The Dread Pundit Bluto catches a case of the funny.

WunderKraut notices that NPR uses the 'I' word. As in "Illegal Alien".

Jason has more on the Iraq-al Qaeda connection.

Jane from Armies of Liberation has an excellent post in The Religion Journal on the ongoing government sponsored al Qaeda jihad in Yemen.

Secret note to Preston: Forget the boring TN scandal, focus all remaing strength on tonight's 'meeting'.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:01 PM | Comments |

Egypt Approves Multicandidate Election

Failed foreign policy. Imperialism. No blood for oil. Zionist neocons. Blah-blah-blah.

A constitutional amendment introducing the first direct and contested presidential elections in Egypt won 82.9 percent approval in a referendum, Interior Minister Habib el-Adli announced on Thursday.

The turnout in the referendum, which opposition groups had asked Egyptians to boycott, was 53.6 percent of registered voters, the minister told a news conference.

The new system, replacing referendums on a single presidential candidate chosen by a parliament dominated by the ruling party, takes effect in elections in September.

President Hosni Mubarak, 77, who has run the Arab world's most populous nation since 1981, is expected to seek a fifth six-year term but has not yet said whether he will stand.

The opposition says the conditions on presidential candidates are so restrictive that the ruling party would not face a credible challenge.

That last line might just be true. But flawed democracy is better than perfect totalitarianism any day.

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

Flush The Koran

Whoever is behind the Flush The Koran site ought to get a fatwa......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:25 PM | Comments |

E-mail a Fascist

Here is the e-mail (with thanks to Italian blogger KrilliX) for the fascist who is prosecuting Oriana Fallaci for daring to speak out against the Islamification of Europe.

Armando Grasso

Here is my letter

You are a fascist for prosecuting a women for exercising her right of free speech.

I stand in solidarity with Ms. Fallaci and beg you to also prosecute me. I have said much worse about Islam that she has.

For instance, I have publicly called Mohammed a child molester since the most reliable Hadiths claim he married his last wife Aisha at the age of six and raped her at the age of nine.

Also, as we speak, I am burning a copy of the Koran. A shit stained copy of the Koran, I might add, since I have recently taken to using its pages for toilet paper. I have no excuse for this obvious act of desecration other than to provoke a response from Islamofascists and their European dhimmis (like you) bent on extinguishing liberty.

If you call yourself a man then you will immediately indict me for 'crimes' much worse than Ms. Fallaci is charged with and begin extradition hearings.

Dr. Rusty Shackleford

The Anchoress responds to this Arab News story which accuses Americans of 'hating Muslims.' Read it.

Let me make something perfectly clear: I do not hate Muslims. I do not believe Muslims go to hell. I do not believe Muslims are bad people.

What I am is a lover of liberty.

What I hate about Islam is not what most Christians hate about Islam. What I hate about Islam is that it seems to be anti-libertarian. I could care less if Muslims want to condemn me to hell. Most Christians also believe I am going to hell. Thank you one and all for your concern for my eternal soul.

What I do object to is Muslims using the law to put people in prison (or worse) for exercising basic human rights such as the right to say bad things about, well, Islam.

I doubt if I represent what most Americans think, but I can say without reservation that I for one do not hate Muslims. But I do hate Islam. I also do not hate communists, but I do hate Communism. Islam in its historical and mainstream manifestation is every bit as evil as Communism was. It quashes the individual. It makes him a slave to the religious community.

Even liberal Islamic law is still Islamic law.

I have been told that thousands of slave owners were very nice. Despite the law, they educated their slaves, provided good food and shelter (certainly better than many free smallholders had), did not break up families, and allowed them a great deal of freedom of movement and worship. But no matter how pleasent the master may seem he is still the master. A happy slave is still a slave.

I will not be a willing participant in the Islamification of Europe. Too many Americans died to free the Continent from the slavery of Fascism. Countless billions of American dollars were spent protecting the Continent from the slavery of Communism.

We are now engaged in a great war of ideas. This war is not between Christians and Muslims. It is a war between freedom and Islam. It is a war of ideas. We cannot afford to lose this war.

While others are focusing on the veracity of the Koran story, let me pause to say, "So what?" What if the story is true? What does that mean exactly? So a dipshit 21 year old soldier flushes a copy of the Koran? It might offend people, but who has he hurt? No one.

UPDATE: Ron Wright has similar thoughts.




By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:11 PM | Comments |

Sith Mind Trick

I find John from Wuzzadem's lack of faith in the Force disturbing....

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

Iraq unveils massive security offensive

I sense a major terrorist insurgent dirtbag a$$woopin imminent.....

Iraq's government will pour tens of thousands of Iraqi troops into Baghdad in an unprecedented operation to seal off the city and hunt insurgents who have launched a fresh wave of violence, ministers said on Thursday.

Defense Minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi said 40,000 Iraqi troops would be deployed in Baghdad for Operation Thunder, the biggest Iraqi military operation since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Backed by the 10,000 U.S. troops in Baghdad, they will set up hundreds of checkpoints and block roads into the capital.

The dramatic rise in suicide bombings and ambushes by mostly Sunni Arab guerrillas has killed more than 600 Iraqis in the last four weeks and raised fears that Iraq could slide toward civil war if the Shi'ite-led government does not deliver on pledges of stability.

We shall not leave any place for terrorists or those who shelter them and incite terrorism in Iraq," Dulaimi said. "We will stand against all those who try to shed Iraqi blood ... We will implement the law with everything we've got."


By at 11:31 AM | Comments |

Noonan on the Compromise

Peggy's been a little off her game lately. I think Sept. 11 rattled her. There have been a few too many "sweetness" columns and not enough iron.

But she's still got it. Here's a look at the Fantastic Fourteen and their magnificent egos.

By See-Dubya at 05:00 AM | Comments |

May 25, 2005

American and Romanian Journalists Released in Iraq

I received word of American Mohamed Monaf's release from Romanian reader Adi a few days ago. It's just hitting the Western press today, though. Three Romanian journalists were also released. As Adi reminded me in his e-mail, though, there are many questions that remain unanswered about this hostage crisis. Most important of these questions is that Monaf did not return to Romania where it seems he is now wanted in connection for unrelated crimes committed with Omar Hayssam. Omar Hayssam is also the man who is said to be responsible for freeing the hostages. Very odd and sordid tale indeed.


More than two months after being abducted by insurgents in Iraq, Romanian journalists Marie Jeanne Ion, Sorin Dumitru Miscoci and Ovidiu Ohanesian, and their Iraqi-American translator Mohamed Munaf, are free again, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF). On 22 May 2005, they were released from captivity and sent home to Romania the next day.

The four individuals had been abducted on 28 March in Baghdad by a group calling itself the Muadh ibn Jabal Brigade. The captors had threatened to kill the journalists if Romania did not withdraw its 800 troops from Iraq, a demand the Romanian government rejected.

Romanian President Traian Basescu said that his country?s intelligence agents negotiated the release of the journalists and that no ransom was paid. Ion, a reporter, and Miscoci, a cameraman, work for Prima TV. Ohanesian is a reporter for the daily newspaper "Romania Libera".

Terrorist Threaten to Murder 3 Romanian and an American Hostage in new Video
Questions Raised Over Romanian Hostage Crisis
American Hostage in Iraq
3 Romanians and One American Shown on Hostage Video
American Kidnapped in Iraq (UPDATED)
Romanian Journalists Taken Hostage in Iraq, Plea for Help (UPDATED)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:16 PM | Comments |

Islamic Army in Iraq Attacks Baghdad Airport (video/images)

The Islamic Army in Iraq released a video today of an attack near the Baghdad Airport. Images below. The video can be downloaded from the Islamic Army in Iraq webpage here (via uber-hacker Vlad). The main page is dead but the cyber-terrorist pukes continue to use the site as an archive and place to spread jihadi propaganda.




The video shows at least 7 distinct explosions, all of which are under the flight path of incoming air traffic but which appear to be some distance from the runway. Incidentally, the Islamic Army in Iraq is using a free trial version of Moonlight's Elecard MPEG software which has expired (hence the little Rubick's Cube looking thingy). You'd think the terrorists could afford to buy some real video editing software........

PS-The Islamic Army in Iraq also has a collection of emoticons on their webpage. You know, so you can express your anger at the infidels victory over Abu Musab al Zarqawi or you can give the old smile and wink the next time you behead a Zionist-Crusador pig.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:09 PM | Comments |

Trying to Start a Riot (updated)

Somebody issue a fatwa. Fast.*

I ran out of toilet paper this morning so I used what was available next to the can: A copy of the Koran.

Specifically pgs. 137-138 of Arthur J. Arberry's 1955 The Koran Interpreted. The part where Allah condemns the J-O-Os. Then I got the last few dingleberries off using pg. 139-140 where it says, "They are unbelievers who say, 'God is the Messiah, Mary's son," and where it says, "They are unbelievers who say, 'God is the Third of Three....If they refrain not from what they say, there shall afflict those of them that disbelieve with a painful chastisement."

The problems with wiping your ass with an old copy of the Koran are manifold. For instance, the shit doesn't really cling to the pages in the same way as it does to your every day TP. So you have to wipe like twice as many times. This leaves severe Quran induced ass rash and doesn't leave you feeling quite as fresh as you'd like. Ouch.

Then there's the flushing problem. Do not attempt to flush more than one page of shit-stained Quran down the toliet at once. Trust me.

Stay tuned. This whole thing will culminate with lighting the Koran on fire, and seeing if pissing on it will put it out. If not, I may have to put the whole thing in toilet. Safety first, that's my motto.

I'll fire up the old digital cam if you don't believe me. The first ever photoblogging to start a riot!

Also, if you live in Italy, please send this to the fascist state prosecutor for the city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso.

RELATED from Goldstein who's a lot less offensive.

UPDATE: Wait, so are you saying there were no riots after all? A fake story leads to fake deaths? I feel so disillusioned.

*An experiment in tolerance.



By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:11 PM | Comments |

Gallup:69 Percent Oppose Dem Filibusters

Now this is helpful timing....

An overwhelming majority of Americans agree with Republicans who say President Bush's judicial nominees deserve an up or down vote, according to a Gallup survey released yesterday.

The bombshell survey found that 35 percent "want to see the filibuster rules changed so that those judicial nominees are subject to an up-or-down vote," Gallup said.

Thirty-four percent "want to see the filibuster rule preserved" but "would like to see the Senate have an up-or-down vote on those nominees."
Only 19 percent told Gallup that Democrats were right to filibuster judicial appointments, with 12 percent voicing no opinion.

Appears that people aren't as dumb as the left makes them out to be.


By at 02:09 PM | Comments |

New Site

INDC Journal points us to a newly opened site. Media Slander

"The goal of Media Slander is to hold journalists and bloggers to high ethical standards regarding coverage of the War on Terror and other military-related issues. We plan to achieve this by highlighting bias, rumor and falsehoods that have been creeping into military coverage under the guise of objective news."

"We by no means advocate censorship or the deliberate suppression of well-researched and relevant stories about the war and the military."

"As much as journalists feel that they are the guardians of the First Amendment, its true protectors are standing watch in Iraq, Afghanistan and places no one will ever hear about. Journalists owe it to the true gatekeepers of our liberties to be fair, balanced, relevant and accurate in covering them."

Should make for some interesting reading.

By at 02:00 PM | Comments |

Fallaci Charged With Defaming Islam

Sue me. I dare you. Fascists.

A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book.

The decision angered Italy's justice minister but delighted Muslim activists, who accused Fallaci of inciting religious hatred in her 2004 work "La Forza della Ragione" (The Force of Reason).

Fallaci lives in New York and has regularly provoked the wrath of Muslims with her outspoken criticism of Islam following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities.

In "La Forza della Ragione," Fallaci wrote that terrorists had killed 6,000 people over the past 20 years in the name of the Koran and said the Islamic faith "sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom."

State prosecutors originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech.

But a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, rejected the prosecutors advice at a hearing on Tuesday and said Fallaci should be indicted.

Grasso's ruling homed in on 18 sentences in the book, saying some of Fallaci's words were "without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:46 AM | Comments |

Zarqawi Wounded, Fled Iraq, Two Aides Arrested

The group formerly known as Tawhid and Jihad and which has known ties to Osama bin Laden appears to be in complete meltdown mode. An Islamst message board frequently used by Abu Musab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq claims that the terrorist mastermind has fled the country. The post was put up by frequent al Qaeda linked poster 'al-Khalidi'. Thanks to James Joyner who sends this UPI story along:

A militant Islamic Web site reported Wednesday Iraq al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was evacuated from Iraq after being injured.

Zarqawi`s group, al-Qaida Organization in Mesopotamia, said in a statement carried on the site Zarqawi was moved secretly to a neighboring country with the help of doctors from the Arab Peninsula and the Sudan.

The group did not identify the country to which Zarqawi was evacuated but said he is in a stable condition after a bullet pierced the right side of his chest causing breathing problems.

The original post says that Zarqawi's lung was punctured by the bullet.
The group said in a message on the Web site Tuesday Zarqawi had been wounded. It asked for "prayers for our leader," and expressed pride at what they described as his heroic wounds. It did not say how or when the Jordanian-born Zarqawi was hurt.
Meanwhile other Zarqawi related stories show increased U.S. pressure on the terrorist organization. ABC (Australia):
Iraqi and US troops have arrested two top aides of Al-Qaeda's Iraq frontman, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and are hot on the heels of militants loyal to him in north-western Iraq, commanders said today, a day after the country's most wanted man was reported wounded.

Described as "one of the most wanted people" in northern Iraq, Mullah Kamel al-Assawadi was detained after he tried to bribe his way past an Iraqi checkpoint, the US military said.

One of Zarqawi's regional secretaries was also detained in the restive provincial capital of Baquba, north of Baghdad, a statement said.

"Assawadi was questioned by an Iraqi soldier at a checkpoint close to Balad," an insurgent stronghold near Baquba, the military said without giving a date for his arrest.

Described as one of Zarqawi's top lieutenants, Assawadi had on him various identity papers as well as dollars with which he tried to buy the soldier's silence.

"He tried to hide his identity but several detainees recognised him and he is currently held at a multi-national forces detention centre where he is being questioned," the statement added.

Assawadi allegedly financed and provided military training to an insurgent cell and helped prepare car bombs.

"He was linked to numerous Wahhabis (Saudi-inspired Sunni militants) operating north of Baghdad," said the statement, adding that Assawadi was based in the Sunni insurgent bastion of Samarra, a city north of Baghdad which was retaken from rebels in a massive US-backed assault last autumn.

The Iraqi Defence Ministry meanwhile announced that the Army and allied forces had "arrested Zarqawi's secretary for Diyala province, Agha Omar, on Tuesday in Baquba," without providing further details.

Also thanks to others who e-mailed me about Zarqawi being wounded a few days ago--I just didn't have time to jump on the news then.

1754 thinks Zarqawi might have fled to Syria. Maybe, but it would be odd for one of Zarqawi's chief propagandists to mention the obvious--namely that Zarqawi is in Syria.

UPDATE: Do chiggers ever attack the anal cavity?

UPDATE II: Athena over at Terrorism Unveiled makes this excellent point, "Now, this would seem to be more of a disinformation ploy than the first allegation [that Zarqawi was wounded] in order to stop troops from trying to locate the (hopefully) immobile Zarqawi."

UPDATE III: Other jihadists denying the claim. Guardian:

Soon, the statement appeared on another militant site, where other posters quickly denounced it as untrue and unauthorized by the terror group.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:18 AM | Comments |

And the Darwin award for 2005 goes to...

These two morons, who, surviving this attempt at stupidity, will certainly go on to larger and dumber things.

LONDON (AP) -- Two "Star Wars" fans were critically injured when they tried to replicate the light sabers used in the movie by filling glass fluorescent light tubes with fuel, police and a news report said Tuesday.

The pair, Mark Webb, 20, and an unidentified 17-year-old girl, were planning to make a video recording of a duel like those in the just-released blockbuster film "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," Britain's Press Association news agency said.

They were injured when one of the makeshift sabers exploded Sunday evening in the woods in Hemel Hempstead, north of London.

Hertfordshire Police said a third person present when the explosion happened had been questioned. The department said the two who were injured were in critical condition at a burns unit in Chelmsford, Essex.

"At this stage we are unable to confirm the exact circumstances, but glass tubes and traces of accelerant (flammable substance) were found at the scene," police said.

If there was not heavy drinking involved, there is absolutly no excuse.

Cross posted at Conservative Friends

By at 10:12 AM | Comments |

The Liberia and al Qaeda Connection

By Matt from WMD:

Voice of America reports:

Officials of the U.N. appointed Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal say exiled former Liberian leader is deeply involved with al Qaeda, and believes West Africa can be turned into another Afghanistan.

Briefing a closed session of the Security Council Tuesday, chief court investigator Alan White said he had turned up evidence of Mr. Taylor's active involvement in several efforts to create turmoil in the region, including last January's attempt to assassinate Guinean President Lansana Conte.

"In November, we started learning about a plot that Charles Taylor and others in the region were trying to engage in destabilizing the region. In particular Guinea… We reported it in November, and we reported it in December in January it went down exactly the way our sources had reported it was going to occur, and that is on January 19th the assassination attempt on president Conte," he said.

Mr. White said those sources have advised him that another attempt on President Conte's life is being planned.

Question: Are we looking for OBL on the right continent???

Taylor is yet another one of those dictators that needed the Saddam treatment long before he got it... Is he still a player for al Qaeda? Who knows, but it seems clear that the groundwork for operations in Africa was laid under his watch and with his supervision.

By at 07:15 AM | Comments |

Package Deal?

Big Ed at Captain's Quarters notices that the threat of a filibuster on John Bolton has been removed. Was this part of the deal?

Hmmm...I may have to rethink this.

By See-Dubya at 02:10 AM | Comments |

The best columnist you've never heard of

Doug Kern has a typically fascinating piece up at Tech Central Station. This one's on Revenge of the Sith and the nature of mercy. Look through his archive, too. He's funny, and he's pretty deep, too. He keeps doing that thing where he says exactly what I would have said, if I knew exactly what it was I wanted to say. He ought to be syndicated.

There's a Lee Harris piece up at TCS as well. He's another good one--I don't always agree with him but he's always thought provoking. He's also the guy who wrote this long ago, which dates from 2002 but remains one of the best essays on the War on Terror.

By See-Dubya at 12:48 AM | Comments |

The European Empire

The EU is violating Godwin's law, notes Mark Steyn, in their rush to ram the new EU constitution through, claiming that without a unified Europe the concentration camps are just around the corner.

That is a particularly bad analogy, I think, because the Holocaust happened under a Europe newly unified under the Third Reich. There was no Holocaust in Switzerland, nor in England. I suspect, although I don't know this for sure, that even Jews under Mussolini had much less to fear than they did in occupied Poland.

EUcrats might point to the devastation of WWI as an example of rampant suspicion and security dilemmas piling up in a fragmented and militarized Europe. But the Holocaust happened within a Europe without national firewalls--firewalls the new Constitution will bring down.

By See-Dubya at 12:04 AM | Comments |

May 24, 2005

Guerrilla Blogging

The lone blogger wanders from village to village in China, righting wrongs and exposing evil. Worthwhile read from Kristof.

By See-Dubya at 04:46 PM | Comments |

Jawapalooza Forever

Probably of little interest to all but a few.....

Big shout out to Professor Chaos for letting me crash at his pad and for loaning me his dog and that jar of peanut butter.

Thanks to a Cranky Neocon for seeing that Star Wars porn with us and who was so hammered that he ended up in the fetal position passed out in a pool of his own vomit on Stotch's floor.

That James Joyner dude is a well of blogging wisdom and can hold his own when it comes to downing $2 Killian's Red. Super-secret note to Joyner: Patrick, nude, FHM, Danica, porn, carl, naked, images, Nascar, hot, pictures.

Demosophist is a mighty fine shot, even after a pint or two. What the D.C. police don't know about concealed fire arms won't hurt 'em.....

The Maximum Leader leaves that one barfly broken hearted and dismissed. I'm not sure if it was because he wasn't interested because she didn't look enough like that Jennifer Love Hewitt chick or if it was my 'Deep Throat' comment that kinda killed the mood. I don't get why that Watergate reference would drive her off......

Did BRD actually go home or did he just join Greg's birthday party?

Does anybody remember what happened to Anna Marie? I don't know how it got there, but I woke up Sunday morning with a bottle of Penicillin on my nightstand with a prescription in her name and a note which is all but illegible except for the words "hot" and "carl", whatever that means.......

And are we all agreed that Steve the Llamabutcher is to be delinked for not showing up???

Thanks all!!!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:04 PM | Comments |

Add the Middle East to the 'Red States'

David sends along this WSJ editorial for Greg's reading enjoyment:

To venture into the Arab world, as I did recently over four weeks in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq, is to travel into Bush Country. I was to encounter people from practically all Arab lands, to listen in on a great debate about the possibility of freedom and liberty. I met Lebanese giddy with the Cedar Revolution that liberated their country from the Syrian prison that had seemed an unalterable curse. They were under no illusions about the change that had come their way. They knew that this new history was the gift of an American president who had put the Syrian rulers on notice. The speed with which Syria quit Lebanon was astonishing, a race to the border to forestall an American strike that the regime could not discount. I met Syrians in the know who admitted that the fear of American power, and the example of American forces flushing Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole, now drive Syrian policy. They hang on George Bush's words in Damascus, I was told: the rulers wondering if Iraq was a crystal ball in which they could glimpse their future.

The weight of American power, historically on the side of the dominant order, now drives this new quest among the Arabs. For decades, the intellectual classes in the Arab world bemoaned the indifference of American power to the cause of their liberty. Now a conservative American president had come bearing the gift of Wilsonian redemption...

The children of Islam, and of the Arabs in particular, had taken to the road, and to terror. There were many liberal, secular Arabs now clamoring for American intervention. The claims of sovereignty were no longer adequate; a malignant political culture had to be "rehabilitated and placed in receivership," a wise Jordanian observer conceded. Mr. Bush may not be given to excessive philosophical sophistication, but his break with "the soft bigotry of low expectations" in the Arab-Islamic world has found eager converts among Muslims and Arabs keen to repair their world, to wean it from a culture of scapegoating and self-pity. Pick up the Arabic papers today: They are curiously, and suddenly, readable. They describe the objective world; they give voice to recognition that the world has bypassed the Arabs. The doors have been thrown wide open, and the truth of that world laid bare. Grant Mr. Bush his due: The revolutionary message he brought forth was the simple belief that there was no Arab and Muslim "exceptionalism" to the appeal of liberty.....

As I made my way on this Arab journey, I picked up a meditation that Massimo d'Azeglio, a Piedmontese aristocrat who embraced that "springtime" in Europe, offered about his time, which speaks so directly to this Arab time: "The gift of liberty is like that of a horse, handsome, strong, and high-spirited. In some it arouses a wish to ride; in many others, on the contrary, it increases the desire to walk." It would be fair to say that there are many Arabs today keen to walk--frightened as they are by the prospect of the Islamists coming to power and curtailing personal liberties, snuffing out freedoms gained at such great effort and pain. But more Arabs, I hazard to guess, now have the wish to ride. It is a powerful temptation that George W. Bush has brought to their doorstep.

I certainly hope that Fouad Ajami is right.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:14 PM | Comments |

Mexico Uber Alles

Overheard at a rally at the Baldwin Park, CA, Metrolink station,

"Too bad Osama Bin Laden didn't have a hydrogen bomb
to drop on that Jewish shit hole called Manhattan..."

"Osama Bin Laden Rules!

"Zarqawi the Gringo killer, yes!, yes"

I've been out of the loop for awhile so maybe you've already seen this. They've got video. It's pretty freaking disgusting.

Hat tip: Pixy Misa

Parenthetically I used to live about 3 or 4 miles down the road from the Baldwin Park Metrolink station and had been there dozens of times. I never once noticed the anti-American slogans until I saw this story explode on the blogosphere several weeks ago.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:29 AM | Comments |

Religion of Peace Update

By Matt from WMD:

Moderate Muslims don't seem all that interested in defending the Religion of Peace as a religion of peace and attack those who do.

From the Washington Times:

Though met by modest crowds, the recent first-ever Free Muslims March Against Terrorism could be considered a success in one key respect: It further exposed the unwillingness of most major Muslim groups to condemn the radicals that have come to dominate their religion.

It also further cemented the growing reputation of organizer Kamal Nawash, head of the Free Muslims Coalition (FMC), as one of the only genuine moderate leaders of a national Islamic organization.
While I don't expect every Muslim to go to rallies like this one, it would be nice to hear condemnation of terrorist attacks whenever and wherever they happen. At worst, it would be seen as a good public relations move; at best, such action would deter further attacks.

Do I expect it to happen? Not with these people calling the shots for the Religion of Peace...

Groups like Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have a track record of condemning — but only targets like the Fox television show "24," which they blasted earlier this year for having terrorists who were Muslims.

Never mind that CAIR officials have refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah when asked to do so by The Washington Post and others, describing questions about the terrorist groups as a "game." And MPAC maintains, for example, that the Hezbollah murder of 241 Americans in Lebanon in 1983 was not a terrorist attack.
These people don't understand the problem they face...but do they really want peace? I don't think so...
Although not shy about badmouthing Mr. Nawash and FMC, CAIR and MPAC largely stayed silent regarding the rally. But CAIR was careful to refer people seeking comment about the rally to Hussein Ibish, former communications director at the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), who used to work in the same office as Mr. Nawash years ago.

Mr. Ibish has been on a tear of late, writing two rambling smear pieces on his former co-worker. In one, he labeled Mr. Nawash "unsavory" and called his efforts to condemn radical Islam in the same breath as terrorism "appalling." This is a marked contrast to how he responds to fellow Muslims who call for "jihad" and "Death to America."

Appearing on CNN in August 2002, Mr. Ibish was asked about a 1991 fund-raising letter from suspected (and indicted) terrorist Sami al-Arian that read, in part, "Jihad is our path! Victory to Islam! Death to Israel and victory to Islam! Revolution, revolution until victory! Rolling, rolling to Jerusalem!"

His response? " 'Death to Israel' does not necessarily mean violence. Jihad can mean a lot of things," he explained. Without explanation, Mr. Ibish abruptly — and bizarrely — switched the topic. "I'll tell you who is advocating violence. It is Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, who advocated torturing people."

These are the kinds of people that are their spokesmen. And the message isn't one of peace, no matter how you define it.
[The Muslim-American Society (MAS)] is the most ardent advocate of the United States forging closer ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the worldwide Islamist organization that has served as the theological inspiration for many of today's leading terrorists. Muslim Brotherhood's main goal is to create Islamic states around the world.

The kinds of Islamic states that Muslim Brotherhood and MAS would create, ironically, would be most inhospitable to someone like Mr. Ibish, who loves both wine and women. Though he does not shower praise on Islamist organizations, Mr. Ibish rarely criticizes them. Targets of his wrath, in fact, are almost always the enemies of the Islamists whom he should consider his enemies.

Were Mr. Ibish to change course and attack rabid Islamists rather than defend them, his stock among Muslim leaders would plummet. Such is the culture of conformity that punishes the likes of Mr. Nawash, while Mr. Ibish and other secular defenders of venomous Islamists thrive.
Read that last paragraph again. That tells me all I need to know...

By at 07:28 AM | Comments |

Senate Compromise on Judicial Filibusters Reached (a slightly different take)

The buzz in the blogospere is frantic over the compromise reached by the 14 Senators concerning the 5 Judicial nominees offered up by George Bush. Here is my take, the Republicans won this round. Here's why:

1) We have an up or down vote guaranteed on the 3 most contentious nominees Brown, Owen and Pryor.

2) We have given up nothing. The Dims promised not to filibuster unless under extraordinary circumstances. The other two nominess can be brought to the floor and if filibustered the Dims can be made out to be liars because the 3 most arguably extreme judges have already been allowed through.

3) The nuclear option can still be be used at any time.

4) The Dims got absolutely nothing except it allowed them a way out of this morass without totally losing face.

5) It will be virtually impossible for the Dims to try and filibuster one of these nominees if they are ever in line for the Supreme Court because they have already capitulated on them.

I was never sure that Frist had the votes to go nuclear, if he did he will have them a few weeks down the road should they be needed, if he didn't he averted a potentially devastating embarrassment. The Liberals blinked and we are better off now then we were a week ago.

Posted by Traderrob

Update: Frist on the Senate Floor:

I am not a party of the MOU signed last night by 14 of our colleagues, I have had the opportunity to further review in more detail and the MOU makes modest progress in that three individuals will get up or down votes.

But to me it does stop far short of guaranteeing judicial nominees of the up or down votes for other nominees and other nominees in the future. I say that with civility and trust and with the MOU being a starting point and the spirit in which it was generated, I think we can successfully bring these judicial nominees to a vote. It will be spun by the left and right in various ways but I look at that MOU which I didn't sign off on because it stops far short of what we want, but it does show a way to go forward with nominees with filibuster.
Frist: Other qualified nominees deserve the same up or down vote. The agreement stops far short of the principal that I have brought to the floor.

The agreement if followed in good faith will make filibusters in the future, including Supremem Court nominees, almost impossible. The words in the agreement about extraordinary circumstances, obviously I'm concerned about that because if extraordinary circumstances are described about people like Miguel Estrada, then this agreement will mean very little.

Frist continues, the constitutional option remains on the table. It remains an option and I won't hesitate to use it if necessary as a last resort. It is the only response if there is a change in response like the last Congress. My goal is restoring the principal of fairness for 214 years until the last Congress for up or down votes.

If the other side of the aisle continues the obstructionism and filibustering, the constitutional option will come out once again and I'll set a date to use it.

It's not a threat. It ought to be used to enforce appropriate behavior. All it does it bring it to the floor.
Hmmmm, interesting

By at 06:52 AM | Comments |


I only remember the punchline of this joke, which involves a gleeful little boy on Christmas morning, digging giddily through an enormous pile of horse puckey that has appeared there overnight.

"Do you realize what this means?" exclaims the star-struck little boy, up to his elbows in road apples. "It means there must be a pony here somewhere!"

Ah, youth. Well, some denizens of the rightish Immedia are looking for that pony in the new F.U.C.U.P. ("Filibuster: Unconditional Capitulation by Unmitigated Pansies") deal. Digging away are:

Orin Judd:"the deal looks excellent" and "Only [both sides'] most rabid partisans will be distraught."
Alexander McClure: "In short, this is the submission of the minority to the will of the
Jeff Harrell: "Compromise used to be virtuous"
Jon Podhoretz: "If the Democrats insist that the next nominee(s) are bad enough to invoke the "extraordinary" right to filibuster, the Republicans have the right to say the Democrats are full of it, kill the deal and go to the nuclear option immediately."

(which they could have done without this agreement)

Have fun, little shavers! Let us know when you find that pony! In the meantime, bear in mind that even the irrepressible Hugh "Specter will work out great!" Hewitt thinks the deal is not a good one and that this pile of horse poo is only that, and nothing more.

By See-Dubya at 05:40 AM | Comments |

Vichy Republicans

Punting on the goal line.

I'm not going to be able to type much here before lapsing into incoherent burbles of profanity.

I have taken a lot of crap for my politics. I have stood up--respectfully, politely--for unpopular conservative positions in ways I believe have negatively affected my career. These Senators exhibit no such conviction.

What reason do these puddle-spines give for this wonderful, breakthrough pact of theirs? How can they justify it? Comity? Compromise for its own sake?


By See-Dubya at 12:44 AM | Comments |

May 23, 2005

I'm ba-aaack.....


yahoomailimage.gif, it might be awhile before things get back to normal around here.

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

Sunnis Step Off Political Sidelines

This is the final nail in the coffin for Iraq's murdering terrorist'. Any shred of legitimacy they might have enjoyed from within Iraq is gone. The only support left in country is from the die hard Baathist's desperately trying to regain power and their numbers are miniscule.

BAGHDAD, May 21 -- More than 1,000 Sunni Arab clerics, political leaders and tribal heads ended their two-year boycott of politics in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq on Saturday, uniting in a Sunni bloc that they said would help draft the country's new constitution and compete in elections.

Formation of the group comes during escalating violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims that has raised the threat of sectarian war. The bloc represents moderate and hard-line members of the Association of Muslim Scholars, the Iraqi Islamic Party and other main groups of the disgruntled Sunni minority toppled from dominance when U.S.-led troops routed Hussein in April 2003.

Sunnis have remained on the sidelines of the Iraqi government since then. Most Sunnis boycotted national elections in January that put the long-suppressed Shiite majority in charge. Meanwhile, a Sunni-led insurgency appears to have become increasingly unpopular among ordinary Iraqis as the death toll from bombings and other attacks climbs.

Make no mistake, this is a big deal. The move effectively diminishes the chance for an all out civil war breaking out between Sunnis and Shiites to practically nil. All major parties are now participants in the process leaving the radical elements essentially isolated and powerless.

Posted by Traderrob

By at 06:26 AM | Comments |

May 22, 2005

Chavez: nuclear ambitions?

First he may have been looking into chemical weapons, now he's smooching the mullahs and looking for, as Clarence Boddicker might phrase it, "state of the art bang bang".

H/t to the Little Green Footballs.

By See-Dubya at 11:38 PM | Comments |

Tiger in Your Tank, Stool Pigeon Under Your Hood

Dave at Garfield Ridge, the man who puts the "Air" in "Air Power", announces that Oregon, ("The Bozo State"), wants to put a GPS chip in every car to track your mileage, so you can pay a mileage tax. He links to Partisan Pundit, with much, much more, e.g.: "The state of Oregon is finding ways to anally penetrate its motorists for more cash..."

If there was ever a measure capable of causing a rebellion all across the political spectrum, this is it.

Patterico reported a while back on a similar plan under deliberation here in California. The LA Times article he linked to (now offline) also said that the Federal Gummint is considering implementing a nationwide program to do the same thing, and that research is ongoing at the DOT.

(It's already the law in New Zealand, according to a friend of mine who owns a farm there. He has to write down his mileage and pay an extra tax because he owns a gas-guzzling, forest-leveling V-6 Toyota truck. No chips for them, just a mileage log.)

This is stupid on at least two enormous levels, and probably some smaller ones I haven't considered yet. But to start, see the extended entry:

I. A mileage tax is a perverse incentive against buying a fuel-efficient car. The LA Times article I mentioned above described how, when there were tax breaks for hybrids and the price of gas went through the roof, all us wacky Californians (but me) went out and got new Priuses (Prii?) and low-mileage cars. The environment is happier, I guess, but the state's not because they suddenly take a huge wallop in state gasoline tax revenues. So this is a retaliation against hybrid drivers. SUCKERS! Partisan pundit (linked above) says they might work out an enormous byzantine codification of which cars pay how much extra tax, based on their efficiency, to offset this effect. But it seems there are distortions inherent there as well.

II. The other elephant in the room is PRIVACY. I'm no libertarian but I certainly do not want a chip in my car. It is none of Big Brother's damned business where I drive my car in this free country of ours. If I have a tracking device on my car, someone had damn well better have a search warrant for it.

Where is the ACLU in all this? Here's a sweeping change that affects millions of innocent people's privacy. Are they too busy probing the thread count of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's bedsheets at Gitmo? Or are they still off trying to exorcise Christianity from public life? (As a matter of fact, they are.) ("But we need to have the mileage tax," they might just say--"because this, unlike the War on Terror--is for a good cause".)

If Oregon and California think they're going to pass this satellite-monitored mileage tax without a fight, they're out of their collective gourds.

By See-Dubya at 05:13 PM | Comments |

Which Numbers Matter? The NCTC Report Revisited, Recoded and Reanalyzed

By Demosophist

At Rusty's suggestion I'm moving this reanalysis of the Terrorism Chronology back to the start, for another run through the gauntlet. What I'd like to make clear is that I disagree that there's any implication in the numbers that we're losing, or losing ground, in the fight against Totalitarianism 3.x. In fact, we're confounding them at every turn, which is one reason they're becoming more vicious. In addition, they're raising the number of attacks in certain places, such as Kashmir, at the expense of "quality." Anyway, here's the original post, from last week:

Marc Danziger (by way of reader T.M. Lutas) recently emailed an Excel file containing the narratives from the report released by the National Counterterrorism Center entitled A Chronology of Significant International Terrorism for 2004, describing the 651 terrorist attacks it identified.  (Although there has been a debate with Larry Johnson over the significance of these numbers I've no argument with the idea that we ought to be concerned.  After all, I'm concerned or I wouldn't be posting this re-analysis. However, I object to the notion that these numbers are some sort of signal that we're not winning the war.)  At any rate, I've been mulling over these data since Marc dropped them to me about two weeks ago, doing a lot of what data geeks do with this sort of delicacy, and thought I'd post a little of what I've found. 

First of all, Marc's post on Winds of Change describes his preliminary findings, according to which it's clear that two countries, India and Iraq, account for over 3/4ths of the terrorist attacks that took place in 2004. (If all attacks listed in the report are included these two countries account for 76.2%).  After looking more carefully at the narratives in the glossy report the first thing that one finds is that there are about 70 events on the list of terrorist attacks that may not belong.  That's because the target of those attacks was clearly military, rather than civilian.  These amount to about 11% of the total number of attacks listed, and more than 80% of these (57 of 70) occurred in Kashmir.

Now, it's true that the folks who did these dirty deeds probably were not very concerned about "collateral damage" to civilians, so I don't have reservations about including them, provided some civilians were either wounded or killed, but in 36 of the 70 cases where the objective was clearly military there were no civilian casualties at all.  I'm not sure why these events even appear in a terrorist attack database, but their inclusion tends to put more emphasis on terrorist activity in the troubled Indian state than might otherwise be the case.  This is not so much because the events were included for Kashmir, but more because similar events were not generally included elsewhere.  But whatever the justification, as one deletes some of these questionable "terrorist" attacks from consideration the percentage of attacks in Iraq rises from roughly 31% to 34% while those in India/Kashmir fall from about 45% down to 41%.  So, while the proportion of "terrorist" attacks rises for Iraq and falls for India after you do a bit of circumspective culling, those two nations still account for approximately 3/4ths of all terrorist attacks in the world.  That fact doesn't change.  And in sheer frequency of attacks, India/Kashmir is still more active than Iraq, or anywhere else.  But that's not the whole story, by a long shot.

Dimensions of Evil

Another dimension that hasn't been touched upon in the blogosphere or elsewhere in any rigorous way is the lethality of the attacks, by country.  And here Iraq is clearly in the lead.  Moreover, India and Iraq account for "only" slightly over half the terrorist-related deaths in the world, while Russia rather than India, is second in gross lethality.  Moreover, four nations--Iraq, Russia, India and Spain--account for 85% of the terrorist-caused deaths in the world.  Here's a brief table that ranks the most to least deadly:

Country Deaths Percent
Iraq 552 30.41
Russia 436 24.02
India 364 20.06
Spain 191 10.52
Israel 60 3.31
Afghanistan 47 2.59
Saudi Arabia 46 2.53
Egypt 36 1.98
Palestine 23 1.27
Indonesia 10 0.55
Angola 9 0.50
Sudan 9 0.50
Pakistan 4 0.22
Thailand 4 0.22
Uzbekistan 4 0.22
Bangladesh 3 0.17
Philippines 3 0.17
Venezuela 3 0.17
Serbia 2 0.11
Sri Lanka 2 0.11
Turkey 2 0.11
Argentina 1 0.06
Congo 1 0.06
Nepal 1 0.06
Somalia 1 0.06
Ukraine 1 0.06
Total 1815 100.00

[No military deaths are counted in this ranking, although it does count police, counterterrorism personnel and officials, as well as paramilitary forces.  I identified a total of 95 military deaths that were included in the report, though I'm not sure what rationale was used.  80 of the 95, which were excluded from the tally above, occurred in Kashmir.  I can understand why one might use a different yardstick there, but to be strictly comparable to terrorism elsewhere these probably ought to be omitted from the tally.]

As mentioned previously India is third in lethality, after Iraq and Russia.  Furthermore, there are 13 lucky countries that had significant terrorist events according to the report, but suffered no civilian deaths. These countries don't appear on the table above, at all.

If we count both dead and wounded, which some would argue is reasonable (even though the over 1,000 injured in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 elicited little more than a large collective yawn from both the citizenry and their political representatives) Spain moves to the top of the list!

Country Casualties Percent
Spain 2095 25.72
India 1708 20.97
Iraq 1550 19.03
Russia 1387 17.03
Israel 380 4.67
Saudi Arabia 248 3.04
Indonesia 192 2.36
Palestine 113 1.39
Afghanistan 104 1.28
Bangladesh 103 1.26
Thailand 52 0.64
Egypt 48 0.59
Pakistan 26 0.32
Turkey 22 0.27
Sri Lanka 21 0.26
Angola 19 0.23
Sudan 19 0.23
Ukraine 14 0.17
France 10 0.12
Venezuela 6 0.07
Serbia 5 0.06
Congo 4 0.05
Uzbekistan 4 0.05
Bolivia 3 0.04
Philippines 3 0.04
Argentina 2 0.02
Germany 2 0.02
Malaysia 2 0.02
Somalia 2 0.02
Nepal 1 0.01
Total 8145 100.00

[Again, these are civilian casualties only.  The tally doesn't include 166 military wounded or 95 killed, the vast majority of whom were in Kashmir.]

The same four countries still account for 83% of terrorist activity in the world.  However, counting injured as equivalent to those who lost their lives obviously distorts the picture, and Spain moves to the top of the list only because of the March 11 Madrid attack, which killed 191 and injured almost 2,000.  There was only one other terrorist attack recorded for Spain in the report, perpetrated by the Basque Separatist ETA, which killed or injured no one.  Moreover, 9 countries that appear in the report were lucky enough to have had no civilian casualties at all!

The Quality of the Enemy

So, counting injured in this way leaves something to be desired in terms of method, and we need a better metric for "terrorist activity." This was the real reason I embarked on the current project to reassess the NCTC Report.  Raphael Perl, at the Congressional Research Service, and others emphasize the need for some sort of measure that guages the "quality" of terrorist attacks.  Although Perl stresses the importance of public opinion, I maintain that it's hard to distinguish between public opinion created by media bias and that attributable to the terrorists deft manipulation.  Clearly the media is a critical dimension in the war, but the proper way to account for it isn't necessarily to treat it as a reflection of enemy quality. 

I have to assume that a public well-informed about the nature and risks involved would be able to resist media manipulation, whether engineered by a crafty enemy or by a pliant media.  So until I can figure out how to assess that dimension better I've decided that the best approach is to concentrate on the quality of the information and analysis that I present, thereby diminishing the vulnerability of the public as much as possible.  Public opinion would then better reflect real conditions, and would begin to approximate the "wisdom of the people" that presents the toughest possible obstacle to an enemy, even one presenting in the guise of a friend.

There isn't a lot of information contained in the short descriptions in the NCTC Report that would enable an extensive assessment of quality, but I figured that even a crude measure might provide better insight than any of the quantity measures alone.  Although the scale I came up with for quality is pretty crude and limited, I think it's at least useful. 

The quality measure is composed of two elements that are summed and that are then multiplied by casualties to produce an overall number that's a composite of both quality and quantity.  I call this composite "gain," both for the sake of simplicity and because I'm just not very imaginative.  The two elements of quality I've used are "Success/Failure" and "Skill/Coordination."  The judgments for making the determination of success/failure are simply based on whether, and how well, the objectives of the attack seem to have been achieved.  Obviously I had to make some assumptions about the objectives to assign a score to this element, but those assumptions seem reasonable. An armed attack on a police barracks that results in no deaths and few injuries, except for the attackers, has to be viewed as an attempt that did not meet its objective.  The assessment of success/failure ranges from -1 to 2, where a negative score indicates that an attack was conducted that was either foiled outright, or that resulted
in significant negative consequences for the perpetrators (such as an attack that was carried out with no casualties where all the perpetrators were immediately killed or captured).  In other words the attack
backfired, in a big way.  There weren't many of these events,
unfortunately (only 7, or 1%), so they don't account for any large swings in
quality.  The distribution was: -1(1%), 0(9%), 1(26%), 2(64%).  Unfortunately, almost 2/3rds of the attacks were very successful.

The second element of quality is the "Skill/Coordination" aspired to by the terrorists.  This is basically a measure of whether multiple attacks were coordinated, or whether an individual attack was planned to be concurrent with political events so as to influence outcomes.  The metric also involves the prominence of authority figures who are targeted.  It's a measure of the strategic element, in other words.  Skill/coordination ranged from 0 to 3.  Here the news is a bit more promising.  The frequency distribution is: 0(72%), 1(22%) 2(4%) and 3(1%).  Well over 2/3rds of attacks did not exhibit any appreciable skill or coordination.  They weren't attempting to play a symphony, they were just making noise.  By this measure the terrorists are either not very ambitious, or their organization has been seriously disrupted, or I'm simply being too tough on them.  I can certainly see an argument for a much more refined measure of skill/coordination, but such an assessment would really demand much better data than are available to me.  Besides, although I have a good strategic sense and am a methodologist by trade, I'm not an expert in counterterrorism.

It is possible in my schema to simultaneously achieve a high score on success/failure with a low score on skill/coordination, or  visa versa.  Operationally the two elements of quality are summed, and are then multiplied by a weighted number reflecting casualties, to create a composite quality/quantity score that I've chosen to call "gain," at least until someone gives me a better term.

The casualties number doesn't account injuries equivalent to deaths, for obvious reasons.  It is a weighted sum where the number of deaths is 10 times more important than injuries.  This weighting seems reasonable in light of the public's reaction to injuries, though I'm open to suggestions.  Essentially the weighted casualties formula is:

Weighted Casualties = Deaths + 0.1*Wounded or Injured.

The formula for Quality is:
Quality = Success or Failure + Skill or Coordination Level Attempted. 

The ultimate formula is then:
Gain = Casualties * Quality. 

Rocket surgery, it's not.

As an example of how I scored these events let's look at the single most devastating terrorist attack in history, so far: 9/11/01.  That attack involved 4 separate coordinated events where the first three achieved their objective, and the fourth did not.  The first three events received a "2" for success/failure and a "3" for skill/coordination.  These are both the highest score possible for each element.  The Shankesville event also received a "3" for the skill/coordination aspired to, but received only a "0" for success/failure, largely as a result of the resourcefulness and courage of ordinary Americans.  The event wasn't a complete failure for the terrorists, because it killed 44 courageous people, but because its main objective wasn't achieved it may have actually contributed more hope than despair on that awful day.

Total "gain" for this single attack, composed of four separate events carried out on the same day (each scored separately), was approximately 15,000, or roughly 5 times the number of people killed.  (I didn't count 9/11 injuries, because I couldn't find a source for that information.)  By way of comparison, the combined gain score for all terrorist events during 2004, or at least those recorded in the NCTC Report, was a little over 8,000.  And that number includes the attack on the school in Beslan, in the Russian province of Ossetia, as well as the Madrid transit attack on 03/11.

Again, I'm open to other scoring suggestions... but the primary drawback of making a highly refined quality assessment is the paucity of detailed information contained in the short narratives.  If there are flaws in the specification some of those will wash out as a result of using the same method for all events, so there'll be a mix of over- and under-estimation of gain.  Consistency is my remedy for imprecision.  (If the distribution of error is approximately random this assumption is more valid than if it's highly skewed, obviously.) 

I felt it valid to assume that an armed attack on a police HQ, or a security bunker, that didn't kill anyone was probably something of a failure, while an attack that created lots of carnage was a "success."  I realize this is a perverse notion of success, but I think I've made reasonable decisions that optimize the potential of the data I had available.  So, without further ado, here's the ranked table for "terrorist gain"--the enemy's best (or worst) performance, depending on how you look at it:

Country Gain Percent
Iraq 2315.2 27.88
Russia 1952.2 23.51
Spain 1906.2 22.96
India 1013.9 12.21
Israel 276.6 3.33
Saudi Arabia 240.4 2.90
Egypt 186 2.24
Afghanistan 103.6 1.25
Indonesia 84.6 1.02
Palestine 54.1 0.65
Bangladesh 26 0.31
Thailand 20.4 0.25
Angola 20 0.24
Sudan 19.7 0.24
Uzbekistan 16 0.19
Turkey 13.6 0.16
Pakistan 9.3 0.11
Philippines 9 0.11
Sri Lanka 7.8 0.09
Venezuela 7.7 0.09
Argentina 4.4 0.05
Serbia 4.4 0.05
Nepal 3 0.04
Ukraine 2.3 0.03
Congo 2.2 0.03
Somalia 2.2 0.03
France 2 0.02
Malaysia 0.4 0.00
Bolivia 0.3 0.00
Total 8303.5 100.00

What Do We Know?

A few caveats.  According to the metric that I've devised, if a kidnapping or abduction occurred, but the abductees were released without injury (or if their fate is unknown), the event contributed nothing to the "gain," because at least one of the two terms in the product (in this case casualties) was zero.  Clearly terrorists probably gained from some of these abductions, either in terms of publicity or ransom.  Plus, it doesn't seem quite accurate to account zero gain from an abduction simply because the fate of the victim isn't known. Worldwide there were 66  kidnap cases with apparently no casualties, 49 of which were in Iraq and 7 in Kashmir.  In fewer than a handful of these was the fate of the victim still in doubt, but it might be worthwhile to modify the metric to include these abductions somehow.  However, doing so would only amplify the significance of Iraq which the current metric already reveals as the front line in the War on Terror, so that modest deficiency in the composite gain measure is not a good reason to reject these findings.

Next, to make any ultimate assessment of how well we're doing in the mis-named "War on Terror" it ought to be obvious that one needs comparable indices to quantify the gains for both sides.  Ignoring the performance of the allies is like looking at the polling data and campaign contributions for only one candidate in a Presidential race, without considering how well his opponent is doing.  But having said that, it's at least possible to get a sense of the price we're paying even if it's not clear what price the enemy has paid, by simply comparing the aggregate gain score with the analogous number for 9/11.  And the price the opponents of terrorism paid in 2004, distributed mostly over a handful of countries, was a little more than half what the US paid in one single day, almost four years ago.  That, at least, gives us some perspective.

Finally, my intention in conducting this analysis is not to suggest that we ignore "the numbers" that Larry Johnson considers important: the raw frequency of attacks per country.  Clearly the frequency of attacks in India/Kashmir is important for several reasons.  For one thing, the perpetrators are almost certainly linked to influences that are well-placed in the intelligence apparatus of an important US ally (Pakistan) who is concurrently engaged in a kind of "lukewarm war" with another US ally (India).  This isn't good news.  For another, it is at least conceivable that the people responsible for many small attacks in one theater could scale up to many large attacks, a process we could call the "malignancy effect."  It is a real potential, but there are reasons why we shouldn't be alarmed about it just yet.

For one thing, the average competency of the attackers in Kashmir isn't very high.  Compared to Iraq, for instance, which has an average gain per attack of 11.5, the average gain in Kashmir is 3.4, against an enemy not nearly as militarily competent as the US.  The "insurgents" in Kashmir would not last long if transplanted to Iraq.  Almost 20% of the events in Kashmir are home invasions, while a significant number of the rest are small scale street attacks.  There are a lot of attacks directed at police in Kashmir, but many of them are unsuccessful, resulting either in no deaths and few injuries, or harm to civilians who might otherwise sympathize with the attackers.  Many of these are grenades tossed or launched that either miss their targets entirely, or do little damage.  Those terrorists engaged in Kashmir, as well as their managers and organizers, are clearly a second or third string team, the members of which would not survive long if transplanted to the primary theater in the War on Terror: Iraq.

In addition, looked at from the strategic perspective "small ball," either in Kashmir or Iraq, while impressive, is not ultimately very successful.  In both cases the totalitarians are arguably losing the fight.  Talks between India and Pakistan over the disposition of Kashmir are more promising than ever, and it's not inconceivable that one might one day be able to honeymoon in the Vale of Kashmir.  (I may actually be holding out for that, on some deep psychological level.  It's an enchanting place, which explains in part why it has always been so contested.)

And in Iraq not only have the activities of the terrorists awakened a certain revulsion in the larger Middle East, but the restraint of the Shi'a has tapped and inspired a latent Arab pride in humanitarian values, and hope for the future of self-governance that has been dormant since the beginning of the Cold War midway through the last century.  The knees of the autocrats aren't sturdy.

But, the war isn't abating.  If anything it's growing more, rather than less, intense, just as did a previous war when Grant made his fateful decision to turn south in pursuit of Lee after the Battle of the Wilderness.  And one can also expect that as "small ball" doesn't achieve their objectives the enemy may very well intend some large scale attacks to recoup, possibly in areas of the world that aren't prepared for the onslaught.  The parade of names that join those of Antietam, Gettysburg, The Bloody Angle, Chateau Thierry, The Argonne, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, The Bulge, 9/11 and even Hiroshima and Nagasaki, may not have reached their end.  There isn't much room either for complacency, or despair.

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

By Demosophist at 01:22 PM | Comments |

More Hypocrisy From the Left.....Go Figure

Another glowing example of the blatant hypocrisy of the left concerning filibusters. We have pointed out the complete reversal of conviction from the likes of Schumer, Levin, Leahy, Kennedy, Feinstein etc. over the past weeks. It appears we have another inductee into the disingenuous Democrat hall of political shame.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, who publicly crusaded against Senate filibusters 12 years ago, now says he opposes banning filibusters against judicial nominees - the so-called "nuclear option'' fueling a bruising Capitol Hill showdown.

``I would vote against changing the filibuster rule right now,'' Frank (D-Newton) told the Herald in a telephone interview Thursday. Frank explained he still supports an ``across-the-board'' ban against all filibusters, but he opposes the Republican ``nuclear option'' because it only outlaws filibusters against judicial nominees.

In 1993, Frank led a public fight to end Senate filibusters, asserting in a Washington Post op-ed piece: ``I believe legislative bodies should scrupulously abide by two principles: complete openness and majority rule. The filibuster is a godsend to potential gridlockers.''

PUHLEEEAZE Barney.... sounds like Kerry, he's against it except when he's for it. Is it possible for these crapweasels to be consistent on anything.

Posted by Traderrob

By at 11:18 AM | Comments |

By at 11:12 AM | Comments |

Okrent's parting volley

And keeping with the theme of New York blog-vixens: Karol of Alarming News alerts us to Daniel Okrent's last ombudsman column for the New York Times. Okrent takes the opportunity to get a lot off his chest, including a slam at Paul Krugman (quoted at Karol's) and this gem:

"5. Reader Steven L. Carter of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., asks, If "Tucker Carlson is identified as a conservative" in The Times, then why is "Bill Moyers just, well, plain old Bill Moyers"? Good question."

You tell 'em, Steve. "Bala Cynwyd" is proud of you.

Okrent's job goes to a guy named Barney who just retired from the Wall Street Journal's news desk recently. That shouldn't necessarily get anyone's hopes up that he's somehow ideologically conservative; after all, the WSJ editorial page's liberal columnist Al Hunt was recruited from the news side of their operation. Anyway, ideology shouldn't really matter for this job, although I hope he will be receptive to conservative criticism of the Times' relentless cheerleading for libertinism, socialism, and cosmopolitan internationalism.

Don't know what to say about Okrent's legacy. I don't see where he forced any major reform at the paper, but there's not too much any single person could have done. One of the things he regrets, according to his final column, is admitting that "of course" the Times is a liberal paper. Well, I thought that was a welcome burst of candor, though Okrent rues handing ideological critics of the Times that particular club.

But you're supposed to tell the truth, and let the chips fall where they may. If people criticize the paper, at least it will be for being honest and liberal instead of being liberal and lying about it.

By See-Dubya at 04:08 AM | Comments |

Blondes have more fun?

Blogger and DJ Dawn Eden has parlayed a series of defeats--including getting canned from her job as a copy editor at the NY Post for her pro-life views--into some victories including, apparently, a columnist job at the NY Daily News. Her first "Our Gal in cyberspace" column is here.

Plus, she apparently has a new beau she met through her blog. Career advancement, friends, romance--is there anything blogs can't do? (Whoa, I'm sounding like Hugh Hewitt.)

By See-Dubya at 03:14 AM | Comments |

May 21, 2005

Oil for Food Rundown

The Oil-for-Blood mess is pretty complicated, and Saddam thrived on the ambiguities. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard does the world a service by serving up a very readable primer on the situation: how it got started, how it worked, and why it matters.

This isn't a partisan article. Which is good because Oil-of-Uday shouldn't be a partisan issue.

I will point this out just to exercise the moonbats who flutter by here now and then: if you honestly think there is some unsavory link persisting between Dick Cheney and Halliburton, how can you fail to be outraged at the much grander, and more brazen, corruption between Saddam and the UN--criminal activity that snatched relief from starving Iraqis, that supported terrorist groups, that bribed world leaders, and that subverted and made a mockery of the very international institutions you hold so dear?

By See-Dubya at 11:39 PM | Comments |

By at 07:14 PM | Comments |

Louisiana Church Sex Cult Arrests

(Ponchatoula, Louisiana) The FBI, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, and the Ponchatoula Police Department are investigating allegations of cult-like deviant practices, including sex with children and animals, by members of the Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula. Thus far, the following eight people have been arrested and charged.

Austin Bernard III, 36, was charged with allegedly forcing a girl under the age of 13 to perform a sex act and admitted to knowing about alleged sexual acts involving children, dogs and cats that occurred at Hosanna Church.

Nicole Bernard, 36, was charged with aggravated rape of a juvenile under the age of 13

Paul Fontenot, 21, was charged with aggravated rape of a juvenile under the age of 13.

Deputy Christopher Labat, 24, was charged on one count of aggravated rape, one count of crime against nature, and one count of malfeasance in office. Being a law officer, Labat was not put with the general prisoner population. He is, however, on suicide watch.

Louis Lamonica, 45, was charged with two counts of aggravated rape and one count of crime against nature after he confessed that he had sex with children and animals. The entire sex cult case broke wide open when Lamonica walked into the Sheriff's office and confessed. He is the former pastor of the Hosanna Church.

Robbin D. Lamonica, 45, was charged with one count of aggravated rape after a male victim told deputies that he had been having sex with Robbin Lamonica from the time he was 4 years of age until he was 13.

Lois Ann Mowbray, 54, was charged with obstruction of justice, failure to report a felony, and accessory after the fact to aggravated rape.

Allen R. Pierson, 46, was charged with one count of aggravated rape for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with a girl who was 9 or 10-years-old at the time. The victim is now 13.

The investigation continues and authorities believe there may be dozens of victims ranging in age from infancy to adolescence. Computers were seized and the crime lab expects to find pictures of sex acts involving children and animals.

Notably, the laws of Louisiana consider sex with young children a capital crime punishable by death. If the evidence is sufficient, Scott Perrilloux, the 21st Judicial District Attorney, may seek the death penalty. Execution shouldn't be inconceivable. The enormity of the alleged crimes is bewildering.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 06:59 PM | Comments |

A Post for Demosophist (and other D.C. area peeps)

My e-mail is mypetjawa-at-gmail-dot-com. I don't really read my yahoo account anymore since I get about a bajillion pieces of e-mail there every day. And I don't have access to my university e-mail right now since it's a pop server. Further, until last night I didn't really have internet access since my wifi card decided to melt my computer down the very first night I got to the hotel so I've only read The Jawa Report like twice in the past week.

Grumbling indeed......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:26 AM | Comments |

May 20, 2005

Oddblogging--Loquat bleg

So I picked about a gallon of loquats from a tree at church this evening. I don't know what to do with them. They're tasty on their own--kind of like apricots but citrusy--but we can't just eat a gallon of them. I can't just juice them because they have a large pit in the middle. Any recipes, ideas, etc. on what to do with loquats? ( I'm gonna juice a couple and mix it with some gin and crushed ice, and I'll let you know how that turns out.)

UPDATE--Gin and loquat--better without the loquat.

By See-Dubya at 10:52 PM | Comments |

Pepsi and the Devil's Nougat

Ace is tired of the Pepsi challenge already. PepsiCo's ranting, anti-American CEO just didn't light his fuse the way it did for Hugh Hewitt or Powerline. And you know what? That's fine.

Ace had a brilliant entry a while back about the concept of keeping "Conservative-Kosher" and how he's kinda half-hearted about it. Part of the reason he drifted right into South-Park conservatism is the incredible number of stupid boycotts leftists frickin' HAVE TO DO OR YOU'RE AN IMPERIALIST PIG. Below the break, his example, plus a long rant of my own:

"Hey man, don't eat Snickers."

"But I love Snickers."

"Nope. Boycott Snickers. Didn't you hear?"

"Hear what, exactly?"

"Uhhhhh... well, like, something? You know? Like they don't pay their migrant workers enough to thresh and harvest the Snickers trees? Or, like, five cents of every nickle from a Snickers bar goes to fund the Death Squads in, um, Portugal?"

"What Portuguese Death Squads?"

"You know... all those Death Squads in Latin America. I don't know the facts, I'm just telling you what I know. And what I know is that Snickers is filled with the Devil's Nougat."

I'm going to paraphrase my thoughts from that thread on what I think is an important subject: boycotts.

I think it's fine and important to organize the occasional conservative boycott--I mean it's just necessary: if you're a private actor and you know that you can piss off the right with impunity, whereas you'll get no end of crap from the left for the tiniest infraction (or none at all, eg Nestle), you're going to tack left. That's why we're losing the culture war. We're unable to impose economic discipline in quite the same lockstep fashion. And that's actually OK.

You want a good example of a right wing boycott that worked, though? Smith and Wesson. They wussed out on settling with the Clinton DOJ and their name is still mud. It will take them years to regain the goodwill of gun owners who had plenty of alternatives--fine American firearms makers who would actually protect their customers' rights.

Here's the difference, though: If it's possible, we need to be a little bit latitudinarian about the boycott thing so we don't do what happened to Ace. Don't go off like a Teamster on a scab if you see someone you know open a bottle of French wine or Gallo wine (E&J Gallo is a huge donor to Nancy Pelosi--that includes E&J cooking brandy, too). Instead, drink up with them. If a guy has a new Smith and Wesson, go to the range and shoot it. Don't politicize this stuff relentlessly and don't demonize people for these personal choices.

At the same time, do make the case publicly on blogs and outlets like NRO, Fox, etc. I respect people's right to disagree with me on, say, paying a little extra for American or Taiwanese manufacture over Chicom slave-dreck. But just like I'm not going to be an effective evangelist for my religion (Christianity, I highly recommend it, e-mail me for details!) by insulting people and telling them they're going to HELL RIGHT NOW UNLESS I DUNK YOU IN THIS WATER YOU HEATHEN WRETCH I have to be satisfied with making the case with some humility, and hoping a few people will agree with me--maybe enough to make a difference.

Should you boycott Pepsi? I don't know, but even if this isn't a trangression as gob-smackingly vile as Linda Foley's, they should feel some consequences. Let 'em know you heard. Write 'em an e-mail. Buy Coke instead for a while. Tell people about what their silly CEO said when you're talking politics. But let's not make it an article of faith, and don't call someone a RINO who doesn't see it as being quite as urgent as you do.

It's politics, not a religion. Not for us, anyway.

By See-Dubya at 07:43 PM | Comments |

Female Afghan 'Veejay' Murdered

(Kabul, Afghanistan) After the fall of the Taliban, Shaima Rezayee, 24, immediately discarded her burkha and became a video journalist for Kabul's answer to MTV. In this capacity, she hosted an hour-long music and chat show airing videos of Western singers which outraged conservative Muslims. Two months ago, Rezayee was fired due to pressure from Islamic mullahs. This week, she was murdered in her home by an unknown assailant. The killing is believed to be linked to her time as a veejay.

Obviously, living in a democracy doesn't automatically guarantee freedom of expression.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 05:31 PM | Comments |

Call me ADMIRAL Rusty Shackleford

This week I:

Atended a speech delivered by the President. Very cool since I had no idea he was going to be the key note speaker.

Met two U.S. Senators, including John McCain. The other Senator was decent enough to chat with my students for awhile.

Hung out with my Congressman for about 30 minutes too long while he blathered on and on with every liberal DNC talking point while claiming to be a 'conservative' Democrat.

Sat in on a Senate committee meeting in which Trent Lott looked incredibly bored.

Watched as John Lewis reminded a group of high school students that he was with Dr. King at the March on Washington for the bajillionth time in his life.

Was in the room as Justice Kennedy read the decision from the bench that states could not ban the import of wine---Thomas and Breyer passed notes the whole time.

Had to sit through the Junior Senator from California blathering on and on about 'extremist Republican judges' from the gallery.

Was overheard on the Hill commenting, upon passing Norm Coleman in the halls, that his wife was hot.

Had two half-smokes, three all beef kosher hot dogs, and four Mt. Dews off street carts.

Told a lobbyist representing the rent-to-own furnishings industry that his business was immoral and predatory. I take it Congressional aids aren't so forward as he stormed off in a huff.

Saw the Nationals beat the Brewers. Several yuppified liberals moved because we were beeing a tad bit too obnoxious. Don't you just love liberals-- always fighting for the 'common man' but can't stand to be near any of them.

Witnessed the head of the Israeli Air Force lay a wreathe at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cried as I found my grandfather's name at the new WWII memorial.

Cried again at the Holocaust Museum.

And again reading the Second Innaguaral enshrined on the walls of the Lincoln memorial.

Noticed that the Human Rights Campaign building is right across the street from the YMCA. How prosaic.

Missed my family desperately.

This town is so shallow. This town is so deep. The history I love, the politics and the people I hate.

I'll see some of you tomorrow about 8 p.m. E-mail me for directions.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:16 PM | Comments |

Expediency vs Accuracy and the Truth

It's called"transferrence"(TF) and the MSM is in full TF mode. Crappergate has resulted in the deaths of two dozen people. There are clearly two parties that bear reponsibility for creating the circumstances that led up to this tragedy but are being ignored in favor of their favorite whipping boy, GW.

It has become the prevalent modus operandi for the left to transfer blame from truely guilty to those of their choosing and the MSM for the most part have been complicit in these efforts. It's been going on for years and it's integral to the rationalization and justification of their agenda. The most long standing example of this is their take on crime and criminals. "We can't blame the poor black teen for gunning down 3 people in the street. We must blame the truely guilty, the evil white capitalist who has forced this child into a life of poverty, frustration and violence. We must not hold him accountable, but, rather society and ultimately ourselves for creating an environment by which we produced such a an individual."

Fast forward to Crappergate. It's not the fault of Newsweek for shoddy reporting, nor of the Muslim clerics who daily whip their followers into a frenzied bloodlust ready to rampage at the slightest provocation. No, it's the Bush administrations fault for going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq thereby enflaming the passions of the Muslim world against us. It's our callous attitude and intolerance toward the religion of peace and our efforts to elevate our interests above those who would choose to kill us that are truely responsible for the these deaths. It's the fault of the Bush administration, society and ultimately ourselves.

What a steaming cowpie. The radical Muslim world has had it out for us before George Bush had the faintest glint in his eye to run for President. It started when we chose to support Israel in the Middle East and has been festering increasingly ever since. The Muslim terrorist's have been bombing our facilities and killing our people across the globe for decades and it has to do with who we are and what we stand for. The only thing that will change their attitude toward us is to change the very core of ourselves as a people.

Maybe that's what the MSM really feels is neccessary. That we as a people discard our current set of morals, values and beliefs in favor of a more "worldly"concoction, one of their choosing. That we subjugate our interests to the interests of the world. That we quit making them mad. After all it's our fault, if we would just quit irritating them, they would leave us alone maybe even learn to love us.

Personally, I'll continue to place the blame where it belongs. This approach may not ultimately result in a worldwide rendition of Kumbaya but, that's OK, I can't sing anyway.

Posted by Traderrob

By at 09:08 AM | Comments |

Dude: That Was Awesome.

Oh yeah. I've been waiting too long for it to come out, and it's a masterpiece. Seriously. Worth every penny. Conflict, tragedy, humor...The villains are venal and nasty. I especially liked the confrontation with that gray shaggy beast. The direction is good; it's long, but pretty much every part is necessary. (A little cheesy at the end, kinda hammers home the point too hard, but I'll forgive that.) And while it's not subtle, it's not trying to be, you know? There's a lot to think about here--the loss of liberty, human nature, the corrupting illusion of perfection--this one's pretty deep, folks.

What? The Sith? F--- that noise. I'm talkin' about the new Bill Whittle essay: Sanctuary, Part One and Part Two.

A new Whittler should be an event in the rightish Immedia like the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau in November--a tasty good reason for a party. It's long, though, so if you are reading this from work, do yourself a favor: print it out, and take it home, and Sunday night instead of watching some crap on TV, pour yourself a double bourbon, settle back into a comfy chair, and enjoy it.

By See-Dubya at 05:04 AM | Comments |

Fisking Robert A. Pape

By Demosophist

There's something about ths piece from the New York Times Op/Ed page that just got me riled up, and I had to tackle it. I don't really have a problem with the basic thesis that terrorism, and even suicide terrorism, is a rational strategy. But I really do not like what Professor Pape does with that, at all.

Blowing Up an Assumption
Published May 18, 2005
MANY Americans are mystified by the recent rise in the number and the audacity of suicide attacks in Iraq.

I'm not. I'm mystified by the absence of reporting about the success of our strategies in Iraq, and the rather obvious fact that we're winning. So is there a reason why I need to read the rest of this? I'll read it though, because I have a hunch there are illusions waiting to be dispelled. Call me psychic.

The lull in violence after January's successful elections seemed to suggest that the march of democracy was trampling the threat of terrorism. But as electoral politics is taking root, the Iraqi insurgency and suicide terrorism are actually gaining momentum.

If the march of democracy is such a great catalyst for terrorist-supported causes you have to wonder why the terrorists are resisting so strenuously? It's a kind of miracle.

In the past two weeks, suicide attackers have killed more than 420 Iraqis working with the United States and its allies. There were 20 such incidents in 2003, nearly 50 in 2004, and they are on pace to set a new record this year.

To make sense of this apparent contradiction, one has to understand the strategic logic of suicide terrorism.

Tell us, oh sage. There were 6 suicide terrorist attacks in Iraq during 2004 according to the NCTC chronology, although there may have been more that were directed specifically at allied military, and I may have missed one or two in the narratives (though I don't think so). A terrorist attack is, according to the definition, directed at civilian targets, so I don't know how Dr. Pape came up with 50 suicide attacks. But even if there were 50 it shouldn't be all that difficult to either predict or explain the increase. It happens whenever the desperation of a totalitarian cause is sparked by the prospect of imminent defeat. That's what led to the Kamikaze attacks on allied shipping in the Pacific and Project Werewolf in Europe at the end of WWII. How out-of-the-loop must you be to have overlooked something so obvious?

Totalitarian regimes use suicide aggression during the period when they're either coming to power and when they're losing power at the end. While they're actually in power and relatively unmolested, as were the Ba'ath through much of Saddam's career, they use state terror rather than terror-ism. And what would be the point of a suicide torturer, other than as comic relief?

Since Muslim terrorists professing religious motives have perpetrated many of the attacks, it might seem obvious that Islamic fundamentalism is the central cause, and thus the wholesale transformation of Muslim societies into secular democracies, even at the barrel of a gun, is the obvious solution. However, the presumed connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism is misleading, and it may spur American policies that are likely to worsen the situation.

The correlation is with totalitarianism not fundamentalism. And nothing Professor Pape presents as evidence runs counter to that. End of story. Regarding suicide terrorism, hereinafter referred to as "suicidism," if a pedophile can convince a young heterosexual to have homosexual sex for no good reason is it such a stretch to believe that a ruthless totalitarian would be able to manipulate otherwise benign and impressionable youth to strap on a bomb? Gimme a break. In the minds of totalitarians those people are just intelligently guided missiles to be exploited, and the NYT is participating in the deception by sewing the impression that those seeking the license to oppress are equivalent to those resisting oppression. They deserve to be kicked to the curb for such abuses of logic and ethics.

Over the past two years, I have compiled a database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003 - 315 in all. This includes every episode in which at least one terrorist or herself while trying to kill others, but excludes attacks authorized by a national government (like those by North Korean agents against South Korea). The data show that there is far less of a connection between suicide terrorism and religious fundamentalism than most people think.

So? Who said religion was the sole operative? It's a particular KIND of religion that's operative, and that kind may even be atheistic, like Marxism. All that's required is that it hitch itself to a compelling Ur-myth, and that it be completely unprincipled in pursuit of the fulfillment of that myth. Which, of course, it is... because the ends justify the means and all that.

The leading instigator of suicide attacks is the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist-Leninist group whose members are from Hindu families but who are adamantly opposed to religion. This group committed 76 of the 315 incidents, more than Hamas (54) or Islamic Jihad (27). Even among Muslims, secular groups like the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al Aksa Martyr Brigades account for more than a third of suicide attacks.

What nearly all suicide terrorist attacks actually have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.

Actually, what they have in common is a mythology of getting back to the Garden, whether that's a worker's paradise or the Caliphate, or a racially pure "Springtime." The only reason that seek to compel the withdrawal of the forces of democracy is because they've never actually achieved the first goal in their fanatical march toward Ur. Had they ever actually made it to first base, they'd be in the process of consolidation after which they'd begin a strategy to steal second. This is true of Marxist totalitarianism; it's true of Fascist totalitarianism; and it's true of Islamist totalitarianism. Indeed, the pattern is so obvious that one wonders how Professor Pape could possibly miss it, with his eyes open?

Religion is often used as a tool by terrorist organizations in recruiting and in seeking aid from abroad, but is rarely the root cause.

Three general patterns in the data support these conclusions. First, nearly all suicide terrorist attacks - 301 of the 315 in the period I studied - took place as part of organized political or military campaigns. Second, democracies are uniquely vulnerable to suicide terrorists;

Why would suicide terrorist attacks take place as anything other than an aspect of an organized political or military campaign? What is remarkable about the fact that they do? Is it simply the astonishment of people like Professor Pape that religions can follow a strategy, or is it that he has trouble with the notion that Marxism is a religion? As for the what, where, when and how of the Islamist strategy, Mary Hadek, among others, could clarify that a bit for him. (See a video of Dr. Hadek here.)

If you'd like to really know why democracies are vulnerable, and what we can do about it, see Bill Whittle's just released essays: Sanctuary 1 and Sanctuary 2. And we're not as vulnerable as we look.

America, France, India, Israel, Russia, Sri Lanka and Turkey have been the targets of almost every suicide attack of the past two decades.

Spain took a pretty big hit recently, in the long ball tradition. Same with Russia. Spain topped the list for casualties in 2004, and Russia was second. Small number of attacks, but highly lethal. India was third, although the average quality and lethality of individual attacks in Kashmir was low. (See my earlier post on this topic here or here.) There weren't really very many suicide terrorist attacks last year. I count less than 30 worldwide, or fewer than 5% of the total number of attacks in the NCTC database (651). They were, however, highly lethal, accounting for almost 1,000 of about 1800 civilian deaths. All but one occurred in Iraq, Russia or Israel, the isolated exception being in Spain (its only terrorist attack that killed or injured anyone).

Most of the attacks in India were in Kashmir, rather than in the Tamil Tiger stronghold of southern India or Sri Lanka. In lethality Iraq was the most deadly, Russia second, India third and Spain fourth. Together, on just about any measure--lethality, casualties, quality--those four countries accounted for about 85% of the terrorist activity in 2004. France had ten casualties and no deaths, America zero, Turkey 22 with only 2 deaths. So what's the pattern? Jihadism, that's the pattern. Where they can register an attack, they do, even if it's only a home invasion. Salafist extremism is what's driving things, and that's only because it's the most recent form of totalitarianism. After we defeat them, it'll be something else... until liberalism matures and gets its head out of you-know-where.

Third, suicide terrorist campaigns are directed toward a strategic objective: from Lebanon to Israel to Sri Lanka to Kashmir to Chechnya, the sponsors of every campaign - 18 organizations in all - are seeking to establish or maintain political self-determination.

Well that's a quaint way to put it. What they're seeking is a base of operations from which to launch more attacks free from the effects of police surveillance and suppression. Has this fellow never heard of the "Method of Muhammed?" The first objective is to establish an Islamist state. They don't plan to stop with that, though. Yes that's strategic. That's part of why we're at war, as opposed to a long drawn-out police manhunt for a few bad actors.

Before Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982, there was no Hezbollah suicide terrorist campaign against Israel;

See the pattern here? He's attempting to say that this is all the fault of the "Old Jews" in Israel and the "New Jews" in the US, and he's using this brain-addled theory about suicide terrorism to do it. But the fact is that the attacks in Israel and Palestine look like a bell curve, and they're now tapering off again. Total killed last year in Israel and Palestine combined was 88, after all that provocation from the New Jews invading Babylon, too. That number was exceeded in Spain by almost 220% in one day. So, what was their objective? What's the percentage of Muslims in Spain seeking a Spanish homeland, do you think? And lest you believe Iraq was the objective, well in a sense sure, but virtually none of the assailants in the Madrid transit bombing were Iraqi. So what do they want Iraq for, do you think? A place to hold birthday parties?

indeed, Hezbollah came into existence only after this event. Before the Sri Lankan military began moving into the Tamil homelands of the island in 1987, the Tamil Tigers did not use suicide attacks. Before the huge increase in Jewish settlers on the West Bank in the 1980's, Palestinian groups did not use suicide terrorism.

And, true to form, there had never been a documented suicide attack in Iraq until after the American invasion in 2003.

The Palestinians hadn't used terrorist attacks before 1980 because they hadn't been reinvented yet, in their modern form. It just didn't occur to them. Qutb had laid the groundwork and there were occasional instances, but until Arafat had his brainstorm they were infrequent. The case that suicidism was invented because of an outrage against Palestinian nationalism is just eyewash. Why wasn't it used in Vietnam, which had a fairly intense nationalist outrage to nurse? Yes, suicidism is a rational strategy. So what else is new? And the reason it wasn't used in Iraq prior to the US invasion is no great mystery. That's because it was a freakin' TERROR STATE! What need did it have for terror-ism? Is this fellow on drugs?

Much is made of the fact that we aren't sure who the Iraqi suicide attackers are. This is not unusual in the early years of a suicide terrorist campaign. Hezbollah published most of the biographies and last testaments of its "martyrs" only after it abandoned the suicide-attack strategy in 1986, a pattern adopted by the Tamil Tigers as well.

It might be a good idea to attempt to suppress these "biographies," don't you think? Since they're essentially written by the folks trying to recruit more. But with the internet that would be impossible, and anyway the fact is that there were only 6 suicide terrorist attacks in Iraq last year, so recruitment must've been down for some reason. I wonder why? (In truth it wasn't suicide-willing recruits that were down, but opportunities to deploy them. And that's because we were using, er... counter-measures.)

At the moment, our best information indicates that the attackers in Iraq are Sunni Iraqis and foreign fighters, principally from Saudi Arabia. If so, this would mean that the two main sources of suicide terrorists in Iraq are from the Arab countries deemed most vulnerable to transformation by the presence of American combat troops. This is fully consistent with what we now know about the strategic logic of suicide terrorism.

It's a stretch to read into this some special freedom-fighting ethic, I think. It's also trivially obvious that these folks would defend their freedom of movement and their prerogatives, including access to a victim population to be oppressed or incited to jihad, depending on the need. Finding people to volunteer for suicide attacks is easy. What they'd like is an Ummah-wide Fallujah, complete with scaled-up baby Auschwitz slaughterhouses so that they could institutionalize terror on a massive scale, and use terror-ism only on "the far enemy." (That's us, and Europe, of course.)

Some have wondered if the rise of suicide terrorism in Iraq is really such a bad thing for American security. Is it not better to have these killers far away in Iraq rather than here in the United States? Alas, history shows otherwise. The presence of tens of thousands of American combat forces on the Arabian Peninsula after 1990 enabled Al Qaeda to recruit suicide terrorists, who in turn attacked Americans in the region (the African embassy bombings in 1998 and the attack on the destroyer Cole in 2000). The presence of nearly 150,000 American combat troops in Iraq since 2003 can only give suicide terrorism a boost, and the longer this suicide terrorist campaign continues the greater the risk of new attacks in the United States.

6 suicide attacks in Iraq last year, but only three accounted for most of the deaths (310). Again, from a statistical standpoint I really don't know how you can say very much about suicide attack recruitment. The most prudent assessment would be that they can probably recruit enough to meet their needs no matter what we do, and Bin Laden has said that there was a far greater supply of volunteers than missions. What does that tell you? Surely not that controlling the spigot of suicide attackers is the best strategic option for winning the war? Rather, the best strategic option is to control the RECRUITERS and control or moderate THEIR LETHALITY.

Understanding that suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation rather than a product of Islamic fundamentalism has important implications for how the United States and its allies should conduct the war on terrorism.

Who cares what it's a response to, actually. It could be a response to indigestion, for all it matters.

Spreading democracy across the Persian Gulf is not likely to be a panacea so long as foreign combat troops remain on the Arabian Peninsula.

There is no panacea. It's a strategy, and it's working. How much more does it have to be, to appeal to what small increment of logic and ethics is left to the Left?

If not for the world's interest in Persian Gulf oil, the obvious solution might well be simply to abandon the region altogether.

Well, lucky for the Iraqis we want their oil, huh?

Isolationism, however, is not possible; America needs a new strategy that pursues our vital interest in oil but does not stimulate the rise of a new generation of suicide terrorists.

Again, it's unimportant. Suicidists are a dime a dozen. How to deploy them is the problem, for the totalitarians. That's the part of the equation where we come in. We screw up their deployment regime, simple as that. And we take out there leaders, the people driving the recruitment. It seems to me that if Professor Pape is at all awake and aware he'd be able to see that the suicidists aren't directing themselves, but they're being recruited and directed by someone. That ought to tell him that controlling the handlers and recruiters is the problem, not the willingness of impressionable people to sacrifice themselves. What's wrong with the Professor Papes of the world? Why isn't this obvious?

BEYOND recognizing the limits of military action and stepping up domestic security efforts, Americans would do well to recall the virtues of our traditional policy of "offshore balancing" in the Persian Gulf. During the 1970's and 1980's, the United States managed its interests there without stationing any combat soldiers on the ground, but keeping our forces close enough - either on ships or in bases near the region - to deploy in huge numbers if an emergency. This worked splendidly to defeat Iraq's aggression against Kuwait in 1990.

Offshore balancing didn't do diddly to forestall the attack on the WTC. But I have no problem withdrawing to a redoubt somewhere WHEN THE MISSION IS COMPLETELY FULFILLED. That part's obvious. Out of sight, out of mind. But ready to pounce on short notice should the need arise.

THE Bush administration rightly intends to start turning over the responsibility for Iraq's security to the new government and systematically withdrawing American troops. But large numbers of these soldiers should not simply be sent to Iraq's neighbors, where they will continue to enrage many in the Arab world. Keeping the peace from a discreet distance seems a better way to secure our interests in the world's key oil-producing region without provoking more terrorism.

And where they'll inspire more sincere reformers to continue pouring acid into the brains of the Zarqawis of the region: the vanguard of liberalism/democracy against their vanguard of totalitarian Islamism. Not complicated. (Here I use the term "liberalism" in the classic, rather than the partisan sense.)

There's such minimal value in this "analysis" that I fail to perceive why it was even published, unless it's just part of a power struggle in the West. Essentially it makes little, if any, sense. It certainly contributes nothing to winning the struggle against a rather formidable enemy, unless we have some serious problem coming to grips with the notion that terrorism isn't a scream in the dark, but a war strategy. I don't have a problem with that, do you? Of course it is. But it doesn't follow that terrorism is a strategy of liberation from an oppressor. In fact, history says precisely the opposite. It's a strategy designed to obtain the license to oppress. Sort of rolls off your tongue, doesn't it?

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia, Anticipatory Retaliation and The Jawa Report))

By Demosophist at 02:30 AM | Comments |

May 19, 2005

no posting today for Suzanne

I just got home from school, and now I'm leaving to go see Star Wars. Or maybe I should say, stand in line to go see Star Wars.

I mean, I love you kids and all, but we do have our priorities... ;-)

By at 05:43 PM | Comments |

More MSM Deceit

This time it's ABC.

Historical perspective:

The filibuster has been used historically by the minority party, which can't win with a vote count. Democrats have opposed the filibuster before — in the 1960s, they accused Republicans of using it to block civil rights legislation.

According to the Senate Historical Office, the record for the longest individual speech is held by the late Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. To keep the floor, he read some of his wife's recipes and passages from novels out loud.

Not historical perspective, historical revisionism. In 1957 Strom Thurmond was a Democrat. Robert Byrd was at the forefront in pushing for the defeat of the Civil Rights act.

The Republicans joined with northern and western democrats to overcome the attempt of Southern Democrats to defeat this legislation through use of the filibuster . Some notable Democrats spearheading this effort: Al Gore Sr, William Fulbright, Robert Byrd and Strom Thurmond. It was Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, who had enlisted the Republican votes that made cloture a realistic option.....

Don't be misled by the MSM. It WAS NOT the Republicans who invoked the filibuster to stymie civil rights, it was a regional fight with for the most part Southern Democrats the driving force behind it's usage.

Posted by Traderrob

Update:Thanks to Gordon at Cranky Neocon we discover that ABC pulled this paragraph....

"Democrats have opposed the filibuster before — in the 1960s, they accused Republicans of using it to block civil rights legislation."

Has it ever crossed their mind to be truthful and accurate the FIRST time.

By at 01:41 PM | Comments |

The Silver-Lined Gitmo Commode

By Demosophist, (while Rusty is living it up in Adams-Morgan and forgetting to tell me where to meet him.)

Well, I'm frankly puzzled by this whole Koran-flushing thing.  I understand how a people steeped in a vengeful literature for a thousand years might get upset when a few red infidels use laser-guided bombs to blow up their neighborhoods while we're liberating them from tyranny.  And I grasp the idea of the shame of a proud people when inferior mongrel troops are sent into a place like Fallujah or Ramadi to uncover baby Auschwitz slaughterhouses with shaky plaintive notes from the victims scrawled on the walls in their own blood, or when we bomb Baghdad in "Shock and Awe" while they stand on their rooftops so as not to miss anything, or when a group of our miscreants discomfit captives guilty of far worse, with the cultural indignities of plebe hazing.  I understand that, and it sorta makes sense.  But why do they wait until they think we might have flushed a [holy] book down the crapper before instigating an Ummah-wide lethal street uprising?  Why now, and not then?

I asked some people I know, including some Muslims, about this, because I'm stumped. I related the story of how Sir Ernest Shackleton tore up the pages of the Bible when the Endurance was stranded at the South Pole, to impress upon his men the necessity of leaving some things behind for the march across Antarctica. A Jewish friend observed that a Jew, at least an Orthodox Jew, would probably not have done what Shackleton did with the Torah. But she also said that they probably wouldn't have rioted had someone flushed it, either.

My Muslim friends didn't help much, because they're the sort that wouldn't have rioted... but they allowed that perhaps there's some sort of deep-seated scatological aversion that merges into the "holy book" thing. It's as if they're saying: "Shit on us, and we'll manifest a controlled but bemused anger. We can take it. But shit on the holy book that in the midst of generations of tyranny has been our last refuge, and we'll just go completely berserk." It's wacky sure, but admirable, to place what you abstractly value above yourself. I can relate.

I suppose, when it gets right down to it, we Americans, who live in a nation founded on an ideology rather than an ethnic heritage, can understand that attitude pretty easily. It's not really Big Macs or even the World Trade Center that holds us together as a nation. There are indignities that would move at least some of us to kill, though we'd look the other way at the insult of being likened to Nazi Germany when we've spent treasure and 1600 of our best lives just to preserve the option of liberty for a people who personally mean little to us. I thought one only did that sort of thing for one's family? We're a pretty intense lot. Passionate. You know what I mean, don't you?

I think I'm tolerant. I understand that there's a difference between intense deep love for someone, and unhealthy obsession. And I think we need to make a similar distinction about religious conviction. I understand that there were lots of Muslims pissed at the US, but horrified by the riots. But sometimes I wonder if Muslims, the deeply religious and the fanatical alike, shouldn't be just a little more worried that we might just fly off the handle once in awhile. I worry that our apologists have been too successful at convincing them we're nice, even-tempered barbarians.

We may need to communicate with the Ummah a bit more honestly about our own Koran-flushing-like trigger points: the sort of thing that happened in the 1830s when non-native-American settlers in the West got the idea that native-Americans weren't just quaint, but practiced a religion that preached the total annihilation of the white man (The Ghost Dancers). It's true that the Ghost Dance religion was naught but a distorted reflection of apocalyptic Christianity, and not only wasn't based on native-American beliefs, but wasn't even violent. It looked awfully dangerous, so the townfolk grabbed their pitchforks and slaughtered the Ghostdancers. Confusion has its cost.

I think part of the calculation of the jihadists is that we always at least strive to be fair and moderate in our responses, so that when we fall short it's always a mistake. And this faith in our restraint (with a few predictable and comforting lapses to convince them we're not saints) offers a tempting advantage for extremism. They've seen us stumble over the imaginary line of propriety and get up off the ground slapping and cursing ourselves. I mean, if we don't excuse ourselves once in awhile, why should they?

But they haven't really seen our dark side, have they? We can be as unyielding and irrational as they. We've got crazy buttons too. What they need to understand is that under certain circumstances we may no longer moderate our responses. If, for instance, there's a WMD attack on a major city in the US those people in the streets, as well as the people looking on in horror at them, need to understand that our response may not be measured at all. It's not fair to mislead people and leave the impression that we'd just take the hit, or even that we'd only respond in kind or degree, city for city... or something nice like that. That, I'm afraid, is the Ummah's brand of wishful thinking.

So, I understand their reaction to the Newsweek story. They've made their point, and I even admire them for it. Because I partake on some level of the same sort of unreasonableness about values vs person, and more importantly I know that my fellow Americans can be far more unreasonable than I. They should know more about our history. They should read about Andrew Jackson, and Curtis Lemay, and U.S. Grant, and Phil Sheridan, and William Tecumseh Sherman, for starters. Street riots are nuthin'.

So, I guess the silver lining in all of this pottygate stuff is that we're not really that different after all, and they can understand a bit about us by looking at themselves. The Ummah can travel a familiar road to understanding, instead of worrying about our wimpy apologists. No, we wouldn't flush the Koran, not because we revere it, but because we're with you in your convictions. They make a lot more sense to us than to the Europeans. Our convictions aren't about the same things, but they're just as intense... and just as self-forgetful. We mean business when it comes to preserving this civilization... and it's entirely possible to just push us to far. We go a little berserk once in awhile too.

John Bolton, a pretty mean American, could be good for the cross-cultural dialogue.

Update: A few thoughts on what's ultimately at stake, and the key to our own potential outrage, our own Koran-flushing-trigger, from Bill Whittle.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia, Anticipatory Retaliation and The Jawa Report)

By Demosophist at 01:33 PM | Comments |

Election manager linked to false report

But...but... it's the Republicans who commit fraud and steal elections, Jesse told me so.

King County's absentee-ballot supervisor has testified that she collaborated with her boss when she filled out a report that falsely showed all ballots were accounted for in the November election.

Nicole Way said in a deposition Friday that she and assistant elections superintendent Garth Fell agreed to the misleading report because officials didn't know how many absentee ballots were returned by voters.
The regulations require counties to reconcile the number of absentee ballots returned by voters with the number of ballots accepted or rejected. Way's report showed perfect reconciliation because it simply added the number accepted and rejected to calculate ballots returned.

Elections officials now acknowledge that dozens of absentee ballots were misplaced and the votes not tabulated during the November election. The ballots were never counted as accepted or rejected.

Knowingly falsifying elections records is a felony..... Can you say butt buddy Mr. Fell ?

Posted by Traderrob

By at 08:38 AM | Comments |

This Is About To Be Huge

Like, George-Galloway's-ego huge. It will be honkin' big.

Remember Eason Jordan, the CNN News Director who shot off his mouth at Davos, claiming that US troops were targeting and killing journalists? Yeah, you know the guy, he had absolutely nothing to back that up (of course) and the Immedia began howling for him to release the tape of his remarks to clarify what he said. And the dude resigned rather than give up the tape.

Well, it's happened again. A local TV newsman named Mark Hyman has caught Linda Foley, the International President of the Newspaper Guild, making the same sort of scurrilous charges against our troops that Eason Jordan did. But unlike Jordan or Foley, Mark Hyman has the tape to back it up.

Of course Hyman probably would have just noted this on his local TV station and people would have said "My, that's awful" and that would have been the end of it, but the Immedia has now immortalized the story and is spreading the news right now directly into your brain. The bodacious, the audacious Bryan Preston of Junkyard Blog has the links, the scoop, and the analysis and I see a well-deserved Instalanche in his future. I see a well-deserved act of contrition and an apology to the troops in Ms. Foley's.

Speaking of targeting journalists, Ms. Foley's timing is amazing. Who would have thought the Mainstream Media could put two bullets right through its own foot in such rapid succession?

By See-Dubya at 02:38 AM | Comments |

Classics: Lileks (and Olasky) on Newsweek

You really have to read to the end.

I am looking forward to his Screed-blog.

UPDATE! Marvin Olasky is On F'n Fire!

The head dude at the (evangelical Christian) World Magazine, has a spot-on column over at Townhall--the syndicated columns are just now working their way through the editing process tonight in the dinosaur media--which is good because it keeps the topic alive after the initial Immedia blitz. Coulter's is worth your time too.

Olasky's column is just a series of devastating rhetorical questions, of which this is my favorite:

-- If Newsweek journalists had been more knowledgeable about the likely reaction, would they still have run the story? The magazine on Oct. 21, 2002, ripped Jerry Falwell's riot-causing depiction of Muhammad as a "terrorist," since "Islamic fundamentalists are having a field day with these comments, which have been played and replayed throughout the Muslim world." Does Newsweek have a similar responsibility not to cry fire in a crowded theater?

Sauce for the goose, Newsweek. Sauce for the goose.

By See-Dubya at 01:11 AM | Comments |

May 18, 2005

Yet another religion of peace update

Palestinians use Bible as toilet paper

Think Newsweek will want to do a story on this one?

While Muslims have responded with deadly outrage to the now-retracted report by Newsweek of alleged Quran desecration by U.S. interrogators, there was little outcry three years ago when Islamic terrorists holed up in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity reportedly used the Bible as toilet paper.

Catholic priests in the church marking the spot where Jesus was believed to have been born said that during the five-week siege, Palestinians tore up some Bibles for toilet paper and removed many valuable sacramental objects, according to a May 15, 2002, report by the Washington Times.

Newsweek is under fire for a report in its May 9 edition that sparked protests and rioting across the Muslim world resulting in 17 dead, scores injured, relief buildings burned down and a setback to years of coalition-building against terrorists.

By at 10:52 PM | Comments |

Chris Short Launches Conservative Thinking

Since Rusty has given me a key to this thing and hasn't mentioned it yet, I'd like to point out I've launched a new blog today:

Conservative Thinking

For all the juicy details, go here; I think you'll like it. Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think.

By at 10:05 PM | Comments |

The day the Church went berserk

(Note: this posting takes some dramatic license with the facts of what is mostly a true story. But I did confirm it with three sources: me , myself, and I.)

Back in high school, one fine summer day after services, at the First Self-Righteous Church in that Sleepy Little Town of Pascagoula, I was talking to my friend's mom in the foyer when a large spider rappelled down the wall beside us. I reflexively whacked it with what I had in my hand, which was a brown-leather New International Version Bible I'd been given when I was baptized.

My friend's mom looked somewhat disapproving. "It was a Brown Recluse!" I extemporized. "I had to kill it!"

"But with a Bible?" she asked. And then she killed me, and the congregation stuck my head way on top of the steeple as a warning. I sure learned my lesson!

By See-Dubya at 07:00 PM | Comments |

Revenge of the Binks

Enjoy Star Wars. I'll probably wait till the DVD comes out, myself, but...for those of you nerds who see it on opening night, there's one little thing I'd like you to do for me (UPDATED, minor spoiler at the end):

There's no way JarJar can survive the movie. Espcially since he was pretty much the one who sold out the Republic at the end of the Clones movie. I figure he'll get sacrificed bravely, though, 'cause Lucas says we're supposed to like him.

Screw that. I want you to cheer loudly when he dies. Stretch out with your feelings in the dark. Let people know it's okay to hate Jar Jar out loud.

I don't ask this lightly. I hate when raucous people screw with my quiet enjoyment of a film. But this is important. Spielberg was flabbergasted at screenings of Jurassic Park when the T-Rex at the lawyer on the crapper, and the crowds cheered and laughed. The story's still told at law schools.

So make some headlines. Jar Jar is the Carrot Top of the rebellion. If the Empire kills him, that's more reason to root for the Empire, and it's reason to give out a big ol' whoop.


I now have it on good authority that my advice is moot. Oh well, here's hoping for Jar Jar's evisceration in the DVD extended version.

By See-Dubya at 06:47 PM | Comments |

Misplaced Crapper-aquiddick Outrage?

I've been giving this Koran desecration story some thought and I am beginning to feel like some of those who think there is some misplaced outrage being expressed over this fiasco.

Take this statement from the Pakistani Information Minister for example:

"The apology and retraction are not enough," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told Reuters.

"They should understand the sentiments of Muslims and think 101 times before publishing news which hurt feelings of Muslims."

Now, on the surface, this is a statement that doesn't really offend until you think about what WASN'T said; namely, that the violence that occured after this article went out was uncalled for and should be condemned.

Put me down for saying that Newsweek acted irresponsibly and did, in fact, damage the reputation of the United States of America without cause. But really, who did the killing here? It wasn't Newsweek. Although, an argument can be made that Newsweek essentially loaded the guns. These terrorists are looking for excuses to attack...Newsweek gave them one. But it is still nothing more than an excuse to kill the innocent.

And that should be causing more outrage than it currently is...

By at 02:43 PM | Comments |

Real ID Act: Really not accomplishing anything for national security. Really not at all.

Yeah, remember that post awhile back on the Real ID act?

Michelle Malkin says it's even worse than we thought.


Be careful what you wish for.

The REAL ID Act, advertised as preventing states from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, is now the law of the land.

REAL ID has all the right enemies. The Treason Lobby has denounced it as preventing "many drivers" from obtaining licenses.

But this is the truth: the REAL ID Act still contains loopholes big enough to allow truckloads of illegal aliens to get valid temporary state driver’s licenses.

This driver’s license language first surfaced in the former H.R. 10, but was purged from the final 9/11 "Intelligence Reform" bill. The language reappeared as part of the supplemental appropriations bill for the Iraq war that was signed into law by President Bush on May 10.

The federal requirements for state driver’s license and identification cards are scheduled to go into effect three years from now—May 10, 2008.

The final REAL ID bill still contains its most precious much-resisted language: preventing the acceptance of "any foreign document" as a stepping-stone to a state driver’s license. It prohibits the use of the Mexican government’s infamous "Matricula Consular" card…although unfortunately not for three years. So expect a "get ‘em while you can, Amigos" campaign by the Mexican Consulate sometime before the May, 2008 deadline.


Just great.

Cross-posted at Suzanne's blog

By at 12:57 PM | Comments |

Religion of 'Peace' Update

From the Epoch Times:

DUBAI - Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq defended the killing of "innocent Muslims" in suicide bombings against U.S. forces, saying it was legitimate under Islam for the sake of jihad (Holy War), according to an audio tape attributed to him.

"The killing of infidels by any method including martyrdom (suicide) operations has been sanctified by many scholars even if it meant killing innocent Muslims. This legality has been agreed upon ... so as not to disrupt Jihad," Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said on the tape posted on an Islamist Web site on Wednesday.

I am just stunned by this admission that it's okie-day to be killing their own, let alone our guys...

By at 12:41 PM | Comments |

Rumor, Consequence, and Responsibility

Although we've never met, John Burgess at Crossroads Arabia and the Hyscience crew have been blogging and commenting back and forth for so long that I think of him as a friend, a friend I often disagree with, but one that I enjoy exchanging ideas with and one whose knowledge and ideas I value. However, in his "Rumor & Consequence" as has been the case before, I find much to agree with and almost as much to disagree with. I believe that John's commentary attributes too much blame on gross intolerance and xenophobia while avoiding what I believe is the real issue which I come back to below - the 800 pound gorilla in the living room, not Newsweek's stupid mistake and escape from journalistic standards and reason(and being all too quick and content to discredit our military and the administration) or gross intolerance and xenophobia, but the reaction of the Muslim world to the Newsweek article. The Islamists need to be held accountable for their violence, murder, mindless tantrums, and childish mindset. Like dogs on a leash, they dance to the tune of hate and cleric-instigated violence.

John writes in his piece:

"The atrocities of Abu Ghraib—and those alleged to have taken place at Guantanamo—are just that: atrocities. They are horrors both because of what they were in themselves as well as what they said about our self-image as a country."

I, on the other hand, on the matter of abuse, ask what acts are more barbaric, horrifying, appalling, brutal, wicked, abominable, and cruel(all refer to the quality or state of being atrocious), the kind of acts attributed to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, or raping women, sawing off heads, and shooting people in the back of the head with their hands tied behind them(all acts committed by Islamic terrorists and insurgents)? Which set of mindless acts indeed rise to the zenith of abuse? Given the choice of having my head sawed off or stripped naked by women, blood smeared on me, pictures taken of me naked and on a leash held by a sick guard(worse things happen in college and even high school hazing rituals every year) I think that I would choose any of the these except having my head sawed off. Which would you choose? And which is more atrocious? But where is the media outcry over the truly attrocious acts conducted by the terrorists and the insurgents? Answer - it's directed at America.

So let's keep things in perspective. Yes, we should set the standards for "right behavior," but in a time of war with terrorists that offer no hint of compassion, moral behavior, respect for life or property, how in the hell should we "force hostile lying killers" to spill their guts in order to prevent more senseless infliction of pain, suffering, and death upon innocents. Let's put responsibility for the committing of atrocities squarely on the shoulders of the terrorists where it belongs - they are in fact the ones that actually committ atrocities, real atrocities, not silly, stupid, childish, and thoughtless acts of intimidation as was the case at Abu-Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. As to what constitutes real "abuse," you simply cannot compare one with the other, sawing off your prisoner's head doesn't compare with stripping him and taking a picture of him on a leash.

Have we become so blinded by political correctness and become so dhimmi-prone that we can't tell the difference between intimidation and cold blooded, painful, and brutal murder and mindless violence?

John also writes:

(...) "The tragic fiasco that resulted from the Newsweek story has many fathers. There was less-than-sterling professionalism from the magazine. There was a partially credible history of abuse, by at least some American soldiers working in prisons with Muslim prisoners. There was gross intolerance and xenophobia put into action by those who immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion.

(...) The restraint needed these days came from a surprising quarter. It was groups like the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Muslim World League that called for investigation, not lynching. This was certainly not because either of those groups takes the Quran lightly, or only as a symbol. I’d like to think it was because they saw the point in waiting for truth to be discovered, as best it could be discovered, before calling for punitive action. But I’m disappointed in the calls by the Saudi government, including the Shoura Council, for that punitive action.

(...) I’m equally disappointed by American groups whose default assumption was that this couldn’t be true. Abu Ghraib showed that, yes, it could be true. Those who immediately assumed a plot by the media to discredit the military weren’t much closer to the truth.

(...) The search for truth and the search for a way for vastly different cultures to co-exist are too important to leave to those who know better than the facts available to us, no matter which side they’re on."

Like I said in the introductory paragraph, I usually find much to agree with and a little to disagree with in John's posts, emails, and comments. The above excerpts are no exception. As to the matter of finding restraint needed these days from a surprising quarter - groups like the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Muslim World League that called for investigation, not lynching, I would hope that they would spend at the very least as much time calling for an investigation into the plethora of acts of terror and violence committed worldwide by Islamists. As to the matter of disappointed by American groups whose default assumption was that this couldn’t be true. Abu Ghraib showed that, yes, it could be true - that really isn't the issue here, instead, the real issue, as I said in my introduction, is the 800 pound gorilla in the living room, it's not Newsweek's stupid mistake and their all too quick willingness to discredit our military and the administration), but the reaction of the Muslim world to the Newsweek article. The Islamists need to be held accountable for their violence, murder, mindless tantrums, and childish mindset.

Now you might ask if there's anything about John's post that I agree with. The answer is I think that his commentary is thought provoking, that it offers an important perspective, that it contains truths that need to be taken into account when attempting to understand the NewsWeek fiasco and the fallout thereof, but I find it somewhat biased in favor of political correctness and that for the most part it excludes placing appropriate responsibilty for the violent reactions and deaths on the shoulders of those that committed it - the Muslims. However, on this issue of responsibility, John later comes back to address his own piece and comments that he believes that he may have failed to make it clear(in his piece) that the Muslim reactions he was refering to were those of the thinking majority, not the mindless mass. He adds that it was that mindless mass that rioted and killed–as they often do with little or no real cause, and the fact that they know that they will be supported–at least in part–helps encourage their acts. I love it! An element of responsibility has raised it's head, and even if it's only a peek, it's a start!

Do I recommend that you read it? Absolutely! It's a very good piece and a very important perspective with important information.

Hat tip - John Burgess at Crossroads Arabia.

Other coverage - Dean's World, Armies of Liberation,

Cross posted by Hyscience

By at 11:51 AM | Comments |

The First Rule

...of Fight Club... (from the SITE Institute)

A past lecture authored by al-Qaeda’s research center, “The Center for Islamic Studies and Research”, also known as al-Neda, has been re-posted to the internet. The message directs Muslims not to "spread any information about the mujahideen which the enemy could benefit from." According to the Center, "It is well known that… America…is making a huge effort to collect information about the jihad and mujahideen from everywhere…the enemy has designated special organizations to analyze information, make links between the [pieces of information], and make conclusions out of [the information]." Thus, "Any Muslim who supports jihad and the mujahideen should not spread any information about the mujahideen…The most dangerous information is information which mentions the names of the mujahideen, times, places, numbers of mujahideen, amounts of supplies and weaponry, and ways of communication."
[Emphasis added.] to not talk about Fight Club.

Sounds like the civilian population isn't exactly buying it:

He finishes by asking civilian Muslims to "…let the mujahideen manage the information war as they let them manage the military war…"

By at 10:13 AM | Comments |

Theater Bans Fonda Movies

Heres a guy who knows how to hit Hanoi Jane and the rest of the left where it counts, in the pocketbook.

The owner of two Kentucky theaters is refusing to show the new Jane Fonda film "Monster-in-Law" because of the actress's pro-communist stand during the Vietnam War.

Photos of a smiling Miss Fonda posing with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft crew in 1972 were displayed outside an Elizabethtown movie theater to show the disapproval of theater owner Ike Boutwell. The marquee outside Mr. Boutwell's Showtime Cinemas in nearby Radcliff reads: "No Jane Fonda movie in this theater."
"I trained a lot of pilots during the Vietnam conflict," Mr. Boutwell told the Hardin County News-Enterprise, adding that some of those pilots died when their planes were shot down by North Vietnamese gunners.

"To me, Ms. Fonda is a traitor," he explained in a local television interview. "I could not get the picture out of my mind of her cheering the gun crew that had just shot down an American B-52."

Good for you Mr. Boutwell. You can't keep HJ from spewing her America hating communist manifesto, but you can keep her lying traitorous piehole of your movie screens.

Posted by Traderrob

By at 07:03 AM | Comments |

May 17, 2005

get out the barf bags...

The most blatant disrespect the press has shown the White House to date:

Q With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not telling them. I'm saying that we would encourage them to help --

Q You're pressuring them.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm saying that we would encourage them --

Q It's not pressure?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, this report caused serious damage to the image of the United States abroad. And Newsweek has said that they got it wrong. I think Newsweek recognizes the responsibility they have. We appreciate the step that they took by retracting the story. Now we would encourage them to move forward and do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done by this report. And that's all I'm saying. But, no, you're absolutely right, it's not my position to get into telling people what they can and cannot report....

Q Are you asking them to write a story about how great the American military is; is that what you're saying here?

MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, let me finish my sentence. Our military --

Q You've already said what you're -- I know what -- how it ends.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm coming to your question, and you're not letting me have a chance to respond. But our military goes out of their way to handle the Koran with care and respect. There are policies and practices that are in place. This report was wrong. Newsweek, itself, stated that it was wrong. And so now I think it's incumbent and -- incumbent upon Newsweek to do their part to help repair the damage. And they can do that through ways that they see best, but one way that would be good would be to point out what the policies and practices are in that part of the world, because it's in that region where this report has been exploited and used to cause lasting damage to the image of the United States of America. It has had serious consequences. And so that's all I'm saying, is that we would encourage them to take steps to help repair the damage. And I think that they recognize the importance of doing that. That's all I'm saying.

I'm just really sick of the contempt the media shows for conservatives, Christians, and anyone else who doesn't fit into their haughty regime of elitism. It's not about a government-driven press. I'm completely against that.

Cross-posted at Ze Uzzer blog

By at 10:03 PM | Comments |

Reconstituted Iraqi Army Opens Headquarters

(Baghdad, Iraq) The Iraqi Ground Forces Headquarters was inaugurated yesterday in a ceremony attended by "a small group" of Iraqi and Coalition dignitaries. The location has not been revealed, obviously for security reasons. According to a statement from Iraqi Ground Forces commander Gen. Abdul Qadir Jassim,

"We are celebrating today a historical event and the rebuilding of the Iraqi army. Having the headquarters of our ground forces here is an indication of the Iraqi army controlling its own destiny."

"Our streets have been covered in blood, and we want to clean this place with the help of our friends the Americans."

In response, Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, stated,
"As soon as you feel you are ready, we will hand over operations. And the coalition will return to their own countries."
This is the first somewhat formal declaration of an exit point -- when the Iraqi commander believes his army can do the job -- for the Coalition Forces go home.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 08:44 PM | Comments |

The Gorilla In The Living Room: Toilet Flushing And Other Insane Reasons To Commit Murder

In my previous post on Monday I wrote that I was probably the only one that considered what has happened across the Muslim world over the past few days as the tantrums of a sick culture. My focus in the post was focused on the need for Muslim reform and the fact that the real story in the Newsweek fiasco, the 800 pound gorilla(really big gorilla) in the living room, was not Newsweek's stupid mistake and escape from journalistic standards and reason, but the reaction of the Muslim world to the Newsweek article. As bloggers and other pundits continue to pound on "News-Weak," why isn't more written on the absurd and inappropriate behavior of the Muslim world? Since when did flushing a book down or in a toilet, even if true which it wasn't (sourced to be true), holy or otherwise, rate commiting murder? Where is the uproar over Mulsim culpability and responsibility? Why isn't everyone screaming about the insane madness of the Muslim world's completely inappropriate and disproportionate response to the story? Completely missing from our posts and articles is the element of moral judgement. "To kill people thousands of miles away who had nothing to do with the act, and the fulminate with threats and murder against the entire Western world, all because of this alleged act, is not just disproportionate. It is not just excessive. It is mad."

Well, finally, from Robert Spencer at DhimmiWatch, comes this:

There is no excusing Newsweek's irresponsibility in publishing an explosive story that was false. But establishment conservatives like Marshall and National Review are fighting the last war if they think this is a story that is solely about media bias. Of course the media is biased, and it's getting worse, but people are waking up to that.

The bigger story here, and the gorilla in the living room that no one wants to notice, is that flushing a Qur'an down the toilet should not be grounds to commit murder. Note the total absence of moral judgment in Marshall's piece, except that which he directs toward Newsweek. His argument is this: Newsweek should have known that this story would lead to deaths. Therefore, they shouldn't have printed it. But he says nothing whatsoever about a culture that condones -- celebrates -- wanton murder of innocent people, mayhem, and destruction in response to the alleged and unproven destruction of a book.

The question here is one of proportionate response. If a Qur'an had
indeed been flushed, Muslims would have justifiably been offended. They may justifiably have considered the perpetrators boors, or barbarians, or hell-bound unbelievers. They may justifiably have issued denunciations accordingly. But that is all. To kill people thousands of miles away who had nothing to do with the act, and the fulminate with threats and murder against the entire Western world, all because of this alleged act, is not just disproportionate. It is not just excessive. It is mad. And every decent person in the world ought to have the courage to stand up and say that it is mad.

Why is it that rule #1 in the establishment (left and right) view of this present conflict is that it has nothing to do with Islam and to bring a moral judgment to bear upon Muslim people, or to explore the ways in which Islam fuels the confict, is therefore absolutely forbidden?

I wrote on Monday:

(...) Sure, Newsweek did what the mainstream media does best in a world that places more importance on getting the story out first than on getting the story out right;  they researched, wrote a piece, trashed the administration and our country, trashed the reputation of our military, and got the story out to the world - wrongly. Subsequently, sparked by a single paragraph in Newsweek alleging that US military interrogators had desecrated the Koran, a wave of anti-American demonstrations swept the Islamic world from the Gaza Strip to the Java Sea. In the past week it was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League, and on Sunday, Afghan Muslim clerics threatened to call for a holy war against the United States. Think about it, this is from a
sub-population of our planet that refers to themselves as peaceful? What does this say about their culture, their thoughtfulness, their mindset, their ability for rational thought and their suitability to join in the rest of mankind in making
our planet a better place to live ?

(...)  Newsweek got it wrong, the Arab press never bothered to verify the alleged toilet episode any more than did Newsweek, and the mindless, tantrum-like violence sparked by the false story showed all of us the true face of the Islamic culture today - a sick and violence-prone society, enveloped and characterized more by hate than by love of God and humanity, and badly in need of reform.

Looking back on Monday's post, my own outcry over the Muslim's reaction failed to go far enough.

To borrow from Robert Spencer, they fall ever deeper into dhimmitude,
National Review, Marshall, other MSM pundits, and especially bloggers are doing the Western world an enormous disservice. The reaction to the Newsweek story in the Muslim world only shows how critical it is that the elements of Islam that give rise to fanaticism and violence be examined and confronted. Lives are at stake. All of us "citizen journalists" and MSM quot;professional" journalists need to step out of the mold; the real story has nothing to do with media bias.

Media bias has always been there, is there, and probably will always be there. It's just the excuse, if it hadn't been the toilet it would have been something else. The real cupablility remains squarely in the lap of Islam.

Cross posted by Hyscience

By at 01:08 PM | Comments |


This is a great story.

LOS ANGELES, May 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As Americans continue to celebrate National Military Appreciation Month, a California teenager has accomplished what no other person has been able to do; give one thank you note to every person serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Last year, Shauna Fleming, 16, a sophomore at Lutheran High School in Orange, Ca, convinced her Principal, Gregg Pinick, to have her school be the collection point of her letter campaign that she called "A MILLION THANKS." Her goal was to collect and distribute one million thank you letters and emails to U.S. Service Members, here and overseas.

In October, 2004, Fleming reached her goal and had the millionth letter framed for presentation to President George W. Bush. That presentation occurred in the Oval Office in November, but Fleming was not satisfied with a million.

"I wanted to find a way to thank all of our Service Members, so I decided to continue collecting letters and emails until I reached 1.4 million, the number given to me by the Pentagon, said Fleming. "This week we reached that so I can say, at least symbolically, that A MILLION THANKS has a thank you for every Service Member, " Fleming added.

Gregg Pinick, principal of Lutheran High School, said he is proud of Shauna and all of his students and faculty for reaching a number that is historic.

Fleming said the 1.4 millionth letter will be framed and sent to General Frank B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The teen wrote a book about her experiences, along with some of the letters she received titled, A MILLION THANKS (Doubleday Books). She has even had offers to turn her story into a television movie.

So what's next? "I am planning to charter A MILLION THANKS clubs in high schools, and establish a Foundation to assist wounded soldiers and their families, said Fleming. "Plus, I'd like to reach another million thanks," she added.

Now THAT is a patriot.

Cross-posted at WMD.

By at 10:36 AM | Comments |

The Science of 'STAR WARS'

I thought I'd point out an interesting article from MSNBC about the science inspired by the movies. Enjoy!

By at 08:17 AM | Comments |

Agricultural Jihad Ministry?

Anybody else find this odd?

Iran's Agriculture Jihad Ministry is determined to reduce the country’s heavy reliance on imported edible oil, said the official in charge of implementing the national oil seed production scheme.
[Emphasis added]

What sort of crazy Iron Chef Iran is this? Does the loser get beheaded? Just asking...

2:00PM Update: This was just begging for some visuals...

By at 07:32 AM | Comments |

More on the Koran-Clogger Affair

It's late, and the great ululation of Newsweak-bashing may have grown dull in your ears. Yes, yes, Newsweak bad, you say, though you are not especially surprised at the way things have turned out.

Still there are two more posts I recommend, especially if you hail from the Bear Flag state or attended college there. The first is Jeff Harrell, again, with a revealing anecdote about what Newsweak's Mark Whitaker isn't doing tonight at Stanford.

The second, longer piece is by State Department mystery blogger New Sisyphus, who has a harrowing story about a murder at UC Berkeley and what makes such an event into a "story". I will let him connect it to the Newsweak matter for you.

Finally, in the extended entry, a note for the illumination of my Chomskyite interlocutor "Actus":

"We have made clear, I think, that there is the utmost respect for religion of the prisoners. In fact, the Army, since early 2003, has had instructions to its personnel about handing of the Koran. The Koran is only to be handled by chaplains and Muslim interpreters. It's, you know, people -- they're supposed to put on gloves before the touch it. They're not supposed to in any way disrespect or desecrate the Koran and there are a very specific set of rules the military has on handling the Koran. "

--US Ambassador Richard Boucher, quoted in the New Sisyphus post linked above. Actus rolls his eyes at my assertion that US troops probably aren't defacing the Koran as a means of interrogating prisoners. Ambassador Boucher, who I submit knows more than either of us about what goes down at Gitmo, suggests otherwise.

By See-Dubya at 01:04 AM | Comments |

May 16, 2005

Buddhist riots still ongoing after Bamiyan

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in March 2001 has had far-reaching implications. Today, the Dalai Lama personally defecated in the smoking ruins of a blood-smeared Uighur mosque, the latest sad, sad, completely fictional happening in an ugly campaign of anti-Muslim violence that has shaken the world since the venerated statues of the Buddha were destroyed by Taliban iconoclasts. "Karma's a bitch, ain't it?" said the sprightly, grinning hierophant, cleansing himself with the tattered turban of an elderly imam.

UNESCO director Koichiro Matsuura said at the time, "As inexcusable as this action is, I hope that it will not provide fanatics elsewhere with an excuse for acts of destruction targeting Muslim cultural properties". Little did he realize the extent of the horrendous wave of riots, lynchings, and desecrations the Taliban's actions would engender. Some moderate Buddhists have condemned the Dalai Lama's harsh words, but have largely been intimidated into silence by a small band of noisy extremists--who do not represent mainstream Buddhism-- that marched through major Asian cities in million-strong protests this week. There is little the frightened moderates can do to stop the worldwide wave of sectarian Buddhist violence, often by itinerant bands of kung-fu-fighting Shaolin monks, against symbols and practitioners of the Islamic faith.

"Buddhism is a religion of peace, but we were provoked," said Drunken Monkey Master Qong Xi. "Their chickens have come home to roost, and are being methodically Kentucky Fried. What did they expect when they defaced these important cultural symbols of our religion? Besides, these Bamiyan statues were one of a kind, irreplaceable works of art, not the sort of thing that has been reproduced millions of times the world over."

Western human rights activists were flummoxed by the ongoing devastation and seemed generally baffled when asked for comment. "Buddhists v. Islam...Not touching that one with a ten-foot pole," confided one UN official.

UPDATE: Jeff Harrell has photoshopic evidence of efforts to accommodate Buddhist (and American) rage.

By See-Dubya at 07:56 PM | Comments |

WRKO Boston Cancels Newsweek Show

Is it possible there could be consequences for a major Media Outlet ie. Newsweek to engage in shoddy reporting? I looked outside and saw no flying pigs nor did the weather forecast say anything about hell freezing over, but here it is....

Per WND:
A major Boston talk-radio station cancelled Newsweek's weekly program due to the magazine's false report that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Quran at Guantanamo Bay by flushing one in the toilet.

Newsweek On Air" no longer will be broadcast on WRKO-AM, the station said in a statement today, according to a report by radio blogger Brian Maloney.

WRKO's schedule now shows "TBA" in place of the Newsweek program in its Sunday 9 p.m. timeslot.

Not a lot but it's a start

Posted by Traderrob

By at 04:50 PM | Comments |

Score one for the Immedia

Per Fox: Newsweak brings out the cane and yanks its false Fire-in-a-crowded-theater Koran-flushing story back into the fever swamp from which it emerged. It will now attempt to put toothpaste back into the tube.

By See-Dubya at 04:22 PM | Comments | Immedia" st_summary="Per Fox: Newsweak brings out the cane and yanks its false Fire-in-a-crowded-theater Koran-flushing story back into the fever swamp from which it emerged. It will now attempt to put toothpaste back into the tube....">Immedia">Immedia" st_summary="Per Fox: Newsweak brings out the cane and yanks its false Fire-in-a-crowded-theater Koran-flushing story back into the fever swamp from which it emerged. It will now attempt to put toothpaste back into the tube....">Immedia" st_summary="Per Fox: Newsweak brings out the cane and yanks its false Fire-in-a-crowded-theater Koran-flushing story back into the fever swamp from which it emerged. It will now attempt to put toothpaste back into the tube....">

Missing Fat Boy Whines, Sulks

Mookie Al-Sadr, paunchy moderate-cleric-murderin' city-attacking Shiite rabble rouser, floated up from his hidey-hole and criticized the US and Saddam. He's been scarce since a warrant went out for his arrest in connection with the murder of a rival cleric.


Buddy, try the Al-Atkins

Yeah, he's a creep. The actual news here is that Ahmed Chalabi is helping him negotiate the dismissal of the indictment. I am conflicted about Chalabi's role in Iraq; people who know far more about Iraq than I do are sharply divided about whether Chalabi is a true Iraqi patriot or a self-dealing opportunist. The Fox article is a little vague about Chalabi's role, but any association with al-Sadr looks bad for him.

Let's remember what else al-Sadr did besides allegedly arranging the murder of a respected, moderate Shiite cleric and being a suspect in assorted other assassinations and sundry other anti-US activities. He also destroyed a Gypsy village (Qawliya) for immorality back in 2004. His mob leveled the town with machine guns, RPG's, and mortars when the village refused to give up a woman to stand trial for prostitution in Sadr's kangaroo religious court. An excellent dossier on all his Sadrmizing can be found in, of all places, Newsweek.

This murdering thug must not be allowed to return to a place of public power and respectability in Iraq.

e.g., "We must sit on the American Infidels and crush them beneath our enormous Islamic butt!"

By See-Dubya at 04:03 PM | Comments |

Progress in the Middle East

By Matt from WMD:

From Reuters:

Kuwait's parliament passed a law on Monday granting women the right to vote and run in elections, for the first time in the pro-Western Gulf Arab state.

Kuwaiti women lining the podium burst into cheers when parliament speaker Jassim al-Khorafi said the legislation had been passed by a majority of the all-male parliament to grant full suffrage to women.

"We made it. This is history," said prominent activist Roula al-Dashti. "Our target is the parliamentary polls in 2007. I'm starting my campaign from today," she told reporters.

There were 35 in favor, 23 against, and one abstention on the vote that had met fierce resistance from Islamists and other MPs.

Although, apparently, it is too late for women to register and run for office in the next election.

This is a step in the right direction for the Middle East.

Does anybody think this sort of thing would be happening if Saddam were still in power?

Visit Matt's home blog: Weapons of Mass Discussion

By at 12:41 PM | Comments |

Afghan Clerics Don’t Trust Newsweek Retraction

Quite fortuitously, Chad at inTheBullPen has a post that's a good match for my previous diatribe on the Muslim culture and mindset. Chad posts that, "Despite the fact that Newsweek has said their report concerning the alleged flushing of the Koran was erroneous, the same Islamic clerics who want the interrogators shipped to an Islamic country for trial now say they do not believe Newsweek’s retraction. Shocking? It shouldn’t be."

“We will not be deceived by this,” Islamic cleric Mullah Sadullah Abu Aman told Reuters in the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan, referring to the magazine’s retraction.

“This is a decision by America to save itself. It comes because of American pressure. Even an ordinary illiterate peasant understands this and won’t accept it.”

Chad notes that "this comes not only from a group already believing the United States is in a war against Islam, something the MSM and several Left-leaning politicians and pundits advance ‘unwittingly’, but it also comes from people that only have the slightest clue of what a free press is. The lack of understanding that Newsweek is not controlled by the government is partially responsible for the same non-believing that a retraction was not pushed by the Bush administration."

Chad's take on the Muslim culture and mindset is much kinder than my own, but having previously written that the mindless, tantrum-like violence sparked by the false story has shown us the true face of the Islamic culture today - the face of a sick and violence-prone society, enveloped and characterized more by hate than by love of God and humanity, and badly in need of reform, I'll just leave it at that. If the entire situation wasn't so damned dangerous and have such grave repercussions, the Muslims as a people and their reactions to the non-event would be laughable.

Cross posted at Hyscience

By at 11:10 AM | Comments |

Islamic Tantrums, Etc.: Newsweek one-line error sparks world-wide riots and violence throughout Muslim world

I've waited several days to post on this, hoping someone else would comment on it - but I guess I'm the only one that considered what has happened across the Muslim world over the past few days as the tantrums of a sick culture. Sure, Newsweek did what the mainstream media does best in a world that places more importance on getting the story out first than on getting the story out right;  they researched, wrote a piece, trashed the administration and our country, trashed the reputation of our military, and got the story out to the world - wrongly.  Subsequently, sparked by a single paragraph in Newsweek alleging that US military interrogators had desecrated the Koran, a wave of anti-American demonstrations swept the Islamic world from the Gaza Strip to the Java Sea. In the past week it was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League, and on Sunday, Afghan Muslim clerics threatened to call for a holy war against the United States. Think about it, this is from a sub-population of our planet that refers to themselves as peaceful? What does this say about their culture, their thoughtfulness, their mindset, and their suitability to join in the rest of mankind in making our planet a better place to live ? One can only describe the Islamist's and Muslim's reaction as tantrums - child-like fits, mindless violence, and just plain old lack of class and respect for life and other people's property.   

Frankly, I don't give a damned what anyone does to the Koran. My opinion(personal viewpoint - not an expert opinion) is that it is a work of fiction, half-truths, and  distorted facts, written by 'who really knows how many people' to control a population, and the toilet is just as good a place for it as a book shelf or night stand. But the toilet episode never occured in the first place, Newsweek got it wrong, the Arab press never bothered to verify the alleged toilet episode any more than did Newsweek, and the mindless, tantrum-like violence sparked by the false story showed all of us the true face of the Islamic culture today - a sick and violence-prone society, enveloped and characterized more by hate than by love of God and humanity, and badly in need of reform.

Having shared my personal world view of Islam, I must also share that I don't believe that Islam itself is evil. Those that choose to believe the Koran are for the most part, good and decent people, worshiping God in the way that they've been taught to believe, and that's just fine with me, so long as they don't involve or affect me in any way whatsoever, which is difficult for Muslims in a religion that is presently effected more by Islamofascism than the true Muslim faith. I also agree with Daniel Pipes who writes:

It is a mistake to blame Islam (a religion 14 centuries old) for the evil that should be ascribed to militant
Islam (a totalitarian ideology less than a century old). The terrorism of al qaeda, Hamas, the Iranian government and other Islamists results from the ideas of such contemporary radicals as Osama bin Laden and Ayatollah Khomeini, not from the Koran.

The challenge ahead is clear for the mainstream media, bloggers, and Muslims alike. First, let's get the story right the first time. Then, let's all show a little class, a little thoughtfulness, and act like grown ups. Just as importantly, show our best face, our true face, and
think about how our actions affect others. As to the Muslims and their tendency to violent reactions - grow up a little and act like adults. Muslims must emulate their fellow monotheists by modernizing their religion with regard to slavery, interest and much else. No more fighting jihad to impose Muslim rule. No more endorsement of suicide terrorism. No more second-class citizenship for non-Muslims. And stop reacting violently to every passing wind.

And while we're on the topic of Muslim reform - no more death penalty for adultery or "honor" killings of women. No more death sentences for blasphemy or apostasy. For all of us, rather than rail on about Islam's alleged "evil," it behooves everyone - Muslim and non-Muslim alike - to help modernize this civilization. This is the ultimate message of 9/11. It is much deeper and more ambitious than Western governments presently seem to realize, and it is much better than running out and buying a copy of the Koran to try and figure out what drives the train of current Islamist thinking.

Cross posted by Hyscience

By at 09:27 AM | Comments |

The al Qaeda-Canada Connection

By Matt from WMD:

Some startling news about our neighbor to the north was reported in the Hindustan Times among other sources.

Canadian intelligence experts believe that converts to Islam in the country are becoming a major source of Al-Qaeda combatants and pose a risk to security.

An intelligence report from Canada's spy service, released to a daily said "there is a direct threat to Canada and Canadian interests from Al-Qaeda and related groups," and that those groups are attempting to expand their support in Canada.

Shocking. I know…Canada not only has intelligence experts, but a spy agency too! Who knew? But seriously, folks…this is something we need to take notice of because our border with Canada is pretty porous.
"Converts are highly prized by terrorist groups for their familiarity with the West and relative ease at moving through Western society," the recently declassified Canadian Security Intelligence Service report said.
This is the real danger posed in this story.
"The perception that the West is attacking Islam on multiple fronts continues to anger the Muslim world and contributes to support for radical views. Converts in particular are prone to extreme views because of their new-found zeal."

When CSIS Director Jim Judd testified recently before the Senate committee reviewing Canada's anti-terrorism legislation, he noted there were now suspected terrorists in Canada that "have had no discernible previous link of any kind with the terrorist networks."

That's what's on the other side of our border to the north. Anybody care to venture a guess what's going on to the south?

Visit Matt's home blog: Weapons of Mass Discussion

By at 09:18 AM | Comments |

A New Neologism

Ace of Spades has been griping for a long time about how there's no noun available to replace the dreadful neologism "blogosphere". It's easy enough to ignore Ace, but now Maserati-drivin' Cornerite Warren Bell complains about it as well. Since both of these guys are apparently screenwriters of somewhat varying degrees of success, my sympathy is limited. Just make up your own word and stick to it, fellas.

Nonetheless, these simpering weiners may have a point. "Blogosphere" sounds sufficiently nerdy to describe most electronic media, but it doesn't go far enough. Too often we're grasping for a word that includes more than just blogs, and encompasses all the fast-turnaround pixel-based publications that fling new ideas and breaking news around like poo in a monkey house, leaving the old-fashioned media in the dirt. Drudge,, Free Republic, NRO, Fark, Tech Central Station, DU, Best of the Web, all these need a word that distinguishes them, along with blogs, from those old-fashioned print and TV outlets creeping along in the left lane with their blinkers on, blissfully causing riots in Afghanistan and correcting them a week later, shaking their liver-spotted fists at us whippersnappers in our Maseratis passing them on the right.

So that word is: "The Immedia".

Yeah, Google gives many hits on "immedia" already. ("The Immedia" gets much fewer.) Someone's probably even copyrighted it. But who cares? The word does what it's supposed to do and there's no reason it can't be pressed into service, immediately.

By See-Dubya at 05:10 AM | Comments |

Newsweak II--The Undiscovered Irony

Actually this is being hinted at in a few different places, but let's make it explicit:

Newsweek ran a story based on mistaken information about flushing a Koran. As a result of their mistake, people died and America's reputation suffered abroad.

George Bush invaded Iraq based (in part) on mistaken information about WMD's. As a result of his invasion, people died and America's reputation suffered abroad.

Of course, Iraq did have WMD production capabilities, they did sponsor terrorism, they did violate UN resolutions and international law, they did prosecute a genocide against the Kurds and killed thousands upon thousands in a nightmarish totalitarian state. And Iraq now has a fledgling democracy. And America clearly demonstrated its resolve to avenge the attacks of 9/11. But all that's not important right now.

What is important: Newsweek did exactly what the left accuses Bush of doing. Can the left defend Newsweek without implicitly defending Bush as well?

By See-Dubya at 01:21 AM | Comments |

Real ID act, or More Demagoguery from the Clinton Camp (Get used to it)

Palominas has a post up about Hilary's comments on the Real ID act.

Apparently, since members of the public like us, who take time to read the fine print and worry what kind of precedent a bill like this will set have voiced objections to the bill, Hillary is against it too.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This woman is dangerous and cunning. She will stop at nothing to sway public favor in her direction and win power. DO NOT TRUST HER.

PS-if you don't know anything about the Real ID act, I wrote a post last week about it.

Cross-posted at Ze Uzzer Blog

By at 12:39 AM | Comments |

Kim Jong-Il: The New Face of Evil

Mark Coffey at Decision '08 has an eloquent post on the grave situation in North Korea.

Go check it out. It's a worthwhile read, like all his work.

Cross-posted at Suzanne's blog

By at 12:17 AM | Comments |

May 15, 2005

Ansar al-Sunnah Video Attack on Contractors

The video is now up. Thanks to Ian of The Political Teen with help in compressing and editing the video.

What is disturing about this video, though it should not surprise anyone, is that they drag out dead and injured bodies into a pile and then shoot them. There is not any footage of Saito nor his capture therefore I presume they are saving that footage for later as that is their method.

You should notice two white splotches in the video which were not added by myself or Ian. They were included in the original video. What do they conceal? My guess is these splotches cover up the vehicles used by the terrorists or another distinguishing characteristic of some of the terrorists and/or methods. This is the first I've seen in a terrorist video where they have intenionally blotted out something.

You can download the video here.

By at 04:21 PM | Comments |


Well, if they didn't lie exactly, as Traderrob points out below, their mistake did lead to murderous riots and widespread unpleasantness. Malkin, with the roundup.

But, friends, I ask you, should we be so quick to judge?

I mean, how could we forget when Palestinian terrorists occupied the Church of the Nativity for 39 days in 2002? They fired a bullet into a statue of the Virgin Mary, looted the gold appointments, and urinated everywhere within an ancient church commemorating the spot where Jesus was born.

And of course we remember the resulting riots that shook every corner of Christendom as Christians reacted to their insult. The torchlit mobs, the desecration and firebombing of mosques, the horrendous toll of innocent death, the public flaying and crucifiction of the terrorists (and their subsequent head-piking) who occupied the Church? How could we forget? And the nuclear-armed B1's streaking toward the Levant ready to avenge the wounded honor of our religion, only to turn aside at the last moment so our leaders might devise an even more sinister and lingering punishment?

Remember all that?


(A post by See-Dubya)

By See-Dubya at 03:19 PM | Comments |

Newsweek Paragraph Sparks Violence. Were They Cavalier in Their Reporting?

It was one small seemingly insignificant paragraph to Isikoff, but the results were significant and deadly.

The unrest began this week after Newsweek published an allegation that American military interrogators had desecrated the Islamic holy book in an effort to rattle detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The report said that they had placed the Koran on the lavatory inside inmates’ cells and had “in at least one case, flushed a holy book down the toilet” .

AT LEAST nine people were killed yesterday as a wave of anti-American demonstrations swept the Islamic world from the Gaza Strip to the Java Sea, sparked by a single paragraph in a magazine alleging that US military interrogators had desecrated the Koran. lts were devastating.
Now it's beginning to become clear that the "devastating" paragraph wasn't true.

On Saturday, Isikoff spoke to his original source, the senior government official, who said that he clearly recalled reading investigative reports about mishandling the Qur'an, including a toilet incident. But the official, still speaking anonymously, could no longer be sure that these concerns had surfaced in the SouthCom report. Told of what the NEWSWEEK source said, DiRita exploded, "People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?"

Another reliable "anonymous" source. To make a contention with this sort of potential impact Isikoff should have had at least 3 sources two of which would be willing to go on the record. Don't these people have the slightest concern for the consequences of their actions. Are they so myopic in their zeal that thinly verified assertions are synonomous with fact.

The pen is mightier than the sword and when used indiscrimantly equally as deadly.

Update: Newsweek apologizes....sort of:

Last Friday, a top Pentagon spokesman told us that a review of the probe cited in our story showed that it was never meant to look into charges of Qur'an desecration. The spokesman also said the Pentagon had investigated other desecration charges by detainees and found them "not credible." Our original source later said he couldn't be certain about reading of the alleged Qur'an incident in the report we cited, and said it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts. Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we. But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.
Posted by Traderrob

By at 09:42 AM | Comments |

May 14, 2005

The Kidnapping of Nabil al-Wazer

This story comes to us from Armies of Liberation, who asks that we have a link fest on this one, gather support for getting the word out on this story, and watch it  unfold over the next few days.

There’s an al-Qaeda jihad against the Zaidis in Yemen, and many of the al-Qaeda jihadists are leaders in the Yemeni government and security forces. They've bombed civilians, closed schools, trashed libraries, had mass arrests, prohibited Zaidi sermons, dragged charred bodies through the streets, and more.

Nabil al-Wazer is prominent in the Popular Forces Union, a Zaidi party with a secular basis. He’s also related to the party’s leader. Just like they bombed the Zaidi region (Saada), now its the turn of the Zaidi party to be attacked. Its part of the jihad against the Yemeni Zaidis (shia). Otherwise the government would return him safely to his family.

Nabil al-Wazer is being held by Houssain Abo Dunya in Hajja since Tuesday. Kidnapped. He’s kidnapped. His location is known. Since Tuesday. Not a police in sight. Nothing. 

The kidnapper is asking for approximately $50,000 US dollars.

So the Yemeni government can do mass arrests and arbitrary arrests, but not legitimate arrests. It can target its citizens but not protect them. It can arrest women, and boys, and old men, but not criminals. One would think that if a citizen is kidnapped, the law enforcement would go recover him. So is the Yemeni government a state, or is it a mafia if they don’t perform even the most basic functions like hostage recovery?

Unless they’re in on it. Let’s all watch and see what happens next.

Related reading - Why Al-qaeda survives in Yemen.

Cross posted at Hyscience

By at 11:03 PM | Comments |

Blogging from D.C.

Yo peeps. I'm blogging from an underground bunker deep in enemy territory. And by that I mean 'a squalid Capital Hill basement apartment. Unfortunately it's the place the Professor Chaos calls home.

The first thing you notice when coming from the backwoods of a Red State to the nation's capital are all the self-important looking young people. Wannabes of all sorts come to this modern Babylon to climb, claw, and sleep their way to the top. In many ways this place reminds me of L.A., my home town, with its hordes of young people willing to do just about anything to make big in Hollywood. But at least L.A. has a socially valuable product that people are willing to pay for.

This town is worse than Rome. At least Rome had some pretty interesting entertainment--you know, with that whole Colliseum thingy.

Here the goal is power. Here they forcefully rob the nation of its wealth and redistribute it amongst themselves.

In the Bible Rome is personafied as a whore. A whore is far too wholesome to represnt this town. Whores give you something in return and the exchange is voluntary.

What best represents D.C. then? A Rapist.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:34 PM | Comments |

Do Your Part

I knew it would not be long for Ansar al-Sunnah to re-open their website after two mirrors were taken down. They were hosted briefly on Tripod and on 50Megs until they were taken down.

For those of you who are unaware, groups like Ansar al-Sunnah pop up several sites on the same free webhosts over and over. Because of their content and people that get tired of seeing their drivel on the internet (no names), the companies are contacted and the site is removed. Most companies are fairly easy to work with (uh, so I've been told that is) and take the site down within a couple of days if not within the hour following a complaint.

The new URL for the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah is They are again hosted on 50Megs which is accessible here. If you choose to do so, you can contact 50Megs on through email at this link. If you feel inclined, you can call them at 1-801-437-6100. The company is located in Orem, Utah and would be more than willing to listen to phone calls and/or emails.

It should be noted that many of these free webhosting sites do not know who sets up a site on their servers. 50Megs in particular has taken down numerous sites promptly when alerted. Does anyone care to take down a jihadist site? I hope so.

Cross-posted at In the Bullpen

By at 08:07 PM | Comments |

Bin Laden henchman ‘seriously wounded’

Most of us were skeptical of this story that came out Wednesday AL-ZARQAWI SERIOUSLY INJURED, SAYS IRAQI OFFICIAL , some cooboration now appears to be surfacing.

IRAQ’S most wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been seriously wounded, according to a doctor who claims to have treated him last week.

The doctor told an Iraqi reporter in the western city of Ramadi that Zarqawi was bleeding heavily when he was brought into hospital on Wednesday. After treating his wounds the doctor tried to persuade him to remain, but the Jordanian-born terrorist’s minders drove him away.

The claim was supported yesterday by a senior commander in the Iraqi resistance who had been to Ramadi to investigate the report. The doctor, who refused to specify the nature of the wounds and asked not to be identified, was detained by the Americans on Friday for questioning, residents said.

Hopefully the SOB bled to death on his way back.

Posted by Traderrob

By at 07:05 PM | Comments |

69 Year Old Pilot Causes Panic

It's chilling to realize there are people like this buzzing around the skies while you and I are flying from place to place via United or Northwest.

From WAPO:
The pilot who caused a midday panic in Washington on Wednesday failed to get briefings about the weather and restricted airspace and became lost minutes after leaving a Pennsylvania airport, Federal Aviation Administration records show.

Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer, 69, froze when he saw a Black Hawk helicopter appear near his right wing while flying toward the White House and had difficulty operating his small, single-engine aircraft, officials said yesterday. It took the valiant effort of Sheaffer's student-pilot companion, Troy D. Martin, who had only 30 logged hours of flight time, to take over the controls and land the plane at an airport in Frederick, officials said.

The FAA plans to take the most extreme action against a pilot since new airspace rules were put in place in 2003 and will revoke Sheaffer's pilot certificate, according to aviation officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the order had not been finalized. The FAA does not plan to take similar action against Martin, 36, because he is a student pilot and does not have a pilot certificate, sources said.

This guy probably shouldn't have a license to operate an automobile let alone an airplane. Hope he had a spare pair of undies.

Posted by traderrob at OpiniPundit

By at 01:33 PM | Comments |

May 13, 2005

Predator Missile Offs al Qaeda #3

The last 10 days have been extremely productive for our military in terms of snuffing dirtbags. 100s of insurgents killed, more captured including al-Libbi, al- Rawi, al- Zubaydi and now this.

A senior al Qaeda operative was killed by a missile fired from a CIA Predator aircraft on the Pakistani side of the remote area near the Afghan border earlier this week, U.S. intelligence officials told ABC News.

Haitham al-Yemeni, a native of Yemen known for his bomb-making skills, had been tracked for some time in the hope that he would help lead the United States to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, intelligence officials said. But with the recent capture in northwest Pakistan of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, thought to be al Qaeda's No. 3 man, officials worried al-Yemeni would soon go into hiding, and decided to take action.

These latest successes are indicative of two things: These scumbags are running out of places to hide and our intelligence is getting better most likely due to increased local cooperation.

Crossposted at Opinipundit

By at 07:11 PM | Comments |

On "The Wisdom of Solomon:" They Fought, They Died, And They Ceased To Be

These Marines fought and died while motormouths at Columbia University spit on the lives that these men sacrificed. To me, these people are anathema. Some academics in America's universities are running their mouths about freedom this and freedom that, but are not willing to lift their little finger in behalf of their own way of life, they just complain. They are against much, and for little. This, while other men, instead, walk the walk, they stand for much and complain little, they fight, they die, and we live on. God bless our Marines and their families, and God bless these men!

"In 96 hours of fighting and ambushes in far western Iraq, the squad had ceased to be. Every member of the squad -- one of three that make up the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment -- had been killed or wounded, Marines here said. All told, the 1st Platoon -- which Hurley commands -- had sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a fighting force."  - Villainous Company via BlackFive

In a foreign country far from their home, a company of United States Marine Reservists from Ohio,
citizen soldiers all, paid the ultimate price for the freedoms
that academics in the U.S., and especially Columbia University's professors, take for granted.  They were very likely,
like most Marines, plain-spoken men. They were men of deeds, not words. The went to war for their country, their loved ones, and our way of life; they fought, they died, they ceased to exist.

HABAN, Iraq, May 11 -

The explosion enveloped the armored vehicle in
flames, sending orange balls of fire bubbling above the trees along the
Euphrates River near the Syrian border.

Marines in surrounding vehicles threw open
their hatches and took off running across the plowed fields, toward the
already blackening metal of the destroyed vehicle. Shouting, they
pulled to safety those they could, as the flames ignited the bullets,
mortar rounds, flares and grenades inside, rocketing them into the sky
and across pastures.

Gunnery Sgt. Chuck
Hurley emerged from the smoke and turmoil around the vehicle, circling
toward the spot where helicopters would later land to pick up
casualties. As he passed one group of Marines, he uttered one sentence:
"That was the same squad."

Meanwhile, what was going on at Columbia University?

On Friday, the university senate voted by a 53-10 margin, with five abstentions, against a resolution to re-establish an ROTC program on campus. Prominent in this roll call of dishonor was President Lee Bollinger, who voted against, and Provost Alan Brinkley, who gave an impassioned speech comparing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to a campus organization that allowed "African-Americans to join . . . only if they pass for white." Oddly, Mr. Brinkley abstained from voting, suggesting he lacked even the courage of these convictions.

BlackFive writes that "the university's decision was
remarkable for two reasons. The first is that, though it has obviously
escaped their notice, we are at war. Moreover, Columbia's student body
had previously voted 2-to-1 to bring back ROTC.  The second is a
federal law called the Solomon Amendment, which prohibits schools from discriminating against military recruiters.  If they refuse, they must forfeit federal funding." But breaking the law doesn't seem to concern America's left that infests her academic institutions. The academic left's traitorous acts in a time of war is kindly addressed by BlackFive in saying that, "America's elite universities
have cloaked their hostility to our armed forces in the language of
civil rights.  They portray this as a principled stand against the
military's legal policy of discharging homosexuals ("don't ask, don't
tell").  It's an interesting stance, since these colleges booted ROTC
off campus long before "don't ask, don't tell" became official policy." I, on the other hand, would consider it appropriate to simply say that they are self-centered, egotistical, bubble-minded, cowards that will use almost any excuse to not stand-up for the very country that provides them the bubbles that they live in.

But inasmuch as BlackFive is far more politically correct(and appropriately so) then I can be on this issue right now, I recommend that you go read his perspective ....

Semper Fi, (1960-1965)

Hat tip - Villainous Company via BlackFive

Cross posted at Hyscience

By at 02:03 PM | Comments |

Lt. Pantano: Killer or Hero?

Washington Times:

An investigating officer has recommended that the Marine Corps drop murder charges against 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano, who shot to death two Iraqi insurgents a year ago during a raid on an insurgent hideout in the "Triangle of Death."

Let's pause right there, people. Just for one moment, if you please. Notice they say 'shot to death'. May I remind you that when Pantano 'shot to death' these two 'insurgents' they were refusing to obey his orders? May I also remind you that this 'shooting' occured in the 'Triangle of Death'?

The 16-page report from Lt. Col. Mark E. Winn castigates as unreliable the prosecution's chief witness, Sgt. Daniel L. Coburn, whom Lt. Pantano had removed as squad leader weeks before the April 14, 2004 shooting.

Yep, I'd say that makes him unreliable. Reminds me of the 7th-grade boys I had to reprimand yesterday for giving each other purple nurples.

"The government was not able to produce credible evidence or testimony that the killings were premeditated," Col. Winn wrote in his report, a copy of which was obtained today by The Washington Times. "I think now [Sgt. Coburn] is in a position where he has told his story so many times, in so many versions that he cannot keep his facts straight anymore," Col. Winn wrote of the chief witness. Col. Winn's decision follows a five-day pretrial hearing last month at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Lt. Pantano's home base. His role is to conduct the hearing and decide whether a court-martial is warranted.

Hopefully, Pantano will be cleared of these charges. Don't train Marines to defend themselves and their country unless you plan to have them kill.

Cross-posted at Descartes Bar and Grill

For those of you who haven't heard about Pantano, Michael Savage has a great page with more information here.

Pantano's family has set up their own website, Defend the Defenders.

H/T Michelle Malkin

By at 01:44 PM | Comments |


I am See-Dubya. I blog here now. We're gonna have us a grand ol' time, Margaret. And when I get out, I'm gonna come over there with an egg beater, and a live chicken, and some peach preserves!

By See-Dubya at 12:46 PM | Comments |

Viva Las Vegas

By Matt from WMD:

This comes as no surprise to anybody who has been following al Qaeda in the news, but apparently there is still some sort of threat being leveled towards Las Vegas.

The Egypt Election Daily News reports, you decide:

Las Vegas has been revealed as Osama Bin Laden's number one terror target.

Al Qaeda terrorists posing as tourists compiled a detailed dossier on America's gambling mecca, according to a top secret intelligence report. Videos and photographs of a string of landmarks and major hotels were sent back to terror bosses plotting a spectacular sequel to the September 11 attacks.

The security report - marked "restricted" and circulated to U.S. and coalition intelligence agencies - was drawn up by British intelligence agents following the arrest of 21 Al Qaeda operatives. It says: "Based on intelligence, Las Vegas is seen as the prime target for a major impact attack."

It explains later: "It would be the mainland 'spectacular' that we have been hearing about for some time.

"Information indicates that any attack would be multi-centered at several sites and probably take the form of explosive devices.

"Las Vegas represents all that is wrong about the West and so symbolically represents, to them, the ideal choice of target. This elevates it to being probably the most likely target in our assessment based on what we have learned recently."

Naturally, the Homeland Security folks are mum on the subject.

Visit Matt's home blog: Weapons of Mass Discussion

By at 09:46 AM | Comments |

Gambian Muslim Leader: Female Genital Mutilation "An Honor"

Female genital cutting(mutilation or FGM)is practiced by Muslims and non-Muslims(mostly Muslims - how many Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or Janists do you know or have ever read of that condone this barbaric procedure?) alike residing mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa in countries that include but are not limited to Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Chad. A more minor form of the procedure is also performed in some parts of the Middle East and South Asia. Degrees of mutilation exist ranging from excision of the hood of the clitoris or clitoris itself to complete infibulation which involves removal of the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora, leaving a small opening for the passage of urine and menstrual blood.

As you might expect from the description of the procedure, normal sexual intercourse is not possible without a corrective procedure(you can only hope) and childbirth frequently involves severe trauma that can result in life-threatening hemorrhage. Other complications include chronic urinary tract and other infections, infertility, psychological trauma, sexual dysfunction, menstrual problems and several other negative medical and emotional outcomes. The procedure is performed on girls between the ages of infancy and pre-adolescence and is either carried out by a physician, midwife or designated woman from the community. Lack of sterile technique, use of the same instruments on more than one child, and lack of anesthesia all contribute to the complication rate which can even include infection with HIV.

Yet Alhaji Banding Drammeh, president of the Supreme Islamic Council - SIC(great acronym and rather appropriate), says that “FGM is a recommendation of the hadiths of the Prophet. It is an honour for a lady to undergo the practice of FGM.’’ But in fairness, he does say that the practice is optional. That one would hope is the case, and there are probably many women that wish they had never experienced FGM.

Hat tip - Dhimmi Watch

Cross posted at Hyscience

By at 09:31 AM | Comments |

The Meaning of Patriotism

By Matt from WMD:

The word has been tossed about with little regard for what it actually means and for purposes both sacred and profane, but what does it really mean to be a patriot?

Most people confuse patriotism with nationalism, which couldn't be further from the definition of actual patriotism if it were spoken on another planet. George William Curtis:

A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains and rivers and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.

Allegiance to the land is not patriotism. One of the greatest statements of patriotism is the Pledge of Allegiance wherein we express our loyalty to the Republic for which the flag represents. Our Republic is more than just the land: it includes our system of laws which provides for our civil rights, and our way of life as revealed in the promise of the American Dream.

One of the best definitions of patriotism that I have read comes from British historian, statesman, and diplomat (Ambassador to the US from 1907 to 1913) James Bryce:

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.

In order to be patriotic, we must do the right things because they are the right things to do. It isn't enough that we be a strong country, we must also use that strength for the purpose of good. Robert G. Ingersoll probably said it best: "He loves his country best who strives to make it best."

Ingersoll, by the way, was an agnostic. Which brings me to religion. Patriotism isn't about religion either. Jewish humanist, Rabbi Sherwin Wine:

There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom.

The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity.

This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies.

How many times have we heard that dissent is patriotic? What does that really mean? And where did the idea come from? Our founding fathers, it can not be said lightly, had some major points of dissention with England. To wit, they expressed their dissatisfaction with the policies of their colonial masters and ultimately made a Declaration of Independence. Dissent has never been expressed more eloquently since. Perhaps the modern justification for this view of dissent as patriotic comes from failed presidential candidate and former Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson:

Do not regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo.

What status quo is being raged against these days? Certainly not the status quo of the appalling regime of Saddam Hussein. The problem with dissent as it is currently being practiced is that the principles for which the dissent is expressed run contrary to the greater good of the nation and the world.

Once war is engaged, the only acceptable end game for a patriot is Victory. How many calls for Victory do you hear amongst those who place themselves in the ranks of the dissenters? What greater good is being served by this dissent? To what purpose or principle does the dissent serve? The answers to those questions tell me all I need to know about which protestors are patriotic and which are not.

Patriotism is many things to many people. How we define patriotism is an important factor in its usage.

By at 09:09 AM | Comments |

Border Patrol ordered not to arrest illegal aliens in Arizona

This is not at all a surprise to me, but it is sickening nonetheless. Washington Times has learned that agents along the Arizona border were ordered to make the minimum number of arrests possible in order to diminish the positive effects the Minutemen have had.

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned. More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were "not to go up" along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration. [...] Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar at the agency's Washington headquarters called the accusations "outright wrong," saying that supervisors at the Naco station had not blocked agents from making arrests and that the station's 350 agents were being "supported in carrying out" their duties.

But Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said "credible sources" within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.
"It's like telling a cop to stand by and watch burglars loot a store but don't arrest any of them," he said. "This is another example of decisions being made at the highest levels of the Border Patrol that are hurting morale and helping to rot the agency from within.
"I worry about our efforts in Congress to increase the number of agents," he said. "Based on these kinds of orders, we could spend the equivalent of the national debt and never have secure borders."
Mr. Tancredo, chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, blamed the Bush administration for setting an immigration enforcement tone that suggests to those enforcing the law that he is not serious about secure borders.

Not serious about it? Funny, I've sort of gotten that impression myself...hmmm...

Several field agents credited the volunteers with cutting the flow of illegal aliens in the targeted Naco area, saying the number of apprehended illegals dropped from an average of 500 a day to less than 15 a day.

Area residents, in a half-page ad in the Sunday edition of the Sierra Vista Herald, told the volunteers: "Thanks for doing what our government won't -- close the border to illegal aliens. It was the quietest month we've had in many years ... You made us feel safe because the border was closed."

Cross-posted at
Descartes' Bar and Grill

By at 12:56 AM | Comments |


Hi, my name is Suzanne. I'm one of the people who's going to help Rusty blog.

In other news, the pilot of the Cessna 150 is still in

By at 12:41 AM | Comments |

May 12, 2005

Note to Friends About D.C. Trip


I'm heading out of here tomorrow for Washington, D.C. Last call for those in the area to meet at a small gathering set for Saturday, May 21st at about 8 p.m. at an undisclosed downtown location. E-mail me at for details.

I apologize for the lack of linkage to all my fellow bloggers of late. Just too dang busy. The same goes for answering a lot of e-mail. Trust me, finals week sucks twice as bad for us as it does for the students.

Anyway, I will be blogging some from D.C. Maybe I'll put up a photo or two, but posting will be very light for the next week.

Lucky for me I have some great people filling in. I know you'll enjoy what they have to say. See you in D.C.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:59 PM | Comments |

Watson: CAIR's "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism" Conference

Let's put the matter of Islamophobia into the right perspective and borrow some comments from DC Watson. American's don't fear Islam; "those who concocted the fake description "Islamophobia" should stop flattering themselves."" The term "Islamophobia" has no basis and supposedly refers to a “fear of Islam.” In reality it's a phony, made up word that conveys no factual truth. "It is as imaginary as the jabberwock and the unicorn."

Islamists have in fact instilled in Americans only disqust, so they should forget about thinking that they have caused us to fear them.

DC Watson takes aim and scores a direct hit yet again(via Dhimmi Watch):

CAIR's "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism" Conference Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005 Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike Vienna, VA Schedule:

Among those scheduled to appear at this "event" are CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad and Executive Director Nihad Awad. Many would argue that some of the comments made by these two pillars of the community are
part of the reason why the American public has such a negative perception of Islam. Is it now, or has it ever been appropriate for Islamic immigrants in the United States to make the cocky, outlandish statements that these two have made in public, and then turn around and play the namby-pamby victims of bigotry when Americans confront them on it?  (See here and here)

The term "Islamophobia" has no basis. Supposedly it refers to a
“fear of Islam.” Actually, it's a phony, made up word that conveys no
factual truth. It is as imaginary as the jabberwock and the unicorn.

People in this country don't fear Islam; those who concocted the fake
description "Islamophobia" should stop flattering themselves, thinking that they've instilled fear into the American people.

American sentiment doesn’t involve fear. Muslim militants and their
apologists are more comparable to gnats in a Port-a-John. Simply put,
Americans lead very busy lives, and we'd rather spend time with our
families and friends, enjoying life in our country without having to
keep an eye on Islamic militants who are scattered around the U.S.
plotting the murder of innocent people.

However, since the so-called moderate Muslims have done little or
nothing to eject militant Islamists from their own community, it's been
left up to us to clean up this mess, making sure that some of these
problem children don't take innocent American lives while they send
themselves to hell.

Whether groups like CAIR will admit it or not, there are Muslim
fanatics among us who are either brainwashed enough, or just plain dumb
enough to believe that if they murder all of us "infidels", they'll go
to some sort of paradise and receive a reward of virgins to have sex

And they call us the ignorant ones.

Continue reading "Watson: CAIR's "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism" Conference"

Hat tip - Robert Spencer's Dhimmi Watch

Instead of talking about "Islamophobia," the Islamists at CAIR should be talking about Islamofascism and it's agenda.

Additional Reading - Daniel Pipes on CAIR

Cross posted at

By at 05:48 PM | Comments |

Operation Matador Significant Event Log and Other Matters Iraq

Here's a quick roundup of events in Iraq with a focus on Operation Matador, and a few other news events of interest:

"The Adventures Of Chester" offers a "significant events log" of Operation Matador, with a map image  for perspective. Numbers on the map correspond to the listed event, listed in rough chronological order.

(...) 1. Sunday, early morning: The bridge crossing(s) that began the
operation were supposedly slower in progress than planned. Did this
give a tip-off to the enemy? Mortar fire hit the bridging sites from
Ubaydi and on the south side of the Euphrates at another site.

(...) 3. One squad of Lima Co, 3/25, spent the better part of Sunday clearing
a particular house in Ubaydi. The enemy had hidden in the basement and
fired armor-piercing bullets through the floor at the Marines. Most of
the day was spent destroying them, by this one squad, reinforced with
heavy machine guns, a tank, and F-18 airstrikes.

(...) 7. Monday night - A US convoy, 7km east of Al Q'aim and Camp Gannon,
was hit with a significant combined arms counterattack, including
multiple dismounted insurgents in buildings along the road with AK-47s,
RPGs, roadside bombs, and two suicide vehicle bombs. The convoy was
sent to retrieve a tank that had been diabled by an AT mine. A suicide
bomber hit one Humvee of Marines and the wounded were retrieved and put
in a tank for transport to an evac site. Shortly after leaving the kill
zone, an M88 tank retriever hit another AT mine. The Abrams towed the
M88 to a safe zone, and after the wounded were evac'ed, both the
original Abrams and the damaged M88 were towed to Camp Gannon.  Catch the rest at Chester's  ... (update - apparently Chester is having some bandwidth problems and may have inadvertantly moved the post/will fix if and when available).

Winds of Change.NET - "As most of you know, allied forces are sweeping through the north of
Iraq near the Syrian border, and finding it surprisingly well fortified
as they chew through their objectives. We have the roundup."

Belmont Club has a map key, and some deeper analysis. Interestingly, it seems to correlate with some professional military analysis. But then, The River War predicted operations like this months ago.

Marine Corps Moms - in Iron in the blood of the Betio Bastards says "My son called me this morning - it's always nice to hear from him, even
at 5:30 a.m. He was watching news reports from the Syrian border and
remarked, "It's great to see that Husaybah is finally getting the

The Fourth Rail - in Pushing Westward, Winning Hearts and Minds  posts “We are glad the Americans are here.” The Marines’ drive westward in
Operation Matador appears to be almost complete. Solomon Moore, a
reporter for the Los Angeles Times, describes the tragic death of
Marines from Lima Company of the 3rd.

BlackFive - in "Marines Take Care Of Their Own" has a great read sent via email (via Seamus) from a Marine Chief Warrant Officer in Iraq.

Asia Times - 
(for an anti-American viewpoint) "In Iraq's insurgency, no rules, just death."

TheBelfastTelegraph Digital - "Suicide bombers kill 66 Iraqis as US troops meet fierce resistance."

Cross posted at Hyscience

By at 05:18 PM | Comments |

About That Little Girl

Remember the picture? That little girl had a name:


Her name was Farah, and she died in the arms of Major Mark Bieger who found her after the car bomb that attacked our guys while Farah and other kids were crowding around.

The name of the guy who snapped the picture is Michael Yon and he has a blog:

"The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. Major Bieger, I had seen him help rescue some of our guys a week earlier during another big attack, took some of our soldiers and rushed this little girl to our hospital. He wanted her to have American surgeons and not to go to the Iraqi hospital. She didn't make it. I snapped this picture when Major Bieger ran to take her away. He kept stopping to talk with her and hug her."

Michael Yon's blog also gives us some details on rounding up suicide bombers.

Go read it ...

Hat tip - Speed of Thought and Mudville Gazette

Cross posted at Hyscience

By at 04:39 PM | Comments |

NCTC Teaser and "Right to Bear" in Kashmir

By Demosophist

I'm doing some "post-coding" of the terrorist attack data that was so controversial just last week. Armed Liberal on Winds of Change sent me the data (provided by T.M. Lutas), and I've been reading the narratives in an attempt to put together some sort of measures of magnitude and quality of terrorist attacks, in addition to mere quantity. There are several interisting patterns, though the work is not yet done.

First of all, far fewer civilians were killed in terrorist attacks over the entire globe during the entire year of 2004 than died on one day on 9/11. Furthermore the cummulative score in terms of the number of people killed or injured, the success or failure of the attack (whether its objectives were achieved) and a measure of the skill level, indicates that the total cummulative score for all attacks carried out in all countries during 2004 amounts to about two-thirds the score for 9/11. Ultimately I'll post more on what I think this means, but it's another way of gauging the success or failure of the War on Terror without looking at the trend (which is confounded by changes in method and reporting protocols) and without a measure or metric of the counter-terrorism effort. (How well are we doing compared to how well they're doing?)

But there's one rather ominous pattern that no one else in the blogosphere has discussed so far, with regard to terrorist activity in Kashmir. So far it appears (though I'll have to verify this impression empirically when the task is completed) that roughly half of the terrorist attacks in Kashmir were home invasions! [After a brief check on my "impression" it appears that it's more like 20% than 50%. Still pretty large though.] There are a few home invasions in Iraq, and a smattering in a few other places... but Kashmir is the world capital for home invasions. You're less secure in your home in the Beautiful Vale, than anywhere else on earch of comparable size and population density. And that suggests that Glenn Reynold's idea that Condi Rice start promoting the "right to bear" as a global or universal right to self-protection might actually get some traction in, of all places, India! It also suggests that this form of terrorist assault might be gestating in India, preparing infect other locales, which don't have the US's benighted traditions about arms-bearing and the right of self-protection. Think UK, for instance.

Update: The 50% estimate was much too large for the percentage of attacks in Kashmir that are home invasions. That's the problem with doing things impressionistically. The actual proportion is more like 20%.

By Demosophist at 03:55 PM | Comments |

Sick Vacation Blogging

So I went to the doctor to get the pinkeye checked out. Spend two hours waiting. What does he do? Gives me some salve and sets up an appointment with an eye doctor. What a way to waste a vacation, eh?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:59 PM | Comments |


It's 12:21 in the morning. There are three of us still at the office on this floor. What idiot decides to schedule finals less than 24 hours before grades are due?


Anyway, I just turned in the last of my grades. I am officially on vacation. Yes, the difficult life of a college professor. I have 75 days of vacation....

...wait a sec...did I forget SCHOOL!!!

Don't panic. You're teaching a one week course...actually, taking the students to D.C. Gonna meet Stev-o, Maximum Leader, Cranky, Prof. Stotch and others (and maybe Rob-o if he'd grow some nads around the house)....


Oh, and if Steve the Llama Butcher is reading this post: I'm the bitch?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:25 AM | Comments |

May 11, 2005

Dead Again, or Is Zarqawi a Zombie?

The thing about the living-dead is this: you can shoot them but they just keep getting up and coming after your brain.

If Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a zombie, it would also explain his decapitation fetish. It's so much easier to get to the most tender portions of the brain that way.

Nope. Never heard this one before. Thanks to Tim from Opinion Bug for e-mailing this while I was busy grading. ADNKI:

Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is "serious injured, possibly dead" according to Colonel Fouad Hani Hassan, commander of the fifth division of the Iraqi armed forces, cited by 'Elaph', a popular website in the Arab world. Al-Zarqawi, considered al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, is believed to have been injured in the major offensive US-led forces have been carrying out in the western Anbar province over the last few days. ...

While Operation Matador is not specifically aimed at catching al-Zarqawi, Brig. Gen. James Conway told a Pentagon news briefing on Tuesday that "it would be a welcome event to come across him or his body."

Note to General Conway: Approach the body of a zombie with extreme caution. Sometimes they just play dead waiting for you to bring your cranium closer.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:18 PM | Comments |

The Western Approaches

By Demosophist

The primary characteristic of the current operations in western Iraq, which the Belmont Club discusses here in great depth and with typically impressive insight, is that the insurgents aren't slipping stealthily away as they have in previous engagements. Their "investment" is anchored at these approaches to the Syrian border, and while they may be able to swing a wide arc through the country allowing them the option of relocation after they've been ejected from Fallujah or Ramadi, that arc must be anchored *somewhere*. They may not have other options.

American forces have simply rolled up the axis, directly through the echelon of their operations, to its anchoring point. What Wretchard doesn't make so explicit is that the anchor is probably an inflection point for another, broader, arc that funnels the flow of militants to where they can be injected into the Iraqi bloodstream. That axis too must be rolled up from the other direction... a much more complex and challenging part of the strategy, but not one that is being neglected. He closes with this:

The US military would at first glance appear to be at a tremendous disadvantage. Unlike Zarqawi's terrorist force, they must move uniformed men and vast quantities of materiel and must seem helpless against the Al Qaeda meme dissemination machine. But in reality it is not so. The US military forms the counterbackground against which its real maneuver assets, which are intelligence assets, can operate. Just as Zarqawi's terrorists move in a civilian sea from which they can improvise weapons, US intelligence assets maneuver in a battlespace dominated by the uniformed armed forces. In their own way, US intelligence assets can match Zarqawi's men for flexibility: once they find Zarqawi's men the American dominated battlespace can quickly kill them. They have a nimbleness of a different kind. From the US perspective, the Euphrates River ratlines are a human infrastructure to be disrupted, infiltrated and turned. For different, but equivalent reasons, the Syrian border and its approaches are an opportunity to bankrupt Zarqawi's investment in militants. Some indication [of] the nature of the contest between US intelligence and Zarqawi's army of zombies, and the role of the uniformed military, which delivers the actual blow, can be seen in this statement by Col Bob Chase, operations officer of the 2nd Marine division. "The enemy, as you expect, once you hit them hard they have a tendency to go to ground ... There are some locations that we are waiting for the timing to be correct." From that it is reasonable to infer that we are not witnessing an isolated operation, but part of a campaign. In the coming months, both sides will probably attack and counterattack not only in geographical breadth, but in along the depth of each other's echelons.

Update: See also Winds of Change for links to other sites covering the details of Operation Matador and related analysis.

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

By Demosophist at 04:08 PM | Comments |

Kylie Minogue Making Out With Gerri Halliwell

Midafternoon break. Both of my readers basically know my philosophy about people who have caught the gay.* But to recap, there are two broad categories of the gay. There's the good gay and there's the bad gay.

First, an example of the bad gay.

Barney Frank grabbing Mike Evans' ass at last weekend's Equality Forum in Philedelphia = bad gay.


On the other hand, Gerri Halliwell making out with Kylie Minogue = good gay.**







See the difference? So, if you're going to catch the gay, make sure it's the good kind.

Photo of Barney Frank grabbing Mike Evans' ass courtesy of The Washington Blade with a big hat tip to Rob at Say Anything and Evil White Guy.

The good gay video of Kylie Minogue and Gerri Halliwell making out can be downloaded here. Big hat tip to Ghost of a Flea's prurient interests and Jeff at Beautiful Attrocities who despite having a broken good and bad gaydar scope managed to find the original story.

*Always remember to put a the in front of gay. Trust me, it's funnier that way.

**Another good example of the good gay would be Sondra K making out with, say, Ann Coulter.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:22 PM | Comments |

DC Update

Reports are CESNA aircraft violated DC secure airspace. If this is true, the plane would have been on target by now. It is not. Everything should be OK.

By Bravo Romeo Delta at 11:23 AM | Comments |

Capitol, White House Evacuated

The White House and Capitol have been evacuated; fighter jets are flying; House and Senate leadership have been taken away in the secret service SUV's; Capitol Police are making all Senate staff go to Union Station.

By Bravo Romeo Delta at 11:21 AM | Comments |

E-mail a Terrorist

If no response, I'm sure there are plenty of gay-porn sites that would just love to add that e-mail to their spam list.........

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:27 AM | Comments |

Final Day of Finals Blogging

Today is the last day of finals at Tatooine U. The last day of finals really suck, but even more so this year. I've been sick and so I have stacks and stacks of ungraded papers. Needless to say, blogging will be light. If something big happens, I might throw up a post or two. But you might have to e-mail me about it because I won't be checking the news much today. Alright....and now to attack stack number one.............

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

Family of Australian Hostage Starts a Blog

The family of an Australian man taken hostage in Iraq has started a blog. The Douglas Wood Family Website makes an appeal to Wood's captors to release him and is written in both English and Arabic. The site appears to use a standard blogger template.

It's an interesting approach to helping free Mr. Wood. Let's hope it works.

The family has announced that it has made a 'large charitable contribution to the people of Iraq' in an effort to free Douglas Wood. I'm not sure whether that is a veiled way of saying they paid ransom or if the family expects Wood's captors to view him more favorably because of it. It seems a bit out of touch with reality, though.

There are two types of hostage takers in Iraq. First are terror groups. They care about using the hostage situation only in so far as it serves their propaganda needs. Second are criminal gangs. They care about using the hostage situation only in so far as it seves their financial needs. In neither case would a charitable donation mean anything.

We hope and pray for Mr. Wood's quick release, his good health, and that his captors meet a swift and violent death.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:06 AM | Comments |

Mennonite Terrorist, Ijju Sheikh, Arrested in India

Clinton Watson Taylor, who you may remember had me on his radio show, has this piece up at the American Spectator. What is so interesting about this is that I had never heard of Ijju Sheikh until today, but I should have. India is our natural ally in the GWOT. India has been fighting Islamist forces since the day it was granted indepence. Both Pakistan and Bangledesh were carved out of India and then largely ethnically cleansed of their Hindu and other religious minority communities. Unfortunately, though, the Cold War imperetive forced the U.S. to become allies with Pakistan:

While the recent arrest of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, Al Qaeda's number-three man, is a significant victory in the war on terror, another largely overlooked arrest gives even more reason to rejoice. Ijju Sheikh, a fugitive suspect in one of India's worst terrorist attacks, was arrested in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) on April 29. His capture shows that the noose is tightening on a sinister transnational mafia that both supports al Qaeda's existence, and imperils India's.

On March 12, 1993, a series of explosions ripped through the streets of Mumbai, killing 257 Indians and injuring 713. The serial attack, presaging Al Qaeda's coordinated-bombing modus operandi, involved nearly simultaneous detonation of car-bombs across the city in crowded bazaars and near major hotels and Mumbai's stock exchange. While India is no stranger to political violence, the attack has been retroactively dubbed "India's 9-11" for its shock and devastation.

Ijju Sheikh stands accused of smuggling the RDX explosives used in the bombing. Once a hotelier and sarpanch (city council chief) with political connections, Sheikh fled to Dubai after the bombing and only recently snuck back into India. He is also accused of smuggling gold and weapons, as well as being a top henchman to international gangster and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:24 AM | Comments |

FedEx Bombs California

(Danville, California) No one was injured, but many people called police to complain when airplane parts fell from the sky in several residential neighborhoods. From the ContraCostaTimes:

Airplane pieces fell from the sky over Danville Monday night, surprising residents and FedEx and causing damages to at least one house, but injuring no one.

FedEx spokeswoman Sally Davenport said this morning the flight from Oakland landed safely as scheduled in Dallas-Fort Worth with two pilots and an assortment of packages aboard.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said three pieces came off the MD11 jet.

A FedEx spokesman called the incident highly unusual and plans to be in contact with homeowners in the area about the debris.

So, despite missing some parts, including one that was about 10 feet long, the plane flew all the way to Dallas and landed safely. And, inexplicably, the pilots didn't know that their plane was falling apart. According to FAA spokesman Donn Walker, the parts came from an engine thrust reverser.

Maybe I'm being overly critical, but the fact that the pilots didn't know they had a problem is somewhat troubling. It begs the question of just how much of the plane has to become dismantled in flight to achieve the threshold for pilot awareness. Is it okay for five percent of the plane to fall from the sky without pilot knowledge? Ten percent? Twenty?

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 06:59 AM | Comments |

May 10, 2005

Andrew Sullivan: All the way gay*

So Andrew Sullivan tries to act all hetero for a few posts. Dude just doesn't get it. Stick with the gay thing man. HETERO MOMENT II:

Are you straight guys as irritated as I am by the metrosexual craze? Please please please don't remove a single hair from your body. Ignore Queer Eye. We homos aren't all crazed, plucked product queens.
The idea of AS being into hairy guys......My eyes!! They burn!!!!!!!!

Then AS links to The Superficial, which is cool since they've linked to me in the past and given me a ton of hits. But to call such a site hetero?? HETERO MOMENT I:

Here's a great blog obsessed with - and very funny about - the lives of very hot, twenty-something famous babes. My friend Jay Jaroch and others on the Bill Maher writing team alerted me to it. It's hilarious and obsessive and very bloggy.
Yeah, nothing says heterosexual more than a blog devoted to celebrities......

*apologies to Jay and Silent Bob

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:53 PM | Comments |

Eschaton:Paranoid Idiotarian of the Day

Ok, I don't really have time to post, but I read this over at Eschaton's about freaking nutty!!! Look, Atrios is just your run of the mill left-wing activist in the Democratic party. I've never considered him part of the tin-foil brigades, just part of the gay-hating pretending to be gay-loving gay-outing partisan left. But whoever this guy Avedon, this guy takes the cake!

Here is the post in question where he (she?) accused the Republican party of rigging elections. Evidence? Well, why else would they be so confident that judicial fillibusters won't be needed in the future if they aren't completely sure they will be in the majority for the foreseeable future. Idiot.

One reason I don't think it's at all paranoid to suspect that the Republicans have deliberately taken over the voting system in order to cheat is that they keep doing things that don't otherwise make sense. There's a rather long list of things you just wouldn't expect them to think they could get away with unless they really thought they could control the ballot box, because otherwise they would have to expect that the public would kick enough of them out to not only end some political careers but also make impeachment - and prison - a distinct possibility. And then there's this nuclear option thing - why would they be willing to remove any possibility of stopping majority party initiatives unless they were absolutely sure that they could never become the minority party again?

Conservatives have made good use of the filibuster over the years, on judicial nominations and a lot of other things. Are they absolutely certain no one will wake up and get rid of them? Or are they just sure that how we vote isn't going to matter?

Brendan Nyhan adds: Here's a simpler explanation: the GOP is overconfident about how long they're going to be in the majority.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:46 PM | Comments |

Utah Webhost Killing American Soldiers

I know it's not possible for Orem, Utah based United Online Web Services, Inc. which runs the free webhosting service to police all of it's sites, but come on!

We are talking about the worst sort of jihadi site here, the type that trains insurgents to kill American soldiers using Improvised Explosive Devices.

If the link doesn't work that's because I filed a complaint with the company, but Open Source Intelligence took a screenshot.

If the link still works it's either because a) they haven't gotten around to taking down this disgusting site because of manpower issues or b) they are a bunch of idiots who in the name of 'free speech' are willing to see their friends and neighbors killed.

If b, then I suggest somebody go down to 1253 N. Research Way, Suite Q-2500, in Orem Utah and raise bloody hell!

UPDATE: Site down!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:32 PM | Comments |

Blog Sabbath Caption Winners (UPDATED)

Is it just the pinkeye talking or does that photo seem just a little more gay on the second posting? Anyway, thanks to all for cheering me up in an otherwise dismal week.

See-Dub: While North Korea may soon test a nuclear warhead, White House sources reported, their manual delivery systems remain primitive and easily blocked.

Carlos: Starving N. Korean hordes fight desperately for the last remaining food aid donated by the U.S.A.

Graeme: In this rare photo, North Korean military personnel attempt to split Uranium - 235 atoms to initate a fission reaction during an above ground test of the country's first nuclear weapon. The IAEA has since prohibited the exportation of Red Bull to North Korea in an attempt to stop its nuclear weapons programme.

UPDATE: D'oh! I never announced last week's winners from the Blog Sabbath Caption Contest: Worship Me Edition. Sorry.

Amicus Curae: No, honestly, who called for the proctologist?

Lookitup: ...and suddenly George Lucas realizes to his embarrassment that this indeed was NOT Star Wars convention. Quickly he consults the convention map and realizes that this is the Ostrich Impersonators Convention in the next hall over.

Buckley F. Williams gets the most offensive, yet funny award: And remember, whoever finds my Barry Manilow tie clip gets a sturdy goat and a one month supply of chick peas.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:45 PM | Comments |

Hostage Released for Pizza

I don't think Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has his sights set so low. Ananova:

An Australian prison guard held hostage for two days was released after a ransom demand for pizzas was met.

Up to 20 inmates at the Risdon Prison in Hobart, Tasmania, seized the guard in a protest over conditions in the maximum security jail.

Initially they made 24 demands to authorities, but eventually gave up their hostage after agreeing to 15 pizzas, Coke and garlic bread instead.

"At midnight, the final sticking point with the inmates was that they were requiring pizzas to be delivered. Our staff member was negotiated out with the delivery of 15 pizzas," Graeme Barber, Tasmania's director of prisons, told The Advocate newspaper.

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

Hostages Update

No word from the Army of Ansar al-Sunna on Japanese hostage Akihiko Saito. Then again, their websites were sort of taken down last night. I wonder how that could have happened? Anyway, our original story is here along with screenshots of the now defunct website's announcement that Saito had been captured. Since these sites go down quickly, Vlad had the foresight to mirror the orginal here.

Also, the deadline for Australian hostage Douglas Wood has passed. Still no word as to his fate.

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

Happy Orgasm Day

Does Hallmark have a card for this one? Just one more reason to love Brazil. AP:

Sex rarely makes the news in Brazil's conservative Northeast — until a small town declared an official Orgasm Day on Monday.

Espertantina Mayor Felipe Santolia endorsed the May 9 holiday, which he said was intended to improve relationships between married couples.

You can't make this stuff up. Hat tip: Discarded Lies

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

Who was worse, Stalin or Hitler? Six of One, Half Dozen of Another

The difference between Stalin and Hitler? Hitler lost. WaTimes:

Amid all the chitchat, commentary and controversy over this week's celebrations marking the end of World War II, there is a question that has never been far from the surface, though it has rarely broken through: Which was really worse -- communism or Nazism?

One answer, a sensible one at that, is that both systems were so degraded, disgusting and unpalatable that it is impossible to establish a hierarchy of value in which one could possibly stand higher, or lower, than the other. When you've reached the deepest pit in Hell there's nowhere lower to go.

Unfortunately, though, that conclusion is often lost in a quagmire of ignorance and historical distortion. Not because anyone this side of decency really doubts the horrors of Nazism. But, sadly, because there are still large numbers of people (and judge for yourself which side of decency they stand) who still refuse to face up to the horrors of communism.

Take veteran Guardian columnist Jonathan Steele, writing in that paper just last week. In an irony that would certainly escape him, he makes it clear that one purpose of his polemic is to combat the "denial" in the West about the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Hitler. In attempting to foreclose on the argument that "Nazism and communism were somehow two sides of the same evil coin" he reaches a crescendo with the following, extraordinary statement: "Mass terror and purges," he says, "were not intrinsic to Soviet rule, as was clear after Stalin's death."

True, but if you are to use this comparison then one would need to call 'Nazism' a particular manifestation of fascism. Hitler is to fascism what Stalin is to communism.

Yet, no one says, "Hey, those fascists weren't really all that bad. It was Hitler that perverted fascism." See how this works? As if any paper would stand up and call Mussolini a reformer, Franco an anti-Hitlerite, or Juan Peron an idealist.

Soviet mass terror, by contrast, was a feature of the regime right from the beginning. Lenin's core principle of Red Terror was applied in the slaughter of up to half a million class enemies in the very first years of Soviet rule. And that is before we add in the millions of victims of a civil war which was the direct result of communist despotism.

In Lenin's own words, the new Soviet system was "a special system of organized violence against a certain class." The use of terror against class and ideological enemies was thus a central, defining part of the communist system.

Lenin's Commissar for Justice Issac Steinberg well remembers in his memoirs a telling conversation with Lenin in which he (bravely) expressed reservations about the scale of that terror. "Then why do we bother with a commissariat of Justice?" he asked Lenin. "Let's call it frankly the commissariat for Social Extermination and be done with it!" Lenin jumped at the idea. "Well put," he said. "That's exactly what it should be...but we can't say that."

The full death toll, most of it accumulated in peace time, at the hands of Lenin and his political and ideological successor, Stalin, is estimated by the best authorities at somewhere between 25 million and 30 million people. Not bad in a system for which mass terror and purges were not "intrinsic" parts. In what passes for Steele's argument, he suggests the scaling down of the terror after Stalin's death is evidence the system was not inherently terroristic. Does it not occur to him that there was no one left to kill?

And why do people still engage in this debate?
But by far the most significant category is made up by people who have a deep ideological need to save the reputation of the one by showing up its "better" qualities in comparison with the other. Neo-Nazis have thus long sought to stress the crimes of Stalin while diminishing or denying entirely the crimes of Hitler. It serves their perverted aims to do so. The old, Western Left has participated in exactly the same kind of enterprise in reverse. The difference is, of course, that they continue to get away with it, avoiding the contempt that both groups, not just one, so richly deserve.
Parenthetically I was at a May Day rally in Moscow once. The crowd was maybe 100,000 strong. There were pictures of Stalin everywhere.

One of the main speakers was an American from the CPUSA. Had he been 5 feet closer I would have punched that SOB right in the mouth. The utter drivel coming out of his mouth about how Russians were so much better off under the Soviet Union and how they enjoyed such a higher standard of living than Americans.

Being a Leftist is a lot like being a member of a cult. But at least in a cult they need to make you eat low-protein gruel to lower your resistance to suggestion. Leftist seem willing and able to buy into the ideological nonsense of their own free will.

Hmmm, I take that back. Maybe kashi (mush) and shi (cabbage soup) were Communist inventions to get the masses on board with the Fearless Leader's glorious seven year plan?

Hat tip: Kevin Aylward

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:06 AM | Comments |

Me Love You Long Time

Go here. Scroll down. Put down all liquids. Watch video.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:42 AM | Comments |

Pink Eye Blogging Day 4

Beig sick sucks. Finals week sucks. Being sick during finals week really sucks. I apologize for not e-mailing many of you back the last few days.

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

May 09, 2005

Pink Eye Blogging

Never use worcester sauce after midnight. Trust me.....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:26 PM | Comments |

Army of Ansar al-Sunnah Takes Japanese Hostage

UPDATE 5/28/05: The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah has posted a video and images of Saito Akihiko's dead body. Apparently, Mr. Saito was killed in the initial battle.

News, links to the video and Ansar al-Sunnah website, and images from the video may be FOUND IN THIS UPDATED POST HERE.

If you are looking for the latest information about hostages and terrorists in Iraq, please GO TO THE MAIN PAGE HERE.

Begin original post:

The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah claims to have taken a Japanese man hostage. The man, Akihiko Saito, is alleged by the al Qaeda linked group to have been taken from a convoy 'during a fierce battle in Western Iraq,' in what might be a reference to earlier reports of a successful U.S. attack near the Syrian border. The group also posted a photo of Akikiko Saito's passport and promised more photos would be forthcoming.


Iraqi militants claimed today they took a Japanese security contractor hostage after ambushing a convoy of foreigners and Iraqi troops in western Iraq.

The Ansar al-Sunnah Army identified the Japanese hostage as Akihito Saito, 44, and posted a photocopy of his passport, including his picture, on the group’s official website. It said Saito was “severely injured” in the fight.

The report could not be independently confirmed. Junji Gomakudo, First Secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Baghdad, said officials were trying to confirm a report of a kidnapped Japanese citizen but said they did not know if the claim was true.

The group posted other photo ID cards allegedly belonging to Saito, with one identifying him as a security manager of Hart GMSSCO, a British-based firm that provides security in Iraq. Another document seemed to be a weapons permit....

Japan’s Kyodo News agency said Saito was employed by a security firm from Cyprus and may have been working as a security officer at a US facility.

The group said Saito was seized after Ansar al-Sunnah fighters ambushed a convoy of five foreign contractors, protected by 12 members of the Iraqi security forces. It claimed all of them were killed in the fight except for the Japanese. It said some of the foreigners were intelligence agents.

The Army of Ansar al-Sunna routinely claims every one they capture is an 'intelligence agent' or works for the 'CIA'.

If Akihiko Saito is still alive, he won't be for long. His life only serves the propaganda purposes of Ansar al-Sunna. The group just released the videotaped murder of a dozen or so Sudanese worders last week.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq (formerly known as Tawhid and Jihad) murdered Shosei Koda last year in a gruesome beheading video. Ansar al-Sunna has close ties to Zarqawi and often collaborates with him.

UPDATE: Screen shot and more photos from Ansar al-Sunna website below along with more photos and announcement. (Thank to Vlad and Polish Expert for links)


Others: John Little, Chad at In The Bullpen

The Army of al-Sunna website is here, but will probably be down within the day. For archiving purposes, here is the announcement released with the photos. An alternate site is being hosted by Tripod. I've already filed a complaint with Lycos about that last one.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:48 PM | Comments |

75 Bad Guys Killed in Iraq

Hooray for our side!

U.S. forces have killed 75 insurgents so far in a new offensive in Western Iraq near the Syrian border, the military announced Monday.

The offensive, being conducted with U.S. air support in a desert area of Anbar province north of the Euphrates River, was targeting a sanctuary for foreign insurgents and a smuggling route.

As part of the offensive, Marines on Sunday battled insurgents in Ubaydi, in northwestern Iraq, and other nearby areas. The Marines, supported by Cobra attack helicopters, came under mortar and small-arms fire, according to a reporter accompanying the units.

Col. Stephen Davis, commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team-2, which is responsible for western Anbar province, said one Marine was killed and at least seven were wounded in the fighting.

A number of fighters were wearing flak jackets, which Davis said was unusual for Iraqi insurgents and reflected the influence of foreign fighters.

The offensive reflects the view of senior U.S. commanders who are giving higher priority to combating foreign fighters and Iraqi jihadists in response to the recent upsurge in suicide attacks and other developments that indicate a more prominent role in the insurgency by these radical groups.

Also on Sunday, the military announced that U.S. forces have arrested the alleged mastermind of last month's assault on Abu Ghraib prison and the organizer of recent lethal car bombings in Baghdad, the Iraqi government and U.S. military said Sunday.

Amar Adnan Muhammad Hamzah Zubaydi, detained Thursday in an early morning raid on his home, was described as an associate of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab Zarqawi, according to separate statements issued by the Iraqi government and U.S. military officials.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:11 AM | Comments |

Tin-Foil Brigades in Congress

Break out the tinfoil, 88 members of Congress have signed a letter to the President requesting an investigation into a 'secret meeting' in which Tony Blair and G.W. Bush plan to invade Iraq and come up with justifications for it later.

Have Congressional Democrats gone completely moon-barking batty??

Here is the letter as published by Raw Story. (Hat tip to Rob at Say Anything)

May 5, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained "nothing new." If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.

The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government. Among other things, the document revealed:

* Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush's plans for invading Iraq.

* British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged that the case for war was "thin" as "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran."

* A separate secret briefing for the meeting said that Britain and America had to "create" conditions to justify a war.

* A British official "reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

As a result of this recent disclosure, we would like to know the following:

1) Do you or anyone in your Administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?

2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?

3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?

4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?

5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?

We have of course known for some time that subsequent to the invasion there have been a variety of varying reasons proffered to justify the invasion, particularly since the time it became evident that weapons of mass destruction would not be found. This leaked document - essentially acknowledged by the Blair government - is the first confirmation that the rationales were shifting well before the invasion as well.

Given the importance of this matter, we would ask that you respond to this inquiry as promptly as possible. Thank you.


Members who have already signed letter:
Neil Abercrombie
Brian Baird
Tammy Baldwin
Xavier Becerra
Shelley Berkley
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Sanford Bishop
Earl Blumenauer
Corrine Brown
Sherrod Brown
G.K. Butterfield
Emanuel Cleaver
James Clyburn
John Conyers
Jim Cooper
Elijah Cummings
Danny Davis
Peter DeFazio
Diana DeGette
Bill Delahunt
Rosa DeLauro
Lloyd Doggett
Sam Farr
Bob Filner
Harold Ford, Jr.
Barney Frank
Al Green
Raul Grijalva
Louis Gutierrez
Alcee Hastings
Maurice Hinchey
Rush Holt
Jay Inslee
Sheila Jackson Lee
Jessie Jackson Jr.
Marcy Kaptur
Patrick Kennedy
Dale Kildee
Carolyn Kilpatrick
Dennis Kucinich
William Lacy Clay
Barbara Lee
John Lewis
Zoe Lofgren
Donna M. Christensen
Carolyn Maloney
Ed Markey
Carolyn McCarthy
Jim McDermott
James McGovern
Cynthia McKinney
Martin Meehan
Kendrick Meek
Gregory Meeks
Michael Michaud
George Miller
Gwen S. Moore
James Moran
Jerrold Nadler
Grace Napolitano
James Oberstar
John Olver
Major Owens
Frank Pallone
Donald Payne
Charles Rangel
Bobby Rush
Bernie Sanders
Linda Sanchez
Jan Schakowsky
Jose Serrano
Ike Skelton
Louise Slaughter
Hilda Solis
Pete Stark
Ellen Tauscher
Bennie Thompson
Edolphus Towns
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Chris Van Hollen
Nydia Velazquez
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Maxine Waters
Diane Watson
Melvin Watt
Robert Wexler
Lynn Woolsey
David Wu
Albert R. Wynn

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:53 AM | Comments |

Time Running Out for Duglas Wood

The deadline set by the terrorist bastards for Australia to pull out of Iraq has expired. Thankfully, the Aussies will not negotiate with terrorists. Let's hope it is not too late for Douglas Wood........

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

Internet Cafe Bombed in Afghanistan

Honestly, I don't know why the jihadis would be interested in blowing up an internet cafe in Kabul, Afghanistan. As we've reported here previously, internet cafes are fast becoming the method of choice for the online jihadis to upload their propaganda and snuff films.

Maybe this guy didn't get the meme about that? Or maybe he was just angry at the downloading speeds of porn and stockquotes in Afghanistan's capital?

The Guardian:

U.N. engineer from Myanmar was among three people killed when a suicide attacker walked into a Kabul Internet cafe and blew himself up, officials said Sunday, in the first fatal attack on a U.N. staffer in the capital since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The bombing on Saturday followed a series of kidnap attempts on foreigners and the killing of a British development worker, deepening a sense of insecurity in the city just as a Taliban-led insurgency revives in the south...

The U.S. ambassador condemned the targeting of an Internet cafe as an attack on ``Afghans' desire to be part of the larger world.''

``The fact that this terrorist chose a place where Afghans and visitors visited to freely gather and exchange information is not surprising,'' Zalmay Khalilzad said. ``These tyrants fear truth.''

Officials said witnesses recalled a man entering the Park Internet Cafe in the upscale Shahr-e-Naw district on Saturday afternoon and going straight to the restroom. The explosion occurred just after he re-emerged....

What's really interesting about the article is that it keeps referring to the jihadi as members of a 'criminal group' rather than the Islamic terrorists that they really are.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:07 AM | Comments |



....because I have pinkeye and nothing goes with brain better than The Ramones. Hat tip: TC Leather Penguin

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:06 AM | Comments |

Nuke Rockets on Sale to Terrorists

Come on, it can't be that easy to buy a rocket with a radiological tip? Joe Gandalman brings us this little tidbit of news from the UK. Times Online:

THREE radioactive rockets capable of contaminating a city centre were offered for sale last week to a Sunday Times reporter posing as a middleman for Islamic terrorists.

The Alazan rockets, which have a range of eight miles, were among 50,000 tons of weapons left behind at an arms dump in the breakaway eastern European republic of Transdniester when the Russian army withdrew after the cold war.

They were offered to the reporter for $500,000 (£263,000) after he approached a senior officer in Transdniester’s secret police, claiming to represent a militant group in Algeria. The officer contacted a local arms dealer who arranged meetings with the reporter on a bridge in Transdniester and later at a hotel in neighbouring Moldova.

Did I say don't panic?



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

Airlines Gettin' it Right: Delta Refuses Army Deserter Passage

From the crack staff of The Jawa Report comes this news out of Palm Beach, Florida. Interested Participant has the story.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:04 AM | Comments |

Zarqawi's eBay bid history discovered

Via Beth this eBay bid summary from uber-beheader and world's #1 bad guy, Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

Ok, not really. But that is a real eBay history for somebody.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:03 AM | Comments |

Where is Rachel Corrie When You Really Need Her? PA Bulldozing Houses

Where is Ms. Pancake and the ISM when you really need them, eh? You know, when the Palestinian Authority starts acting like the 'Zionazis' and begins to bulldoze houses?

CBC News:

A Palestinian bulldozer on Monday demolished the seaside homes of three senior officers who built illegally on public land in Gaza, the start of what the Palestinian government promises will be a relentless campaign against corruption....

To carry out Abbas's mission, one bulldozer guarded by seven jeeps and 30 Palestinian officers entered the Sudania area on the coast of northern Gaza on Monday morning to crush the three homes, which were being built by a major, a lieutenant-colonel and a colonel on public land they illegally seized. The operation encountered no resistance.

Construction on the two-storey concrete houses, which had a clear view of the Mediterranean 90 metres away, was almost finished. One house was surrounded by a small flower garden. After the demolition crews left, some sheep and two donkeys fed on the remains of the garden.

Hat tip: The Flying Circus ;-)

In related news, no protest from Rachel Corrie's corpse or the ISM on news that an 18 year old Palestinian girl was murdered by Islamic Jihad.

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

May 07, 2005

Blog Sabbath Caption Contest: Rusty Has Pinkeye Edition

Caption this photo of North Koreans celebrating May Day. I'm off for the rest of the weekend. I have pinkeye and suddenly I'm craving brain.........

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:03 PM | Comments |

Update on Online Counterterrorism

E-mail from the man who helped the FBI nab the bad guy. We'll call him Werewolf. I'll also include this in the original post, just to clarify.

I would like to make one slight correction which I consider important-- it turns out that the FBI was NOT sitting on its hands "doing diddly squat" as I originally thought.

When Werewolf first e-mailed me he was pretty ticked off. He had alerted the FBI about the suspected terrorist. They had seemed less than interested.

One of the agents told me that I may think nothing was happening during those weeks when I didn't hear from them after I'd alerted them, but in fact a lot was going on behind the scenes. Actually, during that time, apparently the guy was being apprehended. So the last thing I want to do is seem annoyed in any way with the Feds! I think they deserve some enthusiastic thanks and appreciation, they are doing a great job. Especially since in their line of work, they can never get any recognition for what they do. In short, this was NOT a case of someone getting them off their duffs, etc, if you understand me.

Seriously, this makes me feel a whole lot better about the FBI.

Secondly, we have no way of knowing if my emails or my alerting of the FBI actually led to his capture. They may have been watching him for a long time already and just needed an excuse, etc. I have no idea. Just wanted to make it clear that I am not taking credit for that.

Ok, I just wanted to put this out in the open so that the story is clear.

In any event Werewolf deserves a lot of credit for helping nab this guy.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:52 PM | Comments |

Dutch Leaving in Droves

The number one place for Dutch chicks to emmigrate to? The San Fernando Valley.

But seriously, a contributing factor for the socialist paradise's demise is the fact that Dutch society is being overwhelmed by Muslim immigrants who do not share the same values of tolerance and openess.

Tim at Opinion Bug has more.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:42 PM | Comments |

Another Bomb in Christian Neighborhood of Lebanon

This is what happens when Christians get uppity in Muslim societies.


Late Friday's explosion near the main square of picturesque Christian port city of Jounieh (search), 15 kilometers (10 miles) north of Beirut, killed a Sri Lankan woman, the state-run news agency and a leading TV station said. Police reported only two dozen injuries, half of them light from flying glass.

The blast shattered windows and started a shop fire. It also shook the nearby Maronite Catholic church at the entrance to the old souk, or market, and the office of Sawt al-Mahabba, a Christian religious radio station. The station had aired live broadcasts early Friday of a sit-in by relatives of Lebanese prisoners held in Syrian jails.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:36 PM | Comments |

Hospitals Being Targetted for Terrorist Attacks?

A number of other people have posted about this so I wasn't going to do a story on it, but since a number of you e-mailed me with it I thought I'd better put it up.

Hat tip to John Little and others. NY Sun:

New York City hospitals are on the lookout for impostors trying to scope out health-care facilities and locate radioactive materials following warnings late last month from the Department of Homeland Security and the city Police Department about an emerging pattern of "suspicious incidents" in some American cities.

In an April 22 bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security warned hospitals that a string of people falsely representing themselves as inspectors for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations had visited hospitals across America at odd hours, demanding information about the inner workings of the facilities.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:17 PM | Comments |

Over 200 Licensed Brothels in Toronto

According to the Toronto Star:

Minutes after she arrived for a job interview at a holistic health centre last fall, Michelle found herself naked from the waist up, giving a customer a full body massage in a back storage room filled with mops, dirty laundry and cigarette butts.

"I had no idea what it was going to be like," the petite 22-year-old recalls. "I kind of had to learn on the job."

Michelle learned quickly. By the end of the day, she had earned $300 providing services routinely offered in most of Toronto's city-licensed holistic centres - "nude reverses," "body slides" and "hand releases."

Currently, over 2,600 people work in the 200+ holistic centers and, according to facilities inspector James Slocum, up to 75% are sex dens. Complaints from the public are continuously investigated and prosecuted, costing taxpayers $2.5 million yearly, even while the city issues new licenses. So far, politicians haven't done anything to close down the operations. This is possibly because being paid for sex in Toronto is legal but running a business that offers sex for money is illegal. Evidently there's much confusion about how to handle the issue.

However, one probably needs to consider that maybe the city of Toronto just wants to develop a new image. If so, a few hundred whorehouses will likely do it.

By the way, to allay any mistaken impressions, it's beyond me as to what is involved in the holistic center routine services. I've heard of a "naked bootleg" in football, but "nude reverses" has me stymied. I guess I haven't been around the block enough times.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 02:44 PM | Comments |

May 06, 2005

E-mail a Terrorist

Al Qaeda website registered to this e-mail address:

Have fun. He wouldn't come out and play with me......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:43 PM | Comments |

Terrorists Unclear on the Concept

No, you're supposed to put the TNT in the shoe before you throw it.

The Scotsman:

The prime suspect in an al Qaida-linked plot to strike Jordan with chemical weapons threw his shoes at military judges during a stormy hearing in Amman and told them terror mastermind Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi will “chop off” their heads....

Al-Jayousi disrupted Wednesday’s proceedings in a rage over the killing of four alleged co-conspirators in a gunbattle with police a year ago, detailed by a forensic doctor in court....

An angry al-Jayousi took off his slippers and hurled it at the chief judge, Col. Fawaz Buqour. “Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi will chop off your heads and stuff it up your mouths, you God’s enemies,” he then growled, pointing his finger at the three-man tribunal.

That's right, Zarqawi will use his special magic powers to spring you from jail. Then he'll chop their heads off. And mine, and George W. Buish.....

It kind of reminds me of that Mojo Nixon song.

Zarqawi is everywhere
Zarqawi is everything
Zarqawi is everybody
Zarqawi is still the king

Hat tip: Internet Hagganah

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:01 PM | Comments |

Terrorists Issue 72 Hour Ultimatum to Aussies

Douglas Woods is to be murdered unless Australia removes all troops from Iraq in the next 72 hours. If you believe in some sort of higher power, please include Douglas Woods in your prayers. I'd start by praying that Mr. Wood's captors meet the justice they deserve at the end of an Australian soldier's bayonet....

CBC News

Iraqi militants holding an Australian hostage have given his government 72 hours to start pulling its troops out of Iraq, the Arab satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera reported Friday.

The network did not say what the militants were threatening to do to Douglas Wood if their demands were not met.

Many hostages have been killed by militants after their governments refused to withdraw from Iraq, however.

Al-Jazeera also aired new footage of Wood, 63, showing rifles pointed at his shaved head.

Related from The Jawa Report: Australian Douglas Wood in Hostage Video, Appeals to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bush, Howard
The Life of a Hostage in Iraq

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:44 PM | Comments |

Mennonite Group Claims Responsibility for New York Embassy Bombing

Ok, so it wasn't the Mennonites. Would you believe the Amish? How about Jehovah's Witnesses? No? Mormons?

When all else fails I follow South Park's advice and blame it on some Puerto Rican.

Some Puerto Rican claims responsibility for New York City Embassy Bombing.

Still, it just doesn't work.......

Anyway SITE is reporting that an Islamic group is claiming responsibility.

ADNKI Italy offers this:

A little known group known as the Soldiers of Levant (Jund al-Sham) has claimed responsibility for Thursday's explosions outside the British Consulate in New York. In a statement published via the Internet, the group said the attack was "the start of war inside America". No-one was injured in the pre-dawn blasts which shattered windows at the consulate. Soldiers of Levant claimed responsibility for a fire several weeks ago at an oil rig in Texas.

"At dawn today, with the help of Allah, we placed two explosive devices in the heart of the enemy of Islam and of Muslims," the group proclaimed.

"America has already been hit by the Texas operation but despite this it maintains that that was not the work of mujahadeen. Today we announce the start of a war within and outside America and we will not hesitate at attacking festivities and cafes and hotels and churches."

There was also a threat to the United Kingdom - the New York blasts occured as British voters were going to the polls in general elections.

"As for you Great Britain, this was a special operation and a clear messages for you and the American people. None of you will be spared. We have already prepared for you the sword and if Allah wishes we will call on all the cells in America and start the battle."

Chad at In the Bullpen offers the case for why Jund al-Sham is probably not responsible.

Me? I've no idea. If this was an organized terror attack I think it says a little something about the organization. It seems much more like the act of a lone nut, maybe with the help of a buddy or two, inspired by jihad ideology.

On the other hand, Robert Spencer has been all over Jund al-Sham for awhile and has not yet dismissed the notion that the terror group was responsible for the Texas City refinery explosions.

Hat tip to our man on the ground in NYC who read about this over at Rantburg.

UPDATE: Mystery solved. Pinhead McBush's evil minions probably responsible.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:01 PM | Comments |

Bin Laden in Africa?

UPDATE: You think this might be related? Interrogation of Al Qaeda Leader Yields Captures

Via Editor in Pajamas I find this Reuters article that the Powerline dudes put up:

U.S. Marines landed on Somalia's coast in one of their most visible hunts for militants in the country since they set up a Horn of Africa counter terrorism force in 2002, Somali officials said on Thursday....

It was not clear who the Marines were looking for.

The Marines' arrival coincided with signs of U.S. military activity elsewhere along the coast of Somaliland, a relatively stable region which declared independence in 1991 to escape chaos engulfing the rest of Somalia, but which is not internationally recognized....

Somaliland's interior minister declined to comment. Officers from the U.S. task force based in neighboring Djibouti since December 2002 to hunt down any militants in the region were not immediately contactable for comment.

Washington fears al Qaeda cells may be seeking new havens in the Horn of Africa where weak political institutions and poor policing of deserts and coastlines might provide places for militants to plan attacks on Western targets elsewhere.

In late 2003, some militia bosses and ordinary residents reported that a top al Qaeda suspect -- Fazul Abdullah Mohammed from the Indian Ocean Comoros islands -- had been spotted in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

U.S. officials say he masterminded the bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya in 2002 that took place within minutes of a failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner.

In March 2003, a suspected associate of Fazul, Suleiman Abdalla Salim Hemed, a Yemeni, was captured in Mogadishu with the help of warlord Mohammed Dheere and taken into U.S. custody.

Ok, let me repeat the case for why I think bin Laden, if still alive, is in Africa.

A) Because large swaths of Africa are militantly Islamist.
B) Because bin Laden would be welcome in many of these areas.
C) Because bin Laden believes that he has prophetic powers.
D) Because bin Laden first became aware of these 'powers' when he 'prophesied' that the might of America would be cut down in Somalia.
E) As a mystic it seems like the logical place to go.

That's the basic case. I could be wrong. Heck, I hope I'm wrong and that he's dead somewhere.

Anyway, if you're interested you can check out the 'I told you so' category below.

Nov. 22nd: Oh, and if you don't find bin Laden in Pakistan, please try Africa.

Dec. 30th, 2004: And as long as I'm spending a few minutes at the keyboard let me add this question just to mix things up a bit. Where is Osama bin Laden?

I've been saying off and on that Africa is the best bet. Bin Laden is a mystic who may be holed up in the place where his 'prophetic powers' first were revealed to the faithful: Somolia. Pure speculation, but there it is.

April 29, 2005: 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 03:39 PM | Comments |

Religion of 'Jesus was a Prophet' Update

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:03 AM | Comments |

American Hostage Abn Elias: Missing for One Year

I had never heard of Abn Elias until today and I pride The Jawa Report as a place where no American hostage will be forgotten. I feel a deep sense of shame for overlooking this man. CNN International:

A year has passed since Aban Elias, an American engineer working in Iraq, appeared in a video on Arab television, blindfolded and pleading for his life.

There has been no sign of the married father of three since then, and his kidnapping is believed to be the longest of a U.S. civilian since the Iraq war began.

Elias, who is of Iraqi descent, is among at least five Americans the State Department knows is missing in Iraq. The group that claimed responsibility for his abduction, the Islamic Rage Brigade, has made no public demands for his release.

In related news, Susan Hallums was interviewed by The Australian Broadcasting Comapany's 7:30 Report. The transcript of that interview is here.

Susan is the ex-wife of American hostage Roy Hallums. You can see The Jawa Report's interview with her here [part 1] and here [part 2]. Our interview with Carrie Hallums Cooper, the daughter of Roy Hallums, is here [part 1] and here [part 2].

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:44 AM | Comments |

More Bloggers Getting It Done: Yemen, Ethnic Cleansing, and the al Qaeda Connection

What can you say when the government of a country is running scared from a blogger? From a basement somewhere in a blue state, clad in pajamas, Jane Novak is bringing international attention to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of a small sect of Shias in Yemen.

Does she get a fatwa for her efforts? No, but she is being accused of being a freemason. Next, expect to be called a J-O-O. And from there you're only one step from the fatwa.

Oh, but the government of Yemen isn't going to get off with just the 'ethnic cleansing' rap. That would be too easy. Try this one on for size.

Are elements of the Yemeni government tied to al Qaeda and were those elements responsible for the U.S.S. Cole bombing?

1) The article below says the defecting Yemeni Ambassador says that al-qaeda within the yemeni security forces and govt were behind the Cole bombing in 2000

2) The 2003 Freedom House report Yemen says that [President of Yemn] Saleh refused to investigate the Cole bombing until the US threatened miliatary action.

3) The assasination of the Socialists leader in Yemen was tied to one person only, and intl orgs and Yemeni political groups say that this was orchastrated with people within the govt and the leadership of the Islah party together. The other suspects were released giving a green light to targeting other secularists.

3) If there are al-Qaeda within the govt and they are being held back from making jihad on the US, what is the next logical thing they would want to do? Make a jihad on the Shia of course.

You know, I've never taken blogging very seriously. Maybe I should start.

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

May 05, 2005

Jawa Report Nabs Terrorist

I almost never cuss. If you cuss too much it sort of takes away from the times when swearing is really appropriate. This is one of those time.

I know this is a PG-13 blog, but every now and then you have to say what the hell.


From time to time we like to do something called post the terrorist's e-mail. It's not just great fun to sign up for gay porn using a terrorists e-mail, it also pays off from time to time.

One of our terrorist buddies is now in jail thanks to a dedicated Jawa reader.

I'm not at liberty to give all the details yet. I'll post the rest of the story when the reader gives permission. I've been holding back on this one for a month. I can't anymore, though.

The basic story is we posted a terrorist's e-mail. A reader with an Arabic sounding e-mail address sent off a message to the terrorist. The terrorist responded. The FBI was informed. The FBI didn't do diddly-squat. The reader kept bugging the FBI. The FBI finally investigated, and ...... drumroll please ..... the FBI now has said terrorist locked up in a jail.

The Jawa Report readers get shit done.

Oh. One more piece of information. Some of you are going to love this.

Are you ready?

Wait for it.

Here it comes.....

The terrorist in question was in the U.S. illegally.

Let that sink in for a second.

Alright, I'm going to go celebrate by taking the rest of the day off and going fishing.

I think I fucking deserve it.

UPDATE 5/07/05:

E-mail from the man who helped the FBI nab the bad guy. We'll call him Werewolf.

I would like to make one slight correction which I consider important-- it turns out that the FBI was NOT sitting on its hands "doing diddly squat" as I originally thought.

When Werewolf first e-mailed me he was pretty ticked off. He had alerted the FBI about the suspected terrorist. They had seemed less than interested.

One of the agents told me that I may think nothing was happening during those weeks when I didn't hear from them after I'd alerted them, but in fact a lot was going on behind the scenes. Actually, during that time, apparently the guy was being apprehended. So the last thing I want to do is seem annoyed in any way with the Feds! I think they deserve some enthusiastic thanks and appreciation, they are doing a great job. Especially since in their line of work, they can never get any recognition for what they do. In short, this was NOT a case of someone getting them off their duffs, etc, if you understand me.

Seriously, this makes me feel a whole lot better about the FBI.

Secondly, we have no way of knowing if my emails or my alerting of the FBI actually led to his capture. They may have been watching him for a long time already and just needed an excuse, etc. I have no idea. Just wanted to make it clear that I am not taking credit for that.

Ok, I just wanted to put this out in the open so that the story is clear.

In any event Werewolf deserves a lot of credit for helping nab this guy.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:51 PM | Comments |


Ok, you know our position here at The Jawa, too many right-wingers are overly critical of Vladimir Putin. But this? These comments are beyond the pale. It's not so much that he's wrong about the immorality of the Dresden bombings as he's got a hell of a lot of nerve being critical of the Western Allies and saying the Soviets were, you know, just nice guys.

The last two night The History Channel has been running episodes on the final days of the Eastern front. The Soviets were every bit as bad as the Nazis in the way they handled the war. Millions of German POWs were starved to death or outright murdered by the Soviets. Hat tip Bill Dauterieve.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:28 PM | Comments |

Forget Brad Pitt: Angelina Jolie Meets Prime Minister of Pakistan

B-I-Z-A-R-R-E. Ok, you know the U.N. is in trouble when Angelina Jolie has to do their P.R. work for them. Siffy News:

'Tomb Raider' star Angelina Jolie met Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad to commend him for the role his country played in hosting Afghan refugees.

Jolie, who is a UN goodwill ambassador, is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, after reports showed that more than three million Afghans were living in Pakistan.

So is THAT my ticket to meeting Angelina Jolie??


UPDATE: Kofie Annan sends Angelina Jolie to my house to inspect my refugee camp on special goodwill mission. Pics below.

UPDATE: I've taken down these images that I found on the internet and reposted at the request of the copyright holder.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:37 AM | Comments |

Marine Cleared in Shooting, Kevin Sites Silent

Look, I don't know whether or not this guy should have been charged with anything. What I do know is that the images broadcast by Kevin Sites of the shooting has served as a propaganda tool of our enemies. This Marine may have killed 3 men. Kevin Sites film has inspired many more to take up arms against the U.S. and resulted in many many more deaths.


The investigation into a controversial shooting of a wounded Iraqi by a U.S. Marine has ended with a determination the Marine acted in self defense.

The Marines announced no charges will be filed in the incident last November in which a Camp Pendleton infantryman shot a wounded Iraqi insurgent following a firefight around a mosque in the city of Fallujah.

The Marine told investigators he had, in fact, killed three wounded Iraqi fighters he feared still posed a threat to his unit.

Natonski reportedly gave serious consideration to intelligence reports that said injured insurgents in Fallujah had feigned surrender and then attacked American troops as they approached.

Hat tip: Howie

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:20 AM | Comments |

Zarqawi Almost Captured (AGAIN) at Hospital

Via Sworn Enemy this WAPO article. Maybe he was being seen for depression?:

The U.S. military is examining reports that insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi was present last week at a hospital in Anbar province and the possibility that he may be ill or wounded, officials said Wednesday.

U.S. officials gave no details as to why they believe Zarqawi may be sick or injured. But U.S. military authorities were quoted this month as saying that Zarqawi had left medical information about himself on a laptop computer that was seized Feb. 20 in his closest known call with American pursuers. When his car was pulled over at a checkpoint outside Ramadi, Zarqawi fled on foot, leaving behind the laptop, photos of himself and contacts, officials said.

It was not clear whether suspicions about his health were linked to the seizure of the computer or grew directly out of Zarqawi's reported presence last week at a hospital in Ramadi, the capital of restive Anbar province. Zarqawi's group asserted in a written statement posted at two mosques, one of them in Ramadi, that the Jordanian-born militant was at the hospital last Thursday during a raid by U.S. forces but that the Americans missed him.

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, confirmed Wednesday that officials had "received a tip that there were terrorists in and around the hospital in Ramadi."

U.S. and Iraqi forces "did go to the hospital to act upon the information," Boylan said. He did not confirm that Zarqawi was the target of the raid. The forces left without detaining anyone but were reviewing information from the operation, Boylan said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:05 AM | Comments |

Openly Pro-Terrorist Website NOT 'Hate Speech'

So, The Jawa Report is dropped for 'hate speech' but the openly pro-terrorist website Jihad Unspun isn't?

I guess it's who you hate that matters to Google News.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:47 AM | Comments |

Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Gay!

Apparently I've caught the gay. From the mail-bag:


We indexed your site in's database. We hope your indexation will provide you with a greater number of GLBT Internet surfers and that you will use Spidergay for your own needs.

I might be gay, but at least I'm not all the way gay.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:44 AM | Comments |

Terror Attack in New York: British Consulate Targetted

The British Consulate in New York has been the target of a terrorist attack. The attack comes on the same day that Brittons go to the polls to elect a new governmnet and as the world pauses to remember the terrorism that was the Nazi regime on Holocaust Memorial Day.

This post will be updated throughout the day. Developing.......

Another UPDATE: Our man on the streets is at the scene and reports this:

Walked over to see the "bomb" damage. What a crock. A couple windows
popped. Whoopdidoooooo. All the news pimps are there with Grim faces.
There is a guy from fox news who must be, a midget. He was standing on
a video crate. Ran into Ellis Hennigan from the daily news. Guy looks
like he weighs 50 pounds. What a pussy.

This was no terrorist. This was some idiot slob from the UN.

I would disagree with our crack reporter only on one count. A terrorist does not necessarily have to belong to a terrorist organization. Probably the work of a lone nutjob, but a lone nutjob inspired by jihadi ideology and using terror to attempt to affect the outcome of the British election is a terrorist nontetheless.

UPDATE: If we're looking for suspects I'd suggest starting to look at The Islamic Thinkers Society of New York, which seems to be connected to the global al Muhajiroun movement. Not coincidentally, al Muhajiroun is led by Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammad who makes London his home base for calling for global jihad--even against the U.K. The group also is suspected of having loose ties to al Qaeda.

These people have the balls to set up protest in New York and their members have been recorded as saying, "Next time we will get all of New York City."

Their members are just crazy enough to believe the bullshit spouted by their salafist leaders and just dumb enough to think these bombs might send some sort of scary message to the British people.

Ed Moltzen and He Who Will Not Be Named remind us that the IRA are also suspects in this thing. The latter notes that today marks the 20th anniversary of the hunger-strike death of Bobby Sands. Nothing is impossible....but, come on.....has the IRA ever attacked on U.S. soil?? UPDATE within and UPDATE: T.C. Leather Penguin also suspects the Irish. I can't argue with that logic.....

UPDATE: Can I just remind everyone that a bomb is a bomb is a bomb, so the fact that whoever did this used toy grenades for the bomb-casing is sort of irrelevant. It may be relevant that the bombs were small, but not that they were 'toys'.


Two small pre-dawn blasts shattered windows at the British consulate Thursday as voters in Britain went to the polls in a general election, police said. There were no injuries reported.

The explosions occurred shortly before 4 a.m./0800 GMT and were caused by two primitive metal "novelty grenades," one in the shape of a pineapple, the other a lemon, both packed with gunpowder, police on the scene said.

"There were some shattered windows and there are no injuries. We are investigating it," a New York Police Department spokesman said in an interview.

The incident, which briefly upset British financial markets, occurred as polls in Britain were opening but police said it was not known whether the blasts was connected to the consulate. Prime Minister Tony Blair is seeking a third term in office after a short campaign where he battled public anger against his support of the war in Iraq.

Detective Noel Waters said the explosion was caused by "two small improvised explosive devices" in or near a large concrete flower box -- typically used in New York to prevent vehicles from driving into buildings.

"It sounded like thunder -- two loud bangs," one witness told WINS radio.

There was minimal damage to the building, with only a door, window and a nearby car damaged, police said.

New York has remained on high alert since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when hijacked planes destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers.

Asked whether the police had ruled out terrorism in Thursday's incident, Waters said only, "We have not ruled out anything at this point."

Police at the scene said no arrests had been made.

Authorities blocked off the area, just a few blocks from the United Nations. The building is located at 845 Third Avenue, between 51st and 52nd streets.

British voters have been warned that Britain and its interests could be targeted by terrorists during the election campaign.

One reader, who I will not name, just e-mailed me with this.

Dude, those toy grenades went off 3 blocks from my office. Holy Crap!

I love this headline from The Scotsman: No Motive for New York Explosions. Right.

Dr. James Joyner seems to think the amateurish nature of the grenades points away from professionals. I concur.

John Little posts this link to the British Consulate, New York. No official word yet.

Michelle Malkin points us to USS Neverdock who links to this Telegraph article about al Qaeda sleeper cells in the U.S. I would simply point out that this bombing bears none of the classic al Qaeda markers.

Ok, now Michelle Malkin and GOP and the City are putting forth the notion that this might be a 'test run' for something larger. While we can't rule anything out, I hightly doubt it.

Idiotarian quote of the day from U.K. Today (via Scared Monkey's): "How convenient for Tony Blair that there should be a potential bomb explosion on election day."

Others: Interested Participant, Command Post, check out the fatwas issued below for others.....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:13 AM | Comments |

May 04, 2005

Jawapalooza in D.C. Update

It looks like Jawapalooza is tentatively scheduled for May 21st in the p.m. E-mail me for location if you're in the D.C. area and want to hang out. If you can't make it for the shindig but are in the area we might be able to hang another night between the 14th and 21st.

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

The Life of a Hostage in Iraq

This Australian article is sad, sad, sad. Do not read it if you have loved ones in Iraq who are being held hostage. It attempts to piece together what life is like for Australian hostage Douglas Wood based on what freed hostages have said of their experiences.

Needless to say, this excludes Giuliana Sgrena who's only complaint was that her captors served Sanka.

THE room is dark, his wrists are bound. He is moved, occasionally, hurriedly, between hide-outs. Young men, armed with AK-47s, unshaven, staring, stand guard beside him in the murk; they push him dirty glasses of water from time to time.

As he listens, his ears strain for clues to his location. He picks up the sounds of small-town Iraqi life as dust blows into his cell and the heat of the still air stifles. It is already the hot season in the flat plains around Baghdad and sweat and stench - his own - fill his nostrils.

Much of the detail about Douglas Wood's days as a hostage in the hidden depths of Iraq's terror underground can be sketched in with near-certainty from the testimony of past victims who are now free, or from the bleak discoveries of "hostage rooms" by US marines when they stormed the rebel stronghold of Fallujah last November.

Mr Wood, a 63-year-old engineer who is in poor health, with a heart condition and a failing eye, has much in common with the hostage whose painful fate was most closely followed by the watching world: Briton Ken Bigley, who was executed by his captors last year after an agonising ordeal. Mr Wood is almost certainly in the grip of a terror group similar to the one that held Bigley. His situation is parlous. He is almost certainly under extreme physical duress. What follows paints his probable experience, based on the hard evidence found at Fallujah, and from confidential sources.

On capture, Mr Wood was almost certainly transferred by car deep into a rebel stronghold, no longer Fallujah but some new base inside the Sunni triangle. Often, these safe houses are near to main roads. Former hostages have even reported hearing US military patrols pass close by, and have described their pain and disappointment when local villagers fail to pass on their location.

In the house, there is a guardroom. Here, the hostage sits, or crouches, or lies. His feet may be free. He will be subject to interrogations.

Beatings are routine - not to extract information but to show power and to instil obedience.....

Confidential autopsy reports on some bodies recovered are gruesome. Arab and Turkish hostages report physical pressure and emotional hardship as the constants of their captivity.

In his cell, Mr Wood will be interrogated intensively by Arab speakers relishing their capacity to deal with a foreigner who has no mastery of their tongue. Is he a Muslim? Is he a Christian? Is he a non-believer? Worst of all, could he be a Jew?

Fierce lectures will follow about the injustices of the foreign occupation of Iraq -- and Mr Wood, like others, will agree, and will give his consent to a first video appearance. How could he not? His captors have time on their hands, and passion in their hearts.

Within a day or so, he will even begin to see things their way, repent his presence in Iraq and wonder how he could have been so misguided.

The Arabs he used to gaze at through the darkened windows of his vehicle, shuttling between guarded residence and work-site, have become real. These young men, edgy and staring at him with their bitter energy, are his only hope: his judges and his new best friends.

He jokes with them, tries to ingratiate himself with them. Why on earth had Australia got mixed up in this American affair? What wouldn't he say to save himself?

The odd blow, the odd raised hand, the constantly present guns prey upon him. There's not much to eat. The concrete of the floor cuts into his bones. He trembles from time to time, he looks around and gauges his chances.

His guards don't show much heart: they've been in jails, they've lived with fear and they know how to induce it. They need, in fact, a frightened, humiliated man for their video shows. They need a dehumanised man so they can kill their victim, if need be, without a second thought. There are special rooms designed to make it easy.

In Fallujah, the safe houses had little interrogation centres where those held had scrawled graffiti on the walls. "No more," they said, in Arabic and in English, and, also, "Hope".

Then there are the pens, like the one where Bigley was kept: a fetid dog-cage, with thick bars up and across.

Mr Wood is experiencing what all Westerners inside Iraq fear in the back of their minds every second of their deployment. Some handle it well, some fall apart. The picture of veteran French foreign correspondent Florence Aubenas, captured on video, dragging her hair from her eyes and saying, "from the psychological point of view, I'm doing badly", hints at the effect of this experience.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:55 PM | Comments |

Washingtonienne: The Movie

Ok, I get a lot of e-mail, but this is a new one. I do a post about how butt ugly Jessica 'Washingtonienne' Cutler is and I get a free book! Oh, the power of being a blogger......


Your favorite D.C. blogger's book is due out in a few weeks and after coming across this loving article (, I thought I would send you a copy. If you're interested in receiving a copy of THE WASHINGTONIENNE by Jessica Cutler, pass along your mailing address and I'll put it in the mail.


77 W. 66th St, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10023

Sorry, I think I'll wait for the movie.............

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:45 PM | Comments |

More Freedom of Speech Loving Liberals

Howie sends along this link about your friendly neighborhood freedom of speech loving liberal college campus. The victim is Jonathan Bean, a history professor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Cathy Young in the Boston Globe:

On April 11, six of Bean's colleagues published a letter in the college paper, the Daily Egyptian, denouncing him for handing out ''racist propaganda" in his American history course. The offending document, which Bean had distributed as optional reading for a class that dealt with the civil rights movement and racial tensions in that era, was an article from the conservative publication about ''the Zebra Killings" -- a series of racially motivated murders of whites in the San Francisco Bay area in 1972-74 by several black extremists linked to the Nation of Islam. The article, by one James Lubinskas, argued that black-on-white hate crimes deserve more recognition.
How does Bean respond? He caves, of course, withdraws the reading assignment, and apologizes.


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

England's Plea, Case Tossed Out

I'm not sure how to read this, but the judge presiding over the Lynndie England Abu Ghraib trial threw out her guilty plea and entered a not guilty plea in the books.

Via Llama Butchers, WAPO:

A military judge Wednesday threw out Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea to prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, saying that he was not convinced that she knew that her actions were wrong at the time.

Col. James Pohl entered a plea of not guilty for England to a charge of conspiring with Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. to maltreat detainees at the Baghdad-area prison.

So, the way the WAPO piece reads it sounds as if the judge thinks that maybe England is a little on the Timmy side? You know, like maybe she's a wee-bit touched? A freaking 'tard?

She didn't know her actions were wrong implies that she's less than competent.

Is it standard practice for judges to throw out guilty pleas unless they think the defense lawyer is inadequately representing their clients interests because there is a strong likelihood that the accused will be found not-guilty?

The action came after Graner testified at England's sentencing hearing that pictures he took of England holding a naked prisoner on a leash at Abu Ghraib were meant to be used as a legitimate training aid for other guards.

When England pleaded guilty Monday, she told the judge she knew that the pictures were being taken purely for the amusement of the guards.

Pohl said the two statements could not be reconciled.

"You can't have a one-person conspiracy," the judge said before he declared a mistrial and dismissed the jury.

Either I'm missing something here or the WAPO story isn't worded quite right.

UPDATE: Check it out, Greg might be right for once. Only the person who ordered England was her boyfriend and not exactly high on the totem pole. CNN:

Graner testified Wednesday that he placed a dog leash around an Iraqi prisoner's neck and asked England to lead him out of his cell -- a legitimate technique for doing so, he said. England, who was photographed holding the leash, was just following orders, Graner said.

After that, Judge Col. James Pohl excused the jury and gave defense attorneys a tongue-lashing. Graner's testimony, he pointed out, contradicted England's guilty plea Monday to seven criminal counts -- each of which was represented by a photograph of her posing next to naked Iraqi prisoners in humiliating positions. In making that plea, she admitted her participation and said she knew it was wrong. If she was just following orders, Pohl said, she should be pleading not guilty.

Following a recess, defense attorneys told Pohl that England wished to enter a plea of not guilty, and Pohl declared a mistrial.

Whoa. Good for you judge. Good for you.

UPDATE: I'm scouring the blogosphere trying to make sense of this.....a few comments, but no real explanation

Others: Blogs of War

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:16 PM | Comments |

Forget the Horse, Spank the Monkey-Milk the Llama!!

So many people have e-mailed me about the Laura Bush jokes. Granted, dirty jokes are much better when coming from Jenna. Mmmmmm, Jenna Bush....dirty jokes....


Anyway, INDeCent Bill pretty much sums up my thoughts, but in limerick form.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:04 PM | Comments |

Insurgent Leader Caught and *shock* He's Related to Saddam Hussein

I was watching WMD: The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein last night. It's a great little flick and I highly recommend you pick up a copy of it (I actually got the video before they became a sponser). I always knew Saddam Hussein was a thug and a sadistic SOB, but one of the things I learned in WMD is that the Baathists used beheadings to intimidate prisoners and terrorize populations.

Let me repeat that, Saddam's secular Baathist party used beheadings to intimidate prisoners and terrorize populations.

Let that sink in for just a moment.

Via Captain Ed we learn the excellent news that one of the leaders of the insurgency was captured and that he *shock* is a relative of Saddam Hussein. AP:

Iraqi security forces captured a son of one of Saddam Hussein's half brothers, who allegedly financed the insurgency, in a raid on suspected militants near the ousted dictator's hometown, the government said Wednesday....

Ayman Sabawi is the son of Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan, a half brother of Saddam's, who served as a presidential adviser before the U.S.-led invasion. Al-Hassan was captured Feb. 26 this year.

Ayman Sabawi "played a particularly active role in sustaining the terrorism by providing financial support, weapons and explosives to terrorist groups," the statement said.

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

Push on to Make Beheaded Hostage Saint

How can the same word mean something so different to two cultures? Take the word martyr for instance.

When Muslims speak of martyrs it is almost always in the context of referring to someone who was killed in battle or even blew himself up killing the Zionists/Crusaders/infidels.

When Christians speak of 'martyr' it is almost always in the context of referring to a person who is killed for the faith, but offers no resistance to those willing to kill them.

Same word, different meaning.

News INQ7:

FRIENDS of Father Rhoel Gallardo yesterday began the long and tedious process of gathering testimonies and documents to support his beatification as the "first Filipino martyr and saint of the new millennium."

Gallardo, a Claretian priest, was beheaded by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group on May 3, 2000, after being held captive along with 56 teachers and students for almost two months in the jungles of Basilan province.

Then 34 years old, Gallardo was the first Catholic priest abducted and beheaded by the notorious al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group.

Yesterday, a group of Claretian priests and seminarians led by Fr. Bernardo Blanco, and Gallardo's relatives led by his parents Dominador and Raquel Gallardo, gathered at his tomb at the Himlayang Pilipino in Tandang Sora, Quezon City, to commemorate his 5th death anniversary and recall his heroic demise in the hands of terrorists.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:23 AM | Comments |

Terry Schiavo Awakens From Persistent Vegetative State, No Explanation


Nearly 10 years after a brain injury left a firefighter virtually mute, he suddenly started talking to his wife and sons last weekend. A couple of years ago, it happened with a severely injured car accident victim who'd spent 19 years in silence.

And before that, a paralyzed policeman whose brain had been damaged in a shooting suddenly regained his speech after eight years.

And now, Terri Schiavo has suddently sprung back to vibrancy. Experts had claimed that the probability of Schiavo's recovery from a constant vegetative state were about as low as her chances of recovering from her state induced death.

Normally, brain-injured patients who get better do so within the first five years, especially in the first two years, and usually the change is gradual.

So what's the explanation for these reports of long-delayed, sudden improvement?

"We really don't know for sure what's going on," says Anthony Stringer, director of neuropsychology in the department of rehabilitation medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine.

While the answer might involve some long-delayed change in the brain, experts said Tuesday, a sudden improvement might also result from a far different cause, like a change in medications or treatment of some other medical condition that's been suppressing mental function.

Terri Schiavo had been denied medical attention at the request of her husband, Michael Schiavo, making her recovery even more baffling. Her parents had begged for years that Terri receive alternative therapies, but neither Michael nor the courts would give in to their pleas.

Experts say such cases are so rare they don't have much to study, and note that news accounts usually leave out the details needed to evaluate possible causes.

The latest case involves firefighter Donald Herbert, 43, who has lived at a nursing home in suburban Buffalo, for more than seven years.

In December 1995, the roof of a burning home collapsed on him. He went without oxygen for several minutes before he was rescued, and he ended up blind with little, if any, memory. He was largely mute and showed little awareness of his surroundings.

But last Saturday, he suddenly asked for his wife, Linda. And over the next 14 hours, until he fell asleep early Sunday morning, he chatted with her, his four sons and other family and friends, catching up on what he'd missed.

"How long have I been away?" Herbert had asked.

"We told him almost 10 years," said his uncle, Simon Manka. "He thought it was only three months."

A steady stream of visitors arrived at the Father Baker Manor nursing home in Orchard Park to see the fireman, whose plight had been a major local news story when the fire and accident happened.

Herbert's sons were 14, 13, 11 and 3 when he was injured.

Staff members at the nursing facility recognized the change in Herbert, Manka said, when they heard him speaking and "making specific requests."

"The word of the day was `amazing,'" he said.

The nursing home and the family have declined to describe his condition since then or discuss medical details of the case.

Ms. Schiavo's recovery was equally shocking, especially given the fact that she was pronounced dead by the Broward County coroner's office.

An eyewitness to the miraculous recovery said that Terri was, "a bit confused, but generally optimistic."

The eyewitness reported her first words as, "Somebody help me. Please! Yes I understand you but I can't move my lips. Oh God, I'm so thirsty. Mommy, please don't let them kill me."

After a few minutes Terri realized that her faculties had returned and asked to see her mother and father. She is now being interviewed by law enforcement officers and the Florida State Police have named Michael Schiavo as a 'person of interest' in a newly opened attempted murder investigation.

Michael Schiavo's attorney declined to comment.

There have been a few other widely publicized examples of brain-damaged patients showing sudden improvement after a number of years. In 2003, an Arkansas man, severely disabled and largely silent for 19 years after a car accident, stunned his mother by saying "Mom" and then asking for a Pepsi. His brain function remained limited, his family said months later.

And Tennessee police officer Gary Dockery, left paralyzed and mute after a 1988 shooting, began speaking to his family one day in 1996, telling jokes and recounting annual winter camping trips. But after 18 hours, he never repeated the unbridled conversation of that day, though he remained more alert than he had been. He died the following year of a blood clot on his lung.

None of these people were in a "persistent vegetative state" like Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman whose feeding-tube case raised anguished end-of-life ethical discussions.

So what might explain long-delayed, sudden recoveries from brain injury?

One possibility is that the brain may have been impaired not just by the injury, but by some other condition, such as an infection or unrecognized seizure. When that other condition is treated or removed, the person's mental status improves, even though the effect of the brain injury itself is unchanged.

"Something is holding them down further" than the brain injury itself does, said Dr. Ross Zafonte, chair of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh.

For example, some people have longstanding but subtle seizures after a head injury that can induce confusion, and when they are treated, "Boom, people get better," said Dr. James Bernat, a neurology professor at Dartmouth University. "I've seen that happen."

Liver disease, lung problems, anemia, infections and diabetes can also contribute to neurological problems, he said. So can side effects from certain drugs, and so a change in medication might bring about a sharp improvement in mental status, he said.

"I'm not saying that's the case here (with the firefighter)," he said, "but these are the kinds of details we would need to know in order to properly interpret what happened."

Dr. Jack Parent, an assistant neurology professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, agreed that medication side effects and chronic conditions might suppress mental function for a long time. But he also said scientists have only in recent years come to appreciate how much potential the brain has for self-repair.

If a person's motivation is hampered, he said, "you could look a lot more impaired than your brain actually is." So maybe if neuronal circuitry that lets a person tap the brain's motivational centers was damaged and then gets fixed, that might produce a sudden improvement, he said.

But why that would finally occur so long after brain injury, he said, is a mystery.

Sources: AP reports and Jawa Report correspondent Young Bourbon Professional.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:51 AM | Comments |

Translation of Letter from Abu Asim al-Qusaymi al-Yemeni to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Chad sens me a link to the letter in which al Qaeda in Iraq's propaganda minister whines about low morale. I'm posting it below for your reading pleasure and so that an archived copy of it will be available in the future.

Translation of a letter from Abu Asim al-Qusaymi al Yemeni to “the Sheik.” Date: April 27, 2005

In the name of God the most merciful, the most compassionate.

A special message to the Sheik Abu Ahmad [ed. note: better known as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi], may God protect and save him.

Thank God, God of the Universe who stated in his generous book I assure the believers a guaranteed victory; he who honors those who obey him and he who disgraces those who disobey him until the judgment day; may peace be upon the messenger that was sent as a mercy to the world, the prophet who had submitted the message and had struggled for the sake of God until the last moment of his life. So may God bless him with peace on his family, friends and followers until the judgment day; thereafter.

The Almighty God said “those who are believers beware of God and do not die unless you are Moslem.” And, the Prophet had stated “the religion is an advice, we asked him, to how may it be? He replied, for the sake of God, the Prophet, the Holy Book, the Moslem Imams and the public.” He said “if you leave Jihad then God will take away the mercy from you.”

I advise myself firstly then I advise you [Sheik] to beware of God in secret and in the open. Do not be afraid of anybody. I advise you not to be stopped by anything from practicing Jihad for the sake of God and that is by depending absolutely on God. Whoever satisfies God rather than people, God will satisfy. All the Moslem nation is waiting to have an Islamic state implementing the rules of God, and are waiting for those men who are going to protect their dignity that are being abused everyday.

What has happened between myself and my brothers is a crime that cannot be forgiven, but God will eventually punish the oppressor. I could swear by God that you are asking about us and our situation in here; the morale has weakened and lines of the Mujahidin have become separated due to some leaders’ actions, God does not accept such actions, and that will delay the victory. We do have big mistakes where some of us have been discarded.

To conclude what has happened with us, he said either you carry out a martyr operation or go back to your family. After, we were told this was an order from the Sheik. Indeed, some of the brothers had returned back, some were recorded as martyred and the rest were hanging around and did not know what to do, besides they were humiliated and immorally treated. Who is to blame, should it be the oppressor or the oppressed? We have brothers that were tortured and jailed. They are harmless and nobody is meeting with them or asks about them. It is unlike the case in Fallujah where you used to come and visit us, and we enjoyed your party. The situation has changed dramatically and that is not acceptable to God. The most important thing Sheik, is your existence is a thorn in the mouth of the Americans as well as the traitors, and may God protect you.

The most important issue here is, do not hear from just one side, even if that person was close to you. But hear from all sides so the facts will become clear to you.

We have leaders that are not capable of being good leaders. We are not accusing them without reason but we have tested them and found them incapable.

Thank God, Sheik, please test those who are underneath you. Some of them are in a rush, some are unfair and some have other issues.

My last request to you Sheik is that I need to meet with you to share a lot of unknown issues. And, to be honest with you, I really do not trust anyone anymore that says he is coming from your side. We have suffered a lot, but thank God. I ask the Great God to make the religion victorious and to bless the Mujahidin anywhere in the world and to disgrace the infidels, destroy America and its allies soon without any delay.

May grace be upon Mohammed and his family and friends until the judgment day. I attest that there is one God and I ask for his forgiveness.

Signed by
Abu ‘Asim al-Yamani, al Qusaymi
Al-Qaida Organization, Iraq Division

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

Marla Marla Ruzicka: A Peace Activist's Journey From Leftist Activist to Leftist Martyr

David Horowitz has an excellent article in Front Page magazine about the life and times of murdered peace activist Marla Ruzicka. It seems that in her life she went from radical anti-American leftist activist to moderate leftist peacenick. But in her death she has become another martyr for Left's anti-American sentiments once again. Karma, I guess. Hat tip to Chuck Johnson.

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

Al Qaeda's #3 Man Captured in Pakistan (UPDATED)

This is the time at The Jawa when we dance! Abu Farraj al-Libbi apeared in a flyer listing Pakistan's most wanted terrorists last year. A $10 million dollar reward was offered for his capture. How much money is being offered by the U.S. for the capture of the terrorist scumbags holding Roy Hallums, Dean Sadek, or Jeffrey Ake?

TRADERROB sends along this ABC story:

Abu Farraj al-Libbi, a senior al-Qaida suspect wanted in two attempts to assassinate President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has been arrested in Pakistan, the government said Wednesday.

Al-Libbi, a native of Libya who authorities say is a close associate of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden and acted as al-Qaida's operational chief in Pakistan, was arrested earlier this week, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told The Associated Press.

"This is a very important day for us," Ahmed said. He would provide no details on where al-Libbi was captured or where he is being held.

Ahmed said the Pakistani government had been offering a $1 million reward for information leading to al-Libbi's capture, though it was not immediately clear if it would be paid. ....

Al-Libbi is accused of masterminding two bombings against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in December 2003. The military leader escaped injury but 17 others were killed in one of the attacks.

He is accused of taking over as al-Qaida's operational chief in Pakistan after the March 1, 2003, arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the terror network's alleged number three. Mohammed was later handed over to U.S. custody and his whereabouts are unknown.

Pakistan's most wanted flyer is below.

UPDATE: This case is a perfect illustration of why the European & Leftist model of foreign policy is so bankrupt. Greg, in the comments, makes the good point that he has never heard of Abu Farraj al-Libbi, which is actually a good point. However, it misses the larger point.

The flyer below is Pakistan's most wanted terrorists, not America's most wanted terrorists. Meaning, these are the people Pakistan sees as the biggest threat to their national interests.

The idea of collective security ensured through international institutions such as the U.N. is based on the false premise that nations have a shared security interest. B-O-G-U-S.

Pakistan only became our ally when they saw how quickly the Taliban fell to the U.S. Because they were sponsors of the Taliban regime, they saw just how stupid it would be to go up mano-i-mano with the U.S. Our alliance was strengthened when al Qaeda saw the abandonment of the Taliban as an act of heresy. Thus, the plot to Musharraf.

Capturing Abu Farraj al-Libbi was important for Pakistan because the man threatened their national security.

Nations do not do things for other nations becaue they are friends. Nations act in unison only when their interests mesh.

It doesn't matter if the French love or hate us one iota. They help us to the extent that they help themselves. Nothing more nothing less.

They help us fight al Qaeda because al Qaeda threatens them. They oppose us in Iraq because Iraq did not threaten them and they had an interest in seeing the Hussein regime propped up.

Malkin has Bush's reaction, but notice Bush comments on the capture in terms of how it affects America's interests.

UPDATE II: What is the deal with this guys runny mascara?

UPDATE III: Scared Monkey's notes that Pakistan is only lukewarm at helping us find the al Qaeda bad guys. I think the national interest theory pretty much explains why.....


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

May 03, 2005

Bleg for Help: Guest Posters/Collaborators Needed

With finals and such I'm finding I have less and less time to blog. This summer things look worse. I'm just about finished with a book length manuscript, but I've been putting it off for awhile.

The truth is, I love blogging. More people read The Jawa Report in a day then will ever read all of my academic work combined. So, I've let my academic research slide a bit of late. I need to get back to it.

Any one out there who would like to contribute to The Jawa Report on a regular basis or who would just be interested in guest posting over the summer let me know by e-mailing me at

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:10 PM | Comments |

Bodies of Missing Pilots Found in Iraq

Sad news. I heard nothing about this until someone e-mailed the story to me. Two F-18 jets were first reported missing, then it was reported that theywere involved in a middair collision over Iraq. No doubt we will hear from The Islamic Army in Iraq claiming they downed the planes ABC News:

The body of a pilot from one of two missing Marine jets from the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier was found Tuesday, the U.S. command said. The jets had gone missing Monday night while flying in support of operations in Iraq, but there was no immediate word on the fate of the aircraft.

The brief military statement did not specify how many people were aboard the two F/A-18 Hornet aircraft when contact was lost with them. There were no immediate indication of hostile fire in the area at that time

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:00 PM | Comments |

Intercepted Letter: Morale Low Among Terrorists, Zarqawi Goes on Wellbutrin

UPDATE: A copy of the letter is below.

Zarqawi is Newsday:

U.S.-led forces have recovered a letter they believe was addressed to Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi complaining about low morale among his followers and the incompetence of leaders in his terror network, the military said Tuesday.

The Pentagon said it may be an indication of growing weakness and dissension among al Qaida in Iraq, the terrorist organization that al-Zarqawi leads, but warned that the network remained capable of carrying out significant attacks.

The letter was seized during a raid Thursday in Baghdad, which also yielded an undated document listing targeting information and sketch maps for kidnappings and bombings, the U.S. military said in a statement.

The military said it was written by Abu Asim al-Qusaymi al-Yemeni, whom they identified as a member of Al-Qaida in the Land Between the Two Rivers, a former name used by al-Qaida in Iraq.

The letter, dated Wednesday, is addressed to "the sheik," a title used by al-Zarqawi's followers to refer to their leader, the military said.

In Washington, Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said the letter was believed to be authentic.

"The letter gives the indication that his (Zarqawi's) influence and effectiveness are deteriorating," he said. "It describes low morale and weak and incompetent leadership."

But Whitman said Zarqawi's organization can still carry out significant attacks and said this letter should only be regarded as once piece of data suggesting weakness in his organization and dissension in the ranks.

The author, Abu Asim al-Qusayami al Yemeni, was believed to be a close associate of Zarqawi and a veteran of the fighting in Fallujah, Whitman said. The "Sheik Abu Ahmad" referred to Zarqawi.

The letter advocated a jihad, or holy war, and praised "the sheik" for being "a thorn in the mouth of the Americans," the military said. But it also described low morale, weakening support for the insurgency, and the incompetence of many militant leaders, the statement said. The author also reportedly admonished the "the sheik" for abandoning his followers since Fallujah -- an insurgent stronghold that was hit hard by a major U.S.-led assault in November.

CENTCOM translation of the letter below:
Translation of a letter from Abu Asim al-Qusaymi al Yemeni to “the Sheik.”
Date: April 27, 2005

In the name of God the most merciful, the most compassionate.

A special message to the Sheik Abu Ahmad [ed. note: better known as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi], may God protect and save him.

Thank God, God of the Universe who stated in his generous book I assure the believers a guaranteed victory; he who honors those who obey him and he who disgraces those who disobey him until the judgment day; may peace be upon the messenger that was sent as a mercy to the world, the prophet who had submitted the message and had struggled for the sake of God until the last moment of his life. So may God bless him with peace on his family, friends and followers until the judgment day; thereafter.

The Almighty God said “those who are believers beware of God and do not die unless you are Moslem.” And, the Prophet had stated “the religion is an advice, we asked him, to how may it be? He replied, for the sake of God, the Prophet, the Holy Book, the Moslem Imams and the public.” He said “if you leave Jihad then God will take away the mercy from you.”

I advise myself firstly then I advise you [Sheik] to beware of God in secret and in the open. Do not be afraid of anybody. I advise you not to be stopped by anything from practicing Jihad for the sake of God and that is by depending absolutely on God. Whoever satisfies God rather than people, God will satisfy. All the Moslem nation is waiting to have an Islamic state implementing the rules of God, and are waiting for those men who are going to protect their dignity that are being abused everyday.

What has happened between myself and my brothers is a crime that cannot be forgiven, but God will eventually punish the oppressor. I could swear by God that you are asking about us and our situation in here; the morale has weakened and lines of the Mujahidin have become separated due to some leaders’ actions, God does not accept such actions, and that will delay the victory. We do have big mistakes where some of us have been discarded.

To conclude what has happened with us, he said either you carry out a martyr operation or go back to your family. After, we were told this was an order from the Sheik. Indeed, some of the brothers had returned back, some were recorded as martyred and the rest were hanging around and did not know what to do, besides they were humiliated and immorally treated. Who is to blame, should it be the oppressor or the oppressed? We have brothers that were tortured and jailed. They are harmless and nobody is meeting with them or asks about them. It is unlike the case in Fallujah where you used to come and visit us, and we enjoyed your party. The situation has changed dramatically and that is not acceptable to God. The most important thing Sheik, is your existence is a thorn in the mouth of the Americans as well as the traitors, and may God protect you.

The most important issue here is, do not hear from just one side, even if that person was close to you. But hear from all sides so the facts will become clear to you.

We have leaders that are not capable of being good leaders. We are not accusing them without reason but we have tested them and found them incapable.

Thank God, Sheik, please test those who are underneath you. Some of them are in a rush, some are unfair and some have other issues.

My last request to you Sheik is that I need to meet with you to share a lot of unknown issues. And, to be honest with you, I really do not trust anyone anymore that says he is coming from your side. We have suffered a lot, but thank God. I ask the Great God to make the religion victorious and to bless the Mujahidin anywhere in the world and to disgrace the infidels, destroy America and its allies soon without any delay.

May grace be upon Mohammed and his family and friends until the judgment day. I attest that there is one God and I ask for his forgiveness.

Signed by
Abu ‘Asim al-Yamani, al Qusaymi
Al-Qaida Organization, Iraq Division

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

Misunderstanderers of Islam Roundup

Muslim heretics imprisoned in Yemen, bodies drug through streets.

Malaysian Prime Minister, "There is an Islamic Civilization."

31 Misunderstanderers sentenced in Oman for attempting to overthrow government, institute Islamic rule.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:57 AM | Comments |

Hostages: Time for America to Act

The time has come for the U.S. government to step up to the plate and start treating civillian hostages held in a war-zone as something that matters.

Carpe Bonum makes a series of proposals on how the U.S. government ought to respond to the hostage crisis in Iraq. While I'm not sure if he's 100% right on the specifics, I agree wholeheartedly that something has to be done differently. This post is a great start in getting a dialogue started about what should be done.

What are your thoughts? What could the U.S. government be doing differently in trying to rescue the forgotten hostages in Ira?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:18 AM | Comments |

Strange Brew Reality Show: Finger Found in Frozen Custard

strange_brew_mckenzie.jpgRemember that movie Strange Brew? No? You 'tard, go rent it. Classic. Anyway, in that movie the McKenzie brothers run this scam to try and get free beer. You know the scam I'm talking about, they raise a mouse in a beer bottle.

With all this news about fingers being found in all sorts of foodstuffs I can't help but wonder if various deadbeats aren't just trying to get some free stuff. But frozen custard? Who would want a lifetime supply of frozen custard? Freaking hosers.

Tim from Opinion Bug sends along this link:

It's already making national headlines. An employee at Kohl's Frozen Custard on South College Road in Wilmington, accidentally cut off part of his finger on the job Sunday night. His finger tip wound up in a pint of chocolate custard, and the customer that found it plans to sue.

We don't know the employees name, but we do know he's 23 years old, and lost part of his right index finger in a custard machine. "The employee was attempting to put a bucket full of chocolate ice cream into the dipping cabinet when he dropped it and attempted to catch it in mid air," the Kohl's Store Co-Owner Craig Thomas tells NewsChannel 3. During the freak accident, the employee put his finger through the hole that dispenses frozen custard. The beaters inside took the tip of his finger right off, and through a series of unfortunate events, the finger wound up in Clarence Stowers custard.

"I said 'Gosh this ice cream is good.' Then I said, 'Gosh, there's something hard in my ice cream," said Clarence, remembering the moments before he found the finger. Clarence said he wished he'd realized it was a finger before he tried to eat it. "I proceeded to put the object in my mouth. Got all the ice cream off of it, spit it in my hand, said 'God, this ain't no nut!' So I proceeded in here to the kitchen, rinsed it off with water, and realized it was a human finger, and I just started screaming," he said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:02 AM | Comments |

I've got the biggest balls of all

Dean responds in a post titled Where are your balls? to my earlier rant on Islam.

The reason I'm pestering you Dean and not Dr. Hessabalah, is because you are a friend. I'm not interested in engaging Muslims who wish to rewrite history. That is a dialogue they need to be having with themselves. I don't know what true Islam is and frankly I don't care. What I care about are actions. And not just the actions performed by the jihadis, but the actions of mainstream Islam in regards to basic human rights such as the ability to choose one's own religion. Something forbidden in all but the most extreme liberal circles of that faith.

If Dr. Hessabalah was really concerned with convincing fellow Muslims of the error of their ways then why is he not writing in Arabic, Persian, Malay, etc.? Instead, he tries to convince us that Islam does not require infidels to be murdered. As a member of CAIR's Media Relations arm I'm not surprised that he would focus on convincing us that Islam is mmmkay, peaceful, but that is the nature of expansionist religions. You put your best face forward when trying to get new recruits or when trying to defend the faith.

I hope and pray liberal Islam eventually succeeds in replacing mainstream and conservative Islam. But when sincere liberal Muslims, historical revisionists, and liars wishing to put a shiny happy face on Islam in an attempt to convince we infidels and people of the book of Islam's peaceful nature.....well, it sort of chaps my hide. To liberal Muslims I say stop trying to convince we skeptics of the merits of your religion. Instead, convince the jihadis and Islamofascists who intentionally murder civillians for the good of the umma and mainstream theologians who embrace the fascist idea that while it is ok for an infidel to become a Muslim, it is forbidden for a Muslim to become an infidel.

So what bothers me is a) I admire Dean b) I hate to see a friend play the dhimmi.

On a personal note the immortal words of AC/DC come to mind:

Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they're held for pleasure
They're the balls that I like best
My balls are always bouncing
To the left and to the right
It's my belief that my big balls
Should be held every night

I've got big balls
I've got big balls
And they're such big balls
Dirty big balls
And he's got big balls
And she's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all


By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:18 AM | Comments |

May 02, 2005

Iraqi Minutemen Kidnapping Women/Children, Forcing Husbands/Fathers to Carry Our Suicide Bombings

Which is worse: The U.S. military recruitment problem or the al Qaeda recruitment problem? Via The Dread Pundit Bluto this from American Forces Press Service:

Task Force Baghdad soldiers this morning rescued a man apparently blackmailed into a suicide-bombing mission by terrorist master Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The man exploded his red Kia sedan roughly 15 feet from a barrier to a coalition base in east Baghdad, Iraq. The car bomb failed to detonate properly and the vehicle caught on fire. Soldiers manning the gate reacted quickly and saved the driver, coalition officials said in a release.

An initial investigation revealed that terrorists had kidnapped the driver's family and that he was forced to carry out this suicide-bombing mission to protect his wife and children, coalition officials said.

No soldiers were injured in the attack. The driver is being treated at a military hospital and is cooperating with authorities.

"This is another case where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has to extort men to carry out his indiscriminate slaughtering," said Army Col. Joe DiSalvo, commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. "He can't recruit volunteers. (So) he is resorting to forcing Iraqi civilians to carry out these mission by threatening harm to kidnapped family members."

So, let me get this straight. Zarqawi is now capturing women and children, and then telling the fathers that if they don't blow themselves and a few infidels up then he's going to chop their heads off? Interesting recruiting tactic. Michael Moore's Minutemen indeed

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:42 PM | Comments |

Notes and Asides: Laura Bush Beheading Edition

Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Cranky Neocon Jr.

Happy Blogoversary to Eric at Vince aut Morire.

Phin is now on Man, they'll let just about anybody in these days......

Confederate Yankee catches the DU nutjobs photoshopping Laura Bush in a very Zarqawi pose.

That's not Jenna Bush's pet beaver you're seeing. Nothing to see there. Move along. Seriously, this one has been debunked. Not that I follow this sort of thing.......But, come on, Wonkette and I linked to this eons ago. Cause, you know, we follow the important stories..

Hey, Dean, what he said. Also, when asking what 'Christians believe' about, say, gay marriage, it's probably a lot wiser to ask a Methodist lay person than, say, an Episcopelian Bishop. The same rule applies to Islam. One can't ask a liberal to defend the mainstream.

Further, what people in the mainstream believe is often quite different than the theology of the mainstream. For instance, ask your average Methodist to explain the Trinity.

That Muslims are trying to distance themselves from the mainstream idea that it's ok to kill the infidel is heartening. But to claim that the mainstream of Islam never believed in such a doctrine is disengenious, at best.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:57 PM | Comments |

Australian Douglas Wood in Hostage Video, Appeals to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bush, Howard

Another day another hostage taking. This one is an Australian man named Douglas Wood who has recently made his home in Danville, CA. A group calling itself 'The Shura Council of the Mujahedeen of Iraq' claimed the abduction. You may download the video here, via Vlad.

Here is the transcript I made of the video. It appears that there is a longer version of it which I have not obtained yet.

President Bush, Prime Minister Howard, Governor Schwarzenegger, family, friends, please help take the American troops, the Australian troops, the British troops out of here and let Iraq look out for itself.

I have (or am) strong [garbled....mumbling of another voice, possibly telling him what to say.... but press reports claim Wood says "My captors are fiercely patriotic. They believe in a strong, united Iraq looking after its own destiny"]

...look out for themselves and (garbled) their neighbors.

But please help, I don't want to die.

Australia formed a team of diplomats, defence staff and police on Monday who will attempt to free an engineer seized by Iraqi insurgents, but the government had a blunt message for the kidnappers: Australia will not remove its troops from Iraq or pay any ransom.

In a tape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News, a man identified himself as Douglas Wood, 63, an Australian working in Iraq, and appealed for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops. Two people wearing masks pointed automatic weapons at him.

"Please help me. I don't want to die," Wood said, his voice cracking with emotion in the video, aired repeatedly Monday on Australian television.

On the tape, the Shura Council of the Mujahedeen of Iraq claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Wood's wife, Pearl, told AP that the man on the tape was definitely her husband. She said he had worked in Iraq as an engineer for about a year and a half.

In the tape, Wood appealed to U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard to pull their soldiers out of Iraq and leave the country to Iraqis to look after themselves.

That's not going to happen, Howard said.

"Everybody knows the position of the Australian government in relation to hostage demands," Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. "We can't have the foreign policy of this country dictated by terrorists."

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer underscored the point.

"Let me make it quite clear, we will not be changing any polices and we will not be paying any ransom," he said.

Chad at In the Bullpen notes that The Shura Council of the Mujahadin Army is a new group and that this may be a simply extortion gimmick.

On the other hand, the fact that the group used 'Shura Council' in their name might mean that Mr. Wood was charged with a Sharia crime. This is the tactic used by groups such as Ansar al-Sunnah, al Qaeda, and The Islamic Army in Iraq. Before victims are murdered they are accused of crimes under Islamic law that are punishable by death.

In any event, we pray for the release of Douglas Wood and call upon followers of the Religion of Peace to roundly condemn this and all other hostage taking without equivocation.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:27 PM | Comments |

Margaret Hassan Murderers Caught

Four men have been detained in the Margaret Hassan murder. The 'articles' apparently includes some sort of personal identification that belonged to Margaret Hassan, such as a passport or other photo id.

Margaret Hassan was murdered on video by terrorists in Iraq who demanded the release of all female prisoners in Iraq. At the time, no women were in U.S. custody but propaganda outlets such as Giuliana Sgrena's Il Manifesto and al Jazeera routinely made that accusation. Ms. Hassan was first put in an orange jumpsuit before her murder, an allusion to Abu Ghraib.

The video of her murder has never really surfaced, unlike most such snuff films, but al Jazeera did describe the video, although not the mode of death. Further, the terrorists who had taken Hassan hostage had threatened to turn her over to Abu Musab al Zarqawi for beheading.

We see in her death the effects of enemy propaganda and why such propaganda ought to be shut down. Such propganda incites to murder.

Ireland online:

American and Iraqi forces have arrested four people in connection with the murder of Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, officials said today.

The body of the 59-year-old CARE international worker has not been recovered since she was abducted last October and later killed.

But “articles” found during a dawn raid on Sunday on an insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad linked those arrested to the murder.

“The raid was part of a sweep by US and Iraqi forces on an area of insurgent and criminal activity,” said a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“US forces alerted UK authorities when articles were found relating to the Margaret Hassan case.

Interested Participant notes that there may have been 5 arrested and that among the 'articles' were some of Hassan's clothing.

ITB also commenting.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:27 AM | Comments |

Sgrena Report Leaked, Clears Soldiers

I'm following the story, but it's the last week of classes so very little time to write. Here are some resources if you're interested.

Michelle Malkin seems to be following the story closely, as is Dan Riehl, and Blogs of War.

TRADERROB has also taken some time to respond to my earlier skepticism of the satellite imagery. I'm still not convinced, but he does mention that perhaps it was an unmanned drone that took the photos and not a satellite which seems much more plausible.

I'll try to update this post later.

UPDATE: On the satellite question.

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. [Update: just to make it clear, this info is not 'classified', his signature just includes a 'classified' e-mail address....but, you know, it just sounds cooler that way.....]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.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:12 AM | Comments |