Saturday, June 11, 2005

Huffington Blog Says Jews Control America


You may have heard, a few weeks back, about the big, big, big, launch of the Arianna Huffington blog. (Snore). Anyway, I ignored it, because, well, I've never paid any attention to anything Arianna Huffington has ever done.

But, while I've never been interested in her, I never really disliked her. And I certainly wouldn't have expected her to employ and publish anti-Semites. Well, I was wrong. Check this out:


What do you do when the war you’ve started is increasingly unpopular, costly, and inimical to American interests in the region? Why, start another one of course!

The neocons who control our foreign policy are getting bored with Iraq – been there, done that – and have now set their sights on Iran and Syria. You can hear the tom-toms beating with the introduction of such legislation as the “Syria Accountability Act” (already passed) and the “Iran Freedom Support Act” (pending), calling for economic sanctions and other punitive measures just as in the prelude to war with Iraq.


Oh yeah, the idea of holding Syria accountable for the fact that they are allowing their border to be used as a weapon against the United States in the war on Iraq, is just ridiculous, huh?

The nerve of Bush; holding Syria accountable. But, you know what? Bush doesn't control American foreign policy according to Raimondo. No. It's the Jews.

If you click on the word "neocons" you will be taken to another piece Raimondo wrote, which is a prime example of paranoid Jewish Conspirathink:


... the foreign policy of the world's only global power is being made by a small clique that is unrepresentative of either the U.S. population or the mainstream foreign policy establishment.
The core group now in charge consists of neoconservative defense intellectuals.

Inside the government, the chief defense intellectuals include Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense. He is the defense mastermind of the Bush administration; Donald Rumsfeld is an elderly figurehead who holds the position of defense secretary only because Wolfowitz himself is too controversial.

Others include Douglas Feith, No. 3 at the Pentagon; Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a Wolfowitz protégé who is Cheney's chief of staff; John R. Bolton, a right-winger assigned to the State Department to keep Colin Powell in check; and Elliott Abrams, recently appointed to head Middle East policy at the National Security Council.

Most neoconservative defense intellectuals have their roots on the left, not the right. They are products of the influential Jewish-American sector of the Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s. Their admiration for the Israeli Likud party's tactics, including preventive warfare such as Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, is mixed with odd bursts of ideological enthusiasm for "democracy." They call their revolutionary ideology "Wilsonianism" (after President Woodrow Wilson), but it is really Trotsky's theory of the permanent revolution mingled with the far-right Likud strain of Zionism. Genuine American Wilsonians believe in self-determination for people such as the Palestinians.

The neocon defense intellectuals, as well as being in or around the actual Pentagon, are at the center of a metaphorical "pentagon" of the Israel lobby and the religious right, plus conservative think tanks, foundations and media empires.

The major link between the conservative think tanks and the Israel lobby is the Washington-based and Likud-supporting Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa), which co-opts many non-Jewish defense experts by sending them on trips to Israel.

The Israel lobby itself is divided into Jewish and Christian wings. Wolfowitz and Feith have close ties to the Jewish-American Israel lobby. Wolfowitz, who has relatives in Israel, has served as the Bush administration's liaison to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Feith was given an award by the Zionist Organization of America, citing him as a "pro-Israel activist."


See, all these neoconservatives are Jews, you got that? And they are the puppetmasters who pull the strings of "figureheads" like Rumsfeld and Cheney, and Bush himself.

But, Raimondo isn't the only anti-Semite Huffington deems worthy of publishing. Check this out (Hat tip Little Green Footballs):


As Condoleezza Rice once said: "We have an Israel-centric foreign policy." How true. Our forces invaded because Israel wanted us to topple Saddam. Two religious communities--one consisting of a combination of secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews and the other of misguided Christians fundamentalists--control U.S. Middle East policies. Both believe their messiahs will come only when present-day Israel is strong and united. Until our government is liberated from those lobbies, we face big trouble.


Charles at LGF reminds us of this little gem from Findley:


... a nauseatingly anti-Semitic article by “Paul Findley, a Representative from Illinois 1961-83,” sweetly titled: Liberating America from Israel. The first sentence is all I have the stomach to quote:

Nine-eleven would not have occurred if the US government had refused to help Israel humiliate and destroy Palestinian society.


It's really sad that the Jews can control America, but they can't get Arianna to go away.



Picket Sign with Photo of Indonesian Maid Who Was Beaten by her Saudi Slavemasters

Slavery In The Modern World




Usually I don't post about the bad behavior of a person or a family, because it could simply be an aberration. But, let's look at this story and compare it to some other. From Little Green Footballs:


AURORA, Colo. - A Saudi Arabian couple was in custody Friday, accused of turning a young Indonesian woman into a virtual slave, forcing her to clean, cook and care for their children while she was threatened and sexually assaulted.

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Homaidan Al-Turki, 36, and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, 35, on charges of forced labor, document servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant.

Al-Turki also faces state charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment and extortion, as well as 12 charges of sexual assault. His wife faces some of the same charges. The two could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.


Like I said, it could be an aberration. Americans have been known to enslave people as well. Yes, I remember reading the story of a couple here in my neck of the woods keeping a slave in their home. But wait, I see some similarity:


An Irvine couple was indicted this afternoon by an Orange County federal grand jury on involuntary servitude charges that allege they enslaved a 12-year-old girl in their garage for two years and forced her to work as a domestic servant for their family of seven.

Abdel Nasser Eid Youssef Ibrahim, 44, and Amal Ahmed Ewis-abd Motelib, 41, who were married at the time of the alleged offense, were named in a four-count indictment. The indictment accuses the couple of conspiring to hold the victim in involuntary servitude, to obtain the services of the victim by unlawful means of force and coercion, and to harbor an illegal alien.

"Today's indictment illustrates the horror of human trafficking and the inhumane conditions that some victims are subjected to," United States Attorney Yang said. "It is particularly troubling that these defendants targeted a child from their home country.

The indictment alleges that Ibrahim and Motelib obtained the victim's services through extortionate threats against the victim's sister in Egypt. Ibrahim and Motelib then harbored the victim "in squalid conditions and conceal[ed] her presence from immigration, school, and police officials so that she could serve their family as a domestic servant," the indictment reads.

Ibrahim and Motelib allegedly forced the girl to work inside their house, with little or no pay, by threatening her with bodily harm and actually striking the victim, threatening that her sister would be arrested in Egypt, and threatening that she would be arrested by the police if she left the house.



And then there's this:


Tigerhawk has an interesting link to a UAE newspaper report. It seems that a maid has been discovered to be pregnant and has been sentenced by a Sharia court to 150 lashes, after which she will be deported.

It was her national sponsor who reported her pregnancy to the police, accusing her both of adultery and of being pregnant. Leaving the adultery charge aside, what is fascinating in the news report is what is missing. Here are the facts we are permitted to see:
  • She refused to reveal the name of the child's father, despite being interrogated by the police and the public prosecutor.
  • The public prosecution department referred her to the emirate's Sharia Court.
  • She refused to identify her lover again.
  • The court sentenced her to 150 lashes, to be administered in two stages.
  • She will then be deported.
Here are the missing pieces:

We aren't told the miscreant's nationality. In all probability she is from the Philippines. Poor women are often recruited for domestic work in the Middle East, hoping to send money home to their families. Instead, they end up as virtual slaves, in bondage to their employers.

We can guess that her "national sponsor" is this self-same employer. What Muslim would sponsor a kafir domestic into the country except as his own employee?

Given her virtual slavery, three guesses as to who had physical access to this "maid"? And therefore, who is the father? And might there be an angry spouse in the background? Or was she handed around to guests or family members?

Another three guesses as to why she refuses to name the father. One hundred and fifty lashes is better than dying "accidentally" for speaking out. Though she will never fully recover from her punishment. Think about it. Would you?

Finally, she is not Muslim. A Sharia court would've had a Muslim woman stoned to death. After she delivered, of course.


But still these stories are "incidents." We don't know if there is a pattern. And it would seem almost racist to suggest that there is. Well, maybe not:


So her story is not unusual after all:

two million
Asian maids are subjected to physical abuse, beating, sexual harassment, rape in Gulf states.

Some of them die as a result. The record of abuse, Sharia court "justice" and the practice of dhimmitude is flourishing in the Middle East. Even in cases of compensation for accidental death or murder, there is the heavy, cruel hand of Mohammed. In
Saudi Arabia for example, what the heirs receive is determined according to religion first, and then to gender.

The families of Muslim men receive the "full compensation amount, which is 100,000 riyals (almost $27,000.00).

Christian and Jewish males are worth about half that.

Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, etc., -- so-called "polytheistic" religions -- are only one-sixteenth as valuable as Muslims

And of course, the women in each category above are worth half the amount in the twisted calculus of Islam. ... if you're a Buddhist woman in Saudi Arabia: you're "worth" US$843.75. More or less.


None of this would surprise a person with a knowledge of the Theological history of Islam. From Front Page Magazine:



... slavery finds explicit positive support in Islam ...

The Koran, not only assumes the existence of slavery as a permanent fact of human existence, but regulates its practice in considerable detail, thereby endowing it with divine sanction by revealing God's detailed will for how it should be conducted.
Mohammed and his companions owned slaves. The Koran recognizes the basic inequality between master and slave and the rights of the former over the latter. To be fair, it also urges, without actually commanding, kindness to slaves, and considers a Moslem slave to be of a higher order than a free infidel. However, this does not entitle him to be set free.

The Koran explicitly guarantees Moslems the right to own slaves, either by purchasing them or as bounty of war. Mohammed had dozens, both male and female, and he regularly traded slaves when he became independently wealthy in Medina. Some of their names are recorded to posterity. As for the women:

"Whenever Mohammed took a woman as a captive, if he imposed the veil on her, Moslems would say he took her as a wife, but if he left her unveiled they would say, 'He owned her as a slave'; that is, she became a property of his right hand." A Moslem slave-owner was entitled by law to the sexual enjoyment of his slave women.

In line with the racist views of Mohammed himself about his own people, the Arabs as "the nobles of all races" were exempt from enslavement. More on the present-day consequences of this in Africa.

The four caliphs or religious rulers who came after Mohammed discouraged the enslavement of free Moslems, and it was eventually prohibited. But the assumption of freedom as the normal condition of men did not extend to non-Moslems.
Disobedient or rebellious dhimmis (subject peoples, i.e. Christians, Hindus, Jews, Africans) were often reduced to slavery and prisoners captured in jihad were also enslaved if they could not be exchanged or ransomed. In Africa, Arab rulers regularly raided black tribes to the south and captured slaves claiming their raids to be jihad; in India, many Hindus were enslaved on the same pretext.

Historically, while maltreatment was deplored, there was no fixed penalty under sharia, Islamic law, placing protection of the slave's well-being at the capricious mercy of judges. If, of course, they could even get their day in court: slaves had no legal rights.
The Koran mandates that a freeman should be killed only for another freeman, a slave for a slave, and a female for a female. A Hadith or officially-recognized traditional saying says that "a Moslem should not be killed for a non-Moslem, nor a freeman for a slave."

Now, let me be clear. Most Muslims are fine people, and probably 99.89% of Muslims do not keep slaves. I am simply pointing out that when we do hear of slavery in the modern world, it is often a Muslim who is keeping the slave. I believe this is a result of a mode of thinking endemic to Islamism, or what I typically call Islamofascism. As we can see, Mohammed did approve of owning slaves.
I do want to leave this discussion with a question designed to inspire some thought and commentary. If Islamism says women shoud stay home unless their husband gives them permission to leave the house, that they should do their husbands bidding, and if Islamism says it is ok to keep a slave to do work in your home, and for purposes of sexual gratification, then what is the difference between a slave and a wife?
As far as I can tell, the wife is worth more money if she is killed.

Posted by Hello

Rape Victim
Caught In A Web of Islamofascist Insanity


From Associated Press:


MULTAN, Pakistan - A Pakistani woman who was gang-raped on orders from a village council asked the government on Saturday to lift restrictions on her movement.
Mukhtar Mai, 36, said she had suddenly been included without explanation on a government list of people who cannot leave Pakistan.

"Now, police deployed at my home for my protection are not allowing me to go anywhere," Mai told The Associated Press by phone from Meerwala, a village about 350 miles southwest of Islamabad where she lives with her family.

"I demand that all restrictions on my movement be lifted so that I could travel to Islamabad to meet with my lawyer," she said.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Mai was raped to punish her family after her brother allegedly had an illicit affair with a woman from another family. Her comments came a day after a court in the eastern city of Lahore ordered the release of 12 men detained in March in connection with her rape.

A total of 14 men were detained in June 2002 after Mai came forward and told of her ordeal. In August 2002, six suspects were sentenced to death and the other eight acquitted.

But in March of this year, another court overturned the convictions of five men, and reduced the death sentence of the sixth to life in prison, causing an outcry from domestic and international human rights groups.
She has denied that her brother, who was 13 at the time, had relations with a woman from the Mastoi clan and says the clan fabricated the story to cover up another incident in which her brother was allegedly sexually assaulted by Mastoi men.


Let's break it down. Mukhtars brother was sexually assaulted by some men. The men covered up the incident by accusing him of having sex with a woman. Because they accused him of having sex with a girl they are ordered by the village council to rape Mukhtar. Mukhtar reports it. The men are arrested, tried, convicted, and let off.

The result? Mukhtar has to stay in her house.

What the ...?



Hatin Surucu - Victim of an Honor Killing in Berlin, Germany



"The Whore Lived Like A German"


Jamie Glazov recently conducted a symposium discussion on the subject of Honor Killings in Islam. For biographical information on the symposium participant go to the article at Front Page Magazine. Here is an excerpt:


Glazov: Let’s start with a little quick overview of this tragic and frightening phenomenon. Why are the occurrence of honor killings rising in Europe and in the rest of the West and from what dark sources does this terrible misogynist crime stem? Raddatz: In the first two volumes of the new UN-sponsored 'Encyclopaedia of Women in Islamic Cultures' (EWIC) mostly female authors contribute to the subject of power and violence executed by men over and against women. Some of them arrive at very interesting results. They show that over the centuries the jurists and theologians of Islam have widened the rules of the Qur’an and Islamic tradition into an unlimited licence, some sort of blank cheque, for men to handle women as they deem appropriate.

Legally, women appear as beings between personal subjects and material objects. Therefore, they are at the disposal of their husbands who are entitled to the unlimited usage of their bodies. Marriage is a contract - as literally expressed in some countries - "to use the sexual organ" for reproduction and personal pleasure. The human rights of sexual self-determination and choice of husband are widely unknown and rare exceptions in practical life. So the uniting band of all Islamic cultures is simultaneously the top human right in Islam. It is male and comprises the authority of husbands as well as fathers and brothers who guard what they call the "chastity" of their daughters and sisters. Veiling and domestic arrest secure the so-called "honor" which then equals the human right to female obedience, unlimited readiness for sexual intercourse and punishment in case of disobedience.

For the Western mind this is seen as violent abuse, but in Muslim law it forms one of the central regulations securing not only the "honor" but the Islamic state as such. This leads to the first question of why violence and "honor killings" are currently increasing to an alarming extent, not only in the West but also and particularly in the Islamic region. EWIC bases its findings on quite recent UN statistics which show an exorbitant increase of violence in the Arab world. Meanwhile beating, rape and killing of women occur in every third family and, most disquietingly, out of this third almost one third again are rapes in the family, i.e. incestuous actions against women and children. These figures are similarly confirmed for Turkey, an allegedly secular country. In some Islamic countries like Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan you normally walk free if you rape a woman who appears in the public unaccompanied by males. We see a massive abuse of collective politico-religious rules widened into the blank cheque of individual male power over female objects. This is what I call the "counter-ethics" of modern Islam, mainly propagated by Islamist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.

Western politics, however, soften this phenomenon into verbal patterns like "the Islam is not the problem", the "great respect for the Muslim mother" and so on. Using this "method", German officials, e.g. in the Department of the Interior, even try to talk away the existence of forced marriages, pretending normal circumstances in the local ghetto situation and advocating the veil, of course. Doing so, they cancel the application of constitutional rights, sponsor the rise of Shariatic rules and degrade the victims of the recent "honor killing" wave in Europe.

Let's be clear, this is slavery. When a person is not allowed to make choices about who to marry, how to educate herself, when to have sex, what to wear, or how to behave, then there is no other word which fits.
And what happens if the slave refuses to live like a slave? They are killed.
Here's an excerpt of an article, from the German paper Der Spiegel, about Hatin Surucu:






In the past four months, six Muslim women living in Berlin have been brutally murdered by family members. Their crime? Trying to break free and live Western lifestyles. Within their communities, the killers are revered as heroes for preserving their family dignity. How can such a horrific and shockingly archaic practice be flourishing in the heart of Europe?
The shots came from nowhere and within minutes the young Turkish mother standing at the Berlin bus stop was dead. A telephone call from a relative had brought her to this cold, unforgiving place. She thought she would only be gone for a few minutes and wore a light jacket in the freezing February wind. She had left her five-year-old son asleep in his bed. He awoke looking for his mother, who, like many Turkish women in Germany, harbored a secret life of fear, courage and, ultimately, grief.
Hatin Surucu, was not the victim of random violence, but likely died at the hands of her own family in what is known as an "honor killing." Hatin's crime, it appears, was the desire to lead a normal life in her family's adopted land. The vivacious 23-year-old beauty, who was raised in Berlin, divorced the Turkish cousin she was forced to marry at age 16. She also discarded her Islamic head scarf, enrolled in a technical school where she was training to become an electrician and began dating German men.
For her family, such behavior represented the ultimate shame -- the embrace of "corrupt" Western ways. Days after the crime, police arrested her three brothers, ages 25, 24 and 18. The youngest of the three allegedly bragged to his girlfriend about the Feb. 7 killing.
In many cases, fathers -- and sometimes even mothers -- single out their youngest son to do the killing, Boehmecke said, "because they know minors will get lighter sentences from German judges." In some cases, these boys are revered by their community and fellow inmates as "honor heroes" -- a dementedly skewed status they carry with them for the rest of their lives.
One of the unsettling truths about Hatin's death and the plight of many Muslim women is that it took the comments of three Turkish boys and the outrage of a male school director to get people to notice.
When the murder first happened, it sent no shock waves through the mainstream German press. It only became big news when a group of 14-year-old Turkish boys mocked Hatin during a class discussion at a school near the crime scene. One boy said, "She only had herself to blame," while another insisted, "She deserved what she got. The whore lived like a German."
The enraged school director not only sent a letter home to parents, but also to teachers across Germany. The letter ignited a media fury. Less known, however, is that the letter also hit a nerve among educators. "Teachers from across the country wrote back saying they had had similar experiences," Boehmecke said. They reported Turkish boys taunting Turkish girls who don't wear headscarves as "German sluts." "That's the part no one has written about. Clearly there is huge potential for similar violence across Germany," Boehmecke said. "Not just in the big cities, but all over. It's a problem many politicians haven't been willing to face."

Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

The 9/11 Show


This Islamofascist has got it all figured out. Prepare for an intriguing lurch down loony lane, from Memri, via Roger Simon:



The following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian historian Professor Zaynab Abd Al-Aziz, which aired on Saudi Iqra TV [1] on May 26, 2005. To view the original clip click here.

Abd Al-Aziz: "The decision to impose one religion over the entire world was made in the Second Vatican Council in 1965."

Host: "Huh?"

Abd Al-Aziz: "Yes. A long time ago."

Host: "They decided to Christianize the world?"

Abd Al-Aziz: "Yes. The decisions of the 1965 Vatican Council included, first of all, absolving the Jews of the blood of Christ. This decision is well known and was the basis for the recognition of the occupying Zionist entity - Israel. The second decision was to eradicate the left in the eighties. I believe we've all witnessed this. The third decision was to eradicate Islam, so that the world would be Christianized by the third millennium."

Host: "Why is America hostile to Islam, although we never had and never will have the same conflict with them we had with Europe?"

Abd Al-Aziz: "Well, do you remember what we just said about the Second Vatican Council in 1965 and about Christianizing the world? It was agreed upon and pre-arranged. John Paul II prepared a five-year plan, on the eve of the third millennium, Christianize the world. His address in 1995 was based on the assumption that by the year 2000, the entire world would be Christianized. Since the plan was not accomplished, the World Council of Churches assigned this mission to the US in January 2001, since the US is the world's unrivaled military power. They named the decade between 2001-2010 "the age of eradicating evil" – "evil" referring to Islam and Muslims.

Host: "You mean to say that the World Council of Churches delegated the mission of Christianizing of the world to the US."

Abd Al-Aziz: "Yes. And how could the US win legitimacy for this without anyone saying that they are perpetrating massacres and waging a Crusader war? It fabricated the 9/11 show. I call it a fabrication because much has been written on this. We are also to blame. Why do we accept a single perspective? Countless books were written, some of which were even translated into Arabic, like Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 – The Appalling Fraud [2] and Pentagate. "Pentagate" like Watergate… He brings documents to prove that the method used in destroying the three (sic) towers was "controlled demolition.

"This is an architectural engineering theory, which was invented by the Americans. They teach it in their universities. They make movies and documentaries about it. They incorporated it in movie scenarios and then carried it out in real life. Why do we accept this?"

Host: "My God, doctor. This is unbelievable! You're saying that this destruction…"

Abd Al-Aziz: "...was a controlled demolition. The building collapsed in its place, without hitting a single building to its left or right. The three towers fell in place."

Host: "In the same method they use in movies and plays?"

Abd Al-Aziz: "Yes, Exactly like that. That is how the US won international legitimacy. You could sense the (9/11) operation was pre-planned because many things were revealed in the days that followed. For example 4,000 Jews caught influenza on that exact day. They set a timer …"

Host: "By God, you crack me up! They all set a timer and got influenza on the same day. So the building was completely empty of Jews."

Abd Al-Aziz: "Much has been written about this. 150 Congressmen demanded an inquiry."


All I can say is, this is not the first time such a scenario has been proposed.

Muslims Threaten Woman With Death
Europeans Blame Her


Somali-born, Dutch Member of Parliament speaks out against the ill-treatment of women which is rampant in Muslim cultures. She made a film with Theo Van Gogh, called Submission, which showed the scars and bruises some women bore as the result of beatings administered by men. For this honest depiction Van Gogh was murdered, and Ali's life was threatened. She has been under protective custody ever since.

The Nation magazine somehow believes Ali is responsible for Islamic radicalization:



In the United States, where few people have had the chance to read or see her critiques of Islam, the 35-year-old Hirsi Ali has been almost exclusively portrayed as a champion of free speech and women’s rights. In the Netherlands, however, she remains the subject of intense controversy. Well before van Gogh’s murder, she had become a major hate figure among Dutch Muslims, who accuse her of stirring up Islamophobia on behalf of a cabal of right-wing politicians and columnists. Since the murder, a surprising number of native-born Dutch intellectuals have come around to the Muslim point of view.

In a series of “Letters to Hirsi Ali” published this spring in the newspaper De Volkskrant, several well-known, mostly male writers charged her with poisoning the political atmosphere with her strident attacks on Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. They argued that by pandering to Dutch prejudices and putting Muslims on the defensive, she contributes to the very Islamic radicalization she claims to want to stop. In a book rushed into print in February, the popular historian Geert Mak went so far as to compare Submission to Joseph Goebbels’s infamous Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew. He warned that the Netherlands could be on the road to civil war. “When the time comes for us to tell our grandchildren, how will we tell the story of the last months of 2004?” Mak asked breathlessly. “The tone, the new tone that suddenly had taken hold? Where did it all begin?”

The backlash against Hirsi Ali has astonished and disappointed many Dutch feminists, who continue to count themselves among her biggest fans. Margreet Fogteloo, editor of the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, said flatly that Mak is crazy. “People like him feel guilty because they were closing their eyes for such a long time to what was going on,” she said. In what appears to be a Europe-wide pattern, some feminists are aligning themselves with the anti-immigrant right against their former multiculturalist allies on the left. Joining them in this exodus to the right are gay activists, who blame Muslim immigrants for the rising number of attacks on gay couples.


Why would members of the left see fit to blame the victim, the woman whose life is threatened because she speaks out for the rights of women? Well, the answer is because, as former Spanish President Jose Aznar says, Europeans prefer appeasement:


“Europe likes appeasement very much; this is one of the most important differences between us and the States,” Aznar said in an interview on the Bar-Ilan University campus. “Europeans don’t like any problems. They prefer appeasement.”


Hat tip: LGF

Yeah, Mucous Houses!
Solved That Mystery, Thank God!


From Yahoo News:


Scientists have discovered giant sinking mucus "houses" that double the amount of food on the sea floor.
The mucus houses, or "sinkers," are produced by tadpole-like animals not much bigger than your index finger. As sinkers drop to the sea floor, small sea critters and other food particles get stuck to the mucus and end up on the bottom of the ocean.

For years scientists have observed loads of life at the bottom of the ocean. But they weren't able to find enough food - carbon - to support all that life. Sinkers, previously overlooked, may help fill that gap.

"We have 10 years of data on sinkers, and using average figures from those years, we can account for twice as much carbon than sediment traps can measure below 1,000 meters," Rob Sherlock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute told LiveScience.

The animals responsible for making sinkers are called giant larvaceans. They spin a mucus web, about a yard in diameter. They sit in the middle of the house and use it to filter food that is small enough for them to eat.

"Larger particles get stuck to the outside of these filters, and after some amount of time the filters get plugged and the animal moves out," Sherlock said. "The house deflates and begins to sink, picking up more particles. It's a fast-sinking carbon bomb."

"A sinker is basically snot," Sherlock said. "It's very fragile."

They're so fragile that sometimes just touching one causes it to rapidly break apart. Sinkers are particularly good at staying out of sediment traps - the most common way of testing the amount of carbon food on the sea floor.

"Sometimes the sinker wouldn't pass through the trap's filter, or would be broken up by it. Or people checking the traps would find this weird goop in the trap, and consider it to be contamination and throw it out," Sherlock said. "Plus, the odds of a sinker landing straight down into trap are fairly slim."

Sherlock and his colleagues have tried to observe larvaceans building the houses in a laboratory tank, but so far it has been difficult.



Nature is just this beautifully-designed and perfectly-balanced web of delights, spanning multiple ecosystems, and dimensions. The mysteries hidden within will never cease to amaze us.

Mucous Houses, huh? All creation cries out the glory of God.

Abe Lincoln: Tyrant?


History can tell us the facts of what happened at a specific time in the past, or it can use the facts to tell us about the tenor of the times, the personality of a culture, the dreams and fears of a people. Neo-Neocon is reading a book on John Wilkes Booth called American Brutus which seems to show that the time of Lincoln had eery similarities to our current era:


The Civil War was unlike anything known in modern times, and the nation came closer to collapse than most people realize today. Emancipation of slaves, confiscation of property, and the draft often led to deadly clashes between the public and civil authorities. The political storm threatened not only the federal government, but state governments as well...
In the middle stood Abraham Lincoln, blamed for the war and fired upon from all sides. It was not just the fringe element who hated the president; judges, senators, editors, and otherwise respectable citizens left no doubt of their contempt for him as well.
One senator compared Lincoln to the tyrants of history, saying "They are all buried beneath the wave of oblivion compared to what this man of yesterday, this Abraham Lincoln, that neither you nor I ever heard of four years ago, has chosen to exercise..."
To that senator and countless citizens, Abraham Lincoln was the American Caesar, out to establish a new empire from the ashes of a republic. Thus, the name of the book: American Brutus, which is how Booth saw himself. Some newspapers of the time even called for Lincoln's assassination, explicitly invoking the Brutus comparison.


Read the rest.

There's No Riot Goin' On


The Anchoress on the Koran-desecration scandal:


What emerges. if you want to see it, is a stunning portrayal of just how sensitive to Muslim concerns the United States HAS been in this war. “The exception proves the rule,” Hinderaker wrote.

I wonder if that is why we read a report last week (and I wish I’d kept it when I read it) that some in the press were surprised that after all of its breathless articles continuing the “Korangate” narrative and the release of Hood’s report, there were no additional rounds of riots and discontent in the “Arab street.”

Perhaps the Muslims read the same information the US Press read, and what they saw, overall, was a policy of unprecedented care being taken, by America, to honor the beliefs of those who want to cause mayhem within her borders.
Seems to me it would NOT behoove the hyper-sensitive and somewhat hysterical media and the Western Left to ultimately find themselves more critical of US Policies and Procedures on this matter than are her enemies.


Read the rest.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tell Me, Oh Wise "Ethicist" Singer,
Am I A Viable Human Being?


This is a truly chilling post. Get ready.

Disabled Lawyer Harriet McBryde Johnson, confronted "Ethicist" and Chair of the Princeton Philosophy Dept, Peter Singer, at one of his speaking engagements. Her question: Should I be dead?

From Marlowe's Shade, via TVD:


As soon as he's done, I get the microphone and say I'd like to discuss selective infanticide. As a lawyer, I disagree with his jurisprudential assumptions. Logical inconsistency is not a sufficient reason to change the law. As an atheist, I object to his using religious terms (''the doctrine of the sanctity of human life'') to characterize his critics.
Singer takes a note pad out of his pocket and jots down my points, apparently eager to take them on, and I proceed to the heart of my argument: that the presence or absence of a disability doesn't predict quality of life.
I question his replacement-baby theory, with its assumption of ''other things equal,'' arguing that people are not fungible. I draw out a comparison of myself and my nondisabled brother Mac (the next-born after me), each of us with a combination of gifts and flaws so peculiar that we can't be measured on the same scale.
He responds to each point with clear and lucid counterarguments.

He proceeds with the assumption that I am one of the people who might rightly have been killed at birth.

He sticks to his guns, conceding just enough to show himself open-minded and flexible. We go back and forth for 10 long minutes.
Even as I am horrified by what he says, and by the fact that I have been sucked into a civil discussion of whether I ought to exist, I can't help being dazzled by his verbal facility. He is so respectful, so free of condescension, so focused on the argument, that by the time the show is over, I'm not exactly angry with him.
Yes, I am shaking, furious, enraged -- but it's for the big room, 200 of my fellow Charlestonians who have listened with polite interest, when in decency they should have run him out of town on a rail.

(After the speaking engagement, McBryde-Johnson) ... begins corresponding with him. (PapiJoe at Marlowe's Shade) can't help but note how Ms Johnson's atheism hobbles her philosophical argument in service of her intstinctive opposition to Singer's monsterous beliefs.

Singer seems curious to learn how someone who is as good an atheist as he is could disagree with his entirely reasonable views. At the same time, I am trying to plumb his theories.
What has him so convinced it would be best to allow parents to kill babies with severe disabilities, and not other kinds of babies, if no infant is a ''person'' with a right to life? I learn it is partly that both biological and adoptive parents prefer healthy babies.
But I have trouble with basing life-and-death decisions on market considerations when the market is structured by prejudice. I offer a hypothetical comparison:
''What about mixed-race babies, especially when the combination is entirely nonwhite, who I believe are just about as unadoptable as babies with disabilities?'' Wouldn't a law allowing the killing of these undervalued babies validate race prejudice?
Singer agrees there is a problem. ''It would be horrible,'' he says, ''to see mixed-race babies being killed because they can't be adopted, whereas white ones could be.''
What's the difference? Preferences based on race are unreasonable. Preferences based on ability are not. Why?
To Singer, it's pretty simple: disability makes a person ''worse off.
''Are we ''worse off''? I don't think so. Not in any meaningful sense. There are too many variables.
Pressing me to admit a negative correlation between disability and happiness, Singer presents a situation: imagine a disabled child on the beach, watching the other children play.It's right out of the telethon. I expected something more sophisticated from a professional thinker.
I respond: ''As a little girl playing on the beach, I was already aware that some people felt sorry for me, that I wasn't frolicking with the same level of frenzy as other children. This annoyed me, and still does.''
I take the time to write a detailed description of how I, in fact, had fun playing on the beach, without the need of standing, walking or running. But, really, I've had enough. I suggest to Singer that we have exhausted our topic, and I'll be back in touch when I get around to writing about him.
In the rest of the piece she struggles at length with her inability to hate Singer. She realizes (and I trust her perception) his views come from good intentions combined with his secular utilitarian logic.
This is the crux of it. We know in our hearts that these "practical" conclusions are a failure of human reasoning. Yet because we can't bear this terrible burden alone, we simply stop listening to our hearts.
Without God, we become like Peter Singer. Reasonable respectful considerate monsters.


Read the rest, over at Marlowe's Shade.

GeoBandy Makes A Good Point


From GeoBandy:


Not only does Amnesty International, along with the other Anti-American do-gooders, give China a pass on human rights, they sure aren't complaining about anybody "desecrating" anybody's Bible, or Torah, are they? Or about the treatment of women in Muslim countries?

Guess you can't crank up the publicity fund-raising machine complaining about real abuses in other countries the way you can by making inane and inflammatory anti-American statements, huh?

Hugh Hewitt Asks An Important Question


I heard Hugh Hewitt ask a very good question on his radio show tonight:

Why is it that when the insurgency picks up in Iraq, Leftists see it as a reason to conclude that peace and tranquility can not prevail, and say we should cut and run, but when the Palestinian's continue on in their endless terror campaign against Israel, Leftists still believe that Palestinians want peace, and are ready for a state of their own?

If anyone can think of a way to phrase that question in a more elegant manner, I am open to suggestions.

The Protocols of the Learned Elders Of Mecca


Jack of Clubs says Certain highly religious Israeli's believe the Bible predicted oil in Israel. They take the following passage, from the book of Genesis, as evidence,

"blessings of the deep that couches beneath."

Jack says:


OK, I admit this is pretty damn silly. The idea that the Bible could be used as a guide to oil prospecting is the sort of superstitious nonsense that could only occur to a fundamentalist and gives the rest of us a bad name. But what really interests me in this article is the following passage:

In a Middle East rich with petroleum, Israel has struggled with little success to find deposits of its own for more than 50 years. Large oil companies' reluctance to work here and risk angering major Arab oil producers has hindered exploration, as have unfavorable geological conditions.
So the Arabs are putting pressure on major oil companies not to do business with Israel? Shouldn't the International Conspiracy of Jewish Bankers be doing something about this? Or the Americanmilitaryindustrialcomplex? How about Dick Cheney?Seriously, though, I'm always amazed at how the crazy conspiracy theories correctly identify the problem but get the players wrong. There is an oil consipiracy in the middle east but it isn't us who are running it.

Jews Visit Their Temple
Jordanian Leader Calls It a "Provocative Act"


From Front Page Magazine:


Last Monday, Jordan’s Ambassador to Israel, Dr. Marouf Bakhit called a hasty meeting with Israeli Foreign Ministry officials to declare his country’s outrage over the “provocative act” of a group of Jews who had the audacity to go up to the Temple Mount in commemoration of Jerusalem Day, the 38th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. The official Jordanian news agency called the Jewish visit: “A provocative act that could stir up confrontation and evoke outrage of Muslims around the world.”

The very next day, the suave, urbane Ambassador Bakhit told a group of diplomats and journalists at a Jerusalem think tank that there is absolutely no proof that the Temple ever stood at the spot known to Moslems as al-Haram-ash Sharif, now occupied by the Dome of the Rock.

The entire episode may be viewed as part of the ongoing Arab strategy to delegitimize Jewish claims to holy sites and by extension to Jerusalem itself. None of this is new—Moslem clerics have regularly seized on perceived Israeli violations of the Temple Mount as pretexts to incite violent riots. But now the inflammatory statements are coming from a representative of the Jordanian government, who in the same speech to the diplomats and reporters claimed that his country is on its way to becoming “a moderate, tolerant, open society.”

Evidently that attitude does not extend to tolerating a dozen Jews visiting their holiest site. When several hundred Arabs started throwing rocks and chairs at the Jews and Israeli Border Police fired stun grenades to force the attackers to retreat, Jordan’s Minister of Religious Affairs Abdul-Salam al-Abadi said police actions and the visit of Jewish visitors “represent a flagrant and an unacceptable challenge. They are part of repeated attempts by Zionist settlers to break into and sabotage Al Aksa Mosque to implement their vicious and criminal plans.”

The official statement went on to urge all Arab countries and Islamic organizations to “interfere” to put an end to “attacks” against Al Aksa. Quizzed about whether he personally considers the presence of Jews on the Temple Mount to constitute “an attack” on the mosque, Ambassador Bakhit refuses to answer. All he asserts is that “4 or 5 extremists managed to sneak in with a group of tourists…”

Bakhit issues no condemnation of the Arab rock throwers who injured two Jews during the incident. He does mention, “I’m not good at religion, not mine or others..” But evidently good enough to promote his government’s view that Jewish visits “endanger the safety of the mosque and Moslem worshippers.”


The Temple Mount is the location of King Solomon's Temple. You know, King Solomon of Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes fame. David's father. The Temple Mount is the location of the Holy Temple of the Jewish religion, where Jesus overturned the tables of the merchants.

The idea that the Jews have no claim to the Temple Mount is ludicrous. I can't believe we even have to argue about it, but apparently when it comes to dealing with the Islamofascists, we have to argue whether the sky is blue. From ADL:


HISTORY
The Temple Mount, which Arabs refer to as the Haram al-Sharif, and on which today the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, is the site on which the biblical King Solomon erected his Temple nearly 1000 years before the Common Era (see I Kings 5:15-7:51). This First Temple was destroyed by the armies of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BCE, and was replaced by a Second Temple some seventy years later.
The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 C.E. by Roman armies, whose victory was immortalized in the Arch of Titus that may be seen in Rome to this day.
Jews have venerated the site of the two Temples and have made pilgrimages there for two thousand years. According to some rabbis, Jewish law prohibits Jews from entering the Temple Mount before undergoing rituals of purification that are not currently practiced; partly as a result of this prohibition, Jews for millennia have prayed at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, outside the Mount proper.



No, It's Like Slavery


From NewsMax:


Top House Democrat Charles Rangel complained on Monday that the Bush administration's decision to concoct a "fraudulent" war in Iraq was as bad as "the Holocaust."

"It's the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country," Rangel told WWRL Radio's Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter. "This is just as bad as six million Jews being killed. The whole world knew it and they were quiet about it, because it wasn't their ox that was being gored."

The Harlem Democrat charged that top Bush officials "made up [their] mind to go into Iraq long before 9/11. And every one of the players who made this decision - they were part of this plan to do it. From Rumsfeld to Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bolton, every one of them - Perle - [they were part of the] plan to put our kids in harm's way long before 9/11."





Posted by Hello

The Shifting Sands Of Free Speech


From BBC News, via Little Green Footballs:


Controversial plans to make incitement to religious hatred illegal have been unveiled by the government.

The new offence gives equal protection to all faiths. Jews and Sikhs are already covered by race hate laws.

Critics say the reintroduced plans - which cover words or behaviour intended or likely to stir up religious hatred - will stifle free speech.

Ministers insist the new law would not affect "criticism, commentary or ridicule of faiths".

The Racial and Religious Bill would create a new offence of incitement to religious hatred and would apply to comments made in public or in the media, as well as through written material.

The aim is to protect people from incitement to hatred against them because of their faith.

But ministers insists it will not ban people - including artists and performers - from offending, criticising or ridiculing faiths.

Home Office Minister Paul Goggins said: "It is about protecting the believer, not the belief."
Mr Goggins said he did not expect many prosecutions under the new laws but it was important for Parliament to send out a clear message.


But, Mr. Goggins speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He says it's about protecting the believer not the belief. Ok, great. So, look what else he says:

Religious hatred is defined in the Bill as "hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief" - showing it will also cover atheists.
He said: "This will be a line in the sand which indicates to people a line beyond which they cannot go...


We can be sure that the line drawn in the sand will shift as much as the sand itself.

One day it will be ok to criticize a belief, and another day criticism will be considered an infringement on the rights of an individual, because their beliefs will be said to be central to their identity.

We have found as a society that it is impossible to simply say that incitement to violence is not protected by free speech. Why? Because "one mans terrorist, is another mans freedom fighter." Therefore, it is better for society to protect all speech, while drawing the line (in concrete) against violence.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Saudi Arabia Says
"You Are Free To Be A Christian
As Long As You Don't Open Your Mouth"


From Associated Press, via Little Green Footballs:


A Saudi official denied allegations that the kingdom has arrested and tortured Christians, saying such actions run counter to Islamic tolerance.

The remarks to the official Saudi Press Agency came in response to reports in Iranian papers of recent arrests.

The official, who spoke to SPA on condition of anonymity, said the allegations "don't go with the principals and values of the kingdom and above all our tolerant Islamic belief which guarantees the rights of Muslims and residents of different religions and ethnicities alike."
Saudi officials rarely speak on the record.

Members of other religions in the conservative Islamic kingdom generally are allowed to practice their beliefs in private but are prohibited from seeking converts or holding organized religious gatherings.

The State Department listed Saudi Arabia as a "country of particular concern" in a report last September on the state of religious freedom in more than 190 countries. Countries so designated can be subject to sanctions. The report accused Saudi Arabia of "particularly severe violations" of religious freedom.

The Washington-based watchdog group International Christian Concern, a nonprofit organization, reported last week that Saudi security and religious police have engaged in a major crackdown against Christians, saying it had received reports of 46 confirmed arrests of Christians in the wake of reports of the desecration of the Quran at the military prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Philosophical Smackdown
Oh Yeah, Well I Got
Your Theory Of Relativity Hangin', Buddy


From Atlas Shrugs:


Did God create everything that exists? Does evil exist? Did God create evil?

The University professor challenged his students with this question.

"Did God create everything that exists?"

A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!""God created everything?"

The professor asked. "Yes sir", the student replied. The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are, then God is evil."

The student became quiet before such an answer.

The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that God was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you questionprofessor?"

"Of course", replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never beencold?"

The students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.

Absolute zero (-460? F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."



There's a punchline to this one. It's not what you would expect. Go over to Atlas Shrugs to read the rest.
UPDATE: TVD's points out that the story is an Urban Legend, or sorts. It's still funny.

That's OK
Let's Just Do A Better Job Next Time


From The Guardian, via Drudge:


Electronic drawings that give comprehensive details of how to build and test equipment essential for making nuclear bombs have vanished and could be put up for sale on the international black market, according to UN investigators.

The blueprints, running to hundreds of pages, show how to make centrifuges for enriching uranium. In addition, the investigators have been unable to trace key components for uranium centrifuge rigs and fear that drawings for a nuclear warhead have been secreted away and could be for sale.

Inspectors at the UN's nuclear authority, the International Atomic Energy Agency, have been investigating the worst nuclear smuggling racket ever uncovered, headed by the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. The operation was discovered two years ago to be selling sensitive nuclear technology to Libya and Iran.

A senior official said several sets of blueprints for uranium centrifuges - the so-called P-1 and more advanced P-2 systems which were peddled by the Khan network - have gone missing.

"We know there were several sets of them prepared," said the official. "So who got those electronic drawings? We have only actually got to the one full set from Libya. So who got the rest, the copies?

The instructions are in English, Dutch and German, and the designs are from Urenco, the Dutch-British-German consortium which is a leader in centrifuge technology and is the source of Khan's knowhow from his time working there in the 1970s.
The CDs and hard drive are at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, where they have been analysed. The investigators now know that the scanning of the original blueprints was done in Dubai and when.

Investigators suspect that the warhead design was also copied into electronic form and is still available to prospective clients.

One Man's Gulag Is Another Man's Country Club


From Powerline:


The news lately has been full of frivolous references to "torture" and "Gulag" in connection with American treatment of captured terrorists. Few people, however, are showing much interest in the real thing. Michael Ledeen writes:

The cheerless creatures who rule the Islamic republic of Iran have developed a particularly wicked use of torture. Not only do they use the full panoply of physical and psychological horrors on their captives, but they then send the victims back into their homes and neighborhoods for brief periods of “parole” or “medical leave,” so that their friends and families can see with their own eyes the brutal effects of the torture.

The clear intent of this practice is to intimidate the population at large, to break the will of would-be dissenters and opponents, and to maximize the effects of the victims themselves, for the brief respite from the pain of the prisons is mercilessly accompanied by the certainty that the agony will soon resume.

One of the most prominent dissenters and a distinguished journalist, Akbar Ganji, was given a week-long “medical leave” from Evin Prison in Tehran, and on Monday he gave an Internet interview that may well prove fatal. He called for a general boycott of the “make believe elections” for the presidency, scheduled for the 17th of the month, and urged the Iranian people to engage in large-scale civil disobedience.

Following the interview the head of the Evin Prison announced that Akbar Ganji had to return at once.

You will not have read about this brave man in your daily newspaper, or seen his face on your evening news broadcast, nor will you have heard about him from the Department of State — which has a considerable bureaucracy devoted to the advancement of human rights — nor from the White House, nor from the self-promoting entrepreneurs of the likes of Human Rights Watch or the intellectuals and elected representatives who call for President Bush to “talk to” the mullahs in order to “resolve our disagreements.”

Nor from Amnesty International, too busy with its grandstanding fund-raising campaign against the United States to take much interest in real Gulags, real torture, or real political prisoners.

What Ever You Do,
Don't Forget The Time


My friend PapiJoe over at Marlowe's Shade, notes that Peter Singer, who holds the Philosophy chair at Princeton University, recently was named one of the world's top 100 thinkers by Time Magazine. So, let's see what the guy is thinking about:


He argues that in order to have an interest in staying alive, you have to be a thinking, self-aware being and have an understanding of yourself as a being which endures through time. Following philosophical tradition, he calls such beings "persons," in order, as he says in his 1993 book, Practical Ethics, "to capture those elements of the popular sense of 'human being' that are not covered by 'member of the species Homo sapiens.'" Only persons, he says, can be said to have an interest in living and a right not to be killed; non-persons, by definition, cannot.

Obviously, wherever Singer's ideas are accepted as the basis for policy, it becomes a vitally important thing to be seen as a person. Infants, for example, are seen as non-persons.


Read the rest over at Marlowe's Shade.

Mitosis
n. Biology pl. mi·to·ses
The process in cell division by which the nucleus divides,
normally resulting in two new nuclei,
each of which contains
a complete copy of the parental chromosomes.


How do Swedes celebrate Independance Day? From Fjordman:


June 6th celebrates Gustav Vasa's 1523 accession to the throne, which ended Danish rule, and the 1809 adoption of a new constitution, kicking off Sweden's democratic tradition. But while streets and buildings have traditionally been bedecked in the blue and yellow of the Swedish flag for the day, it only became a bank holiday following a parliament vote last December.
In Stockholm the opposing camps started their marches shortly after noon under clearing skies. Some 400 right-wingers had gathered on central Stockholm's Odenplan square for a "People's March," including a group wearing a uniform of black berets, jackboots, khaki trousers and black tops, and brandishing brown and black flags. "We are demonstrating on behalf of all those who still believe in nationhood and race," said Per, a demonstrator who would only give his first name.


The rightists, marching in orderly formation, were outnumbered by left-wing demonstrators who started their march about a kilometre down the road at the same time. Many of the leftwing demonstrators, who totalled 600 to 700 according to police estimates, covered their faces with black scarves and were carrying large square plastic shields. Chanting slogans like "Fight fascism" and "Down with international capitalism" they moved towards the south of the city as riot police cordoned off streets.

Inside the "Rat-Lines": Syria's role in Iraq

With operation "Matador" it seems like the U.S. and Iraqi forces were trying to shut down the Syrian border. From the accounts below that fluid border is a serious problem and it must be shut down if the Iraqis are going to have a chance at restoring order to their society. The tale of the Syrian getting infected with Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and then transporting the violence to Iraq is all too familiar. The American people need to know how our enemy views us and what they are willing to do to try and defeat us. Naivete and a hesitance or inability to recognize evil are not traits that sustain civilizations for long

Read these excerpts from a Washington Post article:
Outside Iraq but Deep in the Fight
Syria's role in sustaining and organizing the insurgency has shifted over time. In the first days of the war, fighters swarmed into Iraq aboard buses that Syrian border guards waved through open gates, witnesses recalled. But late in 2004, after intense pressure on Damascus from the Bush administration, Syrian domestic intelligence services swept up scores of insurgent facilitators. Many, including Abu Ibrahim, were quietly released a few days later....

Those interviews also echoed earlier accounts of Iraqi insurgents, including descriptions of the role of a Syrian cleric known as Abu Qaqaa in promoting a holy war, or jihad, against the West. Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, the notion of jihad has "had a galvanizing impact on the imagination and reflexes" of many young Muslim men, especially those with the means and resources to travel, according to a recent report by the International Crisis Group, based in Brussels.
"They think jihad will stop if they kill hundreds of us in Iraq," Abu Ibrahim said with a note of defiance. "They don't know what they are facing. Every day, more and more young men from around the Muslim world are awaking and coming to the jihad principle.
"Now the Americans are facing thousands, but one day soon they will have to face whole nations."...


A year later, he went to Saudi Arabia, a kingdom founded on Wahhabism, a puritanical form of Islam in the Salafi wing.

For seven years he worked in Riyadh, the capital, trading textiles. In his spare time, he studied the Koran and gathered at people's homes with young men so militant in their beliefs they were barred from preaching in public.

At a private Saudi production company that specialized in radical Islamic propaganda, he said, he learned video editing and digital photography. The work channeled the rage of young Arab men incensed by the situation in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, angered by U.S. foreign policy and chafing under the repression of secular Arab rulers.
Their goal, he said, is restoration of the Islamic caliphate, the system that governed Muslims before the rise of nation states. Abu Ibrahim said he regarded Afghanistan during the Taliban rule as one of the few true Islamic governments since the time of Muhammad.
"The Koran is a constitution, a law to govern the world," he said.


Such views were unwelcome back in Syria, governed by the Baathist Party as a secular nation. But in 1999, after Abu Ibrahim returned to Aleppo, he heard a sermon delivered by a Syrian cleric who was widely known in the region. Abu Qaqaa, a lanky, charismatic sheik born Mahmoud Quul Aghassi, preached the same radical message that Abu Ibrahim had taken to heart in Riyadh.
"Abu Qaqaa was preaching what we believed in. He was saying these things: 'People with beards come together.' I was so impressed."
Abu Ibrahim said he became Abu Qaqaa's right-hand man. He helped tape his sermons, transfer them to CDs and distribute them clandestinely. They traveled together to Damascus, the Syrian capital, and Saudi Arabia. By 2001, Abu Qaqaa had attracted a determined following of about 1,000 young men.
"No one knew about us," Abu Ibrahim said. "But September 11 gave us the media coverage. It was a great day. America was defeated. We knew they would target either Syria or Iraq, and we took a vow that if something happened to either country, we would fight."...


Worried that it would be Washington's next target, Syria opposed the military coalition invading its neighbor. State media issued impassioned calls for "resistance." The nation's senior Sunni cleric, Grand Mufti Ahmad Kaftaro, undid his reputation for moderation by issuing a fatwa endorsing suicide attacks.
In Aleppo, Abu Ibrahim went door to door encouraging young men to cross the border. Volunteers boarded buses that Syrian border guards waved through wide-open gates, witnesses recalled.
Saddam Hussein's government embraced the volunteers, handing them weapons and calling them Arab Saddam Fedayeen. But ordinary Iraqis were often less welcoming, pleading with them to go home; some Syrians were shot or handed over to the invading Americans.
At the request of his Iraqi counterparts, Abu Ibrahim stopped ferrying fighters for a time. "They said there were Shiites everywhere, Americans, and they couldn't do anything."
By the summer of 2003, however, the insurgency began to organize itself, and the call went out for volunteers...


Safe houses were established. Weapons were positioned. In the vast desert that forms the border with Iraq, passages through the dunes long used to smuggle goods now were employed to funnel fighters.
"We had specific meeting places for Iraqi smugglers," Abu Ibrahim said. "They wouldn't do the trip if we had fewer than 15 fighters. We would drive across the border and then into villages on the Iraqi side. And from there the Iraqi contacts would take the mujaheddin to training camps."...


Because Syrian men already had served two years of compulsory military service, most of them skipped the training. "It's mostly the Saudis who need the training," Abu Ibrahim said.
Afterward, the fighters were sent to join small cells usually led by Iraqis. They planted booby traps for U.S. convoys and laid ambushes.


"Once the Americans bombed a bus crossing to Syria. We made a big fuss and said it was full of merchants," Abu Ibrahim said. "But actually, they were fighters."
In the summer of 2004, Abu Ibrahim got to go to Iraq. He crossed the dunes with 50 other volunteers, dodging U.S. patrols on the Iraqi side.
In Iraqi society he moved without drawing attention. He would not discuss much of what transpired during the subsequent months. But when he returned to Syria after the massive U.S. offensive in Fallujah, only three people were alive from the original 50, he said. One was a suicide bomber.


"Young men are fighting with zeal and passion," Abu Ibrahim said. "There are Saudi officers, Syrians, Iraqis. But not those who fought for Saddam. The man who is leading it for the most part is Zarqawi."
Abu Ibrahim was interviewed before reports surfaced that Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian who leads an organization called al Qaeda in Iraq, had been seriously wounded -- a report later disputed in an Internet message purportedly recorded by Zarqawi. Abu Ibrahim credited Zarqawi with revitalizing the insurgency, especially since October, when he pledged fealty to Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader. Abu Ibrahim said that union helped cement an alliance among several resistance groups in Iraq that formed a joint treasury.
"Six months ago, Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden were different," he said. "Osama did not consider the killing of Shiites as legitimate. Zarqawi did that. Anyone -- Christian, Jew, Sunni, Shiites -- whoever cooperates with the Americans can be killed. It's a holy war."
Change
In January, shortly after Abu Ibrahim returned to Syria, he was summoned to Amn Dawla headquarters along with scores of fellow jihadi cell leaders. The security agents said the smuggling of fighters had to stop. The jihadis' passports were taken. Some were jailed for a few days. Abu Ibrahim's jailers shaved his beard.
Also in January, Richard L. Armitage, then the U.S. deputy secretary of state, visited Damascus. After long lambasting Syria for supporting the insurgency, Armitage brought praise. "We have seen a lot of improvement regarding foreign fighters who were using Syria to enter Iraq," he said. "And this is a good thing."
The timing was fortuitous, Abu Ibrahim said. Recently, he said, his contacts in Iraq have said they were not in need of fighters, but money. He said he personally carried cash, provided by sympathetic Saudis, between Saudi Arabia and Syria. But lately, a more efficient system has emerged.
"Our brothers in Iraq are asking for Saudis," he said last month. "The Saudis go with enough money to support themselves and their Iraqi brothers. A week ago, we sent a Saudi to the jihad. He went with 100,000 Saudi riyals," or about $27,000. "There was celebration amongst his brothers there!"
At the same time, Abu Qaqaa reemerged as the public face of jihad. Abu Ibrahim said he now views the cleric with suspicion, suggesting that he is helping Syrian authorities track jihadi "rat lines," as U.S. commanders refer to the smuggling chains. The same suspicion was voiced last autumn by a Yemeni fighter interviewed in Fallujah.
"The Syrians are in an awkward position," Abu Ibrahim said. "On one side they want to do whatever the Americans want them to. And on the other side they want to fight the Americans."